This past month, I’ve been trying out some new skincare products from DeVita. It’s been a good four years since I’ve used anything other than oil and clay to cleanse my face, but it was time for a change. I had heard tales of people’s skin changing in their mid-twenties, and it finally happened to me. I used to be normal to oily, as so many of us are. In the past year, I’ve come to accept that my skin has transformed to be dry. And this meant my regular skincare regimen wasn’t cutting it anymore, resulting in breakouts and blackheads. I needed help.
Skincare is a topic I am passionate about. The skin is just a thin barrier between your internal body and the the external world, making it a gateway to toxic chemicals if you’re not paying attention to what’s in the products you’re using. That’s why for years I used only diy cleansing methods, so I could know exactly what my body was coming into contact with.
Now, while I’m still a big advocate of the masks and oil cleansing that remains my staple, the fact is skincare companies have access to technology that I don’t have. Jojoba and rose hip oil just weren’t keeping my skin moisturized for the entire day anymore. I also wanted to find some anti-aging products, because I’d rather be preventing signs of aging now rather than fighting them later.
For my quest, I took to iHerb to find some affordable, clean skincare options. I poured through brands, and looked at every ingredient in every product. I checked the ingredients against EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics database. This site is an incredible tool if you have questions about what is in your cosmetics. They rate ingredients from 1- 10, with 1 being lowest hazard, and 10 being highest hazard. They also have a database of ‘EWG Approved’ products, making it easy to find something safe without all the research. Another helpful site that will give you a little more information about what the ingredients you’re looking up are and what they do is Puracy.
Anyway, I ran across the brand DeVita. The ingredients looked clean, and the reviews were high, so I thought I’d give it a go. I got the Anti-Aging 9 Piece Try Me kit:
This included sample sizes of the following products:
- Rose Facial Toner
- Cool Cucumber Toner
- Aloe Vera Moisture Cleanser
- Optimal Rejuvenation serum
- Hyaluronic Serugel
- Gentle Aloe Facial Scrub
- Evening Nutritional Moisturizer
- Perfecting time Moisturizer
- Solar Protective Moisturizer
There were some hits and some misses, so here’s my take on the whole lot:
Full Size Price: $22.95 ($18.36 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), hamamelis virginiana distillate (witch hazel) extract, lactic acid (natural fruit acid), maleic acid (natural fruit acid), glycolic acid (natural fruit acid), camellia sinensis (Japanese green tea) leaf extract, allantoin, rosa centifolia (rose) essential oil, salvia officinalis (sage) essential oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) essential oil, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil.
I started out by adding in this toner to my existing routine, to see what it would do for my skin without interacting with the other products. I gotta tell you, this made a huge difference in my skin! After one week of using this nightly, my pores around the sides of my nose were visibly smaller, my blackheads were diminishing, my breakouts were gone, and my skin was softer. This is because the lactic, maleic, and glycolic acids gently dissolves dead skin cells, leaving the smooth renewed skin below. The other ingredients are also beautiful for the skin. My favorites are aloe and chamomile, for their soothing qualities, green tea, for its antioxidants, and rosemary essential oil for its antimicrobial properties. The only downside to this toner that several reviewers cited is that it has a very strong scent to it. It’s not perfumed, but the essential oils are very fragrant. This does not bother me, personally (fun fact, I have a very poor sense of smell), so the effects it has on my skin far outweigh any annoyance from the scent.
Full Size Price: $22.95 ($18.36 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), hamamelis virginiana distillate (witch hazel) extract, lactic acid (natural fruit acid), maleic acid (natural fruit acid), glycolic acid (natural fruit acid), camellia sinensis (Japanese green tea) leaf extract, allantoin, cucumis sativus (cucumber) extract, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil.
Once I ran out of the rose toner, I switched over to the cucumber toner. This one was good, but not quite as good as the rose. It still left my skin soft, but it didn’t have quite the same effect. My breakouts weren’t clearing up the same way they had with the rose toner. I believe this is because the rose toner had rosemary essential oil in it, which is anti-microbial. The scent of this one is also milder. I also appreciate that neither toner left my skin feeling dried out, as some toners with witch hazel in them can. I would say this is a solid basic toner if you’re not dealing with breakouts.
Full size Price: $23.95 ($19.16 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), saponaria officinalis (soapwort) extract, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, lecithin phospholipid, prunus serotina (cherry bark) extract, tropaeolum majus (cress) extract, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, panthenol (vitamin B5), capric/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut), cinchona calisaya (cinchona), pelargonium graveolens (geranium) essential oil, rosa damascena (rose) oil, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil, lavandula officinalis (lavender) essential oil, tocopherol (vitamin E).
