Quick Tips on Wearing Sunscreen and What to do if You Got Too Much Sun

Quick tips on wearing sunscreen and what to do if you got too much sun!The Fourth of July is at the end of the week and for lots of us that means being outdoors. It’s time to break out the sunscreen, hats and umbrellas. But, fun in the sun ain’t so fun if you are suffering later from a sunburn. 1 day of sun can cause painful suffering for days. Most of us have experienced this at some point in our lifetimes.

Just because you’re armed with a bottle of sunscreen doesn’t mean you’ll be successful in not getting burned. It’s important to be prepared and stay vigilant while enjoying a day of rays.

I have some quick tips for how to properly use your sunscreen and what to do if you get too much sun.

Skincancer.org has some great information on their website regarding applying sunscreen and how to treat a sunburn.

“Sunscreen Explained”:
Make sure you pay attention to these tips they offer.

  • Use a broad spectrum spf product- Filters UVA and UVB rays
  • Sunscreen should be reapplied every 1.5-2 hours depending on the spf of your sunscreen product.
  • For a full day at the beach you should plan to use a 1/4 to a 1/2 bottle of sunscreen per person.
  • Reapply every 1-2 hours or when coming out of water or toweling off.
  • Where a hat and cover up as much as possible.

If you still end up getting burned make sure to treat your sunburn gently but treat it you must. If you press your skin and see pink while you’re still in the sun, look out, your symptoms will be a lot worse and probably super painful 4-6 hours later.

How to treat a sunburn:

  • Take an ibuprofen or other over the counter anti-inflammatory. Consult your physician to make sure this is safe for you to do.
  • Hydrate.
  • Treat burned area with aloe vera or an aloe vera moisturizer. Lotions can also be used effectively but they may keep you too warm and they may not be as pleasant as using an aloe vera type product.
  • Cool off in a bath or shower
  • Wear loose clothing
  • If you have small blisters, leave them be, don’t pop any blisters or you may get an infection. If fluid collects in them you must give your body a chance to heal and absorb the fluid.
  • If you have large blisters or blisters covering over 20% of your body then seek medical attention.

Quick skin care tips: Solutions for 5 daily skin dilemmas

5 Perfect Face Fixes for Imperfect PeoplelHave you ever been in a situation that you don’t have time for your full skin care and beauty regimen?

Speaking from experience, I am a busy person that sometimes requires super quick and easy solutions.

Sound familiar? Don’t sweat it. I’ve got some quick shortcut solutions for 5 daily skin care dilemmas.

Quick face fixes:

  • Need a quick facial? Apply Hydrating Lotion Jelly or a gentle cleansing masque to your face right before getting in the shower. Let it work as you take care of your other business and then rinse. You’ll look refreshed and glow just like you came back from a facial.
  • Need to get out the door fast? Apply Detoxifying Toner with a cotton ball, then Anti-aging serum. Finito.
  • Fix puffy eyes with your cold, used tea bag. Refrigerate tea bag for a few minutes if it’s not cold enough. Apply for 30-60 seconds under each eye. (Caffeinated tea will give the best results.)
  • Tired and wanna go to bed? Remove makeup without touching the faucet. Apply 3-in-1 Cream Cleanser to dry face, massage in circles for 1-2 minutes concentrating on areas with the most makeup. Remove with a wet or dry soft cloth. Remember to keep your eyes closed and be especially gentle around the eye area. If needed apply toner and finish off with a face serum. (Make sure not to get any cleanser in your eye and that the area is wiped clean before opening.)
  • No time for makeup? Mix a face serum with your favorite foundation for a light, natural looking coverage.

Birdy’s got your back. We’re all about easy solutions for your busy life. That’s why we love our multiple uses!

Skin Care Rule #1- Take Off Your Makeup or Forget About Results

The Birdy Blog- The Cardinal Sin of Skin Care- Are you Guilty?Yes, I’m looking at you.

There are many steps to a good skin care regimen. I’m sure you’ve read a ton of blog posts and articles that state moisturizing is the most important step OR choosing the right anti-aging products is “King” for your skin care.

But, the fact is, none of these “Most important” skin care routines or products will do you any good if you don’t wash your face properly every night. Especially if you don’t remove your makeup.

When you cleanse you accomplish a variety of good deeds:

  • Remove dirt, grime, sweat and icky environmental gook– leaving on your makeup or just an unwashed face enables the free radicals built up on your skin to breakdown your collagen faster. This results in premature aging.
  • Unclogging your pores– dead skin cells, sebum and dirt will build up and over time creating a bottleneck effect in your pore. As the debris increases so does the acne bacteria.
  • Allowing your skin to breath as oxygen repairs a multitude of sinsRemoving your makeup or washing your face at night helps to recover from oxidative stress (imbalance of free radical production and the body’s ability to fight the affects). More premature aging.
  • Allows your skin to absorb the good ingredients you use your hard earned cash to buy

Now that I have your attention..

Wash your face at night, every night whether you wear makeup or not.

  • Your skin repairs itself the most while you sleep and you want to take advantage of skin cell renewal and collagen production powers of the night.
  • You don’t want that crap on your pillowcase– The dirt and makeup buildup on your pillow creates an uphill battle.
  • A combination of all the wrongs of an unwashed face leads you to a dull complexion and breakouts.

The Face Washing Challenge
I challenge you to wash your face every night for 2 weeks and I guarantee you will see your complexion start to glow. If you can take it to 4 weeks you will really see some dramatic results as it takes the skin cells around 1-2 months to regenerate from the lower levels of skin compartments. This cell renewal process takes longer as we age.

I know this is easier said than done.

Good skin, like a healthy body, takes time and planning but it doesn’t need to be a drag. An extra 5 minute routine before you go to bed could make all the difference to your skin care results.

Natural vs. Synthetic Scents- Some Facts for Heath and Skin Care

Natural vs Synthetic Scents- The Stinky Facts that Affect Your Health and Skin Care

Do you know the difference between natural and synthetic scents?

Is one better for you then the other?

The debate between natural and synthetic scents is never going to be over and way too big for this one little blog post, but I can help you decide which one you prefer to use.

Natural and synthetic scents are like comparing apples to an apple-scented car deodorizer. While apples are good for your body, the synthetic scent has no therapeutic value.

Let’s discuss….

Some definitions:
“Natural” means it came from nature, made of natural chemicals and we call these “Essential oils.”
“Synthetic” means it’s composed of synthetic man-made chemicals.

Essential oil facts:

  • “The chemistry of essential oils is very complex: each one may consist of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds.” [1] They are highly concentrated substances. Some of the naturally occurring chemicals in essential oils are so minute that man cannot copy them.
  • Essential oils contain therapeutic value.
  • Essential oils are very powerful, natural ingredients but just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Think poisoned berries. They’re natural but they’ll kill ya.
  • That said if a skin care company is using essential oils properly the therapeutic use of essential oils on the skin can be profound.
  • Essential oils can have adverse affects on a small percentage of people, manifesting as headaches, dizziness, nausea and migraine headaches.

Synthetic Fragrance facts:

  • Synthetic fragrances are, contrary to popular belief, regulated by the FDA.
  • Synthetic fragrances have zero therapeutic value.
  • No matter how many aroma chemicals or preservatives are included in a recipe, they only need to be listed as “Fragrance” on the label. These fragrance chemicals do not need to be revealed on the label due to proprietary laws that allow companies to keep their formulas hidden from competitors.
  • Synthetic fragrances can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea and migraines.
  • If you are not privy to the chemicals you are applying to your skin, then you can’t know if they’re dangerous or make an educated decision as to their safety.

How to educate yourself
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has demonized synthetic fragrances along with a number of other skin care ingredients for years, claiming dubious sources, hype, assumptions and misinformation. Their findings are not based on science.

