Tag: skin

An Influencer's Perspective on Clean Beauty

An Influencer’s Perspective on Clean Beauty: And Her Top Products

Guest Post by Lauren Miller Clean Beauty products changed my life. Here’s my perspective and my top recommended products… I was treated to the dreamiest facial last week and the esthetician told me that I had great skin elasticity and wonderful skin tone with no hyperpigmentation. Good thing I was already laying down or I probably would have fallen over, because I have never in my life  heard a compliment so good, especially from a professional! I walked out of there glowing both on the outside, and the inside. You see, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, my skin was something that I always struggled with. I had acne most of my life. I still remember being called “sideburns” in the 7th grade because my acne was so bad.  At 24, I was diagnosed with PCOS and that is when my low-tox journey began. I started learning about ingredients in both food, and in the products I was using. I started managing my hormones by seeing functional medicine practitioners and nutrition specialists, and swapping my skincare and makeup for clean beauty products.  It wasn’t an easy switch for me. I’ve been wearing makeup since 7th grade and grew up in the generation that used alcohol as a toner and didn’t think my face was clean unless I used harsh, beaded cleansers that smelled like strawberries. Intense acne treatment was prescribed left and right, but it was not an option for me– especially once I learned about the side effects, impact on hormones, and ingredients. Man, did I have a lot to learn—and still do.  Why The Beauty Industry Needs A Revamp: While on this journey, I learned that the beauty industry is one of the most unregulated industries. It literally allows toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors to be used in the products that we use on a daily basis. The United States only bans 30 ingredients in cosmetics, compared to Europe who bans 1300. Clearly, this isn’t okay- we all deserve better. Enter: Beautycounter. A company whose mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Beautycounter bans over 1800 harmful or questionable ingredients in their products. Beautycounter products are ethically sourced and USA made. They are sustainable, a certified B-Corp, Leaping Bunny certified, and high-performing. Beautycounter triple screens every ingredient to test for heavy metal contamination and toxicity. The best part? They are a company that advocates to change beauty laws at both the state and federal level in the United States and Canada.  We are exposed to hundreds of toxic ingredients from our personal care and beauty products daily. Women use an average of 12 products a day, exposing themselves to 168 different chemicals before walking out the door in the morning, while men are exposed to an average of 85 from their products (Environmental Working Group, 2015). Currently, there’s an overwhelming burden of hormone-altering cosmetics for teen girls. I’m so grateful the idea of “clean” is starting to trend more and more. I have been able to squash my own notion that “clean” doesn’t perform because I have completely transformed my skin with clean products. Trust me, I am far from perfect, but this was without a doubt a change I needed to make. Here are my Top 5 Must-Have Beautycounter products: Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel: Hands-down the product that has probably transformed my skin the most, getting rid of dullness and welcoming the “glow”. It’s a leave-on multi-acid AHA/BHA peel that improves skin texture and boosts clarity without over-drying or irritation. Countertime Collection: This collection is designed to visibly firm, brighten, and plump the skin. Hello, aging gracefully! Beautycounter coined the “Retinatural Complex” by combining two of the most powerhouse plant-based ingredients: Bakuchiol and Swiss Alpine Rose. Bakuchiol has been shown to provide skincare results that are comparable to retinol, without the harmful side effects. Swiss Alpine Rose boosts the skin’s antioxidant defense. It’s truly never too early to set your skin up for aging well! All-Bright C Serum: If the fact that this smells like a golden-milk latte isn’t enough, then the results will be! Vitamin C is all the craze now, but the problem is that most Vitamin C serums are made with unstable forms. With an ultra-potent 10% blend of two forms of Vitamin C, this serum instantly brightens, helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots, while turmeric and camu-camu protect against new ones and environmental stressors. Combine with the Resurfacing Peel, and you have a game-changing duo.  Skin-Twin Featherweight Foundation: I never thought it was possible to find a foundation that was clean, and also covered well without making my skin look “cakey”. But this breathable, buildable formula packed with hyaluronic acid not only does the makeup job, but it provides skincare while wearing it to visibly plump the skin. It’s weightless, long-wearing, provides hydration, and comes in 18 beautiful shades.  Countersun Daily Sheer Defense (SPF 25): Yes, it’s reef-friendly! It’s formulated with non-nano zinc oxide to protect against UVA, UVB, and HEV blue light rays while leaving no chalky whitecase. It’s lightweight, and packed with antioxidants to protect the skin from pollution, while also supporting the skin’s moisture barrier. >>Click Here to Shop Lauren’s Clean Beauty Recommendations<< Clean Beauty is a GAME CHANGER It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin. Transforming your skin starts on the inside, followed by good skincare. You no longer have to sacrifice quality to get the results you want with clean products. So eat the nourishing foods, drink all the water, and start swapping your products if you haven’t already. Little by little you can reduce your toxic load, while also taking care of your skin.  For a great free resource, check out the Environmental Working Group. It’s easy and does the research for you. Want a personalized skincare and clean beauty consultation? Reach out to me on Instagram!   Related: The Hormone Healing Diet Clean Beauty New Customer Offer: Did you know NEW Beautycounter customers get

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Food Swaps for Clear Skin - Acne Triggers

5 Simple Food Swaps for Clear Skin

It’s so frustrating to deal with acne, especially as an adult. Trust me, I’ve been there. You think you’re doing everything right with a cleansing regimen and minimal makeup, but those pesky bumps are still popping up.  Often, skin issues aren’t solved with merely topical solutions. We have to start on the INSIDE. What are you putting in your body (intentionally or unintentionally) that could be contributing to acne?  The gold standard for addressing food sensitivities is a full-blown Elimination Diet. You’ll systematically take away common trigger foods and slowly add them back in to watch for reoccurrence of symptoms. It takes time, but it’s worth the investigation.  If you’re short on time or not quite ready to commit to an Elimination Diet, here are a few simple food swaps for clear skin.  Related: Mindful Eating: Finding a Healthy Relationship with Food 5 Simple Food Swaps for Clear Skin… 1 – Swap Dairy Milk for Oat Milk There are a number of potential triggers in dairy including lactose (a milk sugar) and whey or casein protein (the two main proteins). Cow’s milk can spike blood sugar and insulin levels, increasing inflammation in the body. Commercial dairy products potentially contain added hormones that encourage sebum production.  Instead, choose a non-dairy substitute like coconut milk or oat milk. Be careful to choose an unsweetened option with no added oils! As good as it may taste, the extra sugar is also linked to acne.  <<Kate’s Fave: Click here to learn about Willa’s Oat Milk>> 2 – Swap Soy for Legumes Soy contains a high amount of inflammatory omega-6 fats. These fats increase redness and swelling, and can cause hormone imbalance when consumed in excess. Read ingredient lists carefully, as soy is hidden in so many processed food products!  For a better plant-based protein, choose legumes or lentils. Chickpeas are one of my favorites- packed with fiber, protein, and vitamins. Plus, they are super versatile for sweet and savory dishes alike. ((Here’s my go-to hummus recipe)) 3 – Swap Coffee for Tea Most conventional coffee is contaminated with mycotoxin (a mold that grows on beans). When our liver encounters this toxin, it must work on detoxifying it first, leaving you vulnerable to recirculation of other toxins and hormones. Further, caffeine can take a toll on our adrenal glands (and increase stress hormone). More cortisol = more inflammation.  For a healthy warm drink, try matcha or green tea. The epi-gallo-catechin-gallate (EGCG) in green tea is a powerful antioxidant and phytonutrient. >>Skip The Rest and Check out The ELIMINATION DIET GUIDE<< 4 – Swap Peanut Butter for Seeds Hold your horses, I know this is a tough one. Peanuts contain a high amount of the same inflammatory omega-6 oils as soy. Further, many commercial peanut butters are made with hydrogenated oils like corn, safflower, or soybean. A better option for clear skin is a seed-based butter like Sunflower Butter.  Always look for seed butters that contain very simple ingredients: just seeds, no oils, no sugar! My favorite is from Thrive Market.  5 – Swap Sugar for Stevia, Honey, or Maple Syrup. High sugar consumption is linked to a number of diseases. If you’re dealing with acne, this is one of the first foods to completely eliminate from your diet. Refined sugar is pro-inflammatory and increases the likelihood of outward manifestations of inflammation (read: acne).  If you have a sweet tooth, enjoy the natural sweetness of fruits. In my opinion, a medjool date stuffed with sunflower butter and sprinkled with sea salt tastes better and more satisfying than a candy bar.  For drinks like coffee and tea, I use liquid stevia. Natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup are also a better-for-you choice for your skin health.  Ultimately, it’s clear (pun intended) that skin health starts from the inside out. The food we eat literally becomes us: so what are you choosing to be made of? Always, a nutrient-dense diet with plenty of fiber, colorful vegetables, and adequate protein is the foundation. From there, begin to explore what foods might be triggering symptoms using an Elimination Diet or Simple Food Swaps for clear skin.  You May Also Like : Top Three Foods to Avoid with Leaky Gut Want a diet plan for clear skin health that puts all these food swaps in place? CLICK HERE to get my skin health diet for free!  >>Download a sample recipe here: Creamy Blueberry Smoothie<< Make a few simple swaps and see how clear skin starts from the inside! You can save even more time (and money) by shopping pantry staples with Thrive Market! You May Also Like: Mindful Eating: Finding a Healthy Mindset with Food What Is the Carnivore Diet? Shop My Faves: DISCLAIMERS: The statements made on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. You assume full responsibility for how you use this information. Always consult with your physician or other health professionals before making any diet or lifestyle changes. This post may contain affiliate links whereby if you purchase these products I receive a small percentage of the sale price. This allows me to keep the blog running and I thank you for allowing me to do that!

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Oil Cleansing 101: How To Use Oils To Get Your Best Skin Ever

Oil cleansing is one of the simplest skin cleansing methods that leaves you with luminous, clear skin. The best part- no toxic products with long ingredient lists. Instead of regular soap, try using the oil cleanse method at night to remove makeup, clean skin, and moisturize. The results will leave you wondering why you didn’t know about this years ago. WHAT IS OIL CLEANSING? Oil cleansing is a method of washing your face with oils instead of traditional soap and water. It can work for all skin types- even sensitive and acne-prone skin. If your skin is oily, you may be skeptical, but with the right type of oil this is even better than washing with soap.  Oil cleansing maintains the important skin physical barrier. Unlike other conventional cleansers and moisturizers, oil cleansing is free from toxic and endocrine disrupting chemicals. Using oil as both cleanser and moisturizer will help rebalance pH and natural oils that may be disrupted from stress, diet, and detox processes.  HOW DOES OIL CLEANSING WORK? As you massage your skin with dry oil, it will loosen up the makeup and impurities on your skin and pores. You simply massage in and rinse away with warm water. As you dry your face, the skin is clean, smooth and moisturized.  WHAT TO EXPECT WITH OIL CLEANSING It may take time for your skin to adapt to this method. Our skin is one of our primary detoxification organs (next to the liver and kidneys); so releasing toxins through your pores may result in new breakouts. My advice? Stick with the oil cleansing method for at least 7 days to see if this reaction resolves. If you’re left with red or blotchy skin, oil cleansing may not be the best approach for you.   Typically, oil cleansing at night (once per day) is enough to keep your skin radiant, healthy and acne-free. You can replace makeup remover, cleanser, and lotion all-in-one!  BEST PRODUCTS AND OILS TO USE: Remember that as you open your pores to clean out the gunk- you also leave them vulnerable to intake the products you are using. It is so important to find clean, non-toxic, safe personal care products: especially on the face. With unknown ingredients, you may actually make your skin worse! 1. Castor Oil / Simple Oil Blend For the most budget-friendly option, start with a simple oil. For acne-prone and oily skin, I recommend starting out with CASTOR OIL. Castor oil is a quite thick and sticky oil. It is exactly those properties that make it richer in vitamin E and fatty acids than most other plant oils. Castor oil is promoted for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits {from ricinoleic acid}. It increases natural production of collagen and elastin {this is the main ingredient in many hair growth/lash growth serums!}. Castor Oil offers a multi-fold approach for skincare: clearing, soothing, AND replenishing. Because Castor is so sticky, you can do a thorough lymphatic massage while cleansing to encourage draining and reduce puffiness.   The quality of your oil matters. Always choose cold-pressed, organic oils. I like this oil made by Pukka herbs (surprise, they do more than just tea!).  If you have dryer skin, you may find a mixture of Castor Oil + Olive Oil/Jojoba Oil is a better combination. Experiment with different ratios until you find what works best for you.  For a soothing boost, you may add high-quality essential oils to your oil mixture. Lavender is particularly calming, but may burn if you get it in your eyes! Other great oils for skin include frankincense, blue tansy, and melaleuca.  2. Beauty Counter Cleansing Balm For an all-in-one product that follows the same principle of oil cleansing, I recommend Beauty Counter’s Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm. This formula contains lotus extract, jojoba seed oil, and avocado seed oil that soothe and calm skin while boosting luminosity.  Beauty Counter’s high-performing products are vegan, EWG Verified, and cruelty free. Read more about their clean beauty promise.  3. Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm Another great oil-cleansing product that I’ve recently sampled is Farmacy’s Green Clean Makeup Removing Balm. The blend in this product contains non-drying sunflower and ginger root oils. This balm uses turmeric and moringa extract that act as antioxidants for the skin. Papaya enzymes naturally exfoliate pores. (Note that the papaya in this formula may be aggravating for red, inflamed skin and active breakouts).  Using the Oil Cleansing Method: A Step-by-Step Guide If you are curious about how to oil cleanse for supple, smooth, radiant, and blemish-free skin, follow this simple step-by-step guide. Begin with a dry face, you don’t need to remove your makeup as the oil-cleansing method will take care of that. If you choose, first remove eye makeup using coconut oil or castor oil. Wipe away with a clean cotton pad. To cleanse the full face, use a quarter size amount of oil/cleansing balm, gently massage on to your face for 45-60 seconds with gentle upward and outward circular motions. Focus on areas that need attention (like around the nose and mouth). Splash away with warm water or use a warm, damp washcloth and/or muslin cloth to wipe away remaining oil, makeup, and dirt. Gently pat dry with a towel or clean, cotton cloth. There’s no need to moisturize after oil cleansing! Simply rub in excess oil and give it a few minutes to absorb. If you are using serums, masks, or toners use them after oil cleansing (wait 10 mins for oil to fully absorb and ‘tackiness’ to dissipate). Follow with an extra dot of oil (such as marula or jojoba) or moisturizer as needed.  Shop Beauty Counter Shop Essential Oils Shop Amazon Skincare favorites: Using the oil cleansing method will improve blood circulation to the skin, boost skin’s suppleness, elasticity and hydration without making your skin oily or greasy. Castor oil is non-comedogenic and compatible with most skin types. When using the correct oils/products, oil cleansing can dramatically improve skin complaints like dryness, scars, and

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