Konjac sponges are one of the hottest trends in skincare and lauded as one as the best ways to cleanse your face, so I decided to try one out so see what all the fuss is about. But, first a history lesson:
Konjac is a root-based vegetable that grows in warm climates in Asia, and can be used in cuisine or as a dietary supplement to cure a whole list of aliments from high cholesterol to weigh toss. It’s also super rich is vitamins, minerals and fiber.
The perennial root plant, mostly composed of starch, is used to make a super-soft sponge that acts as an all-natural exfoliater to remove impurities, and leave you with cleaner, smother skin. I tested ecotools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge – Deep Cleansing recently, which is handmade with 100% natural ingredients, including Konjac vegetable fiber and bamboo charcoal.
Initially, when I took the sponge out of the box it was rock-hard solid, and I could not imagine washing my face with it. But, after I rinsed the sponge in water, it quickly became soft and felt like nothing I have ever touched before. It was mushy, but solid and felt like a weird mind game considering the way it looked versus the sensation I was feeling in my hands.
I loaded the sponge with my face wash and watched as it absorbed the gel and formed a rich lather. Next, was the ultimate test – I had to wash my face with it. I lightly glided it across my face was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it caressed my skin as it washed away my makeup and exfoliated. It even gently glided around my delicate eye area. I’ve been using the sponge a few times a week now, and really do like it.
It’s a great alternative for anyone who has sensitive skin, or is just looking for a light exfoliator. Right now, during the winter months, my skin is extra dray and I’ve been breaking out a lot, so this is a great option for me until the summer months return and I can bring my lovely Clarisonic.
The ecotools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge retails for just $5.99.
WHAT IS IT: A regenerating body lotion for mature skin that aims to prevent premature skin aging. Organic pomegranate seed oil and apricot kernel oil work harmoniously with shea butter to stimulate skin’s cell renewal process, while also protecting it from damaging environmental influences.
HOW IT FEELS: The creamy lotion has a light texture that blends seamlessly and absorbs quickly into the skin. While you apply it, the product releases a refreshing citrus-y aroma that awakens the senses. Just note, the scent doesn’t last on the skin too long, which is fine if you don’t want it to clash with your daily perfume.
BOTTOM LINE: Although it says it’s meant for mature skin, I really liked the way this lotion made my not-so-mature skin feel. My skin felt extremely hydrated and remained velvety-smooth all day long. If you’re looking for an all-natural moisturizer to give you silky smooth, youthful skin, give this a try.
I went for a short walk outside this weekend and realized something awful: winter is coming. My body was yearning for the comfort of a hat and soft scarf as I made my way down the street with the cold air hitting me in various directions causing me to speed-walk into the comfort of a department store. Yes, cold weather, I blame you for turning my noble intentions of an afternoon walk into an unnecessary shopping spree.
With the winter temperature fast approaching it’s important to adjust your skin care routine to incorporate products that help keep the skin moisturized and hydrated. One new product that launched this fall promises to do just that – enter Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate, a new product inspired by new Dermatology hydration procedures such as Juvederm® Hydrate. The serum was developed to address “Age-Related Dehydration,” a skin condition that contributes to the appearance of aging and is caused by an imbalance and lack of water within the skin. When the skin has this imbalance, the creepy signs of aging appear sooner.
“As we age, the concentration of moisture-binding molecules within the skin progressively diminishes, allowing essential moisture to escape and making the skin prone to showing signs of age-related dehydration, said Dr. Adam Geyer, Kiehl’s Consulting Dermatologist.
73% of women in the US cited dull, tired looking skin as a serious skincare concern. This breakthrough formula has clinically demonstrated to help correct the signs of Age-Related Dehydration by “flooding” the deepest surface layers of dehydrated skin to restore vital moisture. Plant-based glycerin and Shiso Leaf comprises 85 % of the emulsion; the result is that the skin gets some serious hydration, and appears more fresh, plump, and youthful. Below are some of the stats from the company’s clinical trials.
