Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Review : Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm

Continuing the cleansing balm theme, the next one I have for review is Omorovicza'sThermal Cleansing Balm. Omorovicza is a luxury brand with a fancy-ass backstory involving Hungarian Spas and Nobel Prizes so as you might imagine, it doesn't come cheap. It costs £46 for a 50ml jar, and if you've read my last post, it was the most expensive cleansing balm in a sample of 30.

Now I spend a fair bit on skincare but I steer away from expensive cleansers because at the end of the day, all they do is take your make-up off. Not even the ‘special’ ones formulated to do more than just cleanse because it’s all going down the sink. Let me qualify that: I TRY not to, but then a special offer comes along and that mentality is swiftly thrown out the window. So I bought myself a jar. And got a second free!

I bought the 15ml travel size which worked out to be cheaper than the big momma. Plus it means only £20s, not £100s worth of cleansers will be languishing in the skincare drawer if I can't use it.

Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Heptanoate, Silt (Hungarian Mud), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Squalane, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Polysorbate 20, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Prunus Domestica (Plum) Seed Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Limonene, Parfum (Fragrance), Saccharomyces (Hungarian Thermal Water) Ferment Extract, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Aqua (Hungarian Thermal Water), Linalool, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Phospholipids.

When have you ever seen “silt” on an ingredients list!? Sweet almond and jojoba oil are moisturising and cleanse without stripping. I assume the aforementioned “silt” is what holds the mineral goodies that Omorovicza is famous for. Plum seed extract is hydrating, apricot kernel oil is an anti-oxidant. All of these oils are non-fragrant, but unfortunately the formula contains fragrance (limonene, linalool and one unspecified). That said, I'm less bothered about fragrance in facial washes because you rinse it off. The Acerola berry is an anti-oxidant and is good for treating hyper-pigmentation thanks to its high Vitamin C content. Acerola is quite popular in Japanese skincare, and DHC in fact have a whole range built around it. There's some doubt over its effectiveness in skincare, but in any event, it's near the end of the ingredients list and you wash it off.

The texture is light and non-greasy, almost like a thinned out oil. It smells like lemongrass (not Flash Kitchen). And it's black o.o  It has the nicest texture of any cleansing balm I've used which feel like lard compared to this.

However, I felt like the cleanser was a bit of a let-down for two reasons. As a 'first cleanse', it didn't remove "absolutely everything" as claimed. But I'm OK with that now, since it's too expensive to waste on a first cleanse anyway!

And then there was - yep you guessed it: spots. Btw, now is a good time to mention that I bought four jars. FML. I generally don't believe in the idea that your skin "purges", I do think that this cleanser needs some getting used to ... I say that because after around one month of use, my skin seemed to calm down - but this coincided with my changing my cleansing technique. I used to cleanse, cook dinner, sweep the floors, sweep the chimney etc., then shower, and double cleanse. I switched to showering after the two rounds of cleansing and having a thorough rinse by running my face under tepid water for a couple of minutes. It sounds nuts but it seems to have worked and from that time the spots lessened! And this might defeat the purpose of using an expensive cleanser, but if I'm to believe the science, "Hydro Mineral Transference" delivers minerals deep into the skin - meaning that I should get the benefit of more supple and firmer skin even if I wash it off really well. On the plus side, I did notice that my skin was more hydrated. After showering I usually rush to apply lotion because my skin feels to dry and tight, but not after using this!

- Expensive
- Doesn't remove all traces of make-up
- Does not appear to be suitable for spot-prone skin
~ A little goes a long way. The 15ml jar lasted around one month (and would have gone longer if not for over-zealous use)
+ Good ingredients
+ Hydrating
+ Lovely smooth texture

For the price tag and surrounding hype, I expected to be 'wowed' by this cleanser. I can't say it made a real difference to my skin, except call forth an army of angry red spots so it it's not for me! But since I have another three jars, I'll definitely be giving this a re-run soon! Stay tuned ;)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Review : Balm Balm Frankincense Deep Cleansing Balm

Hello everyone, happy new year! First post of the year is a review of Balm Balm’s Frankincense Deep Cleansing Balm.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)
Cera Alba (Beeswax)
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil
Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Marigold)
Boswellia Neglecta Oil (Frankincense Essential Oil)
Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil

Balm Balm’s products are 100% organic, made in Britain (George Osborne will be proud) and have nice n short ingredients lists. Some of the key ingredients are Sunflower and Jojoba oil, which are anti-inflammatory and thought to help heal the skin; and shea butter which is moisturising and rich in anti-oxidants. In TCM, frankincense is used to stimulate blood circulation and as a treatment for acne and wrinkles. Sounds all well and good but I wonder how much benefit you get since you wash it off :/ The most important thing is that it hasn’t caused any spots, which I always worry about when trying new products!

