February 01, 2023 0 Comments
Toners may seem like just an extra tedious step in your skincare routine, but if you’re not using one, you might be missing out. Adding a toner to your routine after cleansing can help revive your complexion in many ways you might not know about. But toners aren’t all the same, and you’ll need to find one that’s kind to your skin and not full of harsh ingredients. This article will give you all the info you need to find the right toner and soak up all the benefits of using one.
The word ‘toner’ can be confusing and have many different meanings. The meaning has even evolved over time, making it even more confusing. First off, what does ‘tone’ refer to anyway? We usually think of skin tone as color. But in this context, tone refers more to the overall look and feel of your skin. In other words, characteristics like brightness, texture and firmness. A toner is meant to improve all these attributes and keep skin looking young and fresh.
But facial toners can still have a wide variety of ingredients and purposes. They can even have different names! Flower essence, floral water, hydrosol, toner…they’re all different words for similar products. But the main difference between toning products is the ingredients.
When you look for a toner for your skin, the first place to look is the ingredients. You’ll notice they’re not all created equal, and lots of them are made with overly harsh ingredients, or even dangerous ones, that could end up hurting more than helping you.
Alcohol – Alcohol comes in various forms. The ones we’re referring to here are SD alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and denatured alcohol. These have a drying effect on your skin and will strip it of its natural oils, weaken the skin’s protective barrier, and disrupt the microbiome. Even oily skin is better off without alcohol.
Salicylic acid – Salicylic acid is touted as an exfoliator and is mainly used to treat oily and acne-prone skin. The problem is that it can irritate the skin and strip too much oil from it, leaving it dry and red, stinging or itchy.
Phthalates – These are synthetic chemicals found in many personal products known to be endocrine disruptors, which affect the function of hormones in your body and can cause serious health problems. If a product is labeled “phthalate-free,” be sure it doesn’t have “fragrances” as an ingredient because these may contain hidden phthalates.
Benzoyl peroxide – This is used primarily for blemished skin but can also be quite harsh on your skin. It can cause a reaction and aggravate any existing skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis.
Fragrance – Fragrance is a vague term for a variety of unidentified ingredients that could cause skin irritation and more severe health problems.
To choose a toner, you want to first eliminate products with these ingredients and look for an all-natural, toxin-free toner. Then, you can pick one that is best for your skin type.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you can try products that have witch hazel as a natural astringent in your toner. Tea tree oil, citrus oils and other astringent herbs like green tea work well to remove excess oil too.
For dry skin, look for ingredients that have ultra-hydrating properties like aloe vera, rose, oat, and lavender. Sensitive skin types should try toners with lavender, chamomile, oat and calendula.
Some toners are good for all skin types. You'll need to read the labels, and you might have to try some out to see which ones work best for you. Our own Lavender Toner is a gentle, nontoxic formula that is perfect for every skin type, especially easily irritated skin.
1. Hydrates skin
Because toners are water-based, they provide the necessary moisture your skin needs. When you apply a toner after cleansing, your skin is better prepped for your moisturizer, which then seals in the water molecules and phytonutrients from your toner.
2. Calms, soothes skin
As long as you're using an all-natural toner without the harsh ingredients listed above, your toner should be soothing to your skin. If you are highly sensitive, you should only use a toner a few times a week instead of every day. Always pay attention to how your skin reacts to the product you’re using.
3. Balances pH
Often the cleanser we use can cause our skin to become slightly alkaline, making it feel tight and dry. Part of a toner’s job is to balance the pH and return it to its normal, slightly acidic state, eliminating any tight feeling. Proper pH is also vital for your skin's natural flora to thrive.
4. Helps cleanse skin
Using a toner after cleansing can help remove any excess oil and dirt that might be left over. It helps ensure your skin is clear of oil, dead skin cells and built-up makeup residue to help you avoid blemishes, dryness, or a dull-looking complexion.
Some toners are sold in spray bottles (like ours!), but you can also apply them using a cotton ball or pad.
5. Shrinks pores
Toner helps clear out your pores of oil and debris, allowing them to close and become less visible. This makes your face look smoother and healthier.
If you aren’t using one already, it might be time to consider a toner as a simple way to boost the health of your largest organ. It’s an extra step that you won’t mind taking once you see the results it can bring. There are a variety of herbal ingredients in toners that can help correct your skin issues, whether you are acne-prone, dry or sensitive. Try it! You might love the way a toner makes your face glow!
January 25, 2023 0 Comments
Going to the spa for a professional facial treatment leaves you feeling and looking like a million bucks. Which is a good thing because sometimes they cost a million bucks! But what if you could get that same glowing feeling without spending lots of cash at the spa?
Luckily, there is a way! You can do your own at-home facial massage. Facial massage isn’t new, but it’s becoming increasingly popular lately because of all the benefits it provides. So if you’re looking for a way to revive your skin that’s easy and affordable, facial massage might be your thing.
In this post, we’ll talk about the fabulous benefits of massaging your face. Then we’ll go over some useful tools that you can use for different types of facial massage. And then we’ll tell you how to do it for the best results.
Many of the benefits of facial massage come from the increased blood flow created by putting pressure on the muscles in your face. But it also helps in other ways.
1. Reduce puffiness
Our faces can become puffy when we retain water. This can happen for many reasons, but some more common ones are eating too much salt, not getting good sleep, a reaction to a product, menstruation, or drinking alcohol. Facial massage can help by getting blood to circulate better through your face.
2. Detoxify your pores
Another major benefit of facial massage is that it encourages a better flow of lymph fluid in your face. As our skin is exposed to so many pollutants and toxins every day, our skin starts to look dull and tired. To minimize the damage, we rely on lymph fluid to carry the toxins away to where they're eliminated from our bodies so our skin can be bright and healthy.
3. Increase nutrients
Skin cells function best when they have all the nutrients they need to do their job. With better blood flow, oxygen, vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids and antioxidants are delivered to the cells faster. These nutrients keep skin cells healthy and allow them to do things like maintain moisture, repair damage, generate new cells, and so much more.
4. Reduce wrinkles
Facial massage is also an effective way to slow down the signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines. How? The massaging action can boost your skin’s own production of collagen. Collagen gives your skin its structure and keeps it firm, so more collagen equals fewer wrinkles and fine lines.
5. Tones and firms
Over time, our skin tends to lose its overall tone and firmness, and the shape of our face changes partly because of this. Facial massage can help improve our skin's tautness, giving us a more radiant and youthful look. This tightening effect is due mainly to enhanced collagen production, but massage also improves the tone of the muscles underneath the skin.
6. Boost skin repair
As facial massage improves nutrient delivery, our skin will be much more prepared to heal and repair itself. Vitamins, fats and minerals are more available to fix damage to the skin’s moisture barrier, and antioxidants are more abundant to prevent and fight damage caused by free radicals. Free radical damage happens all the time from exposure to harsh elements and our own metabolism of food, so any help we can get is welcome. Better ability to repair also means facial massage can help reduce scars due to acne.
A good massage of any kind triggers our bodies and minds to let go of tension and relax. Incorporating facial massage that you can easily do at home will lower stress levels, which also helps your skin function well. This is because higher cortisol levels can cause inflammation, leading to acne and skin irritations. Plus, it’s always good to discover new ways to help reduce stress and lift our mood!
A few tools are popular choices to facilitate facial massage. Remember, however, that you don’t need to buy an instrument. Instead, you can just use your fingers if you prefer.
Face rollers are usually made from some type of crystal, like jade or rose quartz. They're elliptical in shape and have a handle, so they glide effortlessly over your skin. You’ll want to roll in a specific pattern to get the best effects. They’re also cool to the touch for a soothing experience.
Gua sha is an ancient practice with roots in traditional Chinese medicine. The gua sha method involves a curvy-edged tool made out of smooth jade stone that you use to glide over your face and stimulate “chi” or energy channels. This also requires a specific technique (see below).
You can also use electric devices to uplevel your face massage. They can be a bit more expensive, though, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll work better.
Ice globes are round face massage tools made of glass or metal that are filled with water or gel and are meant to be used frozen or cold. They’re said to help reduce inflammation and puffiness by constricting blood vessels. They can also help with sinus problems by cooling them down as you roll over them.
Here are a few different types of facial massage and tips on performing them to get the most skin benefits. Always start with clean hands and a clean tool, no matter which technique you’re using. Also, always begin with cleansing your face.
