PiperWai are you still using antiperspirant???

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Photo: Bette Walker

No, seriously.  Why?

I’ve been using PiperWai Natural Deodorant for three weeks and it is amazing.  While I don’t have sensitive skin anywhere else, it seems my underarms are very much so.  Most natural deodorants cause me to break out in a red, itchy, burning rash – not cute or comfortable.  But PiperWai contains skin-conditioning plant-based butters and oils as well as ingredients like magnesium, activated charcoal and essential oils that balance pH and neutralize odor.  The scent is very pleasantly unisex and it won’t stain your clothes, promise.  Cost: $11.99 for 2 oz.

Ingredients: Cassava (Tapioca) Starch, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Magnesium Hydroxide, Butryospermum parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Rosewater, Witch Hazel, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Bicarbonate, Activated Carbon (Charcoal), Proprietary Blend of 11 Essential Oils

Wondering why, exactly, you should switch from antiperspirant to a good natural deodorant?  I can give you lots of reasons:

  • Aluminum compounds in antiperspirant plug the sweat glands, but sweating is a natural and essential bodily function.  It helps the body detoxify and keep itself cool.
  • Aluminum compounds are a heavy metal.  They add to the body’s toxic burden.  They are also a neurotoxin and there are several studies that link them to breast cancer (as in, they can be found in cancerous breast tissue).
  • Conventional deodorants with antiperspirant contain phthalates, parabens and triclosan, which are all known endocrine disruptors.

I know I talk about deodorant a lot, but it is one of the most important switches you can make.  When I find a good one, I just have to let everyone know about it.  This is an easy switch for girls and guys – it’s natural, inexpensive and it WORKS.

Do you have a favorite natural deodorant?  Wondering if yours is Clean?  Let’s talk!

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DN UNIK at Abe’s Market for $2

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Every day at 11:00am EST, Abe’s Market offers their awesome Try it for $2 deal.  You can try up to three products for $2 each and they ship for free!  On Monday, March 2nd, they are offering products from the French skincare line, DN UNIK.

DN Unik is a Clean, (they are accredited EcoCert) anti-aging skincare line that works particularly well for those with drier skin.  All of their products contain Hyaluronic Acid derived from the fermentation of a mixture of algae plants.  (Many think Hyaluronic Acid is the fountain of youth, as it draws moisture deep into the skin.)

DN UNIK sent me some full-size products for review a few weeks back and I thought I would share my favorites with you:

For the last few weeks, one or two nights a week, I break from my nightly retinol regimen and use DN UNIK Age-Defying Serum with 100% Hyaluronic Acid for a moisture boost instead.  This serum is light (read: not greasy), but creamy and incredibly moisturizing.  For those with extremely dry skin, it works very well with their night cream.  Cost: $65.95 for 1 oz.

I’m very picky about eye cream, but I must say I am impressed with the DN UNIK EYE Contour Serum with 100% Hyaluronic Acid.  It feels light when applied and absorbs quickly but moisturizes all day long.  It is also a great base for eye makeup.  Cost: $52.95 for .5 oz.

The other day I noticed my skin was really dry and flaky from too much of a good thing.  I’d been using retinol every night and salicylic acid during the day, and I’d just gotten an enzyme peel facial.  Oops…  It was the perfect opportunity to try DN UNIK Moisturizing Facial Mask with Linseed Oil.  It has a rich, creamy texture and immediately sinks into the skin.  I left it on for about 15 minutes, and my skin felt refreshed, hydrated, soft and smooth for the rest of the day.  Cost: $43.95 for 1.69 oz.

