Sunday, September 9, 2018

Loving Lately: Covet-Worthy Body, Skin and Hair Care Picks

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I have loved skin and body products since I was a kid, and if I were asked to choose between makeup and skincare I would definitely choose skincare. As an adult, I have to confess that my bathrooms look more like a mad scientist's laboratories than anything else, and the countertops are always covered with the latest products that I am testing and playing with. 

I recently gathered together a rather large pile of products that I was testing and placed them on the large counter in my guest bathroom so that they were all in one clearly designated space. Some of the products were tried and true that I have used before, but I wanted to use again, but most were products that I hadn't tried. I quickly started categorizing products by type, and soon thereafter began eliminating products that I didn't like or that I found ineffective. 

I had a bit of an epiphany in the process, and came to the rather stark conclusion, as someone who relishes in the routine of using products with luxurious textures, indisputable efficacy and that are a treat to use– that I didn't want to waste my time using products that I do not like. I know that sounds simple enough, but for a beauty blogger that means not testing products that don't work for my skin, or that I inherently dislike. I should also note that one of the unfortunate byproducts of turning your face, body and hair into a test lab is the inevitability of having some bad reactions, and a few of those have landed me in my doctor's office to treat weird rashes, product related dermatitis etc. Therefore, after eliminating the products that didn't work, I thought that I would share the things that I really liked a lot.
Lime & Lotus Organics Purify Activated Charcoal Facial Mask ($20.00 for 3.4 oz. from Lime & Lotus, Lime & Lotus Official Amazon Store and Etsy): This mask deeply cleans the skin and draws out impurities, but unlike many products that deep clean and detox the skin, this one is decidedly hydrating, nourishing, calming and soothing– rather than drying and potentially irritating. You simply apply it to freshly cleansed skin, leave it on for about 10-20 minutes, or until it has dried down and then rinse it off.

According to Lime & Lotus,

Purify Facial Masque was designed to provide deep cleansing, reduced inflammation, decrease in pore size and acne, and to soften fine lines, and wrinkles.

Only organic and natural ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Activated Charcoal, Hyaluronic Acid, Green Tea Extract, Pomegranate Extract and White Willow Bark Extract are used to create this wonderful product.

Purify Activated Charcoal Facial Masque has ingredients to cleanse, detox, hydrate, and soothe your skin without the addition of known irritants such as parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol, artificial fragrances, polysorbate-80, and other petrochemical derivatives. Designed for all skin types but works exceptionally well for dry and mature skin.

  • Moisturizing And Nourishing The Base Of Your Skin
  • Repairing And Rejuvenating Damaged Skin Cells
  • Reducing Swelling, Inflammation, Redness And Itching
  • Improving Circulation To Bring Nutrients To Skin Cells
  • Strengthening Collagen Fibers
  • Protecting Skin From Free Radicals That Accelerate The Aging Process
  • Hydrating Cells To Reduce Wrinkles
  • Providing pH Balance to the Face
Directions: Apply a thin layer to cleansed skin, avoiding eye area. Rinse off after 5 to 20 minutes. Tone and moisturize as usual. Store in a cool, dry location. 24 month shelf life; use within 6 months of opening.

Ingredients: Aloe Leaf Juice (Aloe Barbadensis)*, Alcohol, Glycerin*, Olive Fruit Oil (Olea Europaea)*, Emulsifying Wax (Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60), MSM (Dimethyl Sulfone), Jojoba Seed Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)*, DMAE Bitartrate (Dimethylaminoethanol Bitartrate), Rooibos Leaf Extract (Aspalathus Linearis)*, Hyaluronic Acid, Activated Charcoal, Green Tea Leaf Extract (Camellia Sinensis)*, Vitamin C Ester (Ascorbyl Palmitate), Vitamin B5 (DL-Panthenol), Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), White Willow Bark Extract (Salix Alba)*, Pomegranate Seed Extract (Punica Granatum), Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Sunflower Seed Oil (Helianthus Annuus), Xanthan Gum. * Organic -  Organic Content 85%Lime & Lotus Smooth Lavender Sugar Scrub ($ for 3.4 oz. from Lime & Lotus, Lime & Lotus Official Amazon Store and Etsy): This is a truly beautiful scrub. It can be used on the face or the body, though I have only been using it on my body. It is far more dry than many sugar scrubs suspended in an oil base. There is enough oil to hold the scrub together, but not so much that it requires mixing, and it also doesn't leave an oily slick on the bottom of your shower or tub. Instead, it gently exfoliates the skin, effortlessly removes dead skin cells, and it leaves skin soft, smooth and moisturized. The lovely lavender aroma is very relaxing, soothing and calming.

According to Lime & Lotus,

Our Sugar Scrub is truly a pampering lavender experience!  Lovely, indulgent, deeply exfoliating and hydrating, the pure, Organic Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter wraps around the scrubbing Cane Sugar, along with soothing Lavender, Rosehips and Borage Oil, which linger long afterwards with a calming, relaxing aroma, leaving a deeply moisturizing glow.
Directions: Use in shower or bath 2-3 times per week. Scoop between fingers and apply to wet skin and gently massage in a circular motion, focusing on rough areas. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Ingredients: Sucrose (Cane Sugar), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Essential Oil.
Pour Moi Desert Day Cream ($35.00 for 1 oz. from Pour Moi and Neiman Marcus): Formulated for desert climates, this rich and yet lightweight and fast absorbing day cream, is perfectly suited for dry climates with high temperatures (75°F — 120°F) and low humidity (5% — 45%). Extreme environmental conditions such as wind, strong sunlight, pollution and the difference between air-conditioned interiors and the sweltering outdoors make this cream the perfect pick for hot and dry summers found in arid conditions. This cream is very moisturizing, and it leaves the skin soft and smooth. Pour Moi products are very concentrated, and therefore you only need a tiny bit. This contains no sunscreen, and therefore you will need to use a separate high SPF to protect your skin from the sun. It has no detectable fragrance.

According to Pour Moi,

The climate smart Desert Day Cream is designed for those who experience desert conditions where the temperature and UV index are high but humidity is very low, and the constant exposure to air-conditioning and pollution makes matters worse for skin. This climate accelerates external skin aging. To successfully nourish and moisturize skin in this extreme climate, the uniquely formulated Desert Day Cream contains Climate Energized Beautifiers (D-CEBs) that are rich in squalane oil, oat extract, and bamboo-derived silica to lock in moisture without feeling heavy, and antioxidants and peptides round up this skin-saving formulation for maximum comfort, wellness, and glow. The Day Cream is the third step of Pour Moi's climate smart skincare ritual.

  • Hydrates and promotes healthy lipid barrier functions for instant moisture and firmness in extreme climates such as in Phoenix, Southern California, and Las Vegas, so skin is healthier on the inside and happy on the outside.
  • Absorbs quickly with no residue and locks in moisture.
  • Accounts for external factors, such as temperature, humidity, man-made conditions, pollution, and weather elements, so that skin can consistently benefit from anti-aging ingredients.
Directions: After the Serum has fully penetrated, apply one drop to the face and neck with your fingertips. Rotate the Desert Day Cream into your skincare routine when in desert climate. Allow the Day Cream to fully blend into your skin before applying sunscreen and/or makeup.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides,Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, C20-22 Alkyl Phosphate, C20-22 Alcohols, Phenoxyethanol, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Tromethamine, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol, Tuber Aestivum Extract, Lecithin, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Poloxamer 338, Sodium Benzoate, Peg-75 Shea Butter Glycerides, Silica, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Potassium Phosphate, Retinyl  Palmitate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Citric Acid.

Pour Moi Tropical Day Cream ($35.00 for 1 oz. from Pour Moi and Neiman Marcus): This very lightweight moisturizer melts into the skin immediately– leaving behind no residue whatsoever. It is formulated to hydrate skin, while maintaining a healthy lipid barrier, in tropical climates that boast high heat (75°F — 120°F) and high humidity (65% — 100%). Extreme environmental factors such as high heat, high humidity, air-conditioned interiors and tropical storms make this light moisturizing feel perfect on the skin, and because it is featherweight it never feels heavy.

According to Pour Moi,

The climate smart Tropical Day Cream is Pour Moi's lightest moisturizer designed for those who experience tropical conditions where temperature, UV index, and humidity levels are extremely high, and the constant exposure to air-conditioning and pollution makes matters worse for skin. To successfully combat these aggressors and climate challenges, the unique formula is rich in peptides, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E, and powerful botanicals. Tropical Climate Energized Beautifiers (TR-CEBs) made of pore-clearing coconut acid, and lightweight moisture-boosting humectants round up this skin-saving formulation for maximum comfort, wellness, and glow. The Day Cream is the third step of Pour Moi's climate smart skincare ritual.

  • Cutting-edge humectants act as magnets to help skin draw and trap moisture from the humid atmosphere
  • Lightweight water-based emollients help reduce Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) to prevent dehydration and correct the lipid barrier
  • Coconut Acid keeps pores clear of irritants carried in the hot and humid air
  • Protective agents neutralize extreme air-conditioning and temperature variations
  • Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E help protect your skin from free radicals caused by UV damage
  • Peptides and botanicals, including White Truffle, address the premature signs of aging—fine lines, wrinkles, and dull skin—improving the skin’s surface with their rich anti-aging properties
Directions: 1. Use the fingertips to apply one drop to the face and neck. 2. Allow the Day Cream to fully blend into your skin before applying sunscreen and/or makeup.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Hydrogenated Coconut Acid, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isostearyl Alcohol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol Cocoate, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Saccharide Isomaerate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Squalane, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Avena Sativa (Oak) Kernel Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Tuber Aestivum Extract, Lecithin, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Poloxamer 338, Sodium Benzoate, Peg-75 Shea Butter Glycerides, Silica, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Potassium Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Blue 1 (CI 42090).
The Better Skin Co. Better Skin Amaze Balm ($36.00 for 2 oz. from The Better Skin Co. and Ulta): This is a wonderfully rich and thick balm that deeply nourishes and moisturizes the skin. I love how soft and smooth it leaves my skin, and highly recommend trying it as a sleeping mask if you buy this. When I have, my skin looks so smooth and hydrated the following morning. It has a light aroma that offers a refreshing hint of grapefruit that sits close to the skin.

According to The Better Skin Co.,

Prepare to be Amazed. Nourish your skin with Ultra Rich Amaze Balm and it will love you. Oil of Coconut, Avocado, Sunflower, Evening Primrose and Sea Buckthorn create a silky-smooth slip. Shea Butter, Lanolin and Beeswax assist in creating the creamy goodness that will excite and satisfy your skin. Scented with a hint of grapefruit.

• Ultra hydrating & nourishing
• Reduces the appearance of puffiness
• Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Excellent as a sleeping mask
• Decreases appearance of hyperpigmentation creating brighter skin
Directions: Apply liberally. Use as needed. Spatula Included.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lanolin, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Beeswax/Cera Alba/Cire d’abeille, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.
Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub ($24.00 for 6.5 oz. Available from Belli SkincareDermstoreUlta and SkinStore): This is a wonderfully effective and invigorating scrub that can be used from head to toe. I have gone through numerous tubes of this scrub, and whenever I leave a tube in the shower I notice that it gets used up rather quickly since my husband uses it as well. I find this to be a remarkably effective scrub with a high ratio of scrubbing particles that are small in size– thereby they effectively scrub large areas of skin with little effort. You don't need to apply any pressure to get great results, and my skin is left scrumptiously soft and smooth after use. The peppermint leaf oil is very invigorating on the skin, but if you are sensitive to mint on your face-- then this might best be used on the body alone! I find it very refreshing on my face and body.

According to Belli,

Belli Skin Care Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub gets rid of dull, dry skin cells to prepare the skin for application of other treatments. Green tea and ginseng extracts, both rich in antioxidants, protect your skin from free-radical damage and also provide nourishment for more supple skin. Peppermint oil invigorates and refreshes. An invigorating scrub for face and body that sweeps away old skin cells to reveal healthy skin. 

  • Features green tea extract and ginseng, both are rich in antioxidants
  • Helps prepare skin for the application of other Belli products 
  • Includes the refreshing aromatherapy of peppermint oil
Ingredients: Deionized Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Polyethylene, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Sodium PCA, Glycerine, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Phenoxyethanol, Lactic Acid, Mentha Arvensis (Peppermint) Leaf Oil, Acanthopanax Senticosus Root Extract (Eleutherol Ginseng Root Extract), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea Extract), Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate (and) Glycereth-2 Cocoate.

Belli Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator ($32.00 for 1.5 oz. from BelliSkinStoreDermstoreULTA and Amazon): This is a lightweight ultra hydrating moisturizer, filled with botanical humectants, that softens and nourishes the skin. My skin is immediately hydrated and illuminated. While this is suitable for all skin types, those among you with particularly dry skin may want to use this more as a hydrating serum under a richer cream. On my normal to combination skin, however, Healthy Glow Facial Hydrator provides all of the moisture and hydration that I need. It has a very light citrus scent that smells wonderful, but it does fade soon upon application, and therefore should not bother people who prefer unscented facial products.

According to Belli Skincare,

It provides the antioxidant boost of vitamin C and grapeseed oil for radiant, healthy looking skin.  The formula is rich with soothing chamomile which helps neutralize skin irritants. 

  • A light daily moisturizer that is rich in botanical humectants that refine and soften skin texture.
  • Moisturizes and illuminates the skin.
  • Provides the antioxidant boost of vitamin C and grapeseed oil for radiant, healthy looking skin.
  • Soothing chamomile helps neutralize skin irritants.
Directions: Apply daily to clean, dry skin morning and night.

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sodium PCA, Cetearyl Olivate (and) Sorbitan Olivate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol (and) Ethylhexylglycerin, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Eleutherol) Root Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ascorbyl Palmitate.

Belli Clearly Coconut Oil ($6.99 for 1.9 oz. from Belli, Dermstore, Ulta and Belli Official Amazon Store): This unscented oil, which is 100% fractionated coconut oil, is a wonderful multipurpose product that quickly moisturizes the skin. I like using it in my hair for added moisture, and to fight frizz and tame my curls.

