Skincare

Earthwise Beauty

fullsizeoutput_49a3Another brand discovered through the Boxwalla subscriptions boxes, Earthwise Beauty. Founded by Ava Zhan who pours her heart, and knowledge into thoughtfully creating each product. Her intent was to create unique products, no-fillers, powerful skin care products for the modern woman. The formulations are made from unrefined, unprocessed fair-trade ingredients, unrefined botanical oils and butters, traditionally prepared herbs, and therapeutic-grade essential oils and absolutes. In the Boxwalla box, I tried a few products called Ruby facial oil, Nap in the Meadow serum and Ferizad’s Veil sunscreen. Initially I didn’t quite appreciate the products but over time of use, I realized my skin loved it. Since receiving the box, Ava and team kindly sent me some more products to try and the review below is of the products I’ve tried, enjoyed and loved.

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The newest launch is the Tigress balm a vegan, noncomedogenic balm which claims to be healing, deeply penetrating to invigorate the skin tissue, heal acne breakouts, reduce acne and blackhead tendencies, balance excessive oil production, and firm the skin in the long run. It also protects from moisture loss and from the wind and cold.

In an ocean of beauty balms in miron glass jars, this balm is refreshing not only for its packaging but also ingredients and scent. For me this is a strong statement given I make my own balms and particularly keep a keen eye for balms formulated without Shea and Cocoa butter. Therefore in an effort to dodge these ingredients, some of the ingredients on this list were not only familiar but also comforting to me because I know and can attest to their beneficial properties.

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Ingredients: Cold-press unrefined Garcinia indica (kokum) kernel butter†, cold-press unrefined Virola surinamensis (ucuuba) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined whole-fruit Passiflora edulis (passionfruit) oil*, cold-press unrefined Attalea speciosa (babassu) kernel oil†, cold-press unrefined Pouteria sapota (sapote) kernel oil†, cold-press unrefined Calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) nut kernel oil*, cold-press unrefined organic Rosa canina (whole-fruit rosehip) oil, cold-press unrefined Coffea (green coffee) bean oil*, vitamin E (from certified non-GMO sunflowers), supercritical co2 select Curcuma longa (turmeric) rhizome extract*, Boswellia carterii (frankincense) oil†, Nardostachys jatamansi (spikenard) oil† (Nepal), Pinus edulis (pinyon pine) oil†, Helichrysum italicum (Italian everlasting) absolute (France), Usnea (old man’s beard) lichen CO2 extract (Helianthus annuus [sunflower] seed oil, and polyglyceryl-6 caprylate [emulsifier], and polyglyceryl-3 palmitate [emulsifier] and Usnea barbata lichen extract*. *Certified organic.  †Responsibly wildcrafted.

A soft emollient balm, that melts upon touch and absorbs without a sticky feel is a boon to many. The scent is unique and will not be found in the market at all. It’s difficult to describe but I’d call it a deep animalic, spicy nutmeg, mossy forest. If you’re naturally inclined towards light floral, sweet, gourmand scents you won’t be able to appreciate this at all. It does need an open and welcoming mind. The consistency is of a soft, where you don’t need extra force to scoop some out. Soft and melts upon touch. Now that’s a proper consistency of a balm. As for its benefits, I like how it has healed my skin from retinol torture where skin was dry and slightly flakey. It is also wonderful as a spot treatment, where it worked its magic on healing the spot and reducing redness. Overall given the nature of a balm, it is wonderful for sealing the skin and protecting it from harshness of heaters and Chicago wind chill.

Formulation 1Looking at the pic above, naming it Nap in the Meadow (NiM) was the most appropriate name. It claims to deliver a broad range of benefits in a single product: deep hydration, strong anti-inflammatory action, anti-oxidants, anti-aging benefits, refreshing effects, and even some acne reducing, tissue repairing, and sunburn and sun damage repair.
Nap in the MeadowIngredients: Cold-press aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, Sambucus nigra (elderberry) fruit extract††, Curcuma longa (turmeric) root Supercritical CO2 Select* extract*, caprylyl capryl glucoside (naturally derived), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil (* and †), Achillea millefolium (yarrow) oil*, Helichrysum italicum (Italian everlasting) oil†, Marticaria recutita (German blue chamomile) oil*, potassium sorbate (natural food-grade preservative), organic Pelargonium graveolens (geranium bourbon) oil, Pelargonium roseum (geranium rose) oil*, Copaifera officinalis (copaiba balsam) resin†, Ferula galbaniflua (galbanum) essential oil*, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid (vit. C), wildflower essences†. *Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted. ††ECOCERT/COSMOS approved and Australian Certified Organic. Aloe certified by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) for purity and content.

