How to restore the natural beauty of dry sensitive skin -- gentle, effective ways to soothe dry itchy skin and rejuvenate dry red skin with natural products that put an end to irritation and eruptions.

Relieving Winter Dryness With Safflower Oil

November 29th, 2011

Dry skin feels itchy and uncomfortable and it only gets worse as winter progresses. You can relieve winter dryness with safflower oil. Safflower oil is a natural seed oil that penetrates deeply into the skin relieving dryness and protecting the skin’s natural moisture.

Safflower oil can be used alone or added to other skin care products. It has a very light odor, it feels light on the skin, and it stays liquid at low temperatures. These three assets make safflower oil an ideal carrier oil for skin care products, whether store-bought or home-made.

Massage oils, bath oils, moisturizing oils, skin creams and lotions all require a carrier oil. It is the base oil into which other ingredients can be mixed. Scented oils, waters, and concentrated skin-healing ingredients are added to the base oil to create finished products. In almost all cases, the base oil makes up most of the formula. That’s why you should pay close attention to the base oil in the products you use.

It is easy to be distracted by ingredients that are listed on a product’s label. Often, they are only present in tiny quantities, put there to raise the profile of the product, not its effectiveness. The base oils are what you are going to put on your body in large quantities, so it is important that they are pure and healthy. They will be listed at the beginning of the ingredients list.

The secret to the skin-moisturizing effects of safflower oil lies in its high linoleic acid content. This omega-6 fatty acid penetrates the skin for a deep moisturizing and soothing treatment. And the same essential fatty acid that makes safflower oil so good for the skin makes it a healthy dietary supplement too. Omega-6 fatty acids are an essential part of the human diet, and because we can’t produce them on our own, we have to get them from food sources.

Whenever possible, I only use products on my skin that are pure enough to eat (this doesn’t work with soap!). They are likely to be absorbed into my body anyway. Safflower oil definitely fits the bill.

Fortunately, organic safflower oil is not expensive. You can use it as a carrier oil or on its own as a topical skin treatment. Just rub it into dry areas and let it soak in for a few minutes. The skin is a big, thirsty organ. Chemicals and synthetic ingredients in skin care products can penetrate the skin and introduce toxins into the body. In contrast, natural oils like safflower oil bring goodness with them when they are absorbed, and that is why I use them for my skin care.

The best time to moisturize is right after a bath or shower. The skin absorbs water in the bath but it quickly evaporates as soon as you get out. Rubbing the skin with moisturizing oils or creams helps to lock water into the skin. Treatment with safflower oil, especially if it is blended with jojoba oil, is an effective, affordable way to relieve winter dryness.

Do Cosmetics Really Cause Cancer?

October 20th, 2011

We’ve blogged before about our concerns of how the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group are using fear mongering to scare consumers away from beauty products that are perfectly safe to use.

Check out this post by TheBeautyBrains if you want to get fact-based information about chemicals in cosmetics. The science behind a lot of the scare stories is just not reliable, yet the stories persist and become legends whose truth is rarely examined.
Wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t turn into legislation. All we need is for Congress to use its wit and wisdom to pursue an unrealistic agenda! Watch out for the Safe Cosmetics Act, for instance.
Much more information on this topic is available via the above post, and here at

Toxins All around Us: Scientific American

October 18th, 2011

Susan starts her day by jogging to the edge of town, cutting back through a cornfield for an herbal tea at the downtown Starbucks and heading home for a shower. It sounds like a healthy morning routine, but Susan is in fact exposing herself to a rogue’s gallery of chemicals: pesticides and herbicides on the corn, plasticizers in her tea cup, and the wide array of ingredients used to perfume her soap and enhance the performance of her shampoo and moisturizer. Most of these exposures are so low as to be considered trivial, but they are not trivial at all—especially considering that Susan is six weeks pregnant.

