Moisturized Skin Helps Provide Protection Against Pathogens

Courtney Smith BSN
Repeat hand washing resulting in dry skin? We bring the science as to why moisturized skin helps to provide protection from pathogens.

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Prickly Pear Seed Oil Skin Care Benefits

Shannon Smyth

Fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, dry skin... as we age, it seems like we suddenly have a plethora of skin issues to combat. As someone with "mature skin" (I honestly hate that term), I've discovered a prickly pear seed oil that has been doing wonders on my skin.

What is Prickly Pear Seed Oil?

Also known as cactus oil or barbary fig oil, it's an oil derived from the prickly pear, a member of the cactus family.

Found in Morocco, and other dry climates, it's an oil that is rich in essential fatty acids (EFA's), Vitamin E (Tocopherols), Phytosterols (water-binders) and Polyphenols (micronutrients.)

Face Oils Don't Equal Oily Skin

I'll be honest, prior to using heritage & terre's Coeur de Cactus, I never thought too much of how life-changing this antioxidant-rich oil would be.

Having combination skin most of my life, for a time I misunderstood the relationship between oils and oily skin. I thought oils/serums = increased and/or added to oily skin.

It took until my 30's to understand that there are products that cause the over-production of sebum (oily skin) - usually ingredients that were harsh on my skin and dry it out; and there are oils that kept it in perfect balance.

It was all a matter of educating myself and finding the right ones. A great face oil will give you what your skin needs, not make it oilier.

Cactus Oil Skin Benefits

Getting back to what makes prickly pear seed oil an amazing multi-tasker for mature skin.

Essential Fatty Acids: I mentioned this in my keratosis pilaris article, EFA's contain linoleic, oleic and palmitic acid. Acid is not a bad word here.

These acids help skin to stregthen its moisture barrier, repair and heal, and aids other beneficial skin care ingredients in better penetrating skin (e.g. helping your products to actually work for you and not against you.)

Vitamin E: This antoxidant is found in most anti-aging products for a reason. It's tried and true when it comes to helping fight environmental damage, tackling fine lines and wrinkles by way of keeping skin hydrated and protecting skin cells that make collagen and elastin (something we lose as we age.)

Phytosterols and Polyphenols: From helping to retain moisture to assisting in collagen production to preventing and treating sun damage (wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, loose skin, red and uneven skin tone, etc.), this is where prickly pear seed oil shines.

heritage & terre Coeur de Cactus

I use heritage & terre's cactus oil twice per day. For my a.m. routine, I use it as my sole moisturizer before applying my sunscreen. For my p.m. routine, I apply it before my Jan Marini Transformation Face Cream.

I've needed to use my concealer much less, because my skin isn't as ruddy. Brown spots seem a bit faded and not as evident. My skin has not been greasy or dry since using this serum regularly (6+ weeks at this point.)

The wrinkles on my face are bit more minimized and the lines around my eyes have softened. (Yes, I still have wrinkles...those never go away.)

I feel more confident on my non-makeup wearing days. You'd think as a beauty blogger I'd always been in a full face of makeup, but as in real life, that is not the case.

Just living life with a fresh face is refreshing and I don't feel like I have to hid under layers of makeup to treat all of my "flaws."

If you haven't yet tried this type of face oil, I highly recommend it. 2-3 drops is all you need.

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Fleur & Bee Rose and Shine Rose Water Toner

Courtney Smith BSN

I recently had the opportunity to try out Fleur & Bee's Rose and Shine Refreshing Rose Water Toner - that you must hear about!

Fleur & Bee is a company known for their stance on creating 100% natural, non-toxic skincare products that are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free.

What I also would like to note before diving into this review, is that they are a company who gives back to support and empower women. 1% of all
sales goes to the distribution of menstrual hygiene products to girls in need.

This is such an untouched area of need in this country, and especially in financially destitute countries.

Many do not realize the absolute need for access to these products and/or the positive impact on health and well-being, infection control, and even self-worth of a woman.

