Facial Care Routine for Oil-Prone/Combination Skin

Photo courtesy of stockphotos/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of stockphotos/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Got oil-prone/combination skin? We know it can be troublesome to care for this particular skin type, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. All it takes is following a simple beauty routine and once a week adding in a few quick and easy treatments. Try the following routine and see how it can help clear skin and keep additional breakouts at bay.

Follow these steps twice a day: (first thing in the morning and last thing before you go to bed)

Cleanse – We suggest using a facial oil wash to remove makeup, massaging gently around the eye area. Cost-effective products such as organic coconut oil are also fantastic for makeup remover! Next, use a gentle cleanser that won’t dry out your skin.  You may want to use a bar of handmade soap formulated specifically for combination skin, and avoid products that contain sulfates.

Tone – Toning helps restore the pH balance in your skin and also clear away any dirt or oil that your cleanser might have left behind. Look for a toner that is alcohol-free: we recommend organic hydrosols, as they are distilled from plants and flowers.

Treat – Next you’ll apply any special treatments for your skin. This may be a drop of tea tree oil directly on a pimple, or at night this may be a facial serum that contains vitamin A, which has been shown to clear skin and reduce acne scarring. We suggest prevention, as using an oil-prone/combo serum may be better applied before the pimple even starts to show.

Balance Serum for oil-prone/combination skin

Balance Serum for oil-prone/combination skin

Moisturize – This is a critical step: just because your skin is oily doesn’t mean it doesn’t need moisture. Moisturizing forms a protective barrier over your newly clean and treated skin, which helps the nourishing ingredients in your targeted treatments sink deep into your skin. We recommend the Wonderland Organics Balance Serum, formulated especially for oil-prone/combination skin! We use it twice a day, utilizing just two-three drops for the face and neck. After our facial oil serum, feel free to use an organic foundation or concealer, and sunscreen.

Once a week add in additional treatments including a facial steam and a clay mask. These will help to draw out toxins and impurities from your skin, reducing the likelihood of breakouts. Following this simple routine on a regular basis should bring about improved skin and fewer breakouts.

Do you have any particular routines you prefer for your oil-prone and combination skin? Let us know in the comments below!

Fine Line and Wrinkle Prevention: Is It Possible?

Wonderland Organics and BonBliss at Face and Body Expo!

Wonderland Organics and BonBliss at Face and Body Expo!

One of the best parts of running your own business is the constant education: we went to the Face & Body Expo a few weeks ago, eager for more skincare knowledge. We loved networking with many like-minded people, and the opportunity to learn from those in the know. Many of the classes focused on anti-aging, anti-wrinkles, new products and ingredients such as retinoids, and skincare tips. We will be adding to the Wonderland blog about our new found knowledge, so do stay tuned!

Since our culture places a high priority on maintaining a youthful glow and smooth skin, many people clamor for anti-aging products. Not taking genetics and family history into account, a question most want to know is: ‘Can fine lines and wrinkles be prevented?’

The unfortunate answer is…no. Everyone will at some point develop fine lines and wrinkles as they age – it is simply a natural part of aging. Lines and wrinkles will develop, and will become more evident over time as the strength and elasticity of skin naturally breaks down with age. The good news, however; is that there are things we can do to help slow the aging process down.

Eat right – eating a healthy, balanced diet can be an excellent first step to beautiful skin. Taking in the proper nourishment, including omega fatty acids and healthy fats help our bodies run more efficiently, which in turn promotes proper circulation, meaning blood can travel to the skin layers to promote the generation of healthy new skin cells. Check out our recommendations for healthy breakfast ideas here!

Drink right – 6-8 glasses of water a day are recommended. Reduce or cut out completely high sugar drinks such as soda and wine. Replace these with herbal tea to provide further benefit to your body. We highly suggest green tea for the polyphenols and antioxidants, though be warned that tea (and coffee) stains teeth.

Image courtesy of duron123 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of duron123 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Get a limited amount of sun exposure – sunlight is an important source of vitamin D, so we do need some sun exposure. The problem is that we often get too much sun. The more sun exposure one’s skin has, the faster it will age. Go for a healthy balance – wear protective clothing including UV hats and sunglasses, and use sufficient amounts of sunscreen that is reapplied regularly. We suggest using a physical sunscreen made of zinc oxide, or tinsorb S and tinsorb M (this active ingredient is found in European sunscreen products).

