In the last couple of years collagen supplements have been popping up all over the place and more and more women are adding this to their skincare routines to boost the health of their skin, hair and nails. You might be asking yourself if this is just a fad and if any of it actually works. I don't blame you because there certainly are a lot of products on the market today that promise sensational results but don't necessarily share any true scientific data to back up their claims. I would suggest you do a little more research before you take any health supplements to verify the quality and claims. Being the researcher that I am, this led me to ultimately take Bend Collagen+Co-Factors Collagen supplements. I did the research and found what I needed to verify it's claims and I saw for myself the results as to why this marine collagen based supplement is very different than many collagen supplements out there.
Why do we need collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant type of protein found in our body. About 70-80% of our skin is comprised of collagen and is as we age the production of collagen slows down significantly. Although we can’t entirely prevent the aging process in our body, it is scientifically proven that we can reduce and slow down the negative effects and signs of aging by sustaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a robust diet, exercise and effective supplements to nourish your cells. Taking a proactive approach and taking measures early on can drastically reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and loss in elasticity in your skin.
How Bend Marine Collagen +
Co-Factors is different than most collagen products.
One of the main reasons why Bend Marine Collagen+Co-Factors differs from other collagen supplements is how the product is formulated and sourced. As a natural cosmetics formulator myself I understand how important it is to source the highest quality ingredients, and blending and combining them in specific ways in order to obtain optimal results, it’s a science that I truly respect. Bend sources their collagen from sustainably caught wild fish which can be up to 1.6 times more effective than bovine sourced collagen which is what is used in most collagen supplements. The synergy of collagen peptides, silicon, Lutein and wholefood Vitamin C sourced from acerola fruit helps rejuvenate skin, hair and nails. This is what makes this collagen distinct to others that I have seen and used. When you combine the antioxidant power of Vitamin C, Lutein and silicone with marine collagen peptides, a unique process called collagen crosslinking takes place while helping to protect against free radical damage.
Taking collagen internally is recommended in order to maximize the results you obtain. Even if you use external skincare like creams and products that contain collagen, it can only reach the outer epidermal layer because of how the skin's natural barrier function operates. However taking collagen internally is absorbed into the bloodstream therefore it reaches the dermal layer where the collagen matrix is. You essentially provide the collagen directly to the area that needs it most for optimal efficacy.
Below I have listed several health & beauty benefits of taking collagen peptides:
My personal experience taking Bend Marine
Collagen + CoFactors
I have really enjoyed the results of taking this amazing health supplement. I am already using the Bend Anti-Aging Formula which when combined with the collagen makes for the ultimate healthy skin results. My nails and hair appear to be growing faster! I'm cutting my nails more frequently and my hair has gotten much longer over the last 3 month even while getting frequent trims. My skin is less problematic during hormonal changes which I believe is because of the combination of both Bend Beauty products. It is quite easy to incorporate into your daily routine as it comes in naturally flavoured (strawberry or coconut) powder form that can be added to plain water, smoothies and several recipes that are DELICIOUS. I'll be sure to post some of those on the blog soon. I'm super pleased to have found this brand that prides itself in groundbreaking research and development, who shares consistent scientific data to demonstrate clinical results, and a high level of efficacy while maintaining an excellent standard of ethos in regards to the environment. Beauty is an inside out job that requires a holistic approach, so if you're looking for a collagen supplement for its health and beauty benefits, this is worth trying out!
Thermocoagulation Treament to Remove Skin Tags and Sebaceous Keratosis:My Moms Before & After Results
For many years my mom felt like she needed to cover herself up during the summer months because of the spotting she had on her back and neck. It was sad to see her feel uncomfortable about herself all those years growing up and not being able to offer her a solution myself with any topical products.
What kinds of spots did she have?
My mom had a combination of non cancerous spots called keratosis pilaris, skin tags and cherry angiomas. Sebaceous Keratosis is an excessive growth of skin cells. The cause of it is not quite known but genetics can play a role in the propensity to have this skin condition and is more likely after the age of 40.
The above picture shows Sebborrheic Keratosis under a microscope.
The skin tags she had were getting worse every year and were clustered around her neck area. This is something that I noticed was common in her family. They are also an overgrowth of cells, but are just overgrowth of skin that are commonly found where there is more friction and folds in the skin such as neck, arm pits and groin area.
A Solution with Thermocoagulation Treatment
When my mom started the Thermocoagulation treatment from Touch Of Joy to have her skin spots removed safely she was ecstatic! She felt like she finally found a solution to something she had been dealing with for years.
Thermocoagulation is a treatment that uses high frequency current that uses heat to coagulate blood capillaries and skin anomalies. The current used is restricted to the area of the skin tag or keratosis or cherry angioma making it a non invasive and a safe way to remove benign skin growths.
