This Is the Best Way to Use Facial Oils for Summer

This Is the Best Way to Use Facial Oils for Summer

Ok, ok. School has started, which means it seems much less summery than it did a week ago. But summer weather is here to stay (for a little longer, anyway) and that means summer skincare is still a necessity. And there is a special way you should be using your favorite facial oil for the season.

While summer may bring along sticky, sweaty skin and an upswing in breakouts, the complexion can also become dry. And summer dry skin is way different than winter dry skin.

Summer dry skin feels thin, droopy, and sandpapery. This calls for a dose of softening, smoothing, plumping ingredients.

If it were winter, you’d probably reach for rich facial oils to hydrate and repair parched skin. Here’s the deal with oils … they are perfect year-round. It’s your delivery method that needs to be switched up.

Rather than swapping out facial oils for the season, I have my favorites and use them throughout the year. If you feel your facial oil leaves your skin greasy this time of year, you are going to love this trick.

Maybe you’ve heard of skincare cocktailing but are unsure exactly what it is or how to do it? Skincare cocktailing is the technique of mixing products to either bolster their effectiveness or treat more than one concern.

Take cleanser for example. Sometimes, if my skin is feeling both dirty and dry, I will mix a cream cleanser with a bit of gel cleanser to clean my skin and add a hit of moisture at the same time. Other times, when my skin is feeling dry and rough, I’ll mix a bit of exfoliant with my creamy cleanser. Adding a few drops of facial oil to your daily moisturizer is skincare cocktailing too.

3 Steps to Summertime Skincare Cocktailing

1. First, make sure the facial oil you’ve chosen is good for your skin. Below are a few oils that work well on the different skin types. This is just the tip of the iceberg where healthy facial oils are concerned, but should get you going.

In Fiore Calme Complexe Face Oil Concentré

Sensitive — In Fiore Calme Complexe Face Oil Concentré

RMS Beauty Beauty Oil

Normal to Dry — RMS Beauty Beauty Oil

Maya Chia The Super Couple

Dry + Mature — Maya Chia The Super Couple

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

Acne Prone — Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

In Fiore Pur Complexe Face Oil Concentré

Oily — In Fiore Pur Complexe Face Oil Concentré

2. Next, you will need a facial mist, essence, or toner. Choose a product designed for your skin type that’s made with ingredients to address your skin issues. Here are some of my top picks.

In Fiore Vitale Toning Floral Essence

Dry + Sensitive — In Fiore Vitale Toning Floral Essence

May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist

Sensitive + Mature — May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist

La Bella Figura Jardin de Fleurs Skin Revitalizer

Oily + Mature — La Bella Figura Jardin De Fleurs Skin Revitalizer

3. Now for the delivery. Spritz or spill a dime-sized amount of the mist or essence into your palm. Add three or four drops of facial oil and blend lightly, then pat onto skin. Patting, rather than rubbing, gives the complexion a bright and glowy look, and a velvety soft, cushiony feel.

Delivering oil to your skin with the help of a facial mist not only means no greasy look or feel, but offers a hit of refreshment to skin and even more amazing ingredients going to work. Feel free to use all year if you like. Now that’s a summer cocktail I can truly get behind.

Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

 

The whole affiliate disclaimer thing: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I make a percentage of purchases from them. It’s one of the ways I support my business. The two things you need to know about that … I only recommend products I 100% believe in and only support shops I care about.

10 Organic Beauty Brands Pretty Enough To Display

Beauteabar IG shelf image

Because there’s always room for more gorgeous organic beauty bottles sitting on your vanity, I’ve updated this list to include a few more product lines that are a must for any beautiful bathroom shelf. Oh, and they do lovely things to your skin too!

Beauty products are supposed to make you look great, right? Well, these will give your bathroom shelf a makeover too.

Pretty products are one way to boost your bathroom’s curb appeal. These are my best in beauty for product packaging. Oh, I also love the stuff that comes in them too.

Modern Aesthetic

Kjaer Weis Lipstick

1. Kjaer Weis   The sleekness of every single thing from this line is mesmerizing. High performance, healthy, and refillable too.

Vapour Organic Beauty Lux Lip Conditioner
2. Vapour Organic Beauty   Can’t stand the cool factor when I whip out the Lip Conditioner. All of the makeup items in this line offer unbelievable color and feel.

 

Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist

3. Kahina Giving Beauty Mmm, the perfect go-with-everything print on these beautiful bottles. Gentle, nourishing formulas are a dream.

Apothecary Cool

 

SW Basics Cream

4. SW Basics   Straight forward labeling that looks so good. Have the Cream on my counter at all times.

YULI Metamorphic Elixir

5. Yuli   Seriously, has a product line ever looked better? This brand takes high quality formulas and minimalist packaging to a new level of loveliness.

Fig Yarrow Cleansing Nectar

6. Fig + Yarrow  The ultimate in straight-forward, small batch style beauty. A no nonsense line that is a pleasure to use. Added bonus … available at Target too!

Boho Vibe

Kypris Beauty Antioxidant Dew

7. Kypris Beauty  A facial oil lovers dream come true, this brand offers up highly curated combinations of powerful oils that make skin look fabulous. The exotic looking bottles don’t look too bad sitting on your vanity either.

La Bella Figura Beauty Positano Perfume Oil

8. La Bella Figura Positano Perfume   As if you’re traveling Europe, circa 1977, and pulled this out of your fringe bag. Exotically scented, easy to use, and all natural.

All Glam

May Lindstrom The Honey Mud

9. May Lindstrom Skin   So, chic. This line gives that high end look and feel with results to match. A ritual for skin that has massive label appeal.

In Fiore Fleur Vibrante Healing Floral Essence Face Balm Concentré

10. In Fiore  Super stylish packaging makes you want to try this brand. Amazing results keep you coming back for more. I can’t get enough of the Fleur Vibrante Healing Floral Essence/Face Balm Concentré.

Top image via Beauteabar.com on Instagram @beauteabar

 

The whole affiliate disclaimer thing: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I make a percentage of purchases from them. It’s one of the ways I support my business. The two things you need to know about that … I only recommend products I 100% believe in and only support shops I care about.

What You Need to Know About Layering Summer Skincare for Beautiful Skin

What You Need to Know About Layering Summer Skincare for Beautiful Skin

When you think layering skincare, do you think cold weather? We like to pile on the products in the winter when skin is dry and dull. You may be wondering how to use all of your important summer skincare products in the heat without looking like a grease slick.

Layering is an important process when it comes to getting the most from your healthy products. And that goes for summertime too.

We may not be slathering on the thicker, super emollient products that our skin craves in winter months, but there are plenty of sunny weather essentials our skin needs too. The key is getting maximum benefit from all of your healthy products without causing clogged pores, breakouts, or greasy looking skin.

Summer Skincare Products You Need

So, what are the most important skincare products to use in the summer? The following will get you started setting up a summertime skincare routine your skin will love. And all items are available in my Shop.

A gentle cleanser that removes dirt, debris, and makeup, without stripping the skin or being overly emollient is essential. In Fiore Treate Gentle Cleansing Emulsion gets skin clean without irritating or disrupting pH balance.

Summer is the perfect time to add a toner or facial mist to your beauty arsenal. Not only is it refreshing and cooling, but is the perfect way to add light hydration that is non-greasy. Try La Bella Figura Beauty Jardin De Fleurs Skin Revitalizer and In Fiore Vitale Toning Floral Essence.

It’s always nice to see that dry, rough skin of winter disappear with the season. But have you noticed a bit of rough texture now that we are a few weeks into summer? Exfoliation is key to smooth, healthy skin year-round. The lovely Kypris Glow Philtre Mask smooths skin and clears pores at the same time. Use once a week for silky softness and fabulous glow.

Yes, you can totally use a facial oil in the summer. And In Fiore Complexe De Fleur Cellular Renewal Complex is what I’m all about right now. If your skin is happier with a gel type serum, try Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum, which is making my sun spots vanish.

As you can probably tell, I’m totally in love with anything In Fiore right now. (watch for a full review coming soon!) And that goes for In Fiore Crème de Fleur Complexe Rejuvené. This moisturizer offers light hydration that doesn’t leave a greasy feel on skin, but soaks in and makes skin happy. If you tend to have dryness in the summer, you’ll also love In Fiore Fleur Vibrante Healing Floral Essence Face Balm Concentré. I pat this luscious balm onto my skin each night before going to bed. It is a super skin softener, has a lovely scent, and makes me feel like movie star.