Immediately after using Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate:
• 87% of women said their skin felt more refreshed
• 86% of women said their skin felt more comfortable
• 81% of women said their skin felt more smooth
1 week after using Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate:
• 87% of women said their skin felt more deeply hydrated and moisturized
• 86% of women said their skin appeared more revitalized and rejuvenated
• 86% of women said the texture of their skin felt softer
The product is available in-store and online for $58.
This month, Essence of Beauty, is adding a new indulgent collection of products to the shelves of CVS/pharmacy with the launch of its Naturally Indulgent Bath & Body Collection. Launched in 2002, the brand has become the drugstore retailer’s #1 best-selling fragrance and body care line.
Infused with nourishing, aromatic botanical ingredients and essential oils, the full bath collection is available in the following scents:
• Lemon Verbena with Olive Oil – Energizing lemon verbena and soothing olive oil refresh and stimulate your senses
• Eucalyptus with Mint Oil – Soothing eucalyptus and spearmint oil cool and refresh your body
• Lavender with Rosemary Oil – Soft, calming lavender and rejuvenating rosemary oil relax your mind and body
Each scent includes a collection of the following bath and body products: Hand Cream, Body Butter, Sugar Scrub, Botanical Body Wash, Foaming Bath Soak, Nourishing Body Oil and Shea Butter Bar Soap.
The prices range from $5.99 to $9.99, and will be sold exclusively at CVS/pharmacy and online at www.CVS.com.
WHAT IS IT: An ultra-hydrating body wash infused with the moisturizing powers of shea butter to improve the appearance of dry skin. It’s also loaded with the antioxidant benefits of blueberries to fight the formation of free radicals.
HOW IT FEELS: The silky gel-like liquid lathers very nicely and leaves skin feeling refreshed and clean. I have eczema, and the product does not dry out my skin and keeps flare-ups at bay. It also has a lovely smell, courtesy of lavender and blueberries.
TIP: The hardness of the bottle makes it impossible squeeze the product out. Forego trying to use the dispenser, and just unscrew the whole cap off so you can pamper your skin.
BOTTOM LINE: For the large bottle you get for the price, this is a good buy. It does the job of delicately cleansing the skin, without leaving behind and residue.
BONUS: If you have a few extra minutes to luxuriate, the body wash also doubles as a bubble bath, so that’s two products for the price of one!
A couple of years ago, I was introduced to TATCHA, a skincare regimen inspired by the beauty rituals of geishas, who are known for their perfect, radiant skin. I have been a huge fan of the line ever since, and carry around TATCHA’s Original Aburatorigami – Japanese Blotting Papers with me everywhere I go to get rid of excess oil when I’m on-the-go (they make me feel extra special since they contain real gold flecks).
In my first blog post about the line, I went over the four-step ritual which includes the Cleansing Oil, Enzyme Powder, Brightening Serum and anti-aging moisturizer tailored to your skin type (click here to read that post). I reviewed the full-sized products in the collection, but if you’re still a little weary about trying a new skincare routine, you now have the option to purchase the full ritual in mini-sized products with TATCHA’s Ritual Discovery Kit which includes the following:
• PURE One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil—25mL
• POLISHED Classic Rice Enzyme Powder—14 x 1g packets
• RADIANT Deep Brightening Serum—10mL
• SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream—10mL
I love the products in this line because they are simple and really work. The PURE One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, for example, is my go-to face cleanser to remove heavy makeup since it softly cleanses my skin without overdrying it. I usually follow the cleanser with the POLISHED Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, which gently exfoliates and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth.
The three main ingredients in the line are Green Tea, Okinawa Red Algae and Japanese Rice Bran, which also happen to be staples in the Japanese diet. Eight week clinical trials of the ritual have shown that users experienced a 50% reduction in redness and age spots, 70% decrease in the appearance of pore size, 60% decrease in the depth of wrinkles, and 155% increase in moisture retention.
