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Skincare for Sensitive Skin

It’s been over two years since I’ve shared my skincare routine on my blog. Time sure flies! I thought right now would be an appropriate time to share my new skincare routine since a lot has changed in my routine and also my life. 

Last year, for the first time ever, I was diagnosed with allergic rhinitis; also commonly known as hay fever. This diagnosis/change in my immune system kind of altered my life since my symptoms were and still are severe especially during the spring and summer months.

Soon after, I also realized many skincare products I was using were irritating my skin. I started to get red and sometimes itchy patches and breakouts from products that had worked so well for me just months before. After I noticed these changes, I knew that it was time to make a change in my overall routine. 

One thing that has not changed is my skin type, dry skin in the winter months, and dry/combination skin in the summer months. Please keep this mind when reading through product recommendations below. 

What is the definition of Sensitive Skin?

First, let’s talk about the definition of sensitive skin. Sensitive skin refers to a wide range of skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema to the skin’s inflammatory response to external stimuli such as an allergen. All in all, sensitive skin is when skin negatively reacts to stimuli that should not provoke a negative sensation or reaction. 

Many of us have had adverse reactions to certain products from time to time. Nevertheless, people that have consistent irritated skin when using a particular product or when coming in contact with an external irritant are the people that genuinely have sensitive skin. 

What Causes Sensitive Skin 

So, what truly causes sensitive/ reactive skin? Many factors contribute to sensitive skin—environmental factors such as cold and hot temperatures. 

Allergic contact dermatitis is also another cause of sensitive skin. Allergic contact dermatitis is when you develop a skin rash caused by contact with a particular substance. The substance might irritate the skin or trigger an allergic reaction. Some common culprits include soap, cosmetics, fragrances, and even jewelry [1].

In my case, I was diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis due to fragrances in my skincare products that triggered an allergic reaction. From there, it was recommended for me to try to eliminate any products in my routine that contained any synthetic fragrances. 

Unfortunately, I had been using a lot of products that contained synthetic fragrances, so I had to change out most of the products I was using besides my SPF and eye cream, which already did not contain any synthetic fragrances. Here is my new fragrance-free skincare routine: 

Cleansers/Make-Up Remover 

First things first, I start my routine each morning and each night with cleansing my face with micellar water. For those that are not familiar with micellar water, it is a gentle water cleanser used to remove excess oil, dirt, and make-up. The specific one I use is the Cerave Hydrating Micellar Water. This product is formulated with ceramides and niacinamide; ceramides help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier, and niacinamide aids in calming the skin. This product is also fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic, which means that it will not clog your pores. 

Another incredible claim for this product is that you don’t have to rinse your face after using it. Although this is such an exciting claim, most dermatologists would agree that following up with a gentle foaming/clarifying cleanser is ideal, especially when removing make-up. 

After reading about this product and seeing the outstanding reviews, I decided to purchase this product. I was instantly impressed with how easily my make-up came off, and my sensitive eyes were not irritated at all!  

This product is Ophthalmologist-tested, which makes it suitable even for the most sensitive eyes. Also, my skin did not feel dry or tight after cleansing, making the hydrating claim for this product correct. 

Lastly, the best part about this product is that it is affordable and can be found at most local drug stores! 

How to Use Micellar Water

You might be wondering how to use micellar water since it’s not your typical cleanser. First, wet a cotton pad with the product. When removing eye make-up, hold the cotton pad over the closed eye for a few seconds, then gently wipe eye make-up off without rubbing harshly. When removing face make-up, gently wipe cotton pad over skin until completely free of make-up[2].

Face Wash  

On days when I wear make-up, I first wet a reusable cotton pad with micellar water and gently wipe away any make-up left at the end of the day, focusing on gently removing my eye make-up. Personally, my under-eye area is really sensitive, and I am only able to use micellar water or unscented cleansing oil to remove any eye make-up. 

As for face wash, the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is an excellent cleanser for sensitive and dry skin. As with most CeraVe products, this product is fragrance-free. It is also formulated with vital ceramides used to restore the skin’s barrier and hydrating hyaluronic acid, used to attract hydration back to the skin surface.

Something impressive that I noticed about this cleanser is that it does not dry out and strip your skin of its natural oils, but it still effectively removes all my face make-up and any other impurities. This product can also be found at most drugstores and on dermstore.com. 

Toner

The great thing about micellar water is that it can be used as a toner as well. I practically use the same micellar water for cleansing and toning on days that I don’t wear any make-up. 

Another great toner I’ve used in the past that is ideal for sensitive skin is the Thayers Unscented Face Toner. This product is formulated with organic witch hazel, which is used as an astringent. An astringent is an ingredient used to contract skin cells, thereby shrinking skin pores, one of the many purposes of a toner [3].

This product is also formulated with aloe vera and glycerin, which are moisturizing and calming ingredients. Lastly, this product is also alcohol-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, gluten-free, dye-free, and of course fragrance-free! It is also affordable and available at most drug stores. 

Why Should You Use a Facial Toner? 

