beauty and the beach – going au naturel

It’s summer and hot as hell which means less clothes, which means more skin, which means wearing sunscreen. That’s right, it’s the mid-July obligatory sunscreen post.sun2

Here are some natural sunscreens (they all meet the Environmental Working Group’s eco standards for a more natural alternative) that are the SPF equivalent of having your cake and eating it too:

I took this pic of our family cat Frosty a long time ago.  He loved to borrow my sunglasses.     As you can see he took precautions in the sun.  We can learn something from Frosty the cat.
I took this pic of our family cat Frosty a long time ago.  He loved to borrow my sunglasses.  As you can see he took precautions in the sun with his fair fur.  We should too!

Purple Prairie SunStuff: thick and creamy (maybe not necessarily the adjectives you want associated with your sunscreen) with a “distinctive” smell but will do in a pinch (and…no chemicals…so there’s that).

Soleil Toujours Broad Spectrum SPF 30: the gateway mineral sunscreen for newbies: user-friendly (unlike that contouring kit you bought) it absorbs really well into your skin. Only drawback is that it’s not as natural and detoxifying as other products on the market.

Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen: the word “botanica” is so pretty that it almost cancels out how thick this one rubs on. Happily no fragrance or parabens but water lovers beware: it’s only resistant for 40 minutes.

Nature’s Gate Sport Vegan Sunscreen: calling all vegans—this mineral sunscreen rubs in real nice (for a mineral sunscreen) and is 80-minute water resistant, which means you can run in and out of the super cold surf pretending you like it as many times as you’d like.  Bonus: little to no fragrance.

Jurlique Sun Specialist: good for face AND body (hello multitasking) and absorbs pretty quickly. P.S. sadly it doesn’t feel as moisturizing as some of the others but def not a deal-breaker.

Safe Harbor Natural Suncare: rubs on thick (con). Contains natural anti-aging components (pro). Also: fragrant.

Or you can just wear a wet suit.
Or you can forget about it all together and  just wear a wet suit.

And on a more serious note, Lisa from the Garance Doré blog had some questions about the efficiancy of organic sunscreens: Is there a possible downside to going organic? Do they effectively prevent skin cancer? Are there any ingredients in the all-natural versions that could have weird side effects? She talked to Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, DC to get some answers:

Can you tell me a little bit about your background and why you believe sunscreen is so important?
The risk from the sun is cumulative, so it’s always a good idea to wear sunscreen (no matter how old you are or how much previous sun damage you have).

Are the chemicals in regular sunscreen really that bad for you? If so, what are they (what ingredients/names should we be looking out for?) and what are the negative effects?
The negative effects, if any, of sunscreen have been debated for years. There is no scientific proof that they are harmful.

What are the benefits of using organic sunscreen?
The organic sunscreens are usually less irritating.

Does organic sunscreen prevent skin cancer and sun damage as effectively as regular?
Yes, when used properly.

What is the potential downside of using organic? Is there one? 
It’s more expensive than regular sunscreen, therefore people might skimp on the amount they are using, which could lead to a lower SPF than what is on the bottle.

What ingredients (good and bad) should we be looking out for in organic sunscreen? 
Pure mineral zinc oxide is best.

For someone transitioning to natural sunscreen, what is your advice? 
If you have sensitive skin, even so-called “natural” sunscreens may irritate it, therefore you should start slowly.

Aside from sunscreen, what other measures should people be taking to protect themselves from the sun?
As the weather gets warmer, I would recommend transitioning to a foaming or glycolic cleanser in the summer to keep the pores clean, an antioxidant serum in the morning before SPF and at night, a glycolic or retinol to keep skin turning over. These ingredients will make skin a little more sun sensitive, so use an SPF of at least 30 and wear a hat.

There. Now you can all get back to figuring out whose rooftop/backyard/stoop/front porch you’ll be hanging out on tonight.

Do any of you have any good organic/all-natural/chemical free sunscreen goodness tips to share? 


My latest sunglass obsession are these tortoise/pink cat eyes from Kate Spade.  I think they look terribly chic!  These catty IT girls definitely pull off the look very well.

