The Pampered Posts (Blog)
|Posted on November 22, 2016 at 5:55 PM||comments (2)|
Happy Shopping Season everyone! In honor Black Friday, Shmall Business Saturday and Cyber Monday coming up. I wanted to give you some inside secrets about some of my Indulgence products that have more than one use.
Over the years (6 since I started the line), I’ve found, mostly by accident, that some of my products have multiple benefits, so check out this list below and see if your favorite Indulgence Product has a hidden talent…
1. Aloe and Green Tea Moisture Serum - This is by far the most versatile product in the Indulgence line. The product is meant to be an oil free facial moisturizer, but it also doubles as a Make-up Primer AND can be used as a make-up setting spray, due to the glycerin in this product. If you look at the ingredients in your own primers and make-up setting sprays, you’ll find that they’re basically just water, glycerin, and a some chemicals to preserve the product and make it smell good, but the active ingredient is glycerin. Glycerine is a humectant, which means it pulls moisture from the air, re-hydrating your skin constantly, which keeps make-up look fresh by avoiding creasing and keeping skin from looking blotchy or uneven. In addition, this product contains quite a bit of Aloe, which helps to moisturize skin as well as plump fine lines and promote cell renewal. For skincare, promoting cell renewal means keeping skin fresh and healthy, but it also makes this product very helpful in speeding up the healing process of scrapes, cuts and especially burns.
2. Whipped Body Frosting - Whipped Body Frosting is a whipped body butter that deeply moisturizes skin, but as I found out one morning about 3 years ago, when I ran out of texture cream, it also helps to define curls without making hair feel crunchy. I honestly only put it in my hair because I was desperate, and it was about the same consistency as my texture cream and it just so happened to be on my night stand at the time, and BOY was I surprised when I actually liked the results! Not to mention that my hair smelled amazing and was SUPER soft. Since it works so well as a leave-in product, I decided to try it as a moisture mask, but applying the product to my hair, wrapping it in plastic and heating it (either with the hair dryer or out in the sun during the summer months), and my hair has never been healthier or shinier.
3. Body Scrubs - Our body scrubs are great for exfoliating and moisturizing skin anywhere on your body, but they also make a GREAT substitute for shaving cream. Just apply the scrub to your legs in the shower, rub until the sugar dissolves, and then shave off the oil. It creates great "slip" and gives you a closer shave, because you're removing any dead skin buildup before shaving.
4. Dirty Work Charcoal Mask - This mask is mainly intended to remove blackheads, but it also works wonders as a drawing salve. Put it on pimples, boils, or splinters to draw them out.
5. "Made in the Shea" Sunblock - Of course this sunblock works to protect you from UV rays, but the Zinc Oxide in this product will also help to clear up skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. I actually discovered this when a friend of mine told be that it had cleared up her daughter’s Eczema. Once she told me, I had to do some addtional research on the ingredients and a link to eczema relief and learned that it was the zinc oxide. Apparently almost all antihistamine creams contain zinc oxide. That is why they’re all so white.
Now that you know about these multi-talented products, I hope you’ll shop SMALL on Saturday November 26th, and take advantage of my Small Business Saturday Sales!
|Posted on October 7, 2016 at 10:40 AM||comments (1)|
Ok friends, I’m writing a blog on Detoxing from commercial deodorants for a few reasons. First, because I have introduced 2 new Deodorant Products to my Bath and Body Line, but the MAIN reason is because most commercial deodorants are full of chemicals and toxins. Even worse, most commercial deodorants are also antiperspirants, which are even worse! I mean think about it… anything you can rub on your skin that is going to stop one of your body’s main functions, has got to have some seriously nasty ingredients in it, right?
Antiperspirants use Aluminum Compounds to literally plug up your sweat glands. I know what your thinking: Aluminum, that’s natural, it can’t be that bad. Your right, Aluminum is a naturally occurring substance. So is arsenic, and that shit will kill you lickity-split.
Natural does not always mean healthy. That’s why you don’t let your kids eat berries off of random bushes in the backyard. They might be mulberries, but they also might be nightlock (yes, that IS a Hunger Games Reference). The bottom line is, some things that seem harmless can be quite poisonous to us.
There have been studies linking Aluminum and it’s compounds, specifically aluminum in antiperspirants, to Breast Cancer. The idea is that the antiperspirant is applied to the under arm, the aluminum is absorbed by the skin, penetrating not only into the bloodstream, as all things that you apply to your skin will, but also into the sweat glands. We KNOW that it does this, because it works. It stops or at least slows our sweat production. Once it’s in those glands, the aluminum can alter your DNA, and interfere with estrogen production, which is the main hormone associated with breast cancer. This idea is supported by the fact a majority of breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast, closest to those aluminum filled sweat glands. There is not enough research out there to prove whether or not this theory is absolutely true, but it makes sense to me. I’m no doctor, but I do have a bit of anatomy knowledge, from both my education and personal research, and it’s not a risk I’m willing to take.
In addition to it’s link to Breast Cancer. Aluminum and it’s compounds are also linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Studies show that Alzheimer’s patients have a higher concentration of aluminum in their brain than those without the disease. Did that aluminum come from their Deodorant? Maybe… I have no way of knowing for sure. What I do know, is that the human body does not produce Aluminum, so if it’s in there, it had to have come from somewhere. It has also been found, by renal specialists, that dialysis patients with high levels of aluminum in the bloodstream were more likely to develop dementia. Since those suffering from Kidney failure are not able to remove the aluminum from their bloodstream fast enough, they are prescribed a medication to help control these levels. Antiperspirant labels are required by the FDA to have a warning for Patients with Kidney Disease because of this. Just as with the breast cancer evidence, there is not enough research or evidence to say that Aluminum causes or even contributes to these diseases, but there is enough evidence supporting the possibility, that I’m not willing to take a chance. Especially, when there are perfectly good alternatives readily available.
