Discussions, topics, research on overal skin care using natural, clean, vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, gluten-free, unisex ingredients, DIY concoctions, or treatments.

Skin Care as a Gift Between Friends

When is a skin cream more than a skin cream? Put into the hands of generous, caring women I’ve learned that it becomes an affirmation of the loving bond between people. I developed YASOU, a luxe natural skin care line for eco-conscious women who care about themselves and the planet we live on. But these women have told me that they send YASOU skin care products as surprise birthday gifts, as congratulations after giving birth, as a bon voyage for travelers, and more. Here are two particularly heart-warming stories of clients sharing YASOU.

Pam’s skin care gift story
“A dear friend of mine was admitted to a hospital with a puncture wound on her leg. She trains Saddlebred show horses and while walking near a machine with a piece of metal sticking out, she gashed her leg. At the time, she cleaned it well but after a few days the wounded area turned black, with a large patch of red surrounding it. When she went to the doctor she was told to go to the hospital. Once there, she was being treated by an infectious disease doctor and was told she would be confined to bed there for several days.

When I found out what had happened to my friend, I was of course concerned and wondered what I could do to lift her spirits and help her through this ordeal. I thought: ‘Flowers fade. Candy adds calories. Cards get thrown away. What can I do?’ Then it came to me. She said she wasn’t able to shower, so I thought of what refreshes me – YASOU body cream! I knew she would like the aroma from the essential oils and the soothing comfort it brings to skin.

She loved it! She still talks about how that body cream comforted her. She actually ordered some off the YASOU website for herself and bought several jars as gifts for her friends and family members during the holidays. It was a simple thing on my part, but it meant a lot to her.”

Julie’s skin care gift story
“Of the friends that I know who would be there for me if I needed them, Joanne is one of them. We met as camp counselors in Maine during college and have remained the best of friends. We’ve gone through all of life’s celebrations and struggles together even though she is a busy professional in New York and I live in Chicago. Her mother lived into her nineties, with Joanne tenderly caring for her needs. Anyone who has cared for an elderly relative understands how demanding it can be. Yet, Joanne carried on cherishing each day she had with her mother.

When her mother passed, Joanne was very stoic about it. She didn’t break down as we talked. Still, I could hear the sadness in her voice. I sent her a card with a letter of encouragement. A few weeks later, I saw that she had published a Happy Birthday remembrance to her dear mother on Facebook. I realized that my friend needed some comfort. I went to the YASOU website and sent her a jar of YASOU body cream telling her that it’s now time to care for herself. When she received it she texted me saying: “It’s the kind of gift that keeps on giving. Thanks so much!” I’m glad I had that second thought to help my friend.”

I very much appreciate hearing the stories of how YASOU products are improving how women look and feel – both inside and out!

Special Promotion: To keep this goodwill momentum going YASOU is offering 20% off all products. With our current 10% off on the face and night cream set that’s 30% savings! Use promo code: save20 on the YASOU website (www.yasouskincare.com) checkout to get your adjusted pricing.

The Virtues of Aloe Vera For Skin Care

The Aloe Vera plant has a long history of use as a moisturizer, hydrating the skin of our early ancestors in Africa, Persia and Egypt as well as in Greece and Italy. Its properties are cherished for soothing the skin. Certified organic Aloe Vera, derived from the plant’s leaf, offers the purest experience.

In skincare, today we know that one of the secrets behind Aloe Vera’s virtues is its ability to stimulate the fibroblast cells, causing them to regenerate faster. Cells produce collagen and elastin giving our skin a smooth, firm and healthy glow. The Mayo Clinic has reported on benefits of Aloe Vera in treating wounds, burns and minor skin infections. Leaves from the Aloe Vera plant contain anti-oxidants and other nutrients including beta-carotene and vitamins C and E.

The gel found inside the Aloe Vera leaf contains chemicals that enhance circulation through blood vessels in the skin and can help kill bacteria. The plant’s benefits do not stop there. Aloe Vera can help relieve itching, burns (including sun burn), wounds, psoriasis and inflammation.

Other uses of the versatile gel from the Aloe Vera plant range from makeup remover, shaving cream, bug bite soother, to skin exfoliator. Acne, blisters, and surface sores can all be soothed with Aloe Vera.

