Showing posts with label skin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skin. Show all posts

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Skin Series: Beautiful Legs

Summer is here and it's time I start paying more attention to my legs in preparation for shorts and dress season. Every year I find this transition a bit nerve racking, seasons seem to change over night and exposing my skin after months of hiding under layers and layers of clothes can be intimidating to say the least. Here are a few things I'm doing to help me feel more confident and get my legs ready for the world to see.

Hair Removal
We've all done it, skipped this dreaded process during the winter months when there is no incentive to tackle the trouble and pain of hair removal. Well, those days are gone. I personally prefer epilation as my main method of hair removal. "An epilator is an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out". The results are much more long lasting that shaving and the process is less complicated than waxing. I find I am much more tolerant to the pain now than when I first started, years ago. I find the process to be less painful than waxing, it's also mess free and the epilator can catch little hairs and can easily be used to upkeep that smooth feeling in between hair removal sessions. Once a month I will usually give myself a "hair removal night" where I sit down with my favorite TV show, a glass of wine and my epilator, after that I simply touch up every other week to pick up new growth. I recommend you never try epilating before on your period, the skin is so sensitive which translates into so much more pain; I also find popping an Advil before the process helps take the edge of the pain. I wouldn't recommend using the epilator in your nether regions, the skin is way too thin in that area and things can get messy and really painful. 

Both Philips and Brown makes great epilators, I've gone through three of theirs already and they all worked great. My mother introduced me to their epilators in my teens, it's a bit of an European tradition, and here I am years later faithful to their little torture devices that keep my skin hair free and smooth. Seriously, look into epilators, the initial investment costs as much as a waxing service but the device will last you for years. 

Now that we removed the hair we need to tackle the dry, flaky skin. Exfoliation can not only give you that smooth finish but it will slough off dead skin allowing lotions to penetrate better into the skin, it will boost circulation and it's a must if you plan to self tan. I have to mention that exfoliating is very important to ensure you don't get ingrown hairs, which can happen especially with waxing and epilation. One of my all time favorite methods of exfoliation is dry brushing. Using a natural bristle brush, start brushing your skin from the feet and work your way up to the arms, always brushing in an upwards motion (always towards the heart as mentioned in old books). This process stimulates circulation and will remove layers of dead skin, literally, you'll see white dust flying off your legs. I like to go in circular motions in trouble spots such as my butt and thighs where I see cellulite creeping in.

Another method to exfoliate is using scrubs which you can either buy or make yourself. My current favorite is Jealous Body Scrubwhich combines my three favorite all natural scrubbing agents: coffee, salt and sugar along with coconut oil that helps moisturize the skin during the process. If you are on a budget you can simply save your coffee grinds and take them to the shower. I mix them with my favorite body wash and scrub away. I absolutely love what coffee grinds do to my skin, I am not sure if it's the caffeine or just the exfoliation process but I feel like a supermodel after my scrub. My only advice is to make sure you have good pipes for this process, the grinds can clog things up and that's gonna be a hard one to explain to your landlord. I would know.

This is easily my favorite part of the process, the least painful part anyway. I love using oils on my body my favorite being the Weleda ones, applied on damp skin, right after my shower, when the pores are still open and my skin slurps up them up. I will use the oil at night, as I don't mind if there is any residue left on my pjs. Another great alternative are dry oils which sink right in, Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse* is a cult favorite for a reason, it smells divine and leaves the imparts the most wonderful glow to the skin. They can be used on dry skin as well as on hair and their shimmering oil is great for adding giving skin and tresses a subtle sun kissed shimmer. When it comes to lotion, I tend to stick to clean ones, my skin always does better with natural ingredients, I like Weleda lotions a lot because they are light and smell great, I also like the Green Beaver body lotions for more hydration or Carina Organics. Just visit your local health food store and explore the cosmetics aisle. There are so many fantastic natural cosmetics lines out there that perform just as well as commercial ones.

