Previously known as Caru Skincare Co. (which I’ve featured and raved about in past posts), Apoterra Skincare is the rebranding of the same plant and mineral based, all-natural, sustainable, organic skincare line that I fell in love with. The new vintage floral, apothecary-inspired design and product packaging are refreshing and beautiful as ever. And the products? Founder Dominique Caron has refined and enhanced her formulas for even more effective and delicious skincare products. With moisturizers, serums, toners, facial treatments, and bath/body products, Apoterra Skincare has a great product offering that reaches all areas of every skincare routine.
I’m not one to do regular posts on “empties” or monthly favorites, because usually there is no rhyme or reason to my beauty routine and I don’t necessarily encourage buying new things every month. However, as annoying as I sound, I do have an unhealthy obsession reading those types of posts on other blogs….
I thought a sporadic re-cap of products and things I’ve been testing out might be fun and also a good way to share my quick thoughts with you. So here it goes:
Mun No.1 Alknari Brightening Youth Serum (sample): This is a highly coveted luxury green beauty product I’d been wanting to try for a while but I was always hesitant to buy it due to the expensive price and small product size ($98 for 0.68 fl oz.). Let’s just say, the hype for this product is warranted. This serum made my skin feel silky smooth, moisturized, and glowing instantly. I massaged this aromatic serum on my face at night and would wake up seeing immediate results. This stuff is pure magic! I’m so impressed with the simple and powerful 100% Ecocert organic ingredients: prickly pear seed oil, argan oil, and rose essential oil. I’m coveting the last few drops of this and still trying to decide if I should eventually shell out the dough for the full size….sigh.
Osmia Organics Stracciatella Soap: I was so excited to snag this limited edition soap in the Osmia Organics’ special Earth Day Box. I’m a big fan of Osmia Organics’ organic, handmade soaps and all of their skincare products. Not only is this soap unique looking with black soap specks resembling Italian stracciatella gelato; this product combines two beloved Osmia soaps in one: the bestselling Black Clay Facial Soap and the Oh So Soap. You can use this soap to cleanse your face and your body. The Stracciatella Soap is an absolute treat for your skin and a beautiful soap to look at (see an “unwrapped” photo below). The texture is luxuriously silky lathered on the body and clarifying and gentle on the face. I enjoy using this both as a face cleanser and a regular body soap. The scent is fresh and milky but barely there and it doesn’t irritate skin. (Too bad it doesn’t smell like gelato!) Even though this soap size is a bit smaller than normal Osmia soap bars, I am still working through mine so you definitely do get a lot of soap for your money. Good news is that Osmia is still selling this limited edition soap on their website so grab them while you can! I know I will be! $14 for 4.5 oz
Pai Skincare Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream (sample): I’m still searching for an daily moisturizer that I love as much as my Pai Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream (it has a matte finish and soothes my sensitive skin). I received a sample of the other version of Pai’s day cream in a recent order from Spirit Beauty Lounge. Similar hydrating, gentle formula though a bit greasier and thicker on my skin. This formula is considered the moisturizer for hyper-sensitive skin while Geranium and Thistle is for combination skin. I still think I love the Geranium and Thistle better as it has a unique, non-oily finish, light texture, and gentle yet hydrating for my dry sensitive skin. $60 for 1.7 fl oz (See my full Pai Skincare review HERE)
Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream (sample): This is another score for Osmia Organics. I really liked this moisturizer which is described as a “cream for sensitive skin contains simple, pure, plant-sourced ingredients and tiny amounts of the most precious essential oils, to give moisture with very low potential for irritation or adverse reaction.” This cream was a perfect daily moisturizer for my dry and sensitive skin. It was soothing and not irritating plus felt light and not oily on my face. I think it really helped smooth out and calm my reactive skin and lessened any breakouts or inflammation when I used the cream alone and also with Osmia’s Active Gel Toner. I do think I will purchase the full-size of this cream in the future simply because my skin loved it so much. $60 for 1.7 fl oz
Kure Bazaar Nail Lacquer in Macaron: I’d had my eye on trying a nail polish from Kure Bazaar for a while and picked out the color Macaron during a sale at Spirit Beauty Lounge. Kure Bazaar offers a wide-range of colors, are “5-free”, and made in France. I was hoping this nail polish wouldn’t have a chemical smell like most nail polishes do and would be long-lasting and bold in pigment. This polish did smell strongly which was a letdown however, it did dry quickly. I was more disappointed in the light, streaky texture of the polish. Macaron turned out to be a very pretty, pastel pink, that I think is perfect for Spring. However, it took me about 3-4 coats of nail polish to cover my nails completely and without a top coat, the nail polish didn’t last very long. I love the color of this nail polish, but the formula had me highly disappointed. I’m still interested in trying more colors from Kure Bazaar but am looking forward to trying other nail polish brands. $16 for 0.4 oz
Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer (sample): Yes, more moisturizer samples! I’ve been wanting to try products from Tata Harper for a while. All her product sound luxurious, have gotten rave reviews, and I love that all the ingredients are grown on her organic farm in Vermont. Due to the expensive prices, I knew I needed to test the products out before committing. I liked this moisturizer a lot; it wasn’t greasy, had a light, creamy texture, didn’t irritate my skin, and kept my skin feeling soft and moisturized. But, this moisturizer just seemed pretty average to me. The smell is very herbal but light. It does dissipate after a few minutes though I didn’t really like smelling it upon applying. I definitely admire Tata Harper as a brand but I think I’ll still have to try her other products to see one I feel is worth shelling out my cash for. $100.00 for 1.7 oz
One Love Organics Gardenia Body Serum (sample): I purchased the Rose scent of this body serum a while back but never got around to writing about it. Let’s just say the Rose formula took a while for me to like. This one however, was absolute love at first spritz! Offered as an add-on to my OLO order during a No More Dirty Looks promo, the Gardenia Body Serum smells like floral heaven and is super moisturizing. The formula sinks into my skin, feels light, and provides lasting hydration. The scent is not overly powerful but lingers as a beautiful, fresh floral. I could not stop spraying this stuff on myself! Suffice to say, it was too small a sample. I’ve been waiting with anticipation to purchase the full size from One Love Organics and it is released today, Monday, June 16th. Plus, also launching on the same date, the new summer releases from OLO and they are all super intriguing (a dry shampoo, cleanser, toning mist, body serum)…NEED!! $39 for 3.8 oz
Zion Health Shampoo Vanilla Coconut (2oz, **P.R. sample): Picture a warm, sunny, exotic beach in the Tropics. Got it? That’s what I think of when I use this lovely, all-natural, clay mineral-based shampoo. The formula is light, clarifying, and the scent is addicting. My fussy hair actually responded well to this shampoo and wasn’t left feeling greasy. I was even able to wash my hair with this daily without my hair freaking out. I love that Zion Health offers nice sized and nicely priced travel sizes of the shampoo. $13.99- 13 fl oz, full size or $1.00- 2 fl oz, travel size. See my review on Zion Health’s natural clay mineral toothpaste HERE)
Hope you enjoyed this first installation of my Testing Table and I’ll have more in the future! Have you tried any of these products? What are you currently testing out?
*This post contains affiliate links. **P.R. sample provided to me for consideration and all posts are based on my honest opinions.
I stumbled upon Caru Skincare Co on Etsy and fell in love with the gorgeous packaging and drool-worthy soaps and facial kits. Founded in 2012 by herbalist, Dominique Caron, Caru Skincare Co is an organic skincare line from New York City whose all-natural, sustainable products are handcrafted and made in small batches. The handmade care and personal thought that goes into crafting every product from Caru Skincare Co reminds me why I prefer buying local, natural products whenever possible and to support brands that really do care about my personal health and well-being.
Read my interview with Dominique Caron to learn more about the story behind Caru Skincare Co and their products here. Also, just for my readers, purchase any Caru Skincare Co products through their Etsy shop at 20% off with my special code: PLEINVANITY at checkout. Code is valid until February 28th and only for purchases through the Caru Skincare Co Etsy shop.
I received a sampler from Caru Skincare Co to try that contains the 5 types of soaps from the brand’s line plus 1 gorgeous, full-sized Activated Charcoal Soap. The soaps are made from 100% natural ingredients that are organic or wildcrafted, contain no preservatives, artificial ingredients, fragrance or any other harmful ingredients. More about Caru’s ingredients here.
While the soaps themselves are gorgeous works of art, even the soap labels are beauties with their simple, vintage-inspired flare. All product labels are biodegradable and handmade from 100% post-consumer waste paper embedded with plant seeds so that you can give your waste a new life. You can plant these labels in soil and watch a non-invasive wildflower grow! (See more details here.) I admire the brand’s transparency and commitment to using simple, organic and wildcrafted ingredients and providing sustainable and beautiful product design. Full-size soaps are 4.5 oz for $9 each and travel-size soaps are 2oz for $7 each.
Here are my thoughts on the soaps I tried:
- Activated Charcoal + Dead Sea Salt Soap (Black):
This is a great face (and body) soap! It contains activated charcoal, which is super absorbent and detoxifying, and Dead Sea salt, which is jam packed with tons of beneficial minerals for your skin. We also added tea tree essential oil and neem oil, which will help keep your skin clear and blemish free. This soap is great for people with oil or aceneic skin, but is suitable for all skin types. The scent is sweet & musky with a mild citrus undertone. INGREDIENTS: Olive oil*, Coconut oil*, Reverse Osmosis water, Sustainable palm oil*, Cocoa Butter*, Beeswax*, Calendula flowers*, Chamomile flowers*, Chamomile essential oil*, Geranium essential oil*, essential oil blend* *organic
As the description mentions, this soap is really wonderful for washing your face with especially if you have breakouts and irritated or oily skin. Also lovely as a soap for the body, it’s gentle, hydrating and calms irritated skin. You can feel the activated charcoal working to detoxify and clarify skin of impurities. The soap leaves a smooth, fresh lather on the skin and reduces blemishes. The scent is unique but also subtle, you can smell a hint of sea salt combined with soothing notes of essential oils. I also can’t deny the deep, black tint of the activated charcoal which makes this soap feel especially exotic to use.
