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Notes from the Apothecary: New Skin Care System Best read in Explorer
Click here for former article re Apothecary
About Mars close up in August: Mars is actually behind the sun and we can't see it at all. The e-mail that has been going around the nation was referring to year 2003.
Click twice for larger photos
Natural Skin Care Line
In late 2008 a skin care company based in Beverly Hills, California commissioned me to engineer what I felt would be the best facial care system. I was given an open budget with no restrictions. This was a welcome project since my customer base had been pushing me for years to create a facial care line. I reserved the right to use the formulas I created to market to my base under my own brand. All of my famous friends have been using my line this year. Click photo twice for largest image.
Mabel's Precious Oils Skin Care Line Continued
Creating the line was a major challenge for me because I felt Rachel Perry Skin Care was, and still is, one of the best facial care systems in the world and Jafra right behind it. You may have not heard these names in years-but few lines still can compare to them. Next I love the work of Dr. Hauschka out of Europe and Nelly DeVuyst specifically out of Belgium. The later two specialize in the science of botany and petals in addition to well thought out synergetic lines such as Perry and Jafra.
I have two opinions about all skin care. The first is that 90% of all ingredients used in the 1800's are still generally the same effective ingredients used today. My second opinion is that skin care is like wine. Cheaper ones can be better than some premium skin care lines. "The difference in year 2000 forward is a new consumer awareness against petrol derived raw materials and parabens." Also new technology of alpha hydroxides, also known as anti-aging ingredients. Many of the crushed seed oils naturally contain high amounts of these. A few of these raw materials such as Red Raspberry Seed oil are showing as 50 SPF although the FDA prohibits that claim to date. Personally I love the properties of Red Raspberry Seed oil and it was one of my first material selections. What else did I select?
"Deborah is to formulation what luster is to pearls." ~Rob Thomas
Acai Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Willow Bark extract, Silk Proteins were the highlights of my start palette. Many of the oils are exorbitant costing upwards of $50 an ounce because they are cold pressed, which makes them rare as well as the fact they compete with the supplement industry for oral consumption. Acai, in particular is better known in the diet arena-so you can just imagine why the commodity stays escalated in demand and subsequently price.
Castile Cleanser - Here is a synopsis of my line: A simple pink liquid or hard form Castile as the regimen foundation for gentle and non-drying cleansing with added glycerin to increase the humectants properties of the soap. Here I remained loyal to a natural and gentle surfactant which few facial care houses bother to consider.
Exfoliation - A tropical smelling gentle exfoliant with ground apricot seeds. Made with pineapple enzymes, the scent definitely makes it a Beverly Hills resort experience. [I love to wash my face these days!] The ingredients include all of the precious oils delineated in the precious Day Creme below.
Toning Rose Water & Willow Bark Extract - After exfoliation a Rose Water & Willow Bark hydrosol for toning and acid mantle restoration.
Finishing Day Creme - The hallmark of the line is a finishing day face creme containing: Pomegranate Seed Extract (Ellagic Acid) 40% polyphenols) [this extract is an excellent antioxidant and free radical scavenger,] Red Raspberry Seed Oil, (Rubus Idaeus) which possesses an exceptionally high proportion of alpha and gamma tocopherols (Vitamin E), vitamin A and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids [another antioxidant and free radical scavenger,] Acai Oil, (Assai Palm) and Silk Protein. Acai Oil has the omega 3, 6 and 9 components as well as B1, B2, B3, E, and C, minerals such as Phosphorus, Calcium, and Potassium, as well as polyphenols, anthocyanins, and phytosterols. Black Cumin Oil, I have always liked. Anti-microbial in nature it is a great anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants as well. Two other favorites of mine are Allantoin and Squalane. Allantoin is used to hasten the growth of new, healthy tissue and Squalane is a natural moisturizer and lubicator of the skin. Squalane is a natural cousin to squalene and is derived from olives and is 100% vegetable in origin. Borage and Rose Hip oil also have a place in my formulation.
Willow Bark [Salix alba] is another hallmark of the day creme and toner. Willow Bark is known for stimulating the skin and cell growth as well as its soothing and calming effect on the skin. Willow bark contains auxins which are plant growth hormones. The set is packed in a gold organza bag and environmentally friendly pink tissue paper.
Facial Treat: Royal Bee Jelly - Independent of the line, another facial treat I like to use once a week- Royal Bee Jelly. Alternate facial "vacations" include straight rose hip oil or borage massaged gently into the face. Neither has a great shelf life and why they are not incorporated into the skin care line. In fact rose hip and/or borage should be kept in the ice box.
Switching to Early Morning Breakfast for Weight Control. I read old magazines because some of the content is just as good, if not better, than modern day content. A really great Good Housekeeping Article (2002) that stood out to me regarded a study where women who ate breakfast in the morning lost weight whereas a control group eating the same exact thing skipped breakfast and experienced no weight loss. The amount of participants was about 40 split into the two groups. The theory was that the body goes into starvation mode before noon when we skip break fast. So we stress the body out and it produces cortisol as we age. According to the study all participants who ate breakfast lost weight over four weeks, some lost up to lost 10 pounds. There were no other diet considerations such as lower calories.
