Non-Comedogenic Oils: Here’s a list!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I will let you know that I can be an extremely opinionated bitch when it comes to skin care, makeup, and what I think. But it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit of research here and there to back a lot of my nonsense up. I have been researching different oils; their comedogenicity, in particular. Comedogenicity basically refers to a product / ingredient’s ability to produce comedones aka cause you to break out.

I have researched a variety of sources online, and some of the results have been rather contradictory. It is important to take into account that just because something is typically comedogenic, doesn’t necessarily mean it will break YOU out.

I wanted to organize the different oils and present them in as simple a way possible to show how likely or unlikely it is that they will break you out. And the sources I used for this include soapnuts.com, momandpopsoapshop.com, and acne.org.

  •   Sweet Almond Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Emu Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Mink Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

  • Coconut Oil
  • Wheat Germ Oil

I was most surprised when I read (from several sources) that coconut oil falls higher on the scale of non-comedogenic to comedogenic. I haven’t used it on my face in quite some time, but I wonder if it was ever a culprit in causing me to break out. I still use it as my only body moisturizer, and rarely ever break out anywhere except my face, so I’d still recommend it as the best moisturizer for the body.

Did you know?

Based on what I’ve read, jojoba oil is considered to be virtually non-comedogenic, and is touted by many experts and professionals as the best oil for anyone who is acne-prone. I don’t find it is hydrating enough for my dry skin (especially since beginning the Acne.Org regimen with benzoyl peroxide), though I have been using a mix of sweet almond, jojoba, and castor oil, and I find this works better to keep my skin hydrated.

Finding out what works for you is largely a trial-and-error process, but it pays off in the long run. Stick to the oils that have a low-clogging probability, and do your best to incorporate one new oil at a time so you can see if you notice the effects (positive or negative) each oil has on your skin.

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Face Mask Talk: My first YouTube vlog!

July has been a busy month! Let’s hope you all enjoy this video; I am certain more are on their way! Recording this was a blast!

First, check out this pic from a “ladies night” spent with my boyfriend (the sexy Greek dude to the left of me) and a near and dear friend of ours. Nothing like a good spa night!

Boy, do these Clean Well!

I have gone wipe crazy!

While I don’t really like getting ripped off, I picked these up at a health food store local to me (one of the many). They were almost 50% off, so I couldn’t resist! Now, I’ve gotten really into wipes for so many things. They’re great for cleaning, but I was always looking for eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and ingredient-quality brands!

Notice how they say they work for hands and face – well boy, did I take advantage of that! They’re great for removing makeup, though I’d use them at most once a day on my face.

There is no alcohol in this product – so it will not dry out your skin like so many  skin care cleansers, toners, wipes, moisturizers, etc. And more, its antibacterial qualities will help even better with those blemishes, than a regular facial wipe.

The primary ingredient in these wipes, which provides the antibacterial germ killing property, is thymus vulagris oil, or, thyme (as we know from our mom’s kitchen)!  Here‘s some info on thyme’s benefits!

Wipes are convenient, and easy to use. This brand’s kid-friendly, moisturizing, and sensitive skin  formula has me sold!

Check out CleanWell’s site, to browse and purchase more of their classy-approved products!

Got zits?

I sure did!

Recently, I went through a pretty bad (for me) breakout! And I have a special routine for these situations that is relaxing, gentle, quick, and effective!

Here’s what you need!

the essential oils I used this time

  • a big-ish sized plastic salad bowl (that can hold very hot water)
  • a kettle (or something to boil water with)
  • your favourite essential oils (tea tree oil, patchouli, lavender, etc..)
  • a clay-based face mask (I mixed Derma E’s Hydrating Mask with St Ives’ Mineral Clay Firming Mask)
  • a medium-sized towel
  • your favourite spot treatment (I used Derma E’s Very Clear Spot Blemish Treatment)
  • about 25 minutes

What you do:

Make sure your face is washed! Use whatever cleanser you enjoy, as long as it cleans well (I’d sure as hell hope it does!).

