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!

5 Minutes to Looking Put Together (even when you have no time)

5 Minutes to Looking Put Together | The Organic Beauty Blog

A mama recently posted in one of the many FB groups I’m in that she feels like it’s impossible to look and feel put together with a baby and a toddler around.  Though I only have one of those to contend with, I sometimes feel like little M is both a sweet, needy little baby and a willful, naysaying toddler all rolled into one — so I can relate.  As moms or otherwise busy ladies strapped for time in the morning (or EVER, for that matter), it can be super hard to make time for seemingly meaningless rituals like hair and makeup.  BUT, feeling schlumpy is a big cause of the lowered self-esteem, motivation and sex drive that can come with motherhood (or super mega busy ladyhood).

To that, I say “No way!”

Feeling put together can mean the difference between a confident, radiant, and joyful day-to-day, and one that is, well.. not.  The effects of this one seemingly meaningless act of self-care reverberate across all areas of your life.

But fear not! I am certainly not of the camp of women who always look polished and manicured, and I definitely don’t want you to feel that pressure (unless you’re one of those women, in which case, kudos to you!).  So I have perfected a super quick, low maintenance approach to looking more or less put together that leaves me feeling like a sexy lady and not a frumpy mom who may or may not still be in yesterday’s undies.

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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:

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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?

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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:

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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

GP: My Natural Beauty Skinspiration

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

A weird thing started happening when I reached my 30’s: Instead of layering on the anti-aging products and slathering on more makeup to simulate my teenage skin, I found myself opting for a much more natural makeup look and and a more simplified beauty routine.  Gone are my black rimmed eyes and foundations.  No more do I turn to multi-step systems with harsh cleansers, gels and creams.  And guess what?  Not only does my skin look way better than it did when I was 20, but I also feel way more confident that the products I do use are going to actually improve the health and quality of my skin, in addition to its appearance.

One of my icons in this transition has been Gwyneth Paltrow, who has long been the face of fresh-skinned, glowing, natural beauty.  You’ll seldom see her walking the red carpet with a heavy, done-up look.  She’ll typically focus on one area of her face to emphasize for a more dramatic look (bold lips, with muted eyes; or smoky eyes with a nude lips), but more often than not, she’s seen about town with gorgeous, natural-looking eyes, a peachy blush, and some lip gloss.  The epitome of natural gorgeousness.

I’ve taken a few pages from GP’s book in creating my daily skin care regimen. Check out my 6 daily steps to getting that natural, gorgeous glow:

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November Beauty Giveaway!

We are obsessed with Biao Beauty’s Rejuvenation collection, and we want to share the love!

Click here to read our review of this super nourishing, delicious, all-natural skincare line, and find out how to enter our giveaway to try this amazing line for yourself!

The giveaway ends on Tuesday, November 26th, so enter soon!

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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Your Guide to a Perfect Night In

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Living a fabulous life is amazing, and of course, something we’re all striving towards (or should be!), but with all the emphasis on going out, doing, and taking over the world, we sometimes forget the therapeutic effect of a good night in.

Now I don’t mean the kind of sad, pathetic night in where you’re wishing you were somewhere else and bury yourself in reality TV and a pint of ice cream.

I’m talking about the luxurious, pampering, thought-out, fabulous kind of night in that leaves you feeling like there is no where you’d rather be!  Lower your stress levels, feel more in-control of your life, calm your sweet little soul, and get some much needed self-love.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Guide to Staying In

(Clockwise from top left)

1.  Delicious, organic popcorn like Hudson Valley’s Bjorn Qorn, or better yet, make your own (see below)!

2.  A favorite, classic movie or book (you can’t go wrong with Clueless or The Secret Garden!)

3.  An amazing, detoxifying face mask, like Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($8)

4.  A cup of delicious, calming tea, like Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea in Honey Lavender ($3.46)

5.  Comfy and luxurious loungewear (no dumpy sweats here!), like these Bamboo Dreams Sugar Pie Pajamas ($99)

Cheesy-Spicy Vegan Popcorn

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup organic popcorn kernels
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in small pot over medium-high heat.  Add kernels and cover.  When kernels begin to pop, shake pot every few seconds, keeping lid closed.  When pops come a few seconds apart, remove pot from heat and keep covered for a minute to make sure all kernels have popped.  Toss with nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Add a drizzle of olive oil, if you’d like!