Fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, dry skin... as we age, it seems like we suddenly have a plethora of skin issues to combat. As someone with "mature skin" (I honestly hate that term), I've discovered a prickly pear seed oil that has been doing wonders on my skin.
What is Prickly Pear Seed Oil?
Also known as cactus oil or barbary fig oil, it's an oil derived from the prickly pear, a member of the cactus family.
Found in Morocco, and other dry climates, it's an oil that is rich in essential fatty acids (EFA's), Vitamin E (Tocopherols), Phytosterols (water-binders) and Polyphenols (micronutrients.)
Face Oils Don't Equal Oily Skin
I'll be honest, prior to using heritage & terre's Coeur de Cactus, I never thought too much of how life-changing this antioxidant-rich oil would be.
Having combination skin most of my life, for a time I misunderstood the relationship between oils and oily skin. I thought oils/serums = increased and/or added to oily skin.
It took until my 30's to understand that there are products that cause the over-production of sebum (oily skin) - usually ingredients that were harsh on my skin and dry it out; and there are oils that kept it in perfect balance.
It was all a matter of educating myself and finding the right ones. A great face oil will give you what your skin needs, not make it oilier.
Cactus Oil Skin Benefits
Getting back to what makes prickly pear seed oil an amazing multi-tasker for mature skin.
Essential Fatty Acids: I mentioned this in my keratosis pilaris article, EFA's contain linoleic, oleic and palmitic acid. Acid is not a bad word here.
These acids help skin to stregthen its moisture barrier, repair and heal, and aids other beneficial skin care ingredients in better penetrating skin (e.g. helping your products to actually work for you and not against you.)
Vitamin E: This antoxidant is found in most anti-aging products for a reason. It's tried and true when it comes to helping fight environmental damage, tackling fine lines and wrinkles by way of keeping skin hydrated and protecting skin cells that make collagen and elastin (something we lose as we age.)
Phytosterols and Polyphenols: From helping to retain moisture to assisting in collagen production to preventing and treating sun damage (wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, loose skin, red and uneven skin tone, etc.), this is where prickly pear seed oil shines.
heritage & terre Coeur de Cactus
I use heritage & terre's cactus oil twice per day. For my a.m. routine, I use it as my sole moisturizer before applying my sunscreen. For my p.m. routine, I apply it before my Jan Marini Transformation Face Cream.
I've needed to use my concealer much less, because my skin isn't as ruddy. Brown spots seem a bit faded and not as evident. My skin has not been greasy or dry since using this serum regularly (6+ weeks at this point.)
The wrinkles on my face are bit more minimized and the lines around my eyes have softened. (Yes, I still have wrinkles...those never go away.)
I feel more confident on my non-makeup wearing days. You'd think as a beauty blogger I'd always been in a full face of makeup, but as in real life, that is not the case.
Just living life with a fresh face is refreshing and I don't feel like I have to hid under layers of makeup to treat all of my "flaws."
If you haven't yet tried this type of face oil, I highly recommend it. 2-3 drops is all you need.
I recently had the opportunity to try out Fleur & Bee's Rose and Shine Refreshing Rose Water Toner - that you must hear about!
Fleur & Bee is a company known for their stance on creating 100% natural, non-toxic skincare products that are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free.
What I also would like to note before diving into this review, is that they are a company who gives back to support and empower women. 1% of all
sales goes to the distribution of menstrual hygiene products to girls in need.
This is such an untouched area of need in this country, and especially in financially destitute countries.
Many do not realize the absolute need for access to these products and/or the positive impact on health and well-being, infection control, and even self-worth of a woman.
The fact that Fleur & Bee appreciates the need and impact, as well as follows through on supporting this need, tells me from the door that they are an action-oriented company who puts their money where their mouth is.
What is Toner?
Toner creates homeostasis of your complexion by balancing ph levels. It works to reduce the appearance of your pores and removes residual impurities not removed by cleansers.
It is considered an essential element in your skin care regime and an absolute in skin care health.
Rose and Shine Refreshing Rose Water Toner Review
Rose and Shine Refreshing Rose Water Toner is made of 2 highly effective and 100% natural ingredients; Purified water and Rosa Damascena flower oil.
This toner is paraben free, sulfate free, gluten free, non-GMO, and it's 100% vegan.
