End The Battle Against Oily Skin

Welcome back to the Snowy Owl Cove blog, readers! We’ve been away for a while working on our new website and a complete revamping of our brand. Stay tuned here for more developments and the rollout of our new look!

In the meantime, let’s keep chatting about skincare, hairstyles and everything in between. One issue that crops up for many of us as the temperatures rise is oily skin that seems to soak up humidity and causes makeup to slide into nonexistence by the end of lunchtime.

While you may be tempted to strip all traces of oil from your complexion with a heavy duty cleanser and minimal moisturizer application, it’s important to first figure out what you’re working with when it comes to your skin. Coming from the jungle-like conditions of the South, I always assumed that my skin was that of a teenager: Oily, prone to breakouts and hard to tame. When flakes and dry patches cropped up due to my diligent use of benzoyl peroxide cleansers and oil free moisturizers, I finally began to reconsider.

Here’s the issue: Dry, combination or even “normal” skin sometimes acts out and produces excess oil when irritated and stripped of moisture. Water levels in the skin allow the organ to stay smooth, even and elastic by facilitating important natural processes, such as exfoliation. If your skin is deprived of moisture, it loses its first defense against sun, wind, cold and pollution, leaving it susceptible to both acne and premature wrinkles. So how do we support our skin’s natural defense systems while keeping oil at bay?

In short, stop battling your skin and start soothing it.

Find a moisturizer that works for you. Our Indian Summer product line is formulated with natural ingredients such as babassu and hazelnut oils that lightly moisturize without leaving a greasy residue. While it might be counterintuitive to add oil to an already oily complexion, remember that these natural ingredients are not the same as the sebum your skin produces.

A light oil will actually help regulate pore-clogging sebum without irritating skin by stripping it of its moisture. Simply pat it onto your skin every morning and allow it to absorb for 3-5 minutes before applying sunscreen, makeup or any other products. While it may take your complexion a few weeks to adjust to your new regimen, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much less grease it produces and how much more quickly it heals itself.

Cut the hot showers short. Sometimes, nothing feels better than the squeaky clean feeling of being fresh out of a long, hot shower. While it may be tempting to cleanse every pore, that scrubbed clean feeling is actually something you should avoid at all costs.

Harsh cleansers and extreme water temperatures can strip away natural, necessary oils from your skin, which in turn becomes irritated and likely to break out. If you walk out of your shower with red skin, rashes or dry patches crying for lotion, chances are you need to be more gentle while bathing. Stick with mildly warm water and keep showers under 15 minutes if possible. Try using a mild oil, such as sweet almond oil, as an in-shower moisturizer after washing with a gentle, soap free cleanser.

Go natural. While there are some very impressive, expensive formulas out there with long, hard-to-pronounce ingredient lists, our philosophy is that natural ingredients are just as effective for skin without many of the side effects of commercially produced skincare. It’s also easier to pinpoint an ingredient that irritates your complexion if you’re only working with a handful of components.

For skin prone to grease, try clay masks, which can help reduce oil without stripping away all moisture. Similarly, egg yolks swiped onto the face and washed clean after 15 minutes provide an easy, quick way to cleanse the skin gently.

To remove unwanted dull skin and keep up cell turnover rate, try mixing honey with cinnamon and then gently rubbing it into the skin to remove oil and dead cells. Just remember to test these treatments carefully at first to determine how much vigor your complexion can sustain.

How do you deal with excess oil in the summer? Do you have any special DIY treatments? Let us know!

 

What Feels Like Summer to You?

Via: quotespictures.com

Via: quotespictures.com

What have you been up to this summer? Have you gone to the beach? Visited a farmer’s market? Gotten through any summer reads? Met new friends? Spent time with old ones? Gone camping? Tried out new recipes on the grill? Attended a baseball game?

To me, it’s not summer until I’ve spent a solid chunk of days outside–whether that’s by the pool, hiking a trail, eating Sunday brunch on the patio or taking an evening stroll. Beaming sun, a green landscape, piercing blue skies and the thick sound of crickets at night are all inextricably linked to the season, and it wouldn’t be summer for me if I didn’t get a chance to spend all my weekends in the great outdoors.

So, let us know: What feels like summer to you? Are you ready for fresh fall weather or loving the heat?

3 Easy-To-Master Braids

Summer is the perfect time to get hair off your neck–and braids are a classic, easy way to match both dressy and casual looks. While braids may seem intricate and complicated, most are fairly simple to master with good instructions and some practice. Check out this list of trendy braids that look great, but don’t require a professional stylist to achieve.

1. Four-stranded braid. Using a similar weaving technique as a classic braid, the four-stranded braid is surprisingly easy to create and provides a chunky, interesting look. Get the YouTube tutorial here.

