Category Archives: Skin Care Tips

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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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!

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!

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 Skin Care Tips: Cleansing

Source: flickr.com user Cubosh

Source: flickr.com user Cubosh

To start the new year off right, we’re launching a great New Year, New You blog series! In it, we’ll detail some simple skin care tips designed to help you rejuvenate and revitalize your skin in 2014. Plus, while the series is running (through January 31), you can enter code NEWYOU at checkout to receive $10 off any $60+ purchase, plus qualify for free shipping within the US!

When it comes to skin care advice, the only place to begin is with skin care cleansing. Skin cleansing is the foundation of all good skin care regimens, and how you cleanse can make or break your entire skin care routine!

Skin cleansing should be done with care, and only with properly formulated products. Toss out that old bar of soap or the cheap gel face wash you’ve been using since you were 12, and follow our skin care tips and tricks for cleansing your skin right.

1) Choose a healthy, well-formulated cleanser. Whether your skin is normal, acne-prone, or anything in between, you should always choose a cleanser that’s designed to nourish skin while gently removing excess oil, debris, and makeup. Raw Essentials’ Refreshing Face Wash is an excellent example of this.

With a lightweight gel texture, nourishing botanicals, and a formulation free of yucky SLS, Refreshing Face Wash is the perfect choice for any skin type. It will gently yet thoroughly remove dirt, debris, excess oil, and makeup from the skin in order to leave it primed and ready for further skin care treatment.

2) Decide if you need a toner. Skin care toner formulas are created for skin that needs just a little extra help getting to that pure, “squeaky clean” state. It can be used by any skin type, but it’s especially beneficial for oily skin and acne prone skin types.

Raw Essentials’ Clarifying Face Toner is formulated with hydrators, nourishing natural oils, and botanical extracts to further cleanse the skin and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. This results in a tighter, more youthful appearance.

3) Exfoliate with care. Most people enjoy a good skin exfoliation session, especially if their skin tends to become rough, flaky, or dull-looking. However, too much exfoliation can mess with the skin’s natural oil production, so be sure to exfoliate only once or twice per week.

Our Radiant Face Scrub uses natural bamboo grains to remove dead, dull skin cells, allowing a smoother and more radiant complexion to shine through. The lightly foaming texture of the formulation feels nourishing and soothing to the skin, making it great for most skin types.

If you follow these simple skin care tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving beautiful skin in 2014. Don’t forget to check back in next week for another New Year, New You post, and be sure to use code NEWYOU on all $60+ orders placed in January!

Shop cleansers 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!