into the bottle: rose

Humans have always had a love affair with roses and for good reason. Rose oil and rose water are two of the oldest skincare products in the book. The Dr. Hauschka website explains the coveted use of rose oil and rose water in their products: “The flowers must not be allowed to get hot, otherwise they would lose too much of the costly rose essential oil. For this reason harvesting starts early in the morning and everyone in the Lalehzar valley that is not aged or infirm is roped in to help. Again and again the distillery workers turn the roses over to ensure that they remain cool.”

Apart from the boundless vitamins and antioxidants that can be ingested through a cup of rose hip tea or the calming affects of its aroma, rose oil and rose water have a long list of benefits when it comes to beauty. First off, it contains anti-inflammatory properties, which soothes irritated skin. It also includes a great deal of antioxidants that are proven to strengthen skin cells and regenerate tissue. These properties make the rose particularly beneficial to sensitive skin, but the love affair doesn’t stop there.

The duo also makes for a great moisturizer. Its natural oils trap moisture in the skin, decrease damage to the skin's elastin fibers and prevent wrinkles. These properties, especially beneficial to dry skin, help skin look and feel smoother.

The key word for the rose, in any sense, is gentle and some of our tried and true natural products thrive on the super flower. Dr. Hauschka boasts Rose Day Cream, Rose Day Cream Light, Rose Body Moisturizer and Rose Body Oil and Sircuit uses it in restorative retinoid crème Supernatural-A, repair and recovery balm Sircurity and protective moisture crème Cloud 9+. Roses are red, anyone?

into the bottle: titanium dioxide

From Hotlanta festivals to summer trips to faithful Tybee, the most important thing to keep handy in that tote is sunscreen. Last summer, we explored the difference between classic and mineral sunscreen through our favorite line, COOLA and now we’re going into the bottle to get to know the #1 ingredient in these sunscreens, Titanium Dioxide.

New York Times refers to Titanium Dioxide as the vital ingredient when it comes to an “ideal sunscreen.” It’s a completely natural mineral as well as a physical ingredient, meaning it sits on our sweltering skin working to block the sun opposed to being absorbed by it. This also means, yes, it is that white chalky material that makes you feel a little like day-glow, but hey, what would summer be without that? The reason for it is that TiO2, when used in sunscreen, is broken down into a ridiculously small form (We’re talking smaller than a particle of hair) where its purpose is to reflect or scatter the harmful rays.

The coolest thing about Titanium Dioxide, though, is that it’s nonirritating, nonallergenic and noncomedogenic meaning it doesn’t produce or aggravate acne, keeping that pretty skin safe. And while sunscreens contain a range of sun filters (avobenzone, zinc oxide, mexoryl), Titanium Dioxide is most commonly used in natural and organic sunscreens due to its sensitive nature. It’s even COOLA’s main active ingredient in their awe-worthy mineral collection and we’re pretty glad it’s in the bottle.

into the bottle: arnica

This week we’re revisiting the “E” word. If you haven’t taken Condition up on last week’s deal, we may know one of the things stopping you. Exercise can be tough so it’s natural that muscles start feeling tight and joints begin to get a little stiff after a rigorous workout. That’s where arnica, another ingredient we’re thanking the earth for, comes in.

Arnica is in the sunflower family and has been used for centuries to relieve pain, revitalize after-physical activity, and even promote flexibility. It’s believed that the plant contains derivatives of thymol, which has anti-inflammatory effects so even those with arthritis are use it to reduce pain and swelling in joints. It is also loaded with compounds like flavonoids, silicic acid, tannins, carotenoids, and essential oils. These compounds make arnica a fantastic healer for skin and its own process of renewal and self-cleansing.

For us, arnica’s all natural soothing action along with its skin benefits makes it a superstar ingredient. Dr. Hauschka uses arnica as the main component in their Birch Arnica Body Oil and Sircuit in their refreshing gel moisturizer, Cool Aid. The best way to utilize arnica’s benefits is the massage it into the skin after exercise or those other strenuous activities. It’s soothing warmth will bring those muscles and joints back to live… so you can exercise again tomorrow.

into the bottle: grapeseed oil

Last week’s post about dream product Lavish inspired us to start exploring the natural ingredients that actually make up our favorite products. After all, it is the inside that counts. By going into the bottle, we’ll start seeing what makes our beloved products tick, what our skin responds to oh, so well, and even more importantly, why. We’re opening up one of those nine essential oils in Lavish that we also used (think back) in our very own Oh, Honey! Purifying Cleansing Oil. We introduce to you her majesty, grapeseed oil.

With its fine, non-greasy texture, grapeseed oil is one of the best natural moisturizers around. Emma Stone even uses it exclusively as hers. The trick is how it has the ability to moisturize without clogging pores. It actually helps regulate oil production making it a supreme fit for all skin types. Yes, even oily and acne-prone. But where grapeseed oil really shines is when we hit those dry patches (from winter curses to all-nighters). Partly due to its abundance of omega-6 (brings balance) and vitamin E (all powerful antioxidant powers), grapeseed oil is just a master of nourishing the driest of skin without irritation. Applied directly, it even offers a soft and satiny finish.

What makes grapeseed oil even cooler is that it’s eco-friendly. As a by-product of wine making (yum), grapeseeds are found, of course, in the vineyards. They’re also typically thrown away. But with 50 kg of grapeseeds being required to obtain one liter of oil, that’s a lot of grapeseed saving. And with its long list of benefits, we are more than happy to do so.