Glancing through the inci list, the claims of anti inflammatory, refreshing effects, and some acne reducing, tissue repairing, and sunburn and sun damage repair stood true in my experience. As for deep hydration claim didn’t work for me in Chicago weather. Perhaps another city or my home city of Melbourne – Aus, it might be a different story. I’ve used NiM standalone and mixing with another moisturiser. Either way it works wonderfully, and especially under makeup. More importantly and one of the core reasons why I adore NiM is because over time, I’ve noticed it helped keeping underlying congestion at bay. And gradually I fell in love with the addictive scent. Initially I felt it was overpowering but it grew on me to a point, where I craved it in the morning.

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Next up is Carrot-a-Day or I’d like to call NiM’s younger sibling. I remember in my conversations with Ava, she said if I like NiM I must try Carrot as it may be a stronger variant. Upon trying it I must say, she is spot on right. Smells sharper and medicinal and can be directly attributed to Carrot Seed Oil. I’ve extensively used this oil in my own balm so I knew I was in a familiar place. It is an excellent ingredient and in my opinion fairly underrated too, for its efficacy. The carrot seed oil is also skin tissue regenerating and repairing. I cannot sing enough praises for the core of this product.

carrot 2Ingredients: Cold-press aloe barbadensis leaf*, Daucus carota (carrot) seed essential oil*, natural non-GMO tocopherol (vit. E from sunflowers), Helichrysum italicum (Italian everlasting) oil*, natural ECOCERT preservative {glycerin, Leuconostoc (radish root) ferment filtrate, Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract, Lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) extract, Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) bark extract, gluconolactone}, Marticaria recutita (German blue chamomile) oil*, carbomer, ascorbic acid (vit. C), Mentha spicata (spearmint) oil*. *Certified organic. Aloe certified by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) for purity and content.carrot 3

Could I say I prefer Carrot over NiM…..I couldn’t choose one over the other. NiM is my first love, Carrot is my present. Hence both will stay with me in one form or another. Anyway, there is a milder variant of Carrot available for sensitive skinned people. As for me personally, I like it strong with a Bam effect.

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Moving onto facial oil domain, we have Antioxidant Facial oil called Ruby, has taken the definition of oil absorbency into the skin to a new level. As you may know, I’m an oil fanatic, my respect for oils is immense for how much benefit it provides to the skin. However, in the natural beauty industry where everyone is creating one now, understanding oils and skin needs is of utmost importance. The heart of this formulation is antioxidant-rich oils (buriti and pequi), wrinkle-reducing and sun-damage-correcting oils (raspberry, buriti, rosehip, primrose), noncomedogenic oils (milk thistle, guava, rosehip, cranberry), Turmeric CO2 extract and whole-plant celery CO2 extract.

My absolute favourite ingredient is Turmeric CO2 extract which I generously use in my own balm formulations too. I cannot vouch enough for its effectiveness in calming spots, underlying congestion, helping eczema prone skins too (based on feedback I’ve received). So long story short, I adore the line up of ingredients and rich vibrant colour of this oil.

ruby 2.pngIngredients: Organic cold-press unrefined Psidium guajava (guava) seed oil (India), organic cold-press unrefined Silybum marianum (milk thistle) seed oil, cold-press unrefined Vacinnium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil*, cold-press unrefined organic whole-fruit Rosa canina (rosehip) oil, cold-press unrefined Plukenetia volubilis (sacha inchi) seed oil*, cold-press unrefined Rubus ideaus (raspberry) seed oil (organic whenever available), organic cold-press unrefined Caryocar braziliensis (pequi) fruit oil, wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Moringa oleifera seed oil, cold-press unrefined Calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) nut kernel oil* (India), organic cold-press unrefined Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil, Curcuma longa (turmeric) root Supercritical CO2 Select* extract*, vit. E (from certified non-GMO sunflowers), organic Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) seed CO2 Total extract, organic Apium graveolens L. (celery)  CO2 Total extract, wildcrafted Acacia dealbata (mimosa) flower absolute (artisanally extracted in Grasse, France). *Certified organic.

I’ve used Ruby under makeup, layered with other skincare in evenings, and in all routines it has consistently performed. Due to its light consistency and high absorbency properties it layers extremely well. I also love adding Ruby to DIY clay masks, it ensures the skin isn’t dry or tight. I could endlessly rave about versatility of oils, but one more way I like using Ruby is mixing it with other moisturizers. Ruby would be excellent for oily, combination, sensitive and congestion prone skins. For more mature and drier skins, I believe oils with higher oleic acid would prove beneficial.

