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?

Product Highlight: Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys

When I first turned to clean beauty and discovered I was pregnant, my prestige-brand exfoliating pads were among the first to go. The salicylic acid, retinol and chemical preservatives determined my decision to ditch them temporarily. I was devastated, and promised to return to them the moment I was done with pregnancy and breastfeeding. I slowly watched the texture of my skin become more rough, and breakouts ensued (I’m sure mostly due to the pregnancy, but that’s not the point!). As if there aren’t already enough sacrifices during pregnancy, I was wrecked to watch my skin become another one.

Wrecked, until the fabulous day I discovered Go-To’s Exfoliating Swipeys at sephora.com. The ingredients were simple, clean and I ran to pick them up.

Initial thoughts:

These are such a good deal! At $35 per jar for 50 pads, they will last me forever, or 3 months. And – the new brand out of Australia, Go-To Skincare, is fun, spunky and focused on making skincare easy to understand.

Ingredient Highlights:

  • Lactic Acid – these pads are extremely potent due to the fact that lactic acid is the second ingredient listed after water. So strong, that the pads are only to be used every other day, and washed off after 60 seconds.
  • Aloe Vera – obviously helping to soothe skin, enough said.

Product Experience:

These exfoliating pads are thin, and perfectly saturated with a citrusy, acidic smelling formula. One side is smooth, and the other side is slightly rough to help with any dry-skin, patches, flakes, etc. I am able to swipe my entire face thoroughly, along with my neck and chest before the pad dries out. Without fail, the pad is always dirty when I am done with it, which for me, is a great sign of success in my quest for ultimate exfoliation (lol)! I use these every other night on a clean face, and after rinsing off, I follow with my normal routine. After just several uses, the texture of my skin went back to a place I could be proud of and I still continue to see improvement. Tip: Their site does not recommend this, but if your skin can handle it, you may be able to start off using these pads three nights in a row to jump start your exfoliation before switching to every-other night.

Final Thoughts:

These pads are another product that make me such a strong advocate of clean beauty. Their strength and effectiveness cause me to question ever returning to products that contain harsh ingredients and chemical preservatives. I have been using these pads for over two months now and give them to friends and family to try whenever I have the chance. If I ever have a day of dry, flaky skin, after just one use, I wake up to smoother skin. These pads have become a staple in my routine and I don’t see that changing.

If you are looking for a great, natural exfoliator that works quickly to help improve the texture of your skin, this product is for you!

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

XOXO,

Erika

Ingredients:
Water, lactic acid, aloe vera, ethanol, propanediol, polysorbate 20, fragrance (natural mandarin and lemon), dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, sodium citrate, potassium sorbate. 

https://www.gotoskincare.com/products/face/exfoliating-swipeys