Entries Tagged as 'skin'

July 24, 2015

beauty scoop | red flower indian jasmine purifying body wash

When it comes to total-body cleansing , I love a good lather.

The scrub of a good soap is always refreshing, but when it comes to big bubbles, I’m never without a great body wash in the shower.

And when I find a great body wash that’s made with jasmine essential oils, you know I’m going to be hooked. red flower’s Purifying Body Wash in Indian Jasmine is the base layer scent I’ve been looking for!

red flower indian jasmine body wash

{red flower sent me its Indian Jasmine Body Wash to sample and review. It costs $22 for an 8-ounce plastic bottle.}

If you’ve been around for a while, you know I have this thing with jasmine. The scent seduces me (clearly, as I’ve devoted my “12 Days of Jasmine” series to honor my favorite aroma!), and for the longest time I’ve been trying hard to create my jasmine fragrance wardrobe.

What’s a fragrance wardrobe, you ask? Well, basically, I want to smell like jasmine (and all the other pretty flowers), and I want that scent to last all day.

The best way to achieve this is to layer your scents — think soap or body wash in the morning, hand cream throughout the day, body lotion before bed), and it’s taken me a bit to find that “base layer” jasmine scent in a cleaner beauty product from a brand I love.

red flower obviously came through as a lovely green spa brand that understands how to blend science with spirituality. Its nature-infused line brings beauty to everyday care, making it a joy to do something so simple as washing. From its pretty, practical packaging to its comforting copy (the bottle says “flowers hold life”), red flower just seems to get it.

The product itself has a nice, thick-ish weight to it — never runny, but not too thick that it just feels difficult to work into your skin. It deeply cleanses and hydrates, never stripping the skin of moisture, and you just need a nickel-sized amount to work into your loofah in order to get a good lather.

In an everyday product like body wash, I still desire luxury, but I don’t think that feeling should be cost-prohibitive. While at $22, it’s a higher-end product than what you may pick up at the health food store, it’s not grossly out of reach for someone who wants to treat herself and is a diehard jasmine enthusiast.

Which leads me to the actual scent of red flower’s Purifying Body Wash in Indian Jasmine — there is no mistaking this for anything else! red flower definitely did not skimp on the star scent, making this body wash a top pick for me. It delicately scents the skin, never overwhelming the nose, and makes your hot, steamy shower smell like a field of jasmine.

Here’s the full ingredients list from the red flower website:

Algae extract, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf gel, apple certified organic extract, benzoin resin extract, celery seed oil, chamomile flower certified organic extract, cucumber certified organic extract, ginger root certified organic extract, glucono delta-lactone, green tea leaf certified organic extract, jasmine fragrance & whole essential oil blend, lauryl betaine, mandarin peel oil, orange flower oil, parsley leaf oil, potassium sorbate, sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropyl sulfonate, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, vegetable glycerin, water

If you look at other retailer sites, though, you can get a more detailed ingredients list that includes what essentials oils make up this heavenly smell (neroli, ylang ylang, jasmine grandiflorum and tangerine!):

Biodynamic honey infusion; saponified oils of olive, coconut, palm, and castor; sugar beet (cocobetaine), cocoamphodiacetate, aloe vera , vegetable glycerin, cold pressed neem oil, olive extract, fragranced oils, essential oils of neroli, ylang ylang, jasmine (jasmine grandiflorum) and tangerine, grapefruit seed extract; and rosemary extract, natural preservative (glucono delta lactone, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate).

I’m not quite sure why this isn’t all detailed out on the official red flower product page, but I do appreciate that red flower links every ingredient used to explain its function and benefit, which aligns with its mission of long-term quests for wellness. I hope to see the full detailed ingredients that names the essential oils used in the blend on the red flower website soon!

In addition to the Indian Jasmine Body Wash, I’ve got my eye on the Moroccan Rose, French Lavender and Italian Blood Orange to try next. It seems that these are the classic base scents that my nose loves.

Are you a body wash fan? What base scents make up your fragrance wardrobe? Have you tried anything from red flower? Tell me in the comments below!

July 22, 2015

beauty scoop | myhavtorn of sweden facial oil

With just four ingredients, MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil is among the elite minority of luxury, minimalist beauty products that has captured — and held — my interest.

