Well, August is here. That means traditional US Summer is more than half gone! How? Why? Where has it gone?!? But I shouldn’t complain. Things are going well and it’s been a decent Summer so far…not that much has actually happened in my world. LOL! I just love the long, sunny days (which I feel the need to point out the ridiculous amount of rain this year) and I actually enjoy the heat…as long as there is air conditioning. 😉 Since July has past, we all know that means it’s time for another Cruelty Free Favorites! I’m not going to pretend that I wore much makeup throughout the month, but I have been trying a lot of new skincare in a surprisingly successful attempt to battle to onslaught of dryness brought about by Accutane. I should probably call this my “Cruelty Free Skincare Favorites.” LOL! But there’s some great skincare that I’ve been loving in July as well as a few food stuffs. So sit back, relax, and I’ll try to keep it brief…at least as much as I’m capable! LOL!
I guess I’m going to go in the order that I would use each product, which means that I’m starting with the Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil. A few weeks back I wrote about the cleansers I’ve been testing out (linked here) and this was one of them. It’s become the one I almost always reach for as well! I just find it really easy, convenient and effective to use, as well as feeling hydrating and comfortable on the skin. The dispenser is a wonderfully convenient pump. I typically take 2 pumps (I’ll use it morning and/or evening), gently spread it over my dry face and massage it in a for a bit. Then I add just a bit of water and the oil emulsifies into a gentle and soothing milky texture that removes dirt, oil, and even and makeup without stripping my skin. After rubbing the milky concoction over my face for a bit, I simply splash more water on my face until it feels like everything has been removed. It’s not overly hydrating or greasy, but it rinses away feeling clean without being tight or dry. It’s absolutely lovely! I feel like this would work well on pretty much any skin type because it really does just leave the skin feeling clean without stripping. Plus, I really enjoy the packaging because of the nice convenient pump. I should also point out quickly, there is no rose anything in this cleansing oil. Once in a while I smell the faintest hint of rose, but I have no idea why as no fragrance is added (there really is no scent in general). I don’t mind the lack of rose oil or scent in this cleansing oil, but I thought I should point it out in case that would have been a selling point – or deal breaker – for you. (PR sample)
Next up we have the Odacité Jojoba Beads Exfoliant. I’ll try to keep this brief since I have a full review here. The Jojoba Bead Exfoliant is a nice effective yet gentle face scrub. I think dry skin and sensitivity often go hand in hand and this is the perfect scrub for both, though it would work for any skin type. This scrub starts with a sort of creamy base that’s cram packed with tiny little jojoba beads (not those horrid plastic beads, but rather beads made from jojoba wax). These beads are very gentle and are also perfectly spherical so they are not going to tear or otherwise damage the skin. Many other jojoba bead-based scrubs I’ve tried are not “scrubby” enough, but Odacité has gotten it just right! After washing away the scrub, the skin is softer, brighter, clearer and just healthier looking (not to mention free from dead skin) without any irritation…at least in my experience. It’s not uncomfortable to use, nor does it leave the skin tight, dry, tingly or otherwise uncomfortable. I’ll use this maybe once a week and it’s just a great scrub!
The first product for hydration that I’ve been loving is just good old basic Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 from The Ordinary. Hyaluronic Acid really helps to just seal in moisture and then draw more moisture into the skin. It’s great for plumping and hydrating. I almost always apply this when my skin is still just slightly damp to really get more moisture deep into my face. I feel like it kind of forms a barrier that keeps all that hydration in and then draws more from the rest of the products I use, as well as just from the air (this is not my scientific explanation of it, just how I consider it working, lol!). Apparently Hyaluronic Acid molecules can attract 1,000 times their weight in water (!!!) so it’s especially good for dehydrated and dry skin, but really anyone can benefit from it. I feel like I’m saying that a lot in this post! Fear not, there’s something dry-skin specific coming. LOL! Anyway, I use maybe 2 drops of this day and night before applying any oils and/or creams. You really don’t need much. Too much tends to feel a bit sticky until it absorbs, but it will absorb and the tackiness will go away. I’ve been finding it to be a great starting point for my hydrating routine. If applying it directly doesn’t appeal to you either because of the consistency or because you just want to cut out steps, it is really made to be added to pretty much any other product you’re already using too! So, say you really need a bit more moisture one night, but don’t want to add another step. Just drop a bit of the Hyaluronic Acid into a serum or cream you’re already using and apply as usual. Works just the same! I feel like The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid is definitely a great thing to have on hand no matter your skin type because I think we all have those days where we didn’t drink enough water, maybe you’re hungover, or you’ve been out in the cold longer than normal and your skin isn’t feeling it’s best. Just add a few drops when needed and your skin will likely be feeling better in the morning! As for me, I’m feel like this as well as the next product I’m going to mention, are the main reasons my skin hasn’t gotten incredibly dry and/or uncomfortable yet.
So what’s this next mystery product? The Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm! This is the last thing I put on my face at night…aside from lip balm. I only use it at night because it is incredibly thick, a bit greasy and a bit shiny on the skin. I know that doesn’t sound appealing, but hear me out. If you have dry or dehydrated skin, it will absolutely thank you for slathering this on at night! According to Farmacy’s description, the Night Balm is a balm (meaning thick and heavy) that turns into an oil-gel on the skin. That’s pretty accurate to me. Again, you need just the tiniest bit – maybe slightly more than pea-sized amount – for the entire face. It spreads incredibly well…like an oil, lol! I feel like it not only helps to hydrate my skin while I sleep, but it also feels like it keeps the moisture and all the other products I’ve applied to my skin in, allowing them to really penetrate deeply. I wake up every morning with my face feeling comfortable (the balmy-oil feeling has all absorbed by that point, but there’s no dryness either). It’s absolutely wonderful!!! It supposedly also works to firm and tone the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce uneven skin tone. I honestly haven’t really payed much attention to those things since I started using it slightly before I started the Accutane, so I cannot really comment on those aspects. Having tried a few different things at various points since, I do know that the Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm is absolutely the secret to keeping my skin comfortable and happy!
The last “skincare” item I have to mention is Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. This is an all-purpose balm that you can use on a multitude of issues, but I’ve been constantly applying it to my lips. Again, this is more of a slippery, oily feeling product, but it’s been keeping my super dry lips as comfortable as possible. As long as I have a bit of this on my lips, I feel relatively normal. Partly what drew me to this Australian wonder balm is that it also claims to help with cracked skin and open wounds, which hasn’t been a problem yet (thank goodness!), and since there’s a bit of healing ability to it, I figure it’s a good idea. One thing I did not realize when I purchased it (I found it on Amazon) is that it’s petroleum-based. I wish it weren’t, but it’s working really well so I’m hesitant to try something different. So for now, the Papaw Ointment is my lip balm of choice and it’s doing a great job of protecting, if not also hydrating my lips!
Last but not least, I have some food obsessions from July. They all involve chickpeas, so I’m gonna lump them together. I seem to have developed a new-found love for Hummus as well as Avocado & Chickpeas on Toast! I have always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with hummus, not because I don’t like it but because I have trouble finding hummus brands and flavors that I really like. I feel like every brand tastes so different even when considered the same flavor. And then I also find that flavored hummus that sounds delicious is often not at all what I expect. This month I’ve mostly been eating the local grocery store’s generic organic line of plain hummus and it’s delicious! I have just been eating it with carrots. Similarly, I came across this recipe for Smashed Chickpeas and Avocado on Pinterest and remembered trying it, but not loving it. I gave it another go, but put it on whole grain toast and I’ve been completely addicted! I love the way the flavor combines with the toast and it makes for a nice, filling breakfast. Another reason I’ve been eating both of these things often is that I need to take the Accutane with a fatty meal (whatever that means) and these both fit the bill, but incorporate healthy fat (and foods) without too many calories. Whatever the reason, for now at least, I’m enjoying my chickpea-filled goodies!
And that’s July my friends! Heavy on the skincare and the chickpeas, but oh how good it has all been! LOL! I hope everyone had a great July and that you all enjoy the remainder of Summer! As always, thank you so much for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!!!