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Save or Splurge on the Best Exfoliators

You are a grown woman, which means an exfoliator needs to be part of your beauty regime. Your face cannot afford to be without one! Your skin cells are always regenerating, about every 28-31 days if you’re younger and a little bit longer if you’re, ahem, a bit more mature. Without help to slough off and remove these dead skin cells, they can lead to clogged pores and dull skin — and prevent your skincare products from being effective.

Whether you are dealing with adult acne or fine lines, sunspots or dull skin, all of the skincare products you use — serums, lotions, foundations and more — will work better when you have exfoliated skin. Here are three options I’m loving at every price range.Best Exfoliator to Splurge on: Lancer Polish

Splurge: The luxury face exfoliator

I recently tried The Lancer Method three-part system, which includes an exfoliator, gentle cleanser and moisturizer. My favorite is the exfoliator, by far. The system has you exfoliate before you cleanse, an interesting switch of steps but one that is designed to better prepare your skin for cleansing.

The exfoliating Polish is pretty gritty, which I love. It combines a self-warming element to make the exfoliation more effective, along with pure minerals and pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes to remove surface debris and dull, dry skin cells. Plus, it has lavender in it, which makes it divine to use before bed. It is not cheap, but with fans like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian looking to get that “Lancer glow,” it might be a worthwhile skin treat. (Psst! If you’re on the fence, buy it through Sephora so you can return it if it’s not a great fit for your skin.)

Boot Botanics

Save: The drugstore face exfoliator

Despite my love of Lancer, you don’t have to spend a bundle to to keep your skin exfoliated. Head to your nearest Target beauty section or Ulta store to pick up one of my drugstore faves: the Boots Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish Age Defense. For $13, you get a powerful polish made of superfine pumice particles that can be used once a week to buff off those dead skin cells. The polish also combines the antioxidant power of ginkgo extract and the soothing moisture of shea butter to leave your skin looking fresh and smooth. This scrub is also pretty gritty, so if you have sensitive skin, you might want to pass.

Baking soda exfoliator

DIY: Make your own face exfoliator

Want an even simpler and more affordable exfoliator that will still slough off that dead surface skin? Head to the kitchen and grab your baking soda. Mix a teaspoon or so with some water or your favorite creamy cleanser to make a paste and massage onto your skin. The baking soda is super fine so it won’t irritate your skin, and since you can mix it with water or a cleanser, and adjust the amount you add, it’s easy to customize the formula to fit your skin.

No more excuses! Pick your perfect exfoliator and get to sloughing!
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Oh, summer — full of too much sun, too many late nights, and too many margaritas. While we’re already missing our summer fun, we’re certainly not loving the sun spots and dull, dehydrated skin it left behind. Get your skin back in shape with these pads, peels and masks designed to deal with your post-summer skin woes.

Dealing with Post-Summer Skin

Whether you’re dealing with discoloration or dehydration, rough patches or dullness, these at-home peels and masks can help to rejuvenate your skin to reveal brighter, clearer, smoother skin. Let’s be honest: These products aren’t magic and don’t work overnight. But integrate them into your skincare routine now and you’ll see start to see major skin improvements within a month.

Skincare Peels and Pads

At-home skin peel pads

I haven’t ventured into the world of professional peels (yet). You know the ones where you have to hide your face for a week afterwards and that make layers of skin peel off your face to reveal baby-butt smooth skin underneath? While I get up the nerve to try one of those, I’ve been happy to start small with these gentler daily peels that slowly, but steadily, help to reveal brighter, clearer skin. If you’re new to peels, start with the new L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Peel Pads. Under $20 and easy to find at Target, Walgreens or Ulta, these pre-soaked pads rely on 10% glycolic complex to encourage cell turnover and a micro-texturized surface to gently exfoliate your skin while you swipe. No rinsing. No measuring. No waiting. Just swipe these one-step pads before bed and see clearer, smoother skin in a month.

Another favorite drugstore find is the Olay ProX Nightly Purifying Micro Peel. I had seen my favorite beauty magazines and websites rave about this OTC peel and it’s lived up to the hype. Free of fragrance, oil and dye, this peel uses a trio acids — glycolic, citric and lactic — and vitamin B to improve your skin in just five days. The formula is lightweight, feels great on the skin, and as an added bonus, it comes packaged in a smart bottle — when you unscrew the top, the ingenious built-in dropper automatically fills with the perfect amount of product you need. You have no excuse not to put it on before bed… even when you’re exhausted from adulting.

I also tried out a sample of the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel Pads. One of the things I like about these pads is that they are available in five strengths: Alpha Beta® Ultra Gentle, Universal (same Original Formula), Extra Strength, Medi-Spa, and Ferulic and Retinol Wrinkle Recovery (click here to see the difference and find the best one for your skin type). The pads come packaged with two separate pads. The Step 1 Pad is soaked with the exfoliating acids — wipe it over your face until the pad feels dry. Then open the second pad and apply. This Step 2 Pad controls the acid activity and delivers anti-aging additives. My skin is pretty resilient, so while the Ultra Gentle pads were a bit too mellow for me, I’m looking forward to upgrading to the Medi-Spa, and Ferulic and Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Pads next time.

Origin Plantscription Youth Sheet Mask

Post-summer skin masks

I love a good facial mask. There’s something about putting on a mask that says, “I’m taking time for me.” I’ve slathered on a number of different masks this month, but here are three that really stuck out. The First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Intensive Peel truly lives up to its name. It looks and feels like a mask but does alllll the work of a peel. The directions say to “Leave on for one to five minutes as tolerated” and let me tell you – you will feel this one working. The multi-acid peel uses a combination of three powerful exfoliators — lactic acid, salicylic acid and mucor miehei extract — to reveal brighter, smoother skin. Be sure to do a patch test if you have extra sensitive skin and follow this mask up with a soothing and hydrating oil or night cream.

Another favorite was the Bliss Mask a-‘Peel’ Radiance Revealing Rubberizing Mask — try to say that three times fast! Available in a three-pack, you mix the powder with three tablespoons of water to create a glue-like paste. Apply it quickly to your face in a thick, but even layer, and then wait 20 minutes. Vitamin C and antioxidants fight free-radicals to leave skin brighter, while seaweed and Bilberry extract detoxify and calm the skin. When time is up, you get to relive that kindergarten sensation of peeling Elmer’s glue off your hands! The mask comes off in long, thick strips that I’d put in the trash instead of down the drain. Rinse off any remaining mask and revel in your newfound radiance.

Finally, my intro to sheet masks was the Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Sheet Mask. While this mask definitely won the award for “Most Likely to Scare the Children” there’s something about a mask that requires that you lay down and relax that provide benefits beyond the skin. Designed to deal with dryness, dullness and fine lines, this oil-infused mask combines raspberry oil, rosehip oil and tamanu oil, along with the Plantscription Collection’s key ingredient, anogeissus, to give you youthful, moisturized skin — and 10 minutes of downtime.

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Apothederm Acne Skincare

Summer is supposed to be the time for carefree skincare — sunscreen (always), a tinted moisturizer, and a little lip gloss, right? But maybe, like me, you’ve been a little too carefree this summer. Summer travels have thrown off my usual skincare routine — not as much exfoliating and treating like I usually do, and too much dairy (I’m looking at you Paris cheeses and summer ice cream cones) like I normally try to avoid to keep my skin happy. The result? A complexion that I need to send back to skincare school to solve some of these breakout problems.

Apothederm Acne Clarifying Skincare

Luckily, this package arrived on my doorstep days after I returned home from my summer travels: Apothederm Acne Clarifying System. The three-piece skincare system includes a cleanser, toner, and treatment lotion. Like all of Apothederm’s products, their acne line includes their SmartPeptide® biotechnology,  a unique combination of peptides that work together to deal with fine lines, a loss of fullness, rough texture, and other signs of aging.

The Apothederm Acne Clarifying System, step-by-step

The Brightening Cleanser is super gentle, but is packed with malic acid to loosen dead skin cells and help with hyper-pigmentation, as well as vitamin C, which helps hydrate and brighten the skin. I love that it thoroughly cleanses my skin without making it feel stripped or dry.

Back to School Skin Routines You Can Use

I’m usually not much a toner person, but when I use the Clarifying Toner, I do notice that it gets off those last traces of makeup and dirt from my face. Plus, it’s full of good stuff like green tea, aloe, cucumber, and chamomile to soothe and nourish my parched summer skin.

Last, but not least, is the Acne Clarifying Treatment, which may be my favorite. It’s designed to both eliminate breakouts and minimize pores — yes, please! It only has one percent salicylic acid, which helps to keep breakouts at bay without causing excessive drying. I love that the lotion is lightweight and absorbs quickly, making it perfect for warm weather.

Unlike some other acne systems which are designed for teen skin, the Apothederm Acne Clarifying System is perfect for adult acne — gentle yet effective and packed with other good-for-your-skin ingredients to help you battle blemishes and signs of aging.

So while you’re starting dig out those backpack from the back of the closet and psych yourself up for packing a zillion lunches in the coming months, be sure to take some time to get your skincare habits back in a good routine, too. You can learn more about Apothederm’s Acne, Brightening and Anti-Aging and Body products at Apothederm.com.

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Enter to win from Apothederm

You can win your very own Apothederm Acne Clarifying System and tons of other amazing prizes for kicking off  your school year in our Savvy Sassy School Days Giveaway.

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Is your skin sending out an S.O.S? Is it ready for a little boost before summer? We’ve been testing out the latest anti-aging products to deal with all your post-spring skin woes.

Skin S.O.S. Anti-Aging Skincare

Problem: Tired, dull skin

The Best Anti-Aging Beauty Products

Solution: Temple Spa Skin Truffle

Claims: Revives tired, dull skin, protects from age spots, and increases radiance for even the driest winter skin

Our take: I admit — I laughed when I first saw this product. As the box explains, this cream is made with “diamond powder, gold, silk, black truffles, champagne, purifying strawberries, and lush cocoa butter” to which I thought, Well, why not just add a crushed up Tiffany and Co. box, some fairy dust, and one perfect Louboutin? Yes, all those ingredients sounded luxurious and delicious, but did they really do anything? Turns out, yes. I used this anti-aging cream as a night cream, waking up to gloriously glowing skin… before I read the directions more carefully and found out they recommend it as a day cream when you want that extra special skin. Luckily, my mistake means that you can safely use this cream anytime — day or night — for softer, healthier, glow-ier skin.

Problem: Dark circles and puffiness

Anti-Aging Beauty Products: What We Love... and What We Don't

Solution: First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy AM Gel Cream

Claims: “A fast-absorbing gel-cream that seamlessly melts into skin to hydrate, firm and revitalize the entire orbital eye area, while combating puffiness and dark circles for a youthful, bright-eyed appearance.”

Our take: I’ve never been loyal to an anti-aging eye cream for very long, but I’ve been happily going steady with this AM eye cream for the last month. I think morning eye creams have a taller order than their nighttime counterparts — they need to provide benefits without interfering with my makeup. This one by First Aid Beauty fits the bill. It is lightweight, yet moisturizing, and helps my crow’s feet look smoother (thanks to its red algae extract) and decreases puffiness (thanks to albizia julibrissin bark extract). Best of all, it doesn’t cause my makeup to pill or disappear before noon. It doesn’t have light-reflecting elements like some eye creams do, which I don’t miss, but some might want for adding extra brightness.

Problem: Dry, aging skin

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore

Solution: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore

Claim: “Intensive moisturizer specifically formulated with the only proven ratio of natural lipids to help restore the external skin barrier and support skin’s natural repair functions… After continued usage, skin’s barrier is reinforced to reduce the visible signs of accelerated aging and support skin’s natural self-repair.”

Our take: If spring winds and dry air have your skin screaming for moisture, you’ll want to pick up this super punch of moisture from SkinCeuticals. A quick science lesson: your skin has lipids like ceramides, natural cholesterol, and fatty acids that protect your skin and help it repair itself. You start to make less of these as you age, leading to wrinkles, dryness, and a loss of fullness. According to the brand, this cream is “the first cholesterol-dominant corrective skincare product available to consumers” that is formulated with a proven ratio of lipids to help restore your skin’s barrier and help it self-repair. It’s like superhero for your skin sending key plumping and moisturizing ingredients into your skin while creating a protective exterior barrier to keep the bad guys out. Not quite as thick as a balm, but thicker than a regular cream, I’ve been loving this rich moisturizer at night. As moisturizing as it is, it sinks into my skin in minutes leaving me moisturized without any greasiness. And I swear I see added plumpness in my skin in the morning. It also doesn’t hurt that the cream has the slightest scent of lavender helping me to get more of those skin-friendly zzzzz’s.


