petrochemical refinery

MANUFACTURERS, DOCS, SKIN OR OTHERWISE, HAVEN’T ADVANCED FROM THE 1920’S

Topicals have a deep effect on the internal workings of the body – especially in babies, where you are programming early whole body wellness…This ridiculous “info” is put into the universe as gospel by well-meaning but uneducated, non-digging bloggers, or perpetuated by uneducated estheticians, dermatologists & the like.

I mean, let’s face it: most mainstream doc’s “thoughts” are placed there by their latest drug rep; estheticians, by great marketing & packaging from their latest skincare brand; derms, They rely on the prescription pad & latest fillers to make more dollars quick! everyone is a consumer, plain & simple – our docs & other pros are not at all immune, & our decades old treatment system was built in the 1920s (!) with rarely any fresh perspectives within the industry (& when they come along, whew is it hard to get folks to just think!).

Point is, like most articles, this totally misses the mark on eczema & the underlying causes of skin issues & how to treat them … so sad! no helpless infant will be saved long-term with Vaseline – & big surprise, the intuitive, easy connection here between eczema & later major side effects, “inevitable in most cases”, like asthma, etc. is just not made! not to mention how getting babies addicted early to petrochemicals preps them to need cortisone later – kinda like a sugar loaded diet prepares one for diabetes.

if people don’t head to naturopaths & other practitioners, get informed hardcore & demand better commitment to a well-rounded & current education from their doctors (who are supposed to be detectives, not pill dispensers), instead of short-term Rx fixes & BS topicals that provide no real nourishment or healing, they will create a cycle of long-term harm & more problems that must be treated – perpetuating a lifetime of both external & internal imbalances, discomfort & insecurities. boooo & grrrrrrr.

Check out the Huff Post article here: http://huff.to/2hw1P5K

& of course…know your beauty!! xo – Suki

FEAR SELLS ANYTHING…EVEN A BAD MOOD

a beautiful beach!

What’s wrong with this picture? I’m not there soaking up that sun & walking on that beach!

Ok, no seriously: “Before you even think about heading outside – even for a few moments – be certain to cover every inch of yourself with protection.” &, do not educate yourselves about what chemical blocks do to your insides, nor, to your skin, in fact do to your melanin production! Just do what we say! Proof? Ehhhh. Spin! Yeeeahhh! See we don’t say MALIGNANT melanomas when we speak, we just say skin cancer, we say melanomas. That is all…we like to confuse. Buy buy buy!

Ok, let’s try this again: “Before you head outside in the sun (um…yea…where the ozone is actually closing…WAIT? what? Later…), into the natural world, before you allow the evil, toxic sun (or is it our source of life & we’d actually be dead without it? I SO wish someone would tell me what to think here!) be absolutely certain to slather every inch with toxic chemicals that will at BEST clog your pores, create skin problems & keep you from getting any vitamin D, at WORST, cause reproductive toxicity, cancer or other long-term disease, IN-BETWEEN, we have the simple misdiagnosed fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, restless leg even & other such random aching that if you’ve ever had a vitamin D deficiency, you know it hurts like a….!” Ok got it!

Sure sounds more than illogical, just darn stupid when you lay the stone cold truth on the table, no? So why then are we robotically, going along with the brainwashing we’ve been sold for years now on the, “dangers of the sun?” Why are we buying sun care products in droves for our drives to work? When that is usually our ONLY time “outside?” Just like, why are we feeding our children legal speed to deal with their “diseases” of ADD, OCD (just as long as they aren’t outside running around god forbid!)? Are we so out of touch with our basic intuitive skills? Our own good judgement?

We inundate ourselves with pills to treat our real pain, yet never do the necessary work to solve the real problems we have. We look to our ‘doctors’ (note I did not say healers here), who do not even THINK to check for say…allergies, vitamin deficiencies, intestinal issues (where it all begins), or other such problems before going right to the most severe symptom treatment. We are over-prescribed antibiotics (further killing our bodies’ ability to develop the tools to heal), & even in the face of dermatologists (well, the you know, “edgy, weird ones”) who are actually, finally saying yes, non-malignant melanomas are not only highly treatable, but have nothing to do with malignant melanomas (which in turn have next to nothing to do with the sun!) but more in fact, to do with genetic disposition, lifestyle factors OTHER than sunshine…& do we relate this to the BOOMING business in sunblock each year? Nope. Call me cynical, but I’m also the one running on the beach happily, knowing the belly of the beast (the skincare industry) from the inside & knowing how little western physicians know…remember, nutrition is a one semester course to become a doctor…oy!

