InstaNatural Hyaluronic Acid Serum

InstaNatural is a US company based in Florida that has a variety of skincare and hair products.  They say that their focus is on

premium organic and natural ingredients in their formulations without the use of harmful alcohols, parabens or sulfates…results-driven products backed by a lifetime satisfaction guarantee

At the moment their products are only available online, and are popular buys on Amazon.  InstaNatural has sent me a TON of stuff to check out, and the first products I’m going to review are the Hyaluronic Acid Serum, the Pore Tightening Vitamin C Toner, and the Youth Express Eye Gel.

If you want to read my reviews on more of InstaNatural’s products, follow these links: part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

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HYALURONIC ACID SERUM

Hyaluronic acid is an effective ingredient for all skin types, and works to draw in moisture to keep your skin hydrated.  It is the powerhouse ingredient in one of my Holy Grails, the Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion (or, the Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion), and is especially popular in Asian skincare products.  InstaNatural’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum claims to provide hydration to soothe dry and flaky skin and tackle signs of aging by increasing firmness and strength of skin.  It does not contain alcohol or parabens, and is enriched with vitamin C, green tea and aloe for a boost in antioxidants.  Looking at the ingredients, hyaluronic acid comes 4th, which is great.  Aloe is 3rd, but green tea is 9th, and vitamin C is 11th (E is 12th).  Being that low on the list means you shouldn’t really expect any benefits from the vitamin C.  The high aloe content gives this serum a gel texture, which feels nice but makes me wish the product came in a pump.  Used on its own, this Hyaluronic Acid Serum doesn’t feel moisturizing, but when followed by a moisturizer, it noticeably enhances absorption and hydration.   At $16.95 for 2 oz/60 ml on Amazon InstaNatural’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum is good value.  I wouldn’t ditch my Hada Labo Lotion for it, but for those in the US, this is much more accessible, and it is a better option than some more expensive hyaluronic products.

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PORE TIGHTENING VITAMIN C TONER

This toner is fine – just not outstanding.  I can’t decide if the scent is a nice aromatherapy kind of citrus, or a bathroom cleanser one.  Because it is in a spray bottle, I like this more as a refresher.

YOUTH EXPRESS EYE GEL

The eye gel has a really nice texture, and is refreshing on application.  Unlike some other gel formulas, this doesn’t leave a film.  This would be great for the summer, or for anyone with puffy eyes in the AM for a cooling effect.

I have lots more reviews on InstaNatural products coming up, so stay tuned!

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Unboxing From Jeju Special Memebox #46

Jeju sounds like an amazing vacation escape, especially during the dreary winter – but if I can’t go there, this Memebox is the next best thing! Jeju themed spa day at home, woohoo!

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SKINDECO VOLCANIC PORE CLAY SPARKLING HEATING MASK

Product Description: Melt away all oil, dirt, and sebum and tighten up enlarged pores with the Volcanic Pore Clay Sparkling Heating Mask. The high concentrate of volcanic clay, sparkling mineral water, and plankton from Jeju Island work to deeply cleanse, soothe, and firm up the skin.

How to Use: Spread the mask evenly over clean face. Rinse off after 15 minutes.

Oh boy, this mask looks like chocolate ice cream!! But don’t let its sweet appearance deceive you, it’s potent.  You can really feel the volcanic ‘heat’ when you first apply.

THEYEON JEJU HALLABONG ADE ENERGY PEELING TONER

Product Description: The Yeon Jeju Hallabong skincare series boosts its richly moisturizing and nourishing formula blend with organic hallabong (a sweet orange representative of and cultivated only in Jeju island), kiwi, and broccoli. The Hallabong Ade Energy Peeling Toner is enriched with papaya extracts and black willow extracts which help relieve skin of excess dead skin cells, leaving skin silky smooth and rejuvenated.

How to Use: Wet a cotton pad with toner and gently wipe away from inner towards outer contours.

Mmmmmh this toner smells so yummy!  I’m not a huge fan of fruit-scented products, so this probably won’t become a regular in my routine, but it’s a really nice pick me up.

SKINCURE SANDAWHA NATURAL MILD CLEANSING OIL

Product Description: Gently yet effectively cleanse away all dirt, oil, makeup residues, and skin impurities with a cleansing oil infused with 100% Jeju camellia oil. It’s extremely gentle and leaves skin highly moist and supple.

How to Use: Pump out 2-3 times onto dry hands adn softly massage over face. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

I love me some cleansing oil, though this 30mL bottle is strangely tiny for a full size product.

SECRET  NATURE FROM JEJU SERUM

Product Description: Enriched with Jeju complex-organic broccoli, carrot, aloe, and asparagus extracts- Secret Nature From Jeju Serum delivers rich nutrition and instant moisture surge deep down into skin. It’s free of paraben, artificial coloring, benzophenon, talc, TEA, and artificial fragrance.

