Ever since this post, we’ve had a lot of requests for more budget-friendly clean beauty buys! Today, I’m excited to bring you my favorite staple bath and body clean swaps from Target which, as you may have noticed, seems to be really committed to offering more of these types of products—so awesome. Our skin is our largest organ, and these are the products that we use the most on our bodies, so it would make sense that trying to swap out these products first (besides maybe lip products since they are ingested) is a great step toward safer skin and body care.

First up is this giant body wash from Alaffia. This bad boy is 32 ounces and only $10!!! Not only is it an insane value, but it’s also a really, really good product. Alaffia also has hand soaps that I’ve found at Whole Foods and they’re awesome as well. The scents on their products are really nice and natural, not overbearing. This wash has shea butter, coconut oil, and neem (cleanses and clarifies), and is great for all skin types.

Very pumped about the shampoo and conditioner set from Acure, which is one of my favorite brands. At $10/piece, you can get this sulfate-free full set for less than you’d get one product at a salon. These formulas use argan oil and pumpkin to add tons of moisture—I have a very sensitive scalp and love the way my hair and scalp feel after I wash with these.

I LOVE Seaweed Bath Co. and this body cream is a great product. It’s available in two scents, lavender and eucalyptus mint, which are both great in my book. At $10.99 (and on sale for less than that at the time of this post), it’s a great swap for your Bath & Body Works or Victoria’s Secret standbys.

Last, but definitely not least, on this list is this Schmidt’s deodorant. Since the ingredients in your deodorant can travel to your bloodstream pretty quickly, this aluminum-free formula is an excellent option to replace your conventional deodorant.

If you’re curious about how toxins can be absorbed, this is a great article. It talks about how toxins can penetrate through the skin and enter our bloodstream.

I hope this has been a useful list for you if you’re trying to trade out conventional products for cleaner ones. Remember, it’s not about being perfect or throwing out everything you own to “start over.” Just working toward a few products at a time, or even ONE at a time is a great way to start!

xo Keely

Credits//Author: Keely Rust. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

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For us, the holidays are about two things, giving back to those in our family and communities and, of course, celebrating the ones we love with parties of all sizes. From intimate family dinner parties to large corporate holiday parties, we love the merriment and we like our makeup to reflect our festive mood. When it comes to holiday eye makeup looks, we’re grabbing one product— the Let’s PartyEye Shadow Kit. At first glance, this eye shadow palette may seem a little scary with the bright blue and deep green shades, but we promise this kit gives you the flexibility of subtle and daring looks. These are our four favorite holiday eye makeup looks using the Let’s Party Eye Shadow Kit. Each look has no more than four steps, and there are diagrams to show you where to place each shade.

Holiday Eye Makeup for Your Eye Color

The best way to make your eyes sparkle this holiday season is to choose makeup that complements your eye color. Luckily, the Let’s Party Eye Shadow kit has shades that work for people with every eye shade. Here are two simple looks for people with blue or green eyes and those with brown eyes.

Holiday Eye Makeup for Blue/Green Eyes

If you have blue or green eyes, try wearing the more purple shades in the Let’s Party Eye Shadow Kit — Spree, Wing-ding, and Hootenanny. Here’s how to create the purple smokey eye look in three steps. holiday eye makeup look for blue and green eyes

  1. First, apply Spree from your lash line to brow bone with the with Deluxe Shader Brush.
  2. Then, use the Crease Brush to blend Wing-ding into the outer third of your lid and into the crease.
  3. Finally, apply Hootenanny, wet or dry, as an eyeliner using the Smudge Brush or Angle Liner/Brow Brush for a smokey eye look.

Holiday Eye Makeup for Brown Eyes

If you have brown eyes, you can go for a more intense holiday eye makeup look this holiday season. Our favorite trick to add depth to any eye shadow and customize the color is to first apply Mystikol Powdered Eyeliner as an eye shadow primer. In this look, we transformed the shimmery chocolate shade Hootenanny using EmeraldMystikol Eyeliner. holiday eye makeup look for Brown Eyes

  1. First, blend EmeraldMystikol Powdered Eyeliner from lash line to crease using the built-in brush or a Camouflage Brush.
  2. Using the Crease Brush smudge out Hootenanny from lash line to crease.
  3. Press Shindig onto your eyelid with the Eye Shader Brush.
  4. Finally, use the Smudge Brush to apply Basic Black Eye Pencil into lashes.

