I don’t know about you, but with each winter in Beijing, comes yet again another struggle to find the right remedies to fight dry skin and hair. My extremely coily hair and sensitive skin always adds a new dimension to this annual dilemma, and that’s why the discovery of the following inspired artisan creations has me reveling in suppleness and natural scents.
VERVE, Handcrafted Loofah Soap, Turmeric and Lemongrass Natural Soap, and Natural Body Butter
I have been conducting a lot of research lately into recycling, upcycling, and minimalism. I automatically associated the need for minimalism in my life with clothing and objects in the home, but Verve’s Citrus and Rosemary Loofah Soap could quite possibly be the answer to decluttering your bathroom shelves, and using this as your single go-to cleanse item for your morning showers.
I’m not sure if I’m the last to the soap-show, but combining a gentle exfoliating loofah with vitamin-enriched soap is inspired, and so what I needed to help tackle the removal of dry skin, while at the same time nourishing and cleaning the body
Throw out old flannels, sponges, and tired loofahs for something that will most likely cut your shower or bath time in half (having a different cleanser or soap for different parts of the body has made showering quite the morning process for me), and enjoy immediately smoother and softer skin. The scent of Citrus Rosemary is quite divine in addition to making your skin fragrant with herbal and tropical notes. I was already sold when I read “Loofah Soap” – who wudda thunk it!
From its beautifully presented floral packaging, I took out the Turmeric Lemongrass soap. Lemongrass has long been a favorite natural scent of mine, and before you even unravel the blue ribbon on the packaging, tropical fragrances belonging to the islands of South East Asia greet you. This will be a mainstay in my bathroom and soothes, cleans, and moisturizes all in one. Verve soaps are also so beautiful to look at. Buy them as gifts, and give the gift of supple skin this Beijing winter.
The body butter may look and feel literally like butter, but penetrates the skin without leaving any oily residue. I would recommend this to those who have medium to very dry skin. It’s sumptuous and makes for an indulgent bath-time routine (if you happen to have one of very rare baths that exist in Beijing). Take your time when applying as you really need to deeply massage the butter into the skin, and use in combination with the Loofah Soap.
The Green Room, Face Serum, Belly Oil and Balm
I think it’s common knowledge in most circles interested in artisan beauty products that The Green Room’s selections of alchemic oils have been redefining how many of us view essential oils and their all-round benefits. In little frosted glass bottles, which are beautifully labeled with Victorian-esque herbology illustrations, are well-balanced elixirs for dry hair and skin.
Smelling like a spa, the Super Hydr8 Face Serum, used in combination with the Face Balm, will transport you to fields of wild flowers, and breathe supple and dewy life back into your skin. The Balm can be used as a gentle cleanser, make-up remover, and massage oil; massage the oil in and gently wipe off excess before applying the Serum. If you use a foundation or concealer, add a few drops of the Serum, which for me brightened my look, left a lasting finish, and softened the skin. If expecting (or not), use the Belly Oil to help build and maintain elasticity, while at the same time adding moisture and nourishment. I applied it to damp skin and used it as a daily belly rub!
The Belly Oil can also combat dry skin in babies and kids. Use as a moisturizer on top of a water-based cream, or add to your kid’s bath. My little one, like his mommy, has very sensitive skin and has been battling with dry patches. This oil works wonders and is fragrance free.
This brand has clearly paid attention to the refinement of blending oils for different uses and needs. Essential oils are not only for popping into your diffuser. The Green Room, among others are leading the way in how to use these wonderfully natural and healing ingredients to remedy almost every kind of beauty need. Wechat: TheGreenRoom
Velveteen’s Secret Potions, Galaelia Cleanser and Oriental Wisdom Serum
It’s time to talk DIRT. When thinking about protecting your skin during the long winter months in Beijing, one cannot but think about the dreaded pollution that clogs up the pores and leads to outbreaks of spots and patches of dry skin.
The colorful and whimsical packaging with a bohemian aesthetic mirrors the very personally crafted lotions and potions in Velveteen’s Secret Potion’s skin care collection. You can also find organic sprays and treatments for the home and if you ask nicely, founder Fran Hanshing can also concoct a solution for specific needs and uses (Hanshing made an awesome organic nappy balm for my baby, which was the best for his new born skin and came in a beautiful Chinese ceramic pot).
I have been using generic facial wipes to remove makeup and dirt from the skin. However, it’s always a struggle to remove mascara, and my skin is left feeling moisture-less and clammy. Enter the Galaelia Cleanser. This cleanser has totally revamped my daily dirt removal routine, making the process less of a chore and more of a luxurious excuse to carve out a little time in the evening to cleanse and clean the skin.
Using a single cotton pad, and two to three drops of Galaelia Cleanser, the removal of dirt and pollution residue from the face, neck, and upper chest was a breeze and left my skin feeling refreshed and clog-free. For make-up removal your go-to has to be La Pocion No.2, which can gently remove waterproof mascara and for me, the shockingly stubborn liquid bronzer I use to feign sun-kissed skin.
To complete my facial cleanse and makeup removal routine, I applied a few drops of the Supreme Oriental Wisdom Serum to the face, massaged it in and enjoyed woody notes of argan, lingzhi mushroom, ginseng, and lovage essential oils.Your skin will feel renewed and refreshed and, I kid you not, may even make your sleep sounder.
Hands are important! Treat them well, using Velveteen’s Secret Potion’s Abethia Velvet Hand Glove cream. I recommend purchasing some organic cotton gloves, washing your hands thoroughly, and generously applying some of this moisturizer. Sleep overnight with the gloves on to really help heal severely dry and calloused hands. WeChat: franhanshing
Top Tip: Natural soaps need to be kept in a dry place when not in use. Keep handcrafted natural soaps on a wooden soap dish with slates, holes or graded drainage to help make your soaps last longer. A diatomaceous earth soap tray is best.
Photos: Sydney Bishop, Sarah O’Connell