SKINCARE

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

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!).

4 Beauty Tips You Absolutely Have to Know

4 Beauty Tips You Absolutely Have to Know

I’ve always loved beauty products. From playing in my Mom’s makeup, to putting together my own style, to writing about it today…I’m into it.

But when you write about eyeshadow colors for the season, and how to use highlighter, and stuff like that day in and day out, you can get in a rut. Like, nothing new.

And then you stumble on something that is so good you can’t quit thinking about. And your fire is lit again.

Here’s what’s been lighting my fire lately:

1 Baby skin :: Sounds like something you want, right? Wait ‘til you see a pic of it! I came across this article while writing a story on facial mists and cannot quit thinking about it. The deal is, you give your face a light misting between each layer. So, moisturizer, mist, foundation, mist, powder, mist…you get the idea. I want.

2 The New Brow :: While brows have taken a slightly more demure turn over last year’s big and bold, definition is still definitely in. This can be tricky. How many bad brows have you witnessed in the past 12 or so months?

I found a trick in InStyle mag that works like a charm. You simply brush brows up, feather a line on the under side of brows (I give it the slightest of blends with a q-tip), and brush brows into place. It gives brows definition without looking overly filled in or mad scientist-y. Give ‘er a try.

3 Exotic Oils :: Facial oils have sorta been my thing for a long while now. I love ‘em and no one is gonna change my mind. But I recently came into a sweet little stock of facial oils I had never tried. We are talking Berbere, Tamanu, Marula, and Baobab. Exotic, oui? They are all mighty lovely and create super soft skin, but my face seems to be crushing hard on the Berbere in particular. I’d say run, don’t walk, to one of these babies.

4 Hair Game Changer :: And last, but not least, I’d like to share a life changing hair moment I had recently. My daughter, in attempt to get the most from a new hair conditioner we were trying, read the directions on the bottle. It appears you are supposed to squeeze the water from your sopping wet locks before applying your conditioner.

Oh. Em. Gee. Do you all already know about this? How many other daily life things have I been doing wrong forever? If you too are one who slathers her soaking wet hair in conditioner and wonders why she isn’t getting super soft locks, try this trick. If you’ve been doing this your whole life, take pity on my feeble mindedness.

Image :: Aki Tolentino at Unsplash

List Love :: Spring Beauty

List Love SpringBeauty

Isn’t this a weird time of year? It’s warm, it’s not warm. Our skin is dry, then it breaks out because of the up and down temps. We want to bust out the fun springtime makeup hues, but our face is still stuck in hibernation mode.

Know what fixes those end of winter, almost spring blues? An exciting beauty shopping list! Here’s what is on mine right about now:

French Girl Organics Bronzing Oil :: Ummm, cuz oil + bronzing sounds a-freakin’-mazing. This brand was featured in the latest issue of domino. Domino is one of my all time favorite magazines (I have every single issue ever published and now write for domino.com, in case you didn’t know) and what they say goes.

One Love Organics Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum :: We’ve talked about body serums here before. And boy, are they perfect for spring. Nix the heavy balms and greasy moisturizers. Let a luscious oil blend sink into your skin and give the ol’ bod a sweet glow. This one smells fabulous and is one of my staples.

RMS Master Mixer :: Because I am, possibly, RMS Beauty’s biggest fan, this one is definitely a must try. Rose-Marie Swift, creator of RMS and green beauty icon, has a knack for coming up with super cool, unique beauty products that turn into cult hits. This is for sure gonna be one of those.

OM Caviar Eye Cream :: This baby is receiving rave reviews and is said to diminish wrinkles and dark circles. When anything says that, I say…bring it on.

Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist :: The idea of misting my skin with rose water when the weather is warm is so appealing. Think I must do. These guys were also featured in that domino green beauty round up I mentioned before, so there’s that.

SW Basics Oil Serum :: It’s no secret I worship facial oils. If they were a person, I’d bff them for life. If they were edible, I’d drink them for breakfast. If they were a song, I’d have them on repeat. You get it. This beauty has both turmeric and coffee oil, which is pretty dang exciting. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and gives skin a lovely glow. Coffee helps to tighten and brighten. Come to mama.

