6 Best Self-Care Tips – from our co-founder, wellness expert, Kristy Cimesa

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In today’s world of stress, pollution, commuting and life pressures, it has never been more important to try and factor self-care into our routines.  You may have seen the popularity of the hashtags #selfcaresaturday or #selfcaresunday on social media, and for good reason, with 8.2million tags for #selfcare on Instagram alone, it’s great to focus on our self-care in order to preserve our energy & wellbeing.

Kristy Cimesa, our co-founder at Botanico Vida, knows a thing or two about self-care. Educated at The Australian College of Natural Medicine with a degree in Applied Science in Acupuncture, she worked for Space NK as their Spa Development Manager and previously founded skincare brand Elemental Herbology.  Kristy continued her passion in pursuit of developing a clinically proven skincare formula, using 100% natural ingredients.  The result, Omega Oil, our hero skin oil, for use on baby bumps, babies, scars, wrinkles and dry skin… You can scroll down to hear more about Omega Oil from Kristy a little later.

Here, we share her secret top 6 tips to feel self-nourished by introducing the right self-care rituals into your weekly routine:

 1.      Start the day with the best breakfast

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Overnight, your body is resting and considered to be ‘fasting’.  It’s recommended that the average adult gets 8 hours of sleep per night, a long time to go without food.  By eating a balanced, nutritious breakfast first thing in the morning, you are fuelling your body to provide energy for the day and this also controls mood & improves concentration too.  Of course, it’s important that we don’t grab those high-sugar, low-nutrition options out of convenience.  According to Kristy, “by having a go-to, quick and healthy option, you can whip up a perfectly balanced breakfast in minutes”.  Her favourite is a yoghurt, seed and fruit pot.  She takes 3 heaped spoons of yoghurt; either a dairy free option such as coconut yoghurt or an organic natural yoghurt, then she adds sliced seasonal organic fruit and her nutritious seed mix.  “I love to add a mix of chia, linseed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds for their amazing Omega-rich content.  Always buy raw, organic seeds wherever you can, as their nutritional content has not been disturbed by roasting them.  This breakfast sets me up for the whole morning and is my secret weapon for energy and glowing skin from within”.   

2.      Invest in regular deep tissue massages

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Kristy is an expert when it comes to choosing the right massage and she has a great tip: “I find the best therapists are usually those that have trained in sports massage along with acupressure or shiatsu and often found in more local neighbourhood healing centres than hotel spas which are normally performed by beauty therapists rather than body therapists”.  Her first choice is Tanya from Project Me http://www.project-me.co.uk/therapies-crouch-end/ who “combines a wonderful mix of deep tissue and sports massage with gentle aromatherapy”. Kristy recommends booking a massage on a monthly basis to reap the benefits of regular attention to tense areas of the body.  It also allows for total relaxation to know that your phone is switched off, no one can disturb you and you’re not exposed to the temptation of checking your emails, social media or voicemails.  A recent survey conducted by Common Sense Media, which included nearly 1,800 adults, found that adults spend an average of nine hours and 22 minutes every day in front of various screens—including smartphones, tablets, computers and televisions.  Those are scary figures and by booking those regular massages, you are ensuring time to yourself and a welcome break from screen-time.

  3.      Run a warm bath infused with Neroli and Rose oils to rebalance body and mind

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This might sound like an obvious one, so as one of the easiest and most accessible self-care tips, Kristy recommends taking a bath “at least twice per week to relax, unwind and rebalance”.  Her secret tip is “to create your own mix of essential oils and add 5-10 drops in your bath water for total rejuvenation”.  Kristy mixes her own blend of Neroli and Rose oil. “I love mixing essential oils and making my own bath soaks – it’s the most satisfying ritual and you know exactly what is being soaked into your skin”.

Neroli essential oil comes from the Seville orange tree, is spicier and greener than the sweet orange blossom scent and is produced by steam distillation. 

