Charcoal is a heavy hitting beauty trend that helps keep your skin clear and balanced. We spoke to Lizz Starr, executive director of Origins global product development to get details on the popular ingredient.
If you’ve been paying attention to the beauty biz, charcoal is trending. With all the environmental irritants and pollutants that we expose our skin to every day, it’s great to come home and make sure you can get rid of all those skin stressors. Here’s what you need to know about this powerhouse ingredient.
What is charcoal?
This natural ingredient is derived from carbon and has been used for many things other than beauty. Because of its powerful absorption properties it’s been used to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses by absorbing toxins in the stomach before they can be absorbed into the blood stream. It also can be used as a filter in gases and liquids.
In beauty, charcoal is used because it has large internal pores that trap toxins and prevent their absorption in the skin. “When environmental toxins, dirt and debris get under your skin, skin’s waste-filtering system (pores) becomes congested and pores get clogged, leading skin to look cloudy,” says Starr, “Charcoal is able to absorb many times its own weight in toxins and pollution and it can easily be rinsed away.”
Who should use charcoal?
“Charcoal is particularly good for blemish-prone or congested skin,” says Starr. Because we’re all in need of regular skin clearing (we have pollution to thank for that), everyone can benefit from a bit of charcoal in their beauty regimen.
Charcoal beginner? Try a mask.
If you’re new to the ingredient, Starr recommends introducing a charcoal mask to your beauty routine once a week. It’s best to not overdo it with charcoal however. “Charcoal should be primarily used when pores are clogged,” says Starr, “overuse can lead to stripping and drying your skin so we recommend once-a-week use.”
Here are the charcoal masks you should add to your routine, stat!
Bamboo charcoal and white clay absorbs toxins to reveal a radiant and refreshed complexion.
This sheet mask features activated Korean charcoal absorb impurities and spearmint extract for a pore-tightening effect.
This cleanser can also be used as a mark, helping to draw out impurities and balance oily skin.
This hydrogel mask includes bamboo charcoal for a deep clean that targets blackheads and whiteheads.
This mattifying mask soaks up excess oil and draws out debris to leave your skin feeling fresh and your pores noticeable refined.
Celebrating beauty at every age Credits: Alvaro Goveia
"I took all the things I love and made a career with them."
At age 46, Natalina dared to follow her heart and opened an Italian cooking school. She was inspired by her grandmother, mother, and aunts cooking together over the years and by her experience living in Italy and learning about authentic Italian cuisine. Five years later, she runs a successful business and doing what she loves.
Although she wouldn't change a thing when it comes to her professional life, she does change her beauty routine every season, especially as we move from summer into fall. Watch the video for Natalina's full beauty routine and to learn more about her inspiring story.
Try the products below to get Natalina's gorgeous fall beauty look:
Over 50 and fabulous? Our guide to aging gracefully helps you choose the skincare, hair and makeup products that are right for you.
©iStockphoto.com/slidezero_com Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/slidezero_com
Learn how feng shui techniques can declutter your home and create positive space in your life.
Do you want to bring happiness, good fortune and wellness into your life this year? Turn to the positive energies of feng shui as your guide. The ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment can help spruce up your home and simultaneously create balance and joy.
Bridget Saraka, the Saskatoon-based owner of Feng Shui by Bridget, says the practice offers life-changing benefits. "Feng shui is about creating a space that's not only pleasing to your eye, but also pleasing to all your senses, so that your home supports and enriches your life," she says. "How we live has a profound impact on what our experiences will be. When you apply feng shui principles to your home, you can attract a great new year."
If your home is cluttered, dimly lit and has poorly arranged furniture, feng shui principles state that your life will be filled with obstacles and present few opportunities for growth. As a result, your job, relationships, finances and health can become stagnant. By making a few small changes, you can revitalize your space and your life. Here are six simple tips to get started:
1. Make your front door visible to receive blessings
In feng shui, a hard-to-read house number or a blocked walkway to a door will prevent positive energy from entering the home. "Have an address that's easy to see from the street and a path from your front door into your home that isn't cluttered with obstacles," says Saraka. "If the universe can't find you, how can fortunate blessings find you?"
2. Add colour for good health
Taupes and other neutral colours are popular in home decor, but they might contribute to low moods and energy levels during Canada's long, dark winters. "They're the wrong colour palate for Canadians because many of us suffer from seasonal affective disorder," says Saraka. From a feng shui perspective, these colours absorb the winter light, leaving Canadians feeling depressed and directionless.
To boost health and energy, start by painting your walls. "Choose a colour that's warm yet still reflects light – soft yellows, soft greens – colours that give a feeling of the sun and nature," says Saraka. "Green makes all colours pop, plus it's about life, vitality, growth and new vibrations." If you can't afford to paint, use colourful accessories—accent pillows, throws, live flowers, lighting in dark corners—to ignite powerful energy shifts in your home. "It's the easiest and most affordable way to do it," says Saraka.
3. Edit your belongings
Clear the bad vibes that accompany clutter. "Go through your home with a keen eye to what no longer serves you. If you haven't worn or used it within a year, donate it," says Saraka. "If it's broken and you're not going to repair it, remove it from the space. This editing practice opens up your home so you have room to experience a new chapter." Items that hold upsetting memories should be removed, too.
4. Let indoor plants and water bring prosperity
¨Want to attract wealth this year? Bring plants and a water fountain into your home. "Jade plants and fountains are symbols that represent wealth and finance in feng shui," says Saraka. Your health may also benefit from plants and flowers inside the home. "They purify the air," says Saraka, "And as you nurture the plant, you're nurturing yourself."
5. Position furniture for safety
If you don't feel safe and comfortable in your home, your furniture placement might be to blame. "Feng shui is first and foremost about comfort and safety," says Saraka. "Make sure that the largest piece of furniture in any room is in a position where you can see the door. If the sofa or head of the bed is against the same wall as the door, you can't see who is coming in. This creates a sense of vulnerability."
6. Use essential oils to attain happiness
Essential oils can help clear negative energy and add happy vibes to your home. "Put distilled water in a spritzer bottle, add three to six droplets of oil, and then spritz the air," says Saraka. If someone has been ill, Saraka recommends a blend of frankincense and cinnamon. ¨"To infuse a space with joy, use rose and orange essential oils. Rose is about love. Orange is about joy. So you're infusing joyful love into your space." Essential oils can be purchased from most health-food stores.
For more feng shui tips, check out how you can declutter your car.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, always looks camera ready—whether she's hitting the red carpet or travelling the world.
Track Kate Middleton's style file—from her star-studded (and trend-starting) wedding to her latest looks in 2016.
Kate Middleton looking very feminine in her long white red floral printed McQueen dress, paired with red pumps at an Olympics event.
Kate wore a white Catherine Walker coat to say goodbye to Canada.
Kate wore this knit See By Chloe dress at a children's party for military families in Victoria during the Royal Tour of Canada.
This scarlet Carolina Herrera coat was a knockout on Kate as she visited the MacBridge Museum in Whitehorse as part of the Royal Tour.
Kate embraces Canada with a Sentaler coat (a Canadian company) as she continued through the Yukon as part of the Canada Royal Tour.
Kate wore a green Dolce & Gabbana dress to visit the Kelowna University during their Royal Tour of Canada on September 27, 2016.
HRH wore this beautiful red dress by Preen by Thornton Bregazzi while attending a reception at Government House, on the Royal tour of Canada.
To brave the rain Kate revealed weather-appropriate knee-high boots paired with a collared shirt and blue sweater.
The Duchess wore Alexander McQueen for her second outfit of the Royal Tour of Canada.
Kate wore a blue Jenny Packham dress to kick off The Royal Tour of Canada.
Kate wore a blue, printed Altuzarra dress in September 2016, accessorizing with L. K. Bennett heels and clutch.
On a visit to mental health charity Young Minds UK, Kate wore a scarlett dress by L. K. Bennett.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a favourite, L. K. Bennett, from head to toe. We've even seen this dress on Kate before!
Kate wore this stunning dress by Alexander McQueen to take in Andy Murray's win at Wimbledon in 2016.
At the 2016 Wimbledon tournament, Kate chose a bright yellow dress—a piece she wore to an event in Australia in 2014.
Kate joined in on the shoulder-baring trend, wearing this gorgeous white dress at the Natural History Museum in London.
At the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, Kate wore a poppy on her elegant collared lace dress.
At the Royal Ascot horse racing event in England, Kate chose a crisp, white, lace Dolce and Gabbana number.
To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, the duchess wore a beautiful blue coat dress by Catherine Walker.
Kate stunned in this royal blue dress at a SportsAid event in June, 2016.
We love the outdoorsy feeling of Kate's appearance in British Vogue's 100 year anniversary issue.
Here she is in a simple striped top in British Vogue's Centennial issue.
The Duke and Duchess sat on 'Diana's bench' infront of the Taj Mahal, where Princess Diana posed for photos during a 1992 tour. Kate wore a simple frock from Naeem Khan's 2015 Resort collection.
Kate is wearing a traditional Bhutanese look to attend a welcome procession in Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, and to later try archery, the country's national sport. Her "skirt" is actually a half-kira that has been elegantly paired with a Paul and Joe wool cape.
Kate attended the Bihu Festival celebrations in an Anna Sui silk chiffon maxi dress from the designer's fall 2015 collection.
Kate is sporting olive biker trousers from Zara and a ruffled button-down by RM Williams at Kaziranga National Park.
Kate narrowly missed a Marilyn-moment with this white Emilia Wickstead dress.
Kate wore a gorgeous two-piece ensemble by Temperley London in black and white for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration in India.
Kate wore a prinited red maxi dress by Anita Dongre for the royal tour in India.
Kate wore this stunning green Temperley London dress as she continued the royal tour in India.
Kate kicked off the royal India tour with this red, printed number by Alexander McQueen.
Kate wore Indian designer Anita Dongre and tried her hand at cricket while wearing this gorgeous printed midi dress.
Kate kept it simple while she fed elephants at Kaziranga National Park in this Boho-chic Topshop dress. The dress is accented with black embroidery and tassel-tipped ties.
Kate wore one of her go-to designers, Jenny Packham, for her first formal, evening event in India.
This stunning royal blue dress with sheer detailing was a lovely look on the Duchess.
Kate wore an Alexander McQueen coat dress for the christening of Charlotte. The fit and flare style stayed true to Kate's preferred silhouette and the Jane Taylor hat completed the look.
Kate looked glamorous in Jenny Packham as she attended the London premiere of James Bond's Spectre.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore this lovely floral printed Erdem dress in late 2015.
The dress that launched a thousand lace-sleeved copy cats. Catherine married Prince William in a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown fit for a princess.