ILIA Beauty Lip Exfoliator :: Lipgloss is my favorite makeup item. Heck, it’s my favorite beauty item. I’m sure most of you are with me. Since your lipgloss glides on so much better if your lips are soft and smooth, we all must try this cool new lip exfoliator in a stick. For smoothing your pucker on the fly.

Olio e Osso Balm French Melon :: I’ve been hunting for the perfect blend of peachy-pink lip color since binge watching every season of the new 90210. This may be it, guys. I shall try it out and let you know.

Here’s to the most gorgeous spring you’ve know yet!

Replaced :: Aquaphor

Replaced :: Aquaphor

Are you so tired of cracked skin on your hands? Or maybe the skin on your face is looking irritated or ruddy? How about eczema? These skin conditions all come with the winter territory.

Go to the doctor or dermy and they’ll tell you to pick up a tube of Aquaphor, or some similar petroleum jelly type product, at the drugstore and you’re all good. Why is that? Because petroleum jelly works in the short term. It almost instantly makes skin feels softer and soothed, and helps to seal in moisture our skin is crying out for right about now.

Trouble is, petroleum jelly (petrolatum) often contains cancer causing contaminants. As a matter of fact, the European Union considers the ingredient carcinogenic and restrict its use in cosmetics.

Aside from that nasty news, petroleum jelly is occlusive, meaning it forms a barrier on the skin. In the moisturizer world, there are humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants draw moisture from the air to the skin. Emollients are moisturizing ingredients that soak into the skin, filling dry cracks and areas.

Occlusive agents are meant to hold in moisture and prevent dryness. They usually feel greasy on the skin and can cause clogged pores and acne. Some natural ingredients are also occlusive (beeswax, mango butter, cocoa butter…) and work the same way as petroleum jelly, creating a water loss barrier on the skin only sans the carcinogenic contaminants. Due to the comedogenic nature of occlusives, it’s a good idea for those with oily or acne prone skin to use minimally.

But here we are in the midst of dry skin season. Even if you are on the oilier side, now is the time to get in on some of the benefits of these ingredients to deal with problem skin.

I have three favorite petroleum-jelly-type products that are all natural and work even better. You are going to love them!

True Organic of Sweden All You Need is Me :: Love the name, love the product. This one is new to me this season and can’t imagine going through another winter without it. It looks and feels just like Aquaphor coming out of the tube, but once you rub it into skin…seems to evaporate with no oil slick left behind. I use it religiously on my fingertips, cuticles, dry spots on face, and anywhere else that is just a little bit ( or a lot bit) too dry.

Waxelene :: Called “The Petroleum Jelly Alternative” this is the one to get if you are into using petroleum jelly straight up. It’s a simple four ingredient mix that comes in a either a tube or jar. No icky stuff, just real deal moisture for ultra parched skin.

SKIN Claramint Lip Balm :: I had to include this one here, even though it is decidedly minty, unlike Vaseline or Aquaphor. It is the exact consistency of petroleum jelly, super smooth and clear, and works like a charm on dry, chapped lips. I use it every single night before bed and it is always on when I wake up in the morning. Oh, and a lil dab’ll do ya.

Image :: Yegor Chekmarev at Unsplash.com

How To :: Shop Beauty at Whole Foods

How To :: Shop Beauty at Whole Foods

Whole Foods. I mention beauty items you can find there from time to time. Thought it was time I shared my WF beauty shopping list.

While I try and curb my Whole Foods experience due to my desire to go on vacations, buy some cool clothes, and one day send my kids to college, I do end up there fairly regularly. Not only is their fruit selection much better than my beloved Target, but it is an easy place to pick up some of my favorite natural beauty essentials.

The key to shopping WF without going broke is to go prepared, get your shiz, and get the heck outta there! So, here’s your list for the beauty aisle. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

AcurehairWF

AcurebodywashWF

AcurelineWF

AcureWrinkleWF

Acure Organics :: I love that WF carries this fabulous line. Acure makes skin, body and hair care basics, reasonably priced, and no nasty ingredients. They work great too. I pick up the Eye Cream, Day Cream, Radical Wrinkle Complex, Sensitive Facial Cleanser, body wash, and shampoo and conditioner. Target does carry some of this line too.