According to Belli,

Belli BASICS Clearly Coconut Oil is truly a one ingredient wonder. 100% fractionated coconut oil is ideal for any age or life stage - infants, tweens, teens, expecting moms, nursing moms, & beyond. Many Uses - Face Moisturizer, Body Moisturizer, Hair Anti-Frizz Moisturizer, Diaper Rash, Hypoallergenic moisture (very helpful for sensitive skin and skin conditions), Makeup Remover, Under makeup or over makeup to set it. Many Benefits - Anti-bacterial, Liquid, No color, scent, preservatives, or potential irritants, quick absorption, hypoallergenic & effective moisture (for the most sensitive skin and skin conditions),

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride.

Belli Eye Brightening Cream ($39.00 for 0.5oz from BelliSkinStoreDermstoreULTA and Amazon): This is a very lightweight and fast absorbing emollient eye cream that immediately hydrates the skin while softening fine lines. I definitely have noticed that it lightens dark circles when I get them, and it helps to reduces puffiness on the occasions that I get inadequate sleep. It provides all of the moisture that I need to last all day, and has never given me any problems with Milia. If, however, you have very dry skin under your eyes you might want to use this as a hydrating serum underneath a heavier eye cream, but for me this eye cream alone provides all the moisture that I need.

According to Belli Skincare,

Belli Eye Brightening Cream illuminates tired eyes and minimizes the appearance of fine lines. Vitamin K is scientifically reported to help reduce the appearance of dark circles, and Vitamin B3 increases circulation to help eye area look restored. Hydrates delicate skin around eyes to reduce the appearance of puffiness and cools on contact.

  • Vitamin K enriched eye cream that revives and illuminates tired eyes, and minimizes the appearance of fine lines.  Vitamin K is scientifically reported to help reduce the appearance of dark circles. 
  • Vitamin B3 also helps the area around the eye to look restored.
  • Hydrates delicate skin around the eyes to reduce the appearance of puffiness.  Cools and soothes on contact.
Directions: Gently pat underneath eye area as needed to keep eyes looking refreshed and well rested.

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (and) Squalane (and) Polysorbate 60, Glycerine, Sodium PCA, PPG-2 Myristyl Ether Propionate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, Phospholipids (and) Phytonadione, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein (and) Oxido Reductases (and) Glycerine Soja (and) Deionized Water (and) Glycerine, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Ginseng) Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Dimethicone, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) (and) Glucose, Panthenol, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Squalane, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate (and) Glycereth-2 Cocoate.

Belli Sheer Comfort Lip Balm ($12.00 for 0.3 oz. from ULTA): This is a thick and very rich lip balm that effectively treats chapped lips and cuticles. When applied at night I awaken to indescribably soft, smooth and hydrated lips and cuticles.

According to Belli Skincare,

A soothing medical graded hypoallergenic lanolin balm that locks in moisture. Relieves dry, cracked lips and skin.

Ingredients: Ultrapurified Lanolin Oil.
MegRhythm Gentle Steam Eye Mask ($10.99-$17.77 for 7 masks from Yes Style Global and Amazon): If you are looking for serious stress relief, MegRhythm Steam Eye Masks, which stay at a comfortable temperature for 10 minutes, bathe "eyes and the delicate eye area in warm steam." This steam bath for the eyes helps release of the tensions of the day. This is the perfect before bedtime treat!
• This eye mask utilizes advanced self-heating technology to heighten relaxation and relieve hard working eyes with the warm and soothing sensation of steam heat.
• Steam heat moistens and relaxes hard working eyes.
• Available in three soothing scents in the US: Lavender, Citrus and Unscented.
• The patented, innovative, single-use Steam Eye Mask can be used anytime, anywhere for a one of a kind way to decompress and de-stress while you are on the go.
• Perfect for use during travel, at the office or before bed.
Kerarganic Kakawa Kreme de Kakao Residue Removal Shampoo ($18.00 for 16 oz. from Kerarganic): First, I have to state that the warm creamy aroma, that smells like cacao, is utterly delectable. This is a very effective clarifying shampoo that eliminates product build-up, and leaves the scalp and hair very clean. Because I have dry curly hair, I only periodically use clarifying shampoos, but I find this one quite effective, and very pleasant to use.

According to Kerarganic,

Kerarganic’s Kakawa Residue Removal Shampoo is a formulation created to remove accumulated residues from the scalp and hair strands. It is intended for use before the application of our Kakawa Intensive Care Mask (Recommended once a week) or our Kakawa Conditioning Cream DHC to repair damages and to restore nutrients to the hair fibers.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-3 Glyceryl Cocoate, Fragrance/Parfum, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leave Juice, Panthenol, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil. 100% Vegan.

