InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum for Brighter Skin Tone

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

Kids, we have a new guest blogger and product tester today, Miss Lisa K.! Here’s her thoughts on a Vitamin C serum similar to one I tried a few months ago. We have different skin types, and we used different Vitamin C products from different lines, yet we both saw tangible results. Here’s a review of InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum from Lisa K.:

My skin tends toward dry, and I’ve been thinking lately that I’d probably benefit from upping the hydration in my skin-care routine. Especially now that I’m, ahem, a little older than I used to be. So this product’s arrival in my life was well-timed. InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum is 100% pure and certified organic, and the blurb on the website promises many lovely results, from improved hydration (as wished-for above), to brighter/lighter skin, to firm and plump skin, to an even texture and tone. Sign me up, right?

Directions on the bottle suggest that I use it daily, morning and night. I confess that I only applied the serum once a day, as part of my nighttime ritual, for two primary reasons: (1) it’s orange in color, and although I didn’t see a huge color shift on my (fair) skin, I had suspicions that it was not providing a transparent cover, and (2) after allowing it to sink in/dry, my skin felt taut, like it had a film across it.

I should note that the directions also indicate you should follow with moisturizer. I tried both orders-of-operation (serum first, then moisturizer; and the reverse; because hey, I’m testing it out), and the taut feeling was a result for me either way, although less noticeable when serum was applied first, then moisturizer. Which makes sense, and the tautness might be OK for some folks, but it was not my favorite sensation.The only other knock I have against this product is that when I awoke each morning and peered in the bathroom mirror, my pores looked larger. I understand that science tells me I can’t change the size of my pores, but my experience has been that some skin-care products make my pores look more visible, or bigger, or however you want to label it (yes, maybe they’re just clogged). Well, this is one of those products for me. After my morning wash routine, and as I got into my day, the effect would go away.

Some googling tells me that most vitamin C products on the market range from 5% (considered fairly weak) to 20% in concentration. I also see warnings that vitamin C might irritate sensitive skin. This particular serum is 20% vitamin C, but I didn’t experience irritation or allergic reaction; just noting for those of you who have more sensitive skin.

Outside of those issues, I have multiple compliments to offer this product: Primarily, I can honestly report that in 1 week, I saw a difference in my skin after using InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum. Hooray! It brightened and toned my skin, and definitely added moisture—my skin looks “fresher” overall. Plus those laugh lines around my eyes are less prominent. As noted before, the serum is orange in color and has a lovely, fresh citrus scent. It feels velvety on the skin during application, and a little goes a long way.

So I’m not suggesting that it’s a 180-degree difference; and frankly, my husband said he didn’t think I looked any different—but full disclosure, he’s not exactly Mr. Details. But I’d say the anti-aging and hydration benefits I saw in just 1 week are enough to make me want to add the serum to my skin-care routine.

Where I got my serum: Amazon

Where you can get your InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum: Amazon

 

A Natural and Organic Moisturizer for Those Who Dislike or Have Allergies to Argan Oil: Rosehip Oil

InstaNatural Rosehip Oil

InstaNatural Rosehip Oil

Coming from a northern European background, I was familiar with the use of rosehips for tea, in sweet fruity soups and as a dietary supplement, but I had never tried rosehip oil–until now.

This rosa mosqueta Rosehip Oil by InstaNatural is certified organic, completely natural and packed with fatty acids, which slough off dry skin cells, then seal in your skin’s natural moisture.

I tested the rosehip oil before a long, hot shower to see if it would penetrate fast and last (rather than rinsing off). I put the oil on my hands and on some dry sun damaged spots on my legs, rubbed it in for a few seconds, waited a few seconds more, then jumped right into the shower. It worked! The oil had sunk in, and the water from the shower beaded up on my skin, proving the rosehip oil had already created a barrier against moisture loss. (If you want all over body hydration, combine the use of this rosehip oil with drinking lots of water and clear fluids.)

I am so glad this oil is fast absorbing, because I don’t want to ever feel damp, oily or greasy. It smoothes on and sinks in after only a few seconds so you don’t have to wait a long time before using your hands, washing, etc.

