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Inspired Living: 3 Important Nutrients for Beautiful Skin & Hair
Danna Norek's Inspired Living Articles
Written by Danna Norek of Aura Sensory   

You can use all the beauty products you can get your hands on, however if your nutrition isn’t balanced and plentiful in certain nutrients, your efforts may fall short.  The food we take in to our bodies has as much to do with how our skin and hair look (even your eyes look brighter and clearer), as the products we use externally.

While it is true that some people are just more genetically gifted with the color, texture and even length of their hair according to “beauty ideals” which are often unattainable, it is also true that everyone can benefit from proper nutrition and get the best kind of beauty – from within. 

Naturally Occurring Sulfurs

Food rich in naturally occurring sulfurs, like garlic, broccoli and onions, are important. They help to sustain the backbone of our skin and hair, the protein structures like keratin and collagen which help add that youthful resilience to these tissues.  These also happen to be wonderful nutritional immunity boosters, and excellent anti-cancer agents as well.

Omega 3 fats

Healthy fats are key in maintaining the suppleness of the skin as well, as they provide an “internal moisturizing” aspect for both the skin and hair.  These fats, which are abundant in nuts like almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts, as well as vegetables like avocados and proteins like fish, are absolutely paramount in maintaining healthy skin and hair. 

They help to keep pliability and flexibility, which is something that can wane over time and with age.  Omega 3 fats are also important factors in heart and circulatory health. They also help maintain proper brain function.

Silica

Silica is an important nutrient as well. It has been called the “beauty mineral” because it has so many benefits when it comes to the health of tissues that we associate with beauty, like the skin and hair. 

This nutrient  is commonly found in dark leafy greens, asparagus, cabbage, and most other fruits and veggies that are grown in the ground since they attain their silica mineral content from the soil directly. 

Silica is a building block or strong tissue.  It helps add shine, body and flexibility to all tissues, and your skin and hair will definitely grow like crazy and glow with health if you have a diet high in this mineral.

 
Eco Living: Simple Eco Tips
Li Wong's Eco Living Articles
Written by Li Wong of Earth Alkemie   

Happy Earth Month!  During the month of April, many people celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd.  I personally believe that every day is Earth Day, so I hope that everyone will take the time this month to learn more about our beautiful blue Planet! 

One thing that I often come across is that people care about the environment, but they may not know how to live a green lifestyle.  They may think it is too expensive or difficult to do.  However, I have found that most eco-friendly practices end up being way less expensive in the long run, and much friendlier for your wallet.  In addition green activities and crunchy products are much better for you and your family’s health.  Many environmental practices and activities are so simple and take very little time to do! 

You don’t need to start with something complicated.  Start out with something small and work your way up to the more complex things.  Also don’t be afraid to change and try something new!  

I have shared many eco living tips and recipes over the years, but here are some of my favorite easy green tips!

Consume Less:

One of the most pressing ecological issues is overconsumption.  Overconsumption causes a wide range of environmental problems, including energy wastage, food and resource depletion, habitat destruction, environmental degradation, climate change, and more.  If people could choose only one eco-friendly thing to do, consuming less would be a great choice, because this simple act has the greatest impact. 

Many people often buy items that they don’t need; I think we are all guilty of buying items that end up sitting around our homes for months to years!  These unused items cause clutter, and a lot of it ends up in landfills later on.  In the future, try to buy less, and buy only what you need or will use.  This will not only save you money, but it is better for the environment, and it will prevent future clutter.  For old items, give them to friends and family, donate them, or sell them to someone who will use them!

 

Reuse Glass Containers:

Most of the foods I eat are fresh and made from scratch, but I still eat some foods packaged in glass jars.  I save all my jars from my tomato sauce, olives, artichokes, sunflower seed butter, and other foods.  After I clean the jars out, I use them to package my herbs and spices, and the aromatherapy and herbal products that I make for myself.  Reusing and giving a new life to items is one of the simplest and most eco-friendly things you can do!  And if you can’t reuse a jar, then recycle it!

(Note: reusing jars is a great idea for at home, personal use.  But when making products for a business, new jars are a must for good manufacturing practices). 

 

Reuse Old Toothbrushes:

Most people use and replace their toothbrushes a few times a year.  Instead of throwing away your old ones: reuse them for other tasks!  I often save my old toothbrushes and use them for cleaning; they are great for cleaning in between the tiles of bathtubs.  They can be used in many other cleaning tasks too: use old toothbrushes to clean the dirt from your fingernails, jewelry, appliances, or the bottoms of your shoes when they become muddy!  I remember when I was young, we used toothbrushes in art class.  They made interesting paintbrushes for abstract art! 

Some companies make eco-friendlier toothbrushes too.  They may make toothbrushes from recycled plastic, and for some companies you can mail your old toothbrushes back to them (they will recycle them for you.  You usually can’t recycle toothbrushes in your regular recycling program since toothbrushes are made with multiple materials).  Other companies make toothbrushes that have removable heads, so you’ll only need to change the toothbrush head when it’s time for a new toothbrush (which creates less waste). 

I hope that this month you’ll join me in learning more about the environment, and that you’ll implement a few small or big green changes in your life!

