Good value beauty: Etat Pur

‘Good value beauty’ you say, with a sceptical hint in your voice, ‘don’t you guys always pick the expensive stuff to love?’. Well, yes dear readers, we have been fortunate at TWR to have been offered some beautiful but stonkingly expensive beauty creams to try (you may remember the fab but pricey Skin Science, we still miss it) so it is really a relief to be able to talk about a range that is good, reasonably priced and can sensibly fit into anyone’s current skincare routine. It is Etat Pur.

Last week Jane and I were invited along to the UK launch to have the concept explained and given samples to trial. It’s a neat idea, in a nut shell, you go on line and tap in your skin condition/problems, and it ‘prescribes’ the best product for you. There are cleansers and moisturisers in a Skincare range as normal, graded to what type of skin you have, then things called Actives -which you use in drop form daily to target your particular problem. There’s a whole load of stuff about biomimetic ingredients (using products that have perfect affinity with the biological make up of skin) but since this is a made up word and I’m getting immune to the waffle beauty firms spew out I’ll leave it to you to believe this or not.

The reason it’s worth talking about is that it is a good product for a very good price. The moisteriser B26, for example is VERY rich, so much so that the demonstrator warned against using too much due to its intensity, which of course made me want to slap it onto my dry old wrinkles all the more. I’ve been using it all week and when the sample runs out I am going to BUY a tube, for £9.20 as I am now slightly addicted to it.

The Actives are also a way of targeting problems like dark shadows under eyes, spots, lack of radiance (THE buzz word for beauty currently) and ageing issues without changing any other products you use, they go on clean skin prior to moisturising. It reminds me a bit of homeopathic targeting and the little bottles look quite medicinal with their dropper system issuing just the right dose. We pinned the experts down and made them tell us the very best ones to use for 40plus women and they recommended the LW Hyaluronic Acid (£14.20) for ageing skin and Citric Acid AHA  (£11.60) for dull complexions. I asked about teenage acne (the range is suitable for all ages) and am getting youngest teen to trial Salicyic Acid 300 (£12.20) for his spots.

The website takes a bit of navigating, try not to be put off by the clunky design, you just need to visit the left hand column with Pure Active or the Biomimetic Skincare and get a cup of tea and read through. Why beauty has got so complicated recently I really don’t know, you need to have researched to PhD level to visit a skincare counter today, at least you can do all this at home with this one.

I do like the idea of bespoking my skin care routine to factors such as what season it it (my skin is always drier in the winter hence the love of the B26 cream) and what I’m doing -there’s a before-sun booster which is very popular in France for pre-skiing prep apparently. You can use about three actives at a time, so can multi task with problems although you mustn’t use them all the time as you skin gets used to the formula.  Have we any readers in France (where it launched last year) who already use it? Does anyone think that money buys you happiness on skin care, or is this value idea more trustworthy? what do you think readers?


  • Becky says:

    I am totally confused by the whole skincare thing. I know I should be doing something with my skin but I’m not at the moment – it’s getting desperate as I can see signs of sun damage coming along now (I do wear a sunscreen most of the time – although sometimes I forget). There is no-one here who knows anything about skincare at all – if you go to one of those beauty counter places the ladies are far too busy texting their buddies to give you any information and I find it all so horribly overwhelming – so I just give up. If there were one thing that I should be using on my skin – what is it ? Maybe this might be the range to try – all I need now is to fly back to the UK to get it !!!!!

  • justine says:

    I just went on the website and got totally confused! with regards to your teenager with spots, which moisturiser did they recommend? I do think you get what you pay for, at the moment I find that I need really intense night cream that I can’t seem to find is as effective in really cheap brands.

  • Amanda says:

    I know that the team were keen to encourage people to phone them with queries, if you look on the website you’ll see a tel no in the bottom right hand corner, or you could email them Becky and ask them about your skin, have a go and see if they are any good. It’s a shame they don’t send it out to the Middle East, but again, why not mail them and ask them.
    Justine it is complex isn’t it? I think that’s it’s biggest downfall, once you get the hang of it it’s ok, In France, it is working apparently, but it’s a big ask to get people to work through it. Once you get the product it’s pretty good, Did you see our post on teenage skin J? He’s using the CeraVe one.A

  • Marv says:

    Is it (finished product) or the ingredients tested on animals, do you know? Can’t even look at it if it is, but do like the packaging…

  • Sarah says:

    It’s a mixture of science and superstition. Salicylic acid will exfoliate, which is good for acne-prone skins, and both hyaluronic acid and urea are humectants, drawing water to them and resulting in plumping of dry skin and fine wrinkles. However I am far from convinced of the benefits of applying resveratrol or green tea extract to the skin. Their efficacy trials are conducted on 20 women with no control group and as such are meaningless.

