Getting Dressed

Vegan OTBC Face Masks

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Face masks are a great addition to any skincare regimen. They can help keep your skin clear and healthy, and help you unwind after a long day.

 

And doing a face mask while you are already in the shower is great because the steam from the shower opens your pores and allows the nutrients and vitamins to actually be absorbed into your skin much more easily.

 

 

Key factors to consider when choosing a face mask include…

  1. Skin Type (best for)...People with oily skin should look for a mask that helps control oil and shine, while those with dry skin need a hydrating mask that will restore moisture to the skin.
  2. Specific Issue…such as acne, wrinkles, dry skin
  3. Time Commitment
  4. Type Mask…Masks can be found in several different types…such as vegan sheet masks, powder masks you can mix with water or your favorite skin serum, gel-like masks, and clay masks

 

Some popular cruelty-free and vegan face masks that are available include..

 

  

1. Acure Radically Rejuvenating Face Mask

  • Availability…Walgreen’s
  • Best for…aging skin
  • Ingredients…Moroccan red clay, marshmallow root extract, aloe vera
  • Price…$15
  • Specific Issue…cell repair
  • Time Commitment…10-15 minutes
  • Type Mask…clay

 

2. AHAVA Purifying Dead Sea Mud Mask

  • Availability…Ulta, Macy’s
  • Best for…acne prone skin
  • Ingredients…Dead Sea mud, kaolin, vitamin B, chamomile
  • Price…$35
  • Specific Issue…helps clear acne and prevents further breakouts
  • Time Commitment…two minutes
  • Type Mask…mud

 

3. Aubrey Organics Age-Defying Therapy AHA Mask

  • Availability…Amazon, iHerb, Vitacost
  • Best for…aging skin
  • Ingredients…sea buckthorn oil, natural fruit acids, rice spheres
  • Price…$15
  • Specific Issue…exfoliating
  • Time Commitment..5-10 minutes.
  • Type Mask…clay

 

4. Camu Clay Invigorating Anti-Aging Clay Masque

  • Availability…Live Ultimate website
  • Best for…all skin types and needs, from acne control to hydration to anti-aging
  • Ingredients…organic green tea extract, bentonite clay, kaolin, walnut extracts, acai, Camu Camu berries
  • Price…$34
  • Specific Issue…exfoliating
  • Time Commitment…10-20 minutes
  • Type Mask…clay

 

5. Dr. Alkatis Organic Universal Mask

  • Availability…online
  • Best for…acne-prone or sensitive skin
  • Ingredients…seaweed, vegetables, organic grass juice complex
  • Price…$39
  • Specific Issue…deep cleansing
  • Time Commitment…10-20 minutes
  • Type Mask…powder

 

6. Lush Cup O’ Coffee Mask

  • Availability…online or Lush stores
  • Best for…oily or acne-prone skin
  • Ingredients…coffee grounds, cocoa extract, kaolin
  • Price…$12
  • Specific Issue…under-eye bags and circles, oil control
  • Time Commitment…15 minutes
  • Type Mask…scrub

7. Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Super Hydration Sleepover Mask

  • Availability…Target, Ulta
  • Best for…dry or sun damaged skin
  • Ingredients…sunflower oil, shea butter, avocado oil
  • Price…$15
  • Specific Issue…moisturizing
  • Time Commitment…overnight, does not require rinsing
  • Type Mask…leave-on
Getting Dressed

Vegan Face Mask Recipes

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Face masks are great for both winter weather—with its snow and hail, cold winds, and indoor heating systems—and summer weather—with the damage that may have been picked up from being out in the sun way too long.  They can also be great for many different skin issues, such as dry skin and acne breakouts.

Below is a collection of simple face mask recipes that contain ingredients that you possibly already have on hand.

 

1. Almond Oil1Tbsp lemon juice, 1Tbsp almond oil or coconut oil

 

2.  Avocado…1/2 of a mashed ripe avocado, 2Tbsp honey

  • Benefits..extremely hydrating
  • Best for…all skin types, especially dry skin

 

3. Banana…one mashed banana, 1Tbsp honey

  • Best for…dry skin

 

4.  Chai...1Tbsp honey, 1/2tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp cinnamon nutmeg

  • Benefits…gently exfoliates skin
  • Best for...oily or normal skin

 

5.  Chamomile Tea…1C brewed chamomile tea1Tbsp manuka or raw honey, 1tsp nutritional yeast

6.  Cinnamon...2Tbsp warmed honey, 1tsp cinnamon, 1 wedge of fresh lemon

7.  Clay…bentonite or kaolin clay and enough water to make a paste

8.  Cocoa…1Tbsp cocoa powder, one mashed quarter of avocado, 1Tbsp hone

  • Benefits…pore-refining and a great antioxidant

 

