boscia Skincare Review

04 September 2012

I actually kind of like doing those product battle posts. I know the first one is going to raise people's hackles but it happens. We don't all like the same things. I have another one planned, actually, between Benefit and Revlon (spoiler: Revlon wins, by a long-shot.) ANYWAY, this is a review post. About skincare, that I've been using for little over a month now, albeit on and off.

I should mention that I have oily/combo skin. It gets severely dry in random little spots, but, for the most part, is oily as hell. I do not have sensitive skin, nor do I have issues w/ acne. I got in a car accident eight years ago and the airbag left some rough, red patches along my jawline; I also have typical redness. I am sensitive to heat, so my face is often red, but the redness is usually my only skin issue. Sometimes it looks a bit textured and dull.

I'm not even sure if there is a crazy demand for boscia reviews, but whatever, let's get this started!



boscia is a Japanese skincare line that prides itself on being both preservative-free and cutting edge. The name is a portmanteau of 'botanical' and 'science' and was first created 32 years ago. The way they package their products is actually kind of cool - they use a method they call the 'Clean Room manufacturing' where everything is air-tight and sterile and all processes are done by machines...humans don't enter there! This allows their products to have that two year expiration date; most natural products have a much shorter shelf life, but they're also exposed to air.

I'll let them tell you the rest!

Originally developed in Japan 32 years ago and introduced to the United States in 2002, boscia is the world’s first 100% preservative-free skincare.

Our revolutionary skincare combines clinically-proven active botanical ingredients with cutting-edge Japanese technology for highly effective products that deliver dramatic, visible results, while remaining gentle on all skin types. boscia products are unique within the industry due to these masterful ingredient blends that provide unprecedented benefits, from increasing cell regeneration, improving elasticity, boosting radiance and evening skin tone, to reducing fine lines and wrinkles, treating acne, eliminating redness and improving overall skin health.

What we don’t put in our products is as important as what we do. To achieve superior results without compromising skin health (sensitive or otherwise), boscia products are formulated without the following:

  • Preservatives (boscia contains none of the 150 industry-recognized preservatives – not just parabens – that can irritate skin and cause blemishes, redness, eczema and more).
  • Ethanol alcohol
  • Bactericides
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Synthetic colorants
  • Mineral oil
  • Animal ingredients

What we do put in our products is time-tested, safe and ground-breaking: powerful botanicals used throughout the ages as remedies for skin reactions, and ahead-of-the-curve bioactive ingredients that rapidly show results.

boscia’s scientists have developed our proprietary “Botanical Blend,” the essential ingredient base formulated into every product. This incredibly effective and very specific mix of Jojoba Leaf and Willowherb helps solve the most common skin problems: dullness, dryness, fine lines, lack of firmness, blemishes and sensitivities. Jojoba Leaf is a phenomenal antioxidant that helps to prevent free radical damage caused by pollution, UV rays, and other environmental irritants. Willowherb Extract is a natural skin-calming botanical that helps to alleviate inflammation and redness. Combining our exclusive blend with other super-charged ingredients guarantees that every boscia product delivers unparalleled results to all skin types, tones and textures."

This particular kit came w/ five sample sizes of some best selling products. These were pretty decent sizes of product, and I've been using them for roughly a month. The only one I haven't used is the blot sheets...I don't really use those things anyway, and I gave them to a friend anyway. But, if you were curious, here is the link; these come w/ 100 sheets and retail for $10.

The first product I've been using a lot is their Purifying Cleansing Gel. This is one of their best selling products at Ulta. It's 5 fl oz for $26. According to boscia:

A sulfate-free cleanser and makeup remover derived from amino acids to deep clean your skin while protecting its natural moisture.

• Hydrangea Leaf thoroughly yet gently purifies and refines the look of pores.
• Botanical Amino Acids gently eliminate surface debris, impurities and oil, leaving skin clean and conditioned without drying or stripping skin’s natural moisture balance.
• Jojoba Leaf, a powerful antioxidant, combats free radical damage while it nourishes and protects skin to prevent premature aging, and Willowherb, a unique anti-irritant, helps to calm skin inflammation and reduce visible redness and irritation.

