NIOD Sanskrit Saponins Review

Sanskrit Saponins (SS) from Deciem’s NIOD is a pH-balanced, concentrated cleansing balm formulated with arginine and Ayurvedic plant surfactants. By deep-cleansing, SS claims to clean pores, clean dead skin cells without peeling and gently remove the skin’s own oils encouraging “natural recycling” of the oils. With continued use, SS is said to target build-up, congestion and blemishes. Claims are made that from the first use, SS leaves skin looking “pore-free,” clean and radiant.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Arginine, Polysorbate 60, Acacia Concinna Fruit Extract, Balanites Aegyptiaca (Desert Date) Fruit Extract, Gypsophila Paniculata Root Extract, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Pentylene Glycol, Melanin, Sorbic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

Directions: This is to be used once every other day in the morning or evening, but can be used more often if desired. SS is not intended to remove makeup or sunscreen, so cleanse the skin using another cleanser as a first step. Wet face and lather SS into a paste in the hands for a few seconds. Apply and massage gently, avoiding the eyes, then rinse.

I have oily skin prone to breakouts and blemishes and often get build-up and congestion, especially in the T-zone. I’ve been using this on and off for a long while, and have purchased three tubes thus far.

SS is a light tan/beige color with a thin, cream-like consistency. It smells rather yeasty, which I don’t mind. It doesn’t lather or foam on massaging into the skin.

This is a product that I didn’t realize was doing much of anything other than a nice cleanse until I stopped using it after a few weeks. I then started using again and realized it had helped with clearing dead skin, making the skin smoother, and skin appeared clearer and less congested around my nose and forehead. I have since been using this as a morning mask and cleanse (with much better results than using as just a cleanser), putting a rather generous amount on dry skin, letting it sit while brushing my teeth or showering, then massaging with a bit of water and rinsing. Using it like this, my skin is immediately smoother and more radiant-looking from the first use. With continued use, I don’t feel like my pores look smaller, but my skin is generally clearer, cleaner, less oily and feels less bumpy. SS helps small breakouts along the jawline and whiteheads on the forehead. For bigger pimples, I’m not sure they are cleared up any sooner than the usual healing time, but seems to help with redness and irritation of these larger pimples and helps prevent these breakouts. This has no effect on the blackheads around my nose. SS is also nice to use with the Foreo Luna. SS rinses well and is not drying.

SS comes in a metal tube and once punctured, product runs out on opening the lid for the first few uses. I then have to try and close the lid really fast while product continues to leak out around the lid. There have also been some inconsistencies in the formula between the three tubes I have bought. In one, the SS was thicker, one was thinner and the last tube I bought had some small, hard particles in it; these were not uniform like in a scrub and were rather sharp on the face, but seemed to dissolve slightly in water while massaging the cleanser on the face.

Sanskrit Saponins has become one of my favorite morning masks/cleansers. It provides the results claimed (except for the skin appearing pore-free) and I will continue to purchase.

Thank you for reading.

Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask Review

The Color Depositing Mask from Moroccanoil is for all hair types and claims to deposit temporary color while hydrating, nurturing and adding shine to the hair.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Propoxytetramethyl Piperdinyl Dimethicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Parfum/Fragrance, Bis-Hydroxy/Methoxy Amodimethicone, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Algin, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Chitosan, Citric Acid, Acetic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Panthenol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-13 Pareth-9, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyquaternium-70, Dipropylene Glycol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Quaternium-87, PCA, Sodium PCA, Hydroxyacetophenone, Trideceth-6, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Acetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, CI 56059 (Basic Blue 99), CI 12245 (Basic Red 76), Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool.

Directions state to start with clean, towel-dried hair, applying a generous amount of product on sectioned hair and distributing evenly with a wide-tooth comb. Leave on for 5 to 7 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

After a keratin straightening treatment lightened my newly colored hair to an auburn (which I do not like), then over time faded to an orange/auburn color with grown out grey hair, I wanted to give the Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask a try, hoping it would tone down the red/orange tones and cover the grey.

Based on the color chart on the Sephora website and my starting color (light brown to dark brown), bordeaux and cocoa are the only masks that would deposit color. I chose cocoa (the mini size). The formula was not too runny or too thick. It has a similar scent to the oil, a sort of musky, masculine scent (which I don’t particularly like) that fades throughout the day.

After shampooing and towel-drying the hair, I divided it into four sections and distributed using a plastic wide-tooth comb. I used the whole mini tube, putting extra on the grey hair. I found that the hair, once the mask was applied, was rather difficult to get a comb through. The hair felt almost sticky and stiff. Once applied, I wrapped a plastic bag over the hair so it would not dry out, and let sit for 10 minutes. This stained my hands and under and around my nails. It washed off okay with soap and a scrub from the palms of the hands, but the next day I still have staining on dry patches and around my nails.