Even I used to believe we should only be in the sun of the morning or evening, come to find out THAT isn’t true! Midday sun, actually, is the best time for the body to receive UVB rays – not the UVA rays which cause melanomas. We NEED those UVB rays…so when you do go out, & I cannot plead with you enough to have your lunches outside, right there under the sun, unblocked, screened, shaded (& see the mood lift you get from it – hey, anything that makes us feel this good without a hangover can’t be bad :)!) for 15-20 minutes for a pale gal like me, longer for deeper skin tones. See for yourself after a few months how you feel. Do a vitamin D test, not to mention a full screen for vitamins, minerals, food allergies including a test for delayed food reactions – your doc will look at you like your insane…& in that moment you’ll know it’s time to keep him/her as your primary care & find a fabulous naturopath to be your detective, like, uhhhh “House”! What doctors used to be & no longer have the time for since they have insurance companies telling them they get 7.2 minutes’ per “customer”. Naturopaths, chiropractors (the GOOD ones only), homeopaths, & it’s true of all healers, you need to get a couple recommendations, there are the good, the bad & the lame…but your first visit should be extensive & take about two hours (no I’m not kidding).

By the way, you know Lyme disease, the epidemic of late? Most doctors will not find it with the ‘standard” test. You must go to specific labs who do the extensive Lyme testing & it will cost $$. Same for thyroid disease & many others. If you do not test for 3 things you will be told you do not have a thyroid condition even if you DO. Happened to me. Happened to several people I know with Lyme, so they ended up on antibiotics & fairly unable to do anything for YEARS. They could have died. This is the curse of the American medical system, & anyone’s innate trust in it… You see, we are in charge of our health. We are not babies who fall into a doctor’s arms without dong our own research. That’s just crazy, the best Western physician will agree. Haven’t we heard enough about people accidentally dying from bad or stupid prescription mixing or misdiagnosis, or doctors not doing the research they need to. Women being told they are depressed & years later, they finally find a TUMOR?!

Folks, do some in-depth reading on this…then dump the screen. Get some sun, a hat, & have some damn fun!

How did this hatred & fear of the sun come to pass? Think of a few expressions: someone who is generally cheerful is said to have a sunny disposition. There are hundreds of happy songs about riding to the beach with the convertible top down. & really, our moods change dramatically when the days turn from stormy to sunny, from cold to warm…in a heartbeat. Again, what’s wrong with this picture: someone who enjoys tending their garden sees the petals of the flowers & the plants’ leaves literally turning toward the sunlight each day, but nonetheless never ventures outside without first laying on the highest spf they can get their hands on.

Imagine this little Q&A: How does your garden grow? Fab! What makes it grow? Plenty of sunlight, plenty of water & lots of TLC. Do you treat yourself to the same? He**, no! I drink lots of water, & well, the sun is so toxic & will make me old before my time! I avoid it at all costs! This could not make less sense, but MOST people – gardeners or not – think exactly this way.

Consider the facts: there is increasing evidence that people who use synthetic sunscreens have a much higher incidence of skin cancer than those who refrain. According to one study, fully 85% of American citizens – the most sun block-worshipping people on the planet – suffer from a vitamin D deficiency.

Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, it’s also the only real source of essential vitamin D, despite what the chemical companies, mainstream synthetic skincare companies & not remotely in-the-know dermatologists will tell you…you cannot get the same form of vitamin D from synthetic vitamins, mock natural forms, or from food, & it just don’t work that way. Nature already made the perfect form…& everyone under the sun – there’s another one of those pro-solar expressions – would benefit & lower your risk of a host of debilitating diseases including colon, breast, prostate & ovarian cancer. Further, wearing an SPF of higher than 15 contributes to skin cancer! The higher the spf, the lower the UVA protection, & it’s UVA that is linked to DNA damage, which in turn is linked to malignant melanomas (which are linked to environmental & genetic predisposition).

