Types of Clay for Skincare!


Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay consists of aged volcanic ash also known as Montmorillonite. It contains high concentration of minerals including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.

  • Detoxifying
  • Controls Excess Sebum
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antibacterial

Fuller’s Earth Clay

It is very strong, and for best results combine with a small amount of bentonite or Kaolin clay. It is also known as Bleaching Clay, Whitening Clay, and Multani mitti or mud from Multan.

  • Lightens Skin (helps hyperpigmentation)
  • Controls Sebum (best for oily skin)
  • Improves Circulation

Kaolin Clay

Comes in white, yellow, red, and pink colors each with slightly different characteristics, also known as China Clay. The a fine very light and most versatile and easily applied clay.

  • Gentle (white is the most gentle, then yellow, then pink)
  • Cleanses
  • Exfoliating (white, yellow, pink)
  • Detoxifying (pink, especially red)
  • Softens (pink, especially white all good for dry skin)
  • Controls Sebum (yellow, pink, especially red)
  • Improves Circulation (yellow)
  • Good for Sensitive Skin (especially white and yellow; pink for oily)

French Green Clay

A green clay (should never be any other color), also called Illite Clay or Sea Clay. The color comes from decomposed plant material and iron oxide.

  • Tingling (not recommended for sensitive skin)
  • Improves Circulation
  • Toning
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Controls Excess Sebum

Rhassoul Clay

Comes from ancient deposits unearthed from the fertile Atlas Mountains in Morocco; also called Ghassoul Clay, Red Clay, and Red Moroccan Clay. Has an elastic texture so not drying. Great for skin and hair. It has a high negative charge and it can help draw out blackheads and other impurities from skin. This also makes it beneficial as a make-up remover or all-purpose face wash.

  • Detoxifying
  • Softening
  • Controls Sebum
  • Exfoliating

Must Have Products For February!

FacePlace Original Daily Face Shampoo

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Renewal Treatment

Ambra di Venezia by AEDES

Nars Single Eye Shadow, Daphne – matte deep violet

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eye Liner in Cobalt Ink

Butter 3 Free Nail Lacquer in British Racing Green

How to Reduce Fat in Your Face! Facial Exercises!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir – Great Multitasker!

Daun Pudina / Peppermint Leaves - SAL75300 kit...

(Photo credit: bahtiar1070)


Inspired by the “elixir of youth” used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary*

Izabela Jagiellonka

Caudalie Beauty Elixir smoothes features, tightens pores, and gives the complexion a burst of radiance. An excellent base for make-up, this water awakens the skin in the morning and livens it up before a night out.



This product is pricey at $18/$34 (1/3.4 oz.)


It works on every skin types (except on extremely sensitive or  rosaceaic skin) especially those lacking radiance and can be used in a multiple of ways!  Caudalie Beauty Elixir is an exceptional anti-dull complexion treatment.

– Heavy enough it can be sprayed on as a light serum.

-Spray on before applying moisturizer to use as a heavy toner and lock in moisture.

– Or at any time of the day – for an immediate energizing sensation and boost of moisture.

– A wonderful after-shave for men.

-Apply between or on top of your foundation and powder to perfectly set makeup and give you a dewy glow.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a favorite of Victoria Beckham’s!


It smells divine, minty with a touch of floral!

It only has two ingredients that are not plant derived, one of which is water.


Some of the ingredients:

Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Water

Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil


Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil

Commiphora Myrrha Resin Extract

Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Leaf Oil

Rosa Damascena Flower Oil

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract



*The first ruler to issue an edict of universal toleration in religion.


Does the Bird Poop Facial Really Work?

Post image for Does the Bird Poop Facial Really Work?

Meredith must know…A couple of years ago I heard a lot of buzz about the Geisha Facial that uses bird poo to improve your complexion. What’s the science behind this? 

The Right Brain responds: 

I know that a lot of beauty claims are bullish*t but this one is literally birdsh*t! Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped modern spas from adopting this ancient Japanese tradition. Shizuka New York, for example, charges you $180 for the privilege of having bird poop rubbed on your face. Supposedly the poo brightens skin and evens out your complexion. Does it really work? Here’s the scientific scoop on bird poop.

How a bird poop facial is made

First, you get some nightingales (specifically Japanese bush warblers). Why nightingales and not other birds, you ask? Because they have a short digestive tract which allegedly allows their poop to maintain more of the chemicals that are good for your skin. Then you feed the birds a special diet of organic seeds. The seeds work their way through the birds and what comes out the other end is called “uguisu no fun” in Japanese. Yes that’s right. The actual Japanese expression for nightingale crap that you rub all over your face includes the words “no fun.” Ironic, ain’t it?  Next, the poop is scraped from the cages (and you thought YOU had a crappy job) and then sanitized with an ultraviolet light before being dried and ground into a fine white powder. This powder is reconstituted and used as a facial cream.

