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What we once knew about protecting our skin from the sun’s rays began centuries ago when the ancient Greeks used olive oil to hydrate their skin and help keep it from burning. Our knowledge on how to protect our skin continues to evolve with a recent pilot study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates all drugs including topicals such as sunscreen.

The study raised some questions and confirmed a theory. Of the four active sunscreen components tested – avobenzone, octocrylene, oxybenzone, ecamsule – it was proven they were absorbed by the skin and entered the bloodstream. This does not mean they are unsafe. But because they are absorbed into the bloodstream after only one day of use and accumulate in the body with continued use, the pilot study raised questions about the safety of sunscreen ingredients, as well as usage, forms, and absorption rates.

The FDA began regulating sunscreen in the 1970s. There are multiple reasons for further testing now:

  • Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. More people are using more sunscreen to diminish their chances of such a diagnosis.
  • Formulations of sunscreen products use more active ingredients, in higher concentrations and are found in more products.
  • These active ingredients are often combined with other ingredients.
  • Scientists’ ability to measure benefits and risks are better now than they were then.

If you are concerned, the FDA did spotlight two active sunscreen ingredients that were proven to be safe and effective – Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide – both of which are minerals that provide broad spectrum protection from harmful UVA radiation. Of course, you can also seek shade, wear lightweight clothing and hats. Another ways is to know which topicals and ingested ingredients can offer some protection as well. You can find alternative skin protection ideas here.

We always advocate for reading labels on products. The label will inform you on what ingredients the product contains, where it comes from, and how to use it. Be aware that some active ingredients in sunscreen may prevent sunburn but do nothing to prevent skin cancer and premature aging due to sun exposure.

The FDA study has brought attention to product safety issues, product labeling, UVA protection, and delivery systems including sprays. Sunscreen is found in more products than you might think. It is added to some face primers, moisturizers, setting sprays, matte tints, correcting creams and lip balms making it hard to know what dosage your skin is actually getting. You may want to read why YASOU Skincare does not contain sunscreen.

Previous government tests on oils have affirmed what the ancient Greeks practiced in protecting their skin. Tests showed that among the fixed oils tested, olive oil had the highest SPF value at 7.5. Coconut oil had the second highest value at 7.1. These natural oils contain tocopherols, carotenoids and essential fatty acids which are all good for the skin. However, don’t mistake these as a substitute for proven UVB and UVA protection.

As we increase our knowledge about sunscreen and how best to protect our skin and our bloodstream, we hope natural oils will be recognized informulating cosmetics and skincare products. Afterall, oil is a priority element in the formulation of lotions and creams. Here are just some of the benefits from olive oil in your skincare product

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Hello to natural retinol the new alternative to man-made and animal products derived retinol. Natural retinoids (plant-based) are super skin friendly, have serious graceful aging properties and do not contain any animal or animal-by-products.  I have been contemplating for a year now on creating an eye serum to add to the YASOU “a toast to your health” skin care family. What I knew right off the bat was it had to be a natural retinol formula.

Some people swear that there is no replacement for retinol and that may be true, but my research is showing that there are some plant-derived ingredients out there that may change that mindset.  I’d like to share with you some of the ingredients I have found, which I am considering using for my up and coming eye serum. It’s time to educate ourselves on natural retinol.

Beta-carotene or carotenoids are words to look for when exploring natural retinol. What is beta carotene? Basically it’s vitamin A (retinol) which also acts as a powerful antioxidant. It’s a prototype of all other natural retinoids. The human body converts beta carotene into vitamin A (retinol) which we need for healthy skin, mucus membranes, immune system, eye health and vision.

Ingredients (extracts & oils) that are rich in beta-carotene are mango butter, carrot, pumpkin, apricot, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, and green leafy plants (like kale, collards and alfalfa) to name a few.

Cacay Oil is a pure Organic nut oil cold pressed from the nuts of Cacay trees located in Columbia.  The oilhas high levels of retinol content. It is known to have more than three times the amount of retinol present in rosehip oil making it ideal for reducing wrinkles and lines, and evening out overall skin tone. It also stimulates collagen, improves elasticity, and hydrates.

Anogeissus tree bark (African Birch) has been found to have significant antioxidant activity, increasing the skin’s production of fibrillin, a structural protein of skin. Fibrillin is necessary for the skin to build elastin, which keeps the skin firm.

Bakuchiol the new buzz ingredient is a plant extract coming from the seeds and leaves of the “babchi” plant.  It is known to improve fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, skin elasticity and firmness, as well as increasing cell turnover, stimulating collagen production. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Vegan bakuchiol is the natural alternative to retinol giving you the same results that man- made retinol does (study) published in The British Journal of Dermatology) but without skin irritation of scaling and stinging the skin like retinol may. You can also use bakuchiol in the daytime. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is safe to use during the day unlike retinol that tends to cause mild inflammatory responses in daylight. You still need to apply your SPF.  It is a “win, win” natural ingredient that gives the same benefits as retinol but is vegan, and non-irritant to most skin types.  You may want to do a test to make sure it is agreeable to your skin.

Bakuchiol is a great retinol alternative for everyone that is sensitive to retinol side effects, is vegan, or wants to practice a natural skin care regime.  I am going to consider this ingredient for YASOU skin care’s eye serum. I’ve fallen in love with it!   (photo source: venusian glow)

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Skin invites intimacy. Think of the difference between lying in bed with clothes on and clothes off. Or holding a loved one’s hand with gloves on and gloves off. That layer of cloth separates. When appropriate, skin-to-skin contact offers a sensual experience that says I am vulnerable, vibrant, and cared for. Nerve endings close to the skin create waves of sensation when skin is touched, tickled and teased. If stimulated suggestively, sexual arousal can occur across the body via its blanket of skin. Sensual skin care invites everyone to experience these pleasures.

Presence

Skin helps us be aware of what or who is in contact with our body. If you see or feel skin disruptions, tend to it. Nurture it. Fully inhabit your body. Enjoy the feel of a summer breeze on your bare feet. A whisper into the ear. Silk sheets. A kiss on the neck or inner wrist. A new scent. Skin communicates sensations. It may physically respond with goosebumps, sexual arousal or relaxation. It varies by person. If you aren’t present, you will miss it.

Tension

Sometimes the timing isn’t right for touch. Respect this. When it is right, let your sensual pleasure build. Linger your touch with a pause, move toward the lower abdomen or up the thigh and then retreat. Leave a trail with your fingers. Teasing builds tension and raises pleasure when released. Your brain gets flushed with feel good hormones. Blood vessels open wide and skin may blush red.

Pressure

Touch has many degrees. To be interesting, modulate between soft and deep touch. Apply different amounts of pressure. A kiss on the eyelid is different from a tongue thrust in the mouth. Stroke, tickle, grab, cup, brush. Whatever is welcomed. A brush to the skin of your inner arm can be more sensually intense than a grab. Changing up your touch can be as easy as bathing together with soap, applying body cream, or massaging with essential oils.

Boundaries

Skin doesn’t come with a map showing designated boundaries. You draw them. Your skin should be a safe place. A beautiful place that allows you to connect to your surroundings, people and purpose. There are vulnerable spots. For some it’s the belly, armpit or feet. Feel free to designate detours. When you own your body you practice self-care, identify and communicate what’s off limits, and forgive any flaws. Give attention to all areas of the skin, not just what is visible.

Novelty

In his article “The Strange Phenomenon of Musical Skin Orgasms,” David Robson writes: “If a song follows the conventions too closely, it is bland and fails to capture our attention; if it breaks the patterns too much, it sounds like noise. But when composers straddle the boundary between the familiar and unfamiliar, playing with your expectations using unpredictable flourishes, they hit a sweet spot that pleasantly teases the brain, and this may produce a frisson.” He defines a frisson as a skin orgasm that causes chills, shivers down the spine, or goosebumps. In essence, don’t let your sensual skin care pleasures become routine. Shake it up. Tingle.

Desire

Sensual skin care stories are not limited to soft, youthful suppleness. People have callouses, scars, imprints from tight pants, bruises, wrinkles and a variety of colors on their skin. Don’t worry about the warts, celebrate what’s unique. Indulge your desire to apply creams to your skin. Take care of your skin and it will enhance sensual rewards. If your skin has kept you away from the sensual life you want to live, change the story line – when you feel desirable you are desired.

(photo: Alexander Krivitskiy/Pexels)

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There are three skin care actions to take no matter what the temperature is outside – exfoliate, moisturize and block UV rays. Just like during winter, taking care of your skin is a priority in the summer season.  When outdoor air is hot and humid you can develop dry, dehydrated, irritated skin. The biggest culprits are spending time in the sun, environment/pollution, swimming pool, and air-conditioning.

When it comes to caring for your skin, temperature matters. Increase in temperatures during the summer months, combined with humidity and heat, can increase the activity of the sebaceous glands. This makes oily skin appear oilier and dry skin appear rough and patchy.  Ingredients in your skin care products matter too. Products containing shea butter can help protect the skin from UV sunlight and harsh temperatures.

Hot temperatures in summer require exfoliating, moisturizing and protecting the skin. Sweat and skin oils can clog pores. Products containing sugar cane extract can keep pores open and help eliminate blemishes. Exfoliation removes dead, dulling skin debris to prevent congestion and improve hydration from toners and moisturizers. Moisturizing with a hydrating, water-based body cream can help provide long-hasting hydration.

Make water your best friend. Keep yourself hydrated from the inside out and apply moisturizer to keep yourself hydrated from the outside in.Shower and shampoo immediately after getting out of the swimming pool, using fresh, clean water and a natural, mild cleanser and exfoliate.  After exfoliating, moisturize and apply sun screen.  I know this sounds repetitive but it’s this repetition of exfoliating, moisturizing and applying SPF that will keep your skin healthy and glowing through the summer months.

If your skin burns, DNA in your skin cells have been damaged. Apply 30-50 SPF sunscreen with a broad ultraviolet spectrum. This will defend your skin from sun damage for approximately two hours. After that, sunscreen should be reapplied. If you are swimming or sweating a lot, apply more often.

Summer means that you should ease up on the makeup. Wear minimal facial makeup to allow the skin to breathe better. Humidity and heat suppress the skin’s ability to breathe and stresses it out. Avoid anything heavy on the face. Use a matte day cream, tinted moisturizer, a vegan lip treatment, tinted lip balm, and protective eyewear this summer to give your skin some rest.

What we eat has a lot to do with how we look and feel.  Go for seasonal fruits, vegetables and natural juices to feel fresh and stay away from sugary drinks.

Wearing loose, natural-fiber clothing and a hat during summer will protect your skin as well. Lastly. . .

. . . Have a great summer!

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While the Avengers demonstrate their superpowers on the silver screen you can unleash your skin care superpower by blasting away the negative effects of aging, dry skin, and inflammation. Iron Man’s protective suit of armor automatically wraps itself around him. Try a natural hydrating body cream to form a protective barrier on your skin trapping moisture in, keeping your skin soft and supple. Don’t let dry, aging skin destroy your look!

In Avengers movies accidental exposure to gamma radiation transforms a mild-mannered scientist into the super strong, green-skinned Hulk. You can brighten your skin and add a beautiful glow with a vegan cellular face cream containing lemon and orange extract. Sugar cane extract protects skin from toxins. Green tea extract won’t turn your skin green. But it will help protect your skin from free radicals and promote healthy collagen production.

Hulk’s ability to heal any wounds makes him immortal. He won’t face aging concerns, but we will. Super natural skin care ingredients can fend off the signs of aging while sleeping. Choose vegan cell renewal night cream to save your skin and our planet too. Vitamin rich shea butter is a strong anti-aging moisturizer. Marine based Hyadisine®smooths skin, moisturizes and reduces wrinkles. Cucumber seed extract combats fine lines and wrinkles.

Wasp is a female super hero in the Avengers movies. She is fun-loving, fashion focused and fierce. Her superpower comes from her hands and an ability to shrink or grow in size. She harnesses her body’s bio energy to project yellow electrical blasts or “stingers” from her hands. You can protect, repair and soothe your hands with a luxe vegan hand cream. Super oils including olive, jojoba, coconut, aloe vera, evening primrose and mastic essential oils along with plant-based extracts keep your hands looking and feeling sensational as you take on the day.

No matter what her size, Wasp won’t let her pretty lips get chapped, thin and flat. She need not settle for anything less than a revolutionary vegan lip elixir that plumps and softens lips naturally. Her love interest, Yellow Jacket, may like it too.

With his strong-man muscles and flowing blonde hair, Thor is the god of thunder who can fly and control the weather. He distrusts technology, has great stamina and can breathe anywhere, even in outer space. Applying natural ingredients that work with the skin allow it to “breathe” and reap maximum benefits from vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Don’t accept defeat, smash old habits. Avoid suffocating your skin.

Super ingredients in YASOU skin care penetrate, moisturize, restore elasticity, and support cellular renewal. Each of the original Avenger super heroes rely on their superpowers to save the universe but they are also everyday people. We love this sentiment expressed in an article by writer Alex Abad-Santos for Vox on the final Avengers movie, Endgame:

“Directors Anthony and Joe Russo … understand that the ‘best’ doesn’t just mean the strongest, fastest, smartest, or more powerful. The ‘best’ also applies to heroes’ spirits and souls; at the end of the day, when the world is crashing down, they are going to show us how refusing to give up, powers or no powers, makes us, well, super.”

After a day of clashes, colossal triumphs and startling surprises it’s time for you to relax. Pamper yourself with Greek-inspired luxe wellness skin care products that are 99.4 – 99.8% natural, with certified organic oils and botanicals. Unleash the power of your skin care before it’s too late!

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Sleep might be the closest thing to the fountain of youth.  I have never had problems with getting 7-8 hours of good sleep before, but as I’m aging I tend to wake up more often through out the night. Napping has become more important for my health and beauty routine these days.  I have always loved taking naps.  Naps can range in duration from 5 minutes up to 90 minutes. The best time to nap is in the afternoon between 3:00-5:00pm for about 90 minutes. During these hours you fall asleep faster. This sleep is said to be  more “efficient” because you experience deep sleep or “slow wave sleep.” During this mid-afternoon nap you go through a complete sleep cycle from the lightest stage through the deepest stage and back again, so you’ll wake feeling refreshed.

One of the biggest benefits to “deep sleep” napping is the effect of anti-aging and the reduction of cortisol in body.  Cortisol also called “the stress hormone,” is secreted in higher levels during the body’s fight or flight response to stress experienced in our daily lives.  Napping can help reduce cortisol in the blood and restore a state of hormone equilibrium thus giving your skin “beauty sleep.”

Napping (beauty sleep) is a natural way of improving skin for both women and men according to a study from University Hospital’s Case Medical Center.  Napping can help you have fewer wrinkles, tighter skin and even out the skin tone.

Skin repairs itself when we are in a deep sleep. It makes new collagen preventing the skin from sagging giving us plumper skin!  During sleep our bodies boost blood flow to skin which means when we wake we have a healthier glow. Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin creating dullness.  I prefer a boost of blood flow especially as I’m aging. People who don’t get enough rest appear less healthy.

Napping your way to better skin gives a whole new meaning to beauty rest. The research from University Hospitals Case medical center published in Science Daily found this to be true.  Scientists discovered that sleep reversed the appearance of fine lines, reduced signs of skin aging, improved the rate of recovery from environmental stressors, and improved recovery from UV radiation exposure. These are four good reasons to start napping if you aren’t already. So go ahead and take some naps if you need them. Napping may be the easiest way to good health and beautiful skin.

YASOU!

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Greek inspired skin care - YASOU hydrating body cream - YouTube

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We decided to have some fun and created a skin care word search for your amusement.  How many skin care terms can you find.  All you have to do is print the graphic, grab some juice or coffee and give it a go.  All the terms for you to find are listed on the right hand side so you can cross them off as you find them.  Hope you enjoy and maybe learn a new term or two.

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The new wonder ingredient Cannabidiol Oil also known as CBD is popping up everywhere and in everything these days. To be clear CBD Oil and Hemp Oil are two different oils that contain completely different compounds. The benefits differ as well so you need to make sure to not mistake them for the same oil.

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp plant, not the seeds. Also, the quality of CBD oil can vary so you’ll need to do your research and read your labels.  It has different extraction methods as well as purity levels.

After a great deal of research here is what I found.  CBD rocks in reducing chronic inflammation. Inflammation is common among conditions in which your skin displays extreme dryness, rashes, sores and redness. It is also known to have antioxidant benefits.

There are three types of CBD oil we should all learn about in order to make smarter purchases.

1. Full Spectrum:  This type of CBD contains all other cannabinoids found in the marijuana (Hemp) plant including CBN (Cannabinol), CBG (Cannabigerol), and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), to name a few. And yes, along with these cannabinoids, Full Spectrum CBD also contains trace amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), but in very low concentrations (up to .3%), resulting in very minimal psychoactive stimulation.

2. Isolate:  This type of CBD is a pure, crystalline powder that contains 99% pure CBD. It contains only CBD.All the plant matter contained in the hemp plant, including oils, waxes, chlorophyll, and more are removed, offering a finished product that is CBD and nothing more.

3. Broad Spectrum:  This type of CBD is a bit of a mix between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate. Because Broad Spectrum CBD contains multiple cannabinoids, it can deliver the enhanced benefits of the “entourage effect,” (when many components within the cannabis plant interact with the human body to produce a stronger influence) without the risk of psychoactive effects of THC.

Skin Benefits of topical usage of CBD Oil

1. Known to slow down the skin’s aging process.
2. A more potent antioxidant than vitamin C or E, making it effective in the treatment of wrinkles and fine lines.
3. Known to neutralize free radicals and keep them from damaging the collagen and elastin in the skin keeping it tight and youthful in appearance.
4. Known to help soothe skin irritations.
5. Known to fight bacterial skin infections.
6. Known to improve the production of collagen.
7. Boosts the skin’s protective shield.
8. Known to treat and prevent acne.<

Overall, you need to do your research and experiment.  I believe that CBD is here to stay. I am presently researching CBD for YASOU’s next addition, an eye serum.  I’m still not sure it’s “THE” wonder ingredient that is more effective for your skin than other non-CBD skin care ingredients out there. Everyone has different skin with different needs so read your labels, research the ingredients and experiment.  YASOU! (photo: Michael Fischer/Pexels)

Sources:
ediatric Dermatology, Volume 35, Number 4, 1 July 2018
Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Aug; 30(8): 411–420.
CBD exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes

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Springtime!  The sun’s light shines longer. The air and soil warm. Trees sprout leaves. Seeds grow, flowers bloom, birds sing. From nature’s beautiful emergence from dormancy to life, we can all learn a lesson about beauty routines and self-care. Spring is the best time to plant vegetable seeds. Will those seeds grow into strong, healthy plants without water, sunlight, soil, space and someone to tend to them? Will we grow strong and healthy if our personal needs are unmet? Can we live life well without seeing the beauty within and amongst us? Opening ourselves up to beauty and to self-care is the surest way to tend to our physical and emotional well-being. In other words, self-care is a beautyroutine with beauty going way beyond the way we look, to the way we feel, hear, taste, smell and see the world.

You and your needs are important. A happy, confidant person takes risks and pushes their potential. However, do not create goals or expectations for your self-care beauty routine. It isn’t a to-do list, but it should be a priority. It’s supposed to feel slightly indulgent. Nature takes care of itself in wonderous ways. You can too.

Self-care beauty in the morning

Drink water when you wake up to hydrate your body and lift your mood. Nourish your skin with a vegan cellular day cream. Walk around the block or go workout in a gym. Enjoy a morning ritual of your own creation. Whether it’s a cup of coffee, reading a poem or doing an early morning stretch, make it your own. Brushing your teeth doesn’t count, though that is important.

Self-care beauty in the moment

Let your senses bring you to the present moment wherever you are. Forget about the past and future, focus on now. What’s in front of you? Behind you? Above or below you? Does it move? Is there color, texture, smell? Relish the moment. Be mindful. This simple act of mindfulness can reduce stress and rumination while boosting working memory, focus, cognitive flexibility and self-insight. It can eliminate that feeling of always being busy and rushed. Now that’s a beautiful thing.

Self-care beauty at work

Take short breaks during your workday to stay happy, motivated and productive. Go outdoors to feel the wind in your hair. Walk through office hallways. Say hello to someone you don’t know. Ask others about their work. Write down the things you like about your work. Whether you’re standing or sitting most of the day, watch your posture. Good posture reducesfatigue and strain on your body’s ligaments and muscles as well as stress on your spine. Also, protect your private life by setting boundaries between your personal and professional life. You don’t need to be accessible 24 hours a day.

Self-care beauty in the evening

Get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. During sleep your brain merges memories, eliminates toxins and creates neural pathways. Give it enough time to do its thing. Remember to apply a vegan cell renewal night cream so that your skin can do its thing during sleep – repair damaged cells, build up collagen and hyaluronic acid molecules, and moisturize.

Self-care beauty any time

Each day create a happiness moment. Be aware of what makes you happy. Laugh, cry, hug. Expressing emotion is a release.

Your brain loves novelty so shake up your routine. Take a different route to work. Change your nail color. Wear new makeup or put on a flirty spring dress to change your look.

Eat healthy. Create your own menu for the week that includes fresh foods. This can help you avoid impulse eating due to a lack of time. Set a regular meal time. Enjoy your meal, whether you are alone or with others. Consume protein and carbs to stay fueled.

Stop the negative self-talk. Once you hear that voice replace it with a thought you enjoy – a fun vacation, a beautiful mountain or prairie, a loved one’s smile. Beauty outweighs the negative.

Nurturing a plant or garden has therapeutic benefits. Nurturing others through volunteer work can be self-care since what you give is often returned tenfold. Good Karma.

Yoga and meditation merge mind, body and spirit. A daily practice of even several minutes a day can reap lots of benefits for your well-being. Increase your energy, while reducing blood pressure, anxiety and depression.

Lighten your load, literally. Only carry what you truly need and want. Baggage slows us down and wreaks havoc on our posture.

Fresh flowers, a glass of wine, a bath and an all-natural hydrating body cream will please your senses. Keeping your skin moisturized and smooth to the touch is an easy way to pamper your body. It creates a soothing sensation that makes you feel prized.

Create moods with lighting, candles, music, a good book or movie. Take time to relax. Invite friends or just breathe and sit with your own thoughts. Write down a few things you are grateful for. This will shift your mindset to one of abundance rather than scarcity.

Finally, respect your own mind-body-spirit needs. Your health and beauty practices are different from anyone else. Do what’s right for you.

(photo: Daria Shevtsova/pexels)

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