Obsessed with Clay Masks: The Solution for Every Skin Type

Obsessed with Clay Masks- The Solution for Every Skin Type

I am CLAZY about clay. I became obsessed with clay when I started using it in cold-process soap recipes. Clay brings a natural exfoliant and helps maintain fragrance in soap, but there is so much more to clay. About six months ago, I started using excess clay to make my own face masks, and the positive skin results are undeniable.

Clay is extraordinarily beneficial for sensitive skin, oily skin, and acne-prone skin. This is because clay masks, as they begin to harden, draw out excess oil and sebum from the skin making the appearance tighter, refreshed, brighter, and clean.

As beneficial as clay masks are, there are wrong and right ways to use clay masks. In our dry mix, Saving Face, we recommend leaving the mask on from 4 to 7 minutes, but no longer. According to Allure:

“There are three phases of a clay mask,” McGlinchey continued. “There’s the damp phase where your skin drinks in the beneficial minerals from the outside. Then you have the start of the dry phase, which exercises your capillaries and stimulates blood flow as the mask cools and contracts. But then there’s the dry phase, which draws out moisture from the surface of your skin, causing dehydration and irritation.” Not only does skin then feel dry, tight, and sometimes itchy, but when you counteract it by slathering on extra face cream, you’re just smothering your freshly cleansed skin.

When using your clay mask, you never want it to become completely dry because then you’re drying out your skin far too much. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance of sebum on your skin to keep your face moisturized, but more importantly, to protect your skin against environmental damage.

A clay mask is most beneficial when you have tired and over-worked skin, such as wearing make-up or sunscreen all week. You want to use your clay mask no more than twice per week. A clay mask is also beneficial to use when you start to notice a normal break-out. I’m stressing normal break-out because most break-outs are the results of hormone shifts…and skipping washing your make-up off (which you should never do). If a break-out is abnormal (and you know your skin), or lasting longer than usual, definitely consult a dermatologist.

But what about skincare for the 45+ gorgeous person? Clay masks are perfect for this age group, as well. Most people in the 45+ age group are not suffering break-outs, but instead, are facing skin that is a little less resilient. Clay masks are beneficial for this group because it tightens pores and draws blood-flow to the skin. The extra circulation in the face is what promotes the rosy color and oxygen flow. Blood carries nutrients, water, and oxygen around the body, so anything that increases circulation (like a vigorous workout), helps bring all of the benefits to the skin.

After rinsing off your clay mask with cool-to-lukewarm water, be sure to pat dry your face. Patting your face dry is always how you should dry your face to prevent pulling and yanking on your skin. Follow-up with a serum and/or moisturizer to replenish healthy oils and make your skin glow. We recommend Evanescence for a full facial treatment.

A few final recommendations when using Saving Face: Be sure to start with fresh, clean skin and a dry face. Finally, don’t overwork your skin by exfoliating on the same day. Alternate between Face the Day and Saving Face throughout the week to give your skin a chance to rest.

In the video below, I am demonstrating how to use Saving Face, our clay mask. If you have any questions or skin concerns, I am always happy to answer – just leave them in the comments below!

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There’s More Than One Way to Evanescence

There's More Than One Way to Evanescence

The word “Evanescence” means the process of disappearing like vapor. We named our signature luxury facial serum, Evanescence, to describe the moment of all your skin troubles disappearing away after using the serum.

We’ve received some rave reviews about how Evanescence creates glowing, youthful, bright skin. Between the Rosehip Seed Oil, Organic Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, there’s no doubt that our facial serum is an absolute gorgeous luxury in a bottle. Plus, with the beautiful mix of the essential oils of Lavender, Chamomile, Frankincense, and Rose, the blend is teeming with antioxidants and the fragrance is rich, elegant, and absolutely divine.

