The beautiful and talented actress, activist and lifestyle blogger Shiva Rose shows us how she uses our facial tea, Bio Active Healing Mask and our lovely Daily Elements Defense Face Oil. We love how she incorporates the nutritious tea water into her sweet routine. If you haven't yet checked out The Local Rose, you're missing out!
It happens to the best of us. Even the most careful and fanatical skincare conscious will at some point or another commit the most sinful beauty crimes of all...suffer the consequences of a sunburn. It happened to me just a few weeks ago. Yes indeed, even an eco beauty maven that creates some of the world's most effective natural skincare products can get sunburned.
I didn't mean for it to happen and I certainly applied enough sunscreen on my face and body to protect myself, but what I forgot to do was reapply. Remember that word because it's critical if you're going to spend a day at the beach, outdoors or as in my case a 4 1/2 hour hike in the California mountains of Santa Anita you must and I repeat, must reapply sunscreen after 2 hours of continued sun exposure. I know this, I preach this, yet I screwed up when it mattered and my skin suffered for it. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation a person's risk of developing melanoma doubles with up to 5 sunburns in their lifetime and just one blistering sunburn in childhood and adolescence doubles the chance of melanoma later in life. If that doesn't scare you maybe vanity will. Wrinkles are induced from UV damage and begin to thin out the tissue under the skin which eventually loses its ability to hold up and begins to sag and crinkle. A bad sunburn can speed up the process rather quickly. Most of the damage I suffered was on my nose, forehead and shoulders. Thankfully giant sunglasses saved my eyes from the sun although I looked like a crazy raccoon for about a week. Now that my secret is out I want to share how I treated my sun damage to help reverse the damage and speed up the process of getting through the pain and flaking. I hope this doesn't happen to you and that you do remember to reapply sunscreen (even if you're going to hike in sometimes shady mountains terrain) every 2 hours.
1. Access The Damage
The first thing to do is examine the areas you were burned and what type of sunburn you have. If your skin is red, blistering and super painful go to your doctor immediately. Blistering sunburns require medical attention as they can easily become infected. If your sunburn is milder than a blistering degree burn go to step 2.
2. Make A Skin Soothing Tea And Apple Cider Vinegar Compress
This is the first thing I did when I noticed I got more sun than I wanted. Mix half a cup of cool raw coconut water, 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and one cup of cooled green tea in a large bowl and add a clean cotton washcloth and allow to soak for 5 minutes, then wring out and place over cleaned sunburned areas. This will provide temporarily relief as well as help aid cell damage to the skin. Do this as often as you like with a sunburn and don't rinse off. After a cool shower is best.
3. Make An Anti Inflammatory Paste
This should be done before bedtime to ease pain and allow you to sleep. Mix 1 tablespoon manuka honey, 1/2 teaspoon organic tomato paste, 10 drops barbary fig seed oil (or Vitamin E) well and apply on skin. Yes, it's thick, messy and smells like pasta sauce, but the lycopene found in tomatoes will significantly quench the damage that occurs with ultraviolet exposure more so than even Vitamin E. There is also Vitamin C in tomatoes and the combination of C, E and lycopene is pretty genius. Manuka honey is extremely antibacterial and loaded with enzymes that will speed up the healing of a burn. Allow this paste to stay on your burn for about 30 minutes and rinse off gently to apply your topical treatment. Beware as I kept licking my own face, it was the sweetest pasta sauce I've ever made.
My face burn wasn't this bad, but close!
4. Apply Topical Treatments
The staple topical treatment to relieve sunburns is aloe vera and yes you can definitely use an organic aloe vera gel. I applied a thin layer on my nose, forehead and shoulders.I do not recommend using fresh aloe vera directly from the plant unless you've tried this before and your sunburn isn't blistering. If you know you won't have a reaction to fresh aloe vera then it is indeed effective for soothing purposes. If your burn has blistered you don't want to apply fresh aloe directly from the plant as certain natural microbes living on the plant could infect open blisters. (Ask me how I know this! I saw a disaster happen right before my eyes when I was a young summer camp counselor. Yuck, is what I remember most.) You may use a calendula cream or really good virgin coconut oil for your body as I did on my shoulders. The lauric acid in coconut oil is good for healthy cell immune function. I used what I knew what would work great, both our Daily Elements Defense Face Oil and our Barbary Fig Seed Oil and guess what? They worked quick and very well indeed! If you use any of these products rest assured that they will work to repair skin from damage and help procure new healthy cell growth. I feel these oils cut my inflammation time in half and two days later my skin was tanned and not peeling off in large amounts.
The day of my sunburn incident I took ibuprofen and drank a tall glass of tomato juice. Drink a fresh antioxidant rich berry juice and plenty of water, take ibuprofen and eat healthy. Some people notice fatigue after a bad sunburn and certainly this was my case so don't stress your body or immune system out by eating tons of carbs or fatty meats. Lean proteins, water dense foods and plenty of lycopene rich foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit all help you from the inside out.
6. Protect Your Burn
The morning after I noticed my entire face was sucked dry. I was horrified as I've been able to maintain pretty balanced skin for several years now and hadn't experienced such dryness on my face since my summer vacations in New Mexico when I was younger. Luckily I didn't have such a severe burn because I spritz myself with an active facial mist and went for it with both oil and a thick layer of Rainforest Hydration Treatment. That is a lot of moisture for me especially for warm weather. The key to managing a sunburn is to not allow your skin to dry out and of course this is the natural process to undergo after damaging and traumatizing your skin with a burn. You want to continue to replenish nutrients to skin that is basically starving for hydration and nutrients. Apply oil and reapply as often as needed. Doing this got me back to almost normal in two days. I didn't need as much oils then. Wear a hat, loose cotton clothing and avoid jeans or pants if your legs were burned. Wear a loose skirt of shorts. I hope no one is forgetting to wear their sunscreen after this!
One of the most important, if not the most important Gods worshiped by the Incas was Inti, the sun God. The Incas had so much respect for the sun as it provided them with warmth, a good crop season and sustained life. Every year their most magnificent festival was dedicated to Inti to honor and not take for granted the power the sun had in providing them with a good life. I'm going to remember that every day as I'm greeted by the sunrises that flood my bedroom each morning. Don't take anything good for granted.
