Tag Archives: dry skin

Two Loves: Argan Oil and Abe’s Natural Market

18 Jul

Obviously, we are fans of Argan oil and its benefits. It is a star ingredient in several of our products. So, we were happy to see when it got some star treatment on Abe’s Market online magazine: “5×5: 5 Reasons to Love Argan Oil.”  http://bit.ly/W8p8qN.

And we were very proud to have one of our serums chosen to be featured.  Thanks Abe’s!

Head over to Abe’s for all your natural products and pick up some Yum Scrub Organics while you are there. 🙂  http://www.abesmarket.com/.  Also, in coming months check out their online magazine as we contribute to it with skincare articles.

DSC_0602_4_2Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:

Yum Scrub http://bit.ly/1jKksLG

Abe’s Market bit.ly/1rueto2



Yum Friday Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato and Cilantro Hummus

15 Jun

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

This hummus was inspired by one served at a friend’s barbeque on Memorial Day.  I raved about it so much my friend gave me some to take home with me.  The next morning I made one of my favorite breakfasts with it.  I take a rice cake, spread on some hummus, add a couple slices of avocado, tomato, and onion. Mmmmmm.  And it’s so skin helpful.  My friend served the sweet potato hummus as a dip with some crackers.

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus on Rice Cake

I changed out the copper-skinned sweet potatoes she used for golden (pale-skinned) sweet potatoes.  They aren’t as sweet.  Also, they absorb the color of the other ingredients more readily.  So, when the cilantro is added to the hummus it turns a nice green. 

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

What I had most fun with in making this recipe was  serving it.  While looking for something different to serve it in, I remembered the old China tea and dessert set I bought at a garage sale a few months ago.  I haven’t had a chance to put them to much use.  So, I decided to serve the hummus in the teacups with the vegetables and crackers surrounding it on the saucers and dessert plates. 

Yum Recipe: Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato and Cilantro Hummus

1 ½ pound pale sweet potato
½ cup packed fresh cilantro minus coarse stems
1 ½ Tablespoon tahini (sesame oil paste)
1 ½ cloves garlic coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 teaspoon pepper sauce (optional) i.e. Franks Red Hot Sauce
1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Olive oil for drizzling.

Wash sweet potatoes.  Pierce with knife or fork.  Bake 350 degrees 45 – 60 min., depending on the size.  Allow them to cool to touch.  Peel off skin of sweet potatoes.  They can also be cut in half and the flesh scooped out.  Place the sweet potatoes in a food processor.  Process sweet potatoes for a few seconds until they start to become mashed.  Stop the food processor.  Add cilantro, tahini, garlic, lime juice, pepper sauce, salt and process again.  Pour olive oil in a stream through the lid opening.  Use enough olive oil to make a creamy hummus.  Continue to process until hummus is smooth and ingredients are well blended.  After moving to serving container, drizzle some olive oil over the hummus and garnish with some cilantro or chopped scallion.  Best served room temperature or chilled.

Serve with vegetables or crackers.  I served them with sesame rice and a cheese rice cracker.

Yum Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

Sweet Potatoes Benefits for the Skin
Sweet potatoes are great for the skin because they are loaded with beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.  Vitamin A is essential to keep skin healthy.  Because of its high anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant properties, it also helps the skin to heal, slows wrinkle formation, and helps with acne.  One cup of cooked sweet potato has over 400% of the daily value for vitamin A! 

Sweet potatoes are also high in another skin loving nutrient, vitamin C.  Collagen helps with prevention of wrinkles and helps maintain healthy skin.  It is synthesized by vitamin C.  Scurvy while extreme shows the importance of collagen for the skin–the skin breaks down with sores appearing.

Sweet Potatoes also have other skin friendly nutrients, such as some B’s and copper.

Cilantro Benefits for the Skin
Cilantro is high in phytonutrients that helps with anti-aging and fight free radicals.  Also, cilantro also contains anti-bacterial properties, which is good for fighting skin issues such as acne or eczema.

So, while this hummus is choked full of skin loving nutrients, it’s the taste of it that will have you making it again and again.

