A Truly Botanical Experience

I purchased a skincare trial kit from True Botanicals so I could dip my toe in rather than take the full plunge.  It is a great way to try out a line without spending a lot of money and the sizes are large enough for you to get a few weeks’ worth of product and get a real feel for them.  True Botanicals is a luxury skincare line, so I wanted to try it before making the investment.  The hair care line is a staple for me, so I know the quality is top notch.  You can read my full review of the shampoo and conditioner  here.

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I ordered the Renew line because let’s face it, I need to be renewed!  When it arrived, my first thought was that the bottles were a little small.  My brain immediately went to the expression…”WARNING: items may appear larger than they actually are!”  But, as it turns out, they lasted a little over 2 weeks.  I felt it was an enough product to get a feel for the line and know if it worked for me.

Let’s start with the brand.  True Botanicals was founded by Hillary Peterson.  With a story that we hear often, after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, she started looking more closely at the ingredients in her personal care products.  She spent eight years studying the effects and healing powers of botanicals and consulted with world leaders in green chemistry and sustainability.  She wanted a luxury skincare line that was effective without harming our skin, health, or environment.  She later partnered with Christina Mace-Turner, who has used her strong tech background to bring the company to the next level.

 One thing that makes the line different from other green beauty brands is that they have conducted Independent Scientific Clinical Studies with their products to show their efficacy.  They have tested their Renew, Pure Radiance Oil and Renew, Cellular Repair Serum against the cult favorite, Crème de la Mer.  I confess that, at one time, I subscribed to the hype of Crème de la Mer.  I am proud to say that I am a more educated consumer now and know that inside that fancy white glass jar is just glorified Vaseline with a hefty price tag.

The randomized, comparative, double blind trials showed that True Botanicals Renew, Pure Radiance Face Oil out performed Crème de la Mer in all categories:

  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Increased facial hydration
  • Reduced facial pore size
  • Increased facial elasticity
  • Increased facial smoothness (when used in combination with the Renew, Cellular Repair Serum)

The True Botanicals Clear Collection was used in an Independent Clinical Study along with Proactiv+ and showed not only a consistent reduction in acne lesions over time, but also significantly reduced skin dryness.  The study also proved that the Proactiv+ worked initially, but had a decrease in impact over time.  Having spent part of my career as a Clinical Research RN, I love when the claim is backed by scientific studies!  You can read about the study here.

True Botanicals is also the first skincare company to have its entire product line MADE SAFE™ certified.  MADE SAFE™ is a nonprofit organization that certifies that a product is made with safe, nontoxic ingredients.  It is the most comprehensive product safety evaluation available to us.  You can check out their website to learn more here.

The packaging is sleek, high tech and beautiful.   The products are separated into several collections to tackle a variety of skin conditions.  If you have a skin issue, they have a solution!

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BASICS is their newest collection aimed at prevention. UPDATE They have recently removed this line. It is targeted toward those who don’t have any skin issues yet and want to keep it that way.  I started my 14-year-old daughter on this line a few months ago.  She absolutely loves using it and her skin looks amazing.   My husband asked me a few weeks ago, true story, “I thought teenagers were supposed to have acne and bad skin.  Why does Emily’s skin look so good?”  I am not exaggerating when I tell you, I have found myself looking at her across a room or in the car and thinking how amazing her skin looks.  She literally glows.  Now for a teenager, that is pretty amazing.  She uses the Basics Cleanser, Face Oil and the Clear Toner. I used to be able to give her my green beauty cast offs, but she won’t take them anymore.  She doesn’t want to use anything else.  I wish I could pass out samples to all her friends, particularly the teenage boys!

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RENEW is for the consumer looking to tackle the causes of aging at the cellular level.  This is ME!  This line contains super concentrated, bio-active ingredients to fight the signs of aging.

CLEAR is formulated for acne-prone skin.  It goes against what most people expect from acne treatments.  This line destroys acne-inducing bacteria while balancing your skin and keeping it hydrated.

CALM was created for rosacea-prone skin.  It also helps over-exfoliated or inflamed skin with potent soothing ingredients.

So, let’s talk about the trial kit.  I bought the Renew Trial kit that comes with a Hydrating Cleanser, Nutrient Mist, Pure Radiance Oil, and Cellular Repair Serum.

The RENEW line has a clean, fresh scent.  The Hydrating Cleanser is gentle and intended to clean, but not strip the skin of moisture.  The star ingredients are Green and White Tea, Aloe Vera, and Camelia Oil.  Green and White Tea are chosen as the base because they are packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, for toning, soothing, and inhibiting organisms that attack collagen and elastase.

