Eye Creams Versus Moisturizers

Ever wonder if you need an eye cream just because the skin around your eyelids is thinner, more sensitive and lacks oil glands? Modern marketing certainly would make you think the answer is a resounding “absolutely.” And that would be an accurate response if your moisturizer didn’t consist of emollients that help hydrate the drier skin around your eyes and contained harsh ingredients like alcohol or fragrance that can cause irritation to the delicate skin around your eyes.

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Eye creams are basically moisturizers that are modified to be more gentle on the skin.

But if your moisturizer contains quality ingredients that are sensitive on your skin, especially if those ingredients are plant based like the ones we use, the chances are quite good that the moisturizer you use on your face can also be used as a bona fide eye cream.

The whole reason eye creams are a “thing” is because of their marketing claims that they will reduce puffiness, fix dark coloration, and eliminate wrinkles. Some may accomplish this to a certain extent. But if you are looking for an eye cream to work overnight, you are going to be disappointed. You have to use an eye cream regularly for 4 – 6 weeks before results can be seen and again they will only be seen if the ingredients you are using are good ones.

Some key natural ingredients you can look out for are 1) calendula which can fight under-eye puffiness (so can tea bags and cucumber slices); 2) Vitamin A and the antioxidant Vitamin C help increase collagen production which helps fight wrinkles; and 3) hemp seed oil which contains anti-inflammatory properties due to vitamins A and D in addition to being able to improve moisture and skin elasticity from its balanced amount of essential fatty acids (omega 3s and omega 6s).

The four moisturizers we make are a good place to start your search for an effective moisturizer for your face. And if you get adventurous or want laugh in the face of eye cream hype, you can try a small dab around your eye but ONLY IF you read the ingredients first. That’s because there is still a chance your eyes and skin could be sensitive to them even though they contain natural plant based ingredients. After all, poison ivy is a natural plant and nobody wants to put that anywhere on their skin.  So while our formulas are based on herbal traditions and designed to be safe and gentle, we want you to understand that allergies and sensitivities exist.

One last thought on eye cream hype: in addition to applying an eye cream or a moisturizer, remember to stay hydrated and wear sunglasses and/or wide brim hats.

Stay Natural,

Jessica

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.

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Three vital components your moisturizer needs

When it comes to skin care, moisturizer was the first item I used. This is mostly because there is no difficulty when it comes to figuring out how to use a moisturizer. On the surface it seems super easy.  However, it turns out you can’t just grab a jar off the shelf and slather its contents on your face. Well you can, but the chances of picking up a moisturizer that works and also contains safe ingredients are slim.

So what makes a moisturizer work? So glad you asked. You’ll want your moisturizer to contain these three vital components to ensure it is doing its job:

  1. Humectant – attracts water Fun Fact Final REV
  2. Emollient – softens skin
  3. Antioxidants – fights free radicals

It is easy to see why these are much needed components to a moisturizer. This is why we have made sure our moisturizers contain all three. Plus, they are safe because they contain natural ingredients sourced from reputable businesses like Mountain Rose Herbs, Camden Grey, and Starwest Botanicals.

One example of a moisturizer we make that has all three vital elements is our Age-Fighting Moisturizer with Hemp Extract. It contains safe natural plant ingredients as well as the three necessary components that make a moisturizer effective:

  • Beeswax: humectant and emollient
  • Grapeseed Oil: emollient
  • Hempseed Oil: humectant, antioxidant, emollient
  • Black Cumin Seed Oil: humectant and antioxidant
  • Hemp Extract: antioxidant
  • Aloe Vera: antioxidant and emollient

Added bonus: All of our moisturizers contain great natural oils, so you don’t have to spend your time (or money) super-sizing your moisturizer with a special facial oil.

Beauty plastic containers on a wooden shelf in bright studio. 3d renderingSince knowing if your moisturizer is safe is an area lacking Federal regulation, the brunt of knowing this rests on your shoulders. That means you must research a company to see if they support a philosophy of making ingredients that don’t contain toxins or endocrine disruptors.

Definitely also check out the ingredients on the label. If you can’t pronounce some of them and the words are unfamiliar, take the time to google them. You can also check the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database to see the health concerns an ingredient may have.

Stay Natural,
Jessica
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.

 

Does Your Moisturizer Give You Separation Anxiety?

Years ago, before Kaiya Naturals was formed, my Aunt Sue gave me a moisturizer she made. I used it once or twice and then after over a year[1] I discovered that the oil had separated from the cream part.

Toasted cheese sandwich on beige plate
Why is my moisturizer melting like a grilled cheese?

