Some bugs you want on your face.

Some bugs are good on your face. Others, not so good.

On its own, the oil (sebum) we secrete through our skin has no antiseptic power. We need helpful bugs to convert it into antiseptic fatty acids.  Without them, we are exposed to invasion by harmful bacteria and fungi, and we can suffer breakouts and worse.

When we deplete our natural oils, the good bugs don’t have anything to work with. This can happen naturally, as we produce less sebum over time. We can also deplete our natural oils by dissolving them with products that contain alcohol and other harsh ingredients. That’s one of the ways extra dry skin develops.

Coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and palm oil are all treated the same way as sebum by beneficial bacteria that live on our skin. They are broken down into fatty acids that protect our skin from marauders. It’s one of the reasons these oils are so healing. And that’s why I use them on my skin and in my products.

This is in addition to their moisturizing and softening benefits. Quite a deal, really.

More about the difference bacteria can make to your skin.

Tea, The Great Brain Booster

I’ve always enjoyed drinking tea.   Tea is definitely stimulating, of course.  But I never feel wired from it, like I do if I drink coffee. Somehow, it seems more complex and relaxing than coffee. I’ve never quite known what to call it. Today’s Science News calls the effect from tea “wakeful relaxation.” Yes!  That’s exactly how I feel – more awake and more relaxed at the same time. Perfect.

It turns out tea has more in it for boosting your brain than just caffeine…

Tea, which people worldwide drink more of than any other beverage except water, is a major dietary source of caffeine. Unlike coffee, it contains another potentially powerful ingredient for brain activity: L-theanine, an amino acid that can alter alpha brain wave rhythms, inducing wakeful relaxation. Science News

Tea has been found to increase executive function, which is defined as “the ability to perform complex tasks that rely on planning or decision making.” That’s quite a bonus for a drink that’s just packed with health and beauty benefits.

You can read about other ways to boost your brain in the Science News post. I’ve decided to put the kettle on.

Cook With Coconut Oil And Lose Weight

Coconut oil can help you to lose weight.  Studies have shown these weight loss benefits of cooking with coconut oil…

  • When you eat coconut oil, your metabolic rate gets a boost for 24 hours, so you burn more calories even while you are sleeping. That’s huge in the weight loss department.
  • You get instant energy when you eat it. Unlike vegetable oils and other fats, coconut oil is converted right away into energy just like when you eat carbs – except it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar. So you get energy without the come-down. People find it helps with sugar cravings and hypoglycemic symptoms that cause them to eat carbs and go up and down on the blood sugar roller-coaster.
  • Coconut oil supports thyroid activity, while vegetable oils suppress it. You’re more likely to be active if your thyroid is ticking along nicely.
  • Coconut oil has fewer calories per gram than vegetable oils.

The trick is to use coconut oil in your cooking. Research has shown it really helps people to lose weight. And that’s just one of the health benefits of coconut oil. If inspiration strikes, here’s a recipe for amazing, 5-minute chocolate coconut macaroons (just for special occasions if your goal is to lose weight).

Meanwhile, if you want to keep cooking with your favorite vegetable oil, I encourage you to use cold pressed oil.

Eat Chocolate, It’s Good For Your Heart

Last week, I asked Is Chocolate Your Language Of Love? A report in today’s Science Daily takes our heart relationship with chocolate to a whole other level – and it’s all good.

It turns out chocolate’s main ingredient, cocoa, boosts production of HDL, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart disease.

Credit for those heart-healthy effects goes to a cadre of antioxidant compounds in cocoa called polyphenols, which are particularly abundant in dark chocolate. Until now, however, nobody knew exactly how the polyphenols in cocoa orchestrated those beneficial effects. Science Daily

Gotta love that chocolate!

Removing Makeup With Coconut Oil

Coconut oil for removing makeupCoconut oil is ideal for removing makeup. It  will dissolve your makeup and moisturize your skin at the same time, plus it delivers anti-aging benefits that your skin will just love. Quite a difference from the way soaps and detergents work! Plus it costs a fraction of their price.

Skin care can be really simple. It is just a matter of using the right products. Natural products are packed with complex chemistry that will nurture and beautify your skin. Yet they are so simple to use. Coconut oil is a prime example:  you can use it to remove your makeup and while, you do so, it will help to clear your complexion, fight off wrinkles, and keep infections at bayall in one easy step.

Here is how to use coconut oil for removing makeup…

Coconut oil makes an excellent natural makeup and mascara remover. No need to use petroleum-based mineral oils or expensive makeup removers. Just dab a little coconut oil on your hands and rub it onto your face. Wipe off the excess oil and makeup with a paper tissue and wash your face with bath soap. Your face will look fresh and clean. You may want to apply a thin layer of coconut oil after washing with soap and water to moisturize and soften the skin.  Makeup Tips & Tutorials

using coconut oil for removing makeupCoconut oil is one of the very best things you can put onto your skin.  It is packed with easy-to-absorb, anti-aging compounds that reduce wrinkles and sagging, clear blemishes and liver spots, and restore the pH balance of your skin so you become less prone to breakouts.  Removing makeup with coconut oil makes a lot of sense..

If you read more about the beauty benefits of coconut oil, you will see why at Gaelle Organic we include it in all of our products for rejuvenating dry skin.

Reducing Liver Spots

There’s a good article in skincareihub about how to use aloe vera to get rid of age spots, or “liver spots.”  They are signs that free radical damage is accumulating in the body. The blemishes on the skin are where we can see the effects most clearly.

Antioxidants are the solution to free radicals.

For the skin, aloe vera is a good way to treat them. It is rich in antioxidants. The skincarihub post has helpful details on the best way to use aloe vera as a home remedy.

Another option is to use coconut oil.  It also contains antioxidants that can prevent and reduce liver spots and other blemishes. Plus it has powerful antimicrobial properties that can help to reduce breakouts. You can rub coconut oil directly into your skin (it absorbs very well), and you can cook with it and give your whole body an anti-aging boost.

I use aloe vera and coconut oil in my products.  I would not be without them.

A Good Sauna For The Home

There’s a good post today in Bien-Etre about the benefits of infrared light and saunas.

I use an infra-red sauna most days.  I find it very relaxing, and great for my skin.  The beauty of infra-red saunas is that they start working the moment you turn them on. There is no need to wait while the room warms up, and they don’t cost much to operate, plus you can put them more or less anywhere there is an electric outlet.

You can find affordable infrared saunas on eBay, if you are interested.

The Beauty Benefits Of Calendula

Today’s Personal Care blog highlights calendula, an herb used traditionally for skin care and healing.  Modern research has shown that calendula is rich in carotenoids (vitamin A) and oil-soluble sterols that help to heal chapped and irritated skin, as well as plump up and thicken the skin.

I use calendula cream on wounds and burns, and infuse it into an oil that goes into my moisturizer and exfoliant. I wouldn’t be without it.

You can read more about calendula’s healing and skin care benefits at the excellent Personal Care blog – a reliable source of fact-based information about the products we use, and their ingredients.

Is “Eating Yourself Beautiful” The Next Celebrity Trend?

It’s always good to see the connection being made between diet and beauty.

Stunning Pan-Asian restaurant Gilgamesh has therefore created an entire ‘Eat Yourself Beautiful’ menu dedicated to improving not only your health, but your appearance. An example of dishes that will be on the menu include Collagen Inside Out Dumpling or Collagen Bento Box of Chargrilled Salmon, Black Sushi Rice, Mixed Leaves, Tomato & Onion Dressing and Collagen Goji Berry Sorbet, Sugarless Milk Ice. All of the dishes on the à la carte menu contain edible collagen which has been claimed to improve one’s skin and health.  The Handbook

Of course, there is no need to go to exotic restaurants and pay their prices to get food that is great for your body and your skin.  Take a look at these beauty foods, for instance. They can all be incorporated easily  into your diet, and they don’t take any extra time to prepare.

Is Chocolate Your Language Of Love?

No need to worry about eating chocolate from time to time.  I just love it.  There was a time when it was blamed for skin eruptions and was said to be not so healthy, but we’ve learned better.

The Essential U has this, and a whole lot more, to say today about chocolate…

I believe that there is one Universal and International truth: chocolate is pure heaven for women and just another food for most men. You can watch a woman melt into the experience of a piece of chocolate. Her shoulders relax and her eyes roll back and close, as she fully experiences her chocolate with a smile from ear to ear. It is like the world vanishes and peace engulfs the woman. I have watched stress, hurt, frustration and worry dissolve from the very frame of woman when she bites into a piece of chocolate. On the other hand watching a man eat chocolate is a disgrace. They chew the divine chocolate as if they do not even notice that heaven itself has brought them this gift.

To find out how good chocolate can be for us, read the rest of the post at Essential U.

Simple Care, Luminous Skin