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Friday, November 14, 2014

Beneficial Ingredients for Skin Care

What to look for in skin care.

I get tired of all the negative press skin care products get and hearing about what should not be in there. Lets look at the beneficial ingredients of skin care and what you should be looking for on your label. Here are a few. 

Natural Vegetable oils. I think it’s better to have natural vegetable oils in a skin care product because they offer the skin a variety of necessary fatty acids that the skin needs to maintain its barrier function. Good vegetable oils include olive oil, meadowfoam oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil and more.

Water. Water is an important part of a moisturizer because only water can moisturize. An all oil product helps hold in water and softens the skin but it of course cannot add water or moisture to the skin.

Preservative. Preservative free is a big trend now but just like food, anything you keep for more than a day or so requires preserving.  You can make a nice bowl of soup using fresh ingredients from your garden and it tastes great when you make it. But you would never leave it on your dresser and take a bite each night for the next few months. A non-preserved skin care product that you might make at home such as a mask is great to use immediately, but it needs to be preserved if you are not planning to use it up within a few days. It is just not safe to use an unpreserved product and you are putting yourself at risk for an infection.

Something extra.  There are many extras for skin care products from humectants to herb extracts and higher end ingredients such as peptides. Depending on what you want from your product you might want to look for these.

Humectants. Does your product contain a humectant? Something that binds water? This could be glycerin, hyaluronic acid, honey or caprylyl glycol. 

Vitamins. Vitamins are popular in cosmetics and might include vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C is unstable and so is often found as vitamin C ester. Vitamin A is often masked in another oil that is high in vitamin A such as parsley, pumpkin or calendula flower extracts. These vegetable sources of vitamin A are actually a provitamin A called carotenoids. Vitamin B has several family members seen in skin care products including Vitamin B3 (niacin) often seen as niacinamide and Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. Vitamin B deficiency can result in redness, irritation, dermatitis and hyperpigmentation.

Peptides. Peptides are made in a lab but made by green chemistry meaning they it does not use or produce hazardous substances. 

Read your labels and look for something extra in your skin care. Natural skin care products can and should contain actives. And if you can't pronounce it, just ask - its not an indicator of toxicity.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Apples, Apples

We are having a great apple harvest this year so they seem a perfect topic for a blog.
Facts: an apple has about 60-95 calories depending on size, no fat, and 25 gram of carbohydrate (4.4 g of which are fiber!). Applies also contain potassium vitamin C, vitamin B-6, magnesium as well as some vitamin A, calcium and protein.

Apples are rich in polyphenols (flavonoids) that help regulate blood sugar and are also antioxidants. Apples also contain malic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, is used for exfoliating the skin. Which means a facial mask of applesauce would be awesome. Someday I’ll learn how to extract the malic acid from apples so that I can use it in a skin care product.

Research indicates that ingesting apples decreases the risk of colon cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer. The benefits of apples seem to have a special affinity for the lungs because they have been found to decrease the risk of asthma too.  But apple consumption can also lower your risk for heart disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. 

On our farm we grow Honeycrisp, Akane, Golden Delicious and Gala apples all of which are delicious. Since we do not use any pesticides on our apples we get some wormy apples. These go to the goats and horses or into the compost pile where they provide needed moisture.

John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, had a dream to plant apples across the country so that no one would go hungry. When I see apple trees growing wild I always wonder if it was one that he planted. Maybe you’ll consider planting an apple tree in your yard.
Do you  remember this favorite song from childhood:

Oh, the Lord is good to me,
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
The sun, and the rain, and the apple seed;
The Lord is good to me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Scent Entertainment

This Saturday night we had an interesting event at the Colorado Aromatics Store. Entertainer Sharon Glassman and I partnered to pair our aromatic waters with songs from her Blame it on Hoboken book. This is an overview of those pairings.
Scentertainment with Sharon Glassman and Cindy Jones

Colorado Aromatics Cultivated Skin Care
Blame it on Hoboken CD Release Party with Sharon Glassman
Song and Scent pairings by Cindy Jones, Ph.D.

Scent affects mood, memory and learning. We’ve all experienced a particular scent that has the ability to bring back strong memory. The aromatic waters that we are using tonight are distilled on our farm from herbs that we grow. They are lightly aromatic and great for the skin. We spritz them on our face for toning, hydration and refreshment. They are pH balanced to skin and antioxidant rich.  Feel free to spritz your face, skin or the air in front of you as we pass them around.

Blame It On Hoboken Theme Song – Clary Sage. I find the characteristics of Clary sage to be in line with Frank Sinatra and so with this song as well. In fact the nature of Clary Sage is in line with the store of the book itself.  Clary sage is said to be good for ‘women’s issues’, and some might argue that Frank Sinatra is also good for women. It’s a potent scent with calming effects. The scent is sweet, arid and nutty. It has ‘romantic’ or aphrodisiac properties. I think it pairs nicely with this very easy going song. Some sages are associated with immortality and doesn’t Frank Sinatra seem immortal?

The Broken Sea – Lavender. Lavender means to wash and most people think of the sea as a relaxing place to wash away their troubles. Lavender has a light, fresh and floral aroma. It is soothing and calming to the nerves. Sit back and imagine floating in the sea while you smell lavender.

Mulligan Waltz – Lemon Balm. Lemon Balm or Melissa has a sweet, fresh, citrus yet herbaceous aroma. It has been used for healing by those who suffer from mood swings or nervous disorders. This waltz which is about do-overs or second chances seems to fit with this characteristic of lemon balm.

Uh-Huh – Peppermint. Peppermint has a sharp, fresh aroma that is used for decongesting and improving concentration. It refreshes the spirit and is good for apathy and for refreshing the spirit. This song is a light uplifting bluegrassy tune that fits the scent well.

Voice I Used To Know – Mint. In this song, Caroline hears a voice that brings back a memory. She is seeking clarity while hearing this so we are pairing it with mint to go along with the shock she has at hearing this voice from the past.

Pebble with a Cause – Lemon Balm.  The poor pebble is only doing its job. In fact, its being there might even help Caroline slow down and take a closer look at things. Lemon balm is prolific, as prolific possibly as pebbles are. It may also provide some soothing relief for poor Caroline’s pain. Lemon balm, in previous times signified a secret message, possibly the pebble is sending Caroline a message?

Get It Line (Kachinsky's Theme) – Lavender and Rose. This is the song about the grouchy taxi cab driver. He is a little stressed out and in need of self-love which is why we are choosing these two scents. The lavender will calm him and the rose will embrace him.

Arrow of Love – Rose. Arrow of Love is a perfect love song. Rose bring love and affection into one’s life, it is associated with the heart. Rose can draw energy to a person to nurture them. It relieves fear, anger and tension.


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