Cleanser

Worker B Raw Honey Face Wash

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The Worker B face wash is one which has garnered decent attention from me and IG peeps. I’ve had several questions about its texture, consistency, smell and performance. Well here I am finally……

A little background about Worker B brand, a group of passionate beekeepers and artisanal skincare formulators who have harnessed the potency of bee-created ingredients straight from the hive. As beekeepers ourselves, we are immersed in the inner workings of the beehive. This knowledge is vital to selecting our exceptional local team of honeybee experts who foster healthy, pesticide-free beehives thus providing our worker bees with a happy, thriving home. This allows us to source bee products – raw honey, beeswax, propolis – directly and make certain that we are using only chemical, antibiotic and pesticide- free ingredients from non-migratory beekeepers, ourselves included! Personal relationships with local beekeepers and, clean, sustainable bee products combine for the most effective skincare.

We all know the endless benefits of honey for our well being and skin. Lets straight dive into this delish cleanser. It claims to clean the skin while doing some good for it. No Soap or Sulfates. Made from raw honey, maintaining the beneficial enzymes from raw honey. Packaged in 5oz glass bottle with black twist open lid. The second you bottle the bottle, you can instantly smell the gorgeous honey. No added colour, no added scent or essential oil making it a perfect choice for sensitive skin.

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The texture and consistency is of raw honey however not sticky. The ingredient list will explain why…..

Ingredients Raw Honey, Organic oils of Sesame Seed, Avocado, Grapeseed, Rosehip Seed and Wheat Germ, and Worker B Propolizer Tincture

So the oils help the product move and schmear all over the skin. And no the oils don’t emulsify, but help nourish the skin. The inci list is simple, straightforward, no fillers, no gimmicky, novelty, or small proportion ingredients. Also, there is no addition of water, petroleum products, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan.

This cleanser would be perfect for absolutely ANY skin especially sensitive, eczema or rosacea skins. With the addition of tiny bit of water, the cleanser spreads smoothly all over the skin. I give a light feathery massage and then rinse with water. If you’re oily skinned, definitely take it off with a hot cloth. Leaves skin incredibly moist (humectant properties of honey) that I could go without a moisturizer. Of course this post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the versatility of this product. As a standalone cleanser or mask (leave on for 20-30-40mins), or mix with clays or muds (personal favourite mix with May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver or Odacite Synergie Masque).

All in all, I believe for 5.0 oz at $36 you can’t go wrong with this price tag, ingredients and serves excellent value for money and skin.

HHW.com

xx

Fad of Cleansing Powders

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We see it everywhere now, cleansing / exfoliating powders. An ancient concept and like many other asian girls something we took for granted as a part of our childhood. I distinctly remember when I was little, my Mum made a paste and gave me a bath with that paste. Yes all over the body. Many of you will instantly think of garbanzo bean powder, turmeric and milk….yes that’s exactly the ubtan I’m referring to. That exact concoction is also applied to a Indian brides before the wedding. It’s said the ubtan aids exfoliation and imparts glowing flawless skin.

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So you ask, well explain what is an Ubtan? As per ancient Ayurvedic principles and texts, it is roots, flowers, mud, clays grounded and mixed in a powder form. The Benefits are endless – Natural ground powders of clay, mud, roots, flowers, spices, salts, lentils, dried fruit skin’s which can be mixed with rose water, milk, honey, yogurt whatever your skin and heart desires. Aids exfoliation, helps with glow, wonderful cleanser, incredibly cost effective however there are plenty of options to spluge on. Multi purpose as it can be cleanser or mask or an exfoliator.

Finally the western world of skincare has caught on, well more specifically ‘western natural skincare world or green beauty world’, call it what you may! From May Lindstrom to Leah Lani, they’ve all formulated a version of their very own and sold as cleansing powder or exfoliating powder. The ingredients are varied between brands but after a while you tend to see a consistent trend (albeit with slightly different proportion and formulation).

