How do you keep skin looking fresh when you travel? That’s the challenge I had this past week as I embarked on a wedding, an interview, and a weekend trip to Salt Lake City. Before I left, some Tracie Martyn samples found their way to my mail and I could not be more ecstatic to put them through the paces.
British born Tracie Martyn is a celebrity facialist who runs the renowned Tracie Martyn salon in New York. Her skincare line features natural products and is known as much for its quality as it is known for its celebrity devotees including Susan Sarandon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet. If there is anyone who understands the needs of the jetsetting elite, it would be Tracie Martyn, so I was keen to take the products for a tour.
Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant: The blue-green enzyme exfoliant is a mixture of powerful enzymes, skin lighteners, and fruit acids. The proposed result? Softened fine lines and wrinkles, minimized pores, and lightened complexion. The formula features pineapple enzyme, kaolin clay, kojic acid, and glycerin/squalane as key ingredients that are high in the ingredients list. The glycerin and squalane keep skin moisturized, kaolin clay sucks out pore cloggers, pineapple enzyme exfoliates, and kojic acid brightens skin. Kojic Acid has received some negative press for potential skin irritation and causing contact dermatitis with regular use, but when used in a weekly treatment such as this, I think most skin types should handle this ingredient without the negative side effects. The rest of the ingredients include essential oils to make the product smell wonderful and retain that spa like quality – think fancy spa-like seawater (hello algae).
This can be used as a scrub or a mask, and I prefer to let it sit on my skin for 10 minutes before rinsing off. It dutifully removed gunk without irritating my skin both times that I used it. My biggest gripe is that for $90 at 1.67oz, there just wasn’t enough product to make it last for more than 5-6 weeks of use. Most of my friends who have had a Tracie Martyn facial say they like this product but would not pay for it if that tells you anything, but if you want a product that contains EVERY exfoliant out there, this is a product you should add to your collection.
Tracie Martyn Alma Purifying Cleanser: Ah, a cleanser that is an actual cleanser! Meaning, in the green beauty world of cleansing oils, balms, and dirts – it’s refreshing to see something more traditional and straight forward! Now I know that there are a lot of you who love the makeup removing/hydrating properties of oil cleansing, or the “enjoy me time” feeling of melting a balm on your skin, or the energizing rub of a certain Clean Dirt – but there has always been the nagging feeling in the back of my mind that feels that we green beauties are really embracing these alternate forms because it’s so hard to get an effective traditional cleanser using clean ingredients (also, the green brands shilling these creations do a pretty good job of convincing us to buy into these). So the fact that this ‘non-groundbreaking form’ cleanser came along is ironically a breath of fresh air.
At $65 for 1.7oz, this is not cheap but it perhaps also shows why there aren’t more natural straight forward cleansers – 1. It is hard to make a good one 2. Natural alternatives to many of the agents used in normal high quality cleansers are costly or hard to come by making them expensive! For the amount you get, this is definitely one of the most expensive cleansers I’ve used. Tracie Martyn products do not come in large sizes, that’s for sure. Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of this cleanser. Although the instructions tell you to use 3 pumps, 1 was all I needed. The gel is very thick and fragrant, almost like honey scented with essential oils. Some reviews say this is low foaming, but I don’t feel this way at all – it was a foam monster, and if you can’t be away from Clarisonic, this is the green cleanser for you. And while it does a great job at removing makeup, I always use a makeup remover to ensure that everything is gone so the cleanser itself can better penetrate my skin to cleanse deeper.
The key active ingredients in this are the amla extract (or Indian Gooseberry) known for its high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory content, salicylic acid which exfoliates, and ascorbic acid which heals and brightens complexion.
A lot has been said about the scent, personally I enjoyed it. I would categorize it’s fragrance power as on par with the ila face oil but less than the Arcona Cranberry toner, so it shouldn’t be too overwhelming especially as you’ll wash the cleanser off within minutes. The scent is kind of like a cross between lime, rose, and spearmint but in the most luxurious way.
I found the high foaming cleanser to be on the drying side, as even 1 pump per application reduced my skin to dry patches around my cheeks and forehead. Another not so good about the cleanser is that it uses honeysuckle, which is called “the secret paraben” – so I’m kind of disappointed that they decided to include this preservative which means although natural, I probably wouldn’t say that it is a clean product.
Aqua (purified water), amla extract, sorbitol, coconut and soy amino acids, castor and soy hydrolized protein, decyl glucoside and lauryl lactylate, lactic acid, salicylic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), malic acid, allantoin (comfrey), papaya enzymes, pineapple enzymes, silicon dioxide, honeysuckle extract, turmeric extract, spinach extract, blend of spearmint, lime and other natural essential oils.
All aside, this is a luxurious cleanser from the honey-like texture to the gorgeous fragrance to the beautiful frosted bottle with gold accents. It makes a great travel companion due to its small size and the powerful cleansing will be sure to please those looking for performance.
Has anyone else tried any Tracie Martyn products? If so, how do they stack up to your green beauty or luxury favorites?
I’ve wanted to try this cleanser for ages! However, if it made your skin dry, I will probably forgo and try the Yuli Halcyon instead. Love your reviews!!!
Thanks Juliet! Halcyon is definitely less drying in my experience and their scents are both lovely.