Ginette Sunglasses
Ginette Sunglasses – Kate Spade
Kate Moss
Kate Moss
The girl King
The girl King
Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian

beauty: Best in BALM

SUPER SEVEN!  Exotic, Organic beauty.  Paraben + Cruelty Free.   It’s called Divine Balm by SkinsoDivine.


Why?  Because it’s a special 3 in 1 *balm which contains seven superstar ingredients rich in moisture and vitamins to help smooth and soften the skin on your eyes, lips and cuticles.  A divine selection even if I say so myself.

Why should I say so myself?  Hmmm…seems like forever that I’ve been trying to formulate what I believe to be the most effective of all balms.  The balm of balms. I’ve tried out so many different concoctions to get it right. And of course at first I had to get some extremely picky friends (but then again most of my friends are unbelievably picky) to try it out and give me their totally honest feedback.  I’m very happy with the results.  There are three other products in the line all made with 100% nourishing natural oils for all skin types, even those who suffer from rosacea.  Having said that, I will be the first to admit that anyone can have an allergic reaction to any single ingredient so it’s best to read what is in each product first.  I have sensitive skin and it works for me.

Yes, these are my products but I wasn’t even going to tell anyone that I formulated them myself because I don’t want to appear like I’m pushing my own line.  But it seems that many bloggers are doing exactly that.  They either have something of their own to sell or they promote other people’s products.  And while I’m comfortable talking about and helping to promote other products and things I believe in then why shouldn’t I talk about my own? I guess because I’m a bit uncomfortable with doing so and it doesn’t come naturally.  But I’ve also been researching and sourcing the best oils from all over the world (for the individual products) so all I can say is that if you are at all interested in checking out the Skin so Divine product line please do so at the link below.  If you feel like purchasing anything (or the complete line) and decide you don’t like it or it’s not working for you within 30 days then send it back and I will refund your money.  Guaranteed. Whew!  That wasn’t so hard after all.  Here’s what is in it:

1) Soybean Oil – one of the major benefits of soy oil is that it’s a very good oil for protecting skin from UV rays. Soy oil helps to cure skin damage and gives it a healthy glow.  It is a rich source of linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid. It contains B vitamins along with Vitamin E and Vitamin K. In addition the Vitamin E in soybean oil keeps the skin smooth and healthy.

2) Jojoba Oil (native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico) – One big bonus is that it contains almost all of the vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin: vitamin E, B-complex, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, and chromium. And it’s even gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin without causing allergic reactions.

3) Rosehip Seed Oil (Chile) – is high in linoleic acids, vitamin C and Vitamin A (retinol). It will help to regenerate tissue and eliminate wrinkles, fine lines & sun damage. It actually deserves a whole post of its own (coming up I promise).  A little gossip…it wasn’t until former Victoria’s Secret Angel Miranda Kerr name dropped it as the secret to her radiant complexion that we decided to further explore this oil.

4) Carrot Seed Oil (obtained from wild carrots which are usually found in Europe) – is high in antioxidants and will help protect your skin from environmental assaults like UV rays & pollution.  It has an amazing ability to rejuvenate the skin and stimulate cell growth and repair damaged skin. While it can’t turn back time, it can help you look younger and more radiant.

5) Kukui Nut Oil (Hawaii) – is fortified with essential fatty acids, Vitamins A, C, E and antioxidants.  Also rich in Linoleic  acid – an omega fatty acid that your skin will devour. Kukui nut oil also works well as an under eye treatment for the prevention and softening of crow’s feet.

6) Sea buckthorn Oil (Tibet)  is loaded with antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, and studies show that these two nutrient powerhouses can prevent wrinkles. Of the essential omega fatty acids found in Sea Buckthorn, one of the main moisturizing essential fatty acids is Omega 7 palmitoleic acid. Palmitoleic Acid (Omega-7) is a natural component of skin. It is considered a valuable topical agent in treating burns and healing wounds.

7) Shea Butter (Africa) –  is very rich in fatty acids as well as Vitamins A and E. Applied on the skin, it intensely hydrates and soothes the skin as well as helping to restore the natural skin barrier.  Good to prevent black under eye circles.

