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5 Surprising Places Gluten Might Be Hiding

Filed Under: Beauty,Gluten Free,Supplements at 11:28 am | By: Susan Marque

You might know that gluten is lurking in all kinds of foods, from sauces and condiments, to lunch meats, to alcohol. You may not be surprised it’s in clays like Play-Doh, or routinely tags along with gluten-free grains like oats, but did you know there can be gluten sources in beauty products, supplements and sometimes even your toothpaste?

Gluten is not absorbed through the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic (1). But just a quick peek at one of the online forums for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity shows that many people get relief from their symptoms, such as gastrointestinal issues, skin rashes and brain fog, by eliminating all gluten-containing products, including topical ones (2).

Unfortunately, there is no way other than trial and error to determine a person’s tolerance level for gluten in topical products, says Dr. Amy Burkhart, a board-certified physician and registered dietitian based in Napa, California. “The amount needed to elicit a reaction varies from person to person,” she says. “Most people with celiac disease will react to any exposure over 20 parts per million (less than the size of a crumb), but some will react to even less.”

The range of reactivity for people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity varies greatly, she adds. “It can be equivalent to that of a celiac, or they may be far less sensitive and be able to tolerate occasional exposures.”

5 Unexpected Sources of Gluten

If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s best to read all labels diligently. Here are a few items to watch out for that might contain hidden sources of gluten:


Where is gluten lurking in sunscreen, you ask? Tocopherols, vitamin E, and sometimes even the fragrances are derived from wheat. Thankfully, you can find sun protection that says “gluten-free” right on the label. But while some natural brands do not put any gluten-containing ingredients in their products and do their best to clean off the machinery in the manufacturing process, cross-contamination can happen, as some facilities are shared with products that contain gluten.

Dental Products

Toothpastes, dental floss, and mouthwash mostly do not contain gluten these days, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Problematic ingredients to watch out for include vitamin E (from wheat germ), amino peptide complex, Hordeum vulgare (a fancy term for barley), phytosphingosine extract, Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, or any derivatives of wheat, barley or even oats that might have been cross-contaminated. If you do find you are sensitive to a product, see if it contains any of these ingredients. While you’re at it, you might also want to avoid additives like caramel coloring, which has been linked to increased cancer risk (3), or sodium laurel sulfate, a potential irritant.


If you find your symptoms go away when you’ve switched soaps, does that mean there was gluten in the products you were using? Perhaps indirectly. From commercial laundry detergents to shampoos, many soaps are gluten free. However, gluten-free ingredients, such as Avena sativa (common oats), can easily get wheat particles mixed in with them. (Oats and corn are often processed on the same equipment as wheat.) Other soaps may contain barley, rye, or wheat germ. Just don’t confuse lye with rye. Lye is a metal hydroxide and not related to grains.

Medications and Supplements

Unlike foodstuffs, medications and supplements do not fall under the same scrutiny when it comes to ingredient listings and processing guidelines. While the active compounds in pills, tablets, and liquid caps are often naturally gluten-free, the fillers and binders may contain gluten. Common additives include starches sourced from wheat and gluten-contaminated corn.

Look at the ingredients on a common bottle of Ibuprofen, and you’ll often see corn starch, pregelantinized starch, and pharmaceutical glaze, all which could contain gluten. You might find dextrins or dextrates in other over-the-counter medications, vitamins or supplements, where gluten can also be lurking. Other ingredients to avoid include hydrolyzed vegetable protein and textured plant protein. Fillers and binders that do not contain gluten include lactose, titanium dioxide, gelatin, mannitol, magnesium stearate, and xylitol.

If the label does not explicitly state “certified gluten-free,” it’s best to err on the side of caution and call the manufacturer. Keep in mind that if you switch from a name-brand prescription to a generic drug, the ingredients are not always the same. Assessing the new formulation is important to ensure you avoid getting “glutened.”


We’ve already said that some people are just more sensitive, but makeup can easily be ingested from being on your lips, around your mouth, or on your hands. As mentioned above, vitamin E is often derived from wheat germ, as are ingredients like tocopherol, glusol, and even something called pentacure, which can be found in anti-aging preparations (4). Again, if you’re unsure whether a product you love is gluten-free, you can check the company’s website or contact them to confirm their practices. You should also choose products that are free of added fragrance, because that too can have gluten particles in it.

Luckily, there are more and more compassionate companies that don’t include wheat, gluten or gluten sources in their products. We all want to feel fabulous. Get wise to the red flags, then fill your life with reaction-free items that will help you look and feel your best.


Best Natural Sheet Masks for Every Budget

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Beauty,Personal Care at 11:06 am | By: Aly Semigran

Let’s say sheet masks are a part of your skincare routine, but you want something that not only makes you look and feel great, but that also draws from the ultimate beauty icon: Mother Nature.  

There are plenty of natural sheet masks on the market, but how can you know which ones are the best? (And which ones are the best for your wallet, too?)

When shopping for any kind of sheet mask, LuckyVitamin’s Senior Beauty Manager Nicole Rowinski says to avoid parabens and seek out a product that meets all of your solution-based needs. For instance, there are a variety of masks “designed for hydration, brightening, toning, tightening, anti-aging, moisturizing, and blemish-fighting,” she says.

Rowinski notes that many sheet masks (which should be used for roughly 20 minutes or longer during your regular skincare regimen) feature sought-after and helpful ingredients like vitamin c, aloe and coconut oil.

We consulted with Rowinski about which natural sheet masks have great results and fit every budget.

5 Best Sheet Masks Under $5

  1. Andalou Naturals Instant Lift & Firm Hydro Sheet Mask: Free of sulfates, gluten, and parabens (yay!), this single-use face mask hydrates, lifts, and firms skin, all while helping eliminate those pesky fine lines and dark spots. Not only will you look good, but you’ll also feel good for supporting a company that supports worldwide social responsibility.
  2. Acure Incredibly Clear Facial Sheet Mask: Hey, it’s right there in the name: incredibly clear. This one-time-use, 100 percent vegan mask gives users clearer skin thanks to ingredients like cucumber, white willow, licorice root, and charcoal-infused fiber.
  3. BioRepublic Skincare Soothing Fiber Face Sheet Mask Cucumber Breeze: You’ll be feeling cool as a cucumber when you apply this 100 percent cruelty-free, dermatologist tested, biodegradable mask. That’s because, in addition to soothing cucumber extract, you’ll also have the benefits of plant collagen and vitamin E.
  4. Miss Spa Facial Sheet Mask Brighten: Who needs a day at the spa when you can bring the spa to you? Free of parabens, artificial dyes, and fragrances, this natural, single-use mask works for all skin types and promises results in just 20 minutes.
  5. Pacifica Stress Rehab Coconut & Caffeine Natural Fiber Facial Sheet Mask: In addition to all of its other downsides, stress does some pretty unsavory things to our complexions. But when ingredients like green tea, coconut, and caffeine join forces, stress-induced redness and puffiness won’t be a worry anymore.

5 Best Sheet Masks Under $10

  1. Biomiracle 20 Minute Miracle Facial Sheet Mask (5 Count)This set of easy-to-apply masks helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles with a little help from some of nature’s most miraculous beauty consultants: flower extract, ginseng root extract, and, of course, water.
  2. Earth Therapeutics Soothing Aloe Vera Facial Sheet Mask (3 Count)Aloe vera really does it all, doesn’t it? It helps with sunburns, treats acne, and—in the case of these sheet masks (which are made of 100 percent percent biodegradable plant pulp)–cools, moisturizes, and hydrates skin. Give it up for aloe.
  3. floralpy Floral  Therapy Facial Sheet Sweet Dreams Mask Yarrow LavenderLavender is known for its natural soothing and calming properties when it comes to all kinds of stress, including the kind that shows up in our skin. The essential essential oil is infused in this vegan, 100 percent coconut sheet mask, making it, well, the essential beauty sleep product.
  4. Symphony Beauty It’s All About Vitamin C Facial Sheet Mask (5 Sheets)Vitamin C isn’t just vital to your diet and overall well-being, it’s also a must for your skincare and beauty regimen. Vitamin C works its magic in these cruelty-free face masks, which hydrates dry skin, reduces wrinkles, and revives radiance.
  5. Karuna Clarifying Face Sheet MaskThis pore-cleansing mask has all of the good stuff (hello, 100 percent all-natural fiber cloth and oil-free hydration) and none of the bad stuff (so long, parabens and dyes). This single sheet does all the work of an awesome facial, at just a fraction of the cost.

5 Best Sheet Masks Over $10

  1. Earth Therapeutics Vitamin E Facial Sheet Mask (3 Count)Vitamin E is an antioxidant that naturally replenishes and moisturizes skin, so it makes sense to make it the main ingredient for a skincare product. In addition to vitamin E (which also helps with skin’s elasticity), these replenishing masks are free of parabens, oils, and artificial colors.
  2. Jean Pierre Micellar Facial Sheet Mask (5 Count)Nevermind the oh-so-cute packaging (though we admit, we do love it), because it’s what’s on the inside that counts. These cruelty-free sheet masks are made with vitamin A and vitamin E and help heal every skin type.
  3. JayJun Refine to Shine Facial Sheet Black Mask (10 Count)Arguably the best bang for your buck, this 10-pack of facial sheets will moisturize skin, fight wrinkles, and brighten your complexion. It’s truly the complete package of care when you combine with JayJun’s Real Water Shining Facial Cleansing Foam and Vita Snow Essence.
  4. Dr. Jart+ Clearing Solution Ultra Fine Microfiber Face Sheet Mask (5 Count)These hydrating microfiber sheet masks control blemishes and fix uneven skin tones courtesy of key ingredients glutathione, niacinamide, and bisabolol. Even better, they don’t include all-natural no-nos like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
  5. BioRepublic Skincare No More Years Eternal Radiance Face Sheet MaskThe fountain of youth is elusive, but the face mask of youth…well, that’s within your reach. This single-use, cruelty-free sheet—which is made especially for dry and/or sensitive skin—reverses the aging process with the aid of regenerating nutrients and Swiss Apple stem cell extract.


What Is Small-Batch Beauty?

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 12:02 pm | By: Ysolt Usigan
small-batch beauty

It’s a term you may have heard or seen before when shopping for beauty products, but truthfully, you never knew exactly what it meant. Small-batch beauty is quickly catching on. So what is this beauty trend all about?

What Is Small-Batch Beauty?

The scaled-down beauty movement was started by local artisans who wanted to use ingredients from nature and crafted them by hand to make superior skin and body care products, says Kerri Leslie, CEO of NONIKO, a small-batch beauty brand based in Encinitas, California.

When Leslie became a mom, she became super aware of the ingredients she was putting onto her body and shifted industries to natural skincare. Leslie quickly became inspired and left corporate America behind to become an entrepreneur and join the small-batch beauty movement to make safe products that are still effective.

“I think that as a whole, our society is becoming more aware of what we put onto our skin and skeptical of using ingredients that we can’t pronounce,” Leslie says. “The reality is that we can find powerful ingredients in nature. We don’t need to use synthetic ingredients—and shouldn’t.”

Small-batch beauty is fresh, handcrafted and organic. If it were food, think of it as something you’d buy in a farmer’s market rather than a big-box store. It’s typically made by people rather than machines, and comes with expiration dates like milk and eggs, so you know you’re using products that are at their peak.

Small-batch beauty products are not stored for months in warehouses, so they do not require artificial preservatives and can deliver better nutrients to the skin, explains Elina Fedotova, formulator and CEO of Elina Organics, a holistic clinical skin care company based in Chicago.

Free of synthetic preservatives like parabens and benzyl alcohol (which are used to extend the shelf life of beauty goods), small-batch beauty products are blended, shelved and bought within days.

Fedotova, who is also a cosmetic chemist and aesthetician, has been making products in small batches for over 20 years. She understands the value in fresh and clean ingredients for your skin.

“People are choosing to eat fresh, organic foods and it is a no-brainer that they will also seek clean and healthy skincare products,” Fedotova says. “Your lotion should serve as a healthy meal for your skin.”

Who Is Small-Batch Beauty Good For?

The short answer: everyone! Small-batch beauty is an especially good option for pregnant or nursing women, as well as people with compromised immune systems, who need to avoid introducing toxins into their body through the skin, Fedotova says. “Several scientific studies have proven that we absorb a number of chemicals into the blood by using conventional skincare products,” she explains.

But there are a couple of drawbacks. Quality does mean you’ll be spending a little more, as small-batch beauty products do tend to be more expensive than mainstream brands. “Just like the food we eat, it is worth paying more for high-quality ingredients that we are putting on our bodies on a daily basis,” says Leslie.

Luckily, as the small-batch beauty world grows, there will be more companies making worthwhile beauty products for the masses, which can make them a little cheaper to buy.

Existing small-batch beauty brands are also employing more people—not machines—committed to making safer products for our skin and the environment. How great is it that jobs are being created to support new businesses and your beauty routine?


Is an Anti-Acne Diet Right for You?

Filed Under: Beauty,Diet & Weight Loss,Personal Care at 9:52 am | By: Deidre Grieves

Acne is the most common skin problem in the United States, affecting up to 50 million people annually, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (1). And while the majority of those suffering from acne are between the ages of 12-24, the number of adult women with acne is on the rise (2).

Treatments for acne vary widely and can range from topical solutions and prescription medications to laser resurfacing techniques and surgical intervention. But if you want to fight off acne from the inside, some researchers and dietitians believe that an anti-acne diet could help produce clear, pimple-free skin.

“While diet does not appear to be the culprit for everyone, there is plenty of research available that shows a positive correlation between dairy intake and acne as well as consumption of high-glycemic index foods and the presence of acne,” says Meg Hagar, a registered dietitian and holistic health practitioner working in New York.

Let’s take a closer look at the anti-acne diet, so you can decide whether or not this eating plan is the right option for you.

What Is the Anti-Acne Diet?

“A clear skin diet is about removing troublesome foods but it’s also just as much about adding nourishing foods,” says Hagar.

Most anti-acne diets start with an elimination phase, where participants are instructed to stop eating certain foods. These include high-glycemic foods, dairy products, and foods with added sugar and high saturated fat content.

“Consuming dairy and high-glycemic foods initiates a cascade of events inside the body that eventually lead the sebaceous glands to produce excess oil,” says Hagar. “This then causes clogged pores and eventually contributes to acne.”

While studies have linked a low-glycemic diet to improved acne symptoms (3), acne can have a variety of causes and what works for one person may not work for someone else. “Everyone is different, so there is no clear-skin diet that is right for everyone,” says Hagar. “In fact, a large portion of acne sufferers actually have food sensitivities and intolerances which vary from person to person, and acne is the body’s way of alerting us that something isn’t happy internally.”

Anti-Acne Diet: Foods to Avoid

During the elimination phase, Hagar recommends that patients start by avoiding foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. She also recommends that her clients cut out diary, since some studies link dairy consumption—specifically skim and nonfat varieties—to a greater prevalence of acne (4). “Triggers are different for everyone,” says Hagar. “The biggest triggers I see in practice are dairy, high glycemic foods and excess sugar. All of these foods and ingredients eventually lead to excess oil production in the skin and therefore contribute to acne formation.”

So what exactly should you avoid? Here’s a shortlist of foods to stay away from while on an anti-acne diet:

  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Potato chips
  • White bread
  • Sugary sweets (cookies, baked goods, candy)
  • Milk chocolate
  • Peanuts
  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt)
  • Foods high in saturated and trans fats

Hagar says that it’s important to pay close attention to food labels when participating in the elimination phase of the anti-acne diet. “There are 61 different names for sugar on the ingredient label, so often it’s missed,” she says. “Common other names are rice syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, and barley malt.”

Once potential trigger foods are removed and patients begin to start seeing clearer skin, Hagar recommends the people begin to reintroduce foods back into their diets and monitor how those foods affect the skin. This helps individuals settle on a long-term diet plan that works specifically for their skin.

“This type of diet is not meant to be followed forever. Once a client’s skin is improved, I ask them to start adding in food groups one by one so we can identify exactly what foods are causing breakouts,” she says. “The purpose of this is to avoid unnecessarily restricting foods.”

Foods That Help Acne

In addition to eliminating certain ingredients while on an anti-acne diet, it’s also important to add in healthy, skin-friendly fare, says Hagar. “A good place to start may be following a diet based largely on lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, tons of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds,” she says.

Here are some key, acne-fighting ingredients to include while on a clear-skin diet:

Omega-3 fatty acids. If you want to help your skin, add foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, says Hagar, who recommends items like fish, nuts, and seeds. “Salmon is a healthy source of complete proteins, which provide all necessary amino acids to support the structure of the skin,” she says. “Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in nuts like almonds and walnuts as well as flaxseed.”

Zinc. A surprising ingredient that can help fight acne is zinc, and Hagar suggests a healthy dosing while on a clear-skin diet. “I always recommend foods that are high in zinc to help fight inflammation, such as pumpkin seeds,” she says. “A handful of these seeds can provide up to a quarter of the estimated zinc needs per day.”

Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. While it might go without saying, we’ll say it—eating foods packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are your best friends when on an anti-acne diet. Vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, are used in the process of building new skin cells, says Hagar, and antioxidants help fight off damaging particles that can weaken the skin and contribute to acne.

You’ll find these acne-fighting properties in the following foods:

  • Lean proteins (free-range chicken, wild-caught fish)
  • Green, leafy vegetables (spinach, Swiss chard)
  • Low-glycemic fruits (berries, cherries, grapefruit, peaches)
  • Low-glycemic vegetables (carrots, tomatoes)
  • Low-glycemic starches (quinoa, beans, amaranth)
  • Nuts and seeds (walnuts, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds)

The Anti-Acne Diet: Things to Consider

Although results from a clear-skin diet won’t happen overnight, Hagar says to be patient. She’s had clients experience an improvement in acne in as little as three weeks, but notes that it could take more time to see a difference. “Your skin cells turn over every four to six weeks,” she says. “So whenever you do change your diet, you should try to stick to it for at least one to two months.”

And even if eating an anti-acne diet does improve your skin, Hagar stresses that there are a lot of factors at play that may cause acne to come back. “Sometimes acne is deeper than diet. Stress, sleep, hydration, environment, and genetics all play a role in the formation of acne,” she says. “If diet changes alone don’t work, it’s important to know when working with a professional might be helpful.”


6 Natural Remedies for Acne That Really Work

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Beauty,Personal Care at 12:15 pm | By: Lynne Miller
acne remedies

Let’s face it: Few things can crush your confidence faster than an outbreak of pimples.

Though it may not be very comforting, you and your zits have plenty of company. At some point in most people’s lives, acne makes an unwanted appearance on the face, neck, back, chest or shoulders. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually (1).

What Causes Acne?

Acne is an inflammatory condition that develops when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells (2). The blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria and produce red, painful or raised bumps. Whiteheads or blackheads may also show up.

While acne can strike at any age, it is most common among teenagers. A boost in hormonal activity causes the sebaceous glands to grow and produce more sebum, an oily substance. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and certain birth control pills can also increase sebum, which can cause acne (3) .

“Although a variety of factors can potentiate the inflammatory cascade that leads to those dreadful breakouts (e.g., high stress, hormones, poor diet), at the end of the day, one of the primary drivers for waking up with a big old zit on the middle of your nose goes back to having an imbalance in the body,” says Genevieve Greco, a Wellness Consultant at LuckyVitamin and Certified Holistic Health Coach.

How to Treat Acne

The good news is, you can beat acne. One of the first things you should do is assess your skin-care routine, says Jordana Mattioli, a New York City-based aesthetician. Stop using products that clog pores or irritate your skin, which can trigger acne, she advises. “Stick with lightweight products to hydrate.”

Daily cleansing will wash away most acne-causing bacteria, while exfoliating every other day will remove damaged cells and excess oil before it gets stuck in pores, Mattioli says.

No matter the source of your inflammatory trigger, “taming the flame” is key to calming down skin disruptions like acne, Greco says. While there are a variety of acne products on the market, many of them only tackle the inflammation that is present on the outside of the body. “If you want to hunker down and support your body’s internal inflammatory processes, then you have to focus on what products help tame the ‘fire’ from within,” she recommends.