Problem: First signs of aging

Perricone MD PRE:EMPT

Solution: Perricone M.D. Pre:Empt Series

Claim: A four-piece series designed to preempt and correct the first visible signs of aging by activating antioxidants to fight the free radicals, which can cause fine lines, noticeable pores and dark circles.

Our take: Confession: I am not in my 20’s, so part of me wants to play a tiny violin for the skincare woes of this age group. But here’s the thing about skincare: sometimes you realize that it’s just too late (wrinkles! sunspots!) and  that you should have been taking better care of your skin sooner. So while I’m not in my 20’s anymore, I can think back to my skincare habits of those days and realize I wish I had been doing more then to prevent the issues, I’m trying to reverse now. Enter Perricone MD’s new PRE:EMPT Series. This 4-piece collection includes a pore-refining toner, antioxidant serum, brightening eye cream, and oil-free hydrating cream that are designed not to correct and repair, but to preempt the signs of aging. As we get older, our skin is bombarded with free radicals that cause damage and stress to the skin. The PRE:EMPT line works to battle those free radicals with a unique antioxidant cocktail called the NRF2 Antioxidant Support Complex to keep our skin youthful. While this series is designed for women in their 20’s, it can also be used for anyone who has great skin and wants to keep it that way. I’ve been trying out the collection for the last two weeks and have to say that it’s treated my 30-something skin just fine. My favorite might be the Skin Perfecting Serum since it has the highest concentration of the antioxidant blend plus a daily Vitamin C boost. Though I’ve also been impressed with the ability of the oil-free hydrating cream to keep my skin soft without being greasy. I’m usually not a toner person, but I’m also excited to see what regular use of the toner does for my skin. Pore refining, clarifying and exfoliating – yes please!

Perricone OVM Serum

Perricone MD also just released a brand new anti-aging product for those of us a bit north of our 20’s — the OVM Serum. Perricone calls it a “dermatologist-grade night treatment to deliver instant firming benefits while imparting refine radiance.” The serum has Vitamins C and E and — stay with me here — eggshell membrane, which is able to provide the wrinkle-fighting capabilities of retinols without the irritation. Sign. Me. Up. So far, I’ve seen firmer skin in the morning and tighter pores. I’m excited to see what long-term use benefits it will bring! According to the brand’s own studies, 84-86% of users saw increases in firmness, radiance and plumpness and feedback on sites like Sephora make it worth a try.

 

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Find Your Best Facial Cleansing Brush

Do you use a cleansing brush to clean your skin? Many of these devices have been found to be up to six times more effective at getting dirt, grime and makeup off your skin than just using your hands. Plus, they make every face washing feel oh-so spa-like. Here are our top three picks to consider.Clarisonic Mia 2 Facial Cleansing Brush

Clarisonic Mia 2

One of the most popular cleansing brush producers on the market, Clarisonic brushes use oscillating micro-movement (300 per second!) to vibrate gunk out of your pores a whopping six times better than your hands. Their Mia 2 is waterproof and rechargeable, has two speeds for everyday cleaning and super-sensitive skin. It comes with their Sensitive Brush Head, a charger and a travel case.

Their latest value set — the Mia 2 Garden Party Collection — comes with a Mia 2 in three spring-inspired colors, as well as a complimentary second brush head, the Radiance Brush Head, design to tackle dark spots. It also includes a full-sized Sonic Radiance Skin Renewing Peel Wash for an even brighter complexion this spring. I love how easy the Mia 2 is to use at the sink or in the shower and how much cleaner my skin seems, without feeling scrubbed.

Pros: Easy to use, cord-free, cute colors, affordable // Cons: Replacing brush heads (suggested every 3 months)Panasonic Micro-Foaming Facial Cleansing Brush

Panasonic Micro-Foaming Cleansing Device

While you may know Panasonic for their TVs and sound systems, their new multi-tasking Micro-Foaming Facial Cleansing Device has three facial cleaning functions in one compact device. If you’re a fan of the double-cleaning method, you’ll love this brush. First, it has a heated plate on the bottom with two heat levels to choose from. Rub on your favorite cleansing cream oil or lotion and glide the warmed plate over your face to dissolve your makeup and open up your pores. This might be my favorite step and something that separates this brush from the others, giving you a truly relaxing, spa-like experience.

