Are your hands showing your age? My 4 steps to younger hands

4 Steps for Younger Hands | The Organic Beauty Blog

About 6 months after we moved to LA, I started noticing sun spots appearing on my hands and arms.  Suddenly, my pale and youthful hands looked blotchy and, well, old.

I refused to settle for this unpleasant side effect of living on the sunnier coast, and set out to uncover the best natural remedies to keep my hands looking young and pretty.

These four steps protect and heal hands, as well as reverse the damage that they suffer from being exposed to the elements.  When I follow my own advice, my hands look great.  But when I slack off and neglect them (as I have been lately), the sun spots and leathery looking skin come right back.  So I’m getting right back on the bandwagon — I’ll be sure to post some new before and after photos in a few weeks!

4 Steps to Younger Hands

Step 1: Exfoliate

4 Steps for Younger Hands | The Organic Beauty Blog

The buildup of dead skin cells on hands, as well as the dry, cracked skin that exposure to the elements can cause is a huge factor in dull, blotchy, aged-looking hands.  The best remedy for this is weekly exfoliation.

I am a huge fan of natural sugar scrubs, which are far gentler and more hydrating than salt scrubs or harsh scrubs made from fruit pits or kernels.  Sugar scrubs also have the added benefit of glycol acid, an alpha hydroxy acid which encourages new cell turnover, perfect for reversing the effects of sun damage.

You can easily make a hand scrub at home by combining brown sugar, organic olive oil and essential oils.  But if you’re feeling lazy, there are some great all-natural scrubs to choose from. I’ve been really into the Lemon Hand Scrub from Hand Scrubs by Faith, which is made with just 3 ingredients — sugar, organic oils, and lemon essential oil.  This scrub has the perfect consistency (not to harsh, not too soft), is super hydrating, and the lemon essential oil is amazing for lightening age or sun spots, and preventing wrinkles!

Use your hand scrub 1-2 times a week.

Step 2: Hydrate

4 Steps for Younger Hands | The Organic Beauty Blog

Keeping your hands hydrated is an anti-aging must, but most hand creams and moisturizers evaporate not long after application, leaving you no better than before.  So much of that leathery look of aging hands is simply due to parched, unprotected skin.  Because of this, I prefer an oil-based balm to a typical hand cream.  Balms made from organic oils and shea butter, infused with essential oils and herbs go beyond just hydrating hands to form a healing and protective layer, to soothe skin way beyond the surface and shield it from extreme temperatures and wind.

I’m obsessed with Botanical Butter, which is anti-aging, redness-reducing, and super healing for hands!

Use a balm on hands morning and night.  During the day, top with a lotion with SPF (see below).

Step 3: Protect

4 Steps for Younger Hands | The Organic Beauty Blog

Every dermatologist on earth will tell you that the number one best thing you can do to prevent aging skin is to use SPF.  Religiously.  Every day.  Even in the winter.  Now, I confess to being a little lax on this particular step, and man do my poor hands pay the price!  If I had only used SPF daily on my hands and arms since we moved to LA, this whole problem could have been avoided.  But alas, I did not.  And here we are.

So don’t make the mistake I did! Protect your skin (hands, face, arms, chest) with SPF every day with a natural, mineral sunscreen, and don’t forget to reapply after washing your hands!

My current favorite is Odylique Natural Sunscreen with SPF 30.  The zinc formula is entirely natural, almost all organic, and safe enough for the most sensitive of skins (you can even use it on baby!).  It also has some wonderful healing and protective ingredients like shea butter, karanja seed, chamomile, and sea buckthorn, which go the extra mile to protect skin from UV damage.  It’s pretty much the perfect sunscreen.

Use on hands (and any other exposed parts) daily. Reapply as necessary.

Step 4: Reveal

The last step is the most intensive, and actually works to reverse the damage that’s already been done, rather than protect skin from future damage.  A super important part of any anti-aging regimen, a glycolic peel is your secret weapon for youthful, clear skin.  As I talk about in 6 Steps for Anti-Aging Skincare, a monthly glycolic peel helps to remove the damaged outer layer of skin, to lessen the appearance of wrinkles and reverse sun damage.  It’s a must for our faces, and our hands are no different!

A glycolic peel for your hands reveals fresh, younger, clearer skin and literally removes a lot of the damage age and the elements have wreaked.  It’s best to start treatments early — if your hands are already looking vaguely reptilian, a glycolic peel will help a bit, but you may need something stronger.  But for the rest of us, a 30% solution of glycolic acid once a month will do wonders.

I use Skin Obsession 30% Glycolic Acid Chemical Peel, and really like it.  30% is a nice, moderate place to start (you can go with a lower concentration if your skin is super sensitive), and I wouldn’t recommend going much higher, as the thin, delicate skin on our hands can actually be damaged by too high a concentration.

Use a glycolic peel on hands no more than once a month, for 5 minutes at night.  Follow with your balm. Avoid exfoliation (step one) for several days after the peel.  Make sure to use sunscreen!

Best Natural Beauty Products of 2016

2016 was a banner year for natural and organic beauty.  With so many amazing brands and products to choose from, we naturally-minded organic beauties are no longer limited to choosing from insanely overpriced celebrity brands or crafted in someone’s basement hippie brands (not that we’re not obsessed with many of those).  Now we don’t have to sacrifice selection, effectiveness or budget to stock up our bathrooms and makeup bags with beautiful products that work wonders on our skin, hair and bodies, without harming your health or the environment.

Below are some of our favorite new (or new to us) products from the last year, all of which follow our strict criteria of natural beauty.

