June 08, 2016

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Investing In The Future: Your Skin

Using oils instead of chemical-filled lotions may not look any different day to day, but in 10 – 20 years, your skin may show a real difference. Think of your skin as another aspect of life that is important to prioritize for the long term. For example, you know that eating a healthy, balanced, diet is important for maintaining health and happiness. What you eat today will reflect how you feel in the future. If you continuously and habitually load your body with foods that are hard to digest, clog arteries, loaded with artificial junk, and generally wreak havoc on your internal organs, you can expect your body to begin showing the negative effects of such poor treatment. Your skin, if not cared for properly, will do the same, and the negative effects may even begin occurring at a faster pace.

The Link Between Nutrition and Your Skin

Though there is a likely chance your diet is already fairly balanced and your skincare routine is pretty great, (I mean, you’re visiting us here, that must account for something!) both concepts are very much connected. By now, you probably realize that what you eat directly influences the state of your skin as well as your entire bodily system. If you aren’t enlightened to this fact, it’s an important one to note and remember. Our bodies love to be nourished with healthy, whole foods. When we are filled with nutrition, it shows. We’re more energetic, happier, calmer, and our skin looks more flawless. Now, there are certain things that also factor into the state of our skin (hormones, genes, weather, etc.) but what we eat day to day is one of the more underrated yet most important factors in maintaining health and flawless skin.

Why You Should Avoid Conventional Lotions

Consider your daytime and nighttime beauty routine. Does some sort of facial lotion or cream feature into it? Unfortunately, most lotions are filled with harsh ingredients, fillers and chemicals that may make your skin appear hydrated right after use. Read our article on Synthetic Chemical Ingredients used in lotions. After years of use their nasty side-effects may start to show up in your skin. Bottom line, they feel good now but in 20 years, you’ll look into the mirror and think, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?”

So what’s wrong with lotions and creams? For starters, they’re loaded with harsh chemicals. These chemicals are manufactured in a lab and only included to make you think you’re on the road to fight fine lines, wrinkles, soothe dry skin, maintain youthfulness, achieve a natural glow, you know…the stuff we all want! Yes, lotions are tempting and yes, there is a time and place for lotions. If you’re going to include one in your skincare routine, be sure the ingredient list is fairly short and contains nothing “strange.” Our article Death to Alcohol in Skin Care can also guide you to what strange actually means for skin care ingredients. In a nutshell, if you’re searching for long term health for your skin, an oil, specifically an argan oil, may be your answer.

The French Way

The French have already discovered the secret to maintaining flawless skin. We know that they don’t seem to age and we know the nation isn’t particularly overweight, despite their love of bread and cheese. What are they doing that Americans are not? Mireille Guiliano wrote an entire book on the subject titled, French Women Don’t Get Facelifts. According to an article in Well + Good, Guiliano “swears by green veggies, fruit, yogurt, and buckets of water, as well as a combo platter of healthy skin protectants and nourishers – argan oil, daily moisturizer, sunscreen, and a weekly honey face mask.” Basically, to achieve the skin of a 67 year-old French woman (that’s how old Guiliano is!) you have to minimalize your beauty routine and maintain a balanced diet. Guiliano also says that loving yourself doesn’t hurt either!

Less is More

A minimal skincare routine is smarter and simpler – and you can achieve all of your flawless skin desires by using only a few products. Less is More, Still So Much More and Argan oil (the good, pure, real stuff) is definitely an investment, and a long term one at that. You understand that flawless skin and skincare in general isn’t an overnight process. It takes time, patience, and a little self-love. You may already invest in organic produce at the grocery store, why shouldn’t your skin get the same kind of treatment? Plus, if you use argan oil, it’s the only kind of moisturizer, serum, oil you will ever need. In the end, it actually saves you money.

Our argan oil at Verità Skin is special. Our production supports female farmers, is fair trade, organic, environmentally sustainable, and cruelty-free. It contains nothing artificial or synthetic, no parabens or phthalates, and no chemicals. Just the real deal, minimalistic kind of beauty you need for the long haul.

May 05, 2016

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How To Practice Mindfulness Meditation with Verità Argan + Cypress Oils

Mindfulness and meditation may seem like an unrealistic feat for the average busy-minded person. You may hear yourself say, ‘It’s 2016, who has time to relax?’ or think, ‘There’s just so much to do before the day is over!’ If this is you, you’re not alone. Mindfulness meditation can definitely be difficult at first, but the practice can be incredibly rewarding.

The theory behind mindfulness meditation is to stay grounded and to quiet the mind. Modern society forces us to constantly be on the move, one way or another. But if you can allow yourself to cultivate mindfulness, you could create the power to slow life down while reducing stress and anxiety.

There are three basic components to improve mindfulness: body, breathing, and thoughts.

Body

Begin first by finding a quiet seat in a room that has limited distractions. You can decorate this area as you’d like, but try to fill it with sacred, relaxing objects, or candles so that the environment is totally and completely yours to enjoy. You want to be comfortable as well (most people sit cross-legged with their palms on their knees) so incorporate a pillow, yoga mat, or something you are comfortable sitting on for minutes at a time.

Breathing

After you find your meditation spot and posture, it’s time to focus on breathing. This is a great time to use Verità Argan + Cypress Oils blend. We formulated this product to help with staying mindful and grounded during your mediation practice. Put a few drops on your fingers, inhale the scents, and rub on your face around your nose and mouth. You can also place the Argan + Cypress Oil blend on the temples or palms to enjoy the earthy, herbaceous fusion of nature. As you breathe, remain aware of how it feels to breathe, but don’t pressure yourself to breathe a certain way. Allow this step to be as natural as possible. Breathe deeply in through the nose for a count of three. Breathe out through your mouth. Repeat at least 10 times. If you have the time, focus on breathing for five minutes at a time. After a week of sitting for five minutes, you will notice a difference in your mood.

Thoughts

The third step in achieving mindfulness during meditation is working on your thoughts. Many of us are exhaustingly busy women. Clearing our thoughts of the day can be quite difficult. During meditation, allow thoughts to come and go. Some will be memories, future plans, or what you’re going to do after meditation. The point of this step is to allow thoughts to naturally occur, but remain connected to the breath while doing so. Try to stay centered in your meditation room, inhale the new and exhale the old while letting the body find peace. You do not need to force the mind to “stop thinking.” You simply want to allow your thoughts to swim in and out while staying grounded in your practice. Acknowledge that you have thoughts and feelings but do not judge yourself for their content. Simply watch the thoughts arise, categorize the thought or feeling, and let it go.

Mindful meditation takes time, patience, and effort but the results are truly worth it. If you are feeling run down, exhausted, emotional, or lost, it may be a practice to look into trying. Anyone can practice mindfulness meditation and reap the positive rewards of the practice. Use Verità Argan + Cypress Oil blend to help trigger your safe space for mindfulness meditation. Repeat.

April 26, 2016

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Why You Should Start Using An Organic Argan Oil Makeup Remover

Makeup remover is a staple product for most women every day. Makeup removers are designed to be more effective than regular facial cleansers and are generally more abrasive than any other skin care product.

Often times, conventional makeup removers can do more harm to the skin than good. Conventional makeup removers are full of chemicals that can cause long-lasting, negative effects to the skin.

Some of the worst offenders in conventional makeup removers are:

  • Parabens – Used widely in the beauty industry, parabens are suspected to interfere with hormone function when they penetrate the skin. They are linked to breast cancer, accelerated aging, and DNA damage.
  • Formaldehyde – Commonly used to embalm the deceased, formaldehyde is a strong smelling chemical found in makeup removers. It becomes dangerous when it is absorbed through the skin or when it is inhaled. It can trigger allergies, irritate skin and eyes, and is generally something to avoid at all times.
  • PEGs – Which stand for polyethylene glycol, is another offender that has been linked to cancer as it is carcinogenic. PEGs can disrupt the nervous system, and don’t degrade easily. In fact, products containing PEGs can linger in tubs and sinks for a long time, making them difficult to avoid and making their harmful effects last longer.

Some more dangerous ingredients to avoid when reading the label: Coal tar dyes, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin, Polysorbate 80, Propylene glycol (PG), and synthetic fragrances.

However, there are alternative options to conventional makeup removers. Here at Verità Skin, we currently offer our very own organic argan oil makeup remover. Going organic can save your skin, eyes, and long-term health. Our ingredients are all natural and can be used without having to worry about negative side-effects or long term damage to your skin.

Our Verità Organic Argan Oil Makeup Remover is chemical-free and replenishes with vitamins that are essential for your skin’s health.

  • It contains Sweet Almond oil with vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
  • Rose hip oil has vitamin A which catalyzes skin regeneration.
  • Grape seed oil gives antioxidants for tightening and toning.
  • Vitamin E rich Argan oil for nourishment.

It’s easy to use too! Apply a teaspoon of oil onto an organic cotton swab or cotton ball and massage around the face. It easily removes mascara, dark eyeliner, and foundation while nourishing the skin with our special blend of organic oils. Verità Skin makeup remover will eliminate every last trace of makeup and leave your skin feeling fresh and smooth without clogging pores or irritating sensitive skin. Can you afford not use an organic makeup remover?

April 12, 2016

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Oily Skin & Oil Cleansing

If your skin is acne prone or you’ve already got oily skin, you may cringe at the idea of applying more oil to your skin in an effort to cleanse it. This process seems counterintuitive, right? Yes it does, because the mainstream beauty industry has been convincing beauty lovers for years that oil is the “end all” to achieving perfect skin. If you’ve have acne, redness, or any blemish whatsoever, they blame excess oil. Because of this, most mainstream skincare products are marketed as “oil controllers” or “grease-cutting” so that you mindlessly learn to blame oil for your latest blemish.

Well, natural beauty lovers are starting to discover the amazing benefits of the oil cleansing method (OCM for short) for maintaining clear, nourished, and radiant skin. Instead of using “grease-cutting”, chemical-filled, expensive products, more women are turning to different natural oils to cleanse their face.

What Is The Oil Cleansing Method?

The process is simple. When you use oil as a cleanser, it dissolves lingering dirt, makeup, and unclogs pores. Basically, the new oil meets the old oil (the oil that is already on the skin) and wipes away the unnecessary dirt and dead skin cells. What’s left after oil cleansing is untouched, clean, and balanced skin. Commercial cleansers tend to strip away the bad stuff, along with the good. When you strip your face of everything, your skin freaks out and overproduces oil. Oily skin tones thus look oilier as the skin tries to balance itself naturally. After extended use, products with extra chemicals can promote even more irritation and inflammation – the exact opposite of what you bought the product for in the first place. Oil cleansing, however, is gentle, natural, and moisturizing to boot!