MyHavtorn Facial Oil

{MyHavtorn sent me a sample of its Facial Oil. It costs $50 for a 0.34-ounce dropper bottle.}

MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil has been my daily moisturizing oil, in combination with a vitamin C serum, for the past month or so.

I apply 3-4 drops of this gorgeous, golden oil into a dollop of serum, emulsify and then massage onto my face for a light cocoon of moisture that my skin absorbs so well.

Though sea buckthorn’s amazing color applies clear to the skin, I can’t help but notice — all in my head or not — that my skin has this golden glow to it once the oil sinks in.

This makes me feel good as I prep my skin for a light layer of BB cream or heavier foundation, depending on my skin’s needs.

MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil is the perfect illuminating primer; try mixing it with your tinted moisturizer for a sheer glow, or use it to thin out a thicker coverage foundation so that the “good skin” can show through a bit more.

The scent of this oil is lightly sweet, though I can’t recall if pure sea buckthorn berry has that scent on its own. I don’t pick up any nuttiness from the argan or camphor from the rosemary. Avocado oil doesn’t really have a distinct aroma on its own to me, so I can’t detect anything there, either.

MyHavtorn Facial Oil

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoids) Oil, Argan (Argana Spinosa Kernel) Oil, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil, Rosemary (Rosemarinus Officinalis) Antioxidant

Sea buckthorn oil is the star ingredient in MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil. It’s rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids and has been used to treat itchy eczema and sun-damaged skin for years.

Composed of 50 percent sea buckthorn oil, MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil prizes itself on using fresh-pressed, hand-picked sea buckthorn berries grown on an organic family farm on the coast of Sweden.

MyHavtorn notes at the end of its ingredients list that “All ingredients are organically grown,” but doesn’t mention any certifications to back this up. The above information is taken from the brand’s website. If certified organic is important to you, keep this in mind.

In addition to sea buckthorn oil, MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil contains vitamin E-rich argan oil, a darling of facial oil enthusiasts, and avocado oil, another vitamin E-rich oil that offers deeper hydration without feeling heavy or greasy.

MyHavtorn Facial Oil

I’m almost finished with my 10 ml dropper bottle (which equates t0 0.34 ounces). It’s taken a little more than a month of regular use, with some applications being heavier than others (4-5 drops).

So let’s talk price and repurchasing.

MyHavtorn of Sweden Facial Oil costs $50 for the 10 ml (0.34 ounces) size and $125 for 1 full ounce. On the one hand, I like that I can get through these smaller sizes a bit quicker, which feeds my desire to switch up my moisturizers based on my skin’s needs.

On the other hand, it’s a better deal to get the 1 full ounce — but the $125 price tag is steep. It’s not out of line with the pricing of other simply elegant and thoughtful serums I adore, so it really all comes down to experience for me.

I like the glowing effect it helps create when mixed with makeup, and I like the subtle scent that doesn’t compete with my daily toner. It’s very much in line with my growing desire for simple luxuries with well-edited ingredients and no-frills marketing.

I’d like to learn more about MyHavtorn’s organic ingredient certification before repurchasing, if only for better clarity and transparency and simpler comparison to other products that may have similar ingredients but with organic certification.

Do you have a favorite sea buckthorn berry-based oil or serum? Have you heard of or tried MyHavtorn? What’s your take on simpler formulations and organic certification? Tell me in the comments section!

July 20, 2015

beauty secrets | eat pretty for glowing skin

No matter how many certified organic, DIY or luxury beauty products you pile on to your skin, if you’re not

1) sweating it out regularly with your choice of exercise;

2) managing your stress levels; and

3) feeding your body with nutrient-dense foods, you’re shortchanging yourself from that true lit-from-within glow that only comes from a healthy lifestyle.

Now, I’m not saying that you should only #eatclean and deprive yourself of things you love (hi, chips and queso), but I am saying that you should be mindful of how your body and skin look and feel when you eat certain foods (and when you miss workouts or are hyper-stressed).

For me, it’s all about congestion. When I miss regular workouts (intense yoga sessions), I can see it in my skin. I am full of blackheads and am more susceptible to cystic acne.

