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Spotlight: The Beauty Benefits of Evergreen

Evergreen trees and bushes—the ones that retain most of their foliage through the winter—play a large role in natural cosmetics, with benefits* ranging from acne treatments to stress relief. Here’s a quick look at five of the most commonly used evergreen goodies.

Fir. The oil extracted from needles, usually of the Balsam or Siberian fir tree, has long been used in cosmetics for its invigorating scent, making it a good choice for aromatherapy. But it is also helpful used topically to treat sore muscles, cramps, arthritis, and stiffness. Find it in: Naturopathica Deep Forest Bath & Body Oil, Pangea Organics Canadian Pine with White Sage Body Wash

Juniper. One of the most widely-used evergreens in cosmetics, juniper was even used by the ancient Egyptians in cosmetics and perfumes. Today you can find it in a wide range of cosmetics, from acne treatments to aromatherapy and even cellulite reduction and detoxification. Find it in: Kimberly Sayer Slimming and Contouring Lotion, Blissoma Awake Morning Firming Facial MoistureCleansing Juniper Cypress Body Scrub

Pine. Pine has long been recognized for its healing properties and soothing scent. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, noted its ability to heal the human respiratory system. Pine extract has antiseptic, antibacterial, pain relieving, aromatic and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it great all year. Pine bark extract has been proven to have many health benefits: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, potentially even antiviral and antimicrobial. Find it in: Living Nature Cleansing Clay Peel, Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Cream, Erbaviva Breathe Body Lotion 

Rosemary. A common herb for skincare, rosemary boosts circulation (which helps with complexion-clearing), and also helps to tone and firm the skin. The savory herb also helps reduce puffiness. Find it in: Naturopathica Alpine Arnica Bath & Body Oil, Pai Rice Plant & Rosemary BioAffinity Toner, Moksa Organic Rosemary & Sage Body Oil

Thyme. In addition to a long history of use in cosmetics, recent research from Leeds Metropolitan University has shown that thyme is a more effective acne treatment than over-the-counter creams—with the added benefit of being less harsh on the skin. Find it in: Clearcalm 3 Anti Acne Treatment Mask, 100% Pure Purity Spot Treatment, Intelligent Nutrients Anti Aging Cleanser

You have probably used evergreen on your skin, even if you didn’t realize it! —Aleigh

(Image via Lulu the Bold)

*Statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness, disease, or condition.

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Beauty Obsession: Athlete’s Secret Combo Pack

This special Moksa combo pack from O&N Collective arrived* at the perfect time. It was a Wednesday, and I’d just gotten home from an all-day photo shoot for one of the magazines I edit. I’d spent the whole day on my feet, running around, carrying furniture, loading and unloading, and I was hot, sunburnt, and tired. My feet hurt and my knees, which bother me sometimes (a remnant from running track years ago), throbbed. I was so excited to spot the box from O&N Collective on my porch when I got home!

What I tried: Moksa Athlete’s Secret Combo Pack, $22.50.

First impressions: After such a long, active day, all I wanted was a long shower, so I went straight for the Kona Body Bar. It has tiny nibs mixed in with its organic olive, coconut, soybean, hemp, and castor oils for a touch of exfoliation that feels more like a massage than a scrub—and instead of that squeaky, dry skin feeling that sometimes comes from a bar of soap, it leaves your skin feeling moisturized.

What caught me by surprise: The texture of the Moksa Body Butter! It’s less like butter and more like a light (solid) foam. A tiny amount warms in your hand and turns into a smooth rub. Instead of the typical sports rubs out there that are full of petroleum-based ingredients (yuck), this stuff is made with shea butter, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, essential oils, and arrowroot powder. I rubbed it on my (sore) knees and feet, and it pleasantly warmed and soothed them both. By the time my husband got home, I was sprawled out on the couch, feet up, sighing happily.

Bonus: So many! The ingredients are 97% USDA-certified organic. The fair trade shea butter comes from a women’s cooperative in Nigeria. Both products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free, with no synthetics or chemicals. The body butter comes packaged in plastic-free, recycled glass, and the soap is packaged in a 100% post-consumer waste label printed with soy ink.

Bottom line? Whether you’re a marathoner or tackling a marathon workday, there’s plenty to love about this little combo pack. What’s your secret for recuperating after a hard workout or workday? —Aleigh

*Disclosure: This sample was sent to me for review, but I only write about the products that I think are truly worthy of being shared with you. View my full disclosure here.

(Top image via O&N Collective, bottom image by me)


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Beauty Obsession: Moksa Organics

Last month I had a chance to meet the lovely Michelle Witherby from She came bearing gifts, including a bar of limited holiday edition soap by Moksa. I finally got around to using it this week, and I’m officially hooked!

What I tried: Moksa Organics Bar Soap in Mistletoe ($4). (Otherwise known as the chocolate mint oatmeal cookie bar.)

First impressions: I really appreciate the texture of this soap. You can even see the bits of oats and cocoa that offer gentle exfoliation as you scrub.

What caught me by surprise: Looking through the ingredients list (below), I was nodding and nodding…and then I came to the “organic orbignya oleifera (babassu) oil” and stopped short. What’s a babassu?  Turns out, babassu is a palm tree native to Brazil that’s harvested in the wild; the oil is similar to coconut oil.

Ingredients: organic saponified olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, organic cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, organic glycine soja (soybean) oil , organic cannabis sativa seed oil, organic ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, organic orbignya oleifera (babassu) oil, organic butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) fruit, our blend of pure essential oils, organic ground oat bran, organic cocoa powder, ground peppermint leaves, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract

Bonus: I love that Moksa is so sustainably-minded: they use tree-free packaging and choose ingredients that have the least amount of environmental impact. Plus they’re carbon neutral. Win-win! —Aleigh

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