3 Allergen-Free Oils

So you just discovered you have some food allergies. Bummer! Since you can no longer eat like a normal person — kidding! — you’re right to think that your diet might get a little complicated. You ask yourself if you can do this? Well, yes. Yes, you can! Many of us are always trying to be a bit healthier, so I did a little research to find which oils are allergen-safe.

Education is my friend, and yours! Although I don’t need to swap oils, maybe I can help you transition into this new, über healthful life. All the oils should be easy to find at any local grocery store (I could find them all on Wal-Mart’s website).

Continue reading

Meals for 2: Shopping & Cooking

After working all day, cooking can feel like a hassle, so there’s no need to make it a bigger burden than necessary. My man and I do weekly meal planning because we find that it makes life easier and keeps us from going to the store all the time, which we both greatly appreciate. Shopping and cooking for two sounds sooo simple, but I think most of my peers can attest to the fact that Mac-n-Cheese or ordering take-out is often far easier.

Continue reading

Minimizing: Personal Library

I’ve been reading for almost as long as I can remember. As a child, I had Hooked-on-Phonics at an early age when my mom noticed my interest in books and storytime. She was smart enough to feed that interest and it grew as I did.

In high school, I was one of few friends who still read for fun. This trend continued into college, sometimes to the detriment of my actual coursework.

Continue reading

Herbal Face Food: A Review

Last year there was an increased interest in natural and organic skincare due to interest amongst women about what goes into the products that we, willingly, slather onto our skin every day. Sometimes, two or three times a day. In 2017, we’re likely to continue to see this sector of the beauty industry grow (thank goodness!), especially with products containing beneficial bacteria and superfoods.

Natural vs. Organic Skincare

In order to understand what we’re buying, we first need to understand how products are labeled and marketed.

A product labeled “natural” is not regulated by the FDA and may be nothing more than a marketing plow. But, generally, it means that products have been made with some, if not all, natural ingredients. Organic products, on the other hand, are strictly regulated and are composed of ingredients that are 100% organically produced — without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or GMOs.

Is one better than the other? I’m not sure, and it will vary depending on who you chat with, your preferences in products and your skin type. In my experience, I’ve tried natural products, such as Bare Minerals, and loved them. Then had hit-or-miss success with other natural brands, like Honeybee Gardens, depending on the product I was using. When I looked into Herbal Face Food, I was a bit skeptical…even though they had plenty of great reviews.

A post shared by Ashley Houk (@dinkerdwn) on Jan 17, 2017 at 2:16pm PST

 

Super-Antioxidant Skin Serum Ingredients

  • Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract
  • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract
  • Lavandula Angustifolia (English Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract
  • Origanum Vulgaris (Oregano) Flower Extract
  • Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove)
  • Thymus Vulgaris (Garden Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract
  • Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Leaf/Cell Extract
  • Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract
  • Vetiveria Zizanioides (Vetiver)
  • Cananga Odorata (Ylang-ylang) Leaf Oil
  • Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Extract
  • Santalum Album (Indian Sandalwood) Extract
  • Elettaria Cardamomum (True Cardamom) Seed Extract
  • Citrus Nobilis (Tangor)
  • Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Leaf Peel Stem

Ingredients for all products, along with application instructions, can be readily found on the Herbal Face Food website.

I received a sample of Herbal Face Food’s Super-Antioxidant Skin Serum as part of the interview process for a remote position with the company, however, I’m not being compensated for this review. I simply wanted to share my experience and information about the product.

I was super-excited when it arrived in the mail! When I ripped open the package, the sweet smell of herbs wafted out and I got even more excited. Now, some people may not enjoy the earthy, natural scent…I get that.Plus, the packaging is simple and recyclable; the serum comes in a small, glass bottle with a dropper top.

Herbal Face Food products are organic, raw and edible, and entirely plant-based. Since I’ve been trying to green my beauty routine for quite some time, these facts pleased me, so the trial began!

My Experience

I have, what I would consider, fairly sensitive skin which seems to have become more sensitive as I’ve gotten older.

Upon application you will feel a hot, burning, stimulating sensation and can be accompanied by temporary facial flushing. This hot sensation is a sign that the product is working and will last a few minutes.

Upon discovering that there would be a “hot, burning” sensation, which should dissipate over time with continued use, I was concerned that this might not be the product for me. Luckily, I was able to ask the company’s founder if it was safe (or recommended) for sensitive skin. In short, his answer was…Yes, but it may take longer for my skin to be less stimulated.

My first use was…not great. I applied the instructed “quarter-sized” amount before bed and my face felt like it was on, literal, fire. The next morning, I reduced this to a nickel-sized amount and found it was still too intense. When I washed my face before bed, the amount was, once again, reduced to dime-size and was still a little too spicy. Finally, on the fourth application, I found my sweet spot of 4-5 drops.

I’m, admittedly, not the most stringent about my skincare routine. I try to wash and moisturize twice a day, but more often than not it only happens once. (I know, I know…shun the non-believer.) BUT, the times I have dedicated myself to washing and moisturizing twice a day, my skin definitely improves. For the 10 days-worth of serum I had, I made it a point to wash and serum every morning and every night.

The Results

Herbal Face Food is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-aging, non-allergenic, and chemical free. It can be used to address the 10 most common signs of aging, including fine lines, large pores, firmness and discoloration. It can also treat acne, eczema and other skin issues.

Now, I’m only 31, so I don’t have too many signs of aging. Sure, I have smile lines and forehead wrinkles and, maybe, a touch of crow’s feet, but nothing major so I didn’t see much change in these areas.

I do, however, have fairly large pores, regular breakouts and a small discolored area near my hairline. The very first thing that was clear about the Skin Serum was that it definitely combats acne…and fast!

When I started the trial, I had a few pimples on my chin and forehead. Typically, they like to stay red longer than I want, and Herbal Face Food did reduce their redness, soreness and helped clear them up in a day or two. Acne? Check! Redness? Check!

Large pores are the worst, in my opinion. It may not be true or I may be looking too closely, but it feels like everyone can see them from a mile away. Try as I might with face masks and exfoliants, they never seem to really get smaller or go away. But after a handful of days using Herbal Face Food, they seemed to be going away…even in my magnifying mirror! Large pores? Check! Firmness…could smaller/tighter pores equal firmer skin? Maybe.

Since I have used all my Skin Serum, breakouts are taking longer to go away and tend to be redder than I’d like; my pores are back to their usual, annoyingly obvious size; but the discoloration/uneven skin tone has yet to return. The one thing that has changed since using Herbal Face Food, and helped reduce breakouts, is being in the habit of washing and moisturizing my face twice a day!