Posts from the ‘Skin Care’ Category

Feed Your Face! Foods That Are Not Only Good For Your Skin, But On It.

I focus quite a bit on hair care, but today I want  to talk about skin.  Skin care is a beauty essential!  We so often focus on makeup products to make our skin appear fabulous and neglect the skin underneath.  If you want beautiful glowing skin forget the expensive cosmetics ( although I have them myself) and try some of these natural treasures for a beautiful face.  Of course diet is the most essential factor to gorgeous skin, but if your not quite up to par with your diet – here are some easy chemical free options to help revitalize your skin and get back your glow!

Natural Essentials For Your Beauty Regimen

1.  Oatmeal soothes dry, irritated skin

2. Cucumber, yogurt, avocado and honey moisturize

3.  Aloe vera, is a great moisturizer, and According to Shalini Vadhera, author of “Passport to Beauty,” aloe vera gel reflects as much as            20 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

4.  Jojoba, also a moisturizer, is an antioxidant

5.  Tea tree helps treat acne and oily skin

6. Clay help cleanse pores and detoxify skin

7. Sugar works as an exfoliant

These are just a few natural wonders to keep on hand, but there are many more.  I will be posting more of my favorite mixtures, but here a few to get you started.

Honey-Cocoa Butter Lip Balm

2 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. honey (I have not tried this recipe with agave nectar yet)
3/4 tsp. beeswax — grated
1/2 tsp. pure cocoa butter
Flavored oil of your choice (like peppermint or vanilla)
1/4 tsp of vitamin E oil

  •  In a small saucepan, heat oil, honey, wax and butter over a low heat until just melted.
  •  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
  •  Stir in flavoring and contents of vitamin E capsule.
  •  Pour into containers of your choice.

Mayonnaise-Coconut Oil Dry Skin Treatment

Makes 1 application

2 tablespoons real mayonnaise ( you can use Vegenaise as a vegan option)

1 teaspoon coconut oil

 Blend both ingredients.

  •  Smooth onto face, neck, rough elbows and knees or anywhere else you feel might benefit from it.
  •  Leave for 20 minutes.
  •  Rinse off thoroughly with tepid water.  If you like you follow with jojoba or coconut oil.

Tightening/Toning Lemon Egg White Mask (Vegetarian)

Makes 1 application

Juice from a lemon 1 1/2 Tbsp
1 egg white

  •  Beat together the egg white and lemon juice for 3 minutes.
  •  Apply directly to your face, avoiding the eyes.
  •  Leave on for 30 minutes.
  •  Rinse off with warm water.

Confessions of a Vegan

Due to some recent life stressors I have become reacquainted with an old friend (or foe) – milk chocolate.  I have “broken vegan hedge” for the first time in a year.  It was more than once or twice, the vegany police would have surely revoked my vegan powers and hauled me away. (Just for the record in spite of what my friend J thinks I did not become a vegan for the super powers)  I digress, the reason for this confession is the lovely glowing skin I’ve had since becoming a vegan is less bright and less clear.  I have been riddled with acne break outs over the past 2 1/2 weeks.  Now sure hormones and stress play a role, but I would get occasionally stressed and monthly hormonal before the milk chocolate and my face bore no ill effects…so I’m back off the chocolate and working to repair the damage.  I’ll be posting some of the natural acne remedies I found as well as some great natural ways to lighten hyperpigmentation secondary to inflammation (dark marks from the old zits).  So stay posted!

XOXO HippieChicChick

Hippies Shower Too… 5 Things A Hippie Can Teach You

When I talk about hippies I always do so tongue in cheek.  I know there is actually a political/religious/counter culture of  people who call themselves modern day hippies…this is NOT me.  I am simply an informed consumer/ avid label reader/ ethically conscientiousness individual, who believes the more we live off the earth( as opposed to the chemical laden cosmetics industry, pharmaceutical companies and FDA and USDA championed bio-engineered Frankenfoods)  the better off we all are!  I’ve read books, and watched documentaries, and done loads of research sure- but more than that over the years I’ve progressively incorporated  lifestyle changes that have greatly benefited me.  I feel better and even look better, and the more closely I adhere to a “living clean” lifestyle- the more convinced I am that it’s the best thing for me.  There are loads of great things you can do for yourselves and your family, but I figured if I only give you 5…you may actually give it a try.

