Author - Jagvir Singh

Refresh Botanicals’ Guide to Glowing Winter Skin

Cold temperatures and strong winds can make our skin feel tight, sensitive and irritated in winter. Add changes in your diet, stress around the holidays, and a lack of sunlight, and you’re likely to find yourself with lackluster, dull-looking skin. Since we are already into winters, we thought it was time to share our cold-weather skincare guide, available at your fingertips.
Here are three steps to reclaim and maintain your youthful glow in winter:

1. Cleanse, Exfoliate & Tone
Step one in our skincare routine is removing unwanted residue without drying skin out. Our cleanser’s main ingredient is the moisturizing “queen” of all oils – coconut oil. It has the incredible property to seal in moisture and provide extremely hydrated skin, two essentials for your radiant winter! Coconut oil has gained colossal popularity in today’s diet due to its healthy saturated fats called medium-chain triglycerides. While these fats have evidence-based health benefits such as body fat loss and lowered risk of heart diseases, we love them in our cleanser for their antibacterial properties.

Next step is to exfoliate dead skin cells, however, imagine if you could exfoliate and tone using one product? Refresh Botanicals Facial Toner contains watermelon fruit extract as a core ingredient that both exfoliates and brightens your skin’s complexion. Watermelon recently erupted as #1 beauty ingredient, highlighted this summer by Allure and yielding over 9 million hits on Google! This pink beauty booster contains not only ~ 92 % water ( super hydrated skin) but also citrulline – a component that offers mild non-abrasive exfoliation and stimulates blood circulation (brightening effect – yes, please!). Watermelon is also a great shield from daily environmental stressors and UV thanks to its richness in antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid oxidant, contributing to the delicious red color of the fruit, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Don’t miss out on soft, brightened, and naturally cleansed skin!

2. Hydrate
Sick of white flaky skin in winter? We know we are. It is time for a heavy-duty moisturizing routine! Our nature-infused Intensive Serum harvests the power of not one but nineteen active botanicals. One of them is fig fruit, the skin superfood, gives incredible moisture and texture to your skin. Figs have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids that nourish the skin and reduce redness due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Medical professionals also recommend using restorative night creams in winter. Our Night Restore Complex is a perfect example! It uses the knowledge of ancient Egyptian beauty rituals and iconic Cleopatra’s beauty secrets. Think of milk baths and natural oils! Refresh Botanicals’ formula includes sweet almond oil, olive oil leaf extract and salt of milk acid to moisturize, rejuvenate and protect your skin. For example, hypoallergenic and hydrating sweet almond oil contains the powerful antioxidant vitamin E that fights oxidative stress and UV damage, while leaving your skin supple to touch.

3. Repair & Protect
It is equally (if not more) important to protect our skin from daily environmental stressors, including smoke, ozone, and UV. Refresh Botanicals uses the power of nature to fight harmful free radicals and block UVA and UVB rays. These protective (i.e., antioxidant) properties are carried by our plant ingredients – jojoba, black tea, olive, watermelon, grape seed, and cucumber in particular.
Cucumber extract is a base ingredient of all our products (including our Daily Facial Moisturizer). Cucumber is a natural cleanser that soothes irritated skin and removes accumulated chemical waste and toxins. Besides 95 % water content, cucumber extract contains ascorbic (vitamin C) and caffeic acids that give it its powerful antioxidant properties.
Last but not least…
Did we mention all our ingredients are natural, organic and ethically sourced? Our products contain no parabens, gluten, petroleum, animal by-products or artificial fragrances.
For a limited time, you can get all three steps in one purchase. Our tetra-pack is available now at the discounted rate Get Cleanser + Toner + Moisturizer + Night Cream for only 60 CAD here!
Leave us your question about winter skincare, and we will be happy to help!

Acknowledgement: This article is conceptualized and written by Dr. Olena Shynkaruk

References
1. Top 10 evidence-based health benefits of coconut oil
2. Adv Food Nutr Res., 2006, 51, 99 – 164.
3. Why watermelon is the beauty ingredient you need this summer
4. Nutrients 2011, 3, 317 – 329
5. Health benefits of fig fruit and leaves: 4 amazing things eating figs does to the human body
6. The health benefits of figs
7. Fitoterapia, 2013, 84, 227 – 236.

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10 TIPS FOR CLEARER SKIN

It sometimes feels like no matter what you do, your skin just won’t become as clear as you’d like! While it may seem like you’re doing all the right things, here are 10 Tips that will help get the radiant, even- toned and healthy skin you want!