We can’t talk summer skincare without covering sun protection. Read all about my favorite sunscreens for face.

Layering Your Summer Skincare

Now, how to apply all of these glorious products so your skin gets all of the wonderful benefits of the healthy ingredients. The easiest way to remember how to layer products is to go from lightest weight to thicker products. Another tip: Apply your most important product closest to skin. So, if you are treating acne or lines, you’ll want to put that puppy on before your heavier lotions and creams.

1. Always start your skincare protocol with clean skin. Tip — cleansing is the perfect time for a facial massage. Work your cleanser into your skin in gentle circular motions, working up and out. You’ll be amazed how this revs up your glow.

2. Next up is that scrumptious facial mist you are excited to try out. Spritz onto clean skin and allow a minute to soak in. I give my skin 30 seconds to a minute (or so) between each product, so they can soak in and go to work.

3. Now it’s time for your facial oil or serum. Remember to pat your products on rather than rubbing them into skin. I can’t believe the difference in the way this makes my skin look. When I take the time to pat on my products my complexion looks firmer, smoother, and brighter.

4. Once the serum or facial oil has had a chance to soak in, you can apply your moisturizer. Again, pat onto skin. Same goes for sunscreen, which you can use in place of moisturizer if it is hydrating enough for your skin, but you will need to blend sunscreen into skin a bit. Like I said above, for nighttime I give my skin a good dose of balm so I wake up hydrated instead of parched.

Summer skincare trick: If you’ve layered it up and your skin looks or feels greasy, give it an extra hit of facial mist. Adding this product on top of your moisturizing products will tone down excess oiliness and give you a matte finish. Feel free to mist throughout the day to combat greasiness or perk skin up.

That’s it. Not so tough. And if you use the right products for your skin type you shouldn’t see any shine or greasiness. Just healthy vibrant skin. Now go enjoy that sunshine, girl.

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Image :: Ishan @seefromthesky at Unsplash

Product Review :: Amala Beauty Rejuvenate

Product Review :: Amala Beauty Rejuvenate

You know how sometimes you find a product that totally lives up to its claims? Such is not often the case when it comes to anti-aging products. Maybe my goals for serums and creams are too lofty. Still, it’s disheartening to get your hopes up and cash in on little results.

Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised by Amala Beauty Rejuvenate products. Wait … that doesn’t even cover what I was. Astounded and pretty dang happy is more like it.

I’m a big fan of facial oils. They soften, smooth, plump, and hydrate skin. And my skin can use all the plumping and hydrating it can get. But, while I sample many different products on a regular basis, my daily skincare routine has remained the same for a long time now. And oils are a big part of it.

The truth is, I’d been feeling the need for some bigger gun products. Yes, I was still getting the smoothness and glow from my favorite oils. But loss of firmness and vitality was an issue I felt needed dealing with.

I received two products from Amala Beauty to test out. They are both from the Brightening line. Something I felt would be a great fit for summertime stories if I liked the products. And I do. More on that soon.

Along with them came a couple of sample-sized testers from the Rejuvenate line. Due to personal experience and a dermatologist recently telling me to keep expectations low where anti-aging skincare is concerned, my hopes for amazing results were in check.

Well, let me just say that these two products chuck those reality checks right out the window. Now that I know skincare can offer real results where wrinkles and loss of firmness are concerned, I won’t be able to help but measure other products to them.

What is this amazing duo? Advanced Firming Concentrate and Targeted Wrinkle Treatment.

So, here’s how I use these two rock stars. In the morning, I pat the concentrate onto clean skin and allow it to soak in for a second or two. They’ve done clinical tests on this stuff that show bigtime results in 1 to 4 weeks, but my skin looked better instantly. Good to know the effects may build over time, though.

Then I go over my trouble spots with the wrinkle treatment (forehead wrinkles, lines around mouth, jawline, and under chin. This roller ball tube feels so good on skin and is fun to use. I let this soak in a bit too before patting on my daily moisturizer.

I swear, my skin hasn’t looked as good in years. I love, love these two products. My complexion looks firm, smooth, and glowing.

