• The Real Difference between Natural, Organic, and Non-Toxic Beauty Products

    Over the last ten years, the demand for organic, natural, and non-toxic products has risen exponentially. The biggest consumer demand is in the food sector, with stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s leading the way toward more wholesomely farmed and gathered food. However, the demand for products untainted with synthetic chemicals and compounds is bleeding out into the world at large as well.

    In the cosmetic industry, consumers want more natural health and beauty products, and they have every right to demand them; the beauty industry is rife with synthetic chemicals, many of which are also used in industrial manufacturing to make pesticides more stable, and degrease
    warehouse and factory floors. Obviously, a compound that is used to clean the caked grease on production lines probably shouldn’t be used on your face.

    The problem is compounded because cosmetic products are used so frequently. Day in and day out, people apply these beauty products onto their skin, often around already sensitive areas like eyes. Over time, the hazardous chemicals will leak into and build up in your bloodstream, leading to a myriad of negative health effects.

    Part of the problem with having so many chemicals in the products is researchers aren’t really sure of their effects. In the United States, over 80,000 chemicals are approved for commercial use, but the EPA has only analyzed the health risks of 570 over the last 30 years. Loopholes in federal law give the personal care industry the bility to inject thousands of chemicals and damaging compounds into health and beauty care products.

    To avoid the damaging effects of these chemicals, it’s a good idea to start making the switch to more wholesome beauty products. Before you do, however, you have to educate yourself on the natural, organic, and non-toxic beauty industry. In this post, we’re going to give you an in-depth look at alternative skin care products, as well as go over some key terminology you’ll have to know before you make the jump.

    What Does “Natural” Mean?

    The short answer? Not much. Legally, the term means nothing and doesn’t imply a higher degree of regulation. All manufacturers have to do is include a few—like a very few—natural ingredients, and they can slap the label on their products. “Natural” products can contain up to 30 percent synthetic compounds, so you’re still getting potentially hazardous chemicals on your skin. If you look at the product’s label, and it’s full of ingredients like red #11, ethyl acetate, or nitrocellulose, and the only ingredient you can pronounce is way down at the bottom of the list,
    then the product really can’t be deemed natural in any way.

    However, you do need to be aware of the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients’ (INCI) Latin names or various products. The names—like sodium cocoate for coconut oil—may look like they are synthetic ingredients, but, in reality, they are all-natural and should be much safer to use on your skin.

    You also need to be aware that many “synthetic” ingredients can be derived from natural compounds, but, because they go through so much processing, these end up being much more toxic than the initial ingredient. For example, the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep Cosmetics Database classifies sodium laureth sulfate as a skin irritant which has also been linked to organ toxicity. As a consumer, you should definitely avoid this product, but it is processed from coconut oil, which means companies can label any product with sodium laureth sulfate as atural.”

    In short, think deeper than the marketing ploy of “All-Natural,” and analyze every ingredient before you buy.

    What Does Organic Mean?

    As opposed to “All-Natural” or “Natural,” labeling a product as organic means there are strict regulatory guidelines that are enforceable in court. Every “Organic” product will have an accompanying label printed on the packaging. In most cases, the label will be a circular logo that says “USDA Organic.” If it doesn’t, and the company is still calling their product organic, then they will most likely be in serious trouble pretty soon.

    If the logo is there, it means that a percentage of the ingredients are organic. What does organic mean? It means that each ingredient was grown, harvested, and processed according to a strict cleanliness code that forbids the use of pesticides or fertilizers, as well as the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

    There are three levels of organic certification: if a product claims it is “100 percent organic,” then that means every single ingredient was produced according to good organic manufacturing standards. A product can also be labeled “organic,” which means that at least 95 percent of all the ingredients are organic. Or, a product could be labeled “made with organic ingredients,”
    which means that at least 70 percent of the ingredients are organic.

    Besides the USDA organic certification, there are four other programs that claim to measure the “naturalness” of personal care products in the United States. All four are in use today: one is the Natural Products Association qualification, which puts a logo of a green leaf on all the products it deems to be organic. Another certification is Whole Foods’ Premium Body Care Label, which is a green-and-blue sprout sticker.

    The NSF 305 logo is another certification label, which came into use after the two above. It’s logo is a circle and a leaf, with the acronym NSF in the center. When the organization started in 1994, it stood for the National Sanitation Foundation, but, because their mission expanded to include responsibilities beyond sanitation, the acronym doesn’t stand for anything anymore. The Oasis Seal is the final organic certification logo, and it features a stylized circle with the acronym OASIS printed in the middle. OASIS stands for “Organic and Sustainable Industry Standards.”

    It’s important to understand that the organic standards between each label are not always the same. What is considered organic under OASIS labeling may not be the same under the USDA’s. So, always check that each product is organic enough for you. Of course, just because a product isn’t labeled organic doesn’t mean it isn’t; the certification programs are very new, and the standards can still be somewhat confusing, so many companies just haven’t decided how (or through what certification program) to get certified.

    But don’t get discouraged. Every one of the above labels at least makes gestures toward good sustainability practices. All of the certifications promote organic agriculture, which, for the most part, is much more sustainable than conventional farming. So, by choosing to go organic, you’re probably reducing your environmental footprint.

    What Does Non-Toxic Mean?

