6 ways to keep your skin hydrated this winter!

8 Nov Photo credit: Canning Diva

It may surprise you to know that 70% of our body is made up of water! It’s important to stay hydrated in order to keep our skin soft and healthy.

6 simple ways to hydrate your skin are:

  1. water_glass_with_lemonDrink your water!
  2. Photo credit: Canning Diva

    Photo credit: Canning Diva

    Eat your water too – in the form of hydrating foods such as soups, smoothies, and hydrating veggies, such as leafy greens, cucumbers, melons, and berries and other fruits.

  3. Use a gentle cleanser on your face instead of soap  – try a sugar/salt scrub for the body and cleansing grains or oil cleansers for the face & neck.
  4. Our 'Banish Dry Skin Salve'

    Our ‘Banish Dry Skin Salve’

    Moisturize your skin immediately after a bath or shower and regularly throughout the day – using oils, body butters, and hand salves for example.

  5. Use a humidifier - set it up in your bedroom and let it run at night time. You will wake up refreshed!
  6. Cowl by Pretty Knotty Sweatshoppe (Find her @ The Royal Bison!) I have this cowl and love it!

    Cowl by Pretty Knotty Sweatshoppe (Find her @ The Royal Bison!)

    Bundle up – wear a scarf/cowl and gloves/mitts when going out in cold weather.

Avoid the following which can dry your skin:

  1. Exposure to dry air – that’s a hard one in the prairie provinces, which have exceptionally dry air, especially in the winter too, as hot air from our furnaces/heating vents contributes to an even drier environment indoors.
  2. Prolonged contact with hot or chlorinated water. Hot water and chlorine strip the sebum oils on the outer layer of your skin.
  3. Using skin care products that contain alcohol – alcohol is very drying.

Oil Cleansing Method: What is it and how it works

3 Nov Photo credit: Michelle Phan
Photo credit: Michelle Phan

Photo credit: Michelle Phan

Oil Cleansing Method sometimes referred to as OCM is a way of cleaning your skin without using soaps. It’s especially beneficial for the face and one of the most natural, simple ways to let your skin glow!

The simple concept behind it is ‘like attract like’. i.e. Oil dissolves oil.

The beauty industry would have you believe that washing your face with facial cleanser is a necessity. It promotes the idea that the only way to remove the residue left by makeup, air pollution, sweat, and oil is by using chemical-laden cleansers to strip it all off. The problem, though, is that our skin is not meant to be stripped of its natural oil. When it feels dry, it tries to repair itself, overcompensating for the lack of moisture by producing additional oil.” (Treehugger.com)

Your skin produces natural oils called sebum to protect items from the environment which includes, dryness, pollution as mentioned above, but also to keep on healthy bacteria and yeasts and keep out unhealthy or unwanted bacteria and yeasts. When we strip that protective layer off your skin too often, it not only causes our body to produce more oil, but it makes your more vulnerable to colds/flues and/or infections as well.

So, how does the oil cleansing method work?

One of the best things about the oil cleansing method is it can be used on all skin types! It’s also excellent as a makeup remover!

You choose the oils based on how your skin feels or your most common skin type. You may find you need to alter the oil combo throughout the year as the seasons greatly affect our skin, but you may not and that is okay too. Oils that are great choices for using in oil cleansing are: castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, and almond oil. I personally use organic castor oil and extra-virgin olive oil in my blend. Castor oil is naturally astringent and helps to pull impurities from the skin. Because it is astringent, it shouldn’t be used alone on the face. Always blend it with another oil such as extra-virgin olive oil.

To give you an idea where to start, here are some oil combinations you can try.

  • Oily/Acne prone skin: 30% castor oil, 70% extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
  • Normal/Balanced skin: 20% castor oil,  70% evoo
  • Mature/Dry skin 10% castor oil, 80% evoo
crochet wascloths

A soft, gentle washcloth is an important part of oil cleansing. Aren’t these gorgeous? If only I could crochet. Photo credit: Pinterest.

