Get vacation ready and show off your firm and fit body with these all-natural products that we love!
Choosing the proper cleanser for the winter months is so important to maintaining a healthy, hydrated glow. I like using soothing oil-based, natural cleansers like Origins' Clean Energy Cleansing Oil, that are still effective at removing dirt and impurities without stripping your skin of its own natural oils.
Dermatologists recommend exfoliating 1-2 a week to eradicate dry, flaky skin and allow serums and creams to penetrate more easily into new skin layers. Just avoid scrubs that are too harsh on the skin, as using these can lead to oversensitivity and extra dryness or worse, broken blood vessels. Tea Tree and Honey makes an amazing natural exfoliator that unclogs pores and removes impurities, but is still gentle enough for sensitive, winter skin.
3. Dry Brush
Dry brushing is another wonderful exfoliation method to keep your skin healthy and glowing. Dry brushing for just 5 minutes twice a day can help excrete toxins by stimulating your lymphatic system, shedding dead skin sells, improving circulation and even, reducing cellulite.
How to dry brush:
It's essential to keep your skin moist in the dry winter months. Between the cold winter air and dry indoor heating systems, sky can become even more susceptible to peeling, dehydration and even cracking. My recommendation: use separate moisturizers for the body and face, as the face is more senstitive and likely needs more potent, targeted hydration. The Organic Pharmacy makes an amazing, nourshing cream fortified with Rose and Evening Primrose to keep your skin hydrated and healthy throughout winter. For your body, I recommend Osmia Organics Light Body Oil: a spray that's super easy to apply on-the-go and contains a beautiful blend of immune-boosting ingredients like lemongrass and balsam.
5. Apply SPF
Just because it's chilly or cloudy doesn't mean that UVA/UVB rays aren't peeking through. Continue using an SPF daily to avoid not only skin cancer, but also dark spots, discloration and added dryness. Just choose a hydrating SPF for the winter months, like this mineral-based sunscreen, fortified with antioxidants, vitamins and organic botanicals. It smells and feels delicious!
While cleansing, scrubbing, exfoliating and moisturizing are important topical ways of keeping skin moist, don't forget one of the most essential ways to keep your largest organ glowing: by hydrating! Make sure to stick to your 2 liters of water a day rule. Your body might even require a bit more water if you're exercising or experiecning extreme dehyrdation from ultra dry indoor heat.
7. Use Overnight Serums
Night-time is the best time to apply potent products as your blood circulates even more while you're asleep than awake, allowing serums and creams to penetrate more deeply over the hours you sleep. I recommend natural serums containing Hylauranoic Acid, which is extremely effective at maintaing skin hydration but also battling fine lines and wrinkles. (I personally love this natural Instant Face Lift serum.) I also switch between the Instant Face List serum and this brightening serum, which contains natural ingredients like Norwegian Kelp and Sea Fern extract to target dark spots and discoloration while you rest.
8. Watch Your Diet
As always, watch your diet. Dehydrating foods, like anything super salty, can add to your skin's dull or lackluster complexion. Incorporate hydrating foods into your diet, like cucumbers, celery, canteloupe and even bell peppers to help keep your skin glowing and healthy.
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The mission of each product (i.e. nourish) is simple and to the point. And so are the ingredients.
Dermatologically tested, these products are free from common, potentially damaging ingredients:
alcohol, parabens, formaldehyde carriers, PEGs, MCI/MI, steareth-n
For all of you animals lovers out there, you'll also be happy to know that Honest Beauty products are
not animal-tested and contain no animal by-products.
Honest Beauty products are clean, simple, safe and effective.
I don't wear that much makeup daily, but I do want what I wear to look and feel like quality. The standout product for me (and my photographer) within the Honest Beauty makeup line was the Spotlight and Strobe kit. This compact kit contains two blendable creams to brighten your skin and a luminizing powder to add a flawless finish. It glided on effortlessly! Want more tips on how to strobe like a pro? Check them out here.
I also loved the Invisible Blurring Powder, because if I'm going to wear makeup, the most important aspect for me is to achieve natural-looking, clear skin. I lightly dusted the Invisible Blurring Powder across my face before this shoot and the results were indeed, camera-strong! Mattified, even, silky skin. Apply over makeup or alone!
If you guys follow me regularly, you also know I'm big on bold lips. The Lip Gloss in Playful Kiss was perfect. Infused with pomegranate, Honest Beauty's Lip Gloss added just the right shiny finish.
I lightly dusted the Invisible Blurring Powder across my face before this shoot and the results were indeed, camera-strong! Mattified, even, silky skin.
My hair felt nourished and clean (it even looked lighter in color!) but it didn't feel heavy or fall flat...
Photography, Makeup & Hair by the very talented: Kenny Kiefer.
Special thanks to Honest Beauty, specifically Brenna Israel Mast.
One of my favorite things about embracing a more natural beauty routine is the fact that you can use household items - like groceries - to create your own products!
From the wind and sun this summer, my skin needed some brightening. I decided to play around in the kitchen, mixing some full-fat greek yogurt with other ingredients. After toying with a few different combos, here are the ingredients for the yogurt face mask that worked best for me. Of course, I hope you love it, too!
DIY Greek Yogurt Face Mask
- 3/4 cup of full fat greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp. of honey
- a dash of cinnamon
- a dash of turmeric
- juice from 1/3 lemon
- a splash of hot water (see directions below)
- I blended all of the above in my Nutribullet, which I also swear by to make quick smoothies in the morning, but you could also simply mix the ingredients yourself with a large spoon.
- After blending or stirring the mixture, let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Then, add in a splash of hot water to the mixture, stirring one more time.
- Apply directly and immediately to face and neck!
- Leave the face mask on for 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water to remove. You might consider using a washcloth to remove all of the residue. I feel so luxurious when I use my extra soft-cotton Kate Spade one!
The greek yogurt has a great cooling effect and creates a nice base for the mask. The honey is antibacterial - great for any of you struggling with breakouts or acne (nearly all of us do at one point or another!) The cinnamon has a nice brightening effect, as does the citrus from the lemon. And last but not least, the turmeric, a staple in my spice cabinet, has amazing anti-inflammatory properties to calm and regenerate the skin.
On Creating Your Own Combo or Buying a Natural Mask
As always, feel free to get creative with your greek yogurt mask combinations! If you have avocado in the house, feel free to throw that in as well! Full of healthy fats, like Omega 3's, avocado is super nourishing and hydrating - especially beneficial for dry, summer skin.
If you don't want to make your own face mask (let's face it, we're not all that into DIY) but are interested in trying natural, yogurt-based products, Zoet Bathlatier offers a gentle, yet revitalizing, honey and yogurt mask that I highly recommend!
Have you tried this greek yogurt + honey face mask? Have you created your own combo? Tell me what kind of natural, DIY face masks you're making in the comments below!
A celebrity staple, this styling cream rehydrates dry hair using all natural ingredients, including jojoba Oil, Shea Butter and Vitamins.
Got curls? Carol's Daughter has the solution. This softening serum, packed with rich, natural marula oil, effortlessly restores curls' bounce.
Celebrity colorist Christophe Robin developed this creamy conditioner from restorative, color-safe and natural ingredients, including Almond Oil and Rice Proteins. This paraben, silicone and colorant-free blend prevents the natural oxidation of highlights.
California Smooth shampoo contains a unique blend of grain-derived proteins and Keratin. Sulfate-free, this product is also free of parabens and sodium-chloride.
A celebrity favorite, this dry shampoo absorbs extra oil and impurities to restore hair's natural volume and bounce. Use it post-workout or when you don't have time for a full wash and shampoo!
Celebrity hairstylist Orlando Pita's Smooth Anti-Frizz Shine Serum is infused with Silk Protein and Panthenol to tame fly-aways and provide brilliant, lasting shine.
