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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Seasonal Color Loss Is Real. Do You Have It? Can You Fix It?

“Ms. Beecham swears by Juara Radiance Vitality Oil ($75), a blend of 12 different plant oils and extracts. “It brings life back to your skin, naturally,” she said.

“You know what would be perfect? Use that oil and then just put a bronzer around the perimeter of the face.”

Read Full Article Here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/05/style/seasonal-color-loss-melanin.html

SPOTLYTE: 18 New Beauty Launches Our Editors Are Marveling Over This March

“A few months ago, I started religiously using this product, which combines the powerhouse ingredient with a slew of other botanicals, nearly every morning and night. The result: noticeably smoother, more radiant, even-toned skin.”

Read Full Article Here : https://thespotlyte.com/news/best-beauty-products-for-march-2019

Why layer, and does product order really matter?

Ever wonder why we layer skincare products, and whether the order of products matter?  Most of us use multiple products and steps in our skincare routine.  Growing up in Japan and watching my mother, I learned at a young age that skincare was a meticulous ritual, layer by layer in a specific order, step-by-step.  But is layering just a question of habit or preference, or, are there benefits to it?

 

LAYERING WITH PURPOSE

Layering products facilitates flexibility and allows for each product and step to maximize its purpose and the delivery of its skincare benefits, from cleansing all the way to moisturizing and nourishing.  There are also questions about ingredient compatibility.  There are ingredients that simply don’t go together in the same formulation.  Some ingredients are water-soluble, others are fat soluble. Certain active ingredients may work best in certain types of formulations, while others would not.  Applying a multitude of actives can benefit our skin, but trying to pack them all into one single lotion might compromise the long-term stability of the formulation.   This is where it makes sense to layer separate products.  Certain targeted ingredients especially, should only be applied where needed, either because it would be a waste otherwise, or worse, because it might irritate skin unnecessarily.  Most of us to a greater or lesser degree have combination skin with some areas drier or oilier than others, some areas more than others prone to break-outs, age spots, sensitivities and wrinkles, etc.etc.  Our faces are puzzles, composed of areas that often have a life of their own.  Layering products allows us to give all puzzle pieces the right TLC.

 

WHY PRODUCT ORDER MATTERS

As a general rule of thumb, lighter texture products should be applied before heavier products, humectants (water binding ingredients) before an occlusive (“sealants” like oils, butters, creams, ointments) to allow for maximum results and benefits. This is not to say that skin would reap zero benefits if the order was reversed, but the effect would be slower and weaker.  Scroll down for recommended order in more detail.

 

WHY CHOOSE A SYSTEM

A lot of the guesswork can be taken out of layering and product order by choosing a core skincare system by one brand.  We’re talking daily staples like cleanser, toner, moisturizer, etc.  Most skincare systems are designed and formulated to ensure ingredient compatibility, overall efficacy and layering safety within the same system.  This is not to say that you should never mix & match from different brands. Especially when it comes to items like masks and exfoliators which fall outside of your daily system, it can be nice way to personalize your program.  Respect your skin’s balance and unique needs, read up on ingredients, plus good old trial & error, and you’ll be layering like a pro in no time!

 

STEP 1 (AM & PM):  

Make-up remover & Cleanser

If you wear make up, the first step is to remove make-up and cleanse skin with a gentle cleanser.  Thorough but non-stripping is key, no matter what your skin type.  If you use a separate oil or oil-based make-up remover, be sure to wipe and wash off any excess residue that could interfere with the treatment steps that follow.

 

STEP 2 (AM or PM, weekly or monthly depending on skin type and product): 

Exfoliator

Whether it’s a classic scrub, enzyme or glycolic treatment or a combination product, exfoliating should generally follow after cleansing (or coincide with it, if it is a 2-in-1 cleansing scrub).  Keep in mind that skin tends to be more sensitive after exfoliating, so you might want to avoid applying products then that might be too irritating on newly-exfoliated skin.  If you have very sensitive skin, stick to exfoliating in the evening, so you’re your skin can rest and recover overnight.

