Hello, everyone! Today, I’m back with an indie body lotion review. I recently ran out of my normal hand/foot cream (I’ve been using just boring old St. Ives for awhile ehh) and decided it was time for a change. Since I’ve started using the Jergens in-shower moisturizer, I don’t go through body lotion as quickly nowadays – I really only use it for my hands and feet. This means I can afford to splurge a bit with fun Etsy body creams, since I’m not burning through them at the speed of light.
I’d had Sweet Clementine Soaps favorited for a few months, mostly because they had a really appealing scent selection and extremely cute packaging. I admit that I’m easily tempted when indie sellers make the effort to get some sort of professional-style packaging – I suppose that it implies that they’re invested in their product and thus more likely to have put in work to perfect the formulas that they’re selling. I know that’s not true across the board, of course – I’ve had excellent products from very DIY sellers and crappy products from seemingly polished shops – but it’s definitely something that plays into my decision-making when shopping on Etsy.
SCS sells themed sets of three mini lotions – and since I was new to the brand, I decided this would be the best way to try them out. I’d get to try the formula fully as well as three different scents, and if I wasn’t impressed, 2oz per type isn’t a huge investment. I selected the “French Patisserie” set, which included 2oz tubs of Crème Brûlée, Pistachio Macaron, and Chocolate Mousse body creams. I also grabbed a lip balm, because you know how I am about my lip balms (fanatical is the answer ?), but that’s another review for another day!
If you’re on the main page, click the read more to see my full review!
My order arrived promptly, packaged cutely (wrapped in cellophane bags with cute fasteners) and with a freebie sample of their Fresh Cut Roses Sugar Scrub. I haven’t tested the scrub yet, but it smells lovely!
So, when reviewing a lotion/cream for hand and body, there are several factors that are very important to me:
- The lotion must have a good texture. It needs to apply easily (I really dislike solid lotions for this reason; if I’m out somewhere or trying to replenish my poor dry hands after washing the dishes or something, I don’t really wanna fuss with warming up a solid lotion and then dealing with how thin and greasy most of them tend to be…ugh) without any mess or fuss.
- The lotion must absorb at the optimal rate. In other words, it needs to absorb quickly enough that you’re not left with greasy hands/body while you wait forever and a day for the product to sink in, but it needs to give you time to massage it in and spread it around before your skin drinks it up.
- It has to leave a smooth, hydrated finish. Sticky and/or greasy finishes are awful, especially for hands since I’m constantly glued to some kind of tech. I don’t want to cover my Kindle or my phone or my 3DS in some greasy lotion film! Likewise, I don’t want to have to sit around until the big crunch waiting for my lotion to absorb enough to a point where I can dress without feeling sticky. Equally annoying are the lotions that absorb and feel like they’ve barely contributed any sort of hydration, so you end up having to apply and re-apply (and usually, with such lotions, you end up reaching stickiness before you feel moisturized).
- The scent must be nice, but it can’t be too strong. I get migraines, and while mine are usually centered on visual triggers, I’ve had certain scents (cigarette smoke) send me off on a 2-day migraine spree as well. Both for my sake and the sake of anyone I might be nearby, I don’t like heavily scented beauty products.
I’ll go down each bullet point and address how I feel these Sweet Clementine Soaps hand lotions delivered, and then after that I’ll give my opinions on each individual scent.
TEXTURE: This stuff is an absolute joy to the touch. It’s smooth like buttah, but not thick enough that you feel annoyed or sticky trying to apply the cream. There’s really no mess or fuss here, and the texture is so smooth that it’s actually really pleasurable to apply this lotion. Definitely gets an A+ from me on this point!
ABSORPTION: I think that these lotions absorb very close to my optimal rate. I’m using these mostly as hand and foot creams, but I did test on my body as well. My feet, unsurprisingly, suck the lotion up really quickly, but I tend to have dry feet (especially in the winter) so that’s not really unusual. My legs absorbed the cream pretty quickly as well, and I wasn’t left sitting around annoyed at how long it took before I felt okay to get dressed. For my hands, this was probably the slowest rate of absorption, but still quite fast. I removed a small amount, and by the time I’d massaged it into both of my hands for about 10 seconds, I’d say it was more or less fully absorbed. I’d give this product an A here.
FINISH: For body/foot, this gets a resounding A+++! It absorbed quickly and left my skin feeling super smooth and comfortable. For my feet (which were a touch dry during these tests as it was still quite cold here & thus I’ve been sleeping with a heater in my room), I did need to use 2 applications, but I expect that in less drying seasons just once over would suffice.
But seriously, for a body lotion, I can’t give this formula enough love! It absorbed fast enough that I had barely any downtime before I could get dressed (this makes me really excited to try it during summer, because I find that most body lotion becomes obnoxiously slow to dry when it’s humid – I so envy those of you who live in “dry heat” places, seriously) and my skin was so soft and smooth to the touch. If you’re looking for an indie body lotion to try, definitely put these creams on your list!
