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Beautycounter Must Haves

Beautycounter Must Haves

Beautycounter must haves is here!  In light of the 15% off sale happening at Beautycounter I had to share my favorites with you.  I’ve been using Beautycounter now for 5 months and I’ve definitely found what products I love and can’t part with.I...
BEAUTYCOUNTER REVIEW

BEAUTYCOUNTER REVIEW

So excited to finally share my Beautycounter review!  I’ve been wanting to share about the products since I joined but wanted to give it some time so I could really get a feel for them and give you some good feedback. I wrote a blog post sharing why I...
Why I Decided To Join Beautycounter

Why I Decided To Join Beautycounter

I’m so excited to share why I decided to join Beautycounter!  This post has been a long time coming.  If you would have told me 6 months ago that I was going to be joining Beautycounter I would have laughed.  For those of you who have followed me for a long time this may come as a big surprise to you.  That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to share why I decided to join Beautycounter.  To not only share why I changed my mind but also share more about Beautycounter and their mission- because they mission is great and something I had no idea about.  I didn’t care to listen, read, or watch.If you don’t care about reading about why I joined and just want me to share my experience with the product- then scroll to the end! 🙂 I’ve got pics of me wearing the products!  And my thoughts.  Plus, don’t forget to shop right now!  Beautycounter’s Black Friday Sale started today!  They rarely have sales- like hardly ever, so this is pretty big.  Shop 15% off sitewide plus, free shipping on orders of $50 or more!  Shop here!

I want to share first why I used to be against Beautycounter:

  • I didn’t like the MLM or direct sales model- whatever you want to call it.  I’ve been pitched to about Beautycounter more than I can count.  Some have been nice and thought out but others to be honest seemed really salsey and impersonal.  It turned me off.
  • They had ingredients in their products that I thought were bad.  Specifically talc and phenoxyethanol.  I’ve since done a deep dive into both and I’m no longer fearful of either.  I’ll share more about it this below.
  • All other green beauty bloggers around me were against it and so of course so was I.  I guess you could say I followed the pack!  Everyone has their standards and I can only make this decision for myself.  It just feels good to make MY own educated decision though and have researched it. I think it’s easy to get swept up in things, and listen to what bloggers say as Bible.  People think what I say is absolute all the time.  I constantly want to encourage others to do their own research- us bloggers don’t know everything- far from it.  We are all on a journey!

Overall, I didn’t give Beautycounter a chance.  I didn’t read up on them, or even entertain conversations about them.  I simply looked at some of their products on their site and that was it.

Ingredient Deep Dive- Phenoxyethanol and Talc

Phenoxyethanol- This is used as a preservative in products.  If a product contains water or aloe, it needs a preservative otherwise mold, yeast and bacteria can grow.  There is a lot of false statements about phenoxyethanol out there on the internet.  Trust me- I’ve read them!  Beautycounter uses a pure form of phenoxyethanol, which has been tested twice by Tufts University.  They have also had 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide tested on their raw form and it came back negative.  Phenoxyethanol is not bioaccumulative so it’s not something that builds up in your body like many chemicals can. Beautycounter only allows products to contain less than 1% of phenoxyethanol in all their products.  They work with formulators to only use what’s absolutely necessary.  I don’t know about you but I’ve had multiple green beauty products have mold in them!  Preservatives have been made to be the villain.  We need them in formulations.  Obviously, there are good ones and bad.  Would I recommend you use any brand that has a product that contains phenoxyethanol-no.  It’s important to know the sourcing.  I trust Beautycounter’s work and efforts to make sure they have a clean source and our third party testing to ensure it stays clean.

It’s also important to understand the studies done and the percentages used.  Many people are citing studies that have used 100% phenoxyethanol!  I don’t care what chemical you use, you’re going to have some negative impacts when used at that high of a dosage.  Some reports also state irritation when using phenoxyethanol.  I would say to check if the source is clean but to also see how much they’re using in a product.

Made Safe and EWG the two most credible third party non-toxic certifications enable phenoxyethanol to be used at less than 1%.

The thing I love and respect about Beautycounter is that they are constantly wanting to improve and find better solutions.  They don’t claim to know it all!  They are working with industry leaders to always find a newer list of preservatives to use.  They have worked to create a Safer Preservative Challenge and Sustainable Chemistry Alliance.  I would also be cautious of new preservatives that have come out on the market that claim to be clean when no research has been done on them.  Let’s always keep asking questions!

Talc- I had thought talc was a big no, no since I went green 8 years ago.  But I’ve quickly learned I was wrong.  Talc isn’t bad, it’s the by product of talc- asbestos and other heavy metals that can be the problem.  Beautycounter works only with a certified company that is asbestos free and they don’t stop there, they then third party test all their talc to ensure there’s no contamination. Once again, Beautycounter always takes their efforts to the next level!

