Forest Bathing: December Boxwalla Beauty Review

Happy News Years eve friends!  My apologies for a very belated blog post – I meant to have this review up in early December while subscriptions for these products were still open! I had some issues with the blog and I’ll leave it with this – don’t let your SSL certificates expire unless you want to drive away your traffic. I have more fun blog posts coming up including my review on Blissoma’s new sunscreen and an empties post!

Today I’m here and bursting to share with you my review on Boxwalla’s December Beauty Box*! Although subscriptions have since closed, this box is actually still available on their site as a one-time purchase. February subs are now open as well, so I will be including all necessary links at the bottom of this post!

Before I get into it, I want to mention that December marks my two years with Boxwalla! I think that what Boxwalla founder Lavanya has done with her platform is incredibly unique and very fun and it’s truly unlike other beauty subscriptions out there. The Boxwalla community is tightly knit on Instagram and I think that sharing the box amongst friends is one of the most fun aspects of it. The brands and featured products have been amazing and of very high caliber in my opinion, and despite a few products that haven’t worked for me I really haven’t had a disappointing experience with whole boxes. A big thank you to Lavanya for continuing to allow me to experience her curations and the beautiful products from her favorite brands! I highly recommend to give Boxwalla a go if you’re looking for a new beauty subscription service that delivers high quality, thoroughly tested, natural beauty products at a reasonable price! You can find more on my Boxwalla experience by using the search function for past reviews.

Left – Resiliency Face Serum; Right – Yasuni Face Balm

Themed “Forest Bathing“, Boxwalla’s December Beauty Box showcases two full-size products from a Boxwalla familiar –  the Washington-native Earthwise Beauty! EB was founded by the lovely Ava Zhan who set out to create incredibly pure, powerful, and potent handcrafted skincare. Forest Bathing, or “shin-rin yoku”, is a Japanese concept of healing the body by being in the forest. Lavanya has mentioned that applying Earthwise Beauty’s products invokes a forest-like feeling. One of the featured products, the Yasuni Face Balm, contains a number of plant butters that come from South America and to my olfactory senses it smells like pure earth. The theme of this month’s box highly resonates with me and is one of my most favorites out of the Boxwalla themes thus far.

What is Boxwalla all about? To put it simply, they like to fill boxes with things that MUST be experienced. Boxwalla is a bi-monthly subscription box service that showcases artists and artisans from around the world giving the subscriber a choice of four different interests to choose from: The Beauty Box, The Food Box, The Film Box, and The Book Box. Each box is curated with context in mind and with a story to be told, each one delivering a beautiful sensory experience. Green beauty lovers will appreciate that they have high standards when it comes to ingredients and that they actually use, love, and enjoy the products they feature. Boxwalla typically features between 1-4 products including both full and generous deluxe travel-sizes. Their beauty box rings in at just $49.95 every other month, with each box valuing well over the price tag. If supply is available, they will offer one-time boxes after subscriptions close and they also offer non-renewing gift cycles.

Included in the December Beauty Box ($174 total retail value):


Earthwise Beauty Yasuni Face Balm

After Earthwise Beauty launched Tigress, their first face balm, founder Ava says that requests poured in for more face balms for more skin types, especially one made without essential oils for sensitive skin types. Ava had already been self-immersed in a plant butter study for two years at that point, so for her it was a matter of narrowing down the list of butters and ingredients she already had on hand. And that is how Yasuni was born!

Yasuni (named after the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador) is a texturally dry balm based in cold-pressed butters and fruit oils. To my delight it is based in some gorgeous plant butters including cupuacu, bacuri, kokum, and tucuma butter. Ava says that the star of this balm is Acai fruit oil which provides mild enzymatic exfoliation to gently resurface the skin, similarly to the way retinol does, but with much more mild results. Buriti oil also provides retinol-like exfoliation and is rich in betacarotenes. In addition to the exfoliating benefits this balm provides, it’s also rich in phytonutrients which protect the skin and provide mild protection against UV rays. It’s also great for acne-prone skin as it cleans the pores and reduces blackheads over time, and balances oil production.

The first thing I noticed with Yasuni — the delicious, fruity scent! It’s a raw, earthy fruity scent so it’s not “fruit loop” fruity, but I can definitely note the fruit oils in this balm. In a way, it reminds me of banana nut bread with its earthy/nutty notes.

