Moisturisers

Aldi – Lacura Caviar Illumination

27430297-B4EF-4EAC-9727-8E452CB29A10_1_201_aNever in my wildest dreams I thought I’d be reviewing Aldi supermarket branded skincare range. Yet here I am! Furthermore, I took the longest time to review as well because I was in denial with the quality and performance of a supermarket branded skincare range. Moving on from my denial issues, let’s talk about the range itself. The Caviar range is sold out within minutes (in Australia) on its ‘special buy’ days. I witnessed this first hand myself, where the entire shelf was emptied in first six minutes of the store opening. Its crazy how this product is so insanely popular outside, however barely talked or mentioned about in our skincare community. Fear not, because that’s exactly what I’m about to delve in.

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Touted to be the dupe for ultra luxe brand La Prairie Caviar collection, except that costs an arm and a leg, perhaps kidney and liver too. Comparatively, Lacura Caviar range retails at an incredibly low price (in UK £6.99, while in Australia I purchased the pack of night cream, day cream and eye gel for $29.99). The prime time ingredient in these creams is Caviar extract, which claims to make the skin lifted, tightened and toned. Caviar extract is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and it reportedly tackles signs of ageing. Onto each product in the range that I tried:

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Aldi Laura Caviar Illumination Night Cream claims to be a deeply intensive moisturiser that will leave you with silky smooth and supple skin following morning. I appreciate the claims are simple and realistic of a night cream and doesn’t sell the world of promises for a night cream. Sure, knock yourself out if a serum sells bigger promises but in all honesty a night cream is essentially the last step in your routine sealing all the actives and goodness of a serum and moisturizing your skin overnight. I would expect it to perform with that level of expectation. Now onto the actual juice, lets review the inci list:

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Top: Lacura Caviar, Bottom: La Prairie

Obvious ingredient of Caviar extract (11th ingredient), while other stand outs include Panthenol aka Provitamin of B5, Globe Daisy extract (helps with skin redness enhances natural skin glow), Snow Algae extract, Peptide, Sodium Hyaluronate. If you closely review the inci list you will see, most of the moisturizing ingredients and humectants are listed above in the inci list, followed by the actives, and finally emulsifiers and preservatives. Based on that, you’d expect to see soft, nourished, and plump skin.

Comparatively, the La Prairie Luxe Cream inci list is more comprehensive aside from star ingredient of Caviar extract (24th ingredient). Although first few lines include silicones, emulsifiers and fatty alcohols. But it also includes Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Algae Extract, Shea Butter, Lactobacillus Ferment, Polyglucuronic Acid, Sea Lettuce Extract,  Saxifraga Sarmentosa (type of herb) extract, Grape Fruit Extract, Mulberry Root Extract, Chinese Skullcap Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Horsetail Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Sage Leaf Extract, Calendula Flower Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Lactic Acid.

With the addition of these other ingredients in a night cream, I’m not sure how the performance or claims are much different to Lacura brand. Also does the addition of these ingredients in their formulation warrant a $$$ price point? Food for thought, I wouldn’t comment as I have not personally used this cream so surely cannot compare its performance and results.

Lacura Caviar packaging is in a gorgeous blue glass jar which looks just every bit luxe (you can compare packaging beauty with much dearer options alongside). It smells like French cream in a luxe pot, nothing offensive, very pleasant.ABF6C374-B68A-4399-8F4E-E81AB72A1A26_1_201_a For fragrance sensitive skin folks you might feel its much, but I absolutely adore it. The texture and consistency is light cream, doesn’t feel heavy at all. Most importantly works incredibly well with other skincare products in a routine and doesn’t cause any piling. Absorbs in the skin like a dream and doesn’t leave a tacky finish at all. It feels like velvet on skin, and settles in without any visible trace. Following morning, my skin is plump and supple. It didn’t diminish lines or wrinkles or whatever, nothing drastic but performed like a stellar night cream. Sealed it all in without creating any drama with other products, sealed and protected my skin overnight and following morning woke up to supple, plump and soft skin. Absolute winner in my books for the price point!! Definite repurchase.

Aldi Laura Caviar Illumination Day Cream with SPF15 (UVA/UVB protection) is quite the opposite of what I expected. I thought with ‘day cream’ in its name, it would be lighter consistency, however this is a denser cream in the jar. Of course the packaging didn’t fault, again a silver glass jar. Any one of these jars on your skincare vanity would look amazing, not for a minute an unaware person could say this is a supermarket branded skincare. Now for this day cream, one may ask if this is chemical or physical sunscreen in the formulation, well it is chemical with addition of Octocrylene, while other standard caviar range ingredients are included (Panthenol aka Provitamin of B5, Globe Daisy extract, Snow Algae extract, Peptide, Sodium Hyaluronate).

While the consistency is slightly denser, it doesn’t feel so on application or doesn’t even impact the absorbency in skin. Given it has sunscreen component to it, I feel if not massaged in skin properly it can leave me a whitish cast; but that’s only if I don’t massage it in skin thoroughly. Makeup sits really well over this cream and no piling experienced. Skin is well moisturized and nothing I could fault in this cream, however I still prefer lighter creams or gels during the day. Perhaps in cooler weather I would have a different take on it.

