The Power of Essential Oils

Essential oils can work wonders, literally. From helping you relax and reduce anxiety to energy boosting to improving emotional health. Simply applying a small dab to your skin or your pillow at night is all you need. But don’t go out in the sun after applying, or be sure to use SPF as they can increase sensitivity to the sun. Below are a few of our favorite essential oils.

 

REDUCE ANXIETY

Lavender

Rose

Ylang Ylang

Frankincense

 

INCREASE ENERGY

Orange

Eucalyptus

Lemon

Peppermint

Grapefruit

 

IMPROVE EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Orange

Rose

Rosemary

Juniper

 

REDUCE HEADACHES

Peppermint

Lavender

Eucalyptus

Rosemary

 

5 Sulfate Free Shampoos That Are Awesome

The short of it is that sulfate free shampoos wash your hair without washing away all of the moisture and healthy oils in that occur in the hair naturally. Beauty companies use shampoo with sulfates in them because they allow for a great lather, however, these are powerful, abrasive chemicals that can remove grease from pretty much any surface.

We tested a bunch of sulfate free shampoos to find great ones that actually work.

 

Acure Organics Lemongrass and Argan Stem Cell Shampoo

Verb Volume Shampoo

dpHUE Clarifying Shampoo

The Most Common Chemicals Lurking in Your Skincare Products

Many of the creams and lotions that people apply everyday are loaded with toxic chemicals and they don’t even know it. This, in part, is why we are such fans of clean oils. We take the stance of, “if we wouldn’t eat it, then we wouldn’t put it on our largest organ, our skin.” That said, we don’t recommend eating any beauty products, even the ones without the toxins.

We rounded up some of the most common chemicals that should be avoided, but there are many, many more.

Propylene Glycol:  It’s a by-product of petroleum that is also used as anti-freeze that may cause allergic reactions and possibly liver and kidney damage if it gets into the bloodstream.

Parabens:  These are most commonly used as preservatives in beauty products that inhibit bacteria growth. However, there is concern surrounding parabens and breast cancer as parabens have estrogen-mimicking properties.

Fragrance:  While this term was created to protect a company’s “secret formula” it is usually some combination of the 200 cheapest synthetic scents that can cause headaches, dizziness, rashes and general skin irritation.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) / Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These are foaming products that can, when combined with other chemicals, create carcinogens such as nitrosamines. They are also thought to irritate the skin.

Formaldehyde / Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (FRP’s):  Use to inihibit bacteria growth in beauty products, it is a known human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) and can also cause allergic skin reactions.

Synthetic Colors: Lookout for FD&C or D&C as they signify artificial colors. They precede colors and numbers, e.g. FD&C Red 6. They are toxic substances are made from coal ta, are suspected of being a human carcinogen and many are banned in the European Union.

Ditch the chemicals and look for natural or organic brands that stick quality ingredients that are safe!

3 Natural Deodorants & How They Stood Up

Natural deodorants are all the craze these days and there are plenty to choose from. We decided to try three this month to see how they stood up to the sweat of everyday life and how they handled under more extreme circumstances like the Barry's Bootcamp class we took (what were we thinking?!)

Native Deodorant

Native was our favorite for a few reasons. First, the scent! We tried the Lavender & Rose and it is one of the most pleasant smells, can they make it as a body spray?? Also, it was able to stand up to a tough workout. We sweat a little, which is normal since these are not antiperspirants, but did not smell at all! And Native lasted a solid 24 hours without reapplying.

 

Agent Nateur N 3

The scent of Agent Nateur we found to be pleasant and slightly masculine because of the strong eucalyptus. And while the deodorant did stand up to regular wear and tear of going to work, dinner, etc., we found that it did not work as well during our workouts. It's also a bit more expensive, $21.

 

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Admittedly, the group was slightly hesitant to try Soapwalla given the hand to armpit application. First, it did work well and stand up to our workouts. Second, it has a sweet, citrus-y scent that we loved. Third, we couldn't really get over the hand application, it's fine after a shower, but applying midday or on the go is a bit less ideal.

Ditch the Chemicals in Creams. These Are the Top 4 Clean Facial Oils.

Traditional creams are loaded with harmful chemicals such as parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), synthetic colors & fragrances and even formaldehyde to name a few. Many of these chemcials irritate skin and can cause allergic reactions and/or breakouts. So, if you're not already using facial oil, it's time.  But won't oil make me break out? Quite the contrary. Many plant oils actually help your skin regulate oil production so you can kiss breakouts goodbye. Plus plant botanicals provide some of the best protection against signs of aging including reducing fine lines, evening skin tone and tightening skin.

We tested dozens of facial oils over the last few months to find our top picks. We were looking for oils that produced tangible results (super smooth, even skin tone, feels great!), are made from plants (not chemicals), and are a great value for the price.

naked + thriving

By far and away, Naked + Thriving's REJUVENATE Restorative Facial Oil was the favorite among the group. Aside from the brand's cheeky name (which we love) this oil had the most visible results from the moment we used it! We saw a reduction in facial lines, more even skin tone and we literally could not stopping touching our faces (so soft!) and a little goes a long way since it is highly concentrated; they say a bottle lasts 3-4 months, but we guess even longer. Made from 99% certified organic ingredients, REJUVENATE uses some of our favorite and most active oils such as Argan, Sea Buckthorn, Chia Seed & Pomegranate. If you're going to try just one oil, this is the one.

Update: Naked + Thriving is currently offering 10% off 1 bottle using code SUMMER10 or 20% off 2+ using code SUMMER20. As always, we love to share the offers we get with our readers, enjoy!

 

Odacite

Our second pick, Odacite's An Autumn on The World, is a great albeit expensive oil. We loved the way it felt on our skin, however, it is half the size of Naked + Thriving and more than double the cost ($149). Our other qualm is that while this is touted as a "clean" oil, it does not have certified organic or natural ingredients. 

 

goop

It was only a matter of time before Gwyneth released her own facial oil and here it is. While we love the clean packaging and the oil is pretty great we did not love the scent.  We did struggle to understand a price point of $110 when the first ingredient is sunflower oil (one of the cheaper oils out there).

 

 

ila

Bringing up the rear of our top facial oils is ila's face oil for glowing radiance. This facial oil also touts Argan as a key ingredient and produced some great results. We noticed a more even skin tone, however, we did not see line reduction as with some of the others. Also, the dropper on this bottle was unlike most others and not as easy to use, which, at the end of the day if our beauty routine can be made easier, it's always a plus in our book.