Clean Beauty & Body

What Is Inclusive Beauty?


man doing skin care routine in mirror

The days of niche or “boutique” beauty brands with limited product lines are gone. Over the last several years, as you’ve browsed the beauty aisles you’ve probably seen that the beauty industry as a whole has experienced a major shift towards becoming more inclusive. Some skin and hair care products, for example,  have changed to show that they’re “made for all skin or hair types.” 

What’s considered an inclusive beauty product?

Inclusive beauty products are products that cater to a wide range of consumers irrespective of gender, age, skin tones or hair types. Very literally - everyone. 

Why is inclusive beauty important?

In a recent study, a stunning 72% of American adults expressed that "society's idea of beauty is too rigidly defined." This same study revealed that almost half of beauty consumers say they have looked for or bought from brands with diversity or inclusivity as a core company value,  in the last year. Clearly, it's high time to make this enormous industry more accessible to all.

There are a number of ways that beauty has become more inclusive:

  • Offering products for “all skin or hair types”
  • Creating a wider range of color palettes for skin care and makeup products
  • Being transparent about the ingredients in formulas
  • Representing diversity in their advertising


woman putting face lotion on face in mirror

Life's Abundance Clean Beauty & Clean Body

At Life’s Abundance, our Clean Beauty and Clean Body products are made with everyone in mind. We’re committed to creating and perfecting safe, gentle, and effective beauty products that you can feel comfortable using - regardless of your skin or hair types.

Here are a couple things you’ll love about our products:

  • All of our Clean Beauty and Body products are free of sulfates, chemicals and harmful additives - just take a look at our labels and you’ll find only skin-loving ingredients!
  • Our Charcoal & Sea Salt Soap contains Dead Sea salt which has nutrients that promote moisture while also correcting  imbalances so, no matter what type of skin you have, you can enjoy its benefits.
  • Our Facial Cleanser is great for all skin types as it gently removes impurities without harming your skin’s natural barrier (unlike other cleansers that can strip protective oils).
  • Just as effective, our Shampoo and Conditioner is perfect for virtually every hair type from thin to thick or straight to curly. The nourishing formula works to deliver a gentle cleanse without stripping your locks of its oils.

If you’ve ever had trouble finding products that properly represent your hair or skin type, it’s time you feel the effects of formulas that really work. Try anything from our Clean Beauty and Clean Body line and you’ll see the results in your clear, nourished skin and healthy, shiny hair.

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Aromatherapy For Glowing Skin

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A Spa Day For You And Your Pet


woman shampooing hair

Summer days are fun but they can be long, hot, and draining. Whether you’re spending the time with your furry friend just lounging outside, traveling, or playing - it’s bound to get tiring and we know just what you and your pet will need - a spa day! Here’s our necessities for ultimate relaxation - not just for you, but your furry friends too!

Nothing cures a stressful day better than a soothing bath. Research shows that spending 30 minutes in the tub helps to lower blood pressure, fight depression and allows you to sleep better. Want to give your bath a boost? Use a cleansing soap with charcoal to draw impurities from your pores - leaving you with clean, refreshed skin. It also features tea tree and neem oils which are amazing at soothing and calming your skin. Plus, there’s no dry-skin feel afterwards thanks to the Dead Sea salt contained in this bar that helps retain natural moisture.

For a more complete refreshing experience from head to toe, while you shower, remember to use a light facial cleanser to help brighten up your skin. Preferably one that includes these key ingredients that offer a slew of benefits:

  • Aloe leaf juice, argan oil and shea butter to capture debris without stripping skin.
  • Sugar cane, white willow bark and citrus peel extracts to gently exfoliate and reveal your natural glow.
  • Apricot, neem and hemp seed oils to calm irritated skin.
  • Bilberry and cranberry fruit extracts to help fend off the effects of environmental stress.
  • Omega fatty acids to deeply nourish and promote healthy, even skin.

Prolonged time in the sun and exposure to harsh UV rays can damage hair cuticles causing dry, brittle hair. So make sure to restore your hair with a botanical shampoo and conditioner. Regardless if you have curly, dry, or oily hair - these two products are made with all hair types in mind. Lather, rinse and repeat if necessary and you’ll be ready to show off your hair’s natural vibrance all summer long.


dog in the bath

Now that you’re refreshed it’s time to take care of your furry friend. After an hour or so of  playing in the yard they’re going to be due for a cleansing bath. No one loves that wet dog smell - not even your pet, probably - so pamper them with this luxurious shampoo. Infused with rosemary and sage, just a small dollop will bring out your pet’s natural shine, and it’ll do more than just mask odors - it neutralizes them. They’ll be left with a beautiful coat and a light citrus aroma.

