This blog post really doesn’t need much of an introduction – we all know that while sugar makes our daily lives better in so many ways by satisfying our taste buds and sweet teeth cravings, it is bad for us. We’ve been lectured from an early age on how bad it is for our teeth, mainly – but did you know that it suppresses our immune systems, degrades our skin’s health, and even fuels cancer cells?
1: It is key to start actively avoiding sugar by paying attention to nutrition labels, because while you will definitely be lowering your intake, you are still undoubtedly getting more than you realize. Sugar is literally in everything. It’s in processed breads, it’s in sauces (have you ever looked at the sugar content of a bottle of fish sauce at your favorite Pho restaurant?!), salad dressing, practically every soft drink in the grocery store, and it’s in those so-called “healthy” granola bars (yes, even Nature Valley).
2: Dental work is expensive. Believe me – I’ve had more cavities than I care to say, and they’re already becoming problematic. Sugar is so damaging to our teeth that it can begin to deteriorate them within twenty minutes! What exactly is it doing? Dissolving enamel. Which you cannot rebuild. Rule of thumb: definitely, definitely brush or even floss during the day if you are snacking on sugary treats. The longer the sugar sits on your teeth, the greater your chances are of cavities and other problems. Yikes.
3: Energy spikes…. and crashes. We all know the feeling: that absolute high when you’ve just consumed a Frappuccino (did you know there are 86 grams of sugar in a Venti Green Tea Frappuccino – without whipped cream?!) and you are feelin’ good. But sugar is empty energy – it lacks real nutrition and anything that’s valuable, long-term, for the body, so while our body processes it initially we feel high on life but as soon as it’s passed we crash. This is not a sustainable pattern for a healthy, productive work day – let alone life – so it’s best to go for long-term energy sustaining foods like veggies, beans n’ rice, or anything with healthy grains.
4: “Inflammation.” This is a bit of a buzz word in the health world right now – simply because everyone is discovering that inflammation can cause many, many problems. It’s a very general term for a wide range of issues. According to an article by Dr. Weil, “whole-body inflammation refers to chronic, imperceptible, low-level inflammation. Mounting evidence suggests that over time this kind of inflammation sets the foundation for many serious, age-related diseases including heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.” Sugar promotes inflammation in our bodies.
5. High blood sugar fuels cancer cell growth. This is a scary statement, but in a study outlined in this article, mice were injected with a strain of breast cancer and then were fed diets to lead to either high or low blood sugar. The higher the blood sugar, the lower the survival rate, which “suggests that regulating sugar intake is key to slowing breast tumor growth.” While this finding may sound like it is only applicable to those fighting cancer, I find this to be meaningful as it truly suggests that sugar helps our body hurt itself, and speeds that process up.
6: Sugar consumption speeds up our skin’s aging process and leads to wrinkles and fine lines. Prevention.com offers this helpful explanation of how exactly this works: “At blame is a natural process that’s known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products…The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop…Most vulnerable to damage: collagen and elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic.” Our skincare products are all about promoting the health and strength of these two protein fibers, and yet here is one invisible way that they are attacked on the daily! Collagen becomes dry and brittle when damaged, causing wrinkles and fine lines.
What’s your philosophy on sugar intake? In moderation, or not at all?
We’re always working to think of new ways that our all-natural, nontoxic skincare can be used and enjoyed by more people across the beauty, skincare and wellness industries, from new spa services to Red Carpet makeup sessions. We’ve teamed up with Tenoverten, a stylish and beautifully modern/simplistic manicure & pedicure salon in New York City to create the first ever Tata Harper Manicure and Pedicure, a luxurious treatment using three of our skincare products to nourish, hydrate and polish the skin.
So, here’s how it works. You stroll into Tenoverten’s peaceful, pretty place and pick out whichever color you want for your nails – and, because they are awesome, they carry a wide variety of 5-free and 3-free nail polishes, so you can have as nontoxic an experience as possible. Our Professional Tata Harper products are laid out: the Regenerating Cleanser, the Resurfacing Mask, and the Body Oil. The fact that they’re “professional” matters because that means their formulas are super-boosted to deliver results with just one use, so they cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize on the double.
Your manicurist or pedicurist does the normal stuff to prep your nails, like getting rid of dead skin, softening the nails, tending to cuticles, shaping, etc – and then your hands / feet are thoroughly cleansed with the Regenerating Cleanser. The little microspherical Apricot Seed Powder beads sough away dead skin while essential oils penetrate to cleanse with antiseptic and antibacterial properties (soooo essential after all that NYC environmental pollution exposure). Next, our Resurfacing Mask is applied with a fan brush – it feels cool and refreshing on the skin and you can immediately feel the deep cleansing enzyme action. Hands and feet are wrapped up in a plastic wrap so the Mask can do its work and deliver ultra hydration while revealing your skin’s natural, fresh glow, and then it’s on to the Body Oil – once the Mask is washed off with a warm towel, the heavenly massage begins, with hot stones to soothe tired muscles.