    The term “non-toxic” is a relatively new term, and, just like its cousins “Natural” and “All-Natural,” it is just a marketing ploy. By putting the “non-toxic” label on products, companies are saying that they have left out ingredients and compounds that have been proven to have toxic effects in humans, like cancer, neuro-disruption, hormone disruption, or death. So, the bar is set pretty low; as long as an ingredient won’t kill you or lead to a horribly destructive adrenal disease, then “non-toxic” is perfectly okay to put on the label.

    The Federal Hazardous Substances Act defines toxic products as ones which can cause illness and/or personal injury to humans when they are swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Additionally, a product is considered toxic if it produces long-term effects, like birth defects, cancer, or neurotoxicity. The Federal Hazardous Substances Act and the agency responsible for enforcing the act, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, don’t define the term “non-toxic.” Therefore, some companies might assume that an ingredient is non-toxic if it
    doesn’t fall under the definition of toxic as described by the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

    But, a chemical cannot meet the definition of “toxic,” as laid out by the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and still be harmful. Toxicologists classify the acute toxicity of chemicals along a spectrum, rather than rating them as toxic or non-toxic. A commonly used scale rates substances on a scale of 1-6, with 6 being super-toxic and 1 being non-toxic. Substances that are considered toxic by the Consumer Product Safety Commission generally fall in the 3, 4, or higher range. So, if the substances in a product fall below this threshold, they could be labeled as non-toxic, even though they are still toxic to some extent.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission also classifies a substance as chronically toxic if it contains a probable or known human neurotoxin, carcinogen, or developmental toxicant. However, as we mentioned above, of the 80,000 chemicals allowed in consumer products, only

    570 have been analyzed for their health effects over the last thirty years. That means that the majority of substances haven’t been tested, and we don’t know what their health effects are.

    To sum it up, the label “non-toxic” is pretty meaningless. It doesn’t mean the product is necessarily healthy or good for you, or not damaging. In fact, because we don’t know what the effects are of the majority of the chemicals, “non-toxic” products could potentially be more dangerous. If you can, it’s best to avoid “non-toxic” beauty products.

    Harmful Chemicals
    Commonly Found in Beauty Products

    Triclosan

    If you’ve ever used an antibacterial soap, then you’ve run into triclosan, though it’s also used in toothpastes and deodorants to stop bacteria and mold growth. Technically, triclosan is a pesticide, and can have deleterious effects on your body’s hormone system. It also may limit breast growth and development, as well as contribute to the increasingly dangerous resistance of bacteria to antimicrobial agents.

    Phthalates

    Phthalates are nasty little chemicals that disrupt your endocrine system. They can be found in nail polish and synthetic fragrances, whether that is in perfumes, or in fragrance ingredients in other products. Phthalates have been shown to initiate early puberty for women, which puts them at a greater risk for breast cancer later on. Phthalates can also behave like estrogen in certain situations, which can throw off humans’ natural hormone balance.

    Parabens

    Parabens are compounds that are typically used as antifungal agents, and antimicrobial and preservatives in ointments, creams, lotions, underarm deodorants, and many other types of cosmetic products. They are directly absorbed through the skin and have been linked to breast tumors.

    1,4-dioxane

    You won’t ever find 1,4-dioxane on a product’s ingredient label. It’s still there, though, and is produced during the manufacturing process of children’s bath products, body wash, shampoos, and many other products used to create suds. The National Toxicology Program has classified it as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer has labeled it a possible carcinogen.

    1,3-butadiene

    Any product, like spray sunscreens, foundations, anti-fungal medication, or shaving creams, that uses isobutene as a propellant may be contaminated with 1,3-butadiene. Exposure to the contaminant usually occurs through inhalation, and it has been linked to mammary tumors.

    Ethylene Oxide

    Ethylene oxide is usually used to sterilize surgical instruments. However, it is also used in the production of shampoos and body washes as a buffering agent against other harsher chemicals. Unfortunately, some of it often gets left behind in the product. Ethylene oxide is labeled a known human carcinogen and is among the 51 chemicals that the National Toxicology Program classifies as mammary carcinogens in mammals.

    Placental Extract

    Yes, we’re talking about placentas. Placental extract is taken from animal or human placentas and added to shampoos and conditioners, especially products geared toward women of color. Progesterone, which is the major compound found in placental extract, has been classified by the National Toxicology Program as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen.

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

    You can find polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons naturally in crude oil, coal, and gasoline. Coal tar is used in the production of some shampoos and cosmetics, and so they may contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been demonstrated to cause an increased risk for breast cancer.

    Sunscreen

    You might want to stop and think before you put on that non-organic sunscreen. Sunscreens often contain estrogenic chemicals that can interfere with your body’s natural hormonal processes, as well as increase the risk for breast cancer and other disorders.

    Lead

    Lead is one of the most ubiquitous substances in beauty products. There are estimates that lead may contaminate over 650 different types cosmetic products, like sunscreen, nail colors, foundation, whitening toothpaste, and lipsticks. Almost everyone knows that lead is extremely unhealthy for you; it’s a guaranteed neurotoxin, and it has been linked to behavioral, language, and learning problems. It’s also been shown to lead to miscarriages, reduced fertility in both men and women, and puberty delays in girls.

  • Body Wash vs. Bar Soap: Which One Should You Use? 


    image1-3

    There was a time when people would use nearly identical bathing products in the United States. As the years passed by, manufacturers came up with new, innovative products that gave consumers more interesting options. Despite the numerous brands and types of products that you can find on the market, it would be fair to say that all bathing products can be basically categorized into two groups. You can either use the body wash when taking a bath or rely on the conventional bar soap.

