The Beauty Regime

Top: My skincare stash, lots of unlabeled bottles with homemade crap in them. Bottom: Detox! (Note: Kusmi Tea is extremely overrated, the Detox tea smells like burnt cannabis)

Hello! I hope your new year is off to a banging start. I've been undergoing a strict detox and purging regiment, keeping away from all sorts of nasty food and from the computer. The holiday season hasn't been kind to my skin or my hips and now I'm sort of wishing that I had been eating more cleanly. It didn't help that I stocked up on a whole ton of Crémant, Prosecco and Cava during a recent wine sale and went a tad nuts with a bottle of Tanqueray and a box of lemons. It also didn't help that within a span of one month, I had two turkey dinners, a blueberry pie, multiple pumpkin pies, a bazillion chocolate truffles ('La Maison du Chocolat', oh mah gawd), a ton of processed meat courtesy of Olympic Provisions, and a whole vat of mashed potatoes (almost all in one sitting, I kid you not).

The unfortunate excess however, causes me to get really, really OCD about my skin this time of year, especially since meat and alcohol (yum!) inevitably causes severe acne for me. Couple that with a tendency to develop severe eczema in the winter months, I have been stumbling around looking like a pockmarked meth-addict. In that vein, I've been inspired to post something about my skincare regime due to a myriad of reasons - first by Alexandra's post about winter skincare, then noticing how much the holiday season has taken a toll on my skin, and finally, receiving emails from a reader asking about my homemade oil cleanser and In Fiore skincare.

I enjoy a mostly holistic approach to skincare, meaning I try to use a bare minimum of "natural" and "organic" products. The quotation marks just indicate that those terms are subjective I guess because is anything these days truly "natural" and "organic"? I think good diet and lifestyle practices does much more for good skin than the most expensive facial serum. However, as I have been told time and time again by my husband, this notion is just insulting to a lot of people who genetically have bad skin. So as a disclaimer, I just wanted to share what works for me, and give you an insight into how I approach skin and body care and list some of my favorite products. I generally have okay skin which gets terribly dry in the winter and the occasional breakouts and red splotches from self-induced pimple mutilation. I also have allergies to a whole slew of things (hops, synthetic fragrance, SLS, etc., etc.) that often result in hives so I steer clear of a lot of brand name skincare.

I'm a huge fan of In Fiore, a small label from San Francisco. I first discovered Julie Elliott's line when I was looking for an oil balm to help with my eczema. I apologize in advance that her products are really hard to find if you are outside the US, but if you know of another brand that is similar, I would love to hear about it. The New York Times printed a really good article last year about "modern apothecaries" and Julie's label came up as being one of the pioneers (the article also makes a good point about why I find Aesop products quite overrated). The Japanese, purveyors and consumers of fine skincare also seem to enjoy her products immensely. Evan Healy, another skincare brand carried in Whole Foods and other natural stores used to be my go to, but recently, I think her formulation has changed and it no longer works out for my skin - her milk cleanser was a favorite but it now causes me to break out along the jawline. That being said, natural skincare is mostly trial and error - formulations change, companies get bought out by Colgate-Palmolive or L'Oreal, and they tend to use a lot of essential oils and cold-pressed carrier oils that may not work for everyone. In Fiore tends to be very expensive initially but I find that they last me quite a while and nothing else I have used in the past has ever even come close keeping my skin in top condition.

I also use a lot of my own homemade concoctions, the main one being an oil cleanser that is a cross between Tatcha's Oil Cleanser and In Fiore's Treate. I've been using rice bran oil in lieu of sweet almond oil for the past year and the results are pretty good. I use a mixture of rice bran oil and camellia oils (sinensis because it's slightly cheaper, and a bit of japonica for the luxury) along with some Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), tea tree oil, vitamin E and glycerin which act as preservatives. Rice bran oil is much less of an allergen than sweet almond oil and if it's good enough for old-timey Japanese women, it's good enough for me. I also make my own daily moisturizer using a variation of the oil cleanser while adding in a very Asian mix of red panax ginseng and red marine algae. I've included the recipe for the oil cleanser at the bottom of this post, but the moisturizer is still under a somewhat trial basis. The three main things I use from In Fiore is a brightening serum ('Lucense'), an eye cream ('Vis Clair') and a very, very potent face balm ('Fleur Vibrante') - all of which I can't seem to replicate at home because of the herbal and floral infusion and because I don't want to stock up on so many essential oil extractions.

