Successfully creating a gratitude habit: the science to make it stick

Practicing gratitude improves quality of life, sleep and your desire/capacity to do good in the world. It’s a significant way to gain control over your mood and can be grown into a thriving habit. Studies are clear that when you make time to express gratitude, not only you, but those around you will reap the benefits.

5 DIY gift ideas for heartfelt holidays

Around here, we live by the mantra “Pure. Simple. Real.” It’s not just on our packaging, it’s who we are. It’s how we live.

As the seasons turn and the holidays approach, it’s a great time to reflect on the things you value. If you come from a gift-giving tradition, it’s especially important to remember that what we give is often a reflection of what’s within.

Eating Clean and What That Really Means

The term ‘clean foods’ has become a kind of a catch-all phrase. What does it mean to you? How can we get started?  Are you eating ‘clean’ if you just eat more than one salad per week? Trying to eat ‘clean’ means living with a goal in mind, with a desire to do some good by your body and for the planet. Defining the specifics of that goal for yourself will help you work towards it.  Let’s get started!!

Here are a few ideas:

Eating organic

Non-organic foods contain chemicals you can’t see and probably can’t taste, but simply can’t be referred to as ‘clean’ or safe by anyone who spends more than a moment thinking about it. Organic produce is grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewer sludge, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), or ionizing radiation. Organic animal products are raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. These foods are clean because of what they lack—a slew of things that, can cause dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, reproductive, (and the list goes on), issues in or on your body!  To be in balance with ourselves, our bodies and our environment, we should try to avoid all of that.

Eating local

Eating local is a part of ‘eating clean’ because it lessens your carbon footprint by avoiding travel that adds to pollution and greenhouse gases. This is clean eating because it’s casting your vote for reducing sources of global warming. Eating local also means ripe produce—produce that was picked at the right time, during its peak in terms of vitamin and mineral content. The nutritional content is not only higher, it is more bioavailable.  By making this choice, you’re getting the most out of your money and doing the environment and local farmers a favor!  LOVE your LOCAL Farmers!!  They will smile a lot and you can feel good too!

 

Eating fewer animal products

It is difficult to justify eating farmed animal products as part of clean eating, even when organically raised. This is in part because livestock production contributes to greenhouse gases. To understand this in more detail, you can read my article, How Livestock Production Impacts Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Animal products are also highly taxing for our bodies to digest, making the nutrition content relatively difficult to absorb—Maybe it’s not worth the hassle considering all those vitamins and minerals can be found elsewhere in the plant world. Why Not JUST EAT PLANTS? (nuts, berries, leaves, stems, roots, seeds, grains and so much more)! Combined in the right amounts, plants alone can fuel your body with most everything you need.

 

Eating healthy and holistically

Interestingly, a person could be an organic-only, local-eating vegan and still not be eating a particularly healthy diet. It’s important to make considerations for the balance of the holistic foods we eat as well as how they are being produced. By consuming the daily recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals required by your body to thrive, your body will feel better and be in balance.

Holistic nutrition is all about eating healthy food as close to its natural state as possible.  Thinking more consciously about what we eat and focusing more on the health benefits of keeping that balanced, will benefit us in the amount of energy and focus we have and might just help us sleep better too! 

Maybe we can look at holistic eating in terms of having gratitude for how foods help every part of our body, and by asking how can we help our bodies achieve a healthier daily balance?

 

Eating simple

It can be fun to experiment with complex recipes in the kitchen but making a new recipe every single meal isn’t really what eating ‘clean’ is all about. Not only does this require tons of time, prep, and shopping, but recipes with long lists of ingredients are often hiding empty calories if not sugars and fats that aren’t beneficial. Opting for simple foods, lightly prepared, usually results in meals where you know exactly what you’re eating and what good it’s doing for you.

 

Eating to support renewable resources

Organic farmers support renewable resources, and soil and water conservation. Because no pesticides or growth hormones are dumped into the water supply during the production of organic foods, our water is cleaner and safer for human and animal consumption. We still don’t know all of the long-term negative effects harmful farm chemicals might be, but in a world where clean drinking water is becoming scarce, it is important to support farmers who are focused on sustainable practices that don’t threaten our future and the future of our planet.

 

Eating clean means a lot to our health today and in the future

By eating ‘clean,’ you’re supporting the Earth, your local economy, wildlife, and your health. Maybe that seems like a lot to think about, but if we consider it more like a contribution, something we have a choice on and a way we can help, that also has the impact of personal empowerment.  I am so very thankful that we have the power of choice.

