Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Review : balance Me skin bright hydrating face mist

Out of a grand total of 7 ½ reviews I’ve written so far, only two have been positive! To restore some balance, I thought I’d mention some of the products that I DO like and use every day. (Edit: unintended pun there. Har har.)

Going by my last few reviews, you might think that I have insane skin that reacts badly to everything. (I'm inclined to agree TBH) I've been using the skin bright hydrating face mist from balance Me for about three months and I can safely say that it doesn't break me out. Hurrah! Simply spritz 2-3 times after applying lotion and follow with your usual products. I haven't tried using it to set make-up because for fear of looking like I have melted candle wax all over my face. The mist isn't anywhere near fine enough!

Rosa centifolia (rose) aqueous extract - Antioxidant. Has hydrating and astringent properties. (Fragrant)  
Ananas sativus (pineapple) aqueous extract - Moisturising properties, contains AHAs
Glycerin - A humectant and hygroscopic i.e.  attracts and holds water from the environment. Increases hydration in the epidermis
Polyglyceryl-4 caprate - An emollient
Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) - Hygroscopic. Increases hydration 
Citrus aurantium (neroli)* - Refreshing, helps control oil production (Fragrant)
Nardostachys jatamansi (spikenard)* - Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
Rosa centifolia (rose absolute)* - Moisturising (Fragrant)
Citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot)* - Astringent properties (Fragrant)
Pelargonium roseum asperum (rose geranium)* - helps control oil production (Fragrant)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)* - Anti-inflammatory properties. Yarrow contains fatty acids, salicylic acid and is high in anti-oxidants
Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile)* - Soothing
Benzyl alcohol - Preservative
Dehydroacetic acid - Preservative
Limonene**, Linalool**, Citronellol**, Geraniol** - Fragrance ingredients

*natural pure essential oil
**naturally occurring in essential oils 

Overall, it's a good mix of ingredients. If you avoid fragrance like the plague you won't agree of course. As obsessed as I am with skincare/ingredients, I like botanical extracts and all that jazz so I don't completely rule out fragrant ones. There are sources of AHAs and BHAs but I doubt they're in high enough concentrations to function as effective exfoliants. There are a lot of hydrating ingredients (esp. glycerin and hyaluronic acid) which sounds like DUH the most predictable observation ever, but you can't take that as given unless you've read the label! It's surprising how many products are labelled as one thing yet the ingredients on the back tell another story. Take this Balancing Mist from Jurlique, for example, which "restores and hydrates the complexion". The second ingredient is alcohol: go figure. Anyway back to balance Me. Speaking of alcohol, this mist does contain it but it's near the end of the list so it's a small(er) amount. The alcohol will stop it going mouldy not burn your face off.

If scare stories about parabens and the C-word have you shi**ing yourself and triggered a skincare exorcism, you'll be happy to hear that the formula is free of parabens and a host of other nasties. Like REN with its clean skincare guarantee, balance Me has a ‘promise’ to make products free of parabens, sulphates, petroleum, mineral oils, silicones, DEA, PEGS, propylene glycol, artificial fragrances and colours. (They must be husband and wife because it's the same promise lol). If you’re hipster and believe in the benefits of “natural” skincare, you'll appreciate that balance Me also aim to create 100% natural products. Just be prepared to handle stuff that’s off by the odd percentile or so.

Overall, I like it. It’s refreshing, using it is mildly amusing (Yoon Seul & Oska’s mom in Secret Garden) and it does what it says on the tin. I wouldn't quite call it a skincare essential, it's more of a 'booster' product that helps keep the skin hydrated. The more products the merrier as far as I'm concerned! What I don’t like is the smell (smeeelll) which is VILE. I seem to have a knack for buying weirdly scented products: a mask that smells like poo, a cleanser that smells like lemony toilet cleaner and this. Which smells like bug repellent. But it’s fine, I can hold my breath for more than ten seconds. 

It's £20 for a 60ml bottle, which is the starting price of most toners. I don't expect it to last as long as normal pour-y toners because using a spray bottle = product wastage. I can feel it settling onto my feet when I spritz -.- One bottle would probably go for six months.

It works out to be £33.33 per 100ml which didn't seem particularly expensive .. until I compared it to the cost of other toners. I usually use Lancome's Tonique Douceur which comes in a 400ml gargantuan of a bottle. That costs £35.50 and works out to be £8.88 per 100ml. I also have Clarins' Camomile Lotion which is £23 for 400ml and works out to be even cheaper at £5.75 per 100ml. These aren’t called “value sizes” for nothing so probably aren’t the best comparisons, but I do have some normal sized ones too: Decleor’s Hydra Brightening Lotion works out as £16.33 per 100ml; DHC’s CoQ10 Lotion is £18.44 per 100ml and Givenchy’s Mist Me Gently is £22.00/100ml.

Here are a few more for comparison:

Gatineau Nasturtium Toner works out as £8.75 per 100ml 
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Purifying Toner (£12.50 per 100ml) 
Darphin Intral Toner (£13.50 per 100ml)   
Chanel Lotion Douceur (£15.00 per 100ml)  
Trilogy Hydrating Mist (£17.50/100ml)  
Sisley Floral Toning Lotion (£23.80 per 100ml)
It even beats Creme de la Mer! 'The Tonic' is £30 per 100ml and you know something is expensive when it's more expensive than Creme de la Mert.

The Hydrating Mist works out to be £15 above the average price (£18.15). Obviously, none of the lotions (chosen at complete random from John Lewis) are necessarily better - just cheaper, so it's something to bear in mind if you're thinking of purchasing.

Would I repurchase?
I like it but the product hasn’t really “wowed” me (except in replicating the smell of bug spray - incredible) and in light of my cost/value revelation that occurred in the last ten minutes, it's not something I’d rush to repurchase. There are plenty of other cheaper and perhaps better products to try. Only a few come in the form of a spray though, which I rather like using. I might try decanting some lotion into a Muji bottle or something ... would that work?

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