4 Natural Skin-Care Ingredients That’ll Transform Your Skin

Image result for 4 Natural Skin-Care Ingredients That'll Transform Your SkinThey come from small red berries and evergreen forests, but these skin-care ingredients can go head-to-head with their lab-grown peers. Meet the natural wonders that are generating buzz — and transforming complexions.

Manuka Honey

You’ve probably seen headlines like: “I Washed My Face With Honey and It Was the Most Amazing Thing Ever.” Though we don’t actually drizzle the stuff on our face as if it’s a parfait, honey as a skin-care ingredient — specifically manuka honey from New Zealand or Australia — is, in fact, amazing. Unlike the antioxidants in other honey varieties, “the ones in manuka honey are very strong, so they don’t get destroyed as easily,” says Jeannette Graf, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York. Add to that the fact that manuka honey is super moisturizing and suddenly smearing it on directly from the jar doesn’t seem so crazy after all. “It’s also antibacterial, which means it’s good for acne,” says Graf. Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream relies on the ingredient’s high polyphenol content to protect the skin barrier while moisturizing, and Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm ($38) pairs manuka honey with peptides to soften lines and leave skin dewy.

Bearberry

Also known by what’s surely a Balderdash word (kinnikinnick), the bearberry plant is one of nature’s most potent skin brighteners. In addition to antioxidants, bearberry extract contains arbutin, which acts a lot like hydroquinone (the most effective ingredient for fading dark spots). “Both inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme involved in pigment production,” says Jordana Herschthal, a dermatologist in Boca Raton, Florida. Although naturally occurring arbutin isn’t quite as potent as hydroquinone, it may be safer, she says. (You shouldn’t use hydroquinone when you’re pregnant or nursing.) Bearberry should help fade dark spots in about four to six weeks. Since brightening ingredients are more effective when they’re paired with a retinoid, products with both (like Allies of Skin Bright Future Overnight Facial, $114, and Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution, $88) will get you glowier, faster.

Bakuchiol

You may have heard us mention retinol, oh, once or twice. The magical ingredient has been smoothing lines, fading spots, and busting acne since before most millennials were born. Well: “Bakuchiol is like a natural version of retinol,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson, who likes it in Whish Recovering Night Cream ($72). The extract comes from the babchi herb, which is used in Chinese medicine to treat skin conditions. “The data is really impressive,” says Wilson. “You get similar efficacy from bakuchiol [as retinol], without the drying side effects.” And bakuchiol is an antioxidant, so “it can be a better choice when you want both anti-aging and skin brightening,” adds cosmetic chemist Ginger King.

Pine

We’re not talking about any old evergreen. The pine that will transform skin must be the French maritime variety that grows in the Mediterranean region. Research has suggested that extract from the bark of Pinus pinaster can accelerate wound healing and reduce scar formation. “Because it offers powerful antioxidant protection from free radical damage, it’s also great for smoothing aging and photodamaged skin,” says cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta. (Try Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift, $100.) If you’re concerned more about breakouts than crow’s-feet, this specific pine is also astringent and mattifies oily skin. (Try Boscia Luminizing Black Mask, $34.) When ingested — like in the supplement pycnogenol — it delivers a megadose of antioxidants to calm inflammation, protect collagen, and improve hydration levels in the skin, says Cincotta.

The Best DIYs

Laying seaweed on your face isn’t going to do anything except make you smell weird. You have to isolate botanical extracts to change your skin­ — and pulsing an avocado in a Vitamix won’t do the trick, says Graf. The exceptions: six raw ingredients that you can pick up at Whole Foods and smear right on your face for effective DIY skin care.

1. To calm breakouts: East Indian sandalwood oil is an essential oil that’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and ideal for shrinking pimples, says Graf. It can be irritating if you put it directly on skin, though, so dilute one or two drops in six ounces of skin-soothing almond oil.

2. To plump wrinkles and rehab dry skin: “Rose hip–seed oil contains a natural form of retinol to help improve fine lines,” says Marius Morariu, a cofounder of Tracie Martyn skin care. Evening primrose oil is high in omega-6, which is great for severely chapped skin.

3. To get a glow: Many essential oils are too irritating to apply right on your skin, but jojoba, almond, and apricot oils are gentle and absorb easily, making them ideal for moisturizing.

