Beauty

Gua Sha For Anti-Aging and Healthy Skin

Gua Sha for Skin
Anti-aging seems prevalent everywhere, especially for women, with Botox seemingly becoming the new “normal.” Many women in their early 20s are even exploring it as a preventative measure. Alternatively, a natural skin care and antiaging technique called gua sha is also becoming popular. Depending on your skin goals, gua sha may be a better option for you, and perhaps it can help you rethink your relationship with aging in general. Ancient Healing   Gua sha is an ancient healing technique in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves using a smooth-edged stone to gently scrape the skin to improve lymphatic circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. This routine brings about a fundamental change in the skin by clearing blockages and creating space and movement in the underlying structures, so that skin can function at its best. The result is a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, dullness, under-eye darkness and puffiness, sagging skin, and pimples. With regular gua sha massage, you may notice a more clearly-defined jawline, a more toned neck and jowl, a “lifted” appearance of the eyes, and an overall brighter complexion. This technique is also great in relieving jaw tension, headaches, and sinus and lymphatic congestion.  Gua sha won’t deliver immediate results like Botox for anti-aging, as its effects are seen more gradually over time. Gua sha is best suited for those looking to add a daily skin care routine which supports overall health and wellness, with the added benefit of anti-aging. It can be a beautiful ritual that you can adopt to achieve long-term results, bringing relaxation and healthy skin. Top 5 Benefits Of Gua Sha  Stimulates collagen production. A gua sha facial massage can stimulate the production of collagen, which is responsible for maintaining the skin's elasticity and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Increases blood flow and lymphatic circulation. The body’s “inner ocean” runs just under the superficial capillaries of the skin, helping to remove toxins and give it that healthy glow. The scraping action of gua sha can help increase the flow of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the cells. This increased circulation helps to reduce eye puffiness and dark circles, giving the skin a more youthful and refreshed appearance. Reduces inflammation. A gentle scraping action down the neck can help to open lymphatic pathways to decrease inflammation, especially for skin conditions like acne. Inflammation is a major contributor to the aging process and gua sha can help reduce this in the skin by increasing the flow of Qi (energy). Promotes relaxation. We all know that stress can accelerate the aging process, and finding tools and routines to reduce stress is key. Mindset and perspective play a huge role in how we view our skin and self-worth. Leaning into these gentle and safe tools adds up! Gua sha can help relieve tension and promote presence in the mind, much like meditation or breathwork practices.  Accessible. Gua sha is a very accessible skin care routine that can be practiced daily at home. The most effective results come from practices that become a part of our daily routines and add to our selfconfidence. Expert tip:  Full Body Flow  “A full-body gua sha lymphatic massage “awakens” and gently massages the lymph nodes at the collarbones, under the armpits, in the groin, and behind the knees. Combine this with a gentle dry brushing routine and facial massage, and you’ve got a full-body experience that promotes lymphatic circulation, heightens immune system function, and promotes relaxation.”

The Anti-Inflammatory & Healing Skin Benefits of Emu Oil

Emu Oil
Healthy Planet blog readers are likely familiar with the health benefits associated with fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids. They also probably know all about skincare oils like rosehip and jojoba – and how these can offer protection from irritation, redness, and dryness. But how many people are familiar with a product like an emu oil? Emu oil is made up of essential fatty acids (like omega-3) and is completely hypoallergenic for sensitive skin. Derived from the fat of the emu – flightless birds native to Australia – it is mostly comprised of fatty acids known to help in the treatment of skin conditions like eczema and acne. Emu oil has an established history of use in Australia when aboriginal cultures utilized emu fat and oil to treat skin conditions or topical infections. The Fatty Acid Profile of Emu Oil Emu oil is derived from the emu, the second largest bird after the ostrich. Emu oil is derived from the adipose tissue, and depending on how the oil is extracted, the oil can range from a thin yellow liquid similar to fish oil, or a creamy white. Oils that tend to be a darker yellow in color are believed to be of lesser quality. Emu oil is composed of 70% essential fatty acids, which include omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. As it is biologically similar to that of our skin’s fatty acid composition, it is absorbed well and penetrates rapidly into the skin. It is commonly referred to as a “dry oil” for this reason, meaning it moisturizes without leaving a greasy ‘film’ on the surface of the skin. As research indicates: “the speedy dermal absorption of pure emu oil into the blood is explained by its high unsaturated fat content (67-70%), which is comparable to that of our skin, its higher proportion of oleic acid (omega-9) and an absence of phospholipids, [which] limit dermal absorption.” Primarily, oleic acid, linolenic acid, and linoleic acid are the constituents in emu oil that help transport the bioactive compounds (antioxidants) within the emu oil into the skin, allowing quick absorption. These fatty acids are commonly used internally to reduce inflammation and reduce the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles when used topically. The Skin Benefits of Emu Oil – Inflammation, Irritation, Wound Healing Dermatologists will now sometimes recommend emu oil for patients, given that it is highly anti-inflammatory and completely non-toxic. Emu oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not ‘clog’ or block the skin’s pores the same way some skin oils can, while being bacteriostatic (reduce bacterial growth). Initially, emu oil was often used as a natural sort of sunscreen and has been added to natural sunscreen formulations to help provide an additional barrier of protection from UV rays. While not a human study, this study on mice indicates emu oil as being beneficial for inflammation – the swelling when emu oil was used was dramatically reduced compared to other oils, and within only six hours of treatment. It should be noted that because emu oil is derived from the belly fat of emu birds, it is not a “cruelty-free” ingredient, and is therefore not recommended for vegans. When looking to purchase emu oil, always look for a 100% pure grade oil, or ensure that the oil is only ever diluted with other natural and safe carrier oils – like jojoba. Shea butter is also common in topical solutions or creams and is perfectly safe. Given the rise in emu oil’s popularity, there are now a number of less-than-reputable companies breeding emus in poor conditions, resulting in yellow-tinged, poor-quality oil. You’ll want to opt for emu oil derived from emus raised on Australian soil – or Canadian-produced emu oil from smaller suppliers. All our brands of emu oil are from reputable companies that have years of experience when it comes to producing and sourcing high-quality oil. While emu oil can be ingested (used internally), we would recommend avoiding this as there aren’t a ton of long-term studies done on the safety of ingestion. Pure emu oil can be applied topically by rubbing it directly onto the area of concern with clean hands. Emu oil provides soothing relief from eczema, dry skin, acne, and irritated skin. It can also help accelerate the healing of small wounds and abrasions Emu oil has shown benefit to those with arthritis or joint pain when applied to the area topically.

Shea Butter: Synonymous with Hydration and Won’t Clog Your Pores

Shea Butter Benefits
One of the most commonly used ingredients in ‘natural’ moisturizing skin care products, shea butter, is a force to be reckoned with. Beyond being a natural, non-comedogenic moisturizer, it also boosts a high vitamin E content, fatty acids, vitamin A, and allantoin, and has benefits for those with fine lines, wrinkles, or skin conditions like acne or eczema. For those with dry, flaky skin – opting to try out pure shea butter as a soothing morning or night application and skin calmer is a no-brainer. Those with tree nut allergies tend to still tolerate shea butter without a reaction, as it doesn’t appear to contain any appreciable quantity of the problematic tree-nut proteins that can trigger allergies or anaphylactic response. Allergic reactions or adverse skin reactions to shea butter are exceptionally rare. The Production Process of Shea Butter Shea butter is not refined in the traditional sense, and the production process is quite simple. Extracted from the shea nut tree’s oily kernels within the seed, once the kernel is removed, they are ground and boiled to extract the fatty portion – the ‘butter,’ which becomes solidified. Most shea butter, regardless of organic certification, is sourced from West Africa.   The Many Therapeutic Skincare Applications of Shea Butter Shea butter can always be used on its own or incorporated with other ingredients as a combination moisturizer. Given how dense and solid shea butter is at room temperature, it is usually best incorporated with other body oils for an easier application process. The high amount of natural (and healthy) fatty acids like oleic, linoleic, and palmitic, combined with natural phenols and vitamin E content make it an ideal cosmetic product for soothing irritation or dry skin – the composition of fatty acids also makes shea butter mildly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Shea butter’s natural anti-inflammatory properties make it not only suitable as a moisturizer for dry, irritated skin, but also for sunburns, wrinkles, fine lines, aging, scarring, acne, plumping the skin, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and puffiness. Shea’s properties, including concentrations of linoleic acid, are specifically beneficial in treating inflammation and irritated skin without being pore-clogging or leading to overproduction of oil. Picking and Storing Shea Butter Shea butter should always be stored out of direct sunlight – and it usually lasts about 2 years from the date it was produced. Even after exposure to heat, it will re-solidify back at room temperature.   Refined or unrefined, which works best? Almost all of the shea butter you’ll find at Healthy Planet Canada is unrefined, meaning it is not extracted using any solvents or formulated with preservatives, or bleached. Some people prefer refined because they dislike the smell of natural shea butter’s nuttiness and the consistency may be smoother, but unrefined shea butter allows you to experience all the natural benefits of shea butter with its full range of antioxidants and compounds without any worry of what was used in the production process. Unrefined shea butter has more of a light beige or yellow color, and is much more ‘earthy.’ If you need some skincare help in the form of an all-natural, moisturizing powerhouse that protects against aging, skin conditions, and inflammation, look no further than shea butter. 

Safe Sunscreen: Avoiding Harmful Ingredients

Sunscreen
Sunscreen is increasingly important in the warmer and brighter months – but the frequent use of sunscreen could be contributing to vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, sunscreen (at least conventional sunscreen) can often contain harmful ingredients which are penetrating the skin on a daily basis given how sunscreen is applied and absorbed into the skin (often during excruciatingly hot days). Many of the common-place ingredients used in conventional sunscreen, like “oxybenzone,” for example, are well known and documented endocrine and hormone disruptors. Ingredients to Avoid in Sunscreens and Sunblock Products It is always best to opt for a sunscreen that contains primarily ‘mineral-based ingredients – oils, fatty acids, and plant-based extractives are generally totally fine as well. All of these ingredients – those harmful (and those that are benign), are absorbed into the skin after one application, so it is extremely important to only pick a natural sunscreen that is safe (i.e., paraben and - benzene free). Oxybenzone may also be labeled as ‘benzophenone-3 and is the most concerning active ingredient in sunscreen products. Studies have found that young boys exposed to higher levels of oxybenzone had dramatically lower total and free testosterone levels, and an increased risk of endometriosis in girls. Other notable ingredients to avoid are: Octinoxate – UV filter that offers protection from UVB rays, and is linked to reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption. Also, may be labeled as “octyl-methoxycinnamate.”   Homosalate – Linked to hormone disruption, and enhances the penetration of other harmful ingredients into the skin. This product is found to persist and is not broken down easily. Avobenzone – Systematically absorbed into the body after a single use and persists in the blood weeks after use, like oxybenzone. Known as a hormonal and endocrine disruptor with reproductive toxicity. Octocrylene – is often contaminated with known carcinogens, and has “endocrine-disrupting potential” in higher concentrations. It easily absorbs through the skin at several times the level the FDA labels as ‘systemic exposure to the chemical. Safer Alternatives You’ll notice the sunscreens available on Healthy Planet Canada are often zinc or titanium oxide based (i.e., mineral-based) and these are often much safer options, especially for younger children. Zinc Oxide is a natural UV absorber and often gives these natural sunscreens their distinct ‘white’ paste color. It is often more effective as a natural sunscreen than titanium dioxide, as it provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB ray protection compared to titanium dioxide, which is primarily effective against UVB rays. Choosing the Right Sunscreen by Reading Labels Always opt for a sunscreen that is explicitly advertised as a ‘mineral’ or ‘natural’ sunscreen – these often guarantee that the active ingredients will be paraben and oxybenzone-free while being zinc or titanium-based. In terms of ‘base’ or inactive ingredients, always ensure there’s nothing un-needed in there: things like emollients (oils and fatty acids) are fine, as well as things like beeswax, vitamin E, or botanical extracts. These are all perfectly safe to be applied topically, and also help retain moisture and protection of the skin itself. SPF numbering may throw some people off, in that they automatically assume more is better and needed, but this isn’t really the case. The increase from, say, SPF15 to SPF30 isn’t that dramatic and is mostly unwarranted unless you will be outside for a much longer or more prolonged period of time. SPF15 blocks ~93% of UVB rays, while SPF30 blocks around 97% of UVB rays. However, SPF50 only blocks 98% -- not much more than SPF30. SPF is also a measure of protection against UVB rays only, which is why it is important to look for products that specify “broad spectrum” protection specifically, which means protection against UVB and UVA rays. UVA light is the kind of rays associated with premature aging and wrinkles – exposure to UVB light is shorter, and associated with sunburn and damage to the skin common in those staying outdoors for long periods of time in the summer without proper protection. However, protection against both is important, especially for those that care about their skin.

Seabuckthorn Oil: Is it The Superior Skincare Oil?

Seabuckthorn Oil for Skin
Rosehip oil may easily be the most popular therapeutic skincare oil on the market, superseding jojoba, coconut, grapeseed, almond, argan, marula, and olive. But few people are aware of a possible contender for the spot of number one.  Before we explore the benefit of seabuckthorn and how it stacks up to rosehip, we should investigate the therapeutic benefits of rosehip, which is also a highly recommended, nutrient-rich skin care option.  Seabuckthorn or Rosehip Oil – How Do They Stack Up? Rosehip oil is derived from the seeds of the fruit on rose bushes – this oil is now widely used as a topical skincare oil and treasured for the high content of fatty acids and antioxidants. These natural compounds can help improve skin elasticity and reduce visible signs of aging – fine lines, dry skin, wrinkles, sun damage, and discoloration. Rosehip is also touted for the ability to more effectively moisturize the skin than traditional moisturizers, without causing the staining or heaviness associated with a lot of cosmetic creams and lotions.  The main components of rosehip are essential fatty acids, and these are naturally anti-inflammatory and moisturizing. Rosehip is also extraordinarily high in vitamin C and antioxidant compounds like carotenoids.  Rosehip is not new – it has been used since prehistoric times, and more interestingly, by Egyptians, Mayans, and Native Americans for a variety of health concerns, infections, oral health, diseases, and skin applications. The Romans used rosehip to dress animal bite wounds. In other preparations, it was used as a jam. The healing properties of rosehip are noted in old Icelandic texts, and by many other ancient cultures. The interest in rosehip oil as a potential for cosmetics and skincare in North America did not rejuvenate until the 1980s and 1990’s when more clinical research showed the benefits of rosehip for sensitive skin types and the impact it had on reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and the appearance of scar tissue.  Many proponents of commercial skincare and cosmetics products will suggest that there are no actual scientific studies to demonstrate rosehip oil’s effectiveness on any claimed benefits – but this is not exactly true.  There are quite a few studies that show promising results (including one from 1983 conducted at the University of Santiago) that shows rosehip oil may promote healing, reduce scar appearance, reduce the appearance of stretch marks, even skin complexion and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.  These studies are substantiated by simply looking at the composition of rosehip oil. This is an oil that is extremely rich in vitamin a, vitamin c, carotenoids, retinoids, and fatty acids like linolenic, alpha-linolenic, and oleic. This combination of free fatty acids, carotenoids, retinoids, and high vitamin-C content makes for a potent anti-aging oil.  Okay, so rosehip oil is great – what about seabuckthorn?  For starters, seabuckthorn contains over 190 bioactive compounds such as plant sterols, flavonoids, carotenoids, retinoids, and fatty acids – including the uncommon “omega-7.”  Omega-7 is not commonly found among plants. This fatty acid is known to promote skin repair and cellular regeneration, as well as work as an aide in soothing skin and skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.  Seabuckthorn also contains the essential fatty acids omega-3 & omega-6 in a perfect ratio of 1:1, which is the ideal ratio for human health. Seabuckthorn is also often sold as a supplement and liquid extract (by the brand Sibu) which can aid in whole body wellness and contribute to reduced cellular inflammation and reduce oxidative stress. Seabuckthorn has a strong positive effect on the cardiovascular system in trials, and this seems to be associated with the wealth of beneficial oils and compounds found in the oils and juices.  The Final Word on Seabuckthorn for Skincare and Whole-Body Wellness While much has been made about seabuckthorn’s internal benefits, let us get back to skincare and how seabuckthorn proves as beneficial for the skin as rosehip! The plant sterols in seabuckthorn can help with skin elasticity, hydration, smooth skin, and complexion – seabuckthorn is particularly rich in beta-sitosterol and campesterol. The unique combination of essential fatty acids also lends seabuckthorn restorative and regenerative properties for the health and integrity of the skin. The fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid helps to promote blood circulation, which can aid in nourishment and oxygen supply. This can help promote a healthier appearance, tone, and overall complexion.  In summary, for skin: seabuckthorn can help reduce oxidative stress, fight free radical damage, promote skin elasticity and healthy aging, reduce fine lines, scars, and wrinkles, help address skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dermatitis, moisturize and soothe the skin, protect ...

Trying a natural deodorant for the first time? Here’s what you need to know

Deodorant
Now that summer is upon us and the hot summer weather is enjoyable, we are spending more time outdoors. It’s time to stock up on the essentials – sunscreen, hats, insect repellent…and don’t forget, a deodorant that does its function well. It’s only normal that the more time we spend in the sun, the more we may sweat. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about – in fact, sweating is your body’s natural mechanism to help cool itself down. The goal is not to reduce your sweat, but to prevent unpleasant odors. And yes, natural deodorants are just as capable as conventional ones! Why conventional deodorants have a bad rep Many conventional deodorants rely on aluminum salts as their active ingredient. Aluminum acts as a plug for your sweat glands, which is why they are so effective. On the other hand, natural deodorants are made without aluminum and use other ingredients like clay or baking soda to prevent your sweat from smelling bad. One of the main reasons people want to switch to a natural deodorant is to avoid aluminum products. Because they go directly on the armpit, a location of major lymph nodes, this heavy metal can enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of toxicity. Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer in particular have been linked to aluminum in deodorants. Which natural deodorants can deliver on their promises? Crystal deodorants If you’ve never tried natural deodorants, the idea that a crystal-looking piece of salt can be used to get rid of your odor may seem far-fetched. But it’s true! Crystal deodorants are the most minimal and safest option because they only contain one ingredient: mineral salt. It’s a piece of white salt that you wet under your tap, then swipe under each pit 10-20 times. Salt is a natural killer for the bacteria in your armpits that might cause smells. You can also find crystal deodorants that are made into sprays for convenience, though the crystal option lasts longer. Because this type of deodorant is as natural as it gets, there is no scent, no residue and will not stain your clothes. For children or young teens looking to try their first deodorant, this is the best option. Best options: Lafe Deodorant Crystal Rock 120g, Lafe Deodorant Roll-On 71 g, Lafe Deodorant Spray 118mL Clay-based deodorants Clay is an extremely effective ingredient for keeping armpits from stinking up. It acts as a natural detoxifying agent and can absorb moisture. Clay is great for sensitive skin and even safe to use for baby’s skin on diaper rashes. Clay-based deodorants typically come in a jar and is rubbed on the armpits. All you need is a pea-sized amount for each armpit. The most natural and well-known deodorants are from the Routine line. They have various scents created by using different essential oils, are best known for being able to work even on the sweatiest armpits. If you’re sensitive to baking soda, they have a baking soda-free version for their popular scents. It’s the perfect deodorant to use on days when you will be spending the whole day outdoors, or before a high intensity workout. Once you try this brand, it’s hard to go back to other options! Best option: Routine Deodorant Superstar 58g Finding your best option The search for an effective natural deodorant often leaves people feeling discouraged. But don’t give up yet – the benefits of natural deodorants are worth waiting for, and there are some amazing options out there, waiting for you to try! More and more companies are coming out with their own formula, you are bound to find something that works for you. Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Natural Moisturizers that will change up your Skincare Routine

Natural Moisturizers - Skincare
Have you ever heard the saying, “more is not better”? When it comes to conventional moisturizers, you may be surprised at the long list of ingredients on each bottle. Even if the product is labeled “natural”, it may still contain alcohol, phytates, xanthan gum, sesame oil, fragrances, and sunflower oil the list goes on. Unless you pay attention to the ingredient list closely, natural health companies can sneak a few questionable substances into your daily products. Many are fillers, while some may also be used as preservatives or emulsifiers. How can you avoid going down a rabbit hole trying to avoid every potential harmful ingredient? Instead of looking for a particular brand that meets your standards, why not go back to the basics? Mother nature has already provided us with the best moisturizers. These natural fats and oils can act as effective moisturizers on their own, or you can mix them together to make the ultimate blend. Did you know that natural oils and fats can replace your body lotion? They don’t need any preservatives or fillers – not to mention, they are full of nutrients such as vitamin A, E, and omega-3 fats. Don’t miss out on trying these moisturizing powerhouses Shea butter Shea butter is a thick butter-like fat that comes from the shea tree nuts. You can find it in bulk as large chunks, though it usually requires some chopping before using. Luckily, many skincare companies are recognizing the amazing benefits of shea butter and are whipping it into a texture that is easier to scoop out of the container. Shea butter acts as a powerful moisturizer, forming a skin barrier between the skin, locking in moisture for even the driest skin. It is naturally anti-inflammatory, making it a great moisturizer for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Shea butter option: Maiga Shea Butter Raw 1lb Cocoa butter Cocoa butter has a similar texture to shea butter; it is thick and solid at room temperature. It comes from the cocoa bean. Sound familiar? Cocoa powder and chocolate are made from the same plant! Just like good-quality chocolate, cocoa butter contains a variety of antioxidants that help nourish your skin from the inside out. Antioxidants protect your skin from sun damage, skin aging, dark patches, and even dull skin. Cocoa butter is the go-to moisturizer to keep your skin young and supple. Cocoa butter option: Eli’s Pure Cocoa Butter 115g Coconut oil Even though coconut oil is typically solid at room temperature, you can find fractionated coconut oil that will remain liquid. This makes it easier to apply – they often come in a squeezable tube, like a lotion bottle. For those that don’t like the coconut smell, you can look for oils that are refined. They are specially processed in a way where they won’t contain a strong scent of coconut. If you choose to use coconut oil as your moisturizer, make sure to try out a patch on your skin first. It is great for moisturizing the body, but some people may find that it clogs the pores. Others find that it helps reduce redness and inflammation. It’s best to try a skin patch to see which group you belong to. Coconut oil option: Prairie Naturals Coco-b Coconut Oil 100mL Jojoba oil Jojoba oil comes from the seed of the jojoba plant. It is full of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps your skin cells regenerate faster, resulting in glowing skin. Jojoba oil is not as thick as the other fats and oils, but it is a potent moisturizer, nonetheless. Like the others, it can be used on the body, though jojoba oil shines best as a facial moisturizer. It is the closest oil that resembles your own skin oil – instead of clogging your pores, it balances the oil produced by your own skin glands. When you apply jojoba oil, it tricks your skin into thinking your skin already has enough oil, so it doesn’t need to produce more. This is helpful in preventing acne, which is often caused by an overproduction of oil. Jojoba oil option: Aura Cacia Organic Skin Care Oil 118mL Do I need to change up my whole skincare routine? If you have never used these natural ingredients before, do not fret. They are great additions to your skincare routine and can help build your foundations before you make the full switch to natural skincare. They are often cheaper than natural skincare brands, allowing you to dip your toe before you commit. Plus, you’ll save yourself the headache of researching and checking products on the shelves as you search for the best products. Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram. 

Is it necessary to use a natural sunscreen?

Use a natural sunscreen
Can sun exposure cause cancer? Can sunlight boost your immune system? There seems to be a constant debate as to whether sun exposure is truly needed. Because if they are not, why risk the harmful effects such as increasing the risk of skin cancer? Most people know they need to put on sunscreen before they spend the day in the sun, but it’s important to remember that you don’t need to avoid the sun entirely. We need sunlight to produce vitamin D, balance our circadian rhythm and keep our bodies strong and healthy. The concern with UV rays Sunlight from the sun is composed of three types of light energy: visible, infrared, and ultraviolet (UV) rays. UVA and UVB rays are known to be light rays that react with the melanin in your skin cells and can cause serious skin damage. Your body’s skin cells are designed to absorb the dangerous UV rays, but there comes a point where the amount of ray exposure exceeds what your cells can absorb. When you develop a red sunburn, it is a sign that your melanin cells have reached their limit. After this point, the UV rays can create free radicals and oxidative damage in your body. Oxidative damage can result in a wide range of conditions – in mild cases, it may increase the levels of inflammation and prevent your organ systems from working optimally. In severe or chronic cases, the DNA in your cells can become mutated and develop into cancerous tumors. Not everyone develops sunburns, but the people who do likely notice it does not take long for their skin to reach this point. One of the reasons why there is so much debate regarding safe sun exposure is because every person has a different risk factor. Heredity and environment play a huge role. If you are fair-skinned and get sunburned easily, sun exposure for long periods may be more dangerous for you. If you have darker skin and do not get sunburned, you can have safer sun exposure. It’s all about knowing your own body! Why natural sunscreens offer a safer alternative There are two main types of sunscreens on the market, physical sunscreens, and chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens are designed to sit on your skin and absorb the UV rays, so they do not enter your cells. However, the active ingredients used to accomplish this important task can also enter your body and bloodstream. These ingredients are not recognized as safe and can be harmful in high quantities or with daily use. The main UV filters oxybenzone, homosalate and octocrylene have been linked to increased risk of cancer, which defeats the purpose of its protective functions. On the other hand, physical (mineral) sunscreens are designed to form a barrier to physically shield the UV rays, which bounce off harmlessly. The ingredients are not absorbed into the skin and are considered more natural because they do not use harmful chemicals. Because physical sunscreens form a barrier, they must be applied as the last layer on the skin, over your daily skincare and makeup. Its active ingredient, zinc oxide, can sometimes have a white cast, though many natural brands have formulas that prevent this from happening. Choosing natural sunscreens ensures you are not applying more toxins and harmful chemicals on your skin, while still protecting yourself from excess UV rays. Best options: Badger Sport Sunscreen Clear Zinc SPF 40 Unscented 87ml, All Good Sport Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 89ml, Thinksport Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ 6oz Other ways to protect yourself from the sun Even though sunscreen is the foundation of safe sun exposure, you can take steps to protect yourself on a daily basis. Wearing clothes that cover the areas where the sun is most likely to hit (forehead, shoulders, arms, legs) can offer sufficient protection if you must be outside. Keeping a hat or a light sweater can be great options to keep around. Keep in mind that the sun is strongest from 11 am to 2 pm, so avoid spending time in direct sunlight during these hours, and you’ll be cutting the risk dramatically! Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

4 Benefits Of Purchasing Beauty Products Online

Are you looking for the latest and greatest in natural beauty products?  If so, shopping online is a great decision given the ease of exploring hundreds of products from the comfort of your own home. Some people are skeptical about buying beauty and personal care products online out of fear of getting a product that doesn’t work for them, match their complexion or skin tone, or that lists different ingredients than what’s found on the physical product itself! If you are ever unsure, go with the reputable online beauty products selection we offer here at Healthy Planet Canada! As the trusted brands we carry provide high-quality natural beauty products, you can purchase them with utmost confidence. Moreover, many of these brand-lines provide extremely safe products that won't affect your skin in the way traditional cosmetics may when formulated with artificial or synthetic ingredients. Many are safe for those with sensitive skin. Let us explore some of the benefits of buying beauty products online, compared to physically in stores. Awe-Inspiring Collection of Beauty Products  If you shop beauty products at our online store, you will see a massive collection of products – many of which are not available in-store, or through other brick and mortar locations. There are also always more alternative products available, ensuring you can select the one that best fits your skin type! Further, if stock of any particular product is finished, they are often restocked more quickly than with a traditional store location. Products that are out of stock can be ordered for customers just the same as in our stores as well! It is always vital to try a couple of products at a time to best understand what works for you, and make your daily skincare routine more fruitful. Learn About The Product Ingredients  If your skin is delicate, sensitive, or you suffer from any skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea or eczema, you probably think to be extra cautious when selecting skincare products. First, it is essential to determine that the ingredients in the products will suit your skin and/or help to address any underlying skin conditions. If you want to understand the products better, ordering online allows you to fully research the product before-hand, and take a look at all the ingredients in the formulation. This can provide much more peace of mind when using and selecting suitable products for your body!  Discounts And Super Saving Offers It's no secret that online retailers will regularly offer hefty discounts on brands. The very same concept holds true for the wide range of beauty and skincare products carried online. Compared to physical stores, online retailers like Healthy Planet Canada offer great deals on a huge array of brands and products that can help you save a significant amount of money from the comfort of home. You can take advantage of great deals and offers when purchasing the products directly from the website, without fear of having to double-check your receipt or bring coupons to score a deal. Keep a look-out for regular promotions, coupon codes, email promotions, and sale periods by signing up for an account on the website and following social media platforms.  Easy Payment Methods And Exchange Policy Shopping online with Healthy Planet Canada offers you not only a wider range of products, but also a wider range of payment options – PayPal, Credit Card, Visa Debit, Apple Pay, Sezzle, and more! You can now have the ease to use whichever payment method works best for you. Want to avoid using a credit card online? PayPal is there. Need to pay on an installment plan for a larger, costly purchase? Sezzle has got you covered. Moreover, if you are ever dissatisfied with the product after delivery (allergic reaction? breakout?), we try our best to accommodate our customers based on our return policy. While cosmetic and personal care items are considered final sale, we offer our customers the ability to get online store credit for these products if they fall within the 30-day return policy as a good will gesture. Final Takeaway All these benefits become readily available to you by choosing to order online. With the increasing shift in retail spaces moving to online platforms, it becomes essential that a website be easy to use, and give you all the access and information you need to make an educated online purchase. Purchasing online through Healthy Planet Canada gives you the ability to research and carefully select the products ahead of time, know what discounts and deals you can get, and browse thousands of products from the comfort of home. Meanwhile, we strive to offer the best possible service to our customers should any questions or concerns arise – again, all from the comfort of your home! 

Why Quality Beauty Products Are Important

Naturally, everyone can be a little beauty conscious and aspire to maintain a healthy appearance free of fine lines, wrinkles, and other concerns like acne. One of the most significant aspects to ensuring healthy skin is a healthy diet. However, with these types of concerns, a healthy diet is often not enough to protect the skin from the modern world and natural aging. For those that need to face the world with inner confidence (and with ease), there are countless beauty and skin-care products that can help you meet your skin care goals. Online, there is an enormous variety of beauty products. To ensure you are meeting your specific goals and needs, it is always best to be cautious about choosing the best product for your skin. In this post, we discuss briefly some of the importance of beauty, cosmetic, and skin care products in day-to-day life. Enhanced Skin Protection One crucial aspect that underlines the importance of skin care products is the level of skin protection provided by them. Choosing the best beauty products in Canada is the ideal way to ensure your skin is protected from the effects of the sun, natural ageing, and the environment. There are countless beauty and skin care products that can do everything from boost skin metabolism and control skin moisture levels, to protect the skin from harmful UV rays and damage from environmental factors. Those looking to prevent wrinkles, sagging, brighten the skin, and address acne-related issues should look no further. While it may seem appealing at first, it is wise not to go with low-cost cosmetics because the ingredients may be harmful to your skin -- many are often synthetic or artificially derived. These can cause hormonal or health concerns with daily,persistent use. Professional Ready In today's modern world, people are always on the go or busy balancing work and personal life. This leaves little time to be able to have a lengthy skin-care routine. Thankfully, there are many beauty and skin-care products that can meet the time demands of everyday life. Whether it is moisturizer or lotion you can apply easily on-the-go, or anti-ageing creams you can apply in minutes first thing in the morning, or at night before you go to bed, there are countless products that require little time or effort! Nourishing The Skin As skin sheds cells and your body begins to produce less collagen, it is essential to maintain healthy radiance and the integrity of your skin. A practical skin care regimen and the use of high-quality beauty products can aid in reducing wrinkles & fine lines, preventing or addressing acne, and nourishing the skin. Moreover, if you have young children around the house, you may need to be a bit more cautious about selecting safe skincare products. When looking for products for children themselves, like sunscreen or lotion, choose only the best, natural child care products that moisturize well and are friendly to sensitive skin. Can Help Boost Confidence Self-care is essential to inner confidence and to your own personal well-being. Using the right beauty products for you will only positively impact both your skin and your overall feelings of well-being. Beauty products are some of the most profitable products in the global market, so it is imperative to select the products best suited to your own personal goals, skincare routines, lifestyle needs, and beliefs. Wrapping It Up Putting together the multitude of benefits that can be derived from beauty products, it is absolutely essential to ensure that you invest in high-quality brands that use pure, naturally sourced ingredients, and offer effective results. Always opt for naturally derived ingredients over synthetic, and make note of the company reputation and feedback online. Moreover, you can easily search for the latest beauty products online and stay up to date on the wide variety of products offered to fit every possible lifestyle be it vegan, gluten-free, or all-natural.