Sola Skincare review: local natural skincare products (plus giveaway and coupon code!)

In my little world, self-care is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside when life gets hectic. And just to be clear, when I say “self-care” I don’t mean yoga or meditation or trips to the spa (because let’s face it, I don’t do those things anyway) — I mean basic things like showering or going to the dentist or brushing my teeth. That’s me, friends … I get overwhelmed by minutiae and am pretty gross a lot of the time.

Case in point: until recently, I hadn’t washed my face in years.

I had an unfortunate experience a decade ago with one of those shi-shi department store brands, which I won’t name here but I promise you’ve heard of it. This brand has some pretty dedicated enthusiasts and I’m sure it works wonders for those people, but it made my skin feel like it was going to melt right off my face. Rather than just trying something else, I did the not-at-all sensible thing and swore off facial products forever. Since then I’ve only occasionally splashed water on my face to clean it, and trusted the shower to take care of the rest.

But, friends. I’m grown now and even though life’s busy, I really do need to start washing my darned face because seeeeriously. It’s just time.

Over the past couple of months I’ve had the pleasure of trying out a few products from Sola Skincare, a local-to-me (Metro Vancouver, woot!) company that makes natural skincare products infused with Chinese herbs. Sola is a family-run business, which makes it all the more endearing because everyone loves families, right? And this particular family makes awesome stuff — everything from facial cleansers to deodorant to baby bum balm. Have I mentioned I work exclusively with people who are amazing? It’s in my contract.

Just kidding. I don’t have a contract. I’m nowhere near that professional.

Sola Skincare review

The situation: my face before Sola

So, here’s the deal with my skin: it’s pretty sensitive and tends to react angrily to things that aren’t water. In addition, I have reached that delightful age (36, for anyone who’s counting — hi Mum!) where my face is dull and weathered but still manages to bless me with the occasional breakout, because remember when you were a teenager and they promised one day you’d grow up and your acne and awkwardness would magically disappear? It was a damn dirty lie. Especially the part about the awkwardness.

Here’s my face, for your reference. Please can we not talk about my hair right now.

Sola sent me their Calendula & Rose Happy Face Kit, which includes Calendula & Rose Cleansing Grains, Rose Hydrosol and Balancing Face Oil. According to Sola’s website, this kit is suited to “sensitive, dry or aging skin” which is perfect for me because not only is my skin quite sensitive but I am also extremely old. I also tried the Coconut Deodorant, which is a top seller and gets rave reviews.

The package arrived at my house, and the products were so pretty I almost didn’t want to mess them up by using them. Eventually I did crack them open, but not before taking a few photos on my deck for posterity (and, you know, this review).

The products look particularly attractive displayed atop ice-encased patio furniture. It was coooold here this year.

The process: using Sola’s Happy Face Kit

Calendula & Rose Cleansing Grains

These grains use oats, goat milk, rose and calendula to gently clean and exfoliate the skin. I’d never heard of cleansing grains before, so I was a little intimidated by the idea. I wasn’t too sure what to do with this — but luckily I’m very good at following instructions as printed on bottles of skincare products. All you have to do is mix a half-teaspoon of the grains with a little water to make a paste, then scrub it on your face. I thought this sounded a bit involved, but it’s really not all that different from using soap … which I guess I also see as “involved” since I’m so lazy about washing my face. But for you, it probably won’t seem that way because you have much better personal hygiene than I do.

The grains were a tad messier to use than soap, but they felt nice on my skin — exfoliate-y without being harsh. So far so good.

Rose Hydrosol

This one was my favourite. It’s a toner, but it isn’t alcohol-based like some others I’ve tried so it wasn’t drying. It smelled incredible (roses!) and was so refreshing to spritz on. I also felt ever-so-delicately classy using it, for some reason. Like only very refined ladies with flawless skin could possibly use something so elegant, so the fact that I use it obviously makes me a very refined lady.

Now that I wash my face, I mean.

