Terrific turmeric

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One of the most powerful herbs on the planet is something that can be found on grocery store shelves. Its scientific name is curcuma longa, it’s bright yellow and is often featured in Indian dishes. If you’ve already guessed we’re talking about turmeric, then you might have some inkling of the spice’s powers.

There are plenty studies done on the benefits of turmeric, ranging from aiding in the treatment of pancreatic cancer to delying the onset of diabetes. It is said to have incredible anti-inflamatory and antioxidant properties.

Thus, when it comes to skincare, turmeric is a wonderful addition for those who suffer from psoriasis (it can obstruct the inflammatory enzymes and lower levels of cytonkines that aggravate cells) and acne.

Here are a two simple recipes you can try (as always, we recommend doing a skin test to make sure there are no allergic reactions):

 

Turmeric for psoriasis

  • ½ teaspoon of powered turmeric
  • Add water until a paste forms
  • Apply a thin layer to the skin lesions
  • Cover with some breathable fabric (such as cheesecloth) and leave it on overnight
  • Rinse off with warm water in the morning

 

Turmeric for acne

  • 1 teaspoon of powered turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons of milk (we like grass-fed)
  • 2 tablespoons of flour (for thickening)
  • 4 drops of honey
  • Mix ingredients until blended and apply a thin layer on your face.
  • Allow to dry for 20 minutes
  • Rinse off with warm water and apply your favourite moisterizer

 

We use turmeric in our Citrus Soleil soap bar.

 

Righteous Raspberry Smoothie

The Righteous Raspberry Smoothie photographed, as is, in my kitchen.

The Righteous Raspberry Smoothie photographed, as is, in my kitchen.

Raspberries are one of my favourite fruits. They’re so delicious and nutritious with oodles of Vitamin C, manganese, and being a source of fibre. The plant nutrients in raspberries also provide antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic protection and – bonus as we’re left raspberry season behind us to enter fall – freezing them doesn’t lower their antioxidant power!

My go-to smoothie is basic, but a favourite:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 teaspoon of Canadian honey
  • 1 serving of protein powder (I use Vega’s Bodacious Berry)

Enjoy!

 

Bathing with Botanicals

SeaLuxe's Ritual Rose Bath Tea is filled to the brim with rose petals and rose buds for your luxury bath time experience.

SeaLuxe's Ritual Rose Bath Tea is filled to the brim with rose petals and rose buds for your luxury bath time experience.

Indulge Yourself with Bath Teas

When we run ourselves an aromatic herbal bath, we are part of a tradition that goes back to ancient times.

Herbal baths were highly valued throughout the Middle Ages for both cleansing and medicinal purposes. Adding herbs and sea salt to warm water for a soak began in Ancient Egypt before Southern Europe and the Near East caught on.

Bathing with the right kind of fragrant herbs has historically been used to treat diseases along with helping to alleviate muscle pain, mental fatigue, along with being beneficial for the skin and hair. Greek philosopher/physician Hippocrates wrote, “The way to health is to have an aromatic bath or scented massage every day.”

To indulge yourself at home, try SeaLuxe’s bath tea where every ingredient has been hand-blended and included with purpose. Ocean Goddess Bath Tea features flowers and oceanic botanicals along with sea salts that will help relive tired muscles, rejuvenate your body, and soften your stress. Feeling Groovy Bath Tea is a delightful, feminine mix of seaweed and flowers mixed in with sea salt herbs. If you love roses, the Ritual Rose Bath Tea is right up your alley. It’s filled to the brim with rose petals and rose buds and, like our other bath teas, it comes with sea salt for extra mineral nourishment. All of our bath teas come with a reusable muslin teabag.

If you haven’t tried these beautiful bontanical bath teas yet, now’s the time as they’re available for 20 per cent off until Oct. 6, 2017!

 

 

Help the Pores

Truths about Your Pores

 

Our poor pores have bore the brunt of our skin frustrations - from producing pimples throughout our teenage years like a game of Whack-The-Mole to growing bigger and more noticeable as we age.

We’ve attacked them with alcohol-based skin “toners” when we were young, squeezed them, dried them out, and have generally beat them up. All along, we didn’t ever bother to get to really know them.

Pores are tiny openings on your skin that contain oil-producing sebaceous glands. They allow dead skin cells to reach the surface so they can be shed. The average adult has 5 million oil and sweat pores on their body with 20,000 of those on the face.

Pores don’t magically open and close like a door at the supermarket. Washing your face with hot water doesn’t open pores. All it does is loosen hardened dirt, oil, and makeup. On that note, we recommend using lukewarm water as hot water can also remove the natural oils on your skin and lead to excessive dryness.