This is not only an effective product, it is a product ideal for allergy sufferers, those with sensitive skin or other health conditions where toxins can negatively impact other major organs, vegans, vegetarians, and over-all pursuers of health and wellness and, well, beautiful skin!
It comes in an easy to use spritz bottle, which is sized for your hand, making it comfortable to hold. It's also only 2 floz, making it TSA friendly.
It smells AMAZING!!!! It felt like I was spraying a luscious rose on my face without leaving a weird or bad taste sitting in my mouth.
My skin felt oh-so-refreshed and clean! I looove my make-up, so sometimes even after using a cleanser I feel like my skin wasn’t as clean as it could be.
Note: I suffer with plaque psoriasis so it's best to leave NO foothold for breakouts or inflammatory responses on my face.
That said, when I used Rose and Shine my face felt the cleanest it had ever felt, the color of my complexion appeared balanced, and well I felt like I not only smelled fresh, but looked fresh with a feeling of glow!
And, yes, I am all about the glow!
When Should You Use Toner?
Use toner after cleansing and before moisturizing. As far as frequency is concerned, use it once in the morning and once at night.
How Does Rose Water Toner Work?
Rosa Damascenca flower oil is an essential oil made from the damask rose plant. The purified water is present to dilute the oil so that it does not cause irritation and is used safely in a 1:1 ratio mix.
The top 3 skin benefits of rosa damascenca essential oil found in the Rose and Shine Toner include:
- Anti-inflammatory benefits: Helps with anti-aging, appearance of skin complexion, reduced redness.
- Antimicrobial benefits: Assists with the cleansing on a micro bacterial level to prevent infection and fight acne.
- Antioxident benefits: Supports anti-aging and skin health/appearance by destroying free radicals.
Free radicals promote injurious behavior to skin tissue, thereby creating those awful age lines and wrinkles…bring on the antioxidants folks!
TWO added bonuses that I MUST mention:
- Aromatherapy benefits: Reduced anxiety and depression for an overall calm feeling and mental wellness.
- Aphrodisiac benefits: Increases libido and makes you feel damn sexy!!!
OMG, now I understand my sensory experience of feeling balanced, clean, and GLOWING!!!
In summary, Fluer & Bee is a good company, great mission, non-toxic, cruelty-free, effectively makes you feel like a million bucks, and more importantly fulfills the purpose of toner in the most top notch of ways.
Get Rose and Shine for yourself and notice the difference in your skin! www.fleurandbee.com.
What's Included:The LaBelle device, charging adapter, storage case, and user manual. Mine also came with a promo for a free travel size skin care item (I plan to get their Argan Stem Cell Serum.)
How it Works:The LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula is a professional grade extraction, exfoliation and infusion beauty device. It has two modes - scrubber mode and infusion mode. Scrubber Mode is the mode in which you are exfoliating, deep cleaning and extracting dirt and debris; you do this with your face wet. But don't be fooled by the name - you aren't physically applying pressure to scrub your skin. The LaBelle does all of the work for you with ultrasonic waves moving at 30,000 Hz. Infusion Mode is used after Scrubber Mode and aids in deeper infusion of your serum. You'll be able to accomplish both modes in under 5 minutes. Recommended use is 1-2 times per week the first few weeks and then 2-3 times per week once your skin is used to it.
My Review:I wasn't sure what to expect of this skin spatula and I made sure not to read other reviews prior to using it so that I could form my own opinion on its use. It easily fits in your hand and comes in a handy case for storage. My device was fully charged, so that made for a great out-of-the-box use. The manual is very easy to understand, so you don't have to be a professional to use this beauty device. I was a little awkward the first time I used it when trying to make sure I was using the correct side of the device for scrubbing and then for infusion; I kept referring back to the manual as I used it. I even put way too much water on my face the first time causing the ultrasonic waves to gently bounce a spray of water into the air, scaring the life out of me and making me laugh out loud. My kids wondered what in the world I was up to. After the first use, it was smooth sailing and I really liked that this was a super quick skin treatment and didn't require much from me.
