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Week in Review: April 7-12, 2019

Week in Review: April 7-12, 2019

This week was all about tips on what to look for when buying masks, facial massage tools, serums, and moisturizers. “Hey, what about those lip and eye treatment tips you promised?” - We didn’t forget, we’re going to wrap everything up next week. PROMISE! And if you missed us last week when we covered Cleansers, Toners and Exfoliating products, no worries. Everything can be found on our blog in last week’s “Week in Review”.


Facial massage tools. We like them. We like them a lot. Massage tools like gua shas and jade facial rollers are relatively in expensive and easy to use. And even though, NOTHING beats a facial massage done by an esthetician, these tools can provide many of the same benefits. Facial massage is such an important part of a healthy skin care routine and with so much focus on skin care products this beneficial step tends to be forgotten. Benefits of facial massage include stimulating circulation; detoxification; oxygenation of the skin tissues; and increasing lymphatic flow, just to name a few.

Where to buy them: We like to keep it simple and support our local natural beauty bosses like @bluelemonbeauty right here in MD.

How to use them: There are two really good YT videos by @dermae and @officialbeautywithin. Derma-E went straight kitchen esthetician and uses a kitchen spoon in place of a gua sha (love that!) and Beauty Within does a great job on comparing different facial rollers at different price points and most importantly their method of rolling to encourage lymphatic drainage. Links in bio.

What's your favorite massage tool? And as always show love for your local esthetician or skin care aromatherapist and give them a shout out in the comments!

Photograph from @frankandwhit. If you love dogs and love the city of brotherly love support their mission by buying a gua sha or a facial roller!


Facial masks seem to have exploded on to the scene and are trending everywhere. All of the hype got us to thinking about masks and the part they play in a skin care regimen. And we basically concluded that they are no longer relevant. We feel like heretics even as we write this, but hear us out.

One of the main actions of a mask is that it creates a medium to hold active ingredients onto the face for an extended period of time. Back in 1970, this may have had some relevancy. Access to high-end ingredients were limited to professionals, but in 2019, the average person has access to skin care products and ingredients that far exceed our 1970s counterparts

.Many of the active ingredients found in masks can be found in your daily serums and moisturizers, replacing the need for a mask.

However (and there's always a however), there is one mask we still think holds a place: Rhassoul Clay Masks.

Here's why: Clay masks gently exfoliate, deliver minerals like silica, magnesium and potassium, which are typically NOT found in many skin care products, they increase circulation and are completely customizable to your current skin care conditions. Plus, we like the price point.

How to make it: Add one part rhassoul clay to two parts liquid. (We love to use hydrolat, herbal tea or coconut milk.) Blend until smooth. Apply to face. Leave on approximately 10-15 minutes and remove with a warm damp washcloth before the mask is completely dry. Repeat every two weeks.

What's your favorite clay mask recipe? And as always give a shout out to your favorite esthetician and aromatherapist.


Like masks, it’s not really an issue of are they beneficial, it is more of a conversation about do you actually need to buy it.

The answer depends on what type of moisturizer you are using for your skin care. If you use a purely oil based facial oil as your moisturizer, then the answer is YES. If you are using a traditional emulsified moisturizer, then the answer is NO.

Traditional moisturizers today are fairly advanced. These complex formulations include a wide variety of active ingredients found in serums, effectively replacing serums all together.

How much should you spend? Ideally, the bulk of your skin care budget should be spent on exfoliation, serums and moisturizer. But you can save money on serums by keeping it simple by purchasing a no-frills hyaluronic acid serum. $10-$20 and still go big on your facial oil or moisturizer.

What to look for in a serum: Hyaluronic Acid, Antioxidants, AHAs, BHAs.

What is your favorite serum? And as always show some love for your local esthetician and aromatherapist!


When choosing a moisturizer (or really any skin care product) you need to take the time to review the ingredients. Because the industry (for some companies) is one big hustle and you are the mark.

We literally just reviewed a moisturizer that costs $175 and the second ingredient was Mineral Oil. That is what we call cray cray! $175 for Vaseline petroleum jelly. Umm NO. So take the time to connect with your inner Nancy Drew and investigate products and product ingredients.


Identify what you want from your moisturizer. As a rule of thumb 90-95% of your product is made out of the first FIVE ingredients. These first five will help you identify how natural/ conventional the product is and will identify whether the product is hydrating or moisturizing.

Then decide on secondary product actions such as improving the appearance of skin’s tone, texture or firmness. And find ingredients that support those specific skin care goals, ie to improve texture, you may want to find moisturizers that have ingredients like AHAs and natural enzymes.

Want it all. We see a lot of products with ingredient lists that look like they threw in everything, but the kitchen sink. But like shoving ten pounds of shit in a one pound bag, your going to lose something. So keep your expectations in check.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post when we cover facial oils.

Tell us about your favorite moisturizer and what you love about it. And as always, show some love for your local esthetician and aromatherapist in the comments.


Facial Oils. We LOVE, LOVE them. So much so, that when we created our own skin care line, we opted for a botanical oil over creating a natural version of a conventional moisturizer. We love them because they are all natural/organic, they typically do not need preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers or pH adjusters, they are just pure botanical goodness. The problem is most people aren't quite sure what to look for when buying a facial oil, so here are some tips to consider before purchasing that botanical goodness.

DO NOT buy a facial oil consisting of one oil. That is the ultimate hustle! We don't care where it's grown, when it's harvested or how it's harvested. Organic, fair-trade, vegan, blessed by fairies, seriously, we don't care. Do not fall for this!

Avoid facial oil blends containing oils with high levels of oleic acid. You'll want a blend that is definitely under 30%, preferably under 20%. This is easy to find out. You just need to google the fatty acid profile of the oils on the ingredient list. Remember, the first five ingredients typically make up 90%-95% of the product.

Like moisturizers, we're not a fan long ingredient lists. Here at SSB, if we can't make an effective product in five ingredients or less, we're doing it wrong.

Finally, if you find a brand that you like, hack it.

Tell us about your favorite facial oil. And as always give a shout out to your favorite skin care professional and aromatherapist

Week in Review: April 13-19, 2019

Week in Review: April 13-19, 2019

Week in Review: March 31-April 6, 2019

Week in Review: March 31-April 6, 2019