Posted by: Viki in , ,

This post is part of the Hungary Month Series.

When I was little, my family and I used to pay regular visits to Godmother who, for me, was a sort of surrogate grandmother, as I never knew any of my grandparents. I loved her with all my heart because she was kind, caring and patient, and also because she would actually let me near her makeup table and roam around her beauty products. My heart always beat a little faster while examining her lipsticks and perfumes, and there was this jar of moisturizer that I thought was perfectly divine and a true symbol of her elegance. It was the limited edition series of Helia-D's Moisturizing Anti-Aging Night Cream.

Helia-D is a Hungarian cosmetic brand which was founded in the 1980's and it is famous for its use of sunflower stem extract in its products. Sunflower stem contains a substance called auxin which is responsible for the exceptional elasticity and firmness of the stem, as we all know that despite being long and relatively thin compared to the flower head it still manages to support the head with ease. This same substance can be found in all Helia-D products, along with nine other active ingredients:

  1. Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
  2. Panthenol (Provitamin B5)
  3. Grape seed extract
  4. Aloe Vera
  5. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
  6. Almond oil
  7. Wheatgerm oil
  8. Calendula
  9. Avocado Oil

The company has several product lines: Classic, New Generation, Fruit Selection, Body Care and they still have the Limited Edition jars I was so fond of as a child. These jars are practically the trademark of the brand: even I knew at the tender age of six that the drawings on it were made by Endre Szász, a famous surrealist artist from Hungary. The jar itself is made in the city of Hollóháza, where the second most famous porcelain manufacturer of our country resides.

Now about the products themselves. My Mum used to buy the moisturizer from the Classic line when I was a kid but she tells me now that she didn't much like it. No surprise there as her skin is very sensitive and there's hardly anything it can tolerate. This brand is quite controversial here in Hungary: I checked out some forums threads discussing it and concluded that half the women love it while the other half don't much care for it. Years ago it was very successful, so much so that it was even sold in the United Stated. (Still is, as far as I know.)

You should know, however, that a few years ago the brand was bought by none other than Unilever and the entire line was revamped (probably according to "today's requirements") and some women say that as a result the creams have changed for the worse. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the ingredients list of the old version anywhere, but I did check out the new ones in the store yesterday and I'm sorry to say that I'm not impressed at all. What I feared has indeed happened. All of them contain paraffinum liquidum now (second on the list!), and several other synthetic ingredients which I'm not very fond of. The only product I liked was the Anti-Wrinkle cream which did not contain petroleum. The moisturizers still contain those 9+1 active ingredients but I'm not sure how much good they can do considering they are preceded by synthetic stuff.

I'm not the kind of blogger who reviews something without actually trying it, but in this case I had to pass. I was hoping that this good old miracle cream still existed but obviously it has fallen victim to the petroleum-loving cosmetic industry of our time and I pretty sure won't treat my face with anything that has such an amount of synthetic ingredients in it.

Still, I believe this brand was worth mentioning, if only because of the Limited Edition jars: they truly are a masterpiece and a great representative of Hungarian functional art.

If you would like to take a look at the brand's brochure and view, for example, the golden Limited Edition jar, you can download it directly from here.

Clytie, the sunflower:

The Latin name of the sunflower (Heliantus Annus) comes from the name of the Greek god of the Sun, Helios (later identified as the god of light, Apollo).

"Apollo, having loved Clytie, abandoned her for Leucothea and left her deserted. She was so angered by his treatment that she told Leucothoe's father, Orchamus, about the affair. Since Apollo had defiled Leucothoe, Orchamus had her put to death by burial alive in the sands. Clytie had wanted Apollo back and had wanted to win him back by taking away his new love, but her actions only hardened Apollo's heart against her. She sat naked, with neither food nor drink, for nine days on the rocks, staring at the sun, Apollo, and mourning his departure. After nine days, the suffering turned her yellow and brown, and she was transformed into a sunflower (some researchers claim heliotrope or marigold), which turns its head always to look longingly at Apollo's chariot of the sun. This story is told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, 4."
(Source: Wikipedia)

The Hungary Month Posts include:

Hungarian Fashion Designers 2 - Lucia S Hegyi
Hungarian Fashion Designers 1 - Tamás Náray
March - Hungary Month on Binary Star

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 06, 2008 and is filed under , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .

6 megjegyzés

Those jars are beautifully made. It's a shame that they added synthetics to the formula. However, I've read on paula's site that petrolatum isn't at all that bad (see here http://www.cosmeticscop.com/learn/cosmetic_dictionary.asp?id=1735&ingredient=petrolatum). Have you had adverse reaction to it before?


I read that article too and have encountered many people who said it's not that bad. I don't really know what to think, as I'm not an expert but I remember having used stuff with petroleum in it and it never felt right. I put it on, it was really nice and all, but when I washed it off my skin was twice as dry as before. I guess I probably feel safer with oils and butters that were derived from plants. It's just a silly quirk I have. :-D

Then again, if I manage to find sample size Helia-D products (I know they exist) I'll definitely give them a try and tell you all about it. :)

That jar is a work of art.
So beautiful.

I also think it's a pity they introduced synthetics to the formula.

It's cute to know that when you're a child you already had a crush for makeup ;)


Lol, I loved it all, it was so colorful and made ladies pretty. At least that's why I loved it back then. It was like getting my hands on a bunch of felt-tipped pens!


Love ya,

Thanks Izar, keep us posted!


You know that the brand was bought in 2006 by a group of Hungarian investors, right? Unilever has decided to sell the brand so it is 'Hungarian' again!

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