We are always being asked when we will introduce a cleanser to our skincare line. We're working on it is what we usually say and trust us beauties, we work hard on our formulations so our cleanser is going to be nothing short of exceptional and innovative. Currently, I like using honey as a cleanser and lately I've been using Rainforest Hydration Treatment to deep clean once a week. It's so easy to do and really lifts dirt, debris and makeup off quite well without stripping your skin of precious oils. Right now it's chilly in Australia and South America and our customers in those locations are asking for the best way to keep skin moisturized and are wanting us to create a cleanser. Here's two for one for you lovelies! The great thing about Rainforest Hydration Treatment is that is transforms from a creamy balm and melts into your skin and is literally swallowed up to penetrate and immediately moisturize even the most dehydrated skin. This is how I use RHT as a deep cleanser. You must try this for super soft and well treated skin.
Use a soft cleansing cloth (We will have 100% organic bamboo/cotton two sided cleansing cloths on our shop very soon) and place in a clean bowl. Add hot water and allow to cool enough to handle. Drain water out of the bowl and wring water from bamboo cloth and cover over your face to "steam" skin and detox. Be careful and use good sense, too hot will burn you! When skin begins to perspire apply a quarter sized amount to a corner of the cloth (if using our bamboo/cotton cloths using the terry cloth side is best here) and begin to massage in to skin in circular motion, add a bit more of the RHT if needed. When you have loosened unwanted grime from your skin rinse your cleansing cloth under warm water, drain and again apply right over your face using the soft bamboo side to wipe off any remaining product. Your skin will feel like you've just been to a facialist and it was all so quick and easy!
Last summer was such a killer with hot and humid temperatures in the Midwest that I needed to do this a few times a week along with good facial steams. I added a bit of fine Spanish sea salt (any fine salt would do, I just happen to have about 20 pounds of Spanish Costa Blanco sea salt in my home for some mysterious reason) to my RHT to treat congested and irritated skin. Works great for acne prone and oily types too. So now you have a new innovative and effective way to use our superfuit based Rainforest Hydration Treatment.
* Be aware that most that try this product become true fanatics. Don't say we didn't warn you!
Last week we wrote an intro into summer beauty and we promised to come back this week to include body and haircare. I love summer body care because if done right you can skip a day of moisturizing and don't need to worry about dry, itchy skin. I also like making my own body scrubs which I contain in large glass jars made with fresh herbs and fine Spanish sea salt. Last year I came up with a honey coconut salt polish for a friend who had recovered from a bad sunburn, she just couldn't scrub away the flaky skin with shower gel and needed a little healing boost. It turned out to be a hit with her and my sister who asked me to make it several more times. I'm always much more playful during summer with products and enjoy trying new things and wanted to share a few rituals and DIY recipes. I'm also going to reveal details on the six new products coming to the La Bella Figura line later this summer. Exciting!
1. Body Exfoliation
I'm not a fan of "dry brushing" the way so many beauty lovers are. I don't like the feel of scrubbing my skin while dry, but know so many people who swear by this technique to slough off dead skin. I have however fallen in love with a Turkish and very European technique of body exfoliating with an exfoliating mitt. I am in love with the one from Come Clean Cosmetics and was given a very thorough instruction on how to use the mitt. It's not complicated at all, but there is a method in order to use it optimally. You should allow your skin to steam and never use the mitt with soaps or shower gels as they leave a film on skin not allowing for deep exfoliation. You can watch the video on the brand website, but once you try this type of exfoliation, dry brushing doesn't compare. Your skin will feel so smooth and soft and the exfoliation immediately brings oxygen flow to the skin so you look fresh and radiant. I do this on evenings when time is not an issue, but once a week seems to be enough for me.
I have a preference for salt vs sugar scrubs. I believe salt is more healing, purifying and detoxifying to the skin than sugar. I also believe if you're acne prone that sugars can make that condition worsen especially if you're also suffering from candida overgrowth, a condition very common with acute and cystic acne sufferers. If you suffer from this type of acne avoid sugar based scrubs. I like a simple sea salt scrub made with fine salt from the Costa Blanco region in Spain, but you can use any fine or medium grain sea salt. Adding certain herbs can increase the detoxifying effect, such as thyme or rosemary. Adding a little olive oil (or argan, coconut, sacha inchi or your favorite skin soothing oil) will make your scrub moisturizing and I find I don't need to apply body oil after using my scrub. If you're trying to increase blood flow to certain areas where cellulite is an issue adding a bit of coffee grain is wonderful. The caffeine addition improves circulation to the skin and scientific studies have shown that it also temporarily shrinks fat cells. I'll gladly take that temporary effect!
2. Foot and Heel Care
Summer means ditching socks and I love that! I was probably meant to live someplace where I could walk barefoot all day, alas I crave weather that makes me not need socks. I like pretty pedicures and bare feet whenever possible, but that also means that my heels are more exposed and therefore tend to get dry and cracked even during summer. Give yourself weekly foot treatments and use the DIY salt scrub on feet and heels, then apply a generous amount of a thick cream (I use Rainforest Hydration Treatment) and plastic wrap to cover your feet. You can use socks over the plastic wrap so you don't slide around your kitchen floor. After 30 minutes take a blowdryer and gently blow dry over the plastic wrap and directly on your feet! Are you laughing yet? I am, but I'm not joking! This will cause the cream to soften and penetrate your skin. Unveil the plastic wrap and viola, baby soft heels and soft, soft, skin. If you're a sandal or flip flop junkie this is going to save you from having unattractive heels.
3. Beach Hair
Summer hair styles are free spirited and sexy mostly because there isn't much fuss to be had. Not much blowdrying, hairspraying, or many products to use. I use high quality organic shampoos and conditioners, spritz wet hair with a homemade detangler or if I happen to have John Masters Honey and Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor around, a dime sized amount into my hair before combing through keeps hair loose and untangled. I wear top knots, loose braids and ponytails during the summer A LOT. There doesn't seem to be much point to drying, curling or straightening when they weather is hot or humid or worse, hot and humid. I also love the look of a beach kissed hairstyle which can easily be achieved by using a sea salt spray. I also mix oils into plain whole milk yogurt for a hair mask that makes your hair feel like silk. This mask is perfect if you're reading poolside or lounging around on a Sunday afternoon. Give this yogurt mask a try and everyone will ask what new shampoo you've been using to make your tresses look so pampered.
