Friday, January 16, 2015

InstaNatural Review Round-Up

Since I have started doing reviews for companies in exchange for their products, I have been blown away with how amazing working with InstaNatural is.  I had never heard of this company before, but I am so glad that I have been introduced to them now.  Their products are all 100% natural and I can feel confident trying them out on my skin.  I have so many products to review today from them, I haven't even counted - let's just get started..

Vitamin C Anti-Aging Facial Toner

After trying the last facial toner I reviewed, I have been determined to find one that I can actually handle the smell of.  This toner smells fantastic in my opinion; very citrus/orange-y.  It also comes in a convenient spray bottle, which is a must for me when it comes to toners.  A few moments after spraying it on, I can already feel my skin tightening - it definitely works as described!  My only complaint is that it leaves my skin feeling more greasy than I would expect from a toner.  I could see this more being used as a make-up removing toner that I would wipe off immediately vs a toner veil, more like what I've been looking for.  Sadly, this didn't fulfill the role of my holy grail toner. 

Hyaluronic Acid Serum

To start this off: In case you didn't read my last review on Hyaluronic Acid, a little scary fact, is that most Hyaluronic Acid found in medicines is derived from the combs of roosters (yuck!), but InstaNatural only uses vegan Hyaluronic Acid.  Phew!Much like other Hyaluronic Acid Serums I've used in the past, I loved the little glass bottle with dropper, which made it so simple to apply the product onto my face.  My skin just soaked this stuff up - I am not sure if that's normal, or if I am that much in need of hydration, but I barely got the chance to rub it in before it all was absorbed!  It definitely gave my skin a fresh and dewy appearance, without making it look greasy at all.  I felt like my skin retained moisture throughout the rest of the day, which isn't always the case with my moisturizers in the wintertime.  In the end, if you are looking for Hyaluronic Acid Serum, definitely give this stuff a try!

Premium Enrichment Cellulite Cream

I've tried other cellulite creams in the past, and this one was much thicker than any other that I've tried - so thick, in fact, that the pump mechanism on the bottle would often get stuck down and I would have to wait awhile before it would come back up and I could get another pump out.  Speaking of the pump, I loved having my cream in a pump!  In the past, all of the cellulite creams I've used in the past came in a jar where you had to dip your fingers in - and I always felt like I was leaving behind microscopic traces of bacteria that were then growing and festering until the next time I used it.  With the pump, you only get exactly how much you need, and you don't need to worry about the possibility of contaminating the rest of the product! (Is this even a legit possibility or am I being crazy?)

Back to the product.. the smell was hard to describe, but not unpleasant.  My skin immediately felt more hydrated after rubbing it in, and it did rub in surprisingly easy for how thick it was.  Now, I did take before and after pictures - this is with 3 weeks of using it once a day (normally after my shower).

Before & After using InstaNatural's Cellulite Cream
I'm going to be honest... apart from my bruise healing from the first photo, I feel my "After" picture actually looks worse!  Maybe I was just holding my leg at an awkward angle, but I take at least 20 or so angles to be able to line up the Befores & Afters - and all of my "Afters" just looked terrible.  I am not going to blame this on the product, though - it most likely has to do with my diet or my current exercise routine or something.  In the end, I do like the way that this product makes my skin feel - however, I really cannot back up any of it's cellulite reducing claims from my experience.

Argan Oil Hair Treatment & Elixir

Ever since donating my hair over 3 years ago, it just doesn't seem to want to grow back.  I take Hair, Skin, & Nails vitamins, use heat protectant when straightening, and always seem to be left with a crazy amount of dead ends when it comes time to see my stylist, leaving her with no choice but to cut off pretty much the entire length that had grown out since the last visit.

I decided to start searching for a good hair treatment that leaves my hair feeling conditioned and protected, without the unnecessary greasy feeling.   This was a very oily, liquid product and was somewhat difficult to work with.  At first I tried applying it just to my fingertips to work through my hair, but it immediately just slid right off and onto the floor.  The scent was pretty neutral - nothing special, but not bad.

The directions on this product inform you apply at "any time" for a 10-minute, 2-hour, or overnight hair repair treatment.  It claims you can also use this stuff as a styling aid.  After reading the directions, I was a little disappointed, because even though it doesn't seem like much - I really don't have even 10 minutes to sit around waiting for this stuff to work before I hop in the shower.  Instead, I applied it to the lower half of my hair and hopped into the shower, working on washing my body and shaving my legs before shampooing it out.  (Tip:  I learned from my stylist that you should never apply hair oil treatments within a few inches of your roots - unless you have a really dry scalp, your natural oils do an awesome job at keeping the hair up there hydrated.  By adding more oils, that's how you get the greasy hair appearance after using a treatment.)