    As a consumer, it is important for you to know the differences between the two products so that you can make an informed decision at the time of the purchase. These products are used to cleanse 90% of your body. Hence, you wouldn’t want to make the wrong decision. The simplest and most effective way of understanding which product is more suitable for your body is by comparing the two on the basis of the most important criteria for a bathing product. In other words, you should pit the body wash and the bar soap head-to-head in a range of performance categories to find out the product that is more deserving of a spot on your shower ledge.


    1) Skincare


    It is commonly believed that bar soaps have the potential to dry out your skin. This is not true for all kinds of bar soaps. There are plenty of them that can moisturize your skin. In fact, a majority of the high-end bar soaps are just as hydrating as the high quality body washes that you can find on the market. These bar soaps are enriched with moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin, aloe vera, and botanical oils. Therefore, when it comes to skincare, bar soaps and body washes are pretty much equals.


    2) Ease of Use


    Most people would side with the bar soap in this performance category. All you have to do is remove the packaging and start rubbing the bar soap on your skin. You keep using the soap until it completely disappears. Some people might say that it becomes quite difficult to hold on to a slippery bar soap or pick it up once it falls on the ground. However, rubbing the soap is still an easier thing to do than constantly pushing body wash out of a container. As a result, the bar soap is the clear winner in this round of the competition.


    3) Portability


    Portability of the bathing product is very important to people who are always on the move. If you travel a lot, you would want to bring your bathing products along with you, especially if you don’t trust the hotels where you will be staying at. A bar soap is unlikely to explode in your carry-on. However, moving around from one location to the other with a wet bar soap can be quite troublesome and embarrassing. This is why the travel-size body wash was invented. It is without a doubt the best option when it comes to traveling.


    4) Space Usage


    If you have a huge bathroom all to yourself, then space usage is probably not an issue for you. However, there are many consumers who have to share a tiny bathroom space. Whoever is sharing the bathroom with you will not appreciate the sight of the entire shower ledge space occupied by your bathing product. Under these circumstances, it makes more sense to fit a bar soap in the specially built wall soap unit instead of placing a huge bottle of body wash on the shower ledge. Seems like the bar soap has a 2-1 advantage in the competition so far.


    5) Cost-Effectiveness


    This depends a lot on the kind of product that you would prefer to purchase. But, in general, it is fair to say that you have a lot more control on the amount of body wash that you squirt out, as compared to the amount of soap that diminishes during every shower session.


    6) Hygiene


    This one is going to surprise you quite a bit. It was previously believed that the surface of the bar soap is a breeding ground for germs. Recent studies disprove this age-old belief. There is very little risk in using a bar soap, even if it has been used by someone else. On the other hand, the loofahs and wash cloths used to apply body wash are known to contain a significant amount of bacteria and mold. Once again, the bar soap edges ahead at 3-2 in the competition.


    7) Usability


    It feels great to use a freshly unpacked bar of soap. The smooth and firm texture along with the blissful aroma overwhelms you for the first few days. As the bar soap gets smaller, it loses its charm. By the end of the product’s lifespan, it becomes nearly unusable. The body wash, on the other hand, stays fresh pretty much until the end.


    The Final Verdict


    After seven rounds of intense competition, it looks like we have a tie on our hands. It is a little too close to call. Both products are great for your body. Your ultimate selection will depend entirely on your personal preferences and requirements.

  • 4 Most Common Skincare Mistakes People Make



    sport

    Having great skin is like having money. Everybody wants it, but most people are not willing to work hard enough for it. There are some people who are blessed with marvelous skin from birth. However, even those people have to follow a certain skincare routine to make sure that their skin quality does not deteriorate over time. Some people like to take skincare shortcuts by relying on one or two synthetic skincare products that guarantee success. But that’s the wrong approach. Your entire skincare routine cannot be based on a single product. You need a collection of the finest skincare products to ensure that your skin stays radiant, beautiful, and fresh throughout the day.

    One of the main reasons why people are unhappy with the results they receive from their skincare products is because they do not know enough about skincare to choose the correct product. Lack of knowledge combined with widespread misconceptions has made it very easy for people to make silly skincare mistakes.

    You could be the person making these mistakes. If you are, then that is completely understandable, but it is time for you to make a change and rectify those mistakes. Before you start doing that, you need to first familiarize yourself with the most common skincare mistakes that people make.


    1) Using Too Many or Too Few Products


    Using too many products could potentially lead to skin damage. Using only one or two products could prove to be ineffective. Essentially, there are four types of products that you need to purchase to take good care of your skin. This includes a cleanser, a moisturizer, a toner and an exfoliator. You should also avoid using a single product in excess. For example, there is no point in using too much acne treatment, as it can lead to more severe breakouts.

    While we are discussing ill effects of excess usage, it is worth noting that it is harmful to use too much of exfoliating facial scrub. A good skin care product is absorbed directly into the skin. In other words, the products come into direct contact with the affected area. As a result, a small amount of the product is enough to fix your skin problem. This rule is applicable for body lotions as well. Even though you are smearing your entire body with the lotion, there is no need to use too much on any one particular area of the body.


    2) Not Wearing Sun Protection


    The sun can be both beneficial and harmful for your skin, depending on how you choose to expose it. Too much exposure will lead to wrinkles and sun spots, which are caused by the UV rays of the sun. In certain extreme cases,  it can also lead to skin cancer. This is why you should never forget to put on sunscreen when heading outdoors during a scorching hot day in summer.

