Cheers to Your Skin With (Practically) Drinkable Skincare

Wine Hydrating Mask from Arcona’s natural line of almost edible formulations isn’t the typical hardened clay mask that you have to scrub like crazy to wash off. It’s a creamy treatment that plumps the skin using hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter, and the super antioxidant Resveratrol – the extract from red grape skin to brighten and soothe. I’ve been using it to chase away my skin’s winter tightness caused by cold air that I can’t seem to shake no matter how much I moisturize.

Pomegranate is the star antioxidant of Weleda’s Firming Eye Cream, a gentle way to smooth out wrinkles on even the most sensitive skin. In my kit, I’d combine it with a concealer to create a custom tinted moisturizer of sorts for dark circles. Its natural ingredients soak into the skin better than most so it’s versatile to use with mix-ins or of course on its own.

For $16 Made From Earth has one of the best deals you’ll find on its USDA certified organic Green Tea Toxin Cleanser, a typically pricey category of skincare. With Organic Green Tea Extract being its second ingredient (and Organic Aloe being its first), you can leave this creamy cleanser on for a few minutes before massaging it into the skin for a mini-mask to brighten and soothe as well as clean. Typically I prefer a foaming cleanser to a creamy one, but a thick formula like this one holds up well and makes a great partner to a Clarisonic.

Kate Middleton & Manuka Doctor’s Bee Venom Face Mask

Not to be outdone by the bird poop facial the Beckhams love so much, the bee venom mask is the current queen of all treatments. Kylie Minogue, Kate Middleton, and Victoria Beckham are all said to be using this manuka, propolis, honey, royal jelly, and bee venom laced mask – so it’s pretty much the hot ticket. They even have a crazy tag line of ’10,000 bee stings in a pot.’ Yikes.

Honey has healing and antiseptic properties so I can see its benefit, and the venom itself falls second to last on the ingredient list so I don’t think stinging, swelling, and pain will accompany your home spa experience.

You can check out the original story HERE and Manuka Doctor’s Bee Venom Mask HERE

Skincare for the Hot Summer Months

When it’s hot, sticky, and humid, slathering on heavy creams is the last thing you want to do. Here are a few things you can use to get skin that’s clear and cool when the temperature rises.

Gel Cleanser: IMAN Time Control Liquid Assets Oil-Free Gel Cleanser $14

Start with a queaky clean surface right outta the gates. Using a gel cleanser instead of a cream will leave your skin feeling fresh and fully cleansed,  Iman’s gel cleanser foams up big, smells great, and even washes away makeup.

Light Weight Acne Treatments: Intraceuticals Clarity Treatment Gel $89

Heavy acne treatment creams can clump under makeup, especially when layered with sunscreens. I love the lightweight Clarity Gel from Intraceuticals. It’s an advanced formulation that calms redness and inflammation while creating an environment on the skin that’s free of bacteria and irritation. It’s a unique way to fight acne without causing the usual peeling and redness that can make skin look even worse.

Facial Masks to Dig Out Oil: Erno Laszlo Beta Mask $50

Beta Mask is my go-to when my skin starts acting up. It’s so refreshing and cool on my skin, it’s like an instant facial with results that rival a true spa treatment. It isn’t the kind of mask that you need to scrub off either, it’s easily removed with warm water. Use it weekly to rid skin of dirt and oil from sweating and being outdoors.

Back Spray: Glytone Back Spray $28

Running, yoga, and hot summer activities that leave you sweaty can lead to a back breakout – the worst kind mostly because you can’t see what’s going on. Glytone’s Back Spray really works, just spray it post-shower or pre-activity to prevent ‘bacne.’

Body Mud: Borghese Fango Brightening Mud Mask $64

I had a gift certificate to a spa once so I did this body wrap thing which was basically a body mask with hot towels wrapped around me. It was cool, but not $200 cool. I can do the same thing at home using a body mud like Borghese, the experts in at-home spa treatments. Their Brightening Mud Mask is the one I like, it deep cleans skin so well that you can see an difference in the clarity and texture of your skin right away. Perfect to slough away dullness for the time of year when you’re showing a little more skin.

At-Home Peels for Better Skin

I got a peel done once from a professional, it was $150 and didn’t do anything. Soon after that I began dabbling in the wonders of at-home DIY peels to slough off the top layer of skin when I’m starting to look dull and sluggish. What better time than fall to revive the skin that the sun damaged while you were basking in it all summer long. Here are a few peels I’ve tried that are sure to get your skin back to a brighter state.

I’m a huge fan of Glycolic acid, I’ve used it daily in various forms for years because of its ability to turnover skin without making you as sun-sensitive as its rivals. I love Glytone, they have a full collection of effective skin care for face and body that works like crazy to improve all sorts of skin problems while maintaining the skin’s ph so the irritation is minimal. You can use a thin layer of Mini Peel Gel up to a few times a week for 10 minutes to see brighter, clearer, tighter skin almost immediately without redness, irritation, or downtime. It’s a perfect compliment to your current regimen.

Your skin will look like it has just taken a deep breath of fresh air when you use The Oxygen Peel. Philosophy uses an oxygen foam to infuse the skin and give it an instant noticeable radiance. It’s the perfect treat pre-event or for when you haven’t been getting enough rest and your skin can tell the tale. 

Cane + Austin have simplified their line into two jars, one meant for skin with acne and the other for wrinkling and pigmentation issues. These glycolic-soaked Treatment Pads work as a daily retexturizer  to help peel back the layers of wrinkled, uneven skin to reveal a brighter look. It’s a gentle, daily way to ease into better skin over time.

You don’t have to completely desecrate your skin to get some positive changes, at-home peels like these are genus because you can get some great results while keeping your skin in tact.

Boscia Luminizing Black Peel-Off Mask

By now you’ve probably noticed that I’ll put just about anything on my skin for the sake of a good review (as evidenced HERE and HERE just to highlight a few) but there isn’t anything that I’ll try on quicker than a good face mask. I can’t resist the idea of something sucking the yuk out of my pores giving me fresh, clean skin. I couldn’t wait to try Boscia’s now Luminizing Black Mask, I haven’t used a peel-off mask in years.

As promised, it’s black!
And it peels off! You can feel it pulling everything out of your skin too.
I tried so hard to take it off in one piece just for a cool picture. Success!

This radiance-boosting skin treatment eliminates the most annoying part of using a mask – taking it off. Peeling it away sure beats working the mask off by scrubbing one small section of your face at a time which can really irritate sensitive skin. It gave my skin some serious glow and a lot of softness, my makeup looked flawless and my fine lines were much less pronounced. It’s a twice weekly way to get a spa-quality facial right at home.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

Aztec Secrets Indian Healing Clay – World’s Most Powerful Facial…

It’s not that I was in the market for another clay mask, but it wasn’t possible for me to walk past a giant tub with a label attached claiming to be the “world’s most powerful facial,” and also read that you’d be able to “feel your face pulsate!”

And it was only $8.

Inside of this 1 pound tub is the real deal – 100% natural Calcium Bentonite, a green clay that’s been used to clean and detoxify the skin for thousands of years. The amount included will allow me to mix mud masks for probably the next 10 years, 5 if I’m using it for body wraps like they also suggest doing.

I found it at Vitamin Cottage, I’ve probably walked right past it 100 times.

You’ve seen this right? 
A glimpse of the powder, it’s completely unscented too which I really like.

I didn’t mind making the paste, it was easy to scoop a small amount into a bowl and add some cider vinegar (their recommendation and great for tightening pores) which activated and awakened the clay making it temporarily bubble.

I opted for a thicker paste, the usual consistency for a clay mask like this.

And then it happened. Sure enough my face was pulsating. Every little heartbeat pulled my skin tighter and tighter until it was dry and ready to be removed. When I walked back into the bathroom, I wanted to laugh at how crazy my face looked but I couldn’t move it.

See how it’s pulling the skin under my eye down?

I swear if it were clear I’d wear it under makeup daily, like a face lift you brush on.

So since it’s just us girls, and my vanity left me years ago,  it’s totally worth showing how crazy my whole face looked.

Doing my best ‘droopy’ face. 

Ok, here’s the thing – the overall softness and glow my skin had after I took it off was pretty remarkable. It cleans out pores better than a ton masks out there for a lot less money and no impure chemicals. According to their (really bad) website, the clay contains ‘almost every mineral found on Earth’ and the negatively charged clay pulls out the positively charged toxins and pollutiants in the skin. I’ll go ahead and skip the 25 minutes of Googling to see if that’s true and just believe them.

Don’t let my sad, droopy face fool you, I loved this mask. You can find it on Amazon (where you can also read some great reviews), or at a Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods, and other health food stores.