If you consider yourself a beauty product junkie (especially if you’re someone in the blogosphere and are on the receiving end of product offers), you probably understand the struggle with consistency in routines. I’m kind of a product junkie (i.e. I like a variety of products to choose from, I don’t necessarily buy everything in sights) but my warrant for inconsistency comes from my (old) belief that my skin actually likes frequent switching up due to the way it seems to grow intolerant of a new product after 2-3 months time.
Towards the middle of 2017 I noticed some pretty undesirable changes to my skin. I realized that my skin does NOT take well to chemical exfoliators, even non-acid precursors (you know the one I’m talking about!) and this silly idea I had in my head about switching products up frequently was just too much for my skin. For the longest time I was using and doing too much to my skin and the results of this were visible with my complexion – it looked incredibly unhealthy. There were spots of inflammation, my skin looked translucent, my skin tone was darkened and uneven, I could go on!
There began my new M.O. with skincare – simplified, consistent routines. After a couple of brands (including AMBAR) offered me the opportunity to try their products, I wanted to start anew with what I was using and I set off to implement simplified morning and night routines that I could stick with for the long haul. Last week’s review of YOU Skincare showcases most of what happens in my PM routine, and AMBAR is what mostly compromises my AM routine.
Without further ado, I will introduce this creative line from Moss Skincare that has helped me find success in implementing a simple, but effective routine for day time.
“Ambar means “sky” in Sanskrit. We chose this name because the sky is both limitless and full of potential while remaining refreshingly simple and basic.”
AMBAR, the new line under Moss Skincare, is a sister concept to the brand. Launched in the Summer of 2017, Ambar was created to offer a counterpart to the artisanal complexity of Moss that delivers the same efficacy, but in a more simple and streamlined approach. The number of products that Ambar offers, the formulas, and the price points are all extensively edited in comparison to its big sister Moss.
Moss’s formulator and maker Celestyna generously offered me the opportunity to try the entire Ambar line after I had bought the Hydrating Mineral Gelee and originally didn’t find much success with it (totally works now, and will get into that!). I’ve been using this line as my morning routine for nearly a month and a half and I’m incredibly happy with my results thus far. Let’s get in to it!
Micellar Cleansing Essence.
What it is — A cleanser + toner + hydrator in one. Provides a gentle, water-free cleansing method. Anti-inflammatory.
Rose hydrosol. Soothing; hydrating.
Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract. Hydrating.
Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids. Gentle, non-irritating surfactant.
Yucca Glauca Root Extract. Soothing; protecting; anti-inflammatory.
Ambar’s Micellar Cleansing Essence* ($59 / 4oz) marks my first time to try a micellar water and it does not disappoint! I did wonder how it would pale in comparison to traditional gel/cream cleansers that I normally like to use in the morning, but I’ve found that it cleanses equally as well while being gentle and I feel like it gives my skin a break from all the cleansing I do. A cleanse in the morning and double cleansing at night can really be too much for the skin and break it down over time, so this micellar water has allowed me to give my skin a breather since it’s gentle and less intensive.
This micellar water combined with the rest of the Ambar line leaves my skin feeling way more moisturized and comfortable at the end of my morning routine. It lifts away excess sebum and residual skincare from the night before while leaving my skin soft, refreshed, hydrated, and with more of my own natural oils intact. The pretty pink hue and super fresh rose petal scent make for a lovely wakeful experience! I haven’t tried this micellar water as a makeup remover or as a second cleanse since I prefer to use balms and a clarifying cleanser, but I suspect it would be great for those who like to go the gentle route. I don’t plan on giving up my morning gel/cream cleansers, but it definitely says something that I’m reaching for this micellar water more than anything! I highly recommend to give it a shot if you’re in search of a gentle cleanser that’s fuss free.
Hydrating Mineral Gelée.
What it is — A calming, hydrating, mineral-rich gel. Quickly absorbing with no tacky feel/finish. Has a light minty scent!
Zinc. Anti-inflammatory; blemish soothing.
Manganese. Soothing; antioxidant benefits.
Copper. Aids in cellular regeneration; promotes youthful skin.
Magnesium. Reduces swelling and pain.
Tamarind Seed. Nature’s hyaluronic acid. Hydrating; attracts water to the skin.
Sodium PCA. Humectant; attracts water to the skin.
The Hydrating Mineral Gelee ($55 / 1oz) is the one product I bought that I initially didn’t have much success with, but have since found a way to incorporate it into my routine. When I bought it I was looking for a simple hydrating gel, but had found that left my skin feeling tight and dry and prevented proper absorption of products after it. After Celestyna offered to send me the rest of the line and I began to use all of the Ambar products combined (in addition to a hydrating essence from another brand), I finally achieved some success with it and no longer found it drying!
