A skin care line bearing the name of red wine can’t help but peak my curiosity. Grapes not only are delicious to eat — and drink! — but, they are good for your skin as well.
The Merlot Skin Care, USA line is founded on a good-for-you philosophy with the belief that customers can look like a million bucks without spending it. The family run brand is cruelty-free and uses the power of natural grape seed antioxidants in each of its unique products, which aim to fight free radicals and protect skin against the signs of aging.
I began with the Merlot Grape Seed Cleanser ($11.00), a light violet-hued cream wash. It is soap-free, gentle and mild enough for sensitive skin — with also being able to remove makeup. The key claim is that it will not irritate or excessively dry out your skin, which is arguably the single most important requirement for a truly successful and effective facial cleanser.
Cautiously optimistic, I followed its instructions and worked a small amount of it on my face. Unlike a foaming cleanser, this one does not lather up as it is not meant to. My skin is extremely oily and, as I worked the cleanser in, I couldn’t tell if my fingertips were feeling the grease I was trying to wash off, or the moisturizing properties of the wash. I proceeded to rinse it off with warm water, rinsing longer than usual because my skin still felt a bit oily in the T-zone area.
Finally, I decided it is the moisturizer in the cleanser, not the oiliness on my skin, and dried off. My skin is quite soft and moisturized, but I can’t help but feel that all the oil did not wash away. This is merely a result of not being accustomed to using a cream cleanser, though I think this cleanser might be better fitted for winter use when dryness is an issue. I don’t see myself using this in the summer when my skin is at its oiliest.
Next up: the Merlot Grape Seed Moisturizer ($15.00). Opening up the container revealed a lavender-colored cream, which looks a lot like berry yogurt. The color shouldn’t surprise me since the line is called Merlot Skin Care, USA line, but for some reason it does; I realize I have grown accustomed to seeing the usual white creams. Instinctively, I sniff it. Though it claims to be fragrance-free, I take in a light, fruity scent. It goes on smoothly and does not feel greasy at all. Extra bonus points for the SPF 15! Even better, unlike other moisturizers with sunscreen, this one does not leave behind a greasy sheen or make my face sweat. I wear it all day under makeup with no irritations or breakouts.
I am still getting used to the cleanser — as I prefer foaming cleansers — but, all in all, both products live up to their nourishing and softening claims. I’ll drink to that!
Check out the entire Merlot Skin Care, USA line line on their website www.merlotskincare.com
– Michelle Kuo
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