Pregnancy PSA on Naturals

Many women switch to natural skin-care products when they’re pregnant or breastfeeding to avoid exposing their baby to certain synthetic — and potentially harmful — ingredients. But seeing plant extracts or essential oils on an ingredient list doesn’t guarantee safety: “There are natural ingredients, like peppermint oil, clary sage oil, rosemary oil, and juniper oil, [in bath soaks and face serums] that have been shown to cause issues with lactation and early labor,” says Herschthal, who has studied the effects of skin-care ingredients on pregnant women. If you want to use natural products when you’re pregnant, stay away from those ingredients, she says.

All products in this story meet Allure’s natural standards: no parabens, petroleum, mineral oil, phthalates, aluminum, talc, sodium laurel sulfate, triclosan, formaldehyde, toluene, or chemical sunscreens.

A version of this article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Allure. To get your copy, head to newsstands or subscribe now.

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50% off Fallout 4 – Deal Alert

fallout 4

Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, welcome you to the world of Fallout 4 – their most ambitious game ever, and the next generation of open-world gaming.  As the sole survivor of Vault 111, you enter a world destroyed by nuclear war. Every second is a fight for survival, and every choice is yours. Only you can rebuild and determine the fate of the Wasteland.  Currently Amazon has the PC and XBOX ONE versions discounted by 50% and the PS4 is 43% off.  Check out these deals on Amazon.

This story, “50% off Fallout 4 – Deal Alert” was originally published byTechConnect.

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This week in games: Dirt 4 revealed, Square Enix teams up with Marvel’s Avengers, and more

Dirt 4

I hope you like videos, because we have about a million of them this week. Launch trailers, announcement vids, Planet Coaster rides, the works.

This week: A Dirt 4 teaser, Bossa’s new skateboarding turf war, Square Enix teaming up with Marvel, Ni No Kuni II on PC, the Pillars of Eternity documentary, the end of Star Wars recreated as a roller coaster, and so much more.

This is your gaming news for the busiest week of January, a.k.a. January 23 to 27.

Tony Hawk: American Paintland

Bossa’s Worlds Adrift isn’t even released yet, but apparently the studio’s been working on two games simultaneously. This week the Surgeon Simulator dev announced Decksplash, some sort of skateboarding game that involves painting an arena with sweet tricks. Literally.

I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. There’s video though:

The long tail

There are two releases I’m excited about this week. The surprising part? Both are related to games that launched way back in ye olde 2015. Some of 2015’s best games, actually. First up, Crypt of the Necrodancer, which released its Amplified DLC prequel into Early Access.

And then there’s Cayne, a free (FREE!) prequel chapter to isometric horror game Stasis. I haven’t gotten a chance to play Cayne yet and don’t know how good it is, but Stasis itself was brilliant. Highly recommended.

Dirty

Another new announcement: Dirt 4, which is set to release a mere four months from now on June 6. Presumably 2015’s Dirt Rally will live on as the sim-oriented half of the series and Dirt 4 will be more arcade-y—a bit of a Forza and Forza Horizon dynamic. We’ll see! For now, there’s just a short teaser.

Avenged

When’s the last time there was a good Marvel game? Maybe one of the Lego titles? Point being: Marvel may have taken over Netflix and movie theaters, but its video games have been either bad or nonexistent since the PS2 era.

That might change, though. This week Square announced a partnership with Marvel, with both Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal apparently working on an Avengers game. Let’s hope it’s as interesting and innovative as Spider-Man 2 was at the time.

A trailer for every star in the galaxy

BioWare’s certainly making up for the fact we had no Mass Effect news for months and months and months. This week? Two trailers, one cinematic (below) and another focusing on the crew.

Quake!(Con)

When’s the last time Quake was the focus of QuakeCon? Been a while, eh?

But with Bethesda announcing Quake Champions at E3 2016, it’s safe to say it’ll take center stage at this year’s QuakeCon. If that piques your interest, Bethesda announced it’ll return to Dallas from August 24 to 27. And hey, it’s free so…

Pray for release

The star of QuakeCon 2016 will probably not make another appearance this year though, considering it releases on May 5. That’s Prey of course, which nabbed an official release date.

Ni No Kuni on PC

The original Ni No Kuni and its painterly art style may be forever stuck on the PS3, but its sequel is making moves. Bandai Namco announced this week that Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will be coming to the PC day-and-date with the PS4.

Lamentations of the players

Conan Exiles hits Early Access next week, and if you’re curious what to expect then here’s a trailer featuring a crucifixion, a burly man, and a sabertooth with a scorpion tail.

