YÜLI Halcyon

“Halcyon days like boats drifting along slow-moving rivers; spring evenings full of a plaintive melancholy that made the past beautiful and bitter, bidding them look back and see that the loves of other summers long gone were dead with the forgotten waltzes of their years.”
The Beautiful and the Damned, by Scott F. Fitzgerald
As far as I’m concerned, YÜLI’s Halcyon Cleanser is magic.

The first time I used this, I made the mistake of having too wet hands and a too wet face. The result: I felt like I was massaging a very pleasantly-smelling water over my face. Use this with a damp face and/or lightly wet hands, key words: damp or lightly wet, not dripping. This way, you’ll get the gentlest foaming action you’ve ever seen from a gel–and yet it’s powerful enough to dislodge whiteheads that are ready to go. Was that too visual? #sorrynotsorry. But time and time after again, when I’m breaking out, I go back to this one, because it’s gentle, leaves my face the softest, and combined with a light massage, somehow clears out surface acne–be it instantaneously or gradually over time. It’s the best and strangest thing ever. Also, the light, floral scent is so refreshing day or night. And like all YÜLI products, it’s a product of the ingredients which were chosen for efficacy, not for scent (#coolwithouttrying).
With such a gentle formula, you wouldn’t expect it to be able to remove makeup, but it can. YÜLI has a blog post demonstration of how Halcyon can remove makeup; I’ve tried it, and it works. One reader I talked to once said that she even uses this to remove eye makeup, which I also tried with some success (though fair warning, the instructions say to avoid the eye area). The reasons why I don’t use it to remove makeup are because I feel more comfortable removing my makeup with a balm or oil cleanser first and I want to make the most out of these beautiful ingredients. The plus side of using this as a second cleanse is that I can be rest assured that if my first cleanse didn’t get all my makeup, this will mop up. At night, I typically use three pumps (a little extra just in case for makeup) after a balm or oil cleanser, and in the morning, two, alone–and my skin has loved this from last fall up until now as the flowers are finally coming out for spring.
Amazing performance aside, just from the ingredients, you know this cleanser is something special. I’m thinking the floral scent and part of the gentleness come from the hydrosol blend, herbal infusion, and aloe which all top the list. As Mountain Rose Herbs puts it, a hydrosol contains all of the essence of the plant in every drop, just like essential oils but in milder form. In vitro studies have proven helichrysum italicum to be anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, and many, many studies have been done on lavandula angustifolia (fancy for lavender) on its antimicrobial powers and calming effects (and all of these properties are in every drop of the hydrosol!). The herbal infusion of green tea leaf, red algae, chickweed, and sweet olive flower together are antimicrobial, cooling and drawing, and full of antioxidants and minerals.
Other cool ingredients include peptides, zeolite, vitamin C ester, and biodynamic fruit enzymes. While many other cleansers use sulfates (goodness forbid) or castile soap for foaming action, here the peptides derived from Amaranth protein are the source of the very gentle foaming action that washes away nasties from your skin that also, being peptides, help to heal and repair the skin. Friendliest foaming ever? Zeolite is this weird clay that absorbs nasties (just don’t inhale it as a powder–cancer warnings), vitamin C ester is a very skin-friendly form of vitamin C (hey brightening), and fruit enzymes mean gentle exfoliation. All in all, a really special and different list of ingredients that together clean and heal the skin.
tl;dr There’s a reason why Kathy of Beauty Palette has multiples of this on backup–it’s good. Gentlest foaming action, light floral scent, soft and clearer skin afterwards (literally can massage away surface whiteheads). Can remove makeup, but I prefer it as a second cleanse. Unique ingredients: foaming peptides and hydrosol blend.
Have you used this cleanser? What are your thoughts? If not, what is your current favorite cleanser?
Ingredients: H. italicum/L. angustifolia hydrosol blend*, herbal infusion of (T.pratense*, C. sinensis*, S. media, Z. officinale*, O. fragans), D-aloe barbadensis,vegetable glycerine, sodium cocoyl isethionate (vegetable source), peptides derived from Amaranth protein, jojoba ester*, Rhodophyta (Red Algae) ferment, G.lucidum (Reishi) tincture*, zeolite, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), vitamin C ester, biodynamic fruit enzymes, petitgrain sur fleurs oil*, bergamot (bergaptene-free) oil*, collidal silver
* Organic
^ Wildcrafted
Disclaimer: I purchased the 100ml size myself and the 30ml size was a sample-with-order with a separate order–both from yuliskincare.com (though now you can find it at Spirit Beauty Lounge!). I know I have a lot of love for this brand and its products, but honest to goodness, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Additional Sources
Herold, Lauren. “Chickweed: A Stellar Herb.” Journal Of The American Herbalists Guild 10.1 (2011): 31-33. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 3 May 2014.
Hsin-Hsueh, Lee, Lin Chi-Ting, and Yang Ling-Ling. “Neuroprotection And Free Radical Scavenging Effects Of Osmanthus Fragrans.” Journal Of Biomedical Science 14.6 (2007): 819-827. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2014.
Viegas, Daniel Antunes, et al. Helichrysum italicum: From traditional use to scientific data, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 151, Issue 1, 10 January 2014, Pages 54-65, ISSN 0378-8741, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.005.
Vlaisavljevic, Sanja, et al. “Trifolium Pratense L. As A Potential Natural Antioxidant.” Molecules 19.1 (2014): 713-725. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 May 2014.


