My Hair Is STILL Falling Out: Living Proof Haircare & Sibu to the Rescue

Of course I’ve totally fallen in love with Living Proof haircare – it’s expensive and I have to go to Ulta or Sephora to get it. However it’s one of those rare lines I want to shout from the rooftop about because it’s so crazy good. It’s magic, a game changer in the industry, and something you should try. In the short time I’ve used it my static is gone, my hair looks fuller, and I have to remind myself when it’s been 3 days to wash it because it always looks (and smells!) freshly washed. Their technology is so advanced that their shampoos help hair to repel dirt and oil so it stays cleaner longer and the conditioners improve hair’s health over time. This stuff isn’t just to wash and style, it’s a long term solution to get your hair healthy and looking great.

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And speaking of hair…

Mine is totally falling out still. In huge clumps. Everyday for 4 months. Last time (meaning last time I had a baby which was just a year and a half ago) it fell out for 6 months. It was just starting to grow back when I got pregnant again so it never fully recovered which makes this current loss even worse.

Here’s a shot of me from last weekend (left) and one from just a few years ago. Such a difference in the texture, sheen, and thickness of my hair. You can see around my part how thick it once was. *Sigh*

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Instead of relying on topical treatments alone, I’m also starting to take Sea Buckthorn from Sibu – the makers of that oil I use on my face. Their liquid supplement and Cellular Support with Omega 7 softgels both use sea buckthorn berry which is naturally rich in vitamins and omegas to nourish skin and promote growth of hair and nails. Ever since Dr Oz talked about its ability to signal the body to stop storing fat- making it a natural weight loss aid of sorts- sea buckthorn has become hugely popular.

So, longer hair, healthy skin, strong nails, and it melts fat? It’s like Gisele in a bottle. Bottoms up.

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Post-Baby Skin Care: What I’ll Be Using to Get Rid of My Melasma (Round 2)

Well here we are, today is the day I’m giving birth to my daughter (Note: of course I’m not writing this in the delivery room, it’s actually the night before) and I’m once again planning my new skincare routine to banish the melasma that reared its ugly head from pretty much day 1 of this pregnancy. I actually think it never went away from the first pregnancy and just kept on building throughout this one. Either way, I’m ready to attack. I’ve done a ton of research and have come up with what I think is the best of the best as far as attacking pigment and restoring my skin without using hydroquinone or Botox.

Cleanser:

I was thinking about getting this Pigment Bar from PCA Skin, a medical line that I really like but I nixed the idea and will stick with my cleanser that I love. I’m just not sure how much help a cleanser is in fading dark spotting since it’s only on the skin for a few seconds and the ingredients are washed away. If you’re curious though, check it out- it’s a cool concept and people seem to really like it.

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Toner:

Hands down, one of the most effective things I’ve ever used on my skin has been Mandelic acid from Vivant, a line sold through skin pros and doctors that is really picking up steam in the industry for its skin-changing ways. Mandelic acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid extracted from bitter almonds, so it’s a safe alternative to hydroquinone (a skin lightener that really works well, but has safety concerns.) This 9% solution will help to lighten while also making my skin soft enough to allow the serums and creams to penetrate and work that much better.

vivant toner

Serum:

I was a little on the fence about this one so I ordered two and then canceled one. I wanted to get Skinceuticals Phyto + which I ordered from Amazon (before canceling) because of its botanical formula and kojic acid, a known skin lightener. In the end the shaky reviews mixed with the fact that I know Mandelic will definitely work were what swayed my decision to stick with a more potent formula. So I ordered Vivant’s Mandelic 3-in-1 Serum 15% which combines Mandelic with Lactic Acid, a combination that will lighten and brighten my skin without question.

vivant mandelic serum

Retinol:

Can I use a retinol while nursing? My derm thought so and she recommended Afirm, a Retin-A alternitive (sidebar: Terntinoin and Retin-A both break me out because they put the vitamin a into a cheap cream that’s all greasy terrible so I can’t use it anyway) that’s easily absorbed into the skin and gives the same results as a prescription retinoid at a fraction of the cost. A good retinol will diminish wrinkles, fade discoloration, and give better clarity and tone to the skin. Another interesting fact: Retinoids are the only FDA approved treatments for wrinkles. I bought the 3X, formula which amounts to a 0.6% retinol which is their strongest treatment. Again, I’m getting the higher percentage treatments for all of the formulations just because my skin is used to really active stuff.. Start with the 1% just a few times a week if you’re just venturing into the world of retinol, but really if you have wrinkles or discoloration to get rid of this is a really good place to start.

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Antioxidant:

I always use an antioxidant serum during the day to combat further damage (and you should too), so I’ll use Vivant’s Spin Trap serum with vitamins C&E. I’ve used this one in the past and for some reason it seems to keep longer than others, it doesn’t turn that dull color vitamin serums turn after just a few months which means its potency is also in tact.

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Moisturizer:

I went out on a limb for this one. I’ve never used Nia 24 but I see it everywhere and am fascinated by it since it’s the only niacin-based product I know of. There’s a bunch of research they have on their site (independent from them) showing how niacin heals sun damaged skin and can even play a role in skin cancer prevention. Their signature treatment cream is this Intensive Recovery Complex, pricey at $118 but something I’ve literally looked at buying for years. Because it’s meant specifically for hyperpigment issues, I thought it would fit in perfectly with my whole skin-lightening regimen.

