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25
APR

5 Ways to Use an Aztec Clay Mask

Filed Under: Beauty,Detoxification and Cleansing,Personal Care at 12:04 pm | By: Jessica Remitz

Known for its cult following among beauty bloggers and Whole Foods shoppers alike, Aztec Secret is a bentonite clay that has been used to “beautify and refresh” the skin for centuries, according to its packaging.

“Bentonite clay comes from volcanic ash and gets its name from Fort Benton, Wyoming, where several volcanoes are present and the clay is still harvested today,” says Stacey Rex, creator and owner of Pure Stella Skin Care in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Bentonite clay is known to have an abundance of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, sodium, copper, iron and potassium.”

A specific type of bentonite is found in Death Valley, California, and is the clay used in the famed Aztec Secret (not-so-secret) product. When combined with a liquid, like water or apple cider vinegar, the clay becomes a powerful—and cheap—detoxifying mask.

“It is a great mask to deep cleanse the skin, draw out impurities and tighten the skin while delivering minerals that nourish the skin,” says David Pollock, a beauty industry chemist and founder of justaskdavid.com. “It is a bit old school, but there is a reason it is a classic: It works and it’s affordable.”

To use the clay, mix the original recipe—equal parts clay and apple cider vinegar combined into a face mask—or try one of these five other ways to use it.

As a Hair Treatment

Bentonite is traditionally used to help draw dirt, debris and excess oil from the skin, says Crystal Baldazo, an esthetics master educator at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture in Chicago, but it can also be used as a treatment on the hair and scalp.

“I have a friend who uses this to detox her scalp and hair as a clarifying treatment—she swears by it,” Baldazo says. “As a clarifying treatment, mix it up in the same way as the face mask and apply it to the area, [then] let it sit for 20 minutes [before rinsing].”

Silica, another mineral found in bentonite, is known to build strong hair and nails, Pollock says.

As a Spot Treatment

The beauty of the clay is that it can be used as a mask anywhere you need it—even as a spot treatment for breakouts and newly-formed blemishes. As a spot treatment, mix the clay as you would a face mask (just use less), then dab a small amount onto the affected area and leave it on overnight before rinsing off, Pollock says.

As a Bath Soak

Part of the reason the clay works is that, when added to a liquid, it takes on an “electric charge” that allows it to absorb and remove impurities and chemicals from the body, Rex says. This is how the clay brightens your complexion.

If you’re looking to level-up your bath, Rex recommends adding 1/4 cup of the clay to bath water for a detoxifying soak.

To Treat Bug Bites

Bentonite’s ability to draw out toxins (what doesn’t this stuff do?) also makes it perfect for taking the sting out of insect and mosquito bites, Rex says.

She recommends combining the clay—again equal parts liquid and clay—in a small silicone bowl, mixing with your fingers, then dabbing onto bites to lessen the pain.

As a Mask Mix-In

Although the clay is beneficial enough on its own, adding a few ingredients can enhance the benefits of the mask and makes for an easy DIY, Pollock says. Here’s one to try:

  • 1 tablespoon of manuka honey
  • 2 tablespoons of bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of purified water
  • 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal (optional)

Mix the ingredients together into a paste, then apply and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing, he says.

“Let [the mask] sit until fully dry so that it can draw out impurities and tighten the skin,” he says. “Follow with a serum and moisturizer.”

Because the clay can be a bit drying on its own, consider mixing it with Greek yogurt, honey or a combination of water and jojoba or a non-comedogenic face oil, Rex says. You can even add a few drops of an essential oil to the mix for aromatherapy benefits, she adds.

Keep in Mind

Because the clay is stimulating (the Aztec Secret label proclaims, “FEEL YOUR FACE PULSATE!”), expect your face to be pink or red when you take it off, Baldazo says.

“The pulsating lets you know that your blood flow to the area is increasing and increased blood flow to the face helps with oxygenating the skin, making it look more youthful and giving it a glow,” she says. “The redness or pinkness of your skin after the removal is an indication of the same.”

Be sure not to leave the mask on too long, Rex adds, as the clay can begin to extract moisture from your face if it becomes too dry.

Most importantly, while some people (i.e., celebrities) extol the benefits of consuming bentonite clay internally,  you must find a food-safe clay version before trying to eat or drink it, Rex says. Speak with a doctor, esthetician or dermatologist if you have questions about food-safe clays.




