Hi Friends! I’ve been busy these last few months giving all of the new natural deodorant options the run through. I’m excited to share my favorites with you! I have found good antidotes for those stinky pits, so stay tuned!
Congratulations… And now to announce the winner of the Shell & Shine Goodie Box Giveaway!…
Congratulations Sheryl Brown!
Stay tuned for tomorrow! I’ll be posting a full list of all the little treats that were included in the goodie box and where you can get them for yourself.
Until tomorrow! 🙂
One Year Old!
How To Enter?
All you could ever want to know about Shell and Shine author, Jasmine Hartsook.
I get tons of questions from day to day. You wanted to know… So here you go!
Do you go by any nicknames? JazzyPants or Jasmine-chan if you’re my mother:)
Where is home? Seattle, in the great Pacific Northwest!
What is your favorite part of where you live? Seattle is such a great city but it does take getting used to the weather. Once you pass the year mark and know you can make it through the grey season, this place can’t be beat. Although growing and changing fast, the Emerald City can feel small while still offering great art, music, and culture. Better yet, within a half-hour, you can be in the woods and surrounded by amazing nature: Mountains in one direction and the sea in the other. Geographically, it is hard to top.
Where did you go to school and what did you study? I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and a B.F.A. in Photography. I am a life-long student and find myself perpetually taking classes from Math to Marketing, Science to Surfing.
What’s your favorite part of the day? When I can wake up for it, I love early mornings when it is quiet and it feels like you may be the only person around.
Why do you blog? I get a lot of satisfaction from sharing what I learn. For the last decade, I have spent a lot of time researching and trying things that are geared toward good health and specifically skin health. Wanting to archive my favorite finds, I decided to do it publically online and hopefully, others may find some useful tidbits!
Are you a cat person or dog person? I am a total dog person. I adopted a rescue rat terrier five years ago and consider him my most faithful companion. He is a very challenging little guy with stranger danger but there is nothing like the morning medicine of seeing a dog’s wiggly behind, prancing down the hall to an anticipated walk. We should all be so excited to start each day.
Do you have a guilty pleasure? If you ask my best friend, he would easily recite my old trusty “Afternoon reading book after book at a Barnes and Noble with a coffee.” But more recently, I would have to say my guilty pleasure is getting in bed WAY too early and turning on the electric mattress warmer and drifting to sleep with a podcast playing.
What are you currently listening to? As we speak, Lana Del Ray’s “Born To Die” is spinning. I did just pick up some new records last weekend, which includes Prince, Thelonious Monk, Gil Scott-Heron, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Sheena Easton.
Favorite musical artists? Die Antwoord, Alt-J, Thomas Newman, D’Angelo, Aphex Twin, Warrant, The Beatles, Lenny Kravitz.
Latest interests? Well besides all things skincare related (that’s why we’re all here, right!?), I have been interested in waste reduction lately. The amount of things we consume is amazing and even more amazing is what we discard. Being a thoughtful consumer is important and minimizing any trash you create even more so. This answer could go on and on. Book-making, technology geek, hiking, psychology, taxidermy, anatomy, meditation,…
Anything else? Just ask 🙂
Tattoo No More!
Painless tattoo removal from a cream in a week? This concept is apparently leaving the realm of the future and may soon be a viable option for those looking to erase their regrets like they never existed. A PhD student in pathology at Dalhousie University, Alec Falkenham, was working on a chemical compound intended to heal heart tissue and realized this may have an application for tattoo removal. To understand how this would work, let’s look a little at the science of how a tattoo becomes permanent in the first place. It is actually quite fascinating.
“Needles filled with ink pierce your skin many thousands of times, injecting the pigment into your skin. Your body instantly reacts to this assault, and sends out its repair agents to heal your wound. Ironically, it’s actually this immune response that allows the tattoo to become permanent.
Special white blood cells, called macrophages, come into the area to clean up the debris. After gobbling up the pigment, some of these cells make it back to your lymph nodes, where the junk is processed and expelled. But some of these cells get stuck, still full of ink, in the gel-like matrix under the top layer of skin. Because the pigment has been consumed by your cells, your body no longer considers it a foreign object and stops fighting to get rid of it. So it just hangs out there, visibly flooding your inner skin with color.”
Falkenham developed this cream that penetrates the skin and selectively targets macrophages. When these specific macrophages die, others come along to clean up the cells eventually eliminating all cells containing the ink. Brilliant! What is most interesting and exciting to me here is how this may be adapted for other skin conditions. Since this process centers on an autoimmune response, how could it be applied to autoimmune conditions of the skin? Fascinating and perhaps the beginning of a whole new skin care approach for things like psoriasis and eczema?
This treatment is supposed to be relatively inexpensive too (treating a small patch of skin should cost under 5 dollars!). Cipher Pharmaceuticals purchased the formula so it will be up to them to run the clinical trials and get it out to market. With about 25% of the American adult population adorned with tattoos, I’m sure there will be more than a few eager customers. I have always wanted one but just couldn’t decide what! So that aside, I am still eager for this product to make its’ way down the pipeline just for its’ potential for other applications. Viva la Future! Gotta love science 🙂
Trash, huh, yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!
I know, Earth Day was last month, but that is my point exactly! Being environmentally conscious is a practice for every day, not just one day a year. So…While not explicitly about skincare, taking the time to think about the resources you consume in your everyday life and what you can reduce is synergistic to a more natural lifestyle.
I could go on and on here about statistics that lead me to make some pretty meaningful changes to my lifestyle and trying to reduce my consumption and waste, from shopping in bulk, bringing my own bags, not using paper towels, etc. but it might be more meaningful to share with you links to the things that inspired me to be more mindful. I hope you find some of these resources as life changing as I did.
United States of Trash, Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind Super Size Me, follows his own trash to see what throwing something ‘away’ really means.
Trash is for Tossers, Lauren Singer
Lauren Singer lives a Zero Waste life in NYC and literally only produces a jar or two of trash every year. You can spend hours looking through this beautiful blog.
Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson
Bea Johnson lives waste-free with her family since 2008 and is the author of the bestseller Zero Waste Home.
If these so inspire you to make some lifestyle changes, I suggest hitting the thrift stores and looking for some items to help you cut down on your consumption. There are a few items that I purchased along the way (some old, some new) that I found helpful. I’ll provide the links below to some great products. For example, in Seattle, plastic bags have been banned in an attempt to promote reusable bags. I’ve invested in some good canvas ones that I use each time I go to the grocery store or do my general shopping. You can find them below along with some other cool items.
Green Grocery Shopping
Reusable Canvas Bags– I keep these on hooks right by my front door and grab them on the way out for any kind of shopping trip. I like these in particular because they have great fabric holders on the inside to keep wine bottles and such from moving around.
Reusable Produce and Bulk Bags- I do a lot of shopping in bulk bins to cut down on the amount of food packaging I go through. These mesh bags and canvas/muslin bags are great for everything from produce to grains and nuts.
Personal Care Items
I’m sure if you are reading this blog, it is no surprise to you that I spend a lot of time experimenting with different personal products. I’m not only looking for things that work great and are healthy for my skin, but I do also place a lot of consideration into how much waste these things produce and how recyclable/reusable the packaging is. For me, it almost becomes a fun game to see how efficient I can be while still enjoying my routines. Here are some changes that I found painless and effective:
Safety Razors– This took a little practice to learn how to use BUT what a money saver! Each blade tops out at about ten cents and lasts for quite awhile. I never spend money on razors anymore and the waste produced here is by far less than traditional razors or disposable alternatives. You know what? This is also pretty beautiful hanging in my shower.
Toothbrushes– Biodegradable Bamboo! These brushes are the right firmness and also look super cute. I tried several different kinds but this one was by far the best. I have found it holds up better than traditional brushes so they last a bit longer. Additionally, when they are used up, I pull the bristles out and use the wood handles for plant markers. Works great!
Feminine Products- Ladies, the average woman throws away 250-300 pounds of feminine product waste in their lifetime. The majority of these products are at least partially made out of synthetic materials and take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Being that most of these products haven’t even been commercially produced for that long, that means most of the feminine products that have been consumed thus far, are still sitting in a landfill somewhere! All of them! Whoa! Now, full discloser here. When I was looking at cutting this part of waste from my lifestyle, I made a decision that if I were to allow myself any waste production, this would be an area I could allow it for comfort or convenience if necessary. However, I am happy to say I have found some awesome alternatives that really work and I find just as easy, convenient, and comfortable to use as the standard pads and tampons I grew up with. Here are my top picks!
Thinx- Underwear with built in pads! OMG- these are awesome! I just bought one pair to try them out and was skeptical about how well they would work, but now I’m ready to order a few more. There are a ton of reviews out there so let me google that for you.
Lunnette– Reusable menstral cup.
Other Household Products-
Scotts Naturals TP– What!? Toilet paper without the cardboard tube! Genius! I’m not sure why someone hasn’t thought about this sooner. Love it. Less waste. I do wonder how much it cost/changed things adapting the factory to produce this product but hope it is a trend that would catch on. I’m not sure why we need that cardboard tube other than making crafts from them later.
Kitchen Jars– Glass. I’ve replaced all of my kitchen containers with glass over the years. They are essential for bulk shopping and versatile while keeping everything very fresh. I can’t recommend this enough.
DIY waxed wrap– And finally, for the kitchen, I made some waxed reusable fabric to replace all saran wrap use needs. There are several tutorials out there but I used wax from a Portland company called Otterwax and some scrap pieces of fabric. They are perfect for covering bowls, wrapping sandwiches on the go, etc. Perhaps I’ll post a tutorial on that process in the future.
I hope you found some of these links inspiring and some of these ideas helpful. As I consider myself one big DIY experiment, I’d love to hear from you and what you do to minimize trash in your household. Give me some ideas! What do you do that I should also?
Hey Guys! I’m on Instagram.
Come find me so we can follow each other and keep in touch. I love to see what you’ve all been up to. See you there!
Aren’t these brushes gorgeous!? Some of my favorites… All about these new make-up brushes, coming soon 🙂
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