Lagom: the search for balance
I believe the key to a happy life is balance, and yet I find it incredibly hard to achieve. My problem is lack of consistency.
My recruitment work comes in peaks and troughs, making planning very difficult. I’m either frantically working on several positions at a time, or waiting patiently for clients to make the next move. So the balance between leisure/pleasure and work is constantly shifting.
I try to achieve balance with my health too. But the reality is I smug out on salads five days a week, and binge eat rich restaurant meals during the weekends. It’s a calorie see-saw.
Feast or famine.
It’s much easier to create a consistent skincare routine. Find the products that suit your skin, display them in the order you’re going to use them, and then stick to the plan. The key is finding products that feel fantastic. Your morning and evening skincare routine should be a joy, not a drag.
The Scandinavians call this Lagom: the search for balance achieved through reasonable consumption.
True North is a Danish born brand whose philosophy is based on developing products that restore the natural balance of the skin. The formulations are not aggressive to the skin, but they are powerful. Not too much, not too little.
Most of us wouldn’t visit a dermatologist unless we had a serious problem, so how do you know if your skin is in balance?
True North has developed an app called My Skin Coach, which uses your smartphone camera to analyse your skin, provide a diagnosis, and of course recommend which True North products you should buy.
Use the app regularly to adjust your beauty regime as the balance of your skin changes.
Here’s the video of My Skin Coach analysis. It showed a moderate inflammation which appear on the photo as red stains – not a good look.
My Skin Coach recommended treating the inflammation carefully and gently, without exposure to harsh ingredients such as Vitamin A in high doses, Glycolic Acid or Fruit Acids, and to start treating the sensitive skin with calming ingredients.
My skin was also moderately dehydrated, which can lead to fine lines and increased sensitivity.
The app recommended I use De-Stressed Milk, De-Stressed Tonic, De-Stressed Day Cream and De-Stressed Night Cream. Fortunately True North’s lovely PR people had already sent me enough True North products to start up my own clinic, so I started using them immediately.
True North says: The De-stressed line protects and boosts the skin’s natural defences against environmental stress, thanks to its unique Aloe Vera Balancing Complex, a patented complex which offers immediate soothing, exceptional moisturising and regenerating effects, helping the skin to recover its natural balance.
Following My Skin Coach analysis, I used the products for a couple of weeks, day and night.
The milk is a gentle cleanser, which removes make up and moisturises. Key ingredients apart from Aloe Vera include Sunflower Seed Oil and Vitamin E. True North recommends using a cotton pad to wipe the product over face and neck before removing with lukewarm water.
The tonic is very cool and soothing, removes the last traces of makeup and prepares the skin for the next step – moisturiser. The tonic contains a balance of Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A and E – interesting that these are ingredients the app said I should avoid. Hmmm.
This version of the day cream is for dry skin. With Vitamin E and Lipobelle Soyglycone (anti-aging soy isoflavones – whatever they are), the cream is thick and rich. A little goes a long way.
Rich, but not oily, the night cream helps stimulate cell renewal and recovery. Key ingredients include Swiss Thermal Spring Water and Ficucell Vita – a blend of botanical stem cells.
What I liked
True North’s products have a Hygge vibe about them. The creams feel smooth and luxurious. They suit sensitive skin, feel unchallenging and have the rich consistency of a spa facial. They absorb well into the skin and don’t leave an oily or greasy feel behind.
There are no parabens, no mineral oils and all the products have a light, clean fragrance.
Room for improvement
The day cream lacks SPF protection.
I do have a gripe with the packaging. As lovely as they look, the user experience is frustrating.
Firstly, I seldom wear my glasses in the bathroom and find it difficult to distinguish between the milk and tonic, and between the day and night creams. The bottles and pots are identical. True North could just change the font colour surely?
Next, it’s impossible to tell from the opaque bottles how much product I have left.
Also, the tonic and milk have an annoying safety lid under the cap, which are fiddly to lift with short nails, and don’t add any benefit in my opinion, they just get in the way.
After two weeks, my skin feels soft and smooth, but there is still redness showing on the My Skin Coach app. I prefer products which deliver more active ingredients into the skin. I feel at my age I need something a bit stronger, I enjoy the tingling sensation of Vitamin A, an indication it’s having an effect.
Less pedantic people will be able to get over the packaging issues, but I prefer an easier user experience.
Have you tried True North? Let me know what you thought.
Much love, Vx
[Disclosure: True North sent me their full range to try in return for my honest review. Not sponsored.]