#OHA101: Fall Skincare Tips for Glowing Skin

Summer Sun & Fun Give Way to Crisp Air – and Updated Skincare

fall tree and fieldFall brings more than just back-to-school madness and pumpkin spice everything. With the changing weather, it’s important to maintain and update your skincare routine to reflect your inner glow.

We want you and your skin to stay healthy and happy. Read on for OHA’s fall skincare tips:

  • Stay hydrated. This one seems like a summer tip, but as the temperature drops, your skin gets drier – prevent this by staying hydrated from the inside out. Drink lots of water, and quench your skin with a Hydrating Mist, mixed with a serum. Keeping your skin hydrated also boosts your immune system to keep you healthier going into the cold and flu season.
  • Exfoliate your face and body. Flaky skin from summer fun and dropping temperatures can be remedied with a moisturizing exfoliant. Use a good loofah and some Facial Sugar Scrub (great all over your body!) to slough off dead skin cells and keep your skin glowing.
    • sun worshipUse sun protection. Another one that seems summery, but the sun’s rays are intense year-round. It’s important not to let up on UV protection even though summer is over – clouds can even magnify UV rays. Our Natural Sun Protection Lotion protects you all year.
  • Switch to a richer face moisturizer. Protect skin from drier air and low temperatures by using a richer moisturizer to replenish your skin. Rich doesn’t have to mean heavy, either: try the Advanced Moisture Treatment for nourishing essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants that absorb beautifully into your skin.
  • Protect your lips. We definitely are plagued by dry, flaky lips when the season changes. Even though you want to lick your lips constantly, that’s not a good idea – it dries them out even more! But if you have to lick your lips, make them taste delicious with Chocolate & Rose Lip Butter – so moisturizing, you won’t have to lick any more (though you’ll want to – yum!).

The end of summer is always a little sad for us, but endings always signify opportunity and new beginnings. Savor the changing light, colorful leaves, and coming cozy winter months, and be good to yourself.

If you like this, we sometimes send tips and things directly to you – sign up for our email newsletter to get them!

– Karissa Lew – contributing writer

09.10.2015

#OHA101: ASTAXANTHIN

NATURE’S SUN PROTECTANTblog3_astaxanthin_powder

Astaxanthin, pronounced asta-zan-thin, is the ultimate antioxidant!

Astaxanthin is the naturally occurring red pigment found in algae, lobster, and salmon that gives them their vibrant red color. Aside from the red pigment, astaxanthin acts as a natural sunscreen. Think of astaxanthin like armor for these animals — shielding against free radicals and other stresses like harmful UV rays.

blog3_astaxanthin_cellsOverexposure to UV light damages your skin, causing wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer. Astaxanthin protects your skin by rejuvenating it both internally and topically, helping cells overcome inflammation and DNA damage. The most effective method of natural sun protection is using a topical sunscreen in addition to taking astaxanthin internally.

According to Huffington Post’s Suzy Cohen, R.Ph., astaxanthin has been shown to protect your skin. When taken internally, it accumulates in and penetrates the skin cells, reducing UV damage. The skin’s sensitivity to UV light gradually decreases due to this accumulation. In addition, this helps reduce fine lines and maintain your skin’s moisture levels and smoothness.

The best dietary sources include sockeye salmon, shrimp, crab, and red trout. Supplements are also a great way to ingest it. Incorporate astaxanthin into your daily routine: the recommended dosage is 4-12 mg/day.

– Karen Khuu – Contributing Writer

#OHA101: Red Raspberry Seed Oil

April 3, 2015 – Karen Khuu (Contributing Writer)Fresh raspberry

Mother Nature’s Sun Protectant

Red Raspberry Seed Oil – Raspberries mean summer and sun to most of us. Did you know that the seeds from this little red fruit offer your skin a truly natural alternative for sun protection?

With summer around the corner, it’s important to make sure you’re protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Red raspberry seed oil is an especially potent ingredient that has been proven to naturally protect your skin from UV damage and reduce dark spots.

This special natural oil is exceptionally packed with nutrients and provides natural SPF. According to B. Dave Oomah:

 “Red Raspberry Seed Oil may act as a broad-spectrum UV-A and UV-B shield. It has shown an SPF of between 28 and 50 and thus is a valuable ingredient in natural sunblocks and sunscreens.” (Oomah, et al 2000)

Red raspberry seed oil not only revitalizes your skin but also protects it from UVA and UVB damages, also known as Broad Spectrum Protection. It offers the same amount of sun protection as Titanium Dioxide. Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) is a mineral pigment, sunscreen, and thickener commonly found in a majority of physical sunscreens. Red raspberry seed oil offers people an alternative to Titanium Dioxide and chemical exposure coming from substances like Oxybenzone. This oil will also enhance the protection offered by your normal sunscreen plus fight hyperpigmentation and provide moisture—something the everyday chemical sunscreens don’t offer.

Red raspberry seed oil is cold-pressed and extracted from its seeds. It is rich in essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6), Vitamin A, and Vitamin E (alpha and gamma tocopherols). These vital nutrients play an important role in rejuvenating and protecting your skin from environmental damages.