Scrubber ModeAs you glide the spatula across your skin in Scrubber Mode, you'll watch the dirt and debris on your skin seem to effortlessly lift and find its way onto the spatula. It was oddly satisfying to watch, especially since I really wasn't doing any physical labor to make it happen. You do have to make sure to keep your skin wet when using it or you do feel the pulsing slightly. It doesn't hurt, but it makes you aware that the water has evaporated off your skin. Scrubber Mode only took about 90 seconds to use - it's very quick! I paid special attention to my nose and chin since those are my main problem areas when it comes to blackheads and being prone to blemishes. You can use the device anywhere on your face, but you do have to keep it away from your eyes. If you have an active breakout, you need to avoid that area as well. When you are done, make sure to wipe the spatula clean (it will have lots of gunk on it) and wash your face with warm water, patting dry when done.
Infusion ModeThis is the second button on the LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula. First pat on your favorite skin serum (do not rub it in as you want it lying wet atop your skin.) Next, press the Infusion button and lie the flat end of the spatula on your skin moving in circular motions. Do not apply pressure as you do this, as the ultrasonic waves will do the work for you just like it does for Scrubber Mode. You'll begin to feel when the serum has absorbed as you move across your face. This mode took maybe 45-60 seconds at most.
Does the Skin Spatula Work?I was pleasantly surprised at the difference in the appearance of my skin after the first use. I watched with my own eyes as it removed the dirt and oil, and then delivering my serum deeper really seemed to help soften some of my wrinkles due to being well-hydrated. For the two months that I have had the chance to use this product, my face has not been dry at all and I haven't had a break out at all. I'm really impressed, but I almost feel guilty in a way because it was very little work to see such great results. So does it work to improve your skin? It did for me! Try it for yourself by using my promo code for 15% off on TrophySkin.com: GOTTASPA15 While you're there, subscribe to their newsletter to be entered into their monthly product giveaway valued up to $300! Have questions? Let me know! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram.
DIY Sugar PeelIngredients 1/4 cup of sugar 1/4 cup yogurt Combine the sugar and the yogurt to make a paste. Using your fingers apply to the entire face while avoiding the eyes. Let the peel rest for about 15-minutes and remove with cool water and a towel if necessary. This peel will help restore hydration and even out dark spots.
DIY Peel for WrinklesIngredients 1 egg white ½ cup of de-seeded cucumber pulp 1 tsp lemon juice Beat one egg white and mix it with cucumber pulp. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and mix well, creating a paste. Apply the finished product to your face and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with water. This combination of egg whites, which naturally smooths wrinkles, with cucumbers will help de-wrinkle and moisturize the skin and is the perfect peel for springtime skin.
DIY Sensitive Skin PeelIngredients 1 cup green tea 1 cup of chamomile tea 1 small cucumber 1 tsp unflavored gelatin 4 ounces of water Green tea calms irritated skin, while the cucumber provides ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which can soothe skin irritations and help reduce swelling. Steep the chamomile and green teas together in approximately 4 oz of water and add the unflavored gelatin. Blend a cucumber until it resembles the consistency of a paste and add the cucumber juice to the tea and gelatin mixture. Before applying to your face, allow the mix to cool in the refrigerator for about a half an hour to thicken it up. Apply to your face for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it completely dries, and then peel off the mask using warm water. Many thanks to The Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa for providing us with these DIY mask recipes. If you want to skip the DIY, in their boutique they also offer Kerstin Florian Correcting At-Home Professional Peel. This product has ingredients worth highlighting: • Glycolic & Lactic Acids – natural exfoliants slough skin surface and promote cell turnover • Salicylic Acid – lifts away impurities, relieves congested pores and inhibits bacterial growth • Phytic Acid – boosts brightness and cell turnover as it reinforces skin’s natural defenses • Oleanic Acid, Olive Leaf Extract & Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract – soothing anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial botanicals help clear skin and reduce sensitivity • Matrixyl 3000 – powerful peptide complex promotes reduction in wrinkle depth as it improves smoothness, tone and tissue strength Which DIY peel will you be trying? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!
This is a Sponsored post. Opinions are my own.As you get older, your skin care needs change. With so many products vying for our attention, it's easy to get overwhelmed. So how do you narrow it down? I recently was given the opportunity to have a 30 minute skin care consultation with Jan Marini. Jan Marini is a leading educator, innovator, and skincare product researcher. I've never actually prioritized my skin care issues, so having the ability to chat with Jan really helped me to understand how to be selective when choosing the right products for my needs.
Skin ConcernsMature skin (40+) Sun damage with Melasma-like patches and dark spots Deep and fine wrinkles Some areas of skin redness Sagging skin, especially under the eyes and jowls and neck Large pores on and around my nose Honestly, I could've totally picked apart my skin and gave her even more things I wish would change, but decided to stick to the primary concerns.