 

STEP 3 (AM & PM):  

Toner

Whether your toner is just a hydrosol mist or a hydrating treatment, it should be applied after cleansing (and exfoliating).  Especially if it’s a humectant-rich(e.g. contains hyaluronic acid), soothing toner, it will help counter the drying effects of tap water and draw hydration to skin quickly and efficiently.

 

STEP 4 (AM and/or PM, depending on skin and product):  

Break-out treatment

Anti-acne actives should be applied only to affected areas and spots, to bare skin after toning but before other products are layered on top, in order to allow full acne-fighting efficacy.  Depending on severity of break-outs, this step is often reserved for night-time only.

 

STEP 5 (AM & PM)

Anti-aging serum

Whether your serum is a gel or an oil or something in between, benefits are delivered efficiently to skin that is still relatively bare.  If you don’t have break-outs, you can skip right to your serum.  Anti-aging serums containing Retinol, should not be applied on top of anti-acne treatments, because they are too irritating together (salicylic acid) or because they deactivate each other (benzoyl peroxide).  If you are not sure, either avoid the area where you applied the anti-acne treatment, or wait until the treatment has fully absorbed before applying the serum.

 

STEP 6 (AM & PM): 

Eye cream

Eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicate eye areas to address issues like dark circles , puffiness and fine lines, as well as dryness and dehydration.

 

STEP 7 (AM & PM): 

All-over moisturizer

Depending on your skin type, your all-over moisturizer should lock in moisture or balance oil, strengthen your protective barrier and ensure continuous hydration.  You can switch the order of Step 6 & 7, and apply your moisturizer before the eye cream, however, make sure you spare the eye area.  This is because a lot of all-over moisturizers are not formulated for the sensitive eye area, and also because you don’t want the moisturizer to weaken absorption of the eye cream.

 

STEP 8 (AM): 

Sunscreen

During daytime, your last step should always be an all-over, broad-spectrum sunscreen to give you that protective shield from the damaging UVA and UVB rays.  If your daytime face moisturizer contains sun protection, you can skip this step, as long as you apply it evenly all over your face and neck.  Foundation should go on top of the sunscreen, after allowing it time to set and penetrate skin.

Happy layering!

Self-love: What my kids see when I do my skincare ritual   

It wasn’t too long ago that I’d lock myself into the bathroom every evening to do my skincare ritual, while my 3 kids were bouncing around in their pre-bedtime hyperness.  After a day packed with work, errands, homework and cooking, I just wanted to have 5 minutes to myself, to cleanse and treat my face.  Predictably, the kids would knock on the door, demanding entry.  I would try to ignore them, while my husband would attempt to distract them, often to no avail.

But recently, I made the conscious decision to leave the bathroom door open and – GASP – invite them to witness my nightly ritual.  Why in the world would I voluntarily give up my 5 minutes of sanity?  Perhaps part of me felt that by NOT making a secret of it, they’d lose interest and leave me alone.  But another part of me actually decided that I wanted them to see how Mommy was taking care of herself.  Because the truth is, 99% of the time, they just see me in a state of hectic multi-tasking, my face alternating between tense and distracted.  They don’t actually ever see me in the act of taking care of myself, because I usually try to do so without them being present.

So by inviting them into the bathroom, I give them an opportunity to witness my transformation:  How my shoulders would drop, how my eye brows would go back up, and how my breathing would slow down.

It all starts with washing my face, which is my favorite step, because it’s like pushing a big re-set button.  It’s a signals to myself that I am letting go of baggage, at least in the moment:  I am freeing my mind and soul of tension that’s built up over the course of a day, just like I am cleansing and rinsing my skin of dirt and debris,  The kids witness the full effect of my dropping that baggage when I finally grab a towel, bury my face in it and DEEPLY, AUDIBLY EXHALE.  Ahhh…re-set!

