Calm Down! (Your Sensitive Skin)

standard October 26, 2016 Leave a response


Sometimes even a “sensitive skin” label isn’t enough to save you from redness and irritation.

If a product’s too strong, your skin can break out or dry up. Too ineffective, and the breakouts you do get never seem to go away.

Then there’s the laundry list of ingredients that bug your delicate system: fragrances, chemicals, and the elements all have it out for you. It doesn’t seem fair.

If this sounds oh-so-familiar, then we’ve got your back.

Here’s the ultimate guide to calming sensitive skin with natural anti-inflammatories and soothing ingredients that won’t put your skin through the wringer:

Reader, Beware

Just because you have sensitive skin, doesn’t mean you stop reacting to every-day irritants like dirt, oil, and makeup. If only that were true!

In fact, explains dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik at Women’s Health, sensitive skin often reacts that much more severely.

“Women with sensitive skin have hyperactive immune systems that read certain products or weather conditions as enemies and fight them off as foreign objects,” said Blyumin-Karasik.

“This reaction often leads to skin redness, itching, stinging, burning, and peeling.”

And while it might feel like you’re fighting your own immune system, there are ways to outsmart those oh-so-sensitive internal triggers.

According to dermatologist Jeannie Downie, those with sensitive skin should avoid mysterious ingredients lumped in under the term “fragrance” – not to mention known triggers like alcohol or variations on Vitamin C that contain the word acid.

Your best bet? Find a product that lists very few, recognizable ingredients, suggest Downie. “Fewer ingredients mean fewer chances to react to something,” Downie told Fitness.

Unless you already know the ingredients that make your skin bug out, it’s better to play on the safe side. Get smart about reading labels and keep an eye out for natural workarounds to chemical promises.

Fixes as simple as switching to mineral-based powder foundations with healing zinc can help you avoid the chemical irritants in some major brands, without sacrificing quality or coverage, suggests makeup artist Louise Dartford.

“Mineral makeup is a brilliant option for sensitive skin. It is often synthetic preservatives and fillers in makeup that can cause skin reactions or sensitivities; by choosing natural and organic makeup brands you may be already eliminating many of these ingredients,” Dartford told Get the Gloss.

There are plenty of natural workarounds for cleansers that won’t leave you at the mercy of an ambiguous safety label, too.

“’Dermatologically tested’ only means that the product has been tested on human skin,” explains pharmacist and skincare expert Pedro Catala.

“The product is normally placed on the back of the volunteer and left there for 48 hours covered with a patch, hence the name ‘patch test.’”

Since not all sensitive skin reacts the same way to irritants, even labels that are meant to save you major grief can turn out to be a major bummer instead.

Balancing Act

Like the rest of us, you need to zap oil on your T-zone while locking moisture everywhere else – without fearing an imminent breakout or allergic reaction.

Products that include natural anti-inflammatories – like chamomile and aloe – or natural humectants – like hyaluronic acid – are your best bet for a healthy, balanced complexion that nixes oil while helping you prevent dry skin.

In the long term, seek out antioxidant treatments that help improve your skin’s barrier function. That means helping your skin keep all the bad stuff – the stuff you’re allergic to – out, a task sensitive skin is notoriously bad at.

“Niacinamide is a great ingredient to try – it boosts ceramide production, thereby improving lipid barrier function,” dermatologist Sam Bunting explained to Get the Gloss.

“By pre-treating with this first, I can often get patients to tolerate more potent ‘actives’ like retinoids.”

It might be a long journey to nail down a skincare routine that doesn’t make you want to run screaming for the hills – but we can help you get there.

How to Handle a Breakout

What do you do when your spidey sense picks up on a potential breakout, but you know a regular zit-zapping product will turn your face redder than a tomato?

“If you do have sensitive skin, you will want to avoid products that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, as both of these ingredients can seriously inflame skin,” write the experts at Total Beauty.

Natural ingredients like aloe, chamomile, and calendula can help soothe and minimize redness without irritating your delicate system, while masks that contain clay can draw impurities from the skin without added chemicals.

When celeb makeup artist Kayleen McAdams feels a breakout coming on, she turns to the cleansing power of clay.

“If I’m getting a deep pimple, I’ll put [a clay] mask on to absorb the oils. Sometimes I’ll use the mask all over my face and sometimes I’ll just put it on a blemish overnight,” McAdams, who has incredibly finicky skin, told New York Magazine.