Adding anti-inflammatory supplements to your diet may help, Mattioli says. What you eat may also affect your skin, so it’s important to cut down on sugar and processed foods, she adds.

6 Natural Remedies for Acne

As you make changes to your skin-care routine, diet and lifestyle, here are six natural remedies for acne to consider, along with product recommendations:

Vitamin A

Sometimes called the “skin vitamin,” due to its ability to support proper skin cell health and regeneration, vitamin A can help reduce blemishes when applied to the skin. It is important to note to be mindful when applying a topical vitamin A product, as it may cause redness in those with sensitive skin.

“Vitamin A in topical products is very effective for treating acne because it keeps oil flow regular and works as a powerful antioxidant,” Mattioli says. “This should be applied in the evenings on clean, exfoliated skin.”

What to Try:

  • LuckyTru Retinol Vitamin A Facial CreamRetinol, a form of vitamin A, is known for its anti-aging properties and its ability to help treat acne. LuckyTru’s facial cream also features soothing calendula, hydrating cucumber and lemon to help brighten your complexion.
  • InstaNatural Retinol Cream MoisturizerRetinol supports your skin’s natural exfoliation process, clearing away dead skin cells that can clog pores. Complete with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, nourishing oils and extracts, InstaNatural’s moisturizer can help smooth lines and wrinkles while reducing discoloration and blemishes.
  • Symphony Beauty Refresh Makeup Cleansing Wipes Grapefruit & RetinolInfused with grapefruit extract and retinol, these soft cleansing wipes from Symphony Beauty sweep away makeup, oil and impurities, leaving your skin clean and refreshed.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has natural antimicrobial properties, Greco says, which may help balance the ratios of beneficial versus acne-causing bacteria when applied topically. Look for lightweight lotions or gels that contain 5 percent tea tree oil, Mattioli suggests.

Avoid applying to sensitive skin, such as the skin under your eyes, as tea tree in large amounts can cause dryness. “Start (by using it) once a day, applying the product to clean skin,” Mattioli says. “After two weeks, you can increase to twice a day, only if needed.”

What to Try:

  • DERMA-E Very Clear Acne Spot TreatmentDERMA-E’s concentrated spot blemish treatment targets specific flare-ups while helping reduce redness and irritation. With the help of willow bark, rosewood, lavender and chamomile, tea tree offers antibacterial and antiseptic properties to clear up your skin and prevent future blemishes.
  • Skin by Ann Webb Tea Tree Breakout BlasterTea tree’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties come to the rescue again to reduce acne and inflamed skin. This serum from Ann Webb also contains witch hazel and vitamin E, refreshing your skin while strengthening its barrier function.
  • Desert Essence Tea Tree Blemish Touch StickThis blemish touch stick from Desert Essence packs nine natural extracts and essential oils to leave skin looking clear and radiant. Tea tree oil’s antiseptic properties help diminish skin imperfections, while rosemary, lavender, thyme, birch, petitgrain, chamomile and calendula soothe and nourish.


Since acne is an inflammatory condition, remedies that fight inflammation can be helpful. When applied topically, probiotics provide a protective shield, fight bugs that trigger inflammation and produce calming “signals” that stop skin cells from sending “attack” messages to the immune system, leading to outbreaks (4).

“A healthy gut is imperative for clear skin,” Mattioli says. “Probiotics in a topical product can be beneficial but we are in the very early phases of knowing which strains are most effective.”

You can also get your daily dose of probiotics in a supplement that contains Lactobacilli and/or Bifidobacterium or in yogurts containing live cultures (5).

“By supplementing with specific strains of bacteria, those of which have been studied to have beneficial effects on skin health, you will not only be able to benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects they have, but may also benefit from their ability to assist in the breakdown of the foods you eat and therefore better absorb skin-supportive nutrients,” Greco explains.

If you want to get the best of both worlds, supplementing with an oral probiotic in addition to a probiotic face cream or serum is your best bet, Greco says.

What to Try:

  • MyChelle Dermaceuticals Clear Skin Pore RefinerThis serum from MyChelle promises to minimize surface shine, refine pores and tighten the skin. It combines the prebiotic Yogurtene with a probiotic to help detoxify your skin and prevent breakouts. Other key ingredients include dermasyr (an anti-inflammatory), plant stem cells and aloe.
  • Life-Flo Probiotic Skin CreamLife-Flo’s hydrating face and body cream features 5 percent Lactobacillus plantarum, which aids in digestion. Suitable for all skin types, it can help you maintain a healthy complexion.
  • Andalou Naturals Brightening Probiotic + C Renewal Cream for FaceFruit stem cell complex, vitamin C and skin-friendly probiotics come together in this face cream from Andalou Naturals to support dermal vitality and target over-exposed surface cells. The result is a lighter, tighter and brighter appearance and glowing complexion.

Oral Probiotics:

  • Multidophilus 12 Powder Twelve-Strain Formula with Prebiotics 20 Billion CFUFor those looking to get their feet wet in the wonderful world of beneficial bacteria, Solaray’s powder not only includes an assortment of skin-supporting bacteria per serving, but also provides you with inulin, a type of prebiotic that acts as a food for the bacteria.
  • Garden of Life Primal DefenseFeaturing a specialized form of probiotic derived from soil, Garden of Life’s Primal Defense capsules are perfect for those who are on the go. Unlike many probiotics, it does not need to be refrigerated.

Omega-3 Supplements

Dietary sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, such as wild-caught salmon, walnuts and chia seeds, are great to incorporate into your daily anti-inflammatory regimen, Greco says, but supplementing can also be beneficial. “A high quality omega-3 supplement can bring your body back into balance, alleviating some of the inflammation associated with acne and other skin disruptions,” she says.

Mattioli swears by fish oil. If you are vegan or pregnant, look for omega-3 supplements that use algae, she suggests.

What to Try:

  • Nordic Naturals Omega 3Nordic Naturals Omega 3 is free of any fillers and boasts a high ratio of EPA/DHA. It is also third-party tested and sustainably sourced.
  • Whole Earth & Sea Algae-3An ideal option for vegans or vegetarians, this brand of plant-based omega-3s sources its DHA and EPA from algae, the original source that fish obtain theirs from.
  • Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver OilNot only an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, cod liver oil also boasts the skin-supporting nutrients vitamin A and vitamin E. Bonus points for its vitamin D content, which helps promote healthy hormone levels.

Green Tea

A potent antioxidant, green tea can be effective at fighting acne. It’s “helpful for calming the skin and great for the redness that comes with most acne,” Mattioli says.

In fact, a lotion of 2 percent green tea extract helped reduce acne in two studies of teenagers and young adults with acne (6).

What to Try:

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera may improve your skin’s appearance. Rich in antioxidants, it offers protective and healing benefits, an anti-redness enzyme to reduce redness and inflammation, and natural antibacterial properties, Mattioli says.

Aloe vera is “a great ingredient to see high up on the ingredient list in a product,” she says. If you decide to use aloe vera on its own, make sure the product does not contain color or added ingredients.

What to Try:

  • Alba Botanica Fast Fix Sheet Mask Anti-Acne PapayaThis serum-soaked fiber mask from Alba Botanica features papaya and salicylic acid to help remove pimples and leave skin soft with a radiant glow. But the star ingredient here is aloe vera leaf juice, which offers anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
  • Andalou Naturals Blemish Vanishing Gel Maximum StrengthThe fruit stem cells, willow bark, salicylic acids and camphor extracts in Andalou Naturals’ clarifying skin-care solution help calm inflammation, combat blemishes and speed recovery. Meanwhile, the polysaccharides from aloe vera help soothe, oxygenate and replenish your skin.
  • MyChelle Dermaceuticals Clear Skin Spot TreatmentJust like MyChelle’s clear skin pore refiner, this targeted spot treatment also contains the prebiotic Yogurtene and a probiotic, dermasyr, plant stem cells and aloe. Together, these ingredients help control oil, banish blemishes and provide ample hydration.

Whatever supplements or beauty products you choose, give your skin-care regimen a chance to work. It may take four to six weeks before you see an improvement in your skin, according to our experts.


4 Best Shampoos for Dry Hair

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 3:27 pm | By: Madeline Reiss

Dry, damaged hair certainly doesn’t inspire confidence. Trying to restore luster and shine to dull, lifeless locks can be a frustrating endeavor, especially with a market flooded with shampoos and hair care products all promising moisture and hydration. It’s easy to get caught in what feels like an endless cycle of trial and error.

Even in the natural hair care world, products can do more harm than good if you aren’t using one formulated with the best ingredients for your hair type. So before you start browsing shampoos for dry hair, it’s a good idea to examine what might be causing your dry hair in the first place.

Common Causes of Dry Hair

While hair texture and oil production vary from person to person, chronically dry hair is not a “type” and usually signifies damage. Your current hair care practices could be exacerbating the issue.

“How often you wash your hair should be based on how much oil your scalp produces,” the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends (1). Oily hair can benefit from daily washing, but if your hair is dry or chemically treated, you might want to skip a day or two between washes.

How you clean your hair is just as important as frequency. “When washing your hair, concentrate on cleaning primarily the scalp, rather than washing the entire length of hair,” the AAD suggests (2). “Washing only your hair can create flyaway hair that is dull and coarse.” In addition, always condition your hair after every shampoo. The AAD advises only using conditioner on the tips of the hair and not on the scalp or length of the hair, since conditioners can make fine hair look limp.

The dermatology group also cites other common practices that damage hair, such as frequent heat styling, over brushing and tugging at the hair, tight hairstyles that pull at the hairline, and towel-drying wet hair.

Your outward appearance is also a reflection of your nutrition. “Diet is a major contributing factor to the condition of your hair, skin and nails, and if you’re on point with your nutrition, natural beauty usually follows,” according to the Mayo Clinic (3).

4 Best Shampoos for Dry Hair

Since the goal of shampoo is to remove dirt and impurities, it can be one of the more drying products in a hair care regimen. Our in-house beauty experts hand-picked the best natural shampoos for dry hair that gently clean without stripping away natural moisture:

1). Acure Mega Moisture Argan Oil & Pumpkin Shampoo

This hydrating shampoo uses ultra-nourishing argan and pumpkin seed oil to leave hair silky and shiny. Pumpkin seed oil is rich in zinc, magnesium and calcium—all key nutrients that promote healthy hair. Argan oil contains antioxidants, linoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acids. When applied externally, it can help boost cell production, resulting in a healthier scalp and hair.

