By Kate Miller
When I visited Rio several years ago, I expected to see some Gisele look-alikes. But what I hadn’t expected was that every beach-goer around me seemingly felt like Gisele. Never before had I encountered such unbridled confidence. Strolling down Copacabana beach made me realize there’s a lot more fun to be had simply by celebrating the body — and I left Brazil with a newfound appreciation of my own. So it came as no surprise when I learned that my new go-to skin care line is crafted in Brazil with ingredients meant to inspire “embracing every inch of the body.” After trying Nativa SPA’s Toning Ritual Set, which includes a Ginseng & Caffeine Toning Body Oil and a Body Lotion, I can tell you that rarely has my body felt more cared for.
The Toning Ritual Set is formulated with three powerful, plant-based ingredients — caffeine, ginseng extract, and pure quinoa oil — that left my skin feeling taut, but even more so, the application process left me feeling grounded (like any good act of self-care should).
The vegan, cruelty-free Toning Ritual Set comes packaged in golden amber bottles that would look right at home on a luxe spa shelf. Both the body oil and the lotion have a vaguely tropical, warm scent that lingers in a subtle way. I appreciated that the products met E.U. safety standards and that the ingredient list was fairly short.
Trying Nativa SPA’s Ginseng & Caffeine Toning Body Oil & Body Lotion
I started first with the Toning Body Oil — and as someone who loves the process of applying any sort of oil — I found this one to be particularly soothing. Nativa SPA even provides self-massage instructions that are meant to enhance the sculpting formula. The step-by-step instructions cover arms, abs, legs, and glutes; even feet and hands if you’re really ready to commit. (You can also just skip to the video if you want a crash course on abs and arms.) I especially loved doing the little pinching movements on my abs that felt like it was playfully waking up my skin.
Beyond the fact that the self-massage aspect felt thoughtful and intentional (a real ritual), the Toning Body Oil itself was light and effortless to apply and absorbed quickly. My skin felt nourished but not slick — a highwire act given the inherently slippery nature of oils. My skin felt refreshed and slightly tingly afterward.
When I tried the Toning Body Lotion, I appreciated the luxurious texture and the even more pronounced “tingle” upon application. My skin felt like it was becoming alert, energized — almost hugged. It was a sensation that instantly made me feel more confident in my skin. That said, there wasn’t an overly moisturizing effect. For deep, deep hydration, this probably wouldn’t be my first choice, but for smoother skin in summer, it’s ideal. (It’s also meant to be applied with the self-massage technique, although I tended to apply this one with a bit more speed.)
As the name applies, the oil and lotion in the Toning Ritual Set do lend themselves nicely to a routine: I enjoyed using the oil slowly and methodically in the morning after my shower and the lotion at night as a relaxing winddown before bed. That said, if you prefer one style of product over the other, they’re also sold separately.
The body lotion comes in a large, 13.6-ounce size that promises to last a long time. The oil, on the other hand, is in a smaller, 6.8-ounce bottle that had me questioning its longevity, but it dispenses from the cap earnestly so you’re never getting more oil than necessary.
What Other Products Does Nativa SPA Offer?
One of the core ingredients in almost all of Nativa SPA’s products is the superfood quinoa. There’s some lore behind it. Miguel Krigsner, a Brazilian pharmacist and founder of Nativa SPA’s parent company O Boticário, discovered that quinoa could be as potently nourishing for the skin as it is for the body, as long as it’s distilled properly. Using that “golden elixir,” Nativa SPA developed skincare products that are impressively rich in antioxidants and omegas.
As someone who routinely eats quinoa bowls, this all resonated with me. It makes sense that a food that I turn to for whole nutrition would also benefit my skin topically. I’m especially excited to try the brand’s line of nourishing hand creams (perfect for those dry, hand sanitized hands) and body lotions during the colder months when my skin is in dire need of repairing hydration.