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5 Top Benefits Of Using Natural Products:
Products made from conventionally produced ingredients can have a negative environmental impact. The manufacturing of chemical-heavy health and beauty products puts those chemicals, and many more, into the air and water, and even more go down your drain in your own home. When ingredients for natural health and beauty products are farmed and manufactured organically, fewer chemicals are put into the air and water.
Chemicals, artificial colors, and fillers in skin care products and makeup can cause redness, irritation, and breakouts. Many people are even allergic to chemicals commonly found in conventionally produced products. Natural makeup, skin care products, and body products work with your skin instead of against it.
Artificial fragrances are designed to cover up the smell of other chemicals used in traditional health and beauty products. The effect is that you have a chemical to cover up another chemical, and all those chemical smells can cause headaches in many people. Natural health and beauty products smell like their natural ingredients, not a cocktail of chemicals. Natural health and beauty products scented with natural essential oils can even provide aromatherapy.
No Strange Side Effects
Parabens are used in conventionally produced health and beauty products as a preservative to extend the shelf life of products. Parabens, however, are synthetic and mimic your body’s natural hormones. Many people worry that this can alter the functions of your body’s endocrine system. Artificial ingredients like parabens may help a product do one thing well, but there could be possible side effects that are still being uncovered. Natural health and beauty products use natural preservatives, such as grapefruit seed extract, that won’t affect your body. And while some people have allergies to a few natural ingredients (lanolin, which comes from wool, is an allergen for some) the effects are much more understood than the ones from synthetic ingredients.
Using natural, organic products does not mean needing to compromise on the quality of your beauty regime. In fact by avoiding these harmful ingredients you are likely to notice your skin improving, with a reduction in redness, irritation or breakouts, as well as fewer lines and wrinkles.
Scientific research about the health effects of aromatherapy:
According to the NCI "National Cancer Institute", stimulating oils to boost mood have been found effective in some studies. Examples of these include lemon, orange, and tangerine. However, lavender, though widely considered safe, was found not to affect mood in that same study.
Another study looked at the effects of chamomile and massage therapy for anxiety relief. According to the National Cancer Institute or "NCI" a trusted source, the results showed a greater decrease in anxiety symptoms after massages with chamomile versus massage without aromatherapy.
Overall, the NCI notes that aromatherapy has shown benefits for the following uses:
The link between mood and scent:
There have been a lot of studies carried out to determine the link between the mood and different scents. Behavioral studies have shown that smells are able to trigger much more vivid emotional memories than images do.
The most recent research has revealed that memories which are triggered by a particular scent, are often linked to increased activity within the limbic system. They also link to an increase in brain activity surrounding the areas which are responsible for vivid memories.
What’s interesting is that scent has the power to make you remember both positive and negative memories, and similarly help to either enhance or hinder your mood.
Gentler Over Time
Many natural products work better than their conventional counterparts because they don’t contain unnecessary fillers or irritants. And while some unnatural products may seem to work better with the first try, over the long-term, the harmful chemicals that made your skin feel cleaner or your hair feel smoother may actually cause damage.
The 13 Best Ingredients for Natural Skin Care:
There are more natural skin care products available now than ever, and their long list of benefits beyond even great looking skin might come come as a surprise to you. When you use natural products like this regularly, not only are you beautifying your skin, but you’re also absorbing antioxidants, enhancing your skin’s UV resistance, and stimulating your immune system, too.
Applying unprocessed, whole-food ingredients onto your skin — many that you likely even have already and cook with in your own kitchen — will make you love your skin, even if you are someone who has sensitive skin or has struggled in the past with clearing up difficult skin-related problems.
Start making over your beauty routine by trying these 13 natural skin care products:
1. Coconut Oil
One of the most versatile skin (and food) ingredients there is, coconut oil’s skin benefits include: strengthening underlying epidermal tissue, removing dead skin cells, protecting us from sunburns, and containing antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Research even shows that coconut oil is strong enough to fight chronic skin diseases characterized by defects in the epidermal barrier function and cutaneous inflammation, including atopic dermatitis (AD). (1)
Use coconut oil on both your skin and hair to help cleanse, moisturize, remove makeup, heal wounds or scars quicker, and prevent razor burn. Coconut oil used internally is also beneficial for your looks. It contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, plus loads of healthy fats that help nourish your gut and increase immune function.
Healthy skin is just like any other organ in your body: It continuously needs oxygen and nutrients to be brought to the cells, and toxins need to be washed away. Therefore, coconut oil helping with hormonal and digestive function is crucial for optimal skin health.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) has been used for hundreds of years in Australia to fight breakouts, redness and inflammation on the skin. While many people react harshly to typical acne treatment ingredients like acid, tea tree oil is usually well-tolerated and comes with few, if any, of the nasty side effects when combined with a carrier oil and applied directly to skin. Tea tree oil uses include working as a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal — its phytochemicals make it one of the most versatile and popular natural skin care essential oils there is.