Balancing Face Oil

Sola’s balancing face oil uses a blend of essential oils and Chinese herbs to hydrate and nourish the skin. Real talk: I was super hesitant to put oil on my face, because oilWho puts oil on their face, on purpose?! But I did it anyway, in the name of science.

The oil was surprisingly light, and absorbed right into my skin. I didn’t need much, either — just a few drops for my whole face. It was so much more hydrating than regular moisturizer, which tends to just sit on top of my skin and feel greasy. At one point I had a nasty cold and this was the only thing that soothed my poor schnozz after weeks of abuse with scratchy tissues. The oil has an earthy, grassy aroma and is a nice finishing touch after using the cleansing grains and hydrosol.

The results

This might have had something to do with my ten-year face-washing hiatus, but I honestly noticed an immediate difference in my skin the very first time I used the Happy Face Kit. My face felt smooth, soft, and clean — and more importantly, very much not like it was going to fall off. I’ve been using the kit almost daily ever since and haven’t had a reaction. I’m not sure if the change is visible, but my skin definitely feels better and healthier. Sometimes I just want to touch it a bunch … which probably doesn’t help with the breakouts, but hey.

Here’s the after picture (note: Sola’s products will not make you less tired if your kid woke up at 4:00am):

Post-Sola Skincare review. Everyone has that face they make in pictures (but never in real life) that they think makes them look cute. This is mine.

… and the Coconut Deodorant!

You didn’t think I’d forget about the deodorant, did you? It just seemed like a separate thing so I made it its own section.

Sola’s coconut deodorant is made with coconut oil, baking soda, arrowroot powder, sweet almond oil infused with Chinese herbs, and beeswax. That’s seriously it. There’s nothing unpronounceable, except maybe the names of the herbs if your Mandarin isn’t up to par (mine definitely isn’t).

Despite the rave reviews on their website, I was skeptical. Skepticism is just how I roll, apparently — especially when it comes to potential misplaced faith resulting in body odour. I was careful to test this out on a weekend, just to avoid becoming the office pariah in the event of a spectacular failure.

But, you guys … it worked.

It worked so well.

I made Justin try it too, just for good measure, since he’s smellier than me and his job is much more physical. And it worked sooooo well.

Just a couple o’ weirdos who don’t stink.

The best part was how it didn’t really have a scent at all. I just smelled like me, but without any B.O. And it held out all day long. I was so impressed, it was all I could do not to just invite random people to smell my pits.

Consider me a convert.

Epilogue (alternate section title: After the Final Rose Hydrosol, because I can’t resist the opportunity to sneak in a Bachelor reference)

After two months, I’m still using all these products and I love them. Even though they come in relatively small quantities, the fact that you only need a tiny amount means they last a long time. I still have quite a bit left after two months of fairly frequent use. You might run out faster if you’re a bit more religious about using them daily, or if you use the facial products on your neck and chest as well (I didn’t) … or maybe if you have a really big face. Anyway, Sola’s products are small but mighty, like a pygmy hippo*. Plus you can feel good about using them because they’re all natural, they’re made with love by awesome local folks, and they actually work.

Try Sola products for yourself and get 15% off!

Check out Sola Skincare’s website to shop their amazing products! Use coupon code THISSLOWPROCESS to get 15% off your online order until June 30, 2017 (see? A discount just for you! I told you they were wonderful). Then you can wash your face too, just like me.

Look at us — we’re face-washers now. So adult.

Or enter the giveaway and get stuff for free!

Andandand! Because they are extra generous folks, Sola has partnered with me to give one lucky reader their Essential Care Kit ($50 value) for free. The kit includes Sola’s Soft Skin Balm, Bare Bum Balm, and the very magical Coconut Deodorant featured in this review. Check out the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway, which is open to Canadian and U.S. residents.

The giveaway closes April 2 (12:00am Pacific Time), so get your entries in now. I’ll draw a winner at random on April 2 and email you if you’re it.

