avoiding toxins during pregnancy

LEARNED & UNCOVERED – THE TRUTH BEHIND “BEAUTY” BIZ MOTIVATES NEW CHOICES

Becoming pregnant shone a whole new light on every choice for Christine…she & I, for very different reasons, have been on a quest for good health (& yes you can have beauty when you choose health darn it!!!) & to uncover the truth behind all those empty promises of cures, “anti-aging,” the next best thing in skin care, & on & on…

Here, Christine shares her story & why she decided to ditch synthetics & toxic food, beauty & healthcare FOR GOOD! xo -Suki

 

petrochemical refinery

DOCTORS STILL GIVING ADVICE FROM THE 1920’S – TREATING SKIN PROBLEMS THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND & WON’T INVESTIGATE!

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

 

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…

winter1

& 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.

winter2

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.

winter4

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.

winter5

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

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.

napa_valley

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.

red_wine

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

(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.

gettingto knowbeauty1

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.

gettingtoknowbeauty2

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

A PRACTICAL ON WHEN TO SEE THE DERM-DOC

it always saddens me how many of our clients say they don’t know how their skin feels or what skin type they have. but you do know! in fact, nobody knows your own skin better than you & man that’s deep. but I digress. did you know that more than half of all diagnosed melanomas are first identified by, well, us? score one for Dr. Google.

derm1

however, there are cases where a DIY-approach could be not only a dead end, but a danger. here are a few key ways to keep an eye out for signs you might need more than some soothing body balm or an exfoliating foaming scrub.

self-exams: use a combo of handheld & full-length mirrors (or make it fun & use your partner) to check every inch of your skin, taking note of any rashes, irritations, & new or changing moles. there’s even an acronym that’s as easy as “ABCDE” to help you figure out if a mole is suspicious:

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  1. asymmetry: a normal mole is symmetrical, meaning both halves match in size, shape & color.
  2. border: a smooth border is normal. is the border jagged, irregular or blurred?
  3. color: a normal mole is evenly colored. does the color vary?
  4. diameter: is the mole larger than 6mm, the size of a pencil eraser?
  5. evolving: pay attention to any changes in the mole’s appearance, or feelings of itchiness & pain.

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risk factors: some people also have factors that increase their likelihood of developing malignant melanomas. for these folks, it makes sense to perform self-exams AND see a doc for regular check-ups:

  1. 50-plus moles
  2. a history of x-ray treatments for illnesses or acne
  3. personal or family history of skin cancer & non-malignant melanomas
  4. a history of sunburns early in life, or a history of indoor tanning
  5. taking immunosuppressive medications

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remember, it pays to trust your intuition if you notice something on your skin that triggers one of those quiet, nagging doubts (you know the kind). at the very least, you get a chance to relax with some waiting room gossip mags (who’s the latest celeb to have gotten far too much plastic surgery? 😉 if your concerns were right, you may have caught a little mole before it turns into a big problem! yes, you DO have the time…

xo

—Suki

WHAT’S THE STORY WITH WHOLE FOODS?

last year, suki® ended its partnership with Whole Foods Market. people often don’t realize what goes into these corporate partnerships & why collaborating isn’t always the blessing it might seem for an independent company, especially those who stand by their strong ideals & values. in fact, after I broke off our partnership, Whole Foods began to claim that they kicked us out, which actually tells you a great deal about this giant, picking on a tiny company like ours. I mean, we could hardly impact their bottom line, yet they had no problem with potentially destroying a small business with their false accusations! talk about power corrupting…

so this week, to mark the one-year anniversary of this decision, which I’m still proud  hell to have made, I wanted to share the letter I sent to my independent retail partners (who are growing in numbers & as ethically strong as ever!).

no_whole_foods

dear friends:

know your beauty®, the philosophical foundation behind suki® , means accepting ourselves for who we really are, never punishing ourselves for being “less than perfect” or needing to live up to an outside definition of beauty, & acknowledging we must always take & own our power, including the power over our health & well-being.” I set my own rules for my company: we’re transparent, honest & committed to sourcing the most pure & efficacious ingredients—100% organic or fair trade when possible. we are truly independent & always have been in creating products that actually solve skin problems!

