Thursday, October 20, 2016

Feel good in your skin w/Province Apothecary

As you know from my previous Pearlesque Box posts (here's last month's box, as well as the first one I received), this subscription box likes to deliver natural beauty from various locations. The November 2016 box takes you to Toronto, Canada, where you'll find Province Apothecary.

According to the information card in the box, Province Apothecary's founder Julie Clark (pictured above with those familiar blue bottles; this photo is from her website) struggled with allergies and eczema all her life, so she began crafting natural, organic beauty products out of her kitchen. She used her time off from being a costume designer and stylist to experiment with oils, waxes and herbs. She also studied Aromatherapy, Holistic Health and Esthetics in Toronto, where she formed the foundation of her skincare expertise, experimenting with raw materials and natural ingredients. "For Julie, natural beauty goes beyond simply organic and wild-crafted ingredients; natural beauty means a pledge to helping clients feel good in their own skin."

Province Apothecary has long outgrown its kitchen and now can be found on your doorstep in the latest Pearlesque Box, which is filled with five natural, certified organic skincare products to help you feel beautiful in your skin. This cleanser/makeup remover, clay mask, exfoliator, toner and face serum are packed with "high quality, certified organic, biodynamic and wildcrafted ingredients sourced from Canadian provinces. Julie expertly formulates, blends, and packages all products by hand in small batches, ensuring the highest quality skincare for you."

The full-size Moisturizing Cleanser + Make-up Remover with Avocado & Raspberry is meant for all skin types. This combination of sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil, raspberry seed oil, GMO-free vitamin E and rosemary leaf extract gently removes makeup and excess oil, while hydrating and keeping your skin in balance. It also contains therapeutic essential oils of bergamot, lavender and frankincense, which have a nice calming effect. "Bergamot oil clears congestion. Frankincense tones the skin. Lavender heals blemishes and works as a restorative."

The oils in this particular oil cleanser smell really fresh and lovely. They also do an excellent job of cleansing my skin and removing my makeup. It leaves my skin so soft.

If you are looking for a deeper clean, you're in luck. This box also contains a very generous travel-size Detoxifying + Clarifying Clay Mask with Glacial & Bentonite Clay, which can be used 1-3 times per week to help draw out impurities from the skin, clear pores and calm your complexion. "The unique natural properties of bentonite clay act as a magnet, drawing out impurities from the skin to clear pores + calm the complexion. Glacial clay detoxifies and tightens the skin, reducing the signs of aging. Wild-crafted algae nourishes the skin, regenerates cell growth, and stimulates collagen production. Maple syrup mineralizes the skin and neutralizes free radicals, giving your skin a healthy glow and smooth tone," as stated on the Province Apothecary website.

As you can see, this mask comes in a green powder that can be mixed with honey or water. I've tried both methods. Personally, I would recommend honey or something else that's sweet to help cut the strong fishy smell this product has when wet, most likely due to the algae and marine clay. Although I'm not fond of this scent (at least I know there aren't any added fragrances; this is just the true nature of the ingredients), I will say that it is worth using. When mixed with just water, this mask dries tight on my skin, but once washed away, the results are soft, smooth (it really tackles those fine lines) and clear. When mixed with honey, it never fully dries, adding moisture and leaving you with a gorgeous glow.

Speaking of adding moisture, this travel-size Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator with Lavender & Green Tea combines exfoliating and hydration in one simple product. It only contains oat flour, lentil flour, flax seed, lavender, violets and green tea leaf in an exfoliating powder that can be combined with other natural ingredients/products, depending on what works best for your skin and the season you 're in at the moment. "Oatmeal calms, softens and nourishes. Green tea stimulates and rejuvenates, giving you a healthy glow. Lavender calms irritation and heals blemishes."

This product smells quite floral in its powder form, but when wet, it reminds me more of baby cereal in both texture and scent. Although recommended to mix with a liquid first, I prefer to apply it dry to my damp face, rubbing it gently in circular motions for a few minutes. While in contact with my damp skin, this exfoliator softens and absorbs the water on my face. Then, in its wet form, it moisturizes. I call that a "win-win."

When all that cleansing, detoxing and exfoliating is done, it's nice to give my skin a spritz of toner, like the full-size Invigorating + Balancing Toner with Rose & Geranium. "Fragrant organic rose water is naturally soothing and cooling to the skin, while geranium essential oil calms and naturally reduces the appearance of scars," according to the product description.

This toner is light and fresh, and smells heavenly. It also preps my skin for the next step (I have no idea if it really works on scars).

Last, but not least, is the travel-size Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum with Neroli & Frankincense. You only need a little bit of this golden oil to make your skin glow. "It replenishes your skin’s health while hydrating and stimulating skin on a cellular level. High in antioxidants, neroli and frankincense reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve skin tone. Jojoba balances skin’s sebum production, controlling shine and congestion. German chamomile and rose soothe blemishes, redness, and reduce the appearance of scars."

A few tabs of this moisturizing oil goes a long way to add an extra dose of hydration (all the other products are quite hydrating, as well) without causing my skin to break out. It's also magical when it comes to reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

If purchased separately, the total for all five Province Apothecary products in this box is $146. You can get them by subscribing to Pearlesque Box for $39.95 per month (shipping to the U.S. is free). Use the code: RAW15 to get 15% off your first box.

Do you subscribe to Pearlesque Box? Do you use Province Apothecary? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter at @Rawdorable and/or Instagram (also @Rawdorable).

* Pearlesque Box sent me these Province Apothecary products
for review. All opinions are my own :)