Trouble Areas
Like most women out there I struggle with cellulite despite working out and eating well. It's in our genes! I do find that paying a little attention to my thighs (my problem area) can improve the appearance of that skin and makes me just a little more comfortable when slipping into those short shorts. I already stressed the importance of a good scrub, I also mentioned I work out religiously, eat well and drink copious amounts of water but the biggest difference I see is when I take the time to massage and drain the area. I will use a cellulite cream like the Clarins'  Body Lift Cellulite Control *and Lierac's Body Slim*  and massage it vigorously into the skin. These creams will help stimulate circulation and drain water and lymph which will help diminish the appearance of dimpled skin. The massage part is just as important as the creams as it will manually stimulate the circulation in the area. 

*Products provided for consideration. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Andalou Beauty BalmsReview

Lord knows I love my BB Creams, so I jumped for joy when I saw one of my favourite natural brand out there, Andalou Naturals, come up with their very own range of the stuff. The two products have been available in the US for a while now and will hit the Canadian market this September. I`ve had both BB creams on my hand for a while now and had a chance to play with them and test them out, so here are my thoughts...

There are two Beauty Balms in the line, both of which featuring the brand `Fruit Stem Cell Science`, which, essentially, are fruit stem cells meant to help nourish and repair your own skin cells.

 All-in-One Beauty Balm Sheer Tint with SPF 30  

 This is a true BB Cream, according to me, anyways. The balm is a tinted moisturizer with an SPF 30. It`s a creamy, lovely, rich texture with a sheer tint. The coverage is light to medium and it works well to diffuse and blurr out imperfections; I still need concealer under my eyes and areas that need major coverage. I wore this a lot this summer as the product is easy to use and so convenient, replacing my moisturizer and SPF, all in one. I didn`t have issues with the product oxidizing on me, melting away or breaking me out, which is a miracle given the fact that my skin gets super weird during summer.
The ingredients in this balm get major thumbs up from me! I mean, where do I start? The soothing aloe? the lovely oils? the plant extracts? the antioxidants? The fact that the SPF and pigment are mineral (zinc and iron oxides)?
Overall, this cream is not only lovely but looked and felt amazing. A natural product that performs well and packed with awesome ingredients! Given it's rich texture, this balm would be suitable for people with dry, dehydrated skin; those with combo or oily versions would need to set it with a powder.
Active Ingredients:
Zinc Oxide 20.0%

Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) and Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oils*, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Hyaluronic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil*, Algae and Cucumis Melo (Melon) Extracts, Magnesium Sulfate, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos), Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*†, Iron Oxide, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil*
† Fair Trade
Made naturally without GMO’s, gluten, paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes and fragrances. Verified Gluten-Free 100% Eco-friendly, Vegetarian & Cruelty-Free

Oil Control Beauty Balm Un-Tinted with SPF 30 

 If you've read my blog you know I am a BB Cream junkie and I take the stuff seriously. So I kinda felt disappointed to see the sacred word slapped onto a products that well, doesn't really fit my standards of what a BB cream should be. This moisturizer much like the All In One Beauty Balm is packed with awesome ingredients, replaces a moisturizer and provides and SPF of 30 in addition to claiming to help control oil, but it has no tint. I mean, that is the whole thing that makes a BB Cream a BB Cream. Skincare + Coverage. I have already embraced the Western interpretation of the term, with the coverage being sheer (borderline TM) but c'mon! Give me at least a tint!

That being said, the cream is actually nice. It's somewhat lighter than it's tinted cousin, soon becoming a favorite for me, given the fact that I do have combination skin. It absorbs fast and leaves no white cast on my face. It gives my just the right amount of hydration I need, without feeling heave or greasy. I would often reach for this moisturizer during the days I decided to actually bother with foundation, as it performs beautifully underneath it and it gave me that much needed sun protection. 