 

Links:

Here is World Wildlife Fund’s 2012 Living Planet Report.  This is a science based report on the health of the Earth and human impact on the environment. http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/

 

I have written over eighty Eco Living and DIY articles!  Here are a few of my articles you might be interested in:

My article on the difference between conservation and preservation: http://allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living/68-environmental-issues/733-eco-living-conservation-and-preservation

An article on living green on a budget! http://allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living/69-living-an-earth-friendly-lifestyle/156-eco-living-living-green-on-a-budget

An Eco Living article on indoor water conservation: http://allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living/69-living-an-earth-friendly-lifestyle/757-eco-living-indoor-water-conservation

A few articles on eco resolutions and more simple green tips: http://allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living/69-living-an-earth-friendly-lifestyle/701-eco-living-new-year-eco-resolutions

http://allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living/69-living-an-earth-friendly-lifestyle/887-eco-living-eco-friendly-resolutions

http://allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living/69-living-an-earth-friendly-lifestyle/805-eco-living-green-resolutions

My very first eco living article on what is eco living and living a green lifestyle: http://allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living/69-living-an-earth-friendly-lifestyle/66-eco-living1

An Eco Living and DIY article on natural skin care ingredients for age spots: http://www.anbportal.com/absolutenm/templates/?a=947&z=126

Some green spring cleaning tips! http://allnaturalbeauty.com/articles/eco-living/69-living-an-earth-friendly-lifestyle/826-eco-living-spring-cleaning

 

  

About The Author:

Li Wong is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and perfume company.  She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy.  Li has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001.  Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception.   She is the all natural beauty website’s Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert, and the anb’s mall Eco Living writer. http://www.anbportal.com/meet_the_all_natural_beauty_experts.htm  

For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog:  http://solarkateco.blogspot.com/

For information on Earth Alkemie's products (skin care, hair care, perfumes, DIY raw ingredients, and containers), properties of natural ingredients, the benefits of natural cosmetics, and green business practices, please visit Earth Alkemie’s blog: http://www.earthalkemie.com/blog  

For Earth Alkemie's news and products, environmental issues, eco living, herbalism, aromatherapy, and crafting tips, visit Earth Alkemie's face book fan page: https://www.facebook.com/EarthAlkemie 

 
Inspired Living: Healthy-Up Your Breakfast E-mail
Danna Norek's Inspired Living Articles
Written by Danna Norek of Aura Sensory   

Sometimes even people who are very health conscious and disciplined even have to admit that once in a while it’s hard to get in your daily dose of healthy fruits and vegetables. I am among them myself.  While I try to make sure I fit in fresh and raw fruits and vegetables every day, there are times when I’m on the go and don’t have time to pack them for my day at work.

 

This is why I’ve taken to getting a lot of my raw fruits and veggies in with breakfast time.  Let’s face it, your taste buds aren’t in full swing yet in the morning anyway. It may be the best time to get in the healthy stuff that may not appeal as much around lunch or dinner when your body begins to crave meats, dairy and “comfort” foods.

 

Not only does eating raw veggies and fruits for breakfast ensure you will get in a large portion of your daily allowance of these types of foods, but it also fills you up and puts you on the right path for food choices throughout the day.

Read more...
 
Eco Living: All Natural Coconut Lip Sugar Scrub
Li Wong's Eco Living Articles
Written by Li Wong of Earth Alkemie   

Lips can get very dry and chapped!  If your lips are super flakey, I suggest exfoliating them once or twice a week.  My coconut lip sugar scrub will leave your lips feeling soft and smooth.

 

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons organic cane sugar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon coconut oil

Optional: 1 drop of essential oil

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, honey, and coconut oil.  Add the essential oil and mix again.  Package the scrub in a clean, sanitized jar.  Once or twice a week, moisten your lips with water.  Then apply a small amount of the scrub to your lips, and gently massage for a minute.  Rinse off the scrub with water.  Dry your lips and use lip balm if needed.

Read more...
 
Inspired Living: Vitamin E in Skincare – A Healing Antioxidant
Danna Norek's Inspired Living Articles
Written by Danna Norek of Aura Sensory   

My earliest memories of using vitamin E on my skin were when my favorite aunt made me slather on a vitamin E cream after I’d gotten a sunburn. I don’t recall the brand or even whether or not it helped my burn since I was so fair as a child and didn’t really understand the long term effects of sunburns.

However, it has stuck with me over all these years that even back then it was understood that this vitamin has some intensely healing and anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically to the skin.

Now that we know more about vitamins and their constituents and their various forms, we have access to some pretty potent skincare products that utilize the best and most healing forms of a vitamin.  Especially when it comes to topical application. 

For example, I never even knew about the ester version of vitamin C for topical use until the past several years.  Vitamin E also has various forms, some of which happen to be better when applied topically to the skin.  Mixed tocopherols tend to be the choice when it comes to topical application since it has stronger resistance to oxidation.

Antioxidant

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. It is often used in skincare and other body care formulations as a preserving agent because it helps to prevent cell oxidation and spoilage. It does not help with things like mold growth, but it does have a powerful antioxidant aspect that can help prevent a product from oxidizing due to free radical exposure.

Vitamin e is also antioxidant within the body, but the best way to get it is through your diet, not through supplementation. This is because vitamin E is not water soluble.

You do not excrete it from the body via urination like you do with other vitamins like vitamin C, so it can potentially build up to toxic levels in the body if you take too much. While it’s virtually unheard of to get “too much” vitamin E via the diet, unfortunately supplementing with synthetic forms can quickly build in the system to levels that may make you feel sick.

Anti-Inflammatory

Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties. Natural carrier oils are often rich in vitamin E. These include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil and argan oil among others.  These oils, because of their naturally high levels of vitamin E, are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. 

While the primary focus on vitamin E has been its natural antioxidant value, it has also shown anti-inflammatory value on many different human tissues, including the skin.

This is likely why it is so often recommended for topical application after a sunburn. It is also excellent for skin that is prone to inflammation, such as people with rosacea, acne or other skin conditions where the skin is frequently irritated, red or inflamed. 

 

Danna Norek owns AuraSensory.com where vitamin E (tocopherols) are used as a skin soothing ingredient in many of the products.  Offerings include aluminum free deodorant, a popular Shine Enhancing Sulfate Free Shampoo and a Deep Hydration Conditioner.

 
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