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Next up, Ambrosia del Cerrado a unique formulation of hybrid of toner and moisturiser. Or as I like to call it my Cheerful Sunshine. Formulated with glorious cold pressed (to understand why cold pressed look at this post) Pequi, Buriti and Moringa oils and blended with Aloe leaf juice. ambrosia 2Ingredients : Cold-press aloe barbadensis whole-leaf juice*, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Caryocar braziliensis (pequi) fruit oil, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Moringa oleifera seed oil, polysorbate 20 (naturally derived), potassium sorbate (natural food-grade preservative), natural non-GMO tocopherol (vit. E from sunflowers), xanthan gum, ascorbic acid (vit. C), citric acid. *Certified organic. Aloe certified by the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) for purity and content.

For summer, I loved Ambrosia under my makeup. Upon dispensing from pipette its a lotion consistency however once you spread over skin, its uber light and absorbs instantaneously. The beauty of this consistency is that it can be paired or mixed with anything at all. I’ve tried this with NiM and for me they are the power couple. The scent is something to ravel in, bright cheerful citrusy notes. I believe this is an outstanding product for those with sensitivity to essential oils because they are none. No added essential oils or fragrances.

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Now, who doesn’t love a solid, deep cleansing, exfoliating, skin detoxifying mask which slaps skin and breakouts out of the park. Well that in essence is Frightening Green Face Mask. A clay mask, strong herbal scent, mildly exfoliating but very importantly, not drying to the skin. Since making my own concoctions of clay masks, and as much as I love this mask I couldn’t justify the price to this. Clay is one of the cheapest ingredients and to pay $$ makes me slightly uncomfortable….and yes that includes addition of all other ingredients too. However, if you want to indulge…..

Ingredients: Montmorillonite (French green clay), Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) hydrosol*, raw cruelty-free unfiltered honey, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf* and oil*, Thymus vulgaris (thyme) leaf*, Laminaria digitata (kelp)*, potassium sorbate (natural food-grade preservative), water, Passiflora quadrangularis (passionfruit) extract, Citrus medica limonum (lemon) extract, Ananas sativus (pineapple) extract, Vitis vinifera (white grape) extract, Eucalyptus globulus oil*, Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool (thyme) oil*, Juniperus communis (juniper) berry oil*. *Certified organic.

fullsizeoutput_49a0Overall, all of Earthwise Beauty’s creations are beyond exquisite. Based on all the formulations, you can clearly tell the creator has an intricate understanding of each ingredient and how it performs in the formulations. The ingredients are not only responsibly sourced (fair trade), but also carefully chosen based on extraction type. One thing I most respect is the complete explanation and disclosure of ingredients including source and extraction method. Hard to find this level of transparency. The product packaging and labelling is simple, colourful and unique. In a world of natural beauty, where almost every second brand is leaping at miron glass with gold embossed font, here is a refreshing look at the packaging which helps associate its own identity. Kudos to Ava and team for that!!!

Source: all raw ingredients and formulation pics are from Earthwise Beauty website.

HHW.com

xx

Skincare Gadgets

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Giving you the professional spa like results at home over a period of time. Skincare market has evolved immensely to empower consumers with these skincare gadgets. Over the course of my skincare journey I’ve tried and experimented a few and here are my brief thoughts.

Couple of points which are important for me include: are they easy to incorporate in my routine and how often would I be able commit to them to have visible results? Are they going to pay for themselves spa like treatments?

First up, basic steamer. Dr Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer. To anyone who has had regular facials would know that steaming with exfoliation is good way to deep clean the skin. This steamer is exactly that, however $139 is a tad steep. In the past I’ve tried knock off’s from Amazon for $30-40 and they’ve performed fine. Typically part of my weekly facials however lazy me prefers sticking my face over a pot of pasta boiling water too (not recommended at all). Also post steaming, products absorb much better in the skin, definite keeper.

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fullsizeoutput_4396fullsizeoutput_435eDr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite Eye Care Pro is unusual, no cheap knock offs available (to my knowledge) and I wouldn’t get cheapies either. This is your EYE area FDA cleared device and you need to be careful. Thankfully this is a FDA cleared device too. Easily incorporated in the routine, very easy to use, takes only 3 minutes while I moisturize my body and have visible results. Wouldn’t necessarily call it a must have, but if eye area is a concern would recommend looking into this investment.