Then switch to the other side of the device which comes with two heads to use — a Japanese-Style Soft Brush and Pore-Targeting Silicone Brush. Add your favorite cleanser to the compartment with a bit of water and the brush moves up and down 850 times per minute to create a luxurious cleansing foam that gently cleans your skin. This brush is whisper soft and is designed to barely kiss your skin as it cleans. If you have problem areas, you can switch to the silicone bristle Pore-Targeting brush for extra deep cleaning around the nose and chin. More time-intensive? Yes. But isn’t your face worth it?

Pros: Multi-function cleansing brush, unique spa-like experience at home made simple // Cons: Price, might be too time-intensive for some, don’t get the scrubbing sensation some may likeForeo Luna 2 Facial Cleansing Brush

Foreo Luna 2

This cleansing brush is quite different from the others. The Foreo Luna 2 is more like a cleansing mitt than a brush exactly. The silicone shell comes in four different versions — normal, oily, sensitive and combo skin — with the difference in the silicone touch points. For the normal skin device, the touch points are smaller, while in the device for combination skin there are bigger, more rounded touch points. The oily skin device has touch points that are rectangular, as this helps get excess dirt and oil out more efficiently. The brush also offers two treatment sides — a cleansing side and an anti-aging treatment side, which uses ultrasonic vibrations to help improve the absorption of your favorite anti-aging serums and creams.

Foreo Play

Also, just out this April, Foreo launched their LUNA play, an uber-portable brush that will easily fit in your makeup bag for clean skin when you travel and, get this, costs around $40! Plus, its petite size is downright cute and means it takes up less space on your bathroom counter. I love that the silicone heads are resistant to bacteria, which keeps the whole device cleaner and that there are no heads to replace.

Pros: More hygienic than other brushes, no heads to replace, variety of sizes to choose from // Cons: Some may not like the sensation of silicone tips vs. a brush head

 

What’s your favorite facial cleansing brush?
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As a parent of a new baby, one of your biggest concerns is caring for them in the best way possible. The baby market is a flood of information and products, which can be a bit daunting to new parents — especially when it comes to using products that will go directly on your newborn’s skin. From bathing to lotion to sunscreen, you want to know that everything that comes in contact with that sweet baby skin is safe and gentle.

Newborn Essentials Kit from Baby Pibu

Baby Pibu is an organic newborn skincare line that takes into consideration the importance of taking care of your newborn from head to toe with direct input from an expert. What better way to ensure that you are getting the best newborn skincare than from a dermatologist who is a mom herself?

Newborn Skincare Must-Haves
One-stop newborn skincare shop

Dr. Amy Kim, a board certified surgical dermatologist, created Baby Pibu’s Newborn Essentials Skincare Kit as an easy way to provide parents with the comfort that they are using safe and gentle products on their baby’s skin. Rather than choosing a product here or a product there for Baby’s skincare needs, she wanted parents to be able to get everything they needed for their new addition in one convenient place.

What Sunscreens are Safe for Newborns?

The kit contains 10 of Baby Pibu’s top skin care products, including the Moms on Call endorsed Intensive Bottom Relief. Everything from shampoo to eczema care, the Newborn Essentials Skincare Kit has it all.

BabyPibu9

Well coordinated

One of our favorite things about the Baby Pibu Newborn Essentials Skincare Kit is that it is designed to be color coded. Each kit contains a super helpful, and easy to read, set of Doctor Instructions. Each care card conveniently coordinates to a product in the kit. Simply match the color of the instructions to one of the products of the same color and you are easily able to identify what product suits your newborn’s skincare needs. Genius! Nothing is nicer as a new (and tired) parent than being able to quickly access information on care that your little one might need.

BabyPibu8

Au natural

When it comes to your newborn’s skin, natural is the way to go. Baby Pibu has taken great care to make sure that their products are free of all those icky chemicals and potential allergens. Each products is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehydes, peanuts, dairy, soy, and any fragrance or dyes.

Baby Pibu has even put their products through additional testing so that they can ensure that even with the most sensitive of newborn’s skin their products aren’t irritating, and that their natural sunscreen is safe even in the harshest of suns rays.

Give the gift of skincare

The Newborn Essentials Skincare Kit is packaged as the perfect gift. Whether planning for a shower or celebrating the arrival of a new bundle of joy, any new parent will appreciate the luxury of this wonderfully designed and convenient kit. Parents get the chance to give each product Baby Pibu product a test run. Then, as Baby grows, order their favorites in larger sizes as they determine their newborn’s skincare needs. Gaining convenience and confidence is the best kind of gift any new parent can receive!