    The sunscreen is designed to protect your skin from sun poisoning, sun burns, wrinkles, and a host of other skin-related medical complications. If you are staying outdoors for an extensive period of time, you should re-apply the sun block after every two hours. It is also worth mentioning that a good pair of sunglasses should be worn along with the sun protection so that your fragile eyes remain protected.


    3) Being Inconsistent and Impatient


    We currently live in a generation where people seek instant results and gratification. This is something that you cannot achieve with body care products. Your body takes time to react to the action of the products that you have applied. Expecting overnight changes is nothing but wishful thinking. Some people are too impatient to stick with a moisturizer or a wrinkle cream. Once they don’t notice any positive results within the first couple of days, they tend to discard the product and replace it with a new one.

    Constant switching of skincare products can cause havoc in your skin. The key to skincare is consistency. You need to find products that suit your skin the best and place your faith in them. Give them time, and they will soon prove to you why they are worth the price that you paid for them.

    You can use all the moisturizer you want, but a lack of water in your digestive system will have a drying effect on your skin. In fact, a sufficient quantity of water is needed daily to regulate the rate of metabolism in your body. By drinking plenty of water, you allow your body to flush out dirt, toxins, and bacteria from the skin more efficiently.

  • 4 Essential Steps to Keeping Your Skin Fresh, Radiant, and Beautiful

    image1

    The face or the facial skin is the first thing that people notice when they look at you. The way you take care of your facial skin will go a long way toward determining the kind of first impression that you leave upon people. If you are inattentive about skincare, then people are going to assume that your sense of personal hygiene is not very strong. You will probably look tired, exhausted, and worn out in front of people, which will give them the idea that you are a lethargic individual. On the other hand, if you step outside your home with beautiful, radiant, and smooth skin, people will instantly admire your appearance. They will find it easier to approach you and will feel a lot more comfortable talking to you.

    Taking care of the skin is important for cosmetic reasons, as well as for avoiding the increasing signs of aging, acne, or blemishes. Applying skincare products once in a blue moon is not going to be of much help when it comes to making your skin glow. You need to be a little more proactive. Specifically speaking, you need to come up with a complete skincare routine. Any good skincare routine has four very important steps. You require diligence, determination, and dedication to carry out all four of these steps on a regular basis. If you are successful, your skin will appear young, vibrant, firm, and healthy.


    1) Cleansing


    This is your first step to maintaining a healthy skin. Most people clean their face or wash it once a day at the least. This is a step that you cannot ignore under any circumstances. You do not have an excuse to not splash a bit of water on your face after you come home at the end of the day. This is literally the least bit of effort that you can put into daily skincare. The reason why it is so important to clean your face with water every day is because it removes the dirt, grease, grime, dust, and extra oil in the skin to a certain extent.

    That being said, wetting the face is not enough. You need to get your hands on a good facial cleanser that can be applied both on the face and the neck. Do not be hasty when applying the cleanser. You need to take your time and massage the cleanser gently on your skin. Leave the cleanser on your face and neck for about a couple of minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Use a soft washcloth or cotton wool towel to wipe the moisture off your face. You should look for organic cleansers that contain no harmful chemicals.


    2) Toning


    This is the next step in the skincare routine. Facial toners are useful in alleviating dirt, grease, or excess cleanser that has been left behind as residue on your face. It basically removes all traces of contaminants that you wouldn’t want on your face. Some people like to use a toner on a daily basis, although you are not required to do so. If you think your cleanser has done enough, then you can pass on the toner. As a rule of the thumb, use the toner during the morning facial routine.


    3) Exfoliation


    This is an essential part of the skincare routine, and one that is often ignored. For some people, using an exfoliating face scrub is a little too much to handle. These people are clearly not aware of how important it is to exfoliate your skin from time to time. The purpose of exfoliation is to basically alleviate the dead skin cells that gather on your face. Even though the body does get rid of the dead skin cells eventually, using an exfoliating scrub speeds up the process considerably. Exfoliation is something that should not be done too often. Do not make it a daily routine. Applying a face scrub three times a week should be good enough for any skin.


    4) Moisturizing


    The ill effects of not moisturizing your skin cannot be stressed enough. Simply put, if you do not moisturize your skin, it will dry out. Dry skin is very susceptible to damage. If the skin remains dry long enough, you are eventually going to notice cracks, fine lines, and wrinkles on your skin. Your skin will also lose its radiance and glow. Make sure that you buy an organic moisturizer so that your skin is not exposed to detrimental synthetic chemicals.

  • How to Get Rid of the Mask of Pregnancy without Harsh Chemicals

    aroma-906137_960_720

    Melasma is a skin condition marked by a skin darkening on the face – particularly the forehead and cheeks. It’s associated with hormonal changes. When these hormonal causes occur during pregnancy, it’s called chloasma, otherwise known as the mask of pregnancy. It’s so common that 50% to 70% of pregnant women develop it in their first or second trimesters. According to an old wives’ tale, if a pregnant woman developed the mask of pregnancy, she would have a boy, if she didn’t, she would have a girl. Women taking oral birth control, those taking hormone replacement therapy, and women in menopause can experience melasma as well.

    Causes, Characteristics, and Prevention

    While melasma can be caused by sun exposure, sun damage, hypothyroidism, and certain medications, deodorant soaps, toiletries, and cosmetics, chloasma – pregnancy mask – comes from hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy and from contraceptives, hormone replacement, and IUDs or implants.