Oils For Cleansing

There are several different natural oils that can be used as cleansers. When searching for a cleansing oil, be sure to check that the oil is pure, organic, and cold-pressed. Some great natural oil options include argan oil, coconut oil, neem oil, olive oil, evening primrose oil, and jojoba oil.

Sometimes, combining a few oils can work better than using only one. A combination of lighter oils—argan, rosehip, and almond oil—are said to work well on combination and oily skin types where rich oils—castor, coconut, and jojoba—are said to work well on dry skin types.

How To Use Oils For Cleansing

First, start by patch testing a small amount of desired oil along the jawline of the face. Ideally, you want to patch test anything before applying all over your skin as allergies and inflammation can sometimes appear without reason.

After determining what natural oil or oils you want to try, massage a palm’s full amount of oil all over a dry face. Using circular motions, massage the oil on the face for two minutes. If you have makeup on your face, the oil should begin to dissolve that as well. You can rinse after two minutes or, if you desire a more “saturated” face, you can leave the oil on for ten minutes. The longer you allow the oil to saturate the face, the more oil will dissolve the unnecessary “stuff.”

Next, wet a washcloth with warm water. Be sure to wring the washcloth out so that it’s damp and not soaked. Place the damp washcloth over the entire face for one–two minutes. This step creates a sauna-like experience for the face. The steam from the damp washcloth will further assist in removing impurities from the skin. You can repeat this on the other side of the washcloth if desired for another one–two minutes.

After steaming your face you may notice lingering oil. If you want deep moisturizing, you can leave it on. However, if you don’t like feeling “oily” you can gently wipe away excess oil with the damp washcloth. There is no need to follow up oil cleansing with another foaming or hydrating cleanser. However, using a sugar exfoliator with oils can help remove excess dead skin cells. After you figure out your oil cleansing routine, you won’t need to follow up with a moisturizer. This is another amazing benefit to oil cleansing as most oils add real hydration to skin.

After Cleansing

You may notice little to no change immediately after oil cleansing. This is normal. Or, you may notice more breakouts and blemishes that you didn’t have before starting to cleanse with oil. Even though it’s super frustrating, this is also totally normal! If you experience this, it only means that the oil is doing its job and removing impurities from the skin. Your skin is detoxing from all the chemicals when you stop using lotions and cleansers with chemicals. The good news, the initial breakouts will stop after a short period of time.

If embracing the oil cleansing method seems too intense, Verità Skin offers several different oils for skincare. You will find that our Argan Oil Skin Therapies are excellent to help heal, repair, and balance the skin – regardless of skin type.

With skincare in mind, we created Argan Oil Skin Therapies for the following categories: eczema and psoriasis, acne and rosacea, toning and tightening, and anti-aging with SPF. However, the Argan Oil Skin Therapies go beyond facial skincare. We have oils for muscles, hair, and even for relaxation.


So, as you ponder what oil you’d like to try first, remember that the skin is the largest organ of the body and to treat it with kindness. A new routine such as oil cleansing can really shake up any routine you’ve already created. Be sure to stay mindful and patient and accept the positive results are on the way. But most importantly, enjoy and embrace your skin!

March 28, 2016

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3 Simple Skin Care Routines for Spring

Here at Verità Skin, we are so happy to finally be glimpsing the first signs of spring after a long, cold winter. Already we can see the initial buds on the trees, the sun setting a little bit later at night, and the birds singing earlier in the mornings. These are all promises of long, beautiful and bright summer days to come!

Along with the changing seasons, comes a change in our skin care routine. We no longer need the deep moisturizing creams to combat the dry conditions of winter and extra SPF becomes essential so that we can spend as much time outdoors as we can!

Here are 3 simple ways to spring clean your skin care routine so that you are ready for the change in seasons!

  1. Exfoliation

Exfoliation is essential for ridding your skin of dead skin cells and revealing the new, brighter skin underneath. Exfoliation is perfect to add into your skincare routine as spring is a time of renewal, so what better time than now to rejuvenate your skin?

Our Coconut Palm Sugar and Argan Oil Face Scrub is perfect for ridding the skin of dead skin cells without stripping your skin of necessary oils to keep it healthy. It includes the natural astringent properties of antioxidant-rich Grape Seed Oil along with the renewing properties of Pumpkin Seed Oil. Argan Oil will keep your skin hydrated, but never greasy. Finally, coconut palm sugar will gently exfoliate.

  1. SPF

No matter how sweaty your skin may feel from the the warmer weather, you must always make sure to keep your skin protected with a proper moisturizer. Without this layer of protection, your skin is more susceptible to environmental elements such as sun damage and free radical deterioration from pollution in the air.

You don’t need anything too heavy, as you don’t want to clog up your pores. Adding an SPF becomes especially important now. Our Anti-Aging Day Regimen with SPF is perfect for spring as well as hot summer days. It may be an oil, but it is wonderful for even acne-type skins due to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of Red Raspberry Seed Oil, which also provides UV protection. The earthy scent of Frankincense Essential Oil along with the uplifting, citrus note of Orange Essential Oil makes this face serum perfect for sultry days spent out in nature.

  1. Wash the Day Away

As important as it is to apply the correct oils when heading outdoors, it is just as important to properly remove them at night. During the day your skin has accumulated oils, dirt, and sweat all of which can clog up your pores and contribute to breakouts if not properly cleansed off at night.