High Frequency device for me is a must have. I’ve loved these in facials and have always had good results. The spa devices frequency level is stronger at typically 100,000-2500,000+ Hertz (cycles per second) however at home piece is 50-60 Hertz. So you see, you will not electrocute yourself but still have results with consistent use. Another difference is, the home piece is orange (neon gas) for treating aging skin and scalp, while violet (argon gas) is for treating acne, inflammation and scalp. For me personally the orange light is working just fine in dealing with spots.

The piece I chose (from Amazon – cheap knock off), comes with 4 attachments (Mushroom tube, Tongue tube – most used, Bend tube, Comb tube for hair). Results on skin are: skin appears tauter, ‘zapping’ spots has reduced their redness and size, stimulated growth on scalp, and overall skin appears healthier.

NuFace is the newest addition in gadgetry family. Its too early to definitely tell about its effectiveness, but I’ve been using NuFace now for roughly 3 weeks (not consistently every night, but 4-5 times a week). So far, I’m noticing mild results specifically around jaw (sharper jawline) or may be I’m hallucinating because I really want it to work. Also noticed, it helped calm down an angry spot on jaw, although they don’t claim this at all. As they say, with consistent 60 days of use one would notice visible results however I’m only at day 12-15 uses (irregular use). One major downside for me has been when to use in my routine because a gel needs to be used. The gel is necessary as it acts as a conductor for micro currents. Without the gel, you will feel zaps and currents on skin which is basically an unpleasant feeling. They provide a gel primer however I don’t enjoy that product, so I’ve been experimenting with all hydrating gel masks I have. That certainly works for me.

Personal Micro Dermabrasion (PMD) is bi-monthly to quarterly used gadget. Does this replace my spa microderm? For me, I’d say yes. Does the job, HOWEVER the spa treatments are stronger, immediately effective and last longer. Plus technology in this space has evolved in spas. I really like this more for my body (particularly legs and back). And I think its paid for itself. Is it a must have, absolutely not.

Luna Foreo Mini is very new to me, personally I’ve not been a cleansing devices person (referring to Clarisonic etc.). But keeping an open mind and with some trial and error I dont mind this. Preference is still with a firm hand massage and wash cloth. Not a must have for me.

To wrap this up, some important points to mention, none of this was overnight! I’ve consistently used these devices to get the result I want for my skin. As always I’m driven by what my skin needs, when it needs and how much it needs it. Following with an appropriate skincare routine is just as instrumental as well.

HHW.com

xx

H is For Love – Bara Balm

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My path crossed with H is for Love Bara Balm through thoughtfully curated Boxwalla beauty subscription box. It was accompanied with Lip Glacé and One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal Serum. At this point, I was in a new territory, with an open mind and willing to try the new lush balm.

The brand claims that BARA Balm is our answer to skin in need. Sometimes skin needs a little extra to soothe and protect.  BARA is formulated to take moisturizing to another level. Each ingredient has been chosen to soften skin, absorbing quickly, leaving your face with an ultra sheer layer of protection against environmental assault. BARA feels light, and has a delightfully sweet and uplifting scent. 

fullsizeoutput_46bf.jpegIn the spirit of full disclosure of course of events, I must say the balm was initially formulated with Shea butter however I experienced the Shea Butter curdling (see pic). This didn’t imply that the product had gone bad/rancid or ineffective or would perform any differently. This is as a result of inherent nature of Shea butter. However it does impact overall user experience. I contacted Bee, the gorgeous soul and artisan of this brand and she advised the Shea has been replaced with Beeswax (no more curdling) and user experience elevated. Yes please!

Website was updated to include this verbiage: We have chosen to remove shea butter from the BARA formulation. Because of this, the texture of BARA stays consistent through temperature fluctuations, and even those prone to skin congestion can reap the benefits of this little pot of sunshine. BARA now has a smoother texture, and the tantalizing scent remains the same. 

Let’s get into the balm review starting with the ingredient listing:

Jojoba oil*, Macadamia nut oil*, Apricot kernel oil*, Pomegranate seed oil*, Tamanu oil*, Beeswax, Sea buckthorn oil*, Mixed tocopherols (Non-GMO Vitamin E), Marshmallow root*, Calendula*, Chamomile*, Lemon balm*, Essential oils of: Chinese rose, Vanilla ‘total’ CO2, Frankincense, Lavender*

*Our products are made in small batches and with ingredients of the highest quality. Because of this, slight fluctuations in color will occur from batch to batch even though ratios stay consistent.

