May 20, 2014

InstaNatural Organic Oils for Hair, Nails, and Skin

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

When I signed on to review one of InstaNatural's products for hair, nails, and skin, the company was super nice and sent three products to try: an argan oil, rosehip seed oil, and a Vitamin C serum. I'm familiar with argan oil and serums, but rosehip seed oil was totally new to me.

For review purposes, I stopped using my preferred Vitamin C serum for a few weeks and solely relied on what InstaNatural sent me. I did try other argan oil products during the last couple weeks, but not at the same time I used InstaNatural. My husband admitted to borrowing the rosehip seed oil this week, so I'll share his thoughts on that product too.

InstaNatural Serum and Oil Products
100% Pure Certified Organic Argan Oil
InstaNatural emphasizes the benefits of using their pure argan oil, which is chemical and preservative free. This is a product the company suggests for skin and hair, using it as a moisturizer, anti-inflammatory, complexion enhancer, and nail strengthener. There's a list of suggested uses on the InstaNatural website that also includes protecting hair while styling, softening the skin on hands and feet, and helping with premature aging. I'm not a huge believer in a good one-size-fits-all product, so while I tried it for skin and nails, would choose to just use it for hair ongoing.

What is Argan Oil?
I've reviewed other argan oil products but I've never shared anything that explains what argan oil actually is. I knew it came from a tree or tree nut, but never did much homework on the source until I decided to write this post.

Argan oil is an emollient source of Vitamin E, great for very dry hair or skin. It's non-fragrant (that doesn't mean it's odorless) and comes from the kernels of the argan tree in Morocco. According to the Paula's Choice ingredient encyclopedia, for skin, argan oil is good, but not better tha many other non-fragrant plant oils in cosmetics. I don't have the inside knowledge on its use for hair, but my stylist promotes its use for dry, frizzy hair and I trust her judgement.

My Experience
InstaNatural's 100% pure argan oil was more effective at taming my hair than the other argan oil I tried during the last few weeks (read that argan oil review here). To me, it's about the same as Moroccan Oil, which has other ingredients, some of which I'm unfamiliar with. My only dislike with InstaNatural is the lack of fragrance. Even a simple natural added fragrance would be better than the natural odor of the argan oil, which is kind of unpleasant.

100% Pure Organic Rosehip Seed Oil
InstaNatural promotes the benefits being a way to reduce skin damage and dryness, cell regeneration, diminishing the appearance of marks and scars, and to soften and increase the shine of hair.

What is Rosehip Seed Oil?
I had to Google to find out what rosehip oil is used for. It's extracted from the seeds of rose bushes in the Andes, South Africa, and Europe, according to Wikipedia. It's generally considered to be a good emollient oil. InstaNatural mentions Vitamin A on their website, so it's a good antioxident and emollient but it's not retinol and would not be a direct substitution for Retin-A.

My Experience
I didn't have much reason to try the rosehip seed oil but I have a visible scar from a port used during chemo, so I tried it on that. Like a lot of scar-reducing products, I'm betting it takes months to notice a difference, rather than weeks, so I'll keep using it a few times a week to see if I notice a difference. I also tried it for a couple nights after yard work left my hands cracked and painful. It was a bit greasy but didn't burn like a regular lotion would on cracked and bleeding skin.

Below you can see my dry hand on the left and after applying some oil on the right. No, my hand wasn't that red after - bad lighting in my bathroom.

  


My husband used the InstaNatural rosehip seed oil for both a recent scar from a cut requiring an ER visit and on his cracked hands after a hard day working on a landscaping project. He said, "it's fine. It's stinking and oily, but that's expected." He assured me the oil absorbed quickly but he has been adding a spray lotion after using the rosehip oil because he really didn't like the rosehip oil smell. He isn't sure if the rosehip oil is helping but feels like the scar is healing well.

Vitamin C Serum
I use a vitamin C serum almost nightly and for a few weeks, substituted my usual serum for the one from InstaNatural. InstaNatural's serum includes good choices for preservatives that are not known to be irritating and comes in a dark bottle to minimize light exposure on the vitamin ingredients. That said, I'd rather have seen a serum in a pump bottle rather than a dropper since each time I open the bottle, I'm exposing the content to air. Vitamin C isn't easy to keep stable and effective when exposed to the air.

What is Vitamin C Serum?
Vitamin C serums include a potent antioxident which can reduce the appearance of discoloration and help with signs of aging. It's good for collagen production, which is probably why my skin feels tighter. The main thing to know is whatever you choose, your Vitamin C product should be packaged in a way that minimizes exposure to light and air. That's important for product stability.

My Experience
I like what Vitamin C does for how my skin feels. I feel like my skin is tighter and more firm. Truthfully, it could all be in my head as no one has ever said, "Sam, your skin is so tight and firm," hehe, but I'm okay with that. I'd say InstaNatural worked as well as what I'm used to, but I wasn't a fan of the dropper, which was kind of drippy, which then wastes product.

Overall Experience
Overall, I'm struggling with the smell. I want to smell good. I don't wear a lot of perfumes or strong scents, but I don't want to smell like a tree nut either. It's just unpleasant. So, no, I probably wouldn't go buy InstaNatural's argan or rosehip oils, but there's a chance I would consider a switch to the Vitamin C serum if the dropper could be fixed or the product dispensed in a pump.

See below how the product drips out? This happened with all three products. I'm not squeezing the dropper. It just drip, drip, drips and therefore, is messy and wastes product. If it were one bottle with this problem, I'd assume it was just a manufacturing error, but with all three, it's hard not to assume this is a persistent issue.


One other thing I do wish for was that the company was more open and forthcoming about who they are. They have a website but it offers limited information on who founded the company, who works there, or just general details beyond the products themselves. I like to know about companies I'm buying from, especially when I'm looking for products that have strong claims like cosmetics and skincare companies often do.

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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