Ethique: Eco-Friendly Products That Are Actually Quite Good

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For a while now, Ethique has been popping up all over my Facebook feed and in NZ blogs I read. Formerly known as Sorbet, Ethique is a company that believes in reducing packaging waste by removing the excess water from your staple beauty products, leaving you with a concentrated solid bar packed full of goodies to cleanse, moisturise or enhance your skin, your hair, your pets, your clothes and just about all the basic things you need to look after. I’d heard nothing but positive reviews on multiple Ethique products so one ludicrously early morning I placed an order for one of their sampler boxes; a little box with five samples of their products that you select, for a minimal cost with free NZ shipping. I chose a shampoo bar, a conditioner bar, a cleansing bar, a body butter and a face moisturiser – all generous sizes, designed to last about a week so you get a good feel for each product. It’s now been about a month since I received my sampler, so let’s give it a review, shall we?

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T-B: Heali Kiwi Shampoo Bar; The Guardian Conditioner; SuperStar! Cleansing Bar

The products I was most excited to trial were the shampoo and conditioner bar I chose, as these are the products with the most feedback on Ethique’s Facebook page, and most regularly mentioned in reviews. I chose the Heali Kiwi shampoo bar, designed to cleanse whilst helping to heal and soothe irritated and unhappy scalps. My scalp has been having a tantrum for a fair few months, and within 2 uses, this had sorted it. Similar story with the Guardian conditioner – hairfall reduced by a very considerable amount, soft and happy hair that didn’t get frizzy. I don’t wash my hair more than twice a week, and these bars lasted through three washes, so I did get well over a week’s use.  I presume a ‘week’s worth’ of product insinuates daily use which these bars didn’t make, but I consider it great value for money considering I have thick, medium-length hair with a lot more strands than most people do. Needless to say, the moment I used up the last of these, I ordered the full-size, with some fancy containers. Full review soon, because DAMN am I impressed.

I was somewhat skeptical of the SuperStar! cleansing bar as it is designed to remove makeup and cleanse the face without stripping or irritating the skin, but contains Sweet Orange oil which can be an irritant to sensitive skins as it contains limonene. As a person with moderately panicky skin, I was hesitant but gave it a shot anyway and was pleasantly surprised – it melted easily with my body temperature, removed my makeup fairly well and most importantly, left my skin feeling clean but not filmy or parched. Despite being very strongly scented with it the Sweet Orange oil didn’t end up upsetting my skin, though I suspect it was mostly this ingredient that stung my eyes a little when getting mascara off (this could well be user-error, despite my best efforts to be careful). I’m not 100% in love, but I can certainly appreciate the versatility of the product and the formulation.

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L-R: Jasmine & Ylang Ylang Body Butter Block; The Perfector Face Moisturiser

I’ve been on a bit of a Jasmine-scented kick since discovering the LUSH Flying Fox shower gel, so I couldn’t go past the wee daisy, which was the Jasmine & Ylang Ylang Body Butter Block. This was definitely not a week’s sample as it only gave me one full body moisturising, but I’m not complaining because I don’t think you really need much more of a trial for such a product. It was a product that meant I could definitely forgo perfume, as it scented my skin, my clothes and my towel beautifully and quite intensely – almost too much so – but also coated my skin in a luxurious soft oil that left my desert-like skin quite happy. Probably not an every-day use product for me, but certainly an indulgent one.

The Perfector is Ethique’s moisturiser offering, touted as a solid face cream. It’s certainly got an impressive ingredient list – boasting rosehip and coconut oils, glyceryl, kaolin clay, hyaluronic acid and a fragrance of frankincense, ylang ylang and vanilla. The hyaluronic acid and glyceryl definitely do their job in the hydration department, and the oils cover the nourishing aspect quite well, leaving me with plump, happy skin in the morning. The Perfector is like SuperStar! in that you melt it on your face and massage it in, but I ended up with far too much product the two times I tried this so I ended up melting the amount I wanted in my hands, rubbing them together and pressing the product into my face as I do with other face oils. I’m not convinced this would sit well for me under makeup as oil takes a while to sink in to my skin and I don’t like waiting, so I’m happy with this as a night product. Possible repurchase.

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All in all, I really liked my first taster of Ethique’s products and have found at least 3 products to repurchase in full. In fact, I have the shampoo and conditioner awaiting me in my cupboard, so expect a full review soon, along with a run-down of the five other products I’ll be trying in the second sampler I ordered with my hair products. If you’re looking for a new something for your skin/hair/body and don’t fancy breaking the bank, I’d thoroughly recommend Ethique. Super fast shipping in NZ, high-quality products with easy-to-read ingredients lists, and customer service who have been nothing short of bloody fabulous whenever I’ve spoken to them. Certainly a new staple brand in my cupboards!