Friday, April 15, 2011

Shea Terra Product Review

There has been a lot of discussion about Shea Terra products on the Bare Escentuals Addicts forum lately, and given that I have gotten some very good product recommendations from the forum, I decided to give them a try.

Shea Terra makes natural and organic skincare products. They have a wide selection of serum like oils (including Argan oil which is all the rage right now), cleansers, moisturizers, toners, facial mist, body oil, lotion like products, soaps and many other bath and body care items. The selection is quite large and can be a little overwhelming but they do encourage you to call or e-mail them for product recommendations. Some of the items are expensive, but less expensive than other companies who make similar products. In addition if you sign up to get e-mails from them they regularly send out a 30% off coupon (the current code is apr30). The coupon made it easy to give them a try.

In addition to the items I ordered they included two generous samples of other products (I think this is a good marketing strategy because you can’t smell any of the products and since there is such a large selection it can help to narrow things down).

I bought the Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Cleanser & Mask, Tamanu Oil, and Honeybush Peach Shea Body Nectar Spray Oil. I also received a sample of the African Baobab Oil and the Cape Chamomile Distillate Water.

Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Cleanser: This cleanser is supposed to help acne prone skin and it is supposed to gently exfoliate. I love this cleanser. It is more effective than any cleaner that I have used before. It does gently exfoliate and it leaves your skin clean, soft and smooth. I also think it helps to minimize breakouts. Since I started using this cleanser I have had only a few blemishes and when I do get one it is smaller than usual and goes away more quickly. I usually put this cleanser on near the beginning of my shower and then a few minutes later I use my clarasonic and then rinse my face at the end of the shower. This gives the cleanser time to work. One pump is enough for my face and neck. This cleanser costs $18 which is pricy for a cleanser but I have been using it for a month and I’m not quite 1/3 of the way through the bottle. If you have problem skin or would just like soft smooth skin I highly recommend this product. I will buy it again.

I did use the black soap as a mask. I put it on about 5 minutes before I got in the shower and left it on through most of my shower. This was a HUGE mistake. It made my skin peel and it took a few days to recover. There is no question that this soap exfoliates. If you have sensitive skin this soap might be too strong for you.

Tamanu Oil: I decided to get this oil based on a recommendation from someone on BEA. I got it because the Tamanu oil is supposed to have healing properties, and help with wrinkles and such. I really want to keep my face care routine simple and I thought adding this would be easy. I have been using it morning and night. At first I used it alone at night and saw some very good results. I then added my Rare Minerals over it and they work perfectly together (I think it makes the RM more effective). I also have been using it in the morning with my SPF daytime moisturizer over it.

This oil is a medium thickness. I use one pump for my face and about ½ pump for my neck. The oil did not irritate my skin or make me break out (I have a sensitive neck so I was happy to see that it did not cause any problems). The oil does moisturize and heal your skin. I also think it helps to minimize pores—that was something I noticed early on. I have some red patches on my chin and these were made worse when I did the mask. But using the Tamanu oil healed them. It has made most of the redness on my face go away. It helps to heal blemishes faster (most were healed and gone in two to three days). It also healed some cuts on my finger pretty much over night. My skin overall looks better. The oil absorbs pretty quickly and even when I put it on my eyes in the morning it does not interfere with my eye shadow primer doing its job like many other products I’ve used. I have not seen a dramatic reduction in wrinkles but do think it has softened the appearance of some of my wrinkles. I think if I use this for a longer period of time it will eventually help with existing wrinkles. I have been using this product for about a month and I am about 1/3 (maybe a bit more) through the bottle. I have been using it twice a day and I have put it on other parts of my body where I have dry skin so if you only use it for your face it might last longer. The Tamanu Oil is $24 for 2 oz which is not bad for a moisturizer/serum, especially since I think it will last 2-3 months.

One thing you might not like about the Tamanu Oil is the way it smells. To me it smells like burnt wood. It has a very earthy scent. The smell is noticeable for 5-10 minutes after you apply it but it eventually fades. Now that I’ve been using it for a while it doesn’t really bother me at all. But if you are very sensitive to smells and you really don’t like “earthy” smells you will not like this very much. I think the effectiveness of the product outweighs the smell and I will definitely be buying this again.

Honeybush Peach Shea Body Nectar Spray Oil: I generally speaking like dry oil body spray. This one is good. I like the scent, it smells exactly like peach nectar. The scent actually sticks around for a while. If you like to wear perfume this might not be a good thing. But I have worn fruity perfumes with it and like the combination. The spray bottle really doesn’t give you a fine mist of oil instead it comes out in a stream. I like to spray a few pumps into my hand and apply it that way. It absorbs pretty quickly, you can get dressed within 5 minutes. It also does a good job of softening and moisturizing the skin. I’m not sure this is my new favorite or anything, but I like it and will use it up.

African Baobab Oil: The sample of this oil lasted for 4 applications. I used it in the morning before my daytime moisturizer. I really can’t comment on the long term effects or benefits of using the oil. This oil is less viscous than the Tamanu oil and so it is great for use under a daytime moisturizer. This oil also kept my skin moisturized and looking good. It does have a slight scent but it is not as strong or earthy as the Tamanu oil.

Cape Chamomile Water: I wasn’t really sure what to do with this. It is for misting your face. I decided to use it to apply my foundation wet. I put the sample in a misting bottle and just used a few spritzes with my foundation. I think it worked well but I really did not like the way it smelled. It has an earthy/grassy scent that just didn’t appeal to me. It did make me want to try some of the other mists. I think I would use them in the winter when I want to do a wet application and need more moisture.

Overall I was very pleased with the effectiveness of the products I bought from Shea Terra. I think that with the coupon most products are a good value. I was impressed enough with the products that I bought the Argan and Green Coffee Around-Eye Serum. I am really looking forward to trying that product. I will review it once I’ve used it for a substantial amount of time. I am also interested in trying the Night Nourishing serum which is a blend of oils. I think I will get that once I finish the bottle of Tamanu oil. If you love bath and body stuff, or are looking for a good skincare regimen then you should give Shea Terra a try.

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