Even though the summertime is full of vacations, half-days, and good weather, somehow we’re more exhausted than ever. (Actually, come to think of it, maybe it’s all the moving around we’re doing….in the heat.) It’s important now more than ever to pack your beauty arsenal with products to help you rejuvenate and unwind.
We’ve got your R&R needs in mind, which is why we tapped our July collaborator, designer Cynthia Rowley, to create a limited edition Tip to Toe Treats box full of products to bring the restful spa experience to your home. There’s AHAVA’s Placid Bath Salts to give you instant zen while soaking, as well as AHAVA’s Dead Sea Mud, which helps to purify the skin and cure sore muscles. There’s also LATHER’s Lemongrass Body Scrub for zesty exfoliation and LATHER’s Hand Crème with Evening Primrose to make your skin soft and supple. Finally, there’s a special set of Incoco nail art strips featuring a customized Cynthia Rowley print and even a helpful Tweezerman file to help you keep your manicure looking good.
What’s especially fantastic about this assortment of good-for-you goodies is the value: all six products for $38! We know a good deal when we see one and this is unbeatable. Buy your limited edition Tip to Toe Treats box today before they sell out and be on your way to a more rested and relaxed state.
This week’s guest blogger, Janell Hickman is a Brooklyn native. Formerly a fashion gal, the style-savvy Hickman is now officially going steady with her current love: beauty. In addition to her newly launched blog, Chipped Manicure, she has also written for Refinery29.com, BeautyEtc.com, ESSENCE.com, and contributed to monthly columns as the beauty & fashion assistant at ESSENCE Magazine.
AHAVA Purifying Mud Mask, $30, birchbox.com; Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Exfoliating Mask, $45, ernolaszlo.com. Photo: HarpersBazaar.com.
I had always felt confident about my complexion until a little while back, when a rather abrupt aesthetician pointed out my every skin flaw, from hyper-pigmentation to clogged pores to a blackhead on my cheek. I immediately vowed to treat my skin a little bit better.
One of the easiest ways to turn distressed skin around is an at-home facial mask. There are so many benefits to using a mask, from improving blood circulation to repairing tissues and elasticity to absorbing access oil. Most importantly, masks force you to stay in and relax! When I don’t have much time, I love using AHAVA’s Time To Clear Purifying Mud Mask for two minutes (as directed). The mask is made with blend of mud and minerals from the Dead Sea, so it’s perfect for sensitive skin. I use this mask twice a week to edge off any rising blemishes and keep my skin super soft.
But after a long make-up filled week, I need to bring out the big guns. Erno Laszlo’s Sea Mud Exfoliating Mask is great for drawing out impurities and brightening an overworked complexion. The combination of sea mud, corn starch, and algae provides instant results and after just one use, my skin looks brighter and feels tighter. I usually leave this mask on for 15 minutes once a week for a longer pampering experience.
For more ways to take care of your skin, check out our Birchbox Shop.
Last week, we teamed up with AHAVA to throw a two-day Twitter contest. We asked you for your most vexing skin and body questions and we got tons of great entries. Here are the two winning Tweeters and their questions - each will win a $300 prize pack and get their question answered by AHAVA skin expert Dawn Diorio.
@kzarr: @Birchbox #AHAVAReborn What @AHAVA_US product can you use to cure your cracked heels? I NEED to know!
To get feet sandal-ready and to prevent cracked heels and rough soles, start by using AHAVA’S Softening Butter Salt Scrub. Apply to dry feet and calves and perform a gentle exfoliation to stimulate cellular renewal and remove calluses. Exfoliate at least twice a week during the summer months. Apply Mineral Foot Cream morning and evening to clean, dry feet. This light cream is rich in Dead Sea minerals, natural plant derivatives, and tea tree oil. It renews rough skin, repairs splits and cracks, and prevents dryness.
@martiferg: @birchbox @ahava_us I am a busy mom of 2 and don’t always have that much time for myself. What are some quick and easy products?
