Category Archives: The Healthy Life

Self-Care: The Importance of Taking Care of Number One

(Written by guest author Sarah Galla of The Nourished Seedling.)

I was on empty – diapers, that is.

My youngest was now using the spare diaper I kept hidden in the car – the one only to be used in emergency situations. I had to drop off my oldest at school, get to the store and then get back home to a playdate with friends that were coming over within the hour.

Scrambling out the door, I took a last sip of my water. However, in my haste, it slipped from my hand, shattering all over the floor. As I jumped in surprise, my purse fell off of my shoulder, spilling all over the floor.

After frantically cleaning the glass up, then washing the floor, I stepped on a remaining shard, crying out in pain. Meanwhile, my kiddos were starting to bicker with each other, waiting by the front door, mostly out of a nervous apprehension while their mom was pretty much losing it.

It was nothing huge, but it made me pause.

These little people, whether I like it or not, are picking up on my energy, my anxiety, almost as if my racing thoughts were pouring out of my head and seeping into their little bodies.

It Made Me Pause

black-and-white-person-woman-girlAt this point, I was more upset at myself for letting the little things get the best of me than actually anything related to the mess that lay before me. I was irritable, tired, and, overall, just disappointed in myself because I felt I was failing at life.

I was supposed to do it all, be it all, have it all together. But I wasn’t, and didn’t.

Here I was, the designated grown-up, covered in water, limping with a chard of glass in my foot, contents of my purse (still) all over the floor and tears threatening to fall. Six beautiful big eyes looked back at me, shining of innocence and glaring uncertainty.

This was the moment – my opportune moment. I could continue to be angry, sad, frustrated and wallow in self-pity. Or, I could walk the walk and be the person I wanted my girls to see.

So, I sat – in the middle of the mess. They all looked at me, incredulously. I took them all in my arms and hugged them. And then, with some kid-interpretations here and there, I went on to explain about self-care, and why I was the example of how important it is to care for ourselves.

Why We Put Our Mask On First

We often give and give until we have nothing left to give. We give to our jobs, to our families, to our children, to our friends, but what about to ourselves? Not fancy clothes or expensive material items. No, I’m talking about something much harder and more precious to give – our time and attention. Without self-care, our bodies, our souls wither from the lack of nourishment.

Are we eating right, getting enough sleep, addressing our feelings of anger, sadness, and resentment? Or are we sweeping these underneath the rug, storing them away, promising ourselves we will get to them when we have time?

No one for sure knows what is going on in our heads at any given time. No one for sure knows exactly what is going on in our life at any given time.

However, there is one person that is aware, one person that can change the course or put on the brakes – and that person is us. Often we overlook the importance of how we think and feel, and just keep propelling forward, resolving that we will take time as soon as some ambiguous goal is attained.

However, there is a reason the standing rule of securing our mask before that of anyone else’s is still a standing rule. If we cannot function, how can we expect to help others function? If we start focusing on the desires of everyone and everything outside of ourselves, without regard to our own needs, we lose our bearings, our internal compass that not only guides us, but truly helps us thrive.

Checking In With Ourselves

I was so focused on trying to do all of these tasks and fulfill requests with speed, that I didn’t take the time to check in with myself. I didn’t notice I hadn’t consumed anything but coffee. I didn’t notice I had not taken at least one deep breath since I woke up.

Even more important to me, is that I didn’t notice how my frantic, yet robotic movements, profoundly impacted the feelings of serenity of myself and those around me.

Often times, it takes crippling body aches, emotional breakdowns, or even a great loss to see firsthand the importance of self-care.

However, when we take the time to assess our needs along with our realistic capabilities, and then ensuring these needs are met on a regular basis, we can head off many catastrophes and feelings of despair.

In fact, we become more accountable, more responsible, so not only can others know they can rely on us, we know that we can count on ourselves.


SGalla_profile2Sarah Galla, M.S., R.Y.T., is the creator, recipe developer, photographer and writer behind The Nourished Seedling. As a mother of three amazing kiddos, she is an advocate the importance of real food and mindful eating, and that no matter how hard the storm, to always look for the rainbow after the rain. Sarah is also a Soap Hope Ambassador of Hope!