Once your arms, hands, legs and feet are totally hydrated, softened and thoroughly relaxed after a solid ten-minute massage, the painting begins – and from there, you pretty much know the drill.
The treatment is positively lovely, and the salon’s experts are slow, patient and thorough, so you leave feeling like you have the hands and feet of a princess. Need we say more?
We’re thrilled that Nontoxic treatments are gaining in popularity and thus prevalence, so we can all look and feel our best without sacrificing health or compromising on results. Thanks so much to Tenoverten for joining us in this mission and for bringing this gorgeous service to NYC!
The Tata Harper All Natural Manicure is 45 minutes and $50, while the Tata Harper All Natural Pedicure is 60 minutes (of bliss) for at $75. Book an appointment by visiting tenoverten.com, or by emailing email@example.com !
We all know what I’m talking about: that dewy, fresh complexion that looks a little bit plump and actually is, literally, glowing. What IS this luminosity?! How can we all achieve it?! While it can seem like this glowy-effect is reserved in life for those that grace red carpets, magazine covers or our Pinterest boards, it’s actually the visible effect of a healthy moisture balance, and in this post I’ll explain specifically how it works – and how you can have it for your own.
When we take a look at each other’s skin, or our own, there are lots of factors that are affecting the way it looks to the eye: the light conditions at the moment, the quality and tone of that light, makeup, actual skin tone, and the smoothness of the surface of the skin. 2 things that directly affect the way our skin looks is 1) the presence of dead skin cells, and 2) the hydration factor. Happily, these are both things we can control!
What we want is skin that reflects light, not that scatters it. A complexion covered in a layer of dead skin scatters light rays, and looks dull to the eye. Skin that has been cleared of dead skin (exfoliated) and has been properly moisturized actually reflects light more easily and appears more translucent. It actually does glow. Plus, skin that has an intact moisture barrier has cells that are lined up evenly, allowing light to reflect. Plus, that rosy tint is brought to the skin because the blood vessels are more visible beneath the epidermal layer.
That may all sound like a bunch of complicated skin jargon, but it makes sense – skin that’s clean of deadness has new, fresh cells exposed to the world, and when they are in the proper alignment, they allow light to reach further into the skin and be reflected all the more. So it’s not all about layering on the bronzer: exfoliate away dead skin cells daily (Tata’s daily ritual is to do this AM & PM with our Regenerating Cleanser, and she does a more intense treatment once a week with our Resurfacing mask) and do everything you can to ensure your skin is properly hydrated – and you’ll be radiant.
May we make a few suggestions for prime moisturizing habits? For one, “cocktailing” our Hydrating Floral Essence and one of our Moisturizers (Repairative or Rebuilding, whichever one you’re more fond of) in your hand and then applying together will help guarantee that all of the rich and hydrating humectant ingredients and olesomes penetrate to the deeper layer of your skin, where your natural hydration production happens. The natural Hyaluronic Acid in our Floral is biocompatible: it’s low molecular weight means it can get down into the deep dermis and can balance and stimulate your own HA production, which = moisturized skin all day long.
Other ideas: Keep your skin hydrated from the inside out by drinking lots of water all day, and try to squeeze some fresh lemon juice in there once in a while. Take extra care to keep skin hydrated during winter months, and load up the hydration during the night time – your skin will eat it up and glow upon waking!
It’s key to make moisturizing a daily thing: some people with imbalanced or oily skin are worried that lathering moisturizer on their skin will clog pores or contribute to oiliness, when in fact it can really help – as long as you are committed to helping to balance your skin’s own hydration with 100% natural ingredients that work with your skin, not for it. Sometimes our skin needs help finding its balance – that’s where our Hydrating Floral Essence, Moisturizers and Replenishing Nutrient Complex come in. They work to nourish your skin, balance it’s imbalances, and help it find its optimal hydration levels.
What do you do to make your skin glow?
If you pay attention to ingredient lists on your beauty products, like we do, you’ll notice that carmine is an ingredient in our Be Adored lip treatment. We’ve gotten some feedback from customers on the blog, on Facebook and through our website, who are wondering why we chose to go with carmine as our choice of color for our first colored product ever (!), so we thought we’d explain. We don’t want there to be any mistrust of Be Adored – we all really love it and we’ve gotten amazing feedback from most everyone who has tried it!
