RAW THOUGHTS

Do good, feel good – How to make a positive impact

Do good. Feel Good. 

How to make a positive impact. 

 

What does it mean to “do good?”  Any unselfish act you participate in that benefits another human being is doing good.  It can be as simple as holding a door for someone, volunteering for a beach clean-up, picking up groceries for an elderly neighbor or as involved as weekly mentoring.  Whatever it is, the impact you have when you do good reaches far beyond the actual act itself.  

 

When you do good, it does YOU good as well.   It improves not only your psychological health, but your physical health too.  Think of it as a karmic domino effect of good vibes.  

 

So how do you begin having a positive impact?  Start with what you know and go from there. Look at your community and what you’re passionate about.  Starting close to home can give you a real live view of the impact you have.  

 

Work is another place you can do good. Oftentimes, resources at companies are something you can tap in to.  As an example, Raw Sugar Living decided from the start that doing good would be part of its company culture.  The mantra “Lead with Love” is a rallying cry for acts of kindness in which the whole company participates. Their give-back mission, The Raw Sugar Initiative,  donates a fresh bar of soap to a person in need for every product sold. Simple concept, amazing results. Over 5 million bars of soap have been donated based on the simple premise that  everyone deserves to feel clean and fresh no matter what their economic situation.  

 

Aside from what it does for the recipient of your good deed, helping others is a step toward creating your own happiness, inside and out.  It releases positive emotions in you, can reduce stress, boost your immune system, help your body fight against disease and may even help you live longer.  Now that’s a positive impact. You see, kindness really does matter.  

 

 

A few simple ways you can do good. 

  • Volunteer 
  • Mentor 
  • Sign up to help a worthy cause
  • Donate resources you may have 
  • Participate in random acts of kindness 

A guide to having glowy skin all year round!

We all want that J-Lo glow — perfectly hydrated skin that looks lit from within. Here’s a basic list of things to consider to help get your glow on and keep it going all year long.  

 

Top 10 Glow-Boosters.  

 

  1. Get your 8 hours.  Sleep is an absolute necessity.  Without it, you’ll look tired, skin will be flat and pores, larger.  Seriously, a good night sleep will take a few years off your face.  

 

  1. Drink Up.   Water. Green Tea. Repeat.   Skin that’s dehydrated will look saggy, dull and lax.  Think hydrated, grape — dehydrated, raisin. You want your skin to look like a grape. Not a raisin.  If you’re getting your water, you may want to add in green tea as it contains powerful antioxidants that help restore skin from the inside out.   

 

  1. Exfoliate.  Getting rid of dead skin cells is essential to the glow.  For your body, a scrub will do the trick, but for your face your options are more varied including vitamin C serums.  

 

  1. Moisturize.  This is a given.  Any moisturizers that contain natural ingredients, fruit extracts and oil butters like coconut, avocado and shea nourish and repair as well as hydrate.   

 

  1. Minimize stress.  Stress not only makes you sick, it robs you of your shine.  Learn to let go of things you can’t control. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness are all practices that help you learn to live in the moment and reduce stress.  

 

  1. Move it.  Exercise of any kind will get your heart pumping and blood flowing which helps circulation and in turn, brightens up your skin. Take a brisk walk. Jump in place for a few minutes.  Dance. Do something that moves your body and makes you happy.    

 

  1. Dry brush from your toes to your nose.  Get your hands on a natural sisal brush and use it every morning to help detox and brush away dry skin cells.  Small circular motions brushing up toward the heart are recommended.  

 

  1. Get a Humidifier.  Humidifiers are key to keeping skin protected from arid conditions.  Put one in your room and sleep with it on particularly if you live in a dry, cold climate.  

 

  1. Feed your skin.  We all know beauty comes from within so nourish your body and your skin will reap the benefits. The basics include filling your plate with whole foods like fruits and veggies, food with natural oils like avocado and nuts, avoid sugar and take a probiotic for gut balance.  What’s happening in your gut can usually be seen on your face so keep it clean and balanced and your skin will look the same.  

 

  1. Love Yourself.  When you give yourself grace, feel love and think positively about the present moment, it shows in your face.  Living with openness, self-acceptance and gratitude all contribute to a shine that no product or routine is capable of giving you.  Shine on, girl.

How often you should wash your hair!

There is no one size fits all answer to how often you should break out the shampoo because different hair requires different care.  For example, texture and weight have a lot to do with the frequency of shampooing.  

 

While recommendations vary, experts agree on the fact that you should not wash every day unless you have seriously fine and oily hair or a lifestyle that demands coming clean on a daily basis.  Over-washing can cause dryness, breakage and split ends. On the flip side, not washing your hair enough can lead to clogged pores, inflammation and even hair loss.  

 

Every texture and hair type has its own requirements.  Hair with thicker strands can go longer without cleansing, while thin tresses tend to get dirty and oily quicker. Curly hair tends to be on the dry side, so can go longer without washing, while straight hair may require more frequent washing. Coarse hair can be left for longer without a good scrub, while silky hair can’t. See below for a general rule of thumb and remember to use shampoos that are free of sulfates which can strip hair too fiercely.  

 

General rule to washing: 

  • Flat fine hair — Every other day. 
  • Thick hair — Once a week.
  • Wavy hair/loose curls —  Every other day
  • Tightly curled hair — Every three days
  • Damaged hair — Every three days
  • Oily hair — Every other day 
  • Normal hair — Every other day 

How you can prevent premature aging from pollutants.   

Pollution takes a toll on the environment but it also takes a big toll on your looks.  Pollutants that carry the biggest threat to your skin’s appearance include car exhaust, cigarette smoke, smog and manufacturing by-products, all of which can cause major damage like uneven skin tone, accelerated aging and even skin cancer.  

 

Pollution is made up of small particles that don’t just sit on your skin, but permeate it and infiltrate deep into the layers causing inflammation, dehydration and loss of elasticity and firmness.  In other words, all the things that keep your skin plump and youthful.  

 

To protect yourself as much as possible, keep your skin clean. After you wash it well,  neutralize free radicals with antioxidants and nutrient rich fruit and oil extracts. Your final step is to protect it by creating a barrier to shield against the small particles with a quality lotion or sunscreen.  Pollution doesn’t have to take away your pretty. Take care of your skin and keep your youthful glow in tact.

Why you should make the switch to Natural products?

There’s a lot of hype, controversy and fear surrounding the use of chemicals in beauty products, and, for good reason.  Your skin absorbs 60% of the ingredients you place on it and within as little as 26 seconds, the ingredients you put on your skin are swimming around your bloodstream.  If that isn’t reason enough to make the switch, other benefits of going natural range from being kinder to Mother Earth to being kinder to animals and avoiding ugly side effects.  

 

Preserving our planet means avoiding products made from chemical ingredients that can have a negative impact on our environment.  By choosing natural products we’re reducing the demand for the production of toxic chemicals. That means less harmful residue being disposed into our waterways and landfills. 

 

When deciding to go natural, remember, everything your body absorbs impacts the way your body functions and feels.  Going natural is a good choice for you, your health, your wellness, your peace of mind and our planet. 

Fight the Frizz this Summer with our Top 5 hair hacks.

Fighting frizz and taming fly-aways is a battle we all want to win. Understanding the root cause helps.  Hair cuticles (the outer layer of the strand) that are dry or damaged have a rougher texture, allowing moisture to enter the strand, plumping it up, creating frizz.  Here are our top 5 hair hacks that will give you smoother cuticles and sleeker styling.

 

  1. Use a Sulfate Free shampoo.  Sulfates strip and dehydrate your strands leaving the cuticles rough and exposed.  Basically, the opposite of what you want when looking to maintain moisture.  

 

  1. Use Hair Masks or Moisture Boosters Weekly.  Doing a deep-conditioning treatment at least once a week will help fill any gaps in your hair shaft smoothing out hair.  For even deeper hydration, try applying your mask to dry hair—yes, dry—and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before hopping in the shower and rinsing it off.

 

  1. Use shampoo and conditioner with natural oils. Our Truly Unruly is the perfect example of a shampoo and conditioner with hair taming ingredients.  This fierce frizz fighting shampoo contains rich Avocado, cleansing Apple Cider Vinegar and healing Rosemary Oil. Other natural oils that help smooth and shine are coconut, sunflower and shea butter and carrot oil.  

 

  1. Ditch your towel and wring, don’t rub!  Using the wrong towel can make — or break — your hair.  Cotton towels actually create friction with your hair leading to frizz.  A micro-fiber hair towel is a better idea to wrap your wet hair and gently wring out water, don’t rub.  

 

  1. Change your pillowcase.  If you’re still sleeping on cotton, it is time to switch to silk.  A silk pillowcase will protect your hair while you sleep and it helps maintain your hair’s natural oils.  The added bonus? It’s good for you skin and helps prevent wrinkles too! Winning! 

Start Smart. 5 Tips to get organized for #BacktoSchool

As the commercial goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”  Back to school can be exciting, liberating and fun — or, if you’re not prepared, it can be a major fail.    Getting organized now will help you and your kids start strong and set the tone for a best-in-class year ahead.  

 

1. Get back on your sleep schedule, NOW.    There’s nothing quite like a summer send off with a pool party that ends at midnight and you have to be up at 6am to catch the bus.  Take the week before school starts and get serious about a firm bed-time and wake-up time. It’s not easy, but oh-so-worth it when the alarm goes off on day one.

 

2. Shop for School Supplies, Together.  The togetherness of shopping gives you a chance to have a relaxed conversation about the excitement and trepidation concerning the year ahead.  It also gives your children a chance to show their own personality and invest in the year by choosing their own supplies. Buh-bye meltdown over the wrong color folder or the uncool lunch box you bought.

 

3. Fill out the forms.   And we don’t mean the night before.  You want to set a good example for your kids by being on top of paperwork yourself.  Get a folder for papers you have to return on the first day and make sure you have copies of all immunizations and other records you may need.  A+ parenting is all about planning ahead.

