What: A fast-absorbing, creamy body lotion with resurfacing properties
For: Rapid hydration, and particularly good for smoothing bumpy upper arms
Review: This moisturiser was a surprise. The first time I used it, I was pleased with the warm, comforting fragrance and how quickly it absorbed into skin, but wasn’t blown away. I kept using it - just a pump or two of product to cover each arm in the morning - and then noticed something. The tiny bumps on the tops of my arms, which had never developed into a severe case of keratosis pilaris but which were uneven enough to make me feel slightly self-conscious, were slowly disappearing. The tops of my arms were not only softer, but smoother - something I hadn’t come across before in a moisturiser. A quick Google of the key ingredient ‘baobab’ has revealed that it is great to smooth skin without clogging pores, and encourages regeneration of skin cells.
Continued use of this cream has delivered more even skin texture and skin tone and, as an added bonus, I LOVE the fragrance - best described as woody yet chocolately, and it lingers on skin throughout the day. The cream is absorbed super rapidly into skin - there’s no waiting around for it to sink in before dressing. It’s not the type of rich buttery cream that you apply after a long bath and lounge about in a slinky robe, but a great one to apply when you only have a few minutes to spare but still want something that delivers results. Particularly perfect to prime arms for summer!
Buy it here
What: Natural skin care balm.
For: Like, sorta, everything. This is the clean version of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream - moisturiser, burns & bites soother, cleanser, treatment for cold sores, lip balm, hydration mask… seriously, EVERYTHING.
Review: First up, you know a product is clean when one of the suggested uses is to add it to hot water & gargle to soothe a sore throat. Try doing that with your conventional chemical laden products (actually, probably best not to do that…)! ‘Everything’ balms seem to have cropped up… everywhere, and this little pot of green is a brilliant addition to the range. The Green Balm is made of 100% natural, 100% organic herbs, and is chock-full of organic Yarrow, which according to my good friend Wikipedia is known as the ‘healing herb’ (it also told me it can be used fresh for nosebleeds, and that the aerial parts of the plant are used for phlegm conditions as a bitter digestive tonic to encourage bile flow. But let’s not go there). And beeswax, coconut, sweet almond and soya bean oils are also in there to soften & nourish the skin. Its texture is like a waxy, thick balm that softens to an oily consistency when warmed between fingers. Because it’s quite a thick consistency you don’t need to use much at all - a little goes a long way!
I have to admit I haven’t been particularly creative in my use of The Green Balm - I feel like I should have got burnt or bitten by something to really test it out… I was using it throughout winter for early morning walks when it was freeeezing - I’d slap some over my face before dashing out the door and it felt like my skin had been dunked in a vat of soothing moisturiser. I’m also looking forward to using it in summer after exposure to the sun & heat as I think it would feel lovely and cooling on skin. It’s also my go-to moisturiser when I’ve been a little too rigorous with product testing and my skin is feeling a bit overwhelmed: when I apply this it tells my face to CHILL THE F OUT. And I used it as a cleanser once or twice, it did a great job of removing makeup and left skin feeling nice and soft. I don’t think I’d use it every day as a cleanser just because there are probably better value options out there, but it would be great to take on the plane as you could use it to cleanse then moisturise.
And that’s probably the sweetest thing about this little pot: chuck it in your handbag and you have a product that works as a lip balm, cleanser, moisturiser, soothing & hydrating mask, and about a zillion other uses. Perfect if you’re staying overnight somewhere and don’t want to take a thousand bottles with you or travelling overseas and don’t want to decant everything into teeny containers to take onto the plane.
I feel like I’ve banged on enough for now (I don’t want to drive you balmy), but might post again once I’ve tested out some of the other uses for the balm.
*Update: Whilst writing this post my boyfriend leaned over my shoulder and said "Oh, you’re writing about that green stuff. Um, I’ve been using that too". So from this we learn two more things: first, my boyfriend has been stealing my products from my bathroom cabinet, and second, it is apparently also great to use as an aftershave, as it is "nice and smooth".
Clean creds: 100% natural, 100% organic herbs, no parabens, no testing on animals, vegetarian, no artificial preservatives, no perfume.
Verdict: Not a product that I use every day, but a brilliant one to have around - it’s great as an emergency / everything balm, and I’ll definitely be taking it away with me when I travel.
Buy it here (it will soon be launching in pharmacies across Australia too, so I will update when stockists are confirmed)
This product was sent to me as a PR sample
What: 100% certified organic rosehip oil - works as a moisturiser, serum & treatment in one.
For: Anyone! Dry and dehydrated skin can use this twice a day either under moisturiser or in place of moisturiser - your skin will drink this up! Otherwise, ‘normal’ skin types would benefit just using this at night or a few times a week as a replenishing & nourishing treatment.
Review: Rosehip oil. I’d heard the hype. But I’d never really got around to trying it. I was wooed by other products with their many magic ingredients and fancy-pants added extras. But with no fillers, no additives, no fragrances, this is one hard-working little miracle oil, and I’m glad I finally got around to trying it. This one by Trilogy is 100% natural and certified organic, and the “full list of ingredients” is rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil and nothing else. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, two of my primary concerns are acne scarring & fine lines, and rosehip oil is the perfect product to address both of these. My skin felt instantly nourished as soon as I put the oil on at night, and when I woke up in the morning I had baby soft skin with a lovely glow - restored as though my skin had a cup of herbal tea and nap! Little lines appeared smoother, and whilst there are no miracles to report on the acne scarring front (these babies have been with me for 5+ years, so I accept that it will take longer than one month to see any difference), I did notice that an existing blemish seemed to heal quicker and has left no visible redness. Even if you don’t have to worry about lines or scarring or stretch marks, I think all skin would benefit from applying the oil once a day or a few times a week as a treatment, as skin is visibly smoother & has a gorgeous glow after use.
Application tips: I use this twice a day (my skin is quite dehydrated from the cold weather here), and if wearing makeup on top I just use a wee couple of drops and let it sink in before applying anything on top, I haven’t had any problems with foundation being too ‘slippery’ on top.
Clean creds: 100% natural & certified organic.
Verdict: Believe the hype. Rosehip is a hit.
Buy it here
*This product was sent to me as a PR sample.
What: Darphin Organic Chamomile Aromatic Care for sensitive skin
For: All skin types, but it works very well on my wintery dry skin that has been breaking out recently.
How: Five ‘dabs’ applied at night. I find this is more than enough to hydrate skin, and generally don’t use any moisturiser on top of the serum.
Result: Skin feels hydrated, nourished & glowy, and hasn’t caused any break outs (in fact, seems to speed healing of blemishes).
The Verdict: 9.5/10 (half a point taken off for the price [$98 for 15ml]- otherwise this is pretty much perfect!)