Four-stranded braid. Via: www.bobbyglam.com

Four-stranded braid. Via: http://www.bobbyglam.com

2. Fishtail braid. This style looks extremely intricate and although somewhat more challenging than a classic braid, it shouldn’t take more than a little practice to master. Just remember to keep strands taught and as neat as possible (unless you’re going for a messier look). View the tutorial here.

Fishtail braid. Via: www.abeautifulmess.com

Fishtail braid. Via: http://www.abeautifulmess.com

3. Waterfall braid. While this braid is the most difficult (you’ll want to learn to french braid first), it is far simpler than it looks. It’s impressive-looking and works well for special occasions and everyday looks alike. Don’t get frustrated–it’s all about practice! Check out the tutorial here.

Waterfall braid. Via: www.luuux.com

Waterfall braid. Via: http://www.luuux.com

What’s your favorite braid? Have you tried any of these?

5 Ways To Get Relief From A Sunburn

It happens to the best of us: you’ve applied SPF 50 before a day at the beach, and you even sat under an umbrella during the brightest hours. You think you’ve avoided the sun’s rays well enough, but after a warm shower your skin turns red and blotchy, and a tell-tale stinging begins to creep over your complexion.

While ideally none of us would ever get sunburnt because we wore pure zinc oxide, donned a great sun hat before stepping outside, or simply relaxed in the comfort of our air conditioning all day, sometimes it’s hard to maintain a completely burn-free summer. So what’s the solution to sensitive, red, sunburnt skin?

1. Slather on some aloe vera. Tried and true, this is probably the first go-to for calming skin down after getting burnt. But why buy a bottle of chemically-altered aloe when you can go right to the source? You can purchase an aloe plant everywhere from Whole Foods to Home Depot, and it’s an easy-to-care-for succulent that’s convenient to cut open whenever you need a little extra moisture.

2. Take an oatmeal bath. Oatmeal is a wonderfully calming, moisturizing ingredient that many already have in their kitchens. No need to buy expensive oatmeal bath packets from the drugstore–simply try making your own! This website has a great recipe involving simply stuffing a nylon stocking with oatmeal and attaching it to your faucet, then running water into your bath so the oatmeal starch filters through, filling the tub. Add some baking soda and coconut or olive oil for extra moisturizing benefits.

3. Try witch hazel. This natural ingredient is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and will work well if your burn is bad enough that your skin feels irritated and swollen. Apply with a cotton ball several times a day to the affected area; try cooling it in the fridge for added relief.

4. Soothe your eyes with tea bags. Did you burn the sensitive skin around your eyes? Tea bags contain tannic acid, which naturally relieves sunburnt skin. Simply brew tea as usual, then take the bags and stick them in the fridge and once cold, apply to the eyes as you would a compress.

5. Stay moisturized. Our Daily Sanctuary line of lotions is formulated specifically for dry, sensitive, itchy skin and helps skin to regenerate itself. Because burnt skin will eventually become chapped and slough off, it’s important to keep it moisturized enough to correctly heal as quickly as possible.

How do you take care of your skin when it’s sunburnt? Let us know!

Protect Your Skin The Stylish Way: Cute Summer Hats!

We all know the importance of a good sunscreen during summer, but what if you want something more? Even the best sunscreens wear off after time and exposure to water and sweat. So why not invest in a cute, stylish hat this summer?

Not only do hats provide a physical barrier, shielding your face and shoulders from harmful rays, they also make a perfect addition to long dresses, casual outfits and swimwear alike. Check out some of our picks for perfect summer headwear.

LiViTY “High Grade Fedora”:  Handmade with sustainable ingredients, this hat is not only functional for a day at the beach, it’s unique and adorable. Bonus: It’s on sale for only $42!

Athleta Poipu Straw Hat: A cute, basic hat with an adjustable wire so you can bend the brim to whatever shape you want! At $29.99, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Justine Hats Wide Brimmed Straw Hat:  Unique, beautiful and classic, this handmade hat is sure to turn heads. While it’s a little pricey at $155, because it’s specially crafted by store owner Justine, you can be sure that you’ll be the only one at the pool with a hat this handsome.

Do you sport hats during the summer? Would you consider wearing any of these? Let us know in the comments!

Infographic: Protect Yourself While Enjoying Balmy Weather

Although it’s not officially the first day of summer yet, for most of us Memorial Day weekend signifies the start of many summer-like activities: grilling out, lounging by the pool, taking trips to the beach and generally enjoying the beautiful weather. While I would never suggest that anyone skip out on the ecstasy of being outside after a long winter, it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves how to protect our skin. Check out this interesting infographic from effortlessskin.com for useful facts on the importance of sun protection:

Neon Pink Lips & Other Ways to Combat Warm Weather Envy

From what I hear, back home in North Carolina spring has officially arrived! Flowers are blooming, pollen is in the air, and eighty degree weather is urging everyone down I-70 towards the beach for the weekend. Of course, if you’re living in or around the Denver area, you may have just experienced EIGHT INCHES OF SNOW. Yes, it is thirty degrees in mid-April and while the freshly blanketed snow is very pretty and reminiscent of more festive, Christmas-like times…again, it is mid-April.

