Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Face Mask

I purchased Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Face Mask as my first product from the line. There were so many good reviews for it and as a fan of chocolate and antioxidant skincare, I decided this would be the best starting point.

The mask is quite thick and kind of difficult to spread onto skin smoothly. You can’t add water to it because it will turn into a brown liquid immediately so you just have to keep pressing and rubbing around skin. I was concerned by the tugging and pulling as I applied this thick product. Although it is ready to be used out of the container, I found it harder to apply correctly and evenly than the powder masks. I did not like the roughness of the mask for this reason.

The mask smells like cacao and vinegar which is a little strange but I did not mind. Only you will randomly smell the vinegar very strongly as you sit there with the mask on your face. The ingredients are:

Vitamin Infused Water, *Cacao, *Witch Hazel, *Vinegar, *Almond Oil, Marula Oil, *Baobab Oil, *Grape Seed Oil, *Avocado Oil, *Jojoba Oil, *Sundflower Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, *Vegetable Glycerin, *Rose Petal, *Turmeric, *Goji Berry, *Dandelion, *Eyebright, *Rosemary, *Ashwagandha, *Sage, *Beetroot, *Alfalfa, *Black Cohosh, *Raspberry Leaf, *Elderberry, *Chickweed, *Calendula, *Rose Hip, *Hawthorn Berry, *Ginkgo, *Cinnamon, *Marshmallow Root, *Bladderwrack, *Ginger, *Milk Thistle, *St. John’s Wort, *Cat’s Claw, *Licorice, *Lavender, *Fenugreek, Orange Essential Oil, †Lavender Essential Oil, Rosemary Essential Oil, †Calendula Essential Oil. 

*CERTIFIED ORGANIC

†ORGANIC

So this mask says it is antiaging and good for all skin but I really think it is more suitable for acne skin types because of how high witch hazel and vinegar are. Once the mask is on your skin, and you begin to feel it dry, your skin does feel like it is getting cleaned.

Washing the mask off is similar to powder masks, there are bits that will be stubborn and stick around and others that come off right away. I was disappointed at how messy the mask became, as the brown liquid just started running everywhere, leaving the counter so dirty. I never had this experience with any other mask. Even wiping with a sponge left the sponge brown. So it is a product that I can only use BEFORE I go into the shower.

I did not find the mask to have any benefits that I was not getting from others, but the experience of using it was not good for the above reasons so I will not repurchase or recommend it.

Return to blog

How long has it been that I last updated this blog? I have graduated and started working which is most of my life. The natural world is changing, more and more brands seem to be introduced everyday and my habits are different too.

Changes

It looks like many green beauty sites have kind of went away:

  • Embody Boutique was one I shopped at often with 20% and sometimes even 30% codes. I have not seen social media updates in months.
  • Spirit Beauty Lounge was the cream of the crop of the online shops but seem to be out of business now.

But there are also a lot of positive changes:
CAP-Interior_091515-23181_web

  • The Detox Market carries so many brands and if you live in LA like me, has a charming store that I go to when sampling teas and health supplements.
  • Credo Beauty is launching as the Sephora of the green beauty world with stores in San Francisco and New York (come to LA!). They even have a Tata Harper spa at the San Francisco location.
  • CAP Beauty is one of my favorite when it comes to health foods and their store in New York is where I would wish to work everyday!

I love that green is now moving from a tiny community on No More Dirty Looks into one that is physically spreading in the biggest cities and beyond.

For me, the new brands and products have meant more trial and error. There have been ones that have stuck and ones quickly discarded. This summer I will hopefully be able to provide more updates. My next one will be on the Antipodes Day Cream!

 

YÜLI ME Skin Fuel: Pure Gold

YULI ME Skin Fuel

When it comes to oils, quality matters. What stands out about YÜLI is how fresh and high quality the ingredients are. This is because no product is made until it is ordered and YÜLI uses ingredients that they grow and harvest themselves so it’s like farm to skin fresh. This is important because plant oils are very concentrated so freshness and purity is so important for performance.

ME Skin Fuel is the versatile face oil that is recommended for most people starting out or uncertain which oil to use. I chose it because my skin was becoming very irritable and stopped getting along with everything. This was recommended to me as being great at restoring balance to my skin and strengthening it. This delicious oil is concentrated and lightweight, yet densely packed with plenty of nutrients that it has earned the nickname as a “multivitamin nutrient cocktail” for the skin.

