When I was about 12 years old my Mother took me in the bathroom to show me how to wash my face. I started my period that same year and she said because my body was changing, so would the skin on my face. The better I took care of it, the better chance I had at dodging the preverbal teenage spots. She carried in her hands the 2 products that would become my skincare routine for the next 6 years; Noxzema cleanser and Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. For me there was nothing enjoyable about the routine, splash your face with warm water, work the Noxzema around and splash it off with another round. Pat dry with a near by towel and apply the Cinique moisturizer. I was down with the whole concept of caring for my skin and I was certainly worried about the possible lurking breakouts but the actual practice was less than perfect. My skin was stinging, dry and tight after the Noxzema and I had to race to get that moisturizer on and by the end my nightgown was usually soaking wet from the water running down my arms and dripping off my elbows. Before I began the whole debacle my skin felt fine from its natural oils and so slowly over time my efforts wavered. I was one of the lucky ones who never really had problem skin in my teenage years and I think the saving grace there was genetics not the Noxzema!
So when I started formulating the Olive + M line all the little details that add up to an experience as you care for you skin were top of mind for me. I spent some time and thought through what kind of experience I wanted to have while performing this sacred ritual of skin care and ultimately self care.
Cleansing with oil, it’s the way forward!
We begin with the Cleansing Oil. We are so grateful to have so many women in our community tell us this is their favorite cleansing oil ever, we would have to agree. If you are new to washing your face with oil the first and most important principal to understand is oil dissolves oil.
Olive + M’s Cleansing Oil is packed with cold-pressed, plant-based oils that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, omegas and amino acids. Anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce redness and irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. And since olive oil has antibacterial properties, it helps kill bacteria that causes acne. Bye-bye blemishes!
The cleansing routine is preformed using a warm wet washcloth to wet your face and open your pores. Using a washcloth eliminates the water running down your arms and off your elbows but it also allows an opportunity to rest your face in the hot towel for a moment and sink into the routine. Then a gentle massage with the oil draws impurities to the surface without striping your face of its beneficial oils or affecting the skins microbiome. A guasha tool is nice to use in this step to take that self care massage up a notch and really stimulate the blood flow as you cleanse. Sometimes I also like to incorporate my Clarisonic if I'm feeling particularly layered with environmental pollutants from the day. This whole experience is blanketed with a heady aroma of cardamon, bergamot and lavender to assist in that home spa experience. Finish by removing the oil from you skin with your washcloth. What you are left with is a bright, even toned completion with enhanced elasticity and a dewy glow. Superb beginning!
Somedays You just need a little extra exfoliation, meet the Face Polish
This formula contains grains of Himalayan sea salt and gluten free oat powder to physically sluff away that top layer of unwanted dead skin cells while pulling impurities to the surface. The Face Polish combats dull dry skin leaving you with a new layer of not only clean skin but velvety soft, radiant skin. I like to use the Face Polish about twice a week personally. I take a lot of baths and one of my favorite practices is to put the Face Polish on and slip into a warm bath. I leave it on for 20 minutes or so while I soak in the warm water and meditate. The aromatherapy in this formula is soothing and I imagine my skin saying thank you. My senses are in a state of ecstasy with the warm water swirling around my body and the fragrance infiltrating my meditation. After I have transitioned out of my rejuvenating altered state it’s time to massage the polish around my face to exfoliate and then remove the excess with my washcloth. Heavenly experience and results! If you don’t have time for all that a simple routine is to use the Face Polish after you have cleansed with the cleansing oil as a 2 step cleanse on those days when your skin is feeling extra dry and dull.
The OG formula, The Face Oil
Next comes the Matriarch of the brand and the reason I am here writing this blog, the Face Oil! Oh how we all love the Face Oil! As the founder of the brand I have never experienced being out of the Face Oil but I hear it can be quite unsettling!
Formulated not only to renew + repair but also to prevent + protect this formula is easily absorbed and leaves your skin dewy, radiant and velvety soft. We nailed it with the aroma in this one. Before the pandemic when we would be at a trade show I always opened a conversation with a buyer with the face oil. As I began to tell them about the formula I would open the bottle and apply a few drops to the back or their hand. The look on their face as they felt the formula and then smelled it was one of sheer delight and the deal was done!
I apply the Face Oil morning and night and sometimes even mid day with a spritz of a hydrosol if I need a little re-fresh. This golden elixir does a great job of moisturizing while healing and repairing the outer layer of skin to prevent moisture loss. It contains Vitamin K, E and A (or retinol) that helps stimulate the production of new skin cells and collagen, which can smooth wrinkles. This formula works great as a makeup primer setting your makeup for the day. Or if you’re into naked face, the anti-inflammatory properties in the oils calm the skin and even the tone leaving you with a dewy, youthful complexion to face the day. Desert Island formula for sure!
The small but mighty Eye Serum
Celebrity makeup artist Campbell Ritchie (links here to her and maybe our blog post about her?) says she cannot live without the eye serum personally and professionally. What a huge accolade for this small but mighty formula!
As we age our estrogen levels begin to dip and one of the effects of lower estrogen is more obvious expression lines. Olive + M’s Eye Serum contains Vitamin A (or retinol) that helps stimulate the production of new skin cells and collagen, which can smooth wrinkles. It also contains avocado oil, which helps the skin improve elasticity, retain moisture and treat age spots. Camillia seed oil was added to the formula because, being derived from the green tea plant, it has naturally occurring caffeine which can constrict blood vessels aiding in the reduction of dark circles or puffiness around the eyes. The cucumber oil in the formula is soothing around the eye and together with the neroli essential oil they create the most intoxicating floral fragrance, unusual and inviting.
This formula can be used morning and night for daily maintenance. But here’s a little trick for those of us who like to burn the candle at both ends. A morning massage around the orbital bone with the eye serum can press out excess fluid from too much indulgence the night before. Whatever the motivation, a little goes a long way with this one so one drop shared between your two middle fingers is all you need. Gently press the serum along the orbital bone working your way around the eye. A drop on the upper lip can help ease expression lines in this area and apply directly to the lips for a subtle glow, pucker up!
Antioxidant Balm is everywhere repair!
We call this little stick everywhere repair and boy is she a cult favorite! There are those in the community that definitely cannot live without this one. These folks buy multiples at a time to keep in handy places like their gym bag, bedside table and purse.
And now for a short science lesson! Oxidation is the process that produces skin-damaging free radicals. Free radical damage can occur due to sun exposure, pollution, or radiation. Free radicals break down collagen, which helps skin maintain elasticity and a youthful appearance. It gets worse, free radical damage can show on your skin as wrinkles and sunspots. Two words. No. Fun. Like the name implies this formula is packed with antioxidants that help to combat free radicals to minimize damage to the skin. This balm is great for hands, neck, cuticles-just about anywhere the sun touches! Use the antioxidant balm with face or body products to seal in moisture or by itself to beef up your skin’s protective barrier.
I hope reading this has inspired you! I hope I have encouraged you to explore a deeper relationship with your skincare routine and set the mood for your very own home spa experience. After all it’s not just about washing your face but instead it’s about cultivating a mind body connection and enjoying life’s little moments of peace and tranquility when we carve out time for them.
PS if you buy our Face Love Routine you get a free Game Changer Set!