Alas, youthful radiance comes with a price. You’ll be handing over around 400 clams for both products. Ouch, I know. But if you think about going in for laser or other invasive treatments this seems like a steal. That’s how I’m choosing to look at it anyway.

I always suggest trying to get ahold of samples before purchasing expensive skincare, or at least checking a brand’s return policy. Amala accepts returns of opened products within 30 days as long as you have the original packaging and less than 30% of the product has been used.

If you buy one or both of these products, would you please let me know your experience? I’d love to see how they work for you!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some writing to do. Have to make some bank to keep up my new skincare habit.

My Favorite Nontoxic Mineral Sunscreens for Face

My Favorite Nontoxic Mineral Sunscreens for Face

Have you hit the mineral sunscreen section of your favorite online shopping spot yet this season? Let’s give you a boost.

Shopping for sunscreen may not be as fun as shopping for, say, a new lip gloss or personal fragrance. But it’s as necessary as deodorant or shampoo. Especially in summer months when you’ll be spending even more time hanging outdoors. Yipee!

I’m going to be honest here. While I stick with a clean beauty routine and do my best to make healthy choices, sunscreen is one area where I have been lax over the years. Growing up , my Mom laid out in the sun to get tan, so I did too. I absolutely love the way sunshine feels on my skin and spending time under it is one of my favorite things. I’m a true summer girl at heart.

And a tan looks great. When you have 18 year old skin. At forty something, I’m much more freckly than smoothly bronzed. Plus, I don’t love the brown spots that are showing up year round and know that many of my wrinkles were earned under the sun.

Time to invest in some decent facial sunscreen and make a habit of wearing it. Do you wake up and apply sunscreen to your face every morning? More and more women do, and that truly deserves recognition. No better way to protect your skin and keep it looking youthful.

Of course, mineral sunscreen is the way to go. Not only do minerals, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, protect against both types of UV rays, they don’t carry the dangers of hormonal disruption and potential carcinogenic attributes that come with chemical sunscreen ingredients. Minerals for the win!

Grab my free 10 Sunscreen Ingredients to Avoid download now!

Next up, you need sun protection that is also free from other nasty ingredients. This is where the nontoxic part comes in and you need to put your label reading skills to work.

Download my free Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid list now!

My Top 3 Favorite Mineral Sunscreens for Face

Natural sunscreen brands keep getting better and better at creating protection that is easy to use, effective, and looks and feels good too. All three of the following feel good on skin (not heavy or sticky), are non-whitening (and I really mean that, no whiteness of any kind), and are not greasy on skin.

Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28

Kari Gran Three Sixty Five 28 :: I love this one and wore it every day while we were in Maui over spring break. You’d think that an oil-based sunscreen would be greasy right? Especially one with zinc. But oh no, this beauty sinks into skin nicely and my face wasn’t all parched at the end of a beach day. Will definitely use it all summer long.

Kypris Beauty Pot of Shade Heliotropic

Kypris Pot of Shade: Heliotropic SPF 30 :: The deluxe facial sunscreen, mineral and otherwise, hands down. This product goes on like a high performance facial cream, is moisturizing without being greasy, and makes skin look a little radiant. It is also scentless and super gentle, so everyone can get in on its goodness, and makes the perfect makeup primer. A must try.

True Botanicals Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20

True Botanicals Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20 :: It’s tough to shop mineral sunscreens without running into this guy. It seemed like every time I hopped on to Instagram, True Botanicals sunscreen was staring me down. Of course, I had to see what all the fuss is about. Since I’m no foundation wearer, the thought of putting a mineral sunscreen with tint on my face sounded a bit daunting. No worries, this beauty performs like a dream. Go for sheer coverage or layer it on for fuller coverage. You are going to love it!

Image :: Carlos Alberto Gómez Iñiguez at Unsplash.com

How to NOT Get Scorched on Spring Break

How to NOT Get Scorched on Spring Break

Spring break is coming right up. Woohoo! We can all use a breather between winter and spring, even if it’s in the form of a relaxing weekend.

But for those of you heading somewhere warm, sunny, and fabulous over the holiday, you need a few must-haves. Bikini…check. Flip flops…of course. Anti-sunburn plan…huh?

I know, you have good intentions where monitoring your sun exposure is concerned. Don’t we all. But it’s tough to stay out from under the feel good rays of that glowing orb which we’ve barely laid eyes on since last September. Time to construct a plan to keep you from spending your entire trip nursing a nasty burn.

Your Anti-Sunburn Spring Break Plan

1 Choose the Right Sunscreen :: We know that mineral sunscreen is the best way to protect against UV damage. Even chemical sunscreen makers know that mineral is best, that’s why they add a bit of it to their toxic concoction so they can claim their products are mineral sunscreens. But we know the truth, and that is that you have to choose sunscreen that is free from chemical sunscreen ingredients and other junk.

Chemical sunscreen ingredients are not only less effective in preventing skin damage, but have the potential to cause free radical formation when worn in the sun, and have links to hormonal disruption and allergic reaction.

Check this guide for a mineral sunscreen to suit any sunny situation.

2 Use Sunscreen the Right Way :: Ok, here’s the hard part. You have to use your super effective sunscreen properly to get the benefits. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying at least one ounce (that’s about a palm full) to all exposed areas. Reapply every two hours or sooner if sunscreen has been rinsed off by sweat or water. Set a timer on your phone so you don’t forget. Time goes fast when you’re having fun.

3 About SPF :: While the number on your sunscreen is not the most important factor, it does matter. When protecting skin that hasn’t seen the light of day in a few months, you may think the higher the better, right? Or will a lower number deliver the same benefits for less time? Here is how to decipher those SPF numbers and choose which is right for you.

Fair skin tones — 10 minutes in sun before beginning to burn
Medium skin tones — 15 minutes in sun before beginning to burn
Dark skin tones — 20 minutes in sun before beginning to burn

The SPF number multiplied by the number of minutes it takes before you burn is the amount of protection you will get. For example, an SPF 20 product used on medium skin tone will offer 300 minutes of protection. 20 x 15 = 300.

Now, grab yourself a big hat and don’t be afraid to take a lunch break indoors to give skin a rest from UV exposure. And most of all, have a fabulous time!

Image :: Tomas Salas at Unsplash.com

An Interview :: My Take on Organic Beauty

Trevida Interview Organic Beauty Source

Organic beauty isn’t a new thing. It has been around for a while, evolved to meet the high standards of today, and is popping up just about everywhere these days. Love it!

Target carries a selection of high quality organic beauty products, now including W3LL People. Barney’s recently introduced Kjaer Weis to its line-up. And Nordstrom’s added in-store Natural Beauty Outposts the beginning of the year.

The best way to keep the clean beauty movement growing is to keep purchasing organic beauty products. I recently had the opportunity to take part in an interview with Trevida. Check it out to see where I see organic beauty headed, skincare tips for the different season, and my organic makeup must-haves.

Liz Thompson Of Organic Beauty Source Talks All Natural Skin Care

Trevida: There’s been a lot of progress in organic skin care in recent years. Where do you see this industry going?

Liz: I’ve always dreamt of walking into department stores and seeing counter after counter of clean beauty products, and I truly believe we are getting closer. Organic beauty sales go up every year (practically doubled since 2012), Nordstrom launched Natural Beauty Outposts in stores this year, and clean beauty items are making regular appearances in mainstream beauty magazines and blogs, and on celebs and red carpets. Organic beauty is no longer a fringe notion or trend, but something consumers want as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Click here to read the full interview…

 

Image via Trevidaconnection.com

Your Foundation Match Made Easy

Your Foundation Match Made Easy

Maybe the most difficult makeup feat to pull off is finding your perfect foundation match. Not only are all skin tones slightly different, but (unless you live where the climate stays the same year-round) the color of your complexion changes with the seasons.

If you search tips on choosing foundation, you’ll find plenty of recommendations to get a professional color match. But how many times have you walked out of a department store and hated the color of the foundation you just bought once you get a good, long look in the lighted car mirror?

Department store lighting is not set up to color match (whoever invents indoor lighting that looks like outdoor lighting for department stores will be a gajillionaire!) and only you know what your skin likes. I’m sure some people have found their absolute favorite foundation with the help of a makeup salesperson, but most of the time this is not going to make you happy.

There are several factors that come into play here other than color. Do you want a hydrating foundation or a lighter consistency? Do you want a matte or radiant finish? Are you looking for medium or light coverage? These are all important things to note before embarking on your foundation match journey.

