I am always on the look-out for new and innovative products. I have a strong obsession (borderline neurosis) with international skincare. From French pharmacies to Asian markets, there is always a treasure to be found.
Dedicated to his lifelong goal of satisfying patients, Dr. Jart combined his medical background with a team of 21 skilled dermatologists to develop his eponymous skincare brand. Based in Korean, the line that consists of targeted cosmeceuticals that not only make the skin look good but also deliver long-term benefits. Free of controversial sulfates, petrochemicals, artificial dyes and fragrances, the Dr. Jart+ brand is continuously reinventing skincare.
I recently tried and tested Dr. Jart+ Renewalist Melting Cream. As the name suggests, this innovative moisturizer melts deep into the skin, renewing it’s natural luster. Formulated with moringa oil, argan oil and jojoba oil, this moisturizer delivers soothing hydration. It contains antioxidants to improve elasticity and platol white-c complex to brighten the skin. A clever addition to this product is the use of sebum-controlling powder. This will help control excess oils in the skin without clogging pores and qualifies this product to work as both a moisturizer and a primer.
The unique texture of this product is what makes it one-of-a-kind. It presents itself as a solid, balm-like consistency. A tiny spatula is provided to scoop-out the needed amount and as the product comes in contact with body heat – it melts seamlessly into the skin. The product absorbs quickly, penetrating deep into the skin’s layers with no greasiness or heavy residuals. It leaves the skin fresh, silky and radiant.
The Dr. Jart+ brand is available in the US at your local Sephora.
Josie Maran’s Argan Hot Oil Self-Heating Hair Treatment is food for the hair. This innovative hair treatment comes with an advanced self-heating mechanism that allows the miniature argan ampules to warm up under the hot water of your shower or by simply rubbing between the palms of your hands. The oil heats to the ideal temperature to penetrate hair strands and help seal in moisture.
Self-heats? Yes… exactly what I said.
Unlike the days of the VO5 Hot Oil Treatments where a scalding cup of water was needed to heat the tube of oil, these self-heat. Simply run one of the ampules under the hot water in your shower or rub vigorously between the palms of your hands, and the oil heats to the perfect temperature.
This expert treatment repairs and restores hair in just one minute. Its gentle formula is infused with Maran’s signature argan oil, which contains a large amount of vitamin E to reverse damage caused by heat and over-styling, leaving hair smoother, shinier, and healthier. It also contains bergamot, jojoba and soybean oil to restore dull, lackluster hair.
Suitable for all hair types and color-treated hair, this is an intense, nourishing treatment. In the shower, I leave the oil in my hair for longer that one minute and sometimes add one ampule to my hair before a day at the beach. It really does a great job of protecting my hair from the sun and saltwater. After the treatment, my hair is noticeably smoother and holds an incredible shine. The individual ampules are great for travel and are resealable, so those with shorter or thinner hair can get 2 or more uses.
There is often a misconception about the use of oil on the face. I believe that the term “oil-free” has brainwashed us to reject these magnificent moisturizers. Face oils can be more effective at hydrating the skin than a cream or gel-based moisturizer. Oil is able to sink to the surface of the skin and penetrate two of the five layers of the epidermal, producing quicker results. They nourish the skin, adding powerful vitamins and antioxidants, and help balance the skin’s natural oil production.
The best face oils are all-natural products made from pure oils and other plant-based ingredients. If a product combines oil with synthetic fillers, it looses it’s effectiveness. Here are my four favorites:
Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil: Formulated with an aromatic blend of 11 essential oils, this opulent oil relies on flowers and botanicals for their calming and illuminating properties. A staple of many top pros and makeup artists, this oil can be used to take makeup off, to moisturize and as a massage oil (expensive massage oil?). Add a couple drops to foundation to create a dewy finish or pat on the cheekbones and undereyes for a beautiful, fresh glow. Just a few drops will make your skin look radiant. Use as an alternate or supplement to your moisturizer and apply whenever your face needs a pick-me-up.
Creator, Linda Rodin spent over a year mixing oils in her bathroom (in a coffee cup) to make the elixir to satisfy all her beauty needs. She does not promise miracles–she is neither a chemist nor a scientist. She is interested in simple, natural products that work. In her own words, “the product makes skin look more alive”.
SUTI Nourish Organic Face Oil for Night: A potent blend of 15 plant and flower extracts that strengthen the skin and promotes the regrowth of skin cells while you sleep. Formulated with Avocado, Sesame, Patchouli and Bergamot to heal, replenish and plump-up dehydrated skin; Macadamia and Geranium to balance the production of sebum (the skin’s natural oil production) for healthy moisture retention; Argan Oil to calm irritated, inflamed and blemished skin and Apricot Kernel to help promote dermal elasticity. This combination is intensively “nourish”-ing, luxurious, and smells of fragrant jasmine. Skin looks glowing, bright and plump in the morning, like you’ve just had a wonderful night’s sleep.
SUTI is created by two sister-in-laws Suzannah and Tina (the “Su” and “Ti”). SUTI is a small, impeccably crafted line from the UK that uses only sustainably sourced, organically grown ingredients, hand-blended into the finest and gentlest of facial oils, balms and tonics.
Alpha-H Age Delay Facial Oil: A preventative and corrective solution formulated with nine of nature’s finest oils: Apricot Oil for it’s protection and softening properties; Rose Hip Oil to repair and strengthen: Wheat Germ to nourish; Calendula to regenerate; Carrot Oil to improve skin texture and miximize moisture levels; Frankincense for it’s firming and toning benefits; German Chamomile to soothe; Lavender to heal; Patchouli to aid in repairing cells and balance the skin. This facial oil is a synergistic mix that works to slow the aging process by protecting the skin against free radical damage, repair cell damage and sun damage. Deeply hydrates and firms the skin for instant, noticeable results. Your skin will drink this oil up and immediately feel soothed and nourished.