You’ll also want to use a serum or face oil to facilitate the massaging motion across your skin. And don’t forget to be gentle!
1. Hold the gua sha tool at a 30 to 45-degree angle. Use the curved side of the tool.
2. Massage using upward motions for the best lymph flow on your face, but use downward strokes on your neck.
3. Start with your neck, then move to your jawline, chin and around the mouth.
4. Use 3-5 short strokes in each area, only going in one direction (upward and outward). Don’t massage back and forth.
5. Next, move to the cheeks and then underneath the eye area with upward and outward strokes, starting from the nose. Be extra gentle under the eyes.
6. Glide the tool over your forehead, starting at the midline and gliding outwards.
7. Perform gua sha 2-3 times each week, either in the morning or at night.
Face rollers and other devices
1. Keep your roller or globe in the fridge or the freezer for a cooling effect.
2. Roll upwards and outwards from the midline of your face.
3. Start with your neck, then move up to each area of your face, just like with gua sha.
4. Perform for about 5 minutes total.
1. Clean and warm up your hands, and use gentle or moderate pressure on your skin.
2. Apply a little oil or serum to your fingertips for easy gliding.
3. You can use circular motions with your fingertips on your jawline and temples.
4. Try gently pinching your eyebrows between your index finger and thumb. Then, glide your fingers outward along your brows.
5. Form a heart shape using both your index fingers. Now, take your bent fingers and lay the sides of them flat on your jawline. Then slide your fingers outward toward your ears. You can use this same technique above your eyebrows.
Facial massage is a simple method you can incorporate into your skin routine to boost your skin’s overall health. Better blood and lymph flow will help get rid of toxins and allow more nutrients to be delivered to your skin cells. Your face will look and feel more radiant, youthful and healthier than ever before!
January 18, 2023 0 Comments
It’s natural to want to smell good (trust me, everyone wants this for you). Luckily, antiperspirants and deodorants are made for this noble purpose. But while they both work well to reduce odor, antiperspirants and deodorants are not equal. Not only that, but some of them are made with harmful ingredients. And just like any other product that touches our skin, what we put on our armpits matters.
To make the best choice for your sometimes stinky underarms, you’ll need to know how these products differ and what to look out for. When it comes to your health, we wholeheartedly believe in using products with the most natural, nontoxic ingredients and avoiding any chemicals that can wreak havoc on your health.
In this post, you’ll find out everything you need to know about underarm products to make the best decision about what to use to naturally, safely and effectively control unpleasant armpit odor.
Many antiperspirants and deodorants you find on store shelves contain chemicals that are either harmful to your health, irritating to your skin, or both. If you don’t know what to look for, you might be putting toxins on your skin that could make their way into your bloodstream and potentially cause serious health problems.
Here are the primary chemicals to avoid:
Antiperspirants use aluminum salts to do what they’re meant to do: to stop you from sweating. On the other hand, deodorants don’t use aluminum salts because they’re intended to mask or cover up underarm smells and not prevent perspiration.
How does it work? When you sweat while wearing an antiperspirant, the aluminum salts absorb into your skin and form a plug in your pores. This stops the sweat from escaping through your pores and keeps it trapped in your skin. The purpose is to reduce the build-up of odor-causing bacteria by keeping your skin dry.
You may have heard about some of the health concerns over aluminum in antiperspirants. One of the most alarming concerns has been that aluminum in antiperspirants might be linked to breast cancer. Some scientists believe aluminum gets absorbed into the bloodstream and causes mutations that lead to the growth of tumors. Another theory is that toxins in sweat get trapped in the skin and end up in the lymph nodes, causing cancer to form.
According to the American Cancer Society, no large studies involving humans have necessarily shown a connection between antiperspirants containing aluminum and breast cancer risk. However, some smaller studies do suggest a possible link, which isn’t very comforting.
Another concern about aluminum is that it may cause Alzheimer’s disease. This concern arose from studies done in the ‘60s that found this metal was present in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. But since then, research hasn’t been able to reinforce this conclusion. Also, there is some debate over whether the aluminum from antiperspirants gets absorbed into the body or simply stays in the skin.
Though research hasn’t shown direct conclusive evidence, knowing there are such significant potential health risks associated with antiperspirants is still worrisome. That’s why using a deodorant made with natural, nontoxic ingredients is the safest option for both your well-being and peace of mind.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is often used in natural deodorants because it does a great job of absorbing odors. It works by controlling the pH and inhibiting odor-causing bacteria from forming in your pits. The problem is that baking soda is highly abrasive and can cause skin irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Arrowroot is a gentler odor-absorbing alternative to baking soda that also reduces moisture and inhibits bacteria.
The good news is that natural deodorant actually works! That means you don’t have to settle for deodorants that come with a bunch of sketchy ingredients and a whole host of health concerns. Natural deodorants are able to effectively absorb moisture and keep smelly armpit odor away without any negative impact on your health.
Our new All-Natural Aluminum-Free Deodorant contains non-nano zinc oxide, arrowroot powder and probiotics to maintain a healthy bacterial balance and eliminate odor all day long. It’s also free of environmentally unfriendly palm oil, and has coconut oil and cocoa butter to smooth out underarm skin.
Besides getting rid of underarm odor with ease, natural deodorant that doesn’t contain aluminum is excellent for a long list of reasons.
If you dislike toxic chemicals as much as we do, all-natural aluminum-free deodorant is the only way to go to get rid of odor without compromising your health. There are too many concerns linked to antiperspirants and deodorants to feel comfortable putting them on your precious skin. Natural deodorants can do the same job, but save you a lot of stress. If you haven’t already, make the switch and go about your day smelling wonderful with confidence!
January 11, 2023 0 Comments
The signs of aging on our skin are unmistakable: wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, dark spots, sagging, and a dull-looking complexion. When they start to appear, it can shake our confidence and hurt our self-esteem. We will all experience some or all of these visible signs of aging on our faces and bodies sometime in our lives.
But do you ever wonder why these changes happen?
Underneath the surface, our skin cells undergo slow and steady changes in their capacity to function as time creeps forward. While we can’t completely avoid these changes, knowing why we develop them sets the foundation for slowing or minimizing their appearance.
In this blog post, we’ll look at what’s actually happening in our skin to cause the signs of aging to appear. You’ll learn five primary causes of aging skin that have the most significant effect. Then we’ll cover all the things you can do to naturally combat these processes that lead to the visible evidence of age.
One of the most notable changes our skin undergoes is the slowing down of collagen and elastin production. Collagen, which our cells make from amino acids, is the primary structural protein that gives skin its firmness. Elastin is responsible for our skin’s ability to bounce back after being stretched. As we age, our cells become less efficient at making these proteins. Without as much structural support, we end up with saggy skin and wrinkles.
Collagen has become a hot topic in health and skin care lately because we know much more about its role in our bodies. We also know more ways than ever to increase collagen in our skin and improve our skin’s appearance. Here are a few things you can do to fire up your collagen-making mechanism.
The number one way to keep your skin happily churning out collagen is to eat a healthy diet containing the proper nutrients. What are the right nutrients? For starters, high-quality meat, fish and eggs are excellent sources of collagen. You can also get collagen from bone broth and gelatin.
However, if you’re vegan, plant-based foods can help boost your collagen production. For example, non-meat protein sources, such as legumes, nuts, seeds and soy, provide many amino acids needed to make collagen.
Also, a diet high in fruits and vegetables can supply your body with loads of vitamin C, zinc and copper, vital nutrients supporting your collagen-making capacity. Add in some leafy greens for their chlorophyll to get even more support!
Some scientific evidence supports that supplementing with collagen will help your skin stay young. However, supplements containing collagen are sourced from animals. So if you don’t eat meat, you won’t want to take these. You can take vegan collagen-boosting supplements, though, as these products will contain just the nutrients your body needs to produce collagen and elastin.
Protect Your Skin
Another way you can preserve your collagen is by avoiding unhealthy habits that lead to losing it too quickly. One way to do this is by staying out of the sun or wearing a full spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen when you're in the sun.
Sleep is another crucial element to maintaining collagen in your skin since our skin does most of its regenerating overnight. So, if sleep is a challenge, try to find out how to correct it and ensure you’re getting enough sleep.
Also, taking steps to prevent or reduce stress will keep cortisol levels from escalating, preventing damage to your skin and inflammation caused by this fight-or-flight hormone.
