Last month, when Rachel Winard of Soapwalla came to Toronto to launch her new line of Toning Mists, she chatted with Andrea of ShopPretty.ca and I about her amazing natural deodorant and shared the secret of what really makes it work.
Not only is it suddenly spring in most of Canada (finally!), it's also Melanoma Awareness Month. So while you're out making hay in the park, at the beach, or in the garden while the sun shines, keep in mind that 90 percent of melanomas are caused by exposure to UV radiation
from sunlight, making it
the most preventable cause of melanoma. If you're already wearing sunscreen, congrats! Now for the tricky part: Is it the right kind?
Most of us have become diligent about including sunscreen in our
daily skin care routines, but it turns out there's more to choosing a
good one than just the SPF number on the label. Protection is always a
good idea, but the chemical filters used in most sunscreens—including
oxybenzone, octinoxate, and avobenzone—are quickly absorbed through the
These chemicals are meant to protect you by absorbing the sun's harmful rays, but in the process they're absorbed into the body and fail to offer long-term protection (they break down after a few hours in the sun). The most common ingredient in conventional sunscreen is oxybenzone, which penetrates the skin in relatively large amounts, can trigger allergic reactions, is a potential hormone disruptor, says the Environmental Working Group (EWG). A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that a whopping 96 percent of six- to eight-year-old girls had detectable levels of oxybenzone in their urine.
And according to the EWG, oxybenzone is a penetration enhancer, which means it's a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin. Another con: Sunlight causes oxybenzone to create free radicals that may be linked to cell damage.
So what's a summer-loving gal to do? Since 2007, the EWG has touted two minerals—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—as the best available sunscreen ingredients. Instead of being absorbed into the body, mineral sunscreens work by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting the sun's rays. They're also less irritating for problem or sensitive skin, are non-allergenic, and do not break down in sunlight or disrupt the body's hormones.
Another no-no is combining retinol or retinyl palmitate products with sunscreen, either mineral or conventional. An active form of vitamin A, retinol is an anti-aging antioxidant used in hundreds of sunscreens, moisturizers, and lip balms. Vitamin A increases photosensitivity in the skin, which means it makes you more susceptible to UV exposure and therefore does more harm than good when used on bright, sunny days.
Fresh Faced's mineral sunscreens are free of oxybenzone, retinol products, and other harmful ingredients. Shop our selection here.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of hosting Rachel Winard, Soapwalla creator and chef, on her first trip to Toronto. While she was here she graciously offered to shoot some video content, and below is the first in a series of five chats focused on Soapwalla. In this episode, Rachel told Andrea Victory-LaCasse of ShopPretty.ca and I about the inspiration behind her amazing brand and her own personal beauty philosophy.
Stay tuned for the other spoils of our shoot, where we find out more about Rachel's cult-fave deodorant cream, her new toning mists, the benefits of her face serum and body oil, and a DIY strawberry face mask. Subscribe to Fresh Faced's new YouTube channel here.
Falling into a rut is something we all do at one time or another, and our beauty habits are no exception. One night you fall into bed with your makeup on, exhausted, and the next thing you know, it's become your nighttime routine. Below are six bad habits to break to help maintain a healthy, beautiful glow.
1. Skipping sunscreen. While this might seem like a no-brainer to some of us, nearly a quarter of Canadian women are still skipping the SPF (not to mention the 60+ percent of men who leave the house unprotected). Adding a mineral sunscreen to your routine (year-round!) is one of the best ways to prevent premature aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation—as well as to avoid potentially deadly skin cancer.
2. Hitting the hay with makeup on. I get it: Sometimes washing your face is the last thing on your list at the end of long day. But pores that are left clogged with makeup and grime while you sleep may erupt and result in an unwelcome surprise come morning. Your skin needs to breathe and produce sebum, a waxy oil that helps moisturize and protect your face, in order to function well and regenerate. Make cleansing a nightly ritual.
3. Picking pimples. Tempting as it is to squeeze and pick at the mere hint of a zit, doing so inevitably makes said blemish worse (and last twice as long!). To avoid infection and scarring, leave pimples alone. When you squeeze, you break the wall of the clogged pore, allowing bacteria to leak out and spread beneath the surface of the skin. Gross!
4. Overplucking. We've all seem them: Women who've gone off the deep end with overplucking. Their eyebrows are a source of wonderment: oddly shaped, oddly curved pencil lines, with nary a hair in sight. Eyebrow hairs actually don't grow that quickly, so if you get carried away in front of the mirror, you'll be paying the price for longer than you think. Tweeze a few hairs at a time, and step back to assess them from a distance before moving on. When in doubt, see a pro once or twice a year to lay a good foundation.
5. Biting your nails. Beyond the obvious aesthetic consequences of biting your fingernails, the germs in your mouth can lead to torn cuticles, hangnails, or infection. Bacteria and viruses can also be transferred from your hands to your mouth. Enough said.
6. Overexfoliating. Less is definitely more when it comes to exfoliating. Overdoing it will irritate your skin and cause dryness and possibly broken capillaries. Your skin naturally sheds most dead cells on its own, anyway. Stripping away the skin's natural oils with an exfoliant will only cause a vicious cycle of irritation in the long run. If you have oily skin, be especially careful not to overdo it, as it may cause your sebaceous glands to produce even more oil. Redness is not a good sign.
Discovering and sourcing the highest quality, results-driven ingredients the organic world has to offer was the first step on Pai Skincare's path to creating its new Echium & Amaranth Age Confidence Facial Oil. Pai was very selective in creating this ten-oil blend, combining high quantities of the actives that have the most concentrated benefits and that each deliver something unique to the skin.
Since Pai is one of my favourite skin care brands, I was beyond excited to road test Age Confidence Facial Oil. No surprises here: It's my new obsession. I use it on damp skin in the evening and wake up refreshed and glowy. Hydrating without being oily, it's quickly absorbed and leaves my skin super soft and calm. And have I mentioned how lovely this oil smells? Like lemons and sunshine.
The ten star ingredients:
Echium: The richest known plant source of gamma linolenic acid and stearidonic acid—unique and powerful forms of omegas 3 and 6. The anti-inflammatory properties of these acids help keep sensitive skin types calm and clear.
Argan oil: Boasts high levels of antioxidant vitamin E and omegas 3, 6, and 9, which heal and restore the skin as well as protect it from environmental damage.
Guggul oil: Has the ability to increase the skin’s metabolism for a brighter, revitalized complexion. It inhibits the enzyme that breaks down collagen, and also protects the skin’s strong and supple support system.
Kukui oil: Contains a unique blend of omegas 3 and 6, which strengthen and repair the skin’s essential moisture barrier.
Borage oil: Contains high concentrations of the richest essential fatty acids around, which actively plump cells while simultaneously restoring hydration.
Amaranth oil: One of the only plant sources of unparalleled moisturizing agent squalene, which vastly increases skin suppleness and elasticity to soften and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
Macadamia oil: Replenishes the skin’s essential level of palmitoleic acid—an enriching oil produced naturally by the skin that depletes with age.
Sea buckthorn oil: Rich in antioxidants, pro-vitamin A, and a rare form of omega 7 that nourishes the skin and aids cell regeneration.
Plum oil: Bursting with oleic acid, linoleic acid, vitamin E, and pro-vitamin B5, plum oil dramatically improves the skin’s elasticity.
Grape seed oil: Helps to regulate and maintain healthy, balanced skin while protecting collagen and delivering high level of essential fatty acids.
As with all Pai products, Echium & Amaranth Age Confidence Oil is suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive and/or aging.
Fresh Faced grade: A+
This is the third and final installment in a series of awesome guest posts by Toronto beauty writer Andrea Victory-LaCasse of ShopPretty.ca. We're thrilled to have her creative, expert approach to one of the biggest trends for spring 2013: nineties retro. Part three of the series shows how to achieve a natural, neutral lip that even Linda Evangelista would get out of bed for.
My first encounter with brown lip colour was in the early 80s, when I discovered a stash of my mom's lipsticks. Mostly pinks and mauves, there was one brown one, which in the 80s, my five-year-old self saw as hideously boring. As a mini makeup expert, I explained to my little sister that brown lipstick was only acceptable when wearing an all brown outfit: dress, tights, shoes, scarf...you know, to match. Fast-forward ten years, out of the frosted pink and mauve-lipped 80s, and my first very own lipstick was called "Fawn." It was a very tawny neutral. From there, I did what all the girls were doing in the nineties: covered my lips with concealer or foundation, then outlined them with brown lip liner.
In the 90s, neutrals were normal. Beauty books and magazines explained how to complete a "finished face" and a natural neutral was always recommended for daytime wear. The supermodels did it well and are inspiring trends twenty years later. On the DSquared2 Spring Summer '13 runway, models rocked a look inspired by a Peter Lindbergh photograph of Linda Evangelista with "that fabulous supermodel look."
Get the look: Ilia Beauty Lipstick in Humble Me ($24) is the perfect nude, made with natural and organic ingredients. Apply to lips, then blot off excess. Follow in the centre of lips with Revolution Organics Freedom Lip Gloss in Innocent ($29). This smooth, non-sticky lip gloss is rich in vitamins and antioxidants and packaged in recyclable and biodegradable material.
This is the second in a series of awesome guest posts by Toronto beauty writer Andrea Victory-LaCasse of ShopPretty.ca. We're thrilled to have her creative, expert approach to one of the biggest trends for spring 2013: nineties retro. Part two of the series is all about skin care and how to achieve that Cindy Crawford minimalist look with all-natural, toxin-free products.
Growing up with Nirvana, waifish CK ads, and Doc Martens, it seems soon to be calling the nineties "retro." The seventies were what I considered retro. The nineties were so now—or not, I guess (it was twenty years ago, after all). Two decades ago, the days of my teens were exciting times: I discovered magazines and, subsequently, a boundless enthusiasm for makeup. Attempting my first forays into face painting meant coverup, and following the advice of my friends, I slathered on a pretty thick base, so my early days of beautification were spent under a heavy layer of pancake foundation.
Thankfully, a freshness swept in with minimalism, and upon my discovery of Cindy Crawford’s 1996 book Cindy Crawford’s Basic Face, my attempts to hide my skin went by the wayside for a while. Known for her no-makeup makeup, a quote from the supermodel's makeup workbook changed how I felt about my look. "Sometimes I don't care if I have bags under my eyes because I think it looks womanly and kind of sexy." Her statement gave me permission to adopt a simplistic routine. (This plus a combination of Calvin Klein minimalism, which also made a strong case for the naked face.)
These days I approach my undereye circles with both a sense of womanliness and a stick of coverup, and am always happy to see runways presenting a slew of bare-faced beauties. Standing out this Spring/Summer 2013 with minimal coverage were the models at Sportmax. (Don't worry, subtle coverup slyly applied means you, too, can hack it.)
Get the look: SW Basics Cleanser ($26) is minimalist skin care at it's best. Organic rosewater, glycerin, and organic tea tree oil makes for a gentle clean. Follow with a non-greasy moisturizer. Pai Geranium and Thistle Combination Skin Cream ($47.50) will keep skin hydrated and luminous. If completely bare isn't your forte, try Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer ($22) around the nose, under the eyes, and on red areas, and blend really well into the skin. A light and breathable coverup with easy stick application, it's cruelty-free, gluten-free, and manufactured using wind power.