The fact that Fleur & Bee appreciates the need and impact, as well as follows through on supporting this need, tells me from the door that they are an action-oriented company who puts their money where their mouth is.

What is Toner?

Toner creates homeostasis of your complexion by balancing ph levels. It works to reduce the appearance of your pores and removes residual impurities not removed by cleansers.

It is considered an essential element in your skin care regime and an absolute in skin care health.

Rose and Shine Refreshing Rose Water Toner Review

Rose and Shine Refreshing Rose Water Toner is made of 2 highly effective and 100% natural ingredients; Purified water and Rosa Damascena flower oil.

This toner is paraben free, sulfate free, gluten free, non-GMO, and it's 100% vegan.

This is not only an effective product, it is a product ideal for allergy sufferers, those with sensitive skin or other health conditions where toxins can negatively impact other major organs, vegans, vegetarians, and over-all pursuers of health and wellness and, well, beautiful skin!

It comes in an easy to use spritz bottle, which is sized for your hand, making it comfortable to hold. It's also only 2 floz, making it TSA friendly.

It smells AMAZING!!!! It felt like I was spraying a luscious rose on my face without leaving a weird or bad taste sitting in my mouth.

My skin felt oh-so-refreshed and clean! I looove my make-up, so sometimes even after using a cleanser I feel like my skin wasn’t as clean as it could be.

Note: I suffer with plaque psoriasis so it's best to leave NO foothold for breakouts or inflammatory responses on my face.

That said, when I used Rose and Shine my face felt the cleanest it had ever felt, the color of my complexion appeared balanced, and well I felt like I not only smelled fresh, but looked fresh with a feeling of glow!

And, yes, I am all about the glow!

When Should You Use Toner?

Use toner after cleansing and before moisturizing. As far as frequency is concerned, use it once in the morning and once at night.

How Does Rose Water Toner Work?

Rosa Damascenca flower oil is an essential oil made from the damask rose plant. The purified water is present to dilute the oil so that it does not cause irritation and is used safely in a 1:1 ratio mix.

The top 3 skin benefits of rosa damascenca essential oil found in the Rose and Shine Toner include:

  • Anti-inflammatory benefits: Helps with anti-aging, appearance of skin complexion, reduced redness.
  • Antimicrobial benefits: Assists with the cleansing on a micro bacterial level to prevent infection and fight acne.
  • Antioxident benefits: Supports anti-aging and skin health/appearance by destroying free radicals.

Free radicals promote injurious behavior to skin tissue, thereby creating those awful age lines and wrinkles…bring on the antioxidants folks!

TWO added bonuses that I MUST mention:

  • Aromatherapy benefits: Reduced anxiety and depression for an overall calm feeling and mental wellness.
  • Aphrodisiac benefits: Increases libido and makes you feel damn sexy!!!

OMG, now I understand my sensory experience of feeling balanced, clean, and GLOWING!!!

In summary, Fluer & Bee is a good company, great mission, non-toxic, cruelty-free, effectively makes you feel like a million bucks, and more importantly fulfills the purpose of toner in the most top notch of ways.

Get Rose and Shine for yourself and notice the difference in your skin! www.fleurandbee.com.

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram.

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5 Serums for Mature Skin

Shannon Smyth
5 serums for mature skin that help to increase moisture, even out skin tone and fade discoloration. Our society as a whole is living longer and longer lives. Unfortunately, our skin doesn’t always seem to get the memo. While you may still feel young and vibrant, the mirror may not be as kind. Thankfully, there are a number of wonderful serums on the market that can make you look as young as you feel. Let’s take a closer look at five serums for mature skin.

1. Jan Marini's C-ESTA Face Serum

Lift, tighten, and firm – these aren’t only the results of a good workout, but a great serum. Jan Marini’s C-ESTA Face Serum includes antioxidants that can help combat free radicals that cause the aging of skin. If you’re hoping to give your face the boost is needs, you should definitely have this serum tucked away in your face care products. The best part is that Jan now offers it in a serum, cream and an oil control formulation if you have oily skin.

