Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hair Care Articles

New hair care articles!

Did you know that by knowing your face shape you can pick the most flattering hairstyle. Read how you can mathematically calculate your face shape here  and then read the most flattering hairstyles for your face shape at Complete Hair Care Therapy.

Additionally I just put an article on Ezine Articles on the benefits of hair oiling.  Read the article here and then get some hair oiling recipes at Complete Hair Care Therapy.

I would love to hear you comments or if you have an hair care recipe to share!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Understanding Facial Skin Toners

The standard and most beneficial skin care routine is to cleanse, tone and moisturize. Such as there are many different types of cleansers and moisturizers there are different types of toners to address your skin care needs.

Depending on the type of toner, toners serve many purposes; they remove the last traces of cleanser, they act as a skin freshener, and add much need nutrients to the skin such as ant-oxidants, and skin-repairing substances such as glycerin, fatty acids, and ceramides, Most store bought toners basically contain alcohol, water, glycerin, witch hazel, menthol, camphor, boric acid, rose water and alum. However more and more manufacturers are infusing green tea, Chamomile and other herbs and flowers into their recipes.

Toners are grouped into three categories; they are skin bracers or fresheners, skin tonics, and astringents. A skin bracer is the mildest as it contains water and glycerin (a humectant). A good example of a skin freshener would be rose water and best suited for dry skin. Skin tonics are a bit stronger and have a small amount of alcohol. They are best suited for combination skin, normal skin and oily skin. Lastly astringents such as Witch Hazel are the strongest of toners and can contain up to 60% alcohol. While astringents are recommended for extremely oily skin they can be quite drying and actually stimulates the skin to produce more oil to overcome the dryness. Thus astringents are best used for spot treatments only.

Understanding the ingredients in toners and their effect on your skin you will find that adding the right toner to your skin care routine will leave your skin with a healthy glow.

For DIY toners visit the recipes page at Complete Skin Care Therapy.

Try one of these toners!

Herbal Facial Toner
An Alcohol-free, herbal toner to clean oil, dirt and bacteria!

herbal facial toner

Oily Facial Toner
controls oily skin without drying!
oily facial toner
 Dry Skin Toner
An amazing toner that leaves skin silky smooth and hydrated!

dry skin facial toner

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Benefits of Sea Salt and Minerals in Skin Care

The Dead Sea is located between Israel and Jordan and lies 1,240 feet below sea level and very deep. The climate and geography give the Dead Sea unique characteristics not found in other body of water. Research has found 35 different minerals per liter of water from the Dead Sea. These minerals include Chloride, Bromide, Magnesium, Sodium, Calcium and Potassium and only a 2.5 percent solution of sodium chloride as opposed to a 97% solution in ocean salt. These minerals can do so much for your skin and overall well-being.

  • Chloride - is a salt and has stimulating antiseptic and astringent properties. This salt also has skin softening properties.
  • Bromide - is used in hair care products and skin care products and acts as an emulsifier.
  • Magnesium - a much need mineral for good health and skin. Read more about the importance of magnesium.
  • Calcium and Potassium - another much needed mineral to ensure a healthy body and healthy skin, and in many people it is deficient.

These unique blends of salts and minerals have proven to increase blood circulation, heal and soothe skin aliments such as psoriasis, eczema and acne, and tone and rejuvenate skin.

It is easy to enjoy the many benefits of Dead Sea salts and mud; check out the products below and you can be rest assured these are the best Dead Sea products at a price that is unbeatable! Your skin and overall well-being will thank you for it.

For skin care and hair care articles and recipes visit Complete Skin Care Therapy.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Are Exfoliates in Body and Facial Cleansers Worth it?

Have you have thought about what those little beads are in exfoliating cleansers? They are micro-particle polyethylene beads end they end up in lakes, rivers and oceans.

A 2012 study of the Great Lakes, specifically, Huron, Superior and Erie revealed an astonishing amount of 450,000 micro beads per sq. kilometer. While these micro beads are not visible as other plastics found in our oceans and lakes it doesn't mean they are not any less detrimental to the environment. These toxic micro beads are absorbed into the water environment and fish and other sea creatures mistake them as food thus endangering our fish population and passing those toxins to people who eat the fish.

There is an estimated 365,000 micro beads in a 4.2 oz. tube of facial cleanser. Are they really necessary? A movement has started to eliminate these micro beads from facial cleansers and a number of cosmetic companies have pledged to remove them from their products. However many cosmetic companies have claimed that it will take 3 to 4 years to phase out the micro bead and find an alternative.

Personally I have thrown my Olay facial scrub away and do not purchase anything that has micro beads in them. A good scrub for me is now a dab of cornmeal in my cleanser. It is effective, inexpensive, eco-friendly and leaves my skin feeling so soft. Other alternatives for a good scrub is sugar or sea salt just to name a few. Lastly I love the  Dead Sea scrubs that contain vital minerals to soothe and soften the skin.

So next time you are purchasing a facial or body cleanser I hope you will select a product that is free of these micro beads and you can rest assured that you are doing your part to save our marine creatures and water supply.

Luxurious Dead Sea Products!

You can find some facial scrub recipes at Complete Skin Care Therapy.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Health Benefits of Body Oils

Guess you never knew that body oils are able to act not only moisturizers, but they have plenty of other benefits as well. Maintaining the beauty of your skin while relaxing your body and improving its health is something they achieve with ease. Most of them are also great for making your hair shiny and strong. There are even examples of body oils that can cope with skin bacteria and inflammation. Let us dig in deeper with some particular examples of these amazing products.

What does the popular coconut oil do?

Consuming and applying coconut oil on your body has numerous advantages. You are going to be amazed by all the effects it is able to produce.

  •  Coconut oil is priceless for assisting your body burn fat quickly, suppressing your appetite and lowering the levels of your cholesterol.
  • Taking this high quality oil in your digestive system could prevent you from various infections.
  •  Brain functioning is another area where coconut oil is helpful.
  •  It can also be a nice sunscreen alternative and a wonderful moisturizer for your skin. Removing your make up or applying it as lip balm are other possible uses of it.
  •  Get a great, strong and shiny hair, thanks to a bit of coconut oil.

Jojoba oil is great for…

  • a lot of purposes. Jojoba oil is produced from the evergreen jojoba plant, which thrives in hot climate conditions. 
  •  Skin benefits: Jojoba oil is an amazing sunscreen, make up remover, cleanser, moisturizer and softener of the whole body.
  •  This body oil can be used for massages or bath (including shaving during taking a bath).
  •  Jojoba oil is able to make your lips much softer and more beautiful.
  •  Don't forget to use such a product for your hair as well in order to prevent split ends!

What is almond oil useful for?

The sweet almond oil benefits in both beauty and medicinal aspects are countless. It is no wonder that this body oil is used in the formula of so many body lotions, hand creams, massage creams, etc. Rich in vitamins D, E, calcium and magnesium, almond oil is absorbed quite fast by the skin helping with the regeneration of its cells and preventing any skin damage. The sweet almond oil, unlike the bitter one, can be consumed internally and externally.

  •  Almond oil is an excellent massage oil, which improves your complexion and delays the process of aging. It is helpful for beauty purposes, too: shaving, removing make up, etc.
  •  It promotes the growth of your hair, makes it stronger, soft and shiny and gets rid of dandruff.
  •  This body oil nourishes any type of skin with its soothing and moisturizing effect, even in cases of inflammation, rashes, itching and dryness.
  •  You could also use sweet almond oil for dark circles: just rub it before bed time under your eyes in order to eliminate any dark circles, wrinkles, etc.

Janice is the featured writer for the day she has been writing articles in health and body oils for two years now. If you like to find more about sweet almond oil benefits, almond oil for acne and dark circles check her website

picture from

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Helpful Herbs for Problem Skin

Herbal remedies are not  new; they have been used in the treatment of skin disorders and health ailments for thousands of years.  Lately skin care products are lessening the harmful chemicals in their products and focusing back on natural ingredients.  Below is a short list of some helpful herbs when shopping for a skin care product to relieve or alleviate problem skin:

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a cooling and soothing herb for hot, itchy skin and promotes healing.  Its healing properties are also good for boils, inflammation and abscesses.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) soothes skin rashes such as eczema, minor burns and sunburn.  Combined with cooling peppermint it will offer relief for itchy eczema.  Additionally, a chamomile and green tea toner is full of anti-oxidants and a great way to freshen the skin.

Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil has a robust antibacterial property, and is extremely useful in treating acne, as an herbal cream, gel or in skincare preparations.

Jojoba Oil - relieves dry itchy skin patches due to lack of moisture in the skin.  Jojoba oil is most like the skin's natural oil and does a superb job of moisturizing.

You can read more about essential oils and herbs at Complete Skin Care Therapy and get some easy skin care recipes.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Last Pore Minimizer You Will Ever Need

Pores appear as small openings in the surface of your skin. They are usually most apparent in the T-zone -- the forehead, nose and chin. Pores are more noticeable and may appear larger when they become clogged with dirt, oil and dead skin cells. Pore size is fixed and is determined mainly by your genes. Your pores may become slightly larger with age or with repeated exposure to the sun's damaging rays. While you can't actually shrink the size of your pores, you can take steps to make them appear smaller.

Can enlarged Pores be Reduced?

To keep your skin looking clear and minimize the appearance of large pores, use an oil-absorbing toner or an exfoliator with alpha or beta hydroxy acids to loosen and remove dead surface skin. This can help prevent pores from clogging. Products that contain retinol, a form of vitamin A, are also beneficial.

1 Using retinol can help diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles to give your skin an overall smoother appearance.

2 However, some products with retinol may make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Finally, if you use makeup, start with a light application of oil-free foundation in a matte finish. Shiny skin coupled with too much foundation may actually make your pores look more prominent. Control shine throughout the day with blotting sheets or freshen up your foundation with a dusting of translucent powder. The tiny, weightless particles prevent color pigments from building up around the edges of your pores to reduce their visibility.

In addition to reducing pore size, its patented formula removes dull, dry surface cells and lifts pore-clogging impurities for a radiant complexion with fewer breakouts.  If you have large pores that are ruining your complexion, check this product out!!

For more skin care articles and easy skin care recipes visit Complete Skin Care Therapy

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Get Ready for Winter With These Herbal Remedies

Natural home remedies for skin care and overall health are easy to prepare, chemical free and eco-friendly.  Consider these treatments:

Dry Skin Patches:
1 drop tea tree oil
2 teaspoon almond oil
Rub into dry patch. Great for those small dry patches!
Another option is to add tea tree oil right into your moisturizer and apply to dry skin patch.

Hair hot oil treatment:
1 tablespoon Rosemary herbal oil
1 tablespoon Calendula herbal oil
10 drops cedarwood or orange essential oil (optional)

This hot oil treatment will deep condition your hair, stimulate the scalp and strengthen individual strands.  Additionally, this recipe will also normalize both dry, itchy scalp and oily conditions. Mix all ingredients together and shake well. 

First Sign of a Sore Throat
1 oz. Echinacea extract
1 oz. elderberry extract
1 oz. goldenseal or grape root extract
1 oz. red root extract

Combine all ingredients together in a 4 oz glass bottle with dropper.  Use 3 droppers full 3 times a day.  This recipe supports your immune system,

Winter Blues Blend air freshener
5 drops sweet orange essential oil
3 drops pettigrain essential oil
2 drops roman chamomile essential oil
2 drops nutmeg essential oil
1 oz. witch hazel extract

Drip oils together in a glass spray bottle and mix by rolling bottle between palms of hands. Add the witch hazel and shake well.  Spray in the air to put a smile on your face.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

For more skin care and hair care recipes visit Complete Skin CareTherapy.  Get your herbs and essential oils at:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DIY Facial Chemical Peel

A glycolic acid peel will even out skin tone, reduce the appearance of acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles and promote a brighter complexion. Glycolic acid has also been found to be beneficial for those that suffer with psoriasis and dry itchy skin. Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is the most beneficial of the Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA). Learn more more about Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids.
Additionally, “Studies have shown that use of glycolic acids result in collagen growth in the upper dermis,” says Scott Gerrish, MD, of Gerrish and Associates, PC, a nonsurgical skincare specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland.
How it works-this type of acid peel works on the outer layers of skin. It is really a skin resurfacing as it destroys the lipids that hold the dead skin cells together, thus these dead skin are washed away and a new skin surface is exposed.
Selecting the right product:

  • If the product indicates that it is 10 percent or less glycolic acid, then they are not worth the money.
  • The acid peel should contain a full set of instructions, pH prep, a neutralizer and an acid reducer. These provisions will ensure that you have a safe and gentle peel.
  • For your first home peel, start off with a 20 percent solution with a pH of 2.8-3.0. Until you know how you skin will react it is recommended to start off with a milder solution.
  • Lastly, look for products that are formulated n an FDA-registered laboratory that are certified/registered for 99 percent purity. Additionally the glycolic percentages and pH levels should be listed.
Tips before your peel:
  • A week prior to using your peel discontinue potentially skin irritating products such as Retin-A.
  • Always do a patch test prior to your peel. Test on your forearm to ensure you have no allergic reaction.
  • A facial scrub should be applied 24 hours before using a peel. Additionally a pH prep solution should be applied to prepare your skin.
  • When you are ready for you peel, apply to less sensitive areas first, such as the forehead, chin, and cheeks, and then to the nose, lower eyelids, and neck.
  • It is best advised to watch your skin rather than the clock. When the skin starts to turn pink it is time to neutralize the acid, starting with the most sensitive areas first.
  • Lastly, follow the manufacturer’s labels to the T.
So are you ready to give yourself a chemical peel and brighten up that dull complexion? I am personally considering doing one myself but I would love to hear from anyone that has done an at home chemical peel and what products they have used! has quite a few glycolic acid peels, has anyone tried any of these?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Say Goodbye to that Double Chin

Everyone has fat underneath their chin, this is normal. However, eliminating the excess fat under the chin, thus a double chin, is probably the toughest of all fat to lose.

There are three main causes of double chins. Based on Ebony Marshall's book, Pretty Perfect (a book which teaches people how to tone their way to slimmer faces) these causes of a double chin are genetics, the slackening of the facial muscles, and a poor diet (specifically poor calorie-intake). Nothing but surgery can help the first cause, but if your double chin is due to the other two items, you can follow these tips:

1.Exercise … your whole body. You probably love food, and your metabolism probably loves it too, that’s why it hoards it in every possible way. Since there is a natural fat storage space underneath your chin, your body will deposit some of its excess fat in this area. You can reverse this process is you burn more calories than you take in. Often, we need to lose excess body weight in order to lose double chin fat.

2.Lose the alcohol – drink lots of water instead. Look at beer and alcohol chuggers. Notice how most of them have beer bellies AND double chin fat? Drop the alcohol today. It only bloats and dehydrates you. When you drink a lot of water, you can burn or melt away excess fat. Start drinking it today!

3.Eat fruits and vegetables. 3 servings with each of the 3 major meals of the day. Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals, makes for a wonderful source of fiber, and keeps you hydrated. Plus, they naturally protect your skin against wrinkles!