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I love the smell of this cleanser, but the whole time I was using it during the trial period I kept thinking it needed the addition of an oil cleanser!   For me, this cleanser alone feels a little slimy and my face doesn’t feel completely clean when I am done. This is totally a preference for me.  I know the potent ingredients in this cleanser are ridding my face of all dirt, grime, pollution, etc. and the feeling I am getting is just a well-hydrated face, but using this alone didn’t work for me.  During the dryer, winter months, it will probably be perfect alone, but not long after I finished this trial kit, they released the True Botanicals PRE CLEANSE OIL.   I think they were reading my mind!

Also in the kit is the Nutrient Mist.  I love this stuff!  Made with Green and White Tea, Algae Extract, and Kombucha, it hydrates, balances, and soothes my skin.  This mist is a spritz of cool, refreshing hydration.  It is loaded with antioxidants to help decelerate the aging process, plump the skin.  It contains polyphenols which protect the skin from oxidative stress.  The spray mechanism on this mist is perfection.  Sometimes mists spray really hard and fast.  You know the ones that make you flinch when you spray them.  Sometimes the spray is too wide and they get all in your hair or the spray diameter is too narrow and you end up having to spray about 10 times to cover your whole face.  This one sprays a fine mist with the perfect diameter.  Maybe I am a total nerd and spend too much time thinking about these things, but I think it is important.  The spray mechanism is not a game changer, but definitely a bonus.

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The Cellular Repair Serum is a thick bright orange serum packed with Ceramides and some proprietary blends of bio actives that deliver high concentrations of free-radical fighting ingredients.  This serum is one of the few that I have used that I feel just soaks into my skin rather than sitting on top of it.  I apply it right after the mist and massage it in my skin and it is absorbed quickly.  The color is beautiful and the smell is that clean fresh scent.  Love this serum!

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Last in the trial kit was the Pure Radiance Oil.  I love face oils because they nourish the skin and help improve the barrier function that our skin was designed to do.  They absorb directly into your skin and work their magic.  This antioxidant powerhouse is the combination of many oils and extracts, but some of the star ingredients are Chia, Kiwi and Papaya Seed Oils, Passion Fruit Oil, Algae Extract, and Astaxanthin.  I have learned that Astaxanthin helps protect your skin from sun damage, which is a big plus for someone living in the very sunny state of Arizona.

The Pure Radiance Oil also smells clean and fresh.  You only need a few drops and it will make your skin feel so nourished and hydrated without feeling greasy.  This oil absorbs really well into your skin especially if you apply it while your face is still damp from your face mist.

So, when my trial was done, I was hooked.  I knew I would be purchasing more from this brand and it would be one of my favorite green beauty skincare lines.  I was in Northern California this summer and was able to stop into the shop located in Mill Valley.  I did not repurchase the Pure Radiance Oil because I had made a stop at Gargiulo Vineyards and picked up a new bottle of Vintner’s Daughter   a few days before.  Once that is gone, I will definitely purchase a bottle of the Pure Radiance Oil.  Along with the products for my daughter, I purchased a full-size Cleanser, Mist, Serum, and Pre Cleanse Oil.  I also purchased the Vitamin C Booster.  This was a new product for me and it is amazing too.  It is a very potent formula that comes in powder form.  The glass vial has a shaker top so I just sprinkle a little bit into my serum and apply it to my face at night.  I love this combination.

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Adding the Pre Cleanse Oil prior to using the cleanser has made this regimen exactly what I was looking for in my skincare routine.  It gives me that extra feeling of clean by removing the majority of my makeup prior to using the Cleanser.

True Botanicals is a brand I have fallen in love with and my skin is loving it!  I feel the founders set out on a mission to create a safe, nontoxic and effective luxury skincare line and they have achieved that goal.  I have my eye on a few other products in their line that I hope to purchase soon.  They just released the Antioxidant Booster, which is the first skincare product to feature apple peel.  I know this will be added to my collection very soon!

I also want to try the Deep Repair Eye Serum.  So many goodies to explore!  Have you tried any of the True Botanicals line?  Did you know that they have free samples?  If you sign up for their newsletter, you get $20 off your first purchase.  If you have any favorites, let me know!

Take $20 your first order over $40 use code JOINUS20

Is Dry Skin a Thing of the Past?

Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream and Advanced Hydration Mask

IMG_5672I received these samples with a Beauty Heroes purchase recently and I cannot tell you how excited I was.  These were pre release samples which I knew where going to be special.

I have not made a secret of the fact that I love Josh Rosebrook products.  From the quality of the ingredients, to the science behind them, to the maker himself.  I have never had the pleasure of meeting Josh Rosebrook, but I have read his manifesto on his website along with the many informative pages that give insight into who he is and what he wants to create as a brand.  I have come to admire and respect him for what he is bringing to the market to share with us and also for the knowledge he shares with us about what goes into his products.

I hear comments all the time about how expensive green beauty products are and that they don’t always work as well as conventional products.  I find this so very frustrating and it always comes from someone who is either close minded or is uneducated about green beauty.

On his instagram feed, he talks about the importance of quality ingredients and the value of buying from a brand that values raw, handcrafted organic ingredients used in a way to maximize their effectiveness.  He helps us understand what you are paying for.  I have always been a believer in the mantra, “you get what you pay for,” and this has never been more true than it is today in the world of green beauty.  I have discovered some of the most amazing skincare products and cosmetics that have high performance and are made from organic and wildcrafted plants, herbs and oils without the potentially harmful fillers, stabilizers or preservatives used in conventional products.  You know who is making these products and how much love and passion they put into bringing them to us.  They even carefully select packaging that respects our planet.

Let’s start with the Advanced Hydration Mask.  The pretty color is the first thing I noticed.  It is what I refer to as seafoam green.  It smells faintly of lavender and vanilla.  It is thick and feels a little grainy from little bits of solid plant butters that soften and melt easily when it makes contact with the skin.  The instructions for use are to mist your face and apply the mask while your skin is still damp.  Leave it on for 15-25 minutes and remove it with a dry, clean cloth.  I have followed Mr. Rosebrook’s instructions and this mask has been a game changer for my skin.  I have chronic, dry skin, but that may be a thing of the past with these 2 products.  Truth be told, many nights I do not follow the instructions and I just leave the mask on all night.  I wake up with very hydrated skin.

This mask is made with the finest collection of organic wildcrafted and non GMO plant butters, extracts and oils.  It contains a ‘botanical hyaluronic acid’, Indian Senna Seed Extract, and partly gets its pretty color from Blue Tansy and Chamomile essential oils.

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The full ingredient list is:

*Shea Butter, *Mango Seed Butter, *Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, *Indian Senna Seed Extract (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), *Sunflower Seed Oil, *Avocado Oil, *Jojoba Seed Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, Candelilla Wax, *Ashwagandha Flower Extract, *Turmeric Root Extract, *Rose Hips Flower Extract, *Goji Berry Fruit Extract, *Calendula Extract, *Black Cohosh Root Extract, *Elderberry Extract, *Bladderwrack Extract, Marshmallow Root Extract, *Ginger Extract, *Fenugreek Extract, *Chickweed Extract, *Licorice Root, *Raspberry Leaf Extract, *Dandelion Extract, *Sage Extract, *Eyebright Extract, *Milk Thistle Extract, *Rose Petal Flower Extract, *St. John’s Wort Extract, *Cat’s Claw Extract, *Cinnamon Extract, *Lavender Flower Extract, *Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, §Xanthan Gum, §Potassium Sorbate, Blue Tansy Essential Oil, Blue Chamomile Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Rose Essential Oil, Frankincense Gum Oil.

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC, †ORGANIC, ‡WILDCRAFTED, §NON-GMO PLANT SOURCED

The second product that my skin is soaking up is the Vital Balm Cream.  This cream is so lovely.  It is a beautiful pastel blue and has a slight herbaceous scent.  It is thick and creamy but melts into the skin quickly.  Mr. Rosebrook describes it as a “uniquely powerful moisturizer that combines the occlusive benefits of a balm with the absorption and luxury finish of a cream” and I think you cannot improve on that accurate description.   This magical balm can be applied over your serum.  You only need a small amount to get an incredible amount of hydration.  It leaves a very slight oil residue for a short time after application.  It works beautifully under makeup.  This balm has a similar ingredient list as the mask, full of rich plant butters and oils as well as ‘botanical hyaluronic acid’ and broccoli seed oil.

