Activated Charcoal: The Beauty Hack That Won’t Break The Bank

Activated Charcoal: The Beauty Hack That Won’t Break The Bank

For all of us who love a good beauty DIY trend or brand new cosmetic item, there’s a fresh game-changer in town. The name is activated charcoal, and it’s been making headlines in the beauty world. While it’s not new, per se, it’s definitely on trend. Don’t be fooled by the name: although charcoal might bring along thoughts of being on Santa’s naughty list, there are many beauty benefits to this lightweight black carbon.

An ounce of activated charcoal powder is as cheap as three dollars and can be the perfect ingredient to many DIY beauty projects. Whether you want to concoct your own beauty project or you’d prefer to head straight to the store, one thing is for sure: activated charcoal has plenty of cosmetic uses and won’t break the bank in the process. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular uses.

Activated charcoal for pearly whites

When we think of having nice white teeth, we certainly don’t imagine a fog of darkness smeared across them, do we?

Oddly enough, activated charcoal has been hitting the shelves of many retailers for its teeth whitening advantages. Activated charcoal is known for pulling toxins and removing stains, so it only makes sense to apply it to your teeth, where unwanted staining can occur from delicious hot coffee, tea, a glass of red wine, or nearly anything else.

activated charcoal toothpasteSurprisingly, after using activated charcoal on your teeth, all of the blackness washes away and will leave your teeth feeling clean, polished, and smooth. It might look unpleasant when you stare into the mirror, but after continued use, you’ll more than likely notice results.

Many popular toothpaste brands have even included charcoal in some of their products. Examples include:

For skin

If you’ve been experiencing less than desirable skin conditions, you’ll be amazed by the multitude of benefits that activated charcoal can provide. To begin with, this miracle carbon draws out some of the nasty things that negatively impact your skin, such as an overabundance of the wrong types of bacteria, dirt and built-up dead skin cells.

With activated charcoal, you can easily draw out oil, dirt, and any other substance that is causing clogged pores. It does this through its mighty powers of adsorption.

A fresh and glowing face is completely achievable thanks to this super-ingredient for your skin. Applying this product to your face in the form of a facial mask, scrub, cleanser, or on-the-spot treatment like black drawing salve will quickly draw out dirt and other skin imperfections.

Now, you might be tempted to stop reading this post and go order some charcoal powder for your face right now; but before you do that, you should know that like the previous hack, some popular brands have also taken advantage of the rave and created their own charcoal mask products.

These commercially prepared masks have different ingredients that may make them better or worse for your skin type and goals, so it’s best to read reviews to help you determine which activated charcoal mask is perfect for you before jumping in.

For gorgeous hair

Now that we’ve covered teeth and skin, it’s time to review how activated charcoal can make a difference for your hair.

Just like how it removes toxins from your teeth and skin, activated charcoal does the same to your hair. If you’ve experienced anything unpleasant such as clogged hair follicles, dandruff, or even scalp infections, activated charcoal should be one of the first beauty items you reach out for.

Did you know that using activated charcoal on your hair not only improves its overall appearance, but can encourage hair growth as well?

That’s right – charcoal works its magic by pulling out toxins and pollutants that restrict and compromise the health of your hair, making it grow faster and look healthier. Dirt and other substances weigh down your hair and regular shampoos are not only incapable of removing as much as activated charcoal, but they actually leave back more residue as well.

Final word on activated charcoal

Although activated charcoal has been around since practically the beginning of time, we’re now finally appreciating its detoxifying advantages on teeth, skin, and hair. Whether you decide to opt for a fun DIY project or premade mask, toothpaste or shampoo, you can rest assured that you’ve made the right decision for your pocket and your beauty – which is rare!

Pro tip: when going the DIY route, you might want to opt for the activated charcoal in capsules. They’re less messy and make it easier to gauge proportions.

About the author:

Thanks to today’s guest writer, Trish Sutton for this fabulous article! Trysh is a wife, mother, strategic leader and teacher. She runs a website called Pure Path, which is a naturopathic wellness site that promotes healthy living and healing through the use of essential oils and sustainable living.

You can follow her on social media to learn more about the benefits of essential oils, and healthy living practices.

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Youtube | Google Plus

Is activated charcoal part of your skin, hair, or oral hygiene routine?

How do you like it? Please share your experience in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links.

