Topics, research and information on achieving a more holistic whole-of-life experience that can achieve emotional and physical health creating energy, happiness and beauty in one’s life.

Serenity Sustains You and Your Skin

Serenity is a sense of feeling calm, peaceful and untroubled. Expressions of this state of being are shared around the world through words and images in all cultures. In Greek, the word for serenity is ηρεμία. In Arabic it is written as سكينة الروح, راحة نفسية .  In China as 寧靜. And in Japanese: セレニティ, 平静, 静けさ. Philosophers from ancient to modern times have spoken of its benefits to mind and body. In a previous post we talked about how gratitude can benefit your skin. Cited in the post was some psychodermatology research that shows how emotions, mind and skin interact. While all of that holds true, I look at serenity a bit differently. Where does it come from? How can we get more of it? Just like our skin, the answers are personal to each of us.

 

Can we soak ourselves in serenity each day in the same way we adhere to a natural skin care routine? I think so. If we seek it, we will find it. We may find a serenity boost through meditation, mindfulness, physical activity or the wisdom of others. Read on.

 

Taoist take the middle road to serenity:

“I have neither hens nor foxes.”Tao proverb

 

Expectations can devour serenity:

“For serenity always prefer the cottage to the palace! – Mehmet Murat Idan

 

Understand the boldness of belief:

“If you find serenity and happiness, some people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.”
–Mother Theresa

 

Know your sweet spot:

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks. And all the sweet serenity of books.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

For our skin health we know to avoid certain assaults:

  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • Stress, anxiety
  • Junk food
  • Lack of sleep

 

These same things can disrupt our sense of serenity. UV rays can damage skin and cause suffering. An anxious mind compromises skin’s protective capacity. Stress sends signals to our nerves, creating hormone imbalances and chemicals that increase oil production. Cortisol disrupts dermal proteins and weakens the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. Junk food starves skin of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. A lack of sleep causes low energy and grumpiness.

 

Be encouraged that any assault can be assailed. Marinade your mind with comforting thoughts such as these:

“I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.”  ― Jane Austin, Sense and Sensibility

 

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu

 

“Be calm. God awaits you at the door.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

 

“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step

 

“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.”   ― Lao Tzu

 

“Go in the direction of where your peace is coming from.”   ― C. JoyBell C.

 

Give yourself a serenity boost every day. Poetry can reflect and instill a sense of serenity. Float with this one across the sky, under a tree, into a sea of daffodils.

 

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”
― William Wordsworth

 

Make serenity as natural as a skin care routine. It will sustain you and your skin. Peace.  Ειρήνη (Greek), Síocháin (Irish), ᏙᎯᏱ(Cherokee), ཞི་བདེ(Tibetan)  שלום (Hebrew).

 

To your health, YASOU!

Six Pleasures of Sensual Skin Care

Skin invites intimacy. Think of the difference between lying in bed with clothes on and clothes off. Or holding a loved one’s hand with gloves on and gloves off. That layer of cloth separates. When appropriate, skin-to-skin contact offers a sensual experience that says I am vulnerable, vibrant, and cared for. Nerve endings close to the skin create waves of sensation when skin is touched, tickled and teased. If stimulated suggestively, sexual arousal can occur across the body via its blanket of skin. Sensual skin care invites everyone to experience these pleasures.

 

Presence

Skin helps us be aware of what or who is in contact with our body. If you see or feel skin disruptions, tend to it. Nurture it. Fully inhabit your body. Enjoy the feel of a summer breeze on your bare feet. A whisper into the ear. Silk sheets. A kiss on the neck or inner wrist. A new scent. Skin communicates sensations. It may physically respond with goosebumps, sexual arousal or relaxation. It varies by person. If you aren’t present, you will miss it.

 

Tension

Sometimes the timing isn’t right for touch. Respect this. When it is right, let your sensual pleasure build. Linger your touch with a pause, move toward the lower abdomen or up the thigh and then retreat. Leave a trail with your fingers. Teasing builds tension and raises pleasure when released. Your brain gets flushed with feel good hormones. Blood vessels open wide and skin may blush red.

 

Pressure

Touch has many degrees. To be interesting, modulate between soft and deep touch. Apply different amounts of pressure. A kiss on the eyelid is different from a tongue thrust in the mouth. Stroke, tickle, grab, cup, brush. Whatever is welcomed. A brush to the skin of your inner arm can be more sensually intense than a grab. Changing up your touch can be as easy as bathing together with soap, applying body cream, or massaging with essential oils.

 

Boundaries

Skin doesn’t come with a map showing designated boundaries. You draw them. Your skin should be a safe place. A beautiful place that allows you to connect to your surroundings, people and purpose. There are vulnerable spots. For some it’s the belly, armpit or feet. Feel free to designate detours. When you own your body you practice self-care, identify and communicate what’s off limits, and forgive any flaws. Give attention to all areas of the skin, not just what is visible.

 

Novelty

In his article “The Strange Phenomenon of Musical Skin Orgasms,” David Robson writes: “If a song follows the conventions too closely, it is bland and fails to capture our attention; if it breaks the patterns too much, it sounds like noise. But when composers straddle the boundary between the familiar and unfamiliar, playing with your expectations using unpredictable flourishes, they hit a sweet spot that pleasantly teases the brain, and this may produce a frisson.” He defines a frisson as a skin orgasm that causes chills, shivers down the spine, or goosebumps. In essence, don’t let your sensual skin care pleasures become routine. Shake it up. Tingle.

 

Desire

Sensual skin care stories are not limited to soft, youthful suppleness. People have callouses, scars, imprints from tight pants, bruises, wrinkles and a variety of colors on their skin. Don’t worry about the warts, celebrate what’s unique. Indulge your desire to apply creams to your skin. Take care of your skin and it will enhance sensual rewards. If your skin has kept you away from the sensual life you want to live, change the story line – when you feel desirable you are desired.

(photo: Alexander Krivitskiy/Pexels)

How Naps Benefit Your Skin

Sleep might be the closest thing to the fountain of youth.  I have never had problems with getting 7-8 hours of good sleep before, but as I’m aging I tend to wake up more often through out the night. Napping has become more important for my health and beauty routine these days.  I have always loved taking naps.  Naps can range in duration from 5 minutes up to 90 minutes. The best time to nap is in the afternoon between 3:00-5:00pm for about 90 minutes. During these hours you fall asleep faster. This sleep is said to be  more “efficient” because you experience deep sleep or “slow wave sleep.” During this mid-afternoon nap you go through a complete sleep cycle from the lightest stage through the deepest stage and back again, so you’ll wake feeling refreshed.

One of the biggest benefits to “deep sleep” napping is the effect of anti-aging and the reduction of cortisol in body.  Cortisol also called “the stress hormone,” is secreted in higher levels during the body’s fight or flight response to stress experienced in our daily lives.  Napping can help reduce cortisol in the blood and restore a state of hormone equilibrium thus giving your skin “beauty sleep.”

Napping (beauty sleep) is a natural way of improving skin for both women and men according to a study from University Hospital’s Case Medical Center.  Napping can help you have fewer wrinkles, tighter skin and even out the skin tone.

Skin repairs itself when we are in a deep sleep. It makes new collagen preventing the skin from sagging giving us plumper skin!  During sleep our bodies boost blood flow to skin which means when we wake we have a healthier glow. Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin creating dullness.  I prefer a boost of blood flow especially as I’m aging. People who don’t get enough rest appear less healthy.

Napping your way to better skin gives a whole new meaning to beauty rest. The research from University Hospitals Case medical center published in Science Daily found this to be true.  Scientists discovered that sleep reversed the appearance of fine lines, reduced signs of skin aging, improved the rate of recovery from environmental stressors, and improved recovery from UV radiation exposure. These are four good reasons to start napping if you aren’t already. So go ahead and take some naps if you need them. Napping may be the easiest way to good health and beautiful skin.

YASOU!

(image: pixby/pexels)

Can CBD Improve Your Skin

The new wonder ingredient Cannabidiol Oil also known as CBD is popping up everywhere and in everything these days. To be clear CBD Oil and Hemp Oil are two different oils that contain completely different compounds. The benefits differ as well so you need to make sure to not mistake them for the same oil.

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp plant, not the seeds. Also, the quality of CBD oil can vary so you’ll need to do your research and read your labels.  It has different extraction methods as well as purity levels.

After a great deal of research here is what I found.  CBD rocks in reducing chronic inflammation. Inflammation is common among conditions in which your skin displays extreme dryness, rashes, sores and redness. It is also known to have antioxidant benefits.

 

There are three types of CBD oil we should all learn about in order to make smarter purchases.

1. Full Spectrum:  This type of CBD contains all other cannabinoids found in the marijuana (Hemp) plant including CBN (Cannabinol), CBG (Cannabigerol), and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), to name a few. And yes, along with these cannabinoids, Full Spectrum CBD also contains trace amounts of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), but in very low concentrations (up to .3%), resulting in very minimal psychoactive stimulation.

2. Isolate:  This type of CBD is a pure, crystalline powder that contains 99% pure CBD. It contains only CBD.All the plant matter contained in the hemp plant, including oils, waxes, chlorophyll, and more are removed, offering a finished product that is CBD and nothing more.

3. Broad Spectrum:  This type of CBD is a bit of a mix between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate. Because Broad Spectrum CBD contains multiple cannabinoids, it can deliver the enhanced benefits of the “entourage effect,” (when many components within the cannabis plant interact with the human body to produce a stronger influence) without the risk of psychoactive effects of THC.

 

Skin Benefits of topical usage of CBD Oil

1. Known to slow down the skin’s aging process.
2. A more potent antioxidant than vitamin C or E, making it effective in the treatment of wrinkles and fine lines.
3. Known to neutralize free radicals and keep them from damaging the collagen and elastin in the skin keeping it tight and youthful in appearance.
4. Known to help soothe skin irritations.
5. Known to fight bacterial skin infections.
6. Known to improve the production of collagen.
7. Boosts the skin’s protective shield.
8. Known to treat and prevent acne.<

 

Overall, you need to do your research and experiment.  I believe that CBD is here to stay. I am presently researching CBD for YASOU’s next addition, an eye serum.  I’m still not sure it’s “THE” wonder ingredient that is more effective for your skin than other non-CBD skin care ingredients out there. Everyone has different skin with different needs so read your labels, research the ingredients and experiment.  YASOU! (photo: Michael Fischer/Pexels)

 

Sources:
ediatric Dermatology, Volume 35, Number 4, 1 July 2018
Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Aug; 30(8): 411–420.
CBD exerts sebostatic and antiinflammatory effects on human sebocytes

Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Thanksgiving

Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,

An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;

An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they

Are growin more beautiful day after day;

Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,

Buildin’ the old family circle again;

Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,

Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door

And under the old roof we gather once more

Just as we did when the youngsters were small;

Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.

Father’s a little bit older, but still

Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.

Here we are back at the table again

Tellin’ our stories as women an men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;

Oh, but we’re grateful an’ glad to be there.

Home from the east land an’ home from the west,

Home with the folks that are dearest an’ best.

Out of the sham of the cities afar

We’ve come for a time to be just what we are.

Here we can talk of ourselves an’ be frank,

Forgettin’ position an’ station an’ rank.

Give me the end of the year an’ its fun

When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done;

Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,

Let me sit down with the ones I love best,

Hear the old voices still ringin’ with song,

See the old faces unblemished by wrong,

See the old table with all of its chairs

An I’ll put soul in my Thanksgivin’ prayers.

~ By (Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)

Skin, The Sense of Touch and More.

 

“A touch isn’t just a touch. It’s a kiss from the soul, onto the skin” . . . .

The words above made me think about how our skin interprets the sense of touch.  It’s mind-boggling if you think deeply into it. One thing I realized is that our skin’s health is so much more than addressing dry skin or aging. It’s deeper than that.

Our skin is the door to feeling touch. How?

RECEPTORS: Your skin has many types of receptors in your body, they are grouped in three categories 1) Thermoreceptors, that do what?  2) Nociceptors, that do what? and 3) Mechanoreceptors, that do what?

Each receptor is a structure that gathers information from the environment. That data is then changed into a signal that can be understood by your nervous system.  The receptors that let the body sense touch are located in the top layers of the skin (the dermis and epidermis). They are small in size and collect super accurate information when touched.  These receptors in the skin allow a person to feel sensations like pressure, pain, temperature and physical change like an object pressing firmly or just brushing against the skin. And of course. . .

Can these receptors transmit emotions and love? Well, there are two touch systems 1) discriminative touch and 2) emotional.  You can do some research to learn more about them if you like. What I have learned from my research is that touch can communicate tenderness, compassion, anger, love, gratitude, happiness and fear within mere seconds. Touch is a fundamental human need from the time we are born and essential for physical, emotional and social health and it all starts with your skin!

The importance of skin health becomes more visible as we age.  When we age our sense of touch starts to deteriorate because our skin is aging.  Aging skin becomes thinner, more fragile, and starts losing the protective fat layer giving an aging person skin disorders such as … Aging can affect the receptors and how they communicate. Our sense of touch, pressure, vibration and temperature control start to diminish.

Taking care of your skin at a younger age can keep it healthier effecting your health and happiness as you age.  Take the time to nurture your skin and celebrate your own sense of touch. Make it a part of your daily regime and lifestyle.

In her poem “A touch isn’t just a touch” Sarah L. Harvey writes about touch:  “It’s the sensation of one’s soul, whispering to one’s fingertips” Think about how touch influences your day.

How Sleep Supports Skin Health and Well Being

I have always heard that a good night’s sleep supports well being, and took this advice at face value, without putting too much more thought into it.  Several years ago I faced some serious health issues and remember my doctor asking me if I got enough sleep at night.  Well my husband snored and I was NOT getting a good night sleep. In fact, I was more irritable and not feeling well at all.  My doctor’s advice was to have my husband sleep in the guest room for a while, so I could get a good night sleep. He told me that if I didn’t, I would not get healthier because my body needed sleep in order to heal itself. That is when I took an interest in what it means to get a good night of sleep and why it’s important.

The brain and body do not shut down during sleep; rather they perform important tasks that promote mental and physical health, such as producing hormones that help repair cells and fight off illnesses.

Science tells us that good sleep is essential for repairing, regenerating and restructuring the skin.  Sleep is the foundation for building and maintaining health, well being and guarding against stress and age-related diseases.  The list can go on and on. Since we are a natural skin care blog, we are going to concentrate on skin!

Lack of sleep can decrease collagen production in skin as well as increase water loss.  The loss of intracellular water is the ultimate pathway to aging because it severely impacts skin cells and skin connective tissue (collagen and elastin).

Eight hours of good sleep from the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. is the best quality time for good skin health.  That’s because every night your skin undergoes a natural rejuvenation process where your cells divide and replicate the fastest.  This process is controlled by a biological rhythm that kicks in around 11:00 p.m., Get your best sleep then and you will reap the maximum skin health benefits!  This is also a good time to apply a good collagen-boosting moisturizing night cream to your skin. The actives in the cream will work synergistically with your skin’s natural renewal cycle for superior, graceful aging results.  Sleep is a period of net water loss in your body. It is important to encourage the body to hold as much healthy water in cells and connective tissue as possible. This is another reason why an extra hydrating night cream should be part of an overall skin care regiment that helps preserve and promote the health and strength of the skin’s barrier.

The concept of beauty sleep is not a myth. Good sleep is essential for good skin health, well-being and overall health!  Here are some quick tips on getting a good night sleep.

  • Turn off all blue-light sources, including smart phones, tablets, TVs and computers one hour before going to bed.
  • If you must nap, do it early in the day and not for more than 20 minutes.
  • Make sure your pillow aligns with the natural curve of your neck.
  • Keep your bedroom temperature between 68 and 72 degrees.
  • A consistent sleep routine helps create a natural sleep-wake schedule

We wish you all good sleep!

YASOU.

YASOU Skin Care Blog Topics In 2018

Happy 2018! We hope you had wonderful holidays. It’s a new year with new goals and ambitions. Here at YASOU Skin Care we are excited and energized to present skin care posts that educate and entertain. We want to bring you the best and most current topics in natural skin care. We have a lot to talk about! Here are just some of the topics we will cover in this blog during 2018.

Mindful Workouts For Your Skin We all know that good health and glowing skin starts from the inside out and then outside in, but we also want to talk about how to bring awareness to your skin and what that means for your skin care routine.

The Language of Beauty (Clean vs natural, marketing vs facts) With so many new brands and information at our disposal, are we really getting the facts? What’s the difference between organic and natural or green and clean beauty? Is there a difference? We will be bringing you our research insights on this.

+MORE Take a look at our info graphic for more subjects we plan on talking about this year. Make sure you register for our newsletter so you can stay informed about our newest promotions, events, sales and giveaways. Looking forward to 2018 with you.

YASOU!

Add Gratitude to Your Skin Care Routine

Happy Thanksgiving! Tis the time to give thanks for all we have. If you expand this holiday tradition of gratitude throughout the year you can reap benefits to your health, well-being and skin. Through scientific observation researchers at The Greater Good Science Center have observed and gathered data that supports the mind/body impact of positive traits such as gratitude on our health and well being. Affiliated with the University of California the researchers include psychologists, sociologists, and neuroscientists. What they observed was that people who practice gratitude, that is people who readily acknowledge the good things in life, sleep better, are less depressed, have less fatigue, have more self-confidence, and less systemic inflammation in their bodies.

If there were a product or pill that would do all of that for a person it would surely be a best seller. That’s why I am suggesting you add gratitude to your daily skin care routine. Practice gratitude morning and night and any time in between.

To begin, stop worrying and start listing the things you are grateful for. This shift in thought causes a biological response in your body. Social/biological psychologist Dr. Wendy Mendes of the University of California, San Francisco, measured the impact of gratitude on health and longevity. She conducted a study that reflected participants’ daily lives in their normal setting. Biological markers from people exhibiting a gratitude trait had lower resting blood pressure responses, their cholesterol levels were good, and better kidney function was observed. Data from blood draws showed positive restoration and regeneration of cells related to the cardio vascular system. Participants who held fond views of how they were cared for as children had better migration of cells than those with less optimistic views of their childhood. Just the recollection or memory of this caused a biological response.

Most of us know that anxiety and stress can bring about worst cell functioning. Your skin moves through a regenerative cell cycle. Stress releases cortisol that can wreak havoc on other hormones, stimulating an inflammatory process that can cause breakouts in your skin. Stress causes your blood vessels to constrict and may deprive the skin of oxygen and nutrients.

This connection between mind and skin is called psychodermatology. The skin is wrapped around our organs and connects to a lot of nerve endings. Emotions, being neurological events can be expressed through the skin. How can you increase your positive emotions and the likelihood of healthy skin? Try a dose of gratitude. Daily.

Find a positive mantra or phrase that means something to you and say it during your morning and evening skin care routine. Something as simple as: “Thank you for this day and everyone in it.” Repeat it during the day and before sleep.

Enter a relaxed state through meditation. Doing so can release chemicals that counteract the stress hormones. Eliminate toxins through the breath. Oxygenate the body. Yoga poses can stimulate blood flow and oxygenate the body as well.

Look for beauty in small things. Focus on the good. Keep a gratitude journal that you can refer back to from time to time.

Celebrate, compliment, and congratulate those around you. Doing so will make you feel good as well as boost their day. It’s a win-win.

To increase positive feelings, focus on the present moment – beyond your own activities. Don’t allow your thoughts to wander to the past or future, redirect them to the present. Try concentrating on your breath or body. You may be amazed at what you see, what you become aware of when focusing on the present.

To feel less negative, practice being nonjudgmental. Notice when your casting dispersions on yourself and others. Simply observe and articulate what’s going on. Use your five senses. Acknowledging and accepting negative emotions helps dissipate them.

What were the top three things most often mentioned in gratitude journals by participants in a study on gratitude? Family, friends, and the weather. What are you grateful for? Share it with others this Thanksgiving. As always, we are grateful for your continued support of YASOU products and this blog.

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.