Did you know these incredible facts about skin? Check out this cool new infographic from Beauty Flash:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Above all, remember that if you treat sensitive under eye skin as delicately as possible, it will reflect your time and care!
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!