All topics, treatments, techniques and subjects on natural body care focusing on the body! Using natural ingredients, vegan, gluten-free, botanical, fruit or plant based ingredients and treatments for the skin on your body.

Is Your Skin Ready For Summer?

There are three skin care actions to take no matter what the temperature is outside – exfoliate, moisturize and block UV rays. Just like during winter, taking care of your skin is a priority in the summer season.  When outdoor air is hot and humid you can develop dry, dehydrated, irritated skin. The biggest culprits are spending time in the sun, environment/pollution, swimming pool, and air-conditioning.

 

When it comes to caring for your skin, temperature matters. Increase in temperatures during the summer months, combined with humidity and heat, can increase the activity of the sebaceous glands. This makes oily skin appear oilier and dry skin appear rough and patchy.  Ingredients in your skin care products matter too. Products containing shea butter can help protect the skin from UV sunlight and harsh temperatures.

 

Hot temperatures in summer require exfoliating, moisturizing and protecting the skin. Sweat and skin oils can clog pores. Products containing sugar cane extract can keep pores open and help eliminate blemishes. Exfoliation removes dead, dulling skin debris to prevent congestion and improve hydration from toners and moisturizers. Moisturizing with a hydrating, water-based body cream can help provide long-hasting hydration.

 

Make water your best friend. Keep yourself hydrated from the inside out and apply moisturizer to keep yourself hydrated from the outside in.Shower and shampoo immediately after getting out of the swimming pool, using fresh, clean water and a natural, mild cleanser and exfoliate.  After exfoliating, moisturize and apply sun screen.  I know this sounds repetitive but it’s this repetition of exfoliating, moisturizing and applying SPF that will keep your skin healthy and glowing through the summer months.

 

If your skin burns, DNA in your skin cells have been damaged. Apply 30-50 SPF sunscreen with a broad ultraviolet spectrum. This will defend your skin from sun damage for approximately two hours. After that, sunscreen should be reapplied. If you are swimming or sweating a lot, apply more often.

 

Summer means that you should ease up on the makeup. Wear minimal facial makeup to allow the skin to breathe better. Humidity and heat suppress the skin’s ability to breathe and stresses it out. Avoid anything heavy on the face. Use a matte day cream, tinted moisturizer, a vegan lip treatment, tinted lip balm, and protective eyewear this summer to give your skin some rest.

 

What we eat has a lot to do with how we look and feel.  Go for seasonal fruits, vegetables and natural juices to feel fresh and stay away from sugary drinks.

 

Wearing loose, natural-fiber clothing and a hat during summer will protect your skin as well. Lastly. . .

 

. . . Have a great summer!

 

(image: rawpixel)

Active Bodies Need an Active Skin Care Routine

During the course of a week, healthy adults should be getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, as well as doing strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice according to recommendations by the Department of Health and Human Services. Making exercise a part of your daily routine supports not only cardiovascular health, but your skin too. Increased blood flow naturally nourishes skin cells, provides oxygen and carries away waste. Prepping skin before and after exercise will support this natural process and enhance the overall look of your skin.

 

Cleanse skin before and after exercise

Whether you get moving in the morning or evening, cleanse your face before your exercise regimen begins. Many natural DIY face wipes can be easily made at home and transported in your bag. Starting your workout with a fresh face means removing makeup, especially heavy foundation. Your skin’s pores open up while sweating and allow it to breathe. With makeup on, sweat and oil may clog the pores. That said, makeup on the eyes and lip are okay. For those who never leave home without wearing a foundation, a light weight tinted moisturizer will work. It helps your skin retain water.

Wash your hands before and after a workout. Bacteria is left on workout machines as well as other gym equipment including matts. Avoid touching your face while exercising. At a gym, always use clean towels after washing your face and hands.

Post workout, wash your face to remove oil, toxins and sweat. Your fresh face may be a bit rosy because of increased blood flow. You may even see a natural glow.