Pick time-saving, skin-friendly products to use morning and evening to keep skin performing at its best. AHAVA’s All In One Toning Cleanser is three products in one: it removes eye and face makeup, dirt, and impurities, and also tones the skin. It can be used with or without water! Hydrate the skin with Essential Day Moisturizer — it provides long lasting hydration and protection against environmental damage. Protect the delicate skin around the eyes with our Gentle Eye Cream—it’s rich in Dead Sea minerals, selected botanical essences and skin-healthy vitamins to visibly reduce sign of fatigue and increase hydration.
Shop our favorite AHAVA products here.
Who wouldn’t want and entirely new set of face and body products? AHAVA has partnered with us on a totally sweet sweepstakes where three lucky winners will receive $300 worth of their best-selling products. We’re especially excited about this promotion because AHAVA has just switched things up, from changing its packaging to editing down its product line to crafting a new tag line, ‘My Skin Reborn,’ the offerings are better than ever. Click here to enter now!
We’re kicking off our AHAVA Twitter contest today! All you have to do to enter is follow @birchbox and @ahava_us and — all today and tomorrow — tweet us your most vexing body and skincare questions with the hashtag #AHAVAreborn. We’ll pick two winners who will get $300 worth of products and have their questions answered by AHAVA’s skincare expert.
It’s no secret that AHAVA is a Birchbox favorite. I discovered them through their famous hand cream (a handbag staple) and have quickly added their mineral lotions and scrubs to my routine. The brand has plenty of history — it was founded 22 years ago on the Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem, inspired by tourists scooping up Dead Sea mud to take home with them. They’ve recently relaunched with new packaging, a tightly edited product line, and a new philosophy. I recently had a chance to chat with AHAVA CEO Elana Drell Szyfer about salt scrub tips, the company’s rebranding, and their secret ingredient.
1. What does ‘AHAVA Reborn’ mean?
The Dead Sea is the original natural spa—Cleopatra used to make regular visits, and Europeans still venture there to treat serious skin ailments like psoriasis and diabetes. The new tagline, ‘My skin reborn,’ is about the experience of being at the Dead Sea and the benefits your skin receives.
2. What do you think makes AHAVA products special?
All our products have a key component: our Osmoter. It’s a solar evaporation process that takes the most important minerals—magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc—and rebalances them to recreate the concentration of those minerals found in our own skin. The Osmoter works like a pump, replicating osmosis, and it draws moisture from the lower levels of the skin up to the upper levels of the skin. There are three major contributors to aging: dehydration, sun exposure, and inflammation. The Osmoter helps to fight all of these.
This weekend, I went home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. Since my mom is an avid follower of our blog, I couldn’t post this on Friday for fear that she’d see it. I grew up in Miami but my parents moved to Maine seven years ago and haven’t looked back since. When I go home, it’s a complete reversal of my New York life, which is why I love it: quiet with nothing to do besides sit in the kitchen and read the paper or take my dog for walks along the water. (Oh, and the J.Crew outlet. There’s that.) Accordingly, I wear zero makeup when I’m home. Here’s what I brought instead.
AHAVA Dermud Intensive Foot Cream: My feet are a mess. Since I haven’t had the time to get a pedicure, I’m going to try to take advantage of being in a real house (access to a bath tub!) by giving myself an at-home pedi: soak, pumice, finish with tons of this rich lotion.
Lavanila The Healthy Body Wash in Vanilla Grapefruit: This is my favorite new body wash, so I’m bringing one home for my mom, too. It’s part of my plan to slowly make over her bathroom, product by product. This paraben- and synthetic-free suds is good for the skin, and smells so good I want to eat it.
Deborah Lippmann ‘My Old Flame’: My mom is extremely low-maintenance but she loves getting her toes done with bright colors. I’m giving her this classic, creamy red to take with her to the nail salon the next time she goes.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel: I have been terrible about making the time to use a mask, event though I know my skin is in need of some serious exfoliation (dull, dry). This alpha hydroxy peel will work for both me and my mom, so I’ll make her do it too!