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:


Abe’s Market bit.ly/1rueto2


Take the Woe out of Winter’s Dry Skin

20 Feb

Yesterday CNN Health promoted a segment about ways to help dry skin during the winter months.  I hung around to see what  I could learn.  I was disappointed; it was the same old tired information that has been repeated year after year after year, and it is the same information that is on almost every website discussing dry skin.  CNN’s report was basically a fluff piece, something that is not uncommon in television news. 

Their expert (dermatologist) suggested not to take hot showers or baths; keep the showers short; apply moisturizer; give extra attention to joints (elbows and knees).  Common sense tell us the same thing.  It really annoyed me that CNN (ditto to other news outlets that do this) has an almost unlimited amount of resources, and this was the best it could come up with.  While the suggestions are helpful to some extent, they will not give much relief.  I know.  I did them for years.  So, I am going to pick-up where CNN left off and give you some other insights and suggestions to help get your dry skin under control.

Things That Can Worsen Dry Skin
Definitely, winter’s dry air and the dry air heat in homes and offices create the perfect setting to suck the moisture right out of your skin.  At the same time, however, there could be things that contribute to your dry skin that you do not notice during other times of the year because the dryness is not as severe.  During, say the summer months when there is more humidity in the air, your skin may not be as dry.  Therefore, you may not notice factors other than winter that contribute to your dry skin woes.  Even if that is not the case with you, these still may worsen winter’s dry skin: 

  • Trigger Foods.
    You may have a sensitivity or allergy to certain foods that reveals itself on your skin.  Wheat, gluten, yeast, corn (including corn by-products), dairy, and sugar are usual suspects.  For example, wheat, yeast, and sugar make my dry skin and seborrhea worse.  An elimination diet is  an easy way to see if certain foods bother you.  With an elimination diet, you eliminate one food for a certain period of time and then reintroduce it.  
  • Alcohol.
    Drinking alcoholic beverages increases dry skin because it dehydrates the body.  For women, this is even more so because women have less body water then men ( (52% for the average woman v. 61% for the average man) to begin with.  Also, alcohol stays in women’s body longer then men because women metabolize it slower, which will affect the skin in numerous ways.
  • Caffeine.
    Too much caffeine will also worsen dry skin.  Caffeine is a diuretic that increases the excretion of water from the body; thereby increasing dehydration.  Also, too much caffeine can cause nutrients to be excreted from the body.  Since the skin is the last organ to receive nutrients, a lack of or decrease in them will affect it.
  • Smoking.
    Really nothing more needs to be said.  Smoking is bad any way you look at it. Period.
  • Wool and Lanolin.
    You may be allergic or sensitive to wool.  Of course, you don’t wear wool in the summer, so you would not notice it.  If you are sensitive or allergic to wool, it will make your dry skin worse.  Since lanolin is derived from wool, lanolin in products can make you dry skin worse.
  • Glycerin.  
    Humectants, such as glycerin,
    are believed to draw moisture to the skin.  However, that is not the case for everyone.  Some people (self included) dry skin becomes worse when using glycerin products.  Also, research has shown that in dry climates and when humidity is low (winter – less than 65%)  glycerin draws moisture away from the skin.  Another thing to watch out for is petroleum derived glycerin.  This is a cheaper version of glycerin.  Also, glycerin can be obtained from animals.  Petroleum and animal based glycerine can be harsh for your skin.  If you want to use glycerine, make sure the product states that it is a vegetable form.
  • Chemicals and Petroleum-based Ingredients.
    They can irritate the skin, making dry skin itchy and drier.  Often they are added because they are cheap.  Products made with them are marketed to make them alluring to the consumer.  They are often used to emulsify; preserve; give a certain feel or texture, and/or scent skincare products.
  • Lotions.
    Lotions can build up on the skin; therefore not giving skin a chance to shed dead skin cells.  If dead skin cells are not removed, your skin will be flakier.
  • Sugar/ artificially sweetened carbonated  beverages.  
    Stop or reduce your consumption of these because of the chemicals, such as phosphoric acid, and sugar.  They will irritate already dry skin and too much phosphoric acid found in many sodas (esp. colas) interferes with absorption of some nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin K.  Vitamin K is an important skin nutrient.
  • Cleansing bars.
    What is usually referred to as “soap,” is generally a detergent.  These detergent bars can be too harsh for dry skin.  The same with most commercial shower gels; they are too harsh for dry skin.