You might be wondering what the purpose of a toner is? The overall objective of a toner is to balance the pH level of the skin after cleansing, hydrate, and prep skin for a serum or a moisturizer [4].

Daily Moisturizer

In terms of a daily moisturizer, I practically like the CeraVe daily moisturizing lotion for the face and body. This product is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, oil-free, and fragrance-free, and it is formulated with once again, hyaluronic acid and ceramides as most CeraVe products! I love how this product is super lightweight on the skin but still extremely hydrating at the same time! 

I practically like to use this product on my face on days that I know that I will be mostly home since this product doesn’t have SPF in it. Now, on to some of my favorite sunscreen products! I know that may not seem like such an exciting thing to talk about in a skincare routine, but I am a sunscreen lover and have seen the most difference in my skin over the years because of it! 

Sunscreen

The sunscreen I have been using is one that I’ve mentioned before on my blog, which is the Supergoop Play Everyday SPF 50. I’ve been using this sunscreen for about three years now, and it is hands down my favorite sunscreen! 

This product is oil-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and it is formulated with essential oils that do not irritate my skin like synthetic fragrances. This product is sensitive enough for me to use it around my eyes without any stinging, which is a huge plus since it is vital to use SPF around the delicate skin around the eyes to protect that area from any sun damage.

If you are sensitive to essential oils, the Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is entirely fragrance-free, and it’s an incredible product that I have also used and loved. I personally prefer the Supergoop product more because I find it to be more hydrating for my skin type.

This product is well-known amongst dermatologists, bloggers, and just people that love skincare. Many people love the fact that although this is a mineral sunscreen, it does not leave a white cast behind as many mineral SPF products do, making it an SPF that is friendly for most skin colors and skin types. 

This SPF is also phthalate-free, non-comedogenic, paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, dermatologist approved, and oil-free.

Eye Cream

The skin around the eye area is the thinnest and some gentle skin in the human body. It is also the most prone to premature aging. This is why it is essential to use the most gentle products around this area.

I have always been sensitive to eye care products containing synthetic fragrances, which is why I sought out fragrance-free eye care products at an early age. One of my all-time favorite eye cream products is the Nourish Organic Renewing & Hydrating eye cream. This product is formulated with organic and hydrating ingredients such as avocado and argan oils and a brightening ingredient, vitamin C. It is also paraben-free, cruelty-free, and synthetic fragrance-free. 

What I love most about this eye cream is that although the formula is very rich and hydrating, it still soaks into the skin so effortlessly and quickly. 

Serum

I am currently not using a serum because I haven’t found a serum for sensitive skin that I love. Please comment below with any suggestions!

What is the purpose of a serum? 

You might be wondering what the ultimate purpose of a serum is and if it is a necessity in skincare. The goal of a serum is to apply powerful ingredients directly to the skin. Most of the time, serums contain anti-aging ingredients such as vitamin C and retinol depending on the serum, which aid in brightening and anti-aging. Additionally, serums are usually not formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as oils, as most creams and lotions. Serums are typically formulated with a water-based formulation [5].

Is a Serum Necessary in a Skin Care Routine?

Most dermatologists would agree that a serum is a necessity in a skincare routine, especially if you are using a serum with powerful anti-aging ingredients [6].

CeraVe Renewing Vitamin C Serum

Lastly, although I haven’t tried a serum that I can stand by, I heard great things about the CeraVe Renewing Vitamin C Face Serum With Hyaluronic Acid. Again, I haven’t tried this serum yet, but I will have to try it out!

This product is formulated with vitamin c, which again is a brightening ingredient, and with hyaluronic acid, a hydrating ingredient. It is also fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic. 

Night Cream 

The night cream that I have recently been loving is the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion. This product is formulated with essential barrier-strengthening ceramides, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and soothing niacinamide. Lastly, it is fragrance-free and ultra-lightweight. This product is one of my favorite finds for this year. I love how incredibly hydrating this product is and how at the same time, it is a lighter night cream than other night creams, but it does not fail to moisturize my skin.

Please note that I am no skincare expert and that the above information and recommendations are based on my own research and what I truly have found works best for my skin. I know that people can have sensitivities to other ingredients in skincare products and that fragrances are not the only culprits. So far, I have found that eliminating synthetic fragrances has truly helped my newly sensitive skin.

If you also have sensitive skin, please comment below with your experiences and product recommendations below!

References:

  1. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/sensitive-skin/
  2. cerave.com/skincare/cleansers/hydrating-micellar-water
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/witch-hazel-benefits-uses
  4. https://www.pibuu.co/2019/01/30/what-exactly-toners/
  5. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/beauty-smarts-serums-jan13#1
  6. https://www.byrdie.com/facial-serum-vs-facial-moisturizer-whats-the-difference-3013077#:~:text=If%20you%20have%20a%20problem,t%20even%20need%20a%20moisturizer.

Under Eye Exfoliation

Today, I want to share something I’ve been learning quite a bit about in the last couple of weeks, which the importance of exfoliating the skin around the eye area. 

Why Exfoliate?

