Happy 2015 everyone! This is my first post since we ushered in the new year, better late than never and since I’m sure many of you have read posts about resolutions and what not I thought I’d spare you. And jump straight in to a little review of a brand that I stumbled across one day while browsing Etsy a couple of months ago.
Being half-Japanese, what immediately caught my eye was the name of the brand as well as the design and packaging. I absolutely love anything that has a Japanese twist to it and I consider almost any art hailing from my other home country to be beautiful, aesthetically minimalistic and just enormously appealing to the eye. There’s something very familiar and comforting in Japanese design and so Yoshimomo Botanique had pretty much won me over before I even had the chance to look at its product range! The raburabu (or love love) had begun and continues to this day.
Yoshimomo Botanique is an artisan line of small-batch (love that word! Oozes freshness!) handcrafted natural skincare located in New York. The brand offers advanced natural skincare using 100% plant-based ingredients which are ethically and sustainably harvested. The kind of company I like to support in other words. Teresa Kincaid Burton is the warm, knowledgeable, intelligent and inspiring creator of this brand and the concept of Yoshimomo began thanks to her two four-legged friends, believe it or not (high five to a fellow dog lover!). When I asked her where the name came from this is what she had to say: This is actually pretty funny. I started formulating products for my two Yorkshire Terriers (Yoshi & Momo) who have long coats and require weekly bathing and daily grooming. I couldn’t find a shampoo or conditioner that kept their coats in good condition. So I created one. From there, I started formulating products for myself. My friends would ask me to create custom skincare for them and word spread. Pretty soon, I had a little custom skincare line going. My clients convinced me to retail my products and that’s how Yoshimomo was born. Well, thank god for high maintenance dogs and supportive friends I say! We could all use a few more of those! I absolutely love that Teresa’s line is named after her dogs being a huge dog lover myself. And could this that mean my own Princess Saskia could benefit from the same skincare line as her mummy? Fabulous! I hope to see pet shampoo in your range soon Teresa!
While I had the pleasure of picking Teresa’s brain for this review I wanted to know what some of her favourite products from the line were and she replied: That’s a tough question! I don’t release a product unless I love it or feel a ‘wow’ factor when I use it. I really like the Very Gentle Botanical Cleanser and the way it cleanses my skin so well but leaves it feeling so soft, smooth and ‘pampered’. But I’d have to say that the products I enjoy using the most, are the facial oils. I love their versatility. Each of the facial oil blends targets a specific concern. So if my skin feels dry, I use Restore. If my skin looks dull, I use Rewind with Vitamin C. Sometimes I use them as a serum in the summer when I need lighter moisturization, I mix a few drops in with my moisturiser to create a ‘treatment’. I use Rewind as an eye serum and Genius on my lips. I love my ritual of opening my bathroom cabinet every morning and deciding which facial oil I’m going to use that day! Wow, if only we all had that luxury! In the meantime, I’m quite happy to start exploring deeper into the Yoshimomo range.
Before I set about ordering my first product I got in touch with Teresa to ask a few questions and a long conversation thread on Etsy ensued. I must say I sincerely appreciate the time taken to reply to customer queries and concerns as I know it does require an effort….and the effects of such interactions are worth so much in the eyes of a potential customer. This is the second time in my green beauty journey where the fruits of this conversational labor has made me a customer and isn’t that what all companies are after? My point being, companies can’t really afford to skimp on this aspect despite time/other practical constraints. Teresa was extremely thorough and detailed in her answers to my many questions and it is thanks to her inquiries into my skin type that she was able to recommend what I needed. Enter Quench Hyaluronic Hydration Locking Moisturiser. I was extremely tempted to buy a full size of this but held back knowing how picky my skin is to new face products; I needn’t have worried as I absolutely loved this lightweight yet effective moisturiser. Which means I should have been tempted to go for the full size! As of this post, Yoshimomo is discontinuing their 30ml and 60ml offerings in lieu of a 50ml bottle which will always be available in their range (hallelujah and choir angels and all that!) and thus the 30ml is currently marked down with a 20% discount while supplies last. But what is the hype about this product I hear you ask? Well, for starters it really delivers some serious hydration thanks to hyaluronic acid which we all know has the ability to attract and bind water within the skin cells and tissue underneath, acting like a sponge. Our skin makes it naturally but with age we produce less of it so any little help on the way, seeing as I’m two years into my thirties, is most definitely appreciated, good Japanese genes or not! This magical ingredient is third on the ingredients list meaning it’s contributing actively instead of being towards the end of the list just for show. The skin around my cheeks and jaw area would often feel dry and sand-papery towards the end of the day in winter time but not so with this gem. Instead my skin was always left feeling soft like a baby’s bum and equally smooth. Ok, so your skin was moisturised but weren’t you left looking like an oil slick? Nope, nada, nein, nej. Just smooth soft skin the entire day. I repeat, the entire day. No other cream has worked this well for me. Another thing I really appreciate with this product is that it’s completely fragrance free. I never thought I would be one to truly appreciate that but sometimes you just want something really effective and minimalistic without any olfactory fanfare, you know? Which means this product will truly suit all skin types, even the most sensitive skinned ones. In terms of consistency, I’ve described it as a watery cream and Teresa does a much better job of describing it as a lotion. Duh, why didn’t I think of that? You don’t need a lot, a trial size lasted me a whole month with daily morning application and it sinks in quickly and effortlessly. I plan on getting a full size of this once I’m no longer bound to lovely Tammy of Rainbow Feet’s green beauty challenge! Other skin-loving benefits to this product’s name are niacinamide (vitamin B3) said to enhance overall skin health and help in reducing the signs of aging. It also helps reduce blotchiness and rosacea, the former being a concern of mine and one that I didn’t have to worry about during my trial period with Quench. Green tea is included for its antioxidant qualities, improving skin tone and texture, combating redness and irritation (yay!) and promoting elasticity.