    Chloasma can show up as freckle-type spots and flat patches of brown pigmentation that can take on different patterns: cheeks and nose; cheeks and jawline; or forehead, cheeks, and nose. The hyperpigmentation of chloasma is most often associated with the female hormone progesterone. The condition generally begins to fade within weeks after childbirth.

    There is no way to prevent chloasma; you can only hope to contain it. Women with a family history of chloasma, or who are darker skinned to begin with, are more likely to experience it. It tends to get more prominent with each pregnancy; sun exposure exacerbates it, and medications and cosmetics that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight also make it darker.

    Make sure you’re taking prenatal vitamins and eating foods rich in folic acid like green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, and whole-grain cereals (folate deficiency is associated with hyperpigmentation). Wear organic SPF 30+ sunscreen during the day every day and reapply every 20 minutes. Also, stay in the shade or covered up as much as you can. Avoid cosmetics and soaps with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Stick to organic deodorants, skin and hair care, and cosmetics.

    Over-the-Counter, Prescription, and Natural Treatments

    One topical therapy is melatonin inhibitors. Hydroquinone is the drug of choice; it acts as a skin bleaching agent. Use a 2% to 4% cream at night for two to four months. Beyond that, prolonged use may cause a different skin condition that leaves bluish gray discoloration. Other popular topical treatments are prescription retinoids like Retin-A and Retinova, and prescription tretinoin creams. None of these over-the-counter or prescription treatments may be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

    New topical and oral agents are being tested that have shown promise. They include arbutin (from berries), licorice extract, rosehip, and resveratrol. Organic dark spot removers that are free of chemical lighteners and bleaching agents rely on a mix of aloe, bayberry, licorice, and other natural ingredients that work together. Another organic product made specifically for reducing the appearance of chloasma and other pigmentation problems is a rosehip exfoliator. These organic products are 100% natural, but check with your midwife or doctor anyway.

    Home Remedies for Chloasma

    The go-to home remedy for lightening chloasma is apple cider vinegar. Dab some on the affected areas twice daily to gradually lighten the skin. Lemon juice is another popular choice, but you really have to be diligent about staying out of the sun with this one. Dab freshly squeezed lemon juice on the affected areas twice daily. You can also try aloe gel or fresh aloe vera on the discolored areas. Other home remedies like horseradish and essential oils are not recommended because of possible side effects during pregnancy. As with everything you put in or on your body while pregnant, check with your doctor or midwife first.

    Other Things to Try for The Mask

    Relaxation techniques like meditation, Lamaze breathing, or Yoga may indirectly lessen the effects of chloasma. Stress has a big impact on hormones, so controlling stress may also help manage your hormonal imbalance, aka your progesterone surges that are producing chloasma. Like wearing sunblock every day, it’s something you can add to your routine that will be helpful, but not a cure.

    Honestly, none of the home remedies are going to work overnight, especially while you’re still in the throes of pregnancy hormonal imbalance. It’s like digging a hole in dry sand – hard to see progress. What you can do to make yourself feel better, if your chloasma is bothering you, is wear concealer or makeup. Make sure you use organic concealer to avoid harsh chemicals that may affect your baby.

    Once baby is born, and you’re done with breastfeeding, you can take a more direct approach if your chloasma hasn’t faded as much as you’d like. Until then – organic sunscreen, skin care, and makeup are your friends.

  • New Makeup Tricks for the Older You That Give a Modern Look

    image3

    The objective of makeup should always be to enhance your beauty no matter what stage of life you happen to be in at the moment. Whether you’re struggling with post-adolescent acne, the mask of pregnancy, dark circles under your eyes, or matching your skin color to your new gray hair, you should always go with the most natural approach possible. Makeup routines that follow the path of least resistance enhance the real you and don’t take hours to do. So skip the age-defying hype, and embrace your natural beauty.

    Foundation

    Start your natural fresh-faced look with a tinted moisturizer. Your tinted moisturizer should be something for mature skin that hydrates and provides a smooth, translucent finish, leaving your skin protected and looking natural. Apply it with either a brush or your fingertips, and blend it well for a nice finish.

    Put a touch of concealer under your eyes near your nose, and pat it out to the outside of your under eye. As women age, light reflection under the eyes makes it look too white, and concealer evens out the darkness of the inner corner of your eye with these white areas underneath. Choose a very light, sheer concealer, and don’t use too much.

    To add a hint of color to cheeks, use a sheer cream blush that blends into your tinted moisturizer and gives you a dewy, natural glow. Stroke the tint with your fingers, and blend it over your whole cheek upward and outward toward your ears. You shouldn’t have two discernable circles of color on your cheeks, but instead a translucent glow that’s blended around the edges.

    Eyes

    Enhance your eyes by first adding a touch of color to your eyelids. Choose something light like a soft mauve or pink, and apply lightly from your lid almost to your brow. Layer a bit darker colored shadow like a cappuccino along the outer half of the eye crease and the outer edge of the lid to add more color. Be sure to blend it completely so there are no lines.

    To define your eyes and give you a polished look, use eyeliner. Take your liner pencil in black, navy, coppery brown, deep purple, or a sapphire blue. Make a thin line at the base of the upper eyelashes and blend it with Q-Tip. Start at the outside of your lower lid and add a few dots from your colored pencil as well; blend it halfway along your bottom lid. Add a natural mascara that lengthens and conditions your lashes at the same time, using 100% pure fruit pigment in black tea. It’s long-lasting and waterproof, and is suitable for sensitive eyes.