Kerarganic Kakawa Kreme de Kakao Hair Health Rescue Shampoo ($20.00 for 16 oz. from Kerarganic): This shampoo is, with its delicious warm and creamy cacao aroma, is a real treat to the senses. It gently and effectively cleanses the hair and leaves hair soft, manageable and hydrated.

According to Kerarganic,

Kerarganic’s Kakawa Hair Health Rescue Shampoo is an amazing blend of cacao derivatives and other plant-based ingredients designed to restore health to damaged hair. As a plus, this Shampoo is salt & sulfate-free, so it cleans gently while maintaining and adding nutrients for a healthy vibrant hair.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate (plant-derived), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (from coconut oil), Decyl Glucoside (plant-derived), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Biotin, Fragrance/Parfum, Polyquaternium-7, Cocamide DEA (from coconut oil), Caprylic/Capric Glycerides (from palm oil), Panthenol (vitamin B5), Ethylhexyl Methoxynnamate (UV protection), Amodimethicone (mineral-based), C11-15 Pareth-7, Laureth-9, Tridecth-12. 100% Vegan.

Kerarganic Kakawa Kreme de Kakao Deep Hydrating Care Conditioning Cream ($20.00 for 16 oz. from Kerarganic): With the same delectable aroma that is the hallmark of their shampoos, this luscious conditioner has quickly become a favorite for me. It is deeply moisturizing, without weighing down my fine and curly hair, and it leaves hair manageable. Furthermore, it really helps fight frizz and it also adds shine.

According to Kerarganic,

Kerarganic’s Kakawa Deep Hidrating Care Conditioning Cream Is a highly moisturizing and conditioning formulation with natural ingredients, capable of penetrating deeply into the layers of the hair shaft and immediately replenish lost nutrients. Working in synchronicity with UV and heat protection ingredients, it forms a protective barrier against harmful agents and keeps the hair healthy and vibrant.

Directions: After washing hair with Kakawa Hair Health Rescue or Kakawa Residue Removal Shampoo, apply to entire hair, massaging thoroughly. Leave it on for about 5 minutes for deep absorption. Then detangle and rinse.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Elaeis Guineensis (African Palm) Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Myrtus Communis Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil, Prunus Persica Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng (Ginseng) Root Extract, Panthenol (vitamin B5), Biotin, Fragrance/Parfum, Glycine Soja Oil, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (plant-based), Distearoylethyl Dimonium Chloride (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (vegetable-based), Phenoxyethanol (and) Ethylhexylglycerin (from coconut oil), Ethylhexyl Methoxynnamate (UV protection), Amodimethicone (mineral-based), C11-15 Pareth-7, Laureth-9, Tridecth-12, FD&C Blue No 1, FD&C Red No 40, FD&C Yellow No 5. 100% Vegan.
Kerarganic Kakawa Kreme de Kakao Intensive Care Mask ($20.00 for 8 oz. from Kerarganic): Masking is something that I have always done, and it is particularly important for dry and curly hair, like mine. This mask, that look a bit like Nutella (and smells equally delicious), is light in weight, but rich in moisture. After leaving it on my hair for anywhere between 15-75 minutes, I note how soft, silky, moisturized, manageable, frizz-free and shiny my hair becomes. I am thoroughly obsessed with this mask!

According to Kerarganic,

Kerarganic Intensive Treatment Mask has been designed to strengthen hair from inside out. Used weekly, it maintains the hair’s health, softness and brilliance. Our Kerarganic Intensive Keratin Treatment Mask  s a unique complex of keratin amino acids, hydrolyzed keratin protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, sunflower seed extract, camellia leaf extract and the vitamin packed Argan oil grown in Morocco. We have carefully formulated it to penetrate the depths of the hair shaft to nurture each shaft, keeping the hair hydrated, replenishing essential nutrients normally lost in the day to day living. In addition to strengthening the hair and giving it manageability, it promotes an enviable silky and shiny look.

Directions: Apply mask to wet hair. Comb it to spread mask evenly throughout the hair. Put on a shower cap and leave it on for at least 15 minutes. Then rinse and towel dry. For optimum result, sit under an overhead hair dryer or wear a thermal cap (Recommended once a week).

Ingredients: Water /Aqua, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax NF, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Stearyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Dimethiconol, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Panthenol, Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis (green
tea) Leaf Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Ethylhexylmethoxycinnamate, Amodimethicone, Glycerin, C11-15 Pareth-7, Laureth-9, Trideceth-12.
Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel ($25.00 from BabyFoot.comBeauty Bridge and Amazon): Baby Foot Exfoliant is an all-natural, foot exfoliant that removes dead skin and callouses unlike anything that I have experienced before. It leaves feet unbelievably soft and smooth without any rigorous effort on your part. The formula features 17 types of natural extracts that allow your feet to exfoliate natural and effectively.

Baby Foot is remarkably easy to use, but should obviously be avoided if you are sensitive to any of the ingredients. It is a very active and effective enzyme peel that makes your feet molt like nothing you have ever seen before. In fact, it is so effective, and the results are so shocking, that I found it too unsightly to post a picture of my feet after they began to peel in sheets!

It is a very easy three step process, but there is a highly effective trick to ramping up the efficacy and for speeding up the results. Before you begin, you need to wash your feet thoroughly, but if you soak your feet in warm water after washing, and before using Baby Foot, your feet will begin to peel sooner and even more thoroughly.

You simply cut along the dotted line and then slip each foot into the pre-moistened plastic lined socks and seal them with the tape that is provided. You may feel a slight tingling sensation at the beginning, but I found that it only lasted for about a minute. Leave Baby Foot on for an hour so that the exfoliant can have the requisite amount of time to work its magic. Then you simply remove the Baby Foot and wash your feet with soap and water to remove all traces of the exfoliating gel.

Dead skin cells generally begin peeling within 3-7 days following your initial application, but mine began to peel the next day, and continued for the following two weeks. Had I soaked my feet a bit longer before application, the duration of my peel time would have been significantly shortened.

Baby Foot asserts that one should not forcibly remove dead skin cells when the peeling process begins, but instead to let It exfoliate gently and naturally. Some people find that their feet become dry before peeling begins, and Baby Foot suggests that they "moisturize lightly and sparingly with an oil-free beauty care product." Peeling time may vary from person to person and can take up to 2 weeks to complete.
According to Baby Foot,

Baby Foot is an innovative foot care product that will make your feet as smooth and soft as a baby's foot. The unique formula of 17 types of natural extracts allow your feet to exfoliate naturally leaving them highly moisturized.

This effective and gentle process removes the unwanted dead skin cells that have built up layer after layer. In addition, Baby Foot can improve other foot issues like: Foot Odor, Athletes Foot and Blood Circulation. So say goodbye to rough, dry, cracked soles, by using a product that really works.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Alcohol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Arginine, Parfum, Butylene Glycol, Peg-60 Hydrogenetad Castor Oil, Glucose, O-Cymen-5-Ol, Citric Acid, Malic Acid (Apple), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil (Camel Grass), Nasturtium Officinale Extract (Watercress), Arctium Lappa Root Extract (Burdock Root), Saponaria Officinalis Leaf Extract (Soapwort), Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Citrus (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Clematis Vitalba Leaf Extract (Clematis), Spiraea Ulmaria Extract (Meadowsweet), Equisetum Arvense Extract (Horsetail Herb), Fucus Vesiculosus Extract (Bladderwrack), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Chamomile), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Tea Plant), Houttuynia Cordata Extract (Chameleon), Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Nitrate, Glyoxal, Disodium Phosphate, Linalool, Limonene.
Utama Spice is a 100% natural skin care company based in Ubud, Bali. We focus on applying traditional herbal knowledge to create products that not only enhance your skin's natural beauty but also inspire you with the raw power of nature. We do this by using only 100% pure natural ingredients.
Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products Lemongrass Ginger Body Oil ($12.99 for 100ml. from Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products): This lovely body oil is lightweight, fast-absorbing and richly moisturizing. It leaves skin soft, supple and luminous, and the scent is reminiscent of a cup of Chai.

According to Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products,

Energizing Lemongrass and Ginger Essential Oils blended with Coconut Oil create an aromatherapy body oil that will awaken your senses while smoothing your skin to a silky finish. Perfect for massages.

Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cinnamomum Burmani (Cinnamon) Bark, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Oil, Piper Cubeba (Cubeb) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass) Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil.
Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products Gentle & Caring Lavender Body Butter ($12.99 for 100ml. from Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products): If you love aromatic lavender body lotions and creams, then this wonderful body butter is made with you in mind. It is rich and moisturizing and smells delightful. Skin is left soft, smooth and luminous.

According to Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products,

Delight your skin and cover yourself in this buttery satin. Let the Lavender – known traditionally for its healing and relaxing properties – do its magic! Enriched with Aloe Vera for extra nourishment this Lavender Body Butter is delicious skin food. Indulge your skin with this deep moisturizer after a long day of work or play.

Ingredients: Spring Water, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Gel, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Alcohol, Beeswax, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citric Acid, Agar.
Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products WellKiss Lip Balm ($1.99 for 5 g. from Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products): This is an ultra-nourishing lip balm that really softens and heals chapped lips, and leaves them smooth and hydrated. Its scent is a fusion of the citrus, fennel and lavender, and the end result is a very earthy aroma.

According to Utama Spice Natural Aromatherapy Products,

A Wellkiss to all! Aromatherapy for your lips. Virgin coconut oil and beeswax infused with citrus leaf, lemon, fennel and lavender essential oils to lock in moisture and leave your lips truly kissable! Utama Spice lip balms are made from virgin coconut oil and beeswax infused with natural plant extracts to nourish and hydrate your lips.

