Tag Archives: skin health

Food as Medicine: A Prescription for Clearing Acne

5 Jun

We have become so focused on satiating the tastes buds with fast, salty, sweet, and processed foods that we have forgotten the purpose of food: Food is medicine for the body. This concept seems to have become lost in both modern medicine and in our culture.

Rind  of orange cutaway in spiral shape

It is not just that we have forgotten the purpose of food. Our minds have become conditioned and in some ways addicted to eating foods low in nutrients, but high in satiating the taste buds and giving us emotional comfort. Eating like this when you have acne or any disease impedes the body’s ability to heal because you choose low nutrient-filled foods.

Low nutrient-filled foods do not have what it takes for the body to heal acne. As a result, maintaining clear skin is a constant battle as you yo-yo from one remedy to another with perhaps temporary results, but with no lasting results. Poor nutrition can also acerbate and contribute to the cause of acne.

Coconut Milk Fruit ShakeBy the way, nutrient rich foods also satiate the taste buds and emotions. It is a matter of becoming aware of your diet and adapting your mind to a different way of eating. Once you do, you will wonder how you ever ate any other way.

When the body is diseased in some way (acne is a disease), it needs all the nutrients it can get to heal. The current western diet that most people eat is for the most part nutritiously poor. The other problem with our misdirected perception of food and its purpose comes from the medical establishment. Many dermatologists and other doctors say there is no connection between acne and diet. They are wrong…period.Spinach

Their heads are in the sand. Hello! Scurvy is from a lack of vitamin C; rickets is from a deficiency in vitamin D, and some cases of blindness are caused by vitamin A defieiciencyy. So, logic dictates that if these diseases are cured or prevented when the body is supplied with them then food is medicine for the body and will help with other diseases.

The food, however, has to be nutrient rich. Food is not created equal when it comes to nutrients. The long-held misconception is that if we are eating then we must be getting the nutrients we need. Wrong thinking.

If your diet consists of food from fast food chains, out of boxes, foods processed with chemicals, pizza, pasta, soda (including diet), sugary drinks and food, then you are not getting enough nutrients need to clear your skin of acne. You need whole foods in your diet; foods that are fresh.

DSC_0044For way too long, the role of nutrition in clearing skin has been sorely neglected or ignored. However, there is a growing number of enlightened doctors who are teaching their patients that food is medicine. Nutrient rich food helps to prevent disease and aids in the body in maintaining homeostasis. Food as medicine for acne is very important because the body not only needs nutrients to maintain its balance; it also needs them to heal the skin at the same time. The nutrients are doing double duty.

It really is impossible to have great looking skin without proper nutrition. Besides individual choices when choosing what to eat, there are contributing elements that are creating detrimental consequences to the nutritional health of the country. More on this in the next post. For now, if you have acne take a hard look at your diet.

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Yum Friday Recipe: Pink Salt & Pepper Truffles

1 Jun

Pink Salt & Pepper Truffles, by Natalia KW

I’m excited today to post this wonderful recipe for raw chocolate truffles from raw food chef, Natalia KW.  Check out her beautiful website  http://www.nataliakw.com  with other great raw recipes including wonderful-looking raw Chocolate Cherry Truffles.  Yum!  These chocolate recipes show that you can eat fabulous desserts that are also body and skin friendly.

This recipe centers around raw cacao.  Anything chocolate has its beginning with cacao (cuh-COW).  Cacao is the edible part of the cocoa bean.  While cacao is filled with hundreds of beneficial nutrient compounds, these nutrients do not get passed into your favorite chocolate bar.  Processing, cooking, & refining destroy the nutrients.   

Antioxidants (flavonoids especially) are one of the nutrients that are plentiful in cacao.  Antioxidants as we have reported are important to skin health and aid in repairing any damage to skin from sun, aging, acne, eczema, etc.  A report in Clinics in Dermatology (2009) said, “consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa acutely increased microcirculation of the skin….”(1).  Skin microcirculation  increases blood flow thereby delivering more nutrients to the skin and expatiating removal of toxins.  