Demystifying Our Dimpled Skin: Natural Cellulite Remedies

The first mention of cellulite in the United States was in the April issue of Vogue magazine in 1968.

Since then, there have been years of debate around what cellulite is, why it occurs, and who experiences the skin condition.

Cellulite is said to affect 80-90% of post-adolescent females. In fact, the condition is so common that the prevailing mindset is that cellulite is the “normal condition of many women.”

Cellulite is a less common skin condition in men, but it is found more commonly in males with androgen deficiencies.

So what is cellulite?

Cellulite, also known as adiposis edemetosa (or “orange peel syndrome”), is the dimpled appearance of skin, usually found on the pelvic region and lower limbs.

Cellulite is what happens when fat cells push against the skin, through our connective tissue (the stuff that keeps our skin and muscle attached). What results is the bumpy, uneven skin surface that so many of us fret over.

Treatment of cellulite

The treatment and prevention of cellulite is also hotly contested. While there is no known “cure” for the condition, there are some ways to improve the appearance of your skin (that don’t involve surgery or harmful chemicals).

Addressing the cause of cellulite seems to make the most sense, but there are several factors can contribute to developing the condition: hormone imbalances, excess body fat, genetics, stress, etc.

As with any skin treatment, we’ll always suggest feeding your body first with the nutrients that you need. Getting enough sleep, managing stress, and building good habits will help address some of the causes of cellulite — and they’re going to improve other aspects of your health, too.

Dry skin brushing

Consider this a lymphatic system makeover. Not only does dry brushing improve the overall appearance of skin by exfoliating and stimulating it, but it helps with blood flow and promotes cell renewal.

A daily dry brushing before your shower is an easy and highly recommended practice — incorporating this into your normal regimen is said to provide near immediate results for healthier, happier skin.

Coffee scrubs

Coffee and Sugar Detox Scrub
Pacifica’s Kona Coffee  and Sugar Detox Scrub invigorates tired skin and smells amazing!

Caffeine naturally stimulates the skin and has a tightening effect on it. Using a scrub several times a week along with your normal skin care routine will help to promote healthier skin — some studies suggest results in a couple of weeks.

Detox and Moisturize

Seaweed Bath Company Detox Cellulite Soap
Seaweed Bath Company Detox Cellulite Soap

Our fat cells are great at storing all sorts of things — energy, hormones, and especially toxins.

There are a few methods to help remove toxins (diet can help immensely here, too), including massage and a skin care regimen that includes the topical application of natural moisturizers.

One of our favorite methods of detoxing is through the use of seaweed. Natural seaweed is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and nourishing amino acids.

Seaweed Bath Company Detox Cellulite Cream
Seaweed Bath Company Detox Cellulite Cream

Seaweed is also a great weapon against toxins, because of its impressive ability to bind to harmful elements and safely remove them.

A Final Note

In the unending battle against imperfections and aging, it’s especially important to accept our bodies while we work on nurturing them. The methods we’ve suggested will not only help the appearance of dimpled skin, but also serve overall health and well-being.



Our Plastic Bottle Addiction

The use of plastic today is both prevalent and highly profitable.

In 2000, Americans drank 23 gallons of bottled water (per person) annually.

In 2014, that number significantly increased to 34 gallons per person. That’s 10.7 billion gallons of plastic bottled water in a year.

The Plastic Industry

“The single most important factor in the growth of bottled water is heightened consumer demand for healthier refreshment,” Gary A. Hemphill, managing director for Beverage Marketing Corporation, said recently .

“Convenience of the packaging and aggressive pricing have been contributing factors,” he noted.

And recycling these plastic bottles, which only 31% of people actually do, doesn’t necessarily mean they get turned back into plastic bottles. They usually get turned into textiles, like clothing.

And when synthetic clothing is washed, those microplastics just wind up back in our water.

