By Kate Miller
My approach to skin care products is all about finding the multitaskers. If a moisturizer doesn’t have SPF and a tint to it, I’m not using it. Dry shampoo — it better be adding volume and texture as it absorbs oil or I’m on to the next. So when I learned that Nativa SPA’s new Ginseng & Caffeine Toning Body Lotion and Toning Body Oil would not only smooth and tone my skin but also help me commit to a genuine self-care routine each day, well, I was intrigued.
Both the Ginseng & Caffeine Toning Lotion and Toning Oil — which are conveniently sold together as the Toning Ritual Set — are meant to be applied with a step-by-step self-massage that promises to enhance their sculpting effect. I tried this application process for several weeks and here is my honest review.
Both the Toning Body Oil and Toning Body Lotion have a warm, lingering scent that feels like an invitation to luxuriate in some overdue spa time. They come in sleek amber bottles with a high-end look, and I appreciated that they were sustainably made from post-consumer recycled plastic.
Before digging into the self-massage instructions, I wanted to first get a sense of how the formulas felt on my skin. Truthfully, I had my doubts whether any skincare product could do much “sculpting,” but almost immediately upon application, my skin had this pleasant tingling sensation that did feel energizing, and I was excited to see what would happen if I committed to using both the oil and lotion daily. (The brand challenges you to use the products for 28 days to see results.)
My Experience With Nativa SPA’s Toning Ritual Set
I’m a self-professed oil enthusiast, so it made sense for me to start with the Toning Body Oil, applying it after my morning shower. I followed the self-massage instructions, spreading it over my arms, abs, legs, and glutes with intentional movements — sometimes firm, sometimes flickering. I’ll admit, I was leary of the time commitment of all of this, but as I worked my way down my body, I started to embrace the method; it felt like a calming meditation of sorts.
The oil felt light and absorbed quickly, and left my skin subtly tingling — like it had been called to attention. I loved that my skin felt nourished but not overly greasy, and I definitely felt a little more zen in general after the application was done.
I started using the Toning Body Lotion at night as a way to prime myself for a soothing night of sleep. The sculpting lotion is rich and quick to absorb, and it left my skin with an even more pronounced “tingle.” It made my skin feel alert and taut — exactly what you want in the summer months when your skin is out in the breeze instead of under a sweatsuit. I loved the feeling that my skin was more “held.” I wouldn’t rely on this lotion for deep hydration (although some other lotion in the brand’s lineup looks great for that), but I would return to this again and again for making my skin feel unbelievably smooth and energized.
After a few weeks of partaking in this rejuvenating morning and evening ritual with the aptly named Toning Ritual Set, I can say that my skin feels way more refreshed. But, it’s the thoughtful, restorative self-massage that I did with the products that I consider particularly noteworthy here. It made me actually take the time to check-in and tend to my body, and as a result, I felt more confident in it.
The brand’s mission is to create products that inspire us all to “embrace every inch of our bodies,” and with the Toning Set, I really did feel more connected to my own.
A Scientific Look At The Ingredients
Nativa SPA’s products are crafted in Brazil with an emphasis on conscious ingredients. Both the Toning Body Oil and Toning Body Lotion are formulated with caffeine, ginseng extract, and pure quinoa oil.
As someone who can’t even begin the day until my coffee is firmly in hand, I already knew that caffeine had superpowers — so it tracked with me that it would be good at giving me skin a tightening jolt too. And, in fact, one study found that caffeine used topically is good at increasing microcirculation in the skin for an energizing effect. Similarly, ginseng extract — which has been called “Eastern coffee”— is also known for its ability to give skin a revitalizing, firming boost.
Of course, I’d be remiss not to focus on the brand’s most-loved ingredient, quinoa. Almost every one of Nativa SPA’s products includes ultra-nourishing quinoa oil, the “golden elixir.” Miguel Krigsner, a Brazilian pharmacist and the founder of O Boticário (Nativa SPA’s parent company) discovered that quinoa, when distilled properly, could be as good for the skin as it is for the body. The whole grain is chock-full of antioxidants and boasts 30 times more omegas than coconut oil.
What Other Nativa SPA Products Are Worth Trying?
As noted above, the brand’s use of nutrient-dense quinoa oil is a big part of what sets them apart and makes them unique. Whether you’re looking for a firming body lotion, hand cream, or luscious oil there’s a quinoa-forward product to work into your beauty arsenal.
If you opt for the Quinoa Firming Ritual Set, you get three luxurious, firming products — the body lotion, body oil, and hand cream — bundled together for a great price.
Another absolute deal that bears mentioning is the Nativa SPA Starter Set. The set includes four of the brand’s best-selling lotions —Quinoa, Rosé, Shea Butter, and Madagascar Vanilla —so you can sample which formula you like best before committing to a full-size bottle. The best part is that if you spend more than $55 on the site, you get the Starter Set for free.
If you’re looking for a thoughtful (last-minute) gift for a friend or loved one, Nativa SPA also has E-gift cards that are perfect for showing them you think they deserve some nourishing self-care too.
For months, probably years, I’ve been bombarded with the message of how important self-care is, but rarely did I actually partake in a meaningful version of it. Sure, I listened to a few podcasts and bought a few candles, but that wasn’t exactly revitalizing my energy stores as I’d hoped. With Nativa SPA’s Toning Ritual Set, I found myself falling into a really easy-to-maintain self-care routine. Morning: massage with oil. Evening: massage with lotion. And, in all honesty, both my mind and body are better for it.