This is where our Organic Argan Oil Makeup Remover comes in! Our make-up remover might remove all traces of the day, but it provides your skin with an array of antioxidants and nutrients at the same time. Thanks to Sweet Almond Oil, vitamins B1, B2, and B6 create a wonderful, gentle lather for a deep down clean feeling. Our signature Argan Oil, Rose Hip Oil, and Grape Seed Oil all help to fight the signs of aging by keeping the skin firm, hydrated, and plump.

As you can see, transitioning from cooler weather into a warmer season doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these simple tips and you will be ready to take on the warm, sunny days without having to worry about your skin.

March 06, 2015

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Find the Right Moisturizer: Simple Steps to Identifying Your Skin Type

There are two steps to being happy in your own skin: knowing your skin type and using the right moisturizer. In order to find the right products, you must first figure out your skin type to keep skin healthy. You can’t take care or treat skin until you know your skin’s landscape.

You might be surprised to know that you have a combination of skin types in different areas. Various combinations of skin can include: sensitive and dry, oily and blemish-prone, and sun-damaged with acne.

Does your face feel dry and tight from nose to your neck? Is your forehead and nose oily but your cheeks get chapped and breakout? Are your legs from the knee down flaky?

More importantly, your skin’s texture and tone can change over time depending on your monthly cycle (hormones affect skin and breakouts), alcohol consumption, diet, exercise, skin care regimen, and product ingredients. A holistic way to approve skin’s health is to examine what one puts directly on skin AND what one ingests that might be affecting skin’s health or lack thereof. Finding the right skin care and diet routine is a long-term process and doesn’t improve magically overnight. Trial and error to find the right routine is necessary to maintain good skin health for the long-run and beauty that last a lifetime.

If you don’t know what type of skin you have, here is a quick test you can do at home to identify your skin type.

  1. Gently wash skin with water and pat dry with a washcloth. No need to over-use heavy chemical cleansers, but gently remove all makeup and dirt from the day.
  2. Wait 30-45 minutes without applying any products or touching the face.
  3. Take a piece of paper and dab the forehead on one corner, the nose on another corner, a cheek on the third, and chin on the forth corner.
If three corners of the paper have soaked up oil but one is dry, you have combination skin.
If all corners have oil on the paper, you have oily skin.
If hardly any oil is soaked up on the paper, you have normal skin.
If skin became red and flaked off on the paper, you have dry skin.
If there is any irritation and pain, you have sensitive skin.

 

What you need to know about your skin type

Once you know your skin type, you can begin your search for the right products to moisturize your skin and keep it healthy throughout seasonal changes, time of day, and alterations in your routine. Furthermore, applying just any old product can lead to skin problems, outbreaks, and feeling uncomfortable.

Combination Skin: Combination skin is the most common type as many people have some mixture of normal, dry, and oily skin on various parts of the face and body. This skin type can be tricky to recognize and the presence of some oil be can misleading, and even trickier to treat. The most popular of this skin type is the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin are oily and the cheeks are dry and/or acne-prone). Most people with this type of skin must treat different areas of their face with different types of skincare products. The cheeks and jaw line may require a heavier moisturizer with fewer ingredients that will not agitate skin. The T-zone oil will need to be managed properly to reduce natural oil production over time with the right kind of face wash and moisturizer.

Oily & Acne-Prone Skin: Oily skin is caused by overactive oil glands beneath the skin, which results in excess production on the surface. This in turn causes skin to shine excessively with occasional breakouts. This skin type is characterized by large pores and a dull complexion. Acne develops on the skin when hair follicles or pores are blocked with dead skin cells and naturally producing oil gets back up under the surface of skin. With this skin type, one should not wash the face more than twice a day and skin should be cleared right after a workout. Look for gentle cleansers, ingredients that do not clog pores (noncomedogenic), and never use alcohol based brands that dry out skin.

Normal Skin: Wouldn’t we all love to have normal skin? To each of us, our skin feels normal. Normal skin is characterized by normal to small pores, a glowing complexion, few imperfections on the surface, and little to no sensitivities. This skin type is not too dry and not too oily but just right. Normal skin can bare almost any product on the market without causing day-to-day irritations. Hormones, stress, and diet can still affect this type of skin. It is recommended to protect skin from sun damage and prepare for the long-run by moisturizing daily and wearing sun protection from UV rays.

Dry & Sensitive Skin: Dry skin can often lead to irritations, which can make it more sensitive than other skin types. Dry skin will have very fine pores that are hardly visible. When skin itches, burns, and flakes, this often tells us that skin is dry and sensitive. Dry skin tends to be less elastic and more prone to wrinkle lines at a younger age than oily skin. All skin types become dry in the cold weather; however, dry skin can be exacerbated by a lack of moisture in the air leading to increased sensitivities. This skin type can also become drier from indoor heating, long showers or baths, harsh skin care ingredients, and medications. Dry skin requires extra moisturizing, organic and natural cleansing ingredients, and shorter exposure to water for showers and baths.

Mature Skin: Skin starts to mature as we get older. However, skin can start to look older if it is not properly cared for. Skin is considered mature when it loses its natural glow and elasticity, develops more lines, and pores open more frequently. This process cannot be stopped but it can be slowed down. Cleansing properly, cutting out toxic chemicals and topical alcohol ingredients, and deep moisturizing with effective skin care products can help freshen up skin and reduce the signs of maturity.

