Monday, June 13, 2011

Beauty Review: Sprout Wellness Skin Care

Have you ever looked at what's in your face wash or moisturizer and freaked out because of the long list of unpronounceable ingredients? If so, then the Sprout Wellness skin care line is for you. This company, based out of New York City, is dedicated to using organic, fair trade, and local ingredients whenever possible. It also tends to use a "keep it simple" philosophy, so the ingredient lists are very short and lack polysyllabic ingredients. As an added bonus, most products do not contain animal products, so vegans can use the line without any qualms.

Although I am not a vegan or anyone who is particularly worried about most long ingredients list, I was very intrigued when I saw this feature on Jasmere, so I bought a couple of vouchers and decided to try out several products. I'm including pictures, but please note that the company recently changed their packaging, so these pictures are not representative of the packaging now. Also, I'm listing the current prices, which are more than I paid because the sizes were smaller. The products themselves are the same.

From left to right: Makeup Remover, Sugar Body Scrub, and All-Over Cream
Makeup Remover ($10 for 30 ml): The ingredients for this super-simple makeup remover are sweet almond oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and distilled aloe vera. It is simple to use and pretty effective. I've tried it against my current go-to makeup remover (Lush's 9 to 5), and the results are comparable. It is very gentle and moisturizing, and it manages to get off even the most stubborn eye makeup without scrubbing.

Sugar Body Scrub
Sugar Body Scrub ($22 for 170 ml): I am a sucker for body scrubs, and I really wanted to like this product. Although one of the ingredients listed is coconut oil, the scrub is actually quite dry. You are supposed to mix it with water and then scrub yourself with it. While this sounds good in theory, I didn't find it as effective or as easy to use as scrubs that had a creamier consistency. It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't replace my current body scrub (from The Body Shop) with it. However, it does make a nice (if unexpected) sweet treat if you decide to taste it (it was for research purposes, I promise!).

All-Over Cream
All-Over Cream ($32 for 100 ml): I was skeptical about this product, since commercials and the beauty industry have convinced me that it is unthinkable to use the same lotion on my body and my face. Despite my skepticism, I wanted to try this cream because so many people have raved about it. Luckily, those raves are much deserved, as this thick, rich cream does a lot of things well. Since it was a little heavy to use as a facial moisturizer during the warmer months, I've been using it on my elbows and heels, and they have my skin ready for summer. I'm looking forward to trying this out in the winter to see how it does with the cold, windy weather in the Northeast. Given that a little bit of this cream goes a long, long way, I'm sure I will have my small 2 oz. container for quite a while.

Face Toner & Face Cleanser
Face Cleanser ($24 for 100 ml): If you are used to foaming cleansers, this one is very different. Instead of mixing it with water, you put it on a cotton ball and apply it to your face and neck. Then you rinse it. I admit, I had a difficult time getting used to this type of cleanser, and I never felt like my face was totally clean after using it (this is perhaps just in my mind). That said, my skin felt very soft and fresh. While I don't know if I would use it all the time, it does make a nice, no-fuss way to wash my face, particularly in the morning or on days when I haven't used a lot of makeup.

Face Toner ($24 for 100 ml): This toner is very straightforward. You apply it to a cotton ball and then put it on your face. As someone whose skin manages to be both oily and sensitive, I was very interested in this product. Unfortunately, I found that it was a mixed bag for me. On one hand, it did get any makeup that I missed with the makeup remover and cleanser and it got rid of any excess oil without being too drying. However, the problem was the toner's scent. Since one of the ingredients is apple cider vinegar, a vinegary smell isn't surprising, but the issue I had was the fact that the scent lingered for quite a while. Even after I rinsed my face with cool water, I still thought I smelled a bit like a pickle. If the spicy odor doesn't bother you, then this is a great toner. If you are like me and are sensitive to scent, then you might want to pass this product.

All in all, I was happy with these products and with the company. I highly recommend the Makeup Remover and All-Over Cream, and the other products are good (even if they aren't my cup of tea). The philosophy and business practices of this company are excellent, as is the customer service. Consequently, if you are looking for a gentle, simple, natural skin care line, Sprout Wellness might be right for you.