Category Archives Health
How about a little project?
I LOVE spring and summer. I love the flowers, the warmth, the outdoor fun… What I do not love, though? Mosquitos!
Not only are they pesky little things, they worry me terribly as a mom. My 7 year old son, Benjamin, is allergic to mosquito bites. This wasn’t always the case, but over the past three years, the problem has increased.
If Ben gets a bite anywhere near a vein, he swells right up. The swelling and heat at the bite spot are untouched by Benadryl and other allergy medications. When he gets a bite, which seems to happen on nights or weekends, we have to take him right to urgent care to get a prescription steroid cream and get looked over.
It is pretty hard to shelter a playful little boys from something so common out in nature, but for us it is super important to be vigilant.
Spraying him with mosquito spray is a must. However, the chemicals found in many popular mosquito sprays are very harmful.
We all know that the sun’s UV rays can cause skin cancer, but did you know that there are other ways in which the sun can wreak havoc on your skin?
Today we’ll take a look at the 5 main ways the sun can damage your skin and we will show you how (seed) products can help repair the damage.
1. Collagen Breakdown
Think of collagen as the “glue” that holds your skin cells together. In reality, it is a protein, but I like to think of it as a glue to keep things connected and elastic. When collagen breaks down, it causes a decrease in the elasticity of your skin. The result? Saggy, loose skin that starts to look older. Sunlight speeds up the rate of collagen breakdown. When this happens, deep creases and wrinkles develop.
2. Free Radical Formation
We’ve talked about free radicals before here on the (seed) blog. Free radicals are molecules that cause tissue damage and aging. These could be things such as cigarette smoke, radiation, pesticides, various drugs, smog, and other forms of environmental pollution. UV rays from the sun are one of the biggest contributors of free radicals. When your sun is exposed to the sun, free radicals form and can age the skin.
3. Skin Dehydration
Sun damage can impact skin hydration, decreasing skin moisture levels. When this occurs, we’re left with tight, parched skin. Flaking may occur as well.
4. Blood Vessel Damage
Did you know that the sun can actually PERMANENTLY cause blood vessels to stretch? It’s true! When this happens, you will often see little red “lines” on the face. Broken vessels may form and be very obvious on the skin. This is due to the sun.
5. Skin Inflammation
The sun’s UV rays can cause redness, itching, and soreness due to inflammation. Even if you have worn sunscreen, after spending time outdoors you may notice that your skin feels itchy. Skin may develop a rash or even feel bumpy. This is a common form of sun damage.
How (seed) is Ideal for After Sun Care
Our products here at (seed) Body Care are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight free radical damage.
The wholesome oils we use- such as grape seed, sunflower and shea, are rich in antioxidants including vitamin E and polyphenols. These antioxidants help to combat damage being done to the skin from free radicals formed from UV exposure. Green tea extract, which contains potent antioxidants, can help prevent damage from free radicals. Several studies indicate that green tea extract may reduce the risk of skin cancer caused by UV light.
Because our body care products contain grape seed oil, which is rich in linoleic acid, they can help the skin retain moisture. This is why our creams and lotions are stellar for quenching dry skin caused by UV damage.
Green tea, grapeseed oil and shea butter help calm irritated skin. Green tea contains flavonoids and grapeseed oil and shea contain phytosterols all of which inhibit inflammation. Aloe juice, a well known after sun treatment, complements these ingredients with additional anti-inflammatory agents.
Green tea’s powerful polyphenols also aid in blood vessel health.
By liberally applying (seed) Body Care products, you will not only have beautifully soft and supple skin, but you may just help repair sun damage!
Next time on the blog, we will discuss Vitamin D, the sun, and skincare. Stay tuned for that on Tuesday!
Our best-selling Therapeutic Hand Scrub and our Healthy Hand Cream are both featured in today’s online issue of the popular She Knows! Thank you to the wonderful team of beauty editors who chose our hand care products in their selection of “revitalizing spring bath and body products.”
I’d also like to share a spring tip with you today. It is ALMOST sandal season, ladies (and gents). Are you treating your feet? I have been using the hand scrub followed by the cream each night. After I apply the hand cream (or body cream), I put on cotton socks and head to bed. When I wake up, my feet are silky and soft and ready for sandals.
I don’t know about you, but one of my least favorite things happens to be that dreaded hangnail. They tend to happen on the right side of my thumb. My son, Nick (age 9), also gets these fairly often. I am never really sure what I should do about them. I know that I am not supposed to pick it. It is horrible to say, but I sometimes resort to biting them. I know this is not the right approach. I usually trim Nick’s hangnails, but I admit to being a bit unsure of the best way to tackle this very common problem.
Last month in the online Dr. Oz magazine called You Beauty, there was a neat article about hangnails. It featured an interview with a dermatologist named Dr. Barry Goldman and he explained that hangnails “aren’t nails. They’re made of damaged skin.” That much I did know as an aesthetician. We never learned about how to care for hangnails, though, as I suspect that may have been taught to the students in the nail program.
Dr. Goldman said that the best thing to do for hangnails is to very gentle trim the hangnail as close to the skin as possible without tugging. After you trim it, he recommends applying a “thick hand cream into your cuticles, going with—not against—the grain.”
That sounds like very sound advice!
I was curious and decided to learn more about hangnails and how to prevent them. Prevention also mentions the need to use a good hand cream. They said that it’s important to seal in the moisture after hand washing. They suggest leaving “a bottle of hand cream on the bathroom sink or desk and massage into cuticles…”
We think this is great advice!
The Daily Glow also suggests something we can help you with. The editors at this online magazine suggest soaking “fingertips in warm water with bath oil for 15 minutes a day” and recommend applying “hand cream to your hands, taking extra time to rub it into..fingernails, cuticles, and the skin arounf your nails” twice each day. I see absolutely no reason why you can’t do this with your existing (seed) Body Oil. In fact, to test this idea out, I soaked my own fingertips in water and the Relaxing Blend Body Oil just a little while ago and noticed how soothing it is!
The experts and beauty editors concur — hand cream is ESSENTIAL when it comes to preventing and treating hangnails. Any of our Healthy Hand Cream varieties will help you, whether it be Fragrance Free, Relaxing Lavender, or Invigorating Citrus. You take the time to pamper the skin on your face with lotions and potions, so be sure to treat your hands with that same respect–you just may be eliminating common hangnails in the process!
We’ve spoken of our love for lavender before here on the (seed) blog–and with good reason. There are so many benefits of lavender, such as promoting a sense of relaxtion and calm.
At (seed), we really respect the benefits that lavender possesses. That is why we incorporate it into so many of our natural body care products. We use lavender oil in the (seed) Body Oil Relaxing Blend because of its stress-relieving properties. In our Relaxing Blend Body Lotion, lavender is combined with sage. Sage is shown to help clear the mind and lavender is known for its soothing of the senses. We also use lavender in our Relaxing Lavender Hand Cream, which I love because midway through the day I can get that burst of aromatherapy while I am softening my hands. It’s a great pick me up! You’ll also find lavender oil in our Relaxing Lavender Body Cream.
Our body cream is thick and rich without being greasy and it absorbs into your skin without feeling heavy. Your skin will feel pampered, soothed & nourished day after day. With grape seed oil and shea butter, our Relaxing Lavender Body Cream is just what your elbows, knees, and other areas in need of extra moisture.
We want you to experience the aromatherapy benefits of lavender and the benefits of seedology® in our body cream, so we have a fabulous lavender collection to tell you about” our Loving Lavender Variety Pack.
This collection includes three full sized items for just $26. Here is what is included:
- One (1) Body Cream Lavender 8 oz.
- One (1) Body Lotion Lavender Sage 8 oz.
- One (1) Healthy Hand Cream – Lavender 3.5 oz
Lavender is truly special! I’d like to share some of my other lavender favorites with you today.
I love a good book, and this book by Jeannie Ralston is wonderful. It is called The Unlikely Lavender Queen:
This chocolate bar is interesting, yet delicious! It is the Dagoba Organic Chocolate Lavender Blueberry Bar. I buy mine at Wegmans.
Lavender Mint Sparkling Water from Ayala’s is also a refreshing zero calorie drink!
Do you have lavender favorites? Share them with us!
We know that so many of you require foods and products that are gluten-free. That can sure be hard to accomplish! We have you covered when it comes to body care products here at (seed), but I was just thinking about how hard this could be when preparing an Easter dinner.
I looked around my favorite sites on the Internet looking for some Easter recipes to share. Here is a selection of my favorites:
Scalloped Pineapple (recipe from Rachel Young, the Glady Gluten Free blogger for Chicago Now)
4 cups gluten free bread, broken into chunks (Breadsmith’s gluten free white bread is perfect for this dish)
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan shortening, melted
1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup vanilla flavored almond milk (Soy or Rice milk can be used as well)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine bread, sugar, earth balance, and
eggs. Add pineapple and almond milk and pour into greased baking dish.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until top appears golden.
Carrot Cake with “Cream Cheese” Frosting (from Tricia Goss, Yahoo! Contributor)
What would Easter dinner be without a decadent dessert? Enjoy this flavorful, spiced cake on any special occasion.
