RAW THOUGHTS

Love, Lotions & Lip Balm for Mom.

Mom is non-stop amazing these days. She’s cooking, cleaning and caring for everyone. She’s teacher, chef, stay-at-home worker, master puzzler and entertainer. She is amazing. Show her some love with some gifts that nurture her soul and care for her skin. Here are a few ideas on what to get the woman who loves you most.  

 

Special Mother’s Day Gift Sets (available at Target) 

More Sweet Ideas:  

 

Lip Love: Our Pineapple + Maqui Berry Natural Lip Balm is 95% organic and gives lips hydrating moisture with Macadamia Nut and Shea butters and nourishes them with an infusion of vitamin E and an intoxicating blend of virgin coconut, beeswax, maqui berry and pineapple extracts. 

 

 

For the sensitive type: 

Our Green Tea + Cucumber + Aloe Vera Sensitive Skin Lotion is clinically tested safe for sensitive skin so it will nourish, soothe and protect mom while making her feel loved and cared for.  

 

For a Mood Boost:  

Our Moisture Loving Watermelon + Fresh Mint Body Lotion is a burst of uplifting vibes and nourishing, organic extracts and Cold Pressed goodness.

 

Ingredient Spotlight: Rosemary

Rosemary has been used since ancient times as a cure all for everything from digestive health and muscle soothing to promoting hair growth and boosting the immune system.  And now, this garden-favorite fragrant herb has made its way into skin care health and beauty products. It’s gorgeous scent and abundance of skin healing properties make it a powerful addition to your skin care routine. It’s abundant in vitamins A + C + B,  iron and calcium and is a natural clean label preservative. Here are a few ways that Rosemary extracts help rejuvenate and repair your precious skin.  

 

  • It is antioxidant rich which may help prevent wrinkles by stopping free radicals from breaking down the skin’s elasticity. 

 

  • It’s a natural anti-inflammatory so may help soothe and de-puff irritated skin. 

 

  • Vitamins A and C work to neutralize damage to the skin and aid in cellular repair.  

 

  • It’s rich in B vitamins which rejuvenates cellular activity and promotes deep cellular repair.  

 

  • Rosemary has moisturizing and collagen-boosting properties  that work to hydrate and plump skin. 

 

  • Rosemary extracts can help prevent skin from looking damaged by tightening skin, strengthening veins and help treat signs of aging.    

 

  • Rosemary oil is a natural antimicrobial so works to kill bacteria which is ideal to help dry, irritated skin conditions.  

 

  • Rosemary can also reduce blemishes due to cell regeneration properties that help eliminate the appearance of scars, spots and sun damage. 

Ways to Protect your Mental Health During a Crisis

The first weeks in quarantine might have seemed like a nice break from reality. But as time has gone on, mental health has become a much bigger concern as emotions like fear, anxiety, uncertainty, loneliness, isolation, depression and even desperation take hold.  So what are techniques or things we can do to help strengthen our mindset, elevate our well being and keep our thoughts from falling prey to those unwanted and unhealthy emotions?  

 

Care for yourself. Make sure you are practicing the simplest self care rituals by taking regular showers, baths, getting dressed, moving, cooking healthy meals and drinking enough water or tea to keep you hydrated.  Caring for yourself subconsciously speaks to your self worth and self love.  

 

Care for others. Sometimes pitching in to help others is exactly what we need to feel connected, relevant, useful and like we are part of a solution. What can you do during this time? Can you sew masks for neighbors and friends? Deliver food to an elderly neighbor or your local senior center.  Connect someone who is depressed or frightened with community resources. When you focus on others, your own issues melt away help you focus on the greater good.  

 

Connect. Schedule a family FaceTime, call your family and your friends instead of texting. Reach out.  Real connection and honest talk allows you to communicate and share in meaningful ways that have an uplifting effect on our psyche.  

 

Make a plan. In the case of emergencies, knowledge is power. Knowing what you will do if your reserves run out will do a lot to settle general unease. Write down essential emergency numbers and make a list of your state and city provisions as well as local charities for things such as meal assistance should you ever find yourself in need of it. Sometimes just knowing it’s there will give you confidence and reassurance.   

 

Limit News and Social Media. Turning on the news or scrolling through social media first thing in the morning is a direct way to depression. Keep the news off and just check in for the day’s highlights. Listen to music. Find things to “do” other than television and if you really want an update, call a friend to discuss the day’s developments.  