Common benefits of neroli include:

·       Improving low mood and soothing nerves

·       Repairing and rejuvenating the skin at a cellular level due to its antioxidant levels

·       Improving acneic skin due to its antimicrobial elements to combat bacteria

·       Reducing inflammation

·       Boosting circulation in the body

Rose oil is another powerhouse essential oil for the skin.  Containing a complex array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, rose essential oil has:

·       Excellent emollient properties for moisturising dry skin

·       Anti-inflammatory properties that help treat redness and inflammation

·       It can also help refine skin texture, controlling skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

This wonderful blend of neroli and rose allows for complete relaxation when you take long, deep breaths whilst soaking in the bath.  Kristy recommends “taking a long inhale through the nose for a count of 4 and then slowly exhaling for a count of 8 out of the mouth at least 5 times to allow oxygen to flow into your body and encourage full relaxation through the body”.

 

4.      Apply Omega Oil to damp skin to keep skin soft and supple

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Kristy’s top tip for using our hero product, Omega Oil is “to use it immediately after bathing or showering on damp skin to allow for even better absorption into the skin”.  This is because water has two benefits when applying oils to the skin: firstly it helps the oil to penetrate the skin and secondly the oil will lock the water into the skin, helping to increase hydration of the upper levels of the skin.  She recommends “always keeping your bottle of Omega Oil in the bathroom so that you can easily apply it on moist skin” and she adds that “we specifically designed the bottle to have a spray pump so that it’s easy to apply evenly with no mess or excess product on your hands when applying it.”  Kristy says that “because the unique formulation of Omega Oil is brimming with antioxidants, essential amino acids and nourishing vitamins, including some of the Earth’s richest sources of Omegas 3, 6 and 9, it is an incredibly moisturising formula that allows our bodies to build and renew our skin.  Everything in Omega Oil is completely natural, and every company we work with adheres to standards of sustainability and ethical production, so not only does your skin feel amazing after using Omega Oil, you know that you are choosing a cruelty-free, vegan, fair trade and sustainable product too”. 

 

Omega Oil was clinically tested in a rigorous 12-week trial and was proven to:

·       Improve skin elasticity by 45%

·       1/3 of users reported their skin elasticity improved by 100% in 12 weeks 

·       On average, the skin’s moisture levels increased by 19% after only 2 weeks of use

·       During the 12 week trial, 96% of users reported that their skin felt softer and smoother

·       92% of users said that they would recommend Omega Oil to a friend

 

“We are incredibly proud of our clinical trial results as it demonstrates how unique Omega Oil truly is; to be 100% natural, yet clinically-proven to deliver incredible skin care results” says Kristy.

5.      Read a favourite book, wherever your quiet place is  

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“Taking time out, away from technology is vital for our wellbeing” says Kristy.  Her top tip is to “find a quiet space, a comfy chair and dedicate time to reading within your busy week – it will encourage a slower pace and is a wonderful compliment to your self-care routine”.  In our busy world, the simple pleasure of reading a book can feel like a total break from the day-to-day pressures we face.  Reading provides mental stimulation, reduces stress, improves memory, develops stronger analytical skills, expands our vocabulary and provides improved focus, concentration and writing skills.  In fact, book sales are booming.  2017 was a record-breaking year for publishers as global sales of books passed the £5.7bn mark. It’s also very interesting that the younger generation are proving that physical books are popular. New figures reveal that e-book sales are falling while sales of paper books are growing – and the shift is being driven by younger generations.

 Kristy is currently reading The Forty Rules Of Love by Elif Shafik. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/306346/the-forty-rules-of-love-by-elif-shafak/9780143118527/readers-guide/

Kristy adds that she “heard Elif speak at an event last year and finally got round to reading one of her books after being so inspired by her talk. Her books are incredibly beautiful reflections on life”. 