Select Ingredients and Their Attributes:
  • Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen and moisturizer, ensuring your lips stay kissable all year round.
  • Utama Spice lip balms contain no parabens, synthetic oils or artificial colors or fragrances.
  • Wellkiss Lip Balm contains a unique blend citrus leaf, lemon, fennel and lavender essential oils. It’s like aromatherapy for you lips.
Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil, Citrus sinensis (Citrus) leaf, Beeswax, Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel) Seed Oil, Citrus limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Herb Oil.
Nubian Heritage Shea Butter & Aloe Body Lotion ($10.99  for 16 oz. from The Vitamin ShoppeNubian Heritage and Walmart): I have been waxing poetic about the virtues of Nubian Heritage body products lately, and I routinely celebrate their amazing fragrances, but they also have some very impressive fragrance-free products as well, and this lotion is particularly impressive. It is thick and rich, and yet fast absorbing. It effectively moisturizes dry skin without leaving behind a greasy residue, and it leaves skin very soft and smooth.

According to Nubian Heritage,

A fragrance-free gentle moisturizing lotion that blends Fair Trade Shea and Cocoa Butters with Vitamin E to nourish and soothe delicate and sensitive skin. Aloe Vera naturally hydrates the skin while Cocoa and Shea Butters soften and condition.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Butyrospermum Parka (Shea) Butter***, Ethyl Palmate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter***, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glycerin (Vegetable), Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Beta Glucan, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Phytate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient **Fair Trade Ingredient
Nubian Heritage 24 Hour Deodorants ($8.99 each for 2.25 oz. from Nubian HeritageWalmart and The Vitamin Shoppe): If you use natural deodorants, then I definitely recommend trying one from Nubian Heritage. However, if you use mainstream chemical-based antiperspirants and deodorants, then you may not like these. These are decidedly earthy, and they will not control perspiration. Each of the 7 deodorants are formulated with nourishing ingredients like shea butter and essential oils, and I find them moisturizing as well as effective at controlling under arm odor. I should state, however, that I have been using natural deodorants since high school, so I am in no way weaning myself from mainstream drugstore deodorants and antiperspirants. These are decidedly natural, non-GMO deodorants that are truly healthy for the skin.

If you are new to the world of natural deodorants, be aware that sometimes people with sensitive armpits can get rashes, or irritated skin. If that happens, just stop using them. I have pretty sensitive skin under my arms, and this formula doesn't irritate my skin, but I have had some natural deodorants irritate my skin over the years.

I should note that I cannot vouch for Nubian Heritage's 24 hour claim because I never have it on for a full 24 hours, but I can say that I find this formula very effective and long-wearing.

Here are the 7 Available:

Nubian Heritage Honey & Black Seed 24 Hour Deodorant: This is another lovely scent that has the sweet and creamy aroma from the honey with an interesting counterpoint from the the essences and oils selected.

According to Nubian Heritage,

Black Seed Oil and Arabian Honey blend seamlessly to create this skin-hydrating cleanser. Natural enzymes, amino acids and proteins boost moisture, perfecting skin’s appearance. Cleansed skin is left feeling smooth.

Ingredients: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*♥, Nigella Sativa (Black) Seed Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Mel (Honey) Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernal Oil *Certified Organic Ingredient ♥Fair Trade Ingredient.

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya 24 Hour Deodorant: This tropical treasure is the perfect blend of coconut and papaya, and smells like a summer beverage.

According to Nubian Heritage,

Since ancient times, the coconut tree has been a vital source of nourishment for millions around the world. Coconut Oil, a natural cleanser and moisturizer, contains healthy fats which soften skin while Papaya is known for its skin rejuvenating properties.

Ingredients: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance, (Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*♥, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Vanilla Planifolia Oil, Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Papain (Papaya) Extract. *Certified Organic Ingredient ♥Fair Trade Ingredient.

Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver Deodorant: The aroma is very refreshing, subtle and uplifting.

According to Nubian Heritage,

Neem Oil, documented in Sanskrit for 4000 years, and Hemp, cultivated for skin care in China as early as 4000 B.C., combine to refresh and moisturize delicate underarms.

Ingredients: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*♥, Hemp Seed Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Neem (Melia Azadirachta) Seed Oil. *Certified Organic Ingredient ♥Fair Trade Ingredient.

Nubian Heritage African Black Soap Deodorant: This soothing deodorant nourishes the skin, and it has a very subtle aroma from which I detect the slightest citrus notes.

According to Nubian Heritage,

For centuries, African Black Soap, made with Cocoa Pod Ash and Cocoa Butter, has been used in Africa to care for the skin. Historical references to Shea Butter, a staple of African pharmacology, date back to the reported Shea Butter caravans of Cleopatra’s Egypt.

