DUO Body Cleansing

February 16, 2017

Me before showering: I don't want to shower.
Me once in the shower: I live here now.

Am I the only one who kind of...dreads showering? Don't get me wrong, I like to look and feel clean - and I definitely loooove being in the shower once I actually force myself to get in - but I get unnecessary anxiety leading up to the task. I've thought about it an I think the dread comes from the fact that I'm not a quick shower kind of gal. I like to really suds up, exfoliate, shave my legs, let my conditioner sit, wash my face with multiple cleaners, and follow up with lotion from tip to toe. It's a whole routine that I'd love to simplify without feeling like I'm away something important.

Well, the reason for this post is that I found a way to combine a few of my shower steps with one innovative product: DUO. It's a brand new dual-sided cleaning tool that gives the same "clean" as bar soap, the "care" of a body wash, and the textured experience of a puff/cloth. I test drove the Olay DUO with Soothing Orchid & Black Currant scent offering (the tool also comes in Old Spice Swagger or Pure Sport and Ivory Refreshing Clean) and was so impressed after one shower use that I've abandoned nearly 4 products/tools in favor of only using the DUO!

 

I’ve always been someone who favors using a bar of soap in lieu of a body wash (I felt like I get a better lather with a bar!) but body washes definitely deliver a scent quality that I like. Sometimes I typical shower for me starts with sudsing with a bar of soap, rinsing, followed by a body wash and shaving, rinsing, then using a body scrub or mit to exfoliate. I know…that’s a lot of steps. The DUO gives me all the same results (clean skin, scented and hydrated skin, and exfoliated skin) in one product versus four.

After getting the DUO under water, the flexible cleaner inside the two layers immediately starts to lather. Unlike bar soaps, the DUO conforms to the curves of your body and is really easy to hold onto…an aspect that really made me feel like I was getting a good clean! First I do a once over with the smooth side (which is very soft but not slippery) then follow back over the scrubby side. I looove the feeling of a good scrub! The exfoliating side is nice (and honestly the side I prefer most) because the texture isn’t ultra rough and doesn’t irritate or over work the skin. Once I’m all lathered I hang the duo with it’s handy little loop, shave my legs, and feel like a million bucks.

Sometimes I spend the extra time I save using DUO and not my other various products/tools to stand under the hot water and zone out, and sometimes I hop out of the shower early and jump into my hair routine, cutting my whole “getting ready time” down. Either way, I feel good (and smell amazing, by the way) knowing that I got such good clean (2 times better than what I would have gotten from a basic body wash and puff) and have softer, smoother skin.

Don’t just take my word for it, try a revolutionary DUO for yourself! You can find coupons for the DUOs here (just type “duo” into the search bar!) and shop the DUOs online and at mass and food retailers.

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True Botanicals: Clear

January 12, 2017

My skin is far from perfect. It's quite fair, and can easily burn without SPF. My eyelids have this very gorgeous unsightly purple hue. The circles under my eyes seem to get darker each day. My overall completion is pretty uneven and I have a very visible red undertone. Oh, and I'm acne-prone. That alone is enough to make all my other Mean Girls "my nail beds suck!" woes seem insignificant. Anyone past the age of 21 who deals with regular acne breakouts knows that the struggle is real...

When it comes addressing my acne-ish skin, I've done my share of product trial and error. These have ranged from one extreme (oral prescription from a dermatologist and Proactiv) to the next (using nothing but Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil) and everything in between (drug store brands, fancy department store lines). I have tired products that claim to perform miracles and they have done very nice things for my complexion, texture, etc. but the spots (a nicer word for "pimples), blemishes, and breakouts just kept coming. We're not talking about cute "once a month" hormonal flair ups either. This is around the clock, no-area-is-off-limits, stuff.

Can you sense some frustration? No one knows my broken record of complaints better than Sally. And after she got on board with True Botanicals for added moisture benefits and fell in love with several of their "Renew" products, she suggested I test drive their "Clear" line. I decided to do just that.