My 5 Favorite Herbal Skincare Recipes from Mountain Rose Herbs

My 5 Favorite Herbal Skincare Recipes from Mountain Rose Herbs

Have you heard the big news? I’ve created an amazing new online event, called the Herbal Skincare Summit, and I’m offering it FREE from January 8-12, 2018! Click HERE to join the event.

The Herbal Skincare Summit features 17+ wise women and men, who are sharing their expertise, inspiration, and practical tips about the power of plants for healthy, radiant skin. It will be a celebration of our herbal lineage and an opportunity to share our passions and knowledge – with a bit of old-fashioned storytelling thrown in for inspiration. 

The more I go through the interviews, the more amazed I am at what an incredible event this has shaped up to be. I’ve produced online events before on a smaller scale, but this was a whole new ballgame–I had no idea what to expect, but I can tell you that how it’s turned out is better than I could have ever imagined. So I hope you join us!

One of the most exciting parts of the Herbal Skincare Summit is that it has sponsors!

I opened sponsorship opportunities to a very small pool of companies, because I’ll be honest–I’ve had companies approach me for sponsorships before that didn’t align with my philosophy and core business values, and that didn’t feel good to me.

So when Mountain Rose Herbs said yes to my VIP sponsorship offer, I was ecstatic because they are a company I’ve been doing business with for years, whose core values align with mine, and who I recommend all the time to my Create Your Skincare students as top quality one-stop shop for organic, ethically harvested, non-GMO, and fair trade herbal skincare ingredients and supplies such as dry herbs, carrier oils, essential oils, butters, waxes, antioxidants, bottles, jars, tubes–you name it.

Mountain Rose Herbs also has fantastic customer service and is happy to answer any questions about ingredient quality, purity, and sourcing if it’s not listed on their website. I remember I once had a question about the origin of their citric acid from a student, and they provided me with a detailed written analysis the very next day.

Mountain Rose Herbs also has an incredibly informative blog, which contains many recipes that have inspired me.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorites here to get you into the herbal skincare mood:

Homemade Shaving Cream

This one inspired one of the products in one of the gift sets I teach in the Bonus Module of Homemade Shaving CreamCreate Your Skincare. It gives so much more of a luxurious shaving experience than a foam. I’ve given it as gifts to the men in my life and they love it with a nice shaving brush. Works great for the body too!

DIY Moisturizing Skin Serum

Who doesn’t love a good oil serum these days? This one contains many of my favorite carrier oils, and I love the essential oil blend–it’s earthy and subtle, while still feminine.

Frankincense & Myrrh Hand Balm

just thinking about this one makes my hands feel soothed! Especially this time of year. Frankincense and myrrh are some of the most comforting ingredients for dry, chapped skin, and the addition of the other essential oils in this recipe balance out the aroma nicely (so you don’t constantly feel like you’re in church if that’s not your thing).

Vanilla Cardamom Lip Balm

As I’ve confessed in the past, I have a bit of a lip balm addiction. I literally have one at arm’s length at all times. Part of the reason is that it is SO easy and inexpensive to make, with endless variations! But you want your lip balm to taste good, so that means that any flavorings need to be edible–which is why I love this vanilla cardamom one.

DIY Leave-in Conditioner Hair Serum

Though skincare is my specialty, I get asked about my hair all the time–that kinda comes with the territory when you have waist-length, straight hair. My biggest secret is leave-in conditioner, and I love using oils on the ends as a leave-in, because it coats the hair and gives shine–and as long as I use the right oils for my hair, it doesn’t feel weighed down. This is one of my favorite blends–and it also works well as a skin serum for certain skin combinations.

Those are just a few–but they have more!

Again, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Mountain Rose Herbs for supporting my Herbal Skincare Summit, and also for donating two amazing bonuses to our Virtual Swag Bag, which all attendees will receive. I’m so proud of this event and hope you can attend.

The Herbal Skincare Summit happens online FREE January 8-12, 2018.

Click HERE to save your spot.

*Images are courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs, used here with permission.

 

 

Should You Use a Humidifier for Dry Skin? Maybe Not…

Should You Use a Humidifier for Dry Skin? Maybe Not…

There are a lot of things that signal to us that the seasons are changing–though it seems lately, the weather isn’t one of them. One of definitive sign though, is skincare articles about how to adjust your beauty routine to account for drier winter weather. Am I right? Once those pumpkin spice lattés start steaming, blogs abound without tips for how to combat common cold season skin woes. I’ve written articles about seasonal skin health here, and also on the Nutritional Aesthetics® Alliance’s blog, but today I wanted to approach it from a slightly different angle. This is also the time of year the humidifier comes out of the hall closet (at least in my house), so naturally, the topic of humidifiers has on my mind. I’ve had friends who swear by using a humidifier for dry skin, to get them through winter without their skin completely freaking out. I’ve even recommended humidifier use for my clients with super-dry skin.

However, it’s always been in the back of my mind–especially when I teach about microbial growth associated with excessive moisture in Create Your Skincare, that humidifiers pose risks as far as bacterial and fungal growth. So I decided to do a bit of research on the subject. Here’s what I found–both the pros and cons–of using a humidifier for dry skin.

Why use a humidifier for dry skin during winter months

During cold, winter months–whether it’s due to the fireplace or your heating system–indoor air has less moisture in it. From a dry throat or hacking cough, to chapped lips and bloody noses, you have surely experienced some of this wrath.

Many people use humidifiers to ease these symptoms. Humidifiers emit mist, thereby increasing the amount of water in the air of a given space. This can especially be helpful when dealing with winter colds (especially if your humidifier has an essential oil well), as the extra moisture helps to ease congestion. Some parents find this useful for easing cold symptoms in children who are too young for conventional medication, or who choose to try natural and holistic means before medications.

Not only can humidifiers help deal with symptoms of colds, some may even lend a hand in preventing them. The moisture in the air helps to maintain the mucus membrane that lines your nose and throat; part of your body’s important defense against respiratory infections.

In certain climates, dry conditions may persist all year long. Dryness can also result from air conditioning and heaters, so if you run yours most months of the year, your house my might be chronically dry.

In addition to your nose and throat, your skin is also affected by how much moisture there is in the air. You’ve probably experienced what your skin looks like in high humidity (for me the effects are pretty amazing). Well, winter dryness has the opposite effect, essentially dehydrating your skin–the dry air actually can “suck” the moisture out of your skin, which is technically called trans-epidermal water loss (known to us aestheticians as TEWL). Not only does this exaggerate the look of fine lines and wrinkles, it can also exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea, and affect the skin’s immune function.

A good moisturizer containing rich emollients certainly helps!

Click HERE to learn to create and customize two simple, highly emollient skin moisturizers at home.

But if you’re constantly exposing your skin to dry conditions, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Thus, many people find it effective to humidify a room or two in their homes to mitigate dryness.

Types of humidifiers and their risks

Not all humidifiers are created equal. At the simplest level, humidifiers can be broken down into warm mist and cool mist.

Warm mist humidifiers create steam that cools before leaving the machine. The process of boiling the water before it enters the air kills off bacteria, making this type a generally more clean option.

Cool mist humidifiers vaporize but do not boil water. The pros of using this kind is that there is no risk of burning yourself, and they use less energy.

For parents who uses humidifiers in their kids’ rooms, cold mist if often preferred to prevent accidents. However, bacteria can accumulate quite quickly in standing water, and without boiling it first, this bacteria can be spread through the air, infection people in the room. 

Sicknesses contracted through airborne bacteria emitted from humidifiers is not common, but is more likely among the immunocompromised, children, and the elderly.

Some cool mist humidifiers use UV light to kill microbials. I found this Health article to be a pretty helpful guide to a few different brands and types of humidifiers on the market. Since I have not used these, I’m not endorsing a particular one, but it’s a good overview of some of the price points and features available.

In addition to the threat of bacterial build up, mineral build-up can also be a problem. There was a case study at the University of Utah on an infant who was injured by breathing in airborne minerals from a humidifier. In this regard, distilled water is the ideal choice for filling your humidifier. There are also some humidifiers that claim to inhibit mineral buildup, which you’ll find in the above Health article.

Regardless of which type of humidifier you use, you should wash it every three days or more often to prevent the growth of bacteria, and if it uses a filter, change it often. You should also avoid filling the humidifier with tap water, which is not microbe free. The best option is to boil the water first, or use distilled water.

