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This amazingly-scented, lightweight orange-hued elixir gives even the driest of skin an instant boost of hydration and and instantaneous “glow.”
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I consider my skin oily. Oily, oily, oily. Even at 40, the taunts of a junior-high insult still haunt me: “I can see myself in your forehead!” A clever comment, maybe. Bone-chillingly rude, most certainly. A long-lasting, almost-30-year-old-insult that has fueled some serious skin-care doubt, definitely.
And, yet, everything about my age and what every single expert tells me makes me certain that my complexion is most likely nowhere close to being anything within the scope of what can be described as oily at this point. But throw some “mattifying” product adjectives at me, and I am forever game for trying them out.
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Fast-forward to the non-1990’s year of now when I went to visit Joshua Tree for a little R&R. Besides the hiking and laid-back Californian attitude, it was HOT and the desert sun was unrelenting—a dry, makes it kind-of-hard to breathe heat that almost hits you in the face. I was prepared: Lots of sunscreen and a handful of facial mists were my best friends; masks went hand-in-hand with brushing my teeth before bed.
Everything went swimmingly—until Day 3, when I realized my face was literally peeling in a very odd, sort of visible pilling-slash-sandpaper-like way. I hadn’t gotten a sunburn, nor had I tried anything in the resurfacing realm; my skin was just—surprise!—really, really dry for probably the first time in my life, and in desperate need of something to fix it.
I made my way into town. I had nowhere to go and no one to see, so I did a very simple moisturizer-sunscreen combo that seemed to suffice for going out in public—complete with a hat and big sunglasses (natch) just in case I was forced to interact with the outside world.
My first stop was the decidedly Joshua Tree destination of The Station, a well-appointed souvenir-type shop that sells records, succulents and even some old issues of Ranger Rick. To the attached side, sits the Oil Shop, which, on first glance, looked like a very polished register where one would pay for gas if there was a working pump. On second look, it was actually the tiniest of beauty boutiques, complete with a stack of three different-sized glass bottles of product, including the small vial of Wonder Valley Facial Oil ($85), which seemed to be calling—maybe even screaming—to get at my parched complexion.
“Want to try it?” asked the very chic, bohemian-looking woman who could clearly see through my big-sunglasses, dry skin–looking soul. “Just go over to the sink.”
I washed my face, applied it and it felt like everything was instantly, almost magically, fixed. Olive oil typically feels too greasy on my skin (back to the whole oily theme), but this formula was perfection—lightweight, softening and super hydrating. (It also counts jojoba, sunflower, rosehip, sea buckthorn and blue chamomile oils as key ingredients.) To boot, it smelled amazing, a sort of herbal-heady scent that the ingredient label hinted might have had something to do with the frankincense-rosemary mix. My face was back to its non-peeling state.
Five more days in the desert and this facial in a bottle did not steer me wrong. Even now, after departing the desert environment to get back to the East coast, I am sold…and maybe even ready to shake that whole oily-skin stigma.
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