The Body Shop: Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Exfoliator & Oil-Balancing Toner | Review

Having oily skin feels like a curse. Although I wouldn’t consider mine to be really bad, it is a burden at the best of times. Make up just melts off of my face, it shines in a not-so-good way, it feels greasy-ish and my pores are like mini-craters on my face (I am exaggerating a bit here). I am still young, so there is a possibility that I will grow out of it eventually (although I did read that oily skin tends to age and wrinkle less). Lately I’ve realized that I need to start using skincare products that specifically target the type of skin that I have. So, almost four weeks ago, I went on a little trip to The Body Shop in Canal Walk. I absolutely needed to buy a new toner and, although I did like the African Extracts Rooibos Purifying toner, I needed something that targets oily skin. TBS is known for their excellent, cruelty-free skincare and that is why I decided to run to them first. The number of different products that they have to offer is slightly overwhelming, so I asked one of the employees which range would be best for combination/oily skin and she recommended the Seaweed range

The Seaweed range is a collection of skincare products that come in a refreshingly beautiful blue packaging, targeting combination/oily skin. It includes a facial exfoliater, oil-controlling toner, SPF15 moisturizer and more! Each product contains seaweed from Roaring Water Bay, Ireland, which is rich in minerals. The Body Shop says:

Designed for combination skin, our seaweed helps to restore balance and control excess oil to help give you a shine-free, matte finish. Use our oil and soap-free Seaweed Cleansing Facial Wash to remove impurities, or try the Mattifying Moisture Lotion SPF15 to protect from the sun. Get to work on any problem areas with our Facial Exfoliator and Pore Perfector.

Pore-Cleansing Exfoliator

I chose to get the exfoliator, rather than the regular face wash, because I was looking for something that I could rely on to cleanse my pores. I needed something that could remove any traces of makeup and grease, as well as control my oily skin. This specific facial exfoliator promises to “refine your pores whilst deeply cleansing your skin“. It contains jojoba beads and olive stone exfoliators that  are extremely fine. If I scrub too hard I have found that they can be very rough and slightly painful on my sensitive skin, which is something I haven’t seen anyone mention before (actually, people say quite the opposite). One only needs to use a small, pea-sized amount of product to cover one’s entire face, and it starts to foam ever so slightly when one rubs it into one’s skin. Using such a small amount of product each time is definitely an advantage here as it will last a long time, depending on how often you use it of course.


After rinsing my face it instantly feels incredibly refreshed, cleansed, and the rough texture is smoothened out. It does a wonderful job at deep-cleansing my pores and getting rid of any excess oil. I have found my skin to feel oil-free for almost half of my day. I don’t use the exfoliator every day because I feel like it might be too much for my skin. Instead, I use a different face wash every other day. I have used this about three times a week for the past (almost) four weeks and I can honestly say that I have seen no visible difference in the size of my pores. If you’re looking for products that will refine your pores, I’m afraid you might be disappointed with this one. Despite the lack of ability to significantly refine my pores, I am truly impressed with the Seaweed Pore-Cleansing Exfoliator. I think that it is a great product for oily skin and I will continue to use it for as long as I need to (or until something better eventually comes along). I do want to buy the Seaweed Deep-Cleansing Face Wash some time, and then alternate between the two. I bought this 100ml product from The Body Shop in Canal Walk for R140. There are also TBS products available in selected Clicks stores.

Oil-Balancing Toner

This is the original reason why I went hunting for skin products in the first place- I needed a new toner. It has become an essential part of my skincare routine and I use it every day after washing my face. This time, I was looking for something refreshing that would also remove any final traces of product or oil on my skin. This Seaweed toner promises to “rebalance and revive your skin” and “gently cleanse impurities while targeting combination skin, to purify and refresh”. I know that many people will appreciate the fact that it is also alcohol-free. Not only is there seaweed, but also algae and cucumber extracts. I apply a small amount of the toner onto some cotton and dab it all over my face, avoiding the eye-area. My skin feels refreshed and, well, happy I guess! Afterwards, I can see the last traces of product and dirt on the cotton. I have noticed that, when used in conjunction with the exfoliator that I spoke about, my skin feels very dry. I never understood what it meant to “mattify” your skin until I used those two products together. I’m not used to that feeling, so it makes me want to dramatically pour moisturizer all over my face, or slap an intensively moisturising face mask on. I think that the Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream, the Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion SPF15 and the Seaweed Oil-Control Ovenight Gel are good options when it comes to taking away that dry feeling without making the skin greasy all over again. I do like this toner because it is refreshing, revives my skin and removes any traces of makeup/dirt from my skin, although it does make my skin feel unusually dry. I would repurchase this though, along with the exfoliator. This 250ml toner is R120 from The Body Shop.

I am very happy with these two products. They are perfect for people oily skin and do a good job at making the skin feel cleansed and revitalized. Together they can make the skin feel very dry, which is why you would need a light moisturizer (for oily skin). You also need to be very gentle with the exfoliator if you have sensitive skin, like myself. While these products are not expensive, I don’t think that they quite fit the student budget (unless you catch them when TBS has a 3 for 2 special, like I did!). If you’re looking for great cruelty-free products that fit the student-budget, I would recommend going for African Extracts Rooibos products (I wrote a review here). However, if you can afford these then I highly recommend getting your hands on some of TBS’s Seaweed products for combination/oily skin.

What are your favourite products for combination/oily skin?

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