My biggest piece of advice as I preach all the time as a green blogger is to do your own research and be your own advocate!  Don’t just believe everything you read, hear or see.

Fast Forward several months and now I want to share why I decided to join Beautycounter and why I changed my mind.  I thought about this and it really boiled down to 5 main things.

Third Party Testing-

For those who might not be aware of what third party testing is, let me explain. Third party testing is an independent organization that tests the product to ensure it is what it’s supposed to be.  They make sure it’s safe and has the ingredients it’s supposed to have in it.  For ex. Beautycounter had to recall some of their face cream back in 2017 because of a failed preservative and microbial growth.  I don’t know any green/natural beauty brands that are third party testing their products!  The FDA is so loose on regulations for beauty products.  A company could manufacture a product and list the ingredients on the label but the ingredients could be different then what’s actually in the label- and no one would know.

Beautycounter’s mission is to create laws that would force companies to be accountable. To be honest, I really didn’t fully understand this or think it was a big deal when it came to beauty until my own health journey with hashimotos.  I learned that heavy metals could be a trigger for my thyroid condition!  I also had a doctor share her own journey with heavy metal toxicity and an autoimmune condition.  I’m not sharing this to bring fear but to be aware.  I’ve been in this space for a long time and I wouldn’t have thought about heavy metals in products before.  Beautycounter tests their makeup line three times for 10 heavy metals before they put it out for the consumer.  Since natural makeup contains many minerals from the earth, even though they’re natural, they still can carry a load of heavy metals.  If you’re using these consistently that can produce a heavy metal load.  The fact that Beautycounter third party tests all their products is huge.  I literally know what’s in each product!

They aren’t just third party testing for heavy metals but for common toxic ingredients like phthalates, formaldehyde, 1,4 dioxane, etc.

Counteract Coalition-

This coalition is pretty amazing!  Beautycounter created this alliance of companies that supports the Personal Care Products Safety Act.  If you’re not familiar with the bill it would require manufacturers to post complete label information about products online and force beauty companies to provide the Food and Drug Administration with information about the ingredients used in their products. The last time a bill was passed to regulate personal care products it was 1938!  I think it’s time to start linking arms and make our voices heard.

Companies in the coalition are well known green beauty brands.

  • Vapour Organics, Annamarie Skincare, Follain, OSEA, Rahua, Silk Therapeutics, S.W. Basics, Vinter’s Daughter, and TenOverTen to name a few.  Beauty Counter unified everyone and created something so much more impactful than if everyone was on their own. There are power in numbers!  I love that Beauty Counter isn’t trying to bring other companies down but create positive change together. I love the quote from founder Gregg Refrew-

I set out to get safer products in the hands of everyone, not to get Beautycounter products into the hands on everyone.

Beautycounter is creating change and that’s something I want to be a part of!

Beautycounter Review

Wearing Beautycounter’s BC Red Color Intense Lipstick, Satin Powder Blush in Guava and The Classic Eyeshadow Palette in Ivory, Sahara and Copper.

Beautycounter Spreads The Clean Beauty Message-

Isn’t that what it’s all about?  Getting the clean beauty message out!  Beautycounter is pioneering this.  For so long I was against one of the companies making the biggest impacts in the natural beauty industry.  Instead of linking arms to join in the support to raise awareness I was fighting it.  They have the resources and have set it up where people are getting educated and empowered to make better choices for themselves and their families.  I want to be part of a movement that is supporting the clean beauty movement and women in business.

The amount of work they are doing to clean up the industry is amazing.  You can literally get email updates on their advocacy work by signing up here!

We can do more TOGETHER!

Builds Community- 

This is one of my favorite aspects of Beautycounter.  The people you meet.  Women seriously passionate about making a difference and sharing it with their friends and family.  Beautycounter first and foremost wants to educate the consumer and the amount of materials and resources they share is amazing!

Learning from one another- that’s what it’s all about.  Not, I know more than you, here’s what to think, but an open dialogue where we are always growing.  People aren’t just detoxing their beauty but their lives.  It opens up the conversation. When you have a community of women who are sharing together- good things happen.  You can lean on one another.

Beautycounter Supports Women Building Businesses-

Ok, this point is one that I strongly believe in and I’m so passionate about.  I love that women can create a business that fits their lifestyle.  A business that can support their family.  If you would have told me I would be in direct sales 6 months ago, I would have thought you were joking.  But now I get it.  When your passion lines up with it, it’s impossible to say no.

