apothecary

I’ve got a thing for esthetician-made beauty products. The thing is, it just makes sense to use a line of products that’s formulated by someone who knows skin intimately through direct contact with many skin types. That’s not to put down the many other well-researched brands at all. As you already know, I’m a fan of so many of them and can rattle off the ones that I use daily. But I can’t help being attracted to a brand when I find out that they’ve tweaked their formulas based on actual client use and feedback—even during a facial.

That’s one reason why Jordan Pacitti, founder of Jordan Samuel Skincare, decided to create his serums without the use of essential oils. He discovered through his clients that not every skin type could handle them—even the ones that are considered friendly to sensitive skin types—as he explained to me in this dance-inspired interview about his line.

jordan samuel hydrate serum

In this post, I list some of my favorite esthetician-made brands that I have been using for a while—some of them for years—and you may not even know about them.  Trust me, they are worth getting to know well. If you are seeking healthy gifts for the holidays, look no further!  I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Have you tried any of these brands? Which ones are you loving? How important is it to you to invest in a product line created by a skincare professional?


Sevani Botanica

sevani-botanica-products-upright

 

Sheryl Gibbs is not only an esthetician with nearly 30 years experience doing facials, she’s also an author of several books about ingredients and skin care, as well as the talented creator of three cruelty-free, vegan, and holistic brands.  Phew!  That’s quite the résumé.

When the oil obsession seemed to take the beauty industry by storm, Sheryl was one of the few to drive home that skin does not derive hydration from oils and that using water-based creams and botanical-infused hydrosols is absolutely necessary too.  My parched skin is all too familiar with what can happen with exclusive oil/balm use, including .  I know the line to be one of the purest around, and she’s meticulous about choosing the very best, safest, animal-friendly, and results-driven ingredients available.

To try: Sevani Botanica Hyaluronic Wrinkle Defense Serum is very well priced at $68 considering that it is brimming with active ingredients like celebrated niacinimide (B3) to reverse photo-aging; DMAE, MSM, resveratrol, panthenol, which are powerful wrinkle diminishing and skin supportive infusions; an in-house blend of Acai, Gooseberry, Pomegranate, Sea Buckthorn, and Goji Berry that’s high in Vitamin C; and essential hydration that skin craves. Skin that’s red, sensitive, lackluster, and pigmented drinks this potion right up.

Also, don’t miss the deliciously scented Ageless Radiance Refining AHA Cleanser, $39, that gently cleans and refines skin without grains that may be too harsh and damaging. I’ve recently gone back to using it after a local esthetician recommended using acid based ingredients like AHA’s in a cleanser, and I’m awed by the results!

Gift idea: No Bull Beauty Cacao Mint Body Oil, $28, (another vegan-friendly line by this skincare maven) or divine Pumpkin Scrub, $32. Sorry. You’ll have to keep Sevani Botanica all to yourself!


Jordan Samuel Skincare

Jordan Samuel etOILe, Hydrate, Plie

Fusing his experience as a danseur turned esthetician, Jordan Samuel Pacitti tests his line on the performance-ravaged faces of ballet dancers and numerous other clients in his Seattle based practice. If it works for them, restoring balance to the unpredictable pirouette skin does, it surely can and does work for the rest of us.

Try this: Hydrate, $40, is one of those products that you will never want to be without.  Hyaluronic acid, stabilized Vitmain C, and hexapeptides combine with cucumber, tamarind, and passion flower extracts to give you dewy, radiant skin all day and all night long.  Perfect for all skin types, this one product will keep dry skin at bay throughout the tricky winter months. I learned through trial and error, as well as research, that oils are NOT enough.

I’ll probably keep telling you how much you need this product until I’m blue in the face.

Gift idea: Get someone started on a healthy skin regimen and give them the collection for $75 which is incredible value for three full-sized products.


Vered Organic Botanicals

 

img_20150428_170819

With over 28 years of hands-on holistic skincare, Vered is a true pioneer in the natural beauty industry.  Trained professionally as an herbalist, aromatherapist, and esthetician, she has been creating customized blends for her clients’ different skin types for years and eventually decided to bottle her most requested formulas.  That’s how Vered Organic Botanicals was born.

Try this: Do you see a toner and then yawn when you find out that it’s a simple floral water? I do. Granted, I probably have no clue how complex or time consuming it is to produce a floral water, but I do love a toner that has a bit more oomph to it.  Do you know what I mean?  I want a high-performance toner that will: restore the pH of my skin after cleansing, ensure that I removed all traces of makeup still lingering after double cleansing (yes, this happens!), and infuse my skin with other benefits without stripping it.  If it sounds like a tall order, it is—and that’s where Vered Organic Botanicals Herb-Infused Toner, $55, comes in.  This stunning, vibrant red brew is infused with a proprietary blend that reads like a herbal apothecary: hibiscus, turmeric, comfrey, chickweed, white willow bark, sage, echinacea, horsetail extract, and more combine to deliver a nutritious dose of calming and healing to skin.  I can’t get enough of it!

Gift idea: Who wouldn’t love a silken Signature Body Oil, $90, with Vered’s signature scent of rose, jasmine, amber, and a sprightly note of orange blossom? I would! I would!


Leahlani Skincare

bless-balm-masks-leahlaniWhen Leah Klasovsky could not resolve her cystic acne, she took matters into her own hands and began to study alternatives to the harsh treatments that were available.  Eventually, this quest led her to studying skincare, becoming a holistic and highly intuitive esthetician, and launching the well loved Leahlani Skincare.

Try this: It’s impossible to choose just one Leahlani Skincare product but if you need to start somewhere, I’d say Bless Beauty Balm, $48, and/or the cult-classic Mermaid Mask, $32, are both great entry points.  Both are formulated using the most nutrient-dense, cold-pressed, and organic ingredients available, making them actual skin food.  The stunning pink balm feels more like a dreamy, sensual cream that melts into skin.  These product are transformational on many levels.

Gift idea: Of course, I’m totally partial to the Ritual Collection Box, $160, which includes four stunning products that can be used together or separately in a gorgeous ritual that Leah and I talk about here and here.  Give to someone you treasure!


Cecilia Wong Skincare

 

 

cecilia-wong-all-products

When Cecilia was a teenager with acne, she started drinking smoothies—and then she would massage the leftovers onto her skin. Over time, the enzymes and nutrients seeped in and healed her skin inside and out.  She was fascinated by holistic skincare ever since. Her creams, serums, and toners contain some of the very same vibrant, natural ingredients that made those smoothies so effective. She’s still a pro at pulling together DIY recipes from kitchen ingredients that are super effective and pure, even as her skincare practice and treatment formulas incorporate some of the most advanced technologies, so it’s a synthesis of both.

Try this: I’m partial to the $38 Vitamin C Cleanser, which is hands down one of the best cleansers I’ve tried for removing makeup and leaving skin clean but not stripped.  Although you’ll also find me misting both toners during the day too. (I’m ridiculously obsessed with them!)

Gift idea: The Lip Healer, $7.50, in Lemongrass & Sage or Ylang Ylang & Tangerine, which is filled to the brim with therapeutic ingredients like exotic plant butters, blackcurrant seed oil, and botanical extracts nutritionally rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and essential fatty acids. YUM!


Province Apothecary

province 5 product shot

Province Apothecary is a Canadian line founded by Julie Clark who began her natural skincare journey by seeking holistic cures for her eczema and allergies. She studied aromatherapy, holistic health, and esthetics in Toronto and now uses her sustainable product line during facials with clients, as well as incorporating farm-to-skin ingredients.

Try this: PA’s Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover, $44 (unscented $42), makes me want to oil cleanse every day.  This calming formula has just the right amount of slip to glide over skin and remove all traces of makeup effortlessly, without leaving a greasy mess.

Gift idea: The limited edition holiday incense stick in sweet orange + bay, $16, and brass holder, $12. So classy and smells AH-mazing!


*Full disclosure —the brands mentioned in the post did not know about this feature, nor was I compensated to write it or choose them. Some affiliate links in post.