Simple Steps to Show Your Skin Summer Love

Simple Steps to Show Your Skin Summer Love

Winter gets a bad rap. Everybody fears dry skin in the winter time, and that’s true, but your skin is actually at risk for far more elemental damage during the summer months. Let’s look at all the risk factors in the summer:

  • Sun damage (UVA & UVB rays)
  • Chlorine damage
  • Excessive sweating
  • Clogged pores from sunscreen

Every season comes with its skin trials and tribulations, but summer skin really takes a beating. The bad news is that year after year of these beatings will eventually lead to permanent damage, the possibilities of melanoma, and sagging, dry, cracked skin. The good news is that the minute you decide to make a change, your skin is a living organ, so it will constantly regenerate and work with you to reverse the aging effects of the summer.

  1. WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN! I can never repeat this enough. Even if it seems like a cloudy day, if you’re spending time outdoors, you need to have sunscreen on. If you’re sweating or swimming, you need to reapply every 80 minutes. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. My personal favorite for the face is Clinique. It protects without that greasy feel.  For the body, I prefer a spray sunscreen, like Coppertone Sport. I always choose an SPF of at least 30, but I prefer 50 if I can obtain it.
    1. *A common misconception is that if your natural skin is darker in tone, you don’t need sunscreen, or you don’t need a high SPF – this simply isn’t true. Sun damage can affect anyone of any skin tone.
  2. PRE-WASH WITH RESTING BEACH FACE!  If you’ve been outside all day, or you’re coming in from a sweaty workout, or you’ve spent the evening with a full face of makeup, you need to give your skin a chance to breathe by washing away all of that dirt. Resting Beach Face is a perfect solution because of the combined Dead Sea Mud and activated coconut charcoal work as a debriding agent and gentle exfoliator to scrub off that top layer of dead skin cells. This helps to unclog your pores and free up your skin to feel clean and absorb the nutrients from the clay facial.
  3. CLAY, CLAY, CLAY to SAVE THE DAY!  A great way to reintroduce natural moisture and minerals back into the skin is with clay masks. Saving Face uses numerous clays, as well as colloidal oatmeal, to cleanse and nourish even the most sensitive skin. During the summer, I give myself clay facials two or three times per week. Make sure to give yourself the clay facial AFTER pre-washing your face!
  4. POST WASH with YOU GOT THIS! Make sure to rinse off all of the clay from your mask after 5-7 minutes and follow-up with a gentle, sensitive cleanser like You Got This!. This final cleansing helps to wash off any leftover clay as well as soothe and prepare the skin for moisture.
  5. FINAL STEP is to MOISTURIZE. After all that washing, it’s important to replenish the softness of your skin. Use Butter Me Up – only a teeny, tiny bit will do the trick. Rub in circular motions until fully absorbed. An important note here – don’t add more until your skin has absorbed what you already placed on it, or you can get greasy.

**ALTERNATIVE DAYS

  1. OR FACE THE DAY (FOR STEP #3,4,5)!  On days when you’re not giving yourself a mask, exfoliate with Face the Day. Face the Day serves as both an exfoliator and moisturizer in one so you won’t need any extra moisture after rinsing off the sugar. Remember to just leave the natural oils from the scrub on your face to penetrate the skin and deeply nourish.

 

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Face Day Monday, Thursday, Sunday
Step 1 – Pre-wash Face with Resting Beach Face
Step 2 – Saving Face Clay Mask
Step 3 – Wash face with You Got This!
Step 4 – Moisturize with A LITTLE bit of Butter Me Up

Face Day Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Step 1 – Pre-wash Face with Resting Beach Face or You Got This!
Step 2 – Face the Day Scrub 

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

“You Got This” – Facial Liquid Soap & Mask in One

You Got This- Facial Liquid Soap & Mask in One

Who has the time to give yourself facial masks, nevermind go and get facials? While rituals of cleansing are important aspects of self-care, anything that causes you extra stress is not worth its time. Having this thought in mind, plus my obsession with the cosmetic benefits of clay, I decided to create “You Got This!,” a natural, liquid, facial Castile soap dually serves as a face wash and face mask in one.

 

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Click to View YOU GOT THIS

 

Another Monday? Didn’t get enough sleep? A sweaty mess from the gym? Acne and oil from crazy hormones? Don’t worry – YOU GOT THIS! You Got This! is intended to be an affirmation that you can take on anything the day has to offer you! Handcrafted in small batches with ingredients specifically chosen to awaken tired, dull, sensitive, acne-prone, oily, and/or sweaty skin.