However, don’t think you are getting these healthy benefits in milk chocolate and other common chocolate treats.  Besides being destroyed in processing, the antioxidants in cacao have also shown to be inhibited in the presence of dairy ingredients.  Studies also show that cacao has anti-microbial and reduces inflammation (2).  It’s also a great natural mood enhancer.  Of course, moderation is advised because cacao also contains caffeine.

So, enjoy these decadent truffles knowing you are also helping your body and skin.

Pink Salt & Pepper Truffles


Natalia KW

Exotic chocolate blends are pretty hot right now and I love to come up with exciting combinations.  I’ve always loved slightly salty chocolate and was looking for a spice to complement my favorite Himalayan salt–and to offer a bright contrasting color.  The pink peppercorn was perfect!  It’s actually a berry–a bit sweeter than black pepper, but still spicy with hints of citrus.  The raw chocolate truffle base here is ultra simple, so feel free to get creative and mix up your own favorite flavors.  

  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • seeds of one vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns
  • 1/8 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt, course ground

Place the cacao powder and vanilla bean in a food processor.  Pulse gently to combine.  Add the dates, honey and coconut oil and process until sticky and smooth.  To make each truffle, roll about one tablespoon of chocolate into a 1″ ball with your hands until very smooth.  In a small bowl, mix the salt & pepper.  Place a pinch of salt & pepper on the top of each truffle as a garnish and press to set.  Place the garnished truffles in the refrigerator for one hour to firm.  Indulge with pleasure!

Natalia is available for coaching to help those who want to heal their body and be healthy through raw foods. 

“Raw foods work their magic when integrated properly and sustainably—for your unique lifestyle.  When these foods are practical to prepare and at the same time, deeply pleasurable, you discover your sweet spot.” 

You can contact her through her website: http://www.nataliakw.com/contact/

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:


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1 Davis, Stephen BS, Perez, Robert PhD, “Cosmeceuticals and Natural Products: Wound Healing.”  Clinics in Dermatology (2009) 27, 502–506.  Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1600 NW 10th Avenue,
Room 2089, Miami, FL 33136, USA.  online: http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/scientific-research/research-library/Cacao_HumanNutrition.asp#Antimicrobial.

2 “Cacao Research: Human Nutrition,” World Cacao Foundation.  Online: http://www.worldcocoafoundation.org/scientific-research/research-library/Cacao_HumanNutrition.asp#Antimicrobial

15 Whole-Body Tips for Acne Prone Skin

21 May

I’m very familiar with the ups and downs of acne because one of my children has it.  She went through the entire gamut of traditional medical methods to heal it.  This included 2 treatments of Accutane, which had devastating consequences.  Improvements were temporary at best.  It was a whole-body approach & YSO clear skin products that got it under control for good.  Below are  some of our suggestions to get you started towards an acne free complexion.

Inflammation and out of balance hormones are major contributing factors to acne.  In order to gain control of acne, the body needs to be brought back into balance.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, diet and lifestyle do play a part in feeding acne and also in healing it.  Incorporating a whole-body approach helps to bring hormones into balance and reduces inflammation thereby helping to clear skin.  Diet and life style do make a difference.

Here are 15 tips to help you get started.  It does take diligence and commitment in order to see improvement.  And it may take several weeks or months to see those improvements as the body detoxifies and begins a return to homeostasis.

  •  Eliminate or reduce foods with added hormones, such as dairy and factory raised meats. Even organic milk contains natural hormones; skim milk has less.
  •  Reduce body inflammation and bring hormones into balance by increasing omega 3.  Fish, walnuts, ground flaxseeds, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, and salad greens.
  •  Do not over cleanse your face.  It will dry it out, irritate, and cause over-stimulation of oil glands.
  • Be gentle with your skin.  It’s a fallacy that acne prone skin is tougher than other skin types.  Perfumes, detergents, chemicals in cleansers, toners, etc can irritate acne, make it worse. Even things like dryer sheet fabric softeners can leave a residue on the skin.
  • Whole body approach includes exercise.  Exercise helps bring fresh oxygenated blood to the skin, which brings nutrients. Exercise sans make-up, wash face afterwards.

