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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.

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!

What Happens When You Go to Bed Without Washing Your Face?

We all do it once in a while (and I have certainly done it more often since I had kids…).  It happens!  Yes, I know it’s bad to leave make-up on your skin overnight, and no, I don’t like how my skin looks the next day, but the world won’t end if it happens once in a while, right?  But…I do wonder: What actually does happen when I don’t wash my face before I go to bed at night?

1.  Fertile Ground for Clogged Pores & Pimples

While pretty much all make-up or sunscreens these days are non-comedogenic and won’t break you out per se, it is still “stuff” that, when it remains on the skin for an extended time, will mix with our skin’s own sebum, as well as dirt and bacteria (how often do you touch your face throughout the day?) to increase the risk of clogged pores and bacterial proliferation, resulting in new pimples or existing ones getting worse.  Even if you don’t wear make-up, the mix of dirt, sebum and added bacteria can lead to pore congestion over time.

2.  Skin Irritation and Inflammation

Throughout the day, we are exposed to micro-particles, pollutants and allergens that can more or less stick to the skin unless we wash it off.  And depending on your immune system and how well your skin’s own protective barrier functions, those allergens, micro-particles and pollutants can irritate and sensitize skin.

3.  Less Efficient Natural Exfoliation

Your skin sheds naturally all the time, although you wouldn’t see it with your eyes.  But having a sticky mix on your skin at the end of the day and through the night impedes the natural exfoliation process, making your skin look dull and possibly clogging pores.  Washing your face with a regular cleanser at night helps your skin’s shedding process, even if it does not contain any actual exfoliators agents.

4.  Skin Dehydration

Even with proper moisturizing, we loose water through the skin throughout the day and night in what is called transepidermal water loss (TEWL).  Not washing your face on a particular night probably also means that you are not applying any treatment products either, that would replenish hydration.  I’ve always wondered why my skin feels grimy, yet parched the morning after not washing (and treating) my face.  Well…after 24 hours of TEWL without replenishment, skin will loose its suppleness…

5.  Missed Opportunity

Your skin acts differently at night than it does during the day.  If not washing your face at night also means not applying any treatment before bed, that means you are missing out on nourishing your skin in a major way during a time when its in peak recovery mode.  If have issues with break-outs, you are also missing out on helping your skin battle pimples and other issues without the typical day-time interference like sunscreen and make-up.  So even if not-washing your face once in a while isn’t a big deal, not treating your skin is still a missed opportunity.

Lately, to motivate myself to wash my face at night, even if I am super tired, I try to visualize how it will help my skin breathe more freely.  And knowing how much better my skin looks and feels the following morning if I go through my skincare ritual usually gets me moving toward the sink as well.  What helps motivate you to wash your face even when you are tired or feeling lazy?

Deliciously Soft, Juicy Skin with this Quick & Easy DIY Mask

By JUARA Co-Founder, Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

“OMG, you have to check this out, I can’t stop touching my skin!”  That was my chat message to my partners Metta and Jill, after I experimented with a new DIY face mask recipe to help with my winter-parched, rough skin.

I love to experiment when I cook.  No matter how specific a recipe is, I can’t help but tweak it somehow, even if in small ways, just to see what happens to the flavor.  Same thing with skincare.  I am constantly experimenting with products, not only with what I use, but also how I use them.  That’s how I stumbled across this easy and quick DIY face mask that left my skin soft, supple, almost juicy…simply yummy.

What makes this so easy is the fact that you are combining 2 actual products, JUARA Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner and Radiance Vitality Oil, with 2 readily available food ingredients:  brown sugar and honey.  This mixture together makes for a luscious treatment that polishes, hydrates and smooths skin immediately.  The toner is packed with hyaluronic acid, tamarind seed extract and soothing green tea, white tea and black tea extracts.  The face oil nourishes skin with 7 different omega fatty acids (3, 5, 6, 7 & 9) and Vitamin C.  Sugar acts as a polish but together with honey also acts as a wonderful humectant.  This recipe is so quick and easy, you can do this mask any time of the day, as a quick pick-me-up or as part of a relaxing ritual.

Ingredients & Directions:   

Brown Sugar  – 2 teaspoons

Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner – 2 pumps

Radiance Vitality Oil – 1 dropper-ful (not just 1 drop!)

Honey – Big Drizzle, 0r up to 1 teaspoon

 

Gather all ingredients.  Add all ingredients in a small glass bowl and mix with a spoon.  Add more of the ingredients to get the right consistency.  As the sugar starts to melt, it will become a slushy consistency, that spreads easily on the skin.

