Skincare

OFF-DUTY BEAUTY

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Less is more. I wear an obscene amount of makeup when I’m working on-camera, but my off-duty routine is pretty bare-skinned, and minimal. A few things I can't live without: Dove Beauty Bar, Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen, SPF 50, Shani Darden's Retinol Reform magically erases all my sun damage and keeps my skin glowing, and Supergoop Lipscreen in SPF 50 protects my lips from the intense California sun. As for makeup, I love Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer.

WTF IS CBD?

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I want to preface this post by saying that I’m a huge believer in the benefits and power of cannabis. The plant has enhanced my wellness and self-care routine, relieves joint pain, makes my skin radiant, helps me sleep better, and helps to relieve stress. By writing about it, I hope to help normalize it’s use.

I’ve been using CBD for a few years now, but when I started hearing a lot about CBD products I thought it was just a function of moving from the East Coast to the West Coast. California definitely has a more laid back, open vibe, and I just figured I was hearing about CBD and cannabis more because of that. I think it’s safe to say, however, that cannabis has swept the nation and isn’t just for stoners on a dorm room futon anymore. I’m using it, your dad is using it, your coworkers, and even your dog. I figured I’d share with you some of the pros and cons of cannabis and CBD in my opinion, and introduce you to one of my personal favorite brands, Beboe.

This past spring, I was excited to be invited to a women in cannabis luncheon for wellness-minded women and it sparked my interest in learning more about the “green rush” in the food and beauty industries, which are two passions of mine.

A cannabis plant is made up of many chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most abundant and well known of these, with a primary difference being that THC is intoxicating/psychoactive and CBD is not.

CBD is said to help with anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, and chronic pain and can provide a sense of peace or wellbeing without experiencing a high. It can come in many forms, including sublingual oil in a tincture, creams, edibles, infused drinks, and more. One con of using CBD oil is if it contains even trace amounts of THC in the product, a drug test can potentially read positive which could interfere with professional and personal obligations.

You can purchase CBD products across the United States without a prescription, while only a few states in the nation (ahem, Cali!) allow the purchase of cannabis containing THC without an Rx. Recently, I had a photoshoot for an incredible luxury brand of cannabis products - both with or without THC - called Beboe / Beboe Therapies and I’m 100% obsessed with them. 

Beboe has both beautiful branding and high quality products from Pastilles candies to an incredible face serum. I particularly love using their skincare line’s face mask. A 30 minute sheet mask full of AHAs, Vitamin C, Aloe, Algae Extract, and 50mg of CBD (among other ingredients) leaves my face glowing and feeling rejuvenated .

While cannabis usage is obviously a personal preference, to me the calming and centering effects of CBD are tops. And no hangover or high effect is pretty great too. I’d be interested in hearing what you all have to say about the cannabis industry, both CBD products and THC where it has become legalized. Reach out and let me know! If you’re interested in checking out CBD products, check out Missgrass.

CHEMICAL AND MINERAL SUNSCREENS

Lauren wearing    Solid & Striped

Lauren wearing Solid & Striped

A big topic that came up on our recent LB Activation to Sayulita was sunscreen and choosing between mineral and chemical sunscreens, and the debate has stuck with me all summer long as I ramped up sun protection for myself and my family. If you remember the conversation from our Studio LB facebook group, our community’s clear favorite for nontoxic and reef-safe sunscreen was Blue Lizard’s sensitive formula. While I’m not brand or type loyal, I’ve been good about wearing SPF on my face my entire life and I’m aiming to be more consistent with wearing sunscreen on body since living in California.  I tend to stay out of the sun and I do eat tomatoes and tomato paste everyday and I feel that it helps me tremendously, as I rarely burn.

There are two main types of sunscreen types, and I feel like it’s important to take a look at chemical versus physical or mineral sunscreens and where each shines. While these two main types of sunscreens work differently, they both provide protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Mineral, or physical, sunscreen contains two main ingredients: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Honestly, I use both. even if I do look a tiny bit like a 1980s lifeguard with a bright white zinc nose.

Mineral sunscreens are more commonly reef safe, and gentler on our environment. They form a barrier on the surface of your skin to reflect UV rays, and require liberal application. Try putting a thick mineral sunscreen on a squirmy toddler or an 8 year old kid (Mars goes to both camp and school with Sun Bum or Neutrogena Kids wet skin spray packed in his bookbag - it just works best for our family. Mineral would be a hot mess for him to apply on his own and would ruin his clothes). In my mind, the only downside of mineral sunscreen is application! You really have to cover fully, and it can be less user friendly than chemical sunscreen formulas.

Chemical sunscreen ingredients include avobenzone, oxybenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Whew, that’s a mouthful. You probably grew up with chemical sunscreens: Banana Boat, Coppertone, Neutrogena, Hawaiian Tropic, etc. Chemical sunscreen penetrates the top layer of your skin to absorb UV rays before they damage the skin. Unfortunately, there is data to support that some chemical sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone are detrimental to coral reefs, and the FDA has suggested they could act as hormone disruptors. Pros certain chemical sunscreens include ease of application, and that they can contain antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients like green tea or reservatrol. 

When I asked Board Certified Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Kimberly Jerdan her take, she said “although chemical sunscreens can be formulated to last longer, the heat generated by the absorption can worsen skin conditions like melasma and rosacea.” She’s strongly pro-mineral sunblock over chemical formulations. Dr. Jerdan suggests finding mineral sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide with a concentration above 10%, and stresses that reapplication is key every two hours when outside, sweating, or physically active. She regularly shares insider skincare information on Instagram @drskinberly.

Whatever you choose to wear, make sure to wear it regularly. Always look for the term “broad spectrum” which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and I’ve routinely heard that SPF 30 or higher is a good idea. Then reapply reapply reapply as you’re in the sun, or after going for a dip. And of course, talk to your dermatologist about which brand is right for you and your skin type!

GUA SHA

image via chillhouse

image via chillhouse

When it comes to skincare, I’ll never give up on my peels, serums, microcurrent, and jade roller, but lately I’ve been loving a more low tech approach that yields amazing results instead, using a super old school Chinese method called Gua Sha. “Gua Sha,” which directly translates to “scraping” in Chinese, is a healing technique in traditional East Asian medicine that uses a smooth crystal tool for facial massage (and other body parts too). 

I had been using a jade roller for a few years intermittently, but prefer the gentle “scraping” motion I’ve learned with this method. It invigorates my skin and I can immediately feel a boost in blood flow, like nothing below the surface is stagnating. Gua sha can relieve facial and jaw tension, promote cell renewal, renews facial contour, firms and lifts sagging skin, reduces inflammation, puffiness, diminishes blemishes, relieves encourage lymphatic draining, provides a great brow lift, and breaks up fascia. I swear I have fewer headaches, and my face looks contoured and more youthful after a session. Research shows the stimulating blood flow through this therapy can have anti-inflammatory and immune-protective effects that last for days following a single treatment. 

Personally, I learned how to do an at-home facial and the proper directional method from pro Kari Jansen of Poppy and Someday in Laurel Canyon and it was so helpful. The gua sha workshop I attended was part of a day long wellness retreat full of yoga, meditation, tarot readings, and fresh seasonal meals so basically heaven. Two big takeaways from the lesson I had was to work until the skin is red and to look for a tool made from rose quartz or jade, rather than acrylic. Kari says, “You want to Gua Sha until your skin turns pink or even red. For it releasing toxins, excess fire or inflammation, increases blood flow, and breaks up congested & cold lymph. When it’s deep red your body is releasing lactic acid and moving stagnation.”

I’m totally giving gua sha credit for clearer, brighter skin that feels and looks invigorated. The larger tool I have is also great for massaging my chest, arms, and thighs, boosting blood flow and improving the look of my skin’s texture. I’d definitely recommend seeking out a gua sha treatment or trying an at home facial.

If you’re looking for inspo, check out holistic skincare Britta Beauty on instagram. Her videos are not only great to have on hand if you're new to gua sha.

How To:

1. You’ll notice how much heat gua sha produces so, you can prime your skin with a bit of facial oil or moisturizer to ease friction. This is not at all a critical step, but it definitely feels great.

2. Starting at the base of your neck, take the flat side of the tool and move upwards towards your chin applying reasonable pressure.

3. Move to the chin. From the base of your chin, take the same flat edge and sweep upwards towards your cheekbones. Repeat this step on each side of your face three times. If you feel particularly tense in your jaw, you might want to focus on this area. The jaw is my favorite part and Kari taught me how to identify and blast the stagnation “crystals” that accumulate there.

4. Switching to one of the smaller angles on your tool (there are usually a few, you can choose the most comfortable for your face shape), begin on the side of your nose and sweep outwards over the cheekbones towards the temples and over your brows for a lift. End with a few swipes up the nose towards the forehead.