Tag Archives: Skin & Hair

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients found in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?

Ambiguous labeling of cosmetics and skincare products in the United States creates a big problem for consumers. It’s an issue for those of us who want to not only know what is going on our skin (and thus into our bodies), but who also want to avoid known carcinogenic or otherwise harmful ingredients.

Because of loose labeling standards, companies aren’t legally required to disclose all of the ingredients used in their products. To further complicate things, words such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” can be misleading, and broad swaths of the skincare and cosmetics industry have taken an “innocent until proven guilty” approach to terminology and disclosure of ingredients.
Very few companies are committed to full disclosure, and sometimes even the limited ingredients that actually are listed on the label are disturbing enough to give a consumer pause about the substantial health risks they might pose.Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?

There are five toxic ingredients that are very commonly found in skincare and cosmetic products. Some of them have even been banned in other countries, but are still in use in the US. Do you know what these ingredients are, and if you’re putting them on your skin?

Grab your current skincare products and carefully review the ingredients to make sure none of these toxins are lurking.Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?

1. Synthetic colors sourced from coal tar

These are known carcinogens banned in the EU, but still used in many products here in the US. You’ll find them listed as a color plus number (for example: FD&C Red No. 6). They’re used in many skin care products, but especially dandruff shampoos and treatments for dry skin. In cosmetics, synthetic or artificial colors or dyes are used to make a desired shade cheaply, but the long term safety of adding these colors to products used on a daily basis is questionable.

There are currently seven dyes allowed by the FDA, despite the health concerns inherent in their use. Those against the use of such colors state that they are “that they are toxic, carcinogens and contributors to ADHD.”

Nature has provided so many safe, non-toxic answers for these artificial colors. Look for products without added colorings, or with colorings from plant sources. Consider personal care products whose ingredients you know are fully disclosed, even the ones used in tiny amounts!

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products? 2. Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES)ARE THESE 5 COMMON TOXIC INGREDIENTS FOUND IN YOUR COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS?

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is highly irritating and can produce a range of undesirable side effects ranging from severe allergic reactions to milder reactions such as dry and itchy skin that necessitates the overuse of moisturizing products. SLS is used as an emulsifier and detergent agent in cosmetics, toothpastes, and pharmaceuticals. It’s frequently referred to on labels by several other common names; click here to familiarize yourself with all of them.

With a little research, it’s easy to find SLS-free products these days. If you discovered SLS (or any of its other versions) in your skincare cabinet, take a few moments to seek out alternatives.

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products? 3. Formaldehyde

This is another ingredient that has been banned from use in the EU. Listed by the FDA as a known carcinogen and severe irritant, formaldehyde can be found in nail polishes, nail hardeners, eyelash glues, hair gels, soaps, makeup, shampoos, lotions, and deodorants, among other products.

In a survey of the FDA’s voluntary cosmetic disclosure database several years ago, it was found that 20% of the products on the market in the US contain formaldehyde in varying amounts. While there is a great deal of debate over just how much formaldehyde is TOO much, it is wise for consumers to factor in not just the exposure in the amount per use, but the cumulative effect over years of weekly or daily use of multiple products.

Building a relationship with companies like Beeyoutiful who refuse to use formaldehyde in any of their cosmetics is an easy step to ensure you won’t find yourself exposed on a regular basis to this highly toxic compound.

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?4. Lead (and other heavy metals)ARE THESE 5 COMMON TOXIC INGREDIENTS FOUND IN YOUR COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS?

Another known carcinogen, lead is found in disturbingly high quantities in lipstick and hair dyes. You won’t find this toxin listed on a label, though, because it’s not an added ingredient but rather a contaminant allowed through by poor quality control. Even some “natural” mineral makeup products can have heavy metal contamination.

The FDA insists that the amount of lead found in US lipsticks is perfectly acceptable, but many consumer safety advocates vehemently disagree. They point out that what goes on the lips is also consumed internally, and with multiple applications per day, exposure can add up to quantities that can realistically pose a health risk, especially to individuals who struggle with detoxing heavy metals.

Ask your cosmetics company if per-batch heavy metal testing is done on their makeup so that the end product is safe from such toxins.

Want a heavy metal-free way to get gorgeous, kissable color on your lips? Click here for quick and easy tutorials on how to transform pure minerals into a luscious lip color in just a couple of seconds.

Are these 5 common toxic ingredients lurking in YOUR cosmetics and skin care products?5. Phthalate-based synthetic fragrances

More and more individuals are becoming hyper-sensitized to synthetic fragrances to the point that even going out in public can pose a health hazard. One whiff of the wrong perfume or body spray from a passerby and crippling headaches, asthma attacks, or other serious symptoms can attack immediately.

Even for those who do not have immediate visible adverse reactions, synthetic fragrances have been shown to interfere with the immune system. These chemicals are considered potential neurotoxins and can be found in measurable amounts in the blood of frequent fragrance wearers.

Some fragrance chemicals are known as DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate), BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate), and DMP (dimethyl phthalate), although you will rarely (never?) see any of those names appear on a label.

