Natural Beauty & Healthy Living

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake & Buttercream Frosting January 24 2019

We had the best time making this gluten free cake with buttercream frosting!  Just when you think the indulgent holidays are over, think again!  This is delicious and beautiful - a perfect choice for that up and coming gathering you're going to.


For the Cake:

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
1 cup Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa -- check brand for GF
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups sugar -- divided
2/3 cup butter -- softened
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract -- gluten-free

For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

6 tablespoons butter -- softened
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
½ teaspoon instant espresso
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8" or 9" round pans with cooking spray and lining the bottom of each pan with parchment.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the multi-purpose flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and 1/2 cup of the sugar.
Place the butter and 1 cup of the sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, buttermilk, water, and vanilla into your mixer bowl, and mix until well blended.
Blend in the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, beating for 1 minute and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
Once all of the dry ingredients have been mixed in, beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, to make a smooth batter.
Pour the batter equally into the prepared pans. Using a kitchen scale helps to get the batter evenly divided.
Bake the cakes for 30 to 33 minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes past the point where a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven, and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn pans over onto a rack and cool cakes completely.
Once cooled, frost cakes, or serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or whipped cream.

For the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

In bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix confectioner’s sugar with cocoa and espresso.
Add vanilla to milk. Blend sugar mixture with butter and vanilla milk, alternating between the two, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth.


Calories: 2743kcal | Carbohydrates: 425g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 121g | Saturated Fat: 71g | Cholesterol: 597mg | Sodium: 1758mg | Potassium: 1843mg | Fiber: 31g | Sugar: 319g | Vitamin A: 73.6% | Calcium: 62.1% | Iron: 79.2%

Unexpected Rewards January 24 2019

Caring for others has a hidden and pleasant reward: it makes us feel loved when we share some love.  What are some things you're going to try to do today to make others feel cared for?


It's Okay To Be Bold Sometimes January 24 2019

It's okay to be bold sometimes.  That doesn't mean loud, or harsh, or unpleasant.  Let's remember that we teach people how to treat us.  If you need to, be bold and stand your ground.


Dream Big: The Benefits of Goal Setting January 15 2019

Dream big. You know the old "shoot for the moon" saying, but it's also a fact that setting goals can help up get outside of our comfort zone, get comfortable with risk, and find pleasure in change and challenges. What are your big goals for 2019 and beyond? #liveinspired #happiness #positive #youcandoit#findyourstrong #positivethinking #goals #goalsetting

Your Value January 14 2019

Pomegranate Fruit Water January 14 2019

Looking for a fun and nutritious alternative to lemon water?  Pomegranate is a great choice, as it is considered one of the healthiest fruits on the planet.

Pomegranate has been proven to fight cancer, reduce hypertension, relieves osteoarthritis, boosts heart health, improves memory, provides lots of antioxidants, and fights inflammation.

Give this pomegranate water a try, you'll love it!


Fresh whole pomegranate. Lime. Fresh ginger. Ice and water.


  • Cut off the top of the pomegranate. Cut gently along the ridges from the top to the bottom. Open the fruit. Then remove the seeds from the fruit and place in a jug.
  • Peel the ginger and cut into thin slices.
  • Rinse the lime and cut into slices. Add the lime with the ginger to the jug.
  • Fill the jug with 2 liters of water and serve with ice cubes and leave to infuse in the fridge. The longer it infuses the stronger the taste.

The Benefits of Pomegranate / Dr. Axe

The True Cost of Multi-Tasking January 14 2019

Does this describe you? While you are on a teleconference call you are writing up your quarterly report, checking your email, and texting your friend about where you are meeting for lunch. You would say that you are good at multi-tasking, right? You might want to re-think your strategy. Recent estimates are that you can lose up to 40% of your productivity if you multi-task.

Task switching, not multi-tasking -- The term multi-tasking is actually a misnomer. People can't actually do more than one task at a time. Instead we switch tasks. So the term that is used in the research is "task switching".

Task switching is "expensive" -- There has been a lot of research on task switching. Here's what we know from the research:

  • It takes more time to get tasks completed if you switch between them than if you do them one at a time.
  • You make more errors when you switch than if you do one task at a time.
  • If the tasks are complex then these time and error penalties increase.
  • Each task switch might waste only 1/10th of a second, but if you do a lot of switching in a day it can add up to a loss of 40% of your productivity.
  • Task switching involves several parts of your brain: Brain scans during task switching show activity in four major areas: the pre-frontal cortex is involved in shifting and focusing your attention, and selecting which task to do when. The posterior parietal lobe activates rules for each task you switch to, the anterior cingulate gyrus monitors errors, and the pre-motor cortex is preparing for you to move in some way.

I know it's popular to think that you are multi-tasking, but the research is clear that people actually can't multi-task, with one specific exception that I’ll get to in a minute.

One thing at a time -- For many years the psychology research has shown that people can only attend to one task at a time. Let me be even more specific. The research shows that people can attend to only one cognitive task at a time. You can only be thinking about one thing at a time. You can only be conducting one mental activity at a time. So you can be talking or you can be reading. You can be reading or you can be typing. You can be listening or you can be reading. One thing at a time.

We fool ourselves -- We are pretty good at switching back and forth quickly, so we THINK we are actually multi-tasking, but in reality we are not.

The one exception -- The only exception that the research has uncovered is that if you are doing a physical task that you have done very very often and you are very good at, then you can do that physical task while you are doing a mental task. So if you are an adult and you have learned to walk then you can walk and talk at the same time.

Then again, maybe there isn't an exception -- Even this doesn't work very well, though. In a study by Hyman et. al. in 2009, people talking on their cell phones while walking, ran into people more often and didn’t notice what was going on around them. The researchers had someone in a clown suit ride a unicycle. The people talking on a cell phone were much less likely to notice or remember the clown.

But young people can multi-task, right? – If you think that it’s only older people that can’t multi-task, think again. A study at Stanford University demonstrates that multi-tasking doesn't work, even with college students. Clifford Nass's study found that when people are asked to deal with multiple streams of information they can't pay attention to them, can't remember as well, and don't switch as well as they thought they would – even college students.

So if multi-tasking is not effective what should you do? How do you effectively cope with all the input and distractions you have in your life, especially at work?

1: Use the 80/20 rule -- 20% of the work you do gives 80% of the impact and effectiveness. We often make the mistake of thinking that being busy means being effective. And the busier we get the more multi-tasking we end up doing. According to the research the result is that you are actually less effective. Focus on identifying the 20% of your tasks that are really effective, and do them one at a time.

2: Implement "batch processing" -- Do you sit at your desk with your email open and then get sucked into reading and answering emails all day long every time they come in? This encourages multi-tasking. Instead, try batch processing your emails. Decide on certain times of the day (in the morning, at noon, in the late afternoon, for example) that you are going to check and deal with email. Some people (Timothy Ferriss, for example, author of The 4-Hour Workweek) get really radical with this idea. Ferriss advocates that you check email once a day or less! If you are like me, that radical an idea is probably not feasible, but experiment with this idea of batch processing. You can use this not only for email, but for anything that is usually a distraction for you, such as making phone calls, checking voicemail, texting, etc. If you do batch processing you can then eliminate that task as a multi-tasking distractor during the other parts of your day.

3. Work on your most important tasks first -- I think one of the reasons that we give in to multi-tasking is that we feel more and more anxious as the day goes on that we have not accomplished what we wanted to, or what was important to us. So identify at the start of each day (or better yet, at the end of the day before) one or two really important things that you want to accomplish during that one day. Then do those tasks first. The sense of relief and accomplishment is immense, and you will find that you are more relaxed as the day goes on. You will not feel the anxious drive to do more and more and more, and it will be easier to resist multi-tasking.

4. Use concentrated time -- The opposite of multi-tasking is concentrated time. So if you are trying to stop multi-tasking you must start doing the opposite -- give yourself blocks of time during which you are only working on one task. The idea of setting aside an entire day to work on that presentation you have coming up, may seem like it is impossible right now, but it doesn't have to be an entire day. Start by taking one hour. Close down your email and all your other software. Turn off your phone or turn down the volume. Close the door to your office if you have a door. If you don't have a door then figure out a place to go where people won't find you. Then take that hour or 2 hours or half day or full day and work ONLY on the one task. You will be amazed at how much you will accomplish and how energized it makes you feel.

5. Leave blank spaces – The research on creativity tells us that it is the pre-frontal cortex that puts ideas together. But the pre-frontal cortex can only work on one thing at a time. When you are multi-tasking you are taxing your pre-frontal cortex. You will never solve problems if your pre-frontal cortex doesn't get quiet time to work on integrating information. This may sound paradoxical, but if you STOP thinking about a problem or particular topic you will then be able to solve it! This means you have to make time for blank spaces in your day. You need to have time in your day when you are doing "nothing" as far as your brain is concerned. Not talking, not reading, not writing. You can go for a walk, get exercise, listen to music, or stare into space. The more blank space the more work you will get done! Multi-tasking is the enemy of blank space.

6. Accept it -- The first step to change any behavior is to accept it! So if you want to stop multi-tasking the first thing you need to do is accept that you are multi-tasking and that multi-tasking is not effective. That might be the hardest step of all. We are actually addicted to the constant buzz of activity that multi-tasking gives us (see my blog post on dopamine). So just take a deep breath and accept that you've got this habit along with most of the people you know. Just noticing when you are doing it and saying, "oh, there I go again" will actually help tremendously in changing it. Putting your attention on what you want to change is a vital first step.

7. Go “off grid” to re-calibrate – Last year I spent a week "off the grid" on an island in Lake Michigan. No internet, no email, no cell phones. I spent time on my computer (updating my iPhoto albums, etc), but not communicating with anyone online. It was different, interesting, and strange. I was actually glad to get back to the grid. But the experience made me think. The major difference for me was that I stopped "multi-tasking".

When I was off the grid I found that I started doing one task at a time. I would do one thing for several minutes, and in many cases several hours. I believe that being online encourages task switching. When you can go from email to chat to texting to twitter to phone to facebook you switch tasks more. When I was off the grid all my communication channels were gone. So instead I spent time with one task and with one program. One day I worked in iPhoto for 3 hours straight. I think this week off grid “calibrated” my sense of what normal task switching is.

Less task switching = more happiness? -- . I have found since then that I do less task switching. I’m not perfect. I fall into it sometimes, but since my week of re-calibration I follow the guidelines above more easily. I also believe that I am less agitated. It's my hypothesis that task switching not only wastes time and increases errors. Task switching causes fatigue, exhaustion and agitation.

What do you think? Have you been able to do less task switching? Have you tried?

It's Never Too Late January 10 2019

Enjoy 35% Off & Free Shipping In The US December 18 2018

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Benefits & Suggestions December 18 2018

You've seen inspirational quotes that encourage you to get out and do something strange—something you wouldn't normally do—but getting out of your routine just takes so much work. There's actually a lot of science that explains why it's so hard to break out of your comfort zone, and why it's good for you when you do it. With a little understanding and a few adjustments, you can break away from your routine and do great things.

It's important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone, and when you do, it's kind of a big deal. But what is the "comfort zone" exactly? Why is it that we tend to get comfortable with the familiar and our routines, but when we're introduced to new and interesting things, the glimmer fades so quickly? Finally, what benefit do we derive from breaking out of our comfort zone, and how do we do it? Answering those questions is a tall order, but it's not too hard to do. Let's get started.

Simply, your comfort zone is a behvioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. It provides a state of mental security. You benefit in obvious ways: regular happiness, low anxiety, and reduced stress.

The idea of the comfort zone goes back to a classic experiment in psychology. Back in 1908, psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John D. Dodson explained that a state of relative comfort created a steady level of performance In order to maximize performance, however, we need a state of relative anxiety—a space where our stress levels are slightly higher than normal. This space is called "Optimal Anxiety," and it's just outside our comfort zone. Too much anxiety and we're too stressed to be productive, and our performance drops off sharply.

The idea of optimal anxiety isn't anything new. Anyone who's ever pushed themselves to get to the next level or accomplish something knows that when you really challenge yourself, you can turn up amazing results. More than a few studies support the point. However, pushing too hard can actually cause a negative result, and reinforce the idea that challenging yourself is a bad idea. It's our natural tendency to return to an anxiety neutral, comfortable state. You can understand why it's so hard to kick your brain out of your comfort zone.

Even so, your comfort zone is neither a good or bad thing. It's a natural state that most people trend towards. Leaving it means increased risk and anxiety, which can have positive and negative results (which we'll get to in a moment), but don't demonize your comfort zone as something holding you back. We all need that head-space where we're least anxious and stressed so we can process the benefits we get when we leave it.

What You Get When You Break Free and Try New Things

Optimal anxiety is that place where your mental productivity and performance reach their peak. Still, "increased performance" and "enhanced productivity" just sound like "do more stuff." What do you really get when you're willing to step outside of your comfort zone?

You'll be more productive. Comfort kills productivity because without the sense of unease that comes from having deadlines and expectations, we tend to phone it in and do the minimum required to get by. We lose the drive and ambition to do more and learn new things. We also fall into the "work trap," where we feign "busy" as a way to stay in our comfort zones and avoid doing new things. Pushing your personal boundaries can help you hit your stride sooner, get more done, and find smarter ways to work.
You'll have an easier time dealing with new and unexpected changes. In this article at The New York Times, Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, explains that one of the worst things we can do is pretend fear and uncertainty don't exist. By taking risks in a controlled fashion and challenging yourself to things you normally wouldn't do, you can experience some of that uncertainty in a controlled, manageable environment. Learning to live outside your comfort zone when you choose to can prep you for life changes that force you out of it.

You'll find it easier to push your boundaries in the future. Once you start stepping out of your comfort zone, it gets easier over time. This same NYT article explains that as you step out of your comfort zone, you'll become accustomed to that state of optimal anxiety. "Productive discomfort," as they call it, becomes more normal to you, and you're willing to push farther before your performance falls off. This idea is well illustrated in this infographic at Future Science Leaders. At the bottom, you'll see that as you challenge yourself, your comfort zone adjusts so what was difficult and anxiety-inducing becomes easier as you repeat it.

You'll find it easier to brainstorm and harness your creativity. This is a soft benefit, but it's fairly common knowledge (and it's easily reproducible) that seeking new experiences, learning new skills, and opening the door to new ideas inspire us and educate us in a way that little else does. Trying new things can make us reflect on our old ideas and where they clash with our new knowledge, and inspire us to learn more and challenge comfirmation bias, our tendency to only seek out information we already agree with. Even in the short term, a positively uncomfortable experience can help us brainstorm, see old problems in a new light, and tackle the challenges we face with new energy.

The benefits you get after stepping outside of your comfort zone can linger. There's the overall self-improvement you get through the skills you're learning, the new foods you're trying, the new country you're visiting, and the new job you're interviewing for. There's also the soft mental benefits you get from broadening your horizons.

