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Luminance Organic Skin Care Review

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Luminance Skin Care

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Luminance:

The story of our company!  

Kim and his wife Priscilla. Kim was working as an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley when Priscilla became allergic to everything with synthetic fragrance, which is pretty much all commercial skincare products and much of that which is hand made. Priscilla couldn’t use soap, hair spray, perfume, laundry detergent…etc without getting a severe migraine. They looked for good products without synthetic fragrances and discovered that even “unscented” products use a synthetic masking scent to mask the typically unpleasant odor of all the nasty synthetic ingredients. As these synthetic fragrances become less and less expensive they have become more and more pervasive. And the worst part is many are known carcinogens and remain completely unregulated by the FDA because they are not consumed orally.

We maintain that if you put it on your skin you’ve eaten it, you just didn’t have to chew and swallow first.

So what started as a way to free Priscilla from severe migraines has turned into a passion to create the finest, cleanest skincare products in the world. And now, ten years later, the product line includes deeply moisturizing handmade soaps and skin care products that are both organic and raw. Without anything synthetic. Toxic. Or harmful in any way. Every product is formulated and handmade by Kim with an extremely high level of precision, sophistication, care and craftsmanship.

Kim spends most of his time in the studio making all the products and creating new ones. He is very creative!

Cameo. Cameo makes all of our soaps. Cameo has been with us a little over 2 years now and over the last 2 years has matured into a truly, world class master soap maker. Cameo is the only person Kim has ever completely trusted to make the soaps, and I can say without equivocation that this is a big deal as Kim is very very attached to the soaps. Cameo is a treasure!

Phoebe. Phoebe is amazing. It’s a funny story. Kim needed someone to help him cross his T’s and dot his I’s in the studio so he went to Benicia High School’s Career Center and asked them for a serious, well behaved student, with aptitude in math and science. Goo natured  with a sense of humor. And they sent him Phoebe. She keeps our head on straight and brings us joy.

Phoebe is literally brilliant.

Elena. This is me. I was Kim’s customer at the Lake Merritt Farmer’s Market for six months before I started working with him. I do most of the sales and online marketing which is funny because I come from the non-profit world. I worked as an English Teacher to adults, an After-School Program Teacher, Coordinator, and Program Manager. I left that world for this world of wonderfulness.”

Products:

Face Moisturizer

About:

“We hand-craft this organic and all natural moisturizer with the moist nourishing and hydrating ingredients in the world. With nothing synthetic, toxic or in anyway harmful. Vegan and raw. A wonderful moisturizer for sensitive skin.

This cream is designed for youthful skin and is consistently a best-seller. It is somewhat lighter than our Deep Hydration Moisturizer. And every bit as nice.

Rich with anti-inflammatories like Evening Primrose and Meadow foam Oils. Formulated in a base of pure Rose water for the skin calming and nourishing affect of Rose Oil. Argan Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Jojoba Oil help the skin hold hydration. And finally, a very therapeutic collection of organic herbal extractions formulated to help your skin heal and stay healthy.

These ingredients are the best there are for your skin.

Hydration Moisturizer is designed to penetrate quickly and leave your skin non greasy and silky smooth. Makeup can be applied within a few minutes.

Tip: This is a very rich cream and so if you happen to apply too much, simply find some more skin and spread it. The skin on your neck and top of your chest is the same skin thats on your face (very delicate). This is a good place to put excess cream.

Hydration Ingredients: WaterRose Water Oils:  Apricot Kernel, Macadamia, Avocado,Jojoba, Meadow foam, Argan, and Kukui. Organic Herbal Extracts: Tamarind Seed, Raspberry Seed, Comfry, Sea Buckthron, Holy Basil, Calendula, Tamanu, Honey Suckle, Rose Hips. To Naturally Preserve: Red Radish Root Extract.

Craftsmanship. And care.”