While pores don’t close they can, however, get clogged by excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells leading to a whitehead or a blackhead. This is why gentle exfoliation with a product such as SeaLuxe's Goddess Grains Facial Cleanser is one of the keys to healthy skin.

Pore size does come down to genetics, skin tone, and age. Take a look at your parents’ skin – what their pores look like can be a good predictor. Lighter skin tones tend to have smaller pores than people with darker skin. As the skin matures and loses firmness, pores can appear larger because they’re stretched by sagging (this, of course, happens to people of all skin tones, male and female).

Your menstrual cycle can also affect pore size with the ebb and flow of hormones.

In addition to exfoliating, it also helps to stay hydrated. Moisturize your skin and drink plenty water. Accept your pores, no matter their size, as a wonderful part of being human.

Me Likes What Me Likes - Olive Oil

 

On Make-Up Remover...

Regular readers of this blog likely understand we advocate using natural skincare products. Not only are they generally better for you, but they’re also a heck of a lot less expensive than the stuff on the shelves.

Take make-up remover for instance. There are so many products for sale touted to removing makeup. Some of them cost upwards 30 to 40 dollars! Granted, many of the drug store variety aren’t overly expensive and there’s a reason you won’t pay more than 10 bucks for it – most of them list their first ingredient as being glycerin. Don't get me wrong, all of our soap (or any natural hand-made soap) contains a decent amount of glycerin. We love glycerin and what it does to keep our skin moisturized and while glycerin isn’t bad for your skin (it can be synthesized or obtained from natural sources such as cane or corn syrup sugar), do you know what glycerin’s biggest job in these products is? It is used to prevent the product from drying out into a crumble.

One of our favourite and effective make-up removers can be found in your kitchen pantry – olive oil. We apply it to a make-up remover cloth (or, when it’s in the wash, a cotton ball) and it wipes away make-up with great ease, leaving your skin feeling moisturized. Of course, follow up with a mild soap to cleanse and then apply your favourite moisturizer.

Olive oil is known to also contain Vitamins A, D, and K and is also an antioxidant. As with anything you put on your skin, please note olive oil may not be suitable for those who suffer from dermatitis and other skin conditions. If you have sensitive skin, do an allergy test on your forearm 24 to 48 hours prior to using it on your face.

Event - Made in Canada Market

The Rocky Mountaineer Station. Photo credit: Rocky Mountaineer

The Rocky Mountaineer Station. Photo credit: Rocky Mountaineer

Come say hello to SeaLuxe!

Do you love Etsy just as much as we do? Well, this weekend is your chance to shop from Etsy sellers in person at the Made in Canada Market happening across the country!

The 4th annual Vancouver market will be held at the beautiful Rocky Mountaineer Station and SeaLuxe is proud to be selected as one of the 150 vendors. The Made in Canada Market is hosted by 40 cities from coast to coast, from Victoria, BC to Halifax, NS.

Please note, while the Vancouver Made in Canada Market runs Saturday (23rd)  and Sunday (24th), some of the other markets in our fine country will be held just Sunday. Check the Etsy webpage for more information on the market nearest you.

The Rocky Mountaineer Station is located just off Terminal at 1755 Cottrell Street. The market runs 11 a.m to 5 p.m. both days. Parking is free. Tickets are four dollars online or seven dollars at the door. Half of ticket sales in Vancouver go to the Enterprising Women Making Art Program run by Atira Women’s Resource Society.

Please do stop by and say hello. We’d love to meet you in person!

Banish Cellulite with Coffee

Coffee Skin Care

In addition to turning us into functioning humans every morning, coffee is also makes a fantastic scrub. But did you know the benefits of using coffee grains go beyond simple exfoliation?

Coffee grounds can kick-start an anti-inflammatory wave through your skin and help speed up the process of healing from superficial wounds.  It is rich in polyphenols, the same antioxidants found in berries and tea. The polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids in coffee can fight free radicals and even help against the damage caused by ultraviolet rays.

How many of us have splurged on cream that promises to get rid of cellulite (and how many of us have been disappointed by those empty promises?! Bah!)? It turns out a topical application of coffee grains through a scrub such as SeaLuxe’s True Grit or Breakfast Scrub, which both contain coffee grounds, may be one of the best ways in the world of skin care to fight skin dimpling as the caffeine can tighten and break down the appearance fat cells.

The trick is, like anything else, it has to be used in your beauty routine regularly to see effect. But most of us shower daily with a bar of soap so just make sure that bar contains coffee!

