Beauty

PUFA is a trending term right now in the wellness community because there is so much research and data on the negative health affects of ingesting them. So WTF is a PUFA? It stands for polyunsaturated fat. Not only are they shitty for your health when eaten, they’re also not great for your skin. Today I am doing a deep dive into why I am no longer using them during my morning and night time skincare routines.

Polyunsaturated oils come packaged as skincare usually as seed oils and they are often labeled ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘vegan’, etc. Which is isn’t a lie! The problem is that seed oils have the potential to experience oxidative stress when ingested and/or applied to the skin. Why? In simple terms, our bodies are warm, which makes for the perfect environment for oxidation with these unstable oils.

So, what does this mean? Unstable oils generate free radicals which can cause early aging.

An oxidized oil may moisturize your skin nicely, but within the long-term, its absorption (or consumption) may lead to cell and connective damage to the tissues, age stains, thyroid suppression along with other hormonal imbalance. {via}

Enough of the info…now on to the dirty list…

Here are the oils most used in skincare that are polyunsaturated:

  • Oils from nuts and seeds
  • Rosehip oil
  • Seabuckthorn oil
  • Almond oil
  • Flax seed oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Chia seed oil
  • Passion fruit oil 
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Hemp seed oil

Reading labels is SO important whether it’s your food or your skincare. The oils that I personally love for skincare are:

♡ Biossance Squalane <– I just wrote a blog post about the best Squalane oil ever. It is 100% saturated and not comedogenic. It can be used on any skin type.

Acure Marula Oil: Seals-in hydration and softens skin, offers antioxidant protection, has anti-inflammatory effects, has some antibacterial properties.

♡ Jojoba oil: I use jojoba oil every night to remove my makeup. It’s so hydrating and just feels so luxe on the skin.

Are there PUFA-free products you like? Please share!

xx, Lynn

Out of all the beauty products out there, oils are the one thing I love the most. I put them everywhere: from the top of my head to help with psoriasis to my ass to my feet. I’m a real oil connoisseur.

Do you remember when oils were the enemy? At 15 years old, I remember slathering baby oil (I know, that one is not great) all over my face because even back then I had super dry skin. Facial oils have come a loooong way since then.

Today I want to share a new oil that I have been using and it’s quickly become my favorite: Squalane oil.

I was using a Squalane Oil that I really liked, but being the beauty guinea pig that I am, I wanted to explore others that are out there. And that led me down the rabbit hole of the different kinds of squalane oil. There are two different kinds: those derived from olives and those derived from sugarcane. I checked the one I had been using, and it’s derived from oilves.

Which one is better? Simply put, the squalane derived from sugarcane is ‘better’.

Olives contain a small amount of squalene, which gets more and more concentrated in the various steps of olive oil processing until it’s finally recovered from olive oil’s final production waste and turned into squalane. Sounds like a great way to re-purpose waste, right? Not quite. The problem with olive oil-derived squalane is that the multi-step olive oil processing—along with the environmental conditions under which the olives are grown—can create inconsistent quality. {via}

Sugarcane is a heartier crop than olives, and is more pure, higher quality and a better ingredient. It is easy to formulate with, readily biodegradable and has a very stable supply. {via}

After researching the best sugarcane-based squalane oils, I went with

Welcome to the best part of the year! I love to curate gift guides because I am one who likes to give the perfect gifts. Each of these gift ideas were carefully selected and are also some of my favorite products that I’ve used and loved for years.

You’ll find many small businesses, eco-friendly, non-toxic, and cruelty-free gifts featured here. That doesn’t mean that everything in this guide is pricey, they’re just the best. 😉 I don’t want you guys to do the work – let me showcase it all for you.

Just click on the guide above or access it here and flip through the pages.

xx, Lynn

I have been totally immersed in nutrition and wellness for a long time, however now I feel like I am truly honing in on what actually works, what’s innate to human health, and how to truly live your best life. And that starts, in part, with what we eat. The gut is the second brain – haven’t you heard?

Hippocrates said over 2,000 years ago that all disease begins in the gut. And it’s also clear that health begins in the gut.

Over 80% of the immune system resides in our gut and the gut produces 75% of our neurotransmitters! SO…we need to take care of our precious guts. {via}

Ok, now let’s get really specific on bacteria AKA gut flora in the gut. We are made up of over 100 trillion microorganisms, or bacteria, which reside in our gut. That’s 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body. Having lots and diverse gut flora promotes healthy gastrointestinal function, keeps us protected from infection and illness, helps to regulate metabolism, and recent research has even shown that a healthy microbiome can reduce anxiety. {via}

A lot of people suffer from not so ideal gut flora due to stress, antibiotics, Overuse of NSAIDs, eating a poor diet, and chronic infection.

Ok, so how the eff do we take care of our gut flora? The answer can be complex, but some general tips include:

♡ Consume whole foods

♡ Reduce inflammation by eating turmeric and ginger and remove or reduce foods that are inflammatory from your diet

♡ Take a probiotic

♡ Eat gelatinous foods

…AND here’s where we get into gelatin and specifically, the GUMMIES. Which is why you’re here, right?

