A review: Stark Skincare Grapefruit Cleanse and Hydrate Balm

21 Nov

I heard about Stark Skincare through my sister a couple of years ago when she showed me either a blog or a YouTube clip about it. The particulars are a bit hazy because it was so long ago, but I remember thinking that I wanted to try the cleansing balm. I decided to bite the bullet during the Winter this year and purchased it online from a lovely little website called Hippie Luxe.

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You can see by my photo here that I am now down to the last dregs of my Grapefruit Cleanse and Hydrate Balm. I’ve been trying to ration it because I’m going to be very, very sad when it finally runs out.

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This cleanser is luxury and deliciousness in a jar. When I first opened this I thought, “OH MY GOODNESS! It smells like jaffas!”. I don’t even think that jaffas taste good, but this balm made me immediately want to go and eat some. Then when I first used it I was really impressed with how it worked and made my skin feel.

I’ve talked about cleansing balms before when I did a review on the REN No1 Purity Cleansing Balm last year. My skin is very, very oily through the T-zone, so you’d think it would be counterintuitive to use an oily balm on it. But, this hasn’t made me more oily or break out at all. I think it has actually contributed to a much healthier and happier complexion.

In the evenings, I massage a small pea-sized amount of this all over my face with a full face of makeup (I personally wear mineral powder, eyeshadow and mascara). I don’t fear rubbing this all over my eyes, not into my eyeballs (that would be silly). I really get in there and massage it into my lashes and let the balm break down all the makeup. Then I let it sit on my face while I start the shower and let the steam get going. After a few minutes I wipe it all off with a damp face cloth/washer and then do a second cleanse with a milk cleanser, just to get any residue off seeing as I’m an oily monster.

If you have drier skin, I would say that you’d be absolutely fine without the second cleanse with the milk cleanser. In fact, it even says it can be used as a moisturiser or as a multipurpose balm–it is that amazing.

This has beautiful natural ingredients in it and is preservative free, so you don’t want to be contaminating it with dirty fingers or getting any excess moisture in there. Otherwise it’ll go a bit funky and we don’t want to waste our money by letting it go yucky because it does cost around $40. I don’t mind the price point though, because I’ve been using it quite excessively liberally for the past four(ish?) months and it’s only just running out now.

I will just note that the balm was a bit grainy when I first used it, but I think it was just little balls of one of the oils in it because it melted into my skin as soon as I started massaging it into my face.

Good things about this product? I like that I can recognise all the ingredients listed on the jar. I love how it has made my skin look and feel. I love the ritual of massaging my face at the end of the day. I love the feeling the satisfaction of watching eyeliner and other makeup melt away as I work it in. The delicious smell is an added bonus.

Now that it is heading into Summer, this cleanser might be a little too heavy duty for my skin. However, I will definitely be purchasing it again for those horrible, dry, cold Winter months next year. It was an absolute winner for me.

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