This is a treatment that was a great success for my mom! As you can see the before and after photos are quite dramatic! She went from having hundreds of spots to not having ANY! It took a span of about 5-6 months of regular treatments every couple weeks to remove all of them. She had to use a high quality sunscreen, stay out of the sun and take care of her skin internally with her diet and lifestyle as well throughout the treatments.
If you have any unusual skin spotting the first thing to do is to seek medical advise first to ensure it is benign and then you can proceed with seeking this treatment. I would highly advise against any DIY solutions and seek out a professional to remove these skin growths as their expertise and medical grade tools and equipment allows for the best and safest outcome.
As a health and beauty blogger I have always believed that beauty truly comes from the inside out. Having healthy skin is just as much about having a healthy lifestyle as it is about having great skin care products. The skin is the largest organ in the body therefore it reflects what is going on within in regards to overall health. In my personal consultations I always make sure I suggest personalized suggestions including supportive supplementation and dietary suggestions to optimize results both in the short term and long term. Topical skin care has its limitations of penetration due to the epidermal barrier function and by consuming healthy foods and select actives found in supplement form, you are feeding your skin from the inside out where your skin can obtain the nutrients through the bloodstream.
Bend Beauty Omega Supplement for Healthy Skin
One of the the most important supplements that you can take to ensure a healthier more balanced complexion is by taking a high quality fish oil omega based supplement that contains the proper ratios of EPA, DHA and GLA. Not all Omega supplements are created equally and depending on the formulation, it will benefit some areas more than others in your bodily systems such as nervous and cardiovascular.
The source of the ingredients as well as the synergy of ingredients are important to take into account because it will reflect in the efficacy of results. Although I have supplemented with fish oils for years for its anti inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits, I started taking Bend Beauty Anti-Aging Skin Health Dietary Supplement about 3 months ago and it has made a difference in my skin. I started taking it initially to prepare my skin for upcoming facial treatments I'd be receiving at Touch Of Joy, such as Pico Laser and facial peels. This was a suggestion made by my esthetician and upon doing some more research I was thoroughly impressed by the formulation, testimonials and R&D done by the brand.
The formulation of this skincare supplement which comes in both liquid and capsule form, combines the power of properly balanced fish oil based Omegas along with 6 select key actives such as Zeaxanthin, Lutein, Monk fruit extract, and Vitamins C & D. This synergy of these powerful ingredients provide exceptional anti inflammatory benefits, increased hydration, elasticity and protection from UV damage.
While most people are seeking supplements like this to reduce the premature signs of aging, many customers have added this to their skin care regimen to reduce the symptoms of various skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
My personal results after 3 months that I’ve noticed that you can see in my before and after photos include:
Internal Environmental Defense
During the summer months while I was using Bend, I noticed that my skin tone was more even and had minimal redness and burning due to sun exposure. I always use a regular mineral sunscreen, but am always prone to some redness during the first few weeks of summer sun. I didn't notice any redness this year and very minimal lines of demarcation or tan lines. In clinical trials The antioxidants and nutrients found in this Anti-Aging formula have been shown to increase UV protection and reduce the risk of sunburn by up to 84%. This was notable when I was outdoors all summer, my skin was hydrated and kept an even tone.
Quality Sourcing and Social Responsibility
Bend Beauty is a Canadian based brand that seeks to create products that are of exceptional quality and are socially and environmentally responsible in their manufacturing methods and practices. The ingredients their products are derived from sustainable sources, including important certifications such as Marine Stewardship Council, Friends of the Sea, and are organic whenever possible. This translates in the elevated overall quality of their supplements because they are from clean sources, which is not always the case for fish oils. Bend is also a contributor to well known environmental organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation, Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Ecology Action Centre. This smakes me even more excited to support them as a customer because I know that I am also supporting an Eco-conscious business that is creating a positive impact in the world.
Using this supplement as a part of my skin care routine is now vital as it has created a beautiful difference from the inside out.
I started using dermarollers about two years ago after looking at some before and after photos online of people who had claimed amazing results from using one on a regular basis. I bought one from an online professional skincare site as I was wary of getting one from just any retailer, being that this type of treatment uses needles I wanted to be safe. In this article you'll learn hoe incorporating dermarolling in your skin care routine can improve the penetration of your skin care products as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, improve circulation and even help support the stimulation of hair growth for both men and women.
What are Derma rollers and Skin rollers?
