Please note that this post is a collaboration with Cedros Bay which means the items featured were kindly gifted to me. However, all opinions are my own... and have I ever steered you wrong? Nope! So let's go!
To be honest, when I was younger, I never used to take care of my skin.
No... Scratch that!
Let's just say that taking care of my skin was not important to me, mostly due to the fact that my skin was smooth. When all my friends were going through puberty and got their doses of hormonal acne on their face, Brinnelle's face was as smooth as a baby's bum. Of course I would get the occasional white head here and there but those would literally clear up in a couple of days. Nothing too crazy. To be quite honest, I was a bar soap connoisseur for a while until around 18 years of age when my grandmother (may her beautiful soul continue to rest peacefully) introduced me to the magic that is body wash.
However, your girl is getting older.
Things are changing.
I now am married, my stress levels have increased with my intense workload and since baby girl has been born, my hormones have been doing it's own thing which has caused my skin to break out more often than usual. On top of that, recently I've started wearing makeup more frequently than before, we have a constant cloud of Sahara dust chilling over the country and of course there's the dreaded mask-wearing for about 2 years now. To be honest, I didn't realize how badly I was treating my skin until recently when I looked in the mirror and found acne scars on my cheek and 2 white heads on my forehead. Who is this person??
I decided to take matters into my own hands - I am now forced to pay attention to my skin, a slightly tedious process when you have a lot going on. I already wash my face (with an exfoliate) and moisturize (with a lotion that included spf 15) but now that I am getting older, that is definitely not enough. My skin needs a boost! So after consulting my girl Dana at Sinnamon Aesthetics (you should check them out btw) and doing a ton of research myself, I've put myself on a new skin regime. About 2 days after deciding on products and making my list of items to purchase in Pennywise (a local cosmetics store for my non-Trini audience), guess who would contact me to collect a package of facial oils?! None other than my favourite local skincare brand Cedros Bay (you should remember them from my previous Self Care post). It honestly felt like a sign. Time to properly get my act (and my face) together.
So let's turn to Cedros Bay.
Cedros Bay is a local brand with an array of all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free skin care products. They have products targeting the entire process of skincare from cleansing to moisturizing to hydrating your skin. This time, they have developed facial oils!!! Eeeek! So let's take a look at them!
I was gifted their Tropical Glow Facial Kit which includes a rose quartz roller (my very first... eeek!) and 3 beautifully packaged facial oils: a Vitamin C oil, a Squalane oil and a Bakuchiol oil. Firstly, the package is purple - so you know I was sold already as purple is my favourite colour lol! - but after my initial excitement subsided a bit, I realized the only oil I actually recognized was the Vitamin C!!
Now, you can't be from the Caribbean and not know what Vitamin C is ok?! My mom chucks Vitamin C tablets down my throat if she even senses a flu coming on! In the case of the facial oil, Vitamin C gives you that "GLOW"; it's an antioxidant that moisturizes, repairs damaged skin cells and protects against sun exposure damage... and boy does the citrus scent smell amazing! I use this facial oil on mornings, especially those mornings when I look exhausted from a rough night with baby girl.
So what the hell is Squalane and Bakuchiol?! This question led me down a rabbit hole on Google (even though Cedros Bay gave me a fact sheet) *hides face in shame*
So basically Squalane is a moisturizing ingredient, sustainably derived from sugar cane. It has anti-inflammatory properties which helps to repair the barrier of your skin by hydrating it and it leaves your skin feeling and looking vibrant. I honestly love how weightless this oil is! It left my skin feeling so moist that a couple times I actually forgot to moisturize afterward (which is a must).
Bakuchiol is a 100% natural, gentler alternative to retinol - perfect for someone like me who is only now developing a skincare routine as it works like retinol without the side effects). It helps with skin elasticity and firmness (which you definitely need after sudden weight fluctuations like pregnancy and birth) and fights signs of aging, hyper-pigmentation and acne scarring (thank God!). I usually use this oil at night and love how it absorbs quickly into my skin which is great because I usually sleep soon after my skincare routine.
Do I have a favourite facial oil?
Honestly, I love all three because they each interact with my skin differently but positively... BUT if I HAD to choose one, I think I would go with the Bakuchiol facial oil (and not solely for the fact that the label is purple ok?). I think this facial oil works well in combination with my night time moisturizer because I don't wake up with extreme dry skin from sleeping in an air-conditioned room (which has happened quite a lot).
I've been using these facial oils for a little over a week now and I love how they have been assisting me with my new skincare/facial journey. I'm not going to lie though, it has been difficult keeping up with my routine every single day, especially when I'm rushing on a morning but I have to admit that I've seen a drastic improvement in my skin (as you'll see in the pic below) and I'm super happy about it.
*Photos by Gr8 Media Solutions (IG: @gr8mediasolutions.jpg)