Friday, 2 May 2014

Review: Astral Original All Over Body Moisturiser

*Listening to: Un Parc, Une Tonnelle by Collection D'Arnell Andrea*

The other week I was contacted to try out Astral moisturiser and see what I thought of it. I happily accepted as I'm always happy to try new skincare products, I was literally just about to run out of face cream and was currently waiting for a Korean cosmetics order; on the day I ran dry of face cream and panicked, thinking I'd have to go out and buy some random cream to keep me going, Astral was popped through my letterbox! I was able to use it that night and have been using it ever since so here are my thoughts on it.

Brand: Astral
Name: Original All Over Moisturiser
Price: £1.52 for 50ml, £4.28 for 200ml, £8.16 for 500ml
Where to buy: Superdrug, many drugstores and supermarkets nationwide (Tesco, Wilkinsons, Boots etc.)

Astral was created in the 1950s and has never changed its formula since. It promises to be smooth, extremely hydrating yet absorbed easily and without any greasy feel. Astral has a wide range of purposes and different sizes. A lot of women buy the 50ml pot to pop in their handbag, in their car glove compartment and for travelling, weekends away, etc. Some women tend to buy a few 200ml pots and keep them where they use them the most - one by their bed, one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen, etc. Some people buy the huge and extremely good value 500ml pot to share with the family. The 500ml pot is also useful if you use Astral all the time but don't really need several pots dotted around the house. I was sent two 50ml pots to try out and I'm about one third of the way through one pot since I received it, using it morning and night for just over two weeks.

Astral has a ton of uses, most of which I wouldn't have even thought of or tried. It can be used as a general face and body moisturiser, night cream, lip balm/treatment, makeup remover, primer, hand and cuticle cream, to prevent/relieve/treat the discomfort of cracked heels, prevent rough skin anywhere on the body (feet, elbows, knees, etc.), hydrate legs after shaving, prolong a tan, as an after-sun cream and even to highlight your legs and elongate them on a night out! There are also many more uses for this cream; it really seems to be a useful product for many purposes.
These are the two 50ml pots. They are blue with white writing, an 'A' carved into the lid and a label telling you about the product.

When you unscrew the lid for the first time, there is a foil inner-lid keeping the product from escaping or leaking.

The packaging is quite basic and is similar to other 'cold cream' brands such as Ponds and Nivea. It is a very general type of packaging and therefore appeals to a much broaded market rather than making the packaging super girly or masculine and excluding other consumers from using this product.
I've been using this cream for just over two weeks now, twice a day and I'm probably not even a third of the way through it. Even a 50ml pot lasts a long time and a little cream goes a long way.

The cream is white and quite thick and rich. It's a bit thinner than Nivea cream though, and this is a good thing - I tend to find Nivea cream too thick and/or heavy to use twice a day, morning and night. Nivea cream is also harder to spread evenly and absorb. Astral All Over Moisturiser is a bit fluffier and light but is very hydrating and smooth. It spreads easily and absorbs in a few minutes.

This is immediately after the cream has been rubbed in - as you can see, there's no greasy sheen or feel to it. After a few minutes, my face has pretty much absorbed all of the product. However, because this cream acts as a barrier and keeps all the moisture locked into your skin, I can still feel it a little on my skin. This isn't a problem for me, especially since I have very dry skin and have pretty much come to accept that, in order for my skin to be properly hydrated throughout the day, my product can't just get sucked up and feel matte immediately after application. The reason I mention this is if you have dry combination skin or just hate the feel of having something sit on top of your skin after applying it, you may want to bear this in mind before trying it.

I've used this as a general face cream for day and night and sometimes have applied a slightly thicker layer as a night cream. Both methods are effective in keeping my skin hydrated and soft. I've also used this as a makeup remover and whilst it removed my eyeshadow and eyeliner, it didn't remove my Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara. That mascara is ridiculously hard to remover and I thought I'd try Astral cream but it didn't remove it at all. It should be fine for regular, non-industrial mascara though. I haven't tried it as a makeup primer or on any other parts of my body but I can imagine it works really nicely on hands, feet, elbows, knees and after bathing to lock in moisture. I also bet it is nice as a massage cream - where you apply a really thick layer, leave it for 5 minutes, massage in and tissue or rinse the residue off.
The cream has a perfumed scent - I like it and it is a little 'old fashioned', similar to the Nivea cream smell but it is quite nostalgic, especially since Astral was created in the 1950s. The scent makes me imagine glamorous 50's ladies using it as well as me in the 21st century!
Like I mentioned before, shortly after this cream has absorbed, I can still feel it a little on my skin, locking moisture into my skin. If I apply this in the morning and don't wear any makeup throughout the day (say, if I were just relaxing or working from home), it keeps my skin hydrated throughout the day and I have no need for another application until night time. If I apply this cream then apply makeup for the day, it still keeps moisture in but doesn't interfere with my makeup - I don't get any dryness come through during the day and my makeup doesn't sit on top of the cream either. Using this twice a day, no matter if I wear makeup or not, is enough for 24 hour hydration for me.
I really like this cream - even though Nivea gave my skin a nice hydration boost, I found it too thick and heavy to use in my general skincare routine. Astral is like a lighter, fluffier version with the same, or even more moisturising properties. I love that it has lots of uses - it really makes the product worth the already very good value; why buy 5 different products when you can buy one tub of Astral? It's a nice general face cream for day and night but it doesn't really have any properties other than hydration - other face creams I might use or prefer have benefits such as stimulating collagen production, brightening the overall skin tone or plumping. It's an amazing staple I'm sure I'll purchase more of but I think I'll use a different face cream and use Astral as a night or massage cream, on my hands and feet and under my eyes once my Clinique eye cream has ran out. I have pretty much nothing bad to say about this cream - the texure, scent and benefits are all great as well as being amazingly good value and easily available. The only reason I wouldn't continue using it as a regular face cream is because I need other properties in my face cream; if all you're looking for in a face cream is hydration, this cream may be perfect for you. 5/5 stars for me!

Disclaimer: This product was supplied for the review - however, all my opinions are 100% genuine and honest; I also received no monetary compensation for this review.

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