Four Of The World’s Greatest Places For Skin Health

Reykjavik, Iceland is beautiful, with pure air and waters conducive to healthy, clear skin.

When it comes to skin health, there are many factors at play: genetics, diet and exercise, and hormone and stress levels being just some of them. Over the course of many years, however, one element that largely determines the wellness of your complexion may be your environment. Between pollutants, air quality and the resources available in your community, the place you choose to call home can play a surprisingly major role in health, especially affecting the appearance of aging and clarity of skin.

So where are the optimal places to pamper skin cells and renew your youthful glow? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most complexion-friendly locations–so even if you can’t pick up and move, maybe you’ll find a place to rejuvenate skin on your next vacation.

1. Oslo, Norway: A beautiful cosmopolitan city, Oslo is also known as “the world’s biggest village” due to its small-town approach towards impact on the environment and commitment to the community. With a simple public transportation system, large amount of bike users and widespread use of locally grown foods, this city is known for its pure air and healthy diet. The quality of air and food creates a perfect environment for slowing the aging of skin and staving off conditions such as acne and environmentally caused skin irritation.

2. Marienbad, Austria: Discovered in 1341 by a wandering traveler, the mountain town of Marienbad has become a favorite spot for tourists due to the curative carbon dioxide waters in its springs. Boasting eight different pools, each with unique mineral compositions, this small town is a perfect escape for soothing tired, irritated skin. Bathing in the springs and drinking from them is reportedly beneficial in battling numerous ailments including gout, diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatism.

3. Reykjavik, Iceland: Iceland is one of the least polluted countries in the world. With an overall low rate of disease, Reykjavik is a perfect place to rejuvenate skin through clean air and swimming in the pure, geothermal-heated waters enjoyed by locals year round. With large amounts of outdoor activity, as well as relatively low exposure to the sun per year, this is a place that promotes skin health.

4. Portland, Oregon, USA: With some of the lowest ozone and pollution levels in the US, Portland is a great place to avoid the free radicals that age skin and interrupt healing. An emphasis on physical activity and farm-to-table produce also makes this city a great place to get and stay healthy, supporting a luminous, youthful complexion.

Free Shipping On All Snowy Owl Cove Products!

In honor of our love for fall, we’re offering free shipping on all Snowy Owl Cove products in our Etsy store!

Stock up on everything from thick, creamy lotions to alleviate winter skin to gentle, soothing soaps to leave your skin clean, fresh, but never stripped of moisture. Keep in mind that all of our products are all natural and handmade in small batches with the utmost attention to the quality of ingredients. We hope you’ll take advantage of this deal and use our array of soaps, lotions and serums to keep your skin healthy & happy this fall!

Simply use the coupon code FREEFALLSHIPPING during checkout in our store to receive your order free of shipping charges anywhere in the domestic US!

Happy shopping, everyone!

Pantone’s Fall 2012 Color Report

Wondering which beauty products to invest in this fall? Pantone released its 2012 fall fashion color report, predicting which shades will likely trend this season in everything from eye shadow to handbag color. Including darker, more serious tones like “french roast,” this palate is also big on pops of color, such as “pink flambe” and “bright chartreuse.”

We’ve searched for our favorites of these shades in some of our go-to all natural brands and come up with a list of products that will help you stay on trend this fall (the all natural way!):

  • Tangerine Tango: Zoya’s all natural nail polish in “Paz” is a great way to add a spot of bright, attention-grabbing color to an otherwise neutral outfit. Vibrant and long-lasting, this nail color is also free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate.
  • Rhapsody: Try Afterglow Cosmetic’s mineral eye shadow in “Velvet” for a subtle way to incorporate muted purple into your makeup routine. With certified organic ingredients including grape seed and rosemary extracts, these eye shadows are gentle on skin without sacrificing vibrant color.
  • Rose Smoke: For understated lips with a hint of rosiness, try Primitive Makeup’s lipstick in Sedona. Moisturizing and all natural, this product includes calendula, green tea and rose hips for a beautiful, conditioning treatment for your lips.
  • Pink Flambe: To wake up your complexion, try a dash of bright creme blush by Real Purity Cosmetics in “Pink.” Free of any FD&C dyes, oils, talc, alcohol, parabens, chemicals, this blush delivers easy-to-apply, creamy color to naturally brighten winter skin.

