Skincare based on your genetics: LifeDNA

One of the best gifts I got this past year was a gift to 23andMe, the DNA testing service. I was so surprised by my results – some things jived with the family history, other things did not! My whole family ended up joining in on the fun, and we really had a blast. It was great to see that everyone’s results were consistent, so I am definitely a believer in the service. I think that’s why I was so fascinated by the concept put forth by LifeDNA, a skin care company that designs personalized skin care around your DNA.

sample

LifeDNA doesn’t collect a saliva sample and analyze it like 23andMe does – you actually need to have this information from 23andMe or Ancestry.com already. Then you can download it to LifeDNA and they will take the results and analyze them to come up with the skin care products that work best for you. While companies like 23andMe focus on your roots, LifeDNA focuses on your skin needs – are you prone to sun spots? Wrinkles? Do you have a vitamin C deficiency? Are you prone to blemishes? How does your skin react to environmental stress?  Once the analysis is done, the company chooses the skin care products that best suits your particular needs and sends those products to you.

LifeDNA Power Pack – this came in my Essential Beauty Box!!

When you order, you first go through a questionnaire that asks about your height, weight, skin issues, and it lets you input your results from 23andMe or Ancestry.com if you have them.

LifeDNA Essential Beauty Box

I got the Essential Beauty Box, which has a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. A 3 month supply is $199. It averages out to $22.11 per product per month, which is an excellent value. You could also get just the moisturizer, a 3 month supply for $99 (a little over $33 a month) or go big time with the Deluxe Beauty Box and get a cleanser, toner, moisturizer AND a DNA personalized serum and mask for $289 (averages to $19.27 per product per month). All of the products are natural and organic.

LifeDNA Toner

I have been testing these products for a month and I like them very much. My skin is very happy. The toner is in a spray bottle which is a bonus. It’s very refreshing and does a great job of prepping my skin for the rest of my products without being too drying.

LIfeDNA Cleanser

LIfeDNA Cleanser

The cleanser is a foam cleanser, which isn’t my favorite type because I like to use my Luna and a foam cleanser doesn’t work as well with that type of machine. However this is a really good cleanser. It dissolves every bit of dirt and makeup and it leaves my skin feeling soft and moist.

LifeDNA Rejuvenating Vitamin C Moisturizer

LifeDNA Rejuvenating Vitamin C Moisturizer

The Vitamin C Moisturizer is my favorite of the three products. This is truly heavenly – pillowy soft, sinks it quickly, leaves skin feeling absolutely fabulous!! All three products are great, but the moisturizer is by far the superstar.  Fantastic.

Overall, I think that the concept is really cool. If you have your DNA results from 23andMe or Ancestry.com it’s fun to give it a whirl. I liked the toner and cleanser, but honestly I would only repurchase the moisturizer. LifeDNA is a young company and I believe they are working toward doing their own genetic testing – once they are able to do that, I think their company is going to go big.

You can check them out online at lifedna.com.  – Lisa

LifeDNA Toner Ingredients

LifeDNA Cleanser Ingredients

LifeDNA Rejuvenating Vitamin C Moisturizer Ingredients

An answer for blackheads and wrinkles: Vie Collection Retinopur

What an interesting skin care product!  Vie Collection RETINOPUR Wrinkles – Imperfections Retinol Fluid ($138) addresses two of my major skin concerns – blackheads and wrinkles.  I can’t think of another product that does that.  Talk about focusing in on exactly what needs to be addressed…and I always love anything that multi-tasks.

sample

Vie Collection Retinopur

The main ingredient in RETINOPUR, which is a light serum, is encapsulated retinol.  This “encourages an anti-wrinkle action as it increases collagen and elastin and a purifying action, exfoliating and unclogging pores to reduce blackheads. The encapsulated delivery of retinol provides a prolonged action of the ingredient over time, limiting the irritation sometimes associated with this cosmeceutical ingredient.” Here are the key ingredients:

Encapsulated Retinolpure retinol is encapsulated, which allows it to be well tolerated by the skin. Provides anti-wrinkle action to promote the synthesis of collagen and elastin, promotes cell renewal and smooths the skin’s micro relief. Provides an anti-imperfection action by promoting exfoliation and the elimination of dead skin cells by unclogging pores and eliminating blackheads.
Lipoaminoacidbi-vectored active ingredient to target skin imbalances, reduce the production of sebum, the number of blackheads, inflammation and bacteria on the skin.

Vie Collection Retinopur

If you have oily skin this is a great product for you.  The lightweight serum is absorbed quickly and easily, and the retinol increases collagen and elastin while also exfoliating and unclogging congested pores.  The serum leaves my skin soft and matte, keeping oily areas under control.  I apply it every morning and night after cleansing as my treatment before moisturizing.

Vie Collection did a study with the RETINOPUR, and here are the results:

ANTI-IMPERFECTION EFFECT IMMEDIATELY*
– Clearer skin for more than 7 women out of 10
AFTER 7 DAYS*
– Fewer spots and pimples: 83%
– Less visible pores: 78%
IN 1 MONTH
– Pores: – 30%**
– Blackheads: – 45%**
– Refined skin texture: 100%*
– The skin is more even and imperfections are diminished for more than 9 women out of 10*
ANTI-WRINKLE EFFECT AFTER 1 MONTH*
– Wrinkles are less numerous
– Skin is smoothed
– Wrinkles are less marked
– The face is more youthful (for more than 9 women out of 10)
*Satisfaction test performed on 23 women after twice daily application for 28 days.

** Clinical scores for 23 women after twice daily application for 28 days.

Vie Collection Retinopur

There is a fragrance – it’s a pleasant floral, citrusy fragrance that isn’t overwhelming, but if you can’t tolerate fragrance this would not be a skin care product for you.  Otherwise, I highly recommend it.  I’ve had excellent results.  My skin is much clearer, extractions are very easy and my pores are less congested.  And I definitely see an improvement in my fine lines and wrinkles.  The packaging is perfect with the airless pump, so the efficacy of the retinol is kept intact.

Vie Collection RETINOPUR Wrinkles – Imperfections Retinol Fluid can be purchased in select spas and online at www.lespausa.com.  – Lisa

Two great options for skin care pain relief from Desert Harvest and Green Goo

Rashes, bruises, inflammation…it’s so irritating!  Especially when you really don’t want to go with anything medicated.  I’ve got great news for you today – if you suffer from chapped skin, inflamed skin, rashes, swelling, arthritis, bumps, or bruises, I’ve found two terrific options that you can turn to – and they are both all natural and organic.

Desert Harvest Aloe Vera Gelé and Green Goo Pain Relief Arnica Salve

samples

The first one is Desert Harvest Aloe Vera Gelé (8 oz. $17).  This is a wonderful cold-pressed gel that is made with 80% pure aloe vera concentrate.  This is a super high concentration of the good stuff from the aloe vera plant – you know, the stuff that has all the healing properties that soothes inflammation, relieves pain, and helps skin heal.  It’s the highest possible therapeutic level you can get and is 100% natural.  You can use this anywhere on your body:

  • As a soothing topical treatment for vulvodynia (even better when it’s refrigerated).
  • On the external urethra area when it is irritated by frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • On sunburns, wind burns, and minor kitchen burns.
  • On skin rashes, chapped hands, and insect bites.
  • Under makeup to improve the condition of the skin on your face and neck.

    Desert Harvest Aloe Vera Gelé

You only need a small amount.  It’s especially wonderful on angry, irritated skin when you store it in the refrigerator. It’s also great for helping to heal acne, especially the kind that gets crusty as it is healing.  I highly recommend Desert Harvest Aloe Vera GeléDesert Harvest has some other skin care products that feature aloe vera that look interesting although I haven’t tried any of them yet.

Green Goo Pain Relief Arnica Salve

My other recommendation is for Green Goo Pain Relief Arnica Salve (travel tin regularly $8.95, now only $6.97). Green Goo is a woman owned and family operated business. They use homeopathic herbal wisdom and natural ingredients to create fantastic body care products. All ingredients are organic, and Green Goo is a certified B Corporation, committed to donating a percentage of their profits to people who are instrumental in making our world a better place for everyone.

Green Goo has lots of first aid products that don’t increase resistance to antibiotics. They also have some really cool looking products for ‘fur and feathers’, homeopathic pet care items. I previously reviewed their Cinnamon & Aloe Mighty Handscrub Bar ($5.95) and 100% All Natural Deodorant Travel Stick ($5.95) both of which are fabulous.

Green Goo Pain Relief Arnica Salve

I’ve been testing their Pain Relief Arnica Salve.  Arnica is a real miracle ingredient. If you exercise and have sore muscles after, if you have arthritis or suffer from stiff, swollen joints, bruise easily, or even if you get a bug bite, arnica is the answer to your prayers. Here are the benefits are arnica:

  • Help reduce pain related to sore muscles and joints
  • Help heal bruises faster
  • Aid in reducing swelling and inflammation
  • Help speed recovery
  • Help ease joint stiffness and aches
  • Help reduce swelling from insect bites

    Green Goo Pain Relief Arnica Salve

Pain Relief Arnica Salve is a homeopathic salve of arnica infused olive oil.  It contains nothing artificial so there isn’t anything to dilute the effectiveness of the arnica.  I find the salve to be extremely effective – it absorbs very easily and the arnica goes right to work, relieving sore muscles and inflammation.  This particular blend also helps with circulation which is terrific for skin and overall health.

When your skin is hurting, these two products are fabulous natural, organic options that really work.  Give them a try, you (and your skin) will be very happy that you did!  – Lisa

Desert Harvest Aloe Vera Gelé INGREDIENTS: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Carbomer (Natural Thickener), Sodium Hydroxide (Natural pH Controller), Vegetable Glycerin, Leuconostic/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate (Natural Antimicrobial), Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Extract, Populus Tremuloides (Aspen) Bark Extract, Gluconolactone (Natural Skin Conditioner).

Green Goo Pain Relief Arnica Salve INGREDIENTS:  *Olive Oil, *Arnica Flowers, *Beeswax and *Menthol Crystals.  Essential Oils of Rosemary, Ginger, Peppermint, and Cinnamon. *Organic.

Pamper yourself head to toe for Valentine’s Day!

Pamper Yourself from Head to Toe for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is a week away so why not take the time now to plan a day of pampering for yourself? I know, I know…lots of us are hoping for some love from someone special, but I say take care of yourself first. Then whatever you receive from others is icing on the cake.

Here are some wonderful products that will pamper you from head to toe, including one that will even pamper your best furry friend!

Yuni Wind Down Wonder

Let’s start with your body. Yuni has the most amazing warming body oil called Wind Down Wonder ($35 for 4 oz). This is a dry oil that warms the skin and melts away tension and stress while gently wrapping it in a gorgeous, soft scent. The oils include Copaiba Oil for releasing tense muscles, Inka Omega Oil for conditioning and protecting skin, Radish Seed and Paracress Plant Extract for pain relief. I love how Wind Down Wonder isn’t messy since it’s a spray oil, so you just spray it on and massage it in.  The scent is fantastic, a mix of neroli, chamomile, bergamot and palmarosa…it’s soft and soothing, transporting you immediately to a high end spa. Divine!

KarynG Complete Broad Spectrum SPF 50 in Light/Medium

KarynG Complete Broad Spectrum SPF 50 in Light/Medium

KarynG Complete Broad Spectrum SPF 50 in Light/Medium

Next up – face. I think this product is just shy of a miracle, no kidding.  KarynG Complete Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($75 for 1.7 fl. oz) is pretty incredible. Not only does it have all the broad spectrum protection you could ever want, it’s also one heck of a treatment product, reducing wrinkles by 53% after 7 days – seriously!! It also reduces redness, evens out skin tone, minimizes the appearance of pores, and is a moisturizer. The tint is just enough to qualify this as a tinted moisturizer, perfect for those low maintenance days. It’s also a terrific primer. With ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc, and iron oxide for UVA/UVB protection, echinacea purpurea extract as an antioxidant to fight wrinkles, and coconut oil for moisture, you can’t go wrong. It comes in two shades, Light/Medium and Medium/Dark.

Volaire Uplift Volumizing Mist

 Finally, how about hair? Volaire has this incredible volume-boosting mist called Uplift ($27 for 6 fl. oz) that takes my fine hair to new heights. If you have fine hair, you want this – it gives even super fine hair tons of bounce and lift without being stiff or tacky.  The formula has microspheres that attach to each strand of hair, actually creating more space in between each strand which is why you end up with more volume. It’s the coolest thing and wow does it make for a great hair day. Other benefits include lots of shine, less oiliness, and less static.

Tangle Angel Brush

Tangle Angel Brush

Since we are talking hair, I think a beautiful detangling brush is certainly appropriate. One that suits you, like the Tangle Angel.  You are always taking care of everyone else, why not get a hairbrush that takes care of you? This brush is heat resistant, water resistant, anti-static, and anti-bacterial. It’s beautiful and it works! The shape is ergonomically correct to easily detangle hair as painlessly as possible. The brush comes in eight different color options. And check out the accompanying brush for your best friend!

Pet Angel Baby Keyring

Pet Angel Baby Keyring

Josie enjoying the Pet Angel Baby Keyring

This is Josie, my mom’s Shiatsu. She loves her new brush and my mom loves how it comes with a handy key chain. So cute!!  Tangle Angel has full size brushes for pet grooming as well as these Pet Angel Baby Keyrings. You can find all of their beautiful products at TangleAngel.com.
Take care of yourself this Valentine’s Day from head to toe with these awesome products…and don’t forget your furry puppies and kitties too!  – Lisa

Got wrinkles? Get Vie Time Control Deep Wrinkle Cream

 

I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to write about this gem of a face cream. As of this morning I have used every single iota of the fluffy white fabulousness and I am currently staring at the empty jar in dismay. I’ve got nothing but raves for my Vie Collection TIME CONTROL Deep Wrinkles – Firming EGF Cream ($189.50).

sample

The inspiration behind Vie Collection TIME CONTROL Deep Wrinkles – Firming EGF Cream was Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) injections, so the mission of this wrinkle cream is to eradicate really deep wrinkles, as well as lost elasticity, volume, and sagging facial contours. The formula is truly elegant, with EGF-like peptide, pro-collagen peptides and trace elements and minerals. So, what the heck are EGF’s, you ask? Good question. They are proteins that we naturally have in our skin – they help keep skin looking great by boosting cell growth through bringing together collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin. However, as we get older, our supply of EGF decreases, which is why we develop wrinkles and saggy skin.

Vie Time Control Deep Wrinkle Cream

Vie Time Control Deep Wrinkle Cream

This is really some space age stuff – here’s more explanation of the ingredients:

EGF-Like Peptide

Has the same molecular structure as the EGF
Cell recovery is faster and more efficient
Result: wrinkles are filled, the skin is smoother

Pro-Collagen peptide

Mimics the action of peptides after that are naturally present in the skin
Attaches themselves to the cells
Stimulates collagen production
Result: the skin is re-elastic and firm

Trace elements and minerals

Stimulates intracellular ATP synthesis
Stimulates cell growth
Stimulates cell metabolism
Result: the skin is revitalized, strengthened and returned full of energy

Vie Time Control Deep Wrinkle Cream

 

It does have a light floral/musky scent that quickly dissipates. I found that it made my skin feel amazing – tighter, firmer,  and most definitely less noticeable wrinkles. That is becoming increasingly more important the older I get!! Now, I know the price is spendy but this is a very large jar of product, and when you compare it to other big name skin care lines the price point is actually right in line with them, particularly when you consider the ingredients. Just resist the urge to dig your fingers into the snowy white cream – use a scoop so you don’t accidentally get any unwanted bacteria in your moisturizer.

Right now, if you purchase Vie Time Control at LeSpaUSA you also get a free purse mirror! Sounds like fun to me! You can purchase the Vie Collection at spas as well as online at www.lespausa.com.  – Lisa

Mindful beauty with Yuni Winter Wonderland

Baby, it’s cold outside! However if you are a workout junkie your temperature is rising as you work it and sweat, whether it’s interval training, yoga, core barre workouts or Crossfit. Yuni has fantastic travel kits that are perfect for any workout bag – they have everything you need for a shower without any water at all. You can design your own or go with ones they have designed. Today I have the WinterWonderland– Reset & Rejuvenate Kit ($39) to tell you about and it’s a fantastic little set that has everything to clean you up and cool you down.

sample/affiliate links

This awesome set has some of Yuni’s top sellers, including Shower Sheets (Body Wipes), Chillax (Muscle Recovery Gel), Flash Bath (No-Rinse Body Cleanser), and Rise and Chill (Cooling Body Gel). This handy set comes in a beautiful ocean blue zippered bag that says YUNI Mindful Beauty for an Active Life. The bag is made from a very sturdy canvas that will withstand any sort of shenanigans.

Here are four products included that will take you from your workout to your workday without the benefit a real shower, no problem.

Shower Sheets:  There are three Shower Sheets included. These are large body wipes that clean your body, leaving it feeling fresh and smelling good. I love these especially when traveling. The body wipe is truly large enough to clean your whole ‘bad self’ – it’s like a shower without the water. This is what you want after a particularly grueling workout, or after swimming to get rid of that chlorine smell when you don’t have time or access to a shower.

Flash Bath:  This is a foamy no-bath body cleanser. Just squirt some foam into your hands, rub over skin, and it instantly takes away odor and leaves skin super soft thanks to a blend of antibacterial Neem extract and aloe vera. It has a clean, outdoorsy scent that is pleasant and sticks around for a while. It’s amazing when you are in a big hurry because it dries almost instantly and really cleans the skin.

Chillax Muscle Recovery Gel:  The roller ball gently massages sore muscles while the gel cools and soothes sore, inflamed muscles almost immediately. Fair Trade Green Tea Extract and arnica calm down inflammation, and peppermint eases pain. It smells amazing and really helps the post-workout muscle blues. It’s fantastic on my neck and shoulders after arm day, and essential for my thighs and calves after leg day.

Rise and Chill also soothes tired muscles and helps you get going again right away. It’s a gel that absorbs quickly, cooling your body down and giving it tons of hydration, energizing tired muscles and making them feel terrific.

I continue to be extremely impressed with YUNI Beauty.  All the items are portable multi-taskers that are not only sustainable, they are also wonderfully affordable. You can purchase everything separately and build your own kit, including the travel bags at YUNIBeauty.com.

YUNI Beauty is currently available at YUNIBeauty.com, select YogaWorks, Credo BeautyBeautyKind.comSephora.com and Sephora.ca.  – Lisa

My go-to for crazy winter skin? Paula’s Choice.

I don’t know what it is about winter but it sure makes my skin do crazy things. One day it’s so dry and itchy, the next day I have random blemishes…add into that mix wrinkles and hyperpigmentation and I am just a mess. I usually have my favorite skin care products that vary by season – products that I use in the summer when my skin is never dry and mostly oily, and products that I use in the fall and spring when I am a more predictably normal t-zone mix. But in the winter, I turn to Paula’s Choice more often than not to help my crazy lady skin get back to normal. Here are some of my favorites for my season of insanity.

samples, affiliate links

Paula’s Choice Perfect Cleansing Oil

Cleanser is an issue for me – I need something that suits my t-zone in spring and fall, and something that suits my overall oiliness in the summer. In the winter, I need something that addresses my suddenly dry skin that isn’t so rich it sends me back to the blemishes I had at 16 – no way, not unless I also get the body I had at 16.

I actually prefer the Resist Cleanser for spring and autumn and the Skin Balancing Cleanser for summer, but for winter I adore the Paula’s Choice Perfect Cleansing Oil ($25). I don’t even need a separate makeup remover, and the oils in this – sunflower and coconut – hydrate my dryness without overdoing it and making me break out. It’s fragrance-free, and a small amount mixed with warm water takes off super stubborn makeup. I use it with my Foreo Luna for amazingly clean skin regardless of its current mood.

Paula’s Choice Pore Clarifying Charcoal Gel Mask

Paula’s Choice Pore Clarifying Charcoal Gel Mask swatch

Paula’s Choice Pore Clarifying Charcoal Gel Mask swatch after drying

No matter what, in the winter my skin goes nuts and it transforms from super dry to super oily with blemishes and congested skin, seemingly from nowhere. When that happens I break out the Paula’s Choice Pore Clarifying Charcoal Gel Mask ($30) to banish the break outs on my skin.  I’ve used this for years now. The charcoal coaxes all that nasty stuff out of my pores without drying out skin, and the mask is actually a gel mask so it hydrates while purifying. My pores look smaller, I don’t look oily throughout the day, and I don’t break out – plus I don’t get that dryness that can happen with clay masks. It’s really perfect. Just apply this on clean dry skin and leave on for about 20 minutes. It doesn’t dry completely – that swatch on my hand had been there for 20 minutes when I took that photo. Oh, one more plus – this mask is so gentle you can use it every day if you want. Every single day. For real.

Paula’s Choice Rehydrating Moisture Mask

Paula’s Choice Rehydrating Moisture Mask swatch

So, my skin is certifiably nuts in the winter, right? I wake up one morning and it’s an oily, congested mess. I wake up a week later and I am as dry as the Sahara Desert. When that happens, I switch to my Paula’s Choice Rehydrating Moisture Mask ($30). This mask is like a long, tall, cool glass of water for dehydrated skin. It works immediately to moisturize and soften skin. The mask is thick and creamy and doesn’t dry hard. It has great ingredients including jojoba, vitamin E, plant oils, antioxidants, amino acids and glycerin. You can use this every day if you want, as a regular mask that you wash off after 20 minutes, or you can use it as an overnight mask. It’s glorious.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion

The real miracle product for winter from Paula’s Choice is the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion ($29). This is a skin treatment that exfoliates, moisturizes, reduces pore size, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It does all of this and quickly too – you will get results very quickly and you won’t believe how terrific those results are!! If you have dry skin and blemishes, you need this. If you also have wrinkles, my goodness, get this. If, in addition to dry skin, blemishes, and wrinkles, you also have large pores, why don’t you have this???? Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion has a pH range of 3.2–3.8. Use it after cleansing and toning – just a small amount as your treatment serum before moisturizing and it will get rid of dead skin, give you great skin texture, smaller pores, and less wrinkles. It’s fantastic.

In the winter, I also have my Paula’s Choice Lip & Body Treatment Balm ($15)  with me at all times. I reviewed this last week, you can read the full review HERE.

If you have crazy lady skin in the winter like me, definitely check out Paula’s Choice. She has loads of options that take amazing care of pretty much any skin care woe you may have!  – Lisa