Product Review: Do Eco-Friendly Products Really Work?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm a huge fan of the idea of eco-friendly, organic products. However, I wasn't so sure that they would work effectively on the skin entirely on their own, without a little help from their chemically produced brothers. I found the perfect opportunity to test the efficacy of organic/eco-friendly/all-natural products with this range of skincare, haircare and body care products that I recently purchased or was gifted, so here's what I thought of the lot!

1. Jason Body Wash
I was intrigued by this product not only because of its name (also my fiancé's name), but because I'd heard of this brand before many times - it's always mentioned in reviews and magazine articles when people talk about eco-friendly products. Honestly, there's not much you can say about body wash. It smells good, it's not harsh on my skin (i.e. no overly dry, squeaky skin feeling after I step out of the shower). If it was available in Malaysia, I'd repurchase it simply because it's eco-friendly and sensitive-skin-friendly. Maybe one day, when I go to the US and have enough baggage space for another bottle.

2. Physicians Formula Organic Wear CC Cream
I'm a huge fan of Physicians Formula eyeliners, as you've probably seen in countless posts and YouTube videos, so I was very interested to try their Organic Wear products. There are a whole bunch of products in this range, but the CC cream stood out to me in particular, because it felt very comfortable to wear, and I'm always on the lookout for gentler products since I wear foundation almost all day, most days. This was great - didn't clog my skin and didn't cause any breakouts even with prolonged wear, however it was a little bit sheer for my liking. I don't have the best skin and when I wear foundation, I always look for something that's got a medium to full coverage, so I can hide most of my acne scars and blemishes before I start concealing. If you've got better skin, this is a great, skin-friendly option for you.

3. Blissoma Smooth A+ Perfecting Serum
This is a fantastic product, great for most skin types, and it smells like heaven in a pump bottle. Watch out for a more detailed review, coming soon!

4. Organic Instinct Natural Conditioner and Shampoo
Organic Instinct (now re-branded as Natural Instinct, if I'm not mistaken) is a haircare and skincare brand from Australia, and proudly exclude over 400 potentially harmful ingredients from their products, which are formulated using the best essential oils and certified organic extracts. The Conditioner and Shampoo are as you would expect of a vegan-friendly product - not too much lather, very gentle on the skin and hair, and lightweight. I found that this did wonders for Jason and my virgin hair, but now that my hair is coloured, I've had to move on to other colour-friendly products. This is still a great product that I would highly recommend for younger children and adults who don't need damage-care shampoos.

5. Melvita Nectar Bright Brightening Eye Contour Serum
Melvita is building its name and getting to be very well-known, and I've seen this especially so amongst Malaysians. With Melvita Boutiques in major shopping complexes here in Malaysia, you can head in-store to check out this amazing, lightweight serum. It targets dark eye circles and brightens them using a combination of 4 flowers. I am still using this and have seen pleasing results, as my eye area really is considerably brighter. I find that I don't need to use so much concealer in my undereye area anymore, and that is great for me, because the tiny lines under my eyes can cause concealer to crease. The use of this serum plus a light, thin application of brightening concealer is all I need now! To apply, just drop one drop of the light, pearlescent liquid and rub between your ring fingers, then apply in a circle around each eye.

6. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Liquid Nose Pack
I bought this based on online recommendations and reviews when I went on holiday to Korea, and boy, am I glad I did! I love pore strips, and I love that satisfying feeling you get when a good, effective pore strip cleans out those nasty whiteheads and blackheads on your nose. Living in such a humid country, blackheads and whiteheads become a persistent, never-ending problem, and I'm glad I found something that cleans out my pores well. It doesn't hurt that it's so affordable, too! To use, simply smear a thick layer over your nose (a good tip that will help with removal is to make sure that the edges of your 'strip' are thick - that way it will be easy to lift and pull at it to remove), wait for the whole thing to dry, then peel it off.

7. PHB Ethical Beauty Skin Repair Gel
This is one of my favourite products at the moment! It has a gorgeous, natural lavender scent (I hate fake-smelling lavender!), and is infused with aloe vera to help repair the skin, and lavender to soothe the skin. I found a great way to test the healing properties of the gel - when I get back from an extraction facial, my skin is all red and angry from where my facialist has removed the blackheads and oil seeds, so I smooth a thin layer of this product into my skin for the next few days, right before my moisturiser. I know this works because the scars usually take a few days to heal, but with the use of this gel, they now heal within a day or two! The happy news is that PHB is available in Malaysia, and they have stores in KL, so do go and try out their products! I have been sniffing around their store in Fahrenheit, and I am itching to try their Rosemary & Lavender body wash!

8. Blissoma Peace Evening Calming Creme
If you haven't realised already, I am crazy for natural scents. Skincare with artificial scents now give me a headache, and anything with a rich, natural essential oil scent just puts me on an aromatherapy-high - which is exactly what Blissoma products do for me. The fact that this is an night cream makes it all the better, because it calms and relaxes me so much when I apply it at night, and it really helps me sleep. This cream is rich, and jam packed with herbs and minerals to help your calm your skin down, moisturise it, and improve your cell turnover while you sleep. I love that you really can't use too much of this, and it really absorbs into your skin quickly and easily. I don't like waking up to greasy skin, so this is great because when I wake up, my skin looks velvety smooth - no greasiness!

9. Blissoma Refine Clay Renewal Treatment
Argh, I love the smell of Blissoma products! This one is by far my favourite, both in scent and in function. This product helps to absorb oiliness and sebum from your skin, detoxing and clearing away the dead skin cells as it sits on your skin. It is a great anti-acne mask, and I love using it particularly during that time of month, when I get breakouts and extra oily skin - this is a lifesaver!

10. Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate
I haven't tried many Korres products, but the brand is famous when it comes to organic beauty products. I know of so many people who have raved about the lip balm, so I decided to get myself a tub from Luxola. I like it, but I don't love it. It smooths the chapped skin on my lips, but doesn't do much else. 

11. Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo and Conditioner
Another fantastic brand (albeit a little pricey), I haven't yet met an Aveda product I don't like. This shampoo and conditioner saved my hair at a time when I didn't know what else to do with it! I had frizzy ends, and hair that had a wave it in stubbornly not wavy enough to be sexy and not straight enough to be sleek. This product helped to seal in moisture, so I had hair that was much shinier, and also helped it settle, so it looked straighter. In Malaysian weather it did weigh my hair down a little bit if I didn't wash it everyday, but using it in drier air like Melbourne was fantastic - my hair looked shiny and healthy. This is one of my favourite shampoos, and by far the best if you're looking at natural, plant-based products.

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