The base is made from organic olive oil.  Because the saponified part of this soap is 100% olive oil. It is named Castile soap from the town in Spain where Castile 100% olive oil soap is derived. Castile soap is gentle and luxurious with a perfect amount of mild suds which do not destroy the skin’s natural protective layer.

The first goal of a facial mask is cleansing.  We use masks to especially remove dirt and oil from our pores.  We use white Kaolin clay in “You Got This!”  As explained on Stylecaster, “White kaolin clay is the gentlest [of the different colored Kaolin clays] and thus great for sensitive dry skin. It doesn’t absorb so much as it does soften with super gentle bits for a mild exfoliation.”  It softly purifies the skin and pores without the harshness that comes with other facial masks.

We include jojoba oil, which is an oil whose chemical property closely mimics human sebum, to create an extra moisturizing softness to balance out the pulling and deep-cleansing from the clay.  Finally, we scent You Got This! with a blend of essential oils to create both toned and balanced skin, as well as create a fresh, green, and awake fragrance.

You Got This! is mild, gentle, and safe to also be used as a body wash or as a bath soak. It works ideally in a sea sponge or a Konjac sponge.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Making Lotion from Scratch

making lotions from scratch blog

Like making cold-processed soap, crafting lotion is an exact science.  It all begins with your oils and butters – knowing exactly the properties you want your lotion to have will guide you to the best possible ingredients.  When I craft my lotions (and really, whenever I craft any of the products for my business), I always think about what I would absolutely use. I will not make a product that I wouldn’t use.

I always prefer a lotion that’s a little thicker, but quickly absorbed; one that won’t leave your skin greasy.  I opt to craft lotions with avocado oil and mango butter because each of these oils contains high levels of antioxidants, but are also non-comedogenic and fast-absorbing.

I also like strongly scented lotions in clean or fresh scents; I want to be able to smell my hands in an hour and still smell the fragrance.  I usually choose fragrances that have some kind of lavender inside the mixture because if I am wearing the fragrance all day, I want it to be soothing, calming, and something my nose won’t get sick of.

Distilled water is the main ingredient in all lotions, but I like to mix water with aloe vera juice. It adds an additional level of moisture and is both calming and soothing to dry, cracked skin.

Finally, I consider all of the additives. It’s imperative to use a preservative because anything made with water has the potential for the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria; a preservative keeps the product both fresh and safe. I also use stearic acid because it makes the lotion light and fluffy, otherwise it would become more like a heavy cream. Emulsifying wax is essential to bind both water and the oils, otherwise, the product would separate. The right amount of e-wax is tricky, and even with it, sometimes natural lotions can be a little liquidy on the bottom – if it’s only a little, not to worry, just give the bottle a good shake, open it up and mix,  then close and shake again.

Check out the video below to see how I craft lotions:

If you have any questions about how we craft our lotions, please feel free to leave a comment!  (Unfortunately, we are not able to answer recipe questions as our recipe is proprietary to our own formulation.)

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Using Coconut Oil For Rich, Healthy Hair

Using Coconut Oil For Rich, Healthy HairIf you’ve ever looked for natural ways to make your hair shinier, stronger, and generally richer, you may have come across the idea of using coconut oil. It’s a natural ingredient that is actually used fairly commonly for this purpose, and which has actually become better known for health benefits in general in recent years.

Where ordinary health is concerned, coconut oil has become a popular alternative to, say, milk or cream as a sweetening additive for coffee or tea. The oil is valued for its high content of MCTs, or mid-chain triglyceride, which are essentially healthy fats. These can have numerous internal benefits, with a recent article even going to so far as to call coconut oil a research-supported way to boost mental energy and focus. That article was aimed at gamers who might be looking for an edge, but it’s something to keep in mind in general for those who might use coconut oil with morning tea or coffee. Most of us would take a mental boost before work or school!

Even if coconut oil is getting more attention for these kinds of health effects, however, its oldest use might just be as a natural beauty treatment. As one account on a fairly comprehensive wellness site put it, coconut oil’s fatty acid content means that it is specifically high in lauric acid, which supports hormone and cellular health (and is more famously present in breast milk). Furthermore, the structure of coconut oil allows it to penetrate hair in a way other oils aren’t able to, which essentially means that this lauric acid can get into our hair and perform its miracles. Thus, coconut oil can have health benefits via external use, just as it can be useful in your diet.

This is why you’ve probably noticed that even a lot of shampoos and conditioners in stores boast the use of coconut oil as an ingredient. This is always nice to see once you understand the benefits, but opting for a more natural use that you cook up on your own can make the oil even more effective. Livestrong, of all sites, delved into the proper method for using coconut oil on your own, and we’ll recap the process concisely here:

Melt the pure coconut oil. Rather than heating it directly, it’s best to heat up a bowl of water, fill a small cup with about two tsp. of coconut oil, and then place the cup into the bowl (without letting the water flow in). This should melt the oil quickly without watering it down at all, or affecting its purity.

    • Rub the coconut oil into your hair thoroughly (and heat more as needed). This works best if your hair is damp.

 

    • Comb your hair to distribute the oil more effectively (and rub it into your scalp specifically if you want the added benefit of hair growth, as opposed to just conditioning).

 

    • Leave the oil on for a minimum of 30 minutes (but as long as you’d like), preferably with a shower cap on.

 

    • Shampoo and rinse your hair as you ordinarily would until the oil is out completely. You should see and feel the effects immediately.

 

That’s really about all there is to it! It’s one of the simpler and more effective natural beauty efforts out there, using an extremely healthy organic ingredient for a quick hair fix.

Dealing With Perioral Dermatitis

Dealing With Perioral Dermatitis

I look back on my youth with reverence and sadness. I never realized how beautiful my skin was. I would get the monthly period pimple, but my skin was clear, dewy, and vibrant. Youth is wasted on the young.

All of this youthful vitality seemed to change when I hit my thirties. Suddenly, I was losing more of my hair, the hair that remained was drier and graying, and my skin was just…weird. I kept breaking out around my mouth.

As a skincare maker, you can imagine the insufferable irony I felt as I battled to hide my renegade skin. This went on for months. I tried every acne cream on Earth. I bought products from other makers. I tried masks, peels, facials, hydrogen peroxide until I woke up on my 34th birthday to a full nose-to-chin face of crocodile scales.  My skin was so inflamed, red with huge bumps that resembled hives, peeling, crusty. Seriously.

I knew it was even worse than what I was seeing when Frank (my husband) volunteered to make a dermatology appointment for me. I was a monster!

My dermatologist was able to squeeze me in and when she saw my face she literally took a step back and said “whoa.” Yeah. Not much of a confidence booster there. (She’s actually great – I love that she’s real.)

Without missing a beat she told me I had perioral dermatitisI asked her why and she shrugged and said “age? hormones?.” The most unsatisfying answer.  I asked her about treatment and she prescribed me a month’s worth of Doxycycline (antibiotics), a morning corticosteroid cream “Desonide Lotion”, and a nighttime cream “Sulfacetamide Sodium Topical Suspension USP 10% Lotion”. Both creams are prescription-only.

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As for washing my face, I strictly started using Balance in the morning and Purely Free in the evening.  The goal, according to my dermatologist, was to keep my face as clear from any synthetics as possible. She approved of the soaps for my face.

I went in for my one-month follow-up and my face was relatively clear, with some minor redness left behind. She was happy to see the treatment was working, but she requested I continue another month of the antibiotics, and use the night cream both day and night (to wean my face off of the steroid cream). Well, not even a week later and I’m bumpy again, which means I have to call her to see if I can start the steroid cream back on my face.

Dealing with perioral dermatitis is not fun, and clearly, this is not something that’s just going to vanish for me. It’s changed my entire perspective on skincare. Less truly is more.

As a result of dealing with this, and learning how sensitive my skin is becoming, I plan on devoting a lot more products to sensitive skin. I will be crafting more gentle and natural fragrance options in soaps and creams.

I would love to hear from you, especially if you’ve ever suffered perioral dermatitis.


Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Moments of Skin Mayhem: Surprise Reasons Your Skin Isn’t Cooperating

Moments of Skin Mayhem_ Surprise Reasons Your Skin Isn't Cooperating

With the skincare industry expected to reach $130 Billion by 2019, it’s safe to say that the concern for your skin is not just yours alone. There are hundreds of medical reasons why your skin may not be as you want it to be, with the most common in the United States being acne, eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea. Your skin is your largest organ, so you can almost bet that it indicates when there is an underlying issue. While all of the aforementioned issues should be treated by a medical professional, there may be some other factors in your daily life that are affecting the condition of your skin.

