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Soul & Body

Beauty: playing the (lavender) field

Before you dismiss lavender as a relic of beauty product antiquity, you may want to consider shifting your paradigm. The field-grown botanical has been a staple ingredient in wellness remedies, fragrances, beauty elixirs, and even household products for generations. Popular health websites (such as Healthline.com and Everydayhealth.com) covering western and eastern medical modalities point out it is native to the Middle East, Mediterranean, and India. Its medicinal, therapeutic, and aromatic usage go back as far as 2,500 years.
      As this millennium is just getting started, modern-day health concerns have reawakened a worldwide interest in lavender, especially with different varietals of the plant emerging. This powerful but soothing member of the mint family is now revered for its antioxidant properties along with familiar calming aroma. Based on how lavender is worked into a formulation, its benefits include mitigating insomnia and skin irritations, reducing stress, and menopause symptoms, relieves some skin ailments, encouraging hair growth, and lessening the impact of asthma and high blood pressure on the body.
      This summer’s crop of earthly delights begins with two new products from New Zealand, as it is now making its mark as a pioneer of green, clean, and sustainable beauty. With a large field of committed small producers and artisans who converge strict government-directed regulations and wholesome feel-good formulas, it makes perfect “scents” that one of the world’s healthiest environments is leading the charge. That said, all of the following products reflect the timeless importance of and reverence for lavender throughout the world.
Anihana Bath and Body Care

Anihana’s Lavender Shower Steamer (US$3·99) delivers a spa-at-home experience instantly by infusing the air with lavender essential oil for a calming aromatherapy experience. The steamer is made with all natural ingredients, cruelty-free, free from SLS, SLES and parabens, and packaging is home compostable.
      This lovingly crafted bath and body care collection is formulated to enhance your well-being and much needed “me time”. This clean and sustainable New Zealand-based beauty brand has a strong commitment to being plastic-free with certified home compostable packaging. Anihana is currently on a journey to becoming B Corp-certified with its steadfast commitment to protecting the planet for future generations.
Ao Skincare

Ao Skincare’s Passionflower Sleep Balm activates when applied to your pulse points (wrists and temples), releasing aromatic benefits within an infused essential oil blend of bergamot, orange peel and lavender to help instil a sense of relaxation and calm to your pulse points. Another clean, sustainable Kiwi brand, Ao Skincare, created by a Harvard-trained dermatologist, is known for its cold processed skin care which restores the skin’s barrier so it can protect and moisturize itself. The preventative ingredients native to New Zealand retain their strength power. Ingredients are cruelty-free and EWG-verified, and the packaging is sustainable and includes refillable products.
Alterna Haircare
Summer is the time to do some “bonding” with your hair, especially when exposed to sun, heat, humidity, and a variety of environmental challenges—natural and otherwise. In response, premium hair care line Alterna has rolled out its Restructuring Bond Repair collection (including Restructuring Bond Repair shampoo, which protects and repairs damaged hair; Restructuring Bond Repair conditioner, which protects and repairs strands while adding shine, moisturizing; and Restructuring Bond Repair, a reparative treatment masque that reduces breakage and frizz). Each product features Alterna’s exclusive Caviar Bond Enforcing Technology to repair and protect hair, reducing breakage by more than 99 per cent!
Renpure’s Lavender Honey calming body wash is the newest addition to this prolific and affordable skin, body, and hair care collection. The experience begins with a captivating layer of lavender, which nourishes and hydrates, bolstered with the soft fragrance and moisturizing power of honey. The formula is free from sulphates, parabens, dyes, and harsh chemicals, and housed in 100 per cent recyclable packaging—including the first 100 per cent recyclable pump on the US market. 
Après Nail

We love this line’s yummy Après Gel Couleur in Berry Dreamy, which like the rest of the colours, offers a smooth, highly pigmented formula that provides an amazing lavender pop complementing your summer wardrobe and state of mind. This Après Gel Couleur shade includes a revolutionary in-bottle Brush-X, a dense and compact brush for the easiest, most precise colour application for both pros and at-home users.
Skin Inc.

This company just rolled out its Embrace Candle Collection, an aromatherapeutic soy candle collection to help boost your mood and improve mental health, which leads to healthier skin. Its Dream Again (US$30) candle, which completes a summertime “me time” experience at home, is a lavender scented and sure to revitalize one’s spirit as much as it relaxes it.
Archipelago Lavender Hand Wash and Lotion

Skin care and homeware brand Archipelago’s lavender goods come in refillable glass bottles and exude the luxury we’ve come to expect. The bio-based surfactants of its Lavender Hand Wash (US$25) deeply cleanses while vegetable-derived glycerin acts as a natural moisturizer. Hands feel clean and soft, not dry. The soothing scent of lavender, derived from 100 per cent natural fragrance, lingers to provide ongoing relaxation. The Lavender Hand Lotion’s (US$28) silky moisturizing formula melts beautifully into skin, leaving it soft and hydrated, not greasy. Natural ingredients nourish dry, chapped hands while 100 per cent natural lavender fragrance infuses hands with a calming, grounding scent. The lightweight texture makes it ideal for frequent use throughout the day.

Leonard Cotte/Unsplash


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