Eco-Friendly Boxes Giving Our Line a New Look

new boxes

We already told you about our new labels and the new look and feel of our line but there is more to tell you because honestly, it’s not just a new label, it’s a total packaging overhaul. For the first time in Annmarie history, we’re adding full-size boxes to our packaging.

We have changed a lot about our packaging in the past couple of years and if you have been with us on that journey then you know that we started with bubble wrap, then we tried packing peanuts—both the classic styrofoam and organic made from corn—then we moved to the packaging that we have now with green wrap and kraft paper. Along with every order (and depending on what you purchase), we include cards and a little lavender sachet.

What you don’t know is that throughout this time, we have been searching for a long-term sustainable solution that allows us creative freedom, complies with FDA and Health Canada regulations, decreases our overall use of packaging materials, and holds the integrity that the rest of our products do. A lofty goal to say the least, but not impossible—we just had to find the right partners.

And we did. All-in-all we interviewed and got samples from about 15 different packaging companies but when our COO found Johnson Printing and Packaging (JPP) at Expo West, a natural products exposé, she knew that this was it! The staff is knowledgeable, their customer support is lovely, and they’re always ready for a challenge. In fact, they say right on their mission statement, “bring us your challenge.” And boy did we!

Why We Love Our Box Company

As always, our number one goal is sustainability and staying conscious of our carbon footprint. We care deeply for the Earth and we strive to make that a part of every decision we make as a company. JPP met us every step of the way.

They are a Minnesota based company that runs on 100% wind power from the Xcel Energy Windsource for Business Program, which saves an estimated 500 tons of carbon emissions per year—that’s like planting 123 acres of trees every year. We were impressed right off the bat, but the good news just kept coming!

JPP developed the first ever post-consumer recycled paperboard. That means that they make the boxes with materials that have been used before. Here is a company after our own hearts, we took the option that our boxes didn’t have to made with any newly-sourced materials.

Taking this even one step further, JPP is certified through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reducing their risk of climate change, the Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC) for their commitment to suppliers that responsibly practice forestry from the logger to the printer, and they are certified by the Printing Industry of the Midwest (PIM) as an environmentally friendly printer company. They even work in a retrofitted building that reduces energy consumption by half and they are a completely carbon neutral company. Basically, they’re the packaging company of our dreams!

Our Sustainable Boxes

Now that you’re as thoroughly impressed with our packaging partners as we are, here’s a little bit about our new boxes!

The material we’re using is 80% post consumer waste and 20% recycled materials. That 20% of non-post consumer waste is recycled from the creation of other manufactured materials. To use less material, our boxes are uncoated—we think it makes them prettier too—and we’ll need a lot less packing paper to protect our full-size products. Because we’ll be able to print directly on the boxes, we won’t have to use the cards and extra information that we send out anymore either!

You’ll also notice that our new boxes have barcodes. This may not be so exciting for you, but we’re thrilled. Our warehouse puts all of the packages together by hand, and they do an awesome job, but humankind makes mistakes sometimes. Having barcodes on the boxes means that our warehouse can scan the barcodes on products and get it right everytime! This increases our efficiency and that means we’ll have less re-shipments to make, further cutting down on our footprint!

Thank You

Okay, so you just read an article about sustainable boxes and packaging. We know it isn’t the most exciting topic, but we really wanted to extend a thank you to you. Despite our growth over the past couple of years, we’re still a small company and we honestly couldn’t make any of this possible without you. So many of you have written in asking about our packaging plans and we are so grateful for your dedication to safe, sustainable products from start to finish. You inspire us to stay on the cutting edge of truly Earth-Friendly products.

What do you think of our new boxes? Let us know in the comment below!

The following blog post Eco-Friendly Boxes Giving Our Line a New Look is available on: Annmarie Skin Care’s Blog

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Introducing New Sustainable Labeling Materials

labels

We have some really exciting news for you, we’re releasing new labels!

They’ll be rolling out soon and we’re so excited to share them with you. Not only are we completely changing the look and feel of our line, we’re totally leveling up when it comes to sustainability.

Yes, we’re an all natural skincare company and take great care to produce quality products and give you great information about the potentially harmful effects of chemicals in your skin care but we really wanted to go a step further and extend that same type of care into our packaging.

Though we’re not concerned about the chemicals from typical labels leaching into your body just from touching them (at least we haven’t read any studies confirming those potential dangers), we are concerned about our carbon footprint. We think it’s vitally important to take care of the Earth every way possible, and that includes the processing and packaging of our products.

