Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil: An Illuminating Review

Purchased by me (Affiliate Links)

My desire to try new, innovative and extraordinary luxury face oils can hardly be seen as losing traction. In fact, it's fair to say that I am so transfixed by quality face oils, and their many benefits, that they remain the most important part of my beauty routine. I had been circling the Colbert MD counter for a while, and finally decided that it was time to try Illumino Face Oil. My only regret is that I didn't try it sooner.

I am delighted by the influx of quality skincare lines created by practicing Board Certified Dermatologists-- not only because they employ their medical expertise to the creation of their products, but also because their products tend to have been created to respond to the needs of their patients. This means that the products must perform their intended functions with great efficacy. This marriage between the knowledge of a practicing dermatologist and the creation of quality skincare products can have astounding results, and that is definitely the case with Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil.
Colbert MD describes Illumino Face Oil as,

An instantly soothing face oil that improves skin's overall tone, texture and glow.
Retinol and Vitamin C Esters work at the topical level to soothe and comfort the complexion while patented QuSome technology delivers oil deep into the skin for optimum results.

Visibly improves elasticity and suppleness while instantly hydrating and nourishing skin. Uniquely formulated with QuSome technology, this luxurious oil delivers essential nutrients deep into the dermis.

Key ingredients and attributes
Borage Seed Oil: A rich source of Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA) which aids in cell repair and improves skin’s overall tone and texture.
Yangu Oil: Improves skin’s elasticity, suppleness.
Marula Oil Infused with Oleic Acid: which aids in hydration and skin barrier function.
Passion Fruit Oil: Improves skin’s elasticity while acting as an antioxidant.
Argan Oil: A deeply penetrating antioxidant rich in Vitamin E.
According to Dr. David Colbert, "Oils are naturally more gentle than most anti-aging products because they deliver the active ingredients deep into the skin without irritating the surface, and they create a dewy glow that lasts all day."

Oils tend to penetrate the skin deeper than traditional lotions and creams because they are lipophilic which allows them to pass through the lipid layer of the skin unobstructed, and this delivers moisture deeper and prevents water loss while simultaneously plumping the skin. Since oils offer a better delivery system than traditional creams and lotions, those with active ingredients (vitamins, retinols, anti-inflammatory ingredients, etc.) are delivered more efficiently and without irritating the surface of the skin. Additionally, oils create a protective occlusive barrier, and are said to protect the skin's acid mantle which means that by bolstering the skin's lipid barrier the skin is more protected against external environmental assaults. The essential fatty acids found in face oils replenish moisture levels, deliver deep hydration, and give skin a healthy glow while offering additional protection. 

My experience: The first thing that one notes is that this is no ordinary oil. It has a thin water-like consistency that allows it to sink into the dermis faster, and presumably deeper, than any other oil that I have tried. Therefore, the efficacy of this delivery system is peerless among all of the luxury beauty oils that I have tried. Furthermore, among the ingredients is the brilliant addition of retinol-- thereby making this one of the most advanced anti-aging beauty oils on the market. The result of the advanced technology employed in the creation of this face oil is glowing soft youthful skin. Illumino is an apt name given that skin boasts a luminous glow that appears lit from within.  The difference in the quality of my skin was evident after a single use, no exaggeration. The results were that immediate for me. After prolonged use my skin continues to look better and better (and my skin was in good shape to begin with). This is also the perfect oil for those who remain fearful of using face oils because it is light and thin and sinks in quickly without any of the "oiliness" that make novices to the world of beauty oils uncomfortable. Once you try Illumino Face Oil, you will understand why it has rightfully earned cult-status among beauty oil aficionados. Additionally, once you try it-- you won't ever want to be without it! The scent is a very pleasant light fruity floral that dissipates very quickly, but is deliciously satisfying. This glorious magical face elixir will delight you because of the featherweight texture, but will truly astound you because of the results.

The oils selected by Dr. Colbert create a perfect cocktail that aids in cell repair, improves skin tone and texture, improves elasticity, improves suppleness, improves hydration, bolsters skin barrier function, and deeply nourishes. Additionally, after using this potent miracle in a bottle-- I found that my skin had such a pronounced clarity that I could easily skip wearing a foundation or tinted moisturizer. Some kind of magic is born out of the list of ingredients that were so carefully selected to create the ultimate antioxidant rich anti-aging face oil. 
Note the luminosity after the oil sinks into the skin!