I hope you win! You deserve it.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

* I may have been to the zoo recently.

DISCLOSURE: Sola Skincare sent me their Happy Face Kit and Coconut Deodorant free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. They also provided the Essential Care Kit as a giveaway prize — but they didn’t send me that, they’re going to send it directly to the winner. I don’t have it so please don’t show up at my house asking for it, even if you win the giveaway (and especially if you don’t win because that would be extra weird and stalker-y). All opinions in this post are my own, because they’re the only ones I have.

56 Comment

  1. Erin says: Reply

    Great review! I am interested in giving these a try, but am trying to use up my homemade oil cleanser/moisturizer before buying more. ? Love to hear another great review of the deodorant, will have to pick some up! ??

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Oh, get the deodorant for sure. It’s so good!

      Glad you enjoyed the review 🙂

  2. Jenn Cole says: Reply

    Great article and I too love Sola skincare. I am pretty lazy in my skin care routine but never miss out using the toner and balancing face oil. Would love to try their other products.

    1. Jean says: Reply

      They’re pretty great, aren’t they? I’m so glad to have discovered them.

  3. Edna Williams says: Reply

    Great article! In the morning, I wash my face with St. Ive’s Green Tea Scrub, then I apply Vitamin C Serum and ROC Facial Moisturizer. At night, I wipe my face with an Argan Oil Towlette, and apply Rosehip Oil and a night moisturizer.

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Edna! I kind of regret being so late to the oil party — it really does work wonders.

  4. Ana says: Reply

    I have no skin care routine! ha.

    I must say though, you look absolutely beautiful in both before and after.

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Aw, you are too sweet! ?

  5. Tava says: Reply

    I’m a face cloth and water person most days but also feel like it’s time to find “THE ONE” but the choices are overwhelming and I also had a bad department store brand experience with a toner that basically ate my skin and scared me away thankfully without any scars… oddly enough I do use a natural brand “face” cleaner for my knees, elbows and upper arms/pits when I’m in the shower but I don’t use it on my face as it’s abrasive — odd for a face cleaner?!?

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Ugh, that does sound like a bad experience but I’m glad you came out of it scar-free at least. Some cleansers/toners can be so harsh.

  6. Amy Heffernan says: Reply

    I usually just moisturize and do a clay mask once in awhile!

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Keeping it simple … I like it! Thanks for commenting ?

  7. Lee Mckeon says: Reply

    I use tons of moisturizer and always trying to find the perfect product for my Arizona dry skin!

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Oooh, we were in Arizona this past Christmas… I can definitely see why a good moisturizer would be critical out there!

  8. Melissa says: Reply

    I would love to try this and thanks for this review! My skincare routine is I wash my face with natural soap in the am and I drink vegetable juice

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Ooh, yes, what you put in your face is as important as what you put on it, right? Thanks for the comment ?

  9. Kaitlyn says: Reply

    Your review made me smile! “Shi Shi” haha! You look beautiful in both before and after photos 🙂 thanks for the skin care review, I’m currently looking for minimal fuss, affordable and natural products for my face

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the review! And thanks ☺️

  10. craftyone says: Reply

    I keep it simple and use witch hazel to clean my skin then leave cetaphil on my skin.

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Simple is definitely good!

  11. Annamarie V says: Reply

    I use a face wash most mornings and the one thing I do everyday is moisturize. I need to be better about washing my face at night.

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Ah, see, I have the opposite problem. I tend to skip stuff in the morning so I can avoid getting out of bed for as long as possible!

  12. HilLesha says: Reply

    My skincare routine consists of a cleanser, eye cream, and moisturizer – day and night. 🙂

    1. Jean says: Reply

      Thanks for your comment! Day and night, eh? I admire your commitment 🙂

  13. Karrie says: Reply

    I wash my face, then use toner on it..pat it dry and add moisturizer

  14. Melissa A. says: Reply

    I wash my face, apply L’Oréal hydra genius and sunscreen. I also exfoliate or do a peel once a week as well.