TrilogyWF

Trilogy :: Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is one of my first organic beauty loves. So good. Brightens, diminishes lines and dark spots, hydrates, and makes skin glow. A prize.

EvanHealyWF

Evan Healy :: A bottle of Pomegranate Repair Serum is a must for the beauty kit this time of year. Sinks into skin to moisturize and soften. I like to use it at night over my usual moisturizer once the indoor heat season starts up.

LipbalmWF

Whole Foods Lip Balm :: What if I told you WF makes one of my absolute fave lip balms?. For real. I love this lip balm more than most I’ve tried over the years. And since I am a lippy junkie, there have been many. It is super smooth and soft, not too greasy or too waxy, and comes in lots of fun flavors. Cheap too. Grab one at the checkout aisle as you are avoiding the bakery and making a mad dash for your car.

DrHWF2

Dr. Hauschka :: I also love that WF carries Dr. Hauschka. This guru of organic beauty has high quality formulas and several products to choose from. I don’t purchase these products regularly, but if they start carrying Dr. H Volume Mascara that’ll change real fast.

There you have it. My personal Whole Foods beauty shopping list. Now put your blinders on and go buy yourself some healthy stuff.

Product Love :: Beauty Beauties

 

PrettiesZoom

Product reviews. Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Don’t really care about ‘em?

I used to love to write product reviews. My passion for beauty products and writing all swirled into one happy place? Dream come true!

Lately I’ve been spending more time writing on organic beauty business ideas and strategies, and the real how-tos and what’s-ups of organic beauty and wellness. Yes, lots of products too. But reviews? Not as much.

So that is why it has taken me so long to get around to these two products I’ve had sitting around for a while. It is not that I don’t love them (because I only review products I truly like for myself or feel others would super duper benefit from), it’s just that reviews have sorta been on the back burner.

Anyway…the thing about these two beauties is…they are actual beauties. Inside and out. As in, the packaging is as pretty as the product. So while they have not yet appeared here on the blog, they have been a constant presence in my bathroom.

What are these two lovelies? One is a beautiful bottle of fabulously scented, highest quality oils by the stellar Kypris. This is a high end oil that acts like, well, a high end oil. This dream in a bottle was offered to me all tied up in a giftie navy blue bow. Product experience, anyone?

The other product (or products, actually) are not at the organic beauty royalty level of Kypris, but definitely deserve a serious turn of the head. I’d not heard of Formulary 55 when they were offered to me, but I am so glad I accepted them. These packets of face and body powders in mask/scrub form made my skin so unbelievably soft. For real!

Both of these exquisite beauty items make for some serious eye candy. Which got me to wondering…how much of our buying experience hinges on product appearance and packaging? There are always those must haves that could come in the least attractive bottle and we’d still buy them. But when we are talking expensive, luxury or specialty products, don’t we kind of need some experience to go along with them?

It’s like going to get a massage or spa treatment. This is a luxury, right? A treat. If the place is drab, rundown or otherwise unappealing the massage won’t seem like as much of a treat. It may not even be worth it.

So, there is something to this whole visual appeal thing, which led me to write a recent article for Domino.com on products that give good shelf esteem. This whole idea got my wheels spinning and I started asking around – How important is product packaging to you? And, not surprisingly, it is pretty dang important to most people. Women and men alike admit to putting a lot of importance on the way an item looks when buying.

Both Kypris and Formulary 55 outdo themselves on quality and aesthetics. Worthy of your skin and vanity/bathroom shelf.

Reconstructed :: InStyle Best Beauty Buys Part IV

Reconstructed InStyle BBB Sun Care

June is here! Yipeeee!!

We’ve been going over the InStyle Best Beauty Buys guide with a fine-toothed wooden bristle brush and subbing out those picks for some much healthier alternatives.

Now let’s get down to the stuff we are really thinking about right now … sunscreens and self tanners. If you’ve not yet considered protecting and/or giving your skin a little glow, now’s the time.

You know that mineral sunscreens provide the best protection against both UVA and UVB rays. And of course, you want products that are free from junk ingredients. Shrivel at the thought of those gloopy, neon white, grease slick mineral sunscreens?