Skin Lotion

About:

“This all natural, vegan, and raw body lotion is very similar to our Deep Hydration Face Cream with adjusted viscosity so it is easily pumped from a bottle. Like all Luminance products, this lotion is carefully blended by hand at just a few degrees above body temperature to assure the integrity of the naturally therapeutic ingredients. Designed to absorb quickly into your skin, because nobody likes standing around cold and naked waiting for their lotion to absorb. Your whole body will be as soft as your face.

Perfect for morning, afternoon, or evening. On your sink, in your car, on your desk.

I love this lotion. You will too.

Organic Skin Lotion Ingredients: WaterLavender Water Oils: Tamarind Seed,Tamanu, Apricot Kernal, Macademia, Avocado,Jojoba, Meadowfoam, Argan, and Kukui. Organic Herbal Extracts: German Blue Chamomile, Tamarind Seed, Raspberry Seed, Comfry, Sea Buckthron, Holy Basil, Calendula, Tamanu, Honey Suckle, Rose Hips & Lavender. To Naturally Preserve: Red Radish Root Extract. Craftsmanship. And care.”

Anjou Pears Bar Soap

About:

“We hand-craft our moisturizing soaps with organic ingredients. Nothing synthetic, all natural and vegan

This organic, all natural, hand-crafted soap smells just like fresh pears. Really, it’s a secret blend of several 100% pure essential oils. Of course, it lathers wonderfully, deeply and gently cleansing like all our soaps.

Ingredients: Water Purified Water Oils: Coconut, Palm (Orangutan friendly), Jojoba, Apricot Kernel, Macadamia, Avocado, Palm Kernel, Meadowfoam, Argan, Kukui, Grape Seed and Rice Bran. Clays: White Benonite, French Green & Red Moroccan Scents:  A secret blend of 100% Pure Essential oils. To Saponify: Food Grade Sodium Hydroxide*

* A few words about Sodium Hydroxide: It is not synthetic.  It is the traditional base component that when added to the fatty acids (the seed and fruit skin oils) to create an reaction resulting in cold process soap. The most gentle skin loving variety of soaps. When the formulation is done right, and we do it by hand is small batches, with engineering precision, all of the Sodium Hydroxide reacts with all of the oils, and clays and essential oils into a wonderfully fragrant, perfectly gentle and safe bar of soap.”

Face Cleanser: Delicate

About:

“We hand-craft this organic and natural cleanser for the most delicate skin. Like all our products it is vegan and raw and without anything synthetic, toxic or harmful in any way.

This face wash is truly the basis for healthy skin.

Formulated with the same wonderful ingredients we use in our moisturizers (and more!) This cleanser will gently cleanse, wonderfully nourish and deeply moisturize your skin.

And it’s soap. Real soap. Fact is, there is nothing better for your skin than a properly made and properly pH balanced hand made soap. When people say: don’t put soap on your face, what they should be saying is don’t put petrochemical grease strippers full of alcohol, metals and solvents on your face. Which by the way, accurately describes all of the commercially available cleansers.

Yup, soap is the way to go.

If you don’t already know what synthetic cleansers do to your skin check out our blog. They won’t kill you but they encourage overly oily, dry and unpredictable combination skin.

Be sure to visit our Instructions Page for a best procedure to use our Delicate Cleanser.

Ingredients: Water Purified Water Oils: Coconut, Jojoba, Apricot Kernel, Macadamia, Avocado, Meadowfoam, Argan, Kukui,Grape Seed and Rice Brand. Scents:  A secret blend of 100% Pure Essential Oils. Herbal Extracts: Honeysuckle, Orchid and Chamomile. To Saponify: Food Grade Potassium Hydroxide*

* A few words about Potassium Hydroxide: It is not synthetic.  It is the traditional base component that when added to the fatty acids (the seed and fruit skin oils) to create an reaction resulting in hot process liquid soap. The most gentle skin loving variety of soaps. When the formulation is done right, and we do it by hand is small batches, with engineering precision, all of the Sodium Hydroxide reacts with all of the oils, and clays and essential oils into a wonderfullu fragrent, perfectly gentle and safe bottle of liquid soap.

