Recent Posts




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.


8 Best Vitamins and Supplements for Hair Loss

Filed Under: Nutrition,Personal Care,Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 1:57 pm | By: Jodi Helmer

Finding a few strands of hair in your hairbrush or circling the drain is no big deal. You naturally shed between 50 and 100 strands of hair every day; more hair loss could be the sign of a problem—and nutrient deficiencies could be to blame.

Hair loss is common. By age 50, almost 85 percent of men experience thinning hair and hair loss (1); and women make up 40 percent of hair loss sufferers (2), according to the American Hair Loss Association.

8 Vitamins and Supplements for Hair Loss

If you experience hair loss, make an appointment with your health care provider to assess the underlying causes and determine whether one of these eight vitamins or supplements for hair loss could help bulk up your tresses:


An absence of this essential mineral impacts the hair follicle, impeding hair growth. Pre- and post-menopausal women are at highest risk of iron deficiencies; those with celiac disease and vegans and vegetarians can also lack sufficient iron (3).

While insufficient iron is common, eating iron-rich foods like beef, chicken, tofu, beans, lentils and leafy greens such as spinach can help reverse deficiencies and restore hair growth. Pairing iron-rich foods with sources of vitamin C can help enhance iron absorption (4). Iron supplements are also available.

“In some women, iron levels are normal but their ferritin [the protein that stores iron in the tissues] can be low, so we might need to dig a little deeper and check ferritin levels, too,” notes naturopath Lauren Deville, founder of Nature Cure Family Health and author of How To Be Healthy: Body, Mind, and Spirit.


This water-soluble vitamin, also known as vitamin B7, is ubiquitous in hair products; too little biotin is associated with brittle hair and hair loss. Research published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that oral biotin supplements helped promote significant hair growth in women with thinning hair (5). Foods like organ meat, fish, eggs, avocado and mushrooms are also good sources of biotin.

“Everyone who comes to see me about hair loss is taking biotin,” Deville says. “But people typically aren’t taking enough. I usually recommended taking 10,000 mcg. If you’re not taking at least that much, it won’t do anything.”


A lack of this B vitamin weakens hair structure and impacts hair growth. Niacin deficiencies are linked to alopecia, one cause of sudden hair loss (6). Although there are no known studies on the serum niacin levels in women with hair loss (7), women with thinning hair due to alopecia reported significant increases in hair fullness after using topical niacin for six months, according to research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (8).

Fish Oil

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help nourish hair, making it thicker and shinier. Taking a fish oil supplement can help reduce hair loss, increase hair growth and boost hair density and the diameter of the hair shaft, according to research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (9).

In addition to fish oil supplements, Blake recommends fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel as excellent sources of omega-3s; vegetarians can opt to add eggs and walnuts to their diets to boost their intake of these essential fatty acids.


In addition to promoting hair follicle development, zinc also helps synthesize proteins, improving hair growth. Too little zinc is associated with brittle hair and temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium or TE (10). In one study, patients with hair loss, including TE, had lower serum zinc levels (11); research showed that daily oral zinc supplements of 50 milligrams helped with hair regrowth (12).  

Vegetarians and vegans are at higher risk of zinc deficiencies than carnivores because animal products, including meat, are excellent sources of zinc. Moreover, legumes and whole grains that are the staples of plant-based diets can inhibit absorption of the essential nutrient, according to Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian nutritionist and clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University.

Before taking a supplement, get tested for zinc deficiencies. Too much zinc can cause toxic effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, headache and reduced immune function (13).

Vitamin D

This vitamin helps with hair follicle cycling, ensuring that healthy new strands of hair continue growing. Deville calls vitamin D one of the common macronutrient deficiencies that lead to hair loss.

One very small study found that women with TE and female pattern hair loss had significantly lower levels of serum vitamin D2 (14). The researchers recommended screening for vitamin D2 levels and supplementation to correct deficiencies as treatment for hair loss.

Those who are dark skinned or obese are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency (15); a lack of sun exposure is also linked with too little of the so-called sunshine vitamin.


Hair is made up of proteins; the nutrient is also essential for the production of keratin, which supports the structure of the hair, so it would make sense that a low protein diet would be linked with hair loss. Protein deficiencies could impact hair growth; malabsorption issues that make it difficult to absorb nutrients like protein could also cause hair thinning or hair loss, notes Blake.

Research shows that in the absence of documented protein deficiencies, limited evidence exists on the connection between protein supplementation or protein powder and hair regrowth (16).