Personalized Beauty Regimen

Personalized Beauty 1

Your skin type can be influenced by your ethnicity, your age, and your lifestyle. It would be impossible to cover every imaginable combination of those factors in a short blog, but I hope you will find some guidance by looking at these categories below while creating your own personalized self-care ritual.  Have fun learning. I know I did!    

Skin types

All skin types require cleaning, hydration, and nourishment, but to different extents. Knowing your skin type can help you choose the right products to make your beauty routine well-tailored for your unique needs.  

A teen girl with her hair down

Oily skin 

If you have oily skin, then you may have heard that the source of this situation is overproduction of sebum, a waxy, protective layer. This very natural occurrence can mean different things for different people: clogged pores with results ranging from blackheads to severe acne, large pores, and dull-looking skin.

With oily skin, it might seem that you’re moisturized enough as it is, but providing extra moisture to cleaned skin is actually going to help regulate sebum production. Your skin is intelligent and it’s also wonderfully economical—it’s not going to make moisture if you’re already regularly providing it. A good botanical-based toner can help to tighten pores—look for ingredients like rose or lavender water or witch hazel, ingredients which have been used for this purpose for at least hundreds of years if not more. Try lavender hydrosol (hydrosol essentially means it’s a flower water) to support hydration and cell regeneration.

You can read about my Lavender Hydrosol & Toner here.

An old woman's hands on knee

Dry skin

Keeping dry skin moisturized day and night can be frustrating, particularly when we find out that some of our habits are actually compounding a dry situation. Certain facial cleansers, for example, should be avoided. Avoid cleansers with too much lather or foam, or containing drying agents like alcohol. Instead, use a gentle glycerin-based cleanser &/or facial oil that will maintain your much-needed natural oils. Look for hydrating ingredients such as jojoba, sea buckthorn, argan, avocado, and rose hip seed oil. Dry skin can also tend to flake and result in build-up that needs gentle exfoliation. Exfoliating at minimum once a week will help. Maybe try our Botanical Facial Oil?  This non-comedogenic blend is both a great exfoliator and cleanser. 

A young woman carries another young woman on her back laughing

Combination skin

If you felt stumped by looking at the descriptions above, it might be because you have dry skin in some areas of your face and oily skin in other areas. This might seem to make developing a skincare regimen a bit complicated, but the truth is, both skin types need gentle cleansing and moisture. If the difference is severe from one area of the face to another, then spot treatment is an option.

A young woman covered in prominent freckles read a book standing in the library

Sensitive skin

This could mean different things for different people—perhaps you’ve noticed that many products irritate your skin, or that you are inclined to rashes like rosacea or eczema?  Or maybe you even have allergic reactions to skincare products? Depending on the underlying cause of your sensitive skin, it may help to look for natural products that contain gentle yet effective plant ingredients. There are loads of botanical-based ingredients that calm irritation, control itchiness, and reduce puffiness or redness. Finding the ones that help calm your skin is a critical first step.  Some of our favorite plant-based ingredients are aloe-vera, chamomile, calendula, lavender and even cucumber. Don’t forget to look at the ingredients listed on the back label.  You always want to avoid parabens, phthalates, and petroleum-based ingredients. 

 

Hands touch warm sand in the foamy surf on the beach

How ethnicity plays into your skin’s unique needs

Your ethnicity won’t tell the entire story about the needs of your skin, which naturally varies from individual to individual. However, it can be a great indicator of where to start with your skincare regimen. Here are a few examples of what I learned. This list is far from conclusive, but I hope it will give you an idea of how every person’s skincare routine needs to be uniquely tailored to them. There is no one-size fits all approach. You are unique!

A woman stands with arms out warming herself in the sun

African American, Middle East Arabic

Collagen in the deeper layers can keep darker skin tones looking plump and wrinkle-free longer than many other skin types, often until the mid-fifties. Isn’t that wonderful!!  One source of concern however, might be hyperpigmentation. Daily usage of products with solar protectant ingredients is important for keeping an allover even skin tone. The Increased amounts of melanin only protects so much against UV, so sunscreen is key! Look for natural products, and avoid retinoids and retinol.  These ingredients have been shown to trigger dark spots. Some have trouble with dryness and others with oiliness. If you’re struggling with dryness, look for non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging oils) that restore moisture and last longer. If oil is the issue, ditch your soap and look for something that won’t strip your natural oils—which only makes your body produce more. Either way, stay moisturized!

A woman in profile smiles, walking in a dewy field

East Asian, South Asian

People of Asian descent have the amazing benefit of having higher levels of collagen! Higher levels of this supportive skin protein, means the skin often doesn’t wrinkle until the age of forty or later, and even then, with fewer fine lines than are seen in fair skin. However, the skin type can be relatively thin making it extra sensitive to damage, sometimes resulting in hyperpigmentation, especially after acne has healed.

This skin type may have trouble with overproduction of sebum resulting in acne. Use of a plant-based cleansing oil may seem counter intuitive but as you gently massage the cleansing oil in, you will be removing make up and other oil-based impurities, like sebum, SPF, and pollution. Cleansing oils won’t strip your natural oils.  Follow up with a hydrosol (lavender or rose), to balance, tone, and add an additional layer of moisture before continuing your daily routine. Always use humectant-based moisturizers that include argan oil to draw moisture to your skin throughout the day and avoid soap or chemical products that could disrupt the skin’s natural oil and pH balance.  

A young woman reads a book on a snowy bench in a parka

Latina

Representing a wide array of skin tones, many Latinas don’t see wrinkling until their forties or fifties. Acne and dryness may be a source of frustration however, as well as the discoloration that can result from treating acne or from sun exposure. Gentle exfoliation can help with this hyperpigmentation. Look for natural, homemade facial scrubs that can be made from nourishing ingredients, often found in your own fridge or garden. To treat acne, try a nice essential oil-based toner, and be sure to moisturize consistently. Look for moisturizers with sun protectant ingredients like Vitamin E to prevent damage like “sun spots,” and achieve a more even skin tone.

A woman stretches one arm up, amid sunflowers as tall as she is

Celtic, Nordic, Northern European, Caucasian

Because of low melanin levels, Caucasian skin is light in color and has little natural protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays.  UV rays cause collagen to break down, resulting in wrinkles. Those with this skin type often see wrinkles developing by their mid-thirties. Consistent use of a day cream with vitamins E and C lends excellent photo protection.  Less sun damage and ample moisture will help protect your skin and delay the onset of wrinkles.  Don’t forget to give your skin support at night with a restorative and deeply hydrating cream, especially those with hyaluronic acid.  Our Botanical Night Cream helps support the skin while it restores and rebuilds overnight.  Hyaluronic acid is a natural plant ingredient that deeply moisturizes while you rest.

Taking time to clean and nourish your skin each day is also an opportunity to nurture yourself.  We believe in the importance of this time alone to help restore relationship to the self.  A gentle scalp massage and dry brushing can also bring the mind and body to a balanced and healthy place.  We look forward to hearing what some of your daily self-care rituals include.

Explore face care from Suzi's Lavender to cleanse, moisturize, and nourish your unique skin!

Hemp Is a Global Trend

A woman drops CBD oil into her palm

The speed of Hemp oil’s rise in popularity has been rather surprising. Until very recently, all marijuana products held a certain stigma, and cannabidiol was no different.

Its sudden acceptance is exciting—this means that more natural products will become trusted by those seeking relief. People are asking for alternatives to pharmaceuticals that often come with dangerous side effects. Rather than side effects, naturally healing Hemp oil works together with your body to improve one’s health and over all well-being. Keep reading if you are interested in knowing ways in which Hemp oil can enrich your life:

Skincare

Feet on white sand beach, hydrating in the water

Vegan cosmetics are growing in popularity, but these manufacturers aren’t able to use beeswax because of its animal derivation. Some are turning to CBD oil as a nutrient-rich thickening agent in mascaras and balms, or as an ingredient in serums and moisturizers. CBD's anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for skincare on the face and for minimizing acne. I talk more about its acne-healing abilities and other surprising qualities in my article, 5 Surprising Uses for CBD Oil to Enhance Your Day.

Pet care

A woman watches the landscape from a hill, one arm around her dog

Animals can’t speak to us but as their close companions, it’s clear to us when they need some support. We’re trying our best to vouch for their needs compassionately, ethically, and accurately. With this in mind, it’s nice to know there is a more holistic approach to supporting your pet’s overall health. Pet owners are using CBD oil to treat a variety of issues including separation anxiety, lack of appetite, arthritis, noise phobia, sleeping disorders, and discomfort from old age. As always with our furry loved ones, it’s so important to take great care in considering dosage, so follow the guidelines on packaging carefully!

