Healthy Skin

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 ...

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.

Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie!⁣⁣The change of season is here! Longer days, warmer temperatures and a sense that the world is slowly getting back on schedule. @sabrinavirdee is rolling out a delicious treat that can be enjoyed anytime of the day. By adding natural ingredients along with a bit of love, you will be cooling down in no time with a cold smoothie in hand! Add Kaizen Naturals Vanilla Protein Powder and help build muscle, repair tissue! Check out past recipes to put together a full day of eating, snacking and enjoying time with your loved ones and friends! #livelifehealthy⁣⁣Mango & Coconut Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie⁣Serves 1⁣INGREDIENTS ⁣1½ cups Frozen Mango ⁣½ cup Frozen Pineapple ⁣½ cup Coconut Milk ⁣1 tsp Turmeric Powder⁣1 cup of Cold Water⁣1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder *optional ⁣⁣DIRECTIONS1. Add all your ingredients into your blender and mix until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. Add more water for desired thickness! Enjoy!⁣ Recipe created by: @sabrinavirdee

Ingredients & Toxins To Avoid When Skin Care Shopping

Our Skin is the largest organ of our body and it literally absorbs everything that we put on it. I am a firm believer of using products that are as natural as possible. I personally like to keep things simple and it is also better for mother earth as well.  My natural skincare Journey started in 2009 and has been on this clean journey ever since. The journey evolved over time with my Eczema prone skin. If you have any questions about transitioning to a natural beauty and skincare regime, please feel free to reach out. I have coached women over the years on understanding their bodies and selecting effective natural skincare. Changing your personal care products might seem very overwhelming and daunting at first. However, I promise it isn’t. How To Transition To Natural Skincare Products?  You may have so many questions running on in your mind.  Where should I start? You ask.  What products should I buy?  Should I throw away every single product that I currently have?  What products should I buy first?  Sorry to break it to you, I just want you to realize that there are toxins in almost every single consumer product we are using on our bodies.  Everything ranging from your toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap and body lotion all have toxins.  When it comes to making small changes on making a shift towards using better for you skincare and beauty products. Here is how I like to tell people to start. First, think of the products that we put on daily and don’t rinse off. These products stay on your body the longest and can easily enter our bloodstream.  So my recommendation is to definitely start there and start looking in your bathroom! For example body lotion, face cream, eye creams since it is closest to your eyes and foundation and sunscreen.  Our facial skin is rather sensitive, so our facial skin needs proper care. Our skin needs optimal hydration and adequate nutrition to remain healthy. However, the products we use may not always prove to be good for our skin, body and planet over time. Certain ingredients may include harmful chemicals so we need to be aware of them and start avoiding key ingredients ASAP.    Top 3 Products To Avoid In Beauty Products: Parabens The first one you should be aware of is parabens. This preservative is used in personal care products to increase their shelf life and essentially is added to prevent bacteria from growing. As your body absorbs these parabens, it attaches itself to your cells and disrupts the natural processes in the body. Medical researchers have found that there is a link to reproductive, neurological and skin irritation problems. You can identify parabens on product labels written in forms such as: ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben and butylparaben and etc. Silicone Another ingredient you should be aware of is “silicone. In a lot of conventional makeup stores, some makeup artists might argue that silicone does nothing to harm the skin. That it doesn’t suffocate or irritate the skin or allow bacteria in the air to penetrate it, while giving the skin nothing but a smooth even texture. That is why this ingredient is widely used in a lot of makeup bases formations and allows for makeup to be evenly applied. There is nothing wrong with that.  However, what the problem is that silicon DOES NOT allow anything to enter or exit the skin either. Silicone just ends up locking everything into the skin. Everything including oil as well as dead skin cells which potentially ends up causing acne and clogged pores. It will worsen the already acne-prone skin. It clogs the pores as it’s not easily washable. It has to be properly removed so that the skin can breathe or it will become dehydrated and you end up with premature wrinkles!  Synthetic Fragrences Yes, that nice scent has a hidden cost, who knew?! The mainstream branded luxury face cream may smell all flowery and natural but in reality not all fragrances are naturally extracted. They are made through various chemical combinations in a lab. Most companies that sell a custom signature scent have what is called a “trade secret” where their exact recipe of this fragrance is only labeled as fragrance. In fact, they can basically mask hundreds of toxic components contained in the mixture. Because mainstream companies are hiding the ingredient list to avoid full disclosure it is really at the risk of our health. Anyone can be allergic to any of the ingredients contained in the fragrance and may have a reaction on your skin.  Strong fragrances might be your favorite but it can cause serious headaches and nausea for others. While you may think harm from a fragrance to your skin might be invisible, the harm over time is real. The International Fragrance Association has listed over 2000 ingredients which have been used since 2011.  Other Ingredients To Avoid When ...

Covid Curves: 6 Tips to Jump Start Spring

Over the past several months most of us have experienced a “Home Life” comparable to Groundhog Day.  In the beginning of CoVID, you may have felt the desire to kick-start a new healthy eating plan, or tackle those in home workouts with a vengeance.  However, as time has waged on, the motivation may have started to dissipate and your daily exercise consists of a multitude of trips to the fridge to check if the light is still working (FYI: It is.) Then throw in fashion consisting of daytime and nighttime stretchy pants with no buttons or zippers, and it is safe to say most of us are experiencing a CoVID 15lb weight gain. But it’s not all our fault. When we are faced with a stressful situation our bodies release the hormone called cortisol. This reaction causes our blood sugar levels to rise resulting in a craving for foods high in fat, sugar and salt in order to replenish the glucose. Yet now as we prepare to go back out into our “New Normal” we are finding our skinny jeans are not so skinny anymore; our shorts from last year must have shrunk and with little chance of a new wardrobe on the horizon, weight loss is something we may need to seriously consider for our healthiest selves. However, we know diets do not work, restriction leads to binging, and truthfully finding balance in an unbalanced world seems impossible. So what can we do right now that will get those buttons done up and bring some consistency back into our days?   Here are 6 Weight Loss Tips you can start implementing today to deal with the COVID 15lbs.  Tip #1: Make a Plan:We technically all know what we should be doing, drinking those 8-10 glasses of water a day, choosing lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, high fibre, and nutrient dense foods. Start reading the ingredient profiles of the foods you buy, aim for food lower in sugar and refined carbs. Making choices that support your goals is essential. However, when faced with the plethora of tasty treats, we can often forget our commitment to removing the new curves we have adopted. So the next time you make a trip to the grocery store, be prepared and take a list. On that list write your health and wellness goals on the top and plan out your meals for the next couple days. Then if you hear the box of cookies calling your name you can remember your “Why.” And maybe instead of buying a box of 24 deluxe chocolate chip cookies, head to the bakery section and settle on one or two. Even better, pick yourself up an antioxidant rich, dark chocolate bar. As you cruise the store stay on the perimeter and avoid the inner aisle that mostly consists of packaged, processed foods. Remember, a healthy immune system relies on both the Macro (protein, fats and carbs) and Micro (vitamins and minerals) but we must make sure we choose the right kinds.   Tip #2: Am I Really Hungry?How many times have you caught yourself elbow deep in a bag of chips or pint of ice cream only to realize that you can’t remember when you started. Often when we find ourselves mindlessly eating it is important to stop and ask  “Am I REALLY hungry? Or am I bored, lonely, upset?” Finding comfort in food is common and refereed to as emotional eating. Given the current state of the unknown, food can easily become our comfort and friend. The best way to start connecting to your hunger cues is to start being mindful of when you are eating, why you are eating, and how your food tastes. Take the time to savour your food and enjoy each bite.  There is no prize for she/he who finishes first.  Another way to bring mindfulness to your hunger cues is first thing in the morning. If your morning schedule is to eat first thing, hold back a bit and wait until you feel a little hungry. Then enjoy your first meal.  The purpose behind this is to set the tone of the day by honouring what you need. Start the day by tuning in to what your body needs and then responding to it.  As the day progresses continue to pay attention if you are hungry or looking for comfort. This is not about restriction but about connecting.    Tip #3: Use Your Hands:Now, we all know our parents have told us to use our utensils when we eat so this concept may throw you off but one issue I have seen time and time again is portion control. And with serving sizes becoming increasingly larger it is no wonder our waistbands are following.  Make a point of serving your food on plates and dishes; stop snackin ...

Healthy Planet DIY Herbal Healing Bath Infusion

Take a load off - you deserve to relax and give yourself a treat this weekend. Baths are an amazing opportunity to relax the body and reap in beneficial nutrients for the skin. I like to make my own healing bath infusions and have been for years. They are relatively easy to make and I’m a firm believer of the simpler the better, always. What You’ll Need:- Organic cotton mesh cloth or hemp cloth also works fine as well- @ifyoucare_usa Twine or cotton string - @nowfoodsofficial Essential Oils (For a bath, I like to choose lavender and rosemary) - Dried Lavender, - Rose Petals  (feel free to also add dried lemongrass and dried peppermint - @celticseasalt Epsom Salt - @organictraditions Coconut Oil How To: 1. Cut a 7x7 “ inch square with the fabric.2. Take 1 cup of epsom salt and add it to the center.3. Mix in the dried rose and lavender flowers.4. Drop 10 drops of lavender essential oil onto the salt and dried flowers.5. Drop 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to the sale and dried flowers.6. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil onto the mixture.7. Take the 4 corners of the fabric and wrap the edges.8. Bunch the excess fabric up in your fist with one hand and take the piece of string and wrap the string around the fabric. Benefits:* Rosewater relieves inflammation/ soothes irritated skin, brightens your complexion, tightens pores and smells amazing* Rosemary stimulates circulation, will help relieve muscle aches/soreness, has been shown to boost memory and clear congestion simply by being inhaled* Lavender works as a “anxiolytic” (anxiety reliever) it calms the nerves, reduces anxiety/aggression/depression and does wonders for the skin* Epsom Salts contain magnesium which also help to relax and soothe muscles. Salt water in general is super healing, good for energy cleansing I am against most bath bombs because they contain artificial fragrances, artificial perfume and or scented ingredients that do not offer any health benefits. These artificial compounds are harmful to our health, waterways and wreak havoc once absorbed. Bath bombs look great but majority of them are full of toxins and allergens Dedicating one hour from your weekend to invest in yourself will refuel you! Try this simple bath infusion today!   Follow along with Healthy Planet as we collaborate with Stephanie Wong bringing you everything from Cruelty Free Beauty to All--Natural Living Tips! Written and Created by @5teffy