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4 Perfectly Pure Summer Beauty Products for an Effortless Yet Polished Look

If ever there is a month where you can bare it all, it’s August. Sultry, steamy and HOT; the look is “Effortless Yet Polished”. Here are 4 divine delights to add to your late summer toolkit to get the look now.

Sibu Sea Berry Therapy Exfoliating Face & Body Scrub deep cleans pores, removes dead, surface cells for a radiant shine down the line (try it on your legs for the runway model shin shine). Sustainably sourced Turkestanica Sea Berry is the star ingredient in the SIBU line. Containing over 190 bioactive compounds it thrives in the Himalayan Highlands, and is an unsurpassed source of hard to find Omega 7. I use it as an all over scrub a few times a week. A little goes a long way.

Photo courtesy of Sibu

Herbivore Bontanicals Lapis Facial Oil contains Azulene from Blue Tansy, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial that reduces redness and clarifies the complexion. Jasmine and rose give this premium oil a delightfully divine scent. Add a few drops to your AM Sun Protection and kiss redness goodbye!

Photo courtesy Herbivore Botanicals

Ecco Bella Vitamin E Lip Soothers' concentrated core of Vitamin E and tocotrienols delivers and locks in extra moisture to keep lips smooth and soft for hours. In 4 flattering colors to enhance every skin tone plus clear. Soothers pair perfectly with their Soft Eyeliner Pencils. Ecco Bella, a pioneer in the Organic Beauty Industry, has long created high quality, affordable beauty products. I bought them for the first time when I was 12 and working with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Photo courtesy Ecco Bella

Kjaer Weis Mascara creates incredible volume and length with no clumping. The revolutionary line formulated by Kirsten Kjaer Weis, a Danish born Hollywood makeup artist, whose work has been featured on countless magazine covers, is changing the mainstream perception of the organic beauty industry one application at a time.

Image courtesy Kjaer Weis Mascara

Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook and Instagram.

“All-Natural” Personal Care Products to Avoid: Burt’s Bees Lotion

Over the past few years, I’ve been working to reduce the number of skin- and personal-care products I use on a daily basis, and transitioning to natural products whenever possible. It’s been hit-or-miss on occasion, but with a little trial and error I have been able to find quality alternatives that meet my needs.

Since I’ve been a fan of Burt’s Bees lip balms over the years, I thought trying out a few of their other products would be a good place to start. My primary needs for a good lotion are that it’s non-greasy and water-based, the latter of which is harder to find than you might think. Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive lotion met both requirements, but left me very disappointed and itchy…keep reading to find out why.

Burt's Bees Body Lotion

Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive Body Lotion (Aloe & Buttermilk)

Burt’s Bees is widely available at big box retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Target. Although Burt’s handcrafted lip balms have been popular for quite some time, the company was purchased by Clorox in 2007 and has been adding new items to their product line ever since. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database ranks this particular lotion 5 out of 10 on its safety scale (moderate risk).

Ingredients of Concern

Fragrance: Commonly found in most personal care products, fragrance—may also be listed as parfum or perfume—is a mixture of unnamed chemicals, often containing phthalates. Fragrance is by far the most hazardous ingredient (scoring 8 out of 10) in this product, as it may contribute to allergies, skin irritation and respiratory disease.

Phenoxyethanol: This ingredient ranks 4 out of 10 (moderate risk) and is used as a preservative in moisturizers, sunscreens, deodorants and several makeup products to reduce the chances of bacterial growth. Skin exposure to products containing as little as 1 percent of phenoxyethanol may cause eczema, hives or other skin irritation in the area of application.

Lactic Acid: Also scoring a 4 out 10 on Skin Deep’s hazard scale (moderate risk), lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) used to in skin care products to reduce the occurrence of breakouts and signs of aging. Although lactic acid and other AHAs are decent exfoliators, they leave our skin more vulnerable to sun damage, increasing the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

Burt’s Bees Soothingly Sensitive lotion is also populated by a host of plant extracts, including aloe which may cause developmental and/or reproductive issues. Many of the plant extracts received hazard scores of 1, with little to no data to suggest they pose any risk to human health.

As we become a more health-conscious society, limiting the number of toxins in our homes has become a larger priority. Personal care routines shouldn’t be an exception, even though simplifying these routines isn’t always easy—trust me, I know—it’s well worth it in the end.

3 Tips to Get Glowing Skin Naturally

Every season offers its own set of benefits and challenges to our skin—in summer, it’s the drying sun and breakout-causing sweat, not to mention the deluge of toxins our bodies fight every day. Fortunately, it’s easy to use simple, natural recipes to bolster the brightness and clarity of our complexions. These recipes were provided by the skin experts at Derma-E,  whose extensive line of natural skin care products offers healthy solutions for just about any complexion.