Evanescence - The Gold Standard of Facial Serums

But did you know that you could use your bottle of Evanescence for more than just your face? Oh yes, this bottle of liquid gold is a divine treat for a multitude of uses. Here are just a few ways we have discovered how you could use Evanescence:

  1. For your hair. Just squirt a dime-sized amount of Evanescence into your palm, rub around, and smooth through your hair to help tame fly-aways on dry hair, or to help you blow-dry wet hair. This oil helps soften and silken your hair as well as leaving a beautiful fragrance.
  2. For your nails and cuticles. If you’re like most of us, you get dry, hard cuticles. Squirt a small amount of Evanescence into your hands and rub deeply into your cuticles to help soften and smooth to create a beautiful manicure or freshen up your manicure. Use it as a cuticle oil while you’re giving yourself a manicure to protect your nailbeds. (The same works for pedicures!)
  3. For your hands and elbows. Super-dry spots of skin absolutely love Evanescence. Rub deeply into your skin to moisturize dry areas.
  4. To protect your feet. Are wearing shoes killing your heels? Rub Evanescence into your heels before your put on your shoes to give your skin an extra layer of protection. (If you still feel pain and rubbing, you may be wearing the wrong size, or the shoes may need to be stretched.)
  5. For chapped lips. Use Evanescence on your dry and cracked lips to make them supple and moisturized. Use a very small amount and spend a moment to rub it into the delicate skin of your lips.
  6. As a make-up remover. Evanescence is an excellent make-up remover because it doesn’t dry out your skin! This is perfect for your everyday make-up. If you’re wearing heavy makeup, we recommend using a standard make-up remover.
  7. As a natural perfume. The beautiful blend of essential oils in Evanescence will give your skin an elegant, natural fragrance for hours. Just dap a bit behind your ears, on your wrists, on your neck, and behind your elbows to carry the scent of lavender, chamomile, frankincense, and rose with you all day.
  8. As an emollient for after waxing. If you wax the hair off of your face, use Evanescence to help rub off the excess wax from your face before washing. This will help prevent the extra snagging and pulling of your skin which could lead to red marks and bruising.

How do you use your Evanescence?theres-more-than-one-way-to-evanescence

Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016

artisan-entrepreneur-of-the-year-2016

When I opened up my little online shop just 18 short months ago, I never imagined what we would grow into. What began as a hobby and a dream sparked into a full-time business. With no background in business, I studied and learned from the entrepreneurs before me and combined with a will and drive to succeed, I turned Bath Body Candle Moments into a local brand.

Running a business, especially from the ground up, without any knowledge base, is incredibly challenging. I went through some major pitfalls. Yes, I lost money and time, but I gained knowledge and wisdom by listening. Instead of quitting, I chose to evolve.

 

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CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SITE

 

I could never have received the honor of Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 without these major shifts:

  • Studying from brilliant entrepreneurs who offered meaningful, insightful, invaluable feedback – Donna Marie Johnson of Indie Business Network
  • Investing in a website designer who was knowledgeable and a visionary – Dean Pagliaro of eCommerceDean.
  • Investing in product photography with a talented photographer with an eye for branding – Bryan Maes of Inspiration Studios.
  • Being coachable and learning how to blog – Donna DeRosa of Donna DeRosa Coaching

Above all, I am humbled by my customers. My customers who not only show me such love and gratitude but who go above and beyond by sharing my products and sharing our story.

The categories I was honored in are: artisan products, community engagement and customer service, inspired storytelling, and website user experience.

I chose to make the products we offer because I know the value of the little moments of living add up to a life – a life worth living. I knew I could make something that would benefit and save the lives of animals instead of testing on them or using them as experiments. I learned how blogging about our business and offering up my knowledge to the world could help make someone else’s life better. What I didn’t realize was how many of you were watching and listening.

There are no better words to show my gratitude for your vote of confidence than simply thank you.

Thank you for believing in me, in my vision, in my artwork. Thank you for sharing in my mistakes, celebrating my joys, and sticking with me through it all. Thank you for your dedication to a cruelty-free and empty-shelter world. Thank you for giving me purpose. 