Best of 2013: Skincare and Bodycare

Happy end of 2013! It’s been a really fun year of green beauty: of discovery, of healing, of truly, fun. I’ve had a fun time interacting with other greenies and falling in love with new products. Keep reading for my skincare and bodycare favorites of the past year…

Soapwalla may have taken the green and non-green world by storm, but I’ve been loving how the Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream with Tea Tree takes away my stink. Even when I sweat (which is much and often), I smell, can I say, deliciously of tea tree and void of any smelliness? Also delicious is the consistency of the cream, which is soft and smooth as butter, though it has been a bit harder thanks to chilly, dry California.
I’ve gone from using tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil, to even nothing as spot treatments. Accompanied with a good diet and yoga, I’ve lately been enjoying Osmia Organic’s Spot Treatment as an extra punch against blemishes. There aren’t necessarily any instant results, especially with larger, more evil blemishes, but not only does it smell lovely, I’ve found it to help along the healing process of my blemishes without leaving flakes behind. The mini rollerball also makes application very easy.
YÜLI pretty much took over my skincare this year. The Panacea Elixir was my initial gateway drug, then the Cocoon Elixir soothed my skin over the summer, and with that I was done for. Pure was the only mask I brought home because it’s my favorite two-for-one: clarifying yet simultaneously soothing in one formula. It heals blemishes I’ve naughtily popped the night before and brings out other blemishes to the surface while leaving my complexion smooth and soft (and matcha green tea is one of its ingredients!). Cell Perfecto PM is definitely one of my holy grail products for how much it healed my acne scars this year. Not only did it enable no-makeup days, but also dabbling into blush and bronzer, something I had given up while my cheeks were too rosy from scarring. I will show picture evidence soon. Halycon has become my favorite second-step cleanser (or only step, if it’s a no-makeup day) for how gentle, light, lovely, and effective it is.

I upgraded from removing makeup with jojoba oil and a flannel to Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organic’s Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover and haven’t looked back. The first time I tried the oil, the tropical papaya scent hit me, and I was like, “Omg.” Then I began massaging it in my face, watched the makeup melt away, and was like, “Omg.” Then I rinsed it off and then I was really like, “Omg” because the oil washed off with water and left my face so soft that I wasn’t sure I had rinsed it all off. Then I had my sister tried it and she had basically the same reaction. Love.

The rest of my bodycare favorites might as well just be dubbed as body oil favorites. I had been pretty nonchalant about body moisturizing before, and was content with just DIYing it with coconut oil or jojoba oil. Until I tried Lina Hanson’s Global Body Serum, which not only smells deliciously of citrus and vanilla, but also leaves my body so moisturized and soft. Osmia’s Body Oils overturned my post-shower routine–I now wait just a little longer before toweling off so I can slather one of these deliciously smelling blends over my whole, damp body. The idea is that lotions are basically a mixture of water and oils–so why not use the moisture left over from the shower with the body oil to make your own effective lotion? Brilliant, Osmia. I’ve been loving sultry Sunset and pretty flowery Flower.