The Solution

Many Americans are aware of the amount of waste that comes from plastic bottles and the other negative implications caused by the industry.

But John Stewart of Corporate Accountability International points out the battle that’s ahead when it comes to fighting the system in place.

“Cities are so desperate that they don’t think about long-term implications of job cuts, rate hikes, loss of control over the quality of the water and any kind of accountability when it comes to how the system is managed,” says Stewart.

“We need to turn all eyes to our public water systems and aging infrastructure,” he says, “and our public services in general that are threatened by privatization.”

Access to clean water is, thankfully, something that a majority of Americans have.

We also have the option of better, more sustainable choices.

Steps in the Right Direction

At the 2010 Conference of Mayors, 72 percent of mayors said they have considered “eliminating or reducing bottled water purchases within city facilities,” with several mayors indicating bans already being in place.

Earlier in 2015, San Francisco passed a law that bans the sale of bottled water on city property.

Companies like Klean Kanteen are also doing their part and adding to the conversation by offering more sustainable solutions to consumers.

“At Klean Kanteen, our commitment to you and the planet drives everything we do,” states their website. “From our stainless steel creations to the company we keep, we are firmly fixed on the task of making healthy, high-quality goods that will faithfully replace a lifetime of single-use items. Our hope is that you will go forth and re-use our products for years and even decades to come. One cup, bottle, and container at a time adds up… to big results.”

We’re thrilled to offer Klean Kanteen’s entire line of durable, BPA-free, high quality bottles here at Soap Hope. Here are some of our favorite items!



Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Eating for Healthier Skin: The Importance of Nutrition in Skin Care

When focusing on a healthy skin care regimen, it’s easy to get lost in all of the options that are out there — soaps, washes, toners, creams, butters. While what we put on the outside of our bodies is important, it’s just as crucial for us to be mindful of what we’re doing for our insides, too!

If you’ll remember our earlier post about the microbiome, you’ll remember that balancing our internal flora with healthy, whole foods will also help to improve the condition of our skin.

Instead of turning to harsh chemical peels or drastically changing your routine, start thinking holistically about caring for your skin. Giving our bodies the nutritional resources it needs to function will produce longer lasting results.

Wondering what foods your skin craves most?

1. Good fats

Not all fats are bad, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are going to help strengthen your cell membranes and provide all sorts of other benefits. “[Omega-3 fats] provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation,” reports a study from Harvard.

You can take fish oil supplements or find omega-3 fats in some of your favorite fish, like salmon and mackerel.

2. Prebiotics and probiotics

YFdIoUsRJCAehcoUnQaS_StrawI imagine you’ve heard all about probiotics — good bacteria that ultimately make our digestive system a happier place.

Prebiotics are what probiotics needs to stay alive. “When combined with probiotics, the two become symbiotic; rich with both live bacteria and the food they need to thrive.

You can get both pre- and probiotics  from foods like kefir and yogurt.


Vegetables, especially leafy greens, are your best friend. Not just for your skin, but for other bodily functions as well. Foods like broccoli and spinach contain lipoic acid, which is apparently some kind of miracle compound.

Researchers announced they have identified the mechanism of action of lipoic acid, a remarkable compound that in animal experiments appears to slow down the process of aging, improve blood flow, enhance immune function and perform many other functions.”

4. Anything with antioxidants

foodAntioxidants prevent the oxidation of molecules, and that’s important because oxidation means cell damage.

If you’re looking for antioxidants, you’re best bet is BERRIES. Cranberries, blueberries, strawberries — they all pack a hearty antioxidant punch.

So the next time you’re battling a breakout or skin irritation, start looking not just at what you’re doing to cleanse or moisturize your skin, but what you’re feeding it on the inside.

Breathe Deep: How Breathing More Effectively Can Make You Happier

“Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive.” (Alexander Lowen)

Breathing is one of our most basic bodily functions, but despite the fact that we’ve been doing it for as long as we’ve been alive, it’s quite possible that we’re doing it all wrong.


Breathing is one of the few processes that we can control both consciously and unconsciously. It’s the only process that both delivers oxygen to our body and removes carbon dioxide.

Our breath is controlled by specialized centers in the brainstem, which regulates it according to our body’s needs. If we’re sleeping, for instance, our levels of carbon dioxide are lower, which doesn’t necessitate a higher frequency of breathing.

swimmingWe can also actively and consciously control our breath, and if you’re into running or yoga or meditation, this might be something you’re well aware of, having to regulate your breath along with your activity.


If we’re not breathing properly, this robs our bodies of the oxygen that we need — which can lead to a number of other health problems, including higher blood pressure and weak muscles.

If you’ve ever watched an infant sleep, you’ll see their tummy rise and fall — not just their chest. We’re born knowing how to breathe correctly, but (like everything else) stress and anxiety take their toll on us, especially our breathing.

When we’re anxious, our bodies are in “fight or flight” mode, resulting in shorter breaths and overall tension.

If we’re in a constant state of stress, we’re essentially hyperventilating, and aren’t even using our lungs to their fullest extent. “This leads to a poor exchange of oxygen and CO2 in the bloodstream, depriving our bodies of both vital gases.”


Luckily, we’re able to make some small improvements that can make a big impact on our health — relieve stress, increase the delivery rate of oxygen to our body, and help our digestive and lymphatic systems.

By controlling the rhythm of our inhale and exhale, and by taking measured, relaxing breaths, we’re sending a message to the rest of our body. We’re no longer in “fight or flight” mode — we’re telling our muscles to ease up, our heart rate to become steady. All good things.


Make a note to check in on your breathing throughout the day — set an alarm if that helps. Are you taking short breaths? Are they shallow? Are you breathing in a rhythmic, relaxed way, through your nose?

Being aware of your breath will help you assess where you might need improvement.

Find a space and time where you can focus on your breathing, and take the following steps. (Note: don’t try too hard. This isn’t about perfection.)

  1. Start by sitting up straight, or you can lie down — the goal is to leave your diaphragm room to move, since that’s the muscle that we engage when we’re inhaling and exhaling. You should be comfortable and settled in your position.
  2. Breathe through your nose. If you’re congested, try a nasal cleanse so that you can breathe more easily.
  3. Focus on your breath and its rhythm. Breathe deeply, and think about filling your lungs. If it helps, place a hand on your belly, which should move gently up and down.
  4. Extend your exhale (this one helps me the most). Your inhale should be about 3 seconds long, and your exhale should be about 4 seconds. Again, perfection here is not the point. You want to regulate your breathing, but it’s not boot camp.
  5. Take note of what’s going on in the rest of your body. You should be relaxed and comfortable, and each breath should ease you further into relaxation.
  6. Try to clear your head, just focusing on your breathe. Our thoughts might drift towards the stresses of the day — let them come and go. Go back to your breathing, focus on filling your lungs, and getting all of that lovely oxygen to your body.

Sometimes I’m just too distracted or scattered to slow down enough for breathing exercises. There are a TON of resources and videos out there that can help guide you through your breathing. I find that listening to a meditation (or even a song I really enjoy) forces me to get lost in something else other than my own anxiety.

Ultimately, the goal here is to be aware — of how tense we are, where we’re carrying our stress, and finding ways to slow all of that down and relax (even just for 5-10 minutes a day).

How often do you take time to breathe?


Take 5-10 minutes to breathe, and enhance your experience with a few of our aromatherapy products at Soap Hope!


Why your morning routine matters

Over the last few months, I’ve posted about all of the wonderful things we’re doing at Soap Hope — the ingredients we love, the organizations we work with, the team here at Soap Hope.

Fair warning — this post is going to get a little more personal!

Like everyone else, I’m starting to notice the effects of careless choices about my health. Stress hasn’t helped, either, and I’ve had to address some of these issues (insomnia, headaches, etc.) just so that I can function like less of a zombie.

I started seeing an Ayurvedic nutritionist, to discuss my overall health and the choices I’d been making, especially when it comes to eating.

