Last week Magatte Wade, the founder of back-to-basics skincare line Tiossan, paid a special visit to Birchbox HQ. Not only did we get the chance to sniff, dab, and blend Tiossan’s all-natural products firsthand, but we also got a mini skincare lesson direct from Senegal-born Wade—whose radiant complexion, we might add, speaks volumes about her skincare habits.
Having grown up among traditional Senegalese healers, Wade has always been fascinated by ancient knowledge of natural beauty aids. And her globetrotting ways—she’s lived everywhere from France to Silicon Valley—have given her a well-rounded perspective on what works (and what doesn’t). “It has been my little game to take the best of each culture and put them together in a combination that is mine,” she says. (Just one sniff of her sugar-infused Body Scrub, and we were itching to jump in the nearest shower for a test drive.)
And Tiossan’s mission extends way beyond skincare: 10% of profits are earmarked for founding innovative schools in Senegal. Wade aspires to use Montessori-style teaching methods to help unlock students’ creativity—and foster more of the entrepreneurial spirit she’s put to such beautiful use.
In addition to French-inspired fragrances, Tiossan’s products are based around three traditional Senegalese ingredients. Here, a quick primer on their skin-saving powers:
Organic aloe vera: This trusted succulent makes skin supple in two different ways: It has water to moisturize, and oil to hydrate—meaning it locks in the moisture that’s been added.
Organic unrefined shea butter: According to Wade, the unrefined version is ideal because it retains the built-in vitamins and fatty acids your skin needs. With extra fatty acid action, your skin’s elasticity and moisture levels get a boost.
Organic black seed oil: This powerhouse oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that’s renowned for its myriad healing properties. “The elders believe that it could cure anything—except for death,” says Wade. While death may be too much to ask, this antioxidant-rich balm packs a wrinkle-defying punch when applied to skin.
Want more Tiossan? Check out more products in the Birchbox Shop.
Here’s a major beauty myth: Natural products can’t hold up to traditional formulations in terms of performance. In reality, there are plenty of green brands that can deliver the same results—without any skin-irritating additives. Here are five must-try all-natural creations we’re crazy about:
We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.
Photo: Stylo Girl
Although there are a host of fantastic beauty products on the market today, sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics and utilize the foods that contain natural beauty benefits. After you’ve graduated from the good old cucumber slice as a natural eye de-puffer trick, there are tons of other earth-friendly recipes out there that can be executed using yummy products from your fridge. Who knew that playing with your food could be a good thing? Here are four fun treatments to whip up at home:
This week’s guest blogger, Vida Lee, hits close to home for us—literally! She’s a beauty guru based in our hometown: New York City. Aside from being a product addict, she’s also a medical school student (whoa!) who makes time on the side for her pretty blog, P.S. It’s Vida. Over the next few days, the smarty savant will be sharing her greatest tips and tricks for staying prepped and primed for summer.
I’m not one to fuss about natural beauty products, but when a great one comes my way, I’m all about it. One of my recent finds is Indigo Wild’s Zum Bar. This all-natural soap is made from goat’s milk that balances out your pH, so it doesn’t doesn’t dry your skin out or leave it oily.
By now we know how good yogurt can be for our diet and digestion (yes, I’m looking at you, Jamie Lee Curtis). But a new skin care line called Dairyface — yes, really — is bringing awareness to the skin healing properties of yogurt. Since I’ve tried weirder things to combat acne, I’m not opposed to the idea.
It’s Wednesday, which means we’re all dragging. But you have something fun to look forward to: Tomorrow night, we’ll be live Twitter partying with Weleda and The Gloss, talking all things natural and beauty.
From 7-8:30 pm, experts from The Gloss (@theglossdotcom) and Weleda (@weleda), plus Birchbox (@birchbox), will be answering all your burning questions. Simply follow us (if you don’t already) and tweet us your questions using the hashtag #gonatural.
We promise to be fun and charming - come join us!