Quick Healthy Tip: Olive Oil for Eczema

Today’s Quick Healthy Tip comes from a lifetime of sensitive skin issues. I have suffered from eczema, psoriasis, sensitive and chapped skin for as long as I can remember. Regular drugstore lotions rarely work for me, nor do expensive high-end skincare items. When I’m having bad skin outbreaks and rashes, I turn to regular find-in-your-kitchen olive oil. You may have heard about other oils for skincare (coconut oil works fantastically as well and won’t leave you smelling like a salad), but I love olive oil for healing my skin. I heat up a little bit of olive oil by rubbing it between my palms, then generously lather it like a regular body lotion, focusing on dry, red patches. I find that olive oil is so gentle and absorbs more quickly than other oils (admittedly I have only used olive or coconut oils, but I do use coconut oil to remove makeup at night). Olive oil is also great to have as a treatment bath, just pour a small amount of olive oil in a warm bath and soak (just remember to thoroughly rinse out the tub afterwards). Olive oil also tends to be less expensive than fancy body lotions, and lasts longer. All-in-all it is a great choice for sensitive, angry skin and will do wonders for healing skin maladies!

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Want Shiny, Soft Hair? Try Vinegar!

I recently noticed that my hair was lacking a little bit of shine, instead of buying one of the expensive conditioners from the store, I decided to try an apple cider vinegar (ACV) hair rinse! I’ve heard a lot about vinegar hair rinses, seen a lot of YouTube videos about them but was still a little skeptical. After trying it once however, I am hooked! No longer do I need to spend tons of money on conditioners laden with weird chemicals promising to “fix” my hair! The first day that I used my ACV hair rinse I even got asked if my hair was recently cut because it looked so healthy! Best of all, is that all you will need to join me in the land of silky, soft hair is some vinegar (white or apple cider) and water!

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You may be wondering why on earth anyone would use vinegar as a replacement for conditioner? Well the evidence is irrefutable! Vinegar has a similar pH as the ideal pH of your hair. Vinegar also works effectively at removing icky reside from your hair and while removing that build-up will close the hair shaft leaving strands shiny and soft! Not only that but the vinegar rinse can also prevent dandruff, itch and hair loss when rubbed into the scalp!

Now for the fun part! You can choose to use either white or apple cider vinegar, though apple cider vinegar has a slightly better smell. There is no exact science to the ratio of vinegar to water for your rinse. I have mid-length extremely thick hair (and a lot of it) so I filled a mason jar with 1/3 ACV and 2/3 water. Thinner hair would probably do with a few tablespoons of vinegar with a cup of water, however experimenting until you find your perfect ratio is best. Other than the density of your hair, another thing to keep in mind while figuring out your perfect ratio is whether or not your hair is dry or oily. Dry hair enjoys less ACV while oily hair drinks it up more.

Now you can use your rinse! Decide whether or not to shampoo beforehand, but you definitely will not need conditioner. As mentioned, the vinegar will remove gunky build-up from  your hair, which is great for those who don’t like to shampoo. After shampooing (or not) use the vinegar rinse on your hair, pay special attention to ends and roots (especially if you are looking for it to help with dandruff or itchy scalp). Allow the rinse to permeate your strands by putting your hair into a shower cap for 5 minutes. Once that five minutes are up you can choose to rinse the vinegar out of your hair or finish up your shower without further rinsing the vinegar out. Keeping the rinse in is great for longer hair as it prevents tangling. I like to lightly rinse my hair before getting out of the shower and always use lukewarm water. For the vinegar to do it’s best job, it is preferable that you don’t use super hot water, instead go for warm water and perhaps even rinse out your hair with cool water for added shine!

You may be wondering about the vinegar smell… Don’t worry it does go away! The odour was something I definitely worried about the first time I tried a vinegar rinse as the smell does linger while the hair is drying, but once your hair is dry the smell vanishes! I promise! However, if the smell is something that really bothers you or that you are worried about, try infusing your vinegar rinse with some essential oils or herbs. To make an herb rinse; choose your herb of choice, boil water and use water to infuse the herb for two or more hours, once your herbal liquid has cooled you can pour it into a jar or container and add your ideal ratio of apple cider vinegar. If you use essential oils, simply add a few drops to your water and vinegar rinse.