Reduce stress – stress, anxiety and worry cause us to furrow our browns, frown, and tense up our facial muscles. This can cause lines to quickly develop. By reducing stress, we can reduce the tendency to frown or wrinkle our face with worry, thus saving our facial skin from puckering. We know, this is a difficult one, but those frown lines and forehead lines are never fun to develop.

Get plenty of sleep – this may be anecdotal, but many experts say that getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night can contribute to having better skin, along with better physical and mental health. Some people are incredibly good at this, sleeping at 10 pm, and waking up early. Plus, resting on a silk pillowcase may help decrease lines on your face when you wake up the next day (you know what we’re talking about, the ones your typical cotton ones cause).

Quit smoking – do this not just for the health benefits, but also to reduce the puckering of the lips around a cigarette that lead to those deep lines around the mouth. Quitting smoking will also greatly improve blood circulation, so more of the vital nutrients in blood can reach developing skin cells and promote healthy cell turnover.

Products that help boost your skin –hyaluronic acid, chirally correct ingredients, carrot seed essential oil: these help with skin issues (we will be discussing more of these in our next blog post!), as our skin naturally has hyaluronic acid, just creates less of it as we age. Anti-aging isn’t quite possible, but finding products with certain ingredients will be sure to help, as least for awhile. For best results, follow the tips above in addition to using quality skin care products and you’ll be on your way to holding the signs of aging at bay for just a little while longer.

What products or skincare tips have you tried for prevention? Do let us know in the comments below!

Carrier Oils for Aging Skin

Carrier Oils for Aging Skin

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let us just start off by stating how much we love carrier oils. What are they, you ask? They’re plant or vegetable oils that are commonly used to carry the benefits of essential oils and other ingredients into the layers of skin. When we were first immersed in the wonders of natural skincare, we felt amazed at the fact that certain skin types are better suited for different carrier oils.

We’ve discussed argan oil, kukui and jojoba, and we’re happy to introduce new ones for aging skin! (Note: that would be all of us, as we have not managed to create an actual Fountain of Youth)

Rosehip Seed

Rosehip seed oil is a potent oil for mature skin as it works to fight the signs of aging in a number of ways. It is a natural source of both vitamin C and retinols, so it has powerful antioxidant properties, helping to protect against free radicals. It has been proven to increase cell turnover, which helps  to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and scars. Rosehip seed oil absorbs easily and penetrates deep into the skin to hydrate and moisturize. As you may expect, this beautiful oil takes on the color of a rose-like hue, and can be used directly as a moisturizer. For fall and winter months, the chief formulator at Wonderland Organics plans to incorporate this oil into our facial serums!

Coconut

Coconut oil has a large amount of lauric acid, which turns into monolaurin in the body. This (healthy) high-saturated fat oil is even safe to take internally: you’ve probably seen a lot of people cooking with it, or taking coconut oil in its capsule form. What makes coconut oil even better is that it’s great as a moisturizer, and we love using it as makeup remover as well. Perhaps one of the best parts of this carrier oil is that it doesn’t go rancid very quickly- it’s good for over a year. We’re currently using fractionated coconut oil in our facial serums, as it adds to its shelf life, and doesn’t constantly melt and remelt. For those of you fascinated by science, coconut oil’s melting point is at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that it keeps melting and re-melting during the hot summer months! carrieroils

Avocado

Avocado oil is an excellent carrier oil because it is easily absorbed by and penetrates deep into the skin. It has been shown to significantly increase the amount of collagen, which provides the skin’s structural foundation. Avocado oil contains a high amount of sterolins which are known to reduce sun/age spots and help to heal scar tissue. We love avocado oil, but this is one best suited for wintertime! This is mainly because it’s extremely heavy, so we adore using it when the weather makes our skin dry. It smells amazing, and is highly moisturizing.

Borage

Borage oil is a perfect choice for dry, mature skin. It is rich in the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid, which helps to maintain and replenish moisture in the skin. Additional essential fatty acids help keep cell membranes flexible and slow water loss from skin cells. It also contains tannins, which provide a skin tightening and toning effect. Borage oil also promotes the production of prostaglandin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps calm irritated skin.

Evening Primrose

Evening primrose oil is extremely high in linoleic acid, which is scientifically proven to be a very effective antioxidant. This means evening primrose helps to destroy free radicals, and protects skin against free radicals’ damaging effects. Evening primrose oil helps stimulate the production of collagen and boosts new cell formation. It is a good moisturizer, and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Have you tried any of these oils? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Need a Superman Makeup Fix? Summer Skincare Tips To The Rescue

Need a Superman Makeup Fix? Summer Skincare Tips To The Rescue

makeupandskincaresummerThe heat wave has been gaining steadily across the country as we hit summer, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up on looking our best in this sweltering heat. We’ve garnered plenty of requests for great skin and makeup tips, and we’ve answered your call. (Just call us Lois Lane). We’ve compiled a list of our favorite tips and brands that we use all summer long.

  • Eye shadow: We adore cream shadows for summer, as they blend nicely, and won’t smear as much with the (dark) pressed shadows. (We’re a big fan of the shimmer types) Cream eye shadows can also be used to highlight the face and brows. Currently, we’re using Lauren Brooke Cosmetique’s Pearl shadow: it’s a beautiful, shimmery color that’s subtle, and is reminiscent of vanilla.
  • Facial Oil/Moisturizer: We love the Wonderland Organics Balance Serum _MG_0653(available soon on Etsy) to help balance oily and combination skin. The kukui and jojoba oils help moisturize, and the apricot kernel oil has a slight tightening property to balance the skin’s sebum. Best of all, it has a light citrusy scent that smells spa-like.
  • Blush: What we find incredibly useful are those multi-purpose products. The Vapour Organic Beauty blush stain can be used on the lips, eyes and cheeks. We were actually lucky enough to win this beaut a few years ago in a contest, and fell in love ever since. Since red is such a hot color, this particular stain looks fantastic on your cheekbones (gently rubbed in), and as a pop of color on your lips.
  • Toner: We’ve mentioned it before, but hydrosols are a must to keep cool in the heat. They’re best to spritz before using facial oils/moisturizers, and after to set your look. Hydrosols are also great for aromatherapy purposes: spray, then breathe deeply for a second or two to absorb the lovely scent (rose is fantastic).
  • Deodorant: We all need deodorant to keep us fresh during these hot summer bandb-cream-deodorantdays. You might even say it’s one of the most important skincare needs we have during this season! We’ve been using Bubble and Bee’s cream deodorants for the past few years, and they’ve been life-saving. You simply apply with clean fingers, and it keeps for hours. Our favorite scent is the lime and geranium, though they offer plenty of choices. Pro tip: keep this in the fridge, especially during the summer! Don’t you adore this packaging?
  • Lip balm: What’s not to love about lip balm? It fits perfectly in our purses (or pants for you gentlemen out there). We usually use this for chapped and dry lips– but did you know lip balm can also be used as a nail cuticle balm, or for dry skin spots in a pinch? (We advise using clean hands only).
  • Mascara: Living in Asia meant finding mascara that wouldn’t smear, stat. While we loved using natural brands, we realized that many of these brands still left us looking like a panda after a 104 F degree day. Thus, we made the difficult decision to stick to more mainstream brands– they have less than awesome ingredients, but they hold up better in the heat. For instance, Shiseido’s waterproof mascara and Benefit’s They’re Real mascara have performed admirably.

Is there anything you’d like us to add to the list? Do let us know in the comments below!

Got Skin Issues? Let’s Solve Breakouts Naturally

Got Skin Issues? Let’s Solve Breakouts Naturally

4th-of-julyThe 4th of July weekend) is almost here– wouldn’t it be nice to take those firework selfies with friends and family with glowing skin? I know that’s on my list.

Oily skin? Acne? Breakouts? Been there, done that. In the past few years, there’s been a resurgence of using natural products to help treat our skin issues. Going back to the basics helps correct problematic skin and reduces scarring from that pesky adolescent acne. Pure and simple products that naturally absorb oil (some with anti-bacterial properties!) may be just what you’re looking for to treat breakouts.

Fight Oil with Oil

There were so many anti-oil mindsets, but the mainstream finally accepted treating oily skin with oil. Fruit, vegetable and nut oils are extremely helpful on oily and problematic skin without clogging pores. Some of these oils include, but are not limited to:

  • Argan oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Grape Seed oil
  • Hazelnut oil
  • Neem Oil
  • Peach Kernel Oil

You can cleanse your skin by using these oils, or search for skin care products that include one or more of these oils in their ingredients. Hint: the Wonderland Organics facial oils include argan oil, apricot kernel, fractionated coconut, and more!

Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural essences taken directly from plants, fruits, trees, roots spices, etc. The essential oils listed below have antibacterial properties that help to dissolve pimples and keep the bacteria from spreading and forming new pimples.

Look for products that include these oils. Both lavender and tea tree oil can be used in small amounts (diluted) directly onto a pimple to reduce redness, inflammation and to dry it out. You can also use one or a combination of these oils in a weekly facial steam to help detoxify your pores:

  • Clary Sage
  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Patchouli
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree

Note that none of these essential oils should be used neat on the skin, and it’s best to always dilute them with carrier oils such as sunflower oil, coconut oil, or an oil of your choosing!

Vitamins

Some vitamins have been shown to dramatically improve these types of skin conditions, especially vitamins A and E. Vitamin A is often used to treat acne. You’ve probably heard of Retinol A, based on a vitamin A derivative. A natural source of vitamin A is carrot seed essential oil (to toot my own horn, this essential oil is included in the Wonderland Organics Balance Serum).

Vitamin E has also been recommended for breakouts. You can use products that contain vitamin E, or you can simply take a vitamin E capsule found at your local health food store, poke a small hole in one end of the capsule, and apply the oil directly to your face at night right after cleansing and toning.

Clays

Once per week, you can try using a clay based mask to further clean and detoxify your pores. Clays that work especially well for breakouts include Bentonite, French green clay and Rhassoul. Simply mix clay with water to form a paste. Apply to the skin and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse well with lukewarm water and pat skin dry. I’d suggest spritzing with a hydrosol, then follow with the facial oil or serum of your choice.

Has anyone tried using these natural ways to reduce acne scars or get rid of those breakouts? Let me know in the comments below!

Why We Love Figuring Out Skin Types (And Why You Should Too!)

Image courtesy of posterize/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of posterize/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Determining Your Skin Type

What skin type do you have? Beauty and skin care products are often marketed by the types of skin that they’re best used for – oily, combination, normal, dry, etc. It’s important to know the kind of skin you have so that you can buy products that are formulated especially to work on your specific skin concerns. For instance, I have oil-prone and combination skin, which can be mildly irritating to be handle.

Not sure what skin type you have? Check out the list of questions below to determine which type of skin you have.

DRY SKIN

Is my complexion dull?

Has my skin lost its elasticity?

Does my skin feel rough?

Are my pores almost invisible?

Does my skin feel tight and dry?

Do wrinkles and fine lines seem to stand out on my face?

If you answer yes to most or all of these questions, dry skin is up your alley.

NORMAL SKIN

Does my skin appear smooth?

Are my pores hardly visible?

Does my skin have a radiant glow?

Is my skin a balance between not too oily and not to dry?

If your answers are yes, then you’ve likely got normal skin.

OILY SKIN whats-your-skin-type

Does my skin look oily and/or shiny?

Do my pores look big?

Do I have blackheads and/or pimples?

These are the most common indicators of oily skin.

COMBINATION SKIN

Does my skin look shiny?

Does my skin appear different in different parts of my face (such as oily across the forehead, nose and chin and normal or dry on the cheeks)?

Do my pores look enlarged?

These are signs of combination skin. Note that you may need to use different products and/or treatments on different areas of your face if you have combination skin.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Does my skin look red or inflamed?

Does my skin react to certain ingredients in products?

Does my skin itch or burn?

Do I have patches of dryness on my face?

If you answer yes to most or all of these questions, you may have sensitive skin. Unfortunately, you may be reacting to an ingredient in your facial care or makeup products.  Try to determine which ingredient(s) are causing you to react and avoid using products that contain that ingredient.

Now that you have an idea of the type of skin you have, you can look for products made just for your skin type, to help it look and feel as radiant as possible. The best part is, the Wonderland Organics facial oils help address particular skin needs– let me know in the comments below if you’d like to buy samples!