Sachet city: samples used in March 2016


I've been saving up my sachets for this holiday so I could cut down on the volume of skincare I brought with me, though I must admit that I still brought far too much and haven't used half of it. The best-laid plans!

Nevertheless I've been trialling the above bundle over the past week and have finished almost all of it, so I can report back on each product in turn with my first impressions. Nothing here is something I would rush out and buy, but it's not a bad lot either and I've been happy enough to try it.

Alcina Stress Control Creme

This apparently offers broad-band protection with SPF 15. Now SPF 15 isn't high enough in Australia I reckon so you can tell this product wasn't made for our climate. I personally prefer something with more protection, but overall this is a nice little cream and I enjoyed using it.

It's quite a thick, heavy cream that has a pleasant fruity smell. My dry skin drank it up but it did leave a slight greasy residue - even on my dry, dehydrated skin - so it won't be for everyone. I wouldn't rush out and buy it but I have enjoyed using it.

Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream

This is apparently a nourishing daily moisturising cream for dry or sensitive skin. It aims to give anti-oxidant fortification and richly nourishing hydration without a weighty after-feel.

I haven't tried much from Aesop before so I was pleased when I received this, particularly because it sounds like something my skin would like. It has a strong herbal smell (I can definitely smell the chamomile, sandalwood and rosemary listed in the ingredients) so it won't be for everyone and while I don't normally mind fragrance in my products, this smell is too overpowering for me (and I've got a blocked nose!). I also don't think it's that hydrating and it seems to sit on top of the skin, rather than sinking in. I prefer the Alcina product above.

Garnier Fructis Full & Luscious Shampoo & Conditioner

I've used these products once before and the result was the same this time around: I could tell as soon as I used them that my hair didn't like them. The shampoo seemed to strip my hair and the conditioner did nothing in terms of hydration.

After use, my hair feels dry, frizzy, stripped and in need of TLC. I've had to put heaps of oil on it to deliver some much-needed replenishment after using the sachets. I'm looking forward to swimming today and washing my hair again tonight so it feels better tomorrow. These might be nice for normal or oily hair but they're just not for me.

The Body Shop Italian Summer Fig EDT

The Body Shop says that it picks its figs at the height of summer when their aroma is the richest, to create this succulent green scent. 

This is indeed a very green scent and while I don't mind it, it's a little too heavy on the green factor for me and it's not complex and balanced enough for my personal tastes. Plus the lasting power of this fragrance isn't amazing so it's not one I would buy.

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

Dermalogica can be a bit hit and miss in my experience, and while this cleansing gel wasn't a miss, it wasn't a hit either. I've used it once before and my feelings on it were the same this time around.

It's a standard cleansing gel that foams nicely and does a reasonable job of removing makeup and grime, but you can find one of those for a song in the supermarket or chemist so I wouldn't pay extra for a cleanser like this unless it was really good. This one was fine, but it wasn't a stand-out for me so it's not one I would purchase.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I've used quite a few products like this: it's a fine, dry powder that you mix with water to make a paste, then rub over your skin before washing it off with water.

It's ok, although I've used plenty of better versions (eg Alpha-H's Gentle Daily Exfoliant) so I don't think this is worth the dough. My issue with this one is that it doesn't leave my skin looking brighter, fresher and smoother: it cleans ok but does little else. 

Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque

This is meant to be a refreshing, moisturising masque to remedy dry, stressed skin; it also enhances moisture levels for healthier, smoother skin.

I got two uses from this little sachet and while I do think it was reasonably moisturising, it wasn't amazing and it had a slightly odd, dirty scent that I didn't love. My skin did feel a touch more hydrated after use but I've tried much better products so this isn't one I would buy. Also, you need to wash it off with cleanser because water isn't enough: it leaves a greasy residue that doesn't want to be removed (even when I use a wet towel) and I didn't like the feel of the leftover product on my face so I had to scrub it off with something else.

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque

This is apparently a fast-acting masque that rescues tired or dull skin, absorbs impurities and promotes cell turnover for brighter skin.

It's indeed dark charcoal in colour and it tightened my face a little when it dried down, but not in an uncomfortable way. Once it's dry, you add some water and scrub it in to make the most of the exfoliating particles it contains. My skin did look and feel better after using this and I reckon it's the best of the Dermalogica products in here. It still didn't wow me though, and at $65 for the full size, it would need to.

Dermalogica Multi-vitamin Power Recovery Masque

This is meant to be an ultra-replenishing, nutrient-rich masque that helps rescue stressed, ageing skin. I found this to be a bit of an odd product: it smells kind of like an energy drink (eg Gatorade) and I'm wondering whether that was done on purpose so you do think that you're replenishing your skin.

I found that it stung a bit around my mouth (my skin is dry and red there at the moment) and I didn't find it to be that hydrating - I think the other Dermalogica hydrating mask above was more hydrating than this one. Like the other one, I also found this quite hard to remove and it left me with a greasy, coated face. I had to wash it off with cleanser so my tinted moisturiser wouldn't slip off. I also don't think it did much for my skin, so this one's a pass for me.

In sum

This wasn't a terrible bunch of samples but it wasn't wonderful either. The Alcina Stress Control Creme and the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque were my favourites from this bundle, although I wouldn't buy either and I've used better products that perform similar functions.

Let me know if you've tested and loved anything recently : )

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