Product Review: Mary Kay Botanical Effects Skincare

With green and organic skincare becoming more popular than ever, it seemed only a matter of time before Mary Kay ventured into this category with their own offering. Mary Kay Botanical Effects launched earlier this year, promising gentle, effective products tailored for each skin type (dry, normal, and oily). The fragrance-free, hypoallergenic formulas are supposed to be ideal for sensitive skin and younger women who aren't concerned about visible signs of aging yet. They also contain botanical extracts like milk thistle and luo han guo.

After taking a quiz that determined I was skin type 2 (normal), Mary Kay sent me the entire Botanical Effects line in the type 2 formulas to try and review. I've been using the products for the last couple of weeks and found them to be hit-and-miss:

  • The Cleanse Formula 2 ($17) was as gentle, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic as promised, although its consistency felt a lot like Cetaphil--disappointing considering that this cleanser costs considerably more than the drugstore alternative.
  • Likewise, the Hydrate Formula 2 ($20) is barely distinguishable from Cetaphil's lotion. While it moisturized effectively and didn't aggravate my skin, I didn't see enough of a difference between this botanical-infused formulation and the inexpensive Cetaphil lotion to justify paying more for the benefits.
  • The Mask Formula 2 ($18) was probably my least favourite product in this line. The granules felt jagged and harsh when I tried to use the mask as an exfoliating scrub as per the instructions.
  • The Freshen Formula 2 ($17) is supposed to refresh your face mid-day and get rid of oil and shine, but it dried to a sticky finish which didn't feel fresh at all.

Overall, the products disappointed me. What's more, the marketing strategy for this line is just odd. It seems more like hypoallergenic skincare for sensitive types despite the green-sounding name "Botanical Effects." Everything from the sterile white packaging to the equally sterile-feeling formulas seems so much more clinical than luxe organic skincare should be. I say save your money and opt for the cheaper drugstore stuff, or save your pennies and splurge on organic.


  1. I went to an event last night and receive the whole Simple skincare line. I love every single product they have to offer. If you haven't tried it out yet, I plan to do a blog post over the weekend. But I am sure that you have already tested it.


Back to Top