Mar 162017

My Herbal Face Mask Powder for Mature Skin with Tepezcohuite is specially formulated for those of us with more mature skin.  

Bentonite Clay: Draws out impurities while delivering skin loving minerals. 

Flaxseed meal: Essential fatty acids provide anti-inflammatory benefits and help regenerate tissue.

Tepezcohuite: Anti-oxidant used to heal skin made famous by Selma Hayek but used for centuries by indigenous Mexican peoples.

Horsetail: Used for it’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, healing, antiseptic, and antimicrobial benefits

Sea Buckthorn: A great skin healer with high quantities of carotenoids, fatty acids, organic acids and flavonoids.

Rose Petals: Soothes and tightens skin.

St Johns Wort: Ingredients provide promising treatment as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant as well as helping to stimulate cell regeneration.

Licorice root: Helps diminish age spots and dark circles under eyes while protecting skin. from the environment.

Calendula: Soothes, softens and heals. Stimulates collagen/

Cocoa powder: Said to neutralize free radicals, adds glow and tightens skin.

Comfrey: Contains allantoin, a miracle compound for healing skin.

You can add a teaspoon of the mask to simple water, stir and spread on face or you can add my mask to your favorite homemade mask.  Alternatively you can try the following recipes to address specific issues:

Repair Sun Exposure: Mix mask powder with a teaspoon of Red Wine and a teaspoon of oil olive oil.
Pore Tightening: Mix a teaspoon of mask with a teaspoon of berry juice or several crushed Berries and a teaspoon of grapeseed oil
Extra Moisture:  Add a teaspoon of honey
Smoothing, lightening: 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon lime

Or try a mixture of two of the following.  

Aloe Juice or Gel: soothes and heals
nourishes and revitalizes.
good for all skin types, moisturizes, treats acne, wrinkle fighter
Beer: fights acne and regulates Ph. said to add elasticity to skin.
Yogurt:  cleans and tighten pores. If there is fat in it, it will also moisturize.
Honey: Antibacterial and moisturizer.
Orange  juice: (not too much and include an oil) brightens complexion

INGREDIENTS: Bentonite Clay, Flaxseed meal, Tepezcohuite, Horsetail, Sea Buckthorn, Rose Petals, St Johns Wort, Licorice root, Calendula, Cocoa powder, and Comfrey


Feb 042016

Toothpowder Puts you Back in Control of Your Teeth

toothpowdersNo preservatives needed in this dry toothpowder. YOU add the water! Use toothpowder to clean your mouth and raise your ph so bacteria don’t like you or your mouth. Yeah! No bacteria, no plaque. No plaque, no gum disease or tooth decay.


Pour a little on the palm of your hand and use a wet toothbrush to scoop up with your brush. Brush your teeth for two minutes, remember to give your tongue and top of your mouth a brush too.


My (Hi, it’s Brenda) toothpowders all have baking soda, cream of tarter, calcium carbonate, diatomaceous earth, clay and special exotic salts, and herbs.

Baking Soda is the powerhouse in this toothpowder because it raises the Ph in your mouth and provides a soft, gentle cleaning of your teeth. Baking Soda might seem to grainy for teeth enamel but as long as it is wet, I am told it is good for your teeth, well more than good, great!

Cream of Tarter comes from the production of wine, it is a little bit acidic and it adds that effervescence in my toothpowder that makes the teeth feel clean.

Calcium Carbonate is a great little mineral, especially for teeth and you’ll see it in most good toothpastes as a way to keep your teeth nice and mineralized.

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural tooth cleaner. In fact, most commercial brands of toothpaste have silica in their toothpaste. Well, DE is a natural silica. It is hard, so it acts as an abrasive but it is also microscopic, which makes it a nice and exceptionally gentle abrasive. It also keep the toothpowder dry once you’ve opened it.

Clays are naturally detoxing, meaning they attract bad stuff, the bad stuff sticks to the clay and it becomes easy to get rid of. Also, clay s have minerals in them andthese  minerals can be absorbed by your teeth, protecting them.

Salts provide antibacterial action, remineralizing power and preservative help.

Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder

Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder LabelCinnamon and Clove are the tastiest antibacterials I know of. They are great for those of us who worry about or suffer from gum disease.  These two herbs will keep gums healthy, which will keep them from receding and will add to our already youthful appearance, yes? If you are interested in purchasing Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder from us, click here.