The great thing about a vinegar hair rinse is that it is safe to do as often as you like depending on your hair. Remember that everyone has different hair with varying textures, length and damage so do what works for you. I would not, however recommend doing a vinegar rinse every day as it can be drying. Instead start with once every two weeks and work your way down to twice a week once your hair has adjusted to the vinegar rinse! I do my vinegar rinse once a week and my hair looks incredibly healthy and shiny and feels extremely soft!

Have you tried a vinegar hair rinse? Do you find that your hair looks even more beautiful (and your wallet much thicker) after trying the vinegar hair rinse?

Enjoy beautiful hair!

Namaste.

Holy Grail Skincare: Witch Hazel

Lately my skin had been looking a bit dull, I had been trying all my normal tips and tricks but nothing was brightening my skin or stopping the occasional pimple. A friend and I went walking through our favourite health food store’s beauty and skincare section when I stumbled upon Witch Hazel. I had been hearing fantastic things about witch hazel for quite some time now and after my friend’s urging, I decided to grab myself a bottle. As you may have guessed from the title of this post; Witch Hazel is my new desert island skincare must have.

Witch Hazel is a natural astringent that comes from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel shrub (hamamelis virginiana). It is a natural skin cleanser and toner as it is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Witch hazel has a long history of being used in natural medicine and has traditionally been used for a variety of reasons including cancers, hemorrhoids, burns, colds, fevers and of course, skincare.

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As mentioned, Witch Hazel is a natural astringent. It has high levels of tannins in the leaves which can help tighten skin by shrinking pores. Witch Hazel’s astringent properties also prevent blackheads and blemishes from forming because it effectively stops environmental pollutants from permeating the skin barrier and getting into pores. Using Witch Hazel as a toner is great because it also cleanses the skin, removing any excess oil and dirt.

Clearly Witch Hazel is excellent for oily and acne prone skin, but you may be surprised to find out that Witch Hazel is also fantastic for sensitive and dry skin! Witch Hazel can help ease the itchiness, redness and pain that comes with eczema and psoriasis and is an incredible moisturizer because it keeps hydration locked in the outer skin layer. Not only that, but Witch Hazel is great for aging skin! As we know, Witch Hazel tightens pores but it can also plump up fine lines and wrinkles!

When including Witch Hazel into your everyday skincare routine it is important to choose a brand or formula that does not contain alcohol as alcohol can really dry out the skin. However, once you have chosen the formula that you like, Witch Hazel is gentle enough to use every day, several times a day! I like to use my Rose Petal Witch Hazel every morning and night after cleansing my face (with a cotton pad), but often use it during the day to freshen up and remove any excess residue from my skin (simply put a some Witch Hazel into a clean spray bottle and spray liberally on the face).

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Not only does Witch Hazel help with these standard skincare complaints, but it also can be used for numerous other skincare problems. Witch Hazel is effective in taking the sting and pain out of burns (sunburn, razor burn), diaper rash in babies and bug bites. Not surprisingly Witch Hazel is also full of anti-itch properties meaning it is great at soothing discomfort from chicken pox and poison ivy. Finally, Witch Hazel has been known to disinfect and heal small cuts and other wounds. Though you can find Witch Hazel with a number of different natural scents, using plain Witch Hazel would be best for any medicinal reasons.

I have noticed a myriad of changes in my skin since beginning to use Witch Hazel and the benefits came very quickly. Within days I noticed my skin becoming brighter, softer and more even. Within a week the blackheads that have been a lifelong battle had begun to disappear and the darkness around my eyes had lightened! My skin looks absolutely incredible and I find myself skipping foundation!

You may find Witch Hazel as an ingredient in many drugstore (or high-end) skincare products, but all Witch Hazel is not created equally. Ideally, you want to find an all-natural Witch Hazel with few ingredients (especially avoid ingredients you cannot pronounce) as these formulas still contain all the fantastic tannins without any weird additives. Thayers is a great brand because they have numerous different types of Witch Hazel with several different scents. I chose Rose Petal because of my extremely sensitive and dry skin, but my friend loves Lavender! Witch Hazel is inexpensive so you can play around with scents to choose a favourite that works for you!

