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Treat Your Skin With Care

Natural products found at Bedford Basket

Skin is the largest organ of the body—it breathes, protects and allows us to function properly throughout our everyday lives. Why treat it with anything that isn't natural?

Needless to say, as each generation inevitably continues to grow old, so does the skin-care market continue to expand on a parallel continuum of its own, what with $3.3 billion in sales by 1997, $4 billion by 2002, and an estimated $7.2 billion by the close of 2010 (packagedfacts.com). Think of the relationship as a graph displaying the correlation between the growth in U.S. skin-care sales and the aging of the U.S. population; as we get older, we invest more of ourselves, and our money, into a market whose goal is to reverse the irreversible—the relationship is direct, and the results easily translated.

Although the purpose of the skin-care industry has shifted, morphed, lost focus, regained focus, expanded and become much more diversified over the years, the idea of skin-care has been in existence for thousands upon thousands of years.

Starting with the eruption of natural skin-care during the 4th millennium BC in China and the Middle East, and the use of natural ingredients by the Egyptians for a variety of skin conditions, the trail now leads us to a present day monopolization of technology and science for the engineering and eventual production of chemicals whose objectives are to smooth wrinkles, fade scars and turn back the adamant hands of time.

With one of the first Egyptian concoctions consisting of ingredients such as bullock's bile, ostrich eggs and olive oil, the chemically engineered facet of today's skin-care is quite a far stretch from its forefather. On the more natural side of the sphere, however, things have remained pretty much the same, with only a few alterations, and new discoveries, here and there. With much trial and tribulation no doubt, our ancestors scavenged the earth to figure out what worked and what didn't work—why stray from their findings and opt for the myriad scientific lotions, creams and miracle gels of today?

It just so happens that Valentine's Day is almost here, which is a perfect segue into the proceeding suggestion: do your sweetheart a favor and indulge her, or him, with some natural skin-care products. Chances are none of the lotions and lip balms, natural or not, will make your loved one look any younger, have any less wrinkles, or do away with their crow's feet (they are ocular smile lines, embrace them!); they will, however, fare better for their bodies and the environment than any number of lab-produced chemicals disguised as moisturizers today.

Remember, the skin is the body's largest organ; we must nourish and provide for it, naturally and holistically, inside and out. The earth is rich with gifts; we just have to use them appropriately and with respectful intention.

To start, take a look over at Bedford Basket (315 Franklin Ave), where they happen to sell a variety of products from The Naked Bee, a company dedicated to natural skin-care products (and candles, too), including soaps, lotions, lip balms and shampoos and conditioners. Their line uses age-old and natural ingredients like spirulina, honey, paraffin-free palm wax, beeswax, oatmeal, guar gum and olive oil. No ostrich eggs or bullock's bile, but just as natural and just as effective. No dyes or pigments, propylene glycol or mineral oil, no laureth sulfate, and no animal testing—which means quality products for that massive, living, breathing organ otherwise known as your skin.

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