Usually I would touch on product samples in my green beauty journal posts that I do at the end of each month (which includes favorites, empties, updates, etc. ) but I will not be posting one for August. I wound up not having any empties this month and my favorites would have included some of these samples and products that I’m going to be reviewing soon so it would have been redundant. Instead, I’m going to solely give my thoughts and first impressions on some skincare samples I’ve been trying out! To downsize the length of this post and keep it fun I won’t be posting full ingredients as per usual, so please check the shopping links for ingredient lists!
H IS FOR LOVE PROPOLIS REGENERATIVE MASK
I lied when I said I wasn’t going to post ingredient lists, because I realized I cannot talk about H IS FOR LOVE and not mention what this goodness is made out of. With the Propolis Regenerative Mask you’re getting: French Green Clay, Kaolin Clay, Camu Camu*, Poolan Kilangu (White Turmeric), Raw Cacao*, Vanilla Bean*, Sweet Cinnamon*, Clove*, Red Alaea Salt*, Orange Peel*, Essential oil of: Frankincense *organic. This beautiful mask is chock full of herbal, spicy, mineral, stimulating, antioxidant goodness – and as with all H products – I fell in love with it at first whiff! It smells so herbal and spicy and it’s incredibly intoxicating. With the french green clay and kaolin clay, this mask dries on the skin pulling impurities, dirt, and excess oils out of the pores leaving your skin purified, radiant, and so smooth. It works equally amazing as a facial exfoliator – as I’m rinsing it off I just make sure to give the skin a gentle scrub. I love how smoothly this mask applies. With some masks I find that they dry patchy and not every bit of my skin is being treated to the mask’s full potential. Because of the spices in this mask you might feel a tingle as it dries, but this tingle is completely tolerable, even to my skin which usually responds with discomfort when it comes to tingly masks. The spices are necessary for stimulation as it encourages blood flow to the face, delivering nutrients and temporarily plumps the skin. It’s perfect for adding little boosts of your favorite facial oils and for preparation of the mask you can mix it with manuka honey or yogurt for added moisture. One of the most impressive, potent, high quality masks I’ve used and my skin just loves it, and looks amazing after using it.
H IS FOR LOVE NECTAR NOURISHING FACIAL OIL
Again with the most amazing smelling products on earth! The Nectar Nourishing Facial Oil is made with astringent and oil-balancing grapeseed, moisturizing argan oil, calendula infused baobab and macadamia oils, squalane, skin-tone evening rosehip, and a short but sweet list of essential oils which are known for anti-bacterial and brightening effects. I find it great for both morning and night by simply adjusting how many drops I apply. In the mornings after spritzing a hydrosol, I’ll apply 2 drops, and in the evenings I apply 3 drops. It leaves my skin feeling adequately nourished and moisturized without leaving a heavy or greasy residue. It just has the perfect ratio of lightweight to medium oils that give the skin the balance it needs – it’s like a drink for dry skin and a light but still nourishing fix for oily skin. Nectar is an impeccable facial oil and I believe all skin types would benefit from it!
H IS FOR LOVE includes complimentary samples with each order – just leave them a note at checkout if you have any specific requests! You can order samples individually as well – check out their FAQ page for sample sizes and prices.
BLISSOMA REFINE CLAY RENEWAL TREATMENT & SMOOTH A+ Correcting SERUM
I’m having a moment with Blissoma and have discovered the amazingness that is their herbal-focused holistic skincare line. The Smooth A+ Correcting Serum is designed for oily/blemished/problematic skin types that need TLC, with ingredients like niacinamide (at 4%) which helps to maintain ceramide levels (our outermost layer of skin consists of ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol) which are crucial in keeping this outer barrier healthy and balanced and from becoming damaged which can result in dryness (and oiliness), texture, acne, and so on. Niacinamide helps to keep the skin’s texture smooth and reduces redness and fading acne scarring. This ingredient alone is totally worth it and the rest of the formula compliments it with healing and balancing herbs. Consistency wise, it’s more like a very light cream rather than the typical runny consistency of a serum, but it still applies beautifully as the serum step combined with another moisturizer on top. Oily skin types could away with wearing Smooth alone – if you have dry skin I recommend applying a moisturizer on top, such as Blissoma’s Peace Evening Calming Creme which is runnier in consistency. After applying Smooth + my moisturizer of choice and I let it soak in for a few minutes, I truly notice a reduction in my skin’s texture – it looks and feels so healthy and smooth. I think long-term use of Smooth would amount to amazing results, so needless to say it’s one of many things that’s next on my Blissoma wishlist.
