The Story of Obscura
This is not going to be what you expect. But first of all, we’ve had so many requests over the last two years for a retinol-alternative ampoule, a purifying treatment, and also requests to expand our line for blemish-prone and oily skin. So with this product development we looked to push the envelope to deliver each of these into one multi-functional, yet hyper-targeted product with non-comedogenic ingredients that can cater to not only blemish-prone and oily skin types, but to all skin types in need of a gentle detoxifying reset. And unsurprisingly, we (along with the sixty-seven people who tested it out for us) are obsessed with the result! In addition to all of that, we think that given the characteristics of this skincare gem, it is a perfect opportunity to shed light on the ever-present paradox of outward beauty and its effect on inner beauty… which is how we landed on the name Obscura:
Obscura is Latin for secret (aka. little known, indistinct, humble, obscure). And not only does Obscura’s name lend itself to the exploration and discovery of the hidden, overlooked, or mysterious wonders of the world (think Atlas Obscura), but it is also inspired by camera obscuras of the 16th to 19th centuries. A camera obscura (“dark chamber” in Latin) is basically the first camera ever invented. It is a darkened room with a small hole for a lens at one side through which an image is projected onto a wall or table opposite of the hole and was a game-changer for artists, especially helping them to precision-point perspective for landscapes… such as our favorite maritime scenes in great works of art!
To put it simply though, ‘obscura’ has come to mean a chamber in which an exterior image is projected inside… and we are all obscuras in our own ways if you think about it. This is a metaphor for how we all tend to project the way we feel about our external appearance into what’s inside of us, often translating it to how we feel about our beings as a whole and even letting it influence what we feel our worth is. At Earth Harbor, we want to encourage everyone to let the light in so it can shine on any darkness you feel within you because you are wonderful and amazing just the way you are, both inside and out. Allow yourself to be guided away (or “detoxed”) from the bombardment of “perfect” representations we all encounter daily that obscure self-worth and happiness; take a moment to set your internal switch to analog— away from the digital world— to help adjust your perspective because here’s the “secret”… your authentic self is a true work of art as is, and a true wonder of the world; even a lighthouse to everyone you encounter.
With Oceans of Love,
Meet Obscura Detoxifying Reset Ampoule
Bring to light happier skin. Your path to spot-free, healthier-looking skin is clear with OBSCURA Detoxifying Reset Ampoule, a fascinating overnight recovery detox and complexion refiner that clears imperfections and resets your skin so you wake up ready to glow.
This lightweight night treatment is full of star non-comedogenic, youth-preserving ingredients: Black Seaweed, Bakuchiol, Black Cumin Seed, Bamboo Charcoal, and Linoleic Acid that provide all skin types with an effortless detox potion – sending toxins, breakouts, and dullness into oblivion. Time to make your skin smile.
Created for all skin types as a nighttime ampoule, and is especially friendly for blemish-prone, oily, and stressed skin.
How to Use
For a hyper-concentrated night treatment: In the evening, apply two or more drops to your skin after cleansing and toning, as needed. Massage in until absorbed. It will turn clear upon application. In the morning, cleanse and follow your usual skincare ritual.
For a nightly skincare cocktail: Add two or more drops of Obscura Ampoule to any Earth Harbor treatment or moisturizer.
Customize: Obscura Ampoule is as versatile as she is safely potent, so feel free to use her in any way that best fits your skincare ritual preferences.
Suggested Skincare Ritual (if layering):
- SPF (using Eclipse Sunscreen)
All Ingredients Explained
Black Cumin Seed and Seaweed:
Black Cumin Seed and Seaweed bring powerful antibacterial and nourishing properties to purify stressed, sensitive skin while also refining skin’s overall appearance.
Bakuchiol (Retinol Alternative):
Known as a calming plant-based alternative to retinol that smooths signs of fine lines and wrinkles while clarifying the skin’s complexion. Sustainably sourced.
Bamboo Charcoal gently removes impurities, excess oil, and buildup from dead skin cells and toxins.
Linoleic Acid (Vitamin F):
An essential fatty acid rich in Omega-6, Linoleic Acid is a natural exfoliator and plumping moisturizer that renews skin, helping to clear pores and brighten complexion.
Sweet Almond Oil (Botanical Retinoid):
This oil has naturally-occurring retinoids that reduce the appearance of acne and improve cell turnover while the fatty acid content dissolves excess oil. It also gives this formula a naturally sweet aroma.
Tamanu, Squalane, Kiwi, Safflower, and Grapeseed Oils:
Tamanu, Squalane, Kiwi, Safflower, and Grapeseed Oils reduce inflammation while balancing sebum levels to make pores cleaner and skin clearer and refreshed.
Helps bind all of the ingredients together, act as a suspension system for the charcoal, and naturally preserve the formula. They also can help smooth skin, work as an antioxidant, and prevent blackheads and whiteheads.
Derived from chamomile, this is a bio-active skin-calming ingredient that has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. It’s the extra security blanket in this formula for sensitive skin.
Not only high in ursolic, malic, tartaric and gallic acids and contains vitamins, magnesium, and iron, but it also gives this formula a naturally, very light tangy aroma note.
Will Obscura Ampoule make me purge?
Everyone’s skin is different, but the short answer is that Obscura Ampoule is engineered to gently, yet powerfully, remove impurities by absorbing them; this means you are not likely to experience the effects of skin purging. As with any new skincare product, we recommend slowly introducing Obscura Ampoule into your skincare ritual by using her once every few days and gradually increasing to daily use as needed; this helps your skin acclimate to the different actives without freaking it out.
What is the difference between Earth Harbor’s two night treatments, Obscura Detoxifying Reset Ampoule and Luna Rain Phyto-Resurfacing Night Serum?
First of all, both of these treatments were designed to work like magic together but keep reading if you want to decide which one is the best for you: Obscura Ampoule is an oil-based detox treatment that absorbs impurities, regulates sebum levels, clarifies, and resets skin by using actives such as charcoal, plant-based retinol alternative, linoleic acid, and an antioxidant-rich oil complex. Luna Rain Serum is a water-based resurfacing treatment that phyto-chemically exfoliates skin with fruit acids while also delivering youth-preserving actives such as seaweed collagen and vitamin C-rich botanicals.
What is the difference between Obscura Detoxifying Reset Ampoule and Nebula Adaptogen Clarity Ampoule since they are both good for blemish-prone and oily skin?
These were designed to work incredibly well together, are both lightweight formulas that absorb very quickly, and are great for sensitive and stressed skin. They can be mixed and layered so that they can be worn together, or we love suggesting you use Nebula Ampoule during the day and Obscura Ampoule at night. If you have to choose between which one is best for your skin situation then here’s the deal: Obscura Ampoule is the superhero detoxifier and purifier that will help prevent future breakouts while also gently renewing skin, while Nebula Ampoule is the adaptogenic powerhouse that regulates and clarifies stressed skin while also reducing the appearance of pores and scars.
Should I use Obscura Detoxifying Rest Ampoule or Samphire Sea-Retinol Digital Serum since they both have retinol-alternatives?
They both have clinically-proven botanical retinol alternatives that are pregnancy-safe; they are also safe to use together. Obscura Ampoule is designed to be used at night as needed while Samphire Serum can be used all day every day. Samphire Serum has a higher level of retinol alternative (sea samphire at 1%) as it is specifically formulated with the function of being a retinol alternative serum (that also blocks blue light!). Obscura Ampoule was formulated to have the retinol alternative (bakuchiol at .5%) be a supporting active to the overall goal of this product: detoxifying and resetting skin.
Is it safe to use Obscura Ampoule along with Samphire Serum and/or Siren Silk Creme since they all have botanical retinol alternatives?
Yes! They work beautifully together and are very synergistic. To brush up on why using over 1% of a botanical retinol alternative across your skincare ritual is ok (even during pregnancy), check out this blog we wrote on Sea Samphire and the similarities and differences between botanical retinol alternatives and retinol.
Is the bakuchiol in Obscura Ampoule sustainably sourced?
Absolutely. This was very important to us when we set out to include a different retinol alternative than what is found in our Siren Silk Creme and Samphire Serum. When we initially formulated those products, there was no reliable source for bakuchiol, and since the babchi plant (which bakuchiol comes from) is an endangered species we decided against using it and found an equally effective, thriving botanical alternative: sea fennel samphire. But, we continued to put our feelers out there for a sustainable and ethically sourced bakuchiol, and when we finally found a supplier we were ecstatic to start formulating with bakuchiol! Our bakuchiol is 3rd party regulated, compliant with the National Biodiversity Authority of India and Nagoya Protocol, and is extracted from babchi seeds that have fallen to the ground (instead of harvesting the plants).
Is Obscura Ampoule ok for dry skin and mature skin?
Yes, this ampoule is excellent for dry skin and mature skin and was formulated with the benefit of all skin types in mind. All skin needs to detoxify, so while you may not need to use Obscura Ampoule as frequently as blemish-prone skin or oily skin for blemishes or oil control, your skin will greatly benefit from using Obscura Ampoule at least a few nights a week in order to reset, purify, exfoliate, and induce youth-preserving botanicals to your skin. Additionally, this ampoule has active ingredients that specifically benefit dry and mature skin from retinol-alternative bakuchiol and superfood seaweed to the linoleic acid-rich oil complex and calming bisabolol.
Will Obscura Ampoule leave my skin with a black residue?
Nope, not at all! We’ve tested it on all ranges of skin types and skin tones and it has absorbed clean every time. If you ever happen to find that it leaves a black residue then you’ll want to massage it in a little longer, until it is fully absorbed, and just use less next time as with all our gems, a little goes a long way.
Are oils ok even for my sensitive, acne-prone, oily skin?
Heck yes! Say it with us… oils are good and necessary for sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin! It may seem counterintuitive, but you have no need to worry if you’re prone to breakouts and oiliness. The fact is, it is more than likely what your skin actually needs. We chose optimal oils and extracts for your specific skin type that are light, balancing, purifying, non-irritating, oil-reducing, spot clearing, and even preventative of future breakouts. Hello, dreamy treatment.