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Get schooled on this classic green line
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.
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.