Bye-Bye Summer, Bye-Bye Sunspots

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So, does anyone out there over the age of 25 not have sunspots, acne scars, melasma or some other form of hyperpigmentation?  I love me a bronze-goddess-glow, but Summer is over.  Now is the perfect time to get to work on uneven skin tone if you want to look luminous in time for holiday parties.

I’ve been using Yüli Cell Perfecto PM almost every night for a month, and my sunspots and melasma have already begun to fade.  This serum contains oxygen-activated organic ingredients that increase cell turnover, refining the complexion.  Over time, it even remodels many types of scar tissue.

Science: High-Potency concentrates of Asiaticocide (derived from Gotu Kola), plant peptides, and live botanical cell derivatives rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and phyto-nutrients diminish dark spots, repair skin damage, and increase wound healing.

Good things (and Green things) take time: With daily use, in a week you will have a more radiant complexion, and in two months you will see reduced discoloration.  Don’t give up!  Many users say it took them using a whole bottle before their discoloration or scarring significantly faded.  Cost: Less than a laser treatment.  $98 for 1 oz.  Purchase it here.

P.S.  This serum contains time-released compounds and contains sediment, so it is best used at night when your body is naturally repairing itself.  Three drops are all you need; you can spot treat or apply to the entire face.

Ingredients: Bioregenerating Botanical Infusion (Botanical Glycosides, Sea Minerals Complex), S. chinensis (Jojoba) oil*, M. integrifolia (Macadamia) oil*, O. ficus-indica (Indian Fig) seed oil*, C. inophyllum (Tamanu) oil*, H. rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) oil*, A. uva-ursi (Bearberry) extract*, H. italicum (Helichrysum)* extract, G. glabra (Liquorice) extract*, C. asiatica (Gotu Kola) extract*, Renew Minerals Complex (Methysulfonylmethane (MSM)* Derived from Pine Lignin, Phytosterols derived from Flax), A. linearis (Rooibos) extract*, B. carterii (Frankincense) extract*,D. carota (Carrot) seed extract^^, G. lucidum (Reishi) extract*, L-arginine, L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), L-Gluconic Acid (Derived from Kombucha Tea Ferment)  Organic  ^^ Wildcrafted

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Manuka Honey: Supernatural Skin Savior

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The single most effective product I’ve used to treat my hormonal breakouts is  Wedderspoon 100% Raw Organic Manuka Honey Active 16+ (as a mask or spot treatment).  I leave it on for no less than 30 minutes; if I can, I’ll leave it on for a few hours while I’m cleaning up the house, working on the blog, taking care of the baby and generally solving the world’s problems.  I rinse it off with warm water and I can immediately see a difference in my skin, but the effects are even more noticeable the next day: existing blemishes are less inflamed, less red and smaller.  Blemishes that were broken are miraculously healed.  My skin is softer, moisturized and more even.  My pores look smaller.  I’m not exaggerating.  It’s crazy-good and tons of beauty insiders swear by it.

Cost: $40 for 11.5 oz.  Purchase it here.

So, how does it work?  Glucose Oxidase, an enzyme found in manuka honey, releases a natural form of hydrogen peroxide (a natural antiseptic) when applied to an infected site.  This oxygenates pores, drawing out impurities and bacteria.  Manuka honey is also high in antioxidants, which neutralize the free radicals that cause aging.  Lactic acid in the honey gently exfoliates the skin and prevents scarring.  However, unlike other masks, it will not irritate or leave skin overly dry, as manuka honey is a great humectant (it pulls in and seals in moisture) and it has a low pH.  So, it’s pretty perfect for your pretty mug.

 

Aaaaand for the science nerds:

Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush.  All raw honey contains varying levels of the enzyme Glucose Oxidase. This enzyme, which is introduced into the honey by bees, will slowly release antiseptic Hydrogen Peroxide effectively into the site of infection, whether in or on the body, killing harmful bacteria without damaging body tissue.