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Best Selling Trends from the Last 12 Months

Best Selling Trends from the Last 12 Months

One of the most common questions I receive from customers is: “What are your best selling items?” This answer is both easy and complicated because of the nature of our business; we make a lot of Limited Edition products to keep things interesting in our store, so the answer depends on the time of year and the audience.

For some fun, we’re going to break down the trends from the last 12 months!

Best Selling Soap – Women
1. Balance – Lemongrass & Lavender Essential Oil
2. Beach Bumming – Sun, Sand, Sea Mist
3. Moonlight – Rose

Best Selling Soap – Men
1. Balance – Lemongrass & Lavender Essential Oil
2. Black Tie Affair – Black Velvet Peppercorn
3. Mocha Coffee Break – Coffee

Best Selling Bath Bomb
1. Midnight in Paris – Lavender & Chocolate

Most Requested Wholesale and Private Label Item
1. Bath Bombs – We private labeled bath bombs for 4 companies, and wholesaled to 3 companies. In the last 12 months, we’ve made nearly 2500 bath bombs! (Just in case you were wondering, that’s approximately 700 pounds of baking soda.)

Best Debuted Items
1. Don’t Bug Me Natural Bug Deterrent – We sold over 200 bottles in three months!
2. Evanescence Supreme Luxury Facial Serum – Once we announced the product, we had 15 pre-sold in the first three minutes. Since then, we had even considered closing this product down to limit our offerings and we received over 20 emails or messages asking us not to and sold 10 more in the first day. We sold over 25 samples, and have been asked to private label for a famous indie skincare brand.

Best Selling Holiday Products
1. Snow Day! Bath Bombs – Hand-painted to look like snowmen.
2. Trick or Treat! Bath Bombs – Hand-painted to look like jack-o-lanterns.
3. Wrapping Gifts Soap – Scented in Peppermint

Greatest Loyalty
1. Face the Day Sugar Face Scrub – Once people switch to Face the Day, they never go back to their old facial products. (Just read the reviews!)
2. Butter Me Up Face & Body Butter – People who buy Butter Me Up come back and almost always buy more for their friends and family…then,  of course, more for themselves!

Best Selling Candles
1. Unstressed – Lavender & Chamomile
2. Summer Break – Ocean Mist
3. After the Rain – Aroma Spa

Top Two Best Selling Items by Quantity (Overall)
1. Midnight in Paris Bath Bomb
2. Sneak a Smooch Lip Moisturizer

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Skin Care Edition: Fact or Fiction?

skin-care-edition-fact-or-fiction

There are so many incredible tips out there to help us live happier, healthier, and more natural lives, but sometimes these tips are simply wrong, and sometimes you would be surprised at what is actually true! Whether these tips come from old wives tales, family tradition, or the internet, it’s key to be informed to stay healthy.

  • Use alcohol to dry out pimples. FICTION. Egads, this is TERRIBLE for your skin! Alcohol is incredibly drying to the top layers of your skin, so by applying alcohol, all you’re doing is burning away skin tissue. If you have a pimple, leave it be, or if you insist on clearing it out, use a clean towel to create a hot compress until the pimple expels on its own. After, use a little bit of Neosporin to keep bacteria and germs out. (Don’t use your fingers, ever!)
  • Using oil on your face will make you break out. FICTION. Non-comedogenic oils such as argan oil, rosehip seed oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil are extremely beneficial to all skin types (yes, even oily skin). For dry skin, it helps to moisturize, for oily skin, it lets your body know it doesn’t need to produce more oil. The right oils will help balance your skin to create a youthful appearance. Try a product like Evanescence.
  • Lemon and sugar make a good scrub. FACT. The Vitamin C and citric acid found in lemon juice and lemon rinds is naturally antibacterial and offer antioxidants. Sugar is small and granule making it a perfect base for gentle exfoliation. Never rub lemon directly on your face, but mix lemon juice with a non-comedogenic oil (like jojoba or fractionated coconut) and sugar to create your own scrub. Or, you could always use a scrub that’s been perfectly formulated for your skin already.
  • Using soap on your face is a bad idea. FACT and FICTION. This all depends on the soap itself! Natural soaps crafted with enriching oils and/or butters are perfectly fine for face washing! However, you want to stay away from soaps that have ingredients like propylene glycol, parabens, or sodium lauryl sulfate; the jury is still out on the effects of these ingredients, so why risk your face?
  • Eating sugar and carb-rich foods cause breakouts. FACT. Most breakouts actually occur from your body’s chemistry, such as your hormones and the foods your eating. When you eat foods rich in sugar or saturated fats you can aggravate your sebaceous glands, which may lead to zits.
  • You don’t need sunscreen in the winter. FICTION. Some of the worst sunburns can occur in the winter time! The reason this myth arose is because people are less likely to spend time outside in the winter, but the sun still shines in the winter. This is especially true if you partake in winter sports, or spend time in the snow; the water in the snow actually reflects the light from the sun, creating more rays than you would expect. Final point: Wear your sunscreen.
  • Cucumbers reduce puffy eyes. FACT. Chilled sliced cucumbers placed on puffy eyes can help reduce the swelling because the cooling effect of evaporation helps drain the lymphatic nodes under your eyes. Also, cucumbers offer flavonoids and antioxidants which are thought to reduce irritation.

We would love to hear about the different advice you’ve received to keep your skin healthy! Comment below and we’ll fact-check it for you!

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Keep Mature Skin Glowing

Keep Mature Skin Glowing

Mature Skin has special requirements to maintain the look of glowing vitality. As we age, we produce less collagen and elastin, two proteins which are responsible for giving skin the “plump” look, and the ability to “snap-back” (like elastic).  Our skin also appears to become more transparent as we age, revealing spots and a sallow look; this is a result of the epidermis (top layer of skin) actually thinning. Environmental factors also create aging skin, with the number one factor being sun damage.

So, between the environment and Father Time, what is the number one skincare item to save our sallow, sagging skin?

I’m going to break the rules here and tell you what even the best skincare can’t do: It cannot turn back the clock. Yes, yes, seems obvious, right? Yet, we spend thousands of dollars a year trying to do exactly that.

There is good news. While we can’t change our past, we can change our future by first changing our present. (<–This golden nugget applies to all factors of life.)

I Feel 30, How Do I Look 30?

  • Start using sunscreen NOW. With a thinning epidermis, mature skin is far more susceptible to even further sun damage. Even minutes of a high-UV index can start to take its toll and damage skin. Our favorite recommendation for sunscreen is Neutrogena 45 Broad-Spectrum.
  • Drink plenty of water. This is classic advice and just makes for overall greater health, anyway. But drinking more water helps skin to appear rejuvenated and plump.
  • Exfoliate. Exfoliation helps to wash away dead skin cells for the more youthful cells to appear. The brushing affect also helps drive blood to the skins surface, making it appear rosy and young, and aiding in circulation. For the best exfoliation in town, you must try Face the Day.
  • Wash with a gentle cleanser. Mature skin doesn’t have the same elasticity it used to, so the harsh rubbing and pulling of a regular face wash may be counter-intuitive. Ideally, wash your face with a natural soap made with essential oils, or a cleanser free of surfactants, detergents, and sulfates.
  • Use oils to remove make-up. Washing your face further to try and remove your make-up can be irritating for mature skin, and many make-up removers contain alcohol which is incredibly drying for all skin types. It’s best to use oil-based products that are gentle and soothing, such as the Rest Easy Spray.
  • Use serums with oils rich in anti-oxidants. To help revitalize the appearance of mature skin, oils rich in anti-oxidants, such as argan oil and rosehip seed oil, can aid in the protection against free radical damage. Another excellent oil is jojoba, which is actually a wax ester, and most closely resembles natural human sebum, giving the skin extra nourishment. Our luxury facial serum, Evanescence, includes all of these oils for this exact reason. It promotes beauty and youthful appearance in all skin types.
  • Use satin pillowcases. How you sleep can actually affect how your skin appears. Pillowcases made of rougher materials, such as cotton (less than 500 thread), can pull on the skin while you sleep, and since mature skin doesn’t have the same elasticity, it will not rebound as it once did. Satin or high-end luxury cotton pillowcases are less likely to pull (plus, they feel like you’re sleeping in a five-star hotel).

