{ fresh ideas for home, beauty & family }

Handy Ideas For Practicing Self Care June 21 2017

Too many times your day ends and it's likely you've forgotten to take care of yourself.  Remember the last time you were sick and couldn't do the things you wanted to do, and couldn't take care of those who you wanted to take care of?  Some daily self care will keep you moving in the right direction.


Go for a walk.
Get a hug.
Play with a dog.
Reorganize your room.
Take a bath.


Read a book.
Learn a new skill or language.
Draw or color.
Do a DIY project.
Listen to an audio book.
Do a puzzle or word search.
Turn off your phone and observe the moment.


Practice yoga.
Light a candle.
Talk with a friend.
Write in your journal.
Make a gratitude list.

Thank you to http://init4thelongrun.com for your ideas and inspiration.

"One day" or "Day One"? June 21 2017

We can wait for the right time, or for that perfect moment, or you can decide that today is the day.  Only you can decide.

What are some things you're putting off for "one day"?  

Here are some suggestions: start that business, start a journal, write a book, quit drinking, learn a new language, get rid of all the processed foods in your house and eat fresh, make amends with someone.

There are so many things you can do today - right now - and you won't regret it.


50 Easy & Delicious Snacks For Clean Eating June 21 2017

One of the first rules to clean eating is choosing non processed foods that do not come from a box or bag.  Second rule is eat foods that remember where they came from.  There are some exceptions to the box / bag rule, as some fresh foods do come packaged in a container - we can overlook that small detail and focus on freshness.  

1. Apple Slices
2. Veggies and Hummus
3. Cashews
4. Air-Popped Popcorn
5. Bananas
6. Greek yogurt with fruit
7. Grapes
8. Homemade Popsicles
9. Pecans
10. Veggies and Guacamole
11. Berries
12. Olives & Pickles
13. Dried Fruit
14. Hard Boiled Eggs
15. Peanuts
16. Peaches with Cottage Cheese
17. Almonds
18. Dark Chocolate
19. Edamame
20. Fresh Fruit Smoothies
21. Grapefruit
22. String Cheese
23. Raisins
24. Bananas with Peanut butter
25. Pistachios
26. Frozen berries
27. Fresh Fruit Salad
28. Fresh Mango Chunks
29. Fresh Fruit Popsicle
30. Fresh Fruit Skewers
31. Carrot Sticks
32. Mixed Nuts
33. Apricots
34. Mandarin Oranges
35. Sliced Cucumbers
36. Walnuts
37. Watermelon Slices
38. Baked Sweet Potato
39. Apple Chips
40. Fresh Pineapple Chunks
41. Coconut Yogurt with Granola
42. Baked Zuchinni Chips
43. Hazlenuts
44. Cinnamon Popcorn
45. Oatmeal w/ Fresh Fruit
46. Plain Baked Potato
47. Brocolli & Cauliflower Florets
48. Veggie wrap with Salsa
49. Fresh Smoothie
50. Frozen Grapes


Once you focus on your gifts... June 21 2017

I would highly recommend reading the book "Successful Women Think Differently" by Valorie Burton.  She conveys a positive message about how we often focus too much on our weaknesses and faults, hoping to fix them all before reaching our goals.  Instead, if you live outside your driven purpose and spend your energy trying to be perfect (when no one can be perfect), then you have no energy left to conquer your goals and reach your potential.  Good stuff.



What's So Amazing About Our Firming & Regenerating Serum? June 20 2017

Our Firming & Regenerating Serum is completely plant based and loaded with a long list of proven skin firming and skin loving ingredients!  Honestly, you'll not find the same formula anyway, especially one that is made fresh for you the day you order it.  

Once applied your feel this instant sensation of hydration, see the glow, and notice that your skin looks refreshed - more awake.  You love the feeling and the fresh scent.

Ingredients In Alphabetical Order

Aloe, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Centella Asiatica, Peptides, DMAE, Elderberry Extract, GABA, Green Tea Caffeine, Hibiscus Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Lutein, Lycopene, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Melatonin, Microalgae Nannochloropsis Oculata, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Rhodiola Rosea, Rose Essential Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Sea Kelp Bioferment, Vegetable Glycerin, Willow Bark Extract

1.3 oz,

How to Use

Apply to clean dry skin AM and/or PM, in a gentle massaging motion. Include around the eye area with a gentle tapping motion to distribute.

Ingredient Details

Alpha Lipoic Acid: A strong antioxidant, derived from a variety of vegetables. It is excellent for correcting wrinkles, swelling, puffiness, and shrink pore size. A key ingredient in our firming facial serum.

Centella Asiatica: Is well known to improve firmness, elasticity, and overall anti aging ingredient. It produces collagen and is an natural inflammatory. It is derived from the Centella plant.

DMAE: Is naturally derived and will firm sagging skin. Not only are it’s effects immediate – but also cumulative, and it’s benefits accrue over time. One of our top ingredients in our skin firming serum.

Elderberry Extract: Considered a super berry and antioxidant rich, helps prevent aging damage and wrinkle formation.

Green Tea Extract: Can decrease the risk of skin cancer and alleviates water retention in skin. Great for firming and toning.

Hibiscus Extract: Naturally derived and contains the natural version of salicylic acid. Promotes cell turnover, exfoliation, acne prevention, and the reduction of wrinkles.

Horse Chestnut Extract: Is an antioxidant, anti inflammatory, and well known for it’s anti aging qualities.

Microalgae Nannochloropsis Oculata: Proven to help firm skin and add a protective layer which assists in moisture and nutrient retention. Another key ingredient in our firming facial serum.

Natural Active Peptides: Derived from marine collagen, will supply your skin with valuable amino acids to produce more collagen production.

Rhodiola Rosea: Also known as Roseroot, this extract is very popular for it's ability to help firm and tone skin, and is a powerful antioxidant.