I could write about twenty blogs on Ayurvedic therapy and its holistic approach to health, but today we’ll just focus on one of the aspects of the practice that has made the biggest difference for me already: a morning routine.

My Morning Routine

This last year has been kind of a whirlwind for me — without going into a ton of detail, I found that I’d been burning out. A lot.

Looking at the kind of schedule I’d been keeping, it seems SO OBVIOUS that I’d gotten beyond the point of stressed and scattered, and started to venture into some concerning levels of anxiety.

I knew I needed to work on something, and when I looked at how I was starting my day — forcing myself out of bed, skipping breakfast, rushing into the office and jumping into whatever I had going on — I realized I might start by taking back my mornings for myself.

So when I talked with the nutritionist, I was excited — she didn’t just tell me what kinds of things I needed to eat, but also brought up the importance of a morning routine.

Starting the Day Off Right

From the Ayurvedic Institute:

“A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.”

The Institute suggests several habits to adapt when building your morning routine — everything from exercise to water consumption to self massage.

As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, it was a struggle not to adopt ALL of the suggested activities. My therapist suggested working on just a handful of things, so that I’d make my routine something that works for me.

So every morning, I wake somewhere between 6 and 7 AM. I get up and take my dog out, and then I go for at least a mile-long walk.

Me, on my morning walk.

My morning walk has proven to be such a fulfilling part of my day. I’m getting up and moving, I’m connecting with myself and clearing my brain before I jump into things. I’ve really gotten to enjoy this particular part of my routine.

When I get back home, I drink a glass of water with lemon. It’s refreshing, it’s good for my kidneys, and I like to think it helps wake up my insides.

I use this lovely Sweet Orange massage oil from Badger Balm.

Then I shower, and afterwards, I use a body oil and take the time to give myself a massage. It stimulates my skin and muscles, and it’s another great way to practice self-care.

I go about getting ready, and make sure to sit down and eat my breakfast, instead of just picking it up at a drive-thru or skipping it altogether.

Daily Self-Care and Long-Term Benefits

Stress isn’t just an inconvenience or something that keeps us awake at night. Chronic stress can lead to a number of diseases, weakens the immune system, and can take years off of your life.

According to the APA: “Reducing your stress levels can not only make you feel better right now, but may also protect your health long-term. In one study, researchers examined the association between “positive affect” — feelings like happiness, joy, contentment and enthusiasm — and the development of coronary heart disease over a decade. They found that for every one-point increase in positive affect on a five-point scale, the rate of heart disease dropped by 22 percent.”

By taking the time in my morning to care for and nourish myself, I’m setting the tone for my day. that time for myself is important, and so is my own health and happiness.

Do you have a daily routine? What are some ways that you start your morning off?

Why your shaving routine is all wrong (and how you can fix it)

For some of us, shaving is part of our regular, sometimes daily routine.

It’s been a part of human hygiene for centuries — hair removal is recorded as early as 100,000 years ago, when facial hair was actually considered a liability  (because it could freeze and stick to skin). Our earliest ancestors are believed to have pulled their hairs out, “using seashells like tweezers.”

Luckily we have more options now, but that doesn’t make it any less of a chore — oftentimes we scramble to get ready in the mornings, so spending time on this part of our personal care isn’t always possible.

What’s more, we’re probably shaving all wrong in the first place.

But no need to fret! There are a few adjustments you can make to your shaving regimen so that you’ll get the smoothest results.

Get a better razor.

More blades don’t necessarily mean a better shave.

Multiple blades pull back the skin and cut the hair below skin level, which can cause irritation, ingrown hairs, and razor burn. That’s no fun!

Find a quality razor that stays sharp — you might have to splurge a bit more if you’re used to buying the cheap disposable razors, but you’ll be happier in the long run .

Soften your hair before you shave.

lea0039.t5If you’re shaving your face, take care of that task after you shower. The hot water and steam helps to open up pores and soften your hair, which is much easier to work with than hair that’s dry and scratchy.

You can use conditioner to help soften the hair more, which can help if you’re cleaning up a beard. LEAP’s Shave Oil for Men will also help to soften your hair and skin while you shave.