 

Gratitude Journal. Gratitude journaling has a profoundly positive impact on your mental state.  Just writing three things you’re grateful for each day refocuses your brain on what it good instead of what is bad. After a while, you look for more and more to be grateful for and, amazingly, you also have more and more to be grateful for.  

 

Meditate and breathe. Meditation and breath work are powerful tools for calming your mind, body and spirit. You can start simply by getting in a quiet spot, in a comfortable position and breathing deeply and slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. With every breath, inhale love, peace and abundance and exhale fear and negativity. Add prayer or visualization to your meditation if you wish. Visualize and feel in your heart what a perfect day is for you. Call abundance to you and picture what that means. Your mind is your most valuable tool in creating peace of mind and contentment. If you need help, there are apps with amazing guided meditations and many free online sessions during this time as well.  

 

Learn something new. Challenge yourself to come out of quarantine with a new skill or new knowledge, whether that’s learning to play an instrument, teaching yourself a new computer program,  mastering a new game, learning yoga, how to meditate, learning a new language or becoming an expert on one subject that interests you. If you are learning, you are growing as a person.  

 

Be in nature. Get out into the sunshine. Take your shoes off and walk in the grass. Take a hike. Bird watch.  Fresh air and being grounded in nature is a universal healer.   

 

 Be present. 95% of the things we worry about will never happen. Learn to let go of worrying or anxious thoughts and ground yourself in the present moment.  Take a deep breath. Explore your surroundings. Look at where you are at the moment. Ask yourself if you are safe. Do you have what you need at this moment? Put your full and mindful attention on where you are at your present moment.  

 

Get help. If you or someone you love needs greater attention, never hesitate to seek the help of medical professionals. A few online resources include: 

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline 

https://www.nami.org/help 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/

When and how to wash your hands even in self-isolation

If you’re staying home, do you really need to be washing your hands as much?  

The answer is a resounding yes. Whether you are isolating alone or are in a houseful of people, washing at home needs to be a frequent activity that everyone partakes in.  

Simple things such as getting the mail, opening your front door, unpacking groceries, receiving packages all hold the possibility for the transmission of germs.  

 

There are no “official” guidelines on how often to wash when you’re staying at home, but even in non-pandemic times, the CDC recommends washing before you touch food, during food prep, after you’ve come in from outside, any time you go to the restroom, pet an animal, any time you touch another person and especially after you clean up or care for others who may be ill. During the pandemic add on to that any time you touch a door handle, take out trash, wipe down surfaces, touch clothing you wore to the store, bring packages inside, dispose of packages or had any physical contact whatsoever.   

 

A good rule of thumb is to simply wash every time you start a new activity of any kind or complete one. Following CDC guidelines on how to wash is important too. The longer this goes on, the less time we tend to spend with the lather, so don’t skimp or cut back on washing time now. Pump your soap into one hand, lather and wash vigorously for at least 20 seconds — or the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice — making sure you clean under nails, between fingers, both sides of hands and up to wrists. Then dry with a paper towel, and use that paper towel to turn off the water before you dispose of it.  

 

Following these general rules at home will help keep being “safe at home” truly safe. Stay healthy.  Keep washing.  

What My Dog Taught Me About Social Distancing

Last night my dog fell asleep holding in her mouth her most prized possessions: two tennis balls. I took a picture of it, and not just because the visual was so entirely endearing. I snapped the photo because of the realization that hit me moments before. Marli wasn’t hoarding bones or food or chew toys… or toilet paper. She was holding on to something that daily brought her joy—even while sleeping, just in case any human was suddenly inspired to play ball with her. At the end of the day, it was the positive connection with others that seemed to matter most.

In these crazy times of social distancing, hoarding and negative newsfeeds, I wonder if many of us are holding onto things that don’t bring us joy. And I’m not talking things like toilet paper or hand sanitizer or zinc lozenges, but the toxic stuff like distrust, fear, selfishness and anger. I wonder if as we close our eyes at night that our minds marinate more on what we don’t have, instead of who we have.

Yes, right now we need to socially distance from each other, but that doesn’t mean we have to emotionally distance ourselves. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to people walking past (or away from) me, their eyes lowered with no acknowledgement. But I do know that I am especially grateful to those who smile at me and say “Hi.” That one ounce of human connection can turn the we’re-all-in-this-together cliché into a comforting reality—even for just a moment.