BabyPibu7

What type of special skincare does your newborn need?
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Over the years, I have come to realize that skincare is a real passion of mine.  I enjoy discovering new brands and products to add to my favorites.  We were contacted by Eslor and received their entire line of skincare products to test!  Eslor skincare was developed by a pharmacologist who wanted to create a natural based skin care line for his wife.  What a lovely gift!  After testing Eslor, I found four products that I really enjoyed.

Eslor skin care
The Soothing Refiner & Cleanser

This is a very light gel cleanser that is able to deeply cleanse and still keep skin very hydrated. With good ingredients like Aloe Vera Gel, Sage Leaves Extract, Carrot Extract and Rosemary Extract this cleanser leaves my skin with a new radiance.  A good cleanser is the first step to healthy skin.  I used this cleanser twice daily on my oily skin with nice results.

The Firming Eye Cream

A super silky and light cream that plumps and renews the under-eye area.  I believe an eye cream is a step that every woman should incorporate into her routine.  I actually wish that I had started using eye cream in my 20s as a preventative step.  If you are also starting late that’s ok too…better late than never!  The key ingredients include Aloe Vera Gel, Mango Butter, and Ginseng Extract.  I used this eye cream twice daily after cleansing and thought it was very nice for brightening and renewing the under-eye area.

Chlorophyll Lifting Mask

This lifting mask is a bright green gel meant to gently purify and enhance the complexion.  I always enjoy a facial mask a few times a week to solve any skin issues and as a way to relax.  Key ingredients of Aloe Vera Gel, Algae Extract, and Orange Peel Extract help make this mask a real treat for my oily skin.  I use it twice weekly, applying a thin film, relaxing for 10 minutes, then rinsing.  Afterwards, I am left with fresher skin!

Comforting Mask

The comforting mask is a thicker green clay mask meant to smooth the skin.  My skin is oily and I find that the Kaolin clay in this mask is great for helping to clear my pores.  Other key ingredients include Seaweed Extracts, Aloe Vera Gel, and Avocado Oil.  I use this mask about once a week, concentrating on my T-zone.  I love the healthier look of my skin afterwards!

You can find the full range of Eslor skin care products at Eslor.com.  Give them a try and discover your favorites!

What skin care products are you loving these days?
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Summer Beauty Favorites

Summer is well underway and your skin is probably feeling it, I know mine is.  Here are 7 of my favorite skincare lines that will make you skin love your again. Pamper yourself with these products and it will be like giving yourself a mini spa day everyday.

1. Coola Suncare is one of the hottest brands in sunscreen right now and for good reason.  It is an organic and mineral sunscreen that actually smells and feels good on your skin.  You will love the pina colada and citrus mimosa sunscreen spray, the plumeria scented body lotion and the refreshing cucumber face moisterizer are all made with 30 SPF and no toxins. They even have a mineral SPF for baby.  The price is a little on the high-end side for sunscreen $32 – $36.

2. Pangea Organics has a recovery kit that I have tried and loved it.  This is a great set to travel with and give your skin a nice break from maybe your usual skincare routine.  I have been traveling a lot this summer and it fits perfectly in a carry on and gets past security.  It comes with a cleanser, toner, facial scrub, mask, and a facial cream. It truly is a mini spa in a box! The best thing I like about these products are the incredible variety of ingredients and the natural earthy scents each product has. You’ll feel like you are getting a luxurious treatment somewhere in the rain forest. Pangea Skin Discovery Kit $40

3. Origins Has been one of my favorite brands for years.  It all started with their ginger souffle and ever since I have been seriously addicted.  Now their latest GinZing energizing body moisterizer and GinZing eye cream will give you a little extra spring in your step and de-puff your tired eyes. Origins masks are also a favorite of mine and if your skin is dry and dirty from all the sun then you’ll want to try the Drink Up overnight mask to refresh your face. $16 – $36

4. Burt’s Bees We all know and love Burt’s Bees for thier lip gloss and chapstick but I also love their grapefruit body wash and acne fighting line, which I always pick up at my local Nordstrom Rack. I also love their Burt’s Bees facial wipes for on the go, especially in the summertime. I always want to quickly cleanse my face after being at the beach and wearing sunscreen all day. These facial wipes are perfect for traveling and using on a long flight when you may not be able to wash your face.