1. FOOD

You actually are what you eat, so if what you eat is fast, cheap, and easy…you may want to reevaluate.  Without exaggeration what you eat can cure you or kill you.  “It’s not that serious.” you say, well actually it is.  There are numerous studies that have conclusively linked our diet to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disease, bone/kidney/eye/brain diseases, and common cancers.  As well as conclusive evidence showing that a plant based diet can not only prevent disease but actually reverse it!

2. CHEMICALS ARE BAD

It is getting increasingly difficult to avoid hazardous chemicals, but you should seriously try.  I figure avoiding all the stuff I know about will give my body a fighting chance to deal with all the stuff I don’t know about.  I have a strict ON the body is IN the body rule.  If it’s not safe to eat…it doesn’t go on my skin.  That includes chemical laden personal hygiene products like shampoos and conditioners, perfumed soaps, body lotions, petroleum filled lip glosses, etc.  The cosmetics industry is the worst since it is largely unregulated.  What that means is all those labels that say “all natural”  “organic”  “safe” are meaningless!   The Federal Drug Administration doesn’t test the safety of personal care products. It doesn’t even require that all of the ingredients be listed on the label.  I don’t trust the stuff they do test, not even going to think about what’s in the stuff they don’t. Watch this… 

Now stop scrunching your nose at me (I see you).  I don’t smell, I do shower, and am actually a bit of a Germaphobe clean freak.  There are just healthier ways to clean your body and your environment.  For body I use raw African black soap, lemon juice & baking soda scrubs, and for hair and scalp I use ACV and a cleansing clay like bentonite clay or rhassoul clay.  Tea tree oil has excellent antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic properties.  I even massage a bit under my arms in place of deodorant, works great, even in summer.

Did you know you can also  Make your own cleaners.  Does the job without the damage of household cleansers and is cheaper than buying the natural ones.  Even if you wear gloves to clean…if you can smell the chemical, it’s entered your body.

3. ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS BIG NO! NO!

If you were Indiana Jones, then artificial sweeteners would be the Temple Of Doom, evil Nazis, and the Soviets all rolled into one…their aim is to KILL YOU!  I’m being melodramatic you say, hardly.  Splenda, Equal, and any other random chemical that is supposed to sweeten your food should be avoided like the plague, literally…when you see a diet coke think bubonic plague.  Not only do artificial sweeteners pose a serious health risk, but anyone whose eaten them knows they are actually sweeter in taste than sugar.  This means increased sugar cravings for you that become harder to satisfy, causing you eat more sugar  or have to work extra hard to try not to.  If you have to have something sweetened,  just use sugar (vegetable glycerin is also an excellent alternative).

4. ORGANICS

If you follow the Dirty Dozen list you’ll do great.  If you can’t buy 100% of your food USDA certified organic, that’s ok, you don’t have to.  There are foods that are at higher risk for pesticide residue than others, these are the main ones you want to purchase organically.  I eat about 95% organic, but that has more to do with my fear of Frankenfoods (aka GMOs) than worry over pesticides.