Now for the product that surprised me the most. This cleanser will not dry out your skin. Yes, it is a gel cleanser. And no, it does not leave a residue. I know, mind blowing. There are no detergents or foaming agents in this cleanser to strip skin of it’s natural oils. In fact, the aloe and the myriad of beautiful oils in this cleanser made my skin feel soft and plump. Not something I had ever experienced before with a gel cleanser. You could definitely use this cleanser on its own, but I found my favorite way was to use it right after oil cleansing as a double-cleanse step.
Full Size Price: $48.95 ($39.16 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), camellia sinensis (japanese green tea) leaf extract, vegetable glycerin, lecithin phospholipid, hyaluronic acid (vegan source), squalane (olive), palmitoyl oligopeptide-palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E), centella asiatica (gotu kola), rosa moschata (rose hips) oil, ubiquinone (co-enzyme Q10), l-carnosine, DMAE bitartrate, panthenol (vitamin B5), thioctic acid (alpha lipoic acid), NaPCA, retinol (vitamin A), glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, lactic acid (natural fruit acid), salix alba (white willow) bark extract, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) seed extract.
I’ll be honest with you, this one was hard to get out of the bottle. They sent me a tiny glass vial of this, and I had to whack it against my hand to get the smallest amount out. Since it was so challenging to get out of the bottle, I didn’t have the emotional endurance to try this out thoroughly. However, the few times I did try this out, I will say that I enjoyed the texture of this serum. It’s more of a cream consistency, and is a pale yellow color. Although I didn’t try it long enough to see if it is truly anti-aging, I can speak to the ingredients, which are all anti-aging power houses: vitamin c and rosehip oil to boost collagen production, ubiquinone, vitamin B5, vitamin A, are all things I look for in anti aging. The other plant based derivatives are also beautiful for the skin. This peticular serum is a bit on the pricey side considering my budget, but I would definitely consider getting a full size, just because of the ingredients. I just wish it had been easier to get out of the sample bottle.
Full Size Price: $46.89 ($36.76 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), hyaluronic acid (vegan source), glycerin (vegetable), fucus vesiculosis (seaweed) extract, NaPCA, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower seed extract, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract.
This gel is specifically meant to hydrate the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it binds moisture to the skin. I had high expectations for this, since my mission was to cur my dry skin. However, I wasn’t crazy about this one, actually. It went on like aloe vera gel, but as it dried it became very sticky, a texture I did not enjoy. And when it did dry completely, I felt there was a thin layer of something on my face. One night, I accidentally dispensed too much (easy to do when pouring it out of a tiny glass vial), and decided just to use it all. This actually made my skin sting, which was shocking to me, considering most of the ingredients in this gel are meant to be soothing. I felt that the effect was nothing I couldn’t achieve by mixing a bit of aloe or grape seed oil into a honey mask, which is a much more affordable solution. However, you only need the tiniest bit of this to cover your entire face, so if you did have the large size, it would last you a long time.
Full Size Price: $22.95 ($18.36 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), saponaria officinalis (soapwort) extract, jojoba esters (beads), sorbitol, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, hydrastis canadensis (golden seal) extract, sodium chloride, allantoin, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract.
I tried this once and never used it again. Yes it was gentle, and yes, it made my skin feel nice. The sticking point? The jojoba esters would NOT come off my face! You should be able to remove all traces of the product with just a rinse of water, but these were so stubborn. I even tried drying my face completely then gently brushing at it with a wash cloth. That helped, but still didn’t get rid of all of them. I do like that these aren’t plastic beads, as they often are in facial scrubs, but this was a major deal breaker for me. In my opinion, you’re better off doing a DIY salt or sugar scrub, since salt and sugar dissolve when coming into contact with water.
Full Size Price: $25.49 ($19.96 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), capric/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut), lecithin phospholipid, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, hyaluronic acid (vegan source), palmitoyl tripeptide-5, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil†, tocopherol (vitamin E), oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, allantoin, retinol (vitamin A), beta-glucan (derived from oats), daucus carota (heliocarrot) oil, aniba rosaeodora (rosewood) oil, sisymbrium irio (sisymbrium) oil, cymbopogon martini (palmarosa) oil, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil, boswellia carteri (frankincense) essential oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract.
This stuff. I love this stuff. It’s everything I wanted in a night cream. First of all, just look at the ingredients list above. It’s packed with amazing things for your skin! Peptides, Vitamin A and Vitamin E for anti-aging, beautiful and soothing oils. I was especially excited to see frankincense oil. The scent helps to relieve stress (ideal when heading off to bed), it is anti-microbial, and healing to the skin. In fact, if you’re struggling with acne scarring, you may want to consider incorporating frankincense essential oil into your skincare routine. If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing oil, check out this article by Dr. Axe. Anyway, back to the moisturizer. The consistency was thick, and slightly tacky. After using this for a week, I noticed a visible change in the texture of my skin, especially a decrease in the fine lines. I am usually highly skeptical of anti-aging creams, but this really did work. I also like to apply this around my nose and t-zone during the day, where I tend to get dry and flaky. DeVita really nailed it with this one.