Most of us are sheltering at home, and full transparency, it’s been challenging for me as my over-achiever self is still acclimating to shifting priorities and plans. But then I look at my dog who is probably living her best life right now, with my family playing fetch with her throughout the day. It’s a reminder for me that you have to let go of things like anxiety and fear so you can hold on tightly to everything—and everyone—that can inspire joy, even with six feet between us.

 

 

Source: Cori Linder, Forbes Communications Council Member

Self Care while Self Quarantined

More self-love. Practicing Self Care may seem like a given when you’re around the house all day, but if you’re focused on news and taking care of kiddos, it can be difficult to squeeze in or muster the energy to get out of your jammies and brush your hair, let alone take a shower. The psychological effect of being in isolation is hard. It takes incredible will and mindfulness to stay positive and productive in this unprecedented time. So how do we care for ourselves during a pandemic? I think we’re all figuring it out as we go, but here are a few suggestions that may help you in your quest to keep yourself peaceful, present, centered and cared for.  

 

Keep a Schedule. 

The most important thing you can do to care for your wellbeing is stick to some sort of routine or schedule. If you maintain healthy sleep patterns, exercise, work times and block out periods for self care you won’t get to the end of the day wondering where all the hours went. If you’re quarantining with kids, you can even give each person a block of time in solitude. Even if it’s a half hour. Everyone gets refreshed and is better able to handle a household if you are given a few minutes of peace.  

 

Practice Meditation or Breathwork.

Some of the biggest brain boosts and mental health benefits come from meditation and breathwork. Both practices will ease the body, calm anxiety, increase happiness and help you find peace of mind. Meditating on, or repeating a positive mantra is also really helpful when you feel overwhelmed, such as “I am calm. I am safe and protected and I have everything I need.”

 

Treat Your Body.  

Give yourself some serious love during this time and make taking care of your body a priority.  Soak in healing, detoxifying baths, enjoy steamy showers, pack on some hair masques and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. All the cleaning can leave your skin feeling dry so keep some deeply hydrating hand creams and body butters on hand to give yourself some lush, beautifully scented skin rejuvenation. Feeling clean and caring for yourself is a huge boost to your mood, self esteem and feeling of contentment. 

 

Turn Off the News. 

Being informed is one thing. Having the TV on 24-7 is rough psychologically and can really have a negative impact on your productivity, happiness and feeling of well being.  

Make a point to get updates, but go about your day without the news and watch how your energy shifts to a more peaceful and positive place.  

Give Yourself Grace. 
Be kind to yourself because, OMG, the quarantine snacking struggle, low energy dips and moodiness is real. Give yourself so much grace right now whether you’re feeling sad, carb loading or just can’t check in to that online exercise class –it’s all okay.

Helping Hands

Here at Raw Sugar, we are on a mission. A mission to lead with love and pay it forward.  

The very heart of our organization is our philanthropic cause, The Raw Sugar Initiative.   From day one, our Co-Founders Ronnie Shugar and Donda Mullis have been inspired to give back and express love and kindness through the accessibility to wholesome, clean products for every single person regardless of race or socioeconomic background.   The unshakeable belief that every person deserves to feel clean and beautiful is the driving force of everything we do.  

 

The Raw Giving program is centered around our message of self-love and paying it forward.  For every product sold, Raw Sugar Living donates 1 bar of soap for families in need, up to 5 million bars yearly. Every person deserves to feel clean and beautiful. Everyone deserves to feel loved whether it’s through a bar of soap, or a kind word. Let’s all pass it on.   

 

We thank all of you– Every Raw Sugar Babe and Raw Men out there buying our products, giving us a helping hand and being a part of this important mission. We appreciate you.

Ingredient Spotlight: Pineapple

Pineapple is serving up big beauty benefits and has quickly become the go-to for skin brightening and generally perking up tired, dull skin. Not only does it add a gorgeous, tropical scent, but it’s full of a powerful enzyme called bromelain, which helps break down and sweep away dead skin cells.

 

Aside from the skin brightening and gently exfoliating bromelain, pineapple is rich in vitamin C and E… two vitamins that really pep up your skin tone. They help brighten and even out skin tone while the antioxidants help heal and protect from UV damage and premature aging. It also contains a healthy dose of vitamin A that reduces the risk of inflammation and is a known anti-bacterial.

 

Drink in all the delicious benefits of Pineapple and get on your way to transforming your skin with a brighter, more beautiful glow.

5 California Hiking Trails

Take a hike. 😉  Here are our picks for the Top 5 Hiking Trails in California.

