Luxe Botanics

A botanic skincare line scientifically formulated to allow nature to nurture your skin.


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Face Yoga for Natural, Healthy Skin

Om shanti shanti shanti.

(That’s Sanskrit for peace for human kind, peace for all living and non-living beings, peace for the universe and peace for each and every thing in the whole cosmic world). But you knew that already didn’t you?

Yes, today is International Yoga Day and it would be amiss if we didn’t acknowledge this ancient practice that has stretched to the farthest reaches of the globe. Like what we did there?

And for good reason too. Yoga is known to improve strength, flexibility, balance and to boost physical and mental wellbeing. More than that, there are numerous studies which suggest regular practice can be beneficial for those with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains, depression and stress.

As a pretty clued up bunch, we know by now that healthy body = healthy skin and to achieve this state of equilibrium this is dependent on the inside out as it is outside in. It comes as no surprise then that a clinical trial published in JAMA Dermatology earlier this year discovered that facial yoga can indeed rejuvenate the appearance of skin. [1]

But what’s the science behind this? Just as yoga helps to improve the strength, flexibility and balance of your body, the same can be said for your skin. Regular facial exercises are thought to induce underlying muscle growth helping to tighten connections, fill out spaces that hollow over time and create greater fullness in the cheeks.

Participants in the study aged 40-65 years were tutored on 32 facial yoga exercises which they  practised for 30 minutes daily over eight weeks. From nine weeks to 20 they then reduced this to practicing every other day.

Great news right? The answer to healthy skin and it’s non-toxic and totally free! But for most of us, a 30 minute work-out can be challenging at the best of times let alone a work out just for our face.

  1. For those in a rush, check out three of BYRDIE’s recommended facial exercises here for plumper skin. [2] Move over downward dog. Fish lips, kiss face and the whistler are the moves of the moment.
  2. Or for those who like how we roll, check out our earlier blog on facial rolling to reduce under eye darkness, decrease puffiness and improve circulation to illuminate the skin.
  3. And we haven’t forgotten all you overachievers out there who want to go straight to the source. For your purists, Happy Face Yoga (which was used in the study) offers that full facial work out. [3]

Peace out tribe!

 

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

[1]https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2666801?redirect=true

[2] https://www.byrdie.co.uk/facial-exercise/slide3

[3] http://www.happyfaceyoga.com/

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The Mindful Beauty Series: Meet the Men Behind Clean Beauty Mart

Bonjour! Today we’re rather aptly celebrating all the great men in our life. Introducing Laurent and Julien, two thirds of the dynamic (and French if you hadn’t guessed) trio behind Clean Beauty Mart, LA’s newest clean beauty destination.

After attending Indie Beauty Expo LA 2017, meeting fellow indie beauty founders and finding a common need, what was intended as a reception area for OliverLaurent hair salon in Beverly Hills soon became a haven for clean beauty retail. Not even a year later, Clean Beauty Mart has opened two more stores in Laguna Beach and Mexico City (where third founder Oliver was born) with plans to expand across LA.

First and foremost hair stylists to the stars,  the self confessed newbies to the clean beauty scene are modest to a fault, but if their clientele are anything to go by (ahem Tom Ford and George Clooney to name a few) these tastemakers are destined to go far. The trio have struck a real chord with the community as they impart their newly found wisdom, creating a hub for those curious to discover the cleanest and most effective new brands.

Curious to find out more? Read on…

What one word best describes you?

Laurent: Motivated

Julien: Gregarious. I strongly enjoy interacting with people.

What’s your superpower? And your weakness? (because we’re all human)

Laurent: My personality. I am very social and bubbly and just a people person. I love people! My weakness would be my ambition to always want more and that can also, believe it or not, be my biggest weakness.

Julien: My superpower would be like Laurent, my personality and also the fact that I always try to be helpful to anyone in any manner I can. My biggest fault or weakness would be my impatience or impulsivity! It doesn’t show at first, but I am really trying hard to manage this better, and so far it’s been working.

A moment that has defined you most in life?

Laurent: My decision to move to America and pursue a career that I was passionate about, but at the same time, I had to make the decision to leave my country France.

Julien: When I met my wife because it meant leaving France for the USA. But it has been a really exciting journey and I do not regret it at all.

Your go to feel good ritual?

Laurent: Golf. Hitting a few balls always makes me feel good out on the course.

Julien: A simple nap! lol, when you’re a kid you never want to take one, but once you’re a grown-up, you wish you’d have time to take more. (laughs)

Your greatest passion?

