Spotlight on Marina Volod of Avitalin Skincare

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

We loved testing Avitalin Skincare’s line of awesome, natural products earlier this year (check out our review), and wanted to know more about the woman behind this line of super nutritious and potent products.   Founder, Marina Volod, shares her philosophy, unique approach to skincare science, as well as some killer tips to fight the signs of aging skin!

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How Safe is Your Skin and Haircare Routine?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

CosmeticsFor many of us, our skin and haircare routines are habits we stick to like glue.  We find products we love, and we remain loyal to them for years.  But what if your trusted skincare go-to’s are doing more harm to your body than good?  Our health is most impacted by the things we do regularly — foods we eat every day, products we use everyday, behaviors we partake in everyday.  Those are the things that add up and have measurable effects that can either lead to a longer, healthier life, or a higher risk of disease, reproductive issues, and even psychological or mood imbalances.

So how do your products add up?  Is your skin soaking up healthy, nutritive ingredients, or is your skin a sponge for harmful chemicals that are finding their way into your bloodstream?  For example, did you know that CoverGirl mascaras, Blistex lip balms, Neutrogena face washes, Banana Boat suncreens, Biolage shampoos, and Lubriderm moisturizers all got some of the highest scores for toxicity and health hazards? {Tweet it!}  These are brands millions of Americans use everyday, none the wiser that they are exposing their systems to carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, organ and reproductive toxicity, and more.

So what can you do?  First of all, get really familiar with the most toxic ingredients, and avoid them like the plague.  (Check out 5 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid for a few of the top big bads).  Second of all, search the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for each and every one of your products.  If any product has a score over 3, (yes 3!) toss it!  It’s just not worth the risk!

Still confused about what is safe to use?  Skin Deep’s searchable database gives you tons of options for the safest, healthiest products, as well as information on where to buy them.  Some of these products are even available at your local pharmacy or big box store.  Convenience or brand loyalty are just not good enough reasons to continue exposing yourself and your family to harmful toxins.  And until our government regulations for cosmetics catch up with the science of safety, YOU are in charge of making sure you’re buying and using the safest products possible!

The EWG is working on a mobile app for Skin Deep, so you can check out a product’s safety on the go!

Donate $10 or more today so EWG can put critical information about cosmetic safety right at your fingertips. They need $45,000 by July 15 so they can deliver this smartphone app to you by September.

{Image: cleanandhealthyme.org}

5 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

By: Sabrina Taylor

When was the last time you checked out the ingredient list of your favorite skin care and beauty products? If you’re anything like me, the overly large, unpronounceable, chemical sounding ingredients can be a little bit daunting. If you can barely read the ingredients, how can you be expected to know what you are putting on your skin?

Did you know that 60 percent of what we rub on our skin is absorbed into our bodies? That means all those chemicals are sneaking into your body and harming you. Toxic ingredients can cause skin allergies, cancer, infertility, birth defects, reproductive problems and even learning disabilities.

The possibilities of harming yourself are bountiful, so in order to avoid bodily damage it’s time you know what exactly you’re rubbing on your skin. Here are the top 5 skin care and beauty ingredients you should be watching out for and avoiding.

Benzoyl Peroxide

One of the most common ingredients in acne products, benzoyl peroxide has several harmful side effects. Some of its potential damaging properties include being a possible tumor promoter. It has also been found to act as a mutagen, causing DNA damage to both human and animal cells.

Cellular damage is pretty drastic, but some of the less outrageous side effects include eye, skin or respiratory irritation. Try to avoid sniffing products containing benzoyl peroxide because it can be toxic by inhalation as well.

Dioxin

This is a sneaky one. Dioxin won’t be listed on any labels, but is often found in antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, emulsifiers, polyethylene glycol and ethoxylated cleansers. The potential harms of using products with dioxin are quite damaging. Prolonged use of dioxins can lead to cancer, cause reduced immune functioning and preempt nervous system disorders.

Pregnant women beware. Dioxins can cause birth defects and in some cases, miscarriage. This is definitely one to watch out for.

Parabens

It’s no secret that parabens are unsafe. A common product preservative, they are not always labeled. Be sure to do extra research when picking out a deodorant and other skin care products because that is where they are often found.

Parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors and can imbalance hormones in females. As for males, sterility is possible.

Phthalates

Yet another one that is hard to find on a label, phthalates can cause liver and kidney damage. Though they are being weaned out of many products in North America and the EU, they can still cause early breast development in both males and females, birth defects and decreased sperm counts.

Sunscreen Chemicals

There are a few commonly used chemicals in sunscreens that are known to generate free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA and even lead to cancer. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to watch out for avobenzone, benzophenone, ethoxycinnamate and PABA.

Navigating the world of cosmetic and skin care products can be difficult, but hopefully this list helps you avoid some of the more dangerous ingredients.

[Photo: EileenMai]

Author Bio: Sabrina is an allergy-ridden, gluten-free living, lover of green DIY’s. Why buy something when you can make it better yourself; like this homemade anti-aging cream.

Follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

This Natural, Organic Concealer Will Cover Up Anything!

The Hickey Stick

The Hickey Stick ($24.95)

We are absolutely loving the new, amazing concealer from organic nail polish mavens G2 Organics.  It is really hard to find an effective, natural concealer that actually covers bright red blemishes, scars, bruises, and yes, even the occasional hickey, without clogging pores and causing breakouts.  So you can imagine how pumped we were to discover The Hickey Stick!  The two-step, unisex concealer primes skin, conceals practically anything, is loaded with vitamin E, and as an amazing added bonus, is charged with healing reiki energy (the ladies behind the brand are both Reiki certified)!

The Hickey Stick provides serious spot coverage, and comes in Light and Dark shades, so you can custom blend it to fit your skin tone. Completely non-toxic, and of course, paraben, pthalate, petrolatum and lanolin-free, it totally gets the Organic Beauty stamp of approval!

Be sure to check out G2 Organics whole line of non-toxic, natural and organic nail polishes, polish removers, and candles!

 

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!