After cleansing with the micellar water, I apply a few spritzes of YOU Skincare’s Moisture Replenishing Essence and while it’s still damp I apply one pump of the HMG. And while that’s damp, I go on to apply the Daily Antioxidant Primer and Silky Moisture Fluid. It makes sense that Ambar products work best when used together and I’m happy that I can now reap the mineral benefits of the hydrating gelee without my skin feeling uncomfortable like it initially did. The damp essence layer really makes a difference in getting the HMG to work for me. I actually think that it helps keep my oil production in balance and keeps my dehydration-prone skin in check. While it’s not hydrating for me on its own, I want to note that this hydrating gel gets rave reviews across social media with many people finding it to be really hydrating!
Daily Antioxidant Primer.
What it is — A daily broad-spectrum serum that protects against UV light, pollution, and free radicals. Provides light moisture and acts as a primer with the addition of muru muru butter.
Key ingredients, per Ambar:
Muru Muru Butter. Soothing natural silicone alternative.
Bamboo Extract. Abundant in antioxidants; natural silicone alternative.
Tonka Bean Bioferment. Diffuses UV light for a soft glow.
Chia Seed Biopolymer. Reduces oily appearance without removing protective sebum mantle.
Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol. Powerful antioxidant with broad spectrum free radical scavenging ability.
Dipalitoyl Hydroxyproline. Plant-derived amino acid with multiple times the antioxidant and collagen boosting power of vitamin C.
If I had to choose just one product to buy from the Ambar line, the Daily Antioxidant Primer* ($72 / 1oz) would be it. This stuff is supreme. I love it so much that I’m giving it a spot in my top 5 favorite skincare discoveries of life!
With my focus on keeping my skincare as minimal and streamlined as I can get, multi-tasking serums are where I’m going to find my best skincare friends. This serum couldn’t be more perfect for day – it’s protective against all elements: UV light/pollution/free radicals, it provides light moisture (not too much or too little, it’s just right) and I love that it acts as a primer for makeup. I love to think of it as being a product that preps and primes my skin for exposure to the elements and it just couldn’t suit my needs any better! I’ve used this at night and equally love it as much, but because of its protective qualities I reserve it for day use.
It has a light and creamy consistency so those with normal-oily skin might like it as your stand alone moisturizer. It feels wonderful on my dehydrated skin, but because I am so prone to dehydration I add Ambar’s Silky Moisture Fluid for a boost. The scent makes me super happy! It’s hard to describe it, but it’s subtle and naturally butter-y.
Silky Moisture Fluid.
What it is — A calming sprayable lotion designed for sensitive skin types.
Oat Oil. Rich in ceramides which are lipid molecules found naturally within the skin.
Wild Green Oat Extract. Antioxidant-rich; contains beta glucan – soothing, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory.
Oat Bud Powder. Soothing
Calendula Extract. Healing; soothing.
Echium Oil. High in Omega 3s
The Silky Moisture Fluid* ($70 / 1.86oz) has one of the most interesting concepts I’ve seen in natural skincare. I’ve seen zillions of facial mists and essences, but I don’t think I’ve seen a sprayable lotion thus far. Don’t let the “sprayable” part fool you into thinking it’s just water, this lotion is legitimately moisturizing. Although DAP has my heart, this is the one product that impressed me the most in terms of expectations because I didn’t expect it to moisturize as well as it does. DAP and SMF make for a non-greasy and nourishing combo that leaves my skin with a soft glow.
The oat oil and ceramides really make a major difference with this product and I think it’s playing a huge part in helping my skin heal after what it’s been through. DAP and SMF have been my dream team duo for the last month and a half and I have -zero- plans to switch things up!
Needless to say, I’m incredibly satisfied and thrilled with where I’m at skincare-wise. There are areas where I can make improvements – I could further minimize the amount of products I’m using and I could stop switching up cleansers – but my skin is on the path to healing and Ambar has been a big catalyst in making that happen. Their effective formulas wrapped up into a streamlined approach feed my skin exactly what it needs in the day time and my new edited routine is allowing my skin to breath and heal from how much I was doing to my skin before. Expect to see routine posts on my Instagram (and possibly here) in the near future to further showcase what my routines are looking like these days!
How do you feel about consistency in skincare? Has it been hard for you? What about a minimalistic, back-to-basics approach that eliminates a lot of actives? Let me know in the comments below!