Photo by Fotolia

1.  The get-your-glow-on natural detox drink:

Don’t let the summer heat wreak havoc on you skin.  Keep hydrated, detox, and keep skin clear and glowing with this amazing natural DIY detox water.

Shopping List:

12 mint leaves –  Great for digestion, and adds a fresh crisp taste

1 medium cucumber – Excellent source of hydration, and has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties

1 medium sized lemon – ”The detox queen” with abundant detoxification properties & helps cleanse and neutralize acids in the body

• Cut up cucumber & lemon in thin slices, scrunch up mint leaves, add into pitcher and fill with water
• Refrigerate over-night
• Enjoy in the morning for a refreshing treat that tastes great and keeps skin clear and radiant.

Photo by Fotolia

2. The oh-so-easy charcoal soap

Toxins are everywhere and they have tons of negative effects on our skin.  Neutralize these nasties with this easy to make recipe, which is especially great for oily and acne-prone skin.

Shopping List:

15 drops tea tree essential oil 

1 lb shea butter soap base

5 activated charcoal capsules (buy at your local pharmacy or online)

• Melt shea butter, add tea tree oil & charcoal, mix together, and let cool down.
• Store in a lidded jar for up to two weeks.
•To use, simply massage onto wet face in a circular motion, then rinse.
•Use daily.

Photo by Fotolia

3. Get Your Radiance On

The summer sun can really take its toll on your skin.  The main concern:  it dehydrates, making your complexion oh-so-dull.  This easy handmade mask will help reverse sun damage while adding a radiant glow.

Shopping List:

½ teaspoon finely ground coffee beansrich source of antioxidants, fights free radicals, helps reverse the damage caused by UV rays, and increases your production of collagen.  Wow!

½ teaspoon coconut oilAlso loaded with antioxidants, deeply nourishing to your skin, and naturally antibacterial, making it great for all skin types, especially oily & acne prone skin.

• Mix together and apply to your face using circular motions. 
• Avoid sensitive areas like your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Leave on for at least 15 minutes and up to a full hour.
• Rinse off with warm water and enjoy glowing skin!

Photo courtesy Derma-e

For more great summer detox choices we recommend the DERMA E Purifying collection, with 6 deep detoxing products perfect for naturally drawing out toxins, replenishing nutrients, and restoring radiance.

3 Sustainable, Travel-Friendly Beauty Products

Whether you are packing for an island adventure, a weekend camping trip or a five star hotel, the general trend for summer is:

Travel more. Sleep less. Keep beauty basic.

For brilliance on the go, these three beauty essentials will be your new summer besties.

Coola facial sunscreen 

COOLA Cucumber Face SPF 30 Matte Finish is no fair weather friend. Lightweight, TSA-approved, and water resistant up to 40 minutes, it comes with me on the most trying adventures! Rose hip seed oil, vitamin C, omega 3 and gamma linolenic acid improve elasticity and make this formula one of my favorite easy-to-wear and -pack, natural facial sunscreens.

Neal's Yard Remedies Rose Beauty Balm 

Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm is equally at home at a five-star hotel as it is in a tent. This shape-shifting, nourishing balm is an all-in-one makeup remover, dry skin mask, gentle exfoliant and cuticle rescue cream. It contains rosa canina fruit oil, shea butter, beeswax, cannabis sativa seed oil, borage and boswellia oil. And its sturdy packaging—a thick, reusable cobalt glass jar—means you can knock it around some without fear of breakage.

Kypris night serum 

Kypris Moonlight Catalyst is like a cooling, hydrating magickal dew. Created with organic, wildcrafted and sustainably-sourced plants, it enhances and refines the complexion while you sleep! Stellar ingredients, such as fermented pumpkin enzymes, gently exfoliate and reduce the effects of an inflammatory-inducing lifestyle (sun, iced mocha lattes, wine). Hawaiian sea algae deeply hydrates, extracts of rose hip and sea buckthorn oil deliver essential fatty acids (EFAs) and phytonutrients.

It comes in a reusable lapis blue dropper bottle with artwork so pretty it reminds me of ancient castles. “Some things are best done under the moon & stars.” Note: This product is only to be used at night.

Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, offers deep healing through loving touch and compassionate counsel. She is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook and Instagram!

Recommended Products for Troubled Skin

girl with sun hat

Photo by iStock

The middle of summer means we’re spending lots of time outdoors, whether it’s in the garden, camping or simply relaxing on the porch. Plenty of commercial products aim to keep us bite- and blemish-free, but they often achieve these goals with iffy ingredients. Take care of yourself naturally this summer with allergen- and fragrance-free personal-care products.

1. Naturally Dry

Nourish Organic Deodorant

Made for sensitive underarms, Nourish Organic’s fresh and dry deodorant uses coconut oil, beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter to keep you feeling fresh. The Pure Unscented variety is both cruelty- and fragrance-free.

