What To Do When Air Plane Air Leaves Your Skin High And Dry

So you've survived the long haul of security checks, and are finally boarding. You secure your carry on, bring your seat to upright position and before you buckle your seat belt your skin already feels dry. And then you notice that airplane scent. A little bit stale and a little bit something else. My heart used to sink at the thought of air travel.


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Anti-Aging Skincare Ingredients: What You'll Find in Luminance Premium

Kim often recalls a conversation that he's had hundreds of times with our customers at the farmer's market. The customer approaches, asking how Luminance products are so simple, yet so effective. His answer? We leave out all the junk. We use only exactly what your skin needs and absolutely nothing more so that it can absorb the product and reap the benefits without any nasty side effects. 

We apply the exact same concept to our mature skincare line, Luminance Premium. Unlike traditional "anti-aging" products, we take the stance of "pro-aging". Aging is natural, beautiful and healthy. The goal in creating these products is to get your skin to reflect that. It's entirely possible to keep your skin happy and glowing without smothering it with ingredients that are interpreted as a threat.

Instead, we choose ingredients that come straight from nature and promote moisture retention, hydration, muscle relaxation and collagen production. We source very specific proteins that encourage the skin to relax, slow down involuntary muscle twitching and help soothe areas that are prone to fine lines and wrinkles. We suspend these proteins in carriers like cucumber water or sustainable palm oil because we know that these mediums help deliver the active ingredients more deeply into the different layers of your skin where they can really get the job done. 

We make our products with the intention of making your skin as healthy as possible, no matter what your age. We aim to provide reliable, consistent results that occur naturally rather than shocking your skin with harsh toxins and chemicals, tricking it into the appearance of youthfulness. You won't see results in five minutes -- and thank goodness. Mature skin requires patience. These products work meticulously with the cellular makeup of your skin so that it can be eased back to its healthiest state, leaving you with an enviable, elegant glow.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- Luminance Stands With You

Every October, we see proud pink ribbons pinned neatly on the chests of those who know – it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The statistics from 2018 show that 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Most of us know someone who is fighting this battle - whether it's your wife, mother, sister, grandmother or best friend, it is a cause worth educating yourself about and getting closely involved with. 

This month is a time to educate ourselves about the trials of those we know who have fought breast cancer, and encourages us to learn more about what patients dealing with all types of cancer go through so that we may find an actionable way to help. As individuals, the team at Luminance is deeply concerned and committed to making a positive difference. As a company, we are built on the idea that it is our job as part of the global community to do good in every way we possibly can. That starts with making ourselves aware and active in fighting for the health and wellbeing of our customers and their families.

Understanding Treatment

Anyone who has undergone chemotherapy or radiation can tell you that the process is exhausting, emotional and often painful. Chemotherapy, the introduction of drugs to the body, infiltrates mutated cell clusters and kills them off. Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not discriminate in what it attacks, so patients often feel dizzy, weak, queasy and sore afterwards. Radiation works differently, delivering high energy particles to make tiny breaks in the DNA of tumorous cells. The radiation site is local, but the intensity of the radiation itself can cause significant discomfort. Cancer treatment takes a heavy toll on the comfort and confidence of every patient.

Some of the most common afflictions that cancer patients deal with during and after treatment center around their skin. Ailments include itchy or painful rashes, dry, flaky or scaly skin, bruising, burns, scars, extreme sensitivity to light and broken skin.

Depending on the type of treatment the patient is undergoing, frequency of treatment, type of cancer and preexisting conditions, the skin can be a major source of pain. This is especially true in areas like hands and feet, behind knees and elbows, underarms and areas with delicate skin, like your neck and face. Once treatment begins, they're likely to notice changes in their skin within a few weeks. 

Effects on Skin

Cancer causes the skin to reach acidic pH conditions, as this is the type of environment where cancerous cells can thrive. When a patient’s skin is so far out of balance that it actually becomes acidic, they’re likely to notice symptoms like peeling, flaking, extreme dryness and high sensitivity to both light and to personal care products they may have enjoyed in the past. Many people find that their usual body lotions, creams, makeup, sunscreen and soaps are much too harsh for their skin. What was once a replenishing, relaxing experience, turns into something painful and worsens their post-treatment conditions.

