Winter Product Obsessions 2018

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New Year, and new natural and organic products to love. Here are the picks that have been favorites in my shower, stationed at my bedside, and stocking my bathroom cabinet through the winter season and beyond—

Maya Chia The Eye Achiever, $70

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I had to share this product first; it’s now a permanent bedside fixture and has already been quite effective in counteracting the visible effects of holiday indulgences (cheese! cookies! salty snacks!) that showed up as morning-after puffiness around my eyes. It’s The Eye Achiever— a new product from the amazing Maya Chia brand that arrived in my January Beauty Heroes Discovery Box. Picture this: you gently press The Eye Achiever’s cool metal rollerball underneath your eye and glide it back and forth. It’s so cooling that it feels akin to the old trick of resting a chilled spoon under your eye to dissipate puffiness (only so much more comfortable and chic). The roller delivers a layer of a light, incredibly nutrient-dense serum formulated with ingredients like antioxidant-rich astaxanthin, wakame brown algae (famously used by La Mer),  raspberry seed oil, and Maya Chia’s patented supercritical chia seed oil. It addresses the unwanted trio of wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles all at once, and feels so, so good in the process. If you’re searching for an eye product to love, this is a must try! And while you’re at it, consider a Beauty Heroes membership this year; it will honestly be the very best thing to arrive in your mailbox every month.

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These two products feel like harbingers of an oral health revolution. I’m so excited to share them with you. Hyperbiotics, a company whose probiotic supplements I’ve been testing and sharing over the last year, recently launched a probiotic toothpaste formulated with super-binding activated charcoal and a strain of probiotics called lactobacillus paracasei to gently cleanse and whiten teeth without destroying beneficial bacteria that resides in your mouth. This is pretty amazing, given that conventional toothpastes commonly contain antibacterial ingredients like triclosan that wipe out bacteria— both the good, protective kinds and the bad. After you’re finished brushing with this toothpaste (which does take some getting used to— it’s not as minty as standard toothpaste and doesn't foam), you can pop one of Hyperbiotics’ minty PRO-Dental chewable tablets, designed to restore beneficial bacteria to your mouth. These chews contain 3 billion CFUs of oral probiotic strains like S. salivarius that, unlike your usual probiotics, are meant to stay in your mouth instead of being swallowed. Long-term, a better oral microbiome can improve your dental health and your breath, and actually help your sinuses, ears, nose, and throat too.

Seed Phytonutrients Daily Hair Cleanser and Lightweight Conditioner (price to come).

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I’m sharing this amazing shampoo/conditioner duo now, because it’s about to hit shelves in January. But—confession— I’ve actually been using it since last June, when I first received a travel-size sample. I savored that little bottle (seriously, it made my hair so silky that I used it only on days when I was taking photos, hosting an event, or otherwise needed to have flawless hair) until the fall, when a full size product arrived on my doorstep— not a moment too soon because I was completely out. The combination of these formulas seems to be magical for my hair (fine, dense strands that can air-dry to unruly waves), far outperforming my other natural favorites. These formulas are 99% natural, and do a great job at bridging the gap between hair products that are healthier choices for your body, and those that perform the way conventional hair products do! What I notice most is the softness of my hair after using them; my husband has also been using these products and his hair texture feels silky where it used to be coarse. Will this dup be the perfect match for everyone? Probably not— and Seed is developing products to suit other hair types too. But these really area a must-try! (Other hair types should check out products from brands like Innersense, Acure, Josh Rosebrook, and Ahnesti as well.) Congrats on your upcoming launch, Seed Phytonutrients, and thanks for this amazing gift to my hair!


NOTE: If you purchase a Beauty Heroes subscription, or a product from the Beauty Heroes store, I will receive a small commission on behalf of Beauty Heroes. My honest review and experience with Beauty Heroes and the Maya Chia Eye Achiever product was in no way influenced by my affiliate status.

Can Squalane Save You from Dry Winter Skin?

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Here we are again, in the cold, dry, harsh weather season of year in the northern hemisphere. The first snow of the season is falling outside my window, and the dry heat is (thankfully) blowing steadily indoors. Scrolling back in my phone feed of pictures, I see my summer skin glowy and radiant, with no trace of fine lines or redness. Can my skin make it through the winter months without looking winter-weary?

This year, I have a new secret weapon in my corner: squalane oil.

Squalane oil is a shelf-stable version of squalene, a natural oil produced by your skin that peaks in your early 20s and then declines in production. Restoring squalane topically is a smart way to add topical moisture, which is a must to combat winter dryness.

