Jan 31, 2014

Beautycounter - Nourishing Face Collection - Skin Care Product Reviews

I really should have titled this post "Confessions of a Beauty Product-aholic" but for search engine optimization, and wanting to make sure people find this post - I decided against it. But I, for one, admit that I am a lover and tester of many beauty products. My bathroom probably looks like the storage closet at Ulta or Sephora, but nonetheless, I only love and stick with very few products in my daily regimen. I must preface this post by saying these thoughts are completely my own and I wouldn't share them if I didn't feel confident in them. I wasn't paid to write this. In fact, I have paid for all of the products I use! With that said... this is a very thorough first review and lengthy! :) Bare with me...

Back in October 2013, I was introduced to product line, sold through person-to-person sales and social networking, called Beautycounter. At first, I admit, I was a skeptic. Really? Another direct sales skin care product line, I thought. But when I learned more about the company's mission and goals to get safe beauty products in the hands of women (men and kids, too!)... then I smelled and felt the consistency and texture of the products, I was convinced to test them myself.

Beautycounter Face Collection Review

Beautycounter created an everyday line to address essential skin and body care needs. This line is safe, effective, and works well for all skin types, while being free of toxins and harmful chemicals. (I have combination skin + a very mild form of rosacea in my cheeks). The essential skin care line can be used by anyone – women, men, and even kids. (Anti-aging line is in development for March 2014!) Almost all of the products use coconut oil (though, if you're allergic, steer clear!) – which a few friends of mine and fellow beauty product junkies also swear by using! Additionally, they're all formulated without parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, PEGs, SLS or "secret" ingredients.
I've been testing out the products for over a month, with consistent use, and wanted to review a few of them here for all to check out! I have slowly started to switch over my entire skincare routine. I’ve noticed that my skin looks healthier and brighter, and feels less dry and irritated. Even my favorite department store makeup even looks better on my skin now! There are so many really great products – and I actually want to use the line every day (even though I might go a day here and there where I forget one product, or don't leave the house to use another). And I love that these products are safe for my health and my skin.

Nourishing Cream Cleanser -  This is a facial cream cleanser gentle enough to be used both day and night. Apply small amount onto face and rinse with water. Use with a warm washcloth to remove cosmetics.

Organic coconut oil removes impurities and buildup. Aloe, green tea, witch hazel, and floral extracts promote the appearance of healthy, rejuvenated and toned skin. Purifying citrus oils add a refreshing scent.

Whitney's Thoughts: I have combination dry/oily, sometimes sensitive and easily irritated skin - especially in my "rosacea-prone" (nose/cheeks/chin) areas. I'm always looking for a cleanser that is going to remove my makeup, clean my face and not leave it feeling extremely tight. This cleanser was creamy in a gel-like consistency, gentle on my skin and left it feel refreshed and clean (not taunt and stiff!). Removing my makeup was so quick and easy... it even removed my thick, black, volumizing designer mascara without leaving any traces of leftover mascara under my eyes! After a few days use - even just washing my face in the sink, I could notice my skin looking a little brighter and healthier. Think of it like a toner and a cleanser combined in one product.

Nourishing Create Exfoliator - It really is so gentle that it can be used 2-3 times per week in exchange for facial wash to polish your skin. Massage a small amount in a circular motion to your face, being careful of the eyes.

A creamy, botanically infused face polish. Jojoba esters gently exfoliate while organic coconut oil and meadowfoam hydrate and promote healthy-looking skin. A blend of essential citrus oils adds a refreshing scent.

Whitney's Thoughts: I do get dry, flaky skin that I like to buff off... and I like being able to do this at least twice a week, which has now turned into sometimes 3 times a week. With other exfoliating products I've used, they've been too rough or mask-like, and required a lot of scrubbing to remove, which ultimately caused more irritation for me. This formula really is gentle enough to use a few times a week, and sometimes in place of using the cleanser if you just to want clean/exfoliate bare skin - and I swear by exfoliating as part of my weekly routine now! Sloughing off the dead or dry skin truly makes your skin look healthier (and brighter). Sense a trend yet? *Note: DO NOT leave or let this sit on your skin if you have sensitive skin. When you apply it, gently rub your skin immediately. Letting it sit on your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin, may cause post-application/shower redness. Trust me, I learned the hard way a few times. It's not a masque - it's not designed to set or rest on the skin. Apply, rub and rinse!