The problem that cancer patients have with commercial products is one we are familiar with at Luminance. Many chemo-specific, drugstore and high-end products, like lotions, cleansers, toners, soaps, body washes, and acne products contain harsh chemicals, fragrances, paraffins, waxes, salts, metals, preservatives and toxins. While this is a typical qualm for someone with sensitive skin, the stakes are much higher for someone who is fighting through chemotherapy or radiation. These unnatural products only serve to worsen skin ailments, causing discomfort if not pain, and prolonging the healing process after each treatment session. 

Learning which products and ingredients to avoid can be overwhelming, especially for a patient who is already oversaturated with rules, regulations and restrictions in most other areas of their life as they fight the disease. There are so many resources, medical journals and commercial business pitching different information about what their skin can handle during treatment that it can be tricky to decipher what is true and what is merely a marketing ploy. While we can’t sift through all of the individual studies, articles and product labels, we can offer some simple guidelines to help them research and reach their own conclusions.

Remember, if you or someone you love is going through cancer treatment, you should always refer to a medical professional to finalize your decisions. 

Treating cancer in a nonhomeopathic way requires a great deal of chemicals, causing your body to go into defense mode and limiting its ability to self soothe. That’s why using a chemical-laden drugstore facewash can cause your skin to burn or extend the healing process of scabs and scars. In all cases, these products will only further any problematic skin conditions. That’s when we recommend you turn to something natural that your skin recognizes as a friend, not a foe. Natural ingredients will be soothing to your skin, letting it heal while working toward a balanced, healthy complexion. Rather than putting your skin through a more intensive battle with toxic ingredients, we suggest you seek out those that are gentle, pure. Find the things that just feel good.

What to avoid 

During and after treatment, patients should avoid all ingredients and products that will disturb the pH balance of their skin or cause irritation as well as those that inhibit rehydration -- restoring moisture and comfort should be a top priority. Lesions should be monitored carefully and treated with ingredients that skin can accept naturally without perceiving it as a threat. It's also important to use products that won't cause any more irritation or pain.  

  1. Fragrances and Colors – Synthetic fragrances and dyes are usually an undisclosed list of chemicals that are extremely irritating to the skin, not to mention toxic to the immune system. For a cancer patient, perfumed products will cause more pain, dryness, rashes and inflammation. Dyes are inherently carcinogenic and cause light sensitivity and irritation due to their heavy metal concentration. 
  2. Paraffins, Mineral Oil and Waxes – Often marketed as a healthy skin softener or lip balm, many patients look to waxy products to keep rough patches smooth. What they don’t realize is that paraffins and other waxes are made from petroleum byproducts which cause heat rash, burning, blistering and poor circulation.
  3. Preservatives, Parabens and Salt – Preservatives and salts go a long way towards keeping commercial products stocked on shelves, but they have absolutely no place in your self care routine as someone fighting through chemotherapy or radiation. Known endocrine disrupters, they will cause the skin to dry out and can even absorb into the skin and potentially cause tumors to advance.
  4. Astringents – Using an astringent toner to remove discoloration, rough patches or clogged pores should be avoided by every cancer patient both during and after treatment. These ingredients are extremely harsh and will cause the skin to burn, cause immense pain and leave scars.
  5. Scrubs – Much like astringents, scrubs should never be used in a cancer-specific skin care routine. During and after treatment, skin is extremely fragile and should not be exposed to any rough abrasives, including exfoliating scrubs, washcloths and mechanical skincare devices.
  6. Metals – Metals are present in many personal care products (masks and deodorant) as they can sneak through a base made from poorly filtered water. Metals can cause even more severe problems for those undergoing radiation as the presence of excess metals can disturb the effectiveness of the treatment.
  7. Low Quality Essential Oils – Certain essential oils are extremely beneficial for cancer patients as they can provide holistic healing and aromatherapy to ease nausea and fatigue. The problem with many products made with essential oils is that the oils themselves are not responsibly sourced. Often, they are made from plants that have been sprayed with pesticides, which can make their way back into the patient’s system. It's also crucial to look into the distilling methods used to extract oils from plants – some companies use chemicals to pull out the scent rather than fractional distillation.

While some products are labeled and marketed as "gentle" or "organic", it's important to note that legal loopholes allow companies to add such identifiers to their products so long as 70% of the formula is organic. Since most are at least 70% water, this leaves plenty of room for companies to sell an "organic" product that is seven parts water to three parts chemicals, fillers, preservatives and dangerous toxins. One of the easiest ways to determine whether the ingredients in your favorite products are safe is to look them up here

What to Look For

Once you know what to avoid, it should be easier to select ingredients and products that you know you can trust. For someone whose immune system is compromised, it’s imperative to use ingredients that are not only wholesome in their nature, but that are sourced responsibly from farms that use transparent cultivation processes. The goal of a skincare regimen should be to heal burns, reduce bacteria, keep inflammation at bay, cool and balance the skin, restore proper pH levels and keep pain at a manageable level. Of course we cannot list all of the good ingredients here (there are plenty!), but we’ve chosen a few to highlight as they are readily available and commonly recommended by oncologists and dermatologists alike. 

  1. Properly Distilled Water – Without using proper distillation methods, water can be contaminated with bacteria, metals and toxins that can seep into the bloodstream, causing complications or interference with cancer treatment. To ensure completely pure water, a reverse osmosis filter is the most reliable resource.
  2. Organic Peppermint Essential Oil* – Peppermint oil is wonderful as a cooling, anti-inflammatory agent. A responsibly sourced oil will be completely pure and help to relieve pain attributed to radiation burns.
  3. Organic Lavender Essential Oil* – One of the most beneficial therapeutic oils, lavender works well for healing burns. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral properties that will help to soothe irritation after treatment.
  4. Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil* – If you have open wounds or skin lesions, tea tree oil is an excellent way to minimize bacteria. It’s important to note that open wounds or broken skin should always be dressed properly and monitored by medical professionals.
  5. Avocado Oil – Avocado oil contains oleic acid, which works to reduce flare ups in the skin and can also inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. It controls microbial infections and keeps inflammation down. Avocado oil is also rich in Vitamin E, which helps restore healthy oil to the skin to keep it lubricated and comfortable, and even aids in new skin growth and healing wounds.
  6. Candelilla – Candelilla wax prevents moisture loss, accelerates wound healing and is a preferable choice over beeswax. Patients who find that they have extremely chapped lips will find comfortable, lasting relief from balms that use candelilla as it soothes existing dryness and irritation without loading up the lips with heavy ingredients.
  7. Rosewater – Rosewater, when properly concocted, can go a long way towards regaining balance in your skin’s pH. When a patient’s skin becomes too acidic from cancer and the resulting treatment methods, pure rosewater will gently lower the pH level and restore hydration and comfort.

**Note that in their purest form, essential oils are too strong to be used directly on skin and can cause burns. They are a wonderful addition to products and should be diluted in a primitive or carrier oil, like borage or avocado. Kim likes to say that essential oils are nature's pharmacudicals, and while they work wonders, each essence and its carrier oil should be administered with informed and calculated intention**

We Can Help

During and after chemotherapy or radiation, patients can see the effects on their skin up to a year post-date. As their skin heals, they’ll need to use products that cleanse gently and restore all moisture without restricting the skin’s natural ability to breathe and expel toxins as necessary. The soap they use on their face and body should be effective in eliminating bacteria, but should never dry out the skin or poison the body with synthetic fragrances and colors.

Here in the Luminance studio, we make products that will work beautifully for patients in any stage of the treatment and healing process. In particular, our Rosewater Toner is made from the purest possible reverse osmatic distilled water and perfectly pristine rose petals that will help to bring your skin back into a comfortable, healthy pH level. Our Delicate Cleanser, Cream Cleanser and soap bars are all made from organic ingredients and are never marred by synthetic colors or fragrances. 