2-Steps to Subtle & Smokey

The Let’s Party Eye Shadow Kit is great for vibrant, playful looks but it can also be used for more subtle, elegant eye makeup looks for the holiday season. Here’s one of our favorites that can be created in two simple steps. subtle smokey holiday eye makeup

  1. First, apply Spree from your lash line to your brow bone with Deluxe Shader Brush.
  2. Then, use the Angle Liner/Brow Brush to smudge Soiree (yup, the blue shade) into lashline, and you’re ready to party the night away!

The Best Holiday Blues

If you love to play with color and the holidays are your favorite time to venture outside the neutral box, then this look is for you. Bold eye makeup has been on trend for the past few seasons, and we love it! Though we wouldn’t recommend this as an everyday look, the blue-hued holiday eye makeup look would be beautiful if paired with a simple monochromatic outfit. So, pull out your favorite charcoal silk, slip dress and grab Let’s Party because this look is a show stopper! Bold, blue eye makeup look, holiday makeup ideas

  1. First, apply Soiree from lashline to crease with the Deluxe Shader Brush.
  2. Using the Crease Brush, apply Hootenanny to the outer corner of your eyelid into the crease.
  3. Finish the look by applying Onyx Mystikol Powdered Eyeliner to your top and lower lashes. Smudge it out with Soiree using the Angle Liner/Brow Brush or Smudge Brush.

Show Us How You Party

We want to see your holiday eye makeup looks. Show us how you use Let’s Party or one of our other Eye Shadow Kits to create subtle, bold, or shimmery eye makeup looks and we may feature you on our Instagram page. Make sure to tag your posts using @janeiredale and #GoodBeautyStories so we see them!

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Hair Care & Product Tips


Everyone has a different hair type, and all hair types come with their own obstacles. Dealing with dry hair, oily hair or frizzy hair can be difficult, but what if you have a combination hair type? If you have an oily scalp and dry ends, you most certainly aren’t the only one — and there are plenty of others dealing with the reverse. After all, having a dry scalp is no walk in the park either. 

Fortunately, there are many tips, tricks, and products that can help you deal with the twofold issue of hydrating your oily scalp and adding some moisture to your dry ends.

Oily scalp dry endsImage by @sincerelyzahra

Do you have oily scalp and dry ends?

How do you know if you have an oily scalp and dry ends? If you have dry, brittle, or split ends, and your scalp feels oily and gets greasy at the roots within 1 to 2 days of washing, you likely have this combination hair type. 

People who colour or bleach their hair tend to develop an oily scalp and dry ends as colour treatments like bleach are known to strip your locks of the natural oils that keep them soft and nourished. 

An oily scalp tends to be itchy and cause your hair to appear dull, lifeless, slick, and stringy. Dry ends, on the other hand, appear frizzy and damaged. An oily scalp and dry ends are definitely easy to spot, and the sooner you can identify your problem, the easier it will be to restore your locks.

Oily scalp dry endsImage by @sincerelyzahra

What causes oily roots and dry ends?

Oily roots, for one, are caused by the sebaceous glands in your scalp. These glands produce excess sebum which is then carried down your hair  shaft and can cause your hair to appear greasy around the scalp.

According to The Kit, oily skin can be genetic or caused by hair products. The reality is that many products, especially organic products containing essential oils, can contribute to excess oil at your roots.

When left untreated, an oily scalp can cause dandruff, fungus, or even seborrheic dermatitis. The latter refers to the common scalp condition that can appear as scaly patches on your scalp and contribute to hair loss.

Dry ends, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of genetics, environmental factors, and hair practices including: 

  • Overwashing
  • Sun exposure
  • Hair type
  • Weather 
  • Drying products

Tips for treating an oily scalp with dry ends

Don’t let oily hair roots and dry ends get the best of you. The presence of hair professionals, specially designed products, and hacks developed by the internet’s DIY-savvy users have made it easy to find the right tips and tricks to salvage your locks. 

These tips for treating an oily scalp with dry ends will make your hair routine a lot easier, and your locks a lot healthier. Your scalp and your hair will thank you:  

1. Make sure you are using the right hairbrush

A common misconception is that brushing oily hair just makes hair oiler, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Brushing your hair can help redistribute natural oils from the root of your hair throughout your locks and to any dry ends. Armed with the right hairbrush, you can better redistribute the natural oils in your hair to combat an oily scalp and dry ends. 

The wrong hairbrush can make it harder to detangle your hair and adequately distribute the natural oils in your locks. For example, boar bristle brushes are known for evenly distributing the natural oils from your scalp throughout your locks. To find the right brush for your locks, it’s also important to identify the right length of bristles. For example, if you have thicker oily hair, it will be harder to penetrate to your scalp with shorter brushes.

Oily scalp dry endsImage by @sincerelyzahra

2. Brush Your Hair in Continuous Strokes

You may not even realize that the way you’ve been brushing your hair has negatively impacted your locks. 

When you brush your hair in continuous strokes from root to tip, you evenly redistribute the oils throughout your locks instead of keeping them at the root of your scalp while simultaneously leaving your ends dry. Continuous brushing from top to bottom will also help stimulate blood flow, remove any buildup of products like shampoo and gel, and generally help your hair look healthier due to the more even distribution of natural oils. Still, be sure to avoid over brushing as this can stimulate oil production. 


3. Reconsider Your Shampoo & Conditioner Routine

If you shampoo your entire head of hair when you wash your locks, consider changing up your routine. Instead of shampooing all of your hair, it’s better to apply shampoo just to your roots where its needed.

Shampooing the roots will help you to get rid of any buildup of dirt or product around your scalp without getting rid of any of the natural oils that keep your hair nourished. When you use a conditioner, however, consider applying the product to only the bottom ends of your hair. It’s also a good idea to let your conditioner sit while you shave or finish up your shower to give it a bit more time to really nourish your locks. 

When it comes to combination hair, it’s important to develop a strategic shampoo and conditioner routine that combines different strategies to ensure both ends of your hair are getting treated separately. 

4. Pick the Right Products

The thing is, there are a lot of questionable ingredients found in common hair products. When you are shopping for hair products, opt for products that don’t contain:

  • Sulfates
  • Mineral Oil
  • Parabens
  • Denatured Alcohols
  • Synthetic Fragrances
  • Formaldehyde
  • Coal Tar
  • Silicones
  • Phthalates
  • Para-Phenylenediamine

5. Consider Washing Your Hair Less Often

When you have greasy or oily hair, it’s common to feel the need to wash your hair more often to combat the grease. The reality, however, is that washing your hair can have the exact opposite effect. Make sure to identify how often you need to wash your hair based on your hair type.

When you wash your hair, you strip your hair of its natural oil. Your body responds to this by overproducing sebum to replace the lost natural oils. It’s a vicious cycle that you can’t win until you rebalance your locks by washing your hair less frequently.

6. Make the Most of Dry Shampoo 

We’ve already established that overwashing your hair and applying too much shampoo can have less than desirable results for your oily scalp. That said, no one wants to have dirty hair. This is where dry shampoo comes in.

Dry shampoos make it quick and easy to absorb your root’s excess oils without having to actually wash your hair. These products also help to provide your hair with some more volume and will buy you some time to let the natural oils in your hair to redistribute themselves. Dry shampoos don’t even need to be expensive as you can even make a DIY dry shampoo if you feel so inclined.

Overall, dry shampoo allows you to take longer breaks between washing, which will help your hair to regain some balance. 

7. Hydrate Your Hair with Hair Oil

We know how this sounds — more oil for oily hair? Hear us out. Applying a hair oil to the ends or even mid-lengths of your hair can help restore some moisture to your dryer ends without adding more grease to your roots or oily scalp. All you need is to apply a few drops to the ends to add some moisture and reduce the appearance of dry ends. 

Oily scalp dry endsImage by @sincerelyzahra

8. Get a Hair Cut

Chopping your hair is a great way to deal with your oily scalp and dry ends. That said, heading to a hair salon right now isn’t feasible, and once salons open up again getting an appointment is going to be brutal. Fortunately, you can always consider giving yourself an at-home hair cut

9. Stop Touching Your Hair

We’ll say it louder for the people in the back: STOP. TOUCHING. YOUR. HAIR. It can be incredibly tempting to run your fingers through your hair, twirl your locks, etc., but handling your hair with your fingertips that also produce oils can actually make your hair more oily. Avoid touching your hair and adding more oils from your face and fingers.

10. Invest In a Scalp Scrub

A good scalp scrub can act as an exfoliant and effectively get rid of dead skin, dirt, and any other buildup from your scalp. The best part? You can also make DIY hair scrubs using ingredients that you probably already have at home.