Some other facts – it isn’t going to age you! All this talk about how the sun is the major cause of aging is I SWEAR, as much of a lie as that ANY cream can turn back the clock! &…SO frustrating! there is absolutely no evidence that the sun causes premature aging. Now, tanning & burning the skin, THAT is cause for concern and I would NEVER recommend this. But getting a healthy dose each day of screen-free sun…that will never cause you ill health, premature or unnecessary wrinkles. Ever. All it will do is keep you happy & healthy. & it really angers me that people have been made afraid of something so key to their good health. To sell products.

I’ve been happy to see the tide finally beginning to turn on attitudes about sun block. But this is an area where I still expect to be met with great resistance, not only from the mainstream media (however I did see a piece in Oprah on the need for vitamin D so we are getting somewhere) but also from people who have been told for so long that the sun is our enemy that they actually came to believe it…which, let’s face it, is most folks.

In the spirit of my tag line “know your beauty” it’s time to truly get past the scare tactics & to the truth — the sun is just one…but, here are a couple books to check out: The Healing Sun by Richard Horbday & The UV Advantage by Dr. Michael Hollick. You can check out Mr. Horbday’s site at: www.thehealingsun.org & Dr. Hollick’s at: www.uvadvantage.org

Enjoy life &…to your good health & MOOD!

xo
– Suki

 

BADASS WOMEN: JENNIFER LAWRENCE

 

at just 25, Jennifer Lawrence kicks a**! she seems to have a wisdom & perspective that belies her youth & many other people’s silly ideals of feminine perfection. she notably refused to lose weight for her role as heroine Katniss Everdeen in the post-apocalyptic Hunger Games movies, & got the chance to respond to a storm of media body-shaming with poised replies like the one above, setting one hell of an example in the process!

she’s been called “the most talented young actress in America” by Rolling Stone, & unlike many, hasn’t let it go to her head. instead, she’s used her success to support charities like Feeding America & the Special Olympics.I applaud Ms. Lawrence for refusing to take part in the deadly Hollywood “hunger games” that lead so many Hollywood starlets & the girls who imitate them into battles with eating disorders & twisted body images!

you keep keeping on woman!!! know your beauty never looked more fabulous!

xo

—Suki

WINTER SKIN BLUES?

even though the snow hasn’t yet settled in New England, it’s still officially winter folks, & I know all too well how awful this season can be for skin—especially if you’re prone eczema, allergies, dryness, sensitivities & immunity issues…like me. stale air, cold air, heat of all kinds, lack of sunshine (for those of us who get that the sun is actually a healing force rather than a force of evil J)…I hate the feeling of dry, rough hands on my favorite silk shirt, or looking in my magnifying mirror at a flaky face (which in turn promotes blemishing…it’s all a crazy cycle)! &, don’t get me starting on that tight feeling when you stretch your lips into too big a smile & it actually causes a tear in the flesh! worst of all? thinking you’d solved your eczema problem, when bam! it returns as if to the scene of the crime…like it was waiting under the surface all along…for you to get comfy…

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& then, of course, there’s the great shower lie. the hot water & steam feels great while you’re in it, but the minute you dry off, you’re actually more dehydrated than before. huh?

it’s not all gloom & doom & darkness by 4:30 though—if you add a few simple steps to your daily & weekly routine, you really can have smooth & hydrated skin all year long. so without further ado, here are my top 10 tried & true maintenance points for winter skincare:

1. apply a pure body oil right out of the shower, while your skin is still damp (in fact, all moisturizers are best applied while damp from bathing, washing, wetting the skin – water / toner brings moisture into the skin)

2. use a thick, dense, synthetic-free body balm on top of that for sublimely smooth, dryness-free, eczema-free (if you are good & use your body scrub…skin! yes, on top of your oil—sounds decadent, but it’s not overkill, I promise, when you use a completely absorbable oil that matches your skin chemistry & really forms that base of moisture you need.

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3. use your hand lotion & lip balm all day long—keep a bottle & tube on your desk at work & another on your bedside table.

4. don’t think a facial cream applied once a day is gonna cut it. in winter especially, a reapplication is key to great looking, feeling & BEING skin. a touch of toner or even mineral water spray helps it absorb without the need to massage in & smear your makeup.

5. use an exfoliate on your lips once a week, then follow up with lip butter to kiss cracked, peeling lips goodbye. (a dry toothbrush can work too, but I’d use both for best results).

6. speaking of which: exfoliate. exfoliate. & exfoliate some more! slough those dead cells to make room for the fresh new flesh, then moisturize it like crazy to a baby soft smooth texture.

7. take a steam or sauna now & then. it’s great for detoxifying the body, your overall circulation & boosting your immune system. adding essential oils gives added glow to your skin & mood. lavender is great here as both stimulant & relaxant!

8. it’s a fallacy that you have to wash your face day & night. once daily (end of the day is most important for this reason…) with a moisturizing cleanser is fine, unless your work or hobbies expose you to lots of grit & grime. in winter, you want to do all you can to retain that moisture layer.

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9. don’t use super-hot water in the shower—it’ll seriously dry out your skin, & substitute a body oil every other day for soap. oils are wonderful cleansers that lift the dirt from your body without removing essential oils. you don’t have to have a squeaky rinse to be clean, I swear.

10. look for body products that contain coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter & other truly natural ingredients. stay away from synthetics like parabens & sodium lauryl sulfate because they are impostors! they only ACT like they are thick & moisturizing, but in reality strip your skin rather than nourishing it.

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I can honestly report that since adopting this regimen (especially scrub & moisturize), my skin stays well-hydrated & so soft all year. I may occasionally have a touch of tight feeling hands (‘cause I never wear gloves!), but I never have rough skin, chapped lips, scaling, bumps, or blemishes throughout whatever harsh winter weather my hometown of Chicago & my adopted home state of Massachusetts throw at me… & you can too.

so let it snow! please?

xo

—Suki

FRAGRANCE FACT & FICTION

perfume1scents surround us every day, from that less-than-refreshing lemony bleach smell of a public restroom to a coworker’s unfortunate obsession with Axe body spray. there’s even a trend toward scented jewelry!

we can’t avoid scent in public spaces (short of wearing a gas mask to the office or the mall in protest!) but what about the products we bring into our own home? learn the surprising truth (& industry lies) about your favorite berry-scented lip balm or “summer breeze” in a spray bottle…

FACT: perfumery is as old as civilization

“…the Graces bathed [Aphrodite] with heavenly oil such as blooms upon the bodies of the eternal gods—oil divinely sweet, which she had by her, filled with fragrance.”

Homeric hymn, 7th century BCE. 

aromatic substances like rose oil, labdanum, myrrh & ambergris were symbols of status & wealth from ancient China to Rome. many also had sacred uses. back then, all the raw materials came from plant or animal sources. today, 90% of fragrances are synthetic, created in laboratories to mimic natural aromatics at lower cost.

ancient perfume

(perfume making in ancient Egypt)

FICTION: fragrance is regulated for safety & quality.

there is no governing agency that regulates scent in commercial products, & little monitoring of the few standards that exist. companies don’t have to disclose specific ingredients in these formulas, hence the generic term “fragrance” you see on many ingredient lists. allergy testing before marketing is not required, & when testing occurs, it’s often on animals who are doused with toxic levels of the fragrance in question. (check out this list of companies that—still, in 2015!—test on animals.)

FACT: fragrance can have powerful physical & psychological effects.

fragrant botanicals contain active ingredients that can alter mood, memory, appetite & arousal. also, some fragrances are allergens, irritants, carcinogens & hormone disruptors (often synthetics, but some natural essential oils, too!). strong fragrance can also make some people feel ill—hence those signs in gyms, yoga studios, etc. requesting a “fragrance free zone”.

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FICTION: natural fragrance = safe.

whether a product is natural or synthetic is not itself an indication of safety. natural essential oils have longer histories of use, but processing methods can vary widely. for example, essential oils are often extracted with toxic hexane gas. there’s also no legal definition of “natural”, so perfume marketers (like many other industries) often use this term misleadingly.

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pure essential oils have a 2,000+ year history of helping people with conditions from anxiety to hormonal imbalances, so there’s no need to totally fear fragrance—I use a natural, gentle citrus aroma in many of my skincare products. look for organically sourced oils & consult a trained aromatherapist or do your own research. respect your allergies & follow usage instructions carefully, especially when oils are used topically rather than diffused.

so what scents inspire you & which make you want to rush for the nearest window?

xo

—Suki

TESTIMONIAL I AM GRATEFUL TO SHARE

to say nothing makes my day like a letter from someone I’ve helped is an understatement. these are truly the things that get me through all the tough times & they’re the reason I began this journey–the reason my company exists. here is a testimonial I had to share from someone who had eczema (the condition I used to have that  inspired me to create my whole product line) & I helped them stop suffering from it, which is humbling to even write.

