Get Sun, Not Wrinkles: Our Favorite Natural Sunscreens!

It’s that time of year when you are dying to get a tan and hit the beach. But don’t even think about going out without sunscreen. I don’t know if you remember back to earlier this year but a few of our stylists sat down for an interview… and both of them stressed how important it is to wear sunscreen. Yes you want glowing skin… but no, we don’t think you want dry wrinkly skin or skin cancer for that matter! You can still get a tan while wearing protection, you’ll just save your face years of aging ๐Ÿ™‚

When picking a sunscreen it’s important to read the ingredients and try to choose something safer and more natural. If you are avoiding skin cancer why would you want to expose yourself to other chemicals that can hurt you … seems to defeat the purpose to us! So we’ve got a few of our favorite natural and safe sun protection for your face and body!

Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Facial Sunscreen SPF 20 – This is a great sunscreen for your face! It’s hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and won’t clog your pores! It has a nice subtle vanilla smell to it too! Normally priced around $10.99/tube, you can snag two tubes for $15.75 on Amazon (yay Amazon!). When you are looking for a facial sunscreen always get at least SPF 15, and you won’t really need more than SPF 30.

Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen Facial Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 20 – $15.75 for a 2-pack on Amazon.

Jason Mineral Natural Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30ย – A great sunscreen for the rest of your skin, this product is also fragrance free and perfect for sensitive skin. It’s got a light scent of chamomile and calendula and sells for about $12.49/bottle.

Jason Mineral Natural Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – $12.49/bottle available at most health food stores or on Amazon.

Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunblock SPF 30 – We really love Alba products! And this sunscreen is no exception. It is fragrance free just like the facial sunscreen and is available on Amazon for only $9.49/bottle!

Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunblock SPF 30 – $9.49 on Amazon

What is your favorite sunscreen?

 

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3 Natural Nail Care Recipes

Manicure

Manicure (Photo credit: trec_lit)

Happy Friday Ladies (and Gentlemen)! We hope your week was beautiful, and if it wasn’t then perhaps trying out these recipes this weekend will send it back in the right direction! Many of the products that nail salons use are effective but full of nasty chemicals. What’s a girl to do? Abandon all nail care? We think that isn’t really an option. Instead try out these simple, natural DIY recipes to give yourself a manicure at home.

Follow it up with some eco-friendly ZOYA polish and your hands will be good to go! So here are the recipes ๐Ÿ™‚

Natural Cuticle Softener

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – yup that’s all you need. Soak your nails in undiluted apple cider vinegar for a few minutes and then clean up the cuticle bed with a nail pusher. Don’t like the smell of apple cider vinegar? Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil… or just follow this up with a delicious smelling hand scrub!

Natural Nail Strengthening Soak

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbs honey

Just mix the ingredients in a small bowl and soak your nails in it for 10-15 minutes. Follow up with cuticle oil. We love using apricot or almond oil as cuticle oil!

Natural Apricot Hand Scrub

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbs lemon juice

     

  • 2 tbs apricot oil

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and then massage into your hands! Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean towel! Try not to eat this delicious scrub!

Have you ever given yourself a complete manicure at home? Or do you usually just head to the salon?

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Show Your Locks Some Love With This DIY Deep Conditioner!

Image from Hybrid Rasta Mama.

Today we’ve got a simple recipe that will recharge your hair’s moisture all year long: from the cold winter months all the way to the hot and sunny summer days. This treatment is also crucial if you regularly dry, straighten, or color your hair. All three things strip hair of it’s natural oils leading to split ends and straw like strands (yuck). To replenish moisture and shine try this DIY deep conditioner 1-2 times a week, and we are sure you’ll see results.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. raw, cold-pressed coconut oil
  • Small glass bowl
  • Spoon for mixing

Directions:

  1. In a microwave safe glass bowl, heat and melt the coconut oil in 30 second increments.
  2. Add the olive oil to the bowl and stir to combine. Make sure it’s not too hot to touch by feeling the bowl.
  3. Then use your hands to apply the oil mixture to your hair, focusing on the ends and leaving your scalp alone. Comb through the oil to make sure it’s evenly distributed.
  4. Put your hair into a braid, or a top knot, or cover with a shower cap and let it sit for at least 3-4 hours. If you really want to condition your hair apply this right before bed and rinse out in the morning.
  5. After 3-4 hours you can shampoo and condition as normal. Repeat 1-2 times a week for optimal results.

How do you get your hair into tip-top shape?

 

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Skin As Soft As A Baby: Review of California Baby Super Sensitive Lotion as Facial Moisturizer

California Baby Super Sensitive Lotion, Image by Jacqualyn Blizzard.

California Baby Super Sensitive Lotion, Image by Jacqualyn Blizzard.

Happy Friday everybody! We hope your Valentines’ Day was a blast, and if it wasn’t take comfort in this soothing moisturizer. California Baby makes amazing organic, non-toxic, and earth-safe goodies for little ones. But did you know, many of their products work wonders for adults! We are always in search of great facial moisturizers that work for sensitive skin and are non-comedogenic. And with California Baby’s Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion we have found a winner.

