Tagged with 'skincare products'

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.