InstaNatural Vitamin C Facial Toner for Refreshing Moisture on the Go

InstaNatural offers organic skin care lovers an array of all-natural Vitamin C-based products for clearer skin, including InstaNatural Vitamin C Facial Toner, which comes in a convenient spray bottle for easy, no mess application at home, work or the gym.

The spray is fine like a delicate, cooling mist, not wet like droplets, and it smells fantastic. The best way I can describe it is a zesty, citrusy scent with an additional brisk note like geranium. It absorbs quickly so you don’t feel damp, and you definitely do not feel greasy.

The toner absorbs fast, controls oil and helps your face feel cool and moisturized without leaving you looking shiny. I loved using this toner during the warmer months but plan to use it all year round. This is definitely a product I will buy and use again.

Although I did not see any changes to my sun spots, toner is by its very nature a light product. To truly see results with it, you have to use the Vitamin C toner in conjunction with other Vitamin C products–think layers. One layer that is an absolute must is a daytime sunscreen so you don’t undo all of your hard work by generating new sun spots.

If you exercise regularly and want a fast, easy product to help refresh you and your face after a workout (so you can be seen in public again before your next thorough at-home cleansing), consider this InstaNatural Vitamin C Facial Toner for your post-exercise arsenal–it smells and feels so good.

Where I got my toner: Amazon

Where you can get your toner: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum for Brighter Skin Tone

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum

Kids, we have a new guest blogger and product tester today, Miss Lisa K.! Here’s her thoughts on a Vitamin C serum similar to one I tried a few months ago. We have different skin types, and we used different Vitamin C products from different lines, yet we both saw tangible results. Here’s a review of InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum from Lisa K.:

My skin tends toward dry, and I’ve been thinking lately that I’d probably benefit from upping the hydration in my skin-care routine. Especially now that I’m, ahem, a little older than I used to be. So this product’s arrival in my life was well-timed. InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum is 100% pure and certified organic, and the blurb on the website promises many lovely results, from improved hydration (as wished-for above), to brighter/lighter skin, to firm and plump skin, to an even texture and tone. Sign me up, right?

Directions on the bottle suggest that I use it daily, morning and night. I confess that I only applied the serum once a day, as part of my nighttime ritual, for two primary reasons: (1) it’s orange in color, and although I didn’t see a huge color shift on my (fair) skin, I had suspicions that it was not providing a transparent cover, and (2) after allowing it to sink in/dry, my skin felt taut, like it had a film across it.

I should note that the directions also indicate you should follow with moisturizer. I tried both orders-of-operation (serum first, then moisturizer; and the reverse; because hey, I’m testing it out), and the taut feeling was a result for me either way, although less noticeable when serum was applied first, then moisturizer. Which makes sense, and the tautness might be OK for some folks, but it was not my favorite sensation.The only other knock I have against this product is that when I awoke each morning and peered in the bathroom mirror, my pores looked larger. I understand that science tells me I can’t change the size of my pores, but my experience has been that some skin-care products make my pores look more visible, or bigger, or however you want to label it (yes, maybe they’re just clogged). Well, this is one of those products for me. After my morning wash routine, and as I got into my day, the effect would go away.

Some googling tells me that most vitamin C products on the market range from 5% (considered fairly weak) to 20% in concentration. I also see warnings that vitamin C might irritate sensitive skin. This particular serum is 20% vitamin C, but I didn’t experience irritation or allergic reaction; just noting for those of you who have more sensitive skin.

Outside of those issues, I have multiple compliments to offer this product: Primarily, I can honestly report that in 1 week, I saw a difference in my skin after using InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum. Hooray! It brightened and toned my skin, and definitely added moisture—my skin looks “fresher” overall. Plus those laugh lines around my eyes are less prominent. As noted before, the serum is orange in color and has a lovely, fresh citrus scent. It feels velvety on the skin during application, and a little goes a long way.