The scent reminds me of twigs and branches–kind of a green smell, for lack of a better way to describe it. It’s not pleasant exactly, but it dissipates fast, so you won’t smell it for long at all. The company notes this scent is the odor of the omega 3 fatty acids.

I received a free bottle of this product in exchange for an honest review.

Where I got my rosehip oil: Amazon

Where you can get your rosehip oil: Amazon

A Gentle Soap with Sulfur and Dead Sea Salts to Help Dry Out and Combat Acne

Adovia Natural Sulfur Soap

Adovia Natural Sulfur Soap

Although Adovia Natural Sulfur Soap contains sulfur, a drying agent that helps clear up acne, it does not smell sulfurous at all, and it also contains Dead Sea salts and minerals, ingredients that also help to prevent and dry out blemishes.

When I first started to use the soap, I had a few emerging pimple bumps on my forehead. I was pleased to see the Adovia soap reversed them completely before they became puffy, red or inflamed. It’s so much easier to block acne from forming this way, rather than fighting it after it has already emerged.

The soap has a light, pleasant scent and cleans thoroughly without making your skin feel dry or tight. Olive oil, aloe vera and palm kernel oil have been added to provide moisture without greasiness.

Although this soap is aimed at individuals with oily skin, it feels gentle and non-stripping, so it probably would work for others with dry or combination skin.

One thoughtful product detail is the shape of the soap bar, which is contoured with soft curves, so it glides over the features of the face (particularly the forehead and cheeks) without causing discomfort or awkwardness. From here on, I will pay more attention to the shape of my soap!

I must inform you that I was provided a free bar in exchange for an honest review. This is a soap I will likely order again, as it really seems to be a problem solver.

Where I got my soap: Amazon

Where you can get your soap: Amazon
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

A Gentle and All Natural Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover

InstaNatural Deep Cleansing Facial Oil

InstaNatural Deep Cleansing Facial Oil

InstaNatural Deep Cleaning Facial Oil rocks! I was initially skeptical about how an oil-based product could serve as a cleanser, especially on my already-oily skin. I was happy to discover this cleanser works, even for someone like me with an oily complexion. So, without further ado, here are 20 reasons why I love this product:

1. The product claims are true. This cleansing oil really removes dirt, cosmetics and impurities. (I could show you my used cotton balls to prove it, but that would be a little gross. But…it was nice to have evidence of effectiveness.)
2. The oil smells good! To me, the scent is like an herbal-citrus mix. Very pleasant.
3. The texture is almost like a dry oil, so you don’t feel greasy on application. You still have to rinse this cleanser off, but you won’t feel like a hazardous oil slick before you do.
4. You can spell all of the ingredients, because they are all natural.
5. When you rinse the oil off, it rinses clean very quickly and with little effort. No lingering residue (including no residue on the sink).
6. My pores did not clog up, and my face was not any oilier than before. My skin felt soft and hydrated, but clean.
7. No stripping–some cleansers make my face feel tight and squeaky, like all the natural oils have been stripped off–not this cleanser! No dryness, no irritation, no tightness, no discomfort.
8. You get a lot for the money. This bottle will last a long time and provide many weeks of daily use.
9. No crazy artificial colors to stain your clothes or sink.
10. The product contains a bunch of proven ingredients I really trust, like olive oil and sea buckthorn oil.
11. This baby is packed with antioxidants to combat skin damage from the sun.
12. I know I am not supposed to care about this part, but the packaging is modern and stylish, so I don’t mind the bottle sitting out where people can see it. (This is far better packaging than some of InstaNatural’s older labels.)
13. Like the company says, this product feels gentle.
14. Although the company says this formula is “energizing,” to me it was more relaxing (maybe because of the lavender). Therefore it was nice to use this oil before bedtime.
15. No allergic reactions! I am allergic to a ton of stuff (citrus included), but I did not react to this product, even though it had a wide variety of ingredients–herbal, floral, citrus, etc. Now if you are an allergic person, I urge you to do your own spot test and/or ask your allergist for advice first before using this cleansing oil, especially if any ingredients in this product are on your personal “no-no” list. But maybe you will have great luck like I did and will be able to use the product without any fuss.
16. Although the cleansing oil is all natural (no manmade preservatives added), the brown tinted bottle will keep it fresher longer.
17. No animal testing!
18. Convenient spray application means no spills when you accidentally knock the bottle into the sink (as I did several times).
19. Comes in a glass bottle you can recycle.
20. Made in the USA, so you can trust the quality and the ingredients list.

