Friday, April 26, 2013

Homemade Lip Scrub

While taking care of our skin, lets not forget about our lips!!! As women our lips go through the ringer, with lipgloss,  lipstick,  lipstains, the weather, the list goes on and on. Let's pamper our lips and make them silky soft. This isn't just for women, men can have dry chapped lips as well!!

This is a very easy DIY lip scrub, it's only three ingredients!! Only three ingredients to make your lips irresistible??? Heck yes, sign me up!! lol.

All you will need is:


Coconut Oil


Honey is very nourishing to the lips and skin. Coconut Oil is very moisturizing and hydrating. Sugar will help exfoliate the  dead skin off. These three ingredients will make your pout perfection!! It feels amazing to remove all the build up and dry skin off of the lips. Also your lipstick/lipgloss, etc. will look so much smoother on the lips, without all the gunk in the way.

To use: I like to melt the coconut oil and honey together first. I then add the sugar and mix in a bowl. Only a tiny bit is need of each ingredient (this is only going on the lips, so don't make too much). You can apply this with your finger or a q-tip, continue to massage the scrub on your lips. Wipe off and apply your favorite lip balm or use vaseline (which helps to seal in moisture).

An added bonus to using a lip scrub is the lips will appear flushed and fuller from the exfoliating!!! Enjoy!!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013


A great alternative to pricey peel/exfoliating masks are DIY (do it yourself) masks, these are easy on the budget and give great results. Most items can easily be found at the grocery store. There is something gratifying about preparing and making your own mask versus purchasing one.

So, one of my favorite DIY masks to make is a turmeric mask. This mask is great for clearing acne, brightening the skin, fading dark spots, and treating wrinkles.

 Turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant, it is anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory. Turmeric has been used in India for many years on soon to be brides. A turmeric paste is prepared and applied to the face, neck, and body. This tradition gives the brides glowing skin before the wedding.

There are different variations of this mask but I have set ingredients that I like to use, turmeric, greek yogurt, and raw honey.

Greek yogurt is great for soothing and hydrating the skin, I also like the consistency of it better than regular yogurt.

I like to use raw honey because it isn't pasteurized and it still contains live enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. Honey has anti-oxdant and anti-microbial properties as well, great for moisturizing, smoothing, and clearing acne.

These three ingredients give the skin an unbelievable glow and clarity.

To use, mix these ingredients together about a tablespoon of each. I usually warm the raw honey up a bit as it is in a paste form and not easy to mix. Apply to a cleansed face and neck.  Once combined leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse with cool or tepid water. The turmeric may stain the skin a little, but it is only temporary. Continue with regular skincare routine.

In my opinion this is a must try mask, if you haven't yet I'm sure you'll fall in love with it!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Zinc Picolinate

Having a good skincare routine is very important to achieve a beautiful complexion, but it doesn't always guarantee clear skin. There are many factors that can cause blemishes or breakouts, stress, diet, using the wrong products for your skin type, hormones, poor hygiene, etc.

If you are someone who is doing everything right and are still noticing breakouts, mild or severe, it may be time to help fight it from the inside, not just the outside with topical products. Topical treatments can only go so far, so it's nice to have "back up" and take a supplement  to help out.

Always speak to your Doctor before starting any new supplements!

Zinc Picolinate is a mineral that aids in healing tissue from an infection. Zinc also helps with a healthy immune system, which will help fight acne causing bacteria. Since zinc aids in healing, it will also help with scarring that acne leaves behind. There are a few forms of zinc that can be taken, but zinc picolinate has been shown to be absorbed the best by the body.

There is no cure for acne, Zinc Picolinate is not a cure, but it will help reduce acne.


The recommended dosage for zinc picolinate is between 30mg-50mg once a day. This must be taken with food.

It usually takes 6-8 weeks to see results.

  Zinc is found in many foods we eat, but do to certain unhealthy diets, some people may not be getting enough zinc.

I take zinc picolinate everyday to help prevent any future breakouts. I am very sensitive to stress and I will breakout out from it. This has helped me a lot :)

I use the "now" brand and I purchased it at a local supplement store for $6.29. It is easy to find online as well. There are many brands to choose from, but I can only comment on this one.

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University of Maryland

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I have been on the hunt for a great makeup remover/ pre-cleanse for a while now. The market is saturated with cleansing oils, cleansing wipes, and cleanser's that wash all your makeup off magically with the first cleanse. There are many options, but I am very picky! I have very oily skin so cleansing oils are out (that's my opinion, if you use them and love them great), I'm worried that they will clog my pores and create a break out. I have tried a few cleansing wipes and they do work, but they always seem to cause my skin to become pink for a while after I use them. If I only have a cleanser on hand, I use it twice, first application is to remove my makeup, second application is to cleanse my skin.