Westernized Versions (bold ingredients are common)

May Lindstrom – The Clean Dirt ($60 for 200ml)
white halloysite clay, red morrocan rhassoul clay, sea salt, vitamin c, sodium bicarb, marshmallow root, spices like cinnamon, clove, turmeric, ginger, vanilla and cacao

Leah Lani – Kalima Cleansing powder  ($46 for 100ml)
coconut milk, brown rice, clay powders, guava fruit, banana, camu camu, rosehip, honeysuckle, sea salt, hibiscus, vanilla, rose, vitamin c

de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate ($60 for 70g)

rhassoul clay, rose clay, sodium bicarbonate, white clay, oat flour, vitamin c, cocoa, rose, himalayan cedar wood, sandalwood, frankincense, vanilla, elderflower, marshmallow, grape, cucumber, calendula, german chamomile, gotu kola, ginseng, chrysanthemum and horsetail

Pharmacy New Day Exfoliating Grains ($30 for 100g)

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, corn starch, Sodium Bicarbonate, cranberry, water, adzuki seed, vitamin c, camellia, carrot, echinacea, glycerin, lemon willow bark, spiraling powder

One Love Brand New Day ($39 for 48g)

zea mays (corn) starch, pisum sativum (pea) flour, sodium cocoyl glutamate, kaolin, ananas comosus (pineapple) fruit extract, fragrance/parfum

The common ingredients that overlap between some of these products are Sodium Bicarbonate (resulting in fizzy emulsion making it more appealing & fun), Sea Salt, Vitamin C, Marshmallow Root, Clay Powders. The first three ingredients mentioned is what clearly sets the Western Cleansing Powders apart from traditional Ayurvedic ubtans which are far more gentler on skin and dare I say far more “green” for skin!

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Closer to Ayurvedic Texts, Principles, and Ingredients

Forest Essentials ($18-$20 for 60g)
Tejasvi Milk – neem, cinnamon, fennel powder, sweet almond meal, sandalwood oil, fenugreek powder, peepal extract, anantmool powder, apricot kernel, saffron, durva extract and milk
Soundarya – orange peel, rose, jasmine, neem, oatmeal, sandalwood, turmeric, fennel, anantmool, saffron flower, lemon peel and star anise.
Multani Mitti  (my personal FAVE) – fullers clay, neem, turmeric, fenugreek seed powder, lodhra bark, woodfordia powder and banyan bark powder
Narangi (Orange) & Nagkesar (Messua ferrea) – orange peel, marigold flower, licorice root, messua ferrea, bala root, vetiver, ashwagandha, durva, neem, brahmi leaf, anantmool and cinnnamon
Roop Nikhar & Gulab (Rose) – lentil seed, rose, ornage peel, oatmeal, anantmool root, neem, katsuya powder,turmeric, saffron, cinnamon

Kama Ayurveda ($22 for 40g)

Mridul (face & body) – oatmeal, green gram, almond, neem, sandalwood, turmeric, rose and fennel.

PurEarth ($60 for 100g)
Turmeric Exfoliating Face Sand – Bitter apricot kernels, fullers earth clay, persian walnut, neem, turmeric, pomegranate, lavender, rose, seabuckthorn berry, and saffron

The web is also inundated with several DIY recipes, of which garbanzo bean powder, turmeric and milk or ghee is by far the most popular. However based on your skin’s needs, concerns and what’s available in your kitchen, these ingredients can also be used: Oatmeal, almond meal, rice flour, sandalwood powder, fenugreek powder, turmeric, grounded spices (cinnamon, clove, star anise). Mixing bases may include purified water, rose water, milk, cream, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, aloe vera juice, vinegar.

Ultimately it filters down to what your skin needs, how much are you willing to spend, where your brand loyalties lie, are you preferences with traditional ubtan or westernized  version etc. Personally I’ve tried homemade Grandma’s ubtan recipes to modern Ayurvedic shops like Forest Essentials and Kama Ayurveda. My personal preference lies with more traditional format minus Vitamin C, Sodium Bicarb, Sea Salt.

HHW.com

xx

Kama Ayurveda Himalayan Deodar Cleanser

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Himalayan Deodar Face Cleanser (For Men)

Claims: A perfect hydrating face wash for men with Cedar Wood which is known for its calming and purifying qualities. Filled with pure natural ingredients it leaves the skin feeling fresh, clean & supple and preps the skin for a comfortable shave. Aloe Vera leaf juice heals and smoothens skin and Jojoba seed minimizes fine lines, promoting skin suppleness and rejuvenation, Vetiver root and Black Cumin seeds which are anti-bacterial, Lavender oil, an effective toner and Patchouli oil an anti-inflammatory which tones and tightens skin.

