Interview with Jena of Clean’s The New Black: Holistic RN & Healthy Living Blogger

Clean's The New Black

Clean’s The New Black

Recently, I discussed healthy living and green beauty inspiration with holistic RN Jena Halman-Kincaid of Clean’s The New Black! I initally discovered Jena’s gorgeous photos on Instagram, and loved her honest reviews on her blog. Continue reading for her healthy living insights!

Wonderland Organics: Hi Jena! How did Clean’s The New Black come about?

Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I started the blog after multiple suggestions from friends and family that I should. I was getting asked on a regular basis about health, and which skincare or household items were safe to use. After much thought I decided to go for it and almost two years later here I am, feeling incredibly blessed to be a part of this exploding industry.

Wonderland Organics: So glad that you started your informative blog! Tell us a bit about your background.

Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I was raised surrounded by the holistic health field: my father is a homeopath and both parents taught me the importance of health at a young age. Honestly, it wasn’t until I was on my own in college making my own food choices day in and day out that I started to really understand just how much food affects us. For the first three years I ate a pretty typical college diet of bagels, pasta from a box, and fast food burritos. And then I got acne for the first time and freaked out. This sent me down the rabbit hole of green beauty as well as turning back to my roots of eating more non-processed foods.

I’m also an ICU RN. Every day I see how people’s lifestyle choices make or break their later years in life. I also understand how Big Pharma has come to pollute the lives of millions for the sake of the dollar. When really, what most of us need is preventative education on how to maintain the health most of us are born with. My blog, Clean’s the New Black, is a way for me to help educate, those seeking, on essentially how to stay out of the hospital, pharmacy, and doctor’s office.

Wonderland Organics: It’s great learning more about health tips from a RN. Regarding skincare, are there any regimens or routines that you would recommend?

Jena, holistic RN and blogger of Clean's The New Black

Jena, holistic RN and blogger of Clean’s The New Black

Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I believe in letting my intuition guide my skincare (as well as food) routines. If we listen to our instincts our bodies will always know what to reach for. So, I always recommend to have multiple products from a few brands on hand so the routine can be varied day to day. Perhaps a light serum is all you will need for moisture one day and the next a more hydrating balm because of those few glasses of wine you had the night before. At least for me, I find my skin radiates more when a healthy dose of variation is thrown into the mix.

Wonderland Organics: Yes! Our skin is going to need different products depending on the seasons. What brands are you currently using for makeup? Are there any nail polish brands that you recommend?

Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: My go to for makeup is always Erzulie Cosmetics, Rhonda the owner is an amazing person and makes wonderful natural makeup for very affordable prices. At least 75% of my makeup routine consists of Erzulie products. I love her foundation, highlighter sticks, concealer, and 2-in-1 color sticks. Two of my other best loved brands are Pacifica Beauty and Glory Boon.

Nail polish is a hard one, even tough there are 5 free and 7 free companies, which are a great step in the right direction, they all still have a good dose of chemicals. Because of this I choose to not polish my nails on a regular basis. However, when I do for those special occasions I love Lillian Eve 5 free polish. They have great colors and their formula is amazing at not chipping.

Wonderland Organics: Thanks for the suggestion! What are your favorite health remedies?

Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I could probably go on and on about this topic since health is so near to my heart. However, if I had to choose I would say number one is Arnica Gel for bruising. I bruise quite easily but hate the looks of battered up legs. My go-to remedy to help bruising disappear faster is the homeopathic remedy arnica. You can find it in a gel: this is the one I use. Apply it directly to the bruise once or twice a day. It helps to work even faster if you massage it into the bruise, which hurts a bit, but helps to break up the blood. It’s also great for relieving sore muscles and aches.

Jena, Clean's The New Black

Jena, Clean’s The New Black

A second favorite remedy is dried fennel seeds for an upset stomach. These are the same whole fennel seeds you may have in your spice cabinet. All you need to do is chew (to release the goodness in the oils) on a small pinch, like 3-5 seeds, and then swallow them. This helps almost immediately for belly aches, indigestion, gas, and cramping. It is safe for little ones too with no side effects.

Wonderland Organics: Arnica is amazing! Do you have any advice for people embarking on a green beauty journey?

Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: Start simple and look internally. Green beauty isn’t only about the products you place on your

skin, but also our internal health. Make sure you’re addressing any internal issues your body may be going through as well as starting out with just one or two products. Also, know that your skin often goes through a detox phase so skin issues may get worse before they are better. This is ok and good, it means you body is finally purging itself of toxins so that it can have lasting radiance.

Wonderland Organics: Wonderfully put! It’s good to be realistic about the detox phase. What is your favorite Wonderland Organics product?

Clean's The New Black Review of Wonderland Organics

Clean’s The New Black Review of Wonderland Organics

Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: I am a sucker for the Indulge Lotion. The smell is so transformative and the lightness of the lotion makes it a great warm weather treat. You can read my full review here, Indulge is a great way to introduce yourself into green body care.

Wonderland Organics: Thanks so much Jena! Lastly, where can we find you on social media?

Jena Halman-Kincaid, RN: Social media:






Thanks so much for talking with me about your holistic journey Jena! What are some of your favorite health remedies? Let me know in the comments below!

What Goes On In a Facial- And Why You Should Get One

As a current esthetics student in California, one of the many benefits I’ve gotten out of furthering my skincare education is relaxing and learning how to do facials (especially facial massage).

Getting a facial in a spa setting can be quite relaxing

Getting a facial in a spa setting can be quite relaxing

If you have never received a facial before, it may be easy to dismiss it as an extraneous expense. Nonetheless with regular treatments, you will be sure to note the difference (every month will show optimal results). In fact, facials are a wonderful way to keep your skin glowing and feeling healthy.A perk of facials is being able to use professional only products. For instance, more aggressive exfoliation products are sold to skin care professionals, and are not available to consumers for day to day use.

Before a facial, you will fill out a consultation form: this helps the esthetician determine what contraindications that may come up. For instance, Accutane and Retin-A users and recently waxed skin (in the last 24 hours) will not be able to get facials.

Double Cleanse: This involves removing traces of makeup and surface debris from the face! Generally, the first cleanse consists of an oil-based cleanser. The second cleanse is a water-based cleanser, and both are promptly removed with sponges.

Skin Analysis: The esthetician will analyze the skin and check for skin abrasions, signs of sun damage, and excess sebum. The purpose behind this is to determine skin type, and to select the most beneficial products.

Exfoliation: Your skin will be gently exfoliated using a manual or chemical exfoliant to remove dead skin cells.

Massage: This is a extremely therapeutic method of manipulating the body by kneading and stroking the skin with the hands. Massage benefits include increased circulation of the blood supply to the skin, body tension relief, softer and improved skin texture, and stimulation of glandular activities. Depending on the area, estheticians are licensed to massage the face and neck only.

Toner: Toners help bring the skin back to a normal pH and cleanses the skin. They work with cleansers, and are selected based on skin types.

Moisturizer for normal and dry skin types

Moisturizer for normal and dry skin types

Mask: Masks are designed to provide the skin with benefits depending on your skin type. For example, dry skin types are suitable for richer masks, while oily and acneic skin types may use clay or mud masks.

Eye Product: Since the eye area is the most delicate, a moisturizing eye product will be applied gently.

Moisturizer: Moisturizers add hydration to the skin, balance moisture and your natural oils. Remember that oily skin needs hydration as much as dry skin types do, so moisturizing properly can reduce oily appearances. Normal and dry skin types may use moisturizers with vitamins, humectants, and other ingredients that promote cell renewal.

Sunscreen: The last step in a facial involves sunscreen: this is a must especially if using products that are sensitizing to the skin. Sunscreen will protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. In fact, studies show that 90% of wrinkles come from too much sun exposure, and the remaining 10% comes from the typical aging process.

If going to a high-end spa is out of reach, why not go to a school instead? You can receive facials and other services from esthetician students (under the supervision of licensed esthetician teachers), usually at discounted prices.

Have you gotten a facial before? What is your favorite service? Let me know in the comments below!


Ingredient Spotlight: Pomegranate Seed Oil to Nourish the Skin

Organic pomegranate seeds

Organic pomegranate seeds

The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a shrub that has edible fruits: specifically, its seeds. It is native to Iran, and is now cultivated in Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Asia. The oil extracted from it, and the fruit itself, is rich in antioxidants.

The most powerful extrinsic aging factor is UV exposure, which breaks down collagen (and therefore ages the skin faster). The reason that antioxidants work wonderfully in skincare is because they help prevent damage due to free radicals on your skin.

So what are free radicals? Caused by UV exposure and environmental pollutants, these chemically unstable molecules work to break down healthy skin cells and destroy them. Antioxidants including vitamins A, C and E are powerful protectors against free radicals. They also seem to provide more protection when added to another antioxidant within the same formula, so look for products that contain multiple antioxidants in the formula.

The polyphenol content includes ellagic acid, both of which helps immensely to make the skin nice and supple. Punicic acid, which is a triglyceride that comes from plant sources, makes the product easy to apply to the skin. Because of these components, pomegranate seed oil is incredibly nourishing to the skin’s epidermis layer.

Looking for products with this fantastic ingredient? Check out the Soothe Serum and Sublime Serum! There is also chirally-correct d-alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) for increased freshness of the products.


Swift Crafty Monkey

Pomegranate: The Most Medicinal Fruit

University of Maryland Medical Center

Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation

9 Effortless Ways To Prevent Acne

9 Effortless Ways To Prevent Acne

9 Effortless Ways To Prevent Acne

When it comes to acne, prevention is always better than cure. While it can be a frustrating and embarrassing condition, it definitely does not have to be a permanent one. Today on the blog, check out my nine effortless tips to prevent acne! I’m hoping that some of these will help clear up existing acne and prevent future breakouts.

  1. Keep your hands off of your face.
    Your hands and fingers carry a lot of germs and bacteria, which can be transferred to your face each time you touch it.

2. Clean your cell phone screen and home telephone regularly.
Each time you talk on the phone, you transfer dirt, oil and makeup to the phone. If you have a smartphone, your fingers (which are covered in bacteria) are all over the screen. Clean this often to reduce transferring that dirt and grime back to your face.

3. Use natural cleansers.
Use a gentle cleanser with soothing, natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals. Look for products that contain witch hazel or tea tree oil to naturally break down oil on your skin.

4. Clean your skin twice per day.
Both morning and night apply cleanser and gently massage it into your skin without over scrubbing. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.

5. Shampoo your hair regularly and keep it pulled away from your face.
Oily hair can cause breakouts when it comes into contact with skin. Wash hair regularly (daily if your hair is oily) and keep your hair pulled back from your face to reduce the likelihood of breakouts.

6. Drink lots of water.
Drinking plenty of fresh, natural water is the best way to stay hydrated and keep your skin looking its best.

7. Eat a balanced diet.
Research has shown that there is no link between eating chocolate or fried foods and breakouts. However, food allergies or sensitivities may cause breakouts for some people. If that describes you, then avoid eating the foods that trigger pimples. Eating a balanced diet helps your body function at its best, which also means it doesn’t have a lot of toxins to eliminate, often through the pores.

8. Exercise regularly.
Exercise helps you sweat, which eliminates toxins from the body. It also helps you look and feel your best. Exercise is a great stress reliever, which we’ll discuss next.

9. Relax.
The hormone the body produces as a result of stress is known to trigger flare ups. So learn to manage stress and remain calm in order to help reduce the likelihood of breakouts in this way. Reading, talking to friends, and enjoying some (limited and safe sun exposure) are some great ways of relaxing.

I hope that by incorporating these tips into your lifestyle will bring some relief to your breakouts.

Looking for more posts on skincare tips? Be sure to check out some great rejuvenating treatments for every skin type here on the blog.

What are your favorite ways to prevent acne? Let me know in the comments below!

Oral Health: What Shouldn’t Be Lurking In Your Toothpaste?

Natural toothpaste & toothbrush options!

Natural toothpaste & toothbrush options!

When it comes to switching to a more natural toothpaste, selecting the perfect one can be daunting. During my hunt for nontoxic brands in Taiwan during the summer of 2010, it was a bit of a head scratcher to see which toothpaste was best. So why should you look into alternative toothpaste brands?

Toothpaste that we find at the drugstore often contain microbeads, tiny bits of plastic that may become lodged in our teeth. These polyethylene microbeads end up in the oceans: fish often mistake them for food, which become harmful for them (and for those of us who eat the fish).

With plastic microbeads

I heard about this brand from a few bloggers years ago, and was initially skeptical about using clay to clean teeth. The full ingredients list from Earthpaste’s peppermint toothpaste: Purified Water, Food Grade Redmond Clay®, Xylitol, Peppermint Essential Oil, Menthol, Redmond Real Salt®, Tea Tree Oil.

The first time I tried Earthpaste, I thought it was the strangest thing in the world. There was no sudsing like I was used to from traditional toothpaste brands like Colgate and Crest, nor was there a “normal” looking color. It looked like the color of mud, which was a bit daunting. However, after I got used to the feel of Earthpaste, there was no going back. I know most toothpastes include fluoride to help protect our teeth against cavities, but it is usually added to drinking and tap water (so we don’t have too much of a deficiency). It has now been 4 years since I have used Earthpaste exclusively, and my dentist has assured me that my teeth have been well taken care of (remember to floss daily as well!) To pair with it, I love my GreenPanda Bamboo toothbrush (available at Whole Foods).

Want to learn more about the toxicity of plastic in our everyday lives? Be sure to check out my review on Plastic Paradise here.

For general advice on oral health, check out my interview with dental student Tory Li here.

What’s your favorite natural toothpaste? I’d love to hear suggestions!


Top 6 Summer Product Picks

The heat wave has been gaining steadily across the country (even as summer comes to an end), but that doesn’t mean we have to give up on looking our best in this sweltering heat. I was inspired by the skincare and makeup tags on Instagram, and wanted to highlight some amazing products. Below are my top six favorite tips and brands that have worked all summer long, even with the heat.

photo courtesy of:


  • Eye shadow: Cream shadows have been great 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, I’m using RMS Beauty’s Solar shadow: it’s a shimmery color that’s subtle and somehow manages to be neutral. I use this to highlight my cheeks as well!
  • Blush: What I find incredibly useful are multi-purpose products. The Vapour Organic Beauty blush stain can be used on the lips, eyes and cheeks. I was 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: Hydrosols are my favorite spritzer and 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).
  • Sunscreen: One of the best products for the summer! I highly encourage using a sunscreen of SPF50 all over your face and body (about a shotglass worth) before heading outside. I started using Rubber Ducky Sunscreen last year, and have loved it ever since. They use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but what differentiates them from other sunscreens is that the brand includes iron oxides to disguise any white casts. It has the effect of acting like a foundation as well (which is amazing). Its only con is that it may stain clothing due to the iron oxides.
  • Deodorant: We all need deodorant to keep us fresh during these hot summer days. You might even say it’s one of the most important skincare needs we have during this season! I’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. My favorite scent is the lime and geranium, though they offer plenty of choices. Pro tip: keep this in the fridge, especially during the summer!
  • Wonderland Organics, Balance Serum, natural skincare, green beauty, facial oil

    Wonderland Organics Balance Serum

    Moisturizer: The Wonderland Organics Balance Serum is a facial oil designed for combination, oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. Organic and wildharvested ingredients like jojoba and apricot kernel oils help keep your skin’s sebum balanced in the heat. You’ll be sure to love its citrusy herbal scent!

For more sun safety information, be sure to check out my post here.

Do you have a holy grail product for the summer? Let me know in the comments below!