Taste the Rainbow – Now we are not suggesting Skittles ladies! Eating raw fruits and vegetables of various colors will give you the Vitamin A and C that your skin needs for cell turnover and overall skin health. Not only will your skin thank you for all the amazing Vitamins that fruits and vegetables contain, but it will also be nurtured with minerals.
Run Like the Wind – Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can increase the oxygen in your blood and in turn stimulates circulation while transporting more nutrients to the skin’s surface.
Raise Your Glass – To water! Water helps to flush out toxins from the body while promoting healthier, clearer looking skin. Plain water can get boring, try naturally flavoured water.
Laugh it off – Stress can play havoc on your skin. Sometimes just letting things be is the best medicine. Try not to stress the small stuff. Take time out for yourself and find activities you like to do on your “Me Time”.
Don’t Over Cleanse – Your skin has natural oils that protect and hydrate your skin. When you over cleanse, your skin becomes dry which can form microscopic cracks in your skin allowing for dirt and makeup to clog pores.
Remove Your Makeup – Removing your makeup when going to bed can really improve your complexion. Try Me 3in1 Eye and Face Makeup Remover which is an oil and alcohol free formulation!
Exfoliate – Gently exfoliate your skin twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells and to improve the look of your skin’s texture. Exfoliation can help to reduce breakouts. Be sure not to over-exfoliate as it could lead to sensitive dry skin.
Clean Your Makeup Brushes – Makeup brushes can accumulate a lot of gunk. Try to clean your makeup brushes once a month to ensure that they are disinfected of bacteria. After all, you don’t want that on your skin! A simple way to cleanse your makeup brushes is to purchase a cleanser specifically for your makeup brushes. Makeup brush cleanser can be found in most cosmetic aisles and should work double duty by disinfecting your brushes and removing makeup residue.
Sleep – Your body’s ability to heal itself is accelerated during rest mode. Getting 8 hours of sleep each night will definitely show on your face the next morning. Not only that, you will be better equipped for the next day.
Go Hand’s Free – How often do you clean your cellphone? Studies have shown that your cellphone could be the culprit of bad breakouts. With the warmth coming off of your phone, combined with the bacteria and this week’s makeup residue, head phones may be the way to go! If you prefer not to use headphones, simply get a disinfecting wet wipe and wipe the face of your phone once a week to eliminate a buildup of makeup and bacteria.

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TIPS TO KEEP YOU ENERGIZED AND AWAKE WHILE IN CLASS

The winter semester has started and your sleep pattern is still stuck on holiday mode. Here are 10 Tips to keep you energized and awake while in class.

The winter semester has started and your sleep pattern is still stuck on holiday mode. Here are 10 Tips to keep you energized and awake while in class.
Ask Questions – Being engaged in class discussions or asking questions will instantly boost your energy and concentration by being involved in what you are learning.
Stay Hydrated – Packing a water bottle filled with cold water can help you stay awake and alert throughout the day. Taking small sips is a quick way to keep refreshed all day long.
Citrus – Eating a mandarin during class will not only give you a quick boost of Vitamin C, but the citrus scent is known to boost your mood instantly.
Take Notes – Taking notes can keep you engaged in class lectures and will keep your mind occupied from being tired.
Move Around – Excuse yourself from class to go out into the hall and move around to get your blood flowing. Sometimes sitting in a chair for two long can cause you to be a lot more tired than expected! Be sure to return back to class so you don’t miss anything!
Workout – Working out regularly before class will automatically boost your energy levels. Be sure to fuel lost energy with a nutritious diet and plenty of fluids.
Whole Foods- Eating a well-balanced diet and skipping refined sugars and starches will help to maintain a balanced energy level throughout the day. Start your day with a protein rich breakfast rather than a sugar packed cereal bar.

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HOW TO ENHANCE THE LOOK OF YOUR EYELASHES

Who knew that eyelashes could be so important? Since ancient times eyelashes have been decorated, coated and combed to enhance expression in both men and women. Here are our top ways to enhance those fluttery frames around your eyes.