What’s your favorite Pantone color this fall? Do you plan on investing in fall colors? Let us know!

 

 

4 Essential Oils For Healthy, Luminous Skin

Via: healthyuwithayu.com

Via: healthyuwithayu.com

By now, many of us are familiar with essential oils and the diverse array of health and beauty benefits they provide in safe, natural ways. Still, the search for the correct essential oil for your skin can be confusing due to the large selection of these ingredients. Instead of selecting your preferred oil based on scent alone, check out this list of some of our favorites and how they can help keep your skin healthy and luminous:

1. Lavender:

  • What it is: Many of us enjoy the essential oil of lavender, which is common in bath products and candles. Derived from the lavandula angustifolia plant, this oil is present in a variety of forms depending on its origin and the altitude at which it was grown.
  • What it does: Helping to balance oily skin and clear blemishes, this oil has antiseptic properties that can even help in relieving burns, insect bites and small cuts. Its fragrance also has a calming effect that many report as aiding in sleep and relaxation.

2. Tea Tree:

  • What it is: Coming from the Australian plant melaleuca alternifolia, tea tree oil is probably one of the most popularly used oils due to its effectiveness in treating skin and unique and diverse uses. Used for thousands of years by the aboriginal people of Australia and New Zealand, tea tree has proven its worth throughout history by serving as a treatment for wounds and as an antiseptic for many skin ailments.
  • What it does: With great effectiveness in warding off infections of all kinds, this oil has been known to cleanse and treat skin prone to blemishes and is even purported to help fade scarring of the complexion. Additional benefits include aiding in the healing of minor cuts and scrapes, as well as insect bites and chicken pox.

3. Chamomile:

  • What it is: Extracted through steam distillation from fresh camomile flowers, this oil was widely used by ancient Egyptians in shampoos, perfumes and cosmetics due to its soothing and cooling abilities.
  • What it does: Based on its place of origin, camomile oil comes in two different varieties: Roman and German. While both oils have excellent calming properties, Roman chamomile is more effective for skin irritation, while German chamomile  is especially effective in not only soothing and calming the skin, but also in tissue regeneration.

4. Rosemary:

  • What it is: Crisp and clean smelling, this oil comes from a shrubby evergreen bush originally native to Asia known as rosmarinus officinalis. Now cultivated in France, Tunisia and Yugoslavia, this plant was burnt in hospitals during the middle ages to ward off plagues.
  • What it does: Rosemary oil is ideal for acne-prone skin with enlarged pores, as it cleanses and invigorates skin, leaving a gentle astringent effect. Because it tones and firms skin, rosemary is also ideal for mature skin and is employed in many anti-aging skin products.

*Note: Please keep in mind that, while natural, many essential oils are strongly effective and therefore may cause irritation on some skin types. When using alone, remember to use sparingly and test a small amount of the product on skin before use. For gentler options that still offer similar benefits, try finding skin care products, such as our facial soap bars, that contain essential oils mixed with other soothing ingredients.

What’s your favorite essential oil? Let us know!

Have You Completed Your Summer Bucket List?

While the weather may suggest otherwise, the dog days of summer have come and gone, and many kids have retired their swimsuits for back-to-school clothing. With less than a month until the season officially ends, let’s reflect on everything summer of 2012 had to offer: sweltering heat broke records, the presidential campaigns began to dominate the news, and the Summer Olympics captivated our imaginations.

I know I haven’t made it to the pool as many times as I’d like or read as many page-turners as I’d intended, but all in all, the past few months have been filled with enough warm nights around friends, weekend getaways and family cookouts for the summer to be a success in my book. What about everyone else?

Until September 21st, when fall officially begins, are there any last activities you’d like to fit in? Check out the below summer bucket list for inspiration. Happy (almost) September, everyone!