Willow Bark Extract: Naturally derived and contains the natural version of salicylic acid. Promotes cell turnover, exfoliation, acne prevention, and the reduction of wrinkles.


Natural Skin Lightening Treatment May 13 2017



Our anti aging treatment powder is the perfect way to amp up your skin care routine with the extra nutrients and active ingredients you're looking fore.  Perfect to naturally lighten skin, eliminate dark spots, skin damage, and help give skin a firm feel.  Just add a small scoop or two to your favorite lotion, cream, serum, facial wash, or mask.  Find it here


This bottle comes with a small scoop, which is handy for adding a small scoop or two to your favorite lotion, cream or serum.  Dispense your lotion, cream or serum in the palm of your hand.  Add a scoop or two of powder.  Stir to dissolve.  Works best with a product that contains water, aloe or extracts that will help dissolve.


Ingredients In Alphabetical Order:

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Alpha Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Lemon Essential Oil, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide

Ingredients Details:

Ascorbic Acid: Known to prevent aging of the skin and repair damage.

Arbutin: Alpha Arbutin is derived from the Bearberry plant, and is the natural alternative to skin lightening. While it is natural, it can be faster and safer than chemical alternatives. Arbutin will correct sun spots and discoloration. A key ingredient in your skin lightening treatment powder.

Kojic Acid: Kojic acid is the by product of the fermentation of malting rice. It is known to prevent and correct pigmentation issues. Another key ingredient in our skin lightening treatment powder.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: One of the most important skin ingredients available, it is an antioxidant and transforms into vitamin c when applied topically. It is known for wound healing, collagen production, corrects pigmentation issues, and improves elasticity.

Niacinamide: Improves skin color, decreases inflammation, improves blotchiness, and can lighten skin per the National Library of Medicine.

Skin Lightening Lotion | Good For You Ingredients May 13 2017

Healthier Skin Lightening With Natural Ingredients

If there is one product we have that we want you to understand the best - it's our arbutin & lemon peel bioferment lotion. This is hands down the best natural skin lightening lotion for every one of every color and every age. This product has a stellar rating and for some great reasons.


Melanin is the main substance responsible for the color of our skin. Melanin is class of dark polymers generated by the body through the process of melanogenesis. Among the melanin pigmenting the skin and hair, two kind can be determined, based on its chemical composition and biological route of synthesis: the black/brown eumelanin and the red/yellow pheomelanin. The variation of skin color among individuals is based on the variation and combination of these two different substances. Individuals with little or no melanin is almost white. Other differences in skin color might be attributed to hormones, sunlight exposure, thickness of skin, blood vessels in the skin, and content of carotenoids.


Skin lightening lotions can work by minimizing the content of melanin of the skin. Many ingredients have been shown to be effective in skin lightening. Some have beneficial side effects (e.g.: are antioxidants,[1] nutrients, or decrease the risk of some types of cancer); some are a significant risk to health (for example, those containing mercury).


These are the ingredients we include in our skin lightening lotion that have proven to be the most successful and that are also plant based:

Arbutin: Alpha Arbutin is derived from the Bearberry plant, and is the natural alternative to skin lightening. While it is natural, it can be faster and safer than chemical alternatives. Arbutin will correct sun spots and discoloration.

Alpine Floral Extracts (blend of Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract): This is a ecocert plant derived ingredient from the Alpine flowers that is proven to brighten and even skin tone, reduce sun spots, and lighten skin. This extract ingredient might also go by the name of Gigawhite.

Galangal: Derived from a tropical plant, it is part of the ginger family, and also smells like a more delicate version of ginger. This is a wonderful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, and contains vitamin c, which is proven beneficial for skin lightening efforts. The anti-inflammatory benefits will help dissipate redness and splotching.

Kojic Acid: Kojic acid is derived by the fermentation of malting rice for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine. Research shows kojic acid to be effective for inhibiting melanin production. It will prevent and correct pigmentation issues.

Lemon Essential Oil: Brightens, tones skin and stimulates circulation.
Lemon Peel Bioferment: Naturally derived from lemon peels and processed by fermentation, it is a great skin lightener and it will reduce sun spots and pigmentation issues.

Licorice Root: Has been used as an Aryuvedic remedy, is a strong antioxidant, and aids in lightening, toning, firming, and cellulite reduction.

Niacinamide: Improves skin color, decreases inflammation, improves blotchiness, and can lighten skin considerably per the National Library of Medicine.

Songyi Mushroom: Clinically proven to lighten and whiten skin, which is great for anyone who has accumulated some sun damage over the years. This extract is considered soothing an a nonirritant, and evens out skin tone and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation without causing melanocyte.

You can read more about natural skin lightening on one of our other blog post here

Breakfast Berry & Granola Fruit Tart May 03 2017

This is a clever recipe that takes a spin from the fruit pizza idea - except it's for breakfast.  A wonderful way to showcase the fresh berries you'll find this season.


1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats 
1 cup walnuts finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
5 tablespoons coconut oil melted
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground
2 cups greek yogurt coconut yogurt, or almond yogurt
4 cups mixed fruit for topping, (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples)


Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, melted oil, honey, vanilla and cinnamon together in a bowl until thoroughly coated.
Press about 3 tablespoons of the mixture into 8 greased mini tart pans. Use the back of an oiled spoon to help press the granola evenly across the pan and up the sides.
Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden. Immediately after you remove the tart shells from the oven, use the back of the spoon to press down the centers of the crust to create more of an indentation, and push up the sides. The shell puffs up in the oven, so it helps to reshape the crust after it bakes while still hot. Allow to cool completely in the pan before removing. Use a small knife to gently release the sides of the crust, working around each side, then very carefully remove it from the pan, turning over if needed into your hand. The crust should be crisp on the sides and hold together, but will be delicate.
Fill each tart with 3 to 4 tablespoons yogurt, smooth out evenly. Arrange the fruit on top and serve immediately. The crust will become a little soggy if left to sit for too long.

