Me Time Botanicals NEW Glow-Getter!

Results Driven & Affordable!

It isn’t every day you come across a product in the indie green-beauty space that is a powerhouse of ingredients with fast, visible results and affordable!

I was very very fortunate to be one of the testers that Kara, founder of Me Time Botanicals, chose to try out her newest creation; the Glow-Getter. AND ITS OFFICIALLY HERE!

Why am I so excited? Not only is it a beautiful ritual; it delivers results! Without adding to the suspense, take a look at my before & after photos below. This is after only ONE WEEK of use:

I recently posted these results on Instagram & @pale_face23 was kind enough to ask me a few questions that she was seeking the answers to. I would love to take the opportunity to address them below:

Is there a strong scent?

The Glow-Getter has a vibrant yet gentle scent that is reminiscent of a citrus-y pine-y forest. It then fades and leaves a very subtle, lingering scent of geranium behind. It is gorgeous.

Did you have any sort of sensitivity to this product?

I did not experience any sensitivity to this serum. I applied liberally to my face, neck and chest twice a day and my skin simply glowed. If you are particularly sensitive to any ingredients listed below, it is important to patch test first.

Ingredients: *Grapeseed Oil, *Rosehip Seed Oil, Moth Bean Extract, Licorice Root Extract, *Bearberry Extract, Kakadu Plum Extract, *Black Cumin Seed Oil, *Shiitake Mushroom Extract, Horsetail Extract, Cucumber Extract, Black Willow Bark Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment & Lactobacillus & Coconut Fruit Extract, Turmeric Extract, Rosemary Extract, Sea Salt, *Tea Tree Essential Oil, *Geranium Essential Oil

*Organic ingredients

https://www.metimebotanicals.com/product-page/glow-getter-radiant-blemish-free-serum

What were your goals?

At $42 per bottle, everyone can experience great skin!

Reducing hyper-pigmentation is always my goal over reducing acne spots. If my skin clears up in the process of using my skincare, I’m thrilled!

The results that I achieved with the Glow-Getter was a more even and radiant complexion! When I wore my typical makeup and looked in the mirror, I felt as though I was wearing a filter. My skin was bright and revitalized!

Can you refrigerate it for freshness?

Although it isn’t necessary to refrigerate this serum, I imagine it would be super refreshing to keep it in the refrigerator and apply directly to the skin!

How is absorption?

Look at these glittering drops of oil suspended in the serum ❤

This is probably my favorite aspect of the Glow-Getter serum! The dual phase serum goes on thin and leaves the slightest veil of hydration behind. You can feel the oil hydrating your complexion while the serum component continues to absorb. It is bliss!

Do you use it twice a day or at night only?

My results (pictured above) were from using this serum liberally twice a day. Tip: After using an essence, I like to apply about 1-3 droppers to my face, neck & decollete and take an extra few seconds to massage the serum in.

These gorgeous layers though!

Final Thoughts

I have used a lot of brightening serums, some that have cost me as much as $235; but none have made my skin feel as bright and plump as the Glow-Getter. The unique dual-phase texture is such a beautiful experience, it absorbs quickly yet leaves the skin feeling silky. The scent is vibrant and fresh, and the results speak for themselves!  After just one week I noticed my skin tone was more even and my hyper-pigmentation faded substantially! The best part? It’s affordable!

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! Have you tried any brightening serums lately? Have they been effective?

Sea Salt Soap

A New Way To Lather!

My first haul from KopaKauai.com, I can’t wait to try more scents like coconut & lavender mint!

Alright you beautiful people, this is going to be a pretty straight forward post. I’ve been washing my body now for 32 years and I’m wondering why I am just now finding out about sea salt soap!!?? Is this a new concept, or have I just been kept in the dark this whole time!? Either way, I am really excited about this discovery!

I was recently introduced to sea salt soap when Leahlani did a special collaboration with Kopa Kauai Soap Co. (I’m pretty sure they are mother & daughter) to create their decadent Bless Sea Salt Soap. This is when I knew I had to try it, because, well, Bless smells amazing!

Each bar from Kopa Kauai is hand mixed, hand poured, hand cut, hand wrapped; it’s handmade ok? Lol and they are absolutely brimming with organic, cold-pressed oils like coconut, olive, avocado & mango butter that feed the skin! Some of the variations include nourishing additions like sea clay, french pink clay, Hawaiian spirulina and cambrian blue clay…and the scents? Hawaiian and sunny!

Check out these beautiful organic ingredients!

So, why Sea Salt?

Not only does the heavy use of salt act as a preservative in the soap, the sea salt also helps the skin to better absorb the natural glycerin that is present in the bar which means more moisture!

