Archive | May, 2010

Meet Vanessa, Indonesia’s JUARA Ambassador – Metta Murdaya

28 May

Meet Vanessa, who has been a JUARA fan and advocate in Indonesia and loves spreading the word. When I was just in Indonesia this last month, I took a few minutes with her to share why people across the world like it, especially from where our line is inspired from. Different cultures, different climates, different seasons – but it looks like we all have some things in common, ladies!

If you are or have friends who are from a different country, what skincare products or treatments do you/they like? Do share, we love learning new things!

PS – We have a FREE SHIPPING on ALL ORDERS Special this Memorial Day Weekend. Friday, May 28 through Monday, May 31, 2010. Happy Shopping at JUARA!

Sun protection for babies: Need-to-know’s for new mothers – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

24 May

We all know that babies have sensitive skin.  As a new mother to a 4-month-old, I make sure I don’t get anything harsh, chemical or overly perfumed near my daughter’s skin.  In fact, my motto so far has been “less is more”.  Now that the sun is getting stronger and temperatures are rising, I slather sunscreen on my own face and body daily, but realized after a recent stroll with my daughter that I didn’t really know much about how to protect my baby skin from the sun.  Here are the most important need-to-know’s:

1)      Keep babies out of the sun whenever possible

Babies have thinner skin and underdeveloped melanin (the body’s own defense against the UV rays) and therefore have to be kept out of the sun whenever possible, especially during peak times 10 AM to 4 PM.  This is even more imperative since babies should not use sunscreen before they are 6 months old.  Plus babies can’t regulate their body temperature the way adults can and can overheat much more easily and quickly – one more reason to keep them out of the sun.

2)      Use protective clothing and umbrellas

Look for clothing and hats with a built-in UPF of 30 or more.  A light, white cotton T-shirt is not enough to shield baby’s skin adequately from UV-rays.  Thicker fabric is more protective, but you also want to make sure that your baby won’t overheat under thick clothing.

3)      Sunscreen before 6 months

Sunscreen, especially chemical sunscreen is a big no-no for babies under 6 months.  However, if there is no way to stay out of the sun, sunscreen can be applied in small doses at 3-4 months, but it has to be baby-appropriate sunscreen (read below).  For example, your baby is mostly covered by clothing and stroller canopy, but the feet are still exposed.  In that case, it makes sense to apply a sunscreen to the exposed areas, as long you also keep an eye out for any skin irritation.  Avoid putting on too much sunscreen on the hands.  Babies will inevitably put their hands in their mouth and rub their eyes. 

4)      Choose the right sunscreen

Sunscreens that are safe for toddlers may not be safe yet for infants.  Look for sunscreens that rely solely on non-chemical sunscreens like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, and if you are not sure, speak to your pediatrician, dermatologist or pharmacist.  Chemical sunscreens may not only irritate baby’s delicate skin, they are also absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin.  This is a problem for babies, since they have so much surface area, i.e. skin, relative to their body mass.  So relative to their weight, babies can absorb a lot more chemicals through their skin than adults can.  I consulted with my pharmacist in Germany to pick the right formula for my 4-month-old daughter.  Initially I was interested in La Roche Posay’s Anthelios  Dermo-Pediatrics SPF50+ but was advised against it.  Even though good for sensitive skin, Mexoryl (which is the sunscreen agent in all Anthelios products), is a chemical sunscreen and therefore not appropriate for baby skin.  My pharmacist recommended Eau Thermale Avene’s Sunscreen SPF50 instead, which literally looks like pure zinc paste on my daughter’s skin.  Another popular sunscreen for babies is “Blue Lizard Australian Sunscream Baby, SPF 30”.

5)      The Vitamin D connection

We all need some sun for the body to make Vitamin D for strong bones and for our immune system, but do babies get enough Vitamin D if they are kept out of the sun?  New research shows that infants that are exclusively breast-fed may not get enough Vitamin D.  This does not mean that you should expose your baby to the sun – the risks outweigh the benefits by far.  But rather, it is recommended to give baby a Vitamin D supplement of 400 I.U.  My pediatrician prescribed Enfamil’s Tri-Vi-Sol Drops with Vitamins A, C & D.  This should be continued until baby is able to drink at least 32 oz of Vitamin-D fortified infant formula per day.  Formula-fed babies seem to get adequate amounts through the fortified formula.