Exfoliation is a vital step in all skin care routines. Dead skin cells need to be shed in order for the new layer of skin to be able to absorb products. One area most of us might not think we should or can exfoliate is around the eye area.

It just seems so scary to exfoliate and tug at such delicate skin! And when we think of exfoliating products most of us probably think of gritty scrubs that are used on the face, which can sound very unpleasant for the skin around the eye area! 

So, most of us don’t exfoliate around the eye area in fear of adding a few more fine lines that we really don’t need! But what if I told you that exfoliating the eye area once in a while might actually help decrease the fine lines we already have?

Well, this has been proven to be true and there are several reasons as to why, which I will get to later in this post. First, let’s discuss if it is in fact, safe to be able to exfoliate such delicate skin. 

Is it safe to exfoliate around the eye area?

Many health professionals agree that exfoliating around the eye is safe and essential to the overall health of the skin around that area, but this doesn’t mean that you can whip out your facial scrub, and start scrubbing away! [1].

The skin around the eye area is very delicate and thin compared to other parts of our skin so it is going to be absolutely vital to treat this delicate area with a very delicate exfoliant. Now, let’s get into the benefits of exfoliating around the eye area.

What are the benefits of exfoliating around the eye area?

There are many benefits to exfoliating around the eye area. First and foremost, exfoliation aids in removing dead skin cells from the skin surface and unclogging pores, which in turn helps eye serums and eye creams to properly absorb into the skin and ultimately have a more powerful anti-aging effect on the skin as opposed to when these products are put on top of “old” skin. 

Another benefit of weekly exfoliation is a smoother application of makeup. Makeup such as concealer will apply more effortlessly on “new” skin as opposed to “old” skin.

Does Exfoliation Help With Milia?

A less well-known benefit of under eye exfoliation is that it helps with a skin condition known as milia. Milia is a cluster of small cysts that can form around the under eye area as well as other parts of the body [4].

Essentially, milia is a skin condition in which a protein called keratin gets stuck underneath the skin’s surface and forms small white cysts. This is usually due to the skin inability to naturally exfoliate or shed dead skin cells over time, but there are also other causes that I will get to later in this post [1].

Types of Milia

There are different types of milia( cluster of small cysts) or milium ( a single cyst), which are usually characterized by the degree, location, and at what age these cysts or cyst develop on the skin.  Primary milia develops from entrapped keratin underneath the skin surface. Secondary milia develops when there is some type of damage or injury to the skin which then leads to the formation of milia. Examples of skin injury include burns, sun damage etc[1].

Causes of Milia

The causes in adults vary from the skin’s inability to naturally exfoliate or shed dead skin cells over time to some type of injury or damage to the skin that leads to the formation of milia. Lastly, an autoimmune skin disorder can also be the cause of milia formation [1].

Diagnosis

It is vital to see a health professional that can examine your skin for milia, and also for that professional to diagnose what type of milia you might have before moving on to any treatment [1].

If you aren’t diagnosed with milia that is due to any serious medical diagnosis, it might be time to look at the ingredients of the products you are using. 

Possible Milia Inducing Ingredients

Although this has not been proven in medical studies, many people believe that certain ingredients in skincare and makeup products can be attributed to the formation of milia [1].

These ingredients include, but are not limited to talc, and most forms of petroleum and some forms of paraffin. All in all, it’s going to be important to start checking ingredient lists before buying any new skincare or makeup products and examining the ones you already use [1].

Possible Treatment and Prevention Options For Milia

SPF

One prevention method is the daily use of sunscreen. Studies have shown that the formation of milia can be linked to sun damage [2]. This is why I regularly use SPF 30 and above, even on days that aren’t all that sunny!

The SPF I personally use is the Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen. I find this product to be gentle enough to use around the eye area without any stinging or burning. Also, it’s oil-free and lays very nicely underneath makeup if you apply it about 5 to 10 minutes before makeup application. 

Medical Treatment 

If you feel that you have a more severe case of milia or just want a faster result, you can see a dermatologist and they can examine your skin and see if an extraction is appropriate [3].

A health professional/ dermatologist will use a specific technique to extract the milia without causing little to no damage to the skin and will provide aftercare instructions on how to care for your skin so you have little to no scarring after the procedure [3].

Exfoliation

One thing that can be done for both treatment and prevention for this skin condition is to use a gentle exfoliant a few times a week. Let’s get into some of the best and raved about delicate exfoliants that I found in the market [3].

Best Gentle Exfoliants For Around the Eye Area:

Eminence Naseberry Eye Exfoliant

Now, I might be a little biased about this product, in particular since this is the product I personally use to exfoliate around my eyes, but in all honesty, I think this is one of the best eye exfoliants out there in terms of the ingredients and performance.

What makes this product even more impressive is that all the ingredients are organic and fruit-based! Which makes this a very gentle exfoliant, and this is why after some extensive research I decided to choose this exfoliant to use around my eye area. 

You might be wondering how this product works and how it feels since it’s not a traditional gritty exfoliant. First off, this product has a serum-like consistency. It is also sticky due to the fruit-based ingredients, but don’t let this scare you off as the product dries down on the skin pretty quickly and is no longer sticky after about minute. Ultimately, this exfoliant works similarly to a chemical exfoliant, but only contains organic ingredients. 