So I’m not suggesting that it’s a 180-degree difference; and frankly, my husband said he didn’t think I looked any different—but full disclosure, he’s not exactly Mr. Details. But I’d say the anti-aging and hydration benefits I saw in just 1 week are enough to make me want to add the serum to my skin-care routine.

Where I got my serum: Amazon

Where you can get your InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum: Amazon

 

A Natural and Organic Moisturizer for Those Who Dislike or Have Allergies to Argan Oil: Rosehip Oil

InstaNatural Rosehip Oil

InstaNatural Rosehip Oil

Coming from a northern European background, I was familiar with the use of rosehips for tea, in sweet fruity soups and as a dietary supplement, but I had never tried rosehip oil–until now.

This rosa mosqueta Rosehip Oil by InstaNatural is certified organic, completely natural and packed with fatty acids, which slough off dry skin cells, then seal in your skin’s natural moisture.

I tested the rosehip oil before a long, hot shower to see if it would penetrate fast and last (rather than rinsing off). I put the oil on my hands and on some dry sun damaged spots on my legs, rubbed it in for a few seconds, waited a few seconds more, then jumped right into the shower. It worked! The oil had sunk in, and the water from the shower beaded up on my skin, proving the rosehip oil had already created a barrier against moisture loss. (If you want all over body hydration, combine the use of this rosehip oil with drinking lots of water and clear fluids.)

I am so glad this oil is fast absorbing, because I don’t want to ever feel damp, oily or greasy. It smoothes on and sinks in after only a few seconds so you don’t have to wait a long time before using your hands, washing, etc.

The scent reminds me of twigs and branches–kind of a green smell, for lack of a better way to describe it. It’s not pleasant exactly, but it dissipates fast, so you won’t smell it for long at all. The company notes this scent is the odor of the omega 3 fatty acids.

I received a free bottle of this product in exchange for an honest review.

Where I got my rosehip oil: Amazon

Where you can get your rosehip oil: Amazon

A Gentle Soap with Sulfur and Dead Sea Salts to Help Dry Out and Combat Acne

Adovia Natural Sulfur Soap

Adovia Natural Sulfur Soap

Although Adovia Natural Sulfur Soap contains sulfur, a drying agent that helps clear up acne, it does not smell sulfurous at all, and it also contains Dead Sea salts and minerals, ingredients that also help to prevent and dry out blemishes.

When I first started to use the soap, I had a few emerging pimple bumps on my forehead. I was pleased to see the Adovia soap reversed them completely before they became puffy, red or inflamed. It’s so much easier to block acne from forming this way, rather than fighting it after it has already emerged.

The soap has a light, pleasant scent and cleans thoroughly without making your skin feel dry or tight. Olive oil, aloe vera and palm kernel oil have been added to provide moisture without greasiness.

Although this soap is aimed at individuals with oily skin, it feels gentle and non-stripping, so it probably would work for others with dry or combination skin.

One thoughtful product detail is the shape of the soap bar, which is contoured with soft curves, so it glides over the features of the face (particularly the forehead and cheeks) without causing discomfort or awkwardness. From here on, I will pay more attention to the shape of my soap!

I must inform you that I was provided a free bar in exchange for an honest review. This is a soap I will likely order again, as it really seems to be a problem solver.

Where I got my soap: Amazon

Where you can get your soap: Amazon
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

A Gentle and All Natural Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover

InstaNatural Deep Cleansing Facial Oil

InstaNatural Deep Cleansing Facial Oil

InstaNatural Deep Cleaning Facial Oil rocks! I was initially skeptical about how an oil-based product could serve as a cleanser, especially on my already-oily skin. I was happy to discover this cleanser works, even for someone like me with an oily complexion. So, without further ado, here are 20 reasons why I love this product:

