Product Review: Boot’s Botanics Ionic Clay Mask

Review of Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask.

boots beauty face mask

I’m going to get right to the point. I am IN LOVE with this clay mask (It also helps that the product isn’t tested on animals :-)). Here’s why:

* Easy application. No need to use a lot
* Dries quickly
* Very easy to wash off

If I had to list a con, it would be that when I first opened the bottle, it came out very loosely. I made quite a bit of a mess. Then, I realized that the mask separates some in the bottle and you need to shake it before applying. Once I did that, it was good to go. It was so easy to apply.

Now that you know how much I love this face mask, let’s talk ingredients.

INGREDIENTS: Natural oceanic clay, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Butylene glycol, Arctium lappa (Burdock Root Extract), Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.

Most of the ingredients are simple. The Butylene glycol is deemed safe as noted in the cosmetics database but the sodium hydroxymethyglycinate is on the cusp. It’s a chemical preservative but seeing that it’s last on the ingredient list means that it’s the least abundant ingredient in the product on the entire list.

It’s a personal choice to use products that are not 100% natural. I’m ok with some but not all. At least this has no parabens or sulfates.

How The Mask Works

The oceanic clay exhibits a negative electrical charge, which helps to draw out impurities without overdrying, skin is left looking clearer whilst feeling softer and smoother. Willowbark, a key ingredient in the Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask, is nature’s champion clarifier. The bark of the willow tree is a natural source of salicylic acid which helps to refine skin texture and actively target imperfections.

The Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask retails for approximately $10. Worth the cash.

*This mask was sent to me complimentary from Influenster in the J’Adore VoxBox. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.

natural hair and brown beauty blog

The Best Way to Freshen and Brighten Your Skin

Gentle, effective way to lighten blemishes and brighten your skin.

before and after exfoliatingResults of exfoliating after 2 weeks of not exfoliating
Note: Exfoliating has little effect on acne. That’s a whole other problem that requires attention

Can you believe it’s almost February? Where did January go?? Well, we are wrapping up the January posts on New Beginnings where beauty is concerned. In February I’ll share some ideas and thoughts on Loving Yourself Inside and Out. But we’re not there yet! Let’s talk about the easiest way you can brighten your skin while revealing a fresh new layer.

The Benefit of Exfoliating

Being a woman of color, having a little natural protection from the sun may be great but it doesn’t help when it comes to getting hyper-pigmentation – aka those dark spots caused by overexposure to the sun and picking pimples (Raise your hand if you’re guilty of either. I am).

Notoriously guilty of picking at my face, I know it’s wrong. I know it but I do it anyway. It’s like I just can’t leave a pimple sitting there on my freakin’ jawline! It annoys me to no end. Therefore, what do I do? I find myself pushing at it and squeezing at it. I don’t  use my nails though because, after all I’m trying to prevent a nasty blemish.

Wouldn’t you know it. You can still get a blemish from picking at a pimple even when you don’t use your nails. I can’t win!!

You’ll notice that blemishes will fade some naturally, but it takes FOR-E-VER!  So what can we do to brighten it all up a little faster while also revealing a fresh layer of skin? You guessed it. Exfoliate. (because, of course the subtitle isn’t that transparent ha ha!)

Exfoliation is the best way to brighten your face and reveal a fresh new layer of skin. It’s the process of removing old, dead skin cells that seem to want to hang onto your face for dear life. Those little bastards – I mean skin cells. They’ve  got to go. When you notice your skin blemished or looking dull and lifeless, try exfoliating.

How to Exfoliate

The most common way to exfoliate is to use a gentle facial scrub – one that won’t scratch up and destroy the new skin.  “Gentle” is the operative word here. I’ve tried some scrubs that were so rough, I felt like I was running a cheese grater across my face. No bueno!