you are my independent partners & I know you share our values. you have stood by me since day one, when I started my company in my kitchen in the woods of New England. we agree that an environment of real choice & truly healthful solutions is key in this industry. we also know that as others have grown massively, their missions have altered. we have experienced too well the push of profit put ahead of ethics, as unique independent brands are homogenized to do businesses with the all-powerful corporate & publically traded brand, Whole Foods Market.

over the past 14 years, suki® skincare emerged as Whole Foods’ leading premium skincare brand & we are grateful to have reached many people through this partnership. however, we examined our business relationship & found that Whole Foods is no longer committed as they once were (when they were independent themselves) to providing ethical, effective & pure products to those who TRULY need them. sadly, it appears they have become aligned with centralized manipulative marketing practices.

whole_foods_strike

(January 2015 strike at Whole Foods Market , Brooklyn, NY)

their tactics include pressuring small businesses like us to alter our messaging, requiring their subjective approval for every decision as if we were a subsidiary of Whole Foods Markets & trying to force us to overturn our ideals, values, & even our product formulations! & this, folks, is how you kill a small business & the ideals of a small business owner, unless you are as stubborn as, well, us 🙂

Whole Foods has compromised their original mission by allowing “acceptable” synthetic stabilizers, gums, preservatives & other synthetic ingredients like non-labeled GMOs that we would never deem appropriate into their stores. & thanks to other brands in Whole Body that make efficacy claims without doing scientific studies (which we have done!), we are told to get rid of any language that informs our consumers of how our products can help them.

shockingly, Whole Foods adopted the same oppressive tactics as Wal-mart with respect to labor negotiations, purchasing practices, restricting small business autonomy & dictating communications.

wholefoods_walmart

so we have made the easy choice to let go & focus on our partnerships with you, the TRUE pioneers of the industry. I want you to know that I deeply respect every one of you for your trailblazing commitment to providing truly natural & organic solutions for your customers.

we will continue our original mission of creating strong, safe solutions for skin problems & sensitivities, & helping people achieve their best skin by treating the underlying systemic causes of their problems. we will remain strong & self-sufficient, answering to our ethics, our hearts & our ideals. when I began all this in my kitchen, I swore I would NEVER compromise my ideals for profit—for anything. & I’m happy to say I never have.

so here’s to all of our growth & continued paving the way, hopefully, for future idealists.

xo

—Suki Kramer

River-Valley-storefront

River Valley Market, one of my awesome independent retailers in Northampton, MA

PLASTICS – THEY’RE EVERYWHERE

anyone who knows me knows I have zero tolerance for the toxic synthetics in conventional skincare, & thank goodness, there is growing awareness on this issue. however, sadly, it’s all we can do to keep up with our lives, much less the marketing cr*p that is done to make us buy stuff that is, essentially, not pure at all, but “pseudo” natural & still contains garbage in it, & in the end, does nothing for us but makes us think we are doing something good for ourselves & the planet. that, I don’t think I have to tell you, pisses me off.

garbage_decompbut even with the efforts of those of us who really care to put TRULY pure products into the marketplace & those of us who go the extra mile to put them into our bodies, our efforts will be futile for the earth in the end if we continue to pollute our oceans beyond repair.

in the shocking video posted above, reporters from Mother Jones investigate a huge swirling vortex of trash, twice the size of Texas, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. members of Project Karsei, the ocean liner sent to investigate the giant floating dump, reported plastic in EVERY sample they collected—with items ranging from old toothbrushes to abandoned baseballs. in another article, Charles Moore, the ocean advocate who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1999, said: “trying to clean up the Pacific gyre would bankrupt any country & kill wildlife in the nets as it went.”

shouldn’t this news, that it is now almost too late to correct the environmental damage we have done to our planet, be sweeping the headlines & usurping the latest celebrity antics or even global politics? what will it matter, in a generation, who is at war with whom when we have poisoned our environment so that life itself is unsustainable? It seems like the stuff of dystopian fiction, but it’s something that our next generation will have to deal with firsthand.

stories like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are so overwhelming that it’s easy to bury our heads in the sand & try to forget about it. after all, this huge pile of trash is out in the middle of the Pacific ocean. it doesn’t affect ME—yet.

but it will. it’s just one symptom of the “plastic culture” we have created. in a recent study, 92% of subjects had the plastic BPA in their urine. & as for the ocean? Project Karsei’s lead scientist, Dr. Andrea Neal, speculates that the high concentrations of plastic could create huge dead zones in the Pacific Ocean that wipe out every species of fish WITHIN OUR LIFETIME.

what will it take to turn this…

tires 

back into this?

biodiversity

small steps can’t undo all the damage, but they make a difference. in my company, well, I’ve made it plain how I abhor plastic & still bottle in glass or aluminum, & ONLY resort to eco-plastic when absolutely necessary. actions as simple as remembering to the obvious recycling, composting, bringing reusable shopping bags to the grocery store & not supporting brands that contribute to huge carbon footprints can truly add up on a large scale to make a cleaner, safer world for ourselves & all the marine life in this world that now totally relies on our environmental policies & practices!

what do you think? can this generation can leave our planet cleaner & greener than we found it, & where do we start? or are we on the path to doom already? will the earth just throw us out so it can heal?

xo

—Suki

 

FRESH LOOK = FRESH PERSPECTIVE

in case you haven’t noticed, I’m generally attracted to big topics: perseverance, self-esteem, self-fulfilling prophecies, dominating big brother grocery store chains…:)

well today is another weighty theme—specifically, change… it’s like, the scariest thing! for instance, when it comes to my hair, OMG, the standard line is “don’t you dare touch me with those things”—meaning of course…scissors. I think of myself as someone who wants to grow & evolve, sure…but subconsciously I face change like a sullen teenager. any unwanted disruption is like totally uncool man (or whatever they are saying these days).

 

suki_hairblogsuki_short_hairbut despite the very real risks of an unflattering cut (see the crew cut here i tried out that was actually in it’s “growing out” phase) I know how revitalizing & refreshing to both image & imagination a new look can be.

even a simple blowout can make you feel like the world is a better place for a few days. yes, I said a few…cause you actually needn’t wash your hair every day. it’s actually healthy to take a little time off from the lather-rinse-repeat routine & let your natural oils do their work. in the little town I live in, they aren’t advertised (no blowout bars here!) but I love the idea of a fresh wash & blowout & hey, I’ve spent $20 in far worse ways! thank goodness my stylist does them!

anyway, point is, hair as we know, is super emotional—a bad cut, color or process can seem like the worse mistake of your life. but, when your hair is rockin’ you feel amazing, &, a new ‘do is a time-honored way to mark life’s transitions, from a bad breakup (not the best time there…) to a great promotion (better!).

Working on a new hairstyle.but, before you crop six inches or dye your hair to match your favorite nail polish though, consider these tips:

don’t fight what nature gave you. if your hair is wavy or curly, find a stylist who can make the most of what you’ve got. if you have board-straight hair, resist the urge to process the heck out of it. whatever hair you have, if you get a great cut, or merely a healthy “dusting” & ask for help selecting the correct styling aids, it’s possible to air dry without using energy-draining appliances.

curly-girl-smilecolor can be healthy. hair that is colored can still be strong & eco-chic. the right color can bring out the best in your natural skin tone & make your whole face glow. most conventional salon hair dyes are sadly, loaded with ammonia, peroxide, PPDs, coal tar, lead, toluene & resorcinol. truth is, for hair dye to work it needs some real chemistry, so you won’t find any that are free of all synthetics. but there are some better choices, such as EcoColors or Aveda Salons, which use primarily plant-based formulas & get rid of some of the traditional toxins—finding salons that use them is worthwhile for the health of your hair & the environment.

hair_colorupdate, don’t overhaul.  consider that subtle change can be incredibly effective at keeping your look fresh. braid it, explore a new updo, add bangs, get a few low-lights or highlights & experiment with accessories (etsy.com has thousands of upcycled & vintage options that look great).hair_accessoryfor further inspiration, I’ve found Pinterest to be a great place to check out hairstyles, tools & hair accessories like ribbons, beautiful pins, barrettes, clip-in (yes, even clip-in) hair that feels even better than natural hair at times that make you look like your hair grew three times the volume that day 🙂 – amazing & fun!

I’d love to see your daring dream cut (or your worst salon nightmare!), so share away—you’ve seen my infamous crew cut now, & let’s face it, 2 decades of change over time that I just suck it up & never google search myself so I pretend like it doesn’t exist! so, you know, it’s only fair! 🙂

xo

—Suki