Unlike our grandmothers and mothers, modern women are spoilt for choice when it comes to skincare. In fact the choice is so vast, it’s easier to get lost, confused and disappointed than to find your perfect skincare match. Whatever I or anyone else says about beauty products they recommend, there is no one miracle product that works for everyone. With that in mind, I prefer to showcase brands that I use, in the hope that it will help you make a better choice for your skin. Free and True Skincare hails from Northern California and its founder, Tami Blake, runs several businesses, raises a family and launches each of her products only when she is sure that they will serve a skincare need in the best possible way & with proven efficacy.
Harnessing the potent plants botanicals, sourced locally when possible, and modern technological advances, expect simple morning & effective skincare routines. Tami believes in active lifestyle and skincare that won’t overwhelm, but rather allow you to have quick but effective routines, so you can get on with other things in your daily agenda.
“Life, Liberty & the Pursuit Of Natural Beauty”Free + True Skincare moto
Tami is a licensed aesthetician, as well as certified cosmetic formulator, but when she is creating products, she also relies on the skills & knowledge of her experienced team of aestheticians. With the recently launched Vitamin C Serum “Bright Side” the Free and True Skincare currently counts nine products in its family, namely:
- Marigold Morning Cream Gel Cleanser
- Moonlight Milk Balm To Milk Cleanser
- Freedom Fighter Antioxidant Face Oil
- Rambling Rose Soothing Serum
- Mama Pacha Moisture Infusion Cream
- Raw + Wild Honey Mask
- Body Prophet
What’s interesting is that with the oversaturated skincare segment there are still few brands which offer a selection of products, not just one or two, you are tempted to use regularly. In case of Free and True Skincare the more products I used, the more my skin was charmed by the scents, textures and the effect on the skin – brighter, more even, better hydrated. And remember, I am no longer 20 or 30, but rather upward of 40.
Below I review a few products that I already have used extensively or am using for the last few weeks, plus share tips and insights that Tami kindly shared with me.
This creamy cleansing gel is perfectly paired with your morning skincare routine, helping to ensure you put your “best” face forward. Be it in the office or via Zoom. This pH balanced formula removes impurities, then rinses away, leaving skin clean and without any feeling of tightness. The combination of botanical extracts and plant oils soothes, thoroughly cleanses and condition the skin, while papaya enzymes gently renew. A healthy dose of hyaluronic acid ensures optimal skin hydration.
- Hyaluronic Acid: holds 1000 times its weight in water and delivers moisture to the skin
- Sunflower Oil: rich in vitamin E, it penetrates deeper into the skin matrix
- Calendula Extract: soothing, healing and anti-microbial properties
- Plantain Extract: rich in allantoin, which helps to sooth the skin, while also providing antiseptic and astringent properties
- Rosemary: regenerative, anti-septic, toning and astringent
- Neroli: balances oil production
Apply the cleanser to dry skin, massaging one pump all over your face (and neck, if you so desire). With the impurities loosened up, lightly dampen fingers to emulsify the product. I tend to then just wash it off thoroughly, but you can also use a face cloth or towel to remove the creamy gel from you skin. That’s really a personal choice. When using this cleanser I don’t feel the need to tone it before applying serum or moisturiser, but again, the best judge here is you, based on what your skin needs in the moment in time.
I also like its uplifting, slightly citrussy scent that helps me wake up my senses before I go to make the breakfast, bushier and more clear-headed. This is one of the cleansers that made me feel very happy about it reaching my bathroom shelf this year. A definite keeper!
If your skin is prone to dryness, this botanical-based, pH-balancing serum will be a helpful assistant to your skin’s needs. Tami’s team of estheticians agree that hydration is the foundation of any universal skincare routine, so this skin staple was formulated with ingredients like deeply hydrating organic pomegranate juice, rose water, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid and white tea. Adaptable to any skin environment, whether the weather outside is warm or breathing wintery gusts into your face, this potent serum will quench skin’s thirst ( drinking water is non-negotiable, if you wanted your body & skin to function beautifully in balance), while providing soothing, softening and regenerating properties.
- Pomegranate Juice: chosen for its full phyto-active compounds and natural anti-inflammatory agents
- Hibiscus Extract: contains antioxidants, is rich in vitamin C, which brightens and helps address the damage done by the sun rays
- Rose & Neroli Flower Waters: deliver natural scent, as well as skin balancing benefits
- Panthenol (Vitamin B5): promotes cell regeneration and repairs
- Hyaluronic Acid: small molecular weight allows for greater penetration and hydration, while improving the overall appearance of the skin
- White Tea Extract: minimal processing (subject to grower/sourcing credentials) makes it more potent than green tea. Helps protect skin from free radical damage
After cleansing, apply one generous pump with the tips of clean fingers onto face, massaging it lightly in, inhaling the romanticism notes of a rose garden in bloom. This oil serum sinks quickly into the skin, as does the Freedom Fighter Face Oil (I will review it in a separate post soon) – a sign of knowledgable experience of the team behind creation of those products, which doesn’t compromise on the quality of single ingredients and their synergy in the final version of the products being launched.