I’ll also caution you that sometimes humidifiers break–and you won’t always see it coming. I remember one night when my older daughter was really little, she came into our room in the middle of the night because she couldn’t breathe. Why couldn’t she breathe? Because her warm mist humidifier went rogue and turned her bedroom into a tropical rainforest. It was literally raining from her ceiling, and we had to undergo preventative mold remediation just to be on the safe side. I will say though, that this particular humidifier was probably not the best quality–and as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

But that dewy complexion though…

There are risks associated with using humidifiers, and I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I hadn’t communicated them in addition to their benefits. However, with proper usage and cleaning, they really can be an amazing tool for getting through the winter,

The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology recommends a humidity level between 45 and 55 percent. Running central air in your home can reduce it down to a whopping 10 percent! This is a serious difference and can really affect your skin and respiratory health.

So many people trudge through winters, cursing how dry their skin looks and feels everyday. Dull, dry, lifeless… it’s not a fun look OR feeling. I don’t suffer as much now that I make my own skincare and am pretty diligent about my diet, but I still have my days.

In addition to drinking lots of water, using a heavier moisturizer, and limiting your time in steamy showers, consider adding a humidifier to your routine. Choose the type that’s best for you and clean it and change the filters often, and you may be on your way to taking your best holiday photo yet.

Do you notice a difference when you use a humidifier for dry skin? Positive or negative?

Please share your experience in the comments below!

 

Sources:

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20332894,00.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/231822-will-a-humidifier-help-my-dry-skin/

https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/why-humidify-and-which-type-of-humidifier-is-best

http://time.com/4685972/humidifier-disinfectants-bacteria-water/

Matt Freije – ‘Home Humidifiers – Reducing Your Exposure to Harmful Bacteria’

Image credits:

“What One Sees” by Ryan Cadby, “Drought” by Katie Tegtmeyer, “Plume” by Ryan Hyde

The Lung-Skin Connection Part 2: Herbal Allies

The Lung-Skin Connection Part 2: Herbal Allies

In Part 1 of the Lung-Skin Connection, we talked about how lung health often influences skin health. We also discussed the importance of air quality–both indoor and outdoor–and shared a few tips on how to freshen up your indoor air and protect yourself outside–especially if you live in a city, or an area with compromised air quality as a result of environmental disasters such as smoke from wildfires, or mold from hurricanes. So what are some other ways we can help protect and rejuvenate our lungs, and therefore, our skin?

Herbs, of course. While there are too many herbs to list here that benefit the herbs and skin, I figured I’d start you off with five of my favorites. Here are…

5 herbs to support a healthy lung-skin connection

Fenugreek Seed

This herb has dozens of benefits. For the lungs, it encourages the clearing of mucus and reduces your mucus production, helping to keep you free and clear. It is helpful to take at the tail end of illness, as it soothes dry coughs and sore throats, and acts as a recuperative tonic.

Remember, the lungs are associated with air–and too much dryness in the lungs and body often lead to chronically dry skin on the outside. Because this demulcent herb helps to keep the body moisturized from the inside out, I recommend drinking it as a tea regularly. The more moisturized your body is, the better it is at warding off infections and getting rid of toxins from the body.

Thyme

ThymeIt’s great to be able to recommend an herb that people are already familiar with using. It’s sometimes easier to add herbs into meals you already eat, than worry about making teas or tinctures. Truly, some of the herbs many of us use regularly in cooking have amazing benefits that we might not realize.

Thyme is definitely one of them! Its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties make it helpful in supporting a healthy respiratory system. Plus, it has expectorant qualities, making it helpful to relieve dry, unproductive coughs.

Oregano

Oregano is another example of a common culinary herb that packs serious medicinal punch! Oregano is perhaps Oreganomore known in the world of herbalism for its antibacterial qualities. They are strong! And many people enjoy using oil of oregano or oregano essential oil to reap these benefits. Take caution when using oregano essential oil, though. It is powerful, and should not be taken internally or used undiluted.

Another way to get the benefits of oregano, besides cooking with it, is to take the powdered herb in capsule form. Doing so regularly can help keep your lungs clean.

Eucalyptus

EucalyptusThis invigorating herb already has a reputation as an ally of the lungs. Especially pleasant when used in a diffuser, eucalyptus has a palpable effect on the lungs and sinuses when inhaled. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can add a couple drops of the essential oil in a pot of boiling water and let the steam wash over your home, or use it in a hot shower. If you don’t have the essential oil, you can tie a bunch of fresh eucalyptus to your showered and the hot, steamy shower will act as a diffuser.

Eucalyptus is a great example of an herb that supports a healthy lung-skin connection, quite literally in fact, since you can benefit from it both by inhaling it and by applying it topically. You can also dilute eucalyptus essential oil or in a carrier oil or infuse a carrier oil with the herb itself to use as a massage oil, or in a salve.

