Protect Your Skin This Summer!

June Hummer

Keep Cool!

Summer is pretty much upon us, especially here in Arizona!

These warm, wonderful months are great. Pool parties, barbeques, beach fun, your new swimsuit and more. However, being around all these social events leads to one huge issue – the insecure feeling of imperfect skin. Now, this is silly. You should love the skin you’re in! Be happy with that body, you’re beautiful already (yes, men, you too)! But I am human as well and share these common insecurities. Sunburn, being out of shape, acne, and what if my pores are too big, or my lips chapped up? Yikes! Even though we are our own toughest judges, it’s common knowledge that we have to love ourselves before others can even have the chance to share that experience. So what do we do about this? Face-creams, washes, medications, indoor tanning…our skin goes through a lot of rough stuff and chemicals just to reach our perception of what we feel beauty is. This has the possibility of creating damage that may appear years later. I know I personally don’t want that.

One way to help protect our sensitive skin this summer is to be sure to wear the appropriate SPF sunscreen at all times while continuously out in the sun. Re-applying is also key and very important! I designed my lotions at Ember Cove to have the most gentle ingredients possible, while still providing SPF 15. Although this isn’t an alternative to sun screen, it provides enough cover without harsh chemicals, so when you’re not out continuously, you’re still protected. The gentle ingredients in my lotion such as Aloe and Shea Butter provide wonderful healing properties so even if you get a sunburn, my lotion is safe to apply (unscented works best in this situation). This also works as a great makeup primer for the ladies, as it won’t clog pores or irritate acne. Besides this, you’ll be happy your skin is velvet soft once you meet that special someone at those summertime events. ;)

Consider covering your lips, as they are more sensitive than your normal skin. Ember Cove lip balms contain all natural ingredients which heal while keeping your lips luscious and kissable. They taste great, and won’t leave a waxy feeling or buildup on your lips that may cause unwanted attention – or keep someone from giving you welcome attention! Healthy lips are happy lips, especially during the summer.

Enjoy the sun

Enjoy the Sun!

No matter what, be happy with how your skin looks and who you are. Imperfections are beautiful and they make you unique and individual. I can guarantee that confidence in yourself will attract way more people this summer than the perfect skin. However, sunscreen and other sun protection is the quickest way to healthy skin, as prolonged exposure can cause irreparable damage. Be safe, plan ahead, and you and your skin will have the best summer ever.

I design my products at Ember Cove to be gentle and have healing properties without the harsh chemicals you find in so many other products these days. They are safe to apply on sunburns, sensitive skin, and the unscented lotion is even gentle enough to apply to fresh ink on your new summer tattoo!

Remember, I am not a doctor. All my thoughts are my own opinions or suggestions and are not meant to be taken as a prescription or guaranteed healing remedy. All images used in this post belong to me.

 

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Five Awesome Butters for Your Body.

I hope everyone had a happy 4th and a fantastic weekend! I’m going to start this week off in an awesome way by spreading some ingredient related knowledge! Woo! Get excited!

Okay, I had a list of ten butters but yikes! There is so much information online that I wanted to make sure I was providing a well-cited and well researched post (some places tend to provide sketchy information which I do my best to avoid). Due to the amount of time this took, I just decided to go with five butters for now and include five more butters sometime later in the future when I have more time. :) This way it is a faster read as well, so win-win!

Natural body  butters are great, simple as that. They have multiple uses from the prevention of stretch marks to burn ointments and moisturizers. Most can even be used as natural personal healing remedies for your skin. I love using body butters when I’m about to lay by the pool and tan, and I even use some butters when I go to the gym to prevent stretch marks from rapid muscle growth or skin stretching. I use a lot of natural butters in my recipes at Ember Cove, so it’s definitely worth checking out. Even if you don’t think it sounds interesting, just give it a few sentences before you make your final decision. You’ll probably change your mind!

