Well, quite a few new products to begin, including some inspired by my continuing journey with breast cancer treatment since my re-diagnosis in 2014, the challenges brought about by some of the medications I've been on since then, and my desire to find and share wholesome solutions that have worked for me. As an example, the oral chemotherapy medication I am currently on can cause something called hand & foot syndrome. I won't detail it here, but if you've dealt with it, you know it can be rough. So far I've been able to avoid it with a wonderful product from Montana Emu Ranch called Workers Hand & Foot Cream -- a lusciously thick blend of 100% natural ingredients including emu oil, that quickly soaks into hands and feet to heal and protect, without the toxic ingredients in many drugstore brands.
Sunscreen is another important essential for those of us on strong medications, which can intensify the sun's rays, causing unattractive age spots and uneven skin tone. Daily use of a healthy sunscreen -- and we have several with varying SPF factors -- will go a long way to keep your skin looking hydrated, fresh and pretty.
So if you are concerned about hand & foot syndrome, sun damage, or other medication induced skin issues, or if you simply have a challenge keeping your skin youthful and healthy due living in a harsh environment, we speak your language and are here to help!
A few days ago, while waiting for my husband to finish his outpatient physical therapy session, I came across a sample packet for a skin care product that no one had yet removed from an upscale fashion magazine. Since the issue was several months old, I figured I'd help myself to the sample, which, of course, promised amazing results. A day or two later, I was about to try it, when I read the label. The first line? "Warning: Avoid Eye Contact." It then went on to list a multitude of chemical ingredients, none of which can I pronounce. The total list is way too long and complex to try to copy here, but included things like aluminum starch octeylsuccinate and acrylamidisodium acrylyloyldmethutaurate copolymer -- nothing recognizable.
Coincidentally, yesterday I received a package from Josh Rosebrook Skin and Hair Care, one of our wonderful suppliers. I was excited to open it, and even more excited to see a bottle of their newest product, Hydrating Accelerator. Of course the first thing I did was read the ingredients -- Organic Vitamin Infused Aloe Water, Organic Oils of Sunflower, Coconut, Grape Seed and Coconut, and a bunch of other organic herbal ingredients and infusions -- all beneficial in a healthy, healing way, and not one name I didn't recognize or had trouble reading or pronouncing!
Now I happen to know a very elegant and beautiful 94-year old woman who uses the chemical product, so I'm not knocking it or saying it doesn't work. And Josh's product is too new for me to talk about results, although I can tell you that all of his other products are absolutely wonderful, so I have no doubt this one is too!
The question is... which ingredients do you want to put on your skin and in your body on a daily basis? My choice will always be the natural, organic options, because I know they not only produce the results I'm after, but they do it by nurturing my skin to its heathiest, most glowing potential -- without potentially harmful chemicals.
Here's to the glowing, natural, healthy, beautiful skin we all want to have!
PS ~ Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator will be in stock very soon. Watch for it!
What do Sedona, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Santa Cruz, Pismo Beach, San Diego, Beverly Hills, Montana, Idaho and Alaska all have in common, besides being great places to vacation or live?
Well, they're just a few of the incredibly beautiful, soul-enriching places where the products we feature at Healing Finds are made.
Is that important? You bet! First because where better to develop personal care products that really stand up to harsh climates and weather than the places that have those conditions? If a hand cream gets rave reviews from folks who depend on it to protect their hands during harsh Alaskan winters, or a body lotion keeps skin soft and smooth and a deodorant works great where summer's dry heat can hit 120 degrees, chances are they'll all work great for you, too!
And where better than The American West to find herbalists inspired by centuries' old Native American herbal medicines, a working ranch that has developed a line of great products based on their amazing emu oil, or a forward-thinking hair guru who cares about your health as much as your beauty?