Hopefully you now have the proper tools to identify your skin type and understand how your skin differs from others. Not all skin acts the same and therefore your personal skin care regimen will reflect your specific needs. Read more in our upcoming articles about which moisturizer is right your for you skin type and which are the best products to use!

February 13, 2015

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Skincare Labeling: Natural, Organic, and Synthetic Chemical Ingredients

 

We automatically believe a label to be true if it says ‘natural’, ‘organic’, or ‘safe’. Why is that so?

Well, firstly, as consumers, we are very trusting and assume that the companies from which we buy skincare products must surely follow all the regulations put down by the government, judging by such claims made on their product packaging.

This assumption makes sense for other industries but does not hold true for cosmetic and skin care products, even if much of the same claims can be found on the labels. These products often don’t pass the test, because not much weight is put on the screening and labeling of cosmetics and skin care as compared to food items and other goods.

You will be surprised to know that the $60 billion cosmetic industry isn’t thoroughly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as previously believed to be, which gives marketing teams of big companies the liberty to create half truths about their products. It is then the job of the consumer to determine what product is good and what is not as well as to be informed of what the market is selling under the guise of a natural product.

At Verità Skin, we use 10 ingredients or less and clearly mark the ingredients on the label. We do not mask what is in our products with fancy names or hide behind a scientific sounding term. We list which ingredients are organic and let you know what percentage is natural and organic. All Verità products use either 100% organic ingredients or 99% organic and 1% natural ingredients. That is our promise to you and how we empower women consumers to take charge of the skin.

Definition of Organic Ingredient

Simply put, the definition of organic means that the ingredient was harvested, processed, and mixed into a product without using chemical fertilizers, enhancers, dyes, and pesticides at any stage of the manufacturing process. It also means the item or product is free from any synthetic additives. It is important to note that just because an ingredient may be organic going into the brand, the final product ceases to be organic if the cosmetic or skin care product has synthetic chemicals in it to preserve the item, used to bind ingredients together, or speed up evaporation on skin.

If consumers see the ‘Certified Organic’ or ‘USDA Organic’ seal on any product’s packaging then that means that the item must constitute of 95% or more, certified, organic content from the approved ingredients’ list. That product has also been certified by the USDA. One label commonly seen is ‘100% Organic’, which means the ingredients that the product is made of, must or do meet the guidelines approved by the FDA. Another label, ‘Made with Organic’, means that 70% or more ingredients must be of organic base although the USDA approved seal can’t be used.

As a small company, Verità Skin does not currently carry the USDA certification label. The certification process costs tens of thousands of dollars and is a great investment for a company in the long-term. We hope to have the certification label in the near future. In the interim, we have listed all our ingredients and noted their organic and natural origins as well as the organic composition of the final product. All our ingredients come with organic certificates from our suppliers in the United States and around the world.

What is the meaning of Synthetic Chemical?

There are some consumers who think that the terms ‘artificial’ and ‘synthetic’ are one and the same; however, there is a very obvious difference. Artificially made products need to be made by human intervention and from natural based ingredients.

Products that are made synthetically, on the other hand, not only need human intervention but can only be made in a laboratory via a process known as chemical synthesis. This means that parts taken from different places are combined to make a whole, a compound. In understandable words, the ingredients used to make them aren’t available in nature.

The danger in the skin care industry is that companies create synthetic ingredients to mass produce products with cheaper ingredients. Synthetic ingredients are cheaper than organic because they are created easily in a test tube versus grow in the ground over months. What we must ask ourselves is, at what cost does our skin bare for cheap fillers? Toxic synthetic chemicals used in the cosmetic industry include the following:

  • Parabens and Phthalates – Known to be carcinogenic and particularly linked to breast cancer
  • Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates – The most toxic ingredients on the market and a deadly form of carcinogen
  • PEGS (polyethylene glycols) and petrochemical products – PEGs are used to dissolve oil and grease, thus opening skin to harmful toxins and bacteria by stripping the outer skin layers
  • Petrolatum – This has two well-known carcinogens: Benzo-A-Pyrene and Benzo-B-Fluroanthene
  • Mineral Oil – A petroleum derivative that slows cell development and causes early aging by preventing skin from breathing
  • DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine) – All three disrupt hormones and are particularly linked to liver and kidney cancer

If you take the label of your cosmetic or skincare product and want to read about each individual ingredient, go to the EWG's Skin Deep Database. You can enter the ingredient name and all known studies and reports listed in connection with the ingredient will come up including any warnings or advisory notes. Empower yourself by knowing what you put on your skin and thus in your body.

The Natural vs. Organic Debate

Many would think that both these words mean the same; however, this cannot be more wrong. If a cosmetic product is ‘labeled’ as being natural, this does not mean that it was made with organic ingredients. Even if a product is made naturally, there may be preservatives or artificial colors in it. To make matters worse, the FDA and the USDA do not regulate products labeled ‘natural’; something manufacturers take advantage of to keep products on the market that have toxic synthetic ingredients.

Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind when reading a product label:

  • While Organic may be displayed on the front of the bottle, your product is likely made from only a small percentage of organic ingredients. Brands must list all ingredients and mark whether they are organic or not. Make sure to read all ingredients.
  • Brands must list ingredients in order of content percentages – the largest amount of ingredients at the top. That said, if only the last few ingredients are organic, you are probably only getting a few drops of organic ingredients supplemented cheap quality fillers at the top.
  • If water is listed as the first ingredient, your product is predominantly water and must contain a preservative and a binding agent to mix water and oils or butters. Not all preservatives are bad, but watch out for harmful parabens and other synthetic chemicals. Binding agents are unnecessary chemicals for the skin with unintended consequences.
  • If you don’t know how to pronounce an ingredient, do you really want it on your skin?

The only thing consumers can do to not get tricked into buying something that is not what the label says; but to be well informed of what is put into the jar of face cream or tube of lip balm by reading the list of ingredients carefully before every purchase. As we always say at Verità, ‘the truth is in the label.’

October 29, 2014

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Fall Skin Update: Less is More, Still So Much More

I’ve said this for a while – less is so much more. I’m finding that when it comes to my skin care regimen, it is not just a mantra that goes along with using high quality Argan oil, it is a way of life for how I take care of my own skin. Like everyone else, I love trying new products, testing new formulas, and creating my own do-it-yourself recipes at home to try to find the best skin care on the market and in my kitchen. The products keep piling up and I don’t have time or the need for most of them. In addition, my poor, sensitive skin doesn’t always enjoy the trials of the latest trends as much as I love brewing them up.

As the seasons change, so does how I treat my skin. I have combination skin on my face, my legs are bone dry from the knees down, and I have oily skin everywhere else. Keeping up with dual regimens for dry and oily skin can be exhausting. In the summertime, the humidity keeps my pores active and I tend to break out more on my face. I usually add a toner once a day (always alcohol-free because I can’t stand the thought or feel of alcohol-based products) which helps regulate the production of my face’s natural oils during the hot months and in hot climates like the beach.

Now that it is fall, my skin gets a little bit drier and I can stop using the toner and take off one step from the daily routine. My skin in the fall tends to be more normal – meaning that it does not over-produce sebum (the natural skin oil) and it is not cold enough outside to thoroughly dry out my face. In the spring and fall, I can therefore go minimal for my skin.

My perfect fall skin care ritual is to wash my face and body at night with an organic oil-based exfoliator that contains sugar, coffee, or salt. Because I use an oil-based formula, there is no need to moisturize after a shower. In the morning, I rinse my face with water and add a pure oil to hydrate my skin. By dampening my face with the water, it preps my skin to absorb the oil quickly before putting on makeup and running out the door to work. And that’s it. Using organic ingredients like sugars and salts have also evened out my skin and helped to reduce scars from acne. The oil-based exfoliators add moisture so my skin is softer and healthier every time I wash. This time of year allows me to spend almost no time on my skin while maximizing the results for my complexion.

My favorite products are, of course, Verità Argan oils and body scrubs. I am currently using Verità’s seasonal Coconut Palm Sugar Face Scrub. Sugar is a gentle exfoliator delicate enough for my acne-prone facial skin and helps prevent clogging my large oily-skin pores. The massage involved in finely ground sugars help wash away dead skin cells from building up and improves the skin’s circulation. Sugar contains organic alpha-hydroxy acid that promotes cell regeneration to keep me looking young. Verità’s sugar face scrub has three oils – Argan oil, Pumpkin Seed oil, and Grape Seed oil – that stripe away the oiliness in my skin. Verità believes in the oil cleansing method where oil dissolves oil from the face instead of using alcohol to evaporate sebum since it also breaks down the skin’s natural defensive layer. Not only do the oils in Verità’s face scrub dissolve dirt and oil from the skin, they also moisturize. The sugar face scrub has additional essential oils of Tea Tree to fight acne breakouts, Lavender to help heal skin, and Grapefruit to protect from aging. I love the sugar scrub because I only have to use one product on my face to deals with the dryness and oily sections of my combination skin all at once.

Next, I scrub down with Verità’s Coffee & Argan Oil Body Scrub with Cinnamon & Clove. The festive aromas from the coffee, clove, and cinnamon in this product is the best to wake up to in the morning and scrub down with at night – it’s just so much fun that I look forward to bathing! The coffee exfoliates skin helping to improve the skin’s circulation and decrease cellulite and varicose veins over time. When spring time comes, my legs will be ready for shorts. The coffee scrub is also amazing after a workout because the clove essential oil helps relax my muscles – such a multitasking shower buddy. In addition, the body scrub doesn’t dry out my skin because the Argan oil, Pumpkin Seed oil, and Apricot oil moisturize while adding vitamins and nutrients to skin. I simply love the combination of these two scrubs!

Part of my skin care routine means keeping the agitation to my skin to a minimum. I only wash once a day, despite the urge to keep scrubbing away to get rid of oil to prevent blemishes from forming. By sticking to the once-a-day wash, my skin has started to produces less oil. I don’t have a need to pat dry my face in the bathroom at work anymore nor use face wipes at the office. When I rinse with water in the morning, I follow by hydrating my skin with one of Verità’s Skin Therapies. They are all so lovely smelling that I rotate them depending on the desired aromatherapy boost I want that day. My current favorite is Verità Anti-Aging Day Regimen with SPF. The Frankincense essential oil alerts my senses in the morning while adding a protective layer of SPF with the red raspberry seed oil. Palmarosa and orange essential oils help fight the signs of aging and prevent wrinkles. So much goodness packed in this little bottle of natural oils – simply amazing.

