Are you a year-round allergy sufferer?

Incessant sneezing. Runny nose. Watery eyes. Asthmatic conditions. Itchy skin. Oh the signs and symptoms of allergies! With Spring on its way…this is the time we begin to brace ourselves for the onslaught of allergy-inducing culprits that oftentimes are pollen related. 

But do you suffer from allergies year round? Could it be caused by dust and dust mites? Dust mites?! Those microscopic eight-legged creatures that dwell and accumulate in our beds, in our closets, in our furnishings, and in the warm and moist areas in our homes. They feed on dead skin flakes and their fecal matter, secretions and the mites can cause skin irritations and allergies. 

So, what are some things we can do to mitigate our allergy symptoms year round? Here are a few tips that we’ve found helpful to reduce allergens and to improve our overall health and wellbeing:

  • Invest in a HEPA air filter to better purify the air inside your home.
  • Vacuum furnishings, sofas and sofa cushions, carpeting, mattresses, and floors regularly. If possible, vacuum daily to rid your home of dirt, dust, bugs, pollen, and allergy-causing culprits. Seal and dispose of the vacuum bag and contents immediately when you’re done. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, whenever possible. 
  • Use protective covers for your mattresses and pillows to keep allergens out so that you can breathe easier and get a better night’s sleep. 
  • Wash bedding and clothing in hot water and dry in the hottest dryer setting possible. 
  • Let the sun shine in to kill bugs but cleaning is still necessary to rid the home of allergens.

So, with some thorough cleaning, decluttering, and preventive measures, we hope these tips can help you breathe easier all year round. 

Thank you for being kind to your body!

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Join Us at West Elm on Broadway!

We’re excited to be partnering with West Elm on Broadway for a two-day LOCAL Showcase that features locally hand-picked and unique artisan products! Come shop our products at West Elm this Labor Day weekend. We look forward to seeing you there!

September 3rd – 4th, 2016
Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm

West Elm on Broadway
1870 Broadway (at 61st Street)
New York, NY 10023

West Elm @Broadway 2

Ahhhh….it’s our go-to under Eye Serum…

Ahhhh….it’s our go-to under Eye Serum that multitasks as our facial moisturizer! An intensive blend of mineral and vitamin-rich oils with an extra boost of vitamin E that can help to reduce wrinkles, calm puffiness, and minimize dark under eye circles. Essential anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and skin-healthy properties hydrate, soften, and promote clearer, younger-looking skin.

Shop online at www.NaturallySusans.com

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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!

We had to pinch ourselves!

It was a beautiful morning for our shoot with NY1 News for an upcoming Healthy Living Segment. Being interviewed by Kristen Shaughnessy was an amazing experience. With Karen Seiger, Inyanga Naturals, and Greecologies, filming took place at Greecologies back garden on Broome Street. Greecologies new cafe features housemade yogurt and fresh offerings. Stay tuned for more…

On Set with Kristen Shaughnessy of NY1

On Set with Kristen Shaughnessy of NY1

Kristen Shaughnessy of NY1

Kristen Shaughnessy of NY1

Karen Seiger of Markets of NYC

Karen Seiger of Markets of NYC

Naturally Susan's Skin Care Products

Naturally Susan’s Skin Care Products

Inyanga

Inyanga

Greecologies

Greecologies

Greecologies

Greecologies

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HEALTH & BEAUTY: The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The Benefits of Dark ChocolateWhen February arrives, we think of chocolate! Maybe it’s because of Valentine’s Day? Actually…it’s probably because we’re always thinking of chocolate. But not just any type of chocolate. Dark chocolate!

Milk and white chocolate are higher in sugar and fillers, while dark chocolate typically has a higher cacao (cocoa) content that has been touted for its health benefits.

