Exfoliation 101- There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way

Exfoliation 101- Beware! Exfoliating the wrong way can age you fasterScrub, scrub, scrub! Ack! Wait! Stop!

We exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and allow the new skin cells to grow and form. This makes us look more youthful. But this is a process that you can definitely over do.

Know what you’re doing before you go too far!

Ways to exfoliate

Types of products used to exfoliate
Exfoliate products can come in cleansers, masques, scrubs, serums and moisturizers.

How to exfoliate

  • Exfoliate 2-3 times a week in place of or in addition to cleansing.
  • Use one of the exfoliating methods above.

Exfoliating DON’TS!
Avoid using more than 1 product at a time with exfoliates. Beware if more than one of your products contains ingredients like Retinol, RetinA, AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids). There are all sorts of AHA’s like glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid and tartaric acids to name a few. Don’t mix products with exfoliates unless recommended by your esthetician.

Over exfoliation creates irritation, red patches, flakiness, inflammation, irritated acne or wounds. Stop if you start to show any of these signs.

When we purposefully take away dead skin cells we are exposing bright shiny new ones. This is great but in this process we are purposefully causing inflammation and damaging the skin barrier. It is important to calm and rebuild the skin barrier before we step in and damage it again. That’s why we don’t want to over do it.

And, GASP, over doing it can actually make us age faster.

What to do after exfoliating
Calm and rebuild your skin barrier with humectants and anti-inflammatories.

Some examples of ingredients to look for.

Humectants are any ingredient that increases and restores oil and water to the skin.

  • Glycerin
  • Hyalauronic Acid
  • Panthenol
  • Vitamin E
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat proteins
  • Honey

Anti-inflammatories are ingredients that reduce redness and inflammation:

  • White and Green Tea
  • Aloe Vera
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Licorice
  • Chamomile
  • Jojoba oil
  • Pomegranate
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C (Ester type, avoid high percentages of ascorbic acid)

Some product suggestions for barrier repair:
Anti-aging Face Serum– Includes aloe vera, glycerin, panthenol, lavender, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Anti-aging Eye Cream– Includes aloe vera, glycerin, niacinamide (vitamin B3), pomegranate, jojoba, chamomile, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Hydrating Lotion Jelly– Includes aloe vera, cranberry, glycerin and cucumber
3-in-1 Antioxidant Lotion– Includes jojoba, pomegranate, white tea, ginger, licorice, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Renewal Face Lotion– Includes jojoba, pomegranate, white tea, ginger, licorice, vitamin C and vitamin E.
Blue Clay Face Masque– This is a non-drying masque that has a large dose of honey powder. Mix the masque powder with water to activate honey or go an extra step and include a vitamin E capsule or two. Vitamin E capsules usually contain glycerin.

Basic Anti-aging Skin Care- It Ain’t Just About the Wrinkles

Basic Anti-Aging Principals- It ain't just about the wrinklesWhen we think about aging skin we automatically think wrinkles.

Wrinkles and fine lines are not the cause, but the effect of aging skin. They are a byproduct of the aging process.

So, when discussing anti-aging what exactly are we trying to accomplish or fix. Where do those damn wrinkles come from?

Key Anti-aging principals:

#1 Control the environmental effect of aging skin

  • Sunscreen protects you from the suns damaging rays that creates age spots, damage to your collagen and free-radicals. Sunscreen does not prevent skin cancer. It prevents possible damage to your skin cells that in turn can cause skin cancer.
  • The environment: Air pollution and sun damage causes free radicals.
  • Antioxidants are the super heroes that fight the damaging free-radicals. Daily application of antioxidants are key to keep your skin cells healthy and vibrant.

#2 Control inflammation effect on aging skin

#3 Control sagging

This is much more difficult to prevent. With age our skin and face muscles sag. In order to prevent this you can do a couple things:

  • DMAE- an ingredient that acts like a bandaid reducing fine lines and sagging for the day but with repeated use you are keeping things firm and in place. The less you let those lines and sags set in, the less they will appear.
  • Botox: If you go this route I firmly suggest you check out the work of your skin care professional from several sources before jumping in.
  • Facial massage and excercises: It’s tough to tell if this one works. You have to commit to it like any routine and you need an extended period of time before you can see if it’s working. At least 30-60 days. Resist any movements that creates wrinkles as you work your muscles. No pursing of the lips, think exercises that expand rather then contract.