5. HOMEOPATHICS

Now please believe me when I say, homeopathic medicine (especially after working in the medical field for 12 years) sounded like the biggest bunch of hooey ever.  I had no use for it and it seemed so completely ridiculous that I wouldn’t even justify it’s existence by actually trying it.  That is until 3 years ago when my chronic abdominal pain and digestive issues had gotten so bad I would go days without eating.  I have always had a temperamental digestive system…some of my earliest childhood memories involved prune juice and milk of magnesia…YUCK!  My abdominal discomfort and inability to…well…poo, became so normal that I didn’t give it much thought it was just apart of life.  Over the years I had seen countless doctors and specialist, had numerous test and procedures and was finally diagnosed with IBS, was told there was not much they could do, and sent on my way.  This was fine until 3 yrs ago when I grew to be in so much pain I became desperate…enter the Homeopath.  A friend of mine recommended I see hers’ and I was suffering so I was willing to try anything and figured what did I have to loose.  She looked at me held my wrist for a second and said ” you have a gluten allergy you need to  stop eating gluten immediately” me- How do you know???? (insert skeptical side eye here).  She gave me lots of other things to do and I left my appointment skeptical at best, feeling like I had completely wasted my time at worst, but I figured I wasn’t going to hurt to try it, I couldn’t possibly feel worse than I was already feeling.  Anywho long story short…guess what I have a gluten allergy.  Within a few weeks, my stomach pain COMPLETELY disappeared.  30 years of pain, now no pain at all… after a month I accidentally ate some gluten (in the beginning your still learning what you need to avoid, and some are not obvious) and guess what horrible stomach pain…I could go on but you get the point.  Now don’t get me wrong if I’m ever diagnosed with cancer I’m not going to rub crystals on my body and chant in a field at sunrise, I’ll see a physician- but what I’m saying is western medicine is not always right, and sometimes does more harm than good…so keep an open mind.

 

A Love  Note To The Naturals

There are so many natural and healthy ways to nurture your tresses, there is no need to sacrifice your health for your hair.  In fact a healthy diet will dramatically improve your ability to grow strong, healthy, and beautiful hair…to match that strong, healthy, and beautiful body you’ll have.  So make sure you read the labels of the products your applying to hair and body to make sure they don’t do more harm than good…not only for your hair, but YOURSELF.

Love, Peace, And NO Hair Grease,   XOXO Hippiechicchick

Rhassoul Clay, Why Deep Condition With Mud?

So anyone that has discussed natural hair with me knows what bentonite clay is, knows that i LOVE it, and of all the tools in my natural hair and beauty arsenal, this clay is one of my favorites!  Now I’ll start by saying,  I’m not a “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with”, kind of girl.  If I find something I’m absolutely in love with, and works wonders for me- I stick with it, and don’t stray easily.  So it took a while for all the buzz surrounding the rhassoul clay in the natural hair community finally caught my attention, and true to my nature prompted me to start researching, here’s what I found…

 Rhassoul Clay

 Rhassoul clay comes from Morocco and sometimes is referred to as Moroccan Ghassoul Clay, it is naturally found and mined from  deep within the Atlas Mountains in the northeastern region of Morocco.  After the mineral-rich clay is extracted via the mining process it gets washed and sun-dried.

Did you know that rhassoul clay has been used for over 1400 years as a soap, shampoo, and skin conditioner?  I didn’t, and it’s still used today in the finest spas all over the world.

The word rhassoul comes from the Arabic word “rassala” meaning “washing”. Moroccan Rhassoul Clay can be used as detoxifying cleanser, skin conditioner, shampoo, and facial and body mask. It has a number of outstanding benefits that surpass those of other clays because it contains the highest content of silica, magnesium, potassium and calcium, and because of its absorption ability.

Mineral Content

  • Silica- 58%
  • Aluminum- 2.47%
  • Iron- 0.64%
  • Sodium- 2.3%
  • Magnesium- 25.2%
  • Calcium- 2.34%
  • Moisture- <8%

Studies that shown that Moroccan Rhassoul Clay reduces dryness, improves skin clarity and elasticity and has extractive abilities that remove impurities and unblock pores, even stubborn blackheads. As a hair treatment, Moroccan Rhassoul Clay cleanses the hair, removing impurities, and leaves hair bouncy and voluminous.