 

If you’re not familiar with True Botanicals you can get better aquatinted with the brand by reading Sally’s post about her experience with the Renew line. Or I can summarize: True Botanicals is a line luxury anti-aging skincare that’s made safe; all products are highly concentrated, made with bio-active formulas, and free of all toxins. Three are three skin categories (Renew, Clear, Calm) each with the same assortment of products but specially formulated (so that, for example, the Clear Pure Radiance Oil is different from the Renew Pure Radiance Oil is different from the Calm Pure Radiance Oil). But no matter which skin category you fall under (and there’s an easy quiz you can take to help determine that) all the products are formulated to have high performing anti-aging benefits. Each category and each product contains specific ingredients that will help address the causes of aging!

I did not need a quiz to tell me that I would most definitely benefit most from the Clear category. If there’s one good thing about getting consistent breakouts, it’s that you know where you stand on a skin spectrum! Lol, jokes aside, I was really, really excited to try the core Clear products and see how my skin did. Full disclosure: I started using everything below on December 8th (2016, obvi). I even took before and after photos – but the lighting for both (because I was trying to be a good girl and take them in the same spot) is so horrible that even with magic editing you, dear readers, wouldn’t really be able to see the true difference. But I think this is a-okay. Because you still have me and all my writing to take you through the month+ skin journey.

As far as routines and steps go, this one was pretty easy. Cleanse, tone, pat in oil, layer over serum, swipe on eye balm, done. I did this twice a day, every day, for the past month. I didn’t stray to other products or change anything (aside from using SPF during the day and an added heavy balm at night when I was at home for Christmas and the cold was killin me). I wanted to really see if I could notice a difference if I made a true switch…and I’m excited to share (spoiler alert!) that I did.

  • Hydrating Cleanser, Clear: I admit, I used to think that cleansers were kind of BS. Don’t they all do the same thing? Take off your makeup then it all gets washed off? Well, yes. But your skin is an organ and super absorbent so you can’t just put anything on it, because though you rinse, the ingredients in the cleanser are affecting your skin. Moisturizing is the #1 tip True Botanicals has for treating acne. This cleanser is, as its name suggests, very hydrating. It’s creamy – doesn’t really lather but does spread well and can be massaged in really well – but once you rinse your skin isn’t striped. It feels clean (and is clean) but it doesn’t feel like you’ve washed with hand sanitizer or something equally harsh. It smells nice – nothing super strong – just a light, botanical scent and I had no issues using it each morning and every night (after removing my eye makeup first). The most special part about the cleanser, besides all the stuff that makes it hydrating and work for anti-aging, is that it has ingredients that are antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. All three are so beneficial to poor souls with acne-prone skin! This sets the base to keep breakouts at bay, helps heal existing issues, and works to soothe old scars.
  • Nutrient Toner, Clear: I loooove using toner. Ever since I read that using oils and serums without first using toner makes the products less effective I was hooked on the process of using a cotton pad to tone then following up immediately with an oil, serum, or both. I figured that the True Botanicals Nutrient Toner could possibly be life changing and it seems that I was correct. he Nutrient Toner doesn’t sting or burn (both side effects that should make you question what you’re using asap) and deeply moisturizes better than anything I’ve previously tried. Not only that, but the specific ingredients in the Clear formula get to the cell layer to eliminate bacteria while also stimulating cell turnover. I put didn’t do any extra exfoliation during the past month (acne-prone skin tip #3 from True Botanicals) because I knew that this toner was gently exfoliating without causing irritation or sensitivity.
  • Pure Radiance Oil, Clear: The Pure Radiance Oil is True Botanicals best selling product. No mater which of the three categories you get in the Pure Radiance Oil, its main function is to strengthen the skin barrier function. Barrier? Let me attempt to break it down: a strong barrier is essential to defending your skin from the outside world (bacteria, infection, pollutions, sun, etc.); if you have a damaged or weak barrier, you likely have skin problems and probably some skin sensitivity. The super concentrated and active ingredients in the Pure Radiance Oils add strength to the barrier, making it easier for your skin to protect itself from outside gunk. Pretty cool, right? The Clear Pure Radiance Oil doesn’t just repair a weakened barrier and get it back to strength, but is formulated to balance acne-prone skin with anti-bacterials, antioxidants and bio-active marine ingredients. The oil has a yellow/orange tint and just a few drops is enough to be fully massaged into skin after toning. It’s not a dry oil – in that it doesn’t seep in right away – but it’s not overly oily either. The glow it gives is pretty unreal and I have no problem using it alone then following with SPF and makeup for the day or following with serum and jumping into bed at night.
  • Cellular Repair Serum, Clear: So if you’re using an oil, you don’t need a serum, right? Wrong. At least when it comes to the True Botanicals Cellular Repair Serum. What the Cellular Repair Serum does is different depending on what category you need. The Pure Radiance Oil works its magic on your skin barrier and maintaining balance and the Cellular Repair Serum adds even more strength to the barrier (so essential if you have acne) and has targeted ingredients for fighting adult acne (!). Because as I mentioned earlier, more is more is more when it comes to making your skin barrier as strong as it can possibly be. I layer two pumps of this goodness on at night so it can be the last layer on my skin and really work uninhibited.
  • Smoothing Eye & Lip Balm: Eyes and lips don’t usually get acne (can you imagine!?) so the Soothing Eye & Lip Balm can be used by anyone. And as I have become an addict of it, I think that everyone should use it. Sally spoke so highly of the balm and the moisture it added to her under eyes that I didn’t question whether or not I needed it. Covering up acne is one thing but flaky under eyes are nearly impossible to deal with. I dip my ring finger into the little pot, then dot and pat into my dark under eye areas till they glisten and shine. Sounds counterintuitive to do this in the morning before I apply concealer but let me tell you, it doesn’t mess with the concealer, just keeps my skin super moisturized. No flaking or dullness, just hydration and plumped up lines (I can attest to this). And of course, I really slather the balm on at night.

