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Antibacterial Agents and Microbeads are OUT! Natural and Healthier are IN!!

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!

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Our natural body polish uses cornmeal instead of microbeads for that spa-like feel right in your own home! Our Carib Lime Body Polish was even featured in Essence’s 2016 August issue!

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.

danish soaps itiba

Our cold processed, naturally handmade soaps uses only the best natural and unrefined vegetable oils and butters to provide you with a clean, antibacterial agent free soap which is perfect for both face and body, and even hair!

Summer Time Fine with itiba Beauty

0131_073A0383Summer 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!

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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!

Summer is coming…exfoliation made simple.

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:

PHYSICAL

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.

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A gentle and mild exfoliant, like corn meal, can be found in itiba’s body polishes. Great for getting your skin ready for summer!

  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

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

To exfoliate: 

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

Summer. Zika. Skin. pt. 2

 

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The Carib Lime line of products contain Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil as well as Geranium, Lemongrass, Lime and other citruses and essential oils that have been shown to be effective natural insect deterrents.

Is there ONE essential oil that will keep away the sting of the dreaded mosquito? The short answer is no. But using a combination of essential oils that have been shown historically through time to be effective deterrents will definitely help in keeping you safe from the bite and possible exposure to harmful mosquito born illnesses like Zika, Dengue and others.

While DEET is the best known synthetic applicant for mosquito repellents and one which is still recommended by the CDC for use in protecting from mosquito bites, the prolonged use of it can be dangerous as it accumulates in the body. The jury is still out on its long term use and safety to the human body, but there are other natural deterrents that if used correctly, can be as effective at being a deterrent for the dreaded mosquito. Recent studies have shown where the oil of Lemon Eucalyptus has been extremely effective in keeping the mosquitoes at bay. Will it outright prevent a mosquito bite, not alone, but combined with other essential oils that have historical uses for deterring mosquito bites, Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil becomes extremely effective.

“One of the earliest studies on eucalyptus essential oil as an insect repellant was in 1996. The study was conducted in Bolivia and showed that a eucalyptus-based insect repellant was able to protect the skin from Anopheles mosquito bites from 6 to 7.75 hours. The females of the genus Anopheles is responsible transmitting malaria. [2]

A study published in 2012 focused on Aedes egypti, the kind of mosquito that is responsible for dengue fever. Dengue fever is characterized by sudden onset of fever, joint pain, and in worst cases, massive bleeding. Essential oils from a variety of eucalyptus plants were found to have fumigant and adulticidal and larvicidal characteristics. [3]

The primary ingredient in most commercial insect repellants is DEET, which stands for diethlytoluamide.
DEET remains the standard by which all other repellents are judged and products range in strength from 10% to 100%, though over 50% concentration should not be used on skin. [4]

A 2002 study compared eucalyptus with DEET and the Eucalyptus scored 96.89 percent effectiveness, compared to DEET’s 84.81 percent against Anopheles (Malaria carrying) mosquitoes.[5] Similarly, a more recent 2014 study revealed how lemon eucalyptus oil is as effective as DEET, greater than with a 32% solution of Lemon Eucalyptus Oil scoring 95 percent effectiveness – compared to a 40% solution of DEET’s 100 percent. [6]

Another mosquito-borne disease is Filariasis, which is caused by Culex mosquitoes. Filariasis causes blockages in the body’s lymphatic system, leading to the enlargement of different body parts. The results of a June 2014 study concluded that the nanoemulsification of eucalyptus oil has larvicidal activity against the Culex genus.” [7] http://www.herbs-info.com/blog/study-finds-lemon-eucalyptus-essential-oil-is-better-mosquito-repellent-than-deet/

My suggestion in searching or even in creating a natural, safer alternative to the synthetics out there to deter mosquito bites are to look for products that contain most of, if not all of the following essential oils you will find in this link from American College of Healthcare Sciences. Creating your own natural insect deterrent can be fun and have wonderful results. And you can feel confident in knowing that you are protecting yourself and loved ones by using something that is good for you and the environment.

 

How To Use Essential Oils To Keep Mosquitoes Away

http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/cdc-confirms-lemon-eucalyptus-oil-as-effective-as-deet.html

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods

 

Did you know…

HAPPY FRIDAY FAMILY!! ‪#‎DidYouKnow‬ that you can reduce the amount of breakouts on your face by simply NOT touching your face all the time? Our hands touch EVERYTHING and by proxy, so does our face. Practice using a hand towel or napkin to wipe your face rather than your hands. To help control the amount of breakouts, also try making a lime (lemon if you cannot get limes) solution and rinsing your face with it. The deep cleansing and antibacterial properties of the lime juice help in getting deep into the pores to remove dirt and acne causing bacteria.

HOW TO…make the lime rinse? Simple, you want to start out with about 1 part lime juice to about 1 part water. You can make it stronger if you wish by simply adding more lime juice. But be careful, the stronger it is, the more likely it is to sting. Use this rinse in the morning and then again in the night just before bed time to ensure that the day’s dirt has been removed from your face. And remember, anytime you wash your face, ALWAYS make sure you put back the moisture. So use a light oil to keep your skin healthy and looking young after EACH facial, mask, and wash.
And now you know!

Hot, Cold and Hot again.

One thing I learned while being in NYC last week was that the cold is NOT friendly, :/ So I made a daily regimen of using a serum as soon as I got out the shower followed by one of the butters. It kept my skin from feeling dry and itchy and helped with the freezing weather my skin was experiencing for the first time.

I figured that once back home my skin would “fall back in line”. No such thing. The extreme change in weather and temperature actually caused my skin to behave badly. This was the first time I had experienced wind that actually burned my skin 😥 and now I have wind-burned skin. So now my next step in taking care of my skin is incorporating an exfoliant in the mix. So what I did first of all was reach for my coffee polish and that became part of a quick four day regimen to get my skin back in line and fast! So for two days I used the coffee polish just before the shower. Bathed as I normally do and started with using the serum on still wet skin. Pat dry or air dry and then followed with a lotion (it is just too hot right now to use butter on my skin). Then on the third day I switched to one of my cornmeal polishes; still continued with the serum and lotion application after the shower. I am so relieved to say that my skin has finally decided to “fall back in line” and the burned portions of my skin have gone.

It is so important to make sure that a regular routine of exfoliating is part of your daily skin care regime. Whether during the summer or during the winter. You need to make sure your skin has all that it needs to stay healthy and beautiful even when the worst weather comes…or you have to go to it 😉

Green Papaya and you ;-)

Did you know that Papaya, green Papaya that is, is great for the skin?

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Organically grown papaya just picked

Papaya (carica papaya) is a wonderful fruit that is great when ripe as a sweet treat or green to be used in stews. But the papaya is a wonderful fruit that has many beneficial properties. The papain in papaya is found in its highest concentrations when the fruit is green. Here is where the wonders of the fruit abound! The papain found in papaya has many attributes for skin care such as a treatment for ringworms, psoriasis, used as a poultice to help aid with wounds, burns and stings. The papain is also a great at helping to exfoliate the skin.

So it is with this in mind that I often go back to nature to find other ways of creating great skin care products. I decided to revive a very popular product, Island Cream and do a 2016 version. Of course, the main ingredient in this particular product is the green papaya juice. This product is great for helping to exfoliate the skin and smoothing rough, dry patches found on the elbows and heels.

What is papain? “Papain is an enzyme that is found in green papaya (papaya that is not quite ripe). It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years because of its many health benefits which include treating wounds and cuts, stings and burns and internal illnesses.” Read More Papaya is not one of my favorite fruits to eat, but for skincare, it is a powerhouse. I respect it as much as I respect Turmeric for skincare and overall holistic care. So it was with that that I began using the juice from the Green Papaya in rich, decadent butters and creams for myself and my customers. A few days ago I decided to take another look at a recipe I had created and made many, many years ago. You can see how I juiced the papaya on my Instagram (@itibabeauty) page by clicking here.

At the end of the pictorial tutorial on “How to Juice a Green Papaya” you see the end result was the whipped body butter. This product, or any product made with Papaya enzymes, is a great way to slough away hard to remove, dry skin. And it leaves you feeling so smooth! I am still refining the recipe and considering a re-launch of a new and improved version of this cream.

Everything is a CHEMICAL ;-)

A couple years ago I was asked by a customer if my skincare products contained “chemicals”. I get this question quite frequently and decided that I would explain why EVERYTHING is a chemical and what the better question should be is if there are any synthetics in the products.

 

Everything is a chemical.

I just wanted to start with that first. The air we breathe the water we drink; they are all forms of chemicals. A “chemical” is defined as ‘A substance with a distinct molecular composition that is produced by or used in a chemical process.’ (thefreedictionary.com). Where we start to get into issues of “chemical sensitivities” is when we are now moving out of naturally forming chemicals and into what are synthetic chemicals. When we introduce the synthetic chemicals into our products, our food, even our skincare, that is when things can begin to get a little troublesome.

ethos of productsThe skin care products that are manufactured by itiba all use natural, whole oils that are either minimally processed or unrefined vegetable oils. I take care to find quality products and that includes the essential oils, for use in the products. Some products do contain synthetic fragrances, but the “chemical” in them that usually causes the sensitivity and irritation, phthalates, are NOT used when making these fragrances. Phthalates are also not used when making the packaging, so the packaging is all phthalate free. Phthalates are derived from petroleum and are a type of plasticizer used in a range of products, a few of which, like I mentioned earlier, is fragrance and plastic packaging.

“Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are organic chemicals derived from oil. They are the most commonly used plasticizers in the world. Phthalates have been in use for about 50 years, primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) soft and flexible. They are colorless, oily liquids with little or no odor and low volatility. Phthalates are widely used because of their performance, cost, durability, and their contribution to overall product sustainability.