Check out her sensitive skin strategies for more suggestions on how to handle dryness, irritation, and breakouts.

How to Weather the Elements

Like any well-informed beauty maven, you know you’re supposed to layer on sunscreen before your moisturizer. But what kind of sunscreen can you turn to if major brands make your sensitive skin crawl?

Look for sunscreens with ingredients known as “physical blocks,” like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, suggests Annet King, who serves as director of global education for The International Dermal Institute.

“Even the tiniest amount of daylight exposes your skin to sensitizing UV rays,” King told Women’s Health. Physical blocks prevent this exposure from happening in the first place.

And when the weather finally turns cold and the leaves start falling, that chill in the air can really throw your skin for a loop.

Look for cleansers, serums, and moisturizers with natural humectants, whether hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which will help you keep moisture where you need it most.

And if that doesn’t do it, try moisturizers that contain natural oils – like rose, avocado, and coconut – to soothe and hydrate weather-worn skin.


Your New Fab Five

Establishing a skin care routine that won’t leave you broken out in hives is no easy task, but we have five products specially designed to calm sensitive skin – for real.

They’ll fit like a charm into your daily routine, helping you soothe irritating redness into submission and delivering moisture right where you need it most.

For cleansing: Our Organic Rosewater Cleansing Foam is delicate enough to soothe sensitive skin while still washing away all traces of impurities, even makeup. Brightening botanical extracts gently even tone, fortify skin’s natural protective barrier, and calm redness with the anti-inflammatory power of licorice root.

For breakouts: Stop breakouts in their tracks with our Eucalyptus Seafoam Facial Cleanser, which combines the power of French green sea clay with nourishing rosehip and coconut oils and Vitamins C and E.

For super hydrated, nourished skin: Reach for our Organic Rosewater Emulsion Tonique to restore moisture after cleansing. This creamy, soothing elixir deeply hydrates and nourishes. Calming rose essential oil works to reduce redness in the skin, while nourishing plant oils help to improve elasticity and tone.

For brighter, younger-looking skin: Sensitive skin is easily irritated by most anti-aging products, but our Organic Rosewater Calming Serum delivers antioxidants to brighten skin without harsh chemicals. Comfrey extract helps to encourage healthy cell turnover while calming skin with anti-inflammatory properties. Use after the Rosewater Emulsion Tonique and before the Rosewater Nourishing Moisturizer to ensure maximum benefits.

For daily moisture: Formulated with restorative sea buckthorn and borage oil, our Organic Rosewater Nourishing Moisturizer helps calm skin prone to redness and sensitivity. Antioxidants like Goji Berry, CoQ10, and Alpha-Lipoic Acid help strengthen skin’s natural protective barrier against environmental stressors and pollutants while calming botanicals soothe for softer, more supple skin.

With 100% Pure, you never have to wade through an unfamiliar list of potential skin irritants – every ingredient we use is natural and organic, chosen to soothe, nourish, and hydrate even the most sensitive skin.

But enough about us – we want to hear from you!

What are your go-to products for super-sensitive skin? Tell us what works best for you in the comments below:

Images: Flickr, Pixabay


Your Picks! Top 3 Must Haves

standard October 25, 2016 Leave a response

coffee bean eye cream - fruit pigmented tinted moisturizer - pretty naked palette

100% Pure – Top 3 Must Haves

When it comes to discovering the perfect routine for your skin, it can take some trial and error. With so many beauty products on the market, the choice is often overwhelming! So while it’s great to mix up your skincare and beauty routine, when you find a hero product… stick with it! Once you establish a foundation of go-to products, it becomes easier to understand how your skin reacts to certain ingredients or what colors suit your complexion.

Need a little help finding your beauty cabinet heroes? Here are our top 3 must haves.

Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
If you’re a caffeine lover, why stop at your morning cup of coffee? You can say goodbye to puffy under eyes and dark circles once you start applying this natural anti-inflammatory. Our Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream is naturally caffeinated with organic green coffee beans and green tea. The hero ingredient in this must have product however, is of course green coffee beans. Taken from the unroasted seeds of the coffee Arabica plant, these beans are rich in antioxidants and fatty acids to protect the skin from photo damage. Also formulated with potent anti-ageing antioxidants, this eye cream actually increases your skin’s circulation to brighten and awaken your eyes. It’s a secret weapon that works to keep you looking wide awake, even if you’re running on very little sleep!

Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer
There’s a time and place for full coverage foundations, but when you want something a little lighter on the skin, tinted moisturizers are ideal. Our Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer is deeply hydrating and leaves a stunning, dewy finish on the skin. Perfect for anyone looking for light to medium coverage, this product applies silky smooth and calms the skin. If you find yourself time poor in the morning, tinted moisturizers are a great option as they blend quickly with either a foundation brush or your fingers! If you prefer a slightly higher coverage however, they’re also easily buildable without looking cakey on the skin. Our ultra nourishing formula contains antioxidant rich ingredients as well as sun protection to prevent premature ageing and damage from harmful UV rays.

Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked Palette
There’s nothing like a go-to makeup palette with everything you need in one place. Whether you prefer a natural look or something a little more glamourous, our Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked Palette has something for everyone. Containing three gorgeous eye shadows, a pink champagne luminescent powder and our classic pretty naked blush, this palette is universally flattering. Each shade is soft and neutral which works on all skin tones for day to day wear. Pigmented naturally with fruits, seeds, flowers and vegetables, this palette works to enhance your natural features rather than cover them up! To achieve the coveted no-makeup makeup look, simply pair this palette with a tinted moisturizer base and a few coats of your favorite mascara. It’s always refreshing to let your skin breathe and your natural features shine through!

coffee bean eye cream - fruit pigmented tinted moisturizer - pretty naked palette

“No Makeup” Makeup

standard October 23, 2016 Leave a response
No make up look

No two ways about it: the key to rocking “no makeup” makeup is flawless skin. Okay, flawless skin and the perfect palette of nudes and neutrals.

Finding the right makeup? That’s easy. Mastering a skincare routine that minimizes pores, brightens skin, and leaves you feeling refreshed and hydrated? Another thing altogether. 

With a few easy-to-attain additions to your medicine cabinet – and some fresh updates to your makeup bag – you’ll be ready to bare it all in no time. We’ll show you how:

Ramp Up Your Routine

Find your skin’s happy place with a simple but effective routine designed to cleanse and moisturize.

For starters, there’s a reason everyone makes a big deal about French skincare – and that reason is micellar water.

“[It] looks and feels like plain old water, but it’s made up of gentle microscopic oil molecules called micelles…that attach to dirt, grime, makeup, and other gunk your skin has going on,” explains Perrie Samotin, a beauty editor at Stylecaster.

At the end of a long day, simply swipe this super-powered makeup remover and hydrating cleanser across your cheeks, chin, and forehead to remove every single speck of dirt, dust, and makeup. (Caveat: if you’ve used heavier eye makeup or waterproof mascara, you may need a separate makeup remover.)

Because of the nourishing oils in micellar water, your skin doesn’t dry out and is more primed than ever to benefit from your favorite gentle cleanser. Without everyday irritants in the way, your cleanser can work deep into your pores to lift away any remaining dirt from your face.

Even if your skin isn’t overly oily, a light toner will help deliver important nutrients back into your skin after cleansing.

“Toning, when done properly, is not a one-way street,” write the editors of Into the Gloss in their defense of natural toners that offer hydrating humectants.

“With that in mind, you’ll want to pick a formula that is free of alcohol (and maybe even natural astringents) in favor of calming ingredients.”

Think chamomile, calendula, and rose water, rather than witch hazel and peppermint, for example.

Finally, once your skin is cleansed of makeup, dirt, and oil – and once you’ve used a toner with vital skin-restoring properties – you’re ready to moisturize.

If it’s nighttime, a heavy-duty moisturizer is all you need to lock in moisture and repair skin before you head to bed. If you’re getting ready for the day – and ready to try the “no makeup” makeup look – we suggest a light moisturizer to help prime your skin and give you that dewy look.

From our catalog: Our Organic Flax Seed Cleansing Oil uses natural oils to lift away dirt and makeup without drying out skin, while the Purity Hydrating Tonique helps restore moisture and fight blemishes. A layer of Argan Oil Facial Moisturizer hydrates skin while protecting it from harmful UV rays.

Find Your Pretty Naked Palette
Once your skin’s glowing and gorgeous, finding the right palette for “no makeup” makeup is all about knowing how to balance neutral tones with minimal touches of color.

Ironically, “no makeup” makeup still requires a beefed-up beauty arsenal – it’s all about finding the right application tools to deliver gorgeous neutral tones directly to your skin. Think barely-there nudes, creamy peaches, and shades of buff bronze.