  1. Dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your skin will react in two possible ways. It will become dry and inflexible, or you can over-produce oil. Both circumstances can lead to redness, inflammation, dry patches, brittleness, and even itching. Be sure to consume enough pure water every day to flood your skin’s cells to aid in the rejuvenation process.
  2. Diet. As the old adage exclaims, you are what you eat. Eating too many foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates can create acne breakouts. The sugars themselves don’t cause the issue, it’s how our body reacts to it. We’re not meant to over-indulge on simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, sweets, etc.) so our insulin levels will fluctuate when our body is trying to digest these sugars. This creates a hormonal imbalance which can turn to a development of acne and dull-looking skin. Balance your nutrition with protein, fresh vegetables, and complex carbs, like from legumes, to help regulate your blood sugar.
  3. Phthalates and Artificial Fragrances. In our daily lives, we inhale thousands of particles of unhealthy fragrance. From canned air fresheners to cleaners, to scented and harsh detergents, we’re breathing in the unhealthy air all the time. Minimize the use of phthalate-rich products by switching to phthalate-free products (like our soy candles), and avoid using artificially fragranced products on your face. We created the Resting Beach Face soap using essential oils because they minimize the risk of skin reaction, but every person is different and should monitor how he/she reacts to various fragrances.
  4. Your Face Wash or Toner. Many commercial face washes and toners use harsh surfactants, parabens, phthalates, and detergents to cleanse your skin. While these products may be effective for some people, many people don’t need such harsh cleansing ingredients for their daily life. Try switching to a natural face wash that is skin-sensitive and moisturizing; you want the product to be a soap, but not a detergent which can cause irritation. The same goes for facial toners; they may be too harsh with ingredients like salicylic acid. While salicylic acid is a useful chemical if you’re suffering from acne, we often only need to tone the portion of our face with the acne with these products. Instead, try using micellar water or hydrogen peroxide once per week which kills bacteria (one of the main culprits of skin issues). Don’t overuse hydrogen peroxide, though! While it’s killing off the bacteria on your skin, it’s also damaging some skin cells. Follow-up with a gentle moisturizer that contains oils rich in Vitamin E and C.
  5. Dirty Pillows, Jackets, & Scarves. You may not realize it, but your pillow is dirty! From sleeping on it every day, a normal pillow will have the remains of dead skin, drool, oil, hair products, make-up (don’t lie, you’ve gone to sleep without washing your face once or twice). This build-up all rubs into your skin while you sleep! The same goes for the collar of your jacket and your scarves. Just be sure to wash these items regularly (ideally would be once-per-week) to keep a clean environment for your face.
  6. Your Cell Phone. You touch your cell phone hundreds of times per day. Sometimes your hands are clean, sometimes they’re not. You stick your phone in your purse, your pocket, your hoodie, tables, hand it over to your kid who wants to play a game, use it in the restroom… all of this causes millions of various germs to grow on your phone. Then, that one time you go to answer it, poof, that’s all over your face! First thing is to keep your phone in a case to avoid all of those germs to actually get into your phone; this makes it much easier to clean, also. Then clean your phone case with rubbing alcohol every day (or, at least as often as you can remember!).
  7. Your Hands. You probably touch your face dozens of times per day, and while you do wash your hands every time you use the restroom, you’re still touching your face after you type, touch door handles, the office coffee pot. While we can’t live in a bubble, just remember to continue to wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  8. Your Pets. While you may not be distinctly allergic to pets, their dander is generally a human irritant. Your face may be more sensitive to pet dander causing some inflammation. Plus, we all love having our dogs kiss our faces, but the old myth about their mouths being clean is simply not true… if you have ever had a dog, you know just about everything goes into their mouths, and in turn, onto your face.
  9. Your Cosmetics. Not all makeup is created equal and some brands use ingredients that may be irritating to you without even realizing it. If you suspect your cosmetics may be the cause of your skin irritation, spend a few days without wearing any to see how your skin responds.
  10. Vitamin Deficiency. If you’re lacking certain vitamins, your skin could be one of the first places your body demonstrates this deficiency to you. The best way to check this is to visit a medical professional to test yourself for vitamin deficiencies, in the meantime, eating a balanced diet and taking a daily multi-vitamin will help cover these bases.
  11. Pollen & Dust.  While “hay fever” is a common allergy, you may not realize how it’s also affecting your skin. Common allergies activate our body’s histamines, which often cause reactions like runny noses, itchy eyes, and inflamed skin. You may notice this the most during certain times of the year, especially spring and fall (when flowers bloom and when trees drop their leaves). Speak to your medical professional first, but often over-the-counter antihistamines, like loratadine, will help deter these effects. Also, being sure to dust and vacuum frequently to eliminate these from your home will help minimize their effects.
  12. Air Pollutants. We’ve all heard the term “free radicals.” Free radicals are air pollutants that come from our daily lives like carbon emissions and cigarette smoke. Of course, if you smoke cigarettes, this damages healthy skin cells amongst hundreds of other harmful effects on the body. While you can control whether or not you smoke, you cannot control your environment completely. The best protection is to keep your face clean and protected with deep moisturizers that create barriers on your skin. This will not prevent all free radicals but will reduce the amount that reaches your skin.

