Earlier this year President Obama issued a ban on all microbeads (tiny plastics that are used as an exfoliant in cosmetics products) in cosmetic formulations. The US ban is to begin taking effect between the beginning to middle of 2017. Earlier this week, the UK followed suit and issued a similar ban on all microbeads in cosmetics formulas.These little plastic beads were banned in the US and then the UK because of their propensity to end up in marine life and pollute our waters as well as endanger our marine life. Score one for a more natural, healthier way to better skincare! There are more natural, healthier and safer for our environment ingredients that can help to exfoliate our skin and keep it looking healthy! One such product is cornmeal and you will find that in our body polishes. Other great, natural exfoliants are sugar and yes, even coffee!
Then earlier this week, the US FDA announced that all companies were to remove antibacterial agents like triclosan, triclocarbon, and 17 other chemicals out of their soaps. There was no science to show that having these agents in the soaps did anything for keeping us safe and “cleaner” than just using plain soap and water. The marketing ploy that many of the larger skincare companies has been under review since 2013 and this week the US FDA finally issued the ban on these chemicals. Some of the science may even show that the prolonged use of these chemical agents may cause detrimental harm to the human body over time. Most harmful bacteria can be simply handled with plain soap and water and the mere nature of how handmade, cold processed soaps, and other similarly made soaps makes it very difficult for most of the bacteria to survive once they come into contact with a natural, handmade bar of soap and water. At itiba, we manufacture and create a healthier, safer, more natural soap that does NOT contain any of the 19 dangerous chemicals that the US FDA has recently banned.
Summer time is finally here and itiba has everything you need to maintain flawless, glowing skin in the season’s heat and be summer time fine! One of the biggest concerns for many during this steamy season is the appearance of dry skin. Being outside in the blazing sun for hours on end at the beach, in the park or doing other outdoor activities exposes the skin to the harsh elements of the sun. This can cause the skin to develop fine lines and wrinkles while appearing dehydrated, peeled, irritated and inflamed. Couple that with harsh soaps plus extra long baths & showers and you’ve got yourself a recipe for dull, dry skin. How can you avoid the appearance and annoyance that comes along with dry skin? Here are itiba’s four ways to protect and care for your skin from head to toe this summer and keep you summer time fine!
- Water Does The Body Good
When the summertime heat turns up, our bodies can become dehydrated very quickly. Who can remember to drink water throughout the day when we’re busy lounging on the beach drinking boozy beverages and sugary drinks? However, it’s important to drink plenty of water when the weather is a scorcher to ensure your skin remains hydrated and your energy levels stay high. Give your recommended 64 ounces a fun twist by infusing it with fruits and herbs like strawberries, lemon, mint, lime and cucumbers.
- Twice is Nice
Washing your face too often is another common cause for dry skin. During the summer, our bodies produce more sweat due to the increase in temperature, causing many to take more showers and wash our faces to rid ourselves of that sticky, yucky feeling that comes with 90+ degree temperatures. Wash your face only twice a day to prevent excessive drying of the skin. itiba’s Midnite Rain Body Soap is the ideal product for facial cleansing due to its detoxification capabilities. For oily and acne-prone skin, our Carib Lime Body Soap will cleanse and clear the skin without stripping it of oils.
- Cool as a Cucumber
Change up your long, hot shower routine this summer and take a 5-10 minute cool (not cold) shower instead. Hot water strips oils from the skin and the longer the shower, there’s a greater chance that your skin will lose its moisture, becoming dried out and dehydrated. Sooth and nourish dry skin with our Papaya Body Polish! Made with smoothly blended cornmeal, unrefined Shea Butter and natural oils, the luscious scent of papaya nectar will whisk your senses away to a tropical paradise while it gently exfoliates and moisturizes without drying your skin like many sugar and salt scrubs do.
- Minutes to Moisturize
Time is of the essence when it comes to moisturizing your skin. Be sure to moisturize within 3-5 minutes of taking a shower or washing your face and hands to lock in the skin’s moisture. Always pat your skin dry with a towel after washing your body, face or hands to ensure skin remains damp prior to moisturizer application. For instant relief of dry, patchy and irritated skin, get your hands on our Tranquil Sea Body Butter. Like all of our body butters, its non-greasy formula absorbs quickly into the skin while deeply conditioning and moisturizing.
