But, as I get older I really want to avoid that view. Of course its not easy, especially in our culture - however it is not impossible. I'm not striving for some concept of "perfection". Instead I'd rather improve my skincare for overall wellness and health and for me I want to approach it in a holistic manner.
When Laurel of Sequoia beauty so graciously sent me some samples, I was excited on the basis of her handcrafted ethics (100% organic, raw, wildcrafted free of alcohol/water & synthetics.) Keeping up the skincare ritual + routine morning & night was enlightening, as well as maintaining hydration and sleep (it doesn't matter what you put on your face if you're dehydrated and sleep deprived!) A few days into using Sequoia Beauty I saw + felt my skin change. My skin doesn't react well to most skincare products, they usually give me breakouts, inflammation or redness. With Sequoia Beauty I finally healed several skin issues and it has made my skin smooth and soft. (read below). Now, my favorite parts of the day are: at night when I get to treat my face to my regime of uncovering and revealing my skin as it should be: cleansed, loved by nature's alchemy, as well as in the morning when I awaken + bring rejuvenation to my skin back to life to greet the morning
*Sequoia Beauty will be going through a product rebrand (exciting!) sometime around January 2014, while the look will change the formulas will remained 100% pure organic mother earth derived ingredients and with love, as always. I cannot wait to see Sequoia Beauty bloom and grow
My Skincare Ritual
Purify and Realease Cream Cleanser* | Sequoia Beauty products do not use foaming agents, alcohol or water (read why here) I've tried cleansers in the past but they either left my skin parched or red. However this one is made with plants that help inflammation like Chamomile, Licorice, and Chickweed. The only "preservative" here is radish root filtrate which is a probiotic made from radishes (thats just awesome) This cleanser is for oil/combo/acne prone skin - and I think this goes beyond cleanser because it improved my skin quality immensely, it leaves mine smooth and baby soft. Even in the morning! It helped clear up acne along my oily spots (my jaw +forehead area) This is one is keeper. I love this cleanser so much. If I notice breakouts creeping up, I use this cleanser immediately to reduce the redness and banish them.
Sun Damage Repair Serum* | I am naturally drawn to non-sunlit areas, however when you live in a sunny place like California, you can't escape it. Sequoia Beauty serums may double as a moisturizer which for me is ideal since I hadn't found one that wasn't heavy. This is fragrance free but contains essential oils (however contact Sequoia Beauty if you have a plant allergy) I really love this serum, it softens my skin but it is not oily, it seeps in. Read more about this wonderful serum from a Holistic Esthetician here. I use it on my whole face especially under my eyes and near the lash line.
Firm and Tighten Toner* | I had never used a toner, and to be honest toners sound like a conundrum. They are meant to tone, but offer moisture & remove impurities (oils, dirt, excess makeup, etc) In a sense they sound like the probiotics of skincare. Initially I was skeptical because I am not kidding when I say my skin does not take kindly to much of anything, but main ingredients for the toner: non alcohol derived Witch Hazel, Aloe, Lemon Balm, Rose Geranium are great for sensitive skin (especially aloe) so after cleansing I apply a few spritzes of this and it does not dry your skin out since it does not contain any alcohol, water or foaming agents. I do apply the Sun Damage Repair serum after this. My skin (during dry weather) has the nerve to get splotchy so this is a nice product to have on hand as a refresher, even though the name is "firm and tighten" this toner is for dry, mature and normal skin-types.
Anti-Oxidant Renewal mask* | This mask is my everything. I was mainly using the decadent honey mask (because, honey + berries) but I used this wonderful clay mask infused with nettle + red clover & more goodness and somehow this mask helped dislodge and clear up my nose from the consistent blackheads I have dealt with for years. I believe its thanks to the Rhassoul clay (which is organic and wildcrafted) With daily use they remain far, far away from my face. This is my new favorite product because it worked for me. I mix it with water in my palm & enjoy the tingling aspect of the clay. Yes it cleans your skin and leaves my nose spot free. I usually use it at night before cleansing.
More Sequoia Beauty I sampled
Honey Berry Enzyme Mask | This mask smells like a honey bear's dream. I think its perfectly universal because it's perfectly soothing. It features raw Royal Jelly and Strawberries, this mask is my favorite for blending with the clay masks and bringing moisture. The ground strawberries act like a gentle exfoliator. My two cents? Use it in the shower, especially a warm one so it seeps in easily and you won't get any in your hair, otherwise be sure to put your hair up in a bun!
Almond Mineral Exfoliant | All of Sequoia Beauty's masks are concentrated, they are in powder form to retain potency without preservatives. This one is good if you don't want to use clay, (clay masks do tingle) since this one you can leave on your skin without feeling any affects, and don't want to deal with the sticky consistency of honey *or you can mix them together.
Purity Balm* | Again, its a balm but since my skin varies from sensitive to an oily t-zone I apply this balm after cleansing on the more sensitive areas, avoiding places I break out, at night especially in the cooler months to help moisturize my skin, this features organic + raw unrefined Shea butter, Tamanu oil, Rosehip seed oil - do use lightly though (its concentrated!) If you have dry or sensitive skin I really recommend this balm. Beyond the face you can use it on your body too, and even your hair! Best for multi-use.
I am so thankful to Laurel for introducing my mind (and skin) to her holistic skincare. I admire that Laurel & the Sequoia Beauty team do this research + alchemy, to create products are free of the majority of allergens, created 100% biodynamically and organically with our health in mind. There are no synthetic vitamins in their brand since all the vitamins an minerals are sourced from plants themselves. Overall, Sequoia Beauty products did an amazing job nourishing + repairing at a cellular level while healing/soothing my sensitive/combo skin. Proudcts marked with * are the ones I would purchase again because they worked for me. I highly recommend Sequoia Beauty feel free to contact Laurel with any questions!