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I Tried It: Dry Brushing to Detox Your Skin

Dry Brushing to Detox Your SkinIf you’re looking to add a new detox technique to your daily beauty routine, one of the best options is dry brushing, which helps detox from the outside, in. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and also your body’s ultimate defense between you and the environment. It’s also often referred to as the body’s “third kidney” because of the important role it plays in helping your body eliminate toxins. And just look at this list of benefits:

  • Helps shed dead skin cells to improve skin texture
  • Increases circulation and stimulates your lymph system
  • Reduces cellulite
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin
  • Tones muscles and tightens skin

Plus, as if all of those benefits aren’t enough, it honestly just feels good. The first thing I noticed when I started dry brushing is that I feel much more invigorated post-shower. Read on to find out how to get started!

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Natural Beauty Faves: December 2011

Is someone playing a practical joke on me? How is it already December?! This month is shaping up to be super busy and super fun—but I think I’m going to need a big nap on New Year’s Day. Here are the products I’m loving this month. They’ll be over in the sidebar all month long.

  • Alima Pure Organic Nourishing Lipbalm. I may have a lip balm and gloss obsession: Right now there are no less than six different kinds in my purse! I couldn’t resist buying one after including it in the Indigo+Canary Holiday Gift Guide. It’s definitely a balm and not a gloss, but it’s also super emollient and gives my lips more protection than a gloss, which is especially important when it’s cold outside. (I have the Holly Berry shade.)
  • Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil. This is the magical oil that makes Trilogy so products so amazing, all by itself. My skin has been freaking out a little bit lately, so I’ve been using my rosehip oil as an ultra-healing facial moisturizer in combination with my Una Biologicals Luxe Face Cream, and I’m already seeing a difference. It’s also perfect for helping to fade scars and stretch marks, and I wish I’d taken before pictures, because I could swear the little crow’s feet around my eyes are starting to lessen.
  • Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara. This mascara has been my go-to for the past few weeks—I decided to try it once I ran out of the not-very-natural mascara I needed to use up. (Yep. I’m not perfect when it comes to using all-clean products, especially when I receive them as gifts.) Mascara is the one product I rarely go without—so I headed to the drug store hoping to find something in the passable category, and came home with this. It’s affordable, easy to find, and gets the job done. I think the tube is cute, but the one thing I would change is the leaf-shaped handle…it can be a little tricky to hold on to.
  • Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. I finally had a chance to try out Julie’s apple cider vinegar rinse trick, and it works! My hair smelled a little vinegar-y when it was wet, but as soon as it dried, the vinegar smell disappeared and my hair was definitely shinier.

What products are you loving this month? —Aleigh

Want to check out my previous monthly favorites? Find them all here.

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Review: Vaska Herbatergent

This weekend I tested out a sample* of biodegradable and hypo-allergenic laundry detergent to share with you. Why review detergent on a beauty blog, you ask? Well, it turns out your detergent and fabric softener can rub off your sheets and towels and onto your skin. Which makes it, to some extent, part of your beauty routine.

When you wash your sheets, pillowcase or towel, remnants of the detergent and fabric softener you used are left behind in the fabric. Then you sleep on your sheets and pillowcase, or dry your face with your freshly-washed towel—and voila, you’ve exposed your skin to any potential irritants that exist in your detergent or fabric softener. Beyond potential allergens, conventional laundry detergents typically contain many cleansing chemicals that are petroleum-based—exactly the kind of ingredients I suggest avoiding in your cosmetics. (They’re not very environmentally friendly, either.)

What I tried: Lavender-scented Vaska Herbatergent ($9.99 for 48 oz.). The detergent comes in two versions: lavender essential oil-scented and scent-free. It promises to be safe on colors and all washable fabrics, reduce static electricity, safe for both standard and HE washers, and it’s biodegradable.

First impressions: Generally I recommend avoiding products with “scent” on the ingredients list, but the scent in the lavender sample I tried was so light it was barely noticeable—it just smelled fresh. However, if you have sensitive skin or are concerned about the lavender essential oil, the scent-free version would be a good alternative.

What caught me by surprise: I used my sample to wash a mixed load: yoga clothes, a towel, a pillowcase, a pair of jeans. The scent is just barely detectable, but what I really liked was that my clothes were noticeably softer—no fabric softener necessary. (I’ve been using up the last of my icky fabric softener sheets before switching entirely to dryer balls.) Plus, my yogitoes—the one item that always comes out of the dryer completely static-y—had zero static. I’m not sure that’s ever happened.

Bonus: I discovered this detergent is available at several local stores, so it shouldn’t be hard to find if you want to pick up a bottle of your own.

Have you switched your detergent because of allergies or petroleum-based ingredients? —Aleigh

*Disclosure: This sample was sent to me for review, but I only write about the products that I think are truly worthy of being shared with you. View my full disclosure here.  

(Image via Vaska) 

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Black Friday Beauty Sales

It’s Black Friday, and there are lots of deals to be found–including some natural and organic beauty products. I hate crowds, so I’ve scoured the internet for the best natural beauty sales. Here’s what I discovered:

  • Pure Citizen: 30% off Biggs & Featherbelle, Organic Indulgence, Hello Mellow and Au Naturale. (Use the code “givethanks” to get $10 and free shipping on purchases over $100.)
  • 25% off all bottoms at Lucy (exercise makes your skin glow!).
  • Juice Beauty is offering a full-sized exfoliating cleanser with any purchase and free shipping with the code “BFEC”.
  • At O&N Collective, use the code “GS15” for 15% off all orders. Free shipping on orders over $100. (I might stock up on a few NEOM Organics candles for gifts…)
  • Intelligent Nutrients is offering 30% off Destress Express products through Nov. 27.
  • Naturopathica is offering 20% off their Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum (use code “VKBES” at checkout).
  • At Vapour Organic Beauty, use the code “blackfriday” for 30% off everything (through midnight Monday morning).
  • Saffron Rouge is offering 20% off all Dr. Hauschka products through Nov. 28 at 11:59pm. Enter “4DAYSALE2” at checkout.
  • Use code “BlackFriday30” for 30% off at Sweet Pea & Fay.
  • Beautorium has a 10%-15%-20% sale running through the weekend.
  • Give two gift subscriptions to Whole Living for the price of one ($12).
  • Spirit Beauty Lounge has a graduated discount promotion running through Nov. 28. (Spend $50, get free shipping; spend $100, get $10 off; etc.) No codes required.
  • New Charleston Naturally customers get 20% off today; enter the code “CN20” at checkout.
  • Use code “gobble” to get free shipping on orders of any size at (through Nov. 28).

Did I miss any? Send me an email or leave me a comment and I’ll add it right away. Happy post-Turkey Day shopping! —Aleigh

(Image via wolfgangfoto)

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Pro tip: Oil for a healthy scalp

A few weeks ago I shared Julie Ebner’s DIY recipe for shiny hair. Luckily for me (and you!), Julie gave me another tip worth sharing: a technique to help keep your scalp healthy. Our scalps are very important—and largely ignored. Did you know the scalp is responsible for the volume of your hair and determines how shiny it is? Read on for Julie’s scalp-soothing technique.

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