Since we have been working on these labels for quite some time, we want to share a bit of information with you about the process of typical labeling and our process of finding the perfect label for our brand.

Typical Labeling

There are a lot of different types of labels out there and we could (and did) spend days looking for the perfect solution. It took a long time because at every juncture we ran into issues with sustainability and the biodegradability of the products we were offered. It turns out that the labeling industry is similar to the skincare industry in that there are a lot of chemicals used in the process and those chemicals aren’t discussed because it’s all about how pretty the labels turn out. We think it’s possible to have a beautiful label and take care of our home.

Label Material

Choosing a label material is a first step—what do you want your design printed on? There are plenty of options but the most common ones available are synthetically made or paper. Typically, synthetic labels are created for the purpose of being able to stay on the product through tough conditions—like weather or bright sunlight exposure over time. They’re made out of materials like polypropylene and vinyl, materials full of pollutants that don’t break down easily and when they do break down they leach those pollutants into the environment. We don’t need that type of label and we don’t want to use any type of synthetics.

Paper labels are the most common option that companies use. While some companies offer eco-friendly recycled paper, newly made paper is more common and then those paper labels are covered with a synthetic laminate like varnish or an aqueous solution to protect them from the elements. Even if a company chooses not to use a laminate on top, most labels lose their biodegradability when the adhesive is applied.

Label Adhesive

I’m just going to go ahead and say this, the glue to secure a label to a bottle can have some gnarly chemicals components in them. Because we use the Miron Glass we aren’t concerned about those chemicals leaching into our products, but this project is all about the carbon footprint for us. Why would we go to all the trouble to keep our line and our packaging as clean as possible and then use an adhesive that’s creation puts petrochemicals into the environment and that makes our bottle not recyclable? We wouldn’t.

We did a bit of digging into the adhesives that are commonly used on labels and found a whole plethora of different types that are created in labs with constituents that add to the carbon footprint. There are a lot of different types of glues that are commonly used so we’ll just look at a couple of the options we found for our adhesives:

Polyvinyl compounds are very common, lease offensive of which is polyvinyl acetate which is used in wood glues and on envelopes—this reminded us of the Seinfeld episode where George’s fiance died from licking wedding invitations, but that’s neither here nor there.

Acrylic-based polymers are a plastic made using a catalyst of amines with a free radical mechanism. The process of making these polymers releases free radicals into the air and they are made so that they can withstand weathering without breaking down, which means they’re sitting in landfills for a very, very long time.

The options are all but exhaustible and we were feeling stuck (no pun intended) without a great adhesive to help us with our sustainability goals.

Label Ink

If you try to google the ingredients in ink, you’ll end up with a history lesson—which is a fascinating rabbit hole to follow but the history is so long and the process of ink creation has become so complex that you won’t end up with a pretty list of ingredients.

Like with the rest of the label components, there are options for organic or inorganic compounds depending on the desired texture, color, sheen, and pigment. There are different bases of ink ranging from water to a chemical solvent to UV protectant. Most companies make their ink choices based on their needs—fast drying, doesn’t fade in sunlight, easy to clean, etc—but these faster drying inks that are able to be printed on any sort of material often turn into a plastic which isn’t biodegradable or the process of creating/drying the ink involves petrochemicals that are released into the environment. We found ourselves, again, rolling our eyes at the pretty colors vs safe for the Earth conundrum.

Our New Labels

We really don’t like the feeling that we go through all the rigor to bring you such beautiful products but the labels are made from materials that aren’t safe for our environment but when we decided to go the miles to sustainable, biodegradable labels, we were a bit overwhelmed to learn all of this (and believe me when I say that there is so much more.) We know that we’re leaders in the skincare industry for completely chemical-free products, could we do the same thing with the labels? Yes. We can.

We did the research and found Elevate Packaging under their trademark of Pure Labels. Like us, they do everything they can to bring the best, most sustainable products to market. They helped us so much and now we can say that our labels are 100% compostable! That’s right, 100% compostable. Even the smallest particle of a non-biodegradable material can contaminate compost and we are so thrilled to work with a company that wants to be as clean and environmentally friendly as we do!

Our new labels are paper made from 100% sugarcane plant fiber waste. That means our labels are tree-free and made from a material that would have otherwise been disposed of! They aren’t chlorine bleached and they break down easily in compost.

The ink is a UV protectant type that is free of the most dangerous heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, or chromium) and it doesn’t have any chemical constituents that are listed as unsafe air pollutants by US Federal regulations or drinking water contaminants by California regulations.