However, if you don’t have time for a full-on bath (and they’re not too dirty), this portable Bath Fresh Mist is a quick fix until you can get around to bath time. This spray on formula uses the same Ordenone ingredient to completely get rid of odors rather than cover them up. You’ll love the way this mist nourishes their coat with a mix of certified organic herbal extracts, aromatic botanicals and natural fruit extracts.

After this spa day, you and your pet will be feeling your very best. Now, it’s just time to cuddle up on the couch after a long day - feeling refreshed, clean and relaxed.

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Aromatherapy For Glowing Skin


woman putting lotion on legs

Have you ever wondered what our ancestors  used as skin care? It’s safe to assume that Mona Lisa didn’t achieve that killer complexion by using our favorite serum.  

These days, the market is flooded with products to choose from, but before fancy ingredients came into play, cultures around the world have looked to aromatherapy to promote both mental and physical well-being.

Aromatherapy involves the inhalation or application of essential oils - derived from aromatic plants - each of which offer their own unique set of benefits. Essential oils even earned a stellar review from the father of modern medicine himself. 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates once claimed that “the key to good health rests on having a daily aromatic bath and scented massage.” 

Sounds great except who has time for a nightly soak or money for a daily massage? For a more practical approach try our Charcoal & Sea Salt Soap, which combines essential tea tree and neem oils with the power of naturally activated charcoal and Dead Sea salt.

Tea tree oil is packed with natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that make it a one-stop-shop for the skin. It’s one of the few ingredients that boasts the ability to help both dry and oily skin alike. It can also aid in the treatment of skin irritations and acne.  

Neem oil also brings plenty to the table with a powerful combination of fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants that soothe the skin and help to promote collagen growth.  


charcoal soap on blue towel

The aroma from the essential oils themselves can have a profound effect on mental well-being. Such is the case with essential lemon oil, which studies have shown can help fight depression, all while clearing skin and reducing inflammation. 

The same can be said for essential geranium oil, which smells so amazing that it's commonly used in perfume. But don’t be fooled by its delicate floral scent, because this one essential oil is loaded with skin care benefits. Studies have shown that the natural properties of geranium oil make it a great choice for fighting  acne, skin irritation, and other skin infections.

Impressed? We were too.

That’s why we made sure to include both essential lemon and geranium oils in the list of natural ingredients that make up our soothing Body Lotion. 

We didn’t stop there. We’ve combined a selection of all the most trusted aromatherapy products throughout history into one powerful Facial Serum that’s enough to make a convert out of even the most skeptic skincare aficionado. It contains natural ingredients like myrrh, which was literally worth its weight in gold among the ancient Egyptians. Due to its powerful healing and protective properties, myrrh earned a spot in the annals of skin care history among a variety of ancient civilizations. Also included are essential oils such as may chang, carrot seed, clary sage, thyme, and more.

We invite you to try one of our skin care products and reap all the historical benefits of aromatherapy.  And don’t be surprised when you end up with healthier, glowing skin from these naturally occurring, stand out ingredients.

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Get Your Skin Ready For Summer: Part 1

Feed Your Skin From The Inside Out

The Best Beauty Regimens Have This In Their Arsenal


woman cleansing face

Your skin fully regenerates about every 28 days (and increases to 45-50 days as you get older). Skin cells are born in the bottom-most layer of the epidermis, and they continually mature until they reach the outermost layer, and end their lifespan where they’ll continually shed. And here’s a fun fact:

 

Dead skin cells play an important role in helping your skin retain moisture.

 

That’s why it’s important that you exfoliate regularly to preserve your skin’s natural function.

Supporting the skin’s natural exfoliation process

Your skin’s natural exfoliation process can be aided with the help of natural ingredients that work together with your skin. There are several ways to exfoliate skin gently to help slough away dead skin, encourage circulation and induce a radiant, even-toned complexion.

If you’ve ever seen the severe redness of someone’s skin after a chemical peel, it’s due the abrasive ingredients. Chemical peels use harsh enzymes or acids to break down dead skin cells while mechanical exfoliation is done by using products with small particles that help buff away dead skin cells. We suggest a facial exfoliator like our Hibiscus Mask & Scrub which gives you a natural glow with its combination of natural enzymes like raw honey that helps promote skin healing and provides gentle exfoliation. They work in tandem to reveal brighter, more even-toned and smooth skin.

All natural exfoliation

The Hibiscus Mask takes a two-pronged approach by using both chemical and manual exfoliation. This gives you a gentle-yet-effective cleanser that doubles as a mask and is safe for many different skin types. It combines natural enzymes of pumpkin pulp, sugar extract and hibiscus that work together to break down dead skin cells on the surface. Simultaneously, colloidal oat powder gently buffs away dead skin cells as you massage it into your skin. It’s a win-win for unclogging pores and revealing fresh, bright skin!


woman exfoliating face

How to get the most out of our 2-in-1 Hibiscus Mask & Scrub

Whether you need a leave-on mask or exfoliating cleanser here’s our step-by-step guide.

As a mask:

  1. Always start with freshly cleansed skin.
  2. With skin slightly damp, apply a dime-sized amount of Hibiscus Mask and gently massage across your face and neck. Aim for a near-translucent layer of mask on skin - you don’t need a thick layer for this mask to work its magic.
  3. Leave this mask on for 10-15 minutes. To remove, apply a warm washcloth to skin and rinse with cool to warm water.
  4. Finish with your favorite facial moisturizer.

As a cleanser:

  1. Wearing makeup or sunscreen? Double cleanse. We recommend first washing skin with a foamy or creamy cleanser before using your scrub. Remove as much product from skin as possible before moving on to step two. Leave skin wet after rinsing.
  2. With skin damp, apply a dime-size amount of the scrub and begin gently massaging the product into skin in circular motions. Use light to medium pressure and massage for about 30 seconds. Rinse with cool to warm water.
  3. Apply your favorite facial moisturizer to seal the deal.

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Get Your Skin Ready For Summer: Part 2


woman touching clear face

You already know that hydration is important when it comes to taking care of your skin for the summer. Here are some additional tips to keep your skin healthy and glowing through the season.

Eat Well

When we think of hydrating our skin from within, we usually think of water, but you can also hydrate the skin with foods that have a high water content, such as cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, and apples to name a few. Oranges also have a high water content and contain a large amount of natural vitamin C, which also helps to brighten a dull winter complexion. 

Summer is also the time to indulge in the colorful, antioxidant-rich produce that are often in abundance during this time of year. Blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and plums are loaded with antioxidants that aid the body in protecting itself from cell-damaging free radicals (like those from the sun). Be sure to load up at the farmer’s market whenever you have the chance. 

Eating well has a direct impact on the health of our skin, so nutritionists and dermatologists also make a point to include essential fats in their moisturizing arsenal, as they are another way to keep the skin soft and elastic from within. Eating oily fish, such as salmon 2-3 times a week and adding a serving of seeds or nuts to your daily snack is a great way to start - flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are all high in good fats to feed your skin. And if you can’t seem to get enough through your diet, you can always supplement with our ultra concentrated and pure Omega 3 Fish Oil. 

A glowing summer complexion doesn’t just start with what you should be eating more of, but also what you might want to cut from your diet - or at least eat less of. Skin congestion and breakouts can be caused by too much dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, and although we aren’t into drastic measures - like telling you to ditch your daily coffee or Friday night pizza altogether, in this case, less really is more - a more radiant complexion.


woman with clear skin in the sun

Exfoliate Your Face + Body For An All-Over Glow

In the warm summer months skin can naturally produce more oil. While more oil for some may not be cause for concern, for others, it can mean excess build up in the pores that can also lead to breakouts. On top of that, our bodies naturally sweat more to help regulate our body temperature. While both of these bodily functions are totally normal and healthy, they can be the perfect acne-causing storm. A gentle enzyme-packed exfoliator can be your summer skin’s best friend to help keep pores clear and skin bright. Opt for a naturally-occuring AHA rich mask like the Hibiscus Mask & Scrub. Not only is it formulated with natural enzymes from pumpkin pulp and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) from berries, but it’s also extremely high in antioxidants - the skin-loving, free-radical fighting components that help protect cells from damage caused by the sun (and other environmental pollutants).  

In addition, daily body brushing using a natural bristle brush is not only a great way to exfoliate the dead skin from your body, but it also stimulates your lymphatic system and circulation, which improves the overall condition of your skin and also helps decrease cellulite. The sooner you add this to your routine, the quicker you will see a difference before baring your skin at the beach.

You don’t have to stay indoors to protect your skin from the sun! As long as you’re incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you’ll be able to embrace the long, sunny days this season all while keeping your skin healthy and glowing. 

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Get Your Skin Ready For Summer: Part 1


woman with clear skin in the sun

The joy and anticipation of Memorial Day usually peaks in high school, when classrooms make way for trips to the beach and backyard pool parties, but just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t get psyched for summer!

Now you can drive yourself to the beach, lounge by your own pool, or explore your favorite hiking spot in the warm weather- you just need to make sure your skin is ready too! The higher temperature and stronger ultraviolet rays mean that your skin is more susceptible to damage, which means more wrinkles, age spots, and sunburn so prepping your skin before the BBQs start is the best way to be sun smart. 

Here are some great tips to keep your skin glowing through Labor Day and beyond!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate….And Then Hydrate Some More

Hot weather and sun exposure are the leading cause of skin dehydration, so keeping your skin full of moisture is of utmost importance, whether it’s topical or from the inside out. Drinking water throughout the day is the easiest and most effective way to keep hydrated - you can even set a reminder on your phone to drink a few ounces every hour. During the hotter months, you’ll want to drink at least the daily recommended amount of H2O, which according to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups of fluids a day for women - depending on your height and weight. 


woman touching clear face

If water just doesn’t excite you, our Minerals and Antioxidants is the perfect way to disguise your H2O with either a cherry or tropical twist. It only takes a second to shake up in your to-go bottle and we even have individual servings that you can pop in your beach bag. Not only will this all natural formula keep you hydrated, it also helps protect your skin from free radicals with its blend of 11 nutrient-rich super fruits like acai, cranberry, goji, maqui and pomegranate. It’s free from added sugar, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and the coconut water is full of electrolytes, which need to be replenished after a day in the sun.  

If you’re living in a dry climate, skin will most likely see the effects of this dry heat in a more obvious way. Signs of dehydrated skin look like fine lines, dullness and flaking. To avoid this, keep skin damp with water after washing and apply a light facial oil or moisturizer to lock in all of the beautiful moisture you’re feeding your skin. 

Want even more tips on how to prepare your skin for the summer heat? Check out part 2!

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Why You Should Always Remove Your Makeup


woman removing makeup at sink

If you’ve found yourself left with stubborn eye makeup or remnants of your perfect red lip after washing your face, it’s time to practice an effective face washing technique that will leave skin clean, refreshed and makeup free. Introducing (or re-introducing) the double cleanse. If you’ve been following our skin care insights along on the blog, chances are you’ve already discovered this skin-changing face washing technique by now. Double cleansing utilizes two separate products to cleanse the skin one after the other; one product might be a creamy or oil-based one, and the other a foaming, water-based cleanser, for instance. Learn how this cleansing duo can effectively break down makeup for fresh skin each night.

Remove your makeup nightly

Whether you’ve had a light layer of foundation or powder on during the day, or you’ve worn a bolder look at night, it’s equally important to thoroughly remove your makeup each and every day. But, are you washing your skin and still left feeling like your skin hasn’t been completely cleansed? Without the right products and face washing approach, oil buildup, SPFand makeup can stick around. The next time you wash your face, you can test the results of your current solo cleanse by washing as normal, patting dry and wiping skin thoroughly with a wet cotton round (spritz with your favorite facial toner or water until damp). If you notice any residue left behind on your cotton round, your makeup removing routine is ready for an upgrade.

What happens if I don’t remove my makeup before bed?

Not to sound alarmist, but your skin can suffer. Going to sleep with makeup still intact can introduce you to a whole slew of skin woes; from clogged pores that can lead to breakouts, dullness, irritation, dryness and more. Wash your skin at night and your skin will thank you in the morning.

Double Cleansing - the foundation of your makeup removing routine

Ready to commit to your skin and thoroughly remove your makeup? Let’s start from the beginning; consider your current skin type. Are you dry, dehydrated or oily? It matters. The first step of any makeup removing routine should be with an oil-based option that breaks down hard to remove pigments from products like eye shadow, blush and lipstick, while the second cleanser should be more tailored to your specific skin needs and focused on removing any remaining makeup residue.

For dry/dehydrated skin, the second cleanse should be aimed at restoring moisture and hydration, and for oily, restoring balance and keeping pores clear. If you’re using skin care products that are not formulated for your specific needs, you may end up causing further dryness and/or irritation. Use this simple guide below to help you determine the best makeup removing products for you!

Dry Skin:

Step One: a creamy, oil-based cleanser
Step Two: a honey-based cleanser

Oily Skin:

Step One: a creamy, oil-based cleanser
Step Two: a foaming or water-based cleanser


woman drying face with towel

How to remove your makeup

Step one
For the first step of your nighttime makeup removing regimen, choose a creamy, oil-based cleanser to break down your makeup & any other buildup. Start by concentrating our creamy Facial Cleanser around the eye and lip areas, where more hard-to-remove makeup is concentrated, & then gently massage the rest of your face. This cleanser’s base of argan, apricot kernel, and hemp seed oils work collectively to break down and wash away buildup without stripping skin, while sugar cane and sugar maple extract gently exfoliate to help keep pores clear. Rinse with water or remove with a warm face cloth. You can leave skin damp, no need to pat dry.

Step two
With the first layer of buildup cleansed, it’s time to pick your second step. Don’t forget to use our handy guide above for picking a good option for your skin.

If you’re experiencing dry/dehydrated skin with some flakes, grab the Hibiscus Mask + Scrub (used here as a cleanser!), a good option thanks to its base of raw honey and gentle exfoliants. The mask’s raw honey acts as a humectant, meaning it helps keep moisture in the skin, while its natural AHA's, enzymatic exfoliants & blend of natural berries help to remove flaky skin and any remaining makeup remnants. If your skin is feeling extra dry or sensitized, you may only want to perform this double cleanse routine 2-3 times per week.

For oily skin types that experience breakouts or blackheads, your second cleanse go-to is the Charcoal & Sea Salt Soap. This foaming cleanser will effectively cleanse any remaining makeup and buildup on the skin’s surface. Simultaneously, it draws out impurities and buildup in pores thanks to the activated charcoal, and delivers bacteria-fighting oils like neem and tea tree, along with a dose of minerals found naturally in sea salt.

Going to sleep makeup free

Clean, refreshed and ready for sleep. To lock in all of the goodness and love you showed your skin, always apply a facial oil or moisturizer to your skin after removing your makeup with a double cleanse.

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

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How To: At Home Facial Massage


woman putting serum on skin

You know that healthy glow? The one you have just after a facial treatment? Your esthetician’s most effective tool in her line up is her hands and you can achieve that very same radiance at home, without costing you a thing. All you need? Your favorite facial oil and your very own two hands to practice a simple facial massage. Healthy, radiant skin is about so much more than just the products you use. Your beautiful serum or cream are only a part of the puzzle, but how you use your products and treat your skin is another. Tie your hair back, grab your nutrient-rich facial oil and explore your skin while enjoying the many benefits of a facial massage at home. 

Facial Massage Benefits

Aside from that gorgeous healthy glow, there are quite a few reasons why you may want to start including this simple, effective and feel-good practice into your weekly (and better yet, daily) routine. We love to think of facial massage as not just another step in a routine, but as a solid building block of a healthy, skin supporting regimen. Let us count the reasons we encourage a this practice:

  1. Increased circulation: Facial massage encourages circulation which means increased blood flow that brings more oxygen to the skin’s surface, supporting skin-healing. The pinkening of your skin during facial skin is thanks to that increased blood flow.
  2. Lymphatic drainage (aka toxin removal): With the right techniques, you can aid your lymphatic system with its natural process of toxin removal where stagnant fluid (made up of white blood cells, lipids, excess water, proteins, and salt) that’s built up below the skin’s surface.
  3. Reduction of fine lines: We like to think of a facial massage as a workout for your face, albeit a much more relaxing one. Using the right techniques and working with the facial muscles, we can train them to “lift” in the right direction, creating an overall more toned appearance. With a steady practice, facial massage also “wakes up” fibroblasts, which are responsible for creating juicy collagen in our bodies, and alerts them to up their collagen production.
  4. Release of tension: Although we may not realize it, we tend to hold stress and tension in our face, neck and shoulders. This repeated pattern can lead to painful knots, fine lines and wrinkles, and grinding of the teeth. Facial massage invites you to connect with where you hold tension and gently help to release it.
  5. Better product absorption: Help your beautiful, natural facial oil go the extra mile. Facial massages are one of the most efficient ways to help your products better absorb into skin. We suggest misting skin with a water-based toner and massage your serum or hydrating face cream into skin.
  6. Learning your skin: Don’t be fearful of touching your skin - just approach it with care. Using clean hands, explore your skin with touch and learn it’s texture. Ask yourself these questions; how does it feel? Is it oily? Are there any dry patches? Does your skin feel tight? Actually getting to know your skin on this level will help you identify when skin is off balance or experiencing inflammatory responses.


woman doing a facial massage

How To Do A Facial Massage At Home

Start with clean skin and freshly washed hands. Apply your favorite facial mist (also known as toners) and apply facial oil liberally to the palm of your hand (5-6 drops). Rub hands together to create warmth. Starting from the neck, apply your facial oil in gentle, upward moving sweeps, from your neck to chin and mouth, to cheeks and nose, and lastly to your forehead. Now your skin is prepped. 

  1. A great place to start is with a few movements that encourage lymphatic drainage; using your finger pads, very lightly brush skin in outward movements toward the lymph nodes. Beginning from the jawline up to the ears, then cheeks out to ears, and lastly mid-forehead down to ears. Next, lightly tap the area above your inner collar bone to awaken the area for drainage. End this lymphatic sequence at your neck; use your fingers to lightly brush from the nape of your neck downward, ending at your collarbone, “flushing” lymphatic fluid out. Repeat several times.
  2. Next, focus on oxygenating movements. Holding your hands horizontally, place your fingers at the base of your mouth and move upward toward your cheek and under eye, alternate hands and move in quick succession. Repeat at least six times on both sides.
  3. Use your middle knuckles to simultaneously massage your cheeks in upward, outward circles. This movement feels wonderful and also increases blood flow, so we encourage you to perform this movement for as long as it feels good.
  4. Focus on tension reduction. Make a narrow peace sign on each hand with your index finger and middle finger and hold your chin with your thumbs below to support. Glide fingers upward along the jawline until you reach your earlobe. Next, use your thumb and index finger to lightly pinch your brow starting at the center and work your way outward. Repeat both sequences six to eight times.
  5. As a last step, use index and middle fingers to create light circles in outward motion around your cheeks, and lastly at your temples.

Facial massages don’t have to be overly complicated or involve complex techniques to be effective. Just be sure to prep skin, use outward and upward movements, move with your facial muscles, and use featherweight, downward strokes when focusing on lymphatic drainage. Drop your facial massage questions below!


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Decoding The Skin Microbiome


woman looking at face in mirror

Understanding your skin’s microbiome

Did you know that there is an entire microscopic world living on the surface of your skin? This natural ecosystem is called the microbiome, a system of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and more, that is responsible for the health and function of our skin. You may have read or heard the skin microbiome referred to as the “skin flora,” similar to how the system of microorganisms in the gut is called “gut flora.” Why is this natural ecosystem on the surface of skin so important? Read on below to discover more about your own skin microbiome. 

What is its role?

If you think about it, skin - the body’s largest organ - is essentially the biggest shield between us and the outside world. It protects us from things like pathogens (harmful bacteria or viruses that can cause disease), so it’s important that the skin microbiome is healthy, flourishing, and functioning optimally. The microbiome also hosts a slew of impressive functions including but not limited to reducing inflammation, communicating with your immune system and protecting us from environmental stressors, and more. Research into the microbiome is uncovering something new nearly every day!

The skin microbiome and skin barrier connection

As we mentioned, modern science is regularly uncovering new information into the complex world of our natural microbiomes. Although it’s a super complex topic, it’s helpful to have a top-level overview of how two of our vital defenses, the skin microbiome and barrier, function and work in tandem. 

If you’ve been reading our blog posts on skin care, you’re probably familiar with the term “skin barrier,” it’s the outermost layer of skin made up of lipids and skin cells. A functioning skin barrier locks moisture in, and blocks harmful bacteria from entering. The incredible skin microbiome is a vital and essential component of an optimally functioning skin barrier as discussed above by keeping healthy flora at a premium, and pushing the bad guys out. 


woman washing face

How to keep your skin microbiome healthy and flourishing

First, you should know that a healthy microbiome results in skin that’s hydrated, balanced, lacks inflammation and is clear. Microbiome imbalances are often linked to eczema, acne, allergies or dandruff and can also result in sensitized or dry skin. Several factors can all affect the overall health of skin flora including diet and topical products, two factors that are easily in your control! 

If you’re dealing with chronic breakouts and using antibacterial treatments but not getting the results you’re hoping for, consider that those antibacterial creams or washes may be killing the bad and the good bacteria, resulting in a decimated skin barrier. While we can’t emphasize enough the complex science that is microbiome research, we do have a few steps to implement daily to help care for your skin’s microbiome:

  1. Don’t always opt for an antibacterial cream or wash if you’re experiencing acne. As we explained above, antibacterial treatments often kill off the good bacteria that keeps your microbiome balanced and healthy. You also run the risk of bacteria building up resistance to antibiotic treatments with repeated use. Look for natural antibacterial options like tea tree essential oil, blue chamomile essential oil and thyme essential oil to name a few.
  2. Do not over cleanse. Research shows that our natural flora thrives in a more acidic environment (the skin’s natural pH is on average just below 5). We recommend washing your skin with soap once daily at most with a pH balanced cleanser. By not overcleansing, you also ensure that you’re not overly disrupting the natural flora (including all of the healthy, beneficial bacteria).
  3. Introduce probiotics into your diet. As we’ve touched on before, there is an incredible link between your gut and skin flora. When skin is out of balance and experiencing any number of inflammatory conditions, oftentimes, your gut flora is the culprit. Opt for an everyday probiotic. You can also get creative with your diet and introduce natural sources of probiotics from fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt or kombucha.
  4. Don’t over exfoliate. We’re often told that we must scrub away those dead skin cells in order to reveal fresh, bright skin. What if we told you those dead skin cells hold an important purpose? They are what makes up that important outermost layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum. They are essential for helping to retain moisture and protect newer cells below. Opt for a gentle exfoliator that you can use 1-3 times per week (depending on your skin’s needs).

All skin types are different, but learning how your skin microbiome works is essential to achieving that glowing complexion. 


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Feed Your Skin From The Inside Out

A Holiday Guide To Glowing Skin


woman looking in mirror at face

For some, the holiday season is met with pure joy and anticipation. For others, the gifts to buy, the cooking and baking, the presents to wrap, and the cards to write can all feel a little overwhelming. If you find yourself in the second category, we propose a radical idea - put yourself at the top of your holiday to-do list and prioritize your sleep, feed your body warm nourishing meals, and don’t cross off self care rituals.

Easier said than done? Read on for quick and effective everyday tips to keep your skin glowing from the inside out this season.

Stay hydrated

Of course, you’ve heard the old “drink 8 glasses of water a day,” but do you know why it helps keep your skin sparkling? Dehydration literally sucks the life out of your skin and leads to wrinkles and premature aging and breakouts. When your skin is hydrated it not only looks healthier, it is healthier, as each cell gets plumped up with what they crave to function- water.

Staying hydrated helps improve skin elasticity, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging, and flush out toxins more effectively.

But watch what you drink

Yes, running from store to store holiday shopping may take some extra fuel in peppermint latte form, and craft cocktails are especially enticing while listening to Nat King Cole, but caffeine and alcohol can wreak havoc on your skin - at a time when you want to look your best.

Alcohol and caffeine not only cause inflammation that can lead to redness, but they also dilate the pores of the skin and cause acne, which can cause an unflattering Rudolf-like appearance if it pops up in the wrong place.

Drinking alcohol or caffeine can deprive you of sleep when your body actually regenerates the skin and also dehydrate your skin, which you learned above can leave you with many unwanted side effects- both leaving your skin looking dull.

If you must, keep the caffeine to one cup in the morning, and drink a large glass of water to counter it, and choose a nice glass of red wine, which tends to be the least harmful as it contains resveratrol, which acts as an antioxidant for the skin and helps kick free radicals to the curb.

And when you want to drink something to improve not only your skin but also your overall health, try Life’s Abundance Minerals and Antioxidants or Greens Blend. They’re a great way to flavor your water and get electrolytes and veggies in without any sugar, alcohol, or caffeine. Instead of crashing 30 minutes later, like most “health” drinks, these will give you sustained energy and get your skin glowing.

Eat nourishing foods AND indulge in holiday favorites

Because our skin is our largest organ, its beauty on the surface is a reflection of what we’re feeding it on the inside. Ever notice after a weekend of overdoing it with alcohol and sugar, your face breaks out? Studies have shown that those inflammatory foods, along with caffeine, can cause internal imbalances, which are mirrored on our skin.

To keep your skin spot-free during the holidays, you’ll want to eat 5-6 small meals and snacks throughout the day, preferably cooked at home and made from whole foods, nothing processed.  Meals should be high in fiber and, not to be a buzzkill, free of potentially inflammatory foods including dairy, sugar, alcohol, gluten, most red meat, caffeine, processed foods, fried foods, artificial colors, and sweeteners.

A whole-food, plant-based diet is where it's at, so focus on fruits and veggies that contain powerful antioxidants to protect the skin from free radicals, foods loaded with vitamin C and E to help support healthy skin growth and help blemishes heal properly, and healthy fats that provide moisture to your skin and improve elasticity. You can easily get those healthy fats from Omega 3 supplements like our Life’s Abundance Fish Oil, which is the highest quality on the market.

Not sure what else to eat? Start with these top five foods to fuel up on: avocados, raw nuts, leafy greens, artichokes, and blueberries. Plus, inspiring resources are endless; check out #eatclean on Instagram and you’ll find thousands of meals that will actually get you excited about quinoa- even if you can’t pronounce it.


woman drinking tea

Getting your “beauty sleep” is no joke

Eight seems to be a magic number when it comes to your skin - 8 glasses of water and 8 hours of sleep to keep your skin’s appearance and structure from premature aging. One study showed that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of inherent aging, diminished skin barrier function, and lower satisfaction with appearance. This is due to the skin’s need to repair itself while we snooze, including collagen regeneration and increased blood flow for healing - so the less we sleep, the less time there is for your skin’s cells to renew.

If cell renewal doesn’t excite you, how about this study that found people who had five hours sleep versus eight hours sleep appeared to have more swollen eyes and dark circles, more wrinkles, and appear sadder when they were sleep-deprived. Would that make you reconsider “just one more” show in your Netflix binge at 1 am?

Holiday makeup

This year’s holiday season will most likely be looking a little different than last with more get togethers and festive parties with friends and family. You may have shifted into a “new normal” of less daily makeup wearing and comfier athleisure too. The holidays call for dressing up and feeling your best! Wear that bold red lip, go for the shimmery eye palette. Just please promise yourself that you won’t skip out on your makeup removal ritual once the party is over. Start a go-to practice for removing makeup by double cleansing. For the first step, a creamy facial cleanser will help emulsify makeup and oil, making it easier to remove. Next, opt for a sudsing cleanser that will remove any last traces of makeup and excess buildup. 

Moisturize. Hydrate. Repeat.

Depending on where you live, winter can be a season of alternating temperature extremes; from the cold of the outdoors to the warmth of dry heat in your home or car, and it can all greatly affect your skin’s moisture levels. Keep skin hydrated and vibrant with plenty of added hydration from a non-alcohol based toner and a nutrient-rich facial oil at least twice daily. If your skin is feeling extra dry, itchy or tight, combine 2-3 drops of facial serum with a small amount of moisturizing cream and blend before applying to your skin. 
 
Consider additional factors that could lead to dehydrated skin like excess coffee and alcohol (‘tis the season of holiday cocktails). Do you skin an extra favor and assist the topical products addressing the dehydration with warming soups and brewed teas to up your water intake.

Multitasking skin treatments

With plenty on your holiday to-do list, your skincare ritual may not feel like it has a place in the top priorities section. But what if we told you a targeted treatment mask will multitask for you as you multitask your way through that list? This Hibiscus Mask helps treat skin in several ways that are key for glowing skin in the winter; it’s antibacterial, moisturizing, brightening and gently exfoliating.

The mask’s natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and enzymatic exfoliants from the sugar extract, hibiscus, and pumpkin all work together to remove dead skin cells and increase circulation, resulting in fresh, glowing skin. Aim to apply a thin layer of your mask twice weekly to start and don’t forget to finish off your masking ritual with a good facial oil or moisturizer.

If beauty truly comes from within, then it’s no surprise that we need to be mindful of not only what we put on our skin, but also what we take into our bodies. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of putting all of the above tips into practice, no sweat - even adopting one or two of these changes will help to keep your skin glowing brighter than Times Square on NYE during the holiday season, and beyond the ball drop.


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Taking Care Of Your Skin In The Winter

What You Need To Know About Double Cleansing