The cells in our body become less efficient at circulating blood as we age. Because of this, oxygen and other nutrients our skin needs to fully function at its best don’t get delivered as quickly or easily. This contributes to wrinkles, saggy skin, and a dull complexion. So how can we make up for this?
One way is to try different methods of mechanically stimulating your skin to increase circulation. Exfoliating a couple of times a week for your face and body can help keep the blood flowing.
You can also try massaging your face through a variety of methods. Handheld tools for massaging your face, like face rollers and gua sha, have become quite popular recently for improving your skin tone. But you can also perform facial massage the old-fashioned way with your hands!
Another option for improving blood flow to your face and your body is dry brushing. Dry brushing is an ancient ritual that’s made a comeback lately. The technique has been performed by many cultures to improve the overall health of the skin. Improved blood circulation is one of the many claimed benefits of this self-care practice.
Much of the skin damage we experience comes from our internal and external environment. Free radicals are unstable molecules formed internally by the metabolism of what we consume and externally by outside stressors. These free radicals are the scavengers of our skin, going around stealing electrons from healthy cells and leaving them damaged and depleted. Our bodies can manage a certain amount of this damage, but eventually, we can’t keep up.
The best ways to deal with this type of damage are to prevent free radicals from forming in the first place and to arm ourselves with antioxidants to fight off the damage. So how do we do this?
To help prevent free radicals from forming, we must protect our skin from the outside elements as best as we can. The sun is the most damaging element we encounter, so wearing sunscreen or avoiding it altogether when possible will go a long way. Pollution is another major source of free radical formation, so it is helpful if you can avoid toxins in the air.
Also, sticking to a healthy diet will reduce the number of free radicals formed in our bodies. We can also use a healthy diet to increase the number of antioxidants we have available to fend off oxidative damage after it happens.
The most powerful antioxidants are vitamins C and E, carotenoids (like beta carotene and lycopene), and polyphenols (like quercetin and resveratrol). To maximize antioxidants in your diet, be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables that are a variety of different colors. You can also take supplements containing antioxidants.
Another way to use antioxidants to boost skin health is to apply them topically by using skincare products that contain high amounts of these skin superheroes. Check out our Vita C Repair Cream for a powerful blast of highly effective antioxidants!
Another normal (yet undesirable) process related to aging is the weakening of the skin’s moisture barrier. The skin barrier consists of the top two levels of the epidermis and protects you from bad things getting in and moisture getting out. The integrity of this barrier is crucial to healthy, well-hydrated skin.
Besides aging, many factors affect the integrity of the barrier. For one, the sun and other environmental elements like wind and air pollution can damage its structure. So, this is yet another reason to wear sunscreen and protect your skin from the elements whenever possible.
Lifestyle factors also play a vital role in the strength of the skin’s barrier, including your diet, how much water you drink, alcohol and caffeine intake, and sleep. Changing these habits can help preserve the quality of the barrier for longer, keeping your skin healthy and young.
Your skincare routine has a significant effect on the integrity of the protective layers as well. Using products with all-natural, high-quality emollients, humectants, and moisturizers will help repair the damage so your skin can maintain its softness and suppleness.
Ingredients such as aloe vera, avocado oil, borage oil, marshmallow root, olive squalene, shea butter, and slippery elm are some of the best for healing and fortifying the skin’s barrier. We use these ingredients in many of our products, so take a look at our ultra-hydrating face care and body care lines!
Another change is that dry skin becomes more likely as we mature. Some of this has to do with our skin barrier weakening and other changes to our skin’s structure. But a primary reason for this is that our cells produce less sebum. We can thank the fluctuation of hormones for this difference.
Luckily, we can compensate for the slower oil production in a few ways. First, we can look at our skincare routine to figure out if it provides enough moisture for our skin to feel soft and smooth. If your skin feels tight or rough in texture after cleansing and moisturizing, you should upgrade to gentler, more hydrating products.
Sometimes products that claim to be hydrating don’t work for our skin. They may have ingredients that are just too harsh. So you might need to experiment a bit to find the right combination. You can also consider adding an oil-based serum to deeply hydrate and nourish your skin after cleansing.
Some other things to try are being more conscious of sun exposure and either reducing it or using sunscreen more regularly to avoid sun damage. Staying hydrated and eating more fruits and veggies will also boost moisture retention in your skin. Plus, using lukewarm water to wash your face and choosing all-natural, toxin-free and fragrance-free products is helpful.
You can also try using a humidifier while you sleep to fend off dry, indoor air, especially in winter.
These five age-related changes can be a tough pill to swallow. But we all experience them. And with a little tweaking of our daily lifestyle habits, we can take control of them and not let them ruin our day. Knowing what your skin needs to age more gracefully can put our minds at ease and keep us feeling healthy and happy!
January 04, 2023 0 Comments
The healing power of plants can be harnessed in so many ways. One of the most valuable ways to use the active compounds of plants for their incredible benefits to our physical and mental well-being is through their essential oils.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years by many ancient cultures as medicine to treat a vast array of conditions. These concentrated botanical oils are typically produced by distilling or extracting the potent chemicals from parts of the plant, like the roots, leaves, seeds and flowers. While some oils are still used pharmaceutically today, they’re primarily associated with aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is a holistic health modality used to treat different wellness issues using essential oils. Even though aromatherapy implies only the scent of the oil is used for healing, essential oils can be used in various ways for your health. Besides inhaling their aromas, they can also be applied topically and sometimes ingested as supplements.
In this article, you’ll learn about seven commonly used essential oils for health and how to incorporate them into your healthy lifestyle for the most benefits. You should always be aware that some essential oils can be irritating if you have an allergy to a specific plant. Doing a patch test first is always good if you’re using essential oils on your skin.
Here are seven health-boosting essential oils and how best to harvest their goodness at home.
Lavender is well-known for its beautiful violet flowers and its calming nature. The plant is native to the Mediterranean but is grown just about everywhere today because of its impressive versatility. Some of lavender's most notable aromatherapy benefits include decreasing anxiety and depression, alleviating headache pain, promoting sleep, and relieving muscle pain.
Here are the best home uses for lavender essential oil:
1. Add to a diffuser.
2. Add to a laundry ball for your dryer.
3. Add a few drops to your shampoo.
4. Add to your bath or foot soak (works great with Epsom salts).
5. Make this nifty spray for your pillow to help you sleep.
Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alterniflora tree found in Australia. Tea tree oil is identified by its bold, earthy, camphor-like smell that some may call pungent. It’s often used as a topical treatment, not for its aroma. Tea tree's superpower is that it contains terpenes, which have strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Best uses for tea tree oil:
1. Apply directly on toenail fungus.
2. Add a couple of drops to shampoo for dandruff relief.
3. Make mouthwash using one or two drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water (do not swallow it).
4. Add a few drops to lotion or moisturizer and use on eczema or dry skin.
5. Dilute in a carrier oil or apply to a damp q-tip for a spot treatment for acne.
6. Make a deodorant using coconut oil and a few drops of tea tree. (or follow this recipe)
The eucalyptus tree is also native to Australia, though it’s grown just about everywhere now because of its numerous uses. It has a strong woodsy scent, and it’s widely hailed for its benefits in breathing and respiratory health. But Eucalyptus also shines as an antimicrobial agent, pain reliever, and insect repellent.
Bring the scent of nature indoors with these best uses for eucalyptus essential oil:
1. Add a few drops to a pot of hot water and breathe in for a sinus steam bath.
2. Add to a diffuser for an outdoorsy aroma and easier breathing.
3. Mix a few drops with a carrier oil (coconut, argan or jojoba) and rub on sore muscles or joints.
4. Add to a warm Epsom salt bath to soothe muscles.
5. Make an antiseptic spray for cuts and wounds using 10 drops of Eucalyptus to 2 cups of water.
Most people probably associate rosemary with its culinary prowess, but did you know it’s also a healing superstar? Rosemary is a hardy plant that smells fresh and foresty, and you can easily grow it at home. Those with thinning hair or alopecia will be happy to know rosemary oil is regarded as being effective for stimulating hair growth. The plant's smell also works well for keeping you alert and focused and reducing pain and inflammation.
Best uses for rosemary essential oil:
1. Diffuse in your home or office for stress and for better focus while working.
2. Add a few drops to your favorite massage or carrier oil (coconut) and rub into painful areas.
3. Add about 5 drops to a teaspoon of carrier oil (jojoba or argan) and massage into scalp after washing your hair to stimulate hair growth.
There’s nothing like the sensation of cool, tingly, refreshing peppermint to perk up your senses. But peppermint does so much more than just taste and smell good. It’s also a powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Peppermint also shows promise for increasing blood flow and soothing itchy skin. Plus, bugs generally don’t like the smell of mint, so it can be used to deter them.
* While peppermint oil is also used to calm stomach discomfort, the essential oil is not meant to be ingested. You can find peppermint oil sold as a supplement, however.
Here are the top uses for peppermint essential oil:
1. Diffuse for a stimulating scent in your home or office.
2. Place a few drops on your temples to reduce headache pain.
3. Soak a cotton ball with peppermint essential oil and rub along areas where bugs get into your house.
4. Make a garden spray with a few drops of peppermint oil in water to kill aphids on plants.
5. Make a peppermint foot cream to eliminate foot odor.
The smell of citrus is full of happiness, and lemon is one of the most uplifting. You can use it for this purpose, but you should also consider it for a few other practical purposes. For example, lemon is a powerful astringent, anti-inflammatory and disinfectant. This makes it great for your skin and for cleaning your house!
Best uses for lemon essential oil:
1. Diffuse for an uplifting aroma.
2. Make any one of these household cleaners to disinfect, degrease and polish your home.
3. Mix 1 drop of lemon essential oil with a small amount of carrier oil and apply it to acne and acne scars. Leave on for a few minutes, then wash your face (do this before bed).
Frankincense, also called olibanum, is the resin from the trunk of the Boswellia tree. Historically, it has been used in many cultures for spiritual purposes, incense, medicine, and cosmetics. The essential oil has numerous uses in healing, including reducing inflammation, helping with asthma, calming nerves, and soothing skin. Studies have also shown it has promise medicinally to reduce cancerous tumors.
Best home uses for frankincense essential oil:
1. Diffuse it for calming anxiety and for relaxation.
2. Apply to the skin by diluting a few drops in a favorite unscented lotion to help reduce scars, stretch marks, acne or wrinkled skin.
3. Use in a diffuser or on a cloth to help eliminate phlegm from the lungs.
If you don’t already use them, essential oils can be a wonderful addition to a healthy lifestyle. As with every chemical, you should be cautious with how much you use, especially when used topically. A little usually goes a long way. Aromatherapy has been practiced for many years for a wide range of ailments. Follow these ideas and start using essential oils to ramp up your self-care routine.
December 28, 2022 0 Comments
Though new year’s resolutions get a bad rap because they tend to not stick around very long, they’re still valuable for starting off the new year on a positive and productive note. After all, everything we do starts with intentions, so we might as well set some good ones!
If you’re like many people, you probably place health-related goals like diet and exercise at the top of your list each year, which are great goals to have. But what about your skincare? Do you include skincare in your health goals?
Considering that your skin is the first line of defense against illness, it should be a top health priority. This year, it might be time to think about what you’re putting on your body and ponder making changes to boost your well-being with better skin and hair care habits.
Lucky for you, we have some ideas that will help! The following list contains nearly a dozen resolutions that will encourage you to get serious about your skin and your health. Even doing one or two of these can make a world of difference, no matter what type of skin you have. So pick one, choose a few, or try them all so you can look and feel your absolute best in 2023.
Keeping a routine can be a challenge for many. For example, we might be so tired at night that we don’t feel like taking a few minutes to wash off the day's dirt, sweat and makeup. Or we might think nothing of switching products whenever we wish. But, the truth is, your skin is happiest and healthiest when it’s treated with consistency.
So what is a good skincare routine?
For one, you should start by washing your face twice a day. The products you use will depend on your skin type, but cleansing is essential both morning and night for everyone’s skin. Next, you should follow with a toner, serum and/or moisturizer that works best for your complexion challenges. You don’t need to use every one of these products necessarily, but it’s best to at least use a moisturizer after cleansing.
Exfoliating is also recommended for all skin types, except for the most sensitive skin. Taking this additional step 2-3 times per week will help clear skin of dead cells that can build up and lead to dryness and also get rid of other dirt and debris that can clog pores.
Remember that a good routine should always be based on your skin type, so figuring this out first is crucial.
On top of any diet resolutions you might be planning for 2023, you should also consider what nutrients you need for gorgeous, glowing skin. Which nutrients are those? If you think about it, all vitamins and minerals offer at least one benefit for your skin. But a few nutrients in particular help bring out the best in your complexion.
Some of the most beneficial nutrients our skin needs to be healthy are antioxidants. Antioxidants help us reduce and repair the oxidative damage caused by elements like the sun, air pollution, extreme weather, etc. Fending off this daily damage helps keep our skin from showing signs of premature aging, like wrinkles and fine lines.
The best way to get more antioxidants is to eat a large variety of fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods are abundant in antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and many other phytonutrients that protect your skin and allow it to better repair itself.
The second most important group of nutrients for your skin is essential fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 are crucial to maintaining the integrity of your skin’s protective barrier, which naturally becomes compromised as we age. Without a fully intact barrier, moisture escapes the cells, leaving our skin feeling rough and dry. Omegas also help control inflammation, which is especially important if you have sensitive or reactive skin. You can find these fats in nuts, seeds, avocados and oily fish.
Unfortunately, toxins are an unavoidable part of modern life. So the more we can minimize our exposure to them, the more likely we can enjoy excellent health and stay well long into the future. You do not need to add toxins to your body by using dangerous and harmful chemicals that can make you sick.
Some skincare ingredients are known chemical agents that can cause cancer or a whole host of hormone-related disorders. Which ones should you avoid? Here is a list of some of the most harmful ingredients you should avoid at all costs:
At Nurture My Body, we offer 100% natural, organic, toxin-free and fragrance-free skincare that never contains any of these ingredients. Check out all our products for your face, body and hair made with only the purest ingredients you can trust are effective and good for you.
If this becomes your resolution, start reading labels when you shop for skin and hair care products and do some research to find out whether the ingredients can hurt you. You’ll be so glad you did!
Protecting yourself from the sun will go a long way to keep your skin looking healthy and young. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing sunscreen whenever you’re outdoors, even on cloudy days and in the winter. Your sunscreen should be broad-spectrum and SPF 30 or higher to effectively get the job done.
To go along with resolution #3 above, avoid chemical sunscreens because they contain toxic ingredients that your skin will absorb, and they’re harmful to the environment. To be safe, only use mineral-based sun protection made with non-nano zinc oxide (like our sunscreen for babies and sensitive skin).
It might seem like no big deal to use old cosmetics, but expired makeup can cause an array of unwanted problems. After a sitting around for a while, bacteria or mold can start to grow inside your makeup containers. If you continue using the products, you could experience skin reactions, breakouts, or infections. Not a pretty sight!
This year, make it a point to go through your makeup drawers and get rid of anything that’s old news. If you aren’t sure of the expiration date, look out for unusual or funky colors, unpleasant odors, and products that may have separated. These are all signs that it’s time to part ways. When in doubt, throw it out!
This is another often overlooked habit that can cause unnecessary problems. Product residue and bacteria can build up over time and lurk in your applicator brushes without you even knowing they’re there. Putting them on your face can result in skin irritation, infection and clogged pores. The AAD recommends washing your cosmetic brushes every 7 to 10 days.
Here’s how to wash your makeup brushes:
1. Run the brushes under lukewarm water. Only wet the bristle part of the applicators to avoid damaging the handles.
2. Massage a mild shampoo into the brush.
3. Rinse the brush until it runs clear with no color.
4. Squeeze out moisture, then lay flat to dry. (Don’t allow it to dry in an upright position because this could also damage the handle)
Such a simple task and so worth it!
So many people grapple with sleep challenges that this may be a longer-term goal that takes a bit of effort. But it’s also crucial to your overall health and the condition of your skin, so the effort will be well justified.
Luckily, some sleep habits are easily changed, like going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, eliminating distractions, avoiding caffeine and sugar at night, and avoiding computers and phones before hitting the hay. It helps to take a good look at what you typically do right before bed to see what might prevent you from sleeping well.
If you try these techniques but still struggle to sleep, you might need more help. For example, there could be underlying health issues that warrant a visit to a doctor. Sleep apnea is a common sleep problem that could require medical treatment.
Either way, sleep time is when your body and skin work the hardest to recover and repair themselves. But you’ll need good quality sleep to allow this to happen. That’s why getting to the root cause of any sleep problems can’t be overstated.
