Luxe Botanics

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


Leave a comment

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

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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!


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

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/


Leave a comment

Ancient Latin American Superfoods

C’mon, we’re going on a trip.  Next stop: the Latin America.

What’s got us packing our bags you might be wondering? Well, Latin America is kind of a who’s who of the superfood and nutrients world.  It could also be called “favorite smoothie ingredients ground zero”… But that doesn’t have quite the same ring.

Ancient Latin American Suerpfoods_6

From maca to chia seeds, yucca to açaí, cacao to lucuma, it’s really strength to strength down there. But on this adventure, we’re headed deep into the Amazon for one thing in particular. In search of what?  None other than the superfood superstar Camu camu.

This little berry is packing quite a powerful fruit punch.  Camu camu is both an extremely stable source of Vitamin C (watch out, Kakadu plum) and one of the highest, broad spectrum antioxidants on the planet (your move, goji berries).  Yep, nice combo ¹.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Camu camu is also packed with minerals and amino acids.  Flavonoids and ellagic acid act to neutralize free radicals.  It’s also anti-fungal and anti-bacterial which, particularly in tandem with it’s high levels of Vitamin C, help to boost the immune system.  Nature’s total package ².

Ancient Latin American Suerpfoods_2

It’s no wonder then that Camu camu has been used for hundreds of years and prized by Amazonian Indians as a highly nutritious food source, medicinal remedy and longevity elixir.  Yep, understandable. 

Our Camu camu comes from deep within the Amazon jungle and is organically grown and extracted from the berry of the Camu camu tree (Myrciaria dubia).  But that’s just the beginning. Allow us to illuminate you.

And, of course, illuminate your skin as well.  We like to think of Camu camu as the ultimate skin brightener.  You can use it to even out skin tone and repair even damage caused by environmental stress. Thanks antioxidants.  All those anti-inflammatory properties means it diminishes imperfections and calms irritations.

We’re absolutely loving this botanical. And camu blame us?

Our Camu camu range has a strong supporting cast of ingredients ranging from avocado, jojoba and grape seed oil which nourish, revive and rejuvenate the complexion, to damascus rose water to calm, soothe irritation and quell imperfections.  Each of the ingredients in this all star line up works synergistically to enhance Camu camu’s properties. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work.

Speaking of teamwork, you could head down to Latin America.  You definitely could. But we’ve kind of got that part covered.  It’s a tough gig, but someone’s gotta do it.

Instead, save on airfare.  All you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy nature’s brightening powerhouse.  Breathe in the natural, earthy-floral scents and create a mindful space for relaxation to enjoy your illuminating moment.  You can even let your mind wander and imagine you’re deep in the Amazon jungle. Hey, we’re full of illuminating ideas.

LB_Illuminate Camu Collection_White Bk_2

ILLUMINATE: CAMU Collection

Additional Sources:

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0103-50532016001001838

http://article.sapub.org/10.5923.j.fph.20130301.05.html

 


Leave a comment

The Mindful Beauty Series: Meet Sammie Colletta Kolk

The Secret Diary of a Mindful Beauty

Can you believe it? It’s been a year since we officially stepped into the clean beauty spotlight. Where has the time gone? Hands down, and hey, why not hands up too, it’s been a joy sharing with you our love of all things skincare, wellness and the science behind this. Thanks for sticking around when we got nerdy!

On our ventures, we’ve met some pretty incredible individuals who are climbing new horizons making a better world. How awesome is that? Women and men following their own path, connecting new dots and leaving little nuggets of wisdom along the way.

So we couldn’t keep it a secret any longer. We just had to share with you (because sharing is caring) our chronicles of these adventurers. Each is an insight into little catalysts for change or simply the contentment of knowing who you are and expressing gratitude for the small things in life.

So without further ado, meet our first Mindful Beauty, Sammie Colletta Kolk, aka clean beauty blogger hullosam. She’s a self confessed obessessive when it comes to skincare (um, we can relate) and will be no stranger to all you lovers of all things green out there. A few of her favourite things include: her family, the beach, a good lipstick, spin class and all things musical – a girl after our own heart.

Here’s what Sammie had to say…

 

What one word best describes you? Passionate

What’s your superpower? And your weakness? (because we’re all human) Superpower: Organizing and communicating. Weakness: Stressing over the little things.

A moment that’s defined you most in life? Realizing what my passions are and just going for them, even when it was nerve-wracking and scary! I love what I do!

Your go to feel good ritual? Crafting up a warm matcha latte or other warm tonics. I love getting all of the ingredients/adaptogens and nut-milk warmed up and ready. It’s relaxing and rewarding – and yummy!

Your greatest passion? Makeup application, sharing tips and tricks and having fun with makeup looks!

Who do you admire most and why? My sweet mother. She is just an incredible human being. So much to learn from her. Love you mum!

Tell us something about yourself not many people know (shhhh, we can keep a secret!) I loathe traffic and especially during rain/rush hour. I can be quite aggressive on the road lol.

What keeps you awake at night? Listing the things I need to do that I forgot to do…sometimes getting up and writing them down helps. But sometimes I’m so tired and don’t want to, yet still think of them haha!

You’ve been dubbed the friendliest influencer on Instagram. What puts a smile on your face? I love reading encouraging DM’s and random e-mails from followers who have tried a product I’ve recommended and love it, or just simply want to say something kind. It truly makes my day. Also, most IG stories from any one of my family members make me smile.

You’re known for keeping things real. What keeps you most grounded? Just knowing what’d I’d want from someone else who I look up to – realness, authenticity, integrity and an honest passion for what they do. Being with family keeps me grounded, and honestly, just being with people at events and connecting with them is grounding and so refreshing!

While blessed with many charming features. Your hair! Talk us through the pink, um and any toxin free tips for maintaining? Oh man, this was one process that wasn’t super clean haha. I find that I need some sort of (extra) outlet for my craziness and creativity and I also believe in balance. My hair was one of those things that (as long as no bleach or crazy insane chemicals touched my scalp) I chose to have fun with! I use goodDYEyoung semi-permanent hair dye and it’s amazing. It is vegan/cruelty-free, has some nourishing oils in it and isn’t scented with crazy fragrance – just some beautiful bergamot oil! It isn’t “green” by any standards but it’s a bit cleaner than some!

Nanny, musician, make up artist and green beauty blogger. What’s been your biggest transformation? I’d say becoming a wife, actually. Not expected, right? 😉 Well, I had to learn how to really share my space, my life, everything. I’ve learned more about myself as a wife to my husband than many other (intense or transformational) things I’ve experienced down the road. I’m still transforming and learning. It’s a really good thing though.

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? I think going to Banff was one of the biggest adventures as far as outdoorsy-ness goes for me lol! I’m not an outdoors person unless I’m at the beach or walking around a beautiful big city like NYC or Paris somewhere to shop. But, I was really surprised at how much I adored Banff and it’s crisp fresh mountain air! We hiked a bit and just explored and it was amazing!

If you were a Luxe Botanics botanical, which one would you be? Probably Camu Camu Berry Extract because I love berries…haha but in all honesty, I think the fact that it’s been a nutritious food source for Amazonian Indians, it’s high in antioxidants and more – it appeals to me!

 

Thank you Sammie. You’re a truly Mindful Beauty!

Want to hear more? Find out what Sammie thought about our Kigelia line here.

 

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team


Leave a comment

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING A SKINCARE RITUAL

What does your skincare ritual look like? 

Ok, we’ll be honest with you, this is sort of a trick question.  You might not have a skincare ritual.  Not yet.

It’s ok, we understand.  Life gets cluttered, our brains get cluttered, our inboxes get cluttered.  The thought of stopping to reassess the nuances of your beauty routine – or start one – when you’re so busy you just left your car keys in the fridge might seem indulgent.  But here’s the real kicker… that’s exactly WHY you should have a beauty ritual.  Relax, we’ve got your back.  And your front in this case.

Once upon a time, this whole thing didn’t seem like a far-fetched notion.  From Mary Queen of Scots swearing by wine baths (One might wonder if her version of a bubble bath was filled with sparkling wine…) to Cleopatra’s milk and honey facials, beauty rituals have been around for a while.  And why mess with a good thing?

Setting aside some specific time for yourself might seem crazy (Here’s the thing- it’s not).  But this habit is grounded in self-love and a commitment to your own wellness.  Friendly reminder: It’s not vanity, it’s sanity.

A wellness ritual is a commitment to a practice and to ourselves.  It’s a hands-on, purposeful experience.  When we create a skincare ritual, it is about pausing to be present, to align (or maybe realign) with our feminine self and nourishing ourselves in ways that are much more than skin-deep.

Cue the “But wait, there’s more” moment… There’s tons of research out there pointing to the positive effects of ritual and the power of intention as not only useful for our mental wellbeing, but for the healing effects on our physical bodies.[1]

It’s easy to make excuses about how there’s not enough time to take care of ourselves.  But prioritize a positive skincare ritual… is it any different than eating well, meditating, going to the gym… you get our drift. It is stress reducing and confidence boosting.[2]

So are you now ready to create a skincare ritual of your own? Great! How you ritual is up to you!  It’s a good old different strokes for different folks situation. It’s about tuning into what you’re feeling in that moment.  Go on, picture it… the feel good sensations of massaging a facial oil into your skin, the spritz of a mist refreshing your mind and soul…  Feel free to let out a relaxed exhale now. Ahhhhh!

We are all capable of building a habit around tuning into our body and slowing down for a few minutes each day (pinky swear).  Stopping to honour your wellbeing and mindfully pause is the ultimate form of self-respect. Feeling better might just, in turn, allow you to be more productive, keep stress at bay and give more freely to others.  Now that is totally worth celebrating.

So, go forth and love yourself silly.  To all you beautiful women out there- celebrate you, celebrate one another, celebrate your community, celebrate Mary Queen of Scots and Cleopatra.  To us, every day is Women’s Day.

 

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18596974