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And the last product I tried from Aldi Lacura Caviar range is the Eye Mousse. Sheer perfection of consistency and texture, exactly as the name suggests…a Mousse. Light, fluffy, gel like consistency that absorbs instantly in my skin. Didn’t cause any milia which is usually my first concern when trialling any new eye product. Personally I did not notice any visible impact on fine lines around my eyes, but where it helped me was with puffiness under my eyes, and that’s where I draw the line. Although very pleasant to use and perhaps if I was committed to using it more consistently, I may have more to report on its results.

Now there are many other products available in the Caviar range, however I’ve yet to see it an Australian Aldi. I know UK Aldi’s sells the extended range which includes three minute peel mask, eye roll on, and seven day intensive treatment (ampoule format). I would absolutely love to try the intensive treatment however until these are available down under, my top pick is surely the Night Cream. If you want to try one product in this range it would be that cream, and perhaps if you don’t mind denser day creams.

HHW.com

xx

Votary London Super Seed Oil & Cream

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Latest Boxwalla boasts Votary London’s Super Seed range, which is aimed for sensitive, dry, hormonal and redness prone skin. Without further ado, lets go straight into my review:

Super Seed Nutrient Cream is formulated without essential oils, fragrance free, enriched with Fatty Alcohols, 22 super seed oils, Mango butter and Aloe Vera Leaf Juice. Also includes potent hyaluronic acid for hydration.

I’ve tested the cream in my day and night routines, in cool (13-14 degrees) and warm weather (38-41 degrees). This cream is rich, oh yes no mucking about there but it is not pore clogging at all. It claims to be soothing, nourishing and protecting – completely agree with it all. While formulated for sensitive, in hormonal flux or unsettled skins, I think this would be excellent also on over exfoliated skin, abused and tortured skin (hello tret users), sunburnt skin, freshly lasered skin.

Perfect for layering (no piling experienced, either with oil under or over), excellent sealant over any oil or balm leaving a velvet finish on skin. Its beautiful under makeup making it an excellent primer as well and makeup sets nicely (no creasing or setting in fine lines). Lazy nights include a thorough cleanse, hydration serum and this cream. Done and my skin still appears plump and rested following morning.

Inci List: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Sodium Phytate Hyaluronate, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Papaver Orientale (Poppy) Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Blueberry) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Prunus Avium (Sweet Cherry) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Oil, Passiflora Edulis (Passion Fruit) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Phytate, Sorbic Acid, Hydroxyacetophenone, Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum.

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Next up is the Super Seed Facial Oil, honestly, I’ve barely reached for the Facial oil, perhaps 3-4 times, not because anything is wrong with it. Its light, without any essential oils or fragrances (making it perfect for sensitive reactive skins). I used about 7-8 drops all over face, neck and décolletage. It absorbs nicely in the skin, no sticky or oily residue on skin, even the oily skins would love this oil. So one may ask, why haven’t I reached for it as much, well it didn’t excite me! Its an oil, I’ve tried many many oils and anyone who knows me well enough, is versed with my love for oils and balms. But this just doesn’t excite me enough to reach for it. Its an oil!!!

As for the inci list, claims to be formulated with 22 Seed Oils – Grapeseed, Pumpkin, Cranberry, Chia, Meadowfoam, Black Seed, Camellia, Hemp, Strawberry, Poppy, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Linseed, Rosehip Fruit, Borage, Broccoli, Cherry, Melon, Raspberry, Sunflower, Carrot Seed and Calendula flower extract (which I don’t believe comes from seeds, but from petals, please correct me if I’m wrong).

I would recommend to get this box purely for the Nutrient Cream, which in itself is excellent value ($102 for cream, $110 for oil and box is $49.95) and thankfully the box subscription is extended till February 20th, 2020.

Inci List: Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Curcubita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil, Limanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Oil, Papaver Somniferum (Poppy) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Corymbosum (Blueberry) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Oil, Tocopherol Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Prunus Cerasus (Cherry) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Melon) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil

**PR Gift

HHW.com

xx

My Guide to Elemis Moisturizers

0EF7BAD7-7BE4-47D4-A7BC-7BBAB3FBD86B_1_201_aElemis Moisturizers, in my opinion have the best range of moisturizers, that are luxurious, sensory treat to use, and most importantly effective! However they have a fair few to choose from, and here is my breakdown:

🔮Pro Collagen Marine Cream is hailed as the cult / best selling moisturizer from Elemis. It has shown to reduce the depth of wrinkles, improve skin firmness, tone and hydration in 14 days. This is one for all and all for one. Faking good skin is achieved with one, consistency not too dense, easily absorbed, and layers well. Would suit most skin types as it’s not very heavy on EO’s (not to be confused with botanical extracts). Basically a solid moisturizer for night or day.