How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Outside your comfort zone can be a good place to be, as long as you don't tip the scales too far. It's important to remember there's a difference between the kind of controlled anxiety we're talking about and the very real anxiety that many people struggle with every day. Everyone's comfort zone is different, and what may expand your horizons may paralyze someone else. Remember, optimal anxiety can bring out your best, but too much is a bad thing.

Here are some ways to break out (and by proxy, expand) your comfort zone without going too far:

Do everyday things differently. Take a different route to work. Try a new restaurant without checking Yelp first. Go vegetarian for a week, or a month. Try a new operating system. Recalibrate your reality. Whether the change you make is large or small, make a change in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis. Look for the perspective that comes from any change, even if it's negative. Don't be put off if things don't work out the way you planned.

Take your time making decisions. Sometimes slowing down is all it takes to make you uncomfortable—especially if speed and quick thinking are prized in your work or personal life. Slow down, observe what's going on, take your time to interpret what you see, and then intervene. Sometimes just defending your right to make an educated decision can push you out of your comfort zone. Think, don't just react.
Trust yourself and make snap decisions. We're contradicting ourselves, but there's a good reason. Just as there are people who thrive on snap decisions, others are more comfortable weighing all of the possible options several times, over and over again. Sometimes making a snap call is in order, just to get things moving. Doing so can help you kickstart your personal projects and teach you to trust your judgement. It'll also show you there's fallout to quick decisions as well as slow ones.

Do it in small steps. It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone. You get the same benefits whether you go in with both feet as you do if you start slow, so don't be afraid to start slow. If you're socially anxious, don't assume you have to muster the courage to ask your crush on a date right away, just say hello to them and see where you can go from there. Identify your fears, and then face them step by step.

There are lots of other ways to stretch your personal boundaries. You could learn a new language or skill. Learning a new language has multiple benefits, many of which extend to learning any new skill. Connect with people that inspire you, or volunteer with an organization that does great work. Travel, whether you go around the block or across the globe. If you've lived your whole life seeing the world from your front door, you're missing out. Visiting new and different places is perhaps one of the best ways to really broaden your perspectives, and it doesn't have to be expensive or difficult to do. The experiences you have may be mind-blowing or regrettable, but that doesn't matter. The point is that you're doing it, and you're pushing yourself past the mental blocks that tell you to do nothing.

Trying new things is difficult. If it weren't, breaking out of your comfort zone would be easy and we'd do it all the time. It's just as important to understand how habits form and how we can break them as it is to press yourself out of your comfort zone by doing specific things.

Why It's Important to Return To Your Comfort Zone from Time to Time

You can't live outside of your comfort zone all the time. You need to come back from time to time to process your experiences. The last thing you want is for the new and interesting to quickly become commonplace and boring. This phenomenon, called hedonistic adaptation, is the natural tendency to be impressed by new things only to have the incredible become ordinary after a short time. It's why we can have access to the greatest repository of human knowledge ever created (the internet) at our fingertips (on our smartphones) and still get so bored that all we think of is how quickly we can get newer, faster access. In one way it drives us forward, but in another it keeps us from appreciating the subtle and the everyday.

You can fight this by trying new, smaller things. Ordering something new at a restaurant where you get the same thing every visit can be eye-opening the same way visiting a new country can be, and both push you out of your comfortable spaces. Diversify the challenges you embrace so you don't just push your boundaries in the same direction. If you've been learning Latin-based languages and you find yourself bored, switch gears to a language with a completely different set of characters. If you've taken up running, instead of just trying to run longer and farther, try challenging yourself to run on different terrain. You still get the challenge, but you broaden your horizons in a different way.

Take It Slow, and Make Stretching Your Boundaries a Habit Of Its Own

The point of stepping out of your comfort zone is to embrace new experiences and to get to that state of optimal anxiety in a controlled, managed way, not to stress yourself out. Take time to reflect on your experiences so you can reap the benefits and apply them to your day to day activities. Then do something else interesting and new. Make it a habit if you can. Try something new every week, or every month. Our own Adam Dachis has committed himself to doing something weird and new every week, just to test his boundaries.

Similarly, don't limit yourself to big, huge experiences. Maybe meditation pushes you out of your comfort zone just as much as bungee jumping. Try the former if you've already done the latter. The goal isn't to become an adrenaline junkie—you just want to learn to learn what you're really capable of. That's another reason why it's important to return to a comfortable state sometimes and just relax. Just don't forget to bring back as much as you can carry from those inspired, creative, productive, and slightly uncomfortable moments when you do.

The Power of Positive Thinking December 18 2018

Oh the power of a positive outlook and a hopeful attitude. A medical study at John Hopkins determined that smiling - even fake smiling - can calm a patients heart rate, improve blood pressure, and spark "happy" signals in the brain. 
What big, exciting plans to you have for the new year? #happiness#positivevibes #happy #youcandoit#internaltransformation #onedayatatime#breathe #seizetheday #positive


Practicing Mindfulness: The Vast Benefits of Chillin' Per Harvard Study December 14 2018

Practicing Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness - what kind of emotion does that conjure in you?  Reluctance? A calming sensation?  Not everyone thinks they can benefit from meditation and mindfulness, but a recent Harvard study suggests that the benefits for the general population are a long list.


Researchers study how it seems to change the brain in depressed patients

In 2015, 16.1 million Americans reported experiencing major depression during the previous year, often struggling to function while grappling with crippling darkness and despair.

There’s an arsenal of treatments at hand, including talk therapy and antidepressant medications, but what’s depressing in itself is that they don’t work for every patient.

“Many people don’t respond to the frontline interventions,” said Benjamin Shapero, an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Depression Clinical and Research Program. “Individual cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful for many people; antidepressant medications help many people. But it’s also the case that many people don’t benefit from them as well. There’s a great need for alternative approaches.”

Shapero is working with Gaëlle Desbordes, an instructor in radiology at HMS and a neuroscientist at MGH’s Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, to explore one alternative approach: mindfulness-based meditation.

In recent decades, public interest in mindfulness meditation has soared. Paralleling, and perhaps feeding, the growing popular acceptance has been rising scientific attention. The number of randomized controlled trials — the gold standard for clinical study — involving mindfulness has jumped from one in the period from 1995‒1997 to 11 from 2004‒2006, to a whopping 216 from 2013‒2015, according to a recent article summarizing scientific findings on the subject.

Studies have shown benefits against an array of conditions both physical and mental, including irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. But some of those findings have been called into question because studies had small sample sizes or problematic experimental designs. Still, there are a handful of key areas — including depression, chronic pain, and anxiety — in which well-designed, well-run studies have shown benefits for patients engaging in a mindfulness meditation program, with effects similar to other existing treatments.

“There are a few applications where the evidence is believable. But the effects are by no means earth-shattering,” Desbordes said. “We’re talking about moderate effect size, on par with other treatments, not better. And then there’s a bunch of other things under study with preliminary evidence that is encouraging but by no means conclusive. I think that’s where it’s at. I’m not sure that is exactly how the public understands it at this point.”

Researcher Gaelle Desbordes is probing mindfulness meditation’s effect on depression, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to take before and after images of the brains of depressed patients who’ve learned to meditate. The work seeks to understand the internal brain processes affected by mindfulness meditation training in this population.

Desbordes’ interest in the topic stems from personal experience. She began meditating as a graduate student in computational neuroscience at Boston University, seeking respite from the stress and frustration of academic life. Her experience convinced her that something real was happening to her and prompted her to study the subject more closely, in hopes of shedding enough light to underpin therapy that might help others.

“My own interest comes from having practiced those [meditation techniques] and found them beneficial, personally. Then, being a scientist, asking ‘How does this work? What is this doing to me?’ and wanting to understand the mechanisms to see if it can help others,” Desbordes said. “If we want that to become a therapy or something offered in the community, we need to demonstrate [its benefits] scientifically.”

Desbordes’ research uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which not only takes pictures of the brain, as a regular MRI does, but also records brain activity occurring during the scan. In 2012, she demonstrated that changes in brain activity in subjects who have learned to meditate hold steady even when they’re not meditating. Desbordes took before-and-after scans of subjects who learned to meditate over the course of two months. She scanned them not while they were meditating, but while they were performing everyday tasks. The scans still detected changes in the subjects’ brain activation patterns from the beginning to the end of the study, the first time such a change — in a part of the brain called the amygdala — had been detected.

Functional MRI (left) showing activation in the amygdala when participants were watching images with emotional content before learning meditation. After eight weeks of training in mindful attention meditation (right) note the amygdala is less activated after the meditation training. Courtesy of Gaelle Desbordes
The Daily Gazette

In her current work, she is exploring meditation’s effects on the brains of clinically depressed patients, a group for whom studies have shown meditation to be effective. Working with patients selected and screened by Shapero, Desbordes is performing functional magnetic resonance imaging scans before and after an eight-week course in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or MBCT.

During the scans, participants complete two tests, one that encourages them to become more aware of their bodies by focusing on their heartbeats (an exercise related to mindfulness meditation), and the other asking them to reflect on phrases common in the self-chatter of depressed patients, such as “I am such a loser,” or “I can’t go on.” After a series of such comments, the participants are asked to stop ruminating on the phrases and the thoughts they trigger. Researchers will measure how quickly subjects can disengage from negative thoughts, typically a difficult task for the depressed.

The process will be repeated for a control group that undergoes muscle relaxation training and depression education instead of MBCT. While it’s possible that patients in the control part of the study also will have reduced depressive symptoms, Desbordes said it should occur via different mechanisms in the brain, a difference that may be revealed by the scans. The work, which received funding from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, has been underway since 2014 and is expected to last into 2019.

Desbordes said she wants to test one prevalent hypothesis about how MBCT works in depressed patients: that the training boosts body awareness in the moment, called interoception, which, by focusing their attention on the here and now, arms participants to break the cycle of self-rumination.

“We know those brain systems involved with interoception, and we know those involved with rumination and depression. I want to test, after taking MBCT, whether we see changes in these networks, particularly in tasks specifically engaging them,” Desbordes said.

Desbordes is part of a community of researchers at Harvard and its affiliated institutions that in recent decades has been teasing out whether and how meditation works.

In the 1970s, when transcendental meditation surged in popularity, Herbert Benson, a professor at Harvard Medical School and what was then Beth Israel Hospital, explored what he called “The Relaxation Response,” identifying it as the common, functional attribute of transcendental meditation, yoga, and other forms of meditation, including deep religious prayer. Benson described this response — which recent investigators say is not as common as he originally thought — as the opposite of the body’s adrenalin-charged “fight or flight” response, which was also identified at Harvard, by physiologist Walter Cannon Bradford in 1915.

Researchers found that patients with IBS or IBD who used the relaxation response saw improvement in their quality of life. The relaxation response, a physiologic state of deep rest induced by practices such as meditation, was first described more than 40 years ago by Herbert Benson, a Harvard Medical School professor.
Meditation may relieve IBS and IBD
Researchers found the relaxation response showed improvements in the two gastrointestinal disorders

Other MGH researchers also are studying the effects of meditation on the body, including Sara Lazar, who in 2012 used fMRI to show that the brains of subjects thickened after an eight-week meditation course. Work is ongoing at MGH’s Benson-Henry Institute; at HMS and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine; at the Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, where Zev Schuman-Olivier directs the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion; and among a group of nearly a dozen investigators at Harvard and other Northeastern institutions, including Desbordes and Lazar, who are collaborating through the Mindfulness Research Collaborative.

Among the challenges researchers face is defining mindfulness itself. The word has come to describe a meditation-based practice whose aim is to increase one’s sense of being in the present, but it has also been used to describe a nonmeditative state in which subjects set aside their mental distractions to pay greater attention to the here and now, as in the work of Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer.

Another challenge involves sorting through the many variations of meditative practice.

Recent scientific exploration has largely focused on the secular practice of mindful meditation, but meditation is also a component of several ancient religious traditions, with variations. Even within the community practicing secular mindful meditation, there are variations that may be scientifically meaningful, such as how often one meditates and how long the sessions are. Desbordes herself has an interest in a variation called compassion meditation, whose aim is to increase caring for those around us.

Amid this variation, an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction course developed in the 1970s by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center has become something of a clinical and scientific standard. The course involves weekly two- or 2½-hour group training sessions, 45 minutes of daily work on one’s own, and a daylong retreat. The mindfulness-based cognitive therapy used in Desbordes’ current work is a variation on that program and incorporates elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves talk therapy effective in treating depression.

Ultimately, Desbordes said she’s interested in teasing out just what in mindful meditation can work against depression. If researchers can identify what elements are effective, the therapy may be refined to be more successful. Shapero is also interested in using the study to refine treatment. Since some patients benefit from mindfulness meditation and some do not, he’d like to better understand how to differentiate between the two.

“Once we know which ingredients are successful, we can do more of that and less, maybe, of the parts that are less effective,” Desbordes said.

Take Care Of Yourself: Advance Your Health & Boost Your Mood December 14 2018

Taking care of yourself isn't just a great way to feel good, indulged and pampered, it actually provides medical benefits that justify that special treat you've had your mind on:

Can reduce inflammation.

Boost endorphins.

Stabilize insulin levels.

Improve cognitive thinking.

Reduce depression.

Minimizes anxiety.

A Harvard medical study shows that these four basic acts of self care can greatly improve your life:

Be physically active. Exercise busts stress, boosts the mood, and elevates our energy level, not to mention the heart health benefits. Believe it or not, you can exercise just about anywhere, anytime. It doesn’t have to be at the gym. It doesn’t have to be a scheduled class. And it doesn’t have to be more than a few minutes a day. All activity counts. I encourage patients to think of an activity that they enjoy. Anything. Think about how that enjoyable activity can fit into your life: maybe you can ride your bike to work, or take your kids on an easy hike, or get the whole family to rake leaves with you. Let’s brainstorm about activities that will fit into your life: Maybe make your next meeting a walking one, or take a brisk walk at lunchtime. Try a few minutes on the exercise bike in the kitchen, or dancing around your living room in your socks. On my very busy days, I make sure I take the stairs whenever I have the option. I park farther away than I need to and walk a little more. If I’m going to the grocery store and I only need a few things, I use a hand basket instead of a cart. It. All. Counts. And the more, the better.

Eat well. That means eat healthy. The mountain of studies supporting a whole-foods, plant-based diet for our health is almost as large as the exercise one. Stay away from inflammatory, sugar-spiking, insulin-releasing foods like processed carbohydrates (think all added sugars and anything made with flour). Aim for things that grew on plants or trees. The more colorful the fruits or vegetables, the more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they have and the healthier they are. Vitamin pills and other supplements just don’t work as well. Not going vegetarian to save your life? Got it. Just get colorful fruits and veggies into your diet wherever you can. We don’t have to be perfect, but the more plant-based our diets are, the better.

Calm your mind. We all have stressors in our lives. What varies is how much we let the stressors stress us. What can we do? Yes, meditation works. The relaxation response works. Yoga works. But for those patients who stare at me blankly when I mention these, I talk about other calming activities. This can mean knitting, baking, walking, swimming. Anything quiet and peaceful, when one can take deep breaths and be calmly, enjoyably focused. Me? I try to do a few favorite yoga stretches at the end of the day, right before bed. This is usually after the kids fall asleep, and I can’t even be bothered to find my yoga mat. I just get right to it on the carpet in my daughter’s room: downward dog, plank, cobra, and then some of my own moves, to stretch out my back.

Sleep well. Aim for a refreshing amount of sleep. While this will differ for everyone, generally it’s about eight hours. It’s tempting to stay up late to cram in those last household chores or answer email, but really, the world won’t end if the laundry is dirty for another day, or the dishes are piled up in the sink. Sleep deprivation causes irritability, poor cognition, impaired reflexes and response time (think: car accidents!), and chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to depression and anxiety. Create a short, easy bedtime routine. Stretching or yoga, prayer, or reading a book can be relaxing. But stay away from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, as the light interferes and interrupts the natural sleep onset. Alcohol near bedtime also interferes with sleep, and is a common cause of nighttime or early-morning awakening.

The bottom line.
Maybe we can’t do all these things every day. But if we make self-care a goal, and try to address all of these factors regularly, then we will feel and function better. The better we feel and function, the more we can do for the people and things we care about. And that is a win-win.




Positive Energy for 2019 December 13 2018

Chemical Peel For Acne Scars | Optimistic & Reliable Results October 25 2018

The Benefits of Trichloroacetic Acid for Your Skin October 24 2018

Trichloroacetic Acid Uses, How It Works & Facts October 18 2018

Best Overnight Moisturizer With 5 Star Rating | Completely Natural August 29 2018

What Helps Eyelashes Grow? The Best Ingredients & Tips That Work June 20 2018

Everyone wants prettier, longer, thicker eyelashes.  While conventional cosmetics can look beautiful, there's a good chance they contain ingredients that could be considered harmful and irritating.  This can hinder lash growth.  Another popular and expensive alternative is lash extensions, but this is an added burden and expense to your beauty routine, and the adhesives used are also potentially hazardous and harmful.

Making the switch to all natural plant based cosmetics and products is a great start, and the tips below will help encourage healthier lash growth.

One important addition you can make for healthier eyelashes, is Our Eyelash Growth Serum has the perfect blend of beneficial ingredients and a 5 star rating.  

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 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.

Eyelash Serum Reviews | 100% Natural, Longer, Fuller Lashes June 20 2018

Eyelash Serum Reviews

Impressive Eyelash Serum Reviews By Confirmed Customers

One of our top selling products is our eyelash growth serum, which is completely natural, vegan, and cruelty free.  As with all of our products, it is made to order fresh, the day you order it, not pulled from a shelf or inventory.  

We have a 5 star rating on our eyelash serum reviews, and it's something we're very proud of.  Take a look at the most recent comments from our happy customers.

Remember, we offer a no hassle guarantee for all of our products, so you are never stuck with a product that isn't right for you.

5 out of 5 stars | This is my second purchase of this product, and it works GREAT. Keeps my lashes healthy and strong. - blake t

5 out of 5 stars | This the best lash serum I've ever used! - brittani mccoin

5 out of 5 stars | Ordered last week and received today in Singapore. I love this already! - Cam Tran

5 out of 5 stars | This has made my lashes thicker, stronger and healthier for sure. Love it! - Cyndy V.

5 out of 5 stars | Purchased this before and it works great. Love these products! - A Bryce

5 out of 5 stars | This stuff is amazing! I was not sure how long my lashes would grow if at all, but they have and I love how well this product works. - Erin O'Neal

5 out of 5 stars | Fast delivery, beginning to see results, will purchase again! - Cookiered

5 out of 5 stars | Helped my eyebrows. I have a couple of bald spots due to over plucking. This has helped. Thanks! - AK Driskill

5 out of 5 stars | Thank you dear God, this really works! - Tamar Nolley

5 out of 5 stars | Amazing. Love everything about these products. All I will use now. Since getting sick I was told by my naturopath to use only products with natural ingredients. So thankful I found this line so I can still have my skin eyebrows eyelashes etc looking well cared for. Much thanks 🙌🏻 - Michelle

5 out of 5 stars | I had extensions and removed them, and this is truly helping my lashes grow back stronger and better. - Kendall Lane

5 out of 5 stars | I am starting to see thicker eyebrows and somewhat thicker lashes. I have only been using it about a week. - Jacklyn Kennedy

5 out of 5 stars | I purchased this and love it.  I use it morning and night.  It's fantastic. - Lauren Spencer

5 out of 5 stars | Love this product. I got it 3 years ago and used it all on my brows. It changed how they looked completely. Today they are much thicker! - Emma Nelson

5 out of 5 stars | I know this is working, and I'm so grateful I found it. - Sara Jane del Carmen

5 out of 5 stars | I love this product, it is helping in re-growing my eyebrow and lashes. I appreciate the beautiful packaging and fast delivery. - Anye1

5 out of 5 stars | Definitely seems to be working. Stings my eyes a little but then goes away. My eyebrows are much thicker. - lipsticklillie

Alpha Lipoic Acid Skin Lightening | Expect Extraordinary Results June 14 2018

30 Ways to Practice Self Care | Magical, Inspiring & Free June 14 2018

Let's take a little time to put aside the needs of friends and family, so that we can refill our tank with what we need to go on.  Sometimes a few minutes to ourselves allows us to feel grounded and calm again. 

Here is a comprehensive list of suggestions for you to conduct self care on a daily basis.  One option for each day - give it a try, and share some of your own ideas below in the comments.

  1. Re-read a favorite book 
  2. Diffuse essential oils
  3. Take a walk
  4. Take an epsom salt bath
  5. Light a scented candle a let it fill your home
  6. Make a homemade body scrub & exfoliate
  7. Color or write in a journal
  8. Listen to your favourite album growing up
  9. Make a hot drink with all the fixings
  10. Get into bed early
  11. Bake something 
  12. Read inspiring quotes
  13. Organize your makeup
  14. Cozy up in a few blankets
  15. Buy yourself flowers
  16. Turn off your phone for a few hours
  17. Say no
  18. Do your nails or go get a manicure/pedicure
  19. Sit in the sunshine
  20. Pray/Meditate
  21. Treat yourself to your favourite dessert
  22. Play with your pet
  23. Do yoga
  24. Do a DIY project
  25. Deep condition your hair
  26. Plan a stay-cation
  27. Start a gratitude journal
  28. Watch the sunset
  29. Exercise
  30. Watch one of your favorite movies

Glycolic Acid Cleanser | Upgrade & Improve The Condition of Your Skin June 14 2018

Oh Glycolic Acid Cleanser, I love you, and let me count the ways!  This is formulated to turn your skin around in a number of ways - including combating acne, balancing skin, reducing sun spots and sun damage, minimizing fine lines, and giving skin a firmer tone. 

This is a sensitive skin safe, completely natural option for those looking for a clean list of ingredients.  It's scent is uplifting, with a hint of freshly cut apple and crisp tart cranberries.  

Let's break down the entire ingredients list of our Glycolic Acid Cleanser, in alpha order so that you know exactly what you're getting and how it can benefit you:

Aloe Vera: Pure Aloe Vera Gel is known for its ability to soothe, moisturize and protect the skin and hair. 

Apple Fruit Acid: Our apple fruit acid contains alpha hydroxy acid and malic acid, which promotes smoother, healthier skin, by exfoliating the top layers to reveal fresher skin.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid: Alpha Hydroxy Acid is an organic acid containing a hydroxyl group that help exfoliate skin and keep pores clear.  

Citric Acid: A gentle acid that is derived from acidic and sour fruits, it is often used as a natural preservative and can help balance skin, as well as gently exfoliate.

Cranberry Seed Oil: Rich in tocopherols and antioxidants. 

Glycolic Acid: Our glycolic acid is of high quality and benefits skin greatly by gently exfoliating layers of the skin to remove hyperpigmentation and signs of aging.

Lactic Acid: Our lactic acid is derived from cane and beet sugar and is vegan certified.  This is another excellent natural choice to help exfoliate skin and reduce skin issues.

Fermented Coconut Fruit Natural Preservative:  This is a very mild zero to low irritation preservative that is naturally derived, and will prevent the growth of yeast and mold in products. It's gentle quality makes it appropriate for all skin types.

Lactobacillus Ferment Preservative:  Lactobacillus Ferment acts as a natural broad-spectrum antimicrobial derived from  kimchi and sauerkraut, .

Lecithin:  Our lecithin is vegetable derived and rich in B vitamins. Used as a natural emulsifier, and can fight dry damaged skin as well as treat eczema.

Malic Acid:  Malic Acid is derived from fruits and can improve hyperpigmentation by decreasing the production of melanin.

Sea Kelp Bioferment:  Extracted from kelp leaves and contains many vital nutrients, it is an excellent oil free moisturizer. 

Sea Kelp Extract:  Sea kelp has a high content of vitamins and minerals, and helps invigorate the skin and tissue thereby improving the appearance of wrinkles. The vitamins and minerals nourish and soothe the skin and hair.

Vegetable Castile:  Our castile is vegan derived from coconut and olives, and is a natural ingredient in our cleansers.  It is considered very mild and is free of parabens or sulfates.

Vegetable Glycerin:  A vegetable derived humectant that can restore elasticity and moisture levels.


Lightening Facial Cleanser | Natural Lightener for Distinctive Results June 07 2018

Our lightening facial cleanser is a super effective and gentle way to brighten up your skin tone and reduce brown spots, sun spots, and sun damage.  Safe for sensitive skin and all skin tones.

It's intoxicating and invigorating scent of fresh lemon and honey will perk your senses and give you that kick start to begin your day feeling like you've done the right thing by treating your skin to a completely natural and chemical free product. 

Free of parabens, harsh chemicals, sulfates, synthetics, dyes, artificial fragrance, and cruelty free. 

Each product is made fresh the day you order it.

Enjoy free shipping in the US.


• Fade Discoloration Naturally
• Remove Cosmetics Safely
• Antibacterial with Fresh Honey & Lemon

"Very clean list of ingredients and very pure." - Gina T.

"I love the soft sudsing action and fresh lemon smell." - Mayone W.


Aloe Vera, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Fermented Coconut Fruit Natural Preservative, Fermented Vegetable Natural Preservative, Honey, Lecithin, Lemon Essential Oil, Lemon Peel Bioferment, Licorice Root Extract, Melatonin, Niacinamide, Peach Kernel Oil, Shea Butter, Tocopherol, Vegetable Castile, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax


Lemon: Lemon is naturally acidic and acts as a bleaching agent which will help to fade uneven pigmentation. 

Licorice: Licorice root has been used to effective fade pigmentation and lighten skin.

Melatonin: Melatonin Improves skin elasticity, improves pigmentation, and protects against solar radiation.

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



50 Easy & Delicious Snacks For Clean Eating June 06 2018

What is clean eating? Clean eating is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.

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


Tca Cream Peel: Dramatic & Extraordinary Results For Better Skin June 06 2018

TCA Cream Peel

Our tca cream is the perfect choice for dealing with a variety of skin care concerns.  Our formulation is specifically designed to be effective yet easy to use at home without the need for an esthetician or doctor.  We include a substantial yet safe percentage of TCA and glycolic acid to help you achieve your skin care goals.  Read on to find out how it works and how to use it.

The past few years TCA (trichloroacetic acid) has been more available to the general public, and it's benefits can solve a number of skin care issues.  It can significantly reduce sun spots and discoloration, scarring, acne, and wrinkles. 

TCA can be derived from vinegar and/or acetic acid, which is in turn derived from apples, grapes, oranges, pineapples, and strawberries.  Most versions of tca are modified in a lab to ensure stability and high quality.

TCA is considered slightly more aggressive than glycolic acid.  It is considered a medium peel option, as opposed to glycolic acid being light and phenol being deep and rather invasive.

TCA can be used to face tattoos, acne scarring, and reduction/elimination of warts.

TCA peels are great if you hope to even out your skin tone and get rid of imperfections, fine wrinkles, scarring, and imperfections that you've acquired along the way.  AHA peels are considered mild and cannot rid the skin of finer wrinkles, but TCA can.  The results are more noticeable than those of AHA peels, but less dramatic than the results achieved with phenol peels. Recovery time follows the same pattern. It takes longer to recover from a TCA peel than an AHA peel, but much less time than a phenol peel.

Unlike phenol peels, a TCA cream peel can be effective on people with darker skin. They are less likely to leave your skin looking permanently bleached, but don't be over zealous with the strength, as that can cause some discoloration. As far as popularity goes, TCA cream peels are equal to AHA peels. This is largely because the concentration of trichloroacetic acid can be altered to produce results similar to those of both AHA peels and phenol peels.  Even better, the whole procedure requires very little time and you can go about your day without any worry of down time or long recovery.

Our cream is carefully designed to be applied to clean, dry skin, and left on.  You will experience a few minutes of slight tingling and then the acids will complete their process and the strength will be diminished.  Then you skin will be left with the hydrating and healing ingredients in the cream to ensure fast healing and hydration. 

TCA Cream Peel

Cinnamon For Your Skin | Benefits of Cinnamon for Acne June 04 2018

There are many benefits of cinnamon for acne and a variety of skin issues including the production of collagen and anti aging.

Cinnamon has been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian cultures as a topical and internal medicinal ingredient. Among the various internal benefits which cinnamon offers, one of the most important is its role in maintaining healthy skin.

Cinnamon can also help remedy various skin related diseases and infections. Thus, cinnamon can be used in multifarious various to improve your skin. It’s a wonderful choice for eczema, acne and anti aging (collagen production).

IN 2012 a medical study was conducted that proved that cinnamon promoted the production of collagen synthesis, and the National Institute of Health determined that cinnamon extract is useful in antiaging treatment of skin.

Recent research suggests that cinnamon is an excellent antibacterial and antifungal agent, making it very effective in the treatment of infections. Due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, it is effective on treating external as well as internal infections. It helps in destroying germs in the gall bladder and the bacteria present in staph infections.

The antibacterial effect of cinnamon is the most studied of its properties.

A 2007 study published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry demonstrated the effectiveness of cinnamon extract on five bacteria including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella anatum and Bacillus cereus. The study found that cinnamaldehyde and proanthocyanidins contained in cinnamon are responsible for this broad-spectrum antibacterial action.

Cinnamon is an effective ingredient for fighting acne. This broad-spectrum antibacterial activity makes cinnamon effective against acne-causing bacteria like P. acnes and S. epidermis.

By removing these bacteria from the skin, cinnamon prevents the clogging of the skin pores and reduces the inflammation and increased sebum production caused by the microbes.

Cinnamon also reduces skin inflammation by other means. A 2002 study discovered that cinnamon inhibits the production of nitric oxide. Since nitric oxide is a major component of the inflammation process, reducing its production can help reduce acne swelling which presents as superficial (pimples, whiteheads and blackheads) and deep (nodules and cysts) acne lesions.

Yet another mechanism by which cinnamon reduces inflammation in acne is through the inhibition of COX-2 or cyclooxygenase-2 synthesis.

COX-2 is also a major component of the cascade reaction in the body that leads to skin inflammation.

We feature cinnamon extract and cinnamon essential oil in our Natural Acne Treatment Cleanser:  


Jeanette Quillen, Owner & Formulator

Made To Order Skin Care | Orders Freshly Batched Every Day June 04 2018


Our products are freshly batched for every order that is placed.  Made to order skin care handmade fresh for you every day.

We never pull from an inventory, and there's no need for harsh preservatives or chemicals since our items are not sitting on a store shelve or in a warehouse for months at a time.

We include only the finest, most pure ingredients.  

Our products are stabilized with natural plant based preservatives to keep things fresh and natural.

Rest assured with our no hassle money back guarantee.

Consider trying any of our best selling products and turn your skin around in no time.








Freshly batched made to order skin care and beauty products - just for you!

Alpha Arbutin Skin Lightening | Dramatic Natural Results May 03 2018

Are you looking for a natural and safe way to lighten you skin naturally?  Alpha arbutin is certainly a strong contender to deliver dramatic results.  

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 dubbed as the safe alternative to hydroquinone, and is a valuable antioxidant that benefits skin greatly.  There are no medical studies to support any notable side effects per recording via NCBI.   

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.

There are several significant studies that show alpha arbutin works very well and is a worthwhile alternative to harsh and synthetic skin lightening ingredients.

We offer a few made to order products that include alpha arbutin:



Ultimate Guide to Natural Skin Lightening for Gorgeous Results May 01 2018

Are you searching for truly natural ways to lighten up your skin? 

Hoping to avoid chemicals and synthetics but find something that will really make a difference?

This is the right place for clear answers that are backed by medical studies and research.

We've broken down this guide into a few sections: Introduction, Home Remedies, Active Ingredients, and Recommendations


There are a few different ways and steps you can take to naturally lighten skin and eliminate skin discoloration.  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. 

Sometimes acne scarring can leave skin discolored as well.  This too can be eliminated with natural ingredients.

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.  Men and women can agree, there's nothing more encouraging than feeling good about making a memorable first impression.

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.  Many times individuals attempt to lighten skin with strong chemicals only to find out they've damaged their skin further.

While some active ingredients are not readily available in your own home or the grocery store, they are easily obtained and affordable in products that you can count on.  Our skin lightening products have 5 star reviews and are freshly batched made to order.  

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 strong chemical peel, all of these suggestions have side effects and can leave you with "down time", which is the time it takes to heal completely from the procedure. 

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.


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. 

Natural home remedies are a super easy way to go to make an immediate yet subtle difference.  Continued use can make an impact on your skin lightening efforts. Many of the suggestions below include a mask or scrub recipe/combination for superior effectiveness.

Plain Yogurt:  Yogurt contains lactic acid, and 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:  It's best to use fresh lemon.  Bottled lemon juice will not be as effective.  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:


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 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.


Our most popular skin lightening products are an excellent option in your efforts.  

Questions?  Please feel free to contact us direct at anytime! 

770-568-8921 or

Boost Your Skin Lightening Efforts with Stunning Results April 24 2018

If you're looking for a completely natural yet dramatically effective and affordable way to lighten your skin, reduce sun spots, and correct hyperpigmentation, we're this is the answer.

Our Skin Lightening Treatment Powder is a powerful combination of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Alpha Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Lemon Essential Oil, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide - all meant and proven to lighten skin.

This is a perfect way to amp up your efforts to naturally lighten skin, eliminate dark spots, correct sun damage.  It's as easy as simply adding one or two small scoops to a small portion of your favorite lotion, cream, serum, facial wash, or mask and applying directly to your skin as you normally would.  

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.

Contest: Win $50 in Free Product April 18 2018

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Proper Perspective March 14 2018

At first that may sound unkind, but we've all given our attention to those situations that will never be fruitful or give us what we need to be healthy and happy. 

Sometimes it's good to take a personal inventory of what we're focusing on and see if perhaps it's not the best thing for us.

The Benefits of Gotu Kola for Your Skin March 14 2018

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica or brahmi) has been used as a medicine for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia, particularly for healing wounds, improving mental function and treating the symptoms of leprosy. It even has a reputation for promoting longevity.

Historically, gotu kola has also been used to treat syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, diarrhea, fever, and asthma. Today, in the U.S. and Europe gotu kola is most often used to treat varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, a condition where blood pools in the legs. It is also used in ointments to treat psoriasis and help heal minor wounds.

Gotu kola is not the same as kola nut (Cola nitida). Unlike kola nut, gotu kola does not have caffeine, and is not a stimulant.

Medical studies show that Gotu kola can:

• Increase the strength of the dermis and increased keratinisation (healing) of the epidermis of the skin
• Stimulate blood vessel growth into connective tissue
• Increase antioxidant and collagen concentration in wounds and stimulate wound healing
• Enhance growth of connective tissue, skin, hair, nail and joint repair
• Exhibit anti-anxiety activity and enhance mental function
• Have anti-inflammatory qualities

Gotu kola has chemicals called triterpenoids. In lab studies, these compounds seem to help heal wounds. For example, some studies suggest that triterpenoids strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds, and increase blood supply to the area. Based on these findings, gotu kola has been applied to the skin, or used topically, for minor burns, psoriasis, preventing scars after surgery, and preventing or reducing stretch marks.

An overview in the Indian Journal of Medicine calls gotu kola a “potential herbal cure-all” while a research summary published in Phytomedicine, says: “Centella asiatica has been subjected to quite extensive experimental and clinical investigations.”

Recently, researchers delving into how gotu kola heals wounds have identified specific plant chemicals called triterpenoid saponins (more specifically asiaticoside, brahmoside, brahminoside, madecassoside and madecassic or madasiatic acid) that have been shown to help heal wounds by boosting antioxidants, increasing the blood supply to the area and strengthening the skin.

In a 2012 study, researchers conducted a study of topical application of gotu kola and found that if applied to open wounds, it inhibited bacterial growth, fueled the growth of new skin cells and increased skin “tensile strength” and resilience.

There’s also good evidence that gotu kola helps repair veins. Recent research shows that unlike some herbal extracts, is able to penetrate the skin well enough to be utilized effectively.

Some people take gotu kola supplements to treat respiratory infections, such as colds, and in the past it was used for that in China. It has been called "the fountain of life" because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of taking gotu kola.

Using skin care treatments that contain gotu kola can greatly improve the elasticity, rate of repair, and youthful appearance of your skin.

Our Humectant Repairing Serum features Gotu Kola / Centella Asiatica, and is rich in antioxidants and healing ingredients:

Sign Up & Save March 13 2018

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Pep Talk March 08 2018

Sometimes you have to give yourself a pep talk, like "Hello, you're a bad ass, don't be sad, and I love you". 

Everything You Need To Know About CoEnzyme Q10 February 12 2018

We have incorporated Coenzyme Q10 into a couple of our skin care treatments because of it's amazing benefits.  It's an extremely powerful antioxidant that's great as a supplement and as a topical ingredient.

There are a few supplements that almost everyone can benefit from (we're looking at you, probiotics), and there are others that are really worth the money if you have a specific condition or ailment that your body needs support to work though. On this list of supplements that really shine is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), or ubiquinone, an antioxidant that your body produces naturally. CoQ10 has been around for a long time (it's an oldie but goody, if you will). If you're considering supplementing with it—or if you're just beginning your research into its uses in benefits—you've come to the right place. Here's what you need to know about it.

The basics.  What CoQ10 is and what it does.
As mentioned before, CoQ10 is an antioxidant found naturally in almost every cell of your body. Antioxidants are substances that help break down free radicals, which are molecules produced in the body that can cause damage. Free radicals are natural by-products of some cellular reactions, but things like too much alcohol and smoking can cause free radicals to build up, and this is bad news for your body. According to Dr. Robin Berzin, an integrative medicine physician and founder of Parsley Health, "When there are too many free radicals floating around, these highly reactive entities damage the healthy parts of your body they come in contact with. When free radicals come into contact with DNA, they can damage it, even causing mutations that lead to cancer. Free radicals also play a role in heart disease, stroke, arthritis, alcoholic liver damage, and even the aging process."

The good news is that your body produces antioxidants, which find and neutralize free radicals to turn them into harmless substances, so it has a built-in defense. Other antioxidants that your body produces naturally include vitamin E, vitamin C, flavonoids, phenols, ligands, and the master antioxidant glutathione, which has been shown to boost levels of all the other antioxidants floating around in the body. You can also get antioxidants from outside sources. The best sources? Plant-based foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and foods like cocoa and green tea. Lucky for us, high-antioxidant foods are normally also high in fiber and good sources of vitamins and minerals, so you're getting a plethora of benefits in one food.

What is it and where does it come from?

Rich sources of CoEnzyme Q10 come from fish, meat, nuts, soybeans, fruit, vegetables and eggs. 

Before you go out and get a supplement, you should know that there are various foods that are naturally high in CoQ10. Increasing your intake of these foods is a great way to get more CoQ10—and antioxidants in general—in your life. So what foods are highest in this nutrient? Here's a list to get you started:

Oily fish: Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are high in antioxidant CoQ10 and are also high in healthy fats.

Organ meats: Liver and kidney meats also have high levels of coenzyme Q10.

Vegetables: Veggies like spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower naturally contain high levels of this antioxidant.

Legumes like peanuts and soybeans are the best non-animal sources of the substance.

Unlike vitamin D or other nutrients, CoQ10 deficiencies are not that common in the general population. That being said, your body's natural CoQ10 production does decrease as you age, and deficiencies have been related to some specific conditions, so for some people, getting their daily CoQ10 from their body's natural production and foods might not be enough. If you do decide that a supplement is right for you, here's how to find one that you can trust.

Stocking your pantry with quick sources are highly recommended – almonds, pistachios and sardines. It is in every cell of the body (the name ubiquinone stems from its ubiquity), but is present in higher concentrations in organs with higher energy requirements such as the kidneys, liver, and heart.

What can it do for you?

CoEnzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that your body naturally makes, but can decrease for individuals over 35. Internally, there are studies that show that it can improve the symptoms of muscular dystrophy, as well as slow the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Topically, it has been proven to be a very important part of anti aging skin care. Biofactors has medical study documentation that shows it decreased the depth of wrinkles and helped dramatically protect the skin against UVA radiation. It has the distinct ability to block the suns damaging rays that create and spread melanoma. Topically applied CoQ10 penetrates the skin’s surface to the living layers of the epidermis, where it reduced oxidative stress, a known contributor to aging and disease. Other studies show that it can boost the skin’s ability to repair itself and reduce free radical damage, slowing the aging process. Including this ingredient in one’s skin care and anti aging regime is insurance to ward off the signs of aging and protection from the elements.

Different uses for CoQ10.
There are a lot of different uses for CoQ10, but one of its major roles in the body is to help convert the food we eat into energy to power our bodies and brain. That being said, the effects of CoQ10 do not end at energy production. In fact, researchers think it may be able to help with conditions like heart disease, immune function, diabetes, cognition, and even migraines because of its antioxidant activity, effect on energy production, and ability to prevent blood clots. Here are a few of the exciting areas of research when it comes to this antioxidant:

CoQ10 and energy production.
Energy conversion in the body is one of those things we rarely really think about, but it's crucial to our overall health. We can eat all the amazing, nutritious foods we want, but if our bodies can't take those nutrients and convert them into usable energy—a process that takes place inside our cells and has everything to do with the mitochondria—we aren't going to get very far. What are mitochondria? At revitalize 2017, Dr. Frank Lipman, an integrative medicine physician and mbg health expert, explained that, "The mitochondria are power plants in the cells that turn your food and oxygen into energy in the form of ATP. These mitochondria power the biochemical reactions in your cells. To me, they are the Western equivalent of chi, or energy." Dysfunctions in the mitochondria can majorly affect your health (and may explain why you're tired ALL the time). Dr. Ilene Ruhoy, an integrative neurologist and one of mbg's favorite brain health experts, says that CoQ10 is a mainstay in mitochondrial support. Why? Because "Coenzyme Q10 carries the electrons that are needed to make the complex chain of enzymes work." The take-home message? Energy production and CoQ10 are intricately connected. (If you want to learn about other supplements Dr. Ruhoy recommends for optimizing energy levels, click here!)

CoQ10 and heart disease.
Studies have suggested that CoQ10 might be able to prevent a heart attack recurrence in people who have already suffered from a heart attack. One study, specifically, showed that patients were less likely to have another heart attack and chest pain if they took CoQ10 within three days of having a heart attack. There is also some research to support the idea that people with congestive heart failure might have low levels of CoQ10, and studies have also shown that supplementing might benefit people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Another study on over 100 patients showed that taking a combo of CoQ10 and other nutrients could be linked to a quicker recovery after bypass and other heart surgeries. In other words: If you have heart disease in your family, are struggling with it currently, and are interested in supplements, talking to your doctor about CoQ10 has some scientific validity behind it.

CoQ10 and hypertension.
According to Dr. Joel Kahn, a cardiologist and professor in our Advanced Functional Nutrition Training, "a group called the Cochrane Database Review looked at studies of CoQ10 for hypertension and found an average 11 mmHg BP drop, which is similar to many prescription medications." Other studies, however, have found that CoQ10 didn't have much of an effect on blood pressure, so there are some mixed results. (And remember, you should always talk to your doctor before starting any supplement regime.)

CoQ10 and reproductive disorders.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is some evidence that CoQ10 might improve semen quality and sperm count in men struggling with infertility. It's not entirely clear if this will, in reality, improve chances of conception, but the research looks promising.

CoQ10 and statin drugs.
Taking statin drugs may lower a person's levels of CoQ10, and some studies have shown that taking this supplement might improve some of the side effects of statin drugs, mainly muscle weakness that some patients experience.

CoQ10 and brain health.
Some studies have shown that people with cognitive disorders have lower levels of CoQ10 in their blood than people with healthy brain function. Other research has suggested that supplementing might slow deterioration in cognition for people with Alzheimer's disease, but more research is needed on the effects of this antioxidant on cognitive function and brain health.

CoQ10 and migraines.
The science on this is also only preliminary, but some research points to the thought that CoQ10 can help with migraines.

CoQ10 and gum disease.
According to Dr. Joel Kahn, CoQ10 levels may be low in people with gum disease, and some research has suggested that boosting levels by taking supplements or applying it topically can help speed gum healing.