The Memory of Skin

Interesting fact:

Did you know that there is evidence that our skin has a memory? The official name for of this phenomenon is mnemodermia and it is a hypersensitivity on a particular area of skin – long after the initial reaction has disappeared. In a nutshell – our skin can remember past experiences.

A friend of mine needed stitches up the side of her hand after cutting herself with a sharp tool while working on her bike. This was 10 years ago, and there is only a faint four-inch long scar on her forearm. Yet, when she sees somebody in the shop using the same tool incorrectly, her scar gets itchy and tingly. Does anything like this happen to you?

Our skin is a truly remarkable organ.

 

 

SeaLuxe Co. Selected for Maker House Feature

SeaLuxe Co. founder Tanya Droege. Photo credit: Maker House Co./Alex Preston

SeaLuxe Co. founder Tanya Droege. Photo credit: Maker House Co./Alex Preston

We’re so proud of SeaLuxe Co. founder Tanya Droege! Tanya was recently interviewed by Alex Preston of Maker House Co., an online marketplace that not only connects people to a curated selection of locally-crafted goods, but also dedicates itself to telling the stories behind those goods.

Tanya and Alex spent some time on Tanya’s sailboat around the Gulf Islands and they chatted about everything SeaLuxe. Tanya talked about how her company began as an “appreciation for sea life” and how her business idea was to create products that are “ethically based, high quality and affordable.

“Tanya explained that she wanted to create products that even a struggling single mother could afford – something she remembers all too well. ‘I want my products to be a reminder to take time for yourself and allow for meaningful self-care…’”

Even though Tanya had the inspiration and passion to create an ocean-inspired line of bath and body products that incorporate natural ingredients, she explained she didn’t initially have all the pieces of the business side of things. “In my pursuit to be affordable, I was also under-cutting myself – something I didn’t want to do,” she told Alex.

Tanya, who is all about community, goes on to share insights how to grow a successful company (SeaLuxe, which just celebrated its second birthday, is in more than 100 stores across Canada). Click here to read the inspiring Maker House Co. feature story on SeaLuxe.

No Fault with Sea Salt

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Another Ocean Goddess Skin Care Tip

If you’re prone to blemishes, have you ever noticed how your skin clears up after a day spent ocean-side? Many believe this is because of the sun’s rays and, while it’s true acne is less noticeable on tanned skin, it’s not worth the risk of cancer.

To give credit where credit is due, we have found sea salt does wonders to improve acne-prone skin. Sea salt is a natural antiseptic so not only does it clean the pores but its anti-inflammatory properties sooth skin and calm irritation that can lead to breakouts. Sea salt also helps balance out your skin’s oil production.

You don’t need to make a trip to the ocean for these wonderful benefits. Sea salt can be found at any good grocery or health food store. Make your own sea salt tonic by mixing one tablespoon of sea salt to a 16-ounce spray bottle of warm water. We recommend spraying the mixture onto a clean washcloth and dabbing your face, shoulders, or anywhere you are prone to breakouts.

Sea salt is another wonderful skin care product that can be found in the kitchen pantry. Unlike the plain salt found in the shaker on the kitchen table, sea salt is packed with good minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium – all important to our skin’s health to bring balance and improve hydration. We here at SeaLuxe recommend adding this as part of your natural skin care routine!

Happy National Skin Care Awareness Month!

Happy September!

Did you know that this month is National Skin Care Awareness Month? If you didn’t, it’s likely because it’s better known to our friends south of the border, where it was started by an esthetician to the stars. Even though we're Canadian, SeaLuxe thinks the timing's great as it comes at a good time of the year, as the weather cools to welcome fall in just a few short weeks.

The summer months are hard on the skin, and no matter how diligent we are with protecting our skin, there’s always a little resulting damage to repair - even for those of us who slather on sunscreen, wear hats, and lurk in the shade!

It’s a good time to reassess your skin care regime. Do you have a good moisturizer? A gentle exfoliator? A moisturizer that works perfectly for both your face and your body? Getting in the habit of looking after your skin will not take more than five minutes a day. That’s a good reward for having great skin now, and for down the road. Facials will also help your skin recover from sun damage so consider adding these to your fall and winter beauty regime two to three times a month.

Our favourite recovery mask is the Seaweed Face Mask because it is so hard working! This super-powered mask rejuvenates, exfoliates and deep cleans. The nutrient-heavy mask of natural powerhouse ingredients such as sea clay, spirulina, and kelp helps to firm and replenish skin. We cannot say enough good things about this mask and we are sure your fall skin will love it, too!