Let’s start with a simple, sheer base that helps even skin tone without coming on too strong. Your best bet is either a tinted moisturizer or a high-quality liquid foundation that’s super light.

The trick here is all in the application, suggests makeup artist Troy Surratt. “A dampened sponge presses pigment into your skin and removes excess for the perfect coverage,” Surratt told Allure.  

Consider dispensing with powder altogether, so your skin looks dewy and hydrated, rather than matte. After a brief tango with your concealer for undereye circles or blemishes, it’s time to anchor your face with a little bit of color.

While it might seem counter-intuitive, cream blush or stain will pop right out on fresh skin – giving you that no makeup glow.

“Skip powder and accent your face with a translucent cheek stain, which settles onto your skin in the most natural way,” suggests Patricia Reynoso at Glamour.

Stick to colors that makes your skin look slightly flushed – hints of peach, coral, or pink can do the trick.

Smack-dab in the middle of summer? Reach for bronzer or a peach-based blush instead, which will make your skin look sun-kissed but not overdone.

“A little bit of shimmer can add a healthy glow and highlight your facial structure, but too much can emphasize uneven skin texture,” Aly Walansky at StyleCaster warns of the perils of bronzer application. Take heed!

If you want to highlight your new, glam skin without adding much color at all, check out Gisele Bündchen’s red carpet look for inspiration. No, she’s not an angel – she’s just wearing illuminator in all the right places.

“Illuminating products can help you fake that coveted dewy glow, while also enhancing your features,” explains Mi-Anne Chan at Refinery29. “Some makeup artists even think the light-attracting products will eclipse bronzers.”

If this look is speaking your language, layer on illuminator or an illuminating primer beneath a cream foundation (or tinted moisturizer) that’s carefully applied with a damp sponge. Again – ditch the powder, which only will add another layer to your look.

Like a subtle, rosy cheek, the perfect lip color is the other secret ingredient to a stellar no makeup look.

There are a few different directions to go, depending on the shade of your blush. If you picked a brighter pink or coral for the apples of your cheeks, tone it down with a tinted balm on the lip. If your cheeks have a sun-kissed glow, then opt for a scene-stealing pink or even berry on your lips.

Want lips on lock that still look super minimal?

“Choose a lip color in a shade close to the color your lips turn after you rub them with your finger for a few seconds—the nearly-natural hue will keep you from looking washed out,” suggests Steph Doan at Prevention.

Even though most the of focus here is on your lips and cheeks, your eyes still need a little something to balance out your face.

Sweep a barely-there peach or nude shade across the lid and top with a single coat of mascara, suggests makeup artist Robin Black, who works for French fashion house Mugler.

“For a your-lashes-but-better effect, curl first, blot your wand, and apply a single coat,” writes Phillip Ricardi of Black’s no-makeup strategies.

“But, make it count! Hold your wand horizontally and wiggle it into the roots of your lashes. Then, brush up and outward, paying careful attention to coating the outer corners.”

Curling lashes first will help open up and brighten the eye, while a single coat of mascara adds color and definition without going over the top.

As you can see, the “no makeup” look isn’t exactly product-free. But the more prepared your skin is – squeaky clean and fully moisturized – the more you can get away with products that provide barely-there coverage.

From our catalog:

Fans of our Pretty Naked Palette will be excited by our latest, updated version. Pretty Naked II is a new palette of neutrals that can transform from barely-there to sultry in a heartbeat. This collection of classically flattering colors features a luminizer, blush, and eye shadow trio.

Apply the luminizer to the high points of the cheek bones, bridge and end of the nose, Cupid’s bow, and above your lips for glowing radiance. Apply the blush to the apples of the cheeks for a natural-looking flush. The shades of our fruit-pigmented eye shadow range from daytime neutral to and out-on-the-town smoky eye. You can also brush luminizer on your lids for a dreamy, daytime glow.

By prioritizing a re-vamped skincare routine that emphasizes cleansing and moisturizing the delicate areas of your face, you’ll really be ready to bare it all.

Squeaky clean, fully hydrated skin also makes the best base for the “no makeup” makeup craze sweeping the runway. Add the perfect palette for neutral pinks and nudes, and you’ll look – and  feel – like a million bucks.

Have you mastered the “no makeup” makeup look? Tell us about your favorite tricks in the comments below :

Image credit: @iamannagrey