Do you use Witch Hazel? Do you have other favourite uses for Witch Hazel? Would you like to read about the other benefits of Witch Hazel? Let me know in the comments below and enjoy your beautiful skin!

Namaste.

(Note: I do not work for Thayers. I was not asked, nor was I compensated for making this post. I purchased my amazing Witch Hazel with my own money. It really just is a skincare game changer! Try it out yourself!)

An Aloe Miracle: Review of The Body Shop Aloe Products

If you’ve read my Natural Nighttime Routine, then you may know that while the rest of my skincare routine is pretty precise, I have yet to stumble upon a holy grail nighttime cleanser. I like to use something gentle enough to soothe my sensitive skin but strong enough to remove any makeup and impurities left over from the day. While Christmas shopping last month, I stumbled into a Body Shop for the first time in ages and picked up two of their products for sensitive skin from the Aloe Vera Line; Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser ($14.50/200mL) and the Aloe Gentle Exfoliator ($15.00/75mL). They were buy one get one free and I figured why not test them out!

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Aloe vera comes from a short stemmed bush-like plant with thick leaves. The aloe vera that is used in our skincare is found within these leaves! One may cut open one of these leaves to find a cool gel inside; our miracle ingredient, aloe! You may be familiar with aloe as a soothing balm for after a sunburn, this is because the aloe gel is extremely cooling! Aloe has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years because it has numerous beneficial properties depending how it is used! Today however, we will focus on skincare… Aloe is incredible for dry and sensitive skin! Aloe is hypoallergenic so it will not aggravate psoriasis, eczema or other dry spots and flakes! In fact, aloe removes dead skin cells while reducing inflammation and redness! Aloe vera contains hormones (axim and gibberellins) and anti-oxidants (vitamins C, E and beta-carotene) that actively firm skin, keep it hydrated and prevent breakouts. Not only that, but applied to the skin aloe can actually restore the skin’s natural pH balance and provide oxygen and moisture to under-loved skin cells!

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I first started using the Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser mid-December. My skin was looking pretty good pre-holiday craziness and I had nothing to worry about other than my skin’s notorious sensitivity. I began using this cleanser at night, after removing all makeup with Garnier Clear + Nourishing Cleansing Oil. I felt that the cleanser did a great job at removing any excess makeup while also being quite gentle. The Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser is quite odourless, if anything there is a small “fresh” smell, nothing offensive or scary to those with sensitivities. I noticed after using this cleanser for about a week that my skin looked extremely bright and clear which was fantastic! I continued to use the cleanser throughout the Christmas holiday and in fact, swapped out my rougher morning cleanser for this after my skin started showing lots of wear and tear from the constant large meals, sweets and alcohol over the holidays!

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After loving the Calming Facial Cleanser, I began playing around with the Aloe Gentle Exfoliator. As a rule, I tend to shy away from exfoliators that may strip my skin of what little moisture it naturally has, but decided to go ahead and try this after having so much success with the cleanser. I do not use the exfoliator nightly, I tend to use it 2-3 times a week depending on what my skin needs. I found that this Body Shop Aloe Gentle Exfoliator was exactly that, gentle. I was extremely pleased to learn that the microbeads in this exfoliator are made from jojoba oil, meaning they aren’t the damaging plastic beads that find themselves in our oceans! These microbeads are environmentally safe and fantastic at lightly scrubbing away dry and flaky skin.

After the holidays my skin reacted quite badly, I had eczema all over my eyelids and the entire eye area, on my forehead, neck, nose and cheeks. That redness remained for 3 days, but throughout the entire time, I was able to use the Calming Facial Cleanser to cool down my skin and calm the burning, itching feeling. After the redness went away, I was left with dry patches that began to peel. It was then that I turned to my Gentle Exfoliator and would calmly scrub those unsightly patches nightly. I often find products that tote themselves as being for sensitive skin, only to bring them home and have them react. I was extremely pleasantly surprised to find that these two products from The Body Shop lived up to their name!