Apply all over face massage lightly in circular motion.  Leave on for 10-15 minutes.  I even leave it on for an hour or so, while I do all kinds of household chores and other work.  Rinse off with lots of tepid water and pat dry.  You can follow with a moisturizer for added dewiness, if you like.  For my normal to dry skin type, I usually don’t.

Enjoy smooth, supple skin!

Sun Kissed Skin – Your Fall Fashion Staple

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That gorgeous beach glow.

I think it’s my favorite summer accessory. The light smattering of freckles that appears on my lightly (read: LIGHTLY) tanned skin after a day at the beach with some SPF 50.

As soon as that tan starts to fade in mid-late September, the carefree breeziness of summer seems to fade too. The air gets crisp, sweaters come out, the sun sets earlier, and chilled apple martinis get traded out for hot apple cider.

BUT with the onset of amazing self tanning products – products that don’t leave you pumpkin colored and smelling faintly of a freshly painted garage – it’s possible to keep that summer glow glowing all fall long.

So here is our fall guide to sunless tanning greatness.

 

1. Exfoliate Before Tanning

Exfoliation is a crucial part of self-tanning and something that most people ignore. Those blotchy patches of brown/orange that have burned you (buh dum ching) in the past are actually areas of dry, uneven skin that have stained more than the rest of your even, hydrated skin. It’s a fact that self-tan applies better on fresh and revitalized skin.

To keep these blotchy patches from ruining your day, we recommend JUARA’s Candlenut Body Polish. The unique properties of this scrub provide both hydration and exfoliation… and can be used almost immediately before applying self tanner.

2. Double Hydrate The Creases

Knees, elbows, ankles, fingers and toes are the devil of self- tanning. After scrubbing your whole body down the the Candlenut Body Polish, add an extra level of hydration to those problem areas with JUARA’s Candlenut Body Creme to keep color from settling in places you don’t want it to.

3. Follow Directions

You may think you’re the queen of self tanning and there’s nothing on the back of that bottle you don’t already know, but every product is DIFFERENT. Some say to apply with your bare hands, some have an applicator mitt (like my favorite St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse), some are ok for face, some aren’t, some say to shower 2-3 hours after application, some say not to shower for 24 hours. You get the point. Make sure you take a moment to read the instructions so that you know you’re doing the right thing.

4. And If You Make A Mistake…

It’s correctable! Pour lemon juice onto a cotton swab and dab the area. Every product is different, but generally you can re-apply when it starts fading. If you get a patch attack over time (like on day 4 when things are starting to fade) follow the same rules as above and you’ll have a great tan again in no time!

Get glowing, JUARA Ladies!

Making Your Skin Warm-Weather Ready!

It’s May 1st!

We’ve made it through the brutal winter, the polar vortexes, and the incessant rain…  But has our skin?????

It’s time to shed those winter layers and show some leg, but to ensure that your skin is as luminous as possible:

Check Out These Fantastic Tips To Make Your Skin Warm-Weather Ready!

1. Ditch That Heavy Foundation

The trick to mastering bright, fresh, spring skin is losing that heavy winter foundation. Don’t hide your face from the world! Try something with slightly less coverage like a tinted foundation or BB Creme to even out your skin tone. Not ready to completely switch beauty products? That’s okay! Try mixing your favorite foundation with a light moisturizer to let more of your natural beauty shine through. JUARA Sweet Black Tea and Rice Moisturizer is the perfect mixing partner!

2. Exfoliate, Buff, and Shine!

Nothing says winter skin like dull, ashy legs. Give your body some love by exfoliating away all of the dead skin that has accumulated over this winter season. Pay extra attention to your knees and elbows, the driest areas of your body. 

3. Moisturize!

After you’ve buffed away all of that dead skin, moisturize to keep your body luminous. Something light like JUARA Tiare Jasmine Tea Body Milk is a great option for daytime because it absorbs quickly with a nice, light scent and won’t stain your clothes! Try a heavier cream at night when the skin is most open to absorbing moisture.

4. Hydrate

No amount of exfoliating and moisturizing will illuminate your skin if you’re dehydrated. Beauty starts from within, which is why the best beauty tip ANYONE can give you is to stay hydrated. Proper hydration allows the body to rid itself of toxins so that they don’t take up residence under the skin (in the form of nasty breakouts). Staying hydrated also allows the skin cells to fill with water, decreasing fine lines and wrinkles naturally to create a beautiful glow.

 

 

Happy Vitamin C Day!

Did you know that Vitamin C is important enough to have its own national holiday?

Well it’s true! Today, April 4th, is National Vitamin C Day.

We’ve all been told to “Have plenty of Vitamin C!” when we get a cold, but beyond its immunity boosting powers Vitamin C is a key element in healthy, radiant skin.

Here’s What It Does:

Vitamin C (Asorbic Acid)

  • Key in collagen production– the protein that keeps skin looking young by firming and strengthening
  • Protects skin from free radical damage
  • Reduces the appearance of age/sun spots by repairing sun-damaged cells
  • Helps protect against harmful UV damage
  • Lowers blood sugar
And do you know which food contains more Vitamin C (by weight) than any other?

Goji Berries

The Goji Berry is an amazing super-food rich in Vitamins A, B6, C, E, Iron, and Anti-Oxidants. 

And Did You Know…

Goji Berry is an ingredient in JUARA’s Clove Flower and Turmeric Serum!

 


 

Click the bottle to learn more about JUARA Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum $62

Hidden Superpowers of the Candlenut Body Creme

The JUARA Candlenut Body Creme.


It’s a cult classic. It’s a favorite.

 

The product that started it all for JUARA- it has become a love-at-first-sight product for countless JUARA customers, celebrities and beauty editors. An ultra-nourishing complex of velvety Candlenut Oil, firming Rice Bran Oil, redness-reducing Avocado Oil and rich Illipe Butter give you long-lasting moisture without the greasiness. But did you know it’s a whole lot more than a feel good-smells great body creme?
 

Candlenut Oil  is very high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA).  In fact, the oil is 69% EFA, which puts it up there with Flax Seed Oil and Chia Seed Oil (71% and 70% respectively).  Almond Oil has 17%, Avocado has 10%, Rice Bran Oil has 36%, just to give you perspective.

 

Why is this important?  Application of EFA is key in strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier which is why, for example, Evening Primrose Oil (81%) is often prescribed for Eczema Patients.


So in the context of our Candlenut Body Creme Formulation:

Amazing Avocado*

Caressing Candlenut

Caressing Candlenut*

Impenetrable Illipe

Impenetrable Illipe*

Radiant Rice

Radiant Rice*

Candlenut Oil: Omegas (EFA)
Avocado Oil: Sterols, Vitamin A, Vitamin E
Illipe Butter: High Melting Point- provides a protective barrier for the skin
Rice Bran Oil: Oryzanol (Vitamin E)- essential in improving skin elasticity and brightness
 
Candlenut Body Creme: It’s a Skin Superfood!

*click the link to check out more products that use these amazing ingredients

Skin Facts: Coffee or Tea? I’ll Take it All! – Lauren Lang

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Coffee or Tea?

Oh, which do I choose… Can I have both?

Ever thought about putting coffee and tea on your face and body? My usual form of coffee or tea intake comes in the style of iced coffees and teas, adding to the 400million cups that are drank per day in the states. Although I might think twice (or thrice) about splashing a bit of that (possibly overpriced) latte or tea on my face before breakfast or bed, I wouldn’t rule out some pretty potent ingredients they contain to put on my skin!

COFFEE: Coffee has been used in other cultures, particularly in Indonesian body scrubs, for a number of years. For example, ‘Boreh’ (a combination scrub of coffee grounds mixed with spices) was developed by farmers in Bali to stimulate circulation and warm the skin; great after a hard day of work, or if you’re feeling the chills. Recent developments have seen the use ofcaffeine (a powerful antioxidant) in products such as eye crèmes and other cellulite appearance reducing body cremes.

Benefits of caffeine can give us a more youthful, healthy look! Here are some ways how:

– Increasing circulation: Helps reduce bags under the eyes in eye cremes, and stimulates healthy blood flow in body scrubs, helping remove toxins. Our Invigorating Coffee Scrub, also stimulates circulation in the skin whilst offering some tightening benefits for younger looking skin. Smell AND feel good – why not!
– Anti-inflammatory & diuretic effect: Good for creams that claim to reduce the appearance of cellulite (because sorry ladies, no amount of skin cream alone can break down this type of fat cells…)
– Helps constricts blood vessels which can reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, and can also give the skin a smooth, glowing appearance.
– Contains antioxidants, which also help reducing toxins in the skin

Now on to my British favorite – TEA: You guys have ‘Lipton’, us Brits have ‘Tetley’, Tea was first originated in China and has been said to date back to the 10th century BC! Tea can be much more beneficial for your skin than you might think. Green tea contains powerful polyphenolic antioxidants called catechins, which have been proven to fight viruses, slow aging, and have a beneficial effect on health.  Some benefits of tea on the skin include the following, all which make skin look more youthful:

– Antioxidant protection: the catechins and vitamin c in a lot of green tea can help fight free radicals (which can lead to faster skin aging). Our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner contains all black, green, and white teas.
– Tones skin/refines pores: You can even use real tea for this – an Indonesian traditional secret handed down from mother-to-daughter till today: After cleansing and rinsing, splash your face with your leftover tea (at room temperature, please!) to tone and brighten skin.
– Rejuvenates skin cells: Gives skin a brighter, healthier look. Some studies show it even extends the life span of the skin cells as they near the end of their life cycle; doesn’t do a miracle job on your face overnight, but every little thing counts!
– And don’t forget Kombucha, a fermented sweet black tea with organic compounds that help slow down your skin’s aging process, keeping it plumper and smoother for longer! Read about this fun beverage here and about all its health benefits. Also, the main anti-aging ingredient in Kombucha can also be found in our Sweet Black Tea & Rice Facial Moisturizer, the oil-free version, and our Sweet Black Tea Eye Creme.

So next time you’re feeling a little under the weather, or fancy treating your skin and body to some naturalness, remember that your daily dose of coffee and tea can do more for you wake you up from that sleepy state!

For more coffee and tea facts visit: http://www.bellybytes.com/foodfacts/coffee_tea_facts.html

And if you like cool coffee foam art, this is a fun site! http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Food-Recipes/Cool-Cappuccino-Foam-Art.html

Exfoliate to Radiate! – JUARA Intern Lauren Lang

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Summer is here. The sun is shining, the beaches are calling, the iced tea is being sipped and you’re feeling great. You might be prepared for summer….but is your skin?! Exfoliation – a term that most of us (and I’ll ashamedly admit to this) pull a face at. It takes time, it takes effort, and quite frankly we’d rather use that time to enjoy the 90-degree heat.

But what if I told you that your skin is harboring hundreds of dead skin cells called ‘Stratum Corneum’ – even the name makes it sound positively disgusting.

What is it?

Put simply, old skin sheds itself on a regular basis, making way for new skin. Unfortunately not all of this skin is removed and a build up begins to form; the average build up of stratum corneum contains between 15-20 dead cell layers. Eww.

Benefits!

So apart from the obvious benefit of removing this cheeky invasion of cells, here’s a few other benefits to why exfoliating is essential for a glowing summer face (and don’t be lazy, I expect amazing spring, autumn and winter skin too!)

  • Reduces dryness and gray dullness by removes grease and dead skin cells on your skin.
  • Gives your skin an amazing radiant glow and leaves you feeling fresh and more youthful looking in your ‘new’ skin.
  • Improves blood circulation and boosts the flow of oxygen.
  • Can improve performance of product applied after (like that expensive night cream you’re rationing out) by increasing its absorption into the newly exfoliated skin.

So ‘when and with what’….?

Most experts recommend exfoliating twice a week (stratum corneum – enough said!) We recommend different products for your face vs your body as your face may be more sensitive and require different treatments.

For your face, I’d recommend the Rice Facial Scrub containing fine exfoliating beads, which helps say Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Bye to those dead skin cells. This gently foaming cleanser + scrub also removes dirt and m ake-up leaving your skin smooth and fresh with a healthy glow! For your body, I also recommend my absolute favorite product  Invigorating Coffee Scrub which is made with fresh Indonesian coffee beans and finer walnut shell grains for dual-action exfoliation. This gently exfoliates and awakens the skin leaving it fresh and awakened and with the most amazing chocolate coffee smell. Plus it also cleanses with soap-free surfactants which means it won’t dry out your skin. Remember this isn’t just for ladies, men love it too!

If you prefer a creamier option, try the Candlenut Body Polish which exfoliates and moisturizes together in one single application. A sister product to the coffee scrub, this one doesn’t so much cleanse as it hydrates deeply while exfoliating. Perfect to use before a self tanner, or on dry skin when you’re about to go out an notice dry patches on arms or legs you just want to rid of! Plus, you’re going to smell sweeter than summer!

Tell me how!

Now you’re equipped with knowledge and products, here’s the many different ways you can exfoliate!

Manual – Usually in the form of a sponge, a facial scrub or a tool, such as a Clarisonic that manually sloughs off the dead skin.

Chemical – Mostly provided over the counter, these types of exfoliation often contain acids and help loosen the skin layers. Most often recognized as ‘peels’.

Superficial/Deep Microdermabrasion – These two types of exfoliation help remove damaged skin cells, giving your skin an overall youthful appearance and is most usually performed by a professional.

So now you know and above are some options on how to exfoliate… SUMMER SKIN HERE I COME!

 You can see the JUARA products here.