While many natural skincare ingredients contribute to the overall health of your skin, these two vitamins (A&C) are super important for your complexion, especially as we age.
Vitamin A is outstanding for reducing wrinkles and fine lines because it simulates collagen production and supports the regeneration of new skin cells. This powerhouse vitamin also balances oil production and has exfoliating properties, making it excellent for treating acne-prone skin. If that’s not enough, it can also help reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants you can use to combat free-radical damage. This skin-saving superhero also promotes the production of collagen, boosting the skin’s ability to repair itself and smooth out wrinkles. C also helps reduce hyperpigmentation and inflammation and can help decrease acne.
If all these benefits sound good, you’ll want to check out our best-selling Vita C Repair Cream. It’s made especially for mature skin and contains copious amounts of vitamin C and A to restore your youthful radiance.
Stress is a well-known destroyer of all things. So having tools to manage it better will prevent stress from hijacking your health and your life. How you deal with stressful situations can have a significant impact on the condition of your skin too.
The release of cortisol and other fight-or-flight hormones during tough times can cause inflammation to increase everywhere in your body, including your skin cells. So, adding meditation to your skincare resolution list is an excellent idea to keep cortisol at bay.
You can try this basic meditation practice or use an app like Headspace or Calm to get your relaxation going. Or you can opt to take a class on meditation or deep breathing at your local wellness center or yoga studio. Luckily, there are more ways than ever to learn how to meditate.
Mindfulness is a powerful thing that anyone can easily incorporate into their routine.
Sulfates are known to be toxic to our health and the health of the environment to some degree. Disturbingly, they’re a common ingredient in most shampoos on the shelf. This is an excellent reason to make 2023 the year you ditch these harmful products in favor of an all-natural alternative that’s just as effective and won’t deplete all the moisture from your strands.
You can read all about the dangers of sulfates and why you should make this healthy haircare resolution a top priority in this blog post.
Drinking more water is a common goal for many people, yet it’s still challenging to conquer. That's probably because it takes a strong conscious effort to consume the recommended daily amount of water, which is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 for women, according to the Mayo Clinic.
All the organs in your body can function better when they’re not battling dehydration, and your skin is no exception. And if you consider that skin hydration gets harder to maintain as we age due to changes in skin-cell structure, it makes sense to start making hydration a full-blown habit now. So make 2023 the year you drink every last drop of the optimal amount of vital H2O.
If you’re ready to kick your skin and hair care up a notch this coming year, this list should inspire and motivate you to get started. Skincare is health care, and making your health your number one goal can transform your life in infinite ways. Taking small steps at first might help make these resolutions stick around through the entire year and beyond. Once you see the benefits of these changes, like increased confidence and better clarity, you won’t want to go back to your old ways!
December 21, 2022 0 Comments
It’s hard enough trying to keep hair looking shiny, strong and healthy. When a dry, itchy scalp pops into the picture, it can add even more frustration. Not only that, if unsightly flakes start to appear on your clothes, it can be embarrassing.
Dandruff and scalp irritation are common problems that more than half of all adults will have to deal with at one time or another. And it happens more often during the winter months when the air is dry and cold. But while it isn’t usually a sign of a serious medical condition, we certainly want to get rid of the issue as soon as we can when we notice it.
In this post, you’ll learn about the causes of scalp irritation and dandruff, what you can do to get rid of it, and which herbs are best to calm the itch and flakes.
Dandruff, a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis, can be caused by a variety of issues or habits. One of the more common causes is an imbalance in a specific fungus that lives on our scalp called Malassezia. When this fungus becomes too abundant, it breaks down the oil in the scalp and leaves behind oleic acid. The acid stimulates skin cells to grow quicker, causing them to build up and die off more than usual.
Another common cause of dandruff or scalp irritation is a dry scalp. Your scalp can become dry due to how you treat your hair, including the products you use, how much heat you apply, and how often you wash it. For example, using products with harsh chemicals, dying your hair, blow drying too often, and washing it too much can all lead to a dry, itchy scalp that can become flaky.
On the other hand, an overly oily scalp can be just as much to blame. Washing your hair too infrequently can cause oil and dead skin to build up on your scalp, leading to irritation and more cells flaking off.
Other lifestyle factors that can contribute to dandruff include stress, poor diet, and dehydration. That's why it’s essential to keep yourself healthy on the inside by eating a balanced diet, managing mental stress, and staying hydrated to avoid adding fuel to the fire.
It is also possible that you could have an underlying skin condition causing dandruff, like psoriasis or eczema. If you believe you might have one of these skin conditions, it's a good idea to see a dermatologist.
While many treatments are available to fight dandruff, you’ll want to be careful if you decide to go this route. Dandruff shampoos are typically medicated with chemicals to kill off the fungal infection that can cause dandruff. Zinc pyrithione, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, and ketoconazole are common dandruff shampoo ingredients.
These ingredients can further irritate your scalp, and they have the potential to cause serious health problems (especially if accidentally ingested). Coal tar is another toxic ingredient in dandruff shampoo known to be a carcinogen.
To make matters worse, most dandruff shampoos also contain other ingredients, like sulfates, that can harm our hair and our health. Sulfates in shampoos are drying and damaging to the hair and the scalp, in addition to being toxic to our health and the environment. Therefore, always read the label if you choose one of these anti-dandruff products to avoid causing more irritation or health problems.
It can be challenging to get rid of dandruff. But it’s always best to start with a natural approach to fix the problem so you don’t risk making it worse.
The best way to control dandruff naturally is to regularly use gentle, all-natural hair products that don’t contain sulfates or other irritating chemicals. Consistent use of mild toxin-free hair products will allow your scalp to heal from the irritation.
You can also makes some changes to your hair routine to reduce the chance of exacerbating the problem by changing the frequency you wash your hair, using less heat during styling, brushing your hair more often, and ending the use of chemical hair dye.
When you shop for an all-natural shampoo or conditioner, you should look for products that use herbal ingredients known to help relieve itchy scalp and dandruff.
Many of our haircare products at Nurture My Body are formulated with these dandruff-fighting herbs. Check out our fragrance-free Everyday Shampoo, Moisturizing Shampoo, and Nourishing Conditioner to help control dryness, itchiness and flakes.
Rosemary essential oil is well known to help with hair loss, but it’s also effective for decreasing itchiness and dandruff. Rosemary has antimicrobial, antiseptic and antifungal properties that enable it to fight off the Malassezia fungus that can cause dandruff. It also stimulates circulation for better nourishment and can soothe pesky scalp irritation.
2. Aloe Vera
The cool, clear gel found in the aloe vera plant never ceases to amaze us. This desert succulent jelly has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help decrease the fungal cause of dandruff. Aloe is also known to have potent healing, moisturizing and skin-soothing abilities that can help with calming itch and irritation on the scalp.
This medicinal herb, traditionally used to treat coughs, colds and flu, has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help treat an irritated scalp and dandruff. It also contains high amounts of silica and cysteine, which help reduce excess oil, cleanse the hair follicles and add nourishment.
This aromatic violet flower has many properties that give it the power to treat dandruff. As an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial herb, lavender helps control bacteria and soothes redness and irritation of the scalp. It also helps balance oil and increases circulation.
Petitgrain oil comes from the bitter orange tree, Citrus aurantium. Its properties as a citrus oil make it excellent for reducing the over-production of sebum in the scalp, which helps to relieve dandruff caused by excessive oil buildup.
The saponins in Avena sativa are known for their ability to cleanse the skin. On the scalp, they help to remove the dead flakes due to dandruff. Oats are also rich in fats and proteins that can help moisturize and soothe dryness and irritation.
Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is abundant in essential fatty acids and is fabulous for hydrating a dry scalp. It also has antimicrobial properties for reducing the fungus that causes dandruff. With inflammation-fighting properties and a variety of potent phytonutrients, it also helps soothe skin and scalp conditions like dermatitis.
The oil from the roots of the vetiver tree is high in antibacterial and antifungal compounds to fight against infection in the scalp. It also is an excellent scalp moisturizer and helps relieve the dryness associated with dandruff.
9. Marshmallow root
This adaptogenic herb contains a thick mucilage that forms a protective layer on the skin and scalp. This slippery material helps keep in moisture and calm the redness, irritation and itchiness that come with dandruff.