Here is what I can say about my one month of devotion to True Botanicals Clear. I 100% love all the products. Individually they are great but I can see how when used together they make the biggest impact. I 100% noticed a difference in my skin. I’m not currently completely free of spots (just really practiced at covering them up in photos, wink) but I wasn’t expecting that. However, the spots have become – dare I say – less frequent. They now have a shorter life span and usually start heal within 24 hours (which is huge because this means the bacteria and infection is out!). I see the most recent and red scars from previous breakouts becoming less noticeable and overall, my complexion is more even and less irritated. And hydrated! OMG my skin has never felt more moisturized, soft, and well cared for. I can easily deal with a spot or two at a time because I’m so pleased with how healthy my skin looks and feels overall.

You can see from the photos that I’ve gone through about half the amount of each product during my month trial. My plan is to do another month of the True Botanicals – or until everything is gone – and revaluate again. If I’ve learned anything with this little test, it’s that patience is earned and discipline is rewarded. I have a feeling that with three months of using just the Clear products that I would be over my acne hump and that I could continue using everything to maintain the balance and antibacterial, antifungal ingredients my skin so clearly needs.

So was I wowed? Yes! Am I 100% cured of acne? No. But again, I don’t really think instant skin miracles are a reality…I’m happy to be patient and use True Botanicals’ beautiful, natural products because I know they will make a difference in my skin health and beauty for the long term!

Whether you have acne-prone skin like me, normal skin like Sally, or Rosacea-prone skin – I suggest giving True Botanicals a go. They even have adorable trial kits for anyone wanting to test the products before committing to full size qualities. Win!

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R+R In The New Year

December 30, 2016

It's time...to make that list of resolutions for the new year. I've got a few things I plan on taking on in 2017 but the biggest thing is prepping for the arrival of my sweet baby. So much to look forward to (designing the nursery, researching the best equipment and must-haves, nesting and getting life organized, etc.) but I'm still feeling so exhausted and just thinking about the "to-do's" makes me feel slightly overwhelmed and very sleepy. I've been told that I'll get an amazing burst of energy soon (honestly can't wait) but till that happens, I want the start of 2017 to be about rest & relaxation...charging my batteries and indulging in a little bit more "me" time while I can!

For me, rest means lots of naps (I've become a champion at taking them over the past 22 weeks) and relaxation means treating myself to some soothing activities. I've never been a huge bath-taking person but lately I've been craving spending lots of time in the tub and really into slathering myself with various products that make me feel like I'm treating my changing body. Over the past few months I've acquired some new beauty goods from Nordstrom that are natural, organic (they have a great selection in this category!), and super great for helping me feel relaxed and pampered. Since I know I'm not the only one who might be wanting to make relaxation a focus of 2017, I thought I would share some of my new favorite products. And hey, only two of the 12 are specifically for pregnant bumps - the rest can be enjoyed by all!

