Aug 292017
 

A collection of body care products, compiled from various Love Lula boxes – beauty boxes, gifts boxes: Madara Daily Defence Cream, Apple&Bears Body Wash, Humble Natural Beauty Body Wash and Seascape Island Apothecary Body wash.

Mini Body Care Review: Madara, Humble Natural Beauty, Apple&Bears, Seascape Island Apothecary

 

Humble Natural Beauty Rose & Frankincense Body Wash

Humble Natural Beauty Rose & Frankincense Body Wash

 

This body wash has a really pleasant scent – the first word that comes to my mind regarding the scent is – vintage; it’s a slightly woody, a bit more flowery with a hint of rose and even moreso musky scent – in short: quite feminine. A body lotion with this scent would be a good idea.

The texture of Humble Natural Beauty body wash is creamy, rich and gentle to the skin – it lathers adequately, but not too much, yet it cleans thoroughly. It does not dry the skin and leaves the skin nicely soft, in no small parts due to honey as well.

The body wash contains no SLS; the foaming agent in this body wash is coco betaine (which I avoid as much as possible in my face products). The problematic ingredients in this body wash are Polysorbate 20 and potentially parfum.

The Humble Natural Beauty body wash comes in a 200ml tube and costs around 10€, which is not very expensive, but given it’s a product which is used daily, one tube could run out pretty fast. Would I buy it again? Yes, the creamy texture, which leaves the skin soft and a lovely smell are the reasons for it.

Apple & Bears Pomegranate & Aloe Very Luxury Body Wash

Apple & Bears Pomegranate & Aloe Very Luxury Body Wash

 

This body wash has a mixture of fruity, mainly citrusy and just slightly woody scent. Its texture is that of a not very liquidy gel, which turns into a gentle creamy texture once in contact with water. Given it contains a few more foaming agents (no SLS, obviously), it lathers a bit more than the Humble Beauty one and the final result is a bit more squeaky clean skin, but not dried or irritated.

The problematic ingredient in this body wash could be parfum.

I’ve tested the travel sized body wash, which is 50ml and costs around 6€, whereas the big 500ml bottle costs 28€, which, in my opinion, is quite expensive for a body wash, even if it’s 500ml of a product. But given it nicely cleanses the skin, leaving it soft and smelling nice, I just might repurchase this body was in the future.

Madara Daily Defence Cream

Madara Daily Defence Cream

An all-in-one super rich and very nourishing cream, whereas the all-in-one, meaning – including the cream being used for the face, applies for those with very dry skin. The texture is quite thick (the cream’s formulation is based on shea butter)and it has this uplifting fruity scent. I have oily and combination skin and tried it a few times (wouldn’t risk it more often, given that shea butter is comedogenic for my oily skin) on my face – it’s quite heavy for my oily skin, but it actually works as an (very) occasional face mask or just a tiny tiny amount on an occasional very dry parts of the skin. So I prefer to use it on my body, especially on those areas, where more nourishment is needed, such as elbows. It works nicely as a body cream, as it absorbs very fast, leaving a soft and smooth feel on the skin. It works nicely as a hand cream as well as a foot cream – to soften ad nourish the skin. For those, who have very dry skin on the face – this Madara cream would be a great choice for you.

For those with oily skin – too heavy, but would recommend it for very cold weather.

It comes in a 60ml tube and costs around €17 – quite affordable, given its very concentrated nourishing and rich texture, this cream would last for quite a long time.

Seascape Island Apothecary Unwind Body Wash

Seascape Island Apothecary Unwind Body Wash

I was baffled when I saw the ingredients of this body wash; there are some ingredients I haven’t come across in more than a decade – so unnatural, so toxic – and so many of them in this body wash. I don’t even feel like telling you about the texture or scent, given the toxic ingredients. Methylisothiazolinone (with and EWG score of 7!) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone are very toxic preservatives. Propylene glycol/PEG, another toxic ingredient, is found in such products as antifreeze, liquid laundry detergent solvents and paint. There are a few more ingredients in this body wash which are anything but natural, but given just those three toxic ingredients I’ve mentioned above, that’s about all I’ll say about this body wash.

* * *

These products have been provided to Nature of Europe by Love Lula for the purpose of an honest review.

Nature of Europe is Love Lula’s Accredited Blogger.

The post contains affiliate links. For more info, read our disclaimer.