If you are experiencing increased dryness, flakes and uncomfortable itchiness in your scalp this winter, don’t worry because there are numerous ways to control it. Modifying a few damaging hair habits will help, and using the right all-natural products with the best herbs for your scalp can also make a significant impact. It might take some time to get dandruff under control, but you don’t have to suffer.
And don’t forget to check out our fragrance-free and nontoxic hair products that are chock full of dandruff-fighting ingredients for natural relief!
December 15, 2022 0 Comments
We all know holiday dinners are all about the desserts, aren’t they? Sure, a lot of work goes into the main course and all the tasty appetizers and side dishes, but dessert is where the magic happens. It’s probably one of the few times during the year you let yourself indulge in something that might not exactly fit in with your healthy lifestyle. And there’s always that little bit of guilt. So this year, why not make something scrumptious and new that’s filled with healthy ingredients you won’t feel guilty about eating?
The following five decadent but sensible desserts are slightly different from the typical pumpkin pie and gingerbread cookies, but they’re just as easy (or easier) to make. Whether you’re hosting a holiday meal at your house or going to someone else’s, these unique festive desserts are sure to make a giant splash.
Plus, they’re all vegan (except for one, but you can modify it to be vegan), a few don’t even require baking, and they can all be made gluten-free too. And only one recipe calls for real sugar, though you can substitute with coconut sugar or another sweetener if you prefer. As far as healthy desserts go, these really take the (guilt-free) cake!
Get creative this year and try one of these beautiful, healthy dessert ideas, and leave the guilt far behind.
When I saw the picture of this stunning raw cake, I was already in love. Besides being amazingly beautiful, it requires no cooking, and it’s vegan. It’s incredibly creamy, thanks to the cashews and full-fat coconut milk. And it’s got an impressive array of traditional holiday spices. Flavors of coconut, pecans, berries and chocolate mingle marvelously to make this your new fave.
The slightly tart pomegranate is the perfect complement to sweet pears and maple in this messy-looking but magnificent holiday crumble. This one’s vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly. Plus, the only sweetener is maple syrup, so there's no sugar needed. This vegan dessert is best served warm, so when you add the coconut whipped cream on top, it easily melts right in. You’ll definitely be back for seconds.
Call this decadent vegan dessert healthy, but do not call it pumpkin pie. I fear it will be offended. The fabulous flavors in this individually portioned treat might resemble the taste of pumpkin pie, but this dessert is on a whole other level. Gooey almond butter, crushed cookies, pureed pumpkin and chopped pecans are just a handful of the fantastic ingredients in this layered delish dish. We’re sorry, pumpkin pie, but we may have officially moved on.
Blueberries and chocolate are a match made in healthy dessert heaven in this nutritious post-meal morsel. The blueberries are loaded with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, which pair well with the powerful phytonutrients of the rich cocoa. A simple and subtly sweet blueberry sauce is the finishing touch. The recipe calls for whole wheat flour, but you can always substitute it with gluten-free flour if necessary. (This one’s not vegan, but you can modify that too.)
This vegan no-bake cake is made from only six wholesome ingredients and finished in only a few simple steps. You make the crust, then make the filling and pour it in, and voila! You still have to melt the vegan white chocolate, of course, but we aren’t complaining. Cashews make it creamy, cinnamon makes it spicy, and Medjool dates make it sweet. Just try not to eat the whole thing before dinner even starts.
These healthy holiday desserts are a dream come true for anyone who might normally hesitate to eat dessert after a big festive meal. They’re a new take on the usual suspects you see at holiday time, but they come with less guilt and more nourishment. Naturally delicious ingredients come together to make these healthy holiday desserts treats you won’t quickly forget, and you’ll probably want to remember them for next year too!
Also, if you’re still looking for all-natural self-care gifts to give, browse our site and check out our nontoxic products for all skin types and for all sensitivities. Happy holidays, everyone!
December 07, 2022 0 Comments
Let’s face it, self-care doesn’t always make it to the top of everyone’s to-do list. We sometimes get so caught up in life’s twists and turns that we forget to set aside time to take care of ourselves. Giving someone a gift they can use to better their health (and sanity) might be the nudge they need to slow down and tend to their health needs more often.
Here’s a list of gift ideas that are great for just about anyone who could use a little more self-care and self-love in their lives. And, you know, there’s nothing wrong with showing yourself some gratitude and love by sneaking in a gift or two for yourself. After all the shopping, planning, cooking and cleaning, you definitely deserve it!
This is one gift I’m secretly always hoping someone will give me every year! Gift cards will always make great presents because many people don’t think of treating themselves to a spa treatment on their own, and the recipient can choose what spa service they prefer. All they have to do is schedule the appointment. Whether it's a massage, a body wrap or scrub, a pedicure, a facial, or a hair treatment, everyone could use a little pampering.
This is the perfect gift to help someone take their mind off stressful things. With something fun to focus on, stress will be left in the lurch. You can find everything from knitting to embroidery to beer brewing, jewelry making, herb growing, and a zillion others! These gifts can also help sharpen the mind and might even be the start of a new favorite hobby for someone.
This fantastic intangible self-care gift can go a long way to encouraging someone to begin that healthy and balanced lifestyle they’ve been wanting to start. Check with local yoga studios for introductory packages they can try out or look for online yoga deals so they can do it at home. You can also look for meditation classes or subscriptions to a meditation app they can start using right away. Kick off someone’s year with the gift of peace and zen!
We're thinking beyond massage here. Wellness centers offer all kinds of alternative health treatments like acupuncture, float tanks, energy healing, aromatherapy, and so much more. Look for gift cards at local wellness centers that offer a variety of treatments or buy one specific treatment for them to try.
Stimulate your loved one’s olfactory senses with this gift of delightful aromas. Essential oil diffusers can help anyone relax by making their home a more zenful experience. Some diffusers are also humidifiers that are wonderful for combating the drying effects of indoor air on the skin during winter or in any dry climate.
Myofascial release is an excellent at-home self-care treatment to address all those nagging body aches we all have. This is especially useful for the more active people on your list who might have muscle soreness and tightness from all their athletic endeavors. Foam rolling is the second-best thing to getting a massage at the spa! And the best part is it can be done every day and doesn’t cost anything. Warning: this gift might be hard to wrap. Maybe just a big bow will do.
Eating well is essential to staying healthy and happy, but we can get into a rut sometimes. A healthy cooking class can help inspire someone to create exciting new dishes that feed their soul. Check around your local community for class offerings or find a convenient online course.
Tea time is self-care time. A new set of cute tea cups or a set of mugs with a variety of different teas might encourage more time for sipping and relaxing. If coffee is their thing, you can also find sets to enhance their coffee-drinking experience. Either way, this gift will make drinking a hot beverage a slow and satisfying part of someone’s day.
Scalp massagers are not only soothing and relaxing, but they’re also a proven way to stimulate hair growth. These handheld massage tools get the blood flowing through the scalp and bring nutrients to the hair follicles to encourage healthy hair growth. And they help release tension throughout the head from everyday stress and poor posture.
These are becoming hugely popular lately, and science agrees that there are numerous benefits of rolling your face. The main benefit of these facial tools is increased blood flow, which can help skin look healthier, brighter and younger. And that’s something everyone can appreciate. Upgrade someone’s skincare ritual with this relaxing and rejuvenating gift.
Know someone who has trouble sleeping? A sound machine might be the perfect self-care gift for them! Studies show the use of white noise can help people get better quality sleep. The noise, which can be the sound of the ocean, a rushing river, or birds chirping, helps drown out other noises and can help relax someone into a deeper sleep. And better sleep makes everyone happier.
If you want to go big for someone’s gift this year, try a gift card to a cozy place to stay, a la Airbnb. Even a few days of solitude can transform a person’s mood and renew their spirit. Giving someone the opportunity to get away from it all might even make you their favorite person. A gift card lets them choose the time and location that works best.
Natural skin care is always a fabulous self-care gift to give. And we’ve got your whole list covered from head to toe! We have gift sets for everyone, including women, men and babies that contain our best organic, nontoxic, non-irritating products for hair, face, body and lips. And you don’t have to worry about those who have specific needs, like vegan, gluten-free, fragrance-free or nut-free, because we have plenty of options for all of them too.
Browse our skincare sets for a gift that fits in well with anyone’s healthy lifestyle. We even have a simple starter kit for those new to using all-natural organic skincare.
