Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The 5 Best Lemongrass Beauty Products

Lemongrass is one of my most favorite essential oils. I have been using some really fabulous products with lemongrass lately and wanted to share them with you.

What is lemongrass?



Also known as Cymbopogon Citratus Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil has a really delightful herbal lemon aroma. In skincare, lemongrass is beneficial for those with oily skin and congested pores because of its antibacterial properties. It offers some antiperspirant properties and is anti-inflammatory, too.

Karley's favorite lemongrass skincare products



Jane Iredale Lemongrass Love Hydration Spray -- Refreshing, invigorating, cleansing. These are the three words that best describe this mist. It leaves the pores feeling clean as it cools and enlivens the skin. I love ALL of Jane Iredale's various sprays, but this one is my favorite. Hurry, though, as this one is limited edition. Your purchase of this Jane Iredale product benefits Living Beyond Breast Cancer. VEGAN

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin**, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemon Grass) Oil*, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil Expressed, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemon Grass) Extract*, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Alcohol*



Seed Body Care Lemongrass Custom Blend Body Lotion -- Have you ever wished for a pure lemongrass lotion? I am not talking about one with lemongrass fragrance oil, but one with 100% natural lemongrass essential oil. I love the Custom Blend option at Seed. You can pick up to 3 essential oils to create a personalized blend, or you can choose just 1 or 2 oils. If you love lemongrass, you MUST try their Lemongrass Body Lotion. It's a beautiful scent -- layer it by adding lemongrass to your body oil, lip oil or body wash. VEGAN

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Tapioca Starch, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Cymbopogon Citratus (Lemongrass) Essential Oil


Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap Lemongrass Handmade Soap -- No one makes handmade soap like Nan's. I have been using her soaps for almost a decade and they just are second to none. I think that some people are still hesitant to try a good bar soap. Do NOT confuse the likes of Dove, Zest, Ivory, etc. with true handmade soap. A well formulated handcrafted soap will be creamy, nourishing and feel amazing on the skin. If you are looking for lemongrass soap, this is a must-have. Take a look at the ingredients list, too. It is stellar! VEGAN

Ingredients: Olive oil, coconut oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil, lemongrass essential oil, green clay, green oxide



Clover & Bee Lemongrass and Poppyseed Body Polish -- If you have been following along with me here on the blog over the past decade, you will know that I love a good body scrub. I don't like them to bee too dry or too oily. It's hard to get it just right. Clover & Bee is one of my new favorite brands. I am currently using the Lemongrass and Poppyseed Body Polish and am swooning over it. At first, I thought it might be a bit too dry, but once I tried it on my skin, I was hooked. This is a really unique scrub. Most body scrubs are sugar, salt or feature nut shells, but the #1 ingredient in this one is actually granulated honey. I am a sucker for products made with honey because of the myriad skincare benefits. This scrub smells like heaven and leaves skin soft and silky without feeling oily.

Ingredients: Granulated Honey, Granulated Sugar, *Babassu Nut Oil, *Macadamia Nut Oil, *Lemongrass Essential Oil, *Poppyseeds. *denotes certified organic ingredient


EVOLVh SmartVolume Leave-in Conditioner is a staple for me. EVOLVh is in my top 3 favorite natural hair care brands and may just be my MOST favorite (Original Moxie and Briogeo are the other 2). Without a doubt, though, the EVOLVh SmartVolume Leave-in Conditioner is the best leave in I have ever used. Next week, I will be writing a longer post on the 4 products from this brand that I am currently using, but right now I need to mention this one. It helps my hair feel super soft without weighing it down. Plus, after a long day, you can spritz a bit into your hair to give it some more oomph. The smell is just lovely -- a blend of lemongrass, citrus, patchouli and more. VEGAN

Ingredients: Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Flax, Rice Bran Extract, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Lecithin, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Red Grape Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Citrus Orange Peel Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Lavender Oil, Bergamot Fruit Oil, Patchouli Oil, Cinnamomum Oil, Geranium Flower Oil, Thyme Leaf Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol Vitamin E, Grape Seed extract

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Top Products for Acne

Acne is a skin condition that can have a profound effect on a person’s self confidence. Unlike other issues, acne is something which is highly visible and people who suffer from it often tend to seek out every advertised "miracle" product in order to clear up their skin.

Acne Myths

Let’s talk about some acne myths. There are so many surrounding this condition and people with acne often blame themselves for their breakouts. Perhaps the biggest myth is related to food.  Eating greasy foods, chocolate, and drinking coffee do not cause acne. Another myth is that your face isn’t clean enough.  People with acne tend to wash their faces multiple times a day in an attempt to get cleanse away the oil, but this actually causes more harm and results in more acne breakouts.