Laurent: My passion is food! Who doesn’t love food? Not only do I love food but I am passionate about cooking. (laughs)

Julien: Traveling, hiking the outdoors. I really love all that you can do when traveling, the people you can meet, the food you can try and discover as well as learning about new cultures. It helps you become someone better!

Who do you admire most and why?

Laurent: I have great admiration for the late Bruno Pittini. He was my inspiration to be a hairstylist.

Julien: It may appear simple, but I’d say my parents because they worked hard all their life to provide for me and my brothers.

Tell us something about yourself not many people know (shhhh, we can keep a secret!)

Laurent: Something not a lot of people know about me is that I love the outdoors and enjoy four wheel driving on mountains.

Julien: Umm. That’s pretty difficult since I am kind of an open book and don’t keep many secrets. I’d say that I would really  love to have a “zen” retreat, like at a Tibetan temple or on a desert island (or almost desert!), with no technology around. A simple life.

What keeps you awake at night?

Laurent: At night after a day at the office when I am home and relaxed, I get to sit back relax and rethink my day. What changes should and shouldn’t be made. I am most creative at night and that’s when most of my greatest ideas have come to me.

Julien: I sleep pretty easily, but sometimes it happens that I wake up suddenly thinking of something. I then take the time to note it anywhere I can to remember it.

You opened the doors to Clean Beauty Mart only on October 2017. Each store is about building a community and is a place learn about clean beauty. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learnt from the community in return?

Laurent: What I have learned from the community of Clean Beauty Mart is most of my clients are very passionate about products and the ingredients in them. It was amazing for me to see how many people were so informed and knowledgeable about the products.

Julien: Surprisingly, more people than I thought are looking for cleaner products. Since working with them in that regards, I have learnt a lot about a different way of life, way simpler and closer to Mother Nature. And I am trying my best to change my lifestyle closer to that because I strongly believe it will better myself.

You are totally into the science behind skincare (men after our own hearts!). You take pride in screening ingredients using only the cleanest and most effective products. During your fact-finding quest what was the most fascinating thing you uncovered?

Laurent: I was blown away by all of the natural ingredients that formulated such great products that not only smelled good but felt good.

Julien: I personally think that the simpler the ingredients are, the better the product will be. The textures are extremely pleasant, and we don’t get a headache from reading the ingredients lists.

Hairdressers, entrepreneurs, clean beauty community activists. What have been your biggest transformations?

Laurent: My biggest transformation has been creating Clean Beauty Mart.

Julien: Working in the Beauty industry. I am pretty new to it! I previously worked in many other sectors, but working in this particular and exciting industry has been my biggest transformation.

You’re all about experiences which is why you’ve set up a facial room in your stores. At your salon OliverLaurent you also allow customers to try products stocked at Clean Beauty Mart. What’s the best experience that you received from a brand?

Laurent: The best experiences are created by the those who love what they sell and stand by it. The people that believe and are excited about their products makes me excited.

Julien: All experiences will be different as each brand has its own story or has developed rituals of their own, but they all have one common point; the passion. And this is what we all love at Clean Beauty Mart, being able to share and transmit this passion towards cleaner and safer beauty for all.

We like to think of ourselves as explorers and love to discover the unknown. What’s been the biggest adventure you’ve been on or are yet do?

Laurent: It has always been on my list of adventures to climb Machu PIcchu. That will be my next adventure.

Julien: I love traveling the world, meeting new cultures and discovering new places. One of my biggest adventures into the unknown was a 2 month trip to China where most of the unplanned trips way outside the biggest cities you could find people speaking English! One more would be South America.

If you were a Luxe Botanics botanical, which one would you be?

Laurent: If I were a Luxe Botanics Botanical I would be one of the Marula Collection.

Julien: I think I’d be a Marula Hydrating Serum.

 

Happy Fathers Day to  all you dads out there!

Naturally yours,

 

The Luxe Botanics Team


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What Switching to a Natural Beauty Routine Means For Your Overall Health

When it comes to your beauty routine… Well, things can get complicated.

From toners to serums, exfoliants, moisturisers, cleansers, the list goes on. We get it, you’ve got lots of options for keeping up that continuous glow and it sure is hard work! We pair, pick and choose, some fads come and go, or we stick with our core products for what may seem like forever. Camu camu, right?

