Skin Care Sunday: What’s the Deal with Oily Skin?

I feel like the past few weeks this weather has just been playing tricks on Philadelphia- a few warm days to get us excited for the end of winter, and then BAM! More freezing cold. Are you as sick of it as I am? Because I’m kind of done with this cold weather.

So last week I took some time to introduce your skin to you. If you missed the post, you can check it out HERE. Obviously, it was just a brief overview, because there’s more to skin than just it’s layers! For example, there’s oily skin, dry skin, acne etc. So let’s take a second to talk oily skin.

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if your skin shines brighter than this bubble…. you probably have oily skin, or a WHOLE LOT of highlighter on!!

If you have it, you probably hate it- it makes your skin shine like a disco ball, and all that excess oily that your skin insists on producing can lead to black heads and break outs. There’s not really a clean and cut explanation for WHY some people have oily skin, while others don’t. But the how is easy to answer- your sebaceous glands are going waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy overboard in their job. For some people, they go through a “oily phase” right around puberty (oily teenager, any one?) but then they manage to pull out of it and the oil production regulates (and we stare at them with envy). For other people, the oily sheen pops up around their period, and then goes away for a few weeks (that’s right ladies- you get extra SPECIAL oily skin!). And yet still others only really seem to get oily skin in hot weather- this one is pretty normal, and results from sauna-like temperatures opening up your pores and getting the detox on!

Personally, I go from having bone dry skin through the winter to having skin like an Exxon-Valdez oil slick in the summer. It’s an experience. The result is that I’ve learned that when it comes to oily skin, you do have to be a little careful with how you handle it.

Firstly, put down that astringent toner formulated for acne-ridden teenagers. While it’s tempting to force your skin into being oil-free, you may end up doing more harm than good if you go too hard. Completely ridding your skin of oil with excessive washing or toning can lead to you skin creating even more oil- because here your skin was, doing it’s job, and then suddenly all the oil went away. There’s only one logical course of action for your skin- MORE OIL!!!!!!

Instead of harsh cleanser, try a gentle cleanser with few bubbles, and cleanse your skin twice a day to help keep the oil under control. Another option is to try oil-cleansing, which sounds counter intuitive, but can actually help to deeply cleanse oily skin without adding more oil. You can Google how to do it. I would recommend using an oil that’s pretty high in linoleic acid, like castor oil, grape seed oil or safflower oil- while these oils do have a really heavy “greasy” feel to them, you’ll be wiping them off your face once you’re done, taking away the oil you put on, and the excess oil your skin doesn’t need!

Secondly, your skin is already naturally moisturizing itself, so you won’t really need to use heavy creams with cocoa butter or shea butter, but a little lotion can go a long way, if it has the right oils in it! For oily skin, look for products that have “dry” oils (or oils that absorb quickly without leaving a protective film). These oils not only add a little extra moisturization, but also tend to have very mild astringent properties, so that they trick your skin into thinking its already produced enough oil and can take a break! I suggest looking for products that have lots of hemp seed oil (OMG it’s SUCH a pretty green color!!!!), hazelnut oil, black seed oil, rose hip seed oil, evening primrose oil, pumpkin seed oil and sesame seed oil.

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Fresh aloe is super awesome for oily skin!!!

A little hydration, wouldn’t go amiss in your skincare routine either! Look for oil free moisturizers (often marketed as gels) to add to your regime. Fresh aloe in particular is great for oily skin, as it is cooling, calming, and mildly astringent- it won’t over dry your skin , but it will gently slow down the oil production! It’s especially awesome in the summer if you freeze it in an ice cube tray and rub a cube over your face after you’ve washed it- very refreshing!!

With all of this talk about how to calm oil production, and have just a little less shine, now might be a good time to point out something absolutely awesome about oily skin- it doesn’t age! I mean, obviously it literally DOES age… but it takes a muuuuuuuuuch longer time for things like wrinkles and fine lines to start showing up on oily skin!! So the next time you look in the mirror and think “ugh, so oily today!” take a second and remember how much money you won’t be spending on anti-aging products!! ūüôā

What are your favorite things to do for oily skin?

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WTF is…Sugar?!

Oh man, here it is. The big one. The greatest thing or the greatest evil depending on who you ask. Love it or hate it, the fact is we can’t live without sugar in some way, shape or form. There’s a lot of ground to cover here but don’t worry. For you we’ll keep it short and sweet.

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Every modern child’s dream. Every modern adult’s nightmare. Image via en.wikipedia.org.

So let us start with origins. Sugar has been produced in India since ancient times, and we’re talking REALLY ancient. Like 8th century Chinese manuscripts BC ancient. For a while sugar wasn’t really a big deal. People chewed raw sugarcane to get their sweet fix. It wasn’t until the Indian people discovered methods of turning sugarcane juice into granulated crystals that it really took off. Fun fact: in the local Indian language the crystals were called khanda, which is the source of the word candy.

Now when it comes to sugar in terms of health things get a bit…complicated. To summarize just about everything from both sides of the fence: sugar is kind of good for you and kind of bad for you. Unfortunately modern science is unable to determine sugars effect on the human body since they don’t have a large enough population to run the appropriate tests. Essentially since EVERYONE eats sugar in some way, shape or form we can’t get a definite measure of how it effects the human body when ingested.

Fortunately for us, and you, we DO know it’s effects when applied topically! Sugar is primarily used on our skin as an exfoliant. The nature of the sugar granules make it ideal for scrubbing off layers of dead skin. It is also a humectant and draws moisture into the skin from the air.

We here at The Raw Spa  offer a unique alternative to conventional sugar scrubs that come in jars. For our sugar scrubs come in bars! Namely our Spice Merchant exfoliating sugar bars not only smell great but can be applied with a little water to provide a gentle but deeply exfoliating experience.

Speaking of merchants, if you’d like to try some of our products, come visit us on our store page here!

We’ve also got a patreon! If you become a patron not only will you get monthly product, but you’ll also sleep easy knowing that you’re helping two young adults maintain their coffee induced insomnia. Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

WTF is…Goats Milk?!

On the big long list of things we rub on our skin to make it happy, goats milk is one of the more straightforward¬†ones. I mean, just because it’s sharp doesn’t mean we have to use it as an exfoliant. Oh I’m sorry was that too cheesy for your liking? Alright I’ll stop kidding around. Let’s talk about why goat’s milk is so *bleat*ing good for you.

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Could this goat get any glassier? Eh? Okay I’m done. Photo via sammysmilk.com

Question: How does traditional bar soap clean the body?

Answer: Without getting too technical, the chemicals that are typically used in bars of soap induce an extremely mild chemical burn to cleanse away all the dirt and grime (this is why soap stings when you get it in your eyes). In terms of cleanliness it is great! In terms of hygiene, it is absolute overkill. It’s like mowing your lawn with a flame thrower. Sure you’ll get the job done but in the end you’re left with a dry, barren and damaged surface.

Enter goats milk, the hypothetical lawn mower. Instead of burning off the top layer of skin, goats milk uses it’s alpha hydroxy acid to remove only the dead skin cells when applied topically. It also uses it’s vitamin A content to help repair damaged skin tissue. We could go on about the other bazillion ways goats milk is good for you, like how it is anti inflammatory, ¬†a great source of essential minerals for your skin, yadda yadda yadda but let’s skip to the part where I show you where you can get some!

You’ll find goats milk all through our Cleopatra¬†products from the Jewel of the Nile line! The bars and bath confections are all packed with goats milk, to leave your skin happy and healthy!

If that sounds like something you’d like to have, check out our store page here!

We’ve also got a Patreon! Help keep us happy and healthy (and caffeinated) by becoming a Patron here!

 

 

 

 

WTF is…Coffee?!

Look, let’s just lay it out on the table. The Raw Spa consists of two twenty-somethings who work hard everyday. We. Freaking. Love. Coffee. Look at the first goal of our Patreon and you’ll see just how much we love¬†coffee. But in addition to downing a good old cup of joe, we like putting it in our products. No, we’re not THAT coffee crazy, but you may find the health benefits of coffee to be rather stimulating.

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What coffee is like to people who don’t drink it. Image via wikipedia.org

But first some fun facts. Just under half of the worlds supply of coffee comes from Brazil alone. Now those who REALLY know their coffee know that while Brazil’s coffee is tasty, it doesn’t have quite the punch that African coffee has. That’s because the strain of coffee plant that is exported from Africa has about 40-50% more of that special little chemical we know and love. That’s right! Caffeine!

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What coffee is like to people who DO drink it. Image via Sylvan Migdal.

Anyone who’s ever drank coffee, a coke, or any of the hundreds of energy drinks out there can attest to how caffeine affects the body when ingested. But what about topical application? You might ask if your skin will jump off and run away in a fit of frenzied over exuberance. To which we would reply: No, that’s just silly.

But products that have caffeine do serve as a stimulant and when applied to skin can increase blood circulation as well as reduce swelling and inflammation. Coffee grounds are also rough enough that they can be used as an ingredient in your daily exfoliant.

Now remember when I said we love coffee here at The Raw Spa? Well we love you more, and to prove it we sacrifice our beloved coffee to be added to products like Charlie Tango and Libertine from the Erotica Sensualis line so that your skin can have the stimulation and care it deserves! You can find all of our caffeinated products HERE!

Hey you! Do you like our blogs? If so you’ll love our¬†Patreon!¬†Check us out, we’ve got lots of stretch goals and fantastic rewards for contributers!

Feel free to check out our store here for all the products we mentioned and so much more!

 

WTF is…Coconut Oil?!

Let’s face facts: coconuts are useful. The meat inside the shell is tasty and nutritious, its¬†husk and shells when burned and activated are extremely effective as a carbon filter, and in a pinch it can make an exotic fashion item. The oil derived from its meat is also super good for your skin in just about every way.

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Edible, drinkable, wearable, topical? Perfection. Image via dailynexus.com

 

Just to give you a little background, the origin of coconuts is a subject of much debate but nowadays most of them come from Philippines. Coconuts are woven deep into their economy and culture, with just about every part of the coconut and even parts of the tree being used in some capacity. They even have the Coconut Palace in Manila, a building made almost entirely of coconut as well as some other local materials. Talk about being coo coo for coconuts!

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So many! It’s coconuts! Image via wikipedia.org.

Now when it comes to coconut oil it’s just about as useful as the coconut itself. It’s been used in cooking, as biodiesel, as a repellent for sand fleas and, of course, skin care. As a skin care agent, it’s a great moisturizer for all types of skin. It can even help reduce protein loss when used in hair!

We here in The Raw Spa use coconut oil in our lotions and cream soaps¬†for it’s skin soothing properties. It works well with cucumber in the Egyptian Cucumber Hydration Creme¬†and with cocoa butter in the Oasis Body Butter¬†to give you a powerful and most importantly, natural moisturization. Good news! You¬†can check out our selection of coconut containing products HERE!

Check out our store here¬†for all our other stuff! Exfoliation, moisturization, we’ve got it all!

You can also check out our Patreon here where we have some awesome rewards for our contributers and even better rewards for the planet when we hit certain stretch goals! We’re aiming to be the greenest company in the planet so what are you waiting for? ¬† ¬† Drop on by and support us on Patreon!

WTF is…Pearl?!

In keeping with the theme of small shiny things that people go nuts over, this week we’ll be taking a peek at pearls! Pearls are synonymous with purity and radiance but did you know that it’s also good for your skin? Now before you go and break out grandma’s jewelry, there are a few things you should know. So let’s dive in!

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The most familiar usage of pearls. Image via wikipedia.org

 

Naturally occurring pearls are extremely rare. No two ways about it. But the majority of pearls found on the market are either imitation, cultured or farmed from pearl oysters. Cultured pearls are made by implanting a tiny spherical bead into the shell of an oyster, forcing it to coat the irritant in nacre and make a pearl.

What is narce you ask? Take any clam shell souvenir and look at the inside. If in addition to being smooth it is also iridescent then you are looking at narce. Also called mother of pearl, narce is a calcium carbonate coating that mollusks produce to protect themselves¬†from irritants. On the inside of the shell the narce protects the soft interior from the roughness of the shell. And as we’ve discussed, if a bit of sand or anything gets in there…jackpot!

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Imagine opening hundreds of clams and finally finding THIS. Image via ice-epilepsy.org

Now cosmetically pearl powder has been in play for hundreds of years, and still is today. Usually made from pearls that are below jewelry grade, pearl powder is used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve the appearance of skin, as an anti-inflammatory and a detoxification agent. Ancient Chinese empress Wu Ze Tian used pearl powder on her skin AND internally, and was famed for her beauty and childlike skin.

We here at The Raw Spa have taken a leaf out of the book of traditional Chinese medicine and use pearl powder in Whips&Kisses¬†from the Erotica Sensualis¬†line to utilize it’s famed skin softening properties. You can find all of our radiant, pearl-packed products HERE!

Hey gang if you like out blogs you should consider supporting us on¬†Patreon!¬†We’ve got all sorts of great rewards for our contributers plus environmentally friendly stretch goals!

Check out our store here¬†for all the products we’ve mentioned and more!¬†

WTF is… Marshmallow Root?!

Before you say anything, no you have not stepped into candy land. There are no gumball¬†trees or lollipop bushes. The world is not like that scene in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. ¬†I know, I know, my dreams are crushed too. But don’t get too down. It may not be what it says on the tin but marshmallow root is actually a pretty sweet plant.

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Why aren’t you candy?! WHY?! Image via en.wikipedia.org

Let’s just get this out of the way first. Yes, marshmallows can, and in some places still do, come from marshmallow root. In fact the use of the marshmallow plant, also known Althaea, to create sweet dates goes as far back as ancient Egypt. But the marshmallow plants use in sweets is not it’s claim to fame. Marshmallow root has been used throughout history as a medicine. It’s even in the name of it’s genus, Althaea, which comes from the Greek word “to heal”.

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Does look like an age old healing agent, amirite? Image via en.wikipedia.org

Medicinally marshmallow root has been used as¬†an anti-inflammatory as well as a herbal remedy for respiratory problems. It’s medicinal properties come from a substance in it’s roots and leaves called mucilage. When mixed with water it forms a slick gel that is used for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.

We here at The Raw Spa try to take advantage of this age old medicine in our Aftercare bath cupcakes, bath salts and exfoliant bars from the Erotica Sensualis line. Utilizing other naturally soothing ingredients such as mango butter, and oats, our product will care for you skin with sweet and loving tenderness.

You can find all of the products with  marshmallow root HERE!

Hey guys and gals! If you like our posts, our products or just like us in general you should support The Raw Spa on Patreon here!

Feel free to check out our store here!

Keep your eyes peeled for the flash sale coming later this week!