I have had a bad relationship with my skin since I was about 10 years old. It began with a few blackheads appearing on my nose and led to greasy skin, large pores and huge, red, painful spots. Cue years of teen angst, feeling self-conscious and trying every spot remedy available on the market.
I was brutal with my skin, through scrubbing, picking and squeezing spots to over-cleansing, steaming and exfoliating. With the lack of knowledge about skincare and the thought that my spots were generated by bacteria, I didn’t realise that I was actually doing more harm than good.
Twenty-plus years later and my complexion still isn’t clear. I continue to have outbreaks during my period, when I’m tired, have eaten too much crap and haven’t drunk enough water. The pores on my nose have remained large and are the one area I hate the most. I will rarely leave the house without foundation or cover-up across my T-zone. Being a busy Mum I no longer have the time to think about having a good skincare routine or visiting a beauty therapist – it’s just not something that has been at the top of my priority list. I was actually told once, during a spa visit, that my skin was, in fact, dehydrated and not greasy. All the spot products I was using had been stripping my skin of the oils it so desperately needed which then caused it to produce far too much which would then clog the pores and cause more spots and imperfections. I went home and immediately threw out all of these types of products, annoyed at myself for spending years adding to my complexion issues instead of feeding and nourishing my skin. I have stuck to gentle brands, such as Nivea and Simple of late.
I always like hearing about products that others rave about because I am reluctant to try them first myself for fear of making my skin worse. When Anna from Tropic skincare contacted me to tell me about her products I was intrigued. Tropic was created by Susan Ma who appeared on The Apprentice. She didn’t win but Alan Sugar still invested in her skincare range as he saw a unique business opportunity and really believed in the brand. All the products are free from animal testing, they contain all-natural ingredients, are free from chemicals and are vegan-friendly. Anna told me how the products had left her skin soft and glowing and asked if I would like to give a selection of items a go. I happily agreed because not only did it give me the chance to try out these fab products it also gave me the opportunity to support a Hampshire Mum with her new venture.
She quickly packaged up my goodies to try for 2 weeks (please note these weren’t given to me and I was required to send them back) along with a catalogue so I could view the full range.
I received the Tropic Skincare Travel Essentials Kit, which is a brand new item containing all the ‘must-haves’ in smaller sizes, perfect for when you are on the go. These are picked for this kit as they are all designed to keep your skin hydrated, refreshed and protected.
Included are: The Smoothing Cleanser (50ml), Vitamin Toner (30ml), Skin Revive (15ml), Organic Elixir (10ml), Tamanu Rescue (10ml) and Bamboo face cloth – all worth £32. Anna also sent me their new Sun Drops (30ml), worth £22, which is a gradual tanning facial serum.
*Full sizes and prices are added inside the brackets
The Smoothing Cleanser (£16, 120ml)
This contains green tea, golden jojoba and eucalyptus. It is designed to melt away makeup and impurities to leave your skin clean and refreshed.
The first thing that hit me with this product was the spa-like aroma which wafted from the tube. I could immediately tell that this was a luxury item. I used it over a few days and, I’m gonna be honest with you as I like to give real feedback, I found that by the afternoon my T-zone was becoming quite oily. Knowing that this was my problem area I stopped using the cleanser. I wanted to gain another person’s view as I was sure it was most probably just my skin type that was reacting badly with the ingredients. I offered it to my sister to try and to provide me with her honest feedback. Her skin has become a problem due to her endometriosis. It releases extra hormones which cause her skin to have breakouts and she often complains that it is painful and angry. She generally steers clear of moisturisers and products with oils because she finds they clog up her pores. She reluctantly took the cleanser and only used it because it was me asking, but… the very next day she came over, makeup-free, raving about her complexion!! She had only used it twice but she could already see a difference and described her skin to me as being less angry, softer and more matte. This coming from a person who usually avoids skincare products was a ‘wow’ moment! She has now been using it for a week and has been back at mine thumbing through the catalogue looking at the body products! It goes to show that even though the cleanser wasn’t quite right for me, it could be a lifesaver for somebody else’s skin and she is now very excited that she will have a lovely complexion for her wedding day.
Vitamin Toner (£14, 120ml)
This is a pore-refining mist containing aloe vera, vitamin C and rose water. It works by balancing the pH level in your skin to help reduce pore size.
I love this product! It is cool and refreshing on your skin and best of all it really works. My pores have tightened up and become smaller which is a huge positive for me. It is easy to use and there is no need for cotton pads as you just spray it over your face. It also smells lush!
Skin Revive (£22, 50 ml)
A nourishing daily moisturising cream packed with 20 different skin-loving fruit, flower and seed extracts. This also smells like a spa in a bottle! It left my skin smooth, soft and hydrated.
Organic Elixir (£30, 50ml)
This is listed in the catalogue as an age-defying facial oil, I, however, think they are missing a marketing trick here. If you have dry or dehydrated skin then this is the product for you. Packed with antioxidants and essential amino acids, this oil is designed to intensely hydrate to help smooth your skin. Anna recommended that I used this every other night, after my evening skincare routine, to allow it to sink in and take effect whilst I slept. I have been waking with glowing, soft and smooth skin instead of the usual pale, washed out, dull skin I am used to seeing. The difference really was noticeable and I think people who lose out on sleep, who do not drink enough water, who travel a lot and who have dehydrated skin would all benefit from using this oil.
Tamanu Rescue (£8, 10ml)
The Tamanu plant is known for its healing powers which is exactly why Tropic skincare have used it as their main ingredient for this pocket-sized product. It states that it can be used on chapped lips, insect bites and cuts.
I used it on my lips – I am an everyday vaseline user as my lips are usually dry and sore. This product is quite noticeably thick in texture but this means you can apply it once and that’s it for the day, leaving you with moisturised, soft and pretty yummy lips!
Bamboo Face Cloth
This is included in some of the packs and is not sold separately. It is such a soft material and is delicate on your face. Much nicer to use than a flannel.
Sun Drops (£22, 30ml)
This is a gradual build facial tanning serum. A pipette is provided for easy measuring and all you need to do is add 2-4 drops to your normal moisturiser and mix it together, then simply apply to your skin as usual. Containing passion fruit, coconut water and plant allo-melanin, it also gives your skin a radiance boost.
These, I can admit, I was nervous about using. Looking at 4 drops in my moisturiser led me to believe I may look orange after use so I began by only using 1 drop to get an idea of how much it would change my tone. I messaged Anna to get advice (she is always very quick to respond and provides great customer service) and she completely reassured me that she did not look like she had been ‘Tango-ed!!!’ I then began to add more drops and I started to notice the glow she had told me about. If you want a natural look and not the fake tan mishaps, then this is the product for you. It goes on smoothly and evenly and leaves a fresh sun-kissed look.
Tropic skincare offers so many more luxury items so I have only scratched the surface here. I was supposed to be sending the products back but I have to admit that I have been converted and the travel pack has now been paid for and has a new home… well, 2 new homes as I won’t be prising the cleanser from my sister’s hands anytime soon!!
If you would like to contact Anna or learn more about the range please do visit her Facebook page.
I hope these products can help your skin as much as they have done mine.
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