Feed your skin!

Greetings beauties!

If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin”  The first time I read that quote (on Dr. Alkaitis’s website) I didn’t think much of it (no offense to the author!).  The more I thought about it, the more I found it was profound.  I had what Oprah would call an “ah-ha” moment!  If we consider that skin is our largest organ, then it makes perfect sense that we should protect it, treat it as a living, breathing being, and feed it with natural, fresh, raw and live ingredients that are going to keep it in its optimal state.  I’ve become an avid label reader and I pick products with nourishing and healing ingredients that will keep my skin healthy in the long run.

Of course, we know healthy skin begins inside, by eating the right foods.  Skincare implements what clean eating, exercise and a healthy lifestyle do. But don’t you love it when you find products your skin can literally eat?!

Each of these products contains a special food ingredient you can eat or drink everyday! Bon appétit!

 

Green Tea

Brand: Aenon’s

Product: Green Tea +Aloe face oilAenons (16) Pic Monkey

Benefits:  We all know green tea has detoxification benefits, it aids in weight loss, it’s anticarcinogenic,  and it helps against stress and fatigue.  Sipping tea is not the only way you can get it to nourish your skin.  Applied to skin, green tea can also work wonders! I promise, there’s no splashing tea all over your face! Green Tea+Aloe Face oil has a lightweight texture, so it makes it easier for your skin to absorb and there’s no greasy feeling.  I use it during the day and it really helps if you have dry eczema like me.  I had to be patient with this one, results were not instant. I felt and saw a noticeable difference after a solid 3 weeks of constant use (1-2 times a day).  Depending on your skin type and condition, it might take more or less.  I’m glad I stuck with it, because it made a world of difference! My doctor had prescribed an ointment (laden with skin irritants), but I used this oil instead. The frustrating aspect of my eczema is the fact that it’s dry and  that I  can barely see it.  But it’s there because I feel the itchiness and the burning sensation, which is alarming to me. Thankfully, this oil worked really well for my skin!  It reduced the itching and calmed my skin’s burning sensation. I love using it with the Immortelle facial toner from the same brand which has healing properties.  If you have dry, itchy, irritated skin, this oil is for you!

Ingredients: Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf (and) Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf (and) Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Infused Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Fruit Extract, Essential Oil Blend, Tocopherol.

Price: 42$/30ml

Prickly Pear

Brand: Kahina Giving Beauty

Product: Prickly Pear Seed OilKahina Giving Beauty Prickley pear seed oil Pic Monkey

Benefits:  Have you ever eaten a barbary fig/prickly pear or a cactus pear? It’s really good for you! It’s shaped like a pear, ranges in color from yellow to deep red or purple.  It’s a great source of fiber, so it helps your digestive system. This Kahina Prickly pear seed oil is a superstar! It’s really been a powerhouse for my skin. I tested it for several months. It really does it all!  The Prickly pear seed oil is the only ingredient (here’s to less being MORE!), and if you’re familiar with Kahina, you know it’s pure! We already know this brand for its high quality and fair-trade argan oil.  It’s unlike any I’ve tried, it’s so smooth and silky. The Prickly Pear Seed oil is just as smooth, but a bit richer than the argan oil.  Although, you can use this day and night, I use it for my nighttime routine so I can reap fresh, radiant skin in the morning. My skin is really dry and thus far, this oil is one of the few products that keeps my skin moisturized throughout the night…and day. My skin feels less tight, less itchy, more supple and smooth. I use on damp face after a few spritzes of the Kahina Toning mist.  A little goes a long way! Basically, if I were to be stranded on a deserted island, I’d want to have this oil with me!

Ingredient: opuntia ficus indica (prickly pear seed) oil*

*Ingredient from Organic Farming, 100% Organic and Natural

Price: 38$/10ml and 150$/50ml

Plums

Brand: Napa Valley Organics (Agribeauty)

Product: Plum Kernel OilNapa Valley Organics Pic Monkey

Benefits: This oil is cold-pressed from the seed of California prune and is rich in Vitamins A and E, oleic acid, beta-carotene and essential and non-essential fatty acids.  It’s a great everyday treatment oil and also a great carrier oil, so you can add to your creams or body scrubs.  In general, plum oil might not be very trendy, but it’s notorious for culinary purposes. Founder of Napa Organics, Hilary Glass uses local agriculture ingredients to create her Agribeauty line.  The very essence of this brand stems from nature; everything we need to care for our skin should be simple, raw and unprocessed. The Plum oil is perfect for dry skin, and especially if you have sensitive, mature and acne prone skin.  It has a light scent of plum and almond. It seals in moisture (which is what I mostly need). I use this after exfoliation with Prune and Walnut face scrub and my skin is renewed and refreshed. Also great for hair and nails. An multi-purpose face oil and a definite must-have!

Ingredients: 100% California grown Plum Kernel oil

Price: 32$/30ml

Berries

Brand: Graydon Skincare (Clinical Luxury by Nature)

Product: The SerumGraydon The Serum by Pic Monkey

Benefits: I love berries: blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, etc.  Whether they are raw, juiced or in my smoothies, they are yummy! They keep us full, protect our cells from free radicals, prevent diseases and give our brain a boost. I am loving this serum which you can read more on, here. It contains 50 pounds of fresh Canadian berries (in 30 ml). When I use this serum, I make sure not to forget my neck. Consistent use of this serum will help you keep your skin’s youthful appearance and natural radiance.  It just makes your skin feel and look healthy. I use in conjunction with the Face Food mist, which you’ll read about in other posts.

Ingredients: cold pressed blueberry seed oil (vaccinum myrtillus), cold pressed cranberry seed oil (vaccinium macrocarpon), cold pressed red raspberry seed oil (rubus idaeus), meadowfoam seed oil (limnanthes alba), grapefruit seed extract (citrus grandis) and nothing else!

Price: 46$/30ml

 

Final thought…

These products speak volume about what eating healthy can do for our skin. I love using any of these products at any given time, but the key is discipline and consistency in your skincare routine.

Stay tuned for Part 2 soon! More yummy products to come on Ready, Set, Glow!

 

In the meantime, feed your skin…and soul!

with love,

Alex xo

 

*PR samples 

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Winter Essentials: Canadian style!

Greetings beauties!

Is it still cold out?!  I’ve got you covered! I’m a proud Canadian …mostly in the summer!  I am amazed at what our skin endures in the winter: rigorous winds, snow, sun, pollution, etc.  One of the primary functions of the skin is to protect us from the environment, light, infections, injuries, and any other threat.  So, in return, we must treat and protect it against all the exterior aggressors. I’ve selected two Canadian brands I’ve thoroughly tested the last few months.  If anyone knows about cold weather, it’s us Canadians!  I’m very proud of their products, they have passed the test of performance with flying colors! You will get to read more of these brands in my Giving Back series in the weeks to come.  Meanwhile, I wanted to share the products that helped keep my skin in good shape.

Province Apothecary

Founder: Julie Clark

Website: http://www.provinceapothecary.comProvince Apothecary Ultra Hydrating skin kit Pic Monkey

I consider Province Apothecary a “cure-all” brand; most of the products are suited for the most sensitive and reactive skins. Whether you have acne, psoriasis, dermatitis or any other skin ailment, you can bet P.A. (Province Apothecary) can help you.  However, you don’t necessarily have to have skin troubles.  Who doesn’t want fresh looking, healthy and glowing skin? I totally trust the integrity and the purity of the fresh, tried-and-true ingredients used in these products. Founder, Julie Clark, has dealt with her share of eczema and skin allergies all her life, she knows first-hand what works. She’s a certified holistic esthetician and an aromatherapist. Her brand takes “natural” and “organic” to a whole new level. She is truly committed to creating the best skincare products, by using high quality, certified organic, biodynamic and wildcrafted ingredients sourced from our Canadian provinces, hence the name of the brand, “Province Apothecary”.  For instance, she uses organic seaweed from Nova Scotia, maple syrup from Quebec (my province!) or beeswax from Alberta. And I love all the self-explanatory names of the products: rejuvenating+ hydrating serum, protecting+restoring face balm, detoxing+clarifying clay mask, etc. There’s so much to be explored in Province Apothecary! Here’s a bit of it!