Osha Root

OshaThis special herb increases oxygenation of the lungs, soothes sore throats and inflammation, and is highly effective against viral respiratory infections. Quite the resume!

Osha is not to be used lightly, but can be very effective. A tea or tincture induces sweating, which can help in the elimination of toxins. This is a great herb to use under the guidance of a trained herbalist if you’re noticing clear signs of respiratory distress.

There is a lot to take in regarding lung health, air quality, and the skin. Recognizing the lung-skin connection is important, and it’s a good idea to keep air quality on your radar and pay attention to any signs of lung distress. But don’t let the stress transfer over to you. Do your best to get out into nature when you can, reduce your environmental impact, and nourish your body with lung-nurturing herbs! Your skin will thank you.

Have you tried any of these herbal remedies for healthy lungs?

And if so, have you noticed a change in your skin? Please share in the comments below!

 

References:

https://www.starwest-botanicals.com/content/respiratory_herbs.html

https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/lung-care-extract/profile

http://theheartysoul.com/best-herbs-for-lung-health/

Image credits:

Fenugreek seed by Bhaskaranaidu ,Thymus vulgaris by Kurt Stuber, Oregano by Thomas Then, Eucalyptus by Toby Hudson, Osha by Jerry Friedman via Wikimedia Commons

Science and Soul: Why You Need Both for Healing

Science and Soul: Why You Need Both for Healing

Fairly early on in my practice, I noticed something that may seem obvious, but it’s one of the biggest things that holds people back from looking and feeling their best. And that’s that whether they intellectually already know what they should do to get results, or they’ve just gotten professional results on what to do, they often don’t follow through. Or, they start off with a big bang (often as some sort of New Year’s resolution), and then something happens that makes them lose interest, give up, or otherwise fall off the wagon. Then, not only do they not get the results they wanted, but they also get the added feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness.

This is something I’ve experienced myself at various stages of my own healing journey as well. I realized that what was necessary for me to get my own lasting results (and stick with what I needed to do to keep those results for the long term), wasn’t in my head. Because my head understood what to do. My own blockages went deeper than the mind–they were at the soul level. Specifically, I was blocking my own awareness of and access to the wisdom of my own higher self. I began doing specific exercises to address this for myself, and once I did, the floodgates opened, and I began losing weight, getting clear skin, and feeling energized at what seemed like quantum speed.

I began to deepen my studies of various aspects of spirituality and metaphysics to understand why this happened for me–both ancient lineages and newer age belief systems–and all of what I studied pointed to the truth that one’s spirit (or soul, higher self, life-force energy, connection to God, the Force, the Source, whatever you want to call it) is what sets the stage for healing to occur at the mental and physical levels.

Integrative, naturopathic oncologist, Dr. Heather Paulson agrees.

In today’s episode of the Rachael Pontillo Show, I interview my friend and colleague, Dr. Heather Paulson, about her upcoming, free virtual event, The Science and Soul of Healing Summit. It starts this Monday, October 2nd, 2017, and will be an ongoing dialogue about the importance and validation of both spirituality and science, as it pertains to healing. Many schools of thought, for many years have believed that there’s no room for science in spirituality and that there’s no room for spirituality in science. Fortunately we live in a time where we get to experience the benefits of both, and more practitioners are beginning to see the value in both–especially in cases of life-threatening and chronic diseases.

Tens of thousands of health seekers from around the world will be watching this revolutionary event bringing together thoughtleaders, traditional healers, and doctors as we explore cutting-edge science and alternative traditional practices to discover the soul of healing. I am honored to be one of them, and share with you some of the methods I used personally to help myself look and feel better, and that I share with my own private clients.

Watch the interview below to hear more from Heather about why she feels this approach is so important to share, and hear her own story of healing both through science and the soul.

Click HERE to download the audio version of this episode free on my iTunes channel (and subscribe while you’re at it!)

The Science and Soul of Healing Summit is a free online conference that starts on Monday, October 2nd, 2017 and goes through Friday, October 6th, 2017.