The main problem I find with organic/holistic skincare is the lack of good makeup and sun protection products. I usually stock up on free samples of lipstick or eye makeup whenever I can and I have a tube of Koh Gen Do foundation that's been rotting in my drawer for a couple of years now. In general, the RMS Beauty 'Un' Cover works fine for me as both a concealer and light foundation - just dab under the eyes, around the nose and on blemish spots. RMS is the namesake of Rose-Marie Swift, the makeup artist for the likes of Miranda Kerr and Gisele Bundchen. A few of her products come highly recommended, especially her 'Living Luminizer' which I must say is an awesome highlighter to minimize dark circles and to make your cheekbones more prominent (and if you're a flat-faced Asian like me, make your nose a tad sharper).

I haven't found a natural SPF moisturizer that rivals the soft, almost translucent look that Cle De Peau's Gentle Protective Emulsion gives, so I'm sticking to that in the mean time while I figure out a suitable replacement. Cle De Peau is definitely not holistic by any means, it comes fully chemical laden but a girl cannot resist a barely-there SPF product. It's strange how I avoid feeding my dog commercial pet food because of propylene glycol (antifreeze, yikes!), yet I'm slathering that crap all over my face. Below is a list of the products I use and how I go about using them.

Everyday skincare products:
1. Homemade Oil Cleanser (about $12 for 4oz.) ~ see below for recipe*
3. Organic Immortelle Hydrosol from Hood River Lavender Farm with added Witch Hazel ($18) 
7. In Fiore 'Fleur Vibrante' ($58)
8. Homemade Face Cream (about $12 for 2oz.)
11. May Lindstrom 'The Problem Solver' ($90)
12. RMS Beauty ''Un' Cover in 22' ($18)
13. Benefit Cosmetics Brow Zings in Dark ($30)
14. In Fiore Veloutee Lip Balm ($58)
15. Moon Valley Lip Treat ($2.99)

Morning skincare regime:
Oil cleanser, followed by Immortelle Hydrosol, In Fiore Fleur Vibrante, In Fiore Vis Clair eye cream and lip balm. If I'm at working from home (which is most days), I add some homemade face cream, spray a bit more Immortelle Hydrosol over the top and call it a day. If I'm leaving the house, then I use either the Cle de Peau Beaute Gentle Protective Emulsion (for winter) or Josie Maran's  SPF 40 cream (for summer) as a moisturizer. I apply a bit of Brow Zing, cover some blemishes with the 'Un' Cover and I'm good to go.

Night skincare regime:
Oil cleanser and rinse, followed by Immortelle Hydrosol and either In Fiore Lucense or a few drops of Camellia Japonica (Tsubaki) oil. Finished with In Fiore Vis Clair and some In Fiore Fleur Vibrante if my skin is extra dry.

Extra skincare regime:
I do scrubs twice a month with  May Lindstrom's 'The Clean Dirt' and mask once a week with her 'The Problem Solver'. I cannot speak more highly of those two products if you're trying to get rid of acne and tighten up pores. I also use a homemade hydrating mask made of 1 tablespoon each of oat flour (you can make your own by grinding up some old-fashioned oats), honey and goat milk yogurt with a few drops of Vitamin E. Leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse off with cool water.

For body care, I tend to keep things really low key - I use a homemade brown sugar scrub once a week (made with 2 parts brown sugar, 1 part rice bran oil, 1 part oat flour and a few drops of essential oil). I use J.R. Liggett's Shampoo Bar most days, along with John Masters' Organics Rosemary and Peppermint detangler, and I buy olive oil soap in bulk. I used to wash my hair every day (sometimes twice a day!) but I think it was causing some sort of thinning, so now I use a very simple homemade dry shampoo made of corn starch, kaolin clay and slippery elm powder and wash my hair every two days or so. I do believe in dry brushing your skin at least every other day to keep off dead skin cells and help new ones regenerate. My body cream is whipped shea butter that I mix with rice bran oil and argan oil. I also use argan oil on the ends of my hair or Yarok's 'Feed Your Roots' Mousse when I'm heat styling (which is exactly four times a year). Every once in a while, when I'm feeling saucy, I dab on some MCMC Hunter but otherwise, fragrance free is the way I roll.