The most important point to remember is to listen to your skin. If it’s suddenly not cooperating with you, it’s trying to tell you that something isn’t right.

*Disclaimer: Please note that none of the above replaces the advice of a medical professional. If you suspect there is something wrong with your skin, seek the advice of your medical professional before making any changes or starting a new skin routine.

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

Seasonal Dry Skin Solutions

Seasonal Dry Skin Solutions

The air suddenly got much chillier in New York the last few days. Along with the sweeping cold-front, I noticed that my skin was drier and itchier. This is not new for me, and usually the first indicator of fall and winter for my body.

To check to see if your skin is too dry, there is a simple test. Take your fingernail and run it down your arm, if the lines remain on your skin, or you see some peeling, your skin is too dry.

Sometimes people don’t realize that your skin care needs change with the seasons. Our skin directly responds to two major factors: 1) What we put inside of our bodies, 2) The environment.

When the weather starts to become cooler, the humidity in the environment drops. While this is generally more comfortable for most people (who likes to just stand and drip with sweat?), our skin is responding to the lack of moisture in the air by also drying out.

Speaking with Pamela Maes, skin-care expert and esthetician with over 6 years of experience, she offers this skin advice:

“Consider changing your skin-care routine to suit the winter weather by changing to a richer moisturizer. Between the dry indoor air and the cold outdoor temperatures, the moisture in your skin can quickly get zapped. Also, try doing a scrub one day and a mask the next to maximize skin-care benefits.  Another tip: Add a humidifier to your room to combat the dry air inside.”

As the winter months approach, we recommend exfoliating two-to-three times per week for your body and twice-per-week for your face. The outer layers of your epidermis will get dry and flaky, and exfoliating polishes the dead skin away to reveal the new, fresh skin.  Not every exfoliator is made alike, and it’s important to discern between a facial exfoliator and a body exfoliator. Generally, it’s fine to use a facial exfoliator on your body, but not the other way around; body polishes may be a bit too rough for facial skin. Body exfoliators should be rich to help replenish lost oils, and facial exfoliators should use oils, like jojoba, which mimic the properties of human sebum.

Pro Facial Tip: For an at-home spa treatment, light a candle, run a bath, and soak a washcloth in hot water (as hot as you can take without feeling any discomfort), and place the hot washcloth over your face. Allow it to sit there for 5-7 minutes. The heat will encourage your face to sweat, helping to push out any facial impurities. Rinse with cold water and follow with a clay facial mask.   Finally, rinse the mask and finish with a facial serum.

Pro Body Tip: After exfoliating, then shave (if you need to); this will make the hair easier to come off. Rinse with cool-to-cold water and follow with a rich moisturizer – either a body cream or body butter will be great. This is amazing for hands, knees, and elbows, as well!

How You Wash Matters: It’s probably incredibly tempting to take a super-hot shower, especially as the weather gets cooler; however, this is detrimental to the health of your skin. According to Newsweek.com, long, hot showers actually strip your skin of its natural moisture, making you feel drier and itchier. It’s best to reduce the length of time you spend in the shower along with lowering the temperature.

If you tend to get itchy, dry skin, opt for natural soap free of parabens, surfactants, and phthalates. Natural soaps scented with essential oils might be most beneficial for you, but if you have severely dry skin, opt for fragrance-free soap.

Remember to Nourish from the Inside Out: During the summer and spring, we take more caution to stay hydrated. Plus, with all the seasonal fruits and vegetables available, it’s a little easier to ensure we’re getting our 5-servings a day. While the winter and fall are so tempting with delicious coffees and desserts, it’s imperative to continue to hydrate your body with pure water and nourish your body with fruits and veggies. The natural nutrition keeps your skin glowing and more resilient to the harsher environment.  If you’re not a fan of drinking plain water, add cucumber, mint, lemon, and/or lime to add a burst of nutritional flavor.

Dry skin is not fun, but there’s plenty that can be done to prevent and improve so your skin will feel youthful and look glowing again.

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

Balms, Lotions, Cremes, Butters…OH MY: Which Moisturizer is Best for You?

Balms, Lotions, Cremes, Butters...OH MY- Which Moisturizer is Best for You-

Let’s start with the basics here.  According to a simple Google search of the definition of moisturizer, this is what you will get:

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The first important point to recognize is that each of these products has been created to moisturize the skin in some way, and they are all considered humectants – which is a substance that promotes the retention of moisture.    Seems like simple rhetoric, but in the cosmetic industry, there are subtle differences.

Balms: According to the FDA, balms have the connotation of healing, so they really shouldn’t be used for cosmetics, but more cosmetic-like drugs – for example, a “healing lip balm.” Technically, this would need drug clearance by the FDA, but assume the product does have this clearance, balms are waxy in texture. Many balms are made with beeswax and vegan balms are often made with candelilla, soy, or carnauba wax.  Balms are created to leave a waxy coating for healing or protection. You want to go for these if your skin is really damaged or you will be in an extreme climate.

Butters: Butters are very nourishing for extra dry skin. They work especially well after exfoliating or after a hot shower/bath when the pores are open for absorption. Butters are usually made with a 75% hard oil (or butter) to 25% liquid oil ratio. Butters don’t have water, so they don’t need a preservative, but be very careful not to put wet hands into a butter jar or you could be introducing bacteria and mold. With butters, a little goes a long way, so start small and add as needed. Be sure to thoroughly rub in a butter or it can feel greasy on the skin.

Creme versus Cream: Focusing on denotation, a “creme” is literally the French word for “cream;” however, when it comes to cosmetics, a creme usually has a lighter consistency compared to a cream. Creams are usually in jars and are focused on the face, under the eyes, or extremely dry skin; they usually have a high consistency of butters (like shea, mango, or cocoa). Cremes are also usually for the face, but are a little lighter in consistency and may have a greater focus on liquid oils over butters (like olive, grapeseed, jojoba, etc.). Most creams/cremes also have some water consistency. Choose a heavier cream if you have very dry skin, for harsher climates, or people with fair skin. A heavier cream also works well on the body for people with “ashy” skin. Opt for a creme if you have medium/dry or combination skin; you may need to switch for summer months.

Lotion: Lotions are lighter in consistency and texture. They are mostly comprised of purified water making them easily absorbed for nearly every skin type. Lotions can vary a great deal based on what types of oils and/or butters are being used, but high-quality lotions will use oils rich in antioxidants like avocado oil, mango butter, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, rosehip seed oil (etc.). Lotions are also made with emulsifying wax to ensure the oil and water combine, as well as cetyl alcohol and/or stearic acid to create a fluffy consistency; don’t worry, these are all non-toxic chemicals derived from plants. Lotions also require a preservative since they are made with water; if you ever see a lotion without a preservative, run the other way because it absolutely will grow mold and/or bacteria. Lotions are easily spreadable and are perfect for quick, non-greasy moisture, or for skin that tends to get oily or sweaty.

Salves: If you’re seeking a salve, you’re probably in need of some topical medical treatment. Salves are in-between creams and balms; they are softer than balms but waxier than creams. Salves are often created for medicinal purposes, often called ointments; a common example that many of us have used is Vicks VapoRub. They are often infused with essential oils believed to suppress certain aches and pains – like a muscle salve, an after-workout salve, a clear breathing salve, etc. As with balms, please be sure the salve/ointment has FDA drug clearance before making any medicinal claims!