Next are my treatment steps, toner, serum, moisturizer etc.  Here I think my kids are fascinated by how I touch – almost caress – my own face.  Throughout the day, they see me hold my chin when I ruminate, slap my forehead when I remember, scratch my head when I’m at a loss, rub my eyes when I am tired… yes, I touch my face often, but caress?

During my ritual, from massaging my face to patting cream around eye and cheek bones while I tilt and turn my head, the kids see their typically rushed mother  paying attention and being in the moment with herself.  The result?  I am not sure if my kids notice my refreshed, dewy skin, but for sure they see how at the end, I look in the mirror and flash a big smile – at myself.

The kids don’t always stay for the whole thing.  They often ask questions and demand I share the goods, which I do sometimes.  Who knows what their actual take-away is from watching Mommy treat her face.  At some point, they will lose interest, and I will get back my 5 minutes of alone time.  Until then, I’ll let them see my daily transformation through my skincare ritual, how important it is, in hopes that they will too make self-care a part of their toolbox for life.

 

 

The Ritual of Coffee

I love my morning coffee.  That rich deep warm feeling and smell reminds me of those exploratory days in my twenties when I used to meet up with a group of friends every weekend morning. We would brunch all day, dance a little, laugh a lot, and then wander off to work or play with the plan to meet up again that evening. Every morning, I look forward to the smell of our freshly made coffee, the pouring of dark liquid gold, the swirl of white frothy milk into the dark pool, and that warm smell when i hold the cup up for the first sip, and then the warm rich taste of my coffee. Each sensation of even that simple ritual is one I cherish.

For the love of Coffee

There’s more to love about my morning coffee ritual than you would think. More and more research supports that coffee is neutral or beneficial, not detrimental as believed in the past, for your health, or at least chemopreventive (another way of saying decreases the chance of cancer happening) for several different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colorectal, liver, and cutaneous melanoma. (1, 2) I guess the bad news is that the amount of coffee you have to drink would need to be 3-4 cups a day (3)….but in today’s “grande” world…is that hard?

Routine away the Stress

And there are benefits to having a routine, too. Rituals have been shown to decrease anxiety or stress and increase well being. (1) In this modern, unpredictable world, the benefit of routine is that it is an anchor of predictability.  That predictability frees up brain space for one to be creative and productive. Was that weekend coffee with friends indeed more beneficial than I realized? And I wonder if the coffee ritual of self care I practice at night helps me in more ways than topically. The Invigorating Coffee Scrub in my evening shower helps to bring my morning full circle. I visualize that carefree time of youth as I wash away the dry skin patches, feel the smooth skin below, and protect with the earthy hydrating Kartini Oil or luxurious Candlenut Body Creme.

Now I am realizing I have two Rituals of Coffee, and I plan to make the most of both. One moment of mental breath plus one moment of phytochemical protection. Equals a day of delight and health. One more cup, please!

 

Turmeric Bioavailability – Easy tricks to maximize its benefits

Turmeric is a key ingredient in Jamu, the ancient Indonesian herbal medicine.  Since the scientific community in European and American started taking an interest in this rhizome in the last 20th century, Turmeric has become one of the most studied herbs.  The key nutrient in Turmeric that has been shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and potential anti-cancer properties is Curcumin.  Unfortunately, the health benefits of Curcumin when ingested, cannot be fully realized because if poor bioavailability, meaning that Curcumin is quickly broken down and metabolized by the liver and intestinal walls before it can work its magic where needed.

The good news is that there are simple tricks to improve Curcumin’s bioavailability – tricks that can be done daily and easily as part of your regular diet:

1.Mix it with fat

Curcumin is fat soluble.  By combining or dissolving it with a fat, it is better absorbed into the bloodstream (1).  It’s easy:  Combine Turmeric with a heart-healthy oil in a vegetable stir fry.  Or add it to your smoothie together with coconut milk or full-fat kefir.