Tea tree’s volatile essential oils come from approximately 230 different plant species, almost all of which are native to Australia. The primary active ingredients responsible for its ability to reduce harmful bacteria include terpene hydrocarbons, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Researches have observed more than 100 different chemical components and volatile hydrocarbons that are considered aromatic and capable of traveling through air, pores of the skin and mucus membranes to provide healing benefits. It’s why tea tree oil is key part of the best home remedies for acne.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
An extremely versatile and inexpensive natural skin care product, apple cider vinegar benefits include helping to kill pathogens (like bacteria), clearing skin problems caused by gut issues, cleansing the skin and helping to stop acne, plus providing antifungal properties. The use of ACV for skin problems dates all the way back to Hippocrates (460-377 BC), considered “the father of modern medicine” and a believer in the use of anti-fungal ACV and raw honey for cleaning ulcerations and treating skin sores. (2)
It also contains highly beneficial acetic acid and certain vitamins like potassium and magnesium that make it a detoxifying agent when consumed internally, since it boosts liver function and helps balance bacteria in the gut.
4. Raw Honey
Raw honey is one of the best natural sources of nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and skin-boosting acids. Benefits of raw honey include reducing breakouts, providing moisturizing properties, containing antiseptic qualities, encouraging wound healing, fighting allergies or rashes, and helping to reduce scars. Raw honey is unheated, unprocessed and unpasteurized unlike most honeys available in grocery stores. Therefore, it is able to keep all of its nutrients intact as they’re not destroyed by processing.
As an antimicrobial honey is particularly suitable as a dressing for wounds and burns. (3) It’s also been included in treatments used to heal bacterial infections, dandruff, diaper dermatitis, psoriasis and more.
Honey also makes a great homemade natural skin care product as an acne cure because it can be used in facial cleansers even on sensitive or mixed skin types. Take half a teaspoon, warm between hands and spread on face gently, leave on for 10 minutes then rinse with warm water and pat dry. To use it as an exfoliator for dry winter skin, try adding two cups of honey to a bath, soak for 15 minutes, then add one cup of baking soda for the final 15 minutes.
5. Sea Salt
Sea salt comes loaded with tons of minerals and nutrients like magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium that it absorbs from the sea water where its produced. Many of these minerals are the same ones found in our skin cells and within our bodies, which is exactly why real sea salt can help balance, protect and restore the skin.
Use real Himalayan or Celtic sea salts in homemade facial masks, toners and scrubs with other skin-boosting ingredients like coconut oil, lavender essential oil and raw honey. The salt contains anti-inflammatory properties to soothe skin and calm breakouts, remove dead skin cells and irritation, balance oil production, and help the skin retain moisture levels.
Make your own homemade scrub by mixing two teaspoons sea salt with four teaspoons raw honey, then apply the mix evenly to clean skin, rub it gently, let it stand for 15 minutes and rinse. Similarly, sugar scrubs are similar, and both types are gentle enough to use several times per week to prevent clogged pores and help with cell turn-over and renewal.
An ultra-moisturizing fatty fruit, the benefits of avocados include containing vitamins A, D and E that are able to penetrate the skin. It helps soothe sunburned skin, can boost collagen production and treat age spots. It also works to reduce inflammation of the skin when applies topically and can do the same internally when eaten. Whip up a Homemade Avocado Face Mask with fresh avocado combined with essential oils, honey or a carrier oil to replenish hydration and leave skin feeling dewy.
7. Lemon Essential Oil
With its strong antibacterial constituents capable of reducing even fatally dangerous bacteria strains, lemon essential oil can be used to diminish acne breakouts caused by high levels of bacteria stuck in pores. (4) It’s also useful for fading scars and age spots, can exfoliate skin, brighten and lighten skin, tone oily skin and fight wrinkles.
Lemon oil is one of the most versatile essential oils to have on hand because it can be used as a teeth whitener, laundry freshener, cellulite cream, face wash and household cleaner! Mix it with a carrier oil like jojoba oil and massage into troubled areas of the skin. You can also use it on your hair to boost shine and remove residue.
8. Argan Oil
Native to Morocco and used there for generations, argan oil is so healing because it’s rich in vitamin A and vitamin E, various antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids and linoleic acid. Argan is not only great for gently moisturizing skin, but it also boosts the shine and health of your hair.
Apply a small amount of argan oil directly to normal or troubled skin twice daily to help heal irritations such as acne, bug bites, eczema and psoriasis, leaving skin feeling and looking youthful.