1. The product claims are true. This cleansing oil really removes dirt, cosmetics and impurities. (I could show you my used cotton balls to prove it, but that would be a little gross. But…it was nice to have evidence of effectiveness.)
2. The oil smells good! To me, the scent is like an herbal-citrus mix. Very pleasant.
3. The texture is almost like a dry oil, so you don’t feel greasy on application. You still have to rinse this cleanser off, but you won’t feel like a hazardous oil slick before you do.
4. You can spell all of the ingredients, because they are all natural.
5. When you rinse the oil off, it rinses clean very quickly and with little effort. No lingering residue (including no residue on the sink).
6. My pores did not clog up, and my face was not any oilier than before. My skin felt soft and hydrated, but clean.
7. No stripping–some cleansers make my face feel tight and squeaky, like all the natural oils have been stripped off–not this cleanser! No dryness, no irritation, no tightness, no discomfort.
8. You get a lot for the money. This bottle will last a long time and provide many weeks of daily use.
9. No crazy artificial colors to stain your clothes or sink.
10. The product contains a bunch of proven ingredients I really trust, like olive oil and sea buckthorn oil.
11. This baby is packed with antioxidants to combat skin damage from the sun.
12. I know I am not supposed to care about this part, but the packaging is modern and stylish, so I don’t mind the bottle sitting out where people can see it. (This is far better packaging than some of InstaNatural’s older labels.)
13. Like the company says, this product feels gentle.
14. Although the company says this formula is “energizing,” to me it was more relaxing (maybe because of the lavender). Therefore it was nice to use this oil before bedtime.
15. No allergic reactions! I am allergic to a ton of stuff (citrus included), but I did not react to this product, even though it had a wide variety of ingredients–herbal, floral, citrus, etc. Now if you are an allergic person, I urge you to do your own spot test and/or ask your allergist for advice first before using this cleansing oil, especially if any ingredients in this product are on your personal “no-no” list. But maybe you will have great luck like I did and will be able to use the product without any fuss.
16. Although the cleansing oil is all natural (no manmade preservatives added), the brown tinted bottle will keep it fresher longer.
17. No animal testing!
18. Convenient spray application means no spills when you accidentally knock the bottle into the sink (as I did several times).
19. Comes in a glass bottle you can recycle.
20. Made in the USA, so you can trust the quality and the ingredients list.

InstaNatural has a winner with this lovely cleanser.

Where I got my cleanser: Amazon

Where you can get your cleanser: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Moisturizing Day Cream with Dead Sea Minerals Hydrates without Clogging Pores

Adovia Moisturizing Day Cream

Adovia Moisturizing Day Cream

I’ve been systematically working my way through the full Adovia line of skin care and hair care products in recent months, and I can honestly say there is not a single disappointing product in the bunch–they are all superior, in part because they all contain much-lauded Dead Sea minerals. This high-quality Adovia moisturizing day cream is no exception; it is soothing, gentle and absorbs quickly for a cream. (Gel formulas absorb even faster, but this moisturizer is intentionally thicker and denser than a gel).

My skin tends to be oily, but I recently switched my daily sunscreen to an anti-acne version that created uneven patches of dryness on my face (not an Adovia product; the sunscreen was from somewhere else entirely). The Adovia cream helped to soothe and alleviate these dry patches without irritation or redness, and it also did not lead to any pimples or blemishes. I appreciate this because other creams by other brands tend to clog my pores.

The product has a light, powdery scent I associate with elegant, high-end cosmetics. I liked the scent but wanted to note in my review that it exists because some individuals prefer unscented formulas. I happen to prefer creams like this one which have a clean, pleasant, non-chemical scent.

In my area, summer is now turning to autumn, so I can shift from gel-based formulas to creams like this one to cope with the changes in humidity levels. A little bit goes a long way, so while the jar of day cream might look petite, it actually lasts quite awhile.

Where I got my day cream: Amazon

Where you can get your day cream: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Versatile, Refreshing Tea Tree Oil for a Wonderful Foot Soak

Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil

Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has an intense scent that I happen to enjoy; the minute I opened this box from Apothecary Extracts, I could smell the oil despite many layers of plastic wrap and packaging, so I knew it was potent. The manufacturer provides various forms of documentation to prove it is 100% tea tree oil.