How to use: Apply directly on the skin and pat it in for full absorbance.

This is my favourite product of the bunch!  I love the faux wood cap and the glass bottle.  The serum feels soothing on the skin, and is here at the perfect time too, as my current serum is running low.

ETUDE HOUSE CLEAR & MOIST GREEN TEA BLENDING SLEEPING CREAM

Product Description: A one-time sleeping cream packed with abundant nutrients from green tea cultivated in the Jeju island. It’s highly effective in soothing and moisturizing skin at the end of a stressful day.

How to use: Take out spoon from its package and separate the handle part of the spoon by breaking it apart. Use it as a spatula to scoop up the pack and spread it evenly over clean face. Rinse off with lukewarm water the nest morning. Make sure to apply the pack at the very end of your skincare routine as an overnight treatment.

Super cute! I love the concept, although I haven’t gotten around to using it yet because it’s one-time only, and I’m saving it for a special occasion.

ETUDE HOUSE SOOTHING & CLEAN GREEN TEA MASK PACK

Product Description: Relive, hydrate, and brighten skin with extracts from young green tea leaves, widely acknowledged for their soothing and moisturizing effects. More than anything they’re gentle to skin and can be used by all skin types.

How to use: Unfold and spread sheet mask over face. Remove after 15-20 minutes and gently pat to fully absorb remaining essence. Use 2~3 times per week.

This green tea mask is much better than the one from The Face Shop, although I wouldn’t choose it over a My Beauty Diary mask.  If I were in the mood for a green tea mask, I’d rather put on my homemade match mask.

THEYEON JEJU CANOLA HONEY SILKY HAND CREAM

Product Description: Replenish and nourish dry, roughened hands with honey-scented Jeju Canola Honey Silky Hand Cream. It’ll make your hands silky soft and help maintain a well-balanced moisture level.

How to use: Apply directly to hands as often as needed.

I haven’t used this yet, but I like the slim tube and the shiny gold text.  It’s a great size to throw in your purse!

Unfortunately, this From Jeju box is already sold out by now, but Memebox is always adding new and exciting boxes!  Right now I have my eye on Hair Salon box, hmm…

Click here to get a discount on your very own Memebox!

Use promo code BA26AM to get $5 off any $30 purchase in November.  Plus, when you click through to the link, you automatically get $5 off $100, or $10 off $150 at checkout.

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DIY Green Tea and Tea Tree Oil Facial Toner

In my last post I wrote about Apothecary Extract’s 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil and the versatility of tea tree oil.  Today I’m sharing my favourite homemade beauty recipe using tea tree oil, a refreshing and clarifying facial toner.

This Green Tea and Tea Tree Oil toner is great for everyday use (especially in the AM!) if you are looking for a fresh, blemish free face.  Green tea brightens your complexion and reduces inflammation, while tea tree oil, a natural bacteria fighter, work together with witch hazel to cleanse and clarify. With the addition of soothing lavender, healing bergamot, and balancing jasmine, this toner is an all around winner.   If you suffer from breakouts or oily skin, or need a skin wake-me-up , this is for you!

Ingredients

  • a dark colored or opaque 8 oz/250 ml bottle
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 3 drops jasmine oil
  • 3 drops bergamot oil
  • 3 drops lavender oil
  • 1 cup green tea, cooled to room temperature

The bottle you use to store this toner must be dark colored (forest green, navy, brown) or opaque in order to preserve the integrity of the tea tree oil, which reacts to light.  Either a spray nozzle or a regular cap will do.  I re-used my empty spray bottle from Lush, which is perfect because it is black.  This was a bottle of Tea Tree Water, which I enjoyed using – but I find that this homemade recipe is even better!

First, pour the witch hazel into your clean and dry bottle.  Any kind of alcohol-free witch hazel will do; I used Thayer’s in Cucumber (yum!!).  Then, carefully add in each essential oil.  If any of your oils come in a carrier oil (for example, my jasmine absolute oil was in a jojoba base), add twice as much.  Finally, pour in the green tea until the bottle is full.  You may have some left over – drink or discard.  I used Yamamotoyama Jasmine Green Tea, though most kinds of green tea will do, as long as it doesn’t carry fine particles (such as matcha).   Shake well.  Although it is not necessary, you may store it in the refrigerator for an especially refreshing toner experience.

Enjoy on a cotton pad after cleaning, or spritzed on face any time of the day.  Soaked cotton rounds over the eyes will give you an instant perk up to eye baggies and dark circles.

If you’re curious about the properties of these ingredients, check out Organic Facts.