2). Nature’s Gate Shampoo for Thin/Dry Hair

This moisturizing shampoo gently cleanses with a unique blend of jojoba oil, sacred lotus and horsetail extract. Jojoba mimics sebum, the oil produced by our skin naturally, making it a great option for adding hydration to hair. Horsetail contains the mineral silica, which strengthens hair strands, while lotus flower deeply conditions and adds shine.

3). Alba Botanica Hawaiian Hair Wash with Coconut Milk

Made with nourishing coconut milk, an ingredient abundant with natural antiseptic fatty acids, this dry hair shampoo, with the help of papaya fruit, gently removes impurities without over-drying. Coconut milk seals in moisture to help reduce breakage. Bonus: it smells good enough to eat!

4). Desert Essence Coconut Shampoo

Infused with organic coconut oil, this nourishing shampoo provides intense moisture, smooths frizz and restore hair’s natural luster. With continued use, this shampoo can help hair look revived, strong and healthy.

Other Ways to Prevent Dry Hair

In addition to choosing the right shampoo for your hair, finding a high-quality, natural hair mask could help improve the texture of dry, damaged hair over time. Here are two our beauty experts highly recommend:

Giovanni 2Chic Avocado & Olive Oil Mask

This deep moisturizing hair mask promises to deliver salon-quality results. It uses nourishing avocado oil and olive oil to replenish dull, lifeless, brittle hair. It also helps repair extreme damage and prevent splits and breaks. After shampooing, massage into hair from root to tip and wait 3-10 minutes before washing out.

St. Tropica Organic Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask

Made with virgin coconut oil and biotin, this hot oil hair mask can help fortify hair and reduce damage to promote thick, lustrous locks. It’s infused with horsetail, amla, hibiscus and green tea—superfoods renowned for their hair-health-boosting properties. To use, warm up the mask for 20 seconds, then apply all over your hair and scalp.

Pro Hair Care Tips

  • Use a light amount of hair oil serum on the length of your hair before blow-drying or any other heat-related hair styling method. This helps seal the hair cuticle and provides an extra layer of moisture so the heat styling doesn’t damage the ends.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner and let hair air dry in the summer months to lock-in some extra moisture.
  • Avoid abrasive ingredients like sulfates, alcohols and artificial fragrances in your products.
  • Beauty starts from within! Getting proper nutrition is key to looking great naturally.


6 Best Shampoos for Hair Loss

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care,Vitamins and Minerals at 11:23 am | By: Ysolt Usigan

It can be unsettling to see all the hair at the bottom of the drain after a shower, collected in your hairbrush or on the floor after blow-drying. Thankfully, from over-the-counter products to natural remedies, there are hair loss solutions that can help your thinning woes. But before you make lifestyle changes, head to the store or make an online purchase, let’s take a closer look at the problem. We sought out expert advice to determine your next steps before you lather with a new hair loss shampoo or add a new vitamin to your daily routine.

Why Am I Losing My Hair?

For men, the most common form of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness). “Its causes are multifactorial,” says Dr. Bryan Tan, an osteopathic physician whose research includes but is not limited to immunology and dermatology. “Hormonally, it is caused by DHT or dihydrotestosterone, a form of testosterone which only affects the vertex and the front of the scalp. It is also caused by poor blood circulation to the scalp.” Medical treatments for androgenetic alopecia involve finasteride (which blocks the production of DHT) and topical minoxidil (which dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the scalp).

For women, the most common form of hair loss is female pattern hair loss. Also multifactorial, hormones are a part of the problem typically with women who are post-menopausal. Other causes include stress, thyroid issues, fungal infections on the scalp and poor nutrition and diet, Dr. Tan says.

In addition to the above reasons, tight hairstyles—on women or men—can also cause hair loss, says Dr. Tan. “Formally known as traction alopecia, constant tension on the hair follicle, whether from a tight bun, ponytail, braid, weave or cornrow, can lead to premature balding. Any style that is always pulling on the roots will eventually cause problems.”

Hair Loss Prevention 101

When you first realize you’re suffering from hair loss or thinning, you may be inclined to go into immediate action to fix the problem. Stop for a moment and find out the type of hair loss you’re experiencing first. Visit a hair loss specialist, advises Dr. Tan, and get a conclusive diagnosis to lead you to the proper remedies, like hair growth supplements, topical minoxidil and vitamins. Your doctor will recommend the proper course of action, which may also include prescription medications, tailored to your specific needs. “These, along with diet and lifestyle changes, are often enough to reverse hair loss,” Dr. Tan points out.

Healthy Hair Tips

Other small changes can make a big difference in terms of strengthening your hair. For starters, you can shampoo less to maximize hair growth (2-4 times per week is ideal). And when you do wash your hair, don’t use shampoo containing sodium lauryl sulfate, a lathering agent that’s been known to dry skin by dissolving vital skin oils. “[Shampoo] ingredients that have been clinically proven [to help hair grow] include ketoconazole alongside minoxidil,” explains Dr. Tan. “A shampoo containing caffeine may help as well, as it helps stop DHT from causing hair loss.”

Whenever you do wash your hair, massage your scalp away from the shower water and definitely condition it every time. “Using a conditioner with naturally moisturizing [elements] such as argan oil, avocado oil or jojoba oil after you shampoo can help restore oils in your hair,” says Dr. Tan. Doing so will restore the natural balance of oils and moisture. It also smoothes down the cuticle of each hair so that the cortex is protected and the hair shaft is strengthened. Not conditioning enough can leave your hair dry, brittle and irritated, which can cause more breakage than typical.

6 Best Shampoos for Hair Loss

Once you’ve consulted an expert about your hair loss, you’re ready for the next step: shopping for a good shampoo. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites here:

Art Naturals Hair Growth Treatment Argan Oil Shampoo

Art Naturals Hair Growth Treatment Argan Oil Shampoo blends DHT blockers with proteins, botanical oils and extracts to prevent hair damage and further hair loss. It also stimulates the scalp and hair follicles for renewed hair growth. Simply apply a small amount to wet hair and wash gently while massaging the scalp. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water and dry as usual.

Avalon Organics Thickening Shampoo

Avalon Organics Thickening Shampoo restores thinning hair with biotin. A top seller at, it contains a carefully balanced blend of the “beauty vitamin,” in addition to saw palmetto, quinoa protein and vitamin E, which are all great for stimulating the scalp to encourage hair growth.

Organix Thick & Full Biotin and Collagen Shampoo

It’s right in the name. Organix Thick & Full Biotin and Collagen Shampoo contains properties that help give your hair volume and thickness. Its ProVitamin B7 biotin infuses nutrients into every strand of your hair. The collagen adds dimension. Hydrolyzed wheat proteins in this shampoo also work to strengthen your hair to prevent breakage and to keep it looking healthy. Apply it generously to wet hair, massage and lather from top to ends, and rinse thoroughly. Don’t forget to condition!

Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Age Defying Shampoo

Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Age Defying Shampoo promises fuller looking hair with amplified body, volume and shine after use. It makes those attributes possible with key ingredients like apple stem cells and grape stem cells. So science-y you can’t understand? The former is rich in phytonutrients, proteins and long-living cells. The latter is extremely high in anthocyanin content, which is almost like a “superfood” for hair!

Nature’s Gate Vegan Shampoo Enriching Biotin + Bamboo

As this shampoo gently cleanses your hair with a unique blend of biotin, bamboo and pro-vitamin B5, damaged hair will “eat” the nutrients in the process. Nature’s Gate Vegan Shampoo Enriching Biotin + Bamboo is also vegan, non-GMO, paraben-free, gluten-free, soy-free and cruelty-free—in case you care about those things. There’s nothing artificial about this hair loss fighter.

Giovanni 2Chic Avocado & Olive Oil Ultra-Moist Shampoo

As one of the more pricier options on our list, the Giovanni 2Chic Avocado & Olive Oil Ultra-Moist Shampoo was deemed a favorite because it conquers dry, damaged hair with a botanical blend of buttery avocado and golden olive oil, as well as vitamins and omega fatty acids. It is also lauryl- and laureth sulfate-free. The result will be a silky and shiny mane.

How to Style Thinning Hair

After you shampoo and condition, how should you style your hair if it’s thinning? Gregg Giannillo, celebrity stylist to Vanessa Williams and Lara Spencer (just to name a couple) and owner of Giannillo Salon, weighs in.

He says women who are suffering from hair loss should wear a mid-length bob with light layering for some volume.

For men (depending on the amount of hair you’re working with, that is), a choppy texture on top will diffuse the light and cover more of your scalp, Giannillo says.

Vitamins for Hair Health

Since a poor diet robust with highly-processed and sugary foods can sometimes be to blame for hair loss, it’s a good idea to start eliminating those culprits now. A more natural diet is beneficial to your mane. Dr. Tan says to keep these vitamins in mind for optimal hair health:

  • Vitamin A: If you’re experiencing hair loss, you could have a vitamin A deficiency. However, vitamin A supplements can easily lead to excess vitamin A, which can make hair fall out. Your best bet is supplementing with beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the body.
  • Biotin: This vitamin can improve the protein structure of your hair. Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is also a good supplement for stronger nails and healthy skin.
  • Vitamin C: A strong antioxidant, vitamin C helps in both the creation and maintenance of collagen, skin’s primary component.
  • Folic Acid: Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid improves blood circulation. In turn, that helps your hair follicles.
  • Niacin: Another B vitamin, B3 to be exact, also aids in blood flow improvement to the scalp. In turn, this nourishes the hair follicles.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A dry, itchy scalp may mean you require additional omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep your hair and skin healthy, along with boosting production of sebum in your hair follicles to ease dryness and subsequent itching. Flaxseed and fish oil supplements are good sources of these essential fatty acids.
  • Selenium and Zinc: Both of these trace minerals help in cellular growth and repair, which keeps the scalp healthy.

