Winter's still hanging on here on the East Coast— we're so close to spring, yet so far!
So what's been on my vanity, tucked in my purse or stocking my bathroom cabinet during this season of record-setting chills? Here are the natural and organic products that have become my absolute favorites for beauty this winter...
With my toddler and his little pals hanging out in our home this winter, there were more than enough colds to go around. My new favorite cold-fighting product is this essential oil formula that fights airborne bacteria and viruses, not to mention stale air and odors. Unlike other essential oil sprays that smell a bit too much like menthol cough drops, this one actually smells pretty, thanks to the addition of rose and cedar to balance out the aromas of eucalyptus and evergreen. I'd like to think that is protected us a bit, in addition to making our living space smell better!
I was invited to try this new formulation a few months ago, and have been raving to clients, friends and family about how well it works! I'm seriously impressed at how well this solid stick (which happens to be very hard when applied in cold weather) fights odor and absorbs dampness. The one downside may be that it takes more than a trip to your local drugstore to get your hands on one of your own. While you're placing an order from Blissoma, pick up another one of my faves, the Adaptive Energy Tonique. You can't go wrong with this beautiful brand!
UPDATE: From Julie Longyear, founder of Blissoma, via Twitter: "Based on how the recipe did seem to get a little harder in the cold winter months we tweaked the last batch just slightly. Increased the oils a tad to make it softer. Still same ingredients list but should be a tad more spreadable."
Arya Essentials is a new brand that I've just discovered; it caught my eye because it incorporates both Ayurvedic ingredients and principles. My skin and senses fell in love with the aromatic formula (base oils are sesame and coconut), with soothing essential oils of black pepper, neroli and brahmi— an oil from the gotu kola plant that supports calm and reduces inflammation. In India, coconut and sesame oils are used for daily self-massage, called abhyanga, which I introduce in Eat Pretty. Abhyanga is wonderful for promoting hormone balance. One tiny note- the coconut oil in this formula solidifies quickly in a chilly room. I take the whole bottle into the steamy bathroom while I shower and it's all ready to use after I towel off and dry brush!
So far I'm a fan of everything I've tried from the Laurel Whole Plant Organics line, but I was especially pleased at how well my skin responded to this serum! Taking a closer look at the ingredient list, jojoba and sea buckthorn oils are two that my skin consistently loves, so I credit those here, along with the elaborate mix of active oils from skin-regenerating rose to soothing calendula and skin-clearing nettle. Of course, I'm certain that the quality of the ingredients plays a major role in the benefits I'm seeing as well. Laurel Whole Plant Organics is devoted to using the whole plant (hence the name), rather than a lineup of extracts and derivatives. While reading up on Laurel Organics sourcing and production, I found this statement that I loved: "Most clinical beauty formulas really are just mimicking plants anyhow, but the real thing is much more beneficial and more easily recognized by our skin." Exactly the sentiment that I share with my clients who are just starting to learn about safe personal care!
One more note: Laurel's suggestion for application of this serum (start applying around the outside perimeter of your face and work inward) was a revelation, as my T-zone always seems to have plenty of moisture but I really can neglect those outer areas.