Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

rose quartzCrystals have been used by humans since ancient times as powerful tools for healing and balancing spiritual and physical ailments. Their use spans through many cultures, religions and healing modalities. They are powerful conduits for energy, which is why they are used so prolifically in technology but also explains their use in energy work on humans.

My 5-year old recently told me that my rose quartz necklace is an amulet. I asked her what power it had. She thought about it for a moment and responded, “friendship and love”. She’s right, that’s exactly what rose quartz is about. It is a crystal used specifically for the heart and emotional wellness. It helps heal emotional wounds, grief and trauma. It is used to open the heart to love – both giving and receiving it and encourages compassion and creativity. It is also protective of the heart and makes one feel secure and confident when around other people.

Rose quartz is a great stone to have near you while sleeping because it can protect against nightmares and inspire good dreams. It is also useful for children that experience night terrors or are afraid of the dark. For meditation or body treatments, it works to help release  emotional wounds and embrace a higher vibration that is peaceful and centered on joy. Buddhist prayer beads are made with rose quartz to balance the heart chakra, the area close to your breastbone that rules emotions and self-love.

Rose quartz is also thought to prevent wrinkles which is why is was used in ancient Egyptian beauty treatments and can be found in spas all over the world. It is a stone that represents beauty.

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I am not a cosmetic chemist but I do formulate products. I don’t have a degree in microbiology but I have deep respect for microbes and what they can do to enhance or destroy my formulas. I am an artist, a crafter and an alchemist. I procure botanicals then I melt them, mix them, and bottle them. In this process, I must adhere to strict sanitation codes, ingredient safety knowledge and the very serious and challenging issue of preserving the products.


I’ve noticed some talk on the net that I find very offensive from cosmetic chemists. I’ve run into it several times and I have even had a heated argument on Linked In (I know, lame). Some chemists feel that natural products are a joke and that small artisans have no right to exist. They paint us as snake oil salespeople with dirty dungeons filled with cauldrons and cobwebs (double double  toil and trouble).

Listen nerds, if you didn’t make crappy petroleum laden products and test on billions of animals, I suppose you wouldn’t be feeling so threatened right now.

The truth is that skin care, body care, cosmetics and perfume have always been made by artisans – for thousands of years. It was only in the last century that industrial age of petrochemicals took over and everything became about patents and profits (while poisoning everyone and everything). Fortunately, just like the food industry is veering away from processed junk in favor of whole foods, the beauty industry is becoming reacquainted with ingredients we have always used…and big beauty is not part of this. It would be impossible to swap their ultra cheap petroleum byproducts that they buy from BF Goodrich for botanicals from farms around the world. It would be a financial disaster so they keep pumping out new science (with animal testing), old generic formulas and HUGE marketing campaigns.

You have break it down to this – your skin is a living, breathing organ that can be nourished into looking great for a very long time. How do you nourish the rest of your body? By eating mineral oil tinkered with by scientists. Do you get your food from a lab? It’s the same thing. If you are serious about having beautiful, healthy skin, you’ll feed it what it craves – botanical oils, extracts, butters and waters.

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Q.  what do you recommend for age spots? i never intentionally tan but i notice im getting spots on my face i never had before!

A. Yes, very common. It’s called hyperpigmentation or melasma and affects a lot of women because it is mostly a combination of hormones and sun exposure – I got it when I was pregnant. First thing you need to do is get a hat and wear it every time that you are in the sun. You can’t have any exposure. Then, you must scrub every day with something gentle – a good DIY is cornmeal and honey. Just make a small bowl of it and keep it in in the bathroom. You can also buy our Petal Purity Exfoliating Facial Cleanser, the beads are gentle enough for everyday use and it is on sale this month.

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Most of us know the drill when it comes to anti-aging – stay out of the sun, load up on antioxidants, use great skin care, drink lots ‘o’ water, exercise and don’t smoke. One of the biggest factors that seems to get overlooked all too often is STRESS. We all know people that look haggard from having a tough life and/or negative thinking patterns but how often do we see someone that looks great for their age and think, “she really knows how to manage stress” or “she has a great attitude?

