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Perfecting The Art Of Self-Care With 5YINA

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the understanding that all life is connected within the circle of nature and the mindset that 'what is good for nature is good for humanity, what is good for one is good for all.' (Beinfeld and Korngold, 1991). The core of TCM has always been preventative care, a way of living in harmony with the world that has been documented in texts dating back to over 2500 years ago, and a philosophy reflected in what we call self-care in our modern world.
5YINA is a holistic seasonal skincare line formulated according to TCM principles and ranks as one of my favorite green beauty brands, and I have yet to try anything from the skilled hands of founders Ervina and Angela that I have not loved.

5YINA's Seasonal Beauty Oils
[Credit: 5YINA]

So what makes 5YINA so special and what warrants the price tag?

They constantly fine-tune their formulas to harmonize with nature, according to the best ingredients they can find. While capturing the essence of the season, every batch produced is subtly different with living nuances and delicate complexities. For example, Ervina shared with me recently, they managed to source an exceptional batch of wildcrafted silver needle white tea this Spring, a rare and expensive variety, which they will be using instead of green tea for some of their products this year. The provenance and terroir of the herbs they use are also important factors. The peony root from Zhejiang province is a lot more robust and potent than the ones from Anhui, with a higher level of paeonoflorin, an active component exclusive to the peony root that helps lighten pigmentation and repair damage skin.

Besides their unique TCM herbal formulations, what sets 5YINA apart from the other seasonal skincare brands in the market is their in-house extraction of these medicinal herbs, a labor-intensive process that requires solid knowledge of Chinese herbologyEvery product is a labor of love with at least 3 years of intensive R&D behind them and the team works according to the lunisolar calendar to magnify the healing energy behind their creations. 

Let's take a closer look at some of the products that I have been using for the past month.

5YINAEnlighten Spring Hydrolat* ($45.00 for 2 oz)
The Enlighten Spring Hydrolat is described as a glow-inducing elixir that promises an immediate hydrating boost to give you dewy, luminous skin. The powerhouse formula includes aloe vera juice and flower distillates that will sooth and refresh your skin, as well as the wildcrafted silver needle white tea mentioned earlier that has more antioxidants than green tea. It also has Poria Cocos, a medicinal mushroom commonly used in TCM that can help to even out your skin tone and prevent acne, and the gorgeous rose scent comes from the rose essences that will heal and refine your skin texture.

This product is at once a toner, a skin prep for the 5YINA Beauty Oils, a finishing spray for your makeup and an instant refresher for your skin. If you are looking for a quick and lighter routine on days you are going bare-faced in the warmer weather, you can simply spray the mist all over your face and wipe off with a cotton pad, but don't forget your sun-screen after!

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Rose Damascena Flower Distillate*, Helichrysum Angustifolium Flower Distillate*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (Radish Root Extract), Vegetable Glycerin*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea)+, Poria Cocos Sclerotium, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice), Paeonia Albiflora (Peony Root), Schizandra Chinensis (Schisandra) Berries, Radix Astragali Membranacei (Astragalus), Silver Citrate, Citric Acid, Rose Damascena (Rose Moroccan) Oil*, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil* 
 * Certified Organic  + Wild-Crafted

Enlighten Spring Beauty Oil*
($145.00 for 1 oz)
I have tried more face oils than I care to count, but the Enlighten Spring Beauty Oil stands out as a firm favorite. Infused with no less than 24 herbal bioactives, the concentrated oil delivers micronutrients and antioxidants to boost energy and restore elasticity and luminosity to the skin with regular use.  It sits on a foundation of camellia seed oil, rich in fatty acids, Vitamin E and polyphenols, with a molecular weight similar to skin that allows it to be absorbed quickly and thoroughly into the skin. You can read more about the other key ingredients here, but I will highlight the Tremella mushroom, which holds even more water than hyaluronic acid and keeps the skin moisturized and dramatically softer.