Get your summertime fine by implementing these small changes in your routine. They will make all the difference in the quality and texture of your skin this summer, even all year round! For products rooted in Mother Earth from the teachings of our Caribbean ancestors, use itiba’s skincare line of lotions, soaps, body butters, polishes and more. Made with the natural ingredients of plant oils and butters plus no synthetic detergents or harsh chemicals, each itiba product is carefully and thoughtfully handcrafted in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Discover a new skin care with itiba, a natural skin care company, at www.itibabeauty.com!
As part of a project that I have been working on for some months now, where I have experts in their respective fields speak to you about skin care, we are continuing our discussion on exfoliation and today I am so honored to have weighing on the subject one of our own family members, Aisha Massac, owner of Mankind Grooming For Men. She is also a Licensed Estheticians & Professional Makeup Artist based in Washington, DC. So sit back and enjoy the read on exfoliation 🙂 and Thank you Aisha Massac!
Exfoliation made simple
What is exfoliation? Exfoliation is the removal of surface dead skin cells, with the ultimate goal being to clear debris and free the retired cells to allow for better absorption, circulation, and brighten dull skin by promoting skin renewal.
These dead skin cells, left on the surface, slow down healthy cell renewal, increase the depth of wrinkles and create a dull, sluggish appearance. The more you effectively exfoliate, the younger the skin looks and the better your skin care products can penetrate the skin.
However, too much exfoliation can cause redness and skin sensitivity. You should exfoliate no more than three days per week, as to not cause irritation or sensitive skin. If you already have sensitive skin as well as skin that easily hyperpigments, I would not recommend exfoliating since it can make your skin more sensitive and hurt your skin barrier. If you just HAVE to exfoliate (even outside of my recommendation), use an emollient based exfoliant and ONLY once a week; a light AHA would be a great option being that it’s moisturizing. A great option would be Dr. Perricone’s Advanced Face Firming Activator.
There are two types of exfoliation methods:
The most common form of exfoliation is physical exfoliation, which is mechanically removing superficial layers of the skin. This can be done with a face loofah, brush, washcloth, or with exfoliating cleansers. Mechanical exfoliators that utilize abrasive agents with sharp edges actually scrape and cut the skin. Abrasive agents such as apricot seeds (St. Ives being the most popular), granulated peach kernels, corn cob, silica, walnut shells and sugar instituted a major following in the ‘80s, followed by brushes, sponges, and loofahs. These all resulted in pulled, torn, stretched, abraded and traumatized skin that was covered with microlesions. Microlesions can lead to bacterial invasion, further leading to acne and/or wrinkles. Better options for physical or mechanical exfoliation are the Clarisonic skin brush and/or home microdermabrasion device (using aluminum oxide crystals). The Clarisonic has different skin brushes for different types of skin (Acne, Sensitive, Normal), and it allows you to adjust intensity for light or deep cleansing, and to avoid irritation. Other than the clarisonic, a mild exfoliating scrub is a great way to go to get a refreshed and clean look to the skin. An option for a more mild mechanical exfoliant would be almond meal, corn meal, or even baking soda, which can be added to your cleanser.
A professional mechanical exfoliant favorite of mine is the Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant, which uses a rice-based enzyme powder, that when mixed with water, activates the papain and salicylic acid.