Steps:

  1. Make your oil blend using suggestions above, or pick up one of our cleansing oil blends this fall at craft fairs, and grab a nice facecloth
  2. Pour about a 1/2-1 tbsp. size amount of oil into the palm of your hand
  3. Rub hands together to warm up the oil, then rub into your face and neck in circular, upward strokes going from nose outwards to cheekbones.
  4. Run the hot water, run your face cloth under it to get it wet and hot.
  5. Place the hot facecloth over your face to give a steaming effect, repeat this step a couple times to help your skin release any impurities.
  6. Rub your face gently with the cloth to remove any excess oil.
  7. Follow with a facial toner, and moisturizing facial oil if you choose.

Does it work? I found my skin felt moisturized and more elastic within a few days and no breakouts! Some people experience a adjustment period where it takes your skin a few days or a couple weeks to adjust back to the natural levels of sebum production needed to moisturize your skin.

Personally, I use a herbal infused oil blend for normal/balanced skin that I made with rose petals, rosehips, and calendula, with some essential oils beneficial for facial skin such lavender. I use oil cleansing most days of the week and my cleansing grains 1-2 times a week. After each treatment, I follow with a facial toner, and moisturizing facial oil as well.  You don’t necessarily need to do all 3 steps. Start with the OCM and see how it goes. Everyone’s skin is a little bit different, so give it a try and give us your feedback. we would love to hear if it works for you!

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 10.09.03 PM1978494_827262907305895_7423280669547388618_oPSST….Ameya Studio will be offering our new facial skin care collection for the first time this winter! Our first show will be Make it Edmonton, Nov 20-23, followed by the Royal Bison Craft Fair (Nov 28-30, Dec 5-7), and then On the Spot Pop Ups, Dec 14. We will have products for all skin types. Be sure to drop by and you can also check out our our shop online @ Etsy.  The products will be available there in the coming weeks as well. We are REALLY excited about this new skincare collection. Lots of local ingredients and thought have gone into the making of this products and we can’t wait to share them with you!!!

References:

You may recognize LE&RN’s newest Spokesperson…

27 Oct Featured Image -- 1737

Amy Beaith:

As a person with Lymphedema, this campaign warms my heart. Lymphedema is a hidden disease in many ways. Thanks for shining a light on it.

Originally posted on The Lymphie Life:

Actress, Academy Award winner, and all-around awesome lady Kathy Bates recently kicked off the Face of Lymphedema campaign at the Lymphatic Education & Research Network’s Walk for Lymphedema and Lymphatic Diseases in September with this video message:

“Struggling alone with lymphedema can feel like a punishment for having cancer—that’s why I hope to bring awareness.”

Ahhh! How cool to have lymphie representation in Hollywood! I often hear of celebrities speaking out about living with various illnesses and chronic diseases, but I have never heard of a celebrity with lymphedema before (although I’m sure there are some out there). It’s beyond amazing to have Ms. Bates speak openly and honestly about her lymphedema, and it’s validating to have someone so well-known and visible help bring awareness not only to our condition but to our experience, as well.

Her story is one so many lymphies can relate to. In 2012, Ms. Bates was diagnosed with breast cancer and…

View original 224 more words

On the Spot Pop Ups @ Latitude 53, Oct. 25th, 10-4pm

24 Oct

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 2.49.39 PMTomorrow I will be selling my wares at the lovely Latitude 53 gallery for the On the Spot Pop Up event. It’s a great time to do a bit if christmas shopping, or getting ideas and connecting with artisans before the holiday season gets in full swing!

I will have a couple new items available at this show that we have been working on these past couple of months. Exciting! I can’t wait to share them all with you!

Organic baby massage oil & organic baby bum balm

Organic baby massage oil & organic baby bum balm

  • Organic baby massage oil – made with Edmonton rosehips. Babies love it!
  • Organic baby bum balm – made with local beeswax, rosehips, calendula, and lavender. So soothing and gentle enough for cloth diaper babes.
  • Cinnamint organic clay toothpaste – Wow! This product has been a game changer for us. I’m so excited to share it with you! Come get some to try it out and see for yourself.

Mineralizing fluoride-free toothpaste

18 Oct

For over a year now I’ve been using a homemade fluoride-free toothpaste I make with bentonite clay, purified water, baking soda, finely ground sea salt, cinnamon, and clove. Simple ingredients, easy ot make, and it lasts a long time!

Is homemade toothpaste safe or healthy? What about cavities?

fluoride free_communities fluoride poisonWe are told over and over as kids about how important fluoride was in preventing cavities, but there are also more and more studies questioning it’s use in our public water as well as toothpastes. Not only is fluoride a toxin, but there are all kind of other nasty ingredients in conventional toothpaste, and even some green brands that may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes by including questionable ingredients too. One definite ingredient to be sure to avoid is Triclosan, which is a known carcinogen and also harms our fishy friends downstream. Want to know what else might lurk in your toothpaste that you should avoid? Check out the guide by the David Suzuki Foundation: How to avoid toxic chemicals in your toothpaste. If you have some toothpaste and you want to see how it ranks against other brands on the market, or find a healthier toothpaste, you can check out The Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database (EWG) to see what’s in your toothpaste tube. You might be surprised! Also, if you have little kids, you might be surprised to learn that the Fluoride Action Network reports that “One strip of fluoridated toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush contains between 0.75 and 1.5 mg of fluoride, which is more fluoride than is found in many prescription fluoride supplements (0.25 to 1.0 mg per tablet). Since young children are known to swallow a large amount of the toothpaste they place in their mouth, use of fluoride toothpaste–particularly when done without the supervision of a parent–can result in dangerous levels of fluoride exposure. Ingestion of excessive fluoride toothpaste is a major risk factor for dental fluorosis“. So, another important reason to make sure what goes on that brush is edible and safe!

Cloves Cinnamon barkAfter visiting the dentist a couple of times for regular check-ups since using only my homemade toothpaste, I can report that I have no new cavities and the dentist even commented a few months ago at my last check up that he was impressed with my teeth and gums. He said “Whatever you are doing Amy, keep it up“. Getting the thumbs up from the dentist was exciting! I took the leap and decided to tell him that I was using a homemade clay toothpaste, he didn’t bat an eye and said “well that’s how they used to make toothpaste years ago, you know”.  I felt like I’d been given a pat on the back. I had been slightly worried about whether my teeth would show wear or if I would have more cavities, or whether the dentist would be able to tell that I wasn’t using a fluoride toothpaste anymore.

mentaI have been working hard behind the scenes to create a new product for my shop and wanted to make it as healthful, natural, and tasty as possible! My research & product development has paid off! I have created an AMAZING new recipe that is a toothpaste powder and one that you can easily turn into a toothpaste too. It smells like cinnamon hearts with a hint of mint and it feels divine! I actually look forward to brushing my teeth now! What is even more exciting is how local the toothpaste powder is. Turns out I needed a lot of mint to make this new product than I had growing in my front garden, so I reached out to friends in Edmonton and got many requests to come and rescue some mint! All this harvested mint will be going into my toothpaste powder thanks to some wonderful gardener friends!

Where can you find my new toothpaste?

New this fall, you will see a remineralizing toothpaste powder with DIY instructions to make your own powder and paste at home if you wish! My next show coming up is On the Spot Pop Up @ Latitude 53, October 25th, 10am-4pm. After that, it will be available for purchase on my etsy site.

Being thankful and paying it forward

13 Oct

tegan & irisHappy thanksgiving!

apple pickThis year has been an amazing year in so many ways. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Iris in February on a very cold day and got to experience the joy of motherhood for the first time, I spent another season volunteering with Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE), picking fruit and helping people get registered as fruit pick volunteers and fruit growers, and I have begun to shift my business in a way that more greatly reflects what I am about and what I want to share with the world. For all of these things I am very thankful and joyful, so I have something special to share with you.

