jennifer joan skincare /// facial oils

So here's the thing about skincare...  The more you know, the less glamorous it becomes.

This might sound ridiculous, but I'm starting to think I've spent the last year and a half putting myself through a makeshift skincare school.  I mean sure, I went to beauty school and got my cosmetology license, but what I learned in beauty school is peanuts compared to my recent efforts.

You might be quick to dismiss me.  

You might feel the need to remind me that going to medical school and being a dermatologist means you're really the ONLY expert in skincare - I was recently talking to a one of my dear clients/colleagues about this notion and you will learn more about her later on - but more and more so - at least in my experience - dermatologists are concerned with curing diseases and disorders, rather than maintaining the overall daily health of our skin.

In the beauty community especially, skincare is becoming more and more important.  Actually...  Important might be the wrong word to use, because I still feel as though vanity often outweighs our health concerns.  An influx of beautiful images and selfies has definitely made us all more aware of our skin. 

I'm starting to think our gorgeous cells might be suffering as a result.

When I first started this blog - at the time, I'd been working professionally in the beauty industry for over a decade - I was overcome with a curious and often times frustrating attraction to #cleanbeauty.  

I was a skeptic you see...  And in many ways, I still am.  

As the months went on...  I began to avoid the often misleading and controversial topic of #cleanbeauty because I didn't want to entertain any kind of negativity on my platform.  I wanted to inspire people to be great and that's still my top priority as a content creator.  I also didn't feel I was necessarily qualified to hold my own in a detailed conversation about #cleanbeauty and thus, I felt it was irresponsible - please take special note of the word irresponsible - of me to voice my opinions.

And so I got to work.  And I'm still working...

I've since committed a good portion of my time every single day to researching various skincare related topics - without bias - even though I understand being unbiased is an extremely difficult thing to do.  My goal was to become equally devoted to both sides of the beauty coin. 

In the end - when I feel it's finally ready - I'm going to release my skincare guide.  

It's a project I've been working on for quite some time.  I've spoken to dermatologists, aestheticians, makeup artists, beauty companies, chemists and chemistry nerds, influencers, skincare bloggers, real people and everyone in between.  If you've met with me or spoken to me on the phone, you've probably answered some of my questions and engaged in this discussion with me.  You've no doubt experienced my extreme level curiosity and passion for the subject on some level.

The beauty industry moves really really fast.  

And it's important to remember that it is an industry.

I think anyone who cannot accept the reality of business in beauty is playing a losing game.  One which can end in heartbreak and disillusionment.

For a good six months - somewhere between fall and spring of last year - I felt a big shift.  

It was like #cleanbeauty swallowed #indiebeauty whole.  

My platform was growing and a lot clean beauty brands started contacting me.  At the time, I felt it was only fair - not to mention professional - to sincerely express my scepticism up front.

Some brands didn't like the fact that I was asking questions.  Some brands answered in such absolutes, I couldn't take them seriously.  Others... They just didn't know what to say.  The ones who did engage in a respectful and professional dialogue with me - even if we didn't always agree - became my collaborators.  

Not only that - they became my friends.

For me, collaborating to endorse a product with a specific brand - I don't publish negative reviews - is not just about testing the product and sharing my thoughts.  It goes so much deeper than that.

A lot of these brands are just starting out.  

They have passionate ideas about beauty they want to express, and our community needs to hear them.


PS

Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurialism is at a decline in North America.  Fewer and fewer people are taking the risk of starting a company.  Of the companies being launched - less are actually succeeding.

There are a number of factors that contribute to this situation, of course.

I'd like to help women build their own personal empires.

And by that I mean, I'd like to help you live a better life.

It's extremely important to me that I contribute to this industry in a positive way.  

I want to go beyond being a beauty blogger.  I want to help elevate the brands I work with.  Because at the end of the day, I know I'm so much more than a beauty blogger.  

I have too much experience building brands and being creative to offer one measly little review.  And let's face it - we're being inundated with reviews all the time.  What's going to set mine apart from all the others?

This is a question I'm always trying to answer.

Once I started working with brands, I found myself offering guidance on everything from packaging to market positioning to social media.  And that's when things started to really click for me.

This post is a rather long-winded way to express my love for Jennifer Joan Skincare - and oils in general.

I really really love this brand - for so many reasons.

First of all, Jennifer Joan - the woman herself - is a lightning-bolt of awesomeness.  

I was first introduced by our mutual friend - Kelsey Schiavon.  Make sure to check Kelsey out too because she's also doing some really amazing things in the #cleanbeauty space.  And I was immediately taken aback by Jen's contagious energy.

She is supportive.  Encouraging.  Powerfully positive.

And really really confident.

I first received these oils about six months ago, so you can rest easy knowing I've put them through the ringer.  

I very quickly ran out of The Classic.

Jen has also released an entire line of body oils...  I'm working on a separate post about those incredible concoctions because they are simply too good not to mention.

From the very first day of receiving Jen's products, the smart sleek packaging impressed me...  The addictive exotic natural fragrances engulfed me...  And the healing power of her hand-crafted oils had my skin glowing. 

I was hooked and I couldn't stop using them.

In order for me to adequately express my love for Jennifer Joan Skincare - I first need to explain why oil is so important for the skin - because it really really is.

I can't stress this enough.

Picture the outer most layer of your skin as a brick wall.  I am not referring to your skin as a whole...  There are several layers to the skin.  I'm only referring to the very top layer.  

Your skin's outer most layer is called the Stratum Corneum - simply referred to as your skin barrier or lipid barrier.  It's ability to protect the rest of your skin from harm is called your barrier function.

When you look at a cross-section of skin under a microscope, it resembles something close to a brick and mortar structure.  Dr. Peter M. Elias of the University of California first coined this term as it relates to skin.

The bricks themselves are a build-up of non-living cells - ready to shed.


PS

This is definitely a topic for a future post... For all you exfoliating addicts out there - you need SOME build up of dead skin cells to protect your skin.  

There is a BIG difference between raw skin and glowing skin.


In between the bricks is a cement-like substance - which is a mixture of lipids.  These lipids - considered the mortar - hold your skin bricks together.

When your barrier function is strong - very little can penetrate it.  

Environmental irritants are weak against it.

On the other hand, you can just imagine trying to live in a brick and mortar building without any mortar.  

I'm not sure you or the building would last very long.

You might be wondering now, where do oils come in.  Well, using the right oils on your skin - as well as taking effective supplements internally - will help build and strengthen that very important mortar substance.

You're not using oil to moisturize your skin - per say.  My entire outlook surrounding the idea of moisturizing is changing pretty rapidly these days.  You're not necessarily trying to make your skin barrier softer.  

Instead, you're using oil to contribute to and strengthen the bond that holds everything together - thus protecting your skin as a whole from various forms and degrees of irritation.

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So now I feel like I can really talk about these gorgeous oils... 

Jennifer Joan Skincare is a company based out of Calgary Alberta, Canada.

Jen personally formulates her oils.  After years of passionate research, she began her journey like many of us DIY skincare freaks - by experimenting in her kitchen.  And it quickly turned into her full-time job.

Jennifer is intensely selective about her oil, too. 

She uses a combination of unrefined plant-based oils - these oils are rich in essential fatty acids for strengthening that mortar-like substance I was just talking about.  

She also uses specialty botanical oils from around the world.


PS

It's important to recognize that not every oil is created equal.  Oils are expressed and pressed and created differently.  Not only that...  Not everyone can tolerate fragrance - and I mean fragrance of any kind.

Yes.  Even Lavender.  Even though it's natural.

I try to stay away from artificial fragrances as much as possible.  And not because they are synthetic - blah blah blah...  But because they are skin irritants.

The skin on my face and chest is a totally different beast compared to the rest of my body.  

It's reactive.  Sensitive. 

And on a daily basis, I do try to use fragrance free products.

However...  And it's a BIG however.  I can attest to being a beauty junkie and sometimes - because I am a weirdo product tester -  I will break that rule to test to my hearts content.  

My skin usually begins to suffer over time as a result though...  

It's a delicate dance!

It's important to be aware that natural fragrances are skin irritants too.  Natural is not always better.  If you're sensitive or allergic to fragrance - of any kind - these oils are definitely not for you.


Jennifer ONLY works with oil.  That's what I love about her brand.

She spends all of her time researching and formulating beautiful oils.  Nothing else.  

I believe that sets her apart.

Her line of products is simple and effective.

Her combinations are creative and different.  They lend themselves to scents I've experienced absolutely no where else.  If you love botanical fragrances and are looking for a natural fragrance to wear instead of perfume, you'll swoon over these romantic, nostalgic formulations.

They're rich - but light.  Complex.  And definitely sophisticated.

You'll feel sexy wearing them.

In a #cleanbeauty industry built on green health and minimalism - Jennifer is provocative.  

She's fucking hot.  And so are her oils.

I get bored really easily.  And these oils aren't boring.

I've had my husband test them as well...  In a time where fragrance formulators and large brands are keen to create gender-neutral products, I think Jennifer Joan Skincare is right ahead of the game.

I love that Jen marches to the beat of her own drum.  She's isn't affected by the hype of #cleanbeauty.

She just wants to make beautiful, high-quality products.


THE BEST PART

There's a code ya'll.  That's right.  By clicking the button below, you'll receive a special discount on all Jennifer Joan Skincare facial oils respectively.  This code will last for ninety days - so feel free to take advantage!