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.

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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 “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. (http://www.forestessentialsindia.com/indulge.html)

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.

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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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Forest Essentials Tejasvi Lightening and Brightening Cream

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This is a product that has just been launched by Forest Essentials and free samples are being offered to their Soundarya ( Loyalty) Members. The original scheme offers a complimentary sample of the Tejasvi Lightening and Brightening Cream worth Rs 525/- on any purchase and is available till 30th June, 2013 or till stocks last. However when I went to their store at Elante Mall at Chandigarh, these samples had not yet reached them. The SA however was nice enough to hand me a small sample. That I’ve harassed this sweet lady plenty since Forest Essentials opened their store at Elante Mall, Chandigarh and she recognises me by now might have helped! The pictures I have put up is of this small sample and since I’ve been travelling ever since, the picture quality is not very good but it gets the job done.Ordinarily I don’t see the point of putting pictures of products except in case of swatches. The only reason I put them up is to show that I did use the products and my take on it is genuine. Other than that, how does the picture of a shampoo bottle or shampoo itself, or a soap or oil, help anyone, I don’t understand. Anyways, coming back to the product sample, what is the size of the sample they are actually supposed to give with a purchase, I don’t know so cannot comment on their pricing.

Ordinarily I’d have a problem with “lightening and brightening” creams given the Indian obsession with the “gori chamdi”. But the thing with Ayurveda, as I understand it, is that the “lightening and brightening” is of your natural, original skin tone allowing your natural tone to be at its brightest sans a tan. So what the cream claims is not to make you “gori-gori” but to restore your skin’s natural brightness and ‘fairness’. My experience with Forest Essential so far has been nothing but amazing. I’m totally in love with this brand, their authentic Ayurvedic products and the salutary effect on the face and hair and I’ll soon have my take on more of their products posted. Had it been some other chemical based brand, I would not have tried even a free sample.

Tejas gud wrComing to the cream itself, what Forest Essentials says is – Tejasvi combines unique natural moisturizers along with selected Ayurvedic herbs to provide extraordinary lightness and brightness, smoothness and suppleness to the skin. It contains Cow’s Ghee along with Coconut Oil, Organic Beeswax, Kasturi Manjal, Peepal, Akashneem, Jivanti and Banyan. These ingredients are renowned in Ayurvedic texts for enhancing elasticity of the skin leaving it with a lighter fairer skin tone, supple and youthful with a noticeably soft resilient and ‘plumped’ quality, and a radiant glow or “Tejas”. The cream they say is created by “ancient Ayurvedic physicians who have used the special techniques of Bio-fermentation, seasonal potency of rare and precious herbs in aged-ghee, stored in copper vats, for their extra ordinary properties of lightening and rejuvenating the skin”.

The procedure for application is to massage a little bit on clean, wet face for minimum of 10 minutes once a day. Then you rinse it off with warm water, followed by cold water. On my normal-oily skin it did not need anything afterwards and given its rich ingredients – cow’s ghee, coconut oil – I doubt even dry skin people will need anything at least in this weather.

Tejas close upI’ve been using it for about a week now which is actually not enough to form an opinion about a product but just an initial impression. And my initial impression is pretty positive. The cream is almost solidified when kept in cool place like ghee would be but thankfully has none of the smell of pure cow’s ghee that many don’t like. I’m in a fairly humid place( Pokhra, Nepal) ever since I started using it but still it did not feel “chip chip” on my face. Neither did it break me out except for an occasional pimple here and there which could be due to my own hormonal roller coaster. I did not even feel the need for a moisturiser in the morning after rinsing the face with plain cold water. And yes the skin does feel supple, healthy and bright in the morning but a week is not enough to comment on the “lightening” property though I do feel that it will help in restoring the skin’s natural tone. But oily skin people, especially those residing in hot and humid places (which right now is almost entire India!) may not like the feel of it and it may break them out at least in this weather.

And that’s pretty much what I can say about it after just a week of use. Once back in hot and humid Chandigarh, I’m not sure I’ll like to continue using it in this weather. But come October and I will definitely pick it up for extended use maybe as a night cream.

On the whole, prima facie it seems like a good product with great natural ingredients that benefit the skin. As with most Forest Essentials products, a little will go a long way though what is the quantity being offered for Rs 525/- has not been specified. in any case, Forest Essentials products are priced on higher side than the drug store brands but they have their own dedicated following who pay and are happy to do so. Moreover Forest Essentials is a cruelty free brand that does not test on animals. I can use their products without the thought of some hapless bunny being tormented to make the product.

The only downside I can see is the timing of the launch of the product. With most India being unbearable hot and humid, this cream may not suit the oily skin people, at least for now. In the winters it should be great for them while dry skin ladies will love it.

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