by Jessica Skropanic
The same question often crosses my mind each time I open my linen closet and see the two or three freezer bags stuffed with cosmetics from giveaways: why did I buy something I already have at home just to get a gift-with-purchase I will likely never use? Most of the free make-up used to go to my friends’ little girls for playing dress-up. The little girls are too old now to look cute in hot pink lipstick, and too young to wear it in earnest. (Even if they did, their mothers would never let them out of the house.) Why not just give me a break on the cost of the product instead of doing huge marketing campaigns and giveaways for a product I already like enough to buy?
Founder and President of Osea Jenefer Palmer, a therapist with specialties in Polarity Therapy, Acupressure, Shiatsu, and Cranial Osteopathy, has been the Spa Director of Murrieta Hot Springs since 1981. After a frustrating search for an all-natural product line made from botanicals and sea algae that she would be proud to sell in her spa, Palmer decided to start a skincare line of her own that fit these criteria – and that sought to reduce the cost to consumers by avoiding huge marketing costs. (Osea’s products come in modest but pleasant packaging, and don’t cost an arm and a leg – or space in my linen closet!) While working two more-than-full-time jobs running Murrieta Hot Springs and being a mother, Palmer researched and experimented with different products in her kitchen for twelve years until the launching of the Osea line in 1998. Osea is described as “high-tech, natural, marine-based skin care”, and as “a company that recognizes the medicinal value of marine-based products known by eco-conscious cultures for thousands of years.”
Palmer is not the first in her family to break new ground. In 1918 her grandmother became the first female chiropractor in the United States. Chiropractics only recently having been recognized by the traditional medical profession as a healing science, it is easy to see where Palmer gets her predisposition for helping and healing others in ways “traditional” medicine can’t. Carrying on the family tradition, Palmer’s 18-year-old daughter Melissa joined the Osea team in 1999 and is now Vice President and Director of Sales.
Osea’s philosophy is that skin care products should be pure and have immediate results. This definitely rings a bell with consumers. Osea is sold at over 100 spas and retailers in the United States, and has recently announced the line's first distribution in Hong Kong at Lane Crawford. Osea won Best Overall Product at the 2001 Extracts Tradeshow in New York City, and Fashion Group International's 2002 Rising Star of Beauty Award.
All of the Osea products are cruelty-free, and each product’s ingredients are boldly listed with its picture and description on the Osea web site. Osea’s Skin Care System has four steps intended to repair and maintain healthy, balanced skin. These are cleansing, hydrating with a hydrating mist, replenishing with an essential oil treatment, and moisturizing. (Cleansing products are marked "O"; hydrating products are marked "S"; essential oils are marked "E"; and moisturizers are marked "A"). Clients choose a product from each category to spell out the word OSEA. You can visit Osea’s web site to take their skin quiz. The quiz tells you which product in category O, which in S, which in E, and which in A is correct for your skin type.
My skin came up balanced on the quiz, but is a little dry. It is also very sensitive – or in my lexicon, ill-tempered and fussy. The Normal/Dry daily regime was recommended for me.
I started by cleansing with the Ocean Cleanser in the morning and before bed. It is a gentle and soothing marine-based cleanser that removes dirt and impurities while hydrating and re-mineralizing the skin; it feels almost like a light moisturizer. Ingredients include red algae, which are high in proteins, vitamins, mineral salts and amino acids. As the product description says, it is great for easy makeup removal. ($38.00 for 6 oz bottle.)
The next step was to pat my face dry and hydrate with Sea Plasma. Osea’s Sea Plasma (listed as Sea Minerals on the Osea web site) is a cool, soothing mist that you spray directly on your face. The company’s description says it delivers healing nutrients and antioxidants while sea minerals promote the skin's natural ability to absorb moisture and oxygenate. Ingredients include Hawaiian seaweed extracts and Dead Sea crystals combined with amino acids that provide a therapeutic mineral treatment and help in the healing of various skin conditions. The suggestion on Osea’s web site to place the bottle in the refrigerator and spray it cold after sun exposure is a wonderful idea! The instructions say to shut your eyes and inhale before you spray. I should mention that, being a rotten shot even with my eyes open, I need a little practice. After I wiped the product out of my right ear and stopped giggling, I finally got it right on the second try. ($26.00 for 4 oz. bottle.)
The third step in my regimen is to apply the Essential Hydrating Oil to any dry areas of my face. The instructions with the roll-on topped bottle say to target classic dry areas like the cheeks and jawline. The product is 100% natural; the ingredients are essential oils of Roman chamomile, lavender, geranium, calendula and cypress, and botanical oils of macadamia, sesame, jojoba and vitamin E. It helps reduce wrinkles by plumping the skin and aids in the healing of various skin conditions. Frankly I would buy the oil as a light perfume: The scent is heavenly! ($28.00 for 1/3 oz bottle.)
It is at this point I was instructed to use Osea’s Eyes and Lips both above and below the eye area. Ingredients include vitamins A, D and E, and DPHP – a vegetable-derived amino acid that stimulates the contraction of collagen fibers and strengthens the skin’s connective tissue. The product is described as utilizing the properties of powerful antioxidants to restore damaged skin while fighting free radicals. The light cream felt very silky and my skin happily drank it up. ($$46.00 for 1 oz bottle.)
The final step is moisturizing. Osea’s Atmosphere Protection Cream feels fabulous. It is described as a cream that combines a marine base with dermal proteins to buffer the skin from dehydration, pollution and the elements, and provide a thin barrier that locks in moisture and heals skin ravaged by age, sun, wind and stress. Ingredients include seaweed for its natural emollient properties, which give the cream its exceptionally silky feel, and Vitamins A and E to strengthen collagen and elastic fibers. It is slightly denser than the other products, which feel like almost no product at all! It left my skin feeling elastic and well moisturized. ($34.00 for 2 oz bottle.)
Blast of a Mask
For deep cleansing, Osea’s White and Red Algae masks are excellent alternatives to the usual clay masks that cake and dry on your face.
The Red Algae Mask ($36.00 for 1.7 oz) combines minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and trace elements of Red Algae. It is fortified with a variety of antioxidants to help heal breakouts and purify pores. The minute I used this product I could feel how different it is from any other mask I have used. It never gets dry or crusty, taking moisture from my skin to do its work! Instead my skin felt moisturized. What a difference!
The White Algae Mask ($46.00 for 1.7 oz) is designed specially for dry or sensitive skin, including skin with rosacea problems. It is all-natural and provides deep hydration as it evens skin tones, tightens and lifts, and soothes sensitive or damaged skin. It is rich in calcium and includes white algae, copper, manganese and zinc peptides. I am making it a point to talk about it to anyone who tells me their skin is too sensitive for a mask treatment.
Purchasing and Contact Information
Osea products are available for purchase at Osea’s web site at:
Contact Osea by phone at: 1-888-FOR-OSEA
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Osea Skin Care
30765 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265