Food For Your Face: Choosing the Best Facemask for your Skin

Facemasks are like ice cream; you can never choose just one kind. Facemasks are also treats for our skin like ice cream is a treat for our taste buds, but the similarities really end there. See, facemasks are healthy, detoxifying, glowy, nourishing “food” for our face and ice cream, well, let’s just say it doesn’t quite do all that for us.

Facemasks are truly wonderful tools to help us supplement our skincare health and daily routine. They help us zero in on, and target, our specific needs, and concerns. However, the most wonderful thing about facemasks is also the scariest (I use the term scary lightly here). You can never have too many masks; you really can’t. There are a hundred different masks for a hundred different uses and we can have them all, well, the ones we feel we actually need anyway. Let’s not get greedy. It’s useless and wasteful to buy a facemask, or really any skincare product for that matter, just for the sake of buying it or for the hype, the almighty and powerful hype. Because not every facemask is designed to help our skin, it can become very easy to go a bit crazy and one day find yourself staring at a shelf entirely filled with facemasks (this is a real-life example from my own life).

Facemasks fall under several different categories (Calming, Moisturizing, Detoxifying, Acne Fighting, Brightening and Anti-Aging) and I think it’s safe to say that having one mask in each category, or several masks that fall under multiple categories, is a reasonable, and dare I say, a sensible thing to do. It’s important to do some research and find the best mask for our skin type and needs. If we have sensitive, dry, or acne prone skin, etc., we need to take these factors into consideration when choosing a mask.

I will say that many masks have multiple functions and benefits. If we’re tight on cash, or just don’t want the clutter of so many products in our medicine cabinet, it’s easy to choose just a couple masks that have multiple uses and benefits. Multifunctional masks can be great, healing and combating multiple problem areas at once is both time efficient and smart. There is no one cure-all mask for anyone; we need to test and research to find the right combination for ourselves.

Advanced Hydration Mask – Josh Rosebrook

The Advanced Hydration Mask is a wonderfully hydrating mask that will nourish even the driest of faces with super hydrating ingredients including Aloe Vera (regenerates skin), mango seed butter (moisturizing and tightening), senna seed extract (hydrates and repairs) and blue tansy oil (calms irritation). This mask is like a cool drink of water for our parched face. It even looks like water with its blue color, from the blue tansy flower oil, and silky texture. Packed with rich plant oils and botanicals it helps replenish and retain skin cell hydration. The mask helps to lock in moisture, plump, condition and improve skin circulation, which protects and supports healthy skin function and slows signs of aging in the skin.

Nutritive Greens Mask – Aster & Bay

Aster & Bay describes their Nutritive Greens mask as a green smoothie for your face, and I think they hit the nail on the head with that one. This mask contains nutrient-dense natural herbs and superfoods like peppermint, matcha, spinach, and spirulina, which are all blended with French green clay and raw wildflower honey, creating a facemask that detoxifies, tones, and nourishes. Packed with chlorophyll and amino acids, the mask also helps fight free radicals, which can cause premature aging in our skin.

The raw honey inhibits bacterial growth and can help heal many skin conditions such as acne, inflammation, and redness. The honey also helps to nourish and protect skin, making it an excellent choice for all skin types.

Clearing Mask – Indie Lee

The Clearing Mask helps purify clogged pores and congested skin with its gentle, yet effective detoxifying formula. The mask leaves skin feeling tightened and firm, but still nourished. This is most likely due to the hyaluronic acid in the mask, softening the face and enhancing circulation.

The Clearing Mask is ideal for congested and acne-prone skin. The clay and fruit acid formula helps eliminate dead skin cells and removes toxins from our pores, helping to reduce inflammation and redness, while helping to promote healing from acne scarring.

The mask can also be used as a spot treatment for those stubborn breakouts we want to get rid of fast. The mask is both detoxifying and hydrating, so it won’t dry out our skin if we leave it on for several hours, or even overnight.

Clarifying Mask – Tata Harper

The Clarifying Mask is a great mask for almost any skin imperfection. This mask is great for helping our skin get back to looking healthy, balanced and clear. The mask has an enzymatic peel effect that helps reduce the appearance of breakouts, redness, and excess oil without drying or irritating the skin.

The mask also contains chlorella, which nourishes and hydrates the skin; it also gives it a vibrant green color. When washing off the mask, warm water activates the effect of quartz sand crystals in the mask, which exfoliates and soften our skin as we gently massage it off of our face. This is an amazing added bonus that I really love; it leaves the skin feeling smooth and soft as well invigorated.

3-Minute Flash Mask – Ursa Major

The 3 Minute Flash Mask is a gentle but effective “flash” enzyme face treatment that quickly exfoliates dead skin built up on the surface of our face. It also helps to accelerate skin cell turnover, enhancing the appearance of skin tone, brightness, elasticity, and firmness.

This mask is very gentle and gives the same amazing effects as an intense scrub or light chemical peel without the irritation. The gel-like texture and amazing tropical pineapple and orange fruity smell only help to elevate the amazing benefits of this mask.

This mask has really helped to brighten my skin and gives me a wonderful glow, thanks to brightening ingredients like pineapple and hibiscus. Other natural ingredients that work wonders in this mask are pomegranate enzymes that help remove dull, dead skin cells, leaving behind smoother softer and brighter skin.

The Flash Mask is gentle enough for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin that might be a bit wary of an enzymatic mask should give this one a try.

Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish – African Botanics

The Buchu Botanical Enzyme Polish is an amazing and gentle facial polish that deeply exfoliates and purifies the skin by lifting off dead skin cells leaving skin clean, soft and radiant without irritation.

A combination of dried Buchu plant and crushed Baobab fruit are combined with healing micro-algae and fine granules of volcanic minerals to improve texture and soften the look of fine lines and dark spots by buffing away dead skin.

The polish is also loaded with papaya and pineapple enzymes to clear pores while minimizing their appearance and improving radiance. Essential oils of Bergamot, Rose Geranium, and Tea Tree are stimulating and soothing, which helps to detox and calm the skin with their anti-inflammatory properties.

I love using this polish in the shower; you only have to leave the mask on for around 5 minutes to reap all the amazing benefits. I massage it into my face right when I get in and wash it off after I finished all of my other shower tasks. Multi-tasking in the shower, while getting a smoother, plumper more radiant complexion all at the same time, that’s what I call a true win-win right there folks.

Healing Manuka Mask – La Bella Figura

This hydrating Healing Manuka Mask works wonderfully for dry, irritated and mature skin conditions. The mask is formulated with mineral rich manuka honey, which nourishes and calms the skin with its antibacterial properties. Manuka Honey can also help fight acne and acne scarring and reduce redness and inflammation in the skin. The mask also contains Aronia berry extract, an excellent source of antioxidants and Vitamin C, as well as rosehip seed oil that helps in speeding up skin’s regenerative process which can help combat the signs of aging.

This is a hard-working and powerful mask that has a very potent formulation. While this is wonderful for revealing radiant and fresh looking skin, it can cause a strong reaction and therefore isn’t recommend for those with sensitive skin.

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Fresh Faced: Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

I am very picky about my cleansers. Well, if we’re being honest, I’m very picky about everything. But cleansers are an integral step in our skincare routine. We start and/or end our days with our cleanser. We are counting on them to remove dirt and grime from the day and to wipe off the makeup we rocked all day long and are now desperately ready to free ourselves from. They need to clean our face and make us feel fresh and invigorated. It’s a tough gig, but I think I found the gal for the job.

The Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil by One Love Organics is my holy grail of cleansers. Do I have an entire shelf filled with other cleansers in my bedroom? Maybe. But, do I reach for this one 90% of the time? Totally. This cleanser removes dirt and impurities while also restoring skin’s natural moisture barrier, which is one reason why I love this oil cleanser so much. So does my dry and acne prone skin. The Vitamin B cleanser contains papain, a fruit enzyme that helps to exfoliate and soften. It also contains a natural Vitamin B complex to detoxify and tone.

It may seem like a foreign concept to some out there, but oil can be a great combative to both oily and acne prone skin; crazy but true. This cleanser leaves my skin feeling fresh, dewy and clean. I’m not a huge fan of that squeaky-clean feeling left behind by some cleansers. If you do that’s great, but maybe shy away from an oil cleanser. The oil moisturizes and cleanses the face all in one, which is wonderful for me. As an added, awesome bonus, the Vitamin B cleanser is killer at removing makeup; yes, even that pesky eye makeup. We just have to use a little extra product to get all the mascara off our eyes, but it definitely works. I use 1 pump when I’m just cleansing and 2 pumps when I’m trying to remove makeup as well as cleanse.

Picture from Credo Beauty, online

I love giving my face a massage while applying the cleanser. It feels great and helps to get circulation flowing, which helps tighten our skin. Say goodbye to all those annoying wrinkles we’re all convinced we have. Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight, but a face massage every night over the course of a few months, to a year,  will definitely improve our overall skin tone. Also as an added sense of pampering and luxury, it smells fantastic.

I apply the cleanser to my hands and rub them together to evenly distribute the product. I then massage it into a dry face anywhere from 30 seconds up to 1 minute. When it comes to removing the cleanser, it can be done in several ways. We can simply remove it with warm water, then pat dry with a washcloth. But, if we’re looking for a deeper clean, and a small amount of exfoliation, just saturate a washcloth with warm water and press it over your face, holding it there until the cloth loses most of its heat. Then repeat this process, but this time gently rub the cloth to remove the rest of the oil, hence the light exfoliation. This technique helps the cleanser to enter deeper into our pores, creating a deeper and more effective cleanse. However one decides to use the cleanser, it’s sure to be effective. I highly recommend checking it out!

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Must Have Natural Beauty Products For Fall

Fall Must Haves HeaderIt’s that time of year again, when we pull out our scarves and boots and, dare I say it, pumpkin spice lattes (or just lattes for us simple folk). There are songs, clothing items and beauty products that remind us of fall and I am here to tell you a few of the products I own, that just scream fall to me.

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Weleda Skin Food, hand cream

This cream is literally a lifesaver. I keep it on my nightstand and use it every night before I go to bed. I have had a problem with getting really dry and cracked skin on my hands ever since I used Accutane in high school; it’s been a nightmare. I also work and have worked at a coffee shop for the past several years, which is super drying since I am constantly washing my hands. Anyway, this cream works wonders on my hands and smell great too.

Burt’s Bees cuticle oil/cream

This cuticle oil is an added bonus to my hand cream; I will apply it directly to my cuticles after putting on the Weleda Skin Food. It is just extra moisturizing and I unfortunately have crazy dry and crackly cuticles, this has nothing to do with my job or medication I took, it is just an unfortunate genetic tragedy that I have to deal with.

Burt’s Bees lip balm (Original and Mango)

These lip balms are a staple for me year round, but when it comes to fall/winter time I have one everywhere, my purse, book bag, on my nightstand and in the bathroom. I stock up on them and make sure I always have one in reach. The original is my favorite; I like the tingly peppermint-y sensation it has on my lips. However, I have been using the mango flavor a lot recently since it is the one on my nightstand and I like that one a lot as well. I like buying the variety pack and trying out all the new flavors they have. I am still trying to finish an entire tube of lip balm, before losing it; so far it has not been a success.

Facemask

Like the rest of my skin in the cooler fall weather, my face tends to get a bit (and by a bit I mean a lot) dry and flakey. For this reason I tend to grab for a facemask more often. Recently I have been liking the Moroccan Red Clay Mask; it hydrates my face and helps to combat my (snow) flakey skin. If I am feeling extra-dry I mix the mask with coconut oil instead of water. The mask will not set if you do it this way, but it does definitely help to moisturize my face more.

Red lips

I think red lips are just a staple in the fall. When I think of fall, I think of orange and yellow leaves, hot coffee and red lips. I think that the purple berry reds are really pretty to change up the classic red look, but you can also never go wrong with a bold red lip either. I don’t have that many lipsticks but I really like the Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Brandy and the Honeybee Garden Lipstick in Risqué.

Hair mask

In the fall/ winter I start using a hair mask once a week to keep my hair soft and moisturized. Since I don’t wash my hair every day, using a hair mask really helps to lock in the moisture and keep my hair from drying out. I have the macadamia mask right now, which I don’t really like that much. I just don’t think that it gets my hair feeling as smooth and clean as I would like and I also don’t really like the smell of, but unfortunately have a ton left, so I have to finish it up before trying something new.

Lip Scrub

It’s like an old record on repeat, but like I said before I have dry skin in the winter and my lips are no exception. I really like using a lip scrub one to two times a week to slough off all the dry and dead skin. I have the Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Fruit Scrub; it works well and smells great too.

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Mini Haul and Review: Integrity Botanicals

I just recently placed an order with the online beauty boutique Integrity Botanicals. This was my first time ordering from this site and I had a very good experience. All of their products are good quality, natural and eco-friendly products. The site’s design is sleek and professional and I enjoyed looking through the products. A nice feature that the site offers is that you get 3 free samples with every order. I think that this is a great way to get people to try out new and different products and to get them to come back to the site. The order came fairly quickly and was packed securely and nicely. They wrap each item and send you a little note; it was like receiving a present from a friend in the mail. Without further ado here are the products I got and a short little review on them.

 Meow Meow Tweet Baking Soda Free Cream Deodorant

  • I have heard a lot of great things about this deodorant, so I decided to give it a try. Before this I was using Schmidt’s deodorant, which I really liked, but I was starting to get an allergic reaction, big red itchy bumps under my arms, from the baking soda in the formula, so when I saw that Meow Meow Tweet had a baking soda free option, I knew I had to try it out. I have only been using it for a few days, but so far this is what I think. The formula is creamier than Schmidt’s and easier to apply. However, it doesn’t come with a little paddle to apply it like Schmidt’s did, so you have to use your fingers, or save the paddle from your Schmidt’s like I did. The only other thing so far is that I wish that there were more options in the baking soda free formula. From what I can tell, there is only the grapefruit scent available. I do like the smell, but it would be nice to have options, like lavender for instance.

Description (from site)

  • Made the switch to natural deodorant but struggle with underarm sensitivity from baking soda? Meow Meow Tweet has taken their well-loved classic deodorant cream and made a few modifications to create this new formula.  Perfect for those with sensitive skin and just as effective. Designed without baking soda and clay, this recipe uses dietary magnesium and arrowroot powder to help control moisture and odor. Nourishing plant oils and butters soothe and condition the skin, and a potent blend of citrusy essential oils keeps you smelling fresh throughout the day.

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 Aster & Bay Green Glow Mask

  • I really wanted to get this mask because of all the amazing ingredients in it. It contains matcha and spirulina, which I was super excited about. Matcha green tea has chlorophyll and is healing for acne and spirulina is very nutrient dense and contains tons of antioxidants. It also has peppermint leaf in it which is an antiseptic and antibacterial, which is calming and cooling to the skin. I haven’t used the mask yet, but I am very excited to try it out and reap its many benefits.

Description (from site)

  • This versatile mask helps unclog pores by drawing out impurities while infusing it with healthy and healing nutrients and free-radical fighting antioxidants.  Four green super foods are blended with French green clay to purify, detoxify and nourish skin.  For normal-combination skin types, especially beneficial for congested, oily and acne-prone skin.

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SkinnySkinny Grapefruit & Cardamom Organic Dry Shampoo

  • I really needed a dry shampoo. I have never used a natural dry shampoo yet, so I don’t really know what would be good or not. All I know is that after a few days my hair gets kind of greasy, but I don’t want to wash my hair yet, the solution, dry shampoo. I’ve used this product a few times since getting it and it seems to do well with masking the oil in my hair. I have nothing to compare it to so I’m not sure if it is compatible to other products, but it seems to do the trick and it smells nice. I’m sure I will experiment with a few different brands before I choose one that I love. Hopefully this one works well.

