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Beauty From The Inside Out

12 Aug

August is Immunization Awareness Month. 

So why are we talking about it? Because…

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True Beauty Comes From the Inside, Out!

 

And we don’t just mean figuratively… we’re talking literally here, people. In honor of that, these are 5 easy habit changes to get you looking good from within:

1. Eat Your Greens!

Just like your mother told you. And she was right, spinach does make you more beautiful. Green, leafy vegetables contain a slew of vitamins and minerals that improve the radiance, elasticity, and luster of your skin. Want to learn more? Check out this post on Juicing For Your Skin for a complete breakdown of what different fruits and veggies do for you.

 

2. Get Some Shut Eye

We all know that sleep resets the body and allows us to recharge for another day. But did you know that chronic lack of sleep speeds up the aging process, sometimes as much as a decade?!? Scary. I know. For optimal sleep benefits, try to get 7-9 hours of shut eye per night. This super restful sleep has long term benefits like ramping up collagen production and speeding cell growth, as well as short term benefits (lack of under-eye circles, luminous skin, fewer breakouts).

 

3. Get. IT. On.

The “O Glow” is not just a myth. Sex is one of natures built in remedies for dull, tired skin. Having sex improves blood circulation, which brings more oxygen to the surface skin cells which are usually the last to be nourished. Not to mention to stress-reduction and hormone-regulating powers of sex. Those benefits leave you with clear, acne free, fresh skin for the long haul.

 

4. Don’t Touch Those Cigarettes

Smoking is the opposite of sex for the skin. It reduces blood circulation which keeps oxygen from reaching the surface skin cells, leaving them ashen and gray. Over time, the lack of blood flow will cause the small capillaries on the surface of your face to shrivel up and die which leads to bigger problems: wrinkles, numbness, even skin shedding. Blech. Just stop it.

5. Smile!

Or, at least, don’t frown. Keeping your face in a pleasant, neutral state keeps the muscles from tiring out and keeps the skin from wrinkling. Smiling also gives you a detectable glow which makes you look instantly more beautiful. Studies show that even a slight smile makes the opposite sex more attracted to you. So smile it up!

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Juicing For Your Skin

27 Jul

Juicing is great for your digestive health, but did you know it’s also great for your skin?

The vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables have benefits for your skin when applied topically, but they have even more benefits when ingested! Fruits and vegetables that contain A, B, and C vitamins especially help to increase circulation.

Better circulation = more oxygen to the skin = plumper, younger looking skin

Because beauty starts from within, keeping your digestive tract clean and clear helps reduce the buildup of gunk underneath the surface of your skin. To help keep you looking radiant this summer, here is a comprehensive list of juicing produce and their benefits!

Apple

  • Contains flavonoids which help protect skin from toxins and UV rays
  • High in potassium and vitamins A, C, and K
  • High in Fiber

Bell Pepper

  • Very high in vitamin C and carotenoids
  • Contains phytonutrients that are packed with antioxidants

Carrots

  • High in potassium and selenium
  • High in carotenoids (your body converts these into Vitamin A!)

Celery

  • Helps to clean out the liver and digestive tract
  • Rehydrates the body

Cranberry

  • High in antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory and metabolism booster

Cucumber

  • Natural diuretic, high in water content
  • Contains vitamins C and K
  • High in potassium

Ginger

  • High in Zinc- an immunity booster
  • Aids in digestion and stomach related issues
  • Anti-inflammatory- calms inflamed skin

Goji Berry

  • Highest vitamin C concentration of any food
  • High in antioxidants
  • May stimulate T-cell production

Kale

  • High in fiber and carotenoids
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • High in iron content

Lemon

  • Diuretic, helps reduce bloating
  • High in vitamin C

Parsley

  • High in antioxidants
  • Helps reduce bloating
  • Contains good amounts of vitamins A, B, C and E
  • High in iron and potassium

Pineapple

  • Natural acidic enzymes clean out the digestive tract
  • Improves skin elasticity and helps hydrate the body
  • High in antioxidants

Spinach

  • High in B2 and B6 vitamins
  • High in iron and potassium
  • Anti-inflammatory

Turmeric

  • Cleanses the liver and improves digestion
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Helps to even out blood sugar

So there you have it! Check out our PINTEREST page for some great juicing recipes inspired by JUARA ingredients 🙂

Kombucha Cocktails

26 Jul

Kombucha

Everyone’s talking about it like it’s something new.

Kombucha has actually been around for over 2,000 years in the eastern part of the world. It is made by combining green or black tea, bacteria, yeast, and sugar and then allowing the mixture to ferment. The fermentation process causes a mushroom-like blob to form in the tea.

Although Kombucha is not exactly delicious (to say the least) it has been proven to provide numerous health benefits and is even aptly named “Health Tea” “Vitality Tea” “Miracle Tea” and “Elixir of Life” in various languages. It is so packed with antioxidants that we even use it in our skincare products! Kombucha’s uses are endless. Here are some of its benefits:

  • Contains B Vitamins and Antioxidants
  • Detoxes the liver
  • Helps to prevent and aid in the management of arthritis
  • Aids in digestion and digestive health

So with all of the benefits of Kombucha, how can we make it delicious and irresistable?

Cocktails!

Kombucha cocktails are all the rage on the ‘health scene’ this summer. Fruity, alcoholic, tangy, and packed with antioxidants and vitamins? Count me in! Of course, to write this article, I had to do some research on Kombucha cocktails… which was really a chore let me tell you. After much due diligence, here are some of my favorite recipes:

Strawberry-Ginger Kombucha Cocktail

 

Ingredients:

  • 20 Medium Strawberries
  • 3 Tbsp. Honey
  • The Juice of 5 Limes
  • 32 oz Ginger Kombucha
  • 8 oz Vodka
  • Ice
  • (Optional) Candied Ginger

1. Combine strawberries, honey, and lime in a blender to create a puree

2. Into each glass, pour 1/4 of the vodka, 1/4 of the kombucha, and strawberry puree to taste

3. Add ice, stir, and enjoy!

Kombucha Peach Daiquiri

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium peaches, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp Agave
  • 2 Tbsp Orange Juice
  • 4oz Vodka
  • 4oz Rum
  • 8oz Kombucha
  • Ice

Blend all ingredients, pour into glasses, and enjoy!

Kombucha Sangria

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bottle of your favorite white wine
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 1 Apple (green or red), sliced
  • 2 cups mixed berries
  • 16oz your favorite flavor Kombucha

1. Combine wine and fruit into a large pitcher. Put into refrigerate and let sit for at least 4 hours

2. Pour out into glasses, add a splash of Kombucha, and enjoy!

Super Food… For Your Skin!

4 Jun

Avocado

Just the word sounds delicious. We’ve all grown to love this pear shaped, green, smushy super-food. We put it in salads, on sandwiches, make dips out of it, and even eat it straight with a spoon! 

 

But did you know that the amazing benefits of avocado don’t stop in your stomach? Applied topically, avocado is a super food for your face!

So let’s Talk About Avocado For Face. What Are The Benefits?

  • Anti-Aging

Avocados are high in glutathione, an important antioxidant in anti-aging!

  • Vitamin E

Vitamin E, when applied topically, helps to prevent scarring, clear dark spots, and mask imperfections on the skin!

  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a natural cleanser. It helps detach dead skin cells, leaving room for healthy new ones to shine through.

  • Moisturizer

Avocado oil is a natural moisturizer. It deeply nourishes and rejuvenates even the deepest layer of the skin.

So How Do You Use It?

The most effective way to use this super-food on the skin is to apply an avocado facial mask! 

A basic avocado mask can be made at home using:

  • Avocado
  • Lime Juice
  • Sugar

For a more complex mask that harnesses the power of avocado with complimentary ingredients, try one from your favorite beauty brand! JUARA Avocado Banana Moisture Mask combines the rich, moisturizing avocado with emulsifying banana to exfoliate AND moisturize in one simple step! 

 

Does your diet affect your skin? – Melanie Jakuttek

9 Jan

Chocolates and junk food give you zits, water and fresh fruit give you a glowing complexion – you’ve probably all heard that before. But are these beliefs actually true? Some people swear by it, some think there is no truth in it at all. Let’s try to shed some light on this matter.

Dermatologists have long declared many of these beliefs as myths, but a recent study by the Colorado State University shows that there might be a fraction of truth in them after all. In course of their study, researchers compared the diet of Western cultures with that of the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea. While the Western diet consisted greatly of processed sugary foods, such as potato chips, doughnuts, soda, etc., the people of Papua New Guinea mostly ate fresh fish, fruit and tubers. Not a single case of acne was found there, while it is common, that 80 to 95% of American teenagers suffer from breakouts and even adults aren’t immune.
The researchers believe, the main reason is that the islanders rarely ate any food with a high glycemic load, which causes the blood sugar level to rise. High blood sugar levels lead to more insulin being produced by the pancreas, therefore releasing male hormones and growth factors. As an overall result, more oil is produced by the skin and pores are clogged up, causing breakouts.

To give you a rough idea on the glycemic index, I have listed a few foods and their glycemic load:

Food Glycemic Index
Potato chips 51-57*
Mars Bar 62-68*
Coca Cola 53-63*
Cherries 22*
Grapefruit 25*
Grapes 46-49*
White bread Averages 70 and 73*
Wheat bread made with 50% cracked wheat kernels 58*

*Eating pure glucose is given a ranking of 100 – all other foods are in relation to this. This means, that a food with a glycemic index of 95 raises blood sugar almost as much as pure glucose, but a food with a glycemic index of 20 doesn’t raise blood sugar much at all.

You can find a complete list and more information on the glycemic index here: http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/glycemicindlist.htm

The glycemic index does not take portion size into account, though. It is therefore ok, to eat even the foods with a high glycaemic load every once in a while.

Now that we have figured out, which foods we should mostly try to avoid, let’s see, which will benefit our skin.

Research done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that eating foods that are high in Vitamin C may help to treat dry skin, leaving it soft and supple. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties, which can neutralize free radicals that damage skin cells. Foods that contain high amounts of Vitamin C are for example strawberries, papaya, citrus fruits, bell peppers, sprouts, red berries, etc.
Seafood, especially oysters and salmon, is said to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. Omega-3 may help to reduce inflammation and dryness of the skin, while zinc can help fight acne and assists in new cell production.
Nuts – especially almonds – are a great source of Vitamin E, which may help to hydrate skin and relieve dryness.

Overall, I believe, that a balanced diet is the best you can do for your body, your skin and your general well-being.

What do you think? Do you find that your diet affects your skin? Do you have any foods that you feel gives you breakouts? I would love to hear your thoughts!

A scrub for every season – Melanie Jakuttek

18 Nov

Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate – my mother has been telling me for ages that it’s the key to beautiful, healthy looking skin – and we all know that mothers are always right! Especially when the seasons change, it is more important than ever to look after our skin, because it gets more sensitive. Exfoliating helps to rejuvenate the skin by exposing the smoother and supple layer of the skin after removing the dead skin layer.

There are loads of scrubs and exfoliants on the market, but which are the best? How do you choose the right one? There are basically 3 elements to take into account when deciding on which scrub to use: Shape, grain size and composition.

The right shape is actually very important. On your face, it is best to use scrubs with perfectly round beads or with as few edges as possible. If the beads aren’t round they may scratch the skin, even if the size is small. Polyethylene beads, also used in JUARA’s Rice Facial Scrub, are examples for perfectly round, soft beads that will take the dead skin off your face in a very gentle way.

As for size, coarse scrubs are more abrasive and can slough off more dead skin cells, so I would advise not use coarse scrubs on your face. Fine scrubs are definitely suitable for facial skin.

Now let’s take a closer look at the composition of some scrubs:

Scrubs containing nuts or grains:

Ground tree products like ground apricot kernels or ground walnut shells are very popular ingredients in body scrubs. Walnut, for example, nourishes and rejuvenates the complexion, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Apricot kernels contain natural moisturizing properties, leaving your skin soft and supple.
Scrubs containing grains should be used for normal skin types only since they might be too abrasive for sensitive or breakout prone skin. In general, I would advise to use grainy scrubs on your body rather than your face, because they may tear at the tender facial skin, or worse, irritate, infect, or spread pimples, particularly the red bumpy kind.
Scrubs containing grains don’t dissolve, so they can exfoliate the body effectively and only stop exfoliating when you wash them off. An advantage of grainy scrubs: A little goes a long way, so your scrub will last longer.
We at JUARA use walnut grains for both our Invigorating Coffee Scrub and Candlenut Body Polish.

Sugar Scrub:

Sugar is not just very yummy, but also an amazing ingredient used in skin care products, especially in scrubs. Sugar scrubs hydrate the skin without clogging up the pores and are safe enough for frequent use, even on your face. Furthermore, sugar scrubs are known to stimulate circulation.

And as for our male readers – sugar scrubs are also wonderful for soothing the skin after shaving!

Creative use for JUARA’s Rice Facial Scrub: Try mixing it with sugar – it makes your skin feel amazingly soft and supple and is very soothing!

Salt Scrub:

Salt has been used by women throughout centuries to get smooth, healthy and radiant looking skin and they got it right!

When applied to the skin, salt can help to reduce inflammation. Using salt scrubs may also encourage regeneration, which helps to tighten the skin, giving it a firmer and younger-looking appearance. Skin regeneration also helps to reduce skin discoloration, can even out skin tone and improve texture.

If your facial skin is very sensitive, I would refrain from using salt scrubs on your face. Also if you’re a first time scrubber, you might want to try sugar because it’s a little gentler on the skin, but salt is more effective if you need heavier duty products.

Oatmeal Scrub:

I used to hate having to eat oatmeal for breakfast as a kid, but since I got older and wiser (most of the time anyway ;-)) I have gone back to eating it regularly, because it is just so very good for you and actually quite tasty! But did you know that oatmeal also works wonders when applied on your skin?

Oatmeal contains anti-inflammatory properties and can be used on even the most sensitive skin types. As every scrub, oatmeal scrubs remove dead skin cells, but it moisturizes at the same time and can be used a mild soap, because it contains saponins (mild cleansing agent).

However, no matter how gentle the scrub, I would not suggest to use it more than 2 or 3 times a week.

Oh and by the way, did you know that our Rice Facial Scrub has won the Life & Style Beauty Award 2012 for best Spa Exfoliator? Check it out here J

Now I am interested in your experiences with scrubs! Which is your favorite? Is there a specific ingredient you prefer in a scrub?

Sunscreen: What to look for – Jessica Wang

3 Jul

Getting ready to hit the beach this summer?  Then, sunscreen is a must!  There are so many different brands out there…Coppertone, Banana Boat, Neutrogena…which one to choose?  There are a few important tips to keep in mind when shopping for sunscreen:

1. Check for “Broad Spectrum Protection.”  A good sunscreen has “Broad Spectrum Protection,” also known as protection against UVA (long rays) AND UVB (short rays).  Both UVA and UVB rays reach the earth’s surface and are responsible for causing sun damage.  UVB rays are stronger during hot, summer days and are more closely associated with sunburn and skin cancer.  On the other hand, UVA rays are present everyday of the year and penetrate further into the skin.  These are the rays that you can blame for wrinkles and sunspots.

2. Physical vs Chemical sunblocks.  Both physical and chemical sunscreens can protect against UVA and UVB rays and you need sunscreen that protects from both. Physical sunscreens overall have a slight advantage when battling UVB rays, while certain chemical sunscreens are better for combatting UVA rays. When looking for a sunscreens, you’ll see ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide; they are physical sunblocks, which work by reflecting rays when they hit the skin.  These minerals are your best defense against those UVB rays that will burn you at the beach.  In addition, their mineral particles are most often large enough, where they cannot be penetrate the skin, unlike the particles in most chemical sunscreens. 

Have you ever seen words like Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octorylene, Octinoxate, or Octisalate?  These are the chemical agents most often used for sun protection in sunscreens because they feel lighter and are easier to apply than physical blocks.  These chemicals work by fighting sun damage when your skin absorbs sun rays. Avobenzone offers the broadest protection of any chemical sunscreen, but unfortunately, it is not a very stable ingredient. Neutrogena’s products contain Helioplex technology, which combines Avobenzone with Oxybenzone to stabilize the sunscreen and prevent it from losing effectiveness after a few hours of sun exposure. Similarly, Aveeno uses an Active Photobarrier Complex for the same purpose. The most powerful chemical technology involves Mexoryl SX (Ecamsule) and was pioneered by L’Oreal. It combines Avobenzone with Octocrylene to offer very broad, superior protection against UVA rays due to its high photostability.

So at the beach this summer, go for broad spectrum protection that contains physical sunscreen. Personally, I prefer physical blocks because they are often less irritating, more natural, and zinc oxide is especially great for blemish-prone skin like mine. The downside to physical blocks? Since they are insoluble, they sometimes leave you with a chalky, matte look. But hey it’s better to look chalky than burned! But for everyday use, a good broad spectrum sunscreen that contains Mexoryl or other UVA blockers are good because they are more cosmetically elegant, and may sit better under makeup.

3. Look out for the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15, preferably 30+. The SPF refers to approximately how long the product will delay sunburn. For example, a person wearing SPF 30 can stay out in the sun without burning 30 times longer than if he/she were not wearing a sunscreen. SPF 30 products filter out about 97% of UVB rays. SPF 15 filters out 94%, while SPF 45 filters 98%. In other words, SPF levels after 30 only have a very marginal benefit. Even though SPF levels on paper look like they only have a very marginal benefit, I still recommend you use as high as your skin feels comfortable with (the higher the SPF, sometimes, the heavier the sunscreen texture,) since often we don’t apply enough in amount nor frequency to get the full benefits of the SPF. Unless you apply sufficiently, your SPF 30 might only be giving the benefit of an SPF 15.

4. As with all products, don’t forget to make sure that the product is phthalate and paraben-free!

Remember that sunscreen isn’t only for the beach because the sun is out everyday. Half of Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer at least once in their lifetime. That’s A LOT!

To prevent sun damage and aging, make sure you are wearing sunscreen on your face and neck area everyday (even if it’s cloudy outside). I use the Alison Raffaele Face Forward Age Response Primer with SPF 15 on top of my moisturizer, even if I am not wearing makeup on top. This gives my skin a smooth, velvety finish and protects my skin with its frutta da vita antioxidant complex. Another bonus is that it uses a physical SPF, which supplements the chemical sunscreen in my moisturizer to offer optimal protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

There are also some other measures you can take to protect your skin. I like to use JUARA’s Rice Facial Cleanser, Tamarind Hydrating Tea Toner, and Sweet Black Tea and Rice Facial Moisturizer everyday. These products all contain rice bran, a natural source of vitamin E and are rich in PABA. Both of these ingredients are excellent natural sources of sun protection. Since rice bran is super hydrating and calming, it reduces redness soothes skin that has been exposed to sunlight. And Sweet Black Tea and Rice Facial Moisturizer is non-greasy and light-weight…perfect for the summer!

Have a great summer everyone!

Checkout this website to see some great natural sunscreen products!
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/natural-sunscreens-2010

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