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!

 

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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!

Favorite Winter Products

winter-skincare-essentials

I recently moved to Denver, Colorado, just in time to see the leaves change in all the beautiful parks around the city, taste various butternut squash soups at newly discovered restaurants, and take to the slopes for the beginning of ski season. And also, just in time for an already dry climate to reach an extreme that causes my sweaters to crackle with static and my skin to (literally) flake off if not moisturized. I’ve never had much of a dry skin/hair problem, but my new surroundings have left me scrambling for intense (but non-greasy) ways to keep my skin from cracking and my hair from being a frizzy, dry mess.

Here are some of the great standbys I’ve found–what are your favorites?

  • Face. For a dry face that needs intense moisture without causing breakouts, I love Snowy Owl Cove’s Daily Sanctuary Face Cream. Using all natural ingredients such as aloe butter and raspberry seed oil, this rich cream leaves skin supple and smooth without any of the unwanted grease.
  • Body. For a body moisturizer, I like something that absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling supple, but dry to the touch. For this purpose, I like Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive Aloe & Buttermilk Body Lotion. Creamy, but non-greasy, this 99% natural lotion leaves my skin moisturized with no irritation (even after shaving).
  • Lips. Although I’m sure many of you are familiar with this product, I just thought I’d throw my endorsement for Smith’s Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm out there. This product is hassle-free, smells good and lasts for months. Although it comes in many varieties, I like the strawberry best, as it smells good enough to eat and seems slightly thicker than the other ones. Bonus: Per the packaging, it can be used for everything from cracked cuticles to dry elbows!
  • Hair. I recently got my hair cut for the first time in Denver. Admittedly, it had been since August, and my hair was basically a bird’s nest of split ends. The salon was using a product line called Unite, which I’d never heard of before, and when I left, I was amazed at how soft, shiny and manageable my hair was. While all the products of this brand seem excellent, I would especially recommend their 7 Seconds Condition Leave In Detangler. While somewhat pricey (it’s available on amazon.com for $19.95), in my opinion, it’s worth it for healthy, moisturized, non-greasy hair.

Four Of The World’s Greatest Places For Skin Health

Reykjavik, Iceland is beautiful, with pure air and waters conducive to healthy, clear skin.

When it comes to skin health, there are many factors at play: genetics, diet and exercise, and hormone and stress levels being just some of them. Over the course of many years, however, one element that largely determines the wellness of your complexion may be your environment. Between pollutants, air quality and the resources available in your community, the place you choose to call home can play a surprisingly major role in health, especially affecting the appearance of aging and clarity of skin.

So where are the optimal places to pamper skin cells and renew your youthful glow? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most complexion-friendly locations–so even if you can’t pick up and move, maybe you’ll find a place to rejuvenate skin on your next vacation.

1. Oslo, Norway: A beautiful cosmopolitan city, Oslo is also known as “the world’s biggest village” due to its small-town approach towards impact on the environment and commitment to the community. With a simple public transportation system, large amount of bike users and widespread use of locally grown foods, this city is known for its pure air and healthy diet. The quality of air and food creates a perfect environment for slowing the aging of skin and staving off conditions such as acne and environmentally caused skin irritation.

2. Marienbad, Austria: Discovered in 1341 by a wandering traveler, the mountain town of Marienbad has become a favorite spot for tourists due to the curative carbon dioxide waters in its springs. Boasting eight different pools, each with unique mineral compositions, this small town is a perfect escape for soothing tired, irritated skin. Bathing in the springs and drinking from them is reportedly beneficial in battling numerous ailments including gout, diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatism.

3. Reykjavik, Iceland: Iceland is one of the least polluted countries in the world. With an overall low rate of disease, Reykjavik is a perfect place to rejuvenate skin through clean air and swimming in the pure, geothermal-heated waters enjoyed by locals year round. With large amounts of outdoor activity, as well as relatively low exposure to the sun per year, this is a place that promotes skin health.

4. Portland, Oregon, USA: With some of the lowest ozone and pollution levels in the US, Portland is a great place to avoid the free radicals that age skin and interrupt healing. An emphasis on physical activity and farm-to-table produce also makes this city a great place to get and stay healthy, supporting a luminous, youthful complexion.

Free Shipping On All Snowy Owl Cove Products!

