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April 2018

Healthy, Sustainable Oils vs. Harmful Oils

We're an Oily Bunch

We love oils ~ but they have to be the 'right' oils.

Yes, the Qēt family loves oils, and our skin loves oils, too. When our skin is lacking in oil, you guessed it, it's dry. It's no secret that oily skin produces more oil than dry or normal skin. Our skin needs oil moisture to maintain its elasticity, strength and to be able to function properly. 

As the clock ticks, our skin naturally slows its oil production, and even in certain times of the year (winter), the natural oil production slows as well.

We ARE an oily bunch ~ and we're happy about it! We're oil based, work with plant oils and raw materials, and we're sensitive creatures, too. When skin lacks oil it becomes sensitive and even angry. When there isn't enough oil, irritation, uneven skin, breakouts, and rough skin can develop. Over time, without enough oil on our skin, the natural acid mantle and our skin's protective barrier loses its ability to defend again hydration loss. In turn, this can compromise our skin's health and vitality. In other words... the right oil on our skin can keep it clear, help it from becoming uneven and tired looking, and can keep it glowing with various conditions at every age. 

What we're not happy about? What the harvesting and production of certain oils have done to our environment. 

Harmful Oils, in More Way than One 

We avoid synthetic ingredients ~ these include all of the usual suspects like parabens, synthetics, harmful preservatives, and fillers. We currently don't even formulate a lotion or a cream as we've been loving using our propriety blends of premium, performing oils in small amounts rather than having it in a carrier with waxes or creams.

There are two harmful oil culprits in the oil family that are used in other skin and food brands regularly. However, the harvesting and production of these oils is wreaking havoc on our environment. Any guesses? Mineral oil (not a new oil to be shamed) and palm oil. Mineral oil actually pulls moisture out of the skin and doesn't benefit it, but is an inexpensive substance. Palm oil is eating up the forests and is threatening the now endangered orangutan. Alternatives are available (almond, olive, safflower, grape) and cause less harm to the ecosystem. 

We're serious about working with clean ingredients that are safe for our surroundings and for us; we use neither of these oils. My husband and I happened to stumble on a documentary presented by National Geographic featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, called Before the Flood. In Leo's two- to three-year journey around the globe looking at the changes we as people are making to our environment, this documentary revealed images of stories I had only heard about before. 

Take a quick trip with me. 

This reminded me of a vacation we took as a family to Costa Rica. The country is peaceful, healthy, and alive with flora and fauna that we don't get in many parts of the world. We love to hike, eat, and travel our way through our destinations, and this one was filled with rich jungles, flowing rivers, and quiet areas of the country where we had to stop and listen in awe to the song birds and monkeys. I distinctly remember driving through an area where the palm trees were thick, lush, and beautiful. Then I remember the strong smell of something almost sour lingering in the air. It was the plant where they were harvesting the fruit from the palm trees to make the palm oil. According to WorldWildlife.org, palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet, and it is in about half of all packaged products sold in the supermarket and can be found in many cosmetics and skincare products. The devastation happening from the production of this oil is eating up the forests and the natural habitat of many animals.

There are always two sides to every story, but this story is revealed in the documentary Before the Flood. This story has visual imagery and non-fictional characters in it ~ mainly of our earth. It's something we should be aware of at the very least, and if we can make a difference in any small way, then we shall.

I snapped this image while our family traveled through Costa Rica. We saw wild red mccaws, toucans, howler and capuchin monkeys, sloths, alligators, walking-on-the-water-lizards (funny!), blue morpho butterflies, tasted the bark from the cinnamon trees, and loves the dense forests of teak trees and bamboo. We were driving by rows and rows of these beautiful palm trees. I didn't notice the poles with the electricity at first, and then I smelled the strong odor. Then we happened on a plantation where they were making palm oil with the electricity leading up to it. What an abrupt change to the environment. 

Later we happened upon this smiling sloth hanging from a tree and posing while we snapped this photo. Cute, isn't she? We're hoping that she and her friends are all still smiling. :) 

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