Archive for January, 2012

Toners, what are they for?

Yikes! I missed a whole week of posting. I am so sorry about that! A teething 2-year old makes for very little sleep for her mama, and that makes for a very foggy brain on said mama. It is so hard to formulate whole sentences when you don’t get any sleep, don’t you find? Anyways, I will just stretch out the skincare month into February instead! 🙂

Today I wanted to talk about toners, and what they are good for! When I moved to Canada I realized that toners are more common in Europe than they are in North America. Toners are not a necessary step in your skincare regimen, but they are a nice treat and they will have added benefits for your skin. A toner will remove any traces of cleanser, refresh and prepare your skin for the next step (serum and/or moisturizer). Your skin will be slightly damp from the toner, and that will help spread out the serum or cream and make it sink into your skin easier.

Depending on the toner you choose you will get other benefits too of course! The Cucumber Aloe Toner is mild, soothing, hydrating and cooling. Perfect for sensitive skin, but is also suitable for all skin types. I love to keep mine in the fridge and mist over my face in summer when it’s hot and humid. The Raspberry Exfoliating Toner is made with both salicylic and glycolic acid, two exfoliants that will keep your skin clear and glowing.

Toners are also good for lazy people like me. Many times I realize way too late that it’s time to go to bed, and the last thing I want to do then is to start washing my face. But a little toner on a cotton pad is super quick and gets rid of most of the dirt before my face hit the pillow.
Let me know if you have any questions about toners! You can post them here or email them to anna AT


January 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

DIY cleansers/masks

Every once in a while it can be fun to make a special treat for yourself, and it’s easier than you think! Perhaps you have some cranberries left from the Holidays? Use them in a cleanser! Try this:

10 fresh cranberries
4 tbsp plain yogurt (as fat as you can get! :))
2 tbsp finely powdered oats (ground them up in a food processor, you can make a big batch and keep on hand)
2 drops Rose essential oil (optional)
1 tbsp clay (optional)

Put all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth. If it feels a bit thick, add more yogurt, and if it feels a bit runny, add more oats.

To use, massage into damp skin and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse off. The cranberries are astringent and extremely rich in Vitamin C. The yogurt is soothing and the oats are nourishing. If you add clay you get a bit more of a deep cleaning, and the rose oil smells heavenly!

Store left overs in the fridge. As long as it looks and smells good you can use it!



January 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

Cleansing – How to make it more fun!

Did you find a suitable cleanser? While having a simple routine in place is the best thing, sprucing it up and making it a little bit more pampering is fun some times. Variety is the spice of life, after all 🙂

You could add a drop or two of an essential oil to your cleanser to give it an instant “spa” feel. Try lavender (relaxing), rose (soothing), mandarin (uplifting) or our Pure Balance essential oil blend with lavender, tea tree, geranium and chamomile.

If you want a little bit of scrub, the best thing to add is a teaspoon or less of baking soda. Yep, it’s true! The crystals are so fine and even that they will not scratch your skin, but they are scrubby enough to give you an effective exfoliation. I got this tip from the “Cosmetic Cop” and it inspired our super popular scrub Resurface.

For an extra bit of deep cleansing, try adding some clay to the cleanser (this works best with the Cleansing Milk, actually.. I have only tried it with the Cleansing Milk so do let me know if you try it with another cleanser!:)). You can for instance use our Cucumber chamomile Face Mask. It’s a powder mask with green clays, cucumber extract and dried chamomile. The clays will draw out any impurities, the cucumber will cool and tone while the chamomile will heal. Great stuff! But you can use any clay of course. Rhassoul would be wonderful.

Honey will be a wonderful, although a bit sticky, addition to your cleanser. It is hydrating and anti-inflammatory. Add just half a teaspoon or so (this would probably work best in the Cleansing Milk and Cleansing Gel).

These ideas should hopefully keep you busy for a little bit! 🙂 Tomorrow I will share some DIY cleansers for when you feel creative!


January 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm 1 comment

Cleansers – how to choose

The cleanser is the first step in your skincare regime, and choosing the right one for you is not that hard. We have four cleansers:

Cleansing Milk with Geranium
Deep Cleansing Oil with Mandarin and Cedar
Cleansing Gel with Cucumber and Rhubarb
Men’s Cleansing Gel

When people ask me which one to choose, I usually tell them that it’s up to personal preference. All skin types can use all cleansers, except perhaps the most dry skin types that should stay away from foaming cleansers. So here is how to choose the one for you!

Cleansing Gel with Cucumber & Rhubarb
This is a foaming cleanser that you use with water, so if you like the “soap and water” feel on your skin, this is the one for you. The cucumber extract makes the cleanser a bit cooling as well.



Cleansing Milk with Geranium
This is our best seller, and it suits everyone. It is extremely mild, and it also works well to remove eye makeup. Just massage it in on dry skin and then you can wipe it off or rinse it off. My favorite way is to wipe it off with a damp warm wash cloth (baby wash cloths are great!), but if you have very dry skin you can just wipe it off with a tissue. If you live somewhere where it gets very cold and dry in the winter, I would suggest the “tissue it off” strategy since water can make your skin feel dry and tight.


Deep Cleansing Oil with Mandarin and Cedar
Oil cleansing is much more common in Asia, and it’s not as strange as it may seem… 🙂 It is based on the idea that “like dissolves like”, so it is actually really good at removing oil and debris and since we have added an emulsifier it will rinse off without leaving an oily film on your skin. Just massage in a small amount into dry skin, wring out a wash cloth in warm water and wipe off the cleanser. Or you can just rinse it off if you prefer but use warm water to activate the emulsifier, otherwise you may not get left with oil on your skin. The scent of mandarin and cedar is sooo relaxing, and your skin will feel clean and soft.


Men’s Cleansing Gel
This is a foaming cleanser, just like the Cleansing Gel with Cucumber & Rhubarb, but with essential ois of peppermint and tea-tree. It is very refreshing, and the anti-bacterial properties are great for skin types that tend to break out. I love using this cleanser when it is really hot and humid!

As you can see, you can choose almost any of the cleansers. Listen to your skin and it will tell you what it needs. In winter you may need something milder, like the Cleansing Milk or the Deep Cleansing Oil. In summer you may need a more thorough cleanser, like the Men’s Cleansing Gel with peppermint and tea-tree or the cooling Cleansing Gel with Cucumber & Rhubarb. Some people like the use the foaming cleanser in the morning shower and the Cleansing Milk at night. So it is really just up to you and what your skin needs. Try ordering the samples, or travel sizes, the first time and you will quickly find your favorite!

Tomorrow I will share some ideas on how to spruce up your cleansing routine. Sometimes we need a bit more pampering or just plain fun! 🙂

January 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Even though I feel just like John Mann when he wrote Another Happy New Year…

A shitty bottle of champagne, a paper party crown
My breasts all set to bust out of this Cinderella gown
It’s an artificial deadline to turn my life around
It’s another happy new year

…It also feels good to have this new blank page, even though it IS an artificial deadline (I always think of fall as the true New Year, when the summer holidays are over and when we get back into a routine again). So, with this blank new page in front of us I wanted to make January 2012 a TVAL Skincare Month. We will share tips, make personalized routines and show you have to get a good, simple and effective skincare routine in place.

First off I want to share the philosophy behind our skincare products. You see, I had really bad acne from when I was about 15 years old and almost into my thirties. I tried everything, all sorts of products, went to a dermatologist and I read tons and tons of books on the subject. Finally I found one brand that worked for me, Sage Skincare. They had only very effective ingredients and cut out all the crap. The packaging was no fuzz, they relied solely on the effectiveness of their products. I admired this tremendously and I still do. I also got a lot of good advice from reading Paula Begoun’s books (Cosmetic Cop). Having a scientific background helped too when it came to determining what ingredients to choose and what is just plain bogus. There is so much of that, and it makes me so MAD that there are companies that put useless stuff in products and then make up some elaborate fairytale backed up by pretty jars and expensive super models. Grrrrrr….

When it comes to skincare, this is what we believe in:

Less is more
Consistency is key
Treat your skin gently

I know all to well that when you have acne you want to fix it NOW, and it’s easy to think that harsh, drying products will help dry up the zits. And they do. For about a week. Then your skin freak outs from the harsh treatment and compensates by producing more oil. This starts a vicious cycle, with skin that break outs more than ever, still very oily but dry on the surface.

So let’s start a gentle, simple skincare regimen together this month. Something you can keep for life. With time you will learn to listen to your skin and tweak your routine so it suits your skin perfectly (so many things affect your skin.. weather, stress, diet, age).

Tomorrow I will talk more about cleansing and how to choose the product that works best for YOU. Are you with me?! 🙂

PS. Email me at if you want a personalized skincare routine! I will post my reply on the blog, and hopefully this can help someone else too. You will get a discount code to use, as a Thank You for taking the time to write.

January 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

January 2012
« Dec   Feb »

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,878 other followers

Recent Posts