Skin rolling enables for skincare products to better penetrate your skin by creating thousands of micro-channels using micro sized needles that act as access points for the penetration of skin care treatments such as serums. There are professional methods of this that use needles that go deeper into the skin. This is to only be done by certified professionals. The second method of skin needling is the use of a home roller that uses needles that do not penetrate as deep but still aid in the production of healthy collagen cells and aids in the penetration of skin treatments such as serums.
How Does Skin Needling Work?
Skin needling creates these micro channels in the skin and as a result, creates a cascade of benefits because of the micro trauma it causes in the epidermis. As a result of the micro trauma it creates in the skin, your body responds by ramping up collagen fibro blasts to the area to heal the area. This process results in the visible improvement in the appearance of your skin. As it is a smaller device it can be used on both the face and body.
Here are some noted benefits of skin rolling:
- Improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
-Can reduce the appearance of post acne scarring and stretch marks
-Diminishes the look of puffiness and dark circles under the eyes
-Reduces congestion and diminishes acne breakouts
-diminishes the appearance of large pores
-Increases product efficacy and penetration of skin care products
-Diminishes the appearance of pigmentation
-Improves the function and health of skin
-Can be used on scalp, face and body
-Can help to stimulate the growth of hair
Are all skin roller made equally?
Not all skin rollers are created equally and that is a very important note to make. Although they are sold in many places now both online and in stores, I strongly advise to use and purchase ones that are made with surgical grade metal and from a professional source. The main difference between very high quality skin rollers is in the shape of the tiny micro needles. The ones that are optimal are cone shaped and create perfect micro channels in the skin, whereas low quality ones are shaped jaggedly and cause big micro tears and damage the skin causing risk of further scarring and even infection. I have been using the skin roller recommended to me by Touch Of Joy called SKINVACIOUS. It uses the highest grade of metal and has the right depth and needle shape to give a good treatment when used properly.
The benefit of purchasing one from a professional is that they can determine if it's the right treatment for you and will give you proper instructions on how to use it for your specific needs. Do not go the cheapest way because it can cost you in the long run!
How does it feel?
When used properly it feels like a light tingling and prickling sensation. It is meant to be applied very lightly and rolled over the skin in vertical lines and horizontal lines. It is best used on clean skin and immediately after rolling, to apply your skincare treatments and serums. Depending on how frequent your treatments are, you will get used to the feeling and it doesn't hurt.
Skin Roller Tips:
-Always keep your skin roller disinfected prior to use by using rubbing alcohol.
-Do not use the same roller for longer that 3 months, discard and get a new one.
-Do not press too hard
-Use a separate roller for hair and face use to prevent contamination
-Use your high quality skin care post rolling for optimal penetration
-Always consult with a professional prior to purchasing to ensure the quality of rolling device and to obtain proper instructions for usage
-Never share skin rollers
Skin rolling has become a regular skin care treatment for me and I can notice a difference when I am using it on a regular basis and I would highly recommend this device to anyone seeking better product performance and improved skin texture.
My experience with Touch Of Joy has always been exceptional in the years that I have been a loyal client of this skin center in Vancouver. The level of excellence in both customer service and cutting edge skin and body treatments are why I have always recommended people to go here for advanced skin care therapies.
I always refer people to Joy Stewart, owner and founder of Touch Of Joy for personal skincare advice. Being in the skincare and beauty industry myself I don't trust many people. I highly respect beauty professionals who seek to educate their clientele as a part of their services. This is why I am grateful to have Joy as a personal mentor and skin advisor for the last 14 years because I have learned so much from her!
AlumierMD is a high grade of science-based formulations with innovative delivery systems. It is very well known for their result driven and outstanding performance while being free of parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil and dyes.
One of their core values is sustainability and ensuring that none of their products are tested on animals. Knowing all of this and trusting in Joy's expertise made me very excited to try this brand with the popular Glow Peel.
What is a Chemical Peel For?
Chemical peels cause a level of epidermal damage in order to stimulate new tissue which improves skin texture and overall appearance. Chemical exfoliation works by loosening the connections between the dead skin cells, this is what causes the skin exfoliation and helps to stimulate healthy new skin cells. After a few days your dead skin cells peel off, revealing brighter and a more rejuvenated complexion. It can help to diminish the appearance of fine lines, hyper pigmentation, discoloration/dark spots and enlarged pores.
Your skincare will also work more efficiently after having a peel. Not having any build up of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin allows for better penetration of subsequent treatments and products.
What is the Alumier Glow peel and why did I get it done?
Not all chemical peels are the same and you have to be sure that you are getting the right treatment that a professional has recommended for you depending on your skin type and the results you desire. I chose to have this particular chemical peel done because I felt that I needed a deep exfoliation. My skin tone was uneven and I noticed I had some hyper pigmentation and dark spots from some acne. From what I had read and had been told the Alumier Glow Peel was perfect for that and would help to brighten my complexion.