4.Keep your jaw and facial muscles in motion. Always chewing can be taxing, but it’s an effective way of keeping fat from settling under your chin. Have some gum with you so that you can chew away at any time of the day. Sugar-free gum works best; never get the regular, kids’ kind as that would be too full of unnecessary sugar.

5.Exercise the platysma. This particular muscle group spawns over the lower jaw, neck and throat. It is also the main muscle which must be exercised in order to help get rid of a double chin. Open your mouth as wide as you can, then pull your bottom lip over your bottom teeth – which makes you look like you lost all those teeth. Hold it for a couple of seconds before gently relaxing those muscles. This may also make you look like an idiot, so make sure to do this exercise within the confines of your room.

There are a lot of helpful information you'll find in this book that's all about helping you achieve your goal of a beautiful and glowing face. From exercises, to beauty foods, make up and hairstyles, this eBook offers a comprehensive approach is presented in layman’s terms, so this is definitely a must-read. To learn more, click on this link: Eliminate Double Chin Formula

For information about skin care and hair care, and get some easy and beneficial recipes, visit Complete Skin Care Therapy

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rosewater - Nature's Gift

Rosewater for bathing, skin care and hair care dates back to the days of Cleopatra and is prevalent in skin care and bath and beauty products today. The benefits of rosewater in skin care are many and it is benefical for all skin types. Listed below are some of the magical benefits of rosewater:

Antioxidants - rosewater is full of vitamin A and C which aides in reviving tired skin by stimulating the cell regeneration process. The antioxidants in rosewater offer protection from free radicals and sun damage.

Restores pH balance - Rosewater is good for all skin types as it balances sebrum. Balancing sebrum is an important step in the reduction of pore size as it is the oil that clogs the pore thus streching out the pores.

Soothing and nourishing - a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory properties and hydrating properties. Rosewater has a calming effect on congested skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis or eczema.

Soothes insect bites and sunburn - a natural way to soothe and relieve insect bites and sunburn.

An atomizer - Is your foundation to dry or have a matte finish? Rosewater makes a wonderful spray to be applied over your makeup as a setting solution and offers up a dewy complexion. Additionally you can use it as a pleasing cooling spray.

Relieves stress and anxiety - when added to your bath, it provides a calming aroma that relaxes the mind.

Basic rosewater recipe:
Place 2 cups firmly packed rose petals in saucepan
Add 2 1/4 cups water (distilled or filtered)
Simmer until water is reduced by half
Let cool and store in a dark sterilized bottle and refrigerate.

Alternately you can also use rose hips
1/2 cup dried rose hips
Filtered or distilled water
Place rose hips in a clean sterilized jar.
Cover rose hips with hot filtered or distilled water and let set 2 hours. Strain through cheesecloth into clean bottle and refrigerate.
Application- apply with cotton ball or pad or use as a spritzer.

For oily skin: Use the above recipe and add 1/4 to 1/8 cup witch hazel.

For dry skin: Use the above recipes and add 6-8 drops glycerin

Using the above basic rosewater recipe you can customize it to your skin type by adding other herbs such as: Lavender, which is valuable for most skin conditions as it also promotes new skin cell growth and balances sebum. Chamomile is good for sensitive skin and dry skin. Sandalwood is good for ageing skin and dry skin. Lemon will brighten pale and dull complexions by its exfoliation properties and is also good for oily skin types. Geranium is good for all skin types as it balances sebrum and is good for sluggish, congested and oily skins.

Mother Nature offers up many herbs and flowers that are often in used in skin care products and roses are no exception. However most skin care products that contain the essence of roses or rosewater today are chemically altered or use synthetic rose fragrances. So why not try these simple all natural rosewater recipes and feel and see the difference in your complexion.

Can't find roses or rosehips, checkout Mountain Rose Herbs! A great selection of herbs and oils.

Cultivating Herbal Friendships

For more information on skin care and some skin care recipes visit Complete Skin Care Therapy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Three Steps to a Beautiful Complexion

Achieving a great complexion does not have to be a $50 a day (or more) expense. A great complexion starts with a good skin care routine which consists of three basic steps: facial cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Additionally a facial scrub to slough off dead skin cells and promote circulation and a facial mask should also be included in your skin care routine.

Step 1 - facial cleansing is such a vital step in the promotion of healthy skin. This does not mean however stripping your skin of it natural oils. Oily skin types should consider a mild foaming cleanser while the combination and dry skin type should consider milk or lotion type cleanser.

Step 2 – toning is a matter of choice and some say it is not needed. However I am a firm believer of toner as it removes the last bits of cleanser and any dirt and debris left over. Additionally depending on the toner it can restore pH balance and/or offer up antioxidants, promote circulation and make your skin more receptive to your moisturizer. Toners made with geranium are good for oily skin types as it balances sebum and is good for sluggish, congested and oily skin. Additionally lavender promotes new cell growth and balances sebum. Find out what herbal toner is best for your skin type here.

Step 3 – No matter what your skin type, skin needs hydration. For extremely dry skin consider a night cream rich in emollients to soothe the skin. The oily skin type while it does not need more oil, the skin still needs to be hydrated. Most oily skin types use to harsh a cleanser which dries out the skin and thus the skin reacts by producing more oil to compensate. Additionally oily skin types are usually more prone to acne or breakouts thus a gentle cleansing and toning can help balance the sebum.

Facial masks are a great way to deeply hydrate or to draw out toxins. They can be made from fuller’s earth, green clay or other clays suited for your skin type. Get some clay recipes here.

Facial scrubs – facial scrubs are necessary to slough off dead skin and promote circulation thus giving you complexion a nice glow. Inexpensive and eco-friendly scrubs can be made by adding a little cornmeal, sugar or oatmeal with your cleanser. Get some facial scrubs recipes here.

No matter what your skin type (normal, oily or combination) following the three basic steps above tailored to your skin type will get you on your way to a beautiful complexion.

Stop by and check out Complete Skin Care Therapy for more skin care articles and recipes and hair care recipes too!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Skin Care Recipes with Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is commonly used in skin care products because it offers so many benefits. It can soften, soothe, and hydrate and has the ability to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin to promote cell regeneration. Additionally it has both antiseptic and antibiotic properties which makes it highly effective in treating skin irritations such as cuts, burns, eczema, and sunburns and will also relieve the itch from poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac.

The active ingredients in Aloe Vera are quite remarkable. Although the plant is 96% water, the remaining 4% contains active ingredients such as seven amino acids, minerals and vitamins (A, C, E, B, B12, Folic Acid) and enzymes. The Vitamins A, C, and E contain antioxidants, which are why they are so widely used in skin care.

Another reason Aloe Vera is used so heavily in the cosmetic industry is because very few people are allergic to this wonderful plant. However, as with any new product a patch test is recommended. To do a patch test, break off a small portion of the plant and apply a small amount to the inside of wrist, wait 24 hours to see if there is any indication of an allergic reaction.

Growing your own Aloe Vera is recommended. They are a hardly plant and easy to care for. In many households, they are often grown on windowsills so that the wondrous properties of the plant are always available. Store bought gels, although effective, will never compare to the effectiveness of a freshly cut leaf. This is due in fact to the time that has elapsed from harvest to the final product and display.

If you decide on purchasing your Aloe Vera gel, read the label to ensure that it is 100% pure.

Below are some easy Aloe Vera skin care recipes:

Aloe Vera Moisturizer

Mix together 1 tablespoon olive oil, and gel from one large leaf Aloe Vera plant. Apply a light layer every evening for a deep penetrating moisturizer. Keep unused portion in refrigerator for up to three days.