Pikake has a jasmine perfume scent! Look closely, do you see the sea salt!?

Does the sea salt exfoliate the skin?

No, as strange as it may sound, the sea salt is not rough on the skin. Quite the contrary, the sea salt actually causes the soap to feel like a smooth rock and coincidentally stops the soap from becoming mushy!

Does it last longer than regular soap?

Possibly, it may last slightly longer than regular soap, or it may just feel that way because the lack of goop that builds up on the bar, the polished feeling makes it seem as if it slowly gets smaller as you use it.

My bar of Pikake sea salt soap after about a month of use.

Does it lather?

Yes! I use a loofah with my bar soaps and I find sea salt soap lathers just as well as regular bar soap, it has a bit more of a cream texture and I love using it to shave with!

Tip: If the bar does not lather immediately, it just needs to get wet again!

Sea salt soap feels like a hard polished stone, yet lathers like a dream!

Final Thoughts

I am always thrilled to find new discoveries, especially those that are an improvement on what I’m currently using. As much as I like regular bar soap, I am really digging sea salt soap because I see so many additional benefits!

I love the creamy lather, heavy fragrance and the polished stone feeling of the soap! It does not get mushy or crack, and if my skin absorbs more moisture due to the sea salt than I’m all for it!

Now, if only I can convince Leahlani to collaborate with Kopa Kauai on a Kalima scented bar… ❤

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! Have you tried sea salt soap yet!? What are your thoughts?

Lady Suite

Intimate Skin Care for the “Glow Below”

Intimate skin care is definitely a taboo topic that most women do not like to discuss or share on social media. I often see women holding a bottle of intimate oil with the caption, “Oh, I use this on my body” or the intimate skin care companies with their photos that are a little too, not vulgar, but….not very appealing?

This post will really only cover 2 products that I have recently added to my intimate self care routine and that I am not embarrassed to say, I LOVE!

Probiotic Refreshing Cleanser $16

Before finding this intimate cleanser, I was using Johnson’s baby wash for over 10 years! I have an extremely sensitive pH and it was the only product that I could use to cleanse without causing any disruption.

I was thrilled when Therese, founder of Lady Suite, finally came out with this pH-balanced probiotic cleanser. The price is PHENOMENAL and the color, scent and texture is much more grown up than my old Johnson’s baby wash! This light gel-cleanser smells similar to the OSEA Ocean Cleanser, but like a grapefruit skittle instead of lime. The color is a beautiful light pink and the texture is a low-lather gel cream. TIP: This cleanser also makes for the perfect intimate shave!

The ingredients are naturally derived, and include probiotics to strengthen the skin, botanical extracts like rose hip, cucumber, green tea & grapefruit to nourish and rose quartz to balance!

Lady Suite offers an auto-renew option at a 15% discount that I currently subscribe to; I chose the 4-week auto renew, but wish Therese would offer a 3-week option as I am typically running low by the time my new bottle arrives.

I NEVER want to run out of this product, so you better believe I have a back-up for my back-up LOL. Just in case.

Rejuvenating Botanical Oil $46

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “$46 for an intimate oil!? I don’t even know what an intimate oil is!”

I completely felt the same way! I had never used an intimate oil before, didn’t know if I needed one, and didn’t want to spend $46 to find out! Luckily, Citrine Beauty offered this full-size beauty in one of their “Glam Bags” and I was hooked!

Not only does this bottle look stunning on my vanity, the ingredients are equally as lovely! Nourishing pH-balanced oils like jojoba seed, meadowfoam seed, evening primrose, tamanu oil and carrot seed oil nourish the skin & soothe any irritation you might experience after shaving.

I use this oil everyday without fail the moment I step out of the shower. I use 3-4 (…or 8…) drops and apply it “Erika Jayne”** style below (nothing internal) & instantly I have a glow below that is sexy and “video worthy”! The light scent of grapefruit does not change or ‘turn’ and there is no greasy feeling. *Giddy Delight*

Final Thoughts

It was really easy to incorporate the probiotic cleanser into my routine, and it was a product I had been waiting for for a very long time! The rejuvenating oil definitely required a change to my routine, but now I never want to be without it!

I take a great deal of care when it comes to my complexion and my body. I use luxurious skincare products and the rest of my body is always glowing, why shouldn’t my ‘lola’ glow too?

XOXO,

Erika

**If you are unsure of what I mean when I reference “Erika Jayne” style, we need to have a talk LOL**

Please comment below! Have you ever used an intimate skincare product or oil? What did you think!?