One of the most popular and well-known butters is Shea Butter, which I will not be listing in this particular list (mostly because I already wrote about it). The butters I’m writing about in this post are not as well known, but don’t let that fool you. They are just as beneficial, or more. Now, I’m not going to go into FULL depth with these butters (I’ll save that for individual posts!) so instead I’m just going to give a quick summary of the most popular things these butters are known for and their natural benefits. Enjoy!

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa Butter – Yummm. I seriously LOVE The scent of this butter in its unrefined and natural state. You won’t be surprised to hear that this naturally chocolate scented butter is extracted from cacao seeds, also known as cocoa beans. Yes, the very same that make delicious chocolate! One of the most popular and well known skin care uses for this scrumptious butter is used by pregnant women to help reduce and fade stretch marks. They are advised to rub pure, unrefined cocoa butter on their bellies every day so the skin remains moisturized. If you already have existing stretch marks, try applying this butter every day and see if they don’t fade. Cocoa butter is an excellent emollient that is very well absorbed by your skin (even as deep as the dermis!). The high content of vitamin E found in this butter is the reason for so many of its beneficial properties. It is most popular for its skin renewal and repair, from scars all the way to full blown skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis.

Cupuacu Butter

Cupuacu Butter

Cupuacu Butter – This butter is claimed by some to be “the strongest moisturizer for skincare”. It has a softer and creamier consistency than cocoa butter, but shares a lot of the same benefits. It is quickly gaining attention for its remarkable water absorption which makes it a fantastic natural emollient that provides deep, long lasting hydration. It has a slight but pleasant aroma that is kind of hard to describe. Highly recommended for mature, aging or damaged skin, the high level of essential fatty acids within Cupuacu Butter give it the ability to restore elasticity to the skin and treat skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis.

Kokum Butter

Kokum Butter

Kokum Butter – Kokum butter is a solid fat that is obtained from kokum seeds grown from the “Garcinia indicia” tree in India. Pure Kokum Butter is well known for its emollient and regenerative properties making it one of the best choices for damaged skin. I find it completely interesting that because it is rich in fatty acids, it provides cell oxygenation and makes nutrients more readily available for use by skin tissues. It also helps to regenerate skin cells. which you have to admit is pretty cool. Kokum butter has the ability to soften and soothe dry, irritated or burnt skin. It also helps to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles of mature and aging skin. This is one of the absolute best options out there for those of you with sensitive skin. Kokum butter is also used to provide moisture to dry lips, chapped hands and soles of the feet.

Lanolin Butter

Lanolin Butter

Lanolin Butter – This nifty butter has been used all the way back to Greek and Roman times. I have to admit, when I first found out what it was I was kind of turned away from it, but I researched more and this butter is pretty legit. So, what is it? Lanolin, also called Wool Fat or Wool Wax, is a thick, greasy and yellow substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. Yes, you read that correctly. But wait, wait. Stay with me here. Don’t walk away from this just yet. Because it is extracted from freshly shorn wool (the sheep is unharmed, it’s just like a haircut), it undergoes a purification process to remove all impurities, so it’s really not gross at all! Lanolin is actually a fantastic moisturizer, and among my top favorites. It acts as a lubricant and prevents water loss, which helps keep the skin soft and smooth. I use a small amount of this butter in my lotions at Ember Cove, and all feedback I have received claim it’s the best moisturizer they have ever tried!

Mango Butter

Mango Butter

Mango Butter – The kernels of the mango fruit contain an extremely rich butter which has been found to be wonderful for skin. In tropical countries, this butter has been used for its rejuvenating properties in healing skin problems, and its fantastic moisturizing qualities. This butter may be very rich, but it is easily absorbed by your skin. It is often used to maintain a youthful appearance. How? Well, mango butter rejuvenates skin due to the presence of antioxidants. This helps it to neutralize toxins, generate skin cell renewal and prevents wrinkle formation. Mango butter also has a protective effect against UV radiation. As you see, this butter is very versatile with range of wonderful qualities. The ability to hydrate skin for long periods of time, lightening of age and sun damage spots, tightening skin and healing eczema, rashes, irritations and generally, bringing back a healthy tone to your skin. Mango butter is even able to work deeper into the skin, healing muscle aches and tensions. Pretty nifty!

These all sound great, don’t they? The best part about this list is that it helps motivate me to create a butter blend for Ember Cove. A massage sounds pretty good  right now, that’s for sure! I have been thinking of making a massage butter for a while, and a few of these that I listed are really convincing me that I need to get on it right away. :)

If you guys have more ideas about what you’d like me to write about, please feel free to comment on this post or send me an e-mail at sales@embercove.com. I really look forward to hearing any feedback! Also, any “likes” on my Facebook will receive a smile and thank you from me. As a thank you for reading this post, I will give you a free $3 coupon towards any purchase at Ember Cove. To receive the coupon, just include a comment/feedback below and relate it to this post (not the coupon). If you’re shy or don’t feel like giving this post feedback, just send me an e-mail for a $2 coupon instead! :D

A thank you to my sources: Livestrong, eHow, Skincare Naturals, Veria Living, Skin Care Secrets, Nicole-Spa, HubPages, Cupuacu Butter, From Nature With Love, Ingredients to Die For, Health and Beauty, Kokum Butter, Beautiful with Brains, Fresh! Food for your Skin, Africa Imports

Calendula Oil – So many remedies!

Calendula Flower

There is an incredibly great reason I use calendula oil as the main ingredient in my Shaving Oil & Skin Salve at Ember Cove. The wide variety of healing remedies this little herb has to offer the skin are simply amazing. You may recognize “calendula” as its other name, the common flower, Marigold. When the flowers are infused into an oil base, the healing properties flourish. For many cases, calendula oil can be used as an alternative to Neosporin. Time to list a few big words. Calendula naturally contains anti-oxidants and offers antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, anti-fungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties. Wow! This makes it useful for disinfecting and treating minor cuts, wounds, and scratches (hence the “Skin Salve” part of my Shaving Oil). Not enough? It is also anti-inflammatory when applied topically. Because of this, you will more than likely find relief and a speedier recovery when applying it to other irritations as well like burns, rashes, bruises, yeast infections, athlete’s’ foot, bee stings, and dry or chapped/cracked skin. In further addition, it will also benefit those suffering from skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis.

My first experience with calendula oil marked the end of my shaving problems for life. I had won a contest on another blog where the prize was a small sample of calendula. When it arrived in the mail, I set it aside for future use. I had read a few things about the healing remedies it had to offer, but the timing wasn’t right to add it to any of my existing Ember Cove products. Well, a few weeks passed and I was getting sick of the red bumps and irritations that my electric shaver caused me, so I tried to shave with a razor instead. I used regular foaming shaving gel, applied liberally, let it soak in and shaved. It felt great, or so I thought. The next morning, my legs were COVERED with razor burn, ingrown hairs, big splotchy rashes…it was a disaster, I even took pictures because it was so bad. Because I own a bath & beauty company that focuses on healing skin irritations, the first thing that popped in to my mind was to grab some ingredient to slather on my shaving battle wounds. I thought of Shea Butter, but that’s really greasy when applied alone, same with coconut oil. Both of those were great options, but I didn’t want my legs to have that greasy shine. The calendula came to mind and I figured, “why not?”. I applied the oil, completely rubbed it into my skin and waited. The next day, the swelling that the ingrown hairs had caused had gone down, but there were still little scars and a few bumps from the previous irritation. A week went by with daily application, the scars completely healed and the ingrown hairs went away. Since I was due for another shave, I used the calendula and mixed it with sunflower oil to experiment. I used a regular throw-away razor with only three blades. The moment of truth came the next morning. I woke up and looked at my legs, and for the first time in 24 years, my legs had no irritations on them. They were as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I was hooked for life! I immediately started working on a recipe for my business, infused the calendula with olive oil and a few other choice oils, and came up with my Shaving Oil & Skin Salve at Ember Cove.

Speaking of baby bottoms, anyone with a baby in their life will appreciate this. One of the best uses for calendula oil is healing diaper rash. It soothes the area instantly, and helps with a speedy recovery for baby’s little hind end! Bed sores and rug burns can even benefit with an application of calendula oil. For the “older” kids, it contains anti-aging properties and broken or varicose veins will benefit from the healing properties. I have seen it suggested to “apply calendula oil after cosmetic waxing or laser procedures to calm the skin and reduce the inflammation and redness quickly while bringing a sense of relief to the site. As a bonus, it will reduce scarring”.

Calendula Oil

The process of creating calendula oil involves immersing the flower heads in an oil (I use olive oil at Ember Cove), and letting them slowly infuse with each other over a period of weeks. Because of this, individuals who are allergic to ragweed, goldenrod, or any other plant in the Asteraceae/Compositae family will probably not benefit from a calendula application. If you aren’t one of these unlucky people, then go ahead and enjoy the benefits of this medicinal oil all you want! Just be sure not to go absolutely bonkers and when using calendula topically, follow general guidelines for first aid, (aka don’t apply it to gaping or oozing wounds).

Be sure to check out the Shaving Oil & Skin Salve I make at Ember Cove! My business is how I make my living, so know that any purchase you make helps me personally. In return, my products are guaranteed to help you so it’s a great deal for both of us! :D Link this article to your friends and family, maybe even the guy at Starbucks who is always on his laptop! Educate everyone with the healing properties of calendula. Consider sending me a “like” on Facebook as well so that I can reach more people with my information. :)

A thank you to my sources:  Effortless  Eating, The Mountain Rose Blog, Delighted Momma, Ageless, Livestrong, Score Skincare, Langua Vert, List of Birthstones

Palm Oil – From a Fruit, Not Your Hands!

Palm OilSince I include palm oil as an ingredient in all of my soap and lotions at Ember Cove, I felt it was time to explain the many beneficial reasons for doing this! This oil is amazing to use internally and also as a cooking oil and hair care product, but I will be covering the benefits for your skin.

Palm oil is oil collected from the fruit of oil palms, which are now grown in a variety of areas. It is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A, and is recommended by dermatologists because of its high concentrations of vitamin E to protect skin cells and improve overall health. Because of saturated fats, palm oil is an amazing moisturizer for your skin. Your skin absorbs everything you put on it, and palm oil is a natural substitute for a chemical-based moisturizer.

Palm oil contains natural antibacterials which make it a great opponent against acne. Including this oil as an ingredient helps your skin maintain moisture, yet remain clearand blemish free. Dryness can actually cause the skin to become irritated and sensitive, which can lead to acne as well as a variety of other irritations. Palm oil is also beneficial to use if you have a cut or scrape on your skin, because the oil will kill germs. Even though it is an oil itself, it actually makes it easy to lift oil and dirt off your skin for an absolutely fresh feeling. Included in my soap and lotions for a reason, palm oil ensures your skin stays soft, supple and blemish free! Because it locks in moisture, this ingredient is essential to help heal and soothe many skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and dry skin.

Palm oil fruit

Palm Oil Fruit

Here is an interesting anti-aging fact about palm oil! It is rich in toctrienols, a higher form of vitamin E family which is extremely beneficial to your skin. The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin ailments and is found in many anti-aging products. Vitamin E, as I have mentioned in my other blogs is a strong antioxidant that helps the skin to fight free radicals that damage the skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Betty Kamen, PhD confirms that as a stronger antioxidant than tocopherols, toctrienols have been proven to be more effective in preventing aging and damage from free radicals. Used topically, as with tocopherol, toctrienols are able to penetrate deep into the skin’s layers to enable healing and protection from the base up. Truly a wonderful addition to my soap and lotions!

These are the reasons I have included this amazing ingredient in my soap and lotions, and I hope this information has helped!

I highly suggest checking out the American Palm Oil Council’s website for more amazing information and a very informative and interesting video!

A thank you to my sources: eHow, Livestrong, B4teaSaranabuSa

Shaving Oil? Never heard of it!

Shaving Oil

Ember Cove Shaving Oil & Skin Salve

As many of you know, I have launched my newest product which is Ember Cove Shaving Oil & Skin Salve. I have such sensitive skin that even after shaving with an electric shaver I get razor burn. Shaving with an actual razor? It used to be out of the question. I became tired of razor burn, irritations, ingrown hairs and the acne caused by both of these, so I decided to look for an alternative. I was doing research on oils one day and a wonderful idea for a shaving oil came to mind. After doing an extensive search, I discovered myself that there are “pre-shave” oils, but little to no shaving oil, so I decided to make my own!

A couple months ago when I was trying out recipes for it, I asked my significant other if he’d try it. Since he is in the military, he needs to shave every single day and is prone to razor burns and irritations so I thought this would be perfect for him. The only answer I received from him at that point was, “I don’t think that’s going to work”. Perfect. He’s the hardest person to convince! I developed my recipe and gave it to him to try, and after a few days of ignoring the shaving oil on the counter he finally did. Immediately, he said it felt wonderful and a couple weeks later he actually came up to me and said, “you know, I actually like shaving now”.

So why does this “shaving oil” work? And why the “skin salve” part? Well, the shaving oil & skin salve is made up of 6 extremely healthy oils that all have individual benefits for your skin. Each oil works as a different salve and helps heal and soothe skin ailments. Like every product I make, this shaving oil serves multiple purposes and benefits to your skin besides just providing a close shave. The oils it is made with consist of Sunflower Oil, Aloe Vera Oil, Calendula Oil, Emu Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Lemon Oil. Sounds great, right? Maybe not yet, but I’ll explain why these are awesome.

  • Sunflower Oil has calming and emollient properties. It is nourishing and softening and can help skin that suffers from acne, eczema, rashes and redness. It contains very high levels of vitamin E.
  • Aloe Vera has been prized for hundreds of years for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. It can be used to treat various skin ailments like eczema, psoriasis, ulcers, dermatitis, acne and also to stimulate cell regeneration, as it is an excellent softening agent. The various enzymes in aloe vera oil reduce the itching, swelling and inflammation. The oil and gel of aloe vera can also be used to treat wounds, burns, scalds and even sunburn, as the plant extract counters any bacterial infection while increasing the circulation, which speeds up the healing process.
  • Calendula Oil has become one of my favorites. Its use is for skin irritations, cracks, slow-healing wounds, razor burns, psoriasis, eczema, sunburns, dry skin, itchiness, and inflammation. Perfect as a shaving oil ingredient!
  • Emu Oil is pretty outstanding. Research and history shows that Emu oil has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine by the Aborigines of Australia. It was used for arthritis pain relief, to heal wounds, burns, sunburns, and to reduce the pain, itch & swelling of insect bites and stings. Emu Oil is gentle for all skin types, non-toxic & natural, non-comedogenic (does not clog pores) and hypo-allergenic so it’s great for people with sensitive skin and allergies.
  • Sweet Almond Oil is an excellent moisturizer. It also soothes and softens the skin. Safe for all skin types, baby massages, wrinkles, stretch marks, and great for really dry skin.
  • Lemon oil deploys antiseptic effects on minor infections of the skin, including acne. When mixed and diluted correctly (which mine is), this oil will leave you feeling refreshed with smooth, soothed, healthier skin.

Okay, that sounds a lot more awesome! But it sounds like an oily mess, why would I want to use this? Quite the contrary! This shaving oil will not make your skin feel oily at all with proper use, and will provide amazing benefits to  your skin that your normal shaving routine never did before! There are a few ways to use shaving oil, but for Ember Cove Shaving Oil & Skin Salve I recommend:

  • Wet the area with warm water
  • Shake the bottle to ensure the oils are mixed well
  • Apply Ember Cove Shaving Oil & Skin Salve, making sure to cover the entire area to be shaved
  • Optional: Apply shaving cream. However this product was made to eliminate the need for this.
  • Shave!
  • Rinse your razor often.
  • Rinse lightly and pat dry.
  • Rub the remainder of the oil into your skin and enjoy!

