According to this week’s extremely dry skin with oily patches, fall is here. Autumn, or more specifically the transition from summer into autumn does a number on my skin. My typically combination skin becomes super dry, and my hands even start to peel and flake. It’s not cute, and more importantly, it feels terrible.
My face becomes an unpredictable battleground and has developed mood swings that take me from normal to desert wasteland. As I age, I start to notice sharper swings in my skin’s reactions to environment. When I was younger, I don’t recall the seasonal shift being so obvious but now, at 30, it’s loud and clear. It’s a waste to switch my entire skincare regime over to a dry skin therapy though, because in three or four months, I’m just going to be right back at combination with a side of oily.
Saison is a beauty and skincare brand that uses organic ingredients and botanicals to create season-specific skincare formulas. The Saison Autumn Skincare Collection majorly puts me in the fall-appreciation headspace.
The Saison Autumn Skincare Collection is formulated specifically for, you guessed it, dry skin, and includes many organic ingredients that ensure your skin stays moisturized and hydrated throughout the arid months of fall.
Included in the Autumn Skincare Collection are four products: Cleansing Grains, Cleansing Oil, Moisturizer, and Botanical Lotion Spray. They are not intended to be used in the order in the photos, though. This is a four step process, if you choose to treat it that way, and the suggested order is as follows:
As a girl who was raised on Clinique, I’m no stranger to multi-step skincare, and this sleek set of creams and lotions doesn’t intimidate me at all. Unless, of course, we’re including the completely-new-to-me cleansing grains, the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Each product is made from organic ingredients, built on a powerhouse base of essential oils and whole ingredients that aren’t commonly found in skincare products.
- Safflower: This oil is unbelievably good for skin, especially during the winter, as it repairs the skin’s barrier with Vitamin E and rich, fatty acids like linolenic acid. It’s also great for reducing the visibility of spots and wrinkles.
- Pumpkin: Pumpkin is also loaded with fatty acids as well as antioxidants. Pumpkin oil is also rich in linolenic acid and Vitamin E!
- Rice: Surprisingly, rice is great for repairing sun damage, and contains a lot of Vitamin E and Vitamin K. It’s a great alternative to talc!
- Grape: Clearly, grapes have high levels of antioxidants which is why we put prescription labels on bottles of red wine, but grapes (specifically grape seed extract) also offer a ton of sun-repairing antioxidants. When combined with other antioxidants (which these products are full of), grade seed extract has been found to help reduce biomarkers in skin that can become cancerous!
- Rosemary: In addition to smelling amazing and being great for other things like repelling mosquitos, it stimulates blood circulation and actually tightens skin. It’s an okay ingredient but if you have a known skin sensitivity with rosemary products, as it’s a mild astringent, please use with caution!
- Almond: An excellent emollient that also imparts some skin-repairing properties, as well as B-2, Copper, Magnesium, and Vitamin E.
All of the products in Saison’s line are gluten-free, with the exception of the moisturizers, and thus production facility is not a fully gluten-free environment. All of the oils, lotions, and sprays are biodegradable and the packaging is recyclable. All Saison products are cruelty-free, certified by Leaping Bunny and also PETA.
Each product has a strong, cozy smell – big notes of pine, rosemary, clove and other warm spices. Some people might find the smell overwhelming. I did at first, but working through the steps, I got used to it right away and really enjoyed it.
This was the step in the Autumn Skincare Collection that I was most excited to try. I’ve been interested in cleansing oils for a long time because it seems like a great choice for sensitive skin and I’ve never tried anything like it before.
The directions instruct you to put the oil directly onto a dry, unwashed face. Kind of bizarre, right? But also kind of nice that you don’t have to wash or even wet your face before applying. I used two pumps (dispensing a pretty small amount each time) and massaged it into my whole face before getting my fingers damp and emulsifying the oil with even more massaging. My face liked this.
First and foremost, this is the one product in this post that is not gluten-free.
These little things scared the crap out of me when I first saw them. I may be an old pro when it comes to multi-step skincare systems, but I’m new to spa-like ideas such as “cleansing grains.” This pot is full of small, exfoliating “grains” of varying sizes. Mixing about one teaspoon of grains with a teaspoon of water produces a gritty paste that immediately reminded me of Angels on Bare Skin from Lush, which I consider one of the Lush Essential Products. The Saison Cleansing Grains had a more consistent size, though, and offered a lot more exfoliation than AOBS.
Let me tell you – after the oil step, this rough, exfoliating paste feels amazing. The grains are made from organic milk, honey, rice, and clay, helping to lift impurities out of skin and absorb oil. Once I rinsed it off my face, I was tempted to stop there because my skin felt aaaammaaaazing. It felt like post-expensive-facial-at-a-spa skin, and I didn’t want anything to change that. But, in the name of research and, you know, finishing what you start, I pressed on to step 3. Also, it would be really sad if you were reading a review and in the middle I was just like “ya but the rest is um IDK because I stopped but I’m sure it’s fine.”
This product confused me, at first. Honestly, the first place I sprayed it was onto my forearm, because I like to use things before I read the instructions. I later found that it’s a nice, nutrient-filled spritz for your face, post-wash, that puts liquid plant nutrients directly into your skin and paves the way for the fourth step moisturizer to sink in effectively. I barely had to rub this into my skin, because by the time I was done spraying, nearly all of it had been absorbed. It doesn’t leave skin dry though, thanks to the aloe water!
As far as moisturizers go, this one is great. It comes out of the pump rich and thick, which made me wonder if it was going to be too thick to absorb into my skin quickly, but to my surprise, it went on as if it were a thinner moisturizer and it only took two small pumps to cover my whole face. The same smell is consistent throughout all four steps so there aren’t a bunch of different skincare product smells stacked on top of each other (which can get really gross and ruin the whole “my face is clean” feeling).
After the fourth step, I very seriously felt like a new woman. It may have something to do with the fact that I hadn’t had a proper skincare sesh in over three weeks, or because I also did my eyebrows right before, but the combination of everything was amazing.
As far as my skin’s hydration level – my skin is very, very happy. Due to my sabbatical from the home spa, my skin had become very, very dry already and I’d already had a couple of breakouts around my nose. I needed this! Once I have a sink and a bathroom again, I want to use this daily. Leaving the bathroom after a shower smelling like a woodsy, hydrated lodge sound kind of like a dream come true.
As for price, this stuff is on the high end of budget-friendly products. I give a little extra space to skincare products because, while a lot of times you’re paying for a label, with skincare you frequently pay for the quality of ingredients. Given that Saison uses mostly organic ingredients from ethical sources.
Of course, Saison makes collections for all seasons, so if your skin type is always a “Summer” (oily), head directly for that! See all the seasonal collections here.