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Why go green?

When making the choice whether to “go green” in your daily lifestyle, there are three main factors that may influence your decision:



  1. The environment. Many of the active ingredients in your beauty products are from nature, including alpha hydroxy acids (derived from fruit, milk and sugar cane), algae, green tea, resveratrol (from grapes, blueberries and cranberries) and countless plant extracts including turmeric, soy and fruits of all kinds. If brands meet certain standards by sourcing ingredients from organic producers, they can be certified “organic, ” although it’s important to do your research about various companies, since terms like “all-natural” and “eco-friendly” aren’t strictly regulated

  1. Health. Some consumers choose to incorporate organic products – including food, cleaning products and beauty formulas – into their daily life because they want to minimize exposure to chemicals. Although you can trust that all beauty products on the market have been tested for health and safety, there’s still disagreement over whether certain ingredients may or may not cause adverse health effects. Organic products often skip these controversial chemicals – including preservatives like phthalates and parabens, artificial colors and fragrances, and petroleum based oils

  1. Price. In general, organic products have always been pricier than their conventional counterparts, due to a combination of factors including higher production costs and lower consumer demand. But, thankfully, increasing demand and an expanding market of organic goods has led to an overall decline in cost. So, if fear of sticker shock has been your reason for avoiding the organic beauty section, keep in mind that there might be some newer brands available that fit your budget.

Have a story about a product that wasn't dubbed organic and had adverse health effects? Post it here!


Is the concept of pampering yourself foreign to you? With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, make sure to take some time out to relax. Here are five easy – and festive - ways to pamper yourself so you can look and feel beautiful all through the holiday season.


1. Schedule a salon blowout. The stylist will wash, dry and style your luscious locks so they look polished and sleek. The best part? The appointment lasts around 30 minutes – which is about the same amount of time it takes you to shampoo and style your hair at home.

2. Get an impromptu mani/pedi at the mall. Why not squeeze a little “me” time into your trip? Most shopping centers have either a nail salon or day spa where you can drop in for an impromptu manicure and/or pedicure without an appointment.

3. Slip into a steamy, holiday-inspired bath. Not only will this warm you up from the winter chill, but it’s a much needed escape from the shopping, cooking, social events and other activities associated with the holiday season. Add some soothing music, a few candles and a steaming mug of hot chocolate for a night of bliss.

4. Spice up your look with a professional makeover. Look your best this holiday season by treating yourself to a consultation with a makeup artist! I bet you can say that’s not something you do often. Seek out a local spa or cosmetologist. Or, if you’re pressed for time, combine your makeover with some holiday shopping. Simply make an appointment or stop by the beauty counter at your favorite department store or specialty cosmetic store.

5. Warm up with hot yoga. Believe it or not, a little bit of exercise can actually do wonders when it comes to soothing your spirit and improving your look during the holiday season. Since it’s getting cold outside, consider going for a hot yoga class to warm you up. This style of yoga will enhance circulation, boost energy and soothe muscles.


Take time to escape the seasonal chaos with some pampering! Don’t forget – the holiday is about family, friends and being cheerful. Kind of hard to stay cheerful when you’re stressing over a massive to do list, huh? Whether it’s an impromptu pedicure during a shopping trip or a glamorous blowout, give yourself the gift of a healthy and stress-free holiday season. 

Eco-Friendly Makeup: Part 2


If you have sensitive skin, treat yourself right by taking preventative measures against irritation. In part 2 of the eco-friendly makeup series, learn how to take advantage of the options available for eco-friendly makeup that will improve your skin without leaving a damaging the environment.


Cheeks

  • Blush. It’s not always easy to find a blush that looks natural and is gentle on sensitive skin. Look for mineral-based products that are free of the preservatives and chemicals that trigger irritation.
  • Bronzer. Having trouble finding a bronzer that won’t look clog pores or look streaky? Mineral-based bronzers are both eco-friendly and create authentic sun-kissed color without compromising the health and appearance of skin.

Lips

  • Lipstick. You may not think of your lips as sensitive, but product ingredients can migrate from the lips to the skin around the mouth and trigger irritation and breakouts. The solution? Lip formulas with mild ingredients that hydrate lips without causing skin reactions.
  • Lip balm. Those with easily irritated lips should avoid artificial ingredients, dyes and preservatives. Instead, look for products with natural moisturizers like shea butter, cocoa butter or coconut oil.
Have you tried any of the awesome tips in the eco-friendly makeup series, part 1 or 2? Leave a comment with your experience and inspire other readers! It's never too late to treat your skin and the environment with care. 

Eco-Friendly Makeup: Part 1


Anyone who has sensitive skin knows how frustrating it can be to try a new product and break out the next day or develop a rash a few days later. Read part 1 of the eco-friendly makeup series and use these handy tips everyday. But don't forget that just because an ingredient is organic or a product is “all-natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe for all skin types - so be careful.