For dry body skin, we recommend using our lotions and butters as they utilize the gentle healing ability of avocado oil. These creamy concoctions will feel heavenly on itchy skin and will help to minimize the appearance of scarring once treatment has been completed. 

If you're battling dry, chapped or peeling lips, Vegan Lip Balm uses avocado and coconut oil along with flower stem wax to keep your most sensitive skin smooth and healthy. For those who suffer from nausea or an upset stomach, the peppermint flavor offers a subtle touch of aromatherapy.  

If you or someone you love is going through treatment for cancer, we'd like to offer a special code on all purchases from our store, both online and in-studio. We are more than happy to discuss what your skin concerns are and recommend products from our shelves that will help get you through this trying time. We can also help you to decipher certain ingredients on the labels of other products you are considering, and would love to help connect you with trusted resources that can help ease your skin back to health.

We are allies. We will always make products that are honest, pure and without gimmick. While we'd love for you to try our line, we are primarily interested in finding what works for you -- what makes you feel your best. For the rest of the month of October, we would like to offer a 20% discount code on all Unscented Soap bars, Skin Butter and Organic Body Lotion, "CareOctober". Please drop a line if you'd like to share your story, ask a question or give us your feedback. Stay tuned, we plan to share more on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube to learn more. 

It's Time to Get Sudsy

You know we love to tease, but this time, the product is just too good to keep to ourselves any longer. Our customers have long asked us to explore the world of haircare, and we took our first leap in creating a nourishing shampoo. 

The wait is finally over. It's here. And we are so proud of it. 

We sent out some samples to our excited customers and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. 

We asked everyone who tried it to compare the list of ingredients to that of their favorite shampoo, natural or otherwise. In response, we learned that our list was much shorter than other popular brands and was far less damaging than the multitude of toxins, parabens, alcohol and animal testing that went into others. 

The most common words used to describe the shampoo samples were: creamy, lathery, gentle, clarifying and sweet-smelling.

The scent, honeysuckle vanilla, is soft and sweet. The formula creates lovely suds and lathers the way you want it to and makes your hair feel smooth, soft and bouncy. The product works on any hair type -- just in-house, we tried it on curly, kinky, straight, thick, thin and fine hair. Nothing but positive feedback here. 

We also tried it on Kim, but the results were somewhat inconclusive... we'll let you decipher why. 

Shampoo is now a part of our permanent line. If you're looking for a bottle of something that will give your hair the TLC it's been missing, give this a try.

And as always, give us your feedback, we can't wait to hear what you think!

Shampoo & Synthetics: What You Need to Know

We've been busy in the studio creating and perfecting a formula for a brand new Luminance shampoo. We took to Instagram to speak with our customers about their thoughts, and much of the discussion centered around the synthetic ingredient we used, raspberry dimethicone. 

The word "synthetic" calls to mind images of cheap fabrics or grocery items that were created in a lab. By definition, synthetics are something unnatural, which is why we’ve kept them out of our line and will continue to do so, with the exception of this hair care product. 

But, there is an important distinction to make. Not all synthetics are bad.

Just as *not all* organic things are good.

A synthetic can be healthy, vegan, pure, non-toxic and totally cruelty-free.

There are subtleties that must be taken into account before you cast aside or praise a particular ingredient. 

It's all a matter of what you use, where it comes from and how you incorporate it.

So, when we started to hear requests for a shampoo from our customers, we had to decide how to address the need for a product that made your hair feel smooth and luxurious without the typical silicones and alcohols.

With the help of the Luminance community, we concluded that when sourced responsibly, Raspberry Dimethicone worked beautifully to keep hair silky and static-free. 

Since we are known to avoid harmful synthetics, we want to continue to foster transparency with you and delve into exactly what this particular ingredient is. 

Where it comes from: Raspberry Dimethicone is the synthetic part of a raspberry seed oil molecule. It's totally safe, vegan, non-toxic and exceptional for making your hair move freely with body and bounce.

How we used it: After Kim and Stephanie mixed the base of healthy oils (like rose, jojoba and avocado) and natural scent, they added a touch of the Raspberry Dimethicone to ensure that the shampoo is nourishing, safe and makes your hair look beautiful.

How we feel about it: We believe that as long as an ingredient matches up with our code of ethics, there is no reason to say no to a good thing. It makes the product feel great in your hair and rivals the feel you get from a salon brand that's packed with chemicals. Each team member brought home a sample for their own trial run (each with very different hair types) and the results were all extremely positive.

Now, let's talk about how this shampoo stacks up against traditional haircare products.

Drugstore and salon shampoos strip your hair to remove all the grime that builds up over the course of the day. Getting rid of dirt, sweat and bacteria is great! The problem is that these products don't discriminate when it comes to what they remove, so along with dirt and pollutants, they pull out the natural oils your strands need to stay strong and healthy.

Plus, they add preservatives and perfumes that will rob your hair of nutrients and its natural ability to grow and thrive. 

While each hair type has unique challenges, each can be remedied by giving it gentle, nourishing ingredients and cutting out those that are harmful. Here are some of the things we need to look out for: 

- Fragrances and colors are added to draw you in to a yummy hair product, but the ingredients come from petroleum or coal-tar sources, which have been linked to various long-term diseases.

- Sulfates like ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are very harsh detergents that are meant to clean your hair, but instead dry it out, make it weak and significantly decrease its growth rate.

- Parabens, used to stop bacteria growth in your shampoo bottle, are easily absorbed into your skin and can mimic estrogen, causing hormone imbalance and related diseases.

- Formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, is used as a preservative in almost all smoothing and frizz-fighting products. This ingredient is extremely poisonous and is absorbed quickly into the scalp, leaving you at risk of hair loss or even a burnt scalp. 

So, now that you know what you should avoid, let's discuss what you should seek out. 

When you’re choosing a hair product, it’s imperative that you look for something that is made with the intention to clarify your hair while retaining all the natural oils it needs to protect itself.

Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water: Some of the purest, cleanest water on the planet. Through an intricate filtration process, we are able to remove the metals, molds and pollutants that are in regular tap water. This makes for a much healthier base for your hair.

Red Raspberry Seed Extract: Using carbon dioxide extraction, we can pull the best parts of red raspberry seed oil without compromising the rest of the shampoo recipe with alcohols.

Argan oil: A classic hair staple for many, Argan oil smooths the root of the hair and nourishes the strands deeply so that it is manageable and soft throughout the day. 

Jojoba oil: When used sparingly, jojoba oil is an excellent addition to shampoo to keep the hair strong and shiny. 

Natural scent oil: Just like the ingredients we used in our Scent Refreshers, our shampoo is scented only with gentle, natural scent oils. We used fractional distillation to pull out a mild honeysuckle scent from real flowers and added a bit of vanilla so that your locks will smell fresh and floral without the risks of synthetic fragrances.


one final note:

There are thousands of different types of shampoo on the market today, seemingly addressing every possible hair “flaw” in the book.

Here's what we want you to keep in mind: there are no natural flaws.

Your hair, whether curly, straight, colored, natural, textured, thick, thin or fine, is something worth taking care of and cherishing in its healthiest state. And if you’re a fan of styling, it’s just a matter of choosing the right stuff to give your hair so that it can relax and recover after a long week of looking fabulous. 

This shampoo is for everyone who wants to wash their hair without using a heap of foreign ingredients, but who aren't quite ready to skip shampoo altogether. It hydrates, softens and cleanses the hair thoroughly, lathering into a lightweight foam that you’ll just love to indulge in. Follow this up with a natural conditioner of your choice and you’re well on your way to a great hair day.

We want to know how you feel about the formula of this product. We are always concerned with making sure our customers are satisfied with the quality of our ingredients and the ethics we abide by. Let's talk!

The No-Go Glossary: 8 Ingredients Your Face Doesn't Need

Reading the ingredient list on the back of your skincare regimen is usually a jumbled mouthful of words ending in “-ine” and “-oxide” and “-ol”-- none of which ring any bells for the average person. 

When deciding which ingredients you should steer clear of, start by eliminating anything you can’t pronounce. If you can’t read through the ingredient list without Googling the pronunciation of a word, it means it's probably unnatural, your skin will perceive it as a threat and you will prolong any undesirable condition you were hoping to get rid of. 


So, what ingredients are considered a no-go? 

1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (read: detergent): The same stuff you use to dissolve food residue from your dinner plate is what goes into the cleansers derived from harsh petrochemicals. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a strong detergent that works to take makeup off of your skin at the end of the day. While it's certainly effective for this purpose, it's simultaneously stripping your skin of all the wonderful, natural oils it needs to heal, protect and preserve itself.

These cleansers often feel like the right thing because they leave your skin feeling squeaky clean, but that’s precisely the problem. Skin shouldn’t be squeaky. Healthy, balanced skin is smooth and supple. Happy skin is silky soft.

2. Alcohol (read: preservative): When a product you’re using on your face includes alcohol, it is likely purposed as an astringent in a toner or moisturizer. The irony is that alcohol does exactly the opposite of what these products should do.

Think about the last time you overindulged during cocktail hour… you were probably left feeling tired, stressed and lackluster because the alcohol you consumed dehydrated you to the point of exhaustion. The same thing happens when you use alcohols (or any ingredient ending in “-ol” or “-al”) on your face. Drying out your skin prompts it to defend itself, overproducing oil and leaving you in a nasty cycle of unbalance.

3. Coconut Oil (read: pore clogger): Coconut oil doesn’t need to be demonized in all applications. It’s a nutritious option to cook with and awesome for your hair. Unfortunately, when applied to your face, coconut oil can be suffocating. It is simply too large a molecule to fit through your skin, so when applied to your face, it acts much like a wax, making it difficult for the skin to breathe and expel toxins as it wants to throughout the day.

4. Mineral Oil/Glycerin (read: junk food for skin): While white bread might make for a delicious PB&J sandwich, most of us can agree that it’s not exactly a health food. The same idea applies to mineral oil and glycerin. These ingredients are cheap, easy to work with and make for a malleable base for many commonplace skincare products. The problem with them is they are perceived as a threat by your skin.

Many skincare companies boast that mineral oil helps to retain natural moisture and replenish parched skin, when in fact it does just the opposite. It's derived from heavy petroleum and sits on top of your skin without the chance for absorption. At this stage, big cosmetic companies will conveniently introduce a toner or scrub that's meant to cut through the greasy feeling, sending your skin back into defense mode and starting the cycle all over again.

Glycerin, often promoted as a natural ingredient, is usually sold to consumers as a humectant, or something that helps retain water. The problem is that while the substance does retain water, it’s not very good at sharing. Glycerin hoards the moisture for itself, all the while drawing dirt and dust into your pores. It forms a thick layer on your skin, preventing toxins from escaping throughout the day and making it more and more difficult for your skin to breathe comfortably. 

Here’s a tip: if the air has less than 65% humidity, (most places in most seasons), the glycerin molecules will begin to pull moisture from the lower layers of your skin, essentially drying your face from the inside out. 

5. Acids/Peels (read: skin thinner): Everyone loves to exfoliate! And we can’t blame them, exfoliation is a wonderful way to say a gentle goodbye to skin cells that are no longer alive and thriving. The key word there is gentle. Traditional exfoliation methods are anything but. Using crushed up nut shells, microscopic beads or abrasive acids will cause your skin to protect itself by thickening, ultimately requiring even more exfoliation. Over time, this process will cause fine lines and wrinkles to become more pronounced.

Luckily, there are plenty of natural exfoliation methods, like a unique enzyme found in papaya skins, that are just as effective and far less aggressive. The right way to exfoliate is to softly break down dead surface cells so that you can rinse them away without scrubbing. 

6. Phenoxyethanol (read: poison): As the general public begins to become more aware of the toxicity of preservatives, cosmetics manufacturers have switched over to an ingredient called phenoxyethanol, which is a combination of benzene and eythlene oxide. Both carcinogens and both poison to your skin.

In fact, if you put phenoxyethanol directly on your skin, it will burn you. You can imagine what this does when it’s a part of your daily self care routine. Hives, rashes, breakouts and even problems with your central nervous system. Yikes. 

Of course it’s tempting to reach for the bottle of cleanser that's going to last in your medicine cabinet for two years, but you have to wonder, is the convenience worth the price your skin will pay? Up to you, but it’s worth noting there are tons of healthy, raw products on the market that will serve you well both short and long term, without breaking the bank. 

7. Salicylic Acid (read: dehydrator): Commonly used as a wart remover, salicylic acid is made by fermenting glucose in Chinese factories. It is extremely harsh and belongs to a family of chemicals called salicylates. In many cases, these chemicals cause respiratory issues, congestion, itching skin, stomach pain and severe headaches.

Salicylic acid is also extremely harmful to those who are in the sun for long periods of time. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported that using topical products with BHA’s or salicylic acid may lead to heightened sensitivity to the suns ultraviolet rays. This can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. 

8. Glycolic Acid (read: weakening preservative): Many dermatologists used to recommend glycolic acid for those with acne as it is able to penetrate the skin cells deeply. The problem is that this acid is made from formaldehyde. Glycolic acid works by breaking down the cellular bonds in order to achieve a deeper result, but the improvement is only temporary as it causes the skin to swell and create a smooth appearance that fades as soon as the acid wears off.

Think of it like a bee sting: the few hours after you are stung, you are likely to notice a difference in the skin around the injury. Similarly, glycolic acid will cause your skin to swell for a brief period of time before it returns to its usual state, only it has been dehydrated and stressed out, which often causes more blemishes to arise.

Often, you will hear that glycolic acid is safe because it is found in lactic acid, comes from the bark or a willow tree or is found in citrus. What you don’t hear as often is that it is also used in the leather industry, as it is wonderful for tanning and breaking down cow hides due to its unrelenting strength.


Let’s all take a deep breath together. (ahhhh).


It may seem like we’ve just wiped out all of your skincare options and challenged all the ingredients you once held dear to your heart. But trust me, there are so many options out there with fresh, natural ingredients that your skin will welcome happily!

The simple truth of the matter is that skincare can be just as effective without using toxins and poisons. Your skin will respond gently, and will continue to improve over time, creating bright, balanced, happy skin that lasts and has a much better defense mechanism against internal and external stressors. The trick to detoxing your own personal stash is to get up close and personal with the ingredient list. Look for oils, saponified or not, enzymes, seeds, roots and natural extracts. That's the good stuff.


If you’re looking for a safe place to start your natural approach to skincare, our free sample kit is a wonderful option! Just pay shipping and we’ll cover the rest :) 

Essential Oils vs. Natural Scent Oils: A Refresher Course

Battle of the oils? Not quite, but let's get into the differences and similarities between essential oils and natural scents.
We'll start with the most important similarities: both come from happy plants. Score. Plus, both are completely non-toxic and offer awesome health benefits. 
So, how and why do you differentiate between the two? Science! Don't worry, we won't bombard you with a chemistry lesson just yet. But, if you're interested, grab a lab coat and head here.



When we want a scented personal product that smells like papaya or honeysuckle, for instance, our options are limited. So, the question becomes, how can you enjoy your favorite natural scents without toxins and harsh alcohols from traditional perfumes?
Some of the fruits and flowers that you love the most are simply unable to be manipulated into an essential oil, making it impossible to create a naturally-derived, non-synthetic scent... until now. Basically, recent technology is making it easier than ever to pull out some of the "good stuff" from things that smell incredible, but aren't capable of producing a scent that we can use. 

Enter fractional distillation.  

Lab technicians can actually break down and extract the specific scent molecules from your favorite fruits, flowers, veggies and plants. Once the components have been broken down, the scents can be restructured and mixed to make a wearable scent that is totally healthy, natural and smells heavenly.

This process is artful, ethical and safe, and makes it easier for folks like you and I to get our hands on some of the finest natural aromas the world has to offer. 



At Luminance, we’ve decided to get in on the action and offer our customers a completely safe, non-toxic option. We use the fractional distillation process you just learned about to create a natural mist that is deeply soothing to your skin and lets you enjoy instant aromatherapeutic benefits. 

This summer, we are indulging in refreshing papaya, which is known to give skin a healthy glow and reduce puffiness, and sweet honeysuckle, which can boost immunity, prevent infections and lower your stress levels. 

And, in line with the rest of our products, none of our scented items use any preservatives or synthetics.

True, this means that the scent won’t last quite as long on the skin, but that’s ok! Your unique body chemistry will allow the scent to gently fade as it should throughout the day. Rather than using it as a perfume, think of it instead as a nice pick-me-up to perk up your senses and give the skin a little hydration boost when the warm weather has your summer skin feeling parched.

For a limited time, all customers who spend $35 will receive a free sample of both our papaya and honeysuckle Skin Refreshers July 2017 only.


Fundraiser for GROW

This is our third annual fundraiser for Gaining Resources and Opportunities for Work (GROW) and we couldn’t be more inspired. GROW trains young adults transitioning out of the foster care and probation system how to cook with fresh food, educates them on personal health and wellness, and prepares them for meaningful work in the culinary field.

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10 Times Kim Was Too Pure for this World

Never a dull moment here at the Luminance studio

Thanks to our kooky and fun-loving founder, Kim.
Here's a collection of our favorite Kim moments when he made us laugh,
whether he meant to or not! :) 

1. Kim shows how lovely our soaps lather up on his hairless noggin!


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A Peak Behind The Curtain

We spend a lot of time talking about what to do for your skin on this blog but today I want to share a bit about what it's been like these past 3 years to be Kim's business partner and a team member at Luminance. I'm very proud of what we've accomplished, mostly because of how in every step of the way we've made nontraditional decisions that honor our well-being, the integrity of the products, the happiness and satisfaction of our customers, and our desire to do something good in the world. Looking back, this seems almost revolutionary in the business world.

So without to much fuss, here is what I'm most proud of:

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Kim's Shirt.

Kim's a pretty down to earth guy. He owns about 16 black cotton long sleeve T-shirts and wears them every day to work.

One day early last year, he was particularly articulate so I (Elena) dragged him outside to make a video for facebook. Over the last year, folks on Facebook have expressed extreme opinions about this shirt. It's causing a stir. 

Here's what's happening:


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Our Under Arms Stink, But It's Not Really Our Fault.

Underarms are nice and warm. Dark and moist places. A perfect home for the million bacteria per square centimeter living there. A thriving population comprised of dozens of different species! These microbes convert your body's odorless secretions into what we all know as body odor. It turns out that different species of bacteria are responsible for the wide range of under arm odor.
And you thought it was you!
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5 Ways To #SHLAY Your Day

 Here at Luminance we came up with a new hashtag... #SHLAY! Inspired by Shayane who basically can do anything. Below are a few tips on how you too can #SHLAY your day!

1.  #SHLAY so hard and make customers so happy they send you love letters in the mail. 
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7 Times Our Customers Made Us LOL

One of the things we take the most pride in here at Luminance is our relationship with our customers. We want to make sure you are satisfied with our products and our customer service. But once in a while, you make our day with your comments, emails, and even your shipping addresses!
1.  PH Balance Any Surface With Our Rosewater Toner!
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This is how you balance your skin.


So many think that if you have dry skin, you need a better moisturizer, and if you had oily skin you needed to be better about removing your makeup at night. It's ok to be confused there is a lot of misinformation.

You know what? The same thing that causes oily skin also causes dry and combination skin.

And now after two years of dedicating my life to non-toxic skincare I have completely balanced, radiant skin and I can explain to you something totally unexpected: the same thing that causes oily skin, also causes dry and combination skin...

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Acne 101: Ingredients To Avoid

By eliminating products with irritating ingredients and paying attention to the pH of your skin, you can easily maximize how healthy and beautiful your skin is without making any of the more difficult lifestyle changes.

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