- French Green Clay Soap (Green):
French green clay is extremely absorbent and detoxifying. It is a natural clay mined in France and is often used as a facial mud mask. We make this soap with lavender and cedar essential oils which help keep your skin healthy and clear. This french green clay soap makes a great face and body soap. The scent is mild and refreshing, a blend of lavender with undertones reminiscent of a walk through a pine forest. INGREDIENTS: Olive oil*, Coconut oil*, Reverse osmosis water, Sustainable palm oil*, Cocoa butter*, French Green Clay, Lavender Essential oil*, Cedar Essential oil*, Essential oil blend* *organic
To me, this light, grassy green-colored soap is très chic. I love the scent (a lovely mix of lavender and cedar), the color (like a true, pea green) and the lather (super smooth). It was my favorite of the bunch that I savored for cleansing my face. It left my skin feeling very smooth, and hydrated. The delicious scent also lingers on the skin. This is recommended for dry or sensitive skin and it’s very gentle yet detoxifying and also helps to prevent blemishes or breakouts.
- Calendula + Chamomile Soap (Yellow):
Calendula and chamomile are two yellow flowers that are renown for their skin healing properties. We use real organic calendula and chamomile flowers as well as luxurious roman chamomile essential oil and geranium essential oil. This is a very soothing soap great for cold weather dry skin. The scent is floral and slightly fruity with earthy undertones. INGREDIENTS: Olive oil*, Coconut oil*, Reverse Osmosis water, Sustainable palm oil*, Cocoa Butter*, Beeswax*, Calendula flowers*, Chamomile flowers*, Chamomile essential oil*, Geranium essential oil*, essential oil blend* *organic
Chamomile is one of my favorite ingredients to ingest (like in tea) and to apply topically (like in cleansers or facial oils). This soap is very refreshing and soothing on dry, winter skin and is super calming to use on those typical stressful days. The two main ingredients: calendula and chamomile provide a soothing, luxurious lather and a sunny soap color, not to mention the pretty appearance of the flower petals.
- Peppermint Soap (White):
This organic peppermint soap smells so wonderful! Made with organic peppermint essential oil, it will help you wake up in the morning, will leave you feeling refreshed during hot summer months and will brighten your spirits during long and dark winter days. This soap is gentle and makes a wonderful body soap. The scent is sweet and minty, just like peppermint 🙂 INGREDIENTS: Olive oil*, Coconut oil*, Reverse osmosis water, Sustainable palm oil*, Cocoa butter*, Beeswax*, Peppermint essential oil*, Essential oil blend* *organic
I usually favor minty soaps to use while showering or bathing due to the refreshing and relaxing scent. This soap smells amazing! It’s the perfect sweet, minty peppermint scent that hydrates and relieves tension from my body. Like all the other soaps, this one also has a gentle, soothing lather and nourishes the skin.
- Tea Tree + Pumice Soap (Brown):
Pumice and apricot kernel meal are blended with tea tree essential oil to create a wonderful exfoliating soap. In the shower, this soap will invigorate and help scrub off dead skin, leaving your skin smooth and refreshed. This soap is also amazing for cleansing hands and feet. Tea tree essential oil’s anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties combined with the finely ground pumice work amazingly well together to get rid of that hard to clean oil and dirt. INGREDIENTS: Olive oil*, Coconut oil*, Reverse osmosis water, Sustainable palm oil*, Cocoa butter*, Beeswax*, Peppermint essential oil*, Essential oil blend* *organic
The sandy grit of this soap feels wonderful on the hands and body. I enjoyed using this soap on my hands to exfoliate and smooth out skin. It’s also nice to use as a body soap to scrub off dead skin cells and to clean and maintain soft skin. The gritty texture is gentle and the remains are not too pebbly or hard on the skin. I enjoyed using this to smoothen the dry spots on my heels and the soles of my feet.
Have you tried any products from Caru Skincare Co? Do you have any favorite natural soap products? I can’t wait to try one of their toners and the Jojoba Facial Oil. Don’t forget to use my special discount code for 20% off all Caru Skincare Co Etsy orders until Feb. 28th!
You can also shop for Caru Skincare Products directly from their website here (discount code does not apply here). You can also find a physical shop near you or online site that sells Caru Skincare Co Products using the store locator or buy select products online at Anthropologie. Follow Caru Skincare Co on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and their Blog for more inspiration! (Their Pinterest is chock-full-of-gorgeousness!)
*Product samples generously provided for review purposes. I am never paid for my honest opinion and will only write reviews based upon my personal experience.
**All images are copyright Plein Vanity. Product descriptions courtesy of Caru Skincare Co.