Discover the Science Behind Topical Probiotic Skincare

Monthly Archives: December 2016

  • Chia Fresca - A Prebiotic Energy Booster!

    chia-fresca2Here is a yummy and natural prebiotic energy boosting drink! I love downing one of these bad boys before AND after my yoga classes. It’s made with coconut water, chia seeds, lemon and a hint of agave nectar and is extremely effective in hydrating the body and balancing electrolytes after a good sweat.

    I talk A LOT about probiotics on this blog, but in this post, I wanted to shine some light on prebiotics since they aren’t talked about nearly as much as the former.

    You may be thinking, “Well, maybe they aren’t as important as probiotics. I have never even heard of them!” And you would be wrong.

    In fact, prebiotics are essential to probiotics carrying out their duties. Simply put, prebiotics are food for probiotics and they help increase the absorption of minerals in our body while balancing the acid in our gut. Prebiotics are found naturally in foods we eat on a daily basis such as yogurt, kefir, onions, CHIA SEEDS, bananas, etc. This dynamic duo works hand-in-hand to carry out their immune-boosting and acid-balancing benefits.

    Think about it this way: Your tomato plants can’t grow with just fertilizer (prebiotics), and they can’t grow if you’re only using seeds (probiotics) – the two of these items need to work together to allow that beautiful tomato plant to flourish! Here is an easy recipe that will ensure you’re getting your daily dose of prebiotics…

    chia-fresca4

    Chia Fresca

    2 cups coconut water
    1.5 tbsp chia seeds
    1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (and a slice to make it pretty)
    1/2 tbsp Agave Nectar, to taste (or any natural sweetener)

    the method:

    1. Add chia and coconut water into a mason jar or a bottle with a lid. This is key because you will want to shake this mixture around for a minute or two.
    2. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to swell up and soften.
    3. Add lemon juice and agave nectar to taste. Shake well to combine and enjoy!
    4. Sip Sip Hooray!!

    denise-headshotDenise Prichard has been an avid beauty, health and nutrition writer for over five years - specializing in wellness, skincare, yoga & meditation, and clean eating recipes. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. She believes that beauty comes from within and can be achieved through a health driven lifestyle. Denise practices what she preaches as she is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, blogging about beauty & skincare tips (she is the skincare model for her company’s brand videos), inventing yummy and nutritious recipes and of course hanging out with her rescue dogs, Eleanor & Stevie.

  • The 4 Ingredients You Should Never Allow in Your Skincare Products

    sulfate-free-girlOver the last decade or so, more and more people have been jumping on the healthy lifestyle bandwagon – or pursuing a “greener” and “cleaner” life. We fill our plates with nutritious foods, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly and some of us have even adopted a daily meditation ritual to help better our health and well-being. However, despite our best efforts, we could still be exposing ourselves to an insane amount of toxins on a daily basis. In fact, some researchers have even suggested that the average woman uses products that contain 168 chemical ingredients on a daily basis. Yeah, let that bit of information sink in for a minute.

    How is this possible, you ask? Well, what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in our bodies. Our skin is not only the largest organ, it is a highly-absorbent one as well. The last thing I want to do is create fear in you of everyday products, but it is essential that we all pay special attention to the ingredient listings on the back of our skincare, haircare, hygiene and beauty products.

    Before heading to checkout – whether it’s online or in-store – make sure you don’t see any of the following toxic ingredients included in your products:

    Sulfates

    Usually listed as Sodium Laureth (or Lauryl) Sulfate (SLS) or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), this toxic ingredient is one that you should really look out for. Why? Because its only purpose for being included in your shampoos, body washes and facial cleansers is to create a foamy, frothy lather. Seriously, that is its only purpose. Don’t let any shady advertising fool you – even though sulfates are derived from coconuts, these bad boys are far from safe or natural. Not only will they strip your hair and skin of their natural oils, they are frequently laced with 1,4 dioxane and ethylene oxide, the former being a known human carcinogen and the latter being a possible human carcinogen. Let’s just err on the side of caution and avoid sulfates at all costs.

    Parabens

    Oh man, this one is a biggie. You have probably heard about the dangers that parabens can cause to the human body, but in case you haven’t, allow me to enlighten you. There have been multiple studies that link parabens to cancer – more specifically breast cancer. Just take a look at this study in which they found an unnerving amount of parabens in human breast tissue in the group that used deodorant containing parabens. Unfortunately, staying away from parabens isn’t as simple as you think since they are included in a bevy of everyday products like deodorants, skincare products, haircare products, makeup – this list goes on. So, please check those labels and research healthier alternatives.

    Phthalates

    Okay, this is a tough one because phthalates are used in so many things. Phthalates are mainly used to make things softer and more flexible, which is why you can find them plastics, furniture, toys, cosmetics and even food. Yep. You read that correctly. One study even found that there were high concentrations of phthalates in dairy, meats and oils – just to name a few. Phthalates, whether applied topically or ingested, can lead to fertility and motility problems, not mention that they can cause irreversible damage to sperm DNA. It’s especially important to avoid these toxic molecules during pregnancy because prenatal exposure has been linked to behavioral disorders such as aggression, depression, and ADD. Oh, and if I haven’t scared you enough, phthalates can also increase your risk of developing cancer, endometriosis, asthma and eczema and can cause obesity. In cosmetics and skincare products, they disguise themselves as a molecule that’s attached to a synthetic fragrance. However, not all fragrances are bad; bioidentical fragrances are more natural, hypoallergenic alternatives that mimic essential oils. The moral of this story? Research the beauty products you use on a daily basis.