Gregg, the founder, set it up as direct sales because she wanted it to be personal and relational.  She wanted to educate the consumer.  She could have set it up to be a retail but she didn’t.  She wanted consumers to know ingredients and to ask questions.  That’s why she chose direct sales.  The stories I’ve heard from women being able to support their families are definitely moving to say the least.

From being able to buy healthier food now for their family because of earning extra income through Beautycounter.  To being able to take their family on a vacation or affording a mom to stay at home with her kids.  Beautycounter has literally changed these women’s lives.

I recently watched a video where Gregg the founder shared why women need stop apologizing for being in direct sales.  Why are we apologizing?  Because we now can afford to live the lifestyle we want?  To pay for those ballet lessons for our child or educate others about nontoxic products?  It’s silly!  We need to own it and realize the change we’re making!

Those are my 5 reasons why I joined Beautycounter.  These are my why’s.

Beautycounter Review

Beautycounter’s Classic Eyeshadow Palette, Guava Satin Powder Blush and Color Intense Lipstick in BC Red.

I also wanted to share with you some of the product I’ve tried and their bestsellers-

As I mentioned above, don’t forget to grab some product now!  Beautycounter rarely has sales of any kind and their Black Friday sale starts today 12/20!  It’s 15% off sitewide and free shipping over $50!  

The products I’ve tried are their Classic Eyeshadow Palette, Satin Powder Blush in Guava and their Color Intense Lipstick in BC Red(this was a limited edition, but they have one super close to the color called Girl’s Night, it’s your classic red).  I’ve been super impressed with the products!  The performance is amazing.  The eyeshadows are the best I’ve used in green beauty.  They’re highly pigmented, and stay on the whole day!  The blush is also highly pigmented and long lasting.  Guava is the perfect pop of pink to warm up the cheeks.  The lipstick color is 100!  Literally, if you’ve followed me for a while you know I love me a good red lipstick and the BC red does not disappoint.  It also lasts crazy long.  It has a rich feel to it.

I’m going to be sharing my experience with other products too- follow me on Instagram to get the most up to date looks!  Also, don’t forget to shop the Holiday Collection!  From what I’ve been told, it’s a limited edition, and they only bring back a few select items. Shop Holiday here! 

Here are some Best Sellers from Beautycounter:

Ok, that’s all my thoughts on why I joined Beautycounter for now!  Thanks for reading.  Don’t forget to head to Beautycounter’s website to shop some product and stock up for the holidays!  I hope you feel informed, and educated.  If you have any questions or want to become a consultant, feel free to email me at [email protected]  I would love to have you on my team!

 

 

Best Anti-Aging Skin Care Products

Best Anti-Aging Skin Care Products

This post has been a long time coming when it comes to best anti-aging skin care products!  I get asked this question nearly everyday- no joke.  I get it.  We all want to maintain that youthful appearance.  I mean who wants to look older than they are?

Now, I know the word anti-aging can be a faux paw word when it comes to natural beauty.  I’m not against aging at all.  I know that we all will age.  I fully embrace it!  However, I love the idea of being able to give my skin the best chance at looking it’s best for as long as possible.  I think we can all agree on that.

You can call it anti-aging or maintaining a youthful glow, whatever sounds good to you- the bottom line is the goal is to keep your skin looking good and feeling good!

Since we only get one face, we might as well take care of the skin we’re in.  

After being a natural beauty blogger for almost 5 years and having been in the natural beauty industry for over 8, I’ve come to find products that work and those that don’t when it comes to skincare that performs.

I think initially the natural beauty industry had a lot of beauty products that were clean but not effective.  Over the years formulators and companies are now not only creating products that are clean but also perform!  The best of both worlds.

Basically you can have your cake and eat it too!

Science is becoming more savvy as well and is now able to share how natural ingredients such as plant retinols and powerful antioxidants can truly transform the skin.  Science is pretty cool.

 

Best Anti-aging skincare

One of my favorite natural beauty skincare products for aging skin- African Botanics.

What ages our skin?

There are so many factors that contribute to aging skin.  Here are a list of the heavy hitters.