First, you take the bowl I was talking about, and fill it up with almost boiled water from the kettle!

Then, put a 1-2 drops of your favourite essential oils. Tea Tree Oil is very strong, but great for breakouts, so I use 3 drops at most of it. Add about 4 drops of lavender, and this time I put in 3 drops of seabuckthorn seed oil.

STIR a little bit.

Place the bowl on a desk or table, and pull up a chair. Grab that towel, and put it over your head, as you move your head over (and a little in) the bowl to soak up the steamy essential-oily goodness.

Relax over the bowl for about 10 minutes. You’ll be sweaty. You’ll be dripping. But boy, does it feel good. Once the 10 minutes are up, you can dump the water, and rinse your face with warm water, and dab with a towel. Then you want to pick out your favourite face mask, as you can see me wearing here, and slather on a layer of that.

this gets rid of blemishes, without drying your skin!

Give the mask about 10-15 minutes. Rinse of with warm water and a soft wash cloth.

Dab your face dry, and moisturize your face as per usual with your favourite moisturizer (to moisturize this time I used Yes To Carrots’ Repairing Night Cream (which is amazing).

Now grab your spot blemish treatment!

Apply that as directed (usually a teensy bit directly on the blemishes). For an added touch, spray your face with some rose or lavender water. Curl up into bed! Sweet dreams!

And that’s it. This isn’t guaranteed to get rid of your blemishes in one night, but it speeds up the process tremendously. If you catch the blemish early enough, it very well could put an end to it overnight.

Hope you enjoyed this! ❤

Your Daily Shower Scents!

Photo courtesy of http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/ – much easier than the potentially deadly task of attempting to bathe my kitty!

Each and every day,  my morning shower routine consists of a bunch of deliciously fun bath and shower products, and I’d like to start a series of entries dedicated to the product scents that greet me amidst the steam and hot water every morning.

This morning I needed a pick-me-up that was a little more intense than usual, so I grabbed my Aveda Rosemary Mint Hand and Body Wash, and got down to business! A special someone left me two sample sizes of this product, and I haven’t been able to get enough of it ever since!

The scent of this body wash is delightfully crisp. The mint oil awakens, while rosemary leaf oil invigorates and soothes. Other helpful ingredients in this product include aloe vera leaf juice, and lavender oil (which also soothes and calms skin). A nickel-sized amount of this stuff works wonders, and lathers like a dream. It doesn’t dry out the skin like many other body washes (the essential oils most definitely help with that).

Post-shower, my entire bathroom was simmering in a refreshing spa-like aroma, and boy did it get my day off to a great start.

Let me know what your favourite day-to-day shower products are, and be sure to describe the scent in detail!

Have you heard the Crazy Rumors!?

Those who know me know what gets me excited! And this is why I bring you this blog post.

A friend of mine gave me a heads up about a company that makes amazing, cruelty-free, and VEGAN lip products. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to check them out.

They go by the name of Crazy Rumors!
This delightful company sent me some sample products to try out. I received two lip balms from their Fresh Squeezed collection, in Pink Grapefruit Juice, and Limeade.

Top: Pink Grapefruit Juice; Bottom: Limeade. Both: DELICIOUS!

How did my extra-sensitive lips feel about these delightfully citrus and thirst-quenching lip balms?

Let me first list the ingredients for you: Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Candelilla Wax, Soy Wax, Natural & Organic Flavors &/or Pure Essential Oils, Vitamin E, Organic Carnauba Wax & Natural Stevia.

They came with me on my trip to New Hampshire, and boy am I glad I had them on hand. Upon application my lips feel so super smooth and moisturized, and not a sign of irritation since I began using them. If I close my eyes and give one of them a smell, I’m taken back to a summer day as a kid, having fun in my backyard and drinking freshly-made juice mom made. They even remind me of those delicious low-sugar homemade juice popsicles she would make!

