6 Tips for Winter Skin Care

winter-skin-care-tips1Even if taking care of your skin is a top priority, as the winter months approach, your delicate skin can get pretty roughed up. Colder temps mean less efficient blood circulation, which can leave your face feeling dry and looking dull. Here are some tips for small changes you can make in your every day routine that will leave your skin supple and looking fresh.

Hydrate. Hydration is important year round, but especially so during the wintertime, when the constant temperature changes from the outside chill to the warmth of indoors wreak havoc on your skin.

Lip service. Don’t forget about your lips—winter weather can quickly make lips feel dry and chapped. Re-apply your favorite gloss or moisturizing lipstick regularly to provide a protective barrier. Of course we have some favorites, like Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm and Suki Lip Repair Butter, which both protect against rough, dry lips. If you’re looking for a pop of color, try Afterglow’s Lip Love, which comes in six shades and is an ultra-moist lipstick.

Scrub. Exfoliation is great for winter skin—it removes dead, dull skin cells and allows your skin to absorb extra moisture. You don’t want to exfoliate too often, however; once to twice a week should do the trick without over-drying your skin. We love Exuberance Evolution and Trilogy Gentle Facial Exfoliant for your face, and Juice Beauty Green Apple Mousse for your bod.

Moisturize. Moisturizing is an important piece of your skin care routine all year, but in the wintertime, switch to a moisturizer with a rich oil (like avocado or olive oils), for an extra moisture boost. There are some great moisturizers in Beautorium’s Think Pink, Go Green program that are great for winter: Red Flower Icelandic Moonflower Moisturizing Body Lotion and Saaf Organic Super Hydrating Body Balm both have great moisturizing oils.

Temperature. Hot showers feel great when it’s cold, but they also do a great job at drying out your skin. Try knocking the temperature of your showers or baths down a few notches, and don’t soak or shower for too long.

Hands. It’s harder to keep hands moisturized; your skin is thinner there than on other parts of your body. Keep hands from getting dried and itchy with regular applications of your favorite moisturizer. To try: Dr. Hauschka Hand Cream, Trilogy Rose Hand Cream.

Aleigh Acerni

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Spotlight: Revolution Organics

Take just one look at Revolution Organics and you’ll never be able to think of organic makeup as ho-hum. From the chic, sleek packaging to the rich, bright colors, this isn’t your grandmother’s makeup—but we’re pretty sure she’ll love it as much as you will.

What we tried: Revolution Organics Beauty Balm (in blushed and bronzed), Revolution Organics All-Over Skin Crème, Revolution Organics Lip Gloss.

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First impressions: There’s no compromise with Revolution products. This is makeup with personality: the packaging is beautiful, the makeup feels luxurious, and each product has all of the feel-good ingredients you expect in organic makeup. Their skin care line is USDA certified organic, which means they are at least 95% certified organic.

What caught us by surprise: These products are true multi-taskers. We used the Beauty Balm on cheeks and lips (the bronzed shade in particular is great for a little flush that doesn’t look like it came from a tanning bed); the All-Over Skin Crème was popped straight into our purse and was handy for mornings when we forgot to put moisturizer on our legs and perfect for midday dryness in our hands; and the Lip Gloss easily doubles as blush in a pinch. Plus, they all left our skin feeling smooth, moisturized, and healthy.

Bonus: We love the Lip Gloss in every shade. We‘ve been wearing the deep red Liberty shade almost every day and every single time we wear it, we get compliments—from the cashier at the grocery store, to co-workers, to random people we don’t even know. When a lip gloss is fantastic enough to make people stop you on the street, you know you’ve found something amazing.

-Aleigh Acerni

Supporting Survivors: Gifts for Chemo Patients

breast-cancerIt’s difficult to know what to do when a friend is diagnosed with breast cancer, but a thoughtful gift is always a great option. Chemotherapy patients suffer many difficult reactions and sensitivities while they’re undergoing treatment—here are some natural products from Beautorium’s Think Pink, Go Green collection that are safe and gentle enough to help your favorite survivor deal with the uncomfortable side effects of chemo.

Side effect: Photosensitivity, dull skin. To combat dull, sensitive skin, we like Juice Beauty SPF 30 Mineral Light Moisturizer. With full-spectrum sun protection, vitamin antioxidants and essential nurtrients, it will help soothe and protect chemo-treated skin.