What if I told you the days of enduring the grossness of mineral sunscreens are over? Well, that’s the truth. Formulators have figured out how to make mineral sunscreens that are not sticky or greasy, go on skin with no white film, and still provide that same effective protection you want. And I am going to fill you in on which are best, along with some pretty sweet all natural self tanners.

And away we go…

SUNSCREENS + SELF TANNERS

Self Tanner for Body   My all time top pick in this category has to be Lavera Sunless Tanner. I’ve used it for years and have found no other I like better. It goes on like a lotion, meaning it is lightly hydrating and easy to apply. It also provides a super natural looking tan with no orange tinge or streaks. And it smells great too. Another popular choice is Chocolate Sun Self Tanner. I have yet to try this one myself, but it is on my list.

Invisible Sunscreen for Face with Anti Aging   Suntegrity Sunscreen Face Protection SPF 30 leaves no greasiness or white film on skin, provides UVA and UVB protection, and doubles as a makeup primer. It also contains anti aging ingredients, green tea, algae, and pomegranate. Woot!

Overall Sunscreen for Body   Sticking with Suntegrity because it is just that awesome, Suntegrity Sunscreen for Body SPF 30 is your new go to. Easy to apply, feels like lotion, and has a light citrusy scent.

Facial Sunscreen   Surprise, surprise… Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen is my pick for those looking to protect the face and also add a bit of makeup coverage. Think of this as your summer BB Cream. SPF 30 provides more than adequate UV protection, this baby is packed with antioxidants to support skin and prevent premature aging. Comes in 5 shades.

Overall Sunscreen   Think: A sunscreen you can use on face, body, kids … the whole enchilada. True Natural Zinc 30 Baby & Family Sunscreen is the only one you’ll need in your beach bag this summer. Gentle, unscented, and non greasy. White factor?, you ask. This one requires a bit more rubbing in, but you definitely won’t be the ghost at the beach.

Self Tanner for Face   I love Lavera Organic Self Tanning Face Creamfor the same reasons I love the Lavera for body. Easy to use, doubles as moisturizer, looks super natural, and is not at all greasy. Apply every few days to maintain a natural glow. You’ll fall in love with this stuff.

Okey doke. We are by no means finished with the greening of the InStyle BBB. Still have body and hair products to go, so don’t forget to come on back now, ya’ hear?

Reconstructed :: InStyle Best Beauty Buys Part III

InStyle Best Beauty Buys Part III

Hellooooo again, sweet organic beauties! Can you believe it is almost summer? I’m so ready. But first, we have to finish up the greening of the InStyle Best Beauty Buys guide.

I’m doing this in chunks because it is kind of a massive undertaking. Plus, it makes it easier for you to find what you are looking for.

You can view Face + Cheeks here, Eyes + Lips here. Today, we cover skincare for every skin type. One category InStyle left out is sensitive skin, so I will make a notation on products that work there. This is a biggie, so let’s get started!

NORMAL SKIN

Eye Cream In an attempt to choose a product every woman will love…I have to go with B Leaf Botanics Replenish, here. My friend, Ellen Holder, makes this wonderful stuff. It is moisturizing, yet non greasy. It brightens and youth-ifies delicate, tired skin. It is perfect when worn under makeup. Oh, and you can use on lips too. Take that non healthy InStyle BBB choice.

Cleanser The Cetaphil of natural cleansers? Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. Super mild, cleans skin, removes makeup, and just the slightest bit moisturizing. Works well on sensitive skin too. An option closer in price to Cetaphil is Acure Organics Sensitive Facial Cleanser.

Scrub Technically a mask, but Living Libations Green Papaya Lime AHA Mask uses fruit enzymes (rather than particles) to exfoliate. Also perfect for sensitive skin.

Daytime Moisturizer I like Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream here. It supports and protects skin, is lightly hydrating, and gentle enough for sensitive types. If you have very sensitive skin, Pai Echium & Macadamia Replenishing Day Cream.

Antioxidant Serum Gosh, I love serums. Normal skin loves a product with healthy oils, but not too heavy. YULI Cell Perfecto PM provides antioxidant protection along with lightening, brightening, spot fading bennies too.

Mask I know those freaky cotton Friday the 13th-esque masks are all the rage right now, but the SK-II version contains some nasty ingredients so steer clear. Until I find a cotton mask that is also nontoxic, here’s what I suggest…May Lindstrom The Honey Mud. This product is actually great for all skin types, including sensitive. The clay pulls out impurities, which is what you are looking for in a mask. But the real reason I love it is the honey. Honey is so softening and smoothing, plus it’s naturally antibacterial. I’ll even apply a straight shot of Wedderspoon Manuka Honey to my face.

Night Cream MUN No.1 Aknari Brightening Youth Serum is an oil combination that can be used alone or with your moisturizer, depending on what you feel your skin needs. When feeling dry, I love to apply generously over my usual moisturizer and sleep my way to revitalized skin.

Daytime Moisturizer with SPF Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30 is aloe based. Light enough for normal skin, gentle enough for sensitive, and contains a dose of non-nano zinc for sun protection. For the ultra sensitive, try Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30.

DRY SKIN

Cleanser Not unscented, but Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Cream is super gentle and hydrating. Remember, “unscented” doesn’t necessarily mean a product is free from synthetic fragrance. Rich oils and cocoa butter moisturize, Rooibos provides antioxidant protection. And the $9.99 price tag is pretty darn great too.

Serum Dry skin loves Blissoma Restore Deep Healing Oil Serum. Packed with antioxidans and EFAs, this oil combo plumps and hydrates, plus a dose of Seabuckthorn oil lends a nice glow.

Daytime Moisturizer with SPF Here is would usually recommend applying a sunscreen over your daily moisturizer. Then I stumbled across Living Libations Everybody Loves the Sunshine with Zinc.Zinc in an oil blend pretty much spells sun protection for dry skin, right? It is currently out of stock, but I’ve contacted the shop to see if it will be making a return. Fingers crossed.

Night Cream La Bella Figura Rainforest Hydration Treatment is a rockstar for nighttime skin hydration and repair. Antioxidant rich, this cream/balm hybrid is made with pure butters and oils to give skin some extra TLC. For rich hydration while you catch your Zzzs with a slightly lighter price tag, I like Suti Purity Organic Moisturizing Balm.

Mask When I want a treat for my dry skin, I use Amala Hydrating Yogurt Mask. A luxe experience.

Eye Cream For everday, I’d stick with the Replenish listed above in Normal Skin. Still, if you are looking for uber rich nighttime hydration for delicate eye area, I love SKIN Apricot Mango Eye Cream.

Scrub Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser is a creamy cleanser with micro-fine particles to remove dead skin cells gently.

OILY SKIN

Spot Treatment Amala Purifying Blemish Treatment is a mild gel that clears pores and zaps zits with Witch Hazel and Willow Bark extract. Not drying or irritating, resist the urge to pick and use this instead. Already done the picking? Use CELSUS Bio-Intelligence Scar Cream to heal marks.

Toner Calming and anti-inflammatory at once, use Bottega Organica Anti-Blemish Rose Face Mist on clean skin before applying moisturizer, or spritz throughout the day for antibacterial refreshment.

Serum To balance excess oil and avoid breakouts, use Pai Perfect Balance Blemish Serum Copaiba & Zinc. May be applied 1-2 times per week, or more if your skin calls for extra action.

Scrub Cult hit One Love Organics Brand New Day is a powder that can be used as a scrub or mask. Pineapple enzymes work to gently slough away dead skin cells, revealing healthy, vibrant skin.

Night Cream Treat while you sleep with Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel. May be used as a day or night cream for oily skin types. Great for soothing and calming, while clearing pores and delivering the lightest hydration.

Mask Purge pores of dirt and bacteria with La Bella Figura Bio Active Purifying Mask. Charcoal and honey work to soften skin, remove blackheads, and balance oil.

Daytime Moisturizer with SPF Consonant 100% Natural Matte Finish Sunscreen-SPF 15 is a fragrance-free facial sunscreen with matte finish. No grease slick or white film. (UPDATE: This product has been discontinued. Please try Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Rich Day Cream SPF 30 instead.)

