vegansaurus!

08/21/2012

Product Review: Blissoma skincare!  »

Blissoma by Irie Star is an all-natural certified vegan skincare line. So, remember I went to Shelter Island for a week? I thought it would be a great time to try the free Blissoma products I got. I didn’t bring any other face stuff so I could really dive into these products. Because I am such a scientist! OK, let’s talk skincare!

Clean: Smooth and Sensitive Facial Cleansing Bar: This bar was great. The base of the soap is oatmilk and I like the idea of that because I know oatmeal is great for irritated skin—prob good for all skin! Left my face feeling clean and nice.

Fresh: Mild Rice Cleanser: This cleanser gave me pause because it was like I couldn’t really wash it off. It left a bit of a greasy feeling behind. But then it did absorb and it was actually nice that for once my skin didn’t feel all tight, screaming for moisturizer immediately after I wash it. And my skin wasn’t any more oily throughout the day.

Restore: Deep Moisture Oil Serum: This I only used once. Seemed like a good intense moisturizer. No adverse effects and didn’t make my skin more oily than it already is. 

Smooth: A+ Moisture Serum: This is my favorite product! It’s for “troubled skin” but very gentle, unlike most stuff for pimple-faces. It absorbs well and my skin seemed very clear by the end of the week. I had one pimple before I started using the Blissoma products and I don’t know if it sped healing time (it’s always so hard to tell when something works, right? Just when it doesn’t!) but I think it dried it out and it definitely didn’t make it worse. Yay!

Awake: Morning Facial Moisture: A nice, light moisturizer. Absorbed very well and didn’t leave my face oily. 

Refine: Clay Renewal Treatment: I liked this mask. It was a little weird because like the rice cleanser, it felt like I couldn’t completely wash it off. But I asked my sis-in-law (who rules, btdubs) if my skin felt greasy and she said it just seemed super moisturized. And like the rice cleanser, it was nice not to have that crazy tight skin feeling I usually get after a mask.

I asked the creator Julie Longyear some questions about her line and natural skincare in general and she had some interesting points. 

When I sent these questions, I had just heard that some products claiming to be vegan actually have ingredients that were tested on animals, like preservatives and whatnot. Her response:

Funny enough the first thing the Vegan.org folks asked was to make sure we didn’t have to test preservation on animals. No, we are entirely free of animal testing. The testing process just involves making batches of product with various levels of the preservation ingredients in it and letting them age.  Then periodically we send a sample to our microbiology lab and they just take a swab of it and put it on a growth medium plate, incubate for a week and count the fungal/yeast/bacterial colonies that grow. That’s all.

Sounds good! On creating products:

It is a long process creating recipes from scratch.  A lot of small lines don’t even create their own recipes. They often purchase a base recipe from a co-packer/private label manufacturer and maybe customize with their own scent or a different herb or whatever and then just stick their own label on it.  So much product in the skincare industry is just slightly varied copies of the same old recipes.  We don’t work that way at all and my personal opinion is that the private label model is part of the reason customers are often so confused about what to purchase. They think they are trying a different product but often it is just the same stuff under a different label.  

This is the stuff we need to know! I found this next part especially interesting, as when I tried the products I really was like, hmmm, these aren’t white…is that OK?:

Some of the challenges of dealing with our botanical ingredients are the smells and colors. As we use mostly unrefined botanical ingredients each herb extract and oil has a color and smell all its own. Interesting things can happen when you blend them, and part of a good finished product is creating an aroma profile that folks will enjoy using as well as something that functionally works on skin. A lot of formulators also just don’t want to deal with this which is why “water white” ingredients are so prevalent in the personal care industry. People assume white lotion = pure. Unfortunately it really often means that the nutrients have been completely stripped out from heavy refining.  

Interesting! Am I dumb because I pretty much thought white meant pure? I guess it’s like white paper though, right? “Natural” is brownish. Where did this white=pure thing come from?

Final verdict!: After a week of using the products, I must say my skin looked great! I officially declare these products awesome. And it makes me feel nice putting all those special serums and natural oils on my skin—makes me feel wholesome. And I so rarely feel wholesome.

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