Confession: When I was a sophomore in high school, I spent an entire day working in the summer sun at a dance team car wash fundraiser sans sunscreen on my décolletage—and I’ve spent the years since then regretting it.
My skin blistered and flaked (kids! Sunblock is your friend!) and peeled and made me wish topical painkillers were more like medicinal marijuana in their effectiveness. When it finally, finally healed, I was left with sunspots and skin that looks older than my real mid-20s age.
Flash forward to this spring when, in addition to my semi-wrinkly-ness, I started getting regular breakouts on my chest. Now, while these weren’t cystic-acne like, they were clusters of little (very painful) whiteheads that nothing could curb. I mean, these guys responded to nothing and no one. I tried not to squeeze, but the whiteheads were ruining my summer dress wearing ability, and encroaching on the swimsuit (and unmentionables) wearing I’d planned for my honeymoon!
So I picked. And I squeezed. And I poked and prodded. And, I was left with angry red marks that spread (reactive, thin skin, anyone?) like ripples in a pond. Gross.
I was annoyed and frustrated and giving up. Then I got a lovely little package from Osmia Organics at my doorstep. Inside was a kind note from the brand’s founder and a bottle of OO’s Facial Calibration Serum.
At first, I didn’t try it. I was scared. My face had just started to become balanced with my ARCONA regime and I didn’t want to introduce a new product in the few weeks before my wedding.
But I was itching to break open the yummy blend of oils (acai, rosemary, black seed, kukui, oh my!). So, I tried it on the acne that had become my nemesis: my decolletage. I followed the instructions dutifully, misting on a hydrosol and pressing the herbaceous-smelling serum into my still-damp chest each morning and night.
Lo and behold, after only a few weeks, a change occurred. My sun-crinkled skin began to look its age. My whiteheads stopped popping up (and when they did rear their heads, they disappeared in a day or two). My sunspots faded.
The Facial Calibration Serum is now a must-have in my morning and night skincare routine. I’ve been using it for more than two months and the results are better than I expected. Plus, adding it into my routine has become a calming ritual because I know I’m repairing my skin.
At $50 for .5 ounces, it may seem like a splurge. But I only use HALF A PUMP for my WHOLE decolletage. Add to that that the founder, Sara Villafranco is incredible, funny, sweet and sarcastic (plus, she posts the BEST photos on Instagram—follow her now, if you don’t already) and you know you’ve got the whole package. I’m hooked.
I’ve also heard amazing things about her spot treatment and her Detox Exfoliating Mask, so those may need to be next on my list! Have you tried any of the Osmia line?
Ingredients: caprylic/capric triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), olive squalane, aleurites molaccana (kukui) oil, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) oil*, macadamia integrifolia (macadamia nut) oil*, rosa rubiginosa (rosehips) seed oil*, vitus vinifera (grapeseed) oil*, wildcrafted butyrospermum parkii (shea) oil, schisandra sphenanthera (schisandra fruit) CO2, euterpe oleracea (acai) oil, nigella sativa (black seed) oil*, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) CO2 extract*, GMO-free vitamin E oil, and a proprietary blend of organic and wild-harvested essential oils
Meet Charlotte, everybody! She channels Diana Ross and has a really kick-ass routine. Check out her tips for caring for curls!
Current weather: around 15C/59F, moderately humid, mild breeze, clear skies
Hair: 3b/c (very curly), darkest brown with auburn ends caused by the sun, between shoulder and armpit length, fine but lots of it
Skin: Acne-prone if I eat things that don’t agree with me (dairy, soy, refined sugar, wheat). When it’s behaving, my skin is even toned with non-visible pores. I get dull skin if I don’t keep hydrated by drinking water and taking my daily supplements (flaxseed, cod liver oil, MSM). I love that my skin is still very young and fresh looking with no wrinkles and that it has a natural “glow” about it. The only thing that bothers me about my skin is my acne and that’s only because it really affects my confidence. I don’t cover blemishes with make up because I think it makes everything look worse so I just suffer through it.
In the shower…
I wash with water only. If my armpits are particularly stinky, I use some Bee-mine rhassoul clay shampoo bar on them. Occasionally I use a body brush/exfoliating gloves. I use Darcy’s Botanicals coconut shampoo bar to wash my hair once a week and only comb my hair out in the shower when it’s wet. I don’t use a conditioner – my hair gets over-moisturized extremely easily and when that happens I get a lot of breakage and split ends.
Outside the shower…
I wash my face with a soft flannel and cold water. After that I tone with rose water and a cotton pad, spray my face again with rose water to make it damp and apply 3 drops of jojoba oil with a smidge of neem oil (it’s very stinky) as my moisturizer/hydrator. I apply Soapwalla deodorant to my armpits. I also apply crown pride ceramide protein hair treatment (I leave it in all week; my hair loves protein much more than moisture) and then towel-dry my hair with my Curls Like Us Curl Cloth (makes my hair very coily and nice). I don’t really moisturize my body. I find that because I don’t use soap, my skin never dries out anymore. On the very rare occasions I feel like I need a bit of moisturizer, I use a bit of babassu oil (its a hard oil like coconut oil and quite rich) or some shea butter.