Lindsey Bristol, a registered dietician and nutritionist for Swanson Health, echoes the “eat healthy” sentiment. She recommends biotin-rich foods to help increase hair growth. “Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin and a member of the B-complex family of vitamins that is often called the ‘beauty vitamin,’” she says. “Researchers believe it may do so by improving your body’s keratin structures. Keratin forms the framework of epithelial cells, which line the surfaces and cavities of the body.”

Bristol suggests eating biotin food sources like beef liver, egg, salmon, sunflower seeds, almonds, tuna, spinach and broccoli.


Acne Scar Removal: How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Beauty,Personal Care at 11:57 am | By: Deidre Grieves

Acne is a skin problem often associated with teenage hormones and going through puberty. But over 80 percent of people ages 11 to 30 years old suffer from acne, and many of those people experience some form of acne scarring, according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (1).

While popping the occasional zit is uncomfortable, painful and, well, gross, people with acne scarring also experience stigma and bias when it comes to their looks. Results from an online survey, which was published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy, revealed that people with acne scars were less likely to be considered attractive, happy and confident compared to those with clear skin (2).

The effectiveness of acne scar removal and acne scar treatment varies on a case-by-case basis, and not all treatments work the same way. Before embarking on a quest to get rid of acne scars, it’s important to understand what causes scarring and work closely with a dermatologist to identify the treatment and removal methods that are best suited for you and your skin.

What Causes Acne Scarring?

Acne scars usually result from inflammatory breakout, according to Dr. Kenneth Mark, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist. “Acne scars are caused typically by inflammatory acne lesions, which are usually cystic but can also be big red bumps or pustuled like inflammatory whiteheads,” he says. “The skin gets inflamed from the lesion and then when the lesion resolves, it typically leaves some form of an indented scar.”

When breakouts penetrate deep into the skin, tissue damage below the skin’s surface may occur. As the skin tries to heal itself and repair the damage, it produces collagen. An acne scar forms when the body produces too little or too much collagen during the repair process.

Touching, picking and popping zits can exacerbate acne scars, says Dr. Tess Mauricio, CEO of M Beauty Clinic in Beverly Hills and San Diego, because these activities cause inflammation.

“The likelihood that your pimples will cause acne scars depends on your genetics, your skin type, the severity of your acne and the inflammation that occurs while you have acne,” she adds.

Types of Acne Scars

Atrophic acne scars—characterized by pits and depressions in the skin—make up the majority of acne scars. These scars form when the skin does not produce enough collagen during the healing process.

There are three types of atrophic acne scars:

  • Ice pick
  • Boxcar
  • Rolling

Icepick scars make up 60-70 percent of atrophic acne scars and are characterized by deep, narrow depressions in the skin. Because they are the deepest type of acne scar, ice pick scars are also the most difficult to treat.

Boxcar scars account for 20-30 percent of atrophic acne scars. They are shallower and wider than ice pick scars and usually have a round or oval shape. Effectiveness of treatment for boxcar acne scars will depend on how deep or shallow they are. Shallow boxcar scars respond better to skin resurfacing treatments than deep boxcar scars.

Rolling scars are the widest and smoothest type of acne scars and they make up approximately 15-25 percent of atrophic acne scars. These shallow acne scars are characterized by their wavy look and may seem to disappear if the skin is stretched.

Acne scars that are raised instead of depressed are called keloid, or hypertrophic, scars. These thick, bumpy scars result from the skin producing too much collagen during the healing process. Keloid scars are often discolored and are most often found on the chest and back area.

It’s important to keep in mind that acne scars are different than acne marks. “Acne marks are generally flatter and appear red or inflamed,” says Dr. Paul S. Nassif, a renowned facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Beverly Hills. “Marks are a result of hyperpigmentation from healed acne.”

Nassif explains that acne marks typically fade on their own, and the skin usually takes three to six months to heal itself. “Scars are more permanent, and take much longer to improve in appearance,” he says.

How to Fade Acne Scars and Marks

Acne scars are considered a medical problem, and Mauricio explains that it’s best to work with a professional dermatologist for treatment. Do-it-yourself topical solutions, she says, can actually exacerbate acne inflammation and cause more scarring.

If you’re dealing with active breakouts at home, Mauricio says that—if used regularly—products with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin can effectively help acne and prevent scarring. Spot treatments are also an option for addressing active acne. “Spot treating with benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid and salicylic acid decreases inflammation, dries out pimples and can accelerate resolution,” says Mauricio. But she warns that using spot treatments too often can overdry the skin and cause irritation.

Mark also recommends salicylic acid to his patients because it exfoliates and can help fade acne marks. “It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on oil glands,” he says. “This, therefore, treats—and, at the same time, prevents—new acne lesions.”

But if you suffer from acne scarring, professional dermatologic intervention is often necessary. Common professional treatments for acne scars include:

Dermabrasion: This is an intense procedure that uses a rotating tool to remove the outer layer of skin. It can be effective in treating acne scars because it stimulates new skin growth and softens scar edges. But dermabrasion requires anesthesia, and recovery from dermabrasion is a long, often painful, process. Recovery times may last up to one month. Dermabrasion is also not recommended for people with dark skin tones, because it can cause permanent discoloration. Because of the intensity of the treatment and the downtime involved, many dermatologists recommend microdermabrasion or laser treatments over traditional dermabrasion procedures.

Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a procedure that abrades the skin with aluminum oxide crystals and removes the very top layer of skin through a vacuum tube. This procedure is much milder than traditional dermabrasion techniques and has proven effective at minimizing and fading acne scars. Multiple microdermabrasion sessions are often recommended. Patients who undergo microdermabrasion have virtually no downtime and can proceed with their usual activities following treatment—though sun protection is very important after microdermabrasion sessions.

Laser treatments: There are several different types of laser treatments available to help minimize and fade acne scars. But the majority of lasers for acne scar treatment fall into two categories: fractional ablative and fractional non-ablative. Both types of lasers help resurface the skin and stimulate collagen production. Fractional ablative lasers are stronger and tend to have better results than fractional non-ablative lasers. “For severe cases,” says Mark, “the most dramatic improvement can be achieved by an ablative laser, which heats up the skin to the point of causing peeling.” Patients treated with ablative lasers may experience redness and swelling around the treatment area and have more downtime following treatments.

Fractional non-ablative lasers are useful in treating mild and moderate acne scars, but the results from treatment are generally more gradual in nature. Patients often need at least three to five treatments with non-ablative lasers to see impactful results, but recovery time is faster compared to ablative laser treatments.

Subcision: Subcutaneous incisionless surgery, known as subcision, is a minor surgical procedure used to treat acne scars. During subcision, a needle is inserted into a puncture in the skin surface and moved back and forth in a fan-like motion. The procedure breaks up the fibrotic strands that attach the scar to the skin’s subcutaneous tissue. Breaking up the fibrotic strands allows dermatologists to “lift” the scar. Subcision also “stimulates the body to produce collagen at the site,” says Mark, who adds that when this method works, the correction is permanent. Patients may experience some swelling and bruising following this procedure and may be given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications and asked to ice the area following treatment.

Skin needling: Microneedling is a procedure where small, fine needles puncture acne-scarred skin. It is often done with a small, handheld device. Microneedling helps to stimulate collagen production and thicken the epidermis and dermis. These treatments require minimal recovery time and often show moderate but noticeable improvements in the overall appearance of acne scars.

Treating and fading acne scars and marks is an individualized process that may require a combination of treatment methods based on your skin and the types of scars you have. It’s important to work closely with a board-certified dermatologist to determine a treatment plan that fits your needs.

Preventing Acne Scars

Since the effective treatment of acne scars requires dermatologic intervention, preventing acne scars before they form is the most effective way to maintain smooth, clear skin.

Look for skincare products with glycolic acid, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Glycolic and salicylic acid exfoliate the skin and help unclog pores, while benzoyl peroxide is used to kill bacteria. Tretinoin is a topical medication that may be prescribed by your doctor to help manage acne. It stimulates skin growth, lightens pigmentation and reduces oiliness. If using tretinoin for acne, follow your doctor’s instructions and avoid using acid treatments and benzoyl peroxide with it unless instructed by your doctor to do so.

Avoid touching, popping or picking active breakouts. “This will only cause more inflammation and the more inflammation there is, the more likely you will be left with scars,” says Mauricio.

If you do have a particularly inflamed acne breakout, says Nassif, it’s important to act fast. Gently remove makeup and apply a sanitized cold compress or soaked cotton pad. “A spot treatment with honey can also help reduce inflammation and redness,” he adds.

For breakouts that do not respond to at-home treatments, a visit to the dermatologist for an anti-inflammatory injection with saline solution may be enough to effectively treat the acne and prevent scarring, says Mark.

Besides developing a solid skincare regimen, Mauricio explains that good skin often starts with a high-quality diet. “Eating healthy and avoiding lots of inflammatory foods high in sugar can help acne,” she says. “Taking probiotics can also help, as the skin’s microbiome is important to the pathogenesis of acne and acne treatments.”

Mauricio also recommends stress reduction as a key component in preventing breakouts and decreasing inflammation. “Finding ways to get better sleep and reduce stress with exercise will calm the immune system and the skin,” she says.


5 Easy Summer Hairstyles You Need to Try

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 2:00 pm | By: Shelby MacIlvain
beach hair waves

Looking for quick, summer hairstyles that are easy enough to do yourself? Look no further!

Most of these styles are great for any length and hair type. I’ll touch on some pretty casual looks (cause helllllllo, it’s summer!) and some that you can wear out on date night.

Each of these styles involves little to no product, heat and time. Sounds impossible, right? Wrong! I am here to share some tips and tricks so you look effortlessly cool (pun intended!) this summer. Let’s get started!

5 Easy Summer Hairstyles

#1 Surfer Girl Waves

The first style I’m going to share with you—and I’m guilty of rocking this look almost on a daily basis—is the “bedhead chic,” beachy, surfer girl waves. There are two different ways to create this super easy look. The first being, the night before, spray a texturizing or salt spray throughout towel dried, damp hair. Then, either do one giant braid down the back or section your hair down the middle and do two braids on either side of your head. Make sure your braids aren’t super tight. And that’s it! Sleep on it and wake up the next day with loose, crimpy waves.

