June 03, 2014 Kari Gran


Face moisturizer can be a big mystery. While we’ve settled on that fact you should use it at least twice a day, morning and night, many women would likely struggle to name even one ingredient in their moisturizer off the top of their head, despite the fact we spread it across our face daily.

When I became a beauty label reader in my 30’s, I quickly learned a few unsettling things about what’s really in moisturizing creams.

  • First, most moisturizers are made up of at least 80% water. That’s right, you are paying for 80% plain old water mixed with only 10-12% product (the remainder is wax, preservative, thickeners and humectants). Water is used as filler to create the illusion you’re getting more functional product than you actually are.
  • Second, most commercial moisturizers are loaded with preservatives – not to preserve your face, but to preserve the shelf life of the product. The most common preservatives found in beauty products are parabens, which have been linked to cancer and are in fact banned in Europe.

When I began thinking about what I wanted out of my own skin care line, I decided to deconstruct the elements of moisturizer to focus only on the functional components. All you need for an effective moisturizer are two things: water and oil. The water hydrates the skin and preps it to drink in the oil, which then further hydrates as well as softens the skin (this is why you’re told to lotion up right after the shower when you’re nice and dewy). Any additional ingredients are pure filler and fluff, included to get that mayonnaise-like appearance of traditional creams and to have the product last on shelves for decades.

The Kari Gran approach strips it down and goes back to basics. For the “water” we use our Hydrating Tonic, which is aloe-based but functions just as water would while packing in additional benefits for your skin. For the “oil” we use our Essential Serum, made from more than 15 organic, wild-harvested and non-GMO oils.

All you do is pump some Hydrating Tonic in your hand, add a dab of Essential Serum, and rub together…viola! You’ve just created a fresh batch of face lotion ready to apply to your face.

There is something our clients find immensely gratifying about this step in our skin care system. Rather than dipping into a mass produced jar of gook, each morning and night they are hand mixing their own little dose of lotion using only pure, organic, wild-harvested and non-GMO ingredients. They are also only paying for 100% functional product that is super concentrated, so it goes an incredibly long way.

The best part? By changing up the ratio of Hydrating Tonic to Essential Serum, you completely control the level of moisturizer based on what your skin needs. We recommend three pumps tonic to one pump serum as a starting point. But if you need a heavier moisturizer, bump it down to two pumps tonic and go up to two pumps serum for a 50/50 ratio. Lighter coverage? Try four pumps tonic and one pump serum.

By being able to change the ratios, you take the moisturizing level into your own hands (literally), and are able to quickly adapt to your fluctuating needs, whether it be weather, how much water you’ve been drinking, or all the wacky loops our skin throws us for as we start to age.

By the way, how does our product stay stable without the preservatives? The secret is in our bottles, which are made from special Miron glass that blocks out the UV-light that breaks down product. While many homemade and all natural locations must be stored in the refrigerator to keep from spoiling, the Miron glass is our version of this “cool dark place” that keeps the product protected while it sits beautifully on your bathroom shelf. Plus, we put in an added boost of natural Vitamin E to extend the life of the oils even further.




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