The Pure Label adhesive is made from a raw, vegan source that is sustainable and completely natural. It’s a proprietary blend of sticky stuff that is water-based, compostable and recyclable. Although we couldn’t get every detail about the ingredients of the adhesive, our COO and head of the label project, Rachel, spoke at length with the Elevate Packaging company and feels confident that their master chemists are on their game when it comes to making our clean adhesive dreams come true.

Lastly, and most importantly for you to know, we’re really big on reusing our bottles so we decided not to go with a coating on top of the labels. This way, they could be washed off really easily when your product is gone! The only thing you need to be careful with is making sure you’re not soaking or scrubbing your bottles until you’re ready to reuse them.

What do you think of our new labels?

Sources

Elevate Packaging – Sustainable Solutions

Pure Labels – Compostable Labels for Compostable Packaging

Standard Register – Labels 101: Choosing the Right Substrate

Daily Mail – The Seinfeld episode where George’s fiancee Susan dies

NZIC – Adhesive

Standard Register – Labels 101: Choosing the Right Ink

Introducing New Sustainable Labeling Materials was originally published on: www.annmariegianni.com

The Natural Deodorant Answer to Your Body Odor Issues

Primal Pit Paste

In an effort to keep this from sounding like a page from the diary of a smelly girl, I’ll just say this: I sweat, a lot. Showering every day isn’t an option for me, both because my skin doesn’t love it and because we’ve been in a drought for the past few years, so I’m always searching for ways to do more than cover up my smell.

Changing my diet, exercising regularly, and working to balance my hormones has been instrumental but if I get hot or sweaty, all bets are off. Like most of you, I really don’t want to put the chemicals found in mainstream deodorant on my body—Come on! Our lymph nodes are right there, that is so not healthy—so I have tried a whole slew of natural deodorants, made my own, used a salt crystal, essential oils, carried baby wipes (the list goes on).

Enter Primal Pit Paste. Amy Cazin’s pre-teen daughter came home from school one day with body odor. Like us, she firmly believes that what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put into it, so before she ran out to the store to get her daughter a clinical strength antiperspirant, she did some research—probably the same research you and I did and how we ended up here. She wasn’t thrilled about what she found for her options.

Ingredients in Mainstream Deodorants

I started this journey just like Amy, with a google search for the ingredients in a conventional antiperspirant. Here are a few of the ingredients in that formula, all of these (and more) are on our ingredient watch list. While this is just one specific brand of deodorant, most commercial brands are about the same with different scents and proprietary blends of ingredients.

Aluminum Zirconium

This was listed as the only ‘active ingredient’ in the product I looked at (FYI, there’s no such thing as ‘inactive’ ingredients, if they’re in the product they’re an ingredient) and it’s listed as 15% of the total product. Okay so we’re going to put tiny particles of aluminum directly onto our skin? That gives me the willies just thinking about it! Why? There aren’t any conclusive studies quite yet, but the preliminary research suggests that high levels of aluminium in the fatty cells of the body (like, you know, side boob) could be linked to breast cancer and alzheimer’s disease and even though it’s mostly thought to move through the body unabsorbed I really don’t want to take my chances if I don’t have to.

Cyclopentasiloxane

Cyclopentasiloxane (try to say that out loud, I can’t do it) is part of the formula because it makes things feel smooth—but they don’t stay smooth. As soon as the chemical washes off of your body, it’s right back to where it was before. In other words, it’s not a healer, it’s a masker.

In research, the European Union, Health Canada, and the California Environmental Protection Agency have found that this chemical has the potential to be a slight hormone disruptor with a long half-life in humans (it stays in our bodies for a long time) but since this chemical is typically used on products that are quickly washed off (most notably conditioners) it’s mostly considered safe for people to use… I don’t wash off my deodorant right away, do you?

The scariest part of the research on this chemical is that it’s readily found in watershed because it doesn’t breakdown in the environment. Longitudinal studies are still being conducted but it’s very possible that the fish and wildlife are being affected by this toxin.

Dimethicone

About a week ago I was out sunbathing with some friends and when it came time to re-apply our sun protection, one of them brought out a commercial spray. I jumped up yelling, “please don’t make me watch you put dimethicone on your body!” and handed her my organic sun protection to pass around. This chemical is in every kind of mainstream product so I wasn’t at all surprised to see it in the antiperspirant.

Dimethicone is a silicone-based chemical that is used to make products go on smoothly and evenly. It creates a barrier on our skin that doesn’t allow our pores to sweat or our skin to slough off dead skin cells, it traps in old sebum, bacteria, and impurities, it also doesn’t allow the skin to absorb anything moisturizing or hydrating so it can cause irritation overtime.