Clinical studies have shown that a single use of Moroccan Rhassoul: (Although several sites discuss this studies findings, I have been unable to locate the actual study, so am unable to definitively confirm the findings)

  • Reduces dryness (79%)
  • Reduces flakiness (41%)
  • Improves skin clarity (68%)
  • Improves skin elasticity / firmness (24%)
  • Improves skin texture (106%)
  • Removes surface oil and oil from inside and around comedons
  • Removes dead skin layers, resulting in a general smoothing of the surface skin

After my research and the review of one of my favorite YouTubers (Whitney aka Naptural 85) I had to try it for myself!  I purchased Anita Grant’s rhassoul deep conditioning  cubes, which you can find here Anita Grant Rhassoul Deep Conditioning Cubes

I LOVED THEM!!! My hair felt amazing! I did not bother to section my hair prior to application as I usually do when cleansing, and I was rockin’ a 6 day old twist out when I tried this product,  so my hair was far from detangled. I wanted to give it a true test, and it passed wit flying colors!  I applied the clay (after I dissolved the cubes  in warm coconut milk and mixed well) to my hair and after about 5 min I could already feel how much softer my hair was, and my hair was falling apart…easily separating… making tangles non-existent!  I have not to date used any product that has made my hair feel so fantastic.  My love affair with the bentonite clay is not over, but has been diminished in light of this new rival.  I have not decided yet, but I may be switching altogether.  My only issue with the Anita Grant cubes is that they are not vegan (they contain honey) I did not realize this before I got them, but I plan on mixing up my on vegan version of this deep conditioning recipe (I’ll be sure to post once perfected).

As much as I loved the way the clay makes my hair and skin feel,  perhaps the best part about Rhassoul clay is what it does not contain: no petrochemical derivatives, no synthetic preservatives, no surfactants or artificial colors … all of which are common in most soaps, cleansers, and shampoos.  Amazing products that are safe and free from harmful chemicals, makes this hippie chick very happy!

References:

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/rhassoul.php

Petroleum and Mineral Oil…Are Your Hair Products Increasing Your Risk For Cancer?

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Loads of the cosmetic and hair products on the market contain mineral oil, as do many creams and lotions. Mineral oil may sound harmless, but… it’s not. This concept is especially hard to grasp for those of us who have used it for so long. From baby oil to hair grease to lip gloss- this product has surrounded us daily for most of our lives…so how can it be bad?

Mineral oil is actually a derivative of petroleum, that’s right, the same stuff you put in your car’s engine! Because it’s very viscous (slippery), and very inexpensive many products use mineral oil as the main ingredient. This despite the fact that it’s a known carcinogen!

It acts as a sealant which means it blocks your pores and does not allow your skin to breath, a natural respiration process your skin very much needs. Blocked pores can lead to acne. And, because mineral oil can create an impenetrable film on your skin, and hair it may also block the absorption of any beneficial ingredients you may apply. It can also cause the hair to become dry and brittle and prone to breakage if it is not thoroughly cleansed to ensure the chemical barrier is completely removed.

“A study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, found that commonly used moisturizing creams containing mineral oil are tumorigenic when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. What this means is that these creams and lotions can increase the rate at which skin tumors form. The study tested four common skin lotions:

  • Dermabase
  • Dermovan
  • Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream
  • Vanicream

What these creams have in common is that they all contain mineral oil. Mice that were at high risk of developing skin cancer received a topical application of 100 mg of one of the creams once a day, five days a week for 17 weeks. The researchers concluded that the rate of tumor formation significantly increased, as did the tumor size per mouse. In fact, the number of histologically characterized tumors increased by a whopping 69 percent!” Dr. Joseph Mercola.

If 100mg per day sounds like a lot, it’s not, 100 mg is equivalent to 20 tsp. When we add up the total sum of all the products we use daily (makeup, lip stick, lip balm, lotion (most of us re apply), shampoo, conditioner, leave in, hair gel, curl cream, hair polisher, makeup remover, sun screen, soap, shower gel…the list can go on; with all of that if -we only use 20 tsp we’re fortunate.

Mineral oil has countless different names, but the same effect.

Alternate names include:

  • Adepsine oil
  • Albolene
  • Baby oil
  • Drakeol
  • Lignite oil
  • Liquid paraffin / paraffin oil
  • Mineral seal oil
  • Petrolatum
  • White oil

Safer Choices

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re not being exposed to potentially hazardous agents is to simply make your own personal care products, when possible, and if not read labels CAREFULLY. Some great natural moisturizers are EVOO and EVCO, these can be used for face and body. ( I personally LOVE my coconut oil) Coconut oil also is also a potent source of the beneficial fat lauric acid.