Activated Charcoal Toothpowder


Activated Charcoal is an adsorper, meaning it has microscopic crags and crevices which trap toxins and carry them away. This is why Activated Charcoal is used in hospitals to treat poison victims and used in water filtration systems to clean water. It is this detoxifying effect that actually whitens teeth.

Licorice prevents cavities and helps gums studies suggest by inhibiting bacteria.

Fennel is often offered at the end of an Indian meals to freshen breath and clean teeth. It has been used in this way for millennia.

If you are interested in purchasing my Activated Charcoal Toothpowder, click here.

toothpowder_Green15-01Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina Toothpowder

Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina freshens your mouth and is good for Sensitive Teeth.

If you are interested in purchasing my Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina Toothpowder, click here.

Feb 032016

Butter for Cracked Heels and Dry Cracked Damaged Skin

Mend Me Butter for Dry Cracked Damaged SkinIntroducing my new Mend Me Butter to mend dry, cracked skin.  I packed in as many skin healing, moisturizing, bacteria and fungus fighting ingredients  into this mending butter lotion. I created this for those who suffer from cracked heels, hands, fingers and elbows as well as those who simply have very dry skin.   This butter stays where you put it, warding off further drying and protecting overly stressed skin from further damage and infection so your skin can begin to mend those painful cracks and dry spots while preventing them from getting worse.

Even better when applied to damp skin!

Ingredients: Aloe Juice, Rice Bran Oil, Lanolin, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, E-Wax, BTMS (an emulsifier and skin conditioner), Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate, Frankincense Powder, Magnesium Chloride, Neem Oil,Optiphen Plus (a non-paraffin and formaldehyde free preservative), Sea Buckthorn Powder, Turmeric Powder, Essential Oils of Mhyrr, Palmrosa, Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil and Vit E.

Aloe Juice

The juice of this ancient plant has been used around the world to treat skin disorders ranging from dry and flaking skin, sunburn and is used to heal skin faster while soothing inflammation.

Rice Bran OilMend Me Butter for Dry Cracked Damaged Skin

Rice Bran is high in tocopherols (Vit E) which helps skin healing. It is also a significant source of the antioxidant γ-oryzanol, and squalene which keeps skin soft and supple.


Lanolin is a wax from sheeps wool during the sheering process and is therefore okay for vegetarians. It has marvelous ability to protect skin and seal in moisture from the elements. Perfect to keep skin from drying out so much that it cracks and also great to protect already cracking skin from the elements and further cracking. Lanolin is used to protect the skin of babies and also helps protect and heal nipples during breastfeeding.  It is also a popular wax for lips, heels, elbows and to protect athletes from chafing.

 Shea Butter

Shea butter is collected  in western Africa, usually by women who turn it into raw Shea butter, soaps and other products. It has been traded throughout Africa as a skin healer since the 14th century. Shea butter protects skin by stimulating structural protein production. Its high stearic acid content promotes and protects skin while the high level of triterpene alcohols in Shea butter reduce inflammation.  Shea also contains ultraviolet absorbing cinnamic acid esters, and lupeol, which helps prevent the effects of skin aging by blocking the  degradation of skin proteins.

 Cocoa Butter

Scientific evidence suggests that cocoa beans and butter contain  antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components that help skin health and offer skin protection.   Cocoa is richer in phenolic and flavonoid contents than most other foods which give it a greater  antioxidant capacity. Cocoa contains several botanical agents, including theobromine, which neutralizes reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated in the skin as a consequence of UV exposure. Flavanols may influence healing properties and offer a wide range of health benefits.  Cocoa has a long history of being used to treat  skin diseases, psoriasis, acne and wound healing.  The “International Journal of Cosmetic Science” published a study which found that the polyphenols in cocoa butter improved skin elasticity and tone.

 Coconut Oil

Obviously Coconut oil significantly improves skin hydration but its  medium-chain fatty acid constituents (including lauric acid, capric acid, and others) provide an antimicrobial effect by making it difficult for bacterias, fuNguses and viruses to grow.


An extremely stable emulsifier and allows us to bring water into our oil and butter. Oils and butters alone aren’t aCtually able to moisturize, rather they seal moisture in.  Using e-wax allows me to provide the moisture cracking skin requires.  It is a synthetic group pf chemicals including Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, PEG-150 Stearate & Steareth-20. Keep in mind that the percentage of this to other ingredients is usually no more than 3%)

 BTMS (an emulsifier and skin conditioner)

I use BTMS in this formula as it is not only an emulsifier contributor to the E-wax (and allowing me to use less e-wax), but a skin conditioner in its own right.  Often used in hair care products.

 Sunflower Oil

This well balanced oil is very gentle and provides Vitamin A, C, D, and E.  It is high in linoleic acid which helps decrease inflammation found in cracked skin and thereby  encouraging healing.

 MendMeVegetable Glycerin

Glycerin is a way to bring water and moisture to the skin.

 Stearic Acid

This saturated fatty acid is one of the most common fatty acids found in nature., it is lubricating and softening.

 Castor Oil

Topically, it has been used as a wound healer, anti-inflammatory agent, detoxifieR,  active component is considered to be ricinoleic acid (RA), which exerts analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Castor Oil softens cracked skin stopping further cracking from occurring.

 Sodium Lactate

An outstanding skin hydrator, this is a non-dairy sourced ingredient

 Frankincense Powder

A traditional skin treatment to aid healing.

 Magnesium Chloride

Also known as Magnesium Oil, this mineral helps keep cracked skin clean and encourage healing.

Neem Oil

An excellent and mild antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral, some cracked skin is not only susceptible to these kind of infections, some dry skin and skin issues are caused by funguses and bacterias.  Neem Oil will provide a clean environment  for your skin.

Optiphen Plus
(a non-paraffin and formaldehyde free preservative)

A small amount of preservative is necessary to make sure the butter is very clean and your skin is not exposed to unwanted microbes.

 Sea Buckthorn Powder

Very rich in Vitamin C, the Russians used this powder to heal radiation burns.

Turmeric Powder

Turmeric powder has an ancient history as a wound healer. Turmeric contains a lot of a chemical called  curcumin which is being studied for its possible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

 Essential Oils of Mhyrr

Myrrh, like Frankincense, is a traditional skin treatment to aid healing.


Floracopeia says that Palmrosa regulates skin moisture and oil production, offers cell renewal benefits, nourishes and restores skin health and is known for its ability to rejuvenate tired, sore feet.

 PeppermintMend me

Peppermint essential oil helps cool the skin, making it feel less painful and raw.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree seems to have a strong ability to keep infection at bay, reduce itchiness of healing skin and increase skin health.

Vit. E.

A natural antioxidant which speeds healing of skin.





Aug 202015

The Flower Garden Natural Deodorant has a light smell and has a hint of flower but nothing is too strong like I imagine a flower garden might smell on a morning day. The deo has essential oils of Lavender, Geranium, Benzoin (sort of like baby powder smell), Peru Balsam (Vanilla smell), Palmrosa (a rose-like smell), Rosewood,, Petitgrain (another rose-like smell), Clementine, Oregano, and Rose Absolute and a hint of jasmine and ylang ylang. I tried to balance the sweet smells with the tang of citrus and the herbal smells of Lavender and Rosemary. Benzoin works to hold the smells together.

Mar 092015

Apple Cider Vinegar, the old and now new cure for many ailments. Whether you believe Apple Cider “with the mother” will cure you of your acne, varicose veins, rashes, athlete’s foot, blisters, styes, rashes, eczema, psoriasis,  poison ivy or ease your aches and pains, sunburn, and itchy skin or fade your age spots and scars, I know a few things for sure that make apple cider vinegar lotion a great addition to lotion


Apple cider vinegar allows for less chemical preservative

Since all lotions by definition include water and all products that combine water and oil together require preservation, adding vinegar makes a lotion less likely to go bad. Apple cider vinegar provides a natural preservative that can work support chemical preservatives, allowing me to lower the amount of chemickla preservatives required.

Apple cider vinegar can provide – at low levels – a natural acidic environment which skin naturally enjoys. This may explain why skin feels soothed by diluted viner applications.


Apple cider vinegar, at higher levels, can be an antibacterial, which is probably why acne sufferers swear by using it in their toner recipes.

Apple Cider vinegars acidity probably explains why it can fade age spots.

Apple cider vinegar is a great way to change skin’s Ph which might explain its effectiveness on anything that is relying on our skin’s Ph to remain constant. Apple cider vinegar, by disrupt the Ph, makes the skin less attractive to a hoost of funguses, viruses and bacteria’s that require a fairly neutral Ph.



People who do work that makes their hands smelly. Apple Cider Vinegar lotion is great for those whose work gives them stinky hands. One clients raves about it for when they slaughter the chickens. It will help stinky fish hands, garlic and onion smells on hands and other difficult to remove smells.


Many people work with alkaline products occasionally or daily. Drywallers, bricklayers, people who work with cement, potters and ceramicist are just afew of people I can think of who need to rebalance their skin after working.  Apple Cider Vinegar lotion is a quick way of protecting and soothing hands by counteracting the overly alkaline exposure.


70, 000 go to Burning Man each year (including me) which is a highly alkaline dry lake bed in Nevada. Many also work for weeks in this alkaline environment before the festival.  I found that Apple Cider Vinegar is the perfect lotion for my alkaline challenged skin.


Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion is an inexpensive way to treat the whole body with a lotion able to fade sun damage while re-hydrating skin.


I continue to search for an explanation for why people suffering from eczema and psiorises might experience relief from Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion. Many testimonials claim they acheive relief with ACV applied topically and when it comes to these difficult to treat conditions, ACV is certainly worth a try.

 To purchase my Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion…. click on this link.

Oct 152014

Acne Face Mask with White Willow Bark

Overzealous sebum secretion is a major contributor to acne. While it is natural to create some oils, too much tends to get trapped in pores, starts developing bacteria which the skin reacts to by becoming inflamed and developing pimples. Masks for acne absorb oil, wash away debris and keep bacteria away.

I developed my mask to address all the topical reasons acne develops and my customers are really happy with the product.


All you need to do is mix a teaspoon or more to a small bowl of water, yogurt or honey and spread over face.

Mix with any of the following;

  • WATER if you want maximum absorption of sebum.
  • YOGURT if you have acne and dry skin, the fat in yogurt will help keep the skin moisturized.
  • HONEY to sooth and calm your skin.

Mix a teaspoon of mask with enough liquid for easy spreadibility. Allow to dry on skin and wash off. Use once or twice a week.



This American mined clay works so well as a mask because it does three things very well.

  1. It absorbs the extra oil on your face
  2. It draws out pour blockages.
  3. It also attracts and takes in toxins that might be contributing to the bacterial growth on the face.

In fact, it has been studied for its potential to attract and absorb toxins for skin exposed to allergens, poisons, and other skin irritants.

There are many different types of clays and each contains it own unique signature mix of trace minerals like potassium, iron and magnesium which probably helps clay provide an environment inhospitable to bacteria.


This natural source for salicin is the grandfather of present day Salicylic acid and sodium salicylate — a palatable form of the very familiar pain reliever and anti-inflammatory medicine, aspirin. Salicylic acid is a major active ingredient in the popular but expensive skin care regimen, Proactiv.

Salicin is good to treat acne sufferers as it not only acts as an anti-inflammatory (say goodbye to enflamed, red skin) but is also an acid which loosens extra layers of skin and allows it to be shed away instead of clogging your pores. Its presence also prevents the growth of bacteria.

The strong relationship between White Willow bark and Aspirin means that those with allergies to aspirin should avoid ingredients containing Willow Bark, Wintergreen and Spearmint.


This lovely and clean smelling herb has shown considerable antibacterial properties in studies and makes it an excellent choice for my face mask.(


This herb is another source of base salicylic acid and methyl salicylate. Methyl Salicylate is refreshing and cooling to inflamed skin.


I can find very little reliable evidence that Spirolina is good for your skin or face yet I just can’t help feel it is the perfect ingredient to mix with the others. It is jam packed with a variety of proteins, vitamins and minerals. I’ve included the list from Wikipedia on my website at WWW.ZIRYABS.COM and I’ll continue to research this ingredient and continue to use it without evidence of its greatness for now. One of the additional benefits of Spirolina is its bright green color which is a great color for reddened skin.


Works well as an absorber of unwanted dirt as well as a gentle exfoliator when you wash off the mask. It also provides a good source of silica to the mixture.