Inci List – Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Isononyl Isononanoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Porphyridium Cruentum Extract, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Extract, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylate-13, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Polyisobutene, Fragrance (Parfum), Citric Acid, Chlorphenesin, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Citronellol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cuminum Cyminum Seed Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Limonene. (N)

🔮Pro Collagen Overnight Matrix is slightly more richer than above. This does a little more than just good skin, has visibly improved my barrier and plumped my skin. In terms of ingredients more than moisturizing ingredients (oils, butters, squalane), such as Peptides, Peacock’s tail algae, Microalgae and Wild Indigo Oligosaccharides (helps with hydration and barrier function). This would be lovely for mature skins, or skins needing more oomph with their moisturizer. Beyond basic.

Inci List – Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Olus Oil/Vegetable Oil/Huile Végétale, Propanediol, Behenyl Alcohol, Squalane, Butylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Beheneth-25, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Benzoic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Rhizobian Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Linalool, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Geraniol, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Chlorphenesin, Plankton Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Citronellol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Caramel, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Wood Oil, Limonene, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Tephrosia Purpurea Seed Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lactic Acid/Glycolic Acid Copolymer, Phenylpropanol, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-50, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Heptapeptide-15 Palmitate.

🔮Pro Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream is a delight, my one stop shop. Personally this is my fave of all. A mousse like consistency, smells like a calm night & air scented with blooming white florals. This has helped my skin with visible radiance. Can’t speak to its anti aging benefits but definitely radiant skin. Ingredient wise stellar, Algae & Red Coral, Peacock’s tail algae, Peptide, rich Sesame, Avocado, Jojoba Oils. This is a sensory treat to use, possibly more than the one above and really helps calms me down with a deep breath. Again most skin types can use this but the limiting factor can be the price.

Inci Listm – Aqua/Water/Eau, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Glycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lauryl Laurate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Ethyl Macadamiate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Oil Unsaponifiables, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil Unsaponifiables, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Algae Extract (Red Algae), Acacia Decurrens Flower Extract, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Hexapeptide-9, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Fragrance (Parfum), Butylene Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Phytosterols, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sorbitan Oleate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Linalool, Citronellol, Tocopherol, Limonene, Geraniol, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Extract, Malic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Mannitol, Sodium Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, Diatomaceous Earth, Zinc Sulfate.

🔮Peptide Night Recovery Cream-Oil, the entire Peptide4 range from Elemis is around sychronising and following the natural circadian rhythms of the body. While the texture of this is light and fast absorbing I wouldn’t recommend this for sensitive skin given the number of essential oils (Lemon, Orange, Nutmeg, Butter Orange, Coriander) and addition of coconut oil. It does moisturise the skin very very well, and for me that’s where the benefits stop. The consistency reminds me of DrDG Peptide Milk. The scent of this product is wonderful, powered by Night scented stock (flowers that bloom in evening with gorgeous aroma that fills evening air). All in all, the experience & ritual of this cream in oil is truly lovely but the performance is basic moisturizing.

Inci List – Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glyceryl Oleate Citrate, Matthiola Bicornis (Night Scented Stock) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance (Parfum), Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil, Chondrus Crispus Powder, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Benzyl Benzoate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Linalool, Limonene, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Hexyl Cinnamal, Sodium Benzoate, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Eugenol, Coumarin, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf/Twig Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil.

🔮Biotec Skin Energizing Day Cream claims to help increase cell energy. The unique thing about this cream is inclusion of encapsulated Zinc and Copper. It dispenses (pump) the energizer and cream together, mix it together and apply. I wouldn’t recommend this for very sensitive skin given the essential oils. But in terms of performance, layers well under sunscreen, hydrates skin well under makeup, and does all expected from solid day cream. However again, price can be a limiting factor.

Inci List ENERGIZER: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Palmitate, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Xanthomonas Campestris Polysaccharide, Polysorbate 20, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrated Silica, Disodium EDTA, Zinc, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Copper PCA, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Lauryl Laurate, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Canarium Luzonicum Leaf Extract, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Amber Extract, CI 77400 (Copper Powder).

Inci List CREAM: Aqua/Water/Eau, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hexyldecyl Laurate, Hexyldecanol, Cera Alba/Beeswax/Cire d’Abeille, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Coco-Caprylate, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), Chlorphenesin, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Disodium EDTA, Alisma Plantago Aquatica (Water Plantain) Extract, Maris Sal/Sea Salt/Sel Marin, Sodium PCA, Succinic Acid, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Propanediol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Seed Extract/Extrait de Semence d’Orge, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Canarium Luzonicum Leaf Extract, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Coumarin, Rhizobian Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Amber Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract.

🔮Biotec Skin Energizing Night Cream is the richer version of day cream, imo. For night creams I think they offer a lovely range in pro collagen range, so this is one I have overlooked the most. Not because performance was meh, there was just better option from their range.

Inci List ENERGIZER: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Palmitate, Carbomer, Hydrolyzed Xanthomonas Campestris Polysaccharide, Polysorbate 20, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrated Silica, Disodium EDTA, Zinc, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Copper PCA, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Lauryl Laurate, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Canarium Luzonicum Leaf Extract, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Amber Extract, CI 77400 (Copper Powder).

