Prior to The Lilac Box releasing a box dedicated to H2O, I had never really contemplated looking into or using the brand. The problem with trying new products is that a tube of stuff will NEVER END if you don't like it, and H2O isn't in the pharmacy-brand price range, so it's not something you can just pick out an entire range of to test out.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I have an insatiable need to try new products, so this box was beyond a necessity. It needed to be mine! And so I woke up at some horrifying hour (9 am on a Saturday) and waited. Waited...waited...waited. Actually, this is a lie. I had class. So I sat in class with my laptop on, pretending to pay attention, and loving the fact that technology has provided me with a means to transact safely online in public!
The sheer number of products we received in this box was like a lab rat's worst nightmare! I loved it! And so, I promptly stashed whatever I was using aside and dove right in! How did the products fare? Since the company is against animal testing, I was more than happy to be a candidate for human testing. I wish this was actually a thing outside drug companies!
First off, it needs to be put out there that H2O is pretty natural brand, so it's quite a good range to look into if you have sensitive skin.
Let's kick things off with the cleansing bits and bobs.
This box came with 1 cleanser from the Aqualibrium range.
[H2O's Aqualibrium Marine Cleansing Gel]
I have to say it. This smells amazing! It's a gel cleanser, but a rather gentle one so it would be suitable for all skin types.
Within the gel are suspended hydrating beads which pop rather easily when you are cleansing your skin. It's all rather lovely. As my new obsession is cleansers which can be used on the eye area safely, I dropped by the H2O counter in 1Utama and asked the lady whether this was safe for the eye area, and she told me that all the cleansers were.
Why is this so important to me? Why not? If you cleanse the rest of your face but you let products build up on your eye area, it's only natural that there's going to be some premature issues you don't want to be facing. This is especially so if you wear makeup on a daily basis. No matter how well you remove your makeup, there's always some residue that needs to be removed and most toners are too harsh for the eye area. In any event, this made me happy and I went home to test out how gentle it was on the eyes. I'm happy to report that my eyes were pleased with the outcome. No irritation whatsoever, and no drying or tightness around the area. Love it!
[Suspended Hydration Beads]
This is meant to be a foaming cleanser, but it doesn't foam too much which I like. Even though I have oily/combination skin, cleansers which foam too much feel like they are stripping all the moisture from my face, which can only lead to skin that overcompensates with oil production. Terrible. The amount of foaming this produces is perfect!
Now, on to the exfoliator, of which there 1 as well. Unlike the cleanser, this was from the Oasis range.
[H2O's Oasis Dual-Action Exfoliating Cleanser]
Don't you love the fact that the sub-categories in this brand follow the theme so well with their names? I do! I love conceptual things and this appeals to that side of me greatly!
As the name on this states, this is dual-action which means that you don't need to cleanse your skin prior to use. If you're lazy (like I frequently am), this is perfect! As I've come to realise with H2O products, they smell absolutely wonderful and this was no exception.
This has little micro-exfoliants in it which are really quite gentle, but effective on the skin. While it doesn't exfoliate as much as I like it to, it definitely does a very decent job and would be best for someone who likes to exfoliate more regularly, i.e. more than twice a week. Nevertheless, because it acts as a cleanser as well, it really cleans out your pores and impurities quite thoroughly leaving your skin feeling wonderfully fresh and nourished at the same time.
[I love how the exfoliants look like little diamonds]
While I'm sure the ingredients would be safe for the eyes, I wouldn't risk using exfoliants on the area. There are horrifying things in this world, but I haven't reached the point of blinding myself by literally scratching my eyes out as yet. Give it time. At which point I will invest in an eye patch and be even more awesome!
Your next step should be toning the skin, and the box arrived with 1 toner from their Aqualibrium range.
[H2O's Aqualibrium Marine Toner]
This is just a clear liquid that's very gentle on the skin. It's also safe for use on the eye area (or at least I had no issues doing this), so that's definitely a plus for me. With toners which aren't safe to the eye area, I use rose water as a substitute. I've mentioned this before, but the whole purpose of a toner is as a means of double cleansing. It clears away the impurities from the water you used to wash off the cleanser. Science!
Anyway, I didn't find this particularly spectacular and it's not something I would even remember using had I not checked the original picture for the products sent. A decent product, but rather forgettable.
On to more exciting things: EYE CREAM! Or an eye gel in this case. Again, there was 1 of these from the Oasis range sent to us.
[H2O's Oasis Moisture Replenishing Treatment]
This is extremely light and it absorbs unbelievably quickly into the eye area. It also tightens the skin a little, which I did notice helps vastly with the look of concealer.
Personally, it reminded me a little of Origins' GinZing Eye Cream in the tightening sensation upon application, but it's a slightly lighter formula. The instructions read that it is meant to be used day and night, but I personally feel this isn't thick enough for the night. I like to slather my undereye area in eye cream overnight just because it's like having an eye blanket. It may be psychological, but I feel like it's better looked after that way. I'm a little conflicted about this eye treatment, but I think that I much prefer the Origins product to this. It's definitely not a bad product, it's actually really decent, but personally I prefer something a little thicker and this just melted into nothingness (which is probably a good thing).
Now, it's time to delve into the world of H2O moisturisers. They sent us a total of 4, which is rather inequitable, but it definitely provides a good feel for what would work best for the skin.
Let's start with the day moisturiser from the Oasis range.
[H2O's Oasis Ultra Hydrator]
I haven't mentioned it, and the packaging is quite flamboyant about this point, but the Oasis range is oil-free. Which is perfect!