2012 Summer Bucket List (Raleigh-Durham Edition! Explore comparable activities in your area):

Have you…

  • Judged a book by its cover, checked it out from the library – and ended up loving it?
  • Swam the length of the pool in one breath?
  • Tried grilling fruit?
  • Toured a local brewery? Big Boss Brewery recommended!
  • Visited a lake and gone fishing?
  • Caught up with a childhood friend and reminisced about summers past?
  • Built something from scratch (a set of shelves, cupcakes, a website, or whatever else!)?
  • Learned a completely useless fact?
  • Checked out the delicious food from a food truck?
  • Created your own DIY Salt Scrub – and gifted it to friends?
  • Visited a cool museum? NC Museum of Natural Sciences is free!
  • Roadtripped to a new location, however mundane?
  • Enjoyed live music & beautiful weather at a fun outdoor venue?
  • Watched an old movie? Charade is my absolute favorite!
  • Spent an entire day just wasting time?

“Mirror Fast” Calls for No Focus on Appearance

Anyone who flips on a television, follows a celebrity news website or even just browses magazine covers while standing in line at the grocery store knows that when it comes to beauty, we celebrate an unrealistic vision of perfection. While we may subliminally realize that it is standard practice to Photoshop magazine covers and cosmetic ads, it’s hard to not fall into self scrutiny when gazing at an ad for mascara featuring a pore-less, unblemished complexion.

For many, the pressures of being beautiful and attaining perfection may occasionally lead to an obsession with appearance, even though objectively we know that our worth lies much deeper than the skin we’re trying so desperately to smooth, plump, brighten or unwrinkle. It is common practice to gaze at our faces while getting ready for the day or performing our nightly beauty routines, so I was naturally interested when I stumbled upon a movement of beauty bloggers to “fast” from their mirrors for days, weeks, months, or even years at a time.

Essentially, these women decided to avoid looking at their reflections in any possible way to see how (and if) it affected the way they thought about themselves, their appearances, and their relationships with others.

While I admire the women undertaking this experiment and find the general idea to definitely be an endeavor worthy of discussion, I’m not so sure that I could (or would want to) do it myself. Although I do think that my (and probably many others’) beauty routine and general time/money/effort spent on appearance could and probably should be reduced, I also find a sense of joy and satisfaction in pampering myself and stepping into the day feeling styled and put together.

In other words, I like my beauty products and my getting ready process, and while they’re not (and shouldn’t be) everything I am, our appearances and the way we sculpt our looks is a part of our identities, whether we like it or not. This is not to say that I don’t sometimes fall into the shallow realms of vanity, and it’s not to say that scaling back and totally focusing on inward value wouldn’t be constructive. But to create an all-encompassing acceptance and love for self, we need to embrace every bit of who we are, inside and out.

What do you think? Could you live without a mirror for a month (or a year)?

Check out the blogs of some of the women who have:

The Beheld

Mirror, Mirror…OFF The Wall.

Knowledge to Fill Awkward Silences: Facts About Soap

Here at Snowy Owl Cove, we’re passionate about all of our skin care products, but have a special affinity to the items that started it all, our all natural soaps. There is just something about the process of creating a perfectly compact bar of sweet smelling cleanliness, knowing it will help someone begin the morning or wash off the stresses of the day at night that is incredibly satisfying. And there is also the cool feeling of being part of a long tradition of soap making that has stretched back for thousands of years (the first literary reference to soap used for cleansing was by Greek physician Galen in the second century A.D.)

For inquiring minds, I’ve compiled a few interesting facts about this basic, everyday, yet extraordinary substance:

  • The first known soaps were created by boiling animal fat on a wood fire. The earliest known users of soap were either the Celts or the Phoenicians.
  • Early soaps were usually used for washing clothes or curing animal hides. The Romans, however, were known to use soaps as a part of bathing and spread this usage throughout Europe.
  • The soap making process stayed about the same until mass production methods were introduced in the late 18th century. Some of the large soap manufacturers, such as Pears Soap, date back to this time period (Pears Soap was founded in 1789).
  • Mass produced bar soap that you may buy in the grocery or drugstore is mostly detergent, which is why it bubbles up so much.

And one bonus fact…

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap is the most commonly used cleanser to wash elephants!

Happy Friday, everyone!