The full ingredient list is:

*Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, *Mango Seed Butter, *Honey, *Indian Senna Seed Extract (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), *Shea Butter, *Olive Oil, *Avocado Oil, *Jojoba Seed Oil, *Borage Seed Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, *Sea Buckthorn Oil, *Vitamin E, Broccoli Seed Oil, *Witch Hazel Extract, *Ashwagandha Flower Extract, *Turmeric Root Extract, *Rose Hips Flower Extract, *Goji Berry Fruit Extract, *Calendula Extract, *Black Cohosh Root Extract, *Elderberry Extract, *Bladderwrack Extract, *Marshmallow Root Extract, *Ginger Extract, *Fenugreek Extract, *Chickweed Extract, *Licorice Root, *Raspberry Leaf Extract, *Dandelion Extract, *Sage Extract, *Eyebright Extract, *Milk Thistle Extract, *Rose Petal Flower Extract, *St. John’s Wort Extract, *Cat’s Claw Extract, *Cinnamon Extract, *Lavender Flower Extract, *Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, *Gum Arabic, §Xanthan Gum, §Potassium Sorbate, Blue Tansy Essential Oil, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, *Vanilla Extract.

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC, †ORGANIC, ‡WILDCRAFTED, §NON-GMO PLANT SOURCED

These two products may very well cure me of my chronic dry skin.   These products are game changers, so I wouldn’t wait too long to get them!  You can check them out here.

Is it the End of the Bedhead?

The Goodnight Co Silk Pillowcase

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We spend a third of our lives in bed.  We all know the best way to sleep to prevent wrinkles is on our backs, but, honestly, unless you are heavily medicated, who can sleep that way all night long without moving?

We spend so much on skin care products, but did you know that a silk pillowcase can be skin care as well?  I purchased this pillowcase for multiple reasons. I have what is classified as “mature”, dry skin, so I will take any help I can in that department.  Also, I do a lot of tossing and turning at night.  I have a husband that snores and I have low back issues that can cause numbness in one of my legs if I lie on it too long.  I have one child that has nightmares and night terrors.  When I do fall into a deep sleep, it is almost always on my right side.  I have the permanent creases to prove it!  With all that tossing and turning, I wake up with some pretty crazy hair.  I usually do kid drop off before I have my morning shower.  Sometimes, even before I brush my teeth, but hey, we can keep that our little secret.  Both of them have drop off really close to my house and I don’t have to get out of the car, so it isn’t that big of a deal.  Hey, don’t judge me!  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to drop my kids off at school without looking like a crazy person.

So, why use a silk pillowcases? Silk is less absorbent than cotton so it helps your skin maintain moisture.  So when you put that very expensive serum on your face before bed, wouldn’t it be better if it actually stayed on your skin rather than absorbed into your pillow case?

Silk is an entirely natural fabric, therefore, it is hypoallergenic and breathable. This allows it to adjust to ambient temperatures so it is cooler in warmer months and warmer in the winter.   It is smoother than cotton, so your skin glides over the pillowcase and you don’t get friction while you are sleeping.  This helps with wrinkles and creases in your skin.  This applies to your hair as well.  Your hair glides over the fabric and you have less chance of breakage.

The Goodnight Co silk pillowcase is made from the best silk, 100% long strand Mulberry silk.  Mulbery silk produces a longer and more durable thread.  The silkworms are fed a diet exclusively of mulberry leaves.

I have a 100% organic cotton mattress and I have slept on nothing but organic cotton sheets for many years now.  I have an essential oil diffuser on my bedside table.  I thought I was doing everything I could to maximize my bedtime routine.

After using this pillow for a few nights, it was wash day.  My skin was feeling really good, but was it my Vintner’s Daughter or was it the pillowcase?  I thought, no big deal, I can go back to my regular pillowcase until the next sheet wash day.  One minute back on that cotton pillowcase and I was miserable!  How did I tolerate all this friction for so long?  I felt like my pillowcase was made out of sandpaper!  Never again would I go without a silk pillowcase!  Truth be told, I would love to be ensconced in silk…pillowcase, sheets, duvet, pajamas!

Sadly, I will have to stick with just a pillowcase (or 2) for now.  Now about the hair part….

I still wake up with bedhead every morning.  This pillowcase has done nothing to help that part of my sleep time, but my skin feels great and I don’t get creases in my face.  I have never been one to forgo washing my hair for days after a blow out, so I can live with crazy hair in the morning.

I wish I had known about the benefits of silk pillowcases years ago!

This post contains affiliate links.

March Madness Part Deux

More Empties from the month of March.  I went through some products quickly and I am trying really hard to finish up some products that I abandoned for one reason or another.

