SIX FRIENDS MAKE HOLIDAY CARE PACKAGES FOR THE HOMELESS
The Gandhi's (Mr. and Mrs.) said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." It means walk your talk and these are two people who most certainly did some serious talk walking!
It takes some strength and commitment to be of service to others. Some time ago 6 friends got together to figure out what they could do to be of help to people in need, in their own communities. They knew about a man named Sam who collects donations from various places and distributes them among the homeless in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. They wanted to do something similar, be more hands on, build relationships and connections with people, like Sam does. So this year they jumped in, feet first.
I delivered a box of mainly Body Butters, Balms, Salves and Paw Wax to Stacey Carruthers, one of this team of wonderful women. They put together gift packages for women, of essentials for women, like socks, bras, underwear, hats scarves, mitts, toothpaste, tooth brushes, personal care items and more. It is our honour to have our Body Butters and Body Therapy included in their packages. Our Paw Wax inspired gift packages for the dogs that also live on the street alongside their humans. They all need some good skin care, to protect them from the elements as best as possible, especially at this time of the year.
Stacey told me that the women were really happy to receive their gift packages. Our products gave a little bit of luxurious self care that they don’t usually get. She said, “Your products were the icing on the cake - SO much appreciated!.”
Stacey and her friends will be continuing their hands-on giving in the Downtown Eastside all year round. If you are interested in donating directly to their project, you can contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Lion donates our products to non-profit organizations that support women and children. You are a part of this, too. For every purchase you make, we make a donation. It's our way of paying it forward, for the good of us all.
Sherazad Jamal, Free Lion Team
THE SKINNY ON HYDRATION, MOISTURIZING AND BODY BUTTER
Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and it needs needs both oils and water to keep it glowing and healthy. Moisturizing and Hydration. These words seem to be used interchangeably in descriptions of skin product properties. While both provide skin with much-needed nourishment, knowing the difference will help you make the best choice for your skin’s specific needs.
First a bit about skin: The main function of the skin is to provide a barrier between the body and outside environment. Think of it like a brick wall. The Bricks are the corneocytes (dried out, non-living cells on the skin’s surface that are ready to shed). The Mortar is an intercellular matrix composed of lipids (fatty acids, hormones that help maintain skin hydration, firmness and softness) surrounding the corneocytes.The Paint on the wall is the acid mantle on the surface of the skin, a physical and chemical barrier that keeps out microorganisms and irritants.
Healthy, normal skin is able to produce lipids. These cells trigger the skin’s natural ability to protect itself from moisture loss, communicating to sebaceous glands to produce more oil or sebum. If you’ve got a disrupted lipid barrier, the skin becomes unable to coat its surface with the appropriate amount of sebum, causing dry skin. Or fluctuating hormones can increase an excess of sebum production, resulting in an excess of oil on the skin. Hydration helps skin function optimally, maintaining the flow of live cells from deeper in the dermis to the surface.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MOISTURIZING AND HYDRATION?
So let's talk Moisturizing. When the skin’s barrier function is damaged, it needs repairing and strengthening. This involves replacing the lipids in the skin that have been depleted or removed. Barrier repair ingredients are typically rich in lipids that are similar to the intercellular lipids found in skin. And guess what...beeswax and Plant Oils and waxes have been used over centuries for this purpose because they are a good source of fatty acid lipids. They are also protective, providing a temporary film over the skin to help it retain moisture. Yep, our grandmothers certainly knew what they were doing!
Now on to Hydration. While moisturizing ingredients seal moisture into the skin, hydrating ingredients help increase the water content of the skin. A humectant, for example, has the ability to attract water from the air and bind it to the skin’s surface, facilitating hydration. And plant extracts can also bring water, minerals and vitamins to skin.
Bottom line? Dry skin lacks oil and needs moisturizing; Dehydrated skin lacks water and needs hydration. So if you work with water all day, your skin will be hydrated but will likely have lost all natural moisture (oils) from its surface. Your skin may feel soft, pruny even. But as soon as the water evaporates, hello dry, scaly skin! If your skin is dehydrated, skin cells move more sluggishly to the surface. While your skin will retain all its natural surface oils, it appears tight, dull, lifeless--which, if you’re auditioning for that role in Zombie Nation, may not be a bad thing! So ideally, you need skin care products that will deliver both Hydration and Moisturizing.
WHY FREE LION BODY BUTTER IS SO GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN
Enter Free Lion Body Butter. Our Body Butter is a blend of both moisturizing and hydrating ingredients to help your skin regain healthy moisture balance. The beeswax forms a protective seal on the skin’s surface, helping to reduce the risk of evaporation of existing moisture throughout the day. We use Shea Butter, Rice Bran, Avocado and Sunflower Oils--moisturizing ingredients full of super fatty acids and vitamins A and E, needed to repair and replenish skin. We also add hydrating Aloe Vera Extract and Glycerin. Glycerin is a humectant that draws moisture from the air; Aloe Vera is high in minerals, vitamins, poly and monosaccharides and water-stocking ability, deeply nourishing skin.
Show your skin some love this winter. To help you do that, we’re are offering 20% off our Body Butters until February 28, 2018.
Sherazad Jamal, Free Lion Team
WHY SHEA BUTTER IS SO GOOD FOR THE SKIN
Shea butter is a rock star as far as natural ingredients go. For millennia in the hot Sahara, people have used it to protect skin from drying winds and sun as well as heal skin issues, minor cuts and burns. The Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, who was magnificently beautiful, was said to owe her legendary beauty to the use of Shea butter. Can’t argue with perfection!
At Free Lion, We truly love including Shea Butter in our products, especially those formulated for dry skin. More on that later; first, more on the Shea Butter story.
WHERE SHEA BUTTER COMES FROM AND HOW IT IS MADE
Shea butter is extracted from the fruit of the Shea Tree that grows in the savannahs of West Africa and East Africa. The English name Shea comes from its Bambara name sii, which means sacred. Traditionally, the tree was an integral part of the lives of the people, belonging to the entire community--it could not be owned by individuals even when found on private property. Its nuts help sustain the communities that depended on it. There is a tradition in Ghana to say a prayer, before collecting Shea fruit, to thank Mother Earth for her gift. The Shea tree is still treated with particular respect because of its ability to sustain human life, from skin care, to healing and nutrition.
The Shea tree grows up to 60 feet tall, can live up to 200 years and does not flower before it is 20 years old. This is a wise old tree whose magic is not given up easily. Preparing unrefined shea butter is a labour intensive process with a series of steps, commonly undertaken by both young and old women in a community.
It takes up to 30 hours of labour to produce 1 kg / 2 lb of unrefined shea, when processing by hand. The fallen fruit is collected and its pulp removed. The nut is left to sun-dry and then separated from its shell, ground, and roasted. The roasting process requires constant babysitting and stirring to avoid burning.
Roasted nuts are ground into a paste, which is transferred to basins of water where it is kneaded by hand until the oils separate and float to the surface of the water. The oils are then skimmed off the top, melted, and boiled until the water is fully evaporated. Finally, the unrefined shea is allowed to harden, after which it is packaged and distributed. Phew! That’s a lotta work!
There are modern-day facilities that help ease the production process, but despite the help of machinery, there is no getting around the need of manual labour to produce shea butter. Shea fruit still needs to be gathered from the ground, washed, de-pulped and then sun-dried (sometimes in special solar tunnel dryers) before the oil is extracted by cold pressing.
THE SKIN-LOVING NUTRIENTS IN SHEA BUTTER
Shea butter is rich in fatty acids as well as several other beneficial ingredients. The amounts of saturated fatty acids will vary depending on where the Shea is from, as both region and climate play a large part in the composition of the butter.
Palmitic Acid 2 - 9 %
One of the most prevalent saturated fatty acids in body lipids. In aging skin, levels of palmitic acid can decrease by as much as 56%. Applying Shea butter topically can help replenish skin.
Stearic Acid 20 - 50 %
A saturated fatty acid which acts as an emollient and emulsifier. It has been shown to protect skin's surface against water loss by enhancing skin's protective barrier And it helps cells regenerate, too.
Oleic Acid 40 - 60 %
A very moisturizing, softening and regenerating unsaturated fatty acid that also offers anti-inflammatory properties. The oleic acid in shea butter is easily absorbed by the skin
Linoleic Acid 3 - 11 %
An Unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid shown to be effective as a skin restorative, an antioxidant and as a skin-soothing agent.
Phytoesterols 5 - 10 %
These gives Shea some UV-B absorbing power as well as reparative properties.
A powerhouse ingredient that has value for skin on several fronts: It’s a skin-restoring, wrinkle-smoothing, firming ingredient and an antioxidant, allowing it to improve a variety of skin concerns, most related to visible signs of aging.
One of the most well-known and researched antioxidants for the body and for skin. Vitamin E occurs naturally in human skin, but can become depleted due to constant environmental exposure in the absence of sun protection. Shea’s natural content of E-vitamin contributes to its relatively long shelf life – which can be up to 2 years.
Highly regarded for its skin soothing, healing and keratolytic (ability to remove excess skin) properties. It helps shed the outer layer of the epidermis, promotes healthy tissue formation, softens the skin and enables it to absorb more moisture. It’s particularly effective at treating wounds, burns, skin ulcers, eczema, and any other abrasion in the skin.
YAY SHEA! THE SKIN BENEFITS OF SHEA BUTTER
Shea butter is a super star as far as natural ingredients go. Millennia of anecdotal evidence tells us it can protect your skin from UV sunlight, harsh climate, dehydration and pollution damage. As anti-aging agent, it strengthens your skin by stimulating the production of collagen, a protein essential to keeping your skin youthful, supple, alive, nourished and radiant. It can smooth wrinkles and fine lines or damage and revitalize very dry or damaged skin, bringing your skin back to beautiful life.
Shea butter does an awesome job of winter and after-sun skin care. It provides the extra moisture, vitamins, nutrients and protection your skin needs during the cold season and in the summertime. It is also the perfect ingredient to protect your lips from the cold and dry weather and keep them kissably soft.
Here are some our Shea Butter hall of fame products. Check them out and give your skin the nurturing love it deserves!
Sherazad Jamal, Free Lion Team