More importantly, I think diet plays a vital role in keeping my skin in a somewhat decent condition - this includes drinking lots of warm water with lemon and ginger (I love Pukka Herbs Three Ginger Tea with added cracked, dried ginger), drinking lots of green/detox tea and supplementing with fish oil, Vitamin C and a Vitamin B-Complex supplement every day. Also, a good green food and probiotics blend (I use Vibrant Health 'Green Vibrance') shaken with coconut water or Odwalla Superfoods juice is wonderful for those days when you're just not getting enough vegetables in your diet or when you're travelling. I love meat, carbs and cheese more than the next testosterone-driven bloke, but the threat of cystic acne and heart failure is making me pare down on those things for the next couple of months while my body gets the cleanse it needs (alcohol is pretty hard to give up though, so everything in moderation, eh?). In the meantime, I'm going to be having tons of the aforementioned tea and getting lots of walks, reading and work done.

As an aside, Renee from Anaïse was generous enough to offer me a percentage-off coupon to her store during my wedding, and I finally got around to picking up the Olio Lusso Crema by Rodin since I had heard great reviews about it helping with dry patches. I've been using that somewhat religiously over the past week and I'm a little sad (and at the same time, quite elated since this cream costs $80!) to report that the combination of macadamia and jasmine scent is a little off-putting to me - it smells like sweaty clothing and mothballs. In Fiore uses a lot of jasmine too, but it never gets as heady as this. My two main gripes about Rodin however, are: 1. the complete ingredient list to all the products is terribly difficult to find and 2. all good aromatherapists/naturopaths/purists will tell you to 'always store your oils in a dark bottle'. I think a huge part of the Rodin hype is that she had easy access to the fashion and beauty market, being a former model and a style editor. I'll confess that I'm an elitist, but I have been using jojoba oil, calendula and argan oil for ages, and it just seems that if your only experience has been with skincare brands that are sold in departmental stores, then Rodin may seem like a tremendously exclusive experience. Either way, I just wanted to thank Renee again for giving me a chance to try out Rodin's cult, and if you haven't already visited her store, please do! It offers a drool-worthy selection of finely curated lifestyle pieces.

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* See the recipe here.

45 comments :

  1. wonderful post - you seem to have all of the same skincare problems as me (mine too is really suffering after a month of festive overindulgence) so I will definitely be giving some of these products a go. I'm going to try and make some of your oil cleanser, although some of the ingredients can be hard to buy in the UK!

    my mum was an aromatherapist for years (horrified to see Rodin in a transparent bottle) so I'm no stranger to essential oils, and they remind me of home. essential oil scents seem to be the only ones I like - everything else seems to smell less 'clean' and more 'chemical'... if that makes sense?

    I've been using Avene moisturizer recently, which is wonderful for dry skin; easy to see all of the ingredients on their site (unfortunately not entirely natural, though). Neal's Yard is a brand you might like which sells lots of natural products made with essential oils (their shops are like beautiful, old fashioned apothecaries) - worth a try if you can gets your hands on it :)

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    1. Fen, have you tried Fushi Wellbeing in the UK? I get my supplies from them (and Ebay) and they seem to be stocked at Waitrose as well. This is so interesting that your mom was an aromatherapist! I wish there was someone I could whip up some crazy concoctions with who knew what they were doing and I wouldn't have to resort to online forums. It seems to me like I'm the only one who finds Rodin to be severely overrated and overpriced.

      I use the Avene eau de thermal sprays for travelling. And I love Neal's Yard soaps! On the few trips I've made to the UK, I've always stocked up on them.

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  2. My meth-addict eczema and myself are nodding in agreement here. And my hips. Hips can nod, too.

    I tried the oil cleansing method for a while but for me it was a disaster (my experience here: http://majahuse.com/granola-fail-the-oil-cleansing-method/), so I am back to my trusty yet very unsexy products from Boots and my local pharmacy. They work for my skin though, and that's what counts in the end :)

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    1. Maja, I want to apologize that I haven't been reading your blog as much as I should. I should have read your posts on skincare much earlier! I think the warm water/face cloth thing with OCM is pretty bad for your skin - it causes dilated capillaries and dries out the skin FAR too much. That's why I added soy lecithin to my oil cleanser so that it's easier to wash with just some cool water. Have you tried cutting out the avocado oil and lavender/tea tree EO and just use castor and jojoba? Anyway, you're right, don't fix what's not broken. If the Boots stuff works for you, that's all dandy. Heck, when all else fails, I use pharmacy benzyl peroxide on my acne and it clears it right up. ;-)

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    2. Oh how I wish I had known this when I started using the OCM a year ago, it would have saved me from some nasty acne scars! I only did the OCM for a few months, but the worst scars have yet to fade properly. They will be gone soon enough, though, and hey: that post does attract a lot of Google searches and will hopefully prevent other people from causing similar damage to their skin. For science! :)

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  3. What a great post and your tray of bottles and creams looks beautiful! I've been making my own oil cleanser using rice bran oil and I like it a lot. I have 2 questions: where do you get the large amber glass pump bottles from? and do you have a recommended source for camellia japonica oil? Thanks, and love your blog!