The Key Cause of Acne

Those with acne have pores that have become clogged by trapped oils, or sebum.  The trapped sebum collects in the pores and will eventually develop bacteria.  This combination of clogged pores and bacteria results in acne. The buildup of bacteria in the pores will ultimately result in inflammation and that is when the red pimples become visible and sore.


Skin Care Tips for Acne

  • Wash your face with a gentle, fragrance free cleanser twice daily.
  • Use a cotton pad to apply an alcohol-free toner designed for sensitive skin to remove any traces of cleanser and help calm redness. Look for one with cucumber on the ingredients label. My go-to is Seed Cucumber Facial Toner.
  • Exfoliate regularly with an oil soluble exfoliant such as salicylic acid. This ingredient is able to get right into the pores to help purge the sebum and bacteria. If you do not clear your clogged pores via exfoliation, your battle with acne will continue.
  • Use a spot treatment containing Tea Tree Oil, a natural essential oil, rather than harmful benzoyl peroxide.  Studies show that it is just as effective as the chemical alternative.
  • Moisturize daily with a light, oil-free moisturizer. It is important to keep your skin hydrated and soothed while it is healing from acne.


Be patient! There is nothing more you want than to be rid of your acne, but please remember that it will take at least 2-3 weeks of a consistent skin care routine to help repair your skin.  If you do not notice any results, then we recommend you make an appointment with a dermatologist because a prescription topical cream may be in order.

Favorite Skincare Products for Acne:


Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser is an exceptional cleanser for hypersensitive skin. Acneic skin is inflamed skin and it needs something truly gentle. Avene is top-notch.




Paula's Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is one of two 2% BHA products I adore. Believe it or not, the other is a pad from Stridex. This one, though, is gentler and I love that it is in liquid form. It's one of my most recommended products for those suffering from acne.


Lancome Pure Empreinte Masque is a 5-minute mask with kaolin and montmorillonite to help deep clean the pores. It is a tried and true, timeless skincare mask and you will adore it.



Belif Tea Tree Oil is not just tea tree. Science tells us that spot treating with tea tree is just as effective as harsh benzoyl peroxide. I love this one, as it combines pure tea tree oil with soothing chamomile, bergamot, sunflower oil and more.


Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion is one I recommend if you are desperate for extra moisture but have really oily skin.






Wednesday, February 8, 2017

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream Review

Let's talk eye cream for a long overdue edition of What's in it Wednesday on The Beauty Blogger.

 I usually use the eye creams I am sent for editorial purposes, with the exception of the First Aid Eye Roller and 100% Pure Caffeine Eye Cream. I was out of the Beautycounter one I was sent and didn't like it enough to repurchase, so I was at Target and decided to read ingredients labels and purchase one there.

After 10 years (almost) of blogging, I can tell you that I have found what I would call my Holy Grail eye cream. Not only are the ingredients fabulous, but the price is super affordable!

The product will set you back ten to twelve bucks and it is really pretty priceless: CeraVe Eye Repair Cream. I will continue to repurchase this cream because I have never been happier with an eye product. It works. It is affordable. It has proven ingredients.


First, let's look at the packaging.


This is the perfect package for a skincare product. It is in a tube that is opaque so the ingredients won't be degraded by light. It is hygienic because it is in a tube -- jars are breeding grounds for bacteria and moisture. Yes, you can use a scoop or mini spoon or Q-tip, but not many people do. They just stick their fingers in the jar to get the product only to leave behind germs. The tube that this is in is really ideal for a skincare product.

Ingredients

Purified Water, Niacinamide, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric TriglycerideGlycerin, Propanediol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Jojoba Esters, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-ll, Ceramide 1Hyaluronic Acid, Zinc Citrate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) OilAloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Tocopherol, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Asparagopsis Armata Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Sorbitol, Triethanolamine, Laureth-4, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum

There are no parabens in this formula. My stance on parabens has shifted over the ten years I have been blogging, more than 7 of which were spent as a pretty strict green blogger. I no longer consider myself a green blogger, nor do I only seek out "clean" "green" or "natural" products. I just want a product that will work and to have proven ingredients. that are backed by science.