Here’s the scoop: for a company committed to only using 100% natural and nontoxic ingredients, there are not a whole lot of options out there for ingredients that impart a rich red color. Almost all of the classic as well as new beauty brands use chemical and synthetic ingredients, many of which are derivatives from coal tar and have names like D&C Red 36, and D&C Red 22 Aluminum Lake. Here’s what EWG’s Skin Deep Database explains to us about “Lake” colorants: “In industrial production of colorants, the term “lake” is applied to pigments or dyes that are precipitated with metal salts such as aluminum, calcium, barium, or others. Most lake pigments are synthetically produced from coal tar or petroleum.” They are noted as having potential “organ system toxicity” according to the Database.
So of course, we weren’t going to formulate with synthetic colorants to get a rich red color. So we worked with the options below before choosing carmine:
Iron Oxides: Iron oxides are natural compounds of iron and oxygen. There are many types of iron oxides, and they can come in a variety of different shades. To give you a sense of what the ingredient is in its raw form, rust is an iron oxide. When we were formulating Be Adored, we tried a few options with iron oxides, since they are considered to be safe and are natural and nontoxic. However, we found them to be really drying on our lips, which compromised the hydrating feeling and effect we were going for, so we crossed them off the list. Plus, we weren’t wild about the idea of having rust on our lips!
Vegetable Pigments: We tried the options that suited our particular color need. It produced a balm that was a lovely red color, but when we tried it in our lips, it was practically sheer. The color didn’t translate well upon application, and didn’t give us the visible ruby-red tint we were looking for that would really set Be Adored apart from the others.
We choose to go with Carmine: Carmine, as many of you already know, is an extract taken from the shells of the red cochineal beetle. It’s a 100% natural and nontoxic ingredient, and Skin Deep ranks it as non-toxic with a toxicity score of 1 out of 10. It’s sustainably produced, and is currently the only bright red pigment available to natural cosmetic companies that isn’t derived from synthetics. It’s actually one of the oldest pigments used to color beauty products and is used all over the world. We tried it in our formula, and we immediately loved the color – it was exactly the red that we wanted, and left our lips with the bright, lively tint we were looking for.
Meet Be Adored, Be True and Be Fierce, the newest additions to our 100% natural antiaging skincare line! Lest we forget, lips require antiaging care too, and all too often they’re forgotten in the quest to keep skin healthy and looking young – when in fact they are the thinnest, most delicate skin on our faces. Tata realized she couldn’t find a lip treatment on the market that did it all: plumped and filled the lips while minimizing fine lines, and conditioned, hydrated, nourished and strengthened the skin. So, she put the task to our formulating team, and these three antiaging treatments were born!
These balms are 100% natural & nontoxic – of course – and they’re super concentrated, simply packed with actives. Be True and Be Adored have 17 active ingredients, while Be Fierce has 14. All too often, lip balm formulas are mostly fillers that are cheap and increase the size of the balm x10 without adding much benefit for your skin. We decided to skip the fillers and stick with the actives, so these treatments are compact and perfectly lip-sized, so you won’t get balm everywhere but rather just where you want it.
So, what’s the difference between each one?
Be True and Be Adored are our lip-plumping, volume-enhancing duo; Be True is a sheer balm that leaves your lips glossy, while Be Adored leaves your lips with a healthy raspberry tint that we feel does a great job of enhancing your natural lip color – so it looks great on everyone. They are formulated with advanced lip-plumping technology that actually helps the fat cells of our skin retain more water and hydration, causing them to become plumper and giving the lips a fuller shape and volume. Plus, they contain Spanish Lavender, an extract that is one of the key antiaging ingredients in our Eye Creme and Rejuvenating Serum for its amazing ability to reduce and prevent fine lines. As we age, the skin on our lips becomes thinner and weaker and vertical lip lines form; these treatments are meant to reduce those signs of aging, and revitalize lackluster lips.
Be Fierce is a serious antioxidant treatment that is amazing for preventing environmental aging caused by pollution, toxins, sun damage – etc, all of which cause free radicals to abound, wreaking havoc on the strength and support structures of our skin. Rich antioxidants like Green Tea and Acai oils, this treatment fights that damage and helps prevent signs of aging while doing the stuff all lip treatments should do, including healing chapped lips, hydrating and nourishing with our Herbal Nutrient Complex. This complex is a blend of macerations from ingredients grown on our farm, including calendula, comfrey, lavender and alfalfa.
Learn more about the philosophy and inspiration behind these products – and about the unique personalities we feel these treatments embody (hence the names) by clicking here and heading to the Lip Care area of our new site!!
Learn more about the benefits and technology behind these results-driven formulas here.
We’re already using these treatments every day and are loving them! Which one are you interested in trying, or are you loving already?