**DN UNIK lists “parfum” on their ingredient labels.  Rest assured, this is natural, not synthetic, fragrance.**

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They Might Be (Green Beauty) Giants

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There is a new kid on the Green Beauty block, people.  Credo Beauty, a start-up out of San Francisco, aims to present non-toxic beauty as essential, not an alternative.  With a gorgeous, easy-to-navigate website as well as a brick-and-mortar store and spa that will open in April, Credo Beauty offers a selection of over 50 truly natural beauty and personal care brands.  I had a virtual sit-down with Credo’s Founder and CEO, Shashi Batra, recently.  As one of the founding members of Sephora, you might see where he is going with this…  Just imagine a beautiful venue full of luxurious, effective, non-toxic beauty products with a knowledgable staff to guide you – in every major city in the country!  Wouldn’t that be amazing?!  Read on to learn more about Shashi’s fascinating and accomplished background as well as Credo’s future plans.

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Shashi Batra, Founder & CEO, Credo Beauty

BB: You were a founding team member at Sephora; have you always been interested in healthy, Green living, or, did your trend forecasting and market research background open your eyes to a different way of life?

SB: I was not always interested in healthy/green living. However when I moved from NY to SF in 1998 I only just started to understand what green living was all about. The move was more than a geographic change, it was a move out of the traditional power center where all the beauty conglomerates are headquartered. Being submerged in the NY business culture was really the obstacle to seeing the reality and the dangerous impact of the traditional beauty brands. The move out West also made me appreciate the profound connection we all have to the environment, how beauty and healthy living can be completely interdependent. However even at this time in Sephora we could not find the brands that could give us a significant green beauty platform and the age of information was not prevalent enough to justify pursuing it. So consumers and merchants alike were not aware of the harmful impact that had been our legacy of bad habits. It was with my move back to NY to be the President of Victorias Secret Beauty where I decided to follow my convictions. When I arrived there in 2008 we started taking immediate steps toward packaging sustainability. In the beginning they were small steps (See article http://www.greenerpackage.com/recycling/victorias_secret_tackles_sustainability) but by 2012 we converted more than 75% of the unit packaging in a $1 billion dollar business into sustainably sourced and recyclable.  In 2009 I launched the first ever Victorias Secret naturals/organic project. It was under the younger Pink by Victorias Secret banner and it was great product in completely sustainable packaging (see article http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/victorias-secret-launches-an-organic-line-of-beauty-products.html). While that was too early for the mass market and clearly talking to the wrong psychographic (Victorias Secret customers), it was my first step to really believing what the future needed to be one day.

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Credo Beauty’s first store, opening April 2015, on Fillmore Street in San Francisco

BB: It seemed to be only a matter of time before a group of experienced merchants with enough capital and vision decided to embark on launching the Green version of Sephora.  What are the players’ backgrounds and how did you all come together to launch this venture?

SB: The primary investors are family friends who formed the Next World Group. They do some VC work and love sustainable consumer brands as well. They also manage a significant philanthropic family foundation that is focused on eradication of extreme poverty and cleaning up the environment. The main operators and also co-owners of Credo are myself and Annie Jackson. Annie was a merchant at Sephora and worked with me when we started that venture as well.

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BB: What currently sets Credo Beauty apart from other Green Beauty retailers?

SB: Our holistic approach. The total experience: the store design, the service (on floor and off the floor treatments), telling the brand stories and the connection to community. We have the most comprehensive collection of brands that have great product and a true raison d’etre for what they do and where they source their ingredients. They are different from the first generation of natural brand visionaries because they focus on beauty and efficacy as a critical part of their brands – in design, packaging, texture and scent. We call this the naturals 2.0 movement and our goal is to give them a national platform that is as authentic and transparent as they are.  The Credo name is reflective of the belief that there is a better way to look beautiful with both style and substance. It’s a belief in a holistic vision for what beauty is: looking good and feeling good.  One of our unique features is a section we call ‘Healthy Swaps’. We present the list of popular products made by conventional brands and we recommend a healthy alternative to it. If a conventional product is not on our list, our customers simply enter the name on the healthy swaps page and we respond with a healthy alternative. Additionally, we will soon be announcing our philanthropy project. We are working on a partnership with an organization that is directly relevant and core to our mission and what we curate. We expect this to be more than a superficial alliance that is simply talked about during one designated month of the year. This partnership will be integral to our brand and one that we give exposure to daily as part of a holistic approach of what we stand for. We are really excited about the potential contribution we can make as a collective group with our partner brands.