But let’s pause for a moment.  When you think about the products you’re using, do you actually know the ingredients that are in them? Or where the ingredients came from? How many of them err on the side of natural and are free from scary sounding words like parabens, petrochemicals and unpronounceables?

That’s what we thought!

Now, let’s take a step back for a moment.

When it comes to what we eat, we discovered over the years that making the switch to organic and unprocessed foods was better for our health. Less pesticides and additives, less confusing ingredients…we ultimately went back to basics, and frankly it feels (and looks) great!

Now, why wouldn’t we want the same benefits for our skin too? Trick question. Of course we do! Ok, we’re not eating our skincare products (at least we hope you’re not) but think of it this way- our skin is our body’s largest organ and the ultimate protective barrier for our body. [1]

It absorbs sixty to seventy-percent of what we feed it. Everything that we put on our skin slowly but surely sinks in (that statistic is probably sinking in too) and makes its way into our bloodstream, tissues and organs.  There it has just as much of an impact as if we were actually eating it. [2]

Unfortunately, in the last several decades, our bodies have increasingly developed more issues involving infertility, hormone imbalances, allergies and way more sensitivities than anyone should normally have. Just by walking outside every day, our bodies are going through layers and layers of toxins whether it’s from the air pollution, pesticides or chemicals that contribute to our imbalances and ongoing health issues. Pair all these other nasties with the ones hiding in our daily beauty routine and there you go. It can be a vicious cycle. [3]

But have no fear, there is hope!

What switching to a natural beauty routine means for your overall health 2 - Luxe Botanics

By making the switch to a more au naturel beauty routine today, your skin will not only thank you but so will your overall health! It’s a win-win, and a total no-brainer. 

So, where to begin? You guessed it. It’s right back to the basics. Start taking a peek at those ingredients so your complexion can keep on keepin’ on with its beautiful radiance just the way nature intended.

Are you ready to take your skincare up a natural notch? Join us.

For more info on ingredients and making the switch to clean, check out our earlier blog on the confusion of skincare labels.

 

Naturally Yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

[1] https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/why-is-natural-skin-care-better/

[2] https://www.thegreenlife.ca/why-you-should-switch-to-natural-skin-care-beauty-products/

[3] https://www.thegreenlife.ca/why-you-should-switch-to-natural-skin-care-beauty-products/


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Ancient African Remedies

In celebration of Africa Day this month, we’re going back to its roots. Literally.

You know what this means… adventure time.  Bust out your explorer hat, and come along with us as we venture into the far depths of Africa where its rugged environment boasts some of the most nutrient-rich and ecologically diverse ecosystems out there. Over 30,000 plant species to be exact. But don’t worry, you won’t be quizzed, and we’re not going to run through the whole gamut. Just one in particular.

We’re looking at you Kigelia Africana. And it was definitely love at first sight.

Found on the tropical riverbanks of southern Africa, more specifically in Malawi, this one-of-a-kind tree bears its fruit in the unique shape of a sausage. Stop, smile, proceed. It’s an understandably hard-to-forget (but much endeared) fruit amongst the local communities.[1]

Looks aside, the powerful effects of the fruit extract were obvious early on. Traditionally, African healers first used the sausage-shaped fruit to treat fungal infections, boils and even more serious diseases such as leprosy, pneumonia and skin cancer.

 

Kigelia Africana Ancient African Remedies Luxe Botanics

 

Its richness in antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds make it a great candidate for fighting diseases that could cause serious ailments. To top it off, its natural firming properties help to stimulate collagen, plump skin and minimize fine lines. So when it came to choosing a hero ingredient for our core botanicals this was an easy choice.

Our Kigelia africana is Certified Organic by the Soil Association and handpicked by the local community in Malawi, and as one of our core botanicals, it brings a strong roster of guests to the table when it comes to ingredients. The Luxe Botanics Clarifying Serum and Clarifying Moisturiser go straight down to the very core of your skin’s DNA to calm, repair and balance your skin’s microbiome while minimizing those pesky blemishes and unannounced flare ups. Yep, hello and promptly goodbye.[2]

Ancient African Remedies Luxe Botanics

Perfect for those with a combination of oily, irritated or sensitive skin types, Kigelia’s powerful properties are fused with the probiotic goodness of lactobacillus ferment which help to rebalance your skin while niacinamide and peptides restore your complexion to the glowy and firm state you always remembered it to be. Wink wink. Need we say more?