The balm has a very mild smell - its not bad, I'm just not sure what it is. The texture is smooth and it doesn’t feel really waxy so there’s no dragging the skin trying to work it in for a deep cleanse. (SO DEEP!) (Had to be said guys.) It doesn’t melt into an oil or emulsify so you have to rinse it off with a flannel and then voila! Super soft skin and no residues =^-^=

I prefer using the balm as my second cleanser in a double cleanse routine. I tried it to remove make-up and it doesn’t work well. To be fair, I was totally expecting that because cleansers with beeswax (like Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm) never seem to work well for me.

It costs £7.99 for a 30ml jar, which although not obvious by the photo, IS TINY. Some of the reviews on feelunique mention that the size is misleading and you’re actually paying too much compared to other brands. With too much time on my hands, I decided to round up as many cleansers I could find and calculated how much they would cost for an equivalent dinky little size. Among 30 cleansers, Balm Balm's Frankincense cleanser falls under the ‘low’ price category (nos. 1-9). (10-19 are mid-range and 20-29 are expensive)

Here they are:-
  1. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, £12/90ml >> £4.00 <Reviewed Here>
  2. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, £22/125ml >> £5.28
  3. RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream, £12.50/70g  >> £5.36
  4. REN Rosa Centifolia Purity Cleansing Balm, £30/150ml  >> £6.00
  5. Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser, £24/118ml  >> £6.10
  6. Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse, £44/200ml  >> £6.60
  7. Monu Cleansing Balm, £39.95/150g  >> £7.99
  8. Aurelia Miracle Cleanser, £34/120ml  >> £8.50
  9. Rodial Stem Cell Super-Food Cleanser, £32/200ml  >> £9.60
  10. Antipodes Organic Grapeseed Butter Cleanser, £24.99/75g  >> £10.00
  11. Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm, £36/100ml  >> £10.80
  12. Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £39.50/105g  >> £11.29
  13. Balmology Neroli & Sweet Almond Cleansing Balm, £21/50g  >> £12.60
  14. Diptyque Nourishing Cleansing Balm, £44/100g  >> £13.20
  15. Charlotte Tilbury Multi-Miracle Glow Cleanser, Mask & Balm; £45/100ml >> £13.50
  16. Georgia Louise Cleanse and Heal Duo Balm, £46/100ml  >> £13.80
  17. De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm, £49/100ml  >> £14.70
  18. The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser, £39.95/75ml  >> £15.98
  19. Spiezia Organics Facial Cleanser, £26.95/50ml  >> £16.17
  20. Natura Bisse Diamond White Rich Luxury Cleanse, £108/200ml >> £16.20
  21. Eve Lom Cleanser, £55/100ml  >> £16.50
  22. Suti Facial Cleansing Balm, £28/50ml  >> £16.80
  23. RMK Cleansing Balm, £29/50g  >> £17.40
  24. May Lindstrom The Honey Mud Cleansing Silk, £64/100ml  >> £19.20
  25. Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm, £37/50g >> £22.20  <Reviewed Here>
  26. Amanda Lacey Cleansing Pomade, £68/90ml  >> £22.67
  27. ESPA Nourishing Cleansing Balm, £46/60g  >> £23.00
  28. Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm, £32/40ml  >> £24.00
  29. Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm, £46/50ml  >> £27.60 <Reviewed Here>
While not the cheapest among the brands, this cleanser isn't expensive - especially for an organic product. I’d happily recommend it, just as long as you don’t intend it to remove make-up! It feels quite luxurious (especially when you accidentally leave it near a radiator and it melts a little) but doesn’t cost so much that you kinda resent using it. (See: Omorovicza. Every use breaks my poor frugal heart.)