So, you might be saying OK, I shouldn’t use antiperspirants, but what’s wrong with just a regular deodorant? I challenge you to find a deodorant on the shelf of your local Wal-mart that is not also an antiperspirant. It’s not an easy task. Even if you DO manage to find one, there are likely some problematic ingredients in those as well. Most are just possible skin irritants, but a few can be pretty nasty. For example several carcinogens are popular deodorant ingredients. As a matter of fact, I’m going to list the ingredients you should stay away from below, just so you know what you’re dealing with:
Known carcinogens in your deodorant:
Suspected Carcinogens in your deodorant:
Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex
Skin Irritants in your Deodorant:
So, now that I’ve convinced you that you have Alzheimers and Breast Cancer, because you’ve been using deodorant since you were 9, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about natural deodorants. There are 2 basic types of natural deodorants.
Probiotic Deodorants, which use “good” bacteria to neutralize the “bad” odor causing bacteria on your skin, much like they do in your digestive system. These are usually longer lasting products, and cause little to no skin irritation. Some are boosted with essential oils for scent. While, Probiotic deodorants work perfectly well, and are honestly the best option IMHO, I understand that this may be a little to “crunchy” for some people. Have no fear, there is another option!
Anti-Bacterial Deodorants. These use mostly essential oils to kill bacteria on the skin. These work by creating an environment in which bacteria cannot survive. They will kill the good and bad bacteria on your skin. These also tend to be difficult for people with sensitive skin, as the essential oils can be irritating, but if you do not have a problem with EO’s this will be a perfectly good option for you.
Both types of deodorants will likely also include some kind of wax (helps to make the bar more solid), a butter and/or hard oil (as the creamy base for the bar), and some moisture absorbing ingredients like Arrowroot powder, Baking soda (can irritate skin), clays, and/or zinc oxide. Additional ingredients may include colorants, essential oils or scented oils for fragrance, vitamin E oil or other natural boosters. (If your deodorant is a lotion instead of a solid bar, there is likely no wax and additional softer oils may be listed.)
There are also some natural deodorant powders available, which are basically just any combination of the dry ingredients listed above tossed with essential oils. These are applied by rubbing the powder into your skin. I haven't had much experience with these, but I imagine they would be good for very heavy sweaters, as the powders haven't absorbed any oils in the production, and therefore can hold more moisture from sweat.
Both of the Indulgence Deodorant Products start with the same creamy skin friendly base:
Coconut Oil - Moisturizing, soothing, and fast absorbing. Melts at 76 degrees, so application is smooth.
Beeswax - To keep the bars solid. Also helps to keep your product from coming off throughout the day, as it is moisture resistant.
Arrowroot Powder - Absorbs moisture.
Zinc Oxide: Soothing to skin, helps prevent odor, absorbs moisture
Bentonite Clay - Helps to draw toxins out and is extremely moisture absorbent. Also gives the product a creamier texture.
Vitamin E oil - helps to keep product fresh, and adds and extra skin nourishing boost.
For the Probiotic formula, the only other ingredient the shelf stable Probiotic Powder, and scented oil for fragrance.
For the Anti-Bacterial Formula, I add Tea Tree essential oil, and some also include lavender essential oil.
When you make the switch to a natural deodorant, your body will have to detox from all the chemicals and toxins in your previous product. Some people notice no symptoms during this period, others get them all. It will depend on your system. The detox period could last anywhere from 5 -30 days.
Here are some things you may notice:
1. You may smell a little funky for a while. You won’t smell like BO, per se, as the natural deodorant will be preventing odor causing bacteria, but while your body is expelling the aluminum and toxins, you may notice that you have an unusual odor.
2. You may sweat more. First of all, if you're no longer using an antiperspirant, you may notice that you’re sweating more because of that, but you shouldn’t stink, and your natural deodorant does contain ingredients to help absorb some of this moisture. If you’re a heavy sweater, look for a product that contains clay. For some people, your sweat glands will go into overdrive, trying to flush out all of the aluminum. If you’re sweating WAY more than normal, just give your body some time to adjust. It will regulate itself soon.
3. You may have some tenderness in the glands under your arms. The glands could become inflamed while working to expel the toxins in your system. This should only last a short time.
4. You may notice some bumps on the skin under your arms. This is actually a good thing, it means the natural deodorant is doing it’s job to draw the toxins out. Your body is pushing them out through your pores. Again, this should only last a short time.
5. You may notice some redness or irritation under your arms. This could be a sensitivity to the product your using. Baking Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate, is a very common irritant. If you’re using a product that contains this ingredient, you may need to switch. Also, essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint, cinnamon, pine, various citrus oils, and clove are highly anti-bacterial, but can also cause skin irritation. Especially when used in high concentrations. If your product contains essential oils, and you get a rash, try a probiotic formula instead.
If you go more than 30 days with any of the above symptoms, you may want to consider switching products, or consulting a physician, as you may be having a reaction, or the formula may just not be working for you.
Of course, being stinky, sweaty, rashy, and having sore armpits doesn't sound like much fun, so I do have a couple suggestions to help expidite the process, if you do decide to start detoxing.
1. Drink Plenty of Water. Flushing your system will speed up the detox process
2. Break a sweat! Getting those sweat glands pumping with exercise will help to push everything out more quickly.
3. A Clean Diet. The fewer toxins you put into your body, the fewer it will have to expel. Opting for a clean diet will help you detox quickly and safely.
As I stated above, I am not a doctor. The information in this blog is based on my person research and opinion. Please, feel free to do your own research on the subject, or consult your doctor, if you want more information. Not everyone’s opinions will line up with mine. Some people may look at the exact same evidence and say “There’s no proof, I think it’s all a bunch of BS”, and that’s OK. To each their own. My main objective is to open your eyes and let you know that this concern is out there AND that you do have natural alternatives.
Thanks for Reading!
|Posted on July 1, 2015 at 11:15 AM||comments (44)|
I know we haven’t seen much sunshine yet this summer in Pittsburgh, but my pool and I are holding out hope that it’s coming soon! That being said, I just want to share some sunscreen/sunblock facts, because I think most people are quite uninformed about the science of sun protection. I mean, we all know that we should wear at least an SPF of 15, but do you know why? Do you know how your sunscreen protects you, or even what it’s protecting against? I would guess that the answers to these questions are a big fat “NO”. Honestly, I didn’t know most of the information I’m providing here until I started researching to make an Indulgence All Natural Sunblock, which will be available in July. I know, I know, I’m shameless, but this little plug is a small price to pay for the WEALTH of information you are about to receive, so just shut up and take it.
