|S.O.S for Winter Dry Skin|
By Todra Payne
Fighting back the cold weather “scales” that attacked my skin every winter was a challenge since high school. I remember worrying if my dry, ashy skin would embarrass me every time I stripped down in gym class.
As a teenager, I wasn’t as “ingredients aware” as am I now, so back then I drowned my dry patches in petroleum jelly, not realizing I was doing more harm than good.
Fast forward many years (I’m not saying exactly how many years) and I’ve learned a thing or two about healthy, nourishing body care. It’s part of what I do. I’m happy to report that I’m able to combat the “scales” before the temperature drops. And I manage to maintain supple, soft skin all winter long – without spending a fortune. Here are my secrets.
Nourishing dry skin isn’t just about what we put on our skin, but what we put in our bodies. A liquid diet of Coke and Starbucks may give you the energy boost you need, but it’s not what your skin’s begging for. I know you’ve heard it all before, but it’s worth saying again. Water is your skin’s best friend. Hydrate from the inside as well as the outside.
Most body cleansers on the market are made of harsh detergents (like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) that strip the skin of moisture. You don’t need to clean your body with the same stuff you use to clean the garage. Gentle, nature-based body washes, like Made From Earth’s Vitamin E + Citrus Body Gel, clean and add moisture ($10). Another alternative is hand-made, farmer’s market soaps. Simple is best.
Removing dead skin cells will banish dryness and give your skin a lovely glow. Underneath those dry patches resides soft, touchable skin. A good quality sugar or salt scrub drenched in nourishing essential oils will help you find it. Colorado Aromatics makes a luxurious salt scrub that boasts pure shea butter and sweet almond oil in a wonderful orange/coriander scent. The cost is just $5.25.
Lotions are nice for people with normal skin. Seriously dry skin needs rich, thick body butters. With shea butter, cocoa butter and a host of essential oils, natural body butters are the way to go for silky skin. Face Naturals makes wonderfully nourishing, organic body butters in seven luscious scents. My favorite is organic coconut and chai. Cost? $16.49 each.
Enjoy your new, baby soft skin.
Todra Payne is a Celebrity Makeup Artist turned Healthy Beauty Expert. She is the founder of The Healthy Beauty Project.
|Five Luxurious Beauty Products That Fit Almost Any Budget|
By Todra Payne
Finding skincare and makeup that perform well and looks great can seem difficult on a budget, but it doesn’t have to be. Part of my job as a Healthy Beauty Expert is to explore good quality, natural cosmetics that are also affordable. Routinely, I come back to simple items that can be found for a few dollars in health food stores. And fun makeup from niche beauty brands that sell online. Here are a few of my favorite picks.
Face masks are wonderful for lifting imbedded dirt from the skin and leaving behind a fresh glow. But packaged beauty masks can cost anywhere from $25 to $75 depending on the brand and the store. And the unnecessary boxes and packaging aren’t very earth friendly. As an alternative, I head to the health food store where I buy Bentonite Clay in the bulk department for about $3 (for six to seven applications). Bentonite clay is a mineral-rich, edible clay with the power to draw and bind toxins to itself better than most clays on the market. It works for all skin types and is easy to mix. Just pour two tablespoons of clay in a glass container and mix with water to form a paste. Apply to your face as you would any other mask. Wait about five minutes and rinse. You’ll have beautiful skin and the earth will thank you.
If your skin, like mine, balks at harsh alcohol-filled toners, then I’ve got the perfect solution: Aloe Vera juice. After cleansing your face or applying a mask, using good quality aloe vera juice helps remove the last traces of makeup and clay while soothing the skin. Just pour a small amount on a cotton ball and wipe your face gently. My favorite brand, Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice, doesn’t have preservatives and is stored in the fridge for freshness. The cost? Between $7 and $8 depending on your market.
Nothing makes me happier than a moisturizing body scrub after a long day. But most contain chemicals I don’t want on my body. And a price tag that hits my wallet harder than I’d like. Sugared Beauty, a new all natural bath & body line has scrumptious dessert-themed sugar scrubs that nourish my natural girl tendencies and softens my skin. Made with cold pressed, virgin organic coconut oil, fair trade evaporated organic cane juice and a slew of other completely healthy ingredients, this gets my vote for the best at-home spa treat. Choose your scent from Chocolate Cake, Warm Sugar Cookie, After Dinner Buttermint and Sugared Lemonaid. You’ll want to eat them. But don’t. 2 oz jars sell for just $7.
After you’ve scrubbed your body smooth, moisturize it with an equally indulgent body cream made from real coffee bean butter. Coffee is the new ingredient of choice for beauty products with big price tags. But Raw Element’s Cup of Joe-sie Coffee Bean Crème gives me my caffeine fix without the designer coffee price tag. This super moisturizing oil is produced from roasted coffee beans, leaving a lingering coffee scent on skin. Raw Element adds a hint of vanilla to give it a flavored coffee scent. It’s pure heaven for $15.
No beauty products list would be complete without a fun, sparkly eye shadow. And Sweet Libertine delivers the goods well. With countless colors (they keep making new ones every week!) and lots of shimmer, these sassy-named shadows will brighten your day. If you’re feeling demur and soft, try camisole (lavender) or Lady be Good (golden champagne). For racier times, there’s Spring Fling (tangerine) and Disco Butterfly (deep silver). Alien Lovechild (blue) and Drunk Mother-in-Law (brown/purple) are great, too. They’re all mineral (without bismuth) and just $5 each.
Todra Payne is a Healthy Beauty Expert and a celebrity makeup artist. She owns The Healthy Beauty Project, an informational site on how to get gorgeous and be healthy.
|Etsy, the Affordable Alternative to Sephora|
By Todra Payne
If you glance past the natural and organic beauty products found at health food stores and major retailers, considering the cost outside of your budget, I have good news. You can get quality, natural products without paying premium prices.
As a healthy beauty expert, I am always on the lookout for exceptional, toxin-free bath products, skincare and makeup. Repeatedly, I’ve found the best items at wallet friendly prices, not in retail stores, but online. Small beauty brands who don’t have the expense of a brick and mortar location or a staff of 20 sales associates, can offer excellent products for less than their mall based competition. Sometimes, they’ll even create a facial cleanser or body mask just for you and ship it out fresh, without chemical based preservatives.
One of my favorite places to seek out new brands with natural, homemade ingredients is Etsy.com. Esty is an online marketplace where creative people with crafty ideas sell their wares. Many savvy shoppers already know Etsy is the place to find anything from baby soft, hand-knitted scarves to off-beat original wall art. But they rarely consider they can also get the most scrumptious, fruit based body scrubs, vibrantly hued mineral makeup and luxury hair treatments. Many of the sellers on Etsy progress to opening their own websites as their popularity grows, but Etsy is a great, no risk place to premier their products to the world.
I’ve discovered fig scented bath bombs made with nourishing goat’s milk and mineral rich kaolin clay for about $3 each (from Soycomfort). A deliciously rich coffee bean butter based skin moisturizer for $15 (at RawElement). And the richest colors in mineral eye shadows imaginable at just $5 each (Orglamix). This is just a sampling of the goodies I’ve found on Etsy.
If you’re apprehensive about ordering products over the Internet, Etsy is the perfect place to start. Most of the companies selling on the site list where they are located, when they began their shop and what their policies are. Customers are encouraged to rate the products as well as the company. Some of the brands have thousands of reviews (like Orglamix). This way, you can choose not to buy from a company that has good product reviews, but bad customer service reviews. However, If you have a bad experience with a brand (I’ve never had this problem, but I’ve heard a story or two), the owner is usually eager to work it out amicably so as to avoid a bad review.
I encourage you to try these niche beauty brands. You’ll help out the little guy and get great, affordable products for yourself.
Todra Payne owns The Healthy Beauty Project , the fun online destination where women learn the latest news about non-toxic beauty products and how to apply them like a pro.
|Make-Up: Getting What You Pay For?|
If you're like me, fashionable cosmetics that promise to last longer and help me look like a supermodel are very tempting. “Hope in a jar” is a very effective marketing tool because manufacturers know that women will pay just about anything for beauty, arguably one of a woman’s most important assets. Need proof?
|Get the Haircut You Want|
“My mama always said, ‘Don’t worry, it will always grow back!’ “
Barbara Ervin, Peoria, Arizona