In honor of our love for fall, we’re offering free shipping on all Snowy Owl Cove products in our Etsy store!

Stock up on everything from thick, creamy lotions to alleviate winter skin to gentle, soothing soaps to leave your skin clean, fresh, but never stripped of moisture. Keep in mind that all of our products are all natural and handmade in small batches with the utmost attention to the quality of ingredients. We hope you’ll take advantage of this deal and use our array of soaps, lotions and serums to keep your skin healthy & happy this fall!

Simply use the coupon code FREEFALLSHIPPING during checkout in our store to receive your order free of shipping charges anywhere in the domestic US!

Happy shopping, everyone!

Pantone’s Fall 2012 Color Report

Wondering which beauty products to invest in this fall? Pantone released its 2012 fall fashion color report, predicting which shades will likely trend this season in everything from eye shadow to handbag color. Including darker, more serious tones like “french roast,” this palate is also big on pops of color, such as “pink flambe” and “bright chartreuse.”

We’ve searched for our favorites of these shades in some of our go-to all natural brands and come up with a list of products that will help you stay on trend this fall (the all natural way!):

  • Tangerine Tango: Zoya’s all natural nail polish in “Paz” is a great way to add a spot of bright, attention-grabbing color to an otherwise neutral outfit. Vibrant and long-lasting, this nail color is also free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate.
  • Rhapsody: Try Afterglow Cosmetic’s mineral eye shadow in “Velvet” for a subtle way to incorporate muted purple into your makeup routine. With certified organic ingredients including grape seed and rosemary extracts, these eye shadows are gentle on skin without sacrificing vibrant color.
  • Rose Smoke: For understated lips with a hint of rosiness, try Primitive Makeup’s lipstick in Sedona. Moisturizing and all natural, this product includes calendula, green tea and rose hips for a beautiful, conditioning treatment for your lips.
  • Pink Flambe: To wake up your complexion, try a dash of bright creme blush by Real Purity Cosmetics in “Pink.” Free of any FD&C dyes, oils, talc, alcohol, parabens, chemicals, this blush delivers easy-to-apply, creamy color to naturally brighten winter skin.

What’s your favorite Pantone color this fall? Do you plan on investing in fall colors? Let us know!

 

 

Cooler Weather Doesn’t Have to Mean Dry Skin

Via: thisthatbeauty.com

Although it may be slow coming, cooler fall weather is just around the corner, and before we know it, brisk evenings will replace warm, muggy nights. With all the wonderful aspects of colder months (butternut squash soup, new boots, Thanksgiving!) also comes drier air, harsher weather and the parching effects of heating systems. If you’re anything like me, skin care goals move from battling a greasy complexion to trying to keep dry, flaky skin at bay.

Here are a couple easy ways I’ve found that are effective in locking moisture into skin during drier, colder months:

  • Avoid long, hot showers. While it may feel great to hop into a steaming hot shower after a chilly day, hot water robs skin of moisture. Instead, take a lukewarm shower (or if you simply can’t stand cooler water, keep your hot showers brief). Slathering your skin with a healthy dose of a good, rich body moisturizer straight out of your shower will also help to keep skin healthy and moist.
  • Try using a humidifier. When cold weather strikes and you begin pumping heat into your home, the air becomes drier and often only about 10% of the humidity remains in the air. A humidifier helps return some of the air’s moisture, allowing your skin to remain more supple.
  • Simmer cinnamon over the stove. Not only does it smell great, providing a natural perfume to your home, but this method will actually work to restore some of the moisture to the dry air of your home and help to keep moisture locked into your skin.
  • Turn to foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Indulging in salmon, tuna, nuts and seeds can help rid your skin of free radicals and boost new cell turnover, keeping dry, flaky skin at a minimum.

4 Essential Oils For Healthy, Luminous Skin

Via: healthyuwithayu.com

Via: healthyuwithayu.com

By now, many of us are familiar with essential oils and the diverse array of health and beauty benefits they provide in safe, natural ways. Still, the search for the correct essential oil for your skin can be confusing due to the large selection of these ingredients. Instead of selecting your preferred oil based on scent alone, check out this list of some of our favorites and how they can help keep your skin healthy and luminous:

1. Lavender:

  • What it is: Many of us enjoy the essential oil of lavender, which is common in bath products and candles. Derived from the lavandula angustifolia plant, this oil is present in a variety of forms depending on its origin and the altitude at which it was grown.
  • What it does: Helping to balance oily skin and clear blemishes, this oil has antiseptic properties that can even help in relieving burns, insect bites and small cuts. Its fragrance also has a calming effect that many report as aiding in sleep and relaxation.

