...at least when it comes to your face, that is.
Truth bomb time: essential oils aren't all they're cracked up to be. We love the scent of lavender, geranium, ylang ylang and rose as much as the next girl, and while they have undeniable aromatherapy benefits, on your delicate facial skin, they spell bad news (and breakouts, irritation, inflammation, and collagen breakdown...do we need to go on?). There’s a few big reasons why our products don’t include any essential oils, so let’s get to it.
1. We want you to be able to smell the high quality actives that we use and let them be the star attraction, instead of the scent of lavender or grapefruit. As an example, Ferulic Acid may smell medicinal, but it's a fantastic ingredient that is an important antioxidant for your skin, so why not let that be the focal point? When you put your nose up to our products, you'll know immediately that what you are putting on your skin is nothing but the safe actives and extracts that we fill our products with, and each have a direct benefit to your skin or to the safety and efficacy of the formulation.
2. Smelling pretty doesn't do one thing for your skin health and it isn't our priority, your skin is.
Guess what? The quality of the essential oils, or the purity, doesn't matter. An essential oil is an essential oil and it's sensitizing. To our skin, essential oils are perceived to be volatile, unfamiliar and chemical, not exactly the biocompatible we are going for.
3. The invisible enemy.
If you've been using products that contain essential oils and you think to yourself: "my skin is fine and nothing bad is happening.". Think again. The damage done by essential oils is imperceptible and cumulative. Translation: You can't see it, but it's building up over time and doing your skin no favors in the process. When you smoke a cigarette, you don't get lung cancer or emphysema the same day and you certainly can't see the damage...it shows up years later. When you walk out to the parking lot without sunscreen you don't get brown marks right then. No, those show up years later too. It's the same thing with essential oils. Damage is being done and you don't even know it.
Many essential oils react to UV light, and cause your skin to burn or change pigment, which can range from slight redness to full on color change. Yikes! Not only that, but certain chemical ingredients, when used in conjunction with essential oils can lead to reactions that are even worse. The fact of the matter is, no matter what kind of skin you have, or what kind of essential oil you use, it's all no good.
And finally, truly "sensitive skin” is very rare, most skin is actually “sensitized” due to insensitive ingredients!
Quick tip: Oils are beautiful, nourishing, wonderful things…unless they are fragrant like flowers, citrus, mint, herbs, and so on. Non-fragrant plant oils are what you want and what your skin deserves. If you have a doubt, just smell your product. You don’t have to memorize a bunch of confusing ingredient names, your nose will know!
When we formulated our Lala Retro Whipped Cream, we wanted it to achieve a few things: to visibly brighten skin, improve firmness, and of course, be the pitch-perfect moisturizer, without feeling greasy or heavy upon application.
To do this, we included a few key ingredients: a blend of six African (unscented, of course) oils to deliver intense hydration, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer to deliver long-lasting moisture, fermented green tea for antioxidant power, and one surprise guest that makes all the difference: plantain leaf extract.
Yup, that's right: plantain leaf. Here's a little science to back it all up: studies have demonstrated that the juice of the plantain plant is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Plantain contains allantoin, an anti-inflammatory phytochemical that kills germs, speeds wound healing, and stimulates the growth of new skin cells. The extract helps to recover both firmness and elasticity in the skin, but is also a rich source of phytochemicals, also known as a type of antioxidant compound found naturally in the plantain. On top of that, aids in restoring thickness and density, increasing firmness and elasticity and lightening age spots. We all know it's used topically to heal and soothe stings, burns, rashes & more, so just imagine what it can do for your pretty face?!
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s seriously hot outside. And it’s not cute. At all.
Without our summer skincare hacks, that is. Given that we eat, sleep, and breathe the stuff, we figured we’d share a few of our favorites:
- About to apply a little self tanner? Our Juju makes an incredible exfoliator for even application.
- Catch a little too much sun? Stash B-Hydra in the fridge. The chilled gel will cool and refresh instantly upon applying. And load up on the Umbra for next time!
- Speaking of Umbra… apply a little extra on the high points of your body for a little extra gleam & a contour-like effect.
- Love that pretty, dewy glow that's all over Instagram right now? Tap the tiniest bit of Marula on your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and between your brows as a natural (and moisturizing!) highlighter.
- About to head out for a long (probably sweaty) day? Our Umbra makes the most incredible primer for make-up for coverage that lasts all day, with the added bonus of physical sun protection!
- Don't forget those lips! Our Lippe helps to hydrate and repairs the effects of UV exposure with Vitamin C and green tea leaf.
It's no secret that we love summer and all of the things that come with it—sun, sangria, extra helpings of SPF. But if there's one thing we really love, it's collecting fun swimsuits. Sure, trying them on can be a nightmare, but shopping for them online is hands down one of our guiltiest pleasures. And because we're always finding new designers, we figured it was only right that we share a few of our favorites.
Lisa Marie Fernandez: Think of LMF as the cool girl's swim label. A stylist herself, Fernandez works in bold colors and athletic elements for some of the edgiest swimwear around. Her classic black neoprene bikini and fun signature ruffled pieces are especially favorites.
Flagpole Swim: Flagpole's basically the new kid on the block. They make minimalist one and two pieces with cool cut-outs and an athletic feel. We love their signature patriotic shades and high-waisted bottoms, too.
Norma Kamali: The classic. This New York designer (who sports a signature jet black 'do and glasses at all times) has been become known for being an innovator in the swimwear space for years, and has been offered over-the-top suits before anyone else. We love her fun use of color and the way she plays with prints. Her signature one-piece's ruching and halter cut is ultra flattering to boot.
Zimmerman: We basically want everything from this Australian fashion and swim brand, but their suits really take the cake. From the prints to the unexpected fabrics they use, they're one of the most fashion-forward swim brands out there.
Mara Hoffman: Indulge your inner hippie this summer with Mara Hoffman's signature prints and super-bright hues. We love that she has sexier two pieces with fresh feeling details and cuts, but makes the most incredible one pieces, too.
Think of the key to perfect skin as a balancing act. Literally.
Your skin's pH balance is probably one of those things you've heard a whole lot of buzz about, but never knew exactly what it... well, really meant. Don't feel bad! You're not alone. In fact, we're willing to bet even the biggest skincare junkies could stand to learn a thing or two about pH balances and how they effect our skin. Read on!
It basically goes a little something like this: it all starts with your acid mantle. Your acid mantle is made up of amino and lactic acids, plus sebum, also known as fatty free acids. The acid mantle just so happens to protect skin from environmental factors that lead to aging and all-around irritation. The acid mantle creates your skin's pH. The pH scale measures the concentration of hydrogen from 1 to 14. Anything over 7 is alkaline, which in this case is not a good thing: if your skin is on this side of the scale, it's probably dry and prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Skin that's too acidic, on the other hand, will appear oilier, irritate easily and is breakout-prone. In an ideal world, your skin's pH should be at around 5.5—that's slightly on the acidic side (just enough oil so that you maintain a nice glow). See?
We know a balanced pH means everything to your skin—which is why we publish it on all of our products. We formulate every DE product with skin's pH in mind. AHA, BHA and Vitamin C serums are especially tricky to formulate for that sweet spot. If they fall below it, they'll irritate and sensitize your skin; but if they fall above, they just don't work. The ideal pH for AHAs to function without causing undue irritation is 3 - 4; for Vitamin C, between 3 and 3.5 will do the trick.
Cleansers are another common culprit of pH abuse, since most are formulated to be incredibly drying and strip the skin of the oils your acid mantle needs to maintain acidity. Anything above 7 should be avoided. Our Pekee and Juju bars are right on target, coming in at 6.51 and 6.34 respectively— allowing just enough surface tension. In other words? You'll never be left wondering, 'what the pH?!' again.
We all know SPF is a must-have year-around, right?
But, as the temperature rises and our bathing suits take front stage in our wardrobe, we start to pay even more attention to the sunscreen we’re using.
Our favorite? (fine…we’re biased but with good reason)…Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30.
We love Umbra for so many reasons…here’s just a few:
✓ This physical formula (hello, zinc!) delivers powerful UV protection and anti-aging benefits (no chemical screens allowed)
✓ Suitable for all skin tones and leaves your complexion glowing (and no white cast!)
✓ Loaded with antioxidants to ward off free radicals that may cause UV damage and photoaging
✓ Infused with raspberry seed oil and marula oil for intense moisture without any residue or greasiness
✓ The clean, non-toxic formula can be mixed with your favorite moisturizer or serum (don’t worry, it won’t dilute the efficacy)
✓ It’s the perfect base for make-up (so skip your primer and let your skin breath in the summer heat!)
✓ Our gentle formula is ideal for all skin types, and great for sensitive skin