Chemical exfoliation, in essence, dissolves the “glue” that binds the dead skin cells together. Chemical exfoliation involves applying products containing a form of alpha hydroxy acid and/or beta hydroxy acid that dissolve this “glue” around the skin cells, hastening the shedding of several layers of the epidermis. Estheticians throughout the world have long preferred enzymes for exfoliation such as pineapple, papaya and pumpkin, typically found in a mask form, to exfoliate the skin. These enzymes are natural forms of AHAs. My favorite type of chemical exfoliation is enzyme exfoliating products over the AHA’s and BHA’s. I absolutely love June Jacobs Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Masque. I also love Jan Marini’s SkinZyme Papaya Mask. Other popular chemical exfoliation methods, found in the skincare world are retinoids. Retinoids are in the same family of Vitamin A and is used to treat some forms of acne, aging, and even psoriasis. Although retinoids can cause flaking, they don’t typically cause dryness – this flaking is the sloughing off of dead cells. Retinoids are also known to cause irritation or sensitivity and must at all times be used with caution in sunlight. *Note: look for retinoids that are encapsulated.Regular use of alpha- or beta- hydroxy products or clay-based masks is of utmost importance to help reduce breakouts and remove dead skin buildup that could clog pores. These are among the most effective exfoliating ingredients. Because AHAs are water-soluble, they can penetrate deeper into the skin’s surface to lift the dead cells. However, caution must be given as they may irritate sensitive skin if used in too high a concentration. On the other hand, BHA (or salicylic acid) is fat-soluble, and doesn’t penetrate below the epidermis.
**Note: If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, such as rosacea, eczema, seborrhea, or dermatitis, you may want to consult your doctor or dermatologist to find the most effective exfoliating method for your skin type.
**Note: Do NOT use products that contain more than one of the above in one product
1. Wash your face
2. Take medium to large amount of exfoliant (about the size of a dime to a nickel) and gently apply to damp skin.
3. Massage the exfoliant over your skin. Never press into your skin – you are not sanding wood! Avoid your eye area, as this is a delicate area.
4. Use a washcloth or damp cloth to wipe clean with warm water
5. Apply your moisturizers and serums.
Written By: Aisha Massac, Licensed Esthetician & Professional Makeup Artist based in Washington, DC
The itiba woman is a natural woman, a caring woman. Not necessarily a mother in the literal sense, but nurturing to herself and to others. Her beauty is apparent not because of her features, but because she just radiates beauty with her smile, her actions. She is sexy and sensual. An itiba woman is a strong, intelligent woman. An itiba woman is confident in her skin, yet versatile to wear any skin she finds ;-).
An itiba woman is A NATURAL BEAUTY (as we all are, thank you Etta-Lee)! An itiba woman is each and every one of us who welcomes the joys of being a woman and welcomes the challenges because we know we can turn them into triumphs! An itiba woman is
An itiba woman is in each and everyone of us. When we look in the mirror she smiles back at us and tells us we can do it. She loves being a woman and enjoys her strengths and weaknesses. She knows how to turn those weaknesses into strengths!
She is you and she is me.
She is…Nature. She is…Earth. She is…Beauty!
Our skin is the LARGEST organ of the human body! The primary function of the skin is to eliminate wastes. If treated properly, the skin can eliminate upwards of TWO POUNDS of waste daily! Everyday our skin sheds the dead skin cells and makes new skin cells. Within 24 hours, our body has made new skin! Keeping our skin looking healthy, all depends on how we help our skin in its daily routine of sloughing away dead skin cells and allowing the new skin cells to come through. There are several ways that we can help our body and skin remain at peak performance. They are:
Cleansing – This is done with a simple soap and water. Before you can move onto the toning and moisturizing you MUST get rid of all the extra dirt you have accumulated throughout the day AND night. itiba has many soaps that can be used to aid in the cleansing of your skin. I recommend Carib Lime if you have oily skin. The Lemongrass Essential Oil contained in the soap helps the skin to regulate the sebum produced. That combined with the French Green Clay works to break up the excess oil and leave your skin feeling lighter and brighter! For normal skin, Island Rose or even Papaya will work wonderfully. For combination skin, MidNite Rain, Crucian Spice or Sea Lavender are all wonderful choices.
Toner/Astringents – these are the same thing but a different name applies to your skin type. Astringents and Toners help to take away excess oils from the skin, in particular the neck and face. Toner is the term used for products for skin that is in the normal to dry range. Astringent is the term used for skin that is in the normal to oily and oil skin range. The astringent is stronger than the toner because it has to break away more oils from the skin than the toner.
Moisturizing – is done after we clean our skin. This step is done after we have applied either our toner or astringent to our skin. Even if you have oily skin, you will still want to moisturize it. When moisturizing the skin, stay away from products that will clog the pores such as mineral oil, petroleum jelly, and yes even cocoa butter for some people. If you suffer from oily skin, it is recommended NOT to use cocoa butter on the face and neck. However, a wonderful oil to use, yes…I did say oil…is Jojoba Oil. In fact, Jojoba Oil is really a liquid wax and pound for pound, can be called the Fountain of Youth for our skin. Jojoba Oil is the only vegetable oil that very closely resembles the sebum that our skin produces. I like to call it a second skin that helps our own skin do its job better. I am not a fan of mineral oil as I do not see the long term benefits of this oil. In some cases, it has been stated that mineral oil can cause clogged pores and dermatitis. There is the cosmetic grade mineral oil that is used in skin care, but there are other wonderful oils like Castor Oil that can do the same and offer better benefits to the skin. Any of itiba’s six lovely fragrance body lotions will make a wonderful moiturizer.
Hydration – very simple! Our bodies are made up of about 75% water. We need to keep our skin hydrated from the INSIDE as well as the OUTSIDE. Our skin looses upwards of 2 PINTS of water daily. We need to drink upwards of one gallon of water daily in order to maintain optimal hydration for our bodies.Water does a body good!
Exfoliation – In order for our skin to shed the dead skin cells easier, some type of exfoliation should be done. There are several ways this can be done and depending on the part of body different materials should be used. Using a salt or brown sugar scrub is a great way to exfoliate the body. Ground oatmeal, almond meal, even ground avocado seeds can be used to exfoliate the skin. Ground oatmeal, almond meal, and sugar can be used on the face and neck. But beware, the skin on these areas is delicate, do not use too much force or friction. Slow and gentle is all you need when exfoliating your face and neck. Another method is DRY BRUSHING. This offers more than exfoliation; it also offers increased circulation to the skin and in certain instances a healthier lymphatic system. itiba’s Body Polish all made with Caribbean Sea Salt, unrefined Shea butter and scented with itiba’s unique blends, to include the latest Kaya Body Polish – made with brown sugar, local island honey and decadent Shea butter, are all great exfoliators. AND you get the extra added benefit of moisturizing with the Shea butter!
REST! – I think this is self-explanatory. Get your 8 – 9 hours of sleep each night. Nothing less. Your skin (and every one else) will thank you for it! Come to St. Croix and relax on any of the wonderful sandy beaches and enjoy the cool Tradewinds as it wafts off the azure blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. String up your hammock and simply…rest!
I would be remiss if I did not talk about DRY BRUSHING. What is Dry Brushing and what are the benefits? How should it be done? First Dry Brushing is a form of exfoliation. It helps the skin remove the dead skin cells so that the new ones may shine through. Dry Brushing, if done properly and consistently will also help to keep the skin properly eliminating the waste. There are many different ways to do the actual dry brushing, but a few things are constant and NEVER change. ALWAYS and ONLY use NATURAL bristle brushes. What are natural bristle brushes? These are made from either plant or animals. Depending on the type or bristle, you will use it on different areas of the body. Some examples of natural bristle brushes are boar’s hair, ayate – which is made from a large cactus called agave whose leaves are dried and made into fibers – sisal, and even coconut. NEVER SCRUB when doing a dry brush. That can be considered overkill and both are forms of exfoliation. Either you dry brush or you use a scrub. You must use some pressure, but never scrub the skin.
Here are some of the benefits of Dry Brushing:
• Brushing activates the pores in the skin to remove more waste materials like uric acid crystals, catarrh, and other acids and impurities more efficiently than soap and water.
• Brushing increases and stimulates blood circulation in all the underlying organs, connective tissues and lymphatic system.
• Brushing revitalizes and increases the capacity of the skin to eliminate toxins from the system.
• Brushing stimulates hormone function – especially the oil producing glands. By keeping the pores open, the skin is better able to retain its natural oils and to breathe!
• Brushing has a powerful rejuvenating influence on the nervous system as it stimulates the nerve endings in the skin.
• Brushing contributes to better muscle tone and better distribution of fat deposits within the tissues.
