Jao Face Crème: My New Obsession

As any beauty blogger will tell you, reviewing a product takes time. First, it must wait its turn amongst the scores of lotions and potions in the review pipeline (yes, I am a corporate lawyer in my other life, why do you ask?), then I have to make sure that the product a) works and b) doesn’t cause undesired effects like, say, my face falling off. So when I feel compelled to write about a product less than a week after it gets into my hands and onto my face, you know it must be something special indeed. And boy, is it! I know I am about to make a pretty big statement, but the Jao Face Crème might well be the best moisturizer I have used since switching to green beauty.

That’s a heck of a claim, isn’t it? Let me explain. I have two sets of criteria when evaluating a product. The first, and probably the most important one, is whether I enjoy it and whether it works. Does it smell good? Do I like its texture? Does it seem to have a positive impact on my skin? Does it cause any irritation? The Crème ticks all of these boxes: it’s unscented (which I love, since I am sensitive to smell and since I am bombarded with a dozen different scents from all of my oils, masks, etc.), it’s rich, fast-absorbing and non-greasy and it gives a lovely, velvety softness to the skin. I use it over several layers of oils and it leaves a perfectly dewey finish, but when used on its own, it absorbs completely and leaves no shine whatsoever – perfect for the oilier skinned folk. I have been using the Crème at least twice a day for a week now and have had zero irritation or allergic reaction and my skin feels, soft, hydrated and cosseted after each application.

The second evaluation criterion, and one that is much more difficult to implement in the regular course of reviewing products, is “extreme testing”. What I mean is that a product’s performance gets evaluated under extreme circumstances, which can make it stand out from the pack as the shining beacon of skincare perfection. It’s why, although I have a number of green deodorants I adore, the Meow Meow Tweet deo is my constant a-number-one pick for a fool-proof natural deo.

In the case of the Jao Crème, the extreme testing condition was winter in NYC. For anyone who lives in New York and, well, has a face, the words “winter is coming” sound even more ominous than they do in Westeros. The combination of dry cold air, frequent temperature swings and even more dry indoor heat wreak utter havoc on all, but the hardiest of skins, leaving many New Yorkers with haggard, flaky and cracked visages for at least two months out of the year. My own winter-related skin woes have diminished since I switched to green beauty and my skin became far less sensitive, but I still seem to age 10 years between July and January.

When I first started using the Crème, I was plagued not only with the usual winter dryness, but also with a lack of sleep and heightened stress levels, leaving me looking less than petal-fresh. I was hoping that the Crème’s combination of peptides, hydrating and occlusive ingredients would help my skin hang on to some much needed moisture. It’s safe to say that I was absolutely astonished by the results. After just a couple of uses, my skin started to look like it does on my best summer skin days: soft, plump, hydrated, glowing… It’s as if I was walking around in a protective bubble, keeping my face safe from the vagaries of New York weather. My skin also looked younger – it’s not that it got a visible lift, but the disappearance of the fine lines caused by dryness seemed to turn back the clock at least a bit.

I also started to get a disproportional number of compliments on my skin. A very glamorous mum friend from my son’s private school actually told me that she was tempted to text me one night to tell me what nice skin I had. She decided against it in the end, because… Well… It was possibly a tad Silence of the Lambs, but I certainly appreciated the sentiment. Oh, I should also mention that in addition to winter in New York, my skin was subjected to a 10-hour flight (with no sleep), a week of winter in Moscow (!) and a particularly nasty case of jet lag.

Granted, I have not been using the Crème alone, but rather as part of a fairly elaborate routine: In Fiore Fleur Vibrante face oil (a recent acquisition and a fast favorite), Odacité Marula + Neroli (new, awesome, love), Camelina + Chamomile and Moringa + Petitgrain serum concentrates under the Crème and, on extra-cold days a layer of La Bella Figura’s Rainforest Hydration Treatment over the top. At night, I replace In Fiore with LBF’s Aria Nighttime Treatment and sometimes add in serums and balms depending on how the mood strikes me. Still: the Jao Crème is the one constant and can actually feel the difference when I use it. Nonetheless, in the interest of highly scientific research, I will wait a bit (like, a day or two) before repurchasing the Crème once it runs out (which, tragically, will be soon because I have a heavy hand and because I use this baby religiously) in order to make sure that the results aren’t actually attributable to In Fiore’s gorgeous and divine smelling Fleur Vibrante, and should that be the case, I will make sure to update this post.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I need to mention that one of the reasons I love the Crème is that its texture is so similar to a conventional product. The only way to accomplish that, unfortunately, is to use a couple of ingredients that are not quite green beauty-approved. One is Potassium Sorbate – a preservative. Any product that has water needs to have preservatives and all preservatives are pretty much “meh” – not terrible for you, but not exactly great. It shouldn’t really cause you any trouble, but irritation is a minor possibility. The other ingredient is Polysorbate 60 – an emulsifier and surfactant that gets a 3 on the EWG Skin Deep database. The actual ingredient is completely harmless, but it could carry a risk of contamination. Frankly, I am fairly convinced by the quality of ingredients sourced by Jao and have no concerns whatsoever, but, of course, every consumer must decide for him or herself.