OK are you ready? Get out your notebooks, class. Pens at the ready….
I’m going to start with the basic question of: Why? Why do we need sunscreen or Sunblock?
The reason is protection. You need to protect your skin from:
- Sunburn – Even if you have no concern for the future or long-term damage sun exposure can cause to your skin, at least live in the moment, and protect yourself from the misery of sunburn today.
- Pre-Mature Aging – if you were to look at sunburned skin under a microscope, you would see damaged skin cells. (Don’t believe me? Google it) Repeated Damage overtime causes skin to look leathery, dry and wrinkled. (Disclaimer: I am I FIRM believer that Nature has more to do with the way your skin ages than anything else. Some people have good genes and others aren’t so lucky. My mother used to slather herself in oil and literally fry her skin for 6 hours a day, everyday, and barely had a wrinkle in sight at 60… so don’t come back for me in 30 years if you’ve sunscreened, exfoliated, and moisturized religiously, and still end up looking like a well worn leather couch)
- Cancer – Skin Cancer is currently the most common of cancers. Doctors say that almost all skin cancers can be prevented by properly protecting your skin from sun damage. Let me tell you, from someone why lived through it (as a caregiver, not a patient) you DO NOT want cancer. You DO NOT want chemo or radiation or surgery to remove a nasty melanoma. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, and you and I, we’re friends. So PLEASE, take care of your skin, OK?
Next is another Why – Why is sun exposure so damaging?
The answer is Ultraviolet Light. UV light is what causes all the above-mentioned dangers: Sunburn, Aging, and Cancer.
UV light is divided into 3 types of light: UVA, UVB, and UVC, depending on it’s wavelength.
- UVA Rays have the longest wavelength and are the waves we are most exposed to. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply, into the epidermis and are believed to be the cause of photo aging (premature aging caused by exposure to the sun). UVA rays are also responsible for tanning the skin. These rays cause injury to the skin’s DNA, and can therefore play a role in some skin cancers (especially when concentrated to up to 12 times the natural occurring doses, like in tanning beds).
- UVB Rays cannot penetrate past the top layer of skin, the epidermis, but they are responsible for painful red sunburn, as well as playing a key role in the development of skin cancer.
- UVC Rays are the strongest Rays, but have the shortest wavelength. The atmosphere absorbs UVC Rays, and therefore they do not pose a risk to us.
Now, let’s move on to the how – How do I protect my skin?
Needless to say, we need to block both UVA and UVB rays to effectively protect our skin. Ways to protect yourself include: Staying out of the sun, wearing a hat to shade yourself, cover exposed skin with clothing (try light colors to reflect the sun, rather than dark ones, which attract it), and of course sunscreen and/or Sunblock, which is what I want to talk to you about…
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is rated on a number scale from 0-100. Most dermatologists recommend at least an SPF of 15 at all times, and 30, when you’re planning on spending extended time outdoors. Obviously, everyone’s skin is different. The number in SPF shows how effective that product is at preventing sunburn (caused by UVB rays). SPF 15 allows you to stay in the sun 15 times longer without getting burned. So, essentially, if you can spend 10 minutes in the sun (unprotected) before you starting to burn, when wearing SPF 15, you could spend 150 minutes in the sun before burning.
I think we all understand that Suncreens/Sunblocks work by filtering the UV rays, but the thing that surprised me most in researching all of this was how small the difference in protection is between the different numbers of SPF.
SPF 15 Filters out 93% of UVB rays.
SPF 30 Filters out 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 Filters out 98% of UVB rays
SPF 100 Filters out 99% of UVB rays
As you can see, the higher the SPF number goes, the smaller the difference in protection. Anyone who knows me has heard me say that there really isn’t anything better than SPF 30, and this is why. The minimal difference in protection, 1-3%, is nowhere near worth the added cost that you pay for those high SPF products. In all honesty, there’s no reason to use an SPF higher than 30 unless you’re going to be doing something really extreme, like mountain climbing, where you’ll be at a high altitude (closer to the harmful rays), with snow that’s reflecting the sun back at you, and your skin will totally exposed to the sun (without sleeves/pants). If that’s the case, then yes, I recommend springing for an SPF of 50+, but if you’re just going to the pool/beach or a baseball game for a couple of hours, SPF 15-30 is sufficient.
There are 2 types of Sun protection that you can use on your skin:
- Chemical Sunscreen: These are the most common products. These are the majority of the sunscreens you find in the store. There are 17 FDA approved Sunscreens/Sunblocks, and 15 of them are chemical. These products alter the chemistry of your skin to absorb the UV rays, therefore preventing them from penetrating your skin. Did you know that Chemical Sunscreens must be applied at least 20 minutes before sun exposure in order to be effective? I didn’t…
- Mineral Sunblock: Mineral or “Physical” Sunblocks include one or both of the other 2 FDA Approved Sun protection products: Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide, which are minerals used to block and deflect UV Rays. Mineral Sunblock works immediately after application.
Both Chemical and Mineral Sun Protections Products have their pros and cons, but the FDA claims that both types are "safe". Chemical Sunscreen’s main pro is that it is “waterproof”, because once it has altered the chemistry of your skin, it will continue to work for 40-80 minutes, even after being rinsed off, where a Mineral Sunblock must remain on the surface of the skin in order to work. The main pro to mineral sunblocks is that there is no risk of the body absorbing chemicals that can be harmful and alter your body chemisty and/or hormones. It's pretty scarey to think of some of the chemicals that are soaking into our skin, but I'm not going to go into the why of that. Instead, I'm providing a link to an atricle that explains the dangers very well. It's broken down in a way that's easy to understand, and it provides a list of scientific references. Check this out if you're interested in reading more about the chemicals that are in sunscreen: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/5-dangerous-chemicals-in-sunscreen/
Obviously, being the natural skin care lover that I am, would recommend using a mineral sunblock instead of a chemical sunscreen. Since making the product waterproof is a main concern, when I formulated my Indulgence Sunblock, I made a solid lotion bar, containing butters, oils, and wax, that will not only moisturize skin, but be water resistant. Indulgence’s Sunblock comes in an easy-on stick for quick application, and smells divine. My Mineral Sunblock will be available online and at Boutique 208 (Downtown Pittsburgh, across from Heinz Hall) in about a week!
