Argan Oil by Josie Maran

 

As I am transitioning to pure ingredients in every area of my life, I am constantly searching for natural lines that use quality ingredients. As I learned more about the Josie Maran Cosmetics line I was excited to try it out. The sourced ingredients I read about such as Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, Mango seed butter and more, are the type of natural yet effective ingredients I like to put on my skin.

I recently tried the 100% Pure Argan Oil and love it. It is extremely versatile with uses ranging from a daily facial serum or moisturizer to dry nail beds and hair. Although it is an oil, it is silky and easily absorbed, not greasy whatsoever. The best part is it is 100% organic! Since my entire body is terribly dry right now with this weather I have tried this oil all over and love the texture and hydrating effect.

I also love the simple and Eco-friendly packaging.  You can tell this company has great pride in taking care of the environment and giving back, which you can read about on their website. The product packaging is recyclable and containers are biodegradable. Josie Maran’s motto for her brand is “Luxury With A Conscience.” Love it! 

I can’t wait to try the cosmetics and color from this line, I will be sure to share what I try out!

Mom’s In Charge!

I am super excited to share with you my latest interview with Dotty Hagmier- President and Founder of Mom’s in Charge. It is such a privilege to share this information with you and introduce this organization if you haven’t already heard of it. I have been writing about how lifestyle can affect our skin for a while and Dotty educates us beautifully here:

I ♥ SC– Tell us a little about your story and how Moms In Charge began.

DOTTY– I have always been wellness-conscious and as an RN, I thought I knew the answers to keep myself healthy. I worked out and ate what most would consider “healthy” foods.

However, as I had my children, my health as well as theirs began to decline. We were on what I call “the sick cycle”. Someone was almost always sick in my home. I became very ill and it became very clear that my standard American diet and way of life was not working.

With the help of a homeopath friend, she shared new insights that set me on a new course. From my sick bed, I began school to learn more about how to heal myself and teach others. I began Moms in Charge as a project in my school that evolved in taking the idea to moms around me.
On my own personal health journey, I felt alone and isolated without a place to turn to get answers on how to incorporate new ways to prepare food and live a less toxic lifestyle with my kids. I began reaching out to my friends and inviting them to learn with me.
The result was forming Moms In Charge to have community of like-minded moms to learn and have resources to make healthier choices with their kids.
I believe this is a journey and ONE step at a time, the health of my family has greatly improved and I’m excited to hear how steps others are making are positively changing their lives, too.

I ♥ SC-  In your opinion, how important is using quality ingredients on our skin?

DOTTY– Putting quality, non-toxic ingredients on our skin is much more important than most people realize.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. It’s very well known in the medical community that our skin absorbs what is put onto it, as many medications come in the form of a “patch” and are very effective.

I ♥ SC– Adversely, do you believe there is a consequence for using harmful chemicals on our skin?

DOTTY–  The truth that is not widely known is that the FDA does not regulate most of the ingredients that goes into our skin care products.

The big issue is that many of these ingredients are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Most claim that there are just “small amounts” of these toxic ingredients, and therefore should be safe.

However, in the light of how many different products we use every day, it is a huge issue to address. Counting the products we use just from the time we wake up until we leave the house is an interesting challenge to give yourself. The average is about 15 products. Add in the ones at night and realize this is a daily occurrence, and it’s much more than a “nominal” amount.
The cumulative effect of these toxic substances, I strongly believe from the research I have done, are contributing to increasing incidences of cancer as well as immune and hormonal disruptions.

Putting these on our children is even worse due to their developing bodies and immature immune systems.

I ♥ SC– Aside from the topical skin care products we use on our skin, what other factors do you believe have impact on the health of our skin?

DOTTY– Our skin is the “tattle tale” what we are feeding and how we are treating our bodies. To have healthy skin, a diet rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and pure water is essential. This includes, fresh organic fruit and vegetable juices, less cooked foods to maintain more if the nutrients and critical enzymes needed for proper digestion.

I believe our digestion is one of the most important functions of our body.
Dairy and Gluten, which cause many digestive issues, are best to be eliminated to have the best most vibrant skin.

Decreasing or eliminating caffeine will help the skin to be more hydrated and more supple. Replacing coffee with green tea or other herbal teas like gynostemma tea are better alternatives.

Sleep is crucial for the skin to look its best. A good rule of thumb, although easier said than done for many of us, is to get to sleep by 10pm and no screen time one hour before bed. The time between 10pm and midnight is “double restorative” and so you essentially are getting more positive results by getting to bed a little earlier.
This will show up in your skin, but decreasing those bags and dark circles under your eyes.

I ♥ SC–  Although MIC focuses on raising healthy vibrant kids, I have also learned from you how important it is for Moms to take care of themselves. Why do you feel this is so crucial?