Case in point: I’ve been unable to practice for three weeks due to a minor neck injury, and my skin is freaking out right now. I’ve also been a bit indulgent in refined carbohydrates — which make me feel very puffy — and I can see the dullness in my skin when I don’t get all my colorful carbohydrates in.

foods for healthy skin

This nutrition–skincare connection has been an interest of mine for a while, so I was thrilled at the chance to explore it a bit deeper for an article for Mother Earth Living magazine.

I wrote this piece back in December, during the hectic holiday season, and it really helped me think through how to nourish my body and skin with the best beauty foods. It’s now live online and in print (mad respect for the print publishing cycle!), and I’m excited to share it with you today.

Enjoy this excerpt below, and special thanks to Jolene Hart and Lina Hanson for serving as expert sources in this piece. Extra special thanks to my editor and friend, author Tabitha Alterman, for assigning this piece to me.

6 Essential Beauty Nutrients for Radiant Skin

While there’s no simple formula guaranteed to deliver clear, frustration-free skin, powerhouse beauty nutrients found in our favorite whole foods can help reduce blemishes and keep skin looking youthful and radiant at any age.

“It’s not about specific foods,” says Jolene Hart, a health coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and author of Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out. “It’s more about the approach.”

The approach, Hart says, is in choosing the best fresh foods that pamper our bodies while providing major skin benefits.

This means targeting nutrient-dense foods known for their ability to build collagen and elastin (which keep skin firm and supple), reduce inflammation, and protect against skin-damaging free radicals caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure, air pollution and everyday toxin buildup.

Read the full article online, or pick up the July/August 2015 issue at bookstores and health food stores nationwide!

July 15, 2015

beauty scoop | huckleberry jasmine facial treatment set

I recently saw an Instagram post that said something like “Behind great skin is a great facialist.”

While I wholeheartedly agree that an accomplished aesthetician can work magic on your skin, not everyone has the luxury of time or money to visit a spa every month (I wish!) — or even bimonthly or quarterly.

But, everyone can carve out an hour in the week to treat and pamper her skin at home. With the right potions, we can all have a mini spa experience from the comfort of our couches.

If you’re clumsy when it comes to DIY — or need just something to prompt you to get your spa time on weekly, bi-weekly or monthly — it’s time for you to say hello to Huckleberry.

huckleberry masks

{Photo Courtesy Huckleberry}

“The concept of Huckleberry initially came as a birthday gift idea for my mother,” says Joyce Chow, the founder of Austin-based Huckleberry. “My mom is a skincare junkie that will try anything in a pretty package, but things that she didn’t like ended up on a shelf, half-used. She would often find products in her cabinet several years old and try it again, not knowing that was a bad idea.”

Does that sound familiar, green beauty junkies?

In an effort to curb our product hoarding, Huckleberry operates on the premise that busy product junkies will actually use the fresh, results-driven masks and exfoliants Huckleberry delivers for your weekly / bi-weekly / monthly spa-at-home time (depending on your preference).

To get started with Huckleberry, you simply take a skin quiz, create an account and then peruse the mask and exfoliation sets customized to treat your skin’s key issues.

huckleberry skin quiz results

Pick the products that seem like a great fit for you and then add them to your treatment menu. Feel free to choose what really speaks to you, even if it’s not in your “recommended products” list.

Case in point: Huckleberry has a “Jasmine” treatment as part of its “Maintain Me” product collection that’s geared toward normal/combination skin that has hyperpigmentation issues.

While I’m more combination/oily, I do deal with some hyperpigmentation around my nose and chin, and I must have all the jasmine things. Done and done.

huckleberry masks in jasmine

{Photo Courtesy Huckleberry}

Huckleberry’s “Jasmine” treatment is designed to fade and lighten blemishes with a light (5%) glycolic acid peel while delivering a shot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories such as arnica, green tea and calendula to calm and soothe the skin

The Huckleberry “Jasmine” treatment can easily be integrated into your current skincare regimen. After cleansing, apply and massage the peel onto damp skin to stimulate blood flow. Leave the peel on for 10 minutes (if it’s too intense, try 7-8 minutes instead) and then rinse off with warm water.

If you’ve tried acid peels in the past (think Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel or any other acid-based peel), this will be familiar. If you haven’t, expect some mild tingling (seriously, 5% glycolic acid isn’t that much … remember my 20% salicylic acid peel?!) and possibly some flush to your skin.

Always, always, always patch test, though, to ensure your skin isn’t going to react dramatically!