Dimethicone does not degrade in the body or in the environment so in the creation and the disposal of this chemical is an ever-present pollutant that creates an impenetrable barrier on everything that it coats.

Hydroxyethyl Urea

This ingredient actually blows my mind. Urea is a waste product from our bodies and companies recreate it in a lab and use it as a preservative in their products. Using this ingredient is literally putting waste back into our bodies, does that seem like a good idea to you? Nope.

As urea breaks down, it releases formaldehyde, which is known as a human carcinogen (I’m just going to say this again, our bodies get rid of urea for a reason) and it’s known to cause irritation and allergic reaction.

Why We Love Primal Pit Paste

Primal Pit Paste (P3) doesn’t have those ingredients. They’re a transparent company (and by company, we mean that Amy is amazing to work with) that has turned our office into a body-odorless haven.

Like with our products, The P3 people don’t use additives to change the texture or keep it emulsified. The deodorant will melt if it gets too warm, but it’s perfectly fine to use and just as effective. Keeping it in a cool, dry place out of sunlight will help to keep the texture it was made with but don’t worry if it does melt. Just stir it and put it into the fridge for a little while and the texture you love will come right back.

Our bodies can become addicted to the products that we work with. If we’re using really high quality products, that’s okay, but if we’re using chemicals it can be a struggle to change to a natural product. Just like when you switch skincare products and have a week or so of clogged pores or irritation, switching to P3 from a chemical-laden deodorant can cause your body to go through a detox at first—it’s actually a good thing but it can be a difficult week in terms of your body odor. They offer a Pit Detox Protocol if you do have this sort of reaction.

Primal Pit Paste is effective. This is what really matters, right? I purposefully worked with P3 in several different situations to test this out. Applying just after showering, it kept me smelling fresh all day long—okay, that’s good, but not abnormal for a natural deodorant. The next day, I showered, got dressed without any deodorant and went on a hike. Once I was good and smelly, I used the Pit Paste and you know what? No more smell, my armpits dried up and I spent the rest of the day sans body odor. I didn’t believe it, so I went even further the next day. I didn’t shower and I didn’t put on any deodorant before I spent the day in the sun and working on my feet. What I noticed is that while I got really hot and even a bit sweaty, it didn’t have the usual potency of two sweaty days in a row. I put on a little bit more deodorant just for good measure and again, I was dry and clean feeling for the rest of the day. While these results are of a personal nature, I’m sold.

WeHeart

One of the most common questions we get when we talk about living a sustainable life is about how we find good products to use. In a nutshell, it’s a team effort. We share with each other and we each have a network of people that know we’re always on the lookout for sustainable lifestyle products.

WeHeart is our place to share those products with you, and we hope that you share with the sustainable seekers in your life.

Before we share these, we test the products and vet the companies by reaching out to ask questions about ingredients, processes, and sustainable efforts. We want to help shed light on companies that are doing amazing things and that share our same code of ethics when it comes to respect for the Earth and transparent practices.

To find out who’s on our We Heart list next month and beyond, get on the list:

Click Here to Join the We Heart List

Do you love Primal Pit Paste? Tell us about it below!

The following post The Natural Deodorant Answer to Your Body Odor Issues was first published on: Annmarie Skin Care LLC

Introducing the Wild Fruit Serum – Brightening Facial Complex

Wild Fruit Serum

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. Introducing: Wild Fruit Serum — Brightening Facial Complex. What started as a vision to create a luxury product for the Annmarie line, something that would deliver that “wow” factor to the skin, ultimately came into fruition through ongoing research, continuous brainstorming sessions with our beloved formulator, Bunnie, and many trials and testers before deciding that this is the one.

While all of the Annmarie products comprise of carefully selected organic and wildcrafted ingredients followed by a unique and proprietary process that involves weeks of infusing and crafting, our Wild Fruit Serum has been a focus and a beautiful work in progress over the past year for bringing even more effective skin care to our customers.

Launching a new product is not something we take lightly. Of course we have fun, play around with formulas and essential oils, but there is so much thought and intention to what we create. Our products are always unique, so it’s imperative that what we do bring to the table is the absolute best (and something that works for everyone).

Why is this serum different than our other signature serums?

The Wild Fruit Serum is a product unlike anything in our line. We call it a Brightening Facial Complex because it truly is a combination of complex ingredients that work together to brighten, restore and illuminate your skin’s look for a radiant complexion.