    For eyebrows that look well-defined, yet natural, fill them in with short strokes of an eyebrow pencil turned on its side, and blend with an eyebrow brush. The idea is to make the most of your thinning or graying brows without giving them a drawn-on appearance. You just want them filled in and defined. Other ways of approaching this are brushing them with a tinted eyebrow gel or dyeing them. Even with gray hair, eyebrows will need to be at least light brown to look defined.

    Lips

    Stay away from contrasting lip liners. What was once all the rage will make you look dated today. If you want a clean, modern look, you can line your lips with a nude pencil to give definition. Be sure to blend and pat the color into your lips so they don’t appear lined. Fill in your lips in with a color that enhances your skin tones.

    For lip color, depending on your shade of gray – if you’ve allowed your hair to gray – harsh colors like vibrant reds may prove to be too much, but don’t be afraid of color entirely. Moisturizing lip color in subtle shades of mauve, rose, pink, rust, or coral glide on effortlessly and add just the right amount of pop and brighten your smile. Add a dab of gloss to make lips shine.

    Embrace the natural beauty of aging and continue to let your vibrant look shine through. There are plenty of beauty tip resources for women of all ages on the Internet, so you won’t have trouble finding step-by-step directions for whatever it is you want to learn. Choosing organic skin care and makeup products will offer the subtle beauty enhancement that you deserve, while loving your skin as much as you do.

    What tips and tricks have you found to bring out your natural beauty?

  • The Secret of Silky Sandal Feet

    image2-3

    After a long season of your feet hibernating in thick wooly socks or cute boots, the time has come for your feet to see the sun again. But, don’t let sandal season sneak up on you without being prepared! Get a head start treating your tootsies to some tender love and care, now, so that the next time you slip on a pair of sandals they will look fabulous.

    Remember, though, reintroduce your feet to nature naturally. You’re working to scrub off the last remnants of winter. Don’t do this by slathering your feet in chemicals! Choose all natural products that will leave your feet splendidly fresh as well as healthy this upcoming season. Need some suggestions? Follow these steps so you can slide into those sandals with super-smooth springtime feet.

    1. Soak

    Submerge your winter-worn feet into a bath of warm water and Epsom salts. The salt will reduce swelling, neutralize odors, and aid in the healing of skin and nails – all of which are necessary after months of being trapped in thick, warm footwear. So sit back and start repairing your feet with a nice relaxing 15-minute soak.

    2. Exfoliate

    After having soaked your feet for an extended period, they should be nice and soft, and well on their way to looking pretty. While you have them soft, use a foot scrub and/or a pumice stone to slough off dry, dead skin from the heels, sides, and pads of your feet.

    Don’t neglect this step! Feet, just like any other part of your body, need to be exfoliated so the skin can regenerate itself. However, just because the skin on your feet is the thickest, don’t take it as an invitation to scrub too hard. Just concentrate on the rough patches. That extra layer is on your feet to protect them, so even though it may feel good to scrub, if you do it too abrasively your feet will no longer be able to protect you.

    3. Make a Mask

    Who says masks are just for your face?! Just like a face mask can instantly brighten up your smile, so can it help perk up your feet. Pick masks with invigorating ingredients like citrus and peppermint to help get your blood flowing. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes and rinse it off. Then, voila!

    4. Massage and Moisturize

    Prepping your feet isn’t all about how they look. Part of it is about how they feel. Dry winter air can leave your feet rough and calloused, so introducing some cream into these cracks is on your immediate to-do list. Besides being unattractive in sandals, scaly feet can be a health concern and make you more susceptible to infection. That’s why, when it comes to foot care, massages and moisturizers are the superhero duo of foot care – they’ll save you every time.

    Taking some time to massage lotion into your feet is an important step in preparing for summer. When done on a regular basis, moisturizing massages will help improve your circulation as well as ease the aches and stresses that have built up from months of wearing thick socks and heavy shoes.

    Plus, by getting your blood flowing, your feet will begin to look refreshed, giving them that soft, summery appearance that you want when you slip on your first pair of flip flops for the season.

    As an added bonus, try moisturizing as you sleep. This is a wonderful way to help rejuvenate sore and tired winter feet. Use a hydrating cream with ingredients like shea butter, and slather your feet before you go to bed. To really hydrate, remember to cover your feet with comfy socks to seal in the moisture as your sleep.

    5. Trim and Paint

    It is much easier to clip nails when they are damp. Therefore, leave nail trimming for the last step in the preparation process. When you begin to cut, make sure that you clip your nails straight across and not deep into the corners, so that you can avoid ingrown toenails. After you have trimmed and filed your nails, and they are the perfect shape, don’t forget to clean them off with a brush and buff them out so that they are primed for painting.

    When you are ready to paint, make sure you have chosen a natural color. Don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice color variety. Natural only means chemical-free! You wouldn’t, after all, want to reintroduce chemicals onto your feet after working so hard to get them ready to go out into nature!

  • How to Fight Four Familiar Skin Problems

    Everyone has days when they stand in front of the mirror and sigh dejectedly, because their skin will just not cooperate. Although it feels like you will never achieve flawless skin, that’s not true. There are, in fact, ways to ensure that these disappointing visits to the mirror are few and far between.