Face balms normally aren’t a regular part of my skincare routine because my skin likes minimal product, but I do enjoy supplementing with a balm on an occasional night or more regularly when the weather turns cold. The weather here in northern Louisiana is crazy bi-polar at the moment – one day it’ll be sunny and 70 degrees out and the next it’s in the 40s raining and feeling freezing! Up until recently I hadn’t needed a balm for cold weather use so I’ve been using Yasuni on an occasional night just to make sure I’m giving my skin plenty of moisture and nightly protection. I love the way this super light (yet rich in aroma) balm cocoons my skin in earthy butters that leaves a barely there finish. As Ava intended, I find it really is a light moisturizer in balm form that delivers exactly what you need, but it doesn’t leave your face with extra shine since it’s on the drier side. Breaking through the top layer of the balm was a bit of a task, but once you work your way into the pot it’s much easier to scoop the product out. Scoop a seed sized amount into the palm to melt it into a luscious textured oil and apply for happy, perfectly nourished skin.


Cold-press unrefined Theobroma grandiflorum (cupuaçu) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Garcinia indica (kokum) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Platonia insignis (bacuri) seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Astrocaryum tucuma seed butter†, cold-press unrefined Euterpe oleracea (açai) fruit oil†, cold-press unrefined non-GMO Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil (organic whenever available), cold-press unrefined Rubus ideaus (raspberry) seed oil*, cold-press unrefined Coffea arabica (green coffee) seed oil†, cold-press unrefined Sclerocarya birrea (marula) seed oil*, tocopherol (vit. E from non-GMO sunflowers), cold-press unrefined Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil†, Sambucus nigra (elderberry) fruit extract.
*Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted.
Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch.

Earthwise Beauty Resiliency Face Serum

You may have previously known this serum by its former name, Carrot-a-Day serum! Resiliency is Earthwise Beauty’s take on the ultimate anti-aging spot-reducing serum. It’s more of a multi-tasker because most skin types, especially acne-prone, can really benefit from this serum as well. It comes in a fresh aloe-based gel form that’s fast absorbing and leaves no obvious finish or residue on the skin. Notable results with this serum include firming, brightening, dark spot/discoloration reduction, and rejuvenated skin.

The star ingredient of this serum can be found in it’s former namesake, which is carrot seed essential oil. This particular EO is known for its regenerating benefits which lends this serum its ability to effectively reduce dark spots and discoloration and to brighten the skin. Two of my favorite ingredients are included in this serum: German blue chamomile and multiple forms of helichrysum (also known as Everlasting) which are known for their soothing, anti-inflammatory properties.

An immediately noticeable result I see with this serum is the way it firms my skin. In just seconds my skin feels firm and plump to the touch which is something I would expect after months of use! I don’t know how Ava did that with this serum but that is one way it really does do a miracle. With frequent use my skin is appearing much brighter and generally looks healthier with clarity. I favor using this serum in the morning since it’s on the lightweight side and I use a juicier watery hydrating serum from Stark Skincare at night. I’m not sure how I would describe Resiliency’s scent, but it definitely reminds me of Yarrow and of some kind of herb that smells cleansing. The scent has grown on me – I love the rawness of Earthwise Beauty’s products!


Cold-press whole-leaf Aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, Daucus carota (carrot) seed essential oil*, tocopherol (vit. E from non-GMO sunflowers), Helichrysum italicum (Italian everlasting) oil*, natural ECOCERT preservative {glycerin, Leuconostoc (radish root) ferment filtrate, Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract, Lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) extract, Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) extract, gluconolactone}, natural ECOCERT emulsifier (glycerin, sucrose laurate, sucrose dilaurate, sucrose trilaurate, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate), Marticaria recutita (German blue chamomile) oil*, carbomer, ascorbic acid (vit. C), Mentha spicata (spearmint) oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract.
Total essential oil content is 2.1%. *Certified organic.
Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch.

Fellow Boxwalla subscribers – what were your favorite boxes of 2018? For me, it feels like a 6-way tie between them all (haha) but I was particularly fond of this month, and the February, April and June boxes which featured Amly Botanicals, MUN Skincare, Twelve Beauty, and MOSS Skincare. I’m looking forward to seeing what Boxwalla has in store for 2019!

One-time December beauty boxes are still available while they last! One-time boxes are different from the regular subscription – while subscriptions are re-newing and are billed on a certain date – one-time boxes are charged just once (at a higher cost than the low subscription price, but it’s still a great deal) at the moment you order. Grab a one-time December beauty box for $69.95 – this box has a crazy value over $170!

February subscriptions are now open! Boxwalla has already dropped a hint and while I stink at guessing, I saw some VERY interesting and hopefully true guesses! Follow @theboxwalla on Instagram and keep your eyes peeled for future reveals.

*PR Gift/Provided to me for review by Boxwalla
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