So, how can something that tastes so good be good for us? It’s all in the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant power of flavonoids. Dark chocolate with higher cacao content has been shown to have various health benefits that include the following:

  • reduce stress
  • enhance mood
  • lower cholesterol
  • increase cardiovascular blood flow

The higher cacao content does lend to a more bitter taste. Despite that, we still prefer dark chocolate with 65% to 90% cacao. The higher the better for our tastes. While tempting to start loading up on dark chocolate for its health benefits, remember to consult your medical practitioner to address any specific medical needs.

For us, we’ll continue to toast to our health with more dark chocolate. Cheers!

HEALTH & BEAUTY: Spruce Up Your Beauty Care

Spruce Up Your Beauty Care

It’s the start of a new year. A time for resolutions. For 2015 to be an even better year.
The holidays have come and gone, and we’re starting off the new year by decluttering. Getting out from under the pile of boxes and mail that we set aside these past several months. Being organized contributes to our overall health and well being. And, this applies to our beauty routines as well. This means, cleansing our medicine cabinets of beauty care products that are toxic, have expired or gone rancid. Old and expired products may no longer be as effective and bacteria can build up that can lead to infections and breakouts.
Here are a few tips to organize and spruce up your beauty care:
  • Be cautious of products that include parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances and artificial colors that can be harmful to the body. Rid your cabinets of products that contain these toxic ingredients.
  • Use the “sniff” test to help determine whether products should be replaced. If it smells bad, toss it.
  • Discard expired products. Cosmetic and beauty care products that are over a year old or have passed their expiration dates should be thrown away. This includes sunscreen, mascara, lipstick, eyeliner, moisturizer, etc.
  • Clean your makeup brushes and applicators. Use a gentle cleanser to avoid drying the bristles and let the applicators dry thoroughly before using.
  • Use bins to organize your makeup and beauty care products. If you have plastic storage containers or zip loc bags, those work too.
Take some time to cleanse and organize your beauty cabinets. Your body will thank you for it.
We wish you a wonderful and healthy 2015!

MEET the ARTISAN: Naturally Susan’s Skin Care + GIVEAWAY

December 1, 2014 as published on Etsy New York Blog

“MEET the ARTISAN” is a blog series that spotlights Etsy New York Team artisans and their craft. In this feature, we learn more about Susan, the creator of Naturally Susan’s artisan skin care.  I had the pleasure of sitting down with Susan and picking her brain. Susan and I have worked at Celebrate Brooklyn together so it is always nice to catch up with her.

Q: What is Naturally Susan’s? Can you briefly describe your business for us?
A: Naturally Susan’s products are about skin-healthy and they’re about versatility. They’re about simplifying our lives and making our lives easier. I used to travel a great deal for business so simplifying my beauty routine and my travel bag whether I was going from day to evening, to the gym, shopping or on vacation are fundamental to the products that I develop. My products are effective, long lasting, and versatile. And, most importantly, my products are about being kind to your body.

Q: Some artisans develop their products to meet consumer needs, while others craft products based on things and/or experiences that inspire them. What is the inspiration behind your business?
A: I started making skin care products for myself because I wanted chemical-free and fragrance-free beauty care suitable for my sensitive skin. Our skin absorbs about 60% of what we put on it, so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing the right skin care. I found an abundance of toxins and chemicals in many products, so I started researching and developing my own, creating products that are as pure to nature as possible.

Q: Oftentimes, each artisan has a different strategy and objective for their business. What are the next steps for you and your business?
A: The next steps for my business is to further broaden my audience and expand my business. I’ve continued to work with great partners so that we can grow together, domestically and internationally.

Q: Can you tell us some of the partners you have made? Retail stores where we can find your product?
A: Some of the business partners that I continue to work with includes Artists & Fleas. Partnering with them through their markets in both the Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Chelsea Market locations has helped to increase my brand exposure globally. I’ve also continued to work with local spas, schools, and nonprofit organizations to support businesses with philosophies and causes that align with my brand mission. You can shop my products on my Etsy shop and my e-commerce website at www.NaturallySusans.com. Also, select Naturally Susan’s products are available at Artists & Fleas curated online shop and StopTHINKShop’s GOODstuff Holiday Pop Up, a social good pop up shop at 103 Allen Street, in the Lower East Side, during this holiday season. There are a number of things in progress, and I look forward to sharing more news soon.