While I rationally know the oils are good for my skin, I’m drawn to Argan oil as a skin moisturizer more so for the way it makes me feel when I use it. I feel I have been let in on a timeless beauty secret hidden from the world and tucked away in Morocco. I feel smug for only using three small drops a day and saving hundreds by not buying expensive anti-aging creams. I feel wiser than I did in my twenties because I never knew my skin could feel this soft. While I can’t save the world, I can buy Argan oil from a women’s farm knowing that the profits help support a family in central Morocco and her children will go to school. Most of all, I just feel happy and I smile at myself in the mirror ready to face the world. It hits so many irrational emotions that I can’t seem to go a day without lathering my skin in just a few drops of Argan oil. While the leaves change, what stays the same is my trust in Argan oil.

Certainly, I had to plug my own products because I’m in love with them and want to share their benefits with everyone. In reality, they are simple concoctions that one can mix at home with your own ingredients found entirely in your kitchen. Our scrubs are made from 100% organic ingredients, so it’s not rocket science and you don’t need a lab to get fantastic skin. When you don’t have time to mix up your own batch, there is always your handmade local company Verità.

September 03, 2014

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Death To Alcohol in Skin Care

Skin drying, dehydrating topical alcohol that is.

If you haven’t heard by now, drinking alcohol dehydrates your skin reducing its puffiness and making it look dull while speeding up the aging process. Knowing this, I am constantly amazed at how much alcohol is found in skin care products from lotions to face cleansers, body washes, eye serums, anti-aging creams, face masks, and exfoliators. On average, a person might apply alcohol to their face 3-5 times a day depending on how much they wash or apply products. That’s five times a day that a person is drying out their skin with topical alcohol and speeding up the inevitable wrinkling.

Using alcohol-based skin care products is primarily an American phenomenon. In comparison, Europeans and other regions of the world have traditionally used organic oils and butters to moisturize their skin. The Dermatology Review notes that Europeans follow the premise of staying natural with their ingredients and using the bare minimum. French and Italian women are famous for looking beautiful and younger longer than Americans due to their love of facial oils and their intolerance to alcohol in skin care products.

The Science Behind Alcohol for Skin

If so many products on the market have alcohol as a primary ingredient in them, they can’t be that bad for our skin, right? Wrong. Let’s take a quick look at the facts:

  • Using alcohol-based products breaks down the skin’s natural defense against the elements, notes a study published by Science Direct in May 2012. Alcohol is used by the skin care industry to help ingredients penetrate the skin at a faster rate.

  • Removing the skin’s natural anti-bacterial layers with cleansing agents and antiseptic alcohol facilitates the growth of infection in dry, cracked skin while jeopardizing the skin’s overall health, says another study the National Institutes of Health in 2003. If the skin cannot self-regulate, it opens the doors for bacteria, microbes, fungi, and UVB/UVA rays to make a home in skin.

  • Surfactants and alcohol contribute to the problem of acne instead of preventing outbreaks while additionally causing dryness and irritation, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health in 2011.

  • Ethanol causes the death of skin cells and reduces their ability to protect against inflammation and defend against free radicals, reports Science Direct April 2002. Healthy skin needs cells to regenerate and maintain elasticity. When cells break down, sagging and wrinkles appear.

  • “Glycerin draws moisture from the lower layers of the skin and holds it on the surface, drying the skin from the inside out,according to U.S. Library of Medicine’s Toxicity Data Network. Some skin care ingredients are designed to keep moisture at the skin’s surface, yet at the expense of the skin organ in its entirety.

 

The Power of Marketing in the Skin Care Industry

The larger implication for the skin care industry is that the use of alcohol has changed our perception of how products should feel on our skin and how our skin should feel on a daily basis. Our skin naturally produces sebum, what we know as oil, to self-regulate its health. Alcohol, in essence, strips away the natural oil on our skin. Our pores thus freak out and over-produce more sebum. For dry skin types, taking away the natural oil makes skin painfully raw and irritated. In lotions, it produces a quick drying effect which consumers have become accustomed to. Skin feels squeaky and some products can leave a thin film or even dry out the top layer after a few minutes. The squeaky feeling from bar soap is also what we perceive as what clean should feel like. Instead, dead skin cells need to be exfoliated and rinsed off followed by deep moisturizing to retain the skin’s plump softness.

Alcohol for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

For oily skin types, alcohol will kill acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin in extremely high doses. It is quick-drying and de-greases oil for an instantaneous effect. However, the alcohol dries out skin from underneath and causes the sebaceous glands to over-produce sebum furthermore making skin breakout more. It also irritates skin on a whole new level. There are alternative forms of acne-prevention ingredients to alcohol. Most notably, organic Tea Tree oil (Melaluca) can do the same thing. One study found that tea tree oil worked as well as 5% benzoyl peroxide in controlling the symptoms of acne. Due to its concentration, pure organic tea tree oil should not be used directly on skin and needs a carrier oil to disperse safely on skin. (Verità Skin Therapy – Acne & Rosacea Fighter)

Types of Alcohol in Skin Care to Avoid:

  • Ethanol – EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database defines this ingredient as “Ethanol or ethyl alcohol is considered broadly toxic and linked to birth defects following excessive oral ingestion,” although it poses lower health risks than drinking alcoholic beverages. It is used an anti-foaming, anti-microbial agent, and an astringent.