Active Ingredients:
Zinc Oxide 20.0%

Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) and Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oils*, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Hyaluronic Acid, Salvia Officinalis (Sage), Serenoa Rapens (Saw Palmetto) and Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extracts*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil*, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Algae Extract, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Sulfate, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos), Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) and Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oils*
† Fair Trade
Made naturally without GMO’s, gluten, paraben preservatives, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes and fragrances. Verified Gluten-Free 100% Eco-friendly, Vegetarian & Cruelty-Free 

Overall, I do like both of these creams despite their names. Andalou introduced me to my first natural Beauty Balm and I am hooked. It's a very nice addition to their already fantastic line of products. If I had one complaint it would be the smell. I know most natural products tend to have an overwhelming smell at times due to the natural ingredients and essential oils in them, but I did find the smell of both products rather intense at times, which I can see it being a problem for people sensitive to strong smells.

 *Disclaimer: These products have been provided to me for consideration. This does not influence my opinions or review

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bebezen, Natural Care for Babies and The Whole Family

I was introduced to this Bebezen a while back, and although the products are targeted towards babies, I was more than keen on trying them out. I mean, if they`re good enough for the little ones, they must be good enough for me as well. If you have been reading my blog, you can see that I am very attracted to clean cosmetics and skincare. God knows I love my make-up, but whatever I put directly on my skin has to be clean. More and more people are starting to make smart, healthy choices in our day to day life from food, our homes,our general lifestyle to body-care. Makes sense.
So, who`s Bebezen and what makes them special?
One of the reasons I love the natural health industry is that so many companies have a story. Bebezen is no different. The line was founded by two parents, that wanted to create a clean baby line, motivated mainly by one of their son`s allergies. This started Bebezen, priding themselves with organic, natural ingredients. The products are free of fragrance, parabens, phtalates, PEG  and SLS, as well as being environmentally friendly and not tested on animals. Impressive. A simple look at the ingredient list will confirm how nice and clean the products are, and they happen to be amazing.

Although I don't exactly fit the description of a baby, I like these gentle, natural products; my philosophy for years has been: if it's gentle and good enough for babies, then it must me good enough for me. Here's a couple of my faves from the brand.

Yields a nice foam, my skin loves it. You get that clean feeling without the dryness. A very gentle product, great for sensitive skin.

Massage Gel
Made with nourishing kukui oil, lavender and chamomile, this is not only great for massage but awesome to nourish sensitive and/or dry skin.

Hair and Body Cleansing Gel
Awesome, gentle bodywash, my skin never feels stripped after using it; doubles as a great shaving cream btw.

Here's More products from the line...

You can find the line at these retailers.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Homemade Body Scrub

Here is an old favourite of mine, a sugar and lemon body scrub recipe.

It's cheap, it's easy to do, you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard already and most importantly... it's amazing.
You will need: brown sugar (works much much better than regular white sugar), lemons, essential oils and a carrier oil of your choice. The last two ingredients are optional. I chose lavender essential oil, because I love the smell, it's so soothing and relaxing and used apricot oil to smooth out my skin and add a little bit of moisture to the scrub.
The instructions are easy; dump sugar in a jar, add the juice from the lemons, add the essential oil and base oil; mix well; jump in the shower; scrub! Enjoy baby smooth skin.
The sugar particles are going to physically exfoliate, while the glycolic acid and citric acid from the lemons are going to do a bit of a chemical peel; melting and scrubbing away all those dead skin cells. The lavender oil is actually very soothing for the skin while the apricot oil moisturises the skin.
I like to use this scrub all over my body, but I particularly enjoy using it on my legs, it helps prevent dry patches, ingrown hairs and due to the scrubbing action of the sugar, stimulates circulation and targets cellulite.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

