The Pili Ani Ageless Concentrate gave me the best kind of morning-after
Let me set the record straight: I don’t believe in skincare miracles.
When products are marketed to have miracle ingredients or promise to bring miraculous improvement, I drag it straight out of my cart. A bad taste fills my mouth. My wallet goes straight back into my purse. I find myself less inclined to make a purchase when miracles are involved, simply because it sounds more like sales talk and less like curated ingredients doing what they’re supposed to.
What I do believe in are superior formulations and well, science. It’s simple: if a product is formulated to bring results, they’ll show through—no miracles necessary.
Despite how much of a skeptic my inherent miracle allergy makes me out to be, it’s also the very reason I stand by products that really, truly work. If I see and feel good results, consider me convinced. If a product delivers what it promises within a short period, or happens to be produced locally, even better.
The latest addition to my skincare rotation just happens to tick all those boxes.
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The Pili Ani Ageless Concentrate doesn't pride itself in miraculous claims. Instead, it keeps the attention on its key ingredients, bearing them like a badge of honor.
Like most products in their skincare line, Pili Ani's Ageless Concentrate is rich in pili oil. For this particular product, it's at the very top of the ingredient list. Rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, pili oil nourishes while it protects. It fights against external aggressors that can contribute to aging (we all had our fair share of those last year), while hydrating the skin from the inside out. Another star ingredient in the formulation is elemi oil. A wonderful complement to pili, elemi oil purifies, tightens and firms the skin. Worth noting: pili and elemi are both native to the Philippines.
The Test Drive
My skin and I have been going through a rough patch as of late, but I'll be the first to admit that I haven't exactly been doing my best to care for it the past few months. All the late nights, skipping my morning skincare, downing dairy when I know it makes me break out—all of it added up and left me a unique equation of redness, enlarged pores, peeling, baby blemishes and dark scars that I meticulously hid in selfies and concealed for Zoom meetings.
My skin was not the worst it had been, but it was far from its best state. In the hopes of seeing some improvement, I introduced the Pili Ani Ageless Concentrate into my evening regimen on a Thursday night. I slotted it in as my third step: after my eye serum, before my moisturizer.
My first thought: the color. It isn't so visible in the photos the brand has posted online, but the blend of pili and elemi oils gives the Ageless Concentrate a gorgeous, muted green tone. Almost all my skincare formulas are white or simply colorless, so it seeing a little pop of color on my shelf was a refreshing change.
My next thought: the smell. Pili Ani's Ageless Concentrate isn't fragrance-free (hypoallergenic fragrance is at the bottom of its ingredient list!), but I initially thought otherwise. It smells—in the simplest, plainest way possible—like a nut. It wasn't unpleasant, it didn't stink—but as someone who tends to gravitate away from skincare with that has any scent at all, it definitely took some getting used to.
In terms of formulation, the product is non-sticky, non-greasy and spreads across the skin's surface easily. The dropper conveniently dispenses the perfect amount of product for one use. It takes a little massaging to sink completely into the skin, but I find that it has the perfect amount of slip to a facilitate a little gua sha or face rolling moment. When it absorbs completely, it doesn't leave the skin too wet or too shiny—just supple and soft to the touch.
I expected to test drive this product for a week or two, or a few days at the very least. What I didn't expect was to see results the morning after.
The biggest improvement was the lack of redness and peeling. My roommate sleeps with the air conditioner at no higher than 20 degrees and my skin usually exhibits the consequences in the morning, but after my first experience with Pili Ani's Ageless Concentrate, the little white traces of flaky skin were nowhere to be found. The redness that had found home on my cheeks also visibly improved.
On my chin, my battlescar from a past breakout had also lightened drastically. I'd been using a vitamin C serum daily prior to this experiment, but one night of using pili and elemi oils easily outdid weeks' worth of vitamin C exposure. My pores, while still visible, looked less obnoxious, too.
After a full week of using the product, I uncovered more discoveries. The Ageless Concentrate is best used exclusively in the evenings. This is mostly because of the humid weather, but also partially because of the nutty smell that inevitably lingers post-application. After a little trial and error, I've also learned that my skin likes it best when I rotate this product with oils or serums.
These days, I only reach for Pili Ani's Ageless Concentrate every other evening. Use moderately, improve drastically—I don't know about you, but that's the kind of skincare I keep in my rotation. No miracles, just good ingredients.
The Pili Ani Ageless Concentrate retails for P600 (5mL), P1,200 (15mL) and P2,700 (40mL). Get it online via Pili Ani's official website!
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver