My History With Skincare & Featured Skincare: Luminance

I have literally daydreamed about being one of those people who reviews natural skincare/beauty products, and today, I bring this dream into REALITY.

First, I want to briefly describe what my history with skincare looks like, so if you couldn’t care less then feel free to scroll down to the good stuff!


My Personal Skincare History~

My first memory of any type of skincare was when I had some bad acne or particularly oily skin, and my mom suggested putting some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad and wipe my face with it. After the day I mistook nail polish remover with the bottle of rubbing alcohol, I promptly stopped that method. Thanks though, mom.

When it came time to consider some legitimate skincare, I discovered Clean & Clear’s “Morning Burst” face wash. I suppose my hormonal, teenage skin had never experienced such a potent product, because I’ll never forget how invigorated my skin felt. I could literally feel the air passing my skin, like it was wet and I went outside into freezing weather. Now, it sounds sort of concerning, but at that time it was such a game changer. I continued to buy Clean & Clear from that point on.

Fast forward to college, when my passion for yoga and sudden interest in health came to be. I remember going to Target with my roommate, on a search for “natural” skincare products. “I just want something with simpler ingredients, and less chemicals,” I said (go figure.) We picked out some stuff Neutrogena had marketed as their “natural” line, and I brought it home. I think once I realized that I had been duped and it was all just a bunch of bs, I went balls to the wall and bought some skincare from Lush Cosmetics.

At that point, I got super into it; I even went as far as making my own “moisturizer,” which was a blend of coconut oil, vitamin E and lavender essential oil. This lasted a whole summer, but I eventually converted back to my Lush regimen. Since then, I have tried a whole variety of skincare lines.


I can confidently say I have spent a lot of time trying different methods of skincare, and on different sides of the spectrum of “natural.” I went from “cleaning” my face with pure isopropyl alcohol to using pure organic almond oil (which is a whole process within itself and I don’t think I can go back to that.) But, throughout it all, I have found a passion in natural skincare.

My definition of the term “natural” is somewhat loose, purely because I don’t know as much about certain ingredients as other people who legitimately study this stuff. Some ingredients have scientific names that don’t sound natural but are, and vice versa. But, in sharing, I hope that those folks who are willing to educate will be kind enough to reach out and provide a bit of their knowledge! (If you do, contact me!)

Alas, the purpose of this post. I love trying “natural” skincare lines, and even more so I love finding products that work really well for my skin. With that being said, I should disclaim that my experience is subjective to my skin type and my body, so I encourage all to go into trying any new product with somewhat of an understanding of what their own skin type is.

Every now and then I would like to feature a different “natural” skincare line, give my honest opinion on some of the products I try, what does/does not work for me, and so on… Which leads me to this Featured Skincare post! Luminance Skincare!


Luminance Skincare~

I came across Luminance as it was being promoted by an influencer I follow on Instagram (@nolatrees), and as I trusted Dana Falsetti’s advice on most things, I figured it was worth trusting her judgement on this brand.

Luminance’s concept is about being as clean and simple as possible. Their background story is of the owner, Kim, who wanted to start a line of products that didn’t contain any synthetic ingredients or fragrances for his wife who was suffering from intense migraines. It’s cute and honest and their intention was to design products that are honest as well. I would highly recommend this brand to anyone who has sensitive skin, mature skin, or just doesn’t care much for heavy, aromatic skincare products.

I have been using Luminance on a daily basis for 4 months now, and my regimen consists primarily of their cleanser, toner and moisturizer twice a day. Serums I change daily depending on what I need that day as well as if I do masks at all throughout the week. In this post I will review all products I have tried from Luminance (10 total), share which ones I would buy again and which ones I’m not so sure about!

Full list of products (in order):

-Delicate Cleanser
-Rosewater Toner
-Hydration Moisturizer
-Nourishing Serum
-Acne Serum
-Exfoliating Mask
-Rosewater Mask
-Antioxidant Spray
-Eye Cream
-Deodorant


Delicate Cleanser~

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Delicate Facial Cleanser, 4 oz. $19.80, 8 oz. $35.20

This cleanser is exactly as marketed- delicate. The cleanser is essentially a liquid soap, so if you get any in your mouth, it tastes like plain soap. It naturally separates, which is okay because often times things with super natural ingredients do that, so you just shake it up, spray “a few” spritzes into your palm, lather and apply onto wet skin… then rinse. This 4 oz. bottle has lasted me almost 4 months of twice daily use and I’m slightly more than halfway through.

I find that this cleanser does just what they claim in it’s description; it doesn’t strip your skin of natural oils and dry it out. You will not have that tight, squeaky clean feeling. It does just enough to wash away excess oil and dirt. It is a very watery consistency, which I don’t necessarily prefer, but it’s not the end of the world. I think that, as well as the barely there scent, contributes to it’s overall lightweight and gentle feeling.

This cleanser will not really remove makeup, since it is so lightweight. I’d say it’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup or for those who have a thorough makeup removal process.

I like this product, it works for me. I tend to have dryer feeling skin, even if I just wet my face in the shower I feel like I need moisturizer. They do have a Cream Cleanser which would be better for someone like me who needs extra moisture, so maybe I would buy that one next time instead of this one.

Rosewater Toner~

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Enter a captiRosewater Toner, 4 oz. $19.80, 8 oz. $35.20on

I have loved rosewater as a toner for a long time, due to it’s soothing properties. My mother has some mild rosacea, and I show some signs of also having rosacea, so rosewater is my favorite for when I am red or irritated. It physically feels so good.

With that being said, it is hard for me to not love this product. If you like roses, and enjoy rosewater as a skincare supplement, this is a worthwhile purchase.

However, two important things to note: the nozzle on this bottle is not ideal. I find that it sprays a lot of product in a small area, which is kinda lame because it’s $20 for a 4 oz. bottle and the goal is to spray your whole face with it. This product I have burned through much faster than any other Luminance product I bought, and I’m not sure if it’s because I love using it or if it’s because the nozzle doesn’t disperse product very well? Let’s go with both.

BUT, on the other hand, it smells so good. I recently purchased the same exact thing from a different skincare line, for about $4 cheaper. I was like, “wow! What a deal!” But it turned out the cheaper one smells like old, musty, wilted roses whereas the Luminance one smells fresh and clean, and almost spa-like. I think the $4 is worth spraying my face with fresh roses, rather than old stinky roses.

Hydration Moisturizer~

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Hydration Face Moisturizer, 2 oz. $29.70

I have mixed emotions about this moisturizer. Like all of their other products, it is non-scented, very lightweight and almost watery without being runny. I find that after applying this product, my skin still feels sort of tight, like it’s not absorbing the moisture. But the weird thing is that I can feel with my hands, a thin and slick layer of oil sitting on top of my skin- which is okay, because your skin needs oil to exist. But it’s frustrating that my skin feels tight… but oily?

Don’t get me wrong, this is a perfectly fine moisturizer. Especially if you are the type to not wear a full face of makeup, or you don’t often experience dry skin. However, for the price and the amount, I might try something different when I run out of this product. At least I know that if all else fails, I can come running back to this because I know it will still love me and my skin.

Nourishing Facial Serum~

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Nourishing Facial Serum, 1 oz. $24.20, 2 oz. $44.00, 4 oz. $66.00

I’m all about serums. As I’ve learned from my esthetician friends, the serum step is the treatment step. If you aren’t already using one, I highly recommend it. As Luminance states on their website, the serum is applied after cleansing and toning, so it can penetrate the deeper layers of your epidermis (das ya skin, dingus). This serum, however, does not do crazy wonders for me.

The name, “Nourishing Serum” kind of makes me feel like it’s basic af and has no real particular purpose but to just give you some more good stuff. I’m cool with that, but if I had to choose between this serum and a serum made specifically to reduce redness and blemishes, I’d choose the latter.

Luminance doesn’t say much about this product, except that it’s ingredients are to “help retain the elasticity in the skin as we age.” I’d say this product is perfectly fine for most skin types, but particularly for people who don’t already have a serum in their skincare routine but would like one. The consistency is nice, it’s slightly more dense but very similar to their moisturizer, and it has no scent.

