Natural Living

By Laura Peterson

Thoughts of Halloween wouldn’t be complete without images of carved, gap-toothed pumpkins and pies made from the insides, or those delicious chocolate treats leftover from the Trick-Or-Treaters every year. (Although, technically they aren’t “leftovers” if you claim you ran out of candy while stashing the last three Peanut Butter Cups for yourself. Don’t lie; we’ve all done it!) These holiday favorites can offer so much more than just window dressing and an excuse to indulge in the forbidden. Both pumpkin and chocolate each hold enough anti-aging magic to dazzle even a broomstick-riding witch, especially when applied externally. How’s that for a Halloween mask?

Now before you start rubbing Kit Kat bars on your face, take a look at what these companies have brewed up. Their natural skin care products may remind you of All Hallow’s Eve, but you’ll definitely want to enjoy them all year round.

Tricks With Treats
When Deborah Burnes and her business partner started their own bath & body products company six years ago, Burnes had quite a wealth of experience to lend to her new venture. Her resume includes modeling, cosmetology, herbal studies and years of experience in the wine industry. The goals she set for her products were high – they must be 100% natural, made with the freshest ingredients and they must really work. Her handmade Pumpkin Souffle and Cocoa Smooth Facial Masks certainly don’t disappoint.

The ingredient list for sumbody’s Pumpkin Souffle Facial Mask reads more like a recipe for pumpkin pie. With pumpkin, eggs, milk, and cinnamon – my mouth is watering just thinking about it! But according to Burnes, this sweet concoction can do us more good on the outside than on the inside. “Pumpkin is an amazing ingredient for skin care,” Burnes gushes. “It not only contains vitamins in natural form that can be readily absorbed by your skin, it also acts as a bridge for other ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin.” As Burnes explained to me, it doesn’t matter how many parts per gram a product claims to have of important vitamins; what matters is if your skin can absorb and utilize those vitamins. If your skin can’t absorb it, then those vitamins will just sit there on the surface, completely useless. (I’m tempted to say “just like a man,” but I won’t.)

Pumpkin is high in vitamin A (retinol) and acts as a mild cleanser that also soothes and softens the skin. Thanks in large to its natural soothing ability, pumpkin is also a superb choice for all skin types, even sensitive, reactive skin.

The Cocoa Smooth Facial Mask is made with ingredients like pure cocoa, bananas, oats and soy milk. This would probably make a great ice cream topping if it weren’t so valuable to your skin! And just like the “lifetime on the hips” you’re doomed to for eating chocolate, when it’s used in skin care products, chocolate thickens and plumps up your skin. Before you assume that’s a bad thing, read on. Burnes explains, “You know the way a baby’s skin feels – that soft, plump skin? Well, as we age, our skin gets thinner and drier, leaving us with wrinkles rather than that baby soft feeling.” Chocolate is loaded with natural essential fatty acids, which is what plumps up the skin, and it also contains linolic acid, an anti-oxidant, which acts as an anti-aging agent.

Mature skin would benefit most from chocolate skin care products, but almost all skin types can use chocolate, with the exception of sensitive skin, which can redden. (Tip – Try the product on your wrist to see if redness occurs before putting chocolate skin care products on your face.)

sumbody’s 100% natural masks come in powdered form, so you can activate them yourself at home by adding water. “When the ingredients are hydrated,” Burnes says, “they’re activated and losing potency in the container, so by the time they reach the consumer, they are not as potent as they can be.” After all the work Burnes puts into her handmade products, she just won’t have us using weak products! “We are all about results,” she declares about her company, “Making a difference for your skin.”

sumbody Pumpkin Soufflé and Cocoa Smooth Facial Masks can be ordered through the company website: http://www.sumbody.com.

Originally published October 2005
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