The ultimate face balm showdown… May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon // Mahalo The Rare Indigo // Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Karat Gold Restorative Balm

Review of May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, Mahalo The Rare Indigo and Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Kara Gold Restorative Balm

Face balms are my newest skin addiction. I might love them even more than facial oils because I love the feeling of it melting under the heat of my fingers. Today I have three of the natural skincare world’s most popular face balms to share with you, some of them have reached absolute cult favourite status.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (US$180 for 50mL, or $3.60 per mL) is one of the internet’s most popular skin balms. When May Lindstrom increased her product prices, this was the one that caused the most outrage. I was first introduced to The Blue Cocoon when I made my first May Lindstrom order where I received a very handsomely sized sample of this beautiful blue balm. It contains blue tansy, a prized blue oil that is fantastic at calming sensitivity, irritation, and redness. The Blue Cocoon is known to treat everything from dehydration to acne to congestion and everything in between.

The Blue Cocoon is my number 1 to go skin treatment for when I have any kind of skin irregularity, for example if my skin is feeling extra flakey, or once a few weeks ago when I was trying out a new moisturizer and my skin became completely congested and dry at the same time (how does that work, right?). Just two nights of this magical balm and my skin had returned 90% back to normal. In addition, this product smells AMAZING. It smells like a dream, as in full of beautiful light botanicals that come together to create the most incredible experience ever. I can’t stress how much I love this smell, and one whiff of this smells just calms me down and releases all of my worries and stresses. The scent lasts for at least a few minutes, lingering up for a few hours on the skin, so if you’re not a fan of it, you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Since the first time trying this, I’ve gone through one sample jar, and also purchased a full size. I keep a sample jar with me on all of my travels because it is so good at calming airplane air.

Mahalo The Rare Indigo (US$110 for 30mL, or 3.67 per mL) is another internet cult favourite. It’s the one that is a purple-ish in colour. I received a generous sample of this from a friend of mine who is also obsessed with artisanal natural skincare brands like May Lindstrom. She was curious to see my thoughts of The Rare Indigo when compared to The Blue Cocoon, as she prefers The Rare Indigo. It uses a base of hemp seed oil, which is rich in protein and omega acids, and of course it also contains indigo extract, which is where the product derives its name and its beautiful purple-blue hue. In addition to the beautiful essential oils, it also contains coenzyme Q10 (which is also present in May Lindstrom’s Youth Dew but not The Blue Cocoon), and vitamin C.

After a few nights of using this, honestly I still prefer The Blue Cocoon. I could tell my skin had an immediate glow effect after using The Blue Cocoon, which was slightly lacking in The Rare Indigo. I also felt that it wasn’t as healing or moisturizing as The Blue Cocoon. In terms of scent, it is a lot less floral compared to The Blue Cocoon, with a light minty hemp smell. If you’re not a fan of florals (like in The Blue Cocoon), you may want to look into this one. It does still have a light aromatherapy effect on me.

Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Kara Gold Restorative Balm review

Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Karat Gold Restorative Balm (US$160 for 50mL or $3.20 per mL) is one of my newest discoveries. I first learned of this brand through Instagram, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the products are also mixed in small batches with love. The 24 Karat Gold Restorative Balm is one of their most popular products, containing Argan, which is rich in Vitamin E and essential lipids that nourish skin and encourages more resilient skin while healing sun damage; marula, which is high in Vitamin C to help repair skin, brighten age spots, and firm; colloidal gold, which promotes firmness and elasticity whiles improving circulation and carrying nutrients down into the dermal layers of skin for deeper absorption; pomegranate – Improves skin’s elasticity and provides a powerful dose of antioxidants; seabuckthorn, which is high in vitamins and phyto-nutrients for rapid cellular renewal and faster healing of acne, scaring, and hyper-pigmentation; arnica, a potent anti-inflammatory that helps soothe the skin and increases healing; and rose, which soothes troubled skin and stabilizes emotions. The balm is a pretty gold colour, which looks rich and luxurious.

My first impression is that I really do not like the way it smells. I reached out to Marissa, founder of Precious Skin Elixirs to inquire about the scent, and she says it comes from rose essential oil, seakbuckthorn berry and cranberry seed oil. That sounds pretty good but for some reason it translates to smelling like Chinese medicine under my nose, like a very herbal medicinal scent. What I do love about this balm though is that is quickly transforms into a beautiful oil upon my touch, which just melts into the skin. I use half a pea size for my face and neck, and it’s fluid enough to cover that entire area. It absorbs very quickly, and I do feel like my skin is hydrated, calmed, and less sensitive after a few nights of using this. Will it ever replace my beloved The Blue Cocoon though? Unlikely.

Finally, in the order of preference, my loves are definitely May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, and the Precious Skin Elixirs 24Karat Luxe Restorative Balm. I don’t really understand the hype behind the Mahalo Rare Indigo, but I will keep trying it out to see  if I get an epiphany. Price-wise, the Precious Skin Elixirs is the most affordable – it was actually the same price of The May Lindstrom before she had a big price increase. Mahalo looks like it’s the most affordable, but you get 2/5 less product compared to the others. If I had to recommend just one balm, you need to pick up The Blue Cocoon.

