In the last month of the year, 2018, I explored a new skincare brand that was getting pretty popular among fellow Instagram friends. Every other day I would come across beautiful textural photos and propitious reviews. So, I did my own little research and bought few products (and Tina Sanders, the lovely founder, kindly gifted couple of products to me).
At the outset itself I must admit that I’m very impressed with the meticulous selection of ingredients included in each A.Florence product. It truly piques your interest to explore every single product from this skincare line and to quite an extent you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re not aware of A.Florence skincare, let me give you a brief background.
A. Florence is a nutrient-dense, high-performance skincare with cutting-edge formulas that blend advanced actives with organic botanicals.
Their unique skincare blends are hand-made from scratch and they do not use pre-mixed bases. To ensure freshness and ingredient potency, they hand-craft products in small batches in their London studio. As an eco-oriented company, they use recyclable glass and minimal packaging.
A. Florence is founded by Tina Sanders, whose eclectic background in pharmaceuticals, spa & beauty and nutrition has given her a genuine insight into the industry and what really works and what’s unnecessary in skin products.
So after using the products for roughly about a month, I’m here with my detailed review on each of them.
BALM-TO-MILK CLEANSER+MAKEUP REMOVER
This is by far the best cleanser I have tried after a long time. I was eager to try A.Florence skincare products in general and this one in particular.
There are some pretty interesting aspects of this cleanser.
This waterless Balm cleanser+Makeup remover is rich in negatively charged zeolite that effectively attracts and eliminates pollution from the surface of the skin. Zeolites are volcanic minerals that have many detoxifying and cleansing properties. Negatively charged natural minerals are very rare, which makes Zeolite a highly sought-after mineral.
The negative charge of Zeolite means that positive ions are attracted to it and will get trapped within the Zeolite. This is extremely useful for getting rid of any toxins that may be present on the surface of or within the skin. So when you rinse off the cleanser, it effectively draws out the toxins from within your skin.
There are some stellar ingredients included in this cleanser like, wild Babassu, Rose extract, hibiscus extracts, castor seed oil, safflower seed oil and perilla seed oil.
For a long time, I thought I could never adore any other cleanser as much as I love Mahalo The Unveil cleanser; then entered Moss skincare Beurre Céleste and it quickly attained an adjacent position to the Unveil. Both of them are versatile cleansers and brilliant multi-taskers with a gorgeous texture that are excellent for lymphatic drainage. Moreover, both of them effortlessly turn milky in contact with water, which is something I truly enjoy in cleansing balms. The indulgent experience you achieve from these two products (The Unveil & Beurre Céleste) definitely place them on a different pedestal.
So coming back to Balm-to-milk Cleanser – I’ve tried this balm cleansers on different occasions – with light makeup, heavy makeup and no makeup. And it has performed marvelously well in all situations. It completely removes heavy makeup; doesn’t sting my eyes one bit; emulsifies oh so well; and rinses clean with water, leaving my skin feeling clean, soft, and well-hydrated.
If you’re perplexed about its fragrance, that won’t disappoint you either. I find its subtle citrus fragrance quite refreshing and uplifting.
So in my opinion, this Balm-to-milk cleanser performs just as well as my favourites Mahalo The Unveil & Moss skincare Beurre Céleste. And in my opinion, due to its economically ranged price point, it might have an edge over the other best performers of its ilk.
SUPER SERUM – ANTI-POLLUTION FLUID WITH 10% VITAMIN C
Super Serum is my next favorite product from this range. Why? Because one of the few potent ingredients that have gained sudden prominence is Vitamin C. And apparently, my skin responds very well to Vitamin C enriched skincare products. So after a series of astounding and fruitful experiences with Vitamin C serums, I’m drawn toward such products.
Super Serum is a multi-correctional formula that contains chock-full of antioxidants. High-performing actives like Vitamin C (10%), Co-Q10+, Astaxanthin, Green tea, Superoxide Dismutase and potent botanicals, like Arctic Cranberry and Amazon Pequi oil offer nourishment and protection to the skin from environmental pollution and prevent collagen degradation and pigmentation. Plus a meticulous infusion of anti-inflammatory herbs – Dandelion, Liquorice, Ginkgo biloba, Lemon balm, Marshmallow, Plantain and Calendula in synergy with Hyaluronic acid, Ceramides and Cholesterol address various skin concerns like dehydration, pore congestion, and loss of vitality.
“Super serum” is actually quite a befitting moniker for this serum. Super serum contains Vitamin C ester – Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate which, unlike L-ascorbic acid, doesn’t exfoliate or irritate the skin and is suitable for even most sensitive skin types.
Traditionally, active serums are recommended for evening skincare rituals; however, Super Serum can be used both in the morning as well as in the evening. I really like that I can now include an active serum as a part of my morning ritual too.
Super serum is a hybrid between a serum and a moisturizer. It contains an impressive list of actives (like a serum) yet its texture is surprisingly light with a thicker consistency. It looks close to the Earthwise Beauty Ambrosia Del Cerrado moisturizer but is slightly dense in texture and color (deep yellow in color).
Super Serum absorbs really fast and leaves my skin adequately hydrated and nourished. I really like it as a day moisturizer for my oily and acne-prone skin. Super serum is essential oil and synthetic fragrance free. And there is very faint fragrance to it, which I couldn’t point out. But their website mentions that Pequi oil gives this serum a light tropical scent reminiscent of pineapple. So if you’re like me who doesn’t fancy any strong or artificial fragrance, you’ll be quite satisfied with its non-existent fragrance.