This was hijacked by the Man of the House almost immediately he had a whiff of its fragrance. He prefers to keep this cleanser in the shower, as much as I detest this idea (compromise the key to marriage, I’m told <rolls her eyes>).

Yes I get it, you may say the packaging specifically calls out “For Men”, well I don’t care. I think it is just as fabulous for women. Not one ingredient from the listing stands out negatively. Fabulous addition of Vetiver, Jojoba, Salicylic acid, Cedar Wood, Lavender, Patchouli, Holy Basil, Licorice, Cumin, Cassia…..imagine how woody and fabulous it smells, which is probably why its classified as “For Men”.  My disagreement aside on the classification, me likey and the Man approves.IMG_8999

In terms of texture and consistency, it’s quite watery but foams (attributed to the addition of Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate in the inci list) slightly when mixed with water. Personally not the biggest fan of foaming, but this is fairly mild making it quite tolerable for me.

Obviously not a makeup remover, wonderful as a second or morning cleanse. With the thoughtful addition of Salicylic Acid, it is particularly great for breakouts or ingrown (which is also explains the bearded sexist categorization;)).

Post rinse, the skin doesn’t feel stripped, stretched or tight. Needless to mention but we follow with toner and moisturizer or facial oil (depends if morning or evening).

Kama prides on its authentic ayurvedic formulation and claims No artificial colours, No artificial fragrance, No animal ingredients, No petrochemicals, parabens, urea, propylene glycol or sulphates are added.

HHW.com

xx

 

DIY Aromatherapy Facial

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We’ve been to spa’s or heard of various Aromatherapy treatments. One of which is the aromatherapy facial, which got my attention. These facials are known to soothe the skin and relax your mind. With the use of essentials oils based on your skin type, the scents from these lush oils induce relaxation to a stressed mind. Different essential oils are suited to different types of skin such as:

  • Dry Skin- cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, jasmine, lavender, lemon, myrrh, patchouli, roman chamomile, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, ylang ylang
  • Oily Skin- bergamot, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, helichrsum, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, orange, patchouli, peppermint, roman chamomile, rosemary, sandalwood, tea tree, ylang ylang
  • Normal skin/Combination skin- geranium, chamomile, lavender, orange, ylang ylang petitgrain, palmarosa.
  • Sensitive Skin- geranium, jasmine, lavender, chamomile, neroli
  • Mature Skin- clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, helichyrsum, lavender, lemon, myrrh, orange, patchouli, rosemary, sandalwood, ylang ylang.

While the above list is commercial, I was once advised that take a deep breath and have a good sniff at these oils. Based on that, listen to what your body signals. Your body and mind will react to the scent either in a pleasant way (wanting more) or simply gross you out. This exercise will determine what your skin/body needs. I haven’t looked back since and truly believe in this method. At home aromatherapy facials have shaped up as follows:

Cleansing – Makeup RemovalRodial Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Water to remove my eye makeup and whatever is left on cotton pad I swipe across my lips and rest of face. Then follow with Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and gently massage all over my face. Once the balm is all over my palms, I cup them and inhale deep breath. Wipe with warm wash cloth.

Cleansing – Skin Nourishment – Followed with Rodial Stem Cell Super Food Cleanser and again massage away to glory. Dip my hands in ice cold water and shock my skin with varying temperatures. Now I don’t know if this would be recommended however I know I thoroughly enjoy it.

Steaming – Next step of temperature shock is boil a pot of hot water, add a few drops of essential oil, hold a towel over my head and let my skin steam away. In an ideal spa environment, this stage will be followed by extractions but I’m a chicken when I do it over myself.

Exfoliating – Instead of extractions, I use grated almond shell (nourishes and gently exfoliates) with orange rind (vitamin c) mixed with whole cream milk (lactic acid) and gently massage all over my face. Wash it off with regular tap water.

Alternatively I use PMD after steaming. Will post a separate review on that.

Mask – Back to wonderful smells and injecting hydration in skin I smear Una Brennan Rose Hydrating Mask all over and let it sit for 15-25minutes. If I fall asleep I guess I stop there if not…here’s how I continue

Toner – Spritz Pixi Glow Tonic, very refreshing and smells wonderful

Moisturizer – Followed with Dr Scheller Lavender Night Moisturizer, since it has water content skin will absorb immediately and then follow with

Facial Oil – Estelle & Thild Oil – Rose scented goodness!

