• The Secret of Silky Sandal Feet

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    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

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    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

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    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!

  • Here Is a Method That Is Helping Parents Raise Healthier Babies

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    So you want to raise your baby in a safer, cleaner environment, but you’re not sure where to start? Many parents are turning to organic lifestyles. What does that even mean? Organic is anything derived from any living thing like plants, animals, bacteria, and fungus, which are all organic raw materials. Think back to a time when Native American ancestors lived off the land. There weren’t ready-made foods and medicines concocted from long lists of ingredients and chemicals that couldn’t even be pronounced. Everything originated in nature.

    Mother Nature’s natural ingredients for medicine, food, hygiene products, and more were freely available without the human assistance of factories using artificial additives, chemicals, and synthetic materials. There is a place for scientific advances, but everyday personal care products is not it, especially not for your baby. Organic products are rich in nutrients that naturally complement the human body, instead of interrupting its systems or breaking it down.

    Once you become aware of the many sources of harmful chemicals in your baby’s world, you’ll want to minimize them as much as you can. When it comes to your precious baby, an organic lifestyle is the way to go.

    Is Monitoring Ingredients Enough?

    Using organic ingredients is just part of the battle; getting them from farm to table is the other part. The foundation of organic products is the organic raw material, but their development must also adhere to the same natural principles when growing, cultivating, and raising organic products. They need to be processed organically, too, free of synthetic, artificial, or chemical elements in their production.

    To ensure your baby’s organic products comply with the industry standard, read the labels. Educate yourself on raw materials and processes that are acceptable. If you don’t have time to do your due diligence, the next best thing is to look for certified marks on the products. Certified organic goods carry a stamp of approval, like USDA Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown.

    Why Should I Use Organic Products for My Baby?

    Children, from newborns to toddlers, are naturally exposed to higher concentrations of harmful chemicals than their older siblings or parents. If you’re already a parent, you know that your children’s method of exploration is to put everything they grasp onto into their mouths. When you couple that with crawling around probing every nook and cranny, there’s the added danger of encountering an inordinate amount of chemical-carrying dust.

    There are countless other sources of chemicals in baby’s world. Aside from glass, there are not many baby bottles that don’t release at least one chemical like BPA. The water you bathe your baby in and wash  baby clothes in can contain several chemicals, including chlorine and even some medications. Blankets, sheets, clothes, and even pajamas are most likely be treated with flame retardants carrying PBDEs. Commercial shampoos, lotions, creams, and soaps often have parabens and phthalates. It seems every facet of the baby’s environment is a source of toxins.

    While there’s no need to panic after all, babies, toddlers, and children are quite resilient it makes sense to limit the sources of chemicals and toxins, especially in those crucial early years. The best place to start, if your intention is to raise your child naturally, is with the products you put on their skin. Since this is the largest organ and absorbs anything you put on it, you want to make sure only the purest, most natural products are being put on your little munchkin’s sensitive skin.

    Don’t Wait Start Your Organic Journey Before Your Little Bundle Arrives

    If you haven’t started living a more organic lifestyle yet, now is the time, before baby arrives. Creating good habits for yourself will ensure you do the same for your child. Organic products will support you through your entire pregnancy, too, from luxurious organic bath and shower products to products that prevent or reduce stretch marks.

    With organic creams and oils, you don’t have to worry that what your skin is absorbing will harm your developing baby; you can do a little something for yourself while protecting your greatest joy. Make the switch to organic with other products that get absorbed into your skin and hair, such as shampoo, body wash, lotion, and sunscreen, ensuring everything you use is also good for the baby. 

    Once the bundle of joy arrives, get your baby started in the right direction, using the baby versions of all bath necessities they may need, as well as other products, such as baby diaper cream, lip and cheek balm, sunscreen, and chest balm to soothe baby’s cold symptoms. Remember, an organic baby is a happy baby.

  • 5 Winter Skin Woes Alleviated with What?

    When has chocolate ever not been the answer? Many people joke that they worship the substance. How could they not? This ingredient can solve almost any problem, from a broken heart to stretch marks. In all honesty, chocolate is such an important ingredient that, historically, it was actually worshipped by the ancient Mayans, who had a chocolate goddess.

    Today, motivated by the popular opinion of this substance, scientists have found that cocoa can contain more antioxidants than both red wine and green tea (which many people gladly ingest), which work to combat those pesky free radicals you hate so much.

    Even nicer than the antioxidants in chocolate are the cocoa flavonol compounds that help smooth skin and decrease its sensitivity to the sun. Beware, though; these wonderful little flavonol compounds are only available in natural cocoa with high cacao percentages, so going out and eating chocolate bars at the grocery store will not give you the same results.

    If you wish to go calorie-free and still reap the benefits offered by chocolate, look no further than natural beauty products. Adding a bit of chocolate to your beauty routine can help increase your blood flow, which will brighten, tighten, and repair from the inside out. In make-up, cocoa can also offer an all-natural colorant to give your skin a soft, sun-kissed look. Think about it: calorie free and still delicious for your body and soul? Go ahead! Check out the list of chocolaty products below and indulge your sweet side.

    100% Pure Cocoa Pigmented Bronzer

    In the dead of winter, you are probably longing for warm, sunny days on the beach. Give yourself a quick pick-me-up with this all-natural cocoa bronzer. Cocoa, coffee, tomato, and berry pigments instantly give your cheeks a warm, sun-kissed glow, even in February.

    Feel like you need a little more than a hint of sunshine? Use this bronzer all over your face and body to suggest that you just got back from a wonderfully warm vacation. Even if you are planning to visit the sun, take this bronzer along. Cocoa powder protects against sun and environmental damage to your skin, so that you can ensure your skin is nourished and protected in any climate.

    100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze

    Enhance your lips with a deeply tinted neutral shade made out of natural fruit pigments. These richly colored shades leave your lips well moisturized with a classic matte finish. Designed with an avocado and cocoa butter base, it will make your lips uncompromisingly smooth. Plus, the color is intensified with cacao, which will help protect your lips against sun damage. Care and prevention all infused into one color system? What a win-win.

    100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Tint

    An all-natural tinting formula, this pure pigment is designed to be used for both cheeks and lips. In particular, this blush is a great option this winter, as it incorporates softening Shea and cocoa butters to help keep your skin supple as well as give you a healthy glow. In addition, these tints are loaded with fruit extracts to infuse your winter-parched skin with a healthy dose of anti-aging and rejuvenating vitamins and antioxidants.

    S.W. Basics Lip Balm Flights

    A scrumptious lip balm to moisturize and replenish your wintery lips, S.W. Basics Flights are packed with nutrients and hydrants for even seemingly perpetually chapped lips. Cocoa butter and natural oils condition your skin to help you make it through the last leg of winter with a good taste in your mouth.

    Dr. Squatch Gold Moss Scrub Soap

    Can you say salted chocolate? With ground cocoa and sea salt mixed together in a daily scrub soap, every time you wash you will be wrapped in a unique and heady scent. This soap bar is one of Dr. Squatch’s most popular scents with everyone from nature enthusiasts to sophisticated urbanites singing its praises. Besides the earthy scent, this all-natural cocoa will help brighten your skin with the embedded sea salt that gently exfoliates your limbs.

    Suki Ultra-Protect Body Balm

    A multi-purpose body balm, this balm works to relieve redness, inflammation, and irritation. The versatile moisturizer is particularly formulated to combat eczema, dermatitis, stretch marks, and the roughest of dry spots. With a cocoa butter base, this moisturizer will deeply hydrate to relieve even the driest skin, while calendula flavonoids and arnica terpenoids work in tandem to sooth persistent irritants. All these ingredients are blended with naturally anti-bacterial lavender, to boost your skin’s immunity and leave you relaxed and smelling fresh.

  • Keep Your Skin Springtime Fresh in a Winter Wonderland

    It happens every year. Winter. The annual occurrence of cold, dry weather leaves your skin feeling worse for wear. Your natural reaction to solve this problem may be to hunker down indoors, but, unfortunately, even this refuge has its price. Indoor air may be cozier, but its relief is short lived, as it, too, can dry out your skin. However, never fear, organic sunscreens, natural moisturizers, and essential oil exfoliants can rescue your winter-weary skin!

    Start from Within

    Although it is true that drinking water keeps your body hydrated, drinking more water does not necessarily keep your skin less dry. A more successful solution to help hydrate your skin is to increase your Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acid intake; they’re essential to both the function and appearance of your skin. Consuming more flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, and canola oil can help strengthen your body’s lipid layer, helping your skin to retain its natural oils and allowing less water to escape. 

    Do Not Skip Sunscreen!

    The sun does not just disappear in the winter. In fact, if it did, this season would be unbearable! Therefore, spend as much time as you can in the sun; not only will it replenish your vitamin D stores, but it will also help to drastically lift your mood. Be honest. We could all use a mood lift during this last dreary stretch of winter.