What's remarkable about squalane: Besides being a natural (not irritating) fit for any skin type, squalane is a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial oil that helps protect skin from UV damage. I was amazed to find that it absorbs into my skin like a dry oil— no heaviness or greasy layer. Sometimes, like at night, I actually like a greasy layer because it feels ultra-hydrating. So at times I will layer a thicker balm over squalane oil for bed.

A few compelling stats about squalane: it’s 53% better at accelerating cell turnover than argan oil, and 39% better at accelerating cell turnover than jojoba oil (my usual fave). Better cell l turnover = smoother, glowier skin— even in winter.

In my own experience, I found that my skin actually felt drier during the first few days of using products with squalane. But after about 3 days, my skin normalized and started to feel smoother and more hydrated with less need for topical hydration. I tell you this in case you experience a little bit of a transition period too— wait it out.

I am loving using a few drops of squalane oil under makeup during these cold, dry months, which adds dewiness and extra moisture that comes in handy if you normally find that your skin loses its radiance as the day wears on. Try this!

Beyond squalane oil, you’ll want to target dry skin from the inside as well. Make sure your digestion is happy and healthy (eat those fermented foods and plenty of plant fiber!), as much as you can cut down on inflammatory foods (sugar and alcohol are big inflammation triggers during the holidays), boost your intake of healthy fats (more avocados, please), and sip your way through warm beverages like herbal teas, lemon/ginger/turmeric water, and superfoods (check out my moringa latte recipe on Instagram!).

If you’re looking for a super high-quality natural skincare line with squalane, you must check out Biossance. This brand uses squalane that's sustainably derived from sugar cane, with no unwanted ingredients. My favorites are the 100% Squalane Oil that you can apply head to toe (use it to nourish dry hair), and the ultra-lovely Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil (and I’m not usually a fan of cleansing oils!). This line is one to reach for.

Cranberry-Kiwi Bubbles

Cranberry-Kiwi Bubbles

This festive drink not only keeps you hydrated and serves as a gorgeous cocktail to prepare for a holiday party, it's packed with skin nutrition, including a potent dose of vitamin C, anti-inflammatory ginger to calm seasonal redness in your skin, and anthocyanin-rich cranberries that cleanse the body and support skin elasticity. Cheers!

Makes 4-5 cups concentrate

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups fresh organic cranberries

  • 2 ripe kiwi, peeled

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 7 drops liquid stevia

  • 3 cups filtered water

  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger

DIRECTIONS

In a high-powered blender, combine the first 5 ingredients. Using a microplane grater, grate the ginger directly into the blender. Blend at high speed for 1 to 2 minutes to create a smooth drink concentrate. If desired (for prettier serving), strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the mixture with the back of a spoon to filter out any bits of seeds or skin, though this step is not necessary.

Combine concentrate with seltzer, filtered water (or even champagne!) in a ratio of 1 part concentrate to 3 parts liquid. Pour into a pretty glass or champagne flute and garnish with fresh cranberries for a party-ready holiday sip.

Join Me for a Holiday Celebration at Credo Beauty!

If you'll be in NYC on Thursday, December 8th, I'd love for you to join me and makeup artist Rebecca Casciano for an evening of natural beauty for the holidays at Credo Beauty Soho! I'll be signing books as well as sharing my favorite tips for glow—now and into the new year. Info and rsvp link below!

6 Ways to Energize your Beauty when the Nights Get Colder

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There’s nothing quite like a day in the sunshine to make your complexion glow. But weeks spent indoors with the heat on full blast? That’s what you have to look forward to this winter, the season of looking pale and parched— right? Not necessarily. There’s more than one way to bring out your natural radiance, and the winter season offers some unique excuses to rest, replenish and rebuild beauty while nature does the same. Check out my favorite ways to use winter’s quiet darkness to look and feel your best:

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For Glowing Winter Skin, Start This Holiday Tradition

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I was surprised to see an abundance of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries at my local market this week— isn’t it almost the winter solstice? While we’re lucky to have the option to eat antioxidant-packed, yet out-of-season, berries during the winter, the sweetest beauty gems of the holiday season are citrus fruits. This season you’ll find more citrus varieties available than at any other time of the year; not just navels and ruby reds, but tangerines, kumquats, Meyer lemons, mandarins, clementines, tangelos and blood oranges. Centuries ago, citrus was a status symbol and a treasured holiday treat, but today giving citrus as a holiday gift is a dying holiday tradition (one that that might need to be revived by us natural beauties). The anti-aging support that citrus provides throughout the winter nourishes our skin and revs up our winter glow far more than a box of candy canes.

What makes citrus fruits such powerful winter beauty boosters?

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