Entries Tagged as 'beauty'

November 19, 2014

beauty scoop | odacite pure elements facial serum concentrates

Lately, I’ve been enjoying playing beauty alchemist at home with my abundance of botanical elixirs, mixing and matching potions to enhance simple DIY solutions or add a touch of extra healing power to some of my existing favorites.

This mixologist mannerism was brought upon by two things: The idea of smartly layering and combining products thanks to the tip of a favorite brand founder and the introduction of Odacite’s Facial Serum Concentrates into my life.

odacite facial serum concentrates

{Odacite sent me samples of its Facial Serum Concentrates in Blueberry Jasmine, Peach Cypress and Black Cumin + Cajeput. Each serum concentrate varies in cost; the Blueberry Jasmine skin booster costs $44 for a 0.17-ounce dropper bottle. The Peach Cypress skin booster costs $34 for a 0.17-ounce glass dropper bottle. The Black Cumin + Cajeput skin booster costs $27 for a 0.17-ounce dropper bottle.}

As part of Odacite’s “Pure Elements” collection, these 0.17-ounce glass dropper bottle serum concentrates are available in 18 specially targeted formulations that are designed to be used on their own for intense treatment or mindfully mixed into your current skincare products.

Each of Odacite’s serum concentrates packs a potent dose of vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories all based on your skin’s needs.

Skin looking lackluster? There’s a serum concentrate for that.

Skin feeling imbalanced? There’s a serum concentrate for that.

Skin getting fussy? There’s a serum concentrate for that.

By now you can probably guess which serums I chose to test in their full-size, one-month treatment sizes:

  1. Blueberry Jasmine because I must have all the jasmine things and am approaching the last year of my 20s and need to get my anti-aging, antioxidants on;
  2. Peach Cypress because I’m combination/oily and need some balance in my life;
  3. and Black Cumin + Cajeput because despite turning yet another year older, I still deal with acne breakouts on a regular basis.

The first set of Odacite’s Facial Serum Concentrates I tested and finished were the Peach Cypress and Black Cumin + Cajeput based on my skin type and persistent acne issues.

I used 2-3 drops of the Odacite Peach Cypress Facial Serum Concentrate in the morning, mixed into my daily face oil, to encourage my skin to start off in balance for the day.

The light serum didn’t add any bulk to my already-nutrient-packed daily oil, yet seemed to help my skin feel plumper and healthier. The combination of skin-loving sea buckthorn oil (I need more of this oil in my life!) with naturally astringent cypress and grapefruit kept my skin feeling hydrated yet never over-oiled.

With that said, I think this skin booster is more on my “nice to have, but do not absolutely need” list, as I didn’t see mind-blowing results with it. It was just a nice booster to my normal daily facial oil.

Here’s what’s inside Odacite Peach Cypress Facial Serum Concentrate:

Highest-grade cold-pressed certified virgin Peach (Prunus persica) kernel oil, Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) oil, Cypress, Pink grapefruit, Lavender, Bisabolol, Ylang ylang (Cupressus Semper- virens, Citrus paradisi, Lavandula angustifolia, Vanillosmosis erythropappa, Cananga odorata) essential oils. Certified GMO-free Vitamin E (Tocopherols) oil.

In the evenings, I used the Black Cumin + Cajeput Facial Serum Concentrate. Again, I would mix it in to my regular nighttime oil, but I would also spot-treat with this powerful skin booster and even do an intense all-over treatment (i.e. I wouldn’t mix it in with anything) and WOW is this one a winner!

Odacite says its Black Cumin + Cajeput Facial Serum Concentrate is formulated to absorb deep into pores to help clear and smooth the complexion, and they weren’t lying.

I found that the noted purifying properties of black cumin oil really did help control the spread of breakouts. Case in point: I tested this during a crazy stressful time that resulted in tons of tiny red pimples along my hairline and even further into my hair area near my temples.

After deep-treating my skin with this oil alone, those little suckers cleared up faster than usual, and I didn’t experience any additional breakouts after that time.

Sold and sold.

Odaciate explains that cajeput gets to the source of your problematic skin with its potent antiseptic properties to helping to prevent further breakouts.