Understandably,  to some this could be sensory overload or a simple assault on senses but to me this is perfection!

xx

HHW.com

Brand Focus – Rodial

P1000868The first time I heard of Rodial was in a Pixiwoo skincare video. The ladies won Rodial awards and talked about their night. In saying so, that did nothing for me to jump on bandwagon. It was names of their lines with shock factor that got me on board. Shock factor words such as Bee Venom, Glamoxy Snake, Dragon’s blood, Stemcell, added lot of drama to what could be simply described as a serum or facial oil!

If you haven’t already heard of this brand here is some background to get you started:

Rodial was founded in 1999 by Maria Hatzistefanis and was designed to bridge the gap in the market between scientific and more natural based skincare. Rodial is based in London-UK. Rodial offers natural alternatives to injectiables & plastic surgery procedures, delivering targeted treatments to specific skin concerns combining the best of anti-ageing and firming ingredients. All of Rodial products contain Pomegranate Ellagic Tannin, with its natural anti-ageing, firming and collagen-boosting properties, is combined with breakthrough natural ingredients clinically tested to show results. Rodial products are dermatologically tested and are recommended by dermatologists and plastic surgeons in the UK”.

So over a considerable period of time I invested in the following products from their lines:

Balms & Cleanser

Dragons Blood Cleansing WaterMy delightfully fragranced substitute to Bioderma Micellar water. That’s how I write one line reviews on a product. When you have a product such as Bioderma Micellar water and that’s your benchmark, this product performs in similar fashion except it’s fragranced. I’d like to call it Aromatherapy Makeup Removal.

Stem Cell Super Food Cleanser – Ok, this is a huge pot of lush cleanser. The scent of Rose Hip Seed Oil, Rose Wax, Coconut oil is simply astounding. This is not for primary cleanse (i.e. makeup removal) it is more apt for second cleanse or morning cleanse. I keep massaging this cleanser for 2-4 mins just because the scent transcends me to another world. Wipe with warm face cloth and my skin feels ‘normal’. Not tight, not squeaky clean, not dull…just normal (I realise it’s a relative term).

Glamtox Cleansing Balm – I own a range of cleansing balms and this is the one I own back up for in case I was marooned on an island with face full of makeup (likely scenario…not)! Excellent for removing makeup and scent is kind of herbaly and spa like. Of all my cleansing balms, this is only one with pump! Well done Maria Hatzistefanis aka Mrs Rodial. Same drill, remove with warm steamed face cloth, hold for 30 secs and wipe away. Glorious!!!

Serums & Face Oils

Stem Cell Super Food Facial Oil – This smells celestial. I had to start off saying it insanely wonderful, rosey perhaps. Somehow the texture of this face oil doesn’t feel greasy. Oddly enough it feels very cooling on my skin and it instantly absorbs in my skin. I can’t exactly say it’s oily but it doesn’t feel oily at all. I don’t know what’s with this oil, but leaves my skin nourished. This one I may not repurchase purely because I’m so confused with it. I would recommend it either way since it’s decent, absorbs nicely, smells wonderful and hydrates skin.

Glamtox Serum – I was shocked (in a good way) this was sold at TJ Maxx. Obviously I leaped and bought it immediately without second thought. When I first read the name of product I expected regular serum consistency however it is actually facial oil. Very pleasant smelling instantly absorbed facial oil. In a pump bottle, it dispenses just the right amount for face and neck. I top this serum/oil with Dr Scheller Organic Lavender and my skin looks plump and glows next morning. With my recent skin stresses, this combination has become my HG combination.

Venom Skin Tint – Hamptons (not included in picture above, it was buried deep in my handbag) – LOVE it. The right amount of coverage to conceal some old acne scars and slight pigmentation but not heavy enough to make skin look ridiculously heavy. When I wear this, I feel like my skin is breathing. The only downside to this cream, my skin gets oily within 4-5 hours. Nothing I can’t get under control but it would have been nicer if I dint have to make that extra effort.

My growing addiction to these products is gradually turning into an obsession right before my eyes. Whilst I don’t base the performance or overall rating of a product on how they smell. In saying so they certainly attract me more for sake of aromatherapy. On my never ending wishlist I would like to try their lip range, snake and fruit acid line.

xx

HHW.com