Many nations with rich ecological landscapes are turning to eco-tourism as a means to support environmental and economic prosperity, with coral reefs being one of the leading tourist attractions. “One estimate places the total global value of coral reef based recreation and tourism at 9.6 billion dollars of their total global net benefit.”
Sadly, the same tourists who value these biodiversity hotspots may be unknowingly bringing harm to them by using sunscreens that contain a chemical ingredient called oxybenzone. This chemical has been found to contribute to coral bleaching, a process which occurs when coral polyps expel the symbiotic algae that they host. These algae, called zooxanthellae, are what allow corals to utilize the sun’s energy by means of photosynthesis, provide them with food energy, and also give corals their beautiful colors that we all love so much!
When we lather on sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and then enter the ocean, swimming out to explore it’s beautiful corals, those same corals also become lathered in oxybenzone. According to the National Park Service, “4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen enters reef areas annually.” That’s a whole lot of harmful chemicals. Corals that come into contact with oxybenzone (which has a very high absorbtion rate) become at risk for developing the virus that causes them to bleach. And since everything we put on our skin can also be absorbed by our bodies, in many cases, these chemically packed sunscreens are also promoting the growth of skin cancer and free radical production in our bodies. This is scary stuff !
Here’s the good news...Just Skin Food offers a Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Natural and Organic Sunscreen containing non-nano partical zinc oxide instead of oxybenzone. Non-nano zinc oxide is not micronized, so it is not easily absorbed into the body. Instead, it lays on the skin as a protectant .... and because our ingredients are all natural and organic, they are also eco and reef friendly ! When I recently conducted Marine Protected Area management fieldwork in South Caicos, I used Just Skin Food’s sunscreen to protect myself, as well as the ecology of the environment ... definitely a win-win situation!
More good news : in Hawaii, state senator Will Espero is currently fighting for a bill that would ban the sale and use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone in marine-life conservation districts. Passing such a bill would be a tremendous step toward helping to protect local reefs and ensuring the future of local tourism and the fishing industry. While the use of chemically loaded sunscreens is not the only issue contributing to coral bleaching, it is certainly an undeniable factor, and something that we, as forward thinking individuals, can help to control. When we care about our environment, we take care with our choices.
Will you choose wisely?
When doing this: Use this:
- - written by Serena Iacoviello
- - edited by Lisa :D
As promised in our last journal entry, today we are going to get down to the real business about our truly awesome line of certified organic facial therapy oils. When you are finished reading, I hope to have (a) converted some of you who are non-believers and, at the very least, (b) have educated the rest on facial oil fact vs. fiction.
Let's start out with a bit of fiction:
Certified organic facial therapy oils will make my skin feel greasy
Certified organic facial therapy oils will clog my pores
Certified organic facial therapy oils do not easily absorb into the skin
Certified organic facial therapy oils are only good for facial skin
All facial oils are created equal
...completely and totally false... every last word of it.
I could go on and on listing myths and old wives tales regarding the use of certified organic facial oils, but its probably best to keep it short and sweet (especially for our valued consumers who abhor minute details).
Which brings me to the important stuff...the simple truth...just the facts, ma'am.
Just Skin Food's certified organic facial therapy oils are all non-comedogenic (they won't clog your pores).
They are all excellent sources of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are necessary for your skin's hydration, ability to repair and heal itself, and to fight the damage done by free radicals.
The triterpenoids and phytosterols in our certified organic facial therapy oils can have anti-inflammatory effects on your skin.
Our oils carry active ingredients (such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) deeper into your skin, which reduces the surface irritation that these actives can sometimes cause.
Just Skin Food's certified organic facial therapy oils protect and defend the skin’s acid mantle, rebuild and sustain the skin’s lipid barrier, and speed up the healing process.
Fingers crossed that this is enough fact vs. fiction to hold your attention for another minute or two...
The reality is, certified organic facial therapy oils are an amazing addition to (or replacement for) your current daily skin care routine. They have exceptional skin healing qualities...they absorb well and quickly into the skin...they help fight damage from free radicals and skin aging....and, the use of certified organic skin therapy oils can even help regulate your own skin's oil production. This is all authentic truth and not only my opinion as both a former naysayer and current happy consumer.
Another important fact worth expanding on is that all facial oils are not created equal. It is always in your skin's best interest to buy oils that are certified organic and unrefined, free of additives, fillers, GMO's, chemical solvents and preservatives. Your skin deserves the very best, and at Just Skin Food, we strive to give that to you!
