Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A 1000 Roses: Andalou Naturals Sensitive Skin Starter Kit Review

After my irrefutable success with the Andalou Naturals Probiotic + C Renewal Cream (click!), I became slightly obsessed with the brand and wanted to try every single product; especially some of the ones from the newer 1000 Roses range aimed at sensitive, dry and more mature skin. While my skin isn't mature or particularly dry (but gets dehydrated easily), it is quite sensitive, and I absolutely love rosewater and rose oil in skincare - which is why I was excited to find a 1000 Roses Starter Kit ($19.99 for 5 pieces, $30 value, I got mine for $15.99 on Vitacost), containing five deluxe samples to try before you buy the full sizes.
I decided on the risky business of taking the whole kit with me when I traveled to Poland over the holidays; you know, if the products turned out not to suit my skin, it could have ended pretty badly. Luckily, Andalou Naturals did not disappoint, and while I liked some products in the kit more than the others, there wasn't really a dud to be found.
The kit comes with the Pearl Exfoliator, Floral Toner, Rosewater Mask, Beautiful Day Cream and Heavenly Night Cream, all in generous trial sizes that should last for about a month of daily usage (obviously, the scrub and mask would in fact last you longer). I will say that I wish this set also came with a cleanser - I would have preferred a cleanser over the exfoliator for a more complete skincare routine, but I guess you can't have everything.
I was looking forward the most to trying the Rosewater Mask and the Floral Toner, both meant to hydrate, soothe and revitalize dry sensitive skin. Both products contain aloe vera juice, rosewater (true rose hydrosol, not rose-scented purified water), hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and rose oil. Both matched my pretty high expectations: they smell heavenly of tart fresh roses, feel cooling and soothing on the skin and absorb nicely, making my face feel soft, refreshed and hydrated.

The Rosewater Mask has a creamy gel consistency but looks clear on the skin (so you could use it in a more public setting without scaring small children), feels quite light on and mostly sinks in, which makes it my favorite hydrating mask I've tried so far (better than Origins Drink Up Overnight and Avene Soothing Moisture Mask - I've yet to test it against Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell mask). I will say that if you have serious dry patches or incredibly parched skin, it won't miraculously get rid of those in one go, but it should help, and for my combination skin, the lighter consistency is pretty ideal. I'll most likely repurchase once my sample runs out.

The Pearl Exfoliator was my least favorite product in the whole kit, but even so it's not a bad product per se. It's a clear gel with quite sparse, large exfoliatng beads that mosty dissolve when you rub the product on your skin. Not the most effective scrub I've ever tried (I do prefer the Andalou Naturals Lemon Sugar Scrub, but it's more intense and a bit more drying than the Pearl Exfoliator), but it gets one plus for not containing polluting plastic microbeads, and another plus for being very gentle on sensitive skin - no redness in sight!
Lastly, we have day and night moisturizers. Both have the same delightful rose scent and a pretty baby pink color to them, but the formula and consistency differs quite a bit. The Beautiful Day Cream has a light gel consistency reminiscent of my favorite Renewal Cream that absorbs very quickly into the skin and wears very nicely under make-up. I was actually surprised at how lightweight it was and thought it may not be enough for the freezing Polish winter (especially that I hated the serum I took with me and so had to go without), but I didn't develop any flakes or dry patches, so I guess it's a bit more nourishing than the consistency would suggest.

The Heavenly Night Cream definitely feels heavier and thicker than the day version. It contains a more substantial, moisturizing sunflower oil and shea butter versus olive squalane in the Day Cream (both moisturizers also contain rosehip and pomegranate oils), as well as MAP (Vitamin C), panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) and tocopherol (Vitamin E). Even though the Night Cream formula felt more moisturizing (as opposed to the hydrating feel of the Day Cream), it still absorbed easily, even on top of a facial oil. I actually thought it suited my skin very nicely, and it's probably not entirely due to this night moisturizer, but my skin feels the most balanced and even it's been in months. I realize some say shea butter may clog pores and cause breakouts in acne-prone skin types, but I haven't noticed it causing any problems on my skin.
All in all, I'm very happy with this 1000 Roses Starter Kit, and it only further cemented my love for Andalou Naturals. I'm not quite sure if the Beautiful Day Cream eclipsed the Probiotic + C Renewal Cream I've been using, but if I was feeling bored with the latter, I would definitely feel happy with the 1000 Roses daytime moisturizer as a replacement. I will also most likely repurchase both the Rosewater Mask and Floral Toner once I run out of my current line-up, and I'm considering the Heavenly Night Cream - although knowing myself, I'd probably want to try another Andalou moisturizer instead, you know, just for science.

Do you ever bring a premade skincare kit with you when traveling? What has been your favorite skincare product discovery of the past couple months?


  1. I've never tried anything from them before, but PBunnieP sings their praises all the time!

    1. I know, she really likes the Rosewater Mask too! <3

  2. I love that you can buy a mini set like this, makes so much sense for a company to entice customers in this way. The mask sounds really nice, I rely on my Origins overnight mask to work its magic but this could be a nice light change from that!

  3. Sounds like a pretty nice kit! I'm saving up samples, travel sizes and kits like this for when I'm traveling again :-)

  4. This is somethinh worth checking out. Good thing that it has small packages like these so you don't have to buy big ones that go to waste if you do not like it. Will check on this....

  5. I save all my samples for travelling. Which is kind of a high-risk strategy when going to Iceland in December. But it worked out! I especially liked the Iope Moistgen essence and emulsion minis I brought, the rest was Clinique serum and moisturizer and many sachets of different cleansers. And my face did not fall off! I hear Polish winters are almost as bad, so glad you had good luck too x

  6. I just received my mini set yesterday! LOVED the mask and the night cream. Boo-Hoo'd at the lack of a cleanser this morning, but just used the toner this morning, followed by the day cream. Man. It's been 7 hours since I put this on and I still feel incredibly clean and hydrated. Moreso than my expensive European brand name moisturizers! Huzzah for saving money and finding an all natural set that actually feels incredible and works well! (well, so far!) I've invested in the foam cleanser, and that will arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to it! Thank you for this review!!