In writing this review I found out from Teresa that she had been really nervous about sending me Quench as she sensed that I had really high expectations of a moisturiser from our conversations! Woops, did that come across so strongly..hihi. But you did a great job! I also learned that Quench came about from Teresa herself failing to find a good, basic moisturiser that hydrated skin without feeling either heavy or slippery. She wanted something that absorbed quickly and left zero finish. She thinks Quench does a pretty good job of that. And you all know what I think!
INCI: Aqua, ORG Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, ORG Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Oil, ORG Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, ORG Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, ORG Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, ORG Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractioned Coconut Oil), ORG Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, ECOCERT Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), ECOCERT Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate. Fragrance Free. Essential Oil Free.
In my order I was also very kindly sent some samples of the Very Gentle Botanical Cleanser, the Repair Anti Inflammatory Active Facial Oil and the Equalize pH Balanced Toner. They each came with their own beautiful product information printed on Japanese patterned paper which is an exquisite touch in itself and really brings the whole branding and packaging together. Yokudekimashita Yoshimomo! Or well done in English!
I’ve been using the Very Gentle Botanical Cleanser every morning for the past month and it’s been a delight to use. I think it’s the perfect AM cleanser being both gentle and fragrance free. It claims to remove makeup and all impurities; the former I cannot vouch for as I use a different cleanser in the evenings but what I’ve used so far from the range has been effective and true to its product description so why would this one be any different? It foams ever so slightly and my skin feels simply clean and refreshed yet never tight after using it.
INCI: Aqua, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, ECOCERT Decyl Glucoside, Sucrose Cocoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Chamomile), ORG Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, ORG Camellia Sinensis (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Emulsifying Wax NF, ECOCERT Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate. Fragrance free. Essential Oil free.
Repair Facial Oil which claims to “soothe, balance, heal and repair the most sensitive skin” has been another delight to use during the day, after my morning cleanse. I use it right after I’ve spritzed May’s Jasmine Garden and it’s left my skin very happy, hydrated and generally calm. This is another product I’ve been using for about a month and I still have over half a bottle left (I received a 15ml sample) so a little goes a long way which is stated on the paper that I got along with it. This oil has been formulated with troubled skin in mind and is quoted as being an excellent alternative for skin types that aren’t so compatible with heavy moisturisers due to acne or other reasons. This together with Quench has been a match made in heaven for my skin! Despite being quite high in oleic acid due to hazelnut oil, I haven’t experienced anything negative with it, so this trial period will be most interesting while I figure out the oleic/linoleic ratio my skin revels in.
INCI: 100% Plant-Based Ingredients- Coryllus Avellana (Hazelnut) Oil, Caprylic Capric Triglycerides (Fractioned Coconut Oil), Squalane (Olive), ORG Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Full Spectrum Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C) Ester, Calendula Officinalis CO2, Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) CO2. Essential Oil Free.
The one product I’ve yet to fully try out as I still have May’s Jasmine Garden is Equalize. This toner is suitable for all skin types and aids in restoring the skin’s optimal pH balance while removing residue. It’s packed with marine minerals, botanicals and natural proteins and is yet another product that is fragrance free. I really didn’t think I could appreciate unscented products as much as scented ones but this is where Yoshimomo delivers in terms of effectiveness and hard work. All the products I’ve tried do what they claim and in my world, effective products will always trump less effective gorgeously scented ones. And like I mentioned above, sometimes it’s nice to give your nose a little break from all the scents floating around! I would definitely recommend this line to those with sensitive skins as the products are effective yet gentle and very reasonably priced compared to some other brands. Sure, the shipping might hurt a little but if you were to co-buy with your friends and split the shipping that wouldn’t be a problem! Never focus on problems, always focus on solutions!
INCI: 100% Plant-based Ingredients- Aqua, ORG Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate, Macrocystis Pyrifera (Sea Kelp) Extract, Tamarindus (Tamarind) Indica Seed Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Chamomile), ORG Camellia Sinensis (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Saccharomyces/Sea Salt Ferment, Allantoin, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, ECOCERT Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate (and) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Extract (and) Populus Tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract (and) Gluconolactone. Essential Oil Free.
Today marks my 32nd birthday and as a little gift to my readers Teresa has very kindly offered a 20% discount to you all! This is the first time for me to offer a discount on my blog and I couldn’t be happier to promote such a wonderful natural beauty brand. Don’t miss this opportunity to try out something from the range; I myself have an eye for the beautiful ceramic bowl for mixing masks (new to the line!) and the Arctic Mineral Mud Mask. After my Green Survivor Challenge of course. The discount will be valid with the code BDAY20 at checkout from this Friday (Jan 16) at midnight until Sunday (Jan 18) at 23:59.
Have any of you tried Yoshimomo? What were your thoughts? For those of you new to the brand, what is tempting you right now? And why not pick that temptation up with the discount? 😉
Disclaimer: all views are my own. Quench was bought with my own hard earned cash and the other products were kindly sent as samples with no promise of a review. But like with all good things, they had to be shared!