Safe, Natural Alternative Ingredients to Hydrate, Moisturize & Protect Skin: Coconut Oil for Skin Health from the Inside and Out

coconutCoconut oil’s ability to nourish and heal the skin has been known in the tropics for hundreds of years. One need only look to the Philippines to see the first hand evidence of this. Filipinos have been using coconut oil on their skin for generations because they known about its wonderful moisturizing and healing powers. Another interesting thing to consider is that skin cancer in tropical places like the Philippines, where its people are constantly exposed to the sun’s rays year round, is virtually unheard of. This may well be due to their regular use of coconut oil, with its protective qualities.

Most commercial skin care products in the US today are made from polyunsaturated oils, which oxidize and turn rancid very quickly causing free radical damage in the skin. Coconut oil on the other hand has wonderful antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage. That’s one of the reasons it makes such an excellent skincare ingredient. Of course virgin coconut oil is the purest form and the only one that should be used in formulating skincare products especially lotions and creams.

In addition to its highly moisturizing properties, it also helps to keep connective tissues strong and supple so that the skin doesn’t sag and wrinkle. In some cases it can even restore damaged or diseased skin. The natural oil our bodies produce is called sebum. This oil is very important to skin health because it softens and lubricates the skin and hair and prevents them from drying and cracking. Sebum also contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), in the form of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can be released to fight harmful germs.

While coconut oil applied directly to the skin doesn’t have any immediate antimicrobial action, when bacteria, which are always present on the skin, turn the coconut’s triglycerides into free fatty acids, just as it does with sebum, the result is an increase in the number of antimicrobial fatty acids on the skin, which provide protection from infection. By using a coconut oil cream, lotion or just pure coconut oil you can quickly help reestablish the skin’s natural antimicrobial and acid barrier.

Because coconut oil can help reduce chronic skin inflammation within days and be soothing and healing to wounds, blood blisters, rashes, etc., it’s also an excellent ingredient to use in healing salves and ointments.

If you use coconut oil both internally as a nutrient in your diet, and externally as a skin care ingredient you will reap its numerous health benefits!

Look and Feel Your Best Without Compromising Your Baby’s Health

Hope you’ve been enjoying all the insight and wisdom that’s being shared on these Tele-Summit calls. This evening is our 4th call in the series: “Look and Feel Your Best Without Compromising Your Baby’s Health.” I’ll be the resident expert for today’s session and I’ll be talking about something very important –-the hidden health threats to your baby from the personal care and beauty products you use! Some of the things I’ll cover on tonight’s session:

  • Startling new research about ingredients in mass-produced personal care products that may pre-dispose your baby to obesity (among other serious health problems!)
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  • The top 10 ingredients you MUST avoid to keep you and your baby safe and how you can find out if the products you’re using right now may contain them
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  • Using Mother Nature’s Rx: Essential Oils to safely address some of the most common pregnancy-related complaints

Much of what I’ll be sharing on tonight’s call applies to you whether you are pregnant or not, but becomes even more important when you are or planning to be. There’s no better time than now to take inventory of the products you currently use and toss the ones that are bad for you. Come join me and learn how to become a more conscious consumer so you can stop exposing your baby to hidden threats from toxic exposure while learning how to identify and choose safer, more effective natural alternatives.

We’re going LIVE at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern. Don’t miss this very important call!

If you’re pregnant now, are planning to become pregnant, work with pregnant women and want to better support them through this journey, or know anyone who fits any of these criteria, please share this with them and encourage them to register at: http://www.dropwise.info. It’s FREE!

Making the Most of Mineral Makeup: Application Tips to Maximize Your Investment

If you’ve decided to make the switch to mineral makeup then congratulations! You will probably be pleasantly surprised by the difference in the way they make you look and the way it makes your skin feel. Here are some tips I’ve pulled together to help you make the most of your investment.