This perplexed me. I had never seen this before and was inclined to throw it away. I officially had separation anxiety. I didn’t know what to do with it. Part of me thought it had gone bad. After all, none of my other moisturizes had ever done this. So I did what any normal person would do: I smelled it.

Smelling the moisturizer did nothing to help me solve my problem. Nothing. That’s because it still smelled like the moisturizer did when I first received it – hints of lavender and other stuff I couldn’t identify but knew to be from the natural world.

Since this moisturizer had been a gift from my Aunt, I kept it. I didn’t use it. I just kept it on the shelf until she visited and I showed it to her. She took one look at it and said it was fine. I looked at her like she was an alien. Then she used her finger to stir the oil back into the creamy part. It reminded me a lot like what I do to peanut butter when the oil separates from it.

But I was still skeptical. I eyed that little glass bottle of moisturizer for a couple more months before deciding to use it.  And use it I did. I used all of it. Especially on my elbows and feet. It was glorious. I chided myself for having doubted the moisturizer and my Aunt’s knowledge.

These days I find myself explaining away the same “separation anxiety” I had to my friends who use our products. As such, I thought you might have the same questions and concerns.

Imagine living in the bathroom year-round. Imagine the heat that fills the room for each shower. Now add the humidity factor. Next, we need to account for the fact that our moisturizes aren’t diluted. There are no fillers in them. There are no synthetic emulsifiers, thickeners, or stabilizers. Just real ingredients like olive oil, calendula, vitamin e, tamanu oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, etc.

This means that the separation of the natural oils in normal. Especially if you store your moisturizer in your damp, hot, humid bathroom. Simply use your finger (or be diligent about germs and bacteria[2] and use a Popsicle stick, flossing stick, or utensil) to stir all the ingredients back together. It will only take a second.

Fridge with Note

You can also store your moisturizer in the refrigerator. In addition to helping prevent the oil separation, the added advantage of this is it will give you a cool burst and help wake up your face. If you’re into that kind of thing (I’m not) and don’t mind applying your moisturizer in the kitchen (I do) or explaining that not everything in the refrigerator is edible to your family (I say skip the explanation and see what happens).

All this is my long way of saying that I hope your moisturizer gives you separation anxiety! That means the ingredients are natural! At least it does if the label on it says Kaiya Naturals.

Stay natural,

Jessica Rick

 

[1] You are not supposed to keep our moisturizers for this long. We suggest using them in six months or less. Don’t be like me.

[2] I’m not diligent (aka anal) about this stuff; I use my finger, but I respect people who use an implement to stir their moisturizer.

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

Do You Know What is Growing in Your Pores?

I’ve never been a “girly-girl.” It’s just not in my DNA. So once I finally got around to actually wearing makeup on a daily basis, I seldom took the time to wash it off before I went to bed. That’s right. During my twenties and early thirties, I slept with my make up on.

Sleeping woman in bed
This woman has NO IDEA what gunk is lurking in her pores as she sleeps in her makeup.

Mostly it was for two reasons: First it seemed like one more chore to do before I could actually go to sleep. Second, I don’t like it when water drips down my arms at the sink. Truly, it bothers me. I’m certain it’s got something to do with the parts of my personality that lean towards the obsessive compulsive end of the spectrum.

These days I seldom wear make-up more than three or four times a year. But when I do, I am adamant about washing it off before I go to bed.  Here’s why:

  • There are small, itsy-bitsy tiny little oil glands that line your eyelashes. The lubrication they provide keep your eyes healthy. Not removing makeup can clog and/or inflame these glands due to makeup particles like wax, pigment, minerals, and particles.
  • Makeup can cause oxidative damage which affects collagen and elastin negatively resulting in more wrinkles and saggy skin (something no one wants, but we all must address).
  • Makeup  most likely contains irritants like dyes and/or perfumes that can be especially harsh for people with sensitive skin. But even without sensitive skin, makeup residue, particles, dyes, and perfumes won’t do your pores any favors. Dermatologists have been known to find makeup products in pores and between dead skin flakes. Sometimes when they do facial skin biopsies (which sound like zero fun), they discover mites, yeast, and bacteria in the pores. Ick. And more ick.

However, I am just now learning that I need to wash my face twice a day regardless of whether or not I am wearing any makeup. Apparently, at the end of the day, your face is full of oil, dead cells, airborne chemicals, dirt, and allergens. Plus, these things can cause oxidative damage, which can result in wrinkles.

