My Summer Skincare Routine

One of the amazing benefits of being a beauty, wellness and lifestyle blogger is the amount of super cool products I get to try and write about.  It is one of my missions to discover the best in natural beauty, health, and sustainable living products, and to share with you everything I’ve discovered!  To that end, I’m starting a seasonal series of updates on my current skincare routine.  Due to the sheer number of products I get sent, my routine changes pretty regularly, but favorite products tend to stick around.

In the summertime, I go for three big factors in my skincare routine:

  1. Keeping pores clean (due to the natural buildup of oils in the hot weather)
  2. Antioxidants (to offset damage from the summer sun)
  3. Sun protection (SPF all day everyday, yo)

So here is my current summer skincare routine:

This healthier coffee is actually good for you.

Four Sigmatic Mushrooms Elixirs | The Organic Beauty Blog

I was never a big coffee drinker.  Not out of any high minded health reasons, necessarily — I just didn’t like the way it made me feel.  Jittery, anxious, higher strung… Pretty much like your average New Yorker.  Seeing as I was doing everything I could to counteract the energy of my former city, coffee just wasn’t for me.

Now that I’m a mom, and one living on the fairer (calmer) coast, there have definitely been days when I craved a good cup of joe. I would source some great organic coffee from the cafe down the street, add coconut oil (or sometimes even some grass-fed butter… more on why that’s a must here), and still, an hour later, I would find myself a little more testy or jittery or wired.

Why does this happen? Coffee does a number on your adrenals, stimulating a fight-or-flight response that can leave you feeling wired, and then depleted.  People who drink coffee on the regular pretty much live in this state, so it’s a little less noticeable.  But that fatigue you feel before you’ve had your first cup? Or at 3pm? Or in the evening? Or pretty much anytime between your cups of coffee?  Yeah… that’s adrenal fatigue.  And it is no bueno.  In addition to messing with your body and mind, this caffeinated adrenal overexertion also stimulates the release of cortisol, which leads to higher stress levels, poor sleep, premature aging, and even weight gain.

Ok, ok, so we get why coffee isn’t the best thing in the world.  Well there’s got to be a better option out there, right? One that isn’t a pseudo-coffee hippie drink (though I definitely love me some chicory)?

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:

CBD for Life Giveaway!

Have you entered our huge CBD for Life Giveaway yet??

We’re giving away the entire CBD for Life collection of skincare and pain relief products (over $200 value), which harness the awesome power of CBD for anti-aging, skin-clearing, and pain-management purposes.

Check out our review of the line here and enter the giveaway below!

CBD for Life Giveaway

2016 #skingoals: Amp Up Your Anti-Aging Action

6-steps-for-younger-skinThe second biggest skin complaint I hear about from my readers (after dry skin woes) is staving off the signs of aging, without fillers, surgery, and toxic chemicals.  Now, we all know that’s a tall order.  Nothing works as well as a good old nip, tuck, or injectable.  But there is a lot we can do, naturally, to slow the signs of aging skin through our skincare and lifestyle habits.  I’m not one to judge a lady (or gent!) for choosing the medspa route, but try these steps first to amp up your anti-aging action, before going hardcore Cher all over the place.  Deal? Deal. Here they are, my…

6 Steps for Younger Skin

Luxe Anti-Aging & Skin Perfecting Magic + Giveaway!

Beautycounter Countertime Collection | The Organic Beauty Blog

Let’s face it, the world of natural, non-toxic anti-aging skincare still has a ways to go.  In lieu of using the typical plumping, filling, anti-aging chemicals, most green beauty lines opt for the power of oils, essential and otherwise.  Don’t get me wrong, no one loves and believes in the power of oils more than me, but sometimes, a girl needs a bit more.  So you could go ahead and color me excited when a rep from Beautycounter reached out to me.

Beautycounter, based in my own beautiful Santa Monica, is a relatively new beauty company, dedicated to creating luxe and effective skincare that is totally safe.  They have a “Never List” of banned ingredients that go way beyond the parabens, phthalates, and mineral oils that most of us make a point of avoiding.  But the coolest thing is that these safe, luxurious products are jam-packed with super potent and effective ingredients that actually work.

10 Rules of Longevity and Agelessness

Dr. Deepak Chopra, one of our favorite healthy living gurus, prescribes 10 simple rules for aging gracefully and beautifully in his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind – A Quantum alternative to growing old. We absolutely love the simplicity of these rules… So spot-on, so intuitive, and so vital for staying young, healthy, beautiful and happy.

1. Intake fresh food, eat frugally, drink wholesome liquids, abstain from stimulants and sedatives, and have a bowel movement at least once a day.

2. Maintain a high level of personal hygiene, get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and rest, have enjoyable leisure time, and satisfying hobbies.

3. Exercise, meditate, practice balanced refined breathing (pranayam) and yoga, listen to the body’s signals of comfort and discomfort.

4. Work for a happy marriage, long-term relationships, cultivate the ability to laugh easily, to make friends and keep close friends.

5. Choose a congenial occupation, go on vacation every year, be optimistic about the future, feel financially secure and live within your means.

6. Develop an easygoing personality, cultivate nonviolent behavior, and have reverence for life.

7. Live in temperate climate, enjoy a reasonable sex life, and get proper medical attention in case of illness.

8. Live in the present – accept what comes your way, appreciate it, learn from it and let go. Resisting the natural flow of things causes negative emotions.

