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!
I'm so excited to share with you how I grew my lashes out in the last few months. In my last lash blog which you can read here, I mentioned how I absolutely loved my Keratin Lash Lift with the talented Rebecca Star from Fawns and Fellows. I still have this treatment done every couple months or so. Since then my natural lashes have grown a lot as you can see in my before and after photos above. I want to tell you the two products that have allowed my lashes to become longer and thicker!
EyEnvy Eyelash Conditioner
The first product that I feel has made a BIG difference in my lash growth is the EyEnvy Eyelash Conditioner. I have tried other serums before that promised great results, but they were either irritating to my skin or they were really expensive and didn't really grow my lashes that well. It was frustrating to say the least because on average each lash conditioner I purchased was well over $100 for just one months worth and because I knew it would take longer than that to see results I bought at least 2 tubes! NOT CHEAP!
At the last lash appointment I had with Rebecca she happened to start carrying EyeEnvy and was very confident when she shared with me that the product worked. She had seen many of her own clients with beautiful results and was very pleased to see countless women come back with longer, healthier lashes after just a few weeks. I know she is a woman of her word and does meticulous research and testing before sharing anything to her consumers. None of her clients had experienced any negative side effects from the product which is important to me because I have sensitive skin.
After explaining to me how this product worked and that it was exclusively available in salons and spas it made me more eager to try it.
I noticed results especially between the end of the second month and the third month. I never expected my lashes to have such a quick growth spurt but it was very obvious because I have always had tiny short lashes. It is to be applied daily for 3 months and then every other day or once a week for maintenance.
I enjoyed that it is applied in the morning rather than at night time and it absorbs very quickly. With this product you're able to apply your makeup within minutes afterwards and I did not experience any itchiness or irritation! The applicator makes it easy to apply the fluid right at the lash line and in brows if desired.
How does it work?
EyEnvy Eyelash and brow conditioner is deeply nourishing which allows for them to reach their maximum potential of growth. This is done by delivering powerful ingredients directly to the follicles. The unique blend of vitamins, strengthening peptides and botanicals creates a potent formula that conditions, hydrates and protects your eyelashes and eyebrows.
Bio-Peptides/Penapeptide- Amino acids that help to strengthen weak lashes & allows maximum growth. It helps the lashes remain in the active hair growth phase known as Anagen.
Ginseng Root Extract- Helps repair damaged hairs.
Vitamin B3- Stimulates micro circulation in the Derma
Chamomile Extract- Helps to soothe sensitive skin
Grape seed Extract- Powerful antioxidant and has healing and antimicrobial properties
The second product that I use to condition and hydrate my lashes is Castor Oil. This oil has been used to naturally grow lashes with great results for many years. Castor oil is effective for lash growth because it contains many nutrients. It is very rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids that hydrate and nourish lashes which both prevents breakage and enhances the lash growth cycle. I applied a very sparing amount in the evening before bed with a cotton swab. It is very thick so ensure that you apply only a small amount! The best kind of Castor Oil that is suggested to use is Organic Cold Pressed Hexane free as seen in the photo below. Some people use Jamaican Black castor oil, but if you have more sensitive skin it may cause irritation.
I believe the combination of using the EyEnvy daily and the castor oil nightly plus having Keratin Lash Lifts every two months made all the difference. My lashes were being conditioned and treated 24 hrs a day.
If you're looking for longer lashes I'd highly recommend these key products in your beauty routine.
I'm so grateful that I have such a knowledgeable lash specialist here in Vancouver like Rebecca who always recommends and provides the best of the best, I'm never disappointed!
The website link for Canadian retailers of EyeEnvy can be found here and for the USA here.
I absolutely love that having a healthy and glowing complexion has become one of the most desired makeup looks. When your complexion is naturally dewy and radiant, the rest of your makeup routine
can be minimized, and your skin is the main focus.
Foundation is generally used to diminish the look of imperfections and there's one makeup beauty
hack that can improve the condition and look of your skin:Mixing a facial oil with your foundation!
Adding just 1-2 drops of a natural facial oil sheers your foundation and adds extra hydration,
antioxidants and nourishing ingredients. It's the quintessence of skincare with colour!
A little goes a long way and provides a wonderful luminous finish and over time the benefits of the
facial oil will improve your skin as well.
You can use any natural oil such as jojoba or almond, but my favourite facial oil to use for this trick is the Okoko Cosmetiques Les 16 Precieux. This all natural luxe facial oil contains 16 of the world's most sought after beauty ingredients such as CoQ10, Marula, Argan and Prickly Pear Seed Oil. Used on its own it provides instant hydration without leaving an oily residue and is great for all skin types including sensitive skin. It is a decadent and effective pro aging skin treatment that I highly recommend. I use this for both my morning and evening skincare routines. After cleansing and toning, I apply and pat in 2-3 drops of the oil to my skin and let it absorb for 5 minutes before applying my foundation.
Using a foundation that also provides nutrients and nourishing ingredients is very important. Most conventional foundations will provide sufficient coverage but are also filled with harsh ingredients and fillers that can clog pores and aren't protecting or treating your skin. If you wear makeup, you want it to add health benefits to your skin as well as provide coverage for long term healthy skin.
I personally love to use Fitglow Vita Active Foundation.
This creamy foundation cares for your skin with skin nourishing organic ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene. that provides hydration and beautiful coverage all day while reducing the look of fine lines. It blends effortlessly, allows your skin to breath and does not feel like you are wearing makeup at all!
1. Cleanse and apply your facial oil or moisturizer to your skin and let it absorb for 5-10 minutes before applying makeup.
2. Take your foundation and apply a small amount on the back of your hand as seen in the photo
3. Take your facial oil and apply 1-2 drops right on top of the foundation and mix with your fingers or a foundation brush.
4. Apply and spot on to your cheeks, nose, forehead, chin and neck and blend in with fingers or
For lighter coverage use fingers for fuller coverage use an foundation brush.
Once you've tried this beauty hack that several makeup artists use to achieve glowing skin you will see how much your skin improves and exudes natural radiance!
You can find more info on these products and brands under the SHOP tab in the blog.
Many people know that flax seeds have many health benefits when they are eaten, but you could also make awesome hair styling gel with them too! When my son was born I was looking for a natural hair product to use for him that was gentle yet effective and wouldn't leave a sticky residue. I couldn't really find anything light enough that would still hold so I started to look for DIY alternatives and came across a home made recipe that was intended to define curly and frizzy hair like mine. I was really excited and was so happy with the results for both my son and I.
So if you have frizzy, curly, wavy hair and are looking for luscious curls with definition and shine this Flax Seed Gel is the best alternative to expensive store bought gels. It is completely natural and free of chemicals like alcohol that can dry your hair out. It is very easy to make, affordable and will go a long way. My curls are always soft and touchable which is important and I can also use it to smooth out my hair when I put it into a bun and blowdry on special occasions.
Here is what you'll need to make your own flax seed gel.
1. 1/4 cup Organic Flax Seeds
2. 2 Cups of water
3. Glass Measuring cup with spout
4. Small Pot
5. Plastic Bottle Container or tupperware for gel storage
6. Wooden Spoon to stir
7. Lavender, Rosemary or Tea tree essential oils for added benefits and storage time(optional)
8. Metal Strainer
Instructions to make gel
1. Measure 1/4 cup of flax seeds and place into small pot
2. Measure 2 cups of water and place into pot
3. Turn the heat on medium/high
4. Stir the seeds in the water until all the seeds fall to the bottom of the pot
5. Let the seeds come to a boil while continuously stirring the seeds to prevent them from sticking
6. Turn the heat down to medium/low and continue to let them boil for approximately 8-12 minutes.
7. When you are stirring and notice the fluid has a thickened gel like consistency turn the heat off
9. With your metal strainer placed over your measuring cup, take the pot and pour fluid and seeds over the strainer into the cup
10. Take the left over seeds and store refrigerate in a small tupperware container to be able to use them for next time
11. Let the gel fluid cool down for 10-15 minutes
12. If you like you can add a 3-6 drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender, tea tree, rosemary) and mix
13. Pour the fluid into your preferred storage container. I chose a plastic bottle with a pump as seen in the video and photo below for an easier and less messy way to obtain the gel when you want to style your hair.
14. Store your container and refrigerate for anywhere between 1-2 weeks.
Benefits of using Flax Seed Hair Gel
1. Rich in Omega 3 which is very nourishing for the hair
2. Promotes hair growth by nurturing scalp
3. Leaves hair soft and shiny
4. Does not leave a flaky or crunchy residue
5. You can adjust hold by adding more flax seeds to the mix when cooking
6. Is a great curl definer, smoother and reduces frizz
7. Does not cause breakage or dry the hair out
8. Fantastic styler for twists, waves, buns and ponytail based styles
9. Protects the hair shaft when blow drying
10. Easy to add preferred essential oils, natural butters and conditioners to customize your own formula
11. Affordable and easy to make
12. All natural and safe for the entire family to use
Tips for extra dry/damaged, course & colour treated hair
You can use either of these suggestions or combine as you wish
1. Add 1/2 tsp. of warmed up shea butter and mix into warm gel when cooling down for deep conditioning & smoothing course hair texture. Smooths and helps seal split ends.
2. Add 1 capsule of Vitamin E into warm gel and mix for antioxidant protection for
coloured hair/damaged hair
3. Add 1 tsp. of organic unrefined coconut oil for dry/flaking scalp and hair
4. Combine 2 drops of lavender, tea tree and rosemary to promote hair growth, circulation and deep cleansing to the scalp. It also adds a wonderful custom smell.
Watch my Youtube tutorial below!
I had the wonderful opportunity of having my hair done at Vancouver's Eco Friendly and true Green Beauty Business CLOVER EARTHKIND SALON. It is one of my absolute passions sharing business's and entrepreneurs that deliver exceptional beauty services and products that never compromise your health or that of the environment in order to deliver beautiful results.
I became aware of Clover Salon years ago when I was an educator in the hair industry about 6 years ago and had an initial hair cut there and interviewed owner Jen Vanderliej so I could learn more about this amazing shop. I was so impressed upon meeting Jen because of her wealth of knowledge and commitment to running an authentic green beauty and eco friendly salon. The products she selects to use in her shop to wash, style and colour are always meticulously researched for ingredient safety to health and cruelty free practices. I was really happy to see that she was deeply passionate about it because it reflects with the methods she uses to divert waste, use natural products and maintain transparency to the clientele.
I had previously been going to extraordinarily talented hair stylists that did a fabulous job at colouring my stubborn hair using more conventional products. The cosmetic results were always great but I would notice that my scalp would become irritated or excessively dry the weeks following my hair appointments. I have since returned as I client very recently because I realized that I had to finally make the final switch to less toxic hair colouring products to compliment the rest of my beauty routine and adhere to my values. I knew exactly where to go!
Since I had gone years ago the location has changed but the quality in services and the maintenance of eco friendly practices is steadfast. It is in a beautiful open concept salon that has the most inviting and relaxing ambiance free of pretentious attitudes. I absolutely love how the salon has been styled in an elegant and organically artistic way while adding natural elements into the space.
I made the appointment with Kristy because I was told she is an expert at the balayage technique and was comfortable with very curly course hair like mine, which I was so relieved about because this mane definitely requires skill to work with. Since summer is just around the corner I decided to go with slightly lighter and cooler blonde tones. Kristy did an incredible job at both colouring and styling my hair. My hair has very red undertones that tend to make my hair always look brassy, but Kristy used the best products and techniques with patience to get to the tones I wanted without compromising the health of my hair. My scalp was not itchy at all during the process and I had a great time talking about non toxic living with her and how above al things honesty and transparency is so important in providing services and education to clients in this business. As you can see from the above before and after pictures and my video below the results are nothing short of AMAZING! My hair felt very soft and hydrated despite the lightening process. Thank You Kristy, you are so talented and I love sitting in your chair!
Clover Earthkind Salon has been certified by the Green Business Seal of Good Practice Certification program. This certification covers areas like sustainable training, proper eco waste management, chemicals and energy consumption. They have been given a 98% waste diversion rating in their audit from the Bullfrog Power Organization. Everything from hair that has been cut, to the tubes of colour being disposed, and the brands of soap and products used is chosen in a very eco friendly and safe manner for your health and the environment. They are also officially cruelty free. I don't know any other salon or owner who is as equally diligent about her sustainable and eco friendly methods and practices. With so much green washing in the industry, people just branding themselves as green but nit really caring nor committing it is very inspiring to see Clover stand out in this area. It is awesome to see a pioneer like Jen lead the way in being a clean beauty business since years ago and go above and beyond the typical salon to ensure quality in al areas
I would highly recommend this salon to anyone who has sensitivities to the chemicals found in regular hair colours or is seeking to receive high quality hair services that use safer, cleaner ingredients and practices. Not only are the colours more gentle but they also have added nourishing qualities like conditioning oils and vitamins. Your hair is healthy and vibrant!
I stand by my belief that you shouldn't have to sacrifice your health to be fashionable and play with beauty care and change your looks. Going to shops like this makes obtaining a clean living lifestyle that much easier and I am so grateful that this shop available to me. Just like the food industry, the more we support genuine conscious business's like this with our hard earned money, the more empowered the movement becomes in educating consumers about the impact to their health and environment their beauty care creates.
