Friday, July 26, 2013

Beauty Scoop: Best Face Sunscreen for Oily Skin

Do you have a hard time finding a sunscreen that works well with your skin? I know I always have. The sunscreens I've bought at the drugstore have been too greasy or left an icky texture on my skin. I hated wearing makeup over sunscreen because my face just felt dirty, especially with waterproof sunscreens. That is why I was so happy when EcoLogical Sunscreen came into my life!
EcoLogical Sunscreen

I started using EcoLogical  sunscreen a few years ago. I was introduced to it by my boss when I worked at an all natural children's store during my undergrad years. Since it was a children's store, we carried the "Baby" sunscreen, so I started off with the tube third from the left >>.

When that tube ran out, I switched the Face tube because it was under 3 oz and I could easily travel with it on airplanes. Since you really need to replace your sunscreen every 6 months to a year, this tube is a really good size.  If you look at the ingredients list, it appears the formula in all the versions is the same. I noticed absolutely no difference in effectiveness between the face, baby, and body sunscreens. However, the consistency of the Face sunscreen is a little more "whipped" making it easier to apply.

There are two reasons I love this sunscreen: First of all, it is ALL NATURAL, so it uses zinc oxide as its sun blocking ingredient, and not the scary chemicals seen in all the mainstream brand sunscreens. Second, I love how it feels on my skin. The additional ingredients like rose hips and cucumber are soothing and moisturizing.

I do want to note, though, that the Baby tube has a thick consistency. When I applied it, I squeezed about a pea size onto my finger tips and gently pat it all over my face. Then I spritz my face with a water based toner, like LUSH, and pat it into my skin the rest of the way. I wait over ten minutes before applying any other products to my skin (like makeup). Also, this is not a waterproof sunscreen, so if you are fair skinned like me and are planning to spend all day in the sun, be sure to apply it every two hours.

Your face, neck, decollete, and hands are usually the first to show signs of sun damage and aging. Be sure to spend the extra time protecting these areas in your morning routine.

Do you have a favorite sunscreen brand? Share it with me on the Scoop Facebook Page! Thanks for reading!

<3 Danielle

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Scoop on Healthy Living: MiFitLife Review


MiFitLife: iPhone App Review and Tips

MiFitLife is a fitness tracker application available in the app store for $4.99. What sets this app apart from others, is what it tracks. By filling out the starter survey (go to "Start Here" in Settings), it determines how your body consumes oxygen. Then you are given VO2 Max goals to help guide your fitness routine. The reason VO2 is important is because our body creates and uses energy when oxygen is delivered to our cells. According to their website, "for every liter of oxygen consumed, you convert 4.59 calories". It takes very little time to fill out the survey, and afterwards you are given an Age Adjusted VO2 Max (see top left image), and a 13 Week Goal Program (top right image) to increase your fitness. Every time you log an activity, it tells you how many VO2 Points you earned as well as how many calories it converts to (see image below).

Going through the MiFitLife website, especially the definitions, helped me orient myself with the app. It's really easy to log activities, but figuring out intensity was a little abstract to me for the first couple of days. I think my first week using this app, my progress was not accurate since I overestimated some activities, and underestimated others. Now I think I have a better handle on it, so my results will be more reliable.

Determining Intensity

Here is how i think of intensity for the use of this app. I thought of past examples of workouts I've done, and rated them from the hardest exertion I put myself through to the least. So now when I log a workout, I think of one of those in the past and see how it compares. Then I choose the intensity it is closest to. Basically, a 10 would be the hardest I have ever exerted myself in my entire life and a 1 would be something super easy, like walking slowly on a flat surface.

So for example, a couple weeks ago, I biked for 80 minutes at an average 3.5 intensity (it was hilly, so sometimes hard and sometimes very easy), and I earned 104 V02 Points which converted to 520 calories.

Honestly, if I was doing something under a level 3, I don't really think about logging it unless i did it for several hours. For example, I logged a number 2 for five hours when I spent a day walking around a new city I was visiting.