5. Sun Bum is probably one of my latest favorites and the ultimate in suncare, believe me – these beach bums know sun. The Sun Bum 30 SPF face stick is perfect for throwing in any bag and makes re-applying so easy, I’ve used this on my kids little faces too.  Their continuous sun spray and lotions starts at 15 SPF and goes all the way to 70 SPF.  This sunscreen is paraben free, PABA free, oil free, hypoallergenic and enriched with Vitamin E. The price is very reasonable $15.99 for the sunscreens and and $9.99 for the skin stick.

6. Mama Mio Skincare One of the most amazing product lines around, they really know the women’s bodies and can literally turn back the skin aging clock. They have cellulite fighting and toning creams that will help lift and tighten everything from your neck, chest and thighs. The omega super rich body cream is exactly what your skin needs after a long day at the pool or beach. Our beauty contributor Tina raved about this line earlier this summer in getting superhero arms for summer but this cream will also make you want to literally lick your legs:)

7. Say Yes to Carrots and Blueberries! Clorine and the sun can do some major damage to your hair in the summertime. Not to mention if you already blow dry or use hot hair styling tools then you are really doing a number on your hair.  Say Yes To Carrots has a line of powerful hair care products that you will want to definitely check out.  Say Yes to Blueberries is loaded with anti-oxidant superpowers including Clover Flower to help heal and mend damaged locks and Sunflower which is packed with fatty acids to restore shine and protect against breakage. Shampoo and conditioner $7.99 each

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Whether I was applying enough rouge to join the circus at the age of six, buying tubes of frosted pink lipstick from the dollar store at the age of ten, or covering my face in cheap Oompa Loompa orange foundation when I was in eighth grade, I’ve always loved buying and playing with new beauty products.

Today I still have a tendency to go a bit heavy-handed on the blush, but overall, I’d like to think that I’m a bit savvier when it comes to make up. One thing that I do know for certain is that I’ve become more choosy about the products that I use. After all, everything that we put on our skin is absorbed by the bloodstream.

Scary thought, right?

The good news for fellow product junkies out there is that all sorts of high-quality, non-toxic brands are popping up all over- even in some department stores! Naturally (no pun intended), I’ve put a lot of these products to the test and have found many that I absolutely love.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush $26
tarte dollface blushThese blushes live up to their name and truly last all day long. They come in so many beautiful colors, but my personal favorite is a light pink called Dollface.

Honeybee Gardens Mascara $10

honeybee gardens mascara
This was actually the very first natural mascara that I tried. My local health food store was running a special promotion, trade-in your toxic mascara for a free tube of natural mascara. I honestly wasn’t expecting much from it, but this mascara makes my lashes look so full and keeps them clump-free.

Sibu Nourishing Facial Cream $20.95
sibu nourishing facial cream

For months, I’ve been raving about this product to anyone who will listen. This miracle-worker contains sea buckthorn oil, a natural antioxidant, and has completely eliminated my flaky dry skin.

Jane Iredale Amazing Matte Finishing Powder $31
jane iredale finishing powder
After hearing so many glowing reviews about this powder, I just had to try it for myself. It is non-drying, suitable for all skin types, won’t cause break outs, and totally worth the hype.

Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation $48

vapour soft focus foundation

I have yet to try a product from the Vapour Organic Beauty line that I dislike. This foundation is a standout though. It yields a dewy finish, offers great coverage and never looks cakey.

Alima Pure Eyeshadows $12.50
alima pure eyeshadow
If you like eye shadows with great pigmentation, as well as, a wide range of colors and finishes, then you’ll go crazy for these.

100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream $15
100 percent pure cream
This is, hands-down, my all-time favorite body cream, like…ever. My scent of choice is vanilla bean. It smells so good that you’ll want to pour it straight from the tube and into your mouth. But even though this body cream is natural, I still wouldn’t recommend eating it.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick $24
bite beauty lipstick
This creamy lipstick contains resveratrol, the antioxidant found in wine, so it has anti aging properties. Cheers to that! If you’re looking for a fun new shade to add to your collection, I highly recommend the Vidal Raspberry Pink. It is just perfect for Spring!

