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Niacinamide – Tewl -Hydration – Stratum Corneum

Facial Serums or moisturizers containing Niacinamide improve skin barrier and has benefits for people with rosacea. A clinical study proved that Niacinamide improves the stratum  corneum barrier function and actual hydration on the face.  So what is this corneum barrier function anyway?
Your skin has a primary function of protecting the body from unwanted influences of the environment. The main barrier of the skin is located in the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum.
Your stratum corneum consists of corneocytes which are surrounded by lipid sections.  It is a compact layer of cells and lipids that has two critical functions: it protects our bodies from bacteria, UV damage and other assaults; and prevents natural moisture from escaping, to keep skin hydrated
Dry skin is a very common skin disorder that is due to a reduction of stratum corneum hydration, increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and a loss of the skin elasticity.
A very confusing topic is:  “what is the difference between hydration and moisture?” The answer is really quite simple, but so many people get it wrong and treat their skin incorrectly, thus a negative result/outcome.  Simply put, dehydrated skin lacks water and therefore needs to be hydrated. Dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized. It is important to distinguish between these two skin conditions because they can often be treated incorrectly.
Dehydrated Skin – Does your skin feel dry, flakes, or is it itchy or irritated,  sensitive, your skin would be considered dehydrated. Environment, hormones, diet and skin care product usage are all factors that impact skin hydration.
Dry Skin – If you have ashy, parched skin, chances are it is not producing enough oil. Production levels vary from person to person but more importantly our bodies produce less and less oil as we age.
Niacinamide plays an important role in our daily skin care routine! Everything about your skin is better when the epidermal lipid barrier is functioning at its peak. Your lipid barrier (acid mantle) helps retain moisture, keeps it hydrated for longer and will protect your skin from invasions and harshness of environment. Niacinamide will increase the production of ceramides (an essential part of your lipid barrier), keeping the skin strong and preventing TEWL, which is also known as Trans Epidermal Water loss.

Vitamin B3 Niacinamide Serum

Facial Serums or moisturizers containing Niacinamide improve skin barrier and has benefits for people with rosacea. A clinical study proved that Niacinamide improves the stratum  corneum barrier function and actual hydration on the face.  Your lipid barrier (acid mantle) helps retain moisture, keeps it hydrated for longer and will protect your skin from invasions and harshness of environment. Niacinamide will increase the production of ceramides (an essential part of your lipid barrier), keeping the skin strong and preventing TEWL, which is also known as Trans Epidermal Water loss.  BUY IT HERE 1 oz Pump Bottle Vitamin B3 Niacinamide Serum

$14.00

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Ladies! what is your V pH ?

Say what?  That’s right, your V area has a pH of  3.8 to 4.5, and it is really important to help keep it normal, or else you will have “issues” down there.

What exactly is pH value and what does it have to do with odor or itching?

pH is a scale that indicates the acidity and alkalinity. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. Water is pH 7, which is generally referred to as pH neutral. A healthy vaginal pH value is somewhere between 3.8 and 4.5, well into the acidic range. The cause for this are the good bacteria living in the vagina that produce lactic acid that reduces the pH value.

The importance of your vaginal pH ?

The acidic environment of the vagina is a natural barrier to infection and irritation, since it represses the growth of bad bacteria which prefer less of an acidic environment. This means that as long as our good bacteria count is high and the vaginal pH is acidic, bad bacteria have a very slim chance of overgrowing, making the chance of infection low.

As soon as the vaginal pH value is increased above the value of 4.5, bad bacteria take the opportunity to develop and grow, eventually causing an infection. This can result in symptoms such as discharge, odor, itching and other vaginal discomforts. Changes in pH value are often connected to bacterial vaginosis.

What can cause a pH problem and odor? Here is a list for you.

Antibiotics. These medications kill not only the bad bacteria, but also the good ones that are responsible for keeping vagina acidic and healthy. While using antibiotics or after, use a product that stimulates your good bacteria. (like my feminine COOKIE cleansing soap!)

 This 75% organic all natural round soap will quickly become a best friend of yours.  It is soothing, creamy lathering, smells like a cookie due to the Apple Cider Vinegar and Rhassoul clay + goats milk.  I have sold thousands of these since I came out with it a year ago.  Women rave about it, because it really works to get the proper pH back, and to give you a sweet healthy fresh smell. It turns out that the store bought products such as Summers Eve, are loaded with nasty toxins and awful perfumes that make your V area very unhappy. Check out the reviews at my Etsy Store

Cookie Soap Feminine Hygiene pH

This round soap that smells faintly of a cookie will be your new bestie! It is a natural and highly effective solution to a real problem called vaginal irritation, itching, odor. This little beauty lathers nicely, makes you feel very fresh and clean for the whole day, and encourage the pH of your vaginal area to stay below 5. Soothing relief, NO STINGING OR IRRITATION FREE SHIPPING ! ships in 1 day M-F

$6.99

Breastfeeding and menopause =reduction in estrogen levels – for instance,  breastfeeding or menopause ( read about menopause and its symptoms) can reduce the numbers of lactobacilli, and eventually cause an increase in vaginal pH (thus, reduction in acidity). If you are breastfeeding or are in menopause, try a probiotic product that can stimulate the good bacteria to grow and keep your pH value in the healthy range.