2.  Fresh Turmeric vs. dried Turmeric

Dried Turmeric powder is more widely available than the fresh rhizome, but fresh Turmeric actually has better “built-in” bioavailability (2) because is about 10% fat content.

3.  Heat it up

Bioavailability of Curcuma is even further improved, when Turmeric is lightly heated in oil (3), which is why Turmeric is ideal to incorporate into your daily cooking, whether it is a stir fry or a curry sauce.

4.  Add a dash of Black Pepper

Black pepper contains piperine, which blocks the body from rapidly metabolizing Curcumin.  In fact, consuming fresh black pepper together with Turmeric, can improve bioavailability of Curcumin by 2000% (4).

5.  Combine it with Quercetin-rich fruits & vegetables

Quercetin is an antioxidant that gives certain fruits and vegetables their dark, blue-ish color.  Research shows that Quercetin blocks an enzyme that would metabolizes Curcumin, thus making it more bioavailable (5).  Quercetin-rich foods include blueberries, red grapes, red onions, green tea but also red apples.

 

In Skincare – Proven Effective

Turmeric has a long tradition in Indonesian beauty rituals as well, most famously in the Lulur bridal spa treatment.  While it is an age old recipe to boost skin radiance and luminosity, there is a growing body of recent scientific evidence that underscores topical Turmeric’s benefits in helping prevent and reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, acne, and signs of premature aging such as irregular skin tone and sun damage.  When we at JUARA craft formulations, we draw our inspiration from Indonesian tradition, but we also ensure that we select botanicals that have been tested for efficacy and safety according to today’s standards.

Several of JUARA products are formulated with Turmeric, including our

Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum, Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask, Radiance Vitality Oil, Sweet Black Tea & Rice Moisturizer and Miracle Tea Complete Eye Creme, but also in body treatments such as our Kartini Body Oil.

To explore JUARA treatments that feature Turmeric and other active Jamu botanicals, click here.

Candlenut: The Balanced Nut!

Candlenut holds a special place at JUARA.  Our very first JUARA product we launched was our popular Candlenut Body Creme, a.k.a. Bali in a Jar, which became an instant hit with customers, editors and estheticians alike.  By popular demand, many more Candlenut treasures followed.

But what exactly is Candlenut?  Rarely do you ever see it sold in a regular grocery store because its consumption is usually limited to the region where it is cultivated, mostly South East Asia and Hawaii.  It looks like an oversized macadamia nut or hazelnut.  Even though it is not widely known, Candlenut is probably one of the most versatile and healthy nuts out there, having been used for medicinal purposes, cooking as well as skincare for centuries.

Omega 6 & 3 Essential Fatty Acids:  The Ratio is Key

Like most nuts, Candlenut has a high oil content (70%).  What makes Candlenut special amongst its peers is its high content of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA).  And not only that, it has what is considered an ideal ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.  While both EFAs have health benefits, it has been shown that the typical Western diet is by far too rich in Omega 6 fatty acids relative to Omega 3 fatty acid consumption, leading to chronic inflammation.  Nobody knows what the ideal ratio exactly is, but current estimates state a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of anywhere between 1:1 and 4:1 as ideal.  It is estimated that people in developed countries reach a ratio of about 15:1.  It has been shown even higher in the typical American diet, where it reaches levels of 25:1 due to a high consumption of fast & processed foods and fried foods which are typically rich in Omega 6, and a low consumption of Omega 3-rich foods like fish and certain nuts and seeds.  Candlenut has a ratio of Omega 3 and 6 of about 1.7:1, which is considered in the ideal range.  As a comparison, Walnuts have a ratio of about 4:1, Pecans 22:1, Flax Seeds 1:4, Sunflower Seeds:  312:1, Corn Oil 46:1, Wild Salmon 1:12, Canned Tuna 1:30.