Sea Buckthorn Powder, also known as Hippophae requires further study on its usefulness for many things including as a source of nutrition as well as medicinal potential. I found this quote calling for further study printed in Scientific and Academic Publishing (

“Rich source of natural antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, tocopherols, carotenoids, flavonoids, while they contain proteins, vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals, lipids (mainly unsaturated fatty acids), sugars, organic acids and phytosterols. Animal and human studies suggest that sea buckthorn may have various beneficial effects: cardioprotective, anti-atherogenic, antioxidant, anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, and wound healing and anti-inflammatory. ”

Meanwhile, we have some impressive anecdotal reports on the healing impact of seabuckthorn oil on skin, especially on damaged, scarred and burned skin. Given its high level of Vit C., I conclude that Seabuckthorn Powder would have similar benefits of a Vit C. serum on photoaging. one study concluded that their mixture of Vit C resulted in clinically visible and statistically significant improvement in wrinkling when used topically for 12 weeks. This clinical improvement correlates with biopsy evidence of new collagen formation.


While nothing proves conclusively that Aloe Vera can heal as much as it is said to heal, I do know that I like using Aloe Vera on cuts, scrapes and burns because it feels good. My grandmother grew it and used it on her skin and, when I went to Kenya, I learned that the Samburu warriors used it to heal everything from cuts to pink eye. I use it in my mask suspecting it will help soothe and heal sore, acne challenged skin.


Cinnamon, like Turmeric, has gotten a lot of attention recently for its uses outside of flavoring food. Studies suggest cinnamon has strong antibacterial action as well as may encourage blood flow to the skin and increase collagen production. I believe it is milder then clove but caution should be used when applying cinnamon to skin as too much might be irritating.


One of my favorite ingredients, Neem is known as the tree of gold in India for it many uses including acting as both an antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory. Neem Powder is not oily.


This seaweed is a great ingredient in a mask as it helps thicken the mask while adding potentially beneficial nutrients including Beta Carotene.

GUAR GUM is also a thickener helping to bond the ingredients together when moistened and helps mixture stick to your face.

This product and the above description is not meant to claim that this mask can treat or cure your acne. The FDA protects your safety from claims of products having any medicinal benefits without scientifically recognized and approved proof.

Aug 092014

My first customer Chris wrote me this review:

“The best antiperspirant and deodorant ever! I haven’t been able to find any natural deodorant that
works and doesn’t make me glands swell up, this is so much better than antiperspirant. My wife keeps smelling my pits and saying ‘Yup, still working!’ Thank you!!!

The truth is, my regular lotion deodorant is not an antiperspirant, at least not the kind sold in stores.  Chris and other customer have told me the noticed a marked decrease in sweating when using Ziryab’s Body Brew Deodorant. I too noticed this but it might be a factor of a changing body for me. How-Antiperspirants-work
As you may know, antiperspirant works by using a chemical that expands in your pores when it gets wet and blocks sweat glands so the sweat can’t come out.

I am not aware of any ability of the ingredients in my deodorant to do this.

There is a possibility that once allowed to sweat without blockage, our sweat decreases. But this sounds a little far fetched to me even though I’ve noticed the result.

There is only a few other ways to deal with sweating that I know about.

  1. Constrict the pores with an astringent like witch hazel which I include in my deodorant.
  2. Increase evaporation on skin to cool faster with alcohol
  3. Use something that will absorb sweat like clay, tapioca, baking soda (I use all three) and
  4. Maybe use menthol to cool (I use peppermint essential oil) but I’m not sure this is not just a sensation or it really would stop one from perspiring a bit.

So while my deo does have some wetness protection it isn’t nearly as strong as such things as aluminum chlorohydrate in commercial antiperspirants.


Aug 012014

BugSpray_3bottles2I created my Bug Me Not spray for the purpose of repelling mosquitoes and ticks naturally with the highest content and largest mix of oils and essential oils I am comfortable wearing directly on my skin. According to most research and anecdotal reports, natural bug repellents work just as well but not for as long as their man-made chemical counterparts, namely deet.

While I will continue to seek ways to make the most effective natural bug repellent possible,  given that serious diseases can be transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes , it’s important that we embrace a multi-pronged system of repelling insects that include physical barriers and chemical solutions.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency has some excellent information of repelling insects:

I created my product for times when my husband and I are sitting out for an hour or two where there are a few annoying bugs. I found it works like magic. However, we live and camp in the US southwest where there isn’t yet a serious concern about insect-borne deseases.

If I were to camp or hike in a more insect challenged area, I would certainly find uses for my Bug me Not Spray but I would also follow the suggestions below and be prepared to back this defense up with a strong chemical laden pesticide used judicially at times and on spots where I am most vulnerable to bites.