Yogurt Hair Mask Recipe
Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir as a scalp treatment (apply 15 minutes before yogurt mask)
1/2 cup full fat yogurt (Greek yogurt is best)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut oil
10 drops lavender oil
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Apply your favorite oil to the roots of your hair before using the mask and allow to absorb for 15 minutes. I like using our Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir for its unique blend of high quality oils, but you can use argan, olive or coconut. Add the mask to your roots, ends and all over, wrap in a bun and cover hair in a warm towel or shower cap. Allow the mask to set for an hour. Rinse with cool water and style as usual. OMG, this the softest your hair has felt since babyhood! Helps fight frizz too.
The messy braid is also a favorite summer staple hairstyle for me!
We hope you've enjoyed our summer beauty tips and guide and look forward to hearing about any of the recipes you've tried or tips you've implemented. We also hope you stay tuned this summer as we launch Modern Radiance Concentrate, a skin brightening, toning, collagen building and skin smoothing gel cream created with advanced technology from plant cells and fortified with actives carefully selected to make this product a one of its kind natural skin wonder. We are also launching a luxurious Italian scented body and bath oil with notes of frangipani, blood oranges and other LBF secrets, a truly gorgeous facial mist and three new perfumes in our continuing series, The Travel Diaries Collection. We expect these products to launch in late August and are so excited to introduce you to our growing collection of natural products that work to soothe, repair and delight beauty lovers from all over the world, natural and otherwise. Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful summer beauty season!
If you're anything like me you have been smiling ever since you noticed the first green buds emerge on the tops of your neighboring trees. While it's still technically spring here in the US, this weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer with celebrations over a long Memorial Day holiday and an extra day to lounge. I am especially excited to take off to Los Angeles and spend time with special friends in the warm California sunshine. I have loved California ever since my third and fourth grade teacher, Ms. Kelly (my all time favorite teacher) a California native would tell our class about the beauty that was her home State. She would disappear over summer vacation and reappear in September with a tan, golden hair, and incredible stories of the sea. She once brought our class dried seashells that she had collected and it occurred to me that there was plenty of magic on that side of the world. Why I don't live in California is beyond me, but one day, I hope.
One of the things I'm very aware of is the climate in California, which varies from dry to downright bone dry. Changing climates can cause visible skin changes and issues even if you're a healthy eater and practice consuming liquids throughout the day. Moisturizing and protecting your skin is vital to keep your skin its healthiest as is an excellent sunscreen. Sunscreen is the ultimate wrinkle fighter as UV damage can make your smooth and radiant skin appear dry, damaged and rough in a matter of months. There is no joking with the sun and I can't advise enough to find the perfect sunscreen for you and stick to it. Invest in a natural sunscreen as recent studies have raised concerns over the many toxic ingredients in conventional sunscreens. If you hate thick sunscreens over your face I have a little trick I'll share in making your facial sunscreen a little more tolerable to apply and even tinting it a bit. Without further finger wagging here are some tips and guidance in keeping your skin in tip top shape all summer long. It requires effort, but you already know you're worth it.
Facial Skin Tips:
Exfoliating is an important step to your skincare during summer months when clogged pores, sweat, bacteria, and environmental pollution can increase your breakouts. Now, I am not a believer of rough exfoliators. Those with crushed apricot seeds or walnut shells are actually terrible for your skin. I believe in the power of enzymes found in raw honey and acidophilus found in yogurt. I also enjoy fruit based tiny seeds in my exfoliating action like vanilla seeds or powders like rice powder, sacha inchi powder, and even a little baking soda. These ingredients are much gentler for your skin and don't cause all of those tiny abrasions that can make you look like raw shark bait. If you don't have a Clarisonic investing in one can keep your skin from suffering summer skin congestion. I am also a huge fan of Japanese charcoal facial puffs. I keep them around as traveling with them is easier than logging your Clarisonic around throughout the hilly mountains of Peru. During the summer I tend to use raw honey with a little baking powder and apply a thin layer and allow to set before wetting my Binchotan facial puff and in soft circular motion exfoliating away dead skin cells. If you're acne prone add little coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar to your honey. I love this more than anything else I do for my skin as you notice results immediately and your skin is hydrated and refreshed.
2. Facial Steaming
I incorporate facial steams into my week, but especially for city living facial steams seem to help my skin detox and look better. Running around, public transportation, sweating while walking and then freezing in a cold air conditioned office will wreak havoc on your skin and a little at home detox therapy works wonders. I love our very own Purifying and Healing Facial Steam Teas, but you can also use hot water to gently remove buildup from your pores. Adding a tablespoon of coconut or apple cider vinegars to hot water before steaming is great for oily skin.
3. Hydration for the inside
It goes without saying, you need to stay hydrated on the inside and out even in the sweltering heat. Especially in the sweltering heat! Water alone isn't the only way or best way to stay hydrated. I'm going to confess something that will make fellow health and natural beauty advocates scratch their heads or go nuts. I HATE drinking water. There I confessed! Plain old water is boring and yet I know it is lucrative to keeping one alive and healthy. Years ago when I was constantly bombarded by supermodels in magazines advising us to drink 8-10 glasses of water I did my own little research and realized your hydration intake doesn't solely on water. Drinking healthy fluids contributes to staying hydrated and well balanced. Now that doesn't mean pop or soda counts as hydration nutrition. Those chemicals in a can of artificial cola and all that sugar is insane for your skin. Fresh juices, coconut water, coffee, tea, and even water dense fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe provide nutrients and hydration to your system on any regular day. If you work out or are outdoors engaged in physical activity under the sun water is indeed the fastest way to curb thirst and provide hydration to your body. I like drinking a 'Green Goddess' juice with coconut water after a hike to replenish lost electrolytes and nutrients to my system. I also began to infuse water with lemon and orange slices, raspberries, cherries, mint and fresh basil and this is what I'm often drinking while at work. (This little tip I stole from the W Hotel in Westwood where I'm practically glued to their fruit infused water station when I'm a guest.) Hydration for your insides helps cells appear "plump" and keep volume in your skin which radiates good health.
