If you’re a label reader, calendula is one of those ingredients you’ve likely seen over and over again on your natural beauty products. Not as well known as, say, lavender, calendula is still a worthwhile beauty ingredient. In fact, calendula’s benefits for skin and hair may be the secret reason your products work so well.
Calendula is a member of the daisy family, a marigold to be exact, which means that it can be easy to grow in your own garden if you’re so inclined. And it may be why it has such a long history of use not only in skin and hair care, but herbal remedies as well. While there are a number of medicinal plants available, those that were hardy and easy to grow made their way into heavy rotation in our medicine and beauty cupboards of centuries past, thus calendula now falls under the “tried and true” category of natural healers. And if you’re a natural beauty junkie, you’ve likely seen this ingredient all over the place.
Calendula Benefits for Skin
1. Antioxidants: Beta carotene and vitamin E are naturally occurring in calendula, making this a wonderful skin ingredients. Both help to reduce the signs of premature aging, and vitamin E can even make skin feel softer.
2. Skin Healing: If you’ve ever used a wound-care liniment or balm made with natural ingredients, it’s likely calendula was toward the top of the list. That’s because it has been known to help reduce the appearance of scars by increasing collagen production in the skin (which heals it). Boosting collagen levels with the use of calendula-based products may help to diminish the appearance of acne scars and give skin a healthier glow.
3. Antibacterial: Calendula’s healing benefits go beyond reducing scars—it’s also an effective antibacterial agent that can prevent and treat infections. This may also make it effective against acne breakouts.
Some people may be allergic to calendula so use caution when using a calendula-containing product for the first time.
Check out our favorite calendula products!
Calendula Neem Soap
Coconut Calendula Conditioner
Do pore strips really work to remove blackheads and clogged pores? Or are they too good to be true?
There’s nothing better than the promise of a quick-fix to blemish-free skin. Pore strips, the reverse Band-Aid swipe to blackhead removal have been popular items for some time. And technically, they work. But not exactly for the right reasons. The adhesive on most pore strips do pull off (some) blackheads and sebaceous filaments—which can look like blackheads but aren’t.
You stick it on your nose, wait a few minutes and then–voila!–blackheads move from your face to the pore strip. What could be simpler? But while the adhesive on most pore strips does pull off (some) blackheads–and sebaceous filaments, which can look like blackheads but aren’t–it’s not exactly working miracles.
As anyone with a blackhead knows, there’s usually much more below the surface that requires extraction. A simple swipe of strong adhesive is only going to rip open the pore and leave room for more infection of the blackhead if it’s not completely removed.
And those sebaceous filaments? They’re not really blemishes. They’re dark spots that can look like tiny blackheads, but they’re really hair-like formations that move oil out from the pore—and they actually help to moisturize the skin! Ripping them off with a pore strip? Not exactly the best idea.
The adhesive on pore strips can also be damaging to especially sensitive skin leading to redness, and even broken skin. Ouch.
But the real problem with pore strips is that while they may help to remove blackheads, they’re not doing your skin any favors in the way of prevention—meaning you’re only putting a (reverse) Band-Aid on the problem and not treating the underlying issue.
That being said, they’re typically not terribly damaging to your skin (but be sure to use them properly according to package directions), and that adhesive does serve as a minor exfoliant. But truly exfoliating the skin—either with an abrasive or alpha hydroxy fruit acids—is the best way to not only help remove blemishes, but prevent their unsightly return.
A regular skincare regimen of proper washing, moisturizing, and exfoliating is your best defense and treatment for blackheads.
Consult with your dermatologist about ongoing skin problems as it may be a sign of more serious conditions such as hormonal imbalances or food allergies.
You brush your hair. You brush your teeth. But are you brushing your skin? Called dry brushing, this lesser-known brushing technique may just be the thing your skin’s been asking for.
If you’ve never heard of dry brushing, don’t worry; it’s not like you’ve been missing out on something as critical as brushing your teeth everyday. But it is a highly beneficial practice that often accompanies detoxing (more on that later), but it can, and some experts say it should, be done on the reg for optimal health—not just for glowing skin.
What is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is simply using a firm bristled brush on dry skin. It’s often done before a bath or a shower, and can be an energizing and invigorating daily ritual (with super health benefits, of course).
Benefits of Dry Brushing
Facial skin can become congested and inflamed for a number of reasons, but the most common is the excess dead skin cells. The same is true for the rest of the body—the skin is a major detox organ, pushing out toxins—about one-third of toxins exit the body through the skin.
This is precisely why skin brushing is recommended during a detox—it helps to get rid of the excess toxins pushed out through the skin layers.
Lest we forget, the skin is our body’s largest organ—and often a canary in a coal mine kind of warning as well. Rashes, eczema, psoriasis, breakouts, etc can all be indicators of deeper underlying issues.
Dry skin brushing also helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is located just underneath our skin. This system comprised of lymph nodes, glands, and vessels need our assistance in doing its job—it doesn’t work like our blood system, which is controlled by the pumping heart—it needs us to stimulate movement. We do this most often by exercising, which helps to move the lymph fluid, but dry brushing can also aid in moving toxins through the system and out of the body.
Just what exactly are the toxins being moved out of the body by dry brushing?
It’s a little scary to think about—all these chemicals and pollutants invisible in our food and personal care products, in our air and water—but this is the modern world and it is loaded with unsavory elements. The liver, gut, and kidneys work to remove harmful toxins from the body—pesticides, phthalates, BPA, heavy metals, harmful bacteria, etc – and so does the skin.
Aside from the removal of toxins, dry brushing may help to exfoliate skin, improve circulation, reduce cellulite, and decrease fluid retention.
Ready to give dry brushing a try?
How to Dry Brush Your Skin
Don’t use your hairbrush (or your toothbrush!). And be sure to get a brush with natural bristles, not plastic. Skin brushes often have long handles so you can brush your back as well.
The best time to dry brush is before a bath or shower. It should only take a few minutes.
It’s important to brush toward the heart, even though it might feel good to brush away from the body.
Brush gently—your skin is much more delicate than you probably think, and even mild pressure may be too much. So brush gently in long and sweeping motions. You can go over the same area a few times.
In the belly area, brush in a very gentle circular motion from right side up to the left and down and around.
Get your toes, fingers, heels, tush, breasts—get it all! Dry brushes are generally too harsh for delicate facial skin, so stick with a good exfoliating regimen or give a face brush a try.
Have you brushed your skin before? Let us know on the Zatik Natural Facebook page!
Large pores can make even the healthiest skin look lackluster, but do products that claim to shrink pores really work?
Ah, the face. It’s our identity—literally. It’s our personality, our introduction to the world, and yet it’s so delicate and so sensitive. Its fragility is part of its allure, of course, but it can also be its downfall, especially for people with sensitive skin or large pores.
Many try to combat large pores with products or procedures claiming to decrease pore size, but it’s not exactly possible, Natarsha Bimson, an aesthetician at the celeb-approved Spa Sophia in Venice, California told Well+Good.
“One of the cute little phrases that goes around the industry is ‘Pores ain’t doors’—they don’t open and close,” she said. “Even when we steam the skin in a facial, it’s not to ‘open’ anything—it’s to soften the pores [and their contents], so they’re easier for us to extract.”
The reality is pore sizes don’t change—at least, not much after you’ve hit puberty. Once your skin starts to mature, the pores you have are the pores you’re stuck. Blame your parents and their parents for this as pore size mostly has to do with genetics. Just like skin tone and its propensity to wrinkle (or not)—if you want to know how your pores are going to age, spend some time staring at your mother or grandmother’s face.
But regardless of genetics—pore size doesn’t mean you can’t work with what you have to help your pores appear less noticeable and to make skin look and feel its best.
The key for healthy pores is clean skin. No brainer, right?
Those with larger pores may do best to exfoliate more often in order to help remove dirt and dead skin cells that can clog pores and make them appear larger. Don’t overdo it—aggravated pores will appear larger, not smaller.
Work with exfoliating products like fruit acids instead of scrubs, which can irritate the skin and make pores appear even larger. A good fruit acid-based toner or moisturizing serum used regularly can help to keep pores clean and blemish free.
And be sure to use a good SPF. While a tan will give you that healthful glow, what you don’t want to happen is sunburned skin. That can lead to skin damage and increase wrinkles and the appearance of pore size.