I am still doing really great keeping carbs at bay. I have not gained the weight back I lost last year. I am still aiming for perfection [Martha Stewart's great body] Well, she hikes a lot too!
So, I recently moved my normal diet up to morning and slowed down what I have for dinner. This means I eat cheese omelets in the morning, quiche and/or whatever other low carb foods I like. I did not think I could replace my morning Star Bucks venti Caramel Macchiato with food-but it ended up being easy and my body started to expect a decent breakfast. I do feel far less bloated in the evening and I have lost another five pounds. Not sure why but that is a great side benefit. As a side note the Kelloggs ALL Bran Cracker's are the best thing since sliced bread. If I cheat on carbs it is with this very high fiber and tasty product. My lunch is primarily Chicken or Tuna Salad and some all bran crackers. Drinking strawberry lemonade all day sweetened with Splenda or Stevia has been a must for me and it really keeps the body alkaline since I am prone to ulcers.
More Water? You BET!
Is Your Body is Dying to Tell You Something? Dr. Sarah Brewer discusses how little water we tend to drink and how many illness can arise from dehydration. If you drink enough water, you will not have as many hunger pains. Your body not getting enough water signals with hunger pains. Some people loose weight just by drinking more calorie free water. Consider lack of water being a major faux paux on your part. Drink more water and be amazed at what ache and pains can disappear.
Our Water Supply Should be Your Biggest Concern by Deborah Dolen
The plight of our bees have been my biggest cause until Frontline a division of PBS started a series on our water. After watching the excellent one hour and 45 minute documentary I found nothing going on in our generation is as important as what is going on with the water supply. I wish each and every person had to go out and collect the garbage, among other modifications of big business. Our beautifully manicured lawns [fertilizer] is also a big part of the problem. The rain run off from the unnatural joins the basin areas into the natural. Basically when we screw up our water supply-we are done. We better be looking for life on Mars.
Frontline, investigative TV at its best, began a well documented and easy to understand TV series in April 2009. They took cameras to the most remote, yet important final water destination areas of the states. Chesapeake Bay which is the end of the trip for waters as far as upstate NY, and Puget Sound in Washington State - home to whales, a myriad of other fish, wildlife, Boeing and PCB. Chesapeake Bay is home to crabs, oysters, Purdue Chicken and mutated frogs with six legs. Most convincing is fish being born uni-sex and obviously unable to reproduce. The only thing I found a bit unfair in the series was the failure to mention other chicken producers or industrial plants. I want a list of them ALL. ALL big business have owned lobbyists and most big business throws corporate responsibility on little people such as the farmers who cannot afford new clean up programs. Chicken crap, for example, does cause extremely unhealthy levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in our waters. 750 tons of it per annum in one spot is definitely not natural. Washington Posts take.
Detergents of every kind and pharmaceuticals in recycled water are right behind animal manure water run off on our dirty laundry list. This is one reason I spent years perfecting an all natural soap made with natural phenomenas. I already felt fake soap was a cause of cancer as cancer skyrocketed with our infatuation with fake soap [SLS] during WWI when real soap became short in supply because the war effort needed the real soap more. The men in the war may have been safer with the real soap than us at home! I feel the body sees SLS [the fake soap] as a toxin, does not know what to do with it and sticks it in our glands. Excellent Front Line Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI6p_6bqrnM In our grocery stores I am appalled at soap companies claiming SLS is natural, are lying, and no one is stopping them. Plus it takes petrol to refine the SLS chemical. There is nothing natural about it as they appeal to our "green sense" touting photos of babies wrapped safely in blankets on their SLS bottles. The cheap price alone is a key indicator it is crap du jour. These guys have made SLS appear cheaper than the standard ever toxic dish detergents and laughingly "safer."
As far as our dirty water goes, this whole issue is so major - it is as far reaching as Sarasota Bay, FL where red tide is worse than ever - choking all wild life the bloom gets a hold of. The cause? Fertilizer run off from our perfectly manicured laws and golf courses. How do I know? Fourteen years living on that bay and when we have very little rain we see no red tide. Tons of rain = major red tide, [monstrous algae blooms] subsequent fish kill and wildlife upset. I was tired of seeing dead fish back then. I did not understand the never ending infatuation with the perfect lawn or golf course was a nationwide problem, not just a problem of Sarasota, FL.
What can you do? Consider rain barrels as one basic viable water source unless you live near a major polluted city. You may have to test your rain water to be sure. Also re-consider how much fertilizer your lawn really needs and look at gray water options to water a lawn. Use one natural surfactant like I created based on natural technology instead of ten different toxic ones. Guilt trip EVERYONE you know to join your efforts.
Another way to help with the water issue is only buy meats and chickens from companies who have embraced responsibility for the disposal of manure. Chicken is fine if they were not all raised on one square inch. Meaning growing animals should be spread out across the country and not taxing one small rural town. Yes, they threaten us back with higher poultry prices. Then stick with the small farms. Purdue had one redeeming quality. It found planting trees would take care of some nitrogen and phosphorus. Excellent thinking - but on the other side of their mouth [on Frontline] they claim there is no direct link to crap and water run off. As far as they are concerned it could be run off from our mail boxes. As far as we are concerned, boycott Purdue because they encourage the chicken mills.
Coping with the Heat
My staff felt I should write about how I dealt with Houston's recent heat wave. I do not feel I did deal with it-it dealt with me. Never having been in heat over 100 degrees in my life, I was not prepared and by day 14 of 21 and I was seeing mirages of waterfalls and lemonade. Ok it took me 10 days to figure out the weather was not going to get better. Feels like was hitting 114 degrees and Ringo and I stay secluded in the shop working on holiday 2009 content. Very few people stopped by to visit. He supervised, I wrote. Equipment was not working right either, soap was not setting up, so some orders were behind. By day 11 I was writing my friends on the eastern sea board- "If there is a hell, it is right here and right now." My remote staff pointed out I had cabin fever and to find ways to get out. Until this I had been very happy with my new found independence from an amazingly controlling relationship of nine years and enjoying my work shop this spring season. This heat wave was a swift blow to my getting up on my own two feet. Discouraging would be a better word. It was not until I "accepted" the plight was I able to feel better and delineate a plan.
I noticed it was only 93 degrees by 6:00 AM. I revised my schedule only doing exercise and errands between 6:00 AM and 10:00 AM. We could walk during those times shop, buy more supplies and cart in mega amounts of water. Water and ice being the critical resources-I made 5 gallons of strawberry lemonade for me and for sharing with people visiting me. Making that was very fun.
I listen to Cat Stevens comforting work a lot and I started playing the guitar again. I think Cat Stevens was one of the best folk musicians ever and I think his work was divinely inspired. He always had total command over his chords, lyrics, vocals even artwork. Tea for The Tillerman (1970) is the album with most of his hits if you want to buy that CD. Teaser and the Firecat (1971) is the other. Courtesy of YouTube:
Beyond that I committed to my usual summer schedule, writing and filming-knowing I like to vacation in the autumn anyway as most people choose summer to be off. Having something to look forward to is always very important. That last sentence maybe the key to how I did handle the heat.
Read about Ringo a dog flown in from Katrina. Official Bio of his owner and short Bio. RSS Syndicated Feeds on the environment. How Twitter is best used. Deborah Dolen Books on Amazon. Review of her books on Open Library, Paperback Swap, Good Reads and ReviewScout. You can also read Google Profile. Deborah Dolen on MySpace Facebook, and Flickr. This is our favorite blogspot. See Deborah Dolen on YouTube and her last book written London Apothecary and book. For more environmental articles on water and oil.
Visit Deborah on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/deborah.dolen MySpace http://www.myspace.com/deborah_dolen Twitter http://twitter.com/DeborahDolen or BlogSpot http://deborahdolen.blogspot.com/ Buy Natural Liquid Soap! It is much safer than commercial brands. Natural Liquid Soap for People or Natural Liquid Soap for pets.
Something About the Lord by Deborah R. Dolen
I cannot thank the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enough. Their love has always been unconditional and their works breathtakingly strong. The Mormon influence on me as an at risk teenager was enormously wonderful and why I proceeded to write 25 books and generate film about crafts, projects, short term vocational skills and economizing as an adult. In addition to that I was able to keep my kids active and in the right direction as a widow-in a Baptist environment in my 20's and 30's. I called myself Mor-Bap.
Forty something (46), after Ike hit Houston, Florida Real Estate plummeted, I did a personal inventory of where I was lacking, and where I was headed. Lack of volunteer work was one thing I missed very much as I was kept deliberately isolated in 2007 and 2008. Post IKE I watched the Mormons loan people generators, mend fences rapidly and share food. They did this by teams of 30 members showing up at each home for an hour. I learned what 30 people can get done in one hour working together. And they had fun for the most part doing it. Hardly pacing the floor alone in some isolated world wondering how to repair life after IKE. In fact anyone who fared well post IKE was because they had family, any solid church relation of any denomination and everyone worked together. True we are born alone and die alone, but oddly enough, we need others to feed us and change our diapers or we exit fairly fast. So we do need other people.
Regarding post IKE, I personally wanted to change course and only through their massive help, love and team work that comes natural to them was I able to do so. My situation was sophisticated and seemed impossible. After they got done helping me re-engineer my life, which took eight weeks, they thanked me for the opportunity to help. That is unconditional love and lots of it. I was too stunned to thank them enough. I have never seen that much action in my entire life.
This summer the Latter-day Saints are at the shop on almost a daily basis helping do this or that. For the first time in my life people know what I am doing, headed with an idea or working on because for the most part - they taught me! Having said all of this, I want to thank again all of my Christians lady friends across the country, post IKE, who had to rotate endless hours of phone time with me to keep me focused to move forward and on my best gifts.
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