However, manuka honey also contains an additional antibacterial component called methylglyoxal (MG).   MG comes from the conversion of another compound – dihydroxyacetone – that is found in high concentration in the nectar of manuka flowers.  MG is thought to give manuka honey its superior antibacterial power. The higher the concentration of MG, the stronger the antibiotic effect.  When shopping for manuka honey look for a rating of at least MGO™100 or UMF®10+ if you are looking to fight a serious infection.  In my experience, Active 16+ is plenty powerful when dealing with acne or a sore throat.

It’s so good at healing infection that in many hospitals around the world now, manuka honey is used when nothing else works for treatment of antibiotic resistant MRSA super bugs and Staphylococcus Aureus ( the most common cause of wound infection).  Manuka honey also works wonders for eczema, dermatitis, burns, cuts, scrapes and burns.

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Fall is Here: Creamy Turmeric Tea

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The air is crisp and the leaves are falling (okay, it’s 66*F and rainy in Charleston, but still) so I just couldn’t wait until Friday to post this recipe for Creamy Turmeric Tea.  I know that it sounds kind of gross, but it is anything but.  This “tea” is warm, spicy, creamy, sweet and comforting.  I first learned of this recipe from my naturopath, Dr. Sherri Jacobs – If you are cleansing or just trying to stay away from sugar/dairy/caffeine, it is the answer to your cravings.  You have to try it!

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Turmeric comes from the root of the curcuma longa plant and it has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.  In fact, even Western medicine is jumping on board in researching and acknowledging its benefits.

|Creamy Turmeric Tea| (serves 1)

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2-inch wide round slice of ginger root, grated
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or stevia to taste)
  • Optional addition: a small pat of unsalted, organic, grassfed butter butter (turmeric is a fat-soluble spice, meaning it it more effective when consumed with a little healthy fat)

Gently warm the almond or coconut milk on the stove.

In a mug, combine the remaining ingredients.

Drizzle a teaspoon of the warmed milk into the mug and mix until the liquid is smooth with no lumps. Add the rest of the milk and mix well.

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Odacité: A Made-to-Order Cocktail for Your Skin

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So, I told you that I’d report back on what helps to resolve my hormonal acne.  After meeting Odacité founder Valérie Grandury at A Night For Green Beauty, she took pity on my complexion and sent me a vial of  Odacite’s Black Cumin and Cajeput Serum Concentrate to try.  This is one product that I will definitely purchase once I finish the bottle.

Many Green Beauty experts recommend “fighting oil with oil”.  I tend to agree, but first, you need to find the right oil.  In my experience, many oils, even organic plant-based oils, can further clog pores if you’re already susceptible to breakouts.

Odacité has an entire line of concentrated skin boosters that you can mix and match for your exact skin type.  Each booster is made up of one or two powerful virgin, organic, cold-pressed oils.  To ensure freshness, every bottle is made to order and only contains one month’s supply.  Just add two or three drops into your moisturizer or just press the serum directly into skin.

The Black Cumin and Cajeput Serum Concentrate is very fine and light and absorbs right into my pores.  Black Cumin has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities and Cajeput is naturally antiseptic.  When I use this serum regularly, my blemishes appear less swollen, less red, and heal faster than usual.

Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.  Cost: $27 for 5ml.  Purchase it here.

Ingredients: Highest-grade cold-pressed certified virgin organic Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) oil, Certified organic Cajeput (Melaleuca minor) essential oil, Certified GMO-free Vitamin E (Toco- pherols) oil.

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Hormonal Acne, Anyone?

Disclaimer: This post is like a journal entry, so if you’re not in the mood, don’t have hormonal acne, don’t know anyone with acne, etc. go ahead and press “delete”.  I won’t be offended.

This is the deal: I have hormonal acne, and it’s bad.  Yes, I had a pimple here or there in high school and college, but for the most part, I have had very good skin for my whole life (I feel comfortable bragging about that now because I will never again take good skin for granted).  It all started when I went off birth control almost three years ago.  My cycle became abnormal, I became pregnant, I miscarried, and my skin went CRAZY.

