Today I have some more Cruelty-Free skincare to share with you. I have to admit that when I was approached and asked whether I wanted to review these two products, I wasn’t aware of Formula 10.0.6 – a truth I was actually really pleased about. It’s always great to discover new brands with a conscience, and to potentially be on the cusp of finding one you want to make part of your carefully curated system. It’s also helpful in terms of conducting a fair review to be able to embark on the process without any preconceptions or expectations.
But this is not a new brand, in fact it’s one steeped in history, 85 years of history can you believe? I didn’t know this until I started to write this review, and after a week of use, but I can completely see why it has been a US staple for so long. It’s the best it’s ever looked too, with it’s branding getting a huge overhaul in recent years, meaning it now looks bold, cool and colourful.
The first product I reviewed was the Be Berry Fresh Balancing Mud mask (£10.00). There are two leading ingredients in this one, one being Neroli – Neroli oil is an essential oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree . Its scent is sweet, honeyed and somewhat metallic with green and spicy facets (according to Wikipedia). It is one of the most widely used floral oils in perfumery. It is also a nontoxic, nonirritant, nonsensitizing, nonphototoxic substance. It blends well with any citrus oil, various floral absolutes , and most of the synthetic components available on the market. Neroli oil is a classic element in fragrance design and one of the most commonly used in the industry
The other is Bilberry, a fruit I am completely new to. I’ve heard of it, but never knowingly eaten it, or used a product containing it. Apparently acne-breakouts can be prevented by the intake of it. They are enriched with fiber, zinc, vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, which are absorbed into your skin deeply, thus making the skin healthy and nourished. It’s usually an extract of bilberry leaves and fruits that finds itself in cosmetic products like this. The bilberry extract works as a skin-conditioning property that helps to nourish the skin and increase its vitality .
Interestingly they are also an ideal remedy for an agitated scalp thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. The bilberry extract helps to enhance the micro capillary circulation as well as acting as a great moisturizer and exfoliant to the scalp. I’m assuming we can apply this to how it may behave on the face and neck too.
First up let’s talk about the smell which is so good it makes you want to squeeze out the product in to a bowl and grab a spoon. It genuinely smells exactly like my favourite fruit yoghurt. This immediately makes you feel you are doing something positive because your mind automatically links fruit to health.
You apply the mask to freshly cleansed and dried skin, put a thin layer over your face and neck, and then leave to dry for 10-15 minutes. It’s a very thick consistency, but it is very easy to spread across your skin. It doesn’t harden and crisp as much as a mud mask, so don’t be alarmed if you can still very much move your face without disturbing the appearance of your covered skin.
Here are some close-ups (sorry if they scared you) so you can see how it changes from a white to a pale lilac as it dries over the 10-15 duration. The lighter coloured blob near my eyebrow shows it’s fresh out of the bottle colour and consistency.
It may feel less satisfying a process for some because it doesn’t crack and solidify like many much-loved masks do, but I also think it feels like a less aggressive approach. It made me think that it would likely add some moisture to my skin during it’s efforts to clear it of blemishes, rather than simply dry it out.
After the the 15 minutes I run the warm tap and started to splash my face and attempt to wash the product off my face with my hands. As I said it doesn’t crack off, and combining water with the product almost returned it to its original form. It becomes a very creamy texture so clings to the skin much like a cleanser would, so I found it helpful to wipe off any leftover product with a wet muslin cloth.
Immediately afterwards I had a few slightly red patches (a the top of my forehead and on one of my cheeks) but the feel of my skin was absolutely glorious. It felt plumped and smoothed, and incredibly soft. The redness was at a level I could cover easily with my foundation and by the time I took my make up off again, those sensitive patches had completely calmed down.