Eating gelatinous foods can help protect you from getting a leaky gut. More health benefits of gelatin:

♡ Gelatin contains 18 amino acids which help balance your diet

♡ Reduces wrinkles and cellulite – like HELLO, sign me up! {via}

♡ Supports digestion

♡ Helps to build strong muscles

♡ Enhances gastric acid secretion and aids in restoring a healthy mucosal lining

♡ Reduces joint pain {via}

If you would’ve asked me months ago if I would go out of my way to purchase gelatin or gelatinous foods, I would have said “fuck no”. But referencing the beginning of this blog post, I have realllly begun to dig deep into what is best for optimal health. And I need to put my neurotic disgust with certain foods aside. And yeah, I’m still working on that. I am having a lot of issues with dairy mentally…not physically. I can’t stomach the THOUGHT of it. Gelatin is similar but not quite as bad. I’m telling you this because you might be like me. Sensitive mentally to certain foods. But I am putting my own neuroticism to the side to benefit what’s best for me. Kind of similar to what I did when I stopped being vegan.

ANYWAY.

After looking into the best ways to get gelatin, I came across gummies. Like gummy bears but healthier. The deets on the ingredients:

THE GELATIN

I did what I do best and I researched the hell out of what kind of gelatin to get and I decided on Perfect Supplements Unflavored Gelatin to make the gummies I’m about to share with you. So many gelatin brands add fillers and cut corners but Perfect Supplements does not. It’s important to purchase the right type of gelatin with abundant nutrients and amino acids. It’s rich in amino acids, minerals and is 98% protein. Gelatin is sister to collagen which is the only thing I use to up the protein in bars, shakes and smoothies. They’re nearly identical in amino acid profile, the only difference is gelatin “gels” and collagen does not.

Perfect Supplements Gelatin is exclusively sourced from pastured cows, is non-GMO and is free from hormones and pesticides.  

TART CHERRY JUICE

I knew I wanted to make gummies that were kind of sour, like sour gummy worms but without all the refined sugar. Tart cherry juice is perfectly tart and it is also rich in phytochemicals such as melatonin, the natural sleep hormone. So eating these in the evening may help you sleep in addition to healing your gut. Make sure you buy a tart cherry juice with no additives. I got mine at Whole Foods and it’s the 365 brand with zero additives or preservatives, including sugar.

HONEY TO SWEETEN

I love using a local honey to help with allergies and also to support local businesses. Honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to your gummies.

THE RECIPE:

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, pour half of the juice and sprinkle gelatin over the juice to “bloom.” Whisk to combine and set aside. It will become very thick – that’s a sign that the gelatin is blooming. 
  • Set the saucepan on medium heat, add the remaining juice. Bring to a gentle simmer, while consistently stirring to make sure all gelatin is dissolved. Set aside for a few minutes to cool. FYI this will smell like a barnyard. Not going to sugarcoat it. It’s pretty nasty…a huge turnoff. And at this point I thought, I will not be able to eat these gummies if this is how they taste or smell.
  • When gelatin and juice is slightly warm to the touch, add honey and stir well. You want to make sure not to denature the honey, so letting it cool is important before adding it in.
  • Pour in silicone candy molds – I bought these cute heart molds on Amazon and they work great. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator for 2 hours to set.
  • Invert the silicone molds to remove the gummies. Store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. Best be kept in refrigerator.

I’m pleased to tell you that the nasty barnyard smell goes away once the gummies are cooled and set, but if they do warm up, like if you leave them out for a bit, the flavor will creep back in so I like to eat mine cold. And they taste like delish tart cherry gummies!

Eating gelatinous foods like these gummies with muscle meats (think steak, chicken thighs, bacon, etc etc) is so important because it balances out the amino acids we eat when we eat meat.

Peace, love, and GELATIN!

xx, Lynn

If you know me you know I love to do my research – this means really digging, understanding biases, agendas, you know the drill. 

WAY back in 2009 I wrote a blog post about sunscreen. That is when I learned that not all sunscreens are created equal and wrote about the benefits of using a physical sunscreen vs. a chemical sunscreen. But now, I’ve learned that there is a lot more to the picture and a lot more to consider even buying physical sunscreens, because some are still filled with toxic chemicals. 

Almost every health and/or women’s magazine will advise you to wear daily sunscreen in an effort to protect us from skin damage and skin cancer. Until a few months ago, I followed this advice. Once I learned about the toxic chemicals in most sunscreens and humans’ need for unprotected sun every day, I now only wear sunblock (and yeah, there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock) when I will be out in the sun in the middle of the day for an extended period of time. 

Ok, now back to sunscreen vs. sunblock. The difference is simply that a sunSCREEN will screen out the sun with chemicals. Chemical UV filters penetrate the skin, enter the bloodstream, and can wreak havoc on our bodies. 500 of the most popular sunscreens actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer. {via} SCARY SHIT, right?! {via} SunBLOCK is a physical block, such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. You will need to work a little harder to blend sunblock into your skin, but it’s SO WORTH IT. 

Not only is sunscreen (the ones with toxic ingredients)  mostly just not great for you, but we actually need to be able to produce Vitman D naturally for optimal health. {via}

So what’s a girl to do? How can we protect ourselves from sun damage?

  1. Eat a nutrient-dense diet and avoid polyunsaturated fats which will help your body protect itself from disease. {via}
  2. Dress well – A hat and longer sleeves protect the body without any chemicals.
  3. Use a natural, non-toxic sunblock when you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. My favorite is Juice Beauty’s Sport Sunscreen. The only ingredient is Zinc and it blends into my skin really well. No breakouts, either. I apply it anywhere and everywhere that I need it. 
  4. Use coconut oil as a backup – I just learned that coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4, and I’ve put it on my arms for early morning hikes and no burns here. 

Since most of us are working from home right now, I feel like we should make it a mission to get outside for at least 30 minutes each day and get that Vitamin D! Being in the sun also just puts me in a good mood.

Off to do some sunning…

xx, Lynn