Other Health Benefits

Candlenut is also rich in saponin, flavonoid and polyphenols, plant compounds that have  anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits as well as antibacterial effects.  Plus, it contains not only alpha tocopherol (the most familiar form of Vitamin E), but also gamma tocopherol, which works synergistically with alpha tocopherol to provide antioxidant protection.

Try it in Food!

In its native Indonesian and Malay, Candlenut is used in cooking as a thickener for curries and soups.  One easy way to incorporate Candlenuts is to roasted Candlenuts in the oven or frying pan, which brings out their aroma, before chopping or shaving them and sprinkling them over curry, soups or salad.

Try it on your Skin!

Candlenut is rich in EFA, the skincare benefits of which have been well documented.  EFAs help reduce inflammation, strengthens the skin’s own protective barrier, and Omega 6 essential fatty acid specifically helps acne-prone skin clear up clogged pores.  Candlenut’s boasting both Omega-3 and 6 as well as natural anti-microbial properties make it suitable for all skin types, ranging from dry to oily, including sensitive and acne-prone skin.

All of JUARA’s Candlenut products are formulated with Candlenut Oil, but we have added this precious oil to other treatments as well, including:

Kartini Body Oil – $58, 4 oz

The luxurious body oil fit for royalty (hence the name Kartini, named after a Princess who was also a big champion of women’s rights in Indonesia).  A truly nourishing blend of Candlenut, Plumeria, Passionfruit, Moringa and Turmeric Oil, with a silky, light-as-air texture with firming, brightening and softening benefits.

Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm – $20. 2.5 oz

Pure relief and moisture for dry, hard-working hands, that stays on even after washing your hands.  A replenishing blend of oils and butters, plus soothing oat beta glucan and brightening algae Energy immediately comfort skin & cuticles.  Result:  Hands that are soft and smooth, never greasy.

Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer – $60, 1.7 oz

Energy for dry, dull skin. “Kombucha”, nourishing botanical oils and our unique Radiant Complex hydrate, firm, smooth and boost skin luster.  The perfect daily moisturizer for normal to dry skin. 

Miracle Tea Complete Eye Crème – $53, 0.5 oz

This miracle worker gives the fragile skin around the eyes the whole TLC package:  It hydrates, smooths fine lines & wrinkles, reduces the look of dark circles and under-eye bags for a refreshed look!

Radiance Vitality Oil – $70, 1.0oz

The Queen of Face Oils (Face Oil of the Year, Self Magazine 2015) addresses all signs of aging with 12 pure plant oils and extracts by helping to firm, nourish, smooth and revitalize, with results you can see and feel after only one application.

Nourish your natural beauty all over with Candlenut in JUARA products here!

Cinnamon: For Health & Holiday Cheers!

‘Tis the season for all things Cinnamon!  Ahhh…what would the holidays be without Cinnamon’s signature aroma.  Whether we’re talking aromatic cookies, spiced cakes or hearty stews, Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices, loved and revered around the world.  Its use originates as far back as Ancient Egypt as a key ingredient in the embalmment ritual.  While Cinnamon is readily available in regular grocery stores today, it was so highly prized and considered so precious in the past, it was a gift reserved only for royalty or deity.

Not surprisingly, like many popular spices, humans began using Cinnamon primarily for medicinal purposes first, before it became a popular flavoring agent.  Native to South Asia and South East Asia, Cinnamon has a long tradition in Jamu, Indonesia’s traditional herbal medicine.  What ancient healers have known all along, modern medicine has only begun to discover are the many health benefits of Cinnamon.

CHEERS UP YOUR METABOLISM

While Cinnamon has well-documented antimicrobial and antioxidant properties (…hence a key preservative-like ingredient when the Ancient Egyptians embalmed their kings & queens), a particularly exciting discovery has been that Cinnamon can improve metabolic diseases such as glucose intolerance, high cholesterol and triglycerides (1).  While more studies are necessary, in one study volunteers ate half a teaspoon of Cinnamon daily for 40 days, which cut their cholesterol by about 18% and blood sugar levels by 24% (2).  The theory is that Cinnamon increases insulin sensitivity while also reducing the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a carbohydrate-rich meal.  And unless you have an allergy Cinnamon or liver disease, this spice can be consumed safely daily in food, drink or as part of a meal.