The packaging noted that the strong scent of the oil is in part so powerful because tea tree oil is a cleanser with anti-bacterial properties. I had not thought of that angle before. I guess some individuals find the scent of tea tree oil to be off-putting, but to me it is bracing, refreshing and altogether pleasant.

I mainly used this tea tree oil as a refreshing foot soak after many hot, sweaty summer days traipsing around in open toed shoes and sandals. (You combine the oil with water in a large dish so you can soak your feet in the warm or cool solution for about ten minutes.)

The foot soak leaves my feet feeling clean, refreshed and reinvigorated after hours of abuse in the hot summer sun.

I also use a tea tree oil and water solution as a general bathroom and kitchen cleanser. It helps to deodorize surfaces while also combating germs.

Occasionally, if I have a lingering pimple, I will also dab a small amount of diluted tea tree oil on there to dry out the zit. The healing is not as fast as with some over the counter medicines, but I generally lose the pimple in 2-3 days, which is fine for an all natural solution.

I know packaging does not really matter, but I have to add I love the vintage apothecary style of the bottle and its labeling–it looks so cute on my bathroom shelf.

The uses I have described are just a few of the many ways you can use tea tree oil. The manufacturer provides a full list with dozens of usage suggestions, so you can incorporate tea tree oil into many different aspects of your daily life.

Where I got my tea tree oil: Amazon

Where you can get your tea tree oil: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Foamy Butter in My Coffee? Whaaat?

bulletproof coffee

bulletproof coffee

My friend Jonah knows I am a coffee and cappuccino aficionado, so this weekend he introduced me to the concept of bulletproof coffee, which contains butter!

I know that might sound crazy to you–butter in the coffee?!

I won’t get into the scientific explanation as to why this seemingly crazy idea actually works–I will link to Jonah’s health and fitness blog so you can ask him about the science part over there–but I will say that frothy butter really tastes delicious in coffee, and it makes the coffee smooth and creamy without tasting like straight up butter.

In a nutshell, the three key elements of bulletproof coffee are fresh roasted beans, frothy bubbly butter and MCT oil, which is made of palm nut oil and other good natural stuff. There are many benefits to bulletproof coffee, including a longer lasting caffeine buzz without ill effects like indigestion.

I had my coffee about 9 hours ago, and here I am busily humming along after midnight writing this piece. In contrast, yesterday when I had no coffee at all, I was dying for a nap by 6 p.m., which is pretty sad. So, bulletproof coffee seems to have fulfilled its promise of keeping me perky yet clearheaded for many hours.

Next, the fresh roasted beans made this coffee taste pretty intense, in a good way. It tasted less like an American coffee and more like an Italian or Swiss espresso. I like the strong stuff, so this was a pleasant surprise.

Typically after a strong espresso, I tend to have some digestive distress, like some pains in my midsection. I suffer this pain gladly because, after all, it’s espresso, the elixir of life! One of the benefits of bulletproof coffee, however, is it is not supposed to cause any digestive discomfort at all.

Sure enough, I guzzled this strong beverage in just a few gulps, but I did not experience any acid reflux or stomach pain at all. Yes! Caffeine buzz achieved without suffering!

Even if you don’t care about the benefits of bulletproof coffee, you should try it if you enjoy espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. Bulletproof coffee is a lot like those drinks, but to me the texture is even smoother and thicker, which sounds extra delicious to me, especially for the colder weeks of fall and winter that lie ahead.

Thanks for the tip, Jonah!

Where I got my coffee: Jonah and Lisa and Milo’s house

Where you can get your coffee: Check out this website for all the details: Bulletproof Exec

Yummy Scented All Natural Shea Butter for Healthy Hydrated Skin

Pure Shea Butter from Adovia

Pure Shea Butter from Adovia

I kept hearing about the benefits of shea butter in commercials and women’s magazines, so I was eager to try some for myself. When I heard about this opportunity to try a sample from Cleopatra’s Choice and Adovia, I leapt at the chance. I was sent a one pound container of 100% pure, unadulterated, ivory-colored shea butter to try.

