Posted on

Sunscreen 411

Radiation energy emitted from the sun is a form of ultraviolet rays (UV). There are two types of rays that reach earth, UVA and UVB.

UVA rays (the dominant tanning ray) have a longer wavelength and can penetrate two layers beneath the skin into the dermis. UVA have long been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling (photoaging). Recent studies, however, show that UVA damages skin cells in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur.

UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photoaging.

Broad spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays; however, SPF only measures a sunscreen’s ability to filter UVB rays.

SPF – Sun Protection Factor

SPF is a measure of how much solar energy (UV radiation) is required to produce sunburn on protected skin (i.e., in the presence of sunscreen) relative to the amount of solar energy required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin.  It is not directly related to time of solar exposure but to amount of solar exposure.

It is a common mistake to assume that the duration of effectiveness of a sunscreen can be calculated simply by multiplying the SPF by the length of time it takes to suffer a burn without sunscreen, because the amount of sun exposure a person receives is dependent upon more than just the length of time spent in the sun.

Generally, it takes less time to be exposed to the same amount of solar energy at midday compared to early morning or late evening because the sun is more intense at midday relative to the other times. Solar intensity is also related to geographic location, with greater solar intensity occurring at lower latitudes. Because clouds absorb solar energy, solar intensity is generally greater on clear days than cloudy days. Additionally, other factors such as your skin type, amount of sunscreen applied and reapplication frequency influence the amount of solar energy exposure.

Sunbathers often assume that they get twice as much protection from SPF 100 sunscreen as from SPF 50. The SPF scale is not linear and in reality, the extra protection is negligible. Properly applied SPF 50 sunscreen blocks 98 percent of UVB rays; SPF 100 blocks 99 percent. When used correctly, sunscreen with SPF values in the range of 30 to 50 will offer adequate sunburn protection, even for people most sensitive to sunburn.

Mineral Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals sit on the surface of your skin and physically reflect sunlight away from the skin. They can be thick and take a little longer to rub in but mineral sunscreens offer many benefits:

• Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide do not absorb into the skin and provide sun protection as soon as they are applied.

• Both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide protection against UVA and UVB rays.

• Zinc oxide has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays into the skin. Then, by a chemical reaction, transform UV rays into heat and release that heat from the skin.  While chemical sunscreens are easier to apply than mineral sunscreens, they have many downsides:

• You must wait 15-20 mins after application before it provides adequate protection.

• The chemical reaction occurs under the skin’s surface, increases skin temperature and may cause redness.

• Multiple chemicals are required to achieve high SPF and UVA + UVB protection, and many cause skin irritation.

• Oxybenzone, a common ingredient, may be linked to hormone disruption.

We Recommend…

• Use a broad spectrum mineral sunscreen.

• Stay away from aerosols, you are likely not applying a thick enough coating and it is not something you want to inhale.

• Reapply every 2 hours for maximum protection. Everyday activities, friction with clothing, water sports, and sweat can all reduce the amount of sunscreen on your skin.

Badger Sunscreen Cream SPF30

• Only “5” ingredients – Zinc oxide, Sunflower oil, beeswax, vitamin E, and Sea buckthorn

• Unscented

• Water and sweat resistant up to 40 minutes

• Biodegradable, Coral reef friendly, eco-friendly packaging

ThinkSport Sunscreen SPF50+

• Excellent choice for outdoor activities and water sports

• Water and sweat resistant up to 80 minutes

• Kids Safe

Posted on

Ode to Water

“The water is the one, who opens the door, she gives us the peace that we’ve been searching for, dive deep into the blue and let it wash you clean, deep into the oneness where our spirits are free”~by Windsong, Dianne Martin

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight.  Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly.  Lack of water can lead to dehydration — a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions.  Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss.  It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout. Also, hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid intake.  Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.

While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.  Also, foods with high water content tend to look larger, their higher volume requires more chewing, and they are absorbed more slowly by the body, helping you feel full.  Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. Dehydration makes your skin look dryer and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. You can also help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep in moisture.

Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that passes through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine.  Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate.

Water is a nutrient your body needs and must be consumed in some form to replace the large amounts lost each day. Why not enjoy the added benefits of fresh and vital water by recharging your water with a VitaJuwel Gemstone water bottle or decanter. Drink it Pure, Natural and Energized!

“…water heals us, washing us clean.  Sacred Water, Precious Water, Healing Water.”

Posted on

Carrier Oils

Essential oils are extremely concentrated oils that need to be handled with care and used correctly. Carrier oils are fatty vegetable oils used to dilute the essential oil, so it can be applied easily and safely to the skin. While they dilute the essential oil, carrier oils do not eliminate their positive properties.  In fact, they can even enhance the effect of the essential oils and alter the absorption rate.

