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All posts tagged skincare

Are Stem Cells the Next Big Thing in Skincare?

It’s been about a month and a half and I’m scraping the nearly empty jar of CellEssence Cream. I have a feeling it normally lasts longer; although I caught my significant other dipping into it a few times and emerging from his daily routine with strikingly radiant skin. In an ever-ending effort to fight the signs of aging without needles or going under the knife, and also to bring our readers the best hidden gems out there, we introduce you to CellEssence skincare. I heard of this line, based in Newport Beach, from Twitter, of all places. I was eager to try it to see if it would ease those fine lines and dark circles around my eyes and expression lines that have made a home for themselves on my face.

Nuvacell1_low_sq

My sample package arrived in the mail and included the NuvaCell Wrinkle Repair Eye Serum and CellEssence Anti-Aging Face Cream. The eye cream comes in an ample-sized container with an easy-to-use-pump that with just one push dispenses a dab plentiful enough to use on both eyes. Both initially went on rich and noticeable concentrated. I applied them at night and was wondering if they were light enough to apply under makeup in the daytime. Within minutes they absorbed into my skin seamlessly leaving behind a smooth and almost velvety feel! The next morning (even with less than eight hours of sleep) I emerged from my slumber with a glow about my skin and the lines around my eyes softened.  My skin look hydrated, more even-toned, and felt smooth to the touch. I was intrigued and was excited to see how this worked during daytime with a full schedule ahead. One word, awesome. No added oiliness and my makeup seemed to like it too.

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I sampled this product in the midst of winter and what I noticed throughout the season was that my skin gave off this radiant glow, did not once get dried out even during the cold, dry winter we experienced where I was stuck indoors through most of it with dry heat blaring in our home and car to keep the winter chill at bay. The lines around my eyes were non-existent. The line promised to deliver “potent DNA repair activity” that helps to repair DNA and activate the skin’s stem cells which result in less sagging, fine lines and wrinkles, and under-eye dark circles and bags.

Key ingredients in the CellEssence line responsible for these noticeable results include DMAE; Alpha Lipoic Acid; Licorice Root Extract; Renovage ™; Vitasource; and Synovea  HR. While I’m not too familiar with all of these wonder components listed above; I do know I’m a fan and can’t wait to get my hands on more CellEssence skincare.

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Pucker Up and Get Soft, Supple, and Ready for Valentine’s Day with Amala

Photo courtesy of Amala

Photo courtesy of Amala

Here at VODA, you know we are big fans of the organic and luxurious line of skincare products by Amala. This winter, and right in time for Valentine’s Day, they offer two products that came just in the nick of time to soothe my moisture-deprived chapped lips and dry hands. I breathed a sigh of relief, finally products that feel good and you can feel good about using.  Amala does not test their products on animals and uses plant-derived ingredients that are grown responsibly and work with your skin to deliver noticeable results.

Photo courtesy of Amala

Photo courtesy of Amala

The samples arrived in the minimal, yet elegant, signature Amala packaging. The Rejuvenating Hand Cream was in a tube with a cork-like top, the Soothing Lip Salve in an easy to squeeze, no-mess tube, both with elegant copper-toned caps.  Before bedtime I slathered on the velvety hand cream and applied the balm to my rough, dry lips.  The next morning I notice my lips felt softer and not as tight and dry. I felt my hands, it was like touching a baby’s bottom. They hadn’t been this soft in years, probably since I was a baby.

Photo courtesy of Amala

Photo courtesy of Amala

The lip salve, labeled “soothe,” is made from desert fig seed, Moroccan chamomile, and shea butter. It goes on smooth and silky and leaves a subtle shine.  By day two, my lips were back to their plump, nourished self. I noticed they were incredibly soft too.  The Rejuvenating Hand Cream goes on silky smooth and absorbs quickly without a greasy feel.  It is made with cocoa beans, Inca inchi seed, and licorice root.  This dynamic duo was just what I needed to get ready for that silly, Hallmark holiday we can’t help but love!

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The Ultimate Skincare Line – Elemis

The box arrived at the front door on a recent weekend afternoon.  I was like a child on Christmas Day ripping through the box tearing out products with the words illuminating and glow on them. I calmed down a bit and started to read through the packages and inserts as if it was a prescription medication with questionable side effects. And side effects it had! I had a facial scheduled in a month at the Spa at Fearrington Village, the only spa to carry these incredible products in the state of North Carolina. I could not wait for my facial to learn how to use them properly and in which order. I dug into those products as if  they were candy and emerged with skin as radiate as the sun!

Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Elemis  is a luxury skincare line from the Britain. The products are used in top spas throughout the US and the UK. It’s a results-driven line bringing nature and science together with a focus on anti-aging. I learned from Angela at the Spa at Fearrington how to use them properly. Her skin looked almost translucent – it was so clear and glowing.  She stressed the importance of thoroughly cleaning the skin, not scrubbing it, but cleaning it. We started with the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. It is oil-based and she took about a bean-sized amount and thoroughly massaged it into my dry skin. The oil from the product breaks down the oils and dirt and the massage technique strengthens the facial muscles to increase the look of smooth skin. After a thorough facial massage, she added a bit of warm water to emulsify the product and then gently washed it off with a soft cloth. At that point, I was in such a state of bliss from the massage and aroma that the order of which products came next escapes my mind.

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich

Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich

My package contained Pro-Collagen Super Serum, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich, Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm (favorite!), and the Total Glow Bronzing Moisturizer for face and one for body. I purchased the Rehydrating Ginseng Toner at the spa. What resonated with me was to throughly clean and tone. Those two steps lend an extra layer of cleansing, exfoliating, and helps serums and moisturizers absorb properly. Toning also balances the skin and helps maintain moisture levels.

Rehydrating Ginseng Toner

Rehydrating Ginseng Toner

Once home, I continue my skincare regime by using the techniques and knowledge I learned from my treatment. After thoroughly massaging in the cleansing balm allowing it time to break down the dirt and oils, I rinse and apply the ginseng toner with a cotton ball and follow with the serum and marine cream. I use my own favorite eye cream which was a tip from an another esthetician, it’s the budget-friendly Olay Regenerist Lifting Eye Serum.  When I’m going out  to an event and really want to sparkle, I use the illuminating radiance balm instead. My skin has never looked better. It has a glow and clearness about it. As we progress into the fall and winter months, I continue to use the bronzing moisturizer for face and body to extend that look of summer that Elemis helps last throughout the year.

Total Glow Bronzing Moisteriser

Total Glow Bronzing Moisteriser

Full confession, there are (very occasional) evenings I skip my bedtime routine of washing and flossing, but these products make me want to, the aroma alone! A few months later my skin looks youthful and is hydrated and clean (thank you, Angela). The beautiful simple, yet elegant packages adorn my bathroom vanity. I’m a fan of Elemis, for me it’s the ultimate skincare line.

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Amala: Vitamin-Charged Beauty

Amala Products

The list of ingredients reads like a grocery list carried in the pocket of a natural foods fanatic. Figs, olive oil, berries, amaranth seed, macadamia nuts, acai, yoghurt, papaya, avocado and white tea. Certainly, you’ll find all these items in your favorite earth-centric store or amongst the rows at your farmer’s market. But, you’ll also discover them inside the products produced by Amala, one of the cleanest, most effective skincare collections in the world. Read more…

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