I remember those days fondly when fresh out of the shower my skin was smooth, moist and plump all over. Whether I reached for body lotion or not, it did not matter. Youth was on my side. My, how times have changed so quickly. I moved into my late twenties and the big 3-0 this year with lots of positive strides: a healthier attitude towards my body, a less anxious mind (most of the time), and just all around more balance. But where my mind has advanced, it seems my body is beginning to show signs of wear, particularly, the skin on my body. I talk to my girlfriends about aging, now that we’re all beyond our twenties and some seem shocked at the signs of aging they are seeing. I’m not surprised. My late teens and twenties were fun; a little too much at times. The late nights drinking, smoking cigarettes, sun tanning outside and in tanning beds (gasp!) and eating bags of Cape Cod Salt + Vinegar Chips are part of my youth. Some I regret, actually all of these I regret, but without them I may not be the person I am now. Those experiences taught me the importance of living a healthy life which has become a top priority for me.
So, back to the skin on my body. It’s become dry and scaly. Particularly, around the lower part of my shins and calves where my Lululemon cropped yoga pants, that I wear almost daily, leave exposed a section of skin. I walk my dog and frequently forget to put SPF on that small strip; the scales are my consequence. I’ve used regular drugstore brand lotions, like Aveeno and Cetaphil, which work fine. They hydrate my skin, the scale and dry patches go away upon use, but they’re back the next day. It wasn’t until I started beauty blogging that I got exposed to reparative body products: Products that hydrate, nourish and improve skin over time. They’re not cheap though and if it wasn’t for the perks of beauty blogging and getting free product samples to test, I’m not sure I would have sprung for these out of pocket for fear of wasting money on an item that works only marginally better than the $15 body lotions at the drugstore.
But I’m glad that I got the chance to try Maya Chia Body Oil and Leland Francis Luxe Body Oil because I definitely would spend $48 and $60 on these two products respectively, and plan on it once they run out.
I’m on my second bottle of Maya Chia body oil. It’s one of my favorites because I notice improvements in my skin over time. The dry scales fade and smooth with each use. I use it religiously after each shower, but on the days I forget, I look down at my ankles and see hydrated skin. I’ve also proclaimed to all of my girlfriends that this oil has gotten rid of the little bumps on the back of my arms. Proof: I met a friend for brunch at The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice a few months ago and when she went in to kiss me on the cheek hello and touched my arm she pulled back and exclaimed, “Wow! Your skin is so soft!” Yup, it is.
The various oils in the Maya Chia body oil – grapeseed, cranberry, pomegranate seed, marula, baobab, pumpkin, and jojoba – promote healthy, hydrated skin, but it’s the chia seed oil, that’s listed second on the ingredients’ list that makes this oil so special.
Chia seed oil is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which Dr. Andre Berger, MD says are critical to healthy skin since, “They reduce inflammation, help maintain a healthy balance of sebum production and have the ability to improve skin texture.” And it also contains high numbers of powerful antioxidants, like polyphenols and carotenoids. Both of which protect skin and cells from environmental oxidation.
And it’s not just any chia seed oil…
Susanne, the founder of Maya Chia and one of the sweetest women ever, owns the rights to a patented supercritical extraction method for extracting the chia seed oil. The method involves an oxygen-free process that enhances the oil’s longevity and efficacy. It’s also a solvent-free process meaning the result has no chemical residues or impurities. What you’re getting is truly a pure, rich and powerful product.
I love this body oil so much. The only thing I will say about it is that it requires, like most oils, that you apply it right after bathing or showering for best absorption when your skin is slightly damp. Unfortunately, the skin on my face is so dry, so the first thing I do after showering is apply my ten step skincare regiment and by the time I’m done the skin on my body is bone dry. This makes it difficult for the oil to sink in. Therefore, I mix two pumps of body lotion (currently I’m using the Amore Pacific Body Lotion I was PR gifted, but unfortunately can’t really recommend since it’s good, but not worth $100 IMHO) and three pumps of the Maya Chia body oil. I mix them together and massage all over. This helps the oil sink in quickly and makes it last longer! I’m sure any regular, unscented natural body lotion would work too.
Scent: Strong citrus scent
Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil, Supercritical Chia Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Marula Oil, Baobab Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Borage Oil, Sweet Orange Essential Oil, Neroli Essential Oil
Price: $48, 3.4oz – freepeople.com
The Leland Francis Luxe Body Oil is under the radar, but one of the best body products I have tried and I hope to see it get the press and glory it deserves. It’s so good! Like the Maya Chia oil, it also improves skin quality over time, but uses a different approach. It uses three types of rose oil, apricot kernel oil, which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which help stimulate skin repair, and anti-inflammatory Sandalwood to soothe and heal skin. Argan and sunflower seed oil also help hydrate skin and both are rich in natural Vitamin E.
I also love that pure Vitamin E has been added to this body oil, since it is a natural SPF, and Arnica montana; a plant that Dr. Sarmela Sunder, MD & board certified plastic surgeon says, has been shown in studies to help with tissue trauma, inflammation and bruising. So, if you’re like me and wake up to random bruises on your legs, this oil will help with that. (It won’t help with the clumsiness…)
Finally, the scent of this oil is intoxicating! The rose oils make it earthy and the hint of sandalwood and bergamot give it an androgynous feel. It makes for a great body oil and perfume oil. So much love for this product and Dillon Pena, the founder and celebrity makeup artist, whom named this brand after his great grandfather. *I also reviewed the Leland Francis Luxe Face Oil. If you have sensitive skin, this is a must read.
Scent: Earthy, androgynous, slightly sweet
Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Argan Kernel Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Rose Hip Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin E, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Calendula Flower Extract, Arnica montana Flower Extract, Neroli Oil, Bergamot Fruit Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Rose Geranium oil, Rose Flower Oil.
Price: $60, 4 oz – www.ahalife.com
Written and photographed by Amy Chang, founder and editor.