Hi everyone! After difficult 2 months I feel like I'm finally getting back interested in beauty and blogging. I have the most wonderful, sweet kitten running around my flat as I'm writing this. You'll see her peeking in my future posts! Nothing will replace my old cat I lost in April, but things are getting easier for me. The Summer is coming and my heart is filled with some much happiness, love and all those fuzzy warm thoughts.
Last Fall I was fortunate to get the Luxe Botanics discovery set to try and the Marula serum became an instant favorite. Just the scent was enough to send me to my happy place, but the instant moisturisation really did the trick for me. After Luxe Botanics officially launched this Spring I requested the full size for review and was kindly provided a bottle. I can't wait to share my thoughts with you!
About Luxe Botanics
Luxe Botanics is a new indie skincare brand founded by Jené Roestorf. Born in South Africa, Jené's heart is filled with love for both nature and science. After studying biotechnology in Australia and working a nine-year career with pharmaceutical MNCs she decided to pursue her dreams as an entrepreneur, bringing the nurturing botanicals to the modern woman (and man) while giving back to the communities that harvest the key ingredients. I had the pleasure to talk with Jené and ask her some questions, look out for those in my next post!!
Marula Hydrating Serum
The Marula serum is a moisturising oil serum, packed in a see-thorough glass bottle with a pump. Luxe Botanics works with Buy1GIVE1 to give back to women in the African communities. The serum is 30ml/1oz retails $70.00 (~62.30€). Also available as a sample size for $4.00 (~3.55€). Available on Luxe Botanics.
There are ingredients that get me excited (such as squalane, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid just to name a few..) and oils in general are one of them. Having dry skin, my skin naturally lacks the extra oil and I feel the need to nourish it externally. I've talked about my love affair with facial oils in my previous posts, but not all oils are created equal. I admit I'm quite picky and want nothing less than excellent in quality in oils, as well fast-absorbing, moisturising and nurturing with antioxidants, yet non-comedogenic. Marula oil ticks all the boxes.
What makes Marula oil special, it contains high levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, tocopherols (Vitamin E), sterols (lipds), essential amino acids and flavonoids as well as essential fatty acids: Omega 9 (oleic) and Omega 6 (linoleic). These fatty acids moisturise the skin deeply, nourish and heal while improving the skin elasticity. Fatty acids can also reduce inflammation and redness, even promote wound healing. Improving the skin elasticity can reduce the appearance of fine lines, helping to promote more youthful, glowing and overall healthy looking skin. Antioxidants not only help to protect from environmental damage such as pollution and UV light, but make the Marula oil very stable.
Adding an oil to your routine can also help reducing transepidermal water loss - the natural water loss that happens via skin's epidermis (topmost layer). External factors such as temperature, air conditioning and UV light may promote this water loss, resulting in dry and rough looking skin. I think I'm doing a dedicated post on this subject as I'm sure many of us struggle with dehydration.
The Luxe Botanics Marula oil comes from the marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea) in Kenya, wild-harvested and processed by the local Maasai women. Marula oil is extracted from the kernel, which means the soft, edible part of a nut (think about macadamia nut). Harvesting and processing the oil locally provides these women with an independent source of income, resulting in wide community benefits (read more here).
Sclerocarya birrea (Marula) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Daucus carota (Carrot) Seed Oil, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Ribes nigrum (Blackcurrant) Seed Oil, Rosa canina (Rosehip) CO2 Extract, Citrus paradisi (Red Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Essential Oil, Citrus reticulata var. blanco (Tangerine) Essential Oil, Citrus aurantifolia (Lime) Essential Oil, Propanediol*†. (*Certified Organic †Plant/ Natural Origin)
The bulk of the serum is Marula oil, followed by other nourishing and antioxidant rich oils such as jojoba, carrot, cranberry and blackcurrant seed oils. There are some essential oils including red grapefruit, lavender, tangerine and lime, but I feel the serum isn't too heavy on the essential oils. Still, if you're very reactive I suggest patch testing first. Luxe Botanics uses essential oil concentrations of less than 0.4% in all their skincare products, so they're not phototoxic but perfectly safe to use on the face.
Using the Marula Hydrating Serum
I use 1-2 pumps of the beautiful golden serum, gently massaging and finally pressing it onto my skin. The Marula Hydrating Serum feels light, but has some body to it. It absorbs fast without making the skin look like a grease ball, but I can feel a tiny bit of the oil when touching my face.
I've tested the Marula alone and as a part of my longer routines, both working excellent for me. Thanks to the light nature of the oil, I have no problem wearing it during the day under my cream and sunscreen. I do feel it's moisturising enough on its own if I'm tired and can't bother to slather anything else on my face. Still, with my dry skin and love for skincare rituals I prefer to go all out with my routine and apply a hydrating toner/lotion/essence and a hydrating serum first - using the Marula as my face oil step. Adding an oil on the top of other skincare really locks in all the beneficial ingredients and hydration, making my skin even more plumped-up and bouncy. I love the feeling next morning or in the evening when my skin still feels moisturised and smooth.
As I'm ageing, I'm not only concerned of my dry skin but overall appearance of roughness and fine lines. I haven't seen my wrinkles disappear while using Marula but overall my skin looks and feels balanced, firm and I feel I've had no problems with dry patches (I'm still using a retinoid cream ~3 times per week).
Personally, I find the scent of Marula Hydrating Serum one of the nicest I've encountered in skincare. I've mentioned previously I'm not a huge fan of the scent of lavender (or citrus essential oils), but the Marula serum smells fresh, invigorating and mostly like red grapefruit to me. It's pleasant and balanced pick-me-up without bursting with citrus. However, I think it's worth mentioning the smell is somewhat strong although I don't notice it once applied on my skin.
As you may have guessed I'm quite in love with the Marula Hydrating Serum. FYI I don't blindly love all facial oils I try, but lately I've reviewed many excellent ones. The Marula serum fulfils its promises by moisturising the skin with high fatty acid and antioxidant content, leaving the skin nourished, plump and supple. I know $70 is still an investment, but Luxe Botanics' Marula serum is still on the more affordable side when it comes to luxury facial oils. I also loved the discovery set from the brand: you get a small jar of each product (maybe 3-5 uses), so if you're curious to sample first I can highly recommend the discovery set.
If you're wanting to try Luxe Botanics they've kindly offered my readers -15% off ALL ORDERS! No minimum purchase and can be used again! Just use code: LLxLB15 in your cart (non-affiliate)! Thank you so much Jené, Rachel and LB team. The Camu serum review is coming next week. Take care! xx Laura
The product in this post was generously provided for consideration. Regardless, my opinions are my own honest and unbiased views. The links and promo code are for your convenience and do not contain ads.