Thank you to jessicagavin.com for sharing this with us.

Natural Skin Lightening | Everything You Need To Know May 02 2017


There are a few different ways and steps you can take to naturally lighten skin and eliminate skin discoloration.  It may be hard to believe, but just about everyone over the age of 20 has some degree of sun damage to their skin which often leaves spots and dark patches and overall discoloration. 

Think of how much happier you’d be if you felt more confident to forgo foundation and concealer.  Your cosmetic routine would be much easier and as far as skin goes, nothing is more beautiful than healthy looking bare skin.

You can accomplish natural skin lightening in a variety of ways, with some options that include simple ingredients that you might have in your own home.  There are techniques and ingredients that you can incorporate at every phase of your skin care routine – cleansing, toning, scrubs, masks, moisturizers and treatments.

Most people will say that it’s best to address this issue in a natural way.  Harsh prescriptions are expensive, and synthetic chemicals can bring problems of their own. 

We’ve broken down this topic in three areas: Home Remedies, Skin Care Routine Tips, and Active Ingredient Information.  Some active ingredients are not readily available in your own home or the grocery store, but they are extremely appealing and worth seeking when taking on the task of natural skin lightening.

There are a variety of reasons your skin might have some discoloration.  A man came into my store last week to discuss some discoloration he now has after a bought of shingles.  Perhaps it could be some damage from long term eczema, or the effects of medication, or the result of an illness that has passed now leaving you with some dark areas or spots you’d like to get rid of. 

While a dermatologist will most likely recommend a prescription and/or a chemical peel, there are some ideas within the home remedies list that can help naturally lighten skin.  This includes some ingredients to gently peel and exfoliate the skin.  This will save you the added expense of a doctors visit and expensive prescriptions.  Most recommended prescription creams can cost more than $500 and are probably not covered by insurance.  So the natural route is a great way to go, it’s easily controlled by you based on the time you have to invest and your budget.

Other areas to consider beyond just your facial skin: Neck, chest, and the back of your hands.  Certainly these areas collect an equal amount of discoloration and sun damage as your face will, and many people forget to pay attention to these areas.  I often recommend that people use their favorite skin care products also on backs of hands, neck and upper chest. 

Let’s start with a list of home remedies, as these are suggestions you could try as soon as today if you have these particular ingredients handy.  As simple as these may seem, each suggestion can offer some real results.

Natural Home Remedies

Plain Yogurt:  This suggestion relies on the fact that the lactic acid in natural, plain unsweetened yogurt will help exfoliate the top layer(s) of the skin, which will cause spots and discoloration to be smaller and less prominent.  Apply this to clean dry skin and leave on for about 10 minutes.  Rinse off thoroughly and gently go over your skin with a wash cloth to remove softened dead skin.

Milk:  Same concept as with plain yogurt, the lactic acid in milk will help exfoliate skin leaving it looking brighter, less damaged, and therefore subtly lighter.  Same as with the yogurt, leave on skin for about 10 minutes and then rinse away.  Go over your skin with a wash cloth to help remove any traces of dead skin.

Fresh Lemon:  This is not going to be as effective if you use bottled lemon juice.  Fresh lemon is best.  The acidity in the lemon and the vitamin c will do wonders for natural skin lightening.  Slice lemon and apply to clean dry skin.  As with the yogurt and milk, leave on skin for several minutes and then rinse away with clean water. 

Sugar:  Sugar is a great and simple choice for an exfoliant and the natural glycolic acid that occurs will help your efforts to naturally lighten and brighten skin in a subtle way.   Consider mixing sugar with a little fresh lemon juice or yogurt and gently use to scrub skin for a few minutes.  Rinse away and follow up with your favorite moisturizer.

Salt:  As with sugar, salt is a great choice for a natural exfoliant.  If you happen to have Epsom or Himalayan salt at home, these are superior choices based on their mineral contents and nutrients.  Make a paste of salt and milk or yogurt and apply to skin, using this as a scrub to effectively and naturally lighten skin.  Rinse away thoroughly.

Fresh papaya:  Fresh papaya is an excellent choice for a natural skin treatment.  It encourages the production of collagen, contains natural enzymes for exfoliation, and is high in vitamin c – always a very attractive nutrient for skin.  Apply crushed fresh papaya to clean dry skin as a mask and leave on for 10-15 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly and repeat a few times throughout the week to help you lighten skin and fade sun damage.

Fresh pineapple: As with fresh papaya – fresh pineapple is an optimum choice as it also contains enzymes to slough off dead skin and it’s very high in vitamin c.  Apply freshly crushed pineapple to clean dry skin as a mask and leave on for 10-15 minutes.  Rinse away.

The following are the very best in effective active ingredients that can be found in our natural skin lightening products.  Keep an eye out for these ingredients when researching ingredients as you determine the best product choices for your skin care needs:

Active Ingredients

Betulinic Acid:  Naturally derived from white birch trees, this antiviral antibacterial ingredient is very well rounded for not just lightening of the skin, but offers some pleasant firming qualities as well. 

Alpha Arbutin:  Alpha Arbutin is derived from the Bearberry plant, and is a great natural alternative to skin lightening. While it is natural, it can be faster and safer than chemical alternatives. Arbutin will correct sun spots and discoloration.

Lemon / Lemon Peel / Lemon Peel Bioferment: Naturally derived and a great skin lightener, it will reduce sun spots and pigmentation issues.  Also great for stimulating circulation and brightening the skin.

Kojic Acid: Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice. It is a mild inhibitor of the formation of pigmentation, induces skin lightening, and the fading of sun and liver spots.

