Dull Skin…Let’s Perk it Up!

Has the Winter weather got your skin looking down? Well, let’s perk it up!

When our complexion is looking dull and the cold days are a drag on our skin, what do we do? We reach for some all-natural remedies in our refrigerator.

Here are some fun “perk-it-up” tips for the skin that you can try at home…

  • Avocado Mash – As you know, we’re strong proponents of using avocado on the skin. It’s chock full of vitamins and omegas (the good fats) that feed the skin, and an ideal remedy for those skin-drying days that could leave your skin feeling rough to the touch. Smash up some avocado flesh and apply onto skin. Rinse off after approximately 15 minutes.
  • Cucumber and Potato Eyes – Lack of sleep, stress, allergies…all of these can cause dark under eye circles. While we will not be able to help when it comes to genetics, potato and cucumber slices can help minimize these conditions. They have astringent qualities to reduce the appearance of under eye circles and hydrate the skin. Place some thinly sliced cucumbers or potatoes on the eyes and sit back and relax.
  • Citrus “Peel” – Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Get rid of dead skin cells to reveal younger-looking skin and help promote skin-cell regeneration. We love rubbing smashed strawberries on our face as its natural salicylic acids help remove dead skin cells and fight breakouts. You can try this with oranges and lemons as well which could also brighten skin. The vitamin c in fruits offer antioxidant benefits that can help fight free radicals and minimize the signs of aging, rebuild collagen, and repair sun-damaged skin.
  • Sweet Honey – If your skin is feeling a bit toasty, spread a thin layer of honey on your face and let it do its magic. Honey softens and moisturizers the skin and its antibacterial and healing qualities are a welcome boon!
  • Wear Your Coffee – We support the wearing of coffee on your face instead of on your shirt! Caffeine can give your skin a well-deserved boost. Energize it with a thin layer of coffee grounds applied as a facial mask. Avoid scrubbing your face as the grounds can irritate sensitive skin and cause breakage.

So, when the cold, and snowy Winter days keep you indoors, get some pampering in and make cabin fever fun! Thanks for being kind to your body!

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HEALTH & WELLNESS: Immunity Boosting

Did you indulge this holiday season? We did. When we’re on the road, it’s often difficult to eat right and stay healthy. We try to make the right food choices yet the selections are sometimes limited. So after the holidays, we refocus our diet by eating more organic fruits and vegetables and limiting our consumption of red meat and processed foods. We refocus to rebuild and restrengthen our body and our immune system.

To stay healthier this busy holiday season, two ingredients that we included more of in our diet are fresh ginger and garlic.

ginger-garlic

Ginger and garlic are touted for their immunity boosting qualities. Garlic is often revered for its antifungal and antibacterial benefits, and for its antioxidant and detoxifying abilities. Ginger, similarly lauded for its antibacterial and antioxidant qualities, is helpful in addressing digestive issues and inflammation.

To drink to better health…we created our ginger and garlic brew. Our organic Ginger and Garlic Peppermint Honey Herbal Tea has been our beverage of choice this holiday season. While it may not sound tasty, it’s delicious! Especially when sweetened with a dash of honey. We include peppermint for its minty flavor and since it’s also an immunity booster, aids in digestion and relieves nausea. And, honey, highly regarded for its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory benefits, is a delectable sweetener.

For our blend, we slice up a few organic garlic cloves and ginger root and steep them in boiling water with some peppermint tea leaves (or use a tea bag if that’s easier). Add honey to taste. It’s simple. It’s easy. And it’s great for the body!

We thank this herbal beverage for keeping us healthier this holiday season! So, we raise our teacups and toast to a healthier 2017!

We’re popping up at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

Etsy NY Team at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival 2016

We were selected to participate in the Etsy NY Shop at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! for the third consecutive season!

We’ve been gearing up for another exciting Summer concert series! The opening night benefit concert with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings is on June 8th, and our Etsy New York Shop doors open that evening!

Our Shop is open during performances which run through August. Check out the full artist line-up at http://www.bricartsmedia.org/events-performances/bric-celebrate-brooklyn-festival !

We look forward to seeing you soon at the Prospect Park Bandshell!

HEALTH & BEAUTY: How to Minimize Dark Under Eye Circles

IMG_1503They seemed to appear overnight. What you may ask? Those dreaded dark under eye circles.

We weren’t sure why some of us seemed more prone to getting them. So, we researched and explored potential causes and remedies that can help to minimize them.

Here’s what we found as some potential causes of dark under eye circles:

  • Lack of sleep and too much sleep can be the culprits.
  • Seasonal allergies and reactions to skin irritants can cause them as well.
  • Hyper-pigmentation or discoloration of the skin.
  • Dehydration. Our body is comprised of 60% water so staying hydrated is important for proper body function.
  • Anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia in women that can result in improper oxygen flow throughout the body including the eye area.
  • Vitamin deficiency. Insufficient vitamins needed to promote proper eye health can be a cause.
  • Puffy eyes and fluid retention can make under eye circles appear more pronounced.
  • Genetics. Unfortunately, they can be hereditary.
  • Stress. Enough said.

What are some remedies that can help minimize dark under eye circles?