 

.Aveda ‘Comforting’ Tea Bags ($19): I’ve been trying to keep my caffeine intake to a minimum (which doesn’t necessarily help with the constant fatigue I feel) but I’ve really been craving tea. Iced tea and a bagel have become my morning go-to and in the evening I like to have a cup of this Comforting Tea by Aveda. It’s super calming and the flavor (licorice root and peppermint) make me feel like I’m at the spa and not in bed or on my couch.

.8G Greens Dietary Supplement ($12.50): One of the most alarming parts of my first trimester was how terrible all food sounded to me. Except for anything bread based. Bagels (so many bagels), toast, croissants, cereal, Saltine crackers (so many Saltines), etc. I’ve just recently started to want more fruits, veggies, and proteins but I still feel like I need more nutrients. I discovered the 8G Essential Greens Booster tablets and was amazed by all the vitamins and super vegetables packed into the dissolving tablets. I checked with my OB and was given the green-light for using them and it’s given me a little piece of mind that I’m getting “as much vitamin C as five oranges, as much vitamin B5 as 20 cups of broccoli, as much vitamin B3 as 18 cups of carrots, as much B6 as seven cups of lima beans, as much B12 as nine cups of milk and as much zinc as 10 cups of asparagus” each day while I continue to reach for the bread.

.Mullein & Sparrow ‘Rose Blossom’ Mini Bath Salts ($19 on sale!): To make my baths to the next level, I’ve been trying out various bath salts and soaks. This Rose Blossom Salts from Mullein & Sparrow is really nice because the crystals dissolve quickly and have a great natural aroma that’s not too overpowering. I’m not sure if adding the salts has created a placebo effect or if they’re really working like they should, but I feel like they do help relieve my muscles and give an extra calming effect. Plus I think the bottle is really pretty in my bathroom, ha!

.Whish Almond Body Wash ($16): When I mentioned croissants earlier I should have specified almond croissants. I’m obsessed with all things almond, including beauty products. It just smells so good to me and not in a sugary way (like vanilla-scented products). I picked up the Almond Body Wash by Whish on a whim really recently and using it has been a serious treat. It’s super moisturizing and leaves my skin incredibly soft. And obviously, the scent is divine. I’m wanting to try so many more of the all-organic products from Whish now…people seem to love the Body Butter.

.Herbivore Botanicals ‘Coco Rose’ Coconut Body Oil Polish ($36): I’ve been dying to get my hands on a product or two by Herbivore Botanicals…if only because the packing is so beautiful and the all-natural ingredients are right up my beauty-loving alley. I’m really good at exfoliating my face but realized I had been neglecting the rest of my bod once the fall chill hit Dallas and my skin wasn’t absorbing all the lotions I was slathering on it. I wanted to try the ‘Coco Rose’ Coconut Body Oil Polish because it sounded like the ideal scrub to gently slough off any dead, rough skin but wouldn’t dry me out since it has coconut oil. Love that the rose ingredients are good for sensitive skin (which mine tends to be in the colder months).

.Farmaesthetics Hand to Heel Softening Salve ($30): Speaking of slathering, in addition to all the lotion I use, I have been giving my hands and feel extra special attention with this organic Softening Salve by Farmaesthetics. It’s not super fancy – just a nice thick balm – and it is a little pricy for it’s size but it has been healing my ultra-dry hand and feel like no other. I keep it by my bed and load up before I go to sleep.

.RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream ($18): I’ve been using this Raw Coconut Cream for years now. It’s what I use to dissolve my makeup before I cleanse (literally just rub some all over my face and eyes) and often times wear a thick layer as a mask when in the tub for added intense moisture. It’s 100% coconut oil but unlike the stuff you can buy from the shelves at the grocery store, this is made made with a modern cold-pressing processing technique that makes it superior and ideal for the face and body. The other RMS Beauty item I can’t live without? The Lip & Skin Balm.

.COSMOS Lavender & Witch Hazel Toner ($28): One major habit I have when doing my makeup is using a setting spray before I walk out of the house. I had been using the All Nighter Setting Spray by Urban Decay and I loved it – but I really wanted to find an all-natural alternative. I found the Lavender & Witch Hazel Toner by COSMOS as part of Nordstrom’s “Love Pop-In Shop” and liked that it can work as a daily toner, makeup setter, after-sun spray and base moisturizer. Talk about multi-tasking! Excited to see how it matches up to by other stuff.