#4 Exfoliate

  • You must remove dead skin cells in order to allow new ones to grow.
  • This step needs to be done safely or you can damage your skin barrier allowing the environmental pollution to penetrate as well as swelling and irritation to form. These factors can destroy dermal tissue and collagen and will age you faster.
  • Exfoliate 2-3 times a week and always wear sun protection for up to a week after.

If you are better educated on what causes those pesky wrinkles you are better prepared to fight their appearance. Proper, gentle and effective skin care products are just part of the arsenal needed to keep your skin young and dewy.

7 Things You Can do With 3-in-1 Lotion- It’s a Skin Care Workhorse

7 things you can do with 3-in-1 Lotion- It's a workhorse!My 3-in-1 Antioxidant Lotion was my flagship product for a reason. In skin care, if you can’t make a decent lotion then you should “Get the heck outta Dodge.” Right?

The moisturizer I wanted to create:

  • A simple anti-aging moisturizer for the face.
  • To be light and moisturizing, NOT greasy or heavy.
  • To absorb quickly into my skin- To do it’s job and then let me get back to work.
  • Something simple, effective and organic without sacrificing texture, scent or user experience.

And I wanted to include a couple serious anti-aging ingredients that your basic lotion doesn’t include.

This is where our 3-in-1 Antioxidant Lotion makes the competition pale by comparison.

Ingredient highlights:

  • Jojoba, sunflower oil, shea butter and avocado oil penetrate and moisturize without being greasy.
  • Vitamin C ester– A powerful and stable oil-based antioxidant that allows your skin to absorb more than it’s water based counterparts. Vitamin C ester fights free radicals from sun and environmental exposure. It readies your skin to absorbs key nutrients from other ingredients. And, it promotes collagen production that evens your skin tone leaving it smooth and glowing.
  • White tea– The most effective antioxidant in the green tea family with the highest level of polyphenols. Polyphenols protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation and also enhances cell growth.
  • Pomegranate and ginger– Classified as “super” ingredients with major anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties.

I soon discovered my moisturizer was as effective with my hands and body as it was with my face.

Voila! My 3-in-1 product was born.

But why stop at 3 uses? It’s works for face, body and hands so let’s take this puppy for a ride and see what else it can do.

It’s a workhorse.

7 things you can do with 3-in-1 lotion:

  • Face moisturizer– non greasy and absorbant.
  • Hands moisturizer– moisturizes but absorbs quickly so you can have your hands back to work in a jiffy.
  • Body lotion– Gives you anti-aging benefits from head to toe
  • Gentle shave cream for men and women– even for sensitive skin and areas.
  • Foot cream– Absorbs quickly but penetrates deeply.
  • Controls frizz in hair- start with a pea size amount and massage through your hair. Add more if desired.
  • Remove makeup– Massage on a generous amount for 1-2 minutes on a dry face like a cold cream and wipe off with soft washcloth.

The current trend in skin care is multi-functional products. Birdy’s been doing this for 6 years now and everyone’s finally catching on. Why buy three (or more) products when you can by one?

Let me rephrase that. You don’t want to buy more then 1 product but the skin care companies do.

That’s why Birdy’s got your back. And now it’s a nice, soft, well moisturized back.

3-in-1 Antioxidant Lotion comes in 4 scents:

Having a Healthy Attitude on Aging Skin Doesn’t Mean Throwing in the Towel

How to have a Healthy view on Aging Skin. - Birdy BotanicalsIf anyone understands the stress of watching your skin age its me. I sell skin care products. My skin is a direct representative of my product. I care that my skin shows signs of age. I know you do to.

I get it.

With that said, it’s easy to get obsessed with changes we watch happening in the mirror.

I did some research on attitudes about aging skin. I found lots of information about why our skin ages but not how we feel about it.

How do we feel about it? It sucks.

But why does it have to “suck?” Why do we fall prey to magazines and constant pressure from society when most of the girls in magazines are air brushed and starved? Besides, their 15 and meant to look like their 20-something.

It’s not real. Why is our ideal out of range of possibility?

The truth is our skin will age no matter what we do. I know. Buzz kill.

The silly things we do when we panic about those fine lines:

There’s tons of expensive lotions and potions we can buy with the promises from laboratory testing and “proven” with fake before and after photos. Bastards.

How much money have you wasted looking for a quick skin care fix?

There are expensive procedures like injections, lasers, surgery etc. Some more invasive then others. If going this direction boosts your confidence, go for it. I won’t judge.