As always, the key to vibrant skin at any age starts with balanced nutrition, exercise, and reduced stress. A simple daily walk in nature can both increase your cardiovascular health and boost your happiness, which always makes everyone look beautiful.

The Five Days to Healthier Skin Challenge

The Five Days to Healthier Skin Challenge

There are many different factors involved to having healthy, glowing skin. As a skincare and soap maker, I would love to tell you that I have the magic potion to make all of your problems disappear, like some form of wizardry or alchemy, but it would be unprofessional, and worse, unscientific. What you put on your skin is incredibly important, absolutely, but there is far more involved than just that one step.

This is why we have created the Five Days to Healthier Skin Challenge. The challenge will begin this week, Monday 12/5/16 through Friday 12/9/16. You are more than welcome to participate by joining our VIP Facebook Group. Those who are in the group and who complete all five steps will be awarded 300 bonus rewards points in their account on our website.

You Deserve a Moment of VIP Status
Join our VIP Facebook Group!

If you’re coming to this blog post later, or you’re just ready to give your skin an overhaul, you are welcome, of course, to complete this challenge on your own. This is a sneak-preview of what’s in store:

DAY ONE – WATER INTAKE
Drink at least 48 ounces of pure water on this day. It’s really recommended to get to 64 ounces, but that may be a huge increase for someone who does not do this on a regular basis. The reason this is the first challenge is because water is the basis of our entire physiological system. To help your body’s natural detoxing system, it needs pure water to function properly. What we mean by “pure” water is non-carbonated and unmixed (no tea or lemonade or coffee mixes). It’s perfectly fine to infuse your water with lemon, cucumber, or berries, if that makes it more palatable for you.

DAY TWO – SUGAR FREE DAY
Now that we’ve been working on adding more water to our diet, this day requires you to eliminate non-complex carbohydrates, sugars, and sugar-fillers. No bread or pasta today. Complex carbs, such as fruit and beans, are perfectly fine. Try to stick to lean proteins like legumes, beans, grilled chicken, boiled eggs, or turkey. Avoid foods that are fried or processed. Healthy skin begins with a healthy lifestyle – and anyone can do this for one day! Here is a link to my famous turkey-chili recipe, which can be made vegetarian by eliminating the turkey meat and substituting with more beans to give you a quick meal idea.

DAY THREE – EXFOLIATE
It’s important to exfoliate your skin a few times per week to help stave off the old, dead skin cells and show off fresh skin. Your skin is doing its job by constantly creating new cells, exfoliation gives it that extra push. For your face, we recommend the Face the Day Sugar Face Scrub and for your body we recommend the In the Buff Sugar Scrub. What’s awesome about these particular exfoliators is that they’re already packed with nourishing oils and butters, so you won’t need an extra moisturizer!

DAY FOUR – SERUM
There are so many products on the market for serums, but what is hard to find is a natural serum comprised of pure botanical oils and essential oils, which is why we created Evanescence. Today, we want you to use your bottle of Evanescence after you cleanse your face in the morning and in the evening. If you don’t have Evanescence on hand, you can order it now (we ship priority mail), or use any mixture of botanical oils you have available in your home – such as olive or coconut. While we can’t promise the same results with just any oil, using pure oils on your face is a great start. (If you’re going for just stuff you have in the kitchen, don’t do this in the morning – Evanescence is specially formulated for easy, quick absorption; other oils will not necessarily have such a quick absorption.)