Here’s what’s in the Huckleberry “Jasmine” peel:

Citrus aurantium (neroli) distillate*, musa sapientum (banana) fruit*, aqua (ph-balanced distilled water), hydroxyacetic (glycolic) acid, ubiquinone (coenzyme q-10), thioctic (alpha lipoic) acid, olea europea (extra-virgin olive) oil, lactic acid, honey*, l-ascorbic acid (vitamin c), cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, tocopheryl phosphate (vitamin e), collagen, citrus sinensis (sweet orange) essential oil, camellia sinensis (green tea) extract, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic) acid, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract // *certified organic + vegetable-derived

Post-peel, apply the treatment mask for 10-15 minutes to further brighten and tone the skin thanks to its heavy dose of citrus fruits, white willow bark (so good for acne-prone skin!) and flower extracts.

After this weekly treatment, my skin looked and felt brighter and more even toned. However, I did experience some flaking, thanks to the glycolic acid peel. That’s a good thing though — acid exfoliation at work! It was nothing like my supercharged salicylic peel that I’ve told you about before, but it was noticeable around my nose.

Once the natural exfoliation process was finished, my skin truly looked better. A weekly low-percentage glycolic acid treatment is something that my perpetually congested skin takes so well to — be it via peels or toning pads. I’m a fan.

Here’s everything in the “Jasmine” treatment mask:

Citrus aurantifolia (key lime) juice, citrus medica limonum (lemon) juice, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice root) extract, salix alba (white willow) bark water, calendula officinalis (calendula) extract, urtica dioica (nettles) extract, olea europaea (olive leaf) extract, bellis perennis (daisy) flower extract, carica papaya (papaya leaf) extract, arnica montana flower extract, aqua (ph-balanced distilled water), aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) gel, sclerotium gum, carrageenan (seaweed) extract, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, camilia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, cucumis sativa (cucumber) extract, allantoin extract, maxima citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) // *certified organic + vegetable-derived

So, though this is a “Jasmine” treatment set, I actually don’t see one mention of the precious flower in the ingredients list. Huh?

Perhaps a more accurate name would be “Floral” or something like that, because it is a pleasant, toned-down flower-citrus scent.

Despite this somewhat misleading name (seriously, am I missing something here?), I still enjoyed the “Jasmine” treatment (as well as “Sunrise“), and love the concept of Huckleberry: Fresh, regular, one-time-use facials delivered to your door for the busy beauty who hoards a little too much product.

(Looking at myself via the mirror of my beauty cabinet.)

How often do you go to a facialist? How often do you mask at home? What do you use? What do you think of a delivery service like Huckleberry? Tell me in the comments!

July 13, 2015

beauty scoop | uma deeply clarifying face oil

“Luxury is more than a label. It’s a statement of exquisite craftsmanship, characterized by an investment of time and an attention to detail.”

When it comes to luxury beauty, many high fashion brands come to mind.

But what if I told you that within this green beauty community exists an understated luxury brand with a history of supplying some of the most recognized brands — think Estée Lauder and Tom Ford — with their oils?

If that’s not enough to perk the ears of even some of the most discerning green beauty converts, then I don’t know what is.

But as the introductory quote illustrates, luxury isn’t about a label; the green beauty community is more interested in ingredients, efficacy and a line’s overall aesthetic.

And that’s why Uma’s Deeply Clarifying Face Oil made it onto the blog — this is a brand you’ll want to watch, and oil you’ll want to consider adding to your collection if you’re oily, acne-prone and on the search for a beautiful oil that will heal your skin.

uma deeply clarifying face oil

{Uma sent me a sample of its Deeply Clarifying Face Oil. It costs $125 for a 1-ounce glass dropper bottle.}

Inspired by the traditions of Ayurveda and aromatherapy, Uma Deeply Clarifying Face Oil brings together a powerful blend of warming spices in a base of linoleic acid-rich grapeseed oil to address fussy, blemish-prone skin.

The gentle, lightweight formula balances the skin while healing breakouts, pushing them through their cycle a bit quicker to reveal clearer, happier skin.

Clove essential oil aids this process, with its antimicrobial properties, while tea tree oil further treats and prevents breakouts. Lavender and clary sage soothe redness and irritation while adding a calm, happy effect to the senses.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Clove Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Orange Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil and Clary Sage Essential Oil in a Grapeseed oil base.