 

Hydrate skin before and after exercise

Skin loses water through evaporation. Dehydrated skin causes premature death for skin cells and increases wrinkles. Drinking fluids is important for the body but research shows a more efficient way to hydrate the skin is through a topical moisturizer. Adding a hydrating body cream and hand cream before working out helps skin retain water. Applying moisturizer after exercise restores water levels in skin.

Misting can help but only if you apply a moisturizer to seal the mist in. Without a moisturizer, misting will draw water out and dehydrate the skin.

 

Protect skin during outdoor exercise

Apply a light moisturizer and protect your skin from sun rays with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Tie your hair back and away from your face. Avoid headbands which can trap skin oils and bacteria while sweating. Don’t apply hair products that can drip onto your face and clog pores.

 

Workout clothing that’s good for the skin

Wear breathable, moisture wicking clothing. These clothes help evaporate sweat away from the skin and help regulate body temperature. They are good especially for acne prone or oily skin. Dark color dyes and synthetic fibers can irritant skin. Loose fitting clothes can irritate the skin because it rubs against the skin while you’re in motion. Natural fabrics are best.

Most fabrics are treated with chemicals so wash them before wearing. Turn workout clothes inside out when washing. Inside is where workout clothes hold sweat, dead skin cells and oil.  Fabric softeners tend to lock in odors and damage stretchy fabrics so avoid using them. Air dry clothes outside if possible. Sunshine has anti-bacterial properties, gives a fresh smell, doesn’t shrink clothes and is energy efficient.

Change out of active wear within 30 minutes, shower, and let skin breathe. Don’t forget to apply your favorite luxe wellness hydrating body cream and vegan hand cream.

Finally, at least once a week, take time to notice and admire your skin in the mirror. Commend yourself for keeping your skin healthy and vibrant.

Head-to-Toe Total Body Skin Care for Spring

Nature signals a new season with the first buds of flowers. Gardens and street cafés are calling you outdoors again. Is your skin ready? After a long winter you may notice that your skin has become dry, flaky or dull. During the winter months there is less moisture and light. Spring answers the call with April showers and longer daylight hours. It’s a good time to assess your total body skin care regimen from head-to-toe.

 

Total body exfoliation

To rid your body of dulling dead skin cells, exfoliate two to three times a week while in the shower. Use a body brush or a scrub. A simple scrub is easily made with a bit of certified organic extra virgin olive oil and some sugar. Use circular motions and rub gently. A cold rinse at the end of your shower stimulates the skin and shines the hair. Pat your skin dry.

 

Total body hydration

We are water-based creatures so it makes sense to use a water-based moisturizer. Moisturize after your bath or shower to help lock moisture and oils in the skin. Massage Greek-inspired YASOU hydrating body cream across your arms, torso, legs and feet. Remind yourself of how soft your skin can feel.

 

Total body sun protection 

With more daylight hours your skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Add 30+ SPF sunscreen regularly. Get out the wide-brim spring hats, sunglasses and lightweight natural fiber pants, skirts and shirts. You will look good, be protected, and most natural fabrics feel good on your skin.

 

Targeted Skin Care Areas

Face

We recommend daily use of a cellular vegan face cream and cell renewal night cream to protect and nourish facial skin. If your face needs extra moisture try a facial or facemask. Rather than powder, use Japanese beauty papers to diminish shine from T zone areas. Address seasonal acne with your favored product. To get more glow on during spring apply creamy blushes, toners and concealers.

Lips

Protect your lips with a lip block or lipstick that contains high SPF. YASOU will be introducing an all natural lip elixir to its line of luxe wellness products soon. It’s formulated to heal and nourish your lips year round.

Hands & Feet

Hands and feet that were covered up during winter get exposed to fresh air in the spring. They are often in need of skin repair. If you notice cracking, dry skin these areas need a lift. Invest in a good vegan hand cream that will treat your cuticles and strengthen your nails as well as hydrate. Look for organic oils, bacteria fighters and botanicals in the ingredients list. During spring it’s time to show some leg and let your feet breathe again. Soften calloused heels and cracked toes with a hydrating body cream that contains shea butter and jojoba seed oil.