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Tata Harper Nourishing Cleansing Oil.  This is a product that I had abandoned, simply because I had acquired too many new, oil cleansers that I wanted to try.  I found it sitting on my stand looking very sad and lost.  I felt guilty as I began my nightly cleansing ritual and pumped some of this amazing oil into my hand.  I was reminded of the day I discovered this oil at Citrine Beauty.  It was a cold, December day and I took my mother and sister to the store to do a little shopping.  Do you think it is weird that I remember what day it was?   I was scheduled to have neck surgery the following day and they came in town to help me out.  My mom kept commenting on how great my skin looked for the rest of the day.  It has become a constant in her skincare routine as well.  See, I am not that weird!

Back to this wonderful oil.  When I discovered it, Melissa, the owner of Citrine was trying out some new makeup on me and my skin was pretty dry, as always.  She applied some of the cleansing oil as a moisturizer prior to applying foundation.  My skin was dewy and glowing.  It hadn’t felt that moisturized in, well, I don’t think, ever!  I walked out with a bottle and have since purchased many bottles of this oil.  Did I mention that it smells amazing?

This oil is made with Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive, Apricot and Jojoba oils. The natural beta carotene, omega 3’s, vitamins A, C and E nourish your skin.  It dissolves all makeup and dirt without stripping my skin of moisture.  I use it as a cleanser in the evening and it   rinses clean with water.  I have used it as part of a double cleanse followed by the Regenerating Cleanser.  I also apply it and leave it on my face after I have cleansed in the evening when I am feeling particularly dry.  It works well as a base for the Kjaer Weiss foundation to give me a dewy complexion.  This is definitely a product that I will repurchase.

Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser.  Another great product from Tata Harper.  I purchased this after attending a class with Tata.  She talked about environmental pollutions and what they do to our skin.  Of course I immediately felt dirty and needed to purchase this cleanser.  This cleanser is made with broccoli extract and fruit enzymes to deeply clean your skin and remove any build up.   It has a cool, tingling feeling on your skin.  I love this cleanser, but I probably won’t buy it again anytime soon.  If I lived in or traveled often to a large city, or if I had oily skin, I would feel I needed this more often.  On the rare occasion when my skin feels particularly dirty, I will probably just use the Purifying Mask.

UMA Absolute Anti Aging Body Oil. I wrote an entire post about this amazing oil.  You can read the post here.  The label came off because I use it in the shower.  I will definitely repurchase it!

Osmia Sunset Body Oil.  It isn’t a secret that I love all things Osmia.  I received this as a gift for attending an Osmia event.  It has a strong vanilla scent with hints of jasmine and bergamot.  When I first smelled it, I wasn’t immediately in love.  I don’t think I expected ‘sunset’ to smell like vanilla, so it was a bit of a surprising scent.  After using it a few times, of course I fell in love.   Vanilla isn’t a scent that I associate with a Sunset, so once I let that go, I was able to truly appreciate the feel and scent of this oil.  It is a combination of so many luscious oils…coconut, jojoba, kukui, almond, rosehips, hemp, avocado, orange and evening primrose.  It makes my skin very soft and the scent lingers on for a long time.  I have a large assortment of Osmia Organics Body Oils and would repurchase each and every one…if I am ever able to use them all up!

*all osmial body oils have been renamed since this post.

Reverie MILK styling creme. This styling creme does wonders for my thick, wavy, sometimes frizzy hair.  It is the most expensive styling product I had ever purchased, but it has lasted a really long time.  You only need a very small amount.  I apply a pea side amount to my hair prior to blow drying.  It makes my hair soft, shiny and easier to blow dry straight…my style of choice. It never makes my hair feel heavy or oily. This is a unique product that was created by stylist Garrett Markenson and developed by a skin care chemist because he wanted it to be different from anything that was on the market.  It is skincare for your hair!  It is the best product I have used to style my hair to date. I will definitely repurchase, but need to finish up some new products that I just purchased to try out.

So, I am slowly making  progress using up some products.  I am working on finishing up a product before I purchase new ones, but I am a work in progress!  Carry on green beauties!

DePuffed By an Owl – Skin Owl

Skin Owl Eye+

I have terrible allergies.  I am allergic to dogs and look who lives with me…

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I also have a husband that snores and a 6-year-old who is an insomniac.

No photo of them.  They refused to be exploited for the purpose of this post.

My eyes are always puffy and I am always tired.  Some mornings I look at myself in the mirror and think, you cannot go anywhere looking this way.  The Walking Dead comes to mind.

Enter Skin Owls Eye +.  I consider this my little miracle in a jar. Continue reading “DePuffed By an Owl – Skin Owl”