Monday, 27 March 2017

Marble and Milkweed – Apothecary Skincare from New York



I stumbled across this brand when reading Fiona’s (orchidsandpeonies) post about the cleanser mentioned below and how she compares it to May Lindstrom’s Honey Mud. I had been on the search for a cleanser that was similar to that of May’s but without the heavy price tag. The sleek sophisticated packaging was what caught my eye so I headed over to their website straight away, it didn’t disappoint. It is one of those brands where you instantly want everything, the images and content is so aesthetically pleasing!

Briar is the founder and creator of Marble and Milkweed and has a clear passion for all things natural, sustainable and green. Her formulations are made in a small apothecary studio in New York’s Lower East Side which to me sounds so wonderfully enticing seeing as NYC is my favourite city! Her aim is to simplify the way we care for our skin, recommending a ‘less is more’ approach. All ingredients are sourced organically and contain no harsh additives or artificial synthetics plus all products on offer are housed in compostable and/or recyclable packaging. The light protective glass jars certainly look beautiful sat on your bathroom shelf…

When it came to deciding what to purchase alongside the cleanser it really was a struggle, I deliberated for a while as everything sounded so good! Briar has a lyrical way of writing which truly comes through in her explanation of each product. You won’t find any outlandish claims and this is one of the reasons why I enjoy using smaller brands which hand make smaller batches of skincare. There is something incredibly real and refreshing about delving into a product that has been created from the heart and doesn’t promise the world. Now let’s talk about these beautiful creations…

Rose and Chamomile Honey Clay Cleanser:

As I mentioned before this was the product that initiated my search and I am so pleased I took the plunge to buy this. It is designed to be an everyday cleanser that deeply cleans whilst leaving skins natural balance intact. As expected the ingredients include local raw honey, 3 different types of clay (bentonite, white kaolin and rose kaolin), rosehip seed oil, essences of organic rose otto and organic German chamomile. These create a beautiful balanced scent which is neither overpowering or artificial and is actually quite sweet. Almost like a subtle rose chocolate concoction…

Upon first use I was a little taken aback by how thick and sticky the product was, I suppose that I should have expected it to be based on the fact it contains honey! Briar recommends using a spoon and I would agree that this is necessary for easy removal from the jar and extending its life span. Having damp skin is also an essential part in getting the best results from the cleanser. You need to have skin fairly wet skin in order for the product to move around easily and the water encourages the ingredients to break down and turn into an oilier, silkier texture.

Once massaged in it feels truly wonderful on the skin, not heavy and the stickiness disappears. I like to use this as a morning or second cleanse especially when my skin is feeling groggy and I have more time to pay attention and really invest in a calming ritual. Usually I will leave it on for around 10 minutes so it can work as a mask allowing the clays and antibacterial honey to cleanse deeper. I find this gives fantastic results in calming my skin and bringing down any redness or irritation whilst still retaining moisture levels. I have only ever emulsified and rinsed this cleanser off with warm water, which I find to be super effective. It doesn’t leave any residue behind but just very soft glowing skin. Every time I find myself staring into the mirror as my skin just looks happy and smooth!

The results of this cleanser will keep me coming back time and time again. It’s not a product I would use every day as you do need to dedicate time to it, working it into the skin, and I do like to allow it to sit there for a while as I feel washing the goodness down the sink straight away would be a waste! The basic but very effective gentle natural ingredients really make this cleanser stand out from anything I have tried before. As much as I would love to try May’s THM it would seem that I have found something of a lesser known treasure. This pot is 70g and cost me $38.00 (around £30), compared to THM which is £87.00 for 100ml. Although size wise there is a difference and the price is very similar overall, the plus point is that it is available in smaller pots which to me is much more appealing and price wise, easier to digest. It is worth noting the pot will last you a while with around 2-3 times weekly use. Just look at those ingredients and tell me you aren’t tempted…

Ingredients:

local raw honey, *sunflower oil infused with *calendula & *marshmallow root, bentonite clay, white kaolin clay, rose kaolin clay, *vegetable glycerine, *sesame oil, *rosehip seed oil, essences of *rose otto, *rose geranium & *german chamomile, local beeswax, non-gmo vitamin e (*organic) local raw honey, *sunflower oil infused with *calendula & *marshmallow root, bentonite clay, white kaolin clay, rose kaolin clay, *vegetable glycerine, *sesame oil, *rosehip seed oil, essences of *rose otto, *rose geranium & *german chamomile, local beeswax, non-gmo vitamin e (*organic) local raw honey, *sunflower oil infused with *calendula & *marshmallow root, bentonite clay, white kaolin clay, rose kaolin clay, *vegetable glycerine, *sesame oil, *rosehip seed oil, essences of *rose otto, *rose geranium & *german chamomile, local beeswax, non-gmo vitamin e (*organic) local raw honey, *sunflower oil infused with *calendula & *marshmallow root, bentonite clay, white kaolin clay, rose kaolin clay, *vegetable glycerine, *sesame oil, *rosehip seed oil, essences of *rose otto, *rose geranium & *german chamomile, local beeswax, non-gmo vitamin e (*organic)local raw honey, *sunflower oil infused with *calendula & *marshmallow root, bentonite clay, white kaolin clay, rose kaolin clay, *sesame oil, *rosehip seed oil, essences of *rose otto, *rose geranium & *german chamomile, local beeswax, non-gmo vitamin e (*organic)



This cleanser can be purchased from Marble and Milkweed directly here Link or Etsy for $38.00 for 70g pot or $8.00 for 10g pot

Nourishing Facial Balm:

The next product I purchased from Briar’s capsule collection was this facial balm. I am a complete facial oil/balm fanatic and love massaging them into my skin as part of my nightly routine. As you would expect this balm is packed with rich nourishing botanicals that hydrate and balance your skin, a little bit goes a long way. The scent is rather heady and smells completely natural and herbal, I would say that it is definitely stronger than the cleanser mentioned above but certainly not off putting. A real luxurious treat before bed.

Prior to using this I was a little hesitant as it does include ingredients which some oily/combination skins would run away from, but I’m all about experimenting and have realized that although some ingredients are big no no’s for certain individuals, I don’t think that should be the judge for all. For me it’s really down to how the product is made and the quality of the ingredients.

Onto what’s inside… it really is jam packed with skin loving soothing ingredients such as local beeswax and honey, rosehip seed oil, calendula and sea buckthorn extracts. I feel these all help to balance the skin and I have noticed this balm seems to help blemishes and speed up the healing process. This was a pleasant surprise as I would have imagined this product would more likely aggravate breakouts than assist! Just goes to show you shouldn’t judge a product before trying! I like to warm a little bit up between my fingers and apply as a last step to seal in everything. It absorbs very well and leaves no greasy residue. Although I don’t mind going to bed a bit of a grease bucket when my skin is dry etc it is nice to feel like your skin can breathe and this gives the perfect finish to my routine. The scent truly relaxes me before bedtime and I like that the smell lingers.

Briar does mention that this can also be used as a cleansing balm and I think it does an excellent job used this way. Massaging onto dry skin and removing with a warm damp cloth feels so amazing and allows all the beautiful aromas to come through providing a completely sensorial experience. As with the cleanser I love that it is multipurpose and can be used in more than one way really making you feel like it is money well spent.

Ingredients:

ingredients: apricot kernel oil*, coconut oil*, local beeswax, argan oil*, sesame oil*, shea butter*, rosehip seed oil*, pomegranate seed oil*, local honey, calendula extract*, rosehip extract*, sea buckthorn extract*, jasmine extract*, essential oils of helichrysum*, frankincense*, neroli*, wild carrot, wild chamomile, rose otto*, local bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly, non-gmo vitamin e (organic*)Apricot Kernal Oil*, Coconut Oil*, Local Beeswax, argan oil*, sesame oil*, shea butter*, rosehip seed oil*, pomegranate seed oil*, local honey, calendula extract*, rosehip extract*, sea buckthorn extract*, jasmine extract*, essential oils of helichrysym*, frankincense*, neroli*, wild carrot, wild chamomile, rose otto*, local bee pollen, propolis & royal jelly, non-gmo vitamin e (*organic)

This balm is available in 6g for $14.00 or 14g for $32.00 (I have the 14g pot).

I will definitely repurchase both of these products again but have my eye on the Rose and Chamomile or Orange Blossom Butter, the Nourishing Body Oil and one of the facial serums! To be honest all of it! If you haven’t checked out their website then I urge you to do so! They also have some vintage pearl spoons which look gorgeous for mixing masques with!

In terms of shipping to the UK I paid around £18 for both of them and then around £9 in customs taxes I believe, I ordered through Etsy. Briar did add in some other samples as well which was so very kind. Her customer service was second to none and she answered any questions I had. I wish Marble and Milkweed all the success in the future, a brand like this should receive recognition for all the wonderful work they do not only for people but for the environment as well.

What smaller niche brands do you like? I would love to hear.

Thanks for reading xx
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