Australia’s leading professional salon treatment brand, Alpha-H pioneered the use of fruit acids in skin care nearly 20 years ago. Their cult cosmeceutical formulas are endorsed by a global following of clinicians, make-up artists and beauty writers and are relied upon by thousands of therapists worldwide for their fast and visible results on signs of ageing, sun damage, sensitivity and acne.
The product on everybody’s lips… Lip Treatments.
Moisturizing lip conditioners are some of my favorite products. Essential for getting rid of dry, chapped lips, these treatments care and protect all-year-round. Slather them on day/night, in-flight, in-car… anytime. My current five favorites are:
Homeoplasmine Cream: One of my French pharmacy favorites, this multi-purpose ointment soothes, protects and moisturizes the lips/skin. The homeopathic cream was originally created to heal the nasal passages from colds, allergies, and treat skin irritations. However, it is amazing on dry lips as it literally heals them before your eyes. I love the non-greasy consistency and the natural matte finish. Great for travel, this cream will quench jet-lagged lips/skin and the aluminum casing ensures the product will last forever. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find in the US. Sorry.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy: Brings the healing power of First Aid Beauty’s best-selling Ultra Repair Cream to moisturize, nourish, and protect your lips. This long-lasting, petroleum-free and paraben-free formula will prevent dryness and heal parched lips. On its own, it has a subtle, semi-matte finish. Use this healthy lip balm under lipstick to keep lips hydrated, smooth and soft.
Eco Lips Renew Rejuvenating Lip Balm: Formulated with argan oil, vitamin E and antioxidants this lip balm aids in cell renewal and anti-aging. The organic lip conditioner improves skin texture almost immediately and the petroleum-free formula locks in moisture. The bold Orange Spice flavor is a treat on the lips and kind of addicting.
NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm: – Used by many makeup artists as a lip prep, this soothing lip conditioner soaks into lips and dries perfectly matte. The richly concentrated balm contains honey, plant oils, shea butter and grapefruit essence to help nourish, repair, soothe and protect the lips. The incredibly creamy, smooth texture glides on the lips effortlessly and smells of sweet citrus.
The summer months call for plenty of fun in the sun and outdoor activities. Sun, salt, chlorine and wind exposure can take quite a toll on your hair. Keep your locks looking lush with Macadamia Natural Oil’s Deep Repair Masque & Healing Oil Treatment.
Macadamia Natural Oil is a professional hair care line that creates products to heal problematic hair using both macadamia oil and argan oil. Together, these oils replenish the hair’s natural emollients with the high content of essential fatty acids found naturally in both. The combined benefits help to nourish and protect the hair from harmful UV rays while repairing hair follicles for improved elasticity and shine.
The Deep Repair Masque is a revitalizing hair reconstructor for dry, damaged hair. Thick in consistency this masque feels extremely pampering and moisturizing. It smells amazing, like vacation and creates super soft, shiny, manageable hair.
The Healing Oil Treatment is a therapeutic oil that provides intense nourishment and frizz-free finish. It is lightweight, non-greasy and reduces drying time by 40-50%. It naturally provides UV protection which will extend the life of color treatments and reduce fading. This oil instantly and miraculously creates healthier-looking hair.
For an ultra-intense hydrating experience – mix both of these products together and leave-in hair overnight or during a day at the beach or pool.
LUSH is a store that I can play in for hours. The all-natural varieties and the amazingly fragrant atmosphere almost hypnotize me to purchase.
Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner is an in-shower moisturizer that leaves skin insanely hydrated. Infused with argan oil, brazil nut oil, cocoa butter, almond oil and rose extract, this product replaces the need for après body lotion.
The creator of this product,”Ro,” loved the silky feel of her hair after applying conditioner and envisioned a similar conditioning product for the body. In the shower, smooth the Argan Body Conditioner all over the body. Let the cream sit on the skin for a minute or two, then rinse. When washed away, a layer of oils and moisterizers are left on the body, keeping it protected and hydrated. The sweet vanilla/rose-scented cream lingers on the skin for hours.
I would suggest to sample this product before purchase. The layer of film left on the skin is a different sensation to those who prefer a squeaky-clean feeling.
As a bath fanatic, I am always on the hunt for luxurious bath products that nourish the skin and indulge the senses. Kai Bathing Bubbles satisfy all of my bath criteria with it’s intoxicating scent and moisturizing properties.
Kai is a fragrance created by Gaye Straza Rappaport who wanted to capture the aroma of her vacations in Hawaii. The scent is a blend of gardenia, jasmine, tuberose and lilly with gardenia being the prominent note.
When added to a hot bath, this product creates foaming bubbles that perfume the entire room. The bathing bubbles formula blend moisturizing argan oil with coconut and sugar to leave the skin hydrated, supple and glowing.
When drawing a bath, I tend to add a lot of product to produce a sufficient amount of bubbles. However, Kai Bathing Bubbles is very concentrated and a small squirt will engulf the entire tub.
Moroccanoil is an oil treatment for the hair, derived from natural Argan Oil. This brand’s unique formula promises to fortify the hair, improve elasticity and protect against free-radicals.
Moroccanoil instantly absorbs into the hair creating instant shine without leaving an oily residue. It intensely hydrates and conditions the hair leaving it silky and smooth. It speeds up drying time and puts an end to frizzy, unmanagable hair.
Although there are other Argan-based brands that claim to do the same, Moroccanoil is truly one-of-a kind. It smells delicious, like an exotic vacation and never leaves hair greasy or sticky.
Tip: Apply Moroccanoil to damp hair at night, twist into a bun and pin to the top of head. In the morning hair will be soft, wavy and completely frizz-free.