6. Practice Hot Yoga to detox, purify and uplift

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Kristy’s final self-care tip is to dedicate time in your week for physical movement.  “We all spend far too long working at desks or scrolling on our phones whilst on the go, so some well deserved time for exercise is essential within our self-care routines” says Kristy.  She prioritises her Hot Yoga class saying “it feels wonderful to book a class and know that you have carved out time for yourself to move, breathe and remove toxins from the skin”.  Benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, improved respiration and improved cardio and circulatory health through increased blood flow.  Similarly, yoga has been proven to improve your mood and mental health and is often now prescribed to help with mental health concerns including depression and anxiety.  Kristy particularly enjoys Hot Yoga and one of her favourite studios is 3 Tribes in Crouch End https://www.3tribes.co.uk/

We hope you enjoy these tips and we wish you all a relaxing and rejuvenating self-care routine!

Victoryforselfcare

For more information about the story of Omega Oil visit http://www.botanicovida.com/bioactive-sacha-inchi/

 

Botanico Vida and Sainsbury's Partnership

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We are excited that Sainsbury's has chosen to stock Botanico Vida.  Their buyers took time to understand and test Omega Oil, and realised that it filled an important gap in their portfolio, as none of their existing skincare products offered a 100% natural skincare solution for families.  You will be able to buy the 50ml bottle in 380 stores across the country from the middle of September, and the 125ml in a select number of specialist beauty stores from 5th September.  Sainsbury's have been a very helpful and fair supermarket to deal with, and we are delighted to be working with them. 

BumptoBox includes Omega Oil in THE LUXE EDIT Bump Box

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Bump to Box have been working hard to compile some gorgeous boxes for mothers to be, with luxury goodies for each trimester.  Omega Oil is included in The Luxe Edit Trimester 2 box, for just when you need a nourishing and soothing oil to help your stomach to stretch.  The edit also includes beautiful treats such as Bloom and Blossom bath and shower gel, Mama Mio Lucky Legs Leg Cooling gel, Rococo 'Rose' Chocolate, plus many other luxury items hand picked by the two founders who met whilst attending a pregnancy class in London.

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Botanico Vida Launches in Boots Ireland!

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How exciting that are now stocked in Boots Ireland.  Boots was a brand we grew up with that helped me with many 'first times' from lipstick, to fake tan and hair dye! So what a joy that we can work with them now as our first multiple retailer account.  What a treat for Irish shoppers, and thank you Boots for providing your customers with a quality alternative to the big brand products which generally contain mineral oil.  We look forward to welcoming many new customers to the benefits of Omega Oil.  Please get in touch if you'd like to know more.    

We say 'No!' To Mineral Oil

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Mineral Oil is derived from Crude Oil

Mineral Oil is 100% synthetic. It is a by-product of the process used to create petroleum products (gasoline).  Other names include: Paraffin Oil, Liquid Paraffin, Paraffinum Liquidum and Liquid Petroleum.

The leading Skincare Brands use Mineral Oil because it is cheap!

Many brands selling a ‘Natural’ ethos and skincare for babies and pregnant women use Mineral Oil because there is nothing cheaper!  It is used in many family skincare products e.g., Johnson’s Baby Oil, Vaseline, Nivea, Bio Oil, Palmer’s.  Mineral oil costs 2% of the price of standard Olive Oil. 

It does more Harm than Good to our skin

There is no reason to use Mineral Oil over a plant-based oil.  It coats the skin like plastic and clogs the pores.  It interferes with skin's ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders.  This can slow down skin function and cell development, potentially resulting in premature aging.

It Contaminates our Bodies

Your body cannot metabolise or breakdown mineral oil so this contaminant builds up in our cells over time.  A trial looking at fat and milk samples from 142 new mothers (Innsbruck Medical University, 2011) showed that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 gram per person. Possible routes of contamination include air inhalation, food intake, and dermal skin absorption’.

It is highly flammable

The BBC UK (2017) reported that skincare containing paraffin has contributed to dozens of fire deaths across the UK.  In extreme cases, Eczema and Psoriasis treatments (e.g., E45) have contaminated bed linen making it flammable.  The medicines regulator has updated its guidance and says all creams containing paraffin should carry a warning.

Say ‘No!’ to Mineral Oil and the companies who use cheap petrochemical fillers in our skincare and opt for pure botanical plant oils that will nurture, protect and soothe your family’s skin.  

