Dermarolling At Home

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In my career as an Esthetician I have been exposed to many different anti-aging modalities, treatments, and tools. I can tell you first hand it can be a bit overwhelming deciding which treatment to choose, especially if you are committed to living a more natural lifestyle. It seems like there is always a new treatment or procedure on the market promising youth and perfection. Everything from lasers that make your skin shed to fillers that add volume and lift. Nothing is wrong with choosing to have aesthetic procedures done, if it makes you feel good and is serving your greater good then be true to who you are. No judgement on any decision, natural or not. The truth is there are options out there that do take a more natural approach to reversing the inevitable signs of aging. Again, nothing is wrong with aging and I look forward to the wisdom I gain with each fine line, but I want to do it gracefully. Today I’m going to explain a little bit about two different treatments that I think are great for keeping your skin looking youthful – microneedling and dermarolling. Both are natural options and offer similar results but they differ in a couple areas including price and result. I am going to briefly go over each procedure and why I personally have been dermarolling at home for years.

Microneedling is a treatment that is done in a medical office where a tool, usually something called a dermapen, containing dozens of needles makes micro punctures on the surface of the skin….think tattoo gun. This type of treatment can be a bit uncomfortable, can draw blood, and can leave the skin very sensitized. A topical anesthetic is applied to reduce discomfort and the redness on the face usually subsides within 24 hours. Microneedling is a form of Collagen Induction Therapy, which simply means it promotes collagen production. The way this works is the needles that puncture the skin trigger your body’s natural immune response. Your body sends healing cells to the “wounded” area which signals your fibroblasts to produce more collagen.  The result is an improvement in the appearance of wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, and over all texture.  Results for this type of in-office procedure are seen within a couple of weeks as well as consistently over time. Prices for this procedure vary but you’re looking at a cost of about $600-$1000 per treatment (sometimes more depending on who is performing the procedure and where) and multiple treatments are usually required depending on desired results. This procedure is often paired with PRP, which is the patients own platelet rich plasma drawn from their blood. It enhances results and overall effectiveness of the procedure. This is essentially what the infamous “Vampire Facial” is. As for the pain, a topical anesthetic is applied and you will have a downtime of about a day or two.

Dermarolling , however, is different. It involves using a tool called a derma roller that you gently roll over different areas of your face. This tool is covered in little needles that cause tiny micro wounds on the surface of the skin. This treatment  is also a form of Collagen Induction Therapy, just not as invasive as Micro-needling. There will not be punctures on the skin but the skin itself will be stimulated enough to trigger enhanced collagen production. Now this process in particular is not an instant one – it takes 6 months to a year to see the fruits of your labor but this inexpensive way to maintain a youthful appearance is definitely worth the wait and is a great alternative to painful in-office procedures.  Our skin is such an amazing organ! I’ve been dermarolling at home for the past two years and have seen fine lines disappear as well as vast improvements on the tone and texture of my skin. I will continue this treatment on myself indefinitely!

Here are some of my tips and tricks for dermarollling at home.

1: Picking out a derma roller

There are many different sizes of derma rollers to choose from, I personally have three that I use for different areas of the face. I will list the different needle lengths I think are the safest for home use and who should use them.

0.5 mm

  • Use 1x per week
  • Promote product penetration
  • Mild pain
  • Induce minor flushing
  • Reduce appearance of scars and fine lines
  • Great for cellulite

0.75 & 1.0 mm

  • Use 1x per month
  • Mild to moderate pain
  • Great for hyperpigmentation
  • Reduce appearance of deep scars and wrinkles, pore size
  • Will promote moderate flushing

*Each of the above mentions needle lengths can also be used to help with hair loss by rolling over areas that are starting to thin.

Any needle length higher than the few I listed should only be used by professionals because they can easily damage the skin and your precious collagen. Dermarolling should always be performed on clean skin and always in the evenings. Some skin types are more sensitive and may require longer rest periods in between treatments, this is why it is important to pay attention to your skin. This will allow you to create a regimen that is right for you. I recommend having a light hand while rolling and if you’re ever in extreme discomfort stop immediately. You should also never roll over active acne. Acne is an inflammatory condition and should be treated in the most non invasive gentle way.

Tip 2: Sanitize your roller after each use.

Since rolling needles all over your face will cause micro wounds on the surface of the skin it is super important that your roller stays clean. After each use I soak my roller in 80% isopropyl alcohol. Make sure to use an isopropyl rubbing alcohol that’s at least 80% strength or higher. I fill a clean shot glass about half way and stick my roller in it for a minimum of 20 minutes. I remove and let air dry, once dry I put the roller back in its case and close it. I also do this to new dermarollers that I buy before my first use. It is very dangerous to use a roller that has not been sanitized, you run the risk of breakouts and skin infections. No bueno!

Tip 3: Use Nutrient Rich Serums

To get the most out of your treatment I recommend applying a nutrient rich serum before and after rolling. This increases how deep the skin absorbs the product and how effective it will be. I like to use oils like Dr. Alkaitis’s Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil which is literally skin food! This oil contains ingredients like rosehip oil from the andean mountains, tumeric, and ashwaganda to help calm, soothe, and boost elasticity naturally. I also like Marie Veronique’s Rejuvenating Night Oil because it is jam-packed with ingredients high in essential fatty acids, and vitamins.

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Tip 4: Be Patient 

As I mentioned before the process of collagen production and skin regeneration is a timely one but the results are worth it!

Tip 5: Which roller should I buy? 

Honestly to me they are all the same. But remember you should replace them after 3 months of use.  The ones I have at home are from Ora  and Koi Beauty which I found on Amazon. Dermstore also has a great selection of rollers to choose from and shipping is always free.

Tip 6: How do I Dermaroll?

Always avoid the delicate eye area, to remind myself of this I like to slap on some under eye masks, I’ve really been loving Honest Hazels  eye gels, they are made with all natural ingredients like Vitamin B3 and Hylauranic Acid. Once my eye gels are on and secure I start on my forehead and work my way down while holding my skin taught. I roll once in each direction (up, down, left, right, and diagonally) kinda like an asterisk symbol * then move on to the next area of the face. You never want to repeatedly roll over the same area as this could cause damage to the skin barrier. Use gentle pressure and don’t forget to gently pass over your lips as well! Who doesn’t want naturally fuller lips?!

At the end of the day aging is inevitable but who says we have to go down without a fight? There are so many natural ways to enhance and prolong our beauty and I will continue to share my favorites!

Xo,

Cori

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Oahu

Last week I went on a much needed break from reality. I was starting to feel restless and my motivation was at an all time low. It was time for a VACAY. Thank god that it was possible for me to make the trip and spend time with family, friends, and my love. It is so important to stay motivated and happy, whenever I feel like my vibe is off I like to change the scenery for a bit and regroup. Spending time away from the stress of life for me means not checking emails, bank accounts, deadlines, or thinking about what lies ahead- just what’s right in front of me. I enjoyed new places I had never been to on the island before, lot’s of food, and too much to drink. Here are some highlights of my week on the aina. ALOHA!

Day One: Arvo Cafe 

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Contemporary, modern, and hip

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Simple but flavorful avo toast

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Activated Charcoal Latte to go 

Day Two: Poke & Beer 

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Foodland poke is to die for.

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Day Three: Kahala Beach

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facetune-1Swam with a giant sea turtle. 

Day Four: Lanikai Beach and The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club 

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I drank a lot of Maui Brewing Co. Bikini Blonde….

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My favorite beach on the island. 

Dinner at Mahina & Suns I had Monchong Fish with ‘ulu, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and chervil….drool.

Day Five: Aiea Loop Trail

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This trail was so peaceful. The couple hours spent on the trail did wonders for my mind and my spirit.

Day Six: Brunch at The Nook Neighborhood Bistro at Puck’s Alley

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Jidori Mochiko Chicken With Mochi Waffles. YAAAAAAAAAS! 

After Brunch we headed out to the west side of the island to Makaha Beach. It was my first time here and I felt like I was on another island completely. This beach took my breath away and watching the sun disappear into the sea is a moment I will remember forever. 

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Unreal.

I came back with a sunburn, 5 extra pounds, and priceless memories. Grateful beyond belief.

Xo.

The Lazy Girls Raw Chocolate Recipe

Adopting a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to miss out on indulgences of life. I’ve never been one for sweets but chocolate is my kryptonite.

Luckily there is a much healthier alternative to the Snickers of the world! Cacao has been used for thousands of years and is considered a versatile super food that can elevate your smoothies, oats, and morning coffee. Cacao is a great source of antioxidants, magnesium , and iron. Cacoa is also very stimulating when taken internally it improves blood circulation, digestion, aids in weight loss, and is anti-aging! Cacao is still an ingredient in Americas favorite candy bars but the health benefits are overshadowed by high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and other unhealthy ingredients.

Many of the inspirational social media health gurus I follow post raw sweet treats from time to time but the recipes are long, tedious, and time-consuming. I am the ultimate lazy girl but still want all the goodness (what a millennial), SO I’ve simplified a recipe that takes literally 10 minutes to make with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen cabinet. ENJOY!

What you need :

  • Coconut Oil
  • Raw Cacao Powder
  • Agave or Maple Syrup
  • Almond Butter or Nuts of Your Choice
  • Toppings (Optional) Like Cinnamon, Coconut Flakes, etc.
  • Carob Powder (Optional)
  • Adaptogens Like Reishi Powder, Ashwaganda Powder, etc (Optional for An Elevated Health Benefit)

What To Do :

  1. Melt one cup of coconut oil into a bowl
  2. Add 1/2 cup of cacao powder and mix
  3. Add sweetener of choice to taste (1-2 tablespoons is good enough for me) but feel free to add in as much as you want
  4. Add in almond butter , I like the chunky kind because it saves time over roasting nuts, the almond butter is optional but it adds a bit of a crunch and savory sweetness.
  5. This part is optional but I like to mix in 1/4 teaspoon of carob powder for nuttiness and depth as well as a sprinkle of reishi and ashwaganda for my adaptogen intake.
  6. I like to pour my mix into a mold tray but you can pour it into pretty much anything you want and cut it up after it sets.
  7. Once you’ve poured your mix into whatever it is you’ve chosen you can top them with whatever you want (coconut flakes, cacao nibs etc.)
  8. Stick in the freezer for about 15 minutes and they are ready to enjoy!
  9. Serve with fruit and you have a tasty treat the whole family can enjoy!

TIP : (be sure not to leave your chocolates out too long as the coconut oil will start to liquefy again)

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The thing I love most about this recipe is that you can make it your own by switching or adding different ingredients. There is plenty of room for creativity with this so dive in and have fun! This was my end result, the raspberries were an amazing combination!

 The mold is the Rose shaped Wilton Stack-N-Melt found at Michaels $8.99, you can shop here.

3 Oils To Combat Inflammation 

What is inflammation? Inflammation is your skins worst enemy.  Both internal and external factors play a role in causing inflammatory conditions so it is absolutely vital to pay attention to your skin and what foods or activities cause flare ups. Being able to know that eating certain foods exasperate breakouts, redness, and sensitivities is a great tool to keeping your inflammation under control. So eat lots of greens, foods rich in antioxidants and plenty of good old H2O.

Now for the easy part! The second and most importantly, fun way to tackle inflammation is with skin care! Particularly oils. These are my top 3 go to oils to calm, relieve, and heal my inflammation, and they might work for you too!

  1. Beauti Skincare Beauty Sleep Elixr

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This oil was created to specifically target inflammation and with 14 plant oils in the mix this little gem repairs and strengthens the skins barrier function. The formula is 100% natural and 98% organic too! The star ingredients here besides the antioxidant rich plant oils are:

  • Softalia or Australian Sandalwood contains ximenynic acid which prevents the inflammation process from beginning in the first place. Sandalwood oil also has a high oleic acid content (fatty acid) that deeply nourishes and hydrates the skin. WIN WIN!
  • Sea Whip (Carribean Corral) is a powerful anti inflammatory ingredient that contains enzymes the protect and repair the skin against free radical damage and pseudopterosins which reduces as well as inhibits the skins inflammatory response.

