beauty · product review

too many products? try repurposing!

as you may know, the concept of consumerism in the green beauty community has been heavy on my heart. lately i’ve found myself with an excess of clean beauty products. while it’s great to have the ease of not d.i.y.-ing, and supporting amazing companies, and trying new products, it’s not always great to look at the counter and realize how much money i’m burning by not using everything.

enter repurposing*. as i’ve always tried to impart on my readers, most green beauty ingredients are multi-purpose. sometimes if a product you purchase doesn’t work for you, or if you can’t use it before the expiration date, getting creative is the key!

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here are some products that haven’t worked for me and what i’ve used them for:

  • vintner’s daughter – serum
    • why it didn’t work for me: so many people absolutely rave over this expensive product and claim it as a holy grail. i wanted it to work for me too, but i’m also glad it didn’t… because it’s $180 for one ounce and i definitely can’t afford that on the regular. long story short, my face hates grapeseed oil  (16% oleic; comedogenic rating of 2). strike out for me.
    • repurpose: this oil worked great as a hair oil and smelled like pure luxury. seriously, it makes you smell like you’re a trust fund baby. i always felt fancy when i used it, and my hair was happy.
  • josh rosebrook – vital balm cream
    • why it didn’t work for me: let me start by saying i’m a huge fan of josh rosebrook and his creations. i was giddy to get this particular product in a beauty box, as it was a beautiful blue, indicative of high-performance natural anti-inflammatory properties. unfortunately, this stuff broke my face out so badly! the butters and avocado oil are way too heavy to be a face cream for me. to be honest, i’m still kind of heartbroken.
    • repurpose: it doesn’t taste great, but it’s an amazing overnight lip treatment. the high altitude in mexico city destroys my lips and this balm always comes to the rescue!
  • triesta organics – conditioner
    • why it didn’t work for me: i wrote a mini-review of this shampoo/conditioner combo on instagram awhile back, but long story short: this pricey line shot the life out of my hair and i was pretty disappointed. my hair was super dry and tangly after using it. that being said, it could very well work wonders for another hair type.
    • repurpose: shaving cream for the conditioner and hand soap for the shampoo. it was a long shot for the latter, but it’s castile-based and i wasn’t about to throw away a full bottle.
  • skinowl – maqui berry beauty drops
    • why it didn’t work for me: this product has been reformulated to contain maqui berry oil instead of mangosteen, but the base oil is still baobab oil, which unfortunately my face hates. while not a true oleic acid rich oil, it’s still too high of a ratio for my skin to be happy (about 50/50). i do love skin owl’s beauty whip for spot-treatments now that i’m living in a very high-altitude city, though. my only complaint is the emulsion is terrible and it’s completely separated every time i go to use it.
    • repurpose: i’m using this up as an after-shower body oil and as a scalp treatment. so far, so good. it makes me smell yummy, too.
  • mahalo – rare indigo beauty balm
    • why it didn’t work for me: the first time i used this product, my skin glowed for days. i mean, glowed. but then it broke me out… and never worked again, despite my stubborn attempts to keep using it on my face. can someone please help me understand why it worked the first time? while this product is beautiful and i love mahalo, it just wasn’t a match for me.
    • repurpose: this will probably make a lot of people cringe because this balm is very pricey, but it was use it or lose it for me at this point. after showering, i used the balm on my elbows, knees, and feet/heels, for some super hydration. it was perfect and smelled heavenly! boy alex used it as a beard balm, too, and i swear he couldn’t go a day without it.
  • max and me – circle of protection
    • why it didn’t work for me: beautiful company, beautiful product, beautiful scent… you know i love argan oil, but for some reason it left a greasy sheen on my skin when i used it. it never seemed to really soak in.
    • repurpose: i’m currently using it up as an eye makeup remover. bonus – your eyelashes and eyebrows will love the nourishment.
  • tsi-la – ‘kizes’ roll-on perfume oil
    • why it didn’t work for me: i LOVE this brand and i can’t remember how many bottles of their perfumes i’ve purchased… i even stocked up before my international move. trust me when i say that if ‘kesu’ came in a bulk bottle, i’d purchase it. however, one scent i bought, ‘kizes’ wasn’t a match on my skin. it made me smell like a citrus candle… which i suppose is not a bad thing at all, but not what i want to smell like every day. note that on boy alex it smelled heavenly… not fair! but it goes to show that perfumes are incredibly personal, even the same scents.
    • repurpose: i now roll a tiny puddle into the palm of my hand and run it through my hair on non-wash days. i would never dare waste a drop of anything tsi-la!

*re-gifting is wonderful, too! my mom, other half, and various friends have all been recipients of products that haven’t quite worked out, or that i just knew i wouldn’t be able to get to.

here are some i’ve regifted and why:

  • 100% pure – liquid highlight
    • this product was beautiful in the bottle, but was metallic-looking on my skin and wiped off way too easily. if i barely bumped it, it’d come right off, leaving an empty-looking patch. it was regifted to my friend and she loved it! it all comes down to personal preference.
  • 100% pure – honey almond body butter
    • the scent is heavenly, but it was too heavy for my skin and left a greasy sheen and didn’t seem to soak in, no matter how little i used. i regifted it to my best friend who was living out west in a dry climate at the time, and she loved it. i actually recently bought her more.
  • argan republic – white peony root serum
    • don’t get me wrong  – i love this company, the products, the ingredients, the mission, and the lady behind it. but this particular product didn’t do anything for me and my face skin didn’t care for it.  it kind of just sat on my skin and didn’t soak in. it’s main ingredient is argan oil, which i absolutely adore, but i’m wondering if the vitamin e oil percentage was high enough to clog up my skin. in any case, boy alex inherited it and he loved it.
  • lilfox – cleopatra
    • i know this product, as well as the one below, is well-loved. however, for me, it was very drying and i honestly didn’t see results. everyone is different, though, so it was regifted to my madre.
  • lilfox – jungle love
    • again – i know this product is well-loved. and it smells like aromatherapy heaven. however, i didn’t notice any results to write home about and my skin just didn’t feel as great afterwards as some of my fave d.i.y. masks. this was passed onto my madre as well.
  • innersense – sweet spirit leave-in conditioner
    • while this product smells like a yummy creamsicle, it was too heavy for my hair, like it was coated in wax, and i’m not sure why (we all know i use plain oils). i regifted it to boy alex who has kinky-curly hair, and he loved it! and – the shampoo/conditioner versions of this line are pretty great.
  • honua – olena oil
    • the ingredients list is luxurious, but the fatty acid profiles were high in oleic acid, which my skin doesn’t care for. and unfortunately, my face hates kukui nut oil, but my hair loves it. i passed this onto boy alex’s sister. however, strangely enough, honua’s youth serum is one of my favorite products ever. i’ve purchased 4 bottles, if that says anything.

please leave your repurposing tips below!

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8 thoughts on “too many products? try repurposing!

  1. Thank you Alex for this post! I’ve struggled with the same, especially after subscribing to a beauty box. Most of the stuff I know I won’t get to I give to my momma or sister, and you now left me a ton of useful tips for repurposing, so thank you thank you thank you ❤

  2. Hi Alex,

    Have you ever tried anything from living libations? I’ve read so many positive reviews about their Best Skin Ever™ – Seabuckthorn but it’s pretty expensive and my skin is now quite happy with an inexpensive hemp seed oil from a local company, so I don’t know if it’s worth trying… 🙂

    1. hey petra! they look like a great company. my only concern is that product is meant for the face but contains coconut oil, which is very comedogenic. if you’re one of the lucky few that can use it on your face, go for it! i can only use it on my body and hair ❤

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