‘Omega Oil’ was formulated to offer 100% natural specialist skincare for dry and irritated skin, ageing skin, sun damage, stretch marks and scars and other skin complaints.  The goodness of Omega 3 absorbs directly into your skin, to promote skin health.  Independent clinical trials have confirmed the benefits of this nutritious formula on skin elasticity and hydration.  

Why Omega Oil is a breakthrough for ageing skin

First, a look inside skin cells

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Omega Oils (in particular Omega 3 and 6) are found in every living cell in our body.  These fatty acids are crucial to our health and the cell membrane, which allows nutrients in, waste products out, and helps to retain water.  The result of a healthy cell membrane is hydrated, softer and more wrinkle-free skin. 

As we age and our oestrogen levels decline the cell membrane becomes thinner and less sticky.  This decreases the barrier function, so that moisture is released from the skin, causing dryness.  With the menopause, these changes can accelerate and cause wrinkles, redness and sensitivities, rosacea and reduced skin elasticity.

How to improve cell membranes

What can we do to enable cell membranes to retain more water and remove toxins whilst absorbing more vital nutrients? The answer: Increase our intake of Omega 3, which is the most deficient Omega Oil in modern diets. Traditionally women have sought to boost Omega 3 with a diet rich in oily fish, nuts, seeds and supplements.  Now, for the first time, they can apply plant-based Omegas and vital nutrients directly to the skin, with Botanico Vida’s breakthrough, highly concentrated ‘Omega Oil’.  It contains the world’s richest plant-source of Omega 3, Sacha Inchi seed oil, from the Amazon Rainforest.

When ‘Omega Oil’ is applied to the skin it helps bolster the skin cell membrane.  It increases the absorption of nutrients and helps the cells to hold more water, leading to moister, softer skin.  This promotes wrinkle prevention, and may eradicate existing mild wrinkles and soothe redness, irritation and inflammation.

Omega 3 has also demonstrated an ability to heal wounds because of its anti-inflammatory properties, to reduce scar tissue and to treat atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and acne.

A 100% natural skincare treatment with outstanding clinical results

Omega Oil was trialled by one of the leading independent skincare laboratories in the UK, Cutest, in 2016.  Their scientists confirmed that after applying Omega Oil directly to patients’ skin over a 3-month period, elasticity and moisture measurements showed a vast improvement and 92% of patients said they would recommend the oil.  

What’s more Botanico Vida’s ‘Omega Oil’ is sustainably sourced, has a light citrus scent, and absorbs beautifully - delivering your skin exactly what it needs without any compromise.

A simple way to help our planet this January...

We were inspired, and shocked by the brave documentary  http://www.cowspiracy.com/ which uncovers the unparalleled impact of global meat consumption on the environment. 

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Meat agriculture is shown to be the biggest driver of Deforestation and Global Warming and to cover 45% of the world’s land.  It also has a profound impact on all our scarce resources: water, fish-stocks and species diversity. 

It feels so wrong that we are using the world’s resources to feed cows rather than humans when there is such widespread global hunger and poverty.

If we were to reduce our demand for meat, in particular beef, the clearing of forests would vastly diminish, and we could easily support the world’s growing population. 

If you watch one documentary this year, we really recommend you watch this one!

 

Trial Users Wanted! Help us to get some facts on the table, and we'll give money to help cure Eczema

We have so much respect for the many families we know who have to deal with the terrible condition of Eczema.  People tell us how helpful Omega Oil can be as a 100% natural solution to manage the condition - but there are very few facts out there about natural treatments.  For National Eczema Week 2017, we are launching a trial to get some facts, and we need your help!  

Details:  

We need to recruit a number of children with patches of red, itchy skin, non-broken skin.  

Please email us for more details at 'hello@botanicovida.com'  for more details.   We will need a photo of the affected area and a snap shot of your child with their name and age . 

Omega Oil is hypoallergenic and dermatologist approved for even the most sensitive skin, so there is no risk to being part of this trial.  We treat all information you send to us confidentially and will not use this for any purposes other than anonymised trial results. 

Please help us and other sufferers by taking part in the trial!