As the season changes, our skin changes with it. Sun or no sun, it is important to think about what we trust to protect our skin.

Nearly all of OHA’s products contain red raspberry seed oil. Advanced Treatment Serum, Intensive Nutrient Complex, and the CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream have the highest concentration of the oil, offering natural UVA and UVB protection. Learn more about these products here.

A Special Message from our Founder…

Happy Holidays

The holidays are finally upon us and, as the year draws to a close,
I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your continued
love and support of OHA. My team and I work very hard to bring you the
very best products using the best ingredients of the highest quality.
Thank you for being our customer and for believing in OHA.
We wish you, your family and loved ones, a fantastic 2013!

Best wishes,
Martha Buldain
Founder and Formulator

What we’re thankful for…

As the official kick-off to the holiday season, the Thanksgiving holiday is a wonderful time for families and friends to join each other and share a special meal. It’s also a time to reflect on our lives and show our gratitude to those we love.

We want to take this time and show our gratitude to you for the amazing support you have shown OHA this year. We can’t do what we love without you and we thank you for allowing us to provide you with the very best in skin care.

Organic vs Conventional

Slate.com

There’s no arguing that us humans need food to survive! Of course we know that eating fruits and vegetables is better for us than all of the processed packaged stuff. But with all the recent talks about conventional and organically grown fruits and vegetables, it’s tough to know what the right thing to do is.

You may have heard about the now famous “Stanford Study” which determined that organic food was not any more healthier than conventional. Unfortunately, they missed a few things.

Plain and simple, organic produce just tastes better. If you have ever tasted a conventional tomato and an organic one, you know what I’m talking about! There is no denying that the organic tomato is dense full of flavor. And what about all those chemicals? With the rise of antibiotic resistance, more and more people are realizing that the widespread usage of pesticides and antibiotics in agriculture has had a damaging effect. Pregnant women, babies and kids are advised to stay away from chemicals of all types. The negative impact on farmers, their land and our eco-system are also enough reasons to consider organically grown produce. Organic farming methods help the Earth renew itself while spraying pesticides beats up the land. Plants end up relying on the chemicals to help them fight disease and aren’t strong enough to protect themselves. When plants aren’t practicing this natural battle, they’re not building up their natural self-defense mechanism. It’s this activity that fills them full of antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavonoids and other phytonutrients which we need to help us live in optimum health.

Take some time to research this topic on your own and come to your own conclusions. Here’s a recent post over on Mark’s Daily Apple to help get you started.

We’d love to know what you find out there! Leave us a comment here about your thoughts on all of this and whether or not you choose organic.

Support your local farmers, growers and of course, skin care makers!

To your health.

Color, Color

These days, glass and plastic bottles come in lots of different colors. Here at OHA, our glass and plastic bottles are brown. Most people think we just picked the color because of aesthetics. But the truth is, there is a reason why we choose to store our products in dark colored bottles.

OHA skincare products are made using plant based organic ingredients. Since we don’t use synthetic preservatives, our products are sensitive to light and heat. Our brown colored bottles shield light away and help protect the ingredients in our products. Therefore, the whole ingredients in your OHA product remains balanced and full of the healing, restorative and regenerative elements. Be sure to always keep your OHA purchase out of direct sunlight and away from heat.

How to Use OHA: Keep it Simple and See Great Results

We’ve talked a lot about combining OHA but chances are, you’ve probably never gotten a visual for what this process looks like. When you’re applying your moisturizer and serum and mist, the best method we’ve discovered is to combine the trio in the palm of your hand (as shown in the picture on the left). Once all three products are in the palm of your hand, mix them together with a finger or by rubbing your palms together. Then, apply the mixture in upward strokes to your face and neck. The Hydrating Mist allows the moisturizer and serum to penetrate the skin more deeply and spread more evenly than if you applied them separately. It also maintains the pH balance of your skin that ensures penetration, moisture retention, and overall skin health. It’s better for your skin AND it cuts the time you need to spend on your skin care routine.

Argan: I’ve Run Out of Ways to Say “Antioxidant”

Argan seems to be popping up all over the place. Ever since we released CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream, it seems like the question on everyone’s mind is, “What is so special about argan oil?” Well, there’s a whole lot of special about argan oil!

FAST FACTS: The argan tree generally grows in Morocco but you can also find it in Algeria. It grows fruit that take over a year to get to harvest. Inside that fruit is a hard nut or kernel that’s rich in oil. According to Nadim A. Shaath, Ph.D’s article “Argan Oil: Miracle Ingredient?”, “argan is one of the rarest oils in the world” because it’s grown in so few places and it takes the yield of eight entire argan trees to produce 1 liter of argan oil.

FAIR TRADE WORK OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN: “The vast majority of the production of argan oil passes through women’s cooperatives through programs that focus on improving the working conditions of rural women…”. Not only does it provide opportunities for women, it also provides job opportunities: “According to the Moroccan Department of Water and Forests, argan oil currently provides income for 3 million people in the southern part of the Kingdom of Morocco.”

