For decades, our doctors advised us to put on sunscreen when planning for outdoor activities. And Yes! The American Academy of Dermatology believes that everyone needs to protect their skin from sun UV rays with sunscreen. Yet many of us feel lethargic when we don’t get enough sun. So what exactly does our skin need? Do sunscreens help or do us more harm?
When the skin is the largest organ of the body; it has big responsibility. It functions as a barrier to protect the body from various diseases. In doing so, it also needs the exposure of the sun to activate the body to produce vitamin D. This sun exposure helps to stimulate the production of white blood cells and increase the body temperature to relax muscles and stiff joints. If this is all good for our health; why is sun exposure considered as evil?
There are two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays identified as UVA and UVB. The UVB is believed to be more hostile than UVA because of the effect it has on the skin with sunburn and its development into skin cancers. However the danger of UVA is that, it is always constant in our atmosphere despite of the weather condition. This type of ray can deeply penetrate our skin even through clothing and glass. It is responsible for sun spot, premature aging, and thick dry skin. Therefore both of these rays are classified as a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. This is where the sun protection is considered.
So what about sun tanning and tanning bed? Well it’s definitely gotten more attention in the last few decades. These activities also increase the risks for the skin to absorb both UVA and UVB rays to develop into sun poisoning also known as sun allergy or photodermatitis. A condition which often mistaken for eczema because of its many symptoms of which resembled eczema such as itchy bumps, red rashes, raised area, blisters, outbreaks in areas of skin exposed to light, swelling, dark patches on the skin, and more. Sometime these symptoms can prolong for months depending on the seriousness of the conditions. Note: This condition is not the same as sunburn.
Traditionally people had turned to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to help protect their skin from sunburn. When Coppertone began to introduce a clear sunscreen that was less chalky than zinc in 1944; the use of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide began to fade away. Sunscreens were designed to block the UVB rays. In order for it to become effective; it has to rub into the skin 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every hour. However the amount of product continuously applied onto the skin also increases the amount of toxic chemicals preventing the body to produce the vitamin D. Two of the most common chemicals used widely in all of the sunscreens are called oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemical blockers are also an endocrine disruptor that may mimic hormones and contributed to sun allergy condition. Studies have found traces of these chemicals detected in the blood stream, urine, and breast milk that can last up to 2 days after each application. By now you have already figured this out. The higher, the SPF in the sunscreen; the more chemicals it goes into the product. Now what?
Contrary to sunscreens, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are considered safer because the particles are too large to be absorbed by the body. These ingredients are also known as natural sun blocker for both UVA and UVB rays. Titanium dioxide is actually more effective than zinc to block both UVA & UVB. These are sometime referred to as “physical sun blocker” because it reflects light similar to a mirror and act as a barrier to the skin. These are the broad spectrum of sun protection for various outdoor activities with any sun exposure. However, the best protection is to cover up and get some early morning sun before 10am. Happy Solstice!
We've posted this article on our Facebook page in August 2015. Recently many customers have been inquired about it so we decided to blog it here. Feel free to post your comment below.
Are your essential oils Therapeutic Grade or Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG)? We've often been asked this question at trade shows, festivals, demos, trunk shows, and various events. This is what you may want to know about essential oils.
The quality of all essential oils is based on the method and process of how and where the plants are being cultivated, processed, and distilled. Many essential oils such as peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, lemon, orange, and clove have been used to flavor candies, gums, toothpastes, and various drinks for decades led consumers to believe that these oils are identified as 'food grade'.
In the early 1990 a clever marketer took this idea and came up with the term 'Therapeutic Grade' to convince his buyers that any Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are healthier than all other essential oils existed prior. Then came along Grade A, B, C, and so on. Thanks to this new grading system, a spiral of confusion created for aromatherapy practitioners, manufacturers, and consumers alike.
As the world of essential gotten more attention, a new multi-level marketing company emerged with a more effective marketing approach. In 2009 this company trademarked CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) to show the consumers that they have the best and therapeutic essential oils that this industry has to offer. With the trademark (CPTG) to imply of its certification (which is not declared by an outside certifying body), the buyer is convinced of its quality and need not to ask further questions. What a brilliant concept?
Conclusion: There is no such thing as Therapeutic Grade or Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. There are many variations of essential oils from multiple plant species to create an effect in aroma, constituent properties and medicinal properties. In addition the season and environment where these plants are being cultivated also yield the potency of the oil constituents.
Get to know your essential oils begin with the nose!
It's been an extremely cold winter here in Portland, which means we have to make sure we're taking adequate care of our skin. Two of our best products for locking moisture in are the Revitalizing Facial Moisturizer for the face and Aloe Therapy Body Creme for everywhere else. Stay warm and moisturized!
For those who are strapped on time, we're sharing a quick twice daily routine (morning and night) so you can easily stick to your new year's resolution of healthy skin.
step 1 / Use a gentle exfoliant such as Essance's Clarifying Nutrient Cleanser to break down and wash away dead skin cells.
step 2 / Tone, tone, tone! Use an alcohol free toner such as Essance's Revitalizing Toner to deliver hydration back to your skin cells.
step 3 / Lightly apply a nickel sized amount of moisturizer in an upward motion.
by guest blogger Alesha Judd and content producer Janey Wong
Synergistically, our Arnica/MSM Creme is a triple threat when it comes to your every day bumps and bruises, along with sprains, strains, and other serious or chronic conditions. In addition to the two main active ingredients, this creme also contains capsicum and peppermint oil. Capsicum is recognized for its warming properties as it increases circulation, stimulates the healing process, and produces an analgesic effect to the tissue. Peppermint helps to stimulate circulation as well.
We have chosen to highlight this fantastic product as we transition into fall because of the wonders it works on those with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that tends to flare up when the weather turns cold and rainy, although experts aren't quite sure why this is. Ligaments become tighter, causing pain and restrictions in flexibility. Arnica/MSM creme helps to relax tension in the ligament tissue, alleviating some of that pain and restoring flexibility.
Arnica is an herb celebrated for its ability to heal bruising and accelerate tissue recovery. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic compound containing sulphur, which fosters structural integrity in the skin by building the collagen needed to increase elasticity. It is also an active agent in relaxing overcompensated muscle fibers by reducing the oxidative damage that results in pain and inflammation.
Year round runners and athletes will also benefit greatly from incorporating this creme into their workout routines. Pre-workout stretching is essential to warm up muscles and prevent ligament tearing, and is a practice that is often overlooked. Applying Arnica/MSM during this step ensures less stress on your body in both the short-term and long-term sense. Just don't forget to wash your hands after application!
'Liquid Gold', identified internally as 'Amlou' is a nutty spread, and externally proven to produce miraculous results. The fruit of the Argan tree (Argania Spinosa), also known as the 'Tree of Life' in Morocco, hardens, turns golden, and falls to the ground. The hard shell is removed and the kernels of the nuts are traditionally pressed in stone mills by cooperatives of women from the Berber tribe in Morocco.
With powerful anti-inflammatories, high levels of EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) and Omega's, naturally balancing the skin's sebum production of oils and regulating the PH levels of the acid mantle of the skin. High in phenolic antioxidants, it's anti-aging properties protect from the suns damage, regenerate cellular growth, and increase elasticity.
On our visit to Ovation (a Moroccan inspired cafe in NW Portland), Jasmine Tran, Owner of Essance, disclosed that the most expensive Argan oil is the result of a symbiotic relationship between the goats love for the Argania trees fruit. By ingesting it and digesting it, the process softens the kernels to yield a pressing that is more aromatic and higher in omega content. 'It smells just like cedar wood,' added the owner of Ovation.
This golden liquid has been used for centuries in Northern Africa for its fountain of youth and healing. Essance knows this 'secret' and has infused its products with it to nourish and nurture.
Please consider its healthful benefits in these products benefitting the hair, skin, and nails everyday: Revitalizing Serum, Organic Massage Oils (Senxual, Soothing, and Fragrance Free)
**Consciously harvested and sourced Argan oil ensures the future of this incredible healing elixir.
- Alesha Judd, guest blogger