For years I didn’t pay much attention to my skin.
But looking down the barrel of 30, I’ve started to notice some changes.
Mainly that my skin is getting drier and I’m getting more wrinkles.
So about a year ago, I asked my wife what she does to keep her skin looking great: Korean beauty products. Judging from what the bathroom cabinet looks like, hundreds and hundreds of Korean beauty products.
Well, I used some of them, and they work.
Now, I’m not too macho to admit I spent the better part of a year using lilac-scented face cream from a pink bottle. Heck, whatever gets the job done, right?
But when Hawthorne announced they were putting out a face cleanser and lotion, I was ready to ditch the K-products in favor of something a little more simple. Something that suits me better.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been putting Hawthorne’s new face care system to the
So how’d they do?
What Is Hawthorne?
Hawthorne is known for their personalized cologne (we did a full review of it). You answer a 23-question quiz and you’re paired with two fragrances that match your lifestyle.
One fragrance, aptly known as “Work,” is meant to reflect your work-self. I went through almost all of my first Work fragrance and I’m on my second now. I gave different answers the second time just to see if Hawthorne nailed it like they did the first time. And yes, they did.
The other fragrance is “Play.” It’s a Friday and Saturday night go-to. So whether you prefer to cuddle up on the couch and watch Netflix, or head to an upscale bar for cocktails, you’ll be prepared with a cologne that fits the mood just right.
A big part of why I was excited to give the brand’s new face care system a try was because of the quality of their cologne. While Hawthorne doesn’t really advertise the strength of their fragrances, all four bottles I have are in the eau-de-toilette range (and I think even my first Work may have been an eau-de-parfum).
If you’re unfamiliar with fragrance strengths, eau-de-toilette will typically last about six to eight hours, and it’s my preferred strength. Eau-de-cologne or lower wouldn’t be worth the cost.
Hawthorne also offers shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, and even a candle. In our previous review, I gave the brand a chance to help me with my dry scalp. The shampoo worked like a charm. I’m still working through the deodorant and body wash, and I’m loving it.
Hawthorne took over my shower routine and my scent. So is their new face-care routine good enough to replace what I’m already doing? Let’s dive into the specifics.
Hawthorne Face Cleanser and Face Lotion Unboxing & Review
Both the cleanser and lotion come in 4oz (118ml) bottles packed in spill-proof bags.
As I mentioned in our previous Hawthorne review, I like that they take the extra measure to ensure I don’t open a box of exploded products. There weren’t any problems with either of my shipments, but you never know what will happen in the delivery process.
Because the bottles are over 100ml, they aren’t TSA compliant, so if I want to bring my face-care along with me when flying, I’ll need to package it them up into smaller bottles.
As this point, most parts of my hygiene routine are covered by Hawthorne (shampoo, body wash, deodorant, etc.). I’d love to see a travel kit with everything I use daily, including a small cologne.
When Hawthorne is customizing your face-care products, they ask two questions:
- What’s your face skin type?
- What is your main face need?
My face skin is dry and I primarily want to open clogged pores. The second question was a bit harder because I could’ve just as easily opted for wrinkle protection and to relieve extreme dryness.
The main active ingredients in the cleanser are aloe and centella asiatica. I’m familiar with the soothing, skin-calming effects of aloe (I grew up in SoCal and have had my fair share of sunburns). But I wasn’t familiar with centella asiatica.
One of the first things I read about the herbal extract is that it’s one of the unique, defining ingredients in many Korean beauty products. I didn’t fully come out and say it earlier, but I think Koreans might take better care of their faces than anyone else in the world.
That’s why I’ve been using flowery K-beauty lotions for the past year. It just works. Really well.
So it was promising to see Hawthorne take a page from their book and use it in a combination meant specifically to help open my pores and moisturize at the same time—my two biggest face-care problems.
The centella asiatica extract is a powerful antioxidant that moisturizes the skin while cleaning it, and can even reverse signs of sun damage. I need all of that. Twice.
Pair those benefits with aloe, which helps calm any irritated skin, and you’ve got a cleanser that keeps your skin even and free of any dryness.
I’ve been using the face cleanser before I do my wet shave (and the lotion after), and I’ve noticed there’s far less irritation on my neck under my jaw line. That’s definitely a problem area for me where bumps can crop up, but I haven’t had a flair up yet.
I’ve been using my face lotion every morning for two weeks, and, paired with the cleanser, it’s cleared up the dryness around the bridge of my nose.
I’d say my three big issues are:
- Dryness (especially around the nose)
- Bumps after shaving around the neck
- Wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes
If my face-care lotion doesn’t relieve dryness, it’s going straight in the trash.
If my face-care lotion doesn’t stop those irritation-bumps I get around my neck after shaving, I’ll keep searching for something better.
But if my face-care lotion smoothes out the wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes, I’ll use it every day.
Like I said, I’ve been using Hawthorne’s new face lotion every day.
It has the same aloe and centella asiatica extract as the cleanser, but throws in some calendula oil for good measure.
These ingredients all make for a hydrating, nourishing cream that keeps shaving bumps to a minimum.
My Overall Thoughts on Hawthorne
What I Like
The same way Hawthorne tailored a cologne to my lifestyle, they created face care products that targeted my biggest skin-care need—dryness and shaving bumps. I haven’t dealt with either for the past few weeks.
The bottles look great out on my bathroom sink. And paired with the other Hawthorne products like shampoo and body wash, I feel like I’m living in a fancy hotel.
The subscription model makes it easy to keep a consistent flow coming. I don’t have to worry about running out or going back to try and figure out how to get the same customized product.
What I Don’t Like
The bottles are too large to take on a plane. I’d like to see a Hawthorne travel-kit, because as of now, I have to ditch my whole routine at home whenever I fly.
Hawthorne’s basic face-care package is a solid option if you’re a guy looking to take better care of your skin.
It contains many of the same ingredients as well-loved and highly regarded Korean skincare brands, but keeps things simple and accessible.
Speaking from first-hand experience, it’s hard to know which creams and serums and masks to use.
Hawthorne asks two basic questions. Based on your answers, they send you an easy-to-follow routine that will sort your biggest face-care issues.
And if you’re anything like me, you like to put in time and research into discovering the solution once and never think about it again. So Hawthorne’s easy subscription service makes it possible to get your whole face-care, shower routine, and your fragrance all in one delivery.
The brand impressed me once already with their great-smelling, value-packed, fully customized fragrances. And now they’ve replaced my K-beauty routine with their hydrating and soothing cleanser and lotion.
If you love top-quality products as much as you love convenience, Hawthorne is an excellent choice.
The kit includes Hawthorne's signature face lotion and face cleanser, tailored just for your face. Hawthorne’s use of top-of-the-line ingredients in their cleanser and lotion make for a nourishing system that is likely to solve your biggest face-care need. For me, that was dryness and shaving bumps.