As always, thank you for reading, and please feel free to send your beauty questions my way!
|Posted on December 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
OK Ladies. it's been a while since I've posted... like a LONG while, but I've been crazy busy. Since we last spoke, a few things have happened, the main one being that I got MARRIED on October 19th! You can call me Mrs. Shea...
Anyway, the wedding took over my life, but now it's over, and I am back in control just in time to give you some GREAT DIY gift ideas... I know, you love me!
Obviously, I love love love giving (and recieving, ahem) bath and body products as gifts. I think they're great indulgences (plug intended) that our friends and family deserve, but will not buy for themselves. I also understand the idea of "Christmas on a Budget", as I just came off a saving spree in the 2 years leading up to my wedding. I am the number one advocate for DIY gifts. I am a firm beliver that something you made is so much more meaningful that something you plucked off of a shelf, and anyone who prefers store bought, isn't my type of "friend". That being said, here are some DIY bath & body products that you can make at home with VERY little time and effort.
1. Bath Salts – A great gift for the bath lover OR for the one who deserves some relaxation. This is easy peasy and practically free. All you need is espom salts and packets of unsweetened koolaid to make sweet smelling & colorful bath salts. I love the idea of pairing bath salts with babysitting coupons for a busy mom so that she can get some “me” time.
-Epsom salts (usually come in bags or cartons for 2-3 each. Can be purchased at the pharmacy, grocery store, or Dollar store)
-Koolaid packets in scents of your choice (I do not recommend grape, it turns black! (about 25 cents each and can be purchased at the grocery store or dollar store)
-Place one packet of koolaid powder at the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add about a teaspoon of water and dissolve the power in the water. If the powder is still clumpy, add a little more water until all powder is dissolved, but you want the least amount of water possible.
-Add 2-3 cups Epsom salts to the dissolved powder and mix thoroughly. If you want a more faint sceny/color, you can add more epsom salts.
-Once the salts are coated in the color/scent, I suggest laying them in a pan to dry out a little before jarring, To dry them, spread them evenly in a large pan and mix occasionally until they do not feel damp anymore. If they have clumped together, break them apart before putting in your containers.
2. Sugar Scrub – Sugar scrubs are great for dry winter skin. They will slough off dead dry skin and moisturize the fresh skin that is uncovered. Sugar scrub are great for that person with dry cracked hands. They are also awesome for shaving, and they’re almost as inexpensive and easy at Bath Salts
-Sugar (either granulated or brown sugar, kosher salts will work as well for a more course scrub)
-Scented extracts/essential oils Choice of addivities (this is option but cocoa powder, coffe grounds, cinnamon, ground oatmeal, and honey all make great additives)
-Start with your sugar in a large mixing bowl. You should start with enough sugar to fill your container. If you have a 4 oz jar, half a cup of sugar. If you have an 8oz jar, 1 cup, etc..
-There is no recipe, you just have to add ingredients until the scrub is the consistency you want. Start with vegetable oil. Add a little, mix it up, add a little more, mix it up. Keep going until you have the consistency of a snow cone or a slushy. If you get too much oil, just add some sugar a little a time.
-Add your additives. If you’re adding powdered additives, you may have to follow up with more oil. If you’re adding fragrance: you will only need a few drops of essential oils. Extracts will require more. Add your fragrance until you are satisfyied with the scent.
-Once you’re happy with your scrub, spoon it into jars. Some people prefer a more oily mixture, some prefer a fluffier mixture. it's totally a matter of opinon.
3. Solid Lotion bar – The solid lotion bar is great areas that get extra dry. Elbows and heels come to mind first. Those and dry chapped hands. A solid lotion bar is great for combating that extra dry skin. Just rub it on at night before bed and let it work it’s magic overnight.
-Coconut oil, cocoa butter, and/or Shea butter.
-Cornstarch Empty lipbalm tubes/deodorant containers or a muffin tin.
-Additives (scented oils, herbs, etc) - optional
-Melt your oils. (Coconut oil is probably the easiest of these to come by. You can get it in specialty food stores and health stores like GNC. I prefer to mix my oils/butters, but if you can only get your hands on one kind, it will work fine.) Measure out the right amount of oil/butter (or just scoop some out/cut some off and hope for the best, that’s what I do). You can use a microwave or a double boiler to melt your oils. If using a microwave, go in 30 second increments, stirring between, until all the oil is melted.
-Once your oils are melted, add cornstarch and stir until it is all dissolved. I try to add one tsp cornstarch for every 8 oz of oil. This will help to cut some of the greasiness of your lotion bar.
-Once you’ve got your cornstarch mixed in, you can put in your additives if you’re using them. The additives are totally optional, but scented oils or herbs may make your lotion bar a little more special. Ground ginger and turmeric are great for arthritis pain relief, lavender is relaxing. Peppermint is stimulating and feels great on the feet.
-Once your additives are mixed in, you can go ahead and pour your lotion. If you are using lip balm tubes or deodorant containers, you may want to use a funnel to prevent mess. If you are using a muffin tin, just pour the mixture in.
-Once they’re poured, you just have to wait for them to harden again, and you will have solid lotion bars. You can let them sit over night at room temperature or you can pop them in the freezer to expedite the process.
*The muffin tin bars look great wrapped in fabric with a raffia bow.
If you’re wondering about packaging for your products, here are some suggestions:
-Mason/Canning jars (can be founf at big-lots, specialty grocery stores, and most craft stores)
-Old cosmetic containers/craft containers/food containers. You’d be surprised what you can do with an old applesauce jar!
-For a more professional look, order cosmetic jars online at Uline or SKS Bottle and Packaging. They’re less than a dollar per jar and you can get them quantities as low as 24. Uline delivers the next day!
Happy Bath & Body Product making!
|Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:45 PM||comments (325)|
OK ladies (and gents)… Spring is coming! I know it seems like it will never get here, but it’s coming, I promise… With the warm weather comes sandal season. I am definitely Sandal Season’s BIGGEST FAN! I cannot tell you how liberating it is to let my tootsies out in the springtime sun. The first day of flip-flop season is always one of the most exciting days of the year for me! It always reminds me of that feeling I would get on the first warm day as a kid, when I begged my mom to let me dig out my shorts. Or that feeling of the first sunny day after being buried by snow for 4 months at Slippery Rock, snow capital of the world, when we would skip class to lay in the sun and play afternoon beer pong on the back porch of the sorority house. Oh, the yester-years, how I miss those carefree days…
Now, when the sun peeks out for the first spring day the most exciting thing I get to do is put on a pair of peep-toes and head to work, but somehow that little smidge of visible painted toenail under my desk still makes me feel that happy sunshine high that I had as a kid. However, if you’re anything like me, there is quite a bit of work to be done before your feet, particularly your heels, are ready to be on flip-flop display…. I know I always seriously neglect my feet over the winter, and when mid March arrives and the sun starts to shine, I (or the poor nail tech who gets my pedi appointment) have layers of dead skin to slough off. I feel like I have extra layers of rough dry skin on my feet, like more than the average person... like a freakish amount, really. Like way too much to file off, because it would take me 3 days, which is why I’m always looking into “easy” ways to remove the dry skin. I’ve done the lotion with socks thing, which does soften the skin, but doesn’t actually remove the dead stuff, so it’s a definitely a “band-aid” type fix, rather that a cure. I’ve tried the pedi-egg, which leaves my feet looking and feeling like I got a pedi from Edward Scissor hands. Sorry, cheese grated feet isn’t exactly the look I’m going for. I’ve tried the foot razors, which honestly are the fastest, least labor intensive method, but I ALWAYS end up taking too much and having sore feet, or even worse, open wounds…
In my online searching for a better method, I’ve come across a few products that claim to peel the dry skin away with no scrubbing, filing or soaking, which sounds a little too good to be true, but could be the answer to my pedicure prayers! I have been doing a little research on products, and the two that seem the most legit, based on customer reviews and ingredients lists are “Baby Feet” and “SoftSole”. Both products come with gel-filled disposable slippers that you wear for a period of time (60-120 minutes), then wash and moisturize feet. You repeat this process daily, and after 3-5 days, the dead skin starts to peel off. The skin supposedly sheds for about a week, and then you’re left with smooth soft skin…. We'll see about that!
According to customer reviews and some youtube videos, it really works. Intrigued by the possibility of being able to wrap my feet and treat my callused skin while I watch TV, read, or craft, I decided to check out the ingredient lists to see what magic chemicals are necessary to molt your feet like a snake. Much to my satisfaction, it seems that this product isn’t all that chemically based. The main ingredients are Salicylic acid, Glycolic Acid, Castor Oil, and Vitamin E. Of course, my wheels immediately began to turn. If these easy-to-attain ingredients are all that’s used, why can’t I make my own version? Hmm… Don’t mind if I do!
Here is a basic easy peasy recipe you can try at home. I am also working on formulating a recipe with more skin healing and restoring ingredients for the indulgence line.
Acid Foot Peel Recipe:
What you need:
1 cup Epsom salts (optional)
1 large bowl filled with hot water towel
1 smaller bowl (preferable an airtight container, such as Tupperware)
1 bottle uncoated aspirin (from the dollar store)
A rich moisturizer (try Indulgence whipped body frosting)
What to do:
- Gather supplies and while you’re mixing your paste, soak your feet in the hottest water you can stand. If you have them, add about a cup of Epsom salts to your footbath. You should soak feet for at least a half hour to soften the hardened skin and allow your foot peel to penetrate the layers of dead skin.
- Empty your aspirin into your small bowl. - Slice your lemon into at least 4 wedges and squeeze juice onto aspirin one wedge at a time. You want the final product to be a paste thick enough to spread onto the effected areas yet wet enough to stick to your skin. Squeeze one wedge onto aspirin and wait for the aspirin to dissolve. The lemon juice will dissolve the aspirin pretty quickly. If the paste is too thick, squeeze another wedge onto aspirin mixture.
- Once your mixture is a good consistency, cut 2 pieces of plastic wrap large enough to completely cover your foot.
- Once you have finished soaking your feet, and skin is softened, use the towel to dry your skin. While drying your skin, rub the towel against the rough parts of your skin, this will cause any loose skin to crumble off.
- Once feet are dry, apply your paste to feet. On the first few applications, I apply the paste all over feet concentrating on heels, balls of feet, and skin around the toenails, as this is where I have the most dry skin. You should concentrate on the driest areas of your feet, whatever they may be. Once the paste has been applied thoroughly, wrap feet in plastic wrap, and then apply your socks.
- Save what paste remains in an airtight container for additional applications.
- I do this treatment in the early evening, when I get home from work, and leave it on until I go to bed (5-6 hours). I then remove the wraps, and wash feet with soap and water.
- I then apply my Whipped Body frosting to feet, and put my socks back on. I leave the moisturizer on overnight, as the lemon juice can be very drying.
This treatment is not a quick fix. You will need to apply this treatment everyday for 2 weeks. After a few treatments, you can skip the soaking first, as the skin should be softened from the treatment and the moisturizer. Using an acid based product like this has to be a step-by-step process, as anything strong enough to remove that much dead skin in one application would surely burn right through your healthy skin too… Which brings me to the reason we’re using aspirin. Aspirin is basically just salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is used in many skin care products because it breaks the bonds that hold dead skin to the live skin and kills bacteria without harming your healthy live skin. Glycolic acid is much stronger and will burn your live skin if used incorrectly. Remember that Sex and the City episode when Samantha had a chemical peel and the children where screaming as she walked by them on the street… yep, Glycolic acid! Anyway, about halfway through the process (day 5-7) you will notice that your feet are beginning to peel and shed layers of skin. (That’s why it’s called a foot peel, duh!) It will look pretty horrific
*These are not my feet, I found this picture on google*
... like something out of “The walking dead”, but trust me, it will be so worth a few days of zombie feet to get baby soft tootsies. You can pull the peeling skin off as long as it doesn’t hurt to do so. If you have any pain when pulling the dead skin, this means it is still bonded to the live skin, and is taking that healthy skin with it. You can use cuticle scissors to cut the dead skin if it’s driving you crazy. A day or two after the peeling begins, I stopped applying the paste all over my feet, and concentrated just on the bottoms of my feet, as I didn’t want to unnecessarily dry out the tops of my feet once the dry skin was off of them.
You may notice, if you’ve ever seen the other products I mentioned in this post “baby feet” and “softsole” that those products are only meant to be left on for 1-2 hours. That is because of the glycolic acid. The aspirin/lemon juice mixture could be on for 24 hours at a time without harming your skin, so don’t worry about leaving it on too long. You can help the process along with sugar scrubs and pumice stones while in the shower. Rubbing a terrycloth towel on the peeling skin also works very well.
Upkeep is pretty simple. Continue to apply a heavy moisturizer daily, and keep a pumice stone in your shower. Scrub the areas that become callused daily to avoid build up from occuring. Use a sugar srub several times per week to keep the rest of the skin on your feel soft and smooth. OR just let it get really bad again next winter and molt again!
I hope this help everyone to get flip-flip ready this spring!
Please feel free to send questions to [email protected] and I’ll answer them in my next blog!
Thanks for reading,
|Posted on February 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
Uh, yea… really, it is.
Your skin is your largest organ, and the only one that’s visible to the outside world. Your skin displays your health for the whole world to see, and you honestly can’t fake it. You can’t pretend to have healthy skin. It is either hydrated, healthy, and attractive or it’s not. Your skin will absorb whatever you smear on it, so if you’re putting sulfates and parabens on your skin, that it what will be absorbed into your blood stream. If you’re putting healthy butters, aloe vera juice, honey, and glycerin on your skin, it will soak it all up before it even hits your bloodstream. It’s as simple as that. You want to use products that will improve the overall health of your skin rather than spot treat a certain condition for the time being. Think of it like this: if you have a lung problem, using a ventilator may quickly get oxygen into your lungs, but wouldn’t you rather strengthen your lungs over an extended period of time to eliminate the problem instead of putting a “band-aid” aid on it for the time being? Well, that is what most of the drugstore products are… a band aid. While their lotion may moisturize your skin while it’s on and their face wash may remove the oil from your skin, it will not do anything to improve your skin’s health in the long run. Honestly, depending on the ingredients, it may even harm your skin when used repeatedly.
Whether your main concern is appearance or whether it’s health, your skin is where you should start. It is your garment and your armor. It holds your beauty and your health. It protects you and portrays your image. You only get this one chance, so make it count!
::BEGIN RANT:: For me, it’s the absolute craziest thing to neglect your skin, but it really drives me nuts when I see someone who’s very publicly health conscious with unhealthy skin. You know who I’m talking about, those facebook friends we all have a love/hate relationship with. They post about their workouts and constantly show you pictures of their healthy meals and weight loss progress. We all roll our eyes when they show up on our news feed, and talk about how “sick of hearing it” we are, but honestly we’re just jealous because we wish we had that kind of discipline (and that kind of body). We claim to be disinterested, but stalk their in-front-of-the-mirror weekly progress photos, because let’s face it, it’s pretty awesome… These are the people who shock me the most with the condition of their skin. I mean, you spend 3 hours a day chopping and preparing fresh organic meals, and another 2-4 hours a day working out. Not to mention who knows how much money on produce, gym memberships, and dietary supplements, but you can’t spend $20 and 10 minutes on your skin? WTF, man? I don’t care how skinny you are or how much you work out; if your skin is ashen and dehydrated, you’re going to look terrible. It’s like spending 3 hours making a fabulous cake and then icing it with dog shit… guess what, it’s still gross… I don’t understand how anyone could claim to be health conscious and not care about having healthy skin. It makes absolutely no sense to me. ::END RANT::
Healthy skin does not have to cost a fortune or take a lot of time. A few products can go a long way, and some of the best things can be made at home from edible (organic) ingredients. Of course there are skincare products out there that cost a lot of money, and some believe that the price of a product directly corresponds with it’s value. If you’re one of those people, and you’re happy with the appearance and health of your skin, please spend on… more power to ya. However, if you’re looking for gorgeous healthy skin at a reasonable price, then you need me and my Indulgence products. I can give you a gorgeous complexion for as little as $20 ($13 if you have oily skin) and I can give your whole body a smooth, healthy, hydrated, touch-me look for $11.50. You can’t even get drug store products that don’t work for that kind of money, so what are you waiting for!? Indulgence all natural products are made from edible ingredients, because I honestly believe that you shouldn’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t put in it. The line has been formulated, researched and tested by a trained esthetician, and the products are effective. Affordable, and guaranteed to not only treat your skin on a daily basis, but to improve the overall health and appearance of your skin over time. You know you know you can trust me? Because I use it myself. I have stopped purchasing skincare products all together as well as shaving cream (I use Indulgence Sugar scrub), and lotions.
Below I have listed the product recommendations for different skin types:
First, lets start with body. For your body, I recommend a sugar scrub and a jar of body frosting. Use both daily; concentrating on dry areas (like elbows and heels) and your skin will be healthy and touchably soft in a matter of a few days. Seriously, this is good stuff. Another option for body care is the green tea and honey 3-in-one body wash, hand soap, and shampoo. It is sulfate free and will leave skin and hair clean without stripping it of it’s natural moisture or it’s acid mantle.
Now for the face:
Cleanse and Exfoliate (for all skin types):
One-Step-Facial – gently exfoliates using cornmeal, which will not scratch or scar delicate facial skin. Honey and lemon juice remove dirt, oil, and kill bacteria while a touch of vegetable glycerin adds very light moisture. Oily skin types may not need additional moisturizer.
Mask: (once a week or so)
For oily or problematic skin:
Cocoa-Oat Detox Mask – uses nourishing cocoa powder and milk powder to maintain skin’s health while powerful bentonite clay draws impurities from the pores like a magnet. Oatmeal soothes skin and absorbs oil.
For dry or aging skin:
Aloe Vera Moisture Mask – Aloe Vera Juice lubricates skin and plumps fine lines and wrinkles while coconut oil and a touch of shea butter deeply moisturize even the driest skin.
Green Tea & Aloe Moisturizing Serum: A revolutionary serum made of antioxidant rich green tea, skin rejuvenating Aloe Vera juice, and hydrating vegetable glycerin brings a light rich moisture veil that will pull moisture from the air, continuing to hydrate your skin all day. Green Tea & Aloe Moisturizing Serum contains so oil or wax, and creates a perfect foundation for make-up. The glycerin in the product actually acts as a make-up primer that will not feel greasy or clog pores. *Available with up to SPF 30 added.
A few quick and easy at home tricks:
Toner: lemon Juice on a cotton ball or a green grape cut in half, rubbed on the skin will seal pores better than any alcohol-based toner that will dry and damage skin.
Hair Mask: Eggs and vegetable oil (or mayo) deeply moisturize hair and nourish it with protein rather than just oil, like many store-bought products.
Sugaring unwanted hair with a homemade recipe of sugar, water, and lemon juice is just as effective and not nearly as abrasive to skin as waxing.
Foot Soak: Soaking feet in a baking soda and vinegar bath will loosen dead skin so that it can be rubbed off, using a towel rather than slicing skin with a razor or “cheese grater” –type device, which can open you up to the risk of infection, not to mention, very sore tootsies.
*Search the “home remedies” section of my blog for LOTS more ideas for skin care at home.
I hope this has been helpful!
Thanks for reading,
|Posted on January 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM||comments (73)|
Happy Thursday Pampered Posters… I have a new kitchen cabinet recipe for you! (YAY!)
If you’ve ever had your makeup done professionally, the technician may have sprayed a “Setting Spray” over your finished make-up to help keep it in place. If you’ve ever used a setting spray, then you know how valuable this recipe is, because they are AMAZING and EXPENSIVE! The two brands that I’ve tried are: MAC “fix+” and Urban Decay “all nighter”. Both are great products, but average about $10 per ounce… really? That’s nuts!
Well, no more sudgey smeary faces for girls who can't afford a $30 bottle of setting spray, because I've got a recipe for a setting spray that will anchor your make-up for a fraction of the cost, and it's super easy too! I figure, it will cost you less than 30 cents per 2 oz batch of this spray, because a 1 quart (32oz) size bottle of vegetable glycerin is about $15, making it about 47 cents per ounce. You only need half of an ounce (one Tbs) to make a 2oz bottle of setting spray. I added about 6 cents for water, which seems more than generous for an ounce and a half of distilled water... much better than $20, right? ...AND this spray is actaully better for you skin than those chemical-based store bought ones:
Here's what you'll need:
-A spray bottle of some sort. I used an old travel size body spray bottle
-Measuring cups or spoons
First, choose the amount of spray you would like to make. The total volume of spray will be divided by 4 to get the amout of 1 "part". Depending on how much you want to make, your “part” could be anything from a teaspoon to a cup. I suggest making it in small batches. While the glycerin does have some antibacterial properties, you won’t want to keep it more than week or 2 at the most, because there is significantly more water than glycerin, and water is bacteria’s best friend! I had a 2oz bottle, so my "part" was 1 Tablespoon, which is equal to half an ounce.
1. Measure one part Vegetable Glycerin, and add to your spray bottle
2. Measure 3 parts Water and add to your spray bottle.
3. Replace lid, shake, and spritz!
That's it, and you’re welcome!
I have to provide you with a little bit of the “why it works”, because that’s why you keep coming back to the Pampered Posts, right? For the science lessons….
All kidding aside, I do know that my readers appreciate my explanations. I’ve been told that’s what sets me apart from other beauty bloggers, who have ideas, recipes, tips, and writing styles that are just as good (if not better) than mine. My readers like to know why, and I love to educate them about natural skin care! So, here’s the why ladies… Vegetable Glycerin on it’s own, is a think syrupy liquid, and is quite sticky to the touch. Diluting the glycerin in 3 parts water will reduce the stickiness significantly, but a touch of it will remain. When lightly spritzed onto the skin, it's consistency will allow the glycerin to stick to the surface of your skin and “glue” your make-up in place until it is washed off. However, because of the dilution and the light application, it will not be uncomfortable, but will help to create a barrier between your make-up and all the many causes of smudges and smears. It will not feel greasy, clog pores, or cause blemishes, because Vegetable glycerin is honestly the BEST facial moisturizer available. It is a Humectant, which means it is able to attract water like a magnet, drawing moisture from the air to your skin. It is also an emollient, which means it will soften. smooth, and improve the over-all tecture of your skin, and has some antibacterial properties, that will actually fight against blemishes. There are many ways to dress this recipe up or to extend the life of the product. Some of these ideas would include using rose water or aloe vera juice in place of water, or adding a natural preservative like citric acid. I don’t want to give away too many of my secrets, because I plan on dressing up this recipe and adding a make-up setting spray to the Indulgence line. I promise it will be reasonably priced and NATURALLY preseved, so that you can use it for longer periods of time.
Thanks for reading!
|Posted on January 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
OK Pampered Readers… I was out shopping for this weekend’s party supplies when I came across what I thought must be a mistake or a miracle. Right there, in the Dollar General, next to the nail polish remover pads I was reaching for, was a 4oz bottle of vitamin E oil. It caught my attention, because I’ve only seen vitamin E oil in small 1 or 2 oz bottles, but what really blew my mind was the price… $2. I thought: “TWO DOLLARS!?!?! No way. That’s too good to be true”. I turned the bottle over and read the ingredients. Guess what they were? 2 carrier oils (I believe soybean and sunflower) and vitamin E… yep that’s it. The same ingredients as the stuff I get excited to find for $6 and ounce online… MIRACLE it is! The dollar general stuff doesn’t have a pretty bottle with a fancy dispenser that gives you just the right amount in one squirt, but guess who doesn’t need another fancy bottle… yep, this girl. I was so excited I started telling random people in the store, who much to my surprise, weren’t as impressed as I expected them to be. I bought the Dollar General on Rt 88 in Bethel totally out, so don’t try to go there until next week when their shipment comes in….
