Our Rating: 5 stars

It's always "Spa Day" whenever I shower or bathe with the Astara Aromatic Seaweed Body Wash ($22)! This latest product of Astara Skin Care easily transports me to the sensation and indulgence of a memorable spa pampering experience.

The Aromatic Seaweed Body Wash is packed with sea kelp, aloe vera and essential oils that not only cleanse, but nourish and revitalize the skin. Sulfate and paraben free, this body wash uses powerful antioxidants such as sea kelp as its key active (comes first in the ingredient list) that is known to impart essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and protein that hydrates and help protect the skin from harsh environmental elements and increase blood circulation, thereby maintaining healthy and glowing skin. It is no wonder that seaweed baths were very popular during the early 1900's in Britain and Ireland where seaweed was indigenous to the area. It was believed that seaweed baths slows the skin aging process and encourages longevity.

Another key ingredient is aloe vera, which we all know to be very hydrating since it contains 99.5% water, and is often used as a natural anti-inflammatory and, anti-bacterial treatment, like when one gets an awful sun burn. Furthermore, Astara Aromatic Seaweed Body Wash is formulated with essential oils from organic plant and flower essences: Arnica - stimulates the immune response to treat skin inflammation, acne and bruises; Birch Bark extract & Black Walnut Leaf - potent antioxidants with astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits; pink grapefruit, lavender and rosemary oil blend - provides aromatic, antiseptic, soothing, healing & cell renewing qualities. Astara, however, uses cocamidopropyl betaine for foam boosting and some preservatives such as phenoxyethanol, dehydroacetic acid and benzoic acid that purist will frown upon. I don't worry too much about it though since it's a body wash and is rinsed off anyway.

My "spa day" experience with the aromatic Seaweed Body Wash leaves my body feeling cleansed, soothed, toned and energized, especially when I soak in 2 oz of the green gel-like body wash lathering in a warm bath when I have the luxury of time. In the tub as well as in the shower, its light scent permeates and calms the senses and when I step out to dry, my skin feels soft, smooth and moisturized.

Because of its higher price tag compared to the other natural sulfate/paraben free body wash products I use, the Astara Aromatic Seaweed Body Wash is one which I would use only once or twice weekly and specifically more in a bath than in the shower. Nevertheless, it is still of good value for its great benefits mentioned above and its ability to give the feeling of "spa splendor" in the privacy of one's own bathroom at a fraction of the money and time one would spend at the resort spas.

Ingredients in Astara Aromatic Seaweed Body Wash: Aqueous extracts of Laminaria digitata (Seaweed), Arnica montana (Arnica), Betula lenta (Birch) Bark and Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) Leaf, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroamphohydroxypropylsulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamide MIPA, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf extract, pure organic essential oil blend of Citrus x paradisi (pink grapefruit), Lavandula officinalis (lavender), and Rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary), Phenoxyethanol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Copper Chlorophylline