InstaNatural has a winner with this lovely cleanser.

Where I got my cleanser: Amazon

Where you can get your cleanser: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Moisturizing Day Cream with Dead Sea Minerals Hydrates without Clogging Pores

Adovia Moisturizing Day Cream

Adovia Moisturizing Day Cream

I’ve been systematically working my way through the full Adovia line of skin care and hair care products in recent months, and I can honestly say there is not a single disappointing product in the bunch–they are all superior, in part because they all contain much-lauded Dead Sea minerals. This high-quality Adovia moisturizing day cream is no exception; it is soothing, gentle and absorbs quickly for a cream. (Gel formulas absorb even faster, but this moisturizer is intentionally thicker and denser than a gel).

My skin tends to be oily, but I recently switched my daily sunscreen to an anti-acne version that created uneven patches of dryness on my face (not an Adovia product; the sunscreen was from somewhere else entirely). The Adovia cream helped to soothe and alleviate these dry patches without irritation or redness, and it also did not lead to any pimples or blemishes. I appreciate this because other creams by other brands tend to clog my pores.

The product has a light, powdery scent I associate with elegant, high-end cosmetics. I liked the scent but wanted to note in my review that it exists because some individuals prefer unscented formulas. I happen to prefer creams like this one which have a clean, pleasant, non-chemical scent.

In my area, summer is now turning to autumn, so I can shift from gel-based formulas to creams like this one to cope with the changes in humidity levels. A little bit goes a long way, so while the jar of day cream might look petite, it actually lasts quite awhile.

Where I got my day cream: Amazon

Where you can get your day cream: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Versatile, Refreshing Tea Tree Oil for a Wonderful Foot Soak

Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil

Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has an intense scent that I happen to enjoy; the minute I opened this box from Apothecary Extracts, I could smell the oil despite many layers of plastic wrap and packaging, so I knew it was potent. The manufacturer provides various forms of documentation to prove it is 100% tea tree oil.

The packaging noted that the strong scent of the oil is in part so powerful because tea tree oil is a cleanser with anti-bacterial properties. I had not thought of that angle before. I guess some individuals find the scent of tea tree oil to be off-putting, but to me it is bracing, refreshing and altogether pleasant.

I mainly used this tea tree oil as a refreshing foot soak after many hot, sweaty summer days traipsing around in open toed shoes and sandals. (You combine the oil with water in a large dish so you can soak your feet in the warm or cool solution for about ten minutes.)

The foot soak leaves my feet feeling clean, refreshed and reinvigorated after hours of abuse in the hot summer sun.

I also use a tea tree oil and water solution as a general bathroom and kitchen cleanser. It helps to deodorize surfaces while also combating germs.

Occasionally, if I have a lingering pimple, I will also dab a small amount of diluted tea tree oil on there to dry out the zit. The healing is not as fast as with some over the counter medicines, but I generally lose the pimple in 2-3 days, which is fine for an all natural solution.

I know packaging does not really matter, but I have to add I love the vintage apothecary style of the bottle and its labeling–it looks so cute on my bathroom shelf.

The uses I have described are just a few of the many ways you can use tea tree oil. The manufacturer provides a full list with dozens of usage suggestions, so you can incorporate tea tree oil into many different aspects of your daily life.

Where I got my tea tree oil: Amazon

Where you can get your tea tree oil: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Yummy Scented All Natural Shea Butter for Healthy Hydrated Skin

Pure Shea Butter from Adovia

Pure Shea Butter from Adovia

I kept hearing about the benefits of shea butter in commercials and women’s magazines, so I was eager to try some for myself. When I heard about this opportunity to try a sample from Cleopatra’s Choice and Adovia, I leapt at the chance. I was sent a one pound container of 100% pure, unadulterated, ivory-colored shea butter to try.

Much like dairy butter, the shea butter has a smooth consistency and starts to melt with heat from your hands and fingers. It smells wonderful. The best way to describe the scent is it is a nutty aroma, like an edible nut as opposed to acorns or other nuts we don’t usually eat. Not quite like peanuts, not quite like almonds, but perhaps a blend of the two. I was so grateful I enjoyed this scent, because with thicker butter-style moisturizers like this, the scent can linger on the skin awhile.

