Archive | July, 2013

The benefits of Pumpkin for the skin!

21 Jul

For that youthful glow and healthy skin, you may not have to look any farther than your pantry. Pumpkin is known to have many benefits for our health both internally and externally. One of my most popular and loved Skincare treatments that I utilize in the spa is my pumpkin peel from PCA skin.


This particular peel is very strong, but suitable for oily, acne skin, and aging skin with pigmentation issues. Due to the strength of this peel, it is not available to the general public and is only available as a professional treatment.
Often I get asked if there is any type of pumpkin mask that would be ideal for home use, and the answer is yes. You can safely make your own pumpkin masks to use at home to receive some of the benefits you would get a the spa. Just remember, your at home mask will not do the same as a spa treatment due to the strength of the ingredients, but it will definitely get your skin glowing and renewed!

Pumpkin is rich is vitamins, alpha hydroxy, and enzymes. More specifically they contain vitamin c which naturally lightens and brightens, vitamin a which encourages cell turnover, and vitamin e which moisturizers. In addition to those vitamins, pumpkin is also rich in zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, and beta carotene to name just a few. In order for our skin to continually look young and renewed, we need to encourage the dead skin to come off, and encourage the healthy cells to form. Normal cells take about 28 days to regenerate, and this slows down as we age. Stress, diet, lack of sleep, smoking, and sun exposure can also slow this regeneration down.This is typically why most facial treatments are recommended every 4-6 weeks to ensure quality skin maintenance. Alpha hydroxy acids break down the glue ( or intercellular cement) that hold that dead skin cells together, and enzymes typically digest the dead cells.

Using a pumpkin mask once a month at home can greatly improve your skin. For acneic skin, this would be suitable for once every three weeks.


Using the recipe below, mix all the ingredients and leave on slightly damp skin for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with warm water, followed by a cool water rinse to close the pores. A gentle, moisturizing cream to follow will enhance the treatment. Please avoid directly under the eyes, and sides of the nose. Do not apply to neck or chest.

1/2 can organic canned pumpkin (or fresh pumpkin that is boiled and mashed)
1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1tablespoon lemon juice (fresh lemon)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon honey

If you have any allergies to honey, you can omit this step and use skin grade aloe vera gel.

Start off leaving the mask on for a shorter time period to make certain your skin will tolerate the pumpkin, and gradually work your way up to the 15 minutes.

Please let me know if you try this mask and your thoughts…now get glowing!!



Eye cream reviews

17 Jul

“How do I get rid of the bags and dark circles or wrinkles under my eyes?” Is one of the most asked questions I hear at the spa. As a result, I am always on a quest to find a great eye cream.

This month I will be reviewing Eye excellence from PCA skin, and Glo therapeutics Vital eye cream.

Lets start with Glo.

I found this to be a great size eye cream for the value, since its in the $37-55 dollar range online for a .5 ounce size.

Scent: mild, very crisp and refreshing

Use: I used this product twice a day for the last two weeks. It is essentially very hydrating and I did notice a difference in the puffiness and wrinkling under my eyes. I wasn’t sure if I noticed a whole lot with the dark circles, but overall my eyes looked brighter.


Overall rating 3 of 5 stars.

Now on to the eye excellence with PCA.

I found this eye cream to be exceptional. At a range of $35-50 dollars online for the same .5 ounce size, I felt like this cream lasted longer and was slightly more effective.

Scent: clean, fresh

Use: I used it twice a day for two weeks and noticed a considerable difference in my under eye area. My main concerns are dehydration and dark circles, and within a few days I noticed a significant difference. It’s yet another wonderful product from this line. I even checked the reviews online and saw that it was highly rated.


Overall rating of 4 stars out of 5

The no shampoo challenge!

4 Jul

Every once in awhile I come across a beauty trend or article that sparks my interest. Typically, its Skincare or makeup related but I’ve become more obsessed with natural beauty and hair care products. My hair has always been an issue, or I should say, after I had my son I’ve had issues with my hair. Plus I constantly go back and forth with highlights and dark hair so my hair is stressed.

Issues like 1. Dryness 2. Flakey Scalp 3. Frizziness (I have naturally wavy hair) 4. Breakage 5. Hair Loss When Brushing 6. Dullness (unless I really layer on the glossing serums or oils)

But the biggest issue for me has been sensitivity. I have tried early every shampoo on the market in all price ranges – natural, organic, etc and after about three weeks my scalp is already irritated. I was nearly ready to give up and just settle on what I was using (Enjoy Shampoo and Conditioner and the Hair and Skin oil). This was until I heard of a crazy little challenge called “The No Poo Challenge.”
Before I go into detail, let me say that I HAD to change the name. I prefer the Lose the Sham challenge, because it’s more more accurate considering we are all programmed to believe that we NEED shampoo for our hair to be clean and healthy. The truth is, shampoo is a detergent and we are stripping our hair of its natural oils. When we do this we have to put them back in. Conditioner fills that role as we layer synthetic and heavy wax substances on our hair.

So I read more, and found others who have done the challenge and will never go back to shampoo ever again. It was a little scary at first to consider. What could it hurt, right?

Here is my journey (complete with photos) of my no shampoo challenge that I started in mid may, and am still doing.

1/4 cup Baking Soda
6 Cups hot Water
*Let dissolve and then work into scalp, will not lather. Feels almost Slimy. Rinse well.

1/4 Apple cider vinegar
3/4 water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons aloe vera gel (skin grade)
12 drops peppermint essential oil
*put on ends mostly, then small amount on scalp. Feel the tingle!! Rinse well

Optional: use a boar bristle brush to brush your hair and scalp at night to stimulate the natural oil production and distribute through ends.

Wash One Week One: (Photo on day one of wash)


My hair wasn’t so great here. It’s dry everywhere and oily on my scalp. Really rethinking the challenge at about the week and half point. Read someone else used orange oil to speed up the detox stage. Trying to add that in at this point. But adding a few drops of enjoy hair and skin oil.

After the second wash (photo on day 8 of challenge)


Hair is already getting shinier and smoother. The main thing I am noticing is ZERO scalp irritation or flakiness and also no flyaways or frizz! Sticking it out!

After the third wash (day 14 of challenge)


Shiny happy hair so far and really starting to love the results. This is air dry with no frizz and a pretty natural wave. It’s soft, smells good and I love it so far!

After the fourth wash (day 16 of challenge)


Really loving my hair. Less breakage, no frizz, shine, almost dreading my hair appointment next week because I know she will have to shampoo it!!

**Update** Hair appointment – My hairdresser even noticed a huge difference in my hair!! Big plus for this challenge!!

Shampoo set me back about two washes but was very easy to catch back up to amazing hair again.

I can even do water rinses in between shampoos and still not use any other products and be tangle and frizz free!

Wash Five (36 days of challenge)


Looking great again! This is 5 days after I washed my hair and still looks great!

I am now in about two months on this challenge and I am the happiest I have been in a long time with my hair. I honestly can say I will NEVER go back to regular shampoo or conditioner again.

Here is a photo of my hair from a professional shoot I did last week. Can you see the difference from when I started? I can !

If you have any questions or need encouragement, please let me know!! Don’t miss out on the hair you have always wanted, try your own challenge. The first two weeks are rough, but its worth it!


New photo from 7/21/13 the day after I washed it, with NO styling product, NO artificial shine, NO flat iron, just brushing!!