  • Sun damage- we all hear it but the sun can really do a number on our skin.   When UV light hits our skin it damages the collagen and elastic tissue in the skin.  The skin becomes weak and delicate and doesn’t bounce back like normal and instead starts to sag.  Then later on we see sun spots, and discoloration.  The sun is so beneficial for our bodies too- don’t get me wrong.  But I just like to wear a hat and protect my face from the sun as it’s more delicate.  Also, wearing SPF is crucial for protecting your face from harmful rays.
  • Dry Skin- When our skin is dry it starts to shrivel.  Just like a grape shrivels and turns into a raisin when dry.  The same thing is true with our skin.  It starts to shrivel and wrinkles become more prevalent when our skin ages.  By keeping it moist and hydrated we are giving our skin a fighting chance even when we are older to keep our skin in tip top shape.
  • Good Ol’ Age- Yep, as we age we lose collagen.  Collagen helps to give skin it’s firmness and elasticity. As we get older we lose a little collagen every year, or you could say every decade.  As collagen decreases we can start to see more fine lines, and sagging appear.  Also the production of new skin cells age us as well and we lose fat overall which can give faces fullness and firmness.  Taking care of your skin at an early age or when you first learn about the importance of good skincare regimens is the best step in giving your skin a fighting chance of thriving.
  • Eating An Inflammatory Diet- I’m excited this one is really starting to pop up more and more.  Often people think they can just have great skincare products and that should do the trick when it comes to anti-aging.  Unfortunately, what we put inside our bodies make a huge difference on how we age and our overall skin health.  When you eat a diet full of processed foods and sugar it accelerates the aging process.  For ex. sugar when ingested reacts with nucleic acids, free proteins, fats and forms advanced glycation end products, also known as AGEs.  Not only do these cause damage through inflammation but oxidative stress, and free radical damage.  Not a recipe for healthy skin!  You can tell when a person is consuming a diet rich in good healthy fats, proteins and plants.  They literally glow from the inside out!
  • Smoking and Alcohol- Probably not a surprise to most of you but these can definitely do a number on the skin.
  • Not Taking Care Of Our Skin- Overall skin health is also a direct reflection on how well you take care of it.  Consistent skincare routine is vital for keeping skin in tip top shape.  There is no magic potion to seeing results in one day, but repeated use and consistency is one of the most effective ways to see skin thrive.  So many people aren’t consistent and therefore can see early signs of aging by not taking care of their skin.
  • Stress- I’m sure most of you are aware but stress plays a major role when it comes to skin aging.  Have you ever seen someone go through a traumatic life event?  Often their skin can share the stress and pain of it all without them saying anything.  That’s how powerful stress is.  From not sleeping because of stress, dark circles from crying, fatigue, and wrinkles appear.  Managing stress and learning how to cope with it can help your skin in the long run.

What can you do about aging?

 

In your 20’s- Make sure you’re applying SPF.  Majority of the sun damage research has shown happens in our 20’s to our skin.  Applying an SPF before going outside is one of the best preventative measures to keeping skin looking youthful later in life. This SPF is one of the best for the face and before makeup.  Exfoliate, to keep your skin looking fresh and glowing and to reveal those new skin cells.  Don’t sleep with your makeup on, as tempting as it might be.  This blocks pores, causes breakouts and it can stretch out your pores- something no one wants.  Start incorporating one anti-aging product.  Even in your 20’s skin starts to decrease in collagen.  Pick one serum, or moisturizer that is loaded with active ingredients and is going to give you some mileage to your skin in the long run. I love this serum!

In your 30’s- Your skin starts to slow cell production at this age and collagen decreases as well.  Getting by with a few hours of sleep doesn’t seem as easy without looking haggard and some fine lines are starting to appear.  Hormones can be all over too as you have babies, which causes more skin changes.  Your skin often can feel overall drier too.  It’s best to find a skincare routine and really stick with it.  Replace foaming cleansers that dry out your skin with more oil or milk based cleansers.  Find a hydrating cream to amp up your skin’s overall moisture and get an active serum that is really going to help counteract the aging process.  One of the biggest complaints of 30 somethings is pigmentation.  Exfoliation is also key at this age as cell turnover is slower.  Exfoliating skin keeps it looking youthful and glowing. This is the best exfoliant.  Also, don’t forget an eye cream! I love this eye cream.   Your 30’s can really start to show the first signs of aging around the eyes.  Plus, keep up the SPF as you still want to keep your skin protected!

In your 40’s- Once we hit 40’s our skin’s cell turnover rate has slowed to nearly double of when we were in our 20’s.  They say in our 20’s our cell turnover rate is 25 days, but in our 40’s it’s 45 days.  So basically our skincare routine needs to be highly fined tuned at this age.  You start to see sun spots in your 40’s more than ever and wrinkles appear in areas you use the most such as forehead, around eyes and mouth.  Now is the time to make sure you have a skincare routine that delivers.  From a gentle hydrating cleanser, an active serum, a day cream and night cream.  Plus, an active eye serum or cream and an SPF.  Love this facial SPF.  Plus, continued exfoliation twice a week as you did in your 30’s.  A mask every week to help hydrate, and restore glow is a good idea too.  Facial Rolling is a great way to help bring some life into the skin and really increase overall circulation.  Facial rolling can help decrease puffiness and gently ease out fine lines.  I like this facial roller. Start applying products to your neck as the neck can age even quicker than the face.