    Make sure, however, that you are well protected when you go out. Sunscreen is important year-round, as UV rays can interfere with the skin-barrier function and prevent skin from retaining moisture as well as cause problems later on in life. Seriously, screen yourself from that sun!

    Calm the Itch and Reduce the Red

    Even though Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and pink is everywhere, it is never a flattering color to wear on your skin.  Winter months are notorious for being drying, both inside and outside. Caring for your epidermis is of the utmost importance during this time.

    For starters, pay attention to the temperature of the water you are showering in. It may feel great to thaw out under a boiling stream after a day outside, but this will only serve to dry your skin out. Instead, choose a setting that is comfortable, but perhaps not the temperature of a hot tub.

    After showering in the winter (and just generally) it is very important to re-hydrate your skin. When selecting a moisturizer, it is important to take a look at the ingredient list. Avoid alcohol and fragrances, as these can be drying, and, instead, search for moisturizers that contain natural oils which have deeply hydrating properties.

    Exfoliate

    It is incredibly tempting to slough off your dry itchy scales with an exfoliant, 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, scrubbing some off 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 at the same time they rub off dead cells. Look for ingredients like olive oil, grape seed oil, and honey.

    Lackluster Lips

    The myth that too much balm can cause your lips to chap worse is simply not true. Likely the problem is that you are licking your lips in between lip balm applications. When you lick your lips, you leave behind a layer of saliva, which, when it evaporates, disappears with some of your lips’ moisture. (For the record the same applies to drinking water out of a bottle, so perhaps it is worth sipping out of a straw if your lips are particularly chapped.)

    Unfortunately, licking your lips is an unconscious habit that is hard to break. Try, however, to make a mental note to stop and, instead, reach for lip balms that contain natural moisturizers, like jojoba or coconut oil, to combat that rough, over-stretched feeling that your lips get in the winter.

    Learn how to properly protect and care for your skin. There is so much information out there telling you what you should do for your skin during the winter that it can be a daunting task to sift through it all. As tough as it is to patiently sort through all of the tips available on the Internet while your skin is in a tight and itchy winter state, knowing how to best care for your skin during the coldest months can go miles in changing your cold weather outlook.

  • What Everybody Ought to Know about Commercial Deodorants

    Nobody likes smelling like they’ve lived on a desert island for the last week when they reach across the desk at work or give someone a hug. However, the pitfall (yes, pun intended) of using a traditional deodorant is that you put your own health at risk. Maybe it’s time to switch to a natural deodorant.

    Using the wrong deodorant is perilous. No one looks forward to having to try out a new brand on the off chance that it will not hold up to the rigors of a 90 degree day during which you shuttle yourself from appointment to appointment and all the while your stress levels are peaking. Everyone has those days when your deodorant has to withstand even the worst conditions. On the other hand, exposing yourself daily to cancer and Alzheimer’s agents through the chemicals in your commercial deodorant is also an unappealing choice.

    Therefore, for many, it comes down to choosing between wearing aluminum and other toxic chemicals of commercial deodorant or clothing yourself in a horrid body odor. This is not, in reality, a choice you must make, since traditional “hippie,” aka safe, natural deodorants are proving themselves even in mainstream markets.

    What Is Perspiration?

    Sweat is your body’s natural way of cooling itself off. The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands on their skin; however, not all sweat glands are created equally. Some react to over-stimulated nerves, while others respond to the extra heat generated by hardworking muscles.

    Sweat gland differences are especially notable when you realize that most of your body sweats without a scent, except your armpits. Armpits stink because they are home to apocrine glands that contain proteins and fatty acids. Although the sweat itself contains no odor, when bacteria on our skin metabolize these secretions, they produce an unpleasant odor, and this off-putting smell is why you slather your pits daily with chemicals.

    Why Is Commercial Deodorant Bad?

    Commercial deodorant is packed with other ingredients that are known to be bad for the body, such as: parabens, synthetic fragrances, and triclosan. Although there is little definitive evidence that the ingredients in commercial antiperspirants can cause cancer, there are strong, scientific links between using one and, later, encountering the other. Besides, it is always a good idea to avoid long, chemical-sounding ingredients.

    What Deodorizes Naturally?

    Okay, so you don’t want to test it out yourself to find out which ingredients work best to stop the odor. That is understandable, so thankfully pioneers ahead of you have already done the research, and you can now use the following list to make sure that your choice of antiperspirant contains effective natural ingredients instead of toxic additives.