If you’re interested in enhancing your skin’s natural beauty, click here to buy the two-week Ritual Discovery Kit available at tatcha.com for $59.
On Thursday, July 24 I attended the new product launch event for DermaSilk Brands, a beauty solution company focused on creating high-quality skincare products that works immediately, so women can look their best without having to wait for the usual 6-8 week time frame to see visible results. As we all lead busy lives, products that offer instant gratification are the ideal way to look beautiful while saving time.
The line consists of 4 main products:
- Flawless ($30) – creates an airbrushed look within 40 seconds to immediately fill in fine lines and create an overall smooth texture so imperfections are “blurred.”
- 5 Minute Face Lift ($40) – firms skin and diminishes fine lines within 5 minutes.
- 1 Minute Wrinkle Erase Pen ($20) –smoothes under eye texture, forehead lines, and fills in fine lines.
- 90 Second Eye Lift ($40) – erases the look of puffiness, crow’s feet, smile creases and tightens slack skin under the eyes, for a rested look that will last up to 8 hours.
DermaSilk products are available for purchase at dermasilkbrands.com.
This month, Kiehl’s Since 1851 has launched OIL ELIMINATOR FOR MEN, a new line specifically created to address the main concern of men: oily skin. The Oil Eliminator regimen consists of three products
- Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash, $20
- Refreshing Shine Control Toner, $20
- 24-Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer for Men, $27
The products in the line features Aerolite, an advanced material that has been used in space exploration and is the lightest solid material found on Earth. Aerolite has a highly porous structure and large surface area, which allows it to have high sebum absorption capabilities to help mattify skin, and minimizes the visibility of pores..
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTEST:
To celebrate the launch of the new line, Kiehl’s wants to send you into outter space….quite literally. Starting no through June 30th, visit www.kiehsinspace.com to enter the ‘Put Some Space On Your Face’ Social Media contest. All you have to do is take a picture of yourself, and hashtag it #SpaceFace. Random winners will be selected to have the opportunity to have their picture sent on a trip to space via a 3D custom astronaut figurine with their face on it. Once the figurines all land, Kiehl’s will send them out to all the winners (in August) so they can proudly display their space-traveled action figures.
Interesting in sending your face on an intergalactic experience? Enter now.
Recently, I attended a press preview event for Iluminage Beauty, Inc, a luxury beauty company that makes high-performance, professional-grade products accessible to the public so users can enjoy professional results at-home, and at an affordable cost.
The company is best known for its Skin Rejuvenating Pillowcase With Copper Oxide ($60), which aims to fight the signs of aging while you sleep as it infuses copper ions into the skin to fight wrinkles.
The at-home skin care solutions company also has a new skincare system, iluminage Youth Cell Skincare, which features a serum, eye cream, day cream with spf and a cleanser (prices range from $25-$95). The products contain advanced anti-aging ingredients to boost natural skin renewal and reduce the visible signs of aging.
This summer, iluminage will be launching its new Skin Smoothing Laser ($595), the first at-home laser device FDA-cleared to reduce fine line and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. In clinical trials 95% of the users experienced significant improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in 12 weeks.
Another new product the company is launching this summer is an at-home professional hair removal tool called its iluminage TOUCH ($455), which has been clinically proven to be effective in permanent hair reduction on all skin tones.
If you’re like me and suffer for skin irritations such as eczema, you’re always on the lookout for gentle products that won’t cause any kind of skin discomfort, especially when it comes to showering. This is why I’m excited to have discovered Pura Botania’s All Natural Cleansing Bars, which are made with organic ingredients and essential oils. The soap bars lather nicely and rinse off cleanly, leaving behind baby soft skin.
My favorite so far is the Chai Vanilla soap bar, which uses finely ground vanilla beans to gently exfoliate the skin, while botanical ingredients nourishes and leaves behind the sweet aromas of vanilla and chai.
What I like most about the ingredients in the bar, is that I can actually pronounce everything on the label.
The Natural Cleansing Bars retail for $7.00 on puraproducts.com.