Inci List CREAM: Aqua/Water/Eau, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Lauryl Laurate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Phospholipids, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), Chlorphenesin, Stearic Acid, Calcium PCA, Sodium Hydroxide, Maris Sal/Sea Salt/Sel Marin, Succinic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Propanediol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Sodium Anisate, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Seed Extract/Extrait de Semence d’Orge, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sodium Levulinate, Potassium Sorbate, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Copper Gluconate, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Canarium Luzonicum Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Limonene, Linalool, Coumarin, Rhizobian Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Amber Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citric Acid.

Since this post was originally published, obviously Elemis have launched couple more moisturizers in their range which I have not personally tried yet. however if you have please do share your comments below.

HHW.com

xx

My Guide to January Labs

CompleteJanuary Labs, the brain child of January Olds. A brand born out of a necessity for simpler, purer products with much greater transparency about their ingredients. Her simple belief, that skincare doesn’t need to be complicated is well reflected in her range and formulation. I’ve had an opportunity to explore, try, experiment with most of the products from this brand and below is my experience, review and recommendations.

Before taking a deep dive in reviews, below is a quick overview of where this leads:

What I adore about this brand? Absence of Glycolic acid in formulations, and resurrection of Witch Hazel. Plus the basic-ness and simplicity of formulation and range of products offered. If you’re a far call from true blue skincare junkie, this is your brand. Also the products are easily versatile, and compatible with products from other brands.

What I don’t adore about this brand? The claims on products are tad OTT, definitely not the first brand to do so (hold no grudge here people). There is much more to love here than loathe. There are more hits, than misses.

Definite, Highly, Strongly, Recommend for every single one, all skin types – Retexturing Night Cream, Restorative Tonic Mist

My skin hates/allergic/sensitive to Glycolic Acid – Brightening Tonic, Restorative Tonic Mist, Retexturing Night Cream

My skin could give any reptile a run for its money, so bloody dry, flaky and dehydrated – Brightening Tonic, Moisture Renew Mask, Revitalizing Day Cream

You could miss out on these and not sweat – Pure and Gentle Cleansing Gel, Glow & Go Power Peel Exfoliant

Cleansing GelStarting a simple routine with a cleanser called the Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel. This cleanser claims to be gentle, non drying facial wash. To which I would add, a light citrus scented gel based cleanser, which builds to a light to medium foam. I typically used it in the mornings or as a second cleanse in evening. While I tried removing makeup, it didn’t do so well with a full face/intensive makeup face. So if you’re light basic makeup wearer you might be fine with it. This cleanser doesn’t need a washcloth, however after splashing and cleansing with water it left a soapy feel on my skin. Initially I thought it might be the quantity of cleanser I was using however that wasn’t the case. Despite its foaming action, I noticed it did not strip or dry my skin’s barrier and that can be squarely attributed to its formulation (addition of Aloe juice, Glycerin, Vitamin E, Phospholipids, Macadamia Glycerides, Sodium PCA).

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (Sugar Based), PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Coco/Isostearamide, Lauryl Glucoside (Plant Derived), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Plant Derived), Glycerin (Plant Derived), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Pinus Strobus Bark Extract, Phospholipids, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Shea Butter, Macadamia Glycerides, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Palmitate), Sodium PCA, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita Flower/Leaf (Chamomile) Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Citric Acid.

Moving onto the masks category from this range, starting with Glow & Go Power PeelPeel Exfoliant. This is not a peel exfoliant in the typical sense with hyper charged alpha hydroxy acids or enzymes. I see this product more of stimulant and booster for skin. It also claims to revitalize and brighten the complexion which I didn’t notice in my personal experience. Sadly, both the inci list and performance fell short. I’ve tried the regular and pro version of this peel and the results varied in terms of what gave me most tingle and flush. Or you could say oomph of blood circulation. The thick-ish gel consistency spreads nicely but had to be removed with washcloth and not much to report in terms of results. One cautionary warning, sensitive skinned people should be careful using Cinnamon oil in this formulation, as it may irritate the heck out of your skins. All in all, for USD $75 there are better peel alternatives available.

Ingredients: Water, Hypromellose, Phenol (magic ingredient in Biologique Recherche P50 1970, for numbness), Cinnamon Oil (stimulate the skin and increase circulation), Potassium Sorbate, Chloroxylenol, Grapefruit Extract (purifier, antiseptic, and preservative).

The other mask has quite the opposite performance effect, the Moisture Renew Mask. Everything as the name suggests. Rich delectable cream consistency, can be used as hydration mask or an overnight mask, works wonderfully. If I took the liberty of renaming this mask, I’d rather call it ‘Overnight Barrier Repair Mask’ (overnight plump skin). In this case, the formulation and results are directly proportionate, lusciousness of Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Lactic Acid, Linoleic Acid (making it suitable for acne prone skins), Vitamin E balanced with Green tea antioxidant and Cucumber extract for anti inflammatory property. The richness of Avocado oil (rich in Oleic acid – a very healthy fat), is balanced with Linoleic acid rich oil such as Sunflower Seed Oil. This mask is a wonderful formulation to combat both dehydration and lack of moisture (aka, nourishment and hydration).