BIODERMA has two amazing no rinse cleansers, Sebium H20 and Sensibo H2o. The sebium h2o is for oily skin and the sensibo h20 is for normal/dry skin, especially sensitive skin.
I finally got my hands on the BIODERMA Sebium H2o, this is a cleansing water made for oily skin. I love this product, it doesn't irritate my skin at all, and no breakouts. This feels very refreshing on the skin and dissolves makeup instantly. I will say it doesn't control my oil at all, but it does make my skin look healthy and clear. This is packed with zinc, copper, gingko biloba, and xylitol, which are all great for oily/acne prone skin.

The description on the bottle: BIODERMA innovation, Sébium H2O gently cleanses the skin without drying it, through the micro-emulsion of impurities and excess sebum.

Enriched with purifying active ingredients, Sébium H2O cleanses the epidermis in depth and regulates secretion of sebum. The patented sebo-correcting complex, Fluidactiv®, normalises sebum quality.

Sébium H2O guarantees excellent cutaneous and ocular tolerance.

Sébium H2O is non-comedogenic.


To use this product apply it to a cotton round or a clean non moistened wipe, gently wipe all over the face until there is no makeup on the cotton round. You may go through 2-3 cotton rounds to make sure all the makeup is off. This is a non rinse product meaning you don't have to wash or rinse your face after using it. It is optional if you still want to or not. I still cleanse my face after I use this, it's just by habit. This can be used as a cleanser or a toner as well.

BIODERMA is a french product line, and from what I understand it is very inexpensive in France. I live in California and it is very expensive to purchase here. I purchased it online for $30, the 500 ml size.

Thank you for reading along!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ole Henriksen Blue/ Blackberry Enzyme Mask

Lately I have been on the hunt for over the counter enzyme masks that really work. There has been a lot of hype surrounding certain enzyme masks lately, and I wanted to test them out. This blog post will solely be about Ole Henriksen Blue/ Black Enzyme Mask. I will blog about the other masks soon.

I was interested in this product because it is designed for normal/dry, sensitive skin and it is left on for twenty minutes. This isn't my skin type ( I'm oily), but most enzyme masks for at home use are usually left on for ten minutes. I had to assume this is very gentle since it is left on for so long, but I wanted to know if it was effective.

I didn't purchase this product, I went to Sephora and was given a generous sample to try. This lasted about 5 uses.  I generally would like more time to review a product, but I felt I already had my opinion on this product.

This is the description of the mask, "This aromatic, reparative gel mask hydrates with sodium hyaluronate and lavender to quench dry and sensitive skin. The perfect antidote to facial stress, this potent blend of extracts smoothes and polishes skin."

Ingredient Benefits

Blue/blackberry fruit extract Oxygenates, renews skin cells, smoothes and refines texture
Lavender extract Reduces inflammation, repairs and renews
Panthenol (vitamin B5) Hydrates and nourishes
Papaya enzyme Renews skin and removes dead skin cells

*In case you were wondering what sodium hyaluronate is, it is meant to moisturize and plump up dehydrated skin. It comes from hyaluronic acid, which attracts water/moisture to the skin, also smoothing and plumping up the skin.

This mask can be used 2-3x a week at night. Apply a good amount to the face and neck after the skin is cleansed. Leave on for 10-20 minutes. Rinse with cool or warm water until all product is off. Continue with moisturizing routine.

In my opinion this mask is very gentle, perfect for sensitive skin. This mask did not sting or burn like other enzyme masks I've tried. I found it to be somewhat hydrating, it definitely did not dry my skin out. I noticed my skin had a smooth, soft clearness to it after using this mask. Too bad the effect doesn't last very long, which is probably why you can use it so often in a week. I like this mask, I think it is gentle and effective. I would recommend this to someone who has never used an enzyme mask before, it is a nice introductory mask. This definitely is great for dry and sensitive skin types.

This mask comes in two sizes, 1 oz./ 30ml for $10.00 and 3.5 oz./ 100g for $32.00. You can purchase this on their website Ole Henriksen Blue/ Blackberry Enzyme Mask or through Sephora.

I hope you found this helpful and don't forget to subscribe to my blog!

Thank you for reading and feel free to ask any questions!!

Friday, February 22, 2013


Is there actually a holy grail cream that works on acne, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles??!! Yes!! This holy grail cream is Retin-A (tretinoin). As amazing as this product is, there are still plenty of side effects to be aware of before starting Retin-A.