Essentials  Province Apothecary Pic Monkey

The name says it all.  I remember using this when the cold days were just upon us. I felt an immediate relief which I love!  I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, because I’m accustomed to long-term results. I also thought the texture would be too light for the winter, but, as I continued using it, my skin felt less tight and itchy, as it often does when left untreated. I like to massage this serum on my face and I pat gently under my eyes (but watch it because there are essential oils).  It’s a great serum to use day and/or night. It’s packed with rich oils and antioxidants, so it’s great to use before going outside.  I let sink it and then add the Protecting+Restoring Face Balm. You can’t help but love this one!  A little goes a long way, as always, make sure you use with a good toner/mist.

Ingredients: Apricot kernel oil*, Pumpkin seed oil*, Jojoba Seed Oil*, Avocado oil*, Grape seed oil*, Pomegranate oil*, Raspberry seed oil*, Sea buckthorn oil*, Calendula oil*, Rosehip oil*, Borage oil*, GMO-free Vitamin E, Therapeutic essential oils of: Neroli, Frankincense, German chamomile, and Rose otto.*Certified organic ingredient

Price: 26$-76$ CND/7 ml-30 ml

This one is a sweetheart! I use this all day, everyday! As you’ll learn to know me, you’ll notice, I’m cuckoo over balms!! Can’t get enough of them!  I think everyone dealing with crocodile-dry skin should own balms! Well, in any case, this balm is ‘da bomb’! Just take a look at the noteworthy ingredient list! The most sought-after nourishing and healing oils and plants are included. This balm is absolutely, unequivocally a skin savior during winter’s coldest days. It appears solid in its tin, but it melts and sinks on contact.  I love that I don’t have to work so hard to make it melt, it just does!  I use it on any dry spots, on my lips (ditch your Chapstick!), on my brows, on my lids and even under my eyes where I apply concealer! I use this balm over the Rejuvenating+Hydrating Serum, so my skin not only gets the optimal nourishment it needs, but it’s protected. A must-have and very practical!  The format makes it easy for me to put it in my bag. I found out I have some dry eczema, so I’m getting the Healing Eczema balm next!

Ingredients:  Camellia oil*, Apricot kernel oil*, Pumpkin Seed oil*, Avocado oil*, Beeswax*, Broccoli oil*, Pomegranate oil*, Raspberry seed oil*, Rose hip oil*, Borage oil*, Calendula infused in Sunflower oil*, Carrot Root extract*, Sea Buckthorn oil*, GMO-Free Vitamin E. *Certified organic ingredient

Price: 16$ CND/15 ml and 52$ CND/80 ml

Graydon Skincare aka Clinical Luxury by Nature

Founder: Graydon Moffat

Website: http://www.clinicalluxurybynature.com  Graydon Trio Pic Monkey

Founder Graydon Moffat is what I call an enthusiastic “foodie” nerd, she believes in getting the best out of real food to transform skin.  Give her a broccoli and some kale, she’ll create a custom face oil for you!! If you take a look at the ingredients list of a product, you’ll notice it’s full of whole foods, vegetables, fruit and more. She carefully chooses ingredients that will prevent future damage, heal, protect and transform with long-term results. Her products are like smoothies for the skin: incredibly healthy!  What’s also fascinating is that she perceives the skin as it is: a living and breathing organ in need of nutrition.  The labels of her formulations are easy to read, as they should be. Graydon’s philosophy is “Clinical Luxury by Nature“. What does that mean? Simply put, this green skincare line is about bioactive formulations (clinical) made with plant powered ingredients (nature) that treat and nourish every cell of your skin, without surrendering your need for indulgence and beauty (luxury). As much as possible, Graydon chooses to source organic plant-based ingredients from Canadian growers and manufacturers such as broccoli and berry seed oils. In my opinion, this is a brand focused on quality ingredients to ensure optimal results for the skin while protecting and caring for the environment. The best part: it’s one of the most affordable brands in Canada! Now, that’s a brand after my own heart!! This brand is for the modern woman who wants instant and long-term results!

