10 ITEMS TO PACK ON YOUR NEXT TRIP

Blog Contributor: Lana Coyne

Can you believe we're already at the end of July?! I for one am at a loss for words at how fast the time is flying by and how little I've gotten done on my #SummerBucketList!

One of the best things about Summer is vacation. Whether you're taking a road trip to attend a music festival or flying somewhere new, traveling is always an exciting experience. But before you throw on a bikini, find the perfect spot by the pool and lounge, you actually have to prepare for your trip.

Trying to figure out what to pack can be a chore but I've put a list together of 10 of my must-have picks to bring with you on a trip (Note: the items are hyperlinked for easier shopping!):

10 ITEMS TO PACK ON YOUR NEXT TRIP

  1. Wellness Fizz
    Taking Wellness Fizz before you travel will help you ward off the germs you're exposed to in tight spaces without proper circulation like an airplane or train.Tip: Taking one of these the morning after one too many cocktails will help you feeling better in not time!
  2. Visine Red Eyes Eye Drops
    If you're flying or wear contacts, having this handy will not only keep your eyes moisturized, but will prevent you from looking like you just pulled an all nighter.
  3. Ear Plugs
    Between noisy hotel mates or the guy snoring away in the seat next to you on the train, a set of earplugs will help cut out the noise and let you get a good night's sleep (or nap!). You can even use ear plugs to transform your ordinary earbuds into an awesome set of soundproof earbuds - tutorial here (via diycraftti.me).
  4. Melatonin
    If you have trouble sleeping, especially on a long flight, melatonin will help lull you into a restful sleep where you won't wake up groggy. Pick this baby up at any pharmacy. And if you prefer a more natural method to help you sleep, pack some chamomile tea.
  5. Deluxe Teadora Discovery - Travel Size Essentials Kit | Teadora Beauty 
    This kit provides the luxuries of a 5 star resort even if you're just heading to the family reunion - don't leave home without it!
  6. Eye Mask
    A great eye mask will help shut out the light and help you catch some Z's so you don't look like a raccoon upon arrival. A contoured mask like the one in the link is hands down THE BEST.
  7. Adult Colouring Book & Coloured Pencils
    Who said colouring is for kids? I don't know if you've been living under a rock but Adult Colouring Books are all the rage. They are great to pass the time & relieve stress. And who doesn't miss the days when all you had to worry about was what picture to colour?
  8. iPad
    Pass the time by playing some games, listening to music, watching movies or even reading a good book. The iPad will help keep you entertained until you arrive at your final destination.
  9. Burts Bee Lip Balm
    Nobody likes chapped lips. If you're traveling to a hot destination or just want to keep your lips looking kissable, this lip balm smells great, doesn't feel sticky or greasy and it's 100% natural to boot!
  10. Portable Wireless Speaker
    Looking to kill some time in the hotel room before a night out on the town in your destination? Wirelessly connect your smartphone to this speaker & get the party started! It's no fun getting ready for a night out dancing in silence.

{FREE PRINTABLE} PACKING LIST}

If you need some help keeping track of what you need to pack versus what you have actually packed, download this insanely cute (& FREE!) Printable Trip Packing List via Hello Cuteness.

After you've returned home from your trip & are missing some of the great beauty finds you came across in your travels, you can bring a bit of the world to your doorstep by subscribing to Pearlesque Box, which will bring non-toxic, organic skincare products around the world to you. If you sign up today, you can receive 10% off your first box!

What are your travel essentials? Share in the comments below!

Happy trails!

~Lana Coyne

 

How My Life Changed When I Switched to Natural and Organic Skincare

If you follow beauty bloggers or read beauty news, you are very much aware of the non-toxic, vegan, and natural beauty movement. But if you look closely, you never hear much about the before and after. All you hear is that it’s “better” or “safer”, but why? Sure getting rid of all of the nasty chemicals is the biggest plus, but what are the other benefits? Getting rid of chemicals is definitely the biggest benefit, and is the best reason for the switch, but it’s also the other reasons that keep me on the natural skincare bandwagon.

I’m Getting What I Pay For

A lot of the products don’t work, or just work for a short period of time. For instance, a lot of moisturizers contain drying agents. Doesn't that seem counterintuitive? It may moisturizer for an hour but then you have to keep reapplying. It's a vicious cycle. Natural beauty brands will actually do what they say they will do because they're nothing else in the way of making the products work. You'll use less product overall and won't have to keep jumping from brand to brand to find what works best for you.

My Skin Feels and Looks a Lot Better

My skin is smoother, softer, tighter, and rarely breaks out. It's also less susceptible to reactions from stress, PMS, or rosacea overall.

I’m Spending Less

….on some things. Certain items like face wash can be on the cheaper side. The one I use is under $20 and lasts a few months. Toner, essence, body wash, and body lotion can also be relatively affordable. However, you might have to invest in a good eye cream, day cream, and night cream - depending on the brand. But with the average high-performance luxury or spa brand, you’re still bound to spend more or around the same price as a natural product.

Everything is Automatically More Travel-Friendly

When there are less preservatives in it, it generally won’t last as long. Therefore, there will only be enough in the package to last before it expires. Sure there are still preservatives in it, but it might only last 6 months versus 12 months. Most of my products are under 4 oz and the TSA limit is 3.4oz.

Everything Smells Better

When the products use naturally-derived ingredients such as fruit extracts, leaves, and clay, it’s only going to smell like that. A lot of popular products include a fragrance to cover up bad smells due to some of the chemicals used. No one needs to smell that. You will start to love the way your products smell.

It’s Easier to Find Vegan Products

A lot of the ingredients used in common brands are not common knowledge, but it doesn’t mean it’s made in a factory. A lot of them come from animals. You might have seen lecithin or lactic acid before in your beauty products. Those are definitely ingredients derived from animals. Natural brands usually avoid vegan ingredients, but some use ingredients like royal jelly (derived from bees) so always check out your ingredients before you purchase. Here’s a full list of animal ingredients.

Have you made the switch to natural skincare? Are you also switching to natural makeup brands? Why or why not? Let us know!

~Brianne Nemiroff

 

EXPEDITION MOROCCO

Blog Contributor: Paulina Grochala

the energy of the Medina

the energy of the Medina

Oh, Morocco. Another one of my very favorite places in the world now. I’ve been dying to go to Morocco for as long as I can remember; it was at the very tip top of my list, along with Peru (someday, hopefully soon!) and Amsterdam (done!).

I do solo travel often and have been since I was 16, for ten years now, but something about Morocco and solo travel gave me some trepidation. I’d been to Africa before, but it was a group study abroad trip to South Africa for three weeks during my senior year in college. Morocco on my own just didn’t seem like something I was ready for, which is why I’d kept it on my list without actually going for so long.

I then found out via instagram that the lovely Emma of Owl in the Ivy was preparing to host a photography and styling workshop in none other than Marrakech, my dream destination. I couldn’t believe it – I had been following her adventures back and forth from Bath, UK to Marrakech for a few months and her photography had only stirred my heart more and more, wanting to go so badly.

I had also been actively looking for a photography workshop to sign up for abroad, because just as I did with my yoga teacher training in Costa Rica, I love getting the chance to combine my travels with learning experiences. I knew I didn’t have to look any further – I signed up for Emma’s week-long June workshop immediately and booked my flight.

Getting to Marrakech was a bit rough. I flew from New York into Casablanca, landing around 3am NYC time, and then connected to Marrakech. This trip totally took it out of me and while usually I’m okay with jetlag, I was DEAD this time – exhausted and actually nauseous, something I’d never really felt from flying before. (Made a note to add dramamine to my carry-on essentials.)

some snaps from the beautiful Beldi

some snaps from the beautiful Beldi

Thank god that when Emma picked me up from the airport, she immediately whisked me to the Beldi Country Club. What a dream. This place is absolutely gorgeous, as stunningly Moroccan as you can get, and I was able to relax/take a nap/try not to vomit next to the perfect pool, which I eventually did take a dip in and felt a bit better. The grounds were so beautiful and if I had been up for it, I would have done a lot more exploring there.

could not get enough of this beautiful courtyard and home

could not get enough of this beautiful courtyard and home

That evening we checked into our Riad, La Maison, which was hands down the most stunning airbnb I’ve ever been in. I felt like a princess drifting through time. Our host, Nic, was just the kindest, sweetest, well travelled, most gracious woman ever – my life goals. If you’ve never heard of a Riad (…I hadn’t, sigh) it means a multi level home built up around a courtyard and pool. I mean. Also life goals. And her rooftop?! Oh man, I could go on forever.

absolute rooftop garden goals

absolute rooftop garden goals

breakfast on the perfect rooftop

breakfast on the perfect rooftop

I felt totally fine after a great night’s sleep, and was ready for the next few days of Marrakech adventures. Every morning Nic and her assistant prepared the most beautiful breakfasts for us, perfectly suited for food photography. And off we would go to explore the Medina and the Souks.

moroccan coffee - a dream

moroccan coffee - a dream

even the orange juice was the best I've ever had

even the orange juice was the best I've ever had

stunning and perfectly ripe peaches dusted in cinnamon

stunning and perfectly ripe peaches dusted in cinnamon

local boys playing with water balloons in the heat of the Medina

local boys playing with water balloons in the heat of the Medina

Street photography is hard in Marrakech since most locals don’t like to be photographed, which is fine, of course – you have to ask, pay for, or discreetly get a shot  – or take a selfie and get screamed at because they think you’re taking a photo of them, which is what happened to me, haha.

selfie-ing while getting screamed at because they thought it was pointed at them – but I love this one

selfie-ing while getting screamed at because they thought it was pointed at them – but I love this one

Still, it was exhilarating to be out there wandering around with the locals. One of my very favorite street moments happened when I was walking back to our Riad alone one afternoon, I think on our last day – my phone was dead and I didn’t have my camera with me, and then a horse drawn wagon carrying the biggest load of onions ever trotted right next to me on the street. I so wish I had captured that, but sometimes the mental images can be even better/more special than the actual ones.

hello little friend

hello little friend

Emma planned wonderful excursions for us in addition to walking the Medina and shopping in the Souks. We spent an afternoon taking a horse-drawn carriage ride to Yves Saint Laurent’s gardens, le Jardin Majorelle. So peaceful and wonderful to be in such a lush garden in the middle of this crazy climate.

strolling through the gardens

strolling through the gardens

We also had appointments for a Hamam at Le Bains de Marrakech. So, again, I didn’t know what exactly a Hamam entailed… I figured, okay we’re at a spa, it’s going to be a massage, so lovely. And it was still lovely, but …different than I expected, haha. The women were so stern with us that Lou of Little Green Shed and I couldn’t stop giggling.

entrance to le bains

entrance to le bains

“OFF,” they demanded of our robes once we were in a steamy room, and literally yanked mine off of me. They plopped us down on these elegant white waterproof beds, and proceeded to dump hot water all over us while we’re still giggling and screaming a bit. They left us for a while, I guess to sweat it out with the hot water on us and the steam also collecting in the room, and we start whispering, wondering what was to come next. They finally do come back, rub us down with Moroccan black soap and leave us for a bit again – coming back soon to scrub us within an inch of our lives. I mean, I was exfoliated FULLY. But it was amazing. “Everything okay,” they would say to us, more of a stern reassurance rather than a question. After being scrubbed like crazy, they escorted us to this gorgeous waiting room with beautiful Moroccan lanterns and brought us biscuits and mint tea. We got admonished again for chatting it up in this room, but the experience was so fun to share with someone I had just met – definitely threw us right into friendship! And of course my skin was so soft for the rest of the trip.

Shopping in the Souks was another amazing/favorite experience. I never thought I would enjoy bartering – the thought of it always stressed me out, ha – but wow, it was so much fun arguing a price and winning, or sometimes realizing way later that 100 dirham was insane for the little trinket when you got the gorgeous sitting cushion for 150. The whole experience was just so vibrant. I came home with such lovely treasures, from a silver tea set to presents for friends to a stunning dusty rose pink gown I wore most evenings in our Riad, to complete my princess feeling effect.

Food-wise, I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten as well as I did during my week in Morocco. The food was just crazy on point and I had no issues with my vegetarian dietary requests. Our host Nic was an amazing cook, and in addition to that Emma arranged for Japanese chefs to come to the Riad one day and cook us an amazing Japanese lunch for us to photograph and enjoy.

We went out one night to dinner at Nomad, one of the best in Marrakech, and it certainly did not disappoint. I really love middle eastern food to begin with, so this was just heaven for me. We sat on the roof terrace in a beautiful corner overlooking one of the main squares of the medina and had the best three courses and wonderful rose wine.

Another couple spots we went to was a little cafe (Cafe Des Epices) for refreshing drinks while souk shopping, and the restaurant Kechmara on our last night. It wasn’t quite as amazing as Nomad, but still lovely to sit on a rooftop and eat a veg burger with the company of women I had grown to adore and admire so much in one week.

Besides the beautiful time we spent in Marrakech between Nic’s Riad and our adventures in the Medina, we also were driven out to spend a few days in the Atlas Mountains, staying in a villa in the beautiful Kasbah Bab Ourika. As much as I loved the hustle and bustle of the city, being out in the mountains was incredible and peaceful. They fed us each meal on site, and the grounds were just stunning – yet another fairytale princess feeling few days.

I learned so much on this trip, from getting deeper into my own camera (and being SO happy with the quality of shots I’ve started to produce), to Lightroom editing, to styling our shoots with the guidance of Hannah from Seeds and Stitches, to backend WordPress blogging tips. It was the perfect week with the perfect balance of learning, adventuring and relaxing.

Emma is going to be hosting a couple mini workshops in the fall in Marrakech, if you are interested in exploring this incredible city with her I can’t recommend it enough – more info can be found here!

We were honored to have Paulina Grochala as our blog contributor. Check out her blog where you will find more of her adventure stories, wellness and beauty tips and more! 

TOP SUMMER DESTINATIONS 2016

Summer is finally here which means it’s time to pack your bags! Temperatures are higher, the sun is out, and it’s time to get out of your comfort zone to explore the world. Pearlesque Box was inspired by founder Rochelle Truxal’s travels around the world. Who knows what travel could inspire you to do?

With so many options for summer travel, it can be hard to choose what destination to seek out next. Do you go back to your favorite place or do you discover a new favorite place? Do you travel to a country that’s experiencing the low season to avoid the crowd or do you brave the crowds to get that beloved summer experience? There are so many questions to ask yourself before you travel but as choosing where to go can be the hardest part, we’re here to help you out with our recommendations for the summer.

 

With thousands of destinations to visit worldwide, you can easily find a destination that suits your fancy. Choose from our recommendations or go with your gut. Travel only enhances your life and you never regret the trips you take; only the ones you don’t.

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR SUMMER SKINCARE REGIMEN!

Summer is just around the corner which means it’s time to change up your skincare regimen! 

Out go the thick body butters and heavy makeup. In come the facial mists, BB creams, and body scrubs. Now that we don’t have to worry about the cold wind drying out our skin, we have to protect ourselves from the burning hot sun and the oily skin that comes with it.

The good thing about summer skincare is that it’s simpler than winter skincare. Here’s how to change up your routine so you can let your skin enjoy the summer weather.

Switch to a Lighter Face Wash

If you’re using a thick facial wash, switch to a lighter one immediately. As cleansing your skin is the first step in your regimen, you want it to be refreshing and not also used as a moisturizer. Just let it clean out your pores and move on to your toner.

Try this cleanser: Fresh Facial Cleanser (Canada box); Ocean Cleanser (Malibu box), Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Facial Wash (Africa box)

Use Toners and Facial Mists

After cleansing your skin, it’s important to tone your skin to restore it’s pH balance. But facial mists are also nice to rehydrate your face throughout the day so keep one handy in your purse for a nice refresher.

Try this toner: Rose Water Ester-C Collagen Regeneration Facial Mist (Africa box); Facial Toner (Hawaii box)

Switch to a Lighter Moisturizer

If you’re using a heavy moisturizer, switch to a lighter one, preferably with SPF. Apply as needed throughout the day.

Try this moisturizer: Atmosphere Protection Cream (Malibu box); Face & Eye Cream (Hawaii box)

SPF...and a Lot of It!

If you’re outside often, apply SPF all over and every two hours. Make sure to use a natural sunscreen as most of the sunscreens on the market include dozens of harmful chemicals. To protect your skin even further, try to cover up as much as possible with breathable fabrics and big accessories.

Try this SPF: Promise Organic SPF30 Coconut Suncreen Lotion

Exfoliate Twice a Week

Your skin is more prone to flaking from the excess heat. Keep your skin free of flaky dead skin by exfoliating all over twice a week. Don’t forget your lips, too!

Try this scrub: Truffle Therapy Body Gommage (Italy box), Brazilian Glow Rejuvenating Salt Scrub & Clay Masque (Brazil box)

Take Cooler Showers

While hot showers feel nice year-round, taking cooler showers after sweating will help prevent breakouts. It will also help keep your skin from drying out even more due to excess heat. After the shower, make sure to moisturize with a body oil and a body lotion.

Try this oil/lotion: Ocean Lotion (Malibu box); Brazilian Glow Radiance & Renewal Oil (Brazil box)

Simplify Your Makeup

There’s no use in applying a lot of makeup if you’re going to sweat it off. Keep it simple by switching from foundation to BB cream and avoid using the entire contour and eyeshadow palette. The more you let your skin breathe, the better.

Try this BB cream: Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

Treat Skin from the Inside Out

Higher temperatures lead to internal dehydration. Fruits high in antioxidants (such as pomegranates and berries) will fight free radicals that help regulate skin’s blood flow, giving you the naturally rosy glow. Foods with omega-3s (such as walnuts and salmon) will help improve skin’s elasticity. Foods high in zinc (such as kidney beans) will help kill blemish-causing bacteria. And to prevent those dreaded sunspots, add soy into your diet by eating soybeans or adding soy milk to your latte.

Summer is the time to relax and recharge. As long as you enjoy plenty of summer’s beautiful fruits and vegetables, switch to lighter cleansers and makeup, and protect yourself from the harsh temperatures, you’re ready to enjoy a safe summer 2016!

~Brianne Nemiroff

LOVE FROM THE SEA TO YOU!

OSEA Founder, Jenefer Palmer began her career in the healing arts by studying and becoming practiced in cranial therapy, acupressure and shiatsu. OSEA started out as a more of a kitchen sink than a kitchen table business, as Jenefer began experimenting with skincare formulations in her kitchen sink. She became fluent in the basics of cosmetic chemistry by trial and error, later refining her most successful formulas with the help of cosmetic chemists. However, it was not until a business trip to Buenos Aires that Jenefer would discover the key ingredient upon which her skincare line was to be founded.

Wrecked by jet-lag, Jenefer decided to head over to the spa at the hip boutique hotel where she was staying and ended up soaking in a fresh algae bath. The restorative effects were like a bolt from the blue. She couldn’t believe how good that bath had made her feel, her skin was glowing and she felt utterly rejuvenated. She knew she had to know more about that algae, and became obsessed with tracking it back to its source.

She traced the algae, of the Gigartina species, to the coast of Patagonia, a region so far down the South American continent that they call it “El Fin del Mundo”--the end of the world. There, she was guided along the desolate beaches and pristine coastal waters of Patagonia by a local family who showed her how to harvest the Gigartina which was soon to become the key ingredient of her skincare formulations. Throughout OSEA’s evolution, Jenefer has ensured that the brand stays true to its initial commitment: to provide the highest quality, ecologically-responsible natural skincare to ingredient-conscious consumers. Never forgetting the source, Jenefer and OSEA support ocean preservation, Heal the Bay and works with a local partner in Argentina to ensure eco-responsible harvesting of their seaweed.

I was lucky enough to interview Jenefer and dig into her world with OSEA Malibu!

Rochelle: What is the story and history behind OSEA Malibu?

Jenefer: My Grandmother recognized the healing powers of the ocean and imbued me with her beliefs from a very young age. My grandparents went swimming in the ocean every day of the year and they lived in New York---so that frequently meant cutting through ice!

So when I began formulating my natural skincare, I wanted to draw on the healing powers of pure, mineral-rich seaweed as the base of my products. 

Rochelle: Your main ingredient is seaweed sourced from Patagonia, can you give us some insight on how you source this ingredient, and what the process is?

Jenefer: When I first traveled to Patagonia in search of Gigartina Algae, I met a local family who has been harvesting seaweed for three generations! They were kind enough to share their knowledge of local seaweed and even taught me how to harvest it sustainably.

Wild Gigartina Algae naturally washes up on the shore and we collect it by hand. In mid-summer, the desolate beaches of Patagonia are knee-high with Gigartina. Undaria Algae, another one of our favorite natural ingredients also comes from these waters. 

We have divers who go out and hand-cut our Undaria instead of using large nets that can potentially damage seaweed forests and ocean floors. Once the algae has been harvested we rinse it in fresh water and lay it out to dry in the sun in special drying beds. 

Rochelle: Tell us about your conservation efforts with the community in which you source your ingredients…

Jenefer: On a global level, we support eco-initiatives throughout the year and lead fundraising campaigns on World Water Day and World Oceans Day. 

Rochelle: Where are your products produced?

Jenefer: I am happy to say that our products are all made in California. One of the biggest perks of being a family-run business is that we have direct control over every step of our manufacturing process. Self-regulation of our supply chain is crucial in my opinion, to upholding the integrity of our products.

Rochelle: You have a strong sense of “family” pride with your story, is this a driving force for your company? 

Jenefer: Promoting wellness is a big driving force and a mission that unites my family. We all love life-- and enjoy it to the fullest together through travel, good food and good company.   We are committed to promoting the wellness of others through safe, effective natural skincare as well as protecting and supporting the wellness of animals and the planet. 

Rochelle: What is your overall mission with OSEA?

Jenefer: To create clean, non-toxic, naturally active skincare that is super effective and safe for people, animals and the environment. 

Rochelle: If you could only live with one product of your line, what would it be and why?

Jenefer: For the founder of a skincare line, that question is a little like revealing the name of your favorite child!  I love all of the products that we make and share with our customers, but my personal favorites for my skin are Ocean Cleanser, Advanced Protection Cream and Sea Minerals.  I use these every day on my face. I alternate between the OSEA cleansers depending on what kind of treatment I feel my skin needs. AndI absolutely love Undaria Algae Oil for the body. It makes my skin so silky smooth. 

Rochelle: What is your favorite travel destination and why?

Jenefer: Anywhere close to the Sea. It takes my breath away. Every time. 

~Rochelle Langere, CEO & Founder of Pearlesque Box

 

 

14 Tips for a Glowing Body and Radiant Skin

We all want that perfect skin and glowing body, no matter what age we are. It helps us feel youthful and alive, to see radiant skin and know that we are putting forth our best self. How do we get there? Well, it is a combination of proper hydration, plenty of rest and utilizing all the best natural foods and supplements available to stay at the optimal level of health and beauty

As we go through our comprehensive list of 14 tips for a glowing body and radiant skin, you may be surprised at some of the recommendations. Sweet potato for skin care? Yes, careful application and ingestion of sweet potato for skin care is essential to natural body care. As you will see, the vitamins and elements in sweet potatoes can smooth out wrinkles and wash that oil away.

Along with other foods and vitamins, sweet potatoes can be on the front lines, fighting against wrinkles, blemishes, inflammation and other ills that plague your skin and increase the aging process. Many of these include antioxidant properties, which battle free radicals, those evil entities that are the bane of our healthy existence. 

How do you get that radiant, glowing body you so desire? Read on.

Mashed Potato for Skin Sweetness

Boil a few sweet potatoes and mash them. Add a few teaspoons of honey, mix and apply to your face for 15-20 minutes. (You can even add some ginger powder for an invigorating and circulation-boosting kick.) Rinse off and dry gently with a washcloth. Your face will feel smooth and succulent right away! Sweet potato for skin care is such a powerful option that you will wish you started these colorful masks years ago. 

The beta carotene in the sweet potato is said to promote pH balance and boost skin cell turnover. And the orange do-it-alls have vitamin C, which helps fight against signs of aging and dryness. 

Don’t Throw That Water Away

Let the leftover broth from the boiled sweet potatoes cool and place it in a spritzer bottle. Keep it in the fridge and used to cool down and tone your soon to be glowing body.

Add Some Tomatoes to Your Diet

Besides their deliciousness, tomatoes can have a real positive effect on blemish reduction. The chemical that gives tomatoes their deep red hue, lycopene, may lower an acne-promoting hormone. So add them to your salads, sandwiches, soups and stews with no reservations. 

Go Green-When It Comes To Tea

Green tea is another pimple popper. Drinking it on the regular has been shown to reduce levels of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which contributes to acne production. 

Seafood, Then Eat It

Studies have shown that people who eat diets rich in fish and seafood have less skin wrinkling than others. The omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be the positive actor in this situation. Wrinkling is a direct result of inflammation, which is combated by plenty of omega-3 ingestion.

Daily Moisturizing is Key

To combat dry skin, make sure you are moisturizing every day after a shower, especially during the super-dry winter months. Doing right after the shower helps to seal in all that water your body just absorbed. 

Breathe Deep and Regenerate

The anxiety reduction benefits of breathing exercises are well-documented, but filling your body with oxygen can also go a long way towards achieving that glowing body. The circulation benefits can have a real positive effect on cellular regeneration, which promotes beautiful, healthy skin. 

Avoid Cigarettes Everywhere

You don’t want to be a smoker for all sorts of health reasons, but the damage you are doing to your skin is sometimes an afterthought. Even being around secondhand smoke can promote skin sagging and speed up the aging process.

Chill Your Peppers

While cold cucumbers may be the most common remedy for big bags around the eyes, any kind of cold compress can restrict blood vessels, which will reduce swelling and puffiness. 

Get to Sleep

Skimping on sleep will make inflammation, stress and all sorts of other radiant skin enemies much more prominent. And not getting enough sleep may even make existing skin problems, such as persistent acne or contact dermatitis harder to beat. Plus, it will accelerate the aging process, which is the skin enemy No. 1. 

Get Some More Sun (or take Vitamin D)

What? More sun? Yes it seems counterintuitive, but more sunlight will promote natural production of vitamin D, which helps prevent breakouts. Now, you want to utilize the sun in moderation and, during the winter months especially, take some vitamin D supplements to keep up your levels. And as always, wear sunscreen if you choose to be in the sun!

Hit Your Skin With the Coconut

Dip into some virgin coconut oil and use it to treat damaged or irritated skin. The antioxidant properties in coconut oil are great for promoting radiant skin and application all over can help even out your skin tone, moving towards a glowing body. 

“C” Your Way To Healthy Skin

There is a lot that vitamin C can do to boost your complexion, fight against age spots and sun damage or just generally brighten up the look of your skin. Getting plenty of vitamin C can also be a boon to healthy collagen production, which leads to firmer skin. 

Ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, has stellar antioxidant properties. Again, helping to beat back the advance of those pesky free radicals. 

There is some research that shows that combined ingestion of vitamin C and vitamin E can increase the ability of skin to protect itself from sun damage. Obviously, that doesn’t mean you should to forgo sunscreen, but taking those two supplements might help the cause.

Be Judicious in Your Use of Radiance-Enhancing Makeup

If you want to use makeup products that boost your radiant skin, make sure you take into account your skin type and application procedures. That healthy, dewy finish doesn’t happen by accident. Research your products to make sure they are as healthy and natural as possible. 

With all these tips, you should be well on your way to a glowing body and radiant skin. Sweet potato for skin care may be an unusual method to beautiful, younger-looking skin, but it may just make be the healthy step you need to turn back time.

~Rochelle Langere, Founder of Pearlesque Box

Eluxe Magazine Article: Why Use Organic Skincare and Makeup? 5 Good Reasons

By Rochelle Langere (Published by: Eluxe Magazine 3/24/16  )

As NBC News recently reported, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72M of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades. But this isn’t the only instance of a personal care products company being called out for harmful ingredients. In fact, with so many carcinogenic ingredients found in beauty products, it’s dawning on women how imperative it is to pay attention to what we buy. After all, the skin is the largest organ of the body.

Nearly 20% of personal-care products contain at least one chemical linked to cancer, and yet the FDA has not regulated beauty ingredients since 1938. This, however, is evolving as consumers change their lifestyle and consumption habits. A 2004 study found parabens in 18 out of 20 samples of human breast tissue. Parabens are in almost 100% of drugstore skincare products and cosmetics. Finally, only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data.

Now we can begin to understand why you must throw away your non-organic products. First and foremost, the toxic ingredients they contain can (and do) cause cancer. As the creams, lotions, serums, etc are absorbed through the skin, they are then traveling to your bloodstream and inside the body. Studies have shown that the toxic ingredients have been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors, ovarian cancer and more!

The chemical components of many products don’t break down and instead accumulate in our ecosystems, harming our environment. Most of the damage is done when we wash our face or body and these chemicals are washed down our sinks, which are then streamed to our lakes, rivers, and the water systems. But of course, the manufacturing process of creating nasty chemical personal care products can be harmful to the environment, too. Just take petroleum based oils, for example – these are byproducts of the oil industry. Most palm oil used in cosmetics is the result of razing rainforests to grow palm plants, and non-organic rapeseed or cottonseed oil is almost always the result of GMO farming.

In fact, there are plenty of reasons to use organic skincare, but here are 5 that I think are the most important.

1. Cosmetics Are Badly Regulated

Although the EU has stricter regulations and has banned many of the most harmful ingredients, cosmetic companies in the United States are allowed to use almost any new chemicals without government approval, with the exception of colour additives and any ingredient classified as a drug. Congress is starting to respond to consumer concerns and, for the first time since 1938, the FDA may be implementing restrictions on ingredients placed in beauty products. Not that that’s much help: after all, the FDA has approved aspartame, saccharin, human growth hormone in food products and many other artificial colourings, flavourings and chemicals which have proven to harm human health. For now it is up to you as a consumer to pay attention to the ingredients and do your research – especially if you have any favorite brands you’re ordering from the USA!

2. Most Mainstream Cosmetics DO Contain Harmful Chemicals

Let’s first start by identifying the toxic chemicals to look for in your products. The main toxic chemicals found in lipsticks, nailpolishes, skin creams and are as follows:

Lead – found in lipsticks, toothpaste, makeup, etc. Can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage), seizures, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive dysfunction and kidney dysfunction.

Formaldehyde

Found in: Some shampoos including baby ‘no tear’ shampoos and haircare products, liquid soaps, nail polish

This chemical that may be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Prolonged formaldehyde exposure may be a contributing factor in cancer development.

Parabens

Found in: Skincare products, makeup, shampoos, conditioners

The most popular term used in products, this is used as a preservative and are noted as propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben. They are found in almost any beauty product that has water (a.k.a. ‘aqua’) added to it. Parabens have been shown to not only disrupt hormones, but also to potentially cause cancer and most have been phased out in the EU.

Phthalates

Found in: Nail polish, air fresheners, perfumes, body sprays, detergents, soaps and more

According to SafeCosmetics.org, phthalates were found in at least 72 products they tested, although it was not listed on their list of ingredients. The only exception was nail polish. This toxic chemical is a fragrance used in vinyl shower curtains (it gives vinyl its distinctive smell), air fresheners, detergents and more. Like parabens, phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormones and decrease sperm count.

