Thursday, February 21, 2013

beautiful skin and saving the bunnies

A few months ago a Sprouts was built near my house. So of course, I went and browsed their beauty section.

If you don't know what Sprouts is, it's like a huge indoor farmers market--it resembles Whole Foods in the kinds of food it carries, but they are cheaper and have things like homemade "Sprouts" peanutbutter.

They have a huge selection of cruelty-free, all-natural, all-organic products for any and all of your beauty needs. But this is not a post about how awesome (but sometimes over-priced) Sprouts is.
I am posting because it was in Sprouts that I discovered a line of skin care products called MyChelle.
And I am nothing short of AMAZED.

Don't worry if you read this and want to try some of the MyChelle products but don't have a Sprouts near you (I don't know any other stores that carry MyChelle, maybe Whole Foods?)--you can get everything online on their website here, or also search for their products on Amazon.

Basically, all of the products I have tried have been more effective than anything else I have used and all their products are natural. Everything is non-toxic and derived from plants, extracts and plant stem cells AND they use renewable packaging. They are very eco-aware and put their knowledge about the power of nature into their products.

Also, the MyChelle packaging has the "cruelty free" symbol on it, and they say on their website that they are 100% cruelty free which I have been trying to pay more attention to. I have a bunny and it breaks my heart to think that there are bunnies out there being tested on, all for the purpose of human surface beauty. I am not going to go all righteous on you guys, but when you can, which I know isn't realistic all the time, please try to buy cruelty free products. No one can be perfect, but when we are faced with the choice between cruelty free and not, maybe trying our best to get the cruelty free product will help out at least a little.

Lola the bunny

If you want more specific details on MyChelle you can read more about them here.

I encourage you to browse their website. You can chat with a skin care professional, read every single ingredient in a product before you buy it, read customer reviews, and browse helpful articles and skin care tips. Like their products, their website is packed with good stuff and you get a lot out of it.

I have very fair, acne-prone, sensitive skin...not good combos.
This is what I use from MyChelle, though I want to try more!

White Cranberry Cleanser
I use this cleanser every night before I go to bed. This cleanser refines my pores and my skin is so much less oily but it is not dry either, which sometimes I have trouble with. I guess you could say I have combination skin--oily, but at the same time it can be dry and flaky. Yuck. I don't know how good it is at preventing blemishes, which is why I want to try the Clear Skin Cleanser to compare. You can find the White Cranberry Cleanser here. Also, the Clear Skin Cleanser that I want to try but haven't yet, you can find here.

Perfect C Serum

I use this serum every night before I go to bed and I have seen my skin do a 180. It does the most amazing things--most notably, practically rids me completely of acne. Whatever acne I do get is noticably less red and my pimples are much smaller. My skin is smooth, the texture is silky and it looks much brighter. It doesn't smell great, and I would suggest letting it dry for ten minutes before you go to bed, but the results are so so so worth it. I use it ten minutes after I wipe my face with the toner from my DIY beautiful skin toner post. You can find Perfect C Serum here. Also, with this stuff, a little goes a long way.

Clear Skin Serum

Last, but not least, I use the Clear Skin Serum every morning. I use this, then moisturize and then apply my makeup. It has made a huge difference in my skin. My skin produces significantly less oil throughout the day, and yet, at the same time, it is completely hydrated. This serum has detoxifying clay in it that helps to keep your pores from getting clogged and antioxidants to protect it from environmental stressors while simultaneously getting rid of acne. It's awesome, I just cannot say enough about it. You can find it here.

The other products I want to try are the Clear Skin Balancing Cream which moiturizes while also preventing acne, and also the Clear Skin Spot Treatment. Another one that looks enticing is the Apple Brightening Mist.
Clear Skin Spot Treatment
The only downside to that I have made it all sound so the price.
Be prepared to spend a lot.
Is it worth the money? I can confidently say that it totally is after some consecutive months of usage. But I wanted to make sure it was worth spending the dough on before I told you guys about it.
This is also the reason why I have not tried all of the products that I want to try.
Also, Sprouts does not carry every single product, so some of these I can only get online. Some products you can get for cheaper on Amazon than the on MyChelle site.

