Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel Review

Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel claims to remove makeup, purify pores, balance skin and reduce excess surface oil while leaving skin visibly clearer and softer.

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Coco-glucoside Citrate, Squalane, Cocoyl Proline, Melaleuca Alternafolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Sodium Levulinate, Hydrolyzed Pea Protein, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf Extract, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Gluconate, Caramel, Citric Acid, Linalool

To go over some ingredients – Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine and sodium cocoyl isethionate are mild surfactants derived from coconut oil. Disodium coco-glucoside citrate is a mild surfactant. Cocoyl proline is a mix of coconut fatty acids and the amino acid proline used as a hydrator and conditioning agent. Sodium levulinate is used as a preservative and skin conditioning agent. Alfalfa leaf extract is said to soothe skin and help make skin look brighter.

Directions state to dampen skin, massage a dime size amount into a light lather and rinse.

This is a gel cleanser that forms a light lather. On rinsing, the cleanser itself doesn’t leave the skin feeling oily, but does leave it feeling a bit dry (though not as drying as Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser), which is surprising given the addition of squalane oil. It took a bit more effort and more water to rinse than other cleansers (I found this to be the case as well with the Drunk Elephant Jelly Cleanser; perhaps that’s the nature of gel cleansers?). The Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser smells nice; a herbal scent, which I’m guessing is the tea tree oil (I don’t think I’d used anything with tea tree oil previously).

I have oily skin that is prone to breakouts, blackheads around the nose, congestion and redness. One of the reasons I chose this cleanser – for probably about 5 or 6 years I had gotten pimples on the right side of my face in one area on my lower cheek above the jawline; no idea why and I couldn’t get rid of them. One would break out, start to heal and a couple days later, the next would break out, until I had about six in various healing stages. About a year ago they disappeared; no idea why. Three months ago, the breakouts started again, in the same manner as before. I thought I’d give this cleanser a try, as tea tree oil is said to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties that can target acne.

The Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel is able to cleanse light coverage foundation, but for heavier full coverage foundation, heavier eye makeup and mineral sunscreen, needs two uses.

Having changed nothing else in my skincare routine (other than an eye cream; I’ve been using the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel), I’ve used the Biossance gel cleanser for a month. As above, throughout the month, the breakouts have healed nicely and I haven’t gotten any new ones. My skin looks generally less congested with a bit less redness. My skin is perhaps a bit less oily overall (though salicylic acid works better to balance oil). I noticed at day 16 I had less blackheads on my nose, but by day 30, there were more. My skin doesn’t feel any softer.

I’m happy with the results of this cleanser, but I have to wonder if the cleanser itself provided the results or if, by some coincidence or other variable, the breakouts have stopped. Being a rinse-off product, I’m generally skeptical of a cleanser providing results beyond cleansing makeup and sunscreen from the skin.

I’ll continue to use the Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Gel Cleanser (and would repurchase) and will update here if the breakouts start again with continued use or on switching to a new cleanser.

Thank you for reading.

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Better Than Sex Mascara Review and Wear Test (And Comparison to Damn Girl)

Too Faced’s Better Than Sex uses an hourglass-shaped brush and claims to provide extra volume, and lengthen, thicken, curl and lift the lashes after just one coat (comparison to Damn Girl mascara below – see full review here).

Ingredients: Water, Synthetic Beeswax, Paraffin, Glyceryl Stearate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Butylene Glycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax/Oryza Sativa Bran Cera, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Polybutene, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Aminomethyl Propanol, Glycerin, PVP, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Polyester-11, Cellulose, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, Disodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Acacia Seyal Gum Extract, Sodium Phosphate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-1, Dextran, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Black 2 (Ci 77266)

I have small eyes and wear contact lenses. My lashes are short, thin and grow out straight. For this review, I didn’t use an eyelash curler, lash comb or lash primer, as I wanted to see how the mascara performs on its own.

The brush is a good size for my small eyes and lashes. I got some transfer on the lids, likely due to my short, straight lashes. While this claims to lengthen, curl, thicken and lift after one coat, I feel like I need three coats to get the lift and volume I wanted. The brush seems to separate the lashes pretty well and the formula isn’t clumpy. The mascara doesn’t feel heavy on the lids and doesn’t irritate my eyes.

