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MineralFusion® Minerals on a Mission Makes Beauty Natural

by Caroline Leavitt

I first came across MineralFusion products at Whole Foods. I know minerals, because of their antioxidant power, are essential to glowing skin and hair  Paraben, gluten and talc free, these beautifiers have no artificial fragrance, and happily for me, they’re all hypo-allergenic. This is a company that not only makes you look beautiful, it makes your skin and hair healthier, too. Even better, Mineral Fusion has a social conscience, and is partnered with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. And of course, all their packaging is recyclable.

Finding the right blush has been the bane of my existence. The colors don’t usually look natural and they feel cakey on my skin. I tried the 3-in-1 Color Stick  for cheeks, lips and eyes, and it was a revelation. It not only glided on, it stayed on, and the color looked as if I were–well, blushing naturally.

I also tried and loved their liquid lip gloss, enriched with White Tea, Red Tea and Pomegranate, Vitamin C, Sunflower Seed Oil and Vitamin E to pamper your pucker and protect your lips against free radical damage. The color is sheer and gorgeous.

I love eyeshadow, and the MineralFusion one,  made from Pomegranate, Sea Kelp, Green Tea and Vitamins C and E, with Aloe Vera to calm your skin, had a  soft, gorgeous color, and it felt great on my skin.

But after pampering my face, I couldn’t wait to try their hair products. Being a curly girl, finding the right products for my hair has usually been hit or miss.The wrong concoction can leave my curls lank, or dry them into a frizz. I tried the Curly Care Beauty Balm on my hair while it was dry and was astonished to see how easily it calmed the flyaways and added shine. The lasting Color Shampoo and Conditioner are beauty-boosted with Argan and Flax oils to make your curls pop while masking frizz. Filled with Murumur and Shea butters, they hydrate and detangle, and the minerals strengthen curls. Best of all, they aren’t just safe for colored hair–they’re good for it. My curls bounced and my hair was so shiny, I kept staring at it all day.

I fell in love with this line. I bet you will, too.

*Find Caroline’s award  winning novels here! We are so lucky to have her as a part of Hello Dollface!*

shampoo

 

Do you know what’s in your shampoo? I  always use a  natural shampoo but I’ve often been tempted by advertisements for big hair thanks to a drugstore, or even luxury brands.  I decided to launch into an investigation of what is in most shampoo and here’s what I found. This is enough to make me keep using my natural and organic products… forever.

Here are some common ingredients to look for – and avoid- in your shampoo:

Sulfates: harsh as the detergent you might use on your dishes, gives shampoo that lovely foamy texture. Look out for  sodium and ammonium laureth sulfates which are known cancer-causing ingredients! Using products with sulfates not only strip  hair of moisture  but can cause breakage.

Isopropyl Alcohol: this is a petroleum derived ingredient that cleans but is very drying. It can, as you would imagine, strip hair of any  moisture. Companies probably love this ingredient, it necessitate the use of conditioner!

Amodimethicone: This gives hair that soft, silky feeling. Silicone based, this ingredient, along with dimethicone, doesn’t allow the scalp (or skin when its in a skincare product) to breathe.

Propylene Glycol: You will find this in many, many beauty products not just shampoo. Basically its a clear, colorless detergent that comes from mineral oil. Its on the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list. It doesn’t cause cancer but it does cause a lot of irritation and has been linked to skin, liver and kidney damage.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone: I cant even pronounce this one! Its a preservative- think about shampoo having an endless shelf life. Its found in numerous shampoos. If it has the potential to be toxic, which this does, I want to stay away. Linked to immune system problems and puts unborn children at risk for brain defects.

Parabens: Used to prevent bacteria growth in personal care products like shampoo, skincare and makeup. Look out for Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, and anything else ending in –paraben.  These are known endocrine disruptors.

Phthalates: Also known as DEP, DBP, fragrance- used to soften vinyl and are common components of fragrances in soaps, perfumes, detergents, cleaning products, You can find phthalates in shower curtains, wallpaper, vinyl miniblinds, food packaging, and plastic wrap, wood finishes, detergents, adhesives, plastic plumbing pipes, lubricants, medical tubing and fluid bags, solvents, insecticides, medical devices, building materials, and vinyl flooring! (source)

Phthaltes have been linked to reproductive and hormonal issues.

Formaldehyde also goes  by the names doazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quarternium-15. Do I need to spell out the dangers of this one? Found in shampoos and liquid baby soaps as well as nail polish and glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash, color cosmetics!

Might be listed as  quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium. Companies are sneaky, aren’t they?

Not only is this a known irritant, its also a carcinogen! It can be absorbed through the skin which makes it very threatening. Stay away! The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics warns, “Skip hair-smoothing products—especially those sold in salons, as salon-based products are exempt from labeling laws.”

So what to use to clean your hair?  Here are some of my own green, clean favorites! (not affiliate links)

Shea Moisture

Acure Organics

Living Libations

Josh Rosebrook

Alba Botanica

 Desert Essence

What do you use to clean your hair?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

coconut-oil

I don’t know about you but I am a big coconut oil fan. I put it on toast, occasionally use it as a makeup remover, put on the ends of my hair and have made a toothpaste out of it. I love it for a body moisturizer too. The possibilities are endless! I cook with it and use it to coat pans instead of spraying PAM or using butter.

I keep two tubs of it in the house, one downstairs in the kitchen and one upstairs in my bathroom!

Here’s what the experts have to say about this must-have, multi-use product!

 Dr. Marc Lowenberg, Cosmetic Dentist of Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor an d “Oil Pulling Guru”

Q: How does Coconut Oil improve oral health?

A: Oil pulling is a 3,000 year-old Indian practice and an inexpensive and harmless healing remedy with no downside. It reduces

inflammation by combining the fat-soluble toxins found in the mouth, a byproduct of bacterial dental plaque, with the use of coconut

oil. Results of oil pulling include fresher breath, whiter teeth and a reduction of bleeding gums while flossing. It is important to note,

that oil pulling does not take the place of brushing and flossing, and I suggest using a tongue scraper after swishing with the oil for 20

minutes to remove the oil from the surface of the tongue. The proof of efficacy of this treatment is something you can see and feel

after several days of this treatment.

 

Rita Hazan, Celebrity Colorist and Founder of the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City

Q: How does Coconut Oil benefit hair and how do you use it?

A: Coconut oil gives a hair a high shine since it contains fatty acids, more than other oils. I recommend it for over bleached, coarse and

thick hair. The best type is organic raw Coconut Oil from Whole Foods. Heat it up for a few minutes, apply it to your ends and work it

to the top of your hair. You can leave it on overnight with a shower cap; however, it is important to wash it out first thing in the

morning.

 

Dr. Frank Lipman, Integrative & Functional Medicine Physician and founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center

Q: How should Coconut Oil be factored into your daily routine?

A: Healthy fats such as Coconut Oil are crucial for healthy skin. Coconut Oil is great for the skin as it contains lauric acid which has

antimicrobial properties. It also contains Vitamin E which is essential for healthy skin growth and repair. The saturated fat in Coconut

Oil is even known to protect the skin from UV damage from the sun. Taken internally, Coconut Oil will nourish the skin from the inside

out. It can also be used externally as a moisturizer. I hope to help people let go of the myth that fat is bad for you! I am talking about

good fats from Coconut Oil, coconut cream, olive oil, butter from grass-fed cows, and nut butters. Fats are essential for proper nerve

activity, fat-soluble vitamin absorption, immune-system function and healthy cells.

 

Kat Burki, Founder and CEO of Kat Burki Skin Care

Q: What makes Coconut Oil essential in beauty products?

Coconut Oil, rich in Vitamin E, is known for its reparative and moisturizing capabilities, restoring suppleness and delaying signs of

aging. Essential fatty acids and major antioxidants, such as Ferulic Acid and P-Coumaric Acid, combat free radical damage. We

incorporated a virgin Coconut Oil into our Hibiscus Antioxidant Face Mask. This oil is cold-pressed, pure, natural and unrefined, with

no chemical additives, ensuring all of the rich antioxidants remain to fully protect while repairing skin.

 

Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Founder and Director of The Fifth Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser

Center

 Q: Why is Coconut Oil top-of-mind for those looking to boost the appearance of their skin?

A: Coconut Oil has always been a well-accepted moisturizer and antioxidant for “Skin Care Gurus.” Coconut Oil has beneficial

uses, both internally and externally. It has pure fatty acids essential for moisturizing and also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal

properties. Comuaric acid is an antioxidant present in Coconut Oil and decreases inflammation and increases overall health of the

skin. It is also very moisturizing and soothing for sunburns and helps skin’s luminosity and gives a nice temporary glow.

 

Dr. Stafford Broumand, NYC-based Plastic Surgeon and Associate Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at The Mount Sinai

Hospital

 Q: What skin type is Coconut Oil best for?

A: Recently many people have been talking about Coconut Oil, but it has actually been used for years. In the Middle East, women

have been known to use it on their hair to keep it healthy and add a silky shine. Coconut Oil is soothing with Vitamin E and it also

has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, which can be known to help with skin disorders. It is light in smell and consistency, so it

absorbs easily into the skin, making it suitable for all skin types.

Joanna Vargas, Celebrity Facialist

 Q: How can you incorporate Coconut Oil into your body treatments?

A: Coconut oil is amazing for the skin – it is very soothing and contains fatty acids that help maintain the skin’s lipid layer. I would

also recommend it for people who have eczema, due to its calming properties. A unique at-home body treatment that I would

recommend is covering your whole body, head to toe in coconut oil, and then wrapping everything in ace bandages. The coconut

oil increases the metabolism in your cells, so it will help with cellulite, it’s a major detoxifier and it’s also very hydrating. Stay

wrapped for 45 minutes.

 

 Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Co-Director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in D.C

 Q: Are there any precautions one should take when applying Coconut Oil?

A: Coconut Oil should be used cautiously on the skin, especially for those prone to acne because it can clog pores,

which can lead to breakouts.

goodnight

 

This  was not a stellar week for reading. I checked out five books from the library and couldn’t get into any of them. I had several books downloaded to read (a real book is always my first choice) on my ipad and kindle but none of them struck a chord either. Don’t you hate that?

I read some really good ones last week and I long to lose myself in another book soon.

The one book I read that I can recommend to you isn’t out for a while. That’s the bad news. But you can mark it to-read if you are on Goodreads or add to your Amazon wishlist, its due out on May 27.

And that book is… drumroll please…

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio. 

In this novel, the author imagines a relationship between the writer of the classic children’s book Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown and the fictional character of Ruby, the aunt of the main character June.

When Ruby dies, she leaves her quaint Seattle bookstore to June, a successful but stressed out lawyer who is married to her job. June  plans on selling Bluebird Books quickly and heading back home to New York City.

Once in Seattle, however, June discovers letters  between her Aunt Ruby and Margaret Wise Brown, letters that inspire June and make her take charge of her life and make new choices. The letters also inform her of secrets that Ruby held close to her heart. Its a very sweet story and I could just imagine the cute little bookstore as I was reading Goodnight June. I think you are going to like this book especially if you are familiar with Goodnight Moon!

And…if you are looking for another book, my novel To Marilyn, With Love is available on Kindle right now. You can buy it here.  A book I am anxious to read is A Little Bit of Everything Lost written by my friend Stephanie Elliot, check it out! 

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skincando

 

 

I was super excited to test the brand Skincando. I just had a really good feeling about it when I stumbled upon the website looking for clean, green skincare!

It was love at first sight when I opened up my Skincando Combat Ready balm! This ultra soothing, rich and gentle cream will calm irritated skin within seconds of application- that was my experience when I had a terrible rash recently (thanks gluten!).

This product has been known to work on skin conditions such as dryness, eczema, minor abrasions, scars, windburn and sun burn and more. This balm has been used on soldiers in the war zone who suffer from all of the above maladies.

After testing that winner, I was eager to see what else this brand offers. Next up is the Eye Balm which is a luxurious, nurturing balm that contains white tea and chamomile essential oil. I used this after my shower, first thing in the morning and I’ve applied it throughout the day because I love  how very rich and nurturing it is. The delicate eye area needs this!

Can you tell I am already a fan?

When I first smelled the Combat Ready bar, one word came to mind: Invigorating! With organic rosemary and brewed black tea, this cleans the skin gently and makes your body feel energized.

I love a good lip balm and keep several tubes throughout the house. The Combat Ready Lip Balm is a peppermint flavored balm made with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Shea butter. You cant get much more pure than that! I am also loving the Brew Lip Balm which is made with Myrrh, a powerful ingredient! It heals lips and I’ve been eyeing it up to use on my wrinkles too! I wonder if it would work…

The Miracle Cream is an intensive treatment for skin- use this at night and wake up with re-hydrated skin! Fresh ingredients feed your face and help diminish the look of wrinkles and fine lines. I pat this into the areas that need lots of moisture including my neck and the tops of my hands.

I don’t hesitate to recommend any of these Skincando products to you. They are so soothing and feel great on the skin.  Highly recommended! Go here for lots more information!

 

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foodintolerance

 

I found this infographic and I think it’s so interesting. I am fascinated by health and the body and how food can affect a person’s overall well being.

Would you ever equate a rash or swollen ankles with a food intolerance?  A year ago, I probably wouldn’t but after studying up on this very topic, I attribute a lot of health issues to food. Our foods have been modified and soil has been depleted, creating crops that are different than when our grandparents and parents were growing up.  Wheat, a very common ingredient in many products, is not even close to being the same as it was years ago.  For more about the wheat issue, go here.

There are people suffering with food allergies and intolerances from things other than wheat.

Allergy vs. Intolerance

“Food intolerance, also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, refers to difficulty in digesting certain foods. It is important to note that food intolerance is different from food allergy.

Food allergy triggers the immune system, while food intolerance does not. Some people suffer digestive problems after eating certain foods even though their immune system has not reacted – there is no histamine response.

Foods most commonly associated with food intolerance include dairy products, grains that contain gluten, and foods that cause intestinal gas buildup, such as beans and cabbage.”  SOURCE

Common food allergies include:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts (such as walnut or cashew)
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • soy
  • wheat

According the the Mayo Clinic, food allergies can appear as an adult with no obvious reason behind it. You might find yourself suddenly unable to eat something you used to eat all the time! It’s so frustrating, as I can tell you from experience. 

“When your digestive system isn’t operating properly, the unhealthy environment actually destroys the lining of the digestive tract.  This scenario has become known as “Leaky Gut” and can drive systemic inflammation and either cause or aggravate a variety of inflammatory and auto-immune conditions.  At the very least it will lead to food sensitivities known as “food allergies.”  When you completely and comprehensively repair the leaky gut, you can eliminate food sensitivities.” SOURCE

You can help to heal your stomach by consuming certain nutrients that help get the digestive system back on track. Try looking into these: Acid stable digestive enzymes, Quercetin, N Acetyl Cysteine,  L-Glutamine, N Acetyl Glucosamine, Phosphatidyl Choline, probiotics, and gentle fiber.

Here are the details:

“Digestive enzymes break food down into nutrients preventing them from fermenting (rotting) into toxins. The probiotics repopulate the intestines with beneficial bacteria supporting healthy immune function, nutrient absorbption and they also compete for space and nutrients with harmful microorganisms that may be present, diminishing their numbers.  L-glutamine, N Acetyl D Glucosamine and Phosphatidyl Choline actually help to rebuild the mucous membrane that lines the digestive tract, ensuring proper absorption of nutrients.  This is the “back-bone” of the healing process for “Leaky Gut”.” SOURCE

If you are suffering from something and can’t figure out what  it is, try looking into your daily diet. You can keep a journal of what you are eating, then start eliminating foods one by one.  If you have an allergy or intolerance, how are you handling it?

 

 

 

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