Category Archives: Raw Ingredients

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.

Advertisements

New Year, New You Skin Care Tips: Body Skin Care

Source: flickr.com user Spenser Marie

Source: flickr.com user Spenser Marie

Welcome to our final New Year, New You Skin Care Tips post! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how you can perfect your skin care regimen. If you missed the rest of the series, you can still find our posts on Cleansing, Moisturizing, Eye Skin Care, and Natural Ingredients

The last installment in our series is all about body skin care. Lots of people (mainly women) enjoy using body lotion, but most people wouldn’t list body skin care high on their list of priorities. The fact is, the skin of the body is usually lower maintenance that the skin on the face, so people tend to forget or ignore their body.

This is unfortunate for several reasons, the main one being that the body does need to be cared for! It’s still prone to environmental and free radical damage, visible signs of aging, breakouts, skin conditions, and more. Using a daily body skin care regimen can help keep the skin on the body healthy, radiant, and protect against premature signs of aging. 

The good news is that, even a “complete” body care regimen is very simple. Within the Raw Essentials line, we actually think you can care for the body entirely with two simple products. Here’s a look at what they are, what they do, and why you should use them.

Balancing Body Wash
Our Balancing Body Wash is a gentle yet thorough body cleanser formulated without the use of harsh chemical soaps or foaming agents. A sugar-derived blend provides a velvety foaming texture that effortlessly removes excess oils, body odors, debris, and dirt. Our certified raw complex provides and locks in moisture, leaving skin feeling hydrated and soft. The fragrance-free formula promises results without irritation, making Balancing Body Wash a perfect choice for all skin types.

On top of all these great benefits, a blend of natural skin care extracts and oils (tamanu, monoi, and hibiscus) work together to nourish skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, even the skin’s tone, and deeply moisturize. After just one use, this body wash will leave skin feeling softer than ever!

Body Oil
The Raw Essentials Body Oil is simultaneously one of our most misunderstood and most beloved skin care products. Those who haven’t used it imagine a greasy, heavy product that leaves them feeling slimy and anything but beautiful. Those who have used it will never go back to traditional body moisturizers, creams, or lotions. 

Our Body Oil is actually a very lightweight blend of nourishing natural skin care oils that absorb quickly and completely. When applied to slightly damp skin, the oil begins absorbing instantly to seal in hydration and begin nourishing the skin. Once fully absorbed, the skin takes on an incredibly silky texture and radiant appearance that can only be achieved with our special blend of oils.

This blend of skin care oils includes sesame seed, grape seed, avocado, evening primrose, borage seed, tamanu, and coconut oil. These oils are some of the most sought-after oils for skin care and provide an incredible slew of moisturizing and nourishing benefits. 

By using only our fabulous body wash and body moisturizer, you’ll see smoother, softer, and more radiant skin in just two simple daily steps. On top of the easily achieved benefits, you can purchase both of these body products for only $35 — less than what you would pay for just one overpriced body lotion from other skin care lines.

Last but definitely not least, you can still take advantage of our great New Year, New You sale, but HURRY! The sale ends tomorrow, so be sure to place your order today or early tomorrow to claim your savings. Enter code NEWYOU at checkout for $10 off any $60+ order, plus free shipping within the US. Shop Body Products now!

Carol Alt’s Top Five Worst Skin Care Ingredients

Source: flickr.com user Christian Guthier

Source: flickr.com user Christian Guthier

When Carol Alt and Phil Masiello first designed Raw Essentials, their goal was to create skin care products that were truly and genuinely natural. In this A Healthy You & Carol Alt segment, Carol and Phil explain how many “natural” skin care lines may be tricking consumers by formulating their products with harmful chemicals in addition to more natural ingredients. In addition, some certified organic skin care lines may simply be paying for their certification, all the while using harsh chemicals ingredients!

In the clip, Phil and Carol list five of the worst skin care ingredients. These ingredients should be avoided whenever possible, and if you think they’re necessary evils, take note of the natural skin care ingredients that can easily replace the chemicals!

Without further ado, here are Carol Alt’s Top Five Worst Skin Care Ingredients:

Urea – used as a preservative, urea is extremely toxic and has been shown to cause skin irritation and rashes. These side effects can range of mild to extreme depending on the amount used and a person’s sensitivity level. Urea can be easily replaced with a blend of tea tree oil, honeysuckle, salt, and other naturally sourced ingredients.

Parabens – also used as preservatives, skin care parabens are very cheap for skin care manufacturers, and are therefore widely used. However, like urea, parabens are toxic and have been linked to various diseases and ailments, including cancer. Parabens are also easily replaced with the same blend of natural preservatives mentioned above, but are still used due to cost effectiveness.

 

Propylene glycol – derived from petroleum, propylene glycol is a humectant that is known for drying out the skin. It does so by attracting water, both from the air and from the deeper layers of the skin. This results in a complexion that is very dehydrated by the very thing (skin care cream) that is supposed to be hydrating it!

Copolymers – popular in anti-aging skin care, copolymers are whiteners that are supposed to lighten and brighten the skin, including age and sun spots. However, they are very drying and work similarly to propylene glycol, resulting in dehydrated skin. This is especially troublesome for those using anti-aging products, as dehydrated skin is much more likely to show defined lines and wrinkles.

 

Sulfates – sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and sodium lauryl sulfate. No matter how you spell it, these ingredients are some of the worst in skin care. Originally used as an antifreeze, sulfates are excessively stripping to the skin and are known skin and eye irritants. In studies, sulfates were even shown to cause the sort of damage that could lead to partial or full blindness. Sulfates are used only for sudsing action, a superfluous norm in the skin care industry that could be easily achieved with a blend of sugars and coconut fat.

If you’re confused about how some skin care lines can get away with using these products and still advertise as being natural or organic, be sure to watch the skin care ingredient segment featuring Phil and Carol! Phil thoroughly explains the processes of the skin care industry, and what you can do to protect yourself from false advertising.

Raw Essentials: Free of Yucky Stuff

Source: flickr.com user Doug Wheller

Source: flickr.com user Doug Wheller

At Raw Essentials, we are dedicated to formulating skin care products that only do good for your skin. We aim for products that are free of harmful ingredients or chemical additives that do nothing beneficial for your skin’s health. That’s why we ensure that each and every product contains 100% raw active ingredients, and will never contain (said simply) any “yucky stuff.”

What counts as yucky stuff? To us, it’s anything that mainstream skin care companies use as fillers or cheap substitutes for healthful ingredients, as well as ingredients that may harm the skin. Many common skin care ingredients used in mainstream products are known as GRAS to the FDA – generally recognized as safe. However, this does not mean that those ingredients are healthful, and it doesn’t even mean that they’re guaranteed to work without damaging the skin. More on that in a minute.

To give you an idea of the so-called yucky stuff that we never, ever use, here’s a quick rundown of commonly used skin care ingredients and why we don’t think they belong in skin care products.

Petroleum
Petroleum, also known as petroleum jelly, petrolatum, or soft paraffin, is often used in skin care to prevent moisture loss. Because of its texture, it can make dry skin feel like it’s being heavily moisturized, when in reality the petroleum is just acting as an extra layer on top of the skin.

In addition, petroleum actually repels water, which means it will keep environmental hydration from reaching and benefitting the skin, which may actually worsen dehydrated skin types. It also locks in bacteria, which can worsen acne and other bacterial skin conditions.

Finally, there has been some concern over whether or not petroleum can be carcinogenic. Unrefined petrolatum (from which petroleum is derived) has been known to be carcinogenic. Most experts state that petroleum taken from a safe source and properly purified will not contain carcinogenic properties; however, this is never a sure thing, and those wishing to err on the side of caution should stay far away from petroleum products.

Sulfates
Most mainstream cleansers contain sulfates or another form of detergent. Sulfates are cleansing agents, typically listed as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium dodecyl sulfate, or sodium laureth sulfate, or just SLS for short. From facial cleansers to shampoos to toothpaste, most products on the beauty aisle contain a sulfate or two.

But, did you know of the dangers that sulfates post? First off, SLS is known to cause damage to the protein formation of eye tissue. In animal studies, SLS penetration is much higher in neonatal and young animals, and shows penetration into the eyes as well as the systemic tissues! It was also discovered that SLS was still present in tissues up to five days after a single drop was administered.

On top of that, SLS is also known to react with other beauty ingredients to form NDELA, a potent carcinogen. As seen above, SLS is already known to be highly absorbed by the body. In its carcinogenic form, it’s just that much more dangerous when absorbed. 

Lastly, SLS is a known skin irritant. In fact, SLS is the laboratory standard used to induce contact dermatitis (sensitivity caused by an external aggressor) in order to test products designed to soothe and heal this skin condition. It has been shown to damage skin barrier function, enhance allergic responses, damage and alter skin cells, cause skin roughness, and more.

These reasons and more have led a complete ban of SLS in Europe. In the U.S., though, it’s still generally recognized as safe. But, as far as Raw Essentials in concerned, it’s not safe enough for use in our products.

Artificial Colors and Fragrances
Humans like things that look and smell nice. The natural scent of flowers, the vibrant color of a sunset; these are almost universally loved! That’s why beauty products are so often created to appeal on a sight and scent level before almost anything else.

Unfortunately, many companies rely on artificial colors and fragrances to achieve this goal. It may seem innocent enough, but the fact is that just one artificial fragrance may contain hundreds of chemicals in order to achieve that “fresh” cucumber scent that you love so much.

Fragrances are considered a trade secret, so beauty brands don’t have to spill the beans on which chemical compounds they use to scent their products. Similarly, color combinations do not have to be displayed on the ingredients lists. And that unscented product you use? It may contain masking fragrances to cover up the scent of other chemicals used in the product!

All these chemicals pile up together to form a mess that doesn’t benefit your skin at all, and may even cause a reaction, especially in sensitive skin types. Here’s a quick rundown of just some of the side effects caused by artificial fragrance and/or color:

  • Immune system damage, leading to a person becoming sensitized and experiencing allergic reaction to the offending ingredient with further use
  • Hormone disruption, including fertility issues, caused by phthalates. Phthalates are found in many fragrances, specifically spray perfumes
  • Brain damage caused by neurotoxins, chemicals which are toxic to the brain and are known to be found in some fragrance chemicals
  • Non-phthalate hormone disruption caused by synthetic musks, which are also highly absorbed and even found in the umbilical cord blood of some newborn U.S. infants
  • Skin rashes and swelling caused by artificial dyes
  • Hyperactivity, headaches, mood disorders and more caused by artificial dye absorption

As you can see, these very common ingredients have a very sinister dark side. Just because they’re used by many does not mean that they should be used at all. With Raw Essentials, you can rest assured knowing that your skin care products will never contain these harmful ingredients.

Vitamin C and Your Skin

Source: flickr.com user slipah

Source: flickr.com user slipah

Vitamin C plays an essential role on the overall health of your body. From boosting the immune system to promoting iron absorption and even lowering one’s risk of certain heart disease, vitamin C is a powerful nutrient for the body. But, did you know it’s just as important for skin health and integrity?

In addition to the great benefits mentioned above, vitamin C is also essential to the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein which acts as a glue that binds cells together. It is the most abundant fiber in the body’s connective tissue, and plays a huge role in maintaining the form and strength of the teeth, bones, skin, organs, and cartilage.

When it comes to skin, collagen is responsible for keeping skin firm, resilient, and supple. It is abundant in youthful skin, but deteriorates as we age. This is what causes older skin to wrinkle! A lack of vitamin C can cause premature skin aging, including fine lines and wrinkles, as well as bruising of the skin.

Another way vitamin C works to prevent skin aging is by protecting it with antioxidants. Beneficial for the entire body, antioxidants help prevent cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals can cause a wide range of damage, including the skin damage which leads to more signs of skin aging, as well as skin dullness and overall lack of health.

If you’re concerned about aging skin, vitamin C is the perfect place to start. It is found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, and may also be taken as a supplement. Lastly, vitamin C is found in many skin care products, including anti-aging skin care. By incorporating vitamin C into your diet, daily supplements, and daily skin care routine, you’ll be sure to slow visible signs of aging, and even restore a more youthful tone and texture to skin that has already started exhibiting fine lines and wrinkles.

Why Skin Needs Antioxidants

Source: public domain. Used with permission granted by image owner Ben Mills.

Source: public domain. Used with permission granted by image owner Ben Mills.

The skin care industry is filled with a slew of ingredients from which to choose, from harsh manmade chemicals, to ultra pure and natural skin care ingredients. In the mix of all these ingredients stand skin care antioxidants, one of the simplest, yet most effective, skin care ingredients.

Why are skin antioxidants so important? Here’s a look at why skin needs antioxidants, and how your skin will change for the better when you start using them. First, let’s have a refresher on free radicals.

Any cell in the body can produce a free radical. A free radical is an atom or molecule that is missing an electron in its outer shell. This causes the atom or molecule to attack healthy cells in order to steal an electron to heal itself.

While a skin free radical is rocketing around, it is able to cause oxidative damage to the skin, which then causes biological aging. For example, a free radical will cause our skin’s natural oils to become rancid, which breaks down collagen, a protein responsible for the youthful tone and texture of young and healthy skin.

Free radicals have actually been linked to everything from premature signs of skin aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, as well as more sinister things like skin cancer. Free radicals are caused by a multitude of what we call aggressors — anything in one’s environment capable of damaging the body’s atoms or molecules, including cigarette smoke, sun damage, pollution, and more.

So, how do we stop this awful damage? The answer is simple and beautiful: skin care antioxidants! Antioxidants include vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Antioxidants are able to slow and even prevent the oxidation of other molecules by neutralizing free radicals. In this way, antioxidants can actually heal and prevent visible signs of aging and damage!

Antioxidants applied topically will directly treat free radicals within the skin. Within days or weeks of using an antioxidant-rich skin care product, you’ll notice increased firmness and radiance, and minimized fine lines, wrinkles, and even skin discoloration!

Another way you can treat skin free radicals is by eating a diet rich in dietary antioxidants. Many foods and supplements contain antioxidants; the best way to get your daily dose of antioxidants is by eating a diet rich in colorful veggies. The more colors, the more unique antioxidants to use within your body to stop all free radicals, in the skin and elsewhere.

As you can see, antioxidants are one of the most versatile fighters available to our skin as well as the rest of your body. So, be sure to consume your antioxidants and use an antioxidant-rich skin care program like Raw Essentials!

Raw Skin Care

Source: flickr.com user Cuba Gallery

Source: flickr.com user Cuba Gallery

Did you know that mainstream skin care products often contain a slew of harsh chemicals, fillers, preservatives, and even ingredients that are banned in other countries? The truth is that subpar skin care can do a lot worse than fail to deliver great results; it can harm your skin and your body. The body absorbs up to 60% of what you apply to your skin; if your skin care contains dangerous ingredients, you could be risking so much more than the appearance of your skin.

At Raw Essentials, we believe that skin care should promote overall health as well as beauty. One of the ways we strive to create healthier skin is by using raw active ingredients. Why Raw? As defined in the dictionary, raw means, “unadulterated; in its natural state; alive”. What could be more health-promoting than nourishing ingredients delivered to your skin in their natural, alive state?

In order to maintain an ingredient’s raw state, it must never be heated above 115°. Raw Essentials’ products are not “cooked” in the same way that mainstream products are; instead, they’re carefully formulated and even packaged to never reach a temperature above 115°. This means that the ingredients retain every natural vitamin, nutrient, mineral, and skin care antioxidant, which are then able to heal, nourish, and protect your skin.

In addition to healthy raw skin care ingredients, Raw Essentials never uses sulfates, petroleum, synthetic preservatives, detergents, GMOs, or artificial colors and fragrances. This ensures safe, gentle use, even for sensitive skin types!

To sum up what we believe at Raw Essentials, here’s a look at the company practices we’ve promised to follow to ensure the best products for our customers:

1. We use 100% raw active ingredients.
2. We use ingredients that are as close to their unadulterated, alive state as possible.
3. We never use chemicals or synthetic ingredients.
4. We use a 100% natural preservative systems and will never use parabens.
5. Our products are cruelty free.
Do you have questions or comments about the Raw Essentials philosophy? Let us know in the comments section!