Another way, if you’re short on time, follows the same method of sectioning your hair into braids (you can even do twists if you’re not braid savvy) but then you gently and quickly run a flat iron over them. The heat from the flat iron locks in the style so when you take the braids out, you get effortless waves. I also go in with some dry shampoo at my roots for the textured, slept-in look. This style works for almost all hair lengths and types.

#2 Top Knot

Another quick summer go-to hairstyle for me is the top knot. It’s super simple and can be perfect for date night, sit-on-the-couch night, errands or work. Simply gather your hair into a high ponytail, wherever you’d like your knot to sit (I place mine pretty much smack on the top, middle of my head), then twist the hair and wrap into a large bun or knot. Secure with a hair tie and you’re done! You can always pull out some hair on the sides for a more “undone” look or keep it sleek for a more dressed up look. This style is ideal for someone with medium to long hair and any hair type.

#3 Twisted Half-Up

This next style is quick and fun and perfect for day or night, work or going out. It’s the twisted half-up. Spray some dry shampoo throughout your hair if you want a more texturized, lived-in feel, twist strands from either side of your head and pin or tie back. Its’ easy and super stylish. This look is great for almost any hair length and hair type. If you’re pinning your twists back, you can jazz it up by attaching fun hair clips instead of boring old bobby pins.

#4 Low, Wavy Ponytail

A go-to look that I use quite often when I don’t really want to fix my hair but still want to look cute is a low, wavy ponytail. All you have to do is gather your hair into a ponytail at the nape of your neck and secure with a hair tie. Spray the ponytail with a light to medium hold hair spray and taking small sections, wrap the hair around a curling wand, curling iron or flat iron. Once done curling, lightly drag your fingers through the curls, separating them until you achieve the waves you want. You can spray with more hairspray to keep in place and voila! This works on medium length to longer hair and any hair type.

#5 All Slicked Back

The last easy, summery hair look I’m going to share with you that I’ve been seeing a lot recently is the slicked back, almost wet-looking hair trend. Think “I-just-left-the-gym” hair, but with a lot less effort. All you really need is some strong-hold hair gel (fast-drying and humidity-resistant would be your best bet here, with some shine) and a brush for this look. Brush your hair straight back, tuck it behind your ears, and apply that gel throughout until you get the slicked back look you’re going for. This works for all hair lengths and most hair types.

Summer Hair Accessories

Lastly, I want to share some cute trends to follow if you want to dress up boring locks easily. I like to incorporate glitter hair parts, scrunchies (making a comeback!) and fun hair clips into my hair looks (especially during the summer). Remember, it’s all about having fun! These looks are meant to make you look and feel great, while taking the least amount of your time.


5 Essential Oils for Hair Loss

Filed Under: Aromatherapy,Beauty,Personal Care at 11:42 am | By: Suki Eleuterio
essential oil hair loss

Losing your hair can be an emotional, stressful and embarrassing experience. I know, because it happened to me.

One day, while combing my hair, I found a bald spot near the back of my head. The pure shock of feeling my bare scalp, with no hair at all, was terrifying. To make matters worse, my wedding was only a few months away. I needed to find the root of the problem…fast.

My doctor called this sporadic hair loss “alopecia areata.” An autoimmune disease in which your body attacks the hair follicles, alopecia areata is often triggered by stress and can cause hair to fall out suddenly.

Although my hair started to slowly grow back as my stress subsided, the experience triggered a desire in me to learn more about the common causes of hair loss, as well as natural ways to treat it.

What Causes Hair Loss?

There are many reasons for losing your hair, the most common one being genetics (that’s right, blame your grandparents). A recent study found that male pattern baldness can be attributed to nearly 280 different genes (1). Aging is another factor, since your hair follicles become more brittle with age. This is why it is important to take good care of your hair and maintain a healthy scalp.

Illnesses like anemia, thyroid conditions and cancer can also trigger hair loss, and aggressive treatments like chemotherapy can cause hair to suddenly and drastically fall out. Autoimmune disorders (as I discovered with alopecia areata) can also lead to sudden hair loss.

Men are not the only ones who suffer from hair loss. Women are often susceptible to hair loss when navigating hormonal changes including pregnancy, postpartum and menopause.

In addition, vitamin or protein deficiencies can cause hair loss, which is why it’s important to take your vitamins daily, particularly a good multivitamin. And finally, stress can cause hair loss, particularly prolonged or chronic stress.

Benefits of Essential Oils for Hair Loss

On my quest to find some natural treatments for hair loss, I was surprised to find something I already have in my closet: my favorite lavender essential oil.

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils derived from plant compounds. The oils are extracted from the plants by a process of distilling. Used in cultures since ancient times as remedies, essential oils have been known to offer natural healing and antiseptic properties.

Essential oils, along with scalp massage, are a great way to maintain a healthy scalp. Nowadays, we are always focused on the best shampoo or conditioner for our hair, but we often forget about taking care of our scalps.

“Healthy hair and a healthy scalp go hand in hand,” says Susie Bennett, a longtime hair care professional and managing market builder at Monat Global. “The proper blend of essential oils can mimic our natural sebum, actually clearing away build up from products, environmental pollutants and dried up natural sebum to reduce hair thinning and encourage healthy new growth.”

Long term use of harsh chemicals in shampoo can lead to dryness, which causes the hair to become frizzy and brittle. The more we itch and scratch our scalps, the more we agitate the already brittle hair, causing it to break. Essential oils can be excellent tools for calming and soothing the scalp and promoting new hair growth.

Studies have shown that certain blends of essential oils have the potential to improve hair growth. In one study, participants in the active group massaged essential oils (thyme, rosemary, lavender and cedarwood) in a mixture of carrier oils (jojoba and grapeseed) into their scalp daily (2). The researchers found that 44 percent of the participants using the essential oils mixture showed improvement.

5 Essential Oils for Hair Loss

Let’s take a closer look at five essential oils for hair loss, and how you can incorporate them into your routine:


Known for its sweet, floral smell, lavender is often used in lotions, perfumes and candles. But did you know that lavender is also great for your hair? Lavender essential oils can moisturize and soften your hair and even help stimulate scalp circulation. In a 2016 animal study, researchers found lavender oil to have hair growth-promoting effects (3).

The calming scent has been known to reduce stress, which promotes well-being. One of nature’s antiseptics, lavender can also reduce itchiness and irritation on your scalp, promoting a healthier scalp.

How to use: Blend lavender in a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and massage into your scalp before bed. Wash in the morning and repeat as needed.


Rosemary essential oil is rich in antioxidants and has been known to strengthen circulation. Often used in cooking, rosemary can also be used for your hair and scalp health.

This strong-smelling herb can be used to reduce dandruff, increase hair thickness and soften and condition your hair. Rosemary can also be used to improve circulation in the scalp, which helps maintain its overall health. In fact, a 2015 trial suggested that rosemary oil may help promote hair growth and be effective in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (4).

How to use: Blend rosemary oil in a carrier oil (try jojoba) and massage onto the scalp for 30 to 40 minutes. Then wash your hair as usual.


With a soothing smell and calming effects on the mind, cedarwood essential oils have been used in aromatherapy, natural aftershave and for oil control on your face. Ancient civilizations have used cedarwood oil for its many therapeutic and astringent properties. For hair loss, cedarwood can be used to balance the oil-producing glands on the scalp as well as to treat dandruff and itchy scalp.

How to use: Mix a few drops of cedarwood oil into your shampoo, wash and dry as usual to prevent dandruff buildup.


Cooling peppermint oil is great for rejuvenating and revitalizing. For hair loss, peppermint can be used to stimulate blood flow and increase hair follicle growth. A 2014 animal study found peppermint to have positive effects on hair growth, including a significant increase in hair thickness, number of hair follicles and follicle depth (5).

This oil has antimicrobial characteristics, which are helpful for clearing and cleansing the scalp. When using peppermint oil, it’s important to do a spot test, because it may cause skin irritation for some people.

How to use: Mix a few drops of peppermint in a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply to the scalp. Leave on for 15 minutes and then wash as normal. You can also add 4-5 drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo or conditioner.

Clary Sage

The name might sound strange but clary sage is a powerful essential oil that has been used in treatments for depression, childbirth, digestive issues, and even as an anticonvulsant. Clary sage has also been shown to stimulate blood circulation, which is why it is used in promoting hair growth. It can also help fight dandruff and naturally conditions your hair.

How to use: Mix clary sage in a carrier oil like jojoba and massage onto the scalp. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let it sit for one to two hours. Wash your hair with water or a natural shampoo and then leave to air dry.


7 Surprising Uses for Coconut Oil

Filed Under: Beauty,Nutrition,Personal Care,Recipes at 2:44 pm | By: admin

From a star ingredient in DIY beauty treatments to a nutritious substitute for conventional cooking oils, coconut oil has more uses than we can count. Here are seven surprising uses for coconut oil you may not know about:

1. Coconut Oil Coffee Creamer

Instead of using dairy creamer, try using coconut oil. It’s a natural sweetener, and it could be good for heart health. So try a cup of Coco-Joe!


1 cup of hot coffee

1-2 teaspoons organic LuckyEats coconut oil

Natural sweetener (optional)


Add coconut oil to your coffee and stir to blend. Add natural sweetener to taste. Sip and enjoy!

2. Coconut Oil Super Smoothie

Add coconut oil to your favorite smoothie for added flavor.


1.5 cups ice

1 medium banana

1 tablespoon Greek nonfat yogurt

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 scoops protein powder

1 piece peeled fresh ginger

2 teaspoons black elderberry syrup

1 tablespoon organic LuckyEats coconut oil


Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth. Sip and enjoy!

3. Coconut Shampoo

You can use coconut oil to make a DIY ultra-nourishing coconut shampoo.


1 teaspoon organic LuckyEats coconut oil, melted

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

2/3 cup liquid castile soap

Few drops of your favorite LuckyAromas essential oil

Empty bottle


  • Heat coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish for 30 seconds.
  • Pour unsweetened coconut milk and castile soap into an empty bottle.
  • Add the liquid coconut oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
  • Shake vigorously to mix.
  • Shower and see the results for yourself!

