Whole Living: A More Zen-like Approach to Health & Skin Care
Shirley Makela's Whole Living Articles
Written by Shirley Makela of Alki Organix   

Zen-Like Skin CareIn the quest for beautiful skin we are often told we must subject our skin to harsh treatments, abrasives, or isolated nutrients pharmaceuticals or chemicals in the quest of beauty.  Then when our skin still doesn't look or feel like we want it to, we search for yet another treatment that will make it “behave”.  I do a lot of reading on ingredients for skin care and I recently researched a new ‘miracle’ ingredient for skin and was amazed to learn it was derived from a poison that can actually kill you!  How is this good for you?  Even among natural products there are different approaches – they can be gentle or aggressive as well, and while I fully agree with a whole food approach to skin care I am fully cognizant that natural does not necessarily mean gentle and non-toxic.   In my more philosophical moments I wonder if we buy into this because we are at battle with ourselves.  We haven’t learned to love ourselves.  But, that’s another topic altogether!

  For the best care for the health of our skin I would like to suggest that a better way is a more Zen-like approach to skin care. Rather than doing battle with your skin nurture it and work with it not against it. Give it what it needs, eat a diet that nurtures your overall health and be gentle and loving with your skin!  It will love you back. In short; a more Zen-like approach!

One of the biggest changes, and best changes I made for both my health and skin was changing from the idea of doing battle with my body to loving and nurturing it more, enjoying delicious healthy food that creates the environment for health and to a more positive, Zen-like skin care routine as well.  My Alki Organix products are based on routines and products I first made and used for myself in search of that healthier more Zen-like approach.   

 For example I switched to oil cleansing years ago when I realized that harsh cleansers made my face dry and irritated. I still use a gentle soap in the shower – but not for my face. Why oil rather than soap or cleansers for face? First, when you think about cleansing what you want is to cleanse the oils & day’s dirt from your skin. Water doesn’t dissolve oil, that’s why soap is used – but oil dissolves oil.  In cleansing you want to dissolve the built up oils and remove the layer of dead skin that can clog pores.  You can do this with harsh cleansers and abrasives – or – you can use the more Zen like approach using oil.  It gently cleanses your skin as no cleanser can. Even oily skin benefits from oil cleansing rather than harsh cleansers.

 Honey was another ingredient I’ve used for years, it is calming and incredibly moisturizing for skin.  I incorporate honey into all my formulas because of its gentle effectiveness.  Mixed with oil it cleanses beautifully, dissolves makeup and dirt, and unclogs pores.  When I discovered Manuka honey its additional skin nourishment and incredibly gentle exfoliation amazed me!  My skin glowed; it was soft, radiant and healthy looking.  Others agree and my Manuka Honey Facials, Honey & Roses with rosehip, Honey & Avocado are my best sellers. Because there are no harsh abrasives, no drying ingredients they can be used daily and they truly fit the Zen-like approach.  

 Why Honey? Honey is just plain incredible for skin.  It is a natural moisturizer that is just incredible – it’s said that Cleopatra’s milk & honey baths were her secret to beauty.  Honey is a humectant, it draws moisture to your skin. It has incredible antioxidant and antibacterial properties. I haven’t come across a skin type that honey doesn’t benefit from aging to acne prone and Manuka honey, made by bees pollinating the Tea Tree bushes is even more effective for skin.  Considered a medicinal honey,  Manuka Honey has a mild alpha-hydroxy acid that gently dissolves and removes dead skin for the easiest, gentlest, most incredible exfoliation you’ve ever experienced.  You can use  it daily, because it’s not harsh abrasives that scrape at your skin, it only removes dead skin if it’s there!   If you haven’t tried oil cleansing or honey for your skin yet, you are missing out on one of nature’s most incredible gifts!

 Take a more Zen-like approach to your health, and your skin care. Your body loves you, love your body in return, It will reward you!

 Here's To Our Health!

Shirley Makela, AADP INHC


Alki Organix

Truly Natural Skin Care in Partnership with Nature





Healthy Living: The Benefits of Avocado Oil
Pat White's Healthy Living Articles
Written by Pat White of Essential Body Pleasures   
Avocado oil (Persea gratissima) is a yellowish, green oil. It is pressed from the fleshy pulp that surrounds the avocado pit. It is a thick but very penetrating oil which is easily absorbed into the skin. Avocado oil is rich in vitamins A, B, and D. The green color is due to large amounts of chlorophyll and carotenoids. This makes the oil highly prone to oxidative effects when exposed to sunlight and thus must be stored in dark bottles.