With gym life closed, there’s never been a better time to opt outside and get a healthy dose of fresh air on California’s best hiking trails.  We’ve broken down our top five best in California. Below that is a top-line list of LA’s best too, in case you’re looking for local vibes.   

CA Top 5 Hikes 

  • Yosemite Falls Trail, Yosemite 

This famous trail rewards hikers with views of Yosemite’s most spectacular waterfalls as well as sweeping panoramas of the valley floor. The Trail includes two parts: The two-mile section to Columbia Rock, a moderate hike that ascends 1,000 feet through a switchback trail. Be sure to stay on the path, since wandering off can lead to dangerous sheer drop-offs near the trail.  Most hikers will be satisfied with completing Columbia Rock portion that takes two to three hours round-trip. From here, hikers are awed by the bird’s-eye view of Yosemite Valley’s meadows, with the Merced River winding its way down the center, enclosed by Half Dome and Sentinel Rock.

 

The second part of the trail up to Yosemite Falls is more difficult.  This strenuous seven-mile round-trip hike ascends 2,425 feet, up rugged terrain and steep hillside staircases.  To complete this round-trip hike takes another six to eight hours from Colombia Rock. The trail lies thrillingly close to Yosemite Falls. While climbing, hikers often feel mist from the waterfalls, and after reaching the summit of this challenging trail are rewarded with incredible vistas.  The panoramic outlook from the top of Yosemite Falls extends over the entire valley.  

 

  • Mount Shasta 

The majestic snow-capped Mount Shasta is one of the most inspiring places to hike in California. Many visitors come to Mount Shasta seeking a spiritual experience in nature. Adventurous outdoor enthusiasts come for the challenge of climbing to the mountain’s summit. However, Mount Shasta has plenty of hiking trails that are suitable for the average hiker. A popular hike is the Gray Butte Trail, with its trailhead at an impressive 7,500-foot elevation. This moderate four-mile round-trip trail gains 600 feet in elevation and takes about two hours to complete. The trail crosses through the expansive Lower Panther Meadow and continues up through a pristine forest of old-growth Red Fir Trees. At the fork in the trail, the right hand side ascends through a stand of fragrant Mountain Hemlock Trees. The trail continues past the Lower Peak to the Upper Peak of Gray Butte, offering splendid panoramic views at several vantage points along the way.

 

  • McWay Waterfall Trail, Big Sur 

This trail lies in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, named after the pioneer and frontier woman who owned a ranch in Big Sur country in the early 1900s. The park stretches along the mountainous Big Sur coastline with its 3,000-foot ridges that drop off dramatically into the Pacific Ocean. Lush wooded areas flourish with redwood trees, oaks, and chaparral. The McWay Waterfall Trail is a marvelous hike leading to an overlook that affords a stunning view of the 80-foot waterfall, one of the most breathtaking and frequently photographed sites in Big Sur. Hikers are awestruck by the sight of this magnificent waterfall descending from a sheer granite cliff into the ocean. Despite the grandeur of the scenery, this trail is surprisingly easy and short. The 0.7-mile round-trip hike has only a slight elevation gain of 50 feet and takes only about 30 minutes to complete. Hikers may spend more time admiring the amazing scenery than actually hiking.

 

  • Sea Lion Point Trail, Point Lobos

The Sea Lion Point Trail delights nature lovers who appreciate marine wildlife and ocean views. A short and easy hike, the 0.6-mile loop trail is an especially scenic portion of Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel. The trail winds around peaceful coves and rocky ocean bluffs that meet with crashing waves. Along the way, hikers will have a chance to spot barking sea lions on offshore rocks. The trail also passes by Headland Cove and Sea Lion Cove, quiet coves where seals swim, and sea otters bask in the protected waters. To get a closer view of the animals, hikers may walk down a staircase that provides access to the coves. 

 

  • Fern Canyon at Prairie Creek,  Redwoods State Park 

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park lies 50 miles north of Eureka, an off-the-beaten-path destination. This beautiful state park is dedicated to the protection of coastal redwood trees, the tallest living plant on earth. With their giant amber-hued trunks and leafy canopies, the stately redwood trees create a refreshingly serene, shady environment. Bordering the coast, the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park also has sandy beaches and expansive open meadows. Many visitors enjoy the gentle nature walk to the Fern Canyon, a site so remarkable that is was chosen by Hollywood directors as a backdrop for scenes in the Jurassic Park film. In fact, relatives of today’s living coastal redwoods existed 160 million years ago, during the Jurassic Era. Visitors are delighted by the breathtaking scenery of majestic densely wooded redwood stands, a pristine fresh-water creek, and lush ferns cascading down the canyon walls.