When researching ingredients I never use EWG but turn to websites like Personal Care Truth which rely on science based information. Their mission is to educate rather than scare and they don’t generally hold to the credo that natural = good and synthetic = bad, unless scientific findings warrant it.

About allergens and endocrine disruptors in natural and synthetic scents:
Both natural and synthetic scents contain allergens and hormone disruptors but I can’t find any articles from reputable sources (the kind based on science, not hype) that discuss the relative safety of natural vs. synthetic with regard to allergies and endocrine disruptors. The general takeaway form my research is that reactions from synthetic fragrance chemicals seem to be more severe then with natural ingredients but I encourage everyone to do their own research.

What is in your product?
The easiest way to see what’s in your product is looking at the ingredients label.

  • Essential oils will usually be listed as “Essential Oils” or a list of each type of oil separately like “Orange essential oil, rosemary essential oil.” The list of individually marked essential oils is the best resource for identifying which ingredient may be causing a bad reaction. Birdy Botanicals is working to have all labels list essential oils individually instead of using “essential oil blend.”
  • A synthetic fragrance is usually listed as perfume, Parfum or “fragrance.” Whether is had 10 synthetic chemicals or 100, a fragrance recipe is not required to give you more information then this.

So which do you choose?
Birdy Botanicals prefers using natural essential oils because:
Synthetic fragrance oils are, in general, stronger and longer lasting than their natural essential oil counterparts. I don’t often see this as a good thing.
Synthetic scents can desensitize our sense of smell so we tend to use more and more until we are overwhelming the people and environments we come in contact with.
Natural scents neutralize odors rather then mask them. So while they may not stick around long they fix the problem rather then cover it up.
Natural scents are a more intimate experience for those that are close to us or come in close contact with us. It’s a more sensual, personal experience.
After using essential oils for years, when I come in contact with synthetic fragrances I feel my throat, nose and head react instantly in a negative way. Not only do I not feel good but the smell I am reacting to can become repulsive.

Regarding sensitivity:

Sensitive skin is an enormous umbrella under which all reactive skin issues live. There are no black and white rules about what an individual will react to.

There is no such thing as a truly hypo-allergenic ingredient. Someone out there will react to it.

Some of you with sensitive skin may be able to handle some synthetic fragrance and essential oils. It all depends on what specifically you react to.

But, if you do have sensitive skin, the wiser choice is to go with essential oils unless you’ve shown prior issues with them. This may take some trial and error.

Always use a patch test before ever using a new skin care ingredient. If you react cease using immediately.

If you are still reacting try using unscented products. (Beware, a lot of unscented products out there are really scented. For example I bought an unscented Mitchum deodorant and was blown over by it’s “unscent.” Blech!)

Birdy luuurves essential oils but understands they too have limitations. Essential oils can be so healing and solve a huge number of skin care issues but we realize they are not for everyone.

1- Essential Science Publishing- (2009) “Essential Oils Desk Reference”- Fourth Edition. Pg.1

Pumping Lots of Cash into Skin Care Products Without Results?- You May Not Be Using Enough

Pumping a Lot of Cash into Skin Care Products Without Results?- You May Not Be Using EnoughHave you ever spent lots of money on leave on products and wondered why they’re not working?

Many of the expensive face serums and eye creams we spend major dollars on are what the industry calls, “Dose Dependant.” Meaning, a specific dose of the product is required to be used in order to gain the benefits for which the product was created to provide.

Unfortunately the rule with most skin care products: You have to use it to get the results.

There’s always the chance that the product is bogus. How many times have we been played by fake before and after photos that promised magical results? Unfortunately this is rampant in the skin care industry.

But, what if the product does work but you’re trying to use less in order to stretch the life of the product before you have to re-buy it?

You’ll never know if it works because you’re not using enough of it.

How do you know if you’re using enough?

There’s such a thing called “The Goldilocks Principal.” It refers to a dosage that must be within certain margins. Not too much, not too little, but just right.

Rule of thumb to reach the “goldilocks effect”:

  • If there is a recommended dosage, don’t ignore it or you’ll be wasting your money.
  • If there’s no dosage size recommended, start with one pump or a pea size amount. The product should flow over your skin easily and absorb within 10-20 seconds and with a few gentle, massaging strokes. If you need more go with another pea size or adjust the amount depending on how much coverage you got from the first dose. And don’t forget your other aging hot spots like your neck, decolletage and back of your hands.
  • If you don’t see any results in 30- 40 days, I would deduct the product isn’t working for you.
  • The best solution is to buy product that you can afford to re-purchase when you’re product is finished. If money is that much of an issue (usually is) then take a chance on expensive positions only when you get a money back guarantee.

Buying good quality product can be crucial to your skin care efforts and results, but if you’re not going to use enough of it to make a difference, then leave your money in your wallet and step away from the beauty counter.

Feedback is the Bomb! Why Your Opinion Means So Much to Our Skin Care Company

Feedback is the Bomb- Why Your Opinion is So Important to Our Skin Care CompanyIf I never got feedback from my customers, I would never know what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong.

Small business and big business alike depend on customer satisfaction to survive.

As a small business owner, there’s nothing I love more than to hear a customer’s rave review about my products. It’s what makes this little bird tick. And, while I want you to keep those coming, I actually learn more from the feedback of what makes people unhappy.

Your opinion is valid, don’t worry about hurting feelings.

Why is good feedback is important?– So a company knows they’re doing the right thing, especially if a product or service is vital to you.

Why is constructive feedback is important if you’re unhappy?– It allows the company to make it right for you. If they hear the same complaints from others chance are they’ll change the product or the service.

Forums for feedback:

  • Every website has a point of contact like an email address, phone number or contact form. When contacting a company someone SHOULD ALWAYS get back to you. Pet Peeve- using a contact form and never getting a response. This is a major fail.
  • Yelp– Meant for honest reviews of products and customer service though we know this isn’t always the case.
  • Facebook– There are several ways to state your opinion here. You can post written comments and reviews on some business pages depending on their privacy settings or message them directly. Also, rate a business by using Facebook’s scale of 1 to 5 stars.
  • Twitter– If you tweet, then give a company a shout out if you like them or if you have a problem.

A few tips to make sure you’re voice is heard appropriately.

  • If you have something nice to say, feel free to say it anywhere and everywhere. Customer satisfaction and referrals is the strongest and most trusted form of feedback. Other customers want to know what you have to say about your experiences.
  • If you weren’t satisfied with customer service or a product there are constructive ways to go about this before you put up your one star review on yelp or Facebook. Try to contact someone directly from the company with your complaints. There’s always the chance that this was an honest error and if a company is worthy they will try to make it right.

What feedback has done for Birdy Botanicals:

It’s allowed me to:

  • spot a malfunction in serum pumps that affected many more customers than the one who spoke up.
  • plan on repackaging products that have not been user friendly like getting the DANG CREAM CLEANSER OUT OF THE EFFING BOTTLE! (I feel your pain.)
  • launch my new Face Scrub because of popular demand.

So don’t hesitate! Communicate!

Think Face Toner’s a Skin Care Mystery? 7 Reasons Why You Should Use It

Think Face Toner is a Skin Care Mystery? 7 Reasons Why You Should Use ItTo many, a face toner is a bigger mystery than Stonehenge.

What is it? What’s it for? How do I use it?

People want to know, is it a necessary part of the Skin Care Routine?

For certain skin types it’s a must.

Let’s deMISTify face toner (pun intended) to see if you can benefit from it in your skin care regimen.

First, what is Face Toner?

  • They are liquid topicals generally made with gentle ingredients like aloe, distillates, extracts, essential oils and exfoliates.

Who needs it?

  • Toner is great for acenic, oily, combination, normal and mature skin types
  • Dry skin should opt for a gentle hydrating mist
  • Sensitive skin should always use a patch test first

What’s it for?

7 uses for face toner

 

  1. Shrinks your pores
  2. Removes any excess oil and cleanser residue
  3. Restores your face to proper ph
  4. A gentle toner can be a hydrator
  5. If you’re on the go and need a quick fix, use a gentle toner instead of your regular cleansing routine. Toner, serum, sunscreen, GO!
  6. Evens out your skin tone
  7. And my favorite….Improves penetration of other skin applications. Moist skin absorbs active topicals better than a dry ones, thus improving the performance of your other skin care products.

When do I use it?

Toner vs astringents. What’s the dif?

  • Toners should not be mistaken for astringents.
  • Astringents generally have harsher ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and oil stripping alcohols.
  • Even if you have a lot of oil production, astringents have super harsh ingredients that strip the natural oils from your face necessary for skin balance and force your pores to overproduce oil.

Stress is Making you Look Older- It’s a Skin Care Nightmare

Stress is Making you Look Older- It's a Skin Care NightmareI know this will not make your day.

But…

Stress is really, really bad for your skin. It’s right up there with smoking, bad habits and poor nutrition.

Effects of stress in the skin:

  • 2nd leading cause of premature aging.
  • #1 rosacea trigger.
  • Suppresses the immune response.
  • Reduces surface antimicrobial peptides (Web definition “Antimicrobial peptides are part of the innate immune response and are found among all classes of life”.

Not convinced?

  • Stress lengthens wound healing time up to 30%.
  • Stress effects every element of your skin, from pores to dermal proteins to the DNA locked inside every cell.
  • Stress alters your genetic code and shortens the productive lifespan of skin cells.
  • Stress makes every skin condition worse.

That massage you keep putting off is looking better all the time isn’t it?

But, sometimes stress is not something we bring on ourselves. For example you have an illness or loved one who is ill. In these instances all we can do is manage our stress the best we can.

Manage your stress by creating routines and doing them everyday:

DO NOT feel guilty about taking care of yourself. Even the simplest action of taking care of yourself can reduce your blood pressure and ease your stress.

Do some of these tasks throughout your day and check in with yourself consistently about your stress level:

  • Get a massage or facial.
  • Take a hot bath.
  • Take a walk.
  • Do some deep breathing.
    Technique: Breath in through your nose expanding your lower abdomen and lungs for a count of 6, out through your mouth pulling in your lower abdomen squeezing air from lungs for a longer count of 7-8.
  • Do some stretching.
  • Meditate.
    Technique: In a quiet environment, lay or sit, relax your muscles and mind without sleeping. If your mind is still reeling take each thought and visually wrap it in a pink bubble and watch it float away. Do this until your mind is clear.
  • Get some excercise.
  • Do some yoga.
  • Get a mani/pedi.
  • Get a good hug.
  • Take a nap.
  • Do something that will make you laugh: A TV show, a movie or a visit with a hilarious friend.
  • Have some sex- ya baby!

It’s time to take charge of yourself, identify where your stress comes from and do something about it. It will improve your overall health, most importantly, and the big bonus is your skin and hair will thank you for it in return.

Credit- Effects of stress on skin: Rebecca James Gadberry- Class materials “Skin Care Ingredients for Cosmetic Professionals” UCLA Extension.

Soft, Kissable Lips with DIY Lip Scrub- Gimme Some Sugar

Soft, kissable lips with DIY Lip Scrub- Gimme some sugarI like kissing. Who doesn’t. Being married for over 15 years doesn’t mean I give up my kissing privileges (as long as it’s the husband).

You’d think since I make lip balm for a living that my lip problems would nonexistent and I wouldn’t have to work at it.

Wrong.

Year round I have problems with dry lips because of allergies and weather. Allergies force me to breathe through my mouth at night and dry out my lips.

It’s a chronic issue.

My Lip Butter is perfect for moisturizing my lips as well as softening the dry skin cells that build up on a daily basis but I often need something more abrasive to remove the dead skin cells altogether.

I use a DIY Lip Scrub, as needed, to remove the buildup that plants itself on my lips daily.

You can make it with as few as 2 ingredients from your cupboard. No need to buy expensive potions.

Snap.

Ingredients:

  • Brown or white sugar
  • Honey or olive oil or both (up to your preference and what you have on hand.)

Make only what you need for the moment or make extra to keep in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Empty lip balm containers or small jars work perfectly.

DIY Lip Scrub:

  • The ratio is about 1 tablespoon of sugar to 1 tsp of honey or oil, but I don’t measure.
  • Too much honey and it gets goopy.
  • Too much olive oil and it’s too runny.

Scrub, scrub, scrub, nom, nom, nom. Beware, It’s yummy!

Once you’ve applied it, gently scrub your lips with your finger in a circular motion on the top and bottom. Either let it sit for a few minutes while you rub your lips together, wait until it melts altogether or wipe it off with cloth. You can’t really go wrong here.

Now apply some super moisturizing lip balm.

Voila.

Where’s that husband of mine….

Gift Collections- Tips on Picking the Proper Kit for Your Loved One

Birdy Botanicals-The Grapefruit & Lemongrass Collection

Birdy Botanical’s Gift Collections are a great way to introduce simple yet luxurious skin care to the people you love.

Giving the gift of great skin with easy to use, organic products is always a go to solution.

But first, why pick Birdy Botanicals for the perfect gift?

How we set ourselves apart from other skin care lines:

  • Multiple uses.
  • Natural scents that smell amazing but don’t overpower or expose you to chemical allergens.
  • Moisturizers absorb quickly and cleansers clean gently without stripping or drying. They work.
  • Premium organic ingredients.
  • Anti-aging ingredients you don’t normally find in basic skin care like Vitamin C ester and DMAE.
  • Large units are an outstanding value.

Why pick a Kit?

  • Buying multiple items gives you an automatic discount.
  • Packaged in an attractive and handy reusable gift bag with gift tag, it’s a grab and go solution.

So, which Kit do you pick?

Scent inspired

Lavender and White Tea Kit
Lavender is a very popular scent that suits men and women. But despite it’s amazing popularity lavender is well known enough that people have formed a definite opinion about it. If you’ve heard them shout to the world “I love lavender” this is a natch!

Grapefruit and Lemongrass Kit
Grapefruit and lemongrass is a very light citrus scent with a lemongrass undertones. If you are unsure of your person’s scent preference I would recommend this.

Created for the variety of our skin’s moisture needs

Complete Moisture Kit
This Gift Kit was inspired by helping with all moisture needs from head to toe. From light to intense this is a selection to suit any person and everyone on your list.

The Essential Moisture Kit
This gift kit contains the basics for moisture needs. It’s a great choice for accomplishing one stop shopping for multiple people all for the price of a nice bottle of wine.

Something every person can use

Room Perfume Kit
Made with Essential oils, Birdy Botanicals Room Perfume’s neutralize odors rather then covering them or making them worse like synthetic fragrance oils. There are 3 scents included. It’s a coveted and easy hostess gift and a go-to solution for anyone that if you’re unsure of their skin care preferences. Your giftee can use one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen and one in the room of their choice.

Selections to suit a routine or for pampering

The Gym Kit
Inspired by products that are easily portable and with multiple uses that were handy at the gym. This is a basic but comprehensive kit that has 3 product that would work towards a basic skin care routine.

The Day Spa Kit- NEW!
Inspired by the day spa experience, this collection enables you or your loved one a day-spa experience over and over all for less then 1 visit to an actual day spa. This kit is not online yet so email me if you’d like to order it.
Includes*:
3-in-1 Gel Cleanser lavender and white tea
Detoxifying Toner
Blue Clay Masque
Anti-aging Face Serum
*Customizable but may affect cost
$69 ($82 value)