  • May seem counter intuitive, but the right plant oils can help balance oils in acne prone skin. Ingredients in lotions can irritate and clog pores, increase oil production.
  • Try yoga.  It’s great for bringing body into balance.  Finding the right class is important.  Find one that is not over -weighted with poses, but also has breath, meditation & relaxation as a large part of class.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily.  Eat organic if possible.  Acne prone body has enough to fight/balance without additional chemical/hormones.
  • Keep hydrated with clear liquids aka H2O – not vodka ;).  Alcohol messes up balance in body, esp. women. Stays in body longer.  Cucumbers and melons also help with hydration.
  • Eliminate or greatly reduce granulated sugar and corn syrup in your diet.  Replace with raw honey or agave.
  • There may be other skin conditions besides acne contributing skin problem & compounding acne, such as seborrhea, rosacea, or eczema
  • Check for food triggers.  These are foods that you may be sensitive to and are not aware of.  They will cause inflammation and complicate healing of acne.  Eliminate trigger foods one at a time for a couple weeks to notice any difference.  Common ones: wheat, gluten, meat, corn, soy and dairy.
  • Reduce stress.  Learn to live from your heart/soul more and the mind less.
  • Don’t use thick make-up to cover the acne.  It doesn’t hide it and only makes the condition worse.  Know, feel, & believe you are BEAUTIFUL.  I say so!!

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:


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Help with Wrinkles from Smoking & Recipe for Face Scrub

30 Apr

A customer from one of online retail sites where we sale our products asked us about what can be done about wrinkles from smoking.  We thought we’d share our answer here in case it can help others.  We also include a facial exfoliator recipe that can be made at home.

[C]an you help me with deep wrinkles from smoking?

You don’t mention your age or whether you have another skin condition, such as acne.  (I mention this because the question is listed under our acne serum.)  Both of these will determine the extent how much improvement you will see.   That said.  A two prong approach is needed.  First, you need to take steps that nourish and enhance the skin through diet and lifestyle.  Secondly, you need to prevent further damage to the skin.   And if you haven’t  given up smoking, that is where you need to begin.  Your skin has no chance of improving and will only get worse if you continue to smoke.

Wrinkles from smoking are a result of free radicals.  Smoking creates an inflammatory response in the body. Basically, among other things, smoking reduces the production of collagen and elastin.  Both are vital to smooth, healthy skin and as we age we naturally start to lose both; this can be accelerated by our lifestyle.

Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are main keys to keeping the skin healthy and for reducing the effects of the environment and lifestyle on the skin.  Both our Argan Acne Serum and Argan & Allies Hydrating Serum contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Regular exfoliation also helps to smooth out the appearance of wrinkles.  I exfoliate the skin on my face several times a week (actually almost daily) using our Coco-Mint Scrub.  (We are in the process of formulating a face wash for dry skin.)  The thing to remember is to use an exfoliator that is hydrating.  Below is a recipe for making a face scrub.

Do not use any products including cleansers that contain detergents– such as those that lather–because they will dry out your skin.  Dry skin enhances wrinkles.  You want to avoid any anything that dehydrates the skin.  In other words, you want to do all that you can to add moisture to the skin and prevent moisture loss.

Also, I always rinse my face with the coldest water possible to not only close the pores but to tighten the skin.   Keeping the skin moisturized and exfoliating regularly are what you can do on the surface.  However, we are firm believers that topicals alone cannot improve and keep skin healthy.  You need a whole-body approach that includes good nutrition, exercise, good skin care, and mental/emotional balance.  Healthy nutrition is most important.