The Glow Peel uses a combination of lactic acid, salicylic acid, and resorcinol. Depending on your skin type and your needs, the Glow peel can be customized in strength by the number of layers that are used.
My Experience and Results
Having the peel done began with a gentle cleansing of my skin. As the first layer of peel began to be applied I noticed that my esthetician was very carefully analyzing my skin. It felt slightly tingly around my chin, but not uncomfortable. She was looking at how my skin was responding and asking me how I felt, which was very reassuring for me. I felt good and she saw that my skin was responding well so she applied a second layer on. It began to feel a little bit warmer, but it never burned. After a few minutes, she applied the Alumier post peel balm which is part of the aftercare. It immediately soothed my skin with ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba and lavender. At the very end she applied a layer of the Alumier Moisture Matte broad spectrum 40 SPF mineral based sunscreen and gave me the post peel after care kit which included a cleanser, the balm and the sunscreen. I was given clear indications for my home aftercare and what I could expect in the next few days. It's very important to wear an effective sunscreen and provide as much nourishment and hydration to your skin both internally and externally. I love the Alumier sunscreen as it's light and leaves absolutely no white cast or pasty look and can be applied underneath makeup without a greasy feeling. This is one of my new favourite brands of sun protection by far!
Feed your skin the right nutrients and provide essential hydration by drinking tons of lemon water to heal and regenerate healthy new skin cells and diminish excess dryness after this treatment. I made sure to stay away from inflammatory foods like processed sugar and increased my Omega fatty acid intake with a high quality supplement.
The first couple days after the peel I didn’t really feel a major difference other than feeling like my skin was slightly tighter. It was on the 4th and 5th day that I saw my skin beginning to peel on my cheeks and on my T-Zone area. You're not supposed to pick at your skin because this can cause more damage and cause hyper-pigmentation. The down time is relatively minimal when you follow the guidelines and ensure that your skin is properly protected from sun exposure. It was after about 8-10 days that I was able to see the full effect and how bright and smooth my skin looked and felt. It was fantastic to see how the dark spots had faded and that my complexion had a more even tone and glow to it, it truly lives up to its name GLOW PEEL!
I would highly recommend getting an Alumier Glow Peel if you want to reduce dullness, the look of enlarged pores and fine lines and increase brightness and achieve a healthier looking complexion. My advice would be to seek out a local professional that is knowledgeable and experienced to be able to adapt the right kind of chemical peel for your kind of skin. I look forward to utilizing Alumier on a more regular basis as a part of my advanced skincare regimen and routine.
Lately there has been a lot of talk about the effects of pollution on our skin and people are becoming more aware that this is something we have to address. It's important that we understand how pollution actually affects our skin to make wiser decisions when choosing skincare products or lifestyle choices that can help combat the negative effects.
As a passionate advocate for consumer awareness and as a skincare formulator my aim with this blog is to help you learn more about how pollution can effect your skin and to highlight OSCO Natural Pollution Defence Serum that has focused on combating this issue.
So How Does Pollution Effect The Skin?
Living in urban regions can expose us to several pollutants from car exhaust, ultra fine dust, urban dust and benzo-a-pyrene to name a few. Recent studies have indicated that the most harmful effects of pollution don't necessarily come from the particles in the air themselves, but the hundreds of chemicals that attach themselves to these kinds of particles in the air. Most of the particles in the air are too large to penetrate the skin, but the hundreds of chemicals attached to them are small enough to permeate. Being exposed to cigarette smoke for example is one of the worst as it contains over 6000 chemicals alone! This creates oxidative stress which is defined as an over production of destructive reactive oxygen species or ROS. The side effects of ROS can contribute to skin conditions such as acne, eczema, dryness, fine lines, premature aging, hives, dullness and irritation.
After learning about this I reached out to fellow organic skincare formulator Coyran Cheung, founder of OSCO Natural Beauty. The primary focus of her brand is demonstrated through the Pollution Defense Serum. I began using it as I knew that it contained certain key ingredients that had high levels of antioxidants and omega fatty acids.
Coyran originates from Hong Kong, which is a city that deals with severe pollution levels from petrochemicals, industry and car exhaust. I wanted to get to know her background and share with you what inspired her to create this niche product and how it helps people defend their skin against the free radical damage caused by environmental stressors.
Interview with Coyran Cheung
What inspired you to create OSCO Natural Beauty and why did you choose to focus on pollution?
A: My passion started when I was 23 and suffered from serious facial break outs. I tried many solutions but they did not work until I started my journey into natural beauty. I was so excited at the moment because I have quit my nursing job of 9 years to make my dream, OSCO, a reality!