The morning after using the mask I had a few fresh spots rear their annoying heads. Not hulking great big ones, but red and bumpy enough to be noticeable. You may think this is negative result, but I actually see this as a sign of a mask doing it’s job. It means it has drawn some of those oil and blemish-causing materials out of the skin, which will eventually reveal a clearer complexion. In a day or two my skin was completely free of live spots, and had a healthier and plumper appearance. I notice that alongside a number of other beneficial fruit based ingredients, it also contains coffee which has become a very popular element of skin-care in recents years – people say it has the power to perk up skin and have a tightening effect, so I wonder if that had contributed to positive changes too. I am going to continue to use this mask once or twice a week and schedule it in a way so that I can ensure my optimum skin days fall on a day where I have an event to go to or a video to film. With long term use of this product I’m hoping the post use reaction will reduce, as they’ll be less of the bad stuff to extract because I will be keeping on top of keeping it clean and looked after.
Now on to the Deep Pore Cleanser/Original Formula (£8.99). Firstly I absolutely love the packaging and overall look. The orange tonic serves as a wonderfully vivid background for the Bold text. It really appeals to my love of graphic and comic art. Not that this really matters of course, it should always be function over aesthetic, but it does look really good place on your sink, or wherever you tend to place vital parts of your daily regime.
As someone that’s a bit lazy in terms of her skin routine, I will admit that an alcohol style cleanser hasn’t been present for a number of years, the last time being when I was reviewing the Proactiv system. These days I’m so shattered I want to make my time in the bathroom prior to sleepy time as swift as possible. I use a cream to remove my eye-make up, but for everything else I’ve been relying on my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, which as you know I highly recommend.
Removing products with hard exfoliation within the liquid/cream/gel was the best thing I ever did for my acne prone skin. The gently gently approach was/is the key to success for my sensitive skin. I was interested to see how my skin would get on with this after so many years dedicated to one creamy product.
When you remove the lid you see there is a silver foil seal which needs to be peeled off first, which gives you assurance of the freshness of the product. Although it has an obvious alcohol smell, as most products of this nature would, the overwhelming aroma is lovely and one that makes me think of holidays.
Due to the process of pouring the product onto a cotton wool pad and stroking across the face, I think of this as more of a toner. As I expected, it made my face tingle gently (this will vary person to person, all skin reacts differently) and felt very refreshing and cooling during, and after use. I thought I had cleaned by face thoroughly already, so I was surprised to see the orange on the cotton pad turn to a distinct brown. It seemed to remove even more dirt and grime, and no doubt some remnants of eye make up that has been smeared across my face when I attempted to remove it with my usual make up remover. I was very impressed with how clean I felt after my first use.
After a week of use my skin is looking great by my standards. The overall texture appears to have improved, particularly on my forehead which is usually bumpy with very small under-the-skin spots. It is now so smooth it’s almost shin,y but not in a greasy way, purely because the terrain is less bumpy and the pores appear to have reduced in size. It’s like they’ve tightened up or clenched. I imagine the hero acne fighting ingredient Salicyclic Acid has had something to do with all this!
Another benefit of using this product for the last week is that make up application has been better, I believe because my skin is less oily. My foundation seems to last longer because of this meaning I’m saving myself time and effort on touch ups . There’s also less need for reapplying make up because my skin now has less blemishes to hide. I’m just hoping this continues and not just a perk of my skin enjoying it’s first flush with a new product.
As far as I can tell after a week of using, they are GREAT value you for money and seem to be very effective in rejuvenating and refreshing your skin, as well as keeping it clean and clear. I can’t wait to explore more of the range. I do want to add a moisturiser from their range into the mix though, as I think that will enhance the overall effects of these two products, and reduce the chance of the alcohol and acid contained in the cleanser drying my skin too much. I’ll make sure to let you know how I get on with that too.
Let me know if you’re familiar with the brand, if you have any favourite products in their line and if you enjoy hearing about Cruelty Free brands.
You can find these products stocked at Boots and ASOS
DISCLAIMER: With any skin reviews I urge you to use them only as a guide, because it’s all very personal to your unique skin type and sensitivity level.