So don’t worry about it.”

Face Toner: Rosewater

About:

“Spraying yourself with our Rosewater is like swimming in freshly plucked rose petals. It’s fragrant, pure, and will leave your face dewey with rose oil.

It also serves as a pH adjustment. This is how you help your face correct dry skin, oily skin, and skin that vacillates between the two (combination skin). Tap water is too alkaline for your face (sometimes in the high 9s). Your face is happy in the upper 6s. Spray your face with rose water after exposing it to tap water and your skin will thank you for it.

Our rosewater is not a hydrosol. It doesn’t have any alcohol, solvents or astringent.

Just pure rosewater.

Tips:

For those of you with acne prone skin, don’t be scared off by the word oil. The oils we use are good for your skin and won’t clog your pores.

If your makeup isn’t blending well (we all have those days) spray some rose water toner on after you’ve put on your powder and it will become seamless with your skin 😉

Ingredients: Water: Organic Rose Water.”

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My Thoughts:

Luminance skin care…..ahhhhhhh. What a treat these organic skin care products are.

My favorite amongst this bunch, because the incredible scent stands out–is the Anjou Pears bar soap. I have been tempted to take a bite out of it–it smells THAT good. It cleanses thoroughly without stripping skin of all moisture.

These products are amongst the very best that I’ve ever used. I am in love with the idea that they put “craftsmanship” into creating these skin care products. With that word, I picture a few individuals handling these products and bottling them by hand, with care. They aren’t cranked out in gigantic masses. They seem to really put care and love into creating their products. It’s inspiring.

I am committed to putting organic, pure products onto my skin–especially onto my face. I’m an active girl who perspires quite a bit when I exercise. Thus, I typically desire a clarifying cleanser to refresh and cleanse my skin after working out. This liquid face cleanser is very clarifying. It feels like it completely and thoroughly cleanses my skin. Without following with a moisturizer, my skin would be dry (it cleanses that thoroughly). But, when I use the cleanser in combination with the face moisturizer, my skin is very happy.The face moisturizer is very creamy and dense. Many synthetic cleansers contain a lot of fillers and water–making them only temporarily moisturizing. This face cleanser & moisturizer are the real deal: simple, effective & pure.

This rosewater (pure as can be; what more can you ask for?) is the perfect mid-day facial refresher. I aim to only wash my face once a day (over washing can cause skin problems), so, this rosewater routine fits perfectly into that strategy.

I’m always searching for the perfect body lotion. Some of them are too creamy to spread easily onto my body, and some are too runny. This body lotion just might be the perfect consistency–and the ingredients (like in all of these Luminance products) are stellar. It’s the ideal lotion–organic ingredients and incredibly nourishing on my skin.

It’s safe to say that Luminance Skin Care is amongst my top 5 skin care lines that I’ve ever tried!

 

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Dr. Bronner’s Skin, Hair & Body Care Review

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Dr. Bronner’s

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Dr. Bronner’s:

“Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps are synonymous with Old-World quality and time-honored simplicity, which can be traced back to the family’s German-Jewish soapmaking tradition. Born in 1908 to a Jewish family that had been making soap since 1858, Emanuel Bronner was the third generation certified as a master-soapmaker under the guild system of the time. In 1929, he brought his formulas for high-quality liquid and bar soaps to America, starting Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in its current form in 1948.

Renowned for their quality, versatility and eco-friendliness, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps enjoyed a small but loyal following in the early years. In the late 1960s, however, soap sales started to explode, due to the unsurpassed ecological quality combined with Dr. Bronner’s urgent message to realize our transcendent unity across religious and ethnic divides. Word-of-mouth soon made Dr. Bronner’s the iconic soap of that era, and in the decades that followed the soaps spread into every health food store in the U.S. and then into the mainstream as well — winning over fans from all walks of life on the way to becoming the number-one-selling natural brand of soap in North America.