While rinsing the mask, my hair did not have the silky feeling of a regular conditioner or deep conditioning mask (surprising since the Moroccanoil mask has a few different silicones and oils). On towel drying the hair and running my fingers through it, my hair did not feel very soft or smooth and I had to apply a leave-in conditioner. After blow drying my hair, the color looked a bit darker and more refreshed.

As above, the mask provided no grey coverage.

The red-orange in the hair is toned down and there is less of it. I was hoping for a more brown color, however, it’s not too bad. The mask color itself looks like it has red undertones.

The photo on the left is shortly after the keratin treatment faded my hair a couple shades and the right is after the Moroccanoil mask. So it looks like the mask sort of restored and refreshed my hair color closer to my previous shade before it faded to a more orange tone.

As for how long the color lasts, this would depend on the starting shade and condition of the hair; the lighter and healthier the hair, the longer the color will last. I have washed my hair four times so far, shampooing twice each time, and have had no fading yet.

As a hydrating, conditioning mask, I was disappointed. As for the color deposit, I was hoping for more of a brown and at least some grey coverage, but it did deposit and refresh color.

I would consider purchasing again to restore color, however, I wonder if a color refresh hair gloss might work better for this purpose. If the Moroccanoil mask covered grey, I would repurchase.

Thank you for reading.

Bushbalm Body Polish and Oil Review

Bushbalm is a Canadian company, based in Ottawa, Ontario, that makes body scrubs and oils for the bikini area (but can be used anywhere on the body and the oils can be used on the eyebrows, lips and scalp hair as well). These products are said to soothe irritation and redness, prevent ingrown hairs and clear pores while shaving or waxing.

I generally shave most/all the pubic hair, so I get irritation, red bumps and razor burn. I use the Sweet Escape scented oil and scrub. I’ve never noticed ingrown hairs, so can’t comment on the effectiveness of the oil and scrub on treating/preventing these.

Exfoliating Scrub:

The body polish claims to exfoliate, remove dead skin cells, soften skin and help prevent ingrown hairs. As a note, it looks like the packaging for the scrub has been changed since my purchase (probably a good change, as I can never get the jar threads to fully seal).

Ingredients (Sweet Escape): Sugar, Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Vanilla Extract, Tangerine & Tea Tree essential oils 

Jojoba oil is an emollient oil, similar to the sebum on the skin. Grapeseed oil is a light moisturizing oil. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, said to calm redness, inflammation and swelling.

Directions state to rub a handful of the scrub in small circular motions on wet skin anywhere on the body.

The scrub smells very good; like a creamsicle. The scent is light. I use this on the bikini area and my underarms before and/or after shaving, about every 4 days. It is not too harsh on the skin. It exfoliates well and my skin feels smooth and moisturized after using.

The scrub isn’t particularly different or better than other sugar scrubs I’ve used, but I like that the scent matches the oil and it is nicer than my DIY sugar scrub.

Treatment Oil:

The oil claims to soften skin and hair, prevent and soothe ingrown hair and help redness and irritation along the bikini line.

Ingredients (Sweet Escape): Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Copaiba Balsam Oil, Vanilla Fragrance Oil, Tangerine Oil.

Copaiba balsam oil is used for healing the skin, reducing inflammation and soothing irritation. The oil is said to smell woody, earthy and resinous (like tree sap).

Directions state to apply 3 to 4 drops to the bikini area after showering and/or shaving, trimming or waxing.

On opening the Sweet Escape bottle, it smells a bit like cinnamon to me, and applied to the skin, like a creamsicle with a hint of resin. The scent is light, and does not last long on the skin. The oil absorbs quickly with no heavy, oily or sticky residue.

The bottle the oil comes in has a dropper that is pushed down rather than squeezed to get the product out. While it looks nice and different from most other droppers, I find the squeeze dropper easier to use especially when handling with wet/oily fingers.

I’ve used the oil every day after showering for about a month on the bikini area and the underarms. The skin is moisturized, soft and smooth and this feeling lasts all day. Shaving with the direction of hair growth, razor bumps and irritation are reduced by 75% when using the oil. I get a bit of itchiness/irritation on regrowth of the hair around the third day, and this was reduced as well. Shaving against the direction of hair growth causes a lot of irritation and many razor bumps, and I wanted to see how the oil performed in this scenario, and there was about a 25% reduction in this case. On third day hair regrowth, there is a lot of itchiness/irritation and the oil helped this for about 10 minutes. So, this product performs better on milder irritation.