Keep-Calm-Pay-It-ForwardFrom now on, I am going to do something to pay it forward to spread the joy I have felt all year. How will I do this?

Starting this fall, I will be sharing my recipes with my products! Why? I want to pay it forward and encourage you all to make easy herbal medicine recipes at home with local ingredients from your gardens, river valleys, etc. I have learned from so many other people who were generous enough to share their knowledge, expertise, and skills with me, which has helped me to get to where I am today. So, it’s time for me to pass on some of that knowledge along with some joy and hopefully inspire you.

What are you thankful for this year? 

Ameya Studio ‘no poo’ & soap-free skincare alternatives

6 Oct

IMG_6278This may sound strange to many of you, but I really don’t use much soap anymore. Your thinking gross, right? Relax, I still use soap to wash my hands, so don’t worry! That is a good idea as it helps prevent the spread of germs around the house and with friends. We all want to keep our friends, right?

My inspiration

When I was growing up, I worked at a corn stand in the summers. It was run by a Dutch family and the owner’s parents who lived on the property, insisted I called them Oma and Opa, which is Grandma and Grandpa. I thought this was sweet, so I complied and went along with it. They were both in their late 70s and I noticed one day we were having tea at break time, that Oma and her sister, who was visiting from Amsterdam, had super soft looking skin. I asked them what their secret was to soft skin in their old age and they said don’t wash your face with soap, use oil, and drink lots of water. At the time, I’m not sure I really thought much of this advice as I still kept using facial products and anything I could find to help keep my acne under control including harsh drugs like Accutane. Eek, that was a bad idea! But now, I really appreciate and understand this advice. They were bang on! In recent years, I have developed many soap free alternatives for my skincare line.

oilsSo how do I stay clean, soft, and soap -free?

  • Wash my hair with the no poo method. Read about it on my previous blog post.
  • Use body scrubs to clean my skin. Scrubs made with salt, sugar, grains, and moisturizing herbal infused oils are the best for cleaning by exfolliating. They work by brushing the dirt and dead skin off, letting the oils soak in and moisturize.
  • Wash my face with water, cleansing grains daily or as needed, cleansing oil in the evenings or as needed, and applying an Apple Cider Vinegar toner a few times a week.  I’ve never had softer, smoother, and blemish-free skin in my lifetime!

Some new additions you will see this fall for my natural soapfree skincare include:

  • Cleansing oil
  • Herbal infused facial tonic
  • Cleansing grains – blends for normal, oily/acne prone, and dry/mature skin
  • Moisturizing facial oil serum

 

The ‘No Poo’ Movement

4 Oct

People everywhere are starting to ditch ‘Shampoo”, which is the poo in the ‘no poo’ movement!

Credit: naturemoms.com

Credit: naturemoms.com

Why go ‘no poo’?

It’s no secret that shampoos as well as many cosmetics are laced with lots of synthetic ingredients which have been found to be hormone disruptors, harsh on the environment with ingredients such as surfuctants, SLS, triclosan to name a few, and some products even have known carcinogens in some cases. If you are wondering what’s lurking in your shampoo, check out the Environmental Working Groups SkinDeep database. It’s pretty thorough and is backed by top notch independent research. You can also check out David Suzuki’s Dirty Dozen for a quick checklist to take shopping with you. In summary most people go no poo for the following reasons.

  • Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Better for the environment
  • Cost savings $$$
527796228_a363240b7a_z

Credit: Kerry Lannert Flickr

History of shampoo industry:

The first synthetic shampoos were introduced in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that people really started a daily shampoo ritual with advertising encouraging us to do so or we would be ‘unclean’. Today, it’s a multibillion dollar industry, that is self regulated (e.g. disclosing ingredients on products isn’t mandatory) for the most part. Nice eh? From the 1800s until the 1970s it was much more common to wash your hair only once a month.

Daily shampooing can strip your hair of natural oils called sebum that the scalp makes to protect your hair shafts. By constantly stripping the hair, you encourage the sebaceous glands to over produce sebum, which leads to greasy hair as well as stripping damages the hair shaft, creating the need for more hair products to repair damaged hair. See where I am going with this? It’s a cycle!