20
APR

5-Step Minimalist Makeup Routine

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 10:02 am | By: Shelby Maddonni

Need a minimal, quick, out-the-door makeup look? I’ve got just the routine for you.

All of these products are either from a cruelty-free makeup brand or 100 percent vegan. This routine is really simple and easy to do and will have you looking great in no time. I love doing a routine like this for work or weekend errands to get that “no-makeup makeup look.” Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Primer

I always start any makeup look by priming my face. For this look, we’re using Emani Perfect 10 Primer Serum. This 100 percent vegan, cruelty-free primer will prepare your skin for makeup, absorb excess oils in your T-zone, and help minimize pores, all while moisturizing your face!

I love this primer because it creates a great base for makeup and helps it last all day. Like, I’m talking I fell asleep with my makeup on and it hadn’t moved when I woke up the next morning! (I also do NOT recommend doing this! Whoops.) To apply, massage one to two pumps on your face with your hands.

Step 2: Concealer

Next, you’re going to apply Zuzu Luxe concealer. This will help with any dark circles or imperfections on your face. To blend the concealer in, gently bounce your Eco Tools mini concealer sponge along your skin.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret here about these sponges: wet them! It makes for the easiest application ever, because it helps spread the product evenly on your face, quickly. It also absorbs a smaller amount of product, which is great for your wallet!

You can also apply a bit of concealer between your eyebrows, on your chin and on the bridge of your nose to brighten up your face a bit.

Step 3: Blush

After that, you’re going to apply some Zao makeup blush. This blush is wonderful! I love that you are very in control with it, meaning it’s very buildable. You can go really subtle for work or build it up for a night out.

Every cosmetology book under the sun will tell you to smile to find the “apple of your cheeks,” and this is where you apply blush. Not me! I like to start there and drag my Zao blush brush up and back for a more natural, diffused look. Brush in circular motions also so you don’t get a line of color across your cheek.

Step 4: Mascara

Next, go in with some mascara to give your eyes a more “woken up, alert” look. theBalm’s Mad Lash is a great cruelty-free mascara (and look how cute the packaging is!).

The curved wand will give your lashes volume and the mascara won’t flake all over your face or give you those ugly marks around the eyes. Wiggle the applicator back and forth on your lashes to help separate and lengthen them.

Step 5: Lip Gloss

To finish off this look, let’s apply a lip gloss. Zao beige lipgloss is light and shiny and can go with any look.

This gloss is great because it’s not sticky or tacky like most lip gloss products, making it really comfortable on the lips. Another reason I love it is, it can be paired overtop of a lipstick to give a shiny, wet, glossy look to any lipstick color.

That completes our minimalist makeup routine. I hope you found it helpful and stress-free! I’m slowly trying to incorporate more natural and chemical-free products into my makeup bag, so leave me your recommendations below!

Subscribe to LuckyVitamin’s YouTube Channel!




9
APR

This Ultra-Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo Could Be the Cure for Dry, Winter Hair

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 10:40 am | By: Joe Palinsky

Healthy hair can totally transform how you feel each day. When your locks look the way you want in the morning, you’ll feel more confident to face whatever challenges await. The winter tends to dry out hair follicles, making it more difficult to give your hair the style you desire. To counteract the damage the season has done, try using a homemade coconut milk shampoo! The recipe is simple and the results will leave you with hair that feels nourished and alive.

What You’ll Need

Essentials:
– ½ cup of unsweetened coconut milk
– ⅔ cup of castile soap
– Empty bottle

The above are the only ingredients you actually require to make the shampoo. The next ingredients are to add some extra benefits to the experience. Feel free to explore other combinations than what is listed here, as you can get quite creative and discover some lovely results. Essential oils might add an extra scent component you find appealing.

Extra:
– 1 tsp vitamin E oil
– 1 tsp coconut oil

Directions

  1. Place 1 tsp of coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and heat for 30 seconds. If you do not have a microwave, just heat the oil over the stove for a few minutes until it liquefies. Do not let it get too hot.
  2. While the oil is heating, add the coconut milk and castile soap to the bottle and shake it up to mix the ingredients.
  3. Add the liquid coconut oil and vitamin E to the mixture and shake vigorously.
  4. Shower and see the results for yourself!

For the best results, use roughly one or two tablespoons in your hair each time you wash it. Shampoo will last roughly two months before it should be replaced.




6
APR

Healthy Recipe: Coconut Oil Liquid Hand Soap

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 4:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Coconut oil is so great that you can literally make dozens of different personal care products with it. If you are willing to try it out, here’s an easy-to-make DIY recipe for a coconut oil liquid hand soap.

Making your own liquid soap has two great advantages. First, you can be 100 percent sure there are no iffy ingredients in a product that you and your family will be applying to your hands and skin on a daily basis. Second, you can save money, as making your own natural liquid hand soap is actually cheaper than buying conventional soaps.

All you need is a jar of coconut oil, one natural unscented soap bar, essential oils (your choice), a cheese grater, and a large pot for water and soap. You will also need liquid soap dispensers and a large mason jar for refills.

Here’s how to make your coconut liquid soap, step by step.

1. Grate the entire bar of soap with your cheese grater and put it in a pot. Add 10 cups of water over the grated soap and two tablespoons of coconut oil.

2. Heat the soap, coconut oil and water on medium heat until all the soap and coconut oil have dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool.

3. This part is optional. If you want to have unscented soap, jump to step 4. If you want to add essential oils for fragrance, add between 20 to 25 drops of your favorite essential oil into the mixture.

4. Let it sit and cool. Stir every hour and you may add an extra cup of water to improve consistency. After five hours, the soap should be ready!

5. Pour the soap into the dispenser and you can start using it right away. You may try different essential oils for new scents every time you make new soap.




20
MAR

Introducing: LuckyVitamin Pure Collagen!

Filed Under: Beauty,Exercise and Fitness,Supplements at 11:35 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Keep skin, hair, nails and joints healthy with LuckyVitamin’s Pure Collagen. It provides your body with essential building blocks for tissue growth and repair so you can look and feel your best. This flavorless powder easily mixes with water, coffee, juice or your favorite smoothie!

Subscribe to LuckyVitamin’s YouTube Channel!

 




13
MAR

5 Safe & Natural Teeth Whitening Techniques

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 8:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Many people use teeth-whitening products in hopes to achieve a beautiful, white smile. The majority of conventional products are quite efficient but some of them contain questionable and potentially dangerous ingredients. Try to do this in a more natural way and you might be impressed by how efficient some of these natural ways really are. Let’s check out 5 safe and natural teeth whitening techniques.

1. Strawberry

The delicious fruit can also keep your teeth white. Whitening your teeth with a strawberry and baking soda mixture is a natural remedy that may help exfoliate your teeth and make them whiter. The malic acid found in strawberries will remove discoloration on your teeth, while the baking soda will buff away stains.

2. Charcoal

Brushing your teeth with activated charcoal from a food/medical grade source is a super easy and very effective method. Just mix a teaspoon of charcoal powder into water and swish with it for a few minutes. Then, spit the water and leave the remaining charcoal in for a few minutes. Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent porous substance that binds to things like tannins that stain teeth and leave them yellow or brown. Note that activated charcoal is not the same product used for barbeque/grilling.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric contains a few properties known to remove stains. The funny thing is that turmeric is known for staining things yellow but, somehow, it’s an efficient technique for whitening teeth.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is popular ingredient in toothpaste and as it has natural whitening properties. It’s a mild abrasive that can help scrub away surface stains on teeth and is also creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which prevents bacteria from growing. Brushing your teeth with baking soda a few times per week will not whiten your teeth overnight, but your teeth tend to get whiter and whiter as you continue to use it.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, a main active ingredient known to effectively kill bacteria. This antibacterial property of vinegar makes it useful for cleaning your mouth and whitening your teeth but do not use apple cider vinegar every day. Simple to use, just dilute it with water and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes. Make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards.




20
FEB

5 Tips For Growing Your Hair Long & Strong

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 2:36 pm | By: Guest Blogger

Feeling like your hair is as healthy as it should be is not always easy. People are born with different hair types and some are more prone to damage than others. On top of this, growing out your hair can often be a very lengthy process for some. Getting your hair to a healthy, long, and strong place can seem like a difficult journey but there are some simple options worth your consideration.

Focus on Health

Hosting a head full of strong follicles is not always about speed. While you might want your hair to grow to a desired length in the fastest way possible, it can also prove counterintuitive to your goals. No matter how fast your hair grows out, you still want to ensure its strength. Damaged hair often gives off an unhealthy appearance and can even make your locks look shorter than they already are. One simple way of fighting off split ends and other problematic hair conditions is by getting regular trims at the salon.

The more you cut away split ends, the longer your hair is going to appear. Your hair is not going to grow any faster from this service but it definitely will aid in maintaining a strong and healthy mane.

Orange is Your Color

Eating the right foods will also help you along your way to healthier hair. Vitamin A is a nutrient responsible for assisting with a variety of important processes in the body. One way it helps is by keeping the production of sebum on the scalp consistent. Sebum is an oily secretion put off by the scalp to preserve hair follicles and keep them from drying out. This means you can benefit greatly by making sure that you are receiving an ample amount of Vitamin A in your daily diet.

A simple way of finding the best sources of Vitamin A is by looking at the color of the fruits and veggies in the supermarket. Produce with a dark orange appearance tend to contain a large amount of beta-carotene, which is said to be one of the easiest ways for the body to obtain Vitamin A. When you need Vitamin A in your diet, grab options like carrots, oranges, and even peaches. Supplements can also be a wonderful way to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin A to keep your hair in a healthy state.

Common Deficiencies 

According to a number of recent surveys, many Americans are living with serious vitamin deficiencies of which they were mostly unaware. Surprisingly, a number of people seemed to be deficient when it came to magnesium. On a biological level, magnesium is responsible for activating more than 300 different enzymes in the body. When there is not enough magnesium to keep all of these processes going strong, several areas suffer. For many, a lack of magnesium can lead to slowed hair growth and even a thinning or loss of follicles.

Without magnesium, your hair is far less strong than it should be. Luckily, it is easy to get this nutrient back into your diet. Seeds and nuts are usually the best sources of magnesium, so you are going to benefit from grabbing a few bags of pumpkin seeds the next time you’re looking for a snack. Almonds, cashews, and peanuts can also be great options. Those with nut allergies can turn to options like spinach or supplements to receive the correct daily dose.

Skin Deep

It is not always easy to tell how healthy your hair is by looking at it in the mirror. There is, however, a simple way of gauging things. Your skin is usually a good reflection of the health of your hair. When your skin seems to be dry or excessively greasy, then you might need to adjust your diet or habits to balance chemical productions.

A cup of green tea might serve you well when you are looking to improve the condition of your hair and skin. The detoxifying nature of green tea will help to cleanse your follicles of any toxins that might have collected. Dark chocolate, eggs, spinach, and sweet potato are also great options for improving the overall health of your skin and hair.

Stop Processing 

Finally, your hair will benefit greatly when you decide to take a break from coloring and other salon processes. Intense chemicals and temperatures are typically involved with coloring or straightening hair. This can damage your hair to extreme degrees and prevent it from growing in the way you’d like. Take a year away from treating your follicles with any of these services and see the difference yourself.

There are a number of fantastic options for you to think over when it comes to the health of your hair. Find the method that works best for you and watch your locks flow.

 

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.




8
FEB

What Exactly Are Parabens & Why Should You Avoid Them?

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 3:59 pm | By: Guest Blogger

Maintaining one’s hygiene is a top daily priority for most people. The shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste you rely on all play a big part in helping you meet your cleanliness goals. Of course, you might also be surprised to learn some of these products contain some questionable chemicals. Since items like deodorant come in contact with bacteria regularly, manufacturers have taken to using specific preservatives to neutralize any potential health hazards.

One of the chemicals that has seen widespread use is paraben. Though parabens have been found in various toiletries for a long while, health advocates are now pointing out some worrisome results from studies conducted over recent years. To know whether or not you should be avoiding parabens, it can be useful to examine some key points.

Hormone Problems

Parabens have not been viewed as a threat until now because the short-term impact of exposure is considered minimal. In fact, parabens seem only harmful outright if a person decides to eat his or her deodorant or toothpaste. Since this is not likely for an adult to do, it might not seem like parabens are that much of a problem. In truth, studies have shown that the body is often absorbing parabens through the skin and storing them away in fat cells. This keeps the parabens in your body for long durations and can lead to health complications.

One common problem people with long-term exposure to parabens exhibit is an imbalance with hormone production. Parabens have been shown in various studies to disrupt hormone production in some serious ways. When left untreated, this imbalance has led to breast cancer and other risks in some individuals. This is attributed to parabens increasing the level of estrogen in a person’s body, making them more susceptible to tumor growth.

The Flip Side

While the above information might be enough for some to turn away from products that contain paraben, there are some who are skeptical. Some critics have stated that the studies released surrounding parabens and breast cancer do not take many additional factors into consideration. Though there have been several other studies conducted over the years, there is not enough conclusive evidence to suggest that parabens directly lead to cancer. Still, there have been many strides forward in recent years to reduce and remove parabens from most products.

Back in 2012, the European Union decided to ban the use of several parabens in health and beauty products outright. In America, it has been left to individual companies to make the decision. There are a number of large and small companies taking progressive steps towards finding a solution to parabens. Instead of relying on an outright ban to force their hands, these manufacturers are turning to alternate sources for their preservative needs. While this has resulted in a shorter shelf-life for some products, the precaution may prove to be a wise decision in the long run.

Ultimate Decision

Making the choice on whether or not to use products containing parabens can be tricky. Steering clear of them might be more sensible until more studies are released. Still, using your best judgment can help you to find safe options to keep you feeling fresh.

 

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.




12
OCT

This 10-Step Routine Might Be The Secret To Clear, Glowing Skin

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 2:38 pm | By: Madeline Reiss
Young beautiful korea woman holding product in hand with relax emotion at pink background, 20-30 year old.

Korean skincare (K-Beauty) products are populating beauty aisles left and right. Characterized by their eye-catching colors and whimsical packaging, K-Beauty products utilize a modern “nature meets technology” formula and thorough 10-step regimen that’s practiced morning and night. Pick up a face mask and you might see ingredients like snail mucin (yes, that’s snail slime), pig collagen and bee venom—all said to boost cell regeneration, calm inflammation and leave you with a dewy glow.

The philosophy behind the K-Beauty regimen is that an individual’s complexion requires a customized routine that addresses their unique skin issues, such as acne, dry skin, premature aging and so on. While 10-steps sound exhausting, keep in mind several steps are only practiced twice a week and a few products are used more than once.

Ready to become an expert on Korean skincare? Buckle up, because we’re taking you through the complete, 10-part system.

The 10-Step Korean Beauty Routine

Step 1: Remove Makeup & Pre-Cleanse…

The first half of the popular K-Beauty “double cleanse” is removing your makeup with an oil-based makeup remover. Massage all over your face to break up dirt and bacteria, adding a splash of lukewarm water to help spread the product, then rinse!

Step 2: …And Cleanse Again

A crucial step in the K-Beauty regime is proper, thorough cleansing. This helps activate a radiant, acne-free complexion! Using a mild, water-based cleanser, rinse away impurities leftover from the pre-cleansing step with soft, circular motions.

Step 3: Exfoliate

Soft, supple skin means no dead skin cells collecting on the surface, so slough it off and don’t neglect your lips! A big note on this step: you don’t need to scrub your entire face every night. Try this step twice a week, as exfoliated skin allows your skin to effectively absorb the rest of the products.

Step 4: Toner

K-Beauty toners are not your typical, overdrying, alcohol-filled formulas. Their goal is to hydrate and clarify, balancing your skin’s pH levels and prepping the surface for better absorption of other products.

Step 5: Face Mist

Regarded as the most important step of K-Beauty skincare, an essence is a kind of toner-serum hybrid made for aiding skin repair, brightening your complexion and assisting with cell turnover. Apply it to freshly toned skin and pat it in.

Step 6: Serum

Think of a serum as a concentrated essence that directly treats the issues unique to your skin type. Different serums target large pores, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, etc. This is what makes the 10-step routine super customizable to your own skincare needs.

Step 7: Sheet Mask

While essences are the most important step, sheet masks are definitely the most popular and recognizable step of the K-beauty routine. Apply and let the mask sit for 15-20 minutes, once or twice a week for best results. If you’ve been wanting to add a mindfulness practice to your daily routine, this is the perfect time for some meditation!

Step 8: Eye Cream

K-Beauty recognizes that the skin surrounding your eyes is different from the rest of your face—soft delicate and fragile. An eye cream provides this special area with the hydration and protection it needs to stay bright and free of dark circles. Always tap to apply & never rub!

Step 9: Moisturizer

If dewy, glowing skin is the ultimate goal, it’s paramount to find a moisturizer that suits your skin type. K-Beauty moisturizers span the entire realm of face care formulations, from creams to gels to lotions, all working to seal in the hydration that will keep your skin firm and fine-lines in check.