Nitrosamines

Found in: Almost everything

Some people argue that certain ingredients in cosmetics, in small doses, are not harmful. This may be true, but what they overlook is the fact that women tend to layer cosmetics on: first a cream, then a base, then a foundation, then a blusher….When certain chemical ingredients are mixed together, nitrosamines can form. These are not often listed as an ingredient on cosmetic products because they are not actual ingredients. But this toxin is so prolific, it is found in almost every skin care product. It’s in baby shampoos, sunless tanning lotions, mascara, concealer — the list goes on and on. Many studies link nitrosamine to cancer and in 1996, the FDA suggested cosmetic manufacturers remove any ingredients that create nitrosamine when combined. This suggestion has been pretty much ignored, and the Environmental Working Group found that 1 in 10 cosmetics still contain combinations of ingredients that create nitrosamines.

Fragrance/Parfum

Found in: Almost everything

In nearly all scented makeup products and perfumes, you’ll see that fragrance shows up almost all ingredient labels. But, what exactly is a “fragrance” (also known as “parfum”)? Classified as a trade secret, companies aren’t required to list the ingredients that make up “fragrance” in their products. Unless essential oils are used to fragrant the product, the ‘fragrance’ is most likely to be harmful chemical components.

Click here for a more detailed guide to chemicals found in your beauty products.

3. Mainstream Cosmetics Lack Nutrients

Most commercial cosmetics contain very little in the way of nutritional ingredients that can truly benefit your beauty. Instead of helping boost the health of your hair, skin or nails they use chemicals to temporarily mask any issues you may have. Organic products, on the other hand, are often rich in ingredients like:

Vitamin C:  a superpower when it comes to antioxidants and it fights free radicals, which attack the skin’s support structure and leads to imparting collagen and the aging of skin.

Vitamin E: another powerful antioxidant that soothes out the skin and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin A: vital for the repair of skin. If you notice your skin is dull, flaky, or quite brass, look for products that include this. 

Most organic and natural brands include these essential vitamins and more in their products and you can also purchase pure nourishing serums on their own.

4. You Could Be Harming Your Baby

What most people don’t realize is that non-organic products not only affect you, but also your children, especially when in the womb. Organic beauty products help protect our children so that they are healthy, strong, and don’t have any birth defects. According to The Lancet Neurology study, toxins in cosmetics can affect brain development and lead to neurobehavioral problems like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. Disorders of neurobehavioral development affect 10–15% of all births and are steadily increasing. Of course, it’s impossible to know which percentage of these are related to toxic chemicals in personal care products, but why take any risk?

5. Value for Money

There’s a misconception that organic skincare and makeup is more expensive than mainstream brands, but that’s far from true. Have you checked the price of (highly chemical) Estee Lauder products lately? Lancome? Chanel? Sure, organic products may not be as dirt cheap as mass produced chemical supermarket brands, but think of it like this: junk food is way, way cheaper than organic food, but wouldn’t you rather spend $1 on a few organic bananas instead of a huge bag of free-radical laden, salty, MSG riddled crips? Better for you, and the same price! Some great lower cost brands include Weleda (which is amazing!), Naturaleve, Dizao, Greenscape and many more.

So, why use organic skincare? It should be pretty obvious by now. Organic products are healthier, cheap, and only include ingredients that will nourish your skin and body.  It’s important to only put high-quality organic creams on your delicate skin. After all, your it is your largest organ, and you only deserve the best!

About the author: Rochelle Langere is the CEO/Founder Pearlesque Box. Follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

The Indonesian Story With JUARA Skincare

Metta Murdaya, Yoshiko Roth, Jill Sung and Tami Chuang, four culturally diverse young women with a follow-your-dream mentality shared a vision to develop an elegant, effective, and socially conscious skincare line combining their Eastern and Western cultures to embody our natural beauty and inner strength as women. Together, they created JUARA, a results-driven line of treatments inspired by Jamu, an Indonesian herbal health tradition, and ancient royal beauty rituals for the the confident, empowered woman of today.

"With JUARA, we began a journey of discovery, entrepreneurship, and creativity. JUARA is the Indonesian word for “Winner/champion.”  We believe JUARA to be about more than creating safe, effective and, natural products to attain beautiful skin, but also about creating our own destiny as independent women. The experience in building our company from scratch has defined who we are now, emboldening us to live by our values of perseverance, gratitude, honesty and trust, all which we pour with love into every single products we create."

I was lucky enough to interview them and learn more about their quest with JUARA Skincare.

Rochelle: What is the history of Juara Skincare? Tell us Your story

JUARA: I used to work in a high-pressure corporate company where I was overstressed and overworked, and noticed my skin taking a toll. Realizing prevention was the best medicine rather than treatment, I tried to look for effective, natural solutions in skincare which would both address my skin needs, as well as be pampering, pleasant and enjoyable to use, as I did not have much time, but desperately needed a rejuvenating ritual to let me relax from the day. Not finding anything that suited me at that time on the market, I reached into my own traditions to create something new that could trust to be, safe, effective, and elegant. 

Rochelle: What prompted the need to create markets for natural products from third world countries?

JUARA: Indonesia has had a herbal tradition that is centuries old, passed down between healers royalty through the generations with beauty rituals and herbal tonics that addressed a variety of ailments from stomach aches to skin conditions. Ingredients including turmeric, tamarind, candlenut and ginger have been staples of our health and beauty traditions, with secret recipes which today we want to share with the world, now that there is a real appreciation of a holistic wellness approach to beauty of both body and mind. 

Rochelle: What is the mission of Juara Skincare?

JUARA: The mission is to be a brand which helps women champion their natural beauty through creating natural, effective skincare based on time-honored Indonesian herbal tradition, and though collaborating with partners who support education and empowerment for women in their lives so they can also champion their destiny. 