2. Paula's Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster

What keeps us looking young? It’s the outermost layer of our skin, of course. We want this skin barrier to be hydrated and smooth. Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster not only hydrates the skin, but with continued use it will also strengthen the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

3. The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%

This serum from The Ordinary is a multi-tasking serum intended to target a multitude of skin concerns at once. The added bonus of copper peptides aids at improving skin health, decreasing inflammation and improving collagen production.

4. Marula Night Serum with Hibiscus

This has been the one serum that I have literally told everyone about. The scent is divine, but the deep moisturizing properties of this serum from Travertine Spa is BEYOND. As I've gotten older, my skin becomes drier, easier, it seems and my skin just soaks this marula serum right up. The price is well worth it for incredibly hydrated, silky smooth skin and the bottle lasted a long time.

5. Renée Rouleau Firm + Repair Overnight Serum

Have you noticed your skin starting to sag? I know I am. Skin loses collagen and elastin as we age, which results in the drooping of our skin. That's no bueno for me, and having known Renée personally for 10 years now, I trust her skin expertise (if celebs trust their skin to her, so can you.) This overnight serum gives beauty sleep credibility, as it works to repair and firm while you're deep in dreamland. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of face serums on the market. Choosing the right one for your skin may take a bit of trial and error as everyone has different skin types. However, this list is a great place to start. 5 serums for mature skin that help to increase moisture, even out skin tone and fade discoloration. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Trophy Skin LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula Review

Shannon Smyth

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Trophy Skin. Review and opinions are my own. Trophy Skin LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula Review #skincare #trophyskin

Blackheads on my nose and chin have long been an issue for me since my teen years. Having oily skin for most of my life, and not a good skin care routine in my younger years, created a perfect storm for my pores. Now in my mid-40's and losing skin elasticity by the day (it seems), means those large pores can appear even larger when clogged. Add in now having "mature skin" (yes, I am literally doing air quotes), means my skin has a tendency to get dry in some spots leaving my skin looking dull. In between monthly spa facials, I began using Trophy Skin's LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula to unclog my pores, and exfoliate my skin without ever applying a scrub or mask to do so. If you've been wondering about this beauty tool, read on for my review! Trophy Skin LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula Review #skincare #TrophySkin

What's Included:

The LaBelle device, charging adapter, storage case, and user manual. Mine also came with a promo for a free travel size skin care item (I plan to get their Argan Stem Cell Serum.)

How it Works:

The LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula is a professional grade extraction, exfoliation and infusion beauty device. It has two modes - scrubber mode and infusion mode. Trophy Skin LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula review #skincare #TrophySkin Scrubber Mode is the mode in which you are exfoliating, deep cleaning and extracting dirt and debris; you do this with your face wet. But don't be fooled by the name - you aren't physically applying pressure to scrub your skin. The LaBelle does all of the work for you with ultrasonic waves moving at 30,000 Hz. Trophy Skin LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula review #skincare #skincaretips #TrophySkin Infusion Mode is used after Scrubber Mode and aids in deeper infusion of your serum. You'll be able to accomplish both modes in under 5 minutes. Recommended use is 1-2 times per week the first few weeks and then 2-3 times per week once your skin is used to it. Trophy Skin LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula Review #skincare #skincarereviews #TrophySkin

My Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect of this skin spatula and I made sure not to read other reviews prior to using it so that I could form my own opinion on its use. It easily fits in your hand and comes in a handy case for storage. My device was fully charged, so that made for a great out-of-the-box use. The manual is very easy to understand, so you don't have to be a professional to use this beauty device. I was a little awkward the first time I used it when trying to make sure I was using the correct side of the device for scrubbing and then for infusion; I kept referring back to the manual as I used it. I even put way too much water on my face the first time causing the ultrasonic waves to gently bounce a spray of water into the air, scaring the life out of me and making me laugh out loud. My kids wondered what in the world I was up to. After the first use, it was smooth sailing and I really liked that this was a super quick skin treatment and didn't require much from me.