It has a delicate floral scent that is reminiscent of the birth of spring in nature, and a lightweight consistency that sinks beautifully into my skin and feels like a serum on. As with the other 5YINA seasonal oils, all you need is 3-4 drops for it to work its magic on your face. I love using this both in the morning as a layer of moisture before my sunscreen and at night for an overnight treatment. I've received many compliments for my glowing complexion this summer, and I attribute it to the Enlighten oil!

Ingredients: Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil*, Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil*, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil*, 5YINA Proprietary Complex - { Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil*, Astragalus, A. Macrocephala (Atractylodes) Rhizome, Tremella Fruciformis, Grifola Frondosa (Maitake)*, Angelica Sinensis (Chinese Angelica) Root, Schizandra Chinensis (Schisandra) Berries, Paeonia Albiflora (Peony Root), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice), Lithospermum Erythrorhizon (Gromwell) Root }, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil*, Tocopherol (Vitamine E), Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil and Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract*, Helichrysum (Immortelle) Oil* , Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oil*, Rose Damascena, Rose Bulgarian and Rose De Mai*
 * Certified Organic

Even though the collection is inspired by the seasons, it is also catered to different skin types. Ervina explained that the Enlighten Spring line is an inspiring awakening purposed to gently reset and protect the skin when the environment is less stable, such as transitioning between seasons or climate zones. And while we are now in the thick of summer, I have found the Enlighten products to work wonderfully for me.

5YINADivine All Seasons Bio-Cellulose Mask* ($20.00 for 1 or $85.00 for a box set of 5)
And finally, the Divine All Seasons Bio-Cellulose Mask is a luxurious skin treat that is the ultimate home spa experience. The ingredients include 5YINA's synergistic blend of herbs and peptides, such as the exotic schisandra berries, traditionally found in skin rejuvenating and youth-preserving formulas, the superfood goji berries which repairs and imparts a glow on your face and the curiously-named Job's Tears which has calming and clarifying properties.

Each mask holds a generous 1 oz of fluid each and although the packaging says to leave it on for 15-30 minutes it, I leave it on for an hour to allow my face to absorb all the botanical goodness and follow up with a few spritzes of the hydrolat and beauty oil. With just one use it plumps and brightens my complexion, perfect after a few days of intense sun exposure in the summer. At $20 per sheet, the mask does not come cheap, so I reserve it for special occasions like an anniversary date.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, VP Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Glycol, Allantoin, *Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, *Aloe Vera, Schisandra Chinensis Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Berries Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice), Centella Asiatica (Gota Kola) Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Evening Primrose Oil, Cellulose, Caprylyl Glycol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Ziziphus Jujuba (Jujube) Fruit Extract, Prunus Mume (Japanese Apricot) Extract, Cnidium Officinale (Japanese Chuan Xiong) Root Extract, Angelica Acutiloba (Japanese Angelica) Root Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen (Job's Tears) Seed Extract , Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Bletilla Striata (Chinese Ground Orchid) Root Extract, Trichosanthes Kirilowii (Chinese Snake Gourd) Root Extract, Paeonia Albiflora (Peony) Root Extract, Rubus Coreanus (Chinese Raspberries) Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Pentapeptide-18 and Acetyl Octapeptide-3
 * Certified Organic
Because I am a curious cat, I also asked 5YINA what we can expect from them in the future. Without giving too much away, they are always developing something exciting in their lab, which includes a cream cleanser, a universal beauty oil for sensitive skin, décolleté balm and eye serum. I can hardly wait!

Beyond skincare, the team is also working on a collaborator project that will bring together a diverse group of people to share insights, stories and discoveries with the 5YINA community, so make sure you subscribe to their mailing list to be kept up-to-date!

P/S: If you want a comprehensive and understandable guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine, I highly recommend the book Between Heaven and Earth by Beinfield and Korngold.

P/P/S: You can read my review of 5YINA's Quiescent Winter Beauty Oil and Divine All Season's Beauty Balm here.

Yay- you can now get a free Petit Enlighten Oil worth $22 with any purchase. Simply place the product in your cart with your other items and use code GETENLIGHTEN!

What do you think about seasonal skincare products? 
What would you love to try most from 5YINA?

*   The 5YINA products were kindly provided for consideration, however all opinions expressed are my own.

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