Here are some testimonials

 

Healthy Summer Skin

Summer is by far our favourite season; there is so much to love. The warm feeling of morning sunshine as you sip a cup of tea; the beach; the sea; the saltiness in the air; the holidays and break from normal life; exotic food in faraway places; peace, quiet, calm and contentment; the warm, balmy evenings spent outdoors.

Our skin loves summer too as it too can be free to relish the elements; unbounded by heavy clothing, tights, leggings and jeans. It will feel healthy, rejuvenated and alive providing we remember that all that extra sunshine and outdoor living does mean the sun will also drink up its essential moisture and we need to replenish.  Dry (lacking in oil) or dehydrated skin (lacking in water) caused by the sun is one of the key factors in skin ageing before its time. This is not saying that sun should be avoided altogether. Being a conscious sunbather is all that is required: wear a hat, cover your shoulders with a shawl or sarong; avoid the sun during the middle of the day; use an spf but don’t feel like you need factor 50 all day long as you skin also needs sunshine, just not in excess and replenish your bodies fluids throughout the day with lot of pure, clean water.

Next, start a morning and evening summer hydration ritual: dry skin brush or exfoliate and then apply an Omega-Rich Body Oil top toe.  We use our Omega Oil (https://botanicovida-com.myshopify.com) religiously every day, on the whole family and you can really see and feel the difference in our skin. Scaly, dry, red areas are restored and it feels silky and soft. Why Omega Oils are so effective when applied topically is due to their high level of Fatty Acids, some of which, particular Omega 3 are considered to be essential nutrients that form the building blocks of your skins cells.  

By keeping your skin hydrated during summer you will also hold onto your golden complexion longer and your skin will look vital, healthy and radiant all summer long.

Wishing you a wonderful summer!

Kristy Cimesa

Beauty Shortlist Awards - Winner!

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We are absolutely thrilled that Omega Oil has won Best New Product Launch for the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2017, Mama and Baby.  The awards are voted for by judges who actually trial the products over several months, and as 'Cult Beauty' say of the judging process: "We love the integrity that shines through.  These Awards should be used as everyone's beauty shopping list". Obviously we agree!

 

Spring in your step...

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Spring is finally upon us and as we pack away our winter coats and boots (we hope!) now is a great time to also shed our winter skin and prepare for the warm, balmy months ahead.

Exfoliation is perhaps the most important element in spring time skin prep as it helps to eliminate dry and flaky winter skin and stimulate new cell renewal.  Daily dry skin body brushing is one of the most effective methods to exfoliate as it helps to promote circulation at the same time as removing the dry and flaky cells that accumulate on the surface of your skin. Always start at your extremities i.e. hands and feet, and sweep upwards towards your torso.  In this way it encourages lymph flow and stimulates fluid metabolism.  Practised religiously in Asia for thousands of year it is definitely a tried and tested method for boosting your circulation and getting your glow back.

Next slather your skin in Omega Oil.  Containing the Earth's richest plant source of Omega 3, 6 & 9 there really is nothing better for nourishing and hydrating your skin than the very thing that your skin cells require for optimum function and well-being.  When your body is depleted of Omega Fatty Acids your skin becomes dry, dull and lack lustre and often prone to sensitivities.  Our hundreds of testimonials from happy customers show just how effective Omega Oil is at regenerating the skin.  Massage into your limbs and it immediately soaks deep into your epidermis, plumping and nourishing the skin cells and helping to improve the barrier function of your skin to lock moisture deep within.  The result: nourished, glowing and healthy skin that feels immediately more hydrated, softer and radiant.

To help support your spring time regime, inside out, give your body an added dose of Omegas with our favourite spring time breakfast.  In the blender add 1 cup of coconut water, 1 handful of Blueberries, 1 handful of Raspberries, 1 Banana, 1 tablespoon of Linseed and 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds. Whizz on high for a few minutes.  Such a delicious and health-promoting way to start the day and will be sure to put your spring back in your step and give you that healthy 'I am looking after myself in the right way' glow.  Happy Spring!