9. Aloe Vera
Most people associate aloe vera benefits with healing sunburns, but did you know that aloe also contains bacteria-fighting, soothing ingredients that fight inflammation, redness and itching? For hundreds of years aloe has been used to treat skin diseases, infections and as a natural treatment for fungal diseases in traditional Chinese medicine.
Recent research results suggest that aloe vera is effective for burns and wound healing, but surprisingly it also detoxifies you from the inside out. (5) So much so that when taken orally, aloe can even decrease the number and size of tumors and parasites in the liver, spleen and bone marrow.
Aloe vera plants produce two substances used for medicine: the gel found in the cells in the center of the leaf, and the latex that’s obtained from the cells just beneath the leaves’ skin. These can be used as a natural skin care remedy for burns, frostbite, psoriasis and cold sores.
Aloe vera is considered to be the most biologically active form of the Aloe Barbadensis miller species and holds more than 75 potentially active ingredients including anti-inflammatories, vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, lignin and salicylic acids. There are what gives aloe its signature anti-microbial and antifungal properties that make it a “photodynamic therapy” for healing skin.
10. Jojoba Oil
One of the most widely used carrier oils, jojoba oil is extremely moisturizing and can help heal burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, acne psoriasis and wrinkles. Native to the southern U.S and Mexico, this oil has been used to treat acne, psoriasis, sunburn and chapped skin for generations. It’s also used to reduce balding because it encourages hair regrowth, soothes the skin and unclogs hair follicles.
When it comes to the chemical structure of jojoba oil, it’s unique in that it’s a polyunsaturated wax. As a wax, jojoba oil is especially useful for protecting the skin, providing moisture control, and soothing the skin and hair.
11. Almond Oil
You probably already know about the many nutrition benefits of almonds, but maybe you’re new to using almond oil on your skin. Almond oil not only smells great, but it has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. It makes a great carrier oil for essential oils to naturally treat skin rashes, acne or dryness. It also blends easily with many different smells, so try in it homemade washes, masks or lotions.
12. Shea Butter
Shea butter has been used as a natural skin care product in Africa for hundreds of years, where it is still largely cultivated and shipped around the world today. It makes an excellent moisturizing options for dry skin types and is inexpensive yet effective at reducing flaking, redness or peeling.
Try it in a Homemade Skin Care Butter mixed with your favorite essential oils like frankincense, eucalyptus or bergamot oil or with lavender oil and mint in my homemade lip balm.
13. Castor Oil
Used to cleanse skin, castor oil is actually a “drying oil,” even though that might seem counterintuitive. For facial cleansing, you only need to use a very small amount, about a teaspoon of castor oil, mixed into in 1/4 cup of another oil like coconut or almond. Rub into your face and massage, then rinse with warm water to carry away impurities.
Guy’s Guide to Beard Care: Why Use Beard Oil
Are you taking care of your beard? The answer is probably no.
Every boy’s dream? A big, wavy, luxurious beard. What’s that? You already have a glorious beard (or long-ish stubble)? Great, me too! But here’s an important question: Are you taking care of your beard?
The answer to that question is likely ‘no.’ Sure, you wash your beard. You might even comb it. That’s all great—definitely keep doing that. But there’s more that you should be doing to care for your beard. Which is why I’m here today to talk to you about an often-neglected topic amongst men: beard oil.
Why Use Beard Oil
Oftentimes due to years of daily shaving, different environmental factors and use of commercial cleansers (detergents) containing harsh-chemicals, your face won’t naturally produce the amount of oil that it really needs to keep your face and beard healthy. Enter beard oil. Natural beard oil mimics the natural oils produced by your face, which helps keep your beard, and the skin under it, moisturized and clean. If you’re a man with any amount of facial hair (from 1-day stubble to an epic belt-touching face rug), you should be using beard oil. Here’s what using beard oil can do for you:
Hydrates your facial skin and beard hair
Can eliminate beard itch
Can reduce facial acne
Helps your beard and skin stay clean and smell great
Tame the unruliness, and make you look like an absolute boss
How to care for your Beard
Maintain a healthy diet.  Hair grows when you’re receiving enough essential vitamins. You don’t need to eat anything special if you aren’t in a rush to grow your beard, just make sure it is a balanced, healthy diet. Fish is great for your hair. If you want to take a supplement some recommend Biotin, a b complex vitamin
Decide what kind of style you are going for. Try to pick a style that matches the hair you grow on your face. Some people find that their moustache doesn't connect to their beard. Others grow hair more heavily on the side of the face than on their neck. Address what type of facial hair you can grow and choose your beard style accordingly.
Get some sleep. Studies show that a lack of sleep can actually slow down your beard growth.  If you want a good beard make sure you’re getting the appropriate amount of rest.