Stress relief

A woman relaxes, standing before a fresh white sky strewn with light clouds

Some of the most common uses for CBD oil are stress relief, improved mood, and sleep. The fact that CBD oil does not get you high is a huge draw for many people. Among the many ailments CBD treats are panic disorder, social phobia, PTSD, OCD, and mild to moderate depression. Perhaps the best part of this natural mood-support is what it lacks: there are no side effects like those found in pharmaceuticals, no addictive qualities, and no one has ever reported having overdosed on CBD.

Pain relief and disease treatment

Hands cup water from a stream

CBD oil has been used for chronic pain, muscle strain, and arthritis for a long time, often in topical salves or lotions. The idea is that CBD interacts with the tiny proteins attached to brain cells—receptors—and the cells respond with anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects. Other healthcare uses include protection and relief for chemotherapy symptoms.

Looking forward

A woman in a backpack hikes in an arid landscape

Cannabis and its extracts like CBD oil have been present in the world of natural healing for a long time, but until now, this all-natural healing compound has been prevented from holding any kind of respected status. It’s exciting to see how despite the setbacks, CBD oil is now permitted to be legally sold in all but four states.

With the updating and passing of the 2014 Farm Bill later this year, it will become legal for cannabis products to be sold everywhere. This will allow for further clinical testing and use by practitioners across the United States. Imagine what this will mean for people of all ages and for preventative use and treatment!  The value of CBD has already been demonstrated and documented by many who have seen their lives changed for the better.

Try healing CBD oils, salves,
and lotions from Suzi’s Lavender

What About Less Is More? Are You Interested in Simplifying Your Life?

Minimalism is a lifestyle you may have heard about. It is about defining what you need to feel happy, healthy and aligned. At Suzi’s Lavender, we follow a PURE.SIMPLE.REAL mantra. To us it means having fewer things, placing greater value on the things we do have, and on living a more intentional life.  If you ever feel like you are collapsing under the burden of irrelevant stuff, maybe you would be open to hearing a few tips from the minimalist lifestyle? Here are a few things to think about as you get started.

Only do it if it aligns with your goals

Woman holding bouquet of flowers

Beginning to live a more simple life with fewer things may take months or years to achieve. Take time to think it over. Is your intention to have peace of mind? To have fewer distractions? To have less of an impact on the natural world, and to have more clarity about what matters? Imagine having less clutter in your work and living spaces!! Define for yourself what minimalism offers you and make your goals based on that.  

Be honest with yourself about the difficulty of this challenge

Woman reads alone in nature

We are living in a fast-paced, rapidly shifting society that encourages the accumulation of objects. Extricating oneself from the consumption-centric culture can be a challenge. Accept that this won’t be easy, but keep focused on why you’re doing it and how it will improve your life. Consider slowing your life down by growing some of your own foods, allowing yourself and your kids to feel bored, read from a “real” book that you checked out from the library and then maybe keep a journal about your process. Getting your family involved can be a wonderful way to stay determined and be creative about ways to minimize.

Start by donating the duplicates

Man carries a packed box

Start by getting rid of things that you logically just don’t need. For example, no one really needs to have duplicates of most objects. Walk around your home and identify any duplicates you may have. Put all duplicates in a box, and if you don’t need those after a month, then donate them. Keeping just one of each item in your home makes each item even more important and useful. You’ll start to enjoy this feeling of being surrounded by items that are needed and which suddenly have more value to you.

Create a system that works for you

A woman writes in a notebook at a desk

It’s good to get rid of things using a system, otherwise it’s easy to get lost in the confusion over what constitutes something you want to keep and what doesn’t. A system will save you when you realize the enormity of this challenge—you’re essentially going to be examining everything you own and assessing its intrinsic value. Think about and write down criteria for what you want to keep. Write down what you’ll do first—clothes? Kitchen? Living room? You’ll also need to think about what you hope your living space will look like when you are finished.

Prepare uncomplicated meals

A jar of cucumbers being pickled

What about extending the idea of minimalism to the foods you eat? If we spend less time fixing overcomplicated meals, we are freed up to spend more time together. Simple foods are often more nutritious, have fewer hidden fats, salts and sugars and can be made in larger quantities and stored to be used over several meals. For example, try making a larger version of the salad you love, store it in a bag for the next few days. It’s a great feeling to know you are eating healthy meals with less day to day preparation. Minimalism in your pantry means buying in bulk for fewer trips to the store, stocking up on nutritious and simple ingredients that can be used in several different ways.

Travel lightly

A packed brown canvas duffle bag

Living in a more minimal way can even be applied to how you travel.  How about just bringing a carry-on for a weeklong trip? Can you re-wear the same jeans a few times? There’s no need to bring your entire wardrobe when you take a vacation, and you might be pleasantly surprised by how peaceful the trip is when you have fewer options to choose from. Take notice of whether less time thinking about your clothing options allows for more time enjoying being where you are.

Save money

Money and coins in a Ball jar on a desk

And finally, minimalism helps us get closer to a debt-free life. It gives us a deeper reason to stop buying things we don’t need, want, or value on a long term basis. Avoid impulsive buying so that you don’t purchase things that will not be useful in the next few years. Why not invest in items that will last forever?

This approach to living helps make us more aware of our relationship to the Earth—think about how all the things you buy and throw away might be going into landfills. This includes plastic water bottles, coffee cups, take out containers, plastic shopping bags, even the millions of tags you find on every new piece of clothing or product you buy.  Simplify! Shop at the Good Will for fun and adventure and bring your own bag while you are at it!  Embracing minimalism could be just what you need to help you finally create an emergency fund that you can utilize in the future, save for your retirement, your children’s education or give to a charity.

Notice what you notice

A woman pausing on a rock over a forest

What are you able to become more aware of with less clutter in your brain? This is the question that minimalism answers for so many people. With less chaos and clutter, how can we spend more time on things that we will be happy to look back on? It’s not an easy journey, but I recommend taking a look at your life and asking yourself if there are any lessons in minimalism that you want to take.

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How Livestock Production Impacts Greenhouse Gas Emissions

At Suzi’s Lavender, we maintain a commitment to taking care of our planet.

At Suzi’s Lavender, we maintain a commitment to taking care of our planet. In this vein, we wanted to share some information on livestock production. Today, we wanted to talk about how much the demand for meat and dairy impacts our environment. Maybe not as much as the burning of fossil fuels—in the U.S.,  human-caused greenhouse gas emissions account for 10 times the amount of emissions as animal agriculture. However, it’s important to take into account all of the ways we can work to reduce our impact on earth!

Livestock production leads to deforestation

The livestock sector makes up more than one-fourth of the global land area in order to continuously meet needs for human consumption. Forest lands are decreased year by year to give way to such activities. While deforestation greatly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, there are additional environmental issues caused by it too: land degradation caused by nutrient depletion and soil erosion.

Shop Suzi’s Lavender for skincare products in Earth Friendly, recyclable, BPA Free and recycled glass containers

 Livestock animals create methane

Livestock animals create methane

Livestock animals contribute to global warming in a natural yet unexpected way. Ruminant animals such as cattle, goats, sheep, and their relatives create methane during a complex process called enteric fermentation, in which they produce methane gas during digestion of fibrous grasses within their multi-chambered stomachs.

While livestock animals are not the dominant cause of methane emissions, they are significant contributors to annual increases of this harmful gas. A study showed that methane emission from livestock was actually 11 percent higher than estimated by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change.

Beef and lamb are the biggest culprits

Beef and lamb are the biggest culprits

Of all the livestock, beef and lamb production requires more land, more fertilizer, and more water compared to pork and chicken. While growing plants also requires land, fertilizer, and water, the amount of these needed are significantly lower. So if you can’t say goodbye to all meat and dairy, here’s your challenge to consider: could you say goodbye to just these two?

Large sweet cow face

Less meat, less guilt

With human lifestyles being as dependent on livestock production as they have come to be, reducing consumption of meat and dairy may not be an easy task for some of us. It is however something you can feel very good about if you choose to embark on it as part of your plan to reduce your carbon footprint. Eating meat and dairy may be a part of our cultural traditions, but a safe, healthy, and lasting Earth must be a part of our future.

Sourcing meat from certified local and sustainable farms is another wonderful way to cut back on emissions and support your local community at the same time.

It goes beyond just what you eat

While awareness of how our foods might be negatively impacting the Earth, we all know it goes much further than that. Take a look at the packaging and ingredients list on everything you buy. Look for sustainability everywhere. On this blog, the focus is often on skincare—what kind of packaging do your products come in, and is it something that’s going to return to the Earth peaceably, or something that’s going to stick around forever? As always, it starts with awareness.

