12 Must-Have Products of 2010

I have come across some incred­i­ble nat­u­ral skin care prod­ucts this year, and I want­ed to share my must-haves with you. 1. 100% Pure Organ­ic Laven­der Hon­ey Facial Cleans­ing Foam, $18.50. This is my go-to face wash, and the only face wash I’ve used con­sis­tent­ly for almost a year. I love foam­ing wash­es, and foams are great for dry skin as well, par­tic­u­lar­ly if you are sen­si­tive and prone to clogged pores (cream cleansers tend to con­tain wax­es that can eas­i­ly clog pores). 100% Pure has a wide vari­ety of foam­ing wash­es for all skin types, so if the laven­der hon­ey wash isn’t for you, try one of their oth­er face wash­es. A bot­tle lasts me about 2–3 months. 2. Skin Apothke Ubtan Scrub, $15. My favorite scrub of all time. I’ve used dozens of scrubs and exfo­lia­tors over the years, and none have treat­ed my sen­si­tive skin the way it always want­ed to be treat­ed. You mix a lit­tle of the scrub with your choice of either water, organ­ic milk, or organ­ic plain yogurt and gen­tly mas­sage in cir­cu­lar motions for a min­ute or two. It effec­tive­ly pre­vents black­heads and leaves your skin soft­er, radi­ant, and pol­ished with­out feel­ing dry and irri­tat­ed. Though the price went up a few dol­lars, this scrub is so well worth it. This will always be a sta­ple in my med­i­cine cab­i­net. 3. Arcona Tri­ad Pads, $23. I have been using the­se pads for ton­ing, remov­ing the last rem­nants of my Ubtan scrub, and as a face wash if I’m trav­el­ing and don’t want to use chlo­ri­nat­ed water to wash my sen­si­tive skin. The­se...

Prevent Dry Skin & Breakouts This Winter

As we’re approach­ing win­ter, I thought it would be a good idea to post some advice on pre­vent­ing dry skin in the upcom­ing cold­er months. It’s not the cold itself that makes our skin dry — it’s that funky dry air the heaters pump out 24/7. This dry air tends to make nor­mal skin dry, and already-dry skin tends to get tight, sca­ly and flaky. Here are some tips to keep this from hap­pen­ing. 1. Avoid the­se ingre­di­ents in all your skin care, make­up, and hair care prod­ucts: Sodi­um lau­ryl sul­fate (SLS) Sodi­um lau­reth sul­fate (SLS) Parabens (methyl­paraben, propy­l­paraben, etc.) BHT Min­er­al oil Petro­la­tum Propy­lene gly­col The­se ingre­di­ents con­tribute to skin prob­lems, specif­i­cal­ly dry­ing it out and/or not let­ting your skin breathe and caus­ing blocked pores and break­outs. Avoid them and seek out nat­u­ral prod­ucts (I men­tion a bunch of brands through­out the blog and in my book, too). 2. Hydrate from the inside. Your best friend this win­ter is going to be green juices. Or green smooth­ies. Or both. The­se are my secret weapon! Green juices and green smooth­ies are the orig­i­nal vit­a­m­in water — they car­ry skin-lov­ing nutri­ents into your body much bet­ter than plain water (though plain fil­tered water is still amaz­ing for you). For exam­ple, a green smooth­ie made with a cucum­ber, apple, 2 cups of fil­tered water, and a hand­ful or two of spinach is going to flood your body with sil­i­ca, vit­a­mins, min­er­als, and fiber that will make your skin absolute­ly glow and pre­vent break­outs. If you want hydrat­ed, glowy skin, stop drink­ing soda and cof­fee, and cut down on alco­hol. The­se three things dry...

Mini Post: Get Naturally Thick, Long Eyelashes

I recent­ly received an email request regard­ing eye­lash­es and car­ing for them (thank you for the sug­ges­tion, Ewa!), so I’m going to cov­er that right about now. 😉 {THE PROBLEM} Using con­ven­tion­al mas­cara and eye­lash exten­sions will weak­en your eye­lash­es and make them more sparse. Eye­lash curlers (if you prop­er­ly use them and don’t yank your lash­es) shouldn’t cause a prob­lem. {THE SOLUTION} Treat your eye­lash­es with the same care and con­sid­er­a­tion that you use to treat your skin and hair. The same rules apply — wash, mois­tur­ize, and only use effec­tive nat­u­ral prod­ucts that do not con­tain petro­le­um byprod­ucts, parabens, and oth­er car­cino­genic or oth­er­wise harm­ful ingre­di­ents. Use a nat­u­ral mas­cara from a brand like Real Puri­ty, Lav­era, Nvey Eco, Liv­ing Nature, or Dr. Hauschka. My per­son­al favorite is from Real Puri­ty — it doesn’t dry my eye­lash­es out or flake off. At the end of the day, take off your make­up with coconut oil (your make­up will come right off) and pro­ceed to wash your face with a good cleanser. Your eye­lash­es get washed when you wash your face, so no wor­ries there. Once washed, mois­tur­ize your eye­lash­es with a qual­i­ty oil — try grape­seed oil, coconut oil, or cas­tor oil. My per­son­al favorite is Home Health cas­tor oil, which I apply to my eye­lash­es almost every night (on oth­er nights, I use grape­seed oil). It keeps my eye­lash­es thick and strong, and you only need the tini­est amount since it’s so thick. I just take my ring fin­ger and run the oil along my top and bot­tom lash line. You should see an improve­ment in the strength and thick­ness...