Hydration for the outside
You know those old movies where gentlemen would pull out a cotton handkerchief out of their lapels or pockets and wipe the sweat from their forehead and then replace the hankie back into their pockets? Gross! What a guarantee to chronic acne and breakouts. As is constantly wiping sweat from your forehead with your hands. Don't do this. If you find yourself melting and need a quick way to refresh, spritz natural flower water or a facial mist on your face, neck and decollete. This helps to soothe skin and keep your hands away from your face. Customers often ask why their acne seems to be worse during warmer weather and we believe chronic touching of the face mixed with sweat and pollution creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Using facial wipes is also helpful to keeping skin refreshed. I rarely travel without my favorite biodegradable facial wipes. They really come in handy on an airplane where recycled air sucks moisture out of the air rapidly and causes your skin to become dry rather quickly. I was recently on a flight and pulled out my travel kit and began my misting and oil applications when the woman next to me who was reading a book finally asked what I was doing. I gave her a few drops of Daily Elements Defense Face Oil and she oohed and ahhed and we continued to talk skincare for the remainder of the flight. I believe she is now a convert.
By the way, if you're a savvy DIY person this is one of the best recipes for making your own rosewater I've ever seen from our friends at Roost. (I could watch these dreamy videos all day.) You can keep this handy all season long and even gift these gorgeous bottles of fresh rosewater to friends.
This is a question we're asked often. How to layer skincare products for best and optimal results? Layering products can provide your skin with plenty of protection, hydration and active ingredients that solve problems and prevent new ones. In general, lightest to heaviest is the rule of thumb, but I believe that the most active product should be applied first. My vitamin C gel cream is the first product I use during the morning. It's a cross between a light cream and a gel and a thin layer across my face and neck area is all that's needed. I allow that product to set and tone my skin before applying my moisturizer. I'm currently using DED as a morning moisturizer and I use about two or three pumps for face, neck and decollete area. If I'm going to be indoors I apply a sunscreen balm directly over my face and blend in with a makeup brush. If I'm going out for the day I use a gentle natural sunscreen and thin it out with DED in the palm of my hand and apply it like a moisturizer. If you're going to wear foundation this is when you can add color to the sunscreen/antioxidant protection mix for a light tinted DIY moisturizer with sunscreen. It's fantastic! After all that is done I apply yet another drop of DED and I'm ready for a little cream blush, mascara or nothing at all. If you're one of those ladies that likes to wear makeup to the beach this self made tinted UV moisturizer is for you!
4. After Sun Treatment
If your weekend will be spent at the beach or poolside and you are a skincare fanatic you're probably wondering what after-sun treatment will help repair UV exposure. First, even wearing sunscreen and being diligent about applying it every 2-3 hours won't keep your skin from suffering from some sun trauma. Help repair skin with antioxidants and plenty of Vitamin E found in both our DED and pure Barbary Fig Seed Oil. I also like argan oil for after sun treatment and the incredible skin soothing formula in our Tesoro Mediterranean Blend is a favorite of our customers for after sun exposure. (Bonus: it also helps keep skin from breaking out, but you must make sure to use sunscreen with this product if you're outdoors as the citrus in this blend can cause photo sensitivity.) Personally, pure high grade barbary fig seed oil is a skin savior! Applying a little BFSO on sunburns also soothes and helps to repair damage quickly. I've never seen any other product or skincare ingredient work as quickly on sunburned skin, not even aloe vera! If I spend a good amount of time outdoors I will seek healing repair from our Bio Active Healing Mask, a heaven sent product for healing and hydration after a long day at the beach.
These are some of our best tips and advice for caring for summer skin. We've been way ahead of the game with our honey treatments for healing and exfoliation and lately it's all the buzz in celebrity circles and skincare enthusiasts, which is fun to see. Stay tuned for Part II in our Summer Beauty Tips And Guidance where we will share great ideas to implement for your body and haircare. We'd also like to invite you to take 15% off of Daily Elements Defense Face Oil starting today, Wednesday May 22 until Monday May 28th, 2013 with code: FunandSun at checkout only at our online shop. Remember to wear a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen this weekend, but mostly importantly have a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoy your beautiful life!
If you've been living with your eyes open (a favorite expression of
my sarcastic and hilarious Spanish grandmother) you have certainly been
bombarded about the many benefits of coconut oil. If you're a beauty
aficionado, you have already rushed to market to purchase your bottle of
nature's "miracle" from the tropics only to discover it is actually not
in oil form at all, but a thick, white creamy mass. Don't fret my
darlings, your coconut oil has not gone rancid. It is simply solid
because of its high fat content and will remain so unless it's above 76
degrees Fahrenheit, at that point it will begin to melt. Trust us, it's
perfect as is.
Last year while I was vacationing in Tortola, I was strolling a
pristine beach happily daydreaming when I suddenly saw what appeared to
be a giant green turtle struggling, bobbing up and down frantically in
the crisp Caribbean water. My inner Steve Irwin rushed into the sea to
help rescue this poor creature and as I swam closer I realized that it
was just a giant green coconut that had somehow made its way into the
current. I grabbed it and made my way back to shore (shore was only 15
feet away) and studied this magnificent coconut. It was absolutely
perfect without the slightest trace of a bruise, larger than the other
green coconuts I had seen growing all over the island and so vibrant.
Maybe it had something to do with being in salt water, but it was the
loveliest shade of green and I notice everything green. A man who had
been quietly watching me make a fool of myself asked me if he should
open the coconut for me. Of course I said yes and in an instant he had
created a perfect hole in my perfect coconut and told me to drink up. He
told me it would be the best coconut juice of my life. Now, I must
admit to never having been a fan of coconut water before, but this fresh
juice was exceptional! The man told me that it had probably been in the
water for at least a day and that was why it was so vibrant. Her
proceeded to explain that between the salt in the sea, the gentle air,
and the sun it was a gift of sweet nectar from the island especially for
me. I really loved that sentiment and became a convert of raw coconut
juice after that experience. I also learned that there is no better
hydrator on earth than fresh coconut juice or water as it's often also
called. Full of potassium, magnesium, and calcium this mineral
combination creates electrolytes which the body needs to carry out
electrical impulses. A healthy balance of electrolytes enables normal
function of muscle contraction and keeps your heart beating at a regular
pace. It is what professional athletes drink when they need to stay
hydrated and to replenish lost electrolytes while physically active.