In your 50’s & beyond- As an esthetician I always think of skin pre-menopause and post menopause. Although women can experience menopause in their 40’s for many it can be more in the 50’s.  That’s why I categorize skin pre and post menopause because the skin’s needs after menopause are usually consistent as you age(meaning as you age into your 60’s and 70’s and beyond).  It might seem harsh but skin really changes a lot after going through menopause.  When you go through menopause you experience a drop in estrogen which also means a drop in collagen.  When you have less collagen you have less fullness and overall elasticity to your skin.  Moisture levels go down and so do skin’s natural glow.  It doesn’t mean a death sentence for your skin!  It’s important to continue hydrating the skin always.  This night cream is literally the best I’ve found for delivering lasting hydration, plus active ingredients. From a hydrating cleanser, day cream, night cream and eye cream.  Also, protecting the skin always with an SPF as the skin is more fragile.  It’s also vital at this stage to exfoliate since our skin can naturally start to lose it’s luster.  Adding in a good exfoliation a couple times a week really helps to boost skin’s overall appearance.  Don’t forget an active serum.  One that is not only is going to deliver nutrients but also help with cell turnover.

Ok, now that we’ve talked about skincare in every stage of life, let’s take a look at what natural skincare lines really deliver when it comes to ingredients and performance!

What are the best anti-aging skin care products?

As I mentioned earlier I’ve been around the block for many years as a green beauty blogger and I’ve found my favorites when it comes to natural beauty products that perform!  The natural beauty industry is just getting started and we are learning more and more about the power of plants.

Having tried many products, these 3 skincare companies really deliver when it comes to effective natural skin care products.  It came down to 3 brands for best anti-aging skin care products.

 

True Botanical's Review

True Botanical’s

If you’ve followed me for a hot minute it’s no surprise that I’m sharing about True Botanical’s.  These products speak for themselves.  Not only do they have clinical studies to prove their effectiveness but also so many raving customers!  I first started to use their products 4 years ago and haven’t looked back.

When I think of TB what sticks out to me is a luxe natural anti-aging line.  Using the most potent ingredients, TB spares no expense when it comes to creating their products.  They care about quality and seeing products that actually perform, while at the same time are safe.  A truly unique company in the green beauty industry.  The scents of their products are some of the best.  Nothing is too strong but smells fresh and real.  I also love how they do clinical tests on their products.  Something that is rare among the natural skincare industry.  Proven results, with clean ingredients-what more could you want?  Oh and I can’t forget to mention that all their products come in frosted glass bottles, can you say luxurious?  Not only do they make skincare products but also some stellar body products.  I’ve tried out their shampoo and conditioner, body wash and lotion and they’re all winners!

If you’re unsure of what line to commit to in TB, then take their online quiz here.  They’ve made it easy to help you decide what line suits your skin best.

My personal favorites from the line are their Antioxidant Booster and their Repair Serum.

Let me first share about the Antioxidant Booster.

The Antioxidant Booster is made using whole apple peel which has been shown to be more effective than Vitamin C- hello!  It’s basically like your skin’s best friend if you ask me.  I mix this with the Repair Serum(you could use the Clear Serum from True Botanical’s, The Calm- whatever line that matches up to your skincare needs).  Then I apply it my skin.  I apply this before my oils.  I find this helps my skin to absorb the oil better. Then I apply my oils.  I can’t recommend this product enough!  I like the Vitamin C Booster too, but this one has done amazing things for my skin.

I’ve seen hyperpigmentation fade, sun spots and an overall brightness and evenness to my skin.  People ask me all the time how I apply it.  I don’t follow True Botanicals recommendation of applying my oils first and then applying my Antioxidant booster and cellular repair serum.  They recommend you start with their oil, then mix the Antioxidant Booster or Vitamin C Booster with one of their serums and apply to the skin.  This isn’t how I was traditionally taught in esthetic school.  However, True Botanical’s Oils are different then most oils.  Here is an explanation they sent me:

We use oils that are specifically formulated to have smaller particle size and therefore be more easily absorbed into the skin, the oil doesn’t sit on top of the skin and create a barrier that the serum would be unable to penetrate

So if you want to apply your oil first and then Antioxidant Booster or Vitamin C Booster and serum do it.  If you want to do it the other way- you can do it that too.  They did inform me that the Vitamin C Booster is only water-soluble (not oil-soluble), so if you apply it first and then add the oil, it can sometimes create a bit of a pilling effect if the Vitamin C/Serum mixture hasn’t fully absorbed yet. The Antioxidant Booster is both water and oil soluble, so it’s easier to switch around the order of the products when you’re using that one!  Bottom line- It’s my skincare must have!  Get the Antioxidant Booster here!

Why do we want antioxidants in our skincare routines?

Free radicals are constantly at work in our skin causing damage.  They are caused by the foods we eat, stress, the sun, air we breathe and so on.  They can cause skin conditions like acne, rosacea and of course aging.  The thing that we need to give our skin to fight free radicals are antioxidants.  Antioxidants counteract free radical damage and help to repair and restore the skin. Our skin produces antioxidants on their own, but as we age we lose antioxidants.  That’s why it’s important to keep feeding our skin antioxidants as we age.

The Antioxidant Booster does just that!  It gives your skin the most potent form of antioxidants the minute it touches your skin because you don’t activate it until right before you use it.  Since it’s in powder form, it hasn’t lost it’s potency because it’s not been mixed with liquid. The minute you mix it with a liquid you activate the formula.  Imagine all those serums you’ve been buying that have promised to be filled with antioxidants but they’ve basically been deactivated since they’ve been sitting in liquid. This gives you the freshest antioxidants delivered right to your skin!

As you can see, the Antioxidant Booster doesn’t mess around!  Get the Antioxidant Booster here!

The Repair Serum is another standout-

This serum is designed to reverse the cellular damage caused by sun exposure and aging.  Pretty sure everyone wants to sign up for that-am I right?!  Besides reversing cellular damage it also replenishes moisture and plumps up skin.  It’s highly concentrated and goes past the surface of the skin to really get to the cellular level.  Most serums sit at the top of the skin-not TB’s.  Another thing I love about this serum is it’s ability to calm redness and ease congestion.  My skin looks clearer over all and more even toned.  I apply it after toning/misting my skin.  Since it’s a serum my skin doesn’t feel moisturized but slightly dewy.  This is a serum that is going to work for your skin everyday.  An anti-aging, redness reducing serum all rolled into one.  Invest in your skin and grab your serum here!

Read my full True Botanical’s review here.

 

Best Anti-aging skincare products

These two products from African Botanics offer some serious results!

African Botanic’s

Are you familiar with African Botanic’s- if you aren’t allow me to introduce you!  I first discovered this brand a year ago in a Boxwalla box.  When creating this post, I knew that African Botanics would be include in the best anti-aging skin care products!  If you’ve used them then you know.  If you aren’t familiar with Boxwalla, you can read more about them here.  They deliver some of the best natural beauty products bi-monthly.  Not too mention they always are finding such skincare gems!

So last August I was introduced to Fleurs d’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil.  Let’s just say it was definitely a green beauty standout!  I even included it in my best of clean beauty 2018- it’s that good.  It was really the first plant-derived retinol that I used that blew me away.

I would literally recommend this oil to for any skin type.  Whether you have sensitive skin, acne, mature, dry or oily.  It does so much for each skin type.  It’s highly active.  The formula includes plant-derived retinols, Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, carotenoids and peptides.  This oil has it all!

From helping to fade fine lines, dark spots, hyper-pigmentation, and fading redness.  It basically helps to come in and repair what environmental factors, stress and the aging process has done to the skin and reverse it.

I have seen a brightness in my skin and hyper pigmentation fade- no joke.  If you’ve tried it, then you know what I’m talking about.  I struggle with some redness and that faded and overall brightness shown through my skin.  The oil is not heavy, but lightweight for an oil.  Doesn’t feel greasy at all.  I would apply this in the morning and at night.  It feels like such a luxurious oil!  Get Fleurs D’Afrique here!  Use Coupon Code: GURLGONEGREEN for 10% off for new customers.

But that’s not the only product standout from African Botanics…their Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum.

Say hello to your new favorite serum.  But for real.  This is a serum whereas the Fleurs d’Afrique from African Botanics is an oil.  This serum according to studies minimizes dark spots by 67%!  That’s amazing.  It helps to smooth fine lines and repair the skin from environmental damage.  It contains plant-derived retinol, and plant peptides.  Plus, green sea algae which gently exfoliates the skin.  

It is a gel serum that can be worn under the Fleurs de’Afrique or any other oil and helps to plump, hydrate and deliver antioxidants to your skin.  I’m starting to wonder what it can’t do!  It feels so refreshing and moisturizing on the skin.  The biggest takeaways from the serum is how hydrated and rejuvenated my skin feels after using.  The fine lines in my skin are all filled in and smooth.  It’s really like a primer before I put on my makeup!  It also really brightened my skin. I can’t get enough.

I apply mine after cleansing and toning.  Then I follow with the Fleurs de’AFrique.  The serum also contains plant based retinol.  Basically, the more you use it and are consistent with it, the more results you will see over time. Get the Resurrection Cell Recovery System here!

I literally want to try all of African Botanics products- no joke.  I have browsed their website and may slightly drool.  The amount of attention that goes into them is so amazing.  Check out the brand more here. Use Coupon Code: GURLGONEGREEN for 10% off for new customers.

 

 

Best Anti-aging skincare products

Beautycounter’s Countertime Line

Ok, This is Beautycounter’s first true antiaging skincare line and definitely worthy of the title of best anti-aging skin care products.  By using a blend of plant-derived Retinatural Complex of Bakuchiol and alpine rose that support skin regaining youthfulness.  Top performing conventional skincare brands you will find use retinol in their formulations.  However, much research has shown that retinol is not only phototoxic, discoloration, can cause skin irritation, thin the skin, and even in some studies be carcinogenic.  I mean I’m all for keeping my skin looking good but at the risk of my health- I don’t think so!  You may have heard of tretinoin(I can just hear my dermatologist suggest this to me), which is toxic.  Tretinoin is a form of retinol.  Another form often used by many is retinyl palmitate, however, this can become toxic when exposed to sunlight.

If you’ve used retinol then you know how thin and irritated your skin can become.  What happens to the skin when retinol is used over and over is it is constantly producing new cells.  Which gives your skin that smooth appearance.  The problem with the rapid cell renewal is it doesn’t give the new cells time to create the correct barrier function because they lack the lipid and adhesion from normal cell production.  Therefore your skin becomes highly sensitive.  Wearing sunscreen and protecting your skin from the sun is parmount when using retinols.

As you can see there is a reason why Beautycounter has retinol on their Never List of Ingredients.  It’s not something you want to be applying to your skin and absorbing into your body.  Check out the full Never List of Ingredients here.

Beautycounter wanted to create something that not only proved to be effective but safe.  This is where they created a plant-derived Retinatural Complex of Bakuchiol and alpine rose.

 

Best Anti-aging products

The Beautycounter Countertime line is making waves!

 

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about plant-derived retinols.  What are they and are they safe?  Let’s dive in.

Bakuchiol is derived from the seeds and plants of the babchi plant.  This plant has been used in Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic for diseases.  Bakuchiol is one of the very few plants shown to actually work(scientifically proven) in the same way as retinol but without the side effects.  (Source here) It helps to add firmness to the skin, fade pigmentation, improve skin elasticity, and improve fine lines and wrinkles.  Plus, it helps to stimulate collagen production.  Did you know your face from your mid 20s and on loses between 1-1.7% of collagen a year?  You could say I’m all about upping my collagen production with a little Bakuchiol!  Bakuchiol helps to repair the skin.

The other all star plant-derived retinol is alpine rose.  Alpine rose helps to protect the skin.  It is grown in the Swiss Alps, where it has to protect itself from harsh climates.  When scientists saw how well the plant protected itself from the environment they wondered if it could do the same thing for human skin cells.  If you think about the human skin it’s much the same way.  When we are able to fight against environmental stressors and protect the skin while at the same time keeping barrier function intact and fluids in the skin is less likely to age.  The whole process protects the skin from fine lines and wrinkles- yes you can read that again!  Aren’t plants SO cool?!  Read about alpine rose here.

As you can see Bakuchiol and alpine rose are a match made in skincare heaven.  Not only repairing what’s been lost but protecting skin from future damage. What’s even better is you can find this Retinatural Complex of bakuchiol and alpine rose  in the new Countertime line of Beautycounter products!

It’s obvious this isn’t a line that was casually made but intentionally and thoughtfully created.  I love how every detail didn’t go unnoticed.  Even the glass jars are sourced from North America, eliminating the 5,000 mile travel from China where most beauty containers are made.  The jars are also recyclable too.  Overall less impact but greater performance!

The line was formed in a new lab with over 100 trials performed to test for contamination as well.  Beautycounter didn’t want to win some awards for best in natural beauty but they wanted to be the BEST in beauty.

Countertime has been in the works for 3 years- not an after thought.  Beautycounter brought research and development in house, along with 5 chemists.  The goal is to create natural products but in the end people want products that are going to be effective.  Countertime definitely delivers on this front.  This quote from the founder, Greg Renfrew really sums it up.

First the full Countertime line consists of 6 products.  Spoiler alert: the Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream is the best antiaging cream I’ve found in natural skincare.  It’s that good!

  • Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil
  • Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence
  • Tripeptide Radiance Serum
  • Antioxidant Soft Cream
  • Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream- (Best antiaging cream in natural skincare)  🙂
  • Ultra Renewal Eye Cream

 

Best Anti-aging products

The Beautycounter Countertime line delivers results.