9.  Coconut Oil...1Tbsp coconut oil, tea tree oil or lavender essential oil

  • Benefits…moisturizes, helps fight off any skin infections, helps to keep your skin clean and clear

 

10.  Cucumber...1/2 of a cucumber, 1Tbsp honey, 1tsp or more bentonite or kaolin clay as needed to create a paste

  • Best for…especially oily or acne prone skin

 

11.  Eggsan egg yolk, 1Tbsp of honey, 1Tbsp olive oil, 1/2C oatmeal

  • Benefits…egg white proteins tighten pores and zap acne-causing bacteria 
  • Best for…oily skin

 

12.  Honey...1tsp honey, 1Tbsp natural yogurt

  • Benefitshealing and antibacterial, makes a perfect base for acne-fighting masks.
  • Best for…acne-prone skin
  • Note…True vegans can either substitute a little bit of pureed banana for the honey, or simply omit it.

 

13.  Matcha...1tsp matcha, 1tsp chlorella, enough water or aloe water to create a paste

  • Benefits…”wakes up” the skin and gets your skin glowing

 

14.  Nutritional Yeast…1tsp nutritional yeast, 1Tbsp organic yogurt

  • Benefits…great acne fighter, rich in vitamin B
  • Best for…acne-prone skin

 

15.  Orange Juice…3Tbsp orange juice, 1/2C hone

  • Benefits…vitamin C, helps even out your skin tone

 

16.  Papaya…2Tbsp honey, 1/2C mashed ripe papaya

  • Best for…those who have hyper-pigmentation, sun spots, and uneven pigment

 

17.  Strawberries…3 strawberries, 1oz lemon juice, 8oz plain Greek yogurt, 1oz honey

  • Benefits…exfoliates and brightens the skin, refines pores, natural antioxidant
  • Best forall skin types

 

18. Tomato…Blend half of a ripe tomato into a puree with a fourth of a cucumber

  • Benefits…contains silica which helps firm up sagging skin, improves complexion, soothes skin irritations, reduces puffiness, and balances skin pH
  • Best for…those wanting an even complexion and soft, smooth, flawless skin

 

19.  Turmeric…2Tbsp flour, 1tsp turmeric, 8Tbsp milk or yogurt, a few drops of honey

  • Benefits...antioxidant that slows down skin cell damage, exfoliant that improves skin texture, diminishes wrinkles
  • Best for…acne, dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, and wrinkles

 

20.  Yogurt….…1tsp plain organic yogurt, 1tsp honey, 1/2 ripe avocado, 2tsp olive oil

  • Benefits….yogurt contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that dissolves dead skin cells, helps create a natural glow, prevents breakouts, and instantly softens and smoothes skin
  • Best for…dry skin, acne-prone skin
Getting Dressed

8 Reasons Even Southern Women Who Like to Fish and Hunt Should Consider Switching to Organic Cosmetics


To a Southern woman, taking away our “beauty products” is similar to taking away firearms to a Southern man. We realize that “Even an old barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint. We consider putting on a full face of makeup is actually part of putting on the “full armor of God…after all, the higher the hair, the closer to God.

But even Southern women are becoming more and more concerned about the fact that many ingredients in our beauty and personal care products expose the wearer to a range of health concerns and may be linked to illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Even if most of us are not tree huggers…(after all, we love our bacon and fried chicken way too much to ever be vegetarians…the only reason we buy fabric shopping bags is so that our groceries won’t fall out of the bottom of the bag when we carry them into the house because the bagged at Walmart refused to double-bag them)…we do respect the idea that using certain products “harms the environment,” and we like river rafting and fishing way too much to simply stand by and let that happen.

Here are ten good reasons that even Southern women should consider switching to organic cosmetics instead of simply using the Cover Girl foundation and Bonne Belle bright blue eyeshadow that we all grew up with.

1. Organic 

cosmetics will not harm the environment

…and that’s one less thing to worry about while we’re getting dressed to go deer hunting or bass fishing….or watch some Bulldogs fight some Razorbacks.Conventional beauty products often contain aluminum and petroleum. Retrieving the aluminum and petroleum needed to make cosmetics requires a great deal of mining to be done in some of the world’s most beautiful and sensitive areas, such as the Amazon rainforest. Every year miles of land are destroyed and stripped of vital wildlife.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hesitant to all ask ourselves about every single product that we use while getting dressed…

  • Is the packaging recyclable?
  • Were the ingredients in the product grown with synthetic chemicals and fertilizers?
  • What happens when those chemicals go down the drain?
  • What will this do to our water supply and the local ecosystems?

2. Organic cosmetics contain no harsh chemicals...

Conventional makeup often contains chemicals that can not only cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, but many of these chemicals are downright poisonous to the endocrine system.

For example, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72M of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.

To make matters worse, The FDA has not formally regulated beauty ingredients since 1938.

A few of the main toxic chemicals found in beauty and skincare products include….

  • Formaldehyde, often found in baby ‘no tear’ shampoos and haircare products, liquid soaps, nail polish, may be a contributing factor in cancer development if inhaled or absorbed through the skin for a prolonged period of time.
  • Lead, often found in lipsticks and toothpaste, can cause brain damage, seizures, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive dysfunction, and kidney dysfunction.
  • Nitrosamine, found in almost everything, can form when certain chemical ingredients are mixed together and are usually not listed as an actual ingredient….yet many studies link nitrosamine to cancer. In 1996, the FDA “suggested” that cosmetic manufacturers remove any ingredients that create nitrosamine when combined with other chemicals, but this suggestion has been pretty much  ignored. In fact, ten percent of cosmetics still contain combinations of ingredients that create nitrosamines.
  •  Parabens…such as propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben….are found in almost any beauty product that has water added to it. Parabens have been shown to disrupt hormones and have the potential to cause cancer. A 2004 study found parabens in 18 out of 20 samples of human breast tissue. Parabens are in almost 100% of drugstore skincare products and cosmetics.
  • Phthalates…found in nail polish, air fresheners, perfumes, body sprays, detergents, and soaps…are not commonly listed as an ingredient, but a study by SafeCosmetics.org, found phthalates in at least 72 products they tested. Phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormones and decrease sperm count.

3. Organic makeup is better for your skin...

Products that are 100% vegan contain no artificial ingredients and are free of preservatives, parabens, additives and sulfates. USDA-certified organic beauty products only include organic ingredients that meet the same growing standards as organic food. Organic makeup is also free of mineral oils which can clog pores and cause skin irritation and breakouts.

4. Organic makeup does not contain harmful, mysterious “fragrances.”… 

Nearly all scented makeup products and perfumes list the word “fragrance,” but companies are not required by the FDA to list the actual ingredients that make up the “fragrance” in their products because that combination of ingredients is classified as a trade secret.

You may never know what harmful chemical components comprise those man-made scents that are actually behind that wonderful scent you so enjoy inhaling. You may actually be breathing in hormone-disrupting chemicals that could lead to infertility, cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects.

If a product is labeled as USDA-certified organic, each ingredient that makes up the “fragrance” will actually be listed individually on the packaging…and the product will include only 100% natural ingredients.

5. Organic makeup can help your skin have a smoother, more youthful appearance

Organic products often contains cocoa butter and various other nutrient-rich oils…such as extracts of white tea, grapes, apricots, and pomegranate seeds. Organic skincare products often contain oils…such as extra virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and olive oil.

These oils provide the essential fatty acids needed for healthy, youthful skin, act as an antioxidant protective barrier, and may inhibit the production of collagen and elastase, two enzymes that break down the integrity and elasticity of the skin.

 

6. Organic makeup provides a certain level of sun protection

The skin on the face is thinner and more susceptible to UV-related skin aging. Ingredients commonly found in organic cosmetics that can help protect your skin from the sun include…

  • Coconut oil
  • Iron oxide
  • Titanium oxide
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc oxide

 

7. Organic makeup is better for sensitive skin...

Chemical-based cosmetics are more likely to cause skin reactions such as dry rough patches, rashes, rosacia and breakouts.

8. Organic makeup often performs better than traditional products…

Certified-organic beauty products are made with superior ingredients…ingredients that are pure, fresh and simple. Just as the best meals are usually not made ingredients that are pure, fresh and simple, neither are the best beauty products. Better ingredients mean better results.

Getting Dressed, Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Vegan Hair and Skin Care Ideas for Using The Rest of Your Avocados

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Okay, so now we’ve covered about twenty different ways to incorporate avocados into your daily diet, the reasons why you should add avocados to your family grocery list, and the choosing and care of avocados…

But wait…that’s not all…

 

Avocados and Skin Care…Avocados are good for your skin. Avocados are rich in nutrients—such as fat-soluble vitamins monounsaturated fats, various minerals, and essential fatty acids.Avocados have been shown to improve both the health and tone of your skin, as well as  eliminate signs of premature aging. Avocados are especially great for skin that is dry, chapped or damaged.

Many cosmetic manufacturers add avocado to their products for this reason, but given the fact that the avocados that you can purchase from your local grocer or market are relatively cheap, cruelty free, and contain no added synthetic chemicals, why not use real avocados to enjoy the real benefits of using what might be nature’s best moisturizer.

 

 

Avocado Body Scrub…Avocados can be easily paired with many different ingredients to make a healthy body scrub at home. Most of the following scrub ideas can be used not only in the shower as a body scrub, but also as a scrub or mask for your face, depending on the consistency of the second ingredient.

Here are a few ideas…

Almonds….1C smooshed avocado, 1/4C ground almonds…great for dry skin

Coconut…1C smooshed avocado, 1/4C grated avocado…great for healing scars

Coffee…1C smooshed avocado, 3Tbsp coffee granules…great for getting rid of stretch mark

Honey…1/2C smooshed avocado, 1/4C honey…great for dry skin

Lime…1/2 smooshed avocado, juice of 1 lemon, 1tsp baking soda…great for getting rid of tan lines

Oats…1C smooshed avocado, 1C oats…great for acne

Salt…1/2 smooshed avocado, 4Tbsp rock salt….great for exfoliating

Sugar...1C smooshed avocado, 4tsp sugar, 1tsp olive oil…great for acne

Yogurt…1C smooshed avocado, 1C plain Greek yogurt, 1Tbsp salt…great for moisturizing

 

 

Avocados and Hair…Avocados are also great for nourishing dry and damaged hair. The following avocado hair mask include smoothing and moisturizing your locks without weighing down fine hair, adding shine, and restoring natural luster to your hair.

Avocado Hair Mask…1/2 smooshed avocado, 1 egg, 2 drops peppermint essential oil, 2Tbsp olive oil

 

Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

M&M’s List of the Best Vegan OTBC Body Lotions and Creams

We all know the importance of choosing skincare, hair care, cosmetics, and almost any other household product in terms of not only trying to “save the Rainforest”…

BUT does that mean that every product that we purchase from this moment forward will basically “suck” in comparison to every product that we have been using right up until that moment when you made the decision to embrace a cruelty free, vegan lifestyle?

Not necessarily…

As I begin doing my research and adopting a new lifestyle, I find that there are certain “terms and definitions” that I might need to be able to refer back to later. This is one of those posts that will hopefully beaded into one accumulating glossary.

Today’s “terms and definitions” list consists of ingredients to look for when choosing an OTBC product, particularly a OTBC vegan body lotion or cream…

 

 

1.  Alpha-Hydroxyl AcidAlpha hydroxyl acids are a group of natural acids that can be found naturally in specific foods, or manufactured synthetically. These acids include glycolic acid, sourced from sugar cane…lactic acid, from sour milk and tomato juice…malic acid, from apples…citric acid, from citrus fruits…and tartaric acid, from grapes. The most commonly used of these acids are glycolic acid and lactic acid because they most easily are absorbed by the skin.

Alpha-hydroxyl acids are quoted as providing amazing results as far as your skin is concerned—including making your skin firmer, stronger, and softer…while at the same time preventing wrinkles, softening wrinkles that already exist, stimulating collagen, treating acne, and improving the look and feel of your skin in general.

As far as aging is concerned, alpha hydroxy acids stimulate the growth of elastin and collagen, both of which become depleted with age, and studies have shown that they may also stimulate the production of skin-supporting collagen and elastin.

Most AHA-containing products sold over the counter usually have AHA concentrations that are below 10 percent, and are gentle as long as you follow the product’s directions.

Look for a product that has the AHA listed as the second or third ingredient. Better yet, check the label to see if the product states the concentration of active ingredients. If not, put that one down and look another similar product.

These products are generally safe when used on the skin, but like almost anything else may cause mild skin irritations, redness and flaking….(pretty much a disclaimer so that we can’t all sue them, right?!)…

 

2.  CeramidesCeramides are an oily wax found naturally in the cell membranes of our skin. The waxy or cheese-like coating on the skin of a newborn infant, also known as the vernix caseosa, that serves as a moisture barrier during pregnancy consists primarily of these ceramides.

As we age, our body stops producing as much ceramide, and our skin begins to lose many of the ceramides that had been existing before that point…resulting in our skin becoming thinner, dry, and more susceptible to dry skin and wrinkles.

Skincare products with ceramides help restore moisture, fortify the skin’s natural barrier, and help keep your skin youthful and soft. Most ceramides used in skin care products such as shampoos, shower gels, shaving creams, and body lotions. Even some products labeled “unscented” may contain

 

3. “Fragrances”…Although the FDA does require an accurate list of ingredients on each product marketed on a retail basis to consumers—whether in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person…the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act allows manufacturers to protect the ingredients that might be considered “trade secrets.”

However these unknown “trade secrets” could be helping us all trade in our current good health and well-being–not just now, but many years down the road–for cancer, migraines, asthma, gastrointestinal troubles and cardiovascular problems…or even killing us if have particular allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients.

The term “fragrance” has become a catch-all through which many manufacturers of skincare products can “sneak” an undisclosed ingredient into their container while nobody’s looking.

Even though our nation in general is in the process of becoming smarter, more environmental-friendly, and health conscientious, it will be a long time before companies will ever simply stop slapping the word “fragrance” on their containers

Always take the time to check the ingredient list carefully. Stop buying products that follow the trade norm of using the “F-word” on their ingredient list to conceal over a dozen secret undisclosed ingredients in the container.

 

4.  Humectants…Humectants help hydrate the surface of your skin by pulling water from the deeper levels of skin to the surface of the skin, and delivering hydration and nutrients to the deeper layers. Humectants can also increase the ability of a product’s other active ingredients to be absorbed into the skin.

Humectants are important ingredients in anti-aging skincare because they lock moisture onto the surface of the skin, keeping it moist and healthy and minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Humectants also help keeping your skin looking and feeling smoother and softer and your complexion more youthful, supple, and radiant.

Look for products that contain such natural humectants as aloe, honey, hyaluronic acid, and vegetable glycerin.

5. Lanolin…Lanolin is the oil extracted from the wool of sheep after sheep have been sheared.  Lanolin enables nourishes and protects the sheep against environmental extremities.

While this may be considered an animal byproduct and therefore not cruelty free, the process does not actually harm the sheep and so can be considered cruelty free.

Lanolin is an excellent emollient that helps soften and soothe skin and resembles the sebaceous secretions of our own skin.

1.  100% Pure Whipped Body Butter

  • Fragrance Options…Coconut, Vanilla Bean, Blood Orange, Coconut Lime, Gingerade, Pink Grapefruit, Honey Almond, Mangosteen, French Lavender
  • Ingredients…anti-aging antioxidants and nutrients, vitamins, skin softening oils, and moisturizing cocoa and avocado butters
  • Kudos…no sulfates or other detergents, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, dyes or any other toxins.
  • Price…$26

2. Avalon Organics Hand & Body Lotion

  • Availability…Kroger, Sprouts, Whole Foods
  • Fragrance Options…Aloe, Peppermint, Lemon, Rosemary, Cucumber, Lavender
  • Ingredients…include such natural ingredients as aloe vera, shea butter, calendula and nutrient-rich beta-glucan…based on fragrance selected
  • Kudos…”Humbled by a profound respect for all living beings, Avalon Organics® products are vegan* and cruelty-free. The Avalon Organics® brand never tests products on animals, and will only source ingredients that the supplier can document are not tested on animals. This commitment to kindness is represented by the leaping bunny logo that appears on product labels.”
  • Price…$8

3.  Beauty Without Cruelty Hand + Body Lotion

  • Fragrance Options…fragrance-free
  • Ingredients…shea butter, jojoba, kukui nut, arnica, and calendula…
  • Price…$12

4.  Desert Essence Organics Hand & Body Lotion

  • Availability…Sprouts
  • Fragrance Options…Island Mango, Italian Lemon, Tropical Coconut, Coconut Lime, Bulgarian Lavender, Spicy Vanilla Chai, Pumpkin Spice
  • Ingredients…such ingredients asIsland Mango. Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil
  • Price…$10
Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Articles About Argan Oil…Argan Oil for Your Hair

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Sorry, but the last thing that I want to think about after taking my shower…especially since I take one as the very last thing of my day…is having to rifle through a dozen different products for my haircare and skincare needs…let’s keep things simple…

So I simply grab for a bottle of pure argan oil…and use it from head to toe…

I could even do that without my glasses on or my contacts in…which is a good thing because I am legally blind, right?!

Benefits of using Argan oil on your hair include…

  • improving the texture of your hair by making it softer, silkier and shinier
  • making your hair more manageable by helping to tame frizz and fly-aways
  • preventing and repairing protecting your hair from damage caused by the heat of hair dryers, curlers and flat irons…as well as pollution, chemicals and UV rays
  • promoting hair growth because of its vitamin E content
  • repairing split ends
  • stopping dandruff before it causes serious problems
  • moisturizing your hair because of its essential fatty acids content

Regular Use…Depending on the thickness, texture, condition and length of your hair, you may need anywhere from 1 drop to 3 drops. Getting the right amount may take some practice. Start with a drop (or for short hair a ½ drop may do) and warm in your palms before raking your fingers through your hair, paying special attention to your ends. Once complete, add a ½ drop to your fingertips and massage into your scalp. Rub any excess into your face, neck or hands.

Overnight Deep Conditioning Treatment...Using argan oil once a week as a deep conditioner for your hair will amplify its benefits even more. If you have dandruff or dry scalp, you should probably use this as an overnight treatment twice per week until the dandruff is gone.

Warm about seven drops in your hands. Massage into your hair, working from the scalp to the ends. Put on a shower cap. (Not only will this keep your pillowcase free from oil, but it will also help your body’s natural body heat, as retained in the shower cap, to help the oil work more efficiently.)

In the morning, wash your hair, rinsing until all residue is gone.

 

Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Articles About Argan Oil…Argan Oil for Your Skin

 

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Because of its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is great to use both during the day as a daily moisturizer, or at night as an overnight cream. Argan oil also absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving an oily residue.

One method of using argan oil as a moisturizer is to simply add a couple of drops of argan oil to the carrier oil of your choice—coconut, olive, jojoba, sweet almond or sesame. (more on this to come later)…

Another option is to massage a drop of the oil directly onto any specific dry areas, such as your heels and elbows, to hydrate and soften the skin.

 

 Argan Oil and Acne…Argan oil can both prevent and treat acne.

Argan oil prevents acne and other skin breakouts by helping to control oil production. Argan oil provides natural moisture without being greasy.

Argan oil treats acne because the anti-oxidants found in Argan oil help to heal damaged skin cells and reduce inflammation.

To help clear up mild acne, simply apply one drop gently onto the affected areas twice a day.

 

2.  Argan Oil and Aging Skin…Argan oil is an ideal anti-aging serum because of the fact that is an antioxidant that helps to heal irritated or damaged skin. Argan oil leaves skin feeling plumper and softer and reduces the visibility of wrinkles by increasing the amount of collagen your skin consists of.

 

3.  Argan Oil and Dry Skin…Argan oil is great for skin that is flaky, irritated, cracked, damaged, or itchy…especially skin that suffers from such skin conditions as eczema. The Vitamin E and fatty acids that argan oil contains help not only to repair the damaged skin, but also to prevent further dryness and irritation. The antioxidants that argan oil contains help speed up the healing process.

 

4.  Argan Oil and Exfoliating…In a previous post, I talked about the importance of exfoliating your skin to help remove dead skin cells, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and  give you a younger, fresher complexion.

Argan oil can be a great part of your exfoliating routine. Simple a couple of drops of argan oil with 1Tbsp of brown sugar. (The brown sugar helps the nutrients of the argan oil to be more readily absorbed into your skin.) Rub into your face in a circular motion for a couple of minutes, paying special attention to any acne-prone or dry areas. Rinse with warm water. Pat dry.

 

5.  Argan Oil and Feet…Argan oil can help treat cracked skin or your heels, fight foot viruses and fungi, and avoid bad foot odor.

To use argan oil on your feet, simply rub a couple of drops on your feet, paying special attention to the problem areas. Put on a pair of cozy socks. Leave the socks on overnight.

 

 

6. Argan Oil and Shaving…Argan oil can be used to soothe your skin after shaving…and could actually replace your  non-cruelty free shaving creams.

 

7. Argan Oil and Stretch Marks…The Vitamin E contained in Argan oil provides the ideal protection against unaightly stretch marks during pregnancy. To use Argan oil to prevent stretch marks, simply warm a couple of drops of Argan oil in the palms of your hands and then gently rub into your breasts, stomach, butt, hips, thighs and any other potential problem areas.

Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

 Articles On Argan Oil…What Is Argan Oil?!

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Argan oil has seemed to be a huge buzzword for hair products for quite a while now, but what exactly is “argan oil”?

 

Argan oil comes from argan kernels, which come from argan nuts, which come from argan fruit, which come from argan trees, which come only from the argan forest of southwest Morroco.

Seriously, argan trees are slow-growing trees found only in the argan woodlands of southwest Morocco. These trees are so revered by the Moroccans that they refer to the trees as “the tree of life.” In 1998 these argan forests of Morroco were officially declared to be the “Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve,” and the region is protected by UNESCO.

For generations, natives of the area have been extracting oil from the two or three oily kernels found inside the nuts of the argan tree…and now more and more products are being produced that have argan oil as one of the main ingredients.

 

Why Argan Oil?

So what makes argan oil so incredibly awesome for both your hair and your skin?

Argan oil is extremely rich in beneficial nutrients including…

1.  Antioxidants…Antioxidants are natural compounds found in plant-based foods—such as beta-carotene and other related carotenoids, minerals like manganese and selenium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E—that fight harmful free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. These molecules are unstable and chemically reactive, and simply cannot be avoided. They exist in the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the sunlight shining on your skin.

Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and reduce their harmful effects. These free radicals running rampant in our bodies eventually shows up as aging, fatigue, and even serious ailments like cancer. As you can see, it is important to keep these free radicals at bay in order to maintain good health.

Using products with antioxidants becomes more and more important as we get older…(yeah, I’m getting older, hate to admit it)…because our body’s superoxide dismutase (SOD), the natural defense system against such free radicals, becomes less effective…gives these free radicals more and more freedom to wreck havoc.

As far as hair and skin benefits, products with antioxidants delay the signs of skin aging, fight against wrinkles, prevent hair loss, and improve the overall health of both your skin and hair

 

 

2.  Linoleic Acid…Linoleic acid, is a polyunsaturated fatty acid, part of the Omega 6 fatty acids, that occurs naturally in the body. Deficiencies in this linoleic acid can result in dry hair, dry skin, hair loss, and acne. For this reason, linoleic acid is often used as an emulsifier in the soaps and quick-drying oils.

 

 

3.  Omega-3 Fatty Acids…Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid, but cannot be sufficiently produced by the body. This acid has to be obtained through proper diet and nutrition…mainly through plant oils—such as flaxseed oil, hemp oil, seabuckthorn seed, and berry oils—and marine oils—such as fish oil, squid oil, algal oil krill oil.

As far as skin is concerned, Omega 3 acids treat and prevent skin diseases such as psoriasis, allergies and acne. It also acts as a natural sunscreen that helps protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. These fatty acids also are important in maintaining proper skin tone and helping your skin look smooth, radiant, soft and flawless.

As far as hair is concerned, Omega 3 acids are useful for moisturizing dry and brittle hair, treating itchy and flaky scalp or dandruff, preventing hair, maintaining proper blood circulation in the scalp, and keeping your hair strong and healthy.

 

 

4.  Omega-6 Fatty Acids…Omega-6 fatty acids, just like the omega-3 fatty acids described above, s another element that your body needs, but is unable to manufacture on its own. For this reason, they must also be obtained through either diet or supplements.

Both essential fatty acids are an important component of the cell membranes of each cell throughout the body. A lack of these fatty acids can prevent nutrients from entering these cells and wastes from exiting.

The acids also create a “barrier against the elements.” A deficiency is essential fatty acids can result in dry skin and premature aging.

 

 

5. Vitamin A

Vitamin A and AcneVitamin A—compounds such as retinol, retinoic acid, retinal and beta carotene—is a powerful antioxidant. Because vitamin A is an antioxidant, it prevent irritants and germs from attacking your skin and causing acne or other  infections. Vitamin A helps clear acne by dislodging impurities from pores and slowing excess oil production.

Vitamin A and Collagen…Applying Vitamin A products, such as those products containing retinol and retinoic acid to your skin, stimulates the production of both elastin and fibroblasts, the main connective tissue cells that are responsible for developing collagen.

Collagen is necessary for filling in fine lines and helping your skin stay smooth, firm and healthy.

Vitamin A Deficiency…Vitamin A deficiency results in weak skin cells and dry, withered-looking skin. Deficiency can also cause your hair follicles to become weak and dry, eventually resulting in hair loss and thinning hair.

Vitamin And Hair…As far as hair,  eating vitamin A-rich foods nourishes and moisturizes your scalp and helps your hair to become longer and stronger.prevent and diminish age spots by regulating the production of melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin color.

 

 

6.  Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that can be used to improve or maintain the appearance of both your skin and your hair. As far as skin, Vitamin E is a great moisturizer, especially for dry and damaged skin. As far as hair, Vitamin E nourishes your hair and repairs any damage caused by the sun’s UV rays or chemical processes.

 

 

 

Getting Dressed

My Angle on Tangles

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We all want healthy, shiny hair-
-free from common hair problems such as static, grease, and limpness–and are willing to change shampoos, styling products, and even how we blow dry or straighten our hair in order to get it.

But perhaps the real barrier keeping us all from having this beautiful, shiny hair is an everyday mundane task most of us don’t even think about—brushing your hair..

Sure, we all know how to brush our hair…we’ve been doing it for years…But…

Are we all doing it right?

In fact, IS there really a “right” way and a “wrong” to brush your hair?
The answer is “yes,” and the fact is that most of us have been brushing our hair the wrong wYfor our entire lives–down instead of up.

Starting at the top of your head and brushing down our strands is actually bad for hair because this could pull the hair out of the follicle…and might eventually make us all prematurely bald.

