Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Boxwalla: Spring in Spain Beauty Box Featuring Twelve Beauty (Sneak Peek)

Press Sample (Affiliate Links)

Boxwalla's eco-luxe beauty boxes are an extraordinary value, and the products themselves are nothing short of spectacular. Their carefully curated cruelty-free green beauty boxes are a tremendous value, with steep discounts, and they feature truly covet-worthy luxurious, and sustainably crafted beauty products. 

The April Beauty Box: Spring in Spain | $49.95: A Beauty Box for the luxury loving skincare nerd, this box lets you experience the most effective and exquisite beauty products that harness the potency of plant-based ingredients. 

- Bi-Monthly Delivery
- Free U.S. Shipping
- Effective Plant-based Ingredients
- Always Cruelty-Free

The Boxwalla April Beauty Box is themed: Spring in Spain. The box contains two full-sized products from Twelve Beauty, with a retail value of $287.00.

1) Twelve Beauty's Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil ($215.00 value)
2) Twelve Beauty's Nutritive Repair Emulsion ($72.00 value)

Twelve Beauty was founded by Pedro Catalá in 2012. In addition to degrees in Botany and Pharmacy, Pedro has a Masters in Cosmetic Science and a Ph.D. in Natural Formulation Technologies. He also teaches Natural Formulation twice a year at the University of Siena, in Italy. He is very passionate about sustainability and conservation, not only by sourcing only sustainable ingredients but also by donating his time and money to conservation efforts. You can read about this in this post: 

Notes: His general approach to skincare tends to focus on barrier repair and preserving a healthy skin barrier, and he advocates a very conservative approach to exfoliation. His view is that mature skin cells aka corneocytes are necessary for proper barrier function and that we shouldn't be in a rush to get rid of them..:). 

The two products in this box are:

1) Twelve Beauty's Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil ($215). This is an exquisite lightweight oil serum but depending on your skin state (and season) you might experience it differently. It is made in a base of Meadowfoam seed oil and Sacha Inchi oil, along with Squalane and vegan Pollen extract, Cupuaçu butter. These are all gorgeous ingredients in their own right but what is especially unique about the Intelligent Frontier oil is the use of Unsaponifiables (this contains Olive Oil unsaponifiables, non-GMO Soy unsaponifiables, Wheatgerm unsaponifiables, and Sunflower unsaponifiables. Each has different properties - skin conditioning and soothing, antioxidant properties, protecting key proteins, etc.). Unsaponifiables are a fraction of plant oils that are a concentrated source of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and are really great for repairing the skin barrier in a short about of time. One way they do this is by stimulating the production of a protein in the skin called filaggrin. 

This oil will suit most skin types. Because it is rich in linoleic acid, it improves the quality of sebum and ensures that it is more fluid/less viscous and therefore doesn't settle in the pores. So dry skin will benefit from this oil as it helps skin retain moisture, combination/oily skin will benefit because of its ability to improve the quality of sebum and sensitive skin will benefit as it reinforces the upper layers of the skin, strengthening the skin barrier.

Unsaponifiables are very different from the original oils that they are extracted from - they do not have the triglycerides and oleic acid that may be present in the oil. So for example, Olive oil unsaponifiables are not heavy like olive oil, wheatgerm unsaponifiables contain no gluten, and so on. 

More Notes on Unsaponifiables and filaggrin: Pedro notes that Unsaponifiables are not new in the Beauty industry He mentioned that in a 1950s Dermatology conference in Switzerland, they spoke about Unsaponifiables and their benefits. However, they are not often used in commercial skincare because they are very complicated and expensive to extract. Moreover, they are difficult to manipulate and can become rancid if not used in a well-formulated product by somebody with extensive knowledge about them. 

So Boxwalla asked Pedro, how he works with Unsaponifiables to ensure that they are stable in his formulation.  He mentioned that there are a few things he does: 

1) He calculates the precise amount of antioxidants to stabilize the unsaponifiables. 
2) The Unspaoinifiables have to be worked with and manipulated in a vacuum and a dark environment. 
3) It is also important to note which oils these are blended with to ensure that they remain stable. Over a period of about18 months, Pedro also measured the Peroxide index to ensure that his calculations were right and that there was no oxidation of the formula (he also tested the unsaponifiables with random oils and noted that they went rancid- so choosing the right oils to blend with these is paramount to ensuring that the unsaponifiables remain stable, effective and beneficial).

Filaggrin is a protein that is present in mature skin cells in the upper layers of the skin (which is one of the reasons Pedro believes in minimal and gentle exfoliation). Once Filaggrin finishes its life cycle, it releases Amino acids that are part of the Natural Moisturing Factor (NMF) of the skin that maintains an optimal level of epidermal moisturization.

Three ways of using this oil: layering over a hydrating serum and under a moisturizer
mixing in with a hydrating serum to create a microemulsion. You can mix a couple of drops into Nutritive Repair Emulsion (cream) and apply.

2) Twelve Beauty's Nutritive Repair Emulsion ($72): This is a creamy, nourishing moisturizer that feels lush yet absorbs quickly to give a non-greasy finish. It is an emulsion, so it contains both lipid and hydric components and is, therefore, a complete moisturizer. Again, here also, he uses the right amount of linoleic acid to help repair the skin barrier. Nutritive Repair contains polyphenol-rich Cupuaçu butter, Argan Oil, linoleic acid rich Spent Grain Wax, along with a blend of botanicals like White Genepi, Mallow Flower, Buddleja Davidii, Imperatoria Leaf extracts. Each of these is chosen for its well-researched benefits, as well as Pedro's own study of them. 

White Genepi is an excellent antioxidant, comparable to Vitamin C, Buddleja Davidii offers protection against UV damage, Imperatoria leaf has re-epithelialisation properties, Mallow flower is soothing, moisturizing, and emollient. 

You can also read this article by Pedro on the benefits of Cupuaçu butter:
Nutritive Repair is also great for after-sun care.


  1. Wow, your post about Pedro and his methods for creating the Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil was so informative! I had no idea about any of this. Now I am wondering if I am exfoliating correctly??

  2. I'm signed up for their emails and was waiting to see what you had to say about this before possibly purchasing. The value is amazing.

    1. My full review is coming very soon! This is a really great box!

  3. I am never disappointed in Boxwalla and this set of products sounds like a dream come true!

    1. I feel precisely the same way, Velvetwhip. I haven't even experienced a single iffy product. Lavanya curates each of these boxes so brilliantly! This one is definitely amazing, as well!


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