Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sweet Blossom Hydrating Body Oil



Sweet Blossom Hydrating Body Oil

with Petitgrain, Neroli, Ylang Ylang and Frankincense

For all skin conditions: quenches dry, dehydrated skin, calms sensitivity and redness, deeply moisturizes the skin. A nourishing blend of cold-pressed certified organic oils of apricot kernel, sesame, sunflower, jojoba and vitamin e. Scented with the fine, fresh fragrance of petitgrain leaf, layered with sweet neroli blossoms, a hint of exotic ylang.. and balanced with the harmony of rich, resinous frankincense.
Sweet Blossom Hydrating Body Oil is a special treatment for all-over body care. Nourishing and soothing with certified organic essential oils, our new intensive body oil blends cold-pressed, premium plant oils that work to create softer, smoother skin while protecting its natural hydro-lipid moisture balance.

Daily use after bath or shower eliminates dry, dehydrated and damaged skin caused by the extremes of environmental conditions in summer and winter. Sweet Blossom Hydrating Body Oil can be used as a massage treatment oil, this vitamin-rich blend activates the body's circulation which helps to eliminate toxins and excess water while refining, softening and firming the skin.

How to: Smooth oil onto skin still damp after bath or shower; penetrates quickly leaving the skin glowing and feeling soft and silky smooth.

Alternative use: pour one to two ounces into bath water for fragrant, soothing, hydrating body soak treatment.


INGREDIENTS (INCI): Cold-pressed oils of sunflower seed (Helianthus annuus),* sesame seed (Sesamum indicum)*, jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)* and apricot kernel (Prunus armeniaca)* with essential oils of petitgrain and neroli (Citrus aurantium), frankincense (Boswellia carterii) and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) and Vitamin E.
* Certified Organic

No GMOs, parabens, petroleum-based products, synthetic fragrances, gluten, or animal testing. No sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates. Just pure plant love.

Sweet Blossom Hydrating Body Oil click here to purchase

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prayers for the Gulf


Dear friends,
I am flooded (apt metaphor, eh?) with emotions about the disaster in the Gulf. Every time I see a picture of a bird or a turtle or other animal affected directly or indirectly by this tragedy, salty tears (more ocean water metaphors) silently drop from my eyes and I am overwhelmed with useless emotions: anger, rage, grief, frustration... I don't want this utter sense of helpless frustration in my body, so when my friend Lynne sent this prayer to me from Wise Woman Newsletter I was thrilled. We are after-all, 98% water and store emotions, past and present in the fluid element of the body and its tissues. The water metaphor is too obvious to ignore. So here was a way to infuse this environmental catastrophe with positive emotions instead of being awash with negativity.

'Waters' are at the heart of my philosophy of caring for the skin. I rely on our small and extended family of organic farmers and distillers to supply us with our fresh hydrosols. Our Facial Tonic Hydrosols represent the alchemical journey from earth to plant matter to water and its hydrating effect refreshes, replenishes, vitalizes and restores the skin and our emotions. Without water we will not exist, a point we realize all too keenly.

Peace Prayer on Facial Tonics
What we propose to do, starting as soon as our printer gets me the label, is to attach the Peace Prayer (the same one that is on my Puja Perfume bottle: "May all beings everywhere be happy and free") onto all our Facial Tonic Hydrosol bottles. As Dr Emoto suggests, it sends 'hidden' messages of wisdom, reassurance and peace through the beautiful crystal element of our Tonic Waters resulting in Energy and Beauty.

Please join me in sending our collect healing thoughts and prayers to the waters of the Gulf. I refuse to believe that we can't make a difference! Together our hopeful intentions will speed the healing and maybe even a send a fluid, watery cleansing miracle to this besieged area.

Thank you,
Evan



With thanks From: June 2010 Mid-Month Wise Woman Newsletter.
Blessing the Water - set an intention of love and healing:
Dr. Emoto - author scientist, and humanitarian - has shared a brief, yet power prayer and we are passing it along here as a focal point, a space of conscious creation allowing us to move past fear, judgment and retribution into Unity, Harmony and Wholeness. This prayer is structured using Ho'oponopono and is directed initially at WATER - the element connecting ALL Life on the planet. Water ... the carrier of Spirit and the flow-er of Love!!!

Dr. Masaru Emoto's Healing Prayer for the Gulf:

"I send the energy of love and gratitude to the water and all the living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings.

To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, plankton, coral, algae, and all living creatures . . .

I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you. "

We are passing this request to people who we believe might be willing to participate in this prayer, to set an intention of love and healing that is so large, so overwhelming that we can perform a miracle in the Gulf of Mexico.

We are not powerless. We are powerful. Our united energy, speaking this prayer daily...multiple times daily....can literally shift the balance of destruction that is happening.

We don't have to know how......we just have to recognize that the power of love is greater than any power active in the Universe today.

Please join us in oft repeating this healing prayer of of Dr. Emoto's. And feel free to copy and paste this to send it around the planet. Let's take charge, and do our own clean up!


Kali the Hindu goddess of life and death, of creation and destruction...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Arghand Soaps - Handcrafted products from Afghanistan



"Afghanistan is a country with an average income of $300 a year. Most people live without electricity or running water, drivable roads are scarce, and few are educated. Many have had little hope for improvement. That kind of environment is always a breeding ground for insurgents and fundamentalists; and if the only hope of improving one’s family’s situation is to join a insurgency, then that’s what often happens. Which led me to the conclusion that: No matter how much money we spend, no matter how many young men and women from the U.S. and allied countries deploy to Afghanistan, no matter how much blood is shed or how many sacrifices are made, unless something gives the local populace a reason to hope for a better future, it will all be in vain.
Arghand Co-op is that hope. It’s giving people the chance to participate in improving their lives. Members have been willing to risk their lives to make it work. And they did. They now produce a unique line of handmade natural products that are not only healthy, but attractive. Now it’s up to us to help them succeed."
- Sarah Chayes, Arghand Co-operative

Launching in July.... We are thrilled to offer a beautiful and unique line of hand crafted soap from the Arghand Cooperative located in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Arghand soaps are laboriously hand shaped to resemble river-polished local stones. The soaps are made from nuts, seeds, herbs, fruits and flowers that are indigenous to southern Afghanistan. These soaps are gentle on the skin and their scent comes only from the rich natural fragrance of their ingredients. Each hand-polished soap (4.5 oz, or 125 g) will come individually wrapped in a page from a regional Afghan newspaper...The soap and its presentation makes a unique and exceptional gift!

Arghand Cooperative, a bold experiment in local initiative and sustainable development, was founded in May 2005 by Sarah Chayes, formerly an international correspondent for National Public Radio.

In 1995, after going to southern Afghanistan to report on the war, Chayes decided to remain in the country to help the people rebuild their community. She knew that the land was good for more than growing opium, and that Afghanistan would never free itself from instability unless it could find a new export.
So she began working with a handful of brave men and women, seizing on the increasing demand for natural products by growing almonds, apricots, pomegranates, and the precious blossoms of Rosa damascena, and turning them into gorgeous, 100% natural soaps. The result is a unique line of soaps and oils, whose aesthetic beauty and skin-nourishing virtues are truly unparalleled.

Soap, not dope!
Arghand (the word means triumph in Persian) Cooperative's purpose is to contribute to the economic development of southern Afghanistan by producing luxury soaps from the legendary fruits of the Kandahar region thus also competing with the opium industry by expanding the market for licit crops. Arghand’s long-term objective is to contribute to the process of weaning southern Afghanistan off its dependence on opium poppy. This scourge is distorting the region’s economy, criminalizing its politics and putting its people at the mercy of armed gangs and so-called insurgents. Only by expanding the market for licit local agriculture Arghand members believe, can the rural population be liberated from the grasp of opium.


Labor-Intensive

The women prepare the raw materials (cracking nuts, washing pomegranate seeds, etc.) from which the men extract a variety of cold pressed and essential oils.
Using these oils, they make soap which then gets passed back to the women. The women grate the soap and melt it back down, adding in both the precious essential oils and natural dyes for color. They weigh and hand mold each of the bars, which have become hard enough by the following day to be hand-smoothed in a basin of cool water. After this first polish, the women take the soaps down to the basement where they sit curing for six weeks. It is the men who retrieve the soaps and use their strong, gloved thumbs to perform the final polish. When this step has been completed, the men wrap the soaps in strips of turban silk, attach the labels, wrap them again in newspaper and load the shipping cartons.


Arghand works directly with local farmers for the provision of its raw materials and over time will be including them among its members. Arghand also hopes to be a catalyst for new agricultural techniques – organic wherever possible and conservative of resources – as well as general know-how and equipment to participating farmers. Your purchase supports this very worthy cause.

Stay Tuned! Launching in July evanhealy

Monday, May 3, 2010

Brown Spots/ Hyperpigmented Skin

This is a question from a customer regarding the appearance of brown spots, and my answer:

"Dear Evan,

I am a woman in my 60s who has been using Pomegranate Repair Serum and Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer for 3 months. I have noticed his healing effects and have been delighted. However, in the last couple of weeks I have begun to develop a significant number of brown splotches on my cheeks, some of them are growing larger. I am very concerned and would very much appreciate hearing from you. Should I discontinue using the Pomegranate Repair Serum? Do you have any ideas why this condition has developed on my cheeks? What would you recommend? I would like to continue using your products as I have liked them very much, but I do wonder if I may be having a reaction to one or both of them.

Thank you very much for your products and your support."


Monday May 3 2010 09:05 AM PDT


ANSWER:

evan said...

Hi Jean - Thank you for your question... These brown spots could be hyperpigmentation, also called 'liver spots'. There can be a variety of causes: sun exposure (from years before), changes in hormones, illness or injury, or prescription drugs including some antibiotics, antiarrhythmics, or antimalarial medication.

Hyperpigmentation seems to come on slowly: one day you'll look in the mirror and notice brown spots that (seemingly) weren't there yesterday! This happens to all of us. The origin of hyperpigmented skin comes from the skin's deep melanin layer (see more below).

The good news: I can reassure you it is not from the protective Rose Vetiver Day Moisture or the Pomegranate Repair Serum.

In fact, the Pomegranate Serum (or our RoseHip Serum) is a synergistic formula rich in essential fatty acids and the natural vitamins a + c, as well as valuable plant lipids – all of which actually contribute to beginning to fade or minimize these brown spots. To prevent deepening of the color or the spread of these hyperpigmented areas, (also called ‘solar lentigines’), I highly recommend limiting your exposure to sun: either by covering face and arms when you in the sun – or - daily use of a sun block to prevent the spreading and darkening of the spots. I like zinc oxide as an active sun block ingredient. (see my earlier blog on sun protection).

I also want to add, there is a very common product ingredient in almost all "anti-aging" skin care product that is the cause of a high percentage of hyperpigmented skin that I saw over my years in skin care practice: AHA's, (alpha hydroxy acids) or fruit enzymes. I would witness sometimes drastic changes in skin, month to month in both texture and pigmentation. AHA's literally dissolve the protective epidermal layer of the skin – this layer offers an important protection from the sun. So, I strongly suggest that if you are using AHA's, to stop.

Hyperpigmentation: is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin color of people of any race.

Melasma: These spots are similar in appearance to age spots but are larger areas of darkened skin that appear most often as a result of hormonal changes. In practice I would see more hyperpigmented arise as a woman enters menopause, or in the years beyond. These spots do take years to appear, both from hormones as well as sun exposure. Pregnancy, for example, can trigger overproduction of melanin that causes the "mask of pregnancy" on the face and darkened skin on the abdomen and other areas. Women who take birth control pills may also develop hyperpigmentation because their bodies undergo similar kind of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. If one is really bothered by the pigment, the birth control pills should be stopped.
Hope this helps!
Cheers, Evan



Monday May 3 2010 11:12 AM PDT

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Menopausal Skin


A happy face is ageless
This photo, from my own collection, was taken on our way to Kanyakumari and further adventures on a Ferry to Vivekananda's rock, Meditation in Cave, Visit Gandhi's Memorial...with Rasa Ayurveda [dot com]



The skin is metabolically teeming with life.


It is one of the largest hormone secretors in the body and is the on-site manufacturer of approximately fifty percent of your immune cells. It has more hormones and enzymes than the liver and is the proverbial synthesizer and bio-converter of substances including hormones, enzymes, proteins and vitamins.

Holistic skin care products, and products rich in plant lipids in particular (rose hip, pomegranate, sea buckthorn, olive, hemp, evening primrose, etc) can offer immense help both psychologically (soothing to the nervous system; you feel better because your skin looks beautiful and glowing) as well as physiologically (physical comfort, regeneration, smooth, soft, vital) when coping with hormonal changes.

Here are a few facts:

As we age, the number and activity of sweat glands is reduced. This explains why older people are more susceptible to heat strokes. The sebaceous glands become larger (because of decreased estrogen), but as circulation decreases, the number and activity of these glands falls. This results in more dry, coarse skin prone to itchiness and other dry skin symptoms. Fat tissue, which acts as an insulation is reduced. This loss of insulation contributes to increased susceptibility of the skin to bruises. Collagen and elastin (ability of the skin to 'bounce back') production is also decreased: the skin crinkles, and its supportive, scaffolding-like nature diminishes.

Estrogen keeps the skin metabolically active, soft, supple and well hydrated (I am not encouraging HRT!). Estrogen stimulates the synthesis and turn-over of collagen and elastin and increases the production of hyaluronic acid which is the major contributor of the jello-like substance known as glycosaminoglycans.

This is the substance in the dermal layer which provides the medium from which the fibroblasts draw their nutrients to produce collagen and elastin. The collagen and elastin fibers are suspended in the glycosaminoglycans - which is also known as mucopolysaccarides.


So, okay, where's the good news you're asking!

In holistic skin care, rather than treat the areas of imbalance, the more successful and long term solution is to support the totality of skin functions, encourage the skin to self-regulate by using a combination of:

RoseHip and Pomegranate Repair Serum: Our natural Oil Serums are rich with sustainable plant lipids: combinations of essential fatty acids, essential for regenerating skin at the cellular layers.

Facial Tonic Hydrosols: replaces hydration and balances oil content, saturates the skin with gentle aromatic molecules, and mixes perfectly with Oil Serums to regenerate the cells, replace tone and vitality, and leave the skin glowing.


Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leaf Mask Treatment
: Once a week mask treatment with our Whipped Shea Butter replaces moisture lost daily, is rich in anti-oxidant vitamins of E, A, C, D and flavinoids - all in their natural forms; enzymes, bio-actives and valuable unsaponifiable fats which act to plump and bring a rich, soft feel to dry, dehydrated skin. Whipped Shea Butter can also be used as a daily protective (it's the ultimate in protection for skin) moisturizer for skin exposed to sun, wind, hot or cold temperatures.

Plant oils have a special affinity and relationship to the skin's own lipids and can help to restore the lipid balance in the skin, and encourage the skin to regulate itself and retain it's own moisture.
And that is the ultimate anti-aging treatment for skin!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cultivate a Peaceful Face


"An affectionate disposition not only makes the mind more peaceful and calm, but it affects our body in a positive way too. On the other hand, hatred, jealousy and fear upset our peace of mind, make us agitated and affect our body adversely. Even our body needs peace of mind and is not suited to agitation.This shows that an appreciation for peace of mind is in our blood."

- HH the Dalai Lama

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

an online interview with Evan

the classic beauty ideal

1. What is your favourite product to use?


A/ Oh, yikes. Asking me which product is my favorite is like asking a mother which child she loves best! I enjoy all of my products, and their therapy is enhanced when they are used in combination. For instance: I especially love the gentle scents and hydrating calming effects of our pure Facial Tonic Hydrosols. I love the way they interact with skin to restore much-needed hydration and vitality to skin. I literally saturate my skin, pressing the droplets of water into my skin. These plant waters are best utilized in combination with our Oil Serums.
I have to also mention my Whipped Shea Butters. A few years ago I worked all summer perfecting this shea butter for dry, dehydrated, hyperpigmented and devitalized skin. The Whipped Shea Butters are so therapeutic - I even use them to cleanse my skin at night!

2. Home use of procedures like microdermabrasion and chemical products such as AHA and Retinol creams have really taken off over the last 10 years; do you think the public is more, or less receptive to natural products as a result?


A/ I have to disagree with the premise that these products have 'taken off'. Or perhaps more to the point, I simply disagree with this ubiquitous treatment model, the one that places products and treatment methods that inflict a purposeful burn at its center.

Your epidermal layer is there for a reason.

Constantly dissolving the skin with micro-dermabrasions, AHA's, BHA's etc, not only create product addiction, it has been my experience that they leave the skin desperately thinned; it becomes dehydrated, overly sensitive, flaky, with broken capillaries, and because it has lost it ability to protect itself, another side effect is significant hyper-pigmented areas of the skin. This uneven pigmentation is created when the skin, stripped of its protective acid mantle, its pH balance, is exposed daily to the sun. Unfortunately, it is only in retrospect that the damage is discovered.
These acids are quick fixes with no long-term benefits.
The fibers that contribute to the structure of the skin, its scaffolding network - begins to collapse. The glue-like cement that once held the cells together is dissolved every time an acid or microdermabrasion is applied, and with this loss goes the skin's integrity. It is worn away over weeks, months, years, and unfortunately, as we get older our cells loose the ability to regenerate.
The very issues the client is trying to solve with these products are actually becoming exacerbated. And so yes, I have been seeing a change of attitude in the public for a number of years now, there is a growing awareness and enlightenment with regards to their skin care treatments and their skin's health.

3. Do you think you can get competitive results and still respect the environment?


A/ Absolutely. In fact it has been my experience that you get better, more authentic results by working with our environment, by respecting nature and the natural world.

We work with the people who are closest to healing plants, the growers, distillers of plants who are alchemists and artisans in their own right. Our plant material is fresh - it is organic - it is vital, vibrant and fragrant and its effects on the skin carry these same attributes.
We are terrestrial beings. We have a direct, interactive and symbiotic relationship with the earth and its healing plants: we breathe out carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen – plants do the opposite. We are dependant on the plant world and its many chemical interactions that contribute to a beneficial atmosphere, trees are the lungs of the earth...

Our personal environment (body and skin health) is simply an outer reflection of our inner nature or cosmology. The organ of the skin is constantly changing and adapting us to our immediate environment the more we use organic plant actives, rather than synthetic chemical isolates which are akin to slathering our skin with silicone (dimethicone, for instance) the more vital, balanced and relaxed our skin will be, and the better it will look!

4. You have a new line of fragrances and hydrosols are part of your product regimen; how does fragrance relate to beauty in your world?


A/ My fragrance line and the perfumes are offered as much for their specific healing effects on the psyche and are directly related to beauty in all its guises. These perfumes are sourced and created from traditional artisan distillers and are all natural with no synthetics. In this way they contribute as much to our sense of well being as do the natural aromatic molecules of the hydrosols or essential oils contribute to the health of our skin.

Inhaling natural fragrances contribute in important ways to ones health and have been used as integral healing substances over the ages. For instance our new Puja Attars are, in the Ayurvedic tradition, applied to the body (ear lobes, wrist pulse points, forehead etc) to help balance the body and its doshas [in Ayurveda, the doshas are the body's three vital energies].

Anosmia is a disease where the sufferer has lost the ability to smell and its loss has been associated with depression, loss of vitality, lower libido and possibly even a lower life expectancy. Clearly, smell and its associated sense of taste is central to a feeling of happiness and a positive experience of our surrounding world.

5. What is your idea of beauty?



A/ Philosophers over the ages have attempted to give definition to this question. I can only answer that from my perspective, as an aesthetician: I believe beauty has nothing to do with the way we look. To me there is an aspect of beauty that is ephemeral and intuitive, it is a quality of inner peace, a state of emotional and spiritual equilibrium that is reflected as a soft glow on the face and its expression is as simple as a smile.
It is often said that true beauty comes from within, and I agree. Beauty is wonderful by-product of a healthy body, and your health is your most important possession. If you are healthy and happy, you will be beautiful!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mudra - Yoga for Hands


This gesture symbolises the connected nature of human consciousness with the divine

As an aesthetician for over twenty years, the touch of my hands on a face has been the vehicle for how I would communicate a sense of calming peace and ahimsa to my clients. In applying a Puja Attar (vetiver + edwardian rose!) the other day, it occurred to me that I was using specific marma points in placing this plant perfume (in the tradition of Ayurveda, a marma is a vital energy point located on the surface of the body), but I also noticed that I was holding my hands in a specific mudra position as well.
The significance of this realization to me was to note how important our own touch is to the overall healing process and that applying nourishing skin care products via massage of face and body is an important and significant part of this process. When you apply natural and vital nutrients to skin with your hands, as you do when you apply evanhealy products, it sends a message of self caring and reassurance to your psyche and your body -- your touch is also activating and awakening the life force in these products which supports natural beauty and long term benefits.

What's a Mudra? (source/Mudras: Yoga in your Hands - Gertrud Hirschi) A Mudra has many meanings. It is a gesture, a mystic position of the hands, a seal, or even a symbol....There are also eye positions, body postures and breathing techniques that are called mudras. These symbolic finger movements can vividly depict certain states or processes of consciousness, or lead to the states of consciousness they symbolize.


The best-known hand mudra of yoga is the position called Chin Mudra: the index finger and the thumb touch. The thumb is symbolic of the divine and the index finger is symbolic of individual (human) consciousness...The ultimate goal being the unifying of humanity with cosmic consciousness. This gesture, the touching of index finger to thumb in a circle, expresses this desire....in this gesture, inspiration and intuition form a closed unity.


The next time you apply evanhealy Cleansers, Day Moisturizers, Whipped Shea Butters or Oil Serum to your face, take the time to close your eyes and inhale the gentle fragrances and notice how soothing your own touch is to your spirit and skin.

To visit our website: click here!

Om Shanti

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mitti Attar



Monsoon Rain. So vital for life, offered by the creation spirits of the skies, the first droplets of water hit the earth after a long, blisteringly hot summer...


Mitti Attar is the ancient and elemental perfume of the earth.

As the first monsoon droplets hit the fissured and cracked earth, as gritty dust and rain water mingle to produce the "fluidum vitale" a perfume is composed; earth and water elements combine to create a primordial mixture that infuses the warm air with a soft, soothing scent: earthy and strangely exotic.

Mitti Attar is baked earth from the Ganges River hydro-distilled in to pure sandalwood oil. It is the scent of the earth and expresses a grounded physicality: this is a smell with depth and nuance. It's a wonderful fragrance for men.
On men and women alike, Mitti Attar bestows therapeutic benefits and encourages expansive and rhythmic breathing, restoring a sense of deep and abiding calm that revitalizes the nervous system.

As an attar penetrates into the skin, your own personal chemistry will transform the fragrance and as the oils warm and evolve, unfolding over time, they become a singularly individual fragrance, no natural attar smells the same on anyone else.
In Ayurveda, the ancient medical system of India, attars are reported to have therapeutic health benefits, and it is safe, even suggested to reapply attars through the day.

May the divine presence in this oil calm your mind, soothe your spirits and quiet your heart.

Available now: Puja Sacred Fragrances click here

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Saffron Attar

Photo by Ruth Cincotta

Saffron Attar - Crocus sativa - The thread of myth, from the Arabic za’fran, is the beautiful, energetic color of sunlight. The fragrance is rich, warm, spicy and sweet. There is a dimension of creaminess that comes from sandalwood’s mellow influence adding softness to the overall scent.

Aromatic oils have long been the friends of my senses. I apply Saffron Attar on my forehead (as a fragrant bindi) and over heart chakra, almost intuitively, in the morning. I love its rich, spicy, warm and soothing aroma and having a golden droplet the color of sunlight on my third eye.

The fragrance also feels like it somehow provides a protective easement, a subtle early morning buffer-zone allowing me the time I need to move into my day more slowly and mindfully.

In the tradition of Ayuveda, the purifying, heart-opening aroma of Saffron Attar is also a heart tonic – bestowing serenity and a feeling of expanded awareness and compassion.

As an attar penetrates into the skin, your own personal chemistry will transform the fragrance and as the oils warm and evolve, they become a very personal and individual fragrance, no natural attar smells the same on anyone else.

Puja Attars, by evanhealy fragrances can be used alone or combined to create a completely unique and personal fragrance...I encourage you to experiment.

