New & tested: Maison Jacynthe Welcome Package

Maison Jacynthe is a Montréal based brand I’ve known about for a few years now, but which I only recently tried out … and boy, am I glad I did. For starters, the products are made here in my hometown (yay to supporting local) and created with natural & beneficial ingredients that are all sustainably sourced. The best part, however, is in the results.

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Jacynthe René

Founded by French-Canadian actress Jacynthe René, the brand was born out of her desire to explore a more environmentally sustainable and natural lifestyle for herself and her young family. When the brand reached out to me offering their ‘Welcome Package’ — and after reading up on the products, I was definitely intrigued. As shallow as it might sound, I think that perhaps one reason I had yet to try out anything from Maison Jacynthe was because I’ve always tended to stick to luxury brands, and in my head I had labelled these products as somewhat “homespun”, but I’ve now come to appreciate the clean & simple lines of the packaging, as well as the aim behind the range. In the end, it’s the performance of the products that actually counts, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

On the website, the brand offers a “skincare trio” at CAN $141.00 consisting of three of their best sellers: the Cleansing Oil (Huile Nettoyante), Rose Water (Eau Florale de Rose) and Rose Serum (Sérum Rose) — the latter product swapped out for the Jasmin Rose serum instead for me, which is more suitable to my skin type.

Huile Nettoyante (CAN $31.50/50 ml) | Housed in a dark brown glass bottle (the dark colour of the glass helps to preserve the integrity of the ingredients when exposed to light), this is a facial cleansing oil that is dispensed via a dropper. As this is not one of those oils that melts away with water, you will need to use a facecloth to wipe off any residue. One thing I was not expecting, was that when cupping water to my face in rinsing, this action served to amplify the heady scent of the essential oils — turning this otherwise mundane tasks into an utterly sensorial experience. I also like how soft and nourished my skin feels after, as I personally can’t stand the stripping feel other cleansers can sometimes impart.

Ingredients: simmondsia chinensis (jojoba seed) oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel) oil, hippophae rhamnoides CO2 extract (sea buckthorn) oil, pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium EO), santalum album (sandalwood EO), tocopherol D Alpha

Eau Florale de Rose (CAN $22.50/100 ml) |I have many face mists (that I’m ashamed to say I rarely use), but in testing this one out I learned how much I now enjoy this step. Housed in the same brown glass, the sprayer emits an ultra fine mist — no harsh spurting like I’ve experienced with other sprays. The delicate rose fragrance is exquisite and quite refined, and the product does evaporate relatively quickly upon the skin. You can literally use this spray a number of ways; to refresh skin at any point during the day, set makeup (although in truth I haven’t tried it out this way), or my personal fave, as a medium to help the serum penetrate better into the skin. By the way, notice the ingredients? Yes, just ONE. That’s it and absolutely divine.

Ingredients: rosa damascena (rose) floral water (origin: Bulgaria)

Sérum Jasmin Rose (CAN $95.00/30 ml) | True story: I have a new obsession with this serum. Housed in the brand’s brown glass and dispensed via a dropper, this is like the elixir of the gods, I tell you. Jasmine has a long & storied history as a beauty phenom, helping to delay the visible signs of aging, improving skin’s texture, and providing nourishing benefits. Combined with Rose, another plant known for its incredible age-benefitting properties, and you’ve got a dream team pairing. I have been using this serum morning & evening for about a month now, and I can already see the effect on my skin: my face feels smoother and somehow brighter. Oh, and did I mention that it smells absolutely glorious?