Are you thinking what I am thinking? That everything results in wrinkles? Because it sure seems that way.  And now in less than four paragraphs you have learned that I have completed two beauty blunders (i.e. wrinkle makers) in my skin’s history – not washing my face at night when I have makeup on and not washing my face at night when I don’t have makeup on it.  Sigh.

Woman washing her face in the bathroomSo the moral of the story is to wash your face twice a day. When you do this make sure you use a cleanser, not a soap, that is suited for your skin type and needs (i.e. oily, dry, normal, acne-prone, etc.).

At the very least, use a toner. This is especially helpful for people like me that think washing my face at night gets too messy (i.e the water drips down my arms to my elbows!) or takes too long. Toner is my best friend. Plus, I think it’s cool to see all the dirt and debris on the cotton ball after I’ve splashed toner on it and run it over my face. (I can’t be the only one that enjoys this, can I?) (In case you are wondering, I also get a kick out of looking at my used pore strips.)

Once your face is clean, apply a moisturizer/serum so it can do all things good. Use a moisturizer or serum that assists you in the areas that you want to target (i.e. wrinkles, acne, dark spots, dryness, dull skin, irritated skin, rosacea, oil-balancing, etc.). Your skin’s health and appearance depend on it.

Stay natural,
Jessica

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

 

Natural Antioxidants to the Rescue

The words “antioxidants” and “free radicals” are thrown around all the time. I’m even guilty of doing some of that throwing, which is why I thought it might be a good to talk about what these words mean with regard to your skin. Put simply –  free radicals are bad and antioxidants are good.  Let me elaborate.

Free radicals are unstable incomplete atoms that are always trying to stabilize
themselves. They do this by stealing electrons from your other atoms. Sometimes the atoms they steal come from your skin which results in the following elements familiar signs of aging skin:

  1. Brown spots
  2. Broken blood vessels
  3. Loose and saggy skin
  4. Wrinkles

You may  think the best way to avoid this type of skin damage is to eliminate your exposure to free radicals. The problem is free radicals are unavoidable because they result from pollution (i.e. smog, dust), cigarette smoke, stress, and the sun (UV rays are so bad!). You can’t get away from them.

The best course of action is to arm yourself with topical antioxidants. portrait of woman in bathroom applying moisturizing creamObviously, a diet rich in antioxidants (i.e. tomatoes, grapes, green tea, citrus fruit, etc.) is a smart companion solution too. That way your body is rich in antioxidants from the inside out and the outside in.

The reason you want to make antioxidants a part of your skin regiment is because they are givers. They literally donate their own electron so the free radical doesn’t have to steal one from an atom in your skin.How Antioxidant Works Against Free Radicals. Antioxidant Donates

The natural antioxidants to look for in a moisturizer or hand cream are vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C.  When talking about topical antioxidants it is important to be aware that just adding them to a cream doesn’t mean that they will penetrate through your skin. The carrier oils used as a delivery system are very important because they’ll determine whether the antioxidants can get through the outer layer your skin and permeate to where the living cells reside.

Plus, you need make sure the delivery system ingredients are not synthetic chemicals that can disrupt your hormones or cause other ailments. The goal is to get as much good stuff into your body as possible while avoiding any bad stuff.

One of the moisturizers we make that is effective at delivering antioxidants to skin so you can preserve your youth just a wee bit longer or at least slow the aging process is our Chickie Gold Moisturizer for Dry and/or Mature Skin.

It is chock full of antioxidants and the delivery mechanism ensures they break through the skin barrier to get to your cells. We use olive oil and tamanu oil as the transporters. Olive oil has squalene in it which enhances the ability of other emollients and humectants to penetrate the skin. Tamanu oil is known for its rapid absorption qualities.

natural antioxidants.jpgThe natural antioxidants in this moisturizer are plentiful:

  • Chickweed has vitamin C in it.
  • Shea butter is loaded with vitamins A and E. Psst…it also offers UV protection right around the SPF 6 level which is great since the sun causes free radical damage.
  • Coconut oil is also chock full of vitamins A and E.
  • We even have straight vitamin E (tocopherols) as an ingredient because it’s so powerful when it comes to protecting cells and making collagen and elastin.
  • Lavender essential oil adds these antioxidants to this powerful moisturizer: glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase.

One of the benefits of using natural ingredients is being able to take advantage of their complementary nature which often boosts their benefits. In this case, research has shown that vitamin A and vitamin E are more powerful when used in tandem; their antioxidant properties are stronger together than apart.  And when it comes to signs of aging, I think we can all agree that we’ll take any boost we can get. Especially if it’s an effective and natural one.