Between my knowledge of the harmful side effects of many prescription – and over the counter – solutions that dermatologists tend to suggest and knowing that I wanted my health to be absolutely optimal so that I could conceive and carry a child, I toughed it out.  Even my dermatologist said, “it’s hormonal and they’re [the pimples] just going to keep coming until you become pregnant and things [hormones] become more steady.”  After countless acupuncture sessions, strict Clean eating, and taking prescribed herbs, my cycle finally became regular and I got pregnant about ten months later.  I felt so blessed, but I held my breath waiting; this time the pregnancy stuck, thank God, but so did the acne.  I did what I could: I used all Clean, Green beauty products and I went to see my derm weekly for cortisone injections and chemical-free microdermabrasion.  It was annoying, but it was a small cost for the beautiful, healthy baby I delivered last November.

To be honest, what is most upsetting to me is that I know in my heart of hearts that this superficial condition is the face of something so much deeper.  Our skin is the window to our overall health.  The acne is a sign that something is out of whack somewhere in my body – my body that should be healthier than it ever has been, as I have never taken better care of myself than I have in the last four years.  Very frustrating.  I know that this is a small, superficial problem – no one dies of acne, eczema or psoriasis.  But it affects the self-esteem of millions of people, including me.

I don’t want to attack my skin with toxic chemicals; I want to find the root of the cause and I want to share it with you.  In the coming weeks, I will post about products that have helped me manage this condition and I will tell you about the food allergy tests and hormone panels that I’ve undergone in hopes of eliminating it.  I hope you will tell us your story and share your favorite Clean, acne-fighting products, too.

Sorry if I’m being a little dramatic, but this is a Clean beauty blog.  Welcome.  ;)

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Good For You Friday: Clean Taco Salad

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I love taco salads, but they usually don’t love me back.  Cheese?  Sour cream?  Corn?  Tortilla Strips?  That’s not Clean eating. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to sacrifice flavor or time you don’t have to make a cleanse-friendly recipe.  I made this one up in ten seconds in my head and 20 minutes in my kitchen.  I bet you even have almost all of the ingredients in your house right now.  My only regret is that I forgot to photograph our meal tonight and I had to swipe a less beautiful pic from the World Wide Web…

|Clean Taco Salad| (serves 4)

  • (4) 6-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Whole Foods Tequila Lime Seasoning (or chili powder, garlic powder and 1 shot of tequila)
  • Juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small containers red, orange and yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large seedless English cucumber, peeled and diced
  • (2) 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 2 avocados, sliced lengthwise
  • Juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375*F. Rub each chicken breast with tequila lime seasoning and marinate in lime juice and olive oil in glass baking dish while you prepare the veggies.  Then, bake the chicken for 30 minutes, flipping half-way through.  Add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, black beans and cilantro leaves to a large salad bowl.  Add lime juice and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and toss well.  Spoon salad into serving bowls, top with chicken and avocado.  Enjoy!

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MJ’s Herbals: Nature’s Medicine Cabinet

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Have you tried MJ’s Herbals yet?  While these salves might not be the most glamorous thing you’ve come across during NYFW, they have become my secret weapon and our family medicine cabinet won’t ever be without them.  Never greasy, these creamy, silky salves melt into skin, delivering pure, natural, herbal relief.

The Calendula Salve is great for eczema and all other dry, inflamed or irritated skin conditions.  I’m not sure I’ve come across an herb that matches calendula’s calming, soothing, healing properties.  This salve is also great for baby care, as it is super-gentle, yet potent.  Cost: $12.99.  Purchase it here.

The Arnica Salve works wonders on bruises, sore muscles, and even sprains.  Arnica works from the outside in, bringing pain relief and increasing circulation.  I had a bad fall at our dock this past summer (don’t laugh; I wasn’t drunk) and I swear this stuff made my bruises disappear faster than normal.  Cost: $12.99.  Purchase it here.

The First Aid Salve is basically nature’s Neosporin and no home should be without it.  A powerful blend of antiseptic, antibacterial and wound-healing herbs speed the recovery of cuts, scrapes, blemished and burns without synthetics or pore-clogging petroleum jelly.  Cost: $12.99.  Purchase it here.

The Lavender Salve works wonders with its aromatherapy benefits.  Massage this salve into pressure points like wrists, temples and the back of your neck to alleviate stress and anxiety.  It also works wonders on dry hands and feet.  Cost: 12.99.  Purchase it here.

The Breast Balm is a must for pregnant and nursing girls.  I wish I had noticed it a year ago.  I haven’t tried this one personally, but women swear that it prevents/reduces stretch marks and restores firmness and elasticity.  Maybe it’s never too late?  Cost: $15.99.  Purchase it here.

The gift set includes one of each salve for $65.  Purchase it here.

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The 21-Day Metabolic Cleanse

For those of you who’ve followed Bare Beauty from the beginning, you know that I am eternally grateful to Dr. Sherri Jacobs at Health E|Coaching.  Dr. Sherri is a naturopath (a homeopathic doctor) who earned her degree at Bastyr University, which is basically the Harvard of natural medicine.  She’s not some kooky witch doctor and she is supportive of integrated care (a combination of homeopathic and western medicine).  No other doctor has ever treated me with the patience and respect that she has.  Where other (read: western medicine) doctors dismissed my symptoms and complaints, or simply wrote me a prescription instead of trying to find the root of the problem, she listened, and more, she was determined to help me find health – and peace.

Three years ago, I did her 21-Day Metabolic Cleanse and I am not being at all dramatic when I say that it changed my life.  In fact, her cleanse is responsible for this blog in many ways.  She taught me so much about environmental toxins and their impact on our health that I started to research the ingredients in my beauty and personal care products.  I fell down a rabbit hole and Bare Beauty was born.

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So, if you feel like crap all the time and you can’t figure out why, if you eat right and exercise and still can’t lose weight, if you are constantly exhausted, can’t sleep,  have GI issues, headaches, or other chronic health problems, if you are tired of taking prescription meds, this cleanse is for YOU.  Yes, for 21 days you will change the way you eat, but more importantly, you will learn so much about food and environmental toxins that you will be inspired to change the way you live.

The Fall Cleanse starts on Wednesday, September 10 for Charleston locals, and it sells out fast.  To attend, (there are three weekly meetings) you must register. 

Dr. Sherri also treats patients all over the world.  You can participate in the cleanse online anytime from anywhere.  (I’ve done it both ways; both are awesome.)

|SPECIAL OFFER|

  • For first-time cleansers: save $50 when you enter coupon code 21DMC50 at checkout.
  • For repeat cleansers: save $120 when you enter coupon code 21CLUB at checkout.

To learn more about Dr. Sherri’s 21-Day Metabolic Cleanse, read this.

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Good For You Friday: Broiled Tilapia with Mustard Chive Sauce

 

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Was I the only one trying to keep my head above water all week??  Four-day-weeks are like a bad dinner party: I should feel grateful to even be invited, but I just want it to be over.

When you are busy playing catch-up all week after the next holiday, make this tilapia dish, steam some broccoli, and you will have dinner on the table in twenty minutes, tops.

|Broiled Tilapia with Mustard Chive Sauce| (serves 4)

Fish:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to coat baking dish
4 (5 to 6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:
1/4 cup plain, full-fat goat’s milk yogurt (or greek yogurt if you prefer cow’s milk)
2 teaspoons grade b maple syrup
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

For the fish: Preheat a broiler. Brush a baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
Drizzle the tilapia fillets on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the fillets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and broil until cooked through and the flesh flakes easily with a fork, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

For the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, maple syrup, and mustard until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer the tilapia to a serving platter and drizzle with the sauce.  Serve immediately and enjoy.

Happy Weekend!

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Love Smells Like Pineapples

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This product hasn’t launched yet, but I was lucky enough to be included in the test group.  Let’s just say that if One Love Organics doesn’t go through with production, we will all be flakier, duller versions of ourselves.

One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Polish isn’t just sugar granules and body oil in a tub, people.  There is a lil’ science involved here.  Concentrated Vitamin C Ester, papaya enzymes, organic shea butter and organic sugar crystals are said to exfoliate, moisturize, and leave skin even-toned and baby-soft.

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The verdict: OLO’s body polish exfoliated my skin gently yet effectively and I didn’t need body lotion after my shower – but – I wasn’t an oily mess, either.  And it smells like pineapples, sooooo it’s pretty much perfect.

Readers, keep an eye out.  Ladies at One Love Organics, get hoppin’.  I think this one’s going to be a hit.  :)

In the meantime, you can shop other awesome OLO products here.

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