Ingredient List:  Camellia oil, Chia seed oil, Bitter cherry seed oil, Strawberry seed oil, Pomegranate seed oil, Blueberry seed oil, Cranberry seed oil, Sandalwood nut seed oil, Raspberry seed oil, Seabuckthorn fruit berry oil, Lavender herb oil, Geranium flower oil, Sandalwood oil, Neroli flower oil, Capric  trglyceride from coconut, Sea whip extract ( Coral )

*Great for treating skin conditions and recommended for all skin types especially those prone to acne, chronic breakouts, dullness, mature, or dehydrated skin.

2.  African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil

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I’ve mentioned this balancing facial oil in my February Favorites post, but this oil is the bomb. This oil is great for more oily, acne prone, and environmentally stressed skin types that need balancing and healing. Star ingredients in this formula are:

  • Marula Oil- Rich in omega fatty acids Marula Oil helps to reduce inflammation and redness as well as reduce transepidermal water loss- in other words it deeply hydrates the skin. Marula is high in antioxidants and stimulates collagen production.
  • Neroli- Naturally high in vitamin C *(non phototoxic) brightens and evens out the skin tone, this oil is great for oily skin types. Neroli is anti aging, anti bacterial, and anti microbial. I love neroli because it puts my oil production in check and protects against the collagen destroying toxins in the environment.

*Non phototoxic means it will not damage skin if exposed to sunlight.

Ingredients: Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula Essential Oi L), Citrus Aurantium (Neroli Essential Oil).

3. Kristin Holey for Marie Veronique Intensive Repair Serum

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This serum has given my complexion a total reset. If you are concerned with blotchiness, chronic breakouts, enlarged pores, and uneven texture/tone than this serum is for you. I use this serum 3x a week as a leave on overnight exfoliator. When I use this serum I like to layer Marie Veronique’s Soothing B3 serum to further calm inflammation as well as target dehydration then finish with her Rejuvinating Night Oil rich in nourishing ingredients to seal it all in. Star ingredients in this serum are:

  • Niacinimide(Vitamin B3)- Niacinimade should be a staple in everyone’s regimen, it  boosts the skin’s immunity and improves barrier function which gives your skin the tools it needs to protect and heal itself it also improves skin tone/texture to give you that illusive “glow”. One awesome bonus to this hero ingredient is that it helps to lighten hyperpigmentation by slowing down the amount of melanin transferred to the surface of the skin. Woop Woop! I have found that Niacinimide is hard to come by in the clean beauty space so I was very happy to find this serum!
  • Vitamin B5- Vitamin B5 is an intensely healing ingredient that heals the skin over time it is also a natural humectant that helps the skin to retain its moisture much like hyaluronic acid does. Because Vitamin B5 triggers the skins natural healing response it is a great ingredient to soothe and relieve uncomfortable inflammation caused by various skin conditions. Incorporating this ingredient into your regimen will result in smooth, soft, clear skin.

*Because this serum contains acids like Lactic and Salicylic it should only be used at night and followed by SPF application the next morning.

Ingredients: Camellia sinensis (Green tea) extract, sodium hyaluronate, D-panthenol (pro-Vitamin B5), niacinamide (vitamin B3), lactic acid, salicylic acid, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Epigallocate-chin-3-gallate (ECGC), gluconolactone, polygonum aviculare extract (knotweed bioflavonoids), daucus carota sativa (carrot) root extract, Beta-glucan, galacto-oligiosaccharide, leuconostoc/radish root filtrate ferment, bacillus ferment, acetic acid (apple cider vinegar), marrubium vulgare (White Horehound) extract

I hope you enjoyed my recommendations! Do you suffer from inflammatory skin conditions? If so what works for you? I would love to hear your experience and your favorite picks to kick inflammation to the curb!