Ingredients

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon ingredients: *Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, ***Butyrospermun Parkii (Shea) Butter, ***Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, ***Sclerocarya Birrea (Virgin Marula) Oil, Calodendrum Capense (Yangu) Oil, *Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, *Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, **Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, **Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil, *Vanilla Planifolia Co2 Total Essential Oil, Schisandra Sphenanthera Co2 Fruit Extract, *Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Ravensara Aromatica Oil.

* Certified Organic

** Wild Harvested

*** Fair Trade, Raw & Unrefined

Mahalo The Rare Indigo ingredients: cannabis sativa (hemp seed) oil*, astrocaryum murmuru butter*, orbignya oleifera (babassu) butter*, sclerocarya birrea (virgin marula) oil*, vitis vinifera (grape seed) oil*, camellia japonica (thea seed) oil*, aleurites moloccans (kukui) oil*, euterpe oleracea (acai) oil*, in-house biodynamic proprietary infusion (astragalus, chamomile, comfrey, gromwell, hibiscus, indigo)*, polygonum tinctorium (indigo) extract, achillea millefolium (yarrow) oil*, matricaria chamomile (chamomile) oil*, helichrysum italicum (immortelle) oil*, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) oil*, citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot fcf) oil*^, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil*, boswellia frereana (frankincense) oil*, rosa damascena (rose) oil*, ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10), daucus carota (carrot seed) CO2 extract*, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C ester), non-gmo mixed tocopherols, vanilla planifolia (vanilla) oil, rosmarinus officials (rosemary antioxidant) CO2 extract, iris pallida (orris butter) oil
*clean ingredients: organic + local and/or wild harvested (when available)
^Bergamot fcf is free from bergapten, it has no photosensitizing effects

Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Kara Gold Restorative Balm ingredients: *Vitellaria nilotica (shea butter), **Argania spinosa (argan) oil, **Sclerocarya birrea (marula) oil, *Borago officinalis (borage) oil, *Punica granatum (pomegranate seed) oil, *Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry seed) oil, *Hippophae rhamnoides (seabuckthorn berry), *Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Colloidal gold, *Calendula officinalis (calendula), *Arnica montana (arnica), *Rosa damascena (rose). *certified organic / **wildcrafted

Review of May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, Mahalo The Rare Indigo and Precious Skin Elixirs 24 Kara Gold Restorative Balm

I received the Precious Skin Elixirs 24K Restorative Balm for review consideration, May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon was a sample I received with a previous purchase, and the Mahalo Indigo Balm was a sample my friend gave me; all opinions are my own.

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Winter skin rescue essentials, featuring Primavera Skin, L’Occitane, Kat Burki, and more

This winter in Vancouver has been absolutely brutal – we almost never get snow here but this year we had five separate cases of snowfall and blizzards. With the arctic cold air, also came the dry, itchy, irritated skin. Here are some products I’ve been using lately to help soothe and heal my winter skin.

Primavera Revitalizing Cream Cleanser review

Daytime routine

Primavera Revitalizing Cream Cleanser

The Primavera Revitalizing Cream Cleanser (C$38.50 for 100mL) is my go-to morning cleanser. It contains beautiful hydrating oils such as sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, rose oil, as well as nourishing shea butter. I also love that it contains lactic acid to help gently exfoliate any pillow-residue / dead skin cells off my skin before applying skincare and makeup. It is ultra gentle, massaging wonderfully into my skin and rinsing off completely. I also love this because you can use it on damp skin (some cream cleansers require that you use it on dry skin and then emulsify later with water), which makes it easy for those lazy morning cleanses.

A little bit goes a long way, I’ve been using mine for two months and I’ve only used up 1/3 of the bottle. I normally use two pumps, but in an effort to use it up more quickly, I’ve started using three pumps. Two pumps is more than enough though. It smells wonderful, but that’s also where my major issue lies with this product – fragrance (parfum) lies halfway down the ingredients list, even before rosa damascena flower oil, which is really disappointing from an ingredients point of view. I will still use this though, because it does cleanse, soften, and hydrate my skin, all in one.

You can pick up Primavera at Petal & Post.

For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules GHK-Cu Moisturizing Serum

The biggest mistake that you can make when you have dry skin is not replenishing your skin of water, and only replenishing the oil. It’s important to have balance, both oil and water content should be at a happy medium in order to have comfortable skin. I use a deeply nourishing facial oil at night, but during the day, I make sure to replenish my skin’s water via a lighter, but still heavily hydrating facial serum. The For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Serum (C$68 for 30mL) is a light-as-water serum that just plumps my skin out and refills my overnight heater dehydrated skin with a heavy dose of water. I only use one pump and it’s enough to cover my entire face. It’s also a great pre-makeup serum because it absorbs so quickly, making my morning base prep so much easier.