What does bird poop do for your skin?

Supposedly bird poop contains a high concentration of urea and guanine. Urea is one of the components of the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF for short) and it’s added to a number of skin creams to improve moisturization. It really works but you certainly don’t need bird poop to get a good dose of urea! Plus, urea has to be left on the skin to provide a moisturization benefit. Leaving it for a little while and then washing it off does no good. Guanine is a naturally iridescent material that can make you look sparkly. But, again, it only works when left on your face. It doesn’t have any lightening or brightening properties other than being glittery. At least one source claims that uguisu no fun contains an enzyme that lightens skin. But we could find no evidence of this at all. Most sites report that guanine is an enzyme which it’s not.

Historically Geishas used bird poop to bleach stains from their kimonos. This makes sense since the bird droppings could have a high pH due to ammonia which could lighten the kinds of pigments used as fabric dyes. It won’t, however, remove melanin which is the pigment in skin that gives it it’s color.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Instead of wasting your money on a bird poop facial buy a good moisturizer with urea. And if want to get rid of acne scars or dark spots use retinol or a skin lightener that’s proven to work.

Image credit: http://img.fotocommunity.com/





My December Must Have Beauty Products!

My Favorite Products Right Now:

Mistletoe: Holiday Decoration and Great Skin and Hair Care Ingredient!

Botanical names: Viscum album and Phoradendron leucarpum

European mistletoe attached to a silver birch
As you deck the halls with holly or duck a  kiss from your relatives under the mistletoe, you’ll be pleased to know that these holiday decorations also are a  great skincare and haircare ingredient!

 Mistletoe is a powerful antioxidant and it can also help to soften and melt the sebaceous oils and dirt that cause blackheads.

Excerpt from Notulae Botanicae Horti AgrobotaniciCluj-Napoca:


The antioxidant potential of European mistletoe components (leaves and stems) is due to their content in phenolic derivatives (phenolic acids and flavonoids) and carotenoids, and their specific hydrophilic (having an affinity for water; readily absorbing or dissolving in water) and lipophilic (having an affinity for, tending to combine with, or capable of dissolving in lipids) character. Lipids are a broad group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E, and K), monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides, phospholipids, and others.

A phenolic acid is a type of phytochemical called a polyphenol. Other types of polyphenols include flavonoids and stilbenes. Phenolic acids are found in a variety of the plant-based foods you eat. The seeds and skins of fruits and the leaves of vegetables contain the highest concentrations. They may be beneficial to your health because they work as antioxidants that prevent cellular damage due to free-radical oxidation reactions.

In humans, four carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin) have vitamin A activity (meaning they can be converted to retinal), and these and other carotenoids can also act as antioxidants.

A few products that contain Mistletoe are:

L’uvalla’s Orange Toner

Anne Semonin Gentle Mistletoe Shampoo

Christine Valmy Lotion X

Dr. Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Body Oil

3LAB ‘Perfect’ Cleansing Foam

Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner

The parasitic plant has yellowish flowers; small, yellowish green leaves; and waxy, white berries.   Mistletoe is a poisonous plant that causes acute gastrointestinal problems including stomach pain, and diarrhea along with low pulse. However, both European Mistletoe and the North American species, Phoradendron serotinum, are commercially harvested for Christmas decorations.  The Navajo name for mistletoe is “basket on high.” Mistletoe is also known as mystyldene, all-heal, bird lime, golden bough, and devil’s fuge.

Viscum album, fleurs mâles de Gui

Viscum album, fleurs mâles de Gui (Photo credit: Ombrosoparacloucycle)






History & Mythology
The word ‘mistletoe’ (Old English mistiltan) is of uncertain etymology; it may be related to German Mist, for dung and Tang for branch, since mistletoe can be spread in the feces of birds moving from tree to tree. However, Old English mistel was also used for basil.

European mistletoe, Viscum album, figured prominently in Greek mythology, and is believed to be The Golden Bough of Aeneas, ancestor of the Romans.

In the 13th century Prose Edda, due to the scheming of Loki, the god Baldr is killed by his brother, the blind god Höðr, by way of a mistletoe projectile, despite the attempts of Baldr’s mother, the goddess Frigg, to have all living things and inanimate objects swear an oath not to hurt Baldr after Baldr had troubling dreams of his death. Frigg was unable to get an oath from mistletoe, because “it seemed too young” to demand an oath from.  In the Gesta Danorum version of the story, Baldr and Höðr are rival suitors, and Höðr kills Baldr with a sword named Mistilteinn (Old Norse “mistletoe”). In addition, a sword by the same name appears in various other Norse legends.

