I came across an old photo the other day. My sister and I couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 at the time and we were standing on the side of our home in our leotards and tutus, practicing first position. I say practicing because she was clearly in first position and I was looking down at her feet trying to copy her but not quite there yet. She is 51 weeks older than me so clearly she had an edge.
Looking at the photo, I noticed the rose bushes behind us. They lined the side of our home and were brilliantly colored in shades of deep red, a mellow yellow, bright tangerine and poppy pink. My dad would spend hours pruning them and every weekend before Sunday brunch my mom would send us our with very sharp scissors — it was the 70s after all — to bring in an overflowing bouquet for the table. They really were magnificent but what I remember most vividly was the scent – so beautiful it’s indescribable.
Roses are easy to love – there are so many different varieties, they smell divine, are absolutely gorgeous and can even rejuvenate skin and condition hair when infused in beauty products. Look for those that contain rose essential oil, rose hip (the fruit of the rose) and rose water. As much as I hope to get a beautiful dozen or so myself this Valentine’s Day, these rose beauties would make me just as happy:
Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser ($34) is formulated with rose hip oil, a natural source of omega 3, 6 and 9 to regenerate, repair and nourish, Virgin Cherry Oil to minimize redness and hydrate and Vitamin C to brighten, support collagen and protect.
Kypris Beauty Elixir 1 – 1000 Roses ($225) blends the essential oil of 1,000 organic Bulgarian roses with botanical extracts and skin-loving nutrients. To use, press up to 3 drops of this oil into your complexion, neck and décolleté upon waking and before bedtime for dewy, glowing, softer-than-soft skin 24/7.
Fig + Yarrow Complexion Water in Rose/Sandalwood/Neroli ($42) is ideal for dehydrated, mature, sensitive or chapped skin and can be used on the face, hair and even to body to hydrate and refresh. It’s formulated with a blend of precious essential oils and floral waters specifically chosen for their hydrating, toning, balancing and aromatherapeutic benefits. Best of all, it multi-tasks as a light, fresh fragrance.
L’Occitane Roses et Reines Pink Lip Balm ($12) nourishes lips while leaving behind a natural flush of pink. It contains the extracts of the Grasse rose, Bulgarian rose, Moroccan rose and Turkish rose as well as a special and unique rose extract from Haute-Provence.
Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules ($110) are just right for a skin-reboot regimen. Break open a pink one in the morning and green one at night for antioxidant protection and moisturizing properties to help repair and renew your complexion. The pink day capsules also contain Rose Absolute, ideal for maximum soothing and hydration.
Essential oils are found in a variety of beauty products and for good reason — they can be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, have healing and antioxidant properties and even help transform your health and happiness by triggering and strengthening your own system. The best way to get the therapeutic benefits of essential oils is through a combination of these two delivery systems:
Inhalation: When you breathe in essential oils, your nerves signal the limbic system of your brain which handles emotional and psychological responses. Depending on the specific essential oils and the qualities they possess, your response can vary from calming to energizing followed by a specific physiological response that will stimulate changes in your body’s immune or other systems.
Topical Application: Essential oil molecules are extremely small so when they’re applied topically, they can pass through the outer layer of the skin and into the bloodstream. These 5 factors play a role in how well your essential oils will be absorbed:
- Freshly cleansed skin absorbs best because there’s nothing to impede it.
- Thinner skin is more permeable than thicker skin, making your scalp, inside wrist, palms, soles and area behind your ears ideal application spots.
- Massage can increase absorption since it warms your skin and increases blood flow.
- The larger the area of skin that is covered, the more essential oils will be absorbed.
- When mixing your own blends of pure essential oils, use thinner carrier oils like Grapeseed Oil or Sweet Almond Oil instead of thicker ones such as Avocado or Olive Oil.