Aug 252017
 

Hello greenies! How’s everyone been? The Summer is slowly moving its way to Autumn, isn’t it? Nights are getting a bit chilly, even if days are still quite warm. Heh, just a few ago it was so hot it was nearly unbearable.

I’ve managed to escape to the forest a few times, yet it’s still not enough. I plan on giving myself a lot more time in the forest, surrounded by beautiful nature; my soul surely needs it.

My blog has not been as updated during the Summer as I wished it would have been. I’ve got so many reviews waiting in line for you; I think and hope I’ll be able to post quite a few of them this coming September – a pretty nice combination of makeup, skincare, body care and hair care products – something for everyone. It takes time before a product is adequately tested and reviewed – but you’ve grown to expect nothing less from me by now.

This week, there are some quite awesome deals in the green beauty world – aside from many free gifts with purchase, there are also many sales going on – especially heavily discounted RMS Beauty products (check back soon, as I’ve got RMS Beauty reviews preparing for you), super cheap Sierra Bees lip balms, and many discount codes bellow. If you’ve been good and feel like you deserve a treat – then why not treat yourself with something nice – just remember – you do not need everything and most certainly not right away; buy what you can afford, regardless of what the trends are or what certain bloggers may be pushing. Buy what you need at the moment – whether you’ve run out of your favorite product and you see it discounted, or you’ve had an eye on that exact product for a while, but the full price was just too difficult to justify the purchase.

 

Weekly Discounts and FREE Organic Beauty Gifts #86

 

 

Love Lula has:

Love Lula FREE Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Newly launched own nail polish brand Glossworks
FREE Trilogy pure plant body oil when you buy 2 Trilogy products (code: BODYOIL)
FREE John Masters Organics Mini Travel Set when you spend 35 on John Masters Organics (code: TRAVEL)
FREE Inika Mineral Bronzer when you spend 35 on Inika (code: BRONZER)
FREE Joik silky lip balm when you spend £20 on Joik (code: LIPBALM)
FREE Antipodes light day cream when you buy any 2 Antipodes products (code: REJOICE)
FREE Seascape Island Apothecary oil duo when you spend £30 on Seascape (code: SEASCAPE)
FREE Bellapierre lipstick when you spend £30 on Bellapierre (code: ENVY)
FREE Gielly Green Travel Size Shampoo when you spend £35 on Gielly Green (code: GIELLY)
FREE Balm Balm mint lip balm when you spend £20 on Balm Balm (code: TEATREE)
– newly added Selection Boxes to pick your favorite Beauty Box
– big discounts in their sale section

* * *

Alyaka has:

Alyaka Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vapour Organic Beauty Lip Gloss 25/17Absolution booster serum 55/39RMS Beauty lip shine 27/19   |  Kahina Giving Beauty fez body serum 98/69  |  RMS Beauty Swift eye shadow 22/15 |  RMS Beauty Swift eye shadow 22/15 |  RMS Beauty Swift eye shadow 22/15Oskia nutri active day cream 77/54Odacite hydration serums 84/59 |  *€

– 15% off your order (code: SUMMER15)
– 20% off when you spend 250 (code: SUMMER20)
– 25% off when you spend 400 (code: SUMMER25)
– big discounts in their sale section

* * *

Content Beauty has:

– 10% off when you buy 2 or more products from the BFFS Collection (code: NATURALBFFS)
– great savings in their sale section
free gifts with purchase:

Content Beauty FREE Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE Vapour Organic Beauty Highlighter when you spend 50 on Vapour Organic Beauty
FREE Evolue Cleanser and Makeup Remover when you spend £45 on Evolue
FREE Dafna cleansing kit when you spend £100 on Dafna
FREE Intelligent Nutrients Refining Micro Polish when you spend £60 on Intelligent Nutrients
FREE Alima Pure Starter Set (lip tint and eye pencil) when you spend £50 on Alima Pure
FREE Therapi Orange Blossom Toner when you buy 2 Therapi products
FREE Trilogy cleanser when you buy any 2 Trilogy products
FREE Hiram Green Arbole Arbole 10ml Atomiser (worth £34) with every 50ml Hiram Green Perfume
FREE Nourish London Argan and Kale Hand Cream 50ml (£12.50) when you spend £35 on Nourish.

