Honey Cleanser

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I recently had the opportunity to try a raw honey facial cleanser by Worker B.  I have been wanting to try a cleansing mud for a while but many of them are very expensive.  This one however meets my ingredient requirements and doesn’t break the bank.  I have cleansed with raw honey before , but this was an entirely different experience.

This cleanser has a very delightful understated aroma.  The consistency is not like using pure raw honey. This is because of the unique formula including skincare oils.  This honey wash seems to melt onto your skin.  It is an effective cleanser and has been quite good at treating my hormonal outbreaks.

It has the best of both worlds of honey cleansing and oil cleansing.  It removes more easily than oil cleansing.  My previous experience with honey cleansing was a mixed mag. Just using raw honey was difficult because of the sticky consistency.   I also would experience a breakout after consistent use for a couple of weeks.

I have not used this product consistently so please take note.  I use it for about a week a month during which I would normally breakout from my monthly cycle.  I highly recommend the “normal to dry” formula due to it containing non comedogenic oils that are perfect for acneic skin.

Ingredients: Raw Honey, Organic oils of Rosehip Seed, Kukui Nut and Sesame Seed, Worker B Propolizer Tincture and Organic Elderberry Extract

Available at: http://www.worker-b.com/shop/skincare/raw-honey-face-wash-normal-dry-skin/

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Devita Cucumber Toner

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    I have previously posted about S.W. Basics toner and while I still love it, it was time to try something new. Because I only oil cleanse and moisturize, I don’t get to experiment with new cleansers and moisturizer. Toners, and such are the only products I can switch up and try out new brands.  When I discovered this toner I was a bit hesitant over the price ($17 on Vitacost).

     I read multiple reviews and finally decided to give it a go.  Immediately upon opening it I hated it. The rose smell was so strong! I wanted to return it. I decided to give it a go because my skin was badly broken out and I wanted to see what it could do. Within a couple days by skin was noticeably clearer and very soft. I also noticed that I hadn’t been bothered by the smell either.

     So I kept it and it has been a  few months now. My skin is still soft, and has experienced less breakouts. I do not mind the strong rose smell anymore. It has lasted quiet well and proved its high price. I am only about a 1/5 of the way through the bottle and think it will last me the rest of the year at this rate.


Ingredients:

Aloe barbadensis* (aloe vera gel), hamamelis virginiana distillate (witch hazel) extract, lactic acid (natural fruit acid), maleic acid (natural fruit acid), glycolic acid (natural fruit acid), camellia acid (Japanese green tea) leaf extract, allantoin, rosa centifolia (rose) essential oil, salvia officinalis (sage) essential oil, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) essential oil, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower essential oil.


     As you can see, it is non-comdogenic. There are anti-microbial essential oils, acids for resurfacing, nourishing and moisturizing ingredients aloe vera, and witch hazel extract to minimize pores.  If these ingredients interest you , you may want to give it a try. Let me know if you have tried it or the other scent (cucumber) and what your thoughts are on them. Also, let me know if there are any other toners you love.

Foreo Luna Mini

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     I began researching this product as soon as I discovered its existence last fall. By the time November came around I was convinced I wanted it and began dropping hints to my husband for a Christmas gift.  Of course I was very surprised that I actually received it because it can be hard for a man justifying spending so much on a skincare tool, especially after all of the money I wasted on the Clarisonic.

     I was elated when I opened it but a little nervous that it would turn out to be another waste. Fortunately, he got it on sale on Black Friday and that helped to alleviate some of my apprehension.  So I have been using it consistently for 4 months. I love so many aspects of it, I need to just list them out for you:

1)  There are no upkeep fees, like purchasing replacement brush heads with the Clarasonic. It is 1 and done!

2)  I charged it Christmas Day from a laptop with a USB cable and haven’t charged it since even though I use it twice a day!

3) It is waterproof so I keep it and use it in the shower.

4) It is silicone, so it is super easy to clean.

5) It works!  My skin has significantly improved since using it.  And it is very comfortable to use.

6) Last but not least, it is simply a stunning device. From the colors to the simple packaging, it is just a well thought out product.

     So there you have it! Let me know if you are interested in trying it, or already have one and what your experience has been. I would love to hear from you!

Skin Care Oils

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     So far I have been oil cleansing on and off for about 2 years now. I have tried other methods in between but nothing seems to work as well for me long term. Sometimes I still mix it up by skipping it a couple days and a scrub, or mask instead. The most important part of oil cleansing is probably choosing the right oil for you. I already did a post about the benefits of oil cleansing but this post should help you to choose an oil should you decide to join the pack.

     The first step is to consider your skin type. If you are acneic like I am, you will want to choose one that is non-comedogenic. People do this by looking up oils with a low comedogenic rating.  I however have found that some of these assigned ratings are just not accurate.  Instead, becoming a  little  bio-chemically savvy is probably your best way to go.  Yes it takes a little effort, but in the end you will have more knowledge to make better decisions for your skincare needs.  Please refer to my post on fatty acids if you need a bit of a bio-chem refresher.  By looking at the breakdown of different oils, you will be able to take many different factors, and find an oil that meets all of your requirements.

     For example, if you look up the fatty acid profile of a specific oil, you can see what fatty acids and their percentages make up the oil. You will want to look for ones that have shorter chains, and unsaturated fats.  The longer chain oils can get stuck in the pores, and the saturated varieties are rigid and can also get stuck. Coconut oil is made up of primarily these types of fatty acids in the form of Palmitic and Stearic Acids.  That is why I would never recommend coconut oil to someone with acne problems.  Regardless, I wouldn’t recommend anyone without acne problems to even chance it with oils high in these acids.

     Another way to look at it even further is to look at the balance between Oleic and Linoleic fatty acids. If you have acneic skin, it tends to be lacking in Linoleic acids and excessive in Oleic acids. You can help balance this out by choosing oils that have higher levels of Linoleic than Oleic fatty acids. If you do not have acne problems, you can use a balanced oil, meaning the ratio of oleic to linoleic is relatively equal.

     Another factor to consider is the pH of the oil. Choosing an oil with a pH that is relatively close to what is ideal for your skin will help to not disturb the acid mantle balance.  Most people know that the ideal for skin is a pH of 5.5.  However, research has demonstrated that its natural state is actually below 5, around 4.7 to be exact.  Researchers have found that this is actually a healthier level for the skin, and it helps to preserve beneficial bacteria on the skin. Choosing an oil with a pH near to 4.7 will be another way to narrow down your oil options.

     Another way to investigate an oil is to look at it’s phytochemical properties.  Does it have exceptionally high levels of Vitamin E or A?  These components can be pore clogging and irritating to those with sensitive or acneic skin. Is your skin neither of those too and is instead aging? Perhaps an oil high in these components would be a good option for your to nourish your skin and promote rapid cell turnover.

     There are a few other factors that can go into choosing your oil. First, you want it to be preferably organic, cold-pressed, non-deodorized, and packaged in a glass amber bottle to preserve the integrity of the oil. An oil that meets these requirements will not have to have preservatives added to it, unless it is a delicate oil and has a short shelf life naturally.  Choosing an oil with a longer shelf life is preferable as then it will need a preservative and should be kept in the refrigerator.

     So what is the holy grail of skincare oils?   For me it is Kukui Nut Oil. I have tried it from both Beauty Oils and Russel Organics. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a few things to get an oil you really want. For example, Beauty Oils has cold-pressed, 100% pure Kukui Nut oil, non-deodorized, but it is not organic and is in a plastic amber bottle. Russel Organics sells what is presumably organic pure 100% pure Kukui Nut oil in a glass amber bottle for 2x’s the price.

     So, let me know what skincare oils work for you. One that I have wanted to try for a body oil is Jojoba. Supposedly it’s unique fatty acids mimic sebum and are easily absorbed and non-pore clogging. Perhaps as I try new oils, I will write another post reviewing different oils. Until then, please let me know about what oils you use, or are interested in.  A great resource to use when researching oils is Mountain Rose Herbs, as they provide the pH, and fatty acid profiles for many oils.

Fragrance Ingredient

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    One thing I tend to avoid when I make beauty purchases is the ingredient: parfume/perfume, or fragrance. Why? Because it can mean practically anything.  It is kind of a catch all term for anything that masks an odor or emits a fragrance. This means that it can be something as innocuous as a blend of essential oil constituents to a blend of chemicals. EWG gives it a score of 8, due to it being potentially a combination of toxic chemicals, and lists it as a respiratory irritant.  As I can attest it can also cause contact dermatitis as well.

     So, when a natural company says “fragrance” should you presume it to mean essential oil components or some chemicals developed in a laboratory to tickle your olfactory senses?  Well you can always ask, but then you are “trusting” whatever the company tells you, and that can be a mixed bag, because the proof is in the pudding.  Let me explain.

     There were some products  I really wanted to try and the only ingredient I genuinely had an issue with was that they included fragrance.  So I decided to contact each company and ask them the nature of their ingredient. This led to me buying a shampoo and conditioner from Deep Steep, after they told me it was a proprietary blend of essential oils.  Before I even got it out of the package I developed a headache after nearly being knocked over by the very un-natural smell. So I returned it.

     Another item that I had issue with is the NUDE Cleansing Oil. They also told me it was from a blend of proprietary essential oils. When I opened the bottle, there was an odor and it didn’t smell “natural”, but it also wasn’t unpleasant, overpowering, or headache inducing so I decided to keep it.

     Within 6 days of use, I developed an itchy dry skin rash all over my face up to my hair line and jaw. I discontinued use right away and back to the store it went. It took my skin a week to recover. I know it was the fragrance because the ingredient list was very short (unlike the one from Deep Steep), and it was the only one I could imagine giving me a problem.

nude

     So, for everyone I have had a problem with, there have been products that I have used that say fragrance, and the company has assured me that it is natural and I have had no problems with.  I think that the best option in this situation is to do your due diligence and contact the company, but also to look at the company at a whole.  Do they seem to be transparent? Are they trying to appear natural because it is trendy or are they really committed to providing their customers with non-toxic products?