Another thing to note is that cajeput is a star ingredient in our beloved Osmia Organics Spot Treatment (reviewed here) that works so well for many of you.

If you haven’t tried Odacite Black Cumin + Cajeput Facial Serum Concentrate and react well to the Osmia Organics Spot Treatment, you MUST add it to your wish list. It’s absolutely on my repurchase list.

Here’s what’s inside Odacite Black Cumin + Cajeput Facial Serum Concentrate:

Highest-grade cold-pressed certified virgin organic Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) oil, Certified organic Cajeput (Melaleuca minor) essential oil, Certified GMO-free Vitamin E (Toco- pherols) oil.

Now that it’s winter in Kansas City (did you know winter comes a month early here?), I’m adding heavier oils into my routine but don’t like to completely shun my lighter-weight oils, especially when it comes to pre-makeup skin treatment and priming.

Currently in the mornings, I’m adding Odacite Blueberry Jasmine Facial Serum Concentrate to a particularly smelly facial oil I’m testing.

As a part of the “Age-Defying” collection of Odacite’s Facial Serum Concentrates, Blueberry Jasmine is prized for its ability to liven up the skin’s cell energy. Jasmine coupled with blueberry offers the skin a burst of free radical-fighting defense thanks to a healthy helping of antioxidants.

Jasmine is also said to help heal burns and promote new cell growth on topical level; from an aromatherapy lens, it’s absolutely divine at calming the nervous system and promoting a sense of happiness and beauty with every sniff.

If you’re an Odacite fan like me and own “A Summer in Hossegor,” you MUST blend it with that beauty. Blueberry on blueberry love is just beautiful, and your skin will thank you.

Here’s what’s inside Odacite Blueberry Jasmine Facial Serum Concentrate:

Highest-grade cold-pressed certified organic Vaccinium corymbosum (Blueberry*) seed oil, Jasminum sambac (jasmine) flower oil, Litsea cubeda fruit oil, Acacia decurrens (mimosa) flower extract, Certified organic Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata) oil, Certified GMO-free Vitamin E (Tocopherols) oil.

The most expensive of the three Odacite skin boosters I tested, Blueberry Jasmine is well worth the price and experience. You’re getting very expensive, effective ingredients without a huge base of a cheaper carrier oil (see what the first two ingredients are?!) and an instant shot of radiance every morning. Approve and repurchase!

Besides these three skin boosters that I had the privilege to test out in full sizes, I’m intrigued by more from the age-defying collection of concentrates (this turning 29 thing is starting to mess with me).

Specifically, the Wild Carrot Facial Serum Concentrate, loaded with antioxidants, is screaming my name. Acai Rose Facial Serum Concentrate is singing the same siren song, with its ultra-strength of antioxidants and superfood, acai, doing a little youth dance before my credit card.

I’ll be sure to update this post as I test out more of these full-sized serum concentrates (they last a month, which is a great testing time and low cost commitment for these potent oils!).

If you have similar skin to mine (combo/oily and acne-prone), Odacite has some nice little sets of skin boosters at a discounted price that you can experience, too.

The Combination + Pimple Prone duo includes the Black Cumin + Cajeput I raved about earlier as well as Jojoba + Lavender, which is designed to unclog pores but is a simple DIY.

The Oily + Pimple Prone set also has the Black Cumin + Cajeput, but with the addition of Grapeseed + Grapefruit, formulated to clear existing acne but another simple DIY depending on if you keep grapeseed oil on hand for oil cleansing and grapefruit essential oil in your collection for…whatever you would use grapefruit EO for in your daily life (sniffing to make your happy despite how stupid cold it is?!).

What Odacite Facial Serum Concentrates have you tried, or which ones appeal to you? What is your experience with mixing various oils and serums for a customized treatment? Tell me in the comments section!