    • Synonym(s): ALCOHOL, ABSOLUTE ETHANOL; DISTILLED SPIRITS; ETHANOL, UNDENATURED; ETHYL ALCOHOL; ETHYL HYDROXIDE; UNDENATURED ETHANOL; ABSOLUTE ETHANOL; AETHANOL (GERMAN) ; AETHYLALKOHOL (GERMAN) ; ALCOHOL DEHYDRATED; ALCOHOL, ANHYDROUS

    • Alcohol Denat., SD Alcohol 3-A, SD Alcohol 30, SD Alcohol 39, SD Alcohol 39-B, SD Alcohol 39-C, SD Alcohol 40, SD Alcohol 40-B, SD Alcohol 40-C or just plain alcohol

  • Glycerin (also called glycerol) – While organic skin care brands have been turning to this vegetable source as opposed to an animal fat to strip sweat and dirt away, it is actually naturally occurring alcohol compound. It will make skin feel squeaky and dried out.

    • Synonym(s): 1,2,3-PROPANETRIOL; 1,2,3-TRIHYDROXYPROPANE; 1,2,3PROPANETRIOL; CONCENTRATED GLYCERIN; GLYCERINE; GLYCEROL; GLYCYL ALCOHOL; 1,2,3-PROPANETRIOL; 1,2,3-TRIHYDROXYPROPANE; 90 TECHNICAL GLYCERINE; CITIFLUOR AF 2

  • Extracts – A fruit, plant, or flower extract is most commonly infused in alcohol. However, it is not required to add the word alcohol to the ingredient label. While an extract can offer the vitamins and nutrients from the plant or flower, it needs the alcohol to penetrate into the skin. An alternative is an extract infused with apple cider vinegar or white hazel (alcohol-free), oil infusions, and essential oils.

    • Examples: Tamarindus Indica (Tamarind Extract), Camellia sinensis (White Tea Extract), Punica granatum (Pomegranate Extract),Gingo Biloba leaf Extract,Olea europaea (Olive leaf Extract), Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) Leaf Extract , Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract

  • Benzyl Alcohol – this is a synthetic ingredient that acts as a preservative or solvent. Nonetheless, it needs to be added in high doses for it to work as an effective preservative, which may cause over-exposure to the negative effects of alcohol.

    • Synonym(s): A-TOLUENOL; BENZENEMETHANOL; BENZYLIC ALCOHOL; PHENYLCARBINOL; PHENYLMETHANOL; PHENYLMETHYL ALCOHOL; ALPHA-HYDROXYTOLUENE; ALPHA-TOLUENOL; BENZAL ALCOHOL; BENZENECARBINOL; BENZENEMETHANOL

What are Fatty Alcohols?

Not all alcohols are bad, which may surprise you after everything you have just read. There are fatty alcohols that will not dry skin out. The chemical composition of these alcohols is different and they are usually known as waxy solids. Either way, oils and butter have deep moisturizing properties and are a wonderful alternative to lotions and creams that contain waxes with contain synthetic agents that dry quickly.

Fatty alcohols may still cause irritation to sensitive skin and can be comedogenic, or clogs pores that lead to breakouts. They are used in skin care products as emollients and thickeners. Common fatty alcohols include cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, arachidyl alcohol and myristyl alcohol. For instance, cetyl alcohol is a long chain organic alcohol found either as a wax in spermaceti from whale or dolphin sperm or synthetically as vegetable cetyl alcohol. Most of these are synthetically produced and added the skin care products for texture. While the skin care industry largely affirms that fatty alcohols are not harmful to skin, Verità skin care uses only organic and naturally occurring ingredients free from synthetic compounds. Organic oils and butters have enough deep moisturizing properties that they do not need synthetic additives to perform the same function. The synthetics ingredients can sometimes be cheaper, but as a rule of thumb – you get what you pay for.

What Your Skin Should Feel Like

Your skin is the largest single organ in your body. It needs nourishment and vitamins to function properly and remain healthy for the long haul. Skin gets nutrients from the food we eat and from the products we put on its outside layers. Skin should not squeak like a white board. It should not feel filmy or chalky. When you scrub your body, your hands should not bump around like screech marks. Skin should also not flake under your fingers.

Healthy skin should be soft and smooth. The best time to moisturize skin is in the shower when skin is wet or right after cleansing when skin is slightly damp. The skin will absorb moisturizers faster with oils and butters without feeling greasy. Skin should feel plump and like silky, velvety softness. In the shower, scrubbing or gently massaging the body with oil and an exfoliator will cleanse the outer layer of excess sweat, dirt, and dead skin cells while deep moisturizing the skin. It is normal to feel smooth in the shower with a touch of oil for all skin types – yes, even oily skin!

- Amanda Riggs

August 18, 2014

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How Verità Skin Was Created, In a Nutshell

Verità means truth in Italian. In any language, we’re a luxury, all-organic skin care company that blends aromatic flower, herb, and fruit essences such as lavender, geranium, and lemongrass, with ultra-hydrating Mediterranean oils for the body and face. Made for moisturizing modern women of all senses and sensibilities, Verità Organic Argan Oil Skin Care blazes its own path away from commercialized skin care paradigms. We utilize only the purest ingredients, and we source them from fair trade women’s cooperatives across Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia, and always looking for more partners. If it isn’t harvested sustainably, we won’t use it.

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