Essentials

I’m an oil addict…however, this product has renewed my faith in creams!  It gave my skin a new awakening! Ever since I switched to natural products, I had been staying away from creams, thinking their water content would leave my skin high and dry (pun intended!). Turns out, I was wrong! So, when came time to test this Green cream, I wasn’t too keen.  I reluctantly tried it…and I loved it! Good job, Graydon! It’s definitely not your average cream! Because I have dry skin, I thought I only needed oils or serums, but skin also needs moisture. Thankfully, the Green cream has a bit of both, and then some!  I wouldn’t say it’s enough to moisturize my skin on a cold day of winter, though. I use this in combo with the The Serum (read below). The star ingredient, and also Graydon’s favorite ingredient to work with, is the broccoli seed oil:  it gives this luscious cream a non-greasy feel and it mimics the effect of silicone, making it ideal to use under makeup, especially cream blush!  Not only did the Green Cream delivered in terms of moisture and nourishment,  I was pleasantly surprised that it gave me a glow and a light sheen. And, fear not, there is no stickiness, so slather it on your face! I appreciate that the product is in a pump, avoiding any waste and preventing contamination from bacteria and germs.  This cream will be ideal when spring shows up.  I will leave it in the refrigerator and slather it on, when it’s hot and humid ! Basically, this is the kind of product that will help your skin look good with or without makeup! Wow, broccoli has never been more appealing now!

Note: this edition of the Green Cream is part of the Causemetics campaign. More to come soon about that!

Ingredients: purified water (aqua), aloe vera juice  (aloe barbadenis), avocado oil (persea americana), cetyl alcohol (coconut oil), stearyl alcohol (mixed plant), broccoli seed oil (brassica oleracea italica), vegetable glycerin, olive oil (olea europaea), jojoba oil (simmondsia chinensis), sodium chloride (mixed plant), chlorophyll (chlorophyllin), grapefruit seed extract (citrus grandis) in a blend of pure essential oils and nothing else!

Price: 29$ CND/50 ml

This serum is brimming with antioxidants! But what exactly are antioxidants and what do they do? Allow me a brief definition of the word. In a nut shell, antioxidants, obtained through a balanced and healthy diet, are nature’s way of protecting our body and cells from the harmful free radicals. We all know that one of the best foods to fight the effects of free radicals are: BERRIES! Well, we’re in luck with The Serum because there are 50 pounds of fresh Canadian berries into a 30 ml bottle! Can you believe the power in this serum?!  It’s a great weapon against the environmental damage that can be done to your skin cells. While I don’t believe in “anti-aging”(and this product is not about anti-aging, it’s “slow-aging“), this rich serum can at least slow the aging process, it treats the core of what ages our skin cells. Remember, free radicals accumulate with age, they are responsible for the rapid aging our our skin cells, so with consistent use of this product, you’ll reinforce your skin’s barrier. It’s also a powerful prevention asset, an ally in counteracting the damaging effects of free radicals.  I don’t think it substitutes for a sunscreen, but it has an inherent SPF due to the presence of the Raspberry seed oil, who also is a great blemish-fighter. I like to use it in the morning, in combo with the Face Food Mineral mist (also another winner of the brand! Review coming!). It’s very difficult not to love this serum, it goes beyond the call of duty. For optimal results, I add 1-2 pumps into the Green Cream after having misted with the Food Face.  If you’re looking for healthy skin from the cells to your outer layers, this is for you! I love it!

Ingredients: cold pressed blueberry seed oil (vaccinum myrtillus), cold pressed cranberry seed oil (vaccinium macrocarpon), cold pressed red raspberry seed oil (rubus idaeus), meadowfoam seed oil (limnanthes alba), grapefruit seed extract (citrus grandis) and nothing else!

Price: 46$ CND/30 ml

Final thoughts…

Although I’ve tested these products in the winter, I think they all serve their purpose no matter what season it is.  The important thing is that they all treat and nourish the skin. Even though Province Apothecary and Graydon are two different brands, they are quite alike when it comes to the quality of the products as well as the dedication of their founders.  Both brands are eco-conscious and socially responsible.  I’m insanely proud of the fact that both brands are created by two brilliant, creative and strong Canadian women! They have shown that affordable can be both luxurious AND effective! For all these reasons and more, I will purchase and re-purchase when the time comes!

So, tell me, what do you think of Province Apothecary and of Graydon’s products? What has caught your eye? I’d love to know!

NoteBoth Province Apothecary and Graydon Skincare (Clinical Luxury by Nature) are involved in a breast cancer awareness campaign with Causemetics. I will publish a post pertaining to that cause in an upcoming post in my Giving Back series.

Until next time, stay cozy!

Alex xo

*PR samples