Face Creams from the Mountains: Introducing Catskill Botanicals

Does anyone else love a good face cream or balm to reach for when the weather is warm? It’s no secret here that I have a dehydrated skin type, especially in Summer, and I feel the season is fast approaching where I need layers upon layers of product just to feel comfortable in my own parched skin. It’s one reason why I’m excited to bring you today’s review on Catskill Botanicals, a line who solely produces plant-based creams, which I love to use as an occlusive last layer in my routines. The weather is starting to get QUITE warm here in the South, so I’m now clamoring for mists, serums, and nourishing creams and balms to fight dehydration.

About the brand: “Catskill Botanicals, founded by herbalist Lauren Raba, specializes in using wild harvested and locally grown herbs of the Catskill region in New York to produce plant-based face creams. Lauren transforms the herbs into strong oil based infusions, either sun-infused or simmered for days, to extract optimal plant nutrients. Plant based infusions are combined with other natural ingredients, including a unique blend of essential oils, to formulate a variety of skin creams which provide nourishment and protection for our skin. Lauren makes each small batch with love and positive intention, with the goal of providing a product that will feed both skin and spirit.”

Lauren kindly offered me the opportunity to test a number of her face creams, which I am sharing today. I did receive an additional massage cream not included in these photos as I gifted it to a family member who was in need of such a product.

Most of Catskill Botanicals creams have a similar composition but contain different herbs, so for each cream I will break down their specific herbs and benefits of each one. These creams contain both water/aloe and oil elements, along with a minimal amount of beeswax and lanolin, to deliver a well rounded cream. Each also contains a unique blend of essential oils. Please be sure to check out each individual product page for ingredients!

Birch Daytime Face Cream ($34)

Key Ingredients/herbs:

Birch Bark. Purifying; detoxifying; infection-fighting. Fights pain; anti-inflammatory.
Chaga Tea. Considered a superfood. Immunity booster; soothing; anti-microbial; anti-inflammatory. Antioxidant-rich. Contains polysaccarhides, beta-glucan, phytosterols.
Essential oils of: Birch, Clary Sage (anti-septic; astrigent), Tea Tree (anti-bacterial), Patchouli (healing, anti-septic)

Calendula Daytime Face Cream ($34)

Key Ingredients/herbs:

Calendula Flower. Soothing; anti-inflammatory.
Essential oils of: Grapefruit (anti-septic, brightening), Palmarosa (anti-bacterial, uplifting), Frankincense (Healing), Juniper Berry (detoxifing).

Yarrow Nighttime Face Cream ($34)

Key ingredients/herbs:

Yarrow Flower. Calming, reduces inflammation, aids in wound healing.
Essential oils of: Eastern Hemlock Spruce (astringent), Geranium (treats acne; healing), Sandalwood, Neroli (calming, relieves inflammation)

Carrot Seed Eye Cream ($34)

Key ingredients/herbs:

Carrot Seed Oil. Antioxidant-rich; anti-aging; rejuvenating.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil. Balanced in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids; rich in phytosterols and contains a high essential fatty acid profile. Anti-aging.
Calendula Flower. Soothing; anti-inflammatory.

Eucalyptus and White Pine Massage Cream ($34)

Key ingredients/herbs:

Eucalyptus Leaves (fresh from California). Medicinal; healing. Reduces inflammation; anti-bacterial.
White Pine Needles. Antioxidant-rich – contains vitamin C and vitamin A. Healing; encourages collagen production.

In addition to the full size products, I was also gifted some samples of their other face creams to try. Samples include Comfrey, Rosehip Seed, Saint Johns Wort, and Echinacea. Each contains herbs pertaining to their names.

My Experience

I found most of these creams to be quite similar to each other because they are made with most of the same base ingredients, but I did find the day creams (especially the Rosehip Seed sample) to have a lighter texture, which makes sense. I found them all to be equally nourishing and moisturizing, much in a similar way to face balms since they are mostly made with oil based ingredients. I did find that I haven’t reached for the massage cream as much since I feel it’s better for body care, but it is really great for soothing bumps and cuts.

The Carrot Seed Eye Cream is one of my favorites out of the bunch for its soft creamy texture which feels softening and nourishing for my dry eyes (ugh, allergy season!). I also reach for the Birch daytime cream more often than the others as I like the texture/consistency and beige-y color of it. These jars are 2 ounce sizes, so for the price of $34 you’re getting a great value considering a lot of plant-based products either don’t come in a size as large as this, or they are priced sky-high. I’ve actually never seen a natural eye cream in a 2oz size, so this is an amazing value for their Carrot Seed eye cream.

When it comes to beeswax and lanolin, I am prone to congestion with these ingredients so I have to careful and moderate usage with these products. I don’t really have an issue with the eye cream as long as I don’t extend the application too far past my under eyes. Some of the creams do contain more oleic acid-rich oils, so be sure to check the ingredients closely if you are acne-prone. I do find that these formulas feel well-balanced and not at all too rich or heavy, so I pretty much only have a slight issue with the beeswax and lanolin.

Ever since discovering Blissoma almost 2 years ago I’ve been obsessed with the idea of herbal skincare and it’s exciting to me that one can use local and wild harvested ingredients in their own products. Nearly each and every herb is medicinal in its own way and it really speaks of the magic of nature and its gifts. I’m super thankful to have been able to test this herbal line and I highly recommend to check it out if you’re in the market for some new herbal face creams!

Shop Catskill Botanicals and follow them on Instagram.
*All products featured in this review were gifted by Catskill Botanicals.
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