But beware, this route can become a major slippery slope. Once we start to over examine and judge our appearance comparing ourselves to the unobtainable we are setting ourselves up for insecurity. Besides, is it actually giving us results? There’s a study from NPR “That Face-Lift May Buy You Only Three Years Of Youth.” Read it and then decide.

Once we start to beat ourselves up it’s hard to come back to that place where “I’m good just the way I am.”

It’s important to try and change the way we think about our aging selves.

But, this doesn’t mean we have to throw in the towel.

How to be the best version of ourselves we can be. Naturally.

In my opinion the best thing about aging is that I appreciate what I have rather than what I don’t. My booty may be bigger than most “butt”(haha) I have an hourglass figure and long eyelashes. So I’ll work with that and take care of my skin the best I can from the inside-out.

Need a Skin Care Safety Net? Effective and Guaranteed

Birdy Botanicals gives you a skin care safety net with effective product and 100% guaranteeLet me tell you why I’m here.

I started my own skin care line because of my own skin problems.

Harsh chemicals in my work environment irritated my face and body, aggravated my allergies on top of already being prone to breakouts. I started experimenting with natural body care ingredients and recipes.

I’ve been told by more then one esthetician, “To have normal skin you need to treat it like normal skin.”

This is when I discovered my philosophy of the gentle approach to skin care.

But gentle doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Because that would just be embarrassing.

Why is gentle good for everyone?

  • Non-irritating
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Soothing and balancing
  • No dry patches
  • Feels clean but not stripped or overly dry
  • Gives you a natural healthy glow
  • Helps maintain skin elasticity

Plus, it’s 100% guaranteed. No Joke.

Why do you need Birdy Botanicals?

So what are you waiting for?
Birdy Botanicals products

For Healthier Skin Avoid These 5 Facial Faux Pas

For Healthier Skin Avoid These 5 Facial Faux PasThis list of “What not to do” helps you focus on some important skin care basics to improve the quality and look of your skin.

1. Don’t go to bed without removing your makeup.

Your skin needs to breath. When you don’t remove your makeup it’s seeping in, clogging your pores and constricting oxygen flow. This creates a dull look.

Besides, makeup’s not the only thing you want to take off your face. Over the course of the day you build up grime, pollution and sweat. Ew.

2. Don’t stay in the shower too long.

I know, this one sucks, but sitting under the hot water too long is removing important moisture and oils from your skin.

Try limiting your shower time, keep the water as tepid as possible and moisturize when you get out.

3. Don’t walk out the door in the morning without sunscreen.

Sunscreen is your best friend as an anti-ager. Every skin care professional out there will agree. The best way to slow the signs of aging is consistent day to day application of sunscreen.

Either get a face sunscreen and apply it after your moisturizer or use a tinted moisturizer or foundation with an spf of 30. Don’t forget to apply on your neck, decolletage and back of your hands.

4. Don’t ignore your body when it comes to anti-aging.

We pay so much attention to our face and ignore our bodies. Your hands and decolletage can show major signs of aging as well.

Aging hot spots are face, neck, decolletage and hands. Concentrate on these but don’t ignore the rest of your body too. Get a good quality moisturizer and use it after every shower.

5. Don’t over exfoliate.

Is there a such thing as too much of a good thing? YES! There is when it comes to exfoliation. Every time you exfoliate you have compromised the skin barrier. You need to concentrate on barrier repair by topical treatments before you can exfoliate next.

Over exfoliation leads to:

  • Irritation.
  • Tight, dry, scaling or flaking skin.
  • Breaking down the skin’s barrier therefore exposing it to the environment and other damaging agents which can make you age faster.

GASP! I know!

For barrier repair look for products containing Vitamin E.

The rules:

  • Exfoliate no more than 2-3 times a week. Create a schedule that works for you and stick to it. How about Tuesday, Friday and Sunday?
  • Pick 1 product with exfoliating ingredients and stick to it. Cleanser or masque etc.

Live by these simple skin care rules and over time your skin will be healthier, younger and will support your other skin care efforts.

Vote for Birdy!- Martha Stewart’s American Made Audience Choice Award Nominee

Vote for Birdy Botanicals! A Martha Stewart Living American Made Audience Choice Award NomineeI am so excited to be participating in Martha Stewart Living American Made Audience Choice Awards! It’s thrilling to see products made in the USA celebrated in such a grand fashion.

I am reminded that American made companies are both big and small and come packaged in every way shape and form. Folks who are following their dreams in order to be creative, make a buck or maybe just to play by their own rules.

It truly is the American way.

Martha Stewart has created a platform in which small companies can compete against larger ones to gain some exposure and let the world see what they can do. More exposure means more sales and that helps small business and the economy. So get out there and vote!

The rules:
Each person gets 6 votes per day. You can spend them all on one business (hint, hint) or spread the love to your favorite artists.

Registration for First timers:
To register go here.

  • Top right hand corner click “sign in/ register” link.
  • Type in email address and password.
  • Click “register” button. DO NOT click “sign in.” button. You’ll need to scroll down your page to view the “register” button.
  • On new page click “join.” button.
  • TROUBLESHOOTING: If it gives you an error message you may need to retype in your password on the Join page and re-click the join button.
  • Now you can vote. Here’s my profile page.
  • You’ll see a green button that says “vote.” Click on this up to 6 times in a 24 hour period.

Final Step!
You’ll receive a confirmation email. Use the link on this email to confirm your account. This is necessary for your votes to count.

Voting ends Friday, September 13th. You can vote everyday up to 6 votes per day.

Some of my favorite American made peeps:
FOOD: Villaconna Winery in Paso Robles– FINDing a purpose for the premium, free-run juice removed prior to fermentation to enhance wine quality, and REfining it into top-shelf spirits.
DESIGN: General Store Paso Robles– Inspiring people by sharing useful, lovely or delicious things; adding to the charm & vibrancy of our small town, giving artisans room to shine
CRAFT: Reclaimed Things– RECLAIMED THINGS is a handmade workshop, design house and purveyor of vintage finds based in the great city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
GARDEN: L&M Studio– Lucie & Meg design and make clean, modern containers for living things to enhance both the function and aesthetics of life in the garden.
TECHNOLOGY: Mobile Solar– Mobile Solar is dedicated to promoting the use of renewable energy. We provide an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel generators.

Don’t Sabotage all your Other Skin Care Efforts- Vital Tips for Properly Cleansing your Face

Vital tips for properly cleansing your face- Don't sabotage all your other skin care efforts! - Birdy BotanicalsBecause DIRT is a 4 letter word.

The first step in any good skincare routine is cleansing. This may require some trial and error but without cleansing properly all your other skin care efforts will be compromised.

Some tips to get started:

And a couple more things:

  • Your results should leave your skin not too dry and not too greasy.
  • If you have sensitive or problem skin you may want to consult a professional esthetician.
  • Generally, if a process or product is creating an uncomfortable reaction cease immediately. If you have sensitive skin, always perform a patch test before proceeding.
  • Use common sense and pay attention. It takes a while to get to know your skin.

One of the questions I get asked most is, “What is your routine?” Here’s how I cleanse and moisturize:

Sally’s cleansing routine:

Your routine should be gentle but also effective. A properly cleansed face is ready to absorb and let your other products work for you.

Why Blueberries are so Darn Good for your Skin!

Why Blueberries are so Darn Good For Your SkinGreat skin starts from within, one little superfood at a time.

I get a little woozy everytime I see another list of the foods I should be eating. Some are literally 100 items long. Tired.

My list will always be short.

My great skin miracle food du jour- blueberries.

Since the beginning of 2013 I stared eating blueberries 4-6 times a week and I’ve seen dramatic results. I started this habit because a study from Harvard School of Public Health found the benefits of berries (particularly blueberries, strawberries and blackberries) consumed at least 3 times per week significantly cut the risk for heart attack.

I could dig some good benefits for my ticker so I jumped on the bandwagon.

8-10 weeks after starting my blueberry habit I looked in the mirror and was blown away by the changes in my skin.

My aging trouble spots (especially my upper lip and the crow’s feet by my eyes) had made a huge recovery. My skin was more taught, hydrated and supple looking and my skin tone was brighter and more even. Right away I new it was a fringe benefit from my new berry habit.

If I could buy stock in blueberries, I would.

Blueberries contain compounds called anthocyanins. These are what gives blueberries their dark blue color. A steady diet of fruits and veggies rich in these compounds have multiple benefits.

Nutritonal Benefits:

  • Vitamin A, C, E and K
  • The highest food source of antioxidants
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber

Benefits for the skin:

  • Anthocyanins contain antioxidants that fight free radicals that damage your collagen. By protecting your collagen your skin will stay younger looking longer. Antioxidants also help protect against skin cancer.
  • They improves skin tone.
  • Blueberries are good for your circulatory system as they keep capillaries and blood vessels flexible and keep them from breaking. They also help keep spider veins and varicose veins from forming.
  • Acne prevention: blueberries balance hormones and neutralize oil production in your skin.
  • Blueberries are anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is one of the major causes of wrinkles.

Other health benefits:

  • Blueberries help reduce blood pressure.
  • They lower the risk of type II diabetes.
  • They improve memory and mood.
  • Their anti-inflammatory properties can ease arthritis and joint pain

Making eating blueberries a habit:

  • Blueberries start appearing in stores and Farmer’s markets in the spring. Before buying, make sure they’re sweet, firm and loose in their containers. Give them a little shake, if they don’t move they may be starting to degrade.
  • Buy in bulk when they are in season and freeze for later use.
  • When you get them home, try soaking the berries in a 10% vinegar/water bath for a few seconds. It will prevent mold from forming and double the life of the berries without adding a vinegar taste.
  • If not in season I buy frozen- and I prefer the “wild” varieties. They tend to be smaller, slightly more acidic and sweeter than the conventional frozen blueberries. I’ve found wild frozen blueberries and Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Safeway.

Add blueberries to the menu whenever possible:

  • In cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt or ice cream.
  • Toss fresh blueberries (not frozen) in a green salad for texture and flavor.
  • Add frozen blueberries to a vinaigrette.
  • Make a sauce for chicken, duck, pork or game meat.
  • Replace fresh blueberries for frozen in any of the above foods.

Your skin is affected greatly by your diet. You can’t expect to feed your body grease and sugar and then expect it to look great by slapping on some creams and potions. Great skin starts from within.

Besides that, when you put blueberries in your cereal it turns your milk purple. Is it ok this makes me so happy?

What every bride-to-be should know about skin care

What every bride-to-be should know about skin care
This is a big deal. It’s your big day and you’re the star of this show. How many times have you been to a wedding and heard someone say “She’s glowing.” I can promise you that “she” established a good and consistent skin care regimen.

Let’s discuss some skin care, nutrition and makeup tips to help you look your best.

What you need to know to glow:

Skin care DON’TS for the bride:

  • Don’t do any professional facials or treatments within 10 days of your wedding.
  • Don’t do any NEW facials or treatments within 3 weeks of the big day. If you’ve never done it before you don’t know how your skin will react.
  • Don’t wing it. Establish a skin care routine and follow it. It’s worth it.

Skin care DO’s for the bride:

Start here:

  • Establish your skin care routines for 3-6 months before the ceremony if you’re not already committed to a skin care regimen.
  • Start with a professional facial. Tell your esthetician that you’re getting married and consult with them about a routine for your skin type.

Bridal skin care nutrition and diet:

  • Watch what you eat. Keep sugar and alcohol at a minimum. These are big culprits when it comes to swelling and tone of your skin. Puffy Bride? No bueno.
  • Eat your antioxidants! Work these into your diet as soon as possible and eat them everyday. Smoothies are a great way to get them into your diet and will help control your weight at the same time if you replace one meal for one smoothie.
  • Regular exercise is great for your skin.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

About your 3-6 month pre-wedding skin care routine:

Tanning and grooming:

  • If you want to be tan, fake it but go light. Go for the sun-kissed look. Go ahead and get a professional spray-on but if you decide to do it yourself make sure you use a product you’re familiar with. Do a “tan” trial run so you know what you’re getting and make sure to use an all-over body scrub before applying. Orange streaks and splotchy tan, again, no bueno.
  • Get your eyebrows done 5-10 days before the event.
  • Get your hair trimmed and colored 2-3 weeks before the event. And I would counsel against making any drastic changes.

A few words about hair and makeup:

  • Do a hair and makeup run through. Let your natural glow be the star and use minimal makeup. Drag queen look? Really no bueno..
  • Make sure your makeup makes you feel beautiful.
  • Consider these factors before you commit to a look: season, temperature, time of day, indoor vs. outdoor.
  • Google “makeup tips for brides” to get a ton of great information.

Make sure to have a plan for your skin. If you have that natural and bridal glow, you won’t need much makeup to shine. But most importantly you want to feel great about yourself while you’re being celebrated by your family and friends. THAT is mui bueno.