DAY FIVE – MAKE-UP FREE
While most quality make-ups are not necessarily harmful for your skin, the extra rubbing and pulling from cleansing it off can be; plus, just having make-up sit on your skin for extended periods of time can induce clogged pores. Today, we challenge you to go free from make-up all day long, and just let your skin breathe! (Don’t forget to moisturize and wear sunscreen if you’ll be outside.)

Rules of the Challenge:
Each day, there will be a graphic posted in the VIP group reminding you of what the day’s challenge will be. Under the graphic, by 11:59pm EST of that day, post a photo and/or comment explaining what you’ve accomplished related to that day’s challenge. People who complete the challenge on time everyday and post will receive 300 bonus points in their account. If you post with a photo at least twice, you can earn an additional 100 bonus points! You must complete ALL five days to qualify for the bonus points. Trust me, your skin will thank you!

Leucidal® Liquid Complete – Utilizing Korean Cuisine to Create a Preservative

Leucidal® Liquid Complete - Utilizing Korean Cuisine to Create a Preservative

We have the distinct pleasure and honor of working with Maggie May Ghanem, owner and President of Formulator Sample Shop. Upon numerous discussions with Maggie, multitudes of test formulations with different preservatives, and a whole lot of research, we decided to use Leucidal® Liquid Complete as our preservative of choice in our brand-new Rose Water Facial Toner, called “Fresh.”

What We Were Looking For

  1. The main issue – a preservative. While people have this distinct fear of preservatives, it’s simply poor science. Any cosmetic or product which contains water or comes into contact with water needs a preservative to ensure bacteria and mold don’t begin to flourish. (Read more about Why Use Preservatives?) We knew we wanted to include Rose Water as a main ingredient in our new facial toner; therefore, it was absolutely necessary that we preserve the product properly. *NOTE – If you find a hydrous product without a preservative, RUN.
  2. A natural solution. This is where formulation became complicated. Because our formulation directly contained water, we needed a powerful preservative, but it seemed as though all preservatives created for hydrous products contained either parabens, formaldehyde, or  propylene glycol.  While all of these additives are considered GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for cosmetic use, we know our customers are looking for even more natural solutions. The search continued.

That’s When We Found Leucidal® Liquid Complete

Working with Maggie, she introduced us to Leucidal® Liquid Complete. The three main components of this preservative are Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate & Lactobacillus & Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract.

A little history with science

I spent some time studying Korean culture and history, and was even granted a fellowship to study in South Korea during the Spring of 2011. While visiting there, one of the distinct memories I have include the hospitality with food – though the point was to immerse us (we were a group of educators) in Korean culture, every morning they would offer us an “American” breakfast which included pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc., and kimchi. Kimchi is a Korean staple food, and while it seemed odd to include it with our American breakfast, it made perfect sense.

Korean Kimchi

Kimchi has been part of Korean culture for thousands of years. While studying in Korea, I learned that in the years before refrigeration, families would make dozens of pounds of kimchi and store them in air-tight containers underground to stay cool. During the cold-months, when food was scarce, families would eat the kimchi to stay healthy. They key to this health is the good bacteria that comes from the fermentation.

So, how is this relevant to preservatives?

Kimchi is normally comprised of cabbages and radish root, with salt, sugars, and brine water. Over time, the brine water produces bacteria which feed off of the sugars, creating lactic acid, which creates fermentation. This lactic acid becomes lactobacillus – a key component bacteria necessary for healthy digestion and to stave off yeast. You will find this bacteria in your yogurt, kefir, and if you take probiotics. This is the good bacteria necessary for your gastrointestinal tract to stay aligned as this bacteria eats the bad bacteria.