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    1. Hello! I get my pump bottles from LuckyVitamin - they are about 200ml (4oz.). I think some of my bottles are from older skincare that I've used before like John Masters Organics etc - I just wash them out in the dishwasher and reuse. I've recently started using Miron glass for my homemade stuff, and I get them from sacredfriends.com. I get my camellia japonica from Amazon - Fushi Wellbeing stocks an awesome cold-pressed, organic one. http://www.amazon.com/Virgin-Japanese-Camellia-Organic-3-52oz/dp/B004UKJE3U/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1357432920&sr=1-1

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    2. Thanks so much for the info, Amanda. Appreciated, and off to browse! :)

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  4. Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for the great post! I'm looking up some of your recommended skincare products to see if I want to try using them. I'm always battling skin problems, especially cystic acne. I think it's because my body is 'heaty' by nature, so when I take food like chocolate it really sets my acne off, yikes!

    I would like to ask if you would recommend the Green Vibrance poweder and if it has any notable effects for you? I looked it up on iherb and it seems that Australia bans the product so I probably need to see if it's worth the risk of getting it shipped to Singapore and bringing it back to Sydney with me...

    Thank you!

    P.S I recommend taking wheat grass and/or barley grass powder they help to alkaline the body.

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    1. Hi Samantha. That's the first I've heard of Australia banning 'Green Vibrance'. I do think however that Australian customs is VERY strict with plant product so even if it's not banned, it might not pass through customs inspection. I've had them confiscate things like tea and biscuits before when I shipped them to friends. You can try Dr. Hagiwara's Green Magma (it's more easily available) and combine that with a really good probiotic and Vitamin B supplement. I haven't found another product that rivals 'Green Vibrance' though. It works extremely well for detoxification (in the first week of usage, you might get more acne, but it clears up pretty fast).

      If you're "heaty", I strongly recommend coconut water and lots of chrysanthemum tea. They really work wonders for my body even in the winter time when there can be some "false heatiness". Strangely, warm water steeped with ginger and lemon also helps!

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  5. Ooh, adding lecithin to your oil cleanser is a great idea, I'm going to try that! I have rosacea and while I generally love what the OCM does for my skin, I worry about the heat and the scrubbing.

    I did DIY an approximation of Olio Lusso, modifying a recipe from here: http://www.skincaretalk.com/t/8769/oil-lusso-fad-or-really-works

    I recommend leaving out the jasmine oil though. I had to toss out my first test ounce as I just couldn't get past the strong scent!

    -Polly

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    1. Hi Polly, heat definitely exacerbates rosacea (and eczema) which was why I kept looking for a good oil cleansing formulation that was easy to wash off and I do the face steaming only once every other day. Please remember to use "powder" instead of granules if you try out the lecithin as its easier to dissolve and provides a much better texture. I've seen recipes that use liquid lecithin but I hate that stuff - it's worse than super glue.

      I saw that recipe of Olio Lusso - which sort of proves that you can basically make your own version by mixing several very good oils without resorting to $150 . Thanks for letting me know about the jasmine oil. Rodin has jasmine oil as the first ingredient... :-P

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  6. I like the idea of making your own beauty products! In the end it's the best way to tailor it best to your skin's needs.

    The brand I use most for skincare is Clinique, which initially was a brand for dermatologist products. They have no perfume (I hate mixing all the smells of the different products) and their products are separated in 4 types according to your skin complexion. Their price is rather reasonable too, if not cheap.

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    1. Hello, Kali. Happy New Year! Unfortunately Clinique products do not work for me - I used for a few weeks a very long time ago. I'm can't use many things with either mineral oil or alcohol in them. I guess it shows that everyone's skin is different and there is no ONE magical cure.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your regimen - sounds pretty amazing. One question I've been having lately is, what are the benefits of using oil? I've only ever used soap cleanser, toner, cream and lotion on my face, but lately I see oils around everywhere for the face and body. Is it used as a cleanser, moisturizer, both, or some other purpose?