Scrubber Mode

As you glide the spatula across your skin in Scrubber Mode, you'll watch the dirt and debris on your skin seem to effortlessly lift and find its way onto the spatula. It was oddly satisfying to watch, especially since I really wasn't doing any physical labor to make it happen. You do have to make sure to keep your skin wet when using it or you do feel the pulsing slightly. It doesn't hurt, but it makes you aware that the water has evaporated off your skin. Scrubber Mode only took about 90 seconds to use - it's very quick! I paid special attention to my nose and chin since those are my main problem areas when it comes to blackheads and being prone to blemishes. You can use the device anywhere on your face, but you do have to keep it away from your eyes. If you have an active breakout, you need to avoid that area as well. When you are done, make sure to wipe the spatula clean (it will have lots of gunk on it) and wash your face with warm water, patting dry when done.

Infusion Mode

This is the second button on the LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula. First pat on your favorite skin serum (do not rub it in as you want it lying wet atop your skin.) Next, press the Infusion button and lie the flat end of the spatula on your skin moving in circular motions. Do not apply pressure as you do this, as the ultrasonic waves will do the work for you just like it does for Scrubber Mode. You'll begin to feel when the serum has absorbed as you move across your face. This mode took maybe 45-60 seconds at most. Trophy Skin LaBelle Ultrasonic Skin Spatula Review #skincare #TrophySkin

Does the Skin Spatula Work?

I was pleasantly surprised at the difference in the appearance of my skin after the first use. I watched with my own eyes as it removed the dirt and oil, and then delivering my serum deeper really seemed to help soften some of my wrinkles due to being well-hydrated. For the two months that I have had the chance to use this product, my face has not been dry at all and I haven't had a break out at all. I'm really impressed, but I almost feel guilty in a way because it was very little work to see such great results. So does it work to improve your skin? It did for me! Try it for yourself by using my promo code for 15% off on TrophySkin.com: GOTTASPA15 While you're there, subscribe to their newsletter to be entered into their monthly product giveaway valued up to $300! Have questions? Let me know! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram.

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DIY Facial Peels

Shannon Smyth
DIY Facial Peel Masks #skincare #beauty #DIY Peels are essentially an exfoliation process that removes dead skin cells, mainly through the use of acids that loosen the bond between the cells, and dissolve debris away. Below are three DIY facial peels to make at home. They're known as chemical peels, which sounds scary, but it's the acids in the ingredients that are doing the work. As with all products, you may find one that feels the best to you or gives you the results you most want. Try them all to find out which one is your favorite.

DIY Sugar Peel

Ingredients 1/4 cup of sugar 1/4 cup yogurt Combine the sugar and the yogurt to make a paste. Using your fingers apply to the entire face while avoiding the eyes. Let the peel rest for about 15-minutes and remove with cool water and a towel if necessary. This peel will help restore hydration and even out dark spots.

DIY Peel for Wrinkles

Ingredients 1 egg white ½ cup of de-seeded cucumber pulp 1 tsp lemon juice Beat one egg white and mix it with cucumber pulp. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and mix well, creating a paste. Apply the finished product to your face and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with water. This combination of egg whites, which naturally smooths wrinkles, with cucumbers will help de-wrinkle and moisturize the skin and is the perfect peel for springtime skin.

DIY Sensitive Skin Peel

Ingredients 1 cup green tea 1 cup of chamomile tea 1 small cucumber 1 tsp unflavored gelatin 4 ounces of water Green tea calms irritated skin, while the cucumber provides ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which can soothe skin irritations and help reduce swelling. Steep the chamomile and green teas together in approximately 4 oz of water and add the unflavored gelatin. Blend a cucumber until it resembles the consistency of a paste and add the cucumber juice to the tea and gelatin mixture. Before applying to your face, allow the mix to cool in the refrigerator for about a half an hour to thicken it up. Apply to your face for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it completely dries, and then peel off the mask using warm water. 3 DIY Facial Peels #skincare #beauty #diy Many thanks to The Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa for providing us with these DIY mask recipes. If you want to skip the DIY, in their boutique they also offer Kerstin Florian Correcting At-Home Professional Peel. This product has ingredients worth highlighting: • Glycolic & Lactic Acids – natural exfoliants slough skin surface and promote cell turnover • Salicylic Acid – lifts away impurities, relieves congested pores and inhibits bacterial growth • Phytic Acid – boosts brightness and cell turnover as it reinforces skin’s natural defenses • Oleanic Acid, Olive Leaf Extract & Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract – soothing anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial botanicals help clear skin and reduce sensitivity • Matrixyl 3000 – powerful peptide complex promotes reduction in wrinkle depth as it improves smoothness, tone and tissue strength Which DIY peel will you be trying? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Jan Marini Skin Care Consultation and Review

Shannon Smyth

This is a Sponsored post. Opinions are my own.

As you get older, your skin care needs change. With so many products vying for our attention, it's easy to get overwhelmed. So how do you narrow it down? I recently was given the opportunity to have a 30 minute skin care consultation with Jan Marini. Jan Marini is a leading educator, innovator, and skincare product researcher. I've never actually prioritized my skin care issues, so having the ability to chat with Jan really helped me to understand how to be selective when choosing the right products for my needs.

Skin Concerns

Mature skin (40+) Sun damage with Melasma-like patches and dark spots Deep and fine wrinkles Some areas of skin redness Sagging skin, especially under the eyes and jowls and neck Large pores on and around my nose Honestly, I could've totally picked apart my skin and gave her even more things I wish would change, but decided to stick to the primary concerns.

Skin Care Product Recommendations

Based on the above, Jan recommended her Skin Care Management System in addition to two extra products. (All pictured above.) These products included: BIOGLYCOLIC® FACE CLEANSER, C-ESTA® SERUM, BIOCLEAR® LOTION, TRANSFORMATION FACE CREAM, ANTIOXIDANT DAILY FACE PROTECTANT SPF 33, Hyla3D, and Marini Luminate® Face Lotion. In talking with Jan, she's not a fan of manually scrubbing your face to exfoliate, as it creates other issues like inflammation and micro-tears and scarring. Jan recommends resurfacing. Resurfacing goes after superficial imperfections – fine lines, acne, tackles roscea, skin texture issues; it gives that glow to skin. Resurfacing uses an acid, like glycolic acid (the smallest alpha hydroxy acid), which stimulates collagen. You may know resurfacing by another term, chemical exfoliation. Chemical, what the what? It doesn't mean it's bad. All things are chemical after all, like dihydrogen monoxide... or as us common folks know it - water. But back to chemical exfoliants. So I've already mentioned glycolic acid, which is my fave because it melts away the build up in your pores, however, Jan Marini's Bioclear Lotion does a hat trick with a combination of glycolic, salicylic and azelaic acid. I have combination to oily skin, so this is perfect for my skin type and tackles a multitude of sins (fine lines, wrinkles, redness, acne scarring, large pores and uneven texture.) Jan told me that it is for this very reason, that her Bioclear Lotion is her hero product. It is can used by many different skin types while covering a large majority of skin concerns. Something to note about the Bioclear Lotion - it's more of a serum consistency than a lotion (see photo above.) You only need 2 drops to cover your face and neck, so a little goes a long way. The Hyla3D and Marini Luminate® Face Lotion are must-haves for aging skin. Pro-active skin care should begin in your early 20's, as that is when you begin to lose hyaluronic acid. So by the time you're in your 40's, you're really feeling and seeing it by way of volume loss and fine lines and wrinkles. Hyla3D restores moisture back to the skin and reduces the appearance of those lines. Her Face Lotion contains non-staining tumeric to lighten pigmentation and retinol. Just for the record, at this age there is no reversal of lines and wrinkles. Even Botox is just a temporary fix. So finding the right skin care products that help minimize are important, just as much as avoiding the ones that contribute to exacerbating your skin issues. Jan Marini Skin Research has been around for 23 years. Constantly researching, developing innovative and transformative products from the beginning – technologies that have medical validations - are how Jan and her team create products that are truly effective. Jan told me that she reads medical journals because there is a lot that relates to how we age, such as diabetes. She has a dedication to marketplace, education, and wanting to provide technologies that truly address skin care issues, not just cover them up. We were both on the same page that you should see your skin as an investment and as such, really do the research on the products that would benefit you most. I explained that I would much rather use a $100 product that gets it right the first time than to buy five $20 products that are ineffective, waste my time and end up collecting dust in my cabinet. I learned quite a bit during this consultation, such as that you need to use a separate sunscreen from your moisturizer and that they should not be in the same product. Sunscreen in moisturizer would have to be the majority of the product, which means you are doing more protecting than moisturizing and as such, you may then think a product doesn't work because it hasn't addressed your skin's lack of moisture and abandon it. We live in a want it now world and have high standards for our skin care products. Must fade discoloration, clear out blackheads, hydrate where necessary, mattify in the T-zone, reverse wrinkles, prevent sun damage and bake us a cake. While some of the products Jan Marini has does address a lot of issues, she was very firm that sunscreen has to be worn on its own to help protect the skin from future damage. Which, by the way, if you have a lot of hyperpigmentation and dark spots like I do, you will want to try her C-ESTA Face Serum. It has Vitamin C and DMAE. It's very liquidy in texture (so not really what you are used to for serum), but its thin consistency makes it great to be able to use a little and spread out across your face/neck. So far I really like her products. I've only been using them twice per day for a month now. Having been around the block and knowing that addressing skin care issues, especially hyperpigmentation, takes a good 10-12 weeks, I plan to update my post with my results. Have you tried any Jan Marini skin care products? I'd love to hear about your experience. Jan Marini skin care can be found at medi-spas or they can be purchased on her website www.janmarini.com. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask Review

