If you’ve read my Natural Nighttime Routine, then you may know that while the rest of my skincare routine is pretty precise, I have yet to stumble upon a holy grail nighttime cleanser. I like to use something gentle enough to soothe my sensitive skin but strong enough to remove any makeup and impurities left over from the day. While Christmas shopping last month, I stumbled into a Body Shop for the first time in ages and picked up two of their products for sensitive skin from the Aloe Vera Line; Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser ($14.50/200mL) and the Aloe Gentle Exfoliator ($15.00/75mL). They were buy one get one free and I figured why not test them out!
Aloe vera comes from a short stemmed bush-like plant with thick leaves. The aloe vera that is used in our skincare is found within these leaves! One may cut open one of these leaves to find a cool gel inside; our miracle ingredient, aloe! You may be familiar with aloe as a soothing balm for after a sunburn, this is because the aloe gel is extremely cooling! Aloe has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years because it has numerous beneficial properties depending how it is used! Today however, we will focus on skincare… Aloe is incredible for dry and sensitive skin! Aloe is hypoallergenic so it will not aggravate psoriasis, eczema or other dry spots and flakes! In fact, aloe removes dead skin cells while reducing inflammation and redness! Aloe vera contains hormones (axim and gibberellins) and anti-oxidants (vitamins C, E and beta-carotene) that actively firm skin, keep it hydrated and prevent breakouts. Not only that, but applied to the skin aloe can actually restore the skin’s natural pH balance and provide oxygen and moisture to under-loved skin cells!
I first started using the Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser mid-December. My skin was looking pretty good pre-holiday craziness and I had nothing to worry about other than my skin’s notorious sensitivity. I began using this cleanser at night, after removing all makeup with Garnier Clear + Nourishing Cleansing Oil. I felt that the cleanser did a great job at removing any excess makeup while also being quite gentle. The Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser is quite odourless, if anything there is a small “fresh” smell, nothing offensive or scary to those with sensitivities. I noticed after using this cleanser for about a week that my skin looked extremely bright and clear which was fantastic! I continued to use the cleanser throughout the Christmas holiday and in fact, swapped out my rougher morning cleanser for this after my skin started showing lots of wear and tear from the constant large meals, sweets and alcohol over the holidays!
After loving the Calming Facial Cleanser, I began playing around with the Aloe Gentle Exfoliator. As a rule, I tend to shy away from exfoliators that may strip my skin of what little moisture it naturally has, but decided to go ahead and try this after having so much success with the cleanser. I do not use the exfoliator nightly, I tend to use it 2-3 times a week depending on what my skin needs. I found that this Body Shop Aloe Gentle Exfoliator was exactly that, gentle. I was extremely pleased to learn that the microbeads in this exfoliator are made from jojoba oil, meaning they aren’t the damaging plastic beads that find themselves in our oceans! These microbeads are environmentally safe and fantastic at lightly scrubbing away dry and flaky skin.
After the holidays my skin reacted quite badly, I had eczema all over my eyelids and the entire eye area, on my forehead, neck, nose and cheeks. That redness remained for 3 days, but throughout the entire time, I was able to use the Calming Facial Cleanser to cool down my skin and calm the burning, itching feeling. After the redness went away, I was left with dry patches that began to peel. It was then that I turned to my Gentle Exfoliator and would calmly scrub those unsightly patches nightly. I often find products that tote themselves as being for sensitive skin, only to bring them home and have them react. I was extremely pleasantly surprised to find that these two products from The Body Shop lived up to their name!
Though these products did not react with my skin, I have found myself frustrated with the Calming Facial Cleanser as it is in by far the worst packaging possible! The Facial Cleanser is quite thick and moisturizing but is packaged in a right-side-up squeeze bottle made of extremely tough plastic. I’m about a quarter or third through the product and am already having to fight with the bottle to squeeze the product into my hands. The cleanser should have been packaged into a pump bottle or a squeeze bottle similar to that of the gentle exfoliator.
On a whole I was extremely pleased and surprised by how gentle and fantastic these products were on my skin! I wholly believe that they sped up the healing process with my temperamental skin after the holidays and continue to greatly improve the look of my skin every time that I use them! I swear I feel like my skin is glowing! The only issues that I found were the aforementioned packaging of the Calming Facial Cleanser and that I didn’t love all the chemicals in the ingredients list (though there were no parabens, which I like).
The Body Shop has a full Aloe Vera skincare line for sensitive skin and I am looking forward to trying some more of their products! I would highly recommend The Body Shop’s Aloe Foaming Facial Cleanser and Aloe Gentle Exfoliator if you have eczema, psoriasis, redness or any type of skin sensitivity!
Have you tried any of The Body Shop’s Aloe line? Is there something else from this line that you would recommend to me? Do you enjoy these reviews? Let me know!
(Note: I purchased The Body Shop Aloe Foaming Facial Cleanser and Aloe Gentle Exfoliator with my own money. I was not asked to make a review, I am not being compensated for my review. I do not work for The Body Shop in any capacity. This review is my own opinion.)