Segue....In one weeks time, I traveled from New Jersey (40* F with cold, dry winds) to Southeastern Florida (80*F with comfortable winds) and on to Cuba (92* F, hazy, hot and humid). Before our line of facial oils, I would have had to carry several different moisturizing/toning/protection products and deal with everything from combination skin issues to flaking and peeling as a result of the constant climate changes. Guess what? One bottle of certified organic Tamanu Oil (my current favorite) was all I needed. My skin stayed consistently soft, nourished, and protected through every climate change...a true testament to Tamanu's benefits and effectiveness for me.
Are you sold yet, or at least feeling enlightened? If not, here are a few final points to help you make an educated choice about your skin care regiment.
Whether you're just in the market for some deeper hydration or you're in dire need of assistance in warding off those pesky fine lines, Just Skin Food has a certified organic facial therapy oil that is going to work for you. All four of our certified organic facial therapy oils have their own individual strengths and are beneficial to most every skin type...so try them all, or start out with the one whose description most closely fits your needs. And then please tell us about it...really ...we love your feedback! It's a big part of how we keep our customers happy...and why they keep coming back.
"Whoa...what? Did she just actually say organic facial and oil in the same sentence in my presence?"
For as long as I can remember, I was absolutely terrified of putting anything even remotely resembling an oil anywhere near my fickle, freckled face. I mean, let’s face it (no pun intended)...if you’ve been blessed with super sensitive skin like mine, just the thought of an oily product can send your face into a breakout of pubescent-like magnitude. So, when Just Skin Food came out with their line of certified organic facial oils, I was super skeptical of all the hype, and even more certain that I would never be a believer, yet alone, a consumer. No way...not me... not ever.
Fast forward to last November...
I was visiting Gabriella at her studio in Cape May and complaining about the very noticeable changes in my skin since turning the BIG 5-OH ... and, being the great friend and crafter of amazing products that she is, Gabby recommended that I try one of her certified organic facial oils. My head immediately started spinning and almost popped off my shoulders; "Whoa...what? Did she just actually say organic facial and oil in the same sentence in my presence?" The mere mention of it had me rubbing at a spot on my chin where I could feel the beginning of a cluster of giant zits forming. Give me strength...
You see, I have forever been a “moisturizer” girl. You name it, I’ve tried it...and for the most part, my skin APPEARED healthy, with an occasional breakout that I would ultimately blame on some environmental factor (or, more likely, the chocolate bar I inhaled on my last trip to the market.) I stuck with facial creams and lotions for 30+ years because I erroneously believed that oils clog pores and cause acne (which some do, and we will discuss at a later date.) But, even as I stood in the parking lot of Just Skin Food with my new certified organic facial oil sample in hand, I was still not sold on it and not even sure this new “fad” would safely make the drive home with me to obtain a coveted spot on my product shelf.
Fast forward a bit again ...
I suppose when you’re sick and tired enough of feeling sick and tired, you are willing to try anything. That’s how I came to finally (with great trepidation, and nothing on my social calendar that week) give certified organic facial oils a shot. It was scary for me, but creams and lotions were no longer working to moisturize my skin. Needless to say, I am now hooked. My skin never once felt greasy. It never broke out or protested the change in any way. In fact, within a few days, I saw a marked difference in my overall skin tone and complexion, and felt a tremendous improvement in my skin’s hydration. More so, I wasn’t the only one to notice, as several friends even commented on how well my skin was looking!
Why am I telling you this, you ask?
Consider it a good deed, my mitzvah, me paying it forward to all of you who are still non-believers. I would have never tried certified organic facial oils if Gabby hadn’t talked me off the ledge about them... and it took a full half century for my face to receive the love it has always deserved. Take a walk on the wild side and give your face the love it deserves right now. You wont regret it. Promise.
Oh, yeah, keep it simple, only one certified organic facial oil at a time. No need of combination oils, they are sometimes called facial serum or skin oils. What you really want is the benefit of just one certified organic oil at a time. Less is more when it comes to skin. More on each certified organic facial oil later.
Namaste, Lisa :D
It seems the last few weeks many sites have been writing on this little weed called Plantain. So we decided to write about it as well, but we have plantain in stock and can offer it on our site and it is USDA certified organic.