Things That Can Help Dry Skin
Dry dead skin cells hang around because there is not enough oils to help them to flake off.  Skin oils keeps skin moisturized as well as help with the removal of dead skin.  The plan then is to find ways to increase skin oils, keep moisture in, and remove dead skin cells.  Try these suggestions and see if they help you combat dry skin:

  • Increase omega 3 fatty acid intake.
    One of the symptoms of omega 3 deficiency is dry skin.  And as we have stated several times on this blog, most Americans are deficient in omega 3 while being high in omega 6.  Omega 3 and omega 6 need to be in balance.  Due to the western diet, Americans are out of balance with these essential nutrients.
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruit daily.
    Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collards, and broccoli (not a leafy vegetable, but is skin loving) have many skin-loving nutrients.
  • Eat foods high in vitamin C.
    Research shows that vitamin C helps with wrinkles and dry skin. Vitamin C helps form collagen.
  • Drink WATER daily.
    There is nothing like good ‘ol water for keeping skin hydrated.  Juice, soda, coffee, and tea don’t count.
  • Use a warm air vaporizer or humidifier.
    Place one in your bedroom and/or home.
  • Exfoliate regularly, at least once a week. 
    Because there is not enough oil on the skin, dead skin needs to be manually removed.  I exfoliate every time I shower.  Be careful, do not use harsh detergent exfoliators.
  • Water filter for the shower head.
    Chlorine in water is dry skins worst enemy and winter only makes it worse.  So invest in a water filter for the shower head; they start at about $35.00 – $45.00 dollars; you’ll thank me.  They make a huge difference.  And if you want to take a bath, you can run the water through the shower filter (takes awhile, but worth it).  A dechlorination ball also works great for baths.  We’re familiar with Rainshower Dechlorination Crystal Ball.  You use it by placing the ball in the tub as it fills with water.
  • Moisturize skin at least 2x day.
    But do not use just any old moisturizer, moisturizers are not created equal.  Of course, we prefer plant oils and botanicals to lotions.
  • Keep skin covered.
    This help skin to retain as much moisture as possible.
  • Exfoliate the bottoms of your feet.
    Nightly before going to bed scrub the soles with a body brush.  Afterwards, massage a plant-based oil into them (extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, etc.) and put on cotton socks.  Your feet will love you for it.  The bonus is that this routine is very relaxing and will help you to sleep.
  • Pamper dry hands.
    Apply moisturizer (plant based) and wear a pair of cotton gloves over them to bed.
  • Spritz face throughout the day. 
    Use an herbal hydrosol (skin loves rose and lavender) to add moisture to your face during the day.  It’s an especially good way to moisturize skin while wearing make-up.  You can also use plain distilled water in a spritzer.

These are our suggestions to help winter’s dry skin.  If you have a suggestion we missed, we would love to hear it.  Just add your comment below.

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:


Abe’s Market bit.ly/1rueto2

Let’s Talk: Omega 3 for Great Skin

30 Jan

Back in the day–way back, kids would line up to get their daily spoonful of cod liver oil from mom.  The old cod liver oil was an acquired taste…not!  I don’t imagine anyone could ever come to relish its taste.  I can imagine that there were a lot of threats and promises to cajole kids into taking it.   However, families then knew the importance of omega 3 (cod liver oil is high in omega 3) in the diet, but somehow that’s been lost in more recent generations.  Even my mom remembered being made to have a spoonful of cod liver oil daily, but she never gave it to her children.  Although, we did eat a lot of fresh fish, nuts, and fresh greens (food sources of omega 3). 

