RAW THOUGHTS

What’s the Difference Between Moisturizing and Hydrating Anyway?

Hydrating and moisturizing, they’re two in the same, no?

 

No. No no no no no. There’s a difference.

 

We hate to be dramatic, but assuming hydration and moisture are the same thing is a big skincare booboo – albeit a very common one. While both properties are vital in giving skin much-needed nourishment, knowing the difference will help you know which to choose when targeting your skin’s specific needs.

 

So if the two are, in fact, different – what is the distinction between the moisturizing and hydrating descriptors you see on products while walking down the beauty aisle?

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For starters, each serves its own unique purpose for your skin. Hydrators work to alleviate dehydrated skin, while moisturizers help the effects of dry skin. What they both do is make sure the skin is getting all the water it needs to take on dryness and dehydration, premature aging and environmental damage. But the difference is in how they go about the process.

 

Moisturizers: For skin that needs a little help, moisturizers work to lock in moisture and eliminate dryness. Our skin has a natural lipid barrier which defends it from damage and water loss. If you notice your skin feels dry or flaky, then it might not be producing enough lipid cells on its own. Enter moisturizer.

 

Hydrators: Hydrators are usually made up of humectants, whose job is to catch moisture that’s in the air and feed it through the layers of your skin. A humectant can attract water from its surroundings through absorption – they take it from the air and absorb it into the skin, promoting hydration. So if skin is dehydrated, it needs hydration. Dry skin of the other hand, needs moisturization.

 

How to identify which one you need???

 

This is basically about identifying whether your skin is dehydrated or dry – or both.

 

Signs of dry skin are easy to spot. It may feel rough, scaly or flaky – and if this is the case, a good pump of moisturizer (on the regular) goes a long way in restoring smoothness and plumpness.

 

On the other hand, if what you’re dealing with is a generally dull complexion, fine lines, and premature wrinkles – your skin is probably dehydrated. This means its cells are thirsty, so they tend to shrivel up – just like a raisin does in the sun. In this case, a hydrator is key in restoring water levels in the skin.

 

The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Sometimes your skin is suffering from both lack of moisture and hydration – in which case, both moisturizers and hydrators can be used together in an effective way.

 

And remember, no matter what, drinking lots of water is a non-negotiable when it comes to well-hydrated, radiant, glowing skin.

13 Ways to Build a Growth Mindset

Imagine a world where any goal you had was achievable. Imagine a situation where your wildest dreams could come true. Imagine being able to change your life for the better.

 

The truth is, you can do it all – you just need to change your mindset.

 

Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, is behind the ‘growth mindset’ movement. A growth mindset  basically means holding the belief that you can grow; that your potential is unknown and will never be something you can foresee.

 

Essentially, nurturing a growth mindset empowers us to start living the way we want to by eliminating the limitations we put on ourselves.

 

A fixed mindset, on the other hand, is the belief that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are just givens – that we can’t change them in any way. But a growth mindset is the complete opposite – it loves a challenge and believes anything is possible.

 

The best part is, instilling a growth mindset isn’t just an exercise for children. You can cultivate a growth mindset at any point in your life. Here are a few simple ways.

 

 

  • Get to know your imperfections

 

The only way to overcome your weaknesses is to embrace them.

 

 

  • Learn to love challenges

 

If something seems too hard, don’t dismiss it – take it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

 

 

  • Experiment with different ways to learn

 

Everyone learns differently so don’t ever get disheartened – keep trying new techniques.

 

 

  • See every failure as a learning

 

Failure is good. When you make a mistake or don’t achieve a goal, know that it’s a lesson learned.

 

 

  • It’s about the journey

 

Keep your mind on the learning process, not the finish line.

 

 

  • Celebrate your growth

 

Share your progress with others – it’s encouraging and rewarding.

 

 

  • Reward actions, not traits

 

Don’t label yourself or anything as ’smart’ or ‘capable’, label actions like this instead.

 

 

  • Achievement is about hard work

 

Talent alone won’t get you very far, but hard work will.

 

 

  • See the positive in criticism

 

Don’t get defensive if you’re criticised – try to listen and see it as an opportunity to grow.

 

Reflect

Take time to reflect on your growth every day.

 

 

  • Take risks

 

If you’re too embarrassed to take risks in front of others, you’ll get trapped. Make mistakes openly and gain confidence in risk-taking.

 

 

  • Own your attitude

 

Own your growth mindset – acknowledge it, share it, follow it.

 

 

  • Use the word “yet”

 

You haven’t done that… yet.

 

So now, all there’s left to do is grow. Start cultivating your growth mindset and watch your whole perspective start to shift – for the better.

What Is Maqui and Why Should You Know About It?

It may be but small, but the maqui berry packs major nutritious punch.

 

You may have heard of acai, maqui’s older sister. She’s famous for her health benefits and superfood status. You’ve probably seen her name on the menu of many breakfast cafés and in the aisles of health food stores. But believe it or not, little sister maqui has even more antioxidant power – you just don’t know about it yet.

 

With an intensely vibrant purple color, the maqui Berry grows wild in Southern parts of Chile. You’ll find maqui bushes on hillsides, on fields, and on the borders of forests. And because the bushes grow in such abundance, there’s no need for maqui berries to be farmed.

 

What are the top benefits of maqui berry?

 

 

  • Antioxidants

 

If antioxidants had a ranking system, the maqui berry would be number one. An absolute hoarder of antioxidants, the tiny maqui berry has the highest amount of antioxidants of any food or fruit or fruit found in nature! This is because it’s super high in anthocyanin – a compound which is celebrated for its abundance of antioxidant properties. All hail maqui, queen of antioxidants.

 

 

  • It keeps skin young

 

Maqui loves your skin in so many ways, and one of the major benefits is its anti-aging properties. Because it’s so incredibly high in antioxidants, it helps to slow down signs of aging by warding off free radicals in the body. Maqui berry is also incredibly powerful in its ability to regenerate and care for the skin cells – working away at giving you youthful, healthy, radiant skin.

 

 

  • Loves your gut

 

Your gut is a wild jungle of bacteria, viruses and fungi. And while this may sound slightly gross, it’s not. A diverse gut microbe has positive impacts on your brain, heart, immune system and overall health. The plant compounds in maqui berry work to remould your gut microbiota and bulk up the amount of good bacteria – which basically means, it makes your gut happier and healthier.

 

 

  • It boosts metabolism

 

Maqui Berry works to boost your metabolism and refresh your body with more stamina. The berry can help kick-start digestion, which contributes to a more controlled release of energy.

 

 

  • Antibacterial properties

 

Last but certainly not least, the maquiladoras berry has wonderful antibacterial properties to treat and ward off bacterial infections of all kinds. Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory too!

 

Did you know Raw Sugar Living uses Maqui Berry as a main ingredient in many of our products? Check out the collection here.

 

Say Goodbye to Insecurities and Hello to Confidence

Hey, self-confidence called. It said you’ve been neglecting it lately, and to be fair, so have most people.

 

The world we live in does a lot to feed insecurity and starve confidence. The constant comparison on social media and the unattainable standards set by the media, doesn’t allow for much reflection, self-care or affirmation.

 

Although it’s hard to be completely insecurity free, it definitely is possible to work toward reducing those insecurities until they don’t play a significant role in your life.  Just remember, no one was born with great self-confidence. It’s something you spend time and energy on to build up.

 

We want you to realize how incredible you really are, so we’ve found a few great things you can do to ditch your insecurities and boost your self-confidence.

 

 

  • Make a list. Check it twice.

 

Start off by making a list for yourself. Grab a notebook, a pen and take time to write down all of the things you believe are your most positive traits; the things you really like about yourself. Once you’re comfortable with your list of positives, take a breath and write down some of the things you’re insecure about. Ask yourself if that’s the way you truly feel about yourself, or if someone else has made you feel that way. Chances are it’s the latter, and if so – they’re not yours to own. Let go.

 

 

  • Visualize yourself as you want to feel

 

The art of visualization is the practice of conjuring up an image of yourself that you are proud of, of the you who feels the way you want to feel, in your own mind. This works because when we suffer from insecurity and low confidence levels, we have an inaccurately negative perception of ourselves. Visualization of your best self allows you to achieve it sooner.

 

 

  • The art of affirmation

 

An affirmation is something we tell ourself repeatedly to make it stick. Affirmations are well-researched techniques of self-improvement because of their ability to reconstruct our brains. Just like exercise, they boost our happy hormones and encourage our minds to create new clusters of “positive thought” neurons. By thinking and speaking about what you want to achieve, you can predict and control your own future. So go on, don’t be afraid to speak up to yourself.

 

 

  • Invest in self-care

 

There’s nothing selfish about self-care. In fact, it’s the only way to be the best version of yourself for others. Your self-confidence is reliant on a mix of physical, emotional, and social health. It’s hard to feel great about yourself on the inside if you constantly feel tired or sluggish on the outside. Self care is not negotiable – it’s a necessity, so make time for it. Exercise, eat well and sleep well. Take time to do things that make you feel good. It will all pay off.

 

 

  • Step outside your comfort zone

 

The best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. By stepping outside your bubble of comfort, you’ll experience new things, expand your horizons and gain more confidence from each experience. By facing your insecurities head-on, you’ll realize they’re not so scary after all – and that you’re more than capable of tackling them. So remember, self-confidence is like a brick house – it takes a bit of time and energy to build up, but once it’s solid, it can survive even the harshest blows. So start practising these habits and soon enough you’ll have your own house of confidence.

 

What to Pack In Your Vacation Bag

Summer is almost here, and we all know what means: it’s vacay time!

There’s no better feeling than relaxing on a beach lounger with a book, getting sore legs from exploring a new city, or just taking some much-needed time off to get away and hang out with those near and dear.

And no matter how long the trip you’re planning is, whether it’s a four-week European vacay or a three-night coastal getaway, you’ll need to pack a bag.

For lots of people, that’s where the stresses of a vacation start – the packing. There’s a lot to think about when determining what to bring – the type of trip, how long you’ll be there, the weather, and your mode of transport.

Aside from the absolute essentials, like passports, undergarments, clothes, toiletries, chargers and shoes, there are a few items people often forget to pack – but wish they had.

 

A reusable water bottle

You use a reusable water bottle at home, so why not take it on vacay with you? Make sure it’s light to carry, and won’t leak or open easily. This will make sure you stay hydrated, and will save the pennies you’d otherwise spend on buying plastic water bottles.

 

A diffuser

Diffusers have such a rich variety of purposes, but when traveling – they’re especially useful to clean out the air in your new hotel, resort or Airbnb room. They can also assist with jetlag, helping you fall asleep with a few drops of lavender oil.

 

Hand Sanitizer

Hygiene standards can vary from destination to destination, so you may not always have access to soap and water in every situation. That’s where hand sanitizer comes in to save the day – it cleans your hands, no water needed. Raw Sugar’s Hand Sanitizer in Peppermint + Sea Salt is gentle on sands and nourishes them while clearing them of all germs – it won’t irritate or dry out your mitts.

 

A quick-dry towel

Having a quick-dry towel to pack in your carry-on is a clever idea. They’re lightweight, so they won’t weigh down your luggage, and they’ll come in very handy if you find your Airbnb doesn’t have any towels in it. If you’re doing any sort of hiking or outdoor activities, a towel is a must-have.

 

Lip balm

Travelling can really dry out your lips – especially if you’re spending extended amounts of time on the plane.Add increased outdoor activity and time in the sun and wind to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for parched lips. It’s wise to bring along lip balm to keep your lips moisturized and free from chapping. We love Raw Sugar’s Pineapple + Maqui Berry + Coconut Lip Balm for its ultra-soothing, all-natural properties.

 

Emergency Snack

We all know the feeling of being hungry while travelling, but not having immediate access to food. Perhaps because we haven’t converted our money yet, or maybe because we arrive at our destination in the wee hours of the morning. Snacks like protein bars, nuts, and canned foods are good ones because they aren’t perishable and will keep for a while.

