I admit it. I’m a sucker for roses and chocolates, and romantic gestures in general. But, as I’ve said before, there’s no need to wait for someone else to do these kinds of things for us. I’ve always been a big proponent of treating myself well. We all deserve niceties. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share how I surround myself with roses and chocolates every day of the year.
In skin care, roses never fade and chocolates don’t fatten. They are excellent ingredients that beautify (note: I’m talking about the real stuff. Synthetics have no skin care benefits). Rose has been found to calm and balance skin, clean pores, heal broken capillaries, and diminish redness and rosacea. Its fragrance can also reduce anxiety, tension, and depression. And, of course, anyone looks better happy and relaxed. Chocolate can also help us look good. You might avoid eating it for fear of pimples. But that’s actually an urban myth. The fact is that applying dark chocolate directly to the skin can soothe and soften skin, and may heal, protect, and smooth wrinkles, because it’s high in antioxidants.
Now if you get roses and chocolates as gifts, there’s no need to start smearing them on your face and body. That probably wouldn’t do much good anyway. But there are many skin care products that use these ingredients to great effect. I’ve pulled together some of the best eco-beauty products that beautify naturally with lots of rose and chocolate.
Body Deli, Duchess Marden, REN, and Aura Cacia make rose skin care products that are exceptionally fragrant, fantastic for the skin, and contain an extraordinary amount of precious (and crazy expensive) rose oils. It takes nearly 200 pounds of roses to create just one ounce of rose essential oil. These oils can cost thousands of dollars a pound.
Body Deli Creme de la Rose is Body Deli’s best selling product. They call this their “fountain of youth” and “the ultimate anti-aging and regenerating facial treatment.” I call it my coveted rose face cream that smells heavenly and makes my face incredibly soft and glowy. It contains Bulgarian rose, Moroccan rose geranium, and sandalwood from India to help skin heal and regenerate, marine red algae peptides to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and many other natural ingredients to moisturize, firm, and nourish. The certified organic Bulgarian rose oil is one of their most expensive ingredients at more than $4000 a pound. This cream is a labor of love – it’s made in small batches and takes more than 24 hours to make. This can also save you money by eliminating the need for a separate eye cream, since it’s safe enough and rich enough for the eye area. All Body Deli products contain raw, fresh, natural, organic ingredients, and are so fresh that they have use-by dates on them. $75.
The entire Duchess Marden line revolves around the Damask rose, also known as the Bulgarian or Turkish rose. I’ve used two of the products and clearly need to try them all. Using the Duchess Marden Damascena Foaming Cleanser is a heady experience. It smells like a fresh bouquet of the most beautiful roses you’ve ever encountered. It gently cleanses, brightens, and moisturizes while making me calm and peaceful. Damascena Enzyme Exfoliant gently buffs away dead skin cells and boosts cell turnover with enzymes and jojoba beads. The president and founder of Duchess Marden explains that her products are more fragrant than most, because they’re made with pure organic rose, not a combination of water and a small amount of rose oil. Duchess Marden products come in the most exquisite glass bottles and are free of parabens, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, and chemical preservatives. $38 for the cleanser. $44 for the exfoliant.
REN makes two amazing rose body products, a wash and a cream. REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash has won the best body wash award from InStyle for seven years in a row and with good reason. When I use this, I feel like I’m being showered with rose petals. It washes away my cares and leaves me with beautiful soft skin. It’s a silky, moisturizing cleanser made with rose otto oil from Moroccan roses, which is said to be one of the world’s most expensive and revered of essential oils. I follow up with their Damask Rose Ramnose Biosaccharide Body Cream, a calming, ultra rich cream that contains rose otto oil from Damask rose petals, shea butter, and coconut and jojoba oils. It makes me smell amazing, like a rose garden at the height of spring. Both are free of synthetic fragrances and colors, sulfates, petrochemicals, and other unwanted gunk. $27 for the wash. $44 for the cream.aura-cacia-rose-spritz
For a rose pick-me-up anytime, I spray a little Aura Cacia Renewing Rose Spritz. This is a simple, affordable blend of purified water and rose absolute. I keep a bottle of it around the house and in a little atomizer in my purse to quickly lift my mood anywhere. It’s ideal to spray before a session of yoga or meditation. $8.99.
Sister companies Aqua Dessa and 100% Pure both have wonderful chocolate face and body scrubs that smell amazing, contain lots of real dark chocolate, are biodegradable, and free of parabens, sulfates, and other junk like that. These are two I’ve tried and adore.
Aqua Dessa Chocolate Blackcurrant Facial Scrub softens and smooths beautifully. It’s chock full of antioxidants from dark chocolate, vitamin E, vitamin C, and black currant oil. It also contains fruit extracts to brighten and nourish the skin. It’s gentle enough to be used every day and is 97.5% natural. It’s especially good for the lips, because it’s pure enough to eat. Of course, I had to taste it. It’s quite delicious. If it weren’t for the jojoba beads, I’d just drink the whole bottle. $28.
100% Pure Organic Chocolate Mocha Body Scrub is a chocolate and coffee lover’s dream. It uses organic dark Belgian chocolate and ground organic Hawaiian Kona coffee beans to buff away dry, flaky skin and increase circulation. Grapeseed and black currant oils moisturize while vitamin C and E heal and protect. $22.