Well, yes. Just one more thing. Since we’re celebrating all things Africa, this seems like the perfect time to mention our Kigelia Clarifying Serum won Best Indie Skincare for this year’s Beauty Industry Awards. Talk about powerful, right?

So, what do you say? Are you ready to put nature’s clarifying soother to the test?

Naturally Yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

[1]http://pza.sanbi.org/kigelia-africana

[2]http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1379490086_Olatunji%20and%20Atolani.pdf


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The Mindful Beauty Series: Meet Rebecca Casciano

The Secret Diary of a Mindful Beauty

Next up we have our sassy redhead from Brooklyn, NYC. A clean beauty makeup artist come Sacred Beauty Extraordinaire. The turning point? Going back to school, becoming a wellness coach and transitioning her makeup kit and mission to healthy beauty. The outcome? Who ever knows. We’re always evolving, right? But this chick gets a kick from helping others, making an impact and the occasional throwback to 80’s rap (who doesn’t?).

Tribe. Meet Rebecca …

 

What one word best describes you? Love.

What’s your superpower? Makeup artistry and visuals.

And your weakness? (because we’re all human) Ugh, math!

A moment that’s defined you most in life? It’s hard to say which one has defined me the most, but I have to say that deciding to become a health coach changed the direction of my life and work in some monumental ways. It opened my heart and mind to my deeper purpose and gave me the courage to share my journey and what I believe about beauty and wellness with others. I knew the minute I made the decision to attend Integrative Nutrition that this path would change my life.

Your mantra is ‘when you feel good, you look even better’. What is your go to feel good ritual?  Meditation, practicing gratitude, spending time in nature and with people I love.

Your greatest passion? Learning about all things healthy beauty, spirituality and wellness and using my knowledge to help others.

Who do you admire most and why? Maya Angelou (American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist), because she was so very brave, smart, passionate about helping others and expressing her creativity and truth.

Tell us something about yourself not many people know (shhhh, we can keep a secret!) From the late 80’s – mid 90’s, I was really into R&B and hip-hop… and can still recite all the lyrics from my favorite songs.

What keeps you awake at night? Thankfully not much, I’m usually asleep within 5 minutes of hitting the pillow!

The Sacred Beauty Collective you’ve started is all about sisterhood, women banding together and helping each other rise. Which sister has helped you rise most? My oldest and closest friend, Lorraine. We’ve been friends for over 20 years and even lived together for 8 years, which is pretty rare. She’s inspired and taught me so much over the years, plus I can always count on her for support, love and honesty through all of my ups and downs.

The Sacred Beauty Collective explores six different elements of inner and outer beauty. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty is a reflection of the divine and it’s present in every living being and thing.

For the pure joy of discovery, you went back to school studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. What was the greatest lesson you learnt?One of IIN’s core concepts is bio individuality, which essentially means every body has their own unique and different needs, and no one dietary theory works for all people. I knew this in theory, but at the time I was very passionate/outspoken about everyone becoming a vegetarian— for health, environmental and ethical reasons. While I still believe in the virtues of a plant-based diet, I learned how to approach the conversation with a much more open mind and allow space for understanding personal needs and choices.

Makeup artist, natural beauty activist and wellness coach. What’s been your biggest transformation? My biggest transformation was going from being a makeup artist, to a wellness coach and natural beauty activist. It changed the focus of my work to one that was more aligned with who I was as a person and what kind of impact I wanted to have on the world. This required me to not only see and market myself in new ways, but to transition my entire makeup kit to clean beauty products. The initial transformation was profound and it’s an ongoing journey of evolution.

We like to think of ourselves as explorers and love to discover the unknown. What’s been the biggest adventure you’ve been on or are yet do? The first exploration that comes to mind that I would like to do is an inner one– the Vipassana 10-Day Meditation Course. It sounds really hard and scary, but also enlightening and necessary. I would also love to spend more time in jungles and traveling the world.

If you were a Luxe Botanics botanical, which one would you be? I would have to go with Camu Camu Berry. After all, it makes skin luminous and its color is such a gorgeous red!


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Sustainability That Goes Beyond Skin Deep

Our guiding philosophy at Luxe Botanics has always been Nature to Nurture. It’s what we set out to do when on the hunt to find the intersection between science and nature. And it’s what drives us every single day to source only the finest, nutrient-rich core botanicals for healthier skin.

For us, sustainability is the code we live by. Every step of the way is completed with intention and care — from harvesting each rare and natural ingredient, to the conscious innovation we use in production methods, all the way to ensuring every component of our packaging is able to be recycled — no step is unaccounted for and no waste is left behind. You might say, it makes our world go round (in every sense!).

But what exactly is sustainability?

Shall we start from the beginning…

Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations. [1]

Ok, sounds promising. But what about the benefits?

  • Reduces waste and your impact on the environment
  • Saves natural resources
  • Addresses social issues and improves the livelihood of individuals and communities
  • Saves money on the life of your products
  • Creates work for local suppliers
  • Creates a market for sustainable goods to help the economy grow and creates more jobs [2]


The berry that keeps on giving

For superberry botanical, Camu camu, our pursuit for sustainability starts at the source. Organically grown, as with our other core botanics Marula and Kigelia, Camu is hand-picked with extreme care (figuratively and literally) for its ability to benefit humans, nature and is at the top of its class when it comes to Vitamin C and broad-spectrum antioxidants, warranting its title as nature’s brightening powerhouse.

LB Camu 2.png

Sure, the power of this beauty is evident after giving it a try for yourself, but what is hard to see at a bottle’s glance is the home-hitting effects on the communities who harvest it as well as the environment they protect and nurture for future generations. Through our partnership with NGO Fitovida we’re able to provide specialized education and training to the local communities in Brazil so they can safely explore the country’s biodiversity. Our efforts ensure continued use of the Brazilian biome in a safe and sustainable way. All in a day’s work, for a fair-trade wage. Now that’s enough to brighten anyone’s day!

As you can see, our mantra of Nature to Nurture has deep roots and our mission (should you choose to accept) is to spread this throughout the world. We’re so happy you could join us for the ride because we’re just getting started.
Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

[1] https://www.epa.gov/sustainability/learn-about-sustainability#what

[2] https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/benefits-buying-sustainable-goods-and-services


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What the Heck is a Facial Roller?

We all can agree that keeping up with the latest and greatest beauty trends is hard work! From beauty gadgets to sheet masks, essences, 10-step skincare rituals and trending #sundayfacial hashtags — the list goes on. It sure is no easy task. And on that note, say hello to crystal facial rollers.

When these started popping up (or rolling out) in the realm of beauty and appeared more and more on some of our favorite beauty bloggers’ Instagram stories and feeds, we knew we were on to something. Here at Luxe Botanics, facial rolling is an important part of our daily ritual, and when our Rose Quartz Facial Roller is paired with our Camu Collection of cleansers, mist, serums and moisturisers, the results? Well, see for yourself.

LB_Illuminate Camu Collection_Kit Contents with Roller

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s go back to the basics and get crystal clear. See what we did there?  Yeah, you do. But, what the heck is facial rolling?

When we think of these ornamental minerals such as jade and rose quartz, we think of their spiritual and energetic qualities they harness. Jade is known as the stone for eternal youth and preservation while rose quartz is commonly used to wash out trapped toxic energies and emotions.

Dating back to the 17th century, facial rollers (more specifically in the form of jade) were used as a staple beauty tool amongst upper class members of the Chinese society. Why you ask? In addition to keeping around the “good spirits,” rolling these cool stones in an upwards motion on your forehead and down your neck can help combat puffiness, under-eye circles and dull looking skin. It wasn’t until recently, this tool became a popular accessory to one’s skincare routine in the beauty world.  Nowadays, while their imparting some good juju, they can also be used to help deflect electromagnetic radiation from our tech gadgets. Old, meet new.

Upon first glance, facial rollers may look a little funky but there’s a method to its quirky-sided madness. Most rollers typically have a larger stone to use on one’s cheeks and forehead and a smaller stone on the opposite end for one’s mouth and under eye area. When applied regularly to your a.m. or p.m. beauty routine, not only does the roller motion reduce under eye darkness but it also decreases puffiness, and helps to improve circulation through your lymph nodes and neck, also known as lymphatic drainage.

Better yet, you get a free facial massage out of it and it’s chemical free. Winning combo.

So, are you ready to let the good times roll? Feel free to put your roller in the fridge or freezer for some extra chill in your chill time. After you’ve washed your face and applied your favorite moisturiser or serum, apply light pressure and roll in an upwards motion for full absorption.

It’s better than cucumber slices, we promise.

Want to illuminate yourself more? Find out about how we roll with our Camu ritual.

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

[1] http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-jade-roller-review.html

[2] https://www.wellandgood.com/good-looks/how-to-jade-rolling-clear-skin-ancient-beauty-practice/