As soon as we launched our first face balm, Tigress, requests poured in for more face balms for more skin types, especially a balm without essential oils that would be appropriate for very sensitive skin. Ava had been immersed in a self-imposed plant butter study for two years by then, so creating a second balm was a matter of narrowing down the list of remarkable ingredients we already had on hand, and creating a focus for this new balm.
Yasuni is based on fruit oils that have particularly high and wide-ranging phytonutrient levels and enzymatic action. This balm works similarly to a retinol on the skin, exfoliating and resurfacing it, but with none of the irritation, redness, or peeling often caused by actual retinol products. It is also an ideal balm for healing acne and reducing blackheads and oil production.
Yasuni is named after the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. Not many people outside of environmentalist circles have heard about this rainforest, but it is one of the most precious natural reserves still left on earth. Many scientists believe that is it the most biodiverse place on the planet, with record numbers of animal and plant species per geographic area. The story of the Yasuni rainforest is heartbreaking, because oil drilling has begun there despite the region's ecological importance. There is currently insufficient international support to help the government of Ecuador to maintain this natural reserve intact. We hope to raise awareness about this area so that we are all reminded to make purchasing and lifestyle choices with our planet in mind.
Yasuni is, believe it or not, one step lighter than even the Tigress face balm. As we mentioned above, the star feature of this balm is its enzymatic mild exfoliation from fruit oils alone. The açai oil exfoliates and resurfaces the skin similarly to a retinol product, but being a fruit oil, it doesn't overexfoliate or cause redness or intense peeling. Even more retinol-like action is supplied by the buriti oil, which is exceptionally high in betacarotenes. The enzymes keep sebum oil production in check, so oily skin types become more balanced and are not shiny at the end of the day, and the appearance of blackheads is greatly reduced over time.
The deep green, whole-fruit açai fruit oil we've sourced is also the acne sufferer's dream come true: this very light, extract-like oil heals and dries up acne due to its enzymes and high vitamin C content, and unlike most other effective acne ingredients, it is nonirritating. The açai oil's anti-acne action is supported by the astringent kokum butter (cold extracted from mangosteen kernels), which helps to minimize pores, speed healing of acne breakouts, and promote skin firmness.
A few plant butters and other oils worth highlighting are the hydrating marula oil and cupuaçu butter, firming tucuma butter, deeply penetrating bacuri butter, sun-damage-correcting raspberry oil, and revitalizing cranberry oil.
At first impression, Yasuni smells lightly fruity from the raspberry and cranberry oils, but there is also the grown-up element of freshly picked green coffee beans, and hints of fertile soil from the bacuri and of desert wind from the kokum butter. A very light, berry-like, and nonlingering scent overall.
If you are wondering which face balm is the right choice for you:
We currently offer three face balms, which are all quite different from one another. Yasuni 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 exfoliating properties help resurface the skin in a way comparable to retinol, but without causing redness, irritation, or intense peeling.
Tigress is one step heavier: it 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.
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: Yasuni + Citrine
We are excited to offer a few sets of a full-size Yasuni balm and a natural, healing-grade citrine stone from Brazil. Citrines are stones in great demand, maybe because they are traditionally said to attract prosperity and abundance. Citrine is also the stone of choice to keep around at home or to carry in one's pocket when we want to manifest our dreams and encourage artistic output. While citrines that are yellow and opaque in appearance are quite common on the market (many of these are man-made from other stones, such as smokey quartz or amethyst, not created by nature), natural citrines with high clarity like these from Brazil are becoming more rare. Clear citrines are a warm, ambery yellow hue, although some can be barely pale yellow or an attractive yellow-gray. We have four citrine stones currently available, ranging in size from 1 1/2 x 0.5 inches (38.1 x 12.7 mm) to 2 1/2 x 1 inches (63.5 x 25.4 mm).
This does not simply hydrate or lock in moisture. This treats and exfoliates the skin the way many high-end serums do, thanks to its enzymatic action. And unlike high-end treatment products that sting the skin, this does none of that. I see every skin type and condition benefitting from using the Yasuni Balm. I saw my clogged pores getting cleaned up by the day, which is not an easy feat. I love that it is formulated without essential oils for sensitive-skin folks. Its scent reminds me of bitter medicine but when you think of it, that is precisely how it acts on your skin. It’s medicine! I already think of Ava as a medicine woman, and this reaffirms my thinking.
– Shraddha Shirodkar, The Skin Sleuth
For all skin types, including blackhead-prone, congestion-prone, allergy-prone, and sensitive. Oily, blackhead-prone, and combination skin types will benefit from the oiliness-reducing properties. Dry skin types can use Yasuni as an overnight enzymatic exfoliator or as their light summer "moisturizer."
Yasuni also makes a medium-weight firming daytime moisturizer with a few drops of Ruby Face Oil or Magical Babassu Face Oil added to it and blended briefly in a ceramic bowl (choose Ruby if your skin is normal to combination, and choose Magical Babassu if your skin is dry).
Cold-press unrefined Theobroma grandiflorum (cupuaçu) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Garcinia indica (kokum) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Platonia insignis (bacuri) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Astrocaryum tucuma seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Euterpe oleracea (açai) fruit oil†, cold-press unrefined non-GMO Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil (organic whenever available), cold-press unrefined Rubus ideaus (raspberry) seed oil*, cold-press unrefined Coffea arabica (green coffee) seed oil†, cold-press unrefined Sclerocarya birrea (marula) seed oil*, tocopherol (vit. E from non-GMO sunflowers), cold-press unrefined Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil†, Sambucus nigra (elderberry) fruit extract.
*Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted.
Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch. Gluten free.
Apply day and night all over the face or just on the more oily, acne-prone, and blackhead-prone areas. Yasuni may be blended with our Farizad's Veil Sun Reflector to add sun protection and to mattify the skin. Yasuni may also be blended with a few drops of a facial oil of choice for a looser, juicier balm.
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.
Full size 30 ml (1 fl oz); travel/sample size 6 ml (0.2 fl oz).
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.