Though these products did not react with my skin, I have found myself frustrated with the Calming Facial Cleanser as it is in by far the worst packaging possible! The Facial Cleanser is quite thick and moisturizing but is packaged in a right-side-up squeeze bottle made of extremely tough plastic. I’m about a quarter or third through the product and am already having to fight with the bottle to squeeze the product into my hands. The cleanser should have been packaged into a pump bottle or a squeeze bottle similar to that of the gentle exfoliator.

On a whole I was extremely pleased and surprised by how gentle and fantastic these products were on my skin! I wholly believe that they sped up the healing process with my temperamental skin after the holidays and continue to greatly improve the look of my skin every time that I use them! I swear I feel like my skin is glowing! The only issues that I found were the aforementioned packaging of the Calming Facial Cleanser and that I didn’t love all the chemicals in the ingredients list (though there were no parabens, which I like).

The Body Shop has a full Aloe Vera skincare line for sensitive skin and I am looking forward to trying some more of their products! I would highly recommend The Body Shop’s Aloe Foaming Facial Cleanser and Aloe Gentle Exfoliator if you have eczema, psoriasis, redness or any type of skin sensitivity!

Have you tried any of The Body Shop’s Aloe line? Is there something else from this line that you would recommend to me? Do you enjoy these reviews? Let me know!

Namaste.

(Note: I purchased The Body Shop Aloe Foaming Facial Cleanser and Aloe Gentle Exfoliator with my own money. I was not asked to make a review, I am not being compensated for my review. I do not work for The Body Shop in any capacity. This review is my own opinion.)

Occasional Skin Saviour: Grease Lightning

If you’ve read my Natural Morning or Nighttime Skincare Routines, then you may already know that I don’t often deal with breakouts. However, much like any other human being in times of highs stress, or if I haven’t been eating the right foods, I can suffer the occasional pimply nightmare. I don’t know if it is because my skin is often clear, but I swear when I get a pimple they are larger, redder and more obvious than one would expect. Luckily I have found my dream product, Grease Lightning by Lush ($13.95).

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Grease Lightning is honestly a miracle product, and I do not say this lightly. When I feel a breakout coming, I will wash my face and apply a thin layer of this clear spot cleansing gel onto the site of the potential pimple and in the morning my skin will be clear. Acne avoided!

The amazing results are the product of the natural ingredients inside of the cleanser. Most notably, we have tea tree oil. Again, you may be familiar with the benefits of tea tree oil as I have mentioned them before, but it’s worth repeating; tea tree oil is nature’s cure-all. Tea tree is naturally antiseptic, antibacterial and a disinfectant, meaning that the oil will prevent the growth of microbes and bacteria while cleaning the skin. Because tea tree is natural, it won’t strip the skin of it’s natural oils leaving skin dry or flaky. Tea tree is especially great for acne because it gets into the skin to unblock pores and dry out pimples. It works fantastically on both whitehead and blackhead pimples!

Grease Lightning has a very pleasant scent thanks to the addition of thyme and rosemary! Yes, these herbs smell great, but they are also fantastic skin saviours! There are numerous benefits to using natural oils versus harmful chemicals; in skincare natural oils are strong enough to combat breakouts, but gentle enough to treat dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema as well! Like tea tree oil, thyme is antibacterial and antiseptic, however thyme has the added bonus of also being an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radicals which contribute to sagging and wrinkles in aging skin. Though thyme is comparable to benzoyl peroxide, it is gentle to the skin, considered an anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat eczema, where benzoyl peroxide can be drying. Rosemary is also used as an antiseptic and is extremely antioxidizing! Rosemary oil is often used to rehydrate, rejuvenate and tone the skin. Rosemary has also been known to reduce wrinkles and under-eye bags and even lighten scars and dark spots!