Step 10: SPF Or Sleep Cream

If you’re sealing off your AM routine, the K-Beauty regimen always encourages an SPF of 30+, even if you’re only going outside for a few minutes. It’s the easiest and most effective way to prevent premature aging and skin cancer. If you’re practicing your nighttime routine, smooth on a second layer of moisturizer with a sleep cream. This step locks in moisture and keeps your skin hydrated through the night.

Whew! Though it seems like you’ll need a spreadsheet to keep all these products organized, many people are raving about the 10-step K-Beauty routine. Will you be giving it a try? Let us know your thoughts!




7
SEP

3 DIY Face Masks + Clear Skin Commandments

Filed Under: Aromatherapy,Beauty,Personal Care at 9:30 am | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor
clearskin

If asked, “what’s your largest organ?” it’s doubtful that “skin” would be in most people’s top 10 (or even top 100) guesses – but it’s true. And what you apply TO your skin can greatly affect not only how you look, but how you feel.

Feel the glow by following our clear skin commandments…

1. Drink water

This is not only about downing eight glasses a day but starting your morning right with hot water and lemon. It helps aid digestion and is a better alternative to coffee.

2. Practice self-care

Take time for self-care. Take that yoga class you’ve been meaning to for ages. Planning time for self-care can reduce stress-inducing hormones that wreak havoc on your skin.

3. Supplement

Help cover any nutrient gaps with supplements. A daily multivitamin with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, selenium and chromium all play an essential role in reducing excess sebum, helps build collagen and repairs skin cells.

4. Eat a balanced diet

A well-balanced diet high in antioxidants and omegas will do your skin (and your health) a world of good. Start stocking up on blueberries, oranges, strawberries and sweet potatoes – all great sources of the types of antioxidants that help fight acne and result in radiant skin . Acne has another enemy in the form of Omega-3s. Consuming salmon, nutsand olive oil help reduce inflammation, a root cause of those pesky blemishes.

5. Sleep!

Get plenty of “beauty sleep.” Less sleep lowers circulation, which could leave you looking pale and washed out. Your body’s cellular renewal occurs at night, so the night time really is the right time to apply as many nutrients and hydrating ingredients as it needs.

3 DIY Masks For Better Skin

1. Pore-fect Honey Mask

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon of baking soda

1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil

DIRECTIONS

Combine together all the ingredients in a bowl and massage onto face. Leave on for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water.

 

2. Calming Crunchy Acne Mask

INGREDIENTS

½ tsp turmeric

1 tablespoon yogurt

1 tablespoon oatmeal

1-2 drops lavender essential oil

DIRECTIONS

Carefully mix together all the ingredients (turmeric can stain!). Gently massage onto face and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing.

 

3. Ultimate Acne Mask

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon our fave facial clay – your face will pulse!

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 drop lavender essential oil

1 teaspoon aloe vera gel

2 drops vitamin e oil

DIRECTIONS

Mix together everything except the aloe and vitamin E oil until a paste forms. Apply to skin and leave on for 10 minutes or until dry. Remove using a warm cloth. Follow up by applying the aloe vera and vitamin e oil to prevent overdrying.

 




17
AUG

DIY Citrus Coffee Sugar Scrub

Filed Under: Aromatherapy,Beauty,Personal Care at 12:00 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor
citruscoffeescrubShed those excess cells and exfoliate without the toxic ingredients in conventional, store bought products by making your own scrub. Who doesn’t want silky, smooth skin in the summer…uh, yes, please.

Feeling extra crafty? Make a large batch and put in mason jars for an easy gift idea. Plus, you probably have most of these ingredients in your kitchen already.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup organic sugar

1/2 cup coffee grinds

¼ cup of melted coconut oil

12 drops of lemon essential oil (or juice of one lemon)

6 drops orange essential oil

 

DIRECTIONS

Place coconut oil in a quart sized pot and melt until liquid. Pour into glass bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Stir together until well mixed and place in a quart sized Mason jar. To use, scoop out a small amount and add a little water for a creamier like texture. Give some extra love to areas that need some extra exfoliating like knees, elbows and feet.




10
AUG

Switching To A Natural Beauty Routine? Here’s What You Need To Know

Filed Under: Beauty,Green Living,Personal Care at 3:47 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor
transition

So you buy organic food, shop at the local farmers market and own more reusable bags than there are days in month – but what about your personal care? Did you know that you are exposed to more than 100 chemicals found in cosmetics, soaps, and other personal hygiene products before leaving the house each morning? Sad but true.

