Over the last few months I’ve gotten a feel for the type of skin care products I want to use.  Now I’m honing in on the brand(s) that give me exactly what I’m looking for.

I’ve seen in the wonderful world of Twitter that The Body Shop has an excellent Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion, but the closest store is rather far from me and the drive is not very convenient.  Then I saw that Ulta carries a few things by The Body Shop, one of which is the Tea Tree line.  I most recently used Neutrogena’s acne cleanser and scrub to help control oil.  If those work for me, something higher quality will too.  Yes?

Even better:  They have a 4-piece set with full-size products for $29.  I was only going to try the moisturizer, but surely it can’t hurt to try all four!

The set comes with a gel cleanser that has a liquid consistency.  More like water, less like Jell-o, but definitely a gel.

Next is a toner.  If you look at the base of the bottle, you can see a separation between the toner and a white substance.  The instructions clearly say to shake well before using.  I’ve tried to turn from my love of toner because it takes up more time, but nothing (nothing!) cleans my neck as well as toner.  I can cleanse, scrub, loofah, you name it, but with toner I see the best clean.

A small squeeze tube of clearing and mattifying lotion works day and night for moisturizer.  At first I was really disappointed with the size.  But it takes a very small amount to moisturize from forehead down through my neck and I now see why the package is so tiny.

Last but not least is a bottle of Tea Tree Oil.  I don’t break out often, but when I have a pimple I like to apply a treatment a couple times a day.  Thanks to the wonders of hormones, I’ve been breaking out with a few pimples every couple of days.  At least I can give the oil a try.

Cleanser, Toner, Lotion, Oil

First impression:  After first using a makeup wipe, I used all four of these before bed.  I have a very sensitive sense of smell and the only thing I could think while cleansing was, “This smells exactly like fresh carrots.”  I don’t mind a mild scent while using a product, it’s a lingering scent that bothers me.  This line does have a slight herbal scent that stay behind, but I no longer smell it after my makeup is applied.  After patting my face dry, I shook and applied the toner.  About 30 seconds after my face air-dried, I felt a warming sensation in my skin.  It wasn’t harsh, but I was most definitely surprised.  The lotion is lightweight so it applies easily with minimal effort.  I applied the oil last to a few spots I currently have.  There’s a plug in the top of the jar with a small tube that allows the tiniest amount of oil out.  But how it’s supposed to come out?  I have no idea.  So I cover the tube with my finger and shake the bottle upside down.  My method works, but not great.

I’m surprised at how soft and smooth my skin feels immediately after using this set.  There is no scrub included and this concerns me.  My skin looks more even and the pores on my nose more clean with a daily morning scrub.  The set is meant to clear acne and blackheads so I’d like to trust it will be effective, but I doubt this trust will last long.

***I’ll report back in two weeks (or as needed) to follow up on how my new regimen is working.  Here’s hoping the results are clean looking oil-free skin!***

Volume 2:  Five weeks later (click here)