One of the hallmarks of traditionally distilled Attars is that they improve with age growing softer, richer, rounder and more mellow, bestowing the wearer with not only fragrance, but a therapeutic feeling of deep, restorative calm.
Wear in fragrant good health. Om shanti

Available March 8th. Puja Sacred Fragrances click here


Please Note: Unlike conventional fragrances and perfume, PUJA Fragrances and LIMITED EDITION Hydrosols are unique and seasonal, therefore will be limited in availability. While we will most likely be able to offer our range of Attars and/or essential oils on a consistent and on-going basis, each Oil or Attar will be marked by a batch number. The individual scent characteristics particular to a fragrance will vary season-to-season, reflective of the inevitable changes that occur in the natural world.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Scented Dryer Sheets + Laundry Detergent: Fluidum Letale

I love my neighbors, but they use the most hideous smelling laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I have to close all doors and windows on laundry day. And the amazing thing about the "loudness" of this stench? They don't smell it, at all. It is truly fluidum letale: a scent destructive to human beings!

Those of us in the natural skin and body care industry, and our customers are keenly aware of ingredients that we put on our skin, but i would like to suggest that our alarm and our awareness expand to include scented fabric softeners and highly scented laundry detergent sheets.

They contain chemicals such as chloroform, benzyl acetate, and pentane, known to cause cancer and/or damage to lungs, brain, and the central nervous system.
The fragrances (aroma chemicals) that are used are not regulated by any government agency, there is no law that requires fragrance ingredients to be out on the product labels.

Fabric softener chemicals are made to stay in clothes fibers and slowly release for a very long time. That slow release of chemicals into the air affects the health of those wearing the clothes and of the people around them.

This highly sensitizing chemical soup of toxic fragrances in laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets affect us directly in two ways: topically through our skin (look for unexplained skin rashes, headaches, nausea, depression, etc) while we wear the clothes (and sweat) and via lungs and inhalation, we breathe in the fumes. In fact when neighbors dry laundry that has been washed in scented detergent, and dried with scented sheets whole neighborhoods are affected by the invisible, but highly toxic, cloud of fumes, especially children and babies.

The effects of these poisonous aroma chemicals are amplified by the super heating of the drying cycle which only increases their sensitizing effect. The olfactory system tries to warn us but the chemicals also exhibit subtle 'numbing' effect that create a 'scent immunity', so eventually your sense of smell turns 'off'. Our number one alarm system is our olfactory system, the nose.

What can be used instead?

Obviously an easy switch for a laundry detergent would be to look for an unscented choice. Read labels. I like Seventh Generation and...Soap Nuts!

To soften fabrics and to reduce static cling add a cup or more of plain baking soda to each wash.

And personally... I love the smell of clothes, towels and sheets dried outside on a line...fresh and clean!

Just Say No.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nsekanabo: 2008 - 2010


Nsekanabo, son of Tumaini and Kabirizi.

This baby gorilla was found painfully trapped by a poacher's snare yesterday with severe facial injuries. The vets thought they had found him in time to save him, did an intervention, then discovered he had died overnight. Nsekanabo was Tumaini’s first known child. Tumaini is also the sister of Ndeze, one of the 2 orphans in the Senkwekwe Centre.

Tumaini is still carrying him around, so the Rangers will now follow the family closely (maybe for several days), until she leaves Nsekanabo behind. Then the Rangers will recover the body, and the Gorilla Doctors will be able to perform the necropsy - an autopsy performed on an animal to determine cause of death.

This is terrible news. Nsekanabo seemed to be doing well after the intervention by the Gorilla Doctors. And now this. The Rangers are devastated.

Protecting the Mountain Gorillas of Virunga - DR Congo: If you wish to donate, even a little will help to save these endangered and magnificent animals who share 95% of our DNA: Donate here

More information about the help for Nsekanabo that was provided by the vets of the Mt Gorillas Veterinary Project here

PS/ Although this post has nothing to do directly with skincare and holistic treatments, it does have everything to do with nourishing the soul, doing things in life that contribute to the feelings of happiness or satisfaction. Positive emotions increase endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for those "feel good" emotions.
I have contribute because this is the least I can do, it helps to alleviate my feelings of helplessness at such a tragic situation, and it is a cause that is deeply important to me, personally. I want to help animals that are unable to help themselves and are struggling to survive in war-torn environments such as DR Congo.

Friday, February 5, 2010

How I was first introduced to essential oils...

Huahine, Tahiti

It was 1977 and with my father as captain, my family and I were making the overnight sail from Papeete, towards the outer Tahitian island of Huahine.
It was dawn, we had just moored in a small quiet cove. My mother had boiled a pot tea, and coming up on deck, wedged her cup in between the deck cushions.
I came up after her, and, plopping down next to her on the cushion, upset her cup of tea and it spilled all over her thigh. Her polyester shorts, unlike cotton which would have had more of a wicking action, held the freshly boiled water tight against her leg.

I watched helplessly as she tried to yank her shorts off to give relief from the scalding water. In what seemed like an eternity but was only seconds, she was finally able to get the pants off but not before sustaining a serious burn. She pulled layers of skin off with her pants and was in pain. Our primary concern at that point was staph infection, Tahiti lies just below the equator.

My introduction to essential oils (you still with me?) came next as my father and I rowed her ashore to try to find a doctor in this very remote French island.

We finally found a small clinic off the beaten path, literally, run by a French doctor. After cleaning up my mother's wound, he layered pieces of a saturated, highly aromatic gauze over the burn, taped it down and told my father to bring her back in one week, and she was not to get the dressing wet, or to change it.

In one week my dad and I rowed her back ashore and made the same trek back to the jungle clinic. We were still not sure what to expect, but when the doctor cut away the dressing we all were relieved to see...fresh, clean and healthy pink tissue had grown back with no signs of infection.

Speaking French, my father asked the doctor what the fragrant 'miracle' substances were. The doctor told us that they called it 'BioGauze', that the gauze was saturated in aromatic substances - oui, aromatic essential oils! Ravintsara, thyme, cinnamon, oregano, lavender, lemon and some very blue oil too (german chamomile, yarrow?) ...I can't even remember the entire list but the invigoratingly clean, uplifting and fresh fragrance of all those crazy essential oils will stay with me always!

Years later as I would being doing aromatherapy facial or body massages, I would often think back at that time and what a coincidence it was that I ended up in this field...Essential Oils had truly become the friends of my senses.

PS/ my dad decided to stock his boat up with as many tins of Bio Gauze as the doctor was willing to part with...he still had the return sail back. One year later, he and his crew of 4 made a successful crossing of the Pacific...and all along the way wrapping every wound, burn, cut or bruise in the fragrant Bio Gauze...

My mother today - 33 years later

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cistus ladaniferus/ Rock Rose



yet another in a long list of favorite fragrances...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Toxic Beauty*

"Anti-aging skin products are known as cosmeceuticals, as they overlap the distinction between cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. These products have become the fastest growing sales sector of the entire cosmetics industry, and are widely marketed as being safe. However, altering the physical structure of skin with chemicals so as to look more youthful comes at a hidden price to the skin, and even more so to health.

The term 'cosmeceutical,' applied to anti-wrinkle and anti-aging creams, was first adopted by the cosmetics industry in 1984. It was developed as a way to avoid subjecting the industry's claims to the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The idea had been to create a new category of products that did more than just improve the appearance of the skin, yet do somewhat less than designed by pharmaceutical drugs.

"Ninety percent of all cosmetics sold in the world today are probably cosmeceuticals," warned Dr. Albert Kligman, the dermatologist who first coined the term, in a 2005 interview with Dermatologic Surgery. "The terminology regarding the distinction between cosmetics and drugs is a marketing game in the U.S. If you reverse aging, you are a drug. If you smooth skin, you are a cosmetic. Categorization depends more on the language on the bottle rather than the product in the bottle."

These statements raise troubling concerns regarding the identity and safety of ingredients in cosmeceutical products. So many women, and even some men, slather these products all over their skin, the largest body organ, in the naïve belief that they have nothing to fear but aging.

The industry markets cosmeceuticals with anecdotal or even wild claims of effectiveness, rather than scientific data, and with reckless disregard for safety. In 2007, The Mayo Clinic warned that cosmeceuticals have rarely been tested for safety, and also that they may contain "powerful active ingredients that can affect biological processes."


Cosmeceutical manufacturers "make a calculated decision not to make claims that will result in scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the product as a drug," stated Dr. Mary P. Lupo of the Tulane University School of Medicine in a 2005 issue of Dermatologic Surgery. "Clinical testing could also draw the attention of the FDA, so some manufacturers opt instead to allow the consumer arena to become the test market."

So there you have it! People who use cosmeceuticals are guinea pigs in reckless and self-serving industry experiments to test whether these products are safe for human health. This should be a loud siren wakeup warning for anyone who still believes that these products have been tested for toxicity by the industry, and approved by the FDA.

Here is what we know, based on toxicology and clinical testing, of the overwhelming majority of cosmeceuticals.

[My italics]:

To increase the permeability of skin, hydroxy acids -- alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), and beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) -- common ingredients in cosmeceuticals are widely sold on store shelves and used in cosmetic salons. Worse still, AHAs are used in an estimated five percent of all products without any labeling to this effect. However, even the industry's Cosmetic Ingredient Review Compendium has admitted that these ingredients strip the skin of its protective surface which absorbs long-wave ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and tanning salons. Apart from increased risks of sunburn, AHAs also increase risks of a dangerous skin cancer, known as malignant melanoma. Reacting to these concerns, in 1992 the FDA issued a consumer warning that products containing these ingredients "could destroy the upper layers of skin, causing severe burns, swelling and pain." However, the FDA took no regulatory action to this effect.

Bisabolol is another cosmeceutical ingredient which strips off the surface layers of skin. More seriously, this chemical is also a penetration enhancer, meaning that it increases the absorption of cosmeceutical ingredients through the skin. Limonene is also a common ingredient in anti-aging products. Apart from being an irritant, it is a well-documented carcinogen.

