As a shameless oil/balm/cream junkie, I'm always in the market for the newest innovation. I've recently started using oil as a daily moisturizer since it locks in the hydration, keeping my skin silky smooth longer than any traditional lotion. Right after I turn off the shower, I apply a thin layer of oil head to toe, then dry off the remaining water with a towel. I find that even a tiny drop of oil works wonders on my ends, far better than any hair conditioner. Just remember to keep the oil off your shower floor- no one needs broken bones. To see my favourite oils, see my (in depth) post, here.
This review will highlight two natural, propolis-based products from the Quebec brand Bella Vita, which both contain some of my favourite oils. Curious to know what propolis really is? Read on!
Miracle Hand BalmPropolis is a resin-like substance found on trees and other plants, used by bees to seal small holes in their hive. When applied to the skin, propolis has antiseptic and antibiotic qualities.
The comfrey plant extract in this balm soothes burns and bruises, the emu oil is highly moisturizing, and the castor oil nourishes nails and hair. The addition of beeswax will soften and protect the skin while creating a waterproof barrier.
I use this balm on my hands and feet right after my nighttime shower or bath, when my skin is still barely damp. I find that applying oil to dry skin isn't very effective since it has a harder time getting absorbed. I love how this product comes with a small plastic spatula, since digging my manicured nails into a solid balm isn't the most appealing task. To apply, I simply scoop out a pea-sized amount of product into my palms, which almost immediately melts into a thick oil on contact. This balm is a godsend for those dry cuticles and rough heels. It also has a very soothing scent- I really pick up on the citrus and lavender oils.
Formidable DeodorantFor the winter, I really enjoy using a more natural and gentle deodorant since my skin can get irritated and dry from typical antiperspirant. I like to apply the Formidable deodorant with a cheap makeup brush (see above), also after my evening shower. Especially when the weather gets colder, I try to refrain from washing my hands over and over, so using a brush to apply this cream works very well.
It's important to note that Formidable is only a deodorant, not an antiperspirant. I wouldn't opt for using this product during the warmer months, since it doesn't sufficiently keep the sweat or b.o. at bay, like my trusty cucumber fave from Dove (see the review here). This deodorant is 96,3 % natural and contains no aluminum or alcohol. It's suitable for sensitive skin, even after hair removal treatments such as waxing or laser.
See more info on the two product here: balm, deodorant.
Although I do use natural products quite often, I'm not the type to completely switch over. Things like shampoo or soap don't concern me since the natural options usually don't work as well. For something like deodorant or skin conditioners, it's comforting to know that the products which are getting absorbed into my skin aren't laden with synthetic fragrance and other unnecessary chemicals. Two definite favourites!
Both products can be found at: Ambrosia (New Market), Big Carrot (Toronto), Fiddleheads (Kitchener, Waterloo), New Age (Guelph), Optimum Natural Foods (Toronto), QI Natural Foods (Toronto) and The Old Kitchen Cupboard (Kitchener).