Q: As many artisans look to grow and further develop their businesses, do you have some advice that you can share with fellow artisans?
A: I’ve learned that if you’re passionate about something, it’s worth exploring. And, whether you’re just starting your business or have been in business for some time, it’s important to join a collaborative network. The level and diversity of experience in the networks are broad and deep and the knowledge that can be garnered benefits both budding and experienced entrepreneurs. Special thanks to Susan for sharing with us. You can find her products showcased on her Etsy shop at www.NaturallySusans.Etsy.com. Susan is also selling this month at the following markets: Artists & Fleas, Exhale Spa, Etsy NY’s Holiday Handmade Cavalcade at Chelsea Market, and more, so please check out her calendar at www.NaturallySusans.com/news.

And we didn’t forget about her giveaway!  The details of her special product GIVEAWAY are below. Enter for your chance to win HERE!

Roll On Moisturizers & Natural Perfumes 3-Pack Gift Set Retail value: $63.00 WIN the set! Packaged in convenient roll on applicators, our natural perfumes are made with a blend of essential oils to stimulate, calm and heal. They’re noncomedogenic, fast-absorbing, and versatile so they can be used as moisturizers too! Pop these into your purses, carry-on bags, and gym bags…they’ll be all you need when you’re on the go! Gift set includes three (3) roll on moisturizers & natural perfumes:

  • 1 – Lavender Chamomile
  • 1 – Rose Patchouli
  • 1 – Ylang Ylang

Gift packaged in a white gift box with green ribbon. Patch test for skin sensitivity. Results may vary. This is perfect for the holiday season! Can I enter even though I did the interview? Enter to WIN HERE! Entry period ends at 11:59pm on Monday, December 15, 2014! Tracey https://www.etsy.com/shop/traceytoole

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!

“Cures” for the Common Wrinkle

Laugh lines. Frown lines. Crows feet. However you refer to them, they’re wrinkles. Yes…we have them too. And, like many, we’ve searched far and wide for the fountain of youth.

Unfortunately, genetics plays a role in the onset of wrinkles, and while we haven’t found the cure for the common wrinkle, there are ways that may help to minimize and possibly delay their debut.

Here are some helpful tips to incorporate into your daily anti-wrinkle beauty routines:

Shield your skin with sunscreen. Not only during the Summer time. And, not only when the sun is shining. Wear sunscreen year round to protect your skin from harmful rays. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays that can damage cells and cause premature aging.

Yoga Gansevoort Plaza Meatpacking DistrictEmbrace the “ohm”. Some say that the jury is still out as to whether stress causes wrinkles. Yet, oftentimes stress can weaken our emotional and physical wellbeing. So, whether you practice yoga, meditate, or go for long walks, these are all great ways to manage stress and to help your body maintain a stronger immune system.

Slough off those dead layers. Exfoliation helps to rid your body of dead skin cells, allowing skin to breathe, new cells to regenerate, and beauty products to better penetrate the skin. Exfoliating once a week is often sufficient since over-exfoliation can damage the skin. For less abrasive exfoliants, try sugar scrubs and yogurt and oatmeal masks.

Eat your super foods. In addition to maintaining a skin-healthy diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant-rich foods are important in fighting free radicals that cause oxidative damage to cells that can lead to premature aging. Antioxidant-rich super foods include raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, pinto beans, apples, and our favorite…dark chocolate!

We confess that we have to work on embracing more “ohm”. But, we’ve got the other three well incorporated into our beauty routines. So, while we can’t promise you a cure for the common wrinkle or the fountain of youth, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can help keep you looking and feeling younger.

Be kind to your body!

~ Naturally Susan’s