But before you swear off showering forever, you should know that there are other safer, greener options out there for you. Read on to get the lowdown on some of our favorite basic beauty supplies.

Let’s start in the shower. For shampoo and conditioner, go with a combo that’s fragrance-free and lacks the synthetic scents that can be derived from crude oil and contain carcinogenic derivatives. A 2001 study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that synthetic fragrances often contained hormone disruptors linked to abnormal cell reproduction. Our solution? A shampoo and conditioner ranked first overall by the Environmental Working Group, so you know it’s that good.

Castille soap isn’t just for cleaning floors. My favorite brand, Dr. Bronners, with 18-in-one uses, goes above and beyond the shower. It contains a combination of organic extra virgin coconut, olive, jojoba and hemp oils, that when combined with pure essential oils creates a refreshing, velvety lather that cleans effectively without being aggressive.

Out of the shower, you’ll want to nourish your skin with a lotion like this that combines emollient-rich olive oil and healing aloe. And it works under makeup too!

Now that you have the basics, keep in mind that this transition won’t happen overnight. Just remember to read labels and look out for the major three no no’s: parabens, phthalates and triclosan. Once you find a product that fits the bill, it may or may not work for you—this is especially true when it comes to deodorant! Everyone’s body chemistry is different so allow yourself at least two weeks for your body to detox and adjust.




3
AUG

The 5 Best Ways To Use Hair Oil

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 12:00 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor
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Crazy hair, don’t care? Well, we do! Say goodbye to those dreaded bad hair days courtesy of non-toxic and rejuvenating oils.

Maybe you’re wondering, how rubbing oil in your hair is going to yield anything other than a greasy mess. The key to getting all the benefits from oil and none of the grease is in the application! Read on to learn how to use hair oil properly.

1. Weekly treatments

You can use oil to give your hair some extra love by masking with oil 1-2 times a week. Simply apply your oil from root to tip and wrap your hair up (preferably with a towel or clip—not an elastic). Let this sit for an hour or two, or even overnight! Just be sure to sleep with a towel on your pillowcase or use one you aren’t worried about getting messy. Masking your hair with oil helps keep it smooth and shiny, prevent additional breakage and promote healthy hair growth.

2. Condition before shampooing?

15 minutes before getting in the shower and shampooing, apply oil to the length and ends of your hair and let sit. During this time you can brush your teeth or accomplish other small tasks. Doing this before a shower helps detangle and condition your hair to protect it from becoming too dried out from washing. This is a great method if you’re not into doing weekly mask treatments.

3. Seal off and prevent split ends

You can also use oil after you wash your hair. Taking a VERY small amount of oil, run your fingers through the length and ends of your hair. Doing this while your hair is wet will allow your hair to better absorb the oil and prevent that greasy look. This method is beneficial to protect the ends of your hair from styling and prevents frizz if your air drying.

4. Tame frizz

As your hair drys or after your finished styling, you can use a very light amount of oil to tame frizz and flyaways and add a shiny finish to your hair. Add a very small amount and rub into your hands so that there’s just a light coating of oil. Run your fingers lightly over the frizzy areas to “smooth” them out and add shine.

5. Protect hair from the sun

Your hair needs extra care in the sunshine too! Add a drop or two of oil to your hair and tie it back if you’re heading to the pool, the beach or just out for a long day in the sunshine. Protecting your hair from the sun will promote less damage and healthier hair overall.

 

What kind of oil should you choose?

Castor Oil is super high in proteins, Vitamin E, Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids and is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. All this goodness makes it great for hair, especially revitalizing and moisturizing the hair shaft. Dip a q-tip in the oil and apply to eyebrows overnight for brows that have been over-plucked.

There are hundreds of uses for coconut oil and hair repair definitely ranks on the list. Essential fatty acids nourish the scalp and remove harmful build up. If you suffer from extremely dry and damaged hair then you need to buy a tub of this go-to remedy and apply nightly.

As someone cursed with very thin and dry hair, I feel jojoba oil works best for me since it’s not super greasy. Funny enough,  jojoba oil is actually not an oil at all, but a wax ester that mimics sebum produced by our bodies. Translation? It moisturizes like nobody’s business. Just add a few drops to your shampoo and lather up the goodness from rich omega fatty acids and docosanol.

