About Me

Monday, February 25, 2013

I Believed in Boscia

I had really high hopes when I first noticed the Boscia display tucked away in the farthest corner of my local Sephora's skincare section. The green leaf logo with simple black text and all-white packaging boded well for low-key, natural products. I was in the store in early July, when it finally starts to feel slightly hotter than the pleasant year-round temperature of 72 degrees in sunny Santa Barbara, and on the hunt for a lightweight summer moisturizer. 

A sales rep directed me to the Boscia Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF 15, and it did seem to fit all my criteria: lightweight, non-greasy, natural, with SPF. I decided to try it out, and, since I have no self-control when it comes to food and beauty products, also picked up Boscia's Willow Bark Breakout Treatment, Recharging Night Moisturizer, Clear Complexion Cleanser, and Luminizing Black Mask.

The Oil Free Moisturizer is pretty basic and true to its label, but at $36 for 1.4 oz, there are cheaper alternatives for the same quality.  I'm still using the Recharging Night Moisturizer almost every night (after my Argan Oil application of course) and the blemish treatment, even though its effectiveness has dwindled. When I first squeezed out some of the clear gel and applied it to a medium-sized pimple, I was shocked at how it had shrunk to small-sized by the morning. Unfortunately, my experience with most acne products has been high effectiveness for a few days to as long as a few weeks, followed by absolutely nothing as my skin develops an immunity. I'm cruelly tricked into thinking I've found the perfect product to cure me of the acne I've been plagued with since I was 15 until BAM! That medium-sized pimple might have just turned plus-size overnight.

Boscia claims to be "natural," and while they are preservative free, most of their products have long ingredient lists, which is something I'm really trying to move away from. I had an allergic reaction to their Clear Complexion Treatment, not an extreme one, but some pretty persistent itchiness about 15 minutes after application, and that one bad egg kind of turned me off the line. 

The truth is, I don't dislike Boscia. It's a huge plus for me that it's carried at Sephora, which has an awesome return policy so I can easily return products I've tried and am allergic to. It's also probably the most natural brand carried by the store, and I like their no-frills packaging. But, like I mentioned, I was really hoping for much more than a "meh" reaction. It had potential. Oh well, on to the next!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Repurchase

Yesterday, while I was browsing Sephora.com for things to buy with my Sephora gift card I got for Christmas from my mother, a curious thing happened. I chose Josie Maran from the drop-down list of brands, clicked on Argan Oil, and before I knew it there was a 1.7 oz bottle of Josie Maran Argan Oil for $48 in my shopping cart.

To the best of my memory, I have only repurchased one beauty product in my lifetime: Philosophy's Hope in a Jar moisturizer. I even ventured so far as to purchase the version with SPF in it right when it was released, which was a huge disappointment since the oil separated easily and overall it had a greasy consistency that was nothing like the original version. I was probably a little less than halfway through my repurchased jar of the original when I decided to look at the long list of highly chemical ingredients on the back and had a thought that maybe since I had used it for so long (almost two years) I was allergic to it and didn't even know it. At the time I was occasionally getting a small hive or two on my face during the day at random times, but had no allergic reaction when I put on the moisturizer in the morning. I admitted to myself that it was an unlikely hunch, but decided to give away the remainder of the jar to my mother anyway.

My underlying motive that I was trying to keep repressed was the opportunity to purchase a new moisturizer. To me, a facial moisturizer is the ultimate skincare purchase. You wear it every day, it can greatly impact the appearance and health of your skin, and there are SO many choices. I eagerly started exploring the beauty section at Whole Foods and visiting natural product websites, which introduced me to a plethora of beauty products I had never before explored.

Skip forward two years: I'm on line at Sephora, waiting in that maze of miniature-sized beauty candies designed specifically for impulse beauty buyers like myself. I paw a small bottle of Josie Maran Argan Oil, remember reading somewhere about this new "it" beauty product and it's miraculous benefits, and for $14, can't resist adding it to the day's beauty loot. 

I read that it was a multitasker, so I brought it with my on my wedding/honeymoon trip and used it as a body oil and hair frizz tamer. It worked well, and I showed no signs of allergy (which is always a plus), although I found the medicine dropper a little annoying to use. After I got back from my trip, I unpacked it in a drawer forgot about it.

These past few months have been some of the worst ever for my skin -- I'm talking flaky dryness, itchiness, and pimples that can't even be fully concealed with my team of Make Up Forever products. I'm not really sure what's going on -- or if it's connected to my 8-pound weight gain and sprouting gray hairs along my part. Needless to say, I've been searching for a miracle product. I remember the high praise I read about argan oil and slather some on before going to bed one night. The next morning my pimples are smaller and flakiness is reduced. I put it on again the next night and see the same results, but there's one thing that bothers me: the mini-sized bottle is now only 1/4 full.

And so it begins.