Most of us now come in contact with phthalates on such a frequent basis that our babies are even being exposed to them in utero. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, and this heavy exposure load is bad news for hormonal health. Anything we can do to lower our exposure on both the food and skincare fronts will help to reduce overall toxicity, so avoiding synthetic fragrances in our perfumes, soaps, detergents, and household cleaners is a great strategy.

ARE THESE 5 COMMON TOXIC INGREDIENTS FOUND IN YOUR COSMETICS AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS?Now that you’ve read all your labels…

Be careful about the products you put on your skin! The best thing we consumers can do is to seek out companies who are 100% committed to full disclosure in all labeling, and who refuse to take advantage of labeling loopholes available under the current regulations.

Beeyoutiful is dedicated to NEVER using synthetic colors, SLS, formaldehyde, and phthalates of any kind in our products, and we do per-batch testing for heavy metals in our mineral makeups to make sure they are pure and safe.

I’m a busy mom to three small children, and the task of reading labels, researching chemicals, and other scary ingredients can be overwhelming and sometimes even feel like it’s a losing battle. But, I’ve learned that baby steps towards better choices can be a lot less overwhelming than attempting to overhaul every aspect of life from top to bottom. Having the support and encouragement of a loving community of individuals along the way instead of going it alone also makes an enormous difference.

Our Beeyoutiful families have been on their personal journeys for years towards better health, better choices, and responsibly created products and are always willing to share resources and encouragement from our experiences. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! Together, we can not only make better choices for ourselves and our families, but also create a better world for our children.

Wishing you health and peace,

Steph Tallent

20 Ways to Cool the Sun’s Rays

20 Ways to Cool the Sun's Rays from Beeyoutiful.com

Its summer! And no matter if you are blessed with olive skin that enjoys the kiss of summer or are snow white and must hide from the sun’s rays, it’s important to both protect and nourish the skin when exposed to some of the more damaging aspects of sunshine.20 Ways to Cool the Sun's Rays from Beeyoutiful.comGrowing up, many of us were cautioned to avoid going out during the hottest parts of the day, to stay in the shade during the most intense times, and enjoy the sun in the morning and evening.

We were also coached on the differences between UVA and UVB rays. (UVB rays are the Vitamin D-producing rays, and the UVA rays are the ones guilty of causing damage to the skin.)

While avoiding hot sunshine may help you avoid burns, it may not have been the best advice available! What you probably weren’t told is that damaging UVA rays are prevalent all day long, while beneficial UVB sunlight is best obtained in the midday. UVB light is extremely low in the morning and evening, exactly the times we were encouraged to be outside!

So while I was diligent to do my gardening early in the day to avoid the “intense” sun, I was unwittingly exposing myself to the damaging UVA rays while almost completely missing the beneficial UVB rays.

Thankfully, I’ve gained more complete knowledge since then. Here’s what I’ve learned about sun exposure.

How to Avoid Sunburn

First, there are things we can do to dramatically increase our skin’s health and lower our potential for burns and damage.

1. Build your tolerance by small, increasing increments of barrier-free sun exposure, specifically during the middle of the day. Start with 5-10 minutes (less if you are especially fair) and work your way up daily, adding a few minutes at a time.

2. Use clothing or hats to cover yourself to allow for a barrier; remember that protection is important even on cloudy days, early in the morning, and late in the afternoon.

3. Give your skin a rest with frequent breaks in the shade or indoors.

4. Drink green tea for a plethora of antioxidants that help to protect the skin and body.

5. Take Cod Liver Oil or Omega 3’s. Having a healthy amount of Vitamin D and Omega fats in the body provides natural protection against the sun’s damaging rays.

6. Use a non-toxic sunscreen like Bee Shade!

But I got sunburned anyway!

There are times when even though we’re the most cautious, we do get a tad pink (or even blazing red!). Our bodies fairly scream at us for relief when this happens. There are some great ways to calm the sting, help restore your skin, and reduce the effects of the sun’s rays.

20 Ways to Cool the Sun's Rays from Beeyoutiful.com (1)7. Apply Aloe Vera Gel directly from the plant to the sunburn. This provides both soothing relief and healing support to the skin.

8. Gently massage burned areas with a nourishing oil.

Nourishing After-Sun Skin Oil

Mix together equal parts Vitamin E Oil, Aloe Vera juice and Coconut Oil. Apply to skin.

9. Make a soothing paste of Bentonite Clay or French Green Clay and apply to the sunburn. A drop of Lavender or Tea Tree Essential Oil can also be added to the mix.

10. Arrowroot Powder can also be made into a paste and applied to the area. You can add a drop of Frankincense or Lavender Essential Oil as well.

11. Slather on some homemade raw yogurt (use the plain unflavored variety, of course!).

12. Fresh plantain leaves can be bruised and then layered on the burn.

13. Lavender Essential Oil can be added to a carrier oil or witch hazel and spritzed on the burned areas.

14. Spray the sunburn with Hair Shine to help soothe the irritation. (It’s great for hair AND skin!)

15. Make a paste of raw shredded potatoes. Apply to the skin and cover to retain the moisture.

16. Keep well hydrated with water, flavored fruit waters, herbal teas and bone broths. All of these provide hydration, along with the nutrients needed to regenerate fresh skin after a burn.

