Lately I've been paying more attention

A better brightening face wash to combat dull skin

Skin brightening cleansers are all the rage, and with good reason. At Seed, we understand that brighter skin is healthier, younger-looking skin. When we age, skin tends to lose its natural radiance. It looks dull. With ingredients like sunflower, lemon and grapefruit essential oils, having brighter skin is possible with Seed Advanced Botanicals Facial Cleanser -- naturally.

With so many brightening cleansers from which to choose, it can be daunting picking the best one. We have said it before and we'll surely say it again here at Seed: Ingredients Matter. They matter a lot.

Seed face wash combat dull skin with brightening essential oils

Let's compare some of the ingredients in popular "brightening" cleansers and see how they stack up.

Here are the ingredients in a "natural" drugstore cleanser promising brighter looking skin:

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerin, Acrylates Copolymer, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Menthyl Lactate, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Cellulose, Citric Acid, Mannitol, Xylitol, Menthol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Polygonum Fagopyrum (Buckwheat) Flour, Ethylparaben, Caffeine, Polybutylene Terephthalate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Citrus Medica Limonium (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Algin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxypropyl Methylocellulose, Ethylene/VA Copolymer, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Talc, Chronium Hydroxide Green, Iron Oxides, Yellow 10

There are many ingredients here to be concerned about. This formula contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, multiple parabens, menthol (which irritates the skin), the #1 ingredient in nail and false eyelash glue (acrylates copolymer), talc & FD & C colorants. None of these have any place in a good cleanser. Artificial fragrance is also a key ingredient.

Here is another:

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Glycolic Acid, Steareth-21, Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Cetyl Lactate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Menthol, Panthenol, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Benzalkonium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Yellow 6, Red 40, Fragrance.

This cleanser is full of synthetics and irritating ingredients. While there is grapefruit, it is near the bottom of the ingredients list. It is also full of FD & C dyes, artificial fragrance and harsh surfactants.

 

Seed brightening cleanser with lemon and grapefruit for dull skin

Let's look at Seed Advanced Botanicals Facial Cleanser with Brightening Lemon and Grapefruit:

Aqua (Water), Coco-Glucoside, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sodium Benzoate, Gluconolactone, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol

Above and Citrus Limonum (Lemon Essential Oil) and Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit Essential Oil)

Let's talk about this formulation. It contains a very gentle coconut-derived cleanser and aloe vera to soothe. The Cetearyl Alcohol is not a drying alcohol, but rather a fatty alcohol. It is emollient. Read more in a previous post about alcohol and the skin. Our formula also contains sunflower oil, shea butter and Vitamin E. Natural, plant-based ingredients are very beneficial to the skin! We also add two essential oils known to brighten and improve clarity: Lemon and Grapefruit.

Brighter skin naturally --- Shop here.

 

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Spring Clean Your Skin Care and Beauty Routine

Seed Body Care is sharing healthy tips for spring cleaning your beauty routine. Spring cleaning time is fast approaching. For some, that means that it’s time to clean out the garage. Just ask my husband, who spent 6 hours doing that on Saturday. Many of us spring clean by removing winter clothes from our closets in order to make room for our spring and summer clothes. 

Just as you would spring clean your home, it makes sense to apply that same logic to your body. Flushing out toxins is essential to optimum health. While true "detox" in the body is controlled by kidneys and the liver, you can help things along!  Your skin is your largest organ, so "spring cleaning" can greatly improve its appearance just in time for shorts, bare arms, and sandal season.

 

Seed shares spring cleaning tips for beauty and skincare

Here are a few of our favorite tips on Springtime Healthy Beauty

Drink your way to glowing skin

We all know that we need to eat our vegetables. It can be hard to eat all of the recommended servings per day, though. That’s why so many people are juicing and adding veggies to smoothies these days. You can get in almost all of your daily recommended servings in just one tall glass.

I for one am not a huge fan of leafy greens, but when I consume them, they aid weight loss and give me clearer, more radiant radiant skin. 

Every morning, I have a smoothie. It helps me stay full, but it tastes good. I use unsweetened almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, dates, and kale. Lots of kale.

Why kale? Personally, it is because I cannot taste it in a smoothies. Health-wise, this veggie is low in calories, yet packed with nutrients known to aid the detox process. Kale contains sulfur, Vitamins A, C, K, B6, potassium, copper and calcium -- all of which benefit the skin.

Do you like the taste of V8? I do. I also add any veggies I have in the fridge with a bit of cayenne, low sodium tomato juice, and pour over ice. I have this in the afternoon as a snack and it tastes delish -- plus it shows in my skin.

Dry brush your skin to for a healthy glow

The practice of dry brushing has been around for hundreds of years. If you can spend just a few minutes each day -- twice a day -- dry brushing your skin, you'll notice a difference after a couple weeks. Not only does this boost circulation, but it stimulates lymphatic drainage. Many believe that this helps to help rid toxins from the body, making the skin appear brighter and with improved clarity.

  • Dry brushing is easy. Experts caution to avoid brushing over the heart and recommend moving from your feet on upwards in long, circular motions. It’s important to keep your brush dry, so it’s a good idea to brush your skin before stepping in the shower or bath.
  • Dry brushing is something you can do on your own with a wooden skin brush, purchased at any body care shop or pharmacy. I have purchased mine at the grocery store in the past.

