Almonds for autumn: Marnys Sweet Almond Oil & Yves Rocher Shower Gel
Sweet almond oil isn’t my favorite cosmetic oil, there are others I like more like apricot kernel oil, and avocado kernel oil; still, I consider it a staple in my bathroom cabinet, and I end up using it often for a variety of purposes.
So when I chanced upon this sweet almond oil by Marnys in a health-food shop, into the basket it went. I use this brands’ carrier oils often: the quality is always good, and they are manufactured nearby by a local business, which makes it even sweeter.
Also, this one’s a nice half-liter bottle (almost 17 oz) for 10€, which is great if you use it as liberally as I do, or you are sharing with all family members. Also, very important: pump dispenser… why don’t more brands offer this packaging? It’s a breeze, particularly for using in the shower.
In any case, this almond oil is as good as any out there in the market: it is unfragranced, rich in vit. E (and we all know how beneficial is this antioxidant for the skin, and for keeping the oil itself for longer), it is fairly lightweight, with a nice texture for applying, and it’s quickly absorbed.
Sweet almond oil and its benefits
Generally speaking, sweet almond oil is reputed to prevent stretch marks, but I’ve no way to put this bit of folk wisdom to the test: I got them in my hips quite young as a result of my growth spurt, and now there’s no help for that; nor I’m all that troubled about my stretch marks either, at least not to bother seeking a remedy for them.
Nevertheless, knowing what I know now, I like keeping this oil at hand to apply on my neck, decollétage and chest; especially the latter, since a little before my period, the boob fairy often shows up and leaves a little something extra to acommodate in my bra, which means the skin in this area needs some attention. So I typically apply this oil at least once a week (should be more often, true, but I forget, and I don’t feel the need either), to keep my skin nice and supple.
I also like using this oil on the skin around the eyes, since I’m not much of a believer in eye creams, and I prefer to use carrier oils to care for that area and keep it moisturized; I feel they do a better job than many products out there, and I just can’t be bothered with buying a separate moisturizer for the eyes: I’ve tried a few now and then, and can’t recall ever being impressed with the results.
This mild little oil, however, doesn’t promise me the moon, yet does its job to keep my eye area supple and well-cared for, and does it well.
Some users also like to apply this oil all over the face, or use it for double cleansing, but personally, I just keep it to my eye area and for body care, since sweet almond oil isn’t really the best for my combination skin: it’s very high in oleic acid, which means it’s a bit rich for what my skin needs, and it could easily clog my pores. For this reason, it’s a lot better suited for drier skins, particularly in the winter.
Would I buy Marnys’ sweet almond oil again? Yes, without a doubt: it’s a frequently-used product in my stash, and I see no reason to switch brands, so it gets the full 5 points from me.
I chose this Yves Rocher shower gel mainly because it had “almond” in the label, so I assumed it would have almond oil it its composition, which is nice for products I intend to use in the autumn, when skin becomes a touch drier, and I like using body washes with conditioning elements. However, the almond on the label ended up being extract, and it’s rather lower down the INCI list.
In any case, I didn’t miss the oil once I began using it: the Yves Rocher shower gel is lovely to use, since it doesn’t dry my skin or leave it feeling taut, and a tiny amount goes a long way: after two weeks’ of frequent use, the 400 ml / 13.5 oz. bottle is still fairly full.
The fly on the ointment, however, is its fragrance: when I sniffed the bottle in the shop I liked it enough to take it home, but once in the shower it becomes rather synthetic; to me this doesn’t say “lovely orange blossom body wash” so much as “el cheapo room spray”.
This isn’t a huge issue, at least not enough to keep me from using up the product, but as a sensory experience to end the day, which is why I bought this body wash, it leaves something to be desired. At least the fragrance doesn’t last beyond the shower.
Would I buy the Yves Rocher shower gel? Well, I wouldn’t buy it in this fragrance again, but I would like to try the other scents. I’d rate the shower gel itself 4 points, but I give this particular product no more than 3, on account of the perfume.
1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me, or even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the container and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I don’t think I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.
Bonus track to greet autumn
Coffee and almond cookies
350 g softened butter
200 g icing sugar
400 g flour
2 eggs at room temperature
2 tablespoons of instant coffee
1 g salt (1/2 teaspoon)
100 g almond flour
(Optional) 2-3 drops almond flavoring essence
(Optional) Dark chocolate for melting
Dissolve instant coffee in two tablespoons of very hot water. Leave aside to cool. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Cream the butter with the icing sugar in a bowl, by hand or with the electric mixer, to obtain a soft, fluffy, pale cream. Fold the coffee at room temperature, the pinch of salt, and the eggs into the mixture.
Sift the flour to add it to the bowl, and fold it slowly into the mix. Add the almond flour. As an optional step to enhance the almond flavor, add a few drops of almond flavoring essence. Mix well until the batter has an even texture, smooth and free of lumps.
Preheat oven to 180º C/ 356º F. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag with a star tip, and make strips or ‘S’ shapes on the parchment paper, about 5-6 cm / 2 in long, leaving enough space for the cookies to expand on the sheet during baking.
Bake cookies for 10-12 min, keeping an eye on the oven to make sure only the borders become golden and toasty. Take the tray out and place the cookies on a cooling rack.
Optional step: melt 50 g / 1.8 oz of chocolate in a double boiler, to drip chocolate threads on the cookies, or glaze an end by dipping in the chocolate.