4. Swap Out Unhealthy Oil with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a trans-fat-free and tasty substitute for conventional cooking oils, butter or shortening in recipes. Simply replace at a 1:1 ratio. For flaky baked products, use coconut oil at room temperature. To replace vegetable oil and butter, melt coconut oil and use it in its liquid state. Try using it in your favorite brownie mix!


1 package of brownie mix

3 eggs

1/2 cup LuckyEats coconut oil, melted


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Add brownie mix, eggs and coconut oil in a large bowl.
  • Stir until well blended.
  • Pour batter into baking pan and spread with a spatula.
  • Bake according to brownie mix directions.
  • Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

5. Coconut Oil Deodorant

Whip up an effective natural deodorant using coconut oil!


2 tablespoons shea butter

3 tablespoons beeswax

1/3 cup arrowroot powder

2 tablespoons baking soda

1/3 cup organic LuckyEats coconut oil, melted

10-15 drops LuckyAromas essential oils

2 empty deodorant containers


  • Melt shea butter and beeswax in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir continuously until melted.
  • Once completely melted, remove off heat and whisk in arrowroot powder and baking soda.
  • Add coconut oil and essential oils. Mix thoroughly, but quickly, as mixture will start to thicken.
  • Pour into two empty deodorant containers and let your homemade deodorant sit until completely set. Place on lid.
  • Use as you would any other deodorant!

6. DIY Coconut Sugar Face Scrub

Get super-smooth skin with this all-natural DIY coconut sugar scrub.


1 cup of organic sugar

¼ cup organic LuckyEats coconut oil

6-12 drops of LuckyAromas lavender essential oil

8-ounce mason jar


  • Add the sugar to a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add the melted coconut oil to the sugar and mix with a spoon until you arrive at a nice, fluffy consistency.
  • Add a few drops of lavender essential oil.
  • Transfer the scrub to the jar.

7. Coconut Oil Hand Soap

Make a super-creamy coconut oil hand soap that’s great for healing chapped hands.


1 natural fragrance-free soap bar

Cheese grater

Large pot

10 cups water

2 tablespoons organic LuckyEats coconut oil

20-25 drops of your favorite LuckyAromas essential oil

Liquid soap dispenser

Large mason jar for refills


  • Grate the entire bar of soap with your cheese grater and put it in a pot. Add water and coonut oil over the grated soap.
  • 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.
  • Add between 20 to 25 drops of your favorite essential oil into the mixture.
  • Let it sit and cool. Stir every hour. After five hours, the soap should be ready!
  • Pour the soap into the dispenser and you can start using it right away.


Bright Eye Makeup Tutorial

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 2:14 pm | By: Shelby MacIlvain

A lot of people tend to shy away from the more brightly colored eyeshadows, but this type of look can work for school, the office, day or night! I’m going to show you how with this easy bright eye makeup tutorial.

Right now, I’ve been seeing a lot of bright yellow, green and red eye looks with the occasional pastel purple thrown in there. Colorful eyeshadow is a fun way to jazz up your look and can take your makeup from dull to effortlessly cool in a matter of minutes.

My personal favorite bright eye look right now that is a super trendy color for the summer is bright yellow. I actually wear it out a lot now on the weekends. I feel the yellow complements my eyes, then I swipe on a dark purple lipstick and the contrast of colors really makes the makeup look pop!

Complementary Eyeshadow Colors

Certain eyeshadow colors complement different skin tones and eye colors. I always refer back to the good old color wheel when looking for eyeshadow colors for a particular eye color. For blue eyes, try rich, warm browns, taupes, bronzey and champagne colors. You can always go for a gray color too if you’re more into cool-toned looks (like me!).

For all the brown-eyed girls out there, you’re in luck! You have the most options when it comes to complementing shades for your eyes, since brown is a neutral color. Go for browns, blues, greens, grays, reds, even purples. Seriously, any color!

Green-eyed gals, your best bet is to use deep, rusty browns and reds, darker purples, and even some peachy-pink colors can look great. But remember, makeup has no have fun with it!

Bright Eye Makeup Looks

When I’m prepping to do a fun, bold eye look, I like to keep the rest of my makeup minimal. Maybe use a BB cream or just concealer versus a full-coverage foundation, go light on the highlight and blush, and use a lighter lip color or gloss. It’s all about balance here!

There are also a multitude of different ways to incorporate a brighter eye look without covering your whole lid in bright green shadow. Many companies have come out with different colored eyeliners that can be applied to your lower waterline (or even the top of your eyelid for a cat-eye look), and you can keep your eyeshadow shade neutral. Or, if you’re a bit more comfortable with color, try smoking out your lower lashline with a fun color.

To start my bright eye routine, I’m going to begin by priming my entire face with the Emani Perfect 10 Primer Serum. I used this in my Minimalist Makeup Routine and raved about it then, but I’ll just reiterate it here: this stuff is amazing! Try it. You can always apply a little concealer or primer to your eyelids, which will make the color stick and provide a smoother application. (I highly recommend not skipping this step for bold, bright eye looks.)

I’m going to use my Emani HD Corrective Concealer to prep the eyelid. Next, I’m going to dip into my J. Cat Hollywood eyeshadow palette to set my primer with a neutral shade. I’m going to apply it all over my lid using my eye shader brush from my Eco Tools brush set.

Next, I’m going to go back into my J. Cat Beauty palette. There’s a bright yellow in here that I’m going to dip into for my bright eye look. I’m not using any transitions shades here, so this is a one color, easy look!

After I’m done blending everything, it’s time for some mascara. I’m going to use Emani’s Soy Mascara on my top and bottom lashes.

I’m going to keep my face pretty fresh and bare, so I’m going in with my Dr. Jart BB cream all over. You can use a sponge, brush or your fingers to apply. I’m going to use my Nu Sponge, because I’ve recently fallen in love with these silicone sponges to apply any liquid face product.

I’ll finish this look off with some Zao blush, which I’ll apply with my Eco Tools stippling brush using circular, sweeping motions and dragging the color back toward my ear. Then I’m going to apply a little bit of highlight to really tie this look together. I’m going to use a shade from theBalm’s Highlite N ConTour palette, using my Eco Tools tiny, fluffy brush to blend into the skin.

Lastly, I’m adding some lipstick. I’m going to use Tattoo Junkee’s matte lipstick in the shade Skinny Dip.

And that finishes up this look! I hope this little tutorial makes bright eyes a little less scary for some of you and helps inspire you to try out this super fun makeup trend!

If you have any questions on any of the products I used or just need help with something, leave me a comment down below!

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Complete Guide to Mineral Makeup

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 4:23 pm | By: Kate Hughes

In today’s health- and wellness-conscious society, more and more people are taking a closer look not just at the food that they eat, but also the products that they put on their skin. This movement has made many people adamant about avoiding makeups that contain unnecessary chemicals in favor of more “natural” alternatives.

The quest for natural beauty products has led to a renewed interest in mineral makeup, which has a long and storied history. The first mineral makeups can be traced back thousands of years to ancient civilizations that ground up minerals to apply to their faces as decoration—think Cleopatra’s kohl-based eyeliner (1). But, for all intents and purposes, mineral makeup as it exists today first became commercially available in the 1970s.

Now, mineral makeup seems to be everywhere, available from high-end makeup counters and drugstores alike. But what is mineral makeup, and how is it different from all of the other types of makeup out there?

What Exactly Is Mineral Makeup?

Mineral makeup is typically composed of minerals like iron oxides, talc, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that have been ground into a fine powder. The fineness of the powder varies, depending on the type of makeup and the coverage it is meant to offer. The coarser the particles, the lighter the coverage.

Mineral makeup may encompass anything from foundation to setting powder to eyeshadows and bronzers. Some liquid makeups are also now including minerals for their perceived skincare benefits.

“Mineral makeup is similar to traditional makeup, but without the oils, binding agents, fragrance, preservatives and other fillers,” explains David Pollock, a health and beauty expert, beauty chemist and founder of Pollock notes that because mineral makeups are free of these components, it’s much lighter than many of the other makeups on the market. “It’s also less irritating to the skin and clogs pores less,” he adds.

What Skin Types Can Benefit from Mineral Makeup?

There are mineral makeups out there being marketed for all skin types, but due to its lack of fillers and oils, the product has a reputation for being particularly good for sensitive skin or skin prone to breakouts. Some dermatologists even recommend it to patients with rosacea and eczema (2).

Pollock adds that people with oily skin are perhaps best served by mineral makeup, because it does not add further oils or pore-clogging ingredients to their skincare routines. “However, those with dry skin or sensitive skin may benefit from the added ingredients in traditional makeup,” he notes. “I suggest trying both and comparing to find the right one. Keep in mind, it may not be a ‘this or that’ situation. Maybe your foundation or concealer end up being traditional, while some of the other steps like eyeshadow or finishing powder are mineral makeup.”

Mineral makeup isn’t just good for sensitive skin and avoiding breakouts, some also offer SPF. Users concerned about sun exposure should look for products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which protect against both UVA and UVB rays (3) . It won’t replace regular sunscreen on a sunny day, but it’s better than nothing if you’re going to work or running around on the weekend.

Finding a Good Mineral Makeup

Like most cosmetics, there are good mineral makeups and not-so-good mineral makeups. Pollock recommends looking for products with just a few ingredients, namely zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, mica and iron oxides. “While it’s comforting to see some other healthy additives or powdered extracts, they aren’t necessary and not worth spending a lot more for,” he says. “Facial skincare serums and moisturizers will contain higher levels and go on before makeup, so the benefits of additional additives in mineral makeup are minimized by the layering of skincare first.”

Potential Drawbacks 

While mineral makeup does come with many benefits, there some drawbacks that come with the product. Some people find that mineral makeup powder accentuates fine lines and wrinkles, rather than hiding them. Pollock also notes that mineral makeup lacks the ingredients needed to help color adhere as well as traditional makeup. “Additionally, since it is missing some of the oils and humectants, it can be less hydrating or even drying to some,” he says.

Mineral Makeup Myths

Because mineral makeup has a reputation for being good for your skin, some people believe that you can sleep in it without causing any issues. Pollock is very clear, this is not the case. “Never, ever sleep in makeup. You should wash your skin every night before going to bed to remove makeup, dirt and even dead skin cells. All of these, including mineral makeup, can clog and enlarge pores and irritate the skin.”