Description (from site)

  • Free of talc, this easy to use organic dry shampoo effectively absorbs oil and leaves hair feeling soft, fresh and clean without weighing it down. Perfect for saving time and effort between washings; it also adds texture and volume to hair. Organic cornstarch, organic brown rice powder and white clay soak up oil and impurities while horsetail and orris root protect and heal with its astringent properties. Baking soda helps soften and clean without stripping hair of its natural oils. Grapefruit and cardamom essential oils banish smoke and other unwanted scents and leave hair smelling fresh and clean. Blends well with all hair colors, including dark brown and black. Safe for color treated hair.

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Aster & Bay Dandelion Face Grains (sample)

  • These just sounded really cool and unique to me and it was a free sample so I jumped at it. I haven’t used them yet, but I’m really excited to try them out. In the little personal note I received she said that these work well with the Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil sample that I got as well, go me, so I will probably try that combination out.

Description (from site)

  • Dandelion Face Grains from Aster + Bay is a blend of delicate botanical exfoliants chosen for their unique anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. Made with clays, resins, roots, flowers, and grains.  The star of this exfoliating powder, dandelion root is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent treatment for drawing toxins, soothing inflammation, eliminating blemishes, and brightening dark spots.

Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil (sample)

  • Speaking of this sample I have used it a couple times and it smells really nice and my face does feel clean and smooth afterwards. I have used it sporadically though and I think that I need to use it several days in a row to really get a feel for the product and decide if I like it or not.

Description (from site)

  • The Aster + Bay Cleansing Oil is a blend of softening and toning oils that penetrate the pores deeply to dissolve dirt, makeup and toxin buildup. Made with 100% plant and essential oils. *For all skin types.

One Love Organics Elizabeth Dehn Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover (sample)

  • I got this sample because I have heard such great things about it from almost everyone I watch on YouTube. They say that it is an amazing cleansing oil to remove makeup with. I haven’t been wearing much makeup lately since I’ve had a bit of an acne breakout and decided to go light on makeup until it healed. Anyway, I used it a few times and it seems to breakdown my makeup pretty well, I’m excited to use it when I am wearing more makeup, to test out its full potential.

Description (from site)

  • The ultimate in multi-tasking luxury, Active Moisture Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover effortlessly lifts away impurities and makeup while restoring skin’s natural moisture and pH balance. The unique, creamy formula features papain, a fruit enzyme that helps to exfoliate and soften skin, and a natural Vitamin B complex to detoxify and tone. Concentrated yet gentle enough for all skin types.

 

Overall I had a great experience with buying and receiving my products from Integrity Botanicals and I will definitely be going back to the site again to browse and purchase more products.

 

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Favorite All Natural Facial Cleanser

My all-time favorite cleanser, right now, is Acure’s facial cleansing cream with Argan oil and mint. It is a very creamy and moisturizing cleanser. I love the way it makes my skin feel after using it. My skin feels silky and smooth when I rinse off the cleanser.

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I use my konjac sponge to apply and massage the cleanser into my face, and then rinse it off with warm water and pat dry with a washcloth. I follow up by applying tea tree oil to my acne scars and spots and then coconut oil to moisturize.

I bought this product online at Vitacost, but you can also find it, and other select Acure products, at Target and Meijer, as well as Acure’s own site online.

The cleanser is very gentle. I use it morning and night and my face never gets irritated. However, I would start out using it just once a day to make sure that your skin doesn’t react to it.

I have found that it does remove makeup, but I like to use a cleansing wipe prior to using the cleanser on days that I am wearing more heavy makeup, just to make sure that all of my makeup is removed.

This cleanser is my favorite for so many reasons, but one of them is because it contains so many nourishing and beneficial ingredients, including fair trade certified and Organic Olive Oil, Moroccan Argan Oil, and Cocoa Butter.

These ingredients are particularly nourishing, and provide nutrients while moisturizing the skin.

What I like even more than those great ingredients, are the ingredients that this cleanser does not have. Along with being vegan, this cleanser is also free of parabens, phthalates gluten, silicon, and synthetics fragrances. It’s also made with food grade ingredients.

The best part about this cleanser is that it is full of amazing and nourishing ingredients and free of all the bad stuff that can irritate your skin.

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