Stuff I Buy: Fighting Discoloration Naturally

When will this damn melasma go away? It’s such an uphill battle fighting skin discoloration in the summer, even with an SPF 50 on every day. I’m outside so much that I know I’ll have to wait a few months before another round of lasers to get deeper than any skincare can, but until then I’m hoping a few things I grabbed this week will help get my skin to get back to a more radiant state.

Oz Naturals Vitamin C Serum

I’ve never heard of this line before and I’m not even sure where it’s sold other than online, but it’s an Amazon.com bestseller with 1,400+ glowing reviews. Oh, and it’s only $23. It’s an organic vitamin c, amino acid blend, and hyaluronic acid serum that people swear gives them more a radiant skin texture. Could it be a big marketing campaign from people within the company leaving false feedback? Sure, it happens on amazon all the time. But there are a ton of verified customers who left great feedback, enough to get my money and see for myself.

oz naturals

Skin Obsession 40% Gycolic Peel

Yet another amazon.com best seller for skin peels, a huge sort of underground category on there for skin. They’re basically professional caliber peels available to the public from companies I’ve never heard of before. Totally legit right? Again, the reviews got me- 400+ singing the praises of how well this peel worked. Basically, I’m using it for my melasma, fine lines, and overall texture which is still not back to normal since my pregnancies. There’s just a dullness and blah to my skin that makes me look tired and probably old which really sucks. The great thing about peels is that the acid (whether it be glycolic, lactic, or whatever) dissolves the waxy layer of oil and dead skin that builds up on your face over time (why consistent exfoliation is key!) and gives that dull, dry, wrinkly look. Once that’s removed you’re left with a fresh layer of new skin that looks more radiant and less lined. Do a ton of research (I’ve looked for over a year) and google around. I was going to go with a peel from THIS line, but after reading several times how they plant positive reviews from within their company I decided it was best to skip it. Just follow their directions to a T which includes knowing how to neutralize the peel once it’s on otherwise you could end up with permanent burns and even scarring.

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Éminence Eight Greens Whip Moisturizer

My girl Alexa, an aesthetician to Denver’s who’s who over at the swanky Spa Vital in Cherry Creek has been an Éminence fan for as long as I’ve known her. After my facial today she sold me on their Eight Greens moisturizer which has a thick, almost balm-like texture that dissolved into my skin so completely and left it looking really fresh and hydrated and I didn’t even get that typical afternoon shine. It addresses tone and aging using natural ingredients like yucca, stone crop, and flaxseed. It’s a really cool line with a big upscale spa presence that you can check out HERE if you’ve never heard of it before.

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Éminence Lemon Cleanser

Alexa turned me onto this cleanser like 8 years ago. It’s a cream that doesn’t foam up (which is why I think I quit using it) but now that I’m older, I can finally appreciate a cleanser that cleans without stripping and drying. This one does that and also happens to have the best slightly sweet and tangy lemon scent that I just adore.

eminence lemon cleanser

Next up; more laser research on CO2 vs Fraxel. I think I’ll wait until October so I have a little time. Tweet me your thoughts if you’ve tried either before and had a great result.

Other Household Uses For Baby Shampoos & Baby Powder

A big perk of being an Ambassador for Johnson’s Baby is that I’m fully stocked at all times with their products. Aside from the obvious uses, I’ve found they come in pretty handy for a few other things too. Check out what I’ve been doing with my stash and let me know if there are other uses I’m missing out on.

Head-To-Toe Wash: Brush Cleaner

I used this after I ran out of my usual brush cleanser and I was really impressed. It literally melts the makeup and dirt off of the brushes like magic. I’ve been using my other brush shampoo for so long I forgot how quickly they could be cleaned with minimal effort. I squirt a little in a cup then fill it with warm water to create some suds. Then I drop in all of the brushes and swirl them around to get all of the bristles saturated with soap. Then I swirl each one in the palm of my hand until they foam up just like you do with your hair, and I rinse them under running water until they feel clean. The lipstick and eyeliner brushes will need extra cleansing so just squirt a little of the wash into your palm and really work the soap in. It has saved me so much time and it’s way less expensive than specialty cleansers anyway.

head to toe wash

Baby Shampoo: Bubble solution

Harper is bubble obsessed. It’s part of our morning routine to go outside and blow bubbles after breakfast. The bottles are expensive though especially when we go through them so quickly, and it’s a hassle remembering to pick more up so I found this recipe on Pinterest that I use. It doesn’t have to be exact, I do roughly 4 parts shampoo to 1 part Karo syrup. You can see how much I used of each after just one refill of a bottle that was about 24oz (It’s a 7oz shampoo bottle and 16oz Karo BTW), which will last us about a month.

