• Organic Soap That Won’t Dry Out Your Skin

    Drugstore shelves are lined with shampoos, deodorants, moisturizers, soaps, and makeup that contain potentially harmful ingredients, say consumer advocates. “Research has shown that many conventional personal-care products contain chemicals of concern that can disrupt your hormones, have been linked to cancer, cause allergies or can damage your skin,” explains Stacy Malkan, author of “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry.”

    Chemically, soap is a salt of fatty acids. Fatty acids are derived from any fat source. Traditionally beef tallow was used, but now the big soap makers have switched to vegetable sources. Vegetable sources give a slightly creamier lather which is nicer to look at, and all soap has much the same cleaning power.

    The problem with soap is that, because of the way it is made, it inevitably contains residual alkalis, usually in the form of sodium. Sodium is very disruptive to the stratum corneum, the upper layer of the skin. Repeated use of soap will have a drying effect because the sodium interferes with the ability of the skin to hold the body’s water in. Most people’s skin is robust enough to stand it, but some people with particularly sensitive skin will be troubled.

    The Effect of pH

    Standard bar soap hovers around a pH of 9-12. Skin which is knocked out of the healthy pH zone of 4.2-5.5 loses water and hydration fast, which is why getting skin pH back to normal is one of the 4 proven ways to treat dry skin. It’s also why you might find that water can dry out your skin. Water is pH 7, which means it can make your skin less acidic. Luckily, skin has a barrier to stop too much water making it alkaline … and that takes us on to the second reason why soap can dry out your skin.

    The Natural Protective Layer

    Skin’s second defense against dryness is oil. Skin is naturally oily; even if you can’t see it or feel it, there is a natural oily layer there! This is your skin’s raincoat, and it doesn’t go anywhere without it. When water hits our oily skin, we are able to soak in enough to hydrate it, but repel enough to keep any damage from happening.

    Remember the last time you washed a very oily plate? Did you get oily droplets floating on the top of that dish water? This is like your skin, only the whole top layer has a real thin oily layer.

    So, what can we do to help nourish our skin, preserve this oily layer of the skin, and provide skin with additional nutrients without drying it out? Here are our top product picks.

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    80 Acres of McEvoy Lavender Olive Soap

    This handcrafted soap is made in California and combines moisturizing olive, palm, and coconut oils with naturally-occurring glycerin. The lavender scent  embraces refreshing citrus essential oils and hints of neroli, vetiver, and jasmine. A bonus? It’s paraben, phthalate, sulfate, and BPA free!

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    Dr. Squatch Nautical Sage Soap

    The seas are never rough when you have Dr. Squatch's Nautical Sage invigorating and refreshing manly scented soap on board. Taking a cue from the ocean, this truly all-natural bar features exfoliating and nourishing sea salt to soften and soothe your sk in.

    Also part of the on-deck crew are cypress, lavender, and clary sage oils, which form a potent blend known for its circulation-boosting powers. Needless to say, a shower with this nautical number will have you feeling like the captain of clean without drying out your skin.

  • The Latest Natural Beauty Trends

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    Demand for organic and natural beauty products has taken off in recent years, with new trends constantly developing as research reveals the additional benefits of various ingredients. Here are some top picks of the latest trends in natural and organic beauty.

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    Do you still believe there is no way to defy gravity? Think again. Kigelia Africana has long been used by the women of Southern Africa to firm their skin and bust. The fruit contains powerful skin firming constituents, including kigelione and powerful plant sterols. Apply the gel to your face daily, and watch how it effects your skin by seemingly defying age and gravity. In a base of pure aloe juice, Kigelia gel makes a great daily moisturizer, too.

    This unusual fruit grows on trees in Africa and looks like huge sausages hanging from ropes. The oil from it has been used for generations for a variety of potent remedies, namely as a powerful anti-inflammatory with firming properties—African women have used it a natural breast firmer for generations, and the fruit's antibacterial properties also help with blemish-prone skin.

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    Turmeric has been used as a beauty product for centuries by Indian cultures because it does a tremendous amount for brightening, while evening out the complexion and giving skin a healthy glow. It also provides powerful anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant protection from free radicals that can damage skin.

    “Turmeric is definitely a favorite of mine,” says May Lindstrom, the natural beauty guru behind the cult-fave eponymous skincare line. For skin, specifically, she says, it’s an anti-inflammatory powerhouse: “Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a natural active ingredient that promotes the healing and brightening of skin.”

    There is a great deal of research that speaks to this. One 2001 study found that thanks to its exceedingly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin can help speed up the healing of wounds. Another conducted in 2007 found that the compound aids in skin regeneration in a variety of respects, from boosting collagen production and diminishing psoriasis to protecting against free radicals.

    Researchers have found that, when taken internally, curcumin can help relieve symptoms of arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and digestive inflammation. Many scientists are even excited at the prospect of its abilities to fight skin cancer.

    This is all modern science, but “women have been applying turmeric topically for hundreds of years,” says Lindstrom. And, while those struggling with inflammatory skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea will likely find a lot of relief with this pantry staple, anyone can see their complexion benefit from it. “It’s gorgeous for softening the symptoms of acne, rosacea, and to lessen fine lines and wrinkles,” she says.

    If you happen to have turmeric lying around, it’s pretty easy to whip up a skin-perfecting mask. Because curcumin is like dynamite to acne, you can also use it to target blemishes and clogged pores, especially in conjunction with detoxifying clay powder.

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    Chamomile, meaning “ground apple,” has been imbibed for centuries in the Roman Empire, during Egyptian rule, and in ancient Greece. Prized for its special flavonoids, chrysin, or chamomile (Matricaria recutita, or Matricaria chamomilla) offers numerous health-boosting benefits. With its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, chamomile helps in clearing up skin irritations such as eczema, acne, and allergies.

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    This herb is also full of flavonoids and essential oils.  These penetrate the skin, going into the skin layers. Chamomile is known as a “tisane,” which is any non-caffeinated herbal concoction made by pouring hot water over the leaves, stems, and roots of plants. You can make your own chamomile tea with other plants like lavender or tulsi to vary the flavor, or drink it alone.

    There are many applications for dried chamomile, including tinctures and essential oils, though the easiest and most often used is an infusion or tea. For stomach ailments, muscle spasms, and help in falling asleep, use about one tablespoon of dried herb per cup of water. Pour boiling water over the herbs and allow them to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

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    Where once beauty products were loaded down with toxic chemicals (albeit in small doses), the pigments of natural makeup products are becoming really bright and beautiful, not to mention cruelty-free.

    From lead, to petroleum, to endocrine-disrupting plastics, the chemicals that conventional makeup expose us to seem beyond not-worth-it for a slightly darker mascara or a brighter shade of lipstick. But the math can look different when you’re about to go on a date with someone you really like, or a job interview, or you’re about to be photographed: The product that makes you look the best—and not necessarily the most made-up—is the one you want. 

    On the red carpet, movie sets, or magazine shoots, synthetic beauty products have been the go-to choice. Natural pigments have traditionally not been terribly vibrant, bright, or dark, and the textures rarely rivaled those of the really luxurious conventional brands.

    Natural beauty experts today agree that synthetic dyes and colors should be avoided completely, and advise looking hard at ingredient lists. Synthetic dyes and colors have names on the ingredient list that include FD&C, or D&C, usually with a number and letter following. The Breast Cancer Research Fund has published numerous studies with top universities on this topic.

    When conventional cosmetics companies don’t resort to chemical dyes, they often use animal ingredients primarily ground-up insects for color. (This is a decidedly more natural and less-harmful-to-humans approach, but is unacceptable to most vegetarians, vegans, and animal rights activists, for obvious reasons.) If you see “carmine” on a label, that’s ground-up beetles; “cochineal extracts” are also insect-derived, as are “Natural Red 4” and “E120.”

    To create what’s called “carbon black”—used in mascara and eyeliner—companies combust heavy-duty petroleum products or coal; used in tires, inks, films, and plastics, carbon black is classified as possibly carcinogenic in humans and has been shown to be carcinogenic in animals, yet many women expose their eyes to this compound on a near-daily basis.

    The good news is that years of research have yielded new options for dying cosmetics, through plant pigments and minerals.

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    When you walk down any drug store beauty aisle, you’re most likely browsing through products that contain a large amount of toxins, especially if you’re on the hunt for mascara. Heightened awareness of this issue has led to a higher demand for natural mascara. Here are just some of the toxic ingredients you’ll find in typical mascara:

    PARABENS

    These preservatives in cosmetics are used in mainstream beauty products to prevent bacteria from growing in mascara. The hygienic preservatives have been linked to mimic or disrupt estrogen in the body, also known as an endocrine disrupter, says the Breast Cancer Fund. High concentrations of parabens have been found in human breast tumors by Dr. Philippa Darbre, a research scientist at the University of Reading in the UK.

    In a study that mimics Dr. Darbre’s original 2004 study, Darbre and her research team found one or more types of parabens in 99% of the tissue samples, and all five were measurable in 60% of the samples. Parabens found in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics are getting into the breast at high rates.

    Mascaras with Parabens: L’Oréal, Cover Girl, Avon, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Revlon, Chanel, Lancôme

    ALUMINUM POWDER

    This metallic substance is used as a cosmetic colorant and is a neurotoxin, rated as a high concern by the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This neurotoxin is considered to be far worse than mercury, because it has been linked to interfere with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and other tissues, says a study published in the journal of Pediatrics.

    If there is long-term exposure of aluminum powder, it can impair the body’s ability to excrete mercury and, as a result, can make whatever amount of mercury that is in your system more toxic. 

    Mascaras with Aluminum Powder: Cover Girl and Estee Lauder

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    PROPYLENE GLYCOL

    This mascara ingredient, although deemed safe by the FDA, appears to cause severe skin irritation and sensitization in people. Individuals who may be sensitive to this product can be exposed to a special form of irritation – allergic contact dermatitis, an allergic skin reaction caused by direct contact with an allergen.

    According to Dermapproved.com, this allergic reaction will show up as a red, inflamed rash that is accompanied by itching and minor pain. In severe cases, painful blisters may form on the skin and could potentially spread to other areas of the body.

    Mascaras with Propylene Glycol: L’Oréal, Mineral Fusion, Rimmel, Avon, and Maybelline

    RETINYL ACETATE (VITAMIN A ACETATE)

    This harmful mascara ingredient is ranked as a high concern by the EWG because it can cause biochemical or cellular level changes. Retinyl acetate can produce excess reactive oxygen species that interfere with cellular signaling and can even cause mutations in your genes. While there is restricted use in cosmetics, where beauty companies must meet recommendations or requirements in the U.S., the use of this toxic ingredient is prohibited and restricted in Canadian cosmetics.

    Mascaras with Retinyl Acetate: Elizabeth Arden, Almay, and Revlon

    NATURAL MASCARA: THE SAFE ALTERNATIVE

    To have fuller, longer looking lashes without exposing your skin to commercial mascara’s harmful chemicals, natural mascara like Dr. Hauschka’s Volume Mascara provides a safe and healthy alternative for your skin. Sarah Oechsil, blogger from The Naked Label, affirms that the ingredients found in this type of mascara are not only natural, they also have a wide range of antioxidants derived fruits and vegetables that give the same beautifying effect as commercial mascara without the harmful chemicals.

  • Ingredient Focus: Rose Water

    Rose water has many benefits, and can be used in various ways to benefit your skin and overall well-being. No matter what your skin type is, this “wonder of nature” can bring you handful of goodness!

    Rose water can bring benefits to all skin types, it can help soothe and cool sensitive and irritated skin; balance and cleanse oily skin; rejuvenate, soften, and tone mature skin; and revitalize and add beautiful glow to normal skin. Rose water is filled with anti-oxidants and various vitamins; therefore, it can help prevent the signs of aging and nourish the skin.

    Rose water also has natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.

    So, what are the possible uses of rose water for beautiful skin and your well-being?

    1) Use rose water to prevent or reduce eye puffiness.

    Just place a bottle of rose water into the fridge for half an hour, and then apply some of it on a cotton pad and gently place it on your eyes. It will help soothe the tender skin around your eyes and prevent or reduce eye puffiness.

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    2) Freshen your face throughout the day by spraying rose water mist on your skin.

    Rose water can become your faithful friend and helper, caring for your skin like nothing else. Just spray on your face to instantly freshen, hydrate, and nourish your skin, adding wonderful radiance and glow. Our favorite is ilike Rose Petal Toner. It tightens and refreshes your skin while balancing its natural pH level. Rose oil and rose petals provide astringent qualities and control excess oil production caused by seborrhea.

    3) Add 2 cups of rose water into your bath for a divine and unforgettable experience.

    Rose water will soften and add freshness to your skin; it also will leave an amazing scent of fresh rose on your body. Isn’t it a perfect treat for your beauty?!

    4) Use rose water to soften dry skin.

    Ladies with dry skin can experience the amazing benefits of rose water. When you apply rose water on your skin, you can notice the soothing and softening effect of it right away.

    5) Rose water can also work as a natural makeup remover.

    Just apply rose water on a cotton pad and gently remove your makeup with it, gently massaging your face. To create an even more effective makeup remover – dampen the cotton pad with rose water and apply a little bit of liquid coconut oil on top of it, mixing rose water and coconut oil – this natural skin care product for removing makeup is one of our favorites! It efficiently removes makeup not only from your face, but also can be used on the gentle skin around the eyes.

    6) You can also use rose water as your perfect natural setting spray.

    Yes, rose water can be applied (sparingly) over your makeup as a setting product, providing a beautiful, healthy glow and amazing dewy finish.

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    7) Use rose oil as a skin toner.

    Regular use of rose oil can help prevent wrinkles (slowing down the aging process), tighten pores, and add a wonderful glow to the skin. We recommend Dr. Hauschka Rose Body Oil. It includes extracts of damask roses, rose essential oil, and Jojoba oil to maintain moisture for silky, supple skin.

    8) You can use rose water as an after-shave, to prevent irritation and sooth the skin.

    Not only does it help make your freshly shaved legs feel softer, but rose water also will leave its amazingly wonderful scent on your skin.

    9) Try aromatherapy.

    We can’t help but mention that you can use rose water as an ingredient of aromatherapy. Research has shown that aromatherapy can have a tremendous positive effect in helping fight stress, contributing to sounder sleep.

    In a 2009 study of 40 healthy volunteers, rose oil applied to the skin produced a relaxation response greater than that of a placebo oil. People who received rose oil also had a greater decrease in their breathing rate and blood pressure than those who received the placebo.

    In an earlier animal study, published in 2004, inhalation of rose oil was found to lower anxiety in a group of rats.

  • How to Fight Free Radicals

    As if gravity weren’t enough to combat with in the fight to age gracefully, now we’ve got another worry on our plate, in the form of free radicals. A free radical is an atom or molecule that has an unpaired electron which attacks healthy cells, trying to steal electrons and rebalance, causing damage to the good cells. Scientists believe free radicals are responsible for numerous age-related diseases, as well as cancer.

    Our bodies are equipped to rein in and dispose of free radicals. The problem is that we usually have more of these troublemakers floating around than our bodies can manage, and that's when we run into problems.

    Any combination of factors that produces excessive free radicals (or suboptimal scavenging) can ultimately cause mass destruction throughout the human body. This destruction has been

    linked to the development of disease and the acceleration of aging. Fortunately, there are ways to fight back.

    Fight with Food

    How do we combat free radicals? Scientists have found foods that score high in antioxidant analysis or ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) protect cells from free radicals, reducing risks of aging diseases.

    Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that may help neutralize and prevent free radicals. Foods with beta carotene are easy to spot, because this antioxidant gives them a vibrant orange color. The International Food Information Council Foundation reports that foods with beta carotene may also bolster your body's defenses, so you are better able to prevent the formation of free radicals. Look for orange fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers, apricots, cantaloupe, and mangoes to get this antioxidant.

    One of the antioxidants that gets the most attention is vitamin C, because it has such a positive effect on your body's natural defenses against illness. In addition to boosting your immune system, vitamin C also helps prevent the damage that free radicals cause by eliminating them before they become an irreversible problem. Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruit, bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, pineapple, papaya, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach.

    Adding vitamin E to your daily diet is another way to help prevent the formation of free radicals, as well as help neutralize any that have already formed. Vitamin E is another nutrient that has antioxidant properties that help protect cells from free radicals and also aid in DNA repair, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation. Including vitamin E-rich foods like nuts, nut butters, vegetable oils, whole grains, wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, and dark leafy green vegetables will help you get these benefits by increasing your intake of this important antioxidant.

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    Fight with Prevention

    Every puff of a cigarette contains about 4,700 different chemicals and 100 trillion free radical molecules. These reactive substances damage lung tissue by chemically reacting with DNA, cell membranes, and other molecules in the lungs. Moral of the story: Don’t smoke, and you’ll have a great start on fighting free radicals.

    Find Better Air Quality

    Experts have known for some time that free radicals that exist in tobacco smoke are responsible for cell damage that leads to emphysema, lung cancer and even asthma. Research out of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge suggests that free radicals that are fine particles in air pollution may be 300 times as damaging as those from tobacco smoke. These free radicals can accumulate from burning fuels in smokestacks, car exhaust pipes or house chimneys, or from the formation of ground level ozone during hot weather.

    There are steps you can take to help you stay healthy, even in light of free radical pollution:

    • Stay indoors on hot days, as that is when free radicals in ground level ozone may be at their highest levels. Keep windows closed and the air conditioning on.
    • Watch the air quality reports and stay indoors on days when air quality is poor, too.
    • If you live in an urban environment, where air quality is often poorer than in suburban and rural environments, you might want to consider moving.
    • Take your asthma medication as prescribed to help keep asthma in control, even if you can't avoid free radicals completely.
    • Eat healthfully, and include foods high in antioxidants in your diet, which will benefit you in many ways.
  • Best Beauty Products for Fall

    September marks the beginning of the fall season – for many, the best time of the year. It’s also a time to consider your autumn beauty routine, considering that you’re facing less sunlight, cooler air, and less humidity. The same way you switch up your wardrobe to adjust to the chilly temperatures, now is the perfect time to take your makeup bag from summer to fall. To help get you started, we’ve broken down the key products you should add to your arsenal to achieve the hottest looks of the season with safe organic products.

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    Foundation

    100% Pure Foundation Powder

    Super lightweight face powder to give you a beautiful, flawless complexion that deemphasizes your pores. Use alone or over a tinted moisturizer. 100% Pure Healthy Flawless Skin Foundation Powder is an all-natural formula packed full of anti-aging vitamins and antioxidants; skin purifying eucalyptus, soothing calendula, chamomile, and rose; oil absorbing rice powder; and flattering color from fruits and vegetables. A great light powder for autumn that won’t cover up that natural glow you worked on all summer long!

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    Moisturizer

    Dr. Hauschka Quince Hydrating Body Milk

    Clean, crisp, and grounding, Quince Hydrating Body Milk with quince seed extract features a subtle, uplifting fragrance. This protective moisturizer with extracts of fortifying blackthorn and sa ge has a stabilizing effect on your skin, preventing moisture loss and keeping it smooth, soft, and balanced year-round. Great for autumn, as it protects the skin from harsher weather with its thicker base.

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    Eye Shadow

    Dr. Hauschka Eyeshadow Palette

    This Dr. Hauschka Eyeshadow Palette features four matte shades of brown and gray, which enhance the natural beauty of your eyes, allowing for a combination of elegant looks that take eyes from day to night. Silk powder offers pH balancing and protective qualities. This palette contains the perfect colors for fall: dark, smoky, and neutral in shades of brown. Indulge in this healthy alternative to drugstore eye makeup.

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    Hair Holders

    Yarok Feed Your Roots Mousse

    Now that the summer humidity is fading, you can finally tame your hair. Feed your hair what it needs, wants, and craves at the roots with Yarok's Feed Your Roots volume enhancing mousse. Your hair will raise to new heights while you lower your carbon footprint. This mousse is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. People of all hair types can rejoice while watching their hair flourish and lead a much fuller life.

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    Body Scrub

    S.W. Basics Body Scrub

    This delightful scrub has been described as dessert for your body. Coarse organic demerara sugar is mixed with moisturizing coconut oil and organic shredded coconut to create an effective and aromatic exfoliant. Indulge in the sweeter side with only three organic ingredients: demerara sugar, extra-virgin coconut oil, and shredded coconut. The perfect body scrub and aroma for fall to keep your glow going for the rest of the year.