DOTTY -My motto is ” If mama ain’t healthy, ain’t nobody healthy”

As moms, we expend a massive amount of time and energy to care for our family and home. The research is very clear that the profile of a caregiving mom who is overwhelmed by life and is not herself nurtured, is at high risk for health issues including cancer, depression and auto immune problems.
I believe we get caught up in the supermom mentality and  believe a lie that by being everything to everyone makes us a better mom and woman. The reality is, we were not designed to do it all. It literally does and should take a village.Reaching out to other moms and asking for help, belonging to a community of like-minded moms, and taking time for yourself to nourish your sprit soul and body are critical to being a healthy mom and woman.

Prioritizing our own nutrition, exercise and wellness along with our kids’ will serve them more than being a frazzled sick mess and then becoming the martyr to top it off.

It’s a challenge to “get it all together” and then keep it that way, but I believe that small steps toward healthy goals will make our collective journey more joyful and enjoyable.
After all, it should be about the journey and not a guilty frenzy to some non-existent utopia-like “finish line”.

I ♥ SC– MIC has been a huge force for moms desperate to learn healthy tools and its only been a short while since it began. What is the vision for MIC in the future?

DOTTY– My ultimate goal is to have Moms in Charge chapters around the country, and have our web community as a strong force to create a movement to “change the shape of our future”. Our Non-Profit, Moms In Charge Foundation is working on programs to educate moms, kids and teachers on how to empower our kids to make THEIR OWN healthy choices.

We plan to get our Kids’ Chef Academy into DVD’s and built into a curriculum for parents and schools.

Our goal for the “Clean the Clean” campaign is designed to change the environment in schools to a non-toxic and safe area for our kids.

The “Day for ME” program is to educate moms more about the importance of taking care of themselves and giving them tangible steps and tools and support on their journey.

My goal is that these along with other strategies will change our paradigm where feeding our kids healthy foods and putting safe, non-toxic products on their skin and environment is not only accepted but EXPECTED and our kids become more empowered to be leaders in healthy choices.

I ♥ SC– Where can my readers learn more about MIC?

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DOTTY– Our website is www.momsincharge.org
Our blog is Www.momsincharge.me

You can find us in the group “moms in charge” on FB
And in the fan page ” Moms in Charge Orange County” to keep up with all the MIC happenings.

For local MIC moms, we are also on meet-up, where you can connect with the MIC  moms on fun outings with your kids.

I ♥ SC– Thank you Dotty for taking the time to help us understand the importance of healthy lifestyle and how it goes hand in hand with beautiful skin! You are certainly an inspiration to me and have changed my family’s life for the better. Empowering moms to take charge of their health and the health of their families is priceless, we appreciate you!

 

 

Butter in Fall

 

I have to say Fall is my favorite season, wearing boots, dressing up for Halloween, cooler weather, too many reasons to count.  Another to add to the list is to bust out my new favorite red nail polish I just bought from Butter London. I love this metallic red, it is so rich in color. I love the finish on my toe nails.

Butter’s products are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens and was the first company to sell non-toxic nail lacquer in the United States. The colors to choose from are amazing check out the ButterLondon website for more.

Smell you later summer! Oh wait..it’s 100 degrees out…bullocks.

Eat your broccoli, wear your broccoli

Many of you who regularly read my blog may wonder why I talk about nutrition and food so much on a skin care site. I am a true believer that what we do for our bodies internally directly impacts the quality of our skin. After all it is the largest organ and usually the first organ to sound off an alarm if there is something wrong. Having a foundation of healthy eating is always a good thing when skin is concerned, although not the only factor. We also need to care for our skin topically and help it look its best.

I have written many times about Sircuit Cosmeceuticals, this product line uses very concentrated pure ingredients that deliver results. It is a line that takes many of the cutting edge ingredients of today with some of the natural extracts and even food based ingredients that we all know taken internally can reap great results for our health.

I love the Clarity Broccoli Sulfur Mask because as a clay based mask it is not drying and even with my bone dry skin I can use it. This is an ideal product for acne prone, oily or congested skin types as it pulls at impurities in the skin and evens out oiliness.  Because of the antibacterial effects it helps prevent the spread of the infection and is also healing to any possible inflammation. And with such amazing ingredients as Tea Tree, Broccoli, Spirulina and Zinc you will feel a difference after each use. Check out Sircuits Website to see a full list of ingredients and more company information.

After masking you can also warm up a big bowl of broccoli for dinner, can’t hurt right?

 

Perfect Brows

What a difference your eyebrows make! As my brows started to thin, filling them in  became essential. I prefer a powder to a pencil for a more natural look and have found my favorite-the Anastasia Brow Powder. I use a stiff angled brush and blend the powder throughout the brow filling in the gaps.

A great tutorial for the perfect brow is on You tube from Sephora. Click to see video. If you have never used a powder on your brows before ask for help picking your shade and applying. The Anastasia powder goes on very smoothly, is long lasting and they have every shade you can think of.

If you need additional help shaping your brows you can pick up a stencil kit as a guide. You can find this all at Sephora.

 

Touche Éclat-YSL

 

Not sleeping takes a toll on everyone, it’s no secret. I haven’t been getting tons of rest lately and quite frankly it shows. Underneath my eyes I see an increased amount of puffiness and also dark circles that all of the iced cucumber in the world couldn’t fix. I decided I needed to step it up a notch in the under eye concealer department.