    Witch Hazel

    Witch hazel is renowned for its skin soothing properties even though it functions as an astringent (like alcohol in commercial deodorants). This means it causes sweat that escapes your pores to evaporate. As an added bonus, if you shave your armpits, witch hazel is a wonderful aftershave, which can ease the pain of razor burn.

    Essential Oils

    Not only will essential oils replace the artificial fragrances in commercial deodorants, but they will also serve the function of alcohol. Essential oils have natural antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria and stop armpit odor before it begins. 

    Mineral Salts

    Also known as potassium alum, these salts form a layer on the skin to prevent those sweat-eating bacteria from growing. Although you will still sweat, those bacteria won’t be waiting to eat it up and release those nasty smells.

    Baking Soda

    A miracle product, baking soda can keep even cat box odors under control. Its chemical composition reacts with sweat molecules to neutralize scent and keep you smelling fresh. Plus, it addresses wetness as well as smell. It will not prevent you from sweating, but it will immediately soak up your sweat, leaving you nice and dry.

    Hops

    Hops stop the growth of bacteria and, thereby, the spread of your own unique odor. They serve as an antimicrobial agent, which prevents bacteria in the armpits from interacting with the sweat and producing an offensive odor.

    Do you need another reason to switch? A side benefit of switching to natural deodorants is the money you’ll save extending the life of your wardrobe. Since natural deodorants do not contain aluminum, they will not react with your laundry detergent and leave yellow pit stains on white shirts.

    So what are you waiting for? Hop on the natural bandwagon. Natural deodorants really work, and they’ll save you from future health problems that can be the pits.

  • Perfect Your Nighttime Regimen

    Taking your makeup off can often seem harder than putting it on. It’s easy to forget when you are engrossed in your favorite television show and, once it ends, you are too tired to spend the necessary time at the sink to do it right. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

    Nighttime is the best time to focus on repair, as your skin naturally regenerates while you are sleeping. So take advantage of the reparative aspects of your body, tapping into your natural cycle to address problem issues like wrinkles, fine lines, irritated skin, blotchiness, or acne.

    With a little bit of preparation and organization, you can hit the pillow knowing you have done the best for your skin.

    Keep It Clean

    You may not want to; you may not have the time, but failing to cleanse will leave you looking blotchy. Clogged pores and irritated skin are not fun the next day when you are trying to look your best for your job interview or date. You might want to consider a two-step process combining a cleansing oil with a regular cleanser. Remove all traces of dirt and makeup so your night time repair products can get to work. Wash, rinse, and repeat with a foaming, milky, or gel-based cleanser, depending on your preference and skin type.

    Tone It Up

    Use a toner to remove any leftover residue and impurities. When purchasing your toner, it is best to select a product suited to your skin’s requirements. Oil-fighting ingredients will be too drying for normal to dry skin, so choose carefully.

    Choose a Serum

    A serum before moisturizing will allow you to focus on your specific issues. Layering your serums for a variety of ongoing concerns is possible; however, it is vital to let each cream dry before applying the next one. Serums with high antioxidants and vitamins are powerful tools to fight free radical damage, lines, and wrinkles.

    Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

    Moisturizing your face is important even if you are prone to breakouts or oily skin. Nighttime is particularly beneficial to pull out the moisturizer, as your skin tends to be more permeable to beauty products. A night cream is often heavier and thicker than a regular day cream, and it is designed to penetrate over a few hours. Choosing a good night cream maximizes those results and gains the most from the restorative ingredients. Think antioxidant boost as you head to the Land of Nod.

    Use an Effective Eye Cream

    A quality eye cream can help keep your eyes looking fresh and promote collagen around the eye area. These little numbers can do great things for crow’s feet, fine lines, and dark circles. If puffiness is a continual problem, elevate your pillow to ensure you look your best when the sun rises.

    Add Lip Balm

    To protect those lips, slather them with a rich lip balm to keep them soft and smoldering. This added step will keep your lips smooth and moisture-rich in the morning.

    Love Your Hands and Feet

    Don’t forget the hands and the often ignored feet—these, like the face, are the first to show signs of aging and dryness. Add a dose of moisturizer and let sleep do the rest. A rich Shea butter cream will do wonders for your extremities.

    Try Beautiful Bonus Treatments

    Adding a good exfoliation or treatment mask to the routine once a week will ensure you don’t tire of your routine too easily. Over-exfoliating can often worsen the appearance of fine lines and irritation, so consider it a bonus rather than a regular feature.

    Everyone is different, which means that everyone’s skin is different. The products you choose to include as part of your nightly skin routine will depend on your skin type and issues your skin may face. Look out for products high in these ingredients for an added beauty bonus.