Additionally, the hydration factor in this formula is much higher than any other serum we currently offer. While hyaluronic acid is the main hydrating ingredient in both the Anti-Aging Serum and Citrus Stem Cell Serum (formerly, Repair Serum), which holds moisture 1000x its weight in water, the Wild Fruit Serum contains multiple hydrating factors that provide deeper levels of hydration that last even longer.

What makes Wild Fruit Serum a “luxury” product?

Wild Fruit Serum earned its “luxury” name because of the super-concentrated formula containing ingredients that are supercharged, and exclusive to only this product. We’ll get into the key ingredients below, but know that each key ingredient within this formula requires a precise method of extraction, increasing their bioactivity so that your skin can absorb all of the nutrients to their fullest potential.

This serum was developed to be the ultimate product in our line – enhancing the appearance of your skin making it look more youthful, happier and more nourished. Over time, we have 3-4 more products in mind that will fit into this different level of potency and luxury.

Key Ingredient Benefits

After the team tested Wild Fruit Serum for several weeks, we all agreed that the feel, the scent and most importantly, the results, made us proclaim it as “the ultimate skin elixir.” This formula contains tremendous moisture capability and deep level hydration, while also effectively brightening the appearance of your skin tone with highly concentrated herb and plant-cell extracts. The powerful antioxidant activity provide a fresh, revitalized appearance, and at the same time soothe, making it excellent for sensitive skin types.

Active Plant Cells

In one 15ml bottle, there are 1.5 million plant cells present (that’s 750,000 cells per plant used). The active plant cells were a recent addition to our line when we reformulated our Anti-Aging Eye Cream several months back, and given that we’ve received such positive feedback on the results they provide, we wanted to include them in our Wild Fruit Serum. We chose these cells from Madonna Lily and Poet’s Narcissus.

Their composition comprises of phytoalexins (active molecules), polypeptides, proteins, lipids, fatty acids, sterols, sugars, vitamins, enzymes and amino-acids. All of these elements supply essential nutrients.

What purpose do they serve for aging skin? As you’re exposed to environmental stressors, these active plant cells help to create a uniform looking complexion with their powerful brightening properties. They work together to even the skin tone and appearance, restoring a youthful glow. They will also help to reduce clogged pores and clean impurities. Talk about supercharged ingredients!

Kakadu Plum & Apple Extracts

What gives wildness to this serum is the dynamic blend of kakadu plum and apple extracts.

Wild, Australian kakadu plum has a range of advanced actives for skin brightening, illumination and restoring your look. It has been tested as one of the world’s most potent forms of vitamin C, packing a powerful punch. A potent antioxidant, vitamin C has intense brightening and lightening properties, while also helping to reduce the impact of environmental stressors and enhancing the appearance of firmness by tightening aging skin. This amazing fruit also contains phytochemicals such as gallic and ellagic acids. In addition, kakadu plum contains phenolic acid which behaves like an alpha-hydroxy acid to soften your look and exfoliate. It is stronger than vitamin E and has superior antioxidant properties. We extract kakadu plum at low-heat (in aloe vera juice), to maintain its stability and keep it 100% active.

Apple extract, also extracted in-house at low heat, is a synergistic ingredient that enhances the absorption of other ingredients. Another potent source of vitamin C, apple helps to give your skin more vibrant look, while naturally occurring malic acid softens the appearance of the skin’s texture. Overall, apple and kakadu plum work together to enhance your natural beauty: texture, tone, firm and radiate.

Knotweed & Uva Ursi Extract

Both Knotweed and Uva ursi also harness amazing skin brightening properties. These plants are extracted using aloe vera at a low simmer for 2-3 hours, which effectively extracts all of the active compounds without compromising the nutrient value of these plants.

Knotweed is naturally rich in high levels of resveratrol, which is the most potent ingredient in this serum. Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol and powerful antioxidant, providing even look to your skin tone. It is best known for it’s powerful antioxidant properties that are highly effective in protecting from environmental stessors. On top of all of this, it is more effective than ascorbic acid and vitamin C for brightening and lightening the look of your skin. If using Wild Fruit Serum to brighten the look of your complexion, you can use this serum up to three times a day for best results. Knotweed (resveratrol) is known for how well it can enhance the appearance of firmness and tone the look of aging skin.

Uva ursi, which is also in our Citrus Stem Cell Serum, is a highlight herb due to the naturally occurring compound Alpha-Arbutin, which promotes a lighter and brighter look to the skin and ensures an even looking skin tone on all skin types.

These ingredients are a perfect duo for our ultimate skin brightening complex.

