Right before the end of summer last year, I found myself in one of those very large chain stores that sells beauty products by the boatload. You name it – they had it x 1000. I settled on a new lip balm for myself, an oddly named color palette for my niece, and one hefty gift card then was on my way. When I unpacked that bag a few days later, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few free samples stashed amid the tissue paper ... particularly, one mini Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer. Yay me!
I hadn’t worn eyeliner in decades, so this was an exciting find, especially given its pricey sales tag ($25.00) for a full size crayon. I uncapped my new mini and drew a line on the back of my hand ... WOW, eyeliner had certainly come a long way! Back in the day, I wore an inexpensive drug store pencil whose tip I had to soften with a lit match to darken and smooth it’s application. This new one was unbelievably luxurious in texture and color right out of the gate. I couldn’t wait to have a reason to wear it. And once I did, I got so many compliments on it that I actually considered rekindling my long lost love affair with eyeliner and committing to it on a daily basis. Ah ... we plan, the universe laughs ...
Anyway, that October, on a girls hiking trip in the Catskill Mountains, I noticed that Gab (the mastermind at Just Skin Food) was wearing a beautiful, rich, deep black eyeliner at dinner ... and of course, I inquired as to whether it was by Marc Jacobs. That’s when she told me about her new line of vegan eye and lip pencils. The minute we got back to our cabin, I took out the nub of Marc Jacobs crayon that I had left and drew a line on the back of my hand with it ... then, a second line right next to it with Gab’s Just Skin Food black vegan pencil. They looked identical ... so much so that our other friend, Trish, couldn’t tell which was which either. But looking identical is where the similarities ended.
I pulled up the ingredient list* for the Marc Jacob pencil on my smartphone. It was not good. MJ’s crayon is loaded with chemicals, many of which I could barely pronounce. Just Skin Food’s vegan eye and lip pencils are all hand crafted using only the finest organic ingredients** and non-toxic minerals. It’s vegan eye pencil in black looks, applies and wears exactly the same way as the pricey and chemically loaded MJ crayon ... and is even selling for a whole lot less ($15.00) per full size pencil. That’s a no brainer in my book. So I made the switch and haven’t looked back. And apparently, I’m not alone in this discovery ...
The quality of Just Skin Food’s vegan pencils is so high (and in such great demand) that they have even started “private labeling” them for holistic makeup artists working in the fashion industry. Their black and branch vegan eye pencils, as well as their fuscia vegan lip color are all being resold under private labels, and are regularly being used in various photo shoots/print work and on runway models in both NY and LA.
So if you’re into makeup, even if only for those ”special’’ occasions, Just Skin Food’s healthy, beautiful and fairly priced vegan pencils are a must! “Eye” personally couldn’t be more pleased with them.
*Marc Jacobs Ingredients: -Vitamin E, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Isohexadecane, Isododecane, Polyethlene, Synthetic Wax, Silica, Ceresin, Polyisobutene, Methicone, Rosa Canina Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499).
**JSF Ingredients: Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil; Organic Castor Oil; Castor Wax; Wildcrafted Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax; Mica; Iron Oxides; Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oleoresin.
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 -
We were closed for a month in July- our usual downtime for
inventory, researching and vacation. We ventured out of the country to find new ideas as well as basically R&R, which we did a lot of. Everyone needs time off to become more productive. More on that venture in another post with a few interesting ideas that we will try and produce.
In the meantime, we added - well we purchased - an interesting product line that is all vegan. It is not for healing the skin but for beauty. It will complement our holistic way of living and give us a peace of mind on what we apply on the skin.
Black Eye Liner Pencil
Lip Liner Pencil
We will be manufacturing in-house a simple line of Eyeliner pencils (vegan), Lip liner pencils (vegan), Eye brow pencils (vegan) and Mascara (vegan). It is all handmade on premise. This is going to be fun to make and use. It is organic - but it is not certified organic because in order to make such products 100% organic it requires ingredient(s) that the USDA can certify. Since USDA can't certify specific ingredients found in nature, we will be looking into getting it at least 85% certified as are our soaps, but because of the chemistry it can never be 100% organic.
So this is the reason why it will never be 100% certified organic - Any element that comes directly from the earth that is either mined, or a mineral from the earth, beeswax, other natural waxes and even honey (honey produced in the USA- but other countries do certify their honey) can not be certified 100% organic as per the USDA government laws.
Why? We have absolutely no idea and asking our certifying agent, they also have said there is no real explanation. You would think since it is natural from nature not man-made that these ingredients coming from nature are truly ORGANIC. Isn't that what organic means – in its natural state from nature? Strange way of defining organic in the USDA. Regardless, all of the other ingredients in the products are USDA certified organic.
