Friday 18 September 2015

Skin & Tonic | Steam clean

When Skin & Tonic came to the shelves of Content beauty boutique they created quiet a buzz. With how difficult it is to launch a skincare brand in UK, a new natural British brand is always going to be a big deal. Throw in the reputation of this particular store, cute packaging, and the fact that products are certified organic, it was bound to end up in my hands sooner or later.

Steam clean was the product I was least interested in, despite the positives that I've heard from others. I don't like mint or eucolyptus in my beauty products, with the exception of foot care and aromatherapy (have I mentioned that before?). The only reason I even have this is because of the You beauty box. So there it was a little dinky 15ml jar of Steam clean, looking at me, I could practically hear it whisper 'open me' (yeah clearly I wasn't getting enough sleep and loosing it slightly). After succumbing to temptation, the scent that greeted me when I removed the lid was no where near as strong as I imagined, also a lot sweeter than what I thought it would be. It reminds me of Wrigley's spearmint chewing gum (does it still even exist?). The texture makes me think of an ointment, it's very very soft to the touch. There is zero struggle to get this balm out of a jar.

Skin & Tonic ingredients lists are an easy read because each product has 7 things or less. I quiet like these type of products, as it makes it much easier to figure out what, if anything, you are sensitive too, and my skin in general often doesn't like products that seem to have a lot going on. Steam clean in particular has: grape seed oil, a fabulous oil that is rich in antioxidants and is easily absorbed by the skin (I feel like lately it has been a little underused in formulations); beeswax, used as an emollient and to create the balm texture; thistle oil, aka safflower, is great at clearing conjested skin; eucalyptus is antibacterial and antiseptic; spearmint has some similar properties to eucalyptus but is also considered to be anti-inflammatory. These are the 6 ingredients listed on my jar, but the formula must have changed a little because on their website the 7th ingredient listed is a non-gmo form of Vitamin E, this is to keep the oils in the formula from oxidising for a little longer.

You use this balm by massaging a small amount into your face and neck, hold a muslin cloth soaked in warm water to your face for one minute, and then wipe off. At the risk of repeating myself, I do not use muslin cloths, this is the cloth that I use if you are curious. The scent of essential oils released when the balm is used this way makes me imidiately think sauna (or should it be steam room?). It really feels like a treat after a long day. The texture of the balm is much thinner then most that I have come across, and wipes of really easily. There is no need to scrub your face off with the flannel, a few gentle wipes is more than enough. I still like using it the way I use all my balms, on my hair washing days, I put a bit of the balm on my face to protect the skin from hot water, and let the water wash it off while I'm doing my bits. The scent transforms my shower into a spa treatment room.

This is a multipurpose balm, and after a quick read of a the product description, I can see that you could use it to remove makeup (although I would strongly recommend keeping it away from your eyes, due to the essential oils), or apply a small amount to dry lips and dry skin patches. I'm going to put my hand up and say that I don't do any of that, I do however have a few of my own uses. When I'm not feeling too fabulous, this stuff is really good. I rub a tiny bit between my hands, cup them and take a dip breath, this helps clear up the sinuses a little and perk me up in general. I also rub a little on my chest, like you would with vapour rub (never was a fan of the stuff), obviously this is a beauty balm and not medicine, so essential oils in this are not going to be as powerful as a specific balm for coughs and colds (need I point out that if you are seriously unwell, go get yourself to a doctor?). In the interest of saving space when going away, I like to pick multipurpose products, and this has served me well as both my face protecting balm when I wash my hair and a foot balm. So no it's a bit too pricey to be used on my feet on daily bases, but on a weekend away it saves me bringing an extra product and a small amount goes along way, feet hold you up all day long, they deserve some serious TLC after all the hard work.

I really appreciate that it comes in two sizes, 15ml and 50ml, currently at £11 and £27 respectively. I think it's pretty useful to have around, but it's what I like to use from time to time: if my skin is getting a little conjested, when I'm away or trying to have a steam room like experience in my shower. The shelf life is very good, you get 12 months after opening, so if I had fewer products I wouldn't hesitate getting a full size. With the current skincare stash however, I'm sticking to travel size jars, because it would be a serious shame to waste it. As you need so little a time, it lasts awhile despite the small size. I honestly thought I was using it loads. I've opened it towards the end of spring, and currently I'm just over half way down the jar. Naturally it's because I use it like a treatment balm and not daily.

What do you guys think of Steam Clean? Have you tried anything from Skin and Tonic? Let me know in the comments.

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