An intro to Astara, and the scoop on their legendary masks

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Get schooled on this classic green line

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History was never my favorite subject in school, but that’s because they weren’t teaching the history of the things I really cared about. While I should have been doing my homework, I was usually studying the history of fashion and beauty in my mom’s Vogue, Bazaar or Women’s Wear Daily. That’s how I first discovered Sunny Griffin, a 60s fashion icon (originally from my hometown of Baltimore!) who became the spokeswoman for Avon in the 80s.

Sunny was a supermodel long before the word was even invented, and she has continued to blaze new beauty trails with the creation of Astara Skincare. When the altitude in her adopted hometown of Telluride, Colorado wreaked havoc on her skin, Sunny combined her lifelong knowledge of cosmetics with her raw foods lifestyle and Astara was born.

pretty as it is pure!

Here is how raw food relates to skincare: heating ingredients above 115 degrees Fahrenheit destroys their nutritional value, and the same principle holds true for skincare products. With careful manufacturing, Astara’s products are more able to heal and regenerate cells and therefore provide a more youthful appearance to the skin.

Astara’s Skincare System has steps designed to cleanse, repair, replenish and revive, and I got to experience nearly half of their range of products with my first item. The Intro/Travel kit has 10 items, including 2 ounces of Botanical Cleansing Gelé, Daily Refining Scrub, AHA Nutrient Toning Essence, 1.3 ounces of Activated Antioxidant Infusion, and a trial size of all six of their famous masks. At $69, you might think it a little pricey for such small products, but size can be deceiving (full size prices listed below).

For example, the first product I tried, Botanical Cleansing Gelé ($35), is so concentrated that I only needed a tiny drop for a thorough cleansing. It lathered on my skin without stripping it of moisture, and it smelled like citrus grove crossed with an herb garden.

Aloe based Daily Refining Scrub ($37) contains diatomaceous earth from the depths of the sea. It does exactly what you want a scrub to do: exfoliates gently, leaving the skin ready to absorb moisture. The scrub has the same citrus/herbal scent as the cleanser, and the scrubby particles are tiny yet effective.

AHA Nutrient Toning Essence ($35) is a moisturizing toner that also preps the skin for further treatment. A bit medicinal, this toner feels like it’s working but won’t irritate even sensitive skin.

Activated Antioxidant Infusion ($77 – and worth every penny claims Stef), described by Astara as a premoisturizing foundation, encourages cellular repair for all skin types, and it can be used without additional moisture for oily skin or in humid weather.

And then there’s the masks, the stars of Astara’s skincare line:

Activated Sea Mineral Mask ($44) — Full of active enzymes, sea extracts, Spirulina and Rosemary essential oil, this mask exfoliates and softens the skin. Said to enhance cellular renewal, and the herbal scent is calming.

Nourishing Vitamin Mask ($50) — Revitalizes tired, dry, dull skin to reduce visible signs of aging with its blend of botanicals, vitamins and essential oils. Designed to slow aging and promote cellular renewal.

Green Papaya Nutrient Mask ($41) — Formulated with Papaya enzymes and essential oils, this mask provides mild exfoliation as well as hydration (thanks to aloe vera and algae). Suitable for sensitive skin, it soothes, nourishes and reduces redness. Smells great, too!

Blue Flame Purification Mask ($41) — This powerful purification mask for oily skin provides deep pore cleansing. Bentonite Clay and tea tree oil are among the ingredients that decongest the skin and stimulate circulation. Even for normal-to-dry skin like mine, this mask is great for an occasional treatment.

Violet Flame Enzyme Mask ($41) — Another powerful enzyme treatment mask that exfoliates dead cells and unclogs pores. You can really feel this one tingle! Designed to reduce puffiness as well as smooth and soften the skin.

Golden Flame Hydration Mask ($44) — gel-based for ultimate hydration and nourishing. Suitable for most skin types, and can even be used to soothe the skin after microdermabrasion, laser treatments and chemical peels. I tested the full-sized version of this mask, and it’s the perfect formula for my skin at this time of year. This non-sticky aloe-based gel is the quick solution for dryness of any kind. Dry areas soak it up and it makes my skin feel soft and calm. As my face becomes drier over the winter, I plan to turn to Golden Flame as my first line of treatment.

Astara offers moderately priced products made from the finest natural ingredients available. What kind of ingredients? Check their website, where they list every ingredient in every product. Nothing to hide here!

With Astara, Sunny Griffin has continued her groundbreaking role in the history of beauty and I look forward to learning more.

Some members of the review team received intro kits to test, and some members got to try full size items of the products included in it. Team and Astara fans, tell us about your favorites!