“I have had eczema for as long as I can remember,” writes J. “the older I became the worse my eczema got. my arms and hands were covered in red rashes and scabs. it was extremely painful. I was having a difficult time sleeping, and working. working made my eczema even worse, because I had my hands in chemicals every day. eventually, my hands and arms were bleeding daily. not itching was impossible.

J’s eczema before trying suki®

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I tried every OTC lotion and cream I could find, and nothing touched it. I went to my doctor who gave me steroid cream. the steroid cream did give me some relief, but it did not get rid of my eczema. I continued to live with the pain.

one day a friend saw my eczema and suggested that I try the suki product line. after researching Suki’s products online, I was intrigued. the company’s philosophy and all natural approach seemed to be the answer I was looking for. I received several products and started a twice a day ritual. I began with the exfoliating foaming cleanser, followed by the concentrated clarifying toner and ending with ultra-protect body balm. the results were nothing less than amazing!

I immediately saw and felt a difference. after my first use I had significant relief from the itch. after 2-3 days the redness and swelling were noticeably diminished.  after the first couple of weeks my eczema was barely noticeable.  nothing I had ever tried before even came close to the results I received from Suki’s products. if you suffer from any skin problems, you owe it to yourself to try the Suki product line. it’s pure, natural and kick ass strong! Suki changed my life, I’ll never be without it!”

 J’s skin 3 months later

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her note & pictures changed the whole direction of my day from dark to sunny. & I still think of her often, especially during stressful & difficult times when I need that extra support & reminder that the original mission of my business—helping people get healthy, beautiful skin—is fully intact. I think about how grateful I am that I get to feel this way forever, because the formulas are made & that part of my hard work is finished. I should feel this gratitude & positivity every day…but do I?

of course not! scientists say any negative thought releases destructive neurochemicals, & the more you engage in shaming or blaming dialogue, the more difficult it becomes to stop. vocalizations of negativity = more stress chemicals released, not only in your brain, but in the listener’s brain as well. &, get this, the brain barely responds to our positive words & thoughts. why? they’re not a threat to our survival, so the brain doesn’t invest as much attention in them. in fact, you need to be positive (even if it’s fake!) at least 3x as much to negate the impact of negative self-talk.

gratitude is basically awareness –of the good things we have or difficult situations we’ve conquered, of what we’ve achieved, of what we’ve learned, of whatever enriches us! as Thanksgiving approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to put a positive spin on this hardcore stressful year…turns out I’ve got a ton to be grateful for. this eczema success story is just one of many things.

so thanks “J.” 🙂 for reminding me…

xo

—Suki

RESVERATROL: THE GRAPES OF YOUTH

grape_vinesred wine as a health food? well, that’s not a hard sell. we’ve been told that for years!

but in the past few years, more & more people are starting to take resveratrol supplements, wine’s key health-promoting & anti-aging compound, in highly refined pill form. I’ve been formulating with this useful cosmeceutical in my skincare products for years & now I have to explain to everyone why I was using it all along! ahead of the curve…not such a great thing, man 😉

studies have shown that resveratrol has antibacterial properties, protects cells from cancer-causing mutations & helps repair the cells of the GI tract. resveratrol has been proven to absorb topically through the skin—which, as you probably recall, is our largest organ & directly absorbs all sorts of potentially beneficial or harmful compounds.

resveratrol is also a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells against the free radicals that create pigmentation spots & wrinkles over time.

but here’s the thing—sourcing always matters. when grapes are sprayed with pesticides, they get lazy & don’t produce as much resveratrol. since resveratrol is not standardized like most supplements, & the marketing of supplements is as confusing & controversial as it is in the skincare industry, it’s difficult to know exactly how much you’re getting from a grape-derived resveratrol product.

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this leads us to the little-known fact that most resveratrol supplements in the United States are not made from grapes, but from Japanese Knotweed. according to Dr. Keri Marshall, Medical Director of Gaia Herbs, “not only is Japanese Knotweed more abundant from a sourcing perspective, but it is naturally concentrated to about 2-3% of the total root while a source like red wine (grape skin) is naturally concentrated to only about 0.3%.”

grapes_closeup

customers are understandably upset by what they see as false or misleading claims about sourcing…& if they notice it, the concentration of their supplements, leading many to distrust the whole natural industry. & they have a right to be pissed off!

in the 2013 case of Holt v. Reserve Life Organics, LLC., plaintiff Kathleen Holt claims the company tricked consumers into paying too much for supplements that contained very little of the promised resveratrol & used mostly nonorganic Japanese knotweed instead of organic French grapes, as claimed.

Japanese knotweed is actually a resveratrol-rich & sustainable ingredient. but claiming your resveratrol comes from grapes when it doesn’t? not cool. here at suki®, we believe in transparency: our resveratrol is sourced from two kinds of non-sprayed grapes plus non-GMO, non-irradiated Japanese knotweed.

knotweed

thanks to our unique SSS actives technology, we use our resveratrol & other active ingredients in highly potent concentrations. how? because we deliver them in liposomes that penetrate safely & deeply into the derma, where these ingredients can actually create change without the VSA (Volatile Synthetic Active) irritation & inflammation caused by many synthetic actives. customers have seen the healthy-aging benefits of my resveratrol-containing products, & so can you if you check out the full line of products at sukiskincare.com.

there’s a whole world of difference between a “natural” product made to feel nice & a sophisticated scientific formula made to solve skin problems. no conventional “symptom-based” therapy will truly solve a long-term systemic problem, as those of us who have struggled with such issues know all too well L my products take the whole body into consideration, starting with the source of allergies, immune system deficiencies & systemic imbalances that cause skin problems such as acne, rosacea, eczema & more.

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resveratrol is an ingredient that helps systemically solve skin problems. & for “internal use” there’s absolutely no harm in beefing up that antioxidant base with a moderate glass or two of resveratrol-rich (organic & sulfate-free!) red wine.

so cheers to your good health (& that includes a positive attitude & some well-deserved relaxation)!

xo

—Suki

THE IRONY OF: “LOOK GOOD, FEEL BETTER”

(this post was originally featured  on Breast Cancer Action’s blog…check it out for more info about the shocking pinkwashing that happens every October!)

It’s fair to say I’ve taken the long route to becoming a skincare biz owner—because unlike most, I am a formulator and a manufacturer, not just a CEO. Thanks to two decades of experience, I know every ingredient and potentially hidden ingredient a vendor might be trying to slide by me.

I started my company out of a deep personal need to solve my own skin problems and health issues that had kept me sick, weak and covered in what looked a little like leprosy (seriously) for most of my childhood. Being bullied added another layer of hurt to how I already felt about my body, making me want to bury myself as far under my clothes as possible.

My primary motivator in starting my company was to share the cure I’d developed with others and help them find long-term freedom from skin issues of all kinds—to “Look Great and Feel Amazing”, you might say! So when I checked out “Look Good, Feel Better”, which purports to dole out compassion and support to breast cancer survivors—an issue close to my heart—I saw immediately that this site was entirely the American Cancer Society and the Personal Care Products Council pushing sponsored products on a vulnerable and unaware population.

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“Look Good, Feel Better” is an organization with more than 14,000 volunteers that offers groups for people struggling with cancer and a website filled with beauty tips. Their mission statement says, “improving the self-esteem and quality of life of people undergoing treatment for cancer”. However, the free kits they offer to survivors include tons of parabens, formaldehyde releasers and Teflon, just to name a few ingredients that have themselves been linked to cancer! These additives also irritate skin that’s already incredibly sensitive from treatment, placing people in jeopardy for an ongoing skin crisis.

I’m not one to mince words guys, and I am one to try like heck to get people to take their health into their own hands. I myself have been at the mercy of modern medicine and all-knowing physicians who are dictated to by insurance company, doctors who are no longer the medical detectives they used to be. Say, for example, you have an autoimmune disease—this is life-altering, but a “normal” doc will only do the one test the insurance company typically allows (this is true of many diseases). If you don’t test positive, your M.D. will not disclose that there are actually other tests that can give you the full picture. Only a naturopathic doctor or other alternative practitioner will actually work to get to the heart of what’s going on with your body.

Once you understand this, a whole world of “wow, I need to take my health into my own hands because no one else will” opens up. And think about it: never before have we had so much information at our fingertips. But who do we trust? We must become our own detectives in a world where anyone can create a slick website filled with medical advice, and our doctor’s knowledge might be outdated or a product of Big Pharma propaganda.

