Summer Skin : Soothe What Ails You


Who doesn’t love Summer? Everyone seems more chipper this time of year. Maybe it’s because they’re enjoying life outdoors, spending quality time with friends and family, and not having to layer their clothes to feel comfortable. All of this is lovely. The downside to summer, for many, is the harsh effect it has on their skin. Being outdoors in hot weather leads to sun damage and often sun burn. People with oily skin, like myself, often experience breakouts during the summer. For those of you in drier climates, your skin may get drier with the weather. Heat can wreak havoc on the balance we’ve reached with our skin and I’m here to share some helpful ways to overcome some summer skin obstacles.

Preventing Sun Damage and Burns:

A study from 2009 explains how antioxidants, like OHA’s green tea and vitamins E & C may have “minimal SPF” despite having been shown to “protect against UV-induced DNA damage and immune suppression, in part through its ability to reduce oxidative stress”. The conclusion is that “the addition of botanical antioxidants and vitamins C and E to a broad-spectrum sunscreen may further decrease UV-induced damage compared with sunscreen alone.” The best way to prevent sun damage and skin cancer is to use non-toxic sunscreen in conjunction with antioxidant skin care, like OHA. The most concentrated source of antioxidants in OHA is the Intensive Nutrient Complex, so if you want the most sun-protective bang for your buck, this is your best bet. Even better? Combine CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream, Lip Line Treatment, and Hydrating Mist in the palm of your hand and apply it all over your face and neck for a thoroughly antioxidant-rich facial routine.

Already Burnt?

Is it too late for prevention? If so, your skin will be red, sensitive, and hot. Make sure to stay out of the sun after a burn and drink plenty of water throughout the day. It’s important to be gentle with your skin, especially when it’s burnt, so avoid scrubbing vigorously and avoid any harsh, acidic skin treatments. Instead, use Intensive Nutrient Complex and Daily Moisturizer with Hydrating Mist to thoroughly calm the skin and bring it back to balance. Your burn will feel overheated, so liberally sprits your face and shoulders with Hydrating Mist to cool down and give your skin nourishment all day. Even oily skin that is feeling a bit fried can benefit from this treatment. Just be sure to dilute the serum and moisturizer with at least 7 sprays of Hydrating Mist in the palm of your hand before applying to your skin.

Speaking of Oily Skin…

As soon as the weather switched to summer in Seattle, my forehead developed some unsightly breakouts. Because my skin felt oily all day, I found myself touching my face a lot to wipe away excess oil. It’s no wonder I was having zit problems! As soon as I started using a little bit less moisturizer and serum (from 1 pump to less than half a pump for each) and using about twice as much Hydrating Mist, my breakouts cleared within a week. Beyond healing my breakouts, this new routine moisturized my skin just enough that it didn’t feel oily after my skin care routine but also didn’t leave my skin without oils after cleansing. When you have oily skin, it’s tempting to power wash your face and avoid moisturizer, but this habit will lead to your skin needing to replace oils that were removed from cleansing and often overcompensate by getting extra oily. Just a little bit of moisture will give your skin some much-needed balance.

On the Drier Side?

Martha’s favorite combination when she needs both sun protection and a lot of hydration is CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream combined with Daily Moisturizer and Intensive Nutrient Complex. This trio offers a protective barrier between the elements and the skin’s lipid barrier while also quenching thirsty skin. Essentially, it provides the skin with moisture and locks in that moisture all day. It’s chock-full of antioxidants, too, so it’s a great supplement to your sun care routine.

Your skin is communicating with you on a daily basis. It’s reflecting your emotions, your diet and how you’re nourishing it directly. When you notice changes in your skin, see what shifted in your life to figure out the cause of your skin’s changes. If the summer heat has been giving your skin trouble, I hope these bits of advice help you get back to good. Treat your skin kindly and enjoy all this season has to offer.

How Hydrating Mist Keeps Skin Balanced Between Seasons


With the weather so haywire, it’s important to nurture skin throughout the changes.  As it starts to get colder, the body responds by using more protein, causing skin’s layers to develop more quickly. Having less time for skin to develop leads to imbalances, like chapped skin, hyper-pigmentation, uneven skin tone or flakiness.

Our 90% Organic Hydrating Mist can help the skin stay soothed and nourished during this transition. It contains soothing and softening aloe vera, antioxidant-rich green tea and hydrating hydrosols (see below to find out what these are).  Green tea is also an anti-inflammatory, helping soothe redness and rawness caused by chapped, weak layers of skin, while MSM helps strengthen collagen and keeps the skin even-toned and supple.

What’s so unique about our toner is it hydrates rather than “tightens”. When other brands’ toners claim that their toner “tightens”, you’re generally left with skin feeling uncomfortably tight and dry.  Not so with Hydrating Mist because it aims to soothe and hydrate. Hydrating Mist should be applied after cleansing to help prepare the skin for moisture and it helps disperse the products. OHA moisturizers and serums go much farther when accompanied by the Hydrating Mist, so you get better value for your money.

What’s a Hydrosol?

OHA uses Rose and Lavender hydrosols due to their immense healing and soothing properties. You can even use them on babies! Hydrosols are not as bioactive as other compounds but their ability to gently soothe and hydrate is well worth it.