Saw Palmetto 

Although the internet has called the medicinal plant a miracle tonic for hair growth, peer-reviewed research on the impact of using tablets, liquid extracts or powdered capsules to spur hair regrowth is limited. One small study on men with androgenic alopecia, hair loss on the front and top of the head, found that applying topical saw palmetto increased total hair count by almost 12 percent (17).

Hair Loss Remedies: Precautions

Although nutrient deficiencies can be a major contributor to hair loss, Deville notes that occurrences are rare in developed nations—and taking the wrong supplements could worsen hair loss. Studies show that too much vitamin A and E are linked with worsening hair loss (18). Before taking supplements for hair loss, consult with a health care provider to determine the root cause of thinning hair or hair loss.

For some common causes of hair loss, including hyperthyroidism and elevated androgen levels, taking a supplement is not enough to trigger regrowth. If supplements could be beneficial, your health care provider can help make recommendations based on your health history so you can restore your lush locks safely.


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!

Subscribe to LuckyVitamin’s YouTube Channel!


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.


I Tried Natural Deodorant for Two Weeks and Here’s What Happened

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Personal Care at 3:27 pm | By: Monica Weymouth

In most areas of my life, I try to be conscious about what I put in and on my body. I buy organic groceries when possible, seek out natural beauty products, and use environmentally friendly cleaners around the house. One glaring exception to my green routine? Antiperspirant. Like paying taxes or pretending to care about other people’s vacation photos, I consider smelling good to be part of the social contract.

Like most conventional antiperspirants, my trusty brand—which has been keeping my pits spelling like a tropical smoothie for 10-plus years, thank you very much—uses a questionable cocktail of chemicals to block sweat ducts and kill bacteria. Although the research isn’t conclusive, ingredients including parabens and aluminum have been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, and some question the wisdom of trapping toxins beneath the skin’s surface. As for me, I’m wary—but the last time I tried a natural deodorant, the options were limited and, quite literally, stunk.

These days, however, natural deodorants are more refined, and there are a ton of formulas to choose from depending on your body’s unique chemistry. With this in mind, I reluctantly agreed to hand over my go-to antiperspirant stick for two weeks and try out three natural deodorant alternatives.

Making the Switch to Natural Deodorant

First up was Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant Sensitive Skin Formula in Coconut Pineapple. As much as I loved the idea of replacing aluminum and artificial fragrances with Schmidt’s plant-based powders and essential oils, I was skeptical—my life, after all, is pretty active. Most days, my morning begins around 6 a.m., when my 11-month-old daughter shoots up out of her crib like a cross between Dracula and the Energizer Bunny. Before noon, we’ll walk the dogs, cover every square inch of the playground, splash around in the pool, make a mess in the garden, and find a new way to avoid napping. The afternoon brings more of the same until my husband gets home from work, at which point I either go on a run or hit up a yoga class (full disclosure: sometimes “yoga” is a glass of wine in the shower). In short, my summer is a sweaty, messy, potentially smelly one.

To my surprise, Schmidt’s was up to the task. It glided on smelling absolutely heavenly, then kept my underarms neutral throughout the day. Like all natural alternatives, Schmidt’s is a deodorant, not an antiperspirant, so it doesn’t actually prevent perspiration—but that said, I wasn’t unreasonably sweaty. After using it for a week, there was only one occasion when I felt the need to reapply multiple times (and in all fairness, nothing in Philadelphia smelled particularly fresh that day—East Coast humidity is the real deal).

Feeling good about the experiment, I decided to try out two cream deodorants for the second week: Primal Pit Paste’s Level 2 formula (which promises to stand up to high-level stinkers such as crossfitters and teenagers) and PiperWai, a charcoal-based paste that my friends and coworkers have been raving about for years. Although not quite as convenient as Schmidt’s traditional stick, I didn’t mind rubbing in either of the creams—they went on smoothly and didn’t leave any sticky residue on my fingers. While I loved the strong tropical fragrance of Schmidt’s, the cleaner, less flowery scents of Primal Pit Paste and PiperWai were also refreshing.

Both Primal Pit Paste and PiperWai did the job reasonably well. However, by the end of a long, hot day, I noticed a smell unless I had reapplied. According to the very small group of people I’m comfortable asking to sniff me, I didn’t smell bad—the word “natural” was suggested—but I also didn’t smell like nothing, which is what I’m going for.