Copper Infused Water

Yes, copper ions are infused into our mountain spring water. We were excited too when we started playing around with this idea!

Copper ion infused water has been used in Ayurvedic science for thousands of years to improve vitality, boost health in several ways and rejuvenate the appearance of skin. Water, stored in a pure copper vessel for a minimum of 8 hours infuses the water with lively copper ions in a process known in science as “oligodynamic.” Water is recharged and energized and is transformed whether taken internally or applied topically.

Copper ionized water has been proven to have incredible desired properties effective both internally and topically on the skin. In addition, it has strong antioxidant properties. It also helps with clogged pores and oily skin, and is cleansing – helping to remove dirt, oil and impurities. It truly will revitalize your skin’s appearance.

Specifically in skin, copper ionized water can help restore your natural glow. The result is a reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with firmer, hydrated skin.

Lastly, copper works as a conductor to synergize and enhance the entire formula and all of the potent and powerful herbs present. What’s a great skin care product that your skin cannot fully absorb.

If you’d like to try our Wild Fruit Serum and experience these benefits for yourself, please click here.

Have you tried any of these ingredients? We’d love to hear what you think!

The article Introducing the Wild Fruit Serum – Brightening Facial Complex is courtesy of: http://annmariegianni.com/

DIY: That Time We Made Toothpaste

Our office is a little bubble full of health-nutty experimenters so when we heard Rachel raving about her honey’s homemade toothpaste we all jumped at the chance to make it!

You’re probably thinking something like, “making your own toothpaste? Really? That’s pushing it a little bit with the DIY stuff,” but it’s actually really easy! Though you could definitely pick up an empty travel tube if you wanted to, we were excited to find another way to reuse our full size mask pots.
jars

What’s the Deal with Toothpaste?

You’ve probably guessed that most people on our team are vigilant about the ingredients in everything from our food to our skincare; that same vigilance extends to what we use to clean our teeth. Our mouths are one of the most absorbent parts of our bodies so when we’re using chemical-laden toothpastes, our bodies are soaking up all of the chemicals that we’re putting into our mouths via pea-sized dollops of scrubby-paste.

We’ve written about some of the chemicals that are found in a lot of the mainstream toothpastes already. Things like triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and propylene glycol are on our ingredient watch list, but Dr. Mercola talks about a few more ingredients that you don’t want to put into your bloodstream. We don’t like any of that and when we’re up against something synthetic or potentially precarious for our health, we either find a company doing it right or we make our own—often times we do both just to have all the healthy options (yes, our cabinets are full). This time we thought it would be fun to make the product and the product spotlight of the day is toothpaste.

Here’s the recipe that we used for this crafty little get-together. It’s simple and though the up-front cost seems high, it does save money overtime. We’ve all been using it—and we have a little jar in the office for work-hour brushing during our work-hour skincare pamper sessions.

ingredients

Siamic’s Toothpaste Recipe

  • Redmond Bentonite Clay: 2 TBPS
  • Activated Charcoal Powder: 1/4 TBPS
  • Veriditas Essential Oil 5-10 drops (to preference)
  • Trace Minerals: 5 Drops
  • MCT Oil: 1 TBPS

All you have to do is mix the ingredients together and you’re ready to brush!

toothpaste

We know it feels strange using a black paste to clean white enamel, but we promise that it feels amazing! I was excited when I spilled a little bit onto my white ceramic sink and when I scrubbed it off, the sink was sparkling clean.

Of course, you can use whatever essential oil you want your breath to smell like when you’re done. We think peppermint or cinnamon would be a classic here but sage, eucalyptus, or rosemary would be great too! As usual, when you’re working with essential oils you want to be careful that you’re not using too much. They’re very powerful, especially when you’re using them internally (remember when I said that our mouths are super absorbent?) so just use enough to give your breathe the scent you like.

Do you make your own toothpaste? Share your recipe below!

Sources

Dr. Mercola – Toxic Toothpaste Ingredients You Need to Avoid

The following post DIY: That Time We Made Toothpaste was first seen on: http://annmariegianni.com

Copper: The Ancient Ingredient Your Skin Will Love

copper

If you’ve ever worn copper jewelry, you may have sensed something entrancing about it. In ancient Egypt, copper was believed to be the symbol of life and to give magical powers to those who wore it.

That tradition has transcended time as many people still wear copper bracelets to ease aches and pains, improve flexibility, and enjoy an increased sense of well-being, though none of these benefits have sound scientific evidence behind them.