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quick Remedies: Breakouts

I will be doing a series of these "quick tips" to remedy different skin issues in a pinch. This week we are talking about breakouts and acne.

If you have any skin "issues" that you want me to talk about, comment below. I will do one on dry skin and also one on enlarged/clogged pores.

Party tonight? Wedding in 48...or maybe worse...24 hours?

I'm not going to lie and say there's a miracle cure, but these tips will definitely help!


So you got a sudden breakout right before a big event? This tends to happen when you are stressed out about something. Stress hormones trigger breakouts! So, number one, try to relax. Can't do that? Ok here are some masks that you won't even have to leave your house to do (for risk of going into public with that massive pimple, maybe?). No time going to the store, because, after all, who has that kind of time in a crisis like this?
  • Mask 1:
    • One egg white
    • Ten asprin pills
    • 1 tsp baking soda
      • Whip egg whites together with a fork.
      • Add baking soda and whip in with egg whites.
      • If the asprin pills are coated, then one by one hold each pill under warm water and gently rub between your fingers until you can feel the slimy coating has mostly come off and the gritty asprin underneath is starting to be exposed.
      • Drop each one into the egg white and baking soda mixture and crush with the fork and whip together.
      • If the asprin you are using is uncoated, then hold all ten pills in the palm of your hand and run them under warm water for only about five seconds to start to break them apart so they are easy to mix in with the egg whites and baking soda.
      • Crush/mix/whip asprin in with egg whites and baking soda.
      • Smooth the mixture over you face and let sit for 20-30 mintues, then rinse off.
        • TIP: This mixture is difficult to get off your skin. I suggest using a really mild soap before applying the mask, and then using a more gritty or abrasive face scrub to remove the mask.
        • TIP: Depending on the egg you use, you may have more egg white or less egg white. Adjust the baking soda amount accordingly. Does it seem like you need more? Add a little more. The consistency should be pasty but not thick.
Asprin naturally contains salicylic acid which kills pimples. Asprin can also greatly reduce inflammation and redness. It helps to apply asprin to painful pimples.
Egg whites have great healing abilities. They nourish, calm and also tighten the skin, restoring balace to blemishes.
Baking soda gives your skin a deep clean and gently exfoliates which can restore that natural glow to your skin.

    • Mask 2 (A spot treatment, for when you just have that one pesky/sore/inflamed pimple):
      • Three asprin pills
      • Two drops of Tea Tree Oil (OPTIONAL)
      • 1/8 tsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (also OPTIONAL...I explain below)
        • If the asprin pills are coated, then one by one hold each pill under warm water and gently rub between your fingers until you can feel the slimy coating has mostly come off and the gritty asprin underneath is starting to be exposed.
        • If the asprin you are using is uncoated, then quickly run each pill under warm water for only about two seconds to start to break them apart so they are easy to crush.
        • Add the raw apple cider vinegar.
        • Add the tea tree oil (optional).
        • Apply paste onto the pimple and leave on for as long as you can.
          • TIP: Sometimes all you have is asprin. Don't have the apple cider vinegar or the tea tree oil? No problem. Just warm the asprin up and crush them with warm water to make a paste and apply that to your pimple.
          • TIP: Don't have tea tree oil, but happen to have lavendar essential oil? Use the lavendar essential oil instead.
          • TIP: If you have a night before the event, sleep with the asprin paste on the pimple.
    Asprin naturally contains salicylic acid which kills and dries up pimples. Asprin also greatly reduces redness and inflammation. It also helps if you have a particularly painful pimple.
    Raw Apple Cider Vinegar has great healing properties and also kills bacteria. It contains alpha hydroxy acid which can heal blemishes quickly.
    Tea Tree Oil is anti-bacterial and a great spot treatment used alone as well.
    Lavendar calms and soothes irritated and blemished skin.


    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    DIY Toner, for beautiful skin of course...