Who knew that eyelashes could be so important? Since ancient times eyelashes have been decorated, coated and combed to enhance expression in both men and women. Here are our top ways to enhance those fluttery frames around your eyes.
Good Mascara – Yes, It’s an Investment!
We have all tried crappy mascara that has made our eyelashes either clump, look spidery and straight or have even left residue on our cheeks! Investing in good quality mascara will condition your eyelashes and give you a full natural look.
Fill in the Lines
Filling in your top and bottom waterlines can make your eyelashes appear fuller. Use an eye pencil that is similar to the color of your mascara and gently line the inner rim of your lower and top lash line.
Curler + Heat + Mascara = Extra Volume
Use your blow dryer to heat up your eyelash curler and then curl away! After, add a good coat of mascara, let it dry fully and curl once more.
It’s Prime Time
Eyelash primer is always an option and can do wonders for your lashes! Eyelash primer can be found in any cosmetic aisle and is applied before mascara application to condition and hydrate your lashes. Your lashes will feel more pliable and natural throughout the day.
Be Gentle!
Removing your mascara at the end of the day with a gentle makeup remover such as ME (MaxEffects naturals™) will promote healthier lashes. Going to bed with mascara on or vigorously rubbing your eyes with mascara on will break your eyelashes.

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4 WAYS WORKING OUT CAN IMPROVE THE LOOK OF YOU SKIN

Don’t you just love it when you can incorporate one small thing into your lifestyle and reap rewards after? Working Out – it’s the gift that just keeps giving! Yeah sure, it can be a little tough to get motivated but once you see the benefits there will be nothing stopping you! Here are 4 ways working out can improve your skin (imagine what else exercise can do for the rest of you)!

Don’t you just love it when you can incorporate one small thing into your lifestyle and reap rewards after? Working Out – it’s the gift that just keeps giving! Yeah sure, it can be a little tough to get motivated but once you see the benefits there will be nothing stopping you! Here are 4 ways working out can improve your skin (imagine what else exercise can do for the rest of you)!
1) Sweat Out Toxins – Our skin is the largest organ of our body and can either absorb or release toxins. High endurance exercise encourages the body to release toxins through perspiring. The result? Vibrant, healthy-looking skin!
2) Better Sleep – We all know that sleep can have many different effects on the body and having a good night’s rest is essential for gorgeous skin. A quick workout once a day can encourage a deep and restful sleep.
3) Less Stressed – Stress can really show on your face. Beat the mania with a calming Yoga class or an intense workout.
4) Better Circulation & Blood Flow – Exercise improves circulation and blood flow which allows for nutrients and oxygen to be carried towards the skin.

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5 DIY GIFTS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

Ah Valentine’s Day. Some loath the day while some couldn’t be more exited. Love is in the air this Valentine’s regardless of who you are sharing it with! Here are 5 thoughtful DIY Valentine’s gifts for anyone on your list!

Ah Valentine’s Day. Some loath the day while some couldn’t be more exited. Love is in the air this Valentine’s regardless of who you are sharing it with! Here are 5 thoughtful DIY Valentine’s gifts for anyone on your list!
Edible Valentine Cards
Nothing is sweeter than giving something sweet. Bake cookies ahead of time and decorate with personalized sayings for that special someone. Gift your deliciousness in a Valentine’s decorated tin or box.
Homemade Personal Care
Homemade soaps, scented Epsom salts or even body butter can be quite easy and inexpensive to make. Browse basic “how to” recipes online and personalize your gifts of care with scents, dried flowers and essential oils. Finally, package the potions and lotions in mason jars labelled with a personalized note, nickname or even poem.
Coupons
Creating coupons for special people in your life couldn’t be more thoughtful. Some ideas include a girl’s night out for your bestie, one week of cooking dinners for your mom, a back massage for your man and even shovelling the snow for the little old lady who lives down the street. Remember, coupons do have to be redeemed at one point or another, coupon at your own risk!
Note It
Personalize Post-It Notes by writing down your most cherished moments and thoughts about the person you’re gifting them to. Be sure to get creative. Each time that special someone reaches to use their note pad, they will be reminded of you!
Arrangements
Flowers are always nice, but why not get creative?! Make your own arrangements out of small things you know he or she may like. Start off with a flower pot (any colour) and place gardener’s foam in the bottom of the pot. After, start working on the components that will form your arrangement. If the arrangement is for your guy, some items that you could include could be boxers (red or white works best for this project), his favourite chocolate and any other items that are light in weight. Next, fold and roll the boxers around one end of each wooden skewer so it forms the shape of a rose. You can also attach any other items (shaving accessories, socks, candy, chocolate, gift cards, mini drinkables, tea, travel size items etc.) to one end of any wooden skewer. Make sure that your items are fastened to the wooden skewers and are not too heavy so they hold when standing upright. Now that your “flowers” are formed, it’s time to arrange! Start planting your arrangement by inserting the bottom of the skewer into the gardeners foam. Once your arrangement is full and complete, cover the gardener’s foam with gift tissue and apply a handmade label to the front of the pot personalized for that special someone.

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ROCKING THE RED: QUICK TIPS TO PERFECT YOUR POUT

Red lipstick is something every woman should rock and is the most intimidating to try. How many times have you applied a sexy red lipstick only to wipe it off moments later? Either the application is not smooth enough, or it looks as though you aren’t coloring in between the lines! Celebrities are not the only ones who can rock the red, here are some expert tips to perfect your pout.

Red lipstick is something every woman should rock and is the most intimidating to try. How many times have you applied a sexy red lipstick only to wipe it off moments later? Either the application is not smooth enough, or it looks as though you aren’t coloring in between the lines! Celebrities are not the only ones who can rock the red, here are some expert tips to perfect your pout.
Create a smooth canvas by exfoliating your lips prior to application. Create your own lip scrub at home by combining sugar and a good carrier oil like coconut oil. Gently work the lip scrub into your lips to remove any dry and dead skin cells. Another simple exfoliation method is to gently brush your lips with an unused soft toothbrush. Next, moisturize your lips to restore any lost moisture from exfoliating. After applying a lip moisturizer, apply a lip primer to fill in lip creases and to ensure that your lipstick won’t feather, fade or transfer. Before you start to apply your lipstick, you want to make sure that your lips are lined and filled for precise definition with a lip pencil as a base. Take your time, you can extend the outline of your lips (just a bit) to get a fuller pout.
It’s time to apply your lipstick. But Wait! Select a good quality lip brushfor easy application. Using a lip brush allows you tobuild color slowly. You’re almost done! After applying lipstick, set the color by covering your lips (lightly) with one-ply tissue. With your foundation powder brush, gently brush powder foundation onto your lips through the tissue. You can now apply one last coat of lipstick with your makeup brush for long lasting color.

To contour the shape of your lips, use a small brush to apply liquid foundation to the outside line of the lips: above the upper lip including the Cupid’s bow and the lower lip. Be sure to apply a very thin line and blend well.

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10 HABITS THAT COULD BE SABOTAGING YOUR SKINCARE GOALS

Skincare can be a tricky thing and especially when your skincare products don’t actually tell you that your lifestyle could be the culprit of not achieving the skin you want. Sure, the right skincare can encourage healthy looking skin but it has to compliment a healthy lifestyle. Here are ten habits that could be sabotaging your skincare goals.

Skincare can be a tricky thing and especially when your skincare products don’t actually tell you that your lifestyle could be the culprit of not achieving the skin you want. Sure, the right skincare can encourage healthy looking skin but it has to compliment a healthy lifestyle. Here are ten habits that could be sabotaging your skincare goals.
Drinking too Much Caffeine: Drinking too much caffeine throughout the day can dehydrate you causing your skin to look unhealthy and dry. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day not only hydrates you but helps the body to digest food, absorb nutrients and sweat out any toxins. Water can get boring at times, try infusing your water with berries, cucumber and citrus for additional antioxidant protection.
Skipping on Cardio: We all know the benefits of exercise and yet we skip it on a daily basis. Getting your blood moving and your heart pumping is crucial for the blood to transfer nutrients to the skin. Additionally, through sweating, you skin is able to release toxins. Get a healthy glow by reserving 20 minutes a day for cardio exercise.
Keeping Your Makeup On: Not removing your makeup before a workout or bed can clog pores and cause breakouts. Try to remove your makeup when it is not required to beat breakouts and lackluster skin. Try MAXeffects naturals 3in1 Eye and Face Makeup Remover Plus Toner to get double duty out of your time.
Over Cleansing: It seems logical to cleanse your skin more when your skin is not as even-toned as you would like. Although cleansing your skin is a good thing, over cleansing can dehydrate your skin which makes your skin more susceptible to breakouts and sensitivity. Cleansing should occur once a day.
Sun Worshipping: There’s nothing like a beautiful, blue sky type of day and why not be outside? Protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays by applying sunblock, sunglasses and a hat. Beat accelerating aging by being mindful of the effects that the sun can have on your skin.
Not Protecting in the Elements: Cold and windy weather can cause severely dry skin. Create a protective barrier between your gorgeous skin and the environment by applying a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type.
Making the Tooth Fairy Unhappy: Sugar is not only bad for your teeth but studies show that consuming too much sugar can accelerate the ageing process by converting glucose into Advanced Glycation End Products which end up damaging collagen and elastin. It’s bittersweet. Everything in moderation!
Skimping on Sleep: There’s nothing worse than not having a good night’s rest. You wake up disorientated by the sound of your alarm clock, your body automatically goes into survival mode and then you slug through the day. Besides not being your optimal self, your skin also suffers. Not getting enough sleep does not give your skin the time to restore and heal itself, your body is producing the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day which is released due to trying to stay alert. Later, cortisol shows on your face through pale, dull skin and acne breakouts.
Using the Wrong Skin Care for Your Skin Type: We have all done this! Running out of skincare and then going to the store only to find a “similar” skin care line is on sale. You say to yourself, “it’s on sale!” and then you take it home. A week or two later, you want to jump out of your skin because your new, “on sale” skincare is just not working for you. Understanding your skincare and purchasing skincare for your skin type or for all skin types can make a world of a difference!
Missing Home Cooked Meals: Eating out can be a nice treat until it starts to trick your skin into looking dull, uneven and broken out. Missing home cooked meals could mean missing essential vitamins and nutrients that promote healthy, vibrant and young looking skin

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10 THINGS SUCCESSFUL WOMEN DO

Every woman is unique: They differ in what goals they set out for, where their passion lies and what circumstances and resources they have. Success can be identified from singer songwriter, Taylor Swift to Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala Yousafzai and although their…

Every woman is unique: They differ in what goals they set out for, where their passion lies and what circumstances and resources they have. Success can be identified from singer songwriter, Taylor Swift to Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala Yousafzai and although their successes are very different, their practices are quite similar. Here are 10 things all successful women do.
They Create Check Lists
There’s so many things to do in week let alone in a day. Make life simple by creating a checklist on paper or on your mobile device. Keeping a checklist allows you to zero in and complete each task.
They Set S.M.A.R.T goals
Setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals will encourage you to be better equipped to face any obstacles that could hinder you from achieving your goals.
They Practice Kindness
Successful women are kind because they are confident that they don’t have to be mean to rise to the top. Successful women are open to listen other’s suggestions and are okay with receiving constructive criticism.
They Continue Learning
Whether you are continuing education to rise above in your career or learning on the basis of self-awareness, always continue to learn something new.
They Stay True to Their Values
Authentically being you is a part of being a successful woman. Sure, you will evolve throughout your lifetime but core values always seem to be the same. Stay true to who you are which includes your morals, values and ethics.
They Understand That Failures Contribute to Success
Successful women are not afraid to face and dissect their failures so they can learn from them.
They Set Aside ‘Me Time’
Successful women schedule time alone and understand that ‘Me Time’ is as important as meetings, a social life and family obligations.
They Love What They Do
Successful women are driven because they truly love what they do. When you are passionate about what you do, it becomes easier to accomplish more.
They Practice Self-Love
Women who practice self-love through exercising regularly, yearly checkups, adequate amounts of rest and healthy relationships are more likely to be successful and enjoy their success.
Successful Women are Not Threatened by Other Women
Successful women are secure within themselves to not be threatened by other successful women. Women who witness the success of other women value their worth and celebrate it.

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TIPS TO RENEW YOUR SKIN AFTER A NIGHT OUT

With the return of Fall comes Back to School Bashes and post-work cocktails. After spending several hours (and sometimes days!) in the office or library, it’s only natural to let loose once in a while!

With the return of Fall comes Back to School Bashes and post-work cocktails. After spending several hours (and sometimes days!) in the office or library, it’s only natural to let loose once in a while!
Dancing into the wee hours of the night is nothing to be ashamed of, but it can take a toll on your skin – leaving you looking dull, tired and aged. A night out can quickly become an early morning adventure and once you finally find yourself at home, you’ll likely fall into bed without thinking twice about caring for your skin.
Unfortunately, the convenience of rolling into bed with a full face of makeup on can wreak some serious havoc on your complexion, but we’ve got some tips and tricks that will help revitalize your skin in no time.
Get Naked
First thing’s first, you need to remove all of the makeup and impurities from your face. Use a multi-purpose makeup remover, like Me, that not only removes your makeup but also cleans and tones the skin.
Take a Bath
Begin the detoxification process by sinking nose deep into a hot bath. Add 1 cup of Epson salt, 1 cup of baking soda, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Soak it all in for at least twenty minutes and allow your body to release and relax.
Moisturize
We all know that alcohol dehydrates the body, but a less known fact is that to rehydrate you need to do more thank drink lots of water. Replenish your skin with a hydrating moisturizer, or for that extra bit of nourishment apply your favorite serum or facemask.

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