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Twenty years ago, I started formulating my products in my own kitchen and investigating the skincare and cosmetic industry. I was truly shocked at how despicable its practices are, so I made it my mission to share the “ugly truths” I had uncovered. Along the way, I found the group Breast Cancer Action—still a small grassroots organization not talked about on E! or in Vogue, etc. Why? Money, of course! I’ve spoken to editor upon editor, year after year, trying to get this organization in the press—but no can do. It’s all Susan G and the rest who are doing nada to truly educate us and teach us to help ourselves like BCAction.org.

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BCAction is so unique in their campaigns, like “Think Before You Pink”, which exposes all the devious ways that big corporations are making money from breast cancer. Where would these companies be without their “pinkwashed” products, of which they might give 1% of profits to a real charity?  Basically, all that pink is about making money from our empathy, not about actually curing breast cancer. It upsets me greatly, because I give 100% (or more) of proceeds for a whole month each year to BCAction and I’m proud to do it. Their advocacy makes such a difference in people’s lives. For example, in 2008 they got Yoplait to stop using rGBH treated dairy in their yogurt. And while they still aren’t perfect, it’s a step.

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We all know that breast cancer is a devastating disease, and even the money donated by “pinkwashed” organizations hopefully gets to a useful place. But when most of this money goes into the founder’s pockets, it speaks to a larger problem—no oversight, no one preventing powerful corporations from using known carcinogens, irritants and synthetics. BCAction and I strongly oppose this, of course, and they take a stand publicly with who can become a pink ribbon sponsor.

Even with so many organizations doing their own campaigns, we are no closer to a cure than ever.  How can that be? Because breast cancer is largely about environmental influencers, and perhaps the biggest of these are the toxins we absorb through our skin. For companies to keep using toxins and synthetics we know cause systemic imbalances and disease—it should be criminal!

I’ve personally received hundreds of letters of thanks from survivors and those in treatment who say mainstream products seriously irritate their skin, which is already so sensitive from drugs and treatment. “Look Good, Feel Better” could truly help people if they used organic and natural products, and they are surely aware of the research on toxic skincare additives—but their first priority is clearly their corporate sponsors and not what’s truly best for breast cancer survivors.

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What if companies became committed, not to capitalizing on natural through marketing, but to providing REAL natural products in formulas that actually work and cause no side effects? The science is there. The problem, as usual, is the cost. Companies could still make a profit, just not as massive a profit.

What if every CEO, like me, refused to allow a single synthetic, nanoparticle, GMO or other questionable ingredient in their products? What if they instead made education and health empowerment their priority instead of slapping a pink ribbon on the problem? Perhaps that, in itself, would lower breast cancer rates in future generations.

Then they’d actually be helping people “Look Good and Feel F*ing Fantastic”, and it would be amazing!

xo

– Suki

(GETTING TO) KNOW YOUR BEAUTY

everywhere my TiVo or my mouse goes, I see the promise that my wrinkles will go away. that would be nice, right? but I know for a fact that once I get a wrinkle, it’s here to stay (unless of course, I decide to go under the knife or the needle).

but I’ve been in this business for more than a decade! I just came from a skincare expo where I thought most people would be fairly educated, but in fact, many used synthetic brands full of toxic chemicals that have been proven to cause cancer (& while we’re at it, they don’t get rid of wrinkles either!).

whatever your skin type, my core philosophy has always been & always will be to forget what the beauty magazines & so-called “experts” say. the very best way to figure out what’s best for your skin is to learn to “read” your skin & trust your intuition.

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so here are 3 simple tips to help you & your skin get better acquainted on the path to skindependence:

  • there are five basic skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination & we will ALL go through the five basic skin types from time to time (based on environment, hormones, age, seasons, climate, time of the month – you get the picture), so it’s best to check in with your skin on a weekly basis or more. observe the texture, tone & level of sensitivity to figure out what your needs are in this moment.gettingtoknowbeauty3
  • there are three different complexion types: fair (needs the least amount of sun for maximum vitamin D, about 10 minutes a day), medium (tans & rarely burns, needs 15 daily minutes of sun), dark (doesn’t burn, requires 20 minutes of sun for adequate vitamin D).

dark skin tone

  • everyone has their own unique skin concerns: redness, uneven skin tone, blemishes or acne, lines, sun damage, large pores, under-eye puffiness, dark circles & more. these “high maintenance” features of your skin (which also change over time) will determine what products are best for you right now. you may find that a product that worked great before is no longer serving you well, or a formerly too-rich moisturizer is now exactly what your skin craves.