The Refine Clay Renewal Mask is a pre-mixed creamy clay mask made especially for acne-prone, congested, oily skin types. It’s made with mineral-rich rhassoul clay, a number of beneficial herbs, brightening licorice, exfoliating willow bark, cranberry seed and red raspberry seed oils for nourishment, and anti-bacterial zinc oxide. What I especially love about this mask is that while it’s meant for purifying and detoxing acne-prone/congested skin, it does so while not feeling so incredibly dry like most masks do. As it dries, you can still actually move your face without it feeling stiff! As you’re rinsing it off you’ll notice your skin feels slippery – this is because of the oils in the mask. After patting the skin dry, my skin feels purified, clean, soft and so moisturized because of the nourishing, conditioning oils. It almost makes you want to skip the rest of your skincare routine! I’m obsessed with this mask and it’s right there at the top of my Blissoma wishlist.
MOSS skINCARE mIEL nOIR Ph CLEANSER
The Miel Noir pH Balancing Gentle Cleanser is quite unique and unlike any other gentle cleansers I have tried. It’s not a cream nor a gel, but feels more like a runny serum in consistency. It’s designed to condition the skin with beneficial ingredients while lifting away oils and dirt to be rinsed off with the cleanser. Made with raw honey and perilla oil to fight bacteria, activated charcoal and castor oils cleanse the pores, exfoliating willow bark extract, pH balancing apple cider vinegar, and more. It does contain two very mild (and safe) surfactants which are listed a little less than halfway through the ingredients, which contributes to the gentleness of the cleanser. It makes for an amazing morning cleanser that gently removes residual oils/overnight skincare and leaves the skin fresh and soft. For those who prefer to rinse with water in the mornings without cleansing, but would like to try a cleanser that refreshes the skin while keeping it balanced, this would be the best cleanser to try!
I also got this sample from Integrity Botanicals. Order an individual Miel Noir sample in the above Moss store shopping link!
ursa major Fantastic Face Wash & FAce Tonic
Ursa Major generously included these two deluxe travel/trial samples in a past press sample package and I’ve been using them since the better part of August. The Fantastic Face Wash* is a foaming gel cleanser made with coconut-derived surfactants for a very gentle, yet clarified without being stripped kind of cleanse. The phrase “foaming gel” sounds scary and drying, but I promise it’s incredibly gentle compared to the foaming cleansers you knew from the drugstore, or for comparison with a natural cleanser, the Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Gel. I use it as a second cleanse at night after oil cleansing, just to make sure all residue is thoroughly gone. I think it’s an excellent cleanser for most skin types, unless you have very dry skin and find foaming action to be aggressive.
The 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic* is a multi-tasking solution designed to cleanse, exfoliate, heal, and hydrate. Formally I would say it’s an exfoliating toner (3% AHA + BHA) because of its watery texture, so because of this I would only use it as a toning step. Their Essential Face Wipes are actually made with this same tonic, but of course you get it in a convenient wipe form for on the go whether you need a refresher, makeup remover, or smaller convenient form of toner. Again, this product contains a number of citrus ingredients and essential oils that leave cause for concern of irritating the skin, I would not recommend it for sensitive/reactive skin types. I don’t find this tonic to have much of an effect on my skin – 3% AHA is too gentle for me (I already use a dedicated 5% AHA which I love) so I will be passing on buying this tonic in full size.
You can find the sample sizes of both Ursa Major items within their shopping links – simply select from the Size dropdown menu on the shopping page!
Hopefully, my green beauty journal posts will resume at the end of September! I don’t acquire many product samples in one month, but I am now liking this idea of sharing them collectively as I did this week. When I share posts on samples on Instagram, I often get comments asking where I found these samples, or comments saying they didn’t know that particular brand offered samples. I think it could be a potentially helpful series in sharing what’s available to try out in sample size and it gives great insight in whether the product is really worth shelling out the money and buying in full size. I might make it another monthly series, but we shall see! More skincare reviews to come this month and next week’s posts will be themed around dental-health. Natural fragrance reviews to come this month and October as well, so stay tuned!