"A natural, more luxurious, effective and ethical alternative to bio-oil"

Thanks to Roxy, at 'The Eco Edit', a site focused on ethical products for including us in her 'Spring Skincare Edit'

"A natural, more luxurious, effective and ethical alternative to bio-oil, this Omega oil formula is my new cabinet staple. You can use it for almost any skin ailment – for stretch marks, scars, to hydrate ageing or dry skin, for babies cradle cap, as a massage oil and as a luxurious facial treatment (I like leaving it on overnight to really sink in). It comes in a spray which is useful when using all over your body and the best bit? Its hero ingredient is Sacha Inchi Seed Oil, an indigenous and highly nutritious plant originating from Peru that it is part of a project to reforest the amazon and rebuild forest communities. "

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Healthy Omega 3 Flap Jacks with Dates and Banana

Our Sacha Inchi Flap Jacks were such a hit with midwives at the Mother, Midwifery and Baby Forum 2017 #mmbforum, that after numerous requests to share this recipe I am posting it here, for all to use and share.  With no added-sugar they provide a very healthy energy-boosting treat for pregnant women, new mums, kids and busy midwives!

Thank you to Mumsnet, where I found a similar recipe, then loaded it with Omega rich Sacha Inchi Seeds which are packed with Omega 3, 6 and 9 and really high in protein.

Unfortunately Sacha Inchi Seeds are still quite difficult to buy in the UK but you can easily substitute for other Omega 3 rich sources such as Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds or Hemp Seeds.

        Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas

  • 175g dates chopped (or other sweet dried fruit)

  • 80ml vegetable oil or olive oil (I used Coconut Oil, but you need to melt this first to make it runny)

  • 50g of raisins

  • 180g oats

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)

  • A small handful of Omega rich seeds or nuts, use any of the following: Chopped Sacha Inchi Seeds, Chopped Walnuts, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds (all optional)

Method

  1. Mash the bananas in a large bowl or a mixer.

  2. Add the chopped dates and oil to the bananas and mix together – or use a mixer

  3. Stir in the oats, raisins and the vanilla essence (optional) and seeds and leave for 5 mins, so the oats absorb the oil

  4. Spoon the mixture into a greased or lined baking tray and squash it down so that it is about 2 cm thick and bake at 175C/Gas Mark 5 for about 20 - 25 minutes.

  5. Cut into squares whilst still hot in the pan

  6. Share and enjoy with family and friends

Winter Skin SOS

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Winter can be extremely harsh on the skin: depleting the skin of its natural oils and increasing the rate of trans-epidermal water loss alongside a reduction in cellular turnover and impairment of the skin's natural barrier function.  All of these factors combine to lead to dehydrated and sensitive skin with a rapid acceleration of the ageing process.

Omega Oil offers a very efficient and 100% natural solution for dehydrated winter skin. Clinically proven to improve skin hydration with over 96% of users reporting that their skin felt more hydrated, softer and supple after the application of Omega Oil.

As every cell in our body contains lipids of which essential fatty acids contribute  a significant portion, Omega Oils applied topically plays a pivotal role in plumping, hydrating and nourishing our skin cells. Containing the earth’s richest plant source of Omega 3,6 & 9 with 90% fatty acid content and an abundance of anti-oxidants, vitamins and protein, Omega Oil delivers all the nutrients our skin needs directly into the epidermis.  Due to the molecular structure of Omega Oil being very similar to skin lipids, these essential nutrients are very easily absorbed, and promptly help to restore your skins barrier function and reduce trans-epidermal water loss.  So effective, even from the first application, exceptionally dry skin will feel more nourished and hydrated and leave the skin feeling soft and looking dewy and radiant.

For maximum benefit don't forget to also exfoliate. Use a dry skin brush daily to gently shed surface dead skin cells and help stimulate new cell renewal and encourage circulation. Japanese have practiced the ritual of dry skin brushing for centuries helping their bodies to  detoxify, purify and invigorate.  New skin cells will more rapidly absorb any body products applied, helping to reap maximum benefit from your products.