Keep this in mind when choosing foods to eat: The skin is the last organ to receive nutrients.  So, your diet needs to be nutrient rich.  Eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily (if possible organic).  Dark green leafy vegetables have many skin loving nutrients.  Reduce or eliminate foods that are suggested to cause inflammation (meat, dairy, fast foods, fried foods, sweetened carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners  etc.).  Vitamin C helps skin to rejuvenate; so it’s important to include foods with vitamin C.   Also, wear a hat that protects your entire face when in the sun.  The sun will only continue to damage the skin.

While we love sugar for use on the skin; internally it and caffeine contribute to wrinkles and dehydration.  Eliminating them helps to improve the texture and appearance of skin.  Drink plenty of water daily and avoid as many chemicals as possible.  Also, alcoholic beverages dehydrate the body, so avoid drinking them.

Exercise brings fresh oxygenated and nutrient rich blood to the skin.  Meditation is also helpful.  Yoga facial exercises help to strengthen the muscles underneath the face thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles.  Check online; there are many sources for facial exercises.

Check out our blog: yumscrubblog.com.  We offer many suggestions in greater detail for healthy skin, including skin-loving recipes.

As you can see, it will take diligence and commitment to try and reverse the damage to some extent and prevent further damage.  Good luck.

If you have a question or comment about skincare, please email us we would love to help.

Love and Light, Yum Scrub Organics Team

Here’s the recipe to make your own face scrub to use… until we get ours launched 🙂

Yum Scrub Organics Orange-Lavender Face Scrub

1/2 cup organic sugar (if the sugar crystals are too large for your skin, you can grind them for 30 sec. or so in a blender).
1/2 cup organic plant oils (unrefined if possible) – almond, sunflower, safflower, avocado, olive are good choices
3 drops organic orange essential oil
3 drops organic lavender essential oil

Mix together.  Store in a jar.  Test on a small area of the face to make sure there isn’t a skin reaction to one of the ingredients.  Scoop some exfoliant into the palms, and massage over face and neck.  Rinse thoroughly with cool to cold water.  I usually allow my skin to dry naturally, which doesn’t take long here in Colo.  Apply hydration.

This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate.

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:


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Look of Girl’s Brain Changes to Boy’s Brain with Small Dose of Chemicals

26 Apr

We’ve been advocating about reducing chemical exposure and consumption for years because our over dependence on chemicals are killing us and our planet.  However, there is a new spin; small doses of chemicals can alter hormones and make changes in the body.  How small?  Amounts that are equivalent to 1 drop in 20 Olympic size swimming pools.  This is from researchers at Tuft University who do not ask if chemicals are killing us, but are researching whether small amounts of chemicals change our brains.

The answer is yes.  Their research has found that small amounts subtlety change the brain (animal studies), so that a girl’s brain changes to look like a boy’s brain!  And these are not exotic chemicals; they are chemicals that we come in contact with everyday.

Photo: greenpack.rec.org

Dr. Laura Vanderberg, a developmental biologist at Tufts University, points out that regulatory agencies (FDA, EPA and I am adding companies using chemicals) test chemical safety by giving animals large amounts of chemicals that kill them then drawback to a “safe” level for humans.  But, the problem is they do not test the safe amount to see if it is truly safe.  Maybe like me you thought they did.  It would seem to be a no brainer to ask if the “safe” amounts are really safe.

VANDENBERG: What we find is that there’s overwhelming evidence in animals that BPA is associated with drastic changes in mammary gland development, also changes in the induction of mammary cancers, and changes in the sensitivity of the animal to carcinogens. So it makes you more sensitive to a carcinogen.
Excerpt from Living on Earth, March 16, 2012.

Laura Vandenbery,  goes into more on how small amounts of chemicals affect us in this interview with Living on Earth  http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00011&segmentID=1.   Please listen or read the transcript; it is worth your while.

One of the things she says is the use of chemicals are so ingrained in our society that it is hard to shop our way out of the problem because we cannot tell by the labels which ingredients are hormone mimickers.  Of course, there is one way you can reduce chemical consumption.  That is to buy all-organic or 100% organic when you can.

Remember:  Only 100% organic or all-organic assures that there are no chemicals in the product.  “Organic and “Contains Organic” can by law have a certain percentage of chemicals.

Back when we started reducing our own chemical consumption there wasn’t much research or interest in research on chemicals effect on the body.   So, it great to see new light being shed on the growing concern over the use of chemicals in our lives.  And friends, this is why we are an all-organic body-care line.  With all the marketing hype from mega cosmetic companies, small all-organic or 100% organic companies get lost in the noise.  Support all-organic companies; it requires much more effort to formulate products without chemicals than with chemicals.


“The Dose Doesn’t Always Make the Poison,” Living on Earth.  Week of March 16, 2012. http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00011&segmentID=1

Thanks to Green Beauty Team for the tweet on the Living on Earth article. twitter.com/greenbeautyteam  and  greenbeautyteam.com

Whole-Body Approach to Skincare

19 Mar

So, just what is a whole-body approach to skincare?  A whole-body approach is just that.  In order for the skin to be healthy and beautiful, or to heal a skin condition, it takes more that just topicals applied to the skin.  It involves all the aspects of your life.

In our collective psyche, skin has been viewed as something outside ourselves, meaning we often don’t see that our skin’s condition is as much dependent on our internal workings as any of the other body’s organs.

While skin is the largest organ in the body, I would venture to guess it is one of the least understood.  Much of how we view skincare is a trickle down effect from doctors.  They often approach skin disease and diseases in general through a myopic lens, focusing just on the disease.  Since the advent of the predominant pharmaceutical culture, physicians have stopped trying to heal the body or be healers.  For example, most dermatologist still harp that food, lifestyle, mental attitude do not have a part in acne.  Why is it so hard for them to connect the dots when diseases, such as scurvy that have skin manifestations are a result of improper nutrients?

On the other hand, a whole-body approach to acne says that the body is out of balance and needs to be brought back into balance with proper nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, etc.  It also involves the use of skincare products, but doesn’t just rely on them or pills as a cure. Dermatologists who do not counsel patients who have skin conditions about the effect of proper nutrition, exercising, mental attitude, stress, etc. on the skin are doing the patient a disservice.

The skin is an organ and is affected by our lifestyle just as any other organ is in the body.  Don’t get lolled into thinking that because we can see a layer of it on the outside that its not being affected by what you eat, think, do, and feel.

While Yum Scrub Organics produces skincare products, we know that products alone can’t do the job.  No matter the marketing hype from any cosmetic or pharmaceutical company, wrinkles, blemishes, eczema, psoriasis, backne, acne, dryness will not go away/stay away or diminish with just a skin-applied product.  Big spending advertising is another way we are lolled into thinking the skin is something separate from the rest of our body.  However, the right product can certainly play a large role in skincare (or we wouldn’t be in the business).

To really enhance the beauty or healing of your skin, you do need to also go deep inside.  A whole-body approach to skincare then is about all that makes you–you.  It involves what you eat and drink and what you don’t eat and drink; exercise, mental attitude/mindset, and spiritual development.  With regard to spiritual development, we are referring to the inner path or who you are as a person that comes from deep within–not the religious connotation of spirit.

Applying a whole-body approach, you embrace a natural healthy lifestyle that benefits your whole body.  You see the body as interconnected, what affects one part of the body affects another part and affects the whole body.  With this in mind you approach the care of your whole body–physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual–with mindfulness.  If you apply this approach, your skin will radiate and of course your entire body will be much healthier.

Click to Buy Our Great All-Organic Skincare Line:


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Browse through some of our posts to get some suggestions on some whole-body techniques.

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.