Some of the benefits:

  • Most carrier oils are loaded with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and skin-healing vitamins.
  • Carrier oils let you cover a larger part of your body without using too much essential oil.
  • Essential oils are made of small particles that are absorbed quickly.  Carrier oils don’t evaporate as fast so by adding the two, the absorption rate is slowed, allowing a longer impact.

Here is a list of some of the carrier oils we like.

Coconut oil (refined) Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, thus leaving mainly the medium-chain triglycerides and making it an absolutely saturated oil.

Pros: Completely soluble with other oils.  Extremely light, and absorbs quickly into the skin without clogging pores. Super moisturizing, odorless, colorless and does not stain. Has a long shelf life.

Cons: Refined – Virgin coconut oil has a higher antioxidant capacity.

Recommended: Molivera Organics Fractionated Coconut Oil

Jojoba Oil  This oil’s composition is closest to our sebum, or the body’s natural oils and can help to balance oil production in the skin.

Pros: Moisturizing without being greasy – great for oily skin. Contains vitamin E and B vitamins and has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Easily and quickly absorbed.  Has long shelf life.

Cons: Has a mild aroma.

Recommended: Hobacare Jojoba Oil

Avocado oil  The fruit of the avocado tree is almost one-third oil and is one of the thickest, most luxurious oils on the list.  A good oil to use for anti-aging as it contains palmitoleic acid, known to moisturize and tighten the skin, and enhance skin elasticity to prevent symptoms of premature aging, such as wrinkles.

Pros: Very hydrating. Excellent for mature and very dry skin. Reduces inflammation and increases collagen production. Has a long shelf life.

Cons: Thick and heavy, sometimes better as secondary carrier oil. Strong scent.

Recommended: Sports Research Avocado Oil

Sweet Almond oil  A light oil, and very easily absorbed by your skin. Almond oil works wonderfully for all types of skin.

Pros: Naturally rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E.  Great all-purpose oil for all skin types. Not too expensive.

Cons: May cause a reaction to those with nut allergies. Refrigeration after opening is recommended. Mild aroma.

Recommended: Molivera Organics Sweet Almond Oil

Dilution

How you dilute depends on much you need and how you want to use it:

  • Massage Oil Add approximately ¼ oz. essential oil to 12-14 oz. carrier oil.
  • Salves Add 15 drops of essential oil to 1 oz. of carrier oil. Store in metal or glass container. Great for use on cuts, bruises or sore muscles.
  • Neat Take 3-5 drops of essential oil and put directly onto your skin (if it needs a carrier oil mix with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil). Lightly massage area.
Posted on

Gemstones: Nature’s Gift

A gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal (a single mineral with a visible faceted, three-dimensional, geometric form) or certain rocks (generally formed from multiple minerals fused together) that are strong enough to be cut and shaped (lapis lazuli, jade).

Since early times, mankind has been fascinated with the beauty and power of gemstones. Druids used them for healing as well as for religious rituals. Medieval Europeans ground them into powders for medicinal purposes. The Tibetans regarded Quartz Crystals as one of the precious substances of Buddha. Today, gemstones form the building blocks of our modern technological age: Rubies for lasers, diamonds for cutting tools and quartz crystals for electronics are just a few examples.

Gemstones represent energy in its most solid form. Each gemstone has its own energetic characteristics that allow us to distinguish one from another as do each of us have our own electro-magnetic fields that are in turn impacted by the energetic quality of each gemstone. When selecting gemstones, the most important guideline is that the stone is appealing to you. The body has a way of being attracted to a gemstone that is appropriate for use at the time, whether you consciously realize it or not.

Currently our planet contains over 5500 identified minerals and growing. As inventor Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”

Recommended Reading:

Crystals: The Modern Guide to Crystal Healing by Yulia Van Doren
The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall

Posted on

Yoga Mat Spray

Yoga is a great way to increase your physical and emotional well-being.
Whether you are an expert or are just beginning, a good yoga mat spray is a must.

Ingredients
¾ cup distilled water
¼ cup alcohol-free witch hazel or white vinegar
5 drops Lavender essential oil
3 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Spray bottle (preferably glass)

 

Instructions
1. Combine all ingredients in spray bottle
2. Shake well
3. To use, spray on mat and wipe
Note: Not all yoga mats are treated the same. Spray a test patch before using.

Posted on

Protect Your Palms & Your Sole

As many of you know we are big fans of Protect oil. If you have read some of our previous posts, (Arm Yourself and An Ancient Protective Blend), you can see why.

One of my favorite application methods is the bottom of the feet. Essential oils are easily absorbed and reach the bloodstream faster when applied to the soles of your feet.

Another great way to use Protect is on your hands. When you are on the go, it isn’t always convenient to wash – try this all-natural hand sanitizer made with Protect oil for that extra level of protection.