    Beautiful skin is healthy skin, and this toner is healthy for your skin.
    I love expensive skin-clearing/skin beautifying products just as much as the next girl, but I won't spend the money on an expensive toner that claims to work wonders because I can make my own that works just as many wonders as the expensive stuff does.
     I know because I have been using this toner for a while now and can definitely vouch for its awesome awesome skin results. Best part is that it costs close to nothing (especially compared to those so-called miracle toners I walk past in Sephora..yikes! $75? No thanks).

    The ingredients for this toner all together cost around $20. Best part though? You can make tons and tons of batches. So one bottle of toner ends up costing you less than a dollar.
    This toner smooths, brightens and clears your skin. I used it on my shoulders when they started to break out (which they always do in the winter!) and I saw huge results in the clarity of my skin in about four days. It works way better than the drying over-the-counter creams and even better, it doesn't bleach my clothes like the store bought topical acne medication.
    This stuff works, but one warning is that your significant other or roommate might not appreciate the has apple cider vinegar in it which has a really strong and not so great smell to it. But if you can tough out the smell, it will definitely be worth it.
    Also, if you put it on before you go to bed, the smell will wear off by morning.

    1oz bottle
    3 drops lavendar essential oil
    8 drops tea tree oil
    raw apple cider vinegar
    witch hazel
    hydrogen peroxide (optional)
    four drops lemon juice (optional)

    **Note: I used a one-ounce bottle. If you are using a container that is larger, just follow the recipe but double or triple it depending on the size container you are using.**

    First I put about three or four drops of the lavendar.
    Lavendar essential oil has soothing properties and helps calm blemished skin. It also helps to dull the harsh smell of the apple cider vinegar.

    Second I put around 8-10 drops of tea tree oil.
    Tea tree oil is an anti-bacterial and is good for clearing up blemishes and giving the skin a good deep-cleansing to get the grime out of those pores.

    Third, I put about a cap full of hydogen peroxide (this ends up being about 12 drops all together). You don't have to do this step. It isn't necessary and it's a great toner without the hydrogen peroxide. The reason why I put it in is because it is an antiseptic and also helps lighten sun spots and scars and it also is very effective at drying out pimples (which is why it is used in almost all over-the-counter topical acne medication).
    Some pople say it's good for acne, but some people say it wreaks havoc on your skin. It can be too drying for people with skin that has a tendency to be dry and flaky already. Don't use it if you have dry or really sensitive skin.

    Next is another optional step. I put about four or five drops of fresh lemon juice in with my toner. Lemon juice has a lot of enzymes in it so it helps to lighten acne scars and also brighten skin.
    If you are obsessed with being tan, don't use the lemon juice...or the hydrogen peroxide for that matter. Both of these ingredients will probably take away, or at least significantly lighten your tan.
    If you want to use the lemon juice, I would suggest making a small amount of toner at a time since it is a food and doesn't have a really long shelf life. If you are making a big batch, skip the lemon juice. You don't want your toner to go bad before you are finished using it.

    (Ignore the fact that the bottle is full in this picture...I took the picture with the lemon next to the bottle after I was finished making the toner.)

    Next, I fill the bottle 3/4 of the way full with raw apple cider vinegar.
    Make sure it says on the apple cider vinegar that it is raw, organic and unfiltered. Refined and pastuerized apple cider vinegar will not work the same.
    Raw apple cider vinegar is fermented and is loaded with so many great skin benefits. It helps the pH balance of your skin. It is filled with alpha hydroxy acid which helps with flaky or dry patches on skin, heals blemishes, and lightens age spots and sun spots. 
    People also claim that apple cider helps increase circulation to the skin. This is a claim that I am not 100% sure about, but if it is true, then that's awesome too! It is great to have around because it really works well as just a spot treatment if you have a pimple.
    People also drink raw apple cider vinegar to help clear up their blemishes from the inside out.

    (You can see here with a 1oz bottle about where I fill it to with the apple cider vinegar.)

    The last step is filling the bottle the rest of the way full with witch hazel.
    Witch hazel is a disinfectant, an astringent and it contains antioxidants.
    It is mild, so it doesn't dry out skin, but it is effective at cleansing and minimizing pores. It tones your skin while fighting acne-causing bacteria at the same freakin' time.

    Try it out and see how it works for your skin!