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Radiance Refresher

by Kristin Vukovic

Emerging from another pandemic winter, my lackluster skin needed a boost—and I know I’m not alone. I was desperate to shed my dull winter complexion and step fresh-faced into spring. We all know radiance comes from within, but how do you get (and keep) that coveted glow?

I consulted New York City-based Kristen Leigh Organic Skin Care, an organic facial boutique that offers a personalized and integrative approach to skincare. With more than 30 years in the skincare industry, Leigh also brings her experience in organic skincare education to clients.

“True healthy skin is about feeding it what it is made of,” Leigh says. “So, what do we have in our skin? Hyaluronic acid: that’s our hydrator, our anti-inflammatory.” She explained that topically, hyaluronic acid replenishes what we lose enzymatically, in addition to amino acids and collagen- building peptides.

Her new Beauty Booster Resveratrol Illuminating Treatment features resveratrol, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, along with a cocktail of hyaluronic acid, polyphenols, peptides and niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that helps keep skin firm and healthy. The cruciferous veggie enzyme therapy features broccoli, “a rich source of magnesium, which enhances production of hyaluronic acid,” she says. In addition to wet dermabrasion and lymphatic massage, Leigh also incorporates light therapy into her facial.

“I love light therapy for corrective work,” she said. “Red does it all: wrinkle depth, pigment. Red light targets the mitochondria to speed-heal and signal collagen production and also increases blood flow and circulation. Blue is FDA-cleared for the treatment of acne, and develops oxygen to the cells. I like to use it at the end of the treatment.” The treatment concludes with a breath of fresh air— an oxygen infusion, which leaves skin looking instantly glowy.

Here are some glow-worthy products we love.

Ishga Marine Cleansing Balm

Newly launched from the Scottish organic seaweed brand, this vegan-friendly formula combines fucus serratus extract— a potent seaweed extract boasting natural polyphenol antioxidants—with hydrating ingredients including shea butter, carnauba wax, rapeseed, almond and castor oil, which remove makeup and impurities while nurturing and protecting the skin. A rejuvenating and balancing essential oils blend of bergamot, rose geranium and patchouli creates a luxurious at-home spa experience.

Province Apothecary Vital Nutrient Face + Eye Balm

Newly formulated, this all-in-one balm features bakuchiol oil, hyaluronic acid and arjuna extract. “This blend of antioxidant-rich oils hydrates and softens even the driest skin for a healthy glow,” says Julie Clark, founder and CEO of Province Apothecary. “I have noticed a big difference from the addition of hyaluronic acid and mango butter. I am also obsessed with arjuna extract; it has reduced puffiness around my eye area.”

Hyaluronic acid seals in moisture for ultra-hydrated skin, while bakuchiol oil— a plant-based retinol alternative with none of the irritation—helps smooth skin texture and minimize lines. Arjuna extract works to decrease dark undereye circles and eye bags.

Kahina Giving Beauty Restorative Serum

Moroccan argan oil is the star of this antioxidant-rich luxe serum, which is newly formulated with hydrating and balancing marshmallow root to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, regulate pigmentation and encourage collagen production. Packed with omega fatty acids, vitamin E and linoleic acids, which work to moisturize skin and soften dry patches, argan oil easily absorbs for a radiant glow.

Run by a mother-daughter team, this family-owned company donates an additional percentage of revenues to programs that improve the lives of Berber women, who sustainably extract argan oil in the argan forest of southwest Morocco, which, along with fair wages, provides them means of financial and social independence.

LightStim for Wrinkles

Featuring 72 LEDs, this handy handheld device takes NASA’s LED technology to a new level with patented technology that simultaneously emits multiple colors of light (amber, light red, dark red and infrared), which work together to give your skin a more radiant appearance—in the comfort of your home.

“In the 1990s, NASA used LEDs to grow plants at the International Space Station,” says Amy Gardner, director of education at LightStim. “Because of their success, they continued to explore the benefits of LED light therapy for tissue regeneration and wound healing with astronauts and Navy SEAL team members. The dramatic results recorded during that time inspired research and development on a broad scale, including that of LightStim’s MultiWave Patented Technology.”

“This technology utilizes multiple wavelengths of therapeutic light-based energy,” she says. “When absorbed, this energy helps optimize skin function, resulting in diminished fine lines and wrinkles and a more youthful, vibrant appearance.”

Botanika Life Elite Elixir

This two-ingredient powerhouse product contains organic hemp seed oil and 1,500 mg organically farmed, full-spectrum CBD oil—plus it is vegan and gluten-free.

Moisturizing antioxidants help combat fine lines, wrinkles and dullness by neutralizing free radical damage for renewed, de-stressed skin. “Our skin elixir can be placed on your face and under your tongue to hydrate the skin and calm the central nervous system,” says cofounder Stacey Shabtai. “I see a glow from the substantial hydration—especially after late nights out or traveling, it makes a big difference. It really helps to reduce bloat, puffiness and inflammation.”

Kambiio Excel Radiance Oil Serum

To create Kambiio—derived from “Kambiri,” an African Igbo word meaning “to come alive”—founder Maryann Okoro explored plant botanicals from Africa, a homage to her African roots. When Okoro moved from Ireland to Saskatchewan in 2018, her skin suffered as a result of environmental and hormonal changes due to pregnancy.

Kambiio, Okoro’s answer to promoting skin’s vitality and radiance, was born in Canada in 2021. Enriched with nutrient-rich botanicals including marula, plum and collagen-boosting carrot seed, this antioxidant-packed serum banishes dull, dry skin by locking in moisture and promoting elasticity and luster.

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Enzyme Exfoliating Mask

Dr. Alkaitis products are formulated with organic, biodynamic and wild- crafted herbs, plants, seeds, sea vegetables and oils that are never heated above body temperature to retain their full potency. Our 2020 “Top Exfoliant,” this award-winning mask is so effective in brightening and refining skin that you should use it alone, without any other scrubs or exfoliants.

It gently removes accumulated dead skin cells and stimulates cell renewal while infusing phytonutrients, antioxidants and minerals. To amplify results for a guaranteed glow, replace the water with a teaspoon of soothing organic yogurt or organic raw honey.

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