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Lead in Lipstick–Really

15 Feb

Those kissable lips we wrote about yesterday may have some lead on them if you use lipstick.  The FDA released its most recent findings and found 400 shades of lipstick contain lead.  L’Oreal, Revlon, Maybelline, Cover Girl, and Nars were in the top ten for highest contaminant amounts.  The FDA claims the amounts are traceable, but are not harmful because little is ingested or absorbed. 

What the FDA needs to ask is: What are the cumulative effects of lead in lipstick on women who wear lipstick daily and who reapply it throughout the day (lead builds up in the body)?  What are the effects on pregnant women and on women who want to become pregnant?  What about women with small children who love lipstick kisses from mommy or like to play with mommy’s lipstick?  Scientists and researchers who have studied lead say there is no safe amount of lead for pregnant women and children.  Read more:

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – “Lead in Lipstick”  

Washington Post – “400 shades of lipstick found to contain lead…”

NPR – “Consumer Groups Want Lead out of Lipstick”

Kissable Lips

14 Feb

Roses, candy, and dinner are just the backdrop for tonight’s main attraction–the Valentine’s Day kiss or the hope of getting that kiss.  We want you to make the best of it by having lips worth kissing. 

Just to be sure those kissable lips aren’t wasted because of faulty kissing technique, head over to kissing.com.  There you’ll learn how to make that Valentine’s Day smooch crackle with fireworks.  Though kissing has been happening for thousands and thousands of years, some of us apparently haven’t gotten it down yet.   There’s probably a gene for kissing that has yet to be discovered and unlocked for some.  Not only can you learn some toe wiggling kissing techniques at kissing.com,  you can also buy some lessons.  How about that for a Valentine’s Day gift?

While we will not share our snogging (Brit’s term for smooching) secrets, we will share some tips to get your lips properly prepared for a big smooch.

Tips for Kissable Lips

  • Honey is great for softening and smoothing chapped lips.  Put about a teaspoon or so in a small bowl, add a drop of water.  Apply to lips and let sit for a few minutes.  Take a wet toothbrush or damp washcloth over lips to remove dry skin.  Be gentle. Apply lip balm or some olive oil, Shea or cocoa butter.
  • Coconut oil also works well for softening lips.  Apply directly to lips; let sit for a few minutes and remove dry skin as above.
  • Run a warm air humidifier or vaporizer at night to prevent chapped lips.
  • Before applying your favorite lipstick, apply some chap stick to your lips first.  This is a good technique if you find that your lips become chapped after applying lipstick.  Lipstick can sometimes cause lips to dry out, esp. if you are sensitive to an ingredient in the lipstick, such as lanolin.  Also, the ingredient propyl gallate and phenyl salicylate (salol) in lipstick causes contact dermatitis in some people.
  • Lip balms can cause your lips to become chapped if there is an ingredient that your lips are sensitive to.  i.e.  I can’t use any chap stick that has hemp or lanolin in it.  Those two ingredients will cause my lips to become chapped.  Beeswax is the one ingredient I look for in a chap stick.
  • Stay away from petroleum, fragrances, and scents in lip balms.  They can also make lips worse.  Ingredients should be simple and natural.
  • Never lick your lips when they are chapped.  It will only make them worse.
  • Keep hydrated with some good old water.  It will help in preventing dry lips in the first place.
  • Breathe through your nose and not your mouth to prevent dry lips.
  • Citrus fruits, nickel, sodium lauryl sulfate in tooth paste, dyes used in candy and food, hypothyroidism can all contribute to chapped lips.

Now that your lips are kissable, the rest is up to you.  Oh, don’t forget to check the breath.  Kissable lips won’t mean a thing if the vapors emitting from your mouth keep your sweetie from coming within twenty feet of you.

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Kunin, Audrey, M.D. “Chapstick and Verse; A Guide To Chapped Lips.” Online: http://www.dermadoctor.com/article_Chapped-Lips_185.html.

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

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