Know Your Ingredients | Oil, Serum and Mask

Organic, those good-enough-to-eat body treatments have been getting recognized of late. If it’s not the simplified list of ingredients inspiring your trust of the brand, it’s the ultra-chic packaging which makes it quite hard to resist and quite easy to spend on. The stylish draw of minimalism is usually what gets me.

And, not just for the pared down elegance, mind you. It’s also because as a pro marketer (ok, I added the pro bit for emphasis), I can appreciate the bucks spent on quality ingredients over the pomp of packaging. This is why Know Your Ingredients (KYI) matters as a brand.

Samantha Addonizio (founder) is extraordinarily passionate about the very few ingredients that go into the trio of wholesome body care that makes up her brand. Heard this before? Well, Samantha wasn’t alone in this. Her first step was crowdfunding this beauty project last year, which roused the support of some trusted backers. Wow, when was the last time you got excited over a launch of a new brand, so much so you helped fund it? Let’s set the financial good fortune aside and appreciate Samantha’s gumption by way of her blends.

Her second smart move was to amp up the now classic Argan. You don’t get a basic Argan oil to supplement your skincare regime at KYI. Instead, she's created the Argan Oil with Vitamin C ($45), which is a nicely sized bottle of Argan oil enhanced with an oil-soluble form of Vitamin C to brighten skin. Most derms agree this sophisticated additive will also help with skin regeneration, while the reputed Argan gets to fighting those nasty free radicals and signs of aging.

The serum has the dazzling zest of 100% organic Orange and Grapefruit oils, which is so fresh, you’d think you had squeezed the juices yourself. Sensitive skins have an unscented option available, too.

At this price, you can add a body treatment to your cart. Hot on the oil trend is the Sweet Almond Softening Oil ($20); a fabulous bargain for 8 ounces and in three scented blends. Or, unscented to make your own. It feels like the multipurpose Almond oil seems to be experiencing a renaissance these days, huh?

Margaret Grieve, author of "A Modern Herbal," says Sweet Almond oil contains more olein than Olive oil, and that it's an excellent remedy for chapped hands and feet. The oil is also reputed to relieve dry, flaking and itchy skin due to eczema, psoriasis and rashes. For ultra-relaxation, the Chamomile Lavender version is just so right for the bath or for after one. It’s a pretension free formulation; a semi-strong scent with nicely balanced essences. The Lavender seems far more aromatic than herbaceous. It sprouts up nicely next to the enriching calm of Chamomile lending a near floral effect to the oil rather than the usually seen milky one. Simply put – I like. A lot, actually. After a shower when skin is damp gets you the softest skin without a trace of grease.

For me, I used the oil both in the bath and after. But, the real fun came with the Whipped Shea Butter Mask ($20) layered over my face with the same scent. Made from a slightly stiff yet smooth refined Shea Butter and Jojoba oil, the mask appreciates a bit of massaging and warmth to spread evenly. The mask transforms neglected dry skin and any patches elsewhere. Think about your cuticles, which sopped up this buttery treat.

Fun fact: On the face, Shea Butter can easily penetrate the skin allowing the skin to breathe and without clogging pores. Read here to see why it trumps mineral oil by far.

It's these types of spirited women entrepreneurs that really give the big brands a run for their buck. Samantha’s thoughtful choices and ingredients gives you a well-executed introduction to the unfussiness of oils and butters in a way that seems very real. Much like the results your skin will surely reap.

Price: $$
Scent Classification: Floral, Herbal, Unscented
Viscosity: Ultralight to Slightly viscous