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Source: H is for Love website

HHW.com

xx

Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion

fullsizeoutput_402dDr Dennis Gross, the genius behind my beloved Alpha Beta Peels, Ferulic+Retinol Serums, basic skincare boosters and of course it wouldn’t be complete without basic hydration products. DrDG line had a Hyaluronic Oil Free Moisture Cushion Moisturizer for the longest time. However early 2017, DrDG launched a new version of this moisturizer called Hyaluronic Marine Oil Free Moisture Cushion Moisturizer. Obviously the packaging changed with electric blue plastic jar and metallic lid. See right there it upgraded from Toyota to Lexus!

This post intends on unravelling the differences in formulations, performance and results. First up at the heart of the formulation is ingredient listing:

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OLD Inci ListWater/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearyl Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octadecane, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate (12), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Phospholipids, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isododecane, Ceteareth-20, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Disodium EDTA-Copper.

New Inci list (new ingredients added are in black bold font): Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Stearyl Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octadecene, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate (11), Caulerpa Lentillifera Extract (12), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Phospholipids, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Collagen Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isododecane, Disodium EDTA-Copper, Ceteareth-20, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sorbitan Oleate, Linalool, Limonene, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellal, Hydroxycitronellal, Citral, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol.

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Predominantly what differentiates the new formulation with the old:

  • The ranking of Sodium Hyaluronate from 12th to 11th ingredient
  • Followed by Caulerpa Lentilliofera Extract aka Algae Extract, which is known to be rich in essential amino acids and B vitamins, enhancing skin’s elasticity and moisture content. Also as you pursue and compare the inci list most of ingredients remain in same order.
  • Tocopherol which is basically Vitamin E
  • Collagen Amino Acids which is suppose to plump and firm the skin
  • Finally, last two new additions to the formula include Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate and Lactobacillus Ferment (recommend reading this post to understand ferments better).

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So whilst the soul of the product hasn’t changed, a tiny make over has a new improved sexy version. I didn’t feel any difference in terms of texture, consistency and smell. Continues to be light, fluffy, and the colour is same as well.

So you ask: well did all the new additions of ingredients improve the performance? My Answer is Yes. While my experience with the OLD was nice, nothing I particularly disliked. It left skin hydrated and worked well under makeup too.

Lizard Face.pngThe NEW formulation however kicked the OLD one’s arse. Applied beautifully, absorbs immediately (also sometimes mixed with DrDG Hydration booster), and truly leaves skin plump all day. At work, the temperature control is horrible and during winters the heating sucks every bit of moisture leaving me a lizard face 👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽

I used this through the cooler months and thoroughly enjoyed it. Its extremely rare I use the same moisturizer daily, every single day. With the new one, I didn’t miss a day. I got through it in 3-4 months. Also layering with DrDG Hydration booster worked really well. Both hydration products are light but majorly impactful.

HHW.com

xx

Sunday Facial

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Facials Facials Facials, something I’ve tried in so many places from all over the world. Everyone has their own method, technique, products and most important is philosophy. So the question begged to be asked is what is my philosophy? Well its a holistic combination of atmosphere, state of mind, products and LOT of facial massage. I’m not particularly huge on gadget treatments but I do use a couple at home. Another crucial aspect for me is skillful, experienced hand at Extractions! Another reason why I have regular facials to maintain the health of my skin and ensure any underlying congestion is addressed. Generally I go for professional facials every 6-8 weeks however it can be a pricey affair so I do many interim maintenance facials at home. This post delves into how I indulge in at home facials.

Atmosphere: Typically I would also indulge in bath, so water in running in bath with capful of a bath oil (Aromatherapy Associates bath oils are amazing). The bathroom air fills with relaxing aroma of bath oil while I get started with a double cleanse. In addition, a gorgeous soy wax based candle is burning. Cleansing the skin with an oil or balm, taking it all over my face, neck, chest, behind ears and massage. Cup my palm over my nose and take deep breaths as I massage. This helps calms my raging mind, center my energies on the moment I’m about to indulge in.

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To remove the balm or oil, I have warm steaming wash cloth, air it for few second before I slap it on my face to ensure the temperature is not too hot for the skin. Cocoon my face in warm towel before I compress the towel on my face. The warm towel steam’s amalgamation with rich essential oil balm is truly transcending.