GOOD FOR SKIN INSIDE & OUT

A healthy glucose metabolism is crucial for healthy skin from the inside since high blood sugar causes inflammation and premature aging in the skin in a process called “glycation”.  What about applying Cinnamon  topically?  Cinnamon is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, which makes it a great ingredient to prevent skin aging.  Its antimicrobial properties also help break-out prone skin, where proliferation of acne bacteria cause acne blemishes.  JUARA Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Oil-Free Moisturizer combines anti-aging, oil-control and break-out-fighting benefits all in one refreshing gel-crème that contains a potent Jamu combination of Kombucha, Ginger and Cinnamon plus Hyaluronic Acid.

EASY TO INCLUDE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE

Having gone through gestational diabetes and fluctuating blood sugar issues myself, I try to stick to a balanced diet that avoids blood sugar spikes and dips. Cinnamon has become part of my daily ritual – not just in my skincare.  A dash on my morning oatmeal combined with nuts and apples – delicious!  A dash in a cup of Ginger Tea – so soothing!  And in the occasional cookie to indulge…because it’s all about balance!

The First JUARA Conference – Detroit. A Beautiful Community…

When you meet a diverse group of people who leave a warm feeling in your heart and mind, it’s worth talking about. After I returned home from the first ever JUARA conference in Detroit, I couldn’t stop talking about what a wonderful group of people were present, really “present”, and the feeling of happiness and comfort that I had felt there.  It’s that feeling you get when you meet people who exude a sense of acceptance, kindness, curiosity, growth, strength, and collaboration. Each person in Detroit exuded the character of a “champion” and that is hard to come by, but worth chasing and cultivating.

I have to first give thanks for what I have had the opportunity to experience in this lifetime. The partnership and support that I have received, and hopefully given, in just this skin care venture that has turned into a self care and self discovery adventure has made me feel blessed ten times over. Of course learning and growth are not without their stressors, and full of ups and downs, but I have learned that it is better when you are surrounded by strong, thoughtful, and scrupulous women and people. I experienced a taste of the same in Michigan.

Our gathering was of all ages, backgrounds and personality types.  We had come from states as disparate as Kentucky, California, and Connecticut. Daughters, nieces, cousins, long-time friends, even friends who had recently met over the internet, each person had made a commitment to teach and learn without judgement. Keynote Shandra Woworuntu’s dynamism and optimism started the meeting with inspiration as she shared her personal story of not only climbing out of a pit of despair and exploitation, but also working for others who have experienced the same plight. One might think ‘that’s a hard act to follow’, but the individual stories that were shared over the course of the day and weekend showed me that tenacity and heart is something that we all possess, and each story should be celebrated in its own right.
Andrea Bednar led us through discussion and self analysis, to better consider the meaning of wellness and self care to ourselves, but she also challenged us to set goals and attainable tasks to go home and continue the search and practice ourselves. Nancy Wilcox guided us on her journey of motherhood and sharing, showing us that sisterhood or personhood is possible beyond blood lines, and friendships can coexist with conscientious commitments.
And that is exactly what happened during our conference.  Guides reached across the table to work with each other and share tips; people gave and people received on equal footing. Being able to participate and be amongst such a dynamic, generous, and energetic group makes me feel more motivated to share, contribute, and help build. Truly getting to know everyone and experiencing the common bond of people working to improve themselves and their surroundings was an inspiring moment that I am sure we can recreate and multiply as time marches forward with this beautiful group!

WKYC 3: Cheryl Kramer Kaye – Must-Have Beauty Buys For Fall 9.4.18

Watch the video here : https://www.wkyc.com/article/entertainment/television/liveonlakeside/cheryl-kramer-kaye-must-have-beauty-buys-for-fall-9418/95-590824011