This product is non-comedogenic."

Since no synthetic scents are used in these products, this cleanser has a noticeable herbal smell to it. It's nothing overtly offensive to your olfactory organs, but it's there. It's supposed to be soap-free but it still lathers nicely, so if you're one of those people who NEEDS lather, you're good.

It leaves my face feeling clean and tingly, but not so clean I feel starched or dried-out. HOWEVER...it states it's a makeup remover and it's just not. It doesn't remove my mascara or eyeliner and I never use waterproof mascara OR waterproof liquid liner. It barely takes off my face makeup. I wash my face twice w/ two different cleansers anyway, but even washing twice w/ this specifically makes no difference. For that, I wouldn't repurchase nor really recommend. It's pretty nice, but still standard and for the price point, just doesn't blow me away.

However, it IS a best seller, so plenty of people love it.


The next product is their Balancing Facial Tonic. This, again, is 5 fl oz and retails for $24. This is the recommended product to use w/ the cleanser above and according to boscia:

A soothing and refreshing tonic that hydrates as it conditions and prepares the complexion for your skincare regimen.

• Essential Lavender Water calms and refreshes.
• Serine, an amino acid, promotes softness and moisture balance.
• Jojoba Leaf, a powerful antioxidant, combats free radical damage while it nourishes and protects skin to prevent premature aging, and Willowherb, a unique anti-irritant, helps to calm skin inflammation and reduce visible redness and irritation."

Um. I guess this stuff feels nice on your skin when it's hot outside? It's essentially like spraying water on your face. Again, it smells pretty herbally, so if that ain't your kick, well, it's all over. I, personally, do not notice any skin benefits. I can't recommend a $24 product that, to me, feels like I'm spraying water on my face. If you want a rec, I like using witch hazel as a toner. It works nicely! Again, this is obviously a best seller for a reason...it just didn't do much for me. It does feel pretty refreshing on your face; but then again, so does water.


The next product is the Oil-free Daily Hydration SPF 15, which I actually really like. Go figure, I love both of the moisturizers and they're both the most pricey out of all the products I've tried. This moisturizer is 1.4 fl oz and retails for $36 (!). According to boscia:

An oil-free moisturizer that provides weightless hydration as it controls excess oil, minimizes the look of pores and protects skin from future damage with broad-spectrum SPF 15 protection.

• Silica Powder absorbs excess oil and refines the look of pores.
• Polysaccharides provide essential moisture.
• Wine Yeast Extract provides powerful antioxidant benefits, combats free radical damage and helps skin maintain its normal moisture balance.
• Marine Complex, a complex of Algae Extract, helps prevent premature aging by repairing existing damage and protecting skin from new damage caused by environmental stress and UV rays.
• Jojoba Leaf, a powerful antioxidant, combats free radical damage while it nourishes and protects skin to prevent premature aging, and Willowherb, a unique anti-irritant, helps to calm skin inflammation and reduce visible redness and irritation.

SPF 15 UVA/UVB Sunscreen (broad spectrum sunscreen):
• Octinoxate absorbs UVB radiation to prevent skin damage and sunburn.
• Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) absorbs UVA radiation to prevent premature aging.

This product is non-comedogenic."

Okay, really fast, let's talk sunscreen. Both octinoxate and avobenzone are chemical sunscreens. This means that they'll absorb most of the rays. I would have liked if this had included either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as main protection factors as well, which are physical sunblocks. The best sunscreen will usually have both. These are listed near the end as ingredients, but the effects are obviously minimal, seeing as they aren't even mentioned.

The only difference between the two is how they protect your skin - chemical sunscreens usually absorb the UVA/UVB rays, and they'll do it a bit better than physical sunblocks will. However, they can also be less stable and a bit more irritating to the skin. They will eventually break down/be absorbed into the skin. Whereas physical sunblocks like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are broad-spectrum, generally stable and deflect or reflect UVA/UVB rays. The particles are bigger and usually coated, which means they tend to rest on your skin as opposed to being absorbed by it. However, they don't absorb the FULL spectrum of UVA rays.