I am always wary of raving about a product, since every skin is different and since one person’s holy grail could be another’s downfall. That said, I am officially in love with this beautiful cream (that packaging! Swoon!) and if you are considering it, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

38 responses to Jao Face Crème: My New Obsession

  1. This sounds like a lovely product. I’ve never heard of the brand, but I’ll have to take a look. And a blogger, I can definitely relate to the struggle of testing products for review.

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      It really is fab! I have long heard of Jao and their semi-solid Goe Oil as one of those cult products that all beauty insiders rave about, but the Crème is new. Now I’m thinking I should try the Goe as well 😉

      • Anna

        No wonder the packaging and name is familiar! Goe oil is great!! It softens your skin like baby – and the effect stays. I have tried testing only on one leg and not the other, and you can tell a great difference even after shower the next day. I use it on my hair to detangle as well. But it does have a lovely (semi-strong) essential oil smell which you may not like….

  2. Superb review! I hadn’t heard of Jao before you posted a picture on Instagram, so thank you for the introduction. I’m really loving the sound of this day cream and I enjoyed the little anecdote with the mum-friend 😉 xx

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Thanks, darling! Jao is a pretty cool brand, actually. And yes, the mum friend is absolutely brilliant and hilarious: all giant sunglasses, furs and 6 inch heels. Very yummy mummy 😉

  3. sbgirl

    Dear HH:

    So glad you’ve written about Jao! The Goe oil is fantastic! And sorry if I’m being redundant and missed a post on this line, but have you written about Dr. Alkaitis yet? Or have you tried his line? (I read that his is the only line other than her own that Rose-Marie Swift is comfortable recommending.) As I’ve switched over this week to all VERY green beauty – truly – as in washing with honey, etc – I’ve had overnight miserable spots all over the chin :(….Wondered if anyone had a similar reaction, or skin freak-out! in the transition?

    Stay warm and cosy! xo

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Oh, I must try the Goe oil! And yes, I have tried the Dr. Alkaitis line and love it – it’s fantastic! I think it’s a tad young for me, but the oil is gorgeous. I find the gel a bit drying, but it’s good for breakouts. As for your own issue, it could be that you need a “proper” cleanser. If you wear sunscreen and/or foundation, honey might not be removing it properly, which causes breakouts. Also, what kind of products are you using? You could be reacting to an ingredient, like coconut oil or something else. Try to take note of the ingredients and see if there’s anything acne-causing 🙂 xx

      • sbgirl

        Goodness, I only JUST saw this reply – but thank you for your thoughts! I actually don’t wear any sunscreen or foundation, just RMS concealer on spots and dark circles… Trying to keep it all looking natural :), also a bit of smudged liner and eco “chapstick” are about it after the cover-up – and been using the Medicine Mama’s lovely soap. I am trying the Alkaitis soothing gel one more time, but breakout mostly cystic on chin and (occasionally nose). So happy for your wonderful green ambassador news – you will be lovely and absolutely genius! xo

  4. caprinic

    Absolutely love your thorough reviews, Lola. They way they should be, makes it a lot easier for one when thinking of purchasing a certain product. Of course, as you say, we’re all unique so what works for one may not work for another but there can never be too much information! This sounds like a lovely cream, never heard of the brand until post so thanks for the intro. Xx

  5. I HAVE to try this. I have the most sensitive and reactive skin. It is so hard to find a proper moisturizer that doesn’t cause eczema, redness or just irritations galore. I wonder if this would be suitable for my highly sensitive skin…. I need to look into it more and try it out. Wonderful review!

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Thank you SO much, lovely! Thrilled that you liked it 🙂 My skin, though a lot less sensitive these days, is still quite reactive and I have had zero issues with Jao, using it twice a day, every day, so I think it ought to work for you? Fingers crossed! Xx

  6. lisa Vitale

    I think you are creative writer by day . . . your description has made me want to out and purchase Jao– so, I think I’ll head into my great and very cold city, Chicago, tomorrow to do so!! It’s sold at Space 519 in Chicago. I can’t wait to try it!

      • lisa Vitale

        I just bought it yesterday 🙂 Hope the years come off quickly– thank you!

      • lisa Vitale

        Ok, I’ll take what I can get! QUESTION FOR YOU, HH– Do you know of any good product for slack skin on arms/legs?? Not for someone who’s overweight, it’s for someone who’s probably been in the sun a bit more. TY Lisa

      • TheHermesHippie – Author

        Hmmm… There isn’t much you can do for truly slack skin. I’d say use a good quality oil that has anti-aging ingredients. I’m going to do a body oil roundup soon, I think 🙂

  7. Deborah Eleveld

    Hi! Absolutely loved reading your blog! I would love to try products You recommend, but I’m living in Amsterdam, can’t seem to find them here. Any suggestions? Thanx in advance!

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      I’m so delighted you enjoy the blog! 🙂 As for buying the products, I don’t know any green beauty retailers in the Netherlands, but Content Beauty (beingcontent.com) is in the UK and has free worldwide shipping. They carry a lot of my favorite brands and some amazing European favorites as well. Amazingy (amazingy.com) also has an incredible selection (including Yüli) and they deliver at a reasonable rate across the EU. Alice & White (aliceandwhite.com) is also awesome, carries Odacité and delivers worldwide. And, finally, Eco Diva (ecodivabeauty.com) has an incredible selection and delivers worldwide. Those should have you covered 😉 xx

  8. meggieprice

    I happened upon your Blog…hmmm I am not sure how lol! I am new to skincare at age 62 and a very intrigued by these products. I already got a 10 day regimen sample from Odacite and had the most delightful interchange with their esthetician. I adore your blog and am wondering if you were me with combo skin- typical t-zone though far less than when I was younger, dark circles and hyperpigmentation form sun and ignorance as a young woman, what would be your ideal night time routine? I am drawn to the odacite serums…do you still hace this night cream above as your holy grail? I am clueless…so clueless…

    • meggieprice

      sorry for the typos- I have fibro and my brain saw it as perfect lol…

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Not clueless at all! It seems like you’ve got a pretty good handle on your skin type and needs, which is more than half the battle 🙂 And thank you so much, by the way, for the kindness about the blog! So you have a few options when it comes to nighttime products. If you have combination skin and past damage to correct, I’d strongly suggest using a strong-ish exfoliating product. I think retinol would be the best bet: it can help increase skin turnover and fights hyperpigmentation. I adore the True Nature Pacific serum with retinol. It’s fabulous mixed with their Vit C capsules. You could also add in Odacite’s Pa+G for spot treating hyperpigmentation – it works quite well for me. I know I’m recommending expensive products, but the La Bella Figura Modern Radiance Concentrate is great: light enough for combo skin and great for increasing luminosity and bounciness. If you’re using the Pacific Vitamin C, I’d use the MRC in the am. I do adore the Jao and I have also fallen in love with Bottega Organica’s night cream. I recently started using In Fiore’s Flowers Cream and I am loooving it. As for dark circles, I’m not sure a topical product can do much to change them, but you could try the On Fiore Vis Claire. It’s fresh and brightening and tightening. Also, make sure you exfoliate (physical and chemical via masks) regularly. I’ve written about my fave physical exfoliating masks and am going to do an exfoliating cleanser post once I come back from holiday. Hope this helps! Let me know if you’ve any follow up questions 🙂 xx

      • meggieprice

        Thank you so much for answering in such depth- especially whilst on holiday! I do not mind spending money on my skin, especially after years of neglecting it. The first thing I did after seeing the light was look in the mirror and deeply apologize to my face with tears streaming. She forgave me 🙂 I shall investigate these luscious products! ❤ ❤ ❤

  9. Joshua David

    I have just been exposed to this fantastic line of product and I can’t get over the versatility of them. The beard cream as hand cream? Who knew? And who knew they would work amazingly for both?

    I am now a life long customer. I loved how they offered a sample pack for only $6.99 (practically…FREE! Take ME), and I have since tried many of the products and purchased over half in the sample pack.

    Jao Brand are the best products on the market!

  10. Christina

    Really enjoy all of your reviews… I purchased the night creme a month or two ago after finding this post and absolutely LOVE IT. This was my second purchase in the realm of green beauty (after Grown Alchemist) and think this is what really got me on the green beauty bandwagon! My skin feels incredible, I’m not having any issues with dry winter skin, and I absolutely plan to use it in the summer as well. I’m just waiting to pull the trigger on the Goe oil and assuming I’ll love that too!

    On that note- do you have any recommendations for body lotions or light/dry oils that are for daily use and reasonably priced?

    • TheHermesHippie – Author

      Oh man! You’ve made my day! So psyched you’re enjoying it! 🙂 As for body lotions/oils, as far as lotions, CV Skinlabs is excellent: vey hydrating and calming and unscented, so good for sensitive skin/won’t interfere with perfume. As for oils, there are so many choices out there! They tend to be pricier because of the ingredient quality (or at least the ones I like do 😁), but I’m partial to Lina Hanson. The smell is really lovely and it’s quite light. De Mamiel is also super-lovely, the Osmia oils… The list goes on, really 🙂 Sorry, that’s not much help, is it?

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