It was one hell of summer for me, and I’ve been so behind on my reviews of products brands have kindly gifted me. I have a few PR review posts in the pipeline for the coming weeks for this reason, involving other brands that sent along collections of products far too long ago. Today’s post falls in the same vein, as Little Barn Apothecary sent me five of their products back at the beginning of July and I never got around to reviewing them here on the blog! It’s ironic because of all the packages I’ve received from companies, this one has got to be one of my favorites – and I literally love each and every product they gifted me. Seeing as this post is several months late, let’s cut the chit chat here and dive straight into the details:
Charcoal + Aloe Face Cleanser
This is an incredible cleanser. Period. As you’ll see throughout all the products in this line-up, aloe leaf juice always features very prominently in the ingredients lists of this brand. This cleanser is no different, having aloe as its very first ingredient AND featured in the name. In addition, there are several oils (coconut, olive, and saponified hemp seed) in the formula to hydrate and avoid stripping your skin. The star of the show however, is the activated charcoal that is visible in the jet black color of the cleanser (and through the frosted glass bottle which I adore). As charcoal is a detoxifying agent, I like to use this when I feel my skin needs a little extra cleansing, such as when I’ve sweat a bit more than usual. I find one pump is more than enough to cover my face effectively, but every so often I’ll use two pumps to achieve a slightly thicker lather. Overall, the thin and runny gel-like cleanser doesn’t produce much of a lather or suds, even when I do use two pumps! I like when cleansers don’t foam up too much as you massage, because the more suds on your face, the drier and tighter it’ll typically feel afterwards. That being said, this cleanser does leave my face with that annoying squeaky clean feeling, which can oftentimes feel like tight, dry skin. As long as I use a hydrating toner, my skin survives just fine, so I feel like overall this is still a winning cleanser in my book. The best part of all? The scent is incredible – Australian cajeput and basil essential oil lend this a interesting earthy yet fresh and slightly minty scent that’s utterly brisk and refreshing. Definitely a great option as a gentle cleanser that both soothes with the aloe content and detoxifies with the charcoal content.
Bamboo + Fresh Mint Clearing Mist
This was a godsend on hot and humid summer days, especially the 90 degree days I experienced post-moving to Amherst. The mist is immediately cooling and incredibly refreshing, smelling ever so lightly of fresh spearmint. It’s not typically a scent I gravitate towards, but it’s combined with eucalyptus in this toner which makes it absolutely gorgeous. I love that the spray nozzle puts out a mist that is super fine – four spritzes is all it takes to cover my face and you barely feel it touch your skin. Seriously. That’s how light the mist is. Once I’ve let it dry down a bit, by skin looks and feels absolutely divine. I swear this mist shrinks my pores, or at least tightens them to the point of looking invisible! On top of that, the formula is chock full of brightening agents, so immediately after spritzing my complexion is glowing. Ingredients like bamboo extract, witch hazel, radish root ferment filtrate, and licorice root extract work to brighten, clear, and hydrate, making this a pretty potent toner overall. Of course, the whole formula is rooted in a base of aloe leaf juice, just as most of Little Barn’s products are. With the aloe base, this was a perfect mist for beach days when my skin saw just a little bit too much sun. Overall, a very versatile and refreshing face mist, and definitely worth repurchasing IMO. I’m curious to try Little Barn’s other mists as well, because I know Faith of @blondeyouadieu raves about their Rose + Aloe Balancing Mist and I need to know if it’s as good as this one!
Passion Fruit + Rose Enzymatic Exfoliant Mask
This may or may not be my favorite product in the bunch as I’m a sucker for AHA exfoliants and fruit enzymes in products. I had been hoping to receive this once I knew a PR package was headed my way, and upon seeing it in the box I actually squealed a bit. It’s an aloe and glycerin based mask so it’s texture is unparalleled – think Belif’s new Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask. It’s a cloudy/clear gel-like pudding texture that spreads so easily over the face, it’s unreal. I use my Makeup Drop to apply and it’s simply a dream! Now this mask is a strong AHA mask, so it’s recommended you leave this on between 10-15 minutes, but not longer than that. I made the mistake of leaving it on too long one day and walked away from the incident with a nasty red burn on my face that took 24 hours to fade. But barring user error like in my case, this mask is totally safe to use. Promise. It’s filled with ingredients like passion fruit, lemon, pineapple, and grapes, and smells gorgeously of passion fruit and rose oil. It works like an absolute charm within the 15 minute timeframe, tingling as soon as you apply and throughout the entire masking process. That way you know it’s working! Once you remove the mask using water and a face cloth (which you will need, the mask can be difficult to remove because of its slip) your face will be fresh and glowing. I find this leaves my skin baby smooth and radiant, and I love to incorporate it into my routine at least once a week for that reason. At $50, this is an expensive mask but definitely worth the money in my opinion. Each application of the mask requires only the slightest bit of product so although I’ve been using it for months, it stills looks like I just cracked the lid on this mask. An absolute winner, and definite repurchase.
Witch Hazel + Sage Gel Hydrator
The concept of this product is incredible to me. It’s a gel moisturizer/serum of sorts that I use when my skin is feeling congested or a little dull. It claims to be able to be used as a spot treatment as well, which I haven’t tested out as of yet. However, the ingredients would definitely lend themselves to that: there are two types of papaya extracts and pineapple extract (AHAs to break down outer dead skin cells and help heal blemishes faster) as well as willow bark extract (BHA aka salicylic acid), witch hazel (known anti-acne agent), and clary sage essential oil (antibacterial and anti-acne, supposedly). You can see how these ingredients might work well as a spot treatment. The focus is clearly on anti-acne and preventing blemishes, but in addition the gel is incredibly hydrating and with the fruit enzyme content, my face feels smoother and more healthy after a day of wearing this. The base is once again, aloe leaf juice so it’s soothing above all else, in addition to being a hydration bomb. I use about 1.5-2 pumps of this to cover my face, and must wait until it’s completely sunk in before applying a thicker moisturizer over it. Overall, the gel is lovely for daytime hydration that’s also multifunctional. I don’t know if I’d necessarily repurchase this as it’s slightly pricey, but I do think this is a product worth trying for those of you out there with oily skin types or acne-prone skin. It does its job exceptionally well and is a great multi-tasker!
Honeysuckle + Grapefruit Body Oil
This was the last product I was sent, and another star of the show if you ask me. I’m a HUGE fan of all things scented like honeysuckle and I’m always on the hunt for a better smelling honeysuckle product. This one has a mixture of Italian honeysuckle absolute with grapefruit essential oil and I am currently living for the fragrance. It’s utterly divine in it’s light, crisp floral notes. If I could have this scent as a perfume, I 100% would. That’s how much I love this! The body oil is comprised of sesame seed, almond, jojoba, and avocado oils which is a rich and nourishing blend. I like that this product is kind of in between light and heavy, in terms of body oils. Heavier ones sit on your skin a bit more and sink in over time, so I find those better for winter. Lightweight oils are good for summer when you don’t want to feel greasy. But what about medium-weight oils, where this one would fall? To give you a better idea of the consistency/heaviness of this oil, I’ll use two examples that fall around the LBA oil. The Absorb Skincare Neroli Body Oil I was using this summer is much lighter, while Farmaesthetics’ Midnight Honey Body Oil is thick and laden with honey. Personally, I think having this medium-weight oil headed into the fall will be the perfect thing in terms of hydration. While I love my other oils on the more extreme ends of the spectrum, something about this product seems like the best of both worlds to me. Definitely repurchase for me, and more than once for sure. Like I said, I’m a sucker for honeysuckle.