Much like dairy butter, the shea butter has a smooth consistency and starts to melt with heat from your hands and fingers. It smells wonderful. The best way to describe the scent is it is a nutty aroma, like an edible nut as opposed to acorns or other nuts we don’t usually eat. Not quite like peanuts, not quite like almonds, but perhaps a blend of the two. I was so grateful I enjoyed this scent, because with thicker butter-style moisturizers like this, the scent can linger on the skin awhile.

I mainly used the shea butter on my legs, which were unusually dry this summer. It controlled any flakiness so I could go to business meetings with bare legs under my dresses. The moisture lasted about 24 hours so I could apply the shea butter at night after a shower, then put on my professional attire and set off to work with slightly gleaming, healthy looking legs. (I don’t do self tanner, so I need my lotion to work when it comes to my legs, and this shea butter really performed well.)

If you prefer a lotion or a gel that sinks into the skin instantly, you might not want to use this pure shea butter, because you really do have to warm it up a bit with your hands and gently rub it in awhile to get it to absorb. But when it does soak in, you don’t feel greasy and you won’t have any transfer onto clothing or sheets. This just takes a few extra seconds, not a long time.

Taking a tip from some magazines, I have used the shea butter to tame my flyaways around my face. These wispy hairs tend to get out of control fast, but with just a tiny amount of shea butter on my fingertips (a barely perceptible amount), I can glide over the hairs and keep them in place without having to apply a synthetic mousse or gel.

I know I will continue to regularly use my shea butter as this summer turns into fall and then winter. The container is plentiful and generous for the price, and a little bit of butter goes a long way, so this shea butter is a great value for an all natural beauty product. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Where I got my shea butter: Amazon

Where you can get your shea butter: Amazon

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Customize Your Own Masks and Scrubs with Adovia Exfoliating Facial Sea Salts

Adovia Exfoliating Facial Salts

Adovia Exfoliating Facial Salts

I know I’ve been reviewing a lot of Adovia products lately, but there is a valid reason for this: they are my latest bath and body product obsession because they work and they actually deliver on the promises they make.

Ok, with that being said, let’s talk about Adovia Exfoliating Facial Sea Salts, which you can use as-is as a facial exfoliant, or you can mix with other bath and body products to customize your own masks and scrubs.

Adovia has already proven itself to me as a purveyor of exceptional, high quality bath and body products, so I had high expectations for this facial exfoliator salt. Sure enough, I can add this Adovia offering to my roster of skin and hair products I will definitely buy and use again when my first tub of salts runs out. (That will be awhile because you get a lot of product for your money.)

These facial exfoliation salt grains come straight from the Dead Sea and are not like the granular table salt we are all familiar with at mealtimes. These Adovia salt particles have a lighter, flakier consistency than table salt. The individual grains or flakes of salt are on the large side, so you will want to do what I did and apply the salts using light, circular motions and not too much pressure. If you do this, the salt will exfoliate your skin gently and will not be at all abrasive. It starts to melt and dissipate when water is applied and does not leave any kind of residue on you, your sink or your bathtub.

The genius of these exfoliating salts is you can use them in so many ways. As a facial exfoliant, they left my face feeling truly soft and clean. You can also use these salts to give yourself a pedicure, too, by using more force as you apply the salts in circular motions. You can mix these salts with your favorite body washes or bath gels to make custom scrubs–you decide how grainy or textured you want the scrubs to be.

As someone with an oily complexion, these salts performed beautifully, both for softening and for oil control. I think most skin types can use this product except for those with extra sensitive skin.

I accidentally got some of the product on my lips, and sure enough, it tasted like salt and nothing else–no chemicals or additives. I don’t recommend eating this product by any means, but a benefit of using it is knowing you are applying something completely natural on your face and body.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.