I have had a lot of misses with Whamisa over the years, but in the last couple of years, I have found more products to love from this brand. The key with Whamisa is making sure to choose products that are good for your skin type and needs, not what the current hype is ~ too many times, I see folks jumping on a brand or trend that is not appropriate for them (slugging, I am taking to you) I found that the FRESH line is perfect for my skin type ~ oily, dehydrated (see my IG reviews here). Last year, Whamisa came out with a brand new product, Whamisa Fresh Cactus Inner Skin Moisture Bouncy Serum, and I love it so much that I am on my third bottle now. Whamisa has generously sent me another serum plus the new Fresh Cactus AKA Skin-Exfoliating Purifying Toner and I purchased the Fresh Cactus Soothing & Lifting Prickly Pear Mask.
Skin Type/Concerns: oily, blemish prone, dehydrated, aging concerns, pores, fine lines/wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation
I received some of these products complementary to review and was not paid. All reviews are my own honest opinion and I never have been asked to write copy for a brand. This blog post might contain promo codes, affiliate and referral links, which using my links will help generate a small commission that helps support my blog at no extra cost to you.
image from whamisa
The Fresh Cactus line is one of the newest lines from Whamisa and the serum was the first product released in 2020. This line is very different from other Whamisa products, as it doesn’t contain any of their classic fermented ingredients. The ingredients list is also quite shorter than most Whamisa products and the majority of the product is made up of opuntia ficus-indica, otherwise known as the nopal cactus. Nopal cactus is also known as prickly pear and it helps moisturize, soften, soothes and protect your skin against dryness and irritates caused by pollution. It has nourishing benefits, helping firm your skin as well, with its 40 phytochemicals, 18 amino acids, 14 vitamins and 12 minerals. It helps heal the skin, maintain the skin’s moisture barrier, improve skin elasticity and transform dull skin into radiant, glowing skin. Its moisture-rich properties are due to its pectin, essential fatty acids and fiber mucilage, aka phytomucin, which is similar to snail mucin, with its repairing, hydrating benefits.
These do have essential oils ~ lavender, rosemary, rosewood and mandarin orange peel. EO’s can be beneficial in skin care ~ lavender is good for healing with its antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary has antiseptic and anti-oxidant properties that will combat free radicals. The oils also lend themselves to a lovely herbal citrus aroma. Whamisa sources ingredients that are natural and organic, sustainable, uses environmentally conscious practices and is cruelty free and vegan
Fresh Cactus AKA Skin-Exfoliating Purifying Toner contains 30% organic ingredients, along with over 68% of Nopal cactus extract and 30% of Nopal Cactus Stem extract. This is a gentle exfoliating toner that contains a new type of exfoliating acid to me. Flower derived acid, otherwise known as Alpha-Keto Acid (AKA). According to Whamisa, their AKA is found in safflower acid, but I have not found any scholar papers on safflower acid at all. However, AKA is a real thing and it is known as a chemical peeling acid for those with blemishes, oily skin and other skin issues ~ the most common and popular one is Pyruvic Acid. This toner contains 0.1% safflower acid, which does contain a rich source of essential fatty acid linoleic acid, which helps unclog pores, strengthens the skin barrier, moisturizes your skin, while providing anti-inflammatory benefits.
This also has ferulic acid, an antioxidant that not only helps slow down the fine lines, wrinkles and age spots development, but it boosts the efficiency of other antioxidant ingredients in the product. Chamomile dervied bisabolol is a rich source of moisture, while providing soothing and healing care, due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties.
This also has skin brightening, anti-inflammatory licorice along with yeast-derived, amino acid adenosine, which became popular after it was found to help improve the reduction of wrinkles. This also helps soothe your skin, while softening and exfoliating, creating a smoother texture, while reducing and relieving irritation
Ingredients: Opuntia Ficus-Indica Fruit Extract, *Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract(30%), ☆(-)-alpha-bisabolol, Ferulic Acid, **Safflower Acid(0.1%), Sorbitan Oleate, ***Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, ***Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, ***Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Tocopherol, ☆Adenosine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Aniba Rosodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Linalool, Limonene cosDNA *Certified Organically Grown **AKA(Flower acid) ***Natural Preservative ☆Ecocert
This comes in a tall green glass bottle with a pin hole applicator. The toner is watery, which no sticky residue and absorbs nicely. The combination of these ingredients creates a refreshing, cooling sensation on my skin ~ it might be due to the rosemary oils in here. The pH level is a 5, making this mildly acidic. Now, I do not know much about safflower acid as an AKA, and I do not know that much about AKA’s in general, so I cannot tell you if a pH level of 5 with 0.1% AKA is a good exfoliating toner. However, this is full of antioxidants with the cactus and the soothing, brightening ingredients in here are boosted by the ferulic acid, so I would say that this does work to unclog pores, refresh the skin and provide hydration.
This really does feel lovely on the skin and I do enjoy using it. It doesn’t cause any irritation to my skin ~ I will say the most interesting thing about this toner is that I learned about AKA and I will be keeping an eye out to see if alpha-ketoacid is going to be trending as the latest thing ~ just like PHA (polyhydroxy acid) was a few years ago and LHA (lipohydroxy acid) started gaining prominence last year.
