Friday, 27 February 2015

Second Look: Gaia Creams



Most of my favourite discoveries of 2014 have been from small artisan brands. I find it both inspiring and slightly worrying. I am completely in awe of their creativity and amazed by the beauty of the products, the worrying thing is what if they decide to stop doing it? Judging by the sheer amount of beauty products on this blog, and currently present in my household, you might think me fickle, and yes maybe at times I am. However, when I find something that is truly unique, I become rather attached. My thought process is that I need to immediately let the creator know how much I truly appreciate their products, and often it is in the way of trying to slowly buy the entire collection, one jar at a time. The skin on my face is so picky, finding a good day time product with no citrus oils is a bit of a challenge. Gaia creams argan and sea buckthorn cream completely blue me away, I simply had to try more things from them.

Coconut mousse 2 in 1 makeup remover and moisturiser. I haven't purchased a special makeup remover in a very long time, I tend to use straight up coconut oil or double cleanse with my normal cream cleanser. I was very intrigued with this simple three ingredient concoction. I chose the version for sensitive skin, which consists of coconut oil, sweet almond oil and calendula. The texture is interesting, not exactly what I would call a mousse, but also much softer then a balm or a butter. The fragrance is light and ever so slightly nutty. On the skin it melts almost instantly, and feels really wonderful. After spreading it on the skin with a very light massage to loosen up makeup, all you need is a damp cloth to remove it. It performs really well and leaves my skin feeling clean and soft. While I can not definitively say that it works better than pure coconut oil at removing make up, it is a much lighter consistency, and I quiet like it as a break from the norm. What makes this product stand out is the fact that it doubles up as a moisturiser, while I haven't tried using it on my face, I absolutely love it on my legs post shaving. It is light enough not to over load my tender skin and it is super soothing thanks to calendula. One word of warning, if you are using it in warm/hot weaver it really should be kept in the fridge, I had a serious spillage accident when I using this product during summer, it became completely liquid, and I absentmindedly forgot to take that into account when opening.

Chia & Peach kernel superpower blend*. After my pumpkin post, that included an illustration of  Gaia creams, Anna was kind enough to send me this serum and veggie cocktail cream*. I have to say that I was already intrigued by it because of the chia oil. Other ingredients are peach kernel oil (as you guessed), rosemary essential oil, amaranth and frankincense essential oil. The scent is green and earthy, and it sort of smells gentle. The texture is what makes this stand head and shoulders above the rest, it is not exactly a gel but it has that almost silicony serum feel (minus the nasty peeling as this absorbs completely and is a seed oil). It leaves my skin so super soft, and is such an amazing base for makeup. Chia oil is a great source of Omega 3, which is quiet rare in plant based oils. For the skin it means keeping moisture in, prevention of wrinkles, and possibly reversing some of the lesser, faint wrinkles that are just starting to form. Omega 3 fatty acids can also play a role in decreasing skin damage from UV light. The anti-inflammatory properties mean that it is extremely soothing for sensitive skin. Peach kernel oil is rich in vitamin A and E, giving you a topical antioxidant boost to help fight free radicals. Rosemary promotes a healthy, even glow and is wonderful at bringing balance to the skin. Amaranth increases skin suppleness and elasticity. Frankincense calms the mind. This serum is a serious power house, but all of the ingredients are really gentle on the skin, it is one of those rare products that delivers results without being aggressive. I love using it during the day as it feels so light, and is readily absorbed by my skin. The one thing that I do have to constantly remember, is to shake the bottle. The bottle is a dark blue glass jar with their customary hand printed label (that I absolutely adore), however it is a fairly wide bottle neck. On the one hand I appreciate the absence of a plastic dropper or the rubber ended pipette, from a recycling perspective it is great, but yes you guessed it, their have been a few oops moments, when far too much product came out. Doing my imaginary scales impression, I still like the bottle for it's simplicity (even though it took some getting used to). I would say it took me about two weeks of daily use to start seeing the results from this serum, so no it was not love at first use, but one can not argue with smooth even looking skin, and frankly one does not want to.