11. Apply Less Heat to Your Hair

If you are dealing with an oily scalp and dry ends, it may be time to lay off the blow-drying or flat ironing. Applying heat to your hair tends to make your hair even more oily as your hair’s natural oils can roll down your locks that much easier when they are straight. Straight locks also sit closer to the scalp, which makes it easier for the oils from your scalp to transfer to your hair. 

On the flip side, styling your hair with waves or curls will not only make your locks more voluminous, but will also slow down the transfer of your hair’s natural oils. Try challenging yourself to at least a week without using heat!

Oily scalp dry endsImage by @sincerelyzahra

Product recommendations for oily Roots & dry Ends

Best shampoo for oily scalp and dry ends:

Kérastase Specifique Balancing Shampoo

The Kérastase Specifique Balancing Shampoo is a vitamin-rich shampoo that is specially designed for scalp health. The shampoo helps to rebalance your scalp by cleansing, removing oils, and regulating overactive sebum production. 

Unlike other harsh cleansing agents, this shampoo is infused with glycerine for a more gentle, mild cleansing that helps to balance your scalp and leave your locks smooth and soft instead of dry and dull.  

Best conditioner for oily scalp and dry ends

Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Leave-in Conditioner

The Garnier Whole Blends Smoothing Leave-in Conditioner is a much-loved product by hair enthusiasts. This conditioner is incredibly moisturizing, nourishing, and hydrating, making it ideal for those with an oily scalp and dry or damaged ends. Because it’s leave-in, it gets to sit in your hair and work its magic all day.

Best hair mask for oily scalp and dry Ends

L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask

The thing about hair masks is that some (like pre-shampoo masks) are best for before your shower, while others are better to apply on your ends after the fact. We love the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask, a silicone-free clay mask that can help absorb the grease on your roots. For after the shower, we suggest utilizing the System Professional Hydrate Mask on your dry ends for extra moisture. 

Written by: Brittany Rodrigues

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The news was startling: an online pharmacy had found harmful ingredients in sunscreen.

Yet you need sunscreen to protect your skin from damaging UV rays.

What to do?

Study Shows Harmful Ingredients in Sunscreen

Valisure LLC, an online pharmacy, recently issued a press release warning that it found benzene—a known carcinogen—in 78 sunscreens and after-sun products.

Benzene is a colorless or light yellow chemical that has a sweet odor and is highly flammable. It evaporates into the air very quickly and dissolves only slightly in water. It is found naturally in crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke, and is also used to make plastics, resins, nylon and synthetic fibers, some types of lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies benzene as “carcinogenic to humans,” based on sufficient evidence that the chemical can cause acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Exposure has also been linked with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also classify benzene as a known human carcinogen.

Long-term exposure to benzene can also increase the risk of:

  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • A low white blood cell count
  • A low platelet count

How Valisure Found the Harmful Ingredients in Sunscreen

Valisure regularly tests the products it sells, and this time tested sunscreens. Specifically, investigators looked at six different sunscreen ingredients:

  1. Avobenzone
  2. Oxybenzone
  3. Octisalate
  4. Octinoxate
  5. Homosalate
  6. Octocyclene

The company acquired sunscreen and after-sun care product samples from many retailers and in many different formulations. Of course, this was only a small sample and didn’t include all sun care products.

Results showed that multiple samples contained significantly detectable benzene. Some batches contained up to 3.1 times the “conditional” safe limit. The FDA has no safe limit for benzene, but it does allow 2 parts per million (ppm) if use is “unavoidable in order to produce a product with therapeutic benefits.” But benzene isn’t necessary for sunscreen production, so it shouldn’t contain any benzene.

The results varied from batch to batch, even within a single brand.

  • Benzene was found in 43 out of 224 sunscreens and in 8 out of 48 after-sun products.
  • Among sunscreens, the highest average concentrations of benzene (2-6 ppm) were in four sprays from the same brand (Neutrogena).
  • The next highest average concentrations were in 12 products that were primarily sprays but included 4 lotions.
  • Active ingredients in contaminated products were also listed in products that were not contaminated, so there’s no way to tell by the ingredients list which ones may contain benzene.

Valisure noted that these results are concerning because of recent findings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that showed sunscreen active ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream even after a single-use. Other studies show that the application of sunscreen specifically increases the absorption rate of benzene through the skin.