Skin Care Product Recommendations
Based on the above, Jan recommended her Skin Care Management System in addition to two extra products. (All pictured above.) These products included: BIOGLYCOLIC® FACE CLEANSER, C-ESTA® SERUM, BIOCLEAR® LOTION, TRANSFORMATION FACE CREAM, ANTIOXIDANT DAILY FACE PROTECTANT SPF 33, Hyla3D, and Marini Luminate® Face Lotion.
In talking with Jan, she's not a fan of manually scrubbing your face to exfoliate, as it creates other issues like inflammation and micro-tears and scarring. Jan recommends resurfacing. Resurfacing goes after superficial imperfections – fine lines, acne, tackles roscea, skin texture issues; it gives that glow to skin.
Resurfacing uses an acid, like glycolic acid (the smallest alpha hydroxy acid), which stimulates collagen. You may know resurfacing by another term, chemical exfoliation. Chemical, what the what? It doesn't mean it's bad. All things are chemical after all, like dihydrogen monoxide... or as us common folks know it - water.
But back to chemical exfoliants. So I've already mentioned glycolic acid, which is my fave because it melts away the build up in your pores, however, Jan Marini's Bioclear Lotion does a hat trick with a combination of glycolic, salicylic and azelaic acid. I have combination to oily skin, so this is perfect for my skin type and tackles a multitude of sins (fine lines, wrinkles, redness, acne scarring, large pores and uneven texture.)
Jan told me that it is for this very reason, that her Bioclear Lotion is her hero product. It is can used by many different skin types while covering a large majority of skin concerns. Something to note about the Bioclear Lotion - it's more of a serum consistency than a lotion (see photo above.) You only need 2 drops to cover your face and neck, so a little goes a long way. The Hyla3D and Marini Luminate® Face Lotion are must-haves for aging skin. Pro-active skin care should begin in your early 20's, as that is when you begin to lose hyaluronic acid. So by the time you're in your 40's, you're really feeling and seeing it by way of volume loss and fine lines and wrinkles.
Hyla3D restores moisture back to the skin and reduces the appearance of those lines. Her Face Lotion contains non-staining tumeric to lighten pigmentation and retinol. Just for the record, at this age there is no reversal of lines and wrinkles. Even Botox is just a temporary fix. So finding the right skin care products that help minimize are important, just as much as avoiding the ones that contribute to exacerbating your skin issues.
Jan Marini Skin Research has been around for 23 years. Constantly researching, developing innovative and transformative products from the beginning – technologies that have medical validations - are how Jan and her team create products that are truly effective.
Jan told me that she reads medical journals because there is a lot that relates to how we age, such as diabetes. She has a dedication to marketplace, education, and wanting to provide technologies that truly address skin care issues, not just cover them up.
We were both on the same page that you should see your skin as an investment and as such, really do the research on the products that would benefit you most. I explained that I would much rather use a $100 product that gets it right the first time than to buy five $20 products that are ineffective, waste my time and end up collecting dust in my cabinet. I learned quite a bit during this consultation, such as that you need to use a separate sunscreen from your moisturizer and that they should not be in the same product. Sunscreen in moisturizer would have to be the majority of the product, which means you are doing more protecting than moisturizing and as such, you may then think a product doesn't work because it hasn't addressed your skin's lack of moisture and abandon it.
We live in a want it now world and have high standards for our skin care products. Must fade discoloration, clear out blackheads, hydrate where necessary, mattify in the T-zone, reverse wrinkles, prevent sun damage and bake us a cake.
While some of the products Jan Marini has does address a lot of issues, she was very firm that sunscreen has to be worn on its own to help protect the skin from future damage.
Which, by the way, if you have a lot of hyperpigmentation and dark spots like I do, you will want to try her C-ESTA Face Serum. It has Vitamin C and DMAE. It's very liquidy in texture (so not really what you are used to for serum), but its thin consistency makes it great to be able to use a little and spread out across your face/neck.
So far I really like her products. I've only been using them twice per day for a month now. Having been around the block and knowing that addressing skin care issues, especially hyperpigmentation, takes a good 10-12 weeks, I plan to update my post with my results.
Jan Marini skin care can be found at medi-spas or they can be purchased on her website www.janmarini.com.