Rochelle: Do you travel to Indonesia often to source the ingredients? How do you do this?

JUARA: I travel to Indonesia approximately 6x a year, living there half the year and working with one of the oldest jamu companies to research ingredients, even create some herbal tonics (making our own contemporary versions too,) and also to support our local programs which involve working with young women to educate and empower their skills in the workforce. 

Rochelle: What is the biggest impact you have seen when working with the people and ingredients in Indonesia?

JUARA: I see a sense of pride and confidence in the people we impact. To Indonesians, JUARA is a symbol of national pride; a validation that their natural heritage and herbal tradition still practiced today is gaining awareness and respect from the US which they look up to. And to the individuals JUARA mentors in education, we see increased confidence and excitement in their pursuit to follow their dreams. 

Rochelle: Which part of Indonesia are most of the ingredients sourced from?

JUARA: We source our ingredients from the US for local sourcing and quality control, however in Indonesia we develop products for the market utilizing ingredients from the rich island of Java. 

Rochelle: What can you tell us about the history of the regions you source the ingredients?

JUARA: Java is one of the main and large islands of Indonesia, where Jakarta is located. The Central Java region is the homeland to Indonesian royalty called Kraton in the old days, and home to the famous javanese Princess Kartini who was a large supporter of education for women. It is a rich area of culture and and more advanced development. Our Jamu recipes we take inspiration from hail from this island, where the healers of the community as well as kings and queens have passed down their secrets from generation to generation, which we bring to you today in our skincare. 

Rochelle: You talk about JAMU healing, what are the healing benefits that are used in this?

JUARA: We believe you can being out the best in the healing aspects of the ingredients by combining them in synergistic ways to get benefits that are greater than the sum of the parts. For example, one of our most famous jamu recipes called Kunir Asem combines Turmeric and Tamarind which work better together than separately for the purpose of its health benefits for digestion and liver detox. 

Rochelle: From your product line, what is the single most important product, and why?

JUARA: JUARA's Radiance Vitality Oil truly embodies the best of JUARA's inspiration, amazing botanicals, efficacy and elegance.  This concentrated beauty elixir is made with 12 most precious, nourishing botanical oils and extracts, rooted in Jamu, to address all signs of aging in a way that is both holistic and results-driven.  The oil has also an elegant, silky, fast-absorbing texture that makes it suitable for all skin types.  Our ingredients such as Candlenut, Avocado, Five-Flavor-Berry-Extract, Passionfruit and Turmeric, to name a few, have been validated by science to have firming, brightening, hydrating and smoothing benefits.  We have also tested the oil's effectiveness on consumers and have gotten great results for both immediate and longer-term benefits.  We receive so much feedback from people, thanking us for how the oil has helped with their skin, and we are incredibly proud of it!

Rochelle: Why do you think “natural” and “organic” products are important (over chemical products)?

JUARA: JUARA is based on Jamu, healing treatments that come from the available flowers, fruits, and roots of Indonesia. These plants now are proven to have benefits for the skin and body through scientific research. We strive to honor these traditions and discoveries of natural botanicals, while respecting the planet and utilizing environmentally supportive chemistry.

~Rochelle Langere

HOW YOUR SUGAR HABIT IS GIVING YOU WRINKLES

The average American consumes roughly 40 teaspoons of sugar per day: 32 teaspoons of added sugar and 12 teaspoons already in the food we eat. This equals to 600 calories a day, just for sugar.

Consuming too much sugar is not just about your waistline. It also increases the risk for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, sugar dulls the skin and causes wrinkles. This means the extra few processed cookies and your morning crawler are aging you.

How does it do so? At blame is a natural process that's known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGE). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. As AGEs accumulate, they damage adjacent proteins. It then damages collagen and elastin in the deep layers of the skin, which are the protein fibers that keep our skin firm and smooth.

Sugar can also affect the type of collagen you have, and how resistant your skin is to wrinkling. There are three types of collagen that are most existent in your skin: I, II and III. Type III is the longest lasting while Type I is the weakest. Sugar turns type III into Type I, and therefore creates wrinkles.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that the body converts into glucose and uses for energy. To understand sugar better, we need to break down the types of sugar: natural sugar and refined sugar. 

Natural Sugar: found in fruit as fructose and in dairy products (milk, cheese) as lactose. 

- provides essential nutrients to the body 

- helps keep the body healthy and fight disease

Refined Sugar: comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are processed, and found as sucrose (combination of glucose and fructose). 

- Often used to sweeten cakes, coffee, cookies, cereals, etc. 

- Most food companies add chemically-produced sugar with very high fructose corn syrup to most drinks and food. 

- Has no nutritional value and are very harmful.

As Americans we consume more refined sugar than our grandparents did due to the manufactured food in grocery stores for mass production, which didn’t exist generations ago. To eliminate refined sugar, start by eliminating added sugar to your coffee, soda drinks, juices, tea, etc. Eating plenty of protein, nuts and vegetables will help supplement the hunger associated with eating sugar. Drink plenty of water, a minimum of eight glasses a day. 

The good news is that the damage to the skin from sugar can be reversed. Building collagen with protein and applying retinoids, hyaluronic acid, and drinking water can help bring back the complexion of the skin. When you’re 50-years-old, you’ll regret the sugars you ate when you were 25. Put down the bowl of sugar and enjoy eating whole grain and natural foods so you look as beautiful as you feel!

~Rochelle Langere, Founder of Pearlesque Box