* * *

iHerb has:

Sierra Bees Lip Balms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 5% off your order (code: LBK652)
Sierra Bees Organic Lip Balms Variety Pack (8 lip balms) for €1,71
Sierra Bees Creme Brulee 8 pack for €2,14
Sierra Bees tinted lip balms pack of 4 for 3€ (read my review)
– more discounts in the daily and weekly specials section

* * *

 

FeelUnique has:

– 15% off on MAKEUP (code: COLORFUL). Valid till 28.8.2017
– 3 for 2 on Dr Hauschka
– up to 60% off in their Summer Sale
FREE Lily Lolo Candy Floss Nail Polish when you buy 2 Lily Lolo products
FREE Moa The Green Balm when you spend £25 on MOA The Green Balm
FREE Balance Me handcream when you spend £25 on Balance Me

* * *

Natuurlijke Cosmetica Winkel has:

– 20% off on Scotch Naturals
– 40% off on Burt’s Bees
– 40 % on AnneMarie Borlind

* * *

Green People has:

Green People 20th anniversary collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20th anniversary collection
– discounts in their special offers section

* * *

 

Onlynaturals has:

– big discounts in their sale section
FREE gifts with purchase

* * *

 

Pharmaca has:

20% off your order (code: BIGSAVINGS!)
– 20% off on W3LL PEOPLE
– 20% off on MyChelle facial line
free gifts with purchase

* * *

The Detox Market has:

FREE Tammy Fender Awakening Eye Gel when you spend $160 on Tammy Fender (code: TAMMY)
FREE CV Skinlabs Body Lotion + Relief Spray when you spend $60 on your order (code: CVSKIN)
FREE Province Apothecary Cleanser when you spend $40 on Province Apothecary (code: PROVINCE)

* * *

 

Happy Weekend!

 

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, read our disclaimer.

 

 

Aug 222017
 

Receiving Beauty Boxes is always a treat. Every month I try to contain my curiosity what’s in this month’s Love Lula Beauty Box, but to no avail – I always have to take a peak someplace to see what’s in the box. When I saw there are two products from the Love Lula’s own brand Glossworks – a nail polish and a top coat – I was excited, but then I thought – shoot, that’s not for the Beauty Box recipients outside of UK, so I’ll have to wait a bit until I get my hands on these beauties later on.

Nonetheless, August Beauty Box is a treat. Here’s my first impressions, a quick rundown on the products of this month’s Love Lula Beauty Box, which is worth £55, however, with a subscription to Love Lula’s monthly Beauty Box, you can get it for the price of one product in the box – from £13,95 on. With the Beauty Box comes also a discount code of 20% on all the brands from the current Beauty Box as well.

Love Lula Beauty Box August 2017

So what’s in August’s Love Lula Beauty Box?

Oils of Heaven Cacay Oil travel size 15ml- I’ve already reviewed this awesome oil a while ago; was just looking the other day for the travel sized one, which I know I have somewhere, but the creative chaos is sometimes not as creative – here comes the Beauty Box to the rescue with the travel sized Cacay Oil. One of the best facial oils I’ve tried.

Beauty Brews Verve Organic Tea – another Love Lula’s own brand. In one of the previous boxes I received the Beauty Brews Poise tea, deliciously smelling and testing tea. Haven’t had a cup of the The Verve one, but it smells nicely as well. The packaging is also elegant; I like this brownish grey canister. Oh, and you can also get a re-fill for this and all the other Beauty Brew teas.

PHB Ethical Beauty eye liner in brown color – while I haven’t been as impressed with some of the PHB Ethical Beauty skincare products, I’ve been liking their mascara, which came in one of the previous boxes and I’ll offer a full review of it, along with this eye liner as well. A few first impressions – I do not use eye liner on my water line – one, because my eyes are too sensitive and I am constantly watery-eyed and irritated and two, because an eye liner on the water line looks cheap to me. But I do like using an eye liner on my lid – nothing strong – and usually smudged. The PHB Ethical Beauty eye liner is very soft and creamy and I really like this brown, with a bit of an ashy undertones, eye liner. Easy and quick application, instead of eye shadows – the finish look is great.

Balm Balm Chamomile Hydrolate travel size 30ml – can’t go wrong with a quality hydrolate – I think a hydrolate is one of the best things you can offer your skin. The Balm Balm Chamomile Hydrolate has a very strong scent of chamomile essential oil (hydrolates, as by-products of essential oils production contain 10% of the essential oils) – which attests for a quality hydrolate. Chamomile hydrolate is great for all types of skin, especially for irritated, as it calms the skin. The Balm Balm Chamomile hydrolate comes in a glass bottle with a spray pump, so it can be re-used for your own home made concoctions. Recommended.

Glossworks Nails and Cuticle Oil 9ml – I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of nail and cuticle oils because they all come across as too expensive to me, including the Glossworks one. It contains Avodado oil, which regenerates the skin and Juniper essential oil, which has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Based on the first impressions, the Glossworks nail and cuticle oil does soften the cuticles and with the antibacterial Juniper essential oil it no doubt positively effects nails, but the price is a bit too high for my taste. I’ll give you a full review how this oil performed along with the Glossworks nail polish in the near future.

So, how did you like Love Lula’s August Beauty Box?

 

Aug 112017
 

Hello greenies! Have you been spitting dust these past weeks? Phew, as much as I enjoy Summer, these past few weeks have been unbearable. 40 degrees! Lifting a finger seemed like a chore. Makeup and skincare reflected the weather – it was as light, hydrating and minimal as possible. Seeing women with a mask on their faces while there’s 40 degrees is rather…. kinda pathetic, wouldn’t you agree? Sure, you hear how it’s “only” makeup, but makeup is suppose to work for you, not against you. Right? Many things reflect the personality and given this insane craze of beauty “gurus” and their tons of makeup… Eck.

I don’t think I’m that off the bat if I ponder along the lines of green beauty community jumping on that bandwagon soon as well. I mean, we have “green” beauty bloggers, who, with only one face, mind you, manage to “thoroughly” test and review the whole collections (say, 5 products) from 10 different brands (super expensive ones, of course – it’s not about quality, it’s not about ingredients expertise, it’s not about adequately testing, it’s not about anything green, in fact) in a matter of 2 months. K-Beauty type (think – 15 products for one routine) daily and nightly routines, on and on and on… as long as it’s a photo of an obligatory marble and cactus (originality surely ain’t their strong suit), they get likes from 0,5% of their bought and paid followers. Green beauty brands nor those few genuine followers are non the wiser as to what is really happening.

The next step, as I can envision, is for these brands to start sending PR packages to Youtube beauty gurus, who promote the cheapest and most toxic brands out there to their followers, who have no clue about the ingredients and are only looking for a 5$ foundation. The fall and crash of the green beauty brands, who would attempt to reach millions (mostly, again, bought and paid for) followers of these beauty gurus would be that of many bruises – when you, first and foremost, abandon the knowledgeable and faithful green beauty bloggers for an attempt of an instant likes of the 5$ toxic foundation crowd and gurus who couldn’t understand an ingredient if it hit them upside the head, you, without a doubt, show you’re in it only for the money and could not care less about the other type of green, much like the so called green beauty bloggers, who have been hoarding expensive green beauty products in the past year or so and would like to sell themselves (pun on sell) as experts. Their posts, for example, on Instagram, sound scripted, lukewarm, with no expertise behind it – they are checking all the marketing points of sale and none of the genuine ones. They’ve studied the bloggers who came before them, and copied it all.

Meanwhile, the green beauty bloggers, who actually put their heart and soul into testing and reviewing products (not just products which cost 200€, as we know about the ingredients as well as know that a 20€ product can work, too – but for that, it takes years of being a green beauty consumer) are kinda… stepping aside… have you noticed this?

Anyway, I’ve prepared quite a few good deals for you this week. Love Lula has 2 great selection boxes heavily discounted, as well as their newly launched nail polish brand Glossworks – I can hardly wait to try these cuties – as you know, nail polish is my weak spot, and those gentle, nude and pink colors look so tempting. And then there’s a lot of free gifts with purchase to chose from below in case you’re planning on getting a few beauty products you’ve run out – just remember – you do not need everything in order to feel valuable – in order to feel better, go in nature and enjoy!

