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.

The Skincare Tag

Thank you Marcella from Naturally Marcy for tagging me! Hope you enjoy~

DESCRIBE YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE IN 5 WORDS
My skin is the king.

WHAT’S YOUR SKIN TYPE?
Dry, acne-prone

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SKINCARE PRODUCT?

Oils. I love facial and body oils so much. I love how concentrated they can be and the nourishing benefits they can have! Never thought I would ever say this before I got into green beauty–I used to be all over oil-free.

For facial oils, I love YÜLI Skincare’s Cell Perfecto PM for night and M.E. Skin Fuel for mornings. The Cell Perfecto PM has drastically faded my acne scars and M.E. Skin Fuel fuels my skin with moisture and good-enough-to-eat ingredients (pomegranate, broccoli, um yum?). I like Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organic’s Vitamin C Serum as an extra when I need an extra layer of moisture–it makes my face super soft and smells relaxingly of roses.

For body oils, I love Osmia Organic’s Sunset and Flower body oils. Sunset smells sultry and delicious, Flower like a fresh flower field. Lina Hanson’s Global Body Serum (see post here) also smells deliciously of citrus and vanilla. And they all are fabulous at moisturizing.

TOP BLEMISH ZAPPER?

Eating healthy, stressing less, exercising often, more sleep, and leaving those blemishes alone! I find my skin goes from not blemishy to very blemishy very quickly as soon I as up the snacks, the stress, and start going to bed regularly at 2. But when I’m on that yoga mat more mornings than not. drinking those green smoothies, chilling out, and sleeping, blemishes don’t even stand a chance. But when I am naughty and pop pimples, I do like the Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel (see post here) to help with the healing afterwards.

I also love a weekly (or bi-weekly) mask treatment to ward off spots. May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver and YÜLI Skincare’s Pure are kicking blemishes off of my face like pros. The Problem Solver is spicier, more warming (like you actually feel a warming sensation), and takes more time (45 min). Pure is gentler, takes less time (10-15 min). Both are clay-based, leave my face soft, and suck the life out of blemishes.

FACE WIPES – YAY OR NAY?

Hail to the not necessary. I used to have face wipes on hand for a quick midday makeup removal, but I so much more enjoy my proper cleansing routine. I feel like green beauty does cleansers so well that face wipes are just not needed. Even if you’re feeling lazy, you can almost DIY a “face wipe” with a cleansing oil like the Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil (see post here) on a cotton round followed by a splash of water. But if you’re into real cleaning, I love the oil to remove makeup, followed either by YÜLI’s Halcyon (super gentle and floral) or May Lindstrom’s newly released The Honey Mud (chocolate honey).

TONER – YAY OR NAY?
Hail to the absolutely yay. I love toners. They’re great for that extra boost of moisture pre-moisturizing, post-makeup, or in the middle of the day.

Simple: Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin Spray (see post here)
Astringent: Vered Botanicals Herb-Infused Toner (see post here and here)
Acne-Prone: YÜLI Skincare Panacea Elixir (see post here)
Oily: Pai Orange and Rice Bioaffinity Toner
Extra moisture: YÜLI Skincare Cocoon Elixir (see post here)

HIGH-END SKINCARE OR HIGH-END MAKEUP?
Taking high-end to mean quality–both. I think in general skincare should come before makeup, because you should take care of your skin before you start adding extra color to it. I banned myself from blush and bronzer until my cheeks healed from redness and acne, and now, I am having a ball experimenting with color.

WHAT’S THE MOST UNUSUAL SKINCARE PRODUCT YOU’VE TRIED?
Well, my mom and my sister thought I was crazy when I brought One Love Organics Skin Savior Balm home and told them it was a cleanser and a moisturizer. Then when I broke out they were like, “Well obviously because you were using a cleanser as your moisturizer!” (True story: I did actually mix up a cleanser and moisturizer once, was breaking out for a month, and did not realize my mistake until my mom pointed it out to me)

YOU’RE IN A PHARMACY AND YOU CAN ONLY PICK ONE ITEM, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Quick, someone find me the jojoba oil! Makeup remover, face moisturizer, body moisturizer, you name it.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP SKINCARE TIPS?
I can sum it all up with a bit of Kant: treat humanity as an ends, not a means.

You are a part of humanity, so treat yourself, and therefore your skin with respect. You may want to try all sorts of awesome products, but resist! Don’t use your skin as a means. Listen to your skin and see what it needs first. Protect your skin! With sunscreen (or a wide-brimmed hat) and gloves in the winter. Keep dirty hands away from your face–blemishes don’t need anymore reasons to pop up!

I have had a lot of fun reading everybody else’s skincare tags, and I’d love to read yours, reader! I’d also love to read Garcy’s from Eco Diva Beauty and Asti’s from Skjonnhet.

Summer Cocoon

YÜLI Skincare Cocoon Elixir in Taiwan

I spent a long, lovely summer interning in the Land of Cubes*, California which was a great learning experience–very insightful, very fun, but also very drying for my skin. (I also got a nice driving tan from the commute.) As a result, a glass of lemon water and YÜLI Skincare’s Cocoon Elixir were permanent fixtures to my desk (see Instagram pic). I started out the summer using a Heritage Rosewater spray (note: budget buy), but I found myself wanting to spritz my face every 15 minutes, because every 15 minutes, I would feel dry again. When I went on my hourly bathroom break–hydrating from the inside out ftw–I found myself still looking dry and rosy (read: flakes. Gross).