If you feel your skin needs more moisture and plumpness, you can follow up with a face oil (Freedom Fighter) or moisturizer (Mama Pacha). Even if used on its own, it creates a perfect base for make-up, that contributes to make-up staying well put on the skin that has been nourished underneath. I was also genuinely surprised by how much I liked this serum’s rose scent, as I am normally not a rose-scent woman when it comes to skin, body or fragrance and there are very few beauty products that can convince me otherwise. This is a definite case in point, as skin takes to it like duck to water & your senses luxuriate in the simple, yet sophisticated sensory experience.
Mama Pacha pays homage to the Andean fertility goddess who sustains life on Earth with her abundant harvest. With key ingredients chosen for their ability to flourish in the harshest environments, including arctic peptides, nutrient-rich botanicals and plant lipids, this velvety cream feels rich, yet sinks quickly into your skin. Tami says that this moisturiser delivers intense moisture hours after application, while at the same time improving the appearance of rough patches and supporting elasticity of the skin.
- Arctic Peptides: glycoproteins found in marine environments protect the skin from cold weather conditions. Deeply moisturize, increase collagen production and soften fine lines
- Mango Seed Butter: rich in nutrients it helps protect the skin barrier
- Beta Glucan: penetrates deeply into the skin & helps promote tissue restructuring, as well as wrinkle reduction. Helps to calm down skin sensitivity
- Gotu Kola Extract: soothing, anti-aging, skin regenerating and does wonders for dry skin
- Avocado Oil: contains vitamins A, D & E. Highly emollient, deeply penetrating and collagen boosting
- Hyaluronic Acid: penetrates deeper into skin layers due to its low molecular weight. Attracts moisture to the skin, keeping it dewy and better hydrated
After cleansing and hydrating, massage one pump of this cheerful (in both colour and scent) moisturiser onto the face and neck. Tami recommends to follow it up with a face oil for a moisture binding enhancement. This face moisturiser has a very light-weight texture, yet within a short time of application the skin feels like it had a hydration boost, even if I haven’t been drinking enough water. Which speaks volumes about Tami’s approach to creating skincare products that don’t just promise, but actually deliver visible results. I am impressed by her integration of adaptogenic herbs alongside plant lipids & lack of heaviness or residue on the skin. My skin just drinks this moisturiser in and internally smiles with gratitude.
Tami’s Tip For the Ultimate Overnight Mask:
- 1-2 pumps Mama Pacha Moisture Infusion Cream
- 1-2 pumps Ramblin’ Rose Soothing Hydrating Serum
- 2-4 drops Freedom Fighter Antioxidant Face Oil
- Mix and apply to face, neck and décolletage
Our body does so much for us on a daily basis, yet we tend to favour lavishing attention on our faces, with body care often becoming an afterthought. Well, Body Prophet, that I started using this springtime, is a product that is bound to introduce a great incentive to lavish attention on your skin all over your body on a more regular basis. Not only will it hydrate and sooth the skin, including areas that tend to be drier than others, like knees and elbows, it will also help create a fortifying shield with the free radical fighting botanicals. It is also helpful when you have exposure to the sun – not that most of us luxuriated on the beach this summer, but that’s something to keep in mind for the future.
This body serum is really a great all-year rounder and its fresh, summery scent derived from a proprietary blend of organic essential oils, will help you feel nourished from the tips of your toes and up to you neck. t
- Olive Leaf Extract: its anti-oxidant effect is 2.5 times higher than that of vitamins C and E.
- Sea Buckthorn Berry: packed with 190 bio-active substances that stimulate healing, regeneration, firming and toning abilities of the skin
- Pumpkin Seed Oil: antioxidant rich & good for dry or elements-exposed skin
- Aloe Vera Juice: healing, hydrating & calming
- Comfrey Extract: contains skin healing allantoin. Is regenerative and soothing
- Geranium Oil: regenerative, skin balancing & anti-aging
- Rose Flower Extract: soothing, toning & astringent
The best way to use the Body Prophet is to apply it straight after bath or shower, when your skin is still slightly damp. And its uplifting scent and sunny colour give a great excuse to apply it during the day, if your skin feels like it needs to be comfortably cocooned or your are feeling emotionally down. It will help tone & firm up your skin (pair it with a fitness routine that works for you & you will achieve an overall improvement in the appearance of your body quicker) & support your emotional state throughout the year. And don’t discount the importance of physical touch for us human beings. With social distancing and inability to see our friends and members of close family, importance of touch and its benefits for our nervous symptom should not be underestimated. Coupled with this body serum, you will have a doubly powerful tool at your disposal at any moment – to comfort, uplift, reassure, pleasure and delight. So if you weren’t familiar with Free and True Skincare before, I hope I gave you enough reasons to dive and explore them. Much to your benefit and pleasure, I hope…
To learn more about Free and True Skincare, please click here (this is NOT an affiliated link). I purchased all the products reviewed in this post.