Much time and many dollars later, let’s see how you can DIY the heck out of this whole foundation match business.

6 Steps to Choosing Your Perfect Foundation Match

Step #1 :: Know your skin tone. The foundation you loved last summer, or even at the beginning of winter, may be all wrong right now. Take a long look in a well lit mirror and determine where your skin is at right now, today. Most of us fall in the fair, medium, or dark zone.

Step #2 :: Now, to get your ideal match, you must determine your undertone. This stays the same through changes of season, for the most part, though fair skinned gals may appear more pinkish as winter wears on. There are three undertones … pink, yellow, and neutral. Pink is cool, yellow is warm, and neutral is somewhere in between. A cool foundation on yellow toned skin will look grey. A warm foundation on pink toned skin will look yellow. This step is not difficult, but is super important.

Step# 3 :: What type of coverage are you looking for? A lightweight foundation evens out skin tone and conceals minor discoloration. Medium to full coverage helps with deeper discoloration and in covering acne spots.

Step #4 :: Take your skin type into account. Oily skin types will want to steer clear of overly creamy or hydrating foundations as they may cause skin to breakout or become too shiny. Hydrating foundations make dry skin type more comfortable and prevent the cakey look. Some people prefer a matte finish, while others love a bit of radiance that comes with a slightly luminizing foundation.

Step# 5 :: If you are shopping in store, apply a touch of foundation to an area of your face that a) you always wear makeup on, and b) you can see well. Since you are likely never putting makeup on the back of your hand, this is not suitable for color matching. If you only wear foundation on your T-zone, don’t color match to your cheeks. And it is often advised to swipe a bit of sample product on your jawline. But, unless your eyes are set up differently than mine, it can be dang hard to get a good look at your own jawline. It may not be your dream come true to go shopping with a bare face, so leave an area of your face clean and makeup free for testing shades. This is when bangs come in handy.

Step #6 :: If you are shopping online, track down those juicy product recommendations. These are chock full of great information that a product description often doesn’t deliver. People who’ve used the product can tell if the shade is true to color, if it left their skin greasy or caused zits, if it looks natural or better suited to covering sleeve tats. You get the picture. And order samples wherever possible.

That six-stepper ought to get you on your way. In the meantime, peruse this handy pic of high quality foundations with a little something for everyone.

Clockwise from top left :: Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Luminous FoundationVapour Atmosphere Soft Focus FoundationAlima Pure Liquid Silk FoundationSappho Essential FoundationW3LL People Narcissist Stick FoundationILIA Vivid Foundation Tularosa.

The 2 Chemicals in Cosmetics You Should Avoid First

The 2 Chemicals in Cosmetics You Should Avoid First

I was recently asked which ingredients are most important to avoid in cosmetics. Since there is a pretty extensive list of toxic ingredients that commonly make an appearance in beauty products, plus the many names they go by, this isn’t exactly a short question to answer.

My response was, while it’s best to learn to spot all nasty ingredients or look at a list of those to avoid while shopping, it may help to ease into this whole label reading thing. At first, anyway.

The ingredients I would recommend nixing from your beauty repertoire immediately are petroleum ingredients and synthetic fragrance ingredients. These are both very toxic and the use of them is widespread.

Petroleum Ingredients

Yes, these come from crude oil. Sounds icky, right? And they are! Petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil are commonly found on ingredient listings. Of course, they are refined for use in cosmetics (versus what you put in your car), but petro-chems are usually contaminated with carcinogens. The European Union (who sets higher standards for cosmetic safety than we do in the US) deems petrolatum carcinogenic and restricts its use.

The cancer risk associated with these ingredients is enough to make you steer clear, but there’s more. Petroleum jelly is viewed as a winter skin fix all. It is supposed to moisturize, soothe, repair, and protect dry, chapped, irritated skin. The problem with this gloppy ingredient is that it sits on top of skin, forming a barrier so skin cannot properly release toxins or absorb moisture from the air. Your skin may feel better when you first start using it, but will most likely end up dry, irritated, and congested. No good.

There are several healthy products you can purchase as an alternative to petroleum jelly. Cocoa and shea butter are super rich and great for hydrating and healing skin. Try The Beauty Chef Beauty Fix Balm. One Love Organics Skin Savior is made with coconut and jojoba oils, plus other soothing ingredients. Both are healthy choices that get the job done.

Synthetic Fragrance Ingredients

When synthetic fragrance is used in a beauty product it is actually a combination of several ingredients. If you think that makes it more difficult to identify these nasties on a product label, wait until you find out about the trade secret loophole. While manufacturers are required to list all ingredients used to make a cosmetic product, the FDA says it’s ok to exclude fragrance ingredients from the ingredient listing to protect the brand’s secret fragrance recipe from competitors. Manufacturers can simply use the terms “fragrance” or “parfum” instead.

Making things even more difficult is that many nontoxic brands also use these two terms to protect their secret fragrance blends. Usually a reputable natural cosmetics creator will note on an ingredient listing if their fragrance issues came from natural sources, like essential oils.

What’s the big deal with synthetic fragrance? These ingredients are what cause that headache-y, nauseated feeling you get when a scent doesn’t agree with you. But it doesn’t stop there. Synthetic fragrance is also linked to skin irritation, rash, dizziness, and asthma. They’ve also been found to carry an accumulation risk, meaning they build up in the body, and are linked to hormonal disruption and cancer.

Bottom Line

While you get familiar with harmful ingredients you want to avoid in cosmetics, start by checking for these two. Look for petro-ingredients like petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil. When you see the terms “fragrance” and “parfum” on an ingredient listing, see if there is a notation as to the source of these ingredients. A brand’s website may also have information on their ingredient commitments.

Image :: McKinley Law at Unsplash

Clean Beauty Picks You’ll Love for January (and beyond)

Clean Beauty Picks You'll Love for January (and beyond)

It’s January! Doesn’t a new year always feel so good? Lots of goals set and good work to do.

I thought we’d kick off 2017 with a round up of good clean beauty items you absolutely have to have. We are stuck in the depths of winter, so of course skin hydration is key. A good glow-inducing skin smoother is also important right about now. Plus something to keep your system in check. Let’s take a peek.

Products You’ll Love for January (and beyond)

Goop Clean Beauty :: As you’ll be able to tell, I’ve been clocking plenty of minutes on goop.com. I bought the new book over the holidays, Goop Clean Beauty, written by the editors at Goop (that Amazon app makes it just too dang easy, I must say). It’s a green-beauty-meets-detox-tips-meets-healthy-recipes-meets-do-this-whole-clean-living-thing-your-way sorta read. Right up my alley. Get your hands on a copy asap.

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum :: Oh my goodness, I’ve wanted to try this serum forever. It gets tons of praise in the beauty world, not least importantly by my fave beauty editor of all time, Jean Godfrey-June. So, had to have. And it is just as good as everyone says. This serum contains some of my absolute favorite oils. Avocado oil has such a luxe texture and makes skin feel almost spongey it is so good at plumping. Nothing beats rosehip oil for anti-aging benefits, like brightening the skin, lightening dark spots, and softening lines and wrinkles. Sea buckthorn and turmeric are superstars at giving skin a lit-from-within glow. VD suggests a particular pat and press type method for applying the serum and now I do that with all of my facial oils. Love.

Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial

Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial :: Skin tends to get more sand papery in dry months. It seems like I need to exfoliate every few days right now. As always, don’t overdo the sloughing or you’ll end up with red, irritated skin. This is especially important when winter is already causing skin to become more fragile. I love this treatment because, while it does contain super fine granules, it is not a scrub. This baby uses fruit extracts to loosen and remove dry, dead skin cells. It’s seriously an instant facial. When I need smoothness and glow, I apply a nice layer, wait a minute or two, and rinse. That simple and no scrubbing necessary.

Ashwaganda

Ashwaganda :: I love Dr. Sara Gottfried. She’s a medical doctor who strongly believes in holistic medicine. Her book helped me get my hormones on track and I read pretty much anything she puts out. So, when I came across this article recently I had to check into some of this adaptogen. I wrote more on adaptogens here, and have always meant to get some ashwaganda in my life because Ayurveda loves this guy. It is said to help with both emotional and physical stress (sign me up), boost the immune system (a must for cold and flu season), and help to balance hormones (for sure, yes!).