Next up, prep for exfoliation. Either physical, acid or enzyme, or combination. Choice is entirely yours! I have a separate post on all types of enzyme and physical exfoliators. Upon schmearing my enzyme exfoliator all over, I will steam my face. Steaming with enzyme exfoliator loosens surface dead skins and making it a whole lot easier to buff it away. Also preps skin for next step which is extractions. Not something I’d recommend to do at home – go to a professional if you don’t know what you’re doing. I typically only limit to extraction for blackheads, whiteheads and spots only if they’re ready to pop.

Skin can be stimulated at this point with steam, exfoliation and extraction – so Pause, Breathe. Mist some rose water. Dry your face and next up is a gadget High Frequency Facial Machine.

fullsizeoutput_435e.jpegHigh Frequency  helps treat and prevent stubborn acne, shrink enlarged pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, decongest puffy eyes, fade dark eye circles, rejuvenate the condition of the scalp and nourish hair follicles for healthier hair growth.

Most professional high frequency machines used in spas, salons and medical offices operate at a frequency of 100,000-2500,000+ hertz (cycles per second). However the machine I have here is only 50-60 htz, which is enough for regular at home use. Also assuring to know with such low frequency it isn’t going to damage especially when it is in DIY spirit.

Basically two types of high frequency with orange (neon gas) used to treat aging, promoting hair growth, tightening pores and skin elasticity and on the other hand is violet gas (argon gas) which is anti bacterial and wonderful for treating acne.  The violet argon gas frequency is typically used in spa’s however for at home function I find the orange neon gas works just fine on spots, pores, elasticity, blood circulation and  promoting overall health of the skin.

Soon after high frequency, I follow with clay or mud mask to tighten the pores after the treatment and continue the spirit of detoxifying and purifying the skin. Leaving it on for no more than ten minutes and I do not let it dry completely. When its completely dry (to a point where you’d need a chisel) you’ve drawn out all moisture from skin too. Taking it off with warm towel, next up is my personal fave step. The step for which I desperately and achingly look forward to a facial.

fullsizeoutput_4395Massage with a light, high linoleic acid carrier oil. The mantra here is firm pressure, no feathery, flimsy, sissy massage, you need firm pressure upward and outward. Following the muscle structure in the face. When hands, palm and fingers are tired, I employ Jade Gua Sha. This is literally the bomb of blood circulation and lymph drainage.

Massage has endless benefits some of which include: promoting blood circulation, lymph drainage (stuff that has toxin build up and makes you look puffy and dull), supports vitality in your skin, pressure point massage particularly fantastic for sinus sufferer like myself, better absorption of products in skin and most important of all it is incredibly relaxing. A good facial massage can put you to sleep (of course when someone else is massaging). To remove oil from skin, followed by another warm cloth compress, followed my misting with rose water again.

Here on, I begin layering products on skin to wrap up the facial. First up is acid treatment, followed by toning mist. Next up is one more gadget for eyes, from Dr fullsizeoutput_4396Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite EyeCare Pro, a FDA approved device featuring 72 LEDs, with a full spectrum of therapeutic light. Again a tool made for home use to replicate the professional light therapy used in medical clinics. I was extremely dubious about this product however using it for 3mins for last 20 odd days, I’ve noticed a visible difference in skin around my eyes. It’s tighter, firmer and smoother. I don’t have deep set wrinkles, I have fewer lines under my eyes but nothing that is major aging (if you know what I mean). I’ve also noticed when applying eye makeup, my skin near eye is more resilient and not so thin. I will continue using and keep you posted if I see more improvement. So following the light therapy near eyes is a retinol based eye serum.

From here, I finish off routine with an active Serum, treatment cream or balm or oil and hydrate a LOT with water. My choice of products and ingredients can vary for each facial however it is really driven and dependent on what my skin needs.

Also I specifically wanted to call out one more point about which type product I like to use in each category. This topic could be a post in itself however this gives you an indication where I’d like to put my money.

Medical cosmeceutical product vs. Green/natural product

  • Green/Natural – Cleansers, Toners, Masks, Balms, Oils – Typically on the surface of skin, and not much ‘face time’
  • Cosmeceutical (blend of cosmetic and pharmaceutical) or Over the Counter  – Acid Treatment, Serum, Eye Cream, Active ingredients (retinol, aha’s, peptides, etc) – This is deeper penetrating in skin and one which will show more visible results

*Personally I dont use any pharmaceutical product (yet)

There are other types of facials I do as well, which include micro dermabrasion but that facial routine looks completely different. Im curious to know, how do you do your at home facials?

HHW.com

xx