May 16

Cucumber Skin Care

I always plant cucumbers in my garden. This wonderful veggie is full of good nutrients for your face from the inside and out. It is a good source of Vitamin C and Molybdenum; both nutrients can help detoxify your skin and make it smooth and beautiful.

A quick fix for puffy eyes: place chilled cucumber slices over your eyes. You’ve probably seen this before—because it really works!

Redness: Cucumbers have natural anti-inflamatory properties that calm and soothe your skin. You can place thin sliced cucumbers anywhere there is redness. Great to soothe sunburn, rash or rosacea flare ups.

Spa Facial: Lightly puree 1/2 cup of cucumber and mix 1 to 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (look for one with active cultures). If it is too runny you can add a little oatmeal. Gently apply to clean dry face and neck. Relax for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse and enjoy your new glowing skin.

Jul 14

Black Flies in Horse’s Ears

Caddy earsI have battled flies in horse’s ears since I was a kid. Here in the Northeast the black flies are here from April until frost. If you don’t do anything, these nasty little blood suckers turn your horses ears into a crusty mass of dried blood. I’m thinking it doesn’t feel too good to your horse either.

One solution is a fly mask with ears, but our Pony Cadilac Man doesn’t care for them. I know people say that not clipping the hair in their ears helps, but ears couldn’t be any hairier than Caddy’s so I’m not sure it makes any difference. But here is what I have found that works great and I didn’t have to look too far; Alabu Tea Tree Body Butter.  I apply it every morning inside his ears and it heals any bites already there ( sometimes I forget to check for flies in his ears in the Spring) and keeps them from getting new ones. I also use it on the sheath area and the inside of our pony’s back legs where the horse flies like to bite. It heals and protects from them too. I have to say it works better than anything I have ever tried. I could probably apply less often, but Caddy really likes it, so usually he gets it every day. I think he likes the ear massage as much as keeping the flies away.

Mar 14

Pamper Your Feet

Pamper Your Feet

Most people try to take care of their face and hands but ignore their feet. We just take our feet for granted even though they work hard every day. We have a tendency to only think of them when they hurt. It’s a great time to pay some attention to your feet and get them in shape for sandals. A nice way to pamper your feet is a pedicure.
You can have this done at a salon or you can do it yourself at home.
  • Remove your nail polish (if you’re wearing any).
  • Soak your feet in warm water (use dead sea salt or epsom salt if you have it!) for five to ten minutes.
  • Dry your feet and use a small brush to remove dead skin (a pumice stone also works well for calluses).
  • Soak your feet in water for a few more minutes.
  • Apply your favorite Body Butter to your feet and massage thoroughly.
  • Next you’ll want to trim or file your nails. Just cut straight across to prevent them from becoming ingrown. If you are prone to this, just cut a small notch in the middle of the nail to relieve the outward pressure.
  • You can use a cuticle stick to push the cuticle back at this point.
  • Finish with your favorite nail polish. You might want to add a clear base coat to smooth the surface out before adding the final color coat. Adding a top clear coat will help your pedicure last longer.
Now that your feet are feeling and looking great don’t forget the advice of the American Podiartric Medical Association for taking good care of your feet.
Properly fitted shoes are essential. Many people wear shoes that don’t fit right and cause foot problems. Shop for shoes in the afternoon because your feet swell a little during the day,and it’s best to buy shoes to fit them then. Also, have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes and do it while you’re standing. When you try on shoes, try them on both feet because many people have one foot larger than the other. A shoe with a firm sole and soft upper is best.

  • Pantyhose or stockings should be the correct size. 
  • Never cut corns and calluses with a razor or knife. 
  • Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm (not hot) water, using a mild soappreferably one containing moisturizers, or use a moisturizer separately.
  • Test the water temperature with your hand.
  • Trim or file your toenails straight across.
  • Inspect your feet every day, especially if you have diabetes.
If you can’t do this,have someone do this for you. If you notice any redness, swelling, cracks in the skin or sores, consult your doctor.



Feb 14

Dry Skin Care Tips

images-2Spring may be just around the corner but Winter may still cause dry skin. The climate varies around the country, but the problems our skin experiences are similar. In the winter your skin is exposed to many harsh environments like dry indoor air, cold and wind outside, and a lack of sunshine. All this causes very dry, flaky irritated skin in the winter months. But there something you can do to be comfortable in your skin!  What you need to do is moisturize, exfoliate, and moisturize again. Your skin reacts differently in the winter so you need to adjust accordingly.

Cleansing: In the Winter one of the most important things to keep in mind is hot water dries your skin. As good as it feels to take a steaming hot shower your skin will suffer the consequences. If your skin is very dry try washing with water that is warm but not hot. You want your cleaning routine to be as moisturizing as possible, so you might want to change to one of our more moisturizing soaps such as Baby Me or Olive soap if you are not already using it.

Moisturize: Replenish Moisturizer is great but if you need something more in the winter try the Shea Body Butter, even though it is a heavier moisturizer, the ingredients are all non-comedogenic, so it can be used on your face without fear of clogging pores.
It is a good idea to use a heavier moisturizer in the winter since your skin has more extreme conditions to deal with. Itchy skin often happens because the dry air of winter is causing the moisture in the top layer of your skin to evaporate.

Exfoliate: This is done to remove dead skin cells and allow your skin to absorb the extra moisturizer you are applying. But don’t exfoliate more than twice per week.

Hydrotherapy: This stimulates your circulatory system for better blood flow to your skin. You can do this at home by using your shower. Start out with a warm shower, before you finish switch the water to cold for about fifteen seconds then back to warm. Repeat the process for two minutes. Try it and see if you don’t feel better.

Moisturize: The best time to moisturize is right after a bath or shower. The bath helps to hydrate your skin and the Shea Body Butter helps to keep it from evaporating.

And remember healthy skin starts from the inside, so eat healthy whole foods and drink plenty of water.


Nov 13

The Woolly Bear Caterpillar: Forecasting the weather

woolly BearI grew up hearing folks tell me about forecasting the winter weather by looking at the Woolly Bear Caterpillar. If you know what a Woolly Bear caterpillar looks like you can thank Dr. Howard Curran, his study of them made them famous. The Woolly Bear Caterpillar is really the larva of the Tiger moth. They are a common sight in the fall looking for places where they can curl up and hide for the winter. It is about one and a half inches long with black and brown bristly stripes.
I was always getting conflicting theories on what the colored stripes meant for the coming winter weather. We have seen more of these caterpillars than usual this fall, so I had to look up what they were trying to tell me.

Legend has it that Dr. Howard Curran, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC decided that he was going to study the woolly caterpillar and see if the folklore was true. It may have been just a fun excuse to get out of NYC and be leaf peepers (city folks who travel to the mountains to see the fall foliage) traveling to Bear Mountain with his wife and friends. They actually called themselves The Original Society of the Friends of the Woolly Bear. Anyway he did actually conduct a study for several years and it turned out the tiny caterpillar did predict with some accuracy whether the winter would be severe or mild. Although he did think his study was too small to say for sure. He said if the brown middle strip was over one third larger than the black stripes at the ends then it would be a mild winter. If the black stripes were wider it would be a severe winter. Most scientists don’t think his theory holds true. But entomologist Mike Peters of the University of Massachusetts explains, “There’s evidence that the number of brown hairs has to do with the age of the caterpillar—in other words, how late it got going in the spring. It does say something about a heavy winter or an early spring. The only thing is . . . it’s telling you about the previous year.”

So you could say that the woolly bear caterpillar does tell you about the winter, but only if you want to know how bad last year’s winter was.  But still, I think the caterpillars guess is that far off than the weatherman’s forecast.