I also recommend making sure your razor is sharp, as dull razors are more likely to pull.

I am extremely proud of this product and quite excited about it as well. In fact, I guarantee that after trying it you will be hooked as well! If you’re not, there’s always a full refund waiting so what do you have to lose? I can write about this shaving oil & skin salve all day and night, and many people will be skeptical to even give it a quick try. I am confident that like my other products, this one is an amazing benefit to your skin – both to women and men alike! It comes in a few awesome fragrances that are faint enough to not irritate your nose, but pleasant enough to give off a sort of aftershave scent. This makes an awesome gift for anyone who shaves, and I highly recommend it to those who have to shave every single day.

Tried the oil already? Leave your feedback here! I am always eager to hear comments about any and all of my products.

Psoriasis – Not a Skin Condition

Bath ScrubI have seen numerous websites advertising that goat milk soap cures psoriasis. However, this is not true. There is no cure for psoriasis but there are treatments for your skin (and this is where my special recipe of goat milk soap really helps). Psoriasis is a medical condition that occurs when skin cells grow too quickly and instead of just being a skin disease, it is an inflammatory disease of the immune system that appears on the skin. Faulty signals in the immune system cause new skin cells to form in days rather than weeks. The body does not shed these excess skin cells, so the cells pile up on the surface of the skin and lesions form.

There are five different types of psoriasis but none of them are contagious. You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has psoriasis, swimming in the same pool, or even intimate contact. Psoriasis is much more complex, and it is unknown as to why it forms. Scientists are still studying what happens when psoriasis develops. They know that the person’s immune system and genes play key roles. In studying the immune system, scientists discovered that when a person has psoriasis, the T cells (a type of white blood cell that fights unwanted invaders such as bacteria and viruses) mistakenly trigger a reaction in the skin cells. This is why you may hear psoriasis referred to as a “T cell-mediated disease.”

This reaction activates a series of events, causing new skin cells to form in days rather than weeks. The reason T cells trigger this reaction seems to lie in our DNA. People who develop psoriasis inherit genes that cause psoriasis. However, not everyone who inherits genes for psoriasis gets psoriasis. For psoriasis to appear, it seems that a person must inherit the “right” mix of genes and be exposed to a trigger. Some common triggers are a stressful life event, skin injury, and having strep throat. Many people say that that their psoriasis first appeared after experiencing one of these. Triggers are not universal. What triggers psoriasis in one person may not cause psoriasis to develop in another.

For some people, psoriasis is a nuisance. Others find that psoriasis affects every aspect of their daily life. The unpredictable nature of psoriasis may be the reason. Some people have frequent flare-ups that occur weekly or monthly. Others have occasional flare-ups. When psoriasis flares, it can cause severe itching and pain. Sometimes the skin cracks and bleeds. When trying to sleep, cracking and bleeding skin can wake a person frequently and cause sleep deprivation. Sometimes a flare-up requires a visit to a dermatologist for additional treatment.

Ember Cove soaps are specially made to help treat and soothe inflamed skin caused by psoriasis. The mixture of goat milk and honey along with my other all natural, gentle ingredients has been helping many of my customers with their psoriasis treatments, depending on how severe it is. A nice alternative for heavily medicated products, my hypoallergenic soap and lotion is extremely beneficial to treating this chronic disease.

Please note that I am not a doctor and will never claim to be one. Consult your dermatologist and ask them if my soaps and lotions could be right for your skin. Everyone is different and reactions to products vary from person to person. Always know what’s good for you and make your decisions based on how you know your skin reacts. If you experience any inflammation or irritation, stop use of any product you’re using immediately and contact a doctor or dermatologist.

A thank you to my sources: Psoriasis Speaks, Psoriasis Net, eMedicineHealth, MedicineNet, NIAMS, Medical News Today, Psoriasis Connections, National Psoriasis Foundation, Inside-Psoriasis