Speaking of certified organic, we are also in the process of offering with our own Just Skin Food label USDA certified organic skincare carrier oils and as well as essential oils. Until we get the go ahead and have it certified it will not be offered online as of yet.
With all this change we have also moved into a much larger space that is absolutely gorgeous and gianormus compared to our old site. It's bittersweet - love our little ol' place. But it is time to let go and move on... It is a fantastic place with lots of light and wonderful energy. It is almost done and can't wait to make stuff in here.
Here are some pictures of our moving in day(s).Room number 1 Room 1 Room 2 Room 2 Room 2 Me attempting to put up a shelf in the bathroom. Room 2
With summer coming around, it’s worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the recent FDA changes to sunscreen labeling so you can understand the product’s claims and buy a sunscreen that fits your needs.
Most important look for a Sunscreen that is Broad Spectrum which protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
FDA's label ruling -
1. Broad Spectrum designation: Sunscreens can be labeled with “Broad Spectrum SPF [value]” as long as it passes the FDA’s broad spectrum test that determines how well it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Just Skin Food's sunscreen is Broad Spectrum SPF30 and it is a superior Broad Spectrum UV protection. We use the highest allowable amount of non-nano zinc oxide.
2. Use claims: Only Broad Spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher can “claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures.” We claim that on our new labels now. Our Sunscreen was lab tested according to FDA's SPF tests and we are SPF30.
Lets take a little quiz and see if you can answer these...
•Is SPF 45 sunscreen three times stronger than SPF 15 sunscreen? Does it last three times longer? • Do sunscreens provide better UVA protection than UVB protection? • What works better, sunscreens or sunblocks? • Do "broad-spectrum" sunscreens protect against all UV rays?
If you're not certain of the answers, you are not alone. Recent research shows that people who buy sunscreens aren't sure exactly what protection they need, and not sure of the technical terms on labels.
“A survey of 235 individuals who bought sunscreen found they did not know the difference between UVA and UVB or between SPF and UVA”. Most believed that higher SPF ratings meant stronger UV protection and the concept of "broad-spectrum" protection confused them further.
So here is "The Lingo"
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is used to estimate the amount of UV radiation it normally takes to sunburn one’s skin with protective sunscreen. Bet you didn’t know that “A” in UVA stands for ‘Aging’ and “B” in UVB stands for ‘Burning’. We sure never knew years ago, most don’t think about it.
So in order to determine the SPF needed use this formula to figure out the appropriate SPF - “SPF Number x Time to Burn without Protection = Time to Burn with Protection”. For example: SPF 15 x 10 minutes = 150 minutes of protection
There are two types of protective products – Sunblock and Sunscreen.
Sunblocks are formulated to shield against UVB rays, while sunscreens protect against UVA. In order to fully protect your skin, choose a broad-spectrum protection formulated sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
So what does Broad-spectrum protection really mean? The phrase indicates that a product shields against UVA as well as UVB. Most broad-spectrum sunscreens and sunblocks with an SPF of 15 or higher do a good job against UVB and short UVA rays; if they also contain zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide, they are effective against the entire UVA spectrum.
Just Skin Food is a Broad Spectrum SPF30 protector allowing you to have both protection against UVA and UVB. Our active ingredient is Zinc Oxide (non-nano) and it is a superior Broad Spectrum since we use the highest allowable zinc oxide as per the FDA.
Did you know that SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB. While SPF 30 blocks only 4% more UVB at 97%. SPF 30 or higher may be advisable for sun-sensitive individuals, skin cancer patients, and people at high risk of developing skin cancer. They also allow some margin for error if too little sunscreen is applied. So choosing an SPF30 is good in case you feel you are not applying it evenly or even enough. But SPF15 will just be as effective.
Anything higher then an SPF30 does not mean higher sunblock. The higher the SPF possibly allows you to apply it less times or go longer without reapplying but does not mean extra protection. Now the FDA tells everyone to reapply at least every two hours or less regardless of SPF value. Why? Because there is no such thing as full protection. You sweat and swim and therefore you need to reapply- simple. If you can not constantly reapply you must wear sun-protective gear and both is advisable.
The Skin Cancer Foundation considers sunscreens or sunblocks as one part of a comprehensive sun protection program, along with sun-protective clothing, sunglasses, shade, and sun avoidance from 10A.M. to 2PM.
For more information on prevention and early detection of skin cancer, call the Skin Cancer Foundation at 1-800-SKIN-490.
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