I seem to have found a new mask I love, and this one is from Acure, a line I’m loving more by the week. I still use their shampoo and conditioner (which you can get as a package deal over at our OpenSky shop for $22!!), and after our tireless search for the perfect boysturizer, the verdict from our man tester was that Acure’s Oil Control Day Cream was the big winner. (The product is unisex, obviously, but the smell and packaging are definitely gender-neutral.)
Anyway, this morning I woke up feeling less than lustrous, so I tried a new mask while I dried my hair. It was the Cell Stimulating Facial Mask from Acure, and I’m a convert. (And to give credit where credit is due, this is thanks to Spirit Demerson, who introduced me to it over drinks the other night!)
Like all Acure products, the price point is nice—it’s $15.99—and so are the certified-organic ingredients, which are listed below.
The heavy lifting here is done, of course, by the green clay, which is a natural detoxifier and skin refiner. We love clay, as we’ve said many many times before, and I still spot treat with powdered green tea clay mélanges from my new favorite clay, from Stark.
But sometimes you want a mask that’s already a mask—no powder, no mess, and not too drying.
I found that in this mask, which dried in about 15 minutes, and foams slightly when you splash it off with water. I found the suds surprising, but that’s probably the vegetable glycerin talking. And I’m happy to say that thanks to the oils in there—and I don’t count argan oil among them, since it’s the second last ingredient on the deck—my skin was left feeling soft and hydrated, and looking a little more radiant.
Ingredients: euterpe oleracea (acai) berry*, rubus fruticosus (blackberry)*, rosa canina (rosehips)*, punica granatum (pomegranate)*, fair trade rooibos*, aloe barbadensis vera leaf juice, french green clay, vegetable glycerin, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate (from coconut + amino acids), vegetable cellulose gum, sodium cocoyl isethionate (from coconut), chlorophyll, chlorella pyrenoidisa extract (chlorella growth factor)*, glucono delta lactone (sugar enzyme), fair trade theobroma cacoa (cocoa) butter*, carageenan (algae), hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) seed oil, ubiquinone (coq10), spinosa (argan) stem cell, potassium sorbate (food grade preservative), argania spinosa (argan) oil*, and sage & spearmint essential oil blend.
Have you found a new mask you love?
Happy Monday, everyone! Meet Aubrey and her nifty routine. To help deal with the hard water on an Air Force base, she uses a cool lemon-juice wash for her hair. A lemony scent plus sandalwood soap… Judging from her routine, I have a feeling she smells amazing. Read on…
In the shower…
Outside the shower…
Thanks, Aubrey! Is anyone else dealing with especially hard water and have any tips?
Happy Friday, everyone! Meet Elena, whose nice-and-simple routine kind of made me feel a little bit calmer just by reading it. She would kick ass at the desert island challenge. Her routine strikes a great balance between using fun, clean products, and still keeping it fairly simple. Awesome!
Current weather: Currently in Toronto, Canada (cold humid winters, hot humid summers). In the past year lived in Thailand, Haiti, New York – this rocked my world, but my skin was not too pleased.
Hair: Baby fine and pretty greasy
Skin: Really fair, no freckles, burns semi-easily then tans. Lately my skin has become super dry. I actually don’t think this is the fault of the harsh winter, but (gasp) of aging :(
In the shower…
I just started my second attempt at going shampoo free. Last summer I cleaned my hair with baking soda for about a month, but then gave up. I am giving this another go because I find that my fine hair gets weighed down by even the cleanest shampoos. This time around, I will be trying to do the baking soda thing at much longer intervals (I used it every three days in the summer), hoping that this will restore the oil balance of my scalp. Fingers crossed. For now, my hair so greasy that my father asked me at the dinner table why I hadn’t blow dried my hair!
Otherwise, a razor and Dr. Bonner’s for basic hygiene. Rarely any shower gel on my body. Ditto for moisturizer, except for my hands in the winter. Right now I am using a hand cream from Japan. I am pretty sure it’s not clean, but it’s Japanese and I love almost everything from that land! (OK, I got to admit that I am transitioning to a green routine so I still use some not clean products. However, I vow to purchase a clean hand salve for next winter. I used to use L’Occitane in the past—I think it’s semi-green?)