I’ve tried the Bushbalm oil on my hair, rubbing 3 drops on the hands and running through the hair to smooth fly-aways and leave behind a light tangerine scent. The oil softens and moisturizes the cuticles on fingers and toes. I tried a drop on my lips as well; it felt a bit heavier and not as moisturizing as the squalane oil I usually use and I’ll stick with the squalane oil for my lips.

A long while ago, I used a bikini area spray called U-Fresh by Prairie Bliss Botanicals, claiming to reduce irritation and ingrown hair, and Bushbalm works better than U-Fresh.

I would repurchase the Bushbalm oil and exfoliating scrub.

Thank you for reading.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Review

The Ultra Repair Cream, Intense Hydration, by First Aid Beauty (FAB) is a moisturizing lotion for all skin types to be used head to toe and claims to provide immediate and long term hydration for dry, itchy, eczematous skin. It can even be used on baby’s skin.

Ingredients: Colloidal Oatmeal 0.50%,Water, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Allantoin, Sodium Hydroxide, Dimethicone, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus, Ceramide 3

Colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing redness and itchiness while locking in moisture and protecting the skin barrier. Glycerin is a humectant. Glyceryl stearate and stearic acid are emollients. Shea butter and dimethicone are occlusives, sealing in moisture. Feverfew extract can reduce the appearance of redness and irritation to the skin. Ceramide 3 is the last ingredient, a lipid naturally occurring in skin. Squalane is moisturizing, also naturally occurring in the skin.

For a moisturizer to be complete, it needs a humectant (draws water to the skin), emollient (moisturizer) and occlusive (sealing in moisture). This FAB cream contains all three.

Directions state to apply from head to toe once or twice daily or as needed.

This has a light whipped texture, but I don’t find it a particularly rich or heavy cream. It has a light eucalyptus scent.

My hands get very dry every couple months, no matter the season. This dryness lasts a few weeks, progressing to redness and peeling. I also used the FAB cream on my hands, as well as heels which are dry and cracked, and all over the body after showering. I didn’t intend to use the lotion on my face, but tried it once.

The lotion spreads easily and absorbs immediately with no greasy feel.

Above, the hands immediately felt soothed and smoother, but 5 minutes later felt dry, not to the touch, but on opening and closing my hands. I was surprised by how dry my hands looked after 30 minutes, but they were quite dry before.

I used this on my hands twice a day for 3 weeks. While they look better after 3 weeks, it looks like the lotion improved surface hydration, but there are still dry patches in the creases and my hands still feel dry on opening and closing.

I used this on my heels for 4 weeks and, like on my hands, improved some surface hydration, but the heels are still very dry and do not feel much more moisturized.

On application to the body, the lotion absorbs immediately. It is not greasy, heavy or oily feeling. There is no residue left on the skin, but unlike most lotions I’ve used, there is no nice butter-like or hydrated feeling on the skin, but almost a friction-like feeling. The skin felt no softer or hydrated after 4 weeks’ use. I have mildly dry skin on my legs and felt like I had to use quite a bit for the skin to feel any sort of hydration. For this reason, I’ve been going through the 8 ounce tube quite quickly. I’ve gone on to using the body lotion by Consonant which leaves a much nicer hydrated feeling on the skin.

I didn’t buy the FAB Repair Cream for use on the face as I am using another cream at this time (and the Repair Cream doesn’t smell or feel like something I’d want to use on the face), but tried it once after my skin felt quite dry after a shower. This felt completely different on the face than on the hands and body. My skin felt moisturized and soothed and while the lotion absorbed fully, it left a light, smooth, protective layer over the face.

I would expect better results after a few weeks’ use on the hands, feet and body, and I did not like how the FAB Repair Cream felt, so would not repurchase for that use; however, it performed quite differently on the face and I would consider longer term use for this purpose. Next I’ll be using the hand and foot lotions from Deciem’s The Chemistry Brand; stayed tuned for those reviews.

Thank you for reading.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Hair Ritual Travel Kit Review

The Regenerating Hair Ritual line from Christophe Robin is a 3-piece kit containing, in a storage bag, shampoo, hair mask and balm that claims to moisturize, restore, repair and protect the hair from further damage while giving shine and color protection to the hair. All three products contain prickly pear seed oil, containing proteins, vitamin E and fatty acids for softness, protection and shine to the hair.

My fine, wavy hair is bleached, colored, dry and damaged and I’ve been looking for a product to smooth, moisturize and soften the hair. I wash my hair about once a week. Previous to this, I was using Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair line, and I’ll use this as a sort of comparison throughout the review, as it is also SLS- and silicone-free claiming to provide similar benefit.

Regenerating Shampoo with Prickly Pear Oil:

This shampoo has a creamy formula made for daily use and all hair types. This is said to gently cleanse, nourish, smooth and restore shine to the hair.

Directions state to apply on damp hair, gently massage the scalp, lather well and rinse thoroughly.

Ingredients: Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Peg-18 Glyceryl Oleate/ Cocoate, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil, Opuntia Ficus Indica Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Sodium Chloride, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Glycol Distearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Laureth-4, Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Geraniol, Linalool, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, Coumarin, Caramel.

The shampoo is silicone-, SLS- and paraben-free. It has a heavy, fruity, baby powder scent. It lathers well. I got 12 uses with this bottle (6 washes; I always shampoo my hair twice in one wash). My hair does not get as tangled or dry-feeling while washing as with other shampoos (Briogeo’s Super Moisture shampoo) and it rinses well, but by the end of my 6 washes I felt like I wanted the deeper cleanse of the Briogeo shampoo.

Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil:

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Cetrimonium Chloride, Inula Crithmoide Leaf/Flower Extract, Opuntia Ficus Indica Seed Oil, Behenyl/Stearyl Aminopropanediol Esters, Opuntia Ficus Indica Fruit Extract, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Hydroxycitronellal, Coumarin, Limonene, Caramel, Tocopherol, Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss) Extract, Linalool, Geraniol.

This is a conditioning mask, also silicone-, SLS- and paraben-free. This claims to repair, smooth and protect the hair.

It has a thick, rich, creamy texture and has a heavy, flowery, baby powder scent.

Directions state to apply a small amount after shampooing, massaging from scalp to ends, add water to lather the product and rinse thoroughly.

I got 7 uses from the jar. It detangles well. I need to apply more than the “small amount” as stated. Comparing this to Briogeo’s deep conditioning mask, the hair feels smoother and softer while rinsing, but as I work it into the hair, doesn’t seem to coat each strand as I’ve found with Briogeo. This doesn’t weigh the hair down and leaves no residue on drying.

Intense Regenerating Balm with Rare Prickly Pear Oil:

Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oryza Sativa Bran Oil, Opuntia Ficus Indica Seed Oil, Opuntia Ficus Indica Fruit Extract, Inula Crithmoide Leaf/Flower Extract, Lecithin, Fragrance, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Linalool, Geraniol, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, Coumarin, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate.

The Intense Regenerating Balm contains a number of butters and oils for a multi-use product for hair and body. This claims to be a non-sticky formula to nourish, protect, repair and soften skin and hair. This also has the powdery, flowery scent.

This can be used on damp or dry hair as a styling aid for a messy look or tousled waves, can tame fly-aways, define curls, and can be used on dry areas of the body; knees, elbows, lips and cuticles.

This balm is quite heavy on the hair, especially my fine hair. A little goes a long way. I scrunch a bit through the hair for some texture and definition and it feels like a sticky oil – this provides a similar result and feel on the hair as the John Masters Organics Bourbon Vanilla and Tangerine Hair Texturizer (which I also don’t like the feeling of). The Christophe Robin balm works well for protecting the ends of the hair and is likely a good preventative for split ends. For curl and definition, I’d stick with Briogeo’s Curl Charisma Custard. For fly-aways, I like Olaplex No. 7, but a small amount of any other oil would work as well. I prefer to use the balm on my feet and hands, particularly the cuticles. It is not sticky or greasy on the skin (it needs a minute to absorb) and provides moisture, softness and protection, especially when used over a lotion.

Above are the results of using the Christophe Robin Regenerating Hair Ritual travel kit after about 2 months. My hair is air dried with no product. I don’t see any difference in the photos. It doesn’t look shinier or the color more vibrant. I don’t really feel a significant difference to my hair either; it was perhaps a bit softer.

I generally like this line of products, though probably not enough to justify the expense. Of the three, I like the mask the most. My hair felt really smooth and silky on rinsing, probably the closest feeling to a mask containing silicone, but once the hair is dry, there is not much difference to how my hair felt previously. I like the richness of the texture. While I don’t think it out-performs similar hair masks, it would likely help prevent damage. The shampoo was not drying, but not super cleansing. The balm was too heavy and sticky for the hair, but I like using it on dry areas of the skin.

The heavy baby powder scent of the products leaves much to be desired. It doesn’t bother me too much (though I’m not sure I actually want to smell like baby powder). It does linger until the next wash, and it is noticeable to other people. If sensitive to smells, I can imagine this could cause headaches. If using other scented styling products, the scents might interfere with each other.

Since the “star” of this line is prickly pear seed oil, one could purchase the pure oil and add to any other shampoo or conditioner, or add a few drops to the hair when damp or dry.

Perhaps once damage is done to the hair, there’s not much one can do to repair it, with the hair being dead once it grows out of the scalp. I have since gotten my hair cut to above my shoulders to get rid of the damage and start growing my hair out healthy again.

Thank you for reading.