Serums: Serums are very thin in texture and are created to work beneath a regular creame/creme or lotion. They function to protect and encapsulate skin with extra soothing and moisturizing properties. Serums are almost completely comprised of botanical liquid oils and usually only require a few drops. You wear serums on your face and decolletage because they are rich and specifically made for that gentle skin. Be careful not to use too much, or it can definitely make your skin feel oily. Serums are especially useful for filling fine lines and wrinkles while helping the skin rejuvenate lost moisture, usually for dry skin or mature skin.  If you tend to have oily skin or acne, you probably don’t need a serum.

Hopefully this blog helped to clarify all your moisturizing needs! If you have any questions, please comment below!

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Will I turn glittery with this soap? Addressing Customer Questions!

Will I turn glittery with this soap- Addressing Customer Questions!.jpg

Whenever we craft and create products, we do our best to predict customer questions and concerns. We try to anticipate how the product will be received, which is why we offer a comprehensive FAQ page, an ingredients page, and a product care page.

Even with all of the information we offer, including on our blog and product descriptions, we still get questions from customers. We’re so happy when you contact us with your questions because it makes us better makers, providers, and allows us to offer service that is specific for you. Most of the questions we receive are in person at our shows, but we also get them via email and our social media accounts.

Some of the questions we receive are a little obscure, which is why we don’t just update our FAQ pages, but we thought it would be a lot of fun to share them (and answer them) here!

  1. Will the glitter on your soap turn me glittery or make me sparkle?
    1. No, we use cosmetic grade and biodegradable glitter solely for the aesthetic purpose of the soap itself. It will not adhere to your body….or make you a unicorn.
    2. *Side note – We use this same glitter (sometimes) in our bath bombs. This may get stuck to your bath tub, but it is easily rinsed off with water and a cloth.
  2. Will your soap wash off blood?
    1. To be completely honest, the context of how this question was asked freaked us out… A LOT, nonetheless, if the blood is on the body (such as a cut or scratch), then yes, our soap is no different than any other body soap in that it will wash off the blood. If this question was referring to fabric, then the answer is no. You would need a special blood enzyme stain remover for fabric. Just for the sake of precaution – our soap does not claim to stop bleeding or act as first aid equipment. 
  3. Will your products cure my eczema/acne/psoriasis?
    1. As much as we would love to boast that our products could do everything, maybe even your laundry, the reality is that our products are solely created for cosmetic purposes – to make you look younger and more beautiful than you already are.
  4. Is your soap made with lye?
    1. Yes, our soap is made with lye. It’s as simple as this: no lye, no soap. (FYI – Lye is the common name for sodium hydroxide.)
  5. Why did my bath bomb fizzle all out in my tub?
    1. Bath bombs are created as a one-time-use-only bathtub treat. Some people have broken the bombs to get multiple uses from them, but the bath bombs will not perform in the way they were intended to if they are broken.
  6. I’ve left my scrub open in the shower and now it smells weird/looks weird?
    1. While we use enough preservative in our oil-based scrubs to anticipate some water contamination (like wet fingers dipping in to grab more lovely scrub), you can never, ever leave any products open for water contamination. Where there’s water, there’s mold, mildew, and bacteria.
  7. I want to stretch my product, can’t I just add water and/or more oils?
    1. No, no, and please NO. Not only are you risking some serious contamination, you are messing with delicate chemistry and formulations. Unless you know the actual percentages and properties of everything inside of a product, you don’t take it upon yourself to change it. Think of it this way – if you’re making cookies and you’re out of eggs, do you just add more water?
  8. I only use liquid soap; I don’t buy bar soap because it’s dirty.
    1. Well, we actually wrote a whole blog entry about this, but in short – you’re way dirtier than your bar soap will ever be, unless you store it in the dumpster.
  9. Are your products natural?
    1. Ah, the famous natural question. The answer is yes and no. Did we pick our bar soaps and candles off of our magical bath and body bushes, nope; did we use ingredients derived from nature, yup; were those ingredients synthesized and decontaminated through various scientific methods, yup; do we use harsh surfactants, detergents, phthalates, or formaldehyde, nope. In short, NATURE + CHEMISTRY = BEAUTIFULLY SAFE.
  10. Do you have anything made with milk, beeswax, or honey?
    1. No. We are a vegan company who only uses botanical (plant-based) ingredients. The closest we get to breaking that law is the use of palm oil (from palm trees); however, we only use RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) which is responsibly sourced palm oil. [More about why some people don’t consider Palm Oil vegan here.] Milk, Beeswax, and Honey are all animal-derived ingredients, which is why they do not fit our criteria.
  11. Can’t I just melt my own wax and crayons to make my own candles?
    1. We encourage anyone who wants to be a maker to be a maker; however, anyone who plans on selling their products needs to do an incredible amount of product testing first. You can try whatever you please, but FYI on the DIY – crayons are created to be flame-retardant, so they will drown your wick.
  12. Do you have a shop on Etsy?
    1. No, we do not sell our products on Etsy or Amazon at this time. All of our products are sold directly to consumer from us through our website or at one of our tradeshows. We do not plan on joining Etsy or Amazon in the future. Our future plans consist on having independent sales representatives.
  13. How come you don’t have more candle scents/soap scents, etc.?
    1. Putting a product on the market is a lot more work than “Ok, I’m going to put this on the market today.” We have to buy fragrances/ingredients to make product, ensure it goes through complete testing, if it passes – then buy packaging and labels, pay a photographer, store the inventory, and then hope it is successful on the market. This process can take months. We’ve significantly narrowed our product line to ensure the products are successful and attributed to our vision and branding.

