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20 January 2011 @ 12:28 am
Preliminary Review: Shea Terra Organics, part one  
 You'll recall I discovered Shea Terra Organics during my recent hair care explorations.  (Hair, by the way, is doing fabulous!)  Intrigued by switching my skin care products to organic, all natural care, I decided to give them a try.  Especially after the success I was having putting a dab of Argan Oil on my hair, and also massaging it into my face, instead of my usual chemical-laden anti-aging cream.

Here's a list and preliminary reviews of the products I've either ordered, or received a small sample of.  (Shea Terra sends generously sized samples along with every order, or at least they did with mine.  The sample products are fantastically cute miniatures of the full sized products, with enough material for included for several applications.  Enough, certainly, for me to offer an opinion after using them.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I have no affiliation with this company, and they didn't send me any products to review.  The samples I received were a courtesy they offer to all customers who order from them, and were not sent for the purpose of being reviewed.)

1. First up, is one of their most popular products, and certainly one that you can find many other reviews on, their Rose Hips Black Soap.  Here is what their website has to say about this 100% natural cleanser:  

"Want the results of microdermabrasion without the downtime? Hundreds of years ago, descendants of the ancient Yoruban tribe of Nigeria formulated a most amazing soap still sought after for its skin beautifying effects today. It is so sought after, in fact, that many immitation "African black soaps" are being sold. This ancient ash treatment is made using locally grown ingredients such as plaintain and cocoa pod. Unlike other soaps which merely wash away oil and debris found on the surface of the skin, African black soap dissolves dead skin making it easy to remove. The results are pink, fresh, younger looking skin which is less prone to blemishes and wrinkling.
     Shea Terra Organics combines the amazing properties of black soap with anti-aging, skin loving rose hips seed oil. Rose hips seed oil is valued for its ability to decrease scarring and slow down free radical effects of aging."

My response after using the product for approximately four days?  WOW.  I have had acne prone skin for my entire life.  About ten years ago, I discovered a certain cosmetics company I won't name here, and began using one of their cleansing systems.  It cleared up my acne, and I stuck with it since.  However, I really like the idea of finding and using all natural products proven over the test of time for my skin, while helping support a company that helps to employ women and families in Africa.  So, I put aside the cosmetic company stuff, and tried this soap, with a little trepidation.  But I didn't need to worry.  This soap really works as advertised.  It leaves my skin feeling clean, soft, and smooth.  The very first day I used it, a friend of mine asked me what I was doing differently.  "Your face has a glow about it," she told me.  Not an oily sheen or anything, but a healthy sort of life that gives the skin a soft glow.  So far, no acne at all, and pores have never appeared smaller, nor my skin smoother.  Two big thumbs up from me on this stuff.  I'm even going to try to convince my husband to give it a try.

2. Second is the Rose Water Ester-C Collagen Regeneration Mist. Shea Terra says "Ester-C is scientifically proven to slowly release into skin encouraging healthy collagen synthesis. In a fragrant water of pure Moroccan roses, this hydrating, anti-aging treat will improve your inner beauty as much as your outer one."

I've only used this a couple of times so far.  One, it really does smell like roses.  Now, rose water is known as a great toner.  I find it is toning my skin very well after cleansing. However, not everyone likes the scent of roses.  If you're worried that by "scent", I mean perfume and to put it delicately, that rose fragrance that is sometimes so popular with ladies of a certain age, well, have no fear.  This truly is essential rose extracted water, meaning that while it does smell strongly of roses, it is real rose scent, not fake.  At first, it was a little overpowering for me (I think I was expecting something subtle.  I don't know why.) But the scent faded quickly (within a few minutes) as the water dried.  I think even if you're not overly fond of roses, it'll be okay so long as it's on your skin and not all over your clothing.  To be honest, toning is generally something I can take or leave in my skin care routine, but so far, I am loving how my skin is looking and feeling, so I'll keep on doing it.  I do love that anything my cleanser might have left behind will be taken care of by my toner, and this is a very delicate toner.  No harsh alcohol to dry out your skin!  

