New Mom Or Mommie-To-Be?

10527508_577699322341034_1262692141597048527_nAmanda Reade writes about being glamorous while becoming a mom.

She covers all things beauty – natural and organic – for you and your baby.

She knows how much time it takes to find the best, safe products and shares her experience with them and her daily life as a new mom.

She writes in her blog…

“I know that not everyone has that time, so I want to share those products, tips and deals. I also want to share things I wish I’d known and what I’ve learned on this new journey – all in hopes that it may help other mommies/mommies-to-be in deciding what to buy or choices to make (or NOT make). Or if anything, they can get a good laugh or shed a similar tear.”

If you are a new mom or mommie-to-be, you can learn from Amanda’s journey by following her blog – Sparkles and Spitup – which says it all!


Hydration is an Inside Job, Totally!

You hydrate your skin the same way as you hydrate the other organs of your body, by drinking water. Nothing else will do it.

Putting products onto your skin is not going to hydrate your skin. It’s like splashing water onto your face and thinking you are hydrating because your skin gets wet.

River Itchen, Winchester

River Itchen, Winchester

A good moisturizer will help you retain the water you have drunk and will give you added protection against environmental stressors, and will deliver antioxidants and other compounds to keep your skin healthy and slow or reverse the appearance of aging. But it will not “hydrate” your skin.

Nothing but consuming good fluids will hydrate your skin.

This is part of the larger point that, for beautiful skin, we need to pay as much attention to the inside as to the outside.

In their excellent article, Holistic Skin Care – Healthy Skin From The Inside Out, WomentoWomen say “ the aging you see in your skin is biological, not chronological, and can be delayed or even reversed with a holistic, natural approach that includes optimal diet, lifestyle and product choices.” The article goes into the details of what to do to make that a reality for you and is well worth a read.

The truth is, beautiful skin is simple and improvements can be fast and dramatic when we align with nature.

Help With Large Or Clogged Pores

If you have large or clogged pores, you already know the problems they cause.
These 3 practices will clear your pores and restore your skin’s natural beauty.

1. Steam Your Pores

Whenever your pores become clogged, steam them by leaning over a bowl of boiling water. Let the steam rise up to your face and flush your pores. When you finish steaming, let your face cool and dab on a facial toner with a cotton ball, letting it dry on your skin.

2. Use A Facial Toner

Toner Superieure

Every day after cleansing, minimize your pores with a facial toner made from astringent botanical extracts. The astringents will cause your skin to tighten and your pores to contract.

Many botanical extracts contain powerful antioxidants and antimicrobials that will help to prevent breakouts.

The best ones for minimizing pores are witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, rose water, aloe vera juice and  green tea. The extracts of cucumber, calendula, elderflower and mint have a calming influence. You can learn more about these ingredients by clicking here.

Alcohol-free toners are best, especially if you have dry skin or sensitive skin.

Toner Supérieure is a pore refiner for all skin types made from nine botanicals that reduce large pores and prevent them from becoming clogged.You can learn more about using facial toners by clicking here.

3. Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliant SuperieureLarge pores benefit from exfoliation. Exfoliate twice a week for 30 seconds. It will remove dead skin cells and deeply clean the pores.

Your skin will glow after you exfoliate.

Exfoliant Supérieure uses finely-milled sea salt to exfoliate and clean the pores. Its willow bark extract  provides the same skin cell renewal benefits as salicylic acid, but without the irritation and sun sensitivity drawbacks. 

You can learn more about exfoliating by clicking here.

These 3 routines will clear clogged pores, minimize large pores, and give you smoother, healthier skin with reduced breakouts. Your skin will love it!


Better Consumer Protection For Skincare Products

Gaelle Organic Products

All of Gaelle Organic’s products were recently registered for sale in the European Union. Going through the registration process showed us how much better consumer protections for skincare products are in the EU than in the United States.

  • Each product had to be examined and approved by a third party chemist.
  • The formulas were analyzed to make sure they contained no known toxins.
  • Each product was tested for how well its preservatives performed when deliberately contaminated by bacteria, mold and yeast.
  • Scientific evidence had to be submitted to substantiate every benefit claimed on the label. 
  • Every ingredient had to be listed on the label, no matter how minimal the amount present.

Failure to satisfy any of these requirements meant the product could not be entered into the EU’s registry of approved products and could not be put onto the shelves of European stores.

We believe the United States has a lot to learn from these regulations.

We were told that 50% of US products tested in Europe fail the preservative safety test – meaning they will not resist common contaminants. Yet they are on sale in the United States. US manufacturers are allowed to hide chemicals they do not want consumers to know about under a made-up ingredient called “fragrance”  and then the product can be claimed to be “natural” or “pure.” 

Not to go on about it, but it does looks like, in Europe, governments are protecting consumers, while in the United States, not so much.

Don’t Let Bottled Water Stay Warm

A new study from the University of Florida has found that if bottled water is stored in too warm a place (like your car), it can cause BPA and other chemicals to leech from the plastic into the water. The study was based on prolonged exposure to high temperature, not just an afternoon in the sun, and the amounts of BPA are not enough to make a couple of bottles of water a danger. But if you keep bottled water in a hot garage through the summer, you may want to think about rotating it every couple of weeks.

There’s a movement on college campuses away from bottled water. Students question the wisdom of bottling and shipping water, with all its environmental costs. versus having it delivered through the faucet. They also believe that tap water, regulated by the EPA, is less likely to be contaminated than bottled water, which is regulated by the FDA. So they are mounting campaigns to discourage bottled water use on campus.

Whatever the EPA may be doing, the water delivered by our water company does not taste great. I would not drink it without filtering.

We have a heavy duty carbon filter outside the house that treats all the water on its way in. Most everyone in the neighbourhood has the same. The filter is changed every week by a service company. Then, before it comes out of the faucet, we run it through a reverse osmosis filter under the sink.

Like the students advocate, I fill a canteen with tap water when I’m on the go – no plastic bottles involved. But unlike them, I’m not at all confident that unfiltered water from the tap is good enough to drink.

Finding A Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin

soap_superieure_rose_geranium__27255.1405373471.388.550In her recent blog post about bar soap for sensitive skin, Buy This, Not That!, Barbara Messina shows just how misleading labels can be, and how important it is to look closely at the ingredients products contain, no matter how “pure” or “natural” they claim to be. Amen to that. Her look at Ivory soap is a revelation.

Bar soap for sensitive skin (actually everything we use on our skin) should be free of “fragrance” and other harsh chemicals, but, in my experience, products do not have to be unscented to be suitable for sensitive skin. It’s just a matter of finding natural scents that work with your skin.

For example, I make a bar soap called Soap Superieure that is scented with the organic essential oil of rose geranium. It fills my bathroom with a delightful aroma every time I use it, and it is very gentle.

And there is another factor to consider. I find that many soaps can be too drying, even if they are truly pure.  So, as well as having a lovely scent, I gave this soap a rich, creamy feel, due to the amount of organic oils it contains, even after conversion to soap. That makes it a better choice for dry skin, as well as sensitive skin, conditions that often go together.

For dry sensitive skin, look for a soap that is non-drying, as well as free of toxic chemicals. And I would never throw out the scent with the bath water!

Organic? You still need to read the ingredients.

Just because a product is “organic” doesn’t mean it is good for you. Gabriella Boston’s article in today’s Washington Post  points out that products can be organic and still contain large amounts of things that don’t do us much good – like sugar – and that if we do not pay attention to the ingredient list on the label, and become complacent because a product is “organic,” we could be missing the larger point – that it contains ingredients we are better off without. bigstock-Kale-And-Juice-32151686

This applies especially to skincare. For example, one of the very few effective preservatives permitted by the USDA’s Organic Standard is alcohol, and alcohol has to make up about 14% of a product’s content for it to work as a preservative. Just because it is organic alcohol does not make it good for skin, especially dry skin. So, like sugar in organic food products, there can be ingredients in organic skincare products that we would be better off without. Paying attention to ingredients remains key, whether a product is “organic” or not.

(You can read the Washington Post article by clicking here, or on the image above.)

Ojai – Our Home Town

Nice piece on CNN about Ojai, our home town. They call it a “nouveau hippy utopia.” You can see the article by clicking on the picture below (it’s a view towards the ocean from Meditation Mount, at the head of the Ojai Valley).


Aside from the hippy-hype, Ojai’s a lovely place to live. It’s beautiful, warm, and has a truly friendly community – just like most small towns in America. I don’t think we notice how really friendly we Americans are. It’s just more obvious in smaller communities, where there isn’t so much bustle.

Anti-Aging Guide

For best results, all the products you put onto your skin should be packed with anti-aging ingredients, including the cleanser, toner, exfoliant, and moisturizer you use every day, and any other products you use for special treatments.

This Anti-Aging Guide is an easy way to learn about which ones work best so you will know what to look for in the products you buy.

Anti-Aging Guide

When you look at ingredient lists (and this is a key – don’t just rely on the “natural” claims on the packaging), check for the ingredients in this Anti-Aging Guide and avoid products that have a whole lot of other stuff in them. You are likely buying fillers or worse.

 Anti-aging is not for special occasions or exotic treatments. It works when you take good care of your skin every day with high quality natural products. And the good news – it’s simple and easy, and the results are fabulous!

Sex Appeal Boosters

Turns out we are more attracted to faces that glow naturally from eating fruits and vegetables than we are to sun-tanned faces. This is according to 3 scientific studies published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Sex Appeal

This reinforces an earlier study we wrote about that found people who eat plenty of fresh produce have a more attractive complexion, due to the carotinoids in their diet – carotinoids are what give fruits and vegetables their vivid colors.

So if you are thinking of using a sun-bed this winter, think again! You’d be better off in every way if you ate more fruits and vegetables. 

Simple Care, Luminous Skin