Buy Nourish Organic deodorant: $10

Photo courtesy Nourish Organic



2. All-Ages Hair Care

Everyone Shampoo

Give dry hair the sulfate-free clean it deserves with EO’s Everyone Hair Nourish shampoo. Quinoa protein and coconut extract bind in moisture and give overworked hair a royal treatment. It’s fragrance-free and suitable for all hair types.

Buy EO shampoo: $13

Photo courtesy EO




3. Fix Follicles

Adore Botanicals

Specially developed to heal and protect a sensitive scalp, Adore Botanicals Flourishing Scalp Nectar contains argan, jojoba and rosehip oil along with a signature botanical blend, helping prevent everything from dandruff and psoriasis to split ends.

Buy Adore Botanicals scalp nectar: $10

Photo courtesy Adore Botanicals





4. Intensive Nourishment


Made with organic beeswax, antioxidant-rich oils and scented with sandalwood and ylang ylang, Badger Body Care’s Argan Beauty Balm is a nourishing treatment for face, neck, hands and undereye areas. It’s highly moisturizing yet easily absorbed with no greasy residue.

Buy Badger beauty balm: $15

Photo courtesy Badger


5. Baby Smooth

California Baby Eczema Cream

This botanically based eczema cream protects and heals cracked and irritated skin without the sulfates that can dry or irritate already-sensitive skin. On top of that, the product is allergy tested and suitable for all skin types, from babies to adults.

Buy California Baby eczema cream: $32

Photo courtesy California Baby




6. Repair and Renew


Sea Buckthorn oil is a powerful source of healthy omega fatty acids, including omega-7, which is vital to producing collagen. Its naturally antimicrobial, antibacterial and repairing properties help soothe inflamed and troublesome areas, diminish blemishes and reduce redness and discoloration.

Buy SIBU oil: $20

Photo courtesy SIBU



7. Positively Pampering

Poppy and Someday

If you’re looking to treat yourself, try this luxurious organic face oil. Poppy and Someday’s Neroli Blossom Serum is high in fatty acids and its organic essential oil blend is designed to provide positive energy and an intoxicating, all-natural fragrance.

Buy Poppy and Someday serum: $45

Photo courtesy Poppy and Someday

Summer Beauty: Skin-Care Tips for Healthy, Glowing Skin

We all look healthier and more attractive with a little color on our faces and bodies. But the sun is no joke and skincare in the summer needs to be taken seriously, as damaging UV rays are at their strongest and most harmful.

"Fall, winter, and spring account for around 20 percent of the [UV] exposure that we have," says Ron Shelton, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "Yet, the the bulk of the sun damage happens in summer."

summer fun 

That doesn’t mean you should stay indoors: just play it smart! There are BBQs to attend, block parties to host, oceans and rivers to play in, mountains to climb, bikes to pedal, trails to run, and all manner of outdoor activities that keep us outside for hours at a time.

Here are six key tips—and a few great products—that will keep your skin healthy, safe and glowing all summer long.

Plan activities during “off peak” sun hours—before 10am and after 2pm, depending on your location. You should never just lie around sunbathing for color; that’s called cooking yourself. I know some women who did that when they were young and now look a lot older than they actually are, and some have had melanomas removed, too. Never intentionally allow yourself to burn!

hydrating skin care

Hydrate & tone. Hydrosol misters are beauty essentials in summer. These multitasking gems protect skin by allowing moisturizer and sun protection to penetrate deeper, stay longer and work better. Misters also balance pH levels, unclog pores and they are super-refreshing when you feel overheated, irritable or tired.

A few of my favorite hydrating mists are Herbivore Botanicals After Sun Spray, with aloe, mint, lavender and witch hazel, because it’s great for combination skin and after-sun care. Odylique Calming Rose Super Tonic, with rose oil and calendula, which I love for drier or more mature skin. Jane Iredale Pomm Mist, with pomegranate, aloe, white tea leaf, olive leaf, and radish, is great for oily, combination and acne prone skin types. Mukti Organics Rose Blossom Hydrating Mist Toner, with kakadu plum, kangaroo paw and snow flower, is wonderful for mature, dry and sun damaged skin. You can also make your own mist with purified water, a little aloe juice, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils.

Moisturize, liberally, with SPF15+ daily. SPF15 deflects 93 percent of the sun’s burning rays, whereas SPF30 deflects 97percent, reports the American Academy of Dermatology. Oily, combination and acne prone skin types should try Jane Iredale's Powder Me Dry Sunscreen. It’s water-resistant for up to thirty minutes and comes in translucent, golden and tanned. My teenage daughter loves this one. Since I have dry skin, I prefer to use a lotion because powders absorb oil and cling to smile lines, causing them to appear deeper.

If you are going to the beach, boating or will be outside all day, liberally apply SPF30 all over your body! Wear or bring long sleeves, a hat, sunglasses, and/or an umbrella.

Jane Iredale hands, lips, feet

Protect lips, hands and feet. Protect the delicate skin of your lips with Jane Iredale's SPF15 lip balm, which is available in a variety of shades and has a lemony taste. Iredale uses high-quality botanical ingredients in all of her products, such as carrot seed and avocado oils, lotus flower, green tea, coffee and aloe. Her summer SPF line is one of the best. I also recommend her Hand Drink Sun Protection; it lasts a long time and keeps hands youthful, smooth, and protected.

Lips, hands, and feet are often neglected during sunscreen application and are prime spots for melanoma. Remember these vulnerable areas and keep them protected.

Weleda body oils 

Recover & replenish. After a day in the sun treat your skin to a thirst quenching recovery drink. Plain olive, jojoba and coconut oils are fine, but if you want to reap extra benefits try sea buckthorn oil. Weleda’s Sea Buckthorn Body Oil replenishes moisture to the thirstiest skin, protects against sun damage, and slows the aging process. Sea buckthorn and evening primrose are both great options for dry skin. Oilier skin types should try Weleda’s Citrus Refreshing Body Oil or Lavender Relaxing Body Oil, while cellulite-prone skin types might benefits from the Birch Cellulite Oil.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Add lemon, lime and a pinch of sea salt to replenish electrolytes. Use your favorite seasonal fruits to infuse water with great, refreshing flavors to make it more enticing. Eat sweet, juicy fruits—and lots of them! No amount of skin-care product can beautify you if you’re not drinking water and eating wholesome foods.

There you have it my beauties, a few of my favorite skin-care tips and trusted products! I love to hear from you as well, so please feel free to e-mail me any questions or comments.

Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, offers deep healing through loving touch and compassionate counsel. She is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook and Instagram!

Tips for Evaluating Sustainable Beauty Products

Many beauty brands are labeling themselves “sustainable,” “green,” and “eco” because they’re the new buzzwords that sell. But just because they say it, doesn’t mean there is action behind the words. As conscious consumers, it’s up to us to do a little research on brands before we invest in their products.

What should you expect from a sustainable beauty brand?

Quality ingredients. All of them, not just the first three or four on the list! Sustainable brands will have quality organic, plant-based ingredients.
Cruelty-free. Never buy from companies that test on animals. Zero tolerance here.
Conscious packaging. Is the brand using recycled materials? Can the packaging be recycled? If not, why?
A mission statement that clearly states their commitment to the environment.

Researching and reviewing conscious companies is a passion I’ve enjoyed since walking into my very first natural food store, with my mom, when I was 12. I remember the scent of the place and all the good energy. I read all of the ingredients on everything I could and began researching the herbs and plants I didn’t know. I shared my favorite brands with family and friends. Now I share them with the world. You can trust my picks! Guaranteed. Follow me on Instagram to see more of my favorite products. 

Shar Veda’s Conscious Beauty Picks for April

ILIA products

How smart is ILIA Balmy Nights? Finally a lip exfoliator in a stick! Organic ingredients blended with grainy volcanic stone powder gently exfoliate, leaving lips smooth and kissable. This product is great for evening use.

I also love ILIA Silken Shadow Stick in “Next to You.” The coconut cream olive oil base glides on smooth and easy. This shade is a warm, slightly shimmery, demure rose that looks great with green eyes and its vegan! All of ILIAs cream-based products come in sleek, recycled aluminum cases and are made in the USA!

100% Pure 

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream smells great and feels good going on. Organic aloe leaf juice, rosewater and rosehip seed oil provide a smooth, soothing base while organic green coffee gives eyes an instant pick me up.  100% Pure was founded in a Napa, California, farmhouse in 2005. They are now based in Silicon Valley and all products are made in the USA.

Marie d'Argan pure oils 

Marie d'Argan Organic Oils come in pretty reusable, amber dropper bottles. The single oils have no added ingredients. Part of the proceeds goes to funding the women’s cooperative in Morocco, who handpick the kernels. I use the Argan oil on my face, neck and chest several times a week when I do abhyanga, Ayurvedic self massage. The macadamia oil is great for conditioning hair, which I use on Sunday evenings and leave it in while I sleep. Pure. Simple. Beautiful.

Shar VedaShar Veda, Southern Oregon’s Premier Alternative Therapist, is an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor & Health Educator, yoga therapist and herbalist. Shar has been blessed to study with leading teachers in Ayurveda, Yoga, and herbalism for 20 years. However, it was her adopted grandma, Doe (English-American and Blackfoot Native), who instilled within her profound appreciation for the supreme power of loving touch, healing arts, and world family. Visit her website for a video, full bio, and photos or find her on Facebook and Instagram.