Citrus not your thing? Not a problem! Crazy Rumors has gumball, soda, tea, coffee, ice cream, candy cane, and even a mystery-inspired scent!

While Crazy Rumors is dedicated to providing the consumer with cruelty-free vegan products, they also provide the opportunity for consumers to make a contribution, through their purchase, to the Leaping Bunny Program. This program is part of a growing movement to identify to consumers which products and companies avoid the use of animal testing anywhere down the line of production. If you pick up Crazy Rumors’ Leaping Bunny balm (a to die for plum apricot scent), 50% of each purchase is donated to the Leaping Bunny program.

As a consumer who cares where my products come from, and how they were made, I appreciate knowing my lip balms were made a) via cruelty-free methods, b) with vegan ingredients, and c) knowing that funds from certain products are going towards the much-needed cause of animal welfare awareness.

Not to mention, these products don’t cost a fortune! Vegan products don’t have to be insanely over-priced and out of budget for the everyday person. Each delightful Crazy Rumors balm (except for the Leaping Bunny balm, which is $3.99 each, and their HibisKiss line of lip colours, which is $4.99 each), will cost you a whopping $3.49 (yes, that’s correct) each! Want em all? Each collection can be purchased in a sweet little boxed set! And in return for your purchase, you will have delectably soft, and satisfied lips.

What lip balms do I want to try out next? A friend of mine who orders from them regularly picked me up two other flavours (I just can’t help but call them flavours – I’ll try not to eat them;). Peppermint Lemongrass, from the Brew collection, and Ginger Ale from the Soda Pop collection!

I’ll be sure to give you all my input on these.

My only complaint – they don’t last long enough on my lips! Perhaps it’s because I keep licking them off.  As someone with extremely sensitive lips, it is awesome to have found a brand that I can stand behind ethically, and at the same time *love* their products.

Thanks Crazy Rumors! ❤

The Classy Anarchist’s Top Ten List for Clear, Healthy Skin

Here I am! Post-shower, sans-makeup.

Here is my top ten list of things that have worked for me to help improve the quality and clarity in my skin! Friends are always asking me how to improve their skin; while I love helping each one of them individually, I thought a top ten list could help all of my friends and readers at the same time. My philosophy on beauty has always been that you need to work on the inside, and this will reflect on the outside. Who wants to pile on the makeup, when our skin underneath is in such poor shape?  These are just tips from my own experience (no expert here!), and are in no particular order.

1. Wash your face every night before sleep

This removes makeup, bacteria, and excess oil that builds up throughout your day.

2. Learn your skin type

You’ll save money buying products that don’t work for you, and learn what products do work for you, which helps prevent breakouts and flare ups. Often, skin analysis services are available free of charge at spas, and from other skin care experts.

3. Touch your face ONLY when you have clean hands!

If your hands are carrying bacteria, you will transfer it to your face.

4. When you dry your face, gently pat it dry (do not rub) with a CLEAN towel or cloth.

Change your towels and cloths weekly to make sure they aren’t harboring any unwanted bacteria.

5. Take a multivitamin, and an omega fatty acid oil supplement like krill, salmon, or sardine oil every day.

They don’t have to cost that much, and the pay off of adding these supplements to your diet is worth it! Even if you eat a well-rounded diet, a multivitamin can help make sure you get all the nutrients you need. Omega-fatty acids are shown to be great for healthy nails, hair, and skin. In the winter time I double up on the omegas, since my skin can be extremely dry and dehydrated. I tend to keep my eyes open for sales at GNC and natural health food stores. Avoid vitamins and supplements at the drug store; their absorption rate is pretty pitiful.

6. Include one exfoliation treatment and a mask into your weekly routine.

Get rid of those dead skin cells by exfoliating, and treat yourself to a deep cleansing clay mask. Another great type of mask is a papaya enzyme mask, which helps to brighten your complexion, and helps to dissolve dead skin cells. It also smells pretty damned amazing! The masks I use regularly are the Alba Deep Sea Facial Mask, and the Alba Papaya Enzyme Mask. It is extremely easy to make your own face masks – try organic honey, avocado, and blueberries!

