Pai Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream

 

Facial oils and I have had a long, long honeymoon. After years of oil-free, a sample size of argan oil sent me spinning off into a whirlwind romance with not much of an end in sight. I had so much swore off cream moisturizers in favor of all the goodness that is a facial oil, until this winter. A facial oil wasn’t cutting it for me. My skin would still feel dry and makeup would cling to dry patches. I had dabbled in layering cream moisturizers last winter, but never quite came to a conclusion as to how my skin felt about them. I actually initially purchased the Pai Skincare Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream last summer during a promotion (free travel-size cleanser with moisturizer purchase), but ended up passing it on to my sister because I wasn’t sure if my skin was reacting poorly to this or the cleanser. But with the onset of winter, this found its way back into my online cart at NuboNau…

My repurchase of this was a gamble during a NoMoreDirtyLooks Friday deal. I had just sampled the Studio78 Chameleon foundation from NuboNau, loved the color-changing properties, but was desperate for a way to help the finish look less dry. Tanya, the aesthetician at NuboNau, recommended the Macadamia and Rose Moisturizer as a remedy for my dry cheeks along with gentle exfoliants, but hesitant to return to cream moisturizers and afraid of over-moisturizing my skin, I went back to the Geranium & Thistle Moisturizer, which is meant for my other skin concern: blemishes.

The pictured half-empty bottle (now almost completely empty!) is a testament of how my skin has felt about this product. The cream initially feels rich upon going on, but with a nice facial massage and patting (stimulate those lymph nodes!), it dries to a more of a matte finish. When I go without this cream, I definitely feel the lack in moisture. When I do use the cream (two pumps post-oil, pre-sunscreen), I am moisturized, but not so sufficiently moisturized that I can always start putting on sunscreen and makeup right afterwards. This is fairly reasonable, since this is directed towards combination skin, and not dry skin. (To remedy this, I add a pump of Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organic’s very moisturizing Vitamin C Serum.)

The best part? No breakouts. Guess it was that cleanser after all. The ingredient list is really fantastic. As far as the moisturizer’s namesake, geranium has a has a cooling and calming effect on the skin while thistle is packed with skin-friendly omega 6 and is excellent at clearing congested skin and reducing large pores. I was pleasantly surprised to see manuka oil on the list, which is famed to be 33 times stronger than tea tree oil in killing certain strains of bacteria. Moisture comes from human-skin-friendly jojoba oil and borage oil, which plays an important role restoring the intracellular moisture barrier of adult skin as evidenced from experimental studies.

tl;dr Cream initially feels rich, but dries to matte finish. Maybe too matte for me and the winter, but no breakouts thanks to killer ingredients.
Have you tried any of Pai’s moisturizers? What are your thoughts? If not, what moisturizers have been saving you this winter?

Ingredients: aqua, carthamus tinctorius seed oil* (thistle oil), simmondsia chinensis seed oil* (jojoba oil), cetearyl alcohol (coconut-derived emulsifier), glycerin* (vegetable glycerine), borago officinalis seed oil* (borage oil), cetearyl glucoside (corn-derived emulsifier), mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin e), lavandula officinalis flower oil* (lavender oil), leptospermum scoparium leaf oil (manuka oil), pelargonium graveolens oil* (geranium oil), cymbopogon martini oil* (palmarosa oil), sodium levulinate (corn extract), sodium anisate (basil extract), glyceryl stearate citrate (from sustainable palm oil), sodium lauroyl lactylate (from coconut oil), lactic acid (derived from sugar beet)

 

Liebster Award and Nominations

Back in November, Isabel from frivolous girl (or @vackert on instagram) graciously nominated me for a Liebster award. Thank you Isabel! I am honored!

The rules are: Answer ten questions the blogger has for you and then nominate ten other bloggers with less then 200 followers with your own ten questions.

The Questions

1. What’s your morning routine? (Skincare-/Food-wise)

Once I finally get out of bed (it takes some convincing), I begin with 10-20 min of yoga to stretch and then wash my face with two pumps (very small pumps) YÜLI Skincare’s Halycon, a clear gel cleanser that leaves my face soft and refreshed. I then spray YÜLI’s Panacea Elixir over my face, and moisturize with three drops of YÜLI’s M.E. Skin Fuel. This peppery-smelling (acne-fighting black cumin, yeah!) formula is basically my dream breakfast plus flowers: pomegranate, red raspberry, dandelion, jasmine, and on. In the summer, I would stop here, but since winter has come, I have been then applying two pumps of Pai’s Geranium and Thistle moisturizer. I had been unsure of this moisturizer because I was doubtful of cream moisturizers since falling in love with oils and was worried about breaking myself out from overmoisturizing (the evils of simultaneously dry and acenic skin). But since just realizing that I need to moisturize extra in this weather and it will be okay, I’ve been embracing cream moisturizers again. If I have extra time, I’ll apply some Osmia Organics Spot Treatment to any spots, but I’ll always finish with Consonant’s The Perfect Sunscreen which has SPF 30 and a nice tint to start off my makeup. When I’m feeling extra dry and matte (which is often this winter), I’ll sneak in a pump of Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum with the sunscreen.

Food depends on where I am. Over the winter break, my sister and I added maca powder, spirulina powder, cocoa powder, and pumpkin seeds to this coconut flour pancake recipe (link here) to make awesome green-colored pancakes that horrified our dad (but tasted awesome with maple syrup!). When I’m at school, I tend to have green smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast. My classic green smoothie: 1 cup almond milk, a bunch of kale (or spinach or chard), 1/2 avocado, 1 banana, bit of spirulina or wheatgrass, good bunch of chia seeds. For oatmeal, I’ll add honey, chia seeds or whatever nuts I have on hand. On the weekend, I fry up eggs with green onions, salt, and pepper (my dad’s secret recipe) and have that with quinoa or rice with kimchi.

2. Favorite natural hair product? What brand and why?

Acure Moroccan Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell shampoo and conditioner. When I had long hair, this duo left it super soft and clean, but not oily. I could go every other day without washing my hair (with the help of dry shampoo). Acure Organics is also very affordable and accessible from my local Whole Foods, which I appreciate.

3. Do you or have you ever done your own facial mask? What ingredients did/do you use?
I have. I used to DIY my masks and everything else a lot, but at the time, I was so fed up with my acne, I went a bit overboard and masked much too often. I did oatmeal-honey-milk masks, Aztec-Indian-Clay-honey masks, I’d wipe my face with a tomato, nightly honey masks, yeah…honestly much prefer leaving the process of formulating and mixing in the hands of professionals, though DIY is a lot of fun.

4. What’s your favorite beauty food/meal? And why?

I love making juices!! When my mom first got our juicer and started making juices, I did not enjoy them. Then after getting into green beauty, realizing how the diet affects the skin, and getting into green smoothies, I really got into juicing. First, juices are delicious. Second, I love seeing all of those beautiful, colorful fruit and veggies going into my belly and thinking how happy they are making my body and my face. My usual juice: two apples, bunch of carrots, some handfuls of kale, couple stalks of celery (obviously, I am very measured and scientific).

5. What is your preferred exercise?
Yoga! I love how relaxing it is and how it stretches out my body. I don’t like running and being super active. Why put in so much effort when I can get the same body results as running? ;D Yeah, I know, I should do some cardio (or Tara Stiles’ cardio yoga routine).

6. Do you believe in the law of attraction? Share a story of something like it happening to you.
Background from Google: law of attraction is the idea that like attracts like, as in think positively and positive things will happen to you. I am initially a bit skeptical, because it does sound like the confirmation bias, i.e. you will favor information that confirms your beliefs. I suppose it makes sense, because if you have a positive outlook, you will pay more attention to positive things, hopefully, and then probably feel more positive. I don’t have any specific stories, but I know when I start off the day on the wrong foot and feel negative, I tend to only notice the bad things, whereas when I start the day well and feel positive, I tend to notice the good things.

7. Is there any website/blog/app you always turn to for inspiration for healthy ways/recipes?
No More Dirty Looks! Since moving out of dorms into apartments, I’ve been getting more and more into healthy recipes, but don’t have one singular source of inspiration.

8. If you had the chance to move anywhere in the world and work, would you take the chance? And where would you move?
New York! New York is my dream; I am just so in love with New York. But anywhere in the world? Maybe somewhere in Europe. I always thought Europeans were so dapper.

9. What’s your favorite natural product that you always fall back to?

How do I pick a favorite child?? Based on repurchases and the product makes me feel when it is nearly empty: Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Oil Cleanser (repurchased once, easy makeup removal with phenomenal scent), YÜLI Skincare Cell Perfecto PM (repurchased once, goodbye acne scars!), YÜLI Skincare Panacea Elixir (repurchased twice, refreshing anti-blemish spray), Kjaer Weis Mascara (repurchased once, lovely rosey scent plus lovely lashes).

10. Is it important to you to buy organic or recycled clothing?
I want it to be important, but this has not become a priority in my life yet. My love for organic has spread from beauty products to food, so maybe clothing is next on the list.

The Nominations

In no particular order, with love and admiration,
1. Marcella from Naturally Marcy
2. Asti from Skjonnhet
3. Coco Beaute
4. Green Derm
5. Brenda from The Wanderlusting Beauty
6. Alasdair from Something Seed Oil
7. Kathy from Beauty Palette
8. Vivi from Eco Beauty Secrets
9. Neiman’s Idealist
10. Gem from Buff Beauty

My Questions

1. What is your nighttime skincare routine?
2. What do you do to relax or unwind from stress?

3. How did you get into green beauty?
4. A recent good read? If not a read, a recent good TV show or movie?
5. You can only eat one thing for the rest of your life. What is it?
6. What is your favorite face oil?
7. All-time green beauty favorites?
8. Your skin is freaking out. What do you do?
9. What is something new (product, brand, experience, anything) you want to try soon?
10. Something(s) (product, experience, anything) essential to you for every day?

I hope you’ll oblige me, my nominees! But even if you are not a nominee, please feel free to answer any of the questions in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts!