Monthly Archives: February 2014

Featured Question: Causes of Chapped Lips

Source: flickr.com user Cobalt

Source: flickr.com user Cobalt

We love when our readers and customers ask us their burning skin care and beauty questions! While our advice is never intended to replace the advice or professional opinion of a doctor, we are able to dig through our years of beauty experience to bring you great skin care tips and tricks.

Our latest featured question was asked via our Facebook by Pam M. Pam says, “For the last couple of months, I have had (and still have) the worst case of chapped lips I have ever had. I have tried raw coconut oil and every other thing I can think of (aloe gel fresh from the plant, raw cocoa butter, tea tree oil, etc.) along with my Raw Essentials daily routine. But my lips and the skin around them are dry, red and have only just finally healed in the corners from huge cracks.”

Well, Pam, it sounds like you have a very tricky case of chapped lips! Since you’ve already tried our go-to treatments (I thought coconut oil could cure anything!), I want to look at some of the rarer causes of chapped lips.

The following list includes “hidden” causes of chapped lips. The list may seem long and daunting, but the hope is that one or more of the possible causes listed here will trigger a realization. You may find that the on-again, off-again toothache you have is actually causing your cracked lips, or that your prescription medication is causing a reaction seen only on your lips.

Once again, I want to reiterate that our skin care advice is in no way intended to replace the advice or opinion of your doctor or dermatologist. If you suspect any of the following causes of chapped lips, call your doctor or dermatologist right away!

Now, without further ado, here’s a look at many of the hidden causes of chapped lips:

  • Allergic reaction. Many allergic reactions can cause chapping, but the most common allergies that can result in chapping include fig allergy, nickel allergy, cobalt allergy (which can stem from vitamin B12 supplements), sun sensitivity, and red dye allergy. Other allergic reactions could cause chapping, but these are the most common sources of allergy-related lip chapping.
  • Contact irritation. Contact irritation differs from allergic reaction, though the symptoms can be identical. Common sources of contact irritation on the lips include makeup and personal care ingredients like propyl gallate, phenyl salicylate (salol), sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or guaiazulene. In addition, foods or food ingredients could be to blame; common food irritation culprits include citrus fruits and cinnamates, which are used to product cinnamon flavor in everything from candy to toothpaste.
  • Diseases. It’s obvious when a cold leads to chapped lips, but other diseases and health issues can cause chapping, too. Periodontal (gum) disease and tooth abscesses are very often to blame for chapped lips. A rare condition known as chelitis granulomatosa could be the source of your discomfort. Other diseases that can cause lip chapping include Down’s syndrome, thyroid disorders, psoriasis, lichen planus, chronically enlarged tonsils or adenoids, sleep apnea, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, as well as perleche and other yeast infections.
  • Prescription medication. Not many prescription meds have chapped lips as a side effects, but there are a few, namely propranolol and prochlorperazine. Other prescription meds can also cause dehydration, which could exacerbate the problem.
  • Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential to health, but too much of it can be a bad thing, especially for lips. If you take an oral supplement or apply vitamin A via Accutane, check to ensure that your body isn’t getting more than 25,000 IU a day.
  • Precancerous changes. Known medically as actinic chelitis, precancerous changes in the lips could show up as cracking, peeling, and chapping. If you spent a lot of time in the sun growing up or have other reasons to believe you could be at risk for precancerous changes, visit your doctor to undergo proper testing.
  • Stress and coping mechanisms. Stress itself doesn’t often lead to chapped lips, but it can. More often, stress coping mechanisms like lip-licking or chewing can lead to perpetually dry, cracked lips. You may even be doing these things in your sleep! If you feel that these things could be the cause of your chapped lips, try simply to be more aware of the issue (like with nail biting), or consider speaking with someone if your anxiety is too much to handle on your own.

As you can see, these possible causes of chapped lips reach far and wide. However, if you find that none of the traditional treatments for chapped lips are doing the job, it may be time to dig a little deeper and look at these more unusual causes of chapping.

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FLASH SALE!

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It’s nearly time for us to take inventory and replenish our products, and our shelves are too full! We need to get our great products to you ASAP, so we’re making it easy for you to go on a little shopping spree by offering a limited time flash sale!

Starting now and ending only when our stock is less stockpiled, you can save 50% on any order of $100 or more! Add free shipping, and you’ve got yourself a legitimate deal.

This is the perfect time to stock up on your essential Raw Essentials, or try that product you’ve been meaning to order! Your discount will automatically appear at checkout, so simply add $100+ worth of product to your cart, and watch the savings roll in.

What are you waiting for? This deal will only be around for a short while, so start saving now!

Nourishing Naturally: Why We’re Raw

Source: flickr.com user Mike McCune

Source: flickr.com user Mike McCune

If you use Raw Essentials, you already know that our raw beauty products are never heated above 115°. This is to ensure that our active ingredients remain 100% raw — that is, in their natural, alive state. This is so important to us because it means that all of our active ingredients retain their highest possible nutritional value!

To give you an idea of why raw skin care is so beneficial for your skin, here’s a quick look at just a few of the nutrients that can be fully experienced only with raw beauty products like ours.

  • Skin care antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for overall health and well-being. Many people believe that antioxidants are the key to anti-aging health and anti-aging skin care because they are able to both prevent and help slow the onset of both visible and internal signs of aging.

    Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals, which are caused by external aggressors like sun damage and pollutants, as well as poorly formulated skin care products. Free radicals slowly but surely destroy healthy cells, leading to damaged and weakened skin. When antioxidants are introduced, they stop free radicals in their tracks and actually work to repair the damaged cells, thereby restoring healthy skin.

    Many skin care products contain antioxidant skin care ingredients. However, with a raw skin care formulation, your skin will receive more antioxidants that are of a higher quality and power. In this way, a raw skin care formulation is better able to protect and repair free radical damage.

  • Skin care vitamins. Like the rest of the body, skin needs proper vitamin care to maintain healthy functions. Many vitamins are used in skin care products, but some of the best include vitamin C, which boosts collagen production and brightness to maintain a youthful appearance, as well as vitamin E, which conditions the skin’s texture.

    When a raw, natural skin care ingredient is maintained, its natural vitamins remain intact and active. This means that your skin reaps the full benefits of these skin care vitamins, leading to optimal results.

  • Skin care minerals. Like vitamins, minerals are a top necessity for creating and maintaining healthy skin. Many skin care companies fail to provide the skin with many essential minerals, resulting in skin deficiencies. At Raw Essentials, our raw ingredients retain their natural mineral content in order to provide perfected results.
  • Skin care omega 6 fatty acids. Like minerals, a lot of skin care products fail to include omega 6 fatty acids in their formulations! Omega sixes are the perfect natural skin care moisturizer, and while they are found in many commonly used skin care ingredients, only raw natural sources provide the omega 6 fatty acids your skin needs.

    Omega 6s help soothe dry skin, provide long-lasting hydration, and can even help reduce the severity of redness and discomfort caused by conditions like eczema. In short, omega 6 fatty acids are nature’s perfect moisturizer and are a must-have in every skin care regimen.

    As you can see, we really believe in the importance of using raw active ingredients! We will never claim that we’re the only health-promoting skin care company on the market, but we will go so far as to say that we are one of the very few companies harnessing the incredible power of raw, active skin care ingredientfor the benefit of your skin!

    If you want to read even more on why raw ingredients and natural skin care is so important, check out our Why Raw Essentials? page.

Featured Question: How to Pop a Pimple

ExtractorWe love when our readers and customers ask us their burning skin care and beauty questions! While our advice is never intended to replace the advice or professional opinion of a doctor, we are able to dig through our years of beauty experience to bring you great skin care tips and tricks.

Today’s featured question comes from Adrielle on Facebook. Adrielle asks, “Do those pimple popping tools really help us non-doctors safely?” We love this question because – let’s face it – everyone tries to pop their pimples, and sadly it can cause a lot of damage! Here are our thoughts on safely and effectively dealing with breakouts.

First off, if you’re unfamiliar with the “pimple popping tools” that Adrielle references, check out our post’s photo. You’ll see a small wand with two cup-shaped ends. This is a blackhead extractor. There are similar styles with loops instead of cups that are often used on whiteheads. These tools can be used safely and easily, but there is still a better way to treat acne breakouts that doesn’t require spending money on excess tools.

Rule number one of how to pop a pimple is to…NOT pop it! I know, not what you wanted to hear, right? The truth is, most pimples heal faster and better if you leave them alone. Shatter your magnifying mirror and get lower lighting if you have to; just ignore 99% of your pimples or use a basic clarifying product like our Clarifying Face Toner.

When it comes to that one pimple that you just have to pop (we all know the type) there are some basic skin care tricks you should follow to safely pop the pimple without damaging your skin. These steps should only be used in case of a pimple emergency — we’re talking the painful, inflamed whitehead that is threatening to become sentient.

  1. Wash your face in a very warm shower, and keep the bathroom door closed. This is to make the room super steamy, which helps the skin to “open up” and become extra supple.
  2. Dab a very small amount of tea tree oil onto the pimple to help kill surface bacteria.
  3. Rip a tissue in half (or use toilet paper) and wrap both your index fingers in the paper.
  4. Place both index fingers on either side of the pimple; not at the head of the pimple, but to the sides of it.
  5. Gently press your fingertips down and in toward the pimple. If it’s ready, the pimple should pop easily. If the pimple does not pop easily, leave it alone for a day or so! Don’t keep pressing.
  6. Release the pus but stop before you see blood. Drawing blood means you’re damaging the skin, and it will also cause an unsightly scab!
  7. Toss the tissue or toilet paper and walk away.

This process is best done at night in order to allow you to leave the newly popped pimple alone. Applying skin care products and makeup over a freshly popped pimple can seriously irritate skin and introduce bacteria into the wound, which can lead to an infection. If you must, you can apply another light layer of tea tree to the area a little while after dealing with the acne breakout. Some people prefer to apply a healing ointment instead to speed the process along.

Hopefully these acne tips will make your next pimple popping process a little easier and more effective. But remember, if you can help it, it’s always best to let the skin heal itself!