Category Archives: Raw Philosophy

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.

New Year, New You Skin Care Tips: Natural Ingredients

Source: flickr.com user MD Anderson

Source: flickr.com user MD Anderson

Today’s post is the fourth in our New Year, New You Skin Care Tips series! If you missed the first three, be sure to go back and check them out: Cleansing, Moisturizing, and Eye Skin Care.

At Raw Essentials, we believe the foundation of cleansing, moisturizing, and eye care is the only way to care for your skin. If you’re implementing these three basics, as well as protecting with an SPF, your skin should be healthful and beautiful. It’s as simple as that!

That’s why this week’s New Year, New You skin care tip isn’t about a particular product type; it’s about why using natural skin care is so important. Raw Essentials promises to use natural ingredients whenever possible, and to never use the “yucky stuff” – ingredients which are cheap to use, but wreak havoc on the skin.

Why is it so important to us to remain natural? It’s as simple as this: why would you want to nourish your skin, and therefore your body, with anything other that natural, real ingredients? Beautiful skin is healthy skin, and the only way to truly achieve healthy skin is by nourishing it.

On top of using natural ingredients, we also strive to use many raw skin care ingredients in our products. This means that the ingredients remain alive and active, allowing them to impart the greatest number of benefits to your skin. From skin care antioxidants to vitamins and minerals, your skin will be wrapped in health thanks to our raw ingredients.

Now, many people read our ingredients lists (which are all available on the site) and become spooked by words that seem unnatural. The fact is, Raw Essentials often uses naturally-derived ingredients that may sound odd to you. When an ingredient is naturally-derived, it comes from a completely natural source, but the result may have a name that sounds chemical or simply unfamiliar.

At Raw Essentials, we constantly strive to provide the purest, most natural raw beauty products possible. We truly believe this is the best way to achieve healthy, beautiful skin, and we hope that you see those results!

If you haven’t been able to try Raw Essentials yet, now is the perfect time! You have until the end of January to use code NEWYOU at checkout to receive $10 off any $60+ order, plus free shipping within the US. It’s the perfect way to try out a few Raw products at a discount, or stock up on your favorites!

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

This post is the third in our New Year, New You skin care tips series! If you missed the first two, be sure to go back and read up on Cleansing and Moisturizing to make sure you’re building your new year skin care regimen from the ground up.

When was the last time you used an eye cream or eye serum? Chances are, you had to think about that for a minute — most people don’t use an eye care product every day, and many people don’t use one at all!

You may feel that your face cream is enough, but did you know that you could actually be damaging your eye area by using a face cream in lieu of a real eye product? Face creams contain ingredients that may be perfect for the rest of your face, but may be way too harsh or active for the delicate eye area.

You see, the skin around the eyes is like thin tissue paper. It is delicate, fragile, and prone to damage. Once damaged, the eye area can begin to become overly dry and exhibit premature signs of aging. These signs include fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, bags, and puffiness.

However, with a good eye skin care product, you can both treat and prevent these signs of aging! Used early enough (before signs of aging really start to show), eye care products can keep the eye area moisturized and protected against the damage that would lead to signs of aging, thereby allowing the eye area to maintain its youthful appearance. Used after signs of aging appear, eye care products can turn back the hands of time by repairing skin and diminishing fine lines, wrinkles, darkness, and puffiness.

No matter when you start using an eye care product, it will help to prevent future damage from occurring. A day cream, like our All Day Eye Cream, is perfect for shielding against environmental aggressors, sun damage, water loss, and more. A good night eye product, like our Night Time Age Defying Eye Serum, will help to heal any damage that managed to bully its way past your eye cream while strengthening the skin from the inside out. Used together, you have a powerful duo that will truly help to keep your eye area looking bright and youthful.

As always, our Raw Essentials eye skin care products use only the best ingredients, including natural extracts, oils, and more. Being paraben-free means they won’t cause damage to your body, and the certified raw formulation helps you know that you’re truly nourishing and supporting your skin.

Now you know: if you’re not already caring for the eye area, now is the time to start! Don’t let your eyes lose their glow in 2014; use your eye area skin care products daily to maintain your youthful appearance.

Our New Year, New You sale is still going strong! Enter code NEWYOU at checkout to receive $10 off $60+, plus free shipping within the US. Click the photo below to shop now!

New Year, New You with Raw Essentials

The new year is always thought of as a clean slate. Many people resolve to lose weight or quit smoking; others, to find peace and happiness. This year, everyone at Raw Essentials is resolving to truly take care of ourselves, inside and out, and it’s all starting with our skin care regimens!

If you want to join in on Raw Essentials’ New Year, New You plan, make sure to stay tuned to our email newsletters and this blog. Each week in January, we’ll be featuring a different aspect of skin care and how you can steadily build the perfect regimen for your skin.

If you’re not yet signed up for our newsletter, simply enter your email address at the bottom of the Raw Essentials home page. Our newsletter features everything from skin care tips to Raw Essentials sales and deals, so you definitely don’t want to miss out!

You can learn even more about skin care, beauty, sales, and more by following our blog. Simply sign up by entering your email address to the right, under Follow Blog via Email. This is just another way to stay up-to-date with us and never miss a sale or must-have skin care tip!

Celebrate the new year by resolving to care for yourself like never before, and let Raw Essentials help by taking all of the guesswork out of your skin care regimen and product choices. We’ll see you in 2014 with the launch of our New Year, New You series!

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 by Carol Alt

Photo: Brian Killian/Getty Images for Joanna Mastroianni

Photo: Brian Killian/Getty Images for Joanna Mastroianni

You may have heard the name Carol Alt recently, thanks to her new TV show, A Healthy You & Carol Alt. Once a very successful and well-known model, Carol Alt is now known for her work in the skin care industry, and her support for leading a healthy, organic, and raw lifestyle.

Though she campaigned as “The Face” of many cosmetics and skin care lines in the 1980s, Carol found that she was unhappy with the chemical ingredients used in mainstream skin care products. She hoped to find a suitable line formulated with natural ingredients, but couldn’t find one that felt up to her standards. She decided to take matters into her own hands and, along with two business partners, launched Raw Essentials in 2008.

Carol’s goal with Raw Essentials was to provide consumers with products that they could trust. Using 100% raw active ingredients, as well as supporting ingredients sourced from natural and other healthful ingredients, Raw Essentials promises to support healthy function and beauty without causing damage with harsh, harmful chemical ingredients.

On her show, A Healthy You & Carol Alt, Carol works to tackle skin care myths, suggest safe products, review trendy skin care procedures, and talk about overall wellness and longevity. She sheds light on what works, what doesn’t, and what may be harmful to your health. She also features a segment called Ask Carol, where she answers questions that viewers have asked on Twitter and Facebook.

For a sneak peek of Carol’s new show, check out this clip on YouTube about skin care ingredients, or simply watch the clip below. In it, Carol asks an expert for his top 10 skin care ingredients to avoid, and they discuss healthful skin care product alternatives to mainstream brands. Watch the clip to learn more about Raw Essentials and Carol Alt, and be sure to tune in to Carol’s show A Healthy You & Carol Alt on Saturdays at 4pm ET on the Fox News channel.

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.