 

4. Shop for school clothes early.  The earlier you shop, the less drama and less chance of sizes being sold out.  Take stock of what you have before you go and make a list of must-haves. For a built-in teaching moment, make a pact to donate old and outgrown clothing before you bring anything new into the house.  Your kids will learn a good habit of donating and learn that not having old items around frees your mind and physical space for new things.

 

5. Make a plan for meal time.  The end of summer is time to establish the eating habits that will take you through the school year as well.  Plan as many nights as you can for family meals even if you have to pick up takeout— the consistency will help you bond and open the channels to good communication.  Conversations that happen at the dinner table are precious moments. Don’t miss this powerful time of creating a routine with benefits far beyond nutritional value.

Are Paraben and Sulfate free shampoos better for your hair? 

There’s a definite buzz in the beauty industry to stay away from sulfates and parabens in your hair products.  As consumers, we know we’re supposed to avoid them like the plague, but what are they?  

 

First, let’s tackle parabens.  Parabens are chemicals that are made to give products a longer shelf life.  They’ve been used since the 50’s to prevent bacteria and act as a preservative in shampoos and other products like deoderant, lotions, lipsticks and scrubs. Studies have shown that parabens can mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells and have been found in breast tumors.  However, scientists stop short of actually saying that parabens are the cause of breast cancer. 

 

Sulfates are the detergents responsible for the super-sudsy lather you get out of most shampoos.  So why are they bad? They can strip the hair of natural oils and proteins that make it look shiny and healthy.  It can also cause premature fading of colored hair and keratin treatments. In addition, if sulfates are not thoroughly rinsed from your skin they can over strip it of skin oils leaving you dry and prone to allergic reactions.  Even more alarming, sulfates were found to break down proteins, which can lead to a degenerative effect on the cell membranes. Sulfates were also found to leave residue in the heart, lungs, and brain. 

 

No matter what, chemicals are chemicals and if they appear to pose any risk at all to your health — and your hair — is it worth it?  There are far too many natural, sulfate-free and paraben-free products to have to worry about the side effects. We say lather up knowing you’re not risking your health or your hair color.  

Lip Service.  Why you need a lip care routine.  

We use them to speak truth, eat yummy food and to kiss the ones we love. We use them to laugh and to smile — yet the all-important lips are often left out of our beauty routine.  Its time your lips got a beauty upgrade because a consistent lip regimen will not only give you a prettier pout, it can prevent premature aging, soften skin and add to the overall vibrance and glow of your face.  

 

Lets face it. No one likes looking at lips that are cracked, dry and chapped so step number one is to use an all natural gentle lip scrub for exfoliation of dead skin. Look for a scrub that does double duty with moisturizing ingredients like macadamia nut butter or coconut oil to hydrate while you exfoliate.  

 

Use a balm. The very word balm means anything that heals or soothes.  A balm is basically a salve for your smile. Keep it on your countertop to remind you to swipe it on whenever you walk by.  We like our balms chock full of hydrating and restorative ingredients like macadamia nut and shea butter, vitamin E, virgin coconut, jojoba oil and other plant based essential oils to lock in moisture.  

 

Doing these two simple things will have a profound effect on loving your lips, your life, your smile and your glow.  Kiss. Kiss.

5 Cool things to do in LA before Summer ends.  

The long, warm days of summer in LA call for a short list of cool things to do after work, on weekends.  Think of it as a summer staycation or if you’re from somewhere else, add these to you vacay agenda.

Here are our top 5 picks of places to see and be seen in and around LA from power hikes to pool parties.  

 

Watch a movie among Hollywood’s departed.    

It isn’t summer in L.A. until the first cemetery screening brings movie-lovers to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, toting folding chairs, picnic blankets, snacks and lots of booze. Watch classic cult favorites at the hallowed resting place of Hollywood greats like Rudolph Valentino and Bugsy Siegel. It’s an L.A. rite of passage, a quintessential summer experience and one of the best outdoor film venues in the city. Movies play through August 24.  

 

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl. 

Take in live music at this gorgeous outdoor amphitheatre. In the summer, it’s home to the L.A. Phil, but this summer, you can hear everyone from Tchaikovsky to Death Cab for Cutie, Lionel Richie and Chaka Khan to Michael McDonald.  Best of all? You can bring wine to almost every performance. Check HollywoodBowl.com for tickets and info.  

 

Hike to the Hollywood Sign. 

Have you really been to LA if you haven’t done this yet?  There are three routes ranked from easy to difficult; the Mt. Hollywood Trail, the Brush Canyon Trail and the Cahuenga Peak Trail, all offering stunning views of the Hollywood sign as you trek the rolling hills of the Santa Monica Mountains.  

 

The western frontier of Griffith Park offers hikers the closest encounter with the sign —which, by the way,  is off limits to human hands — and is just below the Ridgeline at the 1708 summit of Mt. Lee. On the longest hike, you can  ascend above and behind the sign’s 45’ tall aluminum letters and on a clear day, see the blue pacific winking at you. The trails are open the same hours of Griffith Park, 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset. 

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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