Ingredients: Water, Squalane, Avocado Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Sunflower Seed Oil, Aloe Leaf Juice, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Apricot Seed, Corn Sugar, Sulfonic Acid, Palm Oil, Saccharide Isomerate, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Sage Leaf Extract, Chamomile Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Coconut Oil, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract.

Next up is the Daily Brightening Tonic, an exfoliating treatment that claims to hydrate while stimulating collagen production. Strong claim and I will reel it back just a touch, look at this product as a gentle, everyday use acid toner that will serve skin other benefits too. While I don’t take fancy to the claims description, the toner itself is quite nice. A simple (in terms of formulation) or basic, every day use, Lactic Acid based toner with other ingredients to help gentle exfoliation (cell turnover) for even the sensitive skinned (all skin type suitable). If Glycolic Acid is no no for you, you will love and adore this toner. No sensitized skin, no harshness of poorly formulated acid based toner and all in all a gentle toner. As simple as that! My skin loved this one particularly on night’s I don’t want to use strong peel pad (i.e. Alpha H Liquid Gold, DrDG, Murad, Biologique Recherche). This one broke it up nicely during the week along with Zelens PHA Pads.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Sodium PCA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lactic Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Glycerin, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Black Tea) Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower (ORGANIC Chamomile) Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract

Tonic and MistAfter an acid toner, follows a refreshing generous mist of Restorative Tonic Mist. One of the first products I ever tried from this brand and I instantly liked it. One of the reasons I really like this is because of its use of Witch Hazel, as simple as that. In our fancy skincare world or #beautycommunity no one really appreciates good ol’ Witch Hazel anymore. And this is where this product stands out. However not basic Dickinson’s Witch Hazel, this is blended in with more goodness of Aloe Juice, Sodium PCA, Rose Oil extract, Glycerin, Panthenol, Licorice extract, Gotu Kola extract and Marigold extract. Doesn’t dry skin, wonderful in skincare routine or over makeup, or as mid day refresher without sucking hydration from skin. All skin type suitable, all situation suitable, simple packaging and mists nicely. Misting is not as fine as a cloud, but not a water gun either. I particularly love using this on my scalp too!!!

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Sodium PCA, Rosa Damascena Flower (Rose) Oil Extract, Glycerin, Sodium Lactate, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Horse Chestnut Extract, Ruscus Aculeatus (Butcher’s Broom) Root Extract, Linalool, Licorice Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Extract, Geraniol, Citral

An incredibly rich day cream, that sparks a love hate relationship in me, RevitalizingDay Cream Day Cream. Rich it is, but lightweight cream, that works nicely under makeup and no piling either. Wonderful when I may have overdone an acid or retinol night before, or indulged in bottle full/emptied libations. But on regular mornings, too rich for my skin in a humid summer morning. Within couple of hours, my skin is a reflection of a frying pan causing an avalanche of makeup (not a good look). The jury is out on how this performs with my skin as we get into winter. The inci list boasts some nice and notable ingredients with Niacinamide, antioxidants, Hyaluronic acid. The incident list also explains the rich formulation with inclusion of Vitamin E, Borage Oil, Grape seed oil,  Shea Butter. This would be particularly nice for dry skinned folks. I wish it was touch lighter, seems like it is trying too hard for a day cream and it would work for larger population.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Beantree Oil, Beta-Glucan, Verbena Officinalis Extract, Hydrolyzed Soybean Fiber, Propanediol, Niacinamide, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Stearyl Alcohol, C14-22 Alcohols, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark (Maritime Pine) Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Glycerin, Euterpe Oleacea Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Extract, Aristotelia Chilensisui Fruit Extract, Aronia Arbutifolia/Aronia Melanocarpa (Chokeberry) Fruit Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil

Night CreamOn the other hand, Retexturizing Night Cream is a treasure in the chest of night creams. Rich but easily absorbing cream, enriched with Lactic Acid…exfoliating in a beautiful rich formula, truly retexturizing, which rings true to its name. This one works stand alone as ‘one stop shop’ or layers perfectly with a host of other steps in night skin routine. Absolutely adore this cream, with 9% Lactic acid, Peptides, Beta Glucan, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic acid is rightfully the work horse. My skin appears so healthy and balanced the following morning. The gentle exfoliation coupled with ingredients that help repair and build the barrier.

Water (Aqua), Lactic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sodium Lactate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Verbena Officinalis Extract, Beta Glucan (smooths fine lines and wrinkles), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii, Glycerin, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Soybean Fiber, Niacinamide, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum.

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* Products gifted by brand

All in all, a solid brand offering a well thought out and executed range of products (even with a couple of misses). Also important to note is the price point across the board making it accessible to many more with good visible performance and results. One could say, the skimping point on price point would be thanks to the largely plastic packaged bottles. While not packaged in fancy glass bottles or miron glass jars, the packaging is practical and works, which is of prime importance.