7. Do not use body lotions or creams on your face.

Using lotions or creams that are designed for use on your body, and not specifically designed for the face can cause unnecessary breakouts, because of the higher oil content; the skin on the face is also a lot more sensitive than the rest of our body’s, and can tend to be of a different type. For example, my face is on the dehydrated side in the winter, and in the summer it is more balanced, so I don’t need to use as much essential oils when moisturizing. The skin on the rest of my body requires a very basic moisturizing routine that remains the same throughout the entire year, and breakouts on my body are even more rare than on my face. When choosing a moisturizer for your face, make sure it specifies it is a facial moisturizer.

8. Avoid products with certain alcohols that will excessively dry the skin (resulting in you trying to use even more of the product, and your skin drying up even more).

Not all alcohols are horrible for the skin. Alcohols that do nothing but dry out the skin and exacerbate skin problems include: SD Alcohol(also known as Alcohol Denat., or Denatured Alcohol), Isopropyl Alcohol, or Ethyl Alcohol. Alcohols that are fatty alcohols and are not harmful include Stearyl Alcohol, and Cetyl Alcohols. The majority of popular brands of toners (especially) in drug stores — brands like L’Oreal, Garnier, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear —  often contain the harmful types of alcohols to provide the consumer with a “tingling” sensation. This often makes us feel like the product is working, but if you’ve got any problems with dryness, inflammation, redness, or acne, this will most likely make it worse(as it did with me). Some of my friends are able to put pretty much any skin care product on their face, but if they were to switch to a more organic and holistic skin care routine, their skin would probably even more phenomenal.

The bottom line is – these products that contain SD Alcohol and other harmful alcohols strip the skin of its natural oils, and this results in eventual over-production of oils in oilier skin, or under-production in extremely dry skin. The goal of holistic skin care products is to nurture the skin’s natural balance, and to avoid extremely changes in the skin’s natural state. My skin’s dryness has reduced drastically since I began using alcohol-free toners, and toners that contain essential oils. At this point all I use as a “toner” is rose water and lavender water. They help refresh my skin, and they smell amazing too.

If you’d like to check out some toners that I recommend, try Avalon Organics’ Hydrating Toner, or Earth Science’s Aloe Vera Complexion Toner & Freshener. I have used both of these, and find them quite effective for balancing dry skin, and helping with blemishes.

9. Steam your face at least once every 2 weeks, with a towel over your head, hot water and essential oils (depending on your skin type) in a large bowl.

Not only does steaming your face help sweat out dirt and excess oil, it can also be extremely relaxing for the mind. Certain essential oils (like lavender and patchouli, for example) are proven to calm the skin and help with breakouts, but at the same time they are shown to be effective in reducing stress and calming the mind. It takes about ten minutes, and after steaming your pores are open – this is the perfect time for a face mask. If you are dealing with acne problems, steaming with tea tree oil (which has antibacterial properties) is very effective. Oils can be purchased for reasonable prices at health food stores, and since you only use 2-3 drops at most when steaming, they last for quite a long time!

10. For those who wear makeup, make sure you give your makeup brushes a clean (with either unscented soap, or makeup brush shampoo) once every two weeks.

If you don’t clean your brushes, bacteria will build up, and cause breakouts. Especially if you apply makeup to multiple people with the same brushes, you want to try and make sure you aren’t transferring bacteria from one person’s face to another! I use Sephora’s Purifying Brush Shampoo, which is available in a travel size. You only need to use a small amount, and it makes a big difference in how long your brushes last, and the minimizing of breakouts.

There you have it! Everything I recommend to ensure your skin looks and feels its best. The only additional tip I can suggest is to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

A Review: Origins VitaZing

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I picked up the highly acclaimed Origins VitaZing moisturizer. It cost me a whopping $50 including taxes, and came with many promises. First of all, I cannot believe I spent so much on a freakin’ moisturizer, but I wanted to see if it was all it had been hyped up to be.

