Oh to age like a Gabor – graceful and elegant with a bit of gentle austerity. What is it about Hungary that makes its skin care near legendary? Skincare is serious here. Hungarian women are more likely than Americans to have hour-long facials several times each week and focus on the holistic health of their skin’s well-being from the inside out. The Hungarians also show a near-zealous but charming propensity for herbal extracts and essences, more often than not harvested locally and often used in specially created products that aren’t designed to sit for months in some retail shop. No, Hungarian skin care is rather about adapting ancient remedies from long-forgotten hand written recipes to your needs now.
Ilike Soothing Herbs Body Oil ($88) brought over by the curators at Saffron Rouge carries on European the tradition of tinctures and oils with its impeccably blended formulation largely of Yarrow oil. It’s made in Hungary, but forget those commonplace carriers. Yarrow is a perennial herb that is well known in Europe believed to be a remedy for numerous ailments and diseases. An essential not carrier oil, it has been the first choice for healing wounds in its initial stages even by sensitive skins, which makes it wonderfully nutritious for use after waxing, threading or even shaving. History even shows Achilles (the great Greek warrior) used the pure version for healing of his wounds, and that of his soldiers.
For a boost of hydration, see the classical nourishers Calendula, Evening Primrose, Rosehip Seed oils added to Yarrow. Sharply aromatic, the body oil brings a fabulously herbaceous scent with Lavender-inflected notes made tense with the esoterically menthol side of Peppermint. The oil is full of very fragrant skin-loving ingredients like carotenoids, bioflavonoids, lignans, tannins, chlorophyll, mineral salts, and trace elements. Chlorophyll is what helps activate the effects of Yarrow as it stimulates cell metabolism, resulting in natural repair of damaged tissues.
The scent is quite invigorating with an impressive clarity and silky texture for such voluminous essentials; with an underlying earthiness from the lightweight blend, it’s excellent to use as a pick-me-up or even in the bath. Men will appreciate the androgynous slant of the scent and slick feel if used as a pre-shave balm (which seems to be the next big thing hitting the market) to treat accidental nicks. he weightier feel will help give a good cushion for an accurate shave.
Ilike isn’t about marketing to the masses, though. It’s about taking the best medicinal properties from bucolic Hungarian traditions and taming your testy skin with those history-holds-true types of remedies from the land’s infinitely adaptable herbs. The buoyant and bright scent adds all the more fun.
Well, that and the complementary bath salts ($24), which are also jazzed by Lavender but sweetens the froth with organic Geranium and Mandarin.
Scent Classification: N/a
Viscosity: Slightly viscous