The latest buzzword in the beauty industry are "cosmeceutical" lines, which basically means that brands are combining scientific innovations and traditional skincare ingredients to impart additional health benefits. Recently, I was given the chance to try out Vancouver cosmeceutical brand, Di Morelli Skincare.
Di Morelli was started by physician Dr. R. W. Morell in 2007. Dr. Morell started off by giving skincare treatments out of his Medical Rejuvenation Centre, then expanded into a capsule collection of skincare products targeting aging, brightness and clarity. Di Morelli products are all made in Canada, are not animal tested, and is focused on using medical-grade ingredients and formulations to maximize results, while being simple enough for anyone to use.
Di Morelli was kind enough to send me 3 of their products to try: the Vitamin C Serum, Brightener, and SPF with Vitamin E sunscreen. After testing these out for the past few weeks, I'm ready to report back with my results so far!
Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye
Claims: A brightening and anti-aging serum that can be used by all skin types. This oil-free, non-comedogenic serum contains 25% vitamin C to help brighten and improve skin's overall texture and tone for a more youthful look.
- Applies smoothly and easily
- Absorbs quickly
- Too drying to use twice a day as instructed
- Nothing noticeable yet
Final Verdict: Ditch
The first step in my new Di Morelli routine is the Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye. This was the first product developed by Di Morelli and one of their bestselling. The Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye is designed to improve your skin's brightness and translucency using a potent mix of vitamin C and peptides.
The Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye is a translucent golden serum with a gel-like texture that spreads easily across the skin and absorbs quickly. I usually use 1.5 pumps per application. The serum is housed in a simple opaque plastic container with a pump dispenser. For $99 I feel like the packaging could be improved upon as the plastic feels cheap, but I guess the idea is that they spent it on the formulation instead of fancy packaging.
My favourite thing about this serum is that it contains 25% vitamin C, which is pretty darn high and sits as the fifth item in the ingredients list. Ascorbyl glucoside is an antioxidant that helps increase collagen production to plump skin, while also protecting it against UV damage. This serum also contains small amounts of Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 aka Matrixyl, which is a peptide that acts similar to retinol to help skin maintain its suppleness and elasticity.
Unfortunately, this serum also contains high levels of denatured alcohol, which sadly isn't offset by the included glycerin. Di Morelli's instructions state to apply this serum to the entire face and eye area twice daily, but I just found that way too much for my skin and I was definitely too scared to use this on my under eye!
I could forgive the drying effects if this serum really wowed me, but unfortunately this one failed to do so. Brightening products take time to show any significant effect, but I don't think that's an excuse as I have used products before that have showed immediate results. Besides some slight improvements to the overall texture of my skin, I didn't notice any brightening effect.
Claims: Lactic, azelaic and kojic acids work together to brighten skin and exfoliate with this daily chemical exfoliant.
- Pleasant tingling sensation makes you feel like something's working
- Contains high levels of the aforementioned acids so that it does exfoliate well
- Refreshing, light texture similar to an essence
Final Verdict: Ditch
The second step after the Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye is to apply the Brightener exfoliating serum. This super lightweight serum contains 3 types of AHA acids to exfoliate and rejuvenate skin by peeling away dead skin cells and impurities.
Normally I use a physical exfoliator 3 times a week, so while testing the Brightener, I scaled that back to once a week and added in this Brightener for evening use everyday instead.
I really enjoyed how light and fast absorbing the Brightener was. It's a translucent, almost watery essence/serum and a single pump is enough to apply a generous layer across my face. Again, Di Morelli recommends using the Brightener twice daily, but I kept this to the evening only because again, I found the combination of the Brightener and the Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye too drying for my skin right now.
As an exfoliator I think the Brightener fared better for me than the Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye. I've only used the two together so it's really hard to distinguish between the two, but I guess I feel like this one is working harder as it gives me a slight tingling feeling when I apply it, similar to most other chemical exfoliants. Never underestimate the power of suggestion!
Even though I liked this product better than the serum, I'm still calling Ditch because the price is just too much for what you get. I'm willing to pay a high price for skincare, but only if I feel like I'm getting equivalent returns.
SPF with Vitamin E
Claims: A lightweight, non-comedogenic sunscreen that protects against UVA/UVB rays while moisturizing with vitamin E to prevent signs of aging.
- Contains a mixture of physical and chemical sunscreens
- Doesn't leave a white tint on my skin
- Absorbs easily
- Large bottle
- Causes my foundation to pill
- Only available in SPF 35
Final Verdict: Buy
Considering you're supposed to use this as the final step in your brightening routine, I really wish Di Morelli had splurged on a higher SPF level. SPF 35 is the most basic level I prefer to wear on a daily basis and I would prefer a SPF 50 when using chemical exfoliants and treatments that make skin more sun sensitive. Thankfully it's winter so we don't get much sun anyways, but if you're using this regime in the summer, I'd opt for something higher.
I love how this sunscreen contains both chemical (octinoxate, octisalate) and physical (zinc oxide, 10%) sunscreens, although it's odd that the chemical sunscreens aren't listed as medicinal ingredients. Normally sunscreens will list the medicinal vs. non-medicinal ingredients separately, so this makes me think that the octinoxate and octisalate are here in small amounts. If that's the case, then that doesn't bode well for the amounts of moisturizers and vitamin E in this sunscreen, which are listed near the bottom of the ingredients! If you're someone who uses sunscreens to also double as a moisturizer, then you may want an additional moisturizer when using this one as I didn't find it particularly hydrating.
This sunscreen happily may be one of the lightest and nicest applying sunscreens that I've tried in recent memory. Most sunscreens feel super oily and take forever to dry down, but this one applies like a cream and absorbs pretty quickly. I usually apply it right before I go change in the mornings and by the time I do, it's absorbed completely. It also doesn't leave me looking super shiny and it's totally unscented!
Sadly though, it does not play well with foundation. I've tried this one with both powder and liquid foundations and both seem to pill a lot at the edges of my face. It's definitely annoying, but I'm willing to put up with it for its other benefits. At $45 for 120 ml this sunscreen is pretty good value as well, so I'd for sure repurchase this one.
Overall, I think the Di Morelli products are a little over hyped for their pricing. Out of the 3, I'd only repurchase the sunscreen. I want to give some more time to see if either the Vitamin C Serum for Face and Eye or the Brightener work better separately, so I will continue testing them solo and report back if I notice different results!
You can find Di Morelli products online or at select spas.
* This post contains PR samples