September has been a busy month for me but I somehow still manage to find the time to trawl through the internet and Instagram and discover some really interesting new skincare brands or products (my current travels in Seoul are a perfect example of this). I find that trawling through websites and Instagram, extremely therapeutic and it is a great way for me to wind down after a long day - it also feeds my skincare obsession, whether it be online 'window shopping', reading through some reviews on other blogs or just seeing what comes up on my 'Explore' feed on Instagram. Since moving back home to Perth, I have had many opportunities where I have wanted to zone out from my daily life and in doing so have discovered some really unique and beautiful sounding skincare companies that are still focused on making their skincare in small batches. It is so obvious that the founders of these skincare companies put so much of their love, passion, heart and soul into each and every product created.
Each of the brands I speak about today all have their little 'niche' and their own story to tell. In the mix I have also featured a new book which I have stumbled upon by celebrity makeup artist Wendy Rowe. This book, although coming from a makeup artist focuses very heavily on the art of caring from your skin, starting from what you put inside your body and then with what you use on the outside - a really important lesson for many of us! Enjoy reading my little round up of skincare discoveries for this month.
Precious Skin Elixirs
Precious Skin Elixirs is luxurious skincare brand that is handmade with much care and love in small batches by the owner and founder Marissa Bethoney. The brand focuses on using sustainably sourced natural, organic and wildcrafted ingredients for each and every product. As Marissa herself describes, "Precious Skin Elixirs is an expression of love - a captivating collection created to give you an inspired skincare experience of self-love and joy in honouring your sacred beauty while encouraging a deeper connection to the earth, our shared source of life". Marissa, a former jeweller, came up with Precious Skin Elixirs a week before a scheduled brain surgery. "The event made me reevaluate how I wanted to spend my time on the earth and what I would do to create joy, harmony, and love. I felt a deep pull to work with plant medicine and create something that would inspire a reconnection to our relationship with our planet and honour our sacred beauty in a natural, healthful way". This epiphany that she had lead her to learn more about plant medicine, spending years expanding her knowledge and at the same time Marissa discovered more about the healing powers of gemstones.
The first product that Marissa created is the Amethyst Harmony Elixir in which she actually created for her own fussy, blemish-prone skin (and she was also pregnant at the time). She wanted a facial oil that would help heal, calm, and balance troubled skin and after experimenting with different ratios and other essential oils that she knew were high in soothing azulene, she started to see a large improvement in her own skin. The Ameysthst Harmony Elixir has since been reformulated several times to the potent and concentrated formula it is today.
What interests me most about Precious Skin Elixirs is the use of ingredients in Marissa's face oil formulations. She uses really interesting and harder find carrier oils such as camellia seed oil, prickly pear seed oil and borage seed oil as the base or carrier oil in her formulations. These oils are generally a lot harder to find and much more expensive than your typical grapeseed oil or sunflower seed oil that you can often see in many formulations. If you look carefully at the ingredients list of the Tourmaline Radiance Elixir, you will see that the first ingredient on the listing is prickly pear seed oil, which is a much harder produce (each seed is quite small and obtaining oils from these seeds is quite a labour intenstive process) and harder to find carrier oil which research does show, has some fantastic benefits of the skin. It is high in antioxidants, fatty acids, beta carotene which help to brighten, protect and help with healthy cell turnover. Precious Skin Elixirs not only has oils in the luxurious range but also a beautiful cleansing balm, a honey polish, mist, face balm and exfoliating clays which are all made in small batches by Marissa herself and with the upmost love and care. Marissa herself is a beautiful soul to speak with, so if you do have any questions for her, she is always more than happy to help.
I love learning about the science of skincare or at least how skincare is formulated and recently I stumbled upon Mel Millis Phytonutri Skincare which harnesses the power of phytonutrients in its skincare range. Phytonutrients are organic chemical compounds found in plants with some plants can containing up to 300 different types of phytonutrients. These phytonutrients are extremely potent in term of rejuvenating, repairing and detoxifying the skin. Mel Millis skincare uses a patented extraction process which is certified organic, to obtain these phytonutrient extracts in their ingredients. The patented extraction process is completed in a high tech laboratory in the UK. What makes this patented process so different form other companies is that it does not utilise the popular steam extraction which uses high temperates which can alter a plants chemical structure, it uses a much more innovative process which maintains of the plants chemical properties which can later be extracted further to use as potent ingredients in skincare formulations.
Mel Millis was founded by former ballet dancer Tracey Lily Foy who has worked in the organic industry for 6 years. Tracey has travelled the world, living in 7 different countries and it is no wonder that in her skincare range she also encompasses some Far Eastern medicinal principles and has combined these with scientific research. The Mel Millis range uses scientifically proven ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Sea Plant Algae, Spirulina, Ginseng, Green Tea, Arctic Cranberry along with ancient oils such as Frankincense and Myrrh and also beautiful floral extracts such as Rose, Neroli and Immortelle.
What is the most unique in the Mel Millis Skincare range is the Phytonutri Qi collection which uses some really interesting ingredients such as sea plant jelly, grounded rose petals, Arctic plants and algaes. For me, I love that the Phytonutri Qi Plankton Skin Remedy is a powdered cleanser that does not include bicarbonate soda in its formulation and therefore is less likely to damage the skin's natural acid mantle and cause irritation. I also think the that Phytonutri Qi Enriching Sea Plant Jelly sounds quite unique! From what it sounds like, it is like a concentrated balm but with a jelly like texture due to the use sea plant extracts and of course, algae. I however, could be wrong about the texture but if it does ring true, it would be a lightweight alternative to the more richer balms we are use to seeing in many natural skincare labels. I find that the Mel Millis range is quite unique and extremely intriguing due to its extraction methods of its natural ingredients as it is a method that is unique to the brand itself (as mentioned, it is patented) and also the brand's use of unique plant extracts for the sea.
