Personal Care

Honestly Beautiful

Winter is upon us here in the U.S.! We even had our first batch of snow in the D.C. area this weekend. I’m doing everything I can to prepare my mind and body for the frigid weather ahead.  This includes daily meditation, keeping up my exercise routine, and incorporating more nourishing and moisturizing products into my skincare routine.

Natural healing

I have to admit that I’ve never had great skin. Even at its best, my skin tends to be dry and blotchy. To make matters worse, I’ve been told that I may have an early form of rosacea, which makes your cheeks appear to be red and flushed. With all of that in mind, I’ve been on a year-long journey to discover the products that work best for me. While I embrace minimalism in most aspects of my life, I’ve actually discovered that the Korean skincare routine works pretty well for me. For those who aren’t familiar with it, this is a routine that generally involves five to ten different steps for cleansing and moisturizing. I used to believe that it was just a ploy by beauty companies to get consumers to buy more products. If it weren’t for the rave reviews of my trusted friend Tatiana (the same friend who introduced me to Azizi Life), I probably never would have pursued this regimen.

Some of the essentials I use in my morning skincare routine.

My one main complaint about the Korean skincare routine is that many of the products I’ve found in Korea are not as natural as I would like. I get a bit dizzy when I read the dozens of ingredients (most of which I can’t pronounce) on the back of the containers that I use. To that end, I’ve been on the hunt for products that are effective as they are natural and environmentally sustainable. This is easier said than done! That said, there are a handful of items that I love and have been using consistently, especially as the temperatures plummet. One of my new favorites is Lxmi.

Beneath the surface

Lxmi – named after the four-armed Hindu goddess, Lakshmi – is one of the first skincare brands that seems to be as natural and socially conscious as it is effective. Lxmi is committed to using pure, natural ingredients. The brand’s signature ingredient – nilotica – is a nut that has 25% more essential fatty acids than shea butter. Found in Uganda, Lxmi’s signature form of nilotica butter is sourced from the Nile River Valley. The brand’s “signature” form of nilotica is cold-pressed by hand into butter instead of oil pressed in a lab. In addition to its high degree of fatty acids that are great for moisturizing, nilotica also naturally contains allantoin (which promotes cell regeneration) and vitamin A (which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines). I love that most of the ingredients are actually safe enough to eat!

Some of my evening skincare products.

Like the goddess Lakshmi pictured above, Lxmi is committed to receiving and giving – receiving the wonderful benefits of nilotica and giving back to the community that produces this moisturizing butter. For this reason, Lxmi’s supply chained works closely with non-profit collectives. The brand’s promise is that, for each harvest of the primary ingredient, producers earn three times more than average local wages. As I noted in last week’s blog post, women entrepreneurs do not earn anywhere nearly as much as their male counterparts. Providing a fair income for these business women is not charity, but a means of ensuring that they are able to support themselves and their families. Unlike any other beauty brand I’ve seen, you can track the sourcing and the payments associated with your specific product. For full-sized items, there is a number printed on the inside of the box. By plugging in the number on Lxmi’s site, you can trace the exact date and location of harvest as well as wages paid to the harvesters. For the specific product I own, I learned that it provided more than $14,000 in wages for the workers involved in the supply chain in Uganda; that it was harvested in the early part of 2016 and fully packaged in August 2016. Through this tracker, you can even “meet” the women who were involved in the product itself.

Personalized skincare the natural way

For my winter beauty routine, I’ve incorporated Lxmi’s Crème du Nil (Cream of the Nile) into my morning skincare routine. In addition to nilotica, the product also contains hibiscus flower acids to exfoliate skin’s surface and vanilla, a powerful antioxidant. My evening routine goes a little something like this:

  1. I double cleanse using Biossance’s Cleansing Oil to remove make-up, followed by another cream-based cleanser.
  2. Following cleansing, I prepare my skin for what’s to come using May Coop Raw Sauce, which is a toner, essence, and emulsion in one.
  3. Depending on my skin’s needs, I use some combination of serums. My current favorites are from Drunk Elephant, which has a nice combination of day and evening serums.
  4. Depending on which combination of serum’s I’ve used, I moisturize using Lxmi’s Crème du Nil or Drunk Elephant’s Whipped Cream.
  5. Finally, I top everything off with two drops of pure squalene oil from Biossance.
  6. Throughout the week, I may go through different kinds of masks, including a sheet mask, sleeping mask, or a targeted treatment mask.
Some of my current travel essentials.

Aside from Lxmi, I’ve linked a number of products above that I’ve found to be natural and effective. I love that most of them have a small number of plant-based ingredients and seem to work well for my skin. For the Crème du Nil in particular, I find that it has a thick, but soft texture. It applies smoothly and quickly. I find that it gives me that “inner glow” that everyone is after and it maintains its moisture throughout the day. I find that my makeup glides on even smoother than normal after I’ve applied it as a base layer. I love that I can also travel with it since the container meets TSA requirements.

If you decide to use any of Lxmi’s products, I would love to hear what you think. Using this code, you can have 20% off the items of your choice. I hope you love it as much as I do! If you have any other special products that you swear by, please drop me a line and let me know what they are. I would love to hear from you.



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