My question to my fellow moms:  Which baby sunscreen product and other sun protective items do you recommend?

UV Index and Your Skin – Jill Sung

21 May

Thanks, EPA! Click on me to read this monster table

We love our skin and we want to protect it, but what’s all this stuff about UV radiation, sun protection, SPF, UVA, UVB? So many words and abbreviations, so little time. Last time, we discussed UV radiation very briefly, and then skin type and why it is important to know your type. Okay, you say, I know my Fitzpatrick skin type, what do I do now? Remember that UV radiation’s effect on your skin depends not just on your skin type, but also on the amount of sun exposure you recently received and you will receive.

How Much UV is Really Out There?

The UV Index is a nifty number created by the EPA and National Weather Service that is calculated daily (1 day prior) which indicates the strength of solar UV radiation that reaches the Earth through the protective ozone layer on a scale of 1 (low) to 11+ (very high). And conveniently, you can find your location on a map or enter your zip code/city and state to get the UV index for your location. I just checked for New York (it’s cloudy and muggy today), and our it’s a UV Index of 6/High.  So there’s one jewel of information – EVEN CLOUDY DAYS HAVE LOTS OF UV!

Tips for Skin Health related to UV Index

  • Check the UV Index daily: links to downloadable apps and facebook or bookmark the website link for UV index
  • UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m (long shadow- less exposure; short shadow/mid-day – more exposure)
  • Water, Snow and Sand (sometimes even clouds)  reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn – sometimes doubling your UV radiation exposure!
  • High elevations = more UV exposure

So add this to your list of good habits! And let me know what other helpful tips you know or do to check and deal with your daily sun exposure. Next time…what to wear! My favorite…

Mother’s Day Contest Winner!

18 May

We at JUARA would like to offer a big congratulations to Donna Kraft and her mother Jewell Blanken for winning the JUARA Mother’s Day contest! We had customers fill out a survey to tell why their mothers are the best. We got a ton of beautiful stories–there are some incredible mothers out there! Donna’s mom was one of our very favorite entries to the contest, and we wanted to share it with you today. Check out what she has to say about her mother!

Donna Kraft with her mother Jewell Blanken

I have the greatest MOM in the world. I am the youngest of 4 daughters. So needless to say we have definitely kept her busy over the years. She just turned 72 in March, and doesnt let anything get in her way. My father just passed away in November 2009 and my oldest sister 1 year prior, in October 2008. Winning this would be a nice little pick me up for her.

My mom is always taking care of other people. She very rarely treats herself. She was the sole caregiver for my dad for many years while he was sick. This allowed him to stay at home and be with his family until the very end. She was always thinking about what would be best for him.

Donna, Jewell and their entire family

Donna, Jewell and their entire family

About 4 years ago she went through a surgery for a double knee replacement. Even this couldnt keep her down. She was up and going as soon as possible.

She still mows her own 1 acre yard, keeps a large garden and takes care of ALL of us. She still has me and my two older sisters, 6 grand children, and 3 great-grand children.

She is a wonderful woman and deserves the best!

Donna and her mother have each received a $50 gift certificate redeemable at the JUARA Online Boutique. Thanks to everybody for participating, and we hope you all had a fantastic Mother’s Day!

How did you celebrate this year?

Sun Protection: What NOT to rely on and why – Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

17 May

One way to protec your skin from the sun…

We all know by now:  Sun can be dangerous to the health of our skin.  Sun exposure is the #1 culprit for premature aging and skin cancer.  While the days of sprawling your baby-oiled body in the mid-day sun are over, there are still many misconceptions about sun protection and about what works and what doesn’t.  Here are my top 5 of what you should not rely on for protection:

1) Clouds & Shades

Clouds and shades will not adequately protect you from the sun.  UV rays penetrate through even thicker clouds and reach our skin.  Your skin may not feel as hot on a cloudy day, but the rays are still damaging to the skin.  Sitting in the shade is better than sitting in the sun, but may only provide an SPF15, due to UV-rays reflecting off of surrounding surfaces (water, sand, buildings) and reaching our skin.

2) SPF

SPF only indicates the level of protection from UVB-rays.  We now know that UVA-rays are just as damaging to the skin.  The beauty and healthcare industry has yet to come up with a standardized system to rate UVA-protection in cosmetics.  Until then, look for key words like “broad-spectrum protection” and active ingredients like Avobenzone (Parsol 1789), Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Ecamsule (Mexoryl), Bemotrizinol (Tinosorb S) and Bisoctrizole (Tinosorb M).