So, here at TCM we like to protect our skin and keep it smelling fresh with organic perfumes that contain carefully sourced ingredients. Here are some of our favorites:
Made from wildcrafted botanicals like zesty orange and stress-busting holy basil, Azalea's Byron Bay Perfume Oil is the perfect, refreshing summer scent.
From DEET-free bug-repellant - safe for you and the kids - to an all-natural sunless tanner, we've got you covered with some of our favorite organic and chemical-free must-haves!
We especially love Juice Organic's hair mask, which uses natural Coconut oil to replenish dry and unruly summer hair. And we're drooling over Malie Organics Mango-Nectar Body Wash, which leaves our skin clean and refreshed, awash with the perfect summery scent. Oh, and don't forget your SPF! We love alba Botanica's sprayable SPF 35, because it's free of nasty chemicals like aerosol and flammable propellants (hello, we don't want to go up in flames at the bonfire!) so you can safely protect your skin while you relax and sunbathe. Plus, for all you animal lovers out there, you can rest assured that this product was made cruelty-free.
Oh, and, happy summer!
The first truly impactful story on the emotional effects of health-related conditions to go live on TCM came from a brave woman with regard to her stress-induced anorexia. Another authentic story on a brave woman’s battle with diabetes opened our eyes to how we can find light and acceptance amidst a health challenge. Through emails, many of you have been brave enough to share your health issues with me. As I am not a medical practitioner - just a healthy lifestyle enthusiast - I am so humbled by your openness and the courage it takes to share with me your stories, whether it’s for a magazine feature or just to enjoy a private place to talk. These conversations have made this TCM journey all the more worthwhile to me, as I have they have to you.
As the Founder of TCM, I feel I have an obligation to share more about my own chronic health issues, in the same way that many of you have shared with me. One of these chronic issues I am referring to is psoriasis. For those of you unfamiliar with psoriasis, it’s an autoimmune disease marked by red, scaly and often itchy patches on the skin. These patches can be contained in specific, concentrated areas (such as your body’s trunk) or in acute flare-ups, speckle your entire body. Unfortunately, this is what I’m currently undergoing; something that has caused me to postpone photoshoots and branding meetings with regard to some of TCM’s next steps.
Now, part of the reason I share this story is because I am by no means alone in this, and it is something that some of you half a million readers might also face. According to scientific research, an estimated ~10 percent of the population inherits one or more of the genes that could lead to psoriasis, with only 2-3 percent actually developing the disease. Researchers believe that the latter percent that actively develops the disease are exposed to specific, external triggers in addition to this particular gene combo.
So what are the triggers? Triggers can be anything from stress, to injury to the skin (i.e. sunburn or scratches), to medications (especially Inderal, a high blood pressure medicine that worsens the condition in about 25-30% of patients with psoriasis who take it), and infection (like Strep Throat.) Other potential triggers can be allergies and changes in the weather.
The cause of my most recent flare-up is hard to say - maybe stress, food allergies - and it’s been about 8 months since my last, acute reaction, which believe it or not I’m grateful for. I treated my last flare up with an intense combination of treatments recommended by my dermatologist, beginning with the Light Box and XTRAC Laser, and ultimately moving to the medication Otezla. Dermatologists have used UV light therapy for decades as an effective method for treating many skin disorders, including psoriasis. XTRAC produces a monochromatic wavelength of ultraviolet light known to positively impact the psoriasis action spectrum. With XTRAC, your dermatologist can treat just the affected areas, making it a good option for those that have psoriasis in a concentrated area but a less promising approach for those affected all over. For me, personally, the XTRAC laser worsened the patches before improving them, leading to uncomfortable burning feeling post-treatment.
I experienced pretty rapid psoriasis clearance on Otezla (about 2 months.) With that being said, the side effects were real; it killed my stomach, which is not great for a person that already suffers with GI problems. So, despite some of the external benefits, I'm back to natural remedies in dealing with this condition – everything from pure, organic aloe gel, to coconut oil, to sea salt baths + more.