Pollution has become more severe nowadays, UV radiation, air pollution, light pollution and ozone depletion are a few of the more obvious causes. Generally, people are aware of the dangers of pollution, very few take action to protect themselves against it. I care about people and I am eager to help them become confident, protected and healthy in a polluted environment. I would love to support people in their natural beauty journey, help their skin and bring them back to nature.
Q: What are some of the side effects on the skin from being exposed to excess pollution?
A: Squalene and vitamin E are the main antioxidants of the skin. However, when exposed to pollution (e.g. air pollution), these antioxidants will be depleted to combat oxidative stress in the skin, causing dry skin. Moreover, the tiny size of pollutant chemicals sometimes may infiltrate deeper layers of the epidermis, causing inflammation and sensitive skin. Pollution can also lead to excessive sebum secretion, uneven skin tone, wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity by breaking down collagen and the lipid layer in the skin that impairs skin barrier function.
Light pollution is also one of the main pollution problems nowadays. The blue light of our smartphones, computer, television and LED electronic products can lead to premature aging and skin damage by releasing cell-damaging free radicals as well.
Q: In your Pollution Defense Serum what are some of the key ingredients that protect and repair the skin from pollution specifically?
A: Replenishing antioxidants is very important to neutralize the free radicals, delay or inhibit the cellular damage, and thus prevent the skin impacts and aging caused by pollution. Most of the ingredients in our Pollution Defense Serum are high in antioxidants, especially prickly pear seed oil, one of the ingredients of the serum that contains 2-3 times more vitamin E than other oils. This nourishes individual cells, helps destroy harmful free radicals, protect the skin against pollution and environmental stress. Pollution can also lead to excessive sebum secretion, uneven skin tone, wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity by breaking down collagen and the lipid layer in the skin that impairs skin barrier function. The ingredients in Pollution Defense Serum are high in fatty acids (Omega-3, 5, 6, 7, 9) that our skin definitely needs. It can maintain and repair skin barrier function as well as promote collagen formation.
Key Ingredients mainly contribute to it include:
Omega-3: Sacha Inchi Seed Oil
Omega-5: Pomegranate Seed Oil
Omega-6: Watermelon Seed Oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil
Omega-7: Sea Buckthorn Pulp CO2 Extract
Omega-9: Watermelon Seed Oi
I used this oil everyday for a few weeks to see how it would effect my skin as it usually takes some time to see the cumulative effects of an effective skincare product. One of the first things that I like about this oil is that it has a lightweight texture that absorbs very efficiently into the skin. This can be attributed to the concentrations of the various fatty acids found in ingredients such as Sacha Inchi, Watermelon Seed, Prickly Pear and Pomegranate. As a formulator I know it's important to have a balanced ratio of your chosen ingredients for efficacy to deliver the maximum benefits to your skin while giving you a pleasant censorial experience and remaining safe to use. This oil has a fresh floral scent with citrus notes that is not overwhelming.
You only need about 2-4 drops for your face and decollete, as the viscosity of it makes it easy to spread and massage into the skin. This is important for me because I have combination skin and some face oils can be too thick for me to apply in the morning with my makeup. I applied 2 drops directly to my skin and added another drop into my mineral foundation which I'd apply directly for that dewy effect. After about 6 days of using it directly under my eyes in the evenings, I noticed that it also helped to reduce some under eye puffiness and darkness in the morning, which I LOVED! The watermelon seed oil is known to have this positive benefit when used consistently.
I would recommend this oil as well for women who tend to have oily skin types as it can also help to regulate excess sebum production and help to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.
When dealing with pollution I would recommend taking a proactive approach by implementing a comprehensive holistic skincare routine that protects, repairs, and detoxifies. By doing so you're taking the required measures to optimal results. Here are some of my additional personal suggestions complimentary to using OSCO Pollution Defense Serum.
1. MINERAL SUNSCREEN
I always suggest the use of a mineral based sunscreen in your skincare routine to protect against UVB and UVA rays and to provide that extra physical barrier on your skin for optimal defense.
It's also important to cleanse and detoxify your skin regularly to unclog your pores from the impurities that can build up daily. Cleanse your skin twice daily using a gentle cleanser that doesn't strip your skin of oils. Stay away from harsh surfactants such as SLS.
Use a weekly charcoal and clay based mask. Both of these ingredients have the ability to absorb dirt, impurities and oils deep within your pores and provides vital exfoliation for your skin cells. This will diminish inflammation, reduce the appearance of pore size, help to combat acne and give you a refreshed looking complexion. If you have access to a sauna, that is also suggested to help detoxify your skin cells from pollutants.