Try yoga to break a sweat

Exercise is essential to overall health. Breaking a sweat isn’t just good for your muscles -- it’s also key to cleansing. You don’t have to run a marathon or spend hours at the gym each day, though. Yoga may be the ideal exercise to promote glowing skin. In face, right here on the (seed) blog, we recently talked about how beneficial yoga can be to your skin.

Yoga? Seriously? We tend to think of yoga as a relaxing, meditative practice. Vinyasa flow yoga is a fast-paced form of yoga ideal for cleansing. Anecdotal evidence suggests that certain poses help improve liver health, which is essential for detox. One of the more popular yoga poses, downward dog, is believed to help with lymphatic drainage. Holistic practitioners believe that this may help to rid our bodies of excess toxins. Vinyasa yoga, though, is typically done in a heated studio of 85-90 degrees, making you sweat throughout the entire session. Sweating is good for the body! What? Yes. Sweating through physical activities such as yoga may improve your mood, says Dr. James Ting, a sports medicine physician at Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, California:

"Research has suggested that temperature-sensitive neural circuits to specific regions in the brain exist and may play a significant role in controlling mood."

Not only will you reap the benefits of self-reflection during your yoga class, you’ll also get in a solid workout while you rid your body or harmful toxins.

Spring clean your products

Just about everybody spends a weekend spring cleaning. When you have a chance, head to the bathroom and gather up all of your beauty and skin care products. Now is the perfect time to do some label reading. What do you see?

Many experts believe that up to 60% of what you apply to your skin is ultimately absorbed into your bloodstream. Look closely at your labels and if you see harmful ingredients in any of your products such as parabens, artificial colors, sulfates or petrochemicals, you may want to toss them out.

 

Seed Nude Lip Gloss with Abyssinian Oil

 

Breaking up with your favorite products can be hard. We all have had a favorite body wash or lip gloss shade that we adore, but if they happen to contain toxic chemicals, you can always find healthier replacements. Thankfully, there are many healthy alternatives to harmful beauty products these days!

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Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils: The Differences Explained

Essential oils and fragrance oil both add fragrance to products. Today, we’re going to talk about the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils. At Seed, we only use 100% pure essential oils to give our body care products a unique scent. Let’s see how the two differ.


What are Essential Oils? The term "essential oil" is a bit misleading, truth be told. An essential oil is actually a concentrated compound and not an oil at all. These compounds come from various parts of plants. They can be extracted from flowers, bark, resin, leaves, roots, and peels. They are typically extracted through a method called distillation. Distillation can occur chemically or through steam and you really want them to be steam distilled. It is not always an easy process, as it is sometimes much more difficult to extract these natural compounds. You can tell how easily an essential oil is distilled by the cost. The more expensive the essential oil, the more difficult it was to extract the natural compounds from the plant.

Essential Oils are very concentrated and need to be diluted prior to usage in almost every instance. The most common method is by adding Essential Oils to what is known as a Carrier Oil. Adding the concentrated Essential Oils to Grape seed Oil, Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Oil, Avocado Oil, etc. makes it easy to reap the benefits of Aromatherapy because you can apply the oil right to your body.

Seed Body Care Essential Oil Quiz

It's important to keep in mind that a major difference in essential oils vs synthetic fragrance is the experience you have in applying.  Essential oils are activated on your skin with heat and friction (you will smell it more when you rub it in, for example).  The aroma may come as a "burst," but it dissipates - some quickly, others last a bit longer. Fragrance Oils have synthetic preservatives and alcohol to maintain the "smell" longer. 

Essential Oils are the backbone of a practice known as Aromatherapy.

Quite simply, Aromatherapy is the practice of using Essential Oils in order to promote wellness and good health. Aromatherapy used one of our key senses, that of smell. Your nerve receptors, once hit with a fragrance, send a message right up to something called the Limbic System. This is within the brain and it essentially processes a scent and gives you a certain reaction. This is the system that triggers emotional responses to fragrance. Many people associate a certain scent with a person or memory.

Whenever I smell a certain department store perfume, I am reminded of my late grandmother. She always wore it when I was a child and even though she is gone, I instantly think of her when I smell it. When I smell tulips, I am always reminded of the garden I played in at my childhood home. The salty scent of ocean air reminds me of the summer we lived in Coastal Georgia planning our wedding. 

Clearing up confusion when it comes to oils

A common misconception is that popular Fragrance Oils are basically the same as Essential Oils. This could not be more false. Well over 95% of an actual finished Fragrance Oil comes from petrochemicals (crude oil) and are hazardous to your health. These oils are created in a lab and are made to mimic a particular scent. You can buy bottles of synthetic fragrance oil in every type of scent these days--from rose to chocolate chip cookies to pumpkin to the scent of pizza and popcorn. It is important to remember that these highly scented oils serve no benefit, are completely synthetic, and may be very harmful. Even though much has been done to raise awareness of certain toxins, synthetic fragrance oils often contain a harmful range of toxins known as phthalates.

Seed Custom and Beneficial Blends

And, this is why we at Seed believe essential oils are best -- if you are used to synthetic fragrance, it may be an adjustment.  But we are committed to offering you the healthiest options, and believe essential oil options are just that.

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