How to Shrink Your Pores

I have had a lot of per­son­al emails ask­ing how some­one would go about shrink­ing their pores. Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news first: you can’t real­ly shrink your pore size once they’re enlarged (it’s not impos­si­ble, but def­i­nite­ly dif­fi­cult), but you can def­i­nite­ly pre­vent them from look­ing enlarged by keep­ing them free from extra oil and debris, and keep­ing your skin firm and elas­tic. Clogged pore = large pore! The good news is that there are a few ways to min­i­mize the size of pores nat­u­ral­ly and pre­vent them from get­ting big­ger, and I’ll also be men­tion­ing a few treat­ments that are for stub­born cas­es that may need a pro­fes­sion­al touch. Shrink Your Pores (Part 1) Shrink Your Pores (Part 2) {PORE SHRINKING TECHNIQUE #1} Bob’s Red Mill Alu­minum-Free Bak­ing Soda, 1 lb., $3.99 or Skin Apothke Ubtan Scrub, 2 oz., $9 Bak­ing soda is a tried and true (and cheap!) method to exfo­li­at­ing, and as we all should know, exfo­li­at­ing is key to keep­ing your pores clear and small. Make­up artists swear by it to per­fect the face pri­or to make­up appli­ca­tion and many peo­ple swear that it pre­vents and treats their acne and large pores. Bak­ing soda is per­fect for nor­mal, oily, and acne-prone skin that is not super sen­si­tive. If you have very sen­si­tive or very dry skin, use bak­ing soda with cau­tion or try Skin Apothke Ubtan Scrub, which is a gen­tle, Ayurvedic herbal exfo­liant (and my favorite). Direc­tions: 1.} Wash your face with your nor­mal face wash, 2.} Mix 1 or 2 Tbsp. bak­ing soda (or Ubtan scrub) with water to make a paste,...

Top 5 Natural Scrubs & Exfoliators

Exfo­li­at­ing your skin on a reg­u­lar basis does won­ders for improv­ing its look and feel — you’ll wind up with smoother, soft­er skin, and if you’re prone to black­heads, you’ll have less of them. The trick is find­ing a qual­i­ty scrub or exfo­lia­tor that will do a great job, but doesn’t con­tain unsafe arti­fi­cial ingre­di­ents and won’t irri­tate your skin in the process. The­se are my Top 5 picks for exfo­li­at­ing prod­ucts. {PICK #1} Skin Apothke Ubtan Scrub I am com­plete­ly hooked on this nat­u­ral, Ayurvedic herbal scrub. It is sooth­ing, anti-acne (and anti-black­heads), and imparts a gor­geous glow on the skin. Use 1–3 times per week depend­ing on your skin type. This scrub is best for all skin types, and sen­si­tive skin will espe­cial­ly appre­ci­ate it. The bot­tle may be deceiv­ing­ly small, but I’ve been using the Ubtan scrub for over 2 months, 1–3 times per week, and I still have half the bot­tle left! ($9, 2 oz., avail­able at Etsy.com) {PICK #2} Talu­lah Vanil­la Bean Reju­ve­nat­ing Cleanser This vanil­la, rice, and sug­ar scrub is a great choice for those with oily, thick­er skin. Sen­si­tive, thin­ner skin should rub the scrub in the hands pri­or to apply­ing to the face, just to wear down the exfo­li­at­ing par­ti­cles a bit so it’s gen­tler. Smells amaz­ing, too! ($26, 4 oz., avail­able at talulahskincare.com) {PICK #3} Suki Exfo­li­ate Foam­ing Cleanser Organ­ic lemon­grass, sug­ar, and sooth­ing herbs make this lemon­ade-smelling scrub an excel­lent choice for acne-prone skin. How­ev­er, if you are aller­gic or sen­si­tive to chamomile (rag­weed fam­i­ly) or algae (sea­weeds) then you may not find the same pos­i­tive results with this scrub that...

5 Ways to Banish Cellulite Naturally

Now that it’s sum­mer and we’re expos­ing more skin, you might be a lit­tle (or more than a lit­tle!) con­cerned about the appear­ance of cel­lulite on your butt and legs. Well, take heart, because there are 5 nat­u­ral and effec­tive ways to ban­ish cel­lulite fore­vah­hh. Results may start appear­ing with­in 1 week, but expect some seri­ous change with­in 3–4 weeks. {1. Strength­en your mus­cle.} When the mus­cle in your back­side is strong and lean, the fat has a very hard time pop­ping through and mak­ing you look lumpy. The key is doing ham­string curls and squats at low weight and high rep­e­ti­tions. Try 3 sets of 15–25 reps on a low weight. And try par­tic­i­pat­ing in exer­cise class­es like spin­ning (or go bicy­cling out­side) and kick­box­ing, which seri­ous­ly tone your legs and butt. If you are a begin­ning exer­cis­er, start with 2–3 times per week. If you are intermediate/advanced, train your legs 4–5 days per week, which will not only tone and strength­en the mus­cle, but slim your thighs and lift your butt much more quick­ly. For oth­er exer­cise ideas, check out BodyRock.tv — I do one of her work­outs 5–7 days per week and LOVE it. {2. Strength­en your con­nec­tive tis­sue.} Plump, healthy col­la­gen fibers are impor­tant for keep­ing your skin youth­ful, firm, and cel­lulite-free. In order for your body to con­vert amino acids (pro­tein) into col­la­gen, vit­a­m­in C must be present. Find a good food-based vit­a­m­in C pow­der or cap­sule, such as acero­la cher­ry or camu camu pow­der, or Vit­a­m­in Code Raw Vit­a­m­in C. It’s water sol­uble and you can’t over­dose. Take at least 1,000 mg. per day, with...