at home spa beauty beat

Beauty Beat - January Skin Detox

Sunday, February 14, 2016 Jenny

I don't know about all of you, but damn! December and January completely kicked my butt. From being sick to just trying to get back into the groove of the new year, it was a tough month on a health level. So, my focus was on getting better and taking care of myself in January. Of course that meant some pampering.



After the holidays, I was running on empty. I was focused on the kids and family, getting our winter issue live and getting through the end of the year work push right before everyone left for the holidays and didn't really take time to sleep or you know, feed myself properly. That lack of sleep and nutrition really did a number on my skin. So much so, that I am still healing up. I think the combination of stress and lack of sleep caused my hormones to go haywire, which in turned caused my poor skin to show the consequences.

So, for this months Beauty Beat roundup, I focused on products that helped to soothe, treat and pamper my skin and hair. Detox was my focus when it came to health. It seems that during the holidays, we tend to eat in not the healthiest of ways. It's hard to turn down grandmas cookies and in our Filipino and Puerto Rican households, it is even harder to say no to some of the fried goodies and dishes like Lechon and Arroz. I am not beating myself up over any of it at all, cause it was mighty tasty!

I did make it a point, though, to focus on eating better throughout January. I am continuing to juice throughout the week. My favorite is carrot apple juice and I upped the fiber and added extra helpings of veggies to my meals. I really do need to get better at eating breakfast, but I just never can get myself to eat much of it during the week. The juicing does help, though! It's quick and convenient when I have things prepped and I can just use my juicer quick, then head out the door with a portable breakfast juice. I also am continuing to increase my water intake to help flush my body and then I spot treat any breakouts and focus on moisturizing and nourishing.



When it comes to skincare I focused on nourishing and healing. I am still using my clarisonic in my nighttime routine to really deep clean my face, remove dead skin cells and make sure I don't leave traces of makeup that could clog my pores leading to breakouts. I added facial masks throughout the week to help remedy any specific issue I may have been having such as puffiness, dryness or anti-aging effects.

Facial Washes: 

Getting a face full of makeup off after a long day can be such a pain, but I found the best way to ensure that my skin stays clear is to stick to a strong evening routine that always incorporates washing my face before bed. Cleansing your skin before bed and getting the grime and makeup off from the day truly allows it to breathe. According to dermatologists - overnight, the skin needs oxygen to repair itself. When you sleep with your makeup on it deprives your skin of this vital nutrient. Essentially, when you leave your makeup on,  it blocks the natural exfoliating process, which can leave your skin looking dull and can lead to your skin looking much more aged than it may be. Using a clarisonic has really helped to ensure I get a deep clean every evening, but sometimes it might take 2 or 3 rounds of washing depending on the type of face wash I use.

I recently tried out an oil cleanser from Kensington Apothecary and it really does a good job of dissolving my makeup off the skin while not leaving my skin feeling stripped. The basic concept of the oil cleansing method is that the oil will dissolve any oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores. Kensington's Rose Oil Cleanser is gentle, helps to calm redness and irritation all the while moisturizing your skin. Usually, my face will feel tight and dry after a night scrub, but this leaves my skin feeling plump and clean. You do want to use this type of cleanser with a facecloth to remove the cleanser as you wash. 

Kensington's Rose Facial Balm is one of those multi-use products. It literally will work as a skin cleanser, makeup remover, massage balm, moisture mask, lip balm or even a hair de-frizzer! If you feel the oil is a little hard for you to get used to, this is a great alternative. It has a bit of a grittier texture, but when you warm the product between your fingers before applying, it smooths out. You can massage into the skin and allow it to set overnight for a wonderful deep moisturizing mask or blot it off right away.

If you are looking for an innovative and organic skincare product, Feather & Bone face gems are a must try! The brand focuses on Ayurvedic skin care. Ayurveda is a holistic approach to the science of health. It focuses on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. Feather & Bone face gems give you a fresh way to wash your face. The distinctive face gems use all natural Ayurveda ingredients that moisturize, exfoliate and cleanse your skin. Feather & Bone’s goal and mission is for men and women to feel empowered by who they are as individuals and embrace their authenticity. To use the gems all you do is add a few drops of water to them and make a paste in the palm of your hand. The product does a great job of exfoliating and leaving your skin feeling fresh. 

Facial Masks

Masque Bar by Look Beauty - I've written about these before, but I used two new sets this month that really helped bring life back to my dull feeling skin. Being sick and dehydrated just zapped my skin and left it feeling really dry last month. So, I focused on masks that detoxed and moisturized. Masque Bar has a paper mask for every skin woe! I used the Lemon sheets and the brightening sheets. These are a great product to use on the weekends when you have some time to relax and decompress as they do require a 20-30 minute application timeframe. The masks are also luxurious enough to feel like a spa application, but are still affordable.  Overall, the masks make skin feel smoother and moist after one application. I do feel that it takes a few applications to notice the brightening benefits that help eliminate dark spots, but you do get 3 in a pack so you'll most likely notice a difference after a month of once a week applications.

Arbonne Overnight Brightening Mask is another mask that focuses on helping to brighten dark spots that you may have from aging or skin issues such as acne. This masks offers intense hydration over night. The product is thick, but blends in lightly and doesn't leave your skin feeling suffocated. I've noticed brightening of some acne healing spots after about a month and a half of use. This is a simple mask and is light enough that you could use 2-3 times a week depending on your skincare needs.

7th Heaven Black Seaweed Peel Off Mask is a great mask for detoxing. The product is made of chopped black Laver Seaweed (from the Welsh seaside) and crushed Sea Buckthorn berries that are pressed together to make the black peel off mask. This product is a seaside inspired detox that helps to cleanse deeply and peel off dirt and grease weekly. This product really leaves the skin feeling tight and refreshed, but can be drying if used too often. This is a product I use monthly in order to not strip my skin. It is a go to when I know my skin is feeling clogged and needs a deep cleaning.

Cosmetics: 

Oxygenetix was featured in last months roundup, but I had to give their acne control foundation a shout out this month as well. As a person with sensitive skin, I tend to struggle with finding foundations that don't irritate my skin and that don't leave me feeling cakey when I want full coverage. I fell in love with their oxygenating foundation. It was so light weight! So, when I heard about their acne control foundation, I had to give it a try. I just started using it towards the end of last month - so I haven't had a full month to review, but I will definitely do a recap in next month's Beauty Beat. Yet, I do have to say that my skin is looking clearer.

Oxygenetix Acne Control Foundation
is a powerful foundation that is meant to treat acne while concealing pimples and blemishes. It's even recommended for males and females of all ages. This foundation contains several acne-fighting agents, including 2% salicylic acid, which clears breakouts and prevents them from occurring in the future. So far, I'm very happy with the results.


Special Mentions

Côte Nail Polish is a great sustainable brand that really has a great mission behind it. Côte founders Mary Lennon and Leah Yari created Côte to provide a safe, transparent, quality product and an elegant nail care experience that could be shared with their families and friends without worry. Their product collection truly captures that Cali cool meets Parisian chic vibe.



Côte is the producer of its own exclusive blend of five–free polishes, nail treatments and home and body goods. côte offers an original blend of 109 hand–poured color. Their most recent seasonal collection has an array of gorgeous full bodied colors that are sure to suit anyone! Their focus on offering a product that is safe is at the heart of what they do. All of côte's polishes are created free of the five major toxins that are often associated with nail polish: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, camphor and formaldehyde resin.

Their color ranges are gorgeous and long lasting. Their neutrals are probably my favorite for creating a professional and put together set of nails. Soft nudes, blush pinks and shimmery metallic colorways are perfect for that woman on the go who wants to look pulled together from head to toe.

Giovanni Cosmetics: 2 Chic Repairing Hot Oil Treatment - The cold weather can really dry out more than just your skin, it can also dry out your hair. If you also use hot styling tools on top of that, then your tresses can take a beating during the winter. Hot oil treatments are a great way to help moisturize the scalp and seal in that moisture into your locks. These treatments can run hundreds of dollars at the salon, but there are quite a few at home options. First rule of thumb, though, is to be careful! You're dealing with hot oil afterall.

A hot oil treatment involves oil that has either been heated using a microwave or stovetop, or by immersing a ready-made package of oil in hot water. The hot oil is then applied to your hair and scalp, and after the recommended time has passed (usually 10-20 minutes), the oil is then rinsed from your hair. Giovanni Cosmetic's repairing treatment allows you to bring this salon treatment home. Each packet is only $4.99 and is easy to use! Sweet Nectar wraps each strand to re-bond split ends while the coconut sealant reinforces hair fibers promoting thicker & fuller hair. This is a go to for those of you with over processed or damaged hair. When used 2x/month and you will definitely see an overall improvement in the texture and health of your hair.

Clarity RX Face Wash  - I haven't had much time using this product, only about a week, but I absolutely love the way it makes my skin feel after using it. My skin almost feels tingly after every use. The product is a vitamin-infused cleanser that helps to nourish the skin and sweep away impurities and dirt. It is infused with conditioning olive oil, rose hip seed oil and seaweed. AfterI wash, my complexion is brightened, renewed and refreshed. 



Wally's Natural Ear Candle: Everyone remembers that one episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians where the girls convince Bruce to do ear candling. I always wondered what the benefits were of candling. Last month I decided to give it a try. First off, don't try this by yourself. Have a friend or loved one give you a hand. This is a great natural and non invasive method to help relieve some ear issues such as wax build up and the like. Overall, it can actually be really relaxing! Like I said, though, you need someone to help you to ensure the experience is relaxing. Nobody wants to be holding a melting candle of beeswax in their ear by themselves.



The idea is that the candle creates a vacuum in the ear canal which draws out excessive earwax and any minor impurities which may be present. Some benefits of ear candling include relieving tinnitus (ringing in the ears), helping to relieve sinus pain and pressure, removing excess wax build up, assisting with relieving Swimmers` ear, assisting with headaches, relieving severely itchy ears (often caused by yeast, mould or dairy allergies) and helping to unplug ears (often due to illness). Like I said, I had been battling a terrible sinus infection for about a month. After a round of meds, my ears and sinuses were still clogged. If you have never had chronically clogged ears, it can be maddening! The ear candling definitely helped to relieve some of the pressure. Give it a try, you might just like it.

That concludes this edition of Beauty Beat. Check back next month for my next round of beauty products I've been testing out!
-
Jen Lezan
Halfstack Editor in Chief



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