Green Beauty Blog
1. Can you tell us why it is important to consider moving to slow and sustainable fashion?
2. Are there still stigmas around shopping thrift or purchasing used clothing?
3. What is your best tip for someone who is beginning to shop for used clothing.
4. With sustainability in mind, why is it important to let go of the idea of fashion trends?
5. What is one beauty ritual you cannot live without?
1. Use skin care products that prep your skin for makeup.
2. Use brushes!
3. Build your makeup
Here's what we do know about Vitamin C in the body:
Vitamin C is a water-soluble organic compound. Our bodies do not store it which means we must ingest approximately 100mg per day to maintain adequate levels (any more is simply excreted through our urine). Vitamin C is absorbed into our small intestines and is found abundantly in citrus fruits, leafy greens, and berries.
So what does it do for our bodies? Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters. It helps metabolize proteins and its antioxidant activity may reduce the risk of some cancers. Excessive exposures to UV light or pollutants (e.g., cigarette smoke and ozone) may also lower vitamin C content, primarily in the epidermis (4-6)
Vitamin C in skincare:
Vitamin C is a normal skin constituent that is found at high levels in both the dermis and epidermis (1, 2). Ascorbic Acid or L-Ascorbic Acid is the only form of Vitamin C our bodies/skin can recognize. L-Ascorbic Acid is the natural form of Vitamin C, water-soluble and the most effective anti-oxidant to protect our skin from free radicals and ultraviolet light. L-Ascorbic Acid should be formulated in ingredients with a low pH from 3-3.5 - which can make products more harsh for sensitive skin. However, L-Ascorbic Acid is not very stable in skincare formulations.
Although L-Ascorbic Acid is highly studied and proven, it loses its stability quickly when exposed to air, light, and heat, in fact, after 6 months, a product can lose 80% of its active Vitamin C. This is due to oxidization. You can tell when Vitamin C has oxidized when it starts turning orange. "Preparations with a pH below 4.0 aid in transport by promoting the uncharged form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid (11)". Typically ferulic acid is added to skincare formulations to help stabilize L-ascorbic acid.
Because of its stability issues, many skincare companies are now using derivatives of L-Ascorbic Acid. A derivative is essentially a compound that is created from a similar compound by a chemical reaction. These derivatives work by converting into L-Ascorbic acid inside of the skin. There is no real proof that derivatives of L-Ascorbic Acid work, although they have been shown to be less effective, however more stable in skincare formulations.
Some forms of Vitamin C derivatives include:
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (water-soluble): soothing, good for acne-prone skin
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (oil-soluble): great for concentrated skin brightening, hyperpigmentation, and melasma, more of a spot treatment.
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (water-soluble): for overall skin brightening
- Ascorbyl Glucoside (water-soluble): The least stable of the derivatives, but more stable than L-Ascorbic Acid.
- Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid (water-soluble): The only derivative that skin actually recognizes as L-Ascorbic Acid, is stable in water and only loses 2% active Vitamin C after 6 months.
"Stable synthetic derivatives, such as ascorbate phosphate, are considered to have limited permeability (11) and function in the skin (13, 14). Another stable lipid-soluble derivative, ascorbyl palmitate, also has limited absorption (11), and one in vitro study with cultured skin cells found that the administration of ascorbyl palmitate had some toxic effects (15)." - Vitamin C and Skin Health Oregon State University.
So does it actually work in skincare?
Here are our final thoughts on Vitamin C in skincare
It is so easy to claim that Vitamin C is incredible for the skin based on what we know to be true about the ingredient itself and what it does for the body when you consume it. However, like all non-drug ingredients, Vitamin C as a skincare ingredient is unregulated. This means any brand can make any claim about it.
Some users of Vitamin C have indeed seen visible and life-changing results from using skincare with Vitamin C, however, some have seen little to no results. At the end of the day, we want to encourage you to not simply rely on your skincare to work its magic on your skin. Eating enough Vitamin C in your diet is maybe more important for your body than applying it on your skin.
If you are going to use a skincare product with L-Ascorbic Acid in it, ensure you store it in a cool dark place and use the product within 2-3 months ( if you are using the product every single day this should be no issue). Let this be a reminder to only purchase what you need, use it up (unless it is irritating your skin).
You may still feel a bit unclear about Vitamin C, and to be truthful so are we. We will not know until more studies are done on the ingredient. In the meantime, using formulations with L-Ascorbic Acid may benefit the skin by brightening, lightening and helping promote collage - but keep eating those leafy greens and citrus fruits.
1. Do I really need this?
2. Will I actually use this product?
3. Is the face behind the brand someone I want to support?
4. Does this brand fit with my personal values?
Contain harmful chemicals? Tested on animals? vegan-friendly? sourced ethically? Low waste?
5. Does this fit within my budget? Do I want to save for this?
I'm Rebecca Casciano, Clean Beauty Makeup Artist, Wellness Coach and Founder of The Sacred Beauty Movement. I'm on a mission to empower women to redefine beauty on their own terms.
My mom taught me at a young age that, "When you look good, you feel good!" I later learned that the reverse is also true - that when you feel good, you look even better. These powerful ideas have shaped my lifestyle, my self-esteem, and my philosophy on beauty.
Since 2000, I have worked as a celebrity and fashion makeup artist, helping hundreds of models and clients look their best. My entry into the fashion world, however, coincided with my own beauty concerns. I had been suffering with cystic acne for several years and found little relief from conventional treatments. Rather than settling for medications with possible side effects, I decided to take a holistic approach.
I transitioned to a whole-foods, plant-based diet and embraced natural healing modalities such as acupuncture, herbs, cleansing, yoga and meditation. I gradually found that not only did my skin begin heal, but I improved my overall wellness and adopted a conscious, healthy lifestyle that was more aligned with nature and spirituality.
Why is it important for women to view their beauty as something sacred?
What is the importance of sisterhood?
There is an emotional shift when women begin to discover the connection between their inner and outer beauty. How does this feel for you as a facilitator?
What is the most rewarding part of this work for you?
What makes you feel good and how does this translate into the way you look physically?
What is one beauty ritual you cannot go a day without?
GBC: You are reuniting the indigenous community & settler guests of turtle island with the healing powers and teachings of plant medicine. Why is it important to keep these teachings and traditions alive and known today.
A: Every single human being on earth comes from plants & traditional herbal remedies. I chose to make my career about reconnecting the indigenous community with traditions once practiced before colonization but also connecting settlers with local plants so that they could learn to respect our ancestral ways & current abundance.
GBC: Can you tell us about the healing properties of Devil’s Club and why you use it.
A: Devils club is an incredible plant medicine for many reasons. It was a gift from the creator to the northwest coastal tribes to help heal pain and trauma. Historically we used it for nearly everything. Presently, we are using the plant extract in topical oils to remedy arthritis, inflammation, pain, sore muscles, neuropathy, and much more.
GBC: What has been your biggest lesson working with plant medicine?
A: My biggest lesson in working with plant medicines is that I have to share the importance of their preservation & sacred value. Once people get connected with local plants and their uses, they are more likely to stand up against deforestation and over-harvesting.
GBC: Tell us about the impact your plant medicine has on elders with arthritis and diabetes.
A: Devils Club and other local plants like nettles have been great for helping my elders and elderly non-indigenous community to live their lives with less pain. Since indigenous people have suffered genocide and cultural disconnect, having elders share their stories in a healthier state of helping our future generations connect, heal the historical traumas, & lead more traditional lives.
GBC: What is one beauty ritual you cannot go a day without?
A: The one beauty ritual I cannot live without is affirming myself that I am blessed. No amount of makeup, skincare products, or adornments can ever make me more sacred than I already am in the form that I was given naturally. I have spent most of my life believing that I need something to make me more beautiful but now i realize that confidence and pride in my ancestral DNA allow me to radiate true beauty every day.