My hair definitely felt hydrated after shampooing - but even after two shampoos, I felt as if there was just too much greasiness left in my hair, weighing it down.  I didn't even attempt to try it as a styling treatment, because I can just imagine what it would leave my hair looking like if I didn't at least try to wash it out afterwards.

Argan Oil Hair Mask

Moving on from the last review straight into this one.. I loved how this product is able to be used as a daily conditioner!  That's right - no extra time needed to set aside to give yourself a hair treatment, just replace your current conditioner!  I love, love, love the smell of this stuff!  It's so yummy - my daughter tells me my head smells like chocolate when I get out of the shower.  Even better, when I go to straighten my hair later on, it re-activates the scent again!

I immediately notice a difference after using this product in the softness of my hair, but there is no greasiness left behind - definitely what I was looking for in a hair treatment!  I love the flexibility of being able to use this every day as a conditioner, or 1-2 times a week as a hair mask, depending on my needs.  I've been using this about 2-3x a week for the past 3 weeks and there's still over 3/4 of the jar left - you get tons!  My only complaint is that it is in a jar, and like I discussed in a previous review, I feel like I could be contaminating the product in the jar by dipping my hand into it.  I would much rather have this in a bottle that I could pump or squirt out.  Regardless, that tiny observation does not stop me from LOVING this product!  I highly recommend each and every one of you to try it!

Dead Sea Mud Mask Detoxifier & Purifier

I often go on little detoxifying kicks, so when InstaNatural offered to send me their Dead Sea Mud Mask Detoxifier & Purifier in exchange for my honest and unbiased review, I was all for it!  I ended up using this, not just as a facial mask, but as an upper body detoxifying mask while I was taking a bath.  Since this is actually from the Dead Sea which is loaded with salts, you only should leave this product on for 10-15 minutes, and only use it once a week, or it could dry out your skin too much!

The product itself is quite goopy and dark - however, upon application, I noticed that it really doesn't coat my skin quite as well as other mud masks that I've used in the past - for example:

Another brand of Dead Sea Mud Mask on the Left - InstaNatural's on the Right

It still wasn't difficult to see when the mask dried - like in this photo, you can see my face had already started drying, while the mud on my upper body was wet.  Once the mud was applied, I could feel a tingling, cool sensation as it dried - and I like to imagine that was all of the toxins slowly being sucked out of my body.  Who knows if it really is, but thinking that is what counts - right? ;)

I have used this product multiple times since receiving it, and I love having it on hand for when I want a more spa-like experience at bath time.  It leaves me feeling refreshed!

Emu Oil Moisturizer

Let's be honest... I was kind of creeped out when InstaNatural offered to send me their Emu Oil in exchange for my honest and unbiased review... and I still am quite creeped out by this product.  I don't think I even want to know how it's derived.

It's a very oily product, and the first time I used it, I went straight for my face.  Eek - that was a bad decision, as it is definitely was too oily for my skin.  Afterwards, I noticed that they recommend you use it on your nails, so I started using this as a cuticle oil when I do my nails, and I enjoy it much more!  One squirt is enough to fully moisturize all 10 nail beds... and fingers.. and my hands.  A little goes a really, really long way!  I can't imagine I would ever run out of this product.  I personally won't even attempt to try it on my hair, as they suggest - as I know already it's going to just leave it looking greasy and weighted down.  If you're looking for an addition to your manicure routine, however - give this stuff a shot!

Stretch Mark & Scar Cream

As I've mentioned before, my two children have left me quite the collection of "tiger stripes".  Now, some of my stretch marks are over 8 years old - which means nothing short of cosmetic surgery is going to get rid of them, but I still figured this product couldn't hurt!

