Summer Essentials - Skincare Edition

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The fact is the majority of commercially-produced beauty items come packed with artificial colours, fragrances and preservatives like parabens that can easily be absorbed through the skin’s pores, potentially causing a range of negative long-term health side effects.  That's partly why I decided to go back to the basics. Natural and organic skincare combines essential vitamins and minerals which heal and restore our skin—without harming us or our earth. My holy grail of natural skincare goes as follow:

Coffee Scrub

Grounded coffee beans don't just wake your brain up. It helps tighten the skin which can reduce the appearance of puffy eyes because caffeine restricts blood vessels causing the swelling and inflammation to decrease. Exfoliating not only removes dead skin but improves circulation, helps minimize pores and fights premature aging of the skin. Did I mention this company is Calgary-based? And for the gentlemen reading this, there's something for you here. Shop the rest of Simply Polished Bath + Body collection here

African Black Soap

Rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, the soap's core ingredients are plantain peels, cocoa pods, coconut oil, palm kernel oil and  shea butter. This unique combination of ingredients also means it is excellent for reducing the appearance of acne scars,  past skin wounds, and even stretch marks. My favourite part was and still is unmasking the glow my skin has right after using this face wash. Shop hair and skincare at Nyla.

Detox Charcoal Bar Soap

The detoxing powers of activated charcoal are no longer a secret! If you're new to natural skin care or just looking to hit the reset button, this soap will provide a deep clean that breaks down toxins, congestion and debris trapped inside your pores. What I love most about using this product is that it leaves my skin hydrated and feeling re-energized. The charcoal bar works great for all skin types and ages.   

Hemp Oil

What do you do if your skin is just struggling? Maybe you have clogged pores or dryness all at once. Hemp oil is soothing while providing just the right amount of moisture. For instance, the environment I live in is very dry and hemp oil is one of the best natural moisturizer because of its rich content in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. I've also learned that my skin is sensitive and using this oil has a calming effect, giving relief from any sudden skin inflammation.  

Jojoba Oil

This oil is noncomedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores. Although we usually think oil that sits on our skin is what causes breakouts — jojoba oil works as a protectant and cleanser. It is rich in iodine, which fights harmful bacteria growth that leads to breakouts and explains why jojoba oil is primarily used to treat acne, psoriasis, sunburn and chapped skin. The antioxidants present also soothe fine lines, wrinkles and naturally slow down other signs of aging. 

Rosehip Oil

Another oil! Can you tell I've ditched most cream moisturizers by now? I love this one because overtime, it helps reduce and lighten scars or other skin blemishes. Acne scarring is a target of mine so this product is my go-to. Containing one of the highest amount of vitamin C and its antioxidant's power, rose hip oil enhances cell regeneration as well as promotes collagen production. Did you know it is also considered a 'dry oil'? Meaning the skin absorbs it fast and doesn't leave your skin oily. 

Witch Hazel

The bark, twigs and leaves of the witch hazel plant are used to extract active properties known as tannins and polyphenols which are added either to water to produce distilled witch hazel extract. It’s the tannins in witch hazel extract that make it a natural astringent, as they help to remove excess oil from the skin. That’s why it’s considered one of the best natural acne treatments out there. Found this gem grocery shopping at Blush Lane Organic Market and I use it as a toner after my face has been washed with either soaps mentioned above and air-dried.

Pink Clay Mask

Made with French pink clay, a mixture of the white and red kaolin clays, making it an idea balance for those who need a bit of oil-vacuuming and gentle exfoliation. This light scented mask ideal for dry, sensitive skin helps to balance uneven skin tone. Tip: Mix 1 tbsp of the pink clay mask with a few drops of the witch hazel, apply, then let it dry for about 10 minutes. Do the touch test if needed. Rinse with mild water.  Repeat once to twice a week. Shop NIU BODY's full line of cruelty-free products here

PS: Everything on this list is under $20 and can be found at most Winners unless stated otherwise.