I have been using Neutrogena Skin Brightening Eye Protector but felt like I wanted more coverage. I called my friend Courtney to ask what her favorite product is and she told me about Touche Éclat from Yves Saint Laurent. I ran over to Nordstroms STAT to try it out.

To use this product you apply as your last step, it is used to highlight. To achieve a heavier coverage you can layer, just apply, wait for it to dry and re-apply. You can even throw it in your purse and apply thorough out the day. I love the creamy texture and the wand can be directly applied to the eye area without sticking your finger in a pot.

Thanks for the great tip Court!

 

Favorite Green Products!

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I am talking about three of my favorite green products and I mean literally green!

If you have hyperpigmentation I highly recommend Phyto + by SkinCeuticals. This serum is applied underneath moisturizer daily. This blend of botanical and skin brightening ingredients also contains anti-inflammatory agents helping to calm irritated skin.

I recently bought the Bobbi Brown Sage Metallic Eye Shadow. I love to layer this shade on the very bottom of my eye lid and use it with the Caviar Eye Pencil also by BB. It is a subtle green, with hints of grey shimmer-love it!

I can’t mention “green” products without mentioning ExfoliKate! I have it blogged about it before but if you are new to I ♥ Skin Care, it is one of my go to products for exfoliating and has been for years. Read more about it here Favorite Exfoliators.

Happy St Patty’s and don’t forget to wear green!

New Year, New Skin?

If you are not totally happy with the appearance of your skin and would like to see an  improvement in 2012, here are a few suggestions to try if you are not already doing so. Not all of these goals or resolutions include spending money but just a few tips to help start of this New Year right!

1. Take away one bad habit.

Whether this habit is rubbing your eyes, sleeping in make-up or smoking, you know you should not be doing it… so stop!

2. Add Vitamins to your regimen.

Beauty from the inside out, heard this one before? This is becoming more and more common knowledge, here are a few of my favorite supplements for the skin: SKIN HEALTH

3. Add one new step to your at home program.

If you are not using a mask or eye cream treat yourself to a new product that targets an area of concern to YOU on your skin.

4. Visit a Dermatologist and get checked for Skin Cancer.

Self explanatory, this is an annual appointment we need to keep.

5. Raid your Beauty Drawer.

Have a cleanser from the Reagan administration? A blush they stopped making in the 90’s? Get rid of it! While you’re at it, wash all of your make-up brushes and clean your phones. This will help prevent breakouts as well.

Here is to a more beautiful and healthy 2012, cheers!

MythBusters-Skin Care Edition

 

From time to time I hear a friend or someone at a spa say something that is just not true in relation to skin care and cosmetics. Here are some of the doozers I have heard:

1. You need to use the same skin care line for all of your products.

Really, why? I am sure the woman behind the counter at the mall would love you to believe this. Use what works for you, if that means using an exfoliation from Dermalogica and your favorite cleanser from SkinCeuticals, do it.

2. When a product turns color and starts to smell-it’s still good.

Well, as much as you want to believe that your $80.00 Vitamin C serum is still good to put on your face even though you have to hold your breath to apply, don’t do it. Products do not last forever, it is important to remember the date you opened it and toss it out when the product turns. Because at this point the product is rancid.

3. The more you exfoliate the better for your skin.

My friends in the beauty industry are most guilty of this, even though they know better! (you know who you are.) Over exfoliation can lead to a break down of healthy skin, sensitivity and even premature aging! Follow the directions of your products and a good rule of thumb for over the counter peels is two to three times a week.

4. You don’t need SPF on cloudy days.

Come on people, we know harmful UV rays can penetrate though a hazy sky, apply it every day no matter what.

5. Natural Products are the best.

Next time your friend says she only uses “natural products” on her skin ask her what the definition of that is. Just because a product says “natural” doesn’t mean it is. There is no legal consequence for putting natural on a label when it is not because there is no legal definition. I have seen a natural line include fragrance and other items most would not consider natural so read your labels and make your own choices. As for making your own products at home, be careful. You don’t want to be smearing a bunch of bacteria and oxidized food from your fridge on your face now do you?

Do your own research and just remember not everything on the web is accurate when it comes to cosmetics or anything else for that matter. Always consider your source and what their interests are. If you have heard something skin care related you are a little iffy about please let me know!

 

Stocking Stuffer Beauty

 

We have less than a week until the big holiday is here and I love to give (and receive) fun beauty products. Here are a few favorites I have found this season:

Glittery nail colors are a great stocking stuffer and New Years Eve is just around the corner! Deborah Lippmann Holiday Nail Color in ‘Shake Your Groove Thing’ is too much fun.

I live for gloss of all kind and I love the Stila Lip Glaze. I found a set of 7 at Costco for $16.99! This is an awesome deal considering just one lip glaze will run you 22 bucks. Just be careful, Costco can get you. I went in for toilet paper and 300 dollars later I walked out the door. I know that beach umbrella will come in handy one of these days…