RAW THOUGHTS

5 health benefits of adding Yoga to your morning routine

Making a decision to add yoga to your morning routine may seem counterintuitive if you’re a busy person, but it actually adds time to your day by helping you become more focused and present. In fact, the way you start your morning has a huge impact on your mood, productivity and happiness for the entire day.  

 

Substitute a few minutes of yoga for checking email or social media and you’ll no doubt see positive changes in all areas of your life.  The benefits are far reaching both physically and mentally.  

 

  1. Improved Focus + Mental Clarity.  Yoga helps you learn to bring your breath under control and teaches stillness in the mind which allows you to learn a deeper level of focus that benefits concentration and both task and time management.  

 

  1. Energy Boost.  After starting your day with a yoga session, you may even find yourself foregoing your cappuccino habit.  Moving your body means you’re oxygenating cells and when that happens, your whole body reinvigorates.  

 

  1. Reduces Stress + Anxiety Levels.  With more oxygen pumping and a more focused mind, you’ll automatically feel more relaxed.  Yoga breathing also helps calm nerves and release blocked and anxious energy in your body. The mindful approach to yoga also helps you become less reactive in general. 

 

  1. Increased Strength + Flexibility.  Yoga lengthens and stretches our tight bodies, and when done in the morning, prepares you to move throughout the day, helping to prevent injury and stiffness. It increases spinal flexibility, promotes better posture and uses our own body weight to increase muscle tone which also helps boost metabolism.    

 

  1. Helps Sleep Rhythm & Balance Hormones

 The attention to breathing and meditation has a positive effect on the endocrine system, which is responsible for long-term body maintenance. The endocrine system uses glands and hormones, to help keep you balanced. Certain yoga poses stimulate the pineal gland which excretes melatonin that regulates sleep patterns.

 

From mood to muscle tone, there are so many reasons to become a morning person and a yogi! Namaste! 

 How to Prep your skin for Fall 

Now that pumpkin-spice-everything season is here, it’s time to think about transitioning your skin from summer maintenance to fall care.  

 

The change in weather can have drastic effects on your skin, with the main culprit being the drier, cooler air.   The most important thing you can do now is start an exfoliation regime. And we mean exfoliate everything — body, lips, face, toes.  If you keep up with exfoliation, you have a better shot at keeping the dry, dead skin from appearing that causes instant dullness. And we know you’re not dull. In fact, you were meant to shine.  

 

Dry brushing is a technique you should take part in every morning if possible. It has amazing detox health benefits as well as helping to slough off dry, dead skin cells.   But be gentle. Extra bonus points if you do it while thinking loving, kind thoughts to yourself. 

 

In the shower be sure to use one of our gentle Sugar Scrubs to hydrate, nourish, exfoliate and leave skin with a supple, smooth, silky feel. 

 

In dryer months, our body butter is pure bliss for your skin.  It’s rich, luxurious texture sinks in to the skin beautifully, leaving dry, thirsty skin quenched and you feeling extra pampered.  

 

For hair care, add our Healing Power Hair Masque to your routine for some extra hydration and protection against that crisp fall air that can leave hair feeling dry and lifeless.  

 

Lips show signs of seasons change almost instantly so keep our natural Lip Balm in your purse, your car and your bath area so wherever you are you can swipe on the healing, hydrating and protective benefits of our 95% organic formulas.  

 

Your Fall just got more beautiful with a little extra Raw Lovin and thoughtful care.  

Your self-tan superhero. How our Sugar Scrub can help you master your Self-tan game!

Summer is gone and you’re glowing, tan is waving goodbye as well.

If you’re thinking of self-tanning to keep your summer shine through the fall and winter months, we’ve got your secret weapon to make whatever tanner you use the slide on smoothly and evenly.  

 

The key to any good self-tan is exfoliation!  Our gentle Sugar Scrub is just the ticket to help you smooth rough patches and give you a soft, silky, supple base for your self-tanner.  

 

Shave the day before you self tan, otherwise, self-tanner can get locked into hair follicles.  Then use our gentle Sugar Scrub in your favorite fresh scent from toes to neck paying special attention to the rougher skin patches like the tops of your toes, knees, ankles, and elbows.  

 

Use it regularly and your skin will feel soft, smooth, hydrated and prepped for your just back from the Bahamas glow.  Happy tanning!

Why Silicone Free is GOOD for Your Hair

Isn’t silicone what contractors use to make tile seams watertight? Yes. It is. 

So think of that when you see a hair product with silicone in it.  Basically, silicone in your hair products is used to lockout moisture from your hair, with the idea of giving it a temporary shine, slip for detangling, smoothness and conditioned “feel”, but it’s a fake shine — a plastic shine that over time has the opposite effect.  

 

Silicone coats the hair so it keeps nutrients from getting in or penetrating the hair, which can cause hair to weaken or break. With continual use, it will eventually weigh the hair down making it dull and lifeless.  In essence, you get a good look and feel for a couple of days, but over time it will attract build up in the hair and dry it out causing frizz and breakage because the “seal” that the silicone creates won’t allow conditioner or moisture into the hair which ends up sitting on the surface.   

 

Silicone is found under many names in all types of hair products such as shampoo, conditioner, detanglers and shine serums so to identify them,  a loose rule of thumb is to look for words that end in “cone” such as Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Pheryl Trimethicone.    

 

If you want really healthy hair, not just the temporary appearance of healthy hair, going silicone free is definitely the ticket. 

Broke and In Love? What to do for no-budget or low-budget date nights.

You don’t want anyone calling you a cheap date, but the truth is, dating is expensive.  When your budget calls for no or low cost solutions, the key is doing some homework, getting creative and bringing a spirit of fun.  We’ve compiled a list of date ideas that will help you connect without breaking the bank. Who knows, your date might even like the out-of-the-box thinking.  

 

Free Concerts, Farmer’s Markets + Festivals.   Do your homework and look for free community events in your area and build a date around that. There are tons of free concerts,  outdoor festivals and farmer’s markets that are a lively, fun and don’t cost a thing.   

 

Beach Day.  Nothing is more relaxing or intimate than a day at the beach.  Bring a blanket built for two, some beach chairs and a cooler of your favorite snacks.  Even better in the evening, have a bonfire and make S’mores. Campfire talk is especially romantic.  

 

Take a Hike.  Plan a scenic hike.  Exercising together is a great habit to get into and being out in nature is good for the soul.  Bonus points if you bring a backpack with a blanket and some picnic fare and surprise your date with a romantic little stop at a scenic spot.  

 

Geocaching.  It’s a thing.  Couples are doing it in droves and it sparks a spirit of fun, quirky adventure.  Basically, it’s a real life treasure hunt using GPS coordinates and geocaches are literally everywhere. In fact, you probably pass by scores of geocaches hidden on a daily basis and don’t even know it!  Begin on the official Geocache website — all you need is your phone with the free app downloaded. https://www.geocaching.com/play

 

Cook Together.  Even better, shop and cook together. Yes, there is a small cost of groceries, but it’s so much less expensive than eating out and often a much better experience.  How someone is in the kitchen tells you a lot about them as a person. If they are light hearted about burning the garlic bread, you know they can deal with speed bumps with a sense of humor. If they fall apart, you know you may have a perfectionist on your hands.  

 

Game Night.  What’s more fun than playing games? You’ll laugh, you’ll experience a little spirit of competition and create a playful connection. Be creative and throw a twist in to your games.  

If someone loses a hand, they have to tell you something about themselves you don’t already know, or, if you’re intimate, has to lose a piece of clothing.  Game night can be sexy and a blast.  

 

Backyard “Camping”.  Pitch a real tent in the backyard (or a blanket fort inside) and make it extra cozy with tons of pillows and soft blankets.  Make your night complete with lanterns, stargazing and ghost stories.  

 

The point is, when you “do” something together, there is a level of intimacy that creates a much deeper connection than spectating.  So even if you have money, you may want to try something from the list for that reason alone. Now go be a cheap date!

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. 

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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