    I have a PhD in biochemistry, and I will continue to stick to Clinique.

  • Amanda says:

    Sarah! tell us what Clinique you use! My sis is also a die hard Clinique lover. But it is more expensive I think?
    I agree about the control group studies, I did some beauty retail research recently and was amazed how few people are involved when they quote these statistics. I no longer even look at that info, and when companies start making words up, well….A

  • Amanda says:

    Marv, they do not test on animals, just checked with the PR A

  • Sarah says:

    My husband can’t get over the bit on beauty ads when they give their testing statistics. He really can’t believe that anyone would buy stuff based on assertions tested by such small groups, and sits there saying ‘but do they not have to get some kind of independent and verifiable testing done to say that?’. Apparently not!

  • Amanda says:

    S, It is hard to believe I agree, but then so much about the beauty industry is still shrouded in secrecy, and don’t even get me started on perfume. There is room I think, for a completely open and honest approach to beauty, but it isn’t coming soon as far as I can see. A

  • Marv says:

    There’ll be no open and honest approach until they NEED to be open and honest and that won’t come until gullible people stop buying the latest fad to make you look ‘beautiful’ and the cosmetics firms don’t make as much money.

    Not that I am calling anyone here gullible. You know what I mean. I hope.

  • Sarah says:

    There are two Sarah’s above – I’m Sarah PhD!
    I use plain soap to wash, Clinique clarifying lotion and dramatically different moisturiser, plus Superdefense SPF 25 in the morning, and moisture surge if skin is feeling dehydrated, with occasional use of turnaround lotion. Not cheap to buy but they last ages, and I don’t waste any. Sadly the Clinique range has become confusingly large of late, which I find annoying, but the products are still very good.

    Becky, whatever you do, use sunscreen and a moisturiser that suits your skin. You could do alot worse than using Clinique and it’s very widely available. But whatever you buy, remember that expensive wonder products in beautiful packaging sitting on your bathroom shelf are doing no good. You have to get into the habit of USING them.

  • emma's sage green says:

    I have recently started working as a Neal’s Yard consultant, and have been learning about what actually goes into products. It is shocking! The amount of chemical nasties we are prepared to put on our skin. Sadly the beauty industry is not well regulated in this country,and products can call themselves ‘natural’, ‘simple’ or ‘organic’, but only need to contain a tiny amount of natural ingredient.
    I will now only use the Neals Yard products, which really do only contain wonderful organic ingredients, essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances, no compromises on anything, and last for ages! Well worth considering. I am gradually converting all my friends and family and I have had lots of comments on how good my skin looks. I absolutely swear by the Frankincense range for mature skin. Wouldn’t touch Clinique myself.

  • Amanda says:

    Emma, I am a fan of Neal’s Yard too, and commend its stand on natural ingredients and actually have a pot of the Frankincense cream in my cupboard, but are all chemicals really nasty? I am learning more about synthetics in the perfume industry and some of them are actually better for the environment and us than the naturals, I know that’s an odd thing to say….but there we go.
    SarahPHD, complicated beauty! Make everything simple and we’d all buy more, I’m sure, Clinique used to do that great simple three steps advert with the toothbrush, while researching the beauty presentation I did recently, I discovered the Repair wear laser focus serum got very good reviews…A

  • Sarah says:

    Each to their own, but Neal’s Yard is on my personal blacklist until they stop selling homeopathic ‘remedies’. This is unethical and is dangerous if someone tries to treat their symptoms with them instead of seeking medical advice. For example, bloating and digestive upsets can be symptoms of ovarian cancer, which is usually treated sucessfully if diagnosed early, but not if left too late.
    I think that companies who sell cosmetics should stick to doing just that, and not stray into pseudo-medical areas.

  • Non-PhD Sarah says:

    I like Neals Yard stuff (and REN) a lot too, though Amanda’s comment on synthetics is really interesting. I’m with PhD Sarah on homeopathy though.

  • Sue says:

    I am also confused by too much choice and end up buying nothing.However, I am off to John Lewis to check out the Clinique tomorrow.Sue

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