Archive for June, 2010

The creator of Soapwalla, Rachel Winard, has so graciously provided the following tips and DIY recipes for dealing with Rosacea – a common question around here.  I have a mild case of it myself.  Her product line, Soapwalla is one of my absolute favorites so I know you’ll appreciate her bountiful knowledge –   Enjoy!

The single most common question people ask me is what are the most effective natural ways to treat rosacea, a chronic and sometimes disruptive disorder.

What is Rosacea? Rosacea is a skin disorder that causes redness and swelling, primarily on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. Others experience increased sensitivity and redness on the scalp, neck, ears, chest, back and eyes. Some people mistakenly confuse rosacea for acne, sunburn, and excessive flushing. The National Rosacea Society estimates that well over 16 million Americans suffer from this skin condition.

I know firsthand how debilitating face rashes can be. When I have a particularly bad face rash, I dread and will do almost anything to avoid public outings.

Causes

What causes rosacea? Experts aren’t sure, although one recent study suggested a link between rosacea and the H Pylori bacteria that commonly causes ulcers.* However, there are certain universal rosacea triggers that we may avoid, including:

  • Stress: goes without saying. Nearly impossible to implement, but try to incorporate stress reduction techniques in your daily schedule. I personally cannot function without my yoga practice.
  • Temperature: extreme temperature changes, strong winds, saunas and steam rooms, etc.
  • Beverages: avoid alcohol, caffeine, and excessively hot drinks – in temperature as well as spiciness.
  • Foods: this varies, but the most common culprits include chocolate, vinegar, nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes), spicy foods, cheese, and citrus fruits. A specific food allergy can also manifest itself as skin redness.
  • Skincare Products: avoid witch hazel, alcohol, acetone, and anything that causes burning or stinging upon application. Topical steroid creams can also aggravate red skin. When my skin is particularly inflamed, I cannot use aloe vera as it literally burns my skin (I learned the hard way, and I’ll spare you the gory details). In addition, overzealous skin cleansing and harsh exfoliation exacerbate redness and tenderness.
  • Systems: hormone imbalances or synthetic hormones (think hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills) and poor digestion are linked to increased skin flares.

Treatments

I firmly believe that we can help our skin repair itself through diet, supplements and a holistic skincare regimen. Below is a list of highly potent ingredients that replenish our bodies and calm down redness and irritation:

  • Wholesome Foods: I often talk about the link between healthful eating and happy skin, and it’s true – what we put in our bodies is as important as what we put on them. Support your body by eating fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains like brown rice and millet, and including nuts and seeds that are high in essential fatty acids, such as flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Supplements: Make sure you are getting a daily dose of B-Complex vitamins. If you are vegan, you need to take a supplement. I personally like Floradix Iron & Herbs.
  • In addition, think about incorporating probiotics, milk thistle (a potent liver cleanser), bromelain (digestive enzyme found in pineapple) and turmeric (a spice with incredible anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties) into your daily routine.

  • Skincare: use skincare preparations that are designed specifically for sensitive skin. Seek out products with organic, whole ingredients and that avoid synthetics, chemicals, petrochemicals, and preservatives. Look for the following ingredients, shown to tone down redness and reduce inflammation:
    1. Evening Primrose, Borage and Black Currant Oils – rich sources of gamma linoleic acid, an Omega 6 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. [Note: these oils should not be heated prior to use, as their potent health benefits will be reduced.]
    2. Blue Chamomile, Lavender and Carrot Seed Essential Oils – Blue Chamomile contains a concentration of Azulene, which has potent anti-inflammatory, skin healing properties. Lavender, regarded as the most versatile therapeutic oil, is an antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory must-have addition to your skin care products. Carrot Seed essential oil contains substantial amounts of Vitamins A, C, B1 and B2, and effectively removes toxins from the skin, giving it a fresher and firmer appearance.
    3. Calendula – Calendula oil is perhaps the most successful oil in diminishing dry and damaged skin, skin inflammations, rashes, and other skin ailments. An easy DIY calendula recipe is as follows:Place ¼ cup fully dried calendula flowers (make sure there is absolutely no moisture on the flowers; otherwise your oil will spoil) in the bottom of a clear glass jar that has an airtight seal. Pour 1 cup of your favorite oil (olive oil, sweet almond oil and jojoba oil are ideal) over the flowers, completely immersing them. Shake vigorously and place on a sunny windowsill. Shake once or twice a day for a month, until the oil turns a beautiful deep golden color. After a month, strain well and store in a dark glass container away from light and heat. This calendula oil can be used directly on the skin whenever you feel redness or irritation, and truly is a wonderful – and essential – addition to any sensitive skincare regimen!
  • Cosmetics: While we ultimately want to eradicate redness and irritation, sometimes we just need to get out of the door looking – and feeling – confident. Luckily, these days we have a number of ethical, progressive cosmetics companies to choose from. Some of my favorites include RMS Beauty and Jane Iredale. Jessa Blades, founder of Blades Natural Beauty and an immensely talented make-up artist and eco-beauty consultant, is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to choosing and applying natural makeup and skincare products. Please stop by Jessa’s website for more information.

NOTE: Please test all new ingredients or formulations on the inside of your wrist to ensure you don’t have a sensitivity or allergic reaction.

Rachel Winard is the Brooklyn-based creator of Soapwalla, a line of luxury organic face and body products made with the highest quality organic and food-grade ingredients, never questionable additives such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or harsh and synthetic additives.

*http://www.rosacea.org/rr/2001/winter/article_4.php

Posted by add a comment •  
Categories: Eco Beauty News & Tips, Skin Care, SoapWalla

RSS Bookmark to del.icio.us Search Technorati for links to this post Digg this post on digg.com add to kirtsy

Let’s face it, even though we all know that too much sun is bad for us, most of us love the healthy glow of sun kissed skin.  Now, we’ve said it before, you need some sun.  Studies show that in this day and age, we don’t get nearly enough vitamin D, especially in the winter (and sure, supplements help, but one of the main sources is the sun), so when summer rolls around, we like to spend a lot of time outside.  It helps even out my family’s moods, and we all sleep better at night.

I’ll say this, unless you have a history of skin cancer,  or you’re one of those people that burns even if it’s a cloudy day and you’re in your house with long sleeves on, ditch the sunscreen if you’re going to be out for a short while (say an hour).  Opt for a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes, but let the sun do its magic.  I’m not a habitual sunscreen user.  I feel it does more harm than good.   However, if you’re going to be out at the local pool, or a day trip to the beach,  make sure you use a sunscreen of at least a 30SPF, and keep reapplying, per the directions on the bottle.

Now, with that said, I’m guessing a lot of you probably have a nice summer glow going on right about now, don’t you?  And it makes you feel pretty good.  It makes your skin look more even, and toned.  Not to mention, it helps with some other skin disorders, like keratosis pilaris (of which everyone in my family suffers from, sadly), eczema, and psoriasis (my father suffers from it and his dermatologist went against everything he stood for and told him to high tail it to a tanning bed) and others.  But, with being at the beach or the pool on a regular basis, your skin is probably dry.  Especially if you’re a woman and have to shave every day in the summer.

So how do you keep your skin looking smooth like a lotion commercial, without having to dip yourself into a vat of phthalates and petroleum based products?   Here’s my regimen so far this summer:

Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe has great healing properties. It keeps your skin from drying out and also prolongs your tan.  Not to mention it’s really cool and soothing if you happen to get burned.

A good baby/body oil: You can probably easily make your own, but my favorite, that I recommend to everyone, is the Tippy Toes Baby Oil by Mambino Organics.  I love this because it’s very light, and absorbs perfectly.  It’s a simple list of ingredients, and it nourishes my skin.  I added a mixture of a few drops of my favorite essential oils to my bottle and it’s like having my own personalized scent.

I put both of these on immediately after my shower, while my skin is still damp.  It takes me an extra two minutes and my skin has never felt better.  And I actually feel good about showing it off this summer.

(Kathy chiming in here): I love Statia’s tips and totally agree.  I am using a body oil as well as a scrub in the shower to keep the bumps and dryness away all year long. My faves right now are Rocky Mountain Soap Company Bamboo Body Scrub and LuSa Organics Organic Sugar Scrub

You can pick up Aloe Vera Gel (look for preservative free or organic) on Amazon.com or at a local health food store.  Check out Lily Of The Desert Aloe Vera Gel or their Lily of The Desert Aloe 80 Soothing Gel on Amazon.

Posted by add a comment •  
Categories: Articles, Exfoliation, Sunscreen

RSS Bookmark to del.icio.us Search Technorati for links to this post Digg this post on digg.com add to kirtsy

My husband reluctantly switched his body products to greener products.  It was a slow process, but over the last two years, we’ve made progress.  If you have a boyfriend, or husband, you know how stubborn men can be.  My husband would sneak poisonous toothpaste on business trips, because he hated the “hippie stuff” I was using.

One of the last things to give up, on his list of products, was antiperspirant.   It took me forever to get him to stop using the toxic, aluminum laden axe or whatever he could find on sale.  “But I don’t want to pit ouuuuuuuuuuuuuut,” he would whine.  But I bought him a stick of Tom’s anyway, and he wasn’t impressed.  When my husband isn’t impressed, he takes to the internet.   He came up with an awesome recipe for making your own deodorant, and it’s really easy:

What you’ll need:

  • A deodorant container (save your old one, and re-purpose it)
  • coconut oil (the solid kind)
  • baking soda
  • essential oil (whatever your favorite is, which is nice, you don’t have to smell like “fake baby butt”)
  • vitamin e oil
  • corn starch

To Mix:

  1. Add the dry ingredients in a bowl first.  Mix equal parts corn starch and baking soda.
  2. Add equal parts coconut oil, mix thoroughly.
  3. Add a few drops of vitamin e and your essential oil.  You can add as much as you like, but I wouldn’t go overboard.  The mixture will be a bit more flaky if you use more oil.
  4. Knead the mixture with your fingers until it forms a ball like consistency, it should be hard enough to put into the deodorant container, but still malleable and not crumbly.  Put the cap on and let set overnight, and voilà!

Keep in mind that this is obviously a deodorant, not an antiperspirant.  You will still sweat using this stuff, but you won’t stink.  I’ve used this recipe on some pretty hot days, as well as during workouts and I haven’t smelled at all.   Needless to say, since making this deodorant, my husband has been a convert.

 

Posted by add a comment •  
Categories: Deodorant, DIY Recipes

RSS Bookmark to del.icio.us Search Technorati for links to this post Digg this post on digg.com add to kirtsy

I don’t wear a ton of make up.  I know there are parts of the country where women tend to wear more make up than others (*cough* Long Island *cough* and I can say that because I grew up there) and I do wear some… enough to make myself acceptable for public consumption.  I do like my girlie must haves and here is whats banging around in my make up bag:

Foundation: I don’t wear a lot of it and I never really did.  But as I’m getting older I have rosacea and some flaws and I just need a light overall cover to make me happy.  I am using mineral foundation which I have recently read to be less than great due to breathing in particles.  But I loathe liquid foundation.  Hate it.  So I hold my breath and hope I don’t get some funky lung disease from it.  My favorite is Alima Pure Mineral Satin Matte foundation after switching from Bare Minerals when I learned that it contained Bismuth Oxychloride which can be an irritant to rosacea sufferers.

I also use SukiColor Liquid Formula Concealer in Flax (which I can’t find on their website right now) for spot treating under eye circles, zits or whatever weirdness shows up. Blends well and has a more respectable ingredients list than most commercial liquid make up.

Blush: I hide from the sun so much so that I need an extra boost (I wear hats and sunglasses all the time) so I use Alima Pure  Luminous Shimmer Blush in DianthusDr Hauschka makes a nice blush bronzer too but the cost difference is amazing.  $15 for Alima vs $30+ its an easy choice for me.

Eyes: NVEY Eco Organic Eye Shadow Palette in Palette 3.  I had a palette of this before which I had gotten as a gift and it lasted me forever.  So when I was digging the last of it out I decided it was a worthy investment.  It’s $60.  Yeah I know.  But it lasted me well over a year to a year and a half.  So I figure I’m spending that over a course of time on different ones anyway and this is organic.  So I splurge.  I also have a small Dr. Hauschka Eye Shadow Solo in Shimmering Ivory.  But I may try the 4 color palettes they have next time instead of the NVEY.  $44 vs $60 on that scale.

Eye Liner: I have a basic black eye liner from Sephora. Nothing green or safe about it.  I need to find a better one.

Mascara: I use Tarte Lash Hugger Eco-Friendly Natural Mascara.  Tarte uses better ingredients than most and avoids things like parabens, phthalates and mineral oils and is in a recycled tube.  It works great… can’t complain.  I tried out one of the “natural” brands at CVS and it was awful so I’ll stick with this.

Lips: My favorite topic!  I don’t wear lipstick.  It’s a pretty rare occasion if I do.  I am a lip balm kind of girl and when I get dressed to go out (haha) I am a fan of lip gloss.  Although since I started greening my make up I haven’t found too many lip glosses that do it for me. I have a million lip balms including: Badger Lip Balm in just abut every flavor but I love Tangerine and Lavender Orange, Bubble & Bee Lip Balm in both Coconut Lime and Rude Raspberry (which is Certified Organic now), a Burt’s Bees Radiance Lip Shimmer as well as a Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Lip Gloss in Sweet Pink, LuSa Organics lip balm (love) and an Earth Mama Angel Baby Lip Balm which I use at night.