My awesome find has inspired me to blog about the awesome and amazing benefits of the almighty vitamin E. Consuming vitamin E in your diet will help build your immune system, increase brainpower, and is even thought to protect against certain cancers. You can get more vitamin E in your diet by eating leafy greens, wheat germ, and spinach (or by taking a capsule, because who eats wheat germ?)
So, that was your nutrition lesson for the day… Now for the reason you’re here, the skin benefits of Vitamin E:
1. Keep skin looking healthy and youthful:
This is the main reason I use vitamin E oil on myself, and why I put it in most of my products. Apply a dab of it around your eyes and/or mouth once daily before applying your moisturizer. If you have fine lines or crow’s feet, you will notice that it diminishes them over time. If you don’t (thank your lucky stars and shut the heck up) it will help to prevent them from forming. You can either put it on at night before bed or during the day. I use it in the morning, because I think it makes my eye make-up go on smoother. If you have dry or very delicate/sensitive skin, you can use it all over your face to improve the texture and health of your skin. I would do this at night, because you don’t want an oily face all day. Oily skin types should NOT do this. If you use skin care products that contain vitamin E oil, like Indulgence Aloe & Green Tea Moisture Serum, (I know, I’m shameless) you’re already getting a little vitamin E with every application. However, adding some to those “problem areas” listed above can’t hurt.
2. Treat Sunburn:
Applying Vitamin E oil directly to sunburn will not only soothe the skin, but help repair the damage caused by harmful UV rays. Apply twice daily until skin is repaired.
3. Treat minor scrapes, burns, and cold sores:
Vitamin E Oil will speed up the healing of minor skin injuries. Apply 2 or 3 times daily.
4. Erase scars and stretch marks:
Vitamin E Oil will fade scars and stretch marks. Apply oil directly to the affected area twice daily. You will notice a significant difference over time. In most cases, the marks will eventually disappear.
So, those are the awesome and amazing benefits of the Almighty Vitamin E. Why are you still sitting there, go to Dollar General!
Thanks for reading!
Send those beauty questions to [email protected]
Have a beauty-filled day!
|Posted on June 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM||comments (49)|
With the temperatures pushing 100 this week, 4th of July next week, AND my vacation in 3 weeks, sunscreen has been on mind lately. Especially since my weekend trip to the pool left me with a cluster of connect-the-dots-worthy zits on the right cheek ☹. While sunscreen is a definite necessity when outdoors (especially in the summer months), it is not always easy on the skin. I have trouble finding sunscreen that will not cause my super-sensitive skin to break out. I also have trouble with sunscreen drying my skin with all the chemicals!
Personally, I prefer to use sunscreen oils on my body instead of creams. The oils help to keep the moisture in my skin, and I believe that they hold up better in the water. This works for me, because an SPF of 8 is enough to keep my Native American skin from burning, but I’m well aware that this is just not enough for most people. However, the oils are not a good idea for my face, which is why I’ve been researching making my own sunscreen, and what I’ve discovered, is that it’s pretty easy and affordable. You can mix up your own sunscreen with any SPF you would like just by adding one ingredient to your favorite lotion, moisturizer, or even oil, if you want. I’m definitely thinking about using this info to formulate a Pamper Parties Pittsburgh Sunscreen solid lotion bar that will be slightly water resistant and SUPER moisturizing.
In order to turn your favorite lotion into sunscreen all you need is either zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Both of these ingredients act as reflectors, causing UV rays to bounce off of your skin rather than penetrate and burn it.
See the chart below to determine how much of your selected oxide to add to your lotion. The percentage mentioned is the percentage of the total weight of the product. Figure out the percentage by moving the decimal of the percentage below 2 places and multiplying by your base weight. For Example: If you have 12 oz of your base, and you would like an SPF of 15, look at the chart below and find the percentage necessary. For an SPF of 15, you need 15% oxide. 12 x .015 (move decimal 2 places) = 1.8 oz. So, you will need 1.8 oz of oxide. However, I would round up to 2, as your total weight be 13.8 after adding your oxide. I plan to make a 6oz product with an SPF of 8. To figure out how much oxide to use, I will multiply: 6 x .08 = .48. I will add half of 1 oz of oxide to get my desired SPF... GET IT?
Here’s where I got my Zinc Oxide, $10.19 for 1 lb: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Zinc-Oxide-Powder-1-lb-Pure-White-Fine-Nano-Powder-/110535398653?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19bc6c54fd#ht_2210wt_1278
Thanks for reading!
|Posted on March 28, 2012 at 2:40 PM||comments (52)|
As many of you know all too well, Allergy season is upon us.. Itchy watery eyes, sneezing, scratchy throats, and runny noses, are all part of spring for many, including me…
I’m no doctor, so I can’t tell you what to do to stop the allergy attacks, although I can tell you the Claritin D is my best friend this time of year. I can however, help you get rid of the rough dry skin around your nose caused by constant wiping and the cracked lips from all that mouth breathing…
If you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you won’t be surprised to hear what I use to re-condition skin after allergies or colds, as this is pretty my little miracle cream. I use it for everything from eczema to sunburn to dry winter hands, to cracked heels…
It’s called Aquaphor, and it is a medicated ointment made by Eucerin. It is the consistency of Vaseline, and has all the moisturizing properties of petroleum jelly, with an added medicated (but not harsh) effect. It comes in a squeezy tube or a jar as pictured below. Remove about a dime sized amount from the jar and spread over dry, cracked, rough, or sore skin before bed. When you wake up the next morning, the Aquaphor will have soaked into your skin, which will be re-conditioned and back to it’s healthy color and texture.
Aquaphor can be purchased in any drug store or grocery store, and it relatively inexpensive. It is gentle enough to use on your kids as well.
Please send your beauty questions to [email protected], and I will answer them in my next blog.
Thanks for reading,