Total body skin care means protecting and nourishing your skin from head-to-toe. Spring may be a good time to visit a dermatologist for skin screening and advice on how to properly protect your skin type. People with fair skin and freckles are particularly sensitive to the sun’s UV rays.

During spring soothe your skin. Enjoy the flowers, gardens and cafes. As Ernest Hemingway wrote in A Moveable Feast: “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.”

Clean Skin Reaps Healthy Benefits

Keeping your skin clean goes beyond soap and water. While there are many cleansing products to choose from, skin cleanliness is affected by other factors including how you wash, how often, water temperature, cleanliness of towels, soap dishes and washing machine, as well as clothing. Clean skin reaps healthy benefits. Your skin acts as a protector keeping germs and parasites from getting inside the body. Keep your skin clean by heeding to advice on skin cleanliness you may not have thought of before.

 

Wash your skin

Experts agree that warm water is better for the skin than hot water. A mild soap will clean skin surface. You don’t need strong soaps. Make sure the dish that holds your soap is clean. Wash your entire body daily and limit your time in the shower or bath. Soaking for long periods in hot water will remove the skin’s oils. Wash your face twice daily. Pat dry your skin after washing in order to leave some moisture on the skin. Apply your favorite natural body and face cream to lock that moisturizer in and hydrate your skin. We recommend YASOU hydrating body cream, vegan hand cream and our vegan face cream set.

 

Keep Towels Clean

A study at the University of Arizona revealed that many household towels are a breeding ground for germs. The researchers recommend washing bath towels in hot water after every three uses. Face towels should be washed after every use. The reason to keep towels clean is to avoid re-introducing bacteria to the skin’s pores. If you pat dry with the face towel you can use the same face towel twice. But if removing makeup it’s one time and your done. This is what they say will keep germs and millions of dead skin cells on towels from transferring back to your skin surface. Bacteria like dead skin cells. Also, you may want to not share your towel with anyone else. Sharing towels can introduce organisms to your body it’s not use to causing boils, pimples and infection to occur.

Dry towels as quickly as possible and don’t fold them while damp. Bacteria can grow quickly. An unpleasant odor indicates bacteria, so wash smelly towels on the sanitize cycle of a washer. Use fragrance free detergent to avoid skin irritation. Keep your washing machine clean as well. Odors may indicate mold and mildew. Washing machines can hold buildup from detergents and softeners. Here’s a good article on how to clean front load washers.

 

Keep clothing clean

Clean, fresh clothing helps avoid spreading germs and bacteria to the skin. Historically, wearing linen was one way to keep the skin clean and body odor at bay. Linen is absorbent, drawing away dirt and sweat from the skin into the weave of the fabric. After washing clothes, hanging them in sunshine to dry actually kills some disease causing germs and parasites. It’s the sun’s ultraviolet rays that kill bacteria.

 

Some simple lifestyle changes can help keep your skin clean and healthy. To nourish your skin try some of YASOU’s Greek-inspired luxe wellness products that hydrate and beautify the skin naturally.

YASOU Products Reviewed By FutureDerm

We usually never post reviews on YASOU natural skin care and it’s products, but recently FutureDerm.com, which is an online marketplace that also covers scientific skincare and helps people make sense of marketing claims, reviewed YASOU hydrating body cream and YASOU vegan hand cream. The review was filled with so much great scientific information on our ingredients that we decided to repost it for you. Below you will find the review by Nicki Zevola Benvenuti.

I know most of us don’t pay much attention to body skincare during the summer months, other than sunscreen and (gasp) maybe some body oil. But come this time of year, we start to realize the sun and sand might have taken its toll, and the skin of our bodies might need some TLC.

YASOU Hydrating Body Cream and YASOU Hand Cream are two skincare products developed with a blend of science, natural ingredients, and the culture of Greece. Let me explain: The skincare line is plant-derived, gluten-free, and Leaping Bunny Certified. As loyal FutureDerm readers know, I’m typically less-than-enthusiastic about natural products, but the YASOU line also features the Calityl-O Complex, which consists of linoleic acids, oleic acids, palmitic acids, polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory components to help protect and soothe the skin.

Lastly, the founder, Theodora Novas, lived in Greece as a child and found initial pure, unique, organic ingredients from the farmers market in Archia Feneos, in the Peloponnese region near Corinth. Ingredients like natural essential oils, flowers, indigenous plants, and locally produced, organic beeswax are staples in the YASOU line. Through the founder’s heritage and training in cosmetic chemistry, aromatherapy and skincare, she has formulated a one-of-a-kind line that I’m happy to share with my readers. For reviews of the YASOU Hydrating Body Cream and YASOU Hand Cream, read on below!

YASOU Hydrating Body Cream

YASOU Hydrating Body Cream features a lot of skin beneficial ingredients, including Calendula officinalis, honey, and extra virgin olive oil.

First, let’s kick it off with Calendula officinalis. Studies have shown Calendula extract to be a natural anti-inflammatory agent, excellent for taking down redness and irritation (Skin Therapy Letters, 2000). What makes the calendula extract so beneficial is the high level of flavonoids – a type of antioxidants that are found within the plant. These antioxidants work to increase oxygen and blood flow to damaged skin allowing new tissue to grow. All of the powerful properties in this flower help heal your skin!

Next, although most people don’t think of honey as a particularly great skincare ingredient due to its sticky texture and viscosity, it does show some promise. Honey has three popular roles in skin care, according to scientific studies: cleansing, antibacterial, and wound-healing. When using a mixture of olive oil, beeswax and honey, 80% of eczema sufferers with eczema reported reduced itching, oozing, and scaling from their lesions, while 63% of patients with psoriasis also reported improved conditions (Complementary Therapies in Medicine).

As the Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery points out, honey’s ability to heal patients’ lesions and wounds may be due in part to its hydrating properties and hydrogen peroxide. When coupled together, these properties give wounds and skin a moist environment where it can regrow skin cells (epithelization), promote granulate tissue growth (which is a sinewy tissue that covers fresh wounds), and overall healthy wound healing. Honey is also able to soothe inflammation and reduce edema (swelling), which improves the pain and irritation sufferers experience from cuts and lesions (Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery).

Lastly, extra virgin olive oil rounds out some of my favorite natural ingredients in YASOU Hydrating Body Cream. Extra-virgin olive oil is more pure, so it doesn’t go through the same synthetic process regular olive oil does. That is why you get twice the benefits with extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a spectacular ingredient with beneficial properties ranging from UV protective (Carcinogenesis, Toxicology) to anti-carcinogenic (The Lancet Oncology).

What makes olive oil so special is that it includes resveratrol, a natural protector of cellular activity; squalene, a natural hydrating agent; as well as three classes of distinct protective antioxidant polyphenols (simple phenols, secoridoids, and lignans).

Unlike many other skin care ingredients, olive oil is beneficial when ingested and when topically applied. [Read More: Tomatoes, Lemons, Olive Oil, and More: Are They Food, Skin Care, or Both?]

YASOU Vegan Hand Cream

YASOU Vegan Hand Cream also contains olive oil, but then it is also includes other spectacular ingredients like coconut oil, plant-derived panthenol, and jojoba oil.

First, let’s kick this review off with coconut oil. No, I don’t like coconut oil as much as some beauty bloggers do. Coconut oil is not an antibacterial, despite popular belief, so I won’t use coconut oil-based products without preservatives. (Luckily, YASOU Vegan Hand Cream does have a small amount of phenoxyethanol to keep bacteria and fungi at bay. The mastic essential oil also has some anti-fungal activity). I also typically don’t recommend coconut oil for the face because it contains high doses of lauric acid, which may cause acne for some people. However, YASOU Vegan Hand Cream is designed to be applied (you guessed it) on the hands, which have fewer oil glands and do not typically breakout with the use of lauric acid.