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    1. The idea behind oil cleansing is that oil dissolves oil and is less harsh than soap cleansers since surfactants are usually not only bad for the environment but also strips your skin off its natural sebum/oil. Also, before soaps and lotions were invented, people were using carrier and essential oils for beauty e.g. the Egyptians & Phoenicians. Heck, even in the Bible they talk about frankincense, myrrh and vats of olive oil. The reason why a lot of people are hesitant to use oil as a cleanser or moisturizer is that different carrier oils work differently for each person. A lot of oil products use mineral oil - which is notorious as a comodogenic and clogs pores. You have to test it out for yourself which carrier oil (e.g. jojoba, rice bran, olive) closely mimics the way your skin behaves. Some people have to use really light oils, others, with more mature/dry skin have to use super heavy ones like avocado. Anyway, long story short, the benefits of oil are: (a) cheap(ish) - depending on what and how you use it (b) you can control what goes into your homemade stuff and (c) it's natural, not petroleum derived and it works almost as good as the most expensive synthetic face cream.

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  8. I'm a big fan of oil cleansers, especially in the winter. I'll have to give your homemade cleanser recipe a shot one of these days!

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    1. Jennifer, let me know if and when you try it if it works out for you.

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  9. Happy new year!
    My skincare regime tends to be pretty minimalist, since my skin is very sensitive to products. I use a number of French brands - Keracnyl face wash by Ducray, Maybelline eye make-up remover, and an Indian sunscreen called Photoban throughout the year. I like to supplement with Avene's Trixera face cream during the winter and use the Keracnyl exfoliating mask by Ducray during the summer and monsoon. In case of pimples, Avene's Diacneal overnight treatment on spots works well. I also use an eye cream by Vichy, but I am not convinced of its efficacy.
    For my rather dry, curly hair, I like Head and Shoulders shampoo for a dry scalp and I use the Moroccan Oil treatment every day.
    None of this is very natural, I am afraid. I have tried out natural products from Neal's Yard Remedies in the past and while I fell for their scent, story, and texture, they don't work on my skin. But I do love using natural products on my body - the Indian brand Forest Essentials makes a terrific tamarind and sugar body scrub and a lovely jasmine-infused body oil which I adore.

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    1. Ammu, you're right in that natural products don't necessarily work out for everyone. In my experience, natural skincare is like holistic healthcare, you try to prevent the problem from happening, but once it happens, you probably need some scientifically advanced remedy. I think a combination of both works well for most people - I know I rely heavily on Benzyl Peroxide for my occasional acne.

      Case in point as well - Head & Shoulders is miraculous for dry scalp! All the men I've recommended it to swear by it, none of that SLS-free shampoo ever works as well :-)

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  10. Wow. This is amazingly detailed, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I am going to read up on Cle de Peau. I'm not too particular about organic skin care, but am definitely a big fan of barely-there spf products!

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    1. Hi Anna, Cle de Peau is terribly expensive but it's very luxurious. Their gentle lotion is fabulous - Makeupalley's rating for it is based on the old formulation, the new formulation is really nice though. It is however, owned by Shiseido, so if their products don't work for you, the Cle de Peau probably won't work either.

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    2. Hi Amanda, thank you for this. And since you are from the US, you may want to check out this sunscreen from Sunday Riley:

      http://www.sundayriley.com/index.php/facial-care/cashmere.html


      I have read good reviews about it, and the packaging is wonderful. (And no, I don't work there =)

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  11. what an epic and wonderfully informative skincare post. alas, i have the opposite skin type that happens to be randomly sensitive to organic all-natural essential oils, so i stick by my giant pump bottle of Cetaphil daily cleanser and avoid skincare products with oil...

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  12. Thanks for the great post on skincare!

    I've struggled with cystic acne for 10+ years. What finally knocked it out for me was a combination of a b.c. pill (Yaz), occasional topical application of a retin-a prescription cream (I use a low-concentration 0.025% cream 1-3 times a week as needed if blemishes start to arise), and a strict homemade fruit-and-greens-only (no yogurt, etc.) smoothie for breakfast every day, along with a large salad sometime later in the day.