For make up, I use Honeybee Gardens mascara in black, Afterglow concealer in toffee or RMS Beauty un-cover up in 33, Alima Pure eyeliner powder in espresso on my eyebrows, Inika eyeliner pencil in black on the inside of my upper eyelashes, W3ll People universalist highlighter on the inner corners of my eyes and usually a little bit of Alima Pure freja blush or Alima Pure trinidad bronzer. Sometimes a bit of OCC lip tar in clear or nsfw, mac lipstick in russian red or girl about town, or nars lipstick in cruella. Lipsticks are the only “dirty” product i still use :(
No fragrance as I’m struggling to find anything I like thats also ‘clean’!
Thanks, Charlotte! Anyone have some new fragrance tips? You know we are big Lotus Wei fans ’round these parts. But there are more out there, too!
P.S. I couldn’t resist…..
The use of oils-as-moisturizer is becoming increasingly popular—even the mainstream mags are getting behind the movement. We’d like to believe we played a small part in their promotion, though we acknowledge it’s taken on a life of its own.
And interestingly, a new Mintel report says that most people are really unhappy with whatever they’re using to moisturize their bodies. From HAPPI: “79% wish hand and body lotion lasted longer, while nearly half feel like they still have dry skin, even right after applying the lotion. In addition, 38% of users think hand lotions are too greasy and 37% often feel like lotions leave their skin feeling sticky.” (We wonder if they’re using mainstream moisturizers that don’t have particularly skin-friendly ingredients in them. Probably, since this was a nationwide survey, and as much as we’d love “most people” to use naturals, most people still do not.)
But with so many women making the switch to body oil, or at the very least adding oils to their routine, we want to know: What’s your preference? Oils or moisturizers?
In a recent post, Alexandra discussed her plans for fall skincare, citing that moisturizers can feel more hydrating. This is in part due to the oil-water combination—which you can also achieve using a toner or mist in conjunction with an oil—as well as the presence of heavier occlusives in certain formulations. We’ve also mentioned that we sometimes cleanse with oils. Sometimes that is moisturizing enough, while other times we include mists, more oils, and moisturizers. Hydration in the nation.
So what do you use—oil or moisturizer? And are you one of the 79% of people peeved at their moisturizer?
It’s Friday, folks, and not a day too soon! The good news today is that NuboNau is up to the plate again and offering a very special deal to you on Pai Skincare. The people over at NuboNau are a very smart bunch, and here’s why: We love Pai, and we’ve been making a bit of a fuss about them here (and to our friends). Oh, and Natalie Portman loves them too, and the last time we checked her skin was looking pretty good, yeah? Since you already met NuboNau last month we’re going to cut right to the chase…
Here’s the deal: When you order any Pai moisturizer (there are four to choose from: avocado, chamomile, geranium, and macadamia), eye cream OR cleanser, you get Pai’s NEW BioRegenerate Oil for only 10 bucks (that saves you $25). All you have to do is add the items to your basket—don’t forget to add the BioRegenerate Oil too—and enter the promo code NMDL at checkout. The price will update automatically as long as one of these products and the oil is in there (and anything else your heart desires). Bueno?
Other cool stuff: If it’s your first time shopping on their site, NuboNau gives you 2,000 welcome points with any order over $25 (the points are valued at $20). If you’re a returning shopper you can apply past points toward any product you like (as long as you have enough points for it!).
Because they want more people to have a chance to try Pai, NuboNau is limiting this offer to one per person. The deal will last all week unless stock runs out first, and cannot be combined with other offers. If you like to roll old school, live in Canada, or are looking for some advice on what to buy you can also place your order by phone: 1-877-NuboNau
We both love the Pai moisturizers—Alexandra reviewed the avocado one a few weeks ago abd Siobhan is on her second bottle of the chamomile—and the rosehip oil on offer (which we’ve been trying for the last few weeks). We also love this muslin wash cloth. This site is a pleasure to shop on, so do enjoy. Oh, and as always, spread the word to your friends!
Have a great weekend. xo
This is an argan tree, native to Morocco and source of one of our favorite facial beauty routines. Oil on your face, you say!? Yeah, that’s how we felt too when we first started reading about the wonderful benefits of healthy plant oils—argan, olive, coconut and others—for our skin and hair.
Oil on our faces? We pictured breakouts and shine.
Of course, after years of fat fear, the nutrition world has finally come around to the importance of healthy oils in our food. Why would our skin be so different? Turns out it’s not. These oils lock in moisture, fight free radicals and impart a dewiness to skin that we never got from a bottle of cream. What’s more is that women around the world have been using them for centuries.
To hear more about why we love our oils so much take a look at this interview we did with our new favorite person Virginia Sole-Smith, over at Planet Green.
So, what do you say—would you dare to grease your mug?