This is just a short list of the many options you have to give someone special a gift that will help them live a healthy lifestyle. Why not pamper someone this year with a health-giving present that they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves? It’s a great reminder that self-care can go a long way to keeping you healthy and happy all year long!
November 30, 2022 0 Comments
Our skin is the most exposed organ in our bodies. It literally comes into contact with an infinite number of potential irritants each and every day. Even covering our skin to protect it from the irritating elements introduces the possibility of a skin reaction. It’s something we’ve all probably experienced at one point or another.
Some irritations are minor or easy to handle by simply removing whatever’s irritating us and letting time be our healer. And other times, we feel like we need to throw in the towel and find an effective remedy to calm down our irritated skin.
Plants to the rescue! Luckily, there are a variety of herbs that are perfectly suited for the job of calming irritated skin. And we’re here to help you determine the best options.
Skin irritations come in many forms. They can be as simple as an allergic reaction to something we touched or as complex as a chronic condition that results from a variety of factors. Some irritations may even have no known cause.
It’s important to note that any skin irritation could be caused by an underlying medical problem. So if you believe that could be the case, you should consult a dermatologist before trying to resolve the issue on your own.
Without including major skin diseases, the most common skin irritations are rosacea, eczema, contact dermatitis, rash, sunburn, and acne breakouts.
Contact with an allergen
Allergens and potential irritants are everywhere. This can make it difficult to know whether it’s your soap, laundry detergent, household cleaners, fabric softener, or certain fabrics causing your skin irritation. Try eliminating them one at a time to solve the puzzle. If you suddenly notice a rash, a new product is often the culprit.
If we could just banish stress from our lives forever, everything would be wonderful, right? I suppose that’s not likely to happen but finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety will definitely help alleviate or prevent pesky stress-related skin irritations.
Harsh skincare products
Skincare products often contain harmful synthetic ingredients that are not friendly to your skin (or your health!). Always look out for sulfates, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, alcohols, and many others. And be sure to check out our full line of all-natural organic skincare products that are always free of these toxins.
Keep in mind that some people are allergic to certain plants, too, so watch for skin reactions to any new product you use.
Not letting skin breathe
Sometimes our skin can feel smothered if we use fabrics that don’t allow good airflow. When sweat sits on our skin, it can cause irritation. Many synthetic materials are not breathable, so sticking to natural ones is best. Try organic cotton, linen, silk or hemp to minimize skin problems.
Sun and environmental elements
The heat of the sun, cold dry air, and wind can all be drying and irritating to our skin. The less we expose it to these elements, the less chance our skin will react. Hats, scarves and gloves can protect us in winter, as well as using a mild mineral-based sunscreen. And hats with a wide brim are great sun protection in summer.
Certain drugs can dry out your skin or cause allergic reactions and rashes. Check with your doctor if you believe your medication might be causing problems.
Sometimes, it’s not known
Unfortunately, we don’t always know what causes skin irritation. So we just have to roll with it and do our best to soothe our skin.
Historically, the brightly colored petals of calendula, also known as pot marigold, were used as a dye for food and fabrics and as internal medicine. But the plant also has astringent, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it excellent for soothing skin irritations and burns and helping wounds heal faster. It’s also full of antioxidants which help protect the skin from oxidative damage.
2. Oats (Avena sativa)
Oats make a delicious and hearty breakfast, but they also offer powerful benefits for irritated skin. They’re probably most known for their ability to calm itchy skin, but they’re also great for dry, sensitive skin. Oats are also full of protein, vitamin E, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and are extremely mild. Ground oats also make a gentle but effective exfoliator.
Enjoyed as a tea for calming stress and anxiety for ages, chamomile is also soothing to the skin when applied topically. Rich in anti-inflammatory plant compounds, this herb can help with many common skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. It’s also high in antioxidants and is great for repairing and restoring skin barrier function to help skin retain moisture.
4. Marshmallow root
Marshmallow root contains compounds that have “mucilage,” which is a slippery substance that helps soothe skin and seal the skin barrier. Studies show that marshmallow is an effective treatment for eczema and dermatitis. In Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, marshmallow root is also used as an adaptogen, which means it helps control your body’s stress response. Lower stress levels help prevent irritation in your skin.
5. Aloe Vera
A popular go-to remedy for sunburn, aloe vera is a top choice to cool and calm dry, irritated skin. The jelly-like insides of this desert plant have amazing anti-inflammatory and healing properties and also act as a humectant and emollient to hydrate your skin. It also boosts collagen production to help reduce signs of aging.
Roses might have thorns, but they also have numerous benefits for red, irritated skin. Rose is known to be ultra-hydrating and is excellent for reducing redness in irritated skin. It has potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and is chock full of nutrients that help boost collagen for younger-looking skin.
7. Slippery Elm
Traditionally, indigenous people used slippery elm to treat wounds and soothe burns. The potent substance comes from the inner bark of the elm tree. The "slippery" part is the mucilage that helps skin hold in moisture. But it’s also rich in vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds that fight inflammation and strengthen the skin. It’s great for treating skin conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis.
Borage seed oil is exceptionally soothing and hydrating due to its high content of the essential fatty acid, gamma linoleic acid. The flowers also have emollient, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Borage is also incredibly soothing for itchy, irritated skin associated with eczema, dermatitis and rashes.
9. Blue Tansy
Blue Tansy is a close relative of chamomile but is prized for its beautiful blue hue. It contains many active plant compounds, like the chamazulene that give it its dreamy color, that help reduce inflammation and irritation and hydrate dry skin. Camphor in blue tansy is also effective for healing wounds and reducing wrinkles.
10. Evening Primrose
Dry, irritated skin will love evening primrose for its ability to fight inflammation and infuse skin with a healthy dose of rich omega-6 fatty acids. It’s excellent for soothing skin affected by eczema, rosacea and dermatitis. Plus, it improves skin renewal for a rejuvenated complexion.
Last but not least, lavender is well-known for its calming qualities. Besides its relaxing aroma, lavender heals and soothes all types of irritating skin conditions. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and also helps bring balance and tone back to stressed skin.
Most people will deal with some type of skin irritation at one time or another. But we don’t have to suffer for long. This list of natural herbal ingredients can help return our irritated skin to a happy, peaceful state. Look for products made with these amazing herbs (like ours!), or you can try making your own remedies with them at home. Either way, staying calm, cool and collected is best for you and your skin!
November 22, 2022 0 Comments
One of the first places we may notice the harsh effects of winter is on our lips. That’s because the skin on our lips is thinner and more fragile than the rest of our bodies. Not only that, but lip skin has no sebaceous glands so it doesn’t produce its own oil like other places.
If we neglect to take the proper steps to protect our lips, we end up with dry, chapped, cracked skin that quickly turns our smiles upside down. A little extra lip service can do wonders!
The simplest solution for dry, chapped lips is to use lip balm. Using lip balm is a must for soft, smooth lips, especially in winter. And as always, living a healthy natural lifestyle calls for using gentle, organic, nontoxic products on our whole body. Lips included!
Truthfully, it’s even more crucial to steer clear of harmful chemicals on our lips because we inevitably end up ingesting everything we put on them. In fact, the average woman eats about 6 pounds of lip care products in her lifetime! So you’ll want to know exactly what you’re using and avoid toxic lip balm ingredients.
Read on to find out many more ways to take care of your lips and keep smiling all winter long.
Many popular lip care products use ingredients that can further dry out your already parched lips. They can also irritate the skin or cause damage to the outer layers, leaving them even more vulnerable to the outside elements.
And remember, you’re most likely going to end up eating whatever ingredients are in the product, so always read the label first.
You may have heard that petrolatum or petroleum jelly is safe to use on your body. And this might be the case if petrolatum is fully refined. But this isn't usually the case, and petrolatum is likely to be contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Plus, petrolatum doesn’t truly moisturize your skin and instead forms a layer on top to physically block the elements.
Add to this the fact that petrolatum is a petroleum byproduct and comes from the bottom of oil rigs. With all the naturally nourishing ingredients available, we believe this is a no-brainer to avoid.
2. Menthol, camphor or salicylic acid
Lip products commonly use these ingredients because they provide a refreshing, tingly sensation. But they can also irritate the delicate skin on your lips or peel off the top layers of lip skin and leave them exposed. Sloughing off dead skin cells can be helpful, but chemical exfoliants like these are too harsh and can cause damage.
"Fragrance" is a broad term for unknown chemical ingredients in body care products. They could easily be toxic or, at the very least irritating. You can read more about the dangers of fragrances in skincare here. There’s no need for fragrances in lip balm.