Continue Reading…

THE online beauty shop for all you choosy chicks

The Online Beauty Shop for Choosy Chicks

When it comes to beauty products, I am nothing if not supremely choosy.  I mean, I created a whole blog about it.  But most of us who are not professional bloggers and wellness experts just don’t have time to research a million different beauty brands and ingredients, or cross-check everything with the EWG database.  So finding a great online beauty shop that does the work for you is just, plain awesome.  We’ve featured many different natural beauty shops on The Organic Beauty Blog, and there are a lot out there to love.  But what I love about The Choosy Chick is that they carry such a wide variety of natural beauty brands, at a variety of price points.

A big complaint I hear from our readers is that going all-natural/organic is expensive.  Thankfully, with the explosion of the natural beauty scene over the last few years, this is no longer the case! The marketplace for natural beauty products now mirrors that of conventional products in terms of price — with super effective, budget-friendly brands rubbing elbows with smaller scale, luxury brands. But the big difference in quality (and of course safety!) still applies.

Continue Reading…

Perfect Remedy for Thirsty, Damaged Hair

Remedy for Thirsty Damaged Hair | The Organic Beauty Blog

As soon as my formerly blond hair starting turning less-than-blond in the 5th grade, so began my lifelong affair with hair lightening.  First it was Sun In (that early-90’s peroxide spray that gave us all beachy sun-streaked hair), then at-home highlights done by my mom, and then later all those professional highlights done 2-3 times a year for the last 20 years.  Needless to say, my hair has been through a lot.  I’ve spent years searching for the perfect remedy for damaged hair that will save my fried locks.  And clearly I refuse to let my hair go natural — oh the non-blond horror!!

Over the years, I’ve developed a routine for healing thirsty, damaged hair — it’s not perfect (there’s no way to completely mitigate the damage from color-treating, especially bleaching, and especially for already dry hair types like mine), but it does turn dry, frizzy locks into more luscious, hydrated hair!

5 Step Remedy for Thirsty, Damaged Hair

Continue Reading…

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:

Continue Reading…

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!

Continue Reading…

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:

Continue Reading…

Holistic New Baby Essentials + Giveaways!

Ok guys, we’ve gotten through the essentials for first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy, natural birth and now… your natural new baby essentials!!

I cannot overstate the importance of utmost absolute vigilance when selecting the products you use on and around your baby.  This guide has products I have used and loved with my own baby, as well as a couple of vetted items that I didn’t get much use out of, but come highly recommended by my mommy community.

In general, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting products for baby: safety, purity, and intention.  Little babies are so sensitive to their environment, and the choices we make in the first months of their lives set them up for a healthy and happy childhood and rest of their lives.  Choose the easy, cheap, unresearched route, and your child will likely battle issues like hormonal imbalance, allergies and asthma, behavioral issues and ADD, and even more serious long-term effects.  Maybe a few items are a little more expensive than their drugstore or box store counterparts, but when it comes to your little one, it is soooo worth it.  If budget is a concern, skip a few weekly trips to Starbucks and you will more than make up for the difference in cost.

In general, here are the rules I follow when choosing products for my baby:

  • EVERYTHING must be BPA, SLS, phthalate, and paraben-free
  • Wood or glass over plastic
  • Organic or bamboo fibers whenever possible
  • Simple items with developmental value over battery-powered products that make noise or blink lights

holistic-new-baby-essentials

Continue Reading…

What to Pack for Your Natural Birth

As I learned from my somewhat unexpected birth experience (which you can read all about here), the key to a more pleasant and confident birth experience is to be prepared for what may come. We were planning on a birth center birth, and were adamantly against the hospital. As it turned out, we had a bit of both.. What both experiences had in common was our desire for a natural birth, and in retrospect, I am so grateful that we thought to pack the tools necessary for the birth we wanted, both at a birth center, and at the hospital.  I did plenty of research to make sure everything I brough with me was as natural, healthy, and safe as possible, both for myself and for my new baby! Here are your must-have’s for your natural birth, wherever it may be*:

what-to-pack-for-natural-birth

Continue Reading…

Last Minute Beauty Gifts for the Naturalista + Giveaway

Leclisse-natural-makeup-holiday-gifts

As you can tell by the name of this blog, I’m pretty obsessed with all things organic beauty.  “Natural” and “organic” used to be synonymous with “ineffective” when it came to many makeup and beauty products back in the day.. not so anymore.  There are SO many amazing natural beauty products out there that not only work, but work wonders on your skin!

I believe anything we put on our skin should not only make it look better, but also make it healthier, so I get really pumped about natural makeup that promises and delivers just that. L’eclisse creates super high quality cosmetics using the finest minerals that are actually healthy for your skin.  Free of synthetic perfumes, dyes, fillers, or chemicals, the ingredients in their makeup work to soothe sensitive skin, heal and protect from environmental irritants, and hydrate without clogging pores.

If you have a natural beauty on your gift list, L’eclisse has you covered with their awesome holiday gift sets.  Easy peasy last minute gifts for a glowing goddess.

The Holiday Glow Gift Set ($59.99) includes:

  • The Pressed Mineral Blush is silky smooth, and is formulated without talc or fillers, and is loaded with skin protecting grapeseed oil and sunflower seed oil, as well as skin perfecting rosemary.  It comes in three flattering hues that provide beautiful, sheer coverage for just the right amount of glow.
  • The Blush Brush which is vegan, cruelty-free, and made from high quality hypoallergenic fibers for a soft and smooth application.
  • The Natural Lip Gloss made from lip beautifying organic, antioxidant-rich ingredients like coconut oil, carrot powder, rosemary and citrus extracts that heal, protect, and hydrate lips with the most beautiful shimmering shades.

The Mistletoe Kiss Stocking Stuffer ($39.99) features:

  • Three of the Natural Lip Glosses in three beautiful, universally flattering shades that look good with any complexion

Enter to win a Holiday Glow Gift Set!

L’eclisse Holiday Glow Gift Set Giveaway