17. Take an oatmeal bath. Place uncooked rolled oats in a tube sock in the bathtub. The oatmeal provides soothing relief. And while you’re in there, skip the soap! It can contribute to dryness, causing further discomfort to already-tight skin.

20 Ways to Cool the Sun's Rays from Beeyoutiful.com (2)18. Make your own burn relief spray.

Cooling Aloe Spray

6-8 Tbsp Aloe Vera water (available at health food stores)

10 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

10 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

Combine in a clean, empty spray bottle and spritz on skin sunburned as needed. NOTE: Cooling Aloe Spray is not considered safe to use while pregnant or nursing. Consider omitting Peppermint and just using Lavender while pregnant or nursing. The Cooling Aloe Spray should NOT be used on children under 10 years old. Consider substituting Spearmint or just using Lavender for children from ages 2-10. 

19. Sport some cucumbers! Slice a cucumber into rounds or strips to apply to the burn. Its antioxidant and analgesic properties provide great relief to the burned area.

20. Rest is healing! Try incorporating some topical strategies while lying in a dark room with cool air.

What are your favorite ways to protect your skin from the sun, or to heal from over-exposure? Can you add to our list? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Foodie Friday: The 7 Foods You Need in the Bathroom

#FoodieFriday- The 7 Foods You Need in the Bathroom from Beeyoutiful.com

You probably don’t think about body products while you’re picking up groceries for supper. It’s also not common to head for your pantry when you want to wash your face!

Let’s get a little unconventional and explore 7 foods you should have in your bathroom – and why you want them.

#FoodieFriday- The 7 Foods You Need in the Bathroom from Beeyoutiful.com

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Besides its many health benefits, did you know that Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is also an excellent facial toner? Mix a little raw ACV, water and a few drops of lavender essential oil for an easy facial toner that’s soothing and healing.

Raw ACV is also great in a hair rinse. You can skip conditioner and instead rinse your hair with 1 tablespoon of ACV mixed with one cup water. It leaves hair soft, shiny, and with no frizz! Add a single drop of Rosemary Essential Oil to the mix for a lovely scent and to boost the shine even more.

Oats

Your mom might have added oats to the bath when you had chicken pox as a kid, and they still deserve a place in your bathroom today. Oats promote healing and reduce inflammation, making them a great choice for sensitive skin.

You can use ground oats as a gentle, soothing body scrub, or as an everyday face exfoliator. (Just whiz rolled oats in a food processor to make a gritty flour.) For mature or sensitive skin, make a paste of ground oats and milk. Smooth over damp skin, let dry for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Cornmeal

Cornmeal is an inexpensive and effective exfoliant. Mixed with a little honey, it’s a simple body scrub. Many commercial body scrubs contain salt, which is much too harsh for most skin. Cornmeal is soft enough to not damage skin, but still get the job done.

Baking Soda

Add a pinch of Baking Soda to the lather from your cleansing bar to turn it into an exfoliating wash. Rinse well and be sure to follow with a gentle moisturizer.

Raw Honey

If you can only put one food in your bathroom, choose raw honey. Honey can be used to wash your face (yes, really!). It fights breakouts while moisturizing and healing skin, making it the perfect multitasking food for your bathroom. You can also use raw honey to heal cuts and scrapes, fight minor fungal and bacterial infections and much more.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has antifungal, antiparasitic, and antibacterial properties. Consider keeping a little shaker of ground cinnamon handy, and sprinkle a little over your toothbrush each day to harness the power of cinnamon to fight oral bacteria (goodbye, morning breath!).

Sea Salt

While salt isn’t great for scrubbing your skin, it makes an excellent addition to bathwater. A salt bath helps detoxify, re-mineralize the body, and increase circulation, all while contributing to lowered stress levels. Not a bad way to improve your health! Use a mineral-rich natural salt (like dead sea salt or real salt) for best results.

More Than Skin Deep- Spring 2013 Catalog

More than Skin Deep

Solving Problems on the Surface by Healing Inside

Mary Ewing

Mary Ewing Bio Picture 

Beauty may only be skin deep, but problems that show up on the surface often are not. They come from hidden places in the gut and become painful and impossible to ignore on our skin. Yet most conventional treatments offer little hope, with words like “idiopathic” (unknown cause), “lifelong and chronic,” and “no cure.” If you’ve ever sought treatment for skin problems, you’ve likely been offered a steroid cream or ointment to help with discomfort but given little actual help curing the fundamental problem. Doctors often do not even recognize the presence of underlying causes.

Although I’ve experienced a few mild bouts of adult onset acne, my main battle with skin problems has been on behalf of my son. Our sweet Elliot was born six years ago and struggled with stomach issues from the beginning. He eventually developed extreme eczema—to the point that his feet would crack and bleed when he walked. At times, he screamed for hours on end because of the discomfort. A doctor “assured” us this was “hopefully” just a childhood problem he would grow out of but left open the dismal prospect that it could be a lifelong condition. As instructed, we smothered the affected areas with an assortment of creams, all of which included petroleum or steroids, and none of which did a bit of good. It broke our hearts. For almost a year, my husband and I took turns sleeping on an air mattress by Elliot’s bed so we could press on his breakouts to help relieve the pain and “itchies” when he woke up in the night.