Eye Cream The caffeine infused eye cream? In my book, 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream.

Cleanser One Love Organics Apple a Day Brightening Facial Cleanser is a mild, foaming facial cleanser. Breaks down dead skin cells and brightens the complexion. (UPDATE: This product has been discontinued. Please try One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser instead.)

ANTI-AGING

Eye Cream Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Cream is the luxe of the luxe in anti aging eye cream. Soothes delicate skin while toning away fine lines. Another I love is 100% Pure Super Fruits Eye Balm for nighttime super treatment. And I use Acure Organics Eye Cream in the daytime, as well as B Leaf Botanics Replenish.

Inexpensive Wrinkle Treatment Acure Organics Certified Organic Aromatherapeutic Coconut Argan Oil is made with Vitamin E, EFAs, and, obvi, Argan oil…this truly is a skin superfood! Smooths the appearance of lines, diminishes spots, scars, and redness, and protects skin with antioxidants, and smells like coconuts. All for only $12.99. No brainer.

At-Home Peel The word peel makes me shudder. Let’s say remove dead skin cells instead, ok? And the safest, gentlest way to go about doing that is with fruit acids. They break down old skin cells and leave healthy cells intact, no scrubbing required. I had truly amazing results with Wild Honey Apothecary fruit masks. Particle free, these masks vary from season to season because they use only fresh, seasonal fruits. Cool, huh? I’m in love with the strawberry mask, but that doesn’t happen until later in summer. Indigo Magic is pretty darn good too.

Wrinkle Treatment Nothing works better on wrinkles than oils. Here are a few anti-agers you’ll love: Ila Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, La Bella Figura Barbary Fig Renewal Serum, May Lindstrom Skin The Youth Dew, and Odacite Rosehip Ylang Ylang Serum Concentrate.

Discoloration Treatment Sun damage is a real thing as we get older. Rather than reaching for the concealer, treat spots with RMS Beauty Oil. One of my favorite every day oils, this baby contains Rosehip oil which is so good at evening skin tone, smoothing wrinkles, and lightening spots. It also contains protective Buriti oil, to help ward off further damage.

Exfoliator May Lindstrom Skin The Clean Dirt looks like your average powder scrub, but behaves very differently. This powder is super fine, so doesn’t stress skin, and visibly clears congestion and sallow complexion.

Whew! There you have my picks in each skincare category. As always, if you have questions or comments, please let the rest of us in on them. And come back next week when we shall hash over InStyle’s picks for body and sun care, and my healthy replacements. See ya then.

Product Love :: Spa Sonic Pro

Spa Sonic Pro Facial Brush

Seems everyone’s into skin brushes these days. And for good reason. They are great for gently sloughing away dry dead skin cells.

What’s so great about sloughing?

Think of those dead cells as a barrier between fresh skin and the healthy ingredients you are putting on it. How are your good products supposed to do their job if they have trouble soaking in? Dead cells also make skin look dull and can cause breakouts.

A gentle brush exfoliates and gets circulation going, resulting in a pretty awesome looking complexion. I recently lucked out and received a brush kit to try from Spa Sonic Pro.

This kit comes with not only a facial brush, but a facial sponge, plus a brush for body and even a pumice tool for rough feet. I love it! My fave tool of all, somewhat surprisingly, is the sponge attachment. I use it after applying all of my face oils and creams to help them penetrate the skin. I also tell myself it is is smoothing out my wrinkles. Hey, can’t hurt.

The thing is, I was using the sponge attachment very lightly and carefully. You know how we’ve been taught to not pull the skin to avoid causing lines? Then today I came across this article on facial massage and thought What the heck?!. So I gave my face a good circular-motion massaging with the sponge post moisturizer/facial oil application.

And do you know what? My skin looked so livened up and pink and fresh. I’d even go so far as to say younger.

So while I would recommend avoiding pulling or rough rubbing of the skin, a nice massage really seems to perk it up. And I highly recommend regular exfoliation. A facial brush is a great way to get that done.

My opinion? Everyone needs one of these brush kits. At Target, Walgreen’s, and Amazon.

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