Weleda Skin Food: My dad is an architect turned mini Bob Vila, and he is celebrating his semi-retirement by renovating our entire house, building cold frames and raised beds for his garden, and doing other handy man things. Result: he has the roughest, most cracked hands I’ve ever seen. I’m bringing him Weleda’s super rich Skin Food in the hopes that it can remedy them.
Next Wed & Thurs, tweet us your skincare questions with the hashtag #AHAVAreborn and you’ll be entered to win $300 worth of Dead Sea mineral goodies!
Ever since we discovered AHAVA, we’ve had our skin on a steady diet of Dead Sea minerals. It’s paid off — our hands and feet made it through winter crack-free, and our complexions are noticeably clearer thanks to their purifying mud mask. And, with the brand’s recent relaunch, the products just keep getting better and better. Now it’s your turn to reap the benefits.
Next week, we’re teaming up with AHAVA to give you skincare advice and the chance to win awesome prizes. All day Wednesday and Thursday, hop on over to Twitter and tweet us your most vexing skincare and bodycare questions with the hashtag #AHAVAreborn. Everyone who participates using #AHAVAreborn will be entered. On Friday, we’ll select two winners to have their questions answered by AHAVA expert Dawn Diorio — and they’ll also each receive $300 worth of AHAVA products.
What, exactly, might be included in each of these $300 grand prizes? A bounty of AHAVA’s best sellers, that’s what, including their Rich Cleansing Cream, Dermud Intensive Hand Cream, Dermud Intensive Foot Cream, Softening Butter Salt Scrub, Sun Anti-Aging Moisturizing Spray, and more!
Stay tuned next week for an exclusive interview with AHAVA’s CEO about their relaunch, the magic of minerals, and more!
If you’re like me, getting a pedicure is definitely a once-in-a-while occasion. And even though my bathroom cabinets are chock-full of top pumices, creams, and other nail doodad, I have never been able to get soft, non-cracked heels. So I decided for my last installment of The Bathtime Challenge, I’d put my handy-dandy AHAVA salts to the test and see if they could help me recreate a spa pedi at home.
Using AHAVA’s Honey Herbal bath salts, I took a large pot (yes, a cooking pot), filled it with water, and placed it on the stove to warm. While the water was heating, I then re-created the olive oil scrub from Day 2 in preparation. Once the scrub and water were ready to go, I sat myself in front of the television (my usual place to unwind), poured in a cap full of salt, and dunked my feet in the pot. (Tip: fill the water just high enough so your lower shin is submerged.) Then, I took my scrub and lightly exfoliated, concentrating on my heels since the skin on the top part of my feet is very sensitive. I decided to soak my feet for 10-15 minutes post-scrub until the water turned luke warm. Since your feet will be covered in a slick, oily film from the olive oil mixture, the last step is to wipe them clean using a damp wash cloth.
Now that you’ve got perfectly prepped feet, the logical next step is slapping on a fun where’s-spring hue. My current favorite: Deborah Lippmann’s sassy My Old Flame.
For pedicure-perfect feet, make your own scrub with AHAVA’s Mandarin-Cedarwood bath salts. Then you can polish your pretty tootsies with Deborah Lippmann’s My Old Flame polish.
So far, The Bathtime Challenge has helped us seen bath salts in a couple new ways: First as a body scrub and then as a facial bath. Last night, I decided to go back and use them in the standard fashion. After a very long day, I decided to see if AHAVA’s Eucalyptus salt could calm my achy muscles. The salts help release muscle tension and the smell of eucalyptus is known for it’s calming effect.
Drawing a very hot bath, I sprinkled in a cap full of salt. The smell was very strong (in a good soothing way) filling the bathroom with a heavy steam-shower type aroma. Once in the bath, I decided to really let the salts go to work by soaking for ten minutes with a warm cloth draped over my eyes. The salts and fragrance really helped me relax right before getting into bed. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to unwind this is definitely the way to go. Let’s face it, we don’t always have time or money to visit a spa, and these salts are an easy way to bring the spa to you.
Our fave AHAVA salts are actually the Mandarin-Cedarwood scent. Click here to buy them in the Birchbox Shop.