If you've hung around here for a while, you may know that I'm a bit of a face care minimalist. I don't use a ton of products and it totally works for me.
When GR8/SKN first contacted me about trying their products and writing a review, I told them the same thing..."I just don't use anything more than what I need". I was originally worried that I wouldn't be able to give a fair review since I may not be their ideal customer.
The thing is, people continuously ask me which face care products I recommend. And while soap and witch hazel work for me, I find many people want something more active in fighting blemishes and maintaining a healthy skin condition, while still being clean.
Enter GR8/SKN. :]
After researching through the EWG Skin Deep Database and being extremely knit picky with questions directly to the company, I feel pretty confident and even excited about certain GR8SKN products! AND I learned a lot, too!
Before I get into my GR8/SKN review...
You should know: there are lots of ingredients that are very safe, but not natural--like some ingredients in the popular Beautycounter products. There are also natural ingredients that are not safe.
Because I tend to lean towards the hippie side of clean, I'm usually drawn to products that meet both the "safe" and "natural" standard. And while I'm always looking to learn more, I certainly do not understand the makeup and toxicity of every natural ingredient out there (not even close).
When I encounter a company like GR8/SKN, which uses a mix of some synthetic and foreign (to me) natural ingredients, I tend to approach it with a curious caution--involving lots of research and quite a few questions.
Working with GR8/SKN has been a great opportunity for me to broaden my understanding of ingredients!
What They Sent:
I received these products while pregnant and before doing my deeper digging on them, so I told the company that I wasn't looking to add anything extra to my routine. I asked if I could offer the product trial to a good friend (our own Chef Gail) while I looked diligently into the quality and cleanliness of the ingredients. Their reply: "the more the merrier!" <3
I am NOT a scientist and cannot give you an official call on the safety of each ingredient here, but for the most part, all ingredients rated very low (that's a good thing!) on EWG's Skin Deep Guide.
The only thing that stuck out like a sore thumb to me was their use of Retinol and Retinyl Propionate (both Vitamin A products) in their "Reset" blend. Typically I recommend staying away from the Retinol family of ingredients in body care products because of their toxicity to the reproductive system.
After speaking with the company about their use of Retinol, they shed some new light on how topical Vitamin A does not enter the bloodstream. I'd love to look into this more to get a better understanding of topical vitamin A, but until I do I'm going to stick to my original recommendation to avoid the ingredient :/
Other than the Retinol and two ingredients in "Clean", rating a 3 and 4 on EWGs Skin Deep Guide--Sodium Hydroxide and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, respectively--all ingredients I looked into rated at only a one or two!
Because I very openly admit to not knowing much about other blemish fighting products on the market I can't say this for certain, but I assume that you'd be hard pressed to find a product that had the same blemish fighting power with cleaner ingredients. I'm very impressed!
Overall ingredient review:
- Clean is a great option for a natural blemish fighter or everyday cleanser (my favorite item here!)
- "The Oil" is very pure and minimal, just the way I like it! ;]
- Hydrate contains a super non-tox friendly mix of natural and synthetic ingredients
- Reset...well, Retinol isn't welcome 'round these parts, so I'd have to pass!
Product Use Review:
Here are some Q&A's with Gail about how she liked using the products!
Which products were you using before & how do they compare?
Stuff from my facialist called skin therapy. It was ok, but my skin always felt SO dry.
Which was your favorite Gr8/Skn product?
Both cleansers. Starting with oil first, I instantly felt more hydrated. Then cleaning after felt so refreshing but never dry and tight like my old cleanser. They both smelled great too!
Did you notice any changes in your skin?
The dryness went away. I felt a lot more moisturized without feeling oily or like it was clogging my pores. It also kept all my breakouts down, and my pores seem to be shrinking since I've started using it...especially on my nose where I would see a lot of black heads!
Any other comments?
The Hydration felt really lightweight under my make up, and I mixed some sun screen in it during the day for sun protection. And random, but I like the packaging!
To finding the perfect facial fit for you,