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There are three other important ingredients used to treat our breakouts in Grease Lightning. Aloe vera, witch hazel and green grapes. You may be thinking, “Green grapes belong in my wine glass not in my skincare!” but they’re superb in both! An unlikely ingredient, green grapes are rich in vitamin E (to help soften skin) and vitamin C (to promote collagen production)! Green grapes are an antibacterial, an antioxidant and are often used to reduce redness and inflammation, tone skin and protect against sunburn! I’m not suggesting you rub grapes on your face instead of your daily sunscreen, but it’s interesting knowing what grapes can do for our skin! Our next ingredient, aloe vera, is also famous for stepping in where the sun is concerned. You may be familiar with the use of aloe to soothe a bad sunburn, but it is much more than that! Aloe is incredible for sensitive skin, so while tea tree, thyme and rosemary are doing their business cleaning out our pores and saving us from a breakout, aloe is making sure that our sensitive skin doesn’t hurt in the process! Because aloe is notoriously calming, it should be no surprise that it prevents rosacea, eases eczema and psoriasis and can even help heal minor wounds! Finally, we have witch hazel. Witch hazel is naturally astringent, so it tightens pores after the other ingredients have done their work getting all the bacteria out. Witch hazel is full of tannins, which helps lock in moisture and leaves the skin looking young and fresh! Witch hazel is naturally fantastic at healing redness, discomfort, itchiness, scarring and swelling, things that we are definitely worried about when trying to keep a pimple at bay!

It should be obvious now why I think Grease Lightning is such a Skin Saviour! It’s a hard working spot cleanser that is gentle and safe enough for my extremely sensitive skin! If you find yourself with nasty breakouts and gravitating to drugstore products full of nasty chemicals that just aren’t working, I would undoubtably try Grease Lightning! You can use it as both a spot cleanser or apply a thin layer to larger troubled areas. You do not need a lot of product for the ingredients to do their jobs, so though it may seem pricier than drugstore spot treatments you will definitely be getting the most from your dollar! I have been using mine for a few months now and have barely made a dent in the bottle!

Have you tried Grease Lightning before? Do you love it as much as I do? Or have you found your own natural miracle worker? Let me know in the comments I’d love to hear from you!

Namaste.

(Note: I purchased Grease Lightning with my own money. I am not sponsored or working with Lush. I am not being compensated or asked to make a review. I genuinely adore Grease Lightning and think it is a miracle worker!)

Natural Nighttime Skincare Routine

Last week I posted my Natural Morning Skincare Routine and today, as promised, I’ll be sharing with you my Nighttime Skincare Routine!

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If you’ve read about my morning skincare routine, then you know that my main skincare worries are sensitivity, dryness and the occasional pimple. In the morning, I focus on prevention and getting a natural daily “glow” and in the evening, I worry about deeply moisturizing and cleaning my skin. You’ll notice that my nighttime skincare routine isn’t quite as hammered out as my morning skincare routine. I’m still trying out new and different products and brands to find out what best works for my skin. I do feel that it’s best to remove makeup, cleanse, tone and moisturize but I’m definitely open to your suggestions if you’d like to leave a comment below!

Without further ado…

After a long day, one of the best feelings is removing all makeup. To do this, I use Garnier + Nourishing Cleansing Oil for Dry Skin ($9.99 Drugstores).

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This cleansing oil is incredible for removing all makeup and impurities from the skin before continuing on the rest of my routine. This Garnier + Nourishing Cleansing Oil is paraben free and it’s functioning ingredients are jojoba oil and macadamia oil. The combination of oils break down makeup and deeply moisturize then skin. Jojoba (pronounced “ho-ho-ba”) oil is fantastic for sensitive skin as it is gentle and full of vitamin E and antioxidants. Vitamin E is not only nourishing, but is also effective in clearing up scarring, dark spots and even healing blemishes. Macadamia oil is another fantastic ingredient for dry skin. Macadamia oil is a lightweight oil full of fatty acids; oleic acid (moisturizing and regenerating), linoleic acid (stops trans-epidermal water loss thus keeping skin plump and hydrated) and the most important fatty acid in skincare, palmitoleic acid. Palmitoleic acid (Omega-7 fatty acid) is a natural fatty acid found in our skin, it helps treat burns, heal wounds and is extremely important in keeping skin looking fresh and young by delaying skin cell aging. Macadamia oil has contains extremely high percentage of palmitoleic acid (roughly 16-23%) so it helps balance oil production, heals acne scarring, reduces itchiness and inflammation from eczema and other skin irritations and is expert at handling dry skin. Using this Garnier + Nourishing Cleansing Oil to remove makeup in the evening is great because it feels very extravagant. You pump the Cleansing Oil into your palms and warm it up by rubbing your hands together, then gently rubbing it into the skin. This oil is gentle enough to use around the eyes and removes eye makeup easily. Though this oil is paraben free, there are synthetic ingredients and fragrance, which isn’t ideal. If you have any suggestions for a makeup removing oil that is all natural, please do not hesitate to leave a comment, otherwise I intend to purchase jojoba oil and macadamia oil and create a homemade mixture for the same effect.

After luxuriously removing all of the day’s makeup, I wash my face with a daily cleanser. At the moment I am using the Live Clean Foaming Daily Cleanser ($9.99 Drugstores).

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Though I typically use a gentle milk cleanser (Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser to be exact), I saw this Live Clean Foaming Daily Cleanser at the drugstore and decided to give it a try! Foaming cleansers tend to cater to more oily skin and this one is no exception, however it does contain some great ingredients for dry skin! This Foaming Cleanser contains lavender (read more on lavender in my Morning Skincare Routine), milk thistle (softens skin), mallow (soothes dry skin), aloe and buckthorn (nourishing, restorative and regenerating) among other sensitive skin soothers! Cucumber is present in this cleanser, helping it to fade dark spots, improve and even out the complexion and tighten pores! Our super saviour ingredient in this cleanser is chamomile. You may know of chamomile from the delicious herbal tea that is full of healing properties, an herbal remedy for everything from insomnia to anxiety to stomach upset but it is for more than drinking! Chamomile in our skincare is brilliant at both cleansing and moisturizing the skin, soothing irritations, fighting breakouts and because it is high is antioxidants, the chamomile will protect the skin from harmful and aging free-radicals. Though this Live Clean cleanser has been effective on my dry skin, I would recommend it primarily for oily or combination skin, simply because it can be a little too drying.

Once I’ve finished removing all my makeup and cleansing, I enjoy using a toner. You’ll remember that in the morning I use Lush’s Tea Tree Water and I love Lush’s Eau Roma Water at night (Lush $9.95-21.95).

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Lush’s Eau Roma Water is a super toner made from two incredible sensitive skin saviours, lavender oil and rose oil. I enjoy using this toner at night because it is so good at restoring parched skin, leaving it soft, hydrated and touchable. As mentioned in my Morning Skincare Routine, lavender oil is perfect for sensitive skin! Lavender both fights and treats eczema by adding moisture to the skin and soothing any irritation and itchiness and because lavender is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory it fights bacteria and redness! Finally lavender oil increases circulation of oxygen and nutrients to cells so your skin will be bright and vibrant! Working hand in hand with lavender oil is rose oil! While lavender works hard to help the skin produce sebum (a natural oil-like substance that prevents skin from drying out), the rose oil is working double time to nourish and cool the skin. Rose oil is quite astringent, meaning it evens out skin tone and generally improves the appearance of the skin by refining the skin texture. Rose oil is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic so while it is cooling down redness and irritation on the skin, it is also actively reducing the possibility of a skin infection. One of my personal favourite reasons for using Lush’s Eau Roma water at night is the luxury of using a spray toner and the wonderful smell. Both lavender and rose are used in aromatherapy and have been shown to treat anxiety and depression! Having a spray of these oils before bed calms me down and lessens the anxieties of the day before sleep!

The final step of my evening skincare routine is moisturizing, one of the most important steps in my routine! Without a daily deep moisturizing, my skin can feel tight, lacklustre and unattractive. Enter coconut oil:

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That’s right my favourite moisturizer is simply coconut oil! Coconut oil is gaining a lot of traction in the beauty world at the moment, and for good reason! Coconut oil is an out-of-this-world natural moisturizer that works gently and is more or less a cure-all product! Coconut oil is made up of medium chained fatty acids and saturated fats, which work to repair and strengthen the skin barrier and trap water underneath keeping your skin nice and hydrated! Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial (see a pattern?!) so it will soothe dry, reddened and unhappy skin, and keep the bacteria away! Similar to the vitamin E in our jojoba oil, coconut oil works superbly at evening out dark spots, lessening scarring and stretch marks and improving skin tone. Gentle enough for an eye cream, a dab or two of coconut oil around the eyes will improve dark under-eye circles and prevent wrinkles. Because it can take a bit of time (10 mins) for coconut oil to fully absorb into the skin, I like to use it as a deep moisturizer and night and will use this oil on my entire body, face included. The coconut is sweet and nutty, and smells just like an expensive product, though this organic oil works just as well (if not better), without any weird ingredients, and for a fraction of the price! Coconut oil is not just a great body moisturizer, but you can also use it as a deep conditioner for hair and for cooking! Let me know in the comments if you would like to see a post with all the great uses for coconut oil! You can purchase coconut oil at most grocery stores, though I do want to stress that if you or a family member or loved one have an allergy, do make sure to read the ingredients and ensure that there is no cross contamination! I have used coconut oils that have a peanut/nut warning, and I have used some that say that they were made in a nut free facility, make sure to read your labels!

So there you have it! My Natural Nighttime Skincare Routine to go along with last week’s Natural Morning Skincare Routine! I intend to update this as I find proper replacements for my makeup removing oil and moisturizing cleanser, but this is an accurate representation of my Nighttime Skincare from the past few months!

Let me know, have you tried any of these products? Is there anything that you would recommend to me? Anything you’d like me to suggest to you? And stay tuned, next week I’m uploading my Occasional Skin Saviours, products that I don’t need everyday but are in my bathroom cabinets at all times in case of an emergency!

Namaste.

(Note: I do not work for any of the brands mentioned, nor am I being paid for or asked to speak about them. I adore Lush and am having fun trying out new products to add to my arsenal!)

Natural Morning Skincare Routine

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Let’s talk skincare!

Living consciously isn’t just about consuming healthy foods, it’s also about taking care of your skin naturally which is what I try to do with my daily morning skincare routine.

A little history…

I have to be honest. It took me to almost 24 before I developed any sort of “real” skincare routine. I used to just wash my face in the shower and lazily take my makeup off with a wipe before bed. This really wasn’t cutting it. As I started taking care of my health from the inside with food and yoga, I realized that I was going to need to start taking care of myself on the outside too.

There are two main issues that I need to treat with my daily routine. I have very sensitive and dry skin that acts up quickly and viciously if I use a product that it doesn’t like. I’m prone to eczema on my neck, chin and eyelids and general dryness on my forehead nose and cheeks. Depending on what I eat or if I’m in a high stress period, I can get whopping pimples on my cheeks right where you would apply bronzer. Because of this, I work on different problems at different times of the day. In the morning I tend to focus on keeping breakouts at bay and bringing a “glow” to my skin, whereas in the evening (Natural Nighttime Skincare Routine coming soon!) I focus a lot more on moisturizing.

You’ll notice that I use very few products. Through trial and error (and lots of different brands), I’ve found what works with my skin and I’m pretty stuck to it. I don’t think that loading on product, on product, on product is necessarily the best approach to skincare. I recommend finding one or two things that you know work for you and commit to them! Your skin will thank you!

So without further ado, my morning skincare routine…

I start my day by washing my face with the Angels on Bare Skin facial cleanser from Lush ($13.95-$33.95).

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Angels on Bare Skin is a fantastic cleanser that is vegan, made exclusively of natural ingredients and is paraben free (parabens are nasty little chemical preservatives that may cause cancer and mimic estrogen). Angels on Bare Skin has three main ingredients; kaolin clay, almonds and lavender. Kaolin clay is naturally full of essential nutrients and works as a deep cleanser that is friendly for dry or sensitive skin. The clay detoxifies by pulling impurities and dirt from your pores, creating soft and beautiful skin. Ground almonds work as a natural exfoliator, sloughing away dead skin cells and leaving brighter skin in it’s wake. Almonds are full of antioxidants, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids which helps them in their skincare goals. Almonds are great for evening out discolouration, treating acne and treating skin upset (such as inflammation, eczema and psoriasis). The vitamin E from the almonds is also especially good at fading acne scarring! The final helper is lavender. Lush uses both lavender flower and lavender oil in their Angels cleanser (you can see the petals in the clay). Lavender is famous in the world of aromatherapy for being soothing, purifying and almost sedative-like, in fact simply smelling lavender can bring down stress levels and put you in a more peaceful state of mind. Because lavender is so comforting mentally, it shouldn’t be a shock that lavender is amazing at calming angry and irritated skin. Lavender is great at boosting circulation and bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your cells, leaving a beautiful glow wherever it touches. With these three skin superheroes, Angels on Bare Skin is so great at leaving my sensitive and dry skin super soft, touchable and radiant.

