Sweet Manuka Honey
Manuka honey has held a sweet spot on the beauty (and food) menu lately. And it’s not surprising. The Maori people of New Zealand have enjoyed the powerful benefits of this honey from the beautiful flowers of the indigenous Manuka tree for centuries.
And recent studies from New Zealand have shown the sticky-sweet manuka to be a potent antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and wound-healer (used in hospitals there). Manuka honey provides a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that improve skin health, texture and vitality, and it is perfect for dry or congested skin when applied topically.
Here are a few manuka-based skincare products that we love.
Manuka Secrets Mask Formulated by New Zealand-based molecular microbiologist Dr. Fernanda da Silva Tatley, this NaTrue-certified face mask magically nourishes and rejuvenates dry, cracked skin, leaving it soft and smooth. manukalab.com
Trilogy Everything Balm Recently available nationally at Whole Foods, this beautiful NaTrue-certified balm—and sister product, Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil, a favorite of Kate Middleton—is your go-to for soothing chapped skin all over the face and body. Contains pawpaw, the Australian miracle ingredient and a cult favorite. trilogyproducts.com
Queen of the Hive Organic Lip Balm by Wedderspoon We love to eat raw Wedderspoon manuka honey and spoon it into yogurt every chance we get. This lip balm is not only luscious, it is organic and non-GMO certified, and will plump and moisturize your lips, no matter how dry. And, it tastes delicious! wedderspoon.com
SheaMoisture Intensive Hydration Body Wash One of the most luxuriously moisturizing out there, this gorgeous body wash with baobab, raw shea butter, manuka honey and African rock fig, is hydrating and healing. target.com
Trending! Anti-Aging Hair Care
The hair, like the skin, can benefit from formulations and ingredients that pack a little extra oomph as we get older. Here are two great products with anti-aging benefits.
True Nature Botanicals Shampoo & Conditioner These richly moisturizing products are pricey, but worth it if your hair has felt the effects of years: too much sun, chemical processing, dehydration. tnbotanicals.com
Olea Essence Hair Serum With olive leaf extract, extra virgin olive, jojoba and grape-seed oils grown in Israel, this serum works beautifully to soften and smooth hair, take down frizz, and boost micro-circulation on the scalp to feed the roots. oleaessence.com
It’s that time of year, when the rich, sharp aroma of autumn’s bounty takes on an irresistible allure. Who can resist pumpkin, fig, cinnamon, rosemary, sage and other seasonal fruits and spices? They are not only delicious, they are great for the skin. Here are some of our favorites.
Grown Alchemist Body Cream
Featuring: Mandarin and rosemary leaf, almond, grape-seed and rose hip oil Action: Nourishes and moisturizes, restores suppleness and elasticity. b-glowing.com
Bottega Organica Multi-Active Face Serum
Featuring: Lemon balm, rosemary, olive leaves Action: Age-defying properties that rejuvenate dull, dry skin. bottegaorganica.com
Éminence Organics’ Herbal Spot Serum
Featuring: Rosehip, walnut leaves and sage Action: Reduces redness, swelling and dark spots caused by blemishes and gently exfoliates skin. eminenceorganics.com
FIG+YARROW Hand+Body Wash
Featuring: Juniper and Sage essential oils Action: Cleanses body and spirit. figandyarrow.com
Zoe Natural Creations Pumpkin Spice Lip Balm
Featuring: Pumpkin oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, cinnamon, clove essential oils Action: Moisturizes and plumps up lips. zoenaturalcreations.com
Osmia Organics Zucca Spice Soap
Featuring: Organic pumpkin and rose hips Action: Gently exfoliates and moisturizes dry skin. osmiaorganics.com
The growing field of oncology aesthetics
For friends and families of those with cancer, the gift of a facial—by a certified oncology aesthetician—or nontoxic natural skincare can provide a relaxing and pleasurable break from treatment or post-treatment.
As women in the general population have become better educated about the
effects of certain skincare ingredients that can be sensitizing or potentially harmful, it only makes sense that those going through cancer treatments would become hyper vigilant, given the potential carcinogenicity of some of those ingredients.
I spoke with Holly Green, a certified oncology aesthetician and owner of Norabloom Botanicals in Ithaca, NY, to find out more about oncology aesthetics. (To learn about obtaining certification, visit oti-oncologytraining.com)
What does it mean to be certified in oncology aesthetics?
“Cancer treatments can affect the skin in many ways. My certification in Oncology Esthetics means that I am trained to provide relief, ease symptoms and help minimize skin reactions, all while providing a complete circle of care for women undergoing cancer therapies.
It seems like a growing field—do you agree and why?
The oncology skincare field is growing, as aestheticians want to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
What do women undergoing cancer treatment need to avoid putting on their skin and why?
Women undergoing cancer therapies should avoid harsh exfoliants, parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates and petrochemicals. I recommend treating your skn with gentle creams, oils and lotions to soothe and heal.
TRY: CV Skinlabs Try Me Kit, cvskinlabs.com; Norabloom Botanicals Soothe & Heal Set, norabloom.com; de la Terre Skincare Essential Skin Care Kits, delaterreskincare.com
Tari Prinster is a breast-cancer survivor and yoga teacher who is now 15 years post-diagnosis. In her book, Yoga for Cancer (Healing Arts Press), she shares Yoga4Cancer, the healing technique she created to help individuals build strength, manage treatment side effects, strengthen immunity, avoid lymphedema and lower anxiety. “Cancer took my breath away,” says Prinster. “Yoga gave it back.” y4c.com