Above, is after 16 hours of wear. There is some clumping and a bit of flaking and a loss of volume and lift.

The mascara washes off easily with The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser or Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing gel I’ve been using lately.

Comparing Better Than Sex (BTS) and Damn Girl (DG), the scent of BTS is slightly less. The bristles generally look the same length (DG has a mix of long and short bristles), perhaps a bit shorter on the in-curve of DG, but the wand is thicker for DG and the brush more of the hourglass curve, making the brush larger overall. The brushes are the same length. DG’s formula is thicker and wetter.

Left – Better Than Sex / Right – Damn Girl

Comparing the above, for BTS, while applying, it is less messy and I get less transfer on the eyelids, getting curl seems easier, the brush separates the lashes better, there is a bit less thickness to the lashes, length of the eyelashes is similar, but less of a dramatic look overall. Using BTS, since the formula is less wet and thick than DG, I am able to get more separation and less clumping on the lashes. Three coats of BTS is similar to two coats of DG. While both mascara applications end up looking pretty similar up close, BTS might be better suited to a daytime look and DG for a night out, as DG looks more dramatic (particularly from further away). The lashes with DG have more flexibility than BTS. I wonder how the DG formula would look applied with the BTS brush.

Left – Better Than Sex / Right – Damn Girl

Above, BTS does not have near as much lasting power as DG after 16 hours.

I might consider repurchasing Better Than Sex mascara, but hoped that it would have more staying power.

Thank you for reading.

Damn Girl Mascara Review and Wear Test

Damn Girl Mascara is new from Too Faced with a creamy mousse formula that claims to lengthen, volumize, curl, lift and thicken lashes while remaining flexible and providing flake and smudge resistance for 24 hours (check here for comparison to Better Than Sex).

Ingredients: Water, Silica, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Synthetic Beeswax, Paraffin, Polyisobutene, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Copolymer, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax\Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Pantethine, Peg-9 Dimethicone, Trimethylpentanediol/Adipic Acid/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Simethicone, Pvp, 1,2-Hexanediol, Laureth-21, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearic Acid, Phenethyl Alcohol, Disodium Edta, Chloroxylenol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)

The creamy formula uses a blend of melting waxes, giving volume without feeling heavy, and polymers that lift and lengthen while remaining flexible. The brush is infinity-shaped that lifts and curls the lashes, while short bristles load the product and long bristles dispense the product. This mascara has been injected with air, and directions state not to pump the brush.

I got the trial size with my last order from Sephora. I have small eyes and wear contact lenses. My lashes are short, thin and grow out straight. For this review, I didn’t use an eyelash curler, lash comb or lash primer, as I wanted to see how the mascara performs on its own.

Damn Girl Mascara doesn’t smell as strong as other mascaras and doesn’t irritate my eyes. The formula is quite wet and takes a minute to dry. The brush is big and the bristles long and takes up my entire eye, making this hard to apply. I’ve used this mascara for a couple weeks now and, as in the photos, no matter how careful I am, I get mascara on my eyelid (partially due to my short lashes) that once dry, is hard to get off with a fingertip or Q-Tip. Also, in trying to avoid getting mascara on my eyelid, I can’t necessarily get as much curl or lift as intended. To mitigate that, I might try applying Vaseline to the eyelid and then wiping off when done applying the mascara.

In the above photos, the mascara adds length, thickness, volume, lift and curl to the lashes. I added a total of three coats, and by the third I had to be careful to avoid clumping and spider lashes. Because of the wet mousse formula and big brush, it’s easy to apply a lot of mascara and get clumping and lashes that stick together and are hard to separate. The mascara doesn’t feel heavy on the lashes and they are flexible and not as crunchy feeling as other formulas.

Above, I wore the mascara for 16 hours. There is a bit of flaking on my upper and lower lids, but no smudging of the formula. It looks like a bit of thickness was lost as well. Overall though, I like the results. This formula claims to be flake and smudge resistant for 24 hours, but I didn’t want to wear makeup to bed.

This mascara washes off easily; I’ve had success with Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Cleansing Gel (needs two cleanses) or The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser.

While the brush is large and the formula wet that gets on my eyelids, I like how Damn Girl makes my eyelashes look, and would likely purchase again.

Thank you for reading.