Stay natural,

Jessica

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

Ingredient Spotlight: Vetiver

Ingredient Spotlight: Vetiver
Vetiver, essential oil label, aromatic plant Vector illustrationScientific Name: Vetiveria Zizanoides
Scent: Pleasant, mild, earthy, woody, smoky, and musky
FYI: Vetiver is a tall perrenial grass (that kind of explains the scent, doesn’t it?) native to India
Color of the Oil: Amber brown and rather thick
How They Get An Oil Out of Grass: Via steam distillation of its roots
Plant Constituents: Alpha vetivone, benzoic acid, beta vetivone, furfurol, vetiverol, vetivene and vetivenyl vetivenate
Skin Benefits of Vetiver:
  • Antioxidant, which means it helps prevent cell damage from oxidation (i.e. the development of free radicals which damage cells) and is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  This results in slower aging and healthy skin. A study in 2005 at Clemonson University showed vetiver oil was better at killing free radicals compared to butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and alpha-tocopherol.
  • Cicatrisant, which means it promotes skin tissue and cell regeneration. The result is an increase in the ability to heal scars and remove dark spots.
  • Antiseptic, so it kills bacteria and helps prevent infection.
Our Products that Contain Vetiver:
Skin Tip: Because of vetiver’s natural healing benefits, we put it in products that people with “troubled” skin (i.e. acne, rosascia, psoriasis) find helpful.
Knowing This Could Help You Win Jeopardy!: The dried grass and the roots of Vetiver are often used in homes during the summer in countries like India during the hot summer because it helps to cool and scent the room and keeps insects away.
Stay natural,

Jessica

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

Take a Walk on the Phytoncide

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Pytoncides: Essential Oils From Trees

So many of my friends who hike often say, “I  don’t know why, but I just feel better when I’m hiking.” We’ve always chalked this strange spiritual calm up to endorphins, but it turns out there’s another reason: phytoncides.

Phytoncides are aromatic compounds (i.e. essential oils) produced by trees (and some plants) that help protect them from insects, fungi, and germs. Turns out phytoncides may protect humans too. All you have to do is breathe them in.

Below is a bit of the science on exactly how phytoncides interact with us:

SCIENCE BIT #1: Spending 40 minutes walking in a cedar forest lowered levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and created a state of relaxation.

SCIENCE BIT #2: Changes in blood “associated with protection against cancer, better immunity and lower blood pressure” were seen.

SCIENCE BIT #3: Blood pressure was lowered because phytoncides suppress the body’s fight or flight response and decrease the concentrations of adrenaline and noradrenaline.

SCIENCE BIT #4: Pytoncides increase the number of natural killer (NK) cells which are a type of white blood cell that supports the immune system by destroying cancerous cells in the body (i.e. anti-cancer proteins like perforin, granulysin, and granzymes A/B increased).

SCIENCE BIT #5: NK cells also decrease inflammation which can lead to ailments like heart disease and diabetes.

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The majority of the studies done on Phytoncides have originated out of Japan whichmakes sense since they coined the term, “Shinrin-yoku,” which means “forest bathing” or taking a walk in the woods.

You are probably thinking that you need to get yourself to a woodsy forest. Fast.

However, you may not have time for “forest bathing” every day. We understand. After all, most of us are in cars, houses, and offices for most of the day. The good news is that you can reap the benefits of phytoncides without a daily nature walk according to several studies:

STUDY #1: Determined that people who took two long walks through forests on consecutive days increased their NK cells by 50%. Even better, the increase in NK cell activity levels held steady at a 23% higher activity than usual for the month following the initial walks.

STUDY #2: Hinoki cypress oil and humidifiers were used in 12 males who stayed in a hotel for three nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. The results from blood and urine samples indicated NK activity increased.

STUDY #3: Pine and cypress essential oils were used on 60 college students, and both their blood pressure and cortisol was decreased.

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The link between nature and health goes beyond just phytoncides. For example, in 1984 Richard S. Ulrich found that patients with rooms facing a natural setting had shorter hospital stays and took less pain medicine than patients whose windows faced a brick wall.

When you think about it some more, it just makes sense even though the science behind it is not yet fully understand.

Obviously, there’s a plethora of benefits nature provides. While more studies need to be done on phytoncides and the nature-health connection, it doesn’t take a scientist or a slew of indisputable scientific studies to know that nature is always a good idea.

If simply seeing or actually being in nature has the power to heal and affect a positive change at a biological and physiological level, then imagine the healing that happens when you use products made from nature. So go forth, take walks, immerse yourself in nature as often as you can even if you just take a moment to look outside because that moment is wholly yours. You’ve earned it. Breathe it in.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.
REFERENCES:
http://forest-therapy.net/healthbenefits.html
http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20074458
http://dr-lobisco.com/essential-oils-phytoncides/
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/a-walk-in-the-woods

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Join the Skin Care Revolution

You are a revolutionary.  You take care of your body. You look after the environment. You conserve resources.  You are educated, enlightened, and you know that it is up to you to make a difference.  It is because of people like you that we do what we do.  We use natural ingredients because we care as much about your health as we do our own.  We practice sustainable manufacturing practices because we understand that the Earth is the only home that we have.  It is up to us to take care of it.  Join us in the skin care revolution, and together we can make a difference.


If there is anything that you would like me to talk about feel free to reach out to me either here, via email: kedric@kaiya-naturals.com, on twitter @kaiyanaturals, or on Facebook @kaiyanaturals.  Also  please, please, please share or comment on this article.  Seriously, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.

Stay Natural,

Kedric

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

How to Practice Enlightened Skin Care

Enlightenment is one’s emergence from a self-imposed state of immaturity.  This immaturity does not stem from a lack of understanding, but from the lack of courage to use one’s reason, intellect, and wisdom without the guidance of another.  Many are content to follow the guiding institutions of society.  It is difficult to question this authority because thinking for oneself is so very uncomfortable.  Enlightened skin care is throwing off the shackles of institutional thoughts and using one’s reason to understand how to truly take care of one’s body.

Wholistic

Radiant skin takes more than just an external approach.  The part cannot be separated from the whole.  Gorgeous skin cannot be separated from good health.  The body is a complex, interconnected web.  To practice enlightened skin care is to eat well, be active, expand the mind, and reduce stress.  No skin care product can cover up poor physical, mental, or spiritual health.

Safe Ingredients

Good health is the foundation for beautiful skin, but using toxic skin care products detracts from that health.  From cancer causing ingredients to pore clogging substances, using products that have dangerous ingredients will, over time, cause disease, and your skin will be an outward sign off that ill-health.  Enlightened skin care is to use products with safe ingredients that add to your health, not detract from it.

Prevention

Enlightenment is to also prevent suffering.  Waiting for issues to arise before doing something about them gives rise to suffering.  While there are things that are out of your control, enlightened skin care is to practice preventative measures maintain beautiful skin.

Uniqueness

Trying to be what the beauty industry determines as desirable, or using the hottest new product does not make us healthy.  Beauty is not a one-size-fits-all standard.  We are each a distinctive flower and our beauty is personal to us.  Enlightened skin care is about finding your own individual style and owning it.  Highlighting what makes you unique is a journey of self-discovery that takes courage and strength.

To Sum Up

Enlightened skin care is about throwing off the shackles of institutional thought about what beauty is, and taking care of your skin with wholistic, preventative approaches using products with safe ingredients that add to your health and highlight your own personal beauty.


If there is anything that you would like me to talk about feel free to reach out to me either here, via email: kedric@kaiya-naturals.com, on twitter @kaiyanaturals, or on Facebook @kaiyanaturals.  Also  please, please, please share or comment on this article.  Seriously, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.

Stay Natural,

Kedric

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

How to Boost your Sunscreen

The weather is beautiful outside.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you are thinking about going to the beach.  Using a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays is a must.  But, did you know that you can boost your sunscreen by taking two simple vitamins.  Keep reading to find out what they are.

Vitamin Protection

Two vitamins have been scientifically shown to protect agains sun damage.  They work when either applied directly on the skin, or taken internally in combination with a sunscreen.  They are Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Internal Vitamin Protection

Both vitamins have been shown to have additive sun protection when combined with sunscreen according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).[1]  Vitamin E increased protection against UVB rays, while Vitamin C gave the most protection against UVA rays.  How much should you take?  According to one study, 2,000mg of Vitamin C and 1,000 IU of Vitamin E each day for eight days was enough to reduce the sunburn reaction.[2]

External Vitamin Protection

In another study, both Vitamin C and Vitamin E applied topically to the skin gave a 4-fold protection factor against both UVA and UVB rays.[3]  When the vitamins were combined they had a greater effect on sun protection than either vitamin alone.

So, before you head to the beach, grab some vitamins along with your sunscreen to give it an added boost.  Your skin will thank you.


If there is anything that you would like me to talk about feel free to reach out to me either here, via email: kedric@kaiya-naturals.com, on twitter @kaiyanaturals, or on Facebook @kaiyanaturals.  Also  please, please, please share or comment on this article.  Seriously, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.

Stay Natural,

Kedric

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.


References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8869680

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9448204

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12789176