Monday, 12 November 2012

Going Green!: Cleanse and Moisturize product reviews

As long-term readers of my blog know, I've started converting my skin and makeup products to greener/organic alternatives. I've finally spent enough time with most of these products to feel comfortable in giving them a review.

Here's a review of the products I use to clean and moisturize; next up will be my makeup! Also, these are all products I'm loving right now; I'll be posting on some products that haven't worked so well for me personally in the future, including what I did and didn't like about them.
Scrub a Dub Dub

The top half of the image above is what I use in the shower; the bottom products are daily/nighttime use products for me. As you can see, I use a lot of Acure Organics!

Ok starting top to bottom, left to right, here's my review of the organic natural skincare products I am using right now.

1. Acure Organics Facial Brightening Scrub: I really really like this product. It's a dark green product, gritty but not too harsh, that I use about every other time that I shower (and I shower every other day or 1-2 times per week I use this). I'm careful about how much I rub because the exfoliants are larger than other scrubs I've used, but it feels like a nice massage when I rub in a circular motion, and my skin feels so smooth after! My only critiques are: I don't like products that claim to 'brighten' as I don't think that's a measurable quality--like how do you tell how much 'brighter' your skin is? So I think that's a dubious claim. Secondly, supposedly the hot-ticket ingredient is the sea algae, but it's near the end of the ingredient list so that doesn't seem right to me either. Whatever they're doing, though, it's working--I love this product and so does my surprisingly product-picky boyfriend! Thumbs up overall.

2. Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With the 'Mother': Apple cider vinegar (or ACV to those in the know... ;) is purported to have tonnnnns of beneficial qualities and uses. I was skeptical but seeing as I already had some on hand as a food product, I mixed a 1:4 ACV: water mixture and kept it in my shower for a while. And I love it! I use it about 1-2 times a week after shampooing, dumping it on my head and massaging it in. It obviously doesn't get foamy or anything, so it's a little hard to tell where it ends up on your head, but afterward I find that my hair is smoother, shinier, and has less product buildup. Supposedly it helps with dandruff/dry scalp too but I haven't noticed that benefit. On the days I don't use the facial scrub in the shower, I also rub the 1:4 mixture on my face, which works as a toner and makes my face feel squeaky clean :)

3. Acure Organics Mint Shampoo: Love this! I used to use the lemongrass version, which I also loved and think is more moisturizing (in fact, the lemongrass version may be too moisturizing for those with greasier hair), but it contains jojoba so it had to get returned during the Great Jojoba Cleanse of 2012. I picked up the mint version instead, which is for normal/limp hair, and actually I like it better as it's more volumizing. It's not the same as a 'dirty' shampoo, in that it doesn't foam as much and the volumizing effects don't hold as long. However, as a clean shampoo alternative I love it. I put a small amount on my head, really massaging it in--it won't foam much so I just do it for a minute or two and rinse it out. I then do the process again (for some reason the second time seems to foam better?), just to make sure I'm squeaky clean. Probably an unnecessary step, but oh well. I highly recommend this shampoo and would use it even if I went back to dirty products.

4. Acure Organics Facial Cleanser: I use this at night to get the day's accumulation of gunk off my face. Seems to work well. It may be a little drying for some with really dry skin, but they have a creme version to that may work for others? (not sure, as I haven't tried it). It comes out as a light-yellow gel, which you massage onto your wet face. It seems like a pretty simple, straightforward product, and I always feel clean after. I may try a different product when this runs out, not because there's anything wrong with it but rather it's just not anything overly special either. It's a good, cheap, readily available product (at least for those with a Whole Foods nearby), and I'd use it again if I don't find anything better down the road.

5. Honeybee Gardens Toner: I received this free from HG after I contacted them regarding a terrible reaction to their mascara (which, for the record, I looooved other than my reaction--so I don't have anything bad to say about that product other than my personal reaction to it. Jojoba reactions are uncommon from what I've learned so the majority of people should be able to use the mascara to great success :). I've never used toner before so I can't compare it to others, but I like this one--makes my face feel extra-clean after my cleanser, and sometimes I use it mid-day if I feel like my face needs a pick-me-up. I haven't used it long enough to attribute any positive reactions in my skin to it, but I'll definitely use up the bottle and think about repurchasing.

6. Acure Organics Lavender Body Lotion: As I said in my NMDL guest post, this lotion works just ok for my body. It's not super moisturizing, but a benefit is that it's not at all greasy and sinks in quickly. I apply it right after my shower and can get dressed right away, unlike other lotions where I stick to my clothes if I try to get dressed too soon! My new puppy also loves licking it, and on the plus side I don't get too worried about her consuming it as the products are so clean. However, the reason I will repurchase this lotion is not for its body lotion qualities, but rather as a face lotion!

Of all the green products I've used, I'm finding it hardest to land on a great face moisturizer. After I quit using Acure Organic's night cream because of its jojoba, then quit coconut oil because it was comedogenic, I had a brief bout with shea butter and rosehip oil. I didn't like either of those options--shea butter felt too greasy too long, and rosehip oil made me break out. So I needed something one night before bed and didn't have any face lotions on reserve. I decided to compare the body lotion I already had on hand to the ingredients list for Acure's other (non-jojoba-filled) face lotions, and guess what? Most of the ingredients in the body lotion are also in the resurfacing face lotion (the face lotion just has a longer ingredients list). I decided to try it out and have been enjoying it for the past week or so, no breakouts! What I didn't like about it as a body lotion (seemed too light to really make a difference) is perfect for the face--it's nice and light but still moisturizes sufficiently. And for $10/7 oz compared to the resurfacing lotion's $20/1 ounce, it's an absolute steal! I'll continue to use this unless I eventually react to it or find it not moisturizing enough. Until then, I recommend it! :)

So that's what's keeping me clean and moisturized lately! Anybody have any great body lotion recommendations? How about a nice cleanser??

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