What we do have evidence of is copper’s beneficial effects on skin. A powerful anti-aging ingredient, it attacks the signs of aging from a number of angles, helping to prolong the look of youth. In addition, it has a number of other properties that help encourage beautiful skin.

Our Wild Fruit Serum features a very small amount of copper water to give the added benefits of the copper ions to the formula. If you’re wondering why we’ve decided to go with the copper, you’re not alone. We were wondering too but after looking into the benefits, we’re really excited to include this ingredient in the Serum.

What is Copper?

Also called the “red metal,” copper is a soft, malleable metal that is the most electrically conductive of all the metal elements. (That’s why you see copper wires in so many of your electronics.)

Copper is found as a pure metal in nature and was believed to be the first metal used by humans, discovered in stone tools over 10,000 years ago. Later, it was cast into shape molds in 4000 B.C., and 500 years after that, combined with tin to create bronze. In ancient Egypt, it was used to sterilize water. It is still used as a purifying agent, lining things like bed rails, sinks, door knobs, and healthcare equipment to cut down any health risks.

Though not a strong metal—it has only about half the tensile strength of mild carbon steel—it’s not easy to break, which is why it’s often used in piping and tube applications. Because it’s easily manipulated, it’s a favorite among artists and jewelers, and its ability to conduct electricity and heat makes it popular in cookware, electrical wire, industrial machinery, and roofing and plumbing.

Copper is also critical for supporting many systems and functions of a healthy body. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 0.9 mg.

Plays a Role in Age Fighting

Copper may be up for debate in the ‘giving magical powers’ department but it’s well known to help combat the signs of aging.

One of the most frustrating symptoms of aging is the loss of tightness we get under the eyes, around the mouth, and under the jaw and throughout the neck. As we age the elements that give skin its firmness do not function as well as they use to. That is where copper comes in, it can help revitalize the appearance of mature skin.

One of the ways that copper helps with the appearance of aging is through its peptide content. Peptides are short proteins that have a number of different functions in the body that are essential to overall health. Copper peptides can help nourish and replenish your skin’s appearance.

Helps the Skin Hold onto Hydration

On a similar note as the elastin and collagen, copper ions promote the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of the skin that holds about 1000 times its weight in water and helps the skin appear more plump and vibrant.

As we age, our levels of hyaluronic acid naturally decrease, which is one of the reasons why skin starts to look a little dull and not as firm. It’s also why we can develop dark areas around the eyes and cheeks.

Researchers have found that when applied topically, hyaluronic acid penetrates into the deeper layers, boosting elasticity and hydration. Since copper helps promote more hyaluronic acid, it helps plump skin in two ways—boosting the skin’s overall elasticity and increasing hydration.

Antioxidant Benefits

This is another exciting area of copper in skin care. It actually helps activate superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of the most powerful antioxidants that occurs naturally in the body.

Why should we care about SOD? It’s one of the body’s primary defenses against aging and plays a big role in soothing the skin. We think that’s pretty awesome!

Copper in the Wild Fruit Serum

Now you can be as excited as we are about the benefits of copper in your skin care! It’s helpful for slowing down the aging process in so many different ways that we think of it as an additional wonder-ingredient! Who knew? We hope you love it!

What do you think of copper as a skin care ingredient?

Sources

Harpers Bazaar – Copper: The New Skin Saver

Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology – Induction of increased collagen and elastin biosynthesis in copper-deficient pig aorta.

Oregon State University – Copper

International Copper Association of Australia – Antimicrobial Copper

The article Copper: The Ancient Ingredient Your Skin Will Love is available on: Annmarie Skin Care LLC

5 Ways Your Pillow Could Be Affecting Your Skin and Hair

pillow

It sits on your bed calling you to rest. Your soft, fluffy cushion into which you sink every night to sleep your cares away. We’re talking about your pillow—you love it but it may not be loving you back.

No matter how comfortable you think it is, your pillow may be messing with your skin and hair, causing you to wake up in worse shape than when you laid down for your beauty sleep.

We spend about a third of our lives with our faces in our pillows, so it’s important that we do all we can to make sure that whatever we’re sleeping on is actually doing us some good—or at the very least, not exacerbating signs of aging.

Here are five ways your pillow may be boggling your look and what you can make to improve your pillow-face relationship.

1. It’s clogging your pores

When it comes to absorbing bacteria, oils, old makeup, sweat, drool, hair products, and all the other human gunk on you, your pillow is like a sponge. Just imagine it, you deposit these materials on your pillowcase all night long, night after night. Your pillow may look clean but trust us, it’s not.