 

Shop Suzi’s Lavender for skincare products in Earth Friendly, recyclable, BPA Free and recycled glass containers

 

A Radiant Skincare Guide for Active Women

A Radiant Skincare for Active Women

No matter what your lifestyle, your age, or your path in life, exercise plays a role in having healthy skin. Your skin oxygenates and cleanses itself through sweating! Increased blood flow from a workout helps bring nutrients to the tissues, creating an opening for the natural exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. However, without proper attention to your skin and without a healthy skincare routine, frequent workouts can also take a toll on your skin.  A dull complexion, acne breakouts, and blackheads can be contributed to clogged pores and overproduction of sebum. Keep your skin breathing and glowing naturally by following a few of our tips below!

Shop face care and body care collections from Suzi’s Lavender.

 Clean your skin before you sweat

Clean your skin before you sweat

While some women choose to face the gym or yoga class with makeup on, this does a great disservice to the skin. That is kind of like putting a tarp over your face before starting exercise! When we sweat from exercise, our pores open and allow the unhealthy byproducts of respiration to be released and healthy oxygen to enter. If your skin is not cleaned of dirt, oil, and makeup before sweating, it can get absorbed back inside through the pores. If we take care to clean our skin before we sweat, the skin can cleanse itself naturally.

 Keep lip balm close at hand

Keep lip balm close at hand

Cardio and other extended activities involving heavy breathing can dry out the lips. No one likes to stop mid workout to go find some lip balm, but even a short period of dryness can gently damage the lips for a day or two. Keep a handy lip balm in a pocket or a workout bag, or better yet, simply remember to reapply right before you begin your exercise.  If you like to exercise outdoors, be sure to choose one with a high SPF protection.

 Apply sunscreen for outdoor workouts (but not for indoors)

Apply sunscreen for outdoor workouts (but not for indoors)

No matter what time of year it is, if you’re planning an outdoor workout, be sure to wear sunblock to prevent premature aging, damage, or sunburn. However, if you workout indoors, try to avoid lotions or creams containing sunscreen. As we talked about with regards to cleaning your skin before you work out, when your pores open, the sunscreen is getting deep access to your skin. While it’s a risk you have to afford when outdoors, there’s no sense in exposing your skin to those particles while inside. Instead, use a light lotion with all natural and organic ingredients or a nourishing facial oil—something your pores will be happy to drink up.

Avoid touching your face while working out.

Avoid touching your face while working out

We all know to be careful about what we touch at the gym or even in a yoga class, which often involves lots of shared props. But even if you’re only touching your own yoga mat, or if you haven’t touched anything at all, avoid touching your face when sweating. As we mentioned before, it’s in a delicate state when you’re working out—pores are open, accepting whatever comes their way. Meanwhile your hands are also sweating, releasing unwanted waste that has made its way to the surface. When you touch your face, you’re taking sweat (waste) and introducing it to your face, where it can be absorbed.

Take a shower after a workout.

Take a shower after a workout

Don’t let the dirt, sweat, and oil accumulate on your skin after working out where it can be reabsorbed. Wash your body after exercising. Use a gentle, all natural, and organic cleansing soap to help remove the built-up sebum and sweat without stripping your natural oils. Also, exfoliating once or twice a week is highly recommended to keep impurities away and make your skin healthy and glowing. Use a gentle lotion or a body oil to re-hydrate and re-nourish. You may need to reapply oils or lotions an hour to two after exfoliating if your skin is very dry or if you live in an arid climate.

Drink water during and after

Drink water during and after

Drink lots of water while you exercise and for at least the first hour afterwards. Dehydration can sneak up an hour after a workout, so make sure the rehydration continues post-workout. A lack of water truly affects your skin, making it dry, flaky, and more prone to wrinkling. So, for optimum skin moisture and fewer fine lines, make water your buddy every day.

While beautiful skin makes us look and feel great, good skincare goes deeper than that. Taking care of your skin is tantamount to taking care of your health. Remember, the skin is the largest organ of the body, so make sure that you give it what is due!

Shop face care and body care collections from Suzi’s Lavender

5 Surprising Uses for Hemp to Enhance Your Day

While so many people share the infamous impression that cannabis and all of its elements get you high, the compound Hemp doesn’t fit the stereotype.  It has gained its popular "buzz" for very different reasons.

I'll bet you are already curious about the compound Hemp (cannabidiol). You may know something about T H C but wonder how Hemp is different! Just like T H C (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD it is extracted from cannabis. But here's the fun part!  Cannabis indica, is the Latin name for Marijuana (the plant with high levels of T H C and low levels of CBD). Cannabis sativa, is the Latin name for Hemp, which is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. It is kind of like these two plants are cousins! Unlike THC, we have stressed that CBD is not psychoactive, which means it does not produce a mild altering state, or, simply put―it won’t get you high.