Weekly Discounts and FREE Organic Beauty Gifts #85

 

Love Lula has:

Love Lula Selection Boxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selection Box for Face (worth £70) for only £24,95
Selection Box for Hair and Body (worth £46) for only £17

 

Glosswork Nail Polish

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Newly launched own nail polish brand Glossworks
FREE Joik silky lip balm when you spend £20 on Joik (code: LIPBALM)
FREE Antipodes light day cream when you buy any 2 Antipodes products (code: REJOICE)
FREE Seascape Island Apothecary oil duo when you spend £30 on Seascape (code: SEASCAPE)
FREE Bellapierre lipstick when you spend £30 on Bellapierre (code: ENVY)
FREE Laidbare for richer or for porer mask when you spend £25 on Laidbare (code: LAIDBARE). Read my review of the mask here.
FREE Trilogy Facial Exfoliant when you buy 2 Trilogy products (code: TRILOGY)
FREE Gielly Green Travel Size Shampoo when you spend £35 on Gielly Green (code: GIELLY)
FREE Inika Kabuki Brush when you spend £30 on Inika (code: INIKA)
FREE Balm Balm mint lip balm when you spend £20 on Balm Balm (code: TEATREE)
– newly added Selection Boxes to pick your favorite Beauty Box
– 20% off on Seascape Island Apothecary
– big discounts in their sale section

* * *

Content Beauty has:

– 10% off when you buy 2 or more products from the BFFS Collection (code: NATURALBFFS)
– great savings in their sale section
free gifts with purchase:

Content Beauty FREE Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREE Vapour Organic Beauty Highlighter when you spend 50 on Vapour Organic Beauty
FREE Evolue Cleanser and Makeup Remover when you spend £45 on Evolue
FREE Dafna cleansing kit when you spend £100 on Dafna
FREE Intelligent Nutrients Refining Micro Polish when you spend £60 on Intelligent Nutrients
FREE Alima Pure Starter Set (lip tint and eye pencil) when you spend £50 on Alima Pure
FREE Therapi Orange Blossom Toner when you buy 2 Therapi products
FREE Trilogy cleanser when you buy any 2 Trilogy products
FREE Hiram Green Arbole Arbole 10ml Atomiser (worth £34) with every 50ml Hiram Green Perfume
FREE Nourish London Argan and Kale Hand Cream 50ml (£12.50) when you spend £35 on Nourish.

* * *

iHerb has:

 

iHerb Discount

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 5% off your order (code: LBK652)
– 15% off on Everyday Minerals
– 15% off on Serumdipity Facial Serums
Sierra Bees tinted lip balms pack of 4 for 3€ (read my review)
– more discounts in the daily and weekly specials section

* * *

 

FeelUnique has:

FeelUnique FREE Gifts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– £10 off when you spend £60 (code: TREATME). Valid on 11th and 12th of August 2017
– up to 60% off in their Summer Sale
FREE Lily Lolo Candy Floss Nail Polish when you buy 2 Lily Lolo products
FREE Aurelia Discovery Kit when you buy 2 Aurelia products
FREE Odylique silk touch cleanser when you you spend £25 on Odylique products
FREE Moa The Green Balm when you spend £25 on MOA The Green Balm
FREE Balance Me handcream when you spend £25 on Balance Me
FREE Jurlique serum when you buy 2 Jurlique products
FREE REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Balm when you spend £40 on REN
FREE Green & Spring Shower and Bath Foam when you spend £35 on Green & Spring

* * *

Natuurlijke Cosmetica Winkel has:

– 20% off on Scotch Naturals
– 40% off on Burt’s Bees
– 40 % on AnneMarie Borlind

* * *

Green People has:

Green People 20th anniversary collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20th anniversary collection
– discounts in their special offers section

* * *

 

Onlynaturals has:

– big discounts in their sale section
FREE gifts with purchase

* * *

 

Pharmaca has:

20% off your order (code: BIGSAVINGS!)
– 20% off on W3LL PEOPLE
– 20% off on MyChelle facial line
free gifts with purchase

* * *

The Detox Market has:

FREE Tammy Fender Awakening Eye Gel when you spend $160 on Tammy Fender (code: TAMMY)
FREE CV Skinlabs Body Lotion + Relief Spray when you spend $60 on your order (code: CVSKIN)
FREE Province Apothecary Cleanser when you spend $40 on Province Apothecary (code: PROVINCE)

* * *

 

Happy Weekend!

 

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, read our disclaimer.

 

 

Aug 102017
 

Madara Balancing Toner for combination skin helps skin absorb moisture more efficiently, whereas Madara Clarifying Toner, especially with the help of salicylic acid, purifies the skin.