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Baby Powder: Too many uses to list

A quick search of ‘baby powder uses’ on Pinterest (click HERE) will yield all sorts of amazing tricks from dry shampoo to creating longer lashes (I need to try this!), it even removes sand from your skin at the beach. It also works to get rid of ants as well as keep pests out of your garden. It’s really usefull stuff.

baby powder uses

Pharmaca

I’m so obsessed with Pharmaca that I used to drive an hour to go to Colorado’s (then) only store which was in Boulder. I’d stock up on skincare, sunscreen, vitamins, and protein powders then wander around exploring and learning all I could about natural based formulations and how they worked on the skin from the helpful team who work there. Ever since one opened near me (next to Trader Joe’s!!) in Greenwood Village last month, I’ve already been 3 times. If you like a more natural spin on skincare, you won’t find a bigger selection anywhere else, and their vitamin prices are hard to beat as is the help you get from their staff who always point me to what I need.

This location has an especially large beauty section that spans about half the store. Today I bought an Apricot Kernel Oil that was on sale for $4, Schmidt’s natural deodorant because the packaging was so cool even though I’ve never heard of it before, these supplements that they recommended to me last time for Mike which he claims have taken away his daily pains from running for the first time in years, and the whole reason I was went in the first place- Supergoop! They carry my all time favorite sunscreen! I got the SPF 40 Mineral one today (THIS one) which I have setting out by the garage door so I can always rub some on the girls and myself before our impromptu walks outside we have throughout the day. My melasma has reemerged and I need to get serious about wearing sunscreen at all times if I really want it to go away.

If you’re here in Denver, check this one out or click HERE to see if there’s a Pharmaca near you!

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How to Wear a Pink Primer

Koh Gen Do is a pro line beloved by Makeup Artists that has crept its way into the mainstream because of its everyday wearability. Their foundation is still a go-to in my kit, but now their primers are slowly replacing the silicone ones that were once the only pre-foundation option. Theirs come in 4 shades depending on what your skin’s needs are, I use this Lavender Pink one a ton to perk up otherwise dull skin. You can wear it under foundation of course but I like to use it on top of it, right under the eyes to add brightness and light.

Below you’ll see a before and after along with how much I use. There isn’t a pinky appearance at all, just a brighter look. It’s especially helpful for tired eyes to look more awake without piling on dark makeup. It’s a trick I’ve been using a lot lately on myself given how tired I’ve been and it really makes me look less haggard and a little more put together.

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Before, how much primer I used under my eyes, then after.

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Andalou Naturals Chia + Omega Radiant Skin Polish

There was a time BC (before children) when I’d on occasion wander around the skincare aisles of Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage while I was grocery shopping. I’d look, smell, test, and spray every bottle that caught my eye. It’s these natural, organic, off the beaten path lines that I’ll first browse when it comes to my own skincare whenever I’m out of something. I’ve seen this Andalou line a million times but never bought anything until I saw this Skin Polish which is usually a term for a finer grain scrub versus a traditional exfoliant with larger beads or bits of grit.

Here’s what I love- the finely ground chia seeds are in a rich cleansing aloe base so it feels like a microdermabrasion and it quickly buffs away dry skin and dullness which leaves my skin noticably softer and brighter. I love the natural ingredients like jojoba, flax, vitamins, and walnut powder and the exclusion of GMO’s, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Sulfates, Synthetic Colors, Dyes, Fragrances, Triclosan, PEG, MEA, TEA, DEA, or Paraben Preservatives which goes for every product they offer.

Online it sells for $15, but I got it for $10. Based on this scrub alone I’m excited to try more- like their BB Cream from their 1000 Roses line, and this Beta Hydroxy cream for pigmentation and skin healing.

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My Self Tanning Nightmare Using Neutrogena Build A Tan

After running low on my Supergoop self tanner, I grabbed a bottle of Neutrogena Build A Tan at Target last week to keep my fake tan flowing. I’ve read good things about it and it’s a gradual formula- what could go wrong?

Neutrogena

Well, this.

Here’s a pic of my leg showing what it did after just one use. I applied it exactly the same way I do with every self tanner I’ve ever used and even though I’ll get some minor streaking from time to time (as we all do..) this is a first. I was wishing I had one of those Bronze Buffers to erase the streaking because there was no way I could wear anything showing my legs until it was gone. Luckily the formula washed right off (another not so great thing) so there wasn’t a hint of color left behind.

neutrogena

So while I was at Vitamin Cottage today I remembered how much I loved this Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion when the company sent me some to review years ago. I slapped some on after my shower and I’m already golden bronzed. I bought the one for medium skin tones to get a deeper color versus the one for light skin. No streaks, no scent, and it’s a natural formula.

Natures Gate

All self tanners are not created equal. Do some digging before you waste money on one that streaks, stinks, or just doesn’t work.