Oily Skin Facial Mask
1 teaspoon green clay
1 teaspoon Aloe Vera gel
1 teaspoon Witch Hazel
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix all ingredients to make a paste. Apply to face and let set for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water then cool water.

Softening Face Scrub
1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera gel
1 teaspoon honey
2 Tablespoon finely ground oatmeal or cornmeal
Mix all ingredients and massage into skin. Rinse with warm water then cool water.

Get your clays at:

Cultivating Herbal Friendships

Get more skin care recipes, skin care articles and beauty tips at Complete Skin Care Therapy or check out Skin Energizer and get 15% off skin care products!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

2011 Best Beauty Products

On the September 21st Today Show Ms. Linda Wells, editor and chief of Allure magazine revealed the best of the best beauty products for 2011. Below are the products they featured on the Today show. So what do you think of these products? Have you tried any of them and if so do you think they are the best of the best? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Maybelline Volum' Express  - It's not mascara, it's false lash glam in a tube, instantly patented spoon brush and pro keratin fiber formula instantly build 8x more volume without clumping. Unique flexible wand helps lift and separate, to provide the look of 3x more lashes.

NARS Blush - Orgasm - Made with transparent pigments for a soft and sheer look. Imparts a natural, healthy glow for any skin tone and may be worn alone or layered together for more depth and intensity.

Living Proof NO Frizz Shampoo and Conditioner - Developed for all hair types, No Frizz shampoo contains the same frizz-fighting technology as our styling products. The first new anti-frizz technology in over 30 years, it does what silicones can't;eliminate frizz by blocking humidity-without weighing hair down. No Frizz shampoo enhances the benefits on No Frizz Stylers, leaving hair deeply hydrated, incredibly soft, smooth and, of course, frizz free.

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Pur - Yves Saint Laurent GLOSS PUR Pure Lip Gloss creates a beautiful and glossy sheen to the lips without sparkle. The wand allows you to glaze your lips with the utmost precision as it delivers a flash of luminous sheen and rich tint

Loreal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolor - Indulge in the color of pure luxury. Color riche nurturing and protective lipcolour is now richer, creamier and more moisturizing than ever before. In addition to nourishing ingredients like omega 3 and vitamin E, the formula has been enriched with argan oil.

Sally Hansen Nail Strips - Nail art is becoming really fashionable. According to Allure these nail strips are easy to apply and last for up to 10 days.

For more product reviews pick up the October issue of Allure magazine. It lists 193 products they consider to be the best of the best.

Also, stop by Complete Skin Care Therapy and read more about skin care and hair care. or do the skin care interactive crossword puzzle here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Skin Care Crossword Puzzle

Test your skin care knowledge.  You can either print this out or complete it online at Complete Skin Care Therapy


1: removes last traces of cleanser and can restore pH balance
2: condition where skin starts to show signs of ageing
3: topical applications that are used to correct dryness and scaling of the skin
4:an acid ingredient found in many over the counter acne products (two words together)
7: chemicals that neutralize free radicals
9: ingredient that lightens skin
11: acne like condition characterized by redness
15: abbreviation for sun protector factor


5: another word for Vitamin A
6: protein found in the connective tissue that makes the skin resistant to stretching
8: acid commonly found in skin care products and often used in chemical peels –abbreviation
10: another word for age spots (two words)
12: soothes dry skin, often used after cleansing
13: method used to slough off dry, dead skin
14: another word for facial wash
16: preserves the moisture or water content in the skin

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Selecting the Right Shampoo and Conditioner for Your Hair Type

Beauty supply stores and retail discount stores have a plethora of products to choose from. Therefore, selecting the right hair shampoo or conditioner can be a bit overwhelming. Just as like choosing any skin care product understanding the condition you are trying to address will aid in selecting the right product.

When selecting your shampoo and conditioner, the questions you should ask is "what is my hair type" and "what problems am I trying to address".

Coarse and dry hair is caused from lack of moisture to the ends of the hair. This lack of moisture is also the reason for split ends. When selecting shampoo and/or conditioner seek out ingredients that are rich in moisture such as shea butter and emu oil to name a few. Damaged hair will also benefit from moisture rich shampoo and conditioner. Additionally, hair masks that add protein and moisture will alleviate dry coarse hair.

Recommedation: Emu Shampoo and Conditioner

Hair that is limp and fine is usually on the oily side too. While this hair type does not necessarily need a conditioner it may need a volumizing shampoo and a spray mist for detangling. Spray conditioners or detanglers are perfect as they do not reach the scalp and add any unwanted oil.

Recommendation: Oily Hair and Scalp Kit

Breaking hair is the result of not enough moisture to maintain flexibility. This is a common occurrence in Black and African American women due to the hairs naturally and tightly wound nature. A conditioner that adds protein and amino acid will alleviate breakage and repair the cuticle layer. Additionally, some homemade protein masks will do wonders.

Recommendation:  Nourish for Dry Brittle Hair

For those lucky enough to have normal hair (no obvious signs of damage, split ends, to oily or to dry) select products that will add shine, bounce and luster.

For more hair care articles and recipes visit Complete Hair Care Therapy.

Also check out Healthy Hair Plus and and get 15% off great hair care products.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Your Health Affects Your Hair

Hair problems such as dry brittle hair, hair thinning, hair loss and flaky scalp can be an indicator of a health condition or lack of nutrients in the body. There is a direct correlation between your health and the health of your hair.

Hair Breakage, Dry, Brittle, and Dull Hair - there are basically three reasons for this hair condition. The first is self-inflicted by the use of blow dryers, flat irons, chemical processes, pulling the hair to tight with pony tails, braids and excessive sun exposure. All of the above damages the cuticle layer of the hair shaft. The second is lack of protein and/or moisture to the hair. The omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, flaxseed or fish oil supplements will play a role in keeping the strands strong, healthy and shiny. Lastly is low levels of parathyroid hormone which causes calcium to fall and phosphorous to rise. However, if this is the case you will also notice scaly skin.

Limp and Thin Hair - thinning hair is not the same as hair loss. Thinning hair is when the actual texture of the hair changes. Thinning hair is usually an indication of an under active thyroid. Sometimes the eyebrows will thin and a good indication of an under active thyroid is the outermost third of the eyebrow thins out or disappears altogether. If this be the case, consult with you doctor and a test can determine your thyroid levels.

Hair Loss - it is normal to lose about 100-150 strands of hair a day. However excessive hair loss can be caused by changes in hormones, medications, stress, eating disorders (lack of proper nutrition) and ill health. Hair loss for the above reasons is usually temporary and will grow back.

Eczema, Dandruff, Psoriasis - all of these conditions affect the scalp and cause dry, itchy and flakes. While these conditions can be controlled with certain shampoos specifically made for the condition it is advised that you see your doctor so that you know what condition you are treating. For instance, dandruff is not dry scalp; it is an inflammation of the scalp. Psoriasis on the other hand will form a thick crust on the scalp usually at the hairline.

Gray Hair - gray hair is genetic. If one of your family members had gray hair chances are you are predisposed to gray hair too. The hair doesn't actually turn gray but it is the new growth that comes in gray. As we age there is a decrease in melanin production in the hair bulb, thus new strands form and grow out with less or no pigment.

To summarize, your health plays an important role in the health of your hair. Your hair needs protein and moisture just like the rest of the body. If there are no underlying health issues affecting your hair then take the time to treat it gently and provide the nourishment it needs with a healthy diet and an occasional hair mask.

Visit Complete Hair Care Therapy for some great hair mask recipes to add protein and nourish the hair.

Also check out Healthy Hair Plus and get 15% off of great hair care products!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Eliminate and Prevent Split Ends

Split ends also known as Trichoptlosis, usually occurs in dry and/or brittle hair. Dry, brittle hair is caused from the lack of moisture and/or protein. Additionally, this lack of moisture damages the cuticle layer of the hair shaft. The cuticle layer is the protective layer of the hair. It consists of overlapping cells much like shingles on a house and protects the cortex (the second layer of the hair) and the medulla (the marrow of the hair). Depending on how well the overlapping cells are woven determines your hair porosity (how porous your hair is).

There are ways we can take preventative measures against split ends forming, but first we need to do an assessment of the hair's health. In order to do this assessment you will need to discontinue hair care products that are silicone based for 8 weeks. Silicone based shampoos and conditioners actually coat the hair shaft and while it may look healthy and shiny it is actually depriving your hair of the necessary moisture and protein it requires. If you can not live without a silicone based hair care product then do a clarifying rinse with diluted vinegar to remove all traces of product buildup in the hair.

Strand Test - with a wet strand of hair stretch the hair strand, if it breaks immediately and has no stretch it has a moisture deficiency. If the hair strands stretches over 30% but does not bounce back to its original state then there is a protein deficiency. There are several products on the market to add protein back into the hair but a homemade remedy I just heard about and am going to try, is an infusion of catnip poured directly onto the hair then rinsed out. Other ingredients that will add protein to your hair are egg yolks, coconut milk, and mayonnaise. Mix some of these ingredients up with some olive oil and make a hair mask.

To fix split ends in between trims is a simple matter of cutting them off also known as dusting. This will prevent them from moving further up the hair shaft. You will need a very sharp pair of hair cutting shears. Take a section of hair and gently twist into a loose rope, any hairs that pop out of the rope you can cut off. Albeit you may want to have friends help with this.

While there is no cure for split ends once the cuticle layer has been damaged you can take these preventative steps:

  •  Invest in the right hair care products for your hair texture.
  • Invest in a satin pillowcase. Not only is it gentler on the hair it is gentler on the face too. Read my post on the benefits of a silk pillowcase.
  • Get a hair trim every six weeks, I know what a pain; I am guilty of going way to long between trims!
  • Always use cloth or rubber coated bands in your hair.
  • Never brush the hair when wet, always use a wide tooth comb or pick.
  • Consider a deep conditioning hair mask at least once a month, get a recipe at Complete Hair Care Therapy.

Unfortunately, you can not really get rid of spilt ends once they have developed however, you can prevent their occurrence with a little preventive maintenance.

Recommended products:

L'anza Protein Plus Shampoo -is a gentle coconut based cleanser that carries nutrients and protein deep into the hair shaft. This shampoo is recommended for chemically treated or environmentally damaged hair because of its ability to restore pliability, strength and shine. Active Jojoba and Biotin contained in Protein Plus Shampoo help to restore the acid mantle of the scalp, ultimately leaving the hair and scalp in renewed condition and on its way to continued well being. Keratin Bond System™: Strengthens hair and replenishes its inner structure. Cocamidopropyl Betaine: Coconut-derived surfactant. Very gentle on fragile, damaged hair. 100% Active Jojoba and Biotin: Replaces scalp’s natural acid mantle. Algae Extract: Increases lubricity and moisturizing potential. A creamy coconut-based cleanser that carries nutrients and proteins that replace and balance the vital protein and moisture ration in damaged, overstressed hair.

Emu Shampoo and Conditioner - Our best shampoo and conditioner for dry, brittle hair. Super-moisturizing dry, fly-away hair while adding volume, bounce and manageability! Save with this top-selling combo! Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners help hydrate your hair deep down into the scalp.Emu oil shampoo is the best shampoo that I have ever used. I had done a lot of research on omega 3's for skin and hair and found that emu oil has one of the highest contents. I could not find it in 99.9% of the shampoos out there.

For more hair care articles and hair care recipes visit Complete Hair Care Therapy

To get 15% off of hair care products visit Healthy Hair Plus

Friday, April 22, 2011

Understanding Hair Porosity

Porosity is the measure of the hair's ability to absorb moisture. This is determined by the condition of the hair's cuticle layer (the overlapping scales of the hair shaft), and is rated as low, normal, and high. A good analogy would be to consider your hair like a sponge. When the sponge is new it is very porous and absorbs water thus it has good porosity. On the other hand an old sponge where the tiny holes have been damaged does not absorb water as well as it used to.

The hair shaft is made up of cuticle layers which are actually overlapping scales. When the cuticle layer of the hair is tightly woven and compact it has low porosity as it inhibits moisture going in and going out.

Low porosity hair is resistant to hair coloring and perms and must be softened to open the cuticle layers prior to a treatment. The best remedies for low porosity hair are deep conditioning products and products rich in moisture and/or products that contain humectants which will attract moisture to the hair.

High porosity hair on the other hand has an open cuticle layers and absorbs moisture and color treatments more easily. However overly porous hair releases moisture and becomes dry and dull. The best products for hair with a high porosity are moisturizes containing natural plant based oils, and mildly acidic rinse. Additionally one should avoid sulfate-based surfactants.

Normal hair porosity is somewhere in the middle. This hair texture requires the least amount of maintenance, as it will allow moisture to pass in the hair shaft as needed. Additionally hair with a high porosity will hold a hairstyle and allow chemical processes in the expected manner. However, note that repeated chemical processes can change the porosity of your hair by damaging the cuticle layer.

Below are a few tests you can do to figure out your hair's porosity and help you select the right products for your hair.

Test 1: When washing your hair notice how long it takes for your hair to become saturated and fully wet. Hair that wets easily is porous, much like a new sponge. There is also a possibility that you hair could be covered with to many hair care products such as oils and conditioners. Additionally consider how long it takes your hair to dry, hair that dries quickly is porous as the cuticle layers are open and allow air flow.

Test 2: Wash and condition your hair as normal. Towel dry (do not add any other products). Gather one strand of hair and run your index finger and thumb along the shaft starting from the end of the hair strand to the root. Low porosity will feel slick, normal porosity will feel smooth, and high porosity you will feel catches as you move your fingers down the hair shaft.

Test 3: Take a few strands of hair (from comb or hair brush) and place in a bowl of water. If the hair sinks to the bottom of the bowl in less than a minute or two, it is porous. If only a part of the strand sinks you your hair is porous in certain areas and this is quite common.

I hoped this article helped you to understand hair porosity and bring you that much closer to selecting the right hair products for your hair. For more hair care articles visit Complete Hair Care Therapy
and to get the best all natural hair care products and get 15% off visit Healthy Hair Plus

Emu Oil Shampoo and Conditioner - Our best shampoo and conditioner for dry, brittle hair. Super-moisturizing dry, fly-away hair while adding volume, bounce and manageability! Save with this top-selling combo! Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners help hydrate your hair deep down into the scalp.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

FYI – Recall on Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color

Just released on April 11, 2011 and April 18, 2011, Proctor and Gamble have recalled its Clairol Natural Instincts products. This was a voluntary recall by Proctor and Gamble stating that the products may produce an unwanted color effect. This recall covers the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. From what I understand the Revitalizer sachets in these products create the unwanted color. Proctor and Gamble however that the products in the kit remain safe to use but do not use the Revitalizer Sachet.

Below are the products that have been taken off the market, however if you currently own one of these products you should contact Clairol or the retailer where you purchased it at.

  • Natural Instincts Shade 16 Light Auburn (Spiced Tea)
  • Natural Instincts Shade 35 Brown Black (Ebony Mocha)
  • Natural Instincts Creme Shade 03G Light Golden Blonde (Honey Creme)
  • Natural Instincts Creme Shade 7.5 Dark Blonde (Maple Creme)
  • Natural Instincts Creme Shade 21G Medium Golden Brown (Caramel Creme)
  • Natural Instincts Creme Shade 23R Medium Auburn (Raspberry Creme)
  • Natural Instincts Creme Shade 30R Dark Auburn (Cherry Creme)
  • Natural Instincts Creme Shade 31 Darkest Brown (Coffee Creme)
  • Natural Instincts Vibrant Shade 9 Natural Light Blonde (Blonde Vibrance)
  • Natural Instincts Vibrant Shade 10 Extra Light Blonde (Sun-Kissed Blonde)
  • Natural Instincts 11G Lightest Golden Brown (Amber Shimmer)
  • Natural Instincts Vibrant Shade 6A Light Cool Brown (Wake-up Cocoa)
Clairol has stated that it expects the affected shades and products to be back on shelves in May 2011.

For hair care articles and hair care recipes visit Complete Hair Care Therapy
Or, visit Healthy Hair Plus and get 15% off hair care products and styling aids

Monday, April 11, 2011

Adding Bounce and Volume for Fine Limp Hair

Hair texture can be generally categorized into four major types: fine, medium, coarse and wiry or frizzy hair. Due to the fact that there are different types of hair texture it is important to maintain your hair with the products specially made for the texture of your hair. For instance, for fine limp hair a heavy conditioner or styling aid would not be recommended.

This article will address fine limp hair and simple tips and techniques that can bring out body and add volume to your hair style.

First and foremost, fine, thin hair has a tendency to fall flat and shapeless in a short amount of time after styling. This is due to the fact that it lacks body. Additionally for those with fine limp hair the right hair cut is essential to bring out body and volumne.

Hair Care Products:

The right hair care products can play a significant role in adding volume to fine hair. Thus, when styling your hair consider a mousse as they are lightweight. Hair gels and pastes can also be used if they are not too heavy. Conditioner is usually a heavy product and great for those with thick, coarse hair, however for fine hair consider skipping the conditioner and use a light detangling spray if needed. The bottom line here is to opt for hair care products that do not weigh the hair down any further.

Hair Styling Tips:

If you use a blow dryer regularly, consider blow drying your hair with your head upside down. Another option when blow drying your hair is to pull the hair straight up at the roots with a hair brush or your fingers thus creating tension and lift at the roots. For those with an asymmetrical haircut blow dry your hair in opposite direction of the way you wear your hair. If you are trying to achieve a straight style with volume use a blow dryer and paddle brush instead of heavy hair straightening products. For those that like curls, hot rollers are your best choice.

Hair Style:

Your haircut can play a significant role in adding volume to your hair. Consider these options:

Cropped - The cropped hair style is probably the simplest to maintain. It is especially good for those with small and thin faces. It is easy to add height and volume with a little bit of mouse or light gel.

Bob - this style compliments most face shapes especially those with a heart shaped facial structure. The bob frames the face and by ending the hair at the chin it gives the illusion of an oval face instead of a pointy chin. The bob can be a versatile hair style with side bangs or bangs and looks great with or without highlights.

Layered - layered, choppy hair styles are good for all lengths of hair because it is so versatile. The layered cut can be worn flipped up or down, waves, scrunched curls, etc.

With so many great styling products and styling tools on the market, even fine, limp hair can achieve volume and bounce.

Consider these products:
Roffler® Thickening Shampoo - A rich luxurious professional formula shampoo that contains Multiplex Protein of Collagen, Panthenol and Keratin Protein. Maximizes thickness of hair and builds a rich, full body.
Cleanses hair thoroughly and is safe for permed and colored hair. Adds luster. This acid-balanced, daily use shampoo combines multiplex proteins, collagen and keratin, plus Panthenol, to give maximum thickness and body to fine, limp or thinning hair.

Kenra Platinum Detangler -  Kenra Platinum Detangler for fine and thin - Kenra Platinum Detangler for fine & thin hair is a leave-in conditioner that promotes body and shine. Promotes optimum body and shine. Lightweight, oil-free leave-in treatment. Botanical blend for healthy, shiny hair.  Features: New, sleek look, Promotes optimum body and shine, Lightweight, oil-free leave-in treatment, Botanical blend for healthy, shiny hair

You can read more about hair care and hair care recipes at Complete Hair Care Therapy or visit Healthy Hair Plus for hair care products at 15% off!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Types of Hair Brushes

Most of us just grab a hair brush, run it through our hair and forget about it. However,
are you using the right hair brush for your hair care and styling needs? Selecting the proper hair brush can make a big difference in our ability to style our hair, prevent unnecessary breakage, and can keep the hair shiny and healthy.

Hair brushes come in all sizes, shapes and styles, and selecting the right brush for your hair needs can be a little overwhelming. Thus an understanding of the different types of hairbrushes and their use will help you in selecting the right hair brush for you hair care needs.

Round Brushes are also known as barrel brushes or radial brushes. These brushes are perfect for short to medium length, bob type hairstyles and they will add volume at the crown and smooth the hair shafts. They are designed as a styling aid to give hair curl when used with a blow dryer. Note: the larger the barrel the larger the curl and smoothness.

Round brushes are also available in a heat conductive material and are called thermal brushes. They actually conduct heat from your blow-dryer so not only are the outside of the hair shaft is drying, the brush bristles are drying the inside hair shaft too.

There are also brushes for sculpting. They are used for backcombing and adds volume to short textured hair or razor-cut hair with sharp edges.

Hair brushes with widely spaced bristles are best for long hair, especially slightly heavy ones like those made of heavy plastic, wood or ebonite, which don't cause static or damage hair.

Ionic Hair Brushes are brushes that use negative ions to rid hair of frizz and fly-away hair. They can add shine and make hair soft and smooth. These hair brushes flatten the hair strand and force the hair to stay straight they do a great job of eliminating fly-away hair and frizz. You can maximize results when used in conjunction with an ionic blow dryer.

There are also paddle brushes, vented brushes, and cushioned hair brushes.

You can read more about hair brushes at Complete Hair Care Therapy and for skin care recipes visit Complete Skin Care Therapy

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hydration and Beautiful Skin Connection

Most people fail to realize just how important hydration is in maintaining a healthy body and beautiful skin. Maintaining the proper amount of fluid in the body at both the extra-cellular (outside a cell) and intra-cellular (inside a cell) is essential for cell health.

Proper hydration is critical; it helps the body assimilate essential nutrients and excrete toxins, assists in maintaining pH balances, and helps prevent kidney stones, constipation and urinary infections. Furthermore it reduces the signs of ages and keeps skin soft and elastic. Additionally the water content in skin helps it perform its protective functions.

Without proper hydration the skin looks dull, dry, and extra sensitive and it loses it suppleness. Additionally without sufficient hydration the rate of healing to damaged dermal layers are slowed, hair follicles can get blocked causing bacterial accumulation and even skin breakouts and acne take more time to heal. Additionally, when the skin is not adequately hydrated, it loses thickness, and offers less body protection from environmental factors.

Below are recommendations in which you can hydrate your body and skin:

  • Drink water - I know it has been said a lot but it is always worth repeating!
  • Moisturize - again worth repeating. A moisturizer can slow down the ageing process versus skin that is moisture deprived. While a moisturizer will not get rid of wrinkles, when your skin is not moisturized wrinkles will appear more pronounced. For those that suffer with acne or oily skin, hydration should also be in your skin care routine. Oily skin may not need moisture but it still needs hydration. For instance, I have seen friends with oily skin yet still have dry flaky skin patches on their face, this is due to lack of hydration.
  • Toner - optional although I am a faithful user and believe in the benefits it provides.
  • Exfoliate - exfoliation is a gentle method to slough off dead cells. It promotes new cell turnover and circulation.
  • Protect - in today's world the skin needs protection from environmental factors so be sure to use a sunscreen.
  • Hydrating masks - clay masks are wonderful! Be sure to select the right clay for your skin type. Read more about the benefits of clay masks.
  • Avoid products that are stripping your skin of its natural oils. Be gentle with your skin and it will reward you in the long run.

These are just a few ways to hydrate your skin. Additionally a good diet will keep you and your skin healthy.

For more skin care articles and skin care recipes visit Complete Skin Care Therapy
Get 15% off skin care products at Skin Energizer

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Common Mistakes in Selecting Skin Care Products

Mistakes #1 - Whenever a new skin care product is introduced on the market a number of people are very eager to try it out. We have a tendency to believe that this new product is exactly what we are looking for and don't bother reading the ingredients or check to see if there is any clinical proof of their claims. We just take for granted that the product will live up to the hype.

Mistake #2 - We purchase a skin care product because it is on sale or at a discounted price. While sales are great, you should base your purchase on the reputation of the company and the ingredients listed. Additionally you need to take into account if this discounted product is really the correct purchase for your skin type.

Mistake #3 - Taking risks with your skin care products. Harsh chemicals in skin care products can harm the skin and if trying to treat a condition such as acne, rosacea, or whatever they will do nothing to improve your situation and may make things considerably worse. Alcohol can dry out the skin even more and cause redness and irritation to be ten times worse than without the use of the product. Those with sensitive skin are especially prone to damage to the skin when using skin care products with ingredients they are not familiar with.

Mistake #4 - Purchasing skin care products not designed for your skin type. Careful consideration needs to be taken especially for sensitive skin. Never go with a cream or lotion because it is cheaper.

Here are some basic rules when selecting skin care products:

  • First, make sure the ingredients are natural.
  • Find a product with antioxidant qualities to prevent and heal the damage done by the environment.
  • Read all your labels carefully so you can spot potential chemicals like petroleum, alcohol, heavy fragrance, and other artificial ingredients.
  • The best type of products is those with only natural plant extracts, essential oils, and nutrients designed for your skin. Botanical skin care products are closer to the natural ingredients in your skin. They have been used for ages and now are being found in their effectiveness for everyday skin problems. Evening primrose oil, for example, is great for anything dealing with the skin. It has been used by women for centuries and can actually soften and smooth the skin. This means fewer wrinkles and lines showing on older skin.
The bottom line is making sure that you are careful in what you place on your skin, especially around the facial area. Take the time to educate yourself on each of the skin care products you intend to use so you can have beautiful skin and not an irritated mess.

For skin care articles and skin care recipes visit Complete Skin Care Therapy

Get 15% off natural skin care treatments at Skin Energizer

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Ruined My Skin, so please don't do this!

Have your ever heard of Toasted Skin Syndrome? It is a skin condition called Erythema ab igne. The term comes from the Latin meaning "redness from fire". It is also known as "chronic heat dermatitis" and latptop induced dermatitis, it is brought about from prolong periods or repeated exposure to heat. This prolonged exposure or repeated exposure to heat leads to damage to the skin at the cellular level. This syndrome is not new as it was first observed on people who work close to extreme heat, like the furnace of old trains, wood ovens, coal and wood stoves or open fires. It could also be observed on people who have overused heating pads or blankets.

A few weeks ago I noticed this area on the back of my thighs just above the knee that looked to me, like varicose veins or some sort of bruising; it was a net-like pattern of brownish red lines. It covered a large portion of the back of upper leg on one side and some on the other leg. I really didn't know what to think about it. I searched the internet and diagnosed it as several conditions but still was not sure. Finally I broke down and spent the $100 to go to the doctor.  The doctor took one look at it and told me it was caused from standing in front of heat, which in my case was the wood stove. The doctor explained to me that she had seen cases of this on the front of the thighs from prolonged heat from laptops. She also indicated that it may not fade as it dependent on the extent of damage to the dermal layers. I was so bummed! I now have this giant mottled discoloration on the back of my upper legs and don't know if it will ever go away!

I have read several articles about Toasted Skin Syndrome and have read that young children are more susceptible to this condition as in the case of a 12 year old boy playing games on his laptop for hours at a time, (see picture). This can be a permanent skin discoloration! There is a concern among doctors that people with toasted skin syndrome may be at risk of developing skin cancers although at this time no cases have been reported. Although it seems to be that chronic and prolonged inflammation of the skin can increase the risk for squamous cell carcinoma (squamous cells are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the passages of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Thus, squamous cell carcinomas can actually arise in any of these tissues).

I write this article to share with you the dangers of prolonged use of a laptop on your lap without a cooling pad or some protection to your lap, and standing to close to your wood stove or any heat source for that matter. The back of my thighs are really darkened and have a web like pattern and I have no clue if it will ever clear up. I am so bummed!!

So on mine own accord I decided that I will exfoliate it away, lol. I don't know if it will help but I bought a microdermabrasion cloth hoping to slough off those few top layers. Additionally, I have told all my friends to be wary of standing in front of their wood stoves and to purchase a laptop pad for protection.

Below is some lap protectors for your laptop. They come in all shape, sizes and design. Read the reviews and decide which type you would like. I strongly advise that you purchase one for you and especially for your children if they are on laptops.

Carol Belanger author of 300+ Skin Care Recipes
For skin care articles and skin care recipes visit Complete Skin Care Therapy
Get 15% off natural skin care treatments at Skin Energizer

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to Keep Your Skin Care Routine Simple

Good skin care starts with nourishing your skin inside and out. It is more than just an application upon application of skin care products. Overuse of and a menagerie of skin care products can actually be more detrimental to your skin and to your health especially when they are loaded with harmful or otherwise questionable ingredients.

A great complexion first starts with good health which means staying fully hydrated and getting the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals in our diet each day. A balanced diet equals better health and a healthier, glowing complexion. Some basic nutrients the skin needs is pure water, zinc, soy protein, vitamin E, vitamin C, B-complex, carotenoids a flavonoids, and omega 3 fatty acids just to name a few.

The basics that your skin also needs are cleansing, toning, moisture and protection. Additionally there may be specific problem areas you will need to address such as blotchiness, acne or breakout, dry patches, etc.

First let's start with the basics:

Cleansing: First and foremost you must understand your skin type when selecting a cleanser. Dry skin should avoid foaming cleansers and use a milk cleanser or lotion, oily skin can get by with a foaming cleanser if not to harsh (drying out oily skin only makes the skin react and produce more oil), combination skin should use a cleanser with a low ph of 7 or less.

Toning: I have read differing opinions on whether a toner is necessary or not but I am a firm believer of toning. Toning removes the last traces of cleanser, restores ph balance and closes the pores prior to moisturizing. Again, understand your skin type when selecting your toner. A few herbs for each skin type are as follows: Dry skin: elderflower and sandalwood, Oily skin: lemon balm or fennel, witch hazel, Combination Skin: Chamomile. There are numerous herbs mixed with green tea or distilled water to easily make your own toner at a fraction of the cost of store bought toners.  Get some toner recipes.

Moisturizer: My moisturizer has a double duty, it hydrates and protects because it contains a SPF. No matter what skin type, you skin needs to be hydrated. Dry skin needs hydration and moisture and oily skin still needs hydration. Additionally I always recommend a daytime moisturizer with SPF and a nighttime moisturizer emollient rich.

Secondly let's address special treatments:

Dark circles under eyes consider almond oil. It is a natural moisturizer and rich in Vitamin E. It will moisturize and thicken the skin under the eye area so you don't see the thinness. Massage under eye area before bedtime. Note: if allergic to nuts consider olive oil. Another note: dark under eye circles can be caused by various reasons, the recipe above is for thinning of the skin as we age.

Crows' feet: no need for a special product, apply virgin coconut oil with a few drops of vitamin E oil at bedtime. I think you will see visible results in about a week.

Exfoliate: this treatment is to slough off dead skin and promote circulation and new cell growth. There are a number of home remedies that work such as oatmeal or cornmeal.

Facial masks: masks can do wonders to hydrate the skin. Again understanding your skin type is imperative. For dry skin consider a China/White Clay, for oily skin use fuller's earth or French green clay, sensitive skin yellow kaolin clay and combination skin rose clay.  Read more about clays and get a clay recipe for your skin type.

Above are just a few of the simple home remedies that work and are inexpensive and eco-friendly. Why not give them a try and let me know how they worked for you. Additionally when purchasing skin care products look for natural ingredients.

For skin care articles and skin care recipes visit Complete Skin Care Therapy

Get 15% off natural skin care treatments at Skin Energizer

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Product Review for the Colgate 360 ActiFlex SonicPower Toothbrush

My new beauty product that I can't live without is the Colgate 360 ActiFlex SonicPower Toothbrush. The ultra sleek design and rubberized grip made this toothbrush easy to hold and with its flexible design can easily clean the back teeth and hard to reach places. Additionally the head of the toothbrush is just the right size so that it covers a lot of area but does not feel like a mouth full.

My teeth have never felt or looked so clean in between dental visits! This toothbrush actually gave me whiter teeth after just a few weeks. I loved the vibrating motion and it actually kept me from scrubbing my teeth or gums too hard.

The tongue and cheek scraper on the back side of the toothbrush is awesome too. It's basically an all in one tool for oral hygiene tool.

This battery operated toothbrush emits a soft humming sound and the motion it produces didn't bother my sensitive teeth. The soft humming reminded me a gentle cleaning that the Dentist would do. What a great way to introduce your child to the sound of a dental cleaning prior to their first visit!

This toothbrush really cleaned and massaged below the gum line. I could just imagine brushing away plaque buildup and bacteria on the gum line. This battery operated toothbrush also eliminates brushing your teeth to hard as the motion of the brush does the work.

The Colgate 360 ActiFlex Sonic Power Toothbrush comes in a variety of colors and the bristles come in hard, medium or soft so there is definitely one to fit your needs. The average price is around $6.00 which I feel is a great price for what this toothbrush has to offer.

It is my understanding that your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months as the bristles do wear down. So, if you are in need of a great toothbrush, give this one a try!

If you want pearly white teeth with no bleaching agents which can harm tooth enamel, and at a fraction of the cost of teeth whitening products, give this toothbrush a try. I believe it is now the one beauty product that I could not live without.

For skin care articles and skin care recipes check out my many blog posts or visit Complete Skin Care Therapy

Get 15% off skin care treatments at Skin Energizer

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Makeup Brushes - uses and types

Makeup brushes come in a range of sizes, fullness, and brush angles. Additionally each makeup brush has a specific purpose. Just like an artist or carpenter, having the right tools is essential to correctly achieve the effect you want. Are you using the right brush for your makeup application? Do you even use makeup brushes?

Below are, what I think, are the most common makeup tools to achieve and perfect that flawless application of makeup.

Foundation - pressed, loose, compact or bronzing powder. These brushes are designed to give you a flawless and soft finish without the look of being caked on. These brushes can be used alone by slightly dipping it into your powder and gently sweeping across the face. Furthermore they can be used after an application of foundation with a sponge to pick up any loose particles.

Ecotools Foundation Brush - Highly sustainable bamboo handles, 100%, cruelty-free, soft taklon bristles. Recycled aluminum ferrules.

Mineral makeup - Kabuki brushes are a must if using mineral makeup.
Bare Escentuals Full Coverage Kabuki Brush

Bare Escentuals' top-selling brush. With a full head of the luxuriously soft, goat hair, the Kabuki Brush provides a medium to full application for both the face and body.

Blush - there are two types of blush brushes, one has an angled edge meant more for contouring your blush and the other a round edge. It is smaller than the foundation brush which gives you more control of where you want to place your cheek color. If you are unsure on how to contour your face with blush read my post " How to Properly Apply Blush"

Bare Escentuals Angled Blush Brush - Soft, angled small brush head for perfectly sculpted cheeks.The soft-tapered bristles fit perfectly in cheek contours for defined cheekbones

Eye Shader/Primer Brush - this brush is larger than your typical eye shadow brush. It is to apply the base color to your eye area and provide a smooth canvas on which to apply your eye shadow.

Clinique Eye Shader Brush

Eye Shadow - a flat brush with long bristles that easily picks up eye shadow

Maybelline Expert Tools Eye Shadow Brush 570

Eye Shadow Blending - this nice little brush is designed to fit right into the crease of the eye.

Tapered Blending Eye Antibacterial Makeup Brush #785 - Studio Line
Ideal for applying shadow within the crease of the eye to add depth. Premium blend of soft natural and synthetic mixed fibers. This antibacterial brush will ensure that your skin quality is preserved.

Eye brow brush - this is a small angled stiff brush that that easily allows you to fill in sparse areas of the eyebrows. Use a matte brow shadow that matches your eyebrows.
Vital Radiance Brow Brush - Expertly shapes and defines natural-looking brows. Angled brush precisely fills in brow shapes to create a natural look. Ultra-soft makeup artist quality bristles. Use with Brow Fill - In Powder

Eye liner - this brush has long tapered ends with a very fine point and is used to create a very fine line.
Rucci Eyeliner Brush 100% Sable

Eye Smudge Brush - a small round tipped brush to create that smoky eye affect. Use a dark color and apply along lash line placing more emphasis on the outer corners of the eyes. A very useful tool but unfortunately quite expensive! Smudge Eye Brush - Pony hair ideal for applying eyeshadow near the lash line for smokey effect.

Lip stick / Gloss Brush - this brush allows you to control the depth of color, define your lips and a smother application of lipstick. Start at the outer corner of the lip and work toward the middle in even strokes. 
Bare Escentuals Brush Covered Lip Brush

I included links to the brushes above so that you could review other options and read reviews on their use. Some I thought were a little pricey and others fairly reasonable.

Makeup brushes are a must if you really want to perfect your makeup application. I found this nice set and will be ordering it for a friend and one for me.

Shany Studio Quality Natural Cosmetic Brush Set with Leather Pouch, 24 Count. 
This complete collection of luxury makeup brushes includes the essential brushes used by professional makeup artists throughout the makeup world. These high end- high quality brushes are made of top quality Goat & Badger Hair (very soft and silky), Sable & Pony Hair, Squirrel Hair, Raccoon Hair and High Grade Nylon for concealers, foundation and wet eyeliner. Large Body Powder Brush, Medium Face Powder Brush, Large Angled Contoured Face Brush Bronzer, Face Brush Kabuki Brush Foundation Brush, Duo Fibre Fan Face Brush, Dual-sided Brow Brush & Lash Comb, Lip Brush Pencil Brush, Small Angled Brow Brush, Small Angled Eye Liner Brush, Precise Eye Liner Brush, Sponge Tip Applicator, Tapered Blending Brush, Large Angled Shading Brush, Medium Angled Shading Brush, Concealer Brush, Mascara/Lash Brush, Mini Shader Crease Brush, Small Shader Brush,, Large Square Shader Brush, Medium Eye Shading Brush, Large Shading Brush. The perfect gift for loved one, this is a must have set! And keep that in mind this set comes with 100% satisfaction assurance! $25.00!

I would love to hear your tips and techniques with makeup brushes. Do you have a favorite brand that you would like to share?

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