Ursa Major Skincare Review

Ursa Major is a USA-based skincare brand that formulates its products for all genders and skin types.  As a Certified-B corporation, they make their products responsibly and contribute to several social causes.  

Today, we will look at their bestselling trial kit – which includes a face wash, face balm, face tonic, face wipes, and deodorant.

Let’s begin:

Reviewer Notes:  We paid for this trial kit out-of-pocket. This is not a paid review.  This post contains affiliate links.  Tools of Men is independently owned and operated.  Ursa Major is not aware of this post before publication.

Ursa Major Skincare Lineup Review

Below is a review of the packaging and performance of the Ursa Major Skincare products:

Fantastic Face Wash

Product Overview

Providing you with a bright and stimulating hit of cedar and spearmint, the Fantastic Face Wash is a bold cleanser that will undoubtedly wake you up in the morning.

Like all Ursa Major products, the face wash leans on a natural profile of ingredients.  Standout ingredients include aloe vera, coconut-derived surfactants, lemon, green tea, sugarcane, and many more.  Notably absent are petrochemicals, parabens, and synthetic fragrance.

While strong in scent, the face wash should be compatible with most skin types.  Perhaps the only exception would be men with sensitive skin where a fragrance-free cleanser may be more suitable.

One notable difference between this cleanser and many other gentle formulations is the inclusion of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA).  AHA is a chemical compound found to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and improve your skin’s overall appearance.  AHA is best suited for those men with dry skin.

Texture & Consistency

To provide you with a better look at the Fantastic Face Wash, here is the spread test:

ursa major face wash on black mat to demonstrate consistency

And here’s another look to give you an idea of the viscosity:

ursa major face wash on finger tip to demonstrate viscosity

The face wash is runny, clear, and has a subtle yellow tinge.

Performance Review

Here’s how the face wash performs:

man washing face with ursa major face wash

As you can see, it is a non-sudsing cleanser that goes on thin.  If you like seeing that tactile feedback of bubbles, this isn’t the face wash for you.  

The scent didn’t dissipate much during use. Expect a strong smell when you use the face wash. The smell subsided after rinsing thoroughly.

What We Liked
  • The natural ingredient composition cuts out a lot of junk found in other cleansers and keeps just the essentials.
  • While thin, this face wash was easy to work into the skin.  The lack of large suds or bubbles may appear that it’s not working – but it is.
  • After rinsing, the skin felt noticeably fresher and cleaner.
What We Didn’t
  • The scent is polarizing, and you will either love it or hate it.  

Essential Face Tonic & Face Wipes

Product Overview

While sold as two separate products, the Essential Face Tonic & Face Wipes are made to achieve identical results.  Designed to give you a midday refresh, the tonic and wipes act as a 4-in-1 product.  Able to clean, exfoliate, soothe, and hydrate, it can be a lifesaver, especially if you are short on time or weren’t able to squeeze in the shower after hitting the gym midday.

The tonic and wipes rely on a set of natural ingredients, with many of them identical to the face wash.  Ingredients include aloe, sugarcane, birch sap, green tea, and more.  

So, if you were curious why Ursa Major makes the same product packaged differently – don’t worry; we were confused too! The primary reason is for both convenience and the environment. The face tonic has a lower environmental footprint as it doesn’t rely on individually wrapping – it is intended for home use.

However, the face wipes are a travel-friendly choice if you find yourself on the road or want to discreetly refresh while at the office. Either way, it’s nice to have some options here.

Texture & Consistency

Below are a few pictures of the wipe and spray:

ursa major face wipes on black background

The wipe is a nice, smooth towelette that isn’t too thin.

ursa major face tonic sprayed on black mat

The face tonic has a large spray radius, so be sure to hold at a distance when applying.

Performance Review

For the sake of brevity, here’s a look at the face wipes doing their job:

man using ursa major face wipes

The skin did feel light and clean after a single wipe.

What We Liked
  • The ability to pick up the same product in two different packages is nice.  The convenience is welcomed – especially if you are often on the go.
  • Good if you want a midday refresh and to cut down the shine of any oily areas of the skin
  • Provides a generally nice refreshing feeling upon use
What We Didn’t
  • Spray application may be a bit messy – plan accordingly if you are wearing nice clothes.

Fortifying Face Balm

Product Overview

A well-made face moisturizer will help to both nourish and soothe your skin.  With regular application, a face moisturizer will reduce fine lines and wrinkles while also making the skin appear healthy and vibrant.

By relying on an aloe, glycerin, and sunflower seed oil base, the Fortifying Face Balm by Ursa Major should be effective at protecting your skin’s natural moisture barrier.  

While reviews state that those with sensitive skin found this face cream to be non-irritable, do know that the Face Balm is slightly scented through natural ingredients.  The scent is both light and refreshing.

Texture & Consistency

Here’s how the Fortifying Face Balm looks in our spread test:

ursa major face balm on black mat to demonstrate consistency

And here’s an alternate view to give you a better idea of the consistency:

ursa major on finger tip to demonstrate viscosity

As you can see, the face balm is thin but not runny.

Performance Review

The Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm goes on thin; therefore, you will need to be a little more liberal when applying.  