Because of its close relationship to Marijuana, CBD (which can be extracted from Hemp), remains greatly misunderstood. Today's scientists and medical doctors are researching many of its fascinating benefits. Here are some uses for CBD oil to help you choose whether it is for you!

  1. Give Your Sore Feet Relief after a Long Day or a Challenging Workout!

Your feet have taken you just about everywhere you have gone. If you don't realize how tender and sore they are, try giving yourself a little foot massage. See what I mean? You may want to try CBD oil as a healthy alternative to other pain oils or creams. Of course, it’s not just feet that might be tender and sore--CBD oil is known to be quite effective when it comes to relieving chronic pain and cramping in muscles and joints all over the body.

  1. Try It as an Acne Treatment

If you’ve been treating acne for a long time and still nothing has worked, you might want to give CBD oil a try. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, studies show that CBD prevents the overproduction of the sebaceous glands that causes acne, making it a promising new treatment.

  1. Add Some Extra Hydration to Your Facial Routine

Acne treatment is only the beginning of CBD oil uses for skincare. Dermatologists have shown that CBD oil contains antioxidants that improve hydration. This is one reason CBD has become an anti-aging ingredient in so many skin care products today.

  1.    Fall in love with CBD Infused Smoothies

How about a healthy, thirst-quenching smoothie with a secret ingredient? Carlene Thomas, a Registered Dietician Nutritionist, shared her Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie with CDB Oil recipe on her blog, OhCarlene, and it’s definitely worth the mention for both flavor and substance. Incorporating it into your wellness routine may be a great way to embrace preventative medicine on a daily basis.  

  1.    Support for Neurological Conditions 

Many clinical trials and medical doctors are beginning to show that an artisanal blend of CBD, terpenes, and a touch of THC, symptoms helps the body find balance and calm. Other benefits reported are reduced restlessness, anxiety, self injury, and aggressiveness toward others.

Still Not Sure?

While the research continues and your curiosity piques, there are too many surprising uses for this beautiful compound for most people to ignore. Whatever your pain or challenges are, you’ll never know until you try it for yourself. And if something completely natural, non-addictive, and non-mind altering can help others, maybe it’s time to give CBD oil a trial of your own!

Soothe sore muscles and joints with our highly popular Muscle & Joint Salve, or deeply hydrate & nourish your skin with our Head to Toe Hemp Lotion. 

Coming soon from Suzi's: Full Spectrum Hemp oils and salves for easy application and on the go!

 

Living Lightly with Green Waste

One thing that is particularly on my mind right now is the health of our natural environment.  This subject is a sensitive one, especially as it becomes more eminent to discuss the current situation of climate change and to then address it.  We all have the same basic needs and an inherent desire to keep our planet healthy and beautiful.  We want to protect our water, air, soil, plants and animals. Taking the extra steps to do so, might feel inconvenient to you.  On the other hand, it might resonate easily.  Wherever you land on these issues, we can agree on one thing: Industrialization is at the core of the problem and has packed a powerful blow to our ecosystem over the last few decades.  You are probably already in the habit of recycling.  Here are a couple more things you might consider to lighten the load on our Earth.  I hope you will!

Make Your Own Natural Fertilizer

Looking for ways to rebuild the soil?  You can transform leftover fruit and vegetable scraps into a beneficial compost. This easy-to-make fertilizer is a nutrient source for your plants and reduces the amount of debris going to the landfill. Horse manure is also a great fertilizer.  Ask anyone who has a horse and they will let you know that manure is plentiful and beneficial!  When mixed into the soil or used to make a "tea," manure provides nitrogen, a key element for leafy green plants.

 

Carry a Bag + ... these things!

 

It is encouraging to see that bringing your own, reusable shopping bag is very common today. The alarming amount of plastic waste we have created around the world is a result of our convenient lifestyles.  Why not take a pledge to carry a set of silverware too?  Check out this awesome set of nesting silverware that I found at a garage sale.  All that I needed was a cup and a cotton napkin to go along. I love it! How about challenge yourself? Can you slurp that drink without a straw?  Sure you can! And maybe bring your own coffee cup for discount and a extra homey feeling! 

 

Buy in Bulk

 

As much as possible, avoid single-serve items and opt for bulk products. You’ll not just reduce the amount of packaging that has to be recycled or thrown away, but you'll also save money!