Gutting It Out

Studies show that most skin disorders are related primarily to the gut—either with food allergies or intolerances—and/or poor bowel health altogether. This is especially true for those whose bodies have significant yeast overgrowth. When we discovered the skin-gut connection, we began to explore healing through adjustments in Elliot’s diet. Recognizing that healthful eating would benefit the whole family, I made sure our diet included healthy fats, grass-fed and organic meats, and organic vegetables and fruits low in allergens. We started with an elimination diet and found that Elliot’s triggers were corn (he doesn’t seem to react to organic corn, but we still limit it in his diet) and sugar. By eliminating just these two foods, he improved greatly.

We augmented his diet with gut-healing helpers like Tummy Tuneup and Digestive Enzymes at each meal and did a gentle yeast cleanse on him. Elliot took daily servings of coconut oil, and once he could swallow the necessary capsules, we gave him Yeast Assassin Lite. Finally, we started him on cod liver oil every day. At that point, not only did his symptoms disappear, but his skin became softer and less prone to itching.

Meanwhile, Back on the Surface

While the foods and supplements worked on Elliot’s insides, one of the things for which we will be forever grateful is the lotions, astringents, and essential oils that became the daily regimen of relief! (I’ve also seen the benefits in friends suffering with rosacea, psoriasis, and acne.) Using natural treatments like these increased my peace of mind, knowing they didn’t add a toxic burden to Elliot’s already overtaxed system. When people lather up with chemically-based potions, they often pump toxins—such as fragrances, dyes, petroleum, and parabens—into an already stressed body.

As a barrier to the outside world, skin is designed with a waterproof layer—the stratum corneum—which both keeps moisture in and foreign substances out. The problem is that when exposed to water or liquids for a long period of time—like soaking in a bath or using a warm facial—the skin starts opening up and accepting moisture. This also tends to be when we start slathering! So coating ourselves with non-natural products actually infuses these toxins into our bodies.

The other problem with these toxic treatments is that many have a lower molecular weight than water which enables them, even without soaking, to slip through the skin’s protective matrix. Since most chronic skin issues result from toxin overload, “traditional” treatments thereby compound the existing problem. And for teens or adults who suffer from blackheads or acne, it may even exacerbate the situation in the long run because the body’s other detoxification methods—bowels, liver, and kidneys—are already stressed. As a result, the body may turn even more to the skin for detoxification, which can lead to even more acne—a vicious cycle!

So even if the entire gut-healing regimen seems out of reach to you, healing with natural-based lotions, astringents, soaps, and other topical aids can go a long way to reducing the burden on your skin. Let me recommend a few that Beeyoutiful can help you with.

(1)    Astringents

All Beeyoutiful astringents are handmade with organic or wild-crafted herbs, specifically formulated to address acne and other facial problems. They also work well on bug bites and flare ups of eczema. We offer three types—normal, dry, and oily–corresponding to your type skin. All have a base of plantain, calendula, comfrey, rosemary, sage, thyme, and horsetail in alcohol and witch hazel, combined in varying proportions as appropriate to skin type. These herbs help moisturize while they promote healing of damaged skin, cell renewal, and tightening of pores. They also ease itching associated with eczema and bug bites. We suggest applying in both morning and evening, but you can use them as needed for discomfort.

astringent_group

(Tip: Since small flecks of the herbs often get on your cotton pad, the slight residue may leave minute smears on your face. So we astringent cottonsuggest putting the astringent on your cotton pad and then flipping it over and applying it to your skin with the other side. The astringent absorbs through the cotton, but the green flecks don’t. Although the flecks can actually be beneficial to problems you’re treating, you probably don’t want to wear them around all day!)

(2)    Laveshmint Daily Moisturizing Lotion

This lovely, light facial moisturizer has such a wonderful cooling and soothing sensation that it is my go-to daily lotion. This can be especially helpful for itchy, scaly skin associated with eczema and psoriasis, but it also helps calm the flushing and breakouts in skin ailments like rosacea. Aloe and Coconut oil are the primary moisturizers in Laveshmint. Both are natural moisturizers—even safe to take internally—but they also offer healing properties from antimicrobial affects to nourishing the skin as it softens and moistens. In addition, the essential oils, Lavender and Peppermint, are tremendous for the skin! Peppermint’s cool, tingly, refreshing aroma enlivens the skin and stimulates blood flow while it soothes aggravated areas.  Lavender does double duty by decreasing skin irritation, and its healing properties help restore the supple skin that should have been there to begin with.

(3)    Miracle

When a moisturizer isn’t enough, we reach for the miracle in a jar: Miracle Skin Salve. Like Laveshmint, it contains Coconut oil and Lavender but also other natural healing ingredients such as plantain, comfrey, propolis, and Rosemary Essential Oil! Plantain has long been used as a natural and easy-to-find cure for cuts, abrasions, and stings. It works well to heal and promote blood supply in affected areas. Comfrey has anti-inflammatory properties, and it supports the healing of cuts and abrasions. Propolis is well-known for helping skin problems ranging from acne to eczema to psoriasis. Finally, Rosemary Essential Oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties which can be especially helpful with rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema!

(4)    Tea Tree OilTeaTreeEOil

Since many of these conditions have roots in fungal infections, specifically candida, I highly recommend washing the areas with a Tea Tree Oil bath each night. This is not only good for treating the underlying problem if it is fungal, but it prevents microbes from gaining a foothold in or around the affected area. Since problem skin is inflamed and often has abrasions, it is more susceptible to infections or fungal growth. Cleansing with a simple Tea Tree wash—approximately ½ cup of warm water with 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil—and then patting dry can help deter microbial growth for many hours. It has also been known to diminish acne overnight!

(5)    Bamboo Charcoal Unscented Soap and Charcoal Masks

I discovered with Elliot that it is immensely cool to a young boy to smear himself with black soap, but he had no clue that I did not choose the soap for its fun in the tub! It actually helps bind and cleanse the impurities expelled from the skin. This can be especially helpful for those with blemishes and acne, because it serves to draw out toxins the skin is eliminating while reducing redness and swelling. In addition to the soap, a charcoal mask can be used weekly to diminish acne and blackheads. A tutorial video on how to do this is available on the Beeyoutiful website: https://articles.beeyoutiful.com/2011/12/02/1086/

charcoal soap

Like we did with Elliot, the ultimate solution for skin disorders is to treat the internal causes. But reducing the external manifestations can prevent complications such as infections from broken or irritated areas. The goal in our family remains complete, deep healing, but attacking the inner problems from inside and out is the best way to bring back skin-deep beauty and gut-deep health.

 

Charcoal Mask

• 1 spoonful of raw honey

• 1 spoonful of charcoal powder

• 1 tsp of Sweet Almond or Jojoba Oil

• Several drops of Tea Tree, Chamomile or Peppermint Oil

• 1-2 capsules of Bee Strong and Bee Immune

Mix well, and then apply to face (avoid eyes!). Allow to dry as long as desired, and then rinse with water. Wash with your favorite soap or cleanser (natural, please).  Dab problem areas with a small amount of Miracle Skin Salve. Then use the herbal astringent of your choice, and follow up with Laveshmint Daily Facial Moisturizer to complete your routine.

A Breathtaking Tale – Spring 2010 Catalog


A Breathtaking Tale

Abolish Bad Breath, Not Your Smile

Sharon Tallent

SharonTallentBio

As I was working one day, I noticed my customers backing away as I talked about a product in which they appeared interested. As I would move forward a bit to make a point, they would move further away. It was an odd situation. After a while, I started noticing “backing up” behavior with other people in other places as well.

I commented on this to a close friend who apparently knew exactly what was causing the problem: my bad breath! Ouch! I was so embarrassed I wanted to hide. After that, I didn’t want to smile or open my mouth, much less talk to anyone and expose my “dragon breath.” What’s worse, I didn’t know what to do about it because I was already brushing my teeth at least twice daily in addition to using mouth rinse.

Bad Breath from the Inside Out

I started looking into causes of, and solutions for, my quandary. I discovered that digestive problems, as well as allergies that cause tummy_tune_120_1sinus drainage, can produce halitosis (i.e. bad breath). Also, bacteria in the mouth and small particles of food stuck between teeth contribute to this embarrassing problem. This prompted me to try to improve my digestion by eating healthier, avoiding pasteurized milk and cheeses (to help avoid milk allergies) and using digestive aids like Tummy Tuneup. Plus, I began using more products like breath mints, sprays, toothpastes and mouth rinses to help kill bacteria. All of this helped but the battle for pleasant breath seemed unending for me.

Throughout my several years of studying what to do for fresh breath and a healthy mouth, I found out that most major store brands of toothpaste include one or more ingredients which are not good for your teeth or your health-like fluoride. Many clinical studies link fluoride to cancer, fluorosis (which weakens bones and teeth), damage to kidneys and liver, weakening of the immune system, thyroid problems and even lower IQ levels.

This motivated me to check into natural toothpastes. I’ve used several brands over the last few years and have been particularly pleased with Tom’s of Maine, Kiss My Face, and TheraNeem because they contain xylitol. Xylitol provides benefits such as helping to keep teeth strong, reduce plaque and prevent cavities. Recent studies have even shown a 70% to 80% reduction of cavities in children whose mothers consume xylitol while nursing.

I have primarily used TheraNeem toothpaste this past year because it has been the most effective in eliminating bad breath, mouth sores and sensitive gums. And I get even better results when I use TheraNeem mouth rinse every day.

toothpaste_1

The History of Neem

Indian manuscripts dating back several hundred years tell of many medicinal and agricultural benefits of the neem tree-including healing of skin diseases, some internal remedies and acting as an effective insecticide. The US Department of Agriculture began studying neem in the early 1970s for its insect repellent and pesticide qualities. More recent studies in the United States document the effectiveness of neem as an anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent for fighting acne, head lice, scabies, rashes, cold sores and mouth infections.