*all images sourced from the @quwutsunmade instagram page. I do not own, nor did I take any of these photos.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Brushes are absolutely necessary for proper makeup application. If you want your makeup to look blended & natural you need good brushes. If you want your makeup application to be easier, you need good brushes! I'll be going over my 3 favorite makeup brushes, why I love them and what I use them for.
This has to be my "go-to" all-time favorite style of brush. I think I might have 6 of these in my professional brush collection. This brush is a cone-shaped brush with a medium density. I wouldn't even consider applying eyeshadow without this brush.
Why it's so good: A cone-shaped, fluffy blending brush makes blending eyeshadow a breeze, especially for those who are just starting out with eyeshadow techniques.
How to use it: I personally use this brush in so many ways. To sweep a light eyeshadow right across the lid to blend with ease. In a windshield wiper motion into the crease to define the eye. I will also apply an eyeshadow then dust the brush clean on a towel and use the clean, product-free brush to blend out my eyeshadow.
An angled brush is a must-have for anyone's makeup collection. As long as you clean it, it can be used in a multitude of ways.
Why it's so good: As mentioned above, angle brushes are multi-use and can be used for various products and techniques.
How to use it: Here are some of the ways you can use an angled brush.
- Use your angled brush to fill in your brows
- Use the angled brush for more detailed eyeshadow crease work
- Apply liquid or pencil liner onto your angle brush for a sharp cat eye, or smokey defined liner, top or bottom.
- Dip your angled brush into your favorite eyeshadow for a smokey and blended top or bottom liner.
- An angled brush can also be used for a lip brush if you want to achieve a crisp and defined lip color application.
- I also use an angled brush to add eye highlight under the brow bone and in the corner of the eye.
I decided to bring the flat top kabuki style brush into this because it is a unique brush that not many people know how to use properly. I love teaching people how to use this brush because it is extremely effective for specific makeup techniques.
Why it's so good: The Flat top kabuki brush is amazing for both powder and liquid makeup. It makes blending a breeze and offers a very quick application for those wanting to wear face makeup.
How to use it: As mentioned above, you can use the flat top kabuki style brush for powder and liquid or creme makeup. Here's what will happen for each formula.
- Powder: When applying a pressed foundation powder with this brush you will achieve a much heavier coverage than if you were to apply a powder foundation with a soft round brush. You are able to really buff and work the powder foundation into the skin. You can also use this brush to apply loose powder to set your liquid foundation.
- Liquid: If you are in a rush and want a super even and quick liquid foundation application, this is the brush for you. I simply pump the foundation straight onto the brush, dot the foundation all of my face, then use circular buffing motions to blend it all over and down my neck.
- Bronzer/Blush: I love this brush for applying creme bronzer all over my skin and down my neck, or pinching the brush to become thinner to apply a powder bronzer/blush in a more concentrated area.
Are you a visual learner. I highlight all 5 Elate brushes in the video below
Whether you have pin straight, or wavy hair - it is possible to achieve a beautiful beachy wave even if you don't have access to the ocean. Below we dive into my favorite 3 ways to style my hair to look like I've just stepped off the beach.
1. Straight out of the shower (for those with natural texture and wave).
If you have naturally wavy or textured hair, you can achieve beach waves straight out of the shower. If you want to embrace your wave or curl, it is important to hydrate as much as possible. I use the "Hydrator" Shampoo and Conditioner from Unwrapped Life and a weekly "Love" Intense Hydration Mask from Davines. If you have thick hair, you can leave a tiny bit of conditioner in your hair and scrunch it up for extra hydration.
Once I am out of the shower, I try to keep my hair as wet as possible and grab my Coast Beauty "Beach Waves Salt Spray" and saturate my hair (upside down). I use a scrunching motion with my hands to activate the wave.
From here, I typically let my hair dry naturally, or you can diffuse your hair with your blow-dryer and diffuser piece.
There are some days that I simply jump in the ocean and leave my hair salty, however, I find the salt can be stinky and a little bit dirty from the ocean so I prefer using a salt spray that smells like coconut, lavender, and vanilla.
2. Using a hot tool (for those with straight hair).
If you have straight hair and want some volume and bounce, this method is for you. It is important not to weigh down your hair with heavy products. I recommend the Stimulator Shampoo and Conditioner for thin hair or the Balancer Shampoo and Conditioner for those with dandruff or need hair growth stimulation. Once your hair is clean and conditioned, blow-dry your hair to about 75% dry then add in a few spritzes of the Coast Beauty "Beach Waves Salt Spray". I typically encourage those with straight hair to finish off their blowdry with a diffuser attachment with their head upside down to help with volume and texture.
Once your hair is dry, plug in a 1-inch curling iron and take small sections of hair and simply wrap the hair around the iron. Don't roll it up like you normally would for a curl. This way you are simply creating a wave instead of a tight curl. You can lightly run your fingers through the waves to break them off and finish off with a few final spritzes of the "Beach Waves Salt Spray" for a natural hold.
3. The overnight plop (for those with straight & textured hair).
This technique can be used for both straight and textured hair. Make sure to follow the cleaning, conditioning method for your hair type. Saturate your hair in The Coast "Beach Waves Salt Spray and leave wet.
For this method, you will need an oversides T-shirt. Place the T-shirt flat on your bed sideways. "plop" your hair down into the center of the T-Shirt so it is piled on top of your head. Start by rolling the bottom of the t-shirt up in a roll until it meets your head, then continue with the top of the -t-shirt down. Both the top and bottom ends of the t-shirt should meet and you can twist the ends together and tie onto the top of your head. Sleep overnight with the "plop" and release your hair in the morning. I always finish with a few final sprits of the "Beach Waves Salt Spray and a few scrunches to add texture.
(img from Buzz Feed)
Want to style your hair without heat?
Check out our no heat hairstyling video below
We have been guests on the Real Rebel Podcast twice now, so we thought it was time to ask Katie a few questions of our own, about beauty, self-acceptance, and freedom.
We hope Katie's answers inspire you. Here is more about Katie and The Real Rebel Podcast:
"I’ll keep this pretty simple. The whole point of the podcast is to create a space of self-acceptance and freedom. I believe that the Real Rebels are the ones who are brave enough to be themselves in a world telling them to be anything but. To walk the path of your truth can be one of the most rewarding, yet challenging things a person can do.
I created the RRP to support all of the Real Rebels out there. The ones walking the path of their truth. The ones who might need a little support and a few reminders now and then about how fucking amazing they are. So, to all of my Real Rebels out there, you’re not alone. The RRP Crew has your back. That’s about it."
GBC: What helps set you free from the social constructs of how you should look?
RRP: The truth? Years of self-directed hate and not seeing myself or accepting myself. I grew tired of feeling like I was wasn’t good enough and realized how much of a waste of time it was to try and be anyone other than who I am.
GBC: You spend a lot of time working and creating in nature. Why is that?
RRP: Nature has become a non-negotiable. My best work, ideas, creations, and moments of transformation all happen in or around nature. Nature is where I connect back to the core, and in order to create the kind of work I want to create in this world, I need to be connected to my core. Nature is home.
GBC: Is there a quote from a podcast guest that stands out in your mind about learning to accept ourselves for who we are?
RRP: The whole podcast can be boiled down to self-acceptance. However, one quote that stands out, in particular, is “Become your own sun. Become so bright that everything meant for you will be drawn into your orbit.” - In order to become our own sun, we must first see ourselves for who we are, fully accept that self, and then radiate that from the self within.
GBC: What has been your biggest lesson about beauty.
RRP: How you look on the outside is absolutely dependant on how you feel on the inside. We must first tend to our inner world before we tend to our outer world.
Oh, and trust the Green Beauty Collective.
GBC: What is one beauty ritual you cannot go a day without?
RRP: Moisturizing my face (I use the Amaze Cream), putting mascara (the Elate one) on my very blonde eyelashes, and the holy grail? My hair. If my hair is on point I could be walking around in a paper bag and still feel like a sexy badass goddess. Goddess of paper bags and good hair.
Listen to our episode of RRP with Katie: