Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info

Product Review: @starkskincare ~ Grapefruit, Green Tea Clay Mask, Cypress Purity & Defense Oil, White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic


Stark Skincare is a Canadian company that I first heard about on the Fresh Faced website. Turns out they were also profiled on No More Dirty Looks (NMDL). Always game to try new skincare products I thought I would give this a go since I wasn’t satisfied with what I was currently using. All images are from the Stark Skincare website.



I call this a balm because of its thick consistency. Though it’s actually designed to be used to cleanse as well as hydrate. On first use it was really great on my skin. Left it feeling clean & moisturized. I have to say though that it wasn’t good at taking off all of my makeup. I would still use Jane Iredale’s Magic Mitt to take off the rest. But as you can see from the overview below, after a couple of months of usage I broke out massively so I had to stop using it. My mom us now using my full size Grapefruit balm, which I think is more suited to her skin. Her skin type is very dry & not sensitive like mine. When she uses this her skin just soaks it up like a sponge! Ever since she started using the Grapefruit balm regularly her skin has started to look more even & glowy.


Green Tea Clay Mask:

This is the only product from Stark that I can sill use. I like this mask because it clarifies & helps dry out my acne without drying out my skin too much. I’ve tried other clay masks before & they would leave my skin extremely dry afterwards. Mom hasn’t gotten a chance to use the mask yet as I finished the travel size one I bought. LOL.


Cypress Purity & Defense Oil:

This oil is supposed to moisturize your skin & control sebum production. I tried it in conjunction with the other products so I’ve no idea as to its effectiveness just on its own. It did work to control my oil. But it doesn’t make much sense to me to make a product that a woman can’t use while pregnant because of the cypress oil. So if you happen to get pregnant you have to stop using this & find a new product? Stark doesn’t have an equivalent product on their site that pregnant women can use. That’s very inconvenient if you ask me.


White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic:

This is basically the toner in their product line. Not bad as toners go. But everyone seems to be using willow bark lately. Suki Skincare has a toner with willow bark as well.



Konjac Sponge:

This product is also sold on the Stark Skincare website, though it’s not made by them. They recommend its use with the grapefruit balm. I tried the black one which is for acne prone skin. I didn’t see the point of it. It didn’t help take off makeup but just pushed it around on my face. I also didn’t see any added benefit to using it with the grapefruit balm. Didn’t work for my skin at lest.


Rating: 3/5

The packaging is nice, the products smell good & all that. It is a Canadian company & I like to support local businesses. I really wanted to love these products.  But it just didn’t work for my skintype, I’m sad to say. I first bought the travel sized products from Stark Skincare to try. After a week of using these & no reactions, I enthusiastically bought the full sized products. However after a couple months of use I had to stop using the grapefruit balm since I was breaking out like crazy & it wouldn’t stop. I’m now taking a break from using the Stark products right now so that my acne breakout can calm down. I may go back to using them some time in the future. But I suspect the products might be too rich for my skin. Good thing about me trying Stark Skincare is that I’ve now gotten my mom hooked on it! Her skin is very dry & not acne prone or sensitive at all so she shouldn’t have any problems with breaking out like I did.


Author: Hazel

Unrepentant blogger of eco beauty, fashion and info living in Toronto, Canada. Blogging and reviews about eco-friendly organic brands, beauty, fashion, cosmetics, skincare, haircare, body care, DIY recipes, home, wellness, and lifestyle products that are available in Canada.

2 thoughts on “Product Review: @starkskincare ~ Grapefruit, Green Tea Clay Mask, Cypress Purity & Defense Oil, White Willow Bark Perfecting Tonic

  1. Found you on NMDL. I had the same reaction to Stark, and my skin is on the dry side. I broke out badly and had to stop using it. It took two months for my skin to clear. I’m surprised no one has commented on this, because if I broke out, a lot of others must have too.

    The balm also went really grainy & though there is a “fix” for that, I think considering the price of the products, you shouldn’t have to fix anything. It should be perfect.

    My Willow Bark toner went off – I know Stark doesn’t believe in preservatives, but I wonder if this is part of the reason why my skin reacted – maybe there was an ecosystem growing in there? Stark is a nice idea, but I’ll take a pass on them.

    • Stark works really well for my mom. Her skin is really dry & not sensitive like mine. So it can work for others. It just didn’t work for me.

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