Fantastic Face Wash
The green beauty world often shies away from foaming cleansers and I used to as well, but I've really come to appreciate them again these last six months or so, and the Fantastic Face Wash is a great option. With a light gel texture that foams up well, rinses away clean, and does not leave your skin feeling dry, it really is everything you could want in a foaming cleanser. I also love the scent, a blend with strong notes of black spruce, fir, cedarwood, and spearmint that has me envisioning walking through a lush, minty forest. The spearmint is just enough to leave your skin feeling very clean and refreshed, but not so much as to cause extreme tingling or discomfort. The formula also contains sugar cane and fruit extracts to clear pores and dissolve dead skin, and Ursa Major recommends letting the cleanser sit on the skin for 30-60 seconds to allow the acids time to complete this exfoliation.
Fortifying Face Balm
The Fortifying Face Balm has an impressive ingredients list that includes hydrating aloe vera and sunflower oil, purifying witch hazel and willow bark extract, and anti-aging olive leaf, carrot seed oil, and frankincense resin. In spite of its name, the Face Balm is closer to what I'd consider a gel moisturizer than a balm. Packaged in a pump bottle, it has the consistency of a thick serum and absorbs into the skin quickly and with a matte finish. My skin leans just slightly on the dry side, so while I feel moisturized right after I apply the Face Balm, my skin starts to feel a little dry towards the end of the day unless I combine it with another product. If you have more normal/combination/oily skin, I think the Face Balm would work great on its own, and if your skin is drier like mine, it layers well with either a face oil or a cream moisturizer.
In terms of scent, the Face Balm is infused with lavender, lime, spearmint, and rosemary and to me, is very reminiscent of the original Aveda line (way back in the day, before they were sold to Estée Lauder). It's an herbal scent, but still fresh, and something that could easily suit both men and women.
The Bottom Line
I love Ursa Major's commitment to using high quality, natural ingredients to create products that not only compete with conventional skincare products, but outperform them. There's also something really appealing about a small capsule collection, but the innate drawback of that is that not every skin type can always be accounted for. In Ursa Major's case, the current lineup is mainly geared towards normal/oily/combination skin, and while I do think the products could still work for anyone - except maybe the extremely dry - I'd love to see the range expanded to include products specifically for drier skinned folks too!
Have you tried Ursa Major? What's your favorite product from the line?