*A balm has a different consistency than a cream or lotion, it’s more of a thicker ointment that glides on easily and sinks right in.

Do you use an eye or lip balm?  If so, what do you recommend?



beauty biz: concealer review – priced high & low

concealer1Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Versus L’Oreal True Match Color Concealer


Two cover-up pencils – Two prices – Too alike?

Not that I’m trying to hide anything except for every little flaw on my face…but last week I posted about my favourite (the best) under eye concealer and now I want to mention two incredible cover sticks for general use.  You know those little spots here and there on my our faces that need to be dealt with.  Not every freckle (because we shouldn’t make everything disappear – it’s who we are) but a zit or red spot or little discoloration we want to be gone.

The Similarities:

Both are creamy and blendable.  Anything that comes in pencil/stick form is usually more convenient, I find. The ease of keeping a pencil for touch-ups is much better than having to pull out a pot concealer and brush.  The shades in each that match my skintone produces almost exactly the same results.

Both offer customized coverage from the tiniest of blemishes to larger areas of imperfections.  The tip of the crayons allow for precise application, while the side of the crayons can easily canvas a larger area of skin. At first I purchased the Urban Decay pencil and loved it, but then I switched for this new one from L’Oreal for half the price. Here are my thoughts:

The Differences:

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil – tried this at Sephora and loved the creamy texture and smooth coverage. However, once I bought it, I went through it quickly and it made a mess in my non urban decay pencil sharpener. Why should we always have to buy a specific sharpener for a product – can’t a generic one do?  It does not sharpen smooth and breaks off certain pieces so you’ll never get the tip as precise as it first started out.  But the top goes back on much more securely than L’Oreal so you can take it with you everywhere.  Does it stay on for 24 hours as advertised? No, at least not for me. If you care about packaging then this one is nicer. Available in 8 natural shades. ($18 USD / $22 CDN).

L’Oreal True Match™ Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer – Their moto is “conceal it all – big to small.”  The innovative formula provides sheer to full coverage that blends easily and won’t look cakey. For a drugstore concealer, this is probably the best I’ve tried so far. It provided an almost perfect color match as the Urban Decay stick and of course the convenient chubby pencil is great.  The main drawback is that once you take the top off, it does not seem to go back on tight enough whereas there is never a problem with Urban Decay.  This is no big deal if you don’t mind keeping it at home but it might get messy if you travel with it.  Available in 6 natural shades.  $8.95

They’re both wonderful products however….

Based on this information, which one would you choose?


Beauty – in the BAG

I really love Japanese skin care products.

002The Japanese are known for being steps ahead when it comes to technology and trends, and the same goes for their skin care. Japanese skin care products are some of the best in the world.

Many of the products are not easily found here in North America. Of course we already know about Shiseido, Shu Uemura (we swear by their eyelash curler) &  Clé de Peau (the Concealer is a perennial makeup artist favorite).

A friend recently returned from a trip to Japan and brought me this little bag containing *rice bran extract which is used to hydrate and tone skin.  It’s from a store called “Yojiya” in Kyoto (the area where I once followed Geishas).  The Japanese name is Nukabukuro and it’s a face/body wash in a small cotton bag with an excellent cleansing & moisturizing effect when you massage your skin with it. The rice bran extract is filtered through the cotton bag which gradually moisturizes your skin while the gentle massaging effect of the cotton fiber helps to tone your skin texture.  First you must run the bag under warm water until it fully absorbs and you keep using it until it’s all gone. *Rice Bran Extract is a natural botanical rich in vitamins and antioxidants.

Also, the best blotting papers ever – of course, the Japanese invented them.  Centuries ago, in the early 1600’s, the women and men in Japan discovered the benefits of oil blotting paper for keeping their complexions smooth, flawless and oil free.  An essential item to keep in my handbag.

Do you have a favorite Japanese skincare product?

Beauty with Benefits – Best of the BB Creams

bb7This post comes a bit after the fact because unless you’ve been living under a rock (or you’re a man) you might still be confused over which of the supposedly one-step wonder BEAUTY BALMS really works.

Never mind the new crop of “CC” creams which claims to offer color & correction to boot – we’ll get to them another time.  I haven’t even finished sampling the multitudes of BB creams yet, so give me another year & hopefully by that time they will not have introduced a ‘DD’ cream too.  After all, how much can one tube really offer?  Unless you’re 12 years old or have a perfectly perfect complexion my opinion is that none will put the beauty company face primers, powders or foundations out of business anytime soon.  In the meantime they will help cover up a few skin concerns.

 Here’s what the buzz is all about:

 The “itbeauty product has everyone from MAC to Maybelline adding one to their line – nobody wants to miss out.  But why all the fuss over these quirky named creams?  Two words – quick and easy.  A BB cream works as a moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen all in one.  Yes, that’s right!  A good one will do all that.  They deliver the lightweight feel of a tinted moisturizer with the complexion-evening powers of a foundation and help to conceal oiliness.  These creams might be new to us but they actually originated in Germany in the 60’s and then became a Korean phenomenon.  There, women used BBs to give their skin a smooth, porcelain-like quality.  However those formulas were too heavy and their shade range too limiting for North American women, so they were slightly re-worked for the U.S./Cdn market, with an emphasis on sheerness,  shade variety & SPF.

They are regarded as an ultimate multi-tasker.  For now, the  bounty of BBs out there means lots of options, but subtleties of formulations can be the difference between a product that’s your new skin saviour and just another tube hogging space on your bathroom shelf.

 So to help, here are a few recommended for different skin types:

bb1Combination – Garnier Skin Renew BB Miracle Skin Perfector (SPF 15) is an all-in-one skin care that hydrates, corrects imperfections, protects, evens and brightens skin tone.  It offers anti-shine, minimizes pores & evens skin tone.  Comes in 2 shades, light/medium, and medium/dark.  For the price you can’t beat this one.

bb2Sensitive – Clinique Age Defense BB cream (SPF 30) with skin calming ingredients like caffeine and a licorice extract to help minimize redness and inflammation.  If you’re susceptible to rosacea it could be your salve-ation.

bb3Oily – Smashbox camera ready (SFP 35) contains silica which helps absorb oil throughout the day.  It has a cream-to-powder finish which creates a beautiful soft-focus effect.

bb5Mature – Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB (SPF 40) contains ceramides & glycerine to keep complexion hydrated through the day.  It contains peptides to help promote collagen production.                                                                        **Side note:  I tried this one & honestly as nice as it was, the Garnier (with less SPF – but good for winter) & less money worked out just as well for me.

bb6Young (I also refer to this category as ‘Normal’) – Maybelline Dream Fresh BB (SPF 30) is more of a gel than cream.  It has subtle coverage but is also oil-free, making it excellent for teens and 20-somethings prone to blemishes.

bb8Dark Skin – IMAN Cosmetics Skin Tone Evener BB (SPF 15) has a luminous quality which keeps complexions from looking ashy.  Because dark skin is prone to hyper-pigmentation, this cream packs ascorbic acid, which improves texture, and licorice-root extracts to suppress melanin production.

esteeDry Skin – Estee Lauder Day Wear Antioxidant BB (SPF 35) is a combo of intense hydrators which keep complexion from flaking.  Contains hyaluronic acid to draw water to skin and glycerine to prevent moisture from escaping.  It’s featherweight & soothing.  Comes in 2 shades so you may need to layer on something else over it.

Any other recommendations?


beauty – the SKIN Commandments

Simply follow these 10 tenets and thou shalt possess healthy, smooth, glowing skin for life.
Images –

1) Thou Shalt Always Use Sunscreen (yes, even in winter).

Of all the skin sins, going out unprotected is the worst. UV rays cause 90 percent of wrinkles, sun spots and other signs of aging. And although face lotions with sunscreen ward off burning UVB rays, not all fully shield you from UVA, the deeply penetrating light that ages skin. What to look for: If your skin is sensitive, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are natural minerals with stellar UVA coverage; otherwise, you may want the longer-lasting protection of chemical-based SPF with UVA-blocking avobenzone or octocrylene.

2) Honor the Change of Seasons

Just as you swap sweaters for sundresses come summer, pull a switcheroo for skin care twice a year. What your complexion craves in warm weather (less oil! ample sunscreen!) is different from the TLC it requires in cooler temps.

A few months from now, dry winter air will rob moisture from your skin, says Marsha Gordon, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City for St. Ives. Stick with your daytime SPF-laced lotion, but also apply a rich cream or oil at night to keep skin soft & supple.

3) Leave no Skin Unbuffed

Your skin regenerates every 28 days on average, but this process slows down—even as early as your mid-20s,” says David Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York. Exfoliating removes dead cells lying on skin’s surface, revealing prettier skin.  For face Use a finely ground scrub or a chemical exfoliant (alpha hydroxy, lactic or glycolic acid) up to three times a week after cleansing, Dr. Bank suggests.

For body The skin here is thicker than that on your face & neck —which means it can handle more intense scrubbing. Smooth skin every other day with a salt- or sugar-based body polish; they’re grainy enough to soften your roughest parts.

4) Love Thy Skin in the A.M. & P.M.

Your anti-aging plan should be a twice-a-day habit, like brushing your teeth. A consistent routine gives you healthier, younger-looking skin not only now but in 10, 20, even 30 years, says Jeffrey Dover, M.D., coauthor of The Youth Equation (Wiley).  In the morning, use peptides, which lessen lines and improve texture (and won’t make skin sun-sensitive). Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum (approx. $25) is an inexpensive & apparently effective choice.

At night, reach for an over-the-counter retinol or prescription retinoid treatment to stimulate new collagen production and cell turnover and to lighten brown spots.

5) Give thy Body its Daily Moisturizer

The skin on your body has far fewer oil glands than your face (100 per ½-inch square versus 900), making it prone to flakes. Never miss a chance to hydrate.

A fast dry-skin fix Reach for a lotion with a gentle, low-dose chemical exfoliant such as lactic acid.  Your long-term supple-skin plan Apply lotion to damp skin (to seal in water), wait for it to be absorbed, then top it off with a second layer. Body hydrators contain ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter as well as sealants that coat skin, “so two back-to-back applications trap even more moisture into skin,” Dr. Bank says.

6) Covet thy Covers

“When you’re sleep-deprived, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol,” says Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami. And excess cortisol has been linked to acne, as well as sensitive and dry skin. Follow these easy sleep-better tips tonight for more beautiful skin tomorrow—and beyond.

Your nightly TV lineup may keep you from tucking in the requisite seven to eight hours of shut-eye, resulting in a sleep debt, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia report. Set your DVR and try to watch late-airing shows early the next evening instead.

Cut back on caffeine. Research shows that even one cup of joe disturbs nighttime sleep in some people, leaving them more tired and reaching for more caffeine, creating a cycle of sleepiness—and coffee addiction!

7) Never (ever!) Pop or Touch Pimples.

“Your hands can transfer more breakout-inducing bacteria to the area,” Dr. Blyumin-Karasik says. “And most people squeeze too hard, causing trauma to skin.” Both of which mean your pip-squeak pimple may turn into a huge, inflamed cyst. Zap zits safely.

Got a lone blemish? Reduce redness with an OTC anti-inflammatory cortisone cream twice a day; banish bacteria with benzoyl peroxide nightly, says Diane Berson, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

8) Treat the Body as thou Would thy Face

Unless you bundle up in a turtleneck and gloves year-round, the same damaging UV rays that shine on your face will hit your neck, chest and hands. “Yet most women act as if there’s a stop sign at their jaw,” says Dr. Dover, who advises rubbing skin treatments all the way down to your cleavage, then wiping the excess on your hands, too.

9)      Get thee to a Gym

Aside from keeping you healthy, energized and slim, working out has specific benefits for your complexion.  It increases circulation. When skin is supplied with enough blood, oxygen and nutrients, it’s able to bring its A-game and look smooth and healthy all the time. Wounds healed about 29 days faster among older adults who exercised than among those who were sedentary, research from The Ohio State University at Columbus finds.

It calms you (and skin) down. Exercise is a proven mood booster. Working up a sweat helps your body better regulate stress hormones linked to anxiety and depression, as well as acne, sensitivity and dryness. Incorporate a quick bout of cardio into your weekly workout routine to get happy—a 20-minute sweat session can improve mood for up to 12 hours, according to researchers at the University of Vermont in Burlington—and keep skin looking fresh, too.

10)      Eat thy Fruits, Vegetables and Fish

New research suggests a healthy diet may fend off your skin’s top enemies. Phytochemicals and antioxidants (in leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, etc.) and fatty acids from fish such as salmon allow your body to fight sun-induced damage. Low-glycemic foods (with fewer sugars) may prevent collagen breakdown by reducing cell inflammation and subsequent destruction of skin’s support structure.


Taken from 


B well –B skinformed

Lately I’ve been posting a lot about skin care products & methods that work and/or appeal to me and hopefully people who follow this blog. I’m not religious but I religiously follow some kind of skincare regime.  For what it’s worth you skincare junkies may want to check out this book which claims to be book-01“more” than a book but  make no mistake that “true beauty” comes from the inside first – think from the INSIDE OUT!

Dr. Nakhla is the author of the best-selling book The Skin Commandments: 10 Rules to Healthy, Beautiful Skin (Reedy Press), which has quickly become known as “the bible for the skin care industry.” More than a book, The Skin Commandments is a doctrine responsible for revolutionizing the way both women and men think about skin care. It is the essential guide and ultimate resource (other than my blog) for anyone seeking healthy and beautifully radiant skin.

Taken from his website:

Known in the media as “America’s Dermatologist™” and having been featured in numerous media outlets including CNN, PBS, MSNBC, E! Entertainment, SELF, Glamour, ELLE, National Public Radio, Better Homes And Gardens, Better Nutrition, Lucky Magazine and many more, Dr. Tony Nakhla is not only a health and beauty expert, he is THE expert and foremost authority when it comes to skin health and beauty.

Warning: Okay, here comes the infomercial…..

Ever wonder about the secret weapons used behind some of the most gorgeous faces in Hollywood?  Feeling overwhelmed, misled or confused by the millions of cosmetic products, celebrity endorsed skin-care regimens, websites and infomercials telling you how best to achieve great skin? Look no further because Dr. Tony Nakhla, is here to divulge all the tips and tricks to getting perfect red-carpet worthy skin for life in ten-practical steps that are both easy and fun to understand and implement at any stage of life.

In The Skin Commandments, Dr. Nakhla reveals that the number-one key to outer beauty lies in addressing inner beauty and health first. This book teaches the reader how to view the skin as a window and barometer to the inner body’s overall health.  According to Dr. Nakhla, once you understand that everything beneath the skin is what guides its outer appearance, it becomes much easier to adopt healthy behaviors and a holistic approach to your lifestyle in order to achieve gorgeous aesthetic results. When the body is functioning perfectly inside, it will glow with radiance on the outside.

The Skin Commandments demystifies principles of modern dermatological theory and outlines the best of skin care one “commandment” at a time. This book helps everyone from the A-list celebrity to the stay-at-home mom or dad achieve healthy, beautiful skin regardless of age.

In The Skin Commandments, readers will learn about a full spectrum of topics, from reducing signs of aging to preventing and detecting skin cancer to eating foods that benefit your skin. In language that is easy to understand, The Skin Commandments guides the reader through all the right steps to optimal skin care and a holistic lifestyle that promotes inner and outer beauty.

Sounds promising!

Available on

About the author:

Beautiful Skin – Face Masks

face mask The natural next step to exfoliation which was covered last week, is putting on a  FACE MASK.  Face masks are an excellent way to help maintain beautiful skin.  Once to twice a week is enough.  Now to figure out which one works for our skin type and then decide  what to invest in.

Clarins hydrating mask
Clarins Hydra Quench Cream Mask

Our skin can change depending on the season so you might be more oily in summer and drier in winter. Sometimes we need something to calm our skin rather than hydrate it.  I alternate using  a hydrating cream mask from Clarins or Origins “drink up” coupled with Ahava dead sea mud mask for the t-zone area.  I also stole a little have some dead sea mud from when I  floated like jelly in the Dead Sea itself.  Lasts forever.  What an experience!

Ahava Dead Sea Scrub and MASK
Ahava Dead Sea Scrub and MASK

Love the Japanese ultrafine sheet masks by Puresa with CoQ10. They come in an orange kleenex-style box & each mask you pull out completely fits over and adheres to your face with holes cut out for eyes + nose.  Try not to scare anyone who sees you though.

TIP:  if the mask says to leave it on for 10 minutes, leave it on for 10 minutes – not 20.  It won’t make your skin nicer by leaving it on longer.  Trust me on this.

Here are a few starters to help:  

1 Dry & Sensitive Skin

A hydrating mask is great for dry or sensitive skin. Opt for a cream formula (rather than a clay or exfoliating mask) to replenish your skin’s hydration. You want to rejuvenate and protect your skin rather than dry it out or inflame it with too much scrubbing. A “DIY” recipe of Greek yogurt and a teaspoon of honey is fantastic for dry skin. Yogurt also contains enzymes, so it works to get rid of any flaky dead skin. The soothing remedy will also help to maintain your skin’s natural oils.

Try – Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Facial Mask

2 Acne-Prone Skin

If you want to deep clean your pores, start with a clay or gel mask. You can even add oil into a gel mask for double the impact! Using facial oil as a mask is fantastic for acne-prone or oily skin. Fighting oil with oil will actually re-balance your sebaceous glands and help heal your spots. It’s extremely important to re-balance the natural oils within your skin. By drying out your face too much your skin will make even more oil to compensate, so you end up with more clogged pores than you had to start with!

Try – Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Cleansing Mask

3 Oily Skin

A clay or exfoliating mask is perfect for oily skin, as it works to exfoliate and draw impurities out of the skin. The minerals and vitamins will leave your face feeling soft and supple but will dry it out a little, so finish with a hydrating mask to replenish moisture and restore your skin’s balance. You want to re-hydrate your skin and heal it.

Try – Alba Botanica Natural Even Advanced Deep Sea Facial Mask

4 Combination Skin

origins drink up

This is me.  Combination skin should be addressed in separate parts. There can be different skin types all over your face, so treat each area accordingly. Apply a clay mask to your T-zone (Ahava is excellent) if it’s oily, and a hydrating mask—like the homemade yogurt concoction or a bought one (like Clarins or Origins) to the rest of your face.  Another good at-home version is to mash up some pineapple and mix it with yogurt. The natural enzymes in fruits such as pineapple and papaya are excellent at removing dead skin cells.

Try – Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub in conjunction with the above.

What would you recommend?

B well – B organic

Little healthful tidbits that go a long way

Eat Well – Feel Well – Look Well

organicMany times I come across a great article in a magazine or from another blog that I just want to share.  This is one of them.  Even though this post on eating organic foods is geared mostly towards those suffering from adult acne, it seems like it can’t hurt for keeping your skin healthy in an overall sense.

If you’re a fan of organic beauty products, then chances are you try to eat organic too at least when practical. And while that might contribute to your overall health, we can’t help but wonder-does eating organic actually improve your skin too? It turns out it can.

Eating organic food may decrease your amount of acne overtime,” says Montclair, NJ, dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD. That’s because non-organic food that gets pumped with hormones like chicken, meat and dairy, can cause hormonal acne.

Charlotte, NC, dermatologist Gilly Munavalli, MD, says non-organic dairy products in-particular seem to contribute to breakouts among his patients. “People who have really bad acne who are drinking a lot of milk and start breaking out, we think that’s the mechanism,” he says. “Some people are reactive to the hormones so we recommend using organic dairy.” He adds that adult acne in women over 40 is always hormone-related, so cutting non-organic dairy may help in that situation too.

It also doesn’t hurt to eat organic fruits and vegetables. After all, most get covered in pesticides and wax (to keep them fresh), and while there isn’t a specific study that proves these ingredients harm the skin, their overall unhealthy affect on your body could be reflected in the form of dull skin and an overall tired look.

“Your body is not the sum of individual organs working alone. It is a complex, interconnected, marvelous machine with harmoniously functioning parts, of which your skin is one,” says Santa Ana, CA, dermatologist Tony Nakhla, MD.

“Your skin tells the story of your days in the sun, but it also reflects the general health of your internal organs and your entire body as a whole.”

Taken from

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