Shannon Smyth
Large pores? Check this Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask review #skincare If you love a good clay mask and tend to have large pores, you'll want to read this review of Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask. My large pores tend to be concentrated on my nose from years and years of oily skin that led to blackheads. Although I'm older and wiser as to how to care for my skin and to keep those pores cleaned out, years of my pores being stretched by the hardened oil and losing the elasticity in my skin due to age, really have taken a toll on their appearance. I learned a long time ago that cold water (and cold anything in general) will temporarily tighten skin giving the appearance that your pores have shrunk because, unfortunately, there is no way to permanently shrink them. *sad trombone.* When I got my hands on Ole Henriksen's Cold Plunge Pore Mask, I was stoked. First, I love clay masks because they are sooooo good at absorbing oil and two, this mask is turquoise and my 3 year old is amused when I am using it because I look like a smurf. Large pores? Check out this Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Minimizing Mask review #skincare The first thing you notice, aside from the brilliant color, is the smell of eucalyptus, which creates the cooling effect to this detoxifying mask to minimize the appearance of your pores. There's green tea (which is in our salt scrub) and kelp (also in our body wash), which have natural antiseptic properties and will clear away oil (the kaolin and bentonite clay also come into play to help absorb it.)  AHA and BHA are also present to dissolve impurities and dead skin, so that it's no longer clogging your pores. The two ingredients that are touted in this mask are snow lotus and Alpine willow herb extracts, both antioxidants, are not ones I am familiar with. However, all of the ones mentioned above, I do know and love and can feel very much working in this mask. It has become my favorite mask and I use it once per week. My skin is clearer and feels lovely, not to mention it just feels fun to use due to the color and invigorating due to the scent. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Best Face Oils for Anti-Aging

Shannon Smyth
Best Face Oils for Anti-Aging #skincare #skincaretips Long ago, I would have never considered a face oil for my skin care routine. To me, it was just one more step to needlessly add onto my already long list of things to do both day and night. Additionally, I used to have combination skin and felt that using a face oil would make my face as slippery as a Slip 'n Slide, which of course was just naivity and there's more on that at the bottom of this post. Over time I have learned to love face oils, and once I discovered just how wonderful they are, my skin improved considerably.

Best Oils for Anti-Aging:

Argan Oil is full of antioxidants which is great for repairing damaged skin. It also helps improve elasticity which helps to erase the appearance of wrinkles. The fatty acids in argan oil can help restore your skin and keep you looking flawless. Try: DermOrganic Pure Argan Oil Marula Oil is a soothing oil. It’s a great moisturizer and it helps the skin create collagen which helps to remove wrinkles. Marula oil battles signs of aging by curing and preventing damage to your skin. It keeps your skin tone even and leaves you with healthy, glowing skin. Try: Travertine Spa Marula Night Serum Rosehip Seed Oil is known for its concentration of vitamins A and E. In fact, it has a higher concentration of vitamin A than any other botanical oil of its kind. It smooths your skin and helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. It is absorbed quickly, so it is perfect for anyone with naturally oily skin. Rosehip Seed Oil leaves your skin feeling light and flawless.  Try: Rosehip Seed Oil by Kate Blanc Apricot Kernel Oil rejuvenates your skin and aids in the healing process as it repairs wrinkles, sun damage, and blemishes. It is also known to improve skin elasticity because it helps with skin cell regeneration and collagen production. This anti-aging oil is great for people with all skin types because it is not very greasy. If you have dry skin, then this is a good option because of its hydrating nature. Try: Plant Therapy Apricot Kernel Oil Best face oils for anti-aging. #skincare #skincareblog All of these oils are carrier oils. A carrier oil is used to carry other oils to your skin. You can use them alone or mix them with other essential oils, such as grapefruit essential oil, to create a product that is just right for you. They can be used to create creams, lotions, or serums. I prefer to use a serum because it uses a higher concentration of quality ingredients which means that delivers nutrients deeper into your skin. A little serum goes a long way so your ingredients will last longer. For younger looking skin you should apply face oils each evening. It’s best to cleanse your face first. Then, dab a few drops on your fingertips and apply to your face. Once the oil is rubbed in you are good to go. There is no need to wash the oils off. You may not notice a difference overnight, but over time you will see the benefit of using face oils every day. And if you have oily or combination skin, you can still use a face oil. It's a myth that you cannot or that it will make your face greasier. It may just help to balance your skin and you will find that your skin produces less/just the right amount of sebum. Have you ever used face oils? Which combination works best for you to keep your skin looking youthful? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Clarifying Dull Skin with Glycolic Acid

Shannon Smyth
When it comes to exfoliating your skin, typically you either use a physical exfoliant or a chemical exfoliant. Physical being a scrub, like the Reflekt Facial Exfoliator or Andalou Naturals Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub; or with a beauty tool like the Clarisonic. And chemical like Acure's facial peels. But what if you want the best of both worlds? What I like about Beauty Rx By Dr. Schultz's Advanced 10% Exfoliating Pads, is that it is a dual-acting chemical and physical exfoliant. With 10% glycolic acid, it will dissolve the hardened oils clogging pores (my favorite thing for it to tackle) and soften the appearance of fine lines. Whenever I go for a facial at the spa, I always ask for a glycolic mask. It's your skin's best friend. The pad also cleanses skin as you rub it on the areas you want to treat most. The pads themselves are similar in appearance to other cleansing pads I've used, but the formula is vastly different. At 10% glycolic acid, this is a strong acting exfoliant. It's not meant for sensitive skin and the box warns that it is not starter strength. Since my skin is already accustomed to to professional grade glycolic acid, I felt comfortable using it. It did sting the first few weeks when applied, but nothing more painful than if you applied a high formulation of Vitamin C to your skin (which is more annoyance level than actual pain.) For the first week or so, I would swipe the pads across my skin, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off and apply my usual night cream. By about week 3, I was able to leave it on my skin overnight. What resulted were less random blemishes, pores that weren't as obvious with the usual gunk in them and brighter skin. This is a great product to use in between spa facials. The Advanced 10% Exfoliating Pads are $70 for 50 pads, but well worth it. Dry, oily, normal and combination skin types can use this treatment. It's also paraben and fragrance free and dermatologist tested.  Have you tried it? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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