Perhaps a third reason we've sourced our products primarily in the rugged West is a subtle belief that the West is a place of infinite possibilities. We never settle for the status quo if we think we can improve upon it, and that's one of the criteria used in selecting our products. Is this cream or lotion or soap or shampoo significantly better than what you can get elsewhere in terms of purity and performance? We honestly believe ours are!
I read an article in the L.A Times today about an upcropping of smaller markets that cater to environmentally conscious foodies by offering local fare in laid-back settings. And, in a way, that's how I think of Healing Finds – a smaller resource (in this case, an on-line store) aspiring to offer exceptional, regional products.
We're excited about our finds! They're pure, wholesome, herbal, made in the USA, and they work great! And, on top of that, they come from some beautiful places that surely inspire the dedicated folks who make them to infuse them not only with an abundance of fresh, natural, pure ingredients, but an equal abundance of surroundings-inspired passion and care.
To natural beauty!
A few days ago, my esthetician gave me a beautifully packaged organic skin care product as a little gift. She uses only natural and organic products, and this one says it's free from petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, glycols, and synthetic colors, all of which is a good thing! So I was interested and a bit surprised to read the ingredients label, which, in addition to olive oil, sweet almond oil, and some other very nice ingredients, also lists Disodium EDTA, Parfum (fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Erthylhexyl, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzonate, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Anisyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate.
Here's what the EWG has to say about a couple of those:
Evidently, at least in the country where this product was made, it's okay for a product to use the word “Organic” prominently on the package, yet still contain quite a few chemical ingredients.
This is just an observation, not meant to knock the product, but just to point out that names and claims alone may not tell the whole story. We need to fully read the ingredients list to be sure of what we're getting along with the natural or organic ingredients that are much more prominently mentioned.
Some may feel that 80% or 85% natural is acceptable, and I agree it's absolutely better than 0% or 50% natural. But it's also nice to know that if we don't want 15% or even 5% of what we put on our skin to be less than 100% good for it, those products do exist, and I personally believe they're much better for us, especially since I recently read that the average woman is exposed to a total of 500 chemicals in personal care and beauty products every day! That's why just a touch of Benzyl Salicylate in any one product is concerning.
The lesson here is, take the time to read labels, and learn to recognize the added stuff you may want to avoid. What's said about healthy eating is also true of the food (e. g. personal care products) we put on our skin: If you can't pronounce it, you probably don't want to eat it -- or put it on your skin!
Like many women, I've always been a bit of a skin care junkie. From high-end department store brands, to drugstore options, to the somewhat purer choices available at natural markets, I've tried them all, once or twice spending as much as $165 on a jar of moisturizer. But it wasn't until I found and started using simple, small batch products formulated by skin-savvy herbalists and similarly passionate individuals, that I really started noticing a difference in my skin! And so I began a quest for truly effective holistic products that could rejuvenate my skin following a traumatic period in my life that included three major surgeries, chemo and radiation -- things that can really mess with your appearance and your self-esteem.
I was aware that a lot of skin care products, including some labeled "natural," contained harsh and even dangerous ingredients that I absolutely wanted to avoid. But one thing I was surprised to find out, is how reasonably priced some truly great, natural cosmetics can be. Until my quest began, I hadn't given much thought to the amount of packaging and advertising that goes into marketing skin care products -- from celebrity spokesmodels, to full page ads in every major fashion and women's magazine, to tote bags and other promotional gifts. And I suddenly realized -- that's a lot of what you and I are paying for, which helped me understand that, without that kind of overhead, great products don't have to to be expensive.
Soon my bathroom vanity was happily cluttered with the most amazing smelling creams and serums and scrubs that, with consistent use over time, began to nuture my skin back to a healthy, youthful glow like nothing else ever had. And that's when the idea for Healing Finds was born -- the idea that I wanted to share these remarkable finds with others who, perhaps because of illness or medical treatments or simply living in very harsh climates or environments, are also looking for products that will make a real difference in the health of their skin and how they feel about themselves.
Here's to all of us seekers of glowing health and beautiful skin!