 

Body Butter

Nothing kills your vibe on a vacay like dry skin. In super humid, hot or cold environments, a body butter will be your best friend. Lather on a layer of Raw Sugar’s Body Butter in Raw Coconut + Mango every night before bed and after your shower, and you’ll feel silky, smooth and well cared for.

 

Get vacay ready now with Raw Sugar essentials!

Summer Skin Problems You Can Prevent

Summer is right around the corner and you know what that means!  Long days, bare feet, and lots of time spent outdoors. As much as we love having fun in the sun, the summer season also brings new skin problems that we’ve managed to avoid in the winter. You know the new zit that pops up after every beach trip, the heat rash you get from a hot trip in the car, and worst of all, the sunburn. OUCH!

All the major summer skin issues you know and dread can be avoided – you just have to know how.  Here are some ways to prevent harsh summer skin problems.

 

  • Zits and oil

Have you noticed your skin get oilier the summer months? This is because the more you sweat, the more chance you have of getting clogged pores – which can lead to zits The solution? The solution to this is two-fold. First, you want to make sure you’re cleansing your skin – face and body – morning and night, especially after long periods of sun exposure or exercise. But, you don’t want to dry out your skin – because that only causes your skin will pump out more oil to compensate for water loss. Use cleansers free of harsh ingredients, and always, always moisturize.

 

  • Uneven skin tone

If you’re already prone to hyperpigmentation, you’ll know that heat and sunshine tend to make flare ups worse. Why? The sun triggers melanin cells, and the hot weather triggers inflammation. The solution? Wearing sun protection is key. Applying a generous amount of sunscreen daily will minimize hyperpigmentation and the development of sunspots. Supplement your sunscreen by always wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you’re outdoors, and try not to spend very long stretches of time out in the sun.

 

  • Dry skin

It may seem counterintuitive, but lots of people complain of drier skin in the warmer months. A major reason for this is that during summer, we spend a lot more time in air-conditioned rooms – which can strip the skin of its natural moisture, If you enjoy hitting the pool, chlorine can have the same effect. The solution?

Hydration, hydration, hydration. Make sure you’re moisturizing regularly, and if you’re getting dry skin on your body – supplement your lotion with a butter for extra rich nourishment. We love Raw Sugar’s Lemon Sugar Body Butter.

 

  • Heat rash

Because of the heat, your sweat glands can get blocked –leaving you with tiny little itchy bumps that feel like just about the most irritating thing in the world. The solution? Preventing heat rash is all about trying to avoid blocking your glands. Try to wear lighter, looser, more heat-friendly clothing, and try to keep your skin as cool as possible by opting for the shade of a tree over a sun-kissed lawn.

 

  • Sunburn

This one’s easy, but we feel like it can’t be reiterated enough. UVA and UVB rays are extremely damaging to your skin, and in the short term – can leave it red, inflamed and blistered. The solution? SPF at a minimum of 30+ – no ifs, ands or buts about it. Even if it’s not a particularly sunny day, the sun can still get to your skin – so make sure you’re always protected.

 

You can now enjoy your summer in the sun with these great tips and still have amazing skin!  

Going Keto? Here’s What You Need To Know

The keto diet is all the biggest hype right now!

For those that don’t know, the ketogenic diet is a way of eating in a low-carb, high-fat way. Experts on the subject say that ketogenic eating trains your body to use fat as its main fuel source instead of glucose, taking you into a complete fat-burning state called ‘ketosis’. Sounds pretty legit, right?

You could say that living keto isn’t a bad way to live. It means you can have your meal with a side of cream and not have to worry, but while so many people swear by the health benefits they’ve experienced on the keto diet – it does also have its critics.

We’ve done our homework and compiled the good, the bad and the ugly of the keto diet – so if you’re thinking of starting it, read this first.

 

It’s not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle

To really reap the benefits of keto, you need to treat it as a long-term commitment – rather than a short-term ‘diet’. The benefits you get from keto are slow but steady, and any crazy shift can cause you to be thrown out of ‘ketosis’. So before you go keto, ask yourself , “Am I ready for the commitment?’”