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remember, your lifestyle plays a big role in your skin’s needs. are you going through hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause? have you started a new diet or exercise routine? how much time do you want to spend on your skin care regimen?

if you’re feeling puzzled by recent changes in your complexion, you can even try keeping a “skin diary” to see if patterns emerge. knowing your skin (just like knowing your ingredients & ‘thyself’) is the best way to understand what products will work for you & when.

what’s one thing you’ve learned about your skin by living in it?

xo

—Suki

BEAUTY FROM WITHIN…POSSIBLE?

beauty_from_within

we hear it all the time: “beauty is only skin deep…”, but how many of us truly believes that? &, how can we, when we know the reality is that beautiful opens doors, beautiful seems to have it all, or at least, has it soooo much easier in life? of course, it’s all relative—although beauty may seem to win the day, it is all relative & everyone has their problems—even those blessed with perfect symmetry & hair…& teeth…:-/

in fact, it seems like the most beautiful of women are actually the most insecure! how is that possible? but we see it all the time, no? these are the women how are more concerned with every blemish, line & 5 extra pounds, & never believe it when told they are pretty.

even though we all know that true beauty resides within (as every cosmetic company including yours truly reminds us…know your beauty!), in the end, we all want to look good on the outside…& there’s nothing wrong with that. wanting to be the best we can be is a good thing, it’s evolution, it’s part of our innate  survival instinct! the problem is when we are torn up inside about every imperfection or addicted to the external so much that we ignore our inner selves, actually arresting our development so we not only long to stay youthful looking, but keep ourselves back emotionally too.

I’m not a big proponent of plastic surgery, however, I don’t fault anyone for doing whatever they wish to feel good about themselves. it is a slippery slope though, & we need to be very careful when delving into the world of easy fixes. we can be easily lured as if by the devil, into constant picking ourselves apart, wasting precious time on the past, not embracing our present & futures & all that comes with that. think about it – the freedom not to care what people think, the confidence that comes with experience, the joy of sharing them & helping others instead of being youthfully self-obsessed. there are so many great things that come with getting older. I’m just beginning to feel & see that myself & yes, sometimes it is challenging to see the changes, but that’s partially because it’s a learned behavior. if I’m honest, & not worried about people thinking I’m being conceited, I’ve gotten better looking as I’ve gotten older. it’s also incredible to experience how freeing maturity is too!

scientists have seen that hormonal reactions that determine our lifelong skin “blueprint” start in the womb so, best start embracing these faces now folks. it’s so important to choose to see our ourselves as beautiful individuals & not base our self-concept on air-brushed models or photo shopped celebs (&, seriously, I can’t understand why more people don’t see how ridiculous so many of them look after their latest surgery or whatever…it’s like we are a nation of robots who don’t notice stuff anymore!) I don’t think of my developing lines as the lines of age, but as smile lines, & sure, the ones between my brows reflect stress – that I’ve put into this business, getting my degree, getting through childhood…& I use that as motivation for my next phase of life, which is to “lower my mind,” deal with stress in a different way than I learned in childhood…become less reactionary & more thoughtful, breathe more. if I automatically dismissed & thought only negatively about myself, I reject my past, my history & all the experiences that make me the unique person I am & that is a terrible way to treat myself. what’s more, I should be complimenting myself for getting through it all & for not only surviving, but thriving! &…for having the cahones to want to do more work on myself in mid–life!

when I think of the most beautiful celebs, Robin Wright, Holly Hunter, Lauren Hutton, Patricia Clarkson, Julie Delpy, Glenn Close, Rita Wilson, Julie Christie & of course Meryl Streep come to mind…the ones who appear to be naturally aging & who seem to have all the confidence in the world…&…I kinda want to be like them!

but, I remind myself I am not them. they can be inspirational to me…but I have to look in the mirror & compliment myself…even even on what I feel like is my worst day…now, your turn! 🙂

meryl streep

xo

—Suki