This is a product I was REALLY happy with. Not only is it oil-free, but it sank in almost instantaneously. You don't even need to rub it in. The moment you put it on your skin, it starts to soak in. Which is amazing...and fantastic! Adding to the awesomeness is the fact that it contains little hydration beads which you're meant to pop onto your skin for an extra boost of hydrating. The lack of rubbing it into your skin will definitely help with prevention of lines and wrinkles in the long run, so that's a definite positive in my book.
[Bright Blue - Perfect to wake-up to!]
As you can see from the picture below, taken not 10 seconds after, the product had started to melt from the heat of my skin and get absorbed. Love!
[Little Hydration Beads]
My only issue with this product is that the beads are a little tough to "pop". You had to work a little at it to get them to break up and absorb into the skin. Other than that, the best is yet to come. For us oily girls, this is a bloody miracle. It kept me matte for hours! Other than the tiny bit of shine which was nowhere near the usual scenario, this was truly amazing. It probably had to do with the fact that unlike most moisturisers, this absorbs quite quickly and effectively, and rather completely, into the skin, where there is a tendency for other moisturisers to leave a layer sitting on top of your skin.
Moisturiser No. 2 comes from their Waterwhite Advanced range.
[H2O's Waterwhite Advanced Brightening Hydrator Cream]
The name on this is rather self-explanatory, so I'm not going to go too into it. I'm quite happy being the skintone that I am, so I've never been a fan of whitening products. This didn't do much for me. It was certainly a nice texture and sunk into the skin well, but it wasn't spectacular by any means and unless you really feel the need to brighten your skin, I would pass on this.
[Brightening Hydrator Cream]
Next in the line-up, we have the first night cream from their Oasis range! I know you can sense my excitement from here.
[H2O's Oasis Oxygenating Rejuvenator]
The packaging states that this is meant to rejuvenate skin overnight, and that it does. It's definitely more hydrating than the day cream, but it sinks in equally as quickly. It's an absolutely lovely product. My only issue with it is that I wish it was slightly thicker. I'm sure you can see the trend of my obsession by this point. I like rich creams and potions at night. That's when the crazy comes out and needs to be tamed with pampering.
However, if you like something that's light, fuss-free and effective, this is definitely your ticket to nirvana. The only complaints I have are due to my own personal preferences.
Finally, we have a full on night cream from their Total Source range.
[H2O's Total Source Night Cream]
This line is meant for anti-aging, which is probably why I have an affinity for this cream. But first, look at it!
[Anti-Aging Night Cream]
It's so thick and luxurious. This is my kind of night cream! I love it! Despite how creamy and thick it is, it still sinks in like a dream. The lovely scent lingers for a bit, lulling you into a sense of calm and serenity. Absolutely lovely.
While it is thick (I'm trying to set a record for how many times I can use that word for description for one product), it doesn't leave a greasy finish to the skin at all. I do love this and it made me very happy!
Now, on to the body care bits and bobs. I definitely do appreciate them sending over products which weren't face related so that we got a good feel for the line, but I do wish they had picked something other than hand cream. There's far too much of that going round every beauty box. Nevertheless, it's a good hand cream.
[H2O's Spa Targeted Care Hand and Nail Cream]
It's a relief that this works as a nail treatment as well because just a hand cream would be a little depressing as this isn't the best hand cream in the world.
[Hand and Nail Cream]
It comes out of the tube as a rather dense product, but it spreads very nicely and sinks into the hands without leaving them greasy. I did notice that leaving it on overnight left the skin around my nails (always too dry due to obsessive handwashing) much softer and less pruney. So, I dare say this works, but not amazingly enough for me to go out and purchase it ever again. No more hand cream. I could start a store of my own.
Body lotion, however, is a different story altogether. This is not something I am religious about, but I wish I was because it does wonders. I have extremely dry skin everywhere below my neck, which is quite depressing. I do wish the oils would redistribute themselves in a more pleasant way. This is my body being difficult and vindictive.
[H2O's Spa Sea Salt Hydrating Body Butter]
This stuff is amazing! AMAZING! When I took this picture, I rubbed just the amount I squeezed out onto my elbows and within an hour they weren't as rough as they always are. This applies to every other place I've used them (don't get funny ideas now...we are discussing arms and legs).
I'm quite impressed with the fact that this doesn't seem like it will blend in completely, but it absolutely does. There's no residue whatsoever on your skin once you've let it sink in for a few minutes. We're talking about less than 5 minutes, which even I can live with! Love!
Overall, I'm really happy I got this box and I like that they sent a very good array of products from the different ranges over so that we get a comprehensively educated feel for the brand. I for one and a little sad I discounted them in the past, but I do think most of their products work best in ranges.
Personally, I'm most impressed with their Oasis range because it worked fantastically for my skin type. I've never encountered a product which left me as shine-free as the day moisturiser, so this is on par with a miracle to me. In the future, when I get through my hoarder's stash of skincare, I will definitely look into getting the entire Oasis range. What was even more interesting was that it seemed to regulate my skin a little because even for a few days after I discontinued use of the line, my skin wasn't as oil-field-y as it usually is. I can only assume that over time this regulation will be more long-lasting.
For reference purposes, I used the products for just under a month and I had no issues with sensitivity, redness or breakouts. I'm very curious to try their shower stuff and any masks their may have. I would also possibly purchase the body butter when I get through my present stash of the stuff.
All in all, a very successful blind date indeed and I can't wait for more of these dedicated boxes to come out!
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