Clean like a Man: Run Oregon is putting their best face forward with Ursa Major and Triumph & Disaster

Run Oregon receives and tests running related products from time to time. Given the harsh winter weather, and the abuse our faces take as a result of our running, we were sent some facial care products from Ursa Major and Triumph & Disaster. Read on for their take on their stuff. 


Ursa Major

We believe anything’s possible in life when you look and feel your best. So we try to make healthy choices about how we live, what we eat and what we put on our skin – the body’s largest organ – choices that minimize exposure to synthetic chemicals while harnessing nature’s abundant power to nourish and restore.

We created Ursa Major to provide a healthy and highly effective skin care solution that’s also a real pleasure to use – a robust, natural alternative to the bland, toxin-laden products that pervade today’s marketplace. Our advanced formulations artfully blend nature’s most effective ingredients to provide exceptional performance and a truly sublime experience – that’s why we call them ‘super natural.’

The result is clear, comfortable skin – and hopefully a little kick in your step – so you can get out there and make the most of every day, or Live Major.

I was sent samples from the Traveler’s Skin Care Kit ($45). It includes:

  1. Fantastic Face Wash (2 oz.)
  2. 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic (2 oz.)
  3. Fortifying Face Balm (.5 oz.)
  4. Essential Face Wipes (x5)

I talked about Ursa Major’s face wipes already in a recent post, but have yet to get to the other products involved.

The face wash indeed smells fantastic. I had a hard time placing it and couldn’t pinpoint it until I looked it up (“premium, whole essential oils including cedar, spearmint, lime, lemon, rosemary, black spruce, owyhee, vetiver and lavender“). A foaming gel cleanser with a natural brightening complex.

My only real experience with Tonic is either the band or its magical mixing properties with Gin. So a “face tonic” was an entirely new experience. It is a cleanser, exfoliator, healer, and hydrator in one, and can be utilized with a spray cap or by dabbing on a cotton pad. The smell again was wonderful – a delightful combo of orange, fir and lavender. I started using this a little after shaving, and it seemed to calm my face down and keep some of the post-razor redness at bay. This also seems to be a product that would help me when I travel. I find that my skin starts to break out almost immediately after leaving (and then returning to) the Pacific Northwest. A weeklong trip to Southern California is just a series of blemishes waiting to happen. Other reviews seem to show that the tonic would help with that, and I will be interested to check it out.

The face balm is a concoction of lavender, lime, spearmint and rosemary – another homerun smell for me. Lavender and me obviously agree with one another. This lotion can be applied to the face and is said to have anti-aging properties. I am not sure that I have utilized this long enough to see any change, but, to be honest, those kinds of things aren’t supremely important to me. I will utilize it for the moisturizing qualities, and if it keeps my skin magically looking younger, well then thats just a bonus.

I also received a bonus Stellar Shave Cream ($14 for 2oz.). The cream is a little on the expensive end (a full 5 ounce bottle is $24). Once again, the smell really clicks with me – this product giving off a grapefruit and pine aroma. It is definitely thicker than I anticipated it would be, likely because the main ingredient is aloe. I don’t have a killer beard or anything (it’s actually pretty sad facial hair), and it definitely gets the job done on my minimally hairy face. My skin felt smooth and I have no real complaints.

Overall, Ursa Major makes some really solid products with some really amazing aromas. My face is thanking me.

 Triumph & Disaster


We pride ourselves on delivering products built from the pillars of ritual, character and fate. Each product is infused with bespoke Triumph & Disaster aromas, natural blends of complex notes that evoke old-fashioned values from simpler times. We don’t test on animals other than ourselves and we proudly utilise ingredients derived from nature but engineered with science, because we want to make clean, safe and efficient products that will make a difference.

Triumph & Disaster hails from New Zealand and is committed to providing quality facial care products with no chemicals. In fact, many of the ingredients within each of the products are indigenous to New Zealand. My brief research has shown that the company and products were founded by a cricketer who wanted to protect his skin from the elements. But this line isn’t limited solely to that sport, but really for anyone who spends a lot of time in the sun – as many us runners end up doing.

I was sent the On the Road Travel Kit ($50) and the Rock n’ Roll Suicide Facial Scrub ($34)

The On the Road Travel kid is a box of four 1 ounce tubes of the following:

  • YLF Wash – Rosewood, Kawakawa, Jojoba and Argan.
  • Ritual Face Cleanser
  • Gameface Moisturizer – Jojoba, Ponga fern (Cyathea Cumingii) and Horopito (Pseudowintera Colorata)
  • Old Fashioned Shave Cream  – Natural Lanolin and Coconut

The YLF wash is an all-over body wash that smells earthy and herbal, a solid scent for freshening up post-race. It lathers up nice and makes for a quick wash. While I’m not 100% sold on the scent (it’s not as subdued as I would prefer), I can admit that it feels fresh and is not as overpowering as many other body washes I have tried.

The Ritual Face Cleanser is said to be a daily use product and I have been utilizing it for a bit now with no complaints. It has a peppermint aroma to it, but it’s not overpowering and I actually enjoyed the smell. It was definitely a new favorite of my wife this holiday season – no complaints here.

The Gameface Mositurizer is said to be specifically made for a man’s skin, yet it felt lighter than I anticipated. I didn’t get that awful feeling of having lotion on my face, as it rubbed into my skin quickly without having to thing twice about it. I tend to get a dry face in the winter months and this moisturizer showed it was up to the task.

While I am not a bearded man (I wish), I still enjoy a good shave. The natural shaving cream is said to be a “true cream” (containing no alcohol or menthol).  Initially, I clearly utilized way more water than I had to in my lathering attempt. Over a few shaves, I found that all I had to do was dampen my face and my hands, and I was able to lather up in no time. And I know it’s strange to say, but I felt I got a closer shave with this than with my current no-name brand. Apparently there is some science behind it, and the action test seemed to prove it regardless. As for the aroma, it made me feel like I was in an old school barbershop with barbers lathering up clients with a little medicinal lather and a light citrus tinge. That was a good thing.

I will be the first to admit that, while I appreciate good skin care, I definitely don’t exfoliate. It is said to remove dead skin cells, without stripping the skin’s natural oils. I have used for a couple of weeks now, and I am blown away. Where has exfoliating been all my life.  The scrub is made of a combination of volcanic ash (for scrubbing) and green clay (for drawing out dirt). I have been applying it once every 5 days or so and my face feels really…fresh. I don’t even really know how to describe it appropriately, but it’s really nice. I found that using it any more frequent than 5 days would cause some dryness and irritation for me, though I can imagine that 1-2 times/week would probably cover most of us. The scent is again earthy – which is again, just not for me. However, I generally use the scrub before shaving, so I lose any of that scent shortly thereafter anyways.

All-in-all, both Ursa Major and Triumph & Disaster offer some solid products to keep your face feeling fresh. We work hard and run hard, often putting our faces up against the elements without really doing much in the way of taking care of it. It’s time we start.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

%d bloggers like this: