I’ve been on a no-spend kick until the holiday sales, as my beauty collection has grown to the point that I have too many serums and creams, yet only one face. A luxury problem for sure, but a problem just the same. It’s such a great opportunity to explore products I already have, and get to know them better.
For Fall, I’ve been attentive to sensitivity. Ever since going on retinol, and using an acid in my routine about 2 times a week, my skin has been more sensitive, especially to products that have just a smidge too much essential oils that feel like they’re stinging my skin on contact until it subsides after a minute. If you’ve been following along, it might come as no surprise that I’ve also been increasingly focused on body care as well. I notice that with age, body care has become an inescapable necessity that I might have overlooked in my 20s.
African Botanics Infusion is one of those signature AB products that doesn’t really slide into any category fully, but has such an incredible ingredients list that you know it feels a class of its own. It’s described as a “micro-liquid serum,” has a liquid texture, and is what I would consider to be African Botanics take on toner. After so many beautiful cleanses, serums, moisturizers, I know many were curious why African Botanics didn’t really have a fluid toning step, and I think Infusion is their answer. This water-based toning “micro-liquid serum” has a base of water, witch hazel (toning), and Kalahari Desert Salt, and has impressive plant actives like lupine peptides, micro-algae, Green Riooibos Tea, Honeybush, Horsetail, Cape Aloe, Chamomile, Marula, Rose and Neroli, as well as Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, CoQ10. And to give you an idea how packed the ingredients are, there is probably half of the ingredients list that I haven’t even named. Most interesting to me is the Kigelia Africana fruit extract, also known as the African Sausage Fruit. I heard about this as an extremely popular local beauty treatment in Africa for its high antioxidant and astringent properties that firm the skin and minimize the appearance of pores.
In between cleansing and serums, I use about 3 pumps which is enough for my entire face. Infusion smells like a herbal concoction (because it is), and has a nice bouncy water texture that sinks into skin immediately. I can’t think of this in comparison to other toners, because it’s so beyond that. My skin does feel more hydrated, and also more nutrient-fulfilled, if that is a word. It certainly gets me closer to the “dolphin skin” ideal from KBeauty. I’d say African Botanics Infusion really is a powerful serum, but in the texture of a toner so you get the best of both.
These days, The Nue Co’s Mind Energy has been the fragrance I’ve been reaching for the most. I find Fall to be a bit gray, and Mind Energy, designed to clear brain fog, is a bright and zesty fragrance that has a gentle way of giving a good bit of uplift and inspiration. What I like most about Mind Energy is that it’s the perfect place between an all-natural perfume that disappears once you’re in public, and a traditional perfume that typically overstays its welcome and becomes nauseating for me. I especially love wearing this to the gym, catching through the workout just makes me feel fresh and energized. (Use early access code GARCONBF30 for 30% off your entire The Nue Co order).
Necessaire Body Exfoliator in Sandalwood is a hybrid physical and chemical exfoliator for the body with charcoal bamboo and AHAs that work better than anything else I’ve tried on some persistent dry, rough patches on my arms. It’s really nicely designed, and lathers up perfectly. I got the Sandalwood version because I felt it was the most luxurious, and it’s a fragrance my partner and I both love. However, I’d totally try Bergamot next. For those who don’t like fragrance, they offer this in a fragrance-free version.
Necessaire The Body Wash in Sandalwood is my daily body wash (as you’re only supposed to use the Body Exfoliator about 2 times a week). Body cleansing used to be a luxury indulgence step, but I now consider it a staple in my skincare routine as much as my face cleanser. I find Necessaire’s Body Wash to be a low-frills, yet pleasing product, with good lather that is never too much, and a good sandalwood pay off that feels luxurious in the shower. I like that the body wash, besides cleansing, is also considered a multi-vitamin for the skin thanks for vitamin and omega-rich plant oils, and niacinamide. It leaves my skin feel softer, and generally nicer than other washes.
Youth to the People’s Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream is a surprisingly solid moisturizer. I don’t say this from a condescending place at all. I just thought with their aesthetic, it would be “alright.” But my goodness, no, it’s amazing. The texture, first feel on contact, and overall aesthetic of this moisturizer is like a dollop of a creamy paint. The Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream is free of any fragrance which gives the beige-colored cream that ‘nothing’ paint feel even more, which is sort of cool to me. Also, I think the beige hue comes from the adaptogens like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Reishi that help skin respond to stress. The cream goes on… perfect? Liquidy, easily absorbs, no shine afterward, but long-term comfort. What’s not to love? That moisturized comfort really does stay longer than many other moisturizers I’ve used. What really makes this work though, is the adaptogen factor. It’s one of the only creams that doesn’t sting or irritate my skin post retinol treatment, and just leaves my skin feeling well moisturized and nourished. I’d say if your skin is sensitive, make this no.1 on your to-try list.
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