Raw veggie cocktail face & body cream*. When I was planning my very first order, this was the product I was most drawn to. When I examined the ingredient list more closely, I noticed that it had jojoba (which can make my facial skin unhappy depending on concentration), and that was the only reason that I never got it for my personal use (however I did get it for a rather special Swedish babe). Since this product is designed to be used on both face and body, I knew that I at least would be able to use it as body moisturiser. After cautiously trying it on my face, I have been pleasantly surprised that there were no issues, so I can use this product pretty much head to toe. All Gaia face & body creams are a mixture of shea butter and other oils. There are different grades of shea butter, grade A is the one I would personally choose to use at is the only unrefined one, that has all the vitamins intact and is truly raw. This is exactly the type of shea butter used in this product, and is a wonderful source of topical antioxidants in its own right, but for my facial skin it is not an ingredient that I can use by itself. The veggie cocktail however has been an absolute marvel. Shea butter is whipped up with evening primrose, carrot, jojoba and pumpkin oils. Evening primrose oil contains high level of GLA, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Carrot oil used here is a macerated carrier oil (dried small pieces of carrot are mixed with another oil and left for a few weeks to infuse before separating the carrot from the oil), it is probably what gives this cream such a cheerful sunshine yellow colour. For the skin it is full of Betta-Carotene, which helps to repair UV damage, and generally is a wonderful oil for healthy skin. The last ingredient is Pumpkin seed oil. As someone who used to battle spots on the daily, pumpkin oil is a treasure (but it really should always be part of a blend even though it is a carrier oil), it is high in linoleic acid, full of antioxidants and Zinc, which is often deficient in acne sufferers. Texture of this product is more of a soft butter, that melts instantly on contact with skin. I love it as my morning moisturiser, and on those few occasions that I get complements on my skin, it always seems to be on the days that I used veggie cocktail. I was convinced that I would not like it nearly as much as I did the argan & sea buckthorn version of the cream, but now I may be liking it slightly more. It makes a huge difference to my skin tone and the overall texture of my skin is just so much smoother, with pores appearing smaller. The cream itself is also a little lighter and since my skin tends towards oily, I feel like veggie cocktail might be a better overall choice, even though I think that both creams are superb.

Gorgeous Foot & Leg Balm. This has to be the priciest foot product I have ever purchased and the most exotic one. The melting buttery texture is very much like that of the face and body creams, but a little more emollient, a little richer. It is very concentrated, and since I don't really have dry skin on my legs (the soles of my feet can get occasionally dry however), I tend to need very little of the product. This is a mixture of shea butter, cocoa butter, safflower, sesame, hemp seed, rosehip, coconut, carrot, sunflower and sweet almond oils, horse chestnut and calendula, with essential oils of fennel, tea tree, lime, lemongrass, lavender and peppermint. As you can see there is a lot going on in this product to make sure that your legs and feet are in tip top condition. It takes care of the dryness, has strong anti-fungal properties, absolutely marvellous for tired feet, and horse chestnut is a traditional remedy for leg vein health. This is my absolute holy grail foot cream, I am very fussy when it comes to texture and scent of my foot care and I don't really like to try lots of different products on my feet. The only reason I even purchased this, is because my previous favourite was discontinued. The balm sinks in beautifully, gives me enough slip for a massage, but does not leave any greasy residue. It genuinely makes my leg muscles feel better after a long day. The scent is light peppermint with a hint of citrus, and most importantly during summer it kept me from getting any foot rashes.

What I love about Gaia is the commitment to creating gorgeous products, what is inside the pots and blue coloured bottles is absolute perfection (based on the products that I have tried so far). Of course what is inside is what counts the most, yet a shallow part of me wants my beauty products to look good on the shelf too. These absolutely do, with their hand printed labels, that can be personalised at no extra cost. The commitment to recycling is more than admirable. In a few weeks time I will have 5 empty containers and I will be sending these back to Gaia in exchange for a 30ml product of my choice. To top it off, a percentage of all sales is donated to select charities. All of these factors make me really proud to have Gaia products in my home, but of course what will keep me coming back is how happy my skin has been since I have started using them. These products are made to order, so you need to allow a few days for that before they will be shipped. The shelf life is fairly short 3-4 months after purchase (the expiry date is on the label), and it is not something that you can keep in the cupboard for the future, it is a use it or loose it type thing.

*So some of the products in this post have been a gift from the brand founder, however there was not an expectation of a review. No one has been running after me with a baseball bat to make me write this post, all the opinions are my own, honest and based on personal experience. Tested on my own skin for months.


12 comments:

  1. this really sounds like a phenomenal brand! I also find myself hoarding an entire line when I become a bit attached to the concepts behind a brand haha! Definitely going to check them out when I'm low on some skincare!

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    1. Ha ha glad I am not alone! I hope you like them if you do end up getting something!

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  2. Between you and Jana and I am sold on this brand, I do however have such a full cabinet at the moment that they would not get used for months so I am going to use up some of my stash and treat myself for my birthday! Xx

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    1. Ana, I'm so excited for you to try this brand!! :) xx

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    2. I have a sneaky suspicioun that you will really like it! Yeah you really need to use the products straight away they have a much shorter life span! Xx

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  3. I'd love to try Gaia Creams! This brand sounds amazing.

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    1. I hope you do! Really can't say enough good things!

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  4. Beautiful post and I love the shot!<3 You know I love this brand, it's so gorgeous and it just works! I love Anna's formulations<3 xx

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    1. Thank you! Yes you and I seem to be equally smitten by gaia ;) xx

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  5. i was sold on the Chia Peach oil and then you convinced me with the Veggie Blend as well! I really want to try Gaia out, but not sure if shipping to US will be costly?

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    1. Lol you know I'm here to tempt! Had a look at their shipping to US and it is about $11 xx

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  6. You speak so highly of this brand, I need to try!!

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