Photo courtesy of HollyBeth's Natural Luxury
So, as you all know, I've decided to launch myself on a quest for quality, yet natural (and preferably organic) skin care. This is proving to be a bit of a task, for one major reason: it's really, really hard to find truly natural, organic skin care. Most lines that tout themselves as being "natural" are, on closer inspection, better described as "less synthetic" than mainstream lines. As for organic, well, throwing in a few organic essential oils to fragrance a face cream doesn't exactly qualify. So I'm finding myself becoming an obsessive ingredients investigator, constantly looking up various additives to determine their origin and possible negative effects. Yikes. This is harder than I thought it would be!
Luckily for me, serendipity seems to be on my side. On a recent trip to Whole foods, while perusing their beauty section, I ran across an unassuming little line called HollyBeth's Natural Luxury. To be quite frank, the main reason I picked up the face moisturizer wasn't because of the organic issue, but because there was a handwritten sign in front of the display advertising it as "locally made," which got my attention. Yes, HollyBeth's is made right here in Atlanta, only about a half hour or so from my home. I was immediately intrigued.
As I looked more closely, I realized that with this line, local was just the tip of the iceberg. HollyBeth's is Certified USDA Organic. "Certified Organic" means all agricultural products must meet the USDA's standards for organic farming criteria and must not be produced using ionizing radiation. From a formulation standpoint, at least 95% of the ingredients must meet the organic standards. In other words, in order for a skin care product to be considered USDA Certified Organic, it has to not only have organic ingredients, but those ingredients must comprise the overwhelming majority of the formula.
HollyBeth's Rose Geranium Face Moisturizer meets those standards easily, as you can see by the ingredients list:
Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (sweet almond oil)*, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, * Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Rosa Mosqueta (Rosehip) Fruit Oil*, Beeswax*, Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil*, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Pelargonium Graveolens Oil (rose geranium oil)*, Pelargonium Graveolens, Lecithin*. * organic
The only ingredient listed that is not organic is Tocopherol (and I'm not sure if there is an organic source for that). Pretty impressive, yes?
But what you're really wondering is how it feels and what it does, correct? Well, it's extremely thick, almost pasty in texture. I would refer to it more as a balm than a cream. Due to the precious oils in it, it has a pretty yellow color. It has a slightly velvety slip, but because it is so thick, it requires a bit of rubbing between the fingers to warm and emulsify it before applying to the skin. Once applied, it leaves a protective coating on my skin, which is mostly absorbed within about 15 minutes. It's remarkably comforting to my sensitive skin, and I truly feel as if I'm protecting my face when I wear this to bed. It's most certainly too heavy for daytime use, but at night it's a dream. The fragrance is heavenly; one of my favorite essential oil fragrances is rose geranium, with its light but somehow complex rose fragrance. It soothes both the skin and the senses.
Since this is such a heavy cream, I recommend it for dry to very dry skin types or those with sensitive skin. The ingredients have been carefully edited so that each individual ingredient serves a specific purpose. Camellia seed oil, for instance, is the most moisturizing of all oils, with a high EFA content. Rose geranium oil is known for its powers to decrease signs of aging. Tocopherol (Vitamin E) is a powerful antioxidant. Rose hip oil is high in EFA's and Vitamins C and E, and has the capability to repair damaged skin.
Bottom Line: I'm incredibly impressed with this cream. Despite its heaviness, it sinks into the skin well and leaves it feeling silky and softened. It's not only extremely moisturizing but soothing as well, leaving my face feeling calm and cool, as opposed to my typical slightly flushed feeling. I awake to calm, clear, intensely hydrated skin that looks years younger than it should. I can't wait for my next trip to Whole Foods to check out more of the line!
HollyBeth's Natural Luxury products can be found at Whole Foods in Marietta, GA or online at HollyBeth.net.