Meet Jessica and her awesome routine! Her one real problem? The occasional heat rash (on her face). Anyone have any great natural remedies for this?
Current Weather: Hot, dry and windy.
Hair: Super long, brown and wavy. It is surprisingly easy to style, although it borders on being frizzy. Not too thick, but lots of it.
Skin: Combination, fairer skin tone and extremely sensitive. I don’t really get many pimples but during hot weather I get a heat rash on my face. Lovely.
Favorite icon or star from the past: Leslie Caron. She is a gorgeous French ballerina. What’s not to love?
In the shower…
I take a shower every day, but only wash my hair every other day. I find that if I go too long between washes it gets very tangled and I end up looking like a cavewoman. When I do wash it I use Yes to Carrots Nourishing Shampoo and the Yes to Carrots Pampering Conditioner. They smell great and make my hair super shiny! I use shampoo only on my scalp and the conditioner just on my ends. I leave the conditioner in my hair while I soap up my bits and pieces. I’ve been using Pangea Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom Bar Soap on my face and Alaffia Liquid African Black Soap on my bod which I use every other day. The black soap doesn’t smell that great, but it makes my skin feel clean and soft at the same time. I shave my pits everyday with Alba Natural Very Emollient Foam Shave for sensitive skin. (I’m waiting until this one runs out to try something a bit cleaner.) My legs get a shave less often, usually on the days when I don’t wash my hair. Sometimes if my ends are really dry I will use Burt’s Bee’s Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment before washing my hair. I use Desert Essence Gentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser on my back if I have any breakouts. Last but not least I use a pumice stone on the bottoms of my feet and rinse out my hair.
Outside the shower…
I lotion up with Alaffia Shea Butter Moisturizing Body Lotion – Unscented. I do blow dry my hair on the weekdays, but during the weekend I let it be its wavy self or if I don’t wash it, I throw it up in a bun or sidebraid. I sometimes use my Shu Uemura Essence Absolue on the ends of my hair which is something haven’t quite been able to give up yet. I mentioned earlier that I have a fantastic heat rash on my poor face that I am having a hard time getting rid of. Fortunately, it isn’t really noticeable. I have tried aloe gel which, sadly, did not work. I refuse to put cortisone on my face as suggested online, so right now I am using my own concoction of milk and water which is slowly but surely making a difference. It seems to calm the irritation while also drying the little bumps out. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them! When my skin isn’t having a temper tantrum about the weather, I like the Acure Organics line best. I spray on the Facial Tone Rose + Red Tea first. Then I use Oil Control Day Cream. At night, I wash my face at night with the Facial Cleansing Gel Superfruit + Chlorella Growth Factor. About once or twice a week, I make a yogurt mask with 2% Greek yogurt and a couple drops of Acure Argan Oil. I’ll even throw in some turmeric if I’m feeling sassy. (Just a little tiny bit though or it will turn you yellow!) I put it on at night, let it dry and wash it off with the cleanser. My skin feels super moisturized afterwards and in the morning it’s all glowy.
I don’t wear makeup everyday and when I do, it’s very little. I use 100% Pure Mascara in Blackberry (which actually smells good enough to eat!) and their Pot Rouge Blush in Rosy. I use the Desert Essence Lip Rescue Therapeutic on my lips. I do a few swipes of Jason Apricot & E Deodorant on my pits. I actually gave up perfumes for a while, but I bought something on spiritbeautylounge.com and I got a sample of Vamp, so I use that now. Just a spritz in the air and I walk through it. I also like to do the same thing with the rose toner. Ta-Da! Ready for the day. :)
Ladies and gents, here’s…a gent’s routine! Boy M. kicked things off for us a few weeks ago, and now we are thrilled to have Andrew.
His favorite star is Steve McQueen [So hunky, but do you know how hard it is to find a picture of him without a cigarette in hand? Maybe it was all herbal tea he was smoking?] Read on, XX an XYs all!
Current Weather: Gotten warmer- living in NYC
Skin: Normal-Combination. Battled acne in my teens. Main concerns are healing acne scars and controlling oil production.