Remember this the next time you've had a night of one too many sangrias
and do as my Brazilian friends do drink fresh, raw coconut water
followed by a fresh green juice. It truly is the best hangover cure.
As you probably know by now not all coconut oils are created the
same. It is so important as a consumer that you know this and do your
best to arm yourself with enough facts to make the best possible
purchase. Many cheap coconut oils on the market are processed, refined,
bleached, and deodorized and all of that makes your coconut oil simply,
worthless. If you open a jar and it doesn't smell faintly of coconuts
return it or toss it out as it has absolutely no nutritional value to
it. The best coconut oil on the market comes from young, tender green
coconuts and is labeled as virgin or extra virgin. At La Bella Figura
we're particularly particular about cold pressed coconut oil, but
expeller-pressed and centrifuged oils are other fine methods to extract
the oil as long as there is no heating method used in the process. The
loss of coconut oil's most coveted health benefit, lauric acid is often
found when producers use high levels of heat to extract the oil. Lauric
acid is found in high concentrations in virgin coconut oils with some
oils containing anywhere from 50-57% percent of this prized
medium-chained fatty acid. I'm going to reveal a bit of my science girl
nerd side to explain how vital lauric acid is to your health and beauty
Your body's first introduction of lauric acid is found in breast
milk. The lauric acid in your mother's breast milk is critical to
structuring and strengthening your immune system. In the body lauric
acid gets converted into monolaurin, a compound which exhibits amazing
anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal abilities. It works to
destroy organisms like fungus, bacteria, and viruses by disrupting the
lipid membranes of these organisms keeping your body and gut in happy
balance. This fact is a huge reason advocates of breast feeding
recommend mother's milk over formula to feed your brand new baby. The
powerful effects of lauric acid is a baby's first form in developing a
healthy immune system and in some parts of the world it makes a life or
death decision for some infants. Lauric acid in coconut oil is natural
and if you're suffering from a compromised immune system a recommended
dose of three tablespoons a day is a beneficial amount. Because coconut
oil is trans fat free and heart healthy you don't need to worry about
consuming it as an oil they way other heart clogging oil concerns you.
Personally, I scoop up a tablespoon of coconut butter, which is both the
oil and the meat combined to also get a little extra plant protein into
my diet. It also tastes incredible of fresh coconuts dried in the sun.
Supermodel Gisele is a lover of coconut oil as is Miranda Kerr and actress Gwyneth Paltrow
I know you're wondering about the beauty benefits and we're not going
to exclude the most fun part of including coconut oil into your life.
Let me tell you how I love using coconut oil and how important it has
become to some members of my family. I use it as a mascara remover,
scalp treatment, shaving "lotion", balm for feet, heels and elbows,
eczema treatment, deep hair conditioner, bug bite healer, mouth wash,
dog cleanser, body lotion, exfoliator, face mask...okay, this is getting
ridiculous how I could go on about the dozens of way one can
incorporate coconut oil into your daily beauty regimen. Because my niece
suffers from eczema I make a homemade remedy that helps immensely when
she has a flare up, even her doctor was incredulous from the results of
my homemade remedy and now advises her patients to use coconut oil prior
to prescribing a steroid cream. I'll share that recipe at the end of
Because we worship this natural food and medicine we have already included coconut oil into our well loved Rainforest Hydration Treatment and
this summer we'll introduce raw, organic coconut water into a new
product that will no doubt blow you natural beauty lovers away in its
incredible performance and gorgeous addition to our skincare line. We
can't wait to get this on the market for you because it has been a
favorite part of keeping my skin radiant and clear and of course we want
you to have the same experience. Another very important part of
choosing your coconut oil is purchasing one that comes in a glass
container over a plastic tub. Glass will preserve the product in a
natural way and the BPA found in most cheap plastic containers has the
potential to leak into your raw product. (Remember this when purchasing
beauty products too, unless you're 100% certain that the plastic is BPA
free and made of recycled material reconsider your purchase.) Once you
have found the perfect coconut oil store it in a cool place and not in
the refrigerator. It's unnecessary to do so as coconut oil has a natural
shelf life of at least 2 years. (All that great lauric acid acts as its
own preservative!) You'll also want to avoid heating it to melt it down
and instead warm it up in a cup with a bowl of hot water underneath. If
you must heat it a bit make sure it's not at a temperature above 106
degrees otherwise you'll begin to kill off the living enzymes that make
coconut oil a whole food and nutrient dense for health and beauty.
Baking and cooking with coconut is great for flavor and health benefits,
but it does end up removing some nutritional element to coconut oil as a
superfood. Now, my recipe for a fantastic treatment to eczema,
especially patches of skin that have become infected from scratching as
was the case of my little niece Isabella. Please enjoy and if you have
any great recipes feel free to share with us. We're always looking for a
new way to use coconuts!
Bellas's Eczema Healer
1/4 cup raw, organic and virgin coconut oil ( I love these two
brands for at home use, Dr. Bronner's Whole Virgin Coconut Oil and
Radiant Life True Virgin Coconut Oil)
20 drops pure organic barbary fig seed oil
10 drops turmeric oil
5 drops clove oil
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in a glass container. A
jar of baby food is perfect for this amount and use daily on affected
This post is a long time coming and I'm surprised at myself for not
having written it ages ago. Especially because there is not a week that
passes by when we aren't responding to a pregnant woman's curiosity
about our skincare products and her overall beauty health. It seems a
great deal of women are willing to risk the health hazards of some toxic
beauty products, but not while pregnant. Suddenly there is a surge of
consciousness and acute awareness that the little one you have been
dreaming about needs to be protected even at the expense of our own
beauty regimen. First, we are happy that you are making that choice and
certainly it can't be an easy one, however don't despair we aren't going to
leave you in the dark with frizzy hair and hormonal skin. Women
especially want to look good when they are pregnant and there is no
reason you have to give up your lipstick for the sake of your baby.
There are some things you may even give up like weekly pedicures,
coloring your hair, waxing, going to the sauna or steam rooms, but a
quality moisturizer and a brilliant hair product can still be part of
your beauty routine as long as it's natural. We're going to share our
most common questions from Moms-to-be and our responses. Keep your hat
on because some of our suggestions are going to make non pregnant women
want to rush out and purchase some of our suggestions. Yes, they're that
Question 1: "My doctor told me to read the labels of my skin creams
and look out for bad words like parabens, fragrance, formaldehyde,
mercury. This seems to be rampant in all my products, what should I do?"
