By Gabrielle Ulubay
Ask anyone who knows me well, and they'll confirm: I'm a sucker for nice smells. Not only do I wear perfume every single day (even if I'm staying home), but I also light candles and incense daily, spritz my bedsheets with lavender spray, and am outrageously picky about what my haircare and skincare products smell like. Self-care, for me, is more than just a way of keeping my body healthy—it's a complete sensory experience. And for this reason, I've become a new devotee of Nativa SPA's skincare products. Not only do the line's lotions and oils keep my skin soft in spite of chlorine, saltwater, sun and other summer dehydrators, but they also come in delightful scents that stay on all day (or night) long.
Nowadays, I start my mornings with the brand's Ginseng & Caffeine Toning Body Lotion, which promises to tone and sculpt skin. I must say that these particular promises are not great concerns of mine, but what I am concerned with is the feel and smell of the largest and most visible organ in my body. Indeed, this lotion has kept my skin surprisingly soft in spite of all the summer-related damage my body has weathered recently. It's rich but not too rich, making it perfect to lather on before a hot day in the city, because it doesn't feel like a waxy film that'll melt in the sun.
And, of course, I love the scent! It's energizing and fresh, making me feel instantly awake. There's also something inexplicably sensual and feminine about its sharp, ginseng-infused scent, but here's the thing: It's so subtle that you can only smell it if your face is close to my skin. This makes the experience delightful for me, while preventing my presence from being overwhelming to others, given that I layer perfume over my lotion every morning.
Nativa SPA also carries two products that I swear by for problem areas on my skin: Their Rosé Multi-Benefit Precious Oil and their Madagascar Vanilla Soothing Body Scrub.
When I received the oil, I tried it on a scar on my shin that I've been desperate to fade since I acquired it on a trip to Mexico last year. My dermatologist told me that fading the scar would require either a bleaching cream (too expensive and scary for my personal taste) or a great deal of moisturizing and exfoliation. And while I've rubbed and scrubbed until my forearms ached, the scar has stubbornly stayed put. Enter Nativa SPA's Rosé Oil, and I swear that after only two months of use, the scar has begun to fade. It also smells divine (of course), and, unlike many other body oils I've tried, this one absorbs seamlessly into my skin rather than turning my epidermis into an oily slip-and-slide.
But there is a yin to every yang, and Nativa SPA's soft, smooth nature is complemented during my routine by the brand's coarse-yet-luxurious Madagascar Vanilla Soothing Body Scrub. Typically, I'm not a fan of vanilla scents (I'm scarred by the vanilla body spray craze of the early 2000s), but this scrub contains a hint of sharp florals without sacrificing any of vanilla's notorious warmth. The scrub is also liquid-y and gentle enough to be used before shaving my legs, underarms, and bikini line in order to soften the area, slough off dead skin, and prevent post-shaving ingrown hairs. Plus—you guessed it—the scrub has played a huge role in fading that darn scar on my shin.
Finally, I finish off my long summer days with Nativa SPA's Shea Ultra-Moisturizing Body Butter. This product, made with rich quinoa oil, has a warm, subtle scent that's ideal for unwinding and falling fast asleep. Its smooth, luxurious formula is also far richer than the aforementioned toning lotion, so when I slip under the covers, I'm confident that my skin has the moisture it needs to regenerate as I sleep.