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Passiflora Incarnata Seed Oil, Calodendrum Capense Seed Oil, Peg-12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Fragrance, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate
Overall Assessment: I am so delighted by Illumino Face Oil that I can barely form the words to express my enthusiasm for this product. It truly is a revelation in the world of luxury face oils. I am now very interested in further investigating the entire Colbert MD skincare line-- because if Dr. Colbert could do this to a face oil-- one has to wonder what he has done to revolutionize the realm of eye creams, face creams, exfoliators and serums?! I take my hat off to the fine doctor who used his considerable training to create what can only be described as a beautiful work of art! If you love face oils, then you need this! This is modern skincare masterpiece at the highest level. Pure unmitigated love-- I would bathe in it if I could afford to, but rest assured I will be buying a replacement bottle before too long.

N.B. It is brilliant that Illumino is housed in an airtight opaque bottle with a pump dispenser. The ingredients will not become contaminated, and will be protected from light.

$150.00 for 1 oz. Available from Amazon, Barneys New YorkBloomingdale's, Colbert MD, & SpaceNK (Affiliate links).

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  1. Oh no Helen! What are you doing to me and my chubby, red cheeks! Once you approve a face oil I feel compelled to try them and they dont leave my mind until I do so. Now I need this. I feel my face routine is incomplete :'(
    I hope you are having a lovely Wednesday night.

    1. You are so sweet to say that, wefadetogray! We do seem to love the same products-- that's for sure. I think that you will be very surprised by this lovely oil, if you try it. It absorbs so quickly, imparts an unbelievable healthy glow, and contains retinol!!!! I'm in love! This might be a nice addition to your face routine. Have a lovely day! xoxox

  2. Hi Helen
    Another great face oil???
    I seriously have to stop reading your blog! Everything I tired based on your recommendation have been working really well so I can't help but keep buying!
    By the way, I really like the radical eye cream and exfoliating pads.

    Veronica (off to debate with herself about buying this or not!)

    1. Hi Veronica! Yes, sorry! You know me, I have a nearly irrational love of face oils-- so I continually succumb to those that tempt me. I am REALLY happy with this one!

      I am so thrilled that you are loving the things that you have tried from my list of favorites. I am just over-the-moon that you feel that way about the Radical Eye Cream and Exfoliating Pads-- it is an amazing line across the board!

      LOL-- let me know how that debate goes. If you do try this I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear what you think of it, and how it works for you! :-)

  3. Hello
    I was happy to see your review as I recently bought a bottle of this 'elixir' -I am trying to finish another oil before opening but am now beyond eager to pop the cork on this baby!-When do apply this oil-after a toner or after another serum then moisturizer to seal it in??

    1. OMG-- you will love this!! I am so glad that you have it! I apply this oil immediately after cleansing since the texture is lighter than any other serum-- so I want it to sink in immediately and unobstructed by heavier products. If I do use a toner I rinse my face with warm water to warm up my skin to encourage faster absorption. So basically I apply it first, and then apply my moisturizer, then my sunscreen, then my TM or foundation. If you are applying other serums as well-- I would apply them after this one (particularly if they have a thicker consistency). I can't wait to hear what you think about it! :D

    2. hi helen~ how about experimenting a couple of times with serum first then the oil? since it's formulated with technology to deliver the oil deeper into the skin, using this oil after serums might help push the serums deeper too?

    3. Hi Chia-Yi, That's certainly worth a try. Because this particular oil is so thin and water-like I do prefer using it first because it does sink in so quickly, but since it is an oil and does create a lipid barrier-- it would be interesting to see what happens if it were used on top of another serum, I'm not sure whether or not it would push thicker serums deeper, or whether thicker serums applied first would impede Illuminos ability to penetrate deeper since it is so much lighter than anything else that I have. :-)

  4. question! i have been scrutinizing your many wonderful reviews on face oils. i recently discovered that my skin, which i always thought too oily, LOVES oil as a moisturizer. this still boggles my mind, but i can't deny the fact that it just soaks oil in and is so darn happy. silicone based moisturizers always just sat on top of my skin.

    so, to the question i mentioned. i am now torn between Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil, Sponge Ladi Avocanto Oil, and now this one. i am hoping to eventually leave behind creams altogether. right now, i use oil based ones, but it would be so nice to streamline to just oils for moisture. so! given that, are you able to recommend one of these for me? a different one completely?

    i know this is a delayed response, but i hope you can still help:)

    1. Hi Erin! Thanks for reaching out! Wow, that is a tough question-- as you can tell I have a huge selection of oils and I rotate them regular based upon the specific needs of my skin and my mood. They will definitely do far more for your skin than silicone based moisturizers that sit on top of your skin.

      Rodin Olio Lusso is an intoxicatingly gorgeous oil with the delectable scent of Jasmine. I will forever remain devoted to this oil because it produces an amazing glow, deeply hydrates the skin, and is responsible for having banished the two perpetually dry little patches of skin on my nose and chin. If you love Jasmine-- this is about as good as it gets!

      Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil is utterly amazing. It is feather light, has the consistency of water, sinks in immediately, and produces the most extraordinary lit from within glow. That it contains retinol makes it a sure-fire winner for me because it really ramps up the anti-aging benefits.

      Sponge Ladi Avokanto is a luxuriously silky earthy oil that is light enough in weight that it sinks in quickly. The combination of olive oil and avocado does wonders in terms of nourishing the skin.

      The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Firming Serum is an orange scented anti-aging powerhouse oil-based serum. This magical elixir gives skin an amazing boost. Skin is transformed into a radiance that is difficult to describe, but it stimulates the skin and gives it a magical flush (not painful, just gorgeous).

      Aftelier Perfumes Ylang Face Elixir and Rose Face Elixir are amazingly nourishing lightweight beauty oils that offer the most indescribable aromatherapeutic experience. They nourish and hydrate the skin while soothing the soul.

      African Botanics Marula Oil and Neroli Infused Marula Oil are among my most reached-for oils. They hydrate beautifully, plump up fine lines, and nourish the skin in the most pronounced way.

      I could go on and on and on. I guess the real question is what you are looking for in an oil, and that may help in narrowing down the selection. I'm so glad that you made the discovery that face oils are amazing for combination and oily skin types-- I have combination skin and they have done wonders for me. They balance out the complexion and nourish much deeper than your average moisturizer. I still use a moisturizer on top when needed-- so for me I tend to treat my oils as serums. The results are always amazing!

      Let me know what you are looking for so I can try and help you further. :)

    2. well, i decided to start with sponge ladi avocanto oil. it arrived yesterday, and while it is way too soon to give my final judgment, so far i adore it! it is light, smells lovely, and sinks right in. i tried it last night as my only moisturizer, and woke up with my face feeling fairly nice (in the future, i will either use a bit more, or supplement with something else at night). still it wasn't bad at all, solo.

      and this morning i am testing it solo as my day moisturizer. so far so good. and it really is just so very, very nice! thanks for the additional insight into the differences. i will be working my way through some of the others before long! :)

    3. Hi Erin! Ladi Avokanto is a lovely place to start! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that oil, and am so happy that you are happy with it so far. You might find it necessary to layer it under your favorite cream or lotion this time of year, as I do. I only tend to only use an oil in the warm whether, and even then I most often opt to use my oils as serums layered beneath an antioxidant rich facial cream. I do, however, think that trying it alone really allows you to see how it works for your skin without trying to separate out what it is doing from what your regular moisturizer or cream is doing. I also find that warming the oil up in my hands before massaging it into my skin works extremely well! Keep me posted! Have a lovely weekend! :D

    4. i think you are probably right. trying it alone was helpful. but i have already added back a cream for my nighttime routine. i am giving the daytime another couple of tries before i decide. but i suspect that i will prefer a little more creamy moisture during the day as well, at least until warmer weather comes. nevertheless, it is lux!

      my next try will likely be the colbert-md face oil from this post. i like the sound of the retinol. and i will use it at night. what fun to fall down this rabbit hole (:3 <--- that is a happy bunny!

    5. Hi Erin, I'm not surprised that you have added back your cream into your nighttime routine. It's a great idea to see what the oil does for your skin unaccompanied by other moisturizers, but for me I prefer to layer oils underneath a moisturizer to get the most out of my routine. I agree, it's definitely luxe!

      I am interested to see what you think about the Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil when you try it! I agree, the luxury oil rabbit hole is a wonderful place!! Your happy bunny is super cute! :-)

  5. Looks like a really great product to try! I've been reading about what oils to try as I am fairly new to this and really got interested with this particular one! However, I'm only in my early 20's and I feel like expensive oils like this may not be advisable for me as I'm also trying to spend less $ for the best beauty products that would work for me. As of now I don't really have any major skin issues. I just like to take care of my skin. I just can't stop thinking about this oil and how much I want to try it. Do u have any suggestion? Thanks

    1. Hi Jane, Yes, Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil is utterly divine. It really love this oil and reach for it often. While I have many many oils in rotation-- this is definitely one of my favorites that I will repurchase again and again. As to whether or not you "need" this oil is of course the bigger question. I do not think that you are too young to be using quality skincare and taking great care of your skin. The earlier you start taking care of your skin-- the better off you will be later down the line. You are very lucky not to have any skin issues! Using is face oil has so many benefits since they sink in deeper than most moisturizers and nourish the skin so efficiently. There are also oils for every type of skin from the most oily to the most dry. Whether this particular oil is particularly well-suited to the needs of your skin- can only really be determined by trying it. Rather than spending $138.00 for a full size bottle-- it might be worth trying to track down a sample. Let me know what you are looking for in a face oil and what type of skin you have and I can try to help you decide on the type of oil to try. Thanks for reaching out! :-)


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