I mainly used the shea butter on my legs, which were unusually dry this summer. It controlled any flakiness so I could go to business meetings with bare legs under my dresses. The moisture lasted about 24 hours so I could apply the shea butter at night after a shower, then put on my professional attire and set off to work with slightly gleaming, healthy looking legs. (I don’t do self tanner, so I need my lotion to work when it comes to my legs, and this shea butter really performed well.)

If you prefer a lotion or a gel that sinks into the skin instantly, you might not want to use this pure shea butter, because you really do have to warm it up a bit with your hands and gently rub it in awhile to get it to absorb. But when it does soak in, you don’t feel greasy and you won’t have any transfer onto clothing or sheets. This just takes a few extra seconds, not a long time.

Taking a tip from some magazines, I have used the shea butter to tame my flyaways around my face. These wispy hairs tend to get out of control fast, but with just a tiny amount of shea butter on my fingertips (a barely perceptible amount), I can glide over the hairs and keep them in place without having to apply a synthetic mousse or gel.

I know I will continue to regularly use my shea butter as this summer turns into fall and then winter. The container is plentiful and generous for the price, and a little bit of butter goes a long way, so this shea butter is a great value for an all natural beauty product. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Where I got my shea butter: Amazon

Where you can get your shea butter: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Customize Your Own Masks and Scrubs with Adovia Exfoliating Facial Sea Salts

Adovia Exfoliating Facial Salts

Adovia Exfoliating Facial Salts

I know I’ve been reviewing a lot of Adovia products lately, but there is a valid reason for this: they are my latest bath and body product obsession because they work and they actually deliver on the promises they make.

Ok, with that being said, let’s talk about Adovia Exfoliating Facial Sea Salts, which you can use as-is as a facial exfoliant, or you can mix with other bath and body products to customize your own masks and scrubs.

Adovia has already proven itself to me as a purveyor of exceptional, high quality bath and body products, so I had high expectations for this facial exfoliator salt. Sure enough, I can add this Adovia offering to my roster of skin and hair products I will definitely buy and use again when my first tub of salts runs out. (That will be awhile because you get a lot of product for your money.)

These facial exfoliation salt grains come straight from the Dead Sea and are not like the granular table salt we are all familiar with at mealtimes. These Adovia salt particles have a lighter, flakier consistency than table salt. The individual grains or flakes of salt are on the large side, so you will want to do what I did and apply the salts using light, circular motions and not too much pressure. If you do this, the salt will exfoliate your skin gently and will not be at all abrasive. It starts to melt and dissipate when water is applied and does not leave any kind of residue on you, your sink or your bathtub.

The genius of these exfoliating salts is you can use them in so many ways. As a facial exfoliant, they left my face feeling truly soft and clean. You can also use these salts to give yourself a pedicure, too, by using more force as you apply the salts in circular motions. You can mix these salts with your favorite body washes or bath gels to make custom scrubs–you decide how grainy or textured you want the scrubs to be.

As someone with an oily complexion, these salts performed beautifully, both for softening and for oil control. I think most skin types can use this product except for those with extra sensitive skin.

I accidentally got some of the product on my lips, and sure enough, it tasted like salt and nothing else–no chemicals or additives. I don’t recommend eating this product by any means, but a benefit of using it is knowing you are applying something completely natural on your face and body.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

A Dead Sea Mineral Eye Gel for Depuffing

Adovia Mineral Eye Gel

Adovia Mineral Eye Gel

A lot of eye creams and even a lot of eye gels on the market are too thick and greasy for my liking, but not this lightweight eye gel from Adovia. I have had great success with other Adovia products before, so I was pleased this eye gel also lived up to my expectations. The gel definitely hydrates and absorbs fast, so you can layer foundation, BB cream or sunblock on top soon after application.