I would like to point out that studies have been done stating that octinoxate mixed w/ avobenzone will degrade faster, so if this is your only sunscreen, you'll DEFINITELY want to reapply throughout the day! Source link, if you're interested!

Finally...if you're sketchy about this product containing only SPF 15, remember that:

Keep in mind that the higher the SPF, the smaller the increased benefit: contrary to what you might think, SPF 30 isn't twice as strong as SPF 15. While SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, SPF 30 filters out 97%, only a slight improvement."

Sun protection factor only include UVB rays. This is a broad-spectrum product, which means it will block out both.

Well, anyway. Moving on, haha!

This is such a lightweight moisturizer. It doesn't feel like some oil-free moisturizers w/ thin textures; this actually feels hydrating. It contains humectants like glycerin, so this isn't too surprising. It also contains silica, which is supposed to help absorb oil throughout its wear.

I really like this stuff. Not only does it blend into my skin, it blends super fast. It sinks into my skin w/in a couple of minutes from application. I can rub this on and be able to start applying makeup super fast. It's moisturizing...not to an over-done degree, but to a comfortable-for-my-skin degree. And finally, the oil controlling properties are nice. This isn't an all-out mattifier, but it DEFINITELY helps.

Even though this is a bit expensive, I DEFINITELY recommend this moisturizer, especially if you have oily skin!


The last product I have to talk about is the Recharging Night Moisture and this I frickin' love. So, of course, it is the most insanely priced product I've tried. 1.4 fl oz and retails for $44. According to boscia:

A concentrated moisturizer that works overnight to nourish and revitalize the skin. Repairs, strengthens and improves skin elasticity and firmness.

• Encapsulated Ampelopsis Grossedentata absorbs easily to strengthen skin and diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
• Phytoglycogen helps restore the look of vitality to damaged skin.
• Hydrolyzed Yeast rejuvenates and promotes new skin cell production.
• Hyaluronic Acid provides essential moisture.
• Jojoba Leaf, a powerful antioxidant, combats free radical damage while it nourishes and protects skin to prevent premature aging, and Willowherb, a unique anti-irritant, helps to calm skin inflammation and reduce visible redness and irritation."

I really love this moisturizer. I get random dry, flaky patches on my face and this stuff is intense. It is super hydrating and gets rid of those problem dry areas. I am only 24 and don't have wrinkles, so I can't attest to its age-reversing properties, but this is a great night moisturizer. It feels luxurious when applied; almost like a thick cream instead of a moisturizer.

I wouldn't really say this would be great for oily skin though. Even though it's a night moisturizer, it IS pretty thick and hydrating. It is DEFINITELY meant to be used at night though. This does not make a good day lotion substitute. It is so thick that it needs ample time to sink into your skin and do its thing. It remains sticky or tacky to the touch for a good hour after applying, so using it at night is heavily preferred.

If you have irritating dry patches, this is a pretty nice cure! I really like this product, and will be purchasing the full-size, despite the price.


boscia products can be found at both Sephora stores and Ulta locations. While I do like the cleanser and the tonic, they just weren't overwhelmingly amazing to me. Also, I love both of the moisturizers but they are REALLY pricey so I feel kind of bad trying to recommend them to people. If you're interested in trying these products, I definitely recommend it! I mean, there's a reason why these things are all top sellers.

FTC Disclaimer: Now, I don't normally post an FTC Disclaimer because I don't get free shit, considering no one knows who I am. So it's pointless, really. But I did get these things for free - I work at Ulta and this was gratis. I did have to watch a 45-minute long video explaining these products and then explain them to another coworker of mine. So, here's the disclaimer: I got these products for free from my job, but other than working for Ulta, I am not affiliated, nor am I affiliated, paid, or sponsored by boscia themselves.
 

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