When I was in college, I remember gasping at finding out one of my classmates was 37. She looked 23 and at the time 37 seemed SO OLD (it’s now my current age). I asked her for her secret and she said, “I don’t make mountains out of mole hills”. This has stuck with me since then and I have always made a conscious effort to not worry or stress out  about anything for too long – it might mess with my skin!

It seems to be more anecdotal than well-researched but studies do exist that prove  that people who constantly worry have higher rates of cellular aging and that this negative thinking breaks down the elasticity of the skin.


You need to learn to chill out. Easier said than done, right? I am not a pro but I can give you some tools that work for me:

  • Stretching and yoga – grounds me and feels great
  • Exercise – makes me feel mentally and physically strong and balanced
  • Limiting stimulants like coffee and sugar
  • Meditate – I close my eyes and focus on my breath (mantra: I let go the past, I let go of the future)
  • Attitude – I perceive problems as fixable and a learning opportunity
  • Admitting to personal limitations and keeping things simple
  • Focusing on what I have rather than what I don’t have

Peace, love and beautiful skin.

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Stock up on this cooling, soothing, healing lotion made with certified organic olive oil, rosemary and lavender. Has a fresh herbal scent that is absolutely heavenly.

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When I’m out, I study people’s skin – not in a judgmental manner but in more of a “what can I do to help?” kinda way. I have to admit that I see a lot of bad skin out there – acne and premature aging everywhere. This really isn’t necessary because we have the knowledge, tool and products to control these conditions.

The three biggest infractions against skin health are:

TANNING BEDS – Might seem obvious to some but with the rise in popularity of the Jersey Shore, I think people need to be reminded. It looks unnatural and screams ‘I have sun damage!’. You will age prematurely with fine lines and leathery skin.

CIGARETTES – I know most people don’t smoke but for those who do – beware – you will likely develop droopy skin because it breaks down elasticity. This is not a good look.

BAD SKIN PRODUCTS. There are so many people with acne it makes me wonder how the gazillion dollar skin care industry could be failing so many people. It is caused by the over production of sebum, an internal thing that can be treated externally. You need the right cleanser, toner, exfoliant and light moisturizer. You also need to ditch the make-up. It is a vicious cycle of the make-up creating zits and wearing the make-up to cover up the zits. My philosophy is that if you are using the right skin care, you don’t need cover up or foundation. It doesn’t make sense that the same companies that are creating “miracle” skin care products also want to sell you foundation….?????? Put your skin on a make up and bad petroleum product detox and get the skin you’ve always wanted – low maintenance and stunning.

I think people are going to the wrong places for help. Everyone has different skin so it is best to get samples of products first and try them out instead of spending a fortune on stuff you can’t use. This is especially important for those with sensitive or problem skin. Don’t trust that because it is in fancy packaging with a high price tag that it is going to do anything for your skin. Chemicals should only be added to formulas when it is absolutely necessary and not as cheap filler. Read your labels and make sure that the majority of the ingredients are botanical rather than synthetic petroleum-derived.

p.s. Cocoon Apothecary samples will be available online next month

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As you age, your skin can begin to look dull and lackluster. This is especially visible in the morning before you’ve washed your face. Dead skin cells can build up on your skin and create an extra layer that literally masks the more vital skin underneath. Regular exfoliation removes these cells to reveal a natural glow and increases the rate that new cells regenerate, a process that decreases with age.

Exfoliating is essential for acne-prone skin. Pimples and blackheads occur when sebum, dirt and pollutants get stuck in pores. The build up of these substances inflame the skin creating an eruption. The best way to avoid this is to keep pore openings clear of dead skin cells and debris.

The best way to remove these cells is to gently exfoliate them away. There are many ways to do this but the one that we promote is Petal Purity Exfoliating Facial Cleanser – a 2 in 1 solution that can be used daily. It contains small rounded jojoba beads that are an eco-friendly, biodegradable option to silicone, a petroleum byproduct that is harmful to our water systems.

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