I simultaneously love and hate free samples. I love them because they're free, because I love trying new products, because it helps me know if a product will make me break out or whatever. I hate them, though, because it's impossible to know if a product will actually benefit my skin if I only use it twice.
That's why it's kind of infuriating when brands offer up a perk that sends out teeny free samples.
Yes, the thought is great. But it's impossible to write an accurate review on a product when I only have enough of it to use once, maybe twice if I don't use very much each time.
For this perk, I received three samples of new Garnier Clean+ products -- the Nourishing Cleansing Oil, Balancing Daily Exfoliator, and Blackhead Eliminating Scrub. In theory, you're supposed to give two of these samples to friends, but what's the point? "Here best friend, wash your face, but only once. Tell me how it went." Kind of awkward, so I just kept them for myself. (All for meeee!)
I have a lot of say about these samples, so this is kind of a long review.
Blackhead Eliminating Scrub
The first and most obvious choice for me to try is the Blackhead Eliminating Scrub. No bones about it, I have pretty awful skin. It's sensitive. It's red. My pores are big. I break out if the wind blows too hard or if I touch my face even once with a tissue.
I tried it the night before Danny and I left for Idaho. I'd broken out pretty bad that morning after battling down a stress break out from the week before. I'd actually woken up and though, "oh my god, my skin is clearing up, YES."
HAHA, cried my chin, NEVER SAY DIE. There another break out appeared, like the evil villain at the end of a horror film.
Firstly, the package says it includes charcoal. Which, it might. It also includes those annoying, tiny plastic beads that companies are obsessed with putting in face and body washes. They don't break down, guys. They are horrible for the environment. If I had only known. Well, not they are in the water and I cannot take it back.
It did leave my skin feeling quite smooth and soft. Sometimes, after I wash my face, within an hour, my skin will feel oily and dirty again. Not this time! I was actually impressed. If it wasn't for the wee plastic beads, I might actually consider buying this product as a replacement for my trusty Apricot Scrub. (HA never. It's been a shower staple since I was 12.)
Balancing Daily Exfoliator
The second sample I tried was the Balancing Daily Exfoliator. It's a standard exfoliator. Again, it contains the little plastic beads. It actually reminds me a lot of Clean & Clear's Morning Burst line or Neutrogena's Grapefruit Scrub. It's the same color as the Neutrogena and smells quite similar.
However, it's kind of sucky to me that they call it a Daily Exfoliator. You should not exfoliate your skin every day. Once or twice a week. Maybe every other day, TOPS. Exfoliating too much can damage your skin, because you end up ripping off skin that, you know, isn't ready to be ripped off. Your skin can only die so fast! Over-exfoliation can lead to overly dry skin, which often leads people to moisturize A LOT, which can lead to, you guessed it, break outs, because your skin is trying desperately to produce more oil to make up for the dryness. So, stop the cycle. Don't exfoliate everyday. It is not necessary.
With that out of the way, this was a decent exfoliator. Relatively gentle, smelled good, but my skin didn't feel any smoother than my usual face wash. I did find that my skin felt oily again after an hour or so and around my eyes got rather itchy.
Nourishing Cleansing Oil
The last sample I tried was the Nourishing Cleansing Oil. Now, reading the package, you'd think, Ok, I guess someone with oily skin shouldn't try this. I mean, it's oil and oil is BAD for acne-prone and/or oily skin, right!? And that is exactly what Garnier wants you to think.
However, all my research on skin has lead me to something important: products like these face wash for acne-prone skin are essentially made to make you keep buying them.
Think about that.
Does a company like Neutrogena or Garnier or Clean & Clear really want your acne to get away? You'd stop buying their products!
Basically, most dermatologists actually suggest that people with oily or acne-prone skin need more moisture, because the cycle of oily skin and breakout, followed by chemicals, followed by dry skin, followed by increased oil production is effectively making their skin worse. The idea is that people with oily skin should use cleansers with oils in them because it will help their skin stay moist and they won't produce as much oil, thereby preventing break outs. Ta da! Now you know why a majority of products for acne do not work and will never work and why there is such a booming industry for acne products. They are all full of lies.
I was really excited to see a big brand like Garnier coming out with an oil cleanser though, even if they are marketing it to those with dry skin. (And certainly, it's good for people with dry skin, too.) Not many drug store brands offer oil-based cleansers, because, ultimately, they want people with acne to keep buying specific face washes. I mean, I've spent a small fortune on different face washes and acne products over the years. It's kind of embarrassing that it took me this long to figure out.
I tried the oil cleanser. And loved it. Like. Love. Love. Love. It. It left my skin feeling soft and moisturized and fantastic. And my skin continued to feel soft and moisturized but not oily throughout the day. And... that's pretty freaking awesome. I mean, super awesome. I've never had a face wash do that.
The only one that I could see myself buying a full sample of is the Nourishing Cleansing Oil, simply because it made my skin feel freaking fantastic. The other two I would not buy, even if they were super effective, because of those stupid little plastic beads.
If you received this perk, what did you think?