Good for the Sole

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Walking on Sunshine

Being on the ocean is so relaxing, whether it’s in a kayak and exploring hidden coves of B.C.’s coast or lounging on a deck of a boat while the waves rock ever so gently. Being on a beach is incredibly therapeutic, too, especially as the sun sets and after the crowds have gone home.

One of our favourite things to do is take a walk on the sandy shoreline of Crescent Beach or Kits Beach with our shoes off. There’s something incredibly satisfying about the feeling of bare feet on wet sand – likely because we have anywhere between 3,000 and 7,000 nerve endings on our feet.

Walking on wet sand is one of our favourite natural exfoliants for our hard-working feet. Walk slowly and let them sink a bit. The sand peels off the dead skin cells and afterwards, wow, do they ever feel so good. The warm days of summer are fading, though, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about our feet. To maintain, once a week, we’ll exfoliate them with the versatile SeaLuxe’s Goddess Grains Facial Cleanser using a washcloth in a tub of warm water. Of course, if your feet needs a tougher exfoliant then use our super-incredible-scrub-to-an-inch-of-your-life True Gritsoap bar (friendly tip: soften your calluses in seaweed and seasalt first).  After towelling off, we slather on some of SeaLuxe’s Driftwood Whipped Body Butter and then put on some cotton socks to lock in moisture. It’s really quite heavenly. Who says you need to go to the spa to feel this pampered?

About Face

I have a friend who loves swimming at the local pool and I have a friend (okay, this applies to almost ALL my friends) who stays up late.

Both said friends recently asked for skin advice, which I’ll share here in case you enjoy swimming and/or staying up late as well.

Allison started exercising at the local indoor swimming pool four months ago because her knee was acting up so she could no longer jog without paying the price of pain from the impact. Even though she wasn’t keen on swimming at first (finding a decent swim suit was chore) it’s now her favourite exercise. But dipping her face into chlorinated water was drying out her skin like nobody’s business, and her regular moisturizer didn’t seem to help. So, I offered her an age-old recipe for a simple skin barrier:

After dampening face with filtered water, seal in the moister with gently rubbing on equal parts melted lanolin and cocoa butter.

Allison reported back after a week to say it worked like a charm. Sure, she looks a bit shiny before getting into the pool but, hey, she’s not there to impress!

Onto the next friend. Steph is a night-owl and complained about a puffy face in the morning. I directed her to SeaLuxe’s Rose Goddess Nectar (Rose Hydrosol) for a pick-me up. Steph tried it out and contacted me the next day.

“Rebecca, why didn’t you tell me about this before?!”

Marketing Madness

Skincare Smarts

What do bird poop facials, BB creams, and rolling needles across your face (microneedling) all have in common? They are skincare fads. While nightingale feces in Japan was touted a miracle anti-ageing treatment, BB creams lost their steam when we figured out they were not really different from our regular foundation. Microneedling – well, I don’t like needles so I’m not going to be stabbing my face any time soon.

Those tiny, plastic beads are difficult to remove from wastewater and are able to enter lakes, rivers and oceans.

Those tiny, plastic beads are difficult to remove from wastewater and are able to enter lakes, rivers and oceans.

One of the worst recent fads, though, is plastic beads in soaps, shower gels and shampoos. Seriously, what were these companies thinking? Everything we use on our faces and bodies is washed down the drain. It doesn’t end up in some magical sorting area where drainage elves sort the bad from the good. Microbeads are difficult to remove from wastewater and are able to enter lakes, rivers and oceans. In our waterways, pollutants cling to them. Marine animals eat these toxic pills and then, in turn, they end up in the human food chain.

These pollutants aren’t just any small thing. According to a recent Globe and Mail article (Breaking Down Canada’s Move to Ban Microbeads by Carly Weeks), they can include:  polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT).

Thankfully, the Canadian government has declared use of microbeads to be toxic and has banned them as of July 1, 2018. The U.S. banned them (five millimetres or less in size) as of this year. So, sounds like a done deal, right?

Well, yes and no. We here at SeaLuxe bring this topic up because we all need to be aware of the fact that, just because a product is on store shelves, it doesn’t mean that it’s good or even always safe for us to use. We need to educate ourselves so we can make the best decisions. It befuddles us that plastic microbeads were considered in the first place, when we can use natural exfoliants such as coffee grains and oatmeal.

That, friends, is the dark power of marketing.

Packing a Green Punch

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Just How Nutritious is Seaweed?

 

This will come as no surprise to you – SeaLuxe cannot get enough of seaweed. We’re so into the ocean algae that we love telling you everything we know about it.