    Mineral Oil

    Beware of this toxic ingredient because it disguises itself under a few different names, including white oil, liquid paraffin and liquid petroleum. Other than the fact that applying mineral oil literally does NOTHING for your skin (you read that correctly), it can also aggravate chronic skin conditions like acne, dermatitis and eczema. It also negatively affects skin function which can lead to premature aging. Mineral oil is unable to penetrate the skin and instead creates a shiny film, which is why your mom has probably suggested using it as a tanning oil (seriously, don’t do that).  Your skin is your largest organ and it works synergistically with your liver and kidneys to detoxify your body. When your skin can’t breathe, it certainly cannot aid in the detoxification process. If the reasons listed above can’t convince you to say goodbye to mineral oil, maybe this will: the use of petroleum products increase your risk of developing cancer. Petroleum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),which have a strong link to cancer development. Can we also agree that the use of petroleum has an extremely negative impact on the Earth? The fact that its production significantly contributes to pollution and the release of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere should be enough to convince us to stop using these products.

    The scary facts above are the exact reasons why we don’t include any of these toxic ingredients in our skincare products. We care about you, your family and Mother earth. We should also mention that we care equally for animals and NEVER test our products on them. Let’s keep our bodies and our planet clean, y’all!

    denise-headshotDenise Prichard has been an avid beauty, health and nutrition writer for over five years - specializing in wellness, skincare, yoga & meditation, and clean eating recipes. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. She believes that beauty comes from within and can be achieved through a health driven lifestyle. Denise practices what she preaches as she is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, blogging about beauty & skincare tips (she is the skincare model for her company’s brand videos), inventing yummy and nutritious recipes and of course hanging out with her rescue dogs, Eleanor & Stevie. 

  • Winter Skincare Tips

    winter-skinWinter is coming… and no, this isn’t some shameless plug for the new season of Game of Thrones, winter is seriously just around the corner. Cold weather tends to encourage the production of dry, itchy, dull skin, just to name a few complaints. Although the cool breeze is a tad bit more refreshing than the blistering heat of summer, don’t let that icy chill fool you – having a skincare routine intact throughout the year is essential to keeping your complexion in tip-top shape. Take a look at some of our favorite winter skincare tips that will keep your skin happy and glowing all winter long.

    1. Cleanse Gently. 
      A lot of cleansers use ingredients to make your skin feel squeaky clean, however, these detergents can strip your skin. If your skin feels tight after you cleanse, then your cleanser is doing more harm than good. Look for cleansers that are sulfate-free and packed with vitamin E and probiotics so you can cleanse, treat and hydrate all at the same time.
    2. Exfoliate Mildly. 
      A little cell-shedding from time-to-time can help your skin look fresh and feel amazing – just be sure to not over-do it. Exfoliating too harshly can cause skin to be overly sensitive, parched, itchy and prone to breakouts, especially during the cold, dry winter months. Opt for a product that has gentle exfoliating agents, such as lactic acid, probiotics and potassium azeloyl diglycinate to help unleash your glow without any irritation.
    3. Replenish the top layers of your skin with face oils.
      Face oils are your skin’s best friend during the frigid winter months. Skin oils help replenish the top layers of aging skin so that it can retain moisture and combat assaults from wind and cold (ie: wind burn – ouch!). Even better, face oils penetrate past the epidermal barrier to deliver nutrients to deeper layers of the skin. Going with a face oil rich in shea milk and abyssinian seed oil is your best bet for hydrated, luminous skin.
    4. Treat with Hyaluronic Acid
      During cold winter months, using a product with Hyaluronic Acid is essential if you want to keep skin supple without triggering inflammation. Chilly weather encourages chapped skin, itchiness and dryness. Hyaluronic Acid is a biopolymer that occurs naturally in the human body, and unfortunately, as we age, our bodies have a hard time producing more of this wrinkle- and irritation-fighter.  It has the ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, making it one of the most hydrating compounds in the world – talk about a moisture surge! To get the most out of HA, remember to “heal it and seal it.” After cleansing, apply a hyaluronic acid treatment to the skin, and then apply a moisturizer to lock in all those benefits.
    5. Wear SPF.
      Here is a rule that we should always abide: Wear sunscreen every day, from dawn to dusk, rain or shine, in hot or cold weather. Just because the sun pretends to hibernate during the winter, doesn’t mean it can’t cause harm to your complexion. While UVB rays are weaker during colder months, UVA rays have the same ability to cover every spot of the earth during winter as they do during warmer months. Always choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that lists zinc oxide as one of main active ingredients to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. We like using a tinted sunscreen that helps camouflage flaws while protecting our skin from the harmful side effects of the sun.

    denise-headshotDenise Prichard has been an avid beauty, health and nutrition writer for over five years - specializing in wellness, skincare, yoga & meditation, and clean eating recipes. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. She believes that beauty comes from within and can be achieved through a health-driven lifestyle. Denise practices what she preaches as she is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, blogging about beauty & skincare tips (she is the skincare model for her company’s brand videos), inventing yummy and nutritious recipes and, of course, hanging out with her rescue dogs, Eleanor & Stevie. 

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