The best Face Mask for your skin type

Natural face masks for every skin type |

Hottest Beauty Trend for 2017

Google recently came out with the Beauty Trends 2017 report which studied the most popular beauty search terms by users in the U.S., Japan, and France.

Guess what beauty term was searched the most?

Face masks!

The report also highlighted the top skin concerns people use face masks to treat, which are: oily skin, hydration, scarring, and acne/ blackheads. Check out below for my favourite masks to treat these specific skin concerns. 

For more, watch my segment on CTV Your Morning talking all about these face mask trends and the pros and cons of each.

Top pick for oily skin: Clay Masks
Province Apothecary Detoxifying + Clarifying Clay Mask
Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay Mask

Clay masks for oily skin |

Top Pick for dry/ dehydrated skin: Sheet masks
100% Pure Caffeine Mask 
100% Bright Eyes Masks


Top picks for scarring/ hyper-pigmentation: Exfoliating peel masks
Herbivore Botanicals Brighten Mask
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

All natural exfoliating peel masks for scaring |
Top Picks for blackheads/congestion: Charcoal masks

DIY Mask using Organika charcoal powder 
1 tsp charcoal
1 tsp clay
1 tsp raw honey
2 tsp water

Mix all together, apply to clean skin and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Go Makeup-free with these skincare tips

How to Go Makeup Free Preview Image

Going makeup-free always seems to be a goal we all have, but rarely do. We always feel that we have something to cover up or conceal.

You will never have flawless skin (because that doesn’t exist outside of photo filters!) but you can achieve healthy skin that will be radiant with, or without makeup. Try these tips to get your skin on the road to being healthy!

Improve Texture

Whether you’re wearing makeup or not, the texture of your skin can be quite noticeable and says a lot about your skin’s health.

  1. Exfoliate: Use a scrub to polish the skin, and an alpha hydroxy acid to help improve overall tone. For example, lactic acid can be very anti-inflammatory and can help diminish fine lines and mild scars. Try: Pure + Simple Lactic Acid. 
  2. Use a targeted serum: Dehydration is one of the main causes of rough skin and a serum with hyaluronic acid can help to boost the skin’s overall moisture level. Try: Viva Organics Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids for acne during pregnancy |

Get a Natural Glow

Combat dull and lacklustre skin using these two strategies: 

      1. Add fat: Just like a good diet, fats are essential to keep skin healthy. When skin is healthy it actually glows! Apply a face oil after your moisturizer which will nourish cells with fatty acids and protect the skin from moisture loss and environmental damage. Try: rosehip oil for dry skin, or seabuckthorn oil for combination skin. 
      2. Use a targeted serum for brightening: Vitamin C is a fantastic option to help brighten and fade pigmentation. Try: FitGlow Super C Serum.

Fitglow Super C Serum |

Increase circulation

Healthy skin need nutrients to thrive. Increased circulation can help deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin to keep it nourished. When skin is nourished it has a natural healthy rosy glow. 

    1. Try facial massage: Spend some time massaging your facial oil using an up and out motion. Be careful around the eyes and don’t forget about the neck!
    2. Use ingredients that will stimulate blood circulation: Try a face mask with clay or caffeine, like Province Apothecary Detoxifying + Clarifying Clay Mask, or 100% Pure Caffeine sheet mask. 

Clay masks for oily skin |

Avoid these ingredients before going out in the sun

2015-05-12 Sunshine When I was younger I was convinced that I was allergic to the sun. While my friends were out reveling in the summer’s rays, I would be cowering in the shade afraid to expose my skin because every time I did, I would get itchy patches all over my body. It didn’t matter how much sunscreen I used, they would always appear.

It occurred to me one day that perhaps I wasn’t allergic to the sun, but rather allergic to an ingredient in my sunscreen. Ahhhh of course, that makes more sense.

Photosensitivity can occur after an ingredient is applied topically or ingested and the skin is exposed to sunlight – causing red, itchy rashes, sunburns, and/or hyperpigmentation.

For me, oxybenzone -a very common ingredient in sunscreens- is my offender. When I apply a sunscreens with this ingredient and expose my skin to the sun, an immune reaction occurs causing a rash.

You don’t need to have a predisposed allergy to certain ingredients though in order for your skin to react in the sun. There are many common ingredients (including some medications) that can cause your skin to be hyper-sensitive, burn, and over produce melanin (aka brown spots).

Over the next few months, as you spend more time in that glorious sunshine keep in mind these few products that could cause photosensitivity:

This might be an obvious one, since you probably already know that any exfoliation exposes fresh ‘baby’ skin to the elements – but it’s worth a reminder. Even if you didn’t just go for a chemical peel, check the ingredients in your home care products because you may not realize that your cleanser or moisturizer contain an exfoliating acid like salicylic, lactic, or glycolic. Read more on Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Never wear perfume and expose your skin to the sun. I’m not even going to get into why you shouldn’t wear synthetic perfumes in the first place (which can contain hundreds of different chemicals) but if you do, certainly avoid them while in the sun. Perfumes contain chemical ingredients that cause pigment-creating cells to over stimulate, resulting in brown patches where exposed. Not a pretty sight. Instead, try spraying perfume on clothing, or better yet, wear a natural perfume that uses essential oils – just avoid any with citrus oils.

Citrus Essential Oils
In my latest post on essential oils, I touched on some things to watch out for, but most importantly when going out in the sun avoid citrus oils which can cause skin irritation, sunburns and permanent brown spots. Also remember to check the ingredients in your products, you may not be aware of citrus oils in moisturizers, toners, or aftershave (bergamot often gets overlooked). Oh, and while you’re at it, please, please, please avoid using lemon juice as a DIY toner and skin brightener. The acids in lemon juice are far too harsh for the skin and can cause more damage than good – especially while out in the sun.



Skincare 101: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

AHA exfoliators

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)?

I know. You hear the word acid and you immediately think of an evil, acid-wielding villain from Batman.

No fear. Acids, specifically alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), are derived from fruit and dairy, and in my opinion, offer the best way to exfoliate the skin.

They typically come in a mask or serum form, and are sometimes called ‘fruit acids’. Rather than ‘mechanically’ loosening dead skin cells (typical of an exfoliating scrub), AHAs work to shed dead skin cells by dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds them together.

This may sound harsh, but in most cases (such as with lactic acid) AHAs can be fairly gentle and moisturizing. I particularly like them for treating acne since there is no physical abrasion (unlike a scrub) that could potential rupture pimples, spread bacteria, and over stimulate already red and inflamed skin. AHAs are also fantastic for clearing up congestion (black heads and white heads), brightening complexions, and lightening scars and dark spots.

Here are some common types:

Lactic acid: derived from corn or dairy products. This is considered a fairly gentle acid, and is good for most skin types; it’s also a natural humectant (meaning it retains moisture) and is therefore hydrating to the skin. This is my AHA of choice, and I am in LOVE with Pure + Simple’s Lactic Acid. I use it 2-3 times per week either all over my face, or just in spots that are prone to congestion.

Malic acid: most commonly derived from apples. It is less irritating than citric and glycolic acid, and is also a natural humectant.

Citric acid: derived from citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, and oranges. Excellent for brightening, and targeting age spots and scars.

Glycolic acid: most commonly derived from sugar cane. It has a small molecular structure that enables it to penetrates deep into the skin. However, it can be highly irritating and drying if used incorrectly, or too regularly.

Home care products will always have a higher pH level (aka less acidic) and contain a lower concentration of acid than professional use, however you should look for something with at least a 5% acid concentration and a pH between 3.5-4 for the product to be effective.

A little tingle is good . . . but a burning sensation is not so good!

VERY IMPORTANT: Always follow product instructions, avoid over use, immediately follow up with a moisturizer, and diligently wear sunscreen; as is the case with any exfoliation!!! If you’ve never used AHA products before, start with 1 application per week to avoid irritation and then gradually increase to 2-3 times per week.

When in doubt, consult a professional skin care therapist, esthetician, or dermatologist.

Have a question? Just ask! Write in the comments section below, or connect with me through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.