 

November 18, 2014

beauty scoop | laurel whole plant organics balance facial serum

With 26 beneficial active ingredients, Laurel Whole Plant Organics “Balance” Facial Serum isn’t exactly what you’d think of as a “minimalist beauty product,” but I’d dare to say that if you’re looking for a gorgeous, effective facial oil that provides moisture without skimping on acne defense, this could be the one that replaces every other face oil in your collection.

laurel whole plant organics balance facial serum

{Laurel Whole Plant Organics sent me a sample of its Balance Facial Serum for review. It costs $68 for a 30 ml glass dropper bottle.}

Formulated with the needs of oily, combination and breakout-prone skin in mind, Laurel Whole Plant Organics Balance Facial Serum promotes healing, refreshment and detoxification of the skin.

Founder Laurel Shaffer does this by incorporating powerful herbs and botanical extracts known for their therapeutic properties on the skin. A gentle base of jojoba and macadamia nut oils provide both slip and balance to the skin while a shot of rosehip seed oil cuts the moisture, providing a dry finish and silky feel to the skin.

Rosehip seed oil is fast becoming one of my favorites for priming the skin for makeup. It’s high in trans retinoic acid, which the body converts to vitamin A and aids in skin healing and overall cell turnover.

In addition to this super oil, Laurel Whole Plant Organics Balance Facial Serum contains red raspberry oil for natural sun protection (though I’m still a fan of mineral sun protection) as well as tamanu oil, a favorite of mine for speeding acne flare-ups through to recovery.

laurel whole plant organics balance facial serum

Here’s everything else inside Laurel Whole Plant Organics Balance Facial Serum:

Jojoba Oil˚, Macadamia Nut Oil˚, Rosehip Seed Oil˚, Sesame Oil˚, Red Raspberry Seed Oil˚, Almond Oil˚, Tamanu Oil˚, Cranberry Seed Oil˚, Sea Buckthorn Oil˚, Rosemary Extract˚; in-house biodynamic proprietary blend of Passionflower˚, Licorice˚, Calendula˚, Chamomile˚, Echinacea˚, Yarrow˚, Baical Skullcap˚, Gotu Kola˚, Comfrey˚, Astragalus˚, Nettle˚, Lavender˚, Orange Peel˚; essential oils of Lavender˚, Rosewood˚, Helichrysum˚, Clary Sage˚ ˚signifies certified organic ingredient

Other ingredients to note are helichrysum, which is included for its balancing and astringent properties; lavender, an all-time favorite anti-inflamatory and calming ingredient; calendula and chamomile, also famous for their soothing qualities; passionflower, known for its anti-inflammatory properties; and rosewood, another wonderful antiseptic.

laurel whole plant organics balance facial serum

I’d also like to point out that Laurel Whole Plant Organics Balance Facial Serum contains the skin care superstar herbs burdock and dandelion.

I’ve dabbled in burdock supplements off and on for seven years and love seeing its inclusion in luxury green skincare. Burdock leaf has mild antibacterial properties and mega blood cleansing benefits when taken internally.

Same goes for dandelion, which is rich in skin-loving vitamins and minerals and thought to help detoxify the liver (and thus, detoxify the skin).

I’m currently indulging in regular servings of dandelion tea to keep my current good skin-situation intact. A little topical application via Laurel Whole Plant Organics Balance Facial Serum literally seals the (skin) deal!

I used this facial serum religiously for about four weeks several months ago (this review has been in the works for a while!), and as I begin to pare down my skincare arsenal (more on that later), this is one that definitely makes the cut.

Laurel Whole Plant Organics Balance Facial Serum is an oil I like to use when my skin is in relatively good condition but could use just a little bit extra love in the skin defense department. I don’t use it on active breakout duty, but instead post-acne drama as my skin is re-establishing its balance and preparing for another cycle of hormonal defense.

Have you tried Laurel Whole Plant Organics Balance Facial Serum or anything else from the line? What oils do you use at different times of the month? What are the keepers in your skincare arsenal? Tell me in the comments section!

 

November 12, 2014

beauty scoop | rms beauty lip2cheek in diabolique

Though I love lip colors as much as the next beauty addict, I’m usually sporting some sort of pink / nude / sheer red on a daily basis.