For more information about Clover Earthkind Salon please click the link HERE.
To see a glimpse of the entire process watch the video below.
I'm so excited to share my positive review of having the newest lash treatment KERATIN LASH LIFT. Since having an awful experience with lash extensions a few years back I swore I'd never go back to that option because of the toxic ingredients and the fall out I had. I've only used lash strips for extra special occasions as my skin is quite sensitive around my eyes. I've been using great mascara's since then and have tried using lash enhancing serums as well and they did help quite a bit but I still needed to use mascara to balance out my bigger eye shape. I was looking for something that would allow for me to be able to just walk out of my home with minimal makeup and have bright eyes. I didn't think I had many options until I came across an article raving about the celebrity favourite treatment called Keratin Lash Lift.
The before and after pictures looked incredible and the best part was that the treatment enhanced your natural lash length and fullness without any damaging perm solutions used in lash perms and no artificial hair is glued on like with lash extensions. I thought could this be true? I continued to research this treatment and from I could tell it looked like it was more of a strengthening treatment without any damage to the follicle or hair and the results lasted up to 3 months.
I booked an appointment with Vancouver certified Keratin Lash Technician at Fawns & Fellows with Rebecca Starr and am very glad I did. I have now had two treatments done and am very pleased with the results. I am now able to use less mascara and have fuller looking lashes. This is one of my favourite appointments because you could potentially even have a nap if you wanted since the whole procedure is done lying down with your eyes completely closed. It is a very relaxing experience and between the first and second appointment it was about two and a half months. There was no massive lash fall out, my lashes just slowly just went back to their original form which is less curled.
After 24 hours you are able to go back to your normal routine and do not have to avoid swimming or exercise. Your life goes on just as usual which is a huge difference compared to the lash extension commitment which can really be a lot to maintain.
Be aware of fake Keratin Lash Lift services. There are places that are still using regular lash perm solution and just advertising as Keratin Lash Lift treatment. They are VERY different and the true Keratin Lash Lift will strengthen your lashes and have no negative side effects to your lashes or follicles. Do your research and ensure it is a legit Keratin Lash Technician.
As you can see in the before and after pictures above of my own lashes, the results are immediate. The appointment is about 1-1.5 hrs depending on lash type. Like any treatment there are before and after steps that you have to abide by to ensure the best results and they are not hard to follow. Once you book an appointment online you will receive a confirmation email and all the guidelines are directly on her website. If your are booking an appointment DO NOT wear any eye makeup as this eats up a lot of time to remove to ensure the treatment works.
Over all I am very happy with the results and service Rebecca provides at Fawns & Fellows in Downtown Vancouver. She is very friendly, knowledgeable and gives great tips to maintain the results for as long as possible.
This is a service that I recommend to any woman seeking longer fuller lashes with their OWN natural lashes as an alternative to lash strips and extensions.
You can follow Fawn's & Fellows on Instagram at @fawnsandfellows to see countless amazing before and after photos and her website is www.fawnsandfellows.com.
Below are Rebecca Starr's step by step procedures for the Keratin Lash Lift:
1. The entire process is done with the eyes closed, laying on the esthetics bed as if you are resting. (Some people even fall asleep!)
2. Clean, bare lashes are sculpted up onto silicone forms. The level of lift is chosen based on the client’s lash length and desired lift for their lash type.
3. A lifting lotion is applied to the lashes, during which time you relax with a warm dark towel covering your eye area.
4. After removal of the initial product, a fixing lotion is applied to the lashes to help maintain the curl and lift of the lashes. It also strengthens and conditions the lashes.
5. After removal of the second product, a pigment infusion tint is applied to the lashes to increase volume and amplify length.
6. Once the pigment infusion tint is removed, a nourishing serum oil is applied to the lashes and eye area to moisturize and aid with removal of any residual product.
7. Finally a coat of crystal clear Yumi keratin treatment mascara is applied to gloss and nourish the lashes further. As all mascara is drying (especially the waterproof kind) this adds essential moisture and protein back into the lashes, whether worn under your regular mascara or as a stand-alone treatment - day or night. A simple way to think about NOT treating your lashes is like washing your face or hair, and not applying moisturizer or conditioner - ever.
8. Music, audio books and a blanket are provided at Fawn & Fellows… Or you can bring your own iPod. The whole treatment, from initial arrival to departure takes anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half (depending on lash length, density and coarseness).
9. The keratin protein in the serum mascara both strengthens and repairs the lashes, helping to give the hair structure and aids the lashes in growing stronger and fuller with increased lash retention.