4. LIFESTYLE & HYDRATION
I cannot stress how important having a healthy diet and lifestyle is for the maintenance of healthy skin. Skin is the largest organ in our body so we must treat it from the inside out as such. Including antioxidant rich foods such as veggies, fruits, fish, nuts and seeds in your diet makes an enormous impact on the ability to combat the free radical damage we are bombarded with on a daily bases. Getting regular exercise and staying hydrated also supports the bodies natural detoxification and elimination processes.
The heavy metals found in pollutant chemicals, which can penetrate your body can only be eliminated starting internally so keep in mind that you have to approach this issue holistically to maintain beautiful skin.
The journey from being a beauty blogger to becoming an Okoko Cosmetiquess team member and certified organic skincare formulator & has been incredible! I have a whole new perspective on beauty products and entrepreneurship all together.
I really did enjoy using green beauty products and reviewing them and seeing how my skin responded as a blogger, it was and still is very fun for me. The difference is that now as a formulator, I have an insiders perspective on what ingredients actually are, the functionality and efficacy of them and what it takes to create an exceptionally effective beauty product. Every time I am looking at any product now to determine quality is to read the ingredients list. I will immediately know what kind of product it is and how it may work because of the INCI list, which details each and every ingredient. I no longer buy or use any product based on marketing, packaging or populairty alone anymore.
It started while I was working at a green beauty boutique in Vancouver as a freelance makeup artist and skincare consultant. I obtained the posotion because of my background in the beauty industry and because of m previous beauty blog I had at the time. I was surrounded by wonderful green beauty skincare and makeup brands that I absolutely loved using on my clientele. I was on the hunt for a local brand and came across Okoko Cosmetiques on Instagram. I met Oyeta and did a full review of the products which you can find here on this blog. I introduced the Okoko line into the retailer I was working in because of the incredible performace I saw and felt in each product! It is a luxurious and result driven line.
I continued to collaborate with Okoko after my temporary position in the shop, as I saw that there was a unique quality about this brand. In the winter of 2017 I became a team member of Okoko Cosmetiques and decided that I wanted to become a certified organic skincare formulator. I This new chapter has propelled me in a direction that I could not imagine!
The depth of knowledge that I gained from helping to grow Okoko, artisenally manufacture advanced skincare products and obtaining direct mentorship from Oyeta while obtaining my diploma was phenomenal.
It was very challenging to juggle everything but so worth it! As a blogger you see and use the final product in its package and don't really experience the arduous and challeging process of what it takes to make it from scratch. Now that I am behind the scenes as a skincare scientist & a maker of artisenal skincare, I truly appreciate the care, research & development, branding and chemistry knowledge that is required to make the best beauty products in the world.
I often see products in popular brands that are marketed as the new best thing for antiaging or promises amazing results, and unfortunately most of the time it does not contain many if any active ingredients. Most of these products predominately comprise of fillers, fragrance and ingredients that are not neccesarily nourishing your skin and it truly comes down to how they market it vs the results. The first 4-5 ingredients will tell me if it's something I would personally use or recommend to readers and clients.
I respect brands that create products with beautiful, rare and precious concentrated skincare actives, botanicals and ingredients that directly target specific skin concerns and are focused on performance and efficacy. As a consumer you want to know that you are getting true value for the price of the products you buy, and as a qualified beauty consultant & formulator I feel it's my responisibility to educate and inform the public about these very fundamental things that generally go unseen.
Okoko Cosmetiques has grown exponentially in the last year as well.
As a culturally diverse team of 3 strong women and formulators, our goal is to provide consumers with knowledge and high quality advanced organic beauty products. We use clincally tested actives, and the rarest natural ingredients to create the beautiful elevated Okoko Line of skincare. Efficacy and performance is absoluetly essential to us when formulating and we want to ensure each product delivers results and a beautiful experience while using them.
With the launch of L'Atelier Okoko Cosmetiques in Vancouver, we will offer exclusive peronalized consultations and health & beauty workshops to the local community. We see the need for these things as the green beauty movement expands and want to contribute our very best to it.
When I conduct product reviews or personalized consultations, I share scientifically validated facts, thorough ingredient disection and explanations. This is how I approach it to provide excellent knowledge and value to readers, consumers and to elevate the green beauty industry as a whole. I believe taking this angle is much more effective and responsible to consumers vs the scare tactics I unfortunately see all too prevalent in the green beauty world. I think there are many people who want to be able to switch to more organic beauty and still be able to use some of their favourite conventional brands, which I think is totally fine. It truly depends on each indivuals personal desires, needs and goals in their beauty routine and if I can help bridge the two sides I feel like it empowers everyone to make more informed choices when choosing beauty and self care products.
