Do It Yourself Facials: Spa Relaxation at Home

Facials are not only great for your skin, they can also reduce stress. While getting a professional facial can be expensive, you don’t need to splurge at the spa for a relaxing treatment to moisturize and revitalize your skin. It’s actually quite easy to give yourself a facial at home. All you need is about 30 minutes and a few basic skin care essentials.

A Good Cleanser
The first step in any facial is to cleanse the skin, so you’ll need a good face wash to get started. Finding the cleanser that works best for you is all about knowing your skin type.

If you have dry skin look for cleansers with added moisture, like Dr.Hauschka’s Cleansing Milk face wash. Or, if your skin is sensitive, try a mild face wash, such as Welada’s Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion. For normal skin types, a gentle all purpose cleanser, like the Vitalizing Cleanser by Living Nature, will leave your skin healthy and well nourished.

A Gentle Exfoliate
Exfoliators help to remove dead skin cells which allows your moisturizer to better penetrate your skin. However, be on the lookout for exfoliators with harsh chemicals, as they can damage your living skin cells. Instead, try an exfoliator like Pangea Organics Facial Scrub. It’s good for all skin types, and promises to leave your face looking radiant. Simply rub on the exfoliator in a circular motion, and be sure to rinse well.

A Soothing Facial Mask
Avoiding your eyes and mouth, cover your face with the facial mask and relax for 10 – 20 minutes, depending on the directions on the product. Facial masks are a great way to help hydrate your skin and promote a healthy complexion.

A mask like Primavera Revitalizing Antioxidant Mask, uses natural ingredients to repair tissue and prevent the signs of aging for most skin types. However, like cleansers, it is important to find the mask that best suits your skin type.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Moisturizer should be applied immediately after the mask to replenish your skin with natural oils that may have been washed away. A good moisturizer will leave your skin feeling soft and help to protect it from environmental damage.

A non greasy cream that will lock-in moisture, like Qunice Day Cream by Dr. Hauschka, will revitalize normal to dry skin. However, those with sensitive skin should look for lightweight organic moisturizers, such as Weleda’s Calendula Facial Cream, which nurtures the skin while maintaining its essential moisture balance.

Get Started
Now that you know exactly what you need to give yourself a nourishing facial at home, go for it! Relax, de-stress, and revitalize your skin.

Daily Sun Protection Creams and Lotions – All Natural Solutions!

Sunscreen isn’t just for summer. If you want to preserve your complexion, prevent skin damage and retain a youthful glow, the number one thing to avoid is overexposure from the sun. And even just a little bit of daily exposure adds up. There are plenty of conventional moisturizer/sunscreen combos out there. But those, of course, shield your face and neck with chemicals. Many organic and natural alternatives, although effective, are hard to rub in and often leave skin with a ghostly white tint. Certainly okay for a day at the beach, but they’re not an ideal everyday solution. Luckily there are a few products out there that make every day sun protection simple.

My absolute favorite sunscreen is Santaverde Aloe Vera Sunscreen Emulsion SPF 18. Sure it’s wonderful when you’re going to be spending the whole day outside. But it also works just as beautifully the rest of the time too. This is because the ultra light formula absorbs so incredibly fast. And maybe even more importantly, it doesn’t leave any filmy or greasy residue. This makes it an ideal pre-makeup product because your blush, concealer and any other cosmetic won’t slide right off your skin. The mineral based, organic formula provides superior sun protection while simultaneously healing and nourishing your skin. A natural anti-aging complex blended from Macadamia oil, Kukuinut oil and White Lily helps skin retain moisture while naturally protecting cells. Like all of Santaverde’s amazing products the sunscreen has an Aloe Vera base, which provides gentle moisture while helping the cells regenerate. The result is skin that stays smooth, healthy and glowing.

Another great option that combines a daily moisturizer with the protective power of an SPF is the Living Nature’s Daily Defence SPF 15. I like that it’s lightweight, which makes it an easy addition to a daily routine. The moisturizing formula shields skin with natural Zinc Oxide and hydrates with Harakeke and Manuka Honey (both plants native to New Zealand).

If you know you’re going to be in the sun for only a few brief moments (from the house to the car and from the car to the office) a product like the Dr. Alkaitis Organic Day Crème uses natural sun filters to protect skin. The light formula also hydrates and rejuvenates skin. Other multitasking options are the Living Nature Tinted Moisturizer and the Suki Tinted Active Moisturizer because along with 100% pure crushed minerals, they contain natural sunscreens and anti-aging ingredients. With just one product you even skin tone, hide flaws, protect skin, prevent sun damage, soften and strengthen the skin. So in the morning when you only have approximately two minutes in front of the mirror, you know you’ve pretty much tackled everything when you smooth it on.

Cosmetics Tips – Selecting & Storing Preservative Free Cosmetics

I’m always going on and on about how important it is to use products that are free of synthetic ingredients-including preservatives. Of course this inevitably leads to the question about the shelf life of organic goods. All products-whether they’re organic or not-will eventually become contaminated with molds, fungi, bacteria and other nasty little things you don’t want swimming in your face cream. For almost 100 years conventional products have used parabens-the most common type of preservative-to protect cosmetics, medicine and even some food products.

It was only recently that people began to question the safety of these unnatural ingredients. A number of studies were performed with alarming results. Parabens may effect estrogen levels and contribute to breast cancer. And even if these particular things weren’t an issue, years of soaking up those chemicals still can’t be good for you. Thus the need for natural methods of preserving became more important than ever.

Organic companies use a safe and pure method of preservation utilizing antioxidants and plant based preservative systems. For example benzyl alcohol-a nature derivative of benzoin gum-is used in the Suzanne aux Bains Calming Body Wash to help battle bacteria and keep the organic formula fresh while it sits in your shower. While most conventional body and skincare products have a very long shelf life of three years or more, organic options can’t sit around as long. Most items will stay fresh after you open them between one and two years.

A couple perfect examples are Dr. Alkaitis and Sophtyo products. Dr. Alkaitis, which uses only raw plant ingredients in their formulas, have a recommended one-year shelf life. And Sophyto stays good unopened for up to three years. Once opened you can keep them around for up to 18 months. Dr.Hauschka products are good from six to nine months after they’ve been opened. Before opening they will remain fresh for at least two and a half years. At Saffron Rouge we make sure the products are fresh and will never send you ones that have been sitting around for years.

You can also help preserve items by keeping your skincare, fragrance and makeup products in a cool dry place and out of sunlight. Obviously the products that live in your shower can’t stay dry, but make sure to keep them closed to help keep them as fresh as possible. And how can you tell when a product has gone bad? Usually the smell will be your first clue. If it smells a little different than usual-and not in a good way-it’s a sign that you need to toss it. Other things to look for are discoloration and a change in the formula’s texture.

Concealed Weapons

Not all concealers are alike. In fact, even once you’ve weeded out the not-so-natural options you still have, well more options. You have to figure out what formula you want to use and even then you’re not done. There’s the task of choosing a shade. After all, not all concealers are alike. And obviously not every shade will work for everyone. To pick your shade, choose one that’s one or two shades lighter than your foundation. If your skin looks ashy when wearing the concealer, it’s too light. However, if it doesn’t brighten the area it’s too dark. It also may be smart to keep two shades in your beauty kit for working with extremely dark circles or on days your skin is more tanned than usual. It also may be necessary to blend two shades together to get the perfect color.

When it comes to choosing a formula, it can all come down to simple preference. However, if you don’t have a preference (or a clue), here are a few simple guidelines. If under eye circles are your main complaint, try using a liquid concealer. Suki’s Liquid Formula Concealer is a great option. And Dr.Hauschka’s Concealer Pen is easy to apply. The formula is thinner than a cream or stick, so it won’t settle into the lines of your eyes as much. Also, since you’ll be covering a larger area, you want the end result to look as natural as possible. To use it, apply several small dots under your eyes. Then use your fingers or a brush to lightly tap the color in. If you rub to harshly, the color will just smear away and off the area you’re trying to conceal.

The secret to using any type of concealer anywhere on your face is blending. So make sure to blend the outer edges of the concealer area well. If you can’t seem to master blending, try using the Suki Eye Shadow/Concealer Brush to help you out. It’s soft and flat and will help tap in the color. After one layer has been finished, check to see if you need another. It’s better to add a few sheer layers rather than one thick, noticeable layer. After you’ve tackled your eyes you can use the liquid to help mask red areas around your nose, mouth, or anywhere else as well. Finish with a sheer powder to set the concealer. Use a very small amount, as too much will settle into the lines, making you look older.

Cream concealers are wonderful at hiding blemishes. It just takes a little practice. Try the Dr.Hauschka Pure Care Coverstick or NVEY Eco’s Organic Erase Corrective Makeup. For best results, you’ll also need a firm, thin, pointed concealer brush like the one from Alima Pure. After all, the trick to hiding acne spots is dotting the concealer only on the spot. And even if you have tiny, steady hands this can be difficult. Get a small amount of the cream on the end of the brush and dot it into the center of the blemish. Then slowly blend it outward towards the outer edge of the blemish. A second layer may be needed. Then finish with a light dusting of powder to set the concealer.