 

You might get the flu when you start

A common side effect people who’ve gone keto report is that they get the flu in the first few weeks. So if you’re feeling put off by the thought of fatigue, headaches and muscle pains – don’t worry, you can take an electrolyte supplement, like the one from Perfect Keto! That will mitigate uncomfortable side effects; also sprinkling a dash of himalayan salt onto your meals can help too.

 

You won’t be eating much protein

The basic equation of a keto diet is that it’s high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs. So if you thought you’d have to amp up your tofu or chicken intake, there’s no need. In fact, too much protein can actually knock you out of ketosis.

 

You’ll have to give up pasta!

The not so exciting new is that you will have to sacrifice pasta!  Well, at least the wheat kind. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bolognese, just spiralize some veggies instead!

 

You’ll experience some changes

Since your body is not used to keto, you may experience some changes – some good, others not so good. Many people say their energy levels have never been higher and their brain fog is completely reduced, while others report not-so-nice breath and out-of-balance hormones.  

 

For even more detailed information on the keto diet, check out this handy beginner’s guide.

5 All-Natural Ingredients That Will Transform Your Hair

There’s something your hair should know- that natural ingredients have the power to transform strengthen, volumize & shine.

So whether your locks are dry, damaged, lifeless or you’re always waking up with a wild frizz – you best believe that Mother Nature has the cure.

Most nature’s best hair-loving ingredients are so simple and easy to find – they may just be sitting in your kitchen cabinet (or garden) right now.

 

Here are 5 of our favorites for a healthy, happy head of hair.

 

You may know it as the herb you pop into your roasts to make them smell out-of-this-world amazing, but rosemary has some unexpected talents in the hair department. If you’re experiencing a bit more hair loss than you’d like, or if you’d just like to grow your hair longer at a faster rate, rosemary can help with that. It promotes hair growth and won’t cause any side effects like itching.

 

  • Coconut

Ah coconut oil, what can’t it do? One of the many glorious benefits of coconut oil is that it helps moisturize your hair – giving it a jaw-dropping level of shine. Coconut oil penetrates deep into the hair follicle, strengthening it from the inside out and decreases the amount of protein it loses from everyday grooming such as brushing and drying.

 

  • Avocado

Another multi-talented ingredient, it’s no surprise that avocado is a wonder for your strands. Packed to the brim with vitamins B and E, avocado works to nourish, soften and add shine. If you’ve colored your tresses or spent a little too much time in the sun, avocado steps in to undo the damage – replenishing it with the moisture and strength it needs.

 

  • Agave

You’ve been using it to sweeten your smoothies and treats in a guilt-free manner, and now it can serve you in another way. A natural soothing agent, agave is a hair humectant which draws water to the hair stands, and works to inject moisture and glaze your hair with lustrous shine.

 

  • Almond Milk

With a whole laundry list of hair benefits, almond milk is on your side. High in protein and iron, it strengthens hair and prevents breakage and hair loss, while its fatty acids work to condition deeply and help bid goodbye to flyaways. With vitamins A, B, D and E – it’s also feeds your tresses tonnes of nutrients, softening them in the process.

You can shop our favorite hair products that feature all these ingredients here!

5 Simple Breathing Exercises to Help Relieve Stress

One of the best tools you have in your arsenal for dealing with stress is your breath.

If you’re feeling a little overworked and majorly under-slept, you’re not alone, sugar. Balancing work, kids, relationships and a social life can get us all feeling a little frantic. But luckily, there’s no need to invest in a pricey massage or hit up an aromatherapy spa – because sometimes, the key to feeling calmer is just breathing it out. And you’ll be surprised at the magic a healthy pair of lungs can work.

Controlled breathing works wonders for your mental wellbeing, but it’s also able to lower blood pressure and help your body feel relaxed. That’s why so many experts preach about using our breath as a means of de-stressing and being more present and mindful.

No matter where you are or what time it is, these 5 simple breathing exercises are sure to help you unwind.

 

The Shoulder Pump

Taking up just a tiny five minutes of your time, shoulder pumping is an excellent way to bust feelings of stress – and, as a bonus perk, it’s also been known to energize. To perform the exercise, stand and close your fists. Then simply hold your breath and move your shoulders up and down, as quickly or slowly as you like. When you need to breathe, do so – and let go of your shoulders. Do this for five minutes.