 

Top 5 Hiking Trails in Los Angeles

Runyon Canyon
Located in the Hollywood Hills, Runyon is a fairly known hike and trail around Los Angeles.  Often, you may see the beautiful view of Hollywood posted on Instagram or Facebook tagged at Runyon.  People commonly known Runyon as a place to bring dogs, spot celebrities, and see a full skyline. This trail is not very long, as it only extends around 3 miles round trip. 

 

Solstice Canyon
Solstice Canyon is located near Malibu just West of Los Angeles. Aside from the 2.6 mile round trip hike, Solstice Canyon also features historical ruins and a waterfall. Also, along the Solstice Creek there are picnic tables for a nice outdoor lunch.

 

Cahuenga Park
Another park in the Hollywood Hills is Cahuenga Park, which leads to a view of the Hollywood Sign and the Wisdom Tree. Heading up the East trail, there is a 1.6 mile round trip hike to the Wisdom Tree. This trail is more rugged and less paved than Runyon Canyon, and it gets steep at points. To the West, the trail gets even steeper and more rugged, but eventually leads to the back side of the Hollywood Sign. Both of these trails offer a large amount of elevation for a short distance. 

 

Santa Anita Canyon
The most challenging hike on this list, the Santa Anita Canyon, is an 8.7 mile loop, best made for a full day hike with lunch and swimming stops. The Santa Anita Canyon is located Northeast of Pasadena. Along this trail, there are numerous cabins, a 60-foot waterfall, and a total escape from Los Angeles. The waterfall is comes up in the first half of the trail, so you can jump in then dry off the rest of the way. 

 

Sandstone Peak
Sandstone Peak is the furthest hike to the East, past Santa Monica and Malibu but is one of the highest points in Southern California. You can see jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Monica Bay. The summit is over 3,000 feet and follows a 6.25 mile loop. This hike features a picnic area and plenty of shade on the way up. Another beautiful aspect are the Grottoes with creeks and pools.

What Hair Type are you?

Do you know your hair type? Determining what type of hair you have can play a massive role in how well your hair care products work for you and how it holds a style. Buying the right shampoo, conditioners and treatments can do wonders whether you’re trying to detox and balance your scalp, tame your wild curls, fight the frizz, pump up the volume or simply shine.  

 

There are four basic types of hair including straight, wavy, curly and kinky. The best way to determine this is to look at your hair when it dries naturally. Does it dry straight, have some bend to it, dry in ringlets or kinks? Then there’s texture including fine, medium and thick. The way to check is put a strand of hair next to a thread. If it’s skinnier than thread, you have thin hair… equal to the thread is medium and fatter than the thread, then your hair is thick. The other thing that affects the look and feel of hair is how porous the strands are. The more open the shaft of hair, the dryer and frizzier it tends to be. Whatever type you have, look for shampoos that address your concerns.   

 

If you have porous frizzy hair, you’ll naturally want to use a product that helps fight frizz without the use of sulfates and parabens. They may smooth the hair shaft temporarily, but ultimately they dry out hair causing more damage. The Truly Unruly shampoo battles frizz with a blend of nourishing plant-derived ingredients and is fortified with avocado, apple cider vinegar and rosemary oil that help define curls  without weighing them down.  

 

Moisture Smoothie is a great option for hair that needs strengthening and repair from damage done by environmental factors or over processing. Dehydrated locks love the vitamin infused formula made with Cold Pressed coconut, agave and sweet almond milk. 

 

For hair that needs a lift and shine, our Bounce Back Shampoo and Conditioner are infused with shine enhancing Cold Pressed carrot oil and vitamin packed nutrients in a formula made with Certified Organic mango butter and agave. It delivers weightless bounce and soft body for hair that wants beautiful movement and softness.  

 

All hair types should also consider having a scalp detox on hand that will balance the scalp enabling the growth of stronger, longer hair. Our Scalp Restore ShampooConditioner and Therapy treatment do this with a blend of charcoal, organic tea tree extracts and moringa oil that work to lift out impurities and replace them with plant derived extracts, B5 and a surge of hydration.

 

Whatever your type, the best thing you can do is embrace it, love it and work with your natural beauty.

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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