    The two prescription drugs (the b.c. pill and topical retin-a) were about 50% effective, but it wasn't until I upped the fruits and veggies in my diet 3 months ago that I saw completely clear skin all of the time. A bit of regular exercise (30 minutes a day several times a week) will also boost the skin clearing, I've found. And I say this having had truly atrocious, scarring cystic acne for many years from a hormonal imbalance.

    After the above methods, I try to keep it simple for skincare. Glycerin soap at night to wash off makeup, warm water only in the morning (helps to keep skin from being too dry/combination dry and oily).

    Sorry for the long post, but I'm pretty excited to have found something that works, and have shared it with everyone I can. Also, it's nice because (other than the medications), it doesn't rely on products.

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  13. petrichore-
    i had a similar problem, and it suddenly got better when i was pregnant with my second child. almost 10 months later, knock on wood, things have been fine. but oh god, it was so awful with the first pregnancy. horrible scarring, i can't even look at photos of myself. anyway, this all leads me to believe it really is a hormonal thing. i don't want to use retin-a or any other medication, but i'm worried about it coming back.

    i highly recommend RMS Beauty, too. living luminizer, un-cover up, and the raw coconut creme oil (i use it as a cleanser, moisturizer, and deodorant). although these days i can easily find coconut creme oil at the health foods store, so i use that instead. i also like argan oil. thanks for the Rodin review. i was curious about whether it was worth the money...

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    1. Erica & Petrichore - I highly recommend the Scar Repair Booster by Mambino Organics. I fell down the stairs last year and got 4 stitches on the side of my brow. I used the oil twice a day for three months and it's pretty much faded (except for a slight indentation).

      I wonder if the coconut oil is a little too much for my skin though, I started breaking out on the bridge of my nose after applying the Living Luminizer for four days in a row...

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  14. It was truly odd. I got really sick with flu over Christmas and New Year which meant I was on a diet of water, soup and medication. My skin glowed despite the fact that I had black patches larger than a Panda's.

    I've stuck to my Trilogy rosehip oil for 2-3 years now and it has made an enormous difference to my skin. I haven't bothered with eye cream or other anti-aging products. I've just bought Jojoba oil for my body. Since both oils are delicate and toxic free, I use them on my 6 year old too.

    I'll have to check out your shampoo recommendation. I used to love Burt's Bees shampoo but lately, it has been leaving a lot of residue and causes my hair to be oilier than usual.

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    1. Oh, J.R. Liggett is really great! If you can't find it in the UK, let me know and I'll see if I can smuggle you a bar :-)

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  15. This is such a timely post! I had suffered a major breakout toward late summer that left me scrambling to figure out what would help me overcome feeling like a teenager.

    I started following regimen:

    1. Loading up on a veggie/fruit drink every morning including apples, kale, dates, ginger and lemon.
    2. 2x/day I take Skin Eternal supplements with DMAE, Lipoic acid, and other vitamins.
    3. I am a runner and, after getting a facial, was recommended a toner that helped collagen production by the brand iSun. All organic, natural products. LOVE the whole line!
    4. Every day I have some detox tea
    5. A lactic acid exfoliant by iSun a few times/week
    6. DMAE, lipoic acid and lemon serum at night

    I've also been incorporating some coconut oil/flakes with my food every now and then as well. All of the things above have radically changed my skin.

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    1. Monica, I love love kale, ginger & lemon smoothies - especially with baby kale. Yum. I just don't have the time and my blender is a POS, so maybe one of these days I can sucker someone into buying me a Vitamix and I'll get more into smoothies. Thanks for the Skin Eternal recommendation! I picked some up yesterday and will get it tomorrow. I was looking at some iSun products recently, for some reason that I can't remember now, I didn't find it attractive. I'll have to look again. Thanks so much for the recommendations!

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  16. Great post. I'm always on the lookout for new holistic, natural beauty products. I actually love most of the Aesop products I've tried. I can see why both Aesop and Kiehl's have gone the way of the corporate world. I do wonder if that will or has compromised their products. Up til now, both Aesop and Kiehl's have worked well for me. I love the Kiehls's barely there sunscreen and Creme de Corps and the Aesop hand cream and Fabulous Facial Oil. Lately, I've had splotchy skin (eczema perhaps?) and I was wondering which of the In Fiore products worked best for that kind of thing? I would love to try one or two of their products out. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Mel, is it eczema (scaly and red) or pigmentation (dark and discolored)? Either way, try the Fleur Vibrante which is sort of lower priced and it works fantastic on eczema and dry skin. It's sort of a healing balm. Also, the Lucense is made specifically for skin brightening/pigmentation - you can buy half sizes. The only MAJOR problem with purchasing from either In Fiore itself or Beauty Habit is once you purchase the item and open it, you can't return them if it doesn't work out. Pretty silly. But I would suggest getting the Fleur Vibrante and then requesting samples of Lucense.

