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.
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.
I just read a post online that started with "Are you concerned about wrinkles, sun damage, and dry skin?" I mean, isn't that kind of a no-brainer? I can't think of a single woman who wants skin that could be even remotely described as damaged, dry, or wrinkled. Rather than slathering my face in potentially toxic "cosmeceuticals" like retinol creams, alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids, skin whiteners, and peptide complexes, though, I'd prefer to coax out my skin's radiance with the natural help of good ol' Mother Earth.
Sometimes a less-than-perfect complexion is the result of genetics; sometimes we can blame age, sun exposure, or an unhealthy lifestyle. Whatever your concern—be it dry skin, pigmentation problems, or sun damage—an all-natural, gentle skin care routine can help heal past wounds and allow your skin to reclaim its natural moisture balance. Most of us need no more than four good-quality products in our daily regimen to achieve smoother, hydrated skin.
Your cleanser is really the first step to taking good care of your skin. To help heal damage or prevent dryness, look for creamy, soothing cleansing lotions (rather than gels), which contain high concentrations of oils, water, and emollients. Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser's high concentrations of vitamin E and fatty acids in argan oil, combined with organic willow bark and papaya extract, replace moisture loss, eliminate toxins, gently tone and exfoliate, and brighten skin. I also love Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. Suitable for all skin types, this alcohol- and detergent-free cleanser is bursting with omega 3 and vitamins A, B, and E to replenish the skin's natural moisture barrier.
Approach exfoliation sparingly—those of us with dry or damaged skin probably only need to exfoliate once a week, twice at the most to help slough off dead skin cells and reveal newer, smoother skin below the surface. If you have especially sensitive or reaction-prone skin, a Pai organic muslin facecloth might be all you need. Massage a few pumps of your favourite cream cleanser onto damp skin and remove with a warm, dampened muslin cloth using a circular motion to gently exfoliate. Or mix One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub & Mask with warm water or cleanser, gently massage into face and throat, and rinse. Its soothing silk peptide, milk powder, and pineapple enzymes will polish away dead cells and help protect new ones.
Facial Oil or Serum:
Hands down, my facial oil is my favourite skin-care product. Used on their own or added to moisturizer, oils can penetrate deeply to restore hydration and cure—rather than cover—dryness. They're definitely a superhero when it comes to repairing damage and replenishing moisture:
Choose a moisturizer based on your skin type and personal preference, avoiding the usual nasties like phthalates, synthetic fragrance, siloxanes, and propylene glycol (rest assured that no Fresh Faced products contain these ingredients!). The idea is to heal, rather than hide, whatever ails your complexion, and the best way to do so is by following a pure, natural skin care routine.
The lovely and inspiring Rachel Winard, creator of Soapwalla Deodorant Cream and many other Fresh Faced favourites, visited Martha Stewart's Radio XM station this week as a featured guest on "Life Coaching with Sophie Herbert." Take 10 minutes out of your day to learn about her journey from Juilliard to a career in law to the diagnosis of lupus that inspired Soapwalla Kitchen.
Months ago, while waiting for a facial, I overheard an esthetician tell a client, "I healed my sun spots and acne scars with rosehip oil." My interest was piqued, to say the least: What, no expensive laser treatment? No chemical peels? Healed by nature? Sign me up!
Rosehip seed oil, or "rosa mosqueta," is extracted from the seeds of a wild rose plant native to Chile. It has been used by the people of Chile for centuries, but only recently been recognized in other parts of the world for its anti-aging and skin healing properties. Studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing scars, wrinkles, and dryness; and in helping repair damaged skin cells and promote skin regeneration.
In other words: it's perfect.
The benefits of this natural wonder come from its high levels of vitamin C, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and retinoic acids. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Essential fatty acids have been shown to reduce scarring and promote cell regeneration, and retinoic acid (vitamin A) penetrates the skin to improve moisture levels, skin tone and texture, and pigmentation. Rosehip seed oil is a "dry" oil, which means it soaks into the skin easily and does not leave a greasy residue. It is more potent—and less expensive—than other popular face oils, including rose otto. And anyone can use it, even women with sensitive skin conditions like rosacea and acne.
Rosehip seed oil can be used in its pure form or incorporated into a lotion, facial oil, or cream. See what all the fuss is about with these Fresh Faced buys:
Turns out that eyes aren't just the windows to the soul. More than anywhere else on the face, the skin around the eyes tells a lot about age, health, and diet. As I navigate the waters of my thirties, the eyes staring back from my reflection appear not only wiser and kinder (yay!), but increasingly tired, crinkly, and puffy, too.
The skin around the eyes is unlike any other area of the body. It's much thinner there, more so as we age, and much more absorptive—which means we should be very careful about what's in the creams and potions we slather on it. If there's one element of your beauty routine that should be all-natural, it's your eye cream. And a holistic approach that includes elements of lifestyle and diet is your best defense against dreaded dark circles, bags, and crow's feet.
The cause? A combination of genes and lifestyle. Excess pigmentation in the skin is the likely culprit behind most chronic dark circles. And since the skin under the eyes is so thin, dilated blood vessels can show through, giving a bluish cast. Allergens and sun exposure tend to worsen their appearance.
For a quick fix, only makeup can help in the short term. The right concealer will be a shade slightly warmer than your natural skin tone. Use a small, pointed brush to apply it, and consider following it with a dusting of translucent, shimmery powder to illuminate and set the concealer in place.
For the longer term, foods rich in vitamin K help fortify blood-vessel walls, so munch on brown rice, eggs, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, cornmeal, and liver. Daily use of eye creams or serums that contain vitamins C and K, which can revitalize skin and add volume, should also help. Treatments with vitamin A can help bolster vitamin K activity. Fresh Faced best bets for dark circles: Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Cream, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend, John Masters Organics Vitamin C Anti-Aging Serum.
As with dark circles, some eye puffiness is genetic—and it will worsen with age as we produce more free radicals that cause the skin to lose elasticity and structure. But genetics or not, we've all woken up to periorbital puffiness—otherwise known as puffy eyes, likely as a result of allergies, late nights, too much salt or booze, or not enough water.
Morning puffy eyes will typically resolve on own their by lunchtime (this might be one of the few instances of gravity working in our favour!). To speed up the process, place cool cucumber slices or chilled tea bags (caffeinated, for the tannins) over your eyes for 10 minutes to help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling, and drink plenty of water. Eating vitamin-C rich food will support collagen production, and reducing your salt intake will decrease your fluid retention. Exercise, and therefore circulation, will help your body move fluid efficiently, avoiding accumulation.
Choose eye creams and serums with vitamins A and E, which will help fight free radicals; green tea and witch hazel can aid in diminishing excess fluid and tightening the eye skin. Fresh Faced picks: John Masters Organics Firming Eye Gel, One Love Organics Morning Glory Brightening Complexion Booster, Soapwalla Restorative Face Serum, Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Cream.
I'd rather call these laugh lines—it sounds so much lovelier, but either way, the fine lines that begin to appear at the corners of the eyes in your late twenties or early thirties are a sure sign that you're living life. Repeated muscle movement from smiling, laughing, and squinting are the culprit. You could take the robot approach and never crack another smile, but sun exposure and other environmental pollutants will probably get you in the end anyway. Instead, look for eye products that contain evening primrose, sesame, and jojoba oils to help hydrate the sensitive skin near your peepers. Hyaluronic acid can help increase the skin's absorption of vitamin C, which fights free radicals and sun damage. Chamomile, allantoin, calendula, milk thistle, tea, and licorice can all help reduce inflammation. Fresh Faced picks: Pangea Organics Turkish Rose and White Tea Eye Cream, Pai Echium BioRejuvenate Eye Cream, Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Cream, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend.
Hard to believe it's already July! Spring flew by in a blur. Thanks to all my new (and repeat!) customers last month, I'm pleased to present Fresh Faced's June bestsellers (in no particular order).