Overall Astara ratings:

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • turboterp

    Melissa loves road trips, bargain shopping, drive-in movies, lip gloss and rock 'n' roll. She lives in Baltimore with her precious pup Bellarina. skin tone: NC20 skin type: dry to normal favorite beauty product: skincare


  1. I want to try all of the masks! I love the colors, they look so lovely..and I’m addicted to masks. Great review!

  2. I received (thank-you very much) the Nourishing Vitamin Mask to try. I love good skincare but I had never heard of this line so was slow out of the gate, big mistake. Great review Melissa! I’m thrilled to have learned something new about Sunny and her products.
    Wow, is what I have to say! I am so excited about this product after only using a few times. I have dry, sensitive, 48 year old skin. When I used this I found that I like to first cleanse then apply this all over face and neck. It’s up to you but what I like to do is massage any residual mask right into my skin and it feels great. I’ve used this at night before bed and in the morning after my shower. Either way, my tired, dry, digs this blend of botanicals, vitamins and essential oils. Love, and five stars from this happy gal!

  3. I would say the Nourishing Vitamin Mask is one of my favorites, but honestly, I love them all! I feel so lucky to have an assortment of masks at my disposal thanks to the Intro/Travel kit.

    I love this green luxury line. Five stars from me, too!

  4. I am definitely am not new to Astara; my mom used to use the Blue Flame Purification Mask when I was younger. So when I got the Green Papaya Nutrient Mask, I did a little happy dance because not only do I love Astara, but I love me soem masks!

    The Green Papaya Nutrient Mask is nice and properly thick, no chance of this baby running down your chin or into your hairline. I also love it’s deep olive color; a mask isn’t a mask unless you can put it on and chase a toddler around the house, pretending to be a monster. (Not that I’ve ever done that! *ahem* :-) )
    But the best part is how soft my skin feels after using it; not tight at ALL, just smooth and hydrated.

    This is definitely one for your Christmas list; the intro kit may seem pricey, but my one jar will last me months if I use it once a week so the entire kit could last you a WHILE. Five stars from me!!!

  5. What a great review, Melissa! I love the science behind how they create their products…and color me green on testing those masks – especially the Green Papaya mask – sounds divine. Thanks for the intro to this line.

  6. Dear Melissa,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful review of Astara Skin Care. I am in Thailand and I opened my computer to find that google search had sent me your article and I am absolutely thrilled. Thank you, thank you.

    1. Sunny, as a great admirer of both you and your wonderful Astara, your comment means so much to me! Thank you for reading my review and for taking the time to stop by!

  7. Great post, Melissa!
    I am new to this line but already love it thanks to the ‘greenness’ and the rave reviews from the team!

  8. I’m madly in love with this line! I had never heard of it before, and I have to say I am hooked. I’m loving the daily cleaners and the antioxidant infusion, but so far my favorite has been the calming vanilla mask. I will admit that I loved it so much I’ve been slow to use the rest of the masks in the introduction kit. I want to make it last! And, using the regular daily stuff I haven’t felt like I needed masks as much. I’m going out of town this weekend and I plan to take a moisturizing mask with me since my skin gets a little dry when I travel. Five stars for the entire line for me, great products, amazing results, and I love love love the scents of everything! It feels so fresh.

  9. I kind of love Astara. I’ve been using their Green and Blue face masks off and on for about 8 years now–the enzymes are the natural enemy of the blemish.
    When I received the AHA Nutrient Toning Essence, I was a wee bit skeptical. I’m not a user of toners–I tend to dismiss them as pointless steps in a skincare routine. Most of them are just alcohol or something drying and a waste of money and a cotton pad to apply the stuff–PASS. That being said, having used and been impressed by Astara in the past, I kept an open mind.
    I used this after I had been having a particularly rough breakout–lots of unsightly healing spots, etc. I used this once and some of the spots seemed to fade almost immediately–okay, more like a couple hours. Active blemishes cleared within 2 days. After a couple days, my pores seemed cleaner. After a week, I could really tell that my blackheads were greatly reduced and my skin clarity was greatly improved. My skin looked brighter. I should have known better—Astara wouldn’t let me down! :) I’d really recommend this to ladies that want to fade existing acne scars/dark spots or if you have some unevenness in your skin tone. I really couldn’t get over how much this little beauty did.
    I never thought I’d say this, but I’m giving a toner 5 stars!

  10. I have had the pleasure of testing the Botanical Cleansing Gele. It is fabulous! I adore the smell. It is so refreshing in the morning. And it is very concentrated-you only need a bit. Which of course means that you can afford to spend the extra cash on this fabulous cleanser. It really makes my skin feel and look fresh without stripping it of moisture. 5 big stars from me! I love this stuff!

  11. Oooooh, I love the looks of those masks! My experience with Astara tells me that all their products are incredibly effective and a little goes a long way. The price is incredibly reasonable for how well it works. But I never knew the story behind the brand, thanks for the little history lesson!

  12. I got the travel pack and have been using it since the day I opened the package and it’s wonderful! The daily scrub is one of my favorites in the pack because you can pump it up a little by not using water before you put it on – it makes it a little more exfoliating. I also love love love the Activated Antioxidant Infusion. It’s the perfect lightweight moisturizer and it’s never sticky like some can be. Perfect. I really have a terrible face routine considering I have dry skin, but this line has made me want to do more for my skin.
    In the travel pack, I also got samples of the masks. I have never really used masks before (only as the occasional slumber party in high school) but these are great! I love the Violet Flame Enzyme Mask! I love the tingly feeling – not too strong but just enough – and my skin really felt refreshed after using it. 5 stars from me!!

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