Aislin Quinn Skincare

Luxurious Botanical Skincare Worthy of the Garden of Eden

Aislin Quinn is the skincare of my childhood dreams. It satisfies the deepest part of my imagination. It is mouth watering; a treasure trove dripping with the rarest jewels, a tropical paradise bursting with the ripest fruit. It is as vibrant as the sun, as sweet as a rare orchid and as lush as the Garden of Eden.

Isola (Pink) Reine (Green) & Kuava (Orange)

Pronounced “Ash-lin Quinn”, founder Trish Moran, named her luxury skincare company after her two oldest daughters. With a background in aerospace physiology and as a plant medicine survival instructor for NATO student pilots, Trish has the perfect background to formulate beautifully natural, beautifully intentional, botanical skincare!

With the knowledge that Trish resides in Texas, I was so intrigued by her use of tropical ingredients and exotic names; when I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions, I had to know where she gets her inspiration from:

Ingredient inspiration comes largely from my background teaching plant medicine in the USAF. I like to focus on seeds, flowers, and fruits because that is really the epicenter of plant nutrition, primarily for the purpose of accommodating new life. A lot of focus on tropical fruits and flowers is the result of how fertile and bountiful the tropical regions of the earth are – as a result they produce amazing and beautiful plants with unique profiles and benefits that really just stir my heart with appreciation. Our new Wailele Phytoactive Hydration Essence, for example, was built around the dragonfruit, which is the primary ingredient. Dragonfruit is the fruit of a cactus, it is so succulent and full of phenolic color inside that I knew intuitively it would be a hydration powerhouse that also offers a ton of nutritional support, so I began experimenting with it as one of the core ingredients of our Phytoactive Hydration Matrix with the goal of bringing, deep and long lasting hydration to the skin. Broadening the hydration spectrum and then combining innovative ingredients with time tested achievers like marshmallow and cucumber means that we are really amplifying what a treatment can do and bringing something
really new and sophisticated for the people we serve.

Trish Moran, Founder of Aislin Quinn

Lehua Honey Enzyme Cleanser

The first ritual Trish ever created (and one of my personal favorites), Lehua is a creamy yellow, oil-in-cleanser that uses honey and fruit enzymes to gently rid the complexion of debris and dead skin, leaving skin soft and glowing!

This velvety cleanser smells vibrant and honey suckle-esque, glides like silk onto the skin and is gentle enough to use every day!

Lehua Honey Enzyme Cleanser was the first formula I created for our
line. I’m so busy. I have four kids. I needed something that would be
a serious multi-tasker, and would really clean my skin without
depleting it. When I crafted the formula and put it on my face
the first time, I knew I had something truly unique and beautiful. It
required a couple of small tweaks but it really was love at first sight.
Even now, it is one of my top two most loved treatments.

Trish Moran, on the story behind her first creation, Lehua

TIP: Lehua also doubles as the perfect mask! I love to massage this onto dry skin in the morning, make my coffee and jump in the shower to allow the steam to further the cleanser’s magic! Once I finish showering, I rinse the mask off using a terry cloth mitt and my face feels clean and soft, ready for the rest of my routine! No need to double cleanse!

Isola Rare Orchid Beauty Balm

Since falling in love with green beauty, I have really developed an admiration for face balms, I especially enjoy using them at night because of their super rich texture, dense nutrition and the ability to seal in moisture! This is especially important in the evening, as the skin is the most active at night!

Isola is the sexiest balm I’ve ever used! The scent is reminiscent to me of the most luxurious and tropical IPA and I’ve never experienced such a (can I say sexy again?) glow as I have with Isola. I am normally very liberal with my skincare, but truly a little bit of Isola goes a long way! I love applying this balm to my face, neck and chest as a last step in the evening and the scent lingers so delicately, like an evening tropical breeze!

The scent is so vivid, one of my favorite memories forever tied to the smell of Isola is my newborn son laying on my chest at night; both of us in a state of utter bliss as this naturally gentle aroma envelopes us while he drifts off to sleep!

Reine Strawberry Radiance Infusion

Another unique & truly rare treasure, this oil serum is another favorite of mine!

Featuring organic strawberry seed oil (when’s the last time you’ve seen this ingredient listed in your skincare?) this decadent serum deeply nourishes, protects and transforms the skin. It has a beautiful peridot green hue, and smells of JUICY berries, if I had to pick one serum from Aislin Quinn, Reine would be it. My face is always left feeling plumped and glowing!

TIP: I love mixing a drop of Reine with my cc cream to enrich the formula and further nurture my complexion throughout the day!

Kuava Tropical Antioxidant Serum

Aislin Quinn’s answer to a vitamin C serum, Kuava is a vivid, passion fruit & guava-scented beauty that is another juicy experience! It absorbs quickly (think aloe-based, not oil-based) and offers a multitude of benefits including deep hydration, brightening, smoothing, etc. This serum is perfect for day time use and is lighter than Reine.

