For someone with less than ideal skin since age 12, using oils as a part of a regular skin care routine sounds counterintuitive and almost nutty. But when Kari Gran approached Travel Well to test its cleansing oil, hydrating tonic and essential serum travel set, its eco-friendly packaging and organic ingredients persuaded me to give it a go.
Kari Gran is an eco-luxe, all natural skin care solution whose facial oils, lip whips and mineral makeups are hand poured with quality natural, organic, wildharvested and non-GMO ingredients that make them paraben and toxin free. The Kari Gran travel set ($35) is a three-part skin care system that comes with a two-week supply of Essential Serum (10 ml), Lavender or Rose Hydrating Tonic (15 ml) and Cleansing Oil (15 ml). I also received a Naked Lip Whip. Here’s how karigran.com explains the cleansing and treatment process:
- Cleanse once a day at night. Simply apply 8-10 pumps of Cleansing Oil into your dry palm and liberally massage onto dry face and neck.
- Next, wring out a hot (not scalding), damp washcloth and lay over the face and until cool. Rinse and repeat.
- Gently wipe face and neck with the washcloth to remove excess oil while providing a light exfoliation.
- Next, shake tonic before use to redistribute essential oils.
- Then mist 3-4 pumps of Hydrating Tonic into the palm of your hand and add one to two pumps of Essential Serum, rub together and […] gently apply to cleansed skin.
I must admit I didn’t follow the instructions to a T. The recommended pump measurements of each product was far more than I needed, so I only used one or two at a time. (This also made the product last three and four times longer!) I also didn’t use a washcloth because they irritate my skin, so I instead applied the cleansing oil at the start of a hot shower and let the steam work in that way.
I didn’t expect to see any results from these products and, honestly, I figured I would hate cleansing with oils. But I was more than pleasantly surprised with the trial. Here’s what I thought.
Eco-Luxe Glass Containers
Kari Gran’s dark violet glass bottles provide not only beautifully-designed, eco-friendly and durable travel containers, they also protect the natural ingredients from damaging light and preserve their healthy properties. Each bottle is marked with an expiration date too, so you always know how long your products are fresh.
The cleansing oil was the best makeup remover I’ve ever used. I used white cleansing cloths to see what was left after various washes, and not a trace of foundation or blush was left on any of them.
Moisturizing and Gentle on Skin
The cleansing oil cleaned my skin without harsh cleaning agents and plastic-laden scrubs, and the essential oil and hydrating tonic combination left my skin feeling quenched and reduced the amount of dead/dry skin buildup.
Travel Size and Durability
The travel-sized 15 and 10 ml bottles and little lip whip jar were the perfect size to toss easily into a travel toiletry bag, cosmetic case or gym bag and durable enough to hold up to jostling.
Natural is always better than synthetic, and that’s especially important to what goes on and in your body. The organic oils and other non-toxic, non-GMO ingredients were a nice breath of fresh air from the artificially fragranced, colored and exfoliating products on drugstore shelves.
The Lip Whip is a plus of its own. The naked peppermint balm I tried tasted delicious, and one thin application lasted through the night, leaving my lips soft and smooth every morning.
Contrary to what you might expect, once my skin adjusted to the natural oils, it stopped producing excess of its own, so I rarely had to reapply powder throughout the day.
I’m not a shopper. I’d rather spend my money on travel than products, so a $35 price tag on a travel set that is supposed to last just two weeks eats up more of my cash than I’d like.
It’s Not a Complete Solution
For me, the price would be more worth it if the three products were all I need, but they’re not. I still need to exfoliate once a week or so and use spot treatments daily.
I’ve never been a fan of the smell of natural oils and fragrant plants like lavender, and though the set’s scents weren’t overpowering, I’d never grow to enjoy them.
The essential oils left my skin feeling, not surprisingly, oily. Even when I used half or less of the recommended application, my skin never felt truly clean, something else I’m not sure I’d ever get used to.
All in all, I loved the Kari Gran travel skin care set. Its all-natural ingredients and eco-friendly nature make it well worth it for me to trade my tired routine for a brand and products that live and breathe health and sustainability just as much as I do.