My first impressions

My first impression is how taken I was with the freshness of this product. The color and smell are both so vibrant and blossoming. You can literally tell from the picture. The oil color is pure gold and contains many gems like Pomegranate Seed, Black Cumin Seed, Broccoli Seed, Red Raspberry Seed, Argan Oil and Prickly Pear Seed Oil. It’s cold pressed and made fresh to ensure maximum levels of bioactivity and preserve the integrity of the nutrients by removing heat and chemicals from the extraction process. This means its purity level is basically not matched.

I also love how inventive and smart YÜLI is with the ingredients, Red Raspberry Seed adds a level of environmental UV protection, Black Cumin Seed boosts cell immunity and fends off weakness, Broccoli Seed gives a very light and silky primer texture, Prickly Pear Seed is a vitamin and antioxidant powerhouse, while the Dandelion infusion has anti-irritation properties.

There is a herbal scent that is mostly Jasmine which is a very intoxicating flower that gives this some lightness and luxury. I don’t find it as heavy as Rodin’s oil, it’s much more measured and subdued which I prefer for face care products.

I apply 3-5 drops for my skin and use the press-push technique to massage the organic oils into my skin. This gives an immediate rested glow. It really feels like I’m feeding my skin the nutrients it has been craving. After about 2 weeks I noticed my skin was no longer as weak or reactive with some eczema flareups subsiding and persistent redness toned down significantly. Products that I could not use before no longer stung or burned and I think it’s because this oil has really healed and repaired my skin.

The results

There are many face oils but this doesn’t just feel like just an oil, my skin feels and looks so different after I put this on. There is a significant difference from using this and I recommend it for anyone. YÜLI is a line known for it’s scientific and advanced ingredients, so I understand some might steer toward their bio-retinol serum or liposomal Vitamin C. ME Skin Fuel is a straight forward blend of superb quality cold pressed, organic plant oils that showcase YÜLI’s high quality sourcing from their biodynamic farms rather than technological innovations like the rest of their line. This makes it the ideal repair and restore serum for sensitive or problematic skin that just needs good ingredients that work and won’t irritate skin.

In just the span of a few weeks this has quickly become a go to product for soft, silky skin. The oil really goes a long way toward feeding and improving my skin. Just a few drops day and night seems to fix all my skin issues and turns my skin into the perfect canvas.

Ingredients

simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil*, argania spinosa (argan) oil*, prunus armeniaca (apricot kernel) oil*, nigella sativa (black cumin) oil*, punica granatum (pomegranate) oil*, rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil*, brassica oleracea (broccoli) seed oil*, opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear) seed oil*, hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil*, taraxacum officinale (dandelion) infused in jojoba oil*, supercritical extracts of hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) seed and fruit*, helichrysum italicum (immortelle)* extract, nymphaea caerulea (blue lotus) extract^^, jasminum grandiflorum (jasmine) extract*.

*Certified Organic
^^ Wildcrafted

Verdict

There is a reason why YÜLI products are ALWAYS sold out, sometimes within hours of arriving at retailers. Their products are that good and I was particularly impressed with ME Skin Fuel, their interpretation on facial oil. $92 for 1 oz is an investment but for cold pressed, organic plant oils of the highest quality, it is a worthy price to pay. I believe there are oils that are more expensive that are not as well made as this. I fell in love with the first use and continue to lightly press this into my skin during the day and bathe my skin in this repair serum at night. It is pure liquid gold and a must have in any face oil collection.

Available at YÜLI and Spirit Beauty Lounge

LIEBSTER AWARD AND NOMINATIONS

I’m so excited to be participating in the Liebster Awards! Jade from Nepriticus graciously nominated me along with other really wonderful beauty bloggers. If you haven’t read Jade’s post, it’s fantastic. Not only is she a true green beauty but I have learned about many lines from her as well and if you are not following her on twitter (@nephriblog) you are losing out!

