A few months ago, in March, I have introduced my readers to the first truly luxurious Russian natural brand of skin & bodycare called Berezka Lab. Since then I have been expanding their presence on my bathroom shelves & now want to introduce you to two more of their products, Nail Serum & Body Oil that I have been testing since August.
In July, when I was in Moscow, I had the pleasure of catching up with brand’s founder Dana & the more we talked, the more I caught myself thinking how much I admire her professionalism & drive. Raising three kids is a full on job in itself, but Dana also started her brand & continues building it in the not so easy current economic & political environment in Russia. Yet, she doesn’t show any signs of stress – she is calm, smiling & very focussed on what she wants to achieve. She continues to develop & add more products to the already impressive range, does events & engages directly with consumers & retailers in a personal way. No task is too difficult, no target unachievable, if Dana puts her mind to it. She just puts her head down & makes things happen, while giving consumers products that engage their senses & nurture their skin.
Berezka Lab Nail Serum
Nails take about four months to grow from base to the top, so looking at them an experienced practitioner would be able to tell quite a lot about your recent state of health. We use our hands daily, yet often forget to give them the love & care that they deserve, only to be surprised when the skin becomes dry & nails brittle. I am sure those things were on Dana’s mind when she was developing this concentrated & rosemary-smelling serum, which looks after your hands & nails simultaneously.
There are 11 plant & essential oils in the formula, which in synergy deliver extra moisture & nourishment, while also protecting hands, nails & cuticles from dryness, negative effect of regular exposure to tap water, UV rays & environmental elements, like wind, rain & cold.
Ingredients: Almond oil*, Grapeseed oil*, Apricot seed oil*, Sunflower oil*, Castor oil*, non-GMO Vitamin E, Rosemary extract, Grapefruit*, Ylang ylang*, Orange*, Lemon*, Frankincense* (* certified USDA Organic)
I tend to apply it in the evening, right before going to bed, when I know I won’t be washing my hands anymore in the evening. Put four to five drops into the palm of your hand, inhaling the calming, yet zingy aroma and spread it all over your hands, between the fingers, paying particular attention to nails & cuticles. The oil is quite concentrated & will sink in quickly, so you don’t have to worry about staining the bed sheets. Dana also recommends applying this oil after every contact with water, so you might want to leave it next to your kitchen or bathroom sink, it will act as a stern reminder to nurture the part of you that hugs & cares for others in so many ways.
Another benefit of using this Nail serum is that it helps combat discolouration & dark spots that you might notice after prolonged sun exposure in the summer, as well as helps restore natural, healthy appearance of the nails & cuticles, that are quick to become dry at the first time of neglect, especially when seasons change from summer to autumn.
My personal tip is to apply this product to your hands if you do evening meditation & focus of the smell, helping to calm down your thought process. I find the scent of the serum relaxing, yet positively charged, with refreshing notes of rosemary helping to shift my focus into calmer waters.
Another thing worth noting is the practical packaging aspect. As Nail Serum comes in a solid glass bottle with a screw-on pipette, you can tuck it into your handbag, without the fear of it leaking all over the inside of the bag & use it during the day, be it in the office or on the public transport on your way to a meeting. In order for you to look & feel nurtured you need to put consistent effort into daily beauty rituals, not do it sporadically & then decided that this or that cream or serum doesn’t work for you & move on to something else. Small steps, impressive results.
For more information about this product, please click here (the website is in Russian, but please contact the brand via e-mail & they will happily reply with answers to your questions in English).
Berezka Lab Body Oil
In the summer we peel the layers off & this body oil was lovely to use after being on the beach, but I intentionally left some of it to be tried in autumn & have to say that it works well on the skin, irrespective of the temperatures outside.
The oil is meant to be applied to a lightly damp skin after bath or shower, nourishing the skin & helping it look & feel hydrated. Just gently tap your body with a towel, without drying the skin completely & leaving it slightly damp to the touch – then you are ready to apply the body oil.
Dana selected & tested different oils before arriving to the final combination. The first six oils in the formula, Sweet Almond*, Grapeseed*, Apricot Kernel*, Coconut*, Jojoba* & Avocado* nourish & moisturise the skin, as well as help it look smoother & feel firmer with regular use. You also have Vitamin E, which is great for the skin in general, be it on your face or your body, plus Rosemary extract & a fragrant blend of Sweet Orange* & Marjoram*, Frankincense*, Litsea Cubeba*/May Chang* & Black Pepper* (*signifies 100% certified organic ingredients) which together help remove soreness from the muscles tired after a long day. The smell of the oil will also help calm down your nervous system, which is always an added bonus, considering the daily negative news that arrive from all corners of the world. Let’s breed calm peacefulness in the sanctity of our bathrooms, so we can emerge feeling kinder to ourselves and to others.
Apply the oil all over your body, with upward strokes, paying attention to areas that feel sore or tight, taking deeper breaths & inhaling the scent. This turns simple oil application to the skin into a mini-ritual of selfcare that every woman, irrespective of age, needs at the end of the day. Whatever you do, whether you are a student, a young woman climbing a career ladder or a busy mum, we all need something to help us feel calm. Massaging the body helps us get to know it better & pay attention to any changes that might take place over time. Instead of rushing, pausing. Slowing down the breath, smiling an inner smile & just enjoying the moment of being you.
I feel more relaxed after applying this body oil than when I enter the bathroom & the scent of it helps me go to sleep quicker & sleep somewhat deeper. Or it might be the power of positive intention & appreciation of the ‘me-time’ at the end of the day. With skin being our largest organ I think it is important to look after it daily & not from time to time. A body massage, while absolutely perfect when done by a professional who understands your body needs when you lie down on the massage table, is a luxury for some, so using a body oil & massaging the tiredness and kinks out of the muscles after a day on the move is something that is your way of thanking your body for everything it does for you daily. We so often criticise our bodies, I almost wonder if it was a person, how it would feel & treat us in return ? I think this is a predominantly female thing, as men aren’t so critical of their bodies as we are and we are the ones who carry & give birth to children.
The oil feels a little ‘dry’ to the touch, but as soon as you apply it, it sinks in & leaves behind a protective veil over skin, which makes your skin glow & feel very soft. Something that can be elusive, particularly now, when the colder weather, warmer clothes, hot showers or baths & radiator heat all start taking the toll on the skin. And if the skin you are in feels comfortable to the touch, that is bound to help you feel better being in it. This oil works for all skin types & doesn’t contain water, so there is no need for preservatives in the formula.
As both products contain essential oils, please do a patch test first in order to make sure there aren’t any adverse skin reactions or sensitivity to a particular ingredient/oil.
For more information about Berezka Lab Body Oil please click here