Natural Living

By Kim Taylor

Genius lies in taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary, seeing possibilities where others don’t, and pushing the limits of what can be done. Here are offerings from nature that were effectively spun into beauty products with ingenuity. These items were either reinvented, reissued, reimagined, or used creatively to get new results – just so you can be at your most beautiful.

Mineral-rich Volcanic Rocks called Basalt crystals were mined from a rock quarry in Oregon for Basalt Works Rocks!, a body scrub with healing levels of silica, oxygen, magnesium and iron to leave skin healthy, smooth, silky, and clean-feeling. Rocks have always been used for exfoliation, but this product redesigns them in a softer, more appealing manner. www.basaltworks.com

Hardy Olive Stones were ground and mixed with aloe, calendula, and wheat germ oil for another natural scrub from Greece’s Korres. This is a deep pore cleanser with antioxidant properties and skin boosting results. It can and should be used in the oily T-zone area of the face, and can be found at www.sephora.com

Rich Chocolate was put to beauty duty by Origins with their Cocoa Therapy roll-on salve perfume. Silky chocolate is combined with meadowfoam, jojoba, ginger, orange, vanilla, and sweet almond oil for glide-on instant chocolate therapy. The heavenly, warm aroma of chocolate subtly soothes the spirit, while almond oil moisturizes the skin. Found at Origins retail stores for a quick fix.

The Humble Sponge was taken to the next level by Spongeables, a company that infuses bath sponges with beneficial olive oil for the skin, cuts them into whimsical shapes likes hearts and balls, and adds a dash of color for bathtime delights. Sold in spas and at www.spongeables.com this is a fun reinvention with an added beauty benefit.

Balancing Soy was combined with fresh, crisp apples by the Avia skin care line for their Eternal Eye Complex for all skin types. Your skin will feel as fresh as an apple, as smooth as soy silk, and wrinkles will be demurely diminished. Available at www.aviaspa.com. Soy was also reimagined as Effisoy pills for American women who don’t consume as much soy as Japanese women and for the healthy benefits, including the abatement of menopausal symptoms. Effisoy contains the essence of more than 12 ounces of soy in one capsule, which is quite a hardy dose of healthy. www.effisoy.com. Soy was also recently added to Finesse shampoos and conditioners for a baby-soft, sweet-smelling effect on hair.

Red Raspberry was combined with vitamin C in Zia Natural’s Ultimate Toning Mist to revitalize and hydrate cold weather skin and neutralize environmental damage. A spritz a day truly keeps the wrinkles at bay. This is good all year round, so spritz some berries for glowing skin. www.zianatural.com

Aromatic Neroli Water was bottled in blue as an excellent toner to soothe, hydrate and refresh the skin by Kerstin Florian for the Spa Face product line. The bitter orange fragrance of this “aroma akta” is as uplifting as a sunny stroll through Seville, and this product is perfect for those with sensitive skin. Also available in sweet-smelling rose at www.kerstinflorian.com

Skin-Drenching Olive Squalene was used to create the Hydrating Antioxidant Facial Mask by British organic skin care expert Kimberly Sayer. Infused with pure plant oils and extracts from nature and chemical free, this is pure gold for the skin. Her Cellular Extract Eye Lift Gel also utilizes a battalion of olive squalene, linden blossom, and plant extracts to fight the good fight against ravaging effects of time on your behalf. Available at Henri Bendel, Whole Foods Markets, or www.kimberlysayer.com

Healing Olive Leaf extract was harnessed as the secret behind C.O. Bigelow’s eye de-puff gel hydrating formula, which is a perfect antidote for when your eye area feels sensitive and bloated. www.BigelowApothecary.com

Hip Hemp was used in Canada to create the world’s most versatile sun hat, the Tilley hat. It floats, it’s washable and squashable, it’s water and mildew-resistant, the sun’s harmful rays cannot penetrate it, it has a hidden sweat band and key/money pocket, it’s comes in many colors and sizes, it ties in the wind, and other Tilley hat owners will hail you on the beach, you’ll be instantly initiated into a global secret society of satisfied hat owners. They could even be a tad smug, but for good reason. www.tilley.com

Shining Liquid Crystals and their reflective qualities were designed to shine in Colorescience’s Crystalscience Lip Serum, and they also enhance the healthy effects of vitamins, sea minerals, and herbs. For iridescent lips in luscious colors with a nudge of plumping action, check out the lip serum in four colors at www.Colorescience.com or at spas and resorts.

Powerful Pumpkin was reformulated as an advanced treatment Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask by Zia and blended with more than one hundred nutrients and white willow bark to clear away old cells and pore congestion. www.zianatural.com. Pumpkin was also partnered with fresh cinnamon to create a Vital Peel by Avia Skin Care/Avia Spa that smells like warm pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Your skin will feel like whipped cream after using it, and the aroma is so wonderful that it will haunt you. www.aviaspa.com

The Dead Sea’s Black Mud, dense with minerals, was added to herbal extracts, lavender aromatic oil, vitamin E and B5 in Minerals Aromatics Revitalizing Hair Mud Mask for manageability from roots to ends, and for sheen-building, revitalized hair. This product smells so delicious that you may want to use it as fragrance, but it works double duty on hair: it reawakens tired tresses, softens, and leaves your hair with a bounce, thanks to the offerings of the Dead Sea. Find this and quickly at www.byminerals.com

The Green Vegan Concept and lifestyle has been lovingly applied to shampoos and conditioners at Max Green Alchemy. The MGA Scalp Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner relieves dry scalp and hair areas and is chock full of 30 active botanicals and vitamins. The citrus aroma invigorates, and the concentrated nature of the product means you can use less for a bounty of great results. Found at www.MaxGreenAlchemy.com. The vegan concept is also embraced in the organic, toxin-free Holy Cow! cleaners for those days when the maid has the flu. Completely biodegradable and safe around pets, the Holy Cow! bottles look like beauty products in pink, blue, or green with stripes, so you’ll be fashionable when cleaning the mirror. For a greener, more lovely world, check out www.holycowproducts.com

Phenol-Rich Water from Olive Pressings, more powerful than olive oil in defending against skin-harming free radicals, was refashioned in pill form by nutritional biochemist Roberto Crea, PhD and called Olivenol. This powerful olive-based pill contains 500 times more antioxidant power than even extra virgin olive oil. Harness it for health and beauty both inside and out by visiting www.creagri.com or calling 866-4CREAGRI.

Originally published March 2005
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