Facial oils and I have had a long, long honeymoon. After years of oil-free, a sample size of argan oil sent me spinning off into a whirlwind romance with not much of an end in sight. I had so much swore off cream moisturizers in favor of all the goodness that is a facial oil, until this winter. A facial oil wasn’t cutting it for me. My skin would still feel dry and makeup would cling to dry patches. I had dabbled in layering cream moisturizers last winter, but never quite came to a conclusion as to how my skin felt about them. I actually initially purchased the Pai Skincare Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream last summer during a promotion (free travel-size cleanser with moisturizer purchase), but ended up passing it on to my sister because I wasn’t sure if my skin was reacting poorly to this or the cleanser. But with the onset of winter, this found its way back into my online cart at NuboNau…
My repurchase of this was a gamble during a NoMoreDirtyLooks Friday deal. I had just sampled the Studio78 Chameleon foundation from NuboNau, loved the color-changing properties, but was desperate for a way to help the finish look less dry. Tanya, the aesthetician at NuboNau, recommended the Macadamia and Rose Moisturizer as a remedy for my dry cheeks along with gentle exfoliants, but hesitant to return to cream moisturizers and afraid of over-moisturizing my skin, I went back to the Geranium & Thistle Moisturizer, which is meant for my other skin concern: blemishes.
The pictured half-empty bottle (now almost completely empty!) is a testament of how my skin has felt about this product. The cream initially feels rich upon going on, but with a nice facial massage and patting (stimulate those lymph nodes!), it dries to a more of a matte finish. When I go without this cream, I definitely feel the lack in moisture. When I do use the cream (two pumps post-oil, pre-sunscreen), I am moisturized, but not so sufficiently moisturized that I can always start putting on sunscreen and makeup right afterwards. This is fairly reasonable, since this is directed towards combination skin, and not dry skin. (To remedy this, I add a pump of Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organic’s very moisturizing Vitamin C Serum.)
The best part? No breakouts. Guess it was that cleanser after all. The ingredient list is really fantastic. As far as the moisturizer’s namesake, geranium has a has a cooling and calming effect on the skin while thistle is packed with skin-friendly omega 6 and is excellent at clearing congested skin and reducing large pores. I was pleasantly surprised to see manuka oil on the list, which is famed to be 33 times stronger than tea tree oil in killing certain strains of bacteria. Moisture comes from human-skin-friendly jojoba oil and borage oil, which plays an important role restoring the intracellular moisture barrier of adult skin as evidenced from experimental studies.
tl;dr Cream initially feels rich, but dries to matte finish. Maybe too matte for me and the winter, but no breakouts thanks to killer ingredients.
Have you tried any of Pai’s moisturizers? What are your thoughts? If not, what moisturizers have been saving you this winter?
Ingredients: aqua, carthamus tinctorius seed oil* (thistle oil), simmondsia chinensis seed oil* (jojoba oil), cetearyl alcohol (coconut-derived emulsifier), glycerin* (vegetable glycerine), borago officinalis seed oil* (borage oil), cetearyl glucoside (corn-derived emulsifier), mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin e), lavandula officinalis flower oil* (lavender oil), leptospermum scoparium leaf oil (manuka oil), pelargonium graveolens oil* (geranium oil), cymbopogon martini oil* (palmarosa oil), sodium levulinate (corn extract), sodium anisate (basil extract), glyceryl stearate citrate (from sustainable palm oil), sodium lauroyl lactylate (from coconut oil), lactic acid (derived from sugar beet)