Instead we should all be starting to comb or brush our hair at the bottom and brush our way up. Brushing up allows you to tackle tangles along the hair shaft, but without this risk of pulling the follicle out of its root.

To brush your hair in what most of us would call the “wrong” direction, start brushing a few inches from the ends. Once this section is detangled, keep moving up a few more inches at a time and continue brushing sections of hair until you reach the top.

Even though, brushing up your hair like this may feel unnatural at first, if it will keep you from pulling all your hair out…(or at least the hair still left after being with rowdy children or rude co-workers)…wouldn’t this be useful?

But before even trying to detangle your hair, first apply a detangling product. The detangler will make your hair slippery, and the comb will go right through.

 

A spray detangler, such as Not Your Mother’s Detangler Tahitian Garden Flower & Mango, works best for fine hair.

A lotion detangler, such as Paul MItchell Lite Detangler, works best for “average” hair.
After drenching hair with detangler, brush or comb gently. Never yank through a particularly snarled section in an effort to remove any knots.

Instead gently remove any knots with a detangling brush, Tangle Teezer, or  wide-tooth comb.

  
1.  Detangling Brush…The traditional paddle brush is the best type of  brush to use when detangling your hair. This type of brush is strong enough to detangler your hair, but is still gentle because the flexible plastic bristles of the brush are spaced further apart, and these brushes have a padded base. A densely-packed brush, such as a boar-bristle brush, will pull on your hair way too much as you try to detangle your hair.

This EcoTools Detangler Paddle Brush, is a great option for  removing tangles. The EcoTools Detangler Paddle Brush has a sustainable bamboo handle, 100% cruelty-free nylon bristles, large paddle, and a vented cushion to provide maximum detangling with minimal pulling and damage.

2.  Tangle Teezer …The Tangle Teezer is designed with ergonomically designed handle(?!) to fit snugly in your palm and flexible plastic teeth to  make removing tangles and knots quicker, easier, and pain-free… and minimizing hair breakage and cuticle damage.

3.  Wide-Tooth Comb…A wide-tooth comb, such as this Detangling Comb from The Body Shop is a third option. If you are going to use a comb to detNgle your hair, make sure that the teeth are spaced further apart.
And that, my friends, is my Angle on Tangles…

Getting Dressed

Vegan Dry Shampoos

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Dry shampoos are so convenient for stretching out those “Messy Hair, Don’t Care” days between actually washing your hair, saving money by stretching out the time between hair appointments, helping you get dressed on yet another manic Monday morning, and helping you look halfway decent after you just worked out.

Yet is dry shampoo worth sacrificing your planet-friendly, vegan values or your health? After all, choosing to use a vegan beauty products decreases your carbon footprint, water consumption, and energy consumption.

Obviously dry shampoo is to be used as a supplement to traditional shampoo, not a replacement. Dry shampoos cover impurities, but may not remove them.

A few brands of vegan dry shampoo are…


1. Acure Organics Dry Shampoo…

  1. Ingredients…vegan, sulfate free, paraben free and cruelty-free
  2. Price… $10
  3. Review…Makeup Alley


2.  Batiste Dry Shampoo, Clean, and Classic

  • Availability…Albertson’s, CVS, Walgreen’s, Target
  • Price…$6
  • Review…Makeup and Beauty


3. Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo 


4. Hair Dance Silky Touch Dry Shampoo Powder

  • Ingredients…100% Natural, Vegan, and Cruelty-Free…NO talc, parabens, baking soda, or phtalates
  • Price…$16.99

5.  Handmade Heroes Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo

  • Ingredients…bamboo charcoal, peppermint, eucalyptus, rice powder
  • Mission…to provide entirely vegan and cruelty-free products
  • Philosophy…products are handmade – no heavy machinery or chemicals are part of the manufacturing process
  • Price…$13
  • ReviewGuru


6.   Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo

  • Availability…Sephora
  • Ingredients…USDA certified organic ingredients…totally plant-based formulation
  • Price...$32
  • Review…Girl Gone Green

7.  Skinnyskinny Rose and Black Pepper Organic Dry Shampoo

  • Availability…CVS, Walgreen’s
  • Ingredients…cornstarch, brown rice powder, white clay, horsetail powder, baking soda, orris root powder, rose & black pepper essential oils
  • Price…$32
  • Review…Indigo and Canary

8.  Zabana Essentials Dry Shampoo

  1. Available in three scents…Shimmery, a tropical coconut… Lavender Citrus Mint…Blood Orange Sage
  2. Ingredients…
  3. Mission…to provide a product that is not only affordable but friendly to all living things on the planet.
  4. Price…$13
  5. Review…The Plant Philosophy