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BB: Who researches and sets the standards for health and sustainability at Credo?  What is the process and what standards has the company adopted thus far?

SB: Annie works with several organizations to make those decisions. Primarily, we do not carry products that include anything from our ever evolving ‘never list’ of ingredients. Additionally since there are many sophisticated ways of hiding harmful ingredients, we partner with the NY Institute of Aromatherapy and rely on their expertise to evaluate the hidden dangers in more complex formulas. On packaging sustainability we look for at least one of 3 fundamentals…recycled, recylable and reusable. We don’t always find them, but we work with our brand partners to encourage and support them to achieve this.

BB: You are a father to two daughters.  What do you hope Credo Beauty will teach them?

SB: For my daughters and all the girls in the world, the single most import thing we can do in the personal care category is live up to the responsibility of educating the next generation about being beautiful and healthy. It is our role to engage this generation into the naturals 2.0 movement. To do it with emotion and beauty, something the original pioneers of natural beauty did not do. We need to provide beautiful brands and products with style and substance to forever change the way people think about and shop this category.

Thank you, Shashi!

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Which Toner is Right for You?

What are toners?  What do they do?  Are they really just a waste of money?  As you can imagine, I get these questions a lot.  I first wrote about toners almost two years ago here and now, more than ever, I am a big believer in toners/mists/hydrosols.  Not only do they prep and  moisturize skin, they restore pH balance and make the products you follow up with even more effective.  I don’t need to use as much face oil or moisturizer when I prep with a toner; the product moves around my face more easily and absorbs more evenly.  I also use a mist to set or refresh my makeup and I even spray my Beauty Blender with it before applying makeup rather than just soaking it in water.  Read on for some toners – it was hard to name just a few – that I’ve loved over the years.  If you are just starting venture into toner territory, don’t be afraid you will choose the wrong one.  Virtually all Clean toners are suitable for all skin types.  Unless you have extremely sensitive skin, you truly cannot go wrong.

May Lindstrom Skin The Jasmine Garden Botanical Mist contains colloidal silver, an antibacterial agent, which makes it perfect for those who have acne-prone skin.  This toner also smells like a dream: the jasmine, rose and ylang-ylang are totally addictive and you’ll want to spray yourself constantly.  Cost: $60 for 3.38 oz.

One Love Organics Vitamin D Moisture Mist quenches dry skin with a patented, time-release delivery system while Vitamin D from Shitake mushroom soothes skin and provides antibacterial protection.  Cost: $39 for 2 oz.

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Herbal Toner is the perfect elixir for sensitive or inflamed skin.  More of a gel consistency, this organic “skin food” (yes, you can eat it) can be used as a moisturizer for those with more oily or blemish-prone skin.  Cost: $55 for 4 oz.

Acure Organics Facial Toner with Rose and Red Tea zaps excess oil and shine without stripping skin.  This balancing toner is the perfect place to start if you are young or just making the switch to Green skincare.  Did I mention that Acure is now sold at Target?!  Cost: $13 for 2 oz.

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence is great for aging skin.  Bioidentical Hyaluronic Acid literally draws moisture into the skin and creates a more plump appearance.  This is one of the first Green toners I tried and I still love it.  Cost: $85 for 4.1 oz.

I’ve loved all these toners even though some of them weren’t “targeted” for my skin type, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Do you have a favorite Green toner?  Tell us about it!

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If You’re Sick (Or Just Hungry)

 

Sometimes, I just want to write about food when it’s not Friday.  Soooo, my “Good For You Friday” posts might be a little random going forward.  My acupuncturist gave me this recipe for Garlic and White Bean Hummus and it is SO GOOD.  She always tells me to eat tons and tons of garlic whenever I get sick, which is a bit of a tall order, don’t you think?  I mean, how can one consume a whole bulb of garlic or more per day?  Not only does this hummus solve that dilemma, it is so delicious that you can serve it to guests and even hummus-haters will be converted.  Also, try serving it to your little ones; Annabel loves it.

| Garlic and White Bean Hummus | (makes about 2 cups)

  • 1 can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
  • 4 bulbs of garlic
  • juice of 1.5 lemons
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary or herb of your choice, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat over to 300* F.  Cut the tops of the garlic bulbs off with a knife, exposing the individual cloves.  Place the bulbs in a baking dish, exposed side up.  Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.  Bake the bulbs for 30 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft.  Remove the bulbs from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes.  Squeeze the cloves directly into a blender or food processor (I love my Vitamix).  Add the beans, lemon juice, olive oil and blend until smooth and creamy.  Then, add the rosemary, salt and pepper and blend again.  The hummus stays good in the fridge up to a week.BareBeauty1.16.15-103

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All Photos: Bette Walker

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My Winter Face

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Last Summer, I shared my quick, everyday makeup routine and a lot of you have asked for my Winter version.  As usual, my five-minute-face consists mostly of RMS Beauty, as it is so easy to apply.  I also like that this line nourishes and moisturizes the skin; if you’re going to be sitting in makeup all day, it might as well be doing something for you, right?

  • First, I apply RMS “Un” Cover-up in #22 with a Beauty Blender (you can also use your fingers) onto my under eye circles and any acne scars, sunspots, etc. to even things out.  (I spray the Beauty Blender with toner, hydrosol or water to dampen it.  That way, when you dip it into the jar, you don’t pick up too much product.)
  • I apply RMS Eye Polish in Seduce to my lids using the pad of my ring finger.  This shade is so gorgeous and has so much depth – it is an iridescent, earthy, olive-brown and creates an effortless contour in the crease of the lid.  I gently tap the product into place until I’m happy with the results.
  • I apply RMS “Un” Powder (the original, clear version) onto my lids and underneath my eyes to set.  Rose Marie, the brand’s founder,  insists on using the powder puff, but for the eye area, I like to apply the powder with a light, fluffy fan brush.
  • I apply RMS Tinted “Un” Powder in 2-3 to the rest of my face using the included powder puff.  Dip the powder puff into some residual product in the lid of the container.  Gently press the powder puff into skin to even out the complexion and set any “Un” Cover-up.

*Note: I recently reviewed the Tinted “Un” Powder here.  I love both the original and tinted versions of this magical powder.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, soaks up oil and shine like this stuff does.  But, it’s also gentle, doesn’t dry out the skin and never looks chalky – and it lasts all day.

  • I curl my lashes and apply mascara.  I use Josie Maran, which is not the Cleanest, but certainly 100x better than conventional brands, and it’s just what works best for me.  It volumizes, lengthens and doesn’t clump.  While it lasts all day without flaking or giving me raccoon eyes, it is not waterproof (no Clean mascara is).
  • For blush, I apply RMS Lip2Cheek in Demure, which gives a girly, pink pop to my otherwise pale, blah winter skin.  A little goes a loooong way!  I tap this onto the apples of my cheeks using the pad of my middle finger and then *lightly* blend it using a swirly, circular motion.  I apply this after the powder on purpose to create that glowing-from-within-look.
  • I apply RMS Living Luminizer onto my cheekbones, brow bones, the inner corners of my eyes and down the center of my nose using the pad of my pinky finger using a light swiping motion.  This is the most gentle, moisturizing illuminator; it’s perfect for the dry days of winter and it really fakes bone structure and a good night’s sleep.
  • I apply RMS Lip2Cheek in Demure onto lips.  While the color in the pot looks a little “Barbie Doll”, it looks so soft and pretty on and I think it perks up my complexion, too.

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Five minutes later, and I’m done!  If you are accustomed to powder makeup, there is a learning curve involved when switching to RMS, but within a week, you will breeze through this routine and wonder how you lived without it.

Questions?  Comments?

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Last Day of Pacific Skincare Promo!

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Photo: Bette Walker

I just wanted to remind you that today is the last day that True Nature Botanicals is offering 15% off your entire order* with the promo code BAREBEAUTY.  In case you missed it, I wrote a love letter about how their skincare line, Pacific, totally transformed my skin here.  I hope you try it and I can’t wait to hear back about your results!

Happy Weekend!

*Excludes Pacific Topical Marine Treatment

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Good For You Friday: Baobab

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That’s not what you think it is, but it will give you energy and speed up your metabolism…

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Baobab (pronounced BEY-oh-bab) is the next big superfood, and as far as I can tell, it blows the rest of them out of the water.  Baobab fruit hangs from the African Baobab Tree, or, “The Tree of Life”.  The pulp inside the Baobab fruit is naturally dry and powder-y, the seeds just need to be caught in a sieve and the process is complete.  (How’s that for a minimally processed food?)  Check out Baobab’s superfood stats:

  • 5x more antioxidants than fresh acai berries
  • 3x more calcium than milk
  • 2x more potassium than a banana
  • Also high in magnesium, Baobab is a natural electrolyte
  • 4x more Vitamin C than an orange
  • Baobab is an excellent source of Vitamin B6
  • Baobab powder is almost 50% fiber; it is a natural laxative if enough is ingested

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What does this all mean?  Baobab is great for the digestive system; it provides energy and supports a healthy metabolism.  It’s high antioxidant and polyphenol content protect the body from free radical damage, supporting the immune system and skin health.

How to eat it: Baobab fruit powder tastes like a cross between pear, grapefruit and sherbet.  It is almost too yummy to hide in a smoothie, so I pour it on top of my smoothie, yogurt, granola or fresh fruit.  Serving size: 2 teaspoons.

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Aduna Baobab Fruit Pulp Supplement is the type that I’ve been using.  It’s available at ShopZoeLife.  Cost: $18.

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Green Beauty Shortcuts

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Has anyone else been rushing around like crazy lately?  Post-holiday hibernation is most definitely over around here.  Charleston doesn’t rest for long and this month every charitable cause you can imagine will be having some sort of event.  Champagne probs, I know, but I need all the time-hacks I can get.  Here are my current faves:

Acure Organics Unscented Argan Oil Wipes for Face and Body are so great for when I have to run post-exercise errands.  I also use them before and/or after cleansing when I have heavier makeup on.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask is just incredible.  It’s great for extinguishing blemishes and brightening skin.  For maximum results, I leave it on overnight (it dries clear).

W3LL PEOPLE Universalist Multi-Use Color Stick in #2 Moonstone Glow makes me look like I have better bone structure that I really do and fakes a full night’s sleep when applied to the inner corners of the eyes.  The #8 Dusty rose perks up my lips and cheeks like no other – it’s second only to a natural flush.  Cost: $34.50

I’m never without these little CleanWell Hand Sanitizer Sprays.  They are okay for kids, too (meaning if Annabel licks it off her hand, which she has, I don’t have to worry about it.)  Cost: $3.95

100% Pure Blood Orange Body Scrub exfoliates and moisturizes in one step and the scent is so invigorating.  Cost: $28.

One Love Organics Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm – don’t leave home without it.  This product is a favorite travel companion of mine.  I use it on my lips, eyes, cuticles, hair, to remove makeup, to double cleanse, you name it.  Cost: $68

One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder extends a blowout without being chalky or drying.  It’s the best dry shampoo I’ve ever, ever used.  Cost: $12-29.

What are your favorite time-savers?  I need all the help I can get!

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