I hardly ever get excited about moisturisers, but one brand that seems to have got my attention as of late is Yoshimomo Botanique, an artisan line of luxury skincare that is based in New York City. The company prides itself on being innovative, natural and most importantly being able to deliver results. The ingredients in each and everyone of Yoshimomo's formulations are carefully sourced from all over the world and are proud to be clean and free from synthetic ingredients such as: Butylparaben, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-releasers, Hydroquinone,Ppetroleum and Petroleum distillates, Phenoxyethanol, Phthalates, Talc, Triclosan and animal-tested ingredients.
Yoshimomo Botanique is proud to formulate each and every product in small batches and even prouder to be able to pack and ship all orders from their laboratory in New York City. The brand's founder, Teresa Kinkaid Burton believes that "the process of producing is part of the pleasure of creation and (we) wouldn’t have it any other way", the company has completely eliminated any middle man, instead opting to be the manufacturer and the retailer of their own products so that the savings can be passed to the customer.
As mentioned earlier, the moisturisers in the Yoshimomo Botanique range have me quite excited as each and every single one of the formulations of the brand sound lovely and lightweight (perfect!). The brand currently has 4 different moisturisers available in the range, these include: AHA15 High Potency Alpha Hydroxy Moisturiser, Flawless Pore Perfecting PhytoCeremide Moisturiser, Quench Hyaluronic Moisturiser and Renew 5% Niacinamide Oil Free Moisturiser. The one that caught my interest the most is the Quench Moisturiser as my skin absolutely loves hyaluronic acid and it is so nice to see a moisturiser that is dedicated to this particular ingredient as well as other skin loving ingredients such as aloe vera and rose water. From what I have read, this moisturiser sounds beautiful and lightweight and is quite easy to use both day and night. I also love the fact that the other moistursiers in the Yoshimomo range use ingredients such as niancinamide, ceremides or AHAs to further nourish, protect or treat the skin. As mentioned earlier, the range of moistursiers of this brand is incredibly impressive and there is most definitely something for everyone.
Erica Brooke Skincare
Erica Brooke Skincare is a Australian skincare company that originates from Brisbane, Queensland started by none other thank Erica Brooke herself. I love hearing about how companies start and with Erica's story it starts off in 2006, when Erica, a coffee barista found that her hands were becoming damaged from her job. Her days spent in a roast house, grinding and making delicious coffee started to take a toll on her hands as they were showing signs of wear - they were dry, cracked and stained. Having tried many of the offerings available to help heal her hands, Erica decided to take things into her own hands and made a hand scrub to help heal her worn hands. To her surprise, her concoction worked, and it worked really well. This simple scrub ignited a passion and an interest for Erica which lead her to create her own natural skincare line - Erica Brooke Skincare and it is obvious that she really does love what she creates from her interactions with others on Instagram and the research she puts into each and everyone of her formulations. Each small batch of skincare is proudly made by herself with lots of love and care.
Erica's latest offering is the Emerald Elixir - a super serum that acts to hydrate, repair, nourish and brighten the skin as it contains a powerhouse of beneficial ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, spirulina, caffeine, niancinimide, Kakadu plum, Tamanu Oil and CoEnzyme 10. However, what drew me to the Erica Brooke's brand was her Honey Cream Cleanser. This product sounds so delightful and soothing (hello honey in a creamy based cleanser??!) for the skin due the mixture of nourishing and non drying oils/butters such as shea butter, coconut oil, marula oil and olive oil and of course...honey! It sounds like a beautiful blend of nourishing ingredients that will help to cleanse the skin but also to help keep it soft, balanced and hydrated. I think Erica Brooke is definitely one to watch in the Australian market!
Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe
I am really enjoying reading books on skincare and beauty and this latest release by renowned celebrity make-up artist Wendy Rowe is one that is next on my reading list. I do not know much about Wendy herself (I am not a huge follower of makeup artists) but her portfolio of clients is quite impressive, one being the effortless Sienna Miller who wrote the the foreward for Wendy's book - Eat Beautiful. Wendy also has an attitude to makeup and skincare in which I can relate quite well with, in a recent feature article by the Daily Mail she quotes "While I live and breathe make-up, I firmly believe that it won’t look good on skin that is clogged or irritated. And skin won’t look good unless you pay attention to your health in general and your diet in particular". I find that this does completely ring true and you really are what you eat!
Eat Beautiful explores how to keep the skin looking radiant, beautiful and glowing starting from the foundation - what we eat and put into our body and secondly, what we put on to our skin. The cover of Eat Beautiful itself is just stunning! It is a beautiful hardcover book in a luxurious beige colour with stunning rose gold embossing (and I am such a sucker for rose gold). The book is a supposed to be an easy to follow handbook that contains simple recipe ideas for healthy, nourishing meals as well as a plethora of information about our skin and how to care for it. The book also includes recipes for homemade skincare treatments ranging from masks, scrubs and cleansers. In between this wealth of knowledge from Wendy herself, are beautiful images which makes the book a perfect gift for any skincare or beauty junkie.
Have you used any of the above brands/read Wendy's book? What were your experiences and thoughts? If you haven't tried any of these, what do you find interests you the most? I would love to hear more from you so please leave a comment below!