Thimbleweed Park

This post is reaching its trailer capacity, but I somehow missed a Thimbleweed Park trailer last week so I’m going to rectify that now because, well, the game looks great. This one centers on Ransome, the swear-filled clown.

Building Pillars

Pillars of Eternity II launched a Fig campaign just yesterday and it’s already blown past its $1.1 million goal. Excellent. If you’re curious what goes into game development though, you might be interested in watching The Road to Eternity, the documentary that chronicled development of the first Pillars of Eternity (originally for backers only). Set aside an hour and a half this weekend and watch.

That’s no moon, it’s a roller coaster

Planet Coaster’s been out for a bit and we’re starting to see some really impressive projects—like “Death Star Strike,” a Star Wars-themed coaster replete with a Millenium Falcon, X-Wings, TIE Fighters, and the trench run from A New Hope. Created by Chuck Maurice and Co., the coaster apparently took over 100 hours of work and all I can say is “Wow.” (Via Rock Paper Shotgun)

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Gears of War 4 adds multiplayer crossplay for Windows 10, Xbox One gamers

gears of war 4

Microsoft’s ambitious Play Anywhere initiative, which lets PC and Xbox gamers game together, made unexpected strides on Friday, when it was announced that Gears of War 4’s crossplay will expand beyond cooperative mode to include multiplayer competition.

The feature, however, will be limited to Social Quickplay, rather than competitive ranked matches, Microsoft said. So your dreams of a “Super Bowl” of GoW play between the best PC and Xbox players will have to wait.

Interestingly, when Microsoft tested GoW4’s expanded crossplay features at the end of 2016, participation heavily favored the Xbox One. Of the 115,000 players that took part in the test weekend, there was a whopping 91-9 percentage split between the Xbox One and the Windows 10 platform. Over 750,000 matches were played.

To the question of which platform came out on top, Microsoft said the two sides were pretty even: Windows 10 and Xbox players had “closely matched results” when comparing their average kills and deaths, score, and kills per match. Nevertheless, Microsoft said the game’s Core and Competitive rankings will remain separated: Xbox players will only play Windows players, for example, to maintain parity.

“When we looked at the extensive data we received, thanks to the incredible participation from our community, there was a clear message—it works,” the company said in a blog post.

Why this matters: When played with a decent community of polite, competitive opponents, multiplayer gaming can be awesome. Crossplay simply opens up this experience to a larger number of potential players. For its part, Microsoft is really trying to establish Windows and the Xbox as one happy, collective ecosystem, and crossplay is a big part of that.

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Blue and black Redmi Note 4 color options now available outside China

Late last month, Xiaomi announced two new color options for its Redmi Note 4 smartphone – black and blue. Until now these models were China-exclusive, but that just changed.

From what is currently known, the new variants are now available for purchase in Malaysia, where retailer DirectD has them listed on its website.

The black model is available in 32GB storage option, while the listing for the blue model reveals 64GB internal memory. The former costs RM 849 (around $190), while the latter carries an RM 999 (around $225) price tag.

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The Nexus 4 is getting some CyanogenMod love with 14.1 nightly builds

If you are the type of person, who tends to form attachments to particular tech and don’t really feel like moving on or upgrading regularly, then chances are you have already found your perfect phone years back and are still with it.

If that is the case and taking into account you are currently on a tech-centric site, chances are you are familiar witch CyanogenMod and might even be running the custom OS. Then, you will also be happy to hear that despite the recent calamities over at Cyanogen Inc., the dedicated custom ROM group is still alive and well and constantly expanding its device reach.

The team appears to currently be working mostly on CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on the bleeding-edge Android 7.1 Nougat. Their dedication must really run deep, as nightly builds will soon be available for the four-year-old LG Nexus 4 (mako) as well. In the meantime, there is an experimental build already up and you can also get said software for a few other devices:

  • ASUS ZenPad 8.0 Z380KL (P024)
  • LG G3 (T-Mobile) (d851)
  • LG G Pad 8.3 (v500)
  • Nexus 5 CAF (hammerheadcaf)
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 AU (kltekdi)
  • Sony Xperia M (nicki)

If you are not in the know, however, it is worth noting that, like the name suggests, nightly builds come out on a daily basis and contain all the code the CyanogenMod team has been working on up until that point. That makes them inherently unstable and susceptible to bugs. That being said, if you plan on updating your main handset, you might be better off waiting for a stable release down the road. And another quick note to any Nexus 5 users wondering about the CAF notation in the list. It is there to indicate that only units running on a Qulcomm sourced CAF kernel can install the ROM. If that raises more questions than it answers, a quick Google search for “AOSP vs CAF” will likely clear things up.