Full List of Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Hibiscus sabdariffa (hibiscus) hydrosol water, Lactobacillus/Arundinara Gigantea (Bamboo) Ferment Filtrate, Glycerine, Psidium guajava (Guava) fruit extract,Terminalia Ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Althea Offinalis (Marshmallow) root extract, Garcinia Mangostana (Mangosteen) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract & Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, palmitoyl tripeptide-5, Sclerotium Gum, Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (vityamin c), Hippophae rhamnoides L (Sea Buckthorn) Supercritical CO2 Extract, Jasminum Sambac Floral Extract, Sodium Hyaluraunate, Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Resin Extract, Xanthum Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Helichrysum Italicum Flower Oil, Daucus carota (Carrot Seed) Oil

https://www.aislinquinn.com/products/kuava_vitamin_c_serum

Tonka Tropical Glow Body Nectar

Right now, this shimmering body oil-serum is seasonal and only available currently at aurorabeauty.com; regardless, it is worth a special mention! The scent is absolutely heavenly, like a tropical snicker doodle and the glow is just subtle enough that it looks like your skin is luxuriously moisturized, silky and flawless! The first ingredient in this serum is organic Kukui Nut oil; this, along with other decadant oils and Tonka butter lovingly feeds the skin! I really hope Trish brings this beautiful formula back next year! I can honestly say this lush body oil absorbs well and never leaves a greasy mess behind!

Kalahari Creme Cleanser Concentrate

I must admit, I am not able to give this cleanser a proper review…yet. I used this cream cleanser on dry skin a few times and did not really understand it to be as effective at removing makeup or cleansing like Lehua. It has a very subtle scent and does not lather like a traditional cleanser.

Recently, I saw Rich, @boy_into_beauty on Instagram, recommend using this as a moisture mask, or better yet, keeping it in the refrigerator and applying it to the face during the summer. This sounds like such a fabulous use of this lovely cream that I want to purchase it specifically as a mask!

Liliko’i Fruit And Flower Vitality Mask

Liliko’i was recently updated & I am really excited to try it again. The ingredient list is so lush and sophisticated, with 15 of the most nutrient dense flowers and fruits in the world! Think fruit enzymes, honey & pink clay whipped into a light mousse-like texture with plant peptides and hyaluronic acid to infuse the complexion with hydration, nutrition and vitality! I will be sure to update my blog the moment I have had the opportunity to incorporate the new formula into my routine!

Complete List of Ingredients: Koalin, Hibiscus sabdariffa (hibiscus) hydrosol water, Mel (Honey), Kaolinite Clay, Water, Glycerine, Passiflora Incarnata Fruit Extract, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Ginkgo Biloba leaf extract, Camellia sinensis (White Tea) extract, ginger root (Zingiber Officinale Roscoe) extract, Hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, palmitoyl tripeptide-38, Saccharum Officianarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil, Boswellia carteri (Frankincense) extract, Potassium Sorbate, xanthum gum, Silver Dihydrogen Citrate, Citric Acid, Jasminum Sambac (Jasmine) oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil

https://www.aislinquinn.com/products/lilikoi

Extra Tips & Tricks!

The more I immerse myself into botanical skincare, the more I realize that most rituals are multi-functional; they can be enjoyed in a multitude of different ways and provide extra benefits! I asked Trish for some of her top tips and I love her creativity:

Think outside the box! Blend a drop of Reine Strawberry Radiance Infusion into your foundation to give lighter coverage with amazing nutritional benefits. Blend a little Kuava into Lehua for a really lovely mask experience. Cleanse with a combination of Kalahari and Liliko’i Fruit and Flower Vitality Mask for some really gently exfoliation and deep cleansing.

Be sensitive to what your skin needs now. Its always in flux and always changing. So if it needs a little extra hydration, don’t just hydrate with a single step. Incorporate extra where you can. But most importantly, choose treatments that are made with quality in mind. Quality begets quality.

Tips & Tricks from Trish Moran

Final Thoughts

When I think about luxurious, botanical skincare, Aislin Quinn is the pinnacle of this category. Trish generously shares with us her extensive knowledge of plants through formulas that harness exotic and decadent ingredients to feed and give life to the skin.

Aislin Quinn brings our wildest imagination to life! This luxurious skincare takes us on a tropical journey through luscious scents, silky textures and vibrant colors that elevates our skincare routine to that which previously only existed in our fantasies. Aislin Quinn satisfies the inner child in us, the one who dreams in vivid color, without boundaries or limitations,.

Shop Aislin Quinn and receive FREE shipping here!

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! What ritual from Aislin Quinn intrigues you the most!?

Edible Beauty’s Skin Food Beauty Boosters

Feed your skin! (20% Promo Code Below)

Edible Beauty, a botanical and wild-crafted brand out of Australia is very near and dear to my heart. They were one of the first brands I discovered when I made the conscious decision to clean my beauty routine and I have been a loyal fan ever since. I was fortunate to come across Edible Beauty when they launched some of their products on Sephora.com and I was thrilled to find that these botanical skincare products were just as effective and enjoyable as the chemical-filled alternatives. Since first discovering this luxurious brand, I have tried virtually every ritual and have many favorites, including:

Edible Beauty was the first brand to follow me on Instagram, and now the first brand to kindly send me their rituals to review; a responsibility I do not take lightly. I am beyond grateful to Anna, the founder, for sending me three of their four skincare boosters offered and equally excited about the results!

These lovely boosters are Edible Beauty’s newest launch and are intended to be the perfect addition to any routine to boost a range of skincare results! They can be used alone, or even layered with another booster which is really fun for skincare lovers like myself.

Turmeric Beauty Latte – Clear & Brighten

This booster is the thinnest of the three and has a very slight turmeric scent that quickly dissapears upon application. A potent mixture of Turmeric, Snow Mushroom and Licorice Root helps to reduce pigmentation and inflammation.

Note: I am always looking to brighten my complexion from years in the sun & pregnancy that have left my skin with a lot of discoloration and now, melasma. I always have realistic expectations, and have always figured that laser (like IPL) is my only real option for lightening up any discoloration. So when Anna sent me this booster, I was happy to try it, but kept my expectations to a minimum.

In my true indulgent fashion, I use about 1/2 a dropper of this booster religiously morning & night as a first booster in my routine and after only two weeks have seen amazing results! See before & after pictures above!

Botanical Actives

Turmeric Extract is rich in curcumin, a potent antioxidant which has been used as an ancient beauty ritual for lightening and brightening the skin. Curcumin also inhibits acne causing bacteria on the skin and has been shown to be 36 times stronger than azelaic acid, an irritating chemical used in acne treatments. Its anti-inflammatory properties also mean that turmeric can soothe painful cystic breakouts and calm redness.
Licorice Root contains the active ingredient, glabridin that interrupts the enzymes that activate melanin production, making it a natural skin whitening agent. It prevents future hyperpigmentation while improving existing dark spots on your skin. Licorice Root is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and redness for a clear and calm complexion.
Snow Mushroom known as the “beauty mushroom” the Tremella mushroom has been used for centuries as a youth-preserving mushroom due to its unique polysaccharide and antioxidant profile.  Polysaccharides found in the mushroom have remarkable water retaining properties, with the ability to hold nearly five times more water than hyaluronic acid. Tremella’s polysaccharides also stimulate the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of the most important “super antioxidant” enzymes in the body. SOD helps to protect and regenerate the skin as well as effectively prevent wrinkling and sagging of the skin. It has shown to be effective in preventing oxidative damage to skin cells as well as increasing the body’s production of its own powerful free-radical defence mechanisms.

https://ediblebeautyaustralia.com/collections/boosters/products/turmeric-beauty-latte-clear-restore

Probiotic Radiance Tonic – Calm & Restore

This booster is slightly thicker, and feels much like a hyaluronic acid serum. It has a clean, almost fresh-water scent and is intended to restore the skin’s microbiome. This serum is full of probiotics and nourishing ingredients like Jojoba Milk & Birch Leaf and the results are protected skin that is plump and hydrated. This is especially important for someone like myself who enjoys exfoliating often and uses a lot of active skincare products.

I really enjoy using this booster at night after the Turmeric Beauty Latte. I had a brief eczema flair-up after over-exfoliating one evening, and this serum was extremely repairing to my skin. My skin felt instantly soothed, and the next morning was significantly calmed.

Botanical Actives

Lactobacillus Bulgaricus Ferment Filtrate, restore skin PH and acid mantle reducing skin sensitivity and strengthening the skin barrier. This probiotic strain also attacks bacteria which sit on the skin’s surface causing blemishes.
Wildcrafted Emu Bush, native to the Australian Northern Territory, it contains potent antioxidants including chloregenic acid which protects the skin from break down and ageing along with phenolic acids which have an antioxidant action stronger than that of vitamin E. This makes this wildcrafted extract effective at skin restoration and repair.
Birch Leaf, is a powerhouse ingredient for calming and treating sensitive and irritated skin. It is prized for its ability to reduce inflammation, purify and hydrate skin. It contains 17 amino acids, minerals, enzymes, proteins, antioxidants and vitamins, all of which are beneficial for your skin.

https://ediblebeautyaustralia.com/collections/boosters/products/probiotic-radiance-tonic-clear-restore

Glowing Skin Smoothie – Protect & Smooth

Full of antioxidants, vitamins and omegas, this booster is truly like a smoothie for your skin, intended to offer protection from UV’s and free-radical damage as well as offer retinol-like benefits to even skin tone and texture.

This serum feels like the most active of the three that I tried. It has a slight fruity fragrance and tingles slightly upon application (which I enjoy). I like layering this booster in the morning after the Turmeric Beauty Latte to offer protection to my skin during the day, and since the texture of my skin is already pretty smooth, using this serum helps to keep my complexion from becoming rough by encouraging cellular turnover.

Botanical Actives

Broccoli Extract, a natural alternative to retinol, encouraging youthful and even skin texture and tone. Sulforaphane found in broccoli extract, helps to shield the skin from environmental pollution in addition to strengthening the skin barrier.
St Mary’s Thistle, or Milk Thistle is rich in silymarin, an antioxidant that can helps to slow the ageing process by fighting free radicals that attack skin cells, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. Silymarin also helps support skin’s ability to manage photo-ageing, which results in a loss of skin firmness and elasticity along with age spots – the result of too much exposure to UV rays. It slows oxidative stress, supporting delicate skin cells. Milk Thistle is also made up almost exclusively of fatty acids, which offer lightweight but effective hydration, so parched skin cells become plumper and skin appears more luminous.
Kale Extract, provides an abundance of skin-loving vitamins including pro-vitamin A, vitamin B, C, and K, as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients. This leafy green not only detoxifies and protects the skin, it tightens pores, promotes collagen production, increases cell turnover and prevents free radical damage. Vitamin K found in Kale has a wonderful ability to tighten the skin, thereby reducing fine lines and wrinkles. 

https://ediblebeautyaustralia.com/collections/boosters/products/glowing-skin-smoothie-smooth-protect

Final Thoughts

All of these serums feel silky, absorb quickly and provide results! I was never expecting to see the amazing reduction in pigmentation after just two weeks of using the Turmeric Beauty Latte and I am so happy with the outcome.

If you are wondering which one to purchase, I recommend going with the one that addresses your personal skincare goals. Whether you are looking to reduce pigmentation, repair your skin’s barrier or rejuvenate the texture of your complexion, you can’t go wrong trying one (or all!) of these effectively beautiful boosters from Edible Beauty.

Promotional Code: Receive a 20% discount off your purchase with code Erika20

Remember, you are appreciated and worthy of self-care and love.

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! Have you tried any rituals from Edible Beauty? Which products are on your wish list? Please share your thoughts!

Me Time Botanicals

As Charming as an Afternoon in Charleston!

Imagine taking a stroll through Charleston, South Carolina, on a beautiful spring day; the air is fresh and the sun is shining as it dances and flirts on the sidewalk amongst full, leafy green trees shimmering in the breeze. The scent of neroli and sweet roses fills the air as you make your way to the local farmers market to sample raw unfiltered honey and drink a refreshing glass of tart berry-lemonade. After enjoying a nice full lunch, you end your afternoon by stopping at a local cafe to enjoy a richly aromatic coffee and fresh blueberry scone.

This is what it feels like to indulge in the rituals from Me Time Botanicals, and for me, is the essence of founder, Kara’s line.

Stemming from the need for “Me Time”, Kara attended ‘Formula Botanica’s Organic Cosmetic Science School’ and began crafting her rituals by hand, beginning with her Morning Perk Eye & Facial Serum. Inspired by local and sustainable ingredients in Charleston, South Carolina, Kara explains her sourcing beautifully:

I tour a local coffee roaster, visit a sustainable and cruelty-free apiary to speak to local beekeepers, reach out to berry farmers to get inspiration. My favorite part is to hear their passion shine through as they teach me about their product. This propels me to create something truly special for Me Time Botanicals and your rituals. 

Kara, Me Time Botanicals Founder

I had the pleasure of trying a few of Kara’s rituals and in the process I felt like I was getting to know Kara and her delightful hometown.

Phyto Tonic Facial Mist $18

Meaning “plant derived” this facial mist smells so good and is super uplifting to my spirit! The scent is like candied roses and neroli and instantly refreshes me skin and mood. The star ingredients, white rose, neroli and frankincense distillates help restore the skin by encouraging cell turnover and coconut fruit extract and jasmine help to nourish the complexion.

Tip: This mist is perfect to dampen my face before applying the Berry Bright Exfoliating Mask, as an essence before using the Morning Perk Facial Serum and as a mood booster throughout the day. In my true style of indulgence, once I start spraying this facial mist, it is really difficult to stop.