Nails: I know we did a whole round up of safe nail polish but to be very honest – I hate almost all of them.  They don’t stay on and yes I used them while I was pregnant if at all but my vanity is at stake here so I ave been using Zoya Polishes for my mani pedis.  Zoya is Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP Free so I feel somewhat better using them.

Anyone have any eye liner or lip gloss recommendations?  Hope you enjoyed the peek into my bathroom!

I had no idea people would love to know what products I have as much as they did, so here’s what’s on my bathroom counter top and a few things from inside “The Drawer”:

Deodorant: I use a couple deodorants.  I have found that switching my deodorant from day to day lends to the effectiveness of natural deodorants. But they don’t all work for me so I rely on three to do the job. The first is Bubble & Bee Geranium Lime Pit Putty.  Love this one and when it runs out I’m going to get their Geranium Lime Pit Putty with Baking Soda.  I also use Soapwalla’s Cream Deodorant which I like to use on days when I take a more decadent shower… I don’t know why exactly but just go with it.  I also use Weleda’s Rose Deodorant Spray.  I use the Weleda mainly when I take a shower at night.  The alcohol seems like it should be a bacteria fighter so in my weird brain I think “ok this will keep the stinky away all night and then I can put on regular deodorant in the morning”. I have no idea if that is even true or remotely accurate but it makes sense in my brain. I’ve also been making friends with Miessence products (Ely Organics) and one I do like is the Miessence Deodorant.   If you prefer roll on deodorants this might be the one for you. If you are new to natural deodorants here’s a primer to get you started.

Face: Depending on the time of day I am using two face creams.  This is one area I struggle because as I mentioned, I have very sensitive skin, plus rosacea, plus aging, plus occasional breakouts.  So finding something gentle and effective is really hard for me.  For night I am trying out Yes to Cucumbers Facial Hydrating Lotion and it seems to do ok.  I also have a pack of Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes which I thought would be good for quick sweat wipes or lazy nights to remove make up.  But they kind of burn a little so I think they’ll get tossed. For daytime, its Burts Bees Radiance Day Lotion with SPF 15. It contains phenoxyethanol though so I’m on the lookout for something better. When I last visited the dermotogolist they told me to use Aveeno and I did for a while until I saw what was in it.  I’m constantly trying to find a good replacement.  Have yet to find something I really love.  I’m open to your suggestions ladies.

Eyes: I haven’t used an eye cream much since I had to stop using my beloved Clinique eye cream which was my favorite thing on the planet. I have a small bottle of John Masters Organics Firming Eye Gel but I often forget to use it.

Body: This also depends on the shower.  Showers where I have time for a scrub allow me to skip lotions and potions.  I towel off and get dressed. Quick showers tend to leave me wanting a little extra moisture so I opt for body oils.  While I do like the occasional rub down with a lotion or body butter, oils don’t require any processing or chemical emulsifyers.  And if you find a great body oil it can double as perfume. Right now I use Soapwalla’s Luxurious Body Oil.  It’s light enough for day use and smells lovely.  I also have Burt’s Bees Vitamin E Bath & Body Oil which has a great citrus scent but it’s pretty heavy and greasy so I haven’t used it in a while.  Also making appearances on my counter is The Body Deli Coconut Body Souffle, Weleda Seabuckthorn Body Lotion, and Badger Balm Vanilla Coconut Body Balm (I use this primarily at night).

Hair: This is definitely one area where I need improvement.  It’s sad really. I do own several natural hair products but I shamefully admit that I use one or two NOT natural hair products.  I have one or two natural ones I do like.  One is John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray.  I use this for curly hair days to give my curls that “fresh off the beach” wind look.  It works great.  The other is Giovanni Frizz Be Gone which is great for straight hair days.  It seals and protects my hair before being tortured by a flat iron.  My shame lies in my use of John Freida’s Fresh Curlz.  I also use Aveda’s Curl Cream which is like the best hair stuff ever for curly hair. See? Not perfect but trying.

Part 3: You get a peek into my make up bag!

Earth Mama Special

Want Lovely SafeMama™ sent to your inbox?
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

FIND A BRAND




  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • NetwrkBlogs