Moss Skincare founder Celestyna Higgins is a person I’ve admired from afar. Although I don’t know her well, she is one of the most passionate and talented green beauty formulators I’ve ever encountered. I’m always intrigued by her creations, as she uses unusual ingredients in innovative ways.
I’ve tried many products from her original line (‘Moss 1.0’), but many of those products were discontinued, repackaged or reformulated by the time I finished testing them (and blogging about them felt redundant). Most brands do all of the above, but Moss seems to do them at dizzying speeds. Last year, the original line was put into hibernation before they brought out a new Moss 2.0 with a slimmed-down selection of products. Originally meant to be an essential oil-free line comprising just two products that would ‘constitute a complete acne-clearing system,’ it has grown into a six-product line to include several products that include essential oils. In addition to the Moss reboot, she has also created a more pared-down diffusion line called Ambar (Sanskrit/Hindi for ‘sky’ – watch this music video if you want to learn how it’s actually pronounced in India – closer to ‘UM-ber’ than ‘amber’), which is what I will review below. I say ‘review,’ but it’s more of a mini-review-first-impressions-situation since I’ve only used these products for about a month.
Micellar Cleansing Essence: An anti-inflammatory micellar water, Micellar Cleansing Essence cleanses well in one easy swipe. I like to use this as a first cleanse in the evenings because it takes my day off without any fuss. It has an appealing millennial-pink colour and a spicy citrus-rose scent that I like. The great thing about this product is that it doesn’t leave a sticky residue unlike many other micellar waters that I’ve tried. Word of warning: I don’t wear makeup, but if you do, this may not be enough to take everything off. Make sure you double cleanse if you have a full face of makeup on!
Hydrating Mineral Gelée: This is a gel that that turns to liquid when you rub it between your palms. I didn’t expect to love this product, but I love how lightweight it is. It quenches and refreshes your skin without overloading it. It contains tamarind seed (a natural alternative to hyaluronic acid) along with zinc, magnesium, copper and manganese. I like its minty scent, but I can see how it could remind some people of oral hygiene products.
Silky Moisture Fluid: This is a sprayable moisturising lotion with green oat extract and calendula. It smells like oat milk, and it feels very soothing on the skin. It does leave a slight tackiness, but it doesn’t overload or clog my skin. It’s a great moisturiser for sensitive skin. The directions on the bottle tell you to spray it directly on the forehead and cheeks, but I find that this method slaps your face with product. I prefer to spray it on my hands and then apply it.
Daily Antioxidant Primer: One of my favourite products from the line, this silicone-free primer lightly moisturises and perfects the skin, while protecting it against pollution, UV light and free radicals. This works better than any silicone primer that I’ve tried, and it does a fantastic job prepping the skin for makeup. As I mentioned above, I don’t wear any makeup, but I still like using it as a light daytime moisturiser. The light emulsion melts into the skin with zero residue. Love it!
Final Thoughts: I’ve tried many products from Moss, and while I love some more than others, I’ve never disliked anything I’ve tried from the brand. The same applies to AMBAR. I like the entire line. They are well-crafted products that showcase Celestyna’s unique gifts as a formulator. They are more affordable than Moss (everything is under $100), and as with all things Moss, these products work well for acne-prone skin.