Summer Skin Care – Naturally

ImageIn this blog post I’m going to share with you some of my favorite raw natural ingredients which when used topically on the skin can help protect, heal, and repair your skin from the damaging effects of the sun!

To prevent pre-mature aging on the skin we all know that sunscreen is a must but now more than ever many of us are searching for more natural alternatives to the common synthetic based sun protection products.

So are there really natural ways to protect the skin from sun damage? I believe Mother Nature has gifted us with all we need to keep our skin and body healthy and youthful from the inside out!

You may be surprised at some of the ingredients listed below which have the natural ability to provide protection, repair and renewal of the skin during and after long term sun exposure.

Raw Ingredients with naturally occurring sun protection:

While these may not replace a sunscreen they do offer a level of sun protection along with a range of other benefits to the skin and are a great addition to your daily summer skin care regime.

i. Exotic Raw Butters:

There are some exotic butters while not well known for their ability to protect the sun from UVA/UVB have the ability to do so naturally. These butter include; Mango Butter, Shea, and Capuacu to name a few. Butters also have the ability to repair, nourish, heal and deeply moisturize and are ideal to use on dry, sun damaged skin.

*Some products on the market that contain butters also contain synthetic ingredients such as mineral oils which tend to dry out the skin even more. Opt for more natural based products which contain some of these butters in their pure form or you can use them in their raw concentrated form.

ii. Natural oils:

Certain oils can provide a natural SPF to the skin ranging from 2 up till 6. In addition, oils can offer other benefits such as moisturizing, skin healing/repair, and providing needed nutrients. Some oils I recommend to use for this added protection and other benefits are: Coconut, Raspberry Seed, Safflower, Wheat Germ & Jojoba. These are also great to use as an after sun care treatment to replenish and revitalize dry, sun burned skin.

iii. Natural Beeswax:

Yes this ingredient actually contains naturally occurring sun protection!

iv. Acai Berries:

This superfood is known for its high levels of anti-oxidant which help to prevent premature aging and reduce signs of age by repairing free radical damage. Acai Berries are also rich in omega fatty acids and have the natural ability to offer sun protection!

Natural Sunscreens: Is it possible to get full sun protection from both UVA/UVB rays from a natural sun screen? YES!

Some key ingredients to look for in a natural sun screen are:

i. Active SPF: Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide

**There are some companies that claim to have an “all natural” sunblock but use chemical sunscreens such as; Avobenzone and Octinoxate. Avobenzone is often not very stable and can break down easily when exposed to light. Octinoxate may not be enough of a sunblock on its own and is often combined with Zinc Oxide to offer a wider spectrum of coverage.

ii. Inactive Ingredients:

In addition to the butters, Acai and natural oils, other ingredients which can be beneficial when used in a natural sunscreen formula are: Aloe Vera Pure, Seaweed, Rose Hip Seed, Carrot oil, Vitamin C, Green Tea, Vitamin E, Olivate(from pure olive oil), essential oils such as Chamomile and Lavender.

As mentioned, some of these inactive ingredients are beneficial when used on the skin directly in raw form or when added to a sunscreen formula as they offer added protecting, moisturizing benefits, free radical damage repair, and also can help to calm, soothe and re-hydrate. Many of these inactive ingredients are also highly beneficial when used for after care and can be found in products such as face/body masks, moisturizers, and serums.

The key to healthy skin care this summer is to incorporate a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 to 30 and to try and select a formula that is as natural as possible containing some of the key ingredients above. Do try to include in your daily summer skin care regime a few of the above ingredients in their raw form or in a finished product to enhance sun protection and for their many additional benefits. Oh and don’t forget to exfoliate to slough off that dry/dead skin 2 to 3 times per week!

If you have any specific questions about your skin care concerns please contact me directly

 (see the Ask Sherina link)

Products from my Beauty Through Balance spa line which can provide protection, repair & renewal from sun exposure include: All products The organic Acai Berry Series, Bio-Complex Face & Neck Serum(new), Green Tea Indian Spice Body Serum(new), Seaweed Body Butter, Pacific Seaweed Concentrate Soak, Hydra Skin Renewal Gel to name a few. Click here for further details

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How beneficial is your Vitamin C based skin care?