These chemicals are known to be hormone disruptors and should never be used in any skincare products, let alone your lip balm. The names of these ingredients have -paraben at the end of their hard-to-pronounce names, so be on the lookout.
Give your dry lips a little extra attention this winter to avoid the discomfort of chapping, peeling and cracking lips. Here are seven things you can do:
Staying hydrated is as important in winter as in summer. But we often forget to drink enough water because we’re not hot and sweaty from the summer heat. However, we still lose fluids all day long and need to replenish them. So keep your water bottle handy and sip throughout the day.
We may have mentioned this already (ahem), but all-natural lip products will work much better to moisturize your lips while preventing potentially serious health problems caused by toxic chemicals. Natural oils like sunflower and coconut hydrate and smooth your lips, and beeswax helps lock in moisture. Try our organic lip balm made with these wonderful ingredients here!
Dry skin cells can build up on our lips, causing them to flake and peel. Gentle exfoliation once or twice a week will help remove the dead cells and keep lips soft and smooth. Since chemical exfoliants are too rough, try making your own scrub at home with natural ingredients from your kitchen.
Here’s a simple sugar scrub recipe to remove dry skin on your lips that’s easy and inexpensive:
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon honey
2 drops peppermint oil (if desired)
Mix the ingredients together and gently rub on your lips. You can save the leftovers in a sealed jar to use later. So easy!
It might seem like licking them would add moisture to dry lips, but the opposite is actually true. Saliva initially moistens dry lips but then has a drying effect after evaporating. Sometimes we lick our lips when we’re anxious or nervous or when our lips are cold and dry. Try to catch yourself next time you’re licking your lips excessively.
If you notice skin peeling away from your lips, it’s best not to remove the flakes. You risk pulling off healthy skin in the process and causing lip damage that takes time to heal. Exfoliating will help reduce flakiness.
Blocking your lips from the elements will help reduce the problem of dry lips. Cold temperatures, wind, and sun can strip the moisture from your lips. Wearing a scarf can help if you pull it up over your lips when you’re outdoors.
We included this tip to help with the fine (or not-so-fine) lines that tend to form around the upper part of your mouth and lips. Massaging can help boost circulation and bring more oxygen and nutrients to heal and repair dry lip skin. Try gently massaging while you apply your facial moisturizer, serum, or natural lip exfoliator.
Lips are often a neglected part of a healthy skincare routine. Keeping your lips hydrated in winter takes a little extra attention but is well worth it. If you can avoid the discomfort of dry, chapped and cracked lips this winter, the next few colder months will be much more enjoyable!
November 15, 2022 0 Comments
If you have a dog or cat, you’ve probably noticed the globs of fur they lose at the start of summer or right before winter. And we humans aren’t much different. Since we are all animals after all, I guess it makes good sense!
We’re heading into winter, and like our furry friends, our skin is shedding more this time of year. So now seems like the perfect time to give you some insight into what your skin needs to survive the coming season.
In the colder months, our skin cells die at a faster rate. And more dead skin cells translates into drier, duller-looking skin. So we need to adjust our routine to keep our skin looking hydrated and healthy.
One of the most important adjustments we should make to counteract this increased dryness is taking extra care to rid our face and body of dead skin cells. This is where exfoliation steps in to save the day!
Picture your skin as a layer cake. At the bottom is the basal layer, which is made up of basal cells that are constantly dividing. When they divide, some basal cells get pushed up into the layer above. This is known as the prickle cell layer. The cells in this layer are “prickly” because they contain keratin fibers that branch out.
Laying on top of the prickle cells is a granular layer, which is your protective skin barrier. This layer is where the magic happens because the cells bond together to create the tight seal that holds in moisture and prevents harmful particles from getting in.
Over time, the granular cells lose their organelles and essentially die. Each cell has a lifespan of about 30 days. These dead skin cells build on top of our skin and form multiple layers. About 18-23 layers, to be exact!
All those layers of lifeless and depleted cells sitting on top of your skin will eventually fall off. But if we don’t give them a little shove, they can linger for a long time. They start to peel away from your skin, but they’re still holding on. And they leave your skin with a rough, dry, flaky texture.
Our skin cells are dying all the time as a normal part of the skin cycle. But certain stressors can cause the rate of skin cell death to increase. Here are some factors involved:
As we get older, our ability to regenerate cells at the basal layer slows down. So we see less skin cell turnover. We end up with dehydrated skin cells that aren’t being replaced with fresh new cells as often.
2. Sun exposure
Exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays speeds up the aging process and the lifecycle of your skin cells. As the cells are damaged, we have slower turnover and an abundance of dead cells on the surface.
We become dehydrated whenever we lose more fluid than we take into our bodies. We then hold less moisture in all our cells, including the ones in our skin. Without enough water, the cells dry up and die off more quickly.
4. Our Cleansing Routine
Skin hygiene plays a significant role in the health of your skin. First, dead skin cells build up if we don’t wash our face each morning and night. Second, if we use water that’s too hot, we damage our cells, and they’re more likely to die off before their time.
Both summer and winter influence dead skin cell accumulation. In summer, we tend to get dehydrated because we sweat more often. And in winter, our skin is exposed to dry, centrally heated indoor air for longer periods of time. We also risk dehydration in winter because we might not drink as much water. These scenarios will increase the rate of skin-cell death.
The three main types of exfoliation methods are physical, chemical and mechanical.
Physical exfoliation involves using grains or beads to buff or polish the skin. The physical action of friction causes the dead flakes to finally fall off.
Chemical exfoliation can be done using products that contain enzymes or acids that dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. A few common acids used for exfoliating are glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, and salicylic acid. You can also see a skincare professional for a chemical peel treatment.
Mechanical exfoliation refers to special treatments using a machine. These include microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, and different types of laser treatments.
Some of the above treatments can be too harsh and can have side effects. The safest and healthiest approach is performing physical exfoliation with all-natural products.
Physical exfoliation at home is done using products containing different types of beads or grains that rub off the dead skin cell layer. However, some products can still be too rough and cause tiny scratches or wounds on your skin. For example, microbeads commonly used in exfoliators are made of plastic and have been known to cause damage to the deeper layers of the skin.
Also, plastic microbeads end up flushed down the drain and can cause harm to aquatic environments like local rivers and waterways. The beads can be ingested by fish and other aquatic wildlife, poisoning them and even killing them. The microbeads aren’t biodegradable, so they continue to harm the environment for an indefinite amount of time.
For more natural and eco-friendly exfoliation, you’ll want to use products that get their grit from natural sources. However, you still want to be careful because even some natural grains can be too harsh.
Experts say to avoid jagged-edged particles like nut shells and apricot kernels and instead look for products with rice, oats or jojoba beads.
Our own Exfoliating Cleanser is made with natural jojoba beads for a safe but effective way to remove dead skin.
So what are the benefits of sloughing off the dead skin cells sitting on your epidermis? Here’s a list of what exfoliating does for your skin.
1. Reduces Acne
The rubbing motion of exfoliating helps to remove dirt, oil and debris from your pores, which is fabulous for acne-prone skin.
2. Brightens complexion
Exfoliating smoothes out the surface of your skin, allowing it to reflect a lot more light.
3. Improves hydration
By sloughing off a few layers of the dead stuff, your skin will be prepped to better absorb your moisturizer.
4. Decreases signs of aging
Exfoliating will help reveal the newer, healthier skin underneath the dead skin layers, making your skin look fresh and more youthful.
5. Improves acne scars
Regular exfoliating can help smooth out scarring caused by acne.
Exfoliating can be a healthy part of your skincare routine for your face and body. But to enjoy the benefits without harming your skin, you need to take care and do it safely.
The skin on your face is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your body, so you'll want to be more gentle and do it less frequently. Depending on your skin type, using an exfoliator on your face 1-3 times a week is a good rule of thumb. But always adjust if you notice any redness or irritation.
Use small, circular motions for about 30 seconds and rinse off with warm - not hot - water. Always apply moisturizer after exfoliating to maintain the integrity of your skin's protective barrier.
Skin shedding is a normal part of healthy skin, but we have more dead skin cells in winter. The drier air indoors and out and dehydration will speed up the process. Exfoliating is extra important for maintaining healthy skin in winter. Use natural products with rice, oats or jojoba beads for the safest and healthiest way to glowing skin!