Tigress. She has a strong presence. Intense, yet calm and centered. She knows how to wait. Powerful behind a comforting exterior. Wild.
Our first facial balm was created in response to our customers requesting a face balm for acne-prone skin. That was a refreshing idea and a great challenge for Ava, our formula creator, since indeed the green beauty zone abounds in beautiful rich, comforting, beeswax-hued balms that, well, feel too rich for many of us. Some customers find them slow-absorbing or pore-clogging, or find that in a hard-to-describe way, they make the skin not breathe as freely as it does without.
What our many trial runs resulted in was Tigress: a vegan balm that is soft and melts instantly. Tigress is noncomedogenic with built-in acne controls! It is easy to apply just a thin layer due to the balm's fine and loose texture. Tigress is a lightweight (that is, lightweight for a balm, but not as light as a face oil or a moisturizer), healing, deeply penetrating balm that invigorates the skin tissue, heals acne breakouts, reduces acne and blackhead tendencies, balances excessive oil production, and firms skin in the long run. It protects from moisture loss and from the wind and cold.
The skin benefits of Tigress are myriad, especially if you give it time. Here are the key ingredients:
Ucuuba butter: One of the most healing butters we have ever encountered, Amazonian ucuuba is as if medicinal herbs, hay, and nutmeg were combined and made into a butter. It is an herbal medicine closet, healing to acne and other microbial skin issues, eczema, and psoriasis. Ucuuba renews collagen and promotes skin tissue regeneration. Folk healers in the Amazon region also use ucuuba in cases of rheumatism, arthritis, and skin ulcerations.
Kokum butter: This hard, brittle, pale brown butter from India was a love at first sight to Ava due to its "winds in Sanata Fe" scent. It is a unique light butter that is noncomedogenic, pore minimizing (astringent), and rich in vitamin E. Kokum butter comes from cold-pressing mangosteen kernels.
Sapote oil: Another rare find, sapote oil from Guatemala is dry, creamy, and highly antimicrobial. It is called an oil but it has a feel of butter, and it smells of roasted almonds.
Babassu oil: This oil-butter is a penetrating, lightly astringent emollient for dry to very dry skin, and it is noncomedogenic.
Green coffee bean oil: An extremely light and silky oil the color of dark green seaweed, green coffee oil has a pH similar to our skin, and it is abundant in phytochemicals. It is particularly beneficial for all mature skin concerns, but being so lightweight, it is also valuable in the care of acne-prone and oily skin.
Spikenard essential oil: Topically, spikenard is renowned for helping with stubborn skin issues, particularly acne, psoriasis, eczema, and scalp problems. It is a powerful tissue regenerator but still very gentle. It is almost never found in luxury skin care products because its deep herbal scent does not lend itself to ethereal formulas with rose or jasmine as the focus. We combined a small percentage of spikenard of a particularly refreshing, green variety into our well-balanced, contemporary scent.
Usnea lichen extract: The usnea is a group of lichen used by herbalists internally for bronchitis and other microbe-related illnesses. We chose usnea for this formula for wide-range antimicrobial benefits and speedy healing and drying up of acne breakouts. As a side note, Ava uses this variety of usnea, Old Man's Beard flower essence, in custom essence blends for individuals with fears of aging and ugliness.
Frankincense essential oil: When it comes to fresh, unrefined botanical ingredients for wrinkles, signs of sun damage, loss of skin firmness, and age spots, frankincense is on top there next to myrrh and rose. Frankincense also reduces inflammation and speeds skin healing. We used Somali Boswellia carterii premium resin tears distilled into an essential oil.
The Scent and Energetic Impact
At first impression, the scent is assertive and deep, animalistic, but this initial take quickly fades, and in fact makes us change our mind entirely. Soon it feels soft and mind-quieting, making one feel safe and well cared for as if by a powerful mother-tiger. Ava watched the movie Born in China, where a mother snow leopard took care of her cubs through long, bitter-cold winters in wind-exposed rocky mountains. The mother leopard was always outwardly calm, knowing her territory, her options for food and shelter, and the parameters of her job as a mother, protectress, and provider; yet she had the power and readiness to hunt and kill and defend. Her cubs felt safe and carefree even as to our human eyes the life they were living was full of danger and difficulty. This mother leopard inspired the essential oil choices and the energy-healing qualities of this balm.
The scent is composed of freshly picked green coffee beans (very different from the scent of coffee, with green and fresh elements), an ancient aromatic spikenard from Nepal, frankincense, pinyon pine, and an unusual French everlasting (helichrysum) extract specimen that adds layers and layers of something elusive, reminiscent of highest-grade cured tobacco and curry.
Energetically, spikenard wipes away anxieties and worries, stills the mind, and renews faith. It makes longstanding problems seem solvable or manageable. Spikenard, frankincense, and pinyon pine connect us to the wisdom of ancestors from long, long ago, making us feel safe to surrender to the flow of events because our daily trials all of a sudden make sense in the larger scheme of things. Add the wind-and-dry-land qualities of kokum and frankincense, and the feeling of freedom and possibility arises. Coffee adds a concentrating, focusing element, and our choice of everlasting promotes the feelings of safety.
Color: The butters and oils melt into a deep red-brown mixture, but as the balm is left to solidify, it turns a sunny caramel color.