Support Organic

 

Growing your own food, or choosing local and organic produce is healthier and more rewarding.  It also helps provide habitat and food for pollinators.  Maybe for your birthday this year, plant pollinator-friendly flowers, shrubs or trees? Invite beauty into your space, no matter how large or small.

Love Local

Support your community by shopping for local products. There are so many benefits!!  Getting to know your neighbors and making new friends; getting exercise because you walked or rode your bike; getting out of your routine and feeling less stress.  And for the planet you are reducing your carbon footprint!  

 

Age Beautifully with Lavender

Aging is inescapable yet we can embrace the process by taking the right steps to nourish and treat our skin effectively. Plants are considered the most renowned secret to combat aging. And one of nature’s most interesting gifts is lavender.

Not Just A Charming Color

There's more to lavender than its outward beauty and charming color. It is a wonderfully, fragrant plant that has a multitude of healing properties which can be used in the form of salves, essential oils, lotions, and more. What healing properties you may ask? Well, keep reading and I'll share! 

Lavender for Skin Care

Lavender contains anti-aging and anti-bacterial properties that treat canker sores, wounds, sunburns, eczema, psoriasis and wrinkles. Further, its bioactive properties help reduce scar tissue, making it a popular ingredient in cosmetic and therapeutic products. It not only restores the skin's complexion but also brings back a natural glow through production of collagen, slowing the aging process gracefully. Lavender is very gentle to the skin so that it does not affect those with sensitive skin.

Lavender for Hair Care

Lavender isn’t just great for skin, but also for your hair. This essential oil reduces hair loss and even treats lice and nits. With its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, lavender oil helps clear dandruff. And as a fragrant plant, you will also love the smell of this purple charmer on your scalp and tresses.

Lavender for Detoxification

As you age, detoxification is very important to the removal of heavy metal and free radicals in the body, both of which are significant factors for aging. To remove these toxins, you need to use powerful antioxidants.  Lavender contains potent antioxidants that counteract the aging culprits and reduce oxidative stress on the skin and scalp.

Lavender for Relaxation

For one to age beautifully, a right amount of sleep is a must. And did you know that lavender aids relaxation because of its lovely smell? Naturally occurring compounds found in the oil have anxiety-relieving properties that improve sleep quality and reduce morning sleepiness. No wonder lavender is dubbed one of the most sought-after calming and fragrant plants.

Shop our entire collection of natural Lavender products, right here!

5 Summer Herbs For Your Home Garden

Your yard, garden and patio are wonderful extensions of the place we call home. Being outside to witness the natural world is refreshing and quite interesting to me.  Why not create your own little garden and make your experience with nature rich and memorable?  Here are 5 of the best summer herbs that are perfect for this sunny season.

Basil

Basil is considered the most adored herb of all time. It is popular because of its bright, vibrant leaves oozing with refreshing flavor and is very easy to grow! Because of its vivid aroma, not to mention health benefits, basil can be a staple all year around. Whether you’re making your favorite soup or you’re looking for an effective deodorizer, be in love with basil.

Chives

The appealing color and amazing benefits of chives make it to the list of the most sought-after summer herbs. Chives are natural antibiotics with anti-inflammatory properties. Growing this attractive plant in your garden not only means acquiring its charm but also driving away insect pets in your area.

Oregano

In terms of ease of planting and harvesting, oregano is a definite front-runner. With good sunlight and drainage, it is a perfect herb to keep your kitchen busy all summer long. Aside from that, oregano flowers and leaves are both edible! So, you can add both into your favorite dish.   Plant lore promotes it for support of respiratory maladies and fungal infections. 

Sage

Have you tried fried sage?  One of our son's shared this with us a few years ago. Just use a little olive oil or butter in a pan, keep the heat low, fry until lightly brown and cripsy and serve as an appetizer. Delectable!   Famed for its traditional cooking benefits and its medical value, sage is also drought tolerant,  making it perfect for the summer heat! 

Lavender

To complete the list is lavender, a member of the mint family. Lavender is famous for its soothing aroma, making it very popular among essential oils. Put a drop on your temples and pulse points to calm your mood and promote a restful sleep. Lavender relieves pain, treats burns, reduces acne, prevents hair loss, and kills germs. Lavender flowers are used in teas, baking and even your favorite aperitif!  You already know how much in love I am with lavender!  With good drainage and 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, lavender will be one of your favorites too.