Well, the word is out.  Americans are deficient in omega 3.  We aren’t eating foods that are high in omega 3, instead our diet is mainly meat, processed foods, and junk foods–all low in omega 3.   Omega 3 is one of two essential fatty acids that the body needs; the other is omega 6.  These two need to be in balance.  Because of the typical western diet, American diets are high in omega 6.  Omega 6 causes inflammation, and omega 3  fights inflammation.  So, for skin inflammations, such as acne, bacne, eczema, and psoriasis having omega 3 in the diet is imperative.  Omega 3 also helps with oil production; this benefits dry skin and acne (by keeping oils in balance).

Omega 3 – Just the Facts:

  •    Body does not make it on its own.   Needs to come from food.
  •   Most Americans are deficient in omega 3.
  •   Omega 3 and 6 need to be balanced.  Estimates are the typical American diet has 14- 25 times more omega 6 than omega 3.
  •   Omega 3 has two main fatty acids, DHA and EHA.
  •   EHA fatty acids helps the skin:
    boosts hydration – prevents and aids acne and eczema – slows aging process of skin – prevents collagen loss – repairs the skin – offers some protection against the sun and sun damage – regulates oil production – helps dry, itchy skin.
  • DHA aids in brain function.  It’s very important that pregnant women get omega 3 so their babies aren’t born omega 3 deficient. It can affect brain, eye, and nerve development.  More than half the fat in the brain is DHA.
  • Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids are:
    fish, especially salmon – salmon, flaxseed – chia, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds – walnuts – dark green leafy vegetables (a different kind of omega 3 is in nuts and vegetables)
  •  Supplementation is another way to get omega 3.  Not all omega 3 supplements are equal; some contain little DHA or EHA.  Buy only those that have been independently tested.
  • Omega 3 is good for other conditions, such as eye conditions, depression, ADHD, heart disease, arthritis and other inflammations, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and stomach disorders.

BTW – Just like “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down…in a most delightful way…,” cod liver oil now comes in orange and lemon flavors.  As far as  “delightful”…well….

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:


Abe’s Market bit.ly/1rueto2


“Omega 3 Fatty Acids,” University of Maryland Medical Center.  Online: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm

Do You Know Dry Skin’s 2nd BF?

26 Jan

With winter comes dry itchy skin.  And if you live in a semi-arid place, such as Colorado where I live, part of the lifestyle here is overcoming dry skin and dry sinuses.  BTW, a few of other lifestyle adaptions that one needs to consider when crossing the border to live in Colorado are spandex (for cycling and running), a bicycle, a dog, a Subaru (diehard Coloradoans), and an orange/blue fashion palette (diehard Bronco fans…).  Gaining in popularity is tebowing (the official greeting stance when meeting friends on the street…).  Waning  are the cowboy hats, boots and spurs; the new couture is spandex, cycle helmet, and high-end athletic footwear.  Love Colorado; I digress though.  

Dry skin’s 2nd BF is a warm air vaporizer or humidifier.  They not only help with dry skin, but also help to keep the sinuses clear.  Place one in your bedroom; they start at around $35.00.  Some vaporizers have a cup  to put in a few drops of essential oils that will dispense into the air when the vaporizer is running.  Eucalyptus is great for colds, lavender for sleeping.

A high quality organic oil moisturizer is dry skin’s number 1 BF.

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:


Abe’s Market bit.ly/1rueto2

Top 6 “Must Do” for Healthy Skin and Beautiful Face

25 Jan

Beautiful skin comes naturally to very few of us.  Even those who appear to have beautiful skin from a distance, have their flaws revealed when up close or after the make-up is removed.  Healthy and beautiful skin naturally needs help to get and maintain it.  Here to help you with it are our top 6 must do’s.

1. Drink water daily.  Water hydrates and removes toxins from the body. 

2. Eat fresh vegetables daily, especially dark green leafy ones.  They are filled with skin loving nutrients that help to combat wrinkles, dryness, and pimples.

3. Eat fresh fruit daily, especially fruits high in Vitamin C.  The body doesn’t make or store vitamin C, so it needs to be replenished regularly.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps to fight against dryness and wrinkles.  Vitamin C is key to building collagen.  Collagen helps keep skin firm and helps the skin to repair itself.