Full Size Price: $28.59 ($22.36 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), caprylic/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut), hyaluronic acid (vegan source), anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, tocopherol (vitamin E), daucus carota (heliocarrot) oil, acetyl hexapeptide 8 (Argireline), glycerol, palmitoyl tripeptide-5, beta-glucan (derived from oats), sisymbrium irio (sisymbrium) oil, cymbopogon martini (palmarosa) oil, boswellia carteri (frankincense) essential oil, aniba rosaeodora (rosewood) oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract.
This moisturizer is like the litter sister of the evening nutritional moisturizer. It has many of the same ingredients, plus Argireline (an anti-wrinkle product). The texture is much lighter, and absorbs into the skin leaving a matte feel, which I’m a fan of. I think pairing this moisturizer with the night cream in my moisturizing routine had a major effect on my fine lines, which I felt were greatly reduced in the two weeks I tested these products. Usually, my sensitive skin stings with pretty much any cream, but this one didn’t bother me at all. To me, this is a major sign that DeVita’s products are designed with clean ingredients. This moisturizer is definitely going to be a staple for me.
Full Size Price: $26.40 ($20.76 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), purified water (aqua), capric/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut oil), glycerin (vegetable), hyaluronic acid (vegan source), glyceryl stearate SE (derived from vegetable oil), stearic acid, lecithin phospholipid, tocopherol† (vitamin E), allantoin, vitis vinifera* (grape) seed extract, Micronized Zinc Oxide.
So, read in the iHerb reviews that the quality control on this particular product is less than stellar. Mine appeared to have water damage on the label when I received it, and it was crusty around the thread of the jar. I don’t know if something was leaking in the plastic baggy the products came in, but I was uncertain enough about the quality that I did not feel comfortable putting this on my face. However, I did test the consistency on the back of my hand so I can tell you a bit about this. Basically, it feels and smells like sunscreen. And if you look at the ingredients, that’s what it is: a basic moisturizer converted into a sunscreen. I really like this idea of a moisturizer/sunscreen combo, which is something I would likely wear every day. However, I passionately hate the feeling of sunscreen. If I was to use a daily moisturizer with SPF, I would want it to feel more like a moisturizer. And I wouldn’t want it to cost $26, when there are so many more affordable options out there.
Bonus Item: Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser
Full Size Price: $15.99 ($12.79 on iHerb)
Key Ingredients: Deionized water, sesame oil (sesamum indicum), caprylic/capric triglycerides, shea butter (butyrospermum parkii), cetearyl glucoside, carrageenan gum, vegetable glycerin, caprylhydroxamic acid, caprylyl glycol, sodium PCA, green tea (camellia sinensis leaf), jojoba (simmondsia chinensis), squalene, organic macadamia oil (macadamia ternifolia seed oil), organic jojoba oil (simmondsia chinesis), yeast extract, glucosamine HCL, vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate), vitamin A (retinyl pamitate), sodium hyaluronate, algae extract, orchid extract (orchis mascula), titanium dioxide.
Obviously this item is not the DeVita brand. However, I had to include it, because ladies and gentlemen, I have found a new holy grail. I’ve always been a fan of Mad Hippie for their formulation and powerful, clean ingredients. I had always steered away from cream cleansers because they were too heavy for my normal-to-oily skin. However, since I was on a mission to try something new, I picked this up. I firmly believe that this cleanser is the most important item that I purchased in this experiment. I swear, when I use this regularly, my skin becomes normal, no longer dry. The feeling is pure relief. After just one use, I couldn’t believe how soft and moisturized my skin felt. I think it’s probably thanks to the shea butter and jojoba oil included in this cream. I also LOVE that this cleanser has anti-aging ingredients, starring green tea, vitamin A, and orchid extract. If you’re a user of cream cleansers, I can’t recommend this one enough. I will DEFINITELY re-order this.
Overall, I was very pleased with the DeVita nine-piece sample kit. In fairness, I did have a couple complaints. The moisturizers came in little pots, which quickly breed bacteria. Because of this, I’d steer clear of using the trial kit as a long term solution, or you’ll risk causing more breakouts. I was a bit disappointed that the quality of the sunscreen moisturizer was not up to par, but I probably would not have purchased it anyway, as I suspect there are similar products out there for a better price. My favorite items in the kit were the rose toner, the aloe vera moisturizing cleanser, and the two moisturizers. These really improved the quality of my skin, and helped minimize dryness. I would be interested in trying out the rejuvenating serum, but I think I would lean towards looking for a more affordable serum, as this one is close to $50. And of course, Mad Hippie just hit it out of the ball park for me. If you’re interested in picking up my faves, I’ll link my shopping cart below!
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