The Questions

1. What is your nighttime skincare routine?Yuli May Lindstrom Clinique

Night time is my favorite time to experiment with potions. There are always things I am trying but I will stick to regulars. When I shower, I am using the Yuli Halcyon cleanser which is so light and gentle but really makes my skin feel clean and removed from the day. The gel smells refreshing and gently foams into skin leaving my skin very soothed. I have also gotten May Lindstrom’s Honey Mud and been using it kind of as a mask pre-cleansing for long days, as with all things May, it is fun to experiment with the cleanser/mask before showering because it is hard to keep water out if you bring it into shower. I’ll do a full review on these two products soon.I also have a Clarisonic that I use some days with Yuli Halcyon. I have the gentle delicate brush head because I like to have to stimulate circulation and do not use so much to exfoliate.After shower I use toner immediately. I used to not do toning because I thought it was superfluous or as some mention mostly aromatherapy. I experimented with toners from many lines and ended up addicted to the Yuli Cocoon Elixir. I remember after skiing at Lake Tahoe and my skin was red, and I sprayed this afterward and took a nap, I woke up and my skin was bright with no redness.

I do a serum (or two). Mainly antiage and pigmentation serums for me right now so I use a retinol my dermatologist prescribed, Yuli Cell Perfecto, and Clinique Dark Spot Corrector. For anyone looking for a supercharged serum to fade acne scars just try a retinol + Cell Perfecto, it is no joke.Isun Antipodes
I am currently using a face oil as moisturizer from a line called Isun. It goes on pretty thick and smells nice so I only need a little. I haven’t seen benefits that I do not get from other oils but this is still quite nice. If I need more, I use the Antipodes light facial day cream which can be used at night. It’s very light and smells like vanilla.

After I now take care of my body too because my arms and legs became dry so I used the Yuli Harmony. I know… another Yuli product, but they’re all so good and trust me, for me to spend that amount of money it has to be worth it and they are. Admittedly unlike the cleanser and toner which I have compared to other brands before purchasing full sizes, their body oil is the first body oil I have used. I just couldn’t pass up the technology they used. Normal body oils make me feel like why am I spending this much for oil for my body but I loved their herbal infusion (triple infusions!), flower complex, gemstone treatment, and a lot more, just go to their site. At $80, I just felt like it was too tempting to pass up and I’m glad I purchased it because my skin has never been smoother or softer.

2. What do you do to relax or unwind from stress?

Stress is one of those things that gives me stress because it is so intangible (?). I find it’s habits I have to commit to in order to minimize stress like turning off my computer and phone by 9 PM, forcing myself to watch mindless television shows (Hello Bravo and E!), going outside every morning to just breathe in the fresh air for 2 minutes in silence.

3. How did you get into green beauty?

I got into green beauty through food first because there are a lot of chemicals and unsavory processing in the foods we consume. I volunteered at a hospital during the weekends and I noticed a disproportionate number of regular sick patients had very similar lifestyles which included unbalanced diets, poor physical fitness and the third surprised me – cosmetics! A lot of the women I met with stage 1/2 cancer and hormonal problems had a specific fondness for their products, and it played a large part in their normal lives. Later I learned that 60%-80% of the chemicals in cosmetics were found to be linked to cancer. It traced back something my mother always said off the cuff whenever we would walk into Sephora, “Being in this environment every day can’t be good for your body” and that is when everything made sense to me regarding the switch to green beauty. Like most people, I started with the green washed stuff first like Origins and then discovered Whole Foods and Spirit Beauty Lounge which are the two main places my skincare comes from today (also love Embody Beauty and Shen Beauty).

At first it was hard to justify the price tag for many green beauty items, especially if you love Spirit Beauty like I do but the quality of the products are undeniable and I’d rather pay more for something that works really well than for something that isn’t as good and poor for my health. Now I love the luxurious green lines and have found that sticking to investing in those “must have” products rather than indulging in many products will make it more affordable and I’m able to have what I think are the best products money can buy.

4. A recent good read? If not a read, a recent good TV show or movie?

I am trying to get through the Three Kingdoms series, which is the only casual read I have time to enjoy. I really like recording TV shows and watching it all at the end, like a DVD box set. Right now I’m getting through Girls which I don’t always like but I like that it doesn’t try to make New York look like it is a party all the time. I am trying to get into Downton Abbey, but I have not been able to!

5. You can only eat one thing for the rest of your life. What is it?

Sushi! This is a cheat answer because there are so many options for rolls that you can have everything! My roommates used to vote for where we should have dinner and they never needed my vote but I always wanted to go to one of the sushi places near us, even if we just went  few days ago, that is how much I like it!