Naturally, all these spring false starts, combined with pictures of friends from home lounging (smugly) poolside have made all the bright, spring-y things I’ve been compulsively buying seem like (at least slightly) deserved consolation prizes. Despite days that call for ice scrapers rather than open windows, a quick look around the mall reveals that Denver stores, like much of the rest of the nation, have moved on to a warmer state of mind. Beauty trends this spring are all about color: shades of turquoise, coral, tangerine and emerald add excitement to wardrobes and pop against skin and nails.

Along with warmer weather (PLEASE), here’s my spring wishlist. What’s yours?

1. Lip Tar by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics in Anime: Because what says spring like a bright pink lip? This stuff (for lack of a better term) goes on like gloss but lasts like a lipstick and is super, SUPER pigmented. Available in literally all spectrums of the rainbow, lip tar will brighten your complexion and add interest to otherwise understated makeup. Available for $16 at Sephora.

Colors don't get much brighter than this. Via beautylish.com.

Colors don’t get much brighter than this. Via beautylish.com.

2. Feather Effects Nail Polish by Nails Inc. in Brighton: If you come out with a new nail “effect” and package it cutely, I’ll probably be interested. In this case, the feathery effect of the nail polish and use of bright colors makes Nail Inc.’s new line perfect for warm, spring weather. Pair with bright white and make these nails a central focus of your outfit! Available for $18.29 from ASOS.

These feathery nails remind me that, like a bird, I should've headed south for the winter. Ok, end of complaining. Via vampyvarnish.com.

These feathery nails remind me that, like a bird, I should’ve headed south for the winter. Ok, end of complaining. Via vampyvarnish.com.

3. Body Tint by Lush in Black Stockings: So, I really want to bask, nap and read in the sun from dawn until dusk. But even once it reaches a pool-worthy level of degrees here (approximately sometime in mid-August), I’m not going to do that. Because here’s the thing: I don’t want to look like I’ve aged 50+ years by September, and that’s where Lush’s tinted body bar comes in. Packaged like a soap, this stick of lotion seeps into skin easily and leaves a subtle glow on skin that mimics a perfect, slight tan ideal for skirt and tank top-wearing days. Available for $10.95 at Lush.

Don't let the rich, warm color deceive you; you can customize color to suit almost any skin tone. Via: tinselcreation.com.

Don’t let the rich, warm color deceive you; you can customize color to suit almost any skin tone. Via: tinselcreation.com.

4 Ways To Heal Extremely Dry Lips

Winter lips are the worst. Combat them with soothing lip treatments!

Winter lips are the worst. Combat them with soothing lip treatments!

Ever have the kind of chapped lips that literally hurt–the kind that scab, flake and split; the kind that normal chapstick does not come even vaguely close to relieving? Outside of staying hydrated and keeping healthy fats in your diet, it’s hard to really cure those extremely dry lips that sometimes crop up in winter months.

Over the years, I’ve tested my fair share of lip products in search of a highly moisturizing, soothing, (preferably) good-tasting treatment that stays on lips more than a few hours. Check out the list below for tried-and-true products that I’ve stuck with for years.

What are your favorite lip treatments for extra chapped winter lips?

1. Qtica Intense Lip Repair Balm: Packaged in a squeezable tube, this balm is seriously thick. Still, it doesn’t feel goopy on lips and stays on quite well. Containing honey, tea tree oil and mint, this lip repair feels cooling without leaving lips dry like some camphor-containing balms can. Available for $12.45 on amazon.com.

2. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: In a lipstick-like tube, this lip treatment has a thicker-than-chapstick texture that melts into lips and lasts for hours. Although slightly less moisturizing than Qtica’s balm, Fresh’s treatment offers a variety of colors for a non-drying alternative to traditional lipstick. As a bonus, it also contains SPF 15. Available for $22.50 from sephora.com.

3. Aquaphor Lip Repair: Anyone who’s used Aquaphor knows how wonderfully thick and soothing it is. This lip therapy works by creating a protective barrier that conditions lips and prevents moisture loss. A great drugstore alternative to more expensive lip products, Aquaphor Lip Repair is available for $4.29 from drugstore.com.

4. Bobbi Brown Lip Balm: Formulated with wheat germ and olive oil, this balm is thick and moisturizing without feeling uncomfortable and heavy on lips. While expensive, this balm stays on well and the small tin in which it’s packaged lasts for a while, as it can be used sparingly. Containing SPF, this balm can easily transition into a summer lip product. Available for $19 from nordstrom.com.