Mineral makeup has also been said to clear up acne, but most dermatologists agree that the calming agents in mineral makeups won’t actively speed the healing of breakouts (1). However, it is less likely to clog pores and cause acne in the first place.

Application Tips

For people who are used to traditional makeup, getting the hang of mineral makeup application may take some trial and error. According to mineral makeup brand Mineral Fusion, perhaps the most common issue first-time wearers have is that they apply too much. “Because they are used to using makeup that has large amounts of filler and not a lot of ‘pay-off,’ they use the same techniques when applying Mineral Fusion,” the brand’s website describes (4). The brand recommends lightly building layers until you achieve the desired coverage.

Mineral makeup users should invest in the proper tools, which include brushes specifically made for this purpose. Because powders are so loose, having a brush with the right density and made of the right materials will result in a more even application. “You can alter the coverage by using the right brush,” Mineral Fusion writes. “The longer the hair is on the brush, the more coverage you will achieve.”

For people looking to create more elaborate looks, we recommend checking out YouTube tutorials.


Beauty Hacks: How to Use Your Makeup in Multiple Ways 

Filed Under: Beauty,Personal Care at 12:40 pm | By: Deidre Grieves

Let’s get real—makeup and beauty products are expensive. In 2017, sales of prestige makeup in the U.S. totaled $8.1 billion, according to research by the NPD Group (1). That figure was up 6 percent from 2016. In fact, a survey conducted by Groupon revealed that women spend an average of $225,360 on beauty products in their lifetimes (2).

When shopping online or visiting cosmetic counters or specialty retailers, women are faced with a staggering amount of products and choices. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But before you empty your wallet to try that new contour powder or that trendy lipstick color, take stock of what you have and consider using your makeup in multiple ways.

The following seven beauty hacks will show you how to get creative and make the most of your makeup.

7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Makeup

Use Liquid Lipstick to Color Correct  

Before you purchase a color-correcting product to combat dark circles, try using a red or orange-colored liquid lipstick. Dab a little bit of the lipstick under your eyes and blend it out, or use it over dark spots on your face to help balance out the darkness before you cover problem areas with foundation and concealer.

Liquid lipstick formulas are recommended over regular lipstick formulas because they dry down and won’t smudge and smear easily. If you’re using liquid lipstick to color correct dark circles under your eyes, make sure the formula is eye-safe.

Use Eyeshadow to Contour and Highlight 

Sure, eyeshadow is meant to go on your eyes, but there are no rules that say you can’t use the powders on other areas of your face. Look for a matte-brown eyeshadow in your collection that is approximately two shades darker than your skin tone and use it to contour out your cheekbones, jawline, forehead area and nose. Make sure to blend it out so that there are no harsh lines, and look for a slightly cool undertone in the eyeshadow so that the shade doesn’t look too orange or warm on your skin.

You can also use a metallic or foiled eyeshadow as a highlight. Look for high-shine gold, light pink or champagne shades in your collection and dust some on the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and your cupid’s bow. Avoid using shadows with too much glitter, as these will emphasize texture on the skin.

Use Concealer as an Eyeshadow Primer 

There are tons of eyeshadow primers on the market that are meant to help your eyeshadows last longer and resist creasing. But what most cosmetic sales associates won’t tell you is that concealer works just as well to create a smooth surface and prime your eyes. Make sure to use a light application, blend it evenly across your lids, and set the concealer down with a translucent powder before applying your eyeshadow.

Use Eyeshadow to Create Your Own Lip Gloss  

You can create a unique and personalized lipstick shade by combining your favorite eyeshadow or pigment with some clear lip gloss, balm or petroleum jelly (or a petroleum jelly substitute). To do this, lightly scrape the eyeshadow with some tweezers so that it becomes a loose powder. Scrape it over a small mixing bowl or use the back of a mirror or makeup palette as a mixing area.

Once you have about a dime-sized amount of powder, add your gloss, balm or jelly and use the end of a makeup brush to mix it together with the eyeshadow powder. Use a lip brush or your finger to apply the color to your lips.

Use Lipstick as Blush 

There’s no need to go out and buy cream blush if you already own some pretty lipstick shades. Lipstick can easily be applied to your cheeks to create a natural flush. It’s best to use semi-matte shades that have a little bit of sheen, since matte formulas may look chalky on the skin. The easiest way to apply lipstick as blush is to sweep your finger across the product, warm it between your fingers, and dab the product onto the apples of your cheeks. For a more natural look, use a damp makeup sponge to sheer out the color. If you’re using lipstick as blush, apply it before you apply powder to ensure a smooth finish.

Use Mascara as Eyeliner 

Since mascara is already eye-safe and formulated not to smudge and smear, it makes a great eyeliner if you’re in a pinch. Use an angled brush and dab it onto the mascara wand until the flat side of the brush is covered. Then use the brush to create a wing and drag it along your lash line. You can also smudge it out to create a more smokey look.

This is an awesome way to get more use out of colored mascaras that you may not use on a daily basis.

Use Eyeshadow to Fill in Your Brows

Makeup store shelves are filled with brow powders, gels and pomades, but if you’re in a hurry and need a quick way to fill in your brows, eyeshadow works just fine. Make sure to use a matte shade—without any shimmer or shine—and find a color that complements your skin tone and hair color. If you have blonde hair, use a warm taupe or light brown color. If you have brown hair, stick to a medium brown shade. Redheads should use auburn brown eyeshadows, and those with dark brown or black hair should use deep, chocolate brown colors or even matte black shadows.

Use a small angled brush and dip it into the eyeshadow powder, making sure the end is coated. Then take the tip of the angled brush and apply the powder into your brows using short, quick, upward strokes. Repeat this motion until your brows are filled in and look full. You can clean up the edges with concealer if you need to. Set the powder in place with a clear brow gel or a clear mascara so it stays put throughout the day.


7 Beauty Tricks from Grandma You Aren’t Using (But Should Be)

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Beauty,Personal Care at 12:04 pm | By: Monica Weymouth

Grandmothers are known for their folksy fixes—some of which are more legitimate than others. Have a cold? Chicken soup may actually reduce inflammation, so go ahead and take her up on a nice big bowl. Have a fussy baby? Think twice before opening the “magic teething whiskey.” Have a bad hair day? Start taking notes, friend.

Yes, grandmothers are the original beauty hackers—from skincare shortcuts to blowout-saving secrets, they know a thing or two about looking good for less. Here are seven simple, straightforward and thrifty vintage beauty tricks the experts (and, likely, your grandma) still use today.

7 Beauty Tricks You Need to Know

Matte Magic 
Don’t tell your gloss, but shine-free lips are having a moment. The low-key matte look, which first surfaced on Instagram and runways, is now officially out in the wild. If you’re not quite ready to trade in your favorite cream shades, try the trend using this old-school trick from Elizabeth Johnson, co-owner of Delaware-based cosmetics boutique Houpette.

“After applying the lipstick, place a tissue over your lips and let it stick,” she says. “Then, brush setting powder on top of the tissue over your lips. It will mattify the lip color and make it more long-wearing.”

Brow Know-How  
These days, a brow pencil is a beauty basic. But before beauty megastores and one-click shopping, a little repurposed eye shadow did the trick just fine. Despite the hundreds of options available in 2018, Johnson still finds herself subbing in shadow when she wants to perfectly match a client’s hair color.

“There are so many more shades available!” she says. “Take an angled brow brush and apply the eye shadow starting in the middle of the brow arch, working back toward the start of the brow and then, finally, through the brow to the ends.” (Eye shadow is messier than a pencil, so make sure to tap any excess pigment off the brush prior to applying.)

Have unruly brows? Skip the specialized brow gel and use Johnson’s quick fix: lip balm. Take a small amount on your fingertip, dab through your brows, then comb through gently with a clean spoolie brush.

Grease Be Gone 
Dry shampoos are a great way to freshen up your hair between washes. But, as your grandmother would be obligated to point out, the main ingredient is usually some type of starch—which was used to extend expensive salon blowouts long before dry shampoo (and hand-held hair dryers) hit the market. Simply sprinkle some organic corn starch at the roots, comb through, and be on your way.

Bright-Eyed Bluff 
Dark circles have never been in style. Although there are endless illuminators (and, ahem, filters) on the market, take a cue from Old Hollywood makeup artists and try using red lipstick to brighten things up. Johnson recommends opting for a coral shade and dabbing a tiny bit under the eye where the purple undertones are prominent, keeping the application light and sheer. Then, top with your usual under-eye concealer and setting powder. “Voila—dark circles no more!” she says.

Something to Smile About
Before modern teeth whitening treatments, Hollywood stars turned to their kitchen cabinets for a brightening boost. Baking soda, which is still used in many whitening toothpastes, releases free radicals that break down stains on tooth enamel. Brush it on a couple times a week, rinse thoroughly, and smile often.

The Magic Eraser
Grandmom used petroleum jelly for everything—including removing her eye makeup. As strange as it sounds, petroleum jelly swipes off makeup like magic, and at a fraction of the cost of specialized makeup removers.

However, petroleum jelly can easily clog pores and lead to acne, depending on your skin type. And, as a byproduct of the oil refining industry, it’s an unsustainable resource with varying degrees of purity. For a gentler, more Earth-friendly alternative, try coconut oil, suggests Philadelphia-based makeup artist Deanna O’Hanna. Simply whip the coconut oil in your palms to get it to an almost liquid state, then gently rub onto your face, paying special attention to any areas that have more makeup (such as your eyes). Rinse with warm water, pat dry, and say goodbye to those wasteful makeup wipes.

A Freezing Facial
Legendary screen queen Joan Crawford was known for her high-maintenance beauty routine. While we wouldn’t recommend her “secret” to a sculpted jawline—chewing gum, constantly, to strengthen the muscles—her DIY facial stands up today. After removing her makeup, Crawford would splash her face with ice water 25 times to reduce puffiness and tighten skin. Model Kate Moss still swears by the trick and takes it one step further, filling a sink with ice cubes and submerging her face for a quick refresh.