And it just makes you feel good! 🙂
When I Dry Brush, which should be done at least three times a week, I start from my hands and work in slow, deliberate circular motions toward my heart. I am trying to follow the pathways of the Lymph System. I do the same with my feet. I start from teh soles of my feet and slowly work up in a slow, deliberate, circular motion (circular to the left) towards my heart. I keep doing this until I am doing with a fair amount of pressure. When finished, my skin is glowing and I am feeling so alive and refreshed! ALWAYS do your Dry Brushing BEFORE your shower or bath. Remember, this is a form of exfoliation and you have just released a lot of dead skin cells that you now want to get rid of and cleansing the skin afterwards is the best way to do so. Dry Brushing is ONLY effective when done on DRY skin.
You now know my seven steps and secret weapon to having healthy, glowing skin.
Summer has arrived! School is out, the sun is shining and the wonderful azure blue waters of the Caribbean Sea are glistening and inviting you to just come and sit for a while. The laughter of the children can be heard and the fragrant essences of the FrangiPani, Roses and Jasmine ignites wonderful memories of easier times in your mind. But the one thing that has been on your mind for more than seven months now is the mangoes that you see ripening on the tree! That sweet, succulent fruit that you know is the true nectar of the gods!
Yellow, gold, juicy, sweet, dripping with heavenly goodness and making you feel like you were a child again, climbing the trees to get the largest, sweetest mango on the tree before your friends could get to it. Or waiting and watching and plotting how you will pick that red orange fruit before the birds or iguanas got to it. Getting your crocus bag and making your way either on foot or with a bike to the Rain Forest to climb the multitude of trees just waiting for you to get its sweet, goodness with the true Caribbean delicacy…Mango!
There are so many varieties and flavors of mango and they each differ from island to island. I remember as a child going to Jamaica with my mother. As a little girl I would eat and eat and eat mangoes until I couldn’t any more. And I thought that St. Croix had the juiciest and sweetest and largest mangoes…but I was so very wrong. Jamaica. What an island. I think I was there about four days already and we had gone by a relatives home (this was many moons ago). But I remember saying to myself I want to go home. And then…I saw it…a mango that to this little eight year old child was the size of my head! Mind you, I had already been eating mangoes straight from the previous day and I was on a mango high! My mother warned me not to eat any more or else I would loose the taste for mangoes forever. But I didn’t listen. Me! Loose the taste for mangoes forever!? Surely she must be joking. I KNOW she could not have been talking to me because there was not a mango around that I did not eat and did not love and swear my undying fealty towards!
And so…mesmerized by the vastness of this great fruit…I took a bite! And it was heaven! I ate and ate and ate. I think I ate about three of them. And then…the unthinkable happened! I became sick! Inside I just knew my mother had done something to me or tricked me to make me now feel sick. It was her fault after all…she was the one who said that I would get sick if I ate too many mangoes! She had blighted me! So there I lay for a whole day with the worse stomach cramps I had ever had…all from eating too many mangoes. No problem I thought. I will get better! And sure enough I did. But it was at a severe cost…I had lost my taste for mangoes!
The memory of the pain was enough to scare me for 20 years from eating another mango ever again. Until one day, now with my own children and watching them enjoying climbing the trees as I did as a child and waiting for the first mangoes to drop from the tree…I decided to try one. And it was like rediscovering an old friend! I was instantly and immediately transported back to my childhood and the sweet, sugary goodness of the mango made everything seem right again! But I was wiser this time. I only ate a few each day and I only ate a certain type (I am biased with the grafted variety). But being a Caribbean child, I could not in all honesty say that mangoes would forever be out of my life! That is sacrilege! How could I? So how do I honor this wonderful friend that I have found anew? I share it with the world.
For the summer months each year, I offer this special and prized fruit in a line of body care products. The fruit of this amazingly sweet, succulent, sugary fruit is available exclusively in the soaps. You may wonder why, but once you try it then you will know! The fruit adds a silkiness and softness to the soap that is felt immediately on the skin. The butter is used to make the Body Butter, Body Lotion and Body Polish. And the fragrance is carried throughout the entire line of itiba’s skincare line! Come…enjoy a little piece of MY Caribbean with Mango products from itiba, LLC!