Thursday, 5 September 2013

SBC Collagen Gel (review)

I'm writing this review on behalf of my Mum who recently purchased a massive one litre bottle of SBC Collagen Gel after reading many complimentary reviews about it. (It's currently rated 4.5/5.0 by over a hundred reviewers on QVC.)

These are her thoughts, put into words by me, and I think this review is an interesting addition to Beauty Insignia, because I can't imagine this is something I or fellow B.I. writers Rich and Gaby, would normally have bought ourselves!

SBC Collagen Gel

So, what is it exactly? SBC (Simply Beautiful Collection) describe it as “a natural facial and body moisturiser for youthful skin”. Collagen makes up 30% of human protein, and while it's found abundantly in young skin, levels decrease as we age. Collagen helps skin to stay firm yet supple and assists in cell renewal.

SBC claim that their collagen gel has decent occlusive properties, which means water evaporation from the skin could be reduced, helping to maintain moisture levels in the upper layer of the epidermis.

First up, the packaging – it's a bright pink gel, so you'll be unsurprised to find out that it contains artificial colour. This is contained within a rather cheap looking plastic bottle with pump dispenser. The dispenser makes it very easy to use, one pump gives you enough gel for your hands, or an arm etc. The overall look is low-rent and tacky, but as we all know it's what's inside that counts, and here SBC claws back some brownie points...

The gel itself is surprisingly watery; much lighter in consistency than aloe vera gel. Unlike my Mum, I found it took a little while to sink into my skin, but once it did it left absolutely no residue. I know that there are beauty salons that use this gel for facial massages, so if you apply liberally it'll act like a lubricant for an at home mini-massage.

It also works as a light moisturiser and is very versatile. You can use this all over your body, your hands and feet, even your face, lips and under your eyes. It works particularly well as an under-moisturiser booster, almost like a serum, to smooth and nourish your skin before using your other products, like sunscreen, on top.

Fine lines appear slightly smaller while the overall appearance of the skin seems to have smoothed out after application. There don't appear to be long-term benefits, but if you use it on a daily basis you'll enjoy increased hydration and a healthier looking complexion. Some users prefer this to traditional after-sun, too, and I can see how it could help soothe lightly tanned skin.

From a natural point of view, the added colour aside, there's also a strongish fragrance. My Mum likes it (and the colour) but in all honesty these are ingredients the SBC gel could do without; they're only included for the effect, and have no skin benefits whatsoever. These combined with the alcohol might put off those with sensitive skin.

Neither my Mum or I suffered from any irritation even after extensive use. The bright spots include a lack of parabens and SBC's decent policy on animal testing: “SBC does not engage in or endorse any form of animal testing”.

The pump dispenser is lockable so you can take this travelling with you (although one of their smaller sizes would be far more practical!), and it even works out at quite good value if you can get over the £55 asking price for one litre.

It should also be suitable for most skin types.  Although it can't replace a good quality face serum, it's certainly a useful addition to your body care regime.  And if you like this, and want to try other collagen products, SBC have a whole range including hand wash and lotion, shower and bath products, face cleanser, serum and moisturiser as well as body butter!  Something for everyone.

Good value in large sizes
Contains artificial colour and perfume
Very versatile, can be used pretty much anywhere!
Hardly desirable to look at; the cheap look might turn away customers
Lightly moisturising and non-irritating


Brand: SBC

Size: 125 ml
Price: £11.00 (£8.80/100 ml)

Size: 250 ml
Price: £19.00 (£7.60/100 ml)

Size: 500 ml
Price: £34.50 (£6.90/100 ml)

Size: 1,000 ml
Price: £55.00 (£5.50/100 ml)

Manufactured: n/a

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Yeast Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate-20, Parfum, C.I. 17200, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylchlorosiothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Limonene, Linalool

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