Breaking the cycle. So how do you go ‘no poo’?

Steps: Shampoo once a week or less with baking soda and follow with a rinse of apple cider vinegar.

  • I advocate either rinsing with water, or trying the baking soda wash method. For the baking soda method, take 1 tbsp. baking soda and dissolving it in a cup or two of water, then pour onto hair and rub in. Avoid contact with your eyes, as baking soda is a salt, so it will sting. Think of opening your eyes in the salty water of the ocean. Ouch.
  • Next, dilute 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (ACV) in 2 cups water and pour over hair to rinse off the baking soda and it helps close the hair follicles, making the hair shiny.
  • If you have naturally dry hair, you may find the baking soda too harsh for you and just rinsing with water and then ACV, may work for you. You can also try rubbing in coconut oil or olive oil into the very tips of your hair to soften them up about once a week or so.
  • The most common mistake is over washing and over rinsing. i.e. still washing your hair every 2-3 days or more, but following the no poo method.
  • On average, it takes between 2-6 weeks to break the cycle.

My personal no poo journey:

I have been going no poo for about 10 months now and really like it. The trick I found worked for me was getting used to washing less. If I wanted to wash my hair more than once a week, to only wash it with water and that kept my hair from drying out. The first couple of weeks were hard and my hair felt oily, but after that, it was fairly easy peasy. I wouldn’t go back to shampooing. Surprisingly, I just really like the scent of my hair the way it is! I have to say the best benefit has been to see my husband’s hair go for greasy to shiny and manageable. I couldn’t believe the change for him, and I’m excited about no more oily residue on our pillowcases! Awesome!

So where can you learn more about the no poo movement?

My husband Mike

30 Sep _MG_0498

My dear husband Mike was a superstar helper on Saturday at Etsy Made in Canada and spent most of the day at my booth for me selling my soaps, scrubs, felted soaps, and deodorant was a popular item. I had a terrible cold as did our wee one Iris so it made more sense for the two sickies to stick together and not cough on our customers.

Mike has become an integral part of the Ameya Studio team: coming to craft shows, helping me label, giving me ideas, advice, reminding me to spend time on the less exciting parts of running your own business, such as inventory, business planning, etc. I think my business has really grown since he’s been involved and I’m grateful for that! I’ve also got to watch him grow as new dad and he wears this role very well! He is so loving, patient and loves making her giggle, which is so fun to watch.

With our anniversary this week, this post is dedicated all to you! To two wonderful years of marital bliss! Happy Anniversary Mike and to many more to come!

Here we are with our wee one Iris when we took a family vacay this summer in Ontario! Thanks to Karla Burns Photography for this family photo shoot. Was so fun!

_MG_0498

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Thanks Etsy Made in Canada!

29 Sep

Wow, what a great weekend this was with Etsy Canada show at Latitude 53 gallery on Saturday!

After having done craft shows in Edmonton for the past 4-5 years, I like to think I’ve probably met many of the artisans in the Edmonton area, but, I was wrong. At Etsy Made in Canada, there were so many new artisans making some amazing things in Edmonton. I was really impressed with all this hidden talent in Edmonton! Some new faces and artisans I met were:

  • Berg & Betts – beautiful reclaimed leather watches
  • Kiwi Canuck creations – the cutest toques ever! I picked up one for Iris for winter. can’t wait to put it on her!
  • The Alberta Yarn Project – a friend of mine Anna Davidson along with another yarn enthusiast have put together this inventive & unique shop that included kits to make your own mitts, etc. as well as pre-made items, made by them.

Have to give a HUGE shout out to On the Spot Pop Ups for pulling off such a great show in the new Latitude 53 Gallery! What a great space for a artisan market! It’s central, accessible ground-level gallery, lots of natural light and windows! Also, amazing turnout of shoppers too. We are off to a good start with our fall shows! Thank you!

Thanks everyone who came out to shop, chat, and connect with an amazing group of artisans.

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