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!

 

Advertisements

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!

10 Spa Treatments Made from Around Your Kitchen

Via: glamour.com

Via: glamour.com

Let’s face it, spa treatments can be expensive, time consuming and full of chemicals. You may even find that these work better than your favorite expensive brands. Get your girls together, and have a spa day this summer. These ten are made from around your kitchen at home:

BODY

Brown Sugar Lemony Body Scrub:

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1 tbsp of honey
2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp of your favorite essential oil (bergamot for energy, eucalyptus or spearmint for stress relief and lavender or jasmine for something relaxation)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it turns into a paste
Apply to moist skin in circular motion using your fingertips to help skin cells slough off faster
Rinse off with warm water
Apply your favorite moisturizer
Results: smooth, soft glowing skin.

Milk Foot Soak:

Add 4 cups of warmed whole milk
2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt and 6 drops of your favorite essential oil
Soak for 20 minutes.
Use the Brown Sugar Lemony Body Scrub to remove dead skin on feet.

Invigorating Coffee Scrub:
Coffee contains Magnesium and Vitamin E. It also acts as an antibacterial, exfoliating and stimulating agent:

Brew a fresh pot of coffee
3 tablespoons of the fresh grounds
1 tablespoon of salt
Mix in a bowl
Scrub mixture over body within 20 minutes of brewing (before oxidation occurs)

HAIR

Avocado Conditioning Mask:

Mash an avocado (two for long hair) in a bowl with a fork until it is a thick, rich paste
Add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance (optional)
Spread the paste on the hair from the root to the ends
Leave on for 20 minutes
shampoo out and rinse out
Results: shiny, smooth, stronger, moisturized hair and added vitality to dull, dry hair.

Olive Oil Deep Hair Conditioning Mask:

Beat two eggs (three for long hair)
Add in three tablespoons of olive oil
Add your favorite essential oils for fragrance (optional.)
Apply a liberal amount to hair from root to tip
Wrap hair in warm towel and rest for about 30 minutes
After you rinse, you will notice how soft, shiny and manageable your hair will be
How Often? Do once a month (twice for dry hair)

Natural Blonde Highlights:
For natural blonde highlights:

Add 1/4-cup lemon juice (natural bleach) to 3/4-cup water and
Rinse your hair with the mixture
Apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner
Sit in the sun until your hair dries
For maximum effect: repeat once daily for up to a week.

TEETH

Strawberry Bleach Mask:
This natural mixture will remove any stains and discoloration on your teeth:

Crush one ripe strawberry
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
Apply the mixture on teeth with toothbrush,  let it set for 5 minutes
Brush with your regular toothpaste
How Often: Once a week.

FACE

Honey Oats Face Scrub:

Combine 1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon finely ground almonds
2 tablespoons dry oatmeal and some lemon juice (or yogurt to a luxurious and exfoliating facial scrub)
Massage mixture gently onto face
Rinse with warm water.
Afterwards: Use your favorite moisturizer.

Yogurt & Honey Mask:
This mixture moisturizes, hydrates and soothes the skin. Honey can be used as a minor acne treatment:

Mix 1-part plain yogurt and 1-part honey
Apply to clean, moist face
Let it set for 10-15 minutes
Rinse well with warm water.

Banana Facial Cream:

Mash 1/2 of a ripe banana until creamy
Apply on face – leave for 15-20 minutes.
Rinse with warm water and cold water to close pores
Pat dry

Pamper Your Skin From Within

Via: radiantpeach.com

Via: radiantpeach.com

Like any other organ of your body, your skin is affected by the nutrients you feed it through diet. While topical treatments can help address the symptoms of malnourished complexions, the best way to renew your skin is by providing it with the essential ingredients it needs to heal, rebuild and refresh itself from the inside out.

As you’ve heard time and time again, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains goes a far way in keeping your body healthy and skin luminous. But which items are specifically known to enrich skin? Check out our list of skin-healthy (and delicious!) foods to add to your next grocery list:

  • Oily Fish. Think mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna, herring, lake trout, flounder and sardines. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to heart health and brain function, but which also help reduce dry and flaky skin conditions, such as acne and psoriasis.
  • Whole Grains. Loaded with antioxidants and fiber, whole grains work to keep your body full and satisfied, while also providing protection against free radicals that cause blemishes in skin. As an added benefit, these grains also stabilize blood sugarand prevent insulin spikes. For a change from traditional wheat, try power foods quinoa and millet.
  • Leafy Greens. Including green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, leafy greens are packed with inflammation-fighting nutrients and antioxidants that help ward off environmental irritations.
  • Purple and Deep Red Fruits and Veggies. While it might sound strange, studies have shown that these highly pigmented foods are high in antioxidants and help maintain blood flow to skin, which promotes optimal cell turnover, keeping pores clear. These foods include acai, pomegranates, purple carrots, black grapes and beets.
  • Green Tea. Containing high levels of the powerful antioxidant catechin EGCG, green tea is a very effective anti-inflammatory and works to keep your skin clean and clear. Just be sure to check labels on bottled tea, as it can often contain high levels of added sugar (or just try brewing your own!)

How To: Beat the Heat Naturally

Depending on where you live, the temperatures lately have ranged from swelteringly hot to downright scorching. Here in Raleigh, the weekend highs soared over the hundred-degree mark, leaving me to soak in the (bath-like) waters of the pool, stopping to occasionally dab the sweat off my brow.

In conditions like this, it seems more or less a fruitless pursuit to apply makeup since it slides off your face with the swiftness of raindrops down your car windshield. You may be tempted to wash your face frequently to rid yourself of excess oil; however, over-washing can actually exacerbate the problem by drying out skin and creating a vicious cycle of oily skin/over-washing/dried-out skin/over-production of oil/oily skin. Is it possible to tame your face in extreme heat and humidity?

Luckily, nature has provided us with ingredients to combat oil gently and effectively without drying and irritating your complexion. Look for the following components in your soap and moisturizer for the summer months ahead:

  • Palm Oil: More than just an everyday vegetable oil, palm oil is rich in the antioxidants vitamin A and E. With natural antibacterial qualities, this oil is able to keep skin lightly moisturized and safe from free radicals that may cause acne.
  • Babassu Oil: Pressed from kernels of a tree in Brazil, this unique oil is soothing, protective and moisturizing. Gentle on skin, it is great for both dry and oily skin since it hydrates without leaving a greasy residue. After application, skin is left with a smooth finish that offers some protection from climate and pollution.
  • Hazelnut Oil: Extremely high in vitamin E, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, hazelnut oil works as an astringent to regulate oil levels on skin. Gently tightening pores, this oil is great for humid weather since it keeps skin moisturized without the oily feel.
  • Sunflower Oil: This oil contains beta-carotene, which is reputed to make skin less sensitive to the sun. It can help neutralize free radicals that penetrate skin leading to sunburn and other types of sun damage. Paired with a healthy dose of sunscreen, sunflower oil can help keep your skin moisturized and protected.
Image

Check out our Indian Summer collection, which is designed specifically to gently combat oil and is perfect for hot, humid weather.