 

Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil-  This cleanser is unique and so good.  The cleanser is a spin off of Asian skincare.  You apply it to dry skin as an oil but as you add water it emulsifies into a milky consistency.  It removes all my makeup effortlessly, no stinging and my skin doesn’t feel stripped after using.  I’m hooked!  I literally want to use this every night- it’s that good.  Trust me I have a variety of other products I could use but I keep reaching for this one over and over.  Did I mention the smell?  AH-MAZING!  Get it here.

Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence- This is similar to a toner/hydrosol.  Instead of spritzing it on your skin you shake some into your hands and press it on your face.  I apply this right after cleansing before I use serums, oils, moisturizers. It has a milky consistency compared to other toners I’ve used.  This has of course the plant-derived retinols bakuchiol and alpine rose but also mineral-rich sea water, and a fermented blend of sugars.  It gives your skin hydration but also an overall glow- you’ll love it.  It’s so refreshing especially in the morning- wakes up my skin .  Get it here.

Tripeptide Radiance Serum- This serum is jam packed with active ingredients from the plant-derived retinol to tetrapeptide.  Tripeptide is a peptide with three amino acids.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  Our skin loses collagen every year as I mentioned earlier.  By adding peptides to your skin you are tricking it into thinking it’s lost collagen recently and it signals your cells to make more.  When collagen production happens, then you notice your skin feeling plumper, and repaired, making your skin look overall more youthful.

Basically amazing when it comes to creating effective skincare for aging skin.  The Tripeptide Radiance Serum comes in a pump bottle, which I love. The formula is milky and sinks right into the skin.  I apply this after the Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence.  This serum is doing the heavy lifting when it comes to creating natural skincare that performs.  Get it here!

Antioxidant Soft Cream-  Say hello to your new favorite day cream.  This cream is hydrating enough to give your skin lasting moisture.  But light enough to wear during the day time.  I also love how it’s in a pump form.  It also contains the plant-derived retinol combination of bakuchiol and alpine rose.  Plus, antioxidant Nasturtium Flower extract known for it’s ability to help guard skin from environmental stressors and keep the skin hydrated.  My skin feels so moist and supple after using.  Great under makeup too!  Get it here.

Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream- This cream is what skincare dreams are made of- no joke!  Yes, it is the best antiaging cream I’ve found in natural skincare.  Move over LaMer.  There’s a new skin cream in town and it doesn’t contain the toxic ingredients!  I have tried hundreds of natural skin creams in my day, yes as a clean beauty blogger my shelves are filled with product, after product.  This one is in a league of it’s own.  I just dare you to try it and tell me otherwise.  The consistency is like softest most decadent cream.  It literally melts into the skin and creates skin that feels so completely perfect from hydration to overall smoothness and radiance.  My skin LOVES it.

Not only does it contain the plant-derived retinol bakuchiol and alpine rose but also a tetrapeptide.  Meaning it has four amino acids.  Your skin will be repaired, protected and stimulated with increased collagen, all while being completely hydrated.  Sound like something amazing?  It’s because it is.  Since being pregnant my skin had been extra dry.  I normally have dry to combination skin more in the summer has it gets more humid but since being pregnant my skin has just been so dry.  There was nothing that would truly hydrate it…until the Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream.  My skin has not felt better!  I finally feel like my skin is back to where it feels normal.  Get it here!

Ultra Renewal Eye Cream- An eye cream that really performs.  Anyone else feel like it’s hard to find a natural eye cream in clean beauty?  Yeah, I’m right there with you.  This eye cream isn’t your average eye cream.  With the powerful plant-derived bakuchiol and alpine rose giving any other eye cream a run for it’s money!  I use this am and pm and gently tap the product into the undereye area using my ring finger(the ring finger has the least amount of muscles so less pulling).  Say goodbye to crow’s feet, undereye shadows and hello to brighter eyes.  Get it here.

As you can see this whole line has definitely won me over!   I’ve been using this line for almost 2 months and my skin feels SO good.  It feels hydrated and plump.  It also, looks brighter and overall smoother.  If you can only try one product definitely try the Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream- best antiaging cream in natural skincare. Beautycounter has really done so well at creating an effective line that doesn’t compromise natural beauty standards. Get it here!

It’s easy to see why these products are the best anti-aging skin care products in natural beauty!

Have you tried any of them?  What are your favorites?

If you want more information on creating your ideal natural skincare routine, head to these blog posts that guide you through the process:

 

Natural Lipstick Color

Natural Lipstick Color

I’ve got my best natural lipstick color options in honor of National Lipstick Day!  Switching from mainstream lip products to cleaner versions is a big deal!  I mean, don’t get me wrong, you should definitely switch all your makeup over from mainstream products, but the lips are especially important.  Why??  Well, for starters studies show that women re-apply their lipstick/lip product at least 5 times a day…so that’s a lot of toxins  (more…)

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