The evergreen neem tree (adazirachta indica) is native to southern India and can also be found in other areas of the tropics. Neem oil is pressed from seeds of the neem tree and has a rather strong odor, something like a combination of garlic and peanuts. The seeds, leaves and bark of the neem tree are now widely used medicinally, agriculturally and in personal care products like shampoos, skin creams and toothpaste. To learn more about neem, you might want to check out http://www.discoverneem.com.

Smiling Freely AgainSmile

I usually feel comfortable smiling and getting up close to people these days. Besides xylitol and neem, TheraNeem products feature essential oils of peppermint and spearmint for even more breath-freshening. The mouth rinse includes aloe vera to aid in healing. Most of the ingredients in the toothpastes and mouth rinse are certified organic and all are natural. TheraNeem toothpastes are sweetened with sorbitol, xylitol and stevia and licorice, which help with flavor. Because of the bitter flavor of neem oil, it may take a little time to get used to the taste. Knowing how beneficial these products are, coupled with my need to eliminate bad breath, I was encouraged to stick with them long enough so that now I have come to truly enjoy the flavors.

Everyone wants to have good-smelling breath, feel free to smile and get close to people when having conversations. I know I do. When I smile, I feel happy. When I smile at someone else, they smile back and seem to feel better. Smiles brighten up everyone’s countenance.

In addition, my mouth and teeth are healthier now than they have been for a long time. This is especially important to me since my mother had to have dentures by the time she was 50, and another close family member lost his teeth by the time he was 35. Lack of sufficient care played a major role in both cases, but I want to keep my teeth for the rest of my life. It’s part of my plan to live happily ever after.

Good Scents of Balance- Fall 2008 Catalog

by Nancy Webster

Essential Oils Heal the Body and Sooth the Mind

DSC07715_2

Our doctor was mystified twice over. First because he identified the painful rash on my ten-year-old daughter’s chest and neck as shingles-something only old folks are supposed to get. And second, the usually tenacious condition was already going away! “Whatever you’ve been putting on her, keep it up,” he ordered. I’d been slathering my daughter with tea tree oilfor a week. She healed quickly and bears only the slightest scars today.

More recently, a pre-teen foster daughter we hosted for six months routinely suffered emotional meltdowns because of a traumatic childhood. When I blended lavender with other essential oils for her to inhale during an “outbreak,” her mood calmed quickly.

Head lice plagued our friends with six children. Fearing the carcinogenic properties of over-the-counter head lice medicines, they treated everyone’s hair with tea tree oil. The family was quickly, and safely, lice-free.

Testimonies like these offer just a few reasons why I’ve kept essential oils in our medicine cabinet for more than ten years. Produced by the distilling of selected plants, pure essential oils offer potent healing assistance to the body and mind. Essential oils go a step further than regular herbs because they absorb directly into the bloodstream and trigger systems in the brain for emotional well-being.

When in Aroma, Enjoy What the Aromas Do

Perhaps you’ve heard of aromatherapy. While it’s become something of a buzzword, not everything that claims to have aromatherapy qualities actually does what only essential oils can. “Aromatherapy” lotions and candles sold next to pickled eggs and caffeine pills at gas station convenience stores seriously misuse the term just to make a sale. So do many air fresheners, cleaning products, and facial tissues. Most, if not all, of these products use chemical-based, synthetic oils which do not provide health benefits-they can actually be harmful.

True aromatherapy is provided only by pure essential oils. Although your nose may not readily detect the difference, when exposed to the real thing, your brain’s limbic system gears up to help you concentrate better, relax, or perk up your mood, depending on the particular oils you use. In the 14th century, during the Black Death plague, workers in the perfume industry showed a remarkable tendency not to get sick. They were in constant contact with essential oils, the primary source for scents at the time. Essential oils still do the job today.

Here are a few easy ways to capture the healing character of essential oils:

  • Rather than dosing your child with cough and cold medicines, fill a medium-size bowl with boiling water and add a couple of drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil. Let him/her breathe the healing vapors deep into the lungs.
  • Dilute the oils with a carrier like olive or sweet almond oil. Then rub a sick person’s chest, neck, and soles of their feet for an antibiotic effect against germs and viruses.
  • Add a drop of peppermint oil to a glass of water, and drink it to soothe indigestion and nausea.
  • A drop of oregano oil in water swished in the mouth and swallowed helps heal mouth ulcers and sore throats.

Many times, essential oils can be incorporated into things you do anyway, like bathing and washing your hair. Oils make your home smell fresh the healthy way instead of with chemicals. And you can massage sore muscles and tired backs with health-giving oils rather than cheap lotions. Or add essential oils to your natural cleaning and laundry products to give not only a nice smell, but also antibacterial and anti-fungal (mold!) protection.

Oils Take to the Air

One of the easiest and most effective ways to get the full advantage of aromatherapy is to use a diffuser. While you can always put a drop of essential oil on a tissue, cotton ball or even your pillowcase, a diffuser distributes oils through the air so the whole room is purified and every breath brings healing. Beeyoutiful now carries one of the best diffusers available. It works by nebulizing (breaking the oils into separate molecules) before dispersing them into the room. These smaller molecules are more readily absorbed by the lungs, making this the most therapeutic of the diffuser-styles.

Essential oils can be combined to create appealing and complex aromas for specific therapeutic uses. Blending with a targeted purpose is called essential oil synergy. Working together, oils heal more effectively than on their own. Tea tree and lavender oil are often paired, and there are many specific blend recipes available on the internet.

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A Great Start with Oils

Since there are more than a hundred different essential oils, sorting through the nearly countless possibilities for using them can be overwhelming. To help with the selection, Beeyoutiful carries several champions of the essential oil line-up. Eucalyptus, known for opening up bronchial tubes and clearing stuffy noses, has been part of the Beeyoutiful product line almost since the company began. And this fall, four splendid, highly versatile oils have joined the team: lavender, oregano, peppermint, and tea tree oil. To help you maximize your aromatherapy experience, I’ve noted below a quick rundown of what to expect from each.

Lavender-think “fresh.” The purple, gently scented flowers grown in most herb gardens have been used throughout history as a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-depressant, sedative, and de-toxifier. The name comes from the Latin word “lavare”, which means “to wash.” The fresh, clean fragrance is a reminder of lavender’s internal and emotional cleansing attributes. Lavender promotes healing and scar prevention after injury or burns. You’ll want to avoid the fake lavender fragrance now added to many baby skin care products. Use the real thing, and you’ll see your colicky, stressed-out baby relax. While you’re at it, try some on yourself after a rough day of mommy-ing. A lavender massage not only relieves sore muscles and arthritis pain but also menstrual cramps and discomfort from bladder infections. Skin problems like acne, eczema, wrinkles, and sunburn are soothed by lavender.

Oregano-the strong man. Used by folks as far back as the ancient Greeks, oregano is a potent antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic oil, a warrior against germs, Candida, and parasites which contribute to skin infections and digestive problems. Oregano strengthens the immune system. It’s safe for internal use and can zap a sore throat (including strep) in short order. Just gargle and swallow a few times a day for three days. Even the antibiotic-resistant staph. infection MRSA can be treated with oregano oil.

Peppermint-think “perky.” Besides the anti-nausea benefit noted earlier, cool, refreshing peppermint stimulates the mind, increasing mental agility and improving focus. Try peppermint aromatherapy when you’re working on taxes or some other tough project requiring concentration. If you’re feeling down and overwhelmed, a dab of this oil perks up your limbic system to keep you plugging away. Peppermint oil cools the skin, reducing redness and calming irritation and itchiness. Inside, it eases spastic colon and boosts the digestive system. Peppermint breaks up congestion pain from migraines, headaches, sinus, and chest congestion, too.

Tea tree oil-the jack-of-all-trades. This one works for most every sick bug and cleaning need you have. Just don’t swallow it. Made from a tree that grows only on the east coast of Australia, tea tree oil is antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal. Use it for first-aid on cuts, scrapes, and burns-and as a wart remover. Tea tree oil helps control problems as diverse as dandruff, head lice, vaginal yeast infections, jock itch, athlete’s foot, cold sores, and ringworm. And did I mention shingles-and its cousin, chicken pox? Inhaling tea tree oil vapors helps colds and bronchial distress. What’s more, bugs hate tea tree oil, so it makes a great repellent and treatment for insect bites. It even relieves itching caused by poison ivy. Add tea tree oil to your laundry to kill dust mites and for disinfection after sickness. For a great way to avoid toxic cleaners, use tea tree oil mixed with vinegar, borax, and water to get the same cleansing results, and add it straight in your dishwasher or garbage disposal.

The bottom line? For more healing, cleansing, and mind-soothing results than you can count, these oils are essential.

Beeyoutiful Products Mentioned in this Article:

The Skeptic Meets Grapefruit Seed Extract- Summer 2007 Catalog

by Summer Moellergfsc

 

OK, I admit it! I am a skeptic when it comes to “natural” medicine and remedies. I grew up going to doctors when I was sick, taking all kinds of antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs, and generally avoiding herbal remedies and other natural cures. Then my mother began to have health problems and was prescribed many different drugs with side effects. Later, I lived overseas, and my health was compromised. When I became pregnant with my first child, my perspective changed. I began to look into eating more healthfully and searching for ways to treat illness apart from prescription drugs.

I’m still a skeptic-in-therapy, though, so when I heard about the merits of grapefruit seed extract (GSE), I listened with reserve. One of the first articles I found on the Internet disputed all the positive claims of GSE manufacturers and promoters. “Aha!” I thought. However, as I read further (including three different books about GSE), it was hard to dismiss the claims from around the world of GSE’s helpful uses. I also talked to friends who praised it and used it with their families.

 

Fruit with a Fight

In 1980, Dr. Jacob Harich first noticed a unique property of grapefruit seeds: they refused to rot in his compost pile. In fact, experienced composters know it takes citrus fruits up to two years to decompose enough to make suitable compost. Why? God created the grapefruit with powerful germ-inhibiting chemicals.