What is your favorite non-toxic beauty product?

erin-1About our guest author: Erin is a wife, new mother, and writer behind The Grass Skirt, a total lifestyle blog.  She’s also a certified holistic health coach with a passion for all things related to wellness and nutrition.  Erin is a self-proclaimed beauty product junkie, a massive Lionel Richie fan, classic television show enthusiast, green smoothie lover, and can never pass up an opportunity to visit the farmer’s market.  And even though she’s health-conscious, she’s never met a cookie that she didn’t like! Follow Erin on Twitter @TheGrassSkirt, follow The Grass Skirt on Facebook, check out Erin’s Blog The Grass Skirt and follow her on Pinterest.

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Let’s face it. pregnancy can wreak havoc on your hair, skin and face.  While some women get that beautiful pregnancy glow, others are not so lucky and end up with dry, itchy skin and sometimes even acne.  Hair can also start to change once you’re pregnant, some women start to lose hair and others see a brand new shine or thickness.  No matter how your body is affected by pregnancy one thing is for sure, you will see some changes.  Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman goes through, so with the help of some beauty experts, we want to help you enjoy it!

Below are a few tips and trick for taking care of what’s on the outside while that precious baby grows inside.

How does pregnancy affect hair?

Depending on the woman some experience oilier hair, while others battle dryness.  Thinning hair is also very common during and these differences can be due to hormone changes or the stress that accompanies pregnancy. To maintain healthy hair, Dr. Lefkowicz, Head & Shoulders’ global dermatologist  recommends a well-balanced diet and making sure moms-to-be get all necessary nutrients.

Savvy Sassy Tip:  Switch up your shampoo and conditioner to accomodate what is happening.  Teca Lewellyn, P&G Beauty Scientist says, “If hair tends to get dry, switch to a moisturizing shampoo, or if it becomes curly, try switching to a curls shampoo. Just pay attention to how your hair changes and work with it.”

If you find that hair becomes dry with pregnancy try Head & Shoulders Dry Scalp Care Shampoo and Conditioner, which contains almond oil to help the skin maintain moisture. This system helps to create manageable hair that is protected and ready for your daily styling routine.

What does pregnancy do to skin?
Some women won’t see any noticeable effects during their pregnancy. Lucky for them!  However, many experience several changes in the skin including dryness, itchiness, acne and those dreaded stretch marks. P&G Beauty Scientist Rosemarie Osborne indicates that many of these effects will resolve at childbirth.

In the meantime, find products that work with your changing skin type.  Keep dry legs looking silky smooth with the Venus & Olay Razor. The five blades combined with Olay Moisture Bars help lock-in moisture for less dryness and a smooth shave.

What is the Pregnancy Mask?
This is a common issue that many pregnant women experience and it is called chloasma.   It manifests as muddy brown patches that are typically symmetrically distributed on the face (cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, etc.). If this happens, Dr. Lefkowicz recommends careful sun avoidance and protection since UV exposure will make it worse.

To help keep your facial skin looking great from pregnancy and beyond, try Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. This “super cream” helps to restore the volume and shape of the skin’s surface cells smoothing the skin and restoring elasticity.  (I use these at night an I’m not even pregnant)

How can I achieve an effortless look with limited time?

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to totally let yourself go.  There are some easy ways to make yourself look and feel great without spending a lot.   Celebrity Makeup Artist Jake Bailey recommends COVERGIRL + Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation because it is easy to apply and contains Olay serums that keeps the foundation from drying. You can apply a full face of liquid foundation in less than 30 seconds if you rub a dime size dollop between your palms and blend over your face and neck thoroughly the same way you would apply a lotion. These liquid foundations are perfect because they still allow some of that new mom glow to shine through.

Soft and Silky Lips –   Nothing is worse than chapped, dried or cracked lips.  Every Mama-to-be needs a few lip glosses on hand to survive these 9 months.   I love the COVERGIRL Nature Luxe Gloss Lip Balm.  Why?  Because it isn’t sticky and looks very natural with the perfect amount of shine.  It also has SPF15.  For best results, pick a shade that is one shade brighter than your natural lip color.

Wake up your Eyes!  Lastly, curl your lashes and apply a rich black mascara. If you still have time, smudge a tiny bit of cream or liquid shadow into your lash line using your fingertip and voilà – a beautiful, fuss-free look in a fraction of the time.  I love the COVERGIRL Nature Luxe Mascara because it goes on super smooth and isn’t heavy or too dramatic.

 


Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post however all of my savvy thoughts and sassy opinions are my own.  I have tried 6 out of 7 of the products listed here.  I share these expert tips and suggestions with you because they are honest, helpful and true.
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