In the shower…
I wash my hair once a week with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose that my friend introduced me to, because I read an interview with Orlando Pita who says he pretty much never washes his hair and that the oils are good for you. I was reluctant to use Aubrey at first because to be honest, it sounded too feminine but the results were great. I used to be a swimmer so I would wash every day to get the chlorine smell out, but I’ve found that washing once a week has made my hair softer and healthier. I use REN’s Rosa Centifolia Cleanser because it is very good at cleansing without stripping my skin. It is also very light in scent which I like. I use Pangea Organic’s body wash in the Italian White Sage, Geranium, and Yarrow scent—it’s natural without smelling too “natural,” if you know what I mean.
Outside the shower...
I use Aesop’s Parsley Seed Antioxidant Toner. I really like that it is anti-inflammatory for my acne prone skin. I’ve been curious about facial oils for a while but they always felt too heavy for my skin, I tried out Skin Fuel by Yuli* at SXSW which is made for younger, oilier skin and I really liked it so I bought a full size bottle. The serum smells like honey and jasmine and hasn’t caused me to breakout which I’m still a little surprised about since my skin loves to break out. I follow this up with Jack Black’s Sun Guard Very Water Resistant Sunscreen SPF45—I looked everywhere for a clean sunscreen but the cleanest ones tend to be heavy or leave a white residue, Jack Black’s absorbs quickly and filters out a lot of the bad stuff like parabans, petrochemicals, etc. I also like that it has Vitamin A and C in there for my skin so it protects and improves my skin. [Ed.: Active ingredient is zinc oxide. But check the full ingredient list on that site and see if it works for you.]
I use the Dior Homme Sport deodorant, which isn’t the cleanest choice, but I love the way it smells, I prefer it to the cologne. Also, there is no aluminum in there which was my main concern. I use Argan Oil from Whole Foods for my hair which tends to be dry from years of daily wash and swimming in chlorinated water.
Thanks, Andrew! Any other swimmers or ex-swimmers out there who have thoughts on how to naturally heal over-chlorinated hair?
*Check the comments in this post for readers’ info about Yuli Skincare
Guys, meet Lili from Lima. She’s the latest in our reader series of Morning Routines…Exposed! We’ll keep these going forever, basically (and if you still want to send us yours, be our guest). What we love about her routine are the products we’ve never heard of and the amazing advice she shares at the very end. Also, she blots her hair! Read on and share your thoughts in the comments.
Current weather: Transitioning into spring but still enjoying the last few days of summer in Lima, Peru: cloudy and fresh mornings, hot noons with clear skies and a strong sun, and cool evenings with a soft ocean breeze.
Hair: A little over shoulder-length. Dark brown, fine, normal, and straight.
Skin: Moderately fair, sensitive, oily T-zone, and with light post-acne marks mainly on my lower cheeks and under the chin. My face still breaks out mildly, especially before going through those painful monthly phases, in-between seasons, or when I’m feeling really stressed. In short, a very reactive skin! In spite of this, my face has cleared up considerably ever since I began using only natural, organic skincare and make-up products about 4 years ago.
In the shower…
I shower in the morning so that I can air-dry my hair. I never blow-dry or rub a towel over my wet hair; I just blot—I truly believe this habit has helped maintain my hair in such good conditions. I use Urtekram’s Organic Lavender Shampoo and once every week use Pukka Herbs’ Bhringaraj Oil as a pre-shampoo hair treatment. The oil doesn’t smell great but it is very nourishing and a great alternative for those who don’t like to use conditioners. Moreover, the weekly treatment saves you tons of money on conditioners alone! As for my body, I use Pangea Organics’ Canadian Pine & Sage bar soap with Hydrea’s Wool Sponge for mild exfoliation. If I’m traveling, which is often, I always bring along Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Liquid Soap as an all-over body and hair wash.
Outside the shower…
I don’t wash my face with gel/cream cleansers—had no special reason for this until I read somewhere that tap water actually dries out your skin because of the chlorine! Instead, I first cleanse my face with Spiezia’s Facial Cleanser and then wipe out the excess with Sprout Wellness Facial Toner using organic cotton rounds. Next, I spritz my face with Pukka Herb’s Organic Rosewater and follow it immediately with Vive Sana’s Solar to Polar Ultra SPF 40. The sun in Lima is very strong and so far, Vive Sana has been the best natural sunscreen I’ve ever used. I still get a little tanned but do not burn anymore and that says a lot about this sunscreen’s performance! I burn quite easily and in extreme cases, I sometimes even get itchy & painful rashes.
At night, I follow the same facial cleansing routine and then spread on some Dr. Alkaitis Night Cream. I then finish up with a little dab of Grateful Body’s Essential Eye Creme under both eyes. To keep my skin clear, I use Dr. Alkaitis’ Enzyme Mask once every 2 weeks. In between, I resort to DIY masks made of 1 tbsp greek yogurt + 1 tbsp raw honey mixed together in a small bowl, or just a thin layer of egg white to tighten my pores every now and then.
And last but not least, I moisturize my body either with Acure Organics’ Lavender & Lotus Flower Body Lotion or just plain organic coconut oil from Nutiva to give it a nice sheen at the beach.
I feel pretty lucky to have been blessed with nice hair hence I never use any styling products :) As for make-up, I’m quite low maintenance as well. My daily make-up routine consists of a little blush with RMS Lip2Cheek in Modern, just a swipe of Jane Iredale’s Brow Gel in Brunette, and Alima Pure’s Lip Conditioner in Natural. I don’t even use concealer for my acne marks since I always feel like the more you try to conceal them, the more visible you make them to others.
For nights out, I take some extra time to line the upper part of my eyes with Nvey Eco’s Cake Eyeliner in Black. My only natural make-up faux pas would be the mascara (surprise, surprise!!). I have oily eyelids and to avoid the endless impulsiveness to look at myself in the mirror literally every 1 or 2 minutes to see if I’ve got raccoon eyes, I just decided to be a little nicer to my vain self rather than the environment and use Blinc Mascara in Black. I’ve tried many natural mascaras (100% Pure, Couleur Caramel, Physician’s Formula, etc) without much success and quite honestly, I’ve given up betting on them. I guess the upside to this (no, it’s actually another excuse to not feel guilty) is that I only use mascara for special events.
And finally, I never go out without putting some Soapwalla deodorant and a dab of Intelligent Nutrients’ Jasminas perfume on the lower back side of my ears.
On a very separate note, I just wanted to share with all of you a piece of wisdom my mother once told me in my most difficult times.
She said that life is like a mirror, a reflection of how you feel inside: If you laugh, life will smile back but if you frown, life will be hard and miserable (ever wonder why a string of bad moments always follow a first because your mood just keeps getting worse?). It’s nothing extraordinary and of course, it is much easier said than done, but I’ve noticed that it does help me stay positive in challenging times, albeit with much effort.
So begin every morning with a big smile and lots of positive attitude!
Lili, we love you.
Those who abide by a monthly beauty budget that’s less than a cellphone bill can find department store counters pretty disappointing. But the solution isn’t necessarily found at Sephora or Duane Reade, especially if you like natural and organic ingredients.
So we’ve pulled together a list of nine natural and organic beauty brands from sources that won’t break the bank. These clean skin-care picks don’t skimp on quality, and cost less than $45 for a moisturizer or serum.
That’s half the cost of a cell-phone bill—and most of these will last you a couple months. Hear your new products calling?
A unisex favorite in plantable boxes.
Average cost of a moisturizer: $36
Fave: Moroccan Argan with Willow & Rosemary Facial Cream
Buy it at Whole Foods or www.pangeaorganics.com
A 90-year-old line of biodynamic skin-soothers made in Germany.
Fave: Pomegranate Firming Day Cream
Buy it at C.O. Bigelow or www.usa.weleda.com
John Masters Organics
Skin care from the famed eco-friendly hair stylist.
Fave: Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil
Buy it at Whole Foods or www.johnmasters.com
Keep reading here! And tell us: What’s your favorite natural moisturizer?