My favorite new multi-tasking product!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I have been a fan of (seed) Body Care for a few years now. I am never without my Fragrance Free Healthy Hand Cream, which slather all over my hands and even use as my winter time moisturizer. The natural ingredients in this product are so fabulous that, in my professional opinion, this is the perfect moisturizer for those with skin that is more on the dry side for night time.

The company recently released 2 more body oils to their collection.  Joining Therapeutic Body Oil (read my review here) and Relaxing Blend Body Oil are the Decongesting Blend Body Oil and Fragrance Free Body Oil.

I cannot say enough about yet another Fragrance Free (seed) product!

Quite frankly, I adore the new (seed) Grape Seed Enriched Fragrance Free Body Oil. This is one of those special products that not only does as it says, but can be used (in my oonion) for other things.

Not just a body oil when I am using it, I have found that this works really well for other purposes!

*I like to use this as a cuticle and nail oil.  Nearly all cuticle oils contain artificial fragrance. I try to avoid this as often as I can. When I apply this oil around my cuticles and to my fingernails and massage it in, it performs as well as any product called "Cuticle Oil."

*I also use this to take off my eye makeup! Say what?  For real, ladies.  We already have talked here so much about using oils and this works so well to dissolve my mascara and makeup. I use this and follow with my facial cleanser.

*There are many high end facial oils on the market to be used as natural serums. Most sell for more than $30 for a 1/4 to 1/2 ounce bottle.  This can be used on the face. While not marketed as a facial oil, there is no reason that you cannot use it as such. And I do.

Facial Oil - Cuticle Oil - Nail Oil - Makeup Remover -- and, of course, Body Oil!

I always love it when I can find multi-tasking products.  Did I mention that this is truly all natural without a need for preservatives since it doesn't containw water?  Here is the ingredients list:

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Blueberries to the Rescue

Monday, October 21, 2013

Did you know that of the 40 most common fruits & veggies, the US Department of Agriculture ranks blueberries #1 when it comes to its antioxidant powers? It's true!  Skin care companies have been jumping n the blueberry bandwagon over the past few years and I'd like to share Chic & Green's tried & tested best blueberry skin care products.

Here they are:

Yes to Blueberries Intensive Skin Repair Serum ($19.99) -- I have been using this serum nightly.  Interestingly, I was sent a NINETY DOLLAR serum from an organic skin care company to review a couple weeks back and after testing it for a few days, I returned to the Yes to Blueberries serum because it is SO much better! This shows yet again that you DO NOT need to spend a fortune on skin care.

My Berry Organics Wild Blueberry & Caffeine Eye Creme ($36) -- This rich cream is lightweight, yet packs a punch when it comes to hydration.  It is non-greasy, but leaves the delicate skin under my eyes feeling moist, but never sticky.  A lovely new organic!

Eminence Organic Skin Care Blueberry Soy Night Recovery Cream ($64) -- A little goes a long way with this concentrated night cream.  It is a definite splurge, but will last for a long time.  Using only a pea sized amount, your skin will look hydrated and bright with only a couple of uses.

Renaud Blueberry Mint Facial Tonique ($20) -- If your skin is combination or oily, you have to try this toner! It is soothing and brightening with the blueberries, but the salicylic acid in this product helps get rid of excess sebum to unclog your pores. A lovely toner!

DIY Thursday: 5 Fabulous Face Masks

Thursday, October 17, 2013

You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars on spa treatments to have bright & healthy looking skin! There are some wonderful do it yourself masks using ingredients available right in your own kitchen. Here are some of my favorite recipes I like to whip up for the skin. 