But during fall and winter, I love to be a bit more daring with my lip color choices, and that’s why adding RMS Beauty’s lip2cheek in “Diabolique” was a no-brainer for me.

kimberlyloc wears rms beauty lip2cheek in diabolique

{I purchased RMS Beauty’s lip2cheek in “Diabolique.” It costs $36 for a 0.17-ounce glass jar.}

kimberlyloc wears rms beauty lip2cheek in diabolique

This rich burgundy lip color can be as intense as you want it to be.

A thin layer easily sheers out into a berry-kissed stain; a few thin layers results in a brick-burgundy mouth that screams fall and brings out the natural auburn highlights in your hair (if you have them, that is!).

kimberlyloc wears rms beauty lip2cheek in diabolique

I apply RMS Beauty’s “Diabolique” in a couple different ways:

If I want a sheer, stained kisser, I’ll gently pat in the color with my ring finger.

If I want a layered, bold look, I’ll first gently pat in a bass layer with my ring finger and then blot. Next, I’ll take a soft lip brush and pain on two very thin layers of color (blotting in between each) to get a maximum intensity that’s both moisturizing and stunning.

Whoever says natural cosmetics can’t deliver the same color payoff as conventional cosmetics has clearly never tried RMS Beauty Diabolique!

Here’s everything inside RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Diabolique:

*Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Tocopherol (non-GMO), Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) seed Oil, Propolis Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, and may contain: [+/-Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxide CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Mica CI 77019]

If you avoid beeswax for any reason, do note that this lippie does contain beeswax in addition to coconut oil, jojoba oil and shea butter, which give it a silky smooth feel that’s actually good for your lips.

Say goodbye to intensely colored lip colors that are drying!

Besides looking fabulous on your lips this fall, RMS Beauty’s lip2cheek in “Diabolique” is also, obviously, a pretty cheek color that can be pressed in to give your face a healthy shot of warm red color.

Start small with this, as it’s highly pigmented! Just press a finger (or a brush, if you’re a germophobe) into the pot and then gently dot it onto your cheeks, pressing the color in and tapping all around your cheekbones and up onto your temples.

I am wearing Diabolique on my cheeks in these pictures, but it’s wasn’t the main focus of my review, so the color you see is quite subtle — but you can see it there, warming my face, especially in photos 1 and 3.

This was my first RMS Beauty lip2cheek purchase, but it won’t be my last. I’m impressed with the color payoff and the generous amount of product in the cute little glass jar.

Though $36 may seem steep for what looks like a standard tinted lip color, you won’t be tempted to dig your fingers in and waste product — because it’s so highly pigmented, you’ll have to be careful to use a light hand when digging in! A little goes a long way, and you want to build up the color with thin layers.

I’m thinking “Beloved” and “Smile” will be my next additions to my RMS Beauty collection … unless there’s something around the corner for the holidays?!

What RMS Beauty lip2cheek colors do you have? What is your go-to lip color for everyday? For fall and winter? Tell me in the comments section!

 

November 10, 2014

beauty secrets | the ultimate guide to natural shampoos

Welcome to another installment of my “ultimate guides” series, this time featuring my thoughts on green, natural shampoos.

This guide will be helpful for you if the following is true:

  • You have fine hair.
  • You have oily hair.
  • You have non-color-treated hair, or very gently color-treated hair that does not require a heavy moisturizing shampoo.

As with all of my “ultimate guides,” this ultimate guide to natural shampoos will be constantly updated as I try new products, and I’ll be sure to ping you with a social media update to let you know when it’s updated.

Now, onto the natural shampoo reviews!

*Indicates press sample. Yes, I do buy my own products, and yes, free stuff gets the same level of criticism as stuff I paid for myself!

ultimate guide to natural shampoos

{So clearly, there is a back-story to this photo of my friend Gina and me, circa 2009. After taking this picture, I looked at it and proclaimed, “Look how beaaauuuutttiful my hair looks!” So it was only fitting to use this as the picture for the ultimate guide to natural shampoos.}

Natural Shampoos I Liked and Will Repurchase

Acure Organics Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Clarifying Shampoo

I like to keep a clarifying shampoo in my hair for weekly use — gotta de-gunk product buildup — but Acure Organics Lemongrass + Argan Stem Cell Clarifying Shampoo, which features moisturizing avocado, argan and olive oils, is gentle enough for daily use.