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4 great apps for tackling your to-do lists

With scheduling, reminders, and other features, these apps make crossing tasks off a list even more satisfying.

to do list stock image
Credit: Ridofranz / iStock
COMMENTS
The humble to-do list is the foundation of every productivity plan. Its a natural instinct to unburden our brains by itemizing our most pressing tasks, and few things feel as satisfying as crossing a task off the list.

Though a simple pen and paper is still an effective way to keep track of the things you need to do, a good to-do app will actually remind you to do them, allow you to easily manage multiple lists, and sync across your devices so you always have your list at hand. Here are a few of our favorites.

Google Keep

Google Keep often gets overlooked in Googles productivity offerings. Thats a shame, because this free Android and iOS apps capabilities rival those of Evernote and Microsoft OneNote. One of its many tricks is the ability to track tasks and assure you get them done.

google keep for ios

Google Keep

Google Keep can turn any note into a checklist.

Any Google Keep note can be converted into a checklist so you can tick off items as you complete them. If you keep multiple lists, say Work and Personal, you can manage these with labels and color coding. Most helpful of all is you can use Keeps time- and location-based reminders to prod you to execute tasks in certain settings.

Wunderlist

Purchased by Microsoft last year, Wunderlist continues to be one of the most powerful cross-platform to-do apps available. It makes it easy to manage multiple lists and share them with others.

One of Wunderlists strengths is its streamlined interface. Adding and checking off items is intuitive, as is setting due dates and reminders, moving items to different lists, and assigning to-dos to others. Not surprisingly, Microsoft has also added integration with Outlook.

wunderlist

Wunderlist

Wunderlist lets you set due dates and reminders, assign tasks to others, and more.

If you upgrade the free version to Wunderlist Pro ($5/month, $49/year), you can share and collaborate on tasks with colleagues, friends, and family. Best of all, Wunderlist works can sync across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and the web.

Tick Tick

Newcomer Tick Tick is proving itself a competitor to more entrenched apps thanks to its simple interface and wealth of features. You can set daily, weekly, and monthly recurring tasks; drag-and-drop items to move or reorder them; set deadlines and reminders; share lists; and more.

tick tick

Tick Tick

Tick Tick offers an intuitive interface and a wealth of features, including recurring to-do.

Upgrade to the pro version ($2/month, $20/year), and you get a calendar view of all your tasks, plus revision history, and unlimited lists, tasks, and sub-tasks.

Youll also be able to access your to-do lists from virtually anywhere: Tick Tick is available for Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, Apple Watch, Android Wear, Chrome and Firefox browsers, and the web.

Clear

With its bold colors and simple gestures, Clear ($5 for iOS, $10 for Mac) remains a strong choice for Apple users. The award-winning app pares down features to keep the focus on tracking and completing tasks.

clear

Clear

Clear uses color shadings to give you a heat-map view of your most pressing lists.

Clear shows only the names of your lists with a number denoting how many items it contains. Shadings of color are used to give you a heat-map sense of each list for at-a-glance prioritizing, and reminders can be added to tasks. To emphasize simplicity, functions are performed through a system of pull-downs, pinches, and swipes, making it easy to get through your lists quicklywhich is the ultimate goal of any to-do list.

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Xiaomi Redmi 4 (unofficially) detailed: 1080p screen, 3s-like specs

The Xiaomi Redmi 3 launched in January and saw multiple revisions (3s, Pro, Prime), but the new Redmi 4 is quickly clearing the regulatory hurdles to gaining an official status.

Info coming out of China suggests that the new model will upgrade the 5” screen to 1080p resolution (up from 720p) and the 13MP camera on the back gains a second LED for its flash (the selfie cam remains at 5MP).

The Xiaomi Redmi 4 is powered by an unnamed Snapdragon chipset with an octa-core processor, a Snapdragon 430 perhaps? It’s paired to 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage, same as the most recent editions of the 3 like the 3s Prime. The metal body will be available in Gray, Silver and Gold and will house a 4,000mAh battery, essentially the same as previous versions.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Xiaomi Redmi 4 Xiaomi Redmi 4 Xiaomi Redmi 4
Xiaomi Redmi 4

The phone will allegedly launch at CNY 1,300 ($190/€175), close to double what the original Redmi 3 cost. By the way, the international version of the Redmi 3s is €160 currently.