To me, the gel imparts a cooling sensation when I put it on, but I don’t think this cooling feeling was necessarily intentional, nor am I sure that everyone will feel this (I’m one of those people who reacts oddly to products that are supposed to feel “hot” or “cool” to the skin–I usually end up experiencing the opposite sensation from what the manufacturer intends, therefore I’m not sure if my skin is weird, or what). Nevertheless, as a result I have enjoyed using the Adovia eye gel during these hot dog days of summer–it feels so refreshing. I had initially worried that the gel would make me feel oily or greasy during humid days, but it does not–it goes on clean and sinks in fast, leaving no residue whatsoever, and it’s definitely hydrating.

Although nothing will ever truly eradicate the fine lines around my eyes, this Adovia product definitely plumped up and moisturized my skin so that my fine lines were a lot less noticeable. This product also got rid of that “crepey” look that undereye skin sometimes gets, making my skin texture appear more smooth and even. I noticed less undereye puffiness, too.

I have mentioned it in other reviews–and I’ll note it here again–I am a huge believer in the benefits of Dead Sea salts and minerals, which are also infused in this eye gel. I can’t explain the science behind it, but Dead Sea products tend to work for me and my complexion, which is normal to oily and fair. If you have skin similar to mine, you will likely enjoy similar positive results.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

What Happens When You Mix Argan, Jojoba, Grapeseed, Coconut and Other Oils for Hair Care?


InstaNatural Argan Oil Blend

InstaNatural Argan Oil Blend

I really wanted to LOVE this Insta Natural Luxurious Argan Oil Treatment and Elixir, which contains a mix of all natural, plant-based oils, all of which are well-known and highly regarded for hair care.

My hair has dreadfully dry ends (from a botched dye job) that are growing out, so I was hoping for some mega-moisture and split end repair (or at least temporary split end relief). I also was excited by the blend of proven oils and moisturizers in this mix: argan, coconut, jojoba and olive oils, for example, all have great reputations, so a blend of these and other oils sounded magnificent, at least in theory. Unfortunately, my actual experience was just okay, not the life changing experience (or at least hair changing experience) I expected.

I first tried the oil blend as a leave-in conditioner and slept with it in my hair overnight. Big mistake. I woke up with crunchy hair. From this I learned that the product is not good as a leave-in conditioner for someone like me who has thin, wispy hair. The product is labeled for all hair types, but based on my experience, I think it is probably not advisable for people with ultra-fine, ultra-thin hair like mine. The manufacturer might consider changing the “leave in conditioner” instructions to account for differences in hair type.

Next I tried the argan oil blend as a 1-hour conditioner. Interestingly, my dry ends seemed to resist the product soaking in, which surprised me. My healthier, newer hair growth, in contrast, drank it up. This was the exact opposite of what I expected. I used shampoo and rinsed, then checked the results. My roots actually seemed a little greasy from the argan oil mix, and I didn’t see any changes to my dry ends. I get the sense from comments made by others, however, that both times I used too much of the product. Maybe if I try a different approach using much less I might have better results.

Interestingly, this oil mix rinses off of skin and hands very easily, unlike other oil based hair treatments that linger and are hard to remove from the hands after application on the hair. This was a positive result. Another positive was the slightly coconut scent of the product, which I enjoyed. Technically, the product is unscented, but the natural coconut essence is still somewhat detectable. I happen to like this a lot. It is definitely not overbearing.

Bearing all of this in mind, plus taking into account some comments I have heard from others, I might actually get a lot of use out of this argan oil blend as a moisturizer for the skin, and I’m going to try it. Seeing how fast this elixir was absorbed by my healthy hair and how easily it rinsed off my hands, I have a feeling it will make a nice summer substitute for heavier lotions. I suspect this blend will sink into the skin very nicely.

So, in summary, for me this product was okay, but too heavy for daily use on hair as fine as mine. If you have thick hair, this argan oil blend might work perfectly for you. In my case, I’m going to try to use the argan oil mix on my skin to see if it performs better there, and I will also continue to try to experiment with and tweak the quantity I use on my hair, in case there is an optimal amount to use for thin haired folks like me.

Anyway, the Insta Natural folks get credit for trying–their idea to blend all of these oils together was excellent, and again, this product might very well perform extraordinarily well for individuals with thick hair. The manufacturer also gets credit for offering an all natural, plant-based product that is cruelty free. I will certainly give other products from Insta Natural a try.

Where I got my argan oil blend: Amazon

Where you can get your argan oil blend: Amazon
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.