Intercourse can cause problems (sorry !).  The alkaline pH value of semen can disturb the acidic environment of the vagina and stimulate BV-causing bacteria (bacterial vaginosis) also known as ITCHY and irritated.  You may notice this by a strong odor after having unprotected sex. If this happens to you, consider using a condom to prevent discomforts. Better yet, consider these intimate hygiene facts and tips.

After period odor – Blood has a higher pH (7+) than you regular vaginal canal (3.8-4.5) so your period will throw off  your pH and increase bacteria levels during and after your cycle.

1. Drink apple cider vinegar! Make a little cup- shot of 1 TB ACV, Warm Water, honey, Lemon juice squirt. Drink it ( 2X) daily and help your body adjust pH , plus it has dozens of other benefits you can read about on Google.

2. wear rayon or modal panties, and at night sleep with nothing on your bottom :}

3. They say sex (semen) & friction can cause a pH imbalance and so think about using a condom?

4. Take a lukewarm bath about 10″ high and add 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar (distilled or ACV) Swish it around and then get in for 10 minutes.

5. You can apply Organic PLAIN yogurt directly to the vagina area, wait 5 minutes, and rinse off in shower or bath to get some relief.

6. Use My Cookie soap and or a my foaming wash!  follow with the feminine Mist Spray, and you can be odor + itch free all day

SkinVaginaVsoFreshProduct

6. Finally, and IMPORTANTLY, take a probiotic every day in the form of a pill, I love one called Pearls,   it is so tiny plus easy to swallow.  Helps keep you regular too!   I have used it for many years, and so have my daughters.

 

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Friends, Fall, and Trader Joe’s Masquerade

ahhhh, Sunday funday!  Had a wonderful time today with my daughter and a neighbor/friend with her precious young girl,  on a “Girl Outing”.  Lynn is an amazing person and I have to tell you, she is always bright and fun, interesting, smart, beautiful inside and out, even tempered,  but most interesting is her love and dedication to her large family.

She and her husband have 6 gorgeous children, and they love them so dearly that they homeschool them all!  Getting to know her and her family has been pure joy with a lot of laughs.  She loves to talk about her family, shop, dote on her children, speak about how she loves her husband,   She is a wealth of knowledge and experience, her children are kind, respectful and a pleasure to know. She makes you feel instantly at ease when you meet her because she is so genuine and kind.

Have you ever had the opportunity to know a Mother of 6?  It is a special thing, and I guarantee you that you will never be bored knowing a person of this caliber.  She never speaks poorly of other Moms, she simply SHINES as the Mom that she is.  She does not have a selfish bone in her body, and her spirited personality is noteworthy.

We share some of the same interests, and one of them is essential oils and natural beauty products.  I can hear her or I saying, at any given time,  “I have an oil for that”.   We have fussed for months over the perfect natural deodorant recipe.  We have even collaborated in her kitchen , mixing,  blending oils and butters looking for the fountain of natural B.O. relief.  Fun Fact: Lynn is the diffusor Queen, and lovingly places diffusors in her children’s rooms to help them sleep, and in her kitchen to keep peace and harmony.

Today we were wandering aimlessly through a new Trader Joes that had just opened, daughters in tow, and we viewed the backs of packaging (ingredients)  some of the beauty products.  Albeit Trader Joes is a great grocery store, and their packaging is well done, there were ingredients that are total no – no’s or better yet, why? why?   Check here on EWG, (my fave highly knowledgeable data base)  if you use any of these products by ALDI GROUP-Trader Joes https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/brand/Trader_Joe%27s/#.WfZlqmhSyUk

Here are a few concerns that seemed to stand out quickly:  In their Oil Cleansing Oil, they have unneeded semi toxic ingredients.  You don’t need those ingredients, you can easily stabilize a natural oil with a natural ingredient.  Rosemary Extract, or Grapefruit Seed Extract are excellent natural preservative stabilizers.  The whole reason for using the Oil Cleansing Method is to avoid chemicals in the first place.

Here is an example of a few ingredients in Trader Joe’s Oil Cleanser that just don’t need to be there!  I crossed them out so you can see them.    CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, CRAMBE ABYSSINICA SEED OIL, ISOAMYL LAURATE, POLYGLYCERYL-2 SESQUIOLEATE, POLYGLYCERYL-2 CAPRATE, COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL, ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, FRAGRANCE.

CAPRYLIC/ CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE – main ingredient – why not just use coconut oil? This man made mixture of glycerin and derivative of coconut oil is a step away from natural and simple – Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology
About CAPRYLIC/ CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is a mixed triester of glycerin and caprylic and capric acids.  Function(s): Fragrance Ingredient; Skin-Conditioning Agent – Occlusive

ISOAMYL LAURATE: Isoamyl Laurate  Concerns: Ecotoxicology (environmental toxin)
About ISOAMYL LAURATE: Isoamyl Laurate is an ester of isoamyl alcohol and lauric acid.  Function(s): Fragrance Ingredient; Skin-Conditioning Agent – Emollient; SKIN CONDITIONING  Synonym(s): 3-METHYLBUTYL DODECANOATE; 3-METHYLBUTYL ESTER DODECANOIC ACID; DODECANOIC ACID, 3-METHYLBUTYL ESTER; DODECANOIC ACID, 3METHYLBUTYL ESTER; ISOPENTYL LAURATE

FRAGRANCE – Why? Who needs synthetic chemical fragrance? Argan and coconut oil smell wonderful on their own. Why mess with nature?  They could use essential oils that have real purpose and great properties.    HIGH concerns:  Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology (Environment)    About FRAGRANCE: The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system

Trader Joes Soaps –

They sell a goats-camel milk Soap, but sadly, it is made in Izmir, Turkey, and I don’t know what their sanitation is like there, whether or not they have an FDA, the treatment of their animals, or if they even have any regulations on soap-cosmetic making & packaging.  Why not use USA soaps and goats milk?  I know I would feel better about using it, I will NOT use soap from Turkey.  But, that’s just me. I thoroughly checked out this soap in person today, and there is no way (in my humble opinion) that it is all natural. There was a strange bold synthetic fragrance that existed, and since I make soap myself, I know what natural soap smells like. It is clean, soft, pure, with nothing over bearing or harsh.

Trader Joes sells an Ultra Moisturizing Trio Hand Moisturizer Set.

skinTraderJoesHandcreamstrioThere are more than 7 ingredients in there that should not be, and don’t need to be. The set is great looking with the aluminum tubes and all.

1. CETEARETH-20  HIGH concerns: Contamination concerns; Other LOW concerns: Enhanced skin absorption
About CETEARETH-20: Ceteareth-20 is the polyethylene glycol ether of cetearyl alcohol; may contain potentially toxic impurities such as 1,4-dioxane. Function(s): Surfactant – Cleansing Agent; Surfactant – Solubilizing Agent

2.  FRAGRANCE – this one word can host a hundred different ingredients, and that is unsafe for all of us.  They don’t have to list all the micro components and their properties. They only have to list the word “Fragrance”  Phthalates are highly toxic to the human body.  Headaches, mood swings, allergies, illnesses, coughing.  Phthalates are plasticisers that have been found to disrupt the endocrine system. Several phthalate compounds have caused reduced sperm counts, testicular atrophy and structural abnormalities in the reproductive systems of male test animals, and some studies also link phthalates to liver cancer

3. C13-14 isoparaffin is derived from petroleum. why use this toxic motor oil ingredient when the hand creams contain some good oils like shea and kukui? This dirty chemical has no place in a “natural” hand

4. BENZYL ALCOHOL  –   HIGH concerns: Occupational hazards; Other MODERATE concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Data gaps About : Benzyl alcohol is a naturally ocurring and synthetic ingredient used as solvent and preservative; has been associated with contact allergy. (Dermatitis). Function(s): External Analgesic; Fragrance Ingredient; Oral Health Care Drug; Preservative; Solvent; Viscosity  Other HIGH concerns: Contamination concerns

5. LAURETH-7: Laureth-7 is a polyethylene glycol-based surfactant; may contain potentially toxic impurities such as 1,4-dioxane.reasing Agent; MASKING OF NATURAL INGREDIENTS or Chemicals ETHYLENE OXIDE

6. POLYACRYLAMIDE – Other HIGH concerns: Contamination concerns, Persistence and bioaccumulation; Other MODERATE concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Data gaps, Ecotoxicology
About : Polyacrylamide is a synthetic polymer of acrylamide. Function(s): Binder; Film Former; Hair Fixative; ANTISTATIC; BINDING; FILM FORMING

7. PEG-100 STEARATE  HIGH concerns: Contamination concerns; Other LOW concerns: Data gaps, Ecotoxicology, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
About : PEG-100 Stearate is a polyethylene glycol ester of stearic acid. Function(s): Surfactant – Cleansing Agent   (I HAVE TO ASK? Why do I need a cleansing agent in my hand crème?)

8.  DIMETHICONE Other MODERATE concerns: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive); Other LOW concerns: Data gaps, Ecotoxicology
About : Dimethicone (also called polymethylsiloxane) is a silicon-based polymer used as a lubricant and conditioning agent. Function(s): Antifoaming Agent; Skin-Conditioning Agent – Occlusive; Skin Protectant; EMOLLIENT; SKIN CONDITIONING; SKIN PROTECTING

Ok, enough on Trader Joe’s cosmetic – beauty products.  I personally feel there are better products out there that do not contain unnecessary toxins. Since it is almost Halloween, I felt like writing a bit about a product line I viewed today in person,  that I feel is “masquerading” as natural.

Happy Fall to all!