Am I ready to permanently break up with my conventional antiperspirant? Maybe not—on the hottest, stickiest, down-and-dirtiest days of the summer, I’ll probably still reach for it from time to time. But it’s great to have a few more options, and Schmidt’s has officially been promoted to my pit crew.


The Complete Natural Deodorant Guide

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Personal Care at 5:34 pm | By: Michele Shapiro

Americans are odor-obsessed. There’s no other way to explain the fact that the domestic deodorant and antiperspirant market is projected to hit nearly $3.5 billion in 2019 (1). For those in search of alternatives that are less irritating or potentially toxic, there is some good news: The natural deodorant market has grown steadily in recent years to reach $42 million in late 2017, according to research firm Mintel (2). Granted, sales are a mere fraction of the overall market, but the fact that major players like Procter & Gamble and Unilever have acquired natural brands (Native and Schmidt’s, respectively) suggests that the alternatives are gaining traction as more people become concerned about what’s going into their bodies—and on to their underarms.

Like any strong face wash or laundry detergent, traditional deodorants and antiperspirants use strong chemicals to get the job done. “Depending on a person’s skin sensitivity, sometimes these harsh chemicals can cause skin irritation,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Tess Mauricio, CEO of

An even greater concern is whether one of the main ingredients in your favorite antiperspirant could down the line negatively impact your breast or brain health. If you’re one to err on the side of caution, or if your pits react negatively to the ingredients in conventional antiperspirants and deodorants, a switch to natural varieties may be in order.

How Does Natural Deodorant Work?

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the sticks and sprays that banish odor and sweat, it’s important to define the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. “An antiperspirant literally stops the flow of sweat by blocking underarm pores, whereas deodorant, which kills bacteria on the skin, covers up any smells that come with sweat,” says Caitlin Hoff, health and safety investigator at “Some brands will combine the two for maximum protection from sweat and odor.”

The problem with blocking the pores in your underarms, says Dr. Mauricio, “is that they are then blocked from performing their intended function—purging toxins and regulating temperature.” Natural deodorants cover smell from underarms with antimicrobial ingredients such as sage or other essential oils as well as powders like baking soda or arrowroot that absorb odor.

The first natural deodorants to market may not have been nearly as reliable as conventional brands. In fact, many provided little more than a momentary blip of scent. But over time, chemists have experimented with various natural ingredients, and Dr. Mauricio believes that natural deodorants have definitely improved as the natural beauty space has grown. Those white streaks natural deodorants used to leave on your T-shirt? That’s caused by baking soda, a common deodorizer. “But this ingredient isn’t as commonly used in natural deodorants today,” she says. A good thing, since, for some people with sensitive skin, baking soda is a known irritant.

Hoff believes a lot of the negative reviews of natural deodorants early on came from a lack of understanding of the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants.  “Many people try natural alternatives and find the product lacking because the deodorant didn’t stop them from sweating or the antiperspirant didn’t cover up the odor well enough,” she says. Hoff suggests that you read labels and know exactly what your natural product claims to do.

Ingredients to Avoid in Conventional Deodorant

So, just what has a growing percentage of Americans up in arms about the antiperspirants and deodorants they trusted for years to fight both odor and wetness? In a word, aluminum. Conventional brands contain aluminum compounds for the purpose of blocking sweat ducts. “Aluminum is the most controversial ingredient when it comes to antiperspirants,” says Hoff.  She cites claims that the metal contributes to the development of breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and kidney disease. However, she cautions, “there is little evidence proving a link between antiperspirant use and these diseases.” Nor has it been proven that, as was once rumored, cancer-causing substances in antiperspirants are absorbed through razor nicks from underarm shaving.

Backing up Hoff’s claims, the American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that “there are no strong epidemiologic studies in medical literature that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use.” In fact, the ACS website cites one study published in 2002 that compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease (3). The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.

“Researchers have found that even after shaving, the body doesn’t absorb enough aluminum to do significant damage,” says Hoff. In fact, one study that looked at how much aluminum from antiperspirants containing aluminum chlorohydrate is actually absorbed when applied to the underarms (4). The researchers found that only a tiny fraction (0.012 percent) was actually absorbed.

The potential link between aluminum found in antiperspirants and Alzheimer’s first emerged during the 1960s and ’70s. Since then, however, studies have not confirmed the connection, and according to the Alzheimer’s Association, few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.

That said, aluminum can cause skin irritation, “which is one reason that some people prefer to use aluminum-free traditional deodorants or natural deodorants,” says Hoff.

