MINTD January Box Review


(Disclaimer – this post is not an ad, sponsored or paid for and contains no affiliate links.)

Here we are with the first MINTD Box review of the year and after surviving the mess that was 2016 (shudders), a “Rejuvenate” themed selection of goodies is just what my skin needs. Unfortunately, this was a mixed bag again with some products being absolutely amazing, while others being so bad that I couldn’t bare to use them. Saying that, this box is still incredible value for money as it costs £65 and you save a massive £94, which is almost 2/3’s of the total value, so I would still highly recommend it as the products I love far outweigh the ones I don’t. My reviews are always going to be honest no matter who I’m working with, so keep reading to find out what I thought of everything in this month’s kit.

Dermalogica Daily Superexfoliant (Deluxe Sample Size) £17


Ingredients: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Malic Acid, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Charcoal Powder, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Maltodextrin, Silica, Magnesium Oxide, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sapindus Trifoliatus Fruit Extract, Niacinamide, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Zingiber Of cinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Pod Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Rosmarinus Of cinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Salvia Of Cinalis (Sage) Oil, Subtilisin, Lipase, Papain, Lactic Acid, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Xanthan Gum, Water/Aqua/Eau, Coconut Acid, Calcium Lactate, Capryloyl Glycine, Undecylenoyl Glycine, Cetrimonium Chloride, Limonene, Linalool.

I have to start with this product despite my not so successful experience with it because it marks a very exciting moment for MINTD Box. This is Dermalogica’s newest launch and it’s inclusion in January’s Box was a worldwide exclusive preview! I think that is an amazing achievement considering how new on the market MINTD is and even though the product didn’t work me, is exactly the type of thing I love to see in a subscription box.

So, on to the product itself. Dermalogica describe this as “a resurfacing, anti-pollution powder exfoliant” that is designed to help fight environmental and bio-chemical aggressors for soft, smooth, bright skin. It contains highly active ingredients like Malic and Lactic Acid, Papain, Lipase, and Subtilisin enzymes, Oryza Rice Bran Extract and Activated Binchotan Charcoal Powder that will resurface, purify, clarify through a mix of chemical, physical and manual exfoliation.

Regular readers of the blog will know that I am allergic to lactic acid, but I decided to still give this a go as it features pretty low on the inci list. I only managed to use it twice before my skin started freaking out, and to be honest, I sort of expected it considering how much it has going on. I had planned to put this review up on Saturday, but after my skin started to react I wanted to let my skin heal (which it has thanks to some products I will be telling you about soon) and find a different way to use it before posting my thoughts. I now use this as a body exfoliant with no issues and I love it. It leaves my skin crazy soft and smooth as well as noticeably brightened and I’m so happy this product hasn’t gone to waste.

Dermalogica recommends this for normal to mature (and prematurely aging skin) and I completely agree. I would not recommend this for those with sensitive or acne prone skin because it is too active. They also recommend this for daily use, but I can’t see that being good for anyone. it is is potent stuff and I think using it more than once a week or twice would be too much for the skin to handle. The brand also have a Daily Microexfoliant that I love the sound of (it contains salicylic acid instead of lactic) and it seems like it would be a great choice for most skin types. This was my first time using trying Dermalogica and despite my bad reaction, I’m happy for the introduction.

African Botanics Marula Botanical Hand Cream 60ml £46


Ingredients: Aqua (Spring Water), Aloe Ferox (Bitter Aloe) Leaf Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula)* Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Decyl Oleate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea)* Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango)* Seed Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Trichilla Emetica (Cape Mahogany Mafura)* Seed Butter, Lepidium Sativum Sprout Extract, Lecithin, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab)* Seed Oil, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Globularia Cordifolia Ferment, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Tea Extract, Cyclopia Genistoides (Honeybush) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexapeptide-3, Pelargonium Graveolens (Cape Geranium) Essential Oil, Rosarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Leaf) Essential Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Essential Oil, Maltodextrin, Tocopherol (Vitamin E). *Organic and Wild-Harvested Ingredients.