I was surprised at how big the bottle that this came in is - much bigger than it appears in the photo!  I also (of course) loved that it was a pump and not a jar that I had to stick my hand into.  The product itself is just a basic, white, non-greasy cream that absorbs into your skin quite effortlessly.  There's not much scent to be noticed, either.  Onto the Before & Afters!
Top: Before, Bottom: After

I definitely felt that this cream did an excellent job at hydrating my skin, leaving it feeling nourished.  The before and after photos of my stretch marks, however, really don't show too much (if any) improvement.  I am sure if I had used this 8 years ago, I probably would have had different results!  Thankfully, I am comfortable with my 'love marks' from my kids and have accepted that they will probably be there for the rest of my life ;)

Vitamin C Moisturizer

Ever since handing off my favorite moisturizer to my mom, I've been looking to find another one that can take it's place.  I was a little hesitant to try this moisturizer, as I know Vitamin C products that I've used in the past have left my skin feeling oily - and this was no exception.  It's definitely a moisturizer that I will only be using at night.  I also am a little concerned because it occasionally burns my skin when I apply it - I am not sure if that's normal?  In all, it does a great job at moisturizing - just maybe a little too moisturizing if you want to wear it under your makeup :)

100% Natural Seaweed Powder

I've been kind of dreading this review.. but let's start out with the positives!  I love how many options you have when using this product.  There are all kinds of recipes on the back of the container (which is HUGE, by the way!), depending on what you're looking for, plus they encourage you to experiment and try your own!  I feel I do need to point this out - this product is not for consumption.  It is strictly to use ON your skin!

After reading the various recipes and realizing that pretty much every one uses olive oil, and understanding that we don't have olive oil in my house, I went for the next best - if not better thing - coconut oil!  I already use coconut oil on my hair, skin, and teeth - so I thought making a detoxifying scrub out of it sounded lovely!  I mixed 1/4 cup coconut oil with some of the seaweed powder and some peppermint oil infused salt to help with the exfoliation.  Immediately upon opening the container I was shocked with how disgustingly fishy this stuff smells - but I figured I could mask out the fishy-ness with the yummy coconut oil and peppermint oil scents.

Peppermint Infused Coconut & Seaweed Scrub!
I scrubbed this concoction all over my midsection and legs, as it was quite similar to the cellulite scrub they recommended.  A little goes a long, long way - in the photo above, that's actually after I had used the scrub all over!  So, at this point the fishy smell was really starting to bother me.  (Correction, it no longer was a fishy smell - it smelled like a Hawaiian Fish Mouthwash.)  I hopped into the shower to rinse it all off.  It was right here where I made a mistake and did not securely tighten the lid onto the container before getting into the shower, as the fishy smell attracted my cats into the bathroom as I was rinsing off and.. 

.. fishy powder everywhere.  Surprisingly, I was able to flip the container over and really didn't lose much product at all.  I decided the easiest way to clean up the remaining mess on the floor was to vacuum it up - right?  No.. wrong, wrong, horribly wrong.  The inside of my vacuum became coated with this green, fishy powder - it was everywhere!  In the filters,  in the hoses, coating the bag-less cup thing that you dump.  EVERYWHERE.

I like to think I am a smart person, but there's a good chance that I am not.   Because if all of this wasn't enough, I decided the best next action would be to vacuum my entire house, and hopefully the little dust and dirt particles that I pick up will clean the powder off from inside of the vacuum.  Instead, my entire house was left smelling like the inside of a dirty fishbowl.  For days after this happening, all I could smell was fish.  Even my kids told me how disgusting the house smelled.

I washed my entire vacuum out with vinegar and water until none of the fishy powder remained, sprayed air fresheners everywhere, and used fragrance plug ins in every room.  The smell is finally gone - and so is this Seaweed Powder.  I happened to have a friend come over who fell in love with the fishy smell of my house and I made sure the product left with her.  It's in a much more loving home now, where it truly can be appreciated.

Moroccan Rose Water Toner

I really enjoy the smell of this product - it is truly the smell of sticking your nose inside of a rose.  I often read historical fiction books where queens would bathe in rose water, so secretly I wanted to recreate that in my own bathtub.

More importantly, however, is I still need to find a toner that I like!  This stuff is a fantastic toner.  It leaves my skin feeling clean, hydrated and refreshed.  Sadly, my issue with this product is that it comes in a little glass bottle.  I desperately need a toner that I can just spray on and go.  I definitely will be going out and buying a little spray bottle to transfer this stuff to, because apart from that, it rocks!

Wow.. was that enough reviews for you?!  Hopefully at least one of these will help you make an informed decision the next time you are looking to buy some beauty products!

The best thing about InstaNatural?  Their guarantee: InstaNatural is proud to back their products with a 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee Policy. If you are not completely happy with your purchase, just contact them for a refund - no questions asked. They are confident you will enjoy results - or get your money back.

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