When it comes to skin irritation, another major culprit in traditional deodorant is the catch-all term “fragrance.” The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has confirmed that, more often than not, this term refers to not one, but multiple ingredients. Unfortunately, this blanket term found on a multitude of deodorants gives little information as to whether the ingredients are synthetic or natural, or if they could produce an allergic reaction. More often than not, it’s a cocktail of chemicals that comprises the scent.

A few known irritants found in some traditional deodorants include parabens, compounds used as preservatives that can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells; propylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze that allows the deodorant to glide smoothly over the skin’s surface; and triclosan, which was originally developed as a pesticide in the 1960s and has since made its way into cosmetics, deodorants, soaps, and lotions thanks to its ability to kill germs and odor-causing bacteria. In 2017, the FDA banned the use of triclosan in soaps and antibacterial washes due to concerns over long-term health effects. However, triclosan is still allowed in deodorants.

If the thought of having suspect ingredients touching your skin is a turn-off, you should definitely consider switching to natural alternatives.

Types of Natural Deodorant

Natural deodorants come in many formulas, including sticks, creams, charcoal, sprays, and roll-ons. Here’s what you need to know about each:

Sticks. Many of the natural stick deodorants on the market use waxes like beeswax and cadelila so that they go on smoothly and leave skin moisturized. Depending on the brand, ingredients run the gamut from coconut oil, shea butter and fruit oils to peppermint, eucalyptus and kaolin clay (to absorb sweat and moisture). If you’re skin irritates easily, look for brands that make sensitive skin formulas.

Creams. Most are comprised of some combination of the following ingredients: coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, clay, corn starch, and essential oils. They are very similar to a moisturizer with the addition of odor-zapping powders and antiseptic ingredients like coconut oil, neem oil, and essential oils. There’s far more flexibility as to what ingredients a cream can contain since it does not need to retain its shape like a stick. In addition, far more product makes contact with the skin (and stays there!) as it gets absorbed and creates an emollient layer, much like a body butter.

Charcoal. If odor’s your true nemesis, activated charcoal deodorant may become your new BFF, and it will keep you dry all day. Unlike other natural deodorants, activated charcoal is carbon-rich so it can extract oil and dirt from clogged pores. It can also absorb 1,000 times its own weight in moisture.

Sprays. One big benefit of dry sprays is that they don’t feel wet or sticky when you apply them. Plus, the natural sprays available today dry fast and don’t stain.

Roll-ons. These deodorants glide over skin, which is great if your pits are on the sensitive side. Another bonus: The Internet is filled with recipes for DIY natural roll-ons, which include ingredients such as baking soda, corn starch, essential oils and distilled water. So if you’re looking to save a pretty penny while still smelling fresh, this could be a good option.

Before you rush off to purchase (or produce) your own natural deodorant, Hoff offers a caveat: “As a consumer, you should scrutinize a natural deodorant just as much as a traditional one for the ingredients used rather than blindly following labels. Just because a product claims that it’s “natural” or “organic” doesn’t mean it is. Read up the ingredients and confirm that they are safe for you and your family.”

How to Transition from Conventional to Natural Deodorant

When switching over to a natural deodorant, it’s wise to allow for a transition period. “The period of transition from a traditional antiperspirant to a natural deodorant can be a smelly experience,” says Dr. Mauricio. “Thankfully, its short lived! Your underarm pores will unclog and detox themselves for three-ish weeks, releasing all the toxins you’ve trapped there since you started wearing antiperspirants.” However, she adds, as soon as your body adjusts, “you’ll experience minimal sweat and minimal smell (yes, even less than the days when you forgot to apply your antiperspirant).”

Patience is key here; you are going to sweat and smell more than usual for about two weeks. Still, it helps to remember that you are only resetting your bodies natural functions, so you’re really just getting things back to working the way that they’re meant to function.

If time is of the essence, you can jump start the transition process by exfoliating your armpits and using a clay mask. Exfoliation helps by opening your underarm pores so they can more quickly clear and the clay mask starts the detox/deodorization process by helping to remove some of the harmful toxins clogged in your underarm sweat glands.

If you can possibly help it, don’t default back to your antiperspirant just because things get uncomfortable. Like everything else in life, good things—and far better results—come to those who wait.


8 Ways to Detox Your Home

Detoxes aren’t limited to body cleanses…you can (and should!) detox your home of harmful chemicals.

There are synthetic chemicals in everything from cleaning products to personal care items, and those chemicals can affect everything from how well you breathe to the health of your pregnancy to your focus at work.

