This is a 2-for-1 review about this set of Heliocare Ultra Gel + Endocare-C ampoules and Gelcream, bought at the end of this summer. It could even have been a 3-for-1 review, but I already posted my thoughts about Heliocare SPF 50 gel sunscreen, and my opinion is the same for the SPF 90 version.
I’d like to remind you, however, that there really isn’t much of a difference in protection between an SPF 90 and a SPF 50, nor among SPF 50 and spf 30. So, if an impressively high SPF sunscreen isn’t readily available to you, or you can’t get this version for one reason or another, don’t think you’re missing out on anything special, or make the mistake of thinking you are significantly more protected simply by using an spf over 30. I admit I usually reach for the spf 50 more out of habit than because of actual effectiveness, and in this occasion, I just grabbed the first thing I could find, one day I was in a rush (as usual).
I very rarely buy sets, because I’d rather pick and choose from different brands, rather than be stuck with products I’m not all that sure about. However, the day I went I had my mind made up to walk out with my sunscreen, the drugstore SA I got was kind of insistent, and I was genuinely curious about the set’s other products, so I bit and took it home.
I generally have a good opinion of Heliocare / IFC anyway, and I thought 23.90€ was most reasonable for three products, two of which I’d never tried. That’s great, I like trying out new things for less.
Endocare-C oil-free ampoules
To begin with, I liked the ingredients list at first look: I didn’t notice it at first because I didn’t even check the INCI list before buying (bad Nessie), but as luck would have it, two of the products happen to be formulated with snail mucin, an ingredient I used to dismiss, and now I like.
On one hand, I still sort of side with those who think snail slime has all the marks of being one of those “miracle” superingredients that are way overmarketed; I also understand why anyone would be repelled by the idea of smearing gastropod goo on one’s face, as I was once (I suppose this may be why the maker lists this ingredient as “SCA” on the packaging, just in case). However, after trying a few products of this kind, I found that they suited me well and I actually rather liked them, so I declared myself a convert to the cult of snail.
Anyhow, moving on… the packaging says the formula contains 40 SCA; that is, Secretion of Cryptomphalus Aspersa. Note that it appears exactly that way, “40 SCA”, sans percentage symbol (unlike with the other active ingredients), and that’s also how it appears in the product description in IFC Spain’s website… hmmm… well, in any case Snail Secretion Filtrate appears as the first ingredient in the INCI list.
The next ingredient that caught my eye was vitamin C. Or rather 20% “Antiox System” (here we have our percentage symbol clearly stated) comprising vitamin C, vitamin E and citric acid.
Feels nice, overall. It’s a bit sticky right after applying, but this doesn’t linger, and after a little while I can’t feel anything. I haven’t noticed it altering the texture of my sunscreen (well, I should hope not!), nor my base makeup (I normally use mineral powder).
It does have kind of an odd smell. I don’t find it especially cloying or unpleasant, it’s just kind of odd; it reminds me somewhat of coffeeish drinks for whatever reason. So, if you’re sensitive to scents, this is something to keep in mind. Besides, it lingers for quite long. I could still smell it well over an hour after application.
The vials are rather generous, enough for 2-3 applications, depending on if you only use the product on your face, or apply on face, neck and decolletage, which is preferable in order to use it up ASAP: as you know, once opened, vitamin C oxidizes, and at the most keeps for a day or so, well-wrapped with a little aluminum foil and far from light and heat.
Nothing remarkable: I didn’t notice any significant improvement in skin texture, hydration or luminosity, using this product almost every day until the 7 vials ran out (mornings only, as at night I use actives); I forgot and skipped it on a day or two.
So this would be about 15 days of use, which I admit isn’t much to test the performance of a product (I normally stick to a three-week trial period before writing a post about a full-sized product), but in my opinion this length of time should suffice for the vit. C active principle to show visible results on skin brightness and evenness. So this product leaves me unconvinced in that regard.
I didn’t notice any negative reactions, either.At the most, all I noticed during the time I used it was that, when I wore it without using other products (mainly my sunblock) shine took a little longer to appear than usual (I bought this product towards the end of summer, when it was still hot and humid); may be nice for days when you don’t feel like putting on much of a face.
At the end of the trial, this sample was okay to use, and nothing more. Nevertheless, as partial I am to its main ingredient, I don’t think I’ll be giving another shot at this, much less for 30-35€ it costs on average, as I could see in a quick online search.
My score for this product: 2.5 points / 5.
Pro: more snail mucin (well, SCA technology, as per the maker) among the first few ingredients, yay!
Con: wide-mouthed jar, strike. Over time I’ve grown suspicious of this type of container: it’s not that I will avoid a product I like for this reason, but I am a bit of a neat-freak about bacterial contamination and face products.
The product surprised me a little when I first opened it, since the cream is denser than I expected; I thought it would be lighter and more fluid, somehow. In any case, it’s lovely, it spreads well and absorbs very nicely.
It’s very nice to use, and it was perfect for my oily late-summer/early autumn skin. It absorbs quickly without leaving any lingering stickiness. And the most important for me: it doesn’t produce shine. It also doesn’t have much of a scent (though fragrance ingredients do appear at the end of the INCI list).
I’m still using it as part of my routine, and I like it very much, it has suited my skin well. This product is designed for combo/oily skins, so don’t expect much hydration from this crème, particularly in winter.
I began using it as eye cream, and for me it didn’t feel quite nourishing enough in that area. Come autumn and the drop in humidity, it was just perfect for some slightly drier areas on my face. It does its job well, discreetly and without a fuss.
Would I buy this again? Well, I liked it so much that I decided to look up prices online, and a quick search showed me a 30 ml jar costs between 29€ y 31€. Wait, more than I actually paid for the full set of products? That changed my mind right then and there.
I myself wouldn’t buy it at this price, not even for twice the amount of my current jar; among other things, because it seems more likely that it would reach its due date or become contaminated before I use up all of it. A little of this crème goes a long way: my 15 ml jar still has a respectable amount left after more than a month of daily use, mornings and nights.
Would I pay half that price for half the amount? In that case I would consider it, knowing I’ve had good results using this product. Otherwise, I’d just rather try other options.
My rating for Endocare Gelcream: 4 points / 5.
1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me. Not even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the trial period and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I doubt I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.
Would I buy this same set again?
For a moment, I was actually tempted to go buy another set, since I know I will use two of the three products… however, I don’t like the idea of having to include in the purchase an extra product that will just languish on a shelf. So no, I don’t think I’d repurchase this set.