 

 

  • Equal Breathing

 

This breathing technique is all about balance. If you have trouble falling asleep because your mind is ticking along furiously, try this. To start, just inhale for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of four. Doing this will calm your nervous system and increase focus.

 

 

  • Bubble Breath

 

This is perfect for those who sometimes feel a little anxious and overwhelmed by helping visualise positive and negative feelings. To perform it, simply sit down, close your eyes and breathe naturally. With every breath out, visualise a flow of dark bubbles leaving your body. These are meant to symbolize the stress and anxiety. When you breathe in, imagine a flow of gold bubbles coming into you – bringing with them peace and calm. Do this breathing exercise for as long it feels right to.

 

 

  • Breath Counting

 

A ten minute exercise, breath counting will help relieve tensions. Sit up straight in a comfy position and close your eyes. Allow your breath to come naturally without forcing it, and then count to one in your head as you exhale. The next time you exhale, count to two, and then continue until you get to five. When you reach five, start over. This is meant to keep your focus on the breathing without letting your mind wander.

 

 

  • Back-Home Breathing

 

Have trouble separating the stresses of work with the peace of home? Try this. Have a seat and close your eyes. Picture yourself leaving work and closing the door behind you, and watch your entire journey home. After that, see yourself come home and pay attention to the details – to putting the key in the lock, dropping your handbag on the table. Still in your mind, find your favorite spot in your house, and see yourself relaxing there. Enjoy feeling present.

7 Natural, Chemical-Free Cleaning Products You Can Make at Home

If you’re not exactly thrilled by the thought of hitting the cleaning product aisle and reaching for bottles with ingredients so complex they’re hard to pronounce, then don’t stress! We’re here to help make your cleaning habits a little healthier with more eco-friendly DIY products!

There are lots of basic ingredients you can use to make natural, non-toxic cleaning products that are safer for your family and pets – and friendlier to your bank account.

The best part is, these DIY’s are completely effective – they’ll leave your windows glistening, your floors sparkling, and your couches free of food stains. From dish soap o grout cleaner, you’ll be amazed at how easy these simple concoctions are to make. You ready to roll your sleeves up?

 

Here are 7 of our favorite all natural DIY cleaners:

 

 

 

 

Carpets can be tricky to keep fresh. You can’t exactly mop them, nor can you throw ‘em into the washing machine. Instead of spending your pennies on an expensive steam clean, try this all-natural dry solution instead. Simply sprinkle it over your carpet, let it soak in, and them vacuum it up. And don’t worry, it’s totally safe for pets and little ones.

 

 

 

 

Vinegar has incredibly powerful cleaning and disinfectant properties. Its effectiveness measures up to any commercial cleaner, minus the toxic ingredients and harsh aromas. This all-purpose solution will be your new go-to household cleaner – and with a hint of essential oils, it’ll make everything smell fresh and amazing.

 

 

 

 

Grease-fighting dish soaps are full of unknown ingredients, so making your own will give you peace-of-mind that you’re eating and drinking from clean, healthy surfaces. Make a big batch of this great recipe and it’ll cost you only a few cents per bottle.

 

 

 

 

Lots of bathroom cleaners contain bleach, which isn’t what you want to be inhaling in your home. Make cleaning between the tiles less of a chore with this wonderfully effective grout cleaner – made from just a few natural ingredients.

 

 

 

 

Get your windows squeaky clean with this super clever cleaning agent. Free of toxins and nasties, it’s easy to make and will leave your glass windows streak free and sparkling.

 

 

 

 

Have timber floorboards in your home? Keep them clean without damaging the wood with this great DIY solution. It’s made with just a handful of ingredients and works an absolute treat.

 

 

 

 

If you, or someone in your family, has sensitive skin – traditional laundry detergents could be causing irritation or redness. Make your own natural, gentle formula instead. It’s tough on dirt but soft on delicate skin.

A little Raw Sugar Love

Crafted and produced in sunny SoCal, Raw Sugar Living is a natural lifestyle brand on a mission to promote clean and healthy living through products that are good for the body and nourish the soul.

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