I love the generous lather and light, fresh scent. I’ve repurchased this several times and would highly recommend it to anyone new to natural shampoos or looking to introduce a non-stripping, clarifying shampoo into their arsenal.

Acure Organics Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell Volumizing Shampoo

When I first met Acure Organics Pure Mint + Echinacea Stem Cell Volumizing Shampoo, it was love at first lather.

Affectionately referred to as “the Acure shampoo in the blue and white bottle,” this is my hands-down favorite shampoo that I’ve repurchased time after time and constantly recommend to my fine and oily-haired friends.

My fine hair gets a boost of volume after using this shampoo (seriously, no product needed — just shampoo and a quick blow dry without any teasing), yet never feels depleted of moisture or shine. A+

*Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo

It’s well-documented that I love minty-fresh products in my shower (as I’m a morning shower-taker but not exactly a morning person), so Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo had an easy edge — but scent isn’t the only thing that matters in a natural shampoo, obviously.

I’ve been impressed with how well this natural shampoo has kept my hair looking sleek and healthy (though I’m in need of a trim!) without coating it in a ton of silcones.

*Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo

It’s quite surprising to me how much Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo captured my heart (hair?), but it did, thanks to the incredibly smooth, baby-softness it imparted on my hair without making it feel weighed down.

Seaweed extract, mango and apricot quench thirsty strands’ thirst without dousing them in excess moisture. It’s just enough to tame flyaways and set your hair up for a perfect, sleek blowout.

This shampoo is more expensive than I like to pay for natural shampoo, but it’s totally worth it.

John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo

John Masters Organics holds a special place in my heart. It’s one of the first green beauty lines I fell in love with when I made the switch to naturals back in 2007, and this is one of those solid, staple shampoos that just delivers.

With hair- and scalp-friendly ingredients such as lavender and rosemary, John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo stimulates the scalp and volumizes the hair. The ingredients list is quite impressive, with a cocktail of hair-healthy herbs and vitamins (I love when products include borage seed oil, one of my favorite hair/skin/nails supplement that I also take internally), and the price is reasonable.

Bonus: It’s easily available at Whole Foods and many natural foods stores.

*Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo

I’m glad I received a small sample of Josh Rosebrook Deep Nourishing Shampoo in one of my green beauty boxes, because otherwise I wouldn’t have tried it! Now don’t get me wrong — I love and deeply respect Josh — but I tend to avoid moisturizing / nourishing shampoos because of how fine my hair is.

Josh has created a beautiful shampoo that works for various hair types. I’ve talked with my dry-haired friends about this shampoo and they’ve raved about how well it works for them. And here I am, the oil slick of the group, raving about this shampoo.

Again, this is one that’s on the pricier side for a shampoo, but it’s well worth it. Josh is thoughtful with his formulations (this puppy has aloe vera, African black soap, various organic oils and a multitude of hair-healthy herbs packed in!) and is extremely accessible via social media for any questions you may have about hair!

*Just Natural Hair Care Shampoo to Remove Build Up

Another fantastic clarifying shampoo, Just Natural Hair Care Shampoo to Remove Build Up is a great once-a-week treatment to truly de-gunk and start fresh.

I don’t recommend it for daily use, as it’s quite potent with its combination of aloe vera hydrosol, burdock extract, papaya extract, peppermint essential oil, cajeput essential oil and grapefruit essential oil, but it’s damn good at doing exactly what it says it’s going to do: Remove all that buildup!

Pro tip when using this natural shampoo: Be sure to shake it up to ensure all those cleansing ingredients are well-mixed.

Marketing tip for Just Natural: Update your packaging design! The pump bottle is awesome and so is the product, but the design of the label could use some love.

Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Shampoo

Healthy hair is dependent on having a healthy scalp, and that’s why Max Green Alchemy Scalp Rescue Shampoo is much-loved natural shampoo for me. This is one of those natural shampoos that I like to switch it up with if my scalp if feeling itchy (especially during season changes) and needs some attention.

With its amazing blend of botanical extracts, vitamins and essential oils, this natural shampoo brings out the best in your hair — think strong, beautiful, lustrous hair supported by a healthy scalp that’s free of irritation.

*Stop the Water While Using Me! All Natural Rosemary Grapefruit Shampoo

Another fantastic natural shampoo for scalp stimulation and your morning wake-up call, Stop the Water While Using Me! All Natural Rosemary Grapefruit Shampoo provides a healthy lather and even cooler reminder to your bathroom guests to be conscientious about water use.

Though my hair is not currently color-treated, this natural shampoo, as invigorating as it is, is safe for color-treated hair and even better for fine, wimpy hair like mine that needs a boost. I’ve used this shampoo so many times and gone without my usual volumizing styling products post-shower — it’s that great at offering some lift!

Natural Shampoos I Liked But Will Not Repurchase

John Masters Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo

The definition of minimalist natural shampoos, John Masters Organics Bare Unscented Shampoo is packed with all the great ingredients you’d expect — jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, white tea and chamomile — without the scent that can conflict with some people’s personal preferences.

For me, though, this was a dealbreaker. I like for my shampoos to have some sort of pretty, clean scent. Everything else — lather, performance, ingredients, pricing — is on point. If you’re sensitive to scents or like to add natural perfume to your hair, this one is for you!

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo

I go back on this darling of the green beauty world. Rahua Voluminous Shampoo works well on my hair when it comes to volume, but I’m just a bit unsure on the scent — think black licorice — and I just cringe at paying this much for a shampoo that I’m not totally in love with.

As far as performance and packaging, Rahua is spot-on. Gorgeous and effective! It’s just not quite the right fit for what I want and need in a natural shampoo.

*Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo

Saavy Naturals Moisturizing Shampoo takes advantage of luscious oils such as kukui seed, argan, moringa and coconut to drench your hair in a sea of moisture — yet it doesn’t weigh down my baby-fine hair, and it somehow offers a nice, gentle lather that even a newb to natural shampoos would appreciate.

I’m on the fence with this one because of the inclusion of honeysuckle extract as a preservative. There’s a lot of other great natural shampoos out there that omit this controversial ingredient, which gives them the edge.

Natural Shampoos I Did Not Like and Will Not Repurchase

*Alba Botanica Natural Hawaiian Shampoo in Plumeria

This natural shampoo is simply too heavily scented for my tastes. The lather is great and the ingredients are clean, but I’m kind of wondering if that addition of “fragrance” at the end of the ingredients list is bugging me. Holy smell zone.

Aubrey Organics Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo

I used Aubrey Organics Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo two years ago when I was regularly coloring my hair and wanted a safe, gentle, natural shampoo. It served those purposes, but it did nothing for volume

*Just Natural Hair Care Shampoo for Oily Hair

Despite being formulated and marketed for oily hair, Just Natural Hair Care Shampoo for Oily Hair did absolutely nothing for me. I didn’t see any difference in volume after using this, and I had issues getting this natural shampoo to lather up to my liking. You can’t win ‘em all, eh?

*Surya Brasil Amazonia Preciosa Shampoo for Normal and Straight Hair

Another disappointment in the lather department, Surya Brasil Amazonia Preciosa Shampoo for Normal and Straight Hair was extremely runny and didn’t feel like it was getting my hair clean.

I know that lather is not an indicator of cleanliness, but my issue with a non-foaming natural shampoo is that I never have an indication that I’ve used enough product or covered all my hair for a good cleanse. Call it psychological, but those powers are fierce! Besides that, I didn’t notice a difference in volume — in fact, my hair looked a little flat after using this.

November 7, 2014

beauty scoop | dr. alkaitis organic soothing gel

While I don’t really have texture issues when it comes to what I eat, I am quite picky about the texture of my beauty products.

Runny, soupy beans? Fine. Jiggy gelatin? Cool.

Sticky serums and gels? Not so much.