The Science and Soul of Healing Summit will teach you:

  • What’s stopping you from experience better health
  • Where Science and Traditional Healing Come Together
  • How Your Childhood influences Your Health as an Adult
  • Ways to Cultivate Love to Change Cellular Health
  • Musical Vibrations that Heal
  • The Truths hidden in Traditional Cherokee Healing Practices
  • Essential Oils that Create Peace and Heal Traumas
  • How Your Hands Can Heal You
  • Flowers that create joy and spontaneity
  • Healing Properties of Crystals
  • Soulful Nutrition
  • Rituals for Self-Care
  • The Power of Prana
  • And more!

Register for FREE here to make sure you don’t miss a single inspiring, informative, and potentially life-saving interview.

If you can’t watch all the interviews between October 2-6, don’t worry! You can own access to ALL of the expert interviews at huge savings. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to learn from these healers. Now through October 6th purchase the entire collection of interviews here.

Dr. Heather PaulsonAbout Dr. Heather Paulson

Dr. Heather Paulson is a board certified naturopathic oncologist focusing on natural and integrative cancer care. She founded The Paulson Center for Integrative Healing, a wellness center named in honor of her Dad who died of colon cancer, and dedicated to helping people with cancer and hematological disorders regain health. Dr. Paulson is adjunct faculty at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and trains other physicians in cancer care and support. She is also the best selling author of Cancer Proof: 7 Natural Ways to Live Cancer Free. You can reach Dr. Paulson at www.drheatherpaulson.com

*Affiliate disclaimer

Gemstones in Skincare: Your Introductory Guide

Gemstones in Skincare: Your Introductory Guide

Have you noticed that gemstones are everywhere these days? While just a few years ago, it seemed they were abundant in the more metaphysical/spiritual circles, but lately they’ve been gaining mainstream exposure. Int he skincare world, again–they’ve been long embraced by the more holistic aesthetic modalities; but this past year at the spa shows I’ve attended, I’ve seen more gemstone infused products, gemstone-infusing water pitchers and bottles, and actual gemstone jewelry exhibited throughout the sea of otherwise still fairly conventional aesthetic products and treatments. I’ve touched on the subject of gemstones in skincare a few times, but I’m talking about it again today due to this influx of attention (or maybe I’m still feeling the vibes from the gemstone jewelry I bought at the Long Beach show–who knows!).

It’s a somewhat common sequence of events–an ancient practice goes relatively untalked about for years and years and then–Booom!–the secret gets out and everyone wants in.

Inevitably there are questions. Does it work? Is it expensive? Is it right for me?

I’ll try to make this one crystal clear for you.

Gemstones in skincare

When it comes to natural skincare, we mainly think of plants — cold-pressed oils, healing herbs, potent extracts… But precious (and ones considered “semi-precious”–I consider them all precious) gems are just as natural, and it turns out that they can also play a pretty magical (and scientifically-backed) role in organic skincare.

Use of minerals in skincare dates back to ancient Egypt, when the mineral malachite was used as eye paint (can you imagine how vibrant that color must have been?!) Even Saint Hildegarde of Bingen, an abbess and writer in Germany (1098-1179), recommended using amethyst to help remediate acne.

I’ve written about gua sha as well, a traditional massage technique that involves scraping or pulling on the skin with a smooth stone to move lymphatic fluids and release tension in the face. It is most commonly done using rose quartz or jade, and there’s evidence that shows that it increases circulation in the face, which can help relieve pain in addition to revitalizing the skin.

So it’s clear that we’re not the first era to discover that minerals and gems can play a role in your skincare routine.

It Seems woo woo, But…

Even some mainstream skincare brands use minerals in their products. For example, Aveda has a product that uses tourmaline to naturally energize the skin. I’ve seen these stones-of-many-colors pop up into organic products here and there over the years too, though they’re definitely getting more attention lately.

One of the explanations for why crystals have such a healing effect on the skin is that our bone structure is similarly crystalline. And if you want to get even more woo woo (clearly I do), many spiritual lineages of old and new believe that there are crystalline aspects to our DNA. Because gems and minerals have a naturally higher frequency, they can literally travel towards weaker skin cells, to balance them.

Here is another way to say it that involves a cool new vocab word (or it was for me, anyway): piezoelectricity.

Piezoelectricity is the charge that builds up in certain materials when they are exposed to mechanical stress. These materials include DNA, certain ceramics, and (you guessed it), both bones and crystals. This charge is reversible.

Crystals tend to hold their energy and have the natural ability to support energy fields. When you put them in your skincare, they transmit this energy to your skin.

So, where are the jewels?