Nourishing Day Cream - This is a delightful hydrating day cream. Gently massage one pump of the cream into skin alone or with added oil (your choice, for extra hydration) in an upward motion.

Nourishing Day Cream is a lightweight, unscented face cream with organic coconut oil and aloe to hydrate skin. A├žai berry, pomegranate, lavender and chamomile soothe and refresh.

Whitney's Thoughts: I've used a ton of moisturizers... from Clinque to La Mer to Aveeno to random freebie samples I've acquired from shopping online at Sephora... and this is now one of my favorites. To cover my entire face, I only needed about 1-1.5 pumps. It can be worn alone, or it has served as nice primer under casual makeup (for night looks or longer wear days, this was a good base for my entire face, then I also used my own makeup primer before applying my foundation/powder). It gave my skin a soft, matte look, and didn't leave my skin feeling slick and greasy, even after wearing it all day. The texture is incredibly light and hydrating enough for my combination skin. Though, if you have more dry skin, I'd recommend adding in one of the face oils.

Nourishing Hydrating Cream - This is a nice hydrating night cream. Gently massage one pump of the cream into skin alone or with added oil (again, for extra hydration) in an upward motion.

An unscented nighttime hydrating face cream. Organic coconut oil and aloe hydrate to help soften and promote smooth-looking skin. Geranium, chamomile and green tea support the appearance of balanced, rejuvenated skin.

Whitney's Thoughts: Night cream is usually designed to be a little bit thicker, but I personally couldn't tell a huge difference in the consistency, though the ingredients vary a little to support balancing your skin while you sleep. I have used this almost every night since purchasing it. I apply it after I wash my face, and the next morning, my skin is soft - NOT greasy. And I don't always wash my face in the morning - so that fact that I can let this soak in, and then apply the Day Cream without washing shows how lightweight these products are. Within the last week or so, I've started adding in a little oil at night so that my skin can really "drink up" the hydration and I notice that the next day's face has been less dry and softer to the touch.
Nourishing Eye Cream - Light-weight cream hydrates the delicate eye area easing signs of fatigue, dark circles and puffiness. Gently apply a small amount around the eye area dabbing with your ring finger (use a finger with "less strength" so you're not tugging at the skin).

Fast-acting, unscented light eye cream eases signs of fatigue. Organic coconut oil soothes and green tea supports healthy-looking, beautiful skin.

Whitney's Thoughts: I know that using a moisturizing eye cream can help with dryness in the delicate skin areas, aid in wrinkle prevention, and combat in bagginess and puffiness. This cream can be used any time - day or night, and truly helps refresh the area of the skin. I had a friend tell me she noticed the areas around my eye were also brighter... not sure if that's a direct relation to the use of the eye cream, but I'll take it! This product is a great addition to any skincare routine and just adds to the hydration of an area that does not normally get much attention. Don't forget, you rub your eyes when you wash your face, when you're sleepy or if you have allergies... and it's always nice to restore the luster in an area of your face you want to dry more attention to. ;)

Nourishing Rosewater Spray - Uplifting and hydrating facial spray that helps to close pores and absorb Lustro Face Oils. Hold 6 inches from face and spritz skin generously. 

A quick botanical boost anytime, day or night. This luxurious formula soothes and refreshes. Sodium hyaluronate promotes hydration and a dewy glow.

Whitney's Thoughts: So funny story... my friend was testing this product on me, and (unintentionally) sprayed it RIGHT INTO MY EYES WHILE MY EYES WERE OPEN. I was wearing contacts at the time. Needless to say, it did not irritate my eyes... or my contacts. Side effect: my face smelled rosy. :) Rosewater has a lot of great benefits... including hydrating and refreshing the skin. This product is also great for sealing in your makeup or spritzing on after showering/post-workout/post-outdoor activity. Another personal use... if you feel like your hair or body needs a quick scent-refresher, this is great to lightly spray in your hair or on the skin. Its scent is very light - and will fade relatively quickly so it isn't to be used like a perfume... just a quick pick-me-up.

If your mascara starts to get dried out, you can spray a quick slash of rosewater to rehydrate and moisten up the formula. (This worked for my Chantecaille mascara so I'd presume you can do it with just about any brand!)

