I’ve been on a camellia flower oil kick lately.
It started with this weird itchiness I felt along my jawline. There was no rash or redness that I could see, but it just felt really itchy, especially after I cleansed my face and after using acids. So I temporarily cut out all AHAs (I only use BHA on my T-zone), switched to a mild cleanser, limited my products to the ones I had been using for a while (I’d been testing a lot of new products recently, which could have been the source of the irritation), and tried to keep my new products as nature-based as possible. One such line is SanDaWha, a Korean beauty company whose key ingredient is the camellia flower from Korea’s pristine Jeju Island. I’ve come to love camellia flower oil for its bounty of omega-6 and -9, serious antioxidant power rivaling that of vitamin C, and its ability to boost collagen production. Every time I apply SanDaWha’s dreamy Camellia Floral Water Cream, a rich, buttery cream that melts into an almost liquid texture, any itchiness immediately calmed down. It basically saved my skin for the several weeks that I endured the irritation. (In fact, I loved it so much, I officially made their oil cleanser and their toner my go-to’s for the season.)
Now that my skin feels back to normal, I’m back to testing products again, but I’m starting slow. One product I’m eager to try is Boscia’s new Tsubaki Swirl cream, which I was introduced to at a press event at Red Bird in downtown Los Angeles. (Nothing like a brunch of waffles, maple syrup, and Basque Baked Eggs with rib eye and blood sausage to awaken the taste buds!) Tsubaki is Japanese for camellia flower, and given my newfound love of the botanical, it’s first on my list to try. The product itself is gorgeous — a beautiful pink clear jar with DNA-looking like white swirls. At first, I thought that was just the packaging design, but when you open the jar, you see that it’s actually a white cream swirled into a clear gel. Stunning! (It reminds me of Boscia’s Charcoal Pore Pudding mask, with white and black clay swirled together in the jar.)
This swirl technology is patented, and Boscia is the only one to do it in North America. The white swirl is camellia flower oil with rice bran oil to fight dark spots, while the clear gel contains peptides to support collagen production and sodium hyaluronate, the salt of hyaluronic acid, which of course draws moisture into the skin. Basically, Boscia set out to create a super rich, super hydrating moisturizer but one that felt lightweight on the skin. And indeed, when you apply it, it does feel rich and buttery at first, but as you pat it in, all of a sudden it dries down and virtually disappears into a matte finish. It’s not sticky and not slick or greasy at all. It’s pretty amazing.
The full ingredient list is here:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethicone, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Castor Isostearate Succinate, Propanediol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Caprylyl Methicone, Carbomer, Polysilicone-11, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Disodium Edta, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Polysorbate 20, Lupinus Albus Seed Extract, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Extract, Perfluorooctyl Triethoxysilane, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)
One thing that I think Boscia doesn’t emphasize enough is its preservative-free standard. (Other than the fact that Boscia is a Japan-born, Southern California “grown” company based in Irvine, California.) That’s right — no preservatives. Also no alcohol or artificial dyes and fragrances, and yet the cream smells so lovely. And while I’m not an anti-chemical freak by any means, in an industry where there is so much choice, I am starting to give a little more weight, all things being equal, to the product without any “baddies.” I figure, hey, I get enough chemicals and radiation and crap in my food, from my devices, from just living and breathing in L.A. Why not do what I can where I can to minimize the unknowns?
Scroll down for more photos from the Boscia press event.