6. What is your favorite face oil?
Yuli Modern Alchemist

This is the toughest question on here! How do you pick just one especially when part of the beauty of face oils is that there are so many and they’re all so unique and interesting? I think the one ‘gem’ I’ve discovered is Yuli Modern Alchemist. It isn’t a pure face oil made from plant oils because they also put other ingredients in there like Coq10 and Tamarind seed extract. The reason I like it is because the smell and texture reminds me of May Lindstrom’s beautiful Youth Dew but there are a lot more ingredients like a essential fatty acid complex and anti aging retinols and the price tag is actually less than the Youth Dew. Another thing I like about this serum and the brand is that they exclude a lot of ingredients that cause issues even if they are natural – WINNING! My skin is really really taken care of with this serum, I am smitten with the results.

7. All-time green beauty favorites?

Yuli Pure Mask

Yuli Pure Mask is exceptional. It’s just amazing. I love that it is very cooling and soothing but also very purifying which is suitable for my skin when it acts up. It really does everything from clearing pores, zapping acne, lightening complexion to feeding skin. The small size makes it perfect to take on travel, and you only need a little of the powder so it lasts quite long.

8. Your skin is freaking out. What do you do?

The Pure Mask is amazing for any freak out (my review). Other than that I am very good about ‘putting the bottle down and stepping away’. I think doing a lot will make it freak out even more. Maybe I drink more water and sleep.

9. What is something new (product, brand, experience, anything) you want to try soon?

May Lindstrom Aurelia Antipodes

I have been meaning to take the plunge into green perfumery. I keep my eye on some things from Tsi La and Strange Invisibles but I am afraid of being disappointed because the natural perfumes I have tried at Whole Foods have all been disappointing (Vanilla + Alcohol) and do not last long. I really want something that will stay for a few hours so it can be worth the very very high price tag.

This year I am on a mission to try more high end green brands. I currently have 3 of May Lindstrom’s products (Problem solver, Clean Dirty, Honey Mud), just purchased Aurelia Miracle cleanser and De Mamiel cleansing balm. I’m quite enthused by the amount of fantastic green products out there.

10. Something(s) (product, experience, anything) essential to you for every day?

Not related to beauty, but I always speak to my parents on the phone every day usually after dinner even when I have exams and papers. I go over my day and calling after dinner lets me be able to tell them “Yes I ate” which if anyone else has Asian parents, knows is very important to them! I feel like this really helps take my away from my personal stresses at school and gives me perspective.

 

Sunday Ritual

Sunday

 

I woke up this morning in a positive adventurous mood. The Oscars are in town tonight and I have finished schoolwork so that means a fun evening is waiting. After a light breakfast of wheat bread toast with avocado and honey plus a banana, I decided to indulge myself in some beauty.

I began with a dry face then rubbed May Lindstrom’s Honey Mud as a mask to my skin. As the clays, chocolate, and honey went to work on my skin I checked e-mails and flipped through my favorite beauty magazines while drinking my favorite Chrysanthemum tea. It is like a chocolate pudding treat in the morning which is perfect for  Sunday.

After 15 minutes, I rinsed off the Honey Mud then followed with a gentle but thorough cleansing courtesy of my new favorite cleanser from Yuli, Halcyon. With 2 pumps of the gel (shown on the brush head), I gently exfoliated and cleansed my skin at the same time, which allows the gel nutrients to penetrate farther and bring out the bad stuff to the surface. The scent is so refreshing and spa quality that I can’t help but smile and unwind.

Next I applied the Modern Alchemist serum from Yuli, which is really a gem I’ve discovered in green beauty. There are so many wonderful plant oils like argan, rosehip, avocado, baobab, prickly pear, and rose and great ingredients like CoQ10 and omega-lipids. I have not found a serum with better ingredients, period. This is in the stratosphere of premium serums like May Lindstrom Youth Dew and Mun Aknari Night Serum with the attention to detail and the beautiful texture and fragrance (like a honey rose) but is more forgiving at $125 for 30ml (versus $95 for 15ml of Mun and $120 for 20ml of Youth Dew) so it is my secret weapon.

Last step is the Antipodes Rejoice Light Day Cream which is quite medium-thick texture compared to normal moisturizers which is perfect step in the routine to keep my skin moisturized. The vanilla scent seems to blend very well with the other products and I love the ingredients (manuka, avocado, lavender, macadamia, jojoba).

This simple yet very luxurious green beauty ritual beyond indulges my skin and I am sitting here with perfectly soft and plumped skin planning what to wear tonight!

Cleanser Battle: Dr Alkaitis Facial Cleanser, Ren Mayblossom Cleansing Gel, Yuli Halcyon Cleanser

Although I try to be green as much as possible, I struggled to find a good natural cleanser that I could use every day. I went through samples and samples, going from balms to oils to powders to creams to gels to find ones that would love my dry-combination skin. A lot of cleansers gave a great first impression like May Lindstrom’s Honey Mud and Pai’s Hydrating Cleanser but after a few continued uses, my skin just never really felt clean, always like I didn’t wash it. Cleansing oils like OLO work for my skin but I feel like they only remove makeup and then wash off, it made me want something more. I think the best type of cleanser for the results is the gel type because it makes my skin feel clean but the trouble is finding one that will not also dry my skin, but if you are interested here are my experiences with three of them.

3cleansers

Dr. Alkaitis Purifying Cleanser

This is an orange castille soap based cleanser (similar to Dr. Bronner’s liquid soaps). The smell is very in your face like very strong Whole Foods soap and the cleansing was slippery but left my skin squeaky clean. I notice it dried my skin especially along my cheeks although there are MANY oils in here. I used it for 5 days and my skin could not handle it. It started flaking and getting dry patches which unfortunately means this is not the cleanser for me unless I buy a very heavy moisturizer. My skin felt tighter and more starving for moisture throughout the day. I would not recommend using this to remove makeup because it will sting your eyes due to the castille soap and the slippery feeling might not get deep enough to remove everything. I was left disappointed by this cleanser besides the dry feeling as it also felt a little rough for a face product especially for the price of $65 for a liquid soap.

rencleanser

Ren Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel

This is for combination skin and I used this after going through several cleansing balms which left my skin clogged and red. It worked pretty well without drying my skin. The gel is really light and turns to almost a water weight. It too was a little stripping when used for a week but I think it is because although this is for combination skin, it might be more suited for people with oily skin. It’s not strong enough to take off make-up but I don’t mind that because I always remove makeup with an actual makeup remover. I love the smell of this and it feels better than Dr. Alkaitis. The only issues besides slight drying (not its fault, my skin isn’t a match for this particular cleanser but there are some that might be more gentle) are some of the ingredients, but I would not mind using something from this brand as a non-green cleanser. At $32, this is a good price although you need a palm sized glob so the size will not last too long (2-3 pumps takes a lot of gel out of the air pack). The Sephora rep said a bottle can last about 2 months.

Yuli Halcyon Cleanser

I purchased the sample size during Black Friday. I’ve been impressed by every Yuli product I have tried so I was very curious to see how Halcyon performed because I LOVE the name! This is also a gel like Ren’s but it is a heavier gel than theirs. It’s a clear color and smells fresh and crisp. It is quite impressive because it doesn’t rely on things green products use to get the texture like Alkaitis’ castille soap base or May’s honey + clay which after using both I do not think is really good for daily cleansing.. this one is a fluid gel that works as well as normal cleansers which we know use chemicals to get the texture and foam, so I was very impressed. It is gentle and light but left my skin feeling very clean and balanced, no dryness which is impressive because of the three cleansers, I used this one during the coldest and driest weather. After 1 week, I saw my skin improving in feel and quality. I like everything from the smell to the feel on my skin and to the results so this ended up being my pick and I purchased a full bottle. At $52, I would say the per use cost is more economic than the other two and the ingredients you get are far better quality.

Dr.Hauschka Fresh Deodorant

drhauschka fresh

It is hard to find a good deodorant! Even before I went with green beauty, I remember I was afraid of aluminum in my Secret deodorant. I used designer deodorant since then which did not have aluminum (no anti-antiperspirant) but I know it still is not the best for me (fake fragrance, triclosan)

I recently tried Dr.Hauschka’s beautiful glass bottle deodorant in the Fresh scent. It cost $22.95 from Dr.Hauschka and has two scents floral and fresh. The deodorant is a cream lotion that is applied by a clear roller ball to the underarms. It will feel a little cooling at first but when the lotion sinks in, everything feels clean and dry.

It is not anti-antiperspirant so your underarms will not stay dry but let it dry after you apply, it will help a little with dryness and keeps the skin smooth and soft.

Fresh is a good smell for men and women, not too strong but not distinct either. Sometimes it can smell a little strange like cooking flour and sage. It will last all day unless you sweat from a run or the gym, so you may need to reapply.

The cost is a little high for this but I think you are paying for the name brand, glass bottle, and luxurious lotion. It will last maybe 2 months if you like to use it everyday. This deodorant is a good luxury choice for green beauties. I am also looking forward to trying Weleda after finishing this.