Elder Flower:  Excellent for lightening skin and has calming properties for irritated skin.  It is an anti-inflammatory and can stimulate skin to turn over skin cells faster, hence revealing healthier looking skin.

Licorice Root:  Licorice Root or Licorice Extract can help eliminate the formation of hyperpigmentation and sun spots, as well as act as an anti-inflammatory for stressed and irritated skin. 

Vitamin C:  Vitamin C has shown to lighten skin and fade sun spots in clinical studies.  Vitamin C will oxidize if exposed over time to sun and air, so use it fresh the reap the benefits. 

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate: Also known as MAP, it is naturally derived and also known as the “vitamin c that doesn’t degrade” as mentioned above when describing vitamin c.  While Vitamin c is one of the best choices for your skin lightening efforts, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate does not oxidize over time and turns into ascorbic acids as it synthesizes into the skin.  It has been proven to lighten and brighten skin very effectively.

You can find these ingredients here in many of our products, and you can incorporate them into your own personalized skin care plan. 

Natural Eyelash Growth | Ingredients & Tips That Work May 01 2017


Everyone wants prettier, longer, thicker eyelashes.  While there are some good quality mascaras on the market, many contain harmful ingredients.  Another alternative might be eyelash extensions, but this is an added burden and expense to your beauty routine, and the adhesives used are also potentially hazardous and harmful.

Check out our top remedies to help encourage healthier lashes:

Castor Oil

Castor Oil will stimulate hair follicles and encourage healthier hair growth.  It will also assist in fighting micro-organisms that hamper growth.

Olive Oil

Olive oil will help promote thicker, stronger, healthier hair.  

Brushing Lashes

Brushing your lashes will encourage stimulation of growth and blood circulation, which can directly benefit hair. 

Lemon Peel Extract

Lemon Peel is rich in vitamins C and B, folic acid and other nutrients that promote the growth of eyelashes. Create an extract using fresh lemon peel and soak in olive oil, allowing to sit for at least one week.

Green Tea / Extract

Green tea will stimulate hair growth, and is a strong antioxidant and rich in flavonoids.  Steep green tea in a small amount of water and apply directly to lash line with a cotton bud.

A Healthy Diet

A well rounded, healthy diet is a very good way to promote healthier hair growth and a healthier body all around.  A sure give away to an unhealthy diet is dry, brittle, thinning, unhealthy hair.  Some recommendtions to add to your weekly diet:  Salmon, pumpkin seeds, lean protein, strawberries, almonds, beans, shiitake mushrooms.  

You can formulate a serum of the ingredients above to help encourage natural eyelash growth, by applying to lash line morning and evening.  These ingredients may not naturally emulsify, so give your serum a good shake to disperse before application.

There are several imperative ingredients we add to our lash and brow growth serum that have been proven to help encourage natural eyelash growth:

Carnitine: Carnitine is a plant derived amino acid.  Many studies have shown that Carnitine will help hair growth significantly.

Horse Chestnut:  Is plant derived, and well known as an antioxidant, anti inflammatory.  It's also well known for it’s anti aging qualities.  Because it can greatly improve vascular health and strength, is it found to encourage hair growth.

Niacinamide:  Niacinamide is derived from whole grains and green vegetables.  It has been proven to stimulate hair growth in medical studies.  

Stinging Nettle: is a plant derived extract that is proven to help promote hair growth, even in the difficult situation of hormonal hair loss.  It also has been used since medieval times for inflammation. 

Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense):  Derived from a tree in India, this active ingredient can preserve the elasticity in skin and help skin retain hyaluronic acid levels in skin.  

Saw Palmetto:  Saw Palmetto is derived from a tree and is well known as an inflammatory and an immune system booster.  Saw Palmetto is shown to inhibit the body's production is DHT, a hormone that prevents hair growth.

Grape Seed Extract: Grape Seed Extract has been proven in studies to stimulate hair growth.  It also helps supress the hormone DHT, which can cause hair growth.  

Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF):  KGF is a protein that stimulates hair growth when added to hair follicles.  

You can read about all of our ingredients here.  





Feta Almond Watermelon Salad April 28 2017

Super easy, super delicious and a celebration of the flavors of the season.

Feta Almond Watermelon Salad

Prep time: 10 mins Total time: 10 mins


8 cups assorted baby salad greens
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
⅓ cup sliced toasted almonds
8 (1 and ½ inch thick chilled seedless watermelon slices, rinds removed)
1 to 1 and ½ cups blackberries
½ cup balsamic reduction


Place one watermelon steak on each plate.
Layer 1 cup salad greens on top.
Add blackberries, feta and almonds.
Top with a drizzle of Balsamic Reduction.
Chill until ready to serve.

Thank you to callmepmc.com for this amazing recipe.


Super Quick Menu Items for Healthier Skin April 28 2017

If you're like me, you conjure a lot of good menu ideas throughout the week and completely forget them all when you get to the grocery store.  Here's a template to help you determine what to put in your cart.  

Natural Skin Care: Advice, Ingredients, and What to Avoid April 27 2017

Comprehensive Guide to Natural Skin Care:

There is a lot of information out there regarding natural skin care, but let's start with the facts and what to looks for when focusing on the ingredients and skin care plan you'd like to have.  

While there is no shortage of studies, advice and information related to natural skin care, I'd first and foremost say to discern those that are experts vs. those that have an opinion.  There is a blogger around every corner making statements that are not backed by science.  The good news is, there are reputable studies and scientific advice readily available to you.  

Keep in mind two things:  Common sense can often prevail when considering a natural ingredient for your own natural skin care routine, and not every recommendation is good for everyone.  On the other side of it, just because something caused an adverse reaction to one person does not mean it’s bad for you. 

