Every so often, when I visit my mom in the north burbs, I stop by at the TJ Maxx in Evanston to scope it out. They have an “Off the Runway” department where I’ve come across killer finds in the past, but it’s very hit or miss. The last time I went, I perused the designer department and wasn’t impressed, so I ventured over to the beauty section. It’s not a section of the store I’m familiar with, but after examining the products for a minute or two, it captured my attention.
One of the products I was particularly interested in was this Charcoal facial detox cleanser. I (of course) immediately looked it up online to see if I could find reviews…and I found PLENTY on Amazon, mostly positive. I’ve tried the Boscia charcoal cleanser in the past, but felt it was too pricey for what it was so I stopped buying it. This one seemed like it was similar enough and 1/3 of the cost. I bought it with low expectations and started using it daily. After about 3 weeks of using it, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results. My face feels crisp and clean after cleansing, and the cleanser is able to take off most of my makeup (which is a HUGE for me, mainly because I’m lazy). I like that it doesn’t have a fragrance as I’ve been so against fragranced skincare products lately – there’s no way that stuff is good for your skin!I then started wondering…what exactly is charcoal doing for my skin? Why am I liking this cleanser so much?! Turns out, there are quite a few beauty benefits charcoal provides (specifically activated charcoal):
Cleans out & shrinks pores: I’m not crazy for feeling like my skin is extra clean! The scientific explanation – charcoal acts as a magnet for dirt & toxins, so when you rinse your face, you wash out the dirt too. My guess is that the pore shrinking capabilities have lead to my brighter, more even complexion.
Fights acne: Charcoal’s ability to pick up dirt from pores makes it an acne fighting agent. Luckily, at this point in my life I don’t have issues with acne (I did have cystic acne in my early 20’s – that’s a story for another post!), but if I did, this would work wonders.
Soothes and heals insect bites or other skin irritations: Activated charcoal can help speed up the healing process when it comes to insect bites and certain skin conditions!
Whitens teeth: This one was the most surprising to me – there are charcoal toothpaste products out there. Does this mean I can get rid of the whitestrips?!
Removes toxins from hair & adds volume: Yes, charcoal shampoo exists too. The same way it removes dirt from your skin applies to hair follicles as well. The dirt & toxins are also responsible for weighing down your hair – that means when they’re out, your hair is more voluminous.
Now I’m looking for other ways to incorporate charcoal into my beauty routine. I actually bought this facial sponge with added bamboo charcoal over a year ago – I need to start using it again! Below are other products I’ve had my eye on. Have you tried any of these? Would love to hear your thoughts!
I’m always one for testing new beauty products & mixing up my skincare rotation, but jojoba oil has been part of my routine for a couple of years now. It took me time to warm up to the idea of putting oil on my face – I used to think it would make me break out! “Oil free” was always a positive thing in my mind – but I’ve learned that’s SO not the case. I find myself using jojoba oil the most out of any other oil (I use coconut & vitamin E oil too), because it’s lighter and absorbs really well. In fact, it’s supposed to be very close to the natural oils our body produces. I buy mine from acne.org – it’s such a great value! I’ve had mine for over a year and there’s PLENTY left. You can also find it here & here. Now, on to how I actually use it…
Heading into my late 20’s, I started to prioritize skincare more than ever. I look back at my teens & early 20’s and cringe at how I treated my skin – i.e. no sunscreen, not drinking enough water, sleeping with makeup on…I can go on for days. I’ve started to notice & appreciate other women with gorgeous skin, and often ask what their skincare regimen is.
A couple of weekends ago at a family wedding, I was seated with one of my cousins at the dinner table. She’s in her late 40’s and has phenomenal skin. I asked her to share her skincare secrets – in addition to the usual ones (stay out of the sun, exfoliate, sunscreen it up, etc.), she mentioned that she has been using a Greek yogurt mask on her face 3X a week for 20+ years! She had me convinced that I needed to give it a try.
It took time to get my skincare routine down this winter, and after a lot of trial and error, I’ve discovered a few products that I absolutely love. My skin is on the drier side, so my main challenge is finding products that are hydrating and also contain the important ingredients I need. I’ve narrowed it down to 7 products that I use on a daily basis (I know, it seems excessive but trust me, it’s really not that bad!).
Every season I switch up my moisturizer to ensure I’m getting the necessary hydration & protection I need with the changes in weather. Finding a new moisturizer can be tricky – there are endless options, prices vary greatly, and you never know which one is best for your skin type. We’ve lucked out with the weather as of late, but cold weather is on the horizon…that means it’s time to prep and make sure you’re taking care of your skin during the colder months. I’ve put together a top 5 list for each skin type to help you shop for winter moisturizers (& included ones with SPF as well to serve as a reminder that this should be a part of your skincare routine too!).
Coconut oil is having a major moment (one that’s lasted a few years & is still going strong), and I can’t help but admit that I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. I’ve been using this stuff in excess – adding it to my coffee, using it as lotion, cooking and baking with it…I basically go through it like water. I’ve been meaning to make my own body scrub out of this magical ingredient, and I took the plunge this weekend. I hit up Pinterest for some inspiration, and I combined a few recipes I found to create this amazing concoction – a coffee & coconut oil body scrub. Let me start by breaking down the ingredients and the benefits they provide for your skin.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here…we probably aren’t doing everything we should be doing to care for our skin during the winter months. We all say we’re going to make the extra effort, but when you’re on a time crunch or exhausted from a long day, the first thing out the window is your skincare regimen. I know, because I’m guilty of it myself. I am also guilty of judging when I see someone with flaking, cracked dry hands. It’s just not a good look.