The ingredients go like this: pure Moroccan rose water, Patented Ester-C [which is a good vitamin-C], potassium sorbet - that last is in very small amount, and it is a preservative to keep the rose water fresh.  No long list of chemicals or other unidentifiable ingredients.  My old toner from a name cosmetic company?  Contained alcohol, silicone, and an ingredient that is used as a pesticide!  I was putting that on my face.  Not anymore!  Now I am putting Moroccan rose water and some vitamin C on my face.  I feel SO much better about that, I can't even tell you.

3. Third, is the Night Nourishment Nutrient Facial Serum.  (There is a face cream for day use I'm going to review, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet.  For now, I'm just using straight Argan Oil during the day, and it's working great.)  This is obviously a serum for putting over your face at night before bed.  Like most of this sort of thing, it's designed to work while you sleep, so you wake up looking years younger, right?  Well, I don't know about that, but I do looooooooove how soft my skin is when this is done.  Even after it's on at night, I can just touch my face and sigh. because it is so seriously baby soft.  It does have a kind of herbal scent.  Not unpleasant, kind of woodsy and nice.  I haven't used this long enough to give a full report on its affects.  All I can say is, it makes my skin feel super soft and glides on really easily, without being a greasy layer on your skin, despite the fact that it's made up of all these different oils.  Oils that are good for you and your skin.  I'll keep using it and report back.

4. Argan Face and Body Oil (100%).  Argan oil is the newest craze in the beauty world.  But don't fall for one of those high end salon products that have Argan oil in a mixture of chemicals and silicones.  Buy the genuine stuff, and use it pure.  It's fabulous mixed in with my hair gel before I apply it to my hair.  It's wonderful as a skin moisturizer.  My husband, who is going, shall we say delicately, a little thinner on top, has been having itchy dry scalp problems.  I've been putting this on his head for about four days now, and he can really tell a huge difference.  I can't wait for a couple of weeks to go by, and see where he's at then.  I love this stuff.  If I was only going to get the Rose Hips Black Soap and one other beauty product, it would be this stuff. It works great at everything I've used it as, and makes my skin nice and soft to boot.  Right now, I'm replacing this at night with the night serum, and during the day I'll start using a cream for my moisturizing phase instead, but the Argan oil will always be on hand for my hair, and the DH's head. :)

5. Argan and Rosemary Cleansing Oil. I was so intrigued reading about this, I had to try it.  Oil as a cleanser?  Really?  Who would EVER think that might work?  I used it tonight for the first time, just to kind of try it out.  The site says: "Overuse of soap can cause facial skin to become overly dry and dry or shiny looking. Moroccan argan oil effectively cleanses away dirt and debris while nourishing skin leaving it soft and beautifully glowing. Distilled rosemary oil, an ancient beautifying treasure, purifies and tones skin leaving it blemish free."  It also adds that you don't need to use a follow-up moisturizer, as this moisturizes as well.  I'm afraid I just didn't believe it was getting all the dirt, so I used my Rose Water toner to make sure, and then I went ahead and added the night serum, because the toner sort of wiped any oil from my skin.  We'll see.  Of all the products I've tried so far, this is my least favorite.  The rosemary scent burns my eyes when I get to close to them, and  I'm just not sure I like it in the place of a cleanser.  Only time will tell.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Perri: buffy goddessneonhummingbird on January 20th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
I've been following these posts with a lot of interest -- I have wavy hair, but it's very fine, so I have different challenges. I can't use conditioner, for instance -- it strips all the wave out and makes my hair limp. But I did switch my shampoo to Burt's Bees and after just one use, I can already see a difference (finger combing it this morning might also have made a difference). So count me as a fellow non-shampoo shampoo enthusiast; I appreciate all the information you've shared. :)

I ordered the Rose Hip Black Soap since my skin has suddenly started breaking out worse than it has in years, and my usual stuff isn't helping. :P I also got some alcohol-free witch hazel toner that I'm looking forward to trying, and some of the argan oil. Much experimenting will ensue. :)
-peartreealley on January 20th, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
I've been sad to see how many LUSH hair products have the paraben/sulfates in them. (But not all of them, thankfully--I got a big gift card for Christmas!) Still, thank you for the education on these things!

As for using oils to cleanse, they do work pretty well. I use LUSH's Ultrabland to wash my face in the morning, and it's basically rubbing peanut oil on your face and then wiping it off with a toner. I like it because it leaves my face soft and I don't have to fuss with trying to not get my hair wet or get lotion all over. (I use their Coalface when I shower in the evening.)