.Caudalíe Grape Water ($13): Another facial spray? I know…but this is different from the Lavender & Witch Hazel Toner because grape water is amazing for adding hydration and reducing sensitivity. When used, it has the ability to retain water within the skin’s corneous layer and hydro-lipid film. Cool, right? I use it after cleansing and swiping on my toner, before I apply oils and serums for an extra boost of moisture and love, love it! All the products by Caudalíe are amazing.

.Mason Pearson ‘Popular Mixture’ Nylon & Boar Bristle Brush ($205): This hair brush has such a silly price tag but it really is the best thing I’ve found for untangling the horrible knots my hair is prone to (friends with thin and fine hair, you know my pain). And this sounds weird, but I’m obsessed with how it feels on my scalp. It’s like I get an awesome head scratch every time. My husband likes to say, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha,” when he catches me brushing for more than 10 minutes. Can’t help it, the brush works magic and makes my hair shinier.

.Noodle & Boo ‘nectar’ Elasticity Oil ($18) and The Honest Company Organic Belly Balm ($16): When I found out I was pregnant I dove head first into Googling so many things and spent a significant amount  of time researching what other expectant moms found to be the best products for combating stretch marks. Let me tell you, the recommendations are all over the place and there’s just as many good reviews as bad…and many more products with potentially harmful ingredients than good. I couldn’t determine if an oil or balm-based product was going to be best for me so I didn’t want any concerned pregnant lady would do and went for both. My choices: the ‘nectar’ Elasticity Oil by Noodle & Boo and Organic Belly Balm from The Honest Company. I knew of both brands as being awesome organic lines for baby and children’s products and was surprised and excited to see that they had a few products specific to the mamas. Both products have all the good stuff recommended for expanding bellies (improving elasticity, relieving itchiness, soothing dryness, helping reduce and protect against the dreaded stretch marks) and I basically just massage in the oil, follow up with the balm, then say a bunch of prayers each day.

Whew! That was a lot! But more is more when it comes to kicking back and relaxing, right? Hope you all have a safe and happy time celebrating the New Year!

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Beauty Stocking Stuffers

December 13, 2016

I take stocking stuffers seriously...probably because my mama has always spoiled us by finding pint-sized giftables that are either useful, fun, pretty, quirky, or a combination of all. While I haven't quite nailed her uncanny ability to find a diverse range of items perfect for weighing down stockings (individually picked for each child, no less) I've found tons of beauty items this year I think are ideal for stuffing in the stockings of friends and family. Nordstrom has an unreal selection of Holiday Beauty Gifts - sets, limited editions, holiday themed formulas, and more - and I could literally almost add one of everything to my cart. But I limited myself to what I think are eight top items. Unintentionally, they are all pretty perfect for travel...maybe they're perfect for some peeps on your list!

 

.slip for beauty sleep “Slipsilk” Sleep Mask ($45): I’m obsessed addicted to wearing a sleep mask at night. It’s a little debilitating because I can no longer sleep without one. And when it comes to sleep masks, a silk one is just the ultimate luxury. What makes the Slipsilk Sleep Mask so special is that it’s make 100% of pure silk (both inside and out) and was designed over a period of 10 years to be shiny, durable, think, and luxurious. To me, this is a gift perfect for someone who “has everything”!

.Kiehl’s Jeremyville Dry Relief Duo ($16): cute packaging, check. Cult products, check. Travel sized, check. This little duo is made up of two of Kiehl’s most-loved products, Creme de Corps allover body moisturizer and Lip Balm #1. The adorable limited-edition artwork by Brooklyn-based artist Jeremyville makes it an ideal form + function set great for stuffing in a stocking or two. A truly fool-proof gift that’s unisex (seriously, my husband may be the biggest buyer of Lip Balm #1) and will definitely be used and appreciated by whoever you gift it to!

.C.O. Bigelow Marvis Travel with Flavor Set ($15): we all have to brush our teeth, why not elevate the daily experience with toothpaste that’s both good-looking and good-tasting? This Marvis toothpaste set of three comes with the Classic Strong Mint Toothpaste, Whitening Mint Toothpaste, Cinnamon Mint Toothpaste. Great for someone who travels and is always needing a mini sized tube of toothpaste or just a chic little something unexpected. And, at a $19 value, the $15 is pretty fab!

.Hello Crush TSA Travel Set ($20): when it comes to traveling with my skin care products, I don’t like to bring my full-sized bottles but I don’t want to stray from my regimen. This little travel set with empty tubes and jars are perfect for holding my favorite products (at the regulated TSA sizes) so I can use them when away from home. Such a bonus that the empties come with a clear punch that’s TSA approved. It makes a great gift because it’s one of those things y people need and often want but won’t always buy for themselves! P.S. the set also comes in coral and you can buy individual tubes and jars!

.FOREO Luna “Play” Facial Cleansing Brush ($39): I’ve been pretty curious about the FOREO Luna Facial Cleansers but all the various sizes range from $99-$249…all expect the “Play” size which is $39! That’s a pretty great price tag considering it does gives same deep yet gentle cleansing but at a petit size. Any beautybuff – including me – would love finding one of these Christmas morning. Dear Santa, I want one of these in my own stocking. 

.Jo Malone 1oz Cologne ($65): when it comes to sophisticated scents, I always turn to Jo Malone. The fragrances are complex and unique – making them really special. The 1oz size bottles are at an over $50 price but great for gifting to ladies that love a little luxury. And while scent is a very personal thing (nothing worse than getting a candle that’s not your favorite smell, am I right?) Jo Malone’s fragrances are designed to be layered and mixed, so there’s a pretty good chance that whatever blend you choose will compliment what the gift recipient already wears… P.S. if you really want to give a Jo Malone gift that is pure perfection, this set of five 0.3oz perfume set is amazing!

.AERIN Beauty Tangier Vanille Rollerball ($28): so this perfume might not be Jo Malone but it is by AERIN Lauder (a tastemaker of all things beautiful) and it’s a rollerball which makes it super awesome for traveling with or carrying in your handbag or gym arsenal for on-the-go fragrance. I love the under $30 price tag almost as much as I love the scent (for the record, the rollerball size comes in several other blends). The rich vanilla, amber, and musk is so perfect for this time of year!

.Moroccanoil Treatment Ornament ($15): I’ll flux between a few different hair products but the stuff I always end up wanting when I’m on a trip (but never back because I don’t have a small enough bottle) is my Moroccanoil Treatment. It’s the perfect weightless conditioner that protects when styling and gives unreal shine. I love that this mini bottle comes in a festive little ornament box and that I can refill it from my big bottle at home as it starts to run out from being used on trips! P.S. this trio is awesome for any true Moroccanoil lover!

Again, these are just my top eight favorites. Nordstrom really does have an amazing selection of beauty favorites perfect for holiday gifting right here!

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True Botanicals: Renew + Major Moisture

December 8, 2016

My efforts to make my skin and beauty routines "clean" have lead me down one Internet rabbit hole after another and over the past year or so I had heard amazing things about True Botanicals and read numerous rave reviews from various bloggers. There are lots of all-natural skin lines out there - many of which I have tried and loved - but True Botanicals is the first line of luxury anti-aging products that have also been certified "MADE SAFE" (read more on this here) while still meeting the demands of what it means to be a luxury skincare line in this modern world. The products are super-concentrated (re: high performing) and made with bio-active formulations (which means they have increased absorption rates)  but are made without the toxins that can be found in tons skincare lines these days. No pain, all the gain.

I've been feeling the itch to incorporate a select few True Botanicals products into my routine and with cold and dry weather moving into Dallas and preparing to stay through the rest of the season, I knew this was the perfect time of year to opt in and add a little lot more hydration and moisture to my skin. Read on to see what I've been using and loving and for an exclusive 15% off discount code!

Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but if you give me a quiz I’m gonna take it. So of course I jumped at the chance to take the True Botanicals quiz to see what skin type I was. Go figure…my thirty-year old skin was “Renew.” That basically means that my skin is pretty normal and I have to agree. I don’t have enough of a consistent amount of blemishes to classify myself in the “clear” category and I definitely don’t have heavy redness or inflamed skin to put me a “calm” type. What’s really nice about True Botanicals is that even through they have these three skin tracts (Renew, Clear, Calm) each one is formulated to have serious anti-aging benefits. No category skimps on the ingredients that will help address the causes of aging…which is amazing!

Once I established that I was in the Renew family type I started honing in on what products would be the best for me to test drive. As I noted earlier, I really wanted to focus on hydration and moisture. I had been a few noticing dry patches pop up here and there, which was a telltale sign of the seasons changing and my skin begging for more. Here’s what I landed on:

  • Pure Radiance Oil, Renew: the first thing I read about this product was that it’s True Botanicals’ best selling product. Fan favorite? Say no more. Actually, there was more to say. This oil is designed to add moisture while it strengthens barrier function, nourishes aging skin, softens dry or rough skin, smooths wrinkles, and shrinks large pores. The trick is to apply it before any other products (on moist skin – I put it on directly after my toner) and it works its magic by adsorbing directly into the top layers of skin, improving barrier function (water and nutrients get to the cells and toxins stay out) and replenishing the natural oils your skin has lost so that it can prepare to hold onto more moisture. It can be used both morning (followed by an SPF) and night (followed by a serum).
  • Cellular Repair Serum, Renew: again, this serum is part of the Renew family. And it’s actually the only serum in the Renew family. True Botanicals is pretty fool-proof in that each skin type tract has the exact products you need and there’s no guess work between choosing one serum over another, etc. What the Cellular Repair Serum does is plump and restore moisture while doing a lot of other fancy anti-aging stuff (improving barrier function, reversing cellular damage, softening wrinkles…). What I love is that it doesn’t just moisturize, but also gives super soft and dewy skin. Dewy skin in the winter? I’ll take it!
  • Vitamin C Booster: this really neat because it is Vitamin C in its purest form. What’s the point of having it as a separate additive versus putting it right into a serum? Well, “the moment Vitamin C is introduced into a liquid, it naturally begins to oxidize and over time, lose its potency.” By having pure Vitamin C available to mix to a liquid and then applied immediately, the skin receives the maximum amount of benefits. And the benefits are amazing…Vitamin C is essential for collagen production (which firms skin, fights wrinkles), brightening and and evening tone, and repairing damaged skin. The Booster is going to be great to use year-round but it’s especially ideal now because my skin always seems to look a little bit more “dull” and uneven in the cold weather months. To use, I just mix a couple shakes into a pump of my Cellular Repair Serum, mix till the booster powder dissolves in, and then smooth all over my face and neck.
  • Resurfacing Moisture Mask: for me, masking is not just for special occasions but a daily ritual – and this mask is a great one for any skin type. After reading about the Resurfacing Moisture Mask I knew I needed it in my arsenal…the mask gives a deep exfoliation (so great to remove dry skin cells) but doesn’t dry out skin (!) and actually adds a superior amount of moisture and hydration (!!). Just 2-5 minutes is enough time for it to sit on the skin and work it’s magic of giving an instant luminous glow.
  • Smoothing Eye & Lip Balm: the two areas of my skin that are notorious for being dry – all the time and especially in the winter – are my lips and eye areas. The ingredients in this dual-use balm (another product great for any skin type!) are super nourishing and actually seep into the skin to heal and protect the two delicate skin areas. I love that I can apply even a thin layer of this around my eyes at night and that it’s still there in morning…that might sound like it’s sitting on the surface but it’s really just super moisturizing and doesn’t dry out after applied. I also use it around my eyes before putting on any makeup to pump the lines around my eyes (I like to smile!) and deliver tons of hydration that prevents my concealer from flaking. It’s obviously fantastic on the lips, too!

I think “luxury” is a great way to describe True Botanicals. The modest packaging (which I happen to love) is almost like a juxtaposition to the amazing punch of ingredients and benefits each product packs. Simple outside with extraordinary inside. I haven’t been using my new skin care goodies long and already I can see and feel a difference. I’m just glad that I got them before the arctic blast hits Dallas this weekend – feeling prepared to take on the cold now that I have new key products to add major moisture and hydration!

If you’re all, “Baby, it’s cold and dry outside where I am, too! I want in on this moisturization goodness!” please get excited because my new friends at True Botanicals have created the code “TRUETOAST” so that you all can get 15% off purchases on their site from today through end of day Monday, December 12th! True Botanicals rarely offers discounts (I should know, I’ve been stalking them and their products for so long) and this is an exclusive offer for A Piece of Toast readers. So don’t miss out and take advantage of the deal while you can! Skincare makes for a wonderful gift, too…just saying 🙂 I’m personally going to be treating myself to one of the Body Balms…you know, for more (more, more) moisture action!

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