Ingredients: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*♥, Sodium Shea Butterate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Cocoate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Pod Ash, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polyglycerly-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil. *Certified Organic Ingredient ♥Fair Trade Ingredient.

Nubian Heritage Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed Deodorant: This deodorant smells delectable! It has a slightly sweet fruity floral type of aroma that is rich, subtle and creamy. I think that it might be my favorite of the bunch. For me, it is nothing short of magical.

According to Nubian Heritage,

Abyssinian Oil, made famous by Queen of Sheba, the ancient ruler of Ethiopia, originated in Nubia. Ancient superfoods Chia Seeds and Amaranth Extract have been cultivated since the 16th century.

Ingredients: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance (Proprietary Essential Oil Blend), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*♥, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Amaranth Protein. *Certified Organic Ingredient. ♥Fair Trade Ingredient.

Nubian Heritage Patchouli & Buriti Deodorant: I need to preface this by stating that I have never been a big fan of Patchouli, it tends to be a bit too pungent and circa 1960 for me, but this deodorant smells divine. The Patchouli is tempered by the Buriti, and it is warm and creamy without an edge.

According to Nubian Heritage,

Aromatic Patchouli complements the Amazonian beauty secret, Buriti Oil. The Buriti Palm, known as the “tree of life,” has long been prized in the Amazon for its nutrient rich content of Beta-carotene, Vitamin E, and essential fatty acids that provide rejuvenating hydration to skin.

Ingredients: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance (Proprietary Essential Oil Blend), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*♥, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Seed Butter, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil. *Certified Organic Ingredient. ♥Fair Trade Ingredient.

Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter Deodorant: I expected that this would just smell like raw Shea Butter, but actually the essential oils create a rather warm scent, and there is a touch of Frankincense that comes through.

According to Nubian Heritage,

Historical references to Shea Butter date back to the caravans of Cleopatra’s Egypt. Enriched with essential fatty acids, Shea Butter moisturizes and softens the skin while Frankincense and Myrrh, known for their alluring aromas, provide a unique sensorial experience.

Ingredients: Propanediol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Water, Sodium Stearate, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Ricinoleate, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*♥, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment, Polyglyceryl-3 Caprate, Sucrose Cocoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Extract, Commiphora Myrrha Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient ♥Fair Trade Ingredient.
Overall Assessment: I am very pleased with all of these products, and plan to use each of them up to the last drop. What products are you loving lately? Any surprises to share?

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  1. Wow, so many goodies here! I need to try the Pour Moi and Lotus & Lime products especially. I wish the steam eye mask wasn’t a single use as I have to do that every day for dry eye.

    1. I think that you would like both of those brands a lot, Allison. Yes, I wish that the steam masks weren't single use as well, but they really are so wonderful nonetheless!

  2. A cornucopia of wonderful products and of course, I find myself wanting all of them. The chocolate-y hair mask sounds especially tempting, my hair can always use more pampering and conditioning and if is smells delicious, all the better!

    1. I think so too. I am thoroughly enjoying all of these products, and definitely recommend trying these brands. The hair mask smells good enough to eat, and it does a wonderful job conditioning the hair!

  3. So many new products to try! I'm intrigued w/ the Nubian deodorants!

    1. I definitely recommend these products, and think that all of these brands are well worth trying. The Nubian Heritage deodorants are quite nice!

  4. You've got an amazing list of products. I could probably use the Nubian African Black Soap Deodorant. And since I love Better Skin company that sounds like a great night time moisturizer for me. I also love those MegRhythm eye pads. My eyes look so refreshed after using them.

    1. Thanks, Marcia. I am really enjoying these products, and they are definitely standouts for me. I think that you might really enjoy the Nubian Black Soap Deodorant. The Better Skin Company makes such wonderful products, and their Amaze Balm is quite nice!

  5. The lavender scrub sounds divine! I had never heard of brand Pour Moi but I'm really intrigued. I need to look into their products!

    1. It really is divine. I just finished it up, and it is on my list to purchase! Pour Moi is definitely with checking out, they make wonderful products, and their season-based skincare idea is very interesting and effective.

  6. Some of these are my favorites too and some are new to me. Baby Foot is excellent for my dry feet, I love the Nubian Heritage line. The Lime and Lotus products sound amazing and the price is right, I'll be trying those for sure!

    1. Baby Foot is amazing, I just did it and am almost done peeling! Nubian Heritage is one of my favorite affordable lines! Lime and Lotus is definitely worth trying as well. They make such lovely products, and they are affordable!

  7. The Lavender Sugar Scrub sounds amazing. I always worry about some scrubs leaving a residue and the fact that this wasn't doesn't is a strong selling point for me!

    1. I love the Lavender Sugar Scrub– the oils leave the skin soft and hydrated, but it's not a greasy mess that you feel that you need to wash off.


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