One thing to note: Uma says its products are organic, vegan, and free from synthetic fragrances and emulsifiers, preservatives, parabens, GMOs and mineral oils. However, in the ingredients list above, there’s no mention of organic certification.

uma deeply clarifying face oil

I used Uma Deeply Clarifying Face Oil day and night for a month and absolutely loved the way it treated my breakouts and maintained my skin’s moisture.

One of my favorite rituals with this oil involved deep inhalations before applying to my face. First, I would squeeze 3-4 drops of oil into the palm of my hand and gently blend with my other hand.

Next, I’d cup my hands over my nose and breathe in the intoxicating scent, spicy scent (clove lovers, this one’s for you). I would then gently pat the oil into my face, bringing my fingertips to my nose to softly inhale the scent again as I massage this sexy oil into my skin.

Uma Deeply Clarifying Face Oil offers the skin and senses an exotic, delectable treat unlike many of my more floral- and fruit-scented facial oils. If you’re a fan of mouthwatering spices (think May Lindstrom’s line or Kahina’s “Fez” body oil), Uma makes sense as your next move.

With that said, Uma Deeply Clarifying Face Oil is one that I appreciate more in the fall and winter months. The comfort of the spices works will with the cooler temperatures, and my extremely Pitta skin can’t handle too much spice (hello, clove) in the warmer months.

What makes a product fall into the “luxury” category for you? What scents are you drawn to in warm weather vs. cold weather? Have you tried Uma? Tell me in the comments section!

July 10, 2015

free stuff friday | now solutions #nowbebeautiful beauty stash

When I first made my transition into clean beauty in 2007, one of the first brands I explored was NOW Solutions.

They offered a great range of carrier oils, essential oils, clays and other natural skincare staples that got me hooked on going green. It was so easy to find whatever I wanted and get to DIY-ing.

Today, though, NOW Solutions boasts an even more impressive collection of natural beauty products — beyond base ingredients — that have piqued my interest. They’re cruelty-free, and many are gluten-free, vegan and contain certified organic ingredients.

now solutions personal care collection

{Photo Courtesy NOW Solutions}

Whether you’re restocking some of your favorite certified organic staples or interested in trying out a new scrub or toner, it’s time to #NOWBeBeautiful, because green beauty products have never been more accessible.

Below are my picks from the NOW Solutions Organic Home Beauty & Personal Care collection — and, you guessed it, what one lucky reader will win as well!

For the Face

now solutions natural beauty products

Green Tea & Pomegranate Purifying Toner

Extracts of arnica, aloe and cucumber in combination with vitamin E balance the skin while providing a final, deep pore cleansing post-wash.

Vitamin C & Oryza Sativa Gentle Scrub

Vitamin C, niacin and aloe gently unclog pores to reveal brighter, more even skin. Rice bran beads naturally exfoliate without feeling harsh or abrasive.

Nature’s Microdermabrasion

With the fine grit of volcanic sand, Nature’s Microdermabrasion restores and refines the skin while adding a shot of vitamin C to protect and mega doses of squalene, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil to moisturize.

Rejuvenating Clay Mask

Packed with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and aloe, the Rejuvenating Clay mask deep cleanses without overdrying the skin. The convenient squeeze tube makes it a breeze to get in your weekly clay mask.

Organic Argan Oil

Expeller pressed and hexane free, NOW Solutions’ Organic Argan Oil soothes and moisturizes the skin. This multipurpose oil can also be used on the hair and nails, but I love reserving it for my skin.

For the Hair

now solutions natural beauty products

Coconut Oil

The ultimate hair treatment, coconut oil is a must-have in every green beauty’s bathroom. Deep treat your hair and scalp with this fatty acid-rich oil, or treat your legs to an incredibly smooth shave by massaging coconut oil all over before shaving. If your facial skin is not sensitive to coconut oil (mine isn’t), you can also use it as a makeup remover.

Citrus Moisture Shampoo

Even my fine, oily hair is in need of some extra moisture from time to time. NOW Solutions’ Citrus Moisture Shampoo gentle cleanses, protects and repairs the hair and scalp for an easy, sudsy wash.

Citrus Moisture Conditioner

What’s a great natural shampoo without its matching conditioner? This lightweight, moisturizing conditioner keeps hair looking and feeling smooth, and leaves it with a soft citrus scent.

