Elixir Collective No. 11 ~ Lux & Nox Facial Serums
The December Elixir Collective subscription box featured two exclusive batch facial oils, Lux & Nox. These purely botanical oils were sent in 1/2 oz clear glass bottles with the accompanying details...
Day and night — two forces of nature that are inexorably intwined with our cycles of life. Right around the time that this package reaches your mailbox, the entire world will be experiencing a reinforcing reminder of the cosmic machinations that prevail over our planet: the winter solstice. The December 21st solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year, an astronomical wonder due to the Earth’s maximum tilt away from the sun. What better way to celebrate the solar rhythms of day and night than elixirs dedicated to each? The two serums enclosed — Lux and Nox — are designed to nourish the delicate facial complexion. They are named as such for their corresponding meanings — Light & Night — in Latin, a language I studied for several years and fell in love with. Although no longer spoken, this ancient dialect exists in echoes of our common tongue, including in the word solstice: ‘sol’ refers to the sun, while the verb ‘sistere’ means to stand still. As much as we can find its traces within our vocabulary, in botanical nomenclature Latin resides as king. The way to identify a plant with certainty is always through its Latin binomial, a system born into modern times by the famous botanist known as Carl Linnaeus. In the two-part name that now applies to every living species, the capitalized first word represents the genus or group of closest botanical relatives, and the lowercased second word is known as the epithet or species distinction. Both Lux and Nox consist of a slew of marvels from the botanical kingdom, and it seemed only fitting that their names be a homage to the science of plants.
LUX FACIAL OIL
This serum is not only named after light — it actually helps protect your skin from it. Many plants possess a miraculous property known as photoprotection, a mechanism employed to neutralize harmful rays of the sun, and when used topically function in largely the same way. This formula was designed with a range of botanical photoprotectants to be worn solo on days with low sun exposure or paired with your favorite sunscreen on days in the sun. The base consists of three cold pressed oils with a light consistency and are easily absorbed for daytime use. Maui Sunflower oil, rich in beta carotene, can decrease sun sensitivity while organic virgin Coconut oil helps your skin to tan instead of burn. The amazing Red Raspberry seed oil is added for a sun protection factor that rivals active ingredients in natural sunblocks: an SPF of 28 - 50 against UVB and 8 against UVA. Infused into the oil are a collection of Hawaiian grown herbs that only enhance the potency. Achiote (also known as annatto or lipstick plant) from Waimanalo, Oahu, possesses dark orange-red oily seeds within its spiky seed pods that are high in free radical fighting carotenoids and has been used for ages by indigenous peoples in tropical areas as a paint-on sunblock. Turmeric sourced from Big Island is well known for its curcumin content, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that has shown in lab studies to neutralize UVA rays. Fatty acids in Kona Coffee allow it to absorb UV (especially UVB) rays, while Hawaiian Cacao actives like theobromine scavenge light-generated reactive oxygen species that otherwise damage the delicate dermis. A generous dose of luscious Rose oil is mildly photoprotective, assists in rejuvenating mature skin, and naturally augments the aromatic sweetness of the blend. Upon waking, rinse your face with warm water, pat dry and use your fingertips to anoint a few drops of oil; apply gentle pressure under the eyes to feel alive so you can be on your way to embracing the day.
NOX FACIAL OIL
Formulated to be worn in the absence of light, Nox is a serum for the night. The base oils are a bit thicker and more deeply hydrating to soak into your skin while you sleep, while restorative herbs and essential oils help to repair damage from the day. Cold pressed Maui Macadamia and organic extra virgin California Olive oils are two of my favorites for supplying supreme moisture, as both are emollient and nutrient rich. Sourced from the family who made it in Vanuatu, the deep green Tamanu oil, or Kamani in Hawaiian, is favored by Polynesian women to keep the complexion clear and healthy; it also has remarkable abilities to heal broken skin and reduce scar tissue. Three ingredients from my Manoa garden were infused into the mix: Rosemary, an antiaging classic for its ability to strengthen capillaries and reduce wrinkes; Lavender, for its regenerative and cleansing effects; and Sage, a stimulating herb that benefits oily skin types. Gotu Kola grown from a nearby farm on Tantalus ridge enhances circulation and collagen production while improving tensile integrity of the skin. Blue German Chamomile — a special variety with an indigo tint owed to its high concentration of the calming constituent azulene — is added for its abilities to cleanse the pores, reduce inflammation and relax facial tension. Apply Nox Oil onto your face and neck after washing, and spend a few moments extra moments massaging the space between your eyebrows to relax your mind before drifting off to dreamland. Both serums are most potent within the first 6 months.