With the winter months shortly approaching and weather getting cooler and cooler, I’ve began ditching the tank tops for puffy coats. Just as I amped up my winter wardrobe, I began switching out lightweight serums that were perfect in the hot summer for luxe creams my dry brittle winter skin needed.
I’ll admit it, I’m a creamaholic. I’ve been on a total bender lately, trying out a few new creams a week in hopes to find the perfect one to fit my sensitive, dry, but also oily blemish prone skin. Plus it’s gotta be all natural baybee. Yeahhhhhh I bet you can imagine just how hard that is. In my search recently I’ve been spending a lot of time a Target, I’m not sure if it’s because I got a gift card for my birthday or just because- cmon who doesn’t love spending countless hours at Target?!
pacifica: affordable natural skincare that´s good for the planet
One brand I’ve never really given my attention to was Pacifica beauty, but something about the perfect product arrangement that day made me give those brightly packaged creams and washes a second look. With a whole spread of moisturizers calling my name, I shoveled a handful into my shopping basket and quickly checked out without giving myself a chance to think about my actions or change my mind.
Since delving into completely natural skincare at the beginning of this year it’s been an interesting ride, figuring out which products do and don’t work. Also which ones are actual “natural” as they claim to be. Pacifica checks out on thinkdirty (my favorite all time app for rating products and their toxicity levels) with most scores ranging from a clean 0-4 as far as their skincare line goes.
In addition to being natural, it should come as no surprise that Pacifica is also vegan and cruelty free- meaning they’re humane and totally care about our furry little friends (and also the planet if we are looking at the bigger picture and getting hypothetical here). Their packaging is always brightly colored with fun little golden flower and swirl graphics, immediately lifting your spirit and appealing to the inner child in all of us. AND they’re super adorable. Good quality natural skincare can often come with a price tag, you get what you pay for, but Pacifica is challenging that and I think that’s exceptionally admirable.
3 lotions with impressive benefits
Okay, okay. Enough blabbering on, let’s take a look at the three lotions that found their way into my skincare drawer, and their claimed benefits.
+ Cactus & Kale: Oil Free Renewal Lotion: “Add needed moisture to help soothe stressed, dehydrated, and tired skin. Factors such as sun, pollution and stress can aggravate and make skin overactive and often more sensitive. Infused with a bevy of natural extracts including: cactus and kale, both rich in vitamins, and rose stem cells to maintain your skins youthful glow. This formula is designed to promote a firmer appearance. Hey pretty young thing!”
+ Coconut Probiotic: Water Rehab Cream: “Party then, rehab now. Every skin suffers hangovers due to stress, late nights, pollution, and lack of sleep. Take control of your skin with this deeply hydrating, oil-free daily cream. Vegan probiotic technology is fused with plant extracts and coconut water to promote a luminous, dewy and radiant glow. So party on, we have you covered.”
+ Kale Luxe: Oil Free Multi Cream: “ This superpower, oil free, lightweight cream hydrates and supports a healthy appearance- no matter what age. Infused with lime pearls rich in vitamins and AHAS. This luxe formula will be your daily go to. Kale, it’s your skins new BFF with benefits.”
a deeper look at the ingredients
I will admit, after reading all of the packaging and typing out the claimed benefits, I got pretty hyped up about the ingredients, and then slightly let down. For acne sufferers and those with sensitive skin perfume can be extremely irritating and actually trigger breakouts making matters worse. I was pretty disappointed when I saw the ingredients on all three bottles of lotion included perfume. I want my products to work, I honestly don’t care how they smell, and I definitely don’t want them irritating my skin! I’ve not had luck with fragrance containing products in the past so I proceeded with caution and would recommend you do the same.
The second thing that through my for a loop is that each lotion contains alcohol. Alcohol is known for doing the opposite of what you want a Moisturizer to do, it dries out the skin and can actually harm your skin barrier trigger things like cystic acne or eczema, another no go for sensitive skin Sally’s.
Lastly, though the benefits seem amazing and led me to believe the products were chock full of these beneficial vitamins and probiotics for my skin, that’s not exactly the case. When it comes to Ingredients they’re listed from MOST prevalent in a skincare product to LEAST. Meaning the % of the actual ingredient is higher towards the top and lower at the bottom. All three of these lotions started with water, and aloe leaf juice, but then went into Ingredients like denatured alcohol and triglycerides- with the kale, rose, or coconut extract being all the way towards the bottom.
If your skin isn’t sensitive or acne prone and you are a-okay with all of these ingredients on your skin I say go for it- but if it’s the opposite and you are trying to calm down a case of acne, I would definitely proceed forward with caution if using these products.
In each review I like to give every product it’s own fair rating, on a scale of 1-5 so you can see how I’m feeling about a certain product from its overall design, application, and of course (nothing’s more important) than the ingredients inside. Below I’ve rated the three lotions from my most favorite, to the least with a bit of an explanation as of why.
Cactus & Kale Oil Free Renewal Lotion 4/5: My favorite of the three lotions happened to be this one! I love how it smells faintly of rose, but not too overpowering and the texture or formula of the lotion is different compared to the other two. This formula is super hydrating but has a more lightweight feel. The top claim is weightless hydration for all skin types, I can definitely get on board with supporting that. I even found that my sensitive skin was a bit soothed after applying this lotion, so it’s a pretty big win in my books!
Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream 4/5: Smells nice, feels nice, is nice. Definitely for severely dehydrated skin, this lotion has a nice thick cream like texture but dries down without leaving an oily residue. It also has an amazing (pretty strong) coconut scent, I love coconut so I’m a huge fan but if you don’t like coconut be warned- this is not the lotion for you. I found this to be amazing at healing dry, flaky skin and calming down any little dry patches I had.
Kale Luxe Oil Free Multi Cream 2/5: Perhaps I was the hardest on this lotion because it claims to be for oily and blemish prone skin- but after a few uses I didn’t see any real benefits to support this. I also wish they didn’t add the fragrance because the smell, it’s just not right. It has a very earthy or grassy smell, sort of sour and musky and isn’t exactly something you want to be rubbing on your face. It left my skin feeling oily and I simply was not a big fan of this lotion.
are they worth it?
If you’re just delving into natural beauty and want a good starting point I’d definitely recommend checking out some Pacifica skincare and makeup products! They use (mostly) clean ingredients and have a price tag you can’t really beat. They’re vegan, cruelty free, and TBH they’ve really got their ish together when it comes down to it. However, if you suffer with blemish or acne prone skin I would first make sure your skin reacts okay to the alcohol and fragrance found within some of their skincare items, as this can be a huge unknown trigger for acne. If unsure on the safeness or effectiveness of an ingredient try typing it into google to see what you can dig up or (as I typically do) check it out on the think dirty app!
Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.