HHW.com

xx

My Guide to 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. Since this post was originally published, the brand also went through major packaging and branding overhaul. The one point I made originally about their unique packaging has now changed to miron glass packaging. All I can say is I’m sad, I know and understand why it was done but I feel sad because a formulators uniqueness was not encouraged or supported by online retailers. It didn’t fit their “trendy, most sold packaging type“, so it had to be done. Moving on from my sulking, lets focus on the juice…

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Marshmallow CleanserMarshmallow Face Cleanser didn’t meet any of my pre conceived notions of a green beauty cleanser. In a typical green/natural beauty fashion, it is not an oil or balm cleanser. It is a foaming cleanser which is blended with organic castille soap with a dash of strong-brewed calendula flowers, marshmallow root, and chamomile flowers, along with unrefined cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil, hemp seed oil and jojoba seed oil. The blue tansy, German blue chamomile oils and Lemon Balms oils are known for their anti-inflammatory, calming, soothing, repairing, and antiviral properties. This cleanser has a very soft velvety lather which doesn’t strip the skin of natural oils or leave that squeaky clean feeling. The scent is calming, earthy and green but not overpowering in any way at all. I wouldn’t use this as first cleanse or something to remove my makeup or sunscreen. This is certainly my morning or second cleanse.

Ingredients: Herbal infusion {distilled water, Althaea officinalis (marshmallow) root*, Calendula officinalis (marigold) flowers, Matricaria recutita (chamomile) buds*}, water, saponified Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil*†, cold-press unrefined Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil (organic whenever available), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, cold-press whole-leaf Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, vegetable glycerin (from non-GMO soy)*, saponified Olea europaea (olive) oil*†, potassium hydroxide (but none remains in final product, after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin), Cannabis sativa (hemp) 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}, guar gum, gluconolactone (from non-GMO corn), organic Tanacetum annuum (blue tansy/Moroccan chamomile) oil, Matricaria recutita (German blue chamomile) oil*, Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) oil*, Ferula galbaniflua (galbanum) oil*, organic Viola odorata (violet) leaf absolute, citric acid, tocopherol (vit. E from non-GMO sunflowers).

One of the newest launches from EWB is Rosa. All you need to know about Rosa: the08E5537C-B926-4CE8-88C3-4F023BE38B5B_1_201_a whole Rosehip fruit is used, i.e. fruit skin, pulp and seed. Given we as consumers are swimming in a sea of standalone/single oil Rosehip oils, at various price points what you need to look out for is which part of the fruit have they used in their oils. Mainly you’d notice seed oils, not including fruit skin and pulp. Including fruit skin and pulp is where Rosa gets that rich vibrant hue and unmistakable fruity yet earthy scent in the oil. Also the fruit skin and pulp are high in carotenoids (aka excellent anti oxidants). Another very important part in any oil, is method of extraction because it impacts the oil’s performance around its inherent properties. Rosa is Cold pressed (no heat used, altering its natural properties state), Certified Organic, Unrefined (purest form, virgin oil), Undeodorized (you will still smell the true scent of the fruit), Unwinterized (all natural fats are retained in the final product).

Benefits of Rosehip are endless, for acne prone skins, sensitized skins, redness calming, hyperpigmentation, helping skin inflammation. Upon using Rosa, I could instantly feel a difference in its texture compared to many other Rosehip oils I’ve used before, it didn’t feel as thick and oily on skin. It absorbed much faster (and for even faster absorption apply on damp misted skin, it will disappear). Alternatively I also mix couple of drops in my regular night cream too, for that extra oomph. Another way is adding couple of drops to your clay mask concoction so skin doesn’t dry out on the surface. The versatility of use of single origin oil is endless, and its really up to you how you’d like to incorporate in your routines without getting strung up in strict rules.

IngredientsRosa canina (rosehip) fruit oil*, tocopherol (vit. E, from non-GMO sunflowers), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.

564FC534-036D-47B1-91B8-F0AC8D61FEC0_1_201_aOn a Swing Among Trees, a one of a kind product in green beauty world where many have experimented with pressed serum, oil serum, gel serum…this is a Serum in a Mist.

A mist so fine & light that envelopes your skin like cloud. Easy to go overboard misting because you want to deeply inhale the intoxicating and earthy aromas of Turmeric, Frankincense, Myrrh, German Chamomile, Saffron. It is an incredibly grounding & calming scent, like walking in a temple or my mother’s home! I have to steady my greedy, over enthusiastic finger to stop misting endlessly.

When formulating this product, Ava was very clear this isn’t intended to be a hydrating serum mist. It’s a dry serum format which basically translates to that ‘light cloud’ almost invisible mist caressing your skin. Skin feels nice, to elaborate nice….not sticky, not tacky, not oily, no residue of any form, not tight or dry… just nice, normal. Given its texture and consistency, it can be used in absolutely any routine (however given its very light texture, earlier in the routine is recommended so skin can appropriately absorb and benefit most), making it incredibly versatile in form and purpose.

Based on the inci list, aside from Turmeric Hydrosol and Aloe Leaf Juice as base, it is enriched with plant ceramides (I guess which contributes to that ‘nice’ feeling on skin for me), and some excellent oil, absolutes & extracts like Myrrh, Frankincense, Copaiba Balsam, Turmeric & German Chamomile CO2 extract (my personal fave ingredients), Saffron & Rose absolutes. Each of these bring their individual healing properties to the table, such as for wrinkles, loss of skin firmness, weak skin barrier, loss of vitality. The area where I have noticed most improvement is decongestion (thanks to Turmeric, German Chamomile) and antimicrobial properties. Especially when used in conjunction with Nap in the Meadow. This dynamic duo hydrates, plumps, decongests, and aids with HP (thanks to Saffron Absolute).

Ingredients : Curcuma longa (turmeric) rhizome hydrosol*, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, Sodium hyaluronate (plant-derived), plant ceramide complex (ceteareth-25 [emulsifier, 0.18% total amount in formula], glycerin, cetyl alcohol, behenic acid, cholesterol, ceramide NP, ceramide NS, ceramide EOS, ceramide EOP, ceramide AP, caprooyl phytosphingosine, caprooyl sphingosine), Commiphora myrrha (myrrh) oil†, Boswellia (frankincense) serrata extract†, Copaifera officinalis (copaiba balsam) resin†, colloidal silver, Curcuma longa (turmeric) rhizome CO2 extract*, Chamomilla recutita (German chamomile) flower CO2 extract*, Crocus sativus L. (saffron) absolute*, potassium sorbate (natural food-grade preservative), caprylyl capryl glucoside (naturally derived, non-GMO), Citrus limon juice*, Rosa centifolia flower absolute, Ethiopian garnet gem essence, Ethiopian opal gem essence, frankincense sacra resin essence†, and myrrh resin essence†.
Thelma Lip Treatment

Thelma Lip Treatment is something I’ve struggled with a little, since every product from this brand has been a hit with me. Ingredients are stellar, but the performance is where it fell short for me. Not because it wasn’t designed well to perform well, its because I have certain pre conceived expectation of lip balm performance. I do prefer a waxy layer (think of Nuxe Reve de Miel or By Terry Rose de Baume). In this case, the balm melts in my lips and before I know it I taste it inside my mouth. I’ve varied with very little or decent proportion of application however it still didn’t work. I know Ava has put her heart and soul into it, given we’ve had chats about how difficult it is to formulate a superior performing lip balm. But for me that search continues…..

Ingredients: Cold-press unrefined Allanblackia floribunda seed butter†, Cold-press unrefined Ximenia americana seed oil†, cold-press unrefined Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil nut) seed oil* or †, cold-press unrefined Theobroma grandiflorum (cupuaçu) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Mangifera indica (mango) seed butter* or †, cold-press unrefined Trichilia emetica (mafura) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Platonia insignis (bacuri) seed butter†, Sambucus nigra (elderberry) fruit extract, tocopherol (vit. E from non-GMO sunflowers), Vanilla planifolia (vanilla) extract*.

fullsizeoutput_58e1.jpegPassion Eye Serum comes as a complete surprise for me. I would never opt to use an oil based serum for my eye region given I’m very prone to milia. However, pairing this with retinol based gel serum and this oil serum on top has been incredibly helpful for my eyes. The oil instantly absorbs and doesn’t feel greasy feel. Most importantly it is not so heavy on the thin skinned eye region that caused milia. Personally I still prefer to use retinol (Dr Dennis Gross eye serum or La Roche Posay Redermic R) and go over with this oil. I would be lying if I said this oil was limited to use around my eyes, I used around my lips and all over my face too! This composition certainly outperforms its simple inci list.

Ingredients: Cold-press unrefined Amaranthus hypochondriacus (amaranth) seed oil*, organic cold-press unrefined Coffea arabica (green coffee) seed oil, cold-press unrefined Carapa guianensis (andiroba) seed oil†, cold-press unrefined Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil nut) seed oil*, cold-press unrefined Astrocaryum murumuru (murumuru) fruit butter†, cold-press unrefined whole-fruit Passiflora edulis (passionfruit) oil*, cold-press unrefined whole-fruit Rosa canina (rosehip) oil*, Hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn berry) Supercritical CO2 Total extract†, cold-press unrefined Calophyllum Inophyllum (tamanu) nut kernel oil* (India), tocopherol (vit. E from non-GMO sunflowers), ruby gem essence, clear quartz gem essence, lapis lazuli gem essence.

Sungod Mask

Sungod is direct descendant of Glowville. Composed with one of my most loved clay, Fullers Earth or more fondly known as Multani Mitti with Marigold flowers and Turmeric. How could this mask not be known as Sungod, is beyond me. Mixed with rosewater or whole milk, this mask packs a serious punch. This reminds me of the Haldi ceremony in Indian weddings for brides and some grooms. The golden paste of Turmeric, Sandalwood, Milk or Rosewater, is considered auspicious and sacred. This mask takes me down that path with every application. Quite special it is. Love to gently massage this off in shower and skin is left so incredibly smooth. The earthy floral scent of this mask takes me places (hello calendula and turmeric)!

Ingredients: Wildflower pollen, Solum fullonum (multani mitti, fuller’s earth) clay†, Calendula officinalis (marigold) flower petals (organic or *), Aloe barbadensis leaf*, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) petals (organic or *), Plukenetia volubilis (sacha inchi) seed*, Hydrastis Canadensis (goldenseal) rhizome (responsibly wildcrafted or *), Symphytum officinale (comfrey) leaf (wildcrafted or *), Punica granatum (pomegranate) fruit juice*, Grifola frondosa (maitake) mushroom (organic or *), Curcuma longa (turmeric) rhizome*, Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) root (organic or *), Lentinula edodes (shiitake) mushroom (organic or *), Celtic salt (France)†**.

Catharsis Mask

Catharsis is a deceiving simple, yet incredibly mild, instantly soothing, calming mask for days when I had ‘unprotected time in the sun’. My fave combo of this so far has been mixing with cool green tea or mixing with some yogurt. Instant cooling effect on damaged irritated skin, or simply just soothing and calming the skin. Some would say this is tricky to apply because it slides (almost slimy application), it didn’t bother me and surely wasn’t a deal breaker in anyway.

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf powder*, Azadirachta indica (neem) leaf powder* (India), organic Spirulina platensis powder, organic broken-cell Chlorella vulgaris powder, Citrus sinensis (orange) peel powder*.

Ferns and Moss Serum

Ferns and Moss Serum a deeply nurturing, treatment facial oil for skin that needs serious nourishing, restructuring, healing. Formulated with some of my favorite oils, Andiroba and Tamanu oil. Probably least talked about or rarely seen under the spot light ingredient. But seriously fantastic oil that I also personally use in my DIY Body Oil. This facial oil serum, has some excellent Amazonian oils that are rich in Oleic acid – fantastic for mature or very dry skins. Another stellar ingredient here is Seabuckthorn CO2 extract, powerhouse for firming skin. Smells earthy and I think I can slather this all over my face in layers with some amazing results. This oil is going to be my best friend in a fast approaching winter. The best way to use this so far been by misting Cistus and Moonlight mist following with this treatment oil (instant absorption in skin). Oddly enough I have also used this on my spots that have been battered with Salicylic acid and skin around needs serious repair.

Ingredients: Cold-press unrefined Carapa guianensis (andiroba) seed oil†, cold-press unrefined Moringa oleifera seed oil* or †, cold-press unrefined Schinziophyton rautanenii (manquetti mongongo) seed oil†, organic cold-press unrefined unfiltered Calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) nut kernel oil, Plukenetia volubilis (sacha inchi) oil* or †, Hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn berry) Supercritical CO2 Total extract†, Calendula officinalis CO2 Total extract*, Copaifera officinalis (copaiba balsam) essential oil†, Ferula galbaniflua (galbanum) essential oil†, virgin cold-press unrefined golden Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil*, Evernia prunastri (oakmoss) absolute†.

Moonlight Mist

Cistus and Moonlight Mist, is an all round special, and far from ‘standard’ toning mist. Composed with Rock Rose essential oil and hydrosol come that come together, with Monkhood, Pink Phlox, and Rainbow Moonstone flower essence and Clear Quartz gem essence. I adore how this settles and absorbs in the skin. I prefer the scent of this when it’s settled versus when misted. Not sure why, but when misted to my nose (totally a personal thing) it smells like moldy rose but when settles it’s incredibly calming and soothing on my skin. I’ve tried misting on top of my makeup and it doesn’t dehydrate my skin at all.

Ingredients: Cistus ladanifer (rock rose) hydrosol* or (Portugal), cold-press whole-leaf Aloe barabensis juice*, Cistus ladanifer (rock rose) essential oil†, potassium sorbate (natural food-grade preservative), wild Aconitum delphinifolium (monkshood) flower essence, wild Phlox longifolia (pink phlox) flower essence, rainbow moonstone gem essence, mangano calcite gem essence, clear quartz gem essence.

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Selene Facial Steam seems like a product that would be quite easily overlooked, but that in my opinion would be a mistake. This is a ritual your skin needs to experience. Take a moment, pause, breathe and give yourself some time. In a pot of hot water (enough to create steam), soak these flowers, and with towel on my head so steam doesn’t escape. When the steam from these flowers encounters your skin and you breathe deep, OH MY LORD my brain cells unravels new sensation of calmness and stillness.

Ingredients: Achillea millefolium (white yarrow) flowers†, Chrysanthemum indicum flowers (organic whenever available), Centaurea cyanus (cornflowers)†, Verbascum sinuatum or Verbascum densiflorum or Verbascum thapsus (mullein) flowers* or †, Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaves (organic whenever available), Plantago major (plantain) leaves†.

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One of 2017 launches was 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.

ambrosia 1

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 (discontinued). 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.

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Overall, 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.

Disclosure: Products gifted by the brand

HHW.com

xx