Retin-A comes from vitamin A also known as retinoic acid. Retin-A works by increasing cell turnover, which means it is heavy duty exfoliation. It is clearing out old cells and allowing new cells to come up, which is preventing clogged pores, fine lines, and fading dark spots.

Retin-A comes in a cream and gel form. The prescription doses for cream form are: 0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1%. For gel form it is: 0.01%, and 0.025%.

If you are interested in using Retin-A, it is best to get a prescription for it. This way you know the percentage and amount of Retin-A you are using. If it is too hard to get a prescription, there are many over the counter brands that now use Retin-A in their products. There are many to choose from and I haven't tried any, (I do have a prescription for Retin-A) but I would recommend RoC or Philosophy help me night cream.

The best way to use Retin-A is at night on a clean dry face. After you cleanse the skin do not moisturize, moisturizer will interfere with the way Retin-A works. Wait about 10-15 min after you cleanse your face and apply Retin-A to the areas of concern. The skin must be dry so it properly absorbs the Retin-A. If you are applying it all over the face, use only a peas size, a little goes a long way. If you are using it in a small area, apply a very thin layer. If you have never used Retin-A before, I suggest you apply it every other night or 3rd night.

The most common side effects are dry, peeling, irritated, and sensitive skin. Also you will be sensitive to sun light so you must wear a sunscreen if you are going to use Retin-A.There are some people with very sensitive skin who just can not tolerate Retin-A, therefore please be aware of your skin type and talk about this with your Doctor.

I started using Retin-A about 6 years ago. I had a horrendous breakout on my chin that wouldn't stop, I finally decided to see my Doc and she prescribed Retin-A 0.05% (a generic brand) and clindamycin in a topical gel form (this is an antibiotic in a topical gel form). I felt the Retin-A worked amazing and the breakout stopped, it also helped to fade the acne scars I had left. I don't use Retin-A consistently anymore, but when I do use it I apply it once or twice a week to keep my skin smooth and clear. I have oily skin and I can't use this every night, if I do my skin is irritated and peeling, not cute.

Please excuse my worn tube of Retin-A.

 Retin-A does not cure acne, there is no cure, but for some people it may help. Using Retin-A properly will help for some people, depending on the type of breakout. I don't recommend this for severe acne, it will only irritate the skin and you must see a Dermatologist for other recommendations.

A prescription of Retin-A could cost between $10-$50 depending on your insurance and the brand.

I hope you found this post helpful, if you have any questions feel free to ask!

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil Key Lime Flavor

There are many ways to take care of our skin, especially these days with countless products claiming untrue results. It's important to remember to take care of our selves from the inside out. It's even more important than what we use topically. What we consume plays a big roll in how we look and feel, just like that saying "You are what you eat!". Including more veggies and fruits is always a plus, whether you eat them, blend them, or juice them! Also consuming healthy fats (omega-3) will have a positive affect on the skin and body. I will go more in depth on healthy foods in another blog, I'm starting to go in another direction!

I want to blog about the benefits of fish oil. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acid which is EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is found in cold water fish. Fish oil is beneficial for heart health, brain function, dry skin, acne, anti-aging, high cholesterol, and it's anti-inflammatory. The list goes on and on, fish oil is beneficial for so much more. Our bodies do not make omega-3 fatty acid, so we have to get it from supplements or diet.

I have been taking Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil Key Lime Flavor and it is amazing! I used to take the capsule form of fish oil on and off over the years, I was too scared to take fish oil straight up! Many companies have made fish oil easier to take by adding lemon or flavoring to it. I heard great things about Barlean's Fish Oil and I would always see it at Whole Foods. I caved when I heard they had a key lime flavor, I am a sucker for key lime anything. Barlean's has many flavors to choose from, so if you don't like key lime just know there are options!

Okay, so what makes Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil Key Lime Flavor so great? Of all the flavors they have, key lime has the highest potency of omega-3 in it, at 1,500 mg per serving. It is "Ultra High Potency". You will only need one tablespoon a day. Barlean's is naturally sweetened with Xylitol. It is "clinically proven 9 times more absorbable than standard fish oil".
 The taste is amazing, there isn't even a hint of fishiness. The texture is thick and creamy and the color is a mint green. If I could I would have more than a tbsp a day. You can take this by it self or blend it in a smoothie. Barlean's must stay cold and refrigerated.
Barlean's Omega Swirl Fish Oil Key Lime Flavor retails for $29.95. I purchased mine at The Vitamin Shoppe on sale, I believe for $22 or $23. You can find this at Whole Foods or online. If you do purchase this online make sure they ship it over dry ice, this must stay cold!

There are many brands to choose from, I happen to really like this one.

University of Maryland Medical Center

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