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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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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.

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