You, dear reader, may already know seaweed is added to some of our products and you might know we make a point of doing so because it’s so nourishing. But do you know just how nourishing it is? Approximately 34 per cent of dried seaweed is made up of minerals used by the human body. These include calcium, potassium, sulfur, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, and sodium (with traces of iron, copper, and zinc) – so the stuff packs a punch both in skincare as well as in food.

Too bad Popeye didn’t eat seaweed instead of spinach because nori – the dried, crunchy stuff usually used in rolling sushi – contains two to three times the amount of Vitamin B1, B2, Niacin, B6, and B12 as spinach!

It really is an incredible superfood and skincare ingredient. We just can’t get enough of it!

It's Electric! Soap Science

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Since so many of you love SeaLuxe soaps, we thought it would be fantastic to delve a little deeper into that world of heavenly-scents. So, what exactly is soap?

Well, for starters...

It's Electric!

 

Soap and water go together like ham and eggs (well, you can still enjoy some eggs without ham… However, I digress.). We were all taught as children that we must wash our hands with soap AND water. Why not just water? Let’s duck into the science classroom for a second. Water molecules are made up of atoms. Specifically, one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. Here’s where quantum science steps in. The hydrogen atoms each have an electron and are located near the oxygen atom which has eight electrons. This creates a positive charge on the hydrogen side of the water molecule and a negative charge on the oxygen side. Follow me so far?

While substances such as sugar (which also has an electrical charge) dissolve in water, dirt won’t. Why? Because dirt contains some oil and oil does not carry an electrical charge.

Enter soap. Soaps are essentially sodium or potassium fatty acids salts. A soap molecule is a hydrocarbon chain that looks like a freight train with the engine being attracted to water (hydrophilic) and the caboose preferring oil to water (hydrophobic). The hydrocarbon chains of soap are attracted to each other’s molecules by dispersion forces. They cluster together like teenage girls at a high school dance, and form structures called micelles. Micelles are negatively charged therefore repel each other and stay dispersed in the water.

Picture soap the reliable cupid of your skincare regime, introducing oil and water so they make magic together (and elope along all that dirt and grease!). Bet you won't think of soap the same next time you lather up with Carpe Diem or Breakfast Scrub!

 

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Don't be Zen about Parabens

Sealuxe is proudly paraben-free. We use the best ingredients from the best source - Mother Nature.

Sealuxe is proudly paraben-free. We use the best ingredients from the best source - Mother Nature.

LET’S TALK ABOUT PARABENS

 

Alright! Welcome to the lab (yes, picture me at the front of the classroom in my white lab coat and safety goggles)!

 

I know you guys are an inquisitive bunch and you likely have an interest in SeaLuxe’s skincare products because they are proudly natural. So, we’re here today to talk about any chemical uglies that may be lurking on your bathroom shelves.

 

Today’s topic: parabens.

 

WHAT ARE PARABENS, EXACTLY?

 

Parabens are a group of synthetic compounds used as preservatives in a wide range of health and beauty products. They were first commercialized during the 1950s. Paraben is an umbrella term for product ingredients such as: methylparaben, ethylparaben, proplyparaben, butylparaben, and isobultylparaben.

 

These parabens are added to products such as deodrants, shampoos, body lotions, and makeup to stop the growth of bacteria and fungus.

 

HOW ARE THEY NOT SAFE?

 

Okay, so while North America’s health boards have set standards they view as safe (that would be the FDA – U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the United States and Health Canada here where Sealuxe is based) there are still worries from those who work in public health about the cumulative exposure from different products. Studies have shown parabens can disrupt hormone function which can be linked to breast cancer and reproduction issues. On a less worrisome note, they have also been linked to skin irritation issues. Some countries such as Canada haven’t banned them because the studies are considered to have been conducted by “fringe” organizations such as Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Yet, still, the European Union banned products with parabens from shelves in 2012. Makes one think!

 

SEALUXE, PARABEN-FREE ZONE

 

We believe that your skin deserves fresh ingredients and each one of those ingredients needs to have a benefit. We also believe that nature has an abundance of cures available. We only use ingredients that you can pronounce (and, in most cases, eat!) so you can feel good about your skincare choices and see results you deserve without any negative side effects to your health.

Want to chat about any other nasty ingredients out there that concern you? Let us know and we'll share the information!

 

 

 

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Preservative Free

What makes SeaLuxe products potent and powerful? We don't use water to dilute the plants nutrients which eliminates the need to use any preservative.

One Good-Smelling Guy

Sealuxe is all about natural ingredients such as healthy oils (great for moisturizing!), essential oils (harm-free and heavenly scent) and nature’s ingredients (organic and biodegradable ingredients that are harvested or sourced in an environmentally-friendly way).