Ingredients: Opuntia ficus indica seed oil (prickly pear oil), Aleurites moluccana seed oil (kukui oil), Moringa oleifera seed oil (moringa oil), Simmondsia chinensis seed oil (jojoba oil), Prunus armeniaca kernel oil (apricot oil), Vitis vinifera seed oil (grape seed oil), Oryza sativa bran oil (rice bran oil), Persea gratissima oil (avocado oil), Hippophae rhamnoides oil (sea buckthorn oil CO2), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Rosmarinus officinalis CO2 leaf extract (rosemary oleoresin), Jasminum Officinale flower extract (jasmine absolute), Rosa damascena flower extract (Damask rose absolute), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary EO), verbenone oil (verbena EO)

Masking is still going strong and probably elevated to entirely new levels thanks to the pandemic; all that staying in gave us more time for self care, and now that mask-wearing is the norm, our skin needs even more TLC than before. I personally am not a fan of sheet masks — unless they’re of the biodegradable variety — primarily because of their negative environmental impact (I still have quite a few here that I’ve either received/bought in the past and that I need to use up or give away, but then that’s it). What I really appreciate about jarred masks such as these, is the tactile experience; the application process can almost feel meditative, and I like the exfoliation benefit that they provide skin in massaging them off. I call that a total win-win.

Exfopur (CAN $38.00/50 g) | Exfoliation is key in skin maintenance, as it helps to slough off dead skin cells that accumulate at the surface. While our skin is capable of doing that on its own (while we’re sleeping), a little help every now and then doesn’t hurt. What makes this mask interesting, is that it both exfoliates and helps in controlling any excess oil production, thanks to the clay in the formula. Another plus to using this product is that it only takes about a minute; apply, massage into the skin (which helps in promoting circulation), let dry for a minute, then use a wash cloth to help rinse off. Once done, I notice that instead of feeling tight, my skin actually feels ‘normal’, and my pores are visibly diminished. I mean, like … gone.

Ingredients : kaolin (white clay), pumice stone (volcanic rock), water (water), glyceryl stearate (glyceryl stearate), cetyl alcohol (cetyl alcohol), hydrolyzed soy protein (hydrolyzed soy protein), panthenol (panthenol), rosemary extract (rosemary co2 extract), hedera helix leaf extract (ivy leaf extract), Rosmarinus officinalis (EO rosemary), lavandula augustifolia (EO lavender), eucalyptus radiata (EO eucalyptus radiata), abies balsamea (EO balsam fir), mentha piperita (EO peppermint)

Cardamome Masque de Miel (CAN $49.00/45 ml) | As I’ve gotten older, my skincare needs have changed as well and I now prefer to hydrate even more than before. Honey as skincare has been around for eons; if it was good enough for ancient queens & kings, then it’s good enough for me. Also known for its anti-bacterial properties (seriously; have you ever seen a jar of honey go bad? It doesn’t. EVER), this mask gives you all that AND leaves your skin feeling as soft as a baby’s bum. One word of advice: use a brush to apply it, as it is liquidy and basically impossible to layer it on any other way. Leaving it on for the recommended 10-15 minutes is fine, but I like to go even longer (anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour), then use a washcloth to gently rinse off. The result is beautiful skin that glows with health and feels 100% quenched.

Ingredients: honey, D-Alpha-Tocopherol (vitamin E), glycerin (supported by sunflower oil)

Huile de Corps (CAN $40.50/100 ml) | Housed in the same brown glass and dispensed via a sprayer, this is a body oil that’s chock-full of amazing skin hydrating ingredients that sound almost good enough to eat. The oil has a slightly viscous nature, not so that it clogs the sprayer, but just enough to give you time to spread it along the skin. Speaking of spreading it out, I found that doing so just after a shower when skin is still slightly damp yields the best results, as it helps the oil spread easier. Note that this is not one of those oils that becomes instantly absorbed, but I actually like the action of massaging it into the skin, as that too helps with promoting circulation. Once absorbed, I notice that my skin feels not only immediately nourished and hydrated, but also hours later.