Berry Bright Exfoliating Mask $30

This lovely mask is as delicious (yes, I said delicious) as it sounds! The scent of berry lemonade is intoxicating and if a little drips down onto my lips, the taste is equally as yummy! The visible pieces of horsetail and nettle, infusing the honey, further add to the sensory experience.

The star ingredient in Berry Bright Exfoliating Mask is our locally sourced raw honey that I pick up directly from an educational center called Bee City just a few short miles from Charleston where local schools and families can spend the day learning about sustainable beekeeping, honey, and gardening. Their honey comes from the local wildflowers, blueberry bushes, & palmetto trees.  The hives are never treated with chemicals or pesticides, the honey is unadulterated and the bees are truly loved. 

Kara, on the sourcing of the raw honey used in her Berry Bright Exfoliating Mask

Tip: I really enjoy wearing this mask for over 30 minutes to an hour when I have the time! I mix the jar well before application and the exfoliating action is definitely noticeable. Before washing it off I practice facial tapping with dry fingers which feels especially awakening around the eye orbital area and mouth! Washing it off further activates the scent, making my mouth water all over again!

Morning Perk – Caffeine & Blueberry Seed Eye + Facial Serum $25

Like a soft, berry-scented coffee, this oil-serum is extremely moisturizing and comforting on the skin. The locally roasted, fair-trade, organic coffee infused in this serum is hand-picked by Kara from Charleston Coffee Roasters right in Charleston and is made using antique roasters to get the most out of the beans, and into the serum! Using this at night, I wake up in the morning with my skin feeling perfectly hydrated and it is absolutely suited for use during the day as well (not too oily)!

Tip: I prefer removing the roller-ball so that I can pour a generous amount into my palm to spread all over my face, neck and chest in the evening. I enjoy taking a moment to massage this oil-serum deep into my skin, paying special attention to my under-eye area to awaken and refresh my appearance during the day.

100% Organic Beeswax & Coconut Oil Bath Candle $5 – seasonal only!

Final Thoughts

The passion behind Kara’s formulations are evident during the experience of her rituals. From locally sourcing her ingredients to hand pouring, labeling and batching each jar, Kara really wants every woman to enjoy a special moment of “Me Time”.

After getting acquainted and indulging in Me Time Botanicals, I realize the brand is perfectly named, lovely and affordably priced. Great for a little indulgence or as gift for a girlfriend or loved one, there is really no reason to hesitate in giving this delightful, natural, indie-brand a try!

Remember, you are appreciated and worthy of self-care and love.

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! What is your favorite way to indulge in “Me Time”?

How Important is Cleansing, Really?

My A.M. Cleansing Routine

Lately, I’ve been witnessing the rising trend of ditching facial cleansers in the morning in lieu of splashing one’s face with water. Does anyone else find this ritual bizarre? To me, this is about as normal as brushing one’s teeth without toothpaste, or taking a shower without soap.

I happen to think that cleansing my face, especially in the morning, is the most important step that sets the tone for the rest of my (skincare) day!

Our skin does a lot while we sleep including increased cellular turnover; it is also the bodies largest organ and the requirements of our skin can change daily based on hormones, diet, etc. For these reasons, I like to listen to my skin when I wake up to understand what it needs.

Is my face feeling tight? Is it rough? Does my skin need a double cleanse? Extra exfoliation? Or can I just use a gentle cleanser? When I tailor my cleansing routine to my skin’s daily needs, the results I achieve are a more healthy and vibrant glow.

My Morning Routine Options:

My skin feels tight: Exfoliation followed by a gentle cleanse or mask.

My skin feels normal: Gentle cleanse or active cleanse.

My skin feels rough: Exfoliation followed by an active cleanse or mask.

My Favorite A.M. Cleansers:

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser $42-$82

This gritty cleanser is a holy grail ritual for me. It has an aloe-base so it rinses really clean and leaves my skin feeling fresh! The scent is also bright and awakening! With 11 active ingredients, it polishes, refines, decongests & plumps the skin. Using this first thing in the morning on dry skin really helps to soften my complexion if I wake up and my face feels tight.

Osea Ocean Cleanser $48

I have written about this cleanser in-depth in a previous post and absolutely love how potent it is with algae extract and lactic acid. My skin LOVES lactic acid! It does a fabulous job of keeping my skin smooth which sets the perfect canvas for the rest of my skincare regimen and make up. Tip: This would be what I consider an “active cleanser” with its powerful ingredients that work deep to exfoliate the skin.

Nuori Vital Foaming Cleanser $35

I discovered Nuori when I traveled to Denmark with my sister last fall, and I love how this unique brand boasts freshness (Nuori recommends using their products within a few months of batching to get the most effectiveness from their ingredients). This foaming cleanser is uber gentle and has a beautiful floral-citrus scent. Full of humectants and pomegranate enzymes, it leaves my face feeling undisturbed yet cleansed and soft.