Acne Serum~

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Acne Serum, 1 oz. $24.20, 2 oz. $44.00, 4 oz. $66.00

Luminance only sells a few products marketed in their “Acne” section that are different from their “Youthful” section, and this is one of them. I’m blessed to not have nearly as much of a struggle with acne as a lot of people do, but I still get the occasional hormonal breakout right before my period. I ran out of the serum I was originally using for acne, so I figured I’d stay consistent to Luminance and try theirs.

Right off the bat, if you don’t like tea tree, you will not like this product. The main ingredients are matcha tea powder and tea tree oil, and since matcha doesn’t have a strong scent this product smells strongly of tea tree. At least until you rub it in and it dries.

I like this serum, but I don’t use it very often so I can’t give much feedback on whether it’s a wonder product or not. However, I will say that the few times I did use it, the next day I noticed my acne spots reduced slightly and calmed down. They did not go away instantly though, but I suppose that’s something you would have to accept if using a product that is entirely very natural ingredients.

Exfoliating Mask~

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Papaya Enzyme Exfoliant Facial Mask, 1 oz $19.80, 2 oz. $35.20

Most people hear “exfoliate” and think abrasive, scrubbing, particular, etc. There are also those who think of chemical exfoliations. This is neither, because it is a “papaya enzyme exfoliant.” I really appreciate that Luminance doesn’t condone the practice of scrubbing your face, but using something gentle instead that removes dead skin naturally.

I think that the scrubbing type of exfoliating that most people think of is okay in moderation; I’ve heard of people doing it multiple days of week and getting great results, and then there are people who do it too often and end up irritating their skin. Regardless, this is different and so gentle that I imagine most types of people could use it.

The texture is very lightweight, almost so lightweight that you’re like, “what even is this?”  It smells really subtly of fruit, (papaya) but it’s barely there. The instructions say to apply liberally to wet skin and then wait around 15 minutes, then rinse. Every time I use this product, I don’t know if I notice a difference or if I convince myself that there is a difference? But this is not the type of product for people who love scrubbing away at their dead skin. This product is gentle, soothing, and meant to naturally eat away at “spent skin cells” without irritation.

I’m not sure if I will buy this again, but if I end up actually developing rosacea and it’s ok’d by my dermatologist, I will turn to this product for when I’m looking to freshen up my skin and pamper myself once a week.

Rosewater Mask~

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Rosewater Hydration Mask, 1 oz. $19.80, 2 oz. $35.20

Since moving to southern Arizona, I’ve needed all the moisture I can get. Some days get so dry that I want to rub my most moisturizing body butter all over every inch of my skin. So, when I saw Luminance had a mask for hydration, I decided to try it!

Like their exfoliating mask, the consistency of this mask is very lightweight. Similarly, you are to apply liberally to a wet face and let sit for up to 15 minutes. (Isn’t it nice to force yourself to do something that requires you to relax for 15 whole minutes?) Again, I’m never sure if I have actual legitimate results from this mask or if I just tell myself that I do? But, some ingredient of this mask leaves your skin feeling moisturized after rinsing and I kind of like it. Almost like they added something in there that won’t rinse off with the water and feels nourishing.

Luminance recommends using this mask many times a week if you’d like, and I understand why. The day of the application of this product, my skin feels good! It feels hydrated. But the next day, there isn’t much carry over and I could do it all over again if I wanted. I might buy this again, just because it seems to be lasting a decent amount of time and it actually works on the days where I’m so dry that I’m flakin’ up!

Antioxidant Spray~

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Antioxidant Spray, 2 oz. $24.20, 4 oz. $44.00, 8 oz. $79.20

I want to disclaim that I did not order this. I ordered one of the gift boxes during the holidays on discount. When I got the package, this was in it as well, and I was like, “did I order this on accident?” I was genuinely stumped. But it turns out that Luminance likes to surprise their customers with free products and not tell them! So if you got to this point, congrats! An Easter Egg of sorts for you.

Luminance says it is, “formulated to provide a broad spectrum of naturally occurring and stable floral antioxidants and vitamin C, in a blend of organic rosewater and Borage Oil to help dissolve already coagulated sebum.” So there ya go.

Anyway… I hate it.

Well, I hate the way it smells. I believe that is the ingredient “German Blue Chamomile,” and I think that because in my last order they surprised me with the Eye Cream that is also made of said chamomile and also stinks real weird. I struggle to describe what it smells like; it’s an unpleasant floral and powdery smell and it’s so overwhelming. Any time I apply this to my face, I’m cringing. Needless to say I don’t apply it often.