  15. Carmen Clement says: Reply

    I have morning wash when I wake up and one for night time.

  16. Rajee Pandi says: Reply

    I have very dry skin and so I often wash my face

  17. Laura Bernard says: Reply

    Right now I just wash and go!

  18. Jennylyn Gross says: Reply

    facial wash and face cream

  19. Keep it simple and quick, I use moisturizer with sunscreen in it.

  20. Danielle Lindquist says: Reply

    I use a scrub everyday in the shower and then put a roller ball tinted moisturizer under my eyes and an overall SPF moisturizer on my face and then regular makeup over the top.

  21. Jill Jackson says: Reply

    I use an astringent then rinse with cool water that is all

  22. I am always looking for great no BS reviews and I feel like you gave one. I am always looking for good affordable natural products. These look great and my skin care routine is wash go. Hide acne lol

  23. Michelle Jeske says: Reply

    Great Read. I love washing my face every night makes me feel so much better!

  24. Barbara Bowman says: Reply

    I just wash it right now.. Looking for a food routine!

  25. ashley meyer says: Reply

    i have no routine

  26. Melissa Craig says: Reply

    I am old school wash face in ivory then Noxzema and then oil of olay

  27. Debbie Penney says: Reply

    I wash my face with natural soap and drink lots of water

  28. Ruthie Boilard says: Reply

    I use facial wash every morning and every night.

  29. Celeste Herrin says: Reply

    I don’t have a good skin care regimen yet, but I really need to get one! Age is catching up with me! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  30. GINA ROCK says: Reply

    I wash and then moisturize my face daily.

  31. Kelli Bryson says: Reply

    I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t really have a skin care routine. I wash my face daily and use moisturizer. I don’t wear makeup very often.

  32. Terri Wilson says: Reply

    Wash my face, add uv for the sun.

  33. Janet Soto says: Reply

    Okay first of all awesome article. Also the “can we not talk about my hair right now” picture had me dying. Now back to the topic. I use a toner and moisturizer first thing in the morning to wake me up because coffee alone just doesn’t do it anymore. I use a vegan toner from Zabana Essentials . At night i do the same thing but add a night renewal mask as well. Thank you so much for the chance and gl to Everyone!

  34. Cindy Vincent says: Reply

    wash and go

  35. Jennifer Alford says: Reply

    my skin care routine consist of exfoilating first with a a gentle scrub brush like for your face and i then use a moisturizer on my face at night and just wash my face in the morning to rinse it off with just warm water and i drink plenty of water which suppose to help so much. Thanks so much for the giveaway and for the review , i think i would love these products .

  36. Denise S. says: Reply

    I wash my face every morning in the shower with soap and water. Then use toner and then lotion with SPF.

  37. Pamela Sloss says: Reply

    I use a mild apricot scrub 2-3 times a week. I use a moisturizer once a week. Otherwise, I wash daily with warm water and use makeup remover each night.

  38. Thelma Hamm says: Reply

    I use a gentle facial soap with lotion. I also moisturize every day. That’s about it!

  39. Kim Cowgar says: Reply

    It’s mostly just facial soap and water although I know there are other things I should be doing as I get older

  40. Wendy wallach says: Reply

    I don’t have a routine other then using a lavender masque overnight in areas where breakouts occur

  41. Holly Wright says: Reply

    I use foaming face wash, then I put on my moisturizer. I use it at night an in the morning.

  42. Amy Ledesma says: Reply

    I wash my face with borax and then I use Nivea on it about 3 times a week being careful not to get it in my eyes.I think it gets the dirt out of my pores and leaves my face feeling squeky clean.

  43. Drea Peregretti says: Reply

    Deep clean, exfoliate, tone, and moisturize!

  44. Donna Kozar says: Reply

    wash with nixzema and apply a moisturizer

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