Tagged with 'Natural Beauty'

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. 

Using essential oils to enhance your daily life

Using essential oils to enhance your daily life
Many of the products we use on a day-to-day basis are filled with synthetic chemicals. Body wash, shampoos, lotions, spot treatments, and bathroom cleaners… may smell great, but these synthetic substances are often filled with toxic ingredients that have a long-term harmful effect. Not to worry though, essential oils are a great natural alternative to these products. You’ll find much natural beauty, cleaning and skincare products containing essential oils rather than using harsh fragrances. This allows you to enjoy your products to the full extent while avoiding the synthetic ingredients that may interfere with the body’s hormones. What are essential oils? Though essential oils usually come in small bottles, they are full of potent aroma and benefits. When you open a bottle, the scent is immediately noticeable, similar to the perfume. This is because essential oils are made by steaming or pressing plants. During the process, the plant compounds that produce fragrance are captured. Each small bottle can take up to several pounds of the plant – it is extremely potent compared to the plant alone! The most useful essential oils you can start using today Lavender This floral scent is most well-known for its relaxing scent. Add a drop or two on your pillow before your sleep and you’ll be out like a baby. It is also very calming for the skin and can be used to treat skin irritations such as redness or burns. Alternatively, you can use it to calm the mind. During times of stress, you can rub some on the temples or the back of the neck to relax your body. Best options: Aura Cacia Lavender Oil 15mL, NOW Certified Organic Lavender Oil 30mL Tea tree This scent is most well-known for its purifying qualities. Use it to sanitize home surfaces, clean the air or put it on skin infections to kill pathogens. The applications are limitless. The leaves of the tea tree are antibacterial and antifungal, making it a great option to diffuse during cold and flu season. You can also dilute it with a carrier oil and apply to the skin as needed. Best options: Thursday Plantation Tea Tree 100% Pure Oil 10mL, NOW Tea Tree Oil 30mL Frankincense Though frankincense is not cheap, it has many health benefits. Frankincense has been used by the ancient Egyptians who used it for everything from perfume to salves to heal the skin. It is one of the best oils to add to your skincare routine, as it helps reduce the appearance of skin imperfections by rejuvenating skin cells. Best options: Divine Essence Frankincense Oil 5mL, Aromaforce Essential Oil 15mL Lemon If you’re planning to start making your own DIY house cleaning products, lemon is the best oil to add to your collection. It can be added to white vinegar (diluted with ½ distilled water) or diffused to clean virtually all areas of the house. Not to mention, lemon has an uplifting aroma – it’s the perfect mood booster. You can also use it to remove sticky labels from old pasta glass jars. Add a few drops of lemon oil and you can easily scrub off the label. Best options: Aromaforce Essential Oil Lemon Organic 15mL, Aura Cacia Lemon Oil 15mL Eucalyptus One of the main benefits of eucalyptus oil is that it helps clear breathing and open the lung airways. Stuffy noses don’t stand a chance with this calming scent. As you diffuse eucalyptus in the air, you can purify the air and surfaces of pathogens, while clearing your mind. It is a must-have for the cold and flu season! Best options: NOW Eucalyptus Oil 30mL, Aromaforce Essential Oil Eucalyptus Organic 15mL Building a collection of essential oils You don’t have to buy all these essential oils at once – try starting with one or two at a time. As you start incorporating them into your life, you’ll surely want to add more to your collection! They are a versatile and natural way to add some nice smells to your life. The bonus is that they have many beneficial purposes as well. 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.

Foods For Glowing Skin

As relaxing as regular facials may seem, sometimes they’re just not enough to give you the healthy glow you’re looking for, because how your skin appears on the outside can often be a good indication of your health on the inside. What we eat can not only affect us mentally and physically, but it can have a big impact on our skin’s appearance; that’s why it’s important to incorporate foods in your diet that are full of beautifying nutrients. So in addition to your skin care regimewhich should already include avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, a good moisturizer and drinking 8-10 glasses of water each day, start adding these 5 foods to your diet right now for healthier, more vibrant and younger looking skin. Chocolate Why: Yup, you read that right. But not just any chocolate, dark chocolate. Dark, unprocessed chocolate contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that can help improve the health and look of your skin by helping to protect it against UV damage and can help fight free radicals, which have a direct relation to aging skin[1]. Chocolate has also been shown to help reduce stress and can boost your mood to brighten up tired-looking skin and reduce the breakdown of collagen….so you can say “See you never, wrinkles.” Tip: We aren’t suggesting to go grab yourself a large chocolate bar or drinking an extra-large hot chocolate. Studies show that just 2-3 ounces of 70% chocolate can give you the beautifying benefits (and craving fix) you’re looking for. Turmeric Why: Right now there’s nothing trendier than turmeric, but for a good reason!  Although not a food per se, turmeric is a not-so-spicy spice that should definitely be on this list. Many skin conditions such as acne, eczema and puffiness can be due to inflammatory conditions within the body that manifest to the surface of the skin. Turmeric on the other hand, is known for its high anti-inflammatory properties, so using turmeric as a flavour enhancer while cooking can offer some wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin. Turmeric can also be used in at-home facial masks and can even be taken as a supplement if you want some additional benefits.   Avocado Why: Famous for their many heart and brain health benefits, they are actually great for the skin, too! Avocados are high in mono and poly unsaturated fats, which can help give your skin the glowing, dewy look by keeping it firm and moisturized. Avocados are also high in vitamin E and carotenoids, an antioxidant that helps fight free-radical damage—a major cause of aging skin. Studies[2] also show that carotenoids can help improve the skin’s thickness and tone, making it less prone to wrinkling. Tip: Avocados can be added to any meal, really, so there is no reason not to get enough of this yummy item in your diet. Need some ideas? Try topping your sandwich or salad with some avocado slices, or blend half an avocado in your next smoothie for extra creaminess. Still need some avo-inspiration? This summer, try grilling avocado slices topped with fresh lemon juice and sea salt. Or hey, give them a try as a facial mask if you’re feeling adventurous. Grapefruit Why: It makes for way more than just a refreshing breakfast! Grapefruit contains more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, a nutrient that has been shown to help aid skin damage caused by the sun or other environmental pollutants. Collagen, what keeps our skin tight and firm, naturally decreases with age, but one of vitamin C’s claims to fame is that it can help stimulate collagen production, which in turn can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help prevent future ones from developing.  Tip: Vitamin C is highly volatile to heat, meaning its potency can be lost during cooking. So eating these items raw is your best bet to get your max vitamin C benefits. If you’re looking for additional collagen support, a collagen supplement such as Jamieson Collagen Anti-Wrinkle is your best defense against fighting off the signs of aging. Tomatoes Why: They work great as a salad topper (and admittedlythey go perfectly on pizza), but it’s hard to find a reason why tomatoes shouldn’t be on your list if you’re looking to improve your skin health. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a carotenoid that gives them their bright red hue, which is converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A (or you may be familiar with the term “retinol”) is a nutrient that can help reduce the effects of aging while helping to increase the production of collagen. Lycopene has also been shown to help reduce the effects of sun damage, helping skin cell regeneration, and reducing skin redness. But oily skin can also benefit from this antioxidant as it can help reduce inflammation leading to excess oil production and breakouts. Tip: Unlike Vitamin C, h ...

Dead Sea Mud Mask- The Ultimate Skincare Solution

DEAD SEA MUD MASK – THE ULTIMATE SKINCARE SOLUTION Skincare and beauty products have always been the most essential components of one’s beauty kit. These products not only promise externally beautiful and radiant skin; but also guarantee an internally healthy one. However, many skincare products contain dangerous chemicals that might remove spots on the surface of the skin initially, making it appear clearer; but their prolonged and continuous use results in infections and acne breakouts. Due to the uncertainty associated with these beauty products and their possible side effects; beauty experts, advise users to opt for natural based products. They say that natural beauty solutions might take longer time to show the desired results; but they do not contain harmful ingredients that can affect the texture and color of the skin in the long run. One such natural and renowned skin alluring product is the Dead Sea mud mask. It is considered as a proper skincare therapy that cleanses and moisturizes the skin, making it free from spots, blemishes, aging marks, and more. Applicable on all types of skin; the Dead Sea mud mask is a tested solution, with evident and effective results. Medical studies are finding the Dead Sea mud’s effectiveness against acne, psoriasis, dry skin, eczema, and so on. Thus, the Dead Sea mud mask has now become a vital skin healing formula. WHY THE DEAD SEA MUD MASK IS SO EFFECTIVE? Are you wondering why this mud mask is beneficial for the skin? Or what makes it the best mask amongst all? If this is so, then here is the answer. The Dead Sea is the most salty sea in the world, with a salinity level of 28% to 35%. Usually seas don’t have a salt concentration of more than 6%; but it is not the case with the Dead Sea. It is a landlocked area, with high evaporation rate, which is why the excessive amount of minerals in the water gets absorbed into the deep mud of the sea. Thus, when applied onto the skin; it helps it in regaining the essential minerals that were lost due to pollution or over-exposure to the sun. ADVANTAGES OF USING THE DEAD SEA MUD MASK By dilating the blood vessels and improving the flow of blood near the skin; the Dead Sea mud mask provides the following benefits to your skin: It starts a healing process in the damaged skin tissues. It prevents the excessive secretion of oil from the sebaceous glands, and maintains adequate moisture on the surface of the skin. It helps to relieve allergies on the skin, and helps to prevents them from recurring. It also cleans the skin, by removing dirt particles from the pores of the skin. The Dead Sea mud mask helps with acne; remove dark spots and blemishes, and is also effective against wrinkles and other signs of aging. Now that you know about the benefits of the Dead Sea mud mask; try it out for yourself today.

Can Supplements Promote Strong Nails?

Beauty is a marker of health, and our skin, nails and hair are the first places to reflect our inner health. Ideally, you should receive enough vitamins and nutrients through your regular diet, but with our busy lifestyles and numerous fast-food options, this is not always the case. There are several nutrients and vitamins that you need to achieve strong, healthy nails, which you can supplement either with changes in your diet or with supplement pills. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any extra supplements, especially if you take medications already. Biotin When it comes to preventing brittle nails, the B vitamin called biotin stands out as an important nutrient. Biotin is a necessary vitamin for cell growth and the production of fatty acids. Research has shown that biotin helps prevent brittle and flaking nails. In one study, taking 2 1/2 mg of biotin every day for 5 1/2 months significantly increased nail firmness and hardness. In addition to taking biotin supplements, biotin can be found in peanuts, almonds, Swiss chard, goat's milk, yogurt, tomatoes and eggs. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids are important not only to overall body health, but to nail health specifically. Many people suffer from omega-3 deficiency without realizing it. Signs of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include dry skin, unhealthy hair and soft or brittle nails. You can increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by taking fish oil supplements, which have a number of additional benefits, such as protecting you from heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels and preventing blood clots. To receive omega-3 fatty acids naturally through your diet, try to eat weekly servings of flaxseed, walnuts and oily fish including salmon, mackerel and sardines. Gamma-Linolenic Acid Gamma-linolenic acid is another fatty acid that is essential to achieving health and beauty. GLA promotes healthy hair and nails and can help with skin conditions, rashes and irritation. GLA can be hard to obtain in diet alone; the best sources of GLA are primrose oil, black currant oil and borage oil. To see results, it is best to take 500 mg of a GLA supplement twice a day for six to eight weeks. Vitamins Many basic vitamins play an important role in keeping your nails in healthy condition. A lack of vitamin C can cause hangnails and swollen nail tissues. Vitamin A deficiency can cause rigid or brittle nails. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause flat or dark nails, and vitamin D deficiency can cause peeling or cracking nails. Eating a well-balanced diet and taking a multivitamin can ensure that your body receives enough of all these vitamins. Protein And Zinc Like hair and skin, nails are made of a hard protein called keratin. Protein and zinc are necessary for keratin synthesis, which means that foods for beautiful hair also keep nails healthy and strong. High protein foods such as lean meats, poultry and fish are often high in zinc and iron as well. Vegans and vegetarians can supplements their diet with tofu, beans and nuts as a healthy alternative. Overall Nail Health No amount of supplementation in your diet will replace basic nail care. To keep nails healthy, avoid overexposure to water, such as frequent dish washing. Avoid using nail polish, which can dry out nails. Refrain from biting or picking at your nails and use a moisturizing lotion or cream regularly to keep hands and nails hydrated. With a healthy diet, regular supplementation and basic nail care, you can achieve beautiful, strong, healthy nails. This article has been written by Stacey Howell

Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide

One of the most commonly asked questions that I receive is "Where do I find essential oils?" And you know what? It's actually ridiculously easy to find essential oils. They're not as mystical and unknown as we tend to make them out to be. I know, because I was there! I had no idea what they were, how to use them, or where I could find them even if I did want to use them! So I've decided to create a brief beginner's guide to all things essential oils... What Are Essential Oils? Essential oils are botanical extracts made from flowers, herbs, trees, and various other plant materials. These oils, present in all plant matter are extracted either by cold pressing or steam distillation. Have you ever felt that oily residue on your hand after squeezing an orange? That residue is actually full of essential oils from the orange skin! How Can Essential Oils Be Used? Essential oils have been used for thousands of years (as early as the ancient Egyptians) for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. In modern times, their uses have expanded to include everything from air fresheners and massage oils, to skin care and cold remedies. Aromatherapy is also an area of alternative medicine where essential oils play a large role. Personally, I use them in all of my homemade products, like bath and body care, and household cleaners and disinfectants. Essential oils can either be added directly to home and bath products, or they're diluted in a carrier oil (ie: olive, almond, grape seed oil, etc.), and then applying this blend to the skin for absorption. They can also be carefully inhaled for their therapeutic benefits!  Are All Essential Oils Created Equal? Not all essential oils are created equal. To receive the full benefits of essential oils, you must be sure you're using 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils, and not just a fragrance oil, which is artificially created and doesn't contain the same therapeutic benefits. Some trusted brands are: NOW, Aura Cacia, and Organika. There are, of course, other brands available, but whatever you choose, make sure they say 100% pure and therapeutic on the label. Healthy Planet carries a wide selection of essential oils on their website. Are Essential Oils Safe? Absolutely! However, a great deal of precaution must be taken to ensure the proper use of essential oils. Essential oils should never be used "neat" (or undiluted), but instead should be diluted in a carrier oil before being applied to the skin. Some oils are not safe to use during pregnancy, some may cause skin irritations, and some should not be used internally. Special care should be taken when using essential oils on children, and those with chronic health conditions. Essential oils should be kept out of reach of children and pets, and should never be used on or near babies or pets. As always, please consult your health care provider before using essential oils as part of your regimen. Where Can I Buy Essential Oils? This can seem like the hardest part, but it's actually pretty simple. First, you'll want to know which essential oils you need for your specific applications - check out this link for a great list of essential oil therapeutic properties. From there, you can start your collection with just a few of the more common oils, like lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and orange. Essential oils can be found at any local health food store, like Health Planet in Canada. They can also be purchased online at Healthy Planet Online. Have you ever used essential oils before? What are your favorites and how have you used them? Resources:http://www.essentialoils.co.za/http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/whatare.asphttp://www.nowfoods.com/Products/FAQs/M014133.htmhttp://www.mountainroseherbs.com/