One of my goals is to eliminate all harsh chemicals from my kitchen and bathroom. I started last year by tossing out all of my old makeup (this was harder than I thought it would be) and replacing my lotions, face wash, moisturizer and other feminine products with products that were less damaging to my skin. For example, I started using almond oil and sesame oil to moisturize after my shower and I have started going days without make up. There are obviously some things I cannot make myself so I try my best to use local or all natural products. I am not always successful, but I have come a long way since before starting this journey. Recently, I discovered some beauty products hand made by local artisan, Leyna Allred. Leyna lives in Santa Cruz, CA. where she concocts these magically decadent body butters, muscle rubs, face scrubs, lip tints and balms. Her homegrown delights are called URB Apothecary and this week I had the joy of trying some of her top selling creations!
Day 1 The first thing I tried on was the Clay Cacao mask. Simply applying this mask made me feel self-indulgent and I was in heaven. The smell of rich chocolate mousse permeated my skin. Once it dried I washed my face and noticed a significant difference in my pore size. My pores looked smaller and my face felt fresh and taut. Next I applied one of Leyna’s recent creations: The lip tint, which is infused with organic almond oil and rose hips. The wildcraft alkanet root give it the sexy dark tint I am always looking for, and the rose hips give the lips a nice dose of antioxidants. Because I don’t use blush I decided to give my cheeks a little love and applied some of it to my cheek bones. The result was that I looked fresh faced and my skin was so happy.
Day 2 and Day 4 I have chronically dry skin because of my thyroid. There is nothing I have not tried and no bottle of lotion left unturned. I tried URB Apothecary’s Shea+Cocoa balm after using the Matcha scrub in the shower. Not only did I smell yummy but my skin felt supple. I used the Matcha scrub on my whole body and even used it for my face instead of my regular face wash. The smell reminded me of a yummy custard and when I stepped out of the shower my skin had a nice healthy glow to it. I would recommend using this scrub a few times per week. I did notice that I did not need an additional moisturizer after my shower and instead used the Shea + Cocoa balm for my knees, elbows and heels.
Day 3 My day off! Instead of doing my normal routine I decided to stay home and take a nice long bath. I dropped a few tablespoons of the Sea Kelp bath salts in the tub and let the kelp do its job. Sea Kelp is known for its Chlorophyl properties that help detoxify the skin and reduce inflammation. The protein, amino acids and fatty acids promote elasticity and conditions the skin. As an added treat I tried the lip plumping balm after my bath. This all natural lip plumper contains cinnamon which stimulates the skin by promoting blood flow. Needless to say that my lips looked luscious without the burning you would get from the lip plumper you would buy at Sephora.
Day 4 I was in a car accident this past weekend and my shoulders were so tense. I usually get weekly massages from my husband (yes, I know I am spoiled!) but this time around I had him use the Muscle and Joint salve. This salve is infused with ginger and cayanne. In Chinese Medicine these aromatics are known for their warming properties because they both stimulate blood flow and promote stomach health. Ginger is also known to help with reducing inflammation. I have been applying this salve on a daily basis in my shoulder area and I have noticed a significant reduction in pain after applying it. Another ingredient used is Arnica. Arnica is a homeopathic flower that is used to reduce bruising and sprains.
Day 5 So far I have been using the Lip tint on a daily basis for when I go out. The Shea+Cocoa balm I am applying nightly after my shower to my dry spots (knees, elbows and heels), the Matcha scrub I am using every other night and the Clay Cacao mask I will be using once per week.
In only 5 days I have noticed a reduction in make up use, less redness in my skin, less peeling of dry skin, reduced need to moisturize because of the almond and coconut oil based products I am using, and my pores look significantly smaller. I have never seen a product work so well and so fast. I am actually looking forward to seeing the long term benefits their use have on my skin health!
If you would like to learn more about URB Apothecary you can stop their ETSY site at: www.etsy.com/shop/UrbApothecary/about/