For the most part, I am pretty lucky with my skin. I don’t get massive breakouts, or have extremely oily skin. I do, however, have a bit of rosacea around my nose, so I am always looking for something to help soothe that area and bring down redness and inflammation. My skin can also look washed out or dull (at least I think so), so I often use luminizers or something to enhance my natural glow. Months ago, I saw TiffanyD‘s rave video review on the Origins VitaZing product.

The Origins VitaZing moisturizer has a “sheer tint-release formula [that] magically transforms and perfects to create even, flawless looking skin”. Basically, what this means, is that the moisturizer blends with your fingers into a shade that enhances the natural glow of your skin. You can’t expect this product to fill the role of your foundation, but if your skin is already in good shape and you don’t care to use a foundation, then this will definitely work well for you.

Here is what happens when I blend some VitaZing into my hand!

Just a small amount is all you need!

It slowly begins to blend into my natural skin colour…

Check out that tint!

The final result..

Pretty neat, eh!?

What do I have to say about my experience with Origins VitaZing? Well, first of all, it is a nicely lightweight moisturizer that keeps oiliness to a minimum throughout the day. While the squeeze bottle is pretty small (50 ml), you need not use very much each time. I’ve experimented with different amounts, and a pea-sized amount really is the best and is all you need to get the best effect and use from this product. The smell is a kind of citrusy-sweet scent, but it isn’t at all over-powering. I really like that it has SPF 15, because I do not like to put regular sunscreen on my face. I think it is a good product, but definitely nothing to write home about (at least for me).

If this product was not $50, I would not have such high expectations. I feel like I can get a nice and glowy look from my bronzers, or luminizers, and they do not cost me anywhere near $50. I did not feel that the glowy effect from this product lasted all that long, and I often found myself re-applying later in the day to get that look back. While experimenting with getting a similar look from products I already have, I used my Earth Science Almond Aloe Moisturizer($12.99 for 150ml), along with about 2 drops of essential oil (I happened to use patchouli oil – $7 for 5ml), and that gave me a glowy look that was a fraction of the cost. Sure, it did not cover my rosacea as well as Origins VitaZing, but I’d like to find a product that can get rid of my rosacea as opposed to just covering it up all the time.

This product would be great for someone who requires minimal coverage, or doesn’t want to wear any makeup but at the same time wants their skin to look a little more evened out and brightened. It is quite unique as a regular moisturizer, and I think that if I didn’t have such annoying redness around my nose, that I would probably enjoy it more. The price, however, is way more than I’d ever like to spend on any one skin care product – no matter what it claims to do. I won’t be re-purchasing this, but I’m glad I got to try it out myself!

The wonders of coconuts, and other oils..

Oils? What’s so good about oils? Won’t they just clog my pores and leave me pimply and gross? Not if you’ve got skin as dry as I’ve got, though even people with oily skin can use oils. They simply have to be a little more sparing with them.

Also, any product I am endorsing here is simply because it works great for me, and I hope it can work just as well for you. I am no expert, I am just expressing my honest opinion.

The first item I’d like to discuss is coconut oil.  This multi-purpose wonder product has had me baffled in amazement about it since I discovered it. It’s unique from other oils in that it has a higher melting point. It remains solid until about 76 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it easy to use as a lotion, that melts in your hand as you rub it into your skin. I have been using certified organic coconut oil (which you can purchase at the grocery store or health food store in a huge tub for $10 or under) for about six months. I initially bought it for its skin care benefits, but then discovered it is also great for hair, and extremely healthy for consumption!

After showering, I get some onto my fingers from the small container I leave in my bathroom, and use it all over. Yes, this product is great for knees, elbows, legs, lips, you name it! It has a very mild coconut scent, and makes your skin smooth and supple. To add extra moisture to my face, I would massage a small amount of coconut oil into my skin along with my regular moisturizer. It can be used with a day moisturizer to work as a night cream, if you’d prefer not to have a separate moisturizer for night. As a hair treatment to moisturize dry and damaged hair, simply rub a small amount into the ends of your hair the night before you shower.  Using this once a week has helped my hair with shine and dryness.  When it comes to cooking with coconut oil, simply replace whatever other oil you were using and substitute it.  Coconut oil, despite the bad reputation saturated fats have received, has been shown by many medical professionals to improve metabolism and promote a healthy weight. Olive oil is also a great oil; they both have their own unique benefits. When shopping for coconut oil, be sure to look for a certified organic brand of coconut oil, as brands that are not certified organic may contain extra ingredients for processing, which you do not want. I store my coconut oil in the fridge for cooking, but have a smaller tub that I put oil in and keep in my bathroom. Here is a link to more helpful information about coconut oil.

Another great oil-based product I have discovered is the Josie Maran Argan Oil line! The Argan Oil Moisture Stick comes in a compact travel-friendly tube that looks like a massive lip balm treatment. It has a very warm and spicy citrus smell, contains several oils including argan and apricot oils. Similar to the coconut oil, I like to use this on different areas of the skin including my face on particularly dry areas. The packaging is extremely convenient, although for the price ($27 at Sephora here in Canada), it is much more expensive than the coconut oil, and it is the brand you are paying for. Josie Maran, however, is a great line if you are willing to invest in it. Her products are organic, natural, recyclable, cruelty-free, petrochemical free, fragrance free, paraben free, and toxin free. If you wish to support a more expensive natural line, I would recommend Josie Maran.

The second Josie Maran product I have tried are the BearNaked Wipes. These cost $15 at Sephora here in Canada, and the package contains 30 wipes, that remove makeup and at the same time moisturize the skin, leaving it soft and clean. These also have the same scent as the Moisture Stick, so if you enjoy it, you may want to check these out. They do remove makeup very well, and I prefer these over the other wipes I have tried (St Ives, Garnier Naturals), because you are getting a decent amount of product on each wipe; and the argan oil is a great moisturizing agent so my skin doesn’t feel completely stripped clean of moisture when I am done. Like the Argan Oil Moisture Stick, the BearNaked Wipes follow the same ethical and organic philosophy. Funds from this product also go towards a charity that helps to educate about Polar Bear endangerment and how we can help. Since I’d rather not get all political on you and go on a huge rant about global warming and how governments are taking advantage of the kind intentions environmentalists and animal rights activists have, and are primarily using global warming and climate change information to get the public to submit to further carbon-regulations and taxes(there I go!), I will simply say that supporting a wildlife charity is great, and any cosmetics company that recognizes the importance of charity and voluntary donation is taking an important step towards creating harmony between products, the consumer, and world peace.

Off my tangent and back onto products, I’d like to talk about the Live Clean Argan Oil hair products, which is a Canadian brand. These items can be purchased at the drugstore. I have see the shampoo and conditioner range from $5.99 to $6.99. I have used the Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner, both which have a light but deliciously soothing smell.

When it comes to hair, argan oil is great for conditioning, shine, and UV protection. I have long, thick, dry-ish hair, and after using these products my hair is easy to brush, smooth, and smells absolutely lovely. Drugstores have been starting to sell organic vegan (Yes! Live Clean’s products are vegan, sulfate-free, paraben free, phosphate free, not tested on animals, and then some!) hair products for the past few years, and they don’t cost much more than their regular hair products. If you have oily hair and feel you’d rather use something less oily, they have quite a few other selections to try. Other organic ethical hair care brands to watch out for in drugstores include: Burt’s Bees, Alba Botanica, Organix, Avalon Organics, and Down Under Naturals. I have dabbled in some of all of these brands and have not been disappointed; you need not go to a salon to purchase a quality ethical hair care product!

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and pick up some oils and nourish your insides and outsides today!