That was the expectation I had going into testing Dr. Alkaitis’ Organic Soothing Gel, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This gel has been an absolute winner for my skincare routine during the past few months, and it’s already earned a repurchase and a spot on my top shelf.

dr. alkaitis organic soothing gel review

{Dr. Alkaitis sent me a small sample of its Organic Soothing Gel. I repurchased the full size before I ran out of my sample! It costs $65 for a full 4-ounce bottle, which lasts about two months. It’s also available in the handy Travel Kit, which costs $55 and allows you to try the whole line in a generous sampling of product.}

Designed to calm fussy skin’s that been bugged by waxing and shaving or more inflammatory conditions such as acne, eczema and rosacea, Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel gently restores balance with its combination of aloe vera, witch hazel and beneficial organic and wildcrafted herbs.

Soothing star ingredients wild chamomile, French lavender, myrrh and seaweed heal the skin while also providing a light, beautiful scent.

The combination of these ingredients and more make for a runny base that’s easy to slick onto skin and that dries easily. It’s not sticky or gummy at all (I’ve found that some serums have this consistency, which I absolutely despise, as it makes layering product a pain.).

One full pump is enough for my face and neck, though sometimes I like to add an additional half pump to bring it down my neck a bit further. I will usually brush my teeth while the Soothing Gel is drying and then layer on my oils and balms as needed.

dr. alkaitis organic soothing gel review

Also, it’s great to note that this is one of those products that, because it’s so runny, can easily be conserved even more by layering it onto a properly toned (aka slightly damp) face, as you can maximize the product by sliding it all over your face.

Those who are extremely oily (I would say I’m combination/oily in the winter) can probably even get away with using this just in the T-zone to help tone and purify the oil that typically takes up residence there.

As with the entire Dr. Alkaitis line, the ingredients sourced are not there for vanity reasons; the herbs and plants chosen for each formulation are there to perform a task, and the resulting scent of these combinations of herbs is a wild green medicinal that may not be to everyone’s liking.

I, however, have become quite taken with the gorgeous green aroma, as it’s an unexpected departure from my typical floral, girly skincare products (that also have high performance behind them, don’t get me wrong!).

I’d say that the Soothing Gel, however, has a lighter smell than the rest of the line, as it’s cut with organic grape alcohol, which really thins out the typically heavy smell associated with Dr. Alkaitis.

Here’s the ingredients that make up the light, airy, green scent in Dr. Alkaitis’ Soothing Gel:

Into our base of Organic Aloe Vera Gel* and Witch Hazelº the following organic and wild-crafted herbals are blended: organically grown grape alcohol* (from the fermentation of organically grown grains). Greater Nettle*, Wild Chamomileº, Myrrhº, European Elder*, Sweet Weed*, and French Lavender*. Curacao Orange*, Benzoinº, Rosemary*, Olibanumº, Wild Fennelº, Balm Mint*, Sea Oakº, Atlantic Kelpº and Red Seaweedº. Also added are natural vitamin B and vitamin C complexes and 100% pure essential oils. * – Signifies certified organically grown; º – Signifies ethically wild-crafted.

Since using Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel, I’ve noticed that my pores appear a bit more tightened (they are still there, let’s not get crazy) and I’ve had an easier time extracting blackheads. I really think this gel is helping to deep clean everything and loosen up the clogged pores.

I’ve also noticed that since I began using this gel, my skin doesn’t feel extremely dry right out of the shower. I’ve become a bit reliant on toners and mists, and while this is what I’d call a toning gel, it feels as though it’s helping my skin regulate itself and not scream for moisture, yet not overproduce oil.

To have “normal” skin would be a dream come true!

The only thing that I want to call out for discussion about Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel is its inclusion of organically grown grape alcohol.

There’s a lot of conflicting opinions out there (see Paula, FutureDerm, Paula again, Dr. Oz blog and Truth in Aging) about the long-term effects of alcohol on the skin — is this something you avoid? Is there such a thing as “good” and “bad” alcohols for your skin (we all know what tequila does for your skin…)?

Also, I’m hoping for a thoughtful comment back from Trish and gang on this one!

UPDATED: Trish has commented! Please do engage with her in the comments section below.

trish alkaitis

What are your thoughts on Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel? What else do you like from the line? What are your thoughts on alcohol in skincare? Tell me in the comments section!

 



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