Fresh Cactus Inner Skin Moisture Bouncy Serum is the first product Whamisa released in the Cactus line and it is still the GOAT. Made with 99.47% cactus-derived mucilage, this is a great alternative for those who want to get the benefits of snail mucin, but are looking for a vegan alternative. This also contains spirulina platensis, a micro algae which has powerful anti-aging, antioxidant benefits. It contains high sources of vitamin E and carotene, along with vitamins B complex and C, minerals, essential amino acids and enzymes ~ all which help with premature aging. This serum only has 6 ingredients, and 4 of them are the essential oils.
Ingredients: Organic Opuntia Ficus-Indica Extract(99.47%), Spirulina Platensis Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Aniba Rosodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil cosDNA
Once again, this comes in a glass, dark green bottle with a pipette applicator. I did an IG video on the texture of this product with my very first review ~ prickly pear cactus contains a high amount of mucilages, that goo that holds all of that water & it is similar to snail slime mucin, so it has a similar stringy texture as well.
Despite the initial stringiness of the product, this is actually a very watery serum. However, it coats my skin with such moisture and leaves it feeling soft and supple. It’s like I put a primer on my skin!
Now, Whamisa says it has been clinically tested to provide 72 hours of moisturization, but I wash my face twice daily, so I have no way of testing that. However, I can say this little herbal scented cactus serum leaves my skin feeling very moisturized without any sticky or greasy residue. It is great for the winter time and if you love hyaluronic acid serums, you will love this one!
Fresh Cactus Soothing & Lifting Prickly Pear Mask contains 92% organic ingredients and this green goo contains 82.12% cactus stems, 10% cactus extract and 5% cactus fruit. This mask marries many of the ingredients found in both the toner and serum and combines them into here, with anti-inflammatory bisabolol, brightening licorice, skin softening, exfoliating adenosine, anti-aging spirulina platensis and antioxidant boosting ferulic acid. This also has PHA gluconolactone, which is just as effective as an AHA, but it is gentle and mild, as the molecules in PHA are larger and do not penetrate deeply into the skin. PHA’s also have hydrating and moisturizing benefits that can help strengthen your skin barrier function and they contain anti-oxidant properties, making it a good choice for anti-aging skincare products. PHA’s also can be used with other products such as retinol and skin lightening hydroquinone. PHA products can be used on all skin tones as well and help reduce photo-aging.
This uses dehyroacetic acid as a preservative and it also has antifungal and antibacterial benefits, which is good, because the texture of this mask had me worried!
Ingredients: *Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract(82.12%), *Opuntia Ficus-Indica(10%), Opuntia Ficus-Indica Fruit Extract(5%), ☆(-)-alpha-bisabolol, ***Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, ***Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, ***Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Carbomer, Gluconolactone(PHA), Aluminum Chloride, Spirulina Platensis Extract, Sodium Citrate, Dehyroacetic Acid(DHA), Tocopherol, ☆Adenosine, Ferulic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Aniba Rosodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil cosDNA *Certified Organically Grown ***Natural Preservative ☆Ecocert
This comes in a nice glass tub with a plastic lid. However, based on the texture, I think it should be in a pump bottle! This mask is so liquidly in its texture that I was worried that it would spoil quickly, but this does have an effective preservative to keep it fresh ~ I do need to use this up quickly though.
As the texture is so liquidly, this isn’t a mask that you can spread on with a spatula. I suggest using a clean, sterilized spoon to scoop out the product and then massage that into your skin. I leave it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse off for soft, hydrated and less irritated skin.
After reviewing the ingredients, I didn’t see anything that I thought were triggering as not to use this as an overnight treatment. I have used it as part of my night time routine, adding a thicker layer, letting that absorb and then applying the rest of my skin care routine. It is a very refreshing mask, but I don’t think this is one of my favorite types of masks for the colder months. I would really use this in the summer time, and I would store it in the refrigerator to really enhance that cooling and refreshing sensation.
Just as an aside, I really love how Whamisa is going the extra level in their packaging. I saw this graphic on their site and thought to share it here, as it does show how committed they are in enacting sustainable, recyclable packaging that is bio-degradable.
image from whamisa
Where to Purchase
Whamisa has a USA store, where you get free shipping with $60.00+ purchase, free samples and they have a rewards program as well.
- Fresh Cactus AKA Skin-Exfoliating Purifying Toner 60 mL $16.50 120 mL $27.00
- Fresh Cactus Inner Skin Moisture Bouncy Serum 33 mL $33.00
- Fresh Cactus Soothing & Lifting Prickly Pear Mask 30 grams $10.00 100 grams $25.00
Amazon USA carries a lot of Whamisa, including all three of these products with free Prime Shipping
- Fresh Cactus AKA Skin-Exfoliating Purifying Toner 60 mL $16.50
- Fresh Cactus AKA Skin-Exfoliating Purifying Toner 120 mL $26.99
- Fresh Cactus Inner Skin Moisture Bouncy Serum 33 mL $32.99 Subscribe & Save Price is $29.69
- Fresh Cactus Soothing & Lifting Prickly Pear Mask 100 grams $24.99 Currently has a $15.00 coupon, so you can get this under $11.00
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