Over the past year I have gathered a variety of samples that are either used in a rush of excitement, or stowed away for later. I’ve been very happy with my skin routine lately, so I haven’t really found a reason to go through my samples to try anything new. But now, I decided to embark on the adventure of ~my sample stash~ to try out a few new products.
My stash isn’t too big, admittedly. There are some hair products, creams, serums, and sunscreens. I do enjoy samples for things like sunscreens, bb creams and moisturizers because you can assess results almost instantly. For serums it’s a little more tricky because I feel like I need multiple uses for a serum to truly show its effects. Regardless, these samples are great for finding out if a product agrees with you skin or not. It’s much better for a sample to break you than a full size product that you spent good money on.
Sunprise Mild Airy Finish SPF50+/PA+++
This sunscreen is interesting in how the texture changes drastically after application. For a physical sunscreen it is incredibly thin and light. It spreads like a super lightweight moisturizer and has a wet, dewy feel. The texture change happened about thirty minutes later; it dried down and became super matte, leaving me with a smooth primer finish that physical sunscreens tend to do. It left no white cast, and didn’t cling to the dry skin around my chin.
At the end of the day my skin was still pretty matte, and I couldn’t feel the heaviness of this sunscreen at all. However, it did leave my skin feeling dry and a little tight, which I’m assuming is because of the alcohol used to make the sunscreen light and fast drying.
Alterna Moisture Intense Oil Creme Pre-Shampoo Treatment
This is a cream mask that is used prior to shampooing, as the name suggest. I like the concept because I’ll let the mask sit in my hair as I gather my things for my shower and wash my face. This also means you can customize it a little. Want moisture but need volume? Follow up with your volumizing shampoo and conditioner! Damaged hair from lightning? Follow with protein shampoo and conditioner!
My hair is naturally dry, like my skin, so it drinks this mask up. It’s a nice conditioning treatment if your hair really needs some extra care. Will it change your hair game for the week? Eh. Will it help you hair out in an SOS moment and make it feel soft? Yes. Think of it like a hair sheet mask. Minus the sheet.
If you have thinner hair that gets weight down easily, this is not for you. It’s an oil mask, so it’s pretty heavy and can be overwhelming for those who already struggle with keeping their hair weightless.For longer hair, applying from midshaft down to ends will probably be ideal to keep your roots from getting greasy.
Bumble and Bumble Invisible oil pre shampoo mask
This product is essentially the same as Alterna’s pre shampoo mask, released in the “invisible oil” family of the Bumble brand. You use this the same way, put it into your hair and let it sit for about 10 minutes before shampooing and conditioning it out.
The differences between these two mask starts with the texture. Bumble’s mask starts out as a balm that melts down at body temperature, which you can then work through your hair.
After shampooing this out, I was kind of dissapointed. My hair was left super shiny… but it almost felt like an oil slick . It didn’t feel/look like that oil was absorbed by my hair, but rather it was sitting on my hair. I have a similar complaint about their Invisible Oil Hairdresser’s Serum, so I’m not too surprised that I felt the same way about the mask.
Too Cool For School Mellow Egg Cream
Have you seen those DIY egg masks? This is like that, minus the do it yourself aspect (which can go horribly wrong.) This cream is very interesting in texture because it’s thick but fluffy, like whipped egg whites.
I used this as a night cream because of its heaviness, and it felt like a film was set over my face. I wasn’t too upset by the feeling, because I know the egg proteins were probably responsible for this feeling. In my head, this cream was my sleeping pack/cream all in one texture. Oily skin people will HATE the texture.
This cream left me well moisturized, but I can see it being a problem for people who are prone to breakouts. It’s an incredibly heavy cream and, while the scent isn’t overpowering, it’s definitely there.
Drier skin types, like myself, would probably love this on flakey skin days from the harsh winter winds.
The Face Shop Chia Seed Sebum control moisture cream
This cream is actually a lightweight gel that claims to keep sebum at bay. The gel texture was pretty cool, helping to keep it a lightweight moisturizer. It spreads easily and feels very cooling against the face, leaving a “wet” look until it dries down after a few minutes.
My routine is already pretty moisturizing, so I used this in place of my normal heavy cream that keeps my skin protected against the winter weather. Because it was so light it definitely kept my shine down, but the dry spots of my face were kept moisturized. I was surprised! Especially considering the fact that, like most gel formulas, it contains a fair amount of alcohol.
Tea tree 90 essence LJH
I have read so much about this essence being a favorite among those who battle acne, redness and inflammation. The combination of tea tree extract and centella creates a great anti-inflammatory system that soothes distressed skin. I saved this for a day when I shaved and irritated my skin, even causing a few ingrown hairs.
This essence is very watery, as you expect from most essences. I used it at night on my irritated skin, went to bed, and woke up to check out the results. While I did seen an improvement in my skin being slightly less irritated, it wasn’t anything crazy.
Reality check for a second, there aren’t any miracle products that will make irritated skin instantly normal. I kept that in mind, but I also had such a limited amount of product due to it being a small sample, I probably didn’t get to see the full effect this essence has to offer. I’m willing to bet that if I had a few applications worth of samples, I would of been much more impressed. Serums and essence on one application don’t really reveal much 😐
The Face Shop Core Seed Purifying essence
This essence claims to brighten up the skin, which is something I’m always down for. I think it also has a little bit of skin clearing power, from what I can gather from the back of the packaging.
The sample size is quite large, so I was able to decant it and use it for about two days to get a scope of what it would do for my skin. For an essence, this was slightly milky and thicker than I expected – in pretty stark contrast to the typical watery essence everyone is familiar with. Wish I took a picture…but I forgot :[
Two things I noticed about this essence, it’s very moisturizing but also has a little bit of a hard time absorbing. My face drinks up all my other serums, but this one sats on the skin for quite some time. When I tested this, I did my normal routine and used this as my “brightening” product. Morning time revealed skin that looked healthy and bright, making me pretty happy. Results were consistent when using it the night after as well.
And that’s the end of my samples that I got to! Like I said before, I think samples are great for creams and testing out allergic reactions, but when it comes to serums I feel like there isn’t enough product to show their full potential. Out of all the things I tried, I think I would buy the Too Cool For School Egg Mellow cream and the Alterna Moisture Intense Oil Creme. One for my super dry skin, the other for my super dry hair 😀
Oh, and don’t forget to examine samples before you use them if they’ve been sitting around. I had a few that were chunky when I opened them…. I tossed them to be on the safe side.