More than a decade ago, when I had started working and slowly building a kitty to spend on my hobbies and interests--books, art and craft and more, I came across one of the first stores of Forest Essentials in Mumbai. I distinctly remember this brand capturing my attention with its beautiful interiors decked with paintings representing the Indian culture, the products arranged neatly on shelves (back then their packaging was simplistic with none of the jazzy gold and vibrant colours that define it now) and most of all, the aroma...oh lord! The scent of their gorgeous products wafted at least twenty metres away. I didn't think twice before saying 'please take my money'. Their Bengal Tuberose collection still remains my favourite even after all these years.
Back then, Forest Essentials was hardly into face care, if any at all. I had bought their date and tamarind (I think) face scrub which was good but I don't remember if they had anything else. At the time, their body care and hair care was all the rage--sugar-based soaps, luscious shower oils, sugar scrubs for the body, highly effective shampoos and hair conditioners. Naturally, this was my initiation into the brand and I promptly fell for its body and hair products.
Fast forward to now and the brand has established a firm foothold into the face care category as well. I'll be honest--I am not wowed by their face care. I have tried their face mists/toners, face washes, blemish treatment product and the like. But I never saw exceptional results. The brand, in my opinion, provides more of a sensorial experience than noticeable results. I had almost given up on it...when they came out this gem of a product.
The Deeply Nourishing Facial Cleansing Paste, like the name suggests, is a dense paste made of Almond, Pistachio, Shea Butter, Marigold, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Steam Distilled Rose Water, Honey, Buttermilk, Turmeric and more.
Now, I have a bone to pick with Forest Essentials. Why is it that they do not declare the full inci list of their products. They will mention only the key ingredients...why? In today's age, with smart consumers and a plethora of choices, brands ought to be transparent. Consumers demand (and they have every right to) to know each and every thing that goes onto their skin. If the brand is reading this review, I urge them to consider being transparent for the sake of their consumers and to keep up with evolving expectations. For this reason, I'm not mentioning their inci list here because it is quite pointless to mention a half-list.
But if you think the key ingredients mentioned here sound delightful wait till you smell the product. It smells like freshly baked cookies and reminds me of Christmas. Some even compare the scent to Badam Halva, a rich Indian dessert and I agree completely. It's so sinful that the scent alone made me buy the product, despite its high price. Okay, I'm lying; I was wowed by its results too, when I tried it in store. On a side note, the whole ritual of trying the lush products in their store, especially washing over their antique basin, with the attendants taking so much care is a lovely experience in itself.
So, performance-wise, this product met (even exceeded) my expectations. After trying one average product after another from this brand, I was pleasantly surprised by this little jar of goodness.
HOW IT WORKS:
So, I noticed that even though the product is named Cleansing Paste, it's more like a exfoliator cum nourishing mask. I take a small dollop which I dot onto the four quadrants of my face. Then I spread it around with my fingers. It's quite dense and oily at this point, which makes spreading it a bit difficult but I like to do this step nonetheless, especially on my nose and chin areas which are typically congested. Doing this begins the exfoliation process. Then, I add a few drops of water and start massaging. The thick paste turns into a milk on adding water and moving the product becomes much easier. At this point, the graininess of the product becomes less and less and it starts to feel like a cleansing milk. I then like to leave this on for a few minutes to allow my skin to soak in all those lush ingredients. The feeling as you leave it on is non-intrusive and you will only enjoy the subtle scent of it while it's on your skin. Thereafter, I rinse it off.
The results are the same each time. I'm left with super smooth, nourished skin. My skin looks and feels clean without feeling stripped off. That, in my books, is a winner of a cleanser. And I'm so glad this format of a 'dense cleansing paste' has worked well for the brand. It is truly a unique product and I'm glad I gave it a try despite the price tag. Also, I wish they would give us at least 50 mg in the pot instead of a measly 30 mg. On the brighter side, the 30 mg pot is perfect to carry around for travel purposes.
The cleansing paste is priced at INR 1850 for 30 gm, which I think is a bit much if you consider the price per gram. But I can tell you this, the product does not disappoint so at least it's money well spent.
WILL I REPURCHASE:
I'm in two minds, frankly. If I weren't exposed to several other beautiful brands such as Earthwise Beauty, Moss Skincare, Mahalo Skincare and the like, I would have repurchased this product in a heartbeat. But I already have a long wishlist of cleansers to try so I will wait a while before I decide to open my purse strings for this cleanser once again.
You can buy the Forest Essentials Deeply Nourishing Facial Cleansing Paste from their site here. Or you may purchase it from nykaa here.