5 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups gluten-free flour mix
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans or one 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Beat eggs, oil and sugar in large bowl on medium for three minutes. Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to the first bowl while mixing just until blended. Fold in remaining ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes and then remove from pans onto cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
“Cream Cheese” Frosting
1/2 cup gluten-free, non-dairy spread, such as Earth Balance
9 ounces gluten-free, non-dairy cream cheese substitute, such as Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat spread in medium bowl on medium for one to two minutes until creamy. Add cream cheese substitute and continue beating until smooth, about five minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Mix on low until smooth. Turn mixer to medium and whip until fluffy. Spread onto cooled cake.
I also found some gluten-free Easter boards over on Pinterest:
From Julia Black
From Fave Gluten Free
From Amanda Reilly
From Genius Gluten Free
From Jessica McK
And do not forget the next time you’re shopping online or browsing the aisles of your grocery store to pick up some (seed) Body Care products, which are all gluten free.
Speaking of gluten free, have you checked out the blog called Gluten Free Makeup Gal? Afton has created such a fabulous blog and she happens to love our products– check out the reviews and mentions here, here, and here.
Have a fabulous weekend, friends!
As I get older (I am not OLD, by the way–only in my late 30′s), I have noticed that my sensitivity to fragrance increases.
I was in a department store the other day and while I was walking through, I was approached by 4 separate women offering to spray me with the latest perfumes for spring. I politely declined. Afterall, I was that perfume spraying gal on weekends while I was in college.
The aroma couldn’t be avoided, though. Other women were being spritzed and I was left in a cloud of what seemed like a mix of lily of the valley, melon, musk, and a hint of something syrupy sweet. Soon after, I walked into a popular store with loud music blaring and overpriced jeans. Not only did my ears feel like they were ringing, but the whole store smelled, as the workers there are required to spray the store’s own line of men’s fragrance around each day.
Looking for pajamas, I walked into a lingerie shop. It was also heavily scented with the brand’s perfume. I stopped at a mall salon to look for some pomade for my growing-out pixie cut. I could not find ONE without artificial fragrance on the ingredients label, nor were there any scented naturally with only essential oils.
Walking through the mall on the way to the parking lot, I passed by a candle store. I could smell cinnamon and orange notes for the next three stores past the candle store. My trip to the mall left me with a headache and a sneezing fit. It had me thinking about the artificial fragrance overload we all encounter on a daily basis.
There is so much buzz about designated zones for smokers so we avoid breathing in cigarette smoke. Many restaurants, hotels, and workplaces are officially smoke free zones now. We know after much research that breathing in second hand smoke is dangerous.
What about “Fragrance Free Zones”? We know for a fact that artificial fragrances can be hazardous for our health, but the trigger on the perfume bottles are pushed with abandon. This never used to bother me. I used to spray my perfume in the air and walk through it to make sure I smelled from head to toe like the “it fragrance” of the moment. I think back to my grandmother spraying the seats of her car with White Linen. Or how, when she was in her 80′s, she would spray so much Red Door on her clothing that you could taste it when you hugged her.
Synthetic fragrance is a leading cause of both allergies and asthma, but there doesn’t seem to be an uproar over it. What about you? Are YOU bothered by artificial fragrances? I’d love to know!
Do you use body oil? I know that so many of us picture the petrochemical-based baby oils that we associate with a powdery fragrance when we think of oil. I know that is why I used to avoid them myself.
Not all body oils are created equal, though. When you explore the aisles of the drugstore and look at oils, you will often see mineral oil and fragrance as the main ingredients. This is nothing like a natural body oil. This is a mixture of synthetic fragrance and greasy crude oil. When you pour it into your hands and apply it to your skin, you’re left with slimy feeling hands. No wonder so many people don’t use oils in their skin care routine!
I’d like to talk about (seed) Body Oil. It will make you rethink the concept of body oils!
Do you use your husband’s shaving cream to shave your legs? Or are you a man who uses that popular shaving cream that’s been available for decades?
Do you know what is really in that shaving cream?
Here is the ingredients list. See why the Skin Deep Database rates this brand’s shaving cream an 8 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most hazardous. The potentially harmful ingredients are in green:
Stearic Acid–surfactant and emulsifier. While stearic acid is pretty benign, one MUST be aware of the source. There are many sources, including coconut oil, but this doesn’t state “Vegetable source”, so chances are this one is animal-derived.
Triethanolamine–emulsifier and pH adjuster; can be especially hazardous when combined with Diazolidinyl Urea. Studies have shown that a large number of cosmetics with TEA (short for Triethanolamine) are contaminated with Nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. Also avoid labels which say TEA Lauryl Sulfate, as it’s the same thing. TEA is also very acidic.
Isobutane–a propellant linked to cancer
Laureth-23–a surfactant. This is of great concern as it is linked (anything with PEG at the beginning or -ETH at the end) to 1,4 Dioxane, a contaminant the EPA says is one of the mos toxic ever.
