Before I get into the “meat” of this post, I should probably offer The Detox Market (“TDM”) a little introduction. Have you guys heard of it? For those who haven’t, they are a green beauty company focused on “offering pure, effective and elegant products”. Now, I don’t claim to be a green beauty expert or strictly cruelty-free. Just being real here. Lately, however, I’ve found myself wanting to explore that world in greater depth and decide whether I can commit to a “greener” beauty lifestyle. Also (sorry, if it’s TMI), my husband and I are trying for baby number 2. Like the first time around, while trying to conceive, being pregnant and breastfeeding, I tend to go for beauty products with cleaner ingredients lists.
Going cleaner means substituting certain actives for their natural alternatives as well as ensuring that the products I’m using have decent EWG ratings. (FYI: The Environmental Working Group is a organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability.) That’s when TDM came across my radar. Although, the Detox Market is a very recent discovery for me, I kind of fell I the love with the concept right away. In February, I subscribed to the Detox Box (which I’ll be reviewing soon) and shortly thereafter, became hooked on the Detox Market Samples program.
What is The Detox Market?
The Detox Market started as a pop-up shop on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, California in 2010. In the seven years since, in addition to their online presenc (U.S. and Canada), they’ve grown to include two permanent locations in California as well as Toronto along with several counters at Café Gratitude locations. As part of TDM promise, they “curate the best of natural beauty and to never compromise efficiency while ensuring all [their] products are always cruelty-free”. You can find a complete list of all of their “banned” ingredients here which generally includes those that negatively affect the body and the environment. This means avoiding known carcinogens and allergens as well as ingredients that may cause reproductive harm, neurotoxicity, DNA/cell damage, organ toxicity/irritation and environmental harm.
Personally, I take a very measured approach to such claims, recognizing that natural doesn’t always been “good” and synthetic doesn’t always mean “bad”. In fact, at times the opposite is true. I also believe that many commonly used cosmetic “chemicals” have been demonized based on nothing more than someone else’s effective PR campaign. If possible, one should take the time to do their own research (from reputable sources/scientific research) to determine what qualifies as a bad or good product. That being said, however, I appreciate that not everyone has the inclination to undertake such a time-consuming task. That’s why companies like The Detox Market are so valuable. Essentially, they’ve done all the research for you. Because the products on their website follow clean ingredient guidelines (based on EWG ratings), they offer the consumer convenience as well as peace of mind.
How does The Detox Market Samples program work?
Samples from brands stocked by The Detox Market are sold as “My Little Sample Bag” at a cost of $7.99 USD for each bag of four (4) samples plus shipping. In terms of options, you can get a sample for pretty much any product on the Detox Market website. Things you need to know:
- Four (4) samples are included with each “My Little Sample Bag” order.
- On each product page, on the website, you can select a sample by clicking on the “Sample it” button.
- Samples are made-to-order.
- Due to packaging restrictions, (i.e. the fact that the samples are made from the actual full sized product), samples are not offered on certain items like perfumes, supplements, teas, food, mascaras, eyeliners, nail polishes, bath soaks, wipes, and bundles.
- Products are provided in varying types of sample containers depending on your product selection (i.e. vials, plastic pots, mini spray bottles).
- TDM says that to ensure that you receive the freshest products – sample orders will generally take about 7 business days to be fulfilled and shipped out to you. To avoid holding up the rest of your order, samples will be shipped separately.
- Samples are not valid for refunds and/or exchanges.
Finally, according to the company, “the samples are intended for one to two uses: for color matching, sensitivity testing, and consistency and scent reference.” This means, depending on the type of product, you’ll get to try it for at least a couple of days.
What I ordered from the Detox Market – My Little Sample Bag
Over the course of several weeks, I placed three separate sample orders. If I could have order more than one bag at a time, I probably would have. Unfortunately, you are only able to purchase one sample bag with each order. The good news is that shipping for sample bags is offered at a reasonable rate of $1.99 USD. If you order your sample bag along with a regular product on the website, then the applicable shipping rate will apply (all orders over $80+ USD ship free).
So, this is what “My Little Sample Bags” looked like. I just kind of bunched all of them together for the photograph. You’ll notice that two of my samples are actually packets. I’m not sure if this is common practice or whether it is only done for certain types of products. For example, most of my mask samples were placed in the sample containers while one was a packet sample. To give you an idea of scale and size, I’ve place a US quarter next to the samples. Can you tell I was on a Tata Harper kick?
Review, thoughts and observations on The Detox Market samples program
When will you receive your samples?
I received most of my sample bags within a week of ordering. Shipping from California to the East Coast of the United States. As I’m back and forth from the U.S. to The Bahamas, this was really convenient for me.
How are the sample products stored?
- Moisturizers and eye-creams are placed in thin, small plastic pots that are about ¼ centimeter thick.
- Masks and some cleansers are paced in slightly larger thin, plastic pots that are about ¼ centimeter thick.
- My facial oil sample was placed in one of those small perfume vials (the dabber kind) while the cleansing oil was placed in a larger vial with a screw-off top.
- Powder-based masks were place in small plastic baggies.
How many uses did I get out of each Detox Market sample?