However, as a hand cream… eh, not so much. I don’t think it penetrates into my hands quite as deeply as I’d like, which leaves me hands feeling buttery smooth but not 100% hydrated. I’m not well-versed enough in lotion formulation to suggest why this might happen, but this is really the only disappointment here – for my hands, I do usually have to reapply at least once, sometimes twice, to hit the amount of moisture where I’ll feel comfortable. Perhaps they could add an additional moisturizing element – another oil, or something. Or maybe there’s some ingredient that aids penetration of the already existing emollients. On this aspect, I’d give it a B or B-, it’s not awful, but if you’re someone who is constantly washing their hands like I am, this won’t really be enough for you as a hand cream.
Strangely, the Chocolate Mousse “flavor” was much better about this than the other two: I don’t know if a different formula was used here (the seller does mention that there will be slight differences between batches), but it seemed to be more hydrating on my hands than the other two scents.
So to tl;dr: as a body cream, YES YES YES. As a hand cream? Eh, you can find better.
Moving on, here are the ingredients:
Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Isopropyl Myristate, Caprylic/Capric Glyceride, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Soybean Oil, Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Sunflower Oil, Aloe Barbadensis, Goat Milk Extract, Hydroxypropyl Trimonium Honey, Benzophenone, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, DMDM Hydantoin, Triethanolamine Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Colorant
Of note: these lotions do contain DMDM Hydantoin and Propylparabaen, which both score 7 on CosDNA’s risk scale. Generally, Propylparaben is considered safe as long as you’re not using tons of products with it (read more here), though some respected voices in the industry (like Paula’s Choice) believe it’s a bit of a kerfuffle over nothing (read their viewpoint here). As with so many modern beauty ingredients (and many other modern things), we haven’t really had enough time to properly assess long-term effects, so you have to just make your own decision here.
Next, let’s talk scent.
Okay, I’ve been on a bit of a pistachio kick lately. I’ve been eating them and I’ve fallen hard for the pistachio magnolia scent in this body wash (seriously, if someone can dupe this into a body cream/hand lotion and/or perfume, please let me know!), so this scent was a big reason that I selected the French Patisserie set.
To me, it smells predominantly of amaretto and sugar, with a slight undernote of a nuttier pistachio. I can smell the pistachio when I stick my nose in the jar and breathe deeply – and it smells amazing – but upon application, the sugared almond note is by far the strongest.
Almond/amaretto notes are tricky – they can often be too cloying and sickeningly sweet. Whatever source SCS uses for their almond is much less obnoxious, so I approve on that point. I just personally wish that the nuttiness and pistachio aspects were a bit more vocal.
My least favorite of the trio, though not bad by any means.
This is an extremely buttery, gourmand vanilla. If you like “foodie” vanillas, you will probably adore this one! I don’t get any aspect whatsoever of burnt sugar – something you might expect in a crème brûlée scent – but it’s still such a rich, luxurious vanilla that I don’t really mind!
The best way I can describe it is as a super buttery vanilla cookie scent, but without the “cookie” note. This will smell very familiar to you if you buy foodie vanilla beauty products, but the removal of the “baked good” part of the scent that’s usually alongside such a vanilla makes it more unique.
Probably my personal favorite of the three! ?
The Chocolate Mousse scent was my second favorite – it’s got a light, true chocolate note combined with a lot of milkiness. Chocolate scents, more than almost anything else in the gourmand family, can get overpowering very easily so I appreciate the light hand here.
This is definitely not a dark or bitter chocolate – it’s more like you made a cup of hot cocoa with lots of milk ☕️, and you let the whipped cream melt into the mug before drinking it. If that sounds good to you, then congratulations – you’ll love this lotion’s scent!
Final Verdict: Quality Indie Body Lotion
I was very pleased with this brand of indie body lotion! I’m kind of enamoured with the in-shower moisturizers for time-saving, but on days where I’m not in a rush, or for a special occasion, I’d much rather use a luxurious lotion like these. As body creams, they are simply fantastic – quick to absorb, non-sticky, creamy and easy to apply, and they leave your body absolutely amazingly smooth and soft.
I will absolutely be repurchasing – I was very impressed with the lotions and they have so many scents calling my name! Cherry Blossom, Pistachio Cardamom Cake, Blackberry Mint, Rosewater Lemonade, Raw Sugar + Mint, Cactus + Dewberry… so many delicious sounding options ?
As hand creams, don’t bother – they’re okay, but they shine so much as body lotions, why waste them on your hands when they’re clearly not made for that specific task?
You can purchase these creams in a wide variety of scents and sets at Sweet Clementine Soaps’ shop on Etsy.
This review was done completely of my own accord, with no influence from anybody else. I purchased these items 100% with my own money and received no compensation for this review.