The wellness industry is growing at full speed these days with new brands being born every day and new products from industry leaders dropping faster than ever. All of this growth is great news for the health of individuals, families and the planet, but, as an editor, the constant deluge of new products can be a challenge to sift through!
Some of my favorite brands and products have been obvious wins right from the start. Launches from brands like ILIA, Seed, Necessaire, Parachute, Merit, Our Place, and Cuyana, for example, are usually received with an immediate yes from our team. Others, like the products listed below, take time to warm up to.
This list of incredible products first gathered dust in the beauty closet or languished in our teams’ inboxes before becoming some of our favorite products of all time…
7 Wellness Products I Didn’t Expect To Like
– But Am Now Obsessed With
Gua Sha stones | Just on the heels of the jade roller trend, which was huge for our clean-beauty loving team and readers for a couple of years, brands started promoting gua sha stones too. Our first, un-educated impressions ranged from flat to unimpressed — couldn’t we just use own hands for anything a flat rock could do?
Fast-forward to just before the pandemic and brands like Wildling and Lanshin began walking us through the video tutorials necessary to understand the transformative power of this simple, but powerful beauty tool for toning and sculpting the face. An eye cream could never.
an nad serum in a syringe | I think it was the syringe-like bottle that first threw me off and kept this powerful serum collecting dust on our beauty shelves for way too long.
I received a package from Singapore-based Invity because I was interested in their NMN (a cutting edge longevity supplement to keep tabs on!). The brand also sent a few of their NAD-based skincare products, including the oddly-packaged serum.
Rifling through samples one evening recently, I finally decided to give the serum a try — and was amazed. Even though the packaging is syringe-like, the serum pats into skin just like any other skincare. Within ten minutes of applying the cosmeceutical grade serum over my brow and cheekbones, I experienced an unmistakable lifting and tightening that lasted well into the next day.
Rhizobian and acacia gum are the ingredients behind the instant lift. The effect doesn’t actually change the health of your skin, but — then again, neither do any of the popular “fillers”. The serum’s other ingredients — a patent-pending hyaluronic acid combination and NAD — deeply nourish the skin for a longer-term effect.
The $1k PEMF Mat | I was already a big fan of Higher Dose’s Infrared Sauna Blanket when I received the PEMF mat to try. I wondered if I was ‘overdoing it’. Was the thousand dollar price point on this mat really worth it?
Though admittedly a wellness luxury, the PEMF mat — with four Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field (PEMF) frequency settings plus adjustable infrared heat, gives a sense of well-being and recovery that is immediately palpable, but hard to describe. In brief, PEMF frequencies ground us on a cellular level, which is why astronauts often use the tech on return from flight.
When I reported my enthusiastic review to the founders, they piped back that A-type women always reacted in the same way — the stress-fighting sense of well-being the frequencies provide are so unique. You can find my full interview with the women behind the mat here.
Scarlett Johansson’s Cleanser | The celebrity beauty launches are never-ending. We approach each one with a healthy dose of skepticism, however the skincare pros enlisted in these projects are often of note. Scarlett Johansson’s new minimal, clean skincare line didn’t promise to be anything of note, but after receiving the products, I ended up sharing a glowing review. Truth be told, among all the cleansers I have at my fingertips, I still find myself using The Outset’s Gentle Micellar Antioxidant Cleanser and recently noticed a clean beauty devotee I trust doing the same.
Bellway Super Fiber | This psyllium-based fiber powder brand is now the basis of a near life-changing protocol for many of our staff and readers, but there was a learning curve on this one, to be sure.
Fiber supplementation couldn’t be a less sexy topic (insert the smiling poop emoji here) and, as such, it took us a minute to try the stuff. An almost single-ingredient product, I now consider Bellway a key gut-health and detoxification pantry staple. One scoop of the fiber powder provides a powerful digestive cleanse that is natural, safe, gentle and highly beneficial when used correctly. You can scratch the word “bloat” from your vocabulary.
Odacite Shampoo Bar | Bar soap has quickly come back in fashion as it is a largely low-waste option. That said, my expectations for a solid bar of shampoo were very low. I had some faith in this brand already (Odacite’s masks and serums are fantastic), so I gave their bar a try and was pleasantly surprised at both the experience and the results.
With the aesthetic of my bathroom in mind, I also loved the idea of a minimal, bottle-free shower shelf. Read our initial review of the bar inspired by Hilary Duff.
Hanacure all-in-one facial | When this culty skincare product first hit years ago, it went viral thanks to celebs like Drew Barrymore who demonstrated the mask’s super-weird skin tightening effects in selfies. There was something about all the hype and fish-mouthed selfies that just averted my gaze. Then, just recently, I finally gave the mask a try and am now on my second box of gels. The circulation-boosting and lifting effect of these masks will outlast the gimmick and deserve a spot in your date night beauty drawer!