I read an article posted recently by an individual who did not had a strong background in health studies or skin care, but claimed that lemon on the skin is very hazardous.  This is not factually true.  It’s unfortunate that anyone can have a platform to make false claims.  While a particular ingredient was not suitable for this one person, it has many benefits for others. 

Keep in mind that almost all products that have been prepared for an inventory or store shelf have harsh chemicals and preservatives to extend their shelf life.  So while they may claim to include some attractive ingredients (Vitamin C, Retinol, DMAE, etc.) the positive qualities about these appealing ingredients is diminished or perhaps eliminated by the side effects of the harsh chemicals or preservatives also included. 

Per the FDA: “It’s important to understand that some cosmetics that are safe when people use them correctly may be unsafe when used the wrong way. Cosmetics must have any directions for use or warning statements needed to make sure people use the products safely. For example, some ingredients may be safe in products such as cleansers that we wash off the skin immediately, but not in products that we leave on the skin for hours. Similarly, ingredients that are safe for use on the hair or nails may be unsafe when used on the skin or near the eyes.”

The following ingredients are prohibited or restricted by FDA regulations:

Bithionol. The use of bithionol is prohibited because it may cause photocontact sensitization (21 CFR 700.11).

Chlorofluorocarbon propellants. The use of chlorofluorocarbon propellants in cosmetic aerosol products intended for domestic consumption is prohibited (21 CFR 700.23).

Chloroform. The use of chloroform in cosmetic products is prohibited because it causes cancer in animals and is likely to be harmful to human health, too. The regulation makes an exception for residual amounts from its use as a processing solvent during manufacture, or as a byproduct from the synthesis of an ingredient (21 CFR 700.18).

Halogenated salicylanilides (di-, tri-, metabromsalan and tetrachlorosalicylanilide). These are prohibited in cosmetic products because they may cause serious skin disorders (21 CFR 700.15).

Hexachlorophene. Because of its toxic effect and ability to penetrate human skin, hexachlorophene (HCP) may be used only when no other preservative has been shown to be as effective. The HCP concentration in a cosmetic may not exceed 0.1 percent, and it may not be used in cosmetics that are applied to mucous membranes, such as the lips (21 CFR 250.250).

Mercury compounds. Mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tend to accumulate in the body. They may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic problems. The use of mercury compounds in cosmetics is limited to eye area products at no more than 65 parts per million (0.0065 percent) of mercury calculated as the metal and is permitted only if no other effective and safe preservative is available. All other cosmetics containing mercury are adulterated and subject to regulatory action unless it occurs in a trace amount of less than 1 part per million (0.0001 percent) calculated as the metal and its presence is unavoidable under conditions of good manufacturing practice (21 CFR 700.13).

Methylene chloride. It causes cancer in animals and is likely to be harmful to human health, too (21 CFR 700.19).

Prohibited cattle materials. To protect against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as "mad cow disease," cosmetics may not be manufactured from, processed with, or otherwise contain, prohibited cattle materials. These materials include specified risk materials*, material from nonambulatory cattle, material from cattle not inspected and passed, or mechanically separated beef. Prohibited cattle materials do not include tallow that contains no more than 0.15 percent insoluble impurities, tallow derivatives, and hides and hide-derived products, and milk and milk products** (21 CFR 700.27).

Sunscreens in cosmetics. Use of the term "sunscreen" or similar sun protection wording in a product's labeling generally causes the product to be subject to regulation as a drug or a drug/cosmetic, depending on the claims. However, sunscreen ingredients may also be used in some cosmetic products to protect the products’ color. The labelling must also state why the sunscreen ingredient is used, for example, "Contains a sunscreen to protect product color." If this explanation isn’t present, the product may be subject to regulation as a drug (21 CFR 700.35). For more information on sunscreens, refer to Tanning Products.

Vinyl chloride. The use of vinyl chloride is prohibited as an ingredient of aerosol products, because it causes cancer and other health problems (21 CFR 700.14).

Zirconium-containing complexes. The use of zirconium-containing complexes in aerosol cosmetic products is prohibited because of their toxic effect on lungs of animals, as well as the formation of granulomas in human skin (21 CFR 700.16).

What about color additives?

Color additives are permitted in cosmetics only if FDA has approved them for the intended use. In addition, some may be used only if they are from batches that FDA has tested and certified. To learn more, see “Color Additives and Cosmetics.”

Here are six skin care ingredients that are legal in the US but are banned in other countries:

  1. Formaldehyde: This chemical is used as a preservative and also includes a group of substances known as “formaldehyde donors,” which effectively release formaldehyde into a product.

One of the most controversial of these donors is quaternium-15, which until recently was found in the popular baby shampoos. The American Academy of Dermatology warns that formaldehyde can cause severe allergic reactions. Canada has banned it in personal care products.

  1. Petroleum distillates: The same oil refineries that pump out oil for heating and cars also produce petroleum that is often found in mascaras sold in the United States. Petroleum distillates are used as emollients and are also found in eye shadow, lotions, creams, hairspray, and foundation makeup. They’ve been banned in the European Union.
  2. Hydroquinone: This bleaching agent is often used to lighten dark patches of skin

called hyperpigmentation, age spots, or liver spots. It has also been linked to lung irritation and tumors in mice. Canada and some Asian and African countries have banned the use of hydroquinone in skin products.

  1. BHA: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is used as a preservative in moisturizers, shaving creams, fragrances, and makeup, particularly lipsticks. It is linked to endocrine disruption and cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The EU prohibits its use in fragrances, and California requires a warning label on all products that contain BHA. On top of the human danger, it adversely affects the environment because it accumulates in water and kills wildlife.