I’m through with the sample size (which was surprisingly fast for me!) of this serum and I definitely intend to purchase its full-size once I’m done with few other serums in my closet.
HYDRATION BOOSTER SERUM WITH VITAMIN C + NIACINAMIDE
Hydration booster is an oil-free, multi-functional gel serum, which combines high-performance actives such as Peptides, 4% Niacinamide (vitamin B3) and a low and molecular weight Hyaluronic acid and Sodium Ascorby Phosphate.
Hyaluronic acid helps in plumping and hydrating the skin; while the Sodium Ascorby Phosphate controls hormonal breakouts and inflammation. Hydration Booster also contains botanical extracts of antioxidant-rich Green tea, Liquorice, and Ginkgo that aid in toning and smoothing skin, whilst protecting it from free radicals. Plus the botanical prebiotic complex in the formula helps in promoting friendly bacteria growth, resulting in a more resilient and healthy skin. It’s definitely a true multi-tasker in all senses.
Hydration Booster serum has absolutely no fragrance and it feels quite soothing and calming to the skin. Akin to the Super Serum, Hydration Booster can be used both during the day and night. I like everything about this serum; however, the only downside for me is the stickiness I feel on the skin. I’m guessing the stickiness is due to the Hyaluronic Acid present in the formula. The stickiness doesn’t dissipate even after hours and it bothers me to such an extent that I am compelled to wash it off my face. It’s probably one of the main reasons I have reached for Super Serum on more occasions.
BLEMISH SOS – CLARIFYING FACE OIL WITH 2% SALICYLIC ACID
Blemish SOS Serum oil has been formulated with two powerful anti-bacterial ingredients – Black cumin and Andiroba oils & 2% deep-exfoliating Salicylic acid. It contains a blend of anti-inflammatory botanical extracts of organic Lemon Balm, Calendula, Ginkgo Biloba, Dandelion, Plantain and Liquorice which help in clarifying, re-balancing, and hydrating problematic skin types. Blemish SOS also contains a percent of potent Alpha-lipoic acid, which is known to slow down scar formation caused by acne.
I was actually pretty intrigued to try Blemish SOS Clarifying Oil (and also its contemporary Cleansing Oil) because it’s an ultimate anti-acne treatment and contains two of the most highly potent actives beneficial for acne skin types – Black cumin oil & Salicylic Acid.
The oil is pale yellow in color, quite runny, and smells faintly citrusy and slightly minty due to the essential oils of Fragonia, May chang, Rosewood and Rose Geranium.
Initially I was quite excited to try this face oil and I used it religiously for about a week. I didn’t have any active breakouts to test it on, but I really wanted it to help with some old acne scars on my cheeks. But then after a week the excitement fizzled out and I focused on other actives in my skincare routine.
Unfortunately, I didn’t notice any visible improvement in my acne scars. But in all fairness, the website mentions that one should expect a smoother and a clearer complexion within a fortnight. Perhaps if I had continued using it as directed, it would have helped with my acne scars.
HYDRATING GEL CLEANSER WITH HA, ALOE, MATCHA & CHLORELLA*
Hydrating Gel cleanser is a simple, super gentle, and a non-foaming cleanser. It contains some pretty amazing green ingredients like matcha green tea, and chlorella (that lend pale green color to this cleanser); and aloe, pro-vitamin B5, oat, and hyaluronic acid. Because of such nourishing ingredients, it can used as a hydrating flash mask as well as a cleanser.
Hydrating Gel Cleanser is a non-stripping gel that gently removes makeup, grime, and excess oil. It effectively cleanses without any irritation and/or drying the skin. Its texture and color reminds me so much of Earthwise Beauty Marshmallow Suds cleanser that I had used few months back.
Hydrating Gel cleanser has a gooey texture but can be easily to applied on the skin. I have used it as a morning cleanser and as a first cleanser in my evening skincare ritual to remove makeup. It does a fair job as a morning cleanser; however, it is very effective as a second step in my evening double cleansing routine.
Hydrating Gel cleanser contains no common skin irritants and allergens so it can be used by all skin types, including rosacea and breakout-prone and sensitive skin. The only flipside for me is its fragrance. There is no added fragrance in the cleanser, as the brand claims. However, there’s a subtle citrusy scent due to the grapefruit and neroli hydrolat present in the formula, which just doesn’t work for me!
BLEMISH SOS CLEANSING OIL*
Blemish SOS Cleansing Oil is specifically formulated for breakout-prone skin types. This oil is extremely soothing for inflamed skin and revitalizing for sluggish complexions. The emulsifying and clean-rinsing formula is enriched with natural 5% Papaya enzymes and 2% willow bark derived Salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the skin while helping with inflammation. It has a gentle, light fragrance derived from grapefruit oil, along with hints of jasmine and rosewood.
Using Salicylic Acid as a key ingredient in a cleansing product is such a brilliant idea in my opinion. I also love the fact that this cleansing oil slightly emulsifies and rinses clean with water. Blemish SOS Cleansing Oil definitely feels quite soothing to the skin; however, I’m not sure how effective it was in helping with active breakouts and other skin conditions. Well, that’s because there are always so many actives in different products I use in my skincare ritual that it’s difficult to attribute the merits to just one product.
Blemish SOS is an effective cleanser, which removes makeup effortlessly. Unfortunately this oil cannot be used on the eye area because of the high salicylic acid content. Frankly, I don’t mind it because I don’t really wear eye makeups often but it could be an off-putting aspect for some!
Have you tried any A.Florence skincare products? Which one is your favorite? I would love to know!
[* Indicates Gifted Products. Some of the products were gifted to me by the brand in exchange of my honest review.]