Now, let’s get into the application of this product,  what I usually do is dispense a small amount of the product unto my ring finger and gently dab the product all around the eye area, being careful to not get the product too close to the eyes.

After that, the product will start to dry and tighten the skin. I usually wait a full five minutes for it to dry down and then I take a soft cotton pad or a wash cloth, and run some warm water on it. I will then start dabbing the product away. Once dry, you can apply your eye serum and/or eye cream. 

Beauty RX Exfoliating Eye Cream

The next exfoliant is not what you would call a typical exfoliant since this is an actual eye cream that has exfoliating properties built into it.

The main exfoliating ingredient in this product is glycolic acid, which is a water-based chemical exfoliant that gently dissolves dead skin cells and in turn smooths and brightens the skin.

Also, since this is an eye cream, there are other great hydrating and anti-aging ingredients in this product such as argan oil which is a rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for healthy skin and nails. This nutrient is very well known for its hydrating and antioxidant properties. All in all, this product has many incredible anti-aging benefits; it’s no wonder why so many people love and rave about it!

Retinol Eye Serums and Eye Creams

Many of us may have heard about retinol based products and probably are most familiar with face serums and creams that contain this specific ingredient rather than retinol based products that are targeted for the skin around the eye area.  

So, what is retinol then? Retinol which is also commonly referred to as Vitamin A, and is part of the Vitamin A family. Retinol is found in many topical skincare products and is very well known for its anti-aging properties. One of those properties is that retinol increases the skin cell turnover rate, which basically means that it helps dead skin cells shed faster. Most over the counter retinol products have a low concentration of this ingredient; making it more gentle to use on the skin as opposed to retinol products that are prescribed by a dermatologist [3].

Overall, it is safe to use over the counter retinol products that are specifically designed for around the eye area, but everyone has different sensitivity to retinol, and how their skin will react to it. If you are interested in trying a retinol based product, it will be a good idea to first try the product on a small area of your skin before applying the product around your eye area and to consult with your dermatologist about the right retinol product specifically for your skin type[3].

Lastly, one major thing to note about retinol is that any products containing this ingredient should, for the most part, be used in the nighttime. The reason for this is because retinol makes the skin more sensitive to light, and could potentially cause sun damage to the skin if sunscreen is not applied before sun exposure. 

Here are some gentle retinol products designed for the skin around the area  that I found through my research:

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum

This is a lightweight serum that is formulated with fast-acting retinol that quickly absorbs into the skin, and starts fighting off those wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, this product is also formulated with bio-nutrients from red algae and kelp, which help to brighten under eye circles.

After reading raving reviews from various websites, I decided to purchase this serum. I’ve been using this product about three to four nights out of the week for the past three months, and I’ve seen a difference in my under eye circles and a reduction in the overall dryness that I used to have around my eye area.

I also have fairly sensitive skin and this has not irritated my skin at all. Again, everyone has a different reaction to retinol so be sure to get a sample and do a patch test before investing in this product. 

First Aid Beauty Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream with Triple Hyaluronic Acid

This eye cream has a unique combination of ingredients: retinol and hyaluronic acid. Again, retinol works as an exfoliant by increasing skin cell turnover, and hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which basically means that it is an ingredient that attracts and retains moisture.

The combination of ingredients in this product are specially targeted towards sensitive skin since some people find retinol to be a bit drying, and hyaluronic acid would counteract this by immediately moisturizing the skin.

After reading a lot of positive reviews on this product, I found that many people that have used this product agree with what it claims to do, which is to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles. This product also claims to be safe to use on sensitive skin, and many people with sensitive skin agree that it is sensitive enough to use on their skin.  This product is definitely worth a try! I think I’ll have to eventually pick this product up as well! 

Please comment below with your favorite ways to exfoliate around your eye area! 

Please also note that I am not a medical doctor and the above information is based on my own research.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/milia
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17868-milia
  3. https://www.dermstore.com/blog/what-are-milia/
  4. https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/milium/

Haircare Routine for an Oily Scalp and Dry Ends

Haircare Routine for an Oily Scalp and Dry Ends

Hair Care

​Today I wanted to share my hair care routine. I have fine combination hair (oily scalp and dry ends). For as long as I can remember, I have always been extremely frustrated with my hair and the products I was using at that time.

I would use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner one day and wake up the following morning with smooth ends, but also an extremely oily scalp.

Then next time I would use a clarifying and invigorating shampoo, and the following morning I would wake up with a great-looking scalp, but also extremely dry ends.

I remember thinking to myself if I was the only one that had this type of hair and how frustrated I was in trying to care of it, so I decided to research if anyone else has this issue and what their solutions are. After some extensive research, I found out that I wasn't the only one that had this issue and that there are many ways to care for an oily scalp and dry ends properly.