Ingredients: sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, butyrosperum parkii (shea) oil, crambe abyssinica (Abyssinian) oil, macadamia integrifolia (macadamia) seed oil, rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn CO2 extract), tocopherol, citrus sinensis (sweet orange EO), citrus aurantium (Paraguay petit grain EO), cananga odorata (ylang-ylang EO), amyris balsamifera (sandalwood bark EO), syzygium aromaticum (clove EO), copaifera officinalis (copaiba EO), vanilla planifolia (vanilla CO2 extract), citrus reticulata (mandarin EO)

Karité Vanillé (CAN $36.00/50 g) | With a hint of vegetable glycerin in the formula to help give this product some glide, this cream is incredibly versatile. Shea Butter — the star ingredient here (and notice: it’s also first on the list) is known for its ultra skin softening properties, but it also works wonders for hair (helps to seal split ends), cuticles, lips, and rough areas such as knees & elbows. You can even use this once a week as a type of “collagen” face mask, or for when your skin really needs an extra boost of intense moisture. While I love the natural chocolate-y scent of shea butter, the addition of vanilla here definitely elevates this into something more.

Ingredients: butyrospermum parkii butter (shea butter), butyrospermum parkii shea oil (shea oil), vanilla planifolia oleoresin (vanilla oleoresin), hippophae rhamnoides (CO2 sea buckthorn), citrus sinensis (sweet orange EO), citrus aurantium (petitgrain EO), citrus aurantium amara (neroli  EO), vegetable glycerin

Le Complet Greens (CAN $48.00/300 g) | Recognized by Health Canada (not an easy task, let me tell you), this is basically the powdered version of those popular green juices you’ve most likely seen all over social media. Housed in an oversized brown glass jar, the ingredients have been carefully selected to provide “antioxidants that help protect cells against oxidative damage caused by free radicals”. You can take this mixed simply with water (it reminds me very strongly of pure matcha tea this way), or mixed with a little juice — my preference is actually pineapple juice, as I find it meshes well with the herb-like nature of this powder. As to results, I confess that I haven’t taken this powder often enough yet to form an opinion, but I did notice my energy levels had definitely improved when I took it regularly for a week. Guess that’s a hint for me to continue, lol.

Medicinal Ingredients (per unit dose): spirulina (Arthrospira platensis, whole cell) 1000 mg, chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris, broken cell) 900 mg, citrus bioflavonoids (citrus bioflavonoids, Citrus sinensis – peel of the fruit) 120 mg, acerola (Malpighia glabra, fruit) 500 mg, papaya (Carica papaya, fruit) 450 mg, elderberry (Sambucus nigra subspensis canadensis, fruit) 450 mg, wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum, Triticum aestivum – herb) 400 mg, sunflower (Helianthus annuus, seed) 400 mg, watercress (Nasturtium officinale, leaf) 400 mg, celery (Apium graveolens, leaf and stem) 380 mg. Gluten free.

Formule Purifiante (CAN $19.00/30 ml) | With its medley of natural essential oils, this has been created to be added help ‘purify’ and disinfect in the most natural way possible. It can be added to dishwater or laundry (but only for top loading machines so it can be added directly to the water), but I prefer to add a few drops to a bucket of water for when I mop the floors, or wipe down the counters. Safe even for babies, the citrusy scent is also so uplifting.

Ingredients: Citrus paradisi (pink grapefruit EO), pelargonium graveolens (geranium EO), litsea cubeba (lemon listea EO), cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass EO), citrus sinensis (orange EO), thyme & thymol (thyme EO)

To say that I’ve tried a lot of skincare products over the years wouldn’t be a stretch, and while there have been hits, there have also been many misses. With time, I’ve both felt & seen the changes in my skin, and the current situation we’re all living in has really brought home the importance of maintaining my skin’s optimum health. What makes these products truly stand out for me, is the fact that not only are they made with active ingredients (which, by the way, all have a clearly marked shelf life that you definitely need to adhere to), but the actual results I’ve seen. In a nutshell, I’m so incredibly happy to have finally tried this brand out & absolutely recommend.

Available at www.maisonjacynthe.com

Kindly provided by Maison Jacynthe for my unbiased consideration

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