Let’s say no to frizz this summer with Argan oil. This healing oil is rich in vitamin E and tocopherol that helps boost cell production and overall hair health, which means less frizz. Just a drop or of this non-greasy oil two will leave your hair feeling soft and silky.

Dandruff may be harmless but, come on, no one likes the scalp snow look. Those little white flakes can be plenty embarrassing. No worries – almond oil‘s got your back. Massage two tablespoons of almond oil into your scalp and wrap in a towel. Leave on overnight and rinse in the morning. Just remember to read the labels. Many conventional almond oils are mostly kerosene-derived paraffins (a fancy word for mineral oil) mixed with a small amount of almond oil.

 




21
JUL

Skin, Hair & Nails Advice From Over 18,000 Dermatologists

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Beauty,Supplements at 9:15 am | By: Guest Blogger
Christie_Brinkley_500x330_Twitter

Want the best advice on skin, hair, and nails? Follow these simple tips from The American Academy of Dermatology, one of the largest organizations of dermatologists (over 18,000 dermatologists) in the world.

Best Tips for Your Hair

  • Match frequency of shampooing to your hair type.
    If your scalp is oily, wash it once a day. For chemically treated hair, wash it less frequently. As you get older, your scalp makes less oil so you may not need to shampoo as often.
  • Concentrate shampoo on the scalp.
    When washing your hair, concentrate on cleaning primarily the scalp, rather than washing the entire length of hair. Washing only your hair can create flyaway hair that is dull and coarse.
  • Use conditioner after every shampoo.
    Using a conditioner can significantly improve the look of damaged or weathered hair by increasing shine, decreasing static electricity, improving strength, and offering some protection from harmful UV rays.
  • Choose a shampoo and conditioner formulated specifically for your hair type.

Best Tips for Your Skin

  • Apply sunscreen when outdoors.
    Use a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30 (or higher), and water resistance.
  • Resist the urge to scrub your skin clean.
    Never, ever, scrub your skin. It irritates your skin and can actually worsen any skin condition, including acne.
  • Wash your face gently.
    Wet your face with lukewarm water, apply a mild cleanser, and use a gentle, circular motion with your fingertips. Rinse and gently pat your face dry with a clean towel.
  • Always wash your face when waking, before bed, and after sweating.

Best Tips for Your Nails

  • Keep nails clean and dry.
  • Cut nails straight across, then “round off.”
    Use sharp nail scissors or clippers, then round the nails slightly at the tips for maximum strength.
  • Keep nails shaped and free of snags by filing with an emery board.
  • Do not remove the cuticle as it can damage your nails.


What to do when all else fails!

Tried everything, and nothing seems to work. You’re not alone. Fortunately, skin, hair, and nail researchers have identified a compound that’s been clinically proven to increase skin elasticity 89%, thicken and strengthen hair by 13%, and strengthen and clarify nails dramatically. The compound “choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid” (ch-OSA®) can be found in a product called BioSil® Hair, Skin, Nails from Natural Factors. BioSil is one of supermodel Christie Brinkley’s secrets to looking youthful, beautiful, and healthy!




24
MAY

Sunscreen vs. Sun Tan Lotion

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
It’s time to buy sun protection and people may be confused between sunscreen and suntan lotion. Are they the same thing? What are the differences between these two products?

Sun protection has become more complicated than it has to be. Marketing strategies have used the words “suntan lotion” for many years, targeting people who would like to get a nice tan without getting sunburn or skin damage. However, a suntan lotion is nothing but a sunscreen with an SPF of less than 15. In other words, it’s a weak sunscreen that theoretically should help you tan more and better than if you are using a stronger sunscreen.

The majority of suntan lotions are just tanning sunscreens with an SPF between 4 and 8 and don’t provide enough sun protection, particularly for people with lighter skin and especially for kids. Since suntan lotion doesn’t provide enough sun protection, kids should only use a sunscreen or a sunblock that provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection instead of a suntan lotion or tanning oil.

Additionally, it gets more complicated. Some sun care products are labeled sunblocks and there are also a few differences between these and the traditional sunscreens.

Sunscreens work by filtering the sun’s rays, whereas sunblocks work as a physical sunscreen, reflecting the sun’s rays. Both sunscreens and sunblocks offer good protection against the sun, though sunblocks may be undesirable cosmetically as most of these are opaque.

Hopefully this quick guide can help you buy the sun protection you need for this summer.