Farewell Fast Fashion

I set intentions for the new year, intentions that will elevate who I am as a person as well as challenge me to be the very best version of myself. Health and wellness is not compartmentalized, it is interconnected. One of the intentions I set for 2017 was to say farewell to fast fashion and move towards minimalism. I vowed not to purchase anything from stores like Forever 21 and H&M, in fact I took it a step further. For this entire year I will not by any new clothing items. I set the following guidelines for myself

  1. I will only shop at thrift stores or vintage shops
  2. I will find new ways to wear old pieces  and I will treasure and take pride in what I do have
  3. My worth is not increased by the cost of my clothing
  4. I am not my clothes

The fast fashion industry has wreaked havoc on our environment, it views consumers as cash cows, and uses our insecurities against us. There are 52 seasons in fast fashion- yes 52. That is literally a season a week. This industry only cares about money. Not about the planet, not about the people they underpay to make the clothing, and most definitely not about you or me. We are a consumer culture, but the more we consume the more we seem to want.

I have been successful in my intention so far, but I still have 9 months to go. I have closed credit cards to certain stores, deleted my shopping apps, and unsubscribed to mailing lists. I feel pure liberation. I am empowered by my ability to rebel. I find myself looking inward and working on my self-esteem and self-worth. If you are not aware of what fast fashion is there is a great documentary on Netflix called The True Cost that sheds light on the issue and the impact on our society.

I am excited to continue my self discovery and tap into more creative ventures. I will be updating my secondhand fashion finds, struggles, and wins throughout the year. Have you set intentions for the new year? What are your views on minimalism? Are you on a similar journey? I would love your feedback and any advice you might have too!

Love and Light Always

Xo,

Cori

February Favorites

2017 is in full effect. The weather in Los Angeles has been so wet and gloomy but I have never seen so much green. Spring is going to be the most beautiful this year. I thought I’d share some of my favorite green products of the month. Enjoy!

African Botanics  Neroli Infused Marula Oil  $120

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Get That Glow Back 

African Botanics has quickly become one of my favorite skin care lines. The star in this formula is of course, Marula Oil with its antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties your skin is left beautifully balanced. The oil is extracted using the supercritical extraction method, which is the purest and most potent way to extract a substance. This brand has such a cool and unique story that I connect with, and they use many ingredients that no other brands use. The marula oil is wildcrafted from marula trees in South Africa. These trees are untouched by man, and are watered by mother nature. Ethically sourced, fair trade, and sustainable. This blend helps to regulate oil production, brightens the skin tone, and keeps acne at bay. I’ve been using this product for almost 3 weeks now and I definitely notice a difference in my complexion. I have that lit from within glow. My skin looks healthy and my usual hormonal breakouts didn’t pay me a visit this month. This oil is a must have for skin that needs balancing and nourishment.

Fig+Yarrow  Rose Vanilla Tinted Lip Blush $12

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Minimalist Beauty 

Hi, my name is Cori and I am addicted to lip balm. So happy to have found this gem. Fig+Yarrow is an artisan line that uses sustainable, raw, organic, and wildcrafted ingredients. The maker studied plant medicine and herbalism and creates beautiful products for body and spirit. Their products have intriguing scents and textures. This particular product leaves the lips with a flush of blush. This balm leaves my lips with this sexy sheen that lasts! The color is achieved by using alkanet root and uses all natural plant butters, oils, and waxes. Rose hip oil offers it’s amazing anti aging properties and lips are softened with Vitamin E and Betacarotene. At such a great price point this product is essential. Great for a no makeup makeup look, or on top of a lipstick to add more shine.

Vapour Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation  $50

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Green Can Be Glam

Hallelujah! This foundation is E V E R Y T H I N G. Top 3 clean foundations for me and a staple in my everyday routine. This product is often compared to the Luminous Silk Foundation by Armani. I’ve never tried that foundation but It leaves my skin looking luminous, even, and fresh. I like it better than any conventional foundation I’ve ever tried, and the list is long. The formula is a mousse like texture that has a satin finish with medium to full buildable coverage. They have a great shade selection and they even do shade consultations on their website. The formula is packed with plant oils and herbs to nourish the skin while it’s on. Breathable and beautiful, every glam girls dream. I wear shade 130.