It is my understanding that some of these diseases pose such a serious health risk that protecting myself with the use of toxic chemicals may be worth it.

Here is more information on Deet and application.

(There is a somewhat natural repellent called BioUd that bares further research )

Wear Clothes to Protect Yourself Against Mosquitos and Ticks

A great post by Karen Somers “Repel Mosquitoes With Clothes Rather Than Chemicals”  describes how she uses clothes to protect herself from bugs.

Carefully Choose Clothes BugsawayEx-Officio

    • White or Light colored; Flies and mosquitos are attracted to dark colors. Yes, lights will get dirty but better grubby than buggy
    • Made of Synthetic Material; Special material made for the outdoors can be light weight and difficult for bugs to penetrate. There are other benefits to choosing synthetic in outdoor situations too, including UV protection and the way these materials handle water. If you simply can’t bring yourself to wear synthetic or nylon or these choices aren’t right for the situation (High Tea in the Tropics) you can try linen – the tighter the weave the better (hold up to light ask yourself how easily will a  mosquito be able to stick it’s stinger through it.)
    • Extra large and baggy; Make sure all the clothes you wear fit loosely. A mosquito has an easier time getting through material that is tightly stretched against skin.

Wear a Wide Brimmed Hatpetervaccomacken

 Mostly to hold the net as described below but also to provide protection from bugs and sun..

Use a Head Net

This is a net that fits over the hat and can by easily lifted up or down. I would say people who use them get very passionate about how great they are and how much they help. REI has one selling for $9.95. I’ve read that this guy Peter (on right) is making the best ones:

Wear Gaiterswhite gaiters

These are similar to leg warmers or spats. They go between the show and the pant, protecting your ankles and keeping bugs from getting in under your pants or into your shoes.  White or light colored gaiters aren’t as common but I found some at Racing the Planet-although they are a bit : pricey.  I would probably try making my own if I had the time and materials.

Choose Closed (non-meshed) Boots or Shoes

Wear Gloves

Choose gloves that are that are light-weight, light colored and loose fitting. Some people buy their shirts with sleeves long enough to cover their hands. I would consider using something around my wrists over my gloves and shirt to close off any path for bugs to get up my arms or into my hands. Maybe try hair bungees or sweat bands. I have some nifty reflective Velcro gizmos for bike riding that is meant to protect pants from getting caught in bike chain that I would try around my wrists.

Karen mentions she chose a RailRiders brand large long-sleeved shirt made from synthetic material that was tough, lightweight and provided UV protection ( and lose full length nylon pants

As a last resort, might want to consider washable clothing infused with the permethrin – a chemical bug repellent that stays IN THE CLOTHES even after washing.

Use Screens and Mosquito Nets

For Tents, while sleeping and even hanging out if possible.

Avoid Being Near Water at Dusk

This is the time mosquitos come out in flocks. This is true, I didn’t actually  KNOW this until I was enjoying a nice picnic on a Lake Winnipeg beach and saw a black mass coming towards us from over the water, sort of like a Steven King novel. As the cloud reaches the shore it turns out to be made of  thousands (millions?) of very hungry relentless mosquitoes all wanting a taste of us! yikes!

Avoid untended grass, bush and forests.

Ticks hang out on the end of branches, leaves and grasses waiting for an animal (or human) to brush past them, at which point they hop on for a ride and a long term home.

You May Also Try Eating

  • Onions and Garlic as well as leeks, chives and other great tasting things that contain Allicin, toxic to bugs but not us!.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – some people suggest that drinking this helps make you smell less attractive to bugs.
  • Foods high in B-1 Vitamins or Supplements like Sunflower Seeds, Beans, Fish like Trout and Tuna, Nuts, Edamame and other Soy products, Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemongrass
  • Grapefruit – contains Nootkaton, supposedly repels mosquitos
  • Chile Peppers –  contains Capsaicin which bugs don’t like
  • Yeast extract like Marmite or Vegemite
Jul 312014

ZirYabs Oil Face Clanser

The idea of cleansing your face with oil to prevent blacheads and Milia may sound strange to some people but for some reason when I first heard about the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) or Oil Cleansing Treatment (OCT) it made some kind of sense to me.