Here are the steps for how I care for my hair each week:

Don't Wash Your Hair Every Single Day

I know that you've probably heard this just about everywhere, but here it is again: do not wash your hair every single day. Not washing your hair every day is very critical for healthy hair. If you continuously strip your hair of its natural oils it will start to lose its shine, become dry, or if you have combination hair like myself, your scalp will produce even more oil, and your ends will become extra dry, which is not a cute look for anyone!

​Wash Your Roots More Than Your Ends

With a combination hair type, you don't have to wash your hair from root to end each time for it to look clean and refreshed. I usually wash my hair every three to four days, and I will most of the time wash my roots with a balancing shampoo and use a conditioner or hair mask on my ends.

One of my favorite shampoos is the Giovanni Balancing Shampoo - this product great because it is gentle enough on your scalp without stripping it of all of its oils, but it also leaves your hair perfectly pH balanced and clean. This product is a new find for me, and I have to say that I'm impressed with this product especially since it contains mostly natural ingredients, and it does not contain any harsh sulfates such as lauryl and laureth that dry out your hair. This product is also safe for color treated hair, which is another great plus!

On to my next favorite shampoo, this next shampoo is also a balancing shampoo. It is the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal and Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo. The charcoal in this product detoxifies and exfoliates the scalp while the coconut oil soothes and brings moisture to the scalp. This product is very gentle, and it almost doesn't even lather when you rub it into your roots which is a sign of natural and gentle shampoo. While I do enjoy this product, I can only use it about once a week because the coconut oil in this is too much for my fine hair and it will weigh it down if I wash my hair with it more than once a week. Regardless, I love how shiny and healthy my hair looks after I wash it; it's worth trying! 

Condition Well

It is essential to keep the ends as hydrated as possible with combination hair. Not only is the appearance of dry, brittle ends unappealing, it is also not good for the overall health of your hair. When you have extremely dry ends your hair is a lot of the time bound to become tangled throughout the day, and have more breakage as well as split ends.

To combat dry and brittle ends, I usually use a hair mask on my ends instead of a conditioner. You can certainly use a moisturizing conditioner on your ends if you feel like a mask might be too much on your hair. I would suggest leaving the conditioner in your hair for a few minutes in the shower so it can have more time to soak into your hair before washing it out. Personally, I prefer a hair mask for my hair.

I use two different hair masks which are the Briogeo Rosarco Hair Mask, and the Macadamia Professional Nourishing Moisture Masque. The Rosarco mask is a lightweight mask that I mostly use in the spring and summer months, and I usually use the Macadamia mask throughout the fall and winter months; I find that this mask helps my extremely dry ends in the winter months, but is a little too heavy for me in the spring/summer months.

Brush Your Hair From End To Root First

Thorough brushing like this might seem backward for some, but it's the best way to brush your hair especially if you have hair that gets easily tangled. It is essential to brush your ends first to get any tangles out without the risk of pulling out an entire hair follicle or causing any further breakage as you move your brush down your hair. The brush that I use after getting out of the shower and on the daily is the Wet Brush. This brush is mostly meant for wet hair, but I enjoy using it regularly because the bristles of the brush are very gentle on my fine hair

Scalp Time

After detangling, I brush my hair from root to end to distribute the natural oils from my scalp throughout my hair. Now you might be thinking that this sounds like an oily hair disaster, but the natural oils from your scalp will not weigh your hair down, and these oils will actually strength your hair.

Again, currently I use my Wet Brush to brush wet and dry hair, but there are a few brushes out there that were designed specifically for the scalp. One brush in particular that there's been a lot of hype about it is the Mason Pearson Nylon and Boar Bristles Brush. Benefits of boar bristles include: they are extra gentle on hair, they exfoliate the scalp and stimulate the hair follicles which in turn encourages hair growth! How awesome is that?! The only downfall of this brush is the high price. It's an investment, and a majority of people think that this brush is worth it because it has lasted them for years! If you're not ready for such an investment and want to try out an affordable brush with boar bristles here are a couple of more affordable options: Wigo Cushion 100% Boar Bristle Brush and the 1907 by FROMM Glosser Paddle brush. 

Dry Shampoo is Your Friend, But Don't Overdo It

I usually can go about three to four days without washing my hair, but I'm only able to do this with a little dry shampoo help. Although I do think dry shampoo does help with my oily roots, I don't overuse it. I only use it 1 to 2 days out of three to four days that I go without washing my hair. The reason I do this is that dry shampoo can quickly clog your hair follicles and also dry up the natural oils in your scalp. You're probably wondering, "well isn't this the whole point of dry shampoo?" While yes this is its ultimate purpose it is still important to not use it every day because clogged hair follicles and a very dry scalp can decrease hair growth.

Now that we have that covered, I wanted to share the dry shampoo I use which is the Batiste Hint of Color Dry Shampoo in Brilliant Blonde. What I love the most about this product is the color of the dry shampoo closely matches my dirty blonde hair. It blends in seamlessly with leaving a white cast. This product also comes in a brunette and dark shade for those of you with darker hair colors. Also, this product works! My hair always feels so refreshed after spraying this on my roots in the morning, and it even adds a little volume to my fine hair, which is a big plus in my book as I always have such flat hair! 