Parabens are commonly added to cosmeceuticals as preservatives. However, these ingredients are hormonal. Even when tested at low concentrations on the skin of pregnant rodents, they induce toxic hormonal effects in male embryos and infants.

Nanoparticles are more recent and ultra-dangerous ingredients in cosmeceuticals, particularly anti-wrinkle creams. By reducing the size of ingredients to the ultra-microscopic scale, they penetrate readily and deeply through the skin into the blood and organs all over the body. In spite of these disturbing concerns, dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, author of three New York Times best-selling books, is an active proponent of a "Men's Skin Care Line," his patented product based on nanoparticles.

Apart from the ineffectiveness of the great majority of cosmeceutical products, most are highly priced. In 2006, Consumer Reports magazine evaluated anti-wrinkle creams on the market, and concluded there was no correlation between price and possible effectiveness. "The best advice is prevent those wrinkles in the first place," read the review. "Stay out of the sun and don't smoke." An exception to this is Restylane, a Swedish anti-wrinkling agent based on the natural ingredient hyaluronic acid, one of the very few scientifically proven safe and effective cosmeceuticals.

Besides Botox injections, which have been on the market long enough to be accepted as safe, there are emerging 'green' alternatives to the wide range of conventional anti-aging products now on store shelves. These include natural botanicals, such as date palm oil, which have been found to be safe and effective for certain types of wrinkles, and topical green tea cream, which has proven effective for treating sun damaged skin.

It is anticipated that Margaret Hamburg, M.D., the highly respected new FDA Commissioner, will take appropriate regulatory action to protect the unsuspecting public from the dangers of cosmeceuticals."

*Author:
Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. is professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health; Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition; The Albert Schweitzer Golden Grand Medalist for International Contributions to Cancer Prevention; and author of over 200 scientific articles and 15 books on cancer, including the groundbreaking The Politics of Cancer (1979), and Toxic Beauty* (2009).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Edward Rose + Vetiver Oil


I am working on a lovely combination of subtle and sweet Edward Rose essential oil from Rajasthan combined with cooling and grounding Vetiver root from Madagascar for our new fragrance line Puja...stop by the website!


visit us here

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

perioral dermititis: a testimonial and solution



I am always thrilled to get testimonials and this one comes from one of my sister-aestheticians...

(Perioral dermatitis is usually characterized by an uncomfortable burning sensation around the mouth. Itching is not a common symptom. In most cases, bumps (papules) and fluid- or pus-filled bumps (vesicopustules) are seen around the mouth. Rarely, a similar rash may appear around the eyes, nose, or forehead. The rash looks like acne, but is not.)


~~~~~~~~~~
Hello!

I don't know if Evan is the one who reads these emails, but if she does......

Hi Evan,

We share a mutual dear friend... I live on the East Coast.

I was introduced to your products and I love them. I am a licensed esthetician and have referred many clients to your products.

I wanted to give you a testimonial about your product, "Shea Butter Face and Body Cream," with Olive Leaf. I have perioral dermatitis. At times, my chin looks completely red, inflammed and bumpy. During a recent visit to the Dermatologist he pointed it out to me. He said that many women in their late thirties and forties will have this and many of them are very upset about it. He said of course it is hormonal and many doctors will prescribe birth control pills to clear it up ( he does not do that). He pretty much concluded that it is what it is and the more I stay away from that area (try not to use anything on it, cleansers, toners, or moisturizers) the better....I started using the Shea Butter Face and Body Cream. I keep it on my bed stand along with your Lavender Facial Tonic Hydrosol. Whenever the dermatitis is flaring up, I warm a bit of the cream in my hands, I press it into my chin and spray with Hydrosol before I go to sleep and wake up in the am with no redness, no inflammation, no bumps, just velvety soft, evenly toned, lovely skin!

I am in the beauty business, so I get samples, gratis, introductions to many many skincare lines. I have tried many products, some have helped but yours is the only one that has successfully and consistently helped my perioral dermatitis. I am sure you have had many testimonials about this product, however, I know that the more people who speak to its efficacy the better. I am an esthetician. The first thing I notice about people is their skin and I see this skin condition all the time. When its appropriate, I tell people about the product and how it has helped me, but more women need to know this. They don't have to fill their bodies with birth control pills in their forties to control this skin condition (of course if they want to, no judgment), your clean, organic, sustainably sourced, "I can pronounce and probably eat everything on the ingredient list, " product does the trick.

Be Well and Happy,
Blessing for a beautiful and peaceful 2010

JoAnne C.
Glastonbury, CT

Thursday, December 31, 2009

coming soon...



We are waiting for labels which proved more intricate than first anticipated, but we will have a gorgeous, if tiny, label...and Valentines Day is just around the corner!

So, my first New Year's Resolution is...to get PUJA completed and uploaded onto our web site...It is our wish that fragrant, blissful garlands of flowers surround you in the New Year!

- evan