Phthalates are always incorporated with other materials into an end product. They are most commonly blended with PVC resins, pigments and additives to produce everything from textile screen print inks, to PVC flooring and cable sheathing, to life-saving medical devices, such as vinyl blood bags and IV tubing. Not all phthalates are used as plasticizers for PVC. Phthalates keep nail polish from chipping, make perfume linger longer, or make tool handles strong and more resistant to breaking.” http://www.iccink.com/phthalates.htm

The synthetic chemicals that are used, in particular, the preservatives, are safe, paraben free and are not formaldehyde donors. The preservative, Optiphen, is one that is recognized world-wide for use in cosmetics and is considered very safe. The soaps are cold processed. What that means is that other than the heat used to melt any hard oils or butters, no heat is introduced in the process of making the soap. The only heat comes from the actual reaction of the combination of the lye and fats/oils used.

Lye, which is the combination of the sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide with water, is used to make ALL soaps. You cannot make soap without that particular chemical combination. That lye water is needed to start and create the chemical reaction to change natural vegetable oils and butters into a salt, or what is more commonly called a “soap”11377546_337849499672416_583685429_n. That process generates and creates its own heat by nature of the chemical reaction. Only natural, minimally processed vegetable oils are used to make these skin loving, moisturizing, cold processed soaps. At itiba, we do not use animal fats. We believe in using the natural, healthy vegetable oils that offer so many healing qualities when making our soaps. Natural colorants, herbs and clays are also used in the process of creating these soaps. These natural additives add a variety of benefits from exfoliant, to skin loving benefits like Lavender Flower Powder for anti-inflammatory properties, clays and charcoal for detoxifiying and Turmeric for its overall health benefits as well as for color. turm

Also, depending on the time of year, real fruit is also used in the soap making process. Essential oils and/or phthalate free fragrance oils are also used in the making of the cold processed soaps. The oils used are coconut, palm and palm kernel, rice bran, castor, Shea butter and sunflower. Sodium hydroxide is used to help turn the oils and butters into soap.

aloe vera clear gelAloe Vera Juice is used to make ALL the other liquid based products. Optiphen, the preservative I mentioned earlier, is also used to preserve and protect the product from spoilage and mold or bacterial growth. Again, natural, minimally processed oils are used in this process. Avocado, Rice Bran, Jojoba are the oils used for the lotions. The body spray uses Aloe Vera Juice, an essential oil blend and a binder so that the essential oils and water/liquid can relatively stay together and create a light emulsion. Those ingredients are all derived from coconut oils and are non-sensitizing and gentle for many, including those who are “chemical sensitive”.

The butters and polishes use unrefined Shea Butter or Mango butter (depending on the product), organic and natural oils. Stearic acid, a fat which is derived directly from either coconut or palm oil, is used to help give the products a better feel and for stability, especially in the heat that we suffer from here on St. Croix. Natural exfoliants are used in the polish like cornmeal (which is used in the majority of them) or brown sugar which is used exclusively in the Kaya blend. Again, only essential oils or phthalate free synthetic fragrance oils are used in the butters and polishes. NO colorants, other than what is given through the use of the brown sugar or the cornmeal for the polishes, are used in these products. There are no colorants, synthetic or natural, used in the lotions.

So that was the gist of what I explained and needless to say, I gained a new customer. And should you ever have questions about the process it takes to create our luxurious, skin care products, just send an email or leave a comment and I will do my best to make sure that I have an answer for you.

 

Soap: Is Handmade, Natural Soap Really Better Than Commercial Soap?

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Soap is by far the one product that just about all households use on a day-to-day basis. However, when it comes to your skin care, it is very important not to always purchase the cheapest or most popular soap. 11377546_337849499672416_583685429_nDid you know that most commercial soaps are filled with preservatives to increase shelf life and contain some of the very same ingredients you would find in the detergent you use to clean the dishes or  clothing? Not so good at all.  Now, on the other hand, natural, hand-made soaps are quite the opposite.  Natural soaps avoid the harsh chemicals to ensure that your skin remains moisturized and clean safely.  Parabens, which has been linked to Breast Cancer, can be found in regular, commercial soap, but not in the natural soap.  Sodium lauryl Sulfate, a known skin irritant, can also be found in commercial soap, but not in Natural soap.  Take a closer look at the production of hand-made, natural soaps, and you will see that the benefits are plentiful.  Some have argued that natural soaps are too expensive and tend to “finish” quicker than the commercial soap, but of course! Good natural soap has no preservatives or harsh chemicals, does not leave a residue, retains the moisturizing glycerin that commercial soap companies remove, safe for your skin, great for the planet, and so much more.  Do your own research and purchase wisely. #itibabeauty #AllNatural #soaps #ParabenFree #BeautifulSkin #EcoFriendly #HandMade #SkinCare #RadiantSkin #vegan #ecobeauty

itiba best soaps

The Weather vs. Your Skin

The Weather vs. Your Skin– The weather can play a significant role in the health of your skin. Take the time to nourish, moisturize, and cleanse your skin. Poor skin care combined with extreme weather conditions can cause premature aging, skin rashes, discoloration, enhance already existing skin conditions, and more. Be sure to replenish your skin with the essential oils it needs and don’t forget to pay attention to your hair too! Check out our hair and body serums at https://itibabeauty.com/product-category/hair-body-serums/