Silky Beauty Sleep

About a year ago I was reading a blog post from one of my favorite bloggers on how a silk pillowcase has changed her hair completely. I was intrigued by this and decided to research more about silk pillowcases, and I found that silk fibers are great for your hair because they are less absorbent than many other fibers, such as cotton, which can draw out the moisture from your hair and face.

 Silk pillows cases are also anti-aging and very gentle not only on hair but also your skin; no more bedhead and face creases when you wake up in the morning! After reading all of these claims, I immediately bought a silk pillowcase. I was still skeptical about all the fantastic claims of this product, but to be honest, I noticed a big difference in my hair and skin after one night of sleeping on it. For the first time in a while, I did not wake up with bedhead and face creases. My silk pillowcase has been one of my favorite and useful finds for both my hair and skin in a while.

Get a Trim More Frequently

I know this is simple, but it wasn't for me a few years back when I was trying so hard to hold on to my long hair that wasn't growing because my ends were so dry and damaged. It took me a while to see my hairdresser and get an inch off my hair, but when I finally did my hair looked so refreshed and healthy.

Now, I usually get a trim every two months or so, and my hair is in a much healthier state than it ever was before. Please note that cutting your hair will not make your hair grow faster since hair growth starts at the hair follicles, but trimming will keep your hair healthy as it grows. I think trimming is vital for combination hair types because it not only keeps your hair healthy, but it also makes you look more presentable since dry and brittle ends are usually very noticeable. 

Please comment below with any suggestions for keeping combination hair healthy. I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions!

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5 Natural and Organic Mascaras for a Natural Look

5 Natural and Organic Mascaras for a Natural Look 

I first learned about natural and organic mascaras a few years back before I heard very many people talk about natural/organic makeup. What made me research better and cleaner makeup was that I noticed the mascaras I had been using throughout the years were drying out my lashes, and the long ingredient list in each mascara was usually just pure chemicals that were in no way benefiting the health of my eyelashes.

 So, I set out on a hunt for mascaras with better ingredients, ones that provided my lashes with not only length and volume but could also help restore them to the healthy, vibrant state they were in once before. 

One of the first natural mascaras I discovered and really loved was the Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength mascara. The number one reason I decided to purchase this mascara was that the ingredients were actually good for the lashes rather than harmful. This product contains coconut oil and Vitamin B5 which hydrate and support lash health. Besides, this natural mascara provides not only length, as it claims, but I also found that it gives my lashes a lot of volume! Pacifica Stellar Gaze has been one of the favorite mascaras of all time and will continue to be so. Lastly, this product costs only a little over five dollars, which is a steal for a product that has natural ingredients! 

After using the Pacifica Stellar Gaze mascara for a little over a year,  Pacifica came out with a new mascara I was eager to try.

The Pacifica Dream Big Mascara intrigued me because of the two in one brush concept. It works like this: twist the brush in one direction, and you get a brush designed for length; twist the brush the other direction, and you get a volume brush!

Additionally, the formulation of this mascara contains a lash serum that claims to promote lash growth, which made me even more excited to give it a try!

Overall, I I loved the length and volume that this mascara provided, and after using it for over a year, I noticed that my eyelashes were healthy and long.

I can’t speak to the eyelash growth claim because even though I saw that my eyelashes were slightly longer after using this mascara for over a year, I was also taking these hair and nail vitamins that could have contributed to the growth.

Nevertheless, this a great mascara that a lot of people are still raving about!

Next on the list is Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. I tried this product several years ago, and I remember loving how long and soft my eyelashes looked after applying it.

At that time, I didn’t even know much about the brand Tarte and did not realize that they are a natural, vegan and cruelty-free brand until I read more about the product.

The ingredients in this mascara are definitely unique, with one of the most unique elements in this product being its Amazonian clay. Amazonian clay is supposed to nourish,  hydrate, and replenish your eyelashes.

I found this claim to be valid at the time I was using this product because my eyelashes never looked crunchy or dry, just long and healthy.

The next natural mascara I decided to use is the one I am currently using, which is the Honest Beauty Mascara.

The reason I was interested in trying this product was my need for a natural eyelash primer. Honest Beauty Mascara is a two in one product (mascara and primer). Can you tell how much I love multi-purpose products?

Anyway, after reading raving reviews about this product on both Target.com and Amazon.com, I decided to purchase this product to see what all the rage was about. I have to say that I was impressed right away with how nicely the mascara went on after I applied the primer, and how long it stays on throughout the day (about eight to nine hours).  

The last mascara I want to talk about is one that I have yet to try, but I wanted to share it because it is a product that has piqued my interest in the last couple of weeks that I’ve been reading about it.

It is the Well People Expressionist Mascara. Well People is a natural/organic and cruelty-free makeup brand that I discovered recently. I use one of their setting powders, and it’s honestly the best setting powder I’ve ever tried -- I don’t say that lightly.

Anyway, this mascara has many eye-catching claims. Here are few:  It thickens and lengthens lashes naturally, is clump-proof, water resistant, great for sensitive eyes, hypoallergenic, chemical free, cruelty-free, and lastly, it’s free of parabens, GMOs, talc, fragrances, etc.