For gentle exfoliation, look for a product with microfine particles. I really like MyChelle’s Fruit Enzyme Scrub. You can also make your own facial scrub with a little olive oil and finely grained sugar. (Google “home recipe for exfoliation.” There are tons out there).

exfoliating facial scrub

Whatever product you choose to exfoliate with, I wouldn’t recommend just rubbing it onto dry or dirty skin. When I exfoliate I like to:

  • Wash my face with a sulfate free cleanser
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Allow my skin to air dry 85% of the way (don’t ask where I got that percentage. It just sounded good. You get the picture.)
  • Apply dots of my exfoliating product to  my chin, cheeks and forehead
  • Work in circular motions, avoiding the eye area.

The results of a good exfoliating session is brighter, smoother skin (as noted in the pics at the top of this post). Blemishes will also appear lighter and with persistence, can disappear altogether. If you want to kick it into high gear, add a natural Vitamin A serum to your skin care regimen. It can be applied right after you exfoliate. Vitamin A helps refine your skin. It’s an antioxidant that improves the texture of rough skin. My Vitamin A serum of choice is also from MyChelle.

scrub and serum

I prefer exfoliating over the use of blemish fading products. Most of these products contain a chemical called “hydroquinone.” This chemical has been found in studies to act as a carcinogen in lab rats. Carci…who? AKA, it can cause cancer. Hey, if it’s no good for the rats, I’m certainly not using it! (Read more about hydroquine here.)

Do you regularly exfoliate (at least weekly)?

natural hair and brown beauty blog

Resetting Your Skin for the Next Level of Beauty

Overhauling your skin care with the basics.

facial steamingIf you have been following along, then you know our beauty focus for January is new beginnings. The past couple of posts have been about sharing beauty lessons learned from 2013. For the remainder of the month, we’ll talk about putting in to practice some new or improved beauty behaviors to take ourselves to the next level or beautiful. As a reminder, I’m only posting twice weekly now so posts will be a bit longer. However, they will be higher quality posts offering more information. Today’s specific focus is our skin.

Our skin takes a pretty harsh beating during the winter months. Before you know it, winter is gone and summer has returned. It happens every single year yeah?

What if I told you that you needed to reset your skin every season? It would make since. Wouldn’t it? Think about it.

You spring clean your home. You put away “seasonal” clothing. You even go so far as putting away certain color palettes (makeup and clothing) at certain times of year.  You are doing what’s called re-setting. You re-set your wardrobe and you re-set your home.

Now it’s time to reset your skin starting with:

  • Cleansing
  • Moisturizing
  • Facial Treatments

As you age, the types of products you use will change. Let’s not think about age for now though (side note: I turned 45 yesterday!).

Let’s talk about how we are going to reset our skin with these basic skin care practices.

skin moisturizing

Cleansing – You clean your face every day. That’s a given (I hope). Deep cleansing your face allows your pores to open so that you can truly get down to clean. The results of deep cleaning your face will be clearer skin over time. One method of deep cleansing your face is through facial steaming.

I’ve been using Dr Gross’ Professional Face Steamer for about a week and a half now and can already tell the difference in the texture of my skin. It’s cleaner and firmer. Reset!

Moisturizing – The importance of moisturizing your skin can not be overstated. Many people moisturize their faces only once per day. Some don’t even do it every day (shame!). However, if you are going to take your face to the next level of beauty, moisturizing with the right products for your skin type has to become a priority.

After steaming my face, I apply Dr Gross’ Daily Essentials Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion Cream to seal in the moisture that was generated during the steam in process. Now, it’s not my intention to provide free advertising for Dr. Gross’ facial steamer and skin care products! I’m just sharing what it is that I’m using to improve my skin’s healthy and clarity for the new year.

Steaming your face regularly paired with imparting deep moisture gives you more hydrated skin. More hydrated skin is less prone to premature wrinkling. Reset!

Facial treatments – There are so many facial products on the market. They all makes claims. Some make big claims. What I personally look for in serums are, specific ingredients geared toward repairing, restructuring and restoring the skin. For me, that means no harsh chemicals.

Hyaluronic acid is beneficial for keeping your skin moisturized. Facial treatments containing peptides, vitamins A, C & E help fight the effects of free radicals. You can even find serums that can be paired (or added to) your daily moisturizer.

Just the right serum added to your skin care regimen can accelerate healthy skin cell turnover. Reset!

How do you reset your skin?

 brown beauty gal

 

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