Tourmaline

Tourmaline

Gems can be incorporated into skincare products in a few different ways:

  1. Water infusion – Gem is soaked in water before being used in a formulation. This is sometimes done under moonlight for additional benefits. The results of this infusion are also referred to as gemstone essences or elixirs.
  2. Oil infusion – The same process as above is done in oil instead of water.
  3. Tincture – An elixir is preserved with alcohol to extend its shelf life.
  4. Powder – A gem is ground into a powder and added into a skincare formulation.

A study done by the Journal of Cosmetic Science looked at the use of tourmaline in skincare–specifically its ability to raise skin temperature and thus increase circulation.

They determined that a product containing 1% of the gem powder was sufficient to provide this effect.

And while crystals have in common that they affect the skin through their vibrational energies, you may have guessed (or already knew) they each crystal has a unique effect on the skin. Some are specific to certain skin conditions and some might not work for everyone. How they work, similar to plants, also depends on that individual person’s physical and energetic constitution.

How to choose the right gems for your skin

There are people who make entire careers out of helping people choose the right crystal and use it for healing; and like with plants–I feel it takes more than one lifetime to learn all the stones and ways they can help.

Some of my rose quartz, jade, and marble gua sha, acupressure, and facial massage tools.

So here’s a very introductory guide to some different properties crystals have, as it relates to skin:

  • Jade protects the skin and increases circulation. It is the most common tool used to gua sha, the facial massage technique mentioned above.
  • Rose quartz is one of the most common crystals used to improve the skin. It is popular for reducing fine lines and wrinkles and smoothing out rough skin.  Also used in gua sha, this stone improves circulation while calming nearly every complexion.
  • Moonstone gives skin a youthful glow and helps balance your yin-yang energies.
  • White gold is known for its graceful aging properties and its abilities to treat sun-damaged skin.
  • Rubies are thought to be great blood cleansers, removing toxins and clearing up acne. They also recharge your energy, helping you feel powerful and in control.
  • Amethyst eases nerves
  • Tourmaline crystals warm as they are rubbed onto skin, becoming positively charged on one end and negatively charged on the other. This unique feature increases skin absorption, meaning that when tourmaline is in your skincare, you absorb all those delicious ingredients better. This energizing stone is also said to make the skin more radiant and youthful.
  • Citrine’s optimistic and creative energy makes it useful for dealing with seasonal depression and bringing about opportunity.
  • Malachite is a deep energy cleaner and is often used for healing and bringing positive change
  • Sapphire helps us face difficult situations and see them clearly. On the skincare front, it can be a great ingredient to keep complexions smooth.

Choosing the right stone for you can be as simple as moving towards whichever you resonate with. Or, choose based on the skincare or emotional concern you’d like to address.

My experience with gemstones in skincare

I wrote about gemstones in skincare a while ago. Those who know me or read my blog often know that I am a big fan of using them not only in skincare, but in my jewelry, throughout my living space… pretty much anywhere I can squeeze them into my life.

In the blog post mentioned above, I talk about my process of choosing the right stones for me, plus I interview a friend of mine who practices stone medicine and simply blows my mind with the work she does. Gemstones have played an important part in my life since I was a child, and once I started working with them more purposefully, I absolutely believe they’ve helped me have skin today that no one ever believes, ever had stage 4 or cystic acne. While other changes had to happen for me to achieve my skin and health goals, during that time, my stones were always with me.

Create Your SkincareI hope you’ll consider incorporating crystals into your skincare, whether it’s through gua sha, an infused product, or simply keeping them nearby.

Do you want to learn to make professional quality gemstone-infused skincare products?

You’re in luck! In the Bonus Module of my online course, Create Your Skincare, there are multiple lessons about gemstones in skincare, and how to use them. Throughout the rest of the course, you’ll also learn how to work with the energetic and physical properties of plants to create balanced, customized, and effective skincare regimens for any skin type or skin tone.

Click HERE to learn more and save your spot in our next class now!

References:

http://www.byrdie.com/gemstone-essence-skincare

http://www.instyle.com/beauty/skin/healing-crystal-skincare-products

http://www.refinery29.com/gua-sha-facial-chinese-treatment-review

http://metro.co.uk/2017/06/22/the-next-hot-skincare-trend-is-rubbing-a-crystal-on-your-face-6725422/

https://www.truthinaging.com/review/what-is-it-tourmaline

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.627.4849&rep=rep1&type=pdf

http://www.iscd.it/files/HOLISTIC-COSMETICS.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17905355

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