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    Facial Cleanser

    Maya Chia "The Great Cleanse" Facial Cleansing Oil

    Nourishing supercritical chia oil restores moisture for supple skin and a more even complexion in this facial cleansing oil by Maya Chia. This proprietary blend of oils gently and effortlessly dissolves makeup and impurities completely. Soothing natural botanicals, such as German
    and Roman chamomile and lavender, calm the skin for a radiant glow.

  • 6 Ways Organic Beauty Products Can Save Your Skin

    Limit exposure to harmful chemicals.

    Skin care products are regulated by the FDA, but not nearly as stringently as food. Almost any chemical can be used in lotions, make-up, and soaps, with many including mercury, dioxane, DEA, isopropyl alcohol, and many other harmful agents. The skin easily absorbs these chemicals, adding toxins into your body and clogging your pores. All-natural and organic products greatly reduce your skin’s and body’s exposure to these chemicals.

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    Reduce irritants.

    As many as 24 percent of Americans will experience an allergic skin reaction at some point during their lives, which isn’t surprising when you consider that more than 3,700 substances have been identified as contact allergens — meaning they can trigger a rash or other skin reaction. Quite a few of these live in the beauty products you may use every day. These products can irritate the skin, causing redness, bumps, and dryness. It’s odd to consider that the very products you use to make your skin look fresh and clear can also make it break out.

    Organic products, alternatively, use only natural ingredients and are less likely to cause any irritation. Consider switching to a product with very few ingredients, like 80 Acres of McEvoy Body Oil. It’s a lightweight blend including olive, jojoba, and sweet almond oils, along with an array of soothing botanical extracts.

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    Stop allergic reactions to fragrances.

    Synthetic fragrance ingredients can trigger irritation in over 20 percent of the American population, say environmental health researchers at the University of Washington, causing skin rashes, as well as headaches, coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory irritation.

    “And fragrance doesn’t just mean perfume — it’s used in almost every beauty product under the sun,” says Siobhan O’Connor, co-author of “No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Clean and Safe Cosmetics.” Fragrance ingredients can even crop up in products labeled “unscented” because companies use special fragrance chemicals known as masking agents to create that non-scent.

    If you’re sensitive to fragrance, avoid any products that have the word “fragrance” on their ingredient label and look for “fragrance-free” alternatives. Soaps, lotions, and makeup with chemical fragrances can cause an allergic reaction, both on the skin and in the body. Limit exposure to these allergens for you and those around you by using natural, organic products without heavy or synthetic fragrances, like Schmidt’s Fragrance Free Deodorant.

    Use products that use no residue.

    Some commercial soaps and lotions tend to leave a residue on your skin. These can be synthetic components like parabens that are added to products to increase their shelf life. You can feel the residue left from these chemicals, which often clogs pores and causes irritation. Leave your skin softer and safer with organic products—without synthetic ingredients.

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    Save your skin, save the environment.

    Do you want to use products that are not only bad for your skin, but also bad for the environment? Keep these chemical-laden products off your skin and out of the water supply by buying only organic skin products. When purchasing natural products, be sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction by trying a “test-patch” on your arm. It has recently been found that many Americans are having allergic reactions to natural extracts.

    Avoid aluminum.

    If your armpits get red or start to peel every time you roll on your antiperspirant, you may be allergic to the aluminum compounds in most of them, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Unfortunately, the more powerful your wetness protection, the more likely you are to have a reaction.

    Soothing swap: Use a natural deodorant like Tom’s of Maine or Arm & Hammer. “They do a fine job of masking odor but aren’t great at preventing sweating,” Zeichner notes. If you find that you’ve got pit stains, try Dove’s sensitive skin antiperspirant, which you may be able to tolerate, as it has very low levels of aluminum.

  • Prevention Tips for Lifelong Healthy Skin

    If you want your skin looking as good at 50 as it does at 30, listen up. There are very simple steps you can take to prevent sun damage throughout your lifetime and preserve your skin’s healthy glow. You’ll also reduce the risk of skin cancers, wrinkles, age spots, and more.

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    Wear Sunscreen Like It’s Your Job.

    Sunscreen is the number one preventative topical against aging. It prevents more than fixes, but, if you think about it, it's much easier to prevent the signs of aging than it is to reverse wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or anything else that has already set in. Sunscreen protects you from the sun's harmful UV rays and prevents even more damage from happening to your skin.

    However, sunscreen is not a magic potion that works as soon as you start using it. Your skin won't age less a week or even a month after consistent and proper sunscreen application. You may see fewer sun spots, but ultimate sunscreen benefits are cumulative and will show through in the long run.

    About 80 percent of the average person's lifetime sun exposure is incidental—which means it occurs during daily activities, not lying on the beach. If you're planning on being out in the sun for longer than 15 minutes, make sure to use a sunscreen with SPF 30, like Erbaviva SPF 30 Sunscreen.

    Wear Sunglasses

    One of the first areas to show signs of aging, the skin around the eyes needs extra hydration even if the rest of your face doesn't. Sunglasses help shield the skin around your eyes from skin-aging UV rays. Opt for a pair clearly labeled to block 99 percent of UV rays. Wider lenses best protect the delicate skin around your eyes. You’ll also avoid crow’s feet for a bit longer. Squinting throughout your twenties or thirties will definitely show later on.

    Protect Your Lips

    The truth is that most of us neglect our thin-skinned lips when it comes to the sun's rays—leaving our lips particularly vulnerable to painful sunburns and the lip lines and wrinkles associated with aging. Remember to always apply (and reapply at least every hour) a lip-protection balm.

    Daily use of a moisturizing lip balm with a high SPF like Intelligent Nutrients Organic Lip Balm helps to provide anti-aging protection for your lips.  By including a sunscreen in lip balm, you can be outside in UV rays without having to worry about the effects of its exposure. Apart from sun damage, a good lip balm also prevents discoloration, wrinkling, dryness, and chapping. A good balm will also contain wax that can act a protectant of the skin, as well as moisturize thoroughly.

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    Rock a Hat

    Choose a hat with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim all around to  protect the skin on your face, ears, and neck from the sun.  One dermatology expert says: "Every 2 inches of brim lowers your skin-cancer risk by 10 percent."—Darrell Rigel, M.D., Clinical Professor of Dermatology, New York University.

    Exfoliate!

    People say men tend to age slower (or look younger; however you want to think of it) because they shave, frequently exfoliating their face. For both women and men, exfoliating is definitely an easy way to keep your skin fresh. Pretty much every beauty magazine will recommend exfoliating your skin at least once a week.

    You can exfoliate manually, by using a facial scrub or washcloth, or chemically, by using topical acids or retinoids. Exfoliating helps keep your skin looking young by shedding dead skin cells and pushing newer ones to form. Chemical exfoliants, like AHAs, can also minimize the appearance of wrinkles over time. There is also some scientific evidence that long-term AHA use encourages collagen regeneration, repairing the effects of aging.

    Even if exfoliating didn't help your skin stay firm or reduce any wrinkles, the process of exfoliation helps you maintain an even and bright complexion, which definitely looks much younger and healthier compared to uneven and blotchy skin.

  • Top Organic Facial Masks

    Facial masks are an essential part of an healthy skin care regimen — but one that is often overlooked. When thinking of face masks, many envision a French woman answering the door with a pale blue or green mask covering her face. While most Europeans wouldn’t blink at such a sight, it is rare to see among Americans. We’re hoping to turn that trend around and tell you more about the benefits of adding facial masks to your skin care routine.

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    The Green Tea Mask

    In a 100% Pure Green Tea Water Bomb Mask, hyaluronic acid delivers water to thirsty skin cells, while green tea concentrate acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The mask material hydrogel is composed from 95% organic aloe water and 5% plant cellulose made to intensely hydrate.

    The longer you leave the mask on your skin, the thinner the hydrogel mask becomes, because the water gets absorbed. The hydrogel assists in delivering active ingredients onto your skin.

    Green tea has been used in skin care regimens for centuries by both men and women, due to the many health benefits it provides both internally and externally. Green tea contains catechins, which are anti-bacterial agents that suppress acne-causing bacteria and help regulate hormonal imbalances. It also possesses potent properties that help reduce the redness and inflammation brought about by acne, thereby helping them heal sans the scars.

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    The Apricot Mask

    Ilike Organic Skin Care Apricot Mask hydrates, revitalizes, and protects your skin from the signs of premature aging with an antioxidant-rich blend of active botanicals. Beta-carotene improves skin's ability to defend against environmental damage, while calendula extract maintains moisture levels and calms inflammation.

    Apricot oil delivers skin-firming omega fatty acids that reduce fine lines for a healthy and radiant complexion. It’s obtained from the dried seeds of the fruit, and its skin-softening effects can be attributed to its high content of vitamin C. It’s an excellent moisturizer for face and hands and can cure damaged skin without undesirable side effects. Apricot even reduces wrinkles!

    A peeling formula produced from apricot kernels helps in getting rid of the old, dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and enables new skin cells to re-grow. This exfoliating action helps in getting rid of fine lines and small wrinkles by eliminating the damaged surface cells from the skin.

    The Pineapple Mask

    One Love Organics Brand New Day lets your skin start fresh every morning. Soothing organic sweet pea flour and fresh pineapple enzymes polish off dead skin cells while helping to protect the new ones.

    Brand New Day is an exfoliation treat that’s gentle enough for every day, every skin type, and every inch of your body. The superfine, water activated exfoliant combines organic sweet pea flour, pineapple enzymes, and mineral-rich kaolin clay that will remove impurities, clarify, and make your skin oh-so-smooth.

    Pineapple helps to keep the skin flexible and firm because it increases collagen synthesis. It also contains vitamin C and amino acids — all skin-friendly nutrients. You can apply fresh pineapple directly to your face to reap the benefits.

  • The Best Overnight Creams

    Nighttime is the prime time for skin care abuse. We’ve all been there. You get home after a long day at work or a night out on the town, and all you want to do is flop onto bed. Removing your makeup, applying night cream, and keeping up a good skin care regimen can seem like climbing a mountain. However, multiple studies have proven that a good nighttime cream can do wonders for your skin while you sleep. That has to be worth it, right?

    First, pick a cream that works with your skin type. You want to add moisture while you sleep — it’s the best time to do it since some can give your skin a greasy appearance — but, remember that oily or combination skin needs less hydration than dry skin. Remember to focus on your biggest concerns. Whether it's acne, uneven skin tone, fine lines, or wrinkles, there's a product for you. Just make sure you find the right one.

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    Dr. Hauschka Renewing Night Conditioner

    Dr. Hauschka Renewing Night Conditioner contains oil-free ampules that encourage proper hydration and revitalize pale and lifeless mature skin while balancing oiliness. Rejuvenate mature skin with a 28-day cycle of Renewing Night Conditioner once per every decade of life … for example, 40 year olds = 4 times per year. This cream is for all skin types and balances oil  production.

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    Kahina Night Cream

    Increase luminosity, and refine skin tone and texture with the Kahina Giving Beauty Night Cream, an organic-certified treatment complex that includes red wine grapes. A blend of rare white lily, Japanese wakame seaweed, and powerful antioxidants in argan oil, maritime pine, and green tea will visibly reduce discoloration, hyper-pigmentation, post-acne spots, and dark marks in four to six weeks.

    Boost radiance and even skin tone, while preventing future discoloration by inhibiting melanin production. Protect against environmental exposure and support the skin’s natural defense system. Fight free radicals that contribute to further signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

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    One Love Organics Firming Face Serum

    Wake up your skin's natural radiance with One Love Organics Morning Glory Firming Face Serum! Raspberry Leaf — a rich source of polypeptides, flavonoids, tannins and niacin — works to stimulate, tighten and tone. Peppermint and lemon balm deliver a refreshing zing of anti-inflammatory antioxidants to help brighten, enliven and de-puff.

    Vegan-sourced Omega 3 fatty acids smooth the appearance of fine lines and help shield skin from everyday environmental damage. Just a little Morning Glory, and your complexion will be coming up rosy.

    Once you get started on your regimen, remember to give it time. Most night creams are not going to miraculously transform your skin in one night — they take days and even weeks to show their full effects. So, be patient, and don't forget to apply the product every night.

    One additional tip — make sure you get enough sleep! If you're only in bed for three hours, that night cream isn't getting much time to work its magic. Aim for seven to eight hours of shut-eye — it's better for your health and gives your product ample time to sink in. 

  • The Many Wonders of Sea Salt

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    Salt is in pretty much everything. It’s in the earth, in the air, and in our bodies. But what makes this particular mineral so essential to our lives and our everyday health? The benefits of sea salt, in particular, are innumerable—from healing properties, to skin care, to dietary improvement.

    Sea salt is now growing in popularity—not just on the dining room table, but in skin products as well. It can be found in a variety of different forms, including bath salts, soaps, and exfoliating scrubs. Sea salt is made by taking water from the oceans or saline lakes and letting the water evaporate to leave the salts behind, whereas table salt is mined from salt deposits in the earth and heavily processed to produce “clean” salt.

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    Sea salt is also known as bay salt. It comes into being when bodies of salt water go through the evaporation process. It is then “mined” for packaging. The Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the North Sea are the most common areas for harvesting sea salt. The method involved in harvesting sea salt also helps to retain its natural state and therapeutic qualities.

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    Sea salt is darker in color when compared to refined salts, due to the absorption of essential minerals from the clay lining of the body of water. By the time table salt has been packaged, it has been refined through heavy processing, including mining followed by iodizing, bleaching, and diluting with anti-caking agents. More chemicals are added during the processing of table salt, which often steals all of its beneficial minerals and trace elements, except sodium and chloride.

    In comparison, the preparation of sea salt usually includes very little processing, so it retains its moisture and mineral value. These minerals are present in a form that is easily utilized and absorbed by the human body. The quality and combination of minerals in sea salt varies by the climate and the geographical location of the region that it’s mined in.

    Keep in mind, regardless of the huge differences in processing, both sea salt and refined table salt contain approximately the same amount of sodium.

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    Sea salt derives 82 essential trace nutrients from sea water. These natural minerals are essential for healthy functioning of the body. The nutritional wealth of sea salt includes vital minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, bromide, chloride, iron, copper, and zinc, among other beneficial elements.

    These healing properties in sea salt help in maintaining good cellular functioning of the body and have been appreciated for ages. In ancient times, sea salt was valuable for healing hand injuries and wounds of fishermen.

    The mineral content in Dead Sea salt has long been appreciated for its rejuvenating effects on the skin. Bathing in a Dead Sea salt solution helps in keeping the skin moisturized and revitalized. Dead Sea salt baths also help in improving the skin barrier function, and eliminate the roughness and inflammation on the skin’s surface.

    Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory effect is attributed to the presence of a high magnesium content in the Dead Sea salts. It also helps in the detoxification of the body by flushing out toxins from the pores, while also aiding in improving blood circulation.

    Sea salt finds another use in the cosmetic industry in the manufacturing of scrubs and other skin care products, like antiperspirants and deodorants. Exfoliation with sea salts helps to remove dead skin particles, tones up the skin tissues, encourages peripheral blood circulation, and helps in skin renewal.

    Unlike table salt, the granular texture of sea salt works very well in providing clean and smooth skin. Sea salt scrub therapy is also advised for patients suffering from low blood pressure, epilepsy, poor blood circulation, and general body fatigue, by promoting healthy blood circulation.

    So, what happens when you consume only refined table salt, and not mineral-rich salt?

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    Without the right kind of salt, our body will encounter many kinds of problems. As you’ve already seen, by taking table salt, our body is deprived of the real salt and minerals. Here’s a small but shocking list of what can happen when we consume too much refined salt that is found in abundance in commercial cooking and processed foods:

    • High blood pressure
    • Accelerated aging cellular degeneration
    • Respiratory and blood sugar problems
    • Aggravated inflammatory issues—rheumatism, asthma, arthritis, and gout
    • Liver failure, adrenal exhaustion
    • Kidney and gallbladder stones
    • Heart muscles tiring and lacerating, causing fatal heart attacks

    Sea salt, on the other hand, helps to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance in the body, which is necessary for maintaining optimum blood composition and circulation, muscular strength, and overall functioning of the body.

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    Eliminating all salt from your diet is unhealthy, because minerals contained in it are essential for the proper functioning of nearly all biological processes, states Dr. Michael Alderman, a hypertension specialist. The human body would not exist without these salts, according to Dr. Barbara Hendel, a researcher and author of "Water and Salt, The Essence of Life."

    The larger crystals and saltier taste of sea salt enable you to use less salt to season your foods and still achieve the same effect, thus reducing your sodium intake.

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    Medical studies have shown that Dead Sea Minerals are effective in treating a multitude of conditions, including psoriasis, acne, rheumatism, and eczema. Dead Sea minerals are known to cure skin disorders through strengthening the skin tissues, maintaining the chemical balance of the skin, stimulating blood circulation, and eliminating toxins from the skin.

    For example, the concentration of magnesium found in the Dead Sea is reported to be about fifteen times higher than salts in any other sea. As mentioned earlier, magnesium is essential for cell metabolism. A significant deficit of magnesium has been discovered in serum and skin scales of patients with psoriasis. Millions of people have traveled to the Dead Sea to relax and enjoy its beauty, but, more importantly, to experience the healing, beautifying, and rejuvenating powers of its waters.

    Due to the high concentration of salt and minerals in the Dead Sea, no plant or animal life can survive. There is no outlet for the water except for evaporation, so the salt and minerals left behind collect on the shores and the bottom of the Dead Sea. These mineral-rich salts and other sediments left behind are extremely beneficial to the body.

    When you purchase cosmetics with Dead Sea salt as a main ingredient, you can have the benefits of the most amazing natural spa, the Dead Sea, from the comfort of your own home. Minerals are essential for the metabolism of the skin. With age, the level of minerals in the body is depleted. Researchers have found that the body no longer produces minerals on its own, and must draw from an external source of supply. Minerals provide protection and strengthen cell membranes against dehydration and environmental hazards.

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    The salt water acne remedy is an intriguing one, and one that is very popular with those who want to avoid pharmaceutical medicines or over the counter facial cleansers.

    While there are some variations of the salt water method, the most common use is to simply place salt into a glass of warm water and mix. Most recommend one tablespoon. Then dab a cotton ball or washcloth into the salt water and gently pat it against your face. So, how exactly does this help your skin with acne breakouts?

    Drying Oils – Salt has the natural ability to reduce moisture, which dries out the oils in your face. Since facial oil is the leading cause of clogged pores and bacterial buildup, presumably the salt's ability to dry the skin has an acne-reduction effect.

    Reducing Bacteria – Salt is an ingredient that is often added to meals in order to prevent food from spoiling. Salt starves bacteria of moisture, which could kill off bacteria.

    Closing Pores – Similarly, one popular theory on salt water is that it has the potential to close your pores, which should create less of a space for bacteria and oils.

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    The therapeutic effects of bathing in mineral-rich waters have been known since time immemorial—or at least since ancient Greeks Herodotus and Hippocrates proclaimed the curative powers of relaxing in natural hot springs. Cleopatra—a female most cited regarding all things ancient of beauty—so greatly valued the youth-bestowing qualities of the Dead Sea's mud and water that it’s rumored she urged her lover Mark Antony to conquer the region so that she might have an unlimited supply at her disposal.

    The compound of magnesium sulfate known as Epsom salts—named after the English town where it was first identified in 1695—has been clinically proven to ease muscle pain and speed the healing of wounds. The Japanese have customarily dipped into mineral springs, or onsen, for centuries, to alleviate a host of complaints ranging from acne to wrinkles.

    Even now, alternative health blogs are buzzing about so-called transdermal magnesium therapy: Because the mineral can be absorbed through the skin and into the cells, devotees allege that a bath containing a few cups of sea-salt-derived magnesium chloride can deliver health-boosting results more effectively than oral supplements.

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    Enriched with a blend of organic olive, sweet almond, and jojoba oils, 80 Acres of McEvoy Ranch Verde Olive Oil Salt Scrub is a pure and sensual fine-grain Pacific sea salt scrub that gently exfoliates and moisturizes leaving skin silky smooth and rejuvenated. Verde takes its freshness and green aromatic notes from our own gardens in spring. This is the stuff our ancient ancestors used on their skin and couldn’t stop raving about. If you’re looking for a sea salt product that’s as close to earth as possible, this is the one.

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