The Cocoon Elixir, however, kept my face hydrated for hours. I was spritzing maybe 3 or 4 times a day, instead of 20. Less weird looks from my male coworkers, and no more rosy, flaky face staring back at me in the bathroom mirror. When I went to humid Taiwan for a week as part of my internship, the Cocoon Elixir kept my skin hydrated on the 12-hour plane ride and refreshed from the pollution and heat on land. In my daily morning and night routine, it added an extra boost of calm and moisture post-cleansing and pre-moisturizing.

Now that summer is over and my bottle is empty, I can definitely say that the Cocoon Elixir saved my skin this summer. Dry environments like California and planes make my face rosy (i.e. inflamed), flaky, and blemishy, but Cocoon helped so much to calm my skin down and prevent dryness-related breakouts. If you’re in a pinch, rosewater will give you quick relief, but the Cocoon Elixir is like rosewater on steroids: calming calendula, anti-inflammatory chamomile, destressing rose otto, protecting acerola, and more in a base of healing aloe. For fab ingredients and happy skin, I 100% would repurchase.

*Not an actual location.

Wednesday Wishlist: Face Oils

There are certain words and phrases in life that just instantly grab you. Like “free food” (you should see me when a cafeteria puts out free fruit), or “fire”(FIRE! Goodness, no need to shout), or, if you were me a year ago (you weren’t): “oil-free”. A year ago, the world was my word search and “oil-free” was the word bank. Then argan oil happened, and No More Dirty Looks happened, and now I can’t put on moisturizer without looking longingly at my facial oil. Wait. My moisturizer is my facial oil.

rms beauty beauty oil
I have a sample of this, and my, does it scream vanilla and nourishing in the best way. You would never guess that scar-fighting (and slightly stinky) tamanu is hiding underneath.


La Bella Figura Daily Elements Defense Face Oil
I have held off for months in fear that this holds much more power than I need (after all, with great power comes great responsibility). But fighting free radicals with the sword of antioxidants can’t be a bad thing, right? Prevention is key, right? I’ll probably get this fatty acid boy (have you heard of sacha inchi?) for my mum and sneak a couple drops here and there…or everywhere…

Yuli M.E. Skin Fuel
Speaking of the sword of antioxidants, this one is laced with Pomegranate Seed and Apricot Kernel, fighting against “environmental and stress-induced damage while repairing, renewing, and stimulating skin on a cellular level.” And Broccoli Seed oil, hello, I love broccoli. Talk about food for the skin. Also recommended as a light oil for acne-prone skin by neimansidealist.

What oils are you coveting?

Wednesday Wishlist

Going counterclockwise,
YÜLI Skincare Cocoon Elixir

I am interning in the Land of Cubicles this dry, Californian summer away from my humidifier, and even though I’m chugging the H20, my face is le parched. My temporary solution is rosewater, but I’m looking at a cocoon for the future. For very sensitive and irritation-prone skin? Yes, and yes. Calms irritation and inflammation, while delivering deep hydration? Please.


May Lindstrom The Problem Solver
Love the Aztec Indian Healing Clay, but I think I need a super, chocolate-y-detoxing upgrade to match my newfound affinity for juicing. Do I have 45 minutes to sit around in a jet-black mask? Did I mention I’m episodes behind Doctor Who and Game of Thrones?

Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen
I appreciate Devita’s for its moisturizer texture, but I am enticed by this tinted contender from Canada. Cue motivation to slather current sunscreen all over, all day, every day.

RMS Beauty Cream Eyeshadow in Solar
Eye cream and gold in one? A one-swipe stop for beautiful that’ll screams summer. At least I can give my computer some beach envy.

Have you tried anything on this list? What are your thoughts?

*Image credits in links.

Winter Empties ft. Soapwalla, Yuli, Mad Hippie

read: I have run out of a few of my favorite things and I am sad.

Soapwalla Kitchen Deodorant Cream ($12): I’ve been rotating this with Weleda’s Deodorant spray since the summer, and this is my go-to for reliably no-smell and less wet-armpit-look days. I am a really sweaty person, so believe me, it works.
Yulï Skincare Panacea Elixir ($36): I adore this. I love the smell, it’s refreshing when you hit that midday slump or you’re traveling 9 hours straight on a plane, it feels calming on my blemish-prone skin post-cleansing–nothing bad I can say about this except that I went through this in a month. *cry.
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ($33.99): I am eagerly waiting my repurchase of this because this stuff is awesome. It’s an antioxidant punch bowl that, in conjunction with my argan-tamanu moisturizing, has lightened up my acne scars from my crazy summer breakout to the point that, while I’m not ready to go concealer-less everyday, I was okay with going skiing barefaced last week (on the basis that I needed to be able to reapply sunscreen. And yet I still got burned. *owned by life).

YULI Skincare Panacea Elixir

I am terribly, terribly sad I am already out of this Panacea Elixir by YULI Skincare. I went through the trial version in a week, and I loved using it to set makeup and as a refreshing mist during the day. It has all sorts of goodness in it for balancing, hydrating, and decongesting the skin which is awesome, and smells kind of like dates (the fruit. Not sure what dates with people smell like). Would definitely repurchase if I wasn’t a poor musician. ($12.00 – trial, $36.00 – full)