4. Cleanse your skin daily.  But don’t over cleanse or use harsh soap detergents.  Doing so will strip the skin of vital oils, causing wrinkles to form easier and/or breakouts.  Rinse face with cool to very cool water to tone the face.

5.  Get omega 3 into your diet on a regular basis.  Omega 3 is not made by the body and needs to be supplied.  Omega 3 fights inflammation, aids in preventing dryness, and gives skin a glow.

6. Moisturize your skin regularly.  Even oily and acne prone skin need hydrating.  Be sure to use high quality products that do not contain petroleum based ingredients, chemicals, or dirt attracting ingredients.

See our blog on the “Top Ten No-No’s for Beautiful, Healthy Skin.”

Shop Yum Scrub Organics for healthy, organic, and natural skincare products.

Rosehip Oil

16 Jun

Focusing in on one of our ingredients, rosehip oil.  Rosehip oil is one of the few oils to have natural Vitamin A (beta-carotene) and has one of the natural components of vitamin A, retinol.

The synthetic form of retinol is concentrated and has been shown to have varying side effects.  But, the natural retinol in rosehip works differently than the synthetic form because its part of a natural complex of other nutrients present in rosehip, and therefore is not concentrated.  The other parts of the rosehip nutrient system are fatty acids, vitamin C, lycopene, and Vitamin E.

Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)
The natural form of retinol is trans-retinoic acid.  As mentioned above, it just one part of a complex nutrient system and does not have the same side effects of the drug, retinol.  The beta-carotene complex in rosehip assists with signs of sun-damage, wrinkles, cell regeneration, and premature aging.  Beta carotene is also an antioxidant that fights free radicals.  Free radicals cause oxidation to occur in the body and causes a break-down of cells.  In the skin, the result is a loss of collagen and elastin.  Free radicals in the body are a result of stress, environmental toxins (pollution, chemicals, sun damage, and so on), and poor diet, resulting in skin damage.  (Damage also occurs elsewhere in the body as a result of free radicals.)

Fatty Acids
The three main fatty acids in rosehip oil are linolenic, oleic, and linoleic. Both essential fatty acids (Omega, 3 and 6) are present in rosehip plus omega 9 which isn’t an essential fatty acid because the body makes it.  Essential fatty acids cannot be made by the body and have to be supplied to the body from external food sources.

  • Linolenic Acid is an Omega 3 that is very important to cell membrane construction and keeping the skin moisturized.  Walnuts, fish, and flaxseed are other sources of omega 3 fatty acid.
    Oleic Acid is an Omega 9 fatty acid.  Omega 9’s help keep the skin supple.  They are also found in almonds, olive oil, apricot seed oil, macadamias, and avocadoes.
    Linoleic Acid is an Omega 6 oil.  Omega 6 is beneficial for the skin to help with cell structure and protects the skin from adverse environmental conditions.  It’s also found in borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame, and soybean oil.  Also raw nuts and beans have Omega 6 oil.

Vitamin C
Like vitamin A, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the skin repair itself and build collagen.  Rosehips, the berries, can be made into a tea and provide vitamin C internally.  Rosehip berries were collected during WWII in the U.S and Great Britain because of food and vitamin C shortages.

Lycopene is also an anti-oxidant that helps to protect the skin from premature aging.  While lycopene is part of the carotenoid family, it’s unique because it doesn’t get converted into Vitamin A.  Research shows this is a more effective antioxidant.  Lycopene is what gives tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and guava their color.

Rosehip also contains Vitamin E another skin loving nutrient.  Rosehip comes from a wild rose plant native to Chili where it has been used for hundreds of years for various skin conditions and has been studied for it’s effects on the skin.  It’s benefits for the skin are relatively new in the states.  Rosehip has shown to help with scars, stretch marks, eczema, dry skin, mature skin, wrinkles, brittle nails, age spots, and other skin conditions.  And because it’s a dry oil, rosehip absorbs quickly.

Our hydrating and scar serums contain rosehip oil.

%d bloggers like this: