[ disclaimer: products received in exchange for an honest & unbiased review ]
About a month or so ago, the Californian Indie brand Banish reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying some of their products. I looked at their site and since they specialize in pore care, oily skin and blemish care (banish!), I was very interested. I was able to choose the items I would like to try and I picked the following
Pumpkin Enzyme Masque ~ I am very interested in seeing how this compares to Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel, which I adore (but SOOO expensive)
Vitamin C Beauty Elixir Mist
Aloe Vera Oil ~ I never had aloe in an oil before! Activated Charcoal Clay Masque Pore Eraser ~ you leave this in the frig (I keep mine in the freezer) and then roll over your clean face.
Pumpkin Enzyme Masque Don’t let the small jar fool you, this is the same size as Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel (50mL) and the Naturopathica has a huge jar in comparison. This is a natural and organic enzyme masque that will help gently exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells, to reveal newer, younger skin.
This smells like sweet pumpkin ~ like the canned stuff you get to make pies with ~ very nice! It is very smooth, creamy and soft so it is easy to apply on my face. Some ingredients of note:
- Pumpkin extracts will help moisturize and hydrate your skin. It is rich in vitamin C for brightening and vitamin A, which soothes and softens your skin. It also has natural enzymes, which makes it a great choice in skincare ~ it will remove dead skin cells and excess oil, unclogging pores ~ the result is brighter skin with a refined texture. Pumpkin also has anti-inflammatory and oil-controlling properties due to Vitamin E and torulitine (Vitamin T) and it can help prevent new acne.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin E are both powerful antioxidants that help aid in the creation of collagen, brighten and even out your skin tone, while helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is essential for tissue growth, repair and collagen production. Vitamin E helps improve your skin’s firmness and keeps your skin moist and hydrated.
- Glycolic Acid (AHA) is an exfoliator which removes top layer of dead skin cells, exposing new skin. It also lightens hyper-pigmentation from sun damage or aging.
- Neem Seed Oil comes from an evergreen tree, azadirachta indica, and is a lighter oil that helps control oil and treat blemishes.
As this is on my face, it has a cooling, tingling feeling that feels really good. The instructions state to leave it on until it dries which is about 30 minutes. My face felt smooth and brighter after I rinsed this off, with no redness. I think the benefits of using a clarifying enzyme mask are over time, as it will remove dead skin cells, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 50 mL RV $35.00
Description: Our Pumpkin Masque may be the greatest thing made out of pumpkins since pumpkin pie. It even smells just as good! If you want to know how to get rid of acne our Pumpkin enzyme masque may be the answer and it’s a customer favorite! Why? It contains lots of vitamins and enzymes to help improve your skin’s texture and keep your skin looking healthy!
Ingredients: Pumpkin Fruit, Organic Bilberry Fruit Extract, Organic Sugar Cane Extract, Organic Orange Peel Extract, Organic Lemon Peel Extract, Glycerin, Tetrasodium ETDA, Vitamin E, Phenoxyethanol, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, Neem Seed Oil, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Cinnamon Bark Powder, Ginger Root Powder, Nutmeg Powder cosDNA analysis
Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel Ingredients: Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin), Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Wine, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Lactic Acid (L), Glycerin, Water, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Bark Extract, Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Root Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Ginger Oil, Potassium Sorbate cosDNA analysis
I applied Banish on one side and Naturopathic on the other. They look just the same, don’t they? I cannot even tell the difference from looking at the photo, but I did take notes. Banish is on my left, which would look like the right side on the photo.
Now, with Banish, I can leave this on for 10 minutes, but with Naturopathica, I have to remove it after 5 minutes, as my face starts to itch a bit and turns red if I leave it on longer. Banish does not make my face itch or turn red, so it is gentler or it doesn’t have some irritating ingredient that I am reacting to. After I rinse off both products and let the Naturopathic side cool down, I can see that they both have the same benefits ~ my skin is soft, smooth, my pores look tighter and my skin’s texture is refined. So, my final verdict on the two products, which is totally unscientific, is that Banish is a better product in terms of price, it has the same texture and scent and it is not irritating to my skin. I love Naturopathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel, but I think I have found a much better alternative for my skin type.
Activated Charcoal Clay Masque Unlike the Pumpkin Masque, this is a powder mask where you add your own liquid until you make a paste and leave on until dry. This has two types of oil absorbing ingredients as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients
- Montmorillonite is a mix of another clay ~ bentonite ~ and fuller’s earth. Montmorillonite absorbs excess oil, toxins and other impurities from your skin, while helping to tone your skin and help reduce the appearance of your pores.
- Activated Charcoal can absorb impurities, such as toxins, oils, dirt and up to 100 to 200 times its weight. The toxins are drawn out of your skin into the mask and once you rinse off the mask, all of the toxins will be rinsed away with the mask. It is a fantastic cleanser and detox ingredient, acting like a magnet to pull out and trap excess oil and impurities in your skin
- Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae is a species of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and contains phytonutrients such as chlorophyll, carotenoids and fatty acids (source) and are also full of proteins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. It will help repair and firm tissue and is also an anti-inflammatory.
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) is an anti fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic ingredient and helps prevent and heal acne
The powder is a dark black and it is messy and highly pigmented. It will “stain” anything, so if you are applying this around tiles and grout, be careful or you will have a lot of fun cleaning up the grout!
I actually used one of my cleansing waters that had carbonated water (TreeannSea Eskimo Mella Smoothing Cleansing Water) in it to create my mask. The mask isn’t a paste form ~ I guess the only way you could get a paste is if you just add a little water to it, but then it won’t spread and would get clumpy. My mask was a very dark and pigmented watery mask and I used my fingers to apply it ~ it reminded me of finger-painting with watercolors!
This does not really have a scent to it at all. This mask is supposed to help tighten up your pores after it cleans everything out. As the mask dried down, I could see it drawing out oils from my skin. This didn’t tighten uncomfortably on my skin and it didn’t flake all over the place either ~ I am not sure if that is the mask itself or the fact I used a cleansing water to make it. After it was dry, I rinsed off with warm water ~ make sure you don’t use any white towels! This stuff is really pigmented with charcoal. My skin looked very clean, my pores were degunked and they looked smaller. Two thumbs up for this mask! Banish recommends using this mask before the pumpkin mask. 25 mL RV $29.00
Ingredients: Montmorillonite (Italian Green Clay), Activated Charcoal, Allantoin, Zinc Oxide, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae (Organic Blue Green Algae) Powder, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Essential Oil cosDNA analysis
Vitamin C Beauty Elixir This is a spray mist that I have been using after I apply my toner and essence. I love the ingredient list in this ~ it has some great hydrating ingredients with aloe vera and sugar maple and it has BHA with willow bark for astringent and pore control, fruit extracts (orange, lemon, cranberry, bilberry) ~ full of antioxidants and also ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), which will help brighten your skin tone, while gently exfoliating. It also has tea tree oil to help heal and prevent blemishes. This mist comes in an amber color bottle to help keep the potency of the products fresher and last longer. This has a pH level of around 5, so it is mildly acidic.
This helped keep my skin hydrated, as whenever I needed a boost of moisture, I would just lightly mist my face. My tests show an increase of 40% in moisture ~ which is very good for a mist.
The lovely thing about this mist is that is very small and portable, so I am not carrying a foot long bottle in my purse! It has a lovely citrus scent and it helped reduce redness from blemishes, as well as cause a nice refreshing cooling feeling on my face. This does not contain any parabens or sulfates. 30 mL $19.00
Description: Get that refreshing feel with the added benefits of Vitamin C! Contains organic ingredients so you can use it daily to tone skin, prevent breakouts, and reduces redness and dark spots. Won’t dry out skin! Vitamin C has lots of antioxidants which protects your skin from damage due to sun exposure and pollution. Antioxidants help us look youthful, and renew skin. Vitamin C is also important in promoting skin elasticity which is the foundation of our skin. Without elastin and collagen fibers, skin can look dull and sag and be more prone to texture problems.
Ingredients: Distilled Water, Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, (Vaccinium Myrtillus (Organic Bilberry) Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Organic Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Saccharinum (Organic Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Auranium Dulcis (Organic Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Organic Lemon) Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Organic Cranberry) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract, Polysorbate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Essential Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, (May contain sodium bicarbonate and/or citric acid as pH adjusters) cosDNA analysis
Organic Aloe Vera Oil I have to admit, this was not a product I picked out for myself, but Banish sent it to me anyway and I am very glad they did. This is one of two oils that I have used on my acne for the last month or so and it has helped quite a bit. I never heard of an aloe vera oil before ~ but this isn’t just aloe, but soybean oil and vitamin E added. This little amber colored bottle with an eye dropper applicator will last a while for me, as I only need a drop of oil to massage into my problem areas ~ I use this around my T-Zone to help reduce swelling and redness of blemishes. Now, oils for oily skin? Well, yeah. Not all oils are created equal and you do have to do your homework on what oils are for your skin type, but I have learned in the last year or so, that lightweight oils are best for oily skin and there are a lot of them out there on the market: neem, tamanu, oils that are called “dry” ~ those work really well for oily, blemish prone skin.
