Welcome to the inaugural post for the Skincare Saturday series!
The idea for this series came from the fact that I am more than a little obsessed with skincare. I love experimenting with products, especially the natural “hippy-dippy” products. Not that I hate traditional skincare products, I feel that the simplified formulas work better for me. I currently have a very nice cache of beautiful bar soaps and amber glass bottles of serums and toners from a variety of different brands that I’m working through. (I can’t help myself when there’s a sale from any of my favorite brands. I’m working on that.)
So, on the first Saturday of the month, I plan to post a review of a skincare product I’ve been using. I will take requests in the future, though any requested posts will be scheduled after I finish the reviews of products that I have in my stash now.
Enough of the intros, let’s get to the first review of the series – Osmia Organics, specifically their Brightening Enzyme Facial Soap!
[DISCLOSURE: All reviews on this site reflect my opinion of a product or service I have used. I will always disclose in the review if something was gifted to me but, unless otherwise noted, assume a product or service was purchased with my own money. Links in my reviews may be affiliate links, which means I will receive compensation for you using my link to make your purchase.]
Osmia Organics is a Colorado-based skincare brand founded by Sarah Villafranco, MD. She began her journey into the skincare industry after a career in emergency medicine when a soapmaking class clicked that lightbulb in her mind. Dr. Villafranco says that her goal is to inspire people to take their health into their own hands in ways most wouldn’t expect. Osmia Organics’ “back to basics” mantra has combined the attraction of beautifully crafted soaps and body oils with the science of skin health and it all came down to “less is more”. And that was something that really struck a chord with me – do we need dozens of ointments and lotions to heal stressed or irritated skin conditions? Or do we need quality basics like soaps and body oils?
I have used Osmia Organics products on and off since about 2017, but their facial bars were still new to me when I purchased a few of their soaps earlier this year. The first of their facial bars that I tried out was their Brightening Enzyme Facial Soap, also referred to as their Pumpkin Facial Soap. Per the website, “[o]rganic pumpkin and tomato are incorporated into our well-loved facial soap recipe for a gentle yet effective enzymatic exfoliation […] Calms the senses, brightens the complexion.“
The 2.25oz almost cube-shaped orange soap typically retails for $24. I hear you already – “it’s just a bar of soap!” Osmia Organics’ products are certainly beyond some people’s budgets, I’m not going to pretend that $24 soap is something that everyone can afford. When I opened the box that showed up in my mailbox, I was a little taken back by the size of the bar at first. I was starting to think that maybe the facial bars weren’t going to be worth it, price-wise. But, as it turns out, I’ve gotten about 5 months of daily use from one bar so far, which makes the price worth it for me. I have a little sliver about a quarter-inch thick leftover that I’ve married to another soap bar to keep me from losing that piece.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get a good picture of the soap before I started using it, so I have no visuals for the size of the bar and how it wore down as I used it. I do have a couple pictures of the bit of soap that I have leftover, which I stuck to another bar that’s the same size the pumpkin soap was originally. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of the size of the bar, I know that just saying “2.25oz bar of soap” is harder to visualize. But the bar is approximately 4cm by 5cm by 3cm, it is slightly more rectangular than a perfect cube.
My skin would most likely be classified as combination skin – some oily patches and some very dry patches. This soap is marketed as best for dry or mature skin, but I didn’t notice it causing any issues for my oily areas or making my dry areas any drier. I do get the occasional acne flare-up or a blemish or two and I do have some texture issues with the skin on my cheeks and forehead, but I don’t have experience in using this soap for moderate to severe acne. I notice my complexion seems brighter, thanks to the pumpkin enzyme and tomatoes in the ingredients list. It isn’t something I need as part of my skincare routine, so I just accept it as a nice bonus of a good soap. Please take this into account if your skin type is different than mine or if you have different concerns regarding acne.
The soap provides a thorough cleanse without leaving me feeling stripped of my natural oils or feeling dry or tight or any of those gross feelings bar soaps sometimes leave you with. I did alternate between using it with just my hands and a washcloth and using it with a face brush (I use the Foreo Luna 3) but I didn’t see a difference between the tools used.
Remember that this is a bar of soap; if you combine it with some lukewarm water, you shouldn’t have any issues washing your face. If you plan on using it with a brush like I did, I recommend lathering up the soap between your wet hands and applying the suds to your skin, then you can grab your brush of choice and use it to work the soap over your face.
If you order this soap expecting it to smell like pumpkin pie and lattes, you will be disappointed. I am not a fan of those smells, so I can say with confidence that the smell of this soap is pumpkin but not PSL. I would describe it as a soft pumpkin smell, not overly perfumey or artificially fragranced. This is great for those among us that are sensitive to strong or artificial fragrances. I don’t have any fragrance allergies, but I do hate a strong stale overly artificial scent. (If you are looking for an autumn spiced soap bar, one of Osmia Organics’ autumn seasonal products is “Dirty Chai” and that has the stronger spiced scent profile.)
The one thing I will say is a “con” for me with this soap isn’t even really that bad, just an annoyance for a while. The edges and corners of the soap can be somewhat sharp or pointy, which makes using the bar awkward until you’ve used it enough for those sharp edges and pointed corners to be worn down.
I do recommend that you always check the brand’s site to review ingredients for any allergens or ingredients that go against your personal beliefs. I plan on reviewing mostly plant-based products and cruelty-free brands, but I am not limiting myself to only vegan products and I don’t want anyone to be misled.
If you noticed, the title of this post is “part 1”. I do have a few other Osmia Organics products, but I wanted to give the Brightening Enzyme Facial Soap its own time to shine and be reviewed without having to pare down my commentary to make room for other products. It probably won’t be next month’s post, but I will include the other Osmia Organics products in this series.
Let me know if you have any questions about this soap, I may do an update if I have enough questions!