CoQ10 and other illnesses.
According to the NIH, various research studies have looked at the effects of CoQ10 for ALS, Down syndrome, Parkinson's, diabetes, and even age-related changes in genes, but none of them have been definitive.

You will greatly benefit by adding a skin care product that contains CoEnzyme Q10 in your daily regime can greatly benefit your anti aging efforts.  We have two excellent options, freshly batched the day your order it:

7 Life Hacks For Healthier Skin December 13 2017

7 Life Hacks For Healthier Skin

If you're a novice in skin care or an avid student of things related to skin care you already know that skin is the body's largest organ. When healthy, its layers work hard to protect us. But when it's compromised, the skin's ability to work as an effective barrier is impaired. We have therefore found the best ways to improve skin health to support it in maintaining its protective role.

With a few simple alterations to your skincare routine, you could have radiant-looking skin in no time.

Your skin is the window to your body that reveals the stories of your life. From acne breakouts during your teenage years to the radiant glow of pregnancy and the sunspots of aging, both your age and your health are reflected in your skin.

Skin has many functions, making it the ultimate multitasker of the human body. Its most important role is being the first line of defense between our bodies and the outside world, protecting us from bacteria, viruses, and pollution and chemical substances that we encounter in the workplace and at home.

Skin regulates body temperature, maintains fluid balance, and controls moisture loss. It also acts as a barrier and shock absorber, recognizes pain sensations to alert us to danger, and protects us against the sun's harmful ultaviolet (UV) rays.

Many factors impact your skin. Genetics, aging, hormones, and conditions such as diabetes are internal factors that affect the skin. Some of these you cannot influence, but there are many external factors that you can.

External influencers such as unprotected sun exposure and washing too frequently or with water that is too hot can damage skin. An unhealthful diet, stress, a lack of sleep, not enough exercise, dehydration, smoking, and particular medications can all impact the skin's ability to operate as an effective protective barrier.

Here are Medical News Today's skin health tips to help you banish wrinkles, get a radiant glow, and keep your skin supple and soft all year around.

1. Eat A Healthy Diet

There is a multi billion-dollar industry dedicated to products that keep your skin looking its best, and which claim to fight signs of aging. But moisturizers only go skin deep, and aging develops at a deeper, cellular level.

What you eat is as important as the products that you put on your skin. Your diet could improve your skin health from the inside out, so a clear complexion begins with eating a healthful diet.

Here are some foods that have been acknowledged by research as being skin-healthy:

Mangoes contain compounds with antioxidant properties. These compounds help to protect components of the skin, such as collagen.

Tomatoes have skin cancer-prevention benefits. One study in mice revealed that daily tomato consumption decreased the development of skin cancer tumors by 50 percent after UV light exposure.  Consuming tomatoes on a daily basis may help to protect against skin cancer.  Research has shown that incorporating tomato paste into your meals may help to protect against sunburn. After 10 weeks, people who consumed 40 grams of tomato paste per day had 40 percent less sunburn than the control group.  Lycopene, the pigment responsible for giving tomatoes their deep red color, is thought to play a role in the protective effect of tomatoes against UV damage.

Olive oil is associated with a lower risk of severe facial photo aging — that is, cumulative damage to the skin that includes wrinkles, dark spots, and discoloration, which result from long-term sunlight exposure.

Cocoa flavanols found in dark chocolate may improve the structure and function of skin. Scientists discovered that cocoa flavanols decreased roughness and scaling on skin, increased skin hydration, and helped to support the skin's defenses against damage from UV rays.

Green tea has been tied to many skin benefits. Compounds found in green tea called polyphenols rejuvenate dying skin cells, which suggests that they may be useful for healing wounds or certain skin conditions.  It has shown promising results as a potential treatment for skin conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff. Patches of dry, flaky, and red skin often feature in these conditions — usually as a result of inflammation and the overproduction of skin cells. Green tea may slow down the production of skin cells and suppress inflammation.

White tea has anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. One study indicates that some ingredients in white tea may protect the skin from oxidative stress and immune cell damage.

Kale is one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against light-induced skin damage, especially from UV rays.

Omega-3 found in oily fish, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds or oils such as linseed oil and corn oil may prevent dryness and scaling of the skin.

Soy may help to improve crow's feet skin wrinkles that appear at the outer corner of the eyes in menopausal women.

Never rely on foods to protect you from the sun. To protect yourself from sun exposure, always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, seek shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wear clothing that covers your skin and a wide-brimmed hat.

2. Calorie Restriction Diet

Research has demonstrated in mice that reducing calorie intake slows down the cellular aging process. This finding could prove to be an anti-aging strategy to test in humans in the future.

Scientists found that reducing the number of calories consumed by 35 percent had an impact on aging inside a cell. Cutting calories caused the cell's protein makers, called ribosomes, to slow down, and the aging process also to decelerate.

This decreased speed not only lowered the production of ribosomes, but it also gave them time to repair themselves and keep the entire body functioning well.

Other early research has shown that allantoin — a compound found in many anti-aging face creams — mimics the effect of calorie restriction diets and increases lifespan by more than 20 percent. The elixir of life could be hiding in your bathroom cabinet.

Unfortunately, this research has so far only been conducted in worms. It may, however, eventually pave the way for new longevity pathways to explore in humans.

3. Minimal Alcohol

Cutting your intake of alcohol could lower your risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers. Research uncovered that higher alcohol intake was associated with a higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

Researchers discovered that for each 10-gram increase in consumption of alcohol per day, the risk of basal cell carcinoma rose by 7 percent and the risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma rose by 11 percent.

4. Keep Stress In Check

Have you ever noticed that right before an important event, an unsightly pimple appears on your face? Well, scientists have identified some links between stress levels and skin problems.

In a study of college students, those who experienced high stress levels were more likely to experience skin issues such as:

Using stress reduction techniques could help to keep your skin looking fresh and clear.

Other research showed that teenagers who reported high stress levels were 23 percent more likely to have severe acne.

The researchers suspect that stress increases the quantity of sebum, which is the oily substance that blocks pores. This, in turn, leads to greater acne severity.

Reducing your stress levels may lead to clearer skin. If you think that stress is having an impact on your skin, try stress reduction techniques such as tai chi, yoga, or meditation.

5. Keep Skin Moisturized

Skin moisturizers keep the top layer of skin cells hydrated and seal in moisture. Moisturizers often contain humectants to attract moisture, occlusive agents to retain moisture in the skin, and emollients to smooth the spaces between skin cells.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following ways to keep moisture in and prevent dry, red, and itchy skin.

  • Moisturize your skin immediately after getting out of the shower to lock in moisture.
  • Take one 5- to 10-minute shower or bath per day. Excessive washing can strip away the oily layer of the skin and dry it out.
  • Use warm water instead of hot water.
  • Minimize the use of harsh soaps. Use a gentle and fragrance-free cleanser.
  • Stay away from abrasive scrub brushes, bath sponges, and washcloths that can damage the skin's surface.
  • Pat skin gently dry with a towel.
  • Moisturize immediately after washing. To trap in moisture, ointments, lotions, and creams need to be applied within minutes of drying off.
  • Use ointments or creams rather than lotions in order to minimize irritation.
  • Never scratch the skin. Cold compresses and moisturizers should help to control itching.
  • Wear non-irritating clothes. When wearing clothing made from wool or other rough materials, wear silk or cotton underneath.
  • Use hypoallergenic laundry detergent.
  • Avoid getting too close to fireplaces and other heat sources that can dry out skin.
  • Switch on a humidifier in the winter to replenish moisture in the skin's top layer.
  • Contact your dermatologist if these simple changes do not bring relief from dry skin. They can provide targeted treatment for your specific skin complaint.

6. Quit Smoking

Smoking ages facial skin and skin located in other body areas. Smoking narrows the blood vessels found in the outer layer of the skin, which reduces blood flow and exhausts the skin of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to remain healthy.

Quitting smoking can improve your skin health and prevent smoking-related wrinkles from forming.

Collagen and elastin give the skin its strength and elasticity. Smoking may reduce the natural elasticity of the skin by causing the breakdown of collagen and reduction of collagen production.

Furthermore, the repetitive expressions that are made when smoking — such as pursing the lips — can contribute to wrinkles on the face.

If you currently smoke, the best thing that you can do for your skin health is quit. You can visit, an initiative from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), for information about quitting smoking.

7. Get Your Beauty Sleep

Getting your beauty sleep will banish those dark circles around your eyes and improve your skin tone, and, best of all, it is free.

Getting the recommended hours of sleep could do wonders for your complexion.
The National Sleep Foundation recommend that adults sleep for between 7 and 9 hours every day. Sleeping for under that amount of time could be detrimental to your health — and your skin, in particular.

Chronic sleep deprivation is known to be linked with obesity, immune deficiency, diabetes, and cancer, but research has shown that sleep quality may also have a significant impact on skin function and aging.

People classed as poor sleepers had increased signs of premature skin aging and a decreased ability for their skin to repair itself at night from environmental stressors such as sun exposure.

During deep sleep, your body enters repair mode and regenerates skin, muscles, and blood and brain cells. Without adequate sleep, your body is unable to produce new collagen. Collagen prevents your skin from sagging.

Try to get an early night and sleep for a full 7 hours to look your best.

Keeping your skin healthy and young does not necessarily mean breaking the bank by purchasing expensive creams and lotions; by following these simple steps, you can make dull and lifeless skin glow.

3 Things To Do Every Day to Feel Less Messy December 13 2017

Do you feel like your house is messy all the time? Perpetual piles, endless clutter, laundry, dishes, toys…..This messy feeling can lead to simple annoyances and it can also affect our mood, behavior and mental state in extreme cases. I’m here to tell you that your house doesn’t have to be messy. You can come up from under the overwhelming to dos and gain control of your home and surroundings.

There are three simple things you can do every day to propel yourself forward and set a routine in motion. So, instead of looking around and going down the search engine rabbit hole, simply start with these 3 things every single day.

Make your bed.
If you’re thinking – why make my bed, I’m gone all day or I don’t go back in the bedroom until the evening, who cares? Try making your bed for a week. Pull up the covers and fluff the pillows. You might be surprised how this simple 1-2 minute task can set the tone for the day.

Do a load of laundry from start to put away.
Doing a load of laundry is one of the things that I stress as a game-changer when it comes to homekeeping. If you’re easily overwhelmed with laundry like I am, staying on top of it with smaller, more manageable loads is essential to keeping the mess away. No piles in the corners, on furniture, in baskets getting wrinkled…..

Deal with a pile of clutter every day.
Clutter might seem never ending but with a daily habit, you’ll find that it is manageable and that you can turn that habit into small systems throughout your home which will lead you to less clutter and less mess. Deal with the mail, school papers, toys, piles, and any other little or large spot of clutter that you have in your home. Try putting a basket on your steps or in a convenient location to put clutter in during the day. At the end of the day bring those items to their proper location – kids can do this too!

These three things are part of my daily routine and I guarantee that completing these are the simplest ways to start finding your way out of the mess. Once you have these three mastered, add the rest of the daily routine.

Heavenly At Home Spa Treatments November 08 2017

If you're holed up at home this coming weekend and looking for something indulgent yet healthy (fresh, yummy, invigorating, and fun) to do - look no further than the home spa recipes below.  I especially like the hydrating hair mask recipe:


Whatever Your Past Has Been November 08 2017

It can be hard to leave the past behind for a variety of reasons.  Maybe we feel guilty. Maybe we hang onto the hurt we carry to tightly that it becomes a part of our every day life.  Whatever the reason, we can be confident that letting it go is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our families.

The apostle Paul ends a section in Philippians 3 by saying, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (verses 13–14). Is Paul instructing us to forget everything that ever happened before we met Christ? Is this a command to purge our minds of all memories?

The word forgetting in means “no longer caring for, neglecting, refusing to focus on.” Our memories store millions of pieces of information gained through our senses since birth. Some experiences are impossible to forget, and any effort to forget them only makes them more prominent. Paul is not advising a memory wipe; he is telling us to focus on the present and the future, rather than the past.

It's great advice regardless of your beliefs or faith.  In all circumstances, we can benefit greatly by putting the past behind us.

Benefits of Lemon Water November 08 2017

Water with lemon is widely available in just about any restaurant in America, yet many people don't know the added benefits to including lemon water in your daily diet.

While those in the know have been chugging down the citrus-flavored water for ages (think since ancient Rome), some lemon water benefits have just begun making the rounds on the health and fitness circuit in recent months. But is lemon water really the cure-all it’s purported to be or just another health fad? Let’s dig in.

Lemon Water Nutrition Facts

Lemons are loaded with healthy benefits, and particularly, they’re a great vitamin C food source. One cup of fresh lemon juice provides 187 percent of your daily recommended serving of vitamin C — take that, oranges! Lemon juice also offers up a healthy serving of potassium, magnesium and copper.

Benefits of Lemon Water

For such a simple drink, the list of lemon water benefits is impressive. Even if you’re not a big H2O drinker, you might find yourself reaching for a glass when you check out how awesome it is for your body and mind!

Aids in digestion and detoxification

Because lemon juice’s atomic structure is similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach, it tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly. Lemon water also helps relieve indigestion or ease an upset stomach.

The acids found in lemon juice also encourage your body to process the good stuff in foods more slowly. This drawn-out absorption means insulin levels remain steady and you get more nutrients out of the foods you consume. Better nutrient absorption means less bloating. Lemon water benefits the enzyme functions in your body, stimulating the liver and flushing out toxins. Because it’s a mild diuretic, you might find yourself using the bathroom more often, helping the urinary tract get rid of any unwanted elements. All of this helps detox body & skin.

Bumps up the vitamin C quotient (and potassium)

Since your body doesn’t make vitamin C on its own, it’s important to get enough of it from the foods and drinks you ingest. Luckily, lemons are chock-full of the vitamin.

What are the benefits of getting enough vitamin C? It stimulates white blood cell production, vital for your immune system to function properly. As an antioxidant, vitamin C also protects cells from oxidative damage. Plus, getting enough vitamin C helps the immune system keep colds and flu at bay. Drinking lemon water daily ensures your body gets a sizable amount of vitamin C daily.

Rejuvenates skin and heals the body

The antioxidants found in vitamin C do double duty in lemon water. They fight damage caused by free radicals, keeping your skin looking fresh. Getting enough vitamin C from your lemon water also keeps the body producing collagen, essential in smoothing out lines in the face. And, in one recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical

Nutrition, regularly consuming vitamin C led to younger-looking skin and less wrinkles.

Helps shed pounds

Regularly sipping on lemon water can help you lose those last pounds. That’s because lemons contain pectin, a type of fiber commonly found in fruits. Pectin helps you feel full longer; that satiated feeling means you’ll chow down less throughout the day. Plus, did you know that when you’re even mildly dehydrated, you’re more prone to things like headaches, fatigue and an overall bad mood? Chugging down lemon water helps your body stay hydrated and feeling happy.

Boosts energy and mood

Skip the morning cup of coffee — lemon water can boost energy levels without the caffeine crash. Here’s how it works: Our bodies get energy from the atoms and molecules in foods. When negative-charged ions, like those found in lemons, enter your digestive tract, the result is an increase in energy levels au naturel.

Additionally, just the scent of a lemon has been found to reduce stress levels and improve moods. Don’t forget to offer a glass to grumpy co-workers or family members.

History and Interesting Facts About Lemon Water

Here are some interesting lemon water facts & history: Until about the 10th century, lemons were used mainly as decorative plants. The Crusades in the 11th century brought the plant into Europe, and it made its first appearance in the New World in the late 1400s. Lemons and other vitamin C-rich fruits were particularly treasured for their ability to ward off scurvy. Today, the main producers of lemons include Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey and the U.S.

And though I love the benefits of lemon water, there are tons of ways to use lemons. Here are some of my favorites:

Deodorize your kitchen naturally. Add one cup of lemon juice to the dishwasher, and run it on the rinse cycle to disinfect and rid it of any lingering odors and deodorize your kitchen naturally. Need to clear up a bad kitchen smell? Add fresh lemon peels, cinnamon sticks and cloves to a pot of water and simmer on the stove.

Use lemon essential oil regularly. Mix lemon essential oil, baking soda and coconut oil and rub on teeth. Leave for two minutes to reap the effects of this natural tooth whitener. Mix lemon oil, baking soda and honey for an all-natural face wash. Need to spruce up your silver before company comes over? A lemon oil-soaked cloth will get rid of tarnishes quickly.

How to Buy and Use Lemons

Ready to jump on the lemon water bandwagon? Here are a few things to keep in mind at the store:

There are three types of lemons available in the U.S. Eureka and Lisbon lemons are both sour and tart. Eureka lemons have textured skins and few seeds. Lisbon lemons tend to have a smoother skin and no seeds. Meyer lemons, a sweeter variety, are becoming more common. These lemons have Mandarin oranges in their family tree, giving these fruits a deeper color than traditional lemons.

When buying lemons, opt for ones that are fully yellow and, if possible, organic. If the fruit is still green, it isn’t fully ripe. Thinner-skinned lemons are juicier. Keep away from lemons that look dull, wrinkled or excessively hard.

Storing lemons in a sealed plastic bag keeps lemons fresh much longer than leaving them at room temperature.

To make preparing lemon water even easier, juice several lemons into an ice cube tray and freeze. Pop a few cubes in a glass of water to have fresh lemon juice at the ready anytime.
When preparing lemon water, it’s best to add the lemon juice to room temperature or warm water — start with half a lemon’s worth of juice. Drinking cold lemon water can be a shock to your system.
You get the benefits of lemon water whenever you drink it, but sipping on it in the morning will kick-start your day. Try a glass about a half hour before breakfast; the lemon juice in your belly will help your body absorb your breakfast nutrients better.

Tips To Soothe & Alleviate Psoriasis November 08 2017

Psoriasis is a recurring autoimmune disorder characterized by red, flaky patches on the skin. Even though it affects your skin, psoriasis actually begins deep inside, in your immune system. It comes from your T cells, a type of white blood cell. T cells are designed to protect the body from infection and disease. When these cells mistakenly become active and set off other immune responses, it can lead to psoriasis symptoms.

Even though there is no cure there are many promising treatments that exist to ease the symptoms of psoriasis. Here are some excellent tips to help you manage the symptoms and provide comfort.

Dietary supplements:

Dietary supplements may help ease psoriasis symptoms from the inside. Fish oil, vitamin D, milk thistle, aloe vera, Oregon grape, and evening primrose oil have been reported to help ease mild symptoms of psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. It's important to only take supplements that don’t interfere with other pre-existing conditions you may have.

Prevent dry skin:

Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home or office moist. It can prevent dry skin before it starts. Sensitive skin moisturizers are also great at keeping your skin supple and from forming plaques.

Avoid fragrances:

Most soaps and perfumes have dyes and other chemicals in them that may irritate your skin. Sure, they can make you smell great but they also can inflame psoriasis. Avoid such products when you can, or choose those with “sensitive skin” labels.

Eat healthfully:

Diet may play a role in managing psoriasis. Eliminating red meat and fatty snacks may help reduce flare-ups that can be triggered by such foods. Cold water fish, seeds, nuts, and omega-3 fatty acids are known for their ability to reduce inflammation. This can be helpful for managing psoriasis symptoms. Olive oil may also have soothing benefits when applied topically to the skin. Try massaging a few tablespoons on your scalp to help loosen troublesome plaques during your next shower.

Warm baths for itch relief:

Hot water may be an irritant for your skin. However, a lukewarm bath with Epsom salt, mineral oil, milk, or olive oil can soothe the itching and infiltrate scales and plaques. Moisturize immediately after your bath for double benefits.

Light therapy:

During light therapy, a doctor will shine ultraviolet light on the skin. This type of therapy often requires consistent and frequent sessions. It should be noted that tanning beds are not a means of achieving light therapy. Too much sunlight can actually worsen psoriasis. This procedure should always be done under the supervision of your doctor.

Reduce stress:

Any chronic condition like psoriasis can be a source of stress. This can often turn into a vicious cycle when stress itself can worsen psoriasis symptoms. In addition to reducing stress whenever possible, consider incorporating stress-reducing practices such as yoga and meditation.

Avoid alcohol:

Alcohol is a trigger for many people who have psoriasis. A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found an increased risk of psoriasis among women who drank nonlight beer. Those who drank at least five nonlight beers per week were nearly twice as likely to develop psoriasis, when compared to women who didn’t drink.

Try turmeric:

Herbs are commonly used to treat many conditions. Turmeric has been found to help minimize psoriasis flare-ups. It can be taken in pill or supplement form or sprinkled on your food. Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits for you. The FDA-approved dosage of turmeric is 1.5 to 3.0 grams per day.

Stop smoking:

Avoid tobacco. Smoking may increase your risk of psoriasis. If you already have psoriasis, it can also make your symptoms more severe.


Some people suffer from severe psoriasis and go a significant amount of discomfort and discouragement.  The rest of this article helps address those concerns and can offer some meaningful treatment.

Fast facts on severe psoriasis: 

Scientists do not fully understand what causes psoriasis in any of its forms.
Treatment for severe psoriasis usually involves a multifaceted approach.
Natural treatment options are not the first choice for people with severe psoriasis.
People with severe psoriasis will be treated with a combination of medications and therapies.

What is severe psoriasis?

Severe psoriasis is diagnosed if the psoriasis covers over 10% of the body, or sometimes if the psoriasis causes significant disruption to daily life.

Psoriasis is classified by severity based on how much of the body it affects:

Mild psoriasis affects less than 3% of the body
Moderate psoriasis affects between 3 and 10% of the body
Severe psoriasis affects more than 10% of the body
Sometimes psoriasis that affects less than 10% of the body will still seriously disrupt a person's life. 

When the emotional or physical effects of psoriasis greatly impact on someone's life, the condition may be classified as severe, regardless of what percentage of the body it affects.

People with erythrodermic psoriasis will almost always have severe psoriasis. Erythrodermic psoriasis not only covers the majority of the body in a painful red, peeling rash, but it can lead to serious complications, including infection, heart failure, and death.


Medications and therapies include the following:

Biologics: Drugs are given intravenously or intramuscularly to target specific areas of the immune system and block overactive skin formation.

Systemics: Oral or injected drugs that work throughout the whole body.
Topical creams: Lotions applied directly to the skin, often containing steroids.

Phototherapy: Controlled exposure to UV light.

Complementary therapy: Use of diet and lifestyle remedies to help manage psoriasis.
Topical creams, phototherapy, and complementary therapy or lifestyle remedies are usually not enough to manage severe psoriasis.

It may take some trial and error before a person with severe psoriasis finds the right treatment combination to manage their symptoms.

How is treating severe psoriasis different?

Severe psoriasis cannot be treated with topical ointments or natural remedies alone, unlike mild psoriasis. Instead, systematic drugs or biologics may be recommended.

The treatment approach for severe psoriasis is different to that for mild to moderate psoriasis.

In cases of mild psoriasis, topical creams and ointments may be enough to manage the condition. Additionally, people with mild psoriasis find greater success with natural remedies. Most people with mild psoriasis will not need biologics or systemic drugs to manage their psoriasis symptoms.

For people with severe psoriasis, the reverse is true. Their symptoms often do not respond to lifestyle or complementary remedies and topical treatments.

Often, for a person to find relief, biologics or systemic drugs must be used in conjunction with other treatment methods.

In extreme instances, a person with severe psoriasis may need hospitalization to bring a flare under control.

Some natural treatment options can sometimes be used in addition to other treatments, to help soothe the skin of a person with severe psoriasis.

Some of those affected by severe psoriasis may find extra relief from the following natural treatment options:


Before taking any herbal remedy for your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, talk with your doctor.  Stop using the remedy immediately should you experience side effects and tell your health care provider.

Aloe Vera:

Gel from the aloe plant can be applied to the skin up to three times a day. Some research shows it can help reduce redness and scaling associated with psoriasis. Look for creams containing 0.5% aloe. No benefit has been shown from taking aloe in tablet form and it can be dangerous.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple Cider Vinegar has been used by ancient cultures as a disinfectant, apple cider vinegar may help relieve scalp itch from psoriasis. You can buy a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar at the grocery store and apply it to your scalp several times a week. Some people report diluting vinegar with water on a 1-to-1 ratio helps prevent a burning sensation. Others say they need to rinse the skin once the solution has dried to prevent irritation. Skip this cheap remedy if your scalp skin is cracked or bleeding. If you have open wounds, vinegar will only irritate your skin and cause a burning sensation. If it works for you, you should see results within a few weeks.


Capsaicin is the ingredient in chili peppers that make them hot. Added to creams and ointments, capsaicin blocks nerve endings that transmit pain. Researchers from the University Medical Center Freiburg, in Freiburg, Germany, found OTC creams containing capsaicin may help reduce the pain, inflammation, redness and scaling associated with psoriasis. However, more research is needed to assess its long-term benefits and safety. Some people may feel a burning sensation where capsaicin ointment is applied.

Dead Sea Salts:

Adding Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts to your warm (not hot) bath water and soaking in the tub for about 15 minutes may help remove scales and ease itching. Be sure to apply moisturizer to your skin as soon as you get out of the tub. You may see some improvement.


Oats are considered one of nature's best skin soothers. There is no scientific evidence to support the use of oats to relieve psoriasis symptoms. But many individuals with psoriasis report applying an oat paste or taking a bath in oats relieves their itchy skin and reduces redness.

Tea tree oil:

Tea tree oil is from the leaves of a plant that is native to Australia. Tea tree oil is believed to have antiseptic qualities and can be applied to the skin. Some people find using shampoos with tea tree oil helps relieve their scalp psoriasis. However, there are no scientific studies to prove the effectiveness of tea tree oil on psoriasis. Use tea tree oil with care as some people may be allergic to it.


This herb is being frequently studied for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric also has the ability to alter gene expression. A 2012 review by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular biology highlights turmeric's ability to alter TNF cytokine expression. This is the likely reason some patients find it helpful in minimizing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flares. You can take turmeric concentrated in pill or supplement form or if you like curries, adding it liberally to your food. The FDA considers 1.5 to 3.0 grams of turmeric per day to be safe. However, we suggest that you consult with a naturopathic practitioner for help in determining the correct dosage for you.

Mahonia Aquifolium (Oregon Grape):

Mahonia is a powerful antimicrobial herb that plays a role in immune response. Studies show that applying a cream containing 10% mahonia is effective in treating mild to moderate psoriasis. Because it is in the alkaloid family, mahonia should only be used topical unless under physician supervision.

Usually, people with the most common form of psoriasis, called plaque psoriasis, will experience some of the following symptoms: 

Burning, sore, or itchy areas on the skin
Patches of thick skin with silvery scales
Scaly dots on skin
Swollen or stiff joints
Red areas on their body
Thickened nail beds
Hair loss if psoriasis affects the scalp
Areas of peeling or flaking skin

For cases of psoriasis to be considered severe, those symptoms must affect more than 10 percent of the body, or affect an area of the body to the extent that the person's life is disrupted.

In cases of erythrodermic psoriasis, which is a severe and sometimes life-threatening form of the disease, symptoms can include the following: 

Large areas of redness that cover most of the body
Skin that appears burned
Pain, burning, and itching on the red areas
Extreme skin irritation
Sheets of peeling skin, as opposed to smaller areas of flaking skin
Rapid heart rate
Inability to maintain body temperature

 People with psoriasis should try to take steps to avoid a flare of their condition. To prevent their psoriasis from becoming severe, they can take the following actions:Ttake all psoriasis medications, as directed

Bathe daily, using oatmeal or Epsom salts, as needed
Manage stress with meditation or other relaxation practices
Avoid sunburn while still getting exposure to UV light regularly
Treat any illness promptly
Avoid injury and trauma to the skin

Avoiding flares can prevent a person having to deal with the symptoms of severe psoriasis.


There isn’t a single answer for keeping the symptoms of psoriasis at bay. What works for one person may not work for another. Some treatment options may have negative side effects for pre-existing conditions other than psoriasis. It is important to remember that while these home remedies for psoriasis my help with mild cases, prescription therapy is required for refractory or more severe cases. Talk to your doctor before seeking treatment on your own.

Today Is The Day November 02 2017

I love this time of year.  Fall is my favorite season.  I see it as a time where things that once thrived are beginning the renewal process once again.  Dying away to what once was and going through a transformation.  Spring will show us what was going on behind the scenes of this time period - the hard work of regeneration and reflection.

My husband used to hate fall.  It was the time of year his brother committed suicide when he was 18.  For years, the beginning of fall brought on lonely, painful memories for him.  Over time, like with all things, those feelings faded enough to where he could enjoy certain aspects of fall.  He will never forget the discomfort and pain, but it has softened over time.

Let this time of year be a time of regrowth and healing for you.  Taking better care of yourself is part of that.  You can start with the simple things.  Drinking more water, getting better sleep, catching up on your reading, eating more plant based foods.

Take some time each week for a mask or scrub to feel and look your best.  Our most popular scrub is our Mandarin & Grapefruit Microdermabrasion Scrub.  You can use this throughout the week to keep your skin looking fresh and glowing.

The Many Benefits of Lavender - From Medicinal to Wacky November 02 2017

Lavender is definitely one of my favorite herbs. I use it pretty much daily in one form or another.  There's nothing more relaxing than a good book and a lavender candle burning nearby.  Not only is lavender beautiful and fragrant in the garden, it has hundreds of uses (literally). It’s the constant staple in my essential oil stash and it's incorporated into several of our skin care formulations.  

Lavender’s claim to fame is its ability to enhance relaxation and promote restful sleep. Best of all, unlike some essential oils that require a lot of caution, lavender falls on the safer side of the spectrum, making it a great choice to use around babies and kids.

Lavender: The Little Purple Flower with Power

Turns out there’s good reason (many good reasons) why lavender is a crunchy mama’s right hand helper in the home.

Originating from southern Europe and parts of Africa, Asia, and India, many ancient and medieval cultures relied on the herb not just for its signature scent but also its pain relieving and sedative properties.

Thanks to its linalool and linalyl acetate components (which are present even when diffusing), lavender has protective effects shown to:

Stabilize mood
Improve sleep
Soothe nerves
Work as an expectorant
Balance blood sugar
Kill bacteria
Relieve pain
Speed wound healing

Proven Benefits of Lavender

Lavender for Better Sleep:

There’s a reason lavender is used in so many of my DIY creations, such as Sleepytime Foot Spray, and Relaxing Pillow Spray. It is well known for its ability to relax the mind and improve quality of sleep. In one 2006 study, sleep-deprived college students inhaled either lavender or a placebo. Those who used lavender slept more soundly and felt more refreshed upon waking up.

More study is needed to determine whether it is safe to use during breastfeeding (it’s generally not recommended at this time), but it’s exciting to see emerging research on how lavender might help women during the crucial postpartum time. Improving postpartum sleep (or what little we mothers get anyway) sounds like a worthy cause to me!

Lavender for Anxiety and Depression:

On a similar note, many studies show interesting applications for lavender for memory, mood, and overall cognitive function. Just the odor of lavender seemed to help various test groups stay relaxed and focused when asked to do various stressful tasks, or improved their ability to recover feelings of wellbeing after exposure to stress.

Researchers continue to examine the possibilities for lavender in the treatment of dementia, anxiety, depression, and various neurological disorders.
(I don’t know if those symptoms bring this to mind for anyone else … but lavender’s soothing effects also make it great for managing PMS!)

Lavender for Skin Care:

Due to its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to scavenge free radicals, lavender has a place in skin care. Give lavender a try in your DIY beauty routine. Use a quality oil and the proper dilution. If there’s any concern about sensitive skin, try a test run on a small spot in the inner elbow.

Lavender for First Aid and Wound Healing:

Studies (and much anecdotal experience) show that lavender reduces pain and itching from bug bites, bee stings, and even burns. In fact one 2011 study examined the benefits of lavender in healing episiotomies and another 2013 study showed lavender aromatherapy relieved pain after c-section.

Lavender for Hair Growth:

A 2016 study on mice showed lavender is an effective proponent of hair growth and significantly increased the number and health of hair follicles when applied in proper dilution daily for a period of 4 weeks. The properties make it great for healthy, shiny hair in general.

How to Use Lavender at Home:

I use lavender in just about every area of my home. I keep both the dried herb and the essential oil around because they’re needed for different preparations.

While the options to use it are just about endless, here are a few of my favorite uses:

Dried Herb Uses:

In a relaxing herbal tea – Lavender is too strong to be used by itself as a tea, but mixed with mint leaves it makes a soothing herbal tea. I often add chamomile too. Steep all in hot (not boiling water) for a few minutes and add honey if desired. Ahhh …

As a dandruff remedy – Make an extra strong batch of tea, let it cool, and use as a scalp rinse to remedy dandruff. This cooled tea recipe also doubles as an after-sun spray.

In a tincture – Used for medicinal purposes since ancient times, a tincture can promote relaxation and sleep.

Inside a pillow or mask – Add the dried flowers to homemade buckwheat pillows or sleep masks to help promote relaxing sleep.

In the dryer – I sew the dried flowers into small satchels and use them in place of dryer sheets in the dryer. (Great project for kids!)

For infused vinegar – Infuse vinegar with the dried flowers for use in cooking or as a skin toner (diluted).

As an air freshener – Simmer the dried herb in a pot of water with some citrus peels for a natural air freshener!

As a face scrub – The dried flowers and oatmeal makes for a gentle, fragrant face scrub.

In cooking! – It’s not so strange! Lavender flowers actually feature in this classic herbes de Provence spice blend.

Essential Oil Uses:

Diffusing before bed – Put a few drops in an essential oil diffuser before bed to help the house wind down and get ready to sleep

To sooth sunburns or other burns – My absolute favorite burn remedy is this Lavender Honey Burn Salve. In a pinch, add a few drops of the essential oil to a bottle of cool water and spray on burns to offer relief.

In the bath – These DIY Lavender-Mint Bath Salts are divine after a long day and will help relax sore muscles.

For headaches – Smelling lavender and peppermint oils helps headaches. Simply take a whiff of essential oil or keep this Headache Relief Roll-On handy.

In homemade bug spray – It is an essential ingredient in my DIY natural bug spray. (It works, I promise!)

In beauty recipes – Add a few drops of the essential oil make a relaxing homemade lotion or lotion bar, or even a whipped body butter.

For acne and skin irritations – I like to add a few drops of lavender and frankincense essential oils to my Honey Face Mask and Cleanser Recipe.

In a hair growth serum – As mentioned above, I include lavender in my Hair Growth Serum, especially great for that fun time of postpartum hair loss.


Where to Buy Lavender (& How to Grow It):

My sources have varied over the years, but right now I like this source for the dried herb and this one for the essential oil. Of course the nice part is, you don’t have to buy lavender to have it around. It’s easy to grow in your own backyard and a cinch to maintain and harvest.

Since it’s pretty easy on the eyes (and the nose) as well, it’s a win-win!

Given its native regions, lavender grows best where the winter is mild and the summers are hot and dry, but it’s a forgiving plant. Visit a local nursery to find the variety best suited for your area. (Keep in mind different varieties have different blooming seasons, too.)

Lavender generally needs little water or fertilization and even grows well in pots. It’s important though that it is located in a sunny spot (6+ hours) and have good drainage. (In fact, add gravel to the potting soil if potting.)

You can find lavender in several of our skin care formuations. Give our Detoxifying Charcoal and Dead Sea Mud Mask Facial Scrub a try:

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair? November 02 2017

Should you wash your hair every day?

Hair care is a complicated and highly personal choice that can vary significantly from one person to another.  I try to keep my product selection to a minimum – but much of that depends on the time of year, weather, humidity, etc.

There is rarely a medical reason to wash hair at all.  The decision about how frequently to wash hair depends on a person's hair type, scalp texture, how oily the hair gets, and personal preference.

I wash my hair about twice a week.  I find that if I wash it more frequently, it will feel very dry and difficult to style, and then I resort to pulling it back to deal with it – something I could have done before washing it.  I am very much liking the sulfate free cleansing conditioner I’m presently using.   It does allow me to style my hair just about any way I want to without it feeling dry and unmanageable.

For some people, too-frequent washing can cause damaged hair and a dry, itchy scalp. For others, infrequent washing can make the hair look greasy and lifeless.

Washing the hair is a lot like washing skin. Water can remove most visible dirt and debris, but might not eliminate odors or oily deposits. Shampoo helps water remove dirt, debris, and odors, such as smoke or sweat effectively.

Shampoos can also remove oil. The hair gets its oil from sebaceous glands that secrete oil called sebum, which keeps the hair moisturized.

Moisturized hair is less likely to break or look dry and frizzy. But too much moisture can make the hair look greasy, limp, and dirty. After several days without shampooing, oil tends to build up closest to the scalp, making any hair around the face look dirty. Most shampoos are designed to strip excess oil, which helps the hair look cleaner for longer.

How shampoo works:

Shampoo cleans the hair with chemicals called surfactants. These are soaps that remove surface debris from the scalp and hair. Many shampoos also contain compounds called sulfates, which produce a rich lather that removes oil from the hair. This can help the hair look cleaner, but it can also damage the hair.

Keeping at least some oil on the hair is important to protect the hair from damage. Some people opt to use sulfate-free or moisturizing shampoos to preserve hair health, although there is little evidence that sulfate-free shampoos are less aggressive than regular products.

Other people choose to reduce the number of times they wash their hair. Some people even advocate giving up shampoo altogether.

How often to shampoo your hair:

For most people, shampooing the hair is not necessary for good health. Just rinsing the hair with water a few times a week will remove most visible dirt and debris. The decision about how frequently to wash the hair is a cosmetic one based on personal preference.

Hair texture:

Rinsing the hair with water between washes may be recommended for people with very dry hair.

People with very dry hair do not need to wash their hair daily, or even every other day. Instead, washing the hair less often will help preserve the natural oils in the scalp and keep hair well moisturized.

Washing their hair weekly or even every other week might be enough for people with very dry hair.

Rinsing the hair with water in between washes can keep it looking fresh without stripping the hair of its moisture.

Hair is more likely to be dry when it is:



aging or gray

treated with chemicals, such as dyes or chemical relaxants

Very oily hair may look greasy a few hours after washing, particularly in the summer or after a workout. People with very oily hair might choose to wash their hair daily or every other day.

Using a sulfate shampoo can lengthen the time between washes. Hair is oilier when it is:

very fine


People undergoing hormonal changes, such as puberty, may also find that their hair gets oilier than usual.

Most people fall somewhere in between these extremes and can wash their hair 2 to 5 times per week based on their personal preference.

Can I use vitamins for hair growth?

Eating a well-balanced diet that contains the 13 essential vitamins can help maintain the hair health.  This is going to ensure healthier new growth and follicles to produce healthier hair.

Scalp condition:

The condition of a person's scalp will also affect the condition of their hair. People with very dry scalps tend not to produce as much sebum. Washing the hair less often can help the scalp remain healthy, prevent itching and flaking, and keep the hair soft and shiny.

People with very oily scalps may develop acne on the scalp or along the hairline and may need to wash their hair more frequently to keep their hair looking clean.

Hair styling preferences:

Much of the decision about how frequently to wash the hair depends on personal styling preferences. Some people dislike their hair looking or feeling even a little oily. Others find that their hair is more manageable several days after washing.

People who wear complicated hairstyles or who have very long hair may also prefer to shampoo less often, as less frequent shampoos mean less time spent styling the hair.

Oily or dry?

Assessing whether the hair is oily or dry can help someone decide how frequently to shampoo. A person can help determine their hair type by asking:

When does the hair look best? Oily hair tends to look best on the day of a shampoo. Normal hair may look best on the following day, while dry hair may not look its best until several days after a shampoo.

Does the hair break easily? Dry hair often breaks easily and may have split ends. Oilier hair tends to be more elastic.

How does the hair look? Just looking at the hair may provide some insight. Dry hair may look brittle or lifeless when over-washed, while oily hair may be flat and greasy only a day after washing.

Is shampooing ever medically necessary?

Scalp psoriasis:

Tar products and medicated shampoos are recommended for people with scalp psoriasis.

For most people, there is no medical need to shampoo at all, as rinsing with water can remove dirt and dandruff. However, some health conditions can benefit from regular shampooing.

People with parasitic infections of the scalp, particularly lice, may need to use special shampoos to get rid of the bugs.

Scalp psoriasis may improve with the use of special shampoos, particularly tar products or medicated

shampoos. People with specific skin and scalp conditions should discuss their ideal hair care regimen with a dermatologist.

By contrast, some medical conditions may get worse with frequent washing. Daily shampooing can irritate eczema, very dry skin, and dandruff.

There are several natural ingredients recommended by that you can incorporate into your hair cleansing routine:

Aloe Vera

Apple Cider Vinegar


Dead Sea Salts


Tea Tree Oil


Oregon Grape Oil

Avocado Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential Oil

Alternatives to shampooing

Shampooing is not the only way to help the scalp look or feel clean. Some alternatives include:

Dry shampoo: Dry shampoo is a powdery, fragranced spray that absorbs oil. It can extend the time between shampoos, particularly for people with fine or oily hair. However, dry shampoo does not remove dirt. If used several days in a row, it can also cause a powdery accumulation that irritates the scalp.

Detergent-free shampoos: Detergent-free shampoos, sometimes called "no-poos," are shampoos that are free of sulfates and harsh detergents. They gently condition the hair but do not strip it of its oil. These are a good choice for people with dry or curly hair, or those who like to wash their hair daily but who do not want to cause damage.

Conditioner-washing: Conditioner-washing, sometimes called co-washing, is when a person uses conditioner or a special cleansing conditioner instead of shampoo. For people with normal to dry hair, conditioner-washing may fully replace normal shampoos, particularly if they do not use heavy styling products.


There is no correct amount of times that a person should wash their hair per week, but it is recommended that you wash it was infrequently as possible, to preserve it’s natural healthy condition. Expectations about how hair should look and how often a person should wash their hair also vary with culture, age, and from decade to decade.

How often someone washes their hair is a personal decision and not one that is likely to affect overall health.

All Natural Vapor Rub Recipe October 17 2017

All Natural Vapor Rub Recipe

It’s never fun to have a stuffy nose, and the change in temperatures and allergies are the main causes. It can make sleeping, exercise, and normal daily function very unpleasant. As with all remedies, I prefer all natural. It’s my first choice. I can say that I still maintain a prescription free life, and reach for natural solutions whenever possible. (With that being said, I have greatly benefited from a variety of medicines in the past and if they help you maintain a better quality of life then by all means, you’re doing the right thing.)


As the Society for General Microbiology explains:

The respiratory system – the nose and passageways leading to the lungs – is lined with cells that produce sticky fluid called mucus that traps invading microbes and dust. Tiny hairs called cilia move in a wave-like motion and waft the microbes and dust particles up to the throat, where they are either coughed or sneezed out or swallowed and then passed out of the body.”

That’s one of the reasons I tend to avoid over-the-counter decongestant medications. Mucus has a job to do, and I don’t want to get in the way of that. Instead, I want to assist the body in a way that’s aligned with what it’s already doing.

How to support our first line of defense

In addition to supporting what my body is trying to accomplish, I ALSO WANT TO BREATHE. And I want my kids to be able to breathe and sleep well. I find myself reaching for vapor rub several times a week, especially during the change in seasons or allergy season. It’ helps reduce swelling, expels irritants, and moisturizes.

Our vapor rub recipe includes a combination of our favorite respiratory beneficial essential oils. Here’s a list of child-safe oils that you can choose from:

Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum verum) – NOT cinnamon bark. The maximum recommended dilution in Essential Oil Safety is 0.6%, which would be a maximum of 3 drops in the recipe below)
Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)
Fragonia (Agonis fragrans) – Smells a lot like eucalyptus, but safe for children.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lemon (Citrus x limon) – For topical application I recommend the distilled lemon I linked to because it does not cause photosensitivity. If you use cold-pressed lemon essential oil instead, you can safely use up to 12 drops in the recipe below.
Pine (Pinus Sylvestris)
Rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) – Supports healthy respiratory function (similar to eucalyptus)
Spruce (Tsuga canadensis)
Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Thyme ct. linalol (Thymus vulgaris ct linalol – it can be a little difficult to find but this one is amazing)

Natural Vapor Rub Recipe

This is the recipe I use for adults – feel free to substitute any of the essential oils above if you have them on hand, just don’t use more than 3 drops of cinnamon leaf or 12 drops of expeller-pressed lemon. For kid-safe recipes, scroll below.

12 drops eucalyptus, rosemary or peppermint*
12 drops lavender or tea tree
12 drops fir needle, spruce or pine
2 tablespoons shea butter
*If you’re pregnant or nursing, here are some additional guidelines for essential oil use


In a double boiler (or a stainless steel bowl set in side a pot of boiling water), gently melt shea butter. As soon as it is completely melted, remove it from heat and stir in the essential oils. Transfer the mixture to a container with a tight fitting lid and store in a cool area when not in use.

Natural Vapor Rub Recipe (Kid Version)

I’ve written before about why and how to dilute essential oils for daily use. However, during times of illness or injury it’s appropriate to use higher concentrations than we normally would. Below are some guidelines that will help you choose what’s best for your littles.

Vapor Rub (1% dilution)

This dilution is the recommended starting point for kids 2-5. However, it is appropriate to go up to 3% for short periods of time as needed.

1 drop thyme ct. linalol, lavender, juniper berry, fir needle, pine or fragonia

1 drop frankincense or cinnamon leaf
2 drops cedarwood, rosalina, spruce or sweet marjoram
2 drops sweet orange, lemon, or tea tree
2 tablespoons shea butter

This dilution is the recommended starting point for kids 6-9. However, it is appropriate to go up to 6% for short periods of time as needed.

2-3 drops thyme ct. linalol, lavender, juniper berry, fir needle, pine or fragonia
2-3 drop frankincense or cinnamon leaf
4-5 drops cedarwood, rosalina, spruce or sweet marjoram
4-5 drops sweet orange, lemon, or tea tree
2 tablespoons shea butter

Vapor Rub (6% dilution)

This is the strongest dilution suggested for kids 6-9.

6 drops thyme ct. linalol, lavender, juniper berry, fir needle, pine or fragonia
6 drops frankincense or cinnamon leaf
12 drops cedarwood, rosalina, spruce or sweet marjoram
12 drops sweet orange, lemon, or tea tree
2 tablespoons shea butter


In a double boiler (or a stainless steel bowl set in side a pot of boiling water), gently melt shea butter. As soon as it is completely melted, remove it from heat and stir in the essential oils. Transfer the mixture to a container with a tight fitting lid and store in a cool area when not in use.

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Glycolic Acid Skin Care | Discover All The Many Benefits August 17 2017

What Are The Benefits of Glycolic Acid Skin Care Products?

If you're like me, it can get overwhelming with all of the health recommendations and expert tips I receive in my inbox every day.  "Sitting is the new smoking", "How much exercise does your body need", and the ever elusive "How many hours of sleep do you really need?" question.  It's no different with the beauty industry.  There is an expert around every corner and a trend cropping up every week. 

Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I remember that the basics are the best place to start and stay when we're pulled in a gazillion directions.  

When it comes to trying to alleviate skin issues, there are some basic ingredients that are proven reliable.  Doesn't it seem like the best ones are multi faceted - able to fix many things?  Glycolic acid is definitely one of those ingredients.  

Glycolic acid is naturally derived from cane sugar is an ingredient that has been used for a very long time by doctors and dermatologists. Now it's available and safe to use in over the counter skin care products as well.  As you wonder “Why use glycolic acid on your face and skin?”, you may initially only think of chemical peel treatments offered by doctor’s offices and salons. 

While that may have been the option years ago, today we have many options in all steps of traditional skin care: cleansers, toners, scrubs, lotions, creams and serums. 

Glycolic acid can help your skin look and become more radiant and bright without having to undergo any intense in-office treatment. The skin care benefits of glycolic acid are those worth considering for anyone who wants to reveal radiant skin that looks bright. That being said, glycolic acid can be an especially good component to an anti-aging or clear skin care routine.


#1: Removes dead skin cells.

The alpha hydroxy acid promotes exfoliation on the surface layer of your skin. When applied to your skin, glycolic acid can dissolve dead surface cells that can pile up on your skin’s outer layer over time, leaving behind a smoother surface. To refresh your skin daily, consider washing your face at night with a glycolic cleanser formulated with glycolic acid.

#2: Reveals fresh, bright skin.

Once glycolic acid works to remove dead cells on your skin’s surface, glowing skin will be revealed. As you age, skin can appear more dull and dry.  Incorporating glycolic acid products into you facial care and body care routine with be an effective way to slough away dead surface cells, and most are gentle enough to be used by most skin types.

#3: Keeps pores clear.

Removing dead skin cells on your skin’s surface will limit the chances of pores becoming clogged. Dead skin cells can mix with dirt, oil, sweat and makeup. Unlocked skin cells will leave your skin looking and feeling renewed and clarified.

Glycolic acid has made strides in the skin care world for good reason, after all who doesn’t want to encourage radiant skin? The skin benefits of glycolic acid can help skin look fresh and leave you with a youthful glow, so consider adding products with the alpha hydroxy acid into your regular routine.


You Don't Necessarily Need a Strong Peel To Improve Your Skin.

While earlier versions of acid-based exfoliating treatments could make skin visibly peel away, the latest formulas can do a great job without more than a little flaking. It can be more beneficial to have a variety of acid types in a product in a low percentage each, instead of just one kind.  For example, the combination of glycolic acid and trichloroacetic, rather than just one at a higher concentration. "When you combine acids at lower strengths, they're potentially less irritating," says a New York City dermatologist.  And you don't have to see peeling to see results. "As the acid dissolves the cement between skin cells, you may have thousands of them coming off at the same time—but the shedding is still invisible to the naked eye," says Neal Schultz, a clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

The Percentage of Acid Isn't Everything.

An acid product is only as potent as the free-acid compounds floating around inside it. Too many acid bits and your skin stings and gets red; too few and nothing happens (we mean nada—no exfoliation, no glow). So chemists play with the pH, which adjusts the amount of free acids. The ideal pH is between 3 and 4.  Some experts say your skin should tingle for a few seconds when you apply the product. "If the acid is penetrating, you're going to feel something," says Eric ­Bernstein, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. And expect some instant gratification. "An effective product should leave your skin looking immediately refreshed".

Even the Supersensitive Can Use Them.

"Acids don't work like retinoids, which repair skin by kick-starting inflammation," says Ranella Hirsch, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. "They dissolve the upper layer of cells to trigger repair." Plus, unlike with scrubs, the skin is not damaged by abrasives. So if you're sensitive, acids are actually a wise choice. Look for formulas that combine them with an amino acid, which slows their penetration into skin.  And don't rush to see results. "Irritation can take a while to show up," says Hirsch. "You may get to day four, then all of a sudden your skin reacts."  Slowly access skin over the course of a month of glycolic use before ramping up to daily use.

One Acid is Better Than the Rest.

The smaller a molecule, the more easily it gets into the skin. Because glycolic is the smallest of all the acids, it yields the most dramatic results. While this may be true, there are many acids on the market that you can gain huge benefits from.  Lactic, Salicylic, Trichloroacetic, Hyaluronic, Ascorbic, Citric - the list goes on.  While many acids sound harsh in their name, they have very useful benefits for a variety of skin conditions.

They Work Wonders Below the Neck.

To treat a blotchy chest, extend your AHA face cream a few inches south. You can help clear up back acne with a salicylic acid body wash.  When the skin on your arms feels bumpy like a plucked goose, don't try to scrub the bumps away.   Try using a glycolic product instead, as it will unclog the pores and dissolve the dry skin.

Treats Acne Very Well.

Glycolic acid can penetrate deep into the skin, making it ideal for addressing cystic and regular acne breakouts alike—plus it almost seems to dissolve blackheads on contact.  Our Indulgent Retexturing Glycolic Acid & TCA Serum is an excellent choice.

Combat The Signs of Aging.

Glycolic acid increases cell turnover, which is a fancy way of saying that the ingredient sloughs away the dead skin built up on the very surface, and helps the new cells at a lower level surface to the top.   If you’re using a glycolic product during the day, that’s fine as long as you layer it with a good sunscreen. Our Rejuvenating Glycolic & TCA Cream will help keep skin looking vibrant and renewed.

Can Minimize Dark Spots and Pores.

Exfoliating your skin with glycolic acid can effectively fade spots caused by the sun or acne by evening out the scar and fading the discoloration. Additionally, the ingredient helps give pores a more miniscule appearance. The reason? When dirt, oil, and sebum are clogging your pores, they tend to take on a much larger appearance.  Our Papaya & Willow Bark Enzyme Peel can help your skin stay clear and smooth.

Treating Ingrown Hairs.

When an ingrown hair is trapped under your skin, resist the ever-present urge to reach for the tweezers. Instead, go for a glycolic-based product.  The exfoliation will help to slough away the dead skin keeping it just under the surface, and will prevent new ones from taking shape.

Ingrown hair twists back on itself. While ingrown hairs all the more regularly happen in people with wavy hair, nearly everyone will experience one sooner or later in their life. If you shave routinely, you might need to manage ingrown hairs more usually than the normal individual.

Wash the region around the ingrown hair with warm water and saturating cleanser. Apply a Glycolic Acid lotion and allow it to penetrate skin.  Abstain from wearing tight apparel in that area, which can also promote future ingrown hairs.


Treat Keratosis Pilaris

KP or Keratosis Pilaris is a hereditary skin issue that influences 45% of the world’s populace. KP shows up as a group of little red dot that are most ordinarily found on the upper area of the arms, thighs, posterior and less usually on the face, which might be more of an indication of acne.  While there is no cure for KP, there are various natural ways to treating it.

Using glycolic acid cream at about 15 to 25% will help calm your KP and keep skin smooth.  Also consider keeping a go to moisturizer to help skin heal during the glycolic acid process.  You’ll be very surprised how just the right potency can make a difference and consistency will ensure continued recovery. 

Removes Dead Skin

With such a wide range of acid products on the market, you’ll have no shortage of finding the right products to fit your needs.  Stick to natural ingredient lists, which will focus on avoiding synthetics, harsh chemicals, and potentially damaging preservatives. 

Apply glycolic acid creams, serums and treatments to clean, dry skin.  Give it time to penetrate before applying other products or cosmetics.  If you plan to use it during the day, be sure to layer with a reliable sunscreen.  Acids tend to make skin more sensitive to sun exposure.

After a few days of use, you will reach a point where you can gently exfoliate away the dead cells that are ready to be eliminated.  While you should do this part gently, it’s helpful to have a cotton wash cloth or exfoliating pad.  Do remember to pay attention to your neck and chest area, as you’ll want the skin on your face to resemble your neck and chest in terms of tone and condition.

Heal Damaged Skin

Healing damaged skin can be a long process. Most people have experienced some sun damage over the course of their normal daily routine.  Even just the accumulation of a few minutes of sun to and from your car throughout the day can show gradual damage.  Making it a point to use a glycolic product is a wise choice for everyone – women and men included.  Men will find that the benefits are not just better skin tone and condition, but glycolic products can also eliminate and prevent ingrown hairs along the jawline and help keep skin clear of breakouts. 

Treat Melasma

What is Melasma? Basically, it is an interminable skin condition that causes the skin to have dark patches.  It generally shows up as tan or brown patches along the upper lip, upper cheeks, forehead and jaw. The essential elements bringing on melasma are hormonal changes and outer sun presentation.  It is often called the “mask of pregnancy”.  90% of those who have melisma are women. 

The continued use of a good glycolic cream or serum is going to make significant improvements when treating melasma.  It will help gradually remove those discolored layers of skin to reveal fresh, evenly toned skin. 

Remove Stretch Marks

It can happen during sudden changes in body size, for example, during pregnancy, quick weight-pick up or puberty. Ninety percent of pregnant ladies will get stretch marks around their stomach area, and thighs. As it turns out, if your mother had stretch marks you might too – as they are hereditary. 

No worries, however. There are a few things you can do to anticipate stretch marks and deal with them if they do come along.  Using a glycolic acid product will make significant improvements in the appearance of stretch marks, by gradually removing those damaged layers and conditioning your skin to be more supple and toned. 

Glycolic acid products will increase collagen production and therefore allow your skin to have more “bounce and spring”, which in itself is highly beneficial since stretch marks are caused by the continual stretching and pulling of the skin.   

Remove Age Spots

Age spots are dark or yellow spots that show up on the neck, hands or even on the face. They are basically brought on by sun damage and as a rule, and often can start out by looking like freckles but can develop significantly as one ages.  While sun spots do not bring health concerns, they can make one feel older and less attractive.  There are some proven botanical extracts that can help and fade sun spots, like mushroom extract, alpha arbutin, or licorice extract – and if used in conjunction with a glycolic acid product – you can be confident this will make a world of difference.

If you’ve noticed some sun spots creeping up on your skin, this would be a great time to find a sunscreen you’re comfortable wearing daily.  If you’re skin tends to get oily, you might want to consider a dry feel or mattifying sunscreen.  If you tend to have dry skin, feel free to use a hydrating formula that will keep skin supple.   

Many cosmetics on the market contain sunscreen, so consider this when you’re shopping around for makeup products.  It’s much easier to prevent future sun spots and keep skin looking clear and evenly toned with the right steps in place.

Prevent Razor Bumps

When men shave, they may experience some razor bumps and ingrown hairs, especially along the jawline and neck.  Men who tend to have curly hair have a higher chance of experiencing ingrown hairs.  Ladies can also experience the same, especially along the bikini line.   Using a glycolic product will greatly reduce the chance of bumps and ingrown hair by keeping pores clear of dead skin. 

After shaving, while your skin is still warm, pat skin dry and apply your favorite glycolic product.  It can be a moisturizer, toner, or serum.  Proceed with the rest of your skin care routine as you normally would.  You’ll see an obvious reduction in bumps in no time.

Remove Blackheads

Clogged pores happen when your pores get to be hindered by oil and dead skin. The dark shading is not always an indication of dirt – but can be the combination of oil and dead skin which will eventually oxidize.  Products with glycolic acid will help skin rid itself of dead skin and keep pores clean and clear.  If you use a product that extracts the blackheads from your skin, immediately follow with a rinse of warm water and then a glycolic product.

Anti-aging Properties

Glycolic acid is one of the top recommended skin care ingredients for anti aging.  It has the ability to refresh your skin, reduce fine lines, give skin a toned and firmer appearance, and reduce discoloration – all things we look for in aging skin.  Combining glycolic acid with other valuable anti aging ingredients will increase your chances of better looking skin as you age gracefully.

Remove Acne / Cystic Acne

Glycolic acid in combination with lactic acid, salicylic acid, and/or plant based botanicals can also be useful for skin that is inclined to develop cysts.   Blocked pores can at times turn into something more than a typical breakout – a cyst – which is often painful and hard to manage.  Help cystic prone skin by keeping pore and hair follicles purged of debris by finding the right product. 

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