Avocado oils is great for dry, aging or sun damaged skin, eczema and psoriasis. The antioxidants in avocado oil can fight the signs of aging and increase the rate of cell turnover and the Vitamin E can assist in reducing dry, itchy and inflamed skin.

Avocado oil also contains sterolins, which studies have shown to decrease the appearance of sun/age spots. Avocado oil is also reported to help stimulate the production of collagen, which is a key component of the skin's support system. Skin with plenty of collagen is plump, firm and shows fewer wrinkles.

Avocado oil is used in soap and cosmetic products along with hair care treatments.

In soap, it creates a conditioning bar of soap with mild cleansing properties that also has a stable creamy lather.
In cosmetics, avocado oil is an excellent moisturizer.

Avocado oil is also reported to revitalize dry, damaged hair as it conditions both the scalp and hair.The proteins, vitamins and amino acids in avocado oils have also been considered to promote healthier hair growth.

Remember, the FDA has not evaluated the above statements. No claims are made regarding the medicinal value of avocado oil. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Pat White MSN PMh NP-BC

Clinical Aromatherapist

Make sure to visit Essential Body Pleasures - Skin Care Nature's Way


Shutes, J., (2013-2014).  Components and essential oils:  A research reference manual.  Chapel Hill, NC: East-West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies.

Paleo Living: Do You Know the Dangers Lurking in Your Beauty Products?
Trina Felber's Paleo Living Articles
Written by Trina Felber of Primal Life Organics   

Make up. We women put it on our faces every single day. But how often do we really stop to think about what is in the products that we routinely put on our face? My honest answer was never.

Once I began my research, however, I was less than impressed with the quality of the products that I was using on a regular basis. A quick Internet search revealed that it was impossible to find an ingredient list for the commercial foundation I had been using for a long time. So, I had to peel off the label on my bottle because the ingredients are listed on the inside of the label – the sticky side that you can’t see unless removed.

Out of the 25 listed ingredients, 23 of them were completely unrecognizable to me, and 11 of them were almost impossible to pronounce! The only two that were familiar were water and synthetic wax. Less than half (11) of those ingredients are scored as a zero by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), meaning that they have not been found to be toxic or hazardous. Six of them are scored in the moderate hazard category, and there is even one scored in the high hazard category.

The purpose of the EWG is to “serve as a watchdog to see that Americans get straight facts, unfiltered and unspun, so they can make healthier choices and enjoy a cleaner environment. We use the power of information to create cutting-edge research and advocacy that transform government policies and the marketplace in order to conserve land and water, produce and use energy responsibly and ensure that food and consumer products are free of harmful chemicals” (http://www.ewg.org/about-us). Their website harbors a plethora of little known research on the harmful chemicals that we encounter every day through the products that we consume.

So looking deeper into my ex-foundation, I found that the moderately hazardous ingredients included propylene glycol, cyclopentasiloxane (CPS), PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone, titanium dioxide, talc, and mica. Do you know what any of those are or how they can harm you? Let me enlighten you.

CPS may be associated with environmental toxicity, organ system toxicity, ecotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and neurotoxicity (so it can negatively affect your environment and ecosystem, as well as your organs, your brain, and your hormones).  Propylene glycol has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, as well as being associated with contact dermatitis and contact urticarial (rashes). PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone may be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4-dioxane. Talc can be contaminated with asbestos fibers, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer. Mica may be linked to endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, cancer, ecotoxicology and neurotoxicity(http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/).

But the two most alarming ingredients found in commercial make up – propylparaben and methylparaben – are considered great health hazards because of the overwhelming evidence to back up the risk factors associated with them. These mimic estrogen and can act as potential endocrine (hormone) system disruptors. There is also strong evidence that they are an immune toxicant or allergen. These are considered highly hazardous according to the EWG, to the point where their concentration is restricted in cosmetics. But if the risk is so real that their quantities have to be limited, then why are they being used at all?

I know I’ve only scratched the surface of the potential toxins in one specific commercial make up product, so I want to encourage anyone and everyone to go to the EWG website (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/) and look up your preferred cosmetics, as well as the ingredients in them. What are the risks associated with some of the ingredients? I realize you only use a tiny amount of make up with each application, but do you wear it every day? If we are reading our food labels to ensure that we are not putting toxins IN our bodies, shouldn’t we be reading personal care labels to see what we are really putting ON our bodies?


 Trina Felber, RN, BSN, MSN, CRNA, CEO Primal Life Organics

Primal Life Organics offers Face, Body, Hair, Makeup, Baby and Dental Products - All 100% Chemical and Preservative Free.
We make skincare that will improve your health. The product you receive is a fresh, all-natural product, that will nourish your skin and hair from the outside.

Primal Life Organics was created to offer the option of Paleo Skincare (skin-food as we refer to it).  Paleo denotes earth-given nutrition for both our insides and our outsides.  Using Paleo skin-food provides the skin with healing, nurturing and moisturizing elements in the form of oils, essential oils, food and plant sources as well as the dirt itself (clay).  Primal Life Organics introduces Primal Colors- Paleo makeup sourced from the earth.  Toxins, chemicals, preservatives and fragrances NEVER find their way into ANY of our products.  Primal Colors is made FRESH when ordered- ensuring the most nutrient dense ingredients.  Our color palate is created by mixing food and plant sources, such as cranberry, beet root, hibiscus flowers, cocoa and spirulina with dirt.  No additives, fillers or chemicals.


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Paleo Living: From The Inside-Out - Get REAL About Detox and Adjustment [Part 2]
Trina Felber's Paleo Living Articles
Written by Trina Felber of Primal Life Organics   

What is the adjustment period??? 

The adjustment period is more of a physical rendition of how our SKIN reacts to new products. For instance, if you have been using products that contain water or alcohol as the first ingredients listed, and most commercial products contain both, your skin is in a constant state of dehydration and it cannot function properly. It adapts by increasing sebum production. Your skin also reacts to chemicals (preservatives, fragrances, dyes) and auto-regulates itself to protect against these harmful ingredients. These ingredients also cause cellular changes via free

radical production which can lead to premature aging and cellar mutation (possibly cancer). Chemicals also cause cellular dehydration and confusion. During the adjustment period, you may experience the exact same symptoms as detox-  you may develop a rash, or itching or dry skin, eczema, psoriasis or anything unusual!


How do you know what it is?  You don’t. If it occurs after eight weeks, you can assume it is related to detox. During the first eight weeks, it could be one or the other- or a combination of both. The important thing to remember is that your skin and body WILL heal, auto regulate and adjust to your new practice. By the way- the same is true if you fall off the wagon and resume a chemical laden diet and skincare- there will be an adjustment to the chemicals again.



Levels of Detox

Detox can occur at numerous levels. When a supply (drug or toxin) is completely discontinued, initial removal is great and then it tapers and the remainder of the drug or toxin is removed over time as the law of re-distribution dictates. If a drug or toxin is only decreased (not completely stopped or discontinued) in strength or amount, detox occurs until a new equilibrium is established- a new level if you will. If a drug or toxin is stopped, then a small amount (or bolus) is introduced periodically, a completely zero level may never be established. The person may live in a constant state of detox, if you will, or an intermittent detox due to fluctuating, intermittent doses.

The take home lesson is this: 

If you remove ALL toxins from your life (food and skincare), you can establish a near complete detox (taking into consideration environmental factors out of our control).


Yes. The bad news is this: if you do not completely (or nearly completely- no one is perfect) remove toxins from both food and skincare, you will live in a constant state of detox. These fluctuations may result in skin conditions (acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, etc). Liz gives excellent guidance for both diet and skincare in The Skintervention Guide.  Again, miracles do not happen overnight. It took years to absorb all those toxins. Give your body a fighting chance to fully detox by incorporating both dietary and skincare options that will heal your body FROM THE INSIDE OUT.


The very good news!

To end on a positive note, there is good news to those that almost fully detox their food and skincare: an occasional ingestion, or application (food or skincare) of a chemical laden, commercial food or product will NOT kill you! Your body is amazing. Given the healing that has occurred, your body will be performing the way it is meant to. Your liver has a function: to remove toxins from the body! It will be able to remove toxins much more effectively when toxic exposure is kept to a minimum. Let your liver, kidneys, pancreas, skin, heart, lungs and gut heal to do the job they were meant to do- effectively and efficiently. 


Happy detox and amazing adjustments!!!!

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