ISUN Ultra Sapphire

Considering who you ask, ISUN Skincare is either helping set a new standard of infused oils or is the an obscurely branded brainchild of some elusive but gorgeously obsessed woman who has refuses to dupe the masses into an essential oil hysteria. Why is the distribution so rare? Why haven’t the herbal treatments hit spas or big branded retailers? It doesn’t matter. What matters is how Bunnie Gulick, the founder of this undeniably exquisite brand of oils, has that distinguishable knack for turning the basics of essentials into some tasteful extravagance with a slick intensity bottled up. It’s mainly owing to what seems like a pedigree of Ayurvedic understanding with aromatherapeutic grade extractions to infuse both in her trademark shadowy herbal soaks which yield oils that refuse to bow down to the trend of the moment.

ISUN distills to the truth of essential oils. The truth of how when a face treatment is devoid of chemical fillers, telltale signs of aging get nothing but the purest sense of antioxidants to treat upon impact. The Ultra Sapphire Face Oil ($92) is a strikingly sophisticated serum that is part medicinal and part restorative. It’s one of the most complex blends that I’ve seen thus far - full of sparkling, wildcrafted pop oils. Her eclectic herb mix starts off with Sunflower, Fractionated Coconut, and Calendula carriers cosseting a fabulous roster of essentials - Chamomile, Lavender, Licorice Root, Green Tea, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Plantain, Milk Thistle, Comfrey Ivs, Comfrey Root, Gotu Kola, Gingko, Life Everlasting, Rhodiola, Echinacea, Shavegrass, Boswellia, Blue Violet, and Goji Berry. Of course, this is a shocker as most of the face oils discussed on this blog contain far less than half of these superbly curative ingredients. The herbs are extracted over a period of up to 30 days with a consistent temperature of around 100 degrees F, then strained, pressed and filtered to produce a bounty of intense phyto-antioxidants.

Balance is more than a metaphor for Bunnie. She continues her mixmastery by weaving in a cornucopia of notable carriers brimming with fatty acids - Kukui, Tamanu, Camelina, Rose Hip Seed, Borage, Acai, Seabuckthorn Berry, Carrot, Evening Primrose and Macadamia Oils. It’s this supercharged nexus of vitamin and mineral rich oils that goes straight to work on signs of aging – photodamage, age spots, and fine wrinkling. Healthy dollops of Vitamin C esters run freely through the layers of herbs and oils to stimulate skin metabolism and increase collagen synthesis. You can almost feel how meticulously hand-troweled this blend must have been, as it charges deeper into skin with intense weavings of Retinyl Palmitate, the precursor for Retinol. Not surprising, this ambitious blend was orchestrated to:

  • Energize repair and regeneration of skin cell
  • Stimulate the skin’s immune system
  • Strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier
  • Balance moisture retention
  • Soothe and calm irritated skin
  • Promote lighter, more even skin tone

As lovingly and tender the medium weighted oil is for sensitive and mature skins, there is a honeyed bitter scent that percolates through the textural layers. There’s a rough tang of Helichrysum, which overtly drowns out what would have been a succulent composition of Jasmine Sambac, Sandalwood, Blue Chamomile, Rose & Neroli absolutes. It’s a fleeting but pungently warm scent, which strangely compels. It does fade away with a deep blend, imparting a slightly antiquated feel of Ayurvedic notes with a twist. Definitely not for the faint-hearted but for those intrigued by a fussy and vague cardamom copycat.

And, yes, the energizing play of energy from a genuine sapphire adds to fantastic swirls of oils.