      I used Aesop's face wash back in the day, maybe 15 years ago and found that it didn't do anything for me. So maybe I'm biased? :-)

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    2. As someone who has eczema I must say it isn't always scaly and red. Eczema comes in a variety of forms. I would recommend seeing a dermatologist before I purchased any of these products. They can suggest products that would work best for you.

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    3. Hello, thank you for your comment. I've had eczema since I was six and from experience, and lots of research have found that the diagnosis of eczema is predetermined by red, itchy and scaly patches. If you have eczema, doctors will prescribe steroids, an antihistamine and ask you to use a lot of moisturizer while reducing exposure to allergens - it seems to be the standard procedure. I agree that only a dermatologist can determine if one has eczema, and I don't presume to be a substitute for professional advice. I just wanted to point out that a lot of the products I listed above avoid many of the allergens that cause eczema and help keep the skin moisturized.

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  17. Thanks, Amanda! I think it's eczema, but I'm not 100% sure. I will give the Fleur Vibrante a try. How is Treate? Is it an oil-based cleanser? I've been using Jurlique, but find it a bit drying right now. I agree, Aesop's cleanser's are meh.

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    1. It could also just be really dry skin, but yes try Fleur Vibrante and take lots of Omega-3 and Vitamin E. I also take a collagen supplement and it seems to help. I have terrible eczema, a giant red and scaly patch on my leg and shedding eyelid and generally very dry skin. My masseuse says it might be due to gluten allergies but I don't want to think about it because omg, pasta & bread, how can I live without them! Anyway, Treate isn't an oil based cleanser, it's more of a gentle cleansing lotion. I can see why Jurlique might be drying, they have the foaming agent (cocamidopropyl betaine) and alcohol. I've never tried Treate, so I can't say for sure and I don't know what your budget is, but I love Pai's Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. It's TERRIBLY expensive (the shoot me in the head kind of expensive), but it works very well for dry skin.

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  18. Thanks for the post :) I've been lucky to always have very clear skin, never had any trouble with acne except for the occasional pimple or whatever. Until this past summer, when I got eczema which lasted about 4 months from start to finish. Luckily it seemed to just stay to my torso, but gradually it went up my neck and onto my face a bit. They gave me lots of topical steroids and an oatmeal cream for my face - none of it did anything! I was freaking out - I thought it must be my body getting back at me for years of problem free skin! In the end I haven't the faintest clue what made it go away. I think so much of it must be hormonal. The rest of the time, I'm usually clueless as to what to use to take care of my skin- Thanks for all the recommendations! Especially interested in the luminizer you mentioned because I always have dark circles under my eyes.

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  19. Nice to find post on in fiore here! And the comments have been great to read about all of you guys' experience!

    I used to have combination sensitive skin. After 3 pregnancies, my combo skin changed to dry skin. Even my forehead area now is dry and starting to have wrinkles. I am in the early thirties. And found cream la meeting useless. Oj, what am I going to do? I have tried clear see prayer and not rich enough for my skin now!

    plus my sensitive skin is quite thin on the cheeks and easy to get clog pores underneath my eye bag area if I put very rich makeup base on. An example would be Laura Mercier's foundation base or paul and joe's foundation base. Sometimes heavy texture sunscreen also prone me to clog bumps on the upper cheek areas.

    So frustrating! Wonder if in fiore would save me from dry lines and dehydrated skin??

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  20. What an incredible post! I love seeing the breakdown of everyone's beauty ritual. And I am thrilled to see May Lindstrom Skin included in your favorites!

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  21. Hi there,

    I am curious about using rice bran oil, what kind do you use?

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    1. Hello, I order mine from Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dllViewItem&item=150861223670&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:US:3160

      The seller is kessil2000. I also recently found one at Whole Foods but I haven't tried it yet. I'll report back when I eventually get around to using it.

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  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  23. Do try the Kimberly Sayer sunscreen. It's really the best nano-free all-mineral sunscreen I have found.

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