Do you have any other questions for us that we have not addressed? Email us at info@scentsthemoment.com and ask us!

 

Obsessed with Clay Masks: The Solution for Every Skin Type

Obsessed with Clay Masks- The Solution for Every Skin Type

I am CLAZY about clay. I became obsessed with clay when I started using it in cold-process soap recipes. Clay brings a natural exfoliant and helps maintain fragrance in soap, but there is so much more to clay. About six months ago, I started using excess clay to make my own face masks, and the positive skin results are undeniable.

Clay is extraordinarily beneficial for sensitive skin, oily skin, and acne-prone skin. This is because clay masks, as they begin to harden, draw out excess oil and sebum from the skin making the appearance tighter, refreshed, brighter, and clean.

As beneficial as clay masks are, there are wrong and right ways to use clay masks. In our dry mix, Saving Face, we recommend leaving the mask on from 4 to 7 minutes, but no longer. According to Allure:

“There are three phases of a clay mask,” McGlinchey continued. “There’s the damp phase where your skin drinks in the beneficial minerals from the outside. Then you have the start of the dry phase, which exercises your capillaries and stimulates blood flow as the mask cools and contracts. But then there’s the dry phase, which draws out moisture from the surface of your skin, causing dehydration and irritation.” Not only does skin then feel dry, tight, and sometimes itchy, but when you counteract it by slathering on extra face cream, you’re just smothering your freshly cleansed skin.

When using your clay mask, you never want it to become completely dry because then you’re drying out your skin far too much. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance of sebum on your skin to keep your face moisturized, but more importantly, to protect your skin against environmental damage.

A clay mask is most beneficial when you have tired and over-worked skin, such as wearing make-up or sunscreen all week. You want to use your clay mask no more than twice per week. A clay mask is also beneficial to use when you start to notice a normal break-out. I’m stressing normal break-out because most break-outs are the results of hormone shifts…and skipping washing your make-up off (which you should never do). If a break-out is abnormal (and you know your skin), or lasting longer than usual, definitely consult a dermatologist.

But what about skincare for the 45+ gorgeous person? Clay masks are perfect for this age group, as well. Most people in the 45+ age group are not suffering break-outs, but instead, are facing skin that is a little less resilient. Clay masks are beneficial for this group because it tightens pores and draws blood-flow to the skin. The extra circulation in the face is what promotes the rosy color and oxygen flow. Blood carries nutrients, water, and oxygen around the body, so anything that increases circulation (like a vigorous workout), helps bring all of the benefits to the skin.

After rinsing off your clay mask with cool-to-lukewarm water, be sure to pat dry your face. Patting your face dry is always how you should dry your face to prevent pulling and yanking on your skin. Follow-up with a serum and/or moisturizer to replenish healthy oils and make your skin glow. We recommend Evanescence for a full facial treatment.

A few final recommendations when using Saving Face: Be sure to start with fresh, clean skin and a dry face. Finally, don’t overwork your skin by exfoliating on the same day. Alternate between Face the Day and Saving Face throughout the week to give your skin a chance to rest.

In the video below, I am demonstrating how to use Saving Face, our clay mask. If you have any questions or skin concerns, I am always happy to answer – just leave them in the comments below!

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