We have all heard about the benefits of using skin care products that contain Vitamin C but did you know that some forms of Vitamin C are not as stable in a cosmetic formula and therefore end up oxidizing very quickly leaving you with reduced benefits?  With summer upon us this ingredient can be one of your best tools to prevent sun damage and related signs of age but the key is to pick a product that uses the right form and concentration for maximum results

Why all the hype about Vitamin C for anti-aging?

First I’d like to briefly mention why Vitamin C(ascorbic acid) is beneficial when used in cosmetic skin care formulas.  As we age our levels of free radical damage increase due to long term exposure to factors such as pollutants, the sun, chemicals, prescription drugs and a poor lifestyle.  In a nut shell these free radicals (unpaired and unstable electrons)  lead to cell damage causing loss of collagen, elasticity and causing wrinkling of the skin. To counter act some of the damage caused from the environmental exposure we turn to anti-oxidants which have been scientifically proven to bring results.

Vitamin C is one of the most commonly used in cosmetics formulas in the form of L-Ascorbic acid however as mentioned overtime from exposure to the air and other factors the level of Vitamin C in the product can oxidize leaving you with a much lower percentage concentration.  Formulators/Cosmetic Chemists have been working on developing and utilizing different forms of Vitamin C  that appear to be more stable.  Despite this L-Ascorbic acid is still beneficial however in order for the product to be effective it should contain a higher percentage of this ingredient( effective formulas using L-Ascorbic add in between 5 to 20% depending on the product and formula)

Here are some forms of Vitamin C you can look for in a natural skin care/anti-aging product which will oxidize much slower in turn providing you the anti-oxidant benefits your skin needs:

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate:

Since this form of Vitamin C is water soluble is tends to be more stable in an aqueous or water based environment. As many creams and lotion products contain water this form of Vitamin C is ideal, however as with all vitamin C’s , it will still oxidize overtime from exposure to air and light.  This form is also less of a skin irritant so can often be used even with those that have more sensitive skin.   In addition, unlike L-Ascorbic acid a smaller percentage of this form of C is needed in a formula to bring results such as increased collagen.

Other’s to look for in a quality anti-aging product are:  ascorbyl palmitate and  sodium ascorbyl phosphate

The bottom line?  if you want to keep your skin healthy, reduce inflammation  and reverse signs of age Vitamin C is one of the best to address these specific issues.  Just always be aware of the form of C used in your skin care and the concentration. Store your Vitamin C based products away from direct heat and sunlight for a longer shelf life.

My Beauty Through Balance spa line incorporates quality stable Vitamin C in several formulas including; Glacial Revitalizing Mist, Hydra Skin Renwal Gel Mask, Seaweed Body Butter, and Acai Facial Care products!

Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions about this or any other skin care related issues.


Botanical Extracts in Skin Care – Are they beneficial? By Sherina Jamal

Skin care formulas often contain a range of extracts which can originate from plants, flowers, roots, steams, barks, fruits, etc.  If the correct processing method is used, a pure extract can capture the true essence of that plant providing a concentrated substance to be used in a cosmetic formula or even as a herbal medicinal tincture.

In order for a skin care product to be the most effective and bring results, it must contain active ingredients that are in a form which are synergistic to the skin’s chemistry. For example, it may be beneficial to rub pineapple on your skin however it would be even more effective to extract the active component of the pineapple (bromelain) and use that in a cosmetic formula as it can directly interact with the skin bringing faster and better results vs the whole fruit.

Extracts can only be beneficial if the correct processing method is used so that the raw ingredient source does not get denatured in anyway. Gentle and advanced methods using natural solvents such as vegetable glycerine ensure that the end result is a concentrated extract that maintains the true integrity of the original plant source. One other key aspect to creating a result oriented extract is the sourcing. It is critical that the herbs, plants etc. used are of the finest quality and not grow in an environment where any harsh pesticides or chemicals are used.

One of the issues and biggest challenges in the industry is the lack of specific methods that can verify and validate through quality control these types of extracts. Due to this the market is often full of so called “extracts” that have been incorrectly processed and have little if any nutritional value. Therefore it is important for the manufacturer to have specific methods and analytical procedures to authenticate the validity of the extracts created and used in their formulas.