Most of the samples I chose for my Detox Sample bags were from the skincare brand Tata Harper. I’ve been curious about her products for ages, but the mixed bag of glowingly positive and depressingly negative reviews made me wary. Some people absolutely love her products for their sensorial aesthetic as well as their effectiveness. Others warn that they are nothing more than over-priced fragrant essential oils that are bad for the skin. And yes, they are definitely one of the more expensive skincare brands, green beauty or not. Tata Harper is known for products free of synthetics, dyes, artificial fragrances that feature natural ingredients with generally good EWG ratings (under 4).
I suppose while telling you guys (approximately) how many uses each sample provided, I might as well share my thoughts on how they performed as well. So, this will also be a mini review of sorts. I’ll only mention the products I’ve managed to use. For reference, I’m in my late 30’s, my skin type is combination with oily and dry areas and is prone to dehydration, mild rosacea and hormonal acne.
- Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser – 4 generous uses. One of the nicer products I sampled. Like most TH products, this oil cleanser has a natural, floral, herbal scent, but it’s not as overwhelming as some of her other products. Scent aside, as a cleansing oil, it performed extremely well, gliding comfortably across the skin and removing all of my makeup, including long-wear mascara, with ease. It did not sting the eyes and rinses off clean while leaving the skin supple and hydrated.
- Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser – 2 uses from the plastic pot and 2 uses from the sample packet. As much as I was a skeptic, I now see why this product has a cult following. Sometimes skincare is just as much about results, as it is about the overall experience of using a product. And using this cleaner is such a pleasure. In addition to cleansing well, skin feels amazing once the regenerating cleanser is rinsed away. This cleanser contains small, very finely ground apricot seeds. Usually, I’m not a fan of manual exfoliating agents, as they can damage the skin. Unlike your typical St. Ives type scrub, however, this product is extremely gentle and the “exfoliating” aspect is barely noticeable. This was my favorite product.
- Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence – 1 use. Inside this packet sample, I found one small sheet saturated with the essence. Perhaps one of the more disappointing samples, if mini spray bottles are not an option, perhaps they should have included more than one packet. However, I found the floral notes in the product overwhelming and the essence itself did not feel as refreshing as I expected. Application method could have played a role.
- Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum – 3 uses. This was O.K. It’s a thick, creamy serum that absorbs surprisingly quickly considering how thick it is. The scent, though “natural” was very heavy and I can easily see how it may be too much for some.
- Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream – 10+ uses. It has a creamy texture and it’s hydrating but not heavy. The scent is mild.
- Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil – 5 uses. The texture of this oil is cosmetically elegant – a cross between a serum and oil. Definitely not a dry oil. Apply too much and can feel somewhat heavy on the skin. On the first night, I used way too much (4 drops) and it took some time to fully absorb. While I love the healthy glow this gave me, the scent profile is too strong for my olfactory senses.
- Tata Harper Reparative Moisturizer – 3 uses. The pros of this moisturizer are that it absorbs quickly and wears nicely under makeup. Like many of TH products, the floral, herbal scent is quite strong. The first two times I used it, it made me sneeze. However, I didn’t have a reaction or break out from this product. Or any of the other Tata Harper products for that matter.
From this experience, my take is that Tata Harper does cleansers really well. You probably see alot of mixed reviews due to the fact that while many of her products perform beautifully, some will be sensitive to the scent profiles.
Is The Detox Market Samples Bag worth it?
It depends. Value is one of those highly subjective concepts. What is valuable to me, may not be valuable to you and vice versa. For my needs (the ability to choose exactly what samples I want to try from the comfort of my home) and expectations (getting a basic sense of how the product functions); I found the Detox Market sample program to be a good value.
Based on my experience, therefore, I think the cost is worth it for those who:
- Are looking to try green beauty products. Green beauty, particularly smaller, niche brands, is not as easily accessible as conventional and traditional beauty. Notwithstanding the fact that brands like Tata Harper have become more mainstream (on the shelves of Nordstrom, Sephora, and Cult Beauty for example), there are green beauty brands that cannot be found in your typical Department store. Where I live, for example, Mahalo, May Lindstrom and Josh Rosebrook, just aren’t available.
- Prioritize Convenience. You can get samples for free. This is true. If you appreciate the convenience of having customized samples delivered directly to you, then TDM service is for you.
- Have realistic expectations of what they are hoping for through the “trial” process. As stated, you’ll probably only get 2-3 uses out of each sample, sometimes more, sometimes less. This is enough to figure out if you like the products’ aesthetics (the way it smells, feels) and whether you’ll have a reaction (allergies, redness, burning etc.). In terms of results, you can probably identify what a mask will do for your skin but there’s not enough product to know if a serum will erase your dark spots. With products like facial oils, certain types serums, and eye-creams you may be able to stretch out more uses. However, with cleansers, masks and facial moisturizers you’ll likely get closer to 2 applications.
I hope you all have enjoyed this post and found it informative. Do you shop at the Detox Market? You can read more about The Detox Market Samples program here.
All items featured in this post were purchased by the author unless otherwise noted. Any products or services provided as PR will be marked with an asterisk "*". This website uses Skimlinks and this post may contain affiliate links.