    Retinol

    By increasing collagen production and cell renewal, retinol is effective for evening out skin tone and reducing those lines and wrinkles.

    Hydroxy Acids

    Hydroxy acids are found in exfoliators and allow the outer layer of skin to shed to reveal younger, healthier looking skin. Exfoliating will benefit the minimization of breakouts and keep your pores open.

    Peptides

    Peptides can diminish lines and wrinkles for better, younger looking skin—important, if anti-aging is at the top of your priority list.

    Allow ample time for your skin to absorb the products before diving into bed. A fresh pillow case, or, if you have the opportunity, a satin pillowcase, will complete the routine and ensure you get a good sleep.

    A good night’s sleep can also go a long way toward assisting your healthy, natural glow so you can wake up feeling and looking your best every morning.

  • Top 10 Organic Ingredients and Their Benefits

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    Organic ingredients that you can pronounce!? Oh my! Thank goodness for all-natural products. Now the question is, which ingredients do you choose? With an ever-growing list of useful substances to use on your skin, wouldn’t it be nice to have a succinct list of some tried and true all-natural skin care staples? Here is a list of skin care and makeup ingredients that have consistently and effectively stood the test of time in all-natural skin care.

    Argan Oil

    Do you want wrinkles? No—didn’t think so. Well, thankfully, one of the top natural ingredients on the market today is argan oil, which is positively loaded with Vitamin E. Vitamin E, so you know, is considered to be the anti-aging supplement.  Packed with antioxidants, vitamin E lowers your skin’s free radical count while increasing its reparation speed. As one of the richest natural sources of Vitamin E, argan oil can be used to replenish your hair and skin’s youthful vitality.

    Zinc Oxide

    Zinc oxide is a powdery white pigment made out of an inorganic mineral. It is used for many natural makeups, as it is a great colorant and adhesive (two things that are non-negotiable when shopping for quality makeup). In fact, it is such an effective adhesive, that it makes your makeup waterproof. No more sweating it off in the summertime!

    This mineral is also highly prized as a non-chemical sunscreen and, according to the FDA, it deflects both UVA and UVB rays as effectively as a traditional sun cream. Furthermore, using this mineral in your cosmetics can reduce irritation because of zinc oxide’s natural anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

    Baobab

    Rich in vitamins and minerals, baobab has strong anti-aging properties. This organic compound is so useful that it is found in everything from face creams and moisturizers to hair care and exfoliants. It’s hard to beat something that’s good at everything.

    Turmeric

    Turmeric is widely known for its inherent antiseptic medicinal properties. Many natural products employ this ingredient to soothe irritations on the user’s skin. Turmeric can be found in many natural acne creams, sunscreens, and hair removal products. It’s nice to know that there is an extra little something in your products to make sure that your skin stays happy and blemish-free.

    Mica

    Mica is an inorganic, colorless mineral that provides both luster and adhesion. It is a silky smooth mineral to the touch, and it comes in many grades of sheen, from matte to shimmery. In fact, mica is not only a preferred additive in all-natural products, but also in mainstream makeup. 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.

    Cocoa Butter

    Butters are one of the most important ingredients in natural makeup, because they often create the base for moisturizers and creams. Cocoa butter, in particular, is well known for being a great base, as it contains a high antioxidant concentration—much higher than blueberries or other super foods. Plus, many people swear by its natural ability to reduce and remove stretch marks.

    Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil is a fantastic skin moisturizer and a great all-around beauty product. It is one of the natural ingredients that can stand alone and replace many of your other cosmetics.  It is a great introduction into the natural beauty world, since it’s already familiar to you for other uses.

    Jojoba

    Jojoba replaced sperm whale oil in the 1970s and saved the whale species from extinction. What better reason do you need to use this oil?

    Well, besides being a whale savior, jojoba oil is chemically close to human sebum, making it easily absorbable. This is great, because jojoba is loaded with vitamin E, which combats free radicals and is a natural antibacterial substance.

    Beeswax

    Likely you’ve experienced beeswax as lip care. That is because it is an awesome moisturizer. Additionally, beeswax is an anti-allergen, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and is well known to stimulate hair growth.

    Witch Hazel

    Witch hazel is a natural astringent and is widely known for its ability to treat acne. Witch Hazel also contains tannins, which shrink your blood vessels and even out your skin’s appearance.  Since it is an anti-inflammatory, it works to reduce your pores and can even erase the puffiness resulting from a lack of sleep. Amazingly, it can do all this while locking moisture into your skin. Genius.

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