PREMIUM PRODUCTS Beauty products that are infused with essential oils can help you feel like you’ve taken a trip to the spa — they smell incredible, can be therapeutic and will feed your senses as they give a boost to your complexion, hair or body. Here, some of our favorite essential oil-infused products:
Fig + Yarrow Pink Love Salts ($32) combines Himalayan pink salts with pure essential oils of patchouli, yang yang, bergamot, orange and geranium bourbon for a therapeutic soak in the tub. It detoxes and mineralizes your body as it calms and soothes your muscles and your mind.
Lavanila Fresh Vanilla Lemon Fragrance ($58) blends juicy lemon, watery fruits, fresh bamboo and Madagascar vanilla for a warm, energizing and addictive scent. Organic sugar cane alcohol is blended with essential oils for a healthy take on fragrance.
L’Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil ($22) This new gentle cleansing oil is enriched with high percentage of nourishing shea to swipe off all traces of makeup in a single step. It turns into a soft emulsion when it comes into contact with water, and is not heavy or greasy as some facial oils can be. Leaves skin clean and fresh.
Blackbird Square Soap ($12 each) is loaded with pure essential oils plus coconut, olive and palm kernel oils for a luxurious skin softening experience. Try Blood Countess (a spicy and comforting scent), Eucalyptus Clay (to purify the skin and wake up your senses) or Izba (to detox). These nutrient-rich soaps are made in small batches with the highest quality natural ingredients.
Limn Organic Face and Body Oil ($120) with wild absolutes and essential oils multitasks withe the best of them. Use it as a face and body moisturizer, under eye treatment, makeup remover and even to your hair to add some sheen to dry ends.
Photo Credit: boscia.com
Charcoal is the latest in a long list of ingredients that have taken the beauty world by storm. Activated charcoal is specifically known to purify, detox and absorb impurities, excess oil and toxins, which makes it ideal for acne and oiliness, as well as clogged pores.
Thanks to it’s skin healing and beautifying ways, the beauty and wellness industry has made it easy to find charcoal beauty products online and on store shelves. Look for it in everything from face and body cleansers to beauty tools to at-home as well as spa administered masks, teeth whiteners and more.
The red carpet has been rolled out for charcoal…these six picks will have you doing the same:
Boscia Charcoal Pore-Minimizing Hydrogel Mask ($8 each) might give you “Jason-inspired” visions when wearing but you’ll be amazed how well you look post-treatment. To do, remove from packet, unfold mask and apply to freshly cleansed face for 20 minutes. After removing mask, massage in remaining liquid from inside packet. The outcome? Your pores will look smaller, your complexion will look smoother and your skin be purified and look radiant.
Earth Therapeutics Purifying Hydro Towel ($10) has medicinal bamboo charcoal actually embedded into the fibers so don’t fret about it washing out with use. You can use it with water alone or you can also add your favorite cleanser to stimulate circulation, slough dead skin cells, unclog pores and restore radiance. You’ll love the towel’s nice long length which makes it easy to do your own back, too.
LUSH You Snap the Whip Body Butter ($11) smells delicious thanks to fruity blackcurrant and bergamot essential oils. It’s formulated with powdered charcoal, pumice, cocoa butter, macadamia nut oils and more to smooth, soften, scent, renew and literally transform your dull, lackluster skin. You can expect a noticeable difference after just one use.
Fig + Yarrow Clay Mask in Black ($18) is a dry blend made up of black clay, activated charcoal and herbs. To use, mix a small amount of the product with a liquid such as fresh water, tea, aloe, honey or even yogurt and apply the paste to your complexion. It will draw out impurities, decongest your pores, remove toxins and help you rediscover your outer glow.
Julep Konjac Cleansing Sponge ($12) is a super-soft all-natural sponge enriched with skin refining charcoal. You’ll appreciate the attached suction cup that makes it easy for you to store in the shower for daily and easy exfoliation each and every day. Replace every two to three months.
Sephora Collection Bamboo Charcoal Blotting Papers ($8) are super-thin blotting papers that make it easy to cut short shine while leaving your makeup flawless. Thanks to antibacterial and anti-fungal bamboo charcoal, these double-sided sheets will resuscitate your look without any leave-behind. Simply toss in your bag for on the go touchups–there are 100 papers in each portable packet.