Thursday, 3 May 2012

Skincare by Fujifilm: Astalift Jelly Aquarysta

If I told you the trick to glowing, happy skin was putting jelly on your face, you'd probably think I was having a late April Fool joke. But I'm totally serious.


This is Jelly Aquarysta. It's red and wobbly. It's made by camera company Fujifilm, and it smells of roses.

What on earth does Fujifilm know about skincare? This was the question on my mind when I attended a presentation do with the brand a couple of weeks back. Actually, it turns out there's a surprising amount of overlap between making pictures and taking care of human skin.

Photographic film uses an emulsion made from animal proteins similar to human collagen. One of the major challenges in producing film is protecting these proteins from oxidation - ie the breakdown of oxygen molecules to release destructive free radicals. This probably sounds like familiar territory already.

Fujifilm started diversifying their business around 15 years ago when film photography began to decline. They branched out, both into digital photography and, using their protein-based expertise, life sciences. They transferred their skills in protecting and caring for collagen into the skincare market, developing a range stuffed with antioxidants that aim to counteract the effects of aging and exposure.



They've had to learn a lot about how to market, package and promote cosmetics in order to measure up to the competition, but they've successfully propelled their star product Jelly Aquarysta up to number 4 in the Japanese skincare rankings since launching it there in 2007.




It's the centrepiece of a 12-strong range that covers cleansing, treatments and moisture. (Those white guys are the "brightening" products.) Jelly Aquarysta sits in the serum category.


It's a red transparent jelly (think proper Rowntrees jelly), coloured by astaxanthin, the same antioxidant substance that gives flamingoes and salmon their pink colour. Astaxanthin is highly powerful but also highly volatile, but Fuji have discovered (and swiftly patented) a method for stabilising it enough for topical use.






The jelly wobbles quite convincingly in the jar, but applies smoothly to the skin much like a gel serum. It sinks in quickly, leaving the skin dewy and soft. It's geared towards skin that's starting to show signs of aging, and most people in the 40+ age range will want to follow it with moisturiser. However, for younger skin that needs less moisture, it works quite nicely by itself. I've been using it solo in the mornings as a base for makeup.




Another special power is its ability to resurface. When you stick your fingers in the tub the jelly looks like the picture above, but leave it for 90 seconds and it reverts to a mirror-smooth finish again. When you come back to use it again, it looks invitingly perfect.




Packaging-wise, Astalift/Fuji have played a blinder with these heavy red metallic jars. They feel very premium, and carrying the red colour of the product into the packaging is a nice touch that creates a cohesive impression of the range and a nice straightforward brand concept that sticks in the mind: Astalift = red, fancy skincare.

And as for the results? Well, I've had more compliments on my skin in the last two weeks of using this than I have in months. I'd normally wait at least 4 weeks before offering any kind of a verdict, but I'm already convinced that it's made me look significantly more fresh and glowing. According to the press release, 95% of testers in a clinical trial self-reported an improvement in luminosity of skin after 28 days. I'll keep using this, and if the verdict changes I'll post again. But I'm pretty certain I'll continue to love it.

Red Fujifilm jelly on my face? I'm sold.

The Astalift range is out now at Debenhams. Jelly Aquarysta is £69 (but worth it!) for 40ml, or £21 for 15ml.

16 comments:

  1. I have been very interested in hearing more about this range, so thank you for the review. I love interesting skincare textures - this looks like it would be quite fun to use and great to see a small size too.

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    1. You're very welcome. It's rare to see something genuinely "new" in the beauty arena. It is fun, which means you're more likely to adhere to a daily routine with it. I really like that there's a small size too - £69 is really a lot to spend before you know it works for you.

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  2. Debenhams is currently running a competition on their FB to win £450 of Astalift products, too.

    Is there any oil in the ingredients? Sadly, most of the awesome-sounding skincare renders itself useless for me because I can only use oil-free products.

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    1. Nice, thanks for the info!

      Now I know there was a reason I keep all my packaging... the ingredient list includes haematococcus pluvialis oil (that's an algae). Also, slightly worryingly, "hydrolised lupine protein". Jelly made of wolves?

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    2. No worries! Lupine is a plant. :)
      http://www.makingcosmetics.com/Lupine-Protein-p92.html

      And a rather pretty one at that!
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/carlamarieweir/5923162017/

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    3. Ohhhh, LupIN. Of course.

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  3. I've seen this brand around in Asia for yonks, no idea it was owned by Fujifilm! Then again, Sony also owns a bizarre array of beauty brands...

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    1. Sony, really? I did not know that.

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    2. Hang on! The larger size costs more per gram than the smaller size. What's that about?

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    3. That's often the way - it's the cost of packaging etc I guess.

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    4. No, it's often the reverse!

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  4. I read that a while ago, and I thought it was weird that Fuji would make cosmetics! It's so bad it's that expensive though, I will not be trying soonn, even though it's worth it...

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    1. Well, keep your eye out for offers and samples - it may creep up on you one way or another!

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  5. Lupine protein as in from the lupine plant so no wolves' placenta involved hopefully hahaha

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    1. That's a relief! *Hugs red jelly*

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  6. But but....gram for gram, it's £13 more for the larger jar (this is the case at Debenhams at least). whaaa??

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