January was a month of bad complexion karma. Whether due to incompatible products or inclement indoor conditions, my skin let me know that it was not
happy. Scaly patches below my mouth battled with relentless flakes on my nose for the title of driest place on my face. My standard daily and nightly moisturizers were no longer cutting it. Using lightweight lotions could not conceal swathes of flaking skin, while layering various creams resulted in gunky residue that made applying makeup impossible. Once Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog saw his shadow- thus forecasting another six weeks of winter- my dry skin plight became more desperate than ever.
Having exhausted my favorite heavy-duty dry skin solutions for nighttime,
I reached into my bag of beauty tricks to see if some other products might work in a pinch. YBF Boost
wasn't rich enough to resuscitate my skin with a boost of moisture. Ditto for Yves Rocher Bio Culture Wake up Cream
and Kenneth Mark M.D. Antioxidant Cream
. Despite feelings of skin suffocation on its initial trial, I gave Skinn Wrinkle Balm Night Treatment
another chance. Once again, the waxy layer peeled off onto my pillow and left my skin thirsty the next morning. Teava Facial Treatment Mask
and gloTherapeutics Conditioning Mask
were not practical for everyday use, certainly not during the daytime. I continued my search for a dry skin savior to dig me out of this rut.
Not to say that any of the above products are bad; in fact, most have been recommended for various uses. But nothing seemed to fit the bill of an all-around, day or night, skin-saving moisturizer which could seal my dry spots and improve my winter-worn complexion. For that, I had the good fortune of meeting Olive's Organic Botanicals Harmony Facial Replenisher
. I already knew that Olive's Organics was no ordinary organic skincare line, as described in my experience with the carrot seed cleanser
, a dropper bottle of natural oils that work together to instantly lather, soften, purify, and hydrate. The cleanser's effects were so satisfying that Olive's Organics made our list of Five Best Face Cleansers of 2009
The moisturizer, like its cleansing cousin, is not your typical face cream. Rather, Harmony is a waxy balm that requires a mini wooden spatula or immaculate finger to scoop out. Its diminutive glass vessel is deceptive, since a fingernail-sized portion is more than enough to cover the entire face and one ounce lasts at least a month. Also like the cleanser, application is a process, but it is so worth the extra effort. After scooping out a dollop, you are meant to rub it between your index finger and thumb to warm, soften, and create an even consistency. Otherwise, the waxy substance tends to clump on the face and requires repeated rubbing. I've found that Harmony spreads most uniformly over skin that has already been moistened with a serum.
The visible results are instant hydration, camouflaged fine lines, and youthful radiance. But under the surface additional benefits are at work, infusing the skin with antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, and essential fatty acids. The formula's base ingredient, rosehip oil, is the only vegetable oil containing retinoic acid
, as well as an excellent source of omega 3 and 6. Harmony's invigorating scent hints at its enriching herbal blend of calming lavender, moisturizing mandarin, tightening patchouli, and healing chamomile. In addition, Harmony conditions the skin with natural emollients like jojoba oil, a non-comedogenic moisture regulator, and pure beeswax, which acts as a protective barrier.
Once my skin is coated in a layer of Harmony, it begins to glow, nay, glisten. Despite the moisturizer's lingering greasiness, I do not feel an oily presence sitting on the surface- as is the case with REN Rose Synergy Serum
and NARSskin EFA Night Infusion
- which limits the product to overnight use only. I have found ways around the sheen, such as blotting with tissues, applying powder, or using a mattifying solution on top. Every sunscreen I've layered over Harmony has blended effortlessly. Nonetheless, I think Harmony is best suited to nighttime, because it not only requires much less work but it also lasts literally all night. My skin continues to bask in Harmony when I wake up every morning.
After two weeks of Harmony, my skin's karma has taken a drastic turn in the right direction. I do not think that oily skin types or impatient personalities will appreciate the intense hydration and tedious application. But dry skin couldn't find a better match.
Ingredients in Harmony:
100% Certified Organic Organic rosehip seed oil, organic pure filtered beeswax, organic jojoba oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic lavender, organic patchouli, organic mandarin, organic roman chamomile.