Madara Balancing and Clarifying Facial Toners Review

 

Toners – is there ever enough of them? For this round, I decided to review two of the Madara facial toners, targeting oily and combination skin – the balancing toner and clarifying toner – which, aside from the, in my opinion, too high of an alcohol content, make for the toners working hand in hand for combination and oily skin, when you’re looking for toners to minimize the acne and blackheads, minimizing the pores and controlling the shine.

Madara Clarifying Toner contains , first and foremost, the ingredient much welcomed by oily skin prone to acne and blackheads – the salicylic acid, which helps to prevent outbreaks, gently exfoliates the skin and helps to reduce blackheads. The Clarifying toner also contains powerful and potent astringent ingredients, all directed at fighting large pores, unbalanced skin, prone to acne.

Madara Clarifying Facial Toner

 

Between the two Madara toners, I’ve been using the Clarifying Toner in my evening routine, especially due to its mild exfoliating properties.

* * *

So how about the ingredients?

Ingredients: Aqua, Alcohol, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower, Water, Acorus Calamus (Sweet Flag) Root Extract, Betaine, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Quercus Robur (Oak) Bark Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Salvia) Leaf Extract, Salicylic Acid

Cucumber Fruit Extract has astringent properties. It’s very hydrating, cooling and soothing and works well against skin’s puffiness. Quercus Robur (Oak) Bark Extract has potent astringent properties and is ideal for oily skin and for fighting large pores. Oak extract contains tannins compound, the most powerful natural astringent. It minimizes pores. Salvia Officinalis (Salvia) Leaf Extract has antibacterial, antiseptic and skin balancing properties.
Salicylic Acid, a beta hydroxy acid – a chemical peel, is excellent for oily and acne prone skin, as it cleans the skin of impurities, exfoliates and prevents acne and blackheads.

And Rosa Damascena Flower Water.

* * *
Potentially problematic ingredients?

  • Alcohol – it’s second on the ingredients list, which means there’s quite a substantial amount of it in this toner, and it shows – both with an occasional over-production of skin’s oil as well as with the scent, which is quite strong. I am not certain what type of an alcohol this is (denatured alcohol is by far the worst for the skin), but either way, alcohol is really bad for the skin. On the surface, one might think, especially when it comes to oily skin, that alcohol might be a welcomed ingredient, but it’s not, as it actually dries the skin and sends the skin a message it’s dehydrated, thus producing even more oil in the short run. In the long run, it actually damages the skin, as one can imagine. It may be also used as a cheap(er) preservative, especially since it looks better on the ingredients list compared to other preservatives; given this toner contains water, at least one preservative is a must, but it seems there’s none.
  • Acorus Calamus (Sweet Flag) Root Extract – now this is an ingredient I don’t think I’ve encountered in any of the beauty products so far. While it does have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, I am very much on the fence due to its potential harmful properties, mainly – the compound called β-asarone, which, some studies show, there may be some some toxicity.

* * *

The Madara Balancing Toner is, when it comes to ingredients, a mixture between the Clarifying Toner and Madara Micellar Water. While it contains a cooling cucumber extract and a calming chamomile extract, it contains even more alcohol than the Clarifying Toner and the amount of alcohol is obvious immediately – the scent is that strong. The Balancing Toner contains humectants and antioxidants, but I am afraid the high amount of alcohol negates many of the skin-beneficial properties of this toner; given it contains an excellent witch hazel hydrolate, a natural astringent, with potent antibacterial properties – all in all a great ingredient for oily skin, I do not understand the high amount of alcohol in this toner.

Madara Balancing Facial Toner

 

I’ve been using the Balancing Toner in my morning routine (it irritates the eyes, again, due to high amount of alcohol) before applying a moisturizer and makeup and right off the bat, it does give off this matte effect and tightened pores but my skin over-produces the oil later on in the day.

* * *

The ingredients? The ingredients listed on Madara official site are not in the same order as on the bottle; this has to be pointed out as the order of the ingredients tells the amount of each ingredient in the product.