  1. Parabens: These chemicals are used as preservatives in a variety of cosmetics. They are suspected endocrine disruptors and may interfere with male reproductive function. They’re commonly used in deodorants and antiperspirants and have been also linked to breast cancer. The EU banned parabens in 2012.
  2. Methyl cellosolve: This solvent is used in anti-aging creams, moisturizers, and serums. According to the EWG, methyl cellosolve is a neurotoxin that causes DNA mutation. It’s an obscure ingredient that is sometimes not explicitly listed on labels. It has been banned in Canada and restricted in the EU.

Below are some of the very best in natural skin care ingredients.  You could start incorporating some of these into your skin care routine, many of which you might already have in your own home.  Once you determine the ones you can most benefit from, you can build from there, and add botanicals and healthy active ingredients that help you reach your skin care goals:

Alpha Lipoic Acid:  Also know as ALA, this is a strong antioxidant, derived from a variety of vegetables. It is excellent for helping alleviate wrinkles, swelling, puffiness, and assist in shrinking pore size.

Coenzyme Q10:  Also known as ubiquinone, is plant derived and excellent for encouraging significant collagen production.

Grapeseed: Rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Great for hydration and aging skin.

Green Tea: Can decrease the risk of skin cancer and alleviates water retention in skin. Great for firming and toning.  Anti-viral and anti-bacterial. 

Licorice: Has been used as an Aryuvedic remedy, is a strong antioxidant, and aids in lightening, toning, firming, and cellulite reduction.

Niacinamide:  Improves skin color, decreases inflammation, improves blotchiness, and can lighten skin per the National Library of Medicine.

Oats: Full of vitamins, minerals and lipids. Has anti-inflammatory benefits and contains antioxidants.

Retinol:  Increases collagen production. Retinol is vitamin A which is a natural ingredient, not to be confused with the prescription drug Retin-A.

Soy:  Great for healing, anti aging, and preventing future damage.

Vitamin C:  Known to prevent aging of the skin,and also to repair damage.

Willow Bark:  Naturally derived and contains the natural version of salicylic acid. Promotes cell turnover, exfoliation, acne prevention, and the reduction of wrinkles.

Don't be fooled by cosmetic advertising: Myriad creams, lotions, and potions at the drugstore and cosmetics counter make promises they could never deliver on. (Trust us, all the fancy products in the world will never turn the tide of aging.) Eye creams, for instance, rarely vary in formulation from your basic facial moisturizer. Our recommendation is to keep it simple: All you need is a basic cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and broad-spectrum sunscreen to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Everything else is just dressing.

Tips to keep in mind when shopping for natural skin care products:

  1. Natural does not necessarily mean all natural. Just because a product contains an appealing natural ingredient, does not mean it has completely eliminated some synthetic or chemicals ingredients.  Read the label and if you’re not sure, go to gov or ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
  2. Look for recycled, nontoxic packaging. I can guarantee that all of our packaging and labeling is recycled and eco friendly.  If you’re not sure about another company, inquire to find out more.
  3. Avoid artificial fragrance and colors. While it may not seem like a big deal, more than ninety five percent of the chemicals in synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals include: benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and a slew of other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders and allergies—some of which are cited on the EPA’s hazardous waste list.
  4. A healthy lifestyle is a very important part of a healthy looking outward appearance. Many times, skin and hair issues are caused by something going on internally.  Hair loss can often be attributed to hormonal issues, and those aren’t always limited to older women.  Even young people can have hormonal issues, especially if they are consuming products that can adversely effect their hormones.  Start with eating fresh foods, drinking enough water, getting sufficient sleep, and doing a review of the medications you currently take.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact us direct at info@claribelskincare.com, or call 770-568-8921.







Vitamin C for Skin April 26 2017

How amazing is vitamin C for skin?  Everyone who has ever researched skin care is aware that Vitamin C is considered one of the top ingredients for better skin care.  We have done extensive research, and we’ve combined our results with proven medical and clinical results to give you some clear answers.  We’re excited to break down all of the information for you here.  Whether you would like to improve the condition of your skin due to aging issues or suffer from other skin care ailments and concerns, it’s quite likely that Vitamin C can be very helpful to you reaching your skin care goals.

There are some baseline ingredients that are very well regarded and those that you should be incorporating into your skin care routine.  Vitamin C is definitely one of those ingredients that will deliver fast, natural results. 

Vitamin C for Pigmentation Improvements & Anti Aging Concerns

There a variety of types of vitamin C for skin on the market, and rest assured you can benefit from many of them for better looking skin.  Each one is considered a valuable antioxidant and can deliver exceptional discoloration reversal and anti aging benefits that will help you now and in the future as it can provide preventative measures.

We offer a couple of very efficient and pure products that contain vitamin C that you’ll benefit greatly from.  One is our Anti Aging Skin Care Treatment Powder (ingredients: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Citric Acid, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline (Plan Derived Protein Collagen), Frankincense Essential Oil, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide, Retinol (Vitamin A)), which can be added to your favorite lotion, cream or serum, and also our Anti Aging Facial Scrub (ingredients: Ascorbic Acid, Coconut Oil, DMAE, Edelweiss Extract, Fermented Coconut Fruit Natural Preservative, Ferulic Acid, Mango Butter, Resveratrol, Sugar Fine Granulated, Valencia Orange Essential Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax). 

Glorious Ascorbic Acid

The most recommended vitamin c variation is ascorbic acid, and it’s also known as l-ascorbic acid.  It is the most common and researched form of vitamin C for your skin. 

While ascorbic acid has a short shelf life if introduced to water or sunlight, it is often used to help create more supple, firmer, younger looking skin.  It can also help lighten sun spots and hyperpigmentation.  It also has the ability to protect skin from the environment and future sun damage.  

Studies show that even low amounts of vitamin c for the skin do offer significant antioxidant benefits. 

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that may also help rebuild collagen. In laboratory studies, vitamin C seems to reduce or even protect against damage to skin cells caused by UV radiation. Vitamin C also seems to help skin cells survive after exposure to UV rays.

