Recovering From Compromised Skin Blurb + Earthwise Beauty Review PART I

Hey all, I want to do something a little different and start this review out by getting more in depth about exactly what type of skin these products had to work with. I’ll begin by pointing out that I have been trying to recover and put my skin in equilibrium for many years now, and there are some important takeaways I learned in the process that may be of use to you if you also suffer from compromised skin:

~ Be PATIENT.

When I was in my young teens, I had a lot of trouble with my skin (who didn’t at that stage am I right). I was recommend to go on Accutane by a dermatologist, but I never agreed to go through with it. Instead, I changed my diet and experimented with different supplements (this resulted in a whopping array of knowledge of things not to do as well), and as a reward the worst of my acne went away. So first, good diet + balanced hormones = good skin (for the most part, of course other health issues may play their own factors).

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I only recently switched to a fully non-toxic lifestyle about 2-3 years ago. Before that, I was at Sephora frequently, trying the latest masks and creams. Unfortunately, this meant not paying attention to controversial ingredients such as hydroquinone, a topical agent that is used to address hyper-pigmentation, as well as using too many harsh peels, acids, and products laden with not-so-good-for-you ingredients. I was also the queen of over-exfoliating, believing that this would improve the texture of my skin, blackheads/pores, and my breakouts. Even though I was trying to take care of my skin from the inside through diet, the scars and damage from the years remained through my Sephora ventures.

Keeping all this background in mind, when I switched into non-toxic beauty, although my skin and breakouts did continue to improve, my skin still had a lot of trouble recovering and remained very oily and congested. It took time and different experiments to find what works for me and healed my skin.

~ Experiment according to what you think is best/knowledge/research NOT trends/popularity of products. Choose wisely. 

I tried many different products throughout the pursuit of non-toxic skincare, some very pricey and touted to be the best. Of course, if there is a lot of good reviews, it may well be worth it (Maya Chia’s Eye Achiever proved to be a winner for me). Other times, it may be amazing for others, but not for you. Vinter’s Daughter I attempted twice, and for me personally I noted no results- it just seemed to sit on my skin, not absorb, and make me even oilier. At one point, I was even piling on a cocktail of probably 4 different facial oils, as I kept hearing “oily skin means your skin needs more oil!” I used no serums or moisturizers- purely facial oils. I highly recommend this post (click here) by Celestyna Higgins of moss skincare in which she addresses why using certain facial oils can be detrimental in certain cases. For example, she notes that:

[…]Depending on YOUR unique skin and the condition of YOUR skin barrier, [oils] can ALSO disrupt the optimal balance of lipids. The lipid matrix in our skin isn’t composed of 100% fatty acids, like oils are. It is a blend of fatty acids (about 60%), ceramides (about 20%) and cholesterol (about 20%). So if you are constantly (like 2x daily) slathering the skin with 100% fatty acids, that will cause the skin barrier composition to change unfavorably.

With a skin barrier already compromised from over-exfoliation, treatments, and peels, my skin did not appreciate the oils I was using and started to get even oilier– at one point I wasn’t even blotting fast enough to absorb the excess oils. This is why it’s so important to not fall for skincare trends or the most popular products out on the market; it doesn’t matter if facial oils or balms are in one year, out the next, or some products super popular, make sure you research and experiment with exactly which products your skin can benefit from. With the right products, your skin will definitely transform for the better.

A few months ago, in the heart of experimenting with sound advice, I decided to try out the dry oil cleansing method, after reading an informative article by Josh Rosebrook, a skincare professional. For one month straight, I used a cleansing oil from his line to clean my skin (yes even my makeup) and removed it with no water, only a cloth. Once a week I would use a mask/cleanser and utilize water. SURPRISINGLY, I did not break out throughout this experiment. However, my skin was still oily and congested and remained so throughout all 4 weeks. I’m still very pleasantly surprised knowing it didn’t break me out, and there is a merit to trying out that cleansing routine. However, as I did it for the purpose of trying to rebalance my skin and it did not work for me, I chose to stop it. Could it be I needed to wait longer than a month to observe the results? Yes. Was I willing to continue with congested skin and the general feeling of uncleanliness on my face? No. The Josh Rosebrook oil cleanser actually remains one of my favorite to this day however.

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I tried a method out after reading an article by a knowledgable formulator- does that mean it was the best decision for me and would work? Not at all. I’m sure if I research articles on why dry oil cleansing is totally wrong and bad for you, I’ll also find many articles. It can get very confusing in the internet world. But in the end, try to take advice from sound sources that you can trust and experiment off of that- use what works for you. One takeaway that I did learn and still use? How oil cleansers are more effective when applied to my dry skin first, even if I do wash them off after.

As I gained more knowledge and found the right products/methods that work for me (moss skincare/Osmia for example), my skin started to look better and better. Thanks to another post about exfoliation by Celestyna as well as others touting the same issue, I also decided a few months back to stop all extra exfoliating products, such as powders and masks, and center using my moss Ilumina decongesting/exfoliating serum during my monthly cycle rather than every single day. My texture improved SO much- I’m talking about those little bumps on the forehead that were forever stubborn disappearing finally. I was still getting oily in the afternoons, though not as severely as before.

~ Pay attention to what you have observed on your skin when trying different products.

I have a few rules that I’ve cemented over the 3 years of trying different products- coconut oil is not for me, nor are rich balms that contain beeswax. I generally do not like changing up my everyday routine once I have found what works for me, but in the past month I began shifting around my skincare routine to add more hydration and finally stop the icky oily-afternoons issue of my skin.


Earthwise Beauty

This is where Earthwise Beauty comes in to the rescue! I actually tried it a few years back, but the Ambrosia del Cerrado toner broke while I was opening and carrying the box (tear) and their Green Leaves product, although the smell was so good, didn’t work for me due to the coconut oil. I did not revisit it because I got caught up in trying hype products/trends and my impression was that the formulations were “simple” and I needed to see fancy terms and vitamins to lure me in. I mean I couldn’t have been more wrong- some of the purest, well-sourced, effective ingredients can be found in these products and the formulations are by no means simple.

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I decided to give Earthwise Beauty another shot once I started looking into the products again and got intrigued by how minimally processed/well-sourced they were. I’m so glad I did because I found another amazing, trustworthy brand. The results I’ve seen were ridiculously quick and impressive. I do like to wait to give products time to do their thing, normally a minimum of one month, yet I was seeing results almost immediately within the first week. With integrating these products into my routine in the past month, my oily issue has been alleviated, my skin even more hydrated, and skin texture improved even more. I went from blotting multiple times a day, to zero/once only. Needless to say, that’s a HUGE deal for me. If you’re curious, here was my routine for the month (Osmia/moss/Earthwise products), and still the same now:

A.M:  Hot washcloth over face (NO CLEANSER), Ambrosia toner, Nap in the Meadow + Zen Physic,  Potenci + Holi(c), Tigress

P.M: Celeste Beurre (1st cleanse/for makeup & dirt), Osmia Black Clay soap (2nd cleanse), Ambrosia toner, Illumina (alternate days), Carrot-A-Day, Potenci, Tigress

*You should definitely check out Ava’s website on product recommendations for your specific type of skin. You can alternate Nap in the Meadow with Carrot-A-Day, and if Ambrosia provides enough moisture for you, you can forego even more products.

And thus this brings us to the start of my first review of Earthwise Beauty products observed over the course of a month: Ambrosia Del Cerrado & Farizad’s Veil. The rest of the products- Nap in the Meadow, Carrot-A-Day, & Tigress- were purchased after and have not met their one month date yet so I’m saving Part 2. Again, I’ve seen results I’m so impressed with, but I am saving my comments for these products for about 2 more weeks and sticking to their one month requirement. 😉

Ambrosia Del Cerrado ($12-$50)

Ambrosia Del Cerrado
The first change I made into my usual routine  was adding in this liquid toner (click here for more info). After cleansing my face, I noted my skin would feel tight and felt adding a toner would be beneficial in prepping my skin to receive the moisturizers/serums applied afterwords. It was a perfect decision, as it is now hands down one of my favorite skincare products.

Aside from being a gorgeous bright yellow color, it’s also one of the most- if not the most- effective toner I have ever used; my skin just drinks it up within seconds. I have used different toners before (YULI Panacea Elixir & Cocoon Elixir/ Mun Anarose Toner/ Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator), and although they definitely weren’t bad choices, none delivered such hydration and effect to my skin as this product. I’ve gone without a toner for months, and now it’s hard to imagine not having Ambrosia in my routine. I will continue purchasing Ambrosia del Cerrado as soon as it runs out, whereas with the other toners I tried, I never felt that sense of urgency or commitment. Ambrosia del Cerrado consists of a few ingredients, yet the effect it has on my skin is immediate: hydrated, brighter, and very soft and smooth- with zero sticky feel to it. Z-E-R-O.

I use three drops a.m. and p.m. after cleansing and while my skin is still a little damp, patting it lightly into the skin. It barely needs any help from you in absorbing into your skin, I don’t even bother using my Jade Roller. It smells delightful as well, with a bright, tangy scent that I enjoy so much. I highly recommend you incorporate this product into your routine.

Ingredients: Cold-press aloe barbadensis whole-leaf juice*, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Caryocar braziliensis (pequi) fruit oil, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil, sustainably wildcrafted cold-press unrefined Moringa oleifera seed oil, polysorbate 20 (naturally derived), potassium sorbate (natural food-grade preservative), natural non-GMO tocopherol (vit. E from sunflowers), xanthan gum, ascorbic acid (vit. C), citric acid.
*Certified organic.


Farizad’s Veil ($12-$74)

FullSizeRender 15I was intrigued by this product because I never use sunscreen. Not only am I mostly in a building all day (it used to be the case with school, now it’s work), but I also loathe the greasy feeling and white cast that accompanies most spf creams. I tried a sample of the Josh Rosebrook sunscreen before, and I did not like it enough to bring myself to use it. I should also mention that I hate powders in general. The RMS Beauty powder, or any other, just do not look well on my skin. I love the dewy look, but you know, oily skin makes you look a little too dewy which isn’t preferable either. This spf product, however, was in an innovative powder form which contained finely milled aloe vera, and that sparked more interest in me.

I started using Farizad’s Veil (click here for more info) the same time I started using Ambrosia. I was using the Gressa Minimalist Foundation at the time, and though I love this product, it wasn’t doing anything for my oily skin situation. The first day, I added some of the powder to 2 drops of the foundation, and my face stayed matte all day. This was a huge plus for me. However, if you use the wrong proportions it definitely does whiten your face, as it did for me in the beginning, and this will be more of a prevalent issue on darker skin tones. After a few days, I was able to figure out how much product to use. Now, here and there I use very little of the Veil mixed in with Tigress and that does the trick.

This is the least used product out of the 5 I have- not because I do not like the product, but as my oily skin is finally under control, I find I do not need to use it to aid with mattifying. However, I do appreciate that aside from keeping my skin matte, it slightly acts as a blur filter for your face and has anti-inflammatory properties. You can be sure that for the days I will be under the sun, especially during  Summer, this will be the only SPF product I turn to.

Ingredients: Active ingredient: non-nano uncoated zinc oxide 94% (Canada); others: aloe barbadensis leaf powder*, hexane-free Rosa centifolia (rose) absolute (Morocco; organic whenever available), wildcrafted hexane-free pink champaca absolute (India), organic Pelargonium graveolens (geranium bourbon) oil (Madagascar), Pelargonium roseum (rose geranium) oil*, wildcrafted frankincense oil.
*Certified organic.