I bought this at ABC Carpet & Home back in February. I was impressed with the “redness reduction” it had on my hands during a little trial-and-error at the counter. I’ve used it maybe 3-4 times at home since then and am just a bit underwhelmed. First, the “redness reduction” is mostly a cast of blue that is canceling out a bit of red on my skin … totally temporary! So yeah I kinda got soooolllld! Oh well … it DOES have great exfoliating power, but I don’t know that this is a must-have with all the great exfoliating washed for much cheaper. I remember trying the cleanser on my hands and liking it, but as you noted, I’m just not a cleanser girl … oil cleansing is my thing! Most of the foaming cleansers I’ve tried are just too drying, as you mentioned. Glad you reviewed the line! I’d still like to have a Tracie Martyn facial just to mark it off my spa list 🙂 xoxo
That is pretty smart of them to strategically do the blue coloring to cancel out redness! The Tracie Martyn facial is really hit or miss depending on the facialist. I received a gift of 4 sessions and I loved it at first, but then I got switched to another facialist who used the same products but just was not that great! It is strange how the same products on the same skin can be different!
I used these products years ago thanks to some celeb hype. It was the natural ingredients that attracted me. I liked the cleanser quite a bit. The serum was nice and had a pleasant aroma. All in all: not worth the hefty price tag. Loved your review, as usual! 🙂
Thank you Sarita! Yes, I notice that Tracie’s products are good but they seem to be so pricey for what you get! I wouldn’t mind it so much if she followed the May Lindstrom model where you pay a lot but get a lot (save for her face oil).
Great review as usual, thank you. I have not tried the cleanser yet, but if it is drying for you, then it will not work well with my dry skin. I am there with you, my skin, although on the dry side, never liked oil/balm cleansers; they usually make my skin congested if used daily. I quite like kahina’s cleanser (although I sometimes find it a tad drying) and am currently using yuli’s halcyon; so far I think I like it; it is an oil free gel but does not foam so it is quite different from anything else I’ve tried. Will see how my skin will like it in colder weather. Have you tried it?
Thanks Lara! Oil/Balm cleansers are wonderful like once a week but I can’t quite shake the feeling that there is residual grime left in my pores no matter how well I wash afterward unless I double cleanse with a normal cleanser like this one.
I’m currently using Halcyon and it is a really great product! It actually reminds me of this cleanser except it is much more gentle and non-stripping.
superb post! I have wondered about honeysuckle extract. some of my fave and most trusted clean brands use it: kahina in the facial lotion and Kjaer Weiss in her eyeshadow; both products are carried by spiritbeautylounge. it really makes me wonder whether honeysuckle is really so bad if they use/carry it as I really trust their judgement. I think the argument is that the natural paraben like substance can be found in honeysuckle but also in blueberries, strawberries, broccoli etc. which we also eat and which are totally different from synthetic parabens. anyway, it really leaves me confused. I would love to read/hear more about it.
Yeah I definitely think it is a matter of opinion and what everyone is comfortable with. I personally would not stop using a product I like if it contained this but I thought I would mention it.
Great review! Agreed that it seems really difficult to find a straightforward (non-foaming) cleanser out there in the green beauty world, but I’ve been using Yuli’s Halcyon cleanser for the past few weeks and (touch wood) it’s been wonderful, probably the best one I’ve used so far since using organic skincare products. It doesn’t dry out my dehydrated but oily skin, and seems to make my skin feel softer, and it doesn’t feel too *active* — I don’t want a cleanser that exfoliates or messes with my skin too much, since I’m already going to be using a facial mist & serum/oil on top of it. I’d love to hear what you think about Yuli cleanser!
Review coming soon!
I also like yuli’s halcyon, but I wish it would be a bit more comforting for drier skins. It leaves my dry skin ever so slightly stripped and tight, unfortunately; nothing I cannot cope with but it is not perfect. it is so hard finding a hg cleanser. and although my skin is dry I dislike balm/oil cleansers; I think I tried them all.
Have you tried double cleansing? It sounds like it might be great for you! Pretty much you cleanse your skin first with an oil and then go over with a cleanser like Tracie’s or YULI’s. This way you reap the moisturizing benefits of the oil/balm but leave your skin feeling clean from the latter cleanser.
Hi, just wanted to say this review was really helpful! I just got a sample of these from ABC Carpet & Home and was wondering more about them, I also had the short demo with my hand, but I was wary then because I know that any kind of message (like a hand massage) will temporarily make redness go away…I will test out the samples to see for sure, but I think I might just stick to my OLO Cleansing Oil instead.
Thanks again for another really helpful review. I was thinking of trying out the range, but think I will skip for now and get Halycon instead. I do love Yuli’s Pure mask, although, I must confess, Cell Perfecto PM hasn’t shown much results. I am still waiting and not giving up though!
I bought into Tracie Martyn after seeing the wonders that it did for my girlfriend. However, I think my skin is too sensitive for this product. Although the products are natural, I think there is something in them that is causing it to clog my pores or irritate my skin. I have more white heads and black heads than ever. I am giving it a few more days. I was wondering if maybe the white and black heads were the cause of the cleanser extracting what’s been clogged in there for years. Either still don’t think its worth the price. I am using it in conjunction to the enzyme exfoliant and a Kat Burki Vitamin C moisturizer.