2. Tea Tree:

  • What it is: Coming from the Australian plant melaleuca alternifolia, tea tree oil is probably one of the most popularly used oils due to its effectiveness in treating skin and unique and diverse uses. Used for thousands of years by the aboriginal people of Australia and New Zealand, tea tree has proven its worth throughout history by serving as a treatment for wounds and as an antiseptic for many skin ailments.
  • What it does: With great effectiveness in warding off infections of all kinds, this oil has been known to cleanse and treat skin prone to blemishes and is even purported to help fade scarring of the complexion. Additional benefits include aiding in the healing of minor cuts and scrapes, as well as insect bites and chicken pox.

3. Chamomile:

  • What it is: Extracted through steam distillation from fresh camomile flowers, this oil was widely used by ancient Egyptians in shampoos, perfumes and cosmetics due to its soothing and cooling abilities.
  • What it does: Based on its place of origin, camomile oil comes in two different varieties: Roman and German. While both oils have excellent calming properties, Roman chamomile is more effective for skin irritation, while German chamomile  is especially effective in not only soothing and calming the skin, but also in tissue regeneration.

4. Rosemary:

  • What it is: Crisp and clean smelling, this oil comes from a shrubby evergreen bush originally native to Asia known as rosmarinus officinalis. Now cultivated in France, Tunisia and Yugoslavia, this plant was burnt in hospitals during the middle ages to ward off plagues.
  • What it does: Rosemary oil is ideal for acne-prone skin with enlarged pores, as it cleanses and invigorates skin, leaving a gentle astringent effect. Because it tones and firms skin, rosemary is also ideal for mature skin and is employed in many anti-aging skin products.

*Note: Please keep in mind that, while natural, many essential oils are strongly effective and therefore may cause irritation on some skin types. When using alone, remember to use sparingly and test a small amount of the product on skin before use. For gentler options that still offer similar benefits, try finding skin care products, such as our facial soap bars, that contain essential oils mixed with other soothing ingredients.

What’s your favorite essential oil? Let us know!

Ancient Skin Remedies For Modern Times

Via: italiantribune.com

Via: italiantribune.com

So many trends in the fashion and beauty world (and beyond) move in cycles: in the past few years, we’ve seen the reemergence of everything from 70’s inspired flower child wavy locks to the neon spandex styles of the flashy 80’s. Mad Men helped re-popularize the glamorous, well-tailored fashions of the 50’s and 60’s, and when it comes to beauty, the rise of Pinterest and prevalence of beauty blogs beckoned us back to an older, simpler time when beauty products could be prepared with everyday, natural items.

In a rat race world of complicated situations we can’t necessarily control, why not simplify what we can? In my search for age-old skin remedies that are still easily obtainable, here are the ingredients that stood out to me in their reputed efficacy and ability to stand the test of time:

  • Honey: The Ancient Greeks, as well as those in Africa, the Middle East and India have used honey for thousands of years on wounds to help speed up the healing process. Able to ease pain, reduce swelling and infection and promote healing, honey is still a great way to keep skin smooth and blemish-free.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Used by the aboriginal people of Australia for over 3,000 years, this oil has been employed throughout history as a treatment for infections and various other medicinal purposes. Now, tea tree is again rising in popularity as an effective therapy for everything from acne to dandruff. With strong disinfectant properties, it is therapeutic for troubled and damaged skin.
  • Olive Oil: Referred to as “liquid gold” by the Ancient Greeks, olive oil has been widely used for thousands of years as a natural moisturizer for both skin and hair. Used to anoint kings and athletes in Greece, this oil was considered sacred for many years due to its amazingly effective and versatile abilities. Still used in many beauty products, it is ideal for those with allergies, as it is extremely gentle on skin.
  • Almond Oil: Before there was Botox or expensive anti-aging creams, Ancient Egyptians relied on the powers of almond oil to look younger. Popular in skin products used in almost all classes of society, almond oil has remained prevalent due to its rejuvenating abilities and high antioxidant content in the form of vitamin E.