In an average day we expose our skin to pollutants, chemicals, sunlight and a variety of allergens. Natural skincare products rely on nature’s gifts and a history of benefits recorded by our early ancestors to modern day researchers. Aloe Vera is a skin care ingredient that holds many virtues. Indulge your skin with good things from nature.

Let Your Skin Breathe

Stop! Please take a moment right now and ask yourself:
Today I used how many products on my skin?

If you answered this question honestly than you may be surprised to realize that you could be overdosing your skin with product usage; possibly clogging your pores and hurting the health of your skin.

Be kind to your skin and don’t’ take it for granted. Your skin is constantly protecting you. It keeps infections out of your body, and it keeps you from getting sick. So, keep it clean and take a break from products at least twice a week allowing your skin to breathe. It’s your largest organ and it needs air in order to be healthy.

Think about the material of your clothing, towels and bedding. Are they breathable materials? For facial skin, just washing your face with soap and water isn’t the best way to care for your skin. If you apply makeup to your face during the day, you should make sure that all of it is properly removed before going to sleep. Makeup particles and environmental dirt left on your skin can lead to clogging of the pores which can attract bacteria and other microbes, which causes acne and skin infections. Scary stuff! Not cleaning your skin properly and not allowing it to return to it’s true nature can possibly lead to early development of wrinkles and fine lines.

Take these few steps below. Proper cleansing in addition to giving your skin a break from products will help it remain healthy and glowing for a longer time.

1) Gentle wash your face daily before bedtime using a face wash or cleanser that is right for your skin type.

2) Remove eye makeup that adheres to the eyelids, lashes and under eye area.

3) Exfoliate your skin only once or twice a week depending on your skin type.

4) When using brushes for makeup application or sponges for makeup removal make sure they are cleaned on regular basis and DO NOT share them with others.

5) Use warm water to wash your face and gently pat dry with a soft towel or a cotton ball. Lastly, when you are done apply your YASOU cell renewal night cream.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject so please drop us a line at terry@yasouskincare.com

YASOU!

Green Guide To Natural Skincare

Natural skincare is a niche product ready to be embraced by the mainstream. Like organically grown food, natural skincare will be the first choice for people who care about making healthy lifestyle decisions. Scientists have determined that skin will absorb up to 60 percent of applied lotions, soaps, creams and oils. Unlike food, which is first metabolized in the liver, what skin absorbs has direct entry to the bloodstream. It matters how you cleanse, hydrate, soothe and protect your skin.

As people learn more about the benefits of natural skincare products and the detriments from not using them, future growth in use is undeniable. Here is a summary guide to going green with your skincare.

Develop a green skincare routine
Regularly read labels on all of your skincare products. Know what ingredients may pose health risks. Check for expiration dates and discard if the date has passed. Don’t rely on a supposed skin type definition, for example, oily or dry. Look at your skin each day to see if adjustments need to be made to your routine.

Natural face cleansers
Whenever washing your face use tepid water and pat dry with a towel. Cleansers can come in different forms including soaps, oils and foams. Try them out to see which one you like best. Avoid cleansers with synthetic fragrances and chemicals known to pose health risks. Scent can come from essential oils or herbal ingredients.

Glycerin soaps made with olive oil extract and honey are effective in keeping the skin moisturized and pores open. Cleansing oils may consist of lightweight blends of natural ingredients such as sunflower oil, vitamins and fruit extracts. Foam cleansers can include plant extracts and organic juices to gently clean the skin.

Natural toners
Toners are optional in a skincare routine but can serve as a multi-tasking tool when your face needs a refresher. Small spray bottles of toner can be used after a workout to replenish skin. Or use the spray to prep your face before moisturizing. If it’s well formulated (read the label) it can hydrate, exfoliate, and diminish brown spots and signs of aging. Some of the best toners are formulated with floral water.

Natural moisturizers
Skin needs to be moisturized. We lose on average of one pint of water through our pores each day. Moisturizers contain emollients to soften, heal, and hydrate the skin. Humectants attract moisture from the air bonding with water molecules. The best green humectants are glycerin and sorbitol that have been derived from natural sources. Emulsifiers bind ingredients. Green emulsifiers may be made up of plant-derived waxes. Water and essential oils are penetrators that allow the skin to absorb. Extracts act as active ingredients that restore balance to the skin’s oils, exfoliate and brighten, and diminish wrinkles. Green active ingredients include citrus extracts and green tea extracts.

Natural body care
Plant derived cleansing agents from olives, sugar beets and coconuts are green alternatives to sulfates. Pure plant oils including jojoba, almond or grape seed extracts are fantastic skin moisturizers. Vitamin E and caffeine are known to hold skin-firming properties.

Natural sun protection
Mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium oxide have a wide spectral range to protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. If you don’t want to layer multiple products choose a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen in it. Another green way of protecting your skin is wear a hat and lightweight long sleeve shirt and pants. Drinking green tea has also shown to offer some protection from sun radiation.

Natural aroma
A process for extracting oils from flowers through distillation was first introduced by a Persian doctor sometime around AD 100 and refined later by the Romans. Essential oils including Cypress, lavender and Mandarin are known to have calming effects as well as a subtle, pleasurable scent. Synthetic perfumes weren’t introduced until the 20th century.

Just as our skin cells are constantly renewing so is our ability to accept, preserve and protect nature’s gifts.

Skincare Layering Technique for Better, Brighter Skin

Just as a well-prepared canvas can improve a painting, a well-layered skincare routine can improve your skin. Do you know which products should be added first? Or how to blend products to get the result you want? Someone asked me recently how to layer the skincare products she owned for best results. It’s a good question because how you layer will have an impact on the products’ effectiveness.

One mistake people often make in their skincare routine is not applying products in an order that makes them most effective. Another is hastily adding creams and oils before the skin has had time to absorb them. Here’s a simple skincare layering technique that works.

First, add a day cream that works on a cellular level and contains anti-oxidants. Painters often add a solid color to their white canvas to create a toned background. It helps them increase the speed in creating a painting. To avoid extra steps in your skincare routine, your day cream should be a multi-tasking solution providing moisturizing, exfoliation, brightening and firming properties that penetrate the skin’s surface layer. Jojoba and olive oils are ingredients to look for as well in a day cream to enhance elasticity and skin radiance. Wait a few moments to let the day cream absorb. Maybe pick out what clothes you will be wearing while the day cream absorbs.

If you use serums, you can apply them after the day cream. They are thin and efficient in delivering active ingredients. Wait a few moments to let the skin absorb the serum. In the time it takes to brush your teeth, the serums will have been absorbed. In painting, this may be equivalent to priming a canvas with gesso.

After applying your day cream and serums, add sunscreen. The anti-oxidants contained in your day cream, especially vitamin C, will improve the efficacy of the sunscreen. It’s like blending different paint colors to get a desired effect. Instead of a stand-alone sunscreen you may choose to apply a foundation that contains sunscreen (SPF20). You can find it at a favorite department store or apothecary. I get mine at Odalisque beauty apothecary.

At night, remove makeup and wash your face with warm water. Apply a night cream with moisturizing, vitamin rich ingredients that rejuvenate and nourish your skin. If using serums add those after the night cream.

With a palette of multi-functioning skincare products it’s easy to know where to begin and how to end. Step back and appreciate the big picture – healthy, glowing skin.

Organic Olive Oil In Skin Care

Olive Oil is very good for your health but did you know that it’s very good for your skin too? Referred to as “liquid gold” by the Greek poet Homer, it is known to be closer in chemical structure to the skin’s natural oil than any other naturally occurring oil. It penetrates and hydrates the skin efficiently and naturally.

Olive oil is a fat obtained from the olive (the fruit of Olea Europaea), a traditional tree grown in the Mediterranean region. It is rich in vitamins and antioxidants and can help balance your skin’s moisture. It has a unique ability to mix well with water helping moisturize the skin without clogging the pores, leaving it smooth and silky.

Blackheads and a host of other problems are caused by oxidized oils. Because olive oil has a naturally lower oxidation rate than your skin’s natural oils, it is a perfect barrier to protect your skin from irritants.

Olive oil has a heavy texture and can vary in color from a pale golden yellow to a dark green. The purest form is “extra virgin” which is the lightest in color.

Certified organic extra virgin olive oil in skin care products is the most beneficial for you skin. The Oleic Acid is 1% higher than regular olive oil and it remains in it’s purest state. Oleic Acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid (omega-9 fatty acid) found naturally in many plant and animal sources and is considered one of the healthiest sources of fat.

Extra virgin olive oil does not go through a synthetic process like regular olive oil. High quality olive oil, like certified organic extra virgin, is full of linoleic acids, oleic acids, palmitic acids and polyphenols. These acids actually work by trapping water into your skin, ensuring that your skin is hydrated.

Polyphenols are extremely beneficial to your skin for a variety of reasons.

1). They are antioxidants that will combat the free radicals, preventing them from doing skin damage.

2). They offer protection against ultraviolet rays.

3). They encourage new cell growth, replacing the damaged skin cells.

Ceritified organic extra virgin olive oil also contains Vitamin E – which is a rich beauty powerhouse that can help you look younger, keeping your skin feeling supple and your skin tone even.

When using certified organic extra virgin olive oil in your skin care products you are minimizing the impurities that you are putting into your skin and maximizing the healthy and essential elements for your skin. You are receiving twice the benefits than regular olive oil.

You can achieve ultimate benefits for your health and your skin by using certified organic extra virgin olive oil in both your food and your skin care products. Look for skin care products that carry certified organic extra virgin olive oil and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

We do not recommend you directly apply the certified organic olive oil to your skin because it can trap dirt, other oils and bacteria that can cause comeclones or acne pimples.

Temperature Matters For Seasonal Skin Care

There are two skin care actions to take no matter what the temperature is outside – moisturize and block UV rays. Let’s look at how to protect your skin year round. When it comes to caring for your skin, temperature matters. Ingredients in your skin care products matter too. Products containing shea butter can help protect the skin from UV sunlight and harsh temperatures.

Cold weather can turn silky skin into dry, red, rough skin. Heaters can cause dryness too. Skin care products containing aloe vera and jojoba oil will moisturize and hydrate the skin. Those containing caffeine can help reduce redness caused by inflammation. The best time to apply a moisturizer is immediately after bathing to lock in the water and oils. Water temperature should be warm, not hot. Long, hot showers will deplete rather than nourish the skin. Add a humidifier to keep inside air beneficial for your skin.

If you’re skin is looking dull in winter use products that contain lemon extract, mandarin essential oil and olive oil to brighten the skin. Wear gloves to protect your hands and nails. Snow reflects sunlight so be sure to use sunscreen with at least SPF15.

While mild weather during spring and autumn may not seem as threatening to the skin as hot or cold weather, the skin still needs a moisturizer and protection from the sun’s UV rays. Many people don’t think to protect their lips with a SPF15 or higher lip block or lipstick. Ears are identified as being the third most frequent location for skin cancer. Other vulnerable and often neglected, not protected spots are the scalp, eyelids and feet.

Hot temperatures in summer require moisturizing and protecting the skin as well. Sweat and skin oils can clog pores. Products containing sugar cane extract can keep pores open and help eliminate blemishes.

If your skin burns, DNA in your skin cells has been damaged. Applying SPF 15 sunscreen 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. Wearing loose, natural-fiber clothing and a hat during summer will protect your skin as well.

No matter what the temperature is outside remember to moisturize and protect your skin year round.

3 Ways To Help Your Skin Be Stress-Free

In exploring the subject of stress-free skin I knew I had to speak with artist and master esthetician Jackie Pesce at the Life Spa in Schaumburg, Ill. Jackie has been in the profession for years and has worked for numerous skin care lines. She coaches her peers on the usage and presentation of Aveda, BioElements, Murad, Kristin Florian, Phytomer and just recently Hydrafacial. Specializing in acne and anti-aging, Jackie is passionate about her career and loves to work one on one with clients.

YASOU: Hello Jackie, thank you for taking the time to chat with me about how to help your skin be stress free.
Jackie: My pleasure. The skin is the largest organ of our body. It is constantly exposed to the environment with UVA, UVB, UVC rays and pollution attacking it everyday. It is also affected by what we eat and what we feel. The end result of our everyday lives comes out in our skin. It’ s not surprising that healthy, radiant looking skin is WORK.

YASOU: It really is work. We need the right information. First, I think we should know what the signs of stressed skin are.

Jackie: Signs of stressed skin are acne (breakouts), redness, broken capillaries, hyperpigmentation, wrinkling, sagging, and lack of radiance. These are some signs.

YASOU: Is stressed skin age related?

Jackie: Stress to the skin is not age related but you certainly see more signs of it as an adult.
YASOU: Are females more prone to having stressed skin than men?

Jackie: Females have hormonal fluctuations. This can cause breakouts in the skin on a monthly basis. So, females are more prone because of this.

YASOU: Now that we have a stronger understanding of what stressed skin is how can we help our skin stay stress free? Tell us your top ways to achieve stress free skin.

Jackie: First, reduce everyday stress. A hint for coping with everyday stress is to become aware of your breathing. Take a moment to readjust. Begin by breathing deeper and slower. This can help you alleviate the stress you are feeling which in turn relieves your skin.

Second, reduce inflammation. You can do this by cutting out foods that are rich in refined sugar. Foods with refined sugar are high on the glycemic index. They trigger the body’s insulin (blood sugar) level to quickly rise. A high insulin level puts your immune system on alert, triggering the inflammation response. Inflammation of the skin results in stress acne and other stress-induced skin conditions.

My third suggestion is a list of Do’s and Don’ts
Do the following:
1) Get sleep & rest. This is important to rejuvenate the cells.
2) Exercise. Keeps the blood nourishing cells; helps to regulate hormones.
3) Watch your diet. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
4) Take supplements: daily vitamin C, and Omega 3’s
5) Cleanse. Hydrate topically as well as drinking water.
6) Use skin care formulated for you skin type and what it is experiencing.
7) Apply topical antioxidants.
8) Wear moisturizer and sunscreen.
9) Take time for yourself, calm your mind and do something you enjoy.

Avoid these:
1) Smoke
2) Fried and processed food
3) Refined sugar
4) Drinking alcohol to excess
5) Excess amounts of red meat.

YASOU: Jackie, thank you for taking the time to chat with me. It was truly informative.

Jackie: Terry, thank you so much for your passion in skin care and for developing YASOU. I wish you success and look forward to more natural organic skin care products from YASOU.

How Green is Your Skincare Routine?

Nourishing your skin each day is a routine most people don’t think about except when buying skincare products. Let’s put a spotlight on these few minutes of each day to discover how green your skincare routine is, or can be. How you wash your face, bathe and moisturize your skin can make a difference in the way you live, look and feel. These tiny acts can also have an impact far beyond your bathroom walls.

Are you using more skincare products than necessary?

Make an assessment. Everyday skincare generally consists of twice a day cleansing, and moisturizing. For these basics choose natural, organic products that provide multiple benefits packaged in one recyclable container. Simplify. It saves time, culling minutes off your routine. For each product used there is an environmental impact. Think about the products now on your shelf or surrounding your sink. Choose the right products and less truly is more. Look for multi-tasking ingredients including Rosemary extract, Mandarin oil and Shea butter.

Do your skincare products contain all natural, organic ingredients?

Read the label. It is hard to decipher what all the ingredients are on a label but a rule of thumb is the fewer and the more recognizable the ingredients, the better. Creams, lotions and oils applied to the skin stay on its protective surface. Don’t contaminate that surface with harsh, toxic chemicals or ingredients known to be harmful. Natural moisturizing ingredients such as aloe vera, olive oil, and beeswax are some of nature’s gifts to our skin.

Are your cleansing tools organic and reusable?

Organic cotton wash cloths forego the processing that may add contaminants. Washcloths are reusable and good for exfoliating skin. The ecosystem where the organic cotton is grown is protected from pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Try a natural boar body brush or a natural loofah sponge. Loofah is a climbing plant related to the cucumber. It has been used in Asian cultures for centuries.

Do the skincare companies you buy from support environmentally friendly practices?

Are they themselves green? Is product packaging recyclable? Do they donate to non-profits that support planet friendly initiatives? If so, support of them is another step in feeling good about the choices made in making your skincare routine green.

Natural, organic skincare is one way to feel refreshed in body and mind. When applied, the natural fragrance from essential oils becomes distinct to the individual wearing it. Treating yourself well with skincare that offers a beneficial bouquet of botanicals and plant extracts is anything but routine.