A Morroccan Woman Grinding Argan Kernels

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS: “Argan contains 80% unsaturated fatty acids and is rich in essential fatty acids…Essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized by humans and must be obtained through diet or skin absorption. EFAs are structural components of cell membranes and are necessary for regulating healthy skin and premature aging. They perform vital roles in sebum production…EFAs have antioxidant properties and form a thin, impermeable film that prevents skin moisture loss.”

CAROTENOIDS: “Carotenoids are a class of plant-derived pigments which protect eyes and skin from UV radiation and free radical damage, help maintain the immune system, promote healthy skin and inhibit cancer cell proliferation.” The carotenoids in argan (neoxanthin, violaxanthin and zeaxanthin) are especially effective when used topically for sun protection.

POLYPHENOLS: These are powerful antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic and anti-aging components in argan oil. It helps prevent ultraviolet damage.

SQUALENE: It’s an “antioxidant oil that…penetrates more deeply and readily than most other oils. Human sebum, the skin’s own moisturizer, is 25% squalene, making externally-derived squalene highly compatible with skin lipids. Squalene has been shown to positively affect mature and rosacea skin….and has been effective in the treatment of dermatitis and skin cancer.” Argan has more squalene than olive oil!

VITAMIN E: I feel like a broken record, but Vitamin E is a fabulous antioxidant. IT “accumulates in the epidermis and forms a barrier against moisture evaporation from the skin, prevents cellular aging due to oxidation, aids in bringing nourishment to cells, decreases inflammation, and strengthens capillary walls. They significantly help in the reduction of scarring from wounds and the appearance of stretch marks. “

GREAT FOR DRYNESS: “Argan oil’s skin moisturizing properties correct dryness and improve skin elasticity.”

Goats Eating Argan Kernels in an Argan Tree

How could we not use Argan Oil, especially combined with the collagen-boosting super powers of CoQ10? After all, we Seattle folks are serious foodies, so it only makes sense that our skin care is chock full of ingredients that are also edible. Argan is no exception. Check out these goats eating the nutritious fruit from an argan tree! Internally, argan oil helps with cholesterol and macular degeneration. Externally, it’s a fabulous antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and anti-aging moisturizer.

 

 

Tanning: Not as Good as it Looks

With summer quickly approaching and sunny days outnumbering the cloudy, we decided it was important to share some of the science on how the skin responds to tanning. If reading an article about UV rays and melanin sounds like the last thing you want to do, just know that there are OHA products with especially powerful sun filters (not SPF, but pigmented antioxidants that reflect the sun’s rays). If that sounds like you, check out products like the SuperCritical Gel Mask, Intensive Nutrient Complex, CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream, and Lip Line Treatment to protect your skin from damage as we head into summer. If you want to get to the nitty gritty, read on, OHA fan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a rare, sunny day in Seattle, I spent a long time in the sun at a party on a roof. One of my fellow party-goers refused sunscreen and even planned on going to a tanning salon because she was going to Hawaii soon and needed to prep her skin for the extra toasty Hawaiian sun. I didn’t know this person very well, so I didn’t feel comfortable telling her that this myth of prepping your skin for sunny weather is loosely based on logic, but actually false. According to Nina Jablonski, the author of Skin: A Natural History,

“Dark-skinned individuals can tolerate longer sun exposure than the light-skinned because their natural complement of melanin confers a sun protection factor (SPF) of 10-15. In contrast, the SPF of moderately pigmented skin, such as we find in southern Europe or central Asia, is only 2.5.”

You would think that by forcibly making your skin darker, you would be protecting yourself against further damage by upping your skin’s SPF. Sadly, your skin’s SPF doesn’t change as you tan, but is predetermined by your ancestry.

“For people with genetically light skin, tanning does not significantly increase the SPF sufficiently to protect DNA from UVR-induced damage…People with lightly to moderately pigmented skin who routinely expose themselves to UVR produce free radicals, which lead to premature aging of the skin and, over time, to visible wrinkles and uneven pigmentation”.

Worse yet, extra exposure leads to extra damage. After a significant amount of sun exposure and/or tanning, the skin becomes leathery to protect itself. Further damage leads to a breakdown of the stratum corneum, the body’s vital barrier against “oxidative stress such as ultraviolet radiation, ozone, air pollution, pathological microorganisms, chemical oxidants, and topically applied drugs”.

“One of the ways the skin defends itself against some environmental stressors is to become thicker. When the skin is repeatedly exposed to UVR, for instance, cell division increases in the deepest layer of the epidermis, the stratum basale, which is the source of epidermal cells; and, as a result, the stratum corneum thickens. If the stress…is extreme – such as too much UVR – the stratum corneum can cease to be an effective barrier. This can have disastrous results if a large area of the skin is affected.”

Please remember to limit your time in the sun. While OHA does not contain SPF or sunscreen, many of OHA’s products contain ingredients like Green Tea, Seabuckthorn, and Vitamin E, which have been scientifically researched and shown to suppress the damaging effects of UV radiation and reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer.