A workout for your skin?

A workout for your skin?  |  The Organic Beauty Blog

For the last two weeks, I’ve been playing with a fun new skincare toy: The Conture Kinetic Skin Toning System. Though I’m usually not one for skincare tech, for lack of a better term, Conture seemed like the real deal.  With a combination of isometric compression and low frequency vibrations (which feel like painless little tugging at your face), the Conture system is basically like a workout for your face, combined with targeted super-absorption of skin-feeding ingredients.  Being a huge advocate of moving, toning, and feeding my body the best ingredients on the planet, this particular technology felt like a logical next step.  Why shouldn’t my skin get all the same benefits?

The extensive research and testing that went into perfecting the Conture system promises results in 8 weeks of twice daily use.  I’ve only been using it for two weeks so far, and although I haven’t noticed any change in the newly minted lines around my mouth and eyes (I assume it’s too early for that to start transforming), I noticed a marked change in the quality of my skin even after the first use.  My skin looked plumper, more even, glowing, and healthier — like it just had a great workout!  The blood flow to my skin had clearly been stimulated, which is so great for healthy, beautiful skin (and is one of the reasons why physical workouts leave your complexion looking so good).

The Conture system kit comes with three targeted skincare products: the Kinetic Treatment Serum (which is used with the skin toning device), an AM Ignition Lotion, and a PM Recovery Cream.  All three are packed with awesome anti-aging ingredients like peptides, retinol, and plant extracts, and the skin toning device substantially boosts their absorption and efficacy. After two weeks of use, my skin feels more taut and toned, and I’m still going to bed and starting the day with glowing, plump and healthy skin. Color me happy.

I’ll post a full review in another 6 weeks, but I have to say, so far, so good.

Can’t wait another 6 weeks to try it for yourself? Use promo code OrganicBeauty20 to get 20% off! Click here to buy.


A Non-Toxic Safe Space for Baby

Safe Non-Toxic Play Space for Baby | The Organic Beauty

When little M became mobile, we realized that our sweet, simple little play mat set up just wouldn’t be enough to keep her entertained and help her develop, all while staying safe.  I knew I wasn’t a fan of playpens, and our open floor plan just doesn’t lend itself well to creating a separate space for her, so we needed to get creative! We had the whole downstairs of our house baby-proofed, so that M could crawl around to her heart’s content, without my hovering over her all the time, and then we set out to create a safe play space for her that was functional and non-toxic, while still blending in with our modern and minimal decor (no small feat, if you’re familiar with the options out there!).

Pamper Big Papa This Father’s Day

Yes, you could get him another tie, or some camping gear, or.. I don’t know.. a keg of beer or whatever we think men want and like.  But wouldn’t it be cool to show the hardworking dad’s in our lives that we want them to pamper them?  Dad’s deserve to look good and feel pampered just as much as we do, but sometimes it can be hard to find high quality natural products that are masculine enough to appeal to burly dudes.  Here are some of my favorite new men’s products that will help big papa look smooth, clear-skinned and sexy, while feeling pampered and taken care of. Pick up a few for Father’s Day this year and watch daddy glow.

Father's Day Gift Guide | The Organic Beauty
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Best one-stop natural beauty shops!

The last few years have been super exciting in the world of natural beauty. Not only are major retailers like Amazon, Sephora, and Target carrying many organic beauty products side by side with beauty industry mainstays, but the last few years have also brought on a whole new crop of online natural beauty retailers only carrying products that meet a strict set of guidelines regarding ingredients and quality.  Whereas I used to have to scrupulously read every single ingredient in reportedly natural products at major retailers, now I can pretty much completely trust that if a product is stocked in one of these online one-stop natural beauty shops, they meet my high standards of safety.

I’ve been using several products from each of these awesome online shops for the better part of a year now, and love the brands they carry, their great mission statements, and their commitment to quality, safe, organic beauty.

Here are my three favorite one-stop natural beauty shops!

5 Secrets for a Happier 1st Year of Motherhood

Little M just turned 10 months, and as her 1st birthday approaches, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past several months and my introduction to motherhood. Things are much easier now. That anxiety around doing things “right,” not irrevocably screwing up this tiny creature in my charge — stressing over her sleep and how much she’s eating, over which cup to get her that will promote development and not give her speech issues or expose her to dreaded mold — all these fears seem a distant memory.  I finally feel like I know what I’m doing, like I’ve got this motherhood thing down.  I know full well that this feeling is temporary; that as we barrel towards toddlerhood, we’ll be met with a whole new set of anxieties and uncertainties.  But for now, I’m enjoying this calm and confidence.  I am so in love with this creature and with being a mom, and can honestly say that this past 10 months have been among the most fun and fulfilling times of my life.

I know that my experience isn’t shared by all moms. And certainly the cultural narrative of what motherhood looks like in the first year does not support my cause. We are bombarded with images of harried new moms, living in yoga pants and a messy bun, covered in spit up, with a screaming baby in one hand, and a rapidly cooling cup of coffee in the other.  It can be so easy to succumb to this vision of motherhood, and resign oneself to the notion that this is just what life will be life for a year (or more).

The converse seems to be completely unattainable.  The Instagram visions of skinny moms with perfect hair and makeup, dressed to the nines, with a perfect baby and spotless house, who somehow find time in their day to whip up professional-looking gluten-free, vegan cupcakes and three course dinners, while simultaneously sewing Etsy-worthy patterned onesies with matching hats.  It’s enough to make you feel like a failure before you even get out of bed in the morning.

5 Secrets to Happier Motherhood

Have a healthy beach day with Biosolis

Biosolis Health Beach Day Must-Have's | The Organic Beauty Blog

We just got back from a trip to Palm Springs, where we spent a good many hours lounging in the sun with our little bundle.  She swam and splashed, then we relaxed by the pool while she napped.  For a few moments, we almost forgot that we were new(ish) parents and enjoyed a relaxing vacation!  After some trial and error, we got the whole process down pat.  Here are some of our healthy sun day must-have’s:

  1. A diaper bag-turned-beach-bag: One of the best things about diaper bags is that they make for awesome carry-alls for excursions, and a sunny day at the beach or pool is no exception! Stash diapers, a change of clothes, sunscreen, toys and activities, snacks, and sunnies for mama and the littles in your diaper bag and make sure everything is at arm’s reach.
  2. Activities: A book for mama (to read during naps, of course) and one for the kiddos too will make sure everyone has something to do while relaxing in the shade.  I love Indestructibles books for beach days — they can get wet, dirty, anything, and you just toss them in the wash! I’m also a fan of bringing along some BPA-free buckets or cups that are great for playing in the sand or water.
  3. Healthy snacks: A hungry mama or little one can ruin a fun beach day super fast, so pack a healthy snack to keep everything happy until lunchtime.  My go-to’s are Lara Bars for mama and fresh berries for the littles!
  4. A great sunscreen: Do you know how much crap and toxins are in most sunscreens out there?  Ditch the drugstore brands in favor of an organic, non-nano mineral sunscreen.  Our fave is Biosolis, which has clean, nourishing ingredients in a safe and effective formula.  Learn more about this awesome sunscreen below!
  5. Floppy sun hats: Using a good sunscreen is amazingly important, and you can take your sun protection even further with a sun hat, which protects your scalp and face from even more sun. Plus, everyone looks instantly fabulous in a big floppy hat ; )

Get Clean, Sulfate-Free + Giveaway!

Sulfate-Free Cleansers on The Organic Beauty Blog

Sodium lauryl sulfate and it’s cousin, sodium laureth sulfate, are sneaky emulsifying ingredients found in almost everything designed for cleaning: soaps, shampoos, body wash, dish detergents, toothpastes, and more.  They are basically what causes a product to lather. Although the scientific community is, as always, late to the game when funding research into exactly how dangerous these chemicals are, the International Journal of Toxicology recommends a concentration of no more than 1% in regularly used products.  Unfortunately, the concentrations in most beauty and cleaning products are upwards of 20%.

SLS has been linked to skin, eye, and scalp irritation, issues with eye development in children, and hormonal imbalance.  Less extreme, but equally annoying, haircare products with SLS have been linked to dry, frizzy hair, and even hair loss! SLES, though less of an irritant, is often contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.

So I personally choose not to wait for the scientific community to fund more research, while we wait and slather on this harmful substance on a daily basis.  I’ve gone totally SLS-free.

Luckily, there are slews of natural and organic products out there that are SLS-free.  You can find great lists of SLS-free products online (a couple great resources are the EWG and SLS-Free).

The one downfall of switching to SLS-free products is that you can lose some of that lathery goodness that makes you feel oh-s0-clean.  I’m not gonna lie, I like a good lather, so I set out to find some awesome natural products that still lather up and clean like champs, but without the toxic after effects.

Here are a few of the products I’ve been using lately, and love:

This potent superfood has endless health and beauty benefits

Spirulina Smoothies on The Organic Beauty Blog

It’s no secret that I am all about superfoods here at The Organic Beauty.  People may taut them as trends or fads, but I’ll tell you this: any food that gives you more nutrients and benefits ounce for ounce than your run of the mill, non-super foods, gets a thumbs up from me. Though there seem to be new superfoods that sprout up all the time, I’m all about the most tested and tried of the bunch, and there’s one that I keep coming back to year after year: spirulina.

The 3 beauty products every woman needs

3 Must-Have Beauty Products | The Organic Beauty

I get asked a lot about my favorite natural beauty products.  Since I test and review so many different products on this blog, picking favorites is a tall order, and my top picks really do change from month to month.  But regardless of what specific product I’m currently obsessing over, there are 3 basic products that I simply can’t live without.  These three puppies are the main workhorses of a great complexion and slowing the signs of aging.  Find a natural version of each of these three that you love, and you can toss pretty much 80% of the stuff pouring out of your cabinets.

Here are the 3 beauty products every woman needs:

Adorable Non-Toxic Play Mats

Corkimat Non-Toxic Play Mats | The Organic Beauty

Babies spend a ton of time on the floor.  That’s where they progress with their gross motor skills, play with their toys, and gradually learn about independence.  Frequent, regular floor play, particularly on their tummies, is awesome for our little ones, and is one of the best things we can do to support their development (that, and, paradoxically, holding and cuddling them the rest of the time ;).

So with the amount of time our babies spend on the floor, it’s so important that they have a safe, non-toxic space to play.  Unfortunately, the common foam play mats from the days of yore do not provide them with that safe space.