Answer: It does seem daunting to worry about reading all of your
labels and understanding what these ingredients do. Next time you go
back to your doctor let him know he can suggest this simple App to his
next patient. The O&N Collective FREE iTunes App
will keep you well and toxic free at home, work, and will even help you
decipher those dirty words. Did we mention it's free?! A perfect app
for on the go people in need of a little healthy guidance. Visit their
website for the best in clean and green beauty products too. www.oandncollective.com
Question 2: "My skin has gone beserk and it's now really oily? Can I still use a face oil or will it make it worse?"
Answer: Yes, you may certainly continue using your face oil. Most
likely your oily skin is due to hormonal causes and sometimes in your
first trimester your skin is especially poorly behaved. Don't give up on
your face oil! Use gentle rosewater or raw coconut water as a toner in
the morning and at night prior to your face oil. We recommend using a
high performing and pure grade oil like our Barbary Fig Seed Oil. Tons of Vitamin E, zinc, and essential fatty acids will bring balance and harmony to oily skin.
Question 3: "I heard there is a ton of lead in lipstick and it's the
one beauty thing I can't give up, any advice on alternatives?"
Answer: There is no reason to give up your lipstick love, just go green! Have you seen the gorgeous colors by Kjaer Weis, Ilia Beauty, or Revolution Organics
that are on the market? Even non-green makeup divas are using these
brands because they're lovely. Wear your red lipstick with pride!
Question 4: "I'm considering switching to all natural perfumes. Are your perfumes safe for me to use?"
Answer: Other than essential oils, naturally sourced materials, like
seeds, leaves, twigs. or natural elements our perfumes are free from
toxic chemicals, preservatives. or harmful ingredients. You can purchase
a sample swatch from us to test prior to your actual purchase or ask
for a sample with purchase of any LBF product. You want to rule out
allergies and of course fit your perfume personality before making the
These are the most common concerns we hear from pregnant women, but there are
many, many more which we will spare you from. (Some are just too graphic
for print.) Are there any questions or concerns you have now that you're
pregnant? Are you noticing skin changes? We love hearing from you so
fill us in if you need a tip or two. Happy Mother's Day to all of our
hard working, creative, and smart Mamas. For the Moms soon to be, all
the aches pains and skin issues will all pay off when your sweet little
babe smiles your way for the first time!
If you guessed we're obsessed with the beauty and charm of Marion Cotillard, you guessed correctly! Viva la Marion!
We know you do it. You know you do it. As a matter of fact, everyone does it even if we know we shouldn't. Popping a pimple or as we like to call them, blemishes. We are going to go there this week because we have had quite a few interesting calls and consultations and in the spirit of health and beauty we're going to guide you to do this correctly if you must and we know some of you must! Professionally we encourage you to refrain from performing your own extractions and leaving that to the experts, but we're realists and we want you to protect yourself with educational insight.
I can spot (no pun intended) a skin picker from a mile away. I see young women sometimes and just want to hold their hand and comfort them because I can tell by their faces that they are going through such a difficult time suffering from chronic acne. It is a confidence stealer and often very brilliant and keen women are the last to speak up in a classroom or in a meeting because they just don't feel like drawing attention to themselves or their faces. This happens to young men too, but for some reason we don't talk about it as much although the psychological effects for men are just as traumatic. (If you are a Mom reading this please take into account that there is a growing need for us to teach healthy skincare to boys and men as well. My nephew who is only thirteen has had several lessons in skincare and just gawk at the gorgeous male beauty editor, Phillip Picardi and you'll be newly convinced to making skincare for your young boys as imperative as their high tech video games are to them.) Chronic acne is a clue that something is not quite right within your body. Depression, high levels of stress, hormonal imbalances can trigger acne as well as food related triggers. Some people have difficulty tolerating certain foods or highly saturated fat diets and now there has even been a connection between dairy and cystic acne. It's a hard process to figure out, but once you do it's a giant step forward to good skin health. I myself have realized that dairy can cause terrible skin for me and a combination of milk and bread will wreak havoc on my skin. I have switched to drinking nut milks and using a coconut milk creamer in my coffee. I have not cut out milk entirely because what kind of Spanish woman would I be without a decent flan indulgence once in a while? I still eat high quality yogurt full of probiotics and use organic half and half for Sunday brunch recipes. I have learned to curb my dairy intake and very carefully consume very little. It's hard to completely eliminate some foods, however it is critical for some people to get to a state of wellness to eliminate their acne caused by food triggers. Now, back to the skin pickers...
When we pick our skin we are indeed causing damage to the already inflamed and stressed out tissue. Most of the time skin pickers are also spreading bacteria around the face and causing more acne flareups. If you're going to pop a whitehead and we know you will, please take the very important measure of doing so with a properly cleansed face.
Step 1: Steam your skin to draw out dirt, toxins, bacteria and make softening skin a bit easier.
Step 2: Use a clay based mask (Bio Active Purifying Mask is excellent for this and bonus it contains manuka honey to help kill bacteria as well) to treat the infected area, allow the mask to set and rinse off the area with warm water.
Step 3: If you have latex gloves, put them on! Otherwise, use tissue to wrap around your index fingers. NEVER use your fingernails or bare fingers to do this or you're likely to contribute a different strain of bacteria that lives under your fingernails to your blemishes. I asked around and was told that Q-tips the 'Precision' kind are best to use because they are tightly wound and most represent a professional medical swab. This sounds like the most sterile option.
Step 4: "Using one q-tip as the steady use the other to apply
pressure in a c shape into the tissue. It's kind of a scoop and roll
maneuver. The end of the roll should be where the head of the breakout
is.If the white head is
ready to go it should easily pop and pus will be released. You may
extract until pus has ceased but don't keep stabbing at it until nothing
but blood and plasma is oozing out. Please stop at that point." Says licensed esthetician Alexis Danielle and green beauty blogger who also advises not to attempt this on cystic acne or red and inflamed acne. Alexis has seen and heard it all and she also recommends not to use needles to prick a whitehead either as I saw Dr. Oz do once and nearly fainted when he proceeded to also rip the tissue with a needle in an upward motion after pricking the inflamed area. An absolute NO-NO! Can you imagine the damage and scarring this will cause? Dr. Oz needs to read my wordy email about this.
