skin

The OBL Mother’s Day Gift Guide

With Mother’s Day fast approaching I’ve decided to whip up some gift inspiration based on what I would actually get my own mom. In reality I haven’t decided on anything yet! My mom is super picky about her beauty products so I’m not about to waste a bunch of money on a gift she won’t use. But don’t be like me and get to it!

Beauty Food Basket (supplements & superfood chocolates)

Beauty products are great but supplements take health into consideration as well as promote beauty from the inside out. Put together a customized “beauty food care basket” and wrap it up with a pretty bow tie. Some products that would be great to include are:

  • HUM Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair Gummies (love these and it’s like eating candy everyday)
  • Vital Proteins Beauty Collgen- Strawberry Lemon
  • Addictive Wellness Beauty Superfood Chocolate
    • This is a Vegan, Paleo, and Keto Friendly food. Ingredients: Cacao Paste*∆, Cacao Butter*∆, Birch Xylitol, Lucuma*∆, Mucuna, Tremella Mushroom*, Horsetail*, Chaga Mushroom, Stevia (Reb-A)*, Himalayan Salt
      *=Certified Organic     ∆=Raw
  • Pearl Butter Adaptogenic Beauty Butter (code OBL15 saves 15%-I’m not affiliated)
    • Collagen-boosting butter with activated pearl (Cleopatra’s beauty secret) and shavegrass (one of the richest plant sources of silica) for glowing, lit-from-within skin. The cherry on top? It’s pink. All Ingredients:  Raw Organic Coconut, PearlShavegrassPitaya
  • HUM Nutrition Red Carpet for glowing skin & healthy hair
  • The Beauty Chef GLOW Inner Beauty Powder
    • GLOW ADVANCED, a new and improved bio-fermented super-food beauty blend with more antioxidants, more minerals, more vitamins and extra probiotics designed to improve gut health and enhance the skin from the inside out.
    • Ingredients: Bio-fermented Nutrient Blend with Flora Culture™ (mung beans*, brown rice*, lentils*, chickpeas*, linseed*, maqui berry*, queen garnet plum, buckwheat*, hulled millet*, Dunaliella salina*, agave*, molasses*, quinoa*, chia seeds*, pepitas*, sunflower seeds*, lemon juice, green tea powder*, ginger*, turmeric*), anthocyanins from grape skins, natural wild berry flavour, Dunaliella salina*, citric acid, Saccharomyces boulardii, stevia leaf extract, zinc ascorbate. *Organic Ingredients Fermented with probiotic strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. delbreuckii, L. casei, L. bulgaricus, L. caucasicus, L. fermenti, L. plantarum, L. brevis, L. helevictus, L. lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Saccharomyces boulardii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • The Beauty Chef Holiday Boost Kit
    • Containing 3 x 100ml Inner Beauty Boosts, each specifically formulated to address gut health and specific skin concerns
    • Ingredients: Bio-fermented Nutrient Blend with Flora Culture™ (mung beans*, brown rice*, lentils*, chick peas*, linseed*, maqui berry*, queen garnet plum, buckwheat*, hulled millet*, Dunaliella salina*, agave*, molasses*, quinoa*, chia seeds*, pepitas*, sunflower seeds*, lemon juice, green tea powder*, ginger*, turmeric*), anthocyanins from grape skins, natural wild berry flavour, Dunaliella salina*, citric acid, Saccharomyces boulardii, stevia leaf extract, zinc ascorbate. *Organic Ingredients
  • Sun Potion’s He Shou Wu
    • He Shou Wu is a traditional Taoist Herb & Jing Tonic that has a history of use as a longevity, anti-aging, blood-building, beauty, & rejuvenation food. Regular consumption of this herb may do the following: tonify and nourish the blood, hair, skin, nervous system, sexual center, shen (Spirit), and Jing (primary essence/life force).
  • Sun Potion Tocos (I LOVE this one! It is amazing for skin health and tastes so delicious on its own and adds creaminess to any drink)
    • Tocos is considered the “Ultimate Skin Food”. It is an incredible superfood and creamy addition to any healthy recipe. It is a Bio-Available Source of Vitamins D & E that may Promote Healthy Skin and Connective Tissues and Facilitate the removal of toxins from the body.