3) Clothing

While putting on a T-shirt is definitely far better than not having any protection, keep in mind that a simple white T-shirt only holds a sun protection factor equivalent to SPF6!  The darker and thicker the fabric, the higher the protection.  Alternatively, look for special sun protection clothing with an UPF (usually goes up to UPF50).  You can also buy a special laundry-aid like Sun Guard, which will wash an UPF30 into your garments.

4) Make-up with sun protection

With growing awareness about sun protection, makeup companies have been quick to add sun screen into their foundations and powders.  The problem is that most people will never apply enough foundation or powder to achieve the indicated protection level, because they would look like a clown.  Rather than think of makeup as the base of your protection, think of it as the icing on the cake.  Use your regular sunscreen and apply broad-spectrum makeup or powder for added protection.

5) Your body’s alarm system

Our bodies are amazing at telling us what we need.  Unfortunately, with sun exposure, your body will not sound the alarm bell as soon as your skin is being damaged.  By the time your body tells you, i.e. your skin feels hot and stingy or changes color, the damage has already been done.

What are your foolproof ways to stay protected in the sun?

Your Skin and UV Rays – Jill Sung

14 May

We’re always talking about how to protect yourself from UV damage, but never about the UV itself or why. So a brief overview! (We’ll delve deeper in days to come…so please stay tuned.)

UV Primer: What is it?

Any time the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays (invisible radiation) are able to reach the earth, there is a risk for excessive sun exposure, meaning radiation that can penetrate and change the structure of your skin cells. Exposure to UV rays appears to be THE most important environmental factor in the development of skin cancer and has also been associated with various forms of eye damage, such as cataracts .  UVA and UVB have been shown to increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

There are three types of UV rays: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC).

  • UVA: most abundant source of solar radiation at the earth’s surface, and penetrates beyond the top layer of your skin to cause damage to connective tissue
  • UVB:less abundant at the earth’s surface than UVA because a significant portion of UVB is absorbed by the ozone layer,  does not penetrate as deep into the skin as UVA does, but is still damaging
  • UVC: extremely hazardous to skin, but it is completely absorbed by the stratospheric ozone layer so does not reach earth’s surface
Know Thyself : Skin Type

UV radiation’s effect on each person depends on a few factors:

  • skin type
  • time of year
  • amount of sun exposure you’ve recently received

Your skin tone and susceptibility to burning can be checked on the classification chart to the left.  (Incidentally, this chart is also used to determine how you’ll respond to facial treatments.) But why is this important?

Why Should I Know Myself?

When UV rays start penetrating your skin,  the skin’s melanocytes kick into high gear and start producing melanin (dark pigment that gives skin its color – tan or skin tone), which results in a tan. People with fair skin, however, tend to burn, because they have fewer melanocytes and produce less melanin.

Knowing your skin tone is probably most important to help you prevent SKIN CANCER.  Skin tone types I-III (in red) have a greater risk of developing skin cancer than  types IV-VI. That means you need to do more to protect yourself. But those with darker skin tones don’t get away with it that easily either, you might be able to wear a lower SPF sunscreen, but no one is immune to ultraviolet rays and the damage they cause. (according to American Cancer Society)

Ok, so that’s it for now. What’s your skin type?  Any questions before we move on to UV Index then how to protect yourself?

JUARA Mother’s Day Contest: WIN $50 FOR YOU AND YOUR MOM!

7 May

Entry deadline: Wed, May 12, 2010 – The week after Mother’s Day…

JUARA knows the important role mothers play in our lives. Tell us why your mom is the best, and you could win a $50 JUARA gift certificate for you AND your mom! Winners will be picked on the Friday AFTER Mother’s Day! (2 days after the deadline…)

Enter the contest by answering “Why My Mom is the Best Mom Ever!” at:

The winner’s answer will be posted on our website so the whole world can appreciate the special role mothers play in our lives!
Anyone can enter, so spread the word!


PS – There’s also a great Mother’s Day Special set featuring candlenut products AND a video preview of Yoshiko’s new baby girl Asami! Check that out here if you want a little sumethin’ sumthin’ special for yourself or your mother! View the set and video HERE.