Diazolidinyl Urea–a preservative and formaldehyde-releaser derived from animals. Used in embalming. Linked to cancer.
Fragrance– we’ve talked about this one before; avoid it.
Methylparaben–This particular paraben is used in water-containing products as a preservative. A study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology linked parabens to breast cancer as they may be hormone disruptive and lead to tumor growth. While the jury is still out on paraben safety, I personally find the links too strong and have been paraben free for more than 6 years.
Propane–This hydrocarbon, a propellant, helps give the product its mousse-like fluffy foam. It is extremely sensitizing to the lungs in moderate doses. It can be highly irritating to the skin, nasal passages and mucus membranes. Given that this is in close contact with eyes, nose, and mouth almost daily, it is to be of great concern.
Proplyene Glycol–is used in conjunction with other chemical ingredients as a preservative. It is also found in products to make it easier for other added ingredients to penetrate the skin. This ingredient has been shown in studies to aggravate skin conditions such as eczema. This derivitave of mineral oil is considered a petrochemical. There are many different grades of PG: industrial grade is found in anti-freeze. Some will tell you that skin care products with propylene glycol just like anti-freeze. This isn’t true–the kind in cosmetics is cosmetics grade. That being said, can cause contact dermatitis, especially in such a very high concentration
Propylparaben–this type of paraben is a preservative agent against fungus. A study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology linked parabens to breast cancer as they may be hormone disruptive and lead to tumor growth. While the jury is still out on paraben safety, I personally find the links too strong and have been paraben free for almost 6 years.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate–You’ll sometimes see companies say that this is natural because it is loosely derived from coconut. This is used to clean garage floors at service stations and in the car wash as a cleansing agent. The effects shown in animal studies are very disturbing to say the least. When SLS is tested on young animals, their eyes can stop developing because of the harmful proteins absorbed. They have been shown to suffer severe damage to their nervous systems and even death. I avoid it.
It’s time to make the switch to a healthier product for your shaving needs!
We’re going to talk about scent today….or lack thereof.
This topic stems from a chat I was having with my friend Susan a few weeks back. She remarked that she was surprised because her nose can pick up traces of scent when she uses “fragrance free” products.
My first thought: “I need to explain how fragrance free items may still have a slight scent.”
Yes, she is right. Sometimes you DO pick up a scent from a product which has been labeled “Fragrance Free”. This is not a bad, thing, though.
Labels can be confusing. Afterall, there are Unscented products and Fragrance Free products. It’s important to differentiate between the two because there is a major difference in terms of safety.
Fragrance Free is what you are looking for. This means that no artificial (synthetic) fragrances have been added to the product. As we know, artificial fragrances are one of the most potentially harmful ingredients we can encounter and they are linked to many health issues, from allergies and asthma to cancer. In “fragrance free” items, you do not have to worry about those nasty synthetics. Nothing has been added to remove the natural scents from the butters, oils, and other natural ingredients in the products. In other words, you may smell some of the product’s ingredients such as the olive oil or shea butter.
Unscented does not mean fragrance free. In fact, if you smell absolutely nothing in your skin care or beauty products, it may be even MORE harmful than you believed. Why? It sounds silly, but unscented products typically have added fragrance agents used to mask the other smells. These masking fragrances are usually composed of toxic phthalates.
Phthalates are an industrial plasticizing agent. Here is what is on the Cosmetics Database page about phthalates: “More than two decades ago, scientists began building a body of work indicating that phthalates are reproductive and developmental toxicants in laboratory animals, particularly in males. Early studies focused on phthalates’ ability to cause testicular atrophy (e.g., Gray and Buttersworth 1980). New studies are confirming these findings in humans (Swan et al. 2005, Main et al. 2005).”
Phthalates have been linked from everything to testicular cancer to liver cancer, but they are still in almost all synthetic fragrances, including masking agents which cause a product’s other natural scents to disappear.
Allergies and asthma still remain the biggest side effect of artificial fragrance and studies reveal that women are even more susceptible to these side effects. The problem becomes compounded when women exhibit the side effects such as redness and irritation and attempt to treat these with more lotions and creams. Since so many of these products have fragrance in them, they are rubbing on more of what is actually CAUSING the problem.
Even more troubling, though, is when companies fail to disclose just what is in their scents. Consumers are left in the dark. This leaves people even more likely to apply products which may be causing their allergies and other issues. There is an informative new report from Women’s Voices for the Earth called Secret Scents, and an infographic to go with it:
So when you’re shopping for skin care, be sure not to fall for the “unscented” label. It must say “fragrance free” or “free of artificial fragrances” to actually mean it. Products here at (seed) are scented only with pure and natural essential oils (NOT synthetic fragrance) or are truly fragrance free.