BioSil and What It Did For My Hair

Throught the past years due to numerous health reasons, malnutrition, stress and hormones, my hair has thinned considerably, which made me search for remedies and solutions to fix my problem. Over the ears I tried everything, in the attempt of beautifying me locks, thickening them up and making my hair just grow faster, longer, healthier. I have but just about everything in my hair,from garlic, onions, cayenne, eggs, oils, protein powders or just honey.  I started reading and understanding nutrition and supplements. I was on a very strict supplement regime for years, which to some extent had repaired some of the damage and has addressed the underlying conditions of my hair loss: stress and malnutrition.
From my own experience I found a good B-complex, a good dose of Omega 3s or EFAs, along with adequate intake of protein or BCAA (branch chained amino acids) to be the base, in order to prevent hair loss and offer minimal support. I also liked MSM, and saw a huge difference especially in my nails when taking it. Zinc helped, I usually take it during winter months when I need to benefit from its immune system boosting properties as well.
One supplement I have discovered recently and fell in love with is Biosil. I can safely say that this stuff made a huge difference in my hair, a difference that I could notice.
What is Biosil? For more information go here.
Its basically a very absorbable form of silica, a mineral that we most often like and that plays a huge role in production of collagen.
The way I took it was 10 drops every night in a bit of water, I actually enjoy its taste while others dont, in that case orange juice can be used to disguise the flavour. I did this religiously until I finished my first bottle, which took about 2 months. I prefer drops to capsules, since the liquid form is easier to assimilate and I already take plenty of supplement in pill form.
By this time I have already seen a huge improvement in my hair. Whatever grew was fuller, thicker. It didn't do much so my hair strands, but I did notice that it started growing faster.
I moved on to my second bottle but this time I was much more laid back, I only took 8-10 drops every second or sometimes even third night. Over the past couple of months, I noticed a dramatic improvement in not only the quality of the new hair growth but the rate at which it was growing at. While it would usually take me a couple of weeks, 6-8) to notice roots, this time in about 2 weeks after a colouring you could see the new hair and by the time I would hit my fourth I would need to touch up.
I am still taking my regular supplements, eating well, doing weird masks and treatments but Biosil was for me the missing link. It did exactly what I needed to, it gave my hair that extra push.
Oh yeah, in addition, due to the fact that it boosts collagen production, it could benefit skin, nails, joints and bones. Overall, this is a very interesting supplement that's worth taking a look at.

PS. Please note that hair loss is a symptom of many imbalances and/or deficiencies. This is my own personal experience and opinion.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lush Love Lettuce Face Mask

I have confessed my love for Lush face masks, a while ago, and here I am with yet another review, this time of the famous Love Lettuce mask, or as I like to call it my face saviour.
In general I love making my own masks and I thought I was pretty good at it, until I tried this baby out and realised how much creativity I was lacking. I love the mix of various ingredients, in this case gentle ground almonds, exfoliation ground almond shells to handle the tougher stuff, kaolin and fullers earth to detoxify and suck out all the nasty impurities, almond and lavender oil to relax, calm down and rehydrate skin and my favourite, chlorophyll the master cleanser.
I love the feel and smell of this mask. I lather it on, relax while the mask dries a bit and sucks out all impurities then wash it of while rubbing in circular motion, exfoliating away dirt and dead cells. I love the fact that after all this my skin does not feel tight and dried out, as it often happens with my clay masks. The lavender and almond oil really hydrate and leave my skin supple and moist after all that cleaning and scrubbing. Gotta love it!
I use this mask when my skin feels dull, dirty or just clogged up. It's a quick way to refresh and liven up my face.
And remember, save the Lush pots, for every five empty ones they reward you with a fresh mask! Check them out!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Liquid chlorophyll

One of my absolute favourite supplements is Liquid Chlorophyll.
Why? Well, aside from the fact it is an amazing supplement, great for alkalizing the body, soothing for digestive problems, it is a great gentle cleanser! It is amazing what chlorophyll can do for you skin, any skin conditions for that matter...
I like to call it my little clear skin secret!
I like to sip it in my water throughout the day or just kick start my day with a glass of chlorophyll water. A lot of green supplements are a great source of chlorophyll as well, my favourite is Green Magma, a more complex food supplement I will try to discuss later on. Yum!

Go check out your local natural health store for these awesome healthy supplements!