Used for hundreds of years and brought to the United States by settlers from Europe, plantain has a number of therapeutic properties that can aid in healing both inside the body and out. Known as being a very common weed that will grow just about anywhere, plantain has short, egg-shaped leaves, yellow roots, purple-green flowers and small buds that can be used in topical ointments, tinctures, salves or for a tea. High in vitamin K, vitamin C, beta carotene and calcium, plantain may even be growing in your very own backyard.
Topical Commonly used in topical products, plantain can work wonders on scrapes and cuts and even irritation caused by things like burns, rashes and bug bites. Just a couple of applications reduce redness, pain, irritation, itch and promotes healing. This is the case with our Herbal Infused Plantain Oil. Years ago, settlers used plantain for snake bites, wild animal bites, bee stings, poison ivy and much more thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Plantain draws poison and foreign matter out of wounds and then heals from the inside out. Many of our herbal salves contain Herbal Infused Plantain Oil such as our Therapeutic Skin Salve, Vein Relief Salve and Poison Ivy Salve.
When consumed in tincture form or as a tea, plantain is an expectorant and can have really beneficial effects on upper respiratory conditions like asthma, allergies and cough.
We recently made a plantain tea for a friend of ours, who was having issues with a lingering cough. She came back to us shortly after and reported that the intense chest pressure and pain she was having after her recent overseas trip to France showed great improvement after drinking plantain loose herb tea. She even went on to recommend the remedy to a sick friend who experienced benefits as well (Terri Amig 2016 – artist).
Internal When taken orally (can be eaten), plantain can assist with a variety of internal health conditions that include: -Poor digestion -Indigestion -Diabetes -High Cholesterol -Liver Issues
Plantain is one of those really great therapeutic weeds that can be used in its entirety. The leaves, stems, seeds and flowers can all be combined together to make a variety of products. It can also be combined with other herbs, like comfrey, peppermint and marshmallow, to increase its benefits. There is more information on plantain and other similar herbs on out Just Skin Food website. All of the herbs used in our products, including plantain, are USDA certified organic. Also environmentally friendly and made locally, Cape May sunshine is infused into every item!
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Speaking of new products, we just finished our USDA annual organic inspection - yes we have done it early this year instead of December - because we are adding new certified items.
We are getting many of our Salves USDA Certified Organic with the Seal. And in order to get many of them certified, we are also certifying additional Herbal Infused Oils. Many of our herbal infused oils go into our Salves so we need to certify both the raw material AKA (Herbal Infused Oil) and the actual finished product AKA (Herbal Salves).
We are adding 7 more USDA Certified Organic Herbal Infused Oils. These oils are all made in-house and never bought, and it is our bread and butter to our business. We have many more to certify and will do that in time.
These herbal oils are wonderful on their own or in our other products. They have many healing properties individually and in combination with our many herbal infused oils they create incredible Herbal Salves. When our labels are done for the Herbal Infused Oils we will send out information on the new products. There is even one for your pets - yes pets.
In the meantime, the first 2 salves that will have the USDA organic seal are Baby Soft Soothing Balm and Ouchy Grouchy Salve. The next one will be Psoriasis and Eczema, but that will NOT happen till after the holidays. The salves will still be vegan, but instead of using candelilla wax (not found organic and not part of the USDA NOP list) we are using carnauba wax (found organic in nature) and still vegan.
They are both great waxes as is beeswax - but beeswax is not vegan so we will not be using it for these products. The wax in our products is not part of our "main" formula - it is still part of the overall ingredients, but using another wax will not change the "main" formula or its' effectiveness - it is only used to solidify the product.
Many of our salves have herbs that are not found organic in nature such as Myrrh or Usnea and they are also NOT part of the USDA NOP list, which lists items that are allowable in Organic Products for certifications. Some of our other salves use homeopathic remedies and homeopathic remedies are never certified organic.
Therefore, for those products that have these specific ingredients we will not be getting them certified and we are not changing our formulas to satisfy a certain criteria for certification. Our formulas are made for the purpose of healing not just for certifications. All the ingredients are organic and wildcrafted (WC) and are allowed to be used in our facility.
USDA inspectors also inspect products that do not carry the USDA seal in order to ensure no chemical or synthetic items are being used in-house for the protection of the certified product never getting contaminated.
In preparing for our "New" labels for Baby Soft Soothing Balm and for Ouchy Grouchy Salve, we are offering them at 50% off the retail price while supplies last in order to make room for the new ones.
We hope that our new USDA Certified Salves will be available within the next few weeks.
Always in Health -