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.

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.

Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish UV Protection Review

Sunprise Mild Airy Finish mineral sunscreen from Etude House has an SPF of 50 and claims to have a nonsticky, nongreasy, milk formula that offers long-lasting UV protection safe and is for sensitive skin.

Directions state to shake well and apply to sun-exposed areas of the face and body, layering if exposed to the sun throughout the day.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Alcohol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dipropylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract, Carex Humillis Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Pinus Sylvestris Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Malpighia Emarginata (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Methicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Butylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Cellulose Gum

Alcohol is the third ingredient (when listed as “alcohol,” implies denatured alcohol) that gives formulas a quick dry, weightless feel on the skin. This contains 20 different vegetable ingredients to enhance sun protection. This has citrus oils of lemon, orange, bergamot and lime; depending on how these oils are processed, they can be irritating and photosensitive. Looking at a segment on the Mad Hippie website, if citrus oils are steam distilled, it should not be a worry.

Sunprise is a thin lotion that smells like it would be irritating to the skin; like a lemon-flavored alcoholic drink. On application, it goes on smoothly, it is not sticky, heavy or greasy and doesn’t require much dry-down time. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin; I can’t feel it on my face, but can feel a light layer to the touch – this feeling lasts all day. I’ve been using Retin-A for the last few months and when applied, my skin feels slightly warm for a couple seconds, but does not sting or get more red. It is very slightly mattifying on my oily skin, so my face doesn’t look as shiny. This sunscreen does not feel drying. It is not irritating around the eyes.

It doesn’t leave much, if any, white cast; my skin tone looks slightly more pale in the mirror, but hardly noticeable.

The sunscreen enhances the dry patches by my mouth and chin.

I’ve been using this for about 2 months and have not gotten any unusual breakouts. I usually apply a second layer to my cheek bones where I get hyperpigmentation from the sun. As a sunscreen, this seems to work; I got no other redness and did not seem to get more tanned.

I wanted to see how foundation performs over the sunscreen; I use a natural-looking, satin finish foundation that I applied about 5 minutes after the sunscreen. The sunscreen seemed to mix with the foundation and made me look quite pale. It did dry down to a more normal color after about 10 minutes. Next time I waited about 20 minutes between sunscreen application and foundation and it also mixed together. I was able to use The Ordinary sun care as a primer; the Sunprise would need a primer over top if putting on a more liquid foundation.

To remove, I use an oil based cleanser followed by a gel cleanser or two cleanses with a gel cleanser.

I would repurchase the Sunprise Mild Airy Finish mineral sunscreen. It is not heavy or greasy and leaves minimal, if any, white cast. It does, however, enhance dry patches and mixes with liquid foundations that have a thin formula.

Thank you for reading.

The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics Review

Marine Hyaluronics from The Ordinary uses marine-derived water reservoirs that act as hyaluronic acid in that it performs as a humectant. This product claims to attract and hold water to the skin, providing hydration.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Algae Extract, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Arginine, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Salicylic Acid, Citric Acid, Propanediol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Salicylate, Sodium Benzoate, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.

This product contains skin-friendly bacteria, red algae, blue-green algae, glycoprotein (works with ingredients like glycerine, hyaluronic acid, ceramides for healthy-looking skin) and amino acids. Sodium lactate can be used as a humectant.

Contrary to the name of this product, it does not contain hyaluronic acid. Some find hyaluronic acid products to be sticky or tacky and to pill under other products, such as with The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, that some reviewers have mentioned. I have not tried this one yet (I’m not sure I will) so can’t compare the two.

Directions state to apply a few drops to clean skin, morning and night, before creams.

For reference, my skin is oily in summer and combination in winter and prone to breakouts. I live in an area that is dry in both winter and summer. I’ve been using the Marine Hyaluronics for about 9 months, morning and evening.

The product comes in a dropper bottle. It is a light-weight, clear product with a very thin, water-like consistency. Because it so thin, I put the drops directly on my skin from the dropper; otherwise it runs through my fingers if applied that way. This might be better in a spray bottle. This can be mixed with The Ordinary’s 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder.

Some reviewers have mentioned that it smells bad; like fish or seaweed. I’ve purchased three bottles thus far and if anything, I thought it had maybe a plastic-like scent in the bottle; definitely not fish or seaweed, and I don’t smell anything when it is on my skin.

I apply this after cleansing and toning. The Marine Hyaluronics soaks right into the skin with no residue and no pilling with other products. When I used this for the first few weeks, my skin felt a bit more hydrated and not as tight, but I thought it should perhaps be doing more. I got no unusual breakouts with use.

I caught a YouTube video on hyaluronic acid and how these serums really only work when it’s raining and there’s a lot of moisture in the air. I figured the same must be true of the Marine Hyaluronics (being a humectant), so I then started misting my face with water; something like Caudalie Grape Water, Evian Mineral Water Spray or tap water in a spray bottle, then applying the Marine Hyaluronics. Neither water nor hyaluronic acid are hydrating on their own, but together they made quite a difference to my skin. This is how I found out I have dehydrated skin even though it is oily.

Since using a water mist, then applying the Marine Hyaluronics, my skin has been hydrated, less tight and more plump-looking with an overall nicer complexion. I use this on my hands and lips as well which are frequently dry. I also use this under my eyes. This product, along with NIOD’s SDSM, seemed to provide enough hydration for me in the summer, and now that it is getting colder, I’ve just started using the Cosrx Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream.

To note, for skin to be fully moisturized while preventing water loss, it needs an emollient, a humectant and an occlusive, so water and the Marine Hyaluronics alone do not provide all three.

I quite like The Ordinary’s Marine Hyaluronics and have repurchased a few times now. I notice that my skin has a dry, slightly tight feeling when I do not use this product.

Thank you for reading.