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.

Sevich Hairline Powder Review

Sevich hair powder comes in seven colors and claims to be a sweat-proof formula that temporarily covers grey hair and disguises thinning hair. According to the description on Amazon (where I purchased from), this is paraben, sulfate and peroxide free. It contains 4 grams of powder.

Directions state to dip the puff in the powder and tap onto grey roots and along the hairline.

Ingredients: C10-18 triglycerides, ozokerite, beeswax, hydrogenated vegetable oil, polyethylene, caprylic/capric triglyceride, ethylhexyl palmitate, bismuth oxychloride, Cl 77499, Cl 77510, tocopherol, polyparaben

The ingredients are not listed on the website, and I threw away my box before writing down the ingredients; the above is taken from a photo of a customer’s box on Amazon. Ozokerite is a wax. This has polyparaben, though claims to be paraben free.

This comes in portable-type packaging for touch ups on the go with a mirror on the top and a puff on the bottom for easy application. My hair is colored dark brown/dark auburn (naturally dark, dark brown that is about 30% grey) and is thinning.

I got the dark brown color hair powder to cover grey between salon visits and to disguise my thinning hair.

In the top photo, I had to use quite a bit of powder to cover the grey; some still shows through and it gives quite a matte finish. The powder does a good job filling in sparse hair. I could have put more powder for the bottom after photo.

The puff it comes with is good for large areas and grey coverage. For more precise application, a stiff makeup brush could be used.

There is transfer on running my fingers or a comb/brush through my hair. I went to the gym with the powder on and it is sweat proof (not water proof), though I imagine if there is a lot of sweat along the edges of the hair, the powder might run. It washes out easily with shampoo. This product could probably be used as an eyebrow powder as well, but since it transfers, it likely wouldn’t stay put all day.

At the end of the day I didn’t see any powder on my face, but swept a cotton round on the skin; the cotton round was covered in the hair powder, likely from my forehead mostly from sweeping my bangs off my face; so apparently I touch my hair and face a lot; something to be aware of.

I apply in the morning and it lasts all day. Into the next day, the powder stayed better on the top of my head and not so much on the edges, with some powder on my pillow the next morning. I generally wear a silk bonnet to sleep and this helps the powder stay put.

My hair gets oily a couple days after washing and because the product provides a matte finish, my hair doesn’t look as oily throughout the day.

While the greys are not completely covered and it gives a matte look to the hair, the Sevich hair powder does a good job of subduing the grey and from a distance the grey hair isn’t noticeable. This disguises sparse hair quite well and it is not really noticeable that it is a powder. I feel so much better about wearing my hair up with the thinning edges covered. I will definitely repurchase.

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.