Review: oils of life and more from The Body Shop

After our travels in Bali, and knowing that we were coming back to the wonderful British autumn (which basically feels like winter), I wanted to focus on my skin. Over the years, my skin has morphed from being just all-over oily, to a more traditional oily t-zone, dry cheeks situation. I wanted products that would nourish the dry areas and calm down the oily – not the easiest combo.
body shop oils of life

First up, I tried Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil, £28. I explained to the saleswoman that I was looking for an oil that I could mix into my base, as well as wear at night, as right now, my usually life-giving foundation (YSL’s Teint Touche Eclat) is having to work overtime. I tried this very light oil, as well as their Vitamin E oil, a thicker formula for night-time only, but I already have an amazing Vitamin E oil that’s even heavier than this one; Jason Vitamin E Oil 45000IU.

Blending a mix of essential oils with three precious seed oils – antioxidant-rich Black Cumin oil, Rosehip oil (always popular) and beautifying Camellia oil – the product boasts that 99 percent of its ingredients are of natural origin, which should make it suitable for almost any skin type. Still, you might want to ask for a sample first if your skin issues go further than the odd breakout. After four weeks it promises reduced signs of ageing with skin feeling more elastic.

I’ve used this oil every night since I bought it around two weeks ago, and have used it in my foundation twice. It’s not massively noticeable until my makeup reaches that five-hour point; instead of feeling a little dry around the eyes, the oil seems to help my foundation stay flexible and relatively glowing. When I apply after cleansing each night, the morning after there is zero residue but my skin is super soft. But what really boosts the effects of this oil, is applying it after you’ve worn a face mask; a deep cleanse ensures a more nourishing, deeper effect that you can easily become addicted to.

The first mask that I tried was the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, £15. It’s currently sold out online in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. I’ve tried more than my fair share of clay-based masks (my favourite will forever be Trilogy’s Mineral Radiance Mask) but I was still up for trying this one. It shares a few similarities with GLAMGLOW’s YouthMud – a product that I actually find to be super overhyped – plus it comes in at less than half the price. Containing actual tea leaves that help with the exfoliating process while you’re washing the product off, the mask contains the classic purifier, tea tree oil, as well as bamboo charcoal to draw out impurities. I absolutely love the smell and it’s definitely a deep cleanser, but due to the tingling sensation, if you’re even remotely sensitive, I don’t think this is a mask to use 2-3 times a week, as advised on the box. It’s a great mask to apply ahead of a more nourishing, hydrating mask, as it really does clean your skin up, so if you fancy a multi-masking sesh, this is a great go-to. I use it once a week, and a couple of days later, I’ll use a more moisturising formula.

When I want to feel a little more radiant, I use the Amazonian Acai Energising Radiance Mask, £15. I initially wanted to try this after the clay mask, but as they both contain exfoliating properties, it would not have been a sensible option. I use this when I know I have a meeting or event that day or the following day (if it’s the same day you can’t forget the SPF!), and it’s also great prep for applying makeup. After eating a ton of Acai-based smoothies in Bali, I’m not 100 percent convinced of its skin health benefits yet, but it does contain vitamin C, which is a key ingredient for keeping skin looking ‘awake’. It’ also contains caffeine, thanks to Guarana (that ever-popular energy drink ingredient) and Babassu oil, which helps skin appear smooth and revitalised.

The appearance of this mask can only described as raspberry jam, and I can’t lie, when I first applied it, I looked like Samantha from Sex And The City when she gets a skin peel. The BF was pretty disturbed when he saw me wearing it too. But that shouldn’t stop you from buying this. It’s a great, fruit-scented mask that I’m definitely looking forward to incorporating into my weekly routine.

Have you tried any of the other Body Shop masks?