However, coconut oil does have its own benefits. Coconut oil is an emollient that’s gentle enough to use in baby formulas on infants’ thinner, more delicate skin (Indian Pediatrics). In fact, one study found it in 44.4% of products for newborns that they tested when looking for allergens (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology). Another study found that virgin coconut oil could be used for its antibacterial and emollient qualities to treat contact dermatitis (Dermatitis). It can also help to heal burn wounds, though the researchers did not uncover why exactly, hypothesizing that it is because coconut has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties (Indian Journal of Pharmacology). And coconut does have some UV protection — blocking about 20% of UV (the study didn’t specify UVA or UVB)(Pharmacology Reviews), so take that with a grain of salt and use sunscreen anyway.

Panthenol is another great ingredient in YASOU Vegan Hand Cream.

Studies have indicated that Panthenol is good for speedy wound recovery (University of Maryland Medical Center). Panthenol is a special kind of moisturizer, called a humectant. What separates humectants from your every-day moisturizer is that it puts a protective film on your skin (or hair) while pulling in moisture from your surroundings and depositing it in layers of skin. For the best results, find a creram with 1-5% panthenol. Plus, panthenol is a great hair and nail-strengthening agent (Panthenol – The Beautifier). A study by Jerajangi et al. found that panthenol was also key in reducing skin dispigmentation (from scarring, pimples, etc) and reds (Indian Journal of Dermatology).

Bottom Line

Overall, YASOU Hydrating Body Cream and YASOU Hand Cream are two fantastic skincare products for the body, and I am a true fan. I highly recommend using these products to keep skin protected, hydrated, and feeling soft and smooth!

We hope you found FutureDerm.com‘s review as informative as we did. YASOU!

YASOU Hand Cream: TLC For Doctors And Nurses

Medical professionals’ hands are exposed to a grueling routine —especially when working in a hospital operating room. Before every surgery—up to ten times a day—these doctor’s and nurses spend five minutes scrubbing their hands with strong soap and abrasive sponges.

Research indicates that an ICU nurse should wash his or her hands 200 times a shift in order to follow proper infection control practices. This means washing before touching a patient and washing after touching a patient. The proper method requires a nurse to smear the alcohol rub around for 1 minute during each washing. That’s more than 3 hours of hand-washing a shift!

A more typical range of hand washing is 100-120, and most use an alcohol-based gel that quickly sanitizes and dries while moving on to the next task. Research also shows that a lot of nurses and doctors are skipping washing their hands after every new patient. Some reasons for them skipping hand washing were their hands are too full when they walked into a patient’s room, too much soap dried out their hands and the placement of sinks and gel dispensers were inconvenient (taken from a 2009 report from the Joint Commission, a group that accredits more than 19,000 hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers).

This is a serious problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 20,000 patients die each year from infections that could have been prevented if hospitals had enforced strict hand-washing policies.

The reality is that when washing procedures are followed the hands take a severe beating. They become dry, chapped and cracked. These conditions can become so severe that bleeding may occur on a daily basis. After researching the above and before creating YASOU vegan hand cream, I came to the realization that the hand cream should be something that can be used for medical professionals as well as the average patient (consumer). I began with the following criteria (benefits) and ingredients in mind.

Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Jojoba Oil soothes and moisturizes. Olive oil’s antioxidants form a protective barrier, trapping moisture on your skin. Jojoba oil’s vitamins, mineral and fatty acids promote elasticity and radiance.

Shea Butter is vitamin-rich and one of the best anti-aging moisturizers.

Glycerin is a good re-hydrant that helps moisturize the skin without making it oily. It attracts moisture and holds it within the skin making skin supple.

Coconut Oil is a powerful moisturizer that helps restore dry or flaking skin. It helps to strengthen skin tissue more deeply and eliminates dead skin cells while absorbing quickly into your skin. Containing Vitamin E, coconut oil helps delay wrinkles and can soothe skin conditions such as eczema, sunburn and psoriasis.

Certified Organic Aloe Vera moisturizes and hydrates the skin.

Evening Primrose essential oil can help with age-related structural and functional changes in skin tissues such as redness, firmness, roughness, and fatigue resistance. It is also effective in relieving many symptoms of eczema.

Lemon Extract exfoliates, brightens and diminishes acne for smoother skin. It naturally bleaches the skin and quickens the rate in which dark spots, scars, sunspots, acne scars and age spots fade.

Grape Seed Extract boosts collagen development in your body. Collagen helps your skin stay firm, supple and moisturized. It aids in the renewal of skin cells. Grape Seed Extract contains compounds called procyanidins, which bond with collagen resulting in healthier and more elastic skin.

Tocopherol also known as vitamin E, is an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin. It also promotes cell regeneration, creating an anti-aging effect making your skin look and feel younger.

Vitamin A/ Retinyl Palmitate has great anti-aging, superb anti-oxidants and moisturizing capabilities. It accelerates cell renewal and stimulates the fibroblast and collagen in the skin, helping to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It helps promote softer, smoother skin.

Mastic essential oil contains antioxidants along with antibacterial and antifungal properties. It possesses therapeutic benefits for the skin due to its soothing, softening and healing properties. Mastic oil is used in many personal hygiene products for its antiseptic assets.

I wanted to include the Mastic essential oil in the product with doctors and nurses in mind. Why? Because it’s a bacteria fighter! It has antibacterial and antifungal properties so instead of sanitizing the hands constantly they could be moisturizing them and keeping them bacteria free. Can it replace a hand sanitizer? No it cannot, but it can reduce the usage of hand sanitizer. This can be extremely beneficial to doctors, nurses and patients (general public). In addition, we wanted to leave the hands feeling moisturized, silky, soothed and grease–free. YASOU vegan hand cream gives hands the TLC they need and deserve!

Visit us at www.yasouskincare.com. Learn more about us and our hand cream.

Thoughts On Nature’s Form Raw African Black Soap

We received an email from Barbara of Nature’s Form asking us to review their new authentic raw African Black Soap from Ghana, Africa. We have not done any reviews on products outside of YASOU skin care before. But how this soap is made, working with nature and using all raw natural ingredients, was of interest to me. For centuries African Black Soap has been known for its cleansing and healing power.

The first step in making the soap is drying the skins of the Plantain fruit to a precise texture in the hot African sun. The skins are then roasted in a clay oven to achieve a particular color, texture and fragrance. The longer they are dried the darker the color of the soap. Then the base is carefully mixed with Palm Oil (which contains the hard to find toctrienols, members of the vitamin E family) and Palm Kernel Oil. Generous amounts of Ivory Shea Butter are then mixed in. The soap is hardened by being put into molds and left for days in the African sun. It is packaged into air-tight bags in Africa to preserve its integrity.

The soap is said to be used for many skin conditions and in many skin treatments including Psoriasis scalp, Eczema, dry skin, skin lightening and whitening, Dermatitis and Acne. The impressive list of natural ingredients consists of organic Palm Oil, organic Cocoa Pod, organic Palm Kernel Oil, organic Coconut Oil, organic unrefined Shea Butter (38%), organic Plantain Skin Ash, Purified Water, Natural Vitamin E and Natural Sodium.

I primarily tested the soap by using it to cleanse my body during showers. I found the soap texture to be smooth but I did notice that the soap quickly dissipated when the water was hitting it, meaning the soap would almost melt with the water. The smell was not pleasant to me at first but then I barely noticed a smell at all. It did not lather excessively which is okay with me because that’s a sign that it is all natural.

After my shower as I was drying off I noticed my skin felt softer and not so dry. The second time I used the soap I had the same experience but I applied YASOU hydrating body cream with essential oils and it was a great combo with the soap. My skin felt smooth, silky and supple. I like Nature’s Form’s Raw African Soap and I do recommend it with one cautionary note. Don’t leave it in the shower letting water pour over it because it may not last very long. Strategically place it someplace dry before, during and after you shower or place it in a soap container. Will it cure your acne? I’m not sure because I have only tested it for a few weeks. However, I believe in natural raw ingredients and do think it’s worth giving it a try!

African black soap or ose dudu originated with the Yoruba people in Nigeria and the Yoruba communities in Benin and Tog. The Yoruba words ose (“soap”) and dudu (“black”) literally translates to “the black soap.” To learn more about “The Black Soap,” how the black soap is made, and where to purchase it, visit Naturesform.net.

Thank you, Barbara, for sending us your African Black Soap and giving us the opportunity to try it.

Why Add Massage to Your Skin Care Regime?

Massage feels good so you may think you are simply indulging yourself. However, massage has a variety of health benefits. Two primary benefits for the skin are how massage increases blood flow and decreases stress. The pressure applied during massage infuses the skin tissue with circulating blood. The increased flow of blood nourishes the skin and gets it glowing.

Blood flow also supports the lymphatic system, which drains toxins away from cells making room for nutrients to move in. A dull complexion may become brighter.

People like massage because it is often relaxing and soothing. When a person’s stress level is reduced, particular skin conditions such as rosacea can be relieved and may occur less often. Studies show that massage can help relieve depression and anxiety by reducing a person’s cortisol levels.

What to look for
Not all massages are alike. The amount of pressure, movements and techniques can vary. Oils, aromatic essences and lotions may be used. Some massages rely on stimulating acupressure points to activate the body’s energy flow. Some may rely more heavily on rubbing or manipulating muscles. Reflexology uses hand, finger and thumb techniques to stimulate areas on the feet and hands. Tayonon Gbala, a licensed massage therapist and owner of A Balanced You in Chicago, takes a holistic approach. She offers massage as a platform and pathway to total wellness www.abalancedyoumassage.com>

If you want massage to be a part of your skin care regime consider the following:

– Identify any problem areas with your skin and express those to your masseuse. (For serious skin conditions discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor.)

– What style of massage and techniques will the masseuse use?

– If you are concerned about products used on your skin ask about ingredients.

– Will they personalize your massage to benefit your skin care type?

– Is the masseuse state certified? Some hold dual licenses as massage therapist and aesthetician.

– You can also learn self-massage techniques and make it a daily practice.

If you like using oil or lotion with massage Gbala offers three essential oil blends including Lavender and Sandalwood for calming and centering, Eucalyptus and Orange blossom for awaking and brightening, and Ylang Ylang and Grapefruit for emotional balance. She also uses YASOU Body Cream that contains extra virgin olive, coconut, and jojoba oil with other natural ingredients that are good for the skin.

Self massage techniques
Begin your self-massage in a quiet place. Rub body parts with your fingertips, thumbs, or palms. A short kneading motion in circles or back and forth will work. Begin gently and increase pressure to a level that is comfortable for you.

Face massage
On your face, use gentle upward strokes towards the ears, around the eyes and lips. Use circular motion on the cheeks and forehead.

Hand massage
For your hands, soak them first in warm water. Begin with strong circular strokes as if you are washing your hands. At the base of each finger gently pull outward to the fingertips. With the thumb, rub the palm of the hand in circular motions. With the palm down make long strokes with the thumb between the bones toward your wrists. Another hand massage technique is to position one of your palms upward and use the other hand to press the palm-up fingers back toward your wrist. Hold for several seconds. After massaging your hands apply YASOU’s vegan hand cream to hydrate and soothe them www.yasouskincare.com

Limb massage
Use long up and down strokes on your limbs and circular motions on your joints. If they are dry with rough spots apply YASOU body cream to moisturize.

Scalp massage
Boost blood flow to your scalp and reduce dandruff by massaging your scalp. Rub your fingertips in small circular motions around the scalp and ears.

Foot massage
Begin a foot massage with clean hands and feet. Sit in a comfortable position with your foot on your thigh. With both hands rotate the foot at the ankle. For the sole, put one hand on top and the other on your sole. With short strokes rub your hands across the foot back and forth. Gently stretch your toes back.

Whether you go to a professional or perform self-massage, learning how to relax and improve blood circulation through massage is a step toward well being and healthy skin.

Sneak Peak at New Products From YASOU Natural Skin Care

We are so excited to announce that YASOU will be adding a new addition to our skin care line – YASOU moisturizing hand cream. Our moisturizing vegan hand cream is plant –derived and will be in a PET (biodegradable) 2oz tube. It’s filled with goodness, including our Calityl O Complex (certified organic extra virgin olive oil), coconut oil, shea butter, certified organic aloe vera, certified organic jojoba oil, Vitamin E and more with mastic and lemon essential oils. All designed to keep your hands soft and beautiful.

YASOU moisturizing hand cream will keep your hands and fingers supple and healthy by preventing chapping, cracking and severe dryness. When used daily it can thwart wrinkles while repairing your skin’s tissue. We have added some Lauric Acid (coconut oil) and Mastic oil which contain properties that are antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing.

Why a vegan hand cream? Your hands go through a lot each day. They are exposed to winter and summer weather, to chemicals when cleaning our homes and our clothes. Hands show aging maybe even more so than your face so they need TLC! That is why we have created a hydrating hand cream that will leave your hands supple and silky, looking younger and beautiful and feeling soft! We will be launching our new hand cream sometime in July. Stay tuned for our announcement and make sure you request a sample!

What else is new? Our hydrating body cream with essential oils will be repackaged in a new PET pump bottle! This way you don’t have to keep dipping your hand into the jar to apply it to your entire body. It also allows us to reduce our price to you by 10%. An 8oz hydrating body cream with essential oils will be costing $54.00 instead of $60.00. We will also be offering an 8oz variation of the hydrating body cream without the essentials for our customers that may be sensitive to aroma. Okay there’s more, both of these versions will also be available in 4oz PET pump jars which is perfect for travel!

As you can see we have a lot going on which will be coming soon. Keep an eye and ear out for our new hydrating hand cream and our new packaging and prices for the hydrating body cream with essential oils.

If you have any opinions, thoughts or questions please don’t hesitate to drop us a line at terry@yasouskincare.com. We would love to hear from you. Your feeback is important to us.

YASOU!

Give Your Valentine a Body Cream Adventure

When most people travel to different regions of the world they want to experience its uniqueness. They may find ethnic foods that deliver new flavors and aromas, street markets that are filled with welcoming vendors and landscapes that surround them with 360 degrees of beauty. For this Valentine’s Day, surprise your sweetheart by discovering a different region within yourselves. Give them a natural body cream adventure.

This idea allows you and your valentine to venture beyond candy and flowers. You will find your uniqueness and share it in a way you never have before. I started YASOU skin care by taking the best of my Greek heritage. I created a natural body cream that softens and soothes the skin. It is an expression of what I love doing.

Before participating in this idea, purchase or open a jar of YASOU natural body cream. Spread the body cream over areas you want your sweetheart to touch. Allow some time to enjoy the unique scent the cream bestows on your bodies. When answering the questions below use all of your five senses – touch, smell, sight, sound, and taste. Be who you are, naturally.

What do you love doing most?

What do you want? (Phrase this in a positive way).

What will your life be like after achieving your goals?

Be grateful for a sweetheart who is willing to share this experience with you. No other two people will share it in the same way. You are unique. Let us know if you discover something welcoming and beautiful on this Valentine’s Day.

Hint: Purchase a jar of YASOU Body Cream before Valentine’s Day and you will receive two pieces of gift-wrapped, heart shaped Godiva dark chocolates.

www.yasouskincare.com/body/