1. Cocoa & Milk Face Mask
Pure, unsweetened cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants and provides your skin with protective benefits. Milk contains natural lactic acid to help soften and exfoliate the skin, encouraging it to shed dead skin cells. When you mix the two together, you are left with brighter skin and may notice a softening of fine lines. To make this mask, combine the two ingredients to form a paste and then apply to damp skin. Leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
2. Honey Oatmeal Face Mask
Honey is one of nature’s greatest skincare gifts. Not only is it moisturizing, but it also contains antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Oatmeal acts as a gentle exfoliant, revealing smoother and more youthful skin. It also contains selenium, zinc, and copper to fight wrinkles. Combine equal parts honey and oatmeal and stir gently. Apply this mask to damp skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
3. Grapeseed & Blueberry Face Mask
Blueberries are naturally rich in Vitamin C and contain something called anthocyanins, which boost collagen levels in the skin. Grapeseed oil is non-greasy, yet highly nourishing. It it rich is essential fatty acids, making it a superior anti-aging oil. Combine ¼ cup of blueberries and 1.5 tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Puree in the blender. Apply to skin with a facial brush and rinse off after 10 minutes.
4. Papaya Greek Yogurt Face Mask
Papaya is rich in an enzyme called Papain, which helps to slough away dead skin cells to reveal glowing skin. Greek yogurt is protein rich and full of lactic acid. Plain Greek yogurt, when applied topically, can tighten the pores. Simply mix equal parts of the two ingredients and apply a thick layer to the skin. Lie down and relax. Rinse off after 15-25 minutes. For extra brightening, you can squeeze in a bit of lemon juice or pineapple juice.
5. Strawberry & Egg White Face Mask
This is a wonderful anti-aging mask for those who may also be suffering from acne. Strawberries contain salicylins, which are related to beta hydroxy acid. These gentle fruit acids are oil soluble, meaning they can reach into the pores and draw out bacteria. Not only will the mask help treat blackheads, but it can help rejuvenate wrinkled skin. Simply mash some berries and whisk with an egg white to make a tightening face mask. Leave on the skin for 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water.

Review: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I adore Juice Beauty.  I have been a fan of their skin care products for quite some time-- from their fabulous Green Apple Peel to the line from Alicia Silverstone.  When I had a chance to try their new Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream, you can imagine I was super excited! 

As someone who has been testing out and reviewing products for several years, I should know that I cannot just assume I am going to love a product because the company's other products have been delightful.  This is one of those times.

I was so sure that this would end up being my new go-to CC Cream. The tube, the neat little applicator, the claims--well, how could I not fall in love with this natural beauty product?

My thoughts:

The ingredients are really lovely. I just felt this would be a winner. Don't the ingredients look so much better than mainstream CC creams?

Ingredients: Active: Zinc Oxide 20%. Inactive: Juice Beauty Proprietary Blend Of Fruit Stem Cells: Apple Buds, Grape Buds & Lemon Bark. Organic Juices Of Pyrus Malus (Organic Apple Juice)*, Vitis Vinifera (Organic White Grape Juice)*, Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Leaf Juice)*, Cocos Nucifera (Organic Coconut Oil)*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbitan Stearate, Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed Oil), Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Magnesium Sulfate, Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower Seed Oil)*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba Seed Oil)*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Sodium Hyaluronate (Vegetable Hyaluronic Acid), Malus Sylvestris (Apple Buds), Vitis Vinifera (Grape Buds) & Citrus Limonum (Lemon Bark), Iron Oxides, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin) & Citrus Aurantium (Petitgrain) Pure Essential Oils. * = Certified Organic Ingredient

And then I squeezed out some product and was overwhelmed by the smell. It is strong. It is unpleasant. 

I thought I would get over it and that the smell would slowly fade away.  It did--eventually.  I knew if it faded away that I would be able to enjoy the product.  The CC cream does not blend as well as other products, such as the tinted moisturizers from 100% Pure or Jane Iredale or the BB Creams from Jane Iredale and Tarte. You almost have to "tug" to blend it, which should not happen. It didn't leave me with a healthy, youthful glow. It left my skin looking semi-matte and seemed to increase the appearance of the couple of lines that I do have.

Unfortunately, my face itches and feels uncomfortable every single time I put this on. And I know why. Petitgrain and mandarin essential oils are used in this formulation and if you are AT ALL sensitive, you may wish to avoid this. There is also Lemon Bark. This can also be irritating.

While I love the use of essential oils in skin care, some are better omitted from facial products.

Petitgrain is an essential oil used in skin care to treat oily skin.  Mandarin is also used most often in skin care to treat oily or congested skin.  Both increase your chances of burning in the sun, as they are citrus oils. Neither are recommended for sensitive skin. Lemon bark is also used in the natural movement for more oily and acnetic skin conditions. I really believe that if Juice Beauty had left these ingredients out, that I may have had a much more favorable opinion of this CC cream.  It is NOT meant for dry skin or sensitive skin as it is now. I also caution you not to apply this anywhere near the eyes because of the strong scent and citrus oils--they made my eyes water.

Would I purchase this product? No. Like I already mentioned, I adore the skin care products from Juice Beauty and feel that that is where the company truly shines. I personally did not experience the 12 benefits advertised, nor did it improve the appearance of my skin-temporarily or over the course of a few weeks. If your skin is sensitive, dry, or you want to look younger, I cannot recommend it based on my own experience. Do not let my thoughts on this one sway you away from the company as a whole. Their skin care is AMAZING--and I will be back soon with a review of their new serum.

*Disclaimer: I was sent this product for review at no cost. This in no way has influenced my review and all opinions are my own.

Found: The PERFECT Fall Moisturizer!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I know that most of you love this time of year. Summer is my favorite season. Fall is kind of growing on me, I suppose, but every year at this time my skin starts getting confused.  In the summer, at least I *know* my skin is pretty oily. I can handle that.  In the winter, I *know* my skin is dry as the Sahara Desert.

When the weather starts to change and we have so many ups and downs, my skin becomes pretty termperamental. I have a semi oily nose and forehead right now, but very dry cheeks and chin. My cheeks are dry. This is when everything seems to go awry and I can never find the right moisturizer. I have my go-to winter time one, but right now is tricky.

Thankfully, I was just able to try an amazing new facial care line called Lilikoi Living.  I have to say "thank you" to the lovely blogger behind City Life Eats for introducing me to the line! 

My absolute favorite product tried (and they are all quite lovely) is called  Hibiscus Passion Active Hydrator.
This is a unique spray on moisturizer. It is so convenient and is very hygienic! You are not sticking your fingers in a jar, nor do you have to worry about a drippy tube.  This is brilliant.  You simply mist the hydrator on and it leaves your skin feeling immediately quenched.  It is truly a drink for your skin!

I have to share the ingredients with you:

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Cetyl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil*, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil*, Algin, Allantoin, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Arnica Montana Flower Extract*, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract*, Passiflora Edulis (Passionflower) Fruit Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract*, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavender) Oil*, Parfum**

*Certified Organic
**100% natural essential oil blend

Do you see why I am truly loving this product? Hyaluronic acid and squalane are near the top of the list, as are flax seed or borage oils.  You will find ultra soothing chamomile, white tea, cucumber, lycopene-rich passion fruit, and more.  This product would work extremely well for sensitive skin types.  The product packs a punch when it comes to being crafted with ingredients proven to benefit the skin and rivals high-end spa products.

I love that the products from this company are hand-crafted, toxin-free, and without the nasties this blogger avoids.  

In fact, you will not find:

Synthetic fragrance

June-wei Sum is the woman behind Lilikoi Living. She has created something really special with this line.  Her creations really are unlike others on the market and I would love for you to check out this company's natural  skin care products.

Chic & Green Grade: I rate this product an A.

*Disclaimer: I received products to sample for review. As with all products reviewed, this in no way has impacted the outcome of my review and all opinions are my own.

What's In It Wednesday: Taking another look at triclosan

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I was writing up an article for the (seed) blog, which I write for each week. By the way, (seed) is my favorite body care company and I have been a loyal fan of Rebecca and Benjamin Gournay's company since I first tried it out a few years back.

 The topic is the fact that so many people fall victim to the ANTI-BACTERIAL hype.

As a mom, I like to think I am doing the absolute best I can to keep my children safe.  Safe from harm, bad people, and all of society's ills--just to name a few.  One thing I have done quite easily over the years is make informed choices about the ingredients we use in our personal care products.

For most of Nick's childhood and for all of Ben's, we have avoided parabens and sulfates. When I became more informed, phthalates and formaldehyde releasers were added to the list. They don't ever use items with petrochemicals. Artificial fragrance is off the list...

And triclosan. It is a dirty word in this house!

What is triclosan? Why is it so harmful?

Let's look!

Germs. They’re everywhere. We all know that handwashing is imporant. I wash my hands so many times per day I couldn’t even give you an estimate of the number of times I am washing my hands. I have always been a frequent handwasher. I don’t like getting sick. No one does.

I remember once when I was working for Estee Lauder at a department store at Eastview and  being in the bathroom scrubbing my hands…a makeup artist from another line (it was Clinique) was in the bathroom and didn’t wash her hands. Ten minutes later, she was applying eyeliner to a customer. I think this is why, at times, I can be somewhat of a germophobe, but also why I get so paranoid about cleanliness that I did my own makeup for my wedding–I could never get that image out of my head.

Our son, Nicholas, was a preemie. Thankfully he was healthy and only required a few extra days beyond the norm in the hospital. I was so concerned about people touching him once we arrived home that if I could’ve put a plastic bubble around us, I would’ve. I made sure everyone washed their hands. I stocked up on 5 and 6 bottles at a time of  a heavy anti-bacterial hand soap and placed a bottle at each sink and made all visitors scrub their hands with it.
I used to walk into Bath & Body Works and walk out with all sorts of anti-bacterial soaps in everything from Warm Vanilla Sugar to Coconut Lime Verbena. Let's just say that this was before I started this blog!

I thought if we washed our hands often with this germ killing soap, that I could shield our family from ever getting sick.

Reality set in and I really started researching these things more and more. I had already been using a natural bar soap on my body but still thought that I needed that special germ fighting soap. After researching what exactly is in these anti-bacterial hand washes, we stopped using them probably 7 or 8 years ago in this household.

First of all, it is important to note that bacteria isn’t horrible. There are actually good forms of it. What happens is that people get so worried about germs that they end up getting rid of healthy bacteria. Triclosan is the active ingredient in anti-bacterial products, including these hand soaps. By the way, triclosan is a cholorphenol (a pesticide linked to cancer). While using this in an appropriate environment-say a hospital-may very well be necessary, it isn’t if you live in a healthy home.

You may have clean hands, but you may also be doing more harm than good. Studies have shown that there is an increased risk of allergies because of weakened immunity. ”Super bugs” have become more prevalent, and because of unnecessary use of these products, diseases are becoming more resistant to antibiotics (as in the case of MRSA).

Triclosan has also been shown to linger on the skin–in other words, you believe you’re rinsing it down the drain, but it continues to sit on the skin and kill bacteria. What you end up with is a greater chance of becoming ill and resistant to treatment because your healthy bacteria isn’t there to fight the nasties. It’s not just that–I have been reading more and more about triclosan. While there haven’t yet been conclusive results and multiple studies, there is research being done with potential links between triclosan and autism because it interferes with myelination in the brain. This has prompted researchers to start studying a possible link between triclosan and Alzheimers.

By the way, if you’re a breastfeeding mom and use anti-bacterial products, the triclosan does get into the breastmilk.

You cannot avoid triclosan altogether, though. While you can choose regular soap and water and non anti-bac hand washes (which the FDA says are equally as effective at getting rid of germs), triclosan is present in almost 70% of our rivers, lakes and streams. It is killing marine life and affecting our entire eco-system.
In fact, a new study was just published about the environmental impact of triclosan acknowledges the lingering effects may be worse than thought.  Triclosan, by the way, is also present in many deodorants, some toothpastes, and several mouth washes.


For more, I recommend reading the EWG’s Guide to Triclosan by clicking here.
Contact Bath & Body Works. Tell them to stop promoting their toxic anti-bac line!

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