Soybean is a fantastic oil as well for oily skin, as it is lightweight and very nourishing as an anti-aging oil as it has vitamins B, E and K, linolenic acid and ferulic acid. Soybean also helps to heal and prevent acne too and it will improve your skin tone. Add this with aloe vera, a powerful non-greasy moisturizer, full of antioxidants ~ beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E and minerals, enzymes, amino acids and salicylic acid, this oil becomes a powerhouse skincare product for your face. I posted this oil on my IG feed, and got several comments from current users of this products ~ one reader said this was really fantastic for sensitive baby skin!
This oil absorbs quickly into my skin and within several minutes, the sheen does disappear. Some people add this oil into their foundation to give their skin a more dewy look as well. 15 mL RV $15.00
Description: The aloe vera herb has been used for a long time to aid in soothing and moisturizing skin to protecting skin. Aloe Vera Oil Can Be Used To Reduce the Appearance of: Blemishes, Acne Scars, Stretch Marks, Sun Burns, Sensitive or Dry Skin. Aloe vera also contains ingredients that can help your skin reveal it’s next layer quicker and reduce the appearance of redness. Aloe vera is great on stretch marks and as an overall moisturizer for your face and body. This is a light oil which is great for people with oily skin who want to avoid the greasy feel of heavy moisturizers. Since this aloe vera oil is concentrated, you only need to apply 1-2 drops for full effectiveness.
Ingredients: Organic Soybean oil, Organic Aloe, Vitamin E
Pore Smasher I was really intrigued by this facial tool and I did request one of them. I was thrilled when Banish sent me this ~ this is a huge plastic roller with a metal roller strip and it will help temporarily tighten pores and reduce swelling. You first cool this roller by placing it in the freezer. Then on a freshly cleansed face, you just roll this bad boy around your T-Zone, up your jaw line and anywhere else on your face. I have noticed that when I do use this, my pores do tighten up and my eye area is less puffy. It also feels REALLY good too ~ my face feels cool and I feel that it also helps temporarily tighten my skin too.
The Pore Smasher is really an ice facial, but without the messy drippy ice cubes. Ice cold facials have been used in spa treatments for a while now and skin icing is practiced in Korea. Some of the benefits of ice facials are
- Tighten and reduce enlarged pores as icing helps smooth your face by toning it.
- Ice Facials improve your skin circulation by constricting blood vessels, which reduces swelling, and then your body will increase the blood flow to that area.
- Reduce puffy eyes, reduce the appearance of wrinkles as well as slow down the formation of new wrinkles.
- Ice can help reduce swelling and the redness of pimples. It also soothes irritated skin and allows for better penetration of topical acne treatments into your skin. By reducing inflammation, your pores will become unclogged and open, allowing for medicated creams to reach the bacteria within your pores.
If you use the Banish Banisher or a dermaroller, you can use this to numb your face before and after using that tool. I also use this for tension headaches ~ I add a little peppermint cream around my temples and then use the Pore Smasher to relieve my aching head. RV $39.00
If you are looking for alternatives in skincare and want to support indie, made in the USA brands, Banish is really a nice brand to purchase from. I loved all of the items I have tried from them and that is saying something ~ I usually find one item to not like! The pumpkin mask is a fantastic alternative to cult favorite Naturopathica and less expensive too! I found that Banish pumpkin mask doesn’t burn my skin like Naturopathica, so that is a major plus. The charcoal mask is great as you can add any liquid to it that you want, so if you want to add milk, honey, yogurt ~ you can! You can tailor that mask to your skin’s needs. The Vitamin C facial mist is very refreshing and hydrating ~ plus it smells great. The BIG FIND for me was the Aloe Vera oil, as that really helped with my blemishes and reducing the swelling. Finally, I can now easily do ice facials at home without the mess of a traditional ice facial. This pore smasher is also fantastic for relieving stress, tension and headaches too.
If you want to save $10.00 off your first purchase of $50.00 or more, I would love it if you used my referral link (click here)
Have you tried any of these products from Banish? Are you interested in purchasing any of them? Let me know in the comments below ~ I would love to hear from my readers!
I have a fantastic giveaway coming up ~ It starts at midnight, October 10th and will run for a week. It will have some best sellers from Banish! It will be open internationally as well, so don’t forget to check out the giveaway when it starts.
[ disclaimer: products received in exchange for an honest & unbiased review ]