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Into the Rainforest — Explore the Magic of the Amazon with Skincare Line Teadora

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In recent years, a growing number of beauty companies — among them Ojon, Tarte, Rahua, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, and Taya Beauty among them —  have ventured into the Amazon region in search of the most nourishing natural ingredients to incorporate into their skincare and haircare formulas. And why wouldn’t they? After all, the agricultural research agency Embrapa estimates that around 13,000 plant species can be found within the Brazilian Amazon. The fruits, nuts, leaves, and even the bark of some of the trees in the region have long been used by indigenous people for both medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Now comes a new, all-natural skincare line, Teadora, that incorporates ingredients derived from the Amazon and that, moreover, was created by Valeria Cole, who was born and raised in Brazil and hence intimately familiar with age-old beauty regimens. Because of Cole’s ties to the region, Teadora strives particularly hard to work to promote sustainable agriculture and rainforest preservation programs essential to saving the region from deforestation initiatives by capitalist oligarchs.

All the products in the Teadora line — which means “I adore you” in Portuguese or “Te adoro” in Spanish — were developed to celebrate the Amazon rainforest and to transport customers to this region via the use of raw, natural, organic ingredients. Because no artificial fragrances or “filler” ingredients are incorporated into each 100% vegan formula, they all have an earthy quality that does, in fact, create a unique sensory experience, making you feel like you’re experiencing the biodiversity of this region, becoming familiar with the smells and textures of the rainforest, in a truly personal way rather than through the distortive lens of an American brand.

Currently, Teadora offers lip butters, body butters, body polishes, body cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, bath and body oils, and beauty bars in two natural fragrance families: Rainforest at Dawn, a heady earthy scent meant to awaken the senses and energize the spirit, and Rainforest at Dusk, a smooth, earthy yet buttery aroma with subtle floral and fruity nuances that aims to relax the body and ease the mind.

 I had the opportunity to try both of the body butters in the collection: the Teadora Rainforest at Dawn Nourishing Body Butter and the Teadora Rainforest at Dusk Nourishing Body Butter ($39 at TeadoraBeauty.com). As with all Teadora products, these two body butters are 100% natural and feature no harmful parabens, phtalates, gluten, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes, or harsh chemicals. In terms of their ingredients, the body butters are virtually identical. Both incorporate murumuru butter, which is rich in vitamin A and C, as well Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids (primarily lauric acid which accounts for nearly half of the murumuru nut’s fatty acid content), and which hence works as a wonderful emollient, soothing and nourishing the skin and penetrating the outermost layers of the skin for a deeper level of hydration. Similarly, they both feature cupuaçu butter, which is made from the seeds inside the fruits that grow on tropical cupuaçu trees, which are related to cacao trees (hence why many draw comparisons between cupuaçu butter and cocoa butter). Known to improve skin elasticity and smooth the skin’s overall texture, cupuaçu butter is a superior humectant with a high concentration of stearic acid, which is naturally found in the outer layers of skin and functions as a building block within lipid layers. Both body butters also incorporate buritu oil, which boasts anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and even photo-protective properties thanks to its high tocopherol content, which yields a great deal of antioxidant activity, protecting the lipid membranes around skin cells, thereby keeping them healthy for longer periods of time. Antioxidant-rich açai oil and anti-inflammatory andiroba oil (a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that promote skin healing and reduce the appearance of blemishes and fine lines) are also present in both creams’ ingredient lists. Other shared ingredients include coconut water (a great source of electrolytes), aloe leaf juice, sweet almond oil, passionfruit seed oil, macadamia oil, and grape seed oil.

Texturally, both body butters feel nearly identical: rich, creamy, thick and even buttery. When you first smooth these onto your skin, it might feel a bit greasy and balmy but the sensation doesn’t last long: within 15 minutes, your skin will have absorbed the cream and you’ll get to enjoy the benefits. These body butters leave skin so deliciously smooth — as many as 18 hours after application — that you’ll be hoping for a loved one to hug you just so they can remark on the softness of your skin.

Because these are body butters, which are inherently richer and more concentrated, I’d recommend using these at night during the summer season — especially in cooler, air-conditioned rooms! — since they can feel a bit heavy during that initial half-hour window. Come autumn and winter, however, you can use these anytime since your skin will practically be clamoring for moisture.

There is, however, one area in which these body butters of differ significantly: their scents. For weeks, I was using the Rainforest at Dusk formula, which I found lovely. It doesn’t have a particularly feminine aroma and you’ll hardly be seducing anyone with its scent, but it also isn’t too abrasive or heady. It’s unmistakably earthy but somehow also soft and smooth — perhaps the result of the pitanga leaf oil in the formula, which is noticeably absent from tis Rainforest at Dawn counterpart. I wouldn’t necessarily characterize the fragrance as being delicious and, like I said, it’s hardly a man magnet, but it’s perfectly agreeable.

Unfortunately, I found the Rainforest at Dawn to be way more pungent and just thoroughly intolerable. Whereas the Rainforest at Dusk’s aroma is leafy and lush, a bit nutty and earthy, the Rainforest at Dawn body butter’s scent is more reminiscent of mulch or even compost. It’s extremely potent, the type of smell you’d expect to linger on your skin if you rolled around on wet leaves, mud, and rotting branches in a swamp. Minutes after I applied it one evening, my son walked into my bedroom and yelled, “What is that smell?!” in that completely tactless way in which children tend to voice their opinions (yes, you can always count on them for honesty!). My husband was similarly repulsed by the scent and, while I was trying to remain objective, even I had to admit that I was counting the seconds for the scent to subside. To my dismay, when I woke up the next morning, the scent still lingered on my skin. Luckily, I had time to take another shower and wash the scent away.

Needless to say, I’d strongly advise that you invest in the Rainforest at Dusk Body Butter over its counterpart — solely because its scent is markedly more pleasant. That said, if your only concern is smooth, soft, moisturized, radiant, vital-looking skin, either body butter will more than exceed your expectations.

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