    It all starts with good, natural ingredients and a consistent skin care regimen. Since skin is your body’s largest organ, it is important that you are conscious of the products you are slathering on it. Although you may think chemicals are the answer, most skin woes are not as complicated as they appear and can be easily treated with natural products.

    Want proof? Below are five of the most common skin complaints with suggestions on how to naturally treat them.

    Sunburn

    As we leave winter and breeze into spring, it is once again time to worry about sunburns. Of course, no one intentionally seeks to fry their skin to a crispy shade of lobster red, but it is bound to happen once in a while. Consequently, make sure that you are well protected when you go out.

    Yes, protecting your skin from UV rays is critical, but you don’t want to do it by bathing yourself in chemically laden creams. Don’t worry, though; there are many natural options available to help you protect yourself without introducing unwanted chemicals into your system.

    When searching for a natural sunscreen, look for those that contain the ingredient zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is a powdery white pigment made out of an inorganic mineral that is prized as a non-chemical sunscreen. According to the FDA, it deflects both UVA and UVB rays as effectively as a traditional sun cream, which will ensure that none of those harmful UV rays interfere with your delicate skin barrier function.

    Rosacea

    Rosacea is, unfortunately, one of those skin conditions without a cure. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take measures to combat it. If you have rosacea, think of it as your skin’s way of telling you that it is irritated. So heed your skin’s complaints and be gentle.

    A great way to start is by lowering the heat on your showers. Although it is still not warm weather in many parts of the country, that doesn’t mean you should steam your skin off when you are getting clean. Instead, pick a temperature that is comfortable, but which will not scald you and dry out your skin. It may feel good to take hot, hot showers, but remember: Those 10 minutes of steamy warmth will leave your skin irritated and dry for weeks.

    Another way to combat rosacea is by purchasing a gentle facial cleanser. Pick something that won’t trigger flare-ups by looking for ingredients like lavender, rose, peppermint, licorice, green tea, or Vitamin C rich berries. All of these herbs work in the Ayurvedic tradition to reduce inflammation and redness, and leave your skin calm and soothed.

    Acne

    The bane of every teenager’s existence, and a lingering nuisance to many adults, acne is simply irritating.  However, rather than taking out your frustration on your skin by popping pimples and layering on harmful acne creams, try treating your skin gently with natural remedies. Maybe your skin will be nice to you in return.

    When purchasing products geared to combat acne, look for two ingredients: witch hazel and turmeric, because it’s always nice to know that there is an extra little something in your products to make sure that your skin stays happy and blemish-free.

    Witch hazel is a natural astringent that is widely known for its ability to treat acne. It contains tannins, which shrink your blood vessels and even out your skin’s appearance by cleaning and minimizing your pores. Similarly, turmeric is widely known for its inherent antiseptic medicinal properties, and many natural products employ this ingredient to soothe irritations on the user’s skin.

    Dry Skin

    It is incredibly tempting to slough off your dry itchy scales with an exfoliant, and then try to replenish and re-hydrate with moisturizers, but do not go overboard. Dry skin runs deep. Even though it may seem logical that removing the first layer would help refresh your skin, over-exfoliation can leave already dry skin chapped.

    Sure, removing some is necessary; a proper amount of exfoliation can help brighten your skin and open passageways for creams and oils to sink deep within the epidermis. However, make sure that you use products specially formulated to reintroduce moisture as they rub off dead cells. Look for ingredients like olive oil, grape seed oil, and honey.

  • Now You Can Greet Springtime with a Face as Fresh as the Season Itself

    image2

    It can no longer be denied. Spring is here and the weather is warming up. This means many things, but it certainly means that you will be spending more time out and about with your friends enjoying the nice weather on the patios in town. This weather change also signals that it’s time to trade those dark colors for lighter ones by ditching the heavy winter skin for some natural makeup and skincare.

    Appearing at your next gathering with a fresh face is the best way to signal that you are ready to roll into days filled with sunshine, warmth, and outdoor activities. However, when designing your look, make sure that you look natural because you are all-natural. Use products that are good for your body. Not only will they heighten your healthy glow by caring for your skin, but they will bring you back to nature just in time to watch it burst into life.

    What Is a Natural Ingredient?

    Natural ingredients are exactly what they sound like. They are ingredients that come from nature. However, it could be argued that everything that is sold in the beauty aisle was at one point part of nature, so this term needs to be defined a little more specifically.

    Although most products will claim to use “natural” oils, unless they say unrefined they have been refined so that they will have an extended shelf-life and a milder scent. While these are positive attributes in a beauty product, this processing, unfortunately, removes the unique healing properties that these ingredients have. Therefore, instead of using something that can naturally offer healing benefits, many commercial products will strip them down only to artificially add synthetic ingredients that can bestow similar benefits, but at the expense of your skin’s overall well-being.

    So, in a nutshell, truly natural ingredients are those that have come out of nature and landed in your products with very little processing and minimal disturbance to their original state of being, and it is these products that you want to be using this spring. 

    Skin Care

    The basis of any fresh face is a good skin care regimen. Now that you know the importance of using natural ingredients, you need to figure out which ones to integrate into your skin routine.

    The answer to this question will vary from person to person, but there are some common ingredients that are beneficial for all skin types as they help achieve the ultimate goal of balance.

    Witch Hazel

    Whether for balance or for prevention, witch hazel is a natural astringent that is versatile enough to simultaneously combat acne while not drying out your skin. This additive is great addition to your skin care routine to keep you feeling fresh as the season heats up because witch hazel contains tannins, which shrink your blood vessels and even out your skin’s appearance. 

    Coconut Oil

    When using ingredients that work to fight blemishes, it is important to remember to moisturize. One great product to do this is coconut oil. Coconut oil is a fantastic skin moisturizer and a great all-around beauty product. Besides being excellent at replenishing lost moisture, coconut oil can be a great addition to many products, as it is multi-functional. Look for makeup removers, moisturizers, and masks that contain this ingredient.

    Mica

    For those of you who regularly wear makeup, look for options that contain mica. Mica is an inorganic, colorless mineral that provides both luster and adhesion, and is so powerful that even mainstream makeups employ this ingredient. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find any mineral makeup on the market without mica, as it gives pure pigment color without the use of dyes that can irritate the skin. Even commercial producers know the value of not irritating their clients’ skin!

    Start out by putting your best face forward this spring, because when it comes to skin care and makeup, the purer the better. Your skin is delicate, like a new spring flower, so protect it with good quality products.   Make sure that you are consciously selecting your skincare and makeup to work with your skin to refresh it and not overpower it with chemicals. When you pick options that work in harmony with your skin instead of using chemicals to “fix” it, you will look and feel your absolute best and your skin will express its gratitude with a natural, fresh glow that cannot be erased with makeup remover.

  • How to Grow Your Hair Longer, Faster with Organic Products

    image1

    Organic products have become popular in nearly every industry as people have become increasingly aware of the importance of limiting or removing chemicals completely from the products they use. This is especially true when it comes to personal care products and cosmetics. Why has organic become such a driving force? Simple. It’s a desire to live healthier lives and protect the planet at the same time.

    4 Reasons to Switch to Organic Hair Care

    Using organic products in hair care is a subset of the organic personal care movement in general. If you pine for long, luxurious hair now, there are many organic ingredients that can help you along. There are many reasons switching from commercial to organic products is important; here are four.

    1. You might be wondering how washing your hair could possibly harm the planet. When you use shampoos and conditioners that contain harsh chemicals, these lathers don’t solely absorb into your hair. You rinse them down the drain, and they enter drainage systems, contaminating local waters something organic products don’t do.

    2. Everything you put on your skin or scalp is absorbed, so chemically enhanced products can cause significant health problems. DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine) are just three examples of dangerous commercial shampoo ingredients that are known to cause liver and kidney cancers.

    3. Value is another reason many people are turning to organic hair and body products. In the beginning of the organic movement, the products were often more expensive. Growing competition has brought about more affordable prices, so there’s no reason not to switch.

    4. Instead of disrupting the body’s hormones, cells, and natural systems, organic products work with the body to heal it. Many organic ingredients have effects like repairing free radical damage, and increasing blood flow and oxygen to the skin. Shampoos and other organic hair products have a number of ingredients that provide these and other benefits to the hair and body.

     

    10 Natural Elements That Increase Hair Growth

     

    Argan Oil

    Often referred to as liquid gold, argan oil is filled with nutrients such as vitamin E and fatty acids that boost healthy hair growth. This oil also contains antioxidants that boost your cells, treat your split ends, and eliminate frizzy hair. This organic oil is proven to make your hair shinier, silkier, and softer, all while it fosters your hair’s growth!

    Coconut Oil

    This is perhaps one of the most popular natural organic products used today, because it is full of benefits. This oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates that nourish, protect, and keep your hair strong. Coconut oil is also rich in lauric acid – an excellent protein. The elements in this oil help prevent hair loss, maintain moisture, and prevent dandruff.

    Green Tea 

    Tea is an excellent source of panthenol, which manages split ends, strengthens hair, prevents dandruff, and stimulates our hair follicles. It also contains Vitamin C and E, and polyphenols, which foster lustrous hair, and block DHT – a key component to hair loss.

    Avocado

    They aren’t just great on salads, their oil is also great for your hair. Avocados contain several proteins; multiple vitamins, including A, B6, D, E, and folic acid; copper, iron, and magnesium; and amino acids, which promote hair growth, and prevent hair loss and dandruff. Avocado oil can also undo damage to hair from dyes and treatments.

    Pure Kelp

    Kelp has several nutrients that pertain to hair growth, such as iron and the essential amino acid l-lycine. Its high iodine content also contributes greatly to growing long luxurious locks, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and amino acids, among other nutrients. An organic volumizing conditioner will sooth your scalp while growing your hair.

    Aloe Vera

    You already know what aloe vera does for sunburned skin, but how about your hair? Its enzymes dissolve dead skin cells and remove excess sebum that clogs hair follicles, and it works as an excellent moisturizer, thanks to its molecular structure, which is like keratin.

    Peppermint Oil

    This anti-fungal anti-inflammatory can assist in healing microbial, chemical, and environmental damage caused to your scalp. It is also a moisturizing oil that stimulates the scalp, promoting natural hair growth. Organic shampoos and conditioners often include this oil, among others, to benefit natural hair growth.

    Rosehip

    This wild rose is a top tier source for vitamin C, containing roughly 50% more than oranges. It is one of the most powerful herbal stimulants for growing your hair.

    Lavender Oil

    A powerhouse antiseptic, antimicrobial anti-inflammatory, lavender improves circulation in your scalp, strengthening new hair. It also balances your natural oil production, and, as an added perk, it’s a natural repellent for insects. Ticks, mosquitos, lice, and fleas will all be put off by the lovely smell of lavender in your hair. Bonus!

Please wait...