9. Relinquish external approval, avoid being judgmental, replace fear-motivated behaviors with love-motivated ones, nurture positive emotions and express them freely.

10. Always know the world outside is a reflection of your deeper intelligence – the real “you” is within.

Photo: DeepakChopra.com

Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Giveaway!

Alright, Beauties, here is our second big giveaway of the month!

We are giving away $70 worth of super antioxidant, anti-aging products for face, body, and lips from Yes to Blueberries!

Click here to read my review of the Yes To.. product line, one of our absolute favorite drugstore natural beauty finds.

To enter:

Step 1. Subscribe to our newsletter–loaded with updates from the blog and all kinds of original content to help you live happier, healthier, and more naturally!

Step 2. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter! If you already follow us on both, you can follow us on Pinterest! (You must take one new action to enter the giveaway!)

Step 3. Leave a comment on this post sharing the steps you took, and let us know your number one biggest skin concern. If we haven’t addressed it in a post yet, we just might soon!

That’s it!

We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, March 27th, so make sure to enter before 6pm EST that day!

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AND THE WINNER IS…

Jackeline Davila!!

Congrats, Jackeline, and thank you to everyone for entering! Our next awesome giveaway will be on two weeks, so stay tuned and stay connected! And we’ll be working on some new posts to address your skincare concerns, so check back with us soon!

Lots of love and beauty!
The OB

Anti-Aging Magic from Avitalin

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Marina Volod, creator of Avitalin Skincare, has devoted her life to the study of skin physiology, cosmetic ingredients and skin nutrition, and that immense knowledge base has yielded the creation of an immensely effective, powerful, and best of all, healthy line of vegan skincare products. For the past month, I have been using her products, and I have to say, my skin absolutely loves it!

I follow my oil face wash with Avitalin Firming Fluid ($55), which is formulated with anti-aging skincare powerhouses like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and phospholipids. It also has one of my favorite natural ingredients, seabuckthorn oil, which is a wonderful anti-inflammatory antioxidant. The vegan fluid goes on super smooth, and I actually found that I don’t even need a moisturizer after using it!

When my skin is feeling a little overstressed and red, I love to use Rebalance Calming Complex ($58), which is specially formulated to calm sensitive skin, especially if you’re prone to eczema, rosacea, or dermatitis. It is loaded with nourishing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like rooibos and green tea extracts, licorice and oat extracts, and calendula. It also helps to keep skin cells young and vital with potent vegan embryonic phyto complex and beta glucans. It leaves skin silky smooth and even, and provides non-greasy moisture all day long!

To keep eyes youthful, I love the Smooth Contour eye cream ($55). It is marvelous for getting rid of any puffiness and dark circles, and feels absolutely luxurious around the eyes. It’s made with ultra nourishing shea and cocoa butter, brightening alpha-arbutin, and the patented Syn®-Ake, which is a potent complex that relaxes facial tension, preventing the formation of new lines, and improving firmness and tonicity.

Once a week, I love to exfoliate and rejuvenate my skin with the Active Enzyme Peel ($40), which uses gentle fruit acids and skin lightning ingredients to increase cell turnover, improve skin’s texture and brighten the complexion. Pineapple and papaya enzymes make this peel feel and smell like a treat straight out of the spa, while arbutin and baltic amber extract deliver potent skin transformation.

Marina really embodies our ethos here at The Organic Beauty, that nature provides us with the most effective and potent ingredients to heal and beautify our bodies, inside and out!

I love the Avitalin line so much, I just have to share it with you, my beautiful readers! From now until next Friday, March 15th, we’re holding a giveaway of over $160 worth of Avitalin products! Click here to learn how to enter!

Total Beauty Salad Recipe

Last week I posted the top five foods to keep you looking young and beautiful.  While great separately, these foods actually taste amazing together! Try this delicious Total Beauty Salad for lunch or dinner a few times a week, and you will experience beauty, health, and vitality you thought would only be possible through supplements and topical remedies…

Ingredients:
Serves 4

1 cup fresh organic blueberries
1 package (or 6 cups) organic baby greens, washed (I used a baby arugula/baby spinach/baby field green mix)
1/2 bunch (about 1/2 pound) organic asparagus spears, trimmed
2 tablespoons organic tamari
4 tablespoons sherry or sherry vinegar
2 bags green tea
1/2 teaspoon organic arrowroot powder
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Place 4 pieces of salmon into a skillet, and pour over the tamari and sherry.  Add the three cloves garlic with a garlic press.  Let marinate for 10 minutes, flipping the fish halfway through.  In the meantime, using a grill or grill pan, cook the asparagus in olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until it shows grill marks and is firm, but easily speared with a fork.  Set aside to cool.  After salmon has marinated, simmer it in its marinade over medium heat until most of the sauce is absorbed.  While salmon is cooking, pour 1/2 cup boiling water over 2 bags of green tea and steep, covered, for 5 minutes.  Squeeze out the tea bags, and mix in arrowroot powder.  Pour tea mixture over salmon and cook another 5 minutes or so, or until the sauce thickens slightly.  Roast sesame seeds in an un-oiled frying pan until the seeds begin to jump, be careful not to let them burn.  Mix seeds into salmon and sauce.  Slice asparagus into two inch pieces, toss with spinach. Serve salmon over a bed of spinach and asparagus, and pour sauce over salad.  Top with blueberries, and enjoy!

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Natasha Uspensky, chhc