Face Oils #1, #2, #3 - After cleansing, add 2-3 drops of oil blended into the Day or Night moisturizers. Can also be used alone for extra moisturizing.

No. 1 - Brightening Facial Oil (Daily radiance boost.)
No. 2 - Plumping Facial Oil (Anti-aging/smoothing.)
No. 3 - Balancing Facial Oil (Soothing/balancing.)

Three luxurious face oils with unique scents to incorporate into your beauty regimen. All Face Oils promote the appearance of beautiful, healthy-looking skin. Face Oil 1 - Citrus-scented facial oil quickly absorbs and penetrates to awaken and replenish skin. Face Oil 2 - Fragrant jasmine oil replenishes moisture, while omega-rich argan oil helps minimize the appearance of fine lines.Face Oil 3 - Softening meadowfoam seed oil restores balance, while wild chamomile calms and soothes skin

Whitney's Thoughts: I was very afraid - having combination dry/oily skin - to add in oil to my beauty regimen. Many of my friends convinced that these are "good" oils - essential oils - that you can put on your skin to promote positive results. These oils are incredibly lightweight and my skin just soaks them in. It's like an extra drink of water for your skin! Now, I LOVE the way my skin feels in the morning after I apply this at night. Surprisingly enough, after applying this at night and going about my morning/daily regimen (moisturize, prime, foundation), by the end of the day, my face is LESS oily. It has a softness to it because my skin is MORE hydrated. For me, it seems that more hydration equals less oil production. Personally, I've been using #2 (it's the jasmine) because that is the scent that I prefer... but I could go about using any of the oils. It all depends on your scent preference - as they have a similar blend of 7 ingredients in each.

Ultimately, the Nourishing essential skincare line's goal is to give your skin a softer, healthier, and smoother look. I feel that using an entire line will promote those results faster. However, if you wanted to use the Day cream at night, just to try it out and see how you like it, do that. Then invest in your skin and use a Day and Night cream for faster, more long-term results.

Beautycounter was founded with a mission to educate families about the need for safer chemicals and products, and work to bring about much-needed change to the business industry - and to our lives. Most people assume that the products we see on store shelves must be safe in order to be on the market. However, it has been 75 years since the federal government passed a law regulating the ingredients used in skin care products and makeup, and companies can use almost any ingredient they want, even those that we know are harmful to health.

Beautycounter's ingredient selection process begins by eliminating the 1300 chemical ingredients that are banned in the European Union and the 11 that are banned in the U.S. In addition, Beautycounter has created its own robust "Never List" which includes dozens of cosmetic chemicals that are linked to cancer, reproductive harm and cell damage. These chemicals are commonly used, and you will find them in the large majority of personal care products sold in the U.S. I invite you to review the list and compare it with products that you may be using.  Also, please check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) Skin Deep database which rates products for safety. How do the products you currently use measure up? (There is a great mobile app you can download called “Skin Deep” when you search in Google Play or the iTunes store that lets you type in your product or scan the bar code! Their rating system runs from 0 – being the best – to 10 – being the worst.) For example, the Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser face wash I've been using for years rated a 5, while Beautycounter’s Routine Clean rated a 2!

Curious? Try it out! I've started to use the Face and Body Collection in my daily routine…but if you’re a little hesitant about investing in a set or collection of products, try the cleanser (which removes eye makeup amazingly!) or face moisturizer (lightweight – a version for day – which works great as a makeup primer – or night – a little thicker than the day cream, but does not leave a greasy residue), or just the body wash (smells so nice and fresh!)… or even a Lip Sheer (my favorites!). You'll be coming back for more! Plus, you can read all the FAQs about each product here, and the packaging is adorable (and sustainable!).

After 2 months of consistent use, my skin is significantly less oily, less red, smoother and more balanced. Even my make up looks softer and more natural (and hint: use the Day Cream as or under your makeup primer!) :) *Note: this is an "after" only photo - showing without and with makeup, as I did not have any "before" photos.

P.S. Celebrities and the press are loving this line of products… Lauren Conrad, Mandy Moore, Alessandra Ambrosio, Heidi Klum, Emmy Rossum, Melissa McCarthy, Juliette Lewis… and Beautycounter has been featured in InStyle Magazine, the New York Times, Daily Candy and more. :)

https://www.beautycounter.com/whitneyfields       https://www.beautycounter.com/whitneyfields

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