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!

 

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!

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.

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.

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.

Soothe Away Wrinkles Naturally With Coconut Oil

 

Via: madeofmuscle.net

Via: madeofmuscle.net

For most of us, when we think about the coconut palm, we envision faraway, exotic locations with sun-bleached sand and clear, inviting waters. What some may not know is that from the palm tree’s large fruits we can extract what is now a rising star in the natural beauty world: coconut oil. Among its many uses, this oil is particularly helpful in the natural treatment of mature skin by reputedly reducing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles through gentle, irritation-free methods.

A few things you may find interesting about this unique oil:

  • Vitamin E: Coconut oil contains significant quantities of this vitamin, which is essential for healthy skin growth and keeping skin smooth and crack-free. It is also reputed to prevent aging and wrinkling of skin, as it has good antioxidant properties.
  • Proteins: This oil is rich in proteins,which keeps skin youthful, healthy and rejuvenated.
  • Healing Properties: Containing antifungal and antibacterial properties, coconut oil may aid in the healing of damaged skin.

For effective treatment against wrinkles, find a gentle, all-natural moisturizer containing coconut oil, such as Snowy Owl Cove’s Driftwood Face Cream, and gently pat it onto skin before bed.

7 Things You Need to Know About Under Eye Moisturizers

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Snowy Owl Cove’s Morning Dew and Owl Eyes Under Eye Serums

At some point, we’ve all spent more time obsessing over our complexions in the mirror than we’d like to admit. You’ve probably noticed that the skin around your eyes differs from the thicker, slightly tougher skin on the rest of your face. Skin in the area around your eyes is indeed more thin, more delicate, and more sensitive than the rest of your face and should be treated as such. When choosing an under eye moisturizer, it’s important to be selective and mindful of the ingredients to maximize soothing capabilities and minimize irritation. Try keeping the following tips in mind:

  1. For the best wrinkle prevention, women should start using under eye moisturizers in their early 20’s. Even if aging is not visible, keeping skin hydrated will put you one step ahead in combating fine lines later in life.
  2. Gels or serums are often preferable consistencies for under eye moisturizers, as delicate skin in the eye area readily absorbs substances and does not necessarily require heavy creams or lotions.
  3. To reduce puffiness and dark circles, look for natural ingredients such as soy peptides that plump skin by improving circulation to the under eye area.
  4. If you’re looking to tighten sagging skin, try finding ingredients such as avocado seed oil, which is reputed to promote collagen production in skin.
  5. For maximum efficacy, look for eye moisturizers suitable for day and night use. A separate moisturizer for night-time use is important, as skin absorbs products more effectively at rest.
  6. When applying under eye moisturizer, simply dab a small amount on skin using your ring finger (which is the weakest finger and won’t stress the skin) in a semi-circular motion under each eye, then gently pat skin until product is absorbed. Be careful to keep the product out of your eyes, as it may cause irritation!
  7. Above all, remember that if you treat sensitive under eye skin as delicately as possible, it will reflect your time and care!

What Are Essential Oils?

Via: bigcommerce.com

Via: bigcommerce.com

You may have heard the term “essential oils” before in connection with natural skin care. What’s all the fuss about this ingredient? How essential are they really?

Use of essential oils for both medicinal and beauty purposes can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece, where they were often used as a supplement to the beauty and health regimens of the rich. Luckily, these special oils are now available to the general public…or at least to those lucky enough to have caught on to their gentle yet effective uses in skin treatment and aromatherapy.

Highly concentrated extracts from plants and flowers, essential oils are distilled but otherwise left unaltered, making them potent and fragrant. Unlike artificially produced perfume oils, essential oils not only just smell great, but are also reputed to provide great benefits, including aromatherapy, relaxation of tired muscles, healing of acne, treatment of dandruff and protection of the skin’s natural barrier.

So where can you find these therapeutic oils? Snowy Owl Cove employs essential oils in many of its products, including its entire line of face soaps.

Snowy Owl Cove’s Indian Summer Face Bar, for example, includes essential oils to aid in the soothing of blemished skin and for moisture without a greasy residue. Don’t miss out on big power of this small ingredient!

 

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