Despite the smell, I never see or feel any difference after applying this product. However, on the bottle it says, “hint: wonderful after shaving underarms, legs or face.” Let me tell ya, when I shave my legs, I immediately get bumps and itchy, red skin. Like, I get out of the shower and my legs are screaming for lotion or to be itched. I sprayed this on my legs and miraculously, the feeling instantly went away. If anything, I will continue to use this product for that reason only until I run out.

Eye Cream~

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Luminance Eye Cream with German Blue Chamomile, 1 oz. $24.20 USD

Again, this product was also sent to me without my asking. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all! But, I’m not necessarily in the market for eye cream… especially if it’s made with German Blue Chamomile.

Like the Antioxidant Spray, the smell of this product is overwhelmingly strong and in my opinion, rather unpleasant. Okay, it’s not that it smells bad, but that it’s just sooo strong.

Anyway, the texture of this cream is thicker than the moisturizer, which I expect for an eye cream. The pump sprays out way too much product than you need for just under your eyes, so I ended up putting this pretty much everywhere else on my face. Needless to say, the next day I mysteriously had some breakout action going on where I carelessly put the remaining eye cream.

I wouldn’t recommend this product unless they change the packaging. At that point, if someone were to tell me they were looking for an uber natural, crunchy granola type of eye cream for mature skin, I would send them to this product.

Deodorant~

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Luminance Natural Deodorant, 2 oz. $16.50 USD, 4 oz. $33.00 USD

Ya girl loves a good natural deodorant. So much that I’m still on the search for the perfect one. I’m one of the types of people who gets irritations from certain natural formulas, and my armpits are usually pretty stinky-sweaty so I need deodorant… that lasts. When I saw that Luminance had a deo, I was like, I have to try it. It gets such good reviews and people seem to swear by it, so I thought, “maybe this is the one. Maybe this is the natural deodorant to end all deodorants.”

Their claim is that it’s not formulated to stop you from sweating, because that’s not the problem. Luminance’s website says that this deodorant “inhibits the growth of stinky producing bacteria,” with some enzymes and stuff. Sounds pretty groundbreaking to me.

Anyway, it doesn’t really work for me. First of all, they mention a few times that it’s best when applied to freshly cleansed pits, which I agree with. That’s usually the time that I find the deodorant does it’s job and keeps me from being stinky. However, they also mention that some people need to apply it a few times a day (me.) Now, how am I going to apply it in the middle of my day when I’m at work? Am I supposed to cleanse my pits in the bathroom and reapply the deodorant? I personally don’t have time to do that, so I end up applying something that I know will last longer.

Second, the formula itself feels like straight up water. I’ve tried a few “spray on” style deodorants and I just can’t get down with it. I hate the feeling of wet armpits, because my brain associates it with being sweaty, and that in turn makes me nervous because it makes me think I’m overly sweating and stinky… so then I nervous sweat. It’s horrible, I know.

My point is, if you don’t care about being a lil’ stinky or if you don’t really perspire heavily in the armpits and you’re in the market for a natural deodorant, give it a go! It smells lightly of sage, but not too much to smell like a hippy dippy. And 2 oz. for $17.00 is a fair price that will get you pretty far if you’re not the type to need to reapply constantly.


 

So, there you have it. All data I have been collecting in the last 4 months, in a comprehensive and thorough product review. Luminance’s line of products is based on the concept that skincare doesn’t have to involve harsh chemicals, synthetic or toxic ingredients. Their products can fall under the categories of raw, vegan, cruelty free, organic, non toxic, gentle, nourishing, non synthetic, and lovely.

Take a trip on over to Luminance’s website and see for yourself; their brand line is so much more than I could have described in this single post. You may find yourself contemplating switching out or supplementing in a natural skincare product, because they do so well at describing their products. Either way, I hope if you ever wondered what Luminance’s skincare line would be like for yourself, that I helped answer some questions.

…and don’t forget! You can order a free sample of their cleanser, toner, moisturizer trio and simply pay for shipping! Go for it! Make your way to their homepage, scroll down and sign up for the newsletter. You can handle the rest from there. Have fun!

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