An extract is usually in a liquid form or powder form and is concentrated so only a small amount is needed in a formula for maximum benefits and results. Often when purchasing or creating a pure extract or tincture there will be ratio associated with it to show the concentration of the herb or plant vs the base or solvent. For example a ratio of 4:1 means that the mixture used to produce the extract was 4 part plant and 1 part liquid. Common ratios are often 1:1 or 2:1. However some companies completely dilute their extracts.

Some examples of pure powerful concentrated natural extracts used in our Beauty Through Balance formulas include; green tea, grapeseed, rosemary, aloe vera, organic acai berry, and many others.

We welcome your comments and questions!


Seaweed – Nature’s Superfood

Seaweed has gained interest and recognition as a superfood and is a key ingredient now in many skin care lines on the market. While this superfood offers countless benefits to the body when used in a fresh raw form, over processing and incorrect harvesting can diminish many of these properties and benefits.

Processing methods used by some of these cosmetic companies are often inferior and involve wastage of much of the plant creating seaweed in a form which has been depleted of its nutritional value.

 Beauty Through Balance Spa Products incorporate one of the fastest growing kelp plants(Intergrifolia Pacific Kelp – Organic)  – indigenous to the Pacific West Coast and harvested in the most pristine areas North of Vancouver Island where there are no shipping lanes and reflects the purity found in the waters over 200 years ago

In order to capture the full value of the seaweed we use Cold processing which is highly advanced method and differs from cold pressing. It creates a seaweed extract that is over 98% concentrated..packed with vital nutrients, live enzymes, vitamins and more to feed the skin and body. Seaweed used in many other skin care products on the market tend to be 50% or less in concentration and have lost much of its value from incorrect processing methods.

The finished seaweed used in our products is in a thick liquid form over 98% concentrated pure whole seaweed and does not have a harsh or overly pungent seaweed smell however you will enjoy all the benefits of the seaweed in the skin care product due to its potency and purity.

Key Features on our eco-friendly harvesting:

  • Hand harvested using experienced divers that follow very strict guidelines in properly and
    safely pruning.
  • Harvesting only twice a year to avoid harvesting in the spring to protect herring and also  between June to August during salmon runs.
  • Harvesters remove the tip or first 9 feet of the seaweed which grows back in just 3 to 5 days. The fast growing nature of this specific kelp plant means no disruption of the eco-system and marine life that rely on the plant for nutrients
  • Our harvesters work directly with the cooperation of the government and with maintaining aboriginal interests.

Sustainable Processing methods

  • Cold Processing is an  advanced yet very gentle method which unlike other processing methods
    maintains all of the seaweeds nutritional value without the use of any  high temperature or pressure. The method of cold processing, using every bit of the seaweed leaving no wastage whereas other processing method  such as cold pressing, dehydrated etc involves wastage of certain key active parts of the seaweed which in turn leaves a finished end product that contains a lower nutritional value.
  • Cold Processing used in our seaweed is highly nutritious maintaining the extensive mineral range in this seaweed plant.
  • Our process team power washes all incoming kelp with fresh water to remove surface salt and residues. Then, without any heat being applied, we start the cold processing
  • Please note that we do not waste any of the kelp tip we have harvested…..every part of the tip is processed!
  • In order for seaweed to actually benefit the skin topically it needs to be processed in form that will maintain its nutritional value and ensure purity.  Many skin care products that use seaweed are inferior due to processing methods that involve wastage of key parts of the seaweed plant and poor harvesting practices

All The Benefits of Seaweed without the Pungent Seaweed Smell!

Our Seaweed does not have this strong pungent smell as the stalks are processed 8 to 12 hours after picking before they begin to decompose. They are then washed with purified water and the cold processes is used to capture the seaweed in its freshest ,
live state. In addition we incorporate pure therapeutic grade essential oils into the formulas to create an amazing scent! Using Seaweed in skin care formulas that have been processed and harvested using the right methods will ensure that the seaweed is maintained in its live state. in this way there is no further decomposition to the seaweed and therefore no pungent off putting smell!


The benefits of using fresh and properly extracted seaweed in skin care formulas can be highly beneficial in helping to target issues such as; inflammation, dry/dehydrated skin, fluid retention, signs of age, replenishment of lost nutrients and much more!

Click here to read more about the fresh 100% Organic Pacific Seaweed used in development of Beauty Through Balance spa products.

Written By Sherina Jamal. Product Developer and Founder of Ancient Secrets Inc.


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