This lotion is a great facial moisturizer. It’s fragrance free andย  non-comedogenic and full of great ingredients like calendula and rosemary! We’ve tested it out on our sensitive skin and so far so good. It’s a nice light moisturizer that gives your skin a smooth and soft feel. So far no breakouts either. A 6.5 fl oz. bottle will only set you back about $15. You can find it at Whole Foods, Target, online,ย  and many natural food stores. Look for our review of their calendula cream coming soon as a more decadent facial moisturizer!

Have a beautiful weekend!

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Banish Blemishes: DIY Recipe for Treating Breakouts!

DIY Makeup Remover Round 2! Whew… it’s Thursday already? This week went by so quickly… which isn’t a bad thing!ย  Today we’ve got a recipe to share from the amazing book, Organic Body Care Recipes by Stepahnie Tourles. If you’ve struggled with acne, or even if you just get the occasional breakout this recipe may be just the cure you’ve been searching for. A word of caution though, acne is a tricky beast. We tend to OVER-treat our skin. In general less is more, and the same holds true for skin care. So try to use fewer creams, fewer washes, fewer scrubs, containing fewer ingredients. It’s important to be gentle to your skin. The hardest part of treating acne is finding the patience to wait. It just takes time, months even, for your skin to rid itself of all the built up bacteria and regenerate.

Okay, enough lecture ๐Ÿ˜‰ onto the spot treatment. This recipe is great for “active” breakouts because it helps to fight subsurface acneic bacteria, reducing redness and eliminating toxins in your skin. It’s also fantastic to use on ingrown hairs around your bikini line! You can apply up to 2 times/day and the recipe is good to store for up to 6 months.

Ingredients:

  • 4 drops tea tree oil
  • 2 drops clove essential oil
  • 2 drops German chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops green myrtle essential oil
  • 2 tsp. hazelnut or apricot kernel base oil (try to choose organic when possible)
  • 1 tsp almond base oil (again, go for organic if you can)
  • 1 dark glass storage bottle with a dropper (you can find these at many health food stores like Whole Foods)

Directions:

  1. Make sure the glass bottle is cleaned and dry.
  2. Add the essential oils drop by drop into the glass bottle.
  3. Add the base oils (use a funnel if that helps)
  4. Put the lid back on the bottle then shake the formula in your hand vigorously for 2 minutes. This thoroughly mixes the ingredients and warms the mixture to body temperature.
  5. This step requires some patience… set the bottle in a dark spot (like a medicine cabinet or drawer) and let it sit for 24 hours to let the oils really blend.
  6. To use: clean your skin, and apply any astringent or toner that is part of your routine. Then drop 1-2 drops of the blemish banner into your palm, dip a cotton swab into the oil and dab onto each breakout. You could also drop 1 drop on the cotton swab itself and then apply.

Again this recipe works well for treating acne, ingrown hairs, and even bug bites! So give it a try and let us know what you think! Have a beautiful weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY Skin Care: Oatmeal Skin Smoother

Image from Women Z Mag.

Sometimes your skin needs a little refreshing, but abrasive scrubs can just be too much. Today we’ve got a recipe for a mask or smoother that provides very gentle exfoliation and leaves your skin so soft and smooth! The best part is you can mix up the dry ingredients and store them in a jar for an easy mask/smoother anytime!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground oatmeal (you can grind oats in a food processor or coffee grinder)
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • Purified water

Directions:

  • Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Put the ingredients in a glass jar or storage container of your choice. It should keep for at least 6 months stored this way.
  • To create a scrub or mask add 2 tsp. of scrub mixture with 1 to 2 tsp water until a paste is formed.
  • Let the mixture stand and thicken for 1 minute.
  • Apply with your fingers and massage into your face and throat. If you are using it as a scrub rinse with water, if you are using it as a mask let it sit and dry for 20 to 30 minutes.

A fun variation would be adding ground dried lavender or chamomile tea leaves for an extra soothing experience! Have you used an oatmeal mask before?

3 Foods To Add To Your Diet for Beautiful Skin

Image from Demand Studios

We’ve all heard it before: what you eat plays a big role in the way you look AND how you feel. Most people’s New Years resolutions involve eating healthier and exercising. And if this is part of your goal for 2013, you’ll be happy to know your skin and hair will also see great results! We suggest adding some of these foods to your diet to achieve a slimmer waist line and beautiful skin. And better yet, we’ve paired each up with a recipe for some green DIY skin care!

  1. Almonds – these seeds (no they are not nuts) are full of Vitamin E, which are helpful in blocking harsh UV rays from the sun! The key is to not overdo it on the seeds/nuts, about 20 almonds a day is the perfect snack.
  2. Leafy Greens – Kale, spinach, or collard greens are a great way to pack in some extra nutrients without packing on the calories. These green veggies are high in water (great for smoothing wrinkles) and nutrients (for restoring and protecting your body’s cells), and have been shown to reduce cancer risks in some people.
  3. Flax Seedsย – High in Omega-3 fatty-acids, flax seeds are well equipped to erase spots and fine lines on your face. They are great for irritated skin! We suggest sprinkling some ground flax seeds (you must grind them to get their nutritional benefit) on your oatmeal, cereal, or in a smoothie.
    • If you have oily skin or old acne scars give this Flax Seed Facial Scrub from Skin Care For Your Soul a try!

What are your favorite health foods for beautiful skin?

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DIY Moisturizing Hand Mask: Great For At-Home Manicures!

Today we’ve got the perfect DIY spa recipe (adapted from Green Beauty Recipes) that delivers the TLC your hands deserve. This would be great if you work a lot with you hands or if winter weather has them dry. If you are doing an at home spa day or manicure why not try this mask after shaping your nails and trimming cuticles? All you need are 4 simple ingredients for softer, happier hands ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp fine sugar or salt
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1 raw egg yolk OR 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp full-fat cream (you could use soy if you are only using vegan products)

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir.
  2. Apply a generous layer of the mask to your hands and massage it into your fingertips. Or if you are lucky get someone to do it for you.
  3. Put on some gloves or plastic bags and let the mask sit for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes you can rinse off the mask with warm water.

*** You can only store this mixture in your fridge for a week if you use olive oil instead of an egg.

If you are looking for some fun ways to change up this mask consider adding your favorite essential oils. Lavender works great for relaxing, but citrus essential oils would be perfect in a salt mask.

How do you keep your hands looking healthy during the winter?

3 Places To Shop Sustainable Fashion

Glam Noir Dress – $88 from Mata Traders

This year we are trying to make better purchases. Better for us, the environment, and our wallets. So we’ve been hunting for some affordable and sustainable clothing lines. It is so hard to find “sustainable clothing” that isn’t just yoga pants and t-shirts! A girl’s (and a guy’s) gotta wear more than just lounge wear!

Here are three places you can shop for more sustainable clothing and accessories. We promise you will find more than organic t-shirts, although they usually have these too!

  1. Mata Traders – This online shop is stocked ย  fair trade finds. The dresses are adorable, and so are their tops. You can feel good about making a purchase that supports fair trade practices and empowers your fellow woman! We are loving this polka-dotted little black dress with a sweetheart neckline! Perfect for date night ๐Ÿ™‚

    Melanie Dress – $50 from Threads for Thought

  2. Threads for Thought – A great shop ย  organic cotton basics and some adorable dresses and tops. You can even find some of their goods at Whole Foods. Our favorite part about this brand is that they are affordable! The Melanie dress is only $50!
  3. Green Heart Shop – Another great fair trade online shop featuring clothing and accessories, as well as goodies for your home and kitchen! Fair trade not only ensures that workers receive a fair wage for their work, but also ensures environmental sustainability, supports participatory workplaces, and protects cultural identity. The prices are pretty reasonable and they have some great pieces that you could even rock to work. We are totally smitten with their Maureen Dress for $92.

    Maureen Dress – $92 from Green Heart Shop

    This stunner paired with a blazer would work for any office or board room!

Have you stumbled upon any great sustainable fashion lines? If so share with us and our readers so we can all make more knowledgeable and kind purchases!

DIY Skincare: Firming Eye Oil

Perhaps one of your resolutions for 2013 was to better about moisturizing? Or perhaps this winter weather has your skin dry and irritated? This recipe for Firming Eye Oil was adapted from Julie Gabriel’s book Green Beauty Recipes. The ingredients are pretty easy to pick up at a Whole Foods, Natural Grocery Store, or order online. Whenever you are applying an eye cream or oil be sure to pat the moisturizer into your delicate skin around your eye. RESIST THE URGE TO RUB AND PULL! That damages the sensitive skin around your eyes and works to undo what this beautiful oil is made for. We like applying this oil after we are all washed up and ready for bed. The oil may be a little too much for under makeup in the AM.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. sweet almond oil
  • 2 tbsp. evening primrose oil
  • 1 tsp. rosehip oil
  • 20 drops black currant oil (you can find this in the supplement section in capsules. Just break open the capsules and add to your mixture.)
  • 1 ml vitamin E
  • 1 2 or 3 oz very clean glass bottle with dropper applicator (we love the blue bottles that Whole Foods carries sometimes!)
  • 1 small funnel

Directions:

  • Make sure the bottle is very clean to prevent anything weird from growing in your oil.
  • Pour all the ingredients into your glass bottle (here is where the funnel might come in handy). Put the lid on it and shake it to mix thoroughly.
  • We recommend shaking it before each use.
  • To apply simply shake, then use the dropper to get some oil. Drop a few drops on your finger and pat onto clean skin. Remember pat the moisturizer in, don’t rub!

This firming eye oil will keep for about a year if stored in a cool, clean place. What do you usually do to take care of your delicate eye area?