Have you read the ingredients in the products you put onto your skin everyday – the soap, lotions, cosmetics, all of them? It is amazing how much junk is in them, and some even have chemicals that are known to be harmful to the skin. Even the most commonly prescribed cream for treating eczema contains a chemical proven to make eczema worse! It is good to see Scientific American publishing articles like this. Used to just be “health nuts” who were concerned about the spread of toxic chemicals into our everyday lives.

Health benefits of broccoli require the whole food, not supplements

October 18th, 2011

New research has found that if you want some of the many health benefits associated with eating broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables, you need to eat the real thing – a key phytochemical in these vegetables is poorly absorbed and of far less value if taken as a supplement.

The study, published by scientists in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, is one of the first of its type to determine whether some of the healthy compounds found in cruciferous vegetables can be just as easily obtained through supplements.

The same thing goes for isolated compounds extracted from plants and then added into skin care products. Isolated chemicals just don’t cut it next to the whole, organic plant oils from which they are extracted!

Pomegranate Health Benefits

October 18th, 2011

Pomegranate health benefits are surprisingly good. The fruit has been labelled a super food because of the many uses it has. Pomegranate is full of antioxidants which help to cleanse the body of harmful toxins. This fruit is also packed full of vitamins which help with overall body function. Pomegranate juice is starting to become very popular as the array of health benefits is realised.

Here is a site dedicated to the health benefits of tumeric and pomegranates. Yum! Here is more about the anti-aging benefits of pomegranate seed oil.

Healthy aging on target at trade show

October 17th, 2011

From new nutricosmetic ingredients to reduce wrinkles to new research on bone health to the myriad ingredients and products promising better cognitive health as we age, everyone is trying to turn back the clock. And we thank them for their hard work.

You can have beautiful skin at any age. Anti-aging moisturizers can really help restore lustre to your complexion, no matter how old you are. I find them more effective than nutricosmetics, but there are some supplements, like evening primrose oil, that work very well whether taken internally or applied directly onto the skin.

Evening Primrose Oil – An Ideal Anti-Aging Moisturizer

October 17th, 2011

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When it comes to anti-aging moisturizers, it is well to consider the age-old saying that Beauty Comes From Within – a cliche, I know, but one whose truth you will appreciate when you add evening primrose oil to your diet. This anti-aging moisturizer is packed with the specific essential fatty acid used by the body to rebuild skin cells and repair damage. As we age, our skin cells gradually begin to break down leaving skin looking loose and thin. Collagen, the structure between the skin cells that keep it elastic and healthy, also starts to break down with age. Evening primrose oil improves your skin by plumping up individual cells and rebuilding the collagen structure. And it is not just for internal use. Used topically, it penetrates the skin for the same rebuilding and renewing effects.

Your skin naturally produces oils that keep your skin smooth and healthy but age, environment and harsh products can strip your skin dry. Dry skin is prone to cracks, irritation and redness. Once the skin’s surface is broken, infections become a problem. So replacing the skin’s natural oils becomes essential as the skin ages. Some oils just sit on top of the skin providing only temporary moisture. They can help in the short term but they do nothing for long-lasting improvement. In contrast, the molecular structure of evening primrose oil allows it to penetrate deep into the skin where it rebuilds and plumps up the cells while healing blemishes and repairing dryness.

Evening primrose oil comes from the plant Oenothera biennis. Its bright yellow flowers open in the evening, attracting nocturnal pollinators, and close up for good the next day. This brief night-blooming flower produces seeds dense in nourishing properties. The healing and rebuilding properties of this anti-aging oil have been well known and used since the 17th century in Europe. Native people of the Americas were using evening primrose oil when the settlers first arrived.

The secret to evening primrose oil’s skin rebuilding properties is an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid. Like many other essential fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid is not produced by the body. It is limited in natural sources and is critical for health. The body uses, gamma-linolenic acid to repair and rebuild the skin. Without this important nutrient, your body does not have the tools it needs to create beautiful skin. Evening primrose oil is one of the highest natural sources of this skin-rebuilding essential nutrient.

So whether you use it internally or externally, evening primrose oil is an ideal tool for creating glowing, healthy skin.

Why Natural Beeswax Is So Popular In Skin Creams

October 17th, 2011

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Oil and water don’t mix – at least, not on their own. That is why an emulsifier is a critical part of any cream or lotion. Creams and lotions contain both oil and water elements. The oils provide the moisturizing properties, while the water elements create the creamy texture and increase the penetration of the oil.

An emulsifier turns oils and waters into minute droplets that blend together to create a smooth cream. All creams and lotions need an emulsifier. Synthetic chemicals can do the job, but they do not belong in natural skin care products. That is where beeswax comes in. Beeswax is a natural emulsifier. When added to the water and oil elements of a cream, the beeswax creates the bridge that allows the two to blend.

Not only is beeswax a natural emulsifier, it also directly benefits the skin by creating a natural protective barrier. Straight beeswax hardens when cool, but when mixed into a cream, it goes on smooth leaving the finest, unnoticeable layer on the skin’s surface. This fine layer keeps the oils in the skin where they provide the most moisturizing and softening benefits. Many products that coat the skin lead to clogged pores and acne, but beeswax creates a breathable layer that will not clog pores or create skin problems.

And there are more benefits to using this natural gift from the bees in your daily skin care. Beeswax has natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. This is good news for your skin. Harmful microbes and bacteria can cause infections and other skin problems. Using a natural skin cream that contains beeswax promotes skin health and helps heal small wounds and abrasions.

The skin produces oils of its own, called sebum. It is made of oils that are critical for a healthy complexion. But when these oils are out of balance, problems arise. Too much oil can lead to blemishes and a shiny complexion. And without enough oil, the skin dries out and flakes. Fine cracks can form, increasing the chance of infections. Beeswax naturally regulates the skin’s production of sebum oils, leaving skin soft, elastic and smooth without being excessively oily.

Bees make beeswax as a bi-product during the honey production process. In the hive, the wax makes up the structural walls. The color ranges from creamy-white to a dark gold color, depending on the type of flowers the bees are visiting for pollen. So any product that contains real beeswax is likely to vary in color slightly from time to time – just as you would expect in Nature.

Acne Treatments Need Better Scientific Research, Says Study – ABC News

August 30th, 2011

a new study published in the Lancet found that common acne-fighting products lack proper research in documenting their effectiveness.

“The large number of products and product combinations, and the scarcity of comparative studies, has led to disparate guidelines with few recommendations being evidence-based,” lead author Hywel Williams from the Centre of Evidence-Based Dermatology at the UK’s University of Nottingham, said in a statement.

Wouldn’t it be great if the skin care business dropped its “sciency” pretentions?
Here is an article by ABC News that points out the difficulty of doing double-blind clinical trials of skin care products. Without them, there can be (according to the standards of clinical research propagated by FDA) no claim of safety or efficacy in treating diseases. But the skin care industry does not adopt that standard and hides behind phony science that is really just a form af advertising-speak. Even where genuine attempts at clinical trials are made, the data are thin and unconvincing, as this article points out.
I prefer to go with natural approaches that have stood the test of time. Nature is not full of valueless gimmicks. They just do not survive.

Options For Getting Rid Of Cellulite

August 25th, 2011

Cellulite affects about 90 percent of women of all shapes, sizes, and weights, so we’re not alone in our fight against lumps. The good news? A newly-developed dimple doesn’t mean it’s on your body forever. Here are five ways to smooth out the cellulite.

Here is a helpful article from Endless Beauty about cellulite. I’ve posted about my own experience of getting rid of cellulite, mainly by restricting my fat intake to coconut oil and olive oil. That is what made the long-term difference for me. There are other tips to consider at the Endless Beauty link above. The best information I’ve seen on the internet about cellulite, though, is at The Cellulite Investigation, where you will find in-depth, factual information about all of your options. The site does not promote any product line. It just provides excellent information, much of it provided by readers who share their experience of different approaches to ridding themselves of cellulite.