You can also find many organic skin oils and lotions these days. Just be sure to read labels and check products out before buying them to make sure you’re not being fooled by less-than-honest claims ( This not an area you want to be trusting about). A fantastic web site by the Environmental Working Group can aid you- http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ it is an excellent resource for finding and evaluating healthful personal care products, and weeding out the bad ones.

Resources:

Dr. Joseph Mercola

http://www.mercola.com/

The Journal Of Investigative Dermatology
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2630214/?tool=pubmed
Green Med Info
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/commonly-used-moisturizing-creams-containing-mineral-oil-are-tumorigenic-when-applied

Parabens, What Are They And What Are The Risk?

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What Is Paraben?

 

 

Parabens are a group of preservatives that are added to most cosmetic products and or some foods. Parabens are a low-cost and effective method of preserving items for relatively long periods of time. Although the chemicals known as parabens were once thought to be safe, there is some controversy over their use.

 

Function and Labeling

These preservatives are used in cosmetics and other products to protect the item against the growth of microorganisms.
It is important to be aware that the use of parabens in our personal products on a regular basis could be a risk your health.

Check product labels for: ethyl, butyl, isobutyl propyl, isopropyl and/or methylparaben.

Risk

Parabens  are also present in some foods, but these act very differently than those applied in personal care products.  First of all, in a food, other compounds are present in nature’s perfect balance. We’re talking antioxidants and enzymes that work together to create an overall healthful effect on the body.  Second, when parabens enter the body through foods, they have a much better chance to be metabolized because they’re going through the digestive system.  Stomach acids and other enzymes help to break them down to metabolites that are easily flushed out of the body.  Third, parabens behave much differently when applied to skin than when ingested in a food.

Recent Study found that parabens, when applied to skin, react with an enzyme called SULT.  In simplified terms, SULT is the enzyme that helps the body flush out estrogen.  So, when SULT enzymes are deactivated, estrogen levels increase.  Parabens were found to deactivate these important enzymes.  The study states “…these results suggest chronic topical application of parabens may lead to prolonged estrogenic effects in skin as a result of inhibition of estrogen sulfotransferase activity.”  Supporters of parabens are always talking about how little parabens are absorbed and how weak their estrogenic activity is–but with this study in mind, absorption and estrogen receptor activity really are moot points.  It’s a reaction with parabens in the skin that increases overall estrogen levels in the body.  Many reproductive cancers are estrogen-dependent and tumor growth is fueled by an excess of estrogen.  Uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, irregular menstruation–all of these reproductive problems are caused by an excess of estrogen.  So why would you want to apply these compounds to your skin!? 

Another pro-paraben argument that you’ll hear is that the skin metabolizes parabens quickly and they’re flushed out of the body.  Not so!  This Study found that after a month of applying methylparaben to skin cells, it “remained unmetabolized and persisted slightly” in the stateum corneum. Additionally, it was found to affect DNA expression in the skin cells, inhibiting collagen production, and possibly leading to early aging of cells.

How To Avoid

The David Suzuki foundation reports that 75 to 90 percent of cosmetics will contain parabens.  This includes shampoo, conditioners, skin creams, lotions, nail polish, moisturizers, make-up, shaving foam, deodorant, tanning lotions and toothpaste.  There are more and more paraben-free products available on the market, so that consumers can make a choice to limit their exposure to this chemical.

Refrences:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Parabens
Parabens inhibit human skin estrogen sulfotransferase activity: possible link to paraben estrogenic effects.
Prusakiewicz JJHarville HMZhang YAckermann CVoorman RL. Source Department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Metabolism, Pfizer Global Research and Development, 2800 Plymouth Rd., 20/342S-D, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA. Jeff.Prusakiewicz@pfizer.com
Effects of methyl paraben on skin keratinocytes.
Ishiwatari SSuzuki THitomi TYoshino TMatsukuma STsuji T. Source Fancl Corporation, 12-13 Kamishinano, Yokohama 244-0806, Japan. shiishiwata@fancl.co.jp

Stephanie Greenwood from Chemical Of The Day

David Suzuki Foundation: Parabens

 

 

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