Exfoliation is your friend.

We’ve said it before (in our post about men’s skin care) — scrubbing away dead skin helps to clean the skin and prep for a smoother and closer shave.

Clean your razors!

Making sure you’re working with a clean, bacteria-free razor to start with will help prevent razor burn and skin irritation.


acure foaming shave gelClassic shaving cream that foams up can leave skin dry. When you start dragging a sharp razor across that, it can damage skin and cause razor bumps.

Choose a cream that moisturizes and provides a smooth surface to work with. We love Acure’s Foaming Shave Gel, with soothing ingredients like aloe and chamomile. 



Make it a point to care for your skin before and during your shaving routine, and you’ll be happier with the results!



The Dry Hair Conundrum

Feeling frazzled about your dry hair? You’re certainly not the only one.

Especially in more arid climates, or if you’re using heat to style your hair, you might encounter dry hair on a regular basis.

And while using a quality conditioner can help, there are some other factors to consider when caring for your ‘do.

Your scalp isn’t producing enough oil to lubricate it.

If you’ll remember our post on dry shampoos,  your skin and scalp have tiny little glands all over them that secrete oil, or sebum, called sebaceous glands.

Sometimes hair doesn’t produce enough oil — and as we get older, our sebaceous glands stop producing as much sebum. This can lead to not just dry hair, but a dry scalp, as well (which is what causes dandruff).

Your hair isn’t keeping moisture in.

Each strand of hair is protected by a cuticle, shielding the strand from heat and other types of damage. The cuticle also helps to lock in the sebum that your scalp is generating.

When the layers of cuticle start to separate, oil escapes and leaves the hair exposed.

Excessive dryness can also cause split ends, where the hair shaft splits or frays due to heat applications or “mechanical stress” (like using a curling iron).

Good news!

Some of this damage can be prevented and repaired, with a few adjustments in your hair care routine.

Stop washing your hair daily. This strips the hair of its natural oils and can actually lead to  the overproduction of oils, disrupting your hair’s natural balance.


Seaweed Bath Company Argan Citrus Shampoo
Smoothing Citrus Shampoo from Seaweed Bath Company


Use a shampoo that’s less harsh on your hair — and especially shampoos with  toxic ingredients like sodium laureth sulfate or synthetic preservative. The Seaweed Bath Company handcrafts their shampoos using quality ingredients that feed and nourish damaged hair.



Deep Conditioning Root Repair Hair Mask
Deep Conditioning Root Repair Hair Mask from Acure




Try a deep conditioner on your hair every now and then. We’re big fans of the Deep Conditioning Root Repair Mask from Acure, which locks in moisture and protects your hair cortex.





And of course, our  diet and physical health will also make a difference. Eating whole foods with lots of vitamins and minerals will help to ensure your hair is getting the love it really needs.

How do you prevent or repair your dry hair woes? Leave your suggestions and comments below!


Improving your skin through sleep

Let’s say you have a solid skin care regimen. You exfoliate when appropriate. All of your products are toxin-free and made with quality, wholesome ingredients. You’ve picked the right kind of products for your skin type. You drink plenty of water and eat food rich with nutrients.

So what’s missing? What else could you be doing to help with your overall health and, more specifically, your skin?

Something that we all probably need more of — sleep!

Sleep is Fuel

That’s right — your body needs sleep, about 7 to 9 hours a day (according to most), which most of us have been told many times over.

But your skin REALLY needs sleep.

When we sleep, our bodies go into repair mode. Cellular renewal happens more quickly at night, and a number of metabolic and hormonal processes happen while we sleep.

Lack of sleep can cause blood vessels to dilate, which leaves those dark circles under your eyes on occasion. And anything that disrupts your sleep can impair skin rejuvenation, especially after a late night of partying and drinking.

Tips for Better Sleep

To help ensure that you get a good night’s rest, set yourself up for some sleep success.

1. Go to bed at the same time every night to set a regular sleep rhythm. Set an alarm to wake up at the same time every day (even on weekends).

2. No caffeine right before bed. And if you enjoy exercising in the evenings, you might want to do it early enough to give yourself (and your brain) time to wind down afterwards. Both caffeine and vigorous activity can make it difficult to fall asleep.

bed-731162_12803. Find a mattress and pillow that support your body. Many experts recommend sleeping on your back.

“If you sleep face-down the blood vessels will become constricted and the circulatory system releases congested fluid from tiny flaps in the walls of these vessels,’ says cosmetologist Colette Haydon.

4. Make sure your room is dark and quiet. “Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the eye to parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide-awake.” And if you can’t keep your room quiet, you might consider finding a source of white noise, to help drown out any sound.

5. Keep the room as cool as possible. “When you go to sleep, your set point for body temperature — the temperature your brain is trying to achieve — goes down,” says H. Craig Heller, PhD. If it’s too cold or too hot, the body struggles to achieve this set point, which can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

acr0058.t5So while we’re asleep, our bodies are repairing cells and rejuvenating. And we can help our skin while we’re sleeping — it’s a great opportunity to replenish the skin with vitamins and nutrients, especially those found in night creams.

Night creams help to repair elastin and often include rich ingredients like argan oil, to feed and nourish the skin after a long day. Products like Acure’s Night Cream contain Chlorella Growth Factor, which helps to strengthen your skin’s elastin fibers and collagen.

ksc0036.t5And don’t forget those lips! Our lips dry out faster and are damaged more easily, so they especially need help with repair. We love KIND’s Goodnight Kisses lip treatment, with lavender oil to help soothe you to sleep.


How do you make sure you’re getting enough rest?

Bugs Be Gone! Natural Insect Repellents for the Summer

During these summer months, while you’re out swimming or camping or picnicking, there’s good chance you’ll have some unwelcome guests.

Whether those guests are in the form of mosquitoes, houseflies,  or ticks, chances are you’ll want some kind of protection from them, so that your summer fun isn’t ruined. And ideally, you’ll want a natural insect repellent to help with that.

Details on DEET

Any discussion around insect repellent inevitably leads to the topic of DEET. Developed as a pesticide by the U.S. Army, it appeared to be highly effective in protecting humans from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other biting insects.

You’ll find a large number of insect repellents on store shelves contain DEET — but they come with some pretty serious warnings.

DEET has been found to be toxic, and is a known skin irritant. Manufacturers recommend NOT using DEET under clothing or on damaged skin, and that once you don’t need a repellent, you should wash off the application.

Oh yeah, and DEET is a solvent. It can actually DISSOLVE materials like plastics, rayon, and synthetic materials.

But luckily there are safe, non-toxic options available that won’t dissolve plastics. Check out these natural insect repellents below!


Basil is effective in repelling house flies and mosquitoes — and it tastes great in salads and a number of dishes!

You can use basil by placing containers near doors (where bugs like to sneak in), or you can apply a solution of basil-infused water and vodka to your skin to prevent bites. Yes, vodka.


natural insect repellent
Badger Anti-Bug Balm

We love rosemary for all kinds of reasons (you can check out our previous blogs on the rosemary plant here), and, of course, it’s just as helpful as a natural insect repellent. You can make a simple repellent spray by boiling dried rosemary in water and pouring in a small squirt bottle.

Or you can find rosemary in the Badger Balm Anti-Bug Balm, proven to be effective for up to 3 hours.


Another one of our favorites! Any member of the mint plant family (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, etc.) can be used to help ward off insects.


natural insect repellent
Baby Bug from Acure

Citronella oil is obtained from a species of lemongrass plant, and you’ll recognize the smell in some candles used to repel mosquitoes (especially during summer cookouts).

You can also find citronella in Acure’s Baby Bug repellent — safe enough to use for the kiddos!

Flower Repellents

flowers-369666_1280Chrysanthemums, marigolds, petunias — you can plant these lovely flowers near your garden to protect from all kinds of pests.


What about you? How do you prevent bug bites and pests when it’s warm out?