Tuesday, August 6, 2019

My Super Simple Beauty (& Makeup) Routine for Acne, Melasma, and Anti-Aging

It’s that time of the year again…

Beautycounter’s Friends + Family is back!!!

WHAT: 15% off site-wide*

WHEN: Today – August 12, 2019


  • Beautycounter hardly ever offers percentage-off sales like this one. Their promos are typically a free gift with purchase with a minimum order of $100+, so a straight-up discount with no minimum is a BIG DEAL!
  • It’s a great time to restock on your go-to favorites or try something you’ve been eyeing. Have you tried the Overnight Resurfacing Peel yet?!
  • Beautycounter has an amazing return policy! You get 60 days for a full refund on anything you purchase – no questions asked and free return shipping. You can’t beat that!!
Beautycounter friends and family sale

*Some exclusions apply: Sets and collections (they are already discounted) as well as Countertime aren’t included (since it’s a brand new line). BUT that doesn’t mean you still can’t save on Countertime – keep reading for a PRO-TIP!


Pro-tip explained: If you are already a Band of Beauty (BOB) member (if you are not, join RIGHT NOW, so you can save!), shop all of your favorites today, save 15% AND earn 10% back on product credit, which you can then turn around and use on Countertime! (Product credits should post immediately or by the next day at the latest.)


  • EARN 10% back in product credits
  • EARN our Hydrating Body Lotion ($25 value) for FREE
  • EARN free shipping on orders of $100 or more!


band of beauty gift

With the sale kicking off today, I thought it would be the perfect time to share my updated beauty (and makeup) routine. As you’ll see, I’m definitely not fancy when it comes to beauty products. I like to keep it simple, but I also want products that will perform well.

My Simple Beauty (& Makeup) Routine for Acne, Melasma, and Anti-Aging (Beautycounter)
I’ve tried A LOT of products over the years for my various skin woes – acne (since puberty!), melasma (since Quinn was born), and anti-aging (since my late-30s) and these products are truly the best. The majority are Beautycounter with a few other favorite brands mixed in. Some of them I’ve used for years and years and others (Countertime) are fairly new, but kicking butt as far as results go!
Morning routine
Evening routine

As always, if you have any questions at all about any of the products mentioned in this blog post, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help you make safer beauty choices, and I really love doing it! 🙂

P.S. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a Beautycounter consultant, now is such a great time to sign up. You could really kick-off your business by promoting the 15% off sale to family and friends. Send me a message at tinabeautycounter@gmail.com if you’d like to chat!

The post My Super Simple Beauty (& Makeup) Routine for Acne, Melasma, and Anti-Aging appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

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Dear Mark: What Are the Differences Between Vitamin K2 MK-4 and MK-7?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a question about the different forms of vitamin K2. Everyone knows the importance of vitamin K2—at least around these parts—but very few understand the differences between the various forms of vitamin K2. What are the respective benefits of vitamin K1, vitamin K2 MK-4, and vitamin MK-7? Where can we find each one?

Let’s find out:

Hi Mark,

Have you ever done an in-depth look at the differences between vitamin K2 MK-4 and MK-7?

No. I’ll do one now.

For those who don’t know, vitamin K2 comes in many different forms called menaquinones. MK-4 and MK-7 are the most important menaquinones. Pretty much all the vitamin K2 you’ll encounter in foods and in supplements is either MK-7 or MK-4 (or both), so these are the ones we most care about. There are also ones like MK-11 and MK-10, but we don’t know as much about them. What we do know seems to suggest they act a lot like MK-7. Whatever the case, they’re good.

What Are the General Benefits of Vitamin K2?

It directs calcium where to go in the body, sending it to the right places and preventing it from going to the wrong places. You want calcium in your bones and teeth. You don’t want calcium clogging up your arteries or forming kidney stones in your kidneys. Vitamin K2 is the messenger regulating both good and bad calcification.

It improves energy utilization, partially by increasing insulin sensitivity. The more insulin-sensitive you are, the better you can burn glucose without requiring tons of insulin. This allows you to both handle glucose and keep burning body fat.

It’s an important regulator of sex hormone status. Much like it puts calcium in the right places and removes it from the wrong places, vitamin K2 increases testosterone in men and reduces excess testosterone in women.

It protects tissues against cancer, selectively inducing cell death in cancer cells but not in healthy ones.

It’s a powerful inductor of gene expression. In general terms, it turns good genes on and bad genes off.

What About the Benefits Of Vitamin K1?

Found in many unfermented green plant foods, vitamin K1 isn’t useless by any means. It generally heads straight to the liver, where it contributes toward regulation of blood coagulation—the thinning or thickening of blood. People with problems controlling blood coagulation often end up on warfarin, a drug that promotes blood thinning and prevents blood clots. We can convert vitamin K1 to vitamin K2, but this depends on a number of factors, like gut health (much of the conversion occurs in the gut) and usage of certain medicines (statins inhibit conversion).

Back to vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 does what vitamin K1 can do, but more effectively, and then some.

The most-studied is MK-7. The majority of the MK-7 you consume goes to the bones and liver. In the bones, the MK-7 produces osteocalcin—a hormone which regulates bone health, increases testosterone, improves cognitive function and exercise performance, and maintains healthy insulin and glucose levels. Few people know the power of the bones (they’re actually organs) and MK-7 is one of the most important co-factors for realizing that power.

The best sources of MK-7 are fermented plant foods, like natto (fermented soybeans, but natto made with black beans and presumably other legumes will also be high in MK-7).

