Koh Gen Do Oriental Plants Essence and Skin Lotion

Koh Gen Do has the same approach to creating skin care as they do with makeup. Keep it light and give the skin exactly what it needs. Their Oriental Plants line is comprised of 6 products that cater to skin in the middle and not in the extremes- meaning mostly normal skin that can tend to be dry or oily but fairly typical overall.

Pictured above are my favorites from the line, their Essence and Skin Lotion. Essence is a clear, weightless boosting serum to balance, hydrate and firm up the skin using plant based technology and known skin soothers. It makes my sometimes oily skin feel balanced with a comfortable moisture level.

Skin Lotion is a hydrator that locks in moisture and refreshes the skin surprisingly well considering it’s a clear fluid with a consistency slightly thicker than water. I love the idea of moisture in the absence of a heavy cream so the ingredients can absorb and treat the skin without being trapped on the surface wrapped in thick cream. This is usually why high-potency serums are in a liquid form, it’s a cleaner delivery system. It seems counterintuitive, but these light-in-weight serums can actually deliver better and more complete moisture to the skin than their thick and creamy counterparts.

Koh Gen Do is also a line completely against animal testing and has formulated products without petroleum, fragrance, artificial colors, and parabens long before it was fashionable to do so. You’ll also love the heavy glass bottles and beautiful packaging which to me are just a continuation of the product itself and the pride and work they’ve put into it all.

Oriental Plants

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Mud Cleansers; Erno Laszlo, LUSH, Olay

Using mud to purify and cleanse the skin has a history that’s several thousand years old. Today, mud based cleansers are used to get a deep clean and remove all traces of oil for a fresh feeling you don’t get from creamy cleaners. Keep in mind that the mud breaks down oils, so if you have dryer skin, these may not be ideal for you. Here are a few I’ve used and really like.

Erno Laszlo’s recognizable Sea Mud Soap is a well-loved best seller. This black bar softens the skin by removing all traces of oil while gently exfoliating at the same time. If you’ve never used a bar cleanser, this one is a great place to start- you’ll be amazed at how much longer it lasts versus a liquid cleanser.

With the success of their blockbuster cleanser Angels on Bare Skin, LUSH has introduced Dark Angels ,  a cleanser packed with Rhassoul Mud and Powdered Charcoal to draw excess out oil. Just a tiny bit works to really exfoliate your skin giving it a radiant glow, and the Organic Avocado Oil gives a little moisture so your skin feels comfortable and not tight.

Purifying Mud Lathering Cleanser from Olay delivers the same quality results you’d get from a 20 minute mud mask in a foaming daily cleanser. It sops up oil so well you may not need a toner after, and the scent is so fresh and clean.

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Supporting Local Companies; Pangea Organics

Boulder, Colorado based Pangea Organics mixes up the most unique blends of flowers, nuts, and essential oils I’ve ever heard of. They’re are so exotic, the names alone sell you on the products before you even pick up the bottle. Himalayan Geranium & Pomegranate Balancing Oil has a mellow scent with a hint of sweetness unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

Balancing Oil is designed to bring all skin types to their optimal moisture levels; oily, sensitized, dry, and even mature skin will all love this oil and how it melts right in as if your skin has been thirsty for it. Cold-pressed vegetables, seeds, and nuts with high levels of essential fatty acids and antioxidants provide your skin with the nourishment it craves leaving it feeling refreshed and completely in balance.

$50, 1oz, PangeaOrganics.com, Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Select Nordstrom

Pangea Organics Balancing Oil

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Sanitas Skincare Glycotoner 10%

I’ve been a long time fan of glycolic acid, the sugar cane derived member of the AHA family. Its uses are vast, assisting with everything from acne, to dry skin and wrinkles, even helping vitamins to penetrate deeper into the skin bringing about greater results.

Sanitas has been standing firm in their skincare beliefs for years now, with a few fundamentals- like making products that are incredibly active using biogenic (naturally found in the body) ingredients to stimulate and nourish the skin. Their complete line of results oriented super skincare has evolved over the years always incorporating the most modern technology, but their Glycotoner has remained a staple.

Most experts agree that a 10% glycolic solution is ideal, although Sanitas carries a 5% and a 15%, 10% is strong enough to see results without being irritating to most skins. Try the 5% if you’re new to glycolic and work your way up- especially if you tend to be sensitive. Just a little on a cotton pad after cleansing and you’ll feel a little tingling, which I’ve come to love (I can just feel it working.) If you’re really looking for a one-two punch, follow the toner up with their Peptiderm Moisturizing Cream containing huge concentrations of peptides to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by relaxing facial muscles, increasing collagen, and improving skin circulation.

Sanitas Skincare

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Intelligent Aesthetics

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Intelligent Aesthetics is a well organized, well thought out, affordable skin are line featuring 6 different collections suited to every possible need. Balance was the collection I was able to try for oily skin which is packed full antioxidants, grapefruit, lemongrass, and other oil-busting goodies. The biggest difference I experienced was my mineral makeup actually staying matte during the day where shine usually creeps up, and a nice tight feeling my skin had after cleansing. Another surprising treat was the mask which wasn’t the usual clay variation but a refreshing gel that really tightened my pores and left my skin silky smooth without a hint of shine.

Intelligent Aesthetics

Jane Iredale Amazing Matte Loose Finish Powder

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I know what the finishing powder of choice is among mineral fans *cough* Mineral Veil *cough,* but I really like Jane’s Amazing Matte. It took a while to get me into the mineral makeup swing since I tend to get shiny and the mineral sheen just wasn’t for me. This is literally the only reason I am able to wear mineral foundation since it’s lightweight, doesn’t look cakey and keeps me matte all day. It’s also great over traditional foundation when you want to keep shine away and keep your look light.

Jane Iredale Amazing Matte Loose Finish Powder