Chemical Ingredients SunscreenValisure Requests Recall of Products with Harmful Ingredients

Valisure sent a citizen’s petition to the FDA requesting a recall of the products they found to contain benzene. Though only some had high levels, Valisure requested the recall of all lots that contained the carcinogen. The affected products include those coming from the following brands:

  • Neutrogena
  • Sun Bum
  • CVS Health
  • Fruit of the Earth
  • Raw Elements
  • SunBurnt
  • Goodsense
  • Banana Boat
  • TopCare Everyday
  • EltaMD

Keep in mind that not all suncare products from these brands were contaminated. You can check tables 2 and 3 in Valisure’s petition to find the exact products and the results.

How to Avoid Harmful Ingredients in Sunscreen

Considering these test results, you may be wondering how you can be sure that the sunscreen you’re purchasing is safe. We have some tips to help.

1. Look for Physical Sunscreens

You can make it simple to avoid benzene in sunscreen by choosing only those sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients.

These are called mineral sunscreens, and they form a protective seal over the surface of the skin, reflecting away UV light. Chemical sunscreens (like avobenzone and oxybenzone) contain compounds that absorb UV light and prevent it from penetrating the skin.

None of the sunscreens tested used mineral sunscreens. They all used chemical sunscreen ingredients that can be changed with exposure to the sun. Zinc oxide is considered the safest sunscreen ingredient you can use—safe even for children.

2. Check the Environmental Working Group’s Website

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests sunscreens every year and lists their safest ones on their website. You can search their list, or type in a sunscreen you have already purchased to see how safe it is. The EWG also offers a free guide to safer sunscreens.

3. Choose One that Has an SPF of at Least 30

Doctors recommend that you use sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. Lower than that probably won’t give you the protection you need. Higher than that isn’t necessarily better.

Look also for the words “broad-spectrum” on the label. That means it protects against both UVB and UVA rays, and you need that protection.

4. Look for Dangerous Ingredients

When choosing a sunscreen, it’s best to avoid the following potentially dangerous ingredients:

  • Oxybenzone: Scientific studies have linked this active ingredient with hormone disruption and allergic reactions.
  • Octinoxate: Also linked to hormone disruption, and is known to harm coral reefs.
  • Homosalate: Linked to hormone disruption and may enhance the absorption of pesticides, including bug sprays.
  • Retinyl palmitate: This is a form of vitamin A that has been linked to skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin.
  • Other toxic ingredients: These include parabens, phthalate, PEG, and synthetic fragrances.

5. Avoid Spray Sunscreens

These may be convenient to use, but they disperse the ingredients in tiny droplets you may inhale. Those inhaled droplets can then enter your lungs and move into your bloodstream. It’s safer to use gels, creams, and lotions.

6. Avoid Combined Sunscreen/Bug Repellant Products

How convenient to apply your sunscreen and bug repellant at the same time! This isn’t wise, though, as studies suggest these combinations lead to increased skin absorption of the ingredients, which you don’t want, particularly with some toxic ingredients. Continue to buy and use these two products separately.

7. Check the Water Resistance

If you’re going to be sweating or swimming, make sure your sunscreen is water-resistant. These can not only protect you better in water but will last longer when you’re active and sweating.

The FDA has banned manufacturers from labeling their sunscreens as “waterproof” or “sweatproof.” Instead, labels can say “water-resistant” if the sunscreen has proven to remain effective in water for either 40 or 80 minutes.

Rescue + Relief Spray SunscreenAfter the Sun? Forget the Harmful Ingredients

What about after sun care?

We recommend our Rescue + Relief Spray. It has no ingredients in it that can degrade to benzene. It’s full of nurturing ingredients that will help whisk heat away from the skin, cooling it down and repairing any sun damage.

It works so well that “Allure” named this “One of the Best All Natural Beauty Products.” For extra cooling, store it in the refrigerator or cooler.

How do you find safe sunscreen?

Benzene in sunscreens, after-sun sprays, gels, lotions and creams. (2021, May 25). ConsumerLab.com. https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/benzene-contamination-in-sunscreen-and-aftersun/benzene-sunscreen/

Benzene. (n.d.). American Cancer Society | Information and Resources about for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Lung, Prostate, Skin. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/benzene.html

Valisure detects benzene in sunscreen. (2021, May 25). Valisure. https://www.valisure.com/blog/valisure-news/valisure-detects-benzene-in-sunscreen/

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