MINTD Box November 17 Review

Somehow it’s already the penultimate month of the year and the weather is fully autumnal. The clocks have gone back, the trees are losing their beautifully coloured leaves and it is cold, like really cold. So cold that I am sitting in bed writing this with an actual cold that I have had on and off for the past few weeks. Now is when my combo skin starts to lean towards the drier side of the spectrum, so this month’s MINTD Box and it’s perfectly timed “The Ultimate Winter Skincare Guide” is exactly what I’ve been needing.

This edit is an exceedingly good one because not only are you getting five full sizes products, but you are also saving £141, which is amazing. Every single product is currently in use (disclaimer: two not by me anymore, but I will explain later) and again I have discovered some new products that are on the way to becoming favourites. Every inclusion is all about deeply nourishing, protecting and soothing your skin from the harsh cold temperatures and dry air. I am always surprised by just how dry my skin can get during the winter, so this box would be well suited for pretty much everyone.

African Botanics Marula Hand Cream £46

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil**, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetostearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Rhododendron Ferrugineum (Alpine Rose) Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Isomalt, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Kalahari Watermelon) Seed Oil, Myrothamnus Flabellifolius (Resurrection Plant) Extract, Lecithin, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Ubiquinone (CoEnzyme Q10), Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Asparlathus Linearis (Green Rooibos) Extract, Tocopherol Acetate, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Phytate, P-Anisic Acid, Citric Acid, Citral*, Limonene*, Linalool*. *Constituents of natural essential oils used. ** Organic.

I was so happy when I saw this in the box again because I had recently finished the last tube from the January box (review here). This is definitely one of the more expensive hand creams out there, but like I said in my previous review, the ingredients go above and beyond. It is packed full of some of the loveliest oils like marula, baobab, watermelon and grapefruit, as well as excellent “skin food” like resurrection plant extract, CoQ10, rooibos and alpine rose leaf cell culture extract. The texture is lovely and light yet nourishing and the scent is more herbaceous than floral (to me) and very unique. It can be hard to justify spending this much on a hand cream, so when it comes in a box like this it a huge treat. I won’t say too much more about it because you can read my previous review here. Nothing has changed, I loved and used the first tube to the last drop and this replacement is now a nightstand staple.

Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask £38

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Bentonite, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Kaolin, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Sorbitan Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Lactose, Milk Protein, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Yogurt Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Cichorium Intybus (Chicory) Root Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Olus/Vegetable Oil/Huile Végétale, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lactic Acid, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Butylene Glycol, Volcanic Sand, Xanthan Gum, Decylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Octyldodecanol, Bulnesia Sarmientoi Wood Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Oil, Juniperus Mexicana Oil, Parfum/Fragrance, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green).

After falling in love with the eye serum in the September box (here) I was very excited to try another product from Tula. I have seen good reviews on this mask from friends on Instagram, so it was the first product I tried when the box arrived. It’s a “dual-phase” product that uses both chemical and physical exfoliants to cleanse, smooth, decongest, brighten and renew the skin. It has a lot of really great ingredients and after using it twice I thought I was on to a winner, but unfortunately due to my lactic acid allergy it ended up irritating my skin.

Even though this didn’t work for me, I passed it on to my sister and she has been enjoying it. It has bentonite and kaolin clay to detox, turmeric and green tea extracts to calm inflammation and boost antioxidant protection, lactic acid and retinol to smooth and renew, as well as probiotics, nourishing oils, volcanic sand and rice protein. All these ingredients work together to give the skin a complete overhaul in one step. It feels quite creamy when you apply it, but it sets like a normal mask and you only need to leave it on for about 5-15 minutes. When you rinse it the plant-based, biodegradable beads physically exfoliate the skin while also nourishing it with jojoba and vitamin e, so your skin isn’t left parched. This should leave most skin types (barring any allergies) balanced, calm, clear and incredibly soft and smooth. Tula recommend using this 2-3 times a week, but I think once a week should be enough considering how much it has going on.

Aside from the lactose, milk protein, yoghurt extract and lactic acid not loving my skin, this mask does have a couple of other issues that I thought it was important to mention. It contains parfum/fragrance, which is usually a problem for those with sensitive skin and I was personally not a fan of the scent. It came across as very perfume-y/synthetic and I think the mask would be better off without it. Along with that it also contains dyes, which I am not a fan of. The colour is definitely beautiful and “on brand”, but when it comes to skincare I find things like this quite gimmicky and unappealing. The mask on it’s own, without an artificial scent or colour, is very very good and I only bring up these points incase you have allergies to these unnecessary inclusions.

Overall I’m pretty disappointed I can’t use this mask. I love the idea of it and the mix of ingredients (minus the ones I’m allergic to and the fragrance/dyes), which do a lot for the skin without much effort. I would still recommend this because others (that I trust) have seen good results with it and it’s a great price for what you’re getting.

Potion London The Hyaluronic Complex £30

Ingredients: Methylsulphonylmethane (OptiMSM), Maltodextrin, capsule shell: Hydroxypropylmethyl Cellulose, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Hyaluronic Acid, anti-caking agent: Silicon Dioxide, flow agent: Magnesium Stearate.

This is my second time trying Potion London and I have been taking these supplements daily ever since they arrived. I loved the Beauty Formula that came in the April box (here), so taking these right away was any easy decision. I love supplements and take a good mix that I will be talking about soon and this new addition ticks a few boxes, which makes me very happy. Hyaluronic acid is very important for the body and not just to combat dry skin. It’s important for your joints, eyes and even gums (who knew?) and for me, now is the time my skin, joints and eyes need all the help they can get.