DIY Protect Gel Sanitizer:

  • 3 T aloe vera gel
  • ¼ tsp. vitamin E oil (a natural preservative)
  • 10 drops of Protect oil

Add to a high-quality travel size plastic squeeze bottle and shake. No drying alcohol. Moisturizes while it protects.

Posted on

Essential Oil Perfume

The Oxford Dictionaries defines “perfume” as “a fragrant liquid typically made from essential oils extracted from flowers and spices”.

Egyptians were responsible for the origin of perfume. They utilized scents in everything from religious ceremonies to burial preparations and even daily wear. They created ointments and balms with essential oils mixed in to provide scent.

Unfortunately today according to The Environmental Working Group (EWG) “while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals. To protect trade secrets, makers are allowed to withhold fragrance ingredients”.

A DIY essential oil perfume will have exactly the ingredients you choose plus by using therapeutic grade essential oils, you will benefit from the properties associated with each oil.

Traditionally, perfume is made by layering scents according to how volatile the oils are (how easily they evaporate). Top notes evaporate quickly—they are the first scent you smell in a perfume.  Middle or heart notes form the main body of a perfume. Base notes are fixatives—they hold and blend the other ingredients, and they stay on the skin the longest, so you always smell them in combination with the other aromas of the perfume.

Top notes: Sweet orange, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Bergamot, Basil, Anise

Middle notes: Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Rosemary, Pine

Base notes: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Vetiver

Try starting with 5-6 essential oils. Here are some examples:

  • Floral blend: Bergamot, Anise, Geranium, Jasmine, Sandalwood.
  • Green & Herbaceous Blend: Basil, Peppermint, Rosemary, Pine, Vetiver.

There is no steadfast rule regarding percentages of each note. I tend to like base notes so I start with our Meditation Blend (a lot of base) and add florals.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, remember it’s personal – use oils that you love!

Recommended for mixing, storing and applying essential oil blends: Pure Acres Farm Roll-on Bottles

Posted on

Ancient Egyptian Beauty Secret

cleopatra-beauty-secretsIn no other country or culture, was the concern with beautification and body care so extensive as that of ancient Egypt. Cosmetic implements have been discovered in the earliest graves. When the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened, one particular jar was discovered to contain a perfumed unguent, still radiantly fragrant after so many centuries. Two of the oils thought to be contained in the unguent are spikenard and frankincense.

Cleopatra VII, 69 BC – 30 BC, was herself credited with writing a book of beauty secrets, an art that she was universally acknowledged as mastering.

Egyptians used cosmetics regardless of sex and social status for both aesthetic and therapeutic reasons. Wrinkling of the skin was treated by applying a wax-based remedy containing gum of frankincense, moringa oil, ground Cyprus grass and fermented plant juice.

Ancient Egyptian Anti- Wrinkle Cream Updated

One teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil

Two Drops of Essential oil of Frankincense

Apply to the cleansed face nightly with a gentle massage

Posted on

Frankincense – The King of Oils

Frankincense has been traded in the Middle East and North Africa for upwards of 5,000 years. It is believed that the Babylonians and Assyrians burned it during religious ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians bought entire boatloads of the resin from the Phoenicians, using it in incense, insect repellent, perfume, cosmetics and salves for wounds and sores; as well as in the embalming process.

The ancient Greeks and Romans also imported massive amounts, which they burned as incense, used during cremations and took for a wide variety of ailments. By this time, medical practitioners had recognized and documented the substances’ antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Frankincense has been used by both the West and the East for centuries to treat a number of conditions, including rheumatism, skin disease, nervous complaints, digestive problems, and respiratory infections.

At the time Jesus is thought to have been born, frankincense and myrrh may have been worth more than their weight in the third gift presented by the wise men: gold.

Posted on

Arm Yourself Against Cold & Flu Season with Protect and Breathe Easy

coldnflu2According to the CDC, “While seasonal influenza (flu) viruses can be detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February.” Not only is it ‘that time of year,’ but many of us drastically change our routines (eating and sleeping habits) during the holidays, which can challenge our immune system and put us more at risk of contracting the flu.

Research from Weber State University in Utah showed that the Protect Blend has an impressive 99.96% success rate at killing airborne bacteria. Diffuse 5-6 drops (or refer to your user manual) to clean the air in your home and boost your immunity. Another way to combat the spread of the flu is to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Add 12-24 drops to 4oz each of water and vodka (or vinegar) for a simple, green disinfecting spray to use around the house.

Should you happen to come down with a cold or the flu despite your best efforts, the Breathe Easy Blend clears congestion and promotes relaxed breathing. To inhale, add a few drops to a diffuser or fill a large bowl with boiling water, add 7-8 drops, lean your head over the bowl, close your eyes and inhale the steam. Another option is to add 15 drops to a carrier oil and apply to the chest.