After washing my face, I like to use a facial toner. In the morning I use Lush’s Tea Tree Water ($9.95-$21.95).

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Another Lush favourite, this toner is vegan and alcohol free. Alcohol is definitely an ingredient that you want to avoid in skincare as it is very drying, practically leeching all the water out of your skin and leaving it dull. Because this Tea Tree Water doesn’t contain alcohol, it effectively brightens your complexion, leaving you looking fresh and awake! Exactly what we need in the morning! Tea tree oil is native to Australia and pretty famous for being a skin saviour! Probably most well known for quickly getting rid of acne and pimples, tea tree oil is a skin saviour no matter what your issue. Tea tree oil has antibiotic properties, meaning it is effective at killing or impeding microorganism growth, making it great for healing skin infections, spots or irritations. Our next awesome ingredient is juniper berries, who are fantastic at clearing up eczema and acne (seeing a pattern yet?) Juniper berries are both astringent (tightening pores) and antiseptic (reducing the possibility of infection), they’ll make your face look young and fresh while fighting off the possibility of any breakouts! Perfection!

After applying toner to my face, I like to give my skin some time to digest by having a big mug of hot water with lemon and reading a book. When I finish my water, it’s time for the next step; moisturizing. Moisturizer has always been a difficult one for me. As I mentioned, my skin is so sensitive that any fragrance or weird chemicals will cause my face to burn and immediately break out into a rash, which is why I was so thrilled to have found Sukin’s Sensitive Facial Moisturizer (Rexall, $9.99)

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Sukin is a great Australian brand whose products are cruelty free, carbon neutral and free of all the baddies that we tend to find in most drugstore skincare. I’m talking no parabens, unnatural fragrances, animal products, sulfates… the list goes on and on! I love rubbing it into my face and neck because this moisturizer feels so luxurious and calming, like I’m using a super high-end product. I’ve noticed that my skin is softer and it creates a nice even base for my makeup! Sukin uses shea butter to moisturize and improve all sorts of issues like blemishes, wrinkles and eczema (surprise, surprise!). You’ll also find aloe vera in this moisturizer, which Egyptians called the “plant of immortality”. I’m sure you know that aloe is great at treating burns, so naturally it is gentle and soothing in your everyday routine as well as being fantastic at treating acne! A third miracle ingredient is sesame oil! Not just for cooking, sesame oil is incredible for your skin. First mentioned as skincare in the Vedas (ancient Indian texts), sesame oil was often used to heal skin inflections, which is why it is such a great find in your daily moisturizer!

After letting all that settle in, my final step is to use sunscreen! (I currently do not have a favourite, any suggestions are welcome!) I have naturally very fair skin, so I am a fan of SPF50. You should be sure to use sunscreen every single day no matter what kind of weather you’re seeing outside! When looking for a sunscreen it is important that the bottle says that it is a broad spectrum UVA/UVB formula. UVA rays are long wave, meaning that they can go through windows (so you aren’t safe even if you’re inside!). UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB and are the leading cause of aging and wrinkles. UVB rays on the other hand are the short waves that can cause skin cancer! You need to be protected from both!

As you can see, you do not need a fancy skincare routine with hundreds of expensive products to take care of your skin! Find what works and stick with it! If you have trouble that you cannot identify, it always helps to speak to someone at a store who can help pinpoint your problem areas and suggest products to help you out!

So let me know, have you used any of these products? Is there something you would like to recommend for me? And stay tuned because my evening skincare routine will be posted next week!

Namaste.

(Note: I am not sponsored by Lush or Sukin, I am not being paid or asked to review these products or share them with you! I genuinely adore these skincare items and thought you’d like to know about them!)