Whole Living: You Are Beautiful
Shirley Makela's Whole Living Articles
Written by Shirley Makela of Alki Organix   

You're BeautifulIn my business making and selling natural skin care products I talk to a lot of people about skin care, I do continuous research, read posts in various groups that center around natural skin care, and think a lot about it all. I am fascinated by all the incredible gifts we have in nature for health and skin care but I find I am often conflicted. Not about the benefits of truly natural skin care, or even the need to care for our skin both by how we eat to take care of our bodies and how we treat the largest organ of our bodies, our skin. I am conflicted because I talk to so many women with lovely skin who believe their skin is still lacking ideal beauty somehow. They obviously don’t see what I see when I look at them.  They are beautiful.

 Recently a very beautiful mature woman with a radiant smile asked me what I made and recommended for wrinkles.  Now, mind you she didn’t look 20 or even 30, she looked like she took very good care of herself, she looked beautiful!  What raced through my mind was all the things I know about aging gracefully; avoiding excess sun, drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated, avoiding excess sugar in your diet, eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, avoiding processed food, getting enough sleep, using gentle natural methods for cleansing and keeping your skin protected, etc.  But what came out of my mouth before I even thought about it was this:

“Yes, look in the mirror at your beautiful face and reflect on the long and wonderful life you’ve been blessed with.”  My response surprised her, delighted her (very sweet) husband, and surprised me too!

 My head was busy thinking but my heart spoke without hesitation.


 As women, we are bombarded constantly with advertisements for this or that product promising that it will make us look 20 years younger overnight, create instant ideal ‘beauty’, fade any evidence our skin is giving us of our health or lifestyle issues we may be having, plus this or that new ‘breakthrough miracle’ skin product that’s yours for the low introductory price of “$X”.  Gosh, if I paid much attention to all of this I might start getting an inferiority complex.  Certainly at times it makes me wonder if I am in the wrong business because I simply do not agree with, or support, the constant barrage of messages telling us  that we must strive to a some ideal of beauty and as women must desire to look forever young. That seems to be the message from skin care companies that is repeated over and over.  


 As a mature woman I’ve lived long enough to see many changes in attitudes over the decades, good changes, and changes still in progress. I remember all too well when the ideas about a woman’s proper role were quite different than today. But even with all the changes in the past 30 or 40 years this idea that as we grow older we, as women, should always desire and strive to look ‘young’ stubbornly persists.  Only time will tell whether the generations of young women alive today will have the same experience as my generation but they are certainly getting just as bombarded, and I’ve heard many beautiful young women in their 20’s and 30’s expressing concerns about wrinkles and, heaven forbid, looking older!  


 I just don’t believe we need to spend fortunes on the latest miracle product in the pursuit of beauty, nor do I believe there is any one standard of beauty and when I read the ingredients in some products I feel like telling people to run, not walk, away from some of them!   I like to keep it simple, eat healthy foods, and care for our skin gently with the best nature offers – and not worry about it! Beauty in my mind is more about being healthy and living a good and loving life than looking 20 or 30 forever.


 So, maybe I am actually not conflicted. There’s nothing wrong in my opinion with wanting to look good, and healthy skin, no matter its age, is beautiful.  How we take care of our health is reflected in it. But I would rather grow old with grace, be who I am without worry, take care of my health by eating well, and celebrate the wonderful life I’ve been blessed with rather than wishing I was something I am not,  and constantly searching for ways to make myself look 20 or 30 years younger! 


Here's To Our Health!


Shirley Makela, AADP INHC


Alki Organix

Truly Natural Skin Care in Partnership with Nature






Alki Organix: Truly Natural Skin Care in Partnership with Nature  - Skin care based on organic and wildcrafted cold or expeller pressed oils and whole natural ingredients and featuring incredibly effective skincare with Certified Bio-Active Manuka Honey.  Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize with best selling Alki Organix Manuka Honey Facials in orginal, Honey & Rose and Honey & Avocado.  Have beautiful skin with Manuka Honey and its unique properties making it an amazing superfood for skin. Artisan crafted in the beautiful Skagit Valley in Washington state by Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Shirley Makela, Alki Organix is dedicated to providing the most effective, natural skin care possible 100% free of chemicals and preservatives. 

Healthy Living: How Natural Soap Is Made
Pat White's Healthy Living Articles
Written by Pat White of Essential Body Pleasures   
How to Make Natural SoapI am getting ready to make soap this weekend and thought I would share the different ways to make soap. Each process, is wonderful in their own unique way.  The four types of natural soap include:  cold process, hot process, rebatching, and melt and pour. 

Cold Process Soap Making

In this method, oils are melted and combined with a lye and liquid (water, milk, etc) mixture. Mixing these ingredients creates a chemical reaction called saponification. The mixture is then stirred either by hand with a spoon, or by using a stick blender until the soap mixture has thickened (called ‘trace’). There is no cooking (using heat to speed up the saponification process) with cold process soap. The mixture is poured into a mold, covered and left to cool for 24 hours. At that point the soap can be removed from the mold and cut into bars. The bars are then left alone to cure for 4-6 weeks. This ensures a harder and milder bar of soap. I love cold process soap making and use many different types of liquid.  One of my favorite is pulverizing avocado and adding the fresh avocado to the lye.

Hot Process Soap Making
In this method, melted oils are combined with a lye/liquid mixture and are ‘cooked’ by using heat. Many modern soapers make hot process soap in a slow cooker/crock pot. The mixture is brought to trace and then cooked. The cooking time varies depending upon the ingredients used, the size of the batch and the heat setting on the slow cooker. The end result is a thickened, gel-like looking soap mixture that must be spooned into the soap mold. It is covered and left to cool for 24 hours, at which time it is removed from the mold and cut into individual bars of soap. 

This method is often used to reduce the 4-6 week cure time required by cold process soap making. By the time the soap cools and is removed from the mold (usually within 24 hours), the soap is safe for use. Leaving it to sit for a couple of weeks may allow additional water to evaporate and become harder, but it is not necessary. Hot processed soap may have a more rustic, handmade appearance to it, compared to the smooth texture of cold process soap.


This method involves using pre-made soap (cold or hot processed). The biggest draw for soap makers to use this method is that they can buy pre-made soap for rebatching and do not have to come into contact with lye if that’s a concern for them. The lye has already been chemically transformed during saponification.  It also means they can add additional ingredients such as essential oils or herbs and not have to worry about them reacting with lye. 

To rebatch soap, the pre-made soap is grated like cheese and to this a small amount of liquid is added. The mixture is gently heated until melted and then pressed into molds. It must then cool and harden before it is suitable for use. 

Melt and Pour Soap Making

This process involves purchasing a premade glycerin soap base (or making a glycerin soap base on your own, which is much less common, but possible), and melting it down, often in a microwave or on a stovetop. At that point, colorants, fragrance and possibly some additional oils (no water or milk can be added) are added to the melted soap base. The mixture is then poured into molds and left to harden – usually just a few hours. At that point, the hardened soaps can be removed from the mold and are ready for immediate use. 

Some soap makers prefer using this method because the chemical process has already been done, so they don’t have to worry about using lye. Melt and pour soaps are also fluid enough to be poured into a variety of molds which results in more intricate designs and shapes compared to the other types of soap making.

All of these methods produce great soap with wonderful properties.  Off I go to start my soap making weekend.  Wish me luck!

Pat White MSN PMh NP-BC
Clinical Aromatherapist 

Paleo Living: The Hazardous Shave
Trina Felber's Paleo Living Articles
Written by Trina Felber of Primal Life Organics   

Safe ShavingIt’s your morning routine, you jump in the shower, wash your face and shave your legs. Or nightly endeavor.  The kids just fell asleep. You hop in the shower, take a few minutes to yourself, and smooth those legs! Whether it’s your morning or nighttime routine, what you’re using to beautify or groom yourself could be…deadly.

The shaving ritual…we’ve all been there. Nothing feels better than smooth, soft skin in our face, pits, legs and the nether regions. Before you reach for your next container of shaving cream, lotion or gel; buyer beware.

You just might be reaching for a can of chemicals that can cause cancer, disrupt your hormonal system and invade your brain (neurotoxicity).

Did you know? Commercial skincare is un-regulated and a multitude of chemicals are added to prolong shelf life, emulsify (mix) water and oil, add a scent (fragrance) or stabilize a product. The Environmental Working Group estimates that at least 20% of chemicals used in cosmetics could cause cancer!

Your skin is your largest, and possibly your most vulnerable organ. Think about what you come in contact with, daily- environmental pollutants from the air, water and soil..but wait… that’s just some of your skin’s exposure! The exposure to chemicals rapidly multiplies with every commercial skincare product used (yes, take a look at the products in your cabinets and bathrooms) – soap, shampoo, conditioner, styling agents, sprays, deodorants, sun screen, toothpaste, lotions, your favorite perfume or cologne. Not only is your skin the portal of entry for chemicals, but the innate protective mechanism of your skin can be destroyed by the chemicals in commercial products the very ones that are within reach in your home!

Let’s get scientific. The sebum (natural oil) that moisturizes the skin contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Your skin surface harbors protective bacteria that live synergistically with you. It is estimated that the number of bacteria living in and on the human body outnumbers the body’s internal cells 10 to 1. These lipophilic microbes (natural surface bacteria) consume the glycol portion of the MCT (from the sebum) and leaves behind medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). These MCFA kill pathogenic bacteria, virus, and fungi. Commercial soaps and the chemicals (including alcohol) in most skincare products can strip away these natural defenders and leave your skin very vulnerable to infections.

So what’s the point? SHAVING.

Shaving increases the risk even further- the scraping of the razor not only removes some of the natural defenses, but can also cause micro tears in the surface of the skin itself. These open wounds can permit a chemical invasion directly into your tissues and bloodstream.

The Hazardous Toxins in Shaving Cream…

By exposing ourselves to all of these chemicals, we’re not just making our entire beings susceptible to skin irritation and infection; we also run the risk of wiping out vital defense mechanisms that keep our bodies functioning optimally.

Shaving creams today are mass-produced with toxic ingredients that include phthalates, perfume (fragrance) and triethanolamine. These ingredients are also commonly found in household soaps, shampoos, detergents and toothpastes. (Do yourself a favor and memorize these repeat offenders so you can be smart when you read your labels… you do read your labels, right?)

The Risk To Your Health:

Phthalates: Phthalates can disrupt your hormonal system, which can harm important balances throughout the entire body, including those impacting the immune system, reproductive system, metabolism, and brain. Traces of phthalate metabolites found in human urine are associated with obesity and insulin resistance in men because they inhibit testosterone function. About 80% of people are exposed to this type of toxin.

Perfume (fragrance): There was a time I loved the smell of products- and my perfumes. Today, the fake smell nauseates me! Perfume or fragrance is a potpourri of toxicity, with many of the 3,000 chemicals used to make fragrance untested — neither in isolation nor in combination. Some that have been submitted to lab tests, however, have been associated with neurotoxicity and cancer.

Triethanolamine: This is an amine produced by reacting ethylene oxide (considered highly toxic) with ammonia (another known toxin). It is used as a buffering agent, masking and fragrance ingredient, and surfactant, in addition to its primary use as a pH adjuster. (https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/triethanolamine)

It is a known skin and respiratory toxicant. What’s more, animal studies have also shown Triethanolamine can cause bladder and liver cancer, as well as cell mutation in testicles. My husband says “No, thank you!”

Other common offenders that invade shaving creams, numerous skincare products and ultimately your body, include parabens, which increase the risk of breast cancer in women, and sodium lauryl sulfate, which is toxic to organs and can cause cell mutation that leads to cancer.

Some of these toxins do not bio-accumulate. Your body is capable of flushing poisons out of your system under proper conditions that include eating right (real foods – fresh, colorful, organic, natural foods), drinking enough water (hydration status) and avoiding pharmaceuticals and current health status.

Steady exposure, or over-exposure, to toxins, however, can mean your body has trouble keeping up the fight. Despite your body’s natural efforts, you can become increasingly vulnerable as long as you continue applying poisons.

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

A Note from Trina: My battle against chemicals began over seven years ago. Along my journey to ultimate health, creating a shaving cream for my husband and myself was a priority because I know each little nick in the skin increases the risk of absorbing chemicals that alter our being.

I used to shave with just oil, and this does the trick. But I did not like the greasy aftermath left on my shower floor. It was so slick I was afraid either my kids, or myself would slip and fall.

It took me two years to perfect my chemical-free, natural shaving cream- something that would shave smooth, leave me soft and silky, yet rinse away without leaving the greasy residue I despised. Finally, a version for both men and women is available from Primal Life Organics.


Gruff™Shaving Cream (Wisemen) for men and One Leg Up™ Shaving Cream (Breezi) for women, contains shea and babassu butters to soften and moisturize both facial and body hair. Coconut soap and coco glucoside provide the slick, fast moving action for a really close shave. Eucalyptus and frankinsence help to restore and heal any micro damage and razor burn that can occur during a close shave. You are left with soft, moisturized skin and a Not-So-Deadly close shave.

Protect, heal, nourish and smooth your skin, wherever your razor may roam with Primal Life Organics natural shaving creams. 

**Available June 01, 2015


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.



Whole Living: The Salad Days Of Summer = Healthy Skin
Shirley Makela's Whole Living Articles
Written by Shirley Makela of Alki Organix   

The Power of Eating Salad!Among the healthiest foods for beautiful skin at any age are all the wonderful colorful veggies, and especially dark leafy greens! All vegetables are incredible sources of the nutrients we need, but dark leafy greens, super loaded with nutrients, are one of the most concentrated sources for those beneficial nutrients that keep your skin beautiful.  Love Caesar Salad as I do?  You’ll be pleased to know that Romaine lettuce is one of the most nutritious of the lettuces. We often think about Kale or Spinach when we think af dark leafy greens, but Romaine is considered the dark leafy greens of the lettuce world. These rich sources of anti-oxidants can also help protect your skin from sun damage, and as our skin really needs dietary fats to help it stay hydrated adding delicious avocados into your salads is a great way to supply your skin with what it needs to reflect the beautiful person you are!


Eating the bountiful fresh fruit of summer provides even more benefits to your skin. Rich in vitamin C summertime fruits are a delicious way to feed your skin to keep it youthful and healthy.  A diet rich in vitamin C can also help heal sun damage, discourage wrinkles and keep you looking as young on the outside as you feel on the inside too!

But besides salad you can add the nutrition of greens to your diet by lightly sautéing them with olive oil and garlic over a medium heat – add them to pasta with garlic, red peppers and olives for a delightful summer supper.  Another delicious way is to lightly sauté greens with lots of garlic, then scramble them into eggs, add in Feta cheese at the very end for wonderful (and healthy!) breakfast! I had this the first time at a delightful little café in Point Reyes CA – it’s so easy to make and if you like garlic and feta as I do you will love this, it’s been a favorite in our household!  How many ways can you think of to add greens into your diet?  Your skin with thank you!


This summer combining a healthy diet rich in summers leafy greens, veggies and fruits with excellent skin care that cleanses and exfoliates to help keep pores clear and breathing during the hot days of summer will not only help keep your skin beautiful but will keep your body healthy too!  If you are lucky enough to have a farmers market or a great co-op nearby you have access to wonderful fresh vegetables & leafy greens during the summer. But even if you don’t you can grow your own even if you have limited space for gardens, you can even grow a garden in containers!


Here's To Our Health!

Shirley Makela, AADP INHC


Alki Organix

Truly Natural Skin Care in Partnership with Nature






Alki Organix: Truly Natural Skin Care in Partnership with Nature  - Skin care based on organic and wildcrafted cold or expeller pressed oils and whole natural ingredients and featuring incredibly effective skincare with Certified Bio-Active Manuka Honey.  Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize with best selling Alki Organix Manuka Honey Facials in orginal, Honey & Rose and Honey & Avocado.  Have beautiful skin with Manuka Honey and its unique properties making it an amazing superfood for skin. Artisan crafted in the beautiful Skagit Valley in Washington state by Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Shirley Makela, Alki Organix is dedicated to providing the most effective, natural skin care possible 100% free of chemicals and preservatives. Good nutrition for your skin!

Healthy Living: Best Carrier Oils For Aging Skin
Pat White's Healthy Living Articles
Written by Pat White of Essential Body Pleasures   
Carrier oils, also called base oils, are plant or vegetable oils that are commonly used to carry the benefits of essential oils and other ingredients into the layers of skin.  Carrier oils tend to be better suited for certain skin types. This article will discuss the top carrier oils that are best for mature skin.

Avocado oil is an excellent carrier oil because it is easily absorbed by the skin and penetrates deep into the skin. It has been shown to significantly increase the amount of collagen, which provides the skin's structural foundation. Avocado oil containes a high amount of sterolins which are known to reduce sun/age spots and help to heal scar tissue. It is a thick and heavy oil, so it is best used in conjunction with lighter feeling oils in products.

Borage oil is a perfect choice for dry, mature skin. It is rich in the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid, which helps to maintain and replenish moisture in the skin. Additional essential fatty acids help keep cell membranes flexable and slow water loss from skin cells. It also contains tannins, which provide a skin tightening and toning effect. Borage oil also promotes the production of prostaglandin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps calm irritated skin.

Evening Primose

Evening Primose is extremely high is linoleic acid, which can be a very effective antioxidant. This means evening primose helps to destroy free radicals and protects skin against the damaging effects of these free radicals. Evening primose oil helps stimulate the production of collagen and boosts new cell formation. It is a good moisturizer and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Rose hip Seed
Rosehip seed oil is a potent oil for mature skin and it works to fight the signs of aging in a number of ways. It is a natural source of both vitamin C and retinols. These are known for their antioxidant properties and help protect against free radicals. It moisturizes and repairs tough, dry skin. It has been proven to increase cell turnover, which helps to fade age spots, scars, UV damage and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Rose hip seed oil absorbs easily and penetrates deep into the skin to hydrate and moisturize.

Argan Oil
Argan oil has a golden color and a slightly nutty aroma. Argan oil is a great oil for mature, aging skin. It helps decrease the wrinkles around the eyes. It has been used to help treat juvenile acne. Argan oil has anti-inflammatory activity. The combination of Argan oil and Rose hip seed oil has been recommended to help prevent stretch marks and scars.

Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil has a light texture, is non-greasy and easily absorbed into the skin. Grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid. Linoleic acid strengthens the membrane around the skin cell and guards against moisture loss. Grape seed oil may help with premature aging.
Pat White MSN PMh NP-BC
Clinical Aromatherapist 
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