  • Cold compresses such as ice packs and cool cucumbers can help to reduce puffiness and constrict blood vessels to minimize dark under eye circles.
  • Get more (or less) ZZZs. Getting on average six to eight hours of beauty sleep and going to bed and rising at the same time can help.
  • Propping your head with an extra pillow while sleeping can help to minimize fluid retention and minimize the appearance of dark under eye circles.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink about 40-60 ounces of water daily to maintain proper bodily functions.
  • Consume more foods rich in vitamins K, C, B, and E that promote eye health.
  • Exercise does the body good. It can help manage stress and improve blood and oxygen flow throughout the body.

For those with dark under eye circles out there, we hear you! And, we hope this helps. Please keep in mind that if problems persist or worsen, please seek the advice of a medical practitioner.

Thank you for being kind to your body!

HEALTH & BEAUTY: Skin Care Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

IMG_1315Have you used apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a hair rinse? As a facial exfoliant? Or, as a toner? If so, then you know about some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar for your skin. It’s an all-natural, head-to-toe skin care product!

We’ve been touting the benefits of ACV, the fermented juice of crushed apples that contains vitamins, minerals and acetic and citric acids. It helps to balance the PH level of the skin to help promote skin cell renewal and proper function.

Here are some of the ways ACV can be used as part of your skin care regimen:

Hair rinse – An ACV rinse helps to detangle hair, revitalize shine, and cleanse your hair and scalp by removing residue and buildup from hair care products. It contains properties that naturally remove dirt and debris and has also been known to help manage dandruff. After shampooing, pour a mixture of one part water and one part ACV through hair, and then rinse with water.

Facial Toner – When the skin’s PH level is in balance, skin cells can regenerate, the skin can function properly, kill bacteria and manage excess oil. As a toner, mix one part ACV to two parts water (use more water if you’re skin tends to be more sensitive).  Dab a cotton ball into the mixture and smooth once or twice over face.

Facial Exfoliant – Weekly exfoliation is important to keep skin clear and smooth. ACV helps by removing pore-clogging dead skin cells that can cause breakouts. As a facial exfoliant, mix one part ACV to four parts water (use more water if you’re skin tends to be more sensitive).  Dab a cotton ball into the mixture and smooth over face in circular motion. Then rinse.

Skin Softener – Add some ACV into your bath for a soothing and skin-softening soak.

ACV can also be used to help soothe sunburn, aid in digestion, boost immunity, and whiten teeth. Remember, it’s best to dilute the ACV with water before consuming or applying onto the skin. And, look for raw, organic, unpasteurized, and unfiltered ACV that includes the sediment also referred to as “the mother”. That’s the good stuff!

Thanks again for being kind to your body! And, happy pampering!

HEALTHY & BEAUTY: Prep Your Body for the Holidays

Yoga

We’re all busy. And, we seem to be getting busier every day, leaving us less time to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With the holidays fast approaching, more travel, family gatherings and social engagements often fill our already full calendars. Yet, when that happens, it’s even more important to find ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

So, how are you prepping your body for the holidays? Here are some tips that may help:

1. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is important to maintain proper bodily functions and to flush toxins from the body. When exercising or traveling, it’s important to drink even more water to replenish our bodies since exercise and dryer environments can deplete more essential fluids.

2. Exercise. We admit that we’re not the most diligent about following a regular exercise routine, yet we’re constantly on the move when it comes to our market life. So, whether you enjoy jogging, swimming, or practicing yoga, continue exercising to keep your body active and in shape.

3. Eat right. Fill your plates with more fruits, fish and nuts. Fruits such as berries are high in antioxidant vitamins like A and C, and consuming more fish and nuts such as almonds that are rich in essential fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and keep the body healthy.

4. Get eight hours of sleep. Can we tell when we’ve gotten at least eight hours of sleep? Of course we can. We look and feel younger and more refreshed!

So, stay healthy this holiday season. We wish you a wonderful time with your family and friends!

HEALTH & BEAUTY: Healthy Summertime Smoothie Recipes

Apples 2During the Summer, do smoothies make up the majority of your meals? They do for us. Especially when it gets too hot in the kitchen to cook. And, as our days get busier and we prefer to spend every minute soaking in the extra daylight hours, what do we do? We pull out the Vitamix! The ice-crushing, vegetable- and fruit-pulverizing machine that transforms solid foods into pulpy, liquid beverages.

While cold-pressed beverages are generally best for the body since the heat generated from blending can affect the nutritional content of the juices, we enjoy blending to retain the fiber from the skins and pulp that help cleanse and remove toxins from the body.

The inclusion of antioxidant- and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables such as kale, spinach, apples, and berries in the beverages help to maintain a balanced system and healthy, glowing skin. Over the years, we’ve tried numerous blends and have adapted some to our tastes. Here are some of our favorite fruit and vegetable blends:

Smoothie Green Smoothie:

water (purified)

3 kale leaves

2 apples

1 pear

1 celery stalk

handful of spinach

1/2 a cucumber

1/2 a lemon

ginger

 

 

Detox:

water (purified)

1 lemon or lime

1 tablespoon of raw honey

ginger

 

(Mostly :)) Fruit Smoothie:

water (purified)

2 carrots

1 apple

1 banana

1 cup of mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

1 celery stalk

1/2 a lemon

Remember to alternate the variety of foods that you consume, since eating too much of a good thing can build up in your body as well. And, remember to use organic and chemical-free produce when making your blends.

We hope you enjoy these recipes and let us know your favorites. Have a wonderful and healthy Summer!

~ Naturally Susan’s