What I love about these is that they contain other supplements that further support the skin and body. The complex of course contains hyaluronic acid that works to boost collagen production, increase hydration levels, cushion the joints (very helpful when it’s cold out), support skin elasticity and eye tissue fluid. These are all the things I need during winter, but beyond that it also includes MSM, which is one of my favourite supplements. I first discovered it via Oskia (here) and it’s amazing at reducing inflammation and detoxing the skin. It also improves collagen and keratin (skin and hair/nails) production, helps limit pigmentation and can be amazing for those with acne, eczema or psoriasis. Coupled with Vitamin C, which is the most well known antixoidant out there, this is much more than just a hydrating supplement.

As you can see the capsules are pretty standard and I find them easy to take. There is no scent or taste and you only need to take one or two a day, meaning this bottle could last you two months, if you take just one a day. At £30 that’s a pretty good cost per pill breakdown. I am currently taking just one a day because I have other supplements that include MSM, so this is like a booster to make sure I am getting enough of everything. Obviously with supplements you are not going to see results overnight, or in a couple of weeks. You have to take them consistently for at least a month or two, maybe even three, but it is worth it. What we put on our skin can only do so much and supplements are a great way to do more if you find topical products aren’t quite enough.

Rodial Dragon’s Blood Velvet Cream £75

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Isoamyl Laurate, Glycerin, Squalane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Myristyl Myristate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Cetearyl Glucoside, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (Fragrance), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Hydrolyzed Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Silica, Potassium Sorbate, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Seed Extract, Croton Lechleri Resin Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Farnesol, Citral, Citronelloe.

Rodial is brand I don’t hear much about within the skincare community, so I was pleased to see this in the box. I’m usually quite hesitant to try new moisturizers because my combo skin generally hates them, but this one was actually good. Despite the fact that it is quite a dense cream (perfect for this time of year), it didn’t feel heavy or break me out and it definitely left my skin feeling nourished without any greasiness. The scent is quite sweet and floral (artificial again though), but very faint. It didn’t bother me at all and my mum (who is currently using it) really likes it.

Now before you get too squeamish thinking that dragon’s blood is some sort of animal by-product (although not the mythical creature kind), don’t worry. The ingredient itself is actually resin from trees that grow in the Amazon and it is all natural, there is no actual blood (the name comes from the colour of the sap) in this cream. Instead, what you will find is a good mix of ingredients like squalane (a fave of mine), hyaluronic acid, carob seed extract and the famed croton lechleri resin extract aka Dragon’s Blood. Beyond being good for hydrating and nourishing the skin, these ingredients work very well to calm inflammation, boost skin renewal and protect against free radical damage.

This would be a great product for those with mature, dry or dehydrated skin. It’s very nourishing with the added bonus of having anti-ageing benefits. As I said, my mum is the one currently using this as it’s more suited to her age and skin type and she is loving it. It’s expensive for a moisturizer and if like me you prefer to spend on serums then Rodial have one of those (here), plus an affordable tonic, as well as a gel moisturizer and sheet masks for the face and lips that look so fun. The whole range looks very good, so if you have mature or dry skin then definitely check it out.

ilā Body Balm for Feeding Skin and Senses £51

Ingredients: Wild-Grown Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa), Shea Butter (Butrospermum Parkii), Beeswax (Cera Alba), Rose Otto (Rosa Damascena) and Rose Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens), Naturally Occurring Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Farnesol.

Now on to my favourite product from the box. This balm is an absolute beauty and I am so glad that it was the first product I tried from ilā. My body tends to get more dry than my face during the winter, so this has been put to good use already and I cannot get enough of it. The scent is so intoxicating and the product itself is like butter. It is very easy to get out of the tub (the pic above was taken before I dove in) and it starts to melt into a gorgeous rich oil as soon as you apply it to your skin.

I am very picky when it comes to my body products. I want things that are quick and easy to use, non-greasy and actually hydrate my skin (lots have failed me) and this does all of that in the most luxurious way. It’s rich without being greasy and absorbs very well leaving behind a lovely nourished and comforted feel to the skin. My skin is insanely soft after I use this and the divine rose scent lingers, but is still delicate and not overpowering. This balm 100% feeds my skin and senses and I save this for when I shower/bath at night because it helps me to relax, de-stress and unwind before I sleep. Like the African Botanics hand cream, this now sits on my nightstand and I love giving myself a little hand and/or foot massage with it before I go to bed.

This little jar of joy has got me so excited about the brand. Their story sounds amazing (read more here) and I love that all the products are hand made yet still well made. ilā are focused on “wellbeing, energy and vitality” and all the products are designed to nourish, balance and create a sense of peace, which this balm has absolutely done for me. If you’ve never tried ilā I highly recommend you check them out. The bath salts sound beautiful and the candles are so vibrant. I don’t know if they have a spa near me, but if they do, I’ll definitely be paying them a visit.

Even though two of the products in this box are now being used (and loved) by others, I still am very happy with the edit. The ilā and African Botanics body products are the epitome of luxury and the Potion London supplements are now a daily staple. The box is incredible value for money as always with the price of the Rodial cream more than covering the cost of the box (£65). You can learn more about subscribing here and you get free delivery on your first box with the code WELCOME17 (delivery is already free for the UK). I highly recommend this box for the upcoming (and current) cold weather and I am in love with the discoveries I have made this month.







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