Oil cleans oil, I’ve known this for a long time and often use oil to remove other old or unwanted oils on objects. Oils have worked well to remove tar from my feet and even had some impact on getting it off towels. It also works to get off sticky substances off of objects or to clean hardened oil off of cooking surfaces.

Knowing this, I see no reason why oil isn’t a great substance to use on those oils blocking our pores.

Oil Can Open Blockages

True, oil is also the cause of blockages but it is internal oil called sebum. Sebum is natures way of cleansing our pores of  dead skin cells. However, sometimes this doesn’t go exactly to plan. Too much sebum or other complication can mean that the sebum clumps up with skin and hair  and gets trapped in our pores.  This can cause bacteria to develop which become pimples.

Black heads occur in a similar way, forming when our natural oil gets trapped in a hair follicle and the oil oxidizes and turns dark. While there is no infection related to blackheads, most of us would prefer not to have them.

For years I’ve been told to be careful using things that will block my pores, especially oil laden lotions and makeup. I was told to look for noncomedogenic (a blackhead is known as a comedeo) products to prevent my pores from getting clogged.

When I began getting those small white pumps around my eyes as I got older called milia ( small epidermal inclusion cysts) I was strongly urged to use only oil-free or water-based products on my face by an esthetician in order to avoid milia and blackheads. I followed her advice for several years but still got those damned white spots.

All accepted wisdom needs to be questioned every now and then. I still agree that oil laden and greasy things left on skin for too long is likely to block pores.  However, it seems to me the right oils used properly can prevent and maybe even lessen blackheads and milia by loosening up stubborn sebum and allowing it to be cleansed away.

It may be coincidental but ever since I’ve been using high quality pure oils to gently cleanse my face, I have no white bumps on my face, eyelids or around my eyes and even the bumps that are deep in my skin under my eyes are less noticeable and bumpy.

May 212014

E8304-Kosh-Kol-sea-buckthornTibetans have been using Sea Buckthorn Oil for centuries for health and the treatment of illness. I had heard that the Russians had used Sea Buckthorn oil  to treat Chernobyl radiation exposure which I didn’t think much about ether way until one of my clients was looking at my Face Serum and I started to tell her about Sea Buckthorn Oil. She nodded knowingly, a small smile on her face. With a slight accent she told me she knew of Sea Buckthorn because her father would grow it and make home made ointments out of it. I asked her where he lived and she told me he was Russian. Then I asked her what he did for a living, she told me he was a Russian Nuclear Physicist! Wow. Obviously not proof that Sea Buckthorn Oil will work to treat radiation burns but a powerful vote in its favor for that and other uses.

I began using Sea Buckthorn Oil from the berries in many of my products inclduding my Face Serum and my Lotions after buying a small amount and being immediately impressed with the oil’s color and fragrance. The oil derives it’s rich golden red almost opaque color from a high level of carotenoids.

Carotenoids are organic pigments and there are over 600 varieties of them. I imagine just exploring the mysteries of individual carotenoids could keep a few scientists busy for a long time but there is a lot already known about the benefits of some specific carotenoids. One benefit we have known a long time is the benefit to our eyes.   As the name implies, one of the most abundant carotenoid providers is carrots. Carrots are eye food according to mothers everywhere.  While there’s little evidence that carrots can actually improve vision, there is little debate on their protective value.  For one thing,  the carotenoids in carrots protect your retina from blue and near-ultraviolet light damage.

Beta-carotene is one important variety of carotenoid.  The more intense the color of the source of beta-carotene, the higher amount it has in it. Beta-carotene is a recognized antioxidant. We hear the word “antioxidant” thrown around so much, I really want to do more research to understand what is true and what is hype about antioxidants. However, for now it is my understanding that antioxidants neutralize, capture or somehow protect us from “free-radicals”. It sounds like there is a war going on at a microscopic level going inside our bodies! Whether this is an accurate analogy or not, I am told that free radicals are damaging to cells, can cause the visual signs of aging  and that beta-carotene can stop them or slow them down. Studies and anecdotal evidence concur.

Topical vitamin A may be helpful for treatment of aging skin. One double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that a 0.4% vitamin A lotion applied three times a week significantly reduced the number of “fine” wrinkles in seniors. 42 Benefits were also seen in terms of some biochemical measures of skin health.”   NYU Langone Medical Center 

To read a great article on Sea Buckthorn Oil, both seed and berry, check out:

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