Side effect: Irritated, dry, sensitive skin. We’ve got a great line-up of moisturizers to ease the drying effects of chemotherapy, including Saaf Organic Eraser Body Oil, Saaf Organic Super Hydrating Body Balm, and Trilogy Nourishing Body Lotion, all recommended for damaged, sensitive, dry skin.

Side effect: Cracked lips. Our favorite multi-tasker, Trilogy Everything Balm, is a great healing option for cracked lips, but you can also use it all over for multi-purpose moisture.

Side effect: Radiation burns. With soothing calendula, both Exuberance She’s So Lovely Daily Moisturizer and Trilogy Aromatic Body Treatment Oil will help skin heal.

The Scoop: Beautorium Thinks Pink…and Green!

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And it’s not just for the month of October. Beginning today, and for the next three months, we’re uniting breast cancer research fundraising with education about the health benefits of natural and organic beauty products. From now until January 15, 25% of the proceeds from products under Beautorium’s Think Pink, Go Green cosmetics collection will go directly to Susan G. Komen for the Cure North Jersey.

We’ve got several brands involved, including Exuberance Beauty, Juice Beauty, Marina Cosmetics, Revolution Organics, Saaf, Sophyto, and Trilogy—a lineup of 35 natural and organic products that have been hand-picked from Beautorium’s top sellers. (If you’ve been meaning to try some of the great products we’ve mentioned lately, you’re in luck. Both Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil and Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizer are on the list.)

Beautorium’s partnership with Susan G. Komen North Jersey highlights the organizations’ mutual interest in promoting health awareness and education for women, and help generate awareness of the many ways natural and organic products contribute to a woman’s best health. In Beautorium’s products, you won’t find the many ingredients commonly found in commercial beauty products that are linked to cancer or other health issues—something breast cancer survivors often become uniquely aware of during their battles with the disease.

“I would like to thank Beautorium for raising awareness and funds for our organization from their Think Pink, Go Green Collection. Their support will help us to one day realize our goal and vision of a world without breast cancer,” said Deborah Q. Belfatto, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Susan G. Komen North Jersey.

“We are passionate about the fight against breast cancer and thank Susan G. Komen North Jersey for the opportunity to support their work,” said Beautorium founder Ann Francke. “We are hoping that our benefit campaign will be highly successful and enjoyed by all!”

-Aleigh Acerni

5 Trends for Fall Makeup

This week, we’ve got the scoop on what’s hot in makeup for fall. Summer’s glowing, sun-kissed shades are being replace with edgy, stark looks with a bright pop of color, including pale faces with heavily accented eyes or fire engine red lips—think statement makeup. There’s no room for hesitation this season!

DECO_eyeliner_MEDThe eyes have it. Fall is all about dramatic eyes, with pale skin and neutral color on the lips and cheeks. Enhance your eyes with these beautiful eyeliner pencils from Dr. Hauschka, and read on for more great ways to play up your peepers.

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Metallics. A great option for your lids this season, metallics are showing up everywhere, especially in bronze and gold, but also in colors like green and brown. They’re great for a dramatic evening look, although we’d stay away from dark shades during the workday. Afterglow has a beautiful silver shade, Lyric. Metallics also work well as highlighters for cheeks and lips.

Dr.H_Eyeshadow_Pallette_LRGEarth tones. They were all over the runway this fall, and for good reason—earthy colors are universally flattering and create a natural look. Go for eyeshadows in browns, greens, and beiges. We like Afterglow’s Ultra Matte shadow in cream, khaki and bark and the Dr. Hauschka Eye Shadow Palette in four shades of brown and grey.

Picture 2Berry shades. This one works for both eyes and lips—berry shades are a fall favorite, and this year is no exception. The spotlight is on purple this year, and you’ll be right on trend with Afterglow’s Mineral Eye Shadow in breathless or endless, two ultra-flattering shades of purple. For your lips, try Marina Cosmetics Hydrating Lip Gloss in seaberry, island wine or sandbar.

DECO_lipstick_MEDRuby lips. The other look we’re seeing everywhere from the runway to workday is a bold rep lip. We’re talking bright red, can’t-look-away lips, paired with pale skin and a very basic eye (think thin black eyeliner and mascara—that’s it). You really can’t go wrong with any of the bold shades from Dr. Hauschka, but our favorite shades are amoroso and mezzoforte.

-Aleigh Acerni

Organic Beauty Base-ics

2269245275_9bac1d0696When it comes to makeup and skin care products, there are three typical types of ingredients that serve as the foundation (or “base”) of each formula: water, oil, and minerals. We’ve broken it down for you here, so that you can choose type that is the perfect match for your complexion—or mix and match!

Water-Based Cosmetics

Water-based products are typically thinner formulas, most often used in mascaras and liquid eyeliners, but also common for liquid foundations, eyeshadow, and more. Since water is inexpensive, products with a base of water are often less expensive—but are often filled with synthetic ingredients and preservatives, since on its own, water doesn’t have added benefits for the skin. We like Suki Rich Pigment Mascara, which starts with a base of purified water, but then adds all kinds of goodness, like organic sunflower seed oil, beeswax, and evening primrose oil.

Mineral-Based Cosmetics

The least common of the three, mineral-based cosmetics are growing in popularity. Minerals are great for the skin, and can offer a tint or color (for eyeshadow, mineral foundation and concealer, etc.), as well as being a good base to mix with other ingredients. Many mineral-based cosmetics use only natural ingredients, making them a good choice for allergic, acne-prone or sensitive skin—and because of the purity of these minerals, the cosmetics are often a little more expensive than their water-based counterparts. We think they’re worth the price for the natural, glowing look they give your skin. In fact, we raved about one of our favorites, Afterglow Cosmetics, not long ago.

Oil-Based Cosmetics

Oil is the most ancient natural skin care: Ancient Egyptians pressed olives and used the oil as a way to soothe sunburned skin, and legend has it that the Queen of Sheba had an almond plantation just so she could use almond oil for her skin. Unlike water-based products, oil-based cosmetics lock in moisture and provide a barrier between your skin and the rest of the world. As an added benefit, oil-based cosmetics typically have fewer preservatives than water-based products—synthetic or otherwise, and are more gentle on your skin.

Some oil-based products we can’t get enough of: Trilogy Rosehip Oil is practically perfect in every way, for every skin type (and it’s found it almost every item in the entire Trilogy line), and Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream has 30 rose flowers in each tube. We also love Saaf Organic Complexion Boosting Serum—it’s packed with a variety of natural oils. (And if your complexion tends to be oily, never fear: oil attracts oil, which means the oil in a skin care product bonds with and dissolves the oil on your face…leaving your skin clear whether it’s dry, oily, or combination.)

Other Base-ics

An alternative to an oil, water, or mineral base is something that Juice Beauty has based their entire skin care line on—fruit juice! The company uses certified organic juice concentrates, which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, hydroxy acids and phytonutrients, which are pH balanced to use on even the most sensitive skin. We adore the Juice Beauty Oil-Free Moisturizer, which has organic apple, grape, pomegranate, aloe and cucumber juices; it makes our skin look delish.

-Aleigh Acerni

DIY Luxury: The at-home spa

spa-at-homeFall is here, and so is your hectic schedule: the kids have a different after-school activity every day of the week, the workday seems to extend as daylight hours get shorter, and the holidays are just around the corner. This time of year, we turn to comfort food, cozy sweaters—and maybe some extra pampering at our favorite spa. But you don’t have to spend the time (or the cash) to get some body and soul rejuvenation: here are some tips on how to get that spa glow at home.

Relax. Set the mood—get in a relaxing frame of mind with some candles and soft music for ambiance. Oh, and make sure the kids are in bed (or otherwise occupied), so you won’t be disturbed!

Soak. A few drops of bath oil can go a long way to soothe—just choose a scent that appeals to you. Dr. Hauschka Lavender Bath is a great choice for relaxation and stress relief, or try the Organic Sage Bath for a more clarifying, purifying soak. (Or try the entire line with the sampler.)

Scrub. A bath is the perfect time or some extra exfoliation. Use a loofah or body sponge to gently scrub your skin with your favorite shower gel (Pangea Organic makes several great ones to try), or try an exfoliating formula like Cattier’s Exfoliating Shower Gel.