The entreprenerial side of me has been truly ignited! When you surround yourself with powerful leaders and metors on a regular basis, you also become motivated to grow and elevate in your purpose. This is why I felt a strong need to revamp this blog so that it would demonstrate my overall growth and clear mission. Secondly, I really want to support other beauty & wellness professionals in their fields by showcasing their expertise and wisdom on the Naturally Natalia Blog. This is something that I'm extraodinarily excited to do as I have met some incredibly talented and skilled entrepreneurs on this quest. I feel that having a collaborative attitude with others in your fields of passion grows and builds strong relationships which is rewarding in of itself. We all bring our unique experiences and knowledge to the table and have something different and valuable to offer. I look forward to being able to introduce you to them and share interviews, blogs and podcasts.
Overall it has been quite the ride and it has just begun and I feel so grateful to begin this next chapter with you all!
As the natural beauty industry grows it’s great to see more people become aware of what they’re putting on their skin. That being said, there are some unfortunate beauty myths that have been circulating around online on articles and blogs that I once myself used to believe. It’s important that as we learn about taking care of our bodies that we are receiving accurate information. The internet is full of information about beauty, but not all are based on sound scientific evidence and I want to address some of these myths that I thought were true. Being enrolled now in Formula Botanica is allowing me to learn so much about skincare and to separate true facts from fiction.
Myth 1: 60% of everything you put on your skin ends up in your blood stream.
This is one of the myths that for years I once believed! I can’t tell you how many times I had come across it on natural/clean beauty blogs and even heard some professionals in the industry share this with clients. It’s certainly an effective scare tactic! The truth is there’s no real way of knowing the exact percentage of your skincare products that end up in your bloodstream at any given time. It can be anywhere between 0-100% and varies on the type of product you’re using, your skin health, delivery system and the climate you’re in. It’s easy to see why people would believe that since some medical topical creams and treatments do end up in the bloodstream, and some essential oils can too, but every product is different in chemical composition so it’s impossible to determine a definitive percentage for all skincare products ending up in your bloodstream. So next time you hear or read this myth, know that there’s no scientific data to back up this blanket claim.
Myth 2: All preservatives are dangerous
In the last few years this has been one of the myths that has been most believed among many women who use both natural and conventional skincare products. There are many preservatives that I personally don’t use in my own skincare because they have been shown to be hormone disrupters or carcinogenic, but I am also aware that there are some products that absolutely MUST contain some form of effective preservative to prevent fungal, bacterial and yeast from growing in the products. An example of this is with water based products. If they are water based and say ‘Preservative Free’ be wary of that product’s safety and read the ingredients as any water based product must contain some preservative to ensure no mold or yeast growth will occur. The last thing you want is to come into contact with a product that is filled with bacteria! It is important that you are kept safe from infections and severe health complications that can arise from coming into contact with an improperly preserved product. There are many effective natural preservatives that are coming into the market that are used in natural skincare and are also safe for people to use of all ages without potential side effects.
Myth 3: Natural skincare is chemical free
This myth is also another one that comes up very often and is marketed all over the place to sell natural based products. The truth is that everything is a chemical! The very air you breathe is a chemical and all the food you eat is made up of chemicals. The reason why this has been shared in the mainstream media is because it’s a very effective way of selling products to the public who may not be aware of the fact that ALL products contain chemicals of all kinds. When people are wanting to switch to more natural products it’s mostly because they want to avoid using sythetic chemicals in their self care products that have been shown to be harmful to your health. There are beautiful products that are effective at addressing skincare needs without using as many sythetics or are a combination of both natural and synthetic ingredients, but it will and can never be chemical free.
The best way to choose the right products for yourself is to be informed and seek advice from a professional in the industry that can address your concerns and questions regarding your personal beauty products. Don’t believe the hype all the time because unless you’re getting your facts it’s from a verified and credible source of information, it may very well be just another myth.
Okoko Cosmetiques Trésor Summer Mist
For me there is nothing more important in skincare than protecting it from the sun’s damaging rays so I want to continue to share my skin care essentials as summer arrives.
I will say that although we are more aware of the suns damage during summer, we ought to be protecting our skin from it all year round. Obtaining your daily Vitamin D intake only requires 15 minutes of sun exposure in non peak hours during the morning and evening. It is important to always keep exposed skin protected to help prevent premature skin ageing but more importantly to be proactive in reducing skin damage that can lead to skin cancer.
This is why Okoko’s Trésor Summer Mist has become one of my favourite skincare products for sun protection.
We all like to keep our skin refreshed during the hot summer months and this facial mist delivers that but also does so much more. Okoko Cosmetiques strives to always deliver advanced skin care to address specific skincare concerns and this product is no exception. The unique composition and blend of antioxidants and rare botanical actives makes this a multitasking powerhouse that goes beyond basic hydration and works perfectly together with your mineral based sunscreens to boost protection for your skin from UV and Infrared damage. Although it isn’t talked about as often, IRA damage is something to watch out for as we learn more abouts it’s harmeful effects on our health and skin when over exposed. The formula is based on the 4 potent actives of Lycopene, Green Tea, Edelweiss and the exceptionally rare ingredient of Venuceane which is from a micro algae ferment. Venuceane is actually heat activated so as the sun is hitting your skin, the protection against UV and IRA rays is increased!
Clinical studies have also shown that using Venuceane improves the cohesion between skin cells after continuous use and helps to reinforce the cutaneous barrier revealing a more resilient complexion.
Another great function for Trésor Summer Mist is to refresh and set your makeup. I recommend to use it in combination with a more natural mineral based makeup, as it’s more gentle on your skin and provides even more UV protection with Zinc or Titanium Dioxide. Since I began using this mist last summer I found that it does an amazing job of setting my mineral foundation, and it gives it a glowing and luminous finish which looks fantastic for hours! While there are plenty of mists and makeup setting sprays on the market, this one stands out for its sensual aroma and skin improving properties. I like that the mist goes on lightly and can be used throughout the day to provide nourishment with aloe vera cucumber and carrot extracts. The several antioxidants in these plant based ingredients all help to promote healthy skin cell renewal while fighting free radical damage.
If you have been out in the sun this mist will also provide exceptional soothing benefits when used afterwards and will calm any irritation or redness from overexposure to the sun.
I have this in my purse at all times throughout the whole year when I can, and it makes me feel confident that I am providing my skin the best protection and nourishment possible when I add this to my beauty routine.
You can learn more about this unique organic skincare product by reading more about the key botanical actives below and clicking here for direct access to this limited edition sun care must have.
4 KEY BOTANICAL ACTIVES
This tomato derived carotenoid has been shown to improve skin texture by promoting collagen production. It reduces some of the effects of premature aging by also improving the connectivity between skin cells thus reducing DNA damage.
A micro algae ferment that has been clinically proven to reduce the damage to skin cells caused by UVA, UVB and IRA rays. It protects against radiation damage to DNA, skin tissues and cells and also increases hydration retention when exposed to harsh elements such as heat. This rare algae ingredient has the unique ability to increasingly protect against sun damage as it is activated by heat and it also contains potent anti inflammatory properties.
Green Tea Leaf Extract
The power and potency of this plant based ingredient comes from photochemicals called catechin antioxidants which are proven to be an effective anti inflammatory for skin. Green Tea leaf also neutralizes free radical damage caused by the sun which helps reduce fine lines and dehydration.
A flower that is part of the daisy family has been shown to have several compounds that are both soothing and reduce irritation and inflammation. It contains Chlorogenic acid, Luteolin and Beta Sitosterol which deliver flavonoids and protect against environmental stressors.
All Good SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Spray
I have tried several natural sunscreens in the past seeking something that would effectively protect my skin against the harmful UVA/UVB rays, that was also eco friendly. The two things I found in many other formulas was that they were too sticky when being applied and left a very pasty and chalky residue. I had heard great reviews about All Good Sunscreen from other green beauty bloggers so I looked it up and gave it a go! I chose the SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Spray formula for its easy application and long 80 minute water resistant factor being that we would be at the beach a lot while away.
This product is not sticky at all! I found it extremely easy to apply with its continuous spray for my entire family. It is a mineral based sunscreen using 12% zinc oxide that is non nano particulate. When I sprayed it on it spread easily and smoothly and I did not feel or look chalky whatsoever. This formula is quite moisturizing and contains a great combination on antioxidants as well.
Here are some of the wonderful skin nourishing ingredients it has:
- Aloe Vera
- Green Tea Leaf Extract
- Safflower Seed Oil
- Raspberry Fruit Extract
The sun in El Salvador is quite strong with 32C+ temperatures and this product protected my whole family very well the entire time. You do need to reapply when you come out of the water or have been sweating, but I can say that it did a great job of protecting us from sunburn.
All Good Brand is bio degradable and coral reef freindly which is fantastic to know that it is not causing any harm to the environment. This brand is a Certified B Corp meaning that they use sustainable methods of manufacturing, are safe for the envirmonemt and have exceptional standards in ingredient selection and overall work environment. You can look more information up here.
They have a large assortment of different sunscreen products varying in size and textures including lotions, sprays, butters and lip protection which I think I will try more of because they are also quite affordable ranging from $10-22. I highly recommend this brand and it will definitely be in my spring and summer kit from now on!