Step 5: After the area has stopped oozing blood or fluid wipe with a little hydrogen peroxide and use a spot treatment directly on the traumatized skin.
We highly advise that you allow your skin to breath and not to apply makeup immediately after an extraction. Your skin will be tender and raw after forcing it to detox the bacteria, sebum, and clogging dead white cells that accumulated causing your whitehead. It's best to leave it alone at this point. On the rare occasion that I have a whitehead (yes, even beauty mavens with their own skincare lines have a blemish pop up once in a while) I simply treat it with manuka honey and barbary fig seed oil. The honey is therapeutic and contains high levels of hydrogen peroxide which is antiseptic and the barbary fig seed oil contains loads of Vitamin E, zinc, and amino acids helping to heal, rebuild collagen, and promote new cell growth. It is why it's perfect to help with the healing of acne scars or hyperpigmentation. Most of the time when I do this over night I wake up to the whitehead having pushed through on its own and the medicinal properties of the manuka honey taken effect to sterilize the area. If I don't have time to do this I simply dab our Bio Active Purifying Mask as a spot treatment and it works wonderfully also!
If you're one of the many people suffering from severe acne, going to a very developed dermatologist who also takes into account your diet, mental wellbeing, and stress as contributing factors for your acne can be a huge help to isolating the cause and taking the steps toward treatment. There are some amazing dermatologists out there that don't just offer prescriptions as a solution and will help you get to the root of the problem. A licensed esthetician can also be beneficial to you, but find one that believes in natural skincare as a treatment to your acne. Cetaphil, my darlings is not a viable option when your skin has gone beserk and it is loaded with skin criminals just waiting to harm you further. We want you to be the most confident person possible and feel pure happiness when you look into a mirror and see healthy skin that you know is possible or that you've worked hard to achieve. Not all of us are so lucky to never have had a blemish and we need to learn how to get there without causing more problems with all the chemical based "problem solver" miracle acne creams on the market. Most of the times those product create new ones like dry skin, and the stripping of your natural oils which ironically enough causes your skin to be even oilier. Simple, simple, simple is what we believe in at La Bella Figura because your skin deserves the best nutrients and we believe the best active nutrients are found in natural materials. There is a reason that plants, trees, and flowers have been on earth since the beginning and we turn our trust in nature's miracles to cure us.
"It's getting close to my wedding day and my skin is a wreck! Help!" We have heard the call of the bride before, often at the last minute in an attempt to get the clear, glowing skin all brides dream of on their big day. Of course we're here to help and just like any part of your wedding that you have planned, health, wellness, and skin requires careful attention. We have a step by step guide to look back on your wedding day with dreaminess and not anger from the big red blemish that made an appearance and ruined your photos. In that case, photoshop can also help.
Two Months Before Your Wedding
You've been exercising, going to those early morning yoga classes, eating well, meditating, and spending some quality time with yourself, right? If you haven't done any of these things it is a guarantee that the stress of a busy life and planning a wedding party will show up right on your face. Sign yourself up for yoga or an art class, anything you can look forward to on a weekly basis to relieve your mind from stress. Stress, as you may have heard is often the source of acne flareups and inflammation in the body. I remember a time when I was a student, traveling for a long distance relationship, and dealing with family issues when a crop (and I mean a CROP) of little whiteheads appeared all over my neck. I pretty much freaked out because I had never had a problem with acne before and ran to my dermatologist crying, luckily for me she asked the right questions. She was able to tell me that my body was in panic mode from chronic stress and I had "unbalanced" my hormones. You can bet I began my deep breathing classes and swimming helped me to stabilize my hormones and go back to wearing t-shirts and tanks instead of turtlenecks in the middle of summer. So again, sign up for that class and relax.
Six Weeks Before Your Wedding
If you haven't made the switch to natural and organic products now is the time. All of those harsh chemicals in your moisturizers, creams, lotions, acne treatments, exfoliators, and masks are doing NOTHING to heal your skin! As a matter of fact, quite likely they do the opposite. Find high quality and concentrated products derived from natural sources and target your skin issues. Then stick with it. Consistency is key for clear skin. We get off track with our desperate attempts to clear our skin and often don't allow a product enough time to get to the root of the problem. We often recommend using our Bio Active Healing Mask and pure Barbary Fig Seed Oil for those with mild to medium cases of acne. Using our mask two to three times a week and pure barbary fig seed oil daily can really help stabilize sebum production and calm skin. For more severe acne or chronic flareups our Bio Active Purifying Mask is better suited. With healing clays, vitamins, minerals, and active enzymes this mask can help kill bacteria buildup and lessens acne. This mask also works beautifully with pure barbary fig seed oil.
Cleansing with manuka honey provides your skin with the vitamin, nutrients and minerals your skin needs for good health. If you're not into cleansing with honey find a gentle face cleanser without harsh chemicals that will not strip your skin of precious oils. Stripping your skin of oils leads to sebum production going into full gear to compensate for the loss from stripping and causing even -oilier skin. If your skin is super oily, especially mid-day try toning with an equal mix of apple cider vinegar, distilled water, and fresh coconut water. Then apply barbary fig seed oil on clean skin. What? Oil to help with oily skin? That's right, we're trying to balance your skin with ingredients high in nutrients so your skin's health detector understands it doesn't need to produce more oil and for that you will need to fight oil with oil. Plant based oils don't congest your skin like petroleum based oils do and often are similar in molecular structure to your own natural oil. This means deeper penetration and better performance for obvious results.
Start taking your antioxidants. Free radical damage can break down tissue and cause your skin to look sallow, dry, wrinkled, and aged. Your skin needs its nutrients just as much as it needs hydration to look its best so if you aren't using a quality product with loads of concentrated antioxidants now is the time to incorporate this into your daily regimen. A few drops of our Daily Elements Defense Face Oil can be used alone or added to boost your moisturizer, sunscreen or foundation. I personally add this product to everything because I love the idea of boosting any product with extra protection. If I'm lucky enough to be siting at an outdoor cafe I will apply DED right over my makeup, on my hands and neck to provide even more antioxidants to my skin. Did I tell you I'm a skin health fanatic? You cannot go wrong by being extra loving to your skin.
Four Weeks Before Your Wedding
Start juicing. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables and make your own juice on a daily basis. Just one juice a day can really improve your complexion and we promise, incorporating fresh juices, yoga (or whatever your preferred form of exercise may be), simplifying your skincare regimen, will calm your skin and get you glowing. If you don't have time to make your own juice daily (who really does) buy them and keep them in your fridge at home or work and start or end your day with fresh pressed juices. I am crazy for the juices from Pressed Juicery in Los Angeles and I used to have them delivered to my hotel room, but now you can find a Pressed all over LA and I pick them up right next to my hotel first thing in the morning. Their almond milk is to die for! Never had better from all the brands out there and they will ship it to you in the US.
Three Weeks Before Your Wedding
Sex, sex, SEX! Have lots of beautiful, wild, loving sex with your partner. Of course you should be having good sex prior to this date, but bonding, being intimate, and releasing those good endorphins will make your skin look as sweet as a peach.
Two Weeks Before Your Wedding
Become more vegetarian. Cut out processed meats (tsk, tsk, you should have already) eating deli meats in your sandwiches, hot dogs (please don't make me rant about how horrible hot dogs are for your skin), and all nitrate heavy meats. Eat fresh fish, wild caught shrimp, and plenty of veggies. If you're a carb loader like I tend to be, chill out on all the pasta, white bread, and potatoes. Grill zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms and splash with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Eat plenty of greens and lycopene rich foods like tomatoes, watermelon, guavas. When I want a lycopene boost I do shots of fresh pressed watermelon juice and guava juice.
One Week Before Your Wedding
If your wedding is on Saturday do a facial steam on Monday, face mask on Tuesday, and cleanse daily with raw honey. This will help detox, purify, and exfoliate. The enzymes in raw honey act as a natural exfoliant. If you need to exfoliate with something other than honey do this on Wednesday as sometimes over exfoliation can cause capillary damage and micro abrasions on the skin. I really prefer a more gentle approach when I exfoliate and sometimes I mix honey with white willow bark powder, cinnamon, and finely crushed cardamom pods.
This is also a good time to not skip your daily eye treatments with our rockstar product, Decouverte Under Eye Repair Serum. Use this evey night before bed and give yourself time in the am to use Decouverte. You will be exhausted at this point at no doubt will show up in your eyes if you don't treat them.
The Day Before Your Wedding
Find the best spa in town and get the royal treatment, a massage, manicure/pedicure, and a little aromatherapy are wonderful to reduce tension and nervousness. Do Not set yourself up for failure by getting a facial before your wedding day. Any facialist will tell you the day before your wedding is not a good idea to do this because sometimes a good facial will help detox your skin and often when you detox it will cause your skin to look worse before it looks better. If you insist on a facial do this two weeks to ten days before your wedding day just to be safe.
Surround yourself with beauty. Flowers, gorgeous candles, your favorite perfume, beautiful music. Pamper yourself, soothe yourself, take care of yourself because tomorrow will be a busy day and you will be on as the host of your own wedding party.
Day Of Your Wedding
Start your early morning with an antioxidant boosting juice, eat a high protein breakfast. An egg white omelet with veggies and goat cheese will keep you full and energized.
Soak in a luxurious bath.
Open the door to your excited bridesmaids, maid of honor, Mom, Aunt, Sisters, your entire support group and allow them to help you look like the blushing bride of your dreams. Happy wedding day beauty!
La Bella Figura is a supporter of Marriage Equality and proudly supports the HRC to legalize same sex marriage. The more marriages of brides and grooms in all shapes, sizes, colors and same-sexes the more beautiful of a world we live in. Love is love.
A bowl of lemons in your kitchen is a little work of art brought to you from the earth. Slicing into a lemon is instantly gratifying as its juice smells of warmth and sunshine and yellow is the color of joy. Nothing makes me happier in the summer than the bounty of lemons everywhere. I have been known to purchase large bags of Meyer lemons whose sweet fruity juice yields an even more luscious flavor than the more common Eureka lemons we find in most supermarkets. The Vitamin C found in lemons is the purest form of Vitamin C and includes bioflavonoids which many scientists and naturalists believe to be much more effective than synthetic Vitamin C also known as abscorbic acid. Abscorbic acid is found in almost all supplements and skincare products, but because it is a laboratory produced isolate (often made with GMO corn from China) its healing abilities don't compare to the natural Vitamin C compounds found in whole foods.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and vital in fighting free radical damage. Its amazing ability to promote the production of collagen has been well known for years and it's also been noted that Vitamin C reverses DNA damage from UV rays and ultimately repairs skin tissue. It also helps to keep the body alkaline and reduces inflammation. Inflammation in the body is often the start of many diseases and health problems. Large amounts of Vitamin C has helped many people suffering from auto immune disorders and has even helped reverse flare ups in lupus patients. How is that for an amazing antioxidant?!
We use the natural and complete Vitamin C found in guava and pineapples in our Barbary Fig Renewal Serum to help repair environmental damage and restore skin health. It is also one of our most popular products and extremely effective in anti-aging. Using topical treatments with Vitamin C is not only crucial for beautiful and healthy skin, but taking Vitamin C for healing from within will also improve your skin's vitality. (When you do find a topical product with Vitamin C make sure it also contains Vitamin E as alone in topical products Vitamin C is unstable and oxidizes making it almost pointless to use without its best buddy Vitamin E).
I'm going to share a very simple recipe that you've most likely heard or read about that will boost your natural Vitamin C intake by at least 21 mg daily and although that may not seem like a lot including Vitamin C rich foods like strawberries, kiwi, guava, pineapple, oranges, broccoli, mustard greens, parsley, kale, and so much more in your diet is going to make you glow! So get on board and boost your natural Vitamin C power for clear, gorgeous skin.
Juice half of a lemon into a cup of warm, not hot water and drink every morning. You can add fresh grated ginger and a little raw honey too.
Beauty Tip: Use the squeezed out half a lemon and rub it over clean skin allow to dry before using our face serums or oils.
In Italy, “La Bella Figura” signifies a way of living that strives to always embody an authentic image, recognize elegance in simplicity, and beauty in all forms of aesthetics. We have incorporated that philosophy into our products to enhance the effectiveness that natural and organic ingredients are able to reserve. Experience the luxury of hand blended, pure formulations made from whole plant botanicals to reveal radiant skin.