African Botanics are one of my most favourite brands and I have been using their gorgeous products since 2013, so seeing this in the box made me very happy. They are a beautiful brand that uses only the very best ingredients in the most luxurious, potent formulas and this hand cream is a prime example of that. When I posted my Insta-Story sneak peek I said that this was good enough to go on your face and I was not kidding. It is jam packed full of skin loving ingredients like plant stem cells, peptides, organic oils and butters and hyaluronic acid. This is designed to do everything from even skin tone by improving the appearance of pigmentation and age spots, reduce inflammation, increase skin elasticity, enhance lipid barrier function, nourish, soothe, smooth, hydrate, strength and protect. Now can you see why this is so face friendly?!

I have been using this nonstop since I got my cold, dry hands on it and if it wasn’t for my aversion to highly scented skincare products, I would be using it as a facial moisturizer too. It has a beautifully light but nourishing texture that spreads and absorbs really well leaving my hands feeling perfectly hydrated with no greasy residue at all. The scent is also pretty unique for a hand cream – more herbaceous than floral, but lovely all the same and not too overpowering. Of course, this is insanely expensive for a hand cream, although you really are getting what you pay for. The ingredients and formula are incredible, so much so that it’s possibly a waste to use this just on your hands. If you don’t mind scented skincare then try this as a luxe moisturizer or even as a body treatment for your most dry areas. If you haven’t tried African Botanics yet I highly recommend them and if you want to try the most luxe yet hardworking hand cream out there then this is it.

EviDens The Day Moisturizer (sample) £41


Ingredients: Unable to locate.

Sigh. This moisturizer is a disappointing addition to such a promising box for a number of reasons. As I talked about in my December MINTD Box review (here), one of the things that has let past boxes down is too much repetition and EviDens is a brand that has been included far, far too often. Not only that, I couldn’t even test this out thanks to the total lack of ingredients disclosure on the website and even on the packaging (which I believe is illegal). The website states that this cream contains QAI Complex (collagens, co-enzymes and amino acids), “Eau de la Foux (water of something that I couldn’t find a translation for), Sorbitol (humectant) and Lactic Acid. Shockingly, that’s all the information the brand are willing to share on a cream that sells for almost £200/$300. As this contains lactic acid (and I have no way of knowing how much), I could not risk putting it on my face, but I also didn’t even want to because I find it quite offensive that any brand would think it’s ok to sell products without fully disclosing what’s in them. I did try it out on the back of my hand and it has a nice light texture that absorbs well, but it is so eye-wateringly fragranced that it gave me a headache. I cannot recommend this under any circumstance and you would be much better off spending £5 more and buying the African Botanics Hand Cream to use as a moisturizer instead.

Sönd Hydrating Face Spray 100ml £24


Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Paraffinum liquidium, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Methycellulose, Ethylheylglcerin, Glyceryl Sorbitan Oleostearate.

Double sigh. At first I was very excited to see this German brand focused on “improving the lives of people with sensitive skin” in the box because it is one I had seen on a few blogs, but then I saw the ingredients list. My instinct was to simply write DO NOT USE THIS and move on to the next product, but for informational purposes I will breakdown the ingredients to explain why.

  • Aqua: Water – Just plain, nothing special about it.
  • Glycerin – A humectant that replenishes the skin and helps prevent dryness. It’s a great ingredient for hydrating and softening the skin.
  • Dimethicone – A silicone.
  • Pentylene Glycol – Synthetic humecetant with anti-microbial and moisture-binding properties. Can also be used as a solvent and preservative.
  • Parrafinum Liquidium – Better known as MINERAL OIL, which is a distillation product of petroleum.
  • Silica – An excellent anti-aging ingredient that soothes, hydrates, boost collagen and improves skin elasticity and firmness.
  • Phenoxyethanol – A presevative that can only be used in concentrations of 1% or less.
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate – A gentle…cleansing agent…in a toner?!
  • Methylcellulose – This is a polymer that comes in many forms and without knowing which one they used it’s hard to say what it’s meant to do, but it’s likely there as another humectant or film former.
  • Ethylheylglcerin – A synthetic skin-softening agent also used as a preservative, a carrier, or suspending agent for other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol.
  • Glyceryl Sorbitan Oleostearate – As far as I can tell this is an emulsifier.

As you can see, aside from the silica and arguably glycerin, this toner is all “filler”. Silicones, mineral oil, preservatives and (bizarrely) cleansing agents and emulsifiers that would not anything significant for the skin and certainly does not warrant the high price tag. To make matters worse the nozzles squirts out too much product and you end up with drenched skin, so the packaging isn’t great either. Better and cheaper options are Hylamide’s Hydra-Density Mist (£15) or one of Odacite’s new treatment mists (£27.50-37.50). I would never use this on my face and I wouldn’t even feel good about passing it on to someone else, so all I can really say about this is do not use it – your face deserves better.

Magicstripes Deep Detox Tightening Mask £31


Ingredients: Aqua, Amazonian White clay, Glycerin, Kaolin, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Titanium Dioxide, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Bentonite, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Polysorbate 20, Trehalose, Rosa Rugosa Flower Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Chitin, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, EDTA, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil.

Like EviDens, Magicstripes has been been featured multiples times in previous boxes, but on this occasion I don’t really mind as each product has been different (eye patches, repairing gloves and now this) and enjoyable to use. With this product the brand have taken traditional clay masks to the next level by incorporating ultra fine clay particles with the microfiber technology of a sheet mask. It’s pretty genius and the mask claims to refine pores, remove blackheads and impurities, tightens, firms, smoothes and nourishes for skin that is hydrated and clear. At first I was skeptical, but once I tried it I was convinced. It actually works really well and despite how messy it can be (the clay is wet and white so be careful when removing it), it is so fun to use and you end up looking a bit like a mummy!

You apply this like any other sheet mask (after cleansing) and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Once on it starts to dry and harden fairly quickly and sets like paper maché. It has a mild cooling/tingling feeling that while noticeable, doesn’t feel uncomfortable. The ingredients are very good with a mix of clays (Amazonian White, Bentonite and Kaolin), Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid and oils like Apricot, Olive and Raspberry, which is why it will purify but also nourish the skin at the same time. It peels off easily and painlessly and all you need to do is rinse off the remaining residue, which isn’t a lot. Afterwards the skin may still feel cool and tingly as the pores continue to refine and tighten, so wait a few minutes (they say 20) before applying your next step. I didn’t really notice that effect and continued on with my usual routine after 10 minutes.

I absolutely love this mask and have stored away the other two in my travel bag because I think they would be perfect to take on trips where space is an issue. They are easy to pack, take up very little room and weight next to nothing. The mask will do everything you need in order to thoroughly detox and rejuvenate your skin after spending time on a recycled air filled plane. If you haven’t tried Magicstripes yet then I recommend starting with this. It’s an innovative spin on an age old beauty practice and the results speak for themselves. You can also check out my review on their Eye Patches here.


Despite the two major duds in the box, this is definitely a sign that MINTD are moving in the right direction and I still highly recommend this month’s selection – if only for the African Botanics Hand Cream and Magicstripes Masks that more than cover the costs. I hope MINTD will continue to learn and grow because for a company that believes we should “only be putting the best and most innovative ingredients on [our] skin”, brands like EviDens and Sönd just don’t reflect that for me.

If you’re new to the blog and haven’t heard about MINTD Box before than you can check out all the info in my previous posts (July, August, September, October, December) or head straight to the website for all the details on subscribing (here). If you’d like to give this beauty box a try then you can use the code WELCOME17 for free shipping on your first one.



2 thoughts on “MINTD January Box Review

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