Here’s how quickly a nickel-sized amount absorbed into the skin:

man applying face balm

The scent for the face balm was significantly milder when compared to the face wash. While still prevalent, it will likely be suitable for most men. You can expect the scent to fully dissipate in about 15 minutes after application.

The face balm wasn’t necessarily a standout for quality, nor was it bad; very much a middle-of-the-road experience here.

What We Liked
  • Given the thinner body, the face balm spreads on rather easily.
  • Suitable if you prefer naturally-derived products.
What We Didn’t
  • Fragrance-free or unscented face moisturizers are more versatile.
  • Requires a bit more liberal application compared to other brands, which may lead to frequent restocking.

Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant

Product Overview

The crisp and cool Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant is a natural way to keep your pits smelling fresh.  Rather than relying on an aluminum compound, the Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant relies primarily on tapioca starch to absorb moisture.  

While not a replacement for an antiperspirant that stops sweat, this natural deodorant by Ursa Major is excellent for daily wear, especially if no intense athletic activities are planned.

The roll stick form allows for an easy, mess-free application.  Additionally, without any aluminum included in the stick, you won’t have to worry about your favorite undershirts turning yellow in the underarm area with continued use.

The Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant is a suitable alternative to the Oars+Alps deodorant we recently reviewed.

Texture & Consistency

As you can see in the picture below, the deodorant is nearly clear upon application:

ursa major deodorant smeared on black mat to show coloration

Performance Review

Rather than sharing hair underarms with the world, here’s a demonstration of how the deodorant spreads onto the forearm area:

ursa major deodorant smeared on forearm

As you can see, there are no visible streaks upon application.  Additionally, the body of the deodorant does have a moist feel to it.  Expect your underarm hair to be slightly matted down after applying.

For sweat control, tapioca starch provides some control. However, given that this is marketed as a deodorant and not an antiperspirant, no sweat control is expected.

Of all the products from Ursa Major we reviewed, this provides the best smell. It’s a fresh and light scent that is versatile.

What We Liked
  • The rounded stick top offers a comfortable application.
  • Invisible consistency will lead to no white streaks or flakes.
  • Light and pleasant scent.
What We Didn’t
  • May require several strokes before satisfactory application.

Who Should Use Ursa Major?

Ursa Major is best for those who like to lean on naturally-derived products and are always interested in trying new brands.  Their trial kit, reviewed today, is an easy way to test their products to see what you may or may not like.

Skin Types

Ursa Major products are specially formulated to work with most skin types.  However, just because they rely on naturally sourced ingredients doesn’t mean they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.  Per the FDA, some essential oils may cause an allergic reaction when applied to the skin (source).  Therefore, you should always perform a patch test or speak with your dermatologist, especially if you have sensitive skin before use.


Ursa Major states that their products are made for all genders.  Even when looking briefly at individual reviews, you will often see both men and women chiming in.  

Furthermore, many of the products we tested today feature a neutral scent skewing towards fresh and clean aromas.  Therefore, you can safely assume that this holds true for other products not covered, such as their shaving cream, shampoo, body wash, etc.  

Where to Buy Ursa Major?

You can buy many products from the Ursa Major line up at niche skincare retailers, including both Ulta and Dermstore.  Should you have an Amazon Prime account, you will be happy to learn that Ursa Major is available on Amazon.  

Lastly, you can purchase directly from the Ursa Major website.  

Who Owns Ursa Major?

Per their Crunchbase profile, Ursa Major is a privately held company. Their largest investor appears to be Fenwick Brands which currently has holdings in Ursa Major, Lemi Shine, and Madison Reed (source).

Are Ursa Major Products Made in a Humane Way?

Per their FAQ section, all Ursa Major products are rigorously tested but never on animals.  Additionally, their commitment to the environment is unmatched as 90% of their cartons are made with wind power. The plastic bottles are made from 50% Post-consumer resin (PCR) and 50% bioplastic (learn more).

Lastly, all their products are made in the USA.

What are the Social Causes of Ursa Major?

While being an eco-friendly brand is always great to see, what truly makes Ursa Major stand apart from so many others is that these initiatives are not just corporate lip service to check a box.

In addition to all their significant environmental initiatives, Ursa Major also gives back to the community quite generously.  Per the social causes page on their website, they have helped to fund the following projects:

  • Sierra Club
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • National Park Foundation
  • Clean the World
  • Vermont Land Trust
  • One Tree Planted
  • Outward Bound for Veterans

Quite honestly, what could one ask more from a company?

Refund & Exchange Policy of Ursa Major

When reviewing the return or exchange policies for Ursa Major, they appear to be fairly standard.  If there was anything that stood out, it was their policy that returned products must be ⅔ full (source).  Honestly, this seems a bit strict, especially if you tried a face wash a few times and weren’t pleased with the results you were getting.  

Besides that, who’s measuring this?  What if it’s only ½ full?  Do you not get a refund if you send back the product?

Admittedly, I think that this opens up more questions than are necessary for a grooming product.

Closing Thoughts

If you want to get away from the chemical-based grooming products made by large conglomerates and support a small yet growing brand based here in the USA (Vermont), Ursa Major should be considered.  While some of their products aren’t necessarily the strongest performers for their respective categories, you should know that they are made in a much more careful and sustainable way.  

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