Monday, March 7, 2016

REVIEW || L'Oreal Hydra-Total 5 Ultra-Even Routine || #5Works #BeyondHydration

Hi guys! Here we are once again with another review thanks to Influenster! I'm sure you all know this by now, but it's kinda required that I remind you that although I was sent this stuff for free to review, all of my opinions are completely my own and completely honest.

This time, I was sent a set of skincare items from L'Oreal, specifically the Ultra-Even formula of their new Hydra-Total 5 line. There were three different routines sent out to different people, including ultra-even, ultra-soothing, and ultra-fresh. The Ultra-Even line, which I received is targeted towards normal skin types, and is meant (as the name clearly suggests) to help even out skin tone. Here's what I received in my L'Oréal Hydra Total-5 VoxBox:

Inside the box

As you can see, the line I received contains four products: an exfoliating face wash, a toner, a daytime lotion with SPF, and a nighttime moisturizer. The idea of the whole line of products seems to be that each product has 5 benefits; this seems like a gimmicky marketing tactic to me, but I suppose if everything meets the claims, that's alright. The common promises of each of the products in the Ultra-Even line are:

  1. Evens skintone
  2. Illuminates
  3. Smoothes

While the other benefits are more specific to each product. Now, let's get into each poduct, shall we?

L'Oreal Hydra-Total 5 Ultra-Even Routine Scrub

Face Wash / Scrub

So, the two special things this claims to do, aside from the three they all share, is cleansing and exfoliating, and these aren't exactly hard claims to live up to. This is basically a gel cleanser with scrubbing particles that, from the ingredients, I'm guessing are "armenica seed powder" ... or ground up apricot pits. This is a pretty harsh scrub, and may not be great for all skin types. I also feel like I hear people disliking the St. Ives apricot scrub because the apricot pit particles make tiny cuts in your skin, which isn't great. Definitely not for sensitive skin, at any rate. At least this scrub knows it's a bit harsh, and recommends only using it once a day, either in the morning or at night.

As for what I thought of the scrub, first of all, it smells really great! Fruity in a natural way, not a really candy-scneted way, which is lovely. Basically like peaches or apricots... which makes sense for the scrubbing particles. Overall, this cleanser made my freshly cleaned skin feeling quite tight and dry, but not really irritated. I'm not sure it's the right formula for my dry-patch prone winter skin, as after using it a couple times, I started to notice fresh dry patches popping up on my face that meant I had to take a break from this system for a while. I've stopped using it now, but will try it again when I start getting oilier in the summer months.

L'Oreal Hydra-Total 5 Ultra-Even Routine Toner

toner

The toner claims to tone and remove impurities, which is pretty much what I figure all toners do? It's an astringent toner with two types of alcohols high up the top of the ingredient list, along with salicylic acid, sulfonic acid (which sounds scary), and other big chemical words, with nothing soothing like witch hazel, aloe, or cucumber to tone it down a little. It is very medicinal smelling, although it seems like they tried to make it smell like the cleanser/scrub.

This was my least favourite part of the routine that I was sent. It smells strong, and especially after the scrub, it causes my skin to burn! I thought maybe that was my fault because I didn't notice the first time I used it you're instructed to dab it on, not swipe like usual. But after trying both ways, this toner seems to be way too harsh for me. If I continue to use it, it will probably be with a gentler face wash and a heavy moisturizer.

L'Oreal Hydra-Total 5 Ultra-Even Lotion

Day Lotion / Sunscreen Box

This "lotion" is basically the day time moisturizer with SPF for this routine, and claims to moisturize and protect skin. I would hope a moisturizer with spf would moisturize and protect... >_>

Day Lotion / Sunscreen Bottle

Anyways, this lotion is oil-free, and is actually not the worse facial spf I've worn. It has a more classic L'Oreal skincare + SPF scent, and the perfume might not be great for anyone with sensitive skin or a sensitive nose. The active sunscreens in this product are Octisalate, Octocrylene, and Avobenzone. It also contains salicylic acid, which seems unnecessary.

I don't really like or dislike this particular product... I'm pretty indifferent. I'll probably use it some more since it does have a bit of SPF, especially as we go into summer months and I'm outside more. However, it isn't great. I don't personally think it sets and absorbs well enough for use under makeup, unless you use it sparingly (which defeats the purpose of an spf) and blot your face well before makeup. I think it might work better for drier skin types.

L'Oreal Hydra-Total 5 Ultra-Even Moisturizer

Moisturizer / Night Cream

This second moisturizer is more of a night cream, and promises to moisturize and reduce dark spots. Unfortunately, I don't really have dark spots to test this stuff on, so that claim will go unchallenged. This cream is very thick and opaquely white, and does have a very faint scent, though it is surprisingly faint compared to the SPF lotion. However, unlike the other products in this line, the moisturizer does contain parabens, so if you try to stay away from that, this isn't the product for you.

While it looks really heavy, it does absorb into the skin pretty well, and without leaving your skin looking white and pale. It also doesn't leave the same greasy look I found with the day lotion, which might make this a better day-time lotion too for under makeup. I don't love this product, but I do like it and will continue to use it up. I just won't likely run out and uy another when it's gone. I have used better products, whether I want something light that absorbs quickly, or something heavy and super hydrating, but this is still possibly the best part of the box that I was sent.

***

All-in-all, I wasn't super impressed with anything in this box. Some of it was wrong for my skin type, and some were just alright. However, the more I've tried from L'Oreal's skincare ranges, the more I'm convinced that it isn't their strong suit! I've had great products from L'Oreal's hair and makeup ranges, but their skincare always leaves me unimpressed. Sorry, L'Oreal, but that's my honest opinion!

That said, if you've had good luck with L'Oreal skincare in the past, this may still be a good line for you! Everyone's skin is different, even within skin types. I'd recommend this mostly to someone who, like the package suggests, has normal skin; if you aren't sensitive, prone to oiliness, dry patches, or bothered by scents in your products, this might be for you if you're looking for a line to help you acheive a more even overall skintone. Just be sure to be gentle with the scrub and toner, and I think you could get along fine.

Sensitive, oily, and dry skin types? Keep looking!

Did you get one of the Hydra-t Total VoxBoxes? Let me know which one, or if you've tried any of these products, or just generally tell me about your experiences with L'Oreal skincare!

Thanks for reading!

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