RAW THOUGHTS

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. 

How do I know if my skin is dehydrated or dry? 

It’s not the same thing…

 

Your once glowy skin is suddenly a little dull and tired looking.  So what’s the culprit? Dry skin or dehydrated? They are definitely not one and the same.   

 

Dry skin refers to a “type” of skin that lacks oil and needs to be moisturized.  Dehydrated refers to a condition where the skin lacks water and needs to be hydrated.

 

The sudden appearance of exaggerated wrinkles, redness, lots of congestion and inflammation  along with darker circles are common signs of dehydration while dry skin tends to be uncomfortable, rough, flaky and even itchy.  

 

While there’s no “cure” for dry skin, there are things you can do to help.  Exfoliation helps moisturizer sink in more effectively and using a richer night cream is a good idea.  

 

You can fix dehydration fairly quickly with some lifestyle changes. Water is essential to making it look more plump and bouncy so drink up. In addition, eat a water-rich diet of fruits, veggies, and good fats and use a humidifier.  

 

Remember,  skin is the last organ to receive the nutrients we consume which means the last to get the water you drink.  8 glasses is just a start. Cheers!

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.

EAT LESS MEAT.  

The single most effective action you can take to combat climate change is to stop eating meat, or at least, eat less of it. Red meat is the real culprit, producing 5 times more emissions than poultry counterparts.  

 

You don’t have to become a vegetarian, but eating meat less frequently will significantly help the environment. Make it fun by declaring Meatless Mondays and Veggie Wednesdays.  Every meatless meal helps reduce your footprint. 

 

UNPLUG. 

We don’t just mean put your tech away — we mean unplug the chargers too.  ALL electronics suck energy when they’re plugged in, EVEN IF they’re powered down. It’s called “vampire power.” Anytime a cord is plugged into a socket, it’s drawing energy – so although your device isn’t charging, you’re still contributing to your carbon footprint. Leave your electronics unplugged at all times, unless you’re actually using them.

 

DRIVE LESS.

Choose leg power over horsepower.  Public transport over individual rides.  Any time you choose to walk, bike, or take the bus – you’ll be making an easy decision with immediate benefits on the environment.  Not to mention, leaner, stronger legs are an added bonus. If you can’t avoid driving, make sure you make lists and group outings so you’re being more efficient on the road — and in life.  

 

PLANT A GARDEN. 

Hear this: Plants absorb carbon dioxide.  Planting trees or a garden will clean your air, give you shade and nourish your body. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, planting some greens will absolutely reduce your carbon footprint. So get your hands dirty — whether it’s by planing some bee-friendly flowers, a few trees, or a vegetable garden. Mother Earth will love you for it.  

 

EAT LOCAL. 

Whenever possible, try to eat local, in-season produce. Sticking to foods that are grown locally, in your own city or surrounding area, helps to reduce the carbon footprint created by shipping foods from elsewhere. The closer it’s grown to you, the better.   Shop local farmer’s markets or look for “locally grown” signs at your grocery store. The less that you food has to travel, the smaller your carbon footprint. 

Benefits of using a daily scrub for your skin, especially in the Summer.

Benefits of using a daily scrub in summer.

 

Your skin goes through a lot in summer — from too much sun exposure to sweating through the warm summer days.  Using a gentle and nourishing skin scrub to exfoliate at least once a week will help you break out of your dry and dull skin rut and leave you fresh, revived, nourished and glowing.

 

If you’re using a daily scrub, make sure the one you choose is gentle and contains pure, essential ingredients that will help, not harm summer sensitive skin.

 

Daily Scrub Benefits: 

  1. Gets rid of dead and dry skin cells, revealing smoother softer skin
  2.  Increases blood circulation and reduces toxins in the lymphatic system which helps skin renew and maintain glow
  3. Helps relieve clogged pores 
  4. Reduces ingrown hair potential 

 

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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