Hydrosols, which you’ll find in our Hydrating Mist, are commonly called ‘floral waters’. Real hydrosols are the first product from the plant distillation process, followed by essential oils. Although it would be significantly less expensive to mix water and essential oils for a toning water (as most botanical skin care lines do), we use real hydrosols because all skin types, even the most sensitive, can absorb and benefit from them.

A Few Words from Martha Buldain, OHA Formulator: I want to emphasize that this is a beneficial and therapeutic product, not just filler in your skin care routine. It helps hydrate and refresh, while also helping all of our other products disperse evenly and sink in thoroughly. I especially like mixing the Hydrating Mist, Intensive Nutrient Complex, and Daily or Night Moisturizer in the palm of my hand. Three steps done at once saves time while still providing nutrients and hydration.  Lastly, it is truly refreshing and uplifting, with lavender and grapefruit, and it helps ease headaches.



Be Your Own Valentine: Fall In Love With Your Beauty


I’ve always had a bit of a beef with Valentine’s Day.  It’s a very bossy holiday, telling you how to feel toward your partner, if you’ve got one, or making you feel “less than” if you’re single. I love my partner and I try to express that love every day we’re together; I don’t need a holiday to remind me, especially with cliché pink and red hearts.  This is why I’ve decided to redefine Valentine’s Day. Ready? Valentine’s Day 2010 is dedicated to finding even more reasons to respect and honor your own beauty, spirit and heart.  Be your own Valentine.

Talking with Martha, we realized that there are a couple of different body parts that make us feel beautiful in a way that no snazzy piece of jewelry or pricey new outfit ever could:

Your Lips: There’s something sexy about lips. They kiss, they sexily eat strawberries, they whisper naughty nothings…they’re undeniable.  That’s why it’s important to treat those kissers with the Lip Line Treatment. It will protect that vulnerable area with moisturizing tamarind and meadowfoam seeds, antioxidant green tea and reishi mushrooms, and soothing and hydrating coconut oil and sea buckthorn to reduce the appearance of lip lines and add plumpness to the lips.

Your Eyes: When it comes down to it, the most beautiful part of any person is their eyes. Eyes express nearly everything there is to know about how someone is feeling. When you’ve been drinking water, exercising, getting plenty of sleep and feeling relatively calm, your eyes reflect it. When you’re stressed, tired, sick or sleepy, your eyes are a dead give away. For those times of feeling worn-out, saggy, or tired, Martha formulated the Under Eye Therapy. It lifts with silk, gently replenishes moisture with sunflower seed oil and olive squaline, de-puffs with honey and perilla oil, and cools and soothes with aloe and cucumber. This product is especially helpful if your eyes are looking more worn out than you feel.

Your Neck:  When you want to get snuggly with a special someone, you want your neck to feel smooth, supple and inviting.  Applying the Lip Line Treatment to the neck replenishes moisture so completely that it helps smooth out the appearance of wrinkles. If you’d like to tighten up that delicate décolleté, add some Under Eye Therapy to your Lip Line Treatment and apply in gentle upward strokes.

I also think it’s a lovely time of year to indulge in the sweeter things in life. We began the year with strict resolutions for ourselves so now’s the time to ease up and give ourselves some leeway to relax and enjoy. If you’re still calorie counting, however, you can add the Facial Sugar Scrub to your daily dose of indulgence.  It sloughs off dead skin, leaving you refreshed and feeling lively.

I’d love to hear from all of our fabulous readers out there.  What do you love about yourself?

Until Next Time,


Antioxidants and Free Radicals : Why the Hype?


raspberriesAntioxidant. It’s the buzziest buzz word in the health and beauty world these days. If you’re at all like me, you probably heard it and accepted it as a healthy choice but didn’t really understand it. Let’s talk.

In order to explain antioxidants, I need to first explain free radicals: When the skin and body are confronted with toxins, UV radiation, cigarette smoke, sleep deprivation (…etc) the body produces free radicals. The body even produces them as a result of normal metabolism and immune functions.

Free radicals cause cellular death. While that sounds vaguely terrifying, cellular death isn’t always a negative thing. Sometimes, the ominous-sounding ‘cellular death’ benefits us by killing bacteria, viruses and cancerous cells. When the body’s free radical production is in balance with it’s antioxidant supply, things function as they should. The problems begin when the unstable free radicals outweigh the body’s antioxidants. Then, free radicals weaken cells, which can lead to tissue damage (especially around the eyes and mouth, where skin is especially thin).

When skin cells are damaged by an imbalance of free radicals, you’ll start to see wrinkles. Skin cells are frequently attacked by free radicals we encounter on a daily basis; without antioxidants to block it, they’re going to shrivel and have a difficult time regenerating.

This is where antioxidants step in to provide some much-needed balance. An antioxidant is any substance that disables free radicals before they have a chance to oxidize and damage skin cells. Unless you’re willing to hole yourself up away from smoke, stress, and toxins, you have to supplement your skin’s antioxidant stash to keep the balance intact. That’s why OHA is chock full of antioxidants, including Alpha Lipoic Acid, Tocotrienol, Ester-C, Green Tea and Raspberry, Cranberry and Blackberry Seeds. We could all use a little more antioxidant support!

If antioxidants sound appealing, you ought to try:

Intensive Nutrient Complex

Lip Line Treatment

Daily Moisturizer

Night Cream

Under Eye Therapy

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