Let's look at 10 standout ingredients here in the CeraVe Eye Repair Cream:

  1. Niacinamide - Also known as Vitamin B3, nicinamide is anti-inflammatory, which makes  it useful at treating acne, plus it is a powerful anti-aging ingredient. It has firming properties, may help to brighten the skin, and penetrates deeply, making it effective at fighting wrinkles.
  2. Hyaluronic Acid - One of my most favorite ingredients in skincare, HA can hold 1,000  times its weight in water, Impressive! In other words, it is a fabulous hydrator. It is also a remarkable skin restoring ingredient and antioxidant.
  3. Ceramides - A naturally occurring lipid that replenishes and restores the skin. In skin care, the ceramides are plant-derived or lab created. Ceramides help improve skin texture and are tried and true anti-agers.
  4. Almond Oil - Moisturizing, plumping firrming
  5. Aloe Vera - Soothing, healing, anti-inflammatory
  6. Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract - This one is Golden Chamomile. It is known for its ability to help calm the redness associated with Rosacea. Additionally, it is a lovely skin softener.
  7. Tocopherol - Vitamin E is skin protective and one of the best known antioxidants.
  8. Equisetum Arvense Extract - Horestail -- don't worry! This isn't from animal, but rather a perennial herb with natural silicon. It is a great skin brightening ingredient, making it ideal for the under eye area.
  9. Asparagopsis Armata Extract - This is another ingredient that you don't often see. It is a form of wild seaweed and is emollient and a protective antioxidant. 
  10. Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract - Another species of seaweed, this is both emollient and antioxidant.

The Bottom Line: I give this product an A+. Quite simply, it is the best eye cream I have tried in any price range!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

3 Fast Wrinkle Fixes


Are you considering making an appointment for Botox or other injectable fillers? Ladies, before you do, let’s talk about other options.  The cosmetics industry has come far over the years, giving us some really fabulous temporary line and wrinkle fillers. While the visible results are not as long lasting, they are affordable and effective temporary alternatives.


So before you take drastic steps, spackle on a bit of filler. No, it’s not a permanent fix, but it will last throughout the day!


Here are the 3 best temporary wrinkle fillers:






Why I love it: Frownies are unlike other wrinkle fillers.  While others are topical skin care products, Frownies stick to your skin while you are sleeping. Naturally sourced kraft paper and a gentle gum adhesive allow the product to stick to your skin.  They essentially keep your frown lines and eye expression lines from moving, much like Botox does. I was skeptical before I tried them, but they really do provide a temporary line filling effect.  When used the night before a big event, I wake up with any lines smoothed and greatly reduced. These travel very well and can fit right in your bag if you are on vacation.


Why it works: We know that Botox works to paralyze the muscles from moving. Frownies work to prevent -- almost train -- the muscles from moving. While it is not an effect as dramatic as Botox or as long lasting, this product does smooth those expression lines and provides temporary results.


Is this one for you? This is a great concept for people who want to use a wrinkle filler without adding another skin care product to their daily routine. It works well for those who have a big event and want to look more youthful without the pain or commitment of Botox injections.


Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Filler


Why I love it: This does what it says it will do. If you are bothered by lines around the eye and mouth area and would like something to plump up the skin and diffuse the lines quickly, this is a great choice. When you apply it, skin feels tight and firm. A little goes a long way. I find this one to be more effective when it is only used on occasion, because the effect is more dramatic. I like this one if I have a special event to attend and need to see results quickly, even though they are quite temporary.


Why it works: This is a classic filler formula, as it is made with gentle film formers and silicones. Nylon helps to instantly tighten and fill in lines. These are basic ingredients, but they smooth the skin and help give a temporary firmness to the skin.


Is this one for you?  If you are looking for a product to instantly fill in lines and wrinkles, this works well.  The added bonus is that the RoC filler will treat the actual lines and wrinkles with proven skin care ingredients, so this is more than just a cosmetic item. This is a lovely option for those with all but very oily skin types looking for a high quality filler at the drugstore at an affordable cost.

*Note: If you are avoiding parabens, this is not a paraben free product.






Why I love it: If I had to choose only one temporary filler, this would be my favorite. This filler gives gradual, but more lasting results. I am NOT a patient person, but this one delivers real results. Skin looks firmer and lines are smoothed over. It does so without dryness or flaking off.  What I like most is the fact that the Exuviance filler contains potent anti-aging ingredients, so the appearance of fine lines actually does improve over time. It is fragrance free, has a silky texture, and is chock full of proven anti-aging ingredients (peptides).


Why it works: Exuviance is the best luxury dermatologist-developed skincare brand on the market. I have tried Perricone, Peter Thomas Roth, Murad, Dr. Dennis Gross and more, but Exuviance is top-notch. I am NOT affiliated--just a former happy freelancer! This uses Matrixyl, the patented Citrafill, and also includes NeoGlucosamine.


Is this one for you? If you are looking for a product that has really effective anti-aging ingredients while making lines look blurred, this one is for you.

If you just have a couple of bothersome fine lines you’re trying to hide, temporary wrinkle fillers can be an effective alternative to injectable fillers.  Just remember that these are, indeed, temporary.  Once you stop using them, the lines will return to their annoying visible form.