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October security patch starts hitting Samsung Galaxy Note 4

A new update has started hitting the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Currently being rolled out to units in Europe, the update weighs in at around 350MB, bumps the firmware version to XXS1DPJ3, and brings along Android security patch for the month of October.

Aside from the latest security patch, the update also includes several other changes, such as battery optimizations as well as performance and stability-related improvements.

As is usually the case with OTA roll-outs, it may take some time for the update to hit your device. Meanwhile, if you feel impatient, you can manually check for the update by heading to your handset’s Settings menu.

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This week in games: Diablo 4 whispers, Civilization VI launch

diablo ii

I thought I’d be posting news about Red Dead Revolution 2 here this week, but since Rockstar didn’t bother announcing a PC version, instead we’ll roll with Diablo 4 rumors,Stellaris getting a big story expansion, Watch Dogs 2 needing two extra weeks to hit PC, and King’s Quest finally drawing to a close.

Definitely no Nintendo Switch or Red Dead news here. This is your PC gaming news for October 17 through 21.

Watch (everyone else play) Watch Dogs

In a now-familiar move for anyone who follows Ubisoft’s November releases, Watch Dogs 2 has been delayed on PC—but only for two weeks! Now it’ll launch November 29 instead of day-and-date with consoles on November 15. Good news for people who don’t want a repeat of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, bad news for people who hoped to play it over Thanksgiving.

And I mean, if the game is bad at least the console reviews will warn you.

Speaking of, the “Let’s Completely Overhaul This Game” 1.4 patch for The Division goes live October 25. Maybe some of you are still playing The Division? Maybe?

One last Titanfall trailer

It’s true: EA really is going to dump Titanfall 2 a week after Battlefield 1 and a week beforeCall of Duty. That seems crazy! But here’s one final trailer, barring a last-minute delay to…you know, like March or something.

BlizzCon Rumors

We’re two or three weeks out from the start of BlizzCon 2016 Edition, and that means the rumors are starting to fly fast and thick out here. The biggest story: A potential Diablo 4announcement, the root of which can be traced back to a BlizzCon promo bag with a four-sided die, or “D4.” Here’s Rhykker with a longer explanation, or you can just wait until BlizzCon kicks off on November 4 to find out more.

Still questing

While not quite as drawn out as the episodic structure of say, Kentucky Route Zero, at almost a year-and-a-half since the first episode of the new King’s Quest it’s been…well, basically forever since we started this journey. Some incentive to go back, though: The fifth and final chapter releases on October 25.

And I count myself among those who need to return to the series—I haven’t played since the first chapter. Time to catch up.

Rusty Lake 2

Rusty Lake Hotel is one of my favorite “I’ll give this game a try” games of 2016, so word that there’s already a sequel and that it released this week? Excellent. Here’s a trailer forRusty Lake: Roots.

Leviathans

The Paradox DLC Machine is hard at work. Stellaris received its first story-centric expansion this week, subtitled Leviathans, which fleshes out the mid-game. There’s a trailer below. But more important: The free 1.3 Heinlein patch is also out now, bringing with it some system and UI tweaks. Quality-of-life stuff.

Launch day

Other strategy news this week: Civilization VI launches today. Here’s a launch trailer, featuring a lady with scary-big eyeballs.

Sigh

“We traced his bloodline back 500 years…to the Assassin’s Creed.” That’s all I have to say about this trailer for the upcoming movie. Fingers crossed that line was cobbled together specifically for the trailer, because…yeah.

Nope 7

A few weeks ago someone modded an exploding Note 7 into Grand Theft Auto V. Samsung was so honored, they tried to get the video taken down with a DMCA claim. YouTube denied their request. Here’s the video again, for posterity.

Let sleeping dogs lie

Normally I’d end on that ridiculous Samsung news again, but this week I’d like to take a serious moment and lament the closing down of United Front, the studio that madeSleeping Dogs. Apparently United Front’s latest game Smash + Grab wasn’t enough to save them (despite a free weekend just this past week), and the studio has reportedly closed down. Refunds for Smash + Grab are available through Steam.

It’s one hell of a sad end to a talented studio. Best of luck to those affected.
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