It all starts with having the right tools and equipment. The right brushes and sponges can make all the difference in how effectively the makeup is applied. And this is especially true for mineral makeup because so much of it is in loose, or loosely pressed powder form. Visit a retail outlet that carries the brand you’re interested in, or carries a reputable brand of mineral makeup, and ask a sales representative what brushes they recommend for use with each product as they do vary. When you’re ready to apply your makeup, follow these steps for the best results:

    1. Start with clean, hydrated skin, and good lighting so you can really see what you’re doing. A magnifying mirror can work wonders, especially if your sight is not 20/20!

 

    1. After you’ve put on your makeup, apply a quick spritz of mineral water or hydrosol to help it set. This gives you the topical moisture you need to carry that amazing look all the way through the day. Try our Soothe Aromatic Mister Spray.

 

  1. To properly remove your makeup, apply a thin layer of natural oil like jojoba, coconut, hemp, olive, or sesame directly onto your face and gently remove with a tissue or cotton pad. Repeat until all or most of the makeup has been removed, then lightly cleanse your face to remove any lingering residue.

True mineral makeup lasts so long, you can sometimes forget you’ve got it on. No need to worry if you forget to remove it. Since it doesn’t clog your pores, sleeping with it on will not aggravate your skin.

If you’ve been using mineral make up and have a brand or brands that you like then share here what you’re using and why you like it!

Making the Most of Mineral Makeup: Selecting the Right Choice for Your Particular Needs

Just like you did with your regular make-up, finding a mineral makeup that you like takes some experimentation and a little trial and error. It’s best to stick with a company that specializes in making strictly mineral makeup products rather than a company that offers some mineral makeup options as part of their larger line or as a brand extension. There are no standards for this type of cosmetic nor is the term “mineral makeup” regulated, so to certain extent you need to be wary of unfounded claims.

Also, understanding the particle size involved is important too. Many companies pulverize the minerals down to micro-fine nanoparticle size, which can pose a danger to your health when inhaled. There are many health concerns associated with this relatively new manufacturing technique. Until more is understood about its impacts on the body, it’s best to avoid makeup and other products made with nanoparticles. Companies like Jane Iredale, that specialize in mineral makeup are likely to have the most eco-friendly and skin-friendly products, and can offer the best advice on selecting the right colors for your skin tone. Here are some tips from their web site on determining your skin type to find the best possible color match from their product line:

    • If you turn pink in the sun, and/or have light hair and light eyes, you are probably Cool or Neutral. Porcelain or Fair are the best categories for you.

 

    • If you turn pink in the sun, and/or have dark hair and light eyes, you are probably Cool or Neutral. Fair or Light are the best categories for you.

 

    • If you turn tan in the sun, and/or have dark hair and light eyes, you are probably Warm or Neutral undertone. Light or Medium Light, are the best categories for you.

 

    • If you turn tan in the sun, and/or have dark hair and dark eyes, you are probably a Warm or Neutral undertone. Medium or Olive (Medium Dark) are the best categories for you.

 

    • If you are tan all year long, and/or have dark hair and dark eyes, you are probably Warm. Deep Tan or Light Dark are the categories for you.

 

  • If you have a golden/red and/or dark hair, and brown/black eyes, you are probably Warm. Deep Dark is the best category for you.

For more information about the Jane Iredale product line visit their site at http://www.janeiredale.com. Be sure to check out the Mineral Makeover Room –an interactive guide that let’s you select a model with similar skin tone to your own and try out different shades for different to see how her skin tone changes. Very cool though the differences are often quite subtle!

Making the Most of Mineral Makeup: What is Mineral Makeup Anyway?

True mineral makeup is made from all natural minerals found in the earth that are finely ground into powders that you brush on, or are combined with other natural ingredients to make eye pencils, lipsticks, and cream or liquid blushes as well some forms of liquid or cream-based foundations. But by and large, most mineral makeup comes in the form of loose or pressed powders.

The main ingredients in these formulas is typically mica, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and pigments derived from iron oxides –all of which can be naturally produced. Mica is a mineral found in many rocks around the world. It is typically recovered from mining scrap, then ground up to create a fine powder that is later added to makeup. Zinc oxide is present as zincite in the earth’s crust. Metallic zinc is melted, vaporized, then cooled and made into a useable form. The process to produce titanium dioxide is considerably more difficult, as it must be purified using other minerals or chemical reactions.

With regular makeup, the main ingredients are typically derived using extensive chemical conversion processes often handled within the factories themselves. As a class of cosmetics, most mineral makeup is safer not just because it comes from naturally occurring materials, but also because most mineral formulas leave out the irritating synthetic dyes, preservatives, and fragrances that abound in traditional cosmetics. That alone can make a big difference in how makeup behaves and feels, especially if you have sensitive skin.

One of the best-kept secrets about mineral makeup is (in addition to being a lot more skin-friendly) it also makes you look better than most traditional cosmetics! The mica helps reflect light, which can minimize fine lines and dark circles under the eye, even out your skin tone, and effectively camouflage blemishes and hyper-pigmentation. The minerals actually combine with your skin’s own natural oils to help minimize flaws, giving your skin an almost “dewy” look (assuming you’ve selected the right colors for your skin tone).

Because most mineral powders sit on the surface of your skin rather than being absorbed, they won’t clog pores or leave skin feeling greasy or oily –creating that dreaded “shine” on your forehead. They also manage to stay on far longer than most traditional makeup.

Some of the other inherent benefits that come from using mineral makeup are sun protection from the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (the most effective natural sun blocks available), and in some cases, soothing anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce puffiness.

Put Your Best Face Forward: Making the Most of Mineral Makeup

When it comes to choosing make-up, let’s face it, there are so many brands out there and each offers a dizzying array of products, it’s hard to know what to choose that will help you put your best face forward without compromising your skin’s health or your health in general. If you’re like most women, you’ve probably spent a lot of time and money over the years trying out different brands and colors to arrive at a combination of products that work for your every day purposes as well as a few choice items for those special occasions too. With so many options to choose from but no clear sense of how one product or brand compares with another, you may have simply opted for the higher priced premium brands believing they offer the best possible quality. Or maybe you chose a particular brand because it was all the rage according to the fashion magazines, and it seemed like that’s what everyone was using!

Whether it’s products from Estee Lauder, Clinique, Lancome, Revlon, or MAC, if you’re an eco-conscious consumer then you know that a lot of these established and popular name brands make products that contain a lot of dyes and synthetic ingredients that have never been tested for safety. And you may even have noticed that even when you’ve paid a lot of money for a premium brand that sometimes, it still doesn’t feel so great on your skin. If you’ve ever applied a cream or liquid foundation only to find that after a few hours it cakes on, makes your pores look larger, or wears off and needs to be re-applied you are not alone. All that frustration doesn’t even take into account how messy it often is to work with some of these products.

Take heart, with the advent of mineral makeup there are finally some better, healthier options. This new breed of makeup, which has been rapidly growing in the natural products marketplace for awhile now, is proving to be far superior to mass-market products in more ways than one.

The Story of Cosmetics: Sometimes the Truth Hurts . . .

Last week was a busy week in the world of cosmetics and personal care products! It started with the introduction in Congress of a new bill: The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. This ground-breaking legislation proposes an overhaul of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, giving the FDA the authority and resources it needs to ensure that cosmetics and personal care products do not contain ingredients linked to adverse health effects.

Coinciding with the introduction of this legislation, the Safe Cosmetics Campaign (who was instrumental in pushing this through) released a new video called “The Story of Cosmetics” –a sequel of sorts to Annie Leonard’s 2007 widely viewed and critically acclaimed video “The Story of Stuff.” This is a clever animated video that, like its predecessor, attempts to spell out in the simplest possible way the problems inherent with the status quo –in this case: the way cosmetics manufacturers make products. As you can probably imagine, it’s already rankled the cosmetics industry! I highly recommend it and you can view it below. If this is a subject you want to know more about, I’ll be blogging about it in the coming weeks so stay tuned in to the Aroma Zone.

Much of the work done by the Safe Cosmetics Campaign is based on something called the precautionary principle, which basically encapsulates the essence of the phrase “better safe than sorry.” In other words, if there’s no scientific consensus that an action or policy suspected of being harmful to people or the environment is not harmful, the burden lies with those who want to carry it out to prove otherwise.

There are more interesting “story of” videos at The Story of Stuff Project web site.