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SPF:

Good SPF is key when you’re using an active bunch of products like this. Even in the winter when you don’t think you’re getting sun exposure, you are. I’ve been using Coola SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint as a daily primer and skin perfector. The look and feel is just like a slightly tinted primer that helps to even out skintone pre-foundation. I love Coola’s sunscreens, it’s an organic line that only does suncare so they do it really well. It’s basically a really good SPF disguised as a great makeup primer that will help even out my skin on days when I won’t be wearing foundation (which will be quite often in the coming weeks.)

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Oh- and I’ll be using my Dermaroller to get super maximum penetration and faster results. Read HERE and HERE to catch up on the magical wonders of Dermarolling (aka microneedling) if you missed my past posts on the subject, and keep an eye on Hautelook (get the app) because they often feature them for just $20 or $30.

Living Proof: Jennifer Aniston’s Haircare Line

I had a credit at Sephora and had just ran out of my Bumble & Bumble Prep spray- perfect time to check out Living Proof, the hair line co-owned by Jennifer Aniston that has everyone buzzing. Coming into my 8th month of pregnancy my hair is (like last time) falling out in clumps. It’s too depressing to even dwell on since last time it fell out consistently like this for 6 months straight so severely that I still haven’t yet regained that hair volume back. My hair texture has also changed  and is doing this weird thing where it’s curly from the roots down about 4 inches or so where it stops and my typical slightly wavy hair begins down to the ends. Again, trying not to dwell…

Since my hair has changed so much, what I’ve always used on it needs to change too. My newly fine hair has more static than the thick, corse mane I always had and I need to layer in more products to achieve that bulk and keep a few days worth of curls in it which is getting more difficult to do. After some research on the line, I bought their Weightless Styling Spray $36 which will replace the  Prep spray I’ve used for years. It’s free of silicone, oils, parabens, sulfates and other nasties, using instead  their own star ingredient PolyfluoroEster which blocks humidity, repels dirt, and makes hair stronger over time. I’m hoping it will detangle and give my hair some softness- another thing it’s lacking nowadays. I’ll layer Restore Targeted Repair Cream $28 over the spray to get a leave-in conditioning sort of feel throughout my strands. The little tube was a sample of the new Prime Style Extender which sets the hair up for a style and helps to keep it in place longer, kinda like how a face primer works for securing foundation.

I’m hoping a little goes a long way because it’s pricy stuff but if my hair resembles anything about Aniston’s it’s all worth it! Really though I’m just hoping for less static, more volume, and added softness. I’ll follow up in a few weeks when I’ll be able to see exactly how well it’s working.

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New Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

Advanced Night Repair (or ANR as I call it) is the original antioxidant serum. I remember selling tons of it when I worked at an Estée Lauder counter back in 1997 (my first cosmetics job!!) and trying to explain its benefits to customers in an era that was pre-internet and pre-Dr. Oz-type shows that regularly highlight products like this with supercharged ingredients that preserve your skin. Nowadays most savvy women are using an antioxidant on a regular basis and ANR is still one of the most popular around. Their new ANR Synchronized Recovery Complex II has even more benefits than the original and targets uneven skin tone, texture, hydration, and overall radiancy. It’s truly a do-all solution for all skin types.

Serums make the biggest difference in the skin. This is one to invest in if you’re looking to make changes in your skin and keep it looking great for years to come.

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Bonus: it’s a gentle formula that’s safe for pregnancy!

Are At-Home Chemical Peels a Good Idea?

Tjaden: stop reading this now.

My facialist will kill me for  so much as thinking this thought. I’m an admitted over-zealous skincare fanatic who will try anything once. I’ll scrub, cleanse, exfoliate, peel, dermaroll, botox, and laser everyday of the week if I had the time and tools. (Imagine being able to DIY Botox!! Heaven..) Anyway, this melasma is really kicking my ass this pregnancy (I might post pics at some point as a ‘before’ if I have a good ‘after’ because it sucks that bad), so I’m already plotting my post-delivery skin refresh and I’m thinking about doing it myself. I need something that will really get deep down and kick out the old, damaged skin so I’m considering taking an acid and putting it on my face to burn off layers of skin without really knowing what I’m doing. It sounds crazy, but there are currently over 330 people on Amazon.com who say they have used this peel and not only have skin remaining on their faces, but they say their skin looks brand spankin’ new. Oddly, these reviews are good enough for me even though I can’t even find a damn website for this company! Sketchy right?

Are at-home skin peels a good idea? Should I take the plunge?

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Dr. Oz and The Wonders of Sea Buckthorn Oil

I didn’t know that Dr. Oz recently touted Sea Buckthorn ‘the new miracle berry’ when I ordered it from Amazon a few weeks ago. I was searching for natural skincare to help with my melasma and such during this pregnancy when I fell upon Sibu Buckthorn Oil and 180+ sparkling reviews about how amazing it is. It has a cult following for calming rosacea (a big theme among the reviewers), but it was also said to clear acne, fade dark spots, heal burns, and give skin a glowing new appearance. Really! People are losing their damn minds over it (see the reviews HERE on Amazon where I bought it.) There are a few different brands who sell this type of oil, but Sibu was the best reviewed and under $10. Sold.

I started using it under my moisturizer at night only as recommended because it takes a little while to fully absorb. It isn’t greasy or heavy and doesn’t really have much of a scent at all. I like the added hydration it gives and it hasn’t caused any breakouts – a big concern when using a new product on my skin especially an oil. Right away I noticed how calming it is and how I wake up with a glow. I think it’s too early to see long term benefits, but since it’s 100% natural and safe so I’ll continue to use it. It’s one of those things that you know is just good for your skin long term so I’ll be patient and wait for some great results.

Next I’ll try their Cleansing Bar, another fave among reviewers, as well as check out their supplements since it’s meant to be taken internally as well.

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