FLOWERS

This is a given and should be in addition to whatever you’re getting her. Gilt City is offering great deals on flowers with Bouqs and Enjoy Flowers. Take an extra 20% off your order with code WELCOMEBACK.

candles

I really enjoy the natural and nontoxic Lite+Cycle candles which aren’t made with toxic paraffin wax and blended right in Los Angeles. MADE WITH: 100% pure essential oil fragrances, American-grown soy wax, and a cotton wick WITHOUT: paraffin, dyes, lead, animal by-products, or synthetic fragrances. The underside of the gold lid is designed with a custom pattern that creates a textured surface for igniting a strike-anywhere match. 65 hour burning time. TIP: Sign up for their newsletter to receive 20% off.

NUFACE TRINITY FACIAL TONING DEVICE

Get your mom to start using skin technology early! The earlier the better so she can age gracefuly into her 60s and beyond. I personally try to use mine at least once every few days and I feel like it will make a difference down the line. The NuFace is multi-solution facial toning device is FDA-cleared, clinically-tested, and consumer reviewed for improved facial contour, skin tone, and wrinkle reduction to give you a more radiant, younger looking appearance.

  • Natural, non-invasive facial-lift using microcurrent technology
  • Visible results that are long-lasting with continued use
  • Easy to use in as little as 5-minutes a day and travel ready

This device costs a hefty $325 so if you’re strapped consider the refreshed Mini version at $179.

spa day

Treat your mom to a pampering spa day or get her a gift card for a treatment.

best of green beauty box.

And if you really want to give mom the gift of organic beauty, The Detox Market has a fantastic Best of Green Beauty box set with $310+ worth of luxury products for only $149. Includes

  • ODACITÉ Green Ceremony Cleanser | full size 5 oz | $55 value
  • JOSH ROSEBROOK Hydrating Accelerator | travel size 2 oz | $20 value
  • MV SKINCARE Rose Soothing and Protective Moisturizer | full size 2.4 oz | $135 value
  • THE BEAUTY CHEF Collagen Inner Beauty Boost | travel size 3.38 oz | $16 value
  • RMS BEAUTY Vintage Cake Liner | full size | $24 value
  • LILY LOLO Natural Vegan Mascara | full size | $20 value
  • SOAPWALLA Sensitive Skin Deodorant Cream | full size | $16 value
  • RAHUA Shampoo + Conditioner | travel size set | $16.50 value
  • DAVIDS Natural Toothpaste | full size | $7.95 value

BEAUTY SUBSCRIPTION BOX (LUXURY)

Bi-monthly eco-luxury beauty box Boxwalla is only getting better and better so I have to recommend it. With previous boxes including high-end organic brands MUN Skincare, Twelve Beauty, Earthwise Beauty and June’s box featuring MOSS Skincare I’m sure mom is going to enjoy every box. Each box usually has a value of over $200 in my experience and costs $49.95 every other month. You can also cancel at anytime, but I’m sure you’re going to want to just change the address and re-direct the packages to your home instead.

Natural Alternatives to Vaseline

Why put a byproduct of the petroleum industry on your skin when there are safer, better natural alternatives available? There are plenty of articles floating on web on just how toxic petroleum jelly is (some insist it can cause cancer due to contamination with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS)) if you do a quick Google search. We’re no longer in the 19th century people (it’s the 21st for pete’s sake) and there are gorgeous products ranging from affordable to luxury made by eco-conscious and passionate brands on a mission. These are all multi-purpose balms or salves using all-natural and organic formulations designed to be a cure-all for cuts, bruises, scrapes, rashes and dryness.
Listed from lowest to highest price:

OBL Spring 2018 Current Favorites

It has been a while since I`ve done a Current Favorites post! I honestly don`t think I can even fit everything I`m currently enjoying into one post without overwhelming you. I won`t be going into depth with these products and I apologize in advance for that.

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The Seaweed Bath Co Review (Earth Day Sale)

This post was kindly sponsored by The Seaweed Bath Co.

(Earth Day Promotion happening until Apr 22, 2018: Code EARTHDAY)

Founded in 2010 by Adam and Allison, The Seaweed Bath Co harnesses the power of sustainably hand-harvested certified organic seaweed off the coast of Maine to create proven, effective formulas that naturally detoxify, replenish, and protect skin and hair. They offer a wide range of face, body and haircare products and are widely available on-line and in-store (Target and Whole Foods stores, Amazon, iHerb, Thrive Market and more). They sent me a wide variety of their skin and bodycare products to try and share my thoughts.

Body Creams (Vegan & Gluten Free) $12.99

Let’s start with the Firming Detox Cream with antioxidant-rich Green Coffee Bean Extract and Hyaluronic Acid. It has a sweet citrus scent and I do feel a tightening sensation on my skin when I apply this compared to their other regular body creams. I wouldn’t expect any crazy skin transforming products from a product that costs less than $15 though obviously – only lasers can do that.

The body creams all have a very creamy thick consistency, aborb quickly and don’t leave any oil residue or feeling. The scent is strong (except the unscented one) but not overpowering and all are very pleasant. My favorite is the lavender because it’s so effective at calming my senses before sleep. The eucalyptus is uplifting and if you don’t want any scent at all they offer an unscented version. The tube is large and will last you a good few months at least.

  • Nutrient-rich bladderwrack seaweed detoxifies, hydrates and replenishes skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture while strengthening the skin’s natural barrier.
  • Argan oil, rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, naturally comforts dry, troubled skin.
  • Shea butter and aloe vera hydrate and soften skin.

Refresh Purifying Detox Body Wash (Vegan) $14.99

I must say I fell in love with this Refresh Purifying Detox Body Wash instantly. Highly nourishing with Coconut Oil, Spriulina, and Bladderwack Seaweed, it smells like an orange creamsicle, but a sophisticated one! It’s light, lathers well and comes in an hefty sized bottle.

  • Orange, Eucalyptus & Cedar essential oil blend.
  • Best for those who want a daily wash that cleans, detoxifies and nourishes skin.
  • Organic, sustainably-harvested bladderwrack seaweed with 65+ vitamins and minerals naturally detoxifies and promotes skin elasticity.
  • Antioxidant-rich green coffee bean extract helps to detoxify and protect the skin against damaging free radicals.
  • Mineral-rich French clay helps to purify skin and wash away toxins and impurities.
  • Spirulina nourishes with Vitamins B1, B2, B3, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and amino acids.

They offer 7 different scents of body washes including Citrus Vanilla, Lavender, Eucalyptus and more.

Purifying Gel Cleanser (now sold at Target) $16.99

This is a super gentle, light gel cleanser – the consistency is almost serum like – and contains their AlgaDermTM Complex, a proprietary  ingredient, with Marine Tri-Peptide to fight free radicals and support skin’s natural collagen production. Because this is such a gentle and hydrating cleanser I feel it would be ideal for sensitive and dry skin. I also used  this as a 2nd cleansing step after removing my makeup with a cleansing oil or face wipe. The cleanser along with the rest of the products in their facial care line all have the same scent and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s a refreshing ocean scent is how I can best describe it. For full disclosure, please note that they do use chemical preservatives if these are ingredients you’re avoiding.

The star ingredient in their facial care line is Bladderwack Seaweed and its benefits include:

  • Nutrient rich with 65+ vitamins, minerals and amino acids to rejuvenate to skin and hair
  • Detoxifying: Iodine levels in bladderwrack seaweed help the skin’s natural detoxification process to flush environmental toxins and heavy metals
  • Anti-inflammatory: Fucoidan and phlorotannin, two bioactives in bladderwrack seaweed, have been shown in numerous studies to reduce redness and irritation in inflamed skin
  • Moisturizing: An abundance of amino acids help to increase hydration and improve skin elasticity, which reduces the signs of aging
  • Conditioning: Vitamins A, Beta-Carotene, B1, B12, C, E and K naturally condition and promote healthy hair
  • Smoothing: Increases microcirculation to aid the body in shedding excess fluids to reduce the appearance of cellulite

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Organic), Decyl Glucoside, Laurel Glucoside, Propanediol, Xanthan Gum, AlgaDermTM Complex (Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Laminaria Digitata Powder (Brown Seaweed), Codium Fragile Extract (Green Seaweed), Porphyridium Cruentum Exsuded Culture Medium (Red Seaweed)), Fucus Vesiculosus Powder (Organic Bladderwrack Seaweed), (Marine) Tripeptide 29, Glyceryl Oleate, Coco-Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, 100% Natural Fragrance, Leuconostoc / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate.

Purifying Micro Scrub $16.99

This creamy scrub is a cleaner and safer alternative to the popular St. Ives Apricot Scrub which contains particles that are too abrasive for the skin and may cause tiny tears leading to irritation and possible infection. It contains super fine Eco-Cert voclanic particles sourced from Spain and provides a very gentle exfoliation. It also has a strong cooling effect on the skin.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Perlite (Volcanic Minerals), Sodium Stearate, Glycerin, Menthyl Lactate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyclyceryl-3 Diisostearate, AlgaDermTM Complex (Laminaria Digitata (Brown Seaweed) Extract, Porphyridium Cruentum Exsuded Culture Medium (Red Seaweed), Codium Fragile (Green Seaweed) Extract, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)), (Marine) Tripeptide 29, Potassium Sorbate, Fucus Vesiculosus (Organic Bladderwrack Seaweed) Powder, Sodium Benzoate, 100% Natural Fragrance, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Potassium Hydroxide, Agar, Leuconistic/ Radish Root Ferment Filtrate.

Restoring Marine Night Therapy $24.99

This night cream, which can also be used during the day for very dry skin, is a thick and emollient cream that I found very moisturizing. Though it’s a heavy cream, I found it absorbd quickly and didn’t leave a greasy or film-like feeling. At less than $25 it’s also an accessible and affordable option for those who want a cleaner night cream that is still quality. It comes in a beautiful glass jar which is a plus. There’s also no essential oils in this and has Niacinamide as the 4th ingredient as well as their seaweed complex which makes it great for sensitive skin. Niacinamide also boosts the immunity of your skin, improves redness, reduces fine lines and fights dullness.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)*, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Sucrose Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Laminaria Digitata (Brown Seaweed) Extract*, Porphyridium Cruentum Exsuded Culture Medium (Red Seaweed)*, Codium Fragile (Green Seaweed) Extract*, (Marine) Tripeptide 29, Sodium Benzoate, Fucus Vesiculosus (Organic Bladderwrack Seaweed) Powder, Xantham Gum, Potassium Sorbate, 100% Natural Fragrance, Citric Acid, Leuconistic / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate. *AlgaDermTM Complex

Restore + Protect Day Cream $19.99

This lightweight moisturizer absorbs almost instantly and provides a decent amount of hydration. I was not a fan of the texture/consistency of the cream as I prefer a more silky lotion-like one. Very similar in ingredients to the night cream, it provides the benefits of its combination of three types of seaweed and Vitamin B3 as well as marine tri-peptides.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)*, Sucrose Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Codium Fragile (Green Seaweed) Extract*, Laminaria Digitata (Brown Seaweed) Extract*, Porphyridium Cruentum Exsuded Culture Medium (Red Seaweed)*, (Marine) Tripeptide 29, Fucus Vesiculosus (Organic Bladderwrack Seaweed) Powder, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Leuconistic / Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, 100% Natural Fragrance. *AlgaDermTM Complex

 

Exfoliating Detox Body Soap (Vegan) $7.99

If you like coffee scents and body soaps, this bar was made for you. I’m not a fan of body soaps mainly because they get messy and awkward to place in the shower, but I enjoyed using this one specifically because of its delicious coffee scent and exfoliating effects from the coffee bits. At first it doesn’t look like it, but once you’ve used some of the product, the exposed coffee pieces are quite coarse so you get a legitimate exfoliation session with each use of these bars.

  • Antioxidant-rich Arabica coffee gently exfoliates and improves the texture skin.
  • Cinnamon activates skin cells and increases skin elasticity.
  • Hawaiian kukui oil, coconut oil, olive oil and sunflower oil hydrate and nourish skin.
  • Charcoal powder draws out and washes away dirt, toxins and impurities on the skin

Purifying Detox Facial Soap (Vegan) $7.99

This unscented bar is made with Charcoal, Volcanic Ash, Green Tea Extract and hero ingredient Bladderwack Seaweed to gently detoxify skin and remove dirt and grime. Again, I’m not an avid face bar user (it is not recommended for dry skin) but I liked the unusual ingredients in this bar and found it gave my skin a refreshed sensation.

Ingredients: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Unrefined Shea) Butter, Organic Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack Seaweed), Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Sand, Charcoal Powder, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Gluconate, Caffeine.

Firm & Lift Treatment Mask $5.99

I tried this mask out twice and felt it did a great job at giving my skin a major boost of hydration. As for firming and lifting I didn’t see anything noticeable but nor did I expect to. These are also not skin concerns of mine,  but hydration definitely is. It contains Aloe Leaf Juice, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Seaweed Extracts as well as AlgaDermTM Complex, their proprietary, clinically proven ingredient, with Marine Tri-Peptide to fight free radicals and support skin’s natural collagen – fantastic ingredients for hydrated and healthy skin.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Copper DNA, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Glycosyl Trehalose, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)*, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Laminaria Hyperborea (Brown Seaweed) Extract*, Porphyridium Cruentum Culture Conditioned Media (Red Seaweed)*, Chlorella Vulgaris (Green Seaweed) Extract*, Tripeptide 29, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Citrus Aurantium Flower Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan Gum, Dehydroacetic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Polysorbate 20, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil Expressed (Orange Oil). *AlgaDermTM Complex

 

How I Do Skincare for Long Flights

My skin really takes a hit after a 15 hour flight and there’s almost no avoiding it. I almost always suffer from breakouts and dull skin for several days while having to adjust my biological clock. A post-flight facial really helps but I can’t always afford it. I try to do my best to keep my skin clean and hydrated on these flights where the air is literally drier than the Sahara desert.

Here’s my typical  in-flight routine:

  1. Makeup remover wipe: this cleanses my skin of airport grossness, sweat from running to catch flights and bacteria in general. Currently I’m using Derma E’s face wipes. Some other ones I enjoy are: Acure & Kaia Naturals
  2. Face Mist: Currently I’m using Earthwise Beauty Cistus & Moonlight (affiliate code OBL saves)
  3. Face Serum: Currently I’m using a variety of serums and like to layer them for ultimate hydration. Your best serum is going to be more effective than your best moisturizer any day. These days I’m using Luzern Labs Firming Collagen Booster & OSEA’s Hyaluronic Sea Serum.
  4. Face Mask: I usually try to avoid sheet masks if I’m on a full flight so I don’t freak out the person sitting next to me. During shoulder season I have entire rows to myself so I don’t feel self-conscious using them. Currently I’m enjoying Orgaid’s Organic Sheet Masks. Otherwise I’ll use a less conspicuous hydrating mask like Odacités Deep Hydration Mask or Kypris’ Glow Philtre.
  5. Remove mask and apply Face Moisturizer & Oil: The sheet mask only lasts about half an hour so once I remove that I apply a face moisturizer and then an oil. This will keep my face hydrated throughout the flight. I always sleep as much as possible during a long haul flight to prevent exhaustion and recover quickly.
  6. SPF at the end of the flight: When the flight is about to land the stewardess forces you to lift up your window and the UV rays are super strong at this kind of altitude so I make sure to apply a good amount of SPF when I wake up. By the end of the flight there’s only slight residue left from my skincare routine and I don’t remove it. Currently I’m using Coola’s Tinted BB Cream SPF 30 and Sport SPF 50 Face sunscreen. I also love the Earthwise Beauty Farizad’s Veil and it doesn’t count as a liquid on carry-ons which is a plus.

A few other steps I take to ensure my skin doesn’t go berserk:

  • After going through the security check and before boarding I always try to buy 1 or 2 water bottles if I’m not rushing to make my connection.
  • I am extra careful not to touch my face
  • Natural hand sanitizer (currently using Olika’s hand sanitizer)