Trader Joes for beauty!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile…I’m a big fan of Trader Joes…the more paycheck friendly natural food store. Food aside, I have found a couple of my favorite beauty products at TJs – read on for details:

Trader Joes Lavendar Salt Scrub (approx. $6) – this body scrub comes in a big tub with a snap cover. I use this almost everyday to scrub off dead skin on my arms and legs. Unlike sugar scrub, it doesn’t dissolve as soon as it hits water. I feel like the salt stays in tact and I can truly exfoliate my skin. I love the lavendar smell! And it’s paraben free. It does leave a bit of an oily film but I typically exfoliate first and then rinse off any residue with body wash.$(KGrHqMOKooE4t5wUsRlBOV-eS,p6!~~60_35

Trader Joes Moisturzing Cream Shave (approx. $3.50) – this creamy shave lotion smells awesome with ‘honey/mango’ scent. And works great. It’s in a tube with a snap top making it easy to use every last bit and travel with. I have sensitive skin and this has never bothered it. For less than $5, it’s much better than any drugstore brand – and it’s paraben free + vegan!1330112424-015779_full

Trader Joes Vitamin E Oil (approx. $4) – I use this periodically on scars or blemishes to help them heal faster and diminish discoloration. It’s also great if you have any really dry patches. mgb1UIedi5oGIG0K-i-D8SA

Do you have any favorite beauty products from Trader Joes?? Share here!

Onto the next one…hello Juice Beauty and Acure Organics

I thought I’d update ya’ll (using ya’ll especially for my beautiful cousin Jilly – who I think of every time I hear this southern saying!) …on my use of the oil cleansing method and new face moisturizer (link to original post here).

I had high hopes for this new skincare regiment. As mentioned in my orignal post, my sister has had excellent luck with it…and by excellent I mean, her skin is like porcelain. Sure, she might get a pimple here or there depending on the time of the month – but her skin overall, it’s lovely! Unfortunately, I didn’t have such luck. Which, let me say, doesn’t mean that YOU won’t! But for me, it became clear that whatever I was doing, my skin wasn’t loving.

I am proud of myself for sticking with it for 5+ weeks (just so you know I gave it the old college try)

I went to get a facial one night because my skin was breaking out bad…I didn’t realize the extent of it until the aesthetician looked at me and said my skin hadn’t looked like that ever, ever. Eek! Well, I told her…“I wanted my skin to look good but a big reason for the change in my regiment was to start using more natural products with less sketchy ingredients.” Well, she was fine with the natural part but told me – whatever I was using wasn’t right for MY skin and I should find something else. I appreciated the truth and I will tell you, that was one of the more painful facials I’ve ever had as she tried to extract all the clogged pores on my face ick/ouch. She had a few suggestions for products at the spa but I passed. Instead, I spent some time researching the next day…extensively. And below are the new products I have been using for over 3 weeks since that fateful night. And honestly, my skin is CLEAR. It looks nice! And these products are fabulously paraben and funky chemical free.

3 of the new products in my new routine are made by Juice Beauty

I had heard about this line and seen it at Whole Foods – in reading more – I started to really dig it:

  • From the Juice Beauty site: The Juice Beauty team continually searches the West Coast for the purest, most effective organic ingredients, including organic juices, aloe vera, honey, botanicals, plant oils, and raw cane sugar from farms that specialize in sustainable and organic farming.
  • These amazing formulations are made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances.

I also talked with one of the employees in the Whole Foods beauty section who recommended this line. I ended up with these 3 products:

  • Juice Beauty Exfoliating Cleanser: which goes for about $22; comes in a convenient and sanitary pump bottle. My aesthetician said, I need to exfoliate 1x a day (I use this at night). And I like this because it uses jojoba beads to exfoliate so it’s not harsh. You have to get rid of the dead skin, especially in the winter. Dry or oily skin, we all need to exfoliate!

    Juice Beauty Exfoliating Cleanser

    Juice Beauty Exfoliating Cleanser

  • Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum: which goes for about $45 – which is pricey BUT Whole Foods will take back any beauty product if you use it and don’t like it. So, that set me at ease when I was making these purchases. This serum is light – I’ve read a bunch of good reviews on it from various sources. I use this 2x a day after I wash and tone my face and before my moisturizer. The serum has a funny smell (at least to me) but I believe it’s the evening primrose oil which is known to be ubber good for your skin (not to mention, women can take it as a vitamin supplement for a variety of things <—read here!)

    Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum

    Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum

  • Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer: goes for about $36; This white cream goes on thick but doesn’t leave any grease aftermath. I want to keep using it because my skin likes it – but I wonder if I might need something heavier in the winter months. Overall, it’s doing the trick in combination with the serum

    Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer

    Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer

The other 2 products I’ve worked into my skincare routine are not from the Juice Beauty line – instead, they come from a line I’d never heard of until I visited and spent some serious time with the Whole Foods beauty consultant.

The line is called Acure Organics – very focused on chemical free products – green packaging and products. Read their mission here

What I’ve worked into my routine:

  • Acure Seriously Hydrating Toner: goes for about $16; I was pleasantly shocked by the few ingredients – which are: Water, Fair Trade Certified™ Organic Rooibos, Organic Witch Hazel, Organic Lavender Hydrosol, Organic Glycerin, Organic Chamomile Extract, Organic Calendula Extract
    • Read the back of most toner bottles and the list of ingredients is long and super complicated. After washing my face (AM and PM), this toner wipes off the remaining ‘stuff.’ Toner was what I missed most when I was doing the oil cleansing method. The witch hazel helps keeps pimples at bay – it’s long been known as a natural acne/pimple remedy
Acure Seriously Hydrating Toner

Acure Seriously Hydrating Toner

  • Acure Facial Cleansing Creme Argan Oil + Mint: goes for about $15; my aesthetician suggested I stick with a creme based face wash so the consistency of this is perfect. It removes makeup really well and doesn’t irritate my skin (which is sensitive). Love these ingredients too – argan oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, mint etc.
Acure Facial Cleansing Creme Argan Oil + Mint

Acure Facial Cleansing Creme Argan Oil + Mint

Both Juice Beauty and Acure Organics have many products that address different skin issues – so if these ones don’t seem like they’d be for YOUR skin…check out their sites for the other products they make for various skin types and conditions. 

Overall, so far (3+ weeks in) I’ve seen noticeable and positive results with this new regiment. Everyone’s skin is different so there is no guarantee it’ll work for everyone. But this has been an interesting adventure for me as I look to work more natural products into my routine. Although those products add up $$, the batch of them still cost less than the cream I was slathering on before my wedding!

I should add – it’s usually suggested you work 1 new product into your skincare regiment at a time…that way, you won’t totally freak your skin out. And, if you work more than 1 in, you won’t always know what is causing an issue or not. So, I’m not saying my cold turkey method is a superb idea – but it was the easiest way for me to start something new…when my jar of overpriced face cream ran dry!

Are you willing to try a new skin care routine?? What has work or hasn’t work for YOU?

2013 Beauty Resolution – The Oil Cleansing Method & Pristine Beauty moisturizer

It’s a new year! Time to try something new…for me, I realized my 2013 Beauty Resolution the other night while standing in my bathroom holding an empty jar of the overpriced face moisturizer I bought before my wedding. I told myself – nope, you are not buying a new jar of this. Instead – I will try something different…that’s more affordable and more natural.

I am working 2 new treatments into my daily routine. I’d like to thank my sister, Katy St. Marie for introducing me to both – she has become a go-to resource for healthier lifestyle products.

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My sister, Katy Lou and her hubby, John

Face Wash:

  • The Oil Cleansing Method:
    • This is actually a homemade ‘wash’ – but it kind of flips what we’re used to in terms of face wash on its head. No more suds or foam…or even cream wash…the reality is a lot of the face and body wash products we use strip the oil from our skin –  “leaving our largest organ trying to repair itself by replacing the oil stripped away. This leaves us in a cycle of being tight and dry followed by the inevitable oil slick. Each time we strip the oil away, our skin over-compensates for the lack of moisture by creating more oil. On top of the drying effects, these products are highly-scented. Fragrance is one of the top skin irritants and strangely enough, even the so-called “unscented” products usually contain fragrance. See for yourself and check the labels.” (courtesy of http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com)
    • So I am using – an oil cleansing mixture of 1 part ORGANIC OLIVE OIL to 1 part CASTOR OIL. You can change this up depending on your skin type i.e. more olive oil for dry skin / more castor oil for oily skin. Both can be purchased for less than $10 at a local health food store. Katy originally found the recipe on Pinterest – more details found here – excellent real-life review of oil cleansing method. For a container, Katy recycled an old moisturizer pump bottle and put the mixture in there:
My oil cleansing container, thanks Katy!

My oil cleansing container, thanks Katy!

    • What you need to do the oil cleansing method:
        • Oil mixture
        • Clean wash cloth
        • Warm water
    • How to do it: put a few pumps in my (clean) palm, rub it around to warm it up, then massage all over my face and neck, you can totally get it around the eye area, it does not irritate and will help remove eye make-up. Once massaged in (say a minute or 2), wet your wash cloth with warm water and wring out, take it and drape it over your face so that the steam helps open the pores for deeper cleansing. After this, I typically swipe the cloth around and remove the excess oil – but don’t rub too hard!
    • This cleanser is free of parabens and chemical additives that are too often found in our beauty products. The US actually has some of the most lax beauty/cosmetic product and ingredient regulations – some ingredients in our beauty and household products are banned in other countries. With that said, I cannot claim to completely  avoid these things, but I am trying, over time, to minimize my exposure to such things that have been linked to illness, including some cancers
    • For now I am doing the oil cleansing method 1x a day at night. The above link(s) are great resources for The Oil Cleansing method, which much more information. They recommend you don’t do it too frequently – so for now, I’m sticking with 1x a day and I’ll continue to exfoliate every other day (I use the Clarisonic with a bit of this)

Face Moisturizer

Pristine Beauty Hooray for Brallywood Butta

Pristine Beauty Hooray for Brallywood Butta

    • What drew me in the most about this brand is that it was founded by a breast cancer survivor who initially created her own beauty-care products (after much research) because she had trouble finding natural, chemical-free products in stores. It started out as a way to make personal care products for herself and rolled into a product line free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, propylene glycol – cruelty free and vegan…made for anyone, including those going through or recovering from cancer treatment. If you’re interested, read more here
    • Pristine offers a bunch of other products including a hair serum and deoderant which I am also going to try & review
    • I use Brallywood Butta morning and night following my cleansing. I love the pump because I don’t have to worry about contaminating the cream with my fingers. The cap keeps it secure and clean. It is also a great amount of product for the cost – my sister had her first bottle for almost a year – using around 4 pumps 2x a day
    • The cream is very moisturizing but not greasy. It has a mild citrusy smell from the natural tangerine and lemon oil. According to the site: “It soothes, calms and heals rosacea and eczema. This crème will even out the skin tone and make it brighter and more luminous, while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You will see the consistency is like a makeup primer. It glides on, minimizing pore size and will not settle into fine lines.”
    • I will be reporting back in a couple weeks about it’s longer term effects. I’ve only been using it for a few days at this point. So far my skin feels super soft and I love being able to smooth this all over my face and neck and not panic that I’m using too much product (which I used to do when it cost me approx. $150 per oz!)

Do you have any beauty resolutions? Have you or would you try the oil cleansing method? How do you work more natural products into your beauty routine?

10 tips/tricks to a healthier complexion

Work a couple (or all!) of these into your routine, stick with them, and you will see/feel a difference!

1) Drink MORE water/tea: Replace your afternoon soda with a sparkling mineral water or replace your 2nd cup of coffee with green tea (I ❤ MightyLeaf). Buy a portable, yet cute water bottle (CamelBak Groove Bottle; $19 on Amazon.com). Keeping this full and on hand will make it easier to sip throughout the day. Keeping yourself hydrated will flush your system and you will notice it in your skin.

2) Use a Humidifier in your Bedroom: This appliance increases the moisture in the air…which helps alleviate symptoms of dry skin, eyes etc. Especially during winter months when heat can really parch the skin.

3) Wash ya face every night: Washing off the day’s dirt each night will definitely pay off in your complexion. Get yourself into a nightly routine where you cleanse, tone, and moisturize before bed:

4) Use a Silk Pillowcase: Even if your cotton sheets have a high thread count, silk is still easier on the skin because it is woven closer together. Buy a silk pillowcase to snooze on (you don’t have to buy the whole sheet set!) – it will feel luxurious and be gentler on your delicate facial skin

5) Routine Facials: Schedule a facial every 6-8 weeks. An aesthetician will know how to properly cleanse and treat your skin. By going regularly they can address skin problems/concerns over time.

  • Spaweek.com offers spa gift cards that can be used at thousands of different spas throughout the US

6) Sweat (often): Beyond helping reduce stress – get in a good sweat at least a few times a week. Your body is your temple, treating it well will be felt inside and radiate outward.

  • Sweat for less by dialing up works-outs On-Demand through your cable box. From yoga to basic aerobics, On-Demand offers a variety of work-outs you can do at home.

7) Keep Moisturized:  Properly moisturized skin looks healthier and more even.

Try for day:

Try for night:

8) Get enough ZZzzzz’s: Stress and lack of sleep shows in your face… strive to get at least 6 hours a night. 2 ways to make it easier to fall & stay asleep:

  • TV sleep timer: although TV can lull some people to sleep it can often disrupt sleep during the night. Use your trusty TV sleep timer and set it for 30 minutes after you get into bed so it shuts off once you’re asleep
  • Noise Machine: be it breaking waves or whale cries, these repetitive sounds can help lull you to sleep

9) Get a fo-glow: The real deal is not a healthy avenue.  If you need to fake a little color to brighten up your complexion:

10) Eat (and drink) more Greens: Cut back on processed sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables. This will improve not only your general health but also your skin. Read this piece by Shape Magazine’s on juices for healthier skin