Skin

  • Foundation. Foundation is the base for all your makeup, so it’s a great place to start making a transition to green products. If you have sensitive skin and prefer liquid makeup, choose a silicone-based formula that’s less likely to cause irritation.
  • Concealer. Sensitive and acne-prone skin can be especially reactive to concealer, as it can sometimes clog pores. Look for products that are “non-comedogenic,” which are less likely to cause acne and irritation due to plugged pores.
  • Powder. Powder, especially a mineral-based formula, is a great alternative to liquid foundations and also works to set makeup and prevent oily skin. Unlike other face makeup, mineral powders don’t contain the preservatives, parabens, mineral oils, dyes and fragrances that commonly cause irritation.

Eyes

  • Primer. Priming your eyelids can prevent irritating eye shadow residue, while also helping to prolong the staying power of your eye shadow.
  • Eye shadow. Organic eye shadows are more affordable than ever, boast impressive lasting power and – most importantly – are made with the highest quality ingredients. Organic and cream-based shadows are less likely to cause irritation on the delicate skin above the eyes.
  • Eyeliner. Eyeliner often comes in contact with the mucous membrane that covers your eye, which means the product’s ingredients are easily absorbed. If your eyes are particularly sensitive, stick to black, organic eyeliners, which tend to contain fewer potential irritants than other shades.
  • Mascara. Mascara, like eyeliner, gets very close to your eyes and can cause a reaction. Using products that are derived from natural ingredients may reduce your odds of experiencing irritation.

To be continued...

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Winter Wardrobe


It’s easy to fall into a fashion rut when your daily wardrobe consists of bulky layers. But what about dressing for a night on the town or simply mixing things up for a more creative look? If you don’t have the time or money to splurge on all the latest trends, use one of the 5 fashion and makeup combos below to look and feel good all winter long.


1. Bright colors and patterns


  • Fashion: Update this summery look by combining one neon item with neutral basics to bring a pop of color, rather than all-over color-blocking. Along with neons, the geometric and retro-floral patterns are still on trend, too. 
  • Makeup: Emerald green is an irresistible winter trend and a festive color choice for holiday parties. Avoid looking like the wicked witch of the west by combining this shade with neutral lips and cheeks. To incorporate green into a smoky eye, use dark grey shadow as a base and green powder to line your eyes. 

2. Military touches


  • Fashion: Military style has been lingering on and off the runways for the last few seasons but is back in full force for winter. Pair a navy blue or black peacoat with a neon hat or patterned scarf for a chic, updated look. For a modern twist, choose a peacoat with a floppy, oversized collar.
  • Makeup: Oxblood and burgundy shades are huge this winter – and a perfect pairing to the traditional peacoat. Try a lip stain or nail polish. The dark, dramatic lipstick can wash out your fair winter complexion, so be sure to wear it along with a warming bronzer or blush!


3. Fake fur accents


  • Fashion: Winter is the perfect time to incorporate some fake fur into your wardrobe. An army-green parka with a fur-lined hood is a cold weather staple that’s versatile enough to wear with any outfit. If you’re feeling more daring, try a fur vest or a blazer with fur detailing along the sleeves. 
  • Makeup: With cold weather here and fur a major trend, what could be more appropriate than flushed pink cheeks? Use a cream blush that lasts longer and is easier to layer than powder.


4. Leather


  • Fashion: Some runway looks are a bit intense, so instead of pouring yourself into the leather cat suit or going head-to-toe biker chic, try something simpler. Loose leather shirts and tailored leather skirts are a popular choice. If you opt for the shirt, you can leave it loose or cinch it with a statement belt.
  • Makeup: A cherry red lip is the way to complement a dark leather outfit. It’ll brighten your skin while making your whole outfit pop. Keep it matte to avoid clashing with the shine of your leather. 



5. Waist and hip emphasis

  • Fashion: This season, the waist and hip are the stars. The easiest way to emphasize your waistline is the peplum, a carry-over from this spring. Adding a belt to the smallest part of your waist, right where the little peplum skirt starts, will make the effect even more “va-va-voom.”  
  • Makeup: To balance out this girly look, add a high-intensity eye. To get a stunning cat-eye use a clay shadow/liner. Outline the shape you want and then fill it in. For a simple, dramatic line, use a liquid liner in black.


Adding seasonal trends to your winter wardrobe doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Pick one of these that you feel drawn to and incorporate it into your favorite outfit!

Beauty Tips for Chilly Temperatures


Cold temperatures and harsh winds leave skin vulnerable to dehydration, which is not only devastating to the appearance, but also affects the long-term health of your skin. Blustery days are just one more reason to make protecting your skin and hair an everyday habit. And with the right products and daily routine, you’ll soon have a regimen that will protect your skin and hair no matter the season. 

  • Ditch drying products. It’s wise to skip at-home peels, clay masks or toners that contain alcohol if your skin is feeling dehydrated. If your skin feels stripped after cleansing, use your normal cleanser only at night, and in the morning just rinse your face and apply a moisturizer.

  • Style with care. Lather up your hair the night before, and in the morning, spritz hair with a heat-protectant spray, then run a flat iron through the top layer briefly to smooth strands. To prevent static, spritz hair with a lightweight finishing spray.
  • Make the most of your moisturizer. Love your current moisturizer? Consider giving it up and trying a hyaluronic acid serum to help your skin hold in moisture – without feeling heavy.
  • Protect lips on the go. The lips are naturally dry because they lack oil glands – and can become cracked and painfully dry in cold weather. Don’t leave home without a protective balm.
  • Calm stressed skin. Harsh winds and frigid temperatures can cause skin to look red and flushed. Look for products targeted to reduce redness with key ingredients like chamomile, green tea and licorice.
  • Control indoor temperatures. Abrupt temperature transitions – freezing weather outdoors to a house with the thermostat cranked up to 75 degrees indoors – can severely dehydrate the skin. Don't have a humidifier? Get one!
  • Keep exfoliating. One misconception about dry skin is that you should only use rich, moisturizing products. To slough off the dry skin barrier, try a gentle, non-irritating exfoliant and use weekly.
  • Make your wardrobe matter. If you’re staying in, wear breathable cotton gloves over moisturized hands. Keep the neck and chest covered with a scarf. Wool scarves are warm but they can be itchy, so look for scarves with a soft cotton or fleece lining.
  • Revive hair and skin weekly. Once or twice a week, give your skin and hair a dose of mega-moisture. Exfoliate first, then use a body oil from head to toe. For your hair, try an overnight treatment that will fortify weak locks.
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Have these tips worked for you to block the frigid winter cold? 

Sensitive Skin Triggers



Determining whether or not you have sensitive skin can be a pain in the behind. One person may experience mild irritation while another could break out in hives or blisters.


Sensitive skin generally falls into four categories:

  • Acne forms when clogged pores become infected.
  • Rosacea is askin condition resulting in redness, blisters and thickened skin on the face, nose or eyes.
  • Burning or stinging reactions on the surface of skin result from contact with skin care ingredients like lactic acid, benzoic acid, azaelic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid and vitamin C.
  • Allergic reactions: (also known as contact dermatitis) result in rashes or hives across the surface of skin.


Identifying the triggers of sensitive skin using this simple guide:

1. The environment

  • Weather. When humidity drops in the winter, skin loses its natural moisture barrier, leading to increased skin thickening and inflammation, especially in damaged skin.
  • Household cleaners. Many everyday household detergents and cleansers contain ingredients, such as fragrances and preservatives, which trigger reactions in sensitive skin.
  • Lifestyle. Frequent, hot showers can strip the skin of its outer layer of protective oils, leaving it vulnerable to external irritants or infections.

2. Skin care ingredients

  • Ingredients to avoid. Fragrances and preservatives in cosmetics also cause irritation or allergic reactions. Always look for products that are labeled “fragrance free.”
  • Ingredients to embrace. Ingredients such as oatmeal, chamomile and aloe vera calm and soothe inflamed skin

3. Daily diet

Common foods in your daily diet may affect sensitive skin. Certain processed foods, such as white flour and sugar, can increase inflammation, and reducing these foods in your diet can bring relief.

Dietary supplements benefit specific skin disorders as well:

  • Fish oil improves symptoms of eczema, and in some studies, psoriasis
  • Zinc can reduce the appearance of acne

Both of these supplements do have some risks if taken in excess or in combination with other medications, so be cautious.

Probiotics: The Healthy Bacteria


Did you know that cacteria and other tiny, microscopic creatures live in your intestines and on your skin? Yuck! Some bacteria can cause infections - but not all bacteria are bad! Some types, such as probiotics, actually improve your health by fighting off the "bad" bacteria that causes illness. These "good" bacteria have been benefitting human heath for centuries as an important ingredient in bread, wine, yogurt and cheese. Today, probiotics are available in supplements and skin care products.

Probiotics and skin health

Acne. Most dermatologists prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacterium that causes acne breakouts. Now, some dermatologists are studying probiotics as a way to treat acne with promising results.

They’ve found the following benefits:

  • Oral probiotics decrease acne
  • Probiotic creams decrease the redness from acne
  • Oral probiotics decrease the side effects of antibiotic treatments

Eczema. Believe it or not, but research has shown babies born to pregnant women who took probiotics had a lower chance of developing eczema. Sadly, for babies who already have eczema, probiotics don't seem to decrease eczema symptoms. For adults with eczema, it's too early to tell whether probiotics will help eliminate symptoms.

Probiotics in anti-aging products

Many cosmetic companies now add probiotics to anti-aging creams and serums. As aging skin becomes thinner and loses moisture, it becomes more sensitive to your environment and loses its ability to protect itself from infection. It's been proven that probiotic creams guard the skin from those damaging bacteria by boosting the level of good bacteria on your skin.

How to add probiotics to your routine

Adding probiotics to your diet and skincare routine is easy. Here are some simple and delicious ways to get the benefit of good bacteria:

  • Eat yogurt daily
  • Drink probiotic milk or kefir
  • Add pickles and sauerkraut to your meals
  • Take daily supplements.
  • Use probiotic-based skincare

Probiotics protect your body from harmful bacteria, and in doing so, may lessen the symptoms of certain skin conditions. Curious to know if probiotics can help relieve your sensitive skin issues? Try out these tips! Or, if you want to go the more formal route, visit your dermatologist.

The Clarisonic Acne Line: Part 2



Now that you've learned all about the Clarisonic skin care technology, lets dig deeper! Check out these details on the newest Clarisonic collection.


Acne fighting skin care that suits your lifestyle: the Clarisonic Acne Line

Once you purchase the Clarisonic skin care system, you can add the interchangeable brush heads and cleansers that suit your skin care needs, making it easy to tweak your routine as your skin changes over time.

  • Acne fighting at home: The Clarisonic Skin Care System contains everything you need to get started, including the Clarisonic device, sensitive brush head, charging cradle and trial size versions of three types of Clarisonic cleansers. To add the acne-fighting benefits, also purchase the Clarisonic Acne Clarifying Cleanser Set which includes the Clarisonic Acne Daily Clarifying and Clarisonic Acne Cleansing Brush Head.
  • Acne fighting on the road: To help achieve your skin care goals when on the road, try the compact, travel-friendly version of the classic device. Clarisonic Mia 2 Acne Clarifying Collection offers all of the same cleansing benefits as the classic device and can be used with the same interchangeable brush heads. Each set features a white Mia 2, a universal charger, the Acne Daily Clarifying Cleanser, the Acne Cleansing Brush Head and a travel case.
  • Acne fighting on the body: The Clarisonic Body Brush Extension Handle can be used on any of the devices along with your favorite acne-fighting body cleanser to bring clearer, healthier skin from head to toe.

Bye-bye blemishes

If your current acne routine isn’t working for you, give the Clarisonic Acne line a try. This advanced approach to cleansing is clinically proven to enhance cleansing and improve the power of your skin care products, for better results and healthier skin.

Have you tried the Clarisonic Acne Line yet? Share your experience! 

The Clarisonic Acne Line: Part 1


Clarisonic is considered a pioneer in the world of skin care technology. Created by the inventors of the Sonicare toothbrush, Clarisonic’s handheld electronic skin care brushes boast the same patented technology to deliver deep cleansing that brings visibly smoother, clearer skin. Although the Clarisonic electronic skin care brush is the iconic symbol of the innovative Clarisonic Skin Care System, Clarisonic’s growing line of interchangeable brush heads and topical products enable you to personalize your regimen for better, more effective results. 

How it works

The Clarisonic Acne line addresses the causes of acne, more effectively cleansing pores of dirt, oil, makeup and other blemish-causing debris. Whether you’re new to the Clarisonic system or already have your own Clarisonic device, here’s how the Clarisonic skin care system works.

  • The device: The cornerstone of the Clarisonic Skin Care System is the handheld electronic skin care brush. The innovative design features two brushes that work synergistically, rotating at a sonic frequency of over 300 movements per second, to open up pores and brush away dirt, oil, makeup and other debris. In fact, this method of cleansing is over twice as effective as normal cleansing, clearing out your pores so thoroughly that they’re able to absorb up to 61 percent more of the active acne-fighting ingredients and nourishing nutrients in your daily skin care products.
  • The brush head: The Clarisonic Acne Cleansing Brush Head is the latest addition to the collection of interchangeable brush heads. Its unique design features an extra soft surface to scour out acne-causing bacteria, makeup and other debris without causing irritation. The acne brush head can be used daily – or only during acne outbreaks.
  • The cleanser: One of the best advantages of the Clarisonic skin care system is that it can be paired with any of your favorite cleansers. For optimal results, consider using one of Clarisonic’s specialized cleansers, which are specially formulated for use with the skin care brush. For acne, the foaming Clarisonic Acne Daily Clarifying Cleanser delivers salicylic acid to the deepest layers of skin to unclog, exfoliate and ease inflammation associated with acne.

Check out the next entry for more juicy information on the Clarisonic Acne Line!

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