Earthwise Beauty Marshmallow Cleanser $60

Earthwise Beauty has captivated my heart and this cleanser had me instantly smitten! This small-batch, organic, unrefined cleanser leaves my skin silky-soft and clean. A little goes a long way and the formula is full of calming and soothing ingredients like calendula & chamomile flowers, marshmallow roots, cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil and jojoba seed oil to nourish my skin and keep it clear.

Final Thoughts

Gone are the days of using Cetaphil to cleanse, and I don’t think I will ever forgo cleansing to simply rinse my face with water in the morning. I enjoy a variety of cleansers depending on my skin truth each and every day. Giving myself options allows me to truly listen to my skin and give it what it needs to achieve a more smooth and glowy complexion.

Remember, you are appreciated and worthy of self-care and love.

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! What is your favorite morning cleanser? Have you ever tried just splashing with water? What are your thoughts?

Phenoxyethanol

Much Like The Spelling, It’s Complicated!

During pregnancy, there are a lot of things we are told not to do. Whenever I have a friend that is expecting for the first time, I always give them the same advice, “If it bothers you, don’t do it. The peace of mind is reason enough”. Questioning your decision, after you’ve done something you were weary of, and the worry that inevitably follows, can be the worst part in making that choice to begin with.

For personal reasons (mostly pregnancy and breastfeeding-related), phenoxyethanol is an ingredient that I have chosen to try and avoid in my skincare routine. If for none of the evidence below, than for my own peace of mind.

What Is Phenoxyethanol?

According to the “Think Dirty” app, “Phenoxyethanol is a common, synthetic, antimicrobial preservative used in cosmetics. There are no reports of this compound being found in natural extracts”.

Phenoxyethanol is a very controversial ingredient that I was unaware of when I started detoxifying my beauty routine. It is controversial because there are many advocates for the use of phenoxyethanol and many advocates against it. According to a video by Tata Harper, a lot of companies market their products as “paraben-free” in an attempt to make us assume they are safe, but as she explains here, these same companies use other questionable preservatives instead, like phenoxyethanol. After watching this video for the first time, I remember being very disappointed when I checked my “clean” beauty products only to see this ingredient listed in a majority of them.

Watch the Video: Exposing The Natural Beauty Industry: Tata Harper on Greenwashing

In moderation and in low concentrations, I’m sure phenoxyethanol is not extremely harmful (that’s a big assumption), but when you use as many products as myself, or are unaware of the concentration of phenoxyethanol in a particular product, it can be reason for concern. While the FDA recommends cosmetic companies use concentrations of 1% or less, at this time, the United States does not regulate phenoxyethanol.

Side Note: Currently, Japan and the EU limit the use of phenoxyethanol in cosmetics to 1%.

My decision to avoid phenoxyethanol was greatly justified when I read an article by Follain.com, in which they chose to eliminate any products that included phenoxyethanol from their shelves. Follain.com cited a study from http://www.ehp.niehs.nih.gov in which they discuss phenoxyethanol being associated with “increased time to pregnancy” in women.

Read the Follain Article: We Officially Banned Phenoxyethanol from our Shelves

Read the Study: Urinary Glycol Ether Metabolites in Women and Time to Pregnancy: The PELAGIE Cohort

The great news is that there are a plethora of amazing, natural skincare brands who do not use synthetic preservatives, and at the same time are exponentially effective. Also, a lot of mainstream brands are beginning to re-formulate their products without phenoxyethanol. Hooray!

Just to clarify, I am not condemning phenoxyethanol and I believe preservatives are extremely important when it comes to the safety of our skincare products. If you have no reason to avoid this ingredient, or aren’t convicted either way, then you shouldn’t be overly worried. This blog post is meant to inform, not create fear.

Skincare is a very personal choice. Much like a diet, what works for one person may not work for another. There is no judgement if this is an ingredient that you decide not to avoid, and there may be other ingredients that I commit to discontinue using in the future. To be transparent, I use regular nail polish and currently have no strong conviction to change. Clean skincare is an ever-evolving journey of self-discovery and improvement.

Final thoughts: As with most things, I believe moderation and education are key. It’s impossible to avoid every hazard in life and I know there are many risks we are still unaware of. Until we have conclusive information from all sides, all we can do is make informed decisions, be confident in the personal choices we make, and ultimately have peace of mind.

Remember, you are appreciated and worthy of self-care and love.

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! Are there any other ingredients you’ve made the personal decision to avoid? I’d love to hear your thoughts.