Common Household Toxins

There is substantial evidence linking toxic environmental chemicals to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, attention deficits, hyperactivity, intellectual disability and learning disorders, according to the collaborative organization Project TENDR (1). The group identifies these seven pollutants that affect children’s development (2):

  • Organophosphate (OP) pesticides
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants
  • Combustion-related air pollutants, which include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Phthalates

If you have dust in your home—and if you don’t, seriously, what’s your secret?—chances are you’re being exposed to toxic chemicals. In a 2016 meta-analysis of the composite of dust in U.S. homes, researchers reported that “some phthalates, fragrance, flame retardants and phenols are consistently found in 90 percent or more of dust samples across multiple studies” (3).

As scary as all this sounds, we’ve got you covered!

“It’s pretty normal if this all starts to feel a little daunting when you first begin to look into it,” assures Katie Hussong, a registered nurse and holistic health and culinary nutrition coach in Baltimore. “The best approach, I think, is to focus on one thing at a time, to really take the time to understand it, and then to create a healthy swap. Little by little, these small changes can have a huge impact, and it can be an incredibly empowering and enjoyable process.”

So how can we reduce our exposure to harmful chemicals? Here are some smart, simple ways to eliminate toxins at home.

How to Detox Your Home

Learn what you’re facing. “Most folks simply don’t realize how harmful so many products and practices can be,” Hussong says. “We shouldn’t have to think about the chlorine and fluoride in our water or how the germs on our shoes, the closed windows and excessive time spent indoors, or the harmful endocrine disruptors in our favorite skincare, haircare, deodorant, perfume, cookware, cleaners, candles and furniture are all negatively impacting our health.”

Scan your home and make note of potential toxins. You can check the ingredients in your personal care and cleaning products on websites like the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Figure out the biggest offenders in your home, then make a plan to address them one step at a time.

Tackle your personal products. Sunscreen, toothpaste, face wash, lotion—anything you put on or in your body should be detoxified first since it gets directly absorbed. This can seem like an expensive proposition, but focus on one swap at a time. As you use up one product, replace it with a toxin-free alternative. Try using the Think Dirty app to find cleaner options.

Swap out your cleaning arsenal. “Harmful, hormone-disrupting, toxic, synthetic fragrances and chemicals are everywhere, and most of them come from the personal and cleaning products we bring into our homes with the best of intentions,” Hussong says. Eliminate chemical products as you finish them up. Use the EWG list or make your own non-toxic cleaners. Use wet rags to collect dust instead of spraying an unnecessary, chemical-laden dusting product. Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter.

Toss your dryer sheets. “​In the laundry room, get rid of those dryer sheets (one of the most toxic items in our homes) today,” Hussong advises. As an alternative, she suggests purchasing (or making your own) organic wool dryer balls. “It’ll cost you less than $20, and they’ll last you years and years. You can also add essential oils to the balls for your own real fragrance, courtesy of Mother Nature. It’s easy to DIY your own laundry detergent and fabric softener, too, if you’re up for it.” You can also use vinegar for a fraction of the cost.

Eat clean. Choose fresh fruits and veggies that have lower levels of pesticides. EWG has created shopper’s guides to help identify which produce you should buy organic and which are safe to buy conventional.

Furnish wisely. When it’s time for a new sofa, or you’re decorating your child’s bedroom, look for products that don’t have toxic flame retardants (4).

Use essential oils. “Because of their many diverse properties—antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, soothing, uplifting, cleansing, etc.—we can use high-quality, ethically-sourced essential oils to replace so much of the toxic stuff we bring into our homes, slather onto our bodies, ​and put into our air, and it can be easy, fun, and super cost-effective,” says Hussong, who is also a doTERRA Wellness Advocate.

Purify the air. Make sure your HVAC, vacuum, air filter and so on utilize HEPA filters. Open windows on a nice day to let fresh air in—and toxic air out. You can also harness nature’s air purifier—plants!—by scattering them around the home. Or, work in essential oils. “Instead of that plug-in air freshener or candle laden with toxic hormone-disrupting chemicals, imagine being able to put a few drops of your favorite essential oils in the diffuser to shift the aroma, energy and mood of your home after a long day of work,” Hussong says. “As they diffuse, the natural antimicrobial properties of the oils will also work to cleanse the air of germs and odors.”