Ingredients: Glucuronic Acid, Glycerin, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch-hazel) Leaf Water,  Plantago Major (Plantain) Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Propanediol, Rhamnose,  Rosa Damascena (Rosa) Flower Water, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium PCA,  Xylitol, Xylitylglucoside, Aqua, Anhydroxylitol, Benzyl Alcohol, Betaine, Chamomilla Recutita (Camomile) Flower Extract, Glucose, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract

Witch hazel Leaf Water has astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. It moisturizes and balances combination and oily skin. Plantain Leaf Extract promotes renewal of damaged skin cells. It stimulates collagen synthesis to improve elasticity and firmness of skin tissue, helps to eliminate excess water from body tissue, creates a protective and moisturizing layer on skin. Raspberry Seed Oil, potent antioxidant, contains extremely high amounts of essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6, up to 85%. Raspberry oil improves the hydration and elasticity of the skin, it works to correct the signs of ageing. Chamomile Flower Extract moisturises, softens and purifies skin; it has anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, calming and regenerating properties. Cucumber Fruit Extract has astringent properties. It’s very hydrating, cooling and soothing and works well against skin’s puffiness.

Sodium PCA, Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxlitol, Glucose and Glucuronic Acid are humectants. Sodium Hyaluronate lessens oxidization. Xylitol, natural sweetener, has antibacterial properties. Betaine hydrates and gives a silky and smooth feel to skin.

And Rosa Damascena Flower Water.

* * *

Potentially problematic ingredients?

  • Benzyl Alcohol: it plays several roles in cosmetic industry – a solvent, masking agent/fragrance agent, preservative. While Benzyl Alcohol is also a naturally occurring ingredient, found in essential oils (jasmine, ylang ylang), in cosmetic industry, it’s mostly used the synthetic one. It is a possible skin and eye irritant, and it can cause contact dermatitis. It’s also noted it can be toxic to infants.
  • Sodium Benzoate, preservative, which can be skin irritant. Given this toner contains water, such a preservative is, unfortunately, a must.
  • Propanediol, solvent, is a potential skin irritant.
  • Alcohol – unfortunately, the Balancing Toner contains even more of it than the Clarifying one.

* * *

My final word?

Madara Balancing and Clarifying Facial Toners Review

 

I’ve been really enjoying the Madara products so far, and I was really eager to try these toners, especially the Clarifying one, given it contains quite a few great ingredients, targeting oily skin, prone to acne. I admit, I hesitated before ordering these two toners – I am put off by toners, which contain alcohol, but I thought I’d give these two a fair try nonetheless. Unfortunately, if the Clarifying Toner was not a big of an alcohol bomb, the Balancing Toner was. Yes, they both contain many great ingredients for oily, combination, acne prone skin, but the alcohol exacerbates the very problem these two toners are suppose to fight against – the over production of oil: alcohol dries out the skin, so the skin makes even more oil, while at the same time, making the skin dehydrated and dry, thus it’s no surprise when dry patches show up. Both toners, at the beginning, minimize the pores and even mattify the skin, but the effect of the alcohol kicks in later on.

The Balancing Toner contains excellent natural water base – Witch Hazel hydrolate, so in my opinion, there’s really no need for any alcohol, much less such a huge amount of it – it defies the purpose of the toner, as alcohol creates imbalance. And given both toners contain hydrolates as it is already – the rose and witch hazel ones – there’s really no need for water either; hydrolates are water, containing around 10% of the essential oils they were by-produced of.

Given the Clarifying Toner contains salicylic acid, I might, somewhere down the line, re-purchase it, but only to be used occasionally, if the toner still contains (such a high amount) of alcohol. As for the Balancing one – until there’s so much alcohol in it, I will skip it. Both contain promising ingredients – one ruins the formulation, unfortunately.

The price? Around €15 for 200ml for each of the toners, which, going only by the good and even great ingredients, would be very affordable.

While it’s true – every skin is different, and if one’s skin absolutely adores rose essential oil, for example, someone else’s might have an adverse reaction to it; what works for me, might not work for someone else. But when it comes to (high amount) of alcohol in beauty products, I can assuredly say it is not good for anyone.

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How about you? Have you tried these Madara Toners? What’s your take on them? What’s your opinion on the alcohol in skin care (or any other) products? Let me know!

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For more information on Madara, please visit their dedicated brand page.

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Madara Balancing and Clarifying Toners have been provided to Nature of Europe by Love Lula for the purpose of an honest review.

Nature of Europe is Love Lula’s Accredited Blogger.

The post contains affiliate links. For more info, read our disclaimer.

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