The First Mass Market Facial Oils: Natural Vs. Conventional...Plus Your Chance to Win One!

seventh-generation-boosts-natural-facial-oil

Flipping through a fashion mag last week, I saw an ad for new L'Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil, billed as The first facial oil*.

The claim seemed a little outrageous, until my eyes found the asterisk on the facing page that further explained *In the current Mass Market (non-Department Stores).

From there I glanced up to my desk, where I'd just set two samples of Seventh Generation's own new mass market facial oils (available in Walgreens). I thought it would be interesting to compare the two L'Oreal and the Seventh Generation products. I found that Seventh Gen's oils give L'Oreal's new oil a run for its money— in more ways than one.

Read More

Classic Natural Beauty Brands That Still Impress (Vote for your Fave!)

dr-hauschka-classic-natural-skincare

Do you remember the very first natural beauty product that you tried?

With all of the fabulous new natural and organic beauty brands that have popped up in the last few years, it's easy to get caught up in a never-ending hunt for the next big thing in beauty. There will always be something fresh and innovative to try!

What about the natural beauty pioneers that introduced us to green beauty and gave us safe cosmetics before they were cool? Take the poll to vote for your favorite classic natural beauty brand!W

Read More

The Cellulite-Fighting Secrets of Ayurvedic Beauty

ayurvedic-cellulite-fighters

Ready for some new tools in the fight against cellulite? Betcha haven't tried calamus oil, or punarnava yet—have you? How about shankpushpi? I didn't think so.

But wait, I'm getting waaay ahead of myself. These odd-sounding ingredients are traditional Ayurvedic botanicals to detoxify, firm and tone (and if you don't yet know what Ayurveda means, I'm about to share!).

Read More

Trend Alert: Spas with Farm-to-Body Products

rancho-la-puerta-farm-to-body

You splurge on a facial at a spa in your town. Or maybe you book a massage at the hotel spa where you're vacationing. It goes without saying that you're psyched about being pampered to the fullest...until you find out that the products used in your treatment are packed with questionable ingredients—parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance and preservatives—that you don't want on your body! How's a girl supposed to relax and feel good about that?

Suddenly pampering comes with a major downside other than the price tag.

Very slowly, this all too common scenario is changing. Not only are *some* spas adding natural and organic beauty lines like Naturopathica, Marie Veronique Organics, Eminence, and Amala, there are even a few spas creating handmade natural products of their own, in a new spa trend called 'farm to spa.'

Where can you take advantage of these flower- and herb-filled products, and indulge in true natural luxury?

Start with these pioneering spas:

Read More

Survive the Summer with a Homemade After-Sun Face Mist

green-tea-reverse-sun-damage-face-mist

You've gotta love green tea. Not only is it a major wrinkle-blocker, it helps you burn calories while it defends against sun damage and other forms of skin aging.

Drinking green tea (2 cups daily is the recommended dose), as well as applying it topically is a great boost for your summer sun defense. The antioxidant-rich polyphenols in green tea fight free radical damage that causes age spots, sagging skin, wrinkles and other forms of sun damage—what could be your biggest summer beauty headache. A new British Journal of  Nutrition study actually found that supplementing with green tea catechins (some of their most powerful plant chemicals) can make us more resistant to UV damage and the signs of aging that come with it. Green tea catechins also reduce redness and inflammation,  a product of too much sun exposure, so green tea can be your natural after sun savior as well.

For an easy, soothing, healing green tea recipe to use on your skin after a day, or an hour, in the sun, make this homemade facial mist and store it in the refrigerator (up to 3 weeks). It's a science-backed skin refresher. While you're at it, make yourself a cup of green tea to sip fresh!

Read More

On My Hair in May...Luxury Haircare from Olja

olja-natural-beauty-luxury-hair

I've tried a lot of luxury hair lines over the years, but their ingredients disappoint me, from the $33 a bottle Kerastase (full of parabens) to the $37 Oribe and the cult-fave Living Proof (brimming with endocrine disruptors like synthetic fragrance and butylphenyl methylpropional). They're just not products I feel good about massaging into my head, and I'm certainly not going to pay top dollar to do so, you know?

But if you look hard, you'll find that there are haircare splurges that are both healthy AND luxurious. Meet Olja. This brand new handmade line (it just became available in the fall of 2012) is packed with some of the finest natural beauty ingredients, and bottled in elegant violet glass to preserve the integrity of its natural oils. These products are expensive, but in most cases you only need a small amount at a time. The founder of Olja, Amy Lindwall, is a seasoned stylist who believes that our hair is an extension and an expression of our well-being and our physical selves. She hand cultivates and picks the herbs used in Olja products on her farm in Upstate New York, and uses principles of medical herbalism to formulate them. The love and quality in these products shows!

Here are the 4 Olja products that I'm obsessed with (they rival products from any prestige hair care line—and they're natural!):

Read More

On My Skin in April...Napa Organics

 

napa-organics-natural-beauty

Agribeauty. (ag-ri-byoo-tee)

noun

1. The pared-down luxury and natural elegance of Napa, California.

2. The word Napa Organics founder Hilary Glass coined to describe the line of organic products she created on the Napa farmland that's been in her family for generations.

I had the chance to check out the lovely line of Napa Organics products (so pretty that you'll want to show them off in your bathroom or guest room), and had to share them with you this month. They're the perfect replacements for the conventional, toxic products you're tossing out during spring cleaning!

Read More

My Favorite Mask: ScarJo's Obsessed Too!

raw-honey-beauty

If you're a regular reader of Beauty Is Wellness, you know that I'm obsessed with enzyme exfoliants. They leave your skin smooth and glowing without the scrubbing, which is perfect for sensitive skin. Of all the enzyme exfoliants out there, the simplest, most effective mask is one ingredient only: raw honey.

Read More

Celebrate National Sleep Month with a Giveaway from Amala!

amala-sleep-giveaway

When it comes to great beauty sleep, eating the right foods can be the difference between wide awake and fast asleep. It's best not to eat a big meal close to bedtime, so your body can use its precious energy for rest and repair rather than digestion. But a late-night snack isn't out of the question. Eating a light snack that's rich in serotonin-boosting amino acids can help you achieve a better night's rest. This works especially well for those who eat many small meals throughout the day and wake up hungry or with low blood sugar during the night. Try a snack that contains complex carbs or protein, like a banana, a small cup of oatmeal, some smoked salmon, a hardboiled egg, or a cup of miso soup.

Tart cherry juice is a known melatonin-booster that also helps you fall asleep, and nutmeg (try it in a glass of warm almond milk) helps lull you to sleep as well. Stay away from sugar or dark chocolate that can keep you awake or send your blood sugar crashing during the night.

Do you snack before bed?

Tell me your favorite beauty food snack for sleep and you could be one of five winners this week!

Read More