Beauty treatments. While you soak, give your face and hair a little added attention. It’s the perfect time to pamper your tresses with some extra conditioning. We love the Suki Hair & Scalp Conditioning Oil—with 100% organic pressed fruit oils, it treats dry scale, dandruff, or eczema issues while stimulating hair growth and added shine and strength. It’s also a great time to try out a mask to give your face a clarifying and toning treatment. If you’re looking to brighten your complexion, try Suki Skin Care Intensive Brightening Masque, which is ideal for a variety of skin types, including uneven skin tone, sun damage, rosacea, and mature skin. With pharmaceutical grade antioxidants and vitamin C glucoside, it will help restore a more radiant complexion. If you’re battling an outbreak, try Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Clay Mask, which is formulated to refine pores, absorb excess oil and stimulate circulation. We’re also big fans of Pangea’s award-winning Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai and Goji Berry Facial Mask; it does everything from detoxify and deep-cleanse to prevent wrinkles, tone, and hydrate your skin.

Moisturize. When it’s time to get out of the tub, wrap yourself in a warm towel or robe, and smooth on a rich lotion or body oil while your skin is still slightly damp. We love Suki Delicate Hydrating Oil (you can also use it as massage oil or put a few drops in your bath), and Pangea’s Lavendar with Cardamom Rejuvenating Massage & Body Oil is another soothing option. Spend a little extra time on any spots that need added moisture, like elbows, knees and feet—you might even try a different formula, like Dr. Hauschka Rosemary Foot Balm or Suki Butter Cream Healing Salve to help seal in moisture.

With a little extra time and preparation, you’ll be ready to crawl into bed and sleep like a baby, or energized to take on the day—all of that relaxing will go a long way to easing your transition to the shorter days ahead. Now if you could just get started on your early holiday shopping…

-Aleigh Acerni

Spotlight: Afterglow Glow Kit (Light)

afterglow_glow_kit_LRGWe’ve tried mineral make-up before, from the specialty brands to the drugstore brands, so we were intrigued to do an Afterglow Cosmetics review; we took the Glow Kit for a test drive to see how it would compare. Afterglow Cosmetics founder Kristen Adams is allergic to (almost) everything, and therefore demands that her makeup be free from anything that could irritate sensitive skin, including bismuth oxychloride, which you can find in most other mineral makeup. (It’s also gluten free, carmine free, and of course free of parabens, petroleums, and synthetics.)

First impressions: This kit is full of stuff! It comes with two shades of foundation (use one or combine the two for a more customized match), a blush, translucent setting powder, a baby Kabuki brush, a concealer brush, application instructions, and a cosmetic bag to hold it all. The colors were flattering and surprisingly blendable, and we were happy with the amount of coverage we were able to get, whether we were hoping for just a little even-ing out for a Saturday of errand-running, or full-on coverage for a networking event.

What caught us by surprise: We were thrilled with the makeup brushes. We’ve been consistently disappointed with the brushes that have come with other mineral makeup kits we’ve tried in the past—one broke almost immediately, another left strands behind on our face (and made us wipe off most of the makeup we’d just applied while we tried to pluck them off)—so we were skeptical (but hopeful) that Afterglow would finally make a believer out of us.

After two weeks of daily use, we were seriously impressed. Afterglow’s brushes are vegan, professional-grade tools that are made of super soft taklon, a fine-grade nylon fiber that provides a smooth, even finish, and since it doesn’t have cuticles like natural hair, it’s less absorbent and doesn’t trap makeup. The petite Kabuki brush was ideal for applying foundation, blush, and translucent powder (even though it’s small, it did a better job than the full-sized brush we’d been using before), and the Afterglow Concealer Brush with the long, tapered handle, got the job done and was fun to use.

Extras: Afterglow Cosmetics is dedicated to fighting breast cancer, and donates a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of each Afterglow Organic Glow Bronzer to aid in research. We can see why Afterglow makeup has become one of the few American brands to be a must-have in France.

-Aleigh Acerni

Good Hair Day: Let Organic Go to Your Head

Beach HairWe’ve mentioned the benefits of “greening” your beauty routine before, but it’s worth a reminder—just spend a few minutes poking around on the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database and you’ll get an eye-opening glance at what you’re putting on your body.

Why organic is good for your locks
Since scalp and hair, like your skin, easily absorb the ingredients in your hair care products, it’s important to pay attention to what’s in them: Common synthetic ingredients in shampoos and conditioners like sodium lauryl sulfates and propylene glycol (what you would otherwise call antifreeze) can dry out your scalp, irritate oil glands, and damage hair follicles. Contrast this with true organic hair products, which have all of the benefits of organic beauty and skin products—their natural ingredients make them a good choice for sensitive, allergic skin, they’re not loaded with chemical or synthetic substances that could potentially cause health issues, they’re effective, and all of that good-for-you stuff they’re made of has the added bonus of smelling great.

Our faves
John Masters Organics. We love the entire line of John Masters Organics products for their gentle scents and fair-trade ingredients. The Lavender Rosemary Shampoo is good for all hair types, and has coconut, periwinkle, sage, chamomile, and willow bark (in addition to lavender and rosemary). The lavender works to slow hair loss, the rosemary stimulates hair growth while adding volume and shine, and the willow bark is a natural exfoliator. For dry hair, the Evening Primrose Shampoo is a good option—it contains evening primrose and rose geranium for added moisture and strength, ylang ylang to control oiliness, and cedarwood, which helps to combat eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff. If you need a little extra help smoothing and detangling, try the John Masters Organic Detangler, a lightweight conditioner with natural vegetable oils, wheat protein to eliminate split ends, and lemon.

Dr. Hauschka. Dr. Hauschka’s Nasturtium & Lemon Shampoo is a good introduction to this line of hair care products; the gentle formula is best for normal to oily hair, and includes nasturtium, neem, and watercress extracts to keep your hair from getting greasy. If your tresses are on the drier side, try Dr. Hauschka’s Jojoba & Marsh Mallow Conditioner, with marsh mallow and larch to soften and detangle, macadamia nut and jojoba oils to moisturize, and apple cider vinegar for shine.

Suki. Suki Daily Shampoo is a vegan formula, and a good choice for any type of hair—it’s effective, but gentle enough to use every day. Laded with jojoba, yerba protein and hyaluronic acid, it’ll leave your hair shinier, fuller, and smoother.

When making the switch from synthetic to organic hair care products, you’ll probably have a few days of transition (meaning your hair may be oilier or drier than usual), while your scalp adjusts. This is natural—your scalp is getting over the effects of all those drying chemicals! Stick with the organic products for a few days, and you’ll soon start to see healthier, shinier hair, and eventually, less breakage and hair loss. If you decide to share your secret to beautiful tresses when the compliments start to pour in, that’s up to you!

-Aleigh Acerni

Glow Natural: Extend Your Sun-Kissed Look Into Fall

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We can hardly believe it, but the last of the summer’s tomatoes will soon be eaten, and there’s less than a month of summer left. Before long, it will be time to pull out your sweaters and boots (and hats and gloves and scarves)—but don’t mourn the loss of your summertime glow just yet! We’ve come up with some ways to extend your summery look into fall and beyond, and you don’t have to go near a tanning bed. Ease your way into fall without risking melanoma; test out some of our strategies for a subtle, sun-kissed look that will bring compliments in any season.

Bronzer. A bronzer can help you get a healthy-looking glow—without the damage that comes with a suntan. Choose one that is a little darker than your natural complexion, and for powdered bronzers (Afterglow and Dr. Hauschka make great ones), apply subtly on the areas where sunlight naturally hits your face—forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. If you prefer an all-over tint, try mixing Dr. Hauschka’s Translucent Bronze Concentrate with your everyday moisturizer (just put a little dab of both on the back of your hand and mix), for an even subtler look.

Makeup. Think warm, golden tones for your cheeks and eyelids. Dr. Hauschka’s Rouge Powder in Warm Terracotta is a great option for cheeks, and the Mineral Eye Shadow by Afterglow in Sage is the perfect shade for a look that’s reminiscent of the beach but still sophisticated.

Hair. Olive oil is great for your skin, and you can find it in a ton of natural and organic beauty products, but it’s also great for your hair. You can use it as a deep conditioning treatment every so often, but it can also serve as a natural way to lighten your hair. Here’s how: Comb a generous amount of olive oil through your hair (it doesn’t need to be the high grade, expensive stuff), then pick a sunny spot, slather on some sunscreen, and let the sun work its magic on your locks for about an hour. Rinse out the olive oil for shiny hair and natural highlights! Olive oil is gentle enough to be used on your hair a few days a week, until you get the results you’re after. And, for an extra just-back-from-a-week-at-the-beach look, use John Masters Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender.

Body. Mixing bronzer with moisturizer doesn’t just have to be for your face—add a little bit of a powdery bronzer to your favorite body lotion, and voila! Instant, completely customizable, subtle self-tanner. Your skin will glow, and no one will know how you pulled it off without chemicals or sun-worship.

-Aleigh Acerni