There are two primary forms of Vitamin C used in skin care - ascorbic acid and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Vitamin C is highly vulnerable to oxidation and can quickly lose it’s effectiveness if exposed to air and light.

These forms of Vitamin C will bring multiple benefits to your skin, preventing future damage but also working to repair the effects of aging and sun on your skin, promote wound healing, and control inflammation.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) is transformed into Vitamin C when applied to the skin. MAP will improve skin elasticity, and to decrease wrinkles through stimulation of collagen synthesis. It also reduces redness, promotes wound healing, and suppresses pigmentation. Because the body control mechanisms limit the amount of ingested vitamin C available to skin, topical application becomes an efficient way to benefit from all forms of Vitamin C.

In medical studies, individuals with photo-aged skin were treated with topical ascorbic acid serum once a day for 2 weeks. 80% experienced a score decrease of 2 or 3 grades, according to the dermatologist. 75% rated their overall satisfaction as excellent or very good. Dyspigmentation, surface roughness, and fine lines on the treated side improved significantly. The conclusion of this particular studies shows that vitamin C is an effective for the treatment of photo-aged skin and does not cause any obvious side effects.

Vitamin C is one of the naturally occurring antioxidants in nature. Most plants and animals are able to synthesize Vitamin C in vivo from glucose. Humans and certain other vertebrates lack the enzyme L-glucono-gamma lactone oxidase required for in vivo synthesis of it. We need to acquire it from natural sources such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, papaya and broccoli. The word “Ascorbus” means no Scurvy. Traditionally, Vitamin C rich foods like lemons were carried by sailors on long journeys to avoid Scurvy, a disease of bleeding gums. In 1937, Dr. Albert Szent Goyrgi was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in isolating the Vitamin C molecule from red peppers and identifying its role in Scurvy.

Vitamin C has a potential anti-inflammatory activity and can be used in conditions like acne vulgaris and rosacea. It can promote wound healing and prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

It’s best to apply Vitamin C is by adding a pure powdered form to you cream or serum daily. Mixing it fresh will ensure its potency and prevent the opportunity for it to oxidize and lose it beneficial qualities. Even serums and products on the market require serious consideration, as they will usually contain chemicals and synthetics to stabilize the Vitamin C, then making the product not as good for you if it has to contain those ingredients just to support the Vitamin C content. An (expensive) alternative to using Vitamin C fresh each day is to find products with Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, so there isn’t the concern of degradation as with using Vitamin C. As noted above, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is transformed into Vitamin C when applied to the skin.

Alpha Arbutin: A Safe & Effective Natural Skin Lightener April 06 2017

Alpha Arbutin is completely safe and naturally derived from the leaves of the Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).  It has been proven in clinical studies to prevent the formation of melanin and lighten the skin.  This is great news for those who not only wish to improve their skin and eliminate pigmentation issues, but continual use will also prevent built up of pigmentation caused by sun damage and aging. 

Alpha Arbutin is considered a safe alternative to hydroquinone, and is a valuable antioxidant that benefits skin greatly.  While others might try to say that there could be side effects, it's a proven medical fact per studies recorded in the NCBI that there are no supportive findings to suggest that alpha arbutin is anything but very safe and effective. 

Arbutin is used in skin lightening treatments designed for long term and regular use. An active agent in brands of skin lightening preparations, it is more expensive than traditional skin lightening ingredients like hydroquinone, which is now banned in many countries. In vitro studies of human melanocytes exposed to arbutin at concentrations below 300 μg/mL reported decreased tyrosinase activity and melanin content with little evidence of cytotoxicity.

While there are sources that suggest that there is not enough evidence to suggest that arbutin is effective - it would be true that they haven't done their research.  There are several significant studies that show alpha arbutin works very well and is a worthwhile alternative to harsh and synthetic skin lightening ingredients.

Beautiful Day Here at Marietta Square April 01 2017

Rosemary, Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Salad March 27 2017

Rosemary Chicken, Bacon and Avocado salad

yield: serves 2 total time: 35 minutes


4 slices thick-cut bacon
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
6 cups spring greens and/or butter lettuce
1 bunch watercress
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, thinly sliced

Rosemary Vinaigrette: 

2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper


Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook until it's crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess grease.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cover with the rosemary. In the same skillet, over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until golden and crisp on both sides, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and let sit for a moment while you assemble the salad, then slice it.

Toss the greens with the watercress and the tomatoes. Top with the sliced chicken, the bacon and the avocado. Drizzle with the rosemary vinaigrette!

Whisk together the mustard, oil and vinegar. Whisk in the rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Thank you to howsweeteat.com for this amazing recipe.  :)


Fruit Water Recipe March 24 2017

Orange-Kiwi Infused Water

2 cups of water or sparkling water
2 cups of ice
1 orange, sliced
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced


Raspberry-Mint Infused Water

2 cups of water or sparkling water
2 cups of ice
1 cup raspberries, whole
handful of mint


Blueberry-Lime Infused Water

2 cups of water or sparkling water
2 cups of ice
1 cup blueberries, whole
1 1/2 limes, sliced


Strawberry-Basil Infused Water

2 cups of water or sparkling water
2 cups of ice
1 cup strawberries, sliced
handful basil


Lemon-Cucumber Infused Water

2 cups of water or sparkling water
2 cups of ice
1 lemon, sliced
10 thin slices of cucumber


“The Everything” Infused Water

2 cups of water or sparkling water
2 cups of ice
Mix together each of the above ingredients for a super-fruity infused water


Thank you to sheuncovered.com for their beautiful post.  

Can You Remember... March 24 2017

Be true to that inner voice that knows who you were meant to be.


30 Ways to Practice Self Care March 24 2017

We're all guilty of putting the needs of friends and family first - so here's a comprehensive list of suggestions for you to conduct self care on a daily basis.  One option for each day - give it a try!  Thank you to britstrawbridge.com for sharing this health and wellness post. 

Re-read a favourite book
Diffuse essential oils
Take a walk
Take an epsom salt bath
Light a scented candle a let it fill your home
Make a homemade body scrub & exfoliate
Colour or write in a journal
Listen to your favourite album growing up
Make a hot drink with all the fixins
Get into bed early
Bake something
Read inspiring quotes
Organize your makeup
Cozy up in a few blankets
Buy yourself flowers
Turn off your phone for a few hours
Say no
Do your nails or go get a manicure/pedicure
Sit in the sunshine
Treat yourself to your favourite dessert
Play with your pet
Do yoga
Do a DIY project
Deep condition your hair
Plan a stay-cation
Start a gratitude journal
Watch the sunset
Watch one of your favourite movies

Benefits of Pomegranate Seed Oil & Extract March 23 2017

Pomegranate seed oil and extract is very rich in antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins. This powerful antioxidant reduces free radicals formed by the sun, pollution, and heat.  It's known to stimulate “keratinocytes”, major cells found in the outer layer of the skin. This helps to reverse skin damage, revive skin and reveal a more youthful appearance.

Pomegranate seed oil and extract contains a unique polyunsaturated oil called “punicic acid”, an omega 5 fatty acid, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. The oil fends off free radicals to keep skin ageing at bay. It also provides protection against sun damage. A study concluded that pomegranate seed oil significantly decreased the occurrence of skin cancer in mice exposed to cancer- causing chemicals.

Our anti aging facial oil contains pomegranate seed oil and some other impressive oils to help keep skin supple and healthy. 

Greek Pasta Salad March 23 2017

I think my favorite pasta salad is this Greek variation, which can be edited based on the ingredients you have on hand.  

pick your pasta

First, you can use whatever pasta you want in this salad. I love rotini because it’s fun to eat and the kids love it. I also love the way the dressing gets caught in the crannies and infuses the pasta with flavor. Since all the other ingredients are chopped, I definitely suggest going with something bite-sized (as opposed to spaghetti noodles).

an easy red wine vinaigrette

This red wine vinaigrette is so simple and flavorful, you can throw it together right before you need it. And, it comes together in minutes with just a few pantry ingredients. Save the recipe because you’ll want it on all your other salads, too!

A fresh and easy Greek Pasta Salad just in time for summer! This crowd-pleasing side dish is tasty with grilled meats and at all your backyard barbecues.Save

fresh veggies

I love the classic combination of cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and olives. I use Persian cucumbers because they taste the best (as if I just picked them from my own garden). They also have soft skins (no peeling) and minimal seeds (no seeding). Hothouse or Japanese cucumbers are another good choice if you can’t find Persians.

In traditional Greek salads, chopping up a tomato is the norm. Since grocery store tomatoes can be unpredictable, I go with my favorite brand of grape tomatoes and slice them lengthwise. I also use red onion and kalamata olives, but you are welcome to substitute your favorite onions and olives.

feta, glorious feta

Be sure to buy a CHUNK of feta cheese, not the crumbled kind. It’s just not the same. The goal is uniformly cubed salty bites of feta because they look great and taste even better. It really brings the salad together!

A fresh and easy Greek Pasta Salad just in time for summer! This crowd-pleasing side dish is tasty with grilled meats and at all your backyard barbecues.Save

This is one pasta salad your guests will rave over! It is simply the BEST with your favorite summery grilled meats (find my favorite grilled chicken recipe here) or at any potluck or picnic you are attending.

easy greek pasta salad

A fresh and easy Greek Pasta Salad just in time for summer! This crowd-pleasing side dish is tasty with grilled meats and at all your backyard barbecues.Save
Easy Greek Pasta Salad
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

A fresh and easy Greek Pasta Salad just in time for summer! This crowd-pleasing side dish is tasty with grilled meats and at all your backyard barbecues.


1 pound rotini or other small pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces Persian cucumbers, diced (about 3)
¼ cup sliced red onion
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 (8 ounce) chunk feta cheese, cubed
½ cup pitted kalamata olives


To cook the pasta, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water.
Meanwhile, to make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, feta, and olives. Drizzle with dressing. Toss gently until uniformly combined and serve.

Thank you OhSweetBasil.com for posting this amazing recipe http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/easy-greek-pasta-salad-recipe

Nobody's Perfect, Be Kind To Yourself March 23 2017

I Am Grateful For... November 09 2016

How can an attitude of gratitude help your health and happiness?

Cultivating a regular practice of gratitude can keep us healthier and happier. Studies have shown that keeping a gratitude journal increases our determination, attention, enthusiasm, optimism and energy levels. We see a greater improvement in exercise patterns, quality of sleep and lower levels of anxiety and depression.

When in a state of gratitude a brain scan shows us higher levels of activity in the hypothalamus which controls an assortment of essential bodily functions such as eating, drinking and sleeping. The hypothalamus also has a large influence on your metabolism and stress levels. Feelings of gratitude also directly activate the brains regions associated with neurotransmitter dopamine which feels good to get and is responsible for reward-driven learning. This means your brain becomes engaged in a virtuous cycle, looking for more things to be grateful for to receive a dose of dopamine again and again.

Every thought we have produces chemicals in the brain; negative thoughts produce chemicals which slow down the brain, reduce our brains productivity and may lead to depression. Positive thoughts produce chemicals in the brain that creates a sense of well being and allows the brain to function at peak capacity.

Try This:

Let this image inspire you to pick out at LEAST 5 things you feel grateful for today.  Do this every day and you mood will be lighter, and you're instantly feel happier.

Thank you to our friends at Glowellness.com.