Outside the shower…
I don’t wash my face in the morning. Sometimes a splash of water, sometimes not. At night I cleanse my face with an oil. Right now I am using almond oil, but I’ve used avocado in the past. Sometimes I use the oil as a moisturizer for my face as well. My non-clean moisturizer is Avene Hydrance Optimale Riche (5 on EWG scale). I will be tossing it once it is finished. And I have already started exploring green options. I already zeroed in on some Weleda creams. I love Weleda! It reminds me of the European products we had in our bathroom growing up.
I always, always wear sunscreen! This has been the one constant in my skincare routine for 6-8+ years now. Unfortunately, like the rest of my routine, I have only recently realized that La Roche Posay SPF 60 I was using might have been doing more harm than good. I would always break out on my forehead from all of the sunscreens I have ever tried. And let me tell you, I have gone through my fair share of them. I discarded American drugstore ones a long time ago and have stuck with French Lab picks from Vichy, Avene, and the aforementioned La Roche Posay. While I would always start out loving the product, I would inevitably break out on my forehead a few weeks down the road. I started doing my research and realized that this might be a result of all the chemicals in my sunscreen. So I went physical and I love it! Current sunscreen is from DeVita. It’s an SPF 30 (19% zinc oxide) with hyaluronic acid. It is supposed to be quite moisturizing, but the cream’s texture is actually very light and airy. It seeps into my skin like a dream and makes it velvety smooth. I think that it is light enough to use for combination skin as well. It also doesn’t smell at all like a sunscreen, which is a plus for me. Hey, smell is important!
Depending on the season and the current condition of my skin I will use the Lavera Wild Rose moisture mask once/several times a week. I am not a rose person, so I find the scent quite strong, but the mask does a great job at bringing hydration back to my skin.
No leave-ins or other styling products for my hair. I usually let it air dry. It’s pretty-low maintenance (except for the greasy-part that seriously gives me the urge to shampoo every night)—no fly aways, no frizz.
Deodorant, currently Green Beaver in Citrus. Green Beaver is great Canadian brand. Their body sunblock is amazing and cheap! This deodorant smells really good, if you are into citrusy smells, that is. I also have the Soapwalla one. While I prefer the latter, when I am in a rush and don’t want to get my fingers dirty I just use the Green Beaver stick.
Makeup-wise, it varies a lot. Most of the days it’s just a slick of lipstick (100% Pure in Seduce is a nice neutral coral color for light-skinned girls). I also like the Josie Maran argan oil multipurpose color stick. I use it on lips, cheeks and lids. Yes, a pinkish hue looks amazing with hazel eyes. I actually got mine in a trial pack a few years ago, but I still have plenty of product left.
I have a non-clean mascara that I swear by: Lancome Hypnose. I haven’t even attempted to find a green version because it took me ages to find a chemically infused one that curled and lengthened while staying on for a full day without being a waterproof formula.
The few times that I do use makeup I turn to very dirty products. I know! And by makeup I mean some eyeliner and dusting of shadow. No powder, no foundation, no bronzer—I like the pale look. Perfume? Well I do use a green tea body spray from a french brand, doubt it’s clean, but it’s running out, so will probably go perfume free when that happens.
Overall, my routine is semi-green but I am committed to going green all the way. The items I look forward to trying next: Ilia lipsticks, green green tea perfume (haha!), and RMS uncover-up!
Three cheers! Thanks, Elena!
Image of Anna Karina via (Jean-Luc Godard’s wife and the star of many of his films)
We don’t usually go in for promisey weight loss scams, but this is green tea folks. It’s already a topical favorite of ours—nary a day goes by when one of us isn’t spot treating even the most minor breakout (or imagined breakout) with some of Evan Healy’s calming green tea clay.
Drinking the stuff has also been shown to have a staggering array of benefits, even making Dr. Oz’s ultimate anti-aging list for its powerful antioxidants.
Now Self is reporting on a study that shows green tea may help with weight loss, at least in obese people suffering from metabolic syndrome. From Self:
The study involved three dozen subjects who were obese and had metabolic syndrome. For eight weeks, they drank 4 cups of green tea or took a green tea supplement that provided the equivalent amount of active ingredients every day. They were told to eat (and exercise) the way they usually did (or didn’t). And, in fact, dietary records taken at the beginning and end showed that their nutrient intake didn’t change significantly over that time.
Despite that, the subjects lost fove pounds on average. But here’s what’s really interesting: The green tea used in the study was decaffeinated, which totally foiled my first theory: That the caffeine was probably responsible for the higher metabolism. Huh. Magical elixir after all?