Posts Tagged ‘skin care’

inflammaging_faceI am someone that has sensitive skin. I remember trying a cream in the 1980s that contained alpha hydroxy acids, the ‘anti-aging” ingredient of that era, and feeling the burn. I knew then that this unpleasant sensation on my skin could not possibly be good for it so I avoided it from that point on. Having sensitive skin has saved me from so many harsh products over the years and I believe it is a major factor in having great skin in my 40s.

Inflammaging is a new term for the cellular damage that occurs when certain chemicals come in contact with the body. In skin care terms, this means anything that causes burning, redness, swelling, or pain. It can also describe something that’s much more subtle, a chronic low-grade inflammation from skin care ingredients that you can’t detect but are slowly damaging your skin and causing it to age more rapidly than if you used nothing at all. I’ve seen it time and time again, someone that looks amazing for their age and when asked what they use, they respond with ‘nothing’. This is how my suspicions started about conventional products doing more harm that good. Many times, it’s the actual ‘anti-aging’ ingredients that are the culprit. Take for instance glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid with molecules so tiny it can penetrate layers and attack collagen and elastin, leading to droopy skin and deep wrinkles.

Quick fix solutions and painful or harsh treatment are not the answer. Nourishing and supporting your skin with gentle, natural ingredients is the long term solution because they are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals that work in harmony with our bodies rather than seeming like a foreign intruder that must be battled.

Ingredients known to cause inflammaging:

– glycolic acid

– retinol

–  benzoyl peroxide

This is a limited list of ingredients that I could dig up but I am positive the list is much larger, with chemical sunscreens, all alpha and beta hydroxy acids, certain detergents, and some essential oils. My advice would be to listen to your skin. A skin care product should feel soothing and cooling and serve to protect and rebuild. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

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Rose ProfileOrigin: Bulgaria

Scent: Romantic, sweet, honey, powder, floral, soft. The scent of rose is uplifting, soothing and anti-anxiety.

Roses have been part of human history for a very long time. They are the symbol of love, beauty, femininity and the Divine. They are used medicinally, culinarily and in perfumery around the world.

Rose hydrosol is the water that is created when extracting essential oil from the petals by steam distillation. It contains water with a soluble amount of essential oil. The therapeutic components of the hydrosol are approximately 80% phenetheyl alcohol, an antimicrobial. It is produced from the pink rose plant called Rosa Damascena, member of the rosaceae family indigenous to Europe and the Middle East. Rose hydrosol has high levels of antioxidant polyphenols to fight aging and cellular damage in the skin. It is soothing, cooling, anti-inflammatory and very astringent, making it ideal for aiding puffiness in the eye area.

Rose hydrosol or ‘water’ has been used in beauty preparations for thousands of years all over the world. In Ayruvedic medicine it is used as an eye wash and to tone and cool the skin.

Organic rose hydrosol can be found in our Rose Dew Facial Toner and our Eyewaken Eye Cream.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) just released State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, a disturbing report that takes on the linkbetweenendocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and disease in both humans and wildlife. It calls for more research, testing, reporting, and collaboration between scientific communities and countries. “Chemical products are increasingly part of modern life and support many national economies, but the unsound management of chemicals challenges the achievement of key development goals, and sustainable development for all,” said UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. more…

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Update: After 2 months

Here is an update of Ashley’s skin after 2 months of Cocoon products. Hydrated and noticeably clearer!!! The only spots are the residuals of acne from before.




After 3 weeks

Our lovely client Rachel sent these photos to us this weekend. As you can see in the before picture, she had some acne that was inflamed and her skin was looking a bit congested (bumpy). After three weeks of using Petal Purity Facial Cleanser & Exfoliant, Rose Dew Facial Toner, Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream and Spotbuster Blemish Treatment, her skin looks smooth and toned and her acne is clearing up and healing. Hurray! Healthy skin or bust!

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How to identify petrochemicals in your skin care (infographic)

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The summer months aren’t known for producing dry, irritated skin like in the the winter months but this time of year isn’t without its problems. People experience many issues in this hot, sunny season so it’s important to keep up a good routine. At a time when you’re showing the most amount of skin, take the time to keep it healthy, hydrated and gorgeous.

One thing that seems to increase with the temperature is the number of pimples people get. We load on sunscreens that our skin is not accustomed to and produce more sweat, which can easily lead to pore congestion, blackheads and pimples. A gentle mechanical scrub such as  Petal Purity Exfoliating Facial Cleanser can be used daily to gently remove this unsightly build up. Sweaty or oily skin can be controlled with an astringent toner such as  Rose Dew Facial Toner or Orange Blossom Facial Toner.

Sunburns and heat rashes are also very common skin conditions in the summer. The best way to soothe and heal these areas is to use a natural lotion that contains healing and anti-inflammatory properties as well as hydrating oils and water. A great choice for this is Touchy Feely Body Lotion as it contains soothing, cooling herbs such as rosemary and lavender. Lotion also makes your skin look soft and supple and it is a good idea to apply it daily.

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I’ve been asked a few times why we are a vegan company – do skin care  products and cosmetics actually have animal ingredients in them? The answer is yes, big time. Most, if not all of them in the conventional industry (the majority of products in drug stores, grocery stores & department stores). Like petrochemicals, animal ingredients are extremely cheap because they are a byproduct of other industries – mainly meat, dairy, fish, egg, fur, wool and horse-racing/rodeo industries.

If you’re like me, you may question the juju of anything with animal in it or you may just dislike the ‘eww’ factor. In any case, here is a list of  animal ingredients to look for on the labels of skin care and cosmetic products:

* may be plant or petroleum based but unless the label indicates that it is a vegan product, don’t count on it.

allantoin * look for plant-based ingredients such as comfrey

ambergris – sperm whale vomit used in the perfume industry that would not be listed but rather buried in the term ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’

bee products e.g. royal jelly, beeswax (cera alba), honey

anything with ‘capryl’  e.g. caprylic acid *

civetmusk used in the perfume industry that is extracted from the odorous sacs of this cat-like creature in a cruel industry based mainly out of Africa. Would not be listed but rather buried in the term ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’.

collagen *

cortisone (hydrocortisone) *

elastin *

emu oil – some cosmetic companies own their own emus which makes this ingredient a primary animal product rather than a byproduct as in the emus are raised and slaughtered for their oil.

fragrance or parfum – it is not necessary to list all components of a fragrance so animal ingredients can be buried in the formula

anything with ‘glycer’ e.g. glycerin, glycerol *

hyaluronic acid * look for plant-based ingredients such as shea butter

anything with ‘lanol’ e.g. lanolin, isopropyl lanolate –  fat from sheep’s wool


lactic acid *

lecithin * can be made from soy

panthenol *



retinol* – look for plant-based sources such as rosehip oil


helix pomatia – crushed snail shells

squalene –  look for plant-based ingredients such as olive oil

anything with ‘stear’ e.g. stearic acid, stearyl alcohol –  * can be derived from coconut and palm oils

anything with ‘tallow’  (e.g. sodium tallowate, tallow acid,  talloweth-6) – This is animal fat rendered from all kinds of sources – meat (waste from slaughterhouses), butcher trimmings, restaurant grease, lab animals, road kill, euthanized shelter pets and other useful dead animals.  Next time you’re in a grocery store or drug store, look at the ingredients on the soaps. You will be hard-pressed to find a soap without it.

anything with urea e.g. imidazolidinyl urea, uric acid – from urine or other bodily fluids *

vitamins *

See also: Peta’s Animal Ingredient List

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The avocado (Persea Americana) is a fruit native to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Its name comes from the Nahuatl (Aztecan) word ahuacatl, meaning testicle. This is due to its similar shape and uses for fertility. It is a large berry with an equally large seed that is also referred to as vegetable butter, pear butter, avocado pear, or alligator pear.

The flesh contains about 30% oil with a very high level of oleic acid (76%) similar to olive oil. Oleic acid is a skin penetration-enhancer that helps to deliver nourishment to the deeper dermal layers.  It also contains  linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3). Avocado oil is known for its high skin penetration and fast absorption.

Other beneficial components of Avocado oil are:

  • vitamin E and other antioxidants such as carotenoids
  • phytosterols
  • squalene
  • lecithin
  • antibacterial
  • selenium

Avocado has many external uses. It is often added to sunscreen formulas because it offers natural protection from harmful rays. It is healing and soothing to skin and has been used to treat dermatitis and psoriasis. It is regenerative and moisturizing making it ideal for aging skin.

We use certified organic avocado oil that has been cold-pressed from the flesh of the fruit. It has a deep emerald colour due to its high levels of chlorophyll and carotenoids. It is added to our anti-aging moisturizer Rosey Cheeks.

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Facial Scrub

A good anti-aging or pimple-fighting skin care routine is not complete without exfoliating – a term that refers to the removal of the dead skin cells that accumulate in the outer layer of the skin. There are different methods of exfoliating – mechanical scrubbing with a textured ingredient such as jojoba beads or by using a skin brush; chemical removal with alpha-hydroxy acids; or peeling off with face masks. Some gentle scrubs can be used daily but the more agressive methods, such as masks, should only be used once every 3 days to prevent inflammation.

There are several functions of exfoliation:

  • It keeps pores from getting clogged (i.e. pimples) by removing  dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.
  • It makes skin smooth to create a healthy, youthful appearance.
  • It encourages faster cell turnover rate – a process that slows down with aging.
  • It helps other products penetrate skin more fully.
  • It stimulates blood flow.

Cocoon Apothecary has just introduced a gentle exfoliating facial cleanser that can be used daily. It is a cream cleanser with biodegradable jojoba bead granules. For more information or to purchase this product, visit our website.

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Antioxidants are essential to an anti-aging skin care routine.  They play an important role in fighting and preventing free-radical damage, a process in which a molecule missing an electron attacks healthy skin cells. It is believed that free-radicals are the cause of all aging and age-related diseases. Antioxidants scavenge for free-radicals and basically kill them.

Antioxidants occur naturally in plants as a self-preserving system. Most plant oils contain vitamin E, explaining why you can leave vegetable oils out on a shelf for years and they remain in pristine condition.

Using natural products is a surefire way to get large doses of antioxidants on your skin. Botanical ingredients are packed with vitamins E, A, carotenoids and polyphenols. Some of the highest sources include soy bean oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, rosehip oil, and sea buckthorn oil.

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