You can purchase For Beloved One at T&T Supermarket locations across Canada.

Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb review

belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb

My favourite day-time moisturizer during the winter is the belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (C$47 for 50mL). This lightweight gel-cream moisturizer applies very thinly but veils my skin in a heavy dose of water. I love this during the day because it absorbs so quickly while relieving dryness, flakes, and redness. I like to use a heavier / more emollient sunscreen during the winter, and the lightweight moisturizer layers perfectly underneath. It also creates a great base for makeup, as it leaves my skin looking and feeling smoother. On certain days I end up using more than my usual dose of moisturizer, but it never leaves my skin greasy. The only negative is that it doesn’t contain any built in SPF, otherwise it’d be even more perfect!

belif is available at The Face Shop locations across Canada and online.

Night-time routine

L'Occitane 5% Shea Foaming Cleanse and Kat Burki Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum review

L’Occitane 5% Shea Foaming Cleanser

My night-time cleanser is the L’Occitane 5% Shea Foaming Cleanser (C$28 for 125mL), a new product introduced this January. It is a very gentle foaming cleanser, lathering up into a soft foam. It removes light makeup, and leaves my skin feeling clean but never stripped – it is one of those rare foaming cleansers that actually leaves my skin feeling super soft! If you’re a lover of foaming cleansers like me, and despite having dry skin, can never wean off the foaming cleanser, this is the ONE for you. The major ingredient in this is 5% shea oil, which really does help to protect and nourish the skin. I can see myself repurchasing this, and also purchasing it for my mom to use.

You can get L’Occitane products at L’Occitane boutiques and Murale stores across Canada.

Kat Burki Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum

The Kat Burki Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum (C$182 for 30mL) is an aloe vera leaf juice-based hydrating and anti-aging serum that is created using Kat Burki’s signature cold pressed methods, and contains her famous KB5™ Complex. It also contains rose hip seed oil, and stable forms of Vitamins C, B, A, and E. Aloe vera and glycerin provide intense hydration, while everything else helps to balance and brighten the skin, while minimizing future lines, wrinkles and the look of pores. While it is pricey, a little bit goes a very long way – I only use one pump on my face and neck each time.

Kat Burki is available at Murale, Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutique Online, and Nordstrom locations in Canada.

Farmacy Eye Dew review

Farmacy Eye Dew

The Farmacy Eye Dew (C$49 for 15mL) has been my go-to winter eye cream for the last little while. It has a gel-cream texture that feels lightweight, but is still quite emollient in terms of spreadability. Supposedly it is great for dark circles, dullness and elasticity, but I haven’t really noticed much improvement in those areas but it is very hydrating without being heavy. Since moving into my late 20s, I’ve really noticed that my under eye area is dryer and that there are more lines, so sad. This product really helps to keep those lines at bay, without giving my undereye area milia. A little goes a long way, so this 15mL size really lasts a very long time.

You can pick up your Farmacy products from Sephora.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

I can’t be writing a winter skin rescue story without including the cult favourite May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (US$160 for 50mL). This is a cult classic for a reason – it does an incredible job at soothing redness, irritation, and general weathered skin. I find that it is actually not the most hydrating facial oil unless you seriously pile it on, but the blue tansy oil does a fantastic job at calming any redness that I may have. I don’t use this every day, but rather on the days or nights when I feel like my skin is overbeaten. Did I mention even though this is basically 100% oil, but you can use this in your eye area? It doesn’t leave milia, and really helps to soothe the area around my eyes as well. Works on lips too!

Pick up your May Lindstrom from the May Lindstrom online shop!

Hand & body

L'Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm review

L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm

The L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm (C$40 for 150mL) is the newest member of the L’Occitane Shea Butter body care family. It contains a whopping 25% shea butter formula in a beautiful light balm texture. My hands are usually the first to show dryness in winter. Wait who am I kidding, my hands are dry all the time… but it’s especially bad in the winter! I’ve been getting cracks in my hands and also any cuts just don’t heal because the dryness pulls the skin apart. I’ve been slathering this on religiously since I received it, always applying a very thick layer right before bed. I was worried that the heavy shea butter content would leave my skin feeling super greasy, but it actually completely absorbs! It also leaves a soft, silky protective film on top of my skin to prevent moisture from escaping. While I feel like my hands are just marginally more hydrated in the morning, I’ve actually gotten to the point where I don’t have to continuously apply hand cream overnight.

Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion

In addition to dry skin on my face, the rest of  my body is also dry and scaly. The Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion is my secret to deeper body exfoliation and also allowing other more nourishing products to penetrate deeper into my skin. I use this product twice a week, allow it to dry on my skin, then layer on another, thicker body cream (currently I’m using The Body Shop’s Spa of the World line, so much love for this). My elbows, legs, and knees are the worst when it comes to dehydration, and this really helps to remove that top layer of dead skin.

Pick up Reversa at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations near you.

Some of the products featured were courtesy of PR for review consideration, others were purchased with my own money; all opinions are my own.