Lastly, this product also comes in one ordinary color and several fun colors: black, purple, and blue.

Please comment below with your favorite natural/organic mascaras and brands! I’m always excited and willing to try new mascaras!

DayBlossom participates in several affiliate sales networks. This means that many companies whose products you see on this website pay us commissions and/or referral fees for sending customers to their products. 

Minimal Makeup Routine

Minimal Makeup Routine Using Natural & Organic Products

Minimal Makeup Products

Today, I wanted to share my minimal makeup routine with you guys. This routine is simple and quick, but you can still look presentable when you head out the door to either run an errand or go to work. 

Almost all the products I use are natural and cruelty-free. Hope you find this post helpful and that it inspires you to try out some new products! Here's what I use on a daily basis in this order:

SPF is super important for me. I even wear SPF in the dead of winter! This SPF is excellent because it is oil-free and it doesn't have that terrible "sunscreen" smell. I'm also really big on putting a bit of sunscreen underneath my eyes to protect the delicate under-eye area. This sunscreen doesn't burn my eyes when I do this, which is hard to come by.

I've been using this product for over two years now. The number one thing I love about this product is how lightweight it is! I don't feel like I'm wearing anything on my face throughout the day, and I'm still able to even out my skin tone and cover any blemishes. I would say that this product is light to medium coverage. One thing to note about this product - it does have an "earthy" smell that may take a little bit of getting used to. It isn't a smell that lingers throughout the day, but it is initially pretty noticeable.

I've been using this product for over two years, and would say that this is my favorite product of all time! I honestly can't be without it. It is marketed as a foundation and a concealer; I personally use this product as a concealer in shade eleven, which is one of the lighter shades in the shade range that is provided.

Even on days I'm not wearing any makeup I still end up dabbing some of this concealer underneath my eyes to brighten that area a bit, making me look like I got eight hours of sleep instead of five! Most of the ingredients in this concealer are natural and organic. A couple of the really great elements of this concealer are organic castor oil and coconut oil, which make this product very hydrating. I need the extra hydration for the skin underneath my eyes, and RMS Concealer does this perfectly. It also does not set into lines if it is used correctly (don't use a ton of product) and set with powder in a timely fashion. 

I discovered this product about eight months ago and had not put it down since then. I think this is the best setting powder I've ever used! I set my concealer and BB cream with this powder, and it truly does what it claims; invisible coverage, blurs fine lines and brightens the under-eye area, and that's not even the best thing about it. This powder is free of talc GMO, Phthalates, Sulfates, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, PEG, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Lead, Mineral Oil. Also, a lot of the ingredients in this powder are organic, which is always a plus when it comes to make-up as it is pretty tricky to find great organic setting powders!

I’ve been using this bronzer for over a year, and I can now understand what all the hype is about. It is a cruelty-free product that warms your complexion without looking like you have orange strikes on your face. Also, one of the main ingredients in the product is cocoa powder, and it honestly smells like chocolate!  

I've been using this brow pencil for about two years now, and it has been my favorite brow pencil out of all the ones I've tried. A lot of the ingredients in this product are natural and vegan. It is also long-wearing (I would say about 8 hours or so). The best thing about this product is that you can buy a few of these brow pencils and get a few free. Ulta sometimes has "buy two get two free" deals for this product, which is fantastic because you get a four-month supply of brow pencils for half the price! One thing to note about this deal is that it usually only applies online not in store, at least from my experience.

A few months back, I was looking for natural mascara and mascara primer, and I came across this particular product, which is a two-in-one product (mascara and primer). I read the raving reviews, and went out and purchased it the same day. A couple of months later, I am still using this mascara and the primer. A few great things about this product: it provides extreme length and definition to my lashes, and it is free of parabens, mineral oil, silicon, and synthetic fragrances. Note that the mascara pictured and the mascara linked differ in appearance because the packaging was updated since I bought the product

This is an excellent multi-purpose product that can be used as a makeup setting spray and as a toner or both like I do. I also like to spray my beauty blender with this spray before applying my BB cream and concealer, and it makes the blending process a lot easier! 

All of the products I listed are ones I use on a daily basis. Once in a while, I will use the bronzer as an eyeshadow, and some lip balm. Otherwise, this is the complete list.  

Please comment below with your favorite natural / organic makeup products.

I would love to hear your suggestions and try out more clean makeup! 

DayBlossom participates in several affiliate sales networks. This means that many companies whose products you see on this website pay us commissions and/or referral fees for sending customers to their products. 

Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

Skincare Routine For Dry/Combination Skin

Hi everyone! My name is Katie and this is my very first blog post!

I’ve been familiar with the blogging world for about four years now. I’ve been following and learning from various bloggers for years, and I thought that it was finally time to get started.

Here are a couple things about me: I'm married to the most amazing man! I’m also a Jesus follower, health and fitness enthusiast, and a skincare junkie!

For my first post, I thought it would be valuable to share my current skincare routine.

I’ve actually gotten this request from a couple of my close friends, coworkers, and interestingly, even my dentist! Let’s get started! 

Morning Routine:

1.I drink a cup of lemon water to feel revitalized

I know… I know. You’ve probably heard and read about the “magic of lemon water” more than once. It seems like everyone is drinking it nowadays.

Personally, I didn’t know what the big deal about lemon water was either until I started to incorporate it into my morning routine.

After about a week, I started to notice the overall elasticity of my skin had improved. My skin was more firm and radiant, and I had less breakouts overall.

Lemons are a high source of vitamin C, one of the main components that aids in collagen production. Even though I knew that fact, I didn’t think I would notice such a big change in my skin after only one week!

Now on to my lemon water recipe:
1 cup of cold or warm water
1 tsp to 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice (your preference on the amount)

It’s easy as that! 

2. I take my hair, skin, and nail vitamins to nourish my body

After, drinking my lemon water I usually take my hair, skin, and nails vitamins (usually twenty or so minutes after drinking the lemon water).

The brand of vitamins that I use is the Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin & Nails vitamin gummies.

Yes, I said gummies! They taste really good!

I actually look forward to taking these every morning, mostly because of the pleasant taste.

What makes these vitamins unique is that for every 2 gummies there is 2500 mcg of biotin, which is way more than most daily vitamin
supplements.

I not only noticed a change in my skin after taking these vitamins for a couple of weeks, but also my nails too!

Take the challenge and try them out! 

3. I cleanse my face with gentle cleansing oil to let my face breathe

The next thing I do is cleanse my face with cleansing oil.

Currently, I’m using Kopari Coconut Cleansing oil.

It’s very gentle on my dry/combination skin, especially in winter months. I can even use this cleanser to take off my eye makeup, which is rare for me since a lot of the other cleansing oils that I’ve tried have always burned my eyes.

This cleansing oil is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Truly a gentle and light-weight formula. Don’t let the “oil” term scare you off.

But if an oil based cleanser is not something you’re looking for then I also have a different gentle and moisturizing cleanser I’d recommend. This cleanser is not purely oil based.

This cleanser is the Acure facial cleansing crème. It’s super gentle, so it gets the job done without completely stripping the skin and leaving it dry. 

4. I use a toner to restore my skin’s pH

After cleansing my face I use a toner. I’ve found that this is an essential part of any daily skincare routine.

After cleansing, it’s absolutely vital to restore your skin’s natural balance, or pH.

This is exactly what a toner does.

As an added bonus, toners shrink the appearance of pores and work great as makeup setting sprays.

The toner I’m currently using is the Kopari Coconut Rose Toner. This formula is very hydrating and, honestly, just refreshing! I’m guilty of spritzing myself with this a couple of times throughout the day especially when I need that midday pick-me-up! 

5. I apply SPF 50 sunscreen to protect my delicate skin

The last step of my morning skincare routine is applying the SPF.

Personally, I think this step is the most important.

Sunscreens with SPF 15 and above provide protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation which is associated with skin cancer and premature aging. I like to go a step above that with SPF 50.

I’ve been applying sunscreen every single day since I was eighteen years old. This is why my skin is in good shape.

Don’t get me wrong. I do still have a couple of sunspots here and there, and I wasn’t always consistent with applying sunscreen early on.

I still regret those summers in high school when my friends and I would lay by the pool during the most harmful sun ray times. This was usually around 11am to about 3pm.

We didn’t put any sunblock on and thought of sunscreen as the enemy. It was naive to think that putting on sunscreen would prevent us from getting our dark summer tans.

We had no idea that we’d have to pay for our dark summer tans with sunspots later on.

And sunspots can be pretty difficult to get rid of.

So, personally, I think that applying a dose of SPF daily is extremely vital to keeping your skin healthy.

Recently, the sunscreen I’ve been loving is Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50.

This sunscreen can be used on both your face and your body. That’s a definite plus when packing sunscreen for vacations or trips where you know you’ll be out in the sun most of the day.

This product is very lightweight, water-resistant, and it is an oil-free formula.

It doesn’t feel sticky on the skin, and it doesn’t have that strong sunscreen smell that most of us despise.

Most importantly, this sunscreen protects my skin and keeps the premature aging at bay! 

Nighttime Routine:

As for my night-time routine, it’s very similar to my morning routine in terms of the products I use.

The only thing I switch out is the SPF moisturizer. Before heading to sleep, I swap it out for Kopari Coconut Day Cream.

I know that with regular use it’s meant to be used in the day time. But personally, I really like light-weight creams and find day creams to be more lightweight than those targeted for night-time.

Lastly, I’m currently on the hunt for a good eye cream.

I haven’t found an eye cream quite yet that has met my needs for that area, but I’m going to keep on searching.

My biggest concern is under-eye darkness. I also have a couple of little veins around that area, so I’m looking for a cream that helps with both.

If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment below and let me know! I’m looking forward to hearing your suggestions! 

DayBlossom participates in several affiliate sales networks. This means that many companies whose products you see on this website pay us commissions and/or referral fees for sending customers to their products.

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