A non-toxic beauty blog focusing on botanical ingredients, honest reviews, affordable options, lifestyle musings, and more than a touch of humor.
"I now look back fondly at those being the most constructive years for preparing me for life in the real world...You have to have pretty thick skin and you have to have big shoulders." - Tom Curley

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Product Review: Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer

If you've read my previous posts on Tata Harper products, you may be a little surprised to see this review. To be honest, I'm a little surprised, too. Don't beat yourself up about it. The thing about Tata Harper is that I want to like this brand. They have a lot going for them. The ingredients are stellar (and often organic), they're committed to the environment and sustainability, and they're based in Vermont, which is, like, one of my favorite places ever. I'm also -- despite my best efforts -- not immune to bright, pretty packaging and sparkly little buzzwords like rejuvenating and glowing and pore minimization. Okay, so pore minimization is two words, but you get the picture.

Tata Harper is one of those brands that's constantly touted by the green beauty community, including my natural beauty icons on No More Dirty Looks and impossibly beautiful bloggers like Ecoholic Beauty and Seed to Serum. I think I had it in the back of my mind that if I could sell my kidney scrape together the cash for their products, then I would magically have brighter, clearer, more balanced skin! When that didn't quite work out, I was understandably disappointed.

But when I came across Tata Harper at my favorite local green beauty shop -- W3LL People in Austin, TX -- I felt that familiar stirring in the cockles of my heart. I recommended the line to my mother, who has sensitive skin with relatively few issues, and tried out the Rebuilding Moisturizer on the back of my hand for kicks. Now, this was back when it was still rather cool, dry, and windy here in Texas (we get our wintry weather in early spring, go figure), so my hands were sort of like flaky alligator claws. Lo and behold, the spot where I tried the moisturizers was smooth and deliciously soft all day! It was magical! So my mother, being the lovely, thoughtful woman that she is, treated me with a bottle.

As I've mentioned before (in practically every skin care post I do), I have unusually oily skin. I never understand it when people talk about having a shiny T-zone, because my entire face is like a shiny T-zone. Heck, forget shiny, it's downright greasy. However, with the odd weather we were having, I had also developed some weirdly dry, flaky patches of skin, especially around my nose. What gives, huh? The Rebuilding Moisturizer is specifically geared towards oily skin and promises to help balance excess oil, support hydration, and deliver a matte finish.

The first thing I noticed was that it immediately cleared up my unusual dry patches. They were gone within days, ne'er to return. My skin was also buttery soft, supple, and relatively clear. I wasn't having a lot of trouble with acne or blemishes, but it's safe to say this this moisturizer did not break me out, and may have even helped keep my skin clear. I can't say that it really gave me a matte finish -- it is more of a dewy finish, though definitely not greasy, which is how most cream or lotion moisturizers behave on my skin.

Aside from the obvious skin benefits, this moisturizer is also quite long-lasting and has a wonderful texture. It's light and non-greasy, but somehow very rich and creamy, as well. The scent is very subtle, but pleasantly floral and herb-y. Like most high-quality, non-synthetic moisturizers, a little goes a long way. One pump easily covers my entire face and neck. I found that I liked using it most at night, but could also easily wear it during the day, alone or with makeup, without excess shine.

Now that we're getting into the summer months, this moisturizer is (alas) less than perfect for me. It does work fine at night, but it's a little too rich for day wear. My skin is impossibly oily during these hot, humid months and a moisturizer like this simply doesn't work like it did in winter. I'm no stranger to this phenomenon, so I'm not terribly disappointed. I'm also having more issues with breakouts in this weather, and I honestly can't tell if the Rebuilding Moisturizer helps or hinders.

So am I a Tata Harper convert? Not quite, but I have warmed up to them. I'm coming to the conclusion that they -- like many products out there, though specifically those on the more natural spectrum -- are simply not well-suited for those with oily skin. I think that this is a moisturizer that would work fantastically for normal, combination, or slightly oily skin, but it's too heavy for me in the summer. All in all, it's a very high quality product. I will continue using it, though probably only a few times a week and always at night, especially as I combat breakouts.

I'm still looking for the perfect products for oily skin, so I'll let you know when I find them!

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