If you sleep 7-8 hours each night (like you should), you’re exposing your skin to everything on your pillowcase for about 210-240 hours a month. You’d be hard pressed to find anything else that touches your skin that much.

The problem is, even if you start with a clean pillowcase, after a night or two, you’re lying down on old dirt and microorganisms. As these materials come into contact with your face again, they clog pores and encourage inflammation, increasing your chances of waking up with breakouts, or at least carrying around the bacteria that might cause one later.

To help reduce this risk:

  • Launder your pillowcase at least once a week.
  • Flip your pillow over each night and sleep on the other side.
  • Halfway through the week, turn the pillowcase inside out and put it back on so you’re sleeping on the “cleaner” side.
  • Replace your pillow every six months.
  • Take your shower before bed

2. It’s accelerating the appearance of aging

To be blunt, your pillow could be making you look older.

Some recent studies have found a link between sleeping on your side or stomach and developing wrinkles.

In June 2016, Oxford University reported that when people sleep on their sides or their stomachs, the forces applied to the face on the pillow can result in the development of “sleep wrinkles” over time. In other words, gravity smashes your face into the pillow for hours each night. Over time, this may result in the appearance of wrinkles or “creases.”

An earlier 2012 study from the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy found similar results, with mechanical forces during sleep creating crow’s feet, lines around the mouth, flatting of the forehead, and nasolabial folds.

The problem gets worse as we age for a couple reasons. First, we don’t shift positions during sleep as much as we get older, which means that we have more pressure on a certain part of the face for longer periods of time. Second, as skin ages, it is less able to resist these forces because of decreased elasticity and skin “thinning.”

To try to limit this potential risk:

  • Consider a pillow that helps you sleep on your back most of the time. These typically have raised sides to discourage you from turning onto your side.
  • Continue to practice good skin care to help your skin resist sleep wrinkle formation—don’t forget sunscreen!
  • Try a satin pillowcase—it is less likely to pull against your skin or to bunch up against it.
  • Try a “sleep wrinkle pillow.” These are designed to allow you to sleep on your side or stomach without pushing your head against the pillow.

3. It’s making your night routine useless

When do you do your nighttime skincare routine?

Do you wash, tone, apply your serum and moisturizer and then immediately go to bed? If so, you may be wasting your money.

Applying your skincare products and then going directly to bed means that some of those products may still be on the surface of your skin. You lay down on that comfy pillow and…do you hear that quiet sucking sound? That’s your pillow absorbing the products you so carefully applied.

What can you do? Try these tips:

  • Apply your products at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Use pillows and pillowcases made of material that doesn’t absorb your skincare. Silk is luxurious and it doesn’t absorb your products.

4. It’s causing irritation

Are you waking up with red, itchy, irritated skin? It’s time to take a second look at your pillow, pillowcase, and detergent.

Remember that a dirty pillowcase is re-depositing dirt, oil, germs, makeup, hair products, and more onto your skin, which could be the cause of temporary irritation but it could also be the materials in your bedding.

To reduce risk of redness and inflammation in the morning:

  • Wash your pillowcase more often (2-3 times a week if necessary).
  • Always clean your face before bed. If you miss one night, wash your pillowcase before sleeping on it again.
  • Use gentle or homemade laundry products so you’re not exposing your skin to synthetic fragrances and other potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Look for pillows made of natural fabrics, like silk, buckwheat, kapok (silky fiber from ceiba trees), and millet.

5. It’s destroying your hair.

If you’re waking up with bed head and it’s just not your style, it could be your pillow and/or pillowcase.

An average pillowcase will grab onto your hair strands and hold tight, even as you’re moving around during sleep. This results in pulling and pressing that results in those unflattering locks the next morning and also encourages breakage and split ends. These types of pillowcases also suck up natural hair oils, resulting in drier, frizzier locks.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Upgrade your pillowcase to either silk or satin. Your hair will slide more easily on the surface and the material will absorb less of your hair’s natural oils.
  • Don’t go to bed with wet hair—it increases friction between your hair and your pillow. Towel dry or air dry your hair, or tie it up in a braid to keep it secure and minimize friction and breakage.

Have you invested in a better pillow or pillowcase?

Sources

Aesthetic Surgery Journal – Sleep Wrinkles: Facial Aging and Facial Distortion During Sleep

Aesthetic Surgery Journal – Study Shows Stomach and Side Sleeping Positions Cause Facial Distortion and Wrinkles Over Time

Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy – The influence of the sleeping on the formation of facial wrinkles

NCBI – Effect of sleep position on perceived facial aging.

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