Graydon Products first came across my radar thanks to Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health. Joy includes Elements Sun Complex in her Favourite Non-Toxic Facial Products video. Being a longtime follower of Joy McCarthy’s work, I hopped on-line to check out the brand. Graydon’s philosophy incorporates science, luxury and nature – the exact same elements we value here at Chidi Beauty. From my brief experience buying their products, Graydon seems to have good customer service too. Better still, they offer sample sizes for most, if not all of their products. I ordered 6 samples, which cost $29.00 CAD including shipping. That is so much cheaper than ordering even one full sized product and abandoning it after a few uses because it simply does not work. My final overall review is that Graydon is a good clean luxury brand and I’ll keep their site on my radar to see if they have any new products that might be of interest. For more on each product, my individual reviews are below.
Elements Sun Complex (sample size)
Elements Sun Complex is a mattifying, physical sunblock that I like on some days, and dislike on others. The generous 0.5 oz sample lasts long enough that you should be able to decide whether to buy the full size product. I was on the fence for a long time. On good days, it seems like a clean physical sunblock that completely blends into dark brown skin; on other days, it seems like it leaves that dreaded, notorious greyish/whitish ashy layer on dark brown skin. By the time I finished this sample, I was ready to admit that the good days were not as good as I wanted them to be.
Elements Sun Complex can be quite drying, but not overly so. During the summer, it should be good for all but those with the driest skin. Also, if you rub your face after it’s dry, this tends to form beads and rub off – not a good look. But the greatest concern with Elements Sun Complex is this; it has no SPF. This is the first sun protection product I’ve ever bought that has no SPF listed anywhere. This leads me to think one of two things; Graydon does not want to guarantee the effectiveness of their product, or their product is not really that effective. Even if the SPF is only 5, I can’t imagine why a brand wouldn’t tell its customers that very important information. My skin hasn’t suffered any sun damage while testing this out in the unforgiving Caribbean sun. But the fact that Graydon gives no idea how much protection this is supposed to offer is still unsettling.
When all is said and done, I really wanted to like this product, but can’t. Those with fair to medium complexions might want to give this a try – after all Joy McCarthy had nothing but good things to say about her experience using this sunblock. And as you can see in the second picture below, this blends in fairly well on lighter complexions. But for those of us who are melanin rich, this is not the elusive sheer physical sunblock we’ve been looking for. The mystery of the missing SPF, added to the fact that this sunblock leaves that dreaded grayish/whitish layer on dark brown skin means that my quest for a translucent, natural, physical sunblock continues.
Face Glow (sample size)
Aside from some the occasional eyeshadow, I’m really not a fan of sparkles in face products. Graydon’s Face Glow is one exception that I can tolerate. The sparkles, it turns out, are so inconspicuous that this sunblock is completely work appropriate – even for the most formal office settings. Thanks in part to its pink color, Face Glow blends into dark brown skin better than most physical sunblocks. But, alas, even overlooking the sparkles I can’t justify ordering the full size.
While this blends in better than most physical sunblocks, including Elements Sun Complex, it’s still not completely translucent on dark brown skin. It doesn’t look terrible, but it still leaves a greyish/whitish ashy layer. On lighter complexions, as you can see in the second picture below, it adds a very pretty pinkish glow to the skin. Aside from that, my impression of Face Glow is more or less the same as my impression of Elements Sun Complex. Though I wanted to end my search for a clean, translucent, physical sunblock here, my search continues.
Face Food Mineral Mist (sample size)
Face Food Mineral Mist is the only Graydon sample that should have been bigger. Admittedly, I can be heavy handed at times, but even for a more restrained product user this sample really wouldn’t last long enough to tell whether it’s effective. I enjoyed using this fine mist for the three or so days that it lasted. And it didn’t irritate my skin or cause me to break out. That being said, and considering the beneficial ingredients, I plan to order the full size and give it a more thorough trial.
Lavender Chamomile Sandalwood (0.34 fl oz/10 ml sample)
No. Just no. I don’t know what Graydon’s Lavender Chamomile Sandalwood essential oil is supposed to smell like, but it really doesn’t smell good. The fragrance is slightly familiar, probably due to the lavender. It also smells like medicine and tea, the latter undoubtedly due to the chamomile. Overall, this seems to be more of a masculine scent. But unlike a good musk (I know, I know, not clean at all), I have zero interest in ever wearing this. Ever. Maybe with the right body chemistry this could smell good. But I have no desire to find out if I have that magic chemistry. Standing alone this smells terrible and I have no desire to smell it, let alone wear it for any length of time. But you don’t have to take my word for it; the first person who wants this opened but unused sample, just say so the comments section below and it’s yours.
Pink Grapefruit Geranium Blood Orange (sample size)
Pink grapefruit essential oil is one of those fragrances I could smell and smell, and never grow tired of it. The smell of blood orange essential oil is equally blissful. Geranium can smell nice too. But this combination Pink Grapefruit Geranium Blood Orange essential oil, for some reason, does not work. Oddly enough, this smells a little like insect repellent. Tending to be more curious than not, I tried a little bit of this one night to see if it would keep the mosquitoes away. I don’t know if it was the fragrance, or the insect repellent that I had sprayed sometime before, but I most surely remained bite-free for the rest of the night.