MK-4 tends to accumulate and act in the peripheral tissues, helping prevent against unwanted and/or unhealthy calcium accumulation. It’s also integral to gene expression and activation.

The best sources of MK-4 are animal foods, like egg yolks, chicken legs and thighs (and chicken dark meat in general—I bet the oysters on a chicken carcass are incredibly high in K2), and goose liver. Pork is also quite high in MK-10 and MK-11, whose biological activities haven’t been elucidated but are likely to be very helpful.

Another good source of a mix of menaquinones is hard cheese, with emmental, jarlsberg, and edam being highest.

Almost everyone should take a vitamin K2 supplement containing both MK-4 and MK-7. Many of the most troublesome and dangerous foods and drugs wreak havoc by inhibiting vitamin K2-dependent processes.

A group of researchers made a strong case that statins, warfarin, canola oil, and hydrogenated soybean oil trigger a host of metabolic and lifestyle diseases by inhibiting vitamin K2-dependent processes in the body:

Statins reduce levels of a necessary co-factor for converting vitamin K1 into vitamin K2 in the brain, testicles, kidney, bone, and other tissues. So if you’re taking statins and want vitamin K2 improving bone health, sexual function, cognition, and lowering the risk of kidney stones, you need to take extra.  You most likely need extra (throw in some CoQ10 while you’re at it, as statins also inhibit its production).

Warfarin—the blood thinning medication—reduces vitamin K recycling in the body, lowering vitamin K2 levels and even inducing arterial calcification. In effect, taking warfarin replaces the body’s need to naturally regulate blood coagulation through vitamin K, and natural processes drop off.

Canola oil and hydrogenated soybean oil both contain compounds that appear to inhibit vitamin K2 production in the body.

If you take statins, warfarin or eat canola oil and hydrogenated soybean oil, you should probably ask your doctor about supplementing with vitamin K2.

Similarly, postmenopausal women should take vitamin K2. In a recent study of postmenopausal women, those with osteoporosis had much lower levels of vitamin K2 (MK-7) than those without.

But to be honest? Supplementation is probably a good idea for everyone.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care and if you have any other questions about vitamin K2, drop them down below!



Klapkova E, Cepova J, Dunovska K, Prusa R. Determination of vitamins K, MK-4, and MK-7 in human serum of postmenopausal women by HPLC with fluorescence detection. J Clin Lab Anal. 2018;32(5):e22381.

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Yerba Mate Overnight Oats With Pistachio, Coconut & Honey

This post is sponsored by Argentine Yerba Mate

These overnight oats are lightly caffeine infused thanks to an overnight soak in Yerba Mate tea. Don’t skip the honey – it’s key to balance out the tea’s earthy flavor and adds sweetness to the crunchy pistachio and coconut toppings.

Yerba Energy + Sweet Crunch

I had been dreaming up an infused overnight oats recipe with yerba mate for summertime. You know that book When You Give A Mouse A Cookie? My brain kept cycling through the same train of thoughts between yerba mate, honey, and pistachios. Maybe because the yerba mate leaves are green and would match the pistachios? Or maybe because I always drizzle a little honey in my yerba and when I think of honey I also think of pistachios! (Because of baklava I suppose!)

So that makes yerba mate + honey + pistachios the three musketeers of this recipe. For even more crunch, I added toasted coconut on top!

Sip That Yerba

Argentine Yerba Mate is a rich source of antioxidants (with levels even higher than green tea!) and drinking it boosts your intake of B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, potassium, and manganese. Studies have shown that yerba mate may help protect the liver, aid in digestion, and increase fat oxidation. You can find Argentine Yerba Mate at speciality tea shops, Whole Foods, or on Amazon.

Giveaway On Instagram Today!

Be sure to head over to Instagram today because I’m giving away a $100 Whole Foods gift card and some cute coconut bowls so you can make some yerba-inspired recipes at home!

Make Extra!

This is the perfect “grab and go” energizing breakfast infused with the benefits of yerba mate. It will last a day or two in your fridge, so you can double or triple the recipe and add your toppings as you enjoy.

Honey, Don’t Skip The Honey

I know we healthy eaters like to skip sugary things, but don’t skip the honey! It’s so crucial to this recipe, and you’ll only be using two teaspoons – one stirred in and one on top. Plus honey has antioxidants too.


Yerba Mate Overnight Oats with Pistachios, Coconut, and Honey

These overnight oats are lightly caffeine infused thanks to an overnight soak in Yerba Mate tea. Don’t skip the honey – it’s key to balance out the tea’s earthy flavor and adds sweetness to the crunchy pistachio and coconut toppings.

  • 1/2 cup brewed and cooled Yerba Mate tea
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp honey (divided)
  • 1 tbsp shelled pistachios
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
  1. Mix tea, oats, and yogurt together until well combined. Stir in 1 tsp honey. Place in fridge overnight or at least 3-4 hours to allow oats to soak up tea. When oats are thick, toast coconut in a toaster or conventional oven for 2-3 minuets, being careful not to burn. Top oats with pistachios, coconut, and an additional drizzle of honey.

Other Yerba Mate Recipes You Might Like:

Thanks to Argentine Yerba Mate for sponsoring this post!

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Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Recipe

This blue cheese vinaigrette is made with just four simple ingredients and packs a powerfully delicious, flavorful punch!

Homemade vinaigrette is amazing stuff. And this particular recipe is extra… Read more →

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