I recommend buying the app before a Sunday so that you can test out the activity calculators and get a feel for them before beginning the 13 week program.

What I Liked: 

I liked that this app made me think about the intensities of my workouts. Before I worked out, I would think about how intense I worked out the day before and usually this led me to push myself harder. It also encouraged me to work out most days of the week because I wanted to hit my VO2 Goal. Of course, I also like knowing how many calories were converted in my workout since that typically helps me eat healthier.

What I Would Like To See from MiFitLife in the Future:

I think it would be great if the app integrated the major muscle groups into the activity log (think of the "symptom checker" on webmd if this idea seems abstract.) I like to quickly look back at my workouts to see which muscle group I worked and on which day it was so I can make sure I'm switching it up. Also, I'd be curious to see how working a large muscle group (i.e. legs) intensely would compare to intensely working a smaller muscle group (i.e. arms) on the VO2 calculation.


If you are looking for a way to track the progress and effectiveness of your fitness regimen then I recommend you try this app. It will help you figure out whether your working hard enough, consistently. For that reason, I plan to continue to use it.

What fitness apps have you tried? Do you have a favorite? Share your experiences with me on Twitter @danielle0090.

Disclaimer: I was given a code to redeem this app for free for purpose of review. See Privacy Policy & Disclosure for more details.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Healthy Living: Rejuvenate Your Body, Become a Sometimes Vegan!

Photo Credit: Real California Milk

Dairy: My Frenemy

Do you have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance? I have the latter, and it can be challenging to eat around it sometimes. Most of the time, I take Digestive Advantage Daily Lactose Defense Formula Capsules before meals so that I can eat "normally", but other times I prefer to cut out dairy altogether. When I do, I honestly feel so much healthier. However, eating out can be a challenge and so I mostly practice dairy free eating at home.

I first noticed I was lactose intolerant in my freshman year of college. Though, when I think back, I'm pretty sure I have been most of my life, but the symptoms became much worse in college. To combat it, I went through a temporary vegan phase, and a much longer vegetarian phase, before deciding that siloing myself into a restrictive diet just didn't make me happy. Now I try to eat more balanced. Sometimes this includes meat and dairy, and a lot of the times it does not. I play it by ear and try to listen to my body.

For the other dairy intolerant readers out there, I've found "Go Dairy Free" to be an extremely informative and helpful website. It's full of recipes, tips and resources.

A Sometimes Vegan

Even though I found a vegan diet too restrictive, I do attempt it every few months for a set period of time (3 to 7 days) to rejuvenate. This is typically when I do the Kaeng Raeng cleanse as well. I always feel so good both during and after these periods of vegan living. As I've mentioned in my Kaeng Raeng review, choosing raw foods especially makes me think about every single thing I eat. If you're like me, then you don't want to keep a food journal. Taking a week every few months to eat a vegan diet can provide the necessary reality check you would get from keeping a food journal.
Photo Credit: Vegan Coach
I think it's best to take small steps, and then move towards bigger milestones. For example, for extreme meat eaters who meat with every meal, you're first step could be to have one meatless meal a week, and then one vegan meal a week. Eventually, work up to one vegan day a week, and on to multiple vegan days in a row every couple of months. It's important on your vegan days to eat wholesome food. So don't reach for that bag of chips just because there are no animal products in it. Eat REAL, unprocessed food :) Variety is key to get the most of the nutrients (see the pyramid above).

If you truly feel that a few days of vegan eating is too restrictive, I would encourage you to try a vegan-pescatarian hybrid of a diet, at least at first. Still cut out dairy, processed food, and other foods with animal by-products, but include a fish fillet with your meals. I guarantee you'll still feel amazing!


I would recommend that once you are able to go multiple days on a vegan diet to incorporate a cleanse. It restores balance to my body, and always motivates me to exercise.

What do you do to rejuvenate your body? Share your experiences with me on Twitter @danielle0090.