For the Body

now solutions natural beauty products

Organic Shea Butter

Another fantastic, multipurpose product for the hair and skin, organic shea butter feels incredible on dry, cracked heels, elbows and any other spot that needs some intense, thick moisture. I also love using organic shea butter on my face when my skin needs a break from various scented oils and balms.

Cocoa Butter with Jojoba Oil

My mother, whose had four children yet has zero stretch marks, sings cocoa butter’s praises. This multipurpose butter is best on scars, stretch marks or as a preventative treatment for growing bellies. I love the comforting scent, and use it in a similar way that I use shea butter.

Ready to update your green beauty stash with NOW Solutions? ONE lucky winner will receive all 10 of these amazing products.

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

1. No purchase necessary. A purchase does not improve your chance of winning. Void where prohibited.

2. Entrant must be 18 years old as of sweepstakes start date and a legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia as of start date.

3. Giveaway begins Friday, July 10, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time, and closes on Friday, July 17, 2015, at 12:00 a.m. Central Time.

4. Each entrant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements. Winners will be selected by random drawing. If a potential winner cannot be contacted within fourteen (14) days after the first attempt to contact such potential winner, an alternate entrant will be selected in his or her place from all entries received.

5. Sponsor(s) is/are not responsible for lost or mutilated prizes and none will be replaced. Prize is nontransferable and must be accepted as awarded. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sponsor(s) in the event that the prize cannot be awarded for any reason, in which case, Sponsor(s) will award a prize of equal or greater value. All taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of winner.

July 9, 2015

beauty scoop | soap & paper company shea butter hand cream

Soap & Paper Factory is one of the first cleaner beauty brands that’s been in my go-to arsenal since I started this journey to better beauty products back in 2007.

While I haven’t talked about Soap & Paper Factory much on the blog, I couldn’t not mention its Shea Butter Hand Cream in Jasmine because, um, I’m kimberlyloc and you KNOW how much I adore jasmine.

Plus, remember that whole #12DaysOfJasmine thing I’m doing? This fits right in. Welcome to post two in the series!

soap and paper factory shea butter hand cream in jasmine

{Soap & Paper Factory sent me its Shea Butter Hand Cream in Jasmine to review. It costs $18 for a 2.3-ounce metal tube.}

With its whimsical, colorful packaging, short ingredients list and heavenly scent, Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream in Jasmine is one I’ve been reaching for a lot lately and even stashing in my bag to reapply during the day at work.

I love when I’m able to layer scents, so something like a floral soap or body wash and a jasmine body lotion set the stage for my daily scent story. A potent jasmine hand cream keeps me happy all day long!

It also keeps me hydrated, thanks to its combines aloe leaf juice, coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter for an incredibly moisturizing base, but it also adds beautiful beeswax, borage oil and meadowfoam oil to keep it light and whipped while adding additional hydration.

Here’s the full ingredients list:

Purified Water, Organic Babadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cacao (Cocoa Butter), Besswax, Borago Officinalis (Borage Oil), Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam Oil), Natural Fragrance & Essential Oil Blend (Phthalate Free), Sodium Levulinate (Preservative)

soap and paper company shea butter hand cream in jasmine

When it comes to consistency, winning hand creams have to do a few basic (but surprisingly difficult) things.

  1. Leave hands feeling soft and moisturized.
  2. Leave hands with zero greasy feeling.
  3. Leave hands smelling good.

Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream in Jasmine checks all of these boxes with its velvety, lightweight texture (thanks, aloe, oils and butters). The formula dries so quickly and leaves absolutely no residue or shine.

My one peeve with this product is its packaging. While its totally stunning in aesthetic design, the metal tube makes it a bit difficult to really squeeze out every last bit of product.

Sure, I can cut the end of and scrape, but again, metal + clumsy = ouch.

Besides that, Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream in Jasmine is a total win for me. I suppose I can risk a bit for beauty, am I right?

Are there other jasmine hand creams out there I should try? Have you heard of Soap & Paper Factory? What other jasmine treats are you enjoying? Tell me in the comments!

July 8, 2015

beauty scoop | laurel whole plant organics transform daily facial balm

Though balms aren’t usually my thing in the summertime, during extreme weather changes (it was in the 60s in Kansas City this week…), my skin needs a little comfort from the changing temperatures.

That’s why I’m thankful to have various face balms in my beauty arsenal, but one that really stands out to me is Laurel Whole Plant Organics’ Transform Daily balm.

laurel whole plant organics transform daily facial balm

{I purchased Laurel Whole Plant Organics’ Transform Daily. It costs $80 for a 30 ml Miron glass jar.}

If you read my review of Laurel’s “Restore Nightly” Balm, you know I’m for real when I say how much I love her balms. I recommend them constantly, and have purchased the full sizes of both the day and evening balms for my skincare collection.

So that answers the whole “repurchase” question up front. Yes, these are staples.

What’s not as clear, though, and I struggled with this myself, is this: Do I really need both of these facial balms?

In short, probably not, but I did purchase both because I truly appreciate the formulations behind each of these balms.

Here’s the difference in ingredients:

(Yes, I really did put her ingredients into a spreadsheet and over-analyze them.)

laurel whole plant organics face balm comparisonAs you can see, there’s a few different ingredients strategically selected for daytime vs. nighttime application.

For the daytime balm, Laurel included organic red raspberry seed and cranberry seed oils, which are known for their natural sun protection properties.

Her evening balm includes tamanu and pomegranate, which help with acne, heals damaged skin and delivers vitamin A. These are perfect for your bedtime regimen, especially the vitamin A-rich pomegranate!

And while your skin may be repairing itself all day long, it’s pretty easy to understand that if your skin is shielded from the elements and in a low-stress, low-activity setting (aka dreamland), it can more efficiently heal itself.

Essential oils of neroli, carrot seed and lemon balm brighten up the herbal base of the daytime balm, while essential oils of myrrh and rose in the evening balm lull you to dreamland with their comforting aromas.

laurel whole plant organics transform daily facial balm

Each balm contains Laurel’s famous in-house biodynamic blend of ingredients designed to protect the skin. It’s quite amazing how many thoughtful, active ingredients she packs into these balms (and her entire line) without it ever feeling — or smelling — like overkill.

Here’s everything inside Laurel Whole Plant Organics Transform Daily Facial Balm:

Jojoba Oil˚, Shea Butter˚, Rosehip Seed Oil˚, Red Raspberry Seed Oil˚, Borage Seed Oil˚, Cranberry Seed Oil˚, Almond Oil˚, Evening Primrose Oil˚, Sesame Oil˚, Beeswax˚, Sea Buckthorn Oil˚, Rosemary Extract˚; in-house biodynamic proprietary blend of Gotu Kola˚, Calendula˚, Comfrey˚, Nettle˚, Chamomile˚, Licorice˚, Red Clover˚, Lemon Balm˚, Astragalus˚, Yarrow˚, Elderflower˚, Horsetail˚; essential oils of Sandalwood˚, Neroli˚, Carrot Seed˚, Lemon Balm˚ ˚signifies certified organic ingredient

Like the nighttime balm, Laurel’s daytime balm has the most perfect texture and consistency. It doesn’t take much to have it melt into your skin and glide effortlessly over your face and neck.

You can build it up to your skin’s liking (my oily skin just needs a thin layer), or apply it just to your cheeks or other dry patches on your face.

I touched on the scent earlier, but this herbaceous blend does have that “brighter” scent thanks to neroli and lemon balm; it’s by no means citrus-y, but it does perk your senses more, especially when you can directly compare the daytime and evening balms side by side.

Scent aside (which is typically how people, including myself, choose what to buy), it’s a pretty difficult choice between the two balms. The evening balm does cost $8 more, but if you’re already spending 80 bucks, does it really matter? Get the one you want, price aside.

If you’re not really into oils on your face during the day, a daytime balm probably isn’t going to be your thing, so I’d go for the evening balm. But with that said, there’s no one stopping you from using the daytime balm at night and the nighttime balm during the day.

That, my friends, is why it all comes down to ingredients — and why you’ve now stopped laughing at my spreadsheet screenshot and are over-analyzing it just as much as I was. Choose the ingredients that speak to you, or the ones that you know work well with your skin.

Quite honestly, with Laurel’s balms, you can’t go wrong.

Which balm would you choose and why? Have you tried anything from Laurel’s collection? What ingredients work well for your skin during the day and at night? Tell me in the comments section!

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