Forest Essentials “Made to Order Customised Cream Review

Last July I had ordered Forest Essentials “Made to Order  Customised Cream” (read here) . Sadly, I could not use it when I received it in mid August as not only did I get an acute bout of acne but I also realised that the formula was a bit on the richer side for my oily, acne prone skin especially in the hot and humid months of August and September. I finally started using it from November onwards, regularly, twice a day- morning and evening- and now after over 2 months I think I can accurately give my opinion.


Well, the glamour of seeing a cream specially customised for you aside, it has been quite a letdown. Not that I was suddenly expecting to have a flawless skin but sadly, it has done nothing for me that any other face cream has not. And here is why-

  1. Whatever drug store variety I have used – say Olay or Garnier- did the job of keeping the skin moisturised and that is just about what this cream did as well. As I said above, for the months of August and September, the formula was too heavy for me, which is surprising considering that it is “customised” and hence supposed to be just right for you. All that it did November onwards was to provide adequate moisturisation and that’s about it.
  2.  What I was really looking for and had asked for was for the cream to somewhat even out my skin tone and lighten the acne marks and dark spots – it did neither.
  3.  As much as I might like to say that I woke up with a bright face and all that jazz, I sadly did not.
  4. Despite all the “anti inflammatory” and “anti bacterial” ingredients, it did nothing by way of combating acne. For that, I have turned to homeopathy.
  5. The only good thing, as Neeha too pointed out in her comment in my previous post ( here), is the divine smell and the initial feel good factor. Other than that it has just turned out to be a waste of Rs3000/- .

While a customised cream is supposed to address your specific concerns, mine did not. That is not to say that someone else’s customised cream will not work for them- it may or may not. Mine unfortunately did not and I have now moved to Kama…let’s see how that fares.


Forest Essentials Head Massage Oil Sugandha

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         I never thought that I would say this about a Forest Essentials product but sadly, I have to- “This one is a total let down!” And I mean really. The product I’m talking about is their head massage oil “Sugandha” which I picked up for its apparent ability to help with  hair fall as mentioned on Forest Essential’s Facebook page in a post dated 15th July, 2013- “Hair loss and course ( spelling- coarse) dry hair are common in Monsoon. Try Sugandha Head Message (spelling- massage) Oil. It has Shoe Flower Extract with Black Sesame Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Camphor, Anise and other effective Ayurvedic herbs. It nourishes hair roots & prevents hair fall”. With this post, they not only successfully murdered the English language, what with all the spelling errors, but also got me to buy this hair oil at Rs 850/- for a 200ml bottle, a sucker as I am for hair oils. After about 3months of using this oil, all I can say is that I am so very disappointed.

What FE website says about this hair oil is – “With Vetiver, Jasmine Flowers, this pure oil of Coconut and herbal infusions is highly beneficial for thickening the hair and restoring its shine. This treatment works particularly well for those with dry, damaged or colour – treated hair as it provides vital nutrition to the scalp and hair roots. Forest Essentials Head Massage Oil Sugandha contains Sesame & Coconut oils which have been used since ancient times documented in the Vedas or ancient Indian texts. Nourishing properties of these oils with essential vitamins and fatty acids are quickly absorbed into the skin and make the head deeply relaxed and also help balance the body’s energy flow. Well known herbs like Sugandha, Anise, and Cinnamon help to improve hair growth, quality and colour.” The ingredient list is pretty long and impressive too- “Organic Black sesame oil 46%, Virgin Coconut Oil 43%, Shoe flower extract 4%, Star Anise 2%, Camphor 1%, Vetiver Essential Oil 1%, Cinnamon Essential Oil 1%, Basil Essential Oil 1%, Fennel Seed oil 1%”

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The bottle is typical Forest Essentials classy transparent plastic bottle with a stop cap inside. The oil itself is a slightly translucent brown in colour with a distinct coconut and herbal smell to it. The smell is not strong or overpowering but over sensitive noses may have a problem with it. The oil is not very greasy or sticky but having endured Patnajali’s Divya Kesh Taila (reviewed and compared with FE Bhringraj Head Massage oil here), “chip-chip” is not an issue for me. However, you do need to shampoo twice to get it out of your hair.

Coming to how it performed for me, as I said right at the beginning, a total non-performer. I’ve used it consistently thrice a week since 3months now and it did nothing for me either in the monsoon season or thereafter. Mine was not a chronic or serious hair fall problem but just the seasonal one coupled with chronic dry hair. Sadly this oil helped me neither with the hair fall, forget any thickening, nor with the dryness. At best, my hair came out soft but that is really nothing to write home about, so to speak.

Even if summing up the PROS means giving the devil its due,here it goes-

  1. 100% natural, ayurvedic ingredients.
  2. Cruelty free
  3. Not particularly sticky
  4. Classy attractive packaging

Now for the CONS

  1. Total non-performer for me on all its claims- be it controlling hair fall or the dryness. It may, however, work for someone else but is not a product I will recommend. On the contrary, the FE Bhringraj Hair Oil (reviewed here) is a product that performed wonderfully and I would recommend to everyone.
  2. High price tag, especially in the light of it being a dud.



Forest Essentials “Made to Order” Customised Cream

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to have a fashion/make-up line named after you? Having a street named after you is huge. But these days a fashion/accessory/makeup line isn’t so big a deal. The reason I bring this up is because yesterday I received my Customised Cream from Forest Essentials. While I’m obviously yet to try it, the box reads “Specially made for Ms. Tamanna Kanwar”. Yeah I know it was specially customised for me that’s why it says so and it’s nowhere near the same thing as having a line named after you but just saying- felt pretty awesome.

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For those of you who don’t know, Forest Essentials is offering to make a customised face cream specially to meet your skin’s specific requirements. You go on their website, fill in the form and within a few days they get back to you with their recommendations. Once you confirm and make the payment, within 15 days of the confirmation the cream is ready to be shipped. (

What FE says about this offer – “The secrets to flawless skin and ageless beauty have been known to Indian physicians for over six thousand years, preserved in one of the world’s oldest systems of health care and healing, known as ‘Ayurveda’ or ‘Knowledge of Life’. Ayurveda defines the 3 life giving forces or ‘Doshas’ – Vata, Pitta and Kapha – that are the inherent intelligence of the body

We understand that your skin demands the most precious natural ingredients and certain fragrances and natural textures, may be preferable to you. In this regard, Forest Essentials is delighted to create for you, your own customised beauty cream that provides the necessary nourishment, repairs and rejuvenates your skin while it’s at rest.

This customised beauty cream can be prepared exclusively for you, basis the following key questions that we require to understand your skin and Dosha type. Formulated with the base of hydrating ingredients such as Cold Press Organic vegetable and plant Oils, blended with renowned Ayurvedic ingredients, this cream will be unique and one of its kind. Adding to its individuality that reflects your own, a signature fragrance of your choice whether the fresh tangy scents of lemons or even the muskiness of pure sandalwood, will be added to your personalised beauty cream.”


Ordinarily I would be wary of trying something like this given the obvious fact that it would come with a hefty price tag. However, FE is a name I’ve come to love in the past few months. Their products, specially the ubtans, have suited me like nothing else did. I’ve always been a big fan of all things natural and this is a natural, Ayurvedic brand  and cruelty free to boot. When I came across their “Made to Order” offer, I was tempted. I got their mail with the recommendations; I fired a volley of more questions and so and so forth. Even so the price of Rs 2950/- for a 50 gm jar ( plus another 100 for shipping) was quite a deterrent. So I thought some more but eventually gave in to the temptation- the possibility of having my face look like skin was too tempting to pass. Okay so my skin isn’t so bad but yeah I have my own issues and concerns with it. Since FE products have been helping me, I decided to burn a hole in my pocket and order it. As I reasoned to myself, any high-end brand, say Clinique or Estee Lauder would cost more for their ordinary range, forget something customised. So why not give this a shot!

What their Ayurvedic consultant recommended for me, after an analysis of my “doshas” is a Jasmine Pomegranate & Kokum Butter Cream- The key ingredients of the cream would be Tea tree oil which controls excess oil production & reduce acne, Nut Grass is Soothing & an anti-irritant, Satavari is Anti-inflammatory ,Nagkesar is anti-bacterial, Ashwagandha is anti-oxidant, Vidarikand maintains natural hydration levels of the skin and Pomegranate juice moisturizes. The base would be Cold Pressed Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Cold Pressed Organic Wheat germ Oil & Kokum Butter”

I made the on line payment on 22nd July, 2013 and was informed on 7th August, 2013 that it would be dispatched that day. On 8th August, I was given the docket no. Yesterday, on 12th August 2013 I received the courier which is actually more time than a courier from Haridwar to Panchkula should take but for that there is DTDC to thank. Yesterday I also received a mail with a skin care regime that they have suggested for me.


While the packet was nothing fancy but a standard cardboard brown box, the jar inside was intact- nicely secured in bubble paper. The packaging is classic FE- small square box with a jar inside- just like any of their creams. And of course my name on the top, that honestly I’m so kicked about. The cream smells gorgeous, is neither very thick nor thin- just about the consistency of their Jasmine and Patchouli Night Cream, maybe a wee bit thicker. DSC07867 C

This was just a peep into this “Customised Cream” offer and I’ll have a detailed review up after about a month. I think that is the minimum time one ought to give a product, specially an Ayurvedic one. So long ladies-I have my personalised cream to keep me happy!!

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