Dr. Harich’s interest in the grapefruit and its seeds was soon picked up by other researchers. Today many promote GSE as one of nature’s most powerful broad-spectrum, non-toxic antibiotics, antimicrobials, and antifungals. Many tests have been done worldwide with GSE to see how it reacts against different types of bacteria and viruses. In these tests GSE has performed remarkably well. It even out-performed well-known disinfectants commonly used in hospitals. However, few tests have been performed in vivo, that is, on humans; most of the tests were performed in vitro, in laboratories or with animals.

 

What is GSE?

Grapefruit seed extract is derived from the pulp, seeds, and membranes and converted into a highly concentrated, acidic substance. (Manufacturers keep the exact process a secret.) It is then usually mixed with glycerin in differing levels of concentration. Beeyoutiful sells a high-quality, more potent version of GSE (60% GSE/40% glycerin).

 

What are the benefits of using GSE?

Unlike synthetic antibiotics (often produced from petroleum and coal tar), GSE is derived from natural sources. It is non-toxic, broad-spectrum (meaning active against a variety of germs), and has a minimal negative effect on beneficial bacteria (synthetic antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria indiscriminately). When I learned that many synthetic antibiotics were produced from petroleum and coal tar, I was anxious to learn more about grapefruit seed extract. Which would you rather give to your family?!

 

A Doctor Who Promotes GSE

In his book on GSE (see note below), Dr. Alan Sachs talks about ways he has successfully used grapefruit seed extract. One of the most common is to help treat patients dealing with chronic Candida Albicans yeast infections. He tells about a woman who had tried all kinds of traditional antibiotics and whose immune system was weak and no longer responding to the drugs. After a few weeks of initial tiredness (as her body cleansed itself), while continuing to use the grapefruit seed extract, she made a full recovery. He also talks of similar cases with success against parasites, cold sores, intestinal illnesses, and warts. There are other books and articles that document like successes. If you are interested in these resources, contact Beeyoutiful for more information.

 

My Experiments with GSE. . .

As I read the various books and articles, I found a number of ways I could put GSE immediately to work. As mentioned earlier, GSE, according to Allan Sach’s book, (see note below) outperformed many commercial and common disinfectants in laboratory tests. Of course I didn’t have the means of testing it scientifically in my own home; however, I did mix up a batch of water/GSE to use to spray down and clean my kitchen and bathroom. I liked the idea that I was using a non-toxic cleanser, rather than chemicals.

I also used it to wash some fruit. I didn’t notice any difference in the shelf life of the fruit that had been rinsed with GSE vs. plain water, but, again, I liked the idea that I was using something natural rather than the unnatural and unhealthy ingredients in detergent to wash them off.

I gargled with GSE for a sore throat I felt coming on (which went away). My husband was also pleasantly surprised to find his sore throat, which he says “always” means he’s about to get sick, went away after gargling with GSE. I put a drop on my toothpaste as I brushed my teeth and then gargled with it afterwards. (I had read that GSE was extremely bitter, but it didn’t seem to bother me.) I also added a few drops of GSE every time I refilled our water filter pitcher. (It has a nasty habit of growing green, slimy stuff inside.) Check out the sidebars for more specific directions and other ideas I liked. I plan to test it the next time I find mold in my house. (It’s the only time I’ve been disappointed that I couldn’t find any!) I’m also mixing a few drops into juice and giving it to my husband to see if it helps him with the stomach problems he’s had since being overseas.

 

How Else Can GSEBe Used?

There are a multitude of ideas for using GSE in your family and home. Here are a few:
Medicinally:

  • As a gargle for sore throats
  • When traveling (especially overseas), as a precaution against parasites
  • As a spray for athletes foot
  • As a mouthwash

• Mixed with shampoo to treat eczema or dandruff
In the Home:

  • Put a few drops in your humidifier to inhibit mold growth
  • Add to dishwater to sanitize
  • Spray on houseplants to prevent mold (one book recommended GSE spray against aphids)

• Add drops to baby wipes to make antibacterial hand wipes

These are just a few ideas. There are many more available on the Internet and in books. When using “recipes” for GSE, make sure you check the concentration of the GSE in the recipe. Keep in mind that Beeyoutiful sells a higher concentration GSE than many other brands.

 

Precautions When Using GSEtummy_tune_120_1

It is wise to take probiotics, such as Tummy Tuneup, or eat yogurt with active cultures if you take GSE internally for an extended period of time. Never use GSE undiluted or in the eyes; it could cause severe irritation. Remember it is acidic! It hasn’t been tested for its effects on pregnancy, so use it cautiously if you are pregnant.

 

The Skeptic’s Conclusions . . .

As with any drug, herb, or treatment, I believe the responsibility lies with each of us individually to educate ourselves and to make our own informed healthcare decisions. Too often I tend to follow traditional medical advice without being fully aware of all the possible effects.

As a skeptic-in-therapy, I’ll be performing more of my own experiments with GSE and seeing how it can best meet the needs of my family, but I have been impressed enough with the potential GSE shows to make it a part of my medicine cabinet. Check out the forums  for others who are doing the same!

Beeyoutiful Products Mentioned in this Article:

 

~ Summer Moeller jots from the end of a dirt road with her husband and daughter (soon to be, two daughters!) in Whitesburg, GA.

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