English: "Each arrow overshot his head&qu...

English: “Each arrow overshot his head” by Elmer Boyd Smith. Allowing his fellow gods to test his new found invincibility, the shining god Baldr is attacked by his fellow gods who make a game of it. In the background, the god Odin and his wife, the goddess Frigg, sit enthroned. In the foreground, the disguised Loki gives Baldr’s blind brother Höðr an arrow affixed with mistletoe (the one thing that can harm Baldr), which results in Baldr’s death. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In cultures across pre-Christian Europe, mistletoe was seen as a representation of divine male essence (and thus romance, fertility and vitality), possibly due to a resemblance between the berries and semen.

According to Pliny the Elder, the Celts considered it a remedy for barrenness in animals and an antidote to poison.

When Christianity became widespread in Europe after the 3rd century AD, the religious or mystical respect for the mistletoe plant was integrated to an extent into the new religion.  Did you know that kissing under the mistletoe is a winter tradition that began with the Greek festival of Saturnalia, celebrated in late December. The earliest documented case of kissing under the mistletoe dates from 16th century England, a custom that was apparently very popular at that time.  A Cornish tradition that mistletoe was originally a fine tree from which the wood of the Cross was made, but afterwards it was been condemned to live on only as a parasite.


Woman standing under mistletoe. Viscum album

Woman standing under mistletoe. Viscum album (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.”










Mistletoe is commonly used as a Christmas decoration, though such use was rarely alluded to until the 18th century. Viscum album is used in Europe whereas Phoradendron serotinum is used in North America. According to custom, the mistletoe must not touch the ground between its cutting and its removal as the last of Christmas greens at Candlemas; it may remain hanging through the year, often to preserve the house from lightning or fire, until it is replaced the following Christmas Eve. The tradition has spread throughout the English-speaking world but is largely unknown in the rest of Europe.

Christmas throughout Christendom, Viscum album...

Christmas throughout Christendom, Viscum album Under the Mistletoe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)












The type of Mistletoe used during Christmas celebrations is of the same type as that believed to be sacred by ancient druids, but, outside northern Europe, the plant used is not the same species. The mistletoe that is commonly used as a Christmas decoration in North America (Phoradendron flavescens) grows as a parasite on trees in the west as also in those growing in a line down the east from New Jersey to Florida. In Europe, where the custom originates, the ‘original’ mistletoe, Viscum album, is still used.  Ancient druids considered the Viscum album plant holy. Modern druids focus on the parasitic habitat on oak (where it is very rarely found) as being the definer of a sacred mistletoe, and use Phoradendron flavescens as well as other mistletoe species.

Product Review: Sally B’s Skin Yummies Antioxidant Skin Boost!

This beneficial powder is packed full of Vitamin C and other essential antioxidants to repair the affects of everyday dirt, stress, and harsh environmental elements. Just mix a scoop of Boost with your night cream or serum and let its super antioxidant powers brighten your complexion and fight free radicals to help prevent the signs of aging.

  • Prevents wrinkles and other signs of aging
  • Vitamin C brightens skin (tone) and improves overall skin health
  • Packed full of essential antioxidants
  • Vegan

In the palm of your hand, mix a scoop (scoop included) of Boost with your night cream or serum. Smooth over face and do not rinse off. Use nightly.   If your Boost does not full dissolve into your product of choice, add a bit more cream, serum, or even a couple drops of water to help it along. However, if it does not fully dissolve it still remains 100% effective.

Contains:  L-Ascorbic Acid, Organic Pomegranate Extract, Hyluronic Acid, Resveratrol, allantoin.

Why I like this product:  Vitamin C can lose its potency when it’s already mixed into certain creams and stored, or in beauty creams that are in an open jar container and are constantly opened and closed and exposed to the air, which can cause oxidation.  This product is great for All Skin Types except Sensitive and or Rosacea.

African-American Skin Care

How to Keep Dark Skin Looking Gorgeous!


Michelle Obama, official White House portrait.

Michelle Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Darker skin tones do not require special skin-care products, because skin color is not a skin type!  Darker skin tones do have some physiological differences from lighter skin tones; it’s just that those differences don’t impact what products you should be using.


Skin Care is Color Blind


When it comes to skin care, skin is skin. Think of it like your diet: we all need the same nutritious foods (that supply antioxidants, fatty acids, protein, vitamins, etc.) to be healthy. The exact same concept applies to skin.  Skin is the body’s largest organ which is why everyone’s skin needs the same ingredients depending on their skin type or condition. Everyone’s skin also needs the same basics to care for it:  cleansing, sun protection, and products for their skin type.

Skin Types:

  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Combination (oily on the forehead, nose and chin; normal to dry cheeks)
  • Normal
  • Sensitive (can also be a condition)

Anything else acne, aging, pigmentation, dehydration, etc. is a skin condition.

Here’s what you need to know:


  • Always use a cleanser for your skin type (avoid bar soap they can clog pores and cause skin to look ashy and feel dry).
  • Always choose products that are appropriate for your skin type (i.e. gels and serums for oily or combination skin; creams and lotions for dry skin).
  • Always use a well formulated sunscreen spf 15 or higher that is full or broad spectrum during the day (the most typical cause of uneven skin tone for women of color is sun damage).


How is African-American Skin Different from Other Skin Tones?


Although basic skin-care needs are the same for everyone, there are some issues that darker skin tones are more likely to experience. Such as skin issues like keloidal (raised) scarring, pronounced hyperpigmentation, and ingrown hairs.


The keloid is defined as an abnormal scar that grows beyond the boundaries of the original site of skin injury. Keloids have the appearance of a raised growth and are frequently associated with itching and pain.



A45-299-3 (Photo credit: otisarchives4)


Hyperpigmentation in skin is caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in the body that is responsible for color (pigment). Certain conditions, such as pregnancy or Addison’s disease (decreased function of the adrenal gland), may cause a greater production of melanin and hyperpigmentation. Exposure to sunlight is a major cause of hyperpigmentaion, and will darken already hyperpigmented areas.  Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by various drugs, including some antibiotics, antiarrhythmics, and antimalarial drugs, and some medical/skin care treatments.



Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled around and grown back into your skin instead of rising up from it. An ingrown hair irritates the skin. It produces a raised, red bump (or group of bumps) that looks like a little pimple. Sometimes an ingrown hair can form a painful, boil-like sore.  Ingrown hairs can be itchy and uncomfortable, especially if you’ve got a lot of them. You may notice pus inside the bumps. Or you may see the hair that’s causing the problem.  Sometimes dead skin can clog up a hair follicle. That forces the hair inside it to grow sideways under the skin, rather than upward and outward.



Research shows that the only real difference between skin tones is the amount, size, and distribution of melanin (the cells which produce our skin’s pigment).


Sun Damage


Having more melanin gives darker skin tones an added advantage when it comes to how their skin handles sun exposure and how soon the damage becomes visible. Meaning the more melanin your skin has, the more natural defense your skin has against the sun. It doesn’t however mean damage from unprotected sun exposure isn’t happening! Uneven skin tone, wrinkles, and slower healing time (particularly for scars) is primarily a result of sun damage. Even though it takes longer and more intense sun exposure for visible damage to occur on darker skin it does happen unless it is properly protected. All skin, no matter what color, can be damaged by the sun and everyone needs to reapply broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and at regular intervals during long days outdoors, especially after swimming or perspiring.



Every Shade In The Book

July 19th, 2012

Artist Angélica Dass sets out to catalog every skintone out there.

Angélica Dass

Imagine your skintone were assigned a number that could easily be translated across international divides with spot-on accuracy. Just think what that could do for the often arduous trial-and-error process of picking the right foundation shade alone!

That fantasy is close to becoming reality, thanks to a massive undertaking by Brazilian-born artist, Angélica Dass to record and catalog every human skintone possible.

First she takes a shot of the subject then creates an 11×11 pixel color swatch from the image and matches it to one of the alphanumerically coded hues in Pantone’s international database of shades. From there, that Pantone tone is used as the background of the portrait. The images are then arranged to form a mosaic-like tapestry of humanity for her project that is appropriately titled, “Humanae.” (See all the amazing colors here – from very dark to the lightest light!)

“The inspiration for this project comes from my family roots,” Dass tells YouBeauty, explaining that “as a granddaughter of a ‘black’ and a ‘native’ Brazilian and daughter of a ‘black’ father adopted by a ‘white’ family, I am a diverse mixture of pigments.”

“For me, this project is kind of like a game intended to subvert social codes,” says Dass, who studied fashion design in Rio de Janeiro, and earned a Master’s degree at in Fashion Journalism at Madrid’s Universidad Nacional de Educación a Disancia (UNED).

“No one who participated is a professional model. These are people who approached my project and decided to participate on their own,” explains Dass.

Raising funds is the next order of business to allow Dass to explore subjects in cities and countries outside of Spain, she says. “I know it’s ambitious, but I’m looking for support so I can catalog more people of different ages, nationalities, genders, social classes, and of course—colors.”

Perhaps the folks at Pantone may be interested in this one?

For more of the Humanae Art Project click here.

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