BOOM! There it was! Leucidal® Liquid Complete utilizes the brilliance of the natural fermentation process to stave off the bad bacteria! L. kimchii is capable of restricting the growth of other microorganisms by acidifying its environment, but as is common in nature, it is not content to limit itself to a single mechanism of defense. In addition to acidifying its environment, it also produces a novel antimicrobial peptide. Using modern fermentation and bioprocessing technology, Active Micro Technologies has commercialized this antimicrobial peptide to produce Leucidal® Liquid Complete.

To take it to the next level, Active Micro Technologies, the makers of Leucidal® Liquid Complete, utilized the lactobacillus with coconut oil to ferment the coconut oil to create an antimicrobial product that is also non-drying for skin.

The Winning Combination

Between the two levels of natural fermentation, we found our grand-slam preservative. It produces the preservation we needed in our product, with natural ingredients, a natural process, and has the added bonus of moisturization.

 

The Weekly Skincare Steps Needed for Optimal Beauty

The Weekly Skincare Steps Needed for Optimal Beauty

Just like owning a car requires you to fill up on gas, get regular oil changes, have inspections, and tune-ups, your skin requires a weekly routine to maintain optimal beauty. Along with the obvious healthy diet, exercise, and plenty of water, you should complete the following steps every week to gain glowing skin.

The steps we’re discussing in this blog post pertain specifically to the skin on your face. We want you to take a before-photo, try these steps out for two weeks, and take an after-photo so you can see the visible improvements in your skin’s texture, feel, and general appearance.

Everyday Morning Routine

  • Wash your face with a mild soap or cleanser.
  • Use a toner to balance the pH levels of your skin.
  • Apply a day-time cream, butter, or moisturizer (depending on your skin type). Use a richer cream or butter for dry skin, use a lighter moisturizer for oily or combination skin.
  • If you’ll be spending time outside, be sure to also include a facial sunscreen of at least an SPF of 30 with protectors against UVA and UVB rays.

Everyday Evening Routine

Twice Per Week in the Morning or Evening

One Per Week in the Evening

  • After washing your face with a mild soap or gentle cleanser, use a gentle mask to help tighten pores.
  • On a different evening, use wet tea bags (in cool water – can be used) over your closed eyes to help reduce puffiness. No tea bags on hand? Sliced cucumber also works wonderfully.

The key to maintaining healthy, clear skin lies in three main factors: diet, stress, and skincare routine. You have to keep everything in balance for optimal results. If one is out of whack, it will certainly affect how your skin reacts, no matter how many products you use.

Part of maintaining this regiment is the relaxing benefits it brings, which can also help reduce your overall stress levels. Taking a moment for you to care for yourself is imperative, and you deserve it.

Misleading Cosmetic Claims and Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them

Misleading Cosmetic Claims and Why You Shouldn't Believe Them

The skincare industry is filled with all types of fun rhetoric. As an English teacher by day, and mad chemist by night, I feel privileged that I can read through the nonsense, but I also feel like so many people are being cheated by these claims. It’s time to debunk these myths and use the skills that science and English class taught us!  Let’s get to the facts:

There’s no such thing as “Therapeutic Grade” essential oils
The terminology “therapeutic” implies it has some type of healing properties. While essential oils do possess many benefits, unless the actual oils were clinically tested in an unbiased scientific experiment, there’s no way to determine whether or not they’re therapeutic. Moreso, each batch of essential oil is different! You can buy lavender from two different providers and receive two different scents and types. Essential oils are derived from plants, and unless they are being synthetically mimicked for precise, exact conditions, there’s no way to control nature. The environment, climate, atmosphere, picking, and growing techniques will all create slight variations in the oil. It’s hard to make a medical claim about something with so many variables.

“Cosmeceutical” is a whole bunch of malarky
The term “cosmeceutical” was invented by the cosmetic industry to use rhetoric to imply that the product has both cosmetic and pharmaceutical benefits. The term is not only unregulated, it’s downright misleading. According to the FDA, unless a product has been registered and tested as a DRUG, it is in no way pharmaceutical, and any claims of providing those types of benefits (healing, treating, preventing, or curing) are false and illegal.

The only thing “Hypoallergenic” is air
And even sometimes the air (if polluted) can cause allergies. In the cosmetics industry, the term “hypoallergenic” connotes that a product will not cause an allergic reaction. The FDA makes very clear statements about this term: “There are no Federal standards or definitions that govern the use of the term “hypoallergenic.” The term means whatever a particular company wants it to mean. Manufacturers of cosmetics labeled as hypoallergenic are not required to submit substantiation of their hypoallergenicity claims to FDA. The term “hypoallergenic” may have considerable market value in promoting cosmetic products to consumers on a retail basis, but dermatologists say it has very little meaning.” The reality is that every person is affected by product and their environment differently.  It’s the responsibility of the manufacturer to clearly label ingredients, but it’s the responsibility of the consumer to read that information and determine whether or not he/she is allergic.

Free of “chemicals”
This is a very tricky term because the word “chemical” actually relates to chemistry or the interactions of substances as studied in chemistry. Oxygen is a chemical. Water is a combination of two particles of Hydrogen with one particle of Oxygen – Water is a chemical. Our very essence is comprised of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, magnesium, oxygen, oh my. To call something “chemical free” is not only bogus, it’s ridiculous; there is literally no such thing on Earth that is chemical free – and good thing, too, or we’d be dead.

“Organic” is just a fancy way to say “pay more now”
The concept of “organic” makes much more sense in the food industry than it does in the cosmetic industry. The very appeal of “organic” is that it was grown without pesticides or preservatives. The truth is, “organics” are quite wasteful in the cosmetic industry because the minute the original product is mixed and packed, it’s not organic anymore. This term, just like all the others, is completely unregulated. It’s possible for cosmetics to contain organic ingredients, but impossible for it to be completely organic as it’s now in an altered state. This is also a good thing, as you want preservatives in any water-based or water-contact products…because you know what else is organic? Growing bacteria, mold, and mildew in your skincare.

“Dermatologist-tested” or “Dermatologist-approved” means another person on payroll
This is yet another unregulated term in the cosmetics industry. All you need is one dermatologist, who could be paid, to make the claim that he/she has approved the cosmetic, and boom, it’s appealing to your ethos. Unless a cosmetic has undergone a double-blind clinical trial, it has not been tested, and it doesn’t matter what any dermatologist has to say.  That doesn’t mean that all cosmetics need to undergo expensive clinical trials, most cosmetics don’t, as they are being created with GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredients.  What it does mean is that some dermatologist is getting a financial kick-back for advocating for the product. Look at it this way – A pile of garbage can be “Cockroach-tested” and “Cockroach-approved” – has the same value.

Mucus is also “all natural”
I have to admit, we’re guilty of using this terminology, simply because of the expectation of handcrafted cosmetics, but the reality is, “all natural” is also unregulated. Lots of things are “all natural” – shea butter, coconut oil, vomit, feces, HIV, HPV, meningitis, you get the picture. The term in cosmetics is supposed to infer that everything was derived from nature, but a simple read of an ingredient label, and you can get the same information without the nonsense. It’s also important to note that you don’t always want “all natural” – chemical compounds and synthetics can be safe. Prehistoric times were about as natural as you can get, and those folks only lived to thirty, if they were lucky. Science formulations and tested synthetics are fine. Take milk as an example – if we drank milk directly from a cow, we would become deathly ill. Thank you, Louis Pasteur, for your unnatural way to deal with natural derivatives.

The best way to combat these myths is to not fall into their traps. Read through the lines, only buy products with clear, transparent, and honest labelingtrust science. Believe me, you’re going to be fine.