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I enjoy buying from The Body Shop, particularly online, as I really like their products and they always have some sort of special offer on. On one occasion I purchased a Vitamin E Skincare Kit containing a Cream Cleanser (60ml), Hydrating Toner (60ml), Moisture Cream (15ml) and Nourishing Night Cream (15ml). The cleanser and toner came in little flip-top bottles while the creams came in tubs. The set had a pink colour scheme, to fit in with the rest of the Vitamin E range, and came in a pink bag with a zip. This is just the right size for travel makeup or toiletries, but I've ended up keeping it to put all my travel adapters (such as mp3 player, camera, phone) in so I can keep them all together. The set costs £10 at full price but I definitely didn't spend that much - as far as I can remember I used a 40% or 50% off code.
The Vitamin E range is designed for dryer and more mature skin. I'm only in my mid 20s and have combination skin, but I hoped this set would provide effective protection during the winter when I get occasional dry patches of skin. I started using it in February when we had that cold snap. The main ingredient in these products is Vitamin E. This is an antioxidant and helps to prevent the development of free radicals on the skin.
I will discuss each of the products in the range below.
***Vitamin E Cream Cleanser***
This cleanser contains wheatgerm oil (in which most of the Vitamin E is found), Community Fair Trade soya oil and Community Fair Trade shea butter. Shea butter is quite an unusual ingredient to find in a cleanser, as it is moisturising. However this does fit in with the product's claim to be suitable for dryer skin. It is described as a light cream cleanser that gently lifts away dirt, make-up and impurities. It is claimed to effectively cleanse, soften and condition and leave skin feeling smooth and supple.
I prefer to use a cream cleanser in the evening to gently remove make-up and cleanse my skin for the evening. I didn't use this product in the morning as I prefer to use a face wash or scrub in the shower. The cleanser has a light, slightly floral smell which is pleasant and calming. The cleanser has a light lotion-like consistency which is fairly runny, but not so runny that it runs off my face. I squeeze a little onto a cotton wool pad and sweep it over my face. In two to three weeks I've used less than half of my little bottle of cleanser, so it does last a long time.
I have been very impressed with this cleanser. It is effective at removing make-up, gentle on the skin and also moisturising. It has helped keep my skin in good condition during this cold weather.
***Vitamin E Hydrating Toner***
The Body Shop describes the toner as a hydrating toner that removes traces of cleanser, dirt and make-up without drying the skin, leaving it feeling soft, supple and refreshed. It leaves a velvety feel on the skin. I know a lot of people see the use of toner as pointless and unnecessary. I always like to use a toner though - it helps to remove the last traces of make-up and cleanser from the skin, leaving it in optimum clean condition ready for moisturising.
The greatest ingredient in this toner is water - which makes sense given the product's purpose and texture. There is a long list of ingredients on The Body Shop website which I don't intend to copy, but some of the more recognisable ingredients are castor oil, xantham gum and wheatgerm oil, which contains Vitamin E. The added ingredients in this product, including the oils, help to further moisturise and condition the skin.
I apply this toner to my skin after cleansing, using a cotton wool pad. It has a light, vaguely floral scent very similar to that of the cleanser. Unlike plain water, the toner feels conditioning on my skin, as well as refreshing. It does make my skin feel velvety-soft, and manages to remove the last traces of make-up, judging by the colour of the cotton wool pad! As with the cleanser, I have been very impressed by this toner. It removes the last traces of make-up and cleanser effectively, while also moisturising and conditioning the skin.
***Vitamin E Moisture Cream***
This cream contains a long list of ingredients, none of which I recognised except for lanolin - this comes from sheep's wool and I think it is meant to hold moisture. The cream was extremely effective at hydrating and protecting my skin. Despite the cold weather we've been having in the last few weeks, I haven't experienced a single dry patch on my skin, which has remained soft, smooth and moisturised even when it's been snowing. My skin also looks very healthy. I believe this is down to using this cream and the night cream. My skin has never felt so soft, despite the cold.
However, it was slightly too thick for my skin. Most face creams I've used have had a lotion-like consistency; this one is a bit thicker. It absorbs easily and is a good base for make-up but my skin looks slightly shiny - not so much straight away, but throughout the day. I prefer my skin to have a bit more of a matte look, which is difficult to achieve as I have combination skin. I've also had a couple of spots, so I think using this cream alongside the night cream has been a bit much for my skin.
***Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream***
The night cream is designed to replenish moisture levels while you sleep. It intensively hydrates, leaving skin soft and smooth while skin is at its most receptive during sleeping hours.
The night cream contains wheatgerm oil, which is moisturising and contains most of the Vitamin E, and Community Fair Trade cocoa butter. It is pale pink in colour, with the same light floral smell as the other products in the Vitamin E range. It is quite thick in texture. To use, I cleanse and tone my skin then scoop some of the cream out, dab and blend into my skin. It blends pretty easily. It does leave my skin looking quite shiny, but then again it's a night cream so I don't mind so much about my skin looking matte. My skin certainly does look healthy.
It is claimed that the product intensively hydrates the skin leaving it soft and smooth, and it certainly does that. My skin feels extremely moisturised, smooth and silky-soft from first application until the next morning. I have been using this cream at night and the matching Moisture Cream during the day and have never had such soft skin in my life.
Only a very small amount of the cream is needed at any one time, so it doesn't get used up too quickly. I tend to use a dab about the size of a finger. Of course, if your skin is very dry you may need more.
I've been really impressed with the Vitamin E range. I do think that it is ideally suited to those with dry skin, rather than combination skin. However I think it has done my skin good in these cold winter months. I would consider buying the cleanser and toner again in the winter as these were really effective and good for my skin. I would also consider buying one of the Moisture Cream and Night Cream for use at night during the winter, but I probably wouldn't use both together as they were a bit too much for my skin.
I'd definitely recommend this sample set if you want to give the range a go without splashing out on the full sizes. I'm considering getting one for my mam who has more mature skin and might benefit from this kit.