How does this balm compare to the other face balms we offer?
We currently offer three face balms, which are all quite different from one another. Tigress is a medium-weight to light "dry" balm for normal and combination to acne and oily skin types. It is healing to skin disorders such as rosacea, and it contains several anti-acne yet nondrying ingredients.
Yasuni is one step lighter; it is a very lean antioxidant and enzymatic balm without any essential oils. Yasuni controls oil production in oily skin and decreases and prevents blackheads, while providing a high dose of antioxidants. Its enzymatic exfoliating properties help resurface the skin in a way comparable to retinol, but without causing redness, irritation, or intense peeling.
Green Leaves is a "juicy" type of balm that was designed for dry and mature skin with acne. It heals acne breakouts with lemon thyme while preventing acne scars. Its base is melt-on-contact anti-inflammatory and hydrating virgin coconut oil, and the scent of Green Leaves is just irresistible: violet leaf, holy basil, and French lavender.
Limited Edition: Tigress Balm + Tiger's Eye Gem
One element of inspiration when Ava formulated Tigress was the tiger's eye gem. Tiger's eye is such a special crystal—who can resist the stripes, the natural sparkle, and the copper or red hues? Tiger's eye stone has balancing and centering properties; it tames the tiger within. It is particularly beneficial when we want to balance extremes in situations or personalities, such as mood swings, a tendency toward explosive behavior, or temper tantrums, and also in common, mundane difficulties, such as vast differences in opinion between family members or coworkers. Tiger's eye helps one embrace difference and paradox in situations and in other people.
What we have found is that the raw, unpolished tiger's eye stone with stunning stripes is very hard to find. When our trusted gem purveyor finds a few for us, we offer them for sale on this page alongside a jar of Tigress Balm. If you already own a tiger's eye, we recommend carrying it along or displaying it in a room where the family gathers. Store the gem in a dry place. To cleanse it periodically, place it in raw sea salt for a few hours. To charge it, place it in nature under the sun or full moon for several hours. Avoid contact with water.
This has worked amazingly well for my skin… I wake up and my skin is clear… I have no other words besides ‘amazing’ to describe this.
– Danielle of CrueltyFreeVeganBeauty
For acne-prone, congestion-prone, combination, oily, and hyperpigmentation-prone skin types. We recommend that customers with sensitive skin order a sample and test it over the course of several days. Oftentimes, the skin needs a day or a few to adjust to these new ingredients and then begins to tolerate the balm well.
Cold-press unrefined Garcinia indica (kokum) kernel butter†, cold-press unrefined Virola surinamensis (ucuuba) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined whole-fruit Passiflora edulis (passionfruit) oil*, cold-press unrefined Attalea speciosa (babassu) kernel oil†, cold-press unrefined Pouteria sapota (sapote) kernel oil†, cold-press unrefined Calophyllum inophyllum (tamanu) nut kernel oil*, cold-press unrefined organic Rosa canina (whole-fruit rosehip) oil, cold-press unrefined Coffea (green coffee) bean oil*, tocopherol (vit. E from non-GMO sunflowers), supercritical CO2 select Curcuma longa (turmeric) rhizome extract*, Boswellia carterii (frankincense) oil†, Nardostachys jatamansi (spikenard) oil† (Nepal), Pinus edulis (pinyon pine) oil†, Helichrysum italicum (Italian everlasting) absolute, Usnea (old man's beard) lichen CO2 extract (Helianthus annuus [sunflower] seed oil, polyglyceryl-6 caprylate [emulsifier]‡, polyglyceryl-3 palmitate [emulsifier]‡ and Usnea barbata lichen extract*).
*Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted. ‡From certified sustainably sourced palm oil.
All absolutes are hexane free whenever available.
Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch.
Apply day and night or only at night all over the face or just on the oily or acne-prone areas. Keep away from excessive heat (above 80 degrees F) for maximum shelf life.
This balm was designed to create a superb blend with Farizad's Veil Sun Reflector: it is easy to blend into a smooth and still quite soft, opaque, pale caramel-colored balm. We highly recommend adding a sprinkle of Farizad's Veil even if you don't care for the sun protective benefits. Farizad's Veil will render the balm dryer in feel and your face will instantly have a natural matte appearance. Farizad's Veil also adds redness-reducing, anti-inflammatory, and further anti-acne properties.
Try this incredible trio: a layer of Nap in the Meadow Face Serum, then Tigress Face Balm and Farizad's Veil blended together.
Your balm may melt in transit, so open the jar carefully upon arrival. If it melts partially or completely, place it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes (just until it solidifies; don't leave it there for too long because then it tends to crack), then store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Texture changes in 100% natural vegan products are natural under fluctuating temperatures, and do not in any way affect the product's performance or shelf life.
Allergic reactions to ucuuba butter and usnea lichen are rare but possible. Customers with sensitive skin are advised to test a sample first.
Freshness guaranteed for 6 months. Full size 1 fl. oz. (30 ml); travel/sample size 0.2 fl. oz. (6 ml).
Due to the very high cost of our ingredients and the labor-intensive (highly time consuming) small-batch production process, we are unable to accept returns of opened or unopened products at this time. But most products have a sample size option for purchase, so we encourage you to buy a sample first to ensure that the product suits your skin's needs and that you enjoy the texture, fragrance, and healing properties.