The 4th and 5th generations of the Bronner family who run the company today continue to make our unsurpassed soaps with care and integrity. 2008 marks both the 60th anniversary of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in America and the 150th anniversary of our family’s first soapmaking activity in southern Germany. We strive to honor our heritage with progressive business practices, while devoting profits to worthwhile causes and charities worldwide.”

I have tried several different brands in my organic ventures. That said, it’s reasonable to think that only some of them spend ample time in my shower waiting to be used. Dr. Bronner’s products are one of those brands. These products are a staple in our household & I was happy to try three more products from their line that I had yet to experience.

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Lemongrass Lime Shaving Gel

Dr. Bronner’s Description:

“DESCRIPTION:

Certified by the same National Organic Program that certifies food, our shaving gels are smooth and effective without any synthetic ingredients. Organic Shikakai comes from the seed pods of the small South Asian tree Acacia Concinna. Extracted in organic sucrose and grape juice it provides soothing moisturizing glide. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Baby Mild Soap provides superior hair lift and wetting. Sold in a 7 oz. tube.

INGREDIENTS:

Organic Sucrose*, Organic White Grape Juice, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Shikakai Powder, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Corn Starch, Organic Lemongrass Oil, Organic Lemon Oil, Organic Lime Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.”

My Description & Thoughts:

Dr. Bronner’s shave gels are probably the best shave gels (all other brands of gels & creams included) that I’ve ever used. Though I prefer the peppermint scent over this lemongrass lime, I find both of them (regardless of scent) to be incredibly moisturizing on skin. They prevent skin from becoming dried out after being shaved, and leave a fragrant scent on skin.

Some shaving gels and creams are obviously mostly water, which becomes evident when skin is begging for moisture after shaving with them. This gel is extremely dense with oils, making it the ideal barrier to have between skin and a razor. I just can’t say enough good things about Dr. Bronner’s shaving gels.

After trying both this lemongrass lime and the peppermint (have had it in my shower for several months prior to now), I definitely prefer the peppermint, as I have an unmistakable affinity for all things minty. However, if you typically prefer a light, zesty punch of citrus, than this lemongrass lime just might be your favorite. It leaves a nice, fresh scent on your skin and hydrates skin just as well as the peppermint.

I’d recommend these to men and women for the entire body! I guarantee you will love this product. It is very reasonably priced, especially considering all of the organic ingredients. I’d also recommend to men: ditch that junky shaving cream you got at the drug store and buy a bottle of this! I’d be willing to bet that any irritation or razor burn would go away after substituting with Dr. Bronner’s.

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Hemp-Almond Pure Castile Bar Soap

Dr. Bronner’s Description:

“DESCRIPTION:

Nothing brings the warmth and coziness of home and hearth into your shower like Dr. Bronner’s heavenly almond scent. All oils and essential oils are certified organic to the National Organic Standards Program. Wrapped in 10% hemp-flax / 90% post-consumer recycled paper from Living Tree Paper Co.

INGREDIENTS:

Organic Coconut Oil*, Organic Palm Oil*, Sodium Hydroxide**, Water, Organic Olive Oil*, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Natural Almond Fragrance, Salt, Citric Acid, Tocopherol

* CERTIFIED FAIR TRADE INGREDIENTS 

** None remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin.”

My Description & Thoughts:

This soap is simple, clarifying, effective and smelling of almond goodness. I’ve tried many other Dr. Bronner bar soaps before and have loved them all. They are perfect to keep by the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and in the shower. The ratio of oils to sodium hydroxide (also known as lye–used the create “soap”, and like mentioned above, is obsolete when the soap is formed) is perfect, as it gets skin completely clean, but does not strip it of all moisture and natural body oils.

These bar soaps are gentle enough for young skin and are a better option that merely all generic soaps that are “formulated” for youngsters. Funny enough, those products are often full of harsh chemicals. So, tell me, how is that specially formulated for toddlers? Anyways, my point is that THESE bars are fantastic for the entire family. You could mix it up and please everyone’s preferences by putting a different scent of Dr. Bronner’s soap in each bathroom!

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Lavender Coconut Lotion

Dr. Bronner’s Description:

“DESCRIPTION:

Certified to National Organic Standards our lotions are based on pure organic oils free of petrochemically modified ingredients and preservatives. Organic jojoba oil moisturizes dry skin exceptionally well due to its unique similarity to the skin’s natural oil. Organic coconut oil assists absorption while organic hemp and avocado oils help keep skin smooth and supple. Organic grain alcohol (ethanol) is used as a natural preservative at a level that helps absorption without being drying. Only the finest organic essential oils are used for fragrance. Sold in an 8 oz. bottle.

INGREDIENTS:

Aqua, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Ethanol, Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil – (* Certified Fair Trade by IMO).”

My Description & Thoughts:

Who would have thought that lavender and coconut would make a good combination? The calming scent of the lavender and the exotic scent of the coconut combine to make an interesting, unique and suprisingly refreshing duo in this lotion. Its flowery and summery notes make it pleasant and relaxing.

The the texture of the lotion itself lends itself to going a long way on skin. It is a bit “runnier” than a lot of lotions. However, this is not because it has a high water content. On the contrary, I believe it is more liquidy than most because of the organic oils that it is comprised of. A small amount of this in the palm of your hand will completely cover an entire one of my legs (which is a lot of skin–I’m 5’9!). I love that about this lotion because it makes you feel like your money is stretching farther. It has great staying power on skin–soaks in enough to leave skin smooth, yet keeps the moisture barrier on skin solid enough to last all day without a dry skin spell occuring.

It’s essentially the ideal lotion. I’d recommend those interested to check out all of the scents that Dr. Bronner’s has to offer before choosing one. There is surely a scent to please everyone. My favorite is the Peppermint lotion!

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Peppermint Leave-In Conditioner and Hair Styling Creme

Dr. Bronner’s Description:

“DESCRIPTION:

Certified by the same National Organic program that certifies organic food, our conditioning & styling crème provides light styling hold while making hair silky soft without any synthetic ingredients. Organic virgin coconut oil makes hair shiny & luxurious, organic jojoba oil imparts excellent manageability and feel, while the organic hemp oil moisturizes and softens hair.

INGREDIENTS:

Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Organic Ethanol, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Peppermint Oil, Organic Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol.”

My Description & Thoughts:

I have long hair that tangles easily often needs a moisture boost at the ends, since I shower daily after workouts. I’ve found that a lot of leave in conditioners are not only full of junky ingredients, but they add gunk and goop to hair instead of just adding healthy moisture. Because so many leave in conditioners fall short, I didn’t ever regularly use such a product.

THIS product solved that problem for me. It’s so easy for me to rave about Dr. Bronner’s products because they boast everything you’d want in a product: effectiveness, great ingredients, and great smells!

My hair length is about half way down my back, so in using this product, I only apply it from my ears down (approzimately the bottom 2/3 of hair). Adding leave in conditioner too close to the roots can cause hair to get dirty and greasy earlier than you’d want. Adding it only to the bottom portion of hair will encourage hair to stay tangle free and will add just the right amount of moisture to your tresses so that hair looks healthy, shiney and fresh.

I’ve been using this product daily and thoroughly enjoy using it. I love the peppermint fragrance that is left on my hair after applying. I’d recommend this product to anyone with long, tangly, or dry hair. This conditioner, as you can see on the bottle, also doubles as a styling creme. It would be great or women or men that have short hair and are looking for a bit of texture and moisture. I feel confident that anyone who experiences Dr Bronner’s products, especially the peppermint scented ones, will be hooked.

*These complimentary products have been generously provided to me for the purpose of trying them in order to write a review on my experience.