Creating a Healthy Home

Bottom line…yes, our homes are probably full of toxins. But, just like a detox or cleanse for your body, you can detox your home with these simple swaps. Make them one at a time to avoid burnout. Then, when you find one thing that works, keep it up, then shift your attention to the next offender on the list!

“That’s the beauty of the world of natural health. One door opens another, which opens another, and so on. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about progress and creating safe habits that support lifelong health, happiness and vitality,” Hussong says. “And here’s the thing: Once you know this stuff, you can’t un-know it. But there’s power in that, because as the great Ms. Angelou taught us, we do the best we can until we know better. And then, when we know better, we do better.”


I Tried a Jade Roller and Here’s What Happened

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Beauty,Personal Care at 1:25 pm | By: Monica Weymouth

They say you can tell a lot about a person by their eyes. And these days, that worries me.

For starters, although I sometimes forget I’m not 25, my eyes don’t—they remember each and every one of their 33 years, and have some pesky fine lines to prove it. There’s a little extra damage thanks to a history of fake-bake tans (forgive me—I went to prom in 2002) and one Legitimate Wrinkle that I blame on a super-stressful “Game of Thrones” finale (I call him Jean-Luc—he’s actually kind of charming once you get to know him). As for the puffy dark circles, I suspect those have something to do with my 10-month-old daughter, who has endless amounts of energy despite napping once every other week.

I do what I can. I get the occasional facial, moisturize on the regular, mask on the weekends, and recently bought a very expensive “miracle broth” lotion from a very expensive-looking French woman. That said, there’s plenty of room for improvement—which is how I ended up with a jade roller.

What Is a Jade Roller?

The latest gadget to hit Instagram #selfcare vanities, jade rollers are hand-held facial massagers crafted from their namesake gemstones. Although the origin story is hazy, according to Internet beauty lore, women in China have been using them since ancient times to promote circulation, increase lymphatic drainage, and stimulate anti-inflammatory properties in the skin. More recently, celebrity makeup artists began name-dropping jade rollers a couple of years ago, citing the tiny tools as the secret behind bright, youthful eyes (see also: Botox). Fast-forward to 2018, and they’re on the beauty VIP list.

These days, you can buy a jade roller pretty much anywhere with a decent assortment of skincare products. Big-box stores sell versions for under $10, while higher-end department stores stock models that run close to $75; I chose a mid-priced $25 roller with impressive online reviews. Made from natural jade, it promised to “help reduce fine lines, minimize pores, and tighten the skin” as well as “assist the lymphatic system by helping drain lymphatic fluids and toxins.”

Putting the Jade Roller to the Test

I’ll try anything once—especially for $25—so I was excited to put it to the test. The instructions recommend using it in the morning and evening for up to 10 minutes per session, which is a little longer that I usually devote to skincare (as in, 9 minutes longer). But in the name of science—and Jean-Luc—I resolved to commit to the routine for a week.

First things first: I washed my face and applied my usual eye serum and moisturizer (some say jade rollers massage these in deeper so your skin soaks up the benefits). Then I got to rolling. Starting at my neck, I rolled upward and outward as recommended using gentle pressure. Allegedly, this motion best stimulates circulation and toxin removal, but toxins or no toxins, common sense dictates that you never want to pull down the skin on your face—especially in your mid-30s.

Although 10 minutes was a bit of a stretch, I immediately bonded with my new jade roller—as it turns out, my face has been begging for a massage. My skin didn’t look any different after one session, but my entire face felt refreshed and relaxed. Even my forehead and eyebrows—which are always conspiring to furrow—took it easy for the morning.

About halfway through the week, I began popping the roller in the fridge, as many advanced beauty buffs advise. The idea is that the cool stone will better treat puffiness, similar to how ice reduces swelling. While I can’t say that I noticed any immediate difference, it did feel amazing, especially in the morning, and my jade roller earned a permanent spot next to the orange juice.

By the end of the week, I had to admit what I had begun to suspect: the aesthetic difference was minimal. I did notice a slightly more even skin tone immediately after rolling, but that didn’t seem to last into the day. My eyes may have appeared a little less puffy, but an extra hour of sleep probably would have done a better job. Jean-Luc was not impressed.

To confirm, I asked my boyfriend the question that every man dreads: “Do you notice anything different about me?” He panicked, took a long scan of my face, and told me my hair looked great. Was it a bad answer? No. But it wasn’t a great endorsement for my jade roller, either.

Despite the time commitment, I enjoyed jade rolling—so much so that I only missed one session, which is more than I can say for every other step of my haphazard skincare routine!