In the coming weeks, I’ll share with you the natural remedies that have helped to heal my psoriasis, though admittedly, the condition can take longer to improve using such natural products and solutions. Still, good health is about sustainability, and unless it’s absolutely necessary, I’d rather improve slowly, over time, knowing that I’m not adding toxins to my body to make improvements. These remedies will also help if you suffer from eczema and other rashes or skin conditions from allergies (including reactions from dairy.) Needless to say, they will also help with stress management, which is so essential in healing your body of anything and ensuring that you do not exacerbate any current conditions you have.
So why do I share this story? Is it so you guys can empathize with me? Pity me? Absolutely not. I share this story to impart knowledge to my female readers going through any health-related issue that you are not alone and that there is nothing to be ashamed of. I say this because, at times, I have felt these ways, both embarrassed and ashamed, no matter how much emphasis I put on my health and no matter how much I believe in loving and embracing oneself, despite imperfections.
Candidly-speaking, at the gym, I’d cover my psoriasis-ridden arms with hoodies, sweatshirts or long-sleeve tops, even though I was brimming with sweat. Part of this was because I didn’t want to epitomize the opposite of the healthy lifestyle I represent, through my red, rash-affected skin. But the truth is, I created this brand because of these issues; because I wanted to begin to educate myself, and through that, others. When it comes to you guys, I’ve actually been less of a teacher and more of a student; learning everyday how health & happiness move you. I'm so so grateful for that.
Bottom line: we are all human and every one of us experiences frustrations. These frustrations can be even more pronounced when they have to do with our health, as they can make even simple, day-to-day tasks difficult. I say this with full knowledge that what I possess health-wise can be a fraction of what some of your readers might have.
So rest assured that whatever you’re dealing with health-wise, there is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. And if it’s something that has externalized itself, like psoriasis, remember that your beauty, literally, is not skin-deep. So, stop covering up. Even I have to continue to remind myself of this, as I reminisce over when my skin was tan and clear. As women, we are so socialized to represent this perfect image. But your perfection is not in your skin, it’s in your character, your unique qualities and abilities, your ability to give and receive gratitude and love for what you do have – despite your challenges.
And while you deserve to live a life free from health-impairing conditions, you can embrace who you are even with your challenges - internal or external. This is advice that I, too, vow to practice.
| For more information on psoriasis, including access to support, visit the National Psoriasis Foundation. |
We all want beautiful, long, sexy locks. What if you could achieve this naturally - not by extensions or toxic products, but by simply making informed & healthy foods choices? Well, you can!
Improve Hair Strength
Methylsulfonylmethane, found in a plethora of vegetables, aids in the production of the hair protein keratin and helps to strengthen follicles. Snack on:
- swiss chard
Reduce Hair Thinning
Foods that contain B vitamins biotin and vitamin B6 can reduce hair thinning by increasing scalp circulation and rejuvenating hair follicles. Give these a try:
- wheat bran
Vitamin E is known to repair and nourish damaged hair. Indulge in:
- sunflower seeds
- safflower oil
- pine nuts
- dried apricots
- cooked spinach
Improve hair strength, volume and growth
Silica can play a vital a vital role in correcting hormonal imbalances that otherwise lead to thinning hair. Reach for:
- unrefined cereals & oats
I've always been a fan of Kiehl's products, but I love this formula that relies on Amazonian White Clay to gently detox the skin of dirt, oil and toxins.
Here's a tingle we enjoy! This award-winning peel is made with a gentle yet effective organic ingredients, including hydroxy acids and raw sugar cane, which exfoliates the skin to reduce breakouts and even out tone.
This ultra-soft mud mask removes impurities and improves the appearance of breakouts and fights acne. Formulated with seven special herbs, and free of parabens and sulfates, we count on this mask to rev up our dull, winter complexion.
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