RMS Beauty “Un powder” $34

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Bake, Bake, Bake, Bake, Bake 

I have finally found my replacement for Laura Merciers setting powder, and this one is 10xs better! The powder is ultra fine, light reflective and mattifying at the same time. I literally can not believe how soft and fine this powder is, it almost melts into you skin. I like that it doesn’t leave any white cast on the face and leaves the skin looking so smooth. I use this to set my under eye concealer and on my t-zone. My concealer stays put all day and my makeup stays looking fresh.

Tammy Fender  intensive Repair Balm $130

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Intoxicating, High Vibrational Healer 

Tammy Fender is an esthetician that approaches skin care holistically with a focus on high vibrational, botanical ingredients. Her products are formulated to transform the skin and the spirit. Her products are nourishing and balancing with the focus of optimal skin health from the inside out. I wish I could soak my self from head to toe in this formula. It is beauty. I have heard so much about this miracle balm I had to see if all they hype was true. It was. First of all the smell is divine. I have never smelled anything quite like it before, it needs to be a fragrance. The combination of soothing chamomile and healing hellichrysum awaken the senses and raise vibrational levels. I find myself standing in front of the mirror working this balm into my skin, smelling my hands over and over. Inhaling the scent and indulging in such beneficial self-care. It takes you there. Nourishes the skin and strengthens the skin barrier, to promote healing both on the surface and below. Strengthens skins connective tissue and fades scars. My skin is left feeling hydrated, and nourished while my mind is left calm and grateful. Truly transformational and worth every penny.

My Top 3 Rules To Live By For Green Beauty Beginners

SO MANY CHOICES…

Switching over to clean beauty from conventional products can be overwhelming to say the least. Here are some useful tips that have made the transition easier for me, I hope they ease any anxiety you may have too.

1. B R E A T H E 

Stop what you’re doing and pause. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

When I first began to educate myself about ingredients in our beauty products and the harm they cause to our health and the environment I have to admit I might have suffered a mild anxiety attack. The room began to spin(okay maybe not) and I didn’t know where to start. I kept reading and reading, blogs, books, articles, etc. Downloaded apps and went on a scanning frenzy of all of my products that resulted in even more panic. What have I been doing to myself all these years!? How are these companies allowed to sell these products?! What is going on!!! Cue inhale…and exhale. I had to remind myself to take a step back and take it down a notch. Taking a deep breath and remembering that not everything has to be done at once, and I might not be perfect. But that’s okay too. The most important thing is to educate myself as much as I can and make decisions that work best for me and my lifestyle. There might be some products that contain questionable ingredients that I can’t let go of and that’s also okay. It is my journey and it is unique. Yours will be as too.

2. T A K E  I T  S L O W 

Don’t feel like you have to replace every single conventional item at the same time.

For one its super expensive. You also want to make sure you are finding products that are going to work for you and not just jumping at the first “green” thing you come across. This is where research comes in handy. There are Apps, websites, and social media pages that I have found particularly helpful. I spend a lot of time on the Credo beauty website. They have a great section on their website called Clean Beauty Swaps, where you can find great replacements for many of your current beauty staples. They have an amazing selection of beauty products to choose from that actually work! They also have store locations in San Fran, NY, and the most recent West 3rd location in LA. Blogs like Well + Good  and Goop are an amazing resource for all things health & wellness and Apps like Think Dirty have been oh so helpful. Check them out for valuable information about ingredients and clean product recommendations. Slowly but surely your collection will begin to come together

3.  D O N ‘ T  G I V E  U P 

Give your skin and hair time to adjust to clean beauty. 

Clean beauty products are different. They are formulated with out toxic chemicals and with mostly natural ingredients. unfortunately some toxic chemicals give us certain feelings we know and love. For example: Sodium Laureyl Sulfate(SLS) is a common ingredient in conventional shampoos and cleansers, they give that wonderful foam that makes us feel super squeaky clean. I also had to get used to the way that clean cosmetics felt on my skin. The difference is unreal. Through trial and error I have been able to find my hero products which I will soon be sharing. Everyone is different and what works for one might not for another, this is why being able to walk into a store front to experience products first hand is so helpful. I think that this is the fun part, stepping into a whole new world with a conscious mind and being able to pick and choose what you connect with all without compromising quality.