N-acetyl Glucosamine – Precursor to collagen
N-acetyl Glucosamine, or NAG, is “skin identical”, meaning that it is a natural part of our skin, helping to keep it moisturized and maintain it’s barrier function. Studies have shown that NAG can increase collagen production, increase moisture levels in skin, and increase the elasticity of skin.
NAG- Boosts Hyaluronic Acid Production
Because NAG can boost collagen production and helps skin stay wonderfully moisturized, it decreases the appearance of lines and wrinkles. A study using niacinamide and NAG on women 35 to 60 showed an increase in the production of hyaluronic acid, which resulted in improved hydration. This reduced the appearance of fine lines, and an increased the elasticity of skin.
N-Acetyl Glucosamine reduces hyper-pigmentation
N-Acetyl Glucosamine has also been shown to reduce hyper-pigmentation, especially when used in combination with niacinamide. One study showed that a formulation of niacinamide and NAG significantly reduced the appearance of age spots and uneven hyper-pigmentation.
Studies have shown that NAG can induce changes and increase proliferation of skin’s fibroblasts, which can lead to increased healing of wounds. It can also lead to increased collagen expression and proliferation of keratinocytes.
The research is sound to prove NAG is an exceptional ingredient that can boost collagen production, improve skin elasticity, stimulate fibroblast production, and decrease the appearance of age spots or hyper-pigmentation.
Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional skin care provider.
Bee Friendly Plants
Not everyone can or wants to be a beekeeper, but most people want to help bees out. One of the best ways to do that is to plant bee friendly gardens around your house.
There are tons of flowers that can be planted around your home that will add beauty and provide nectar to bees. Generally, any plant that has a lot of little flowers is great for bees and here are a few of the best:
Hyssop is a perennial plant that has a minty scent that can attract bees. It is also great for you too. Hyssop has been used for centuries to treat for nose, throat, and lung afflictions. There are many types of hyssop and all of them are great for bees.
Borage is an annual plant that is also great for bees and you. Pliny the elder said that is was the courage plant, noting its antidepressant properties. Its leaves and flowers can be used for salad greens as well. Bees love the plentiful flowers that it produces too.
Sunflower is also an annual that is good for bees, butterflies, and birds. In the summer it is an excellent nectar plant with its head filled with tiny flowers. When it matures all those little flowers produce bird seed for our other flying friends. Plus, its huge flowers head makes any garden or flower bed brighten up.
Butterfly Bush is a beautiful perennial flowering bush that becomes filled with tiny flowers perfect for honeybees and as the name implies butterflies.
Coneflower and Black-eyed Susan are two very similar flowers that can produce abundant amounts of nectar if planted in thick patches. They also make any flower bed you plant them in pop with color.
Lavender has so many uses around your home that every garden should have some. First, it has such a great fragrance with or without flowers on it. It can be used as a cut flower that smells great in your house, it can be used as a herb in cooking, it is beautiful when in bloom, it can fill a yard with its pleasant scent, and last but certainly not least, bees love it. They only question is, if you don’t have some growing in your yard why not?
Pesticide Free Plants
When selecting plants, make sure they are not treated with any form of pesticide that will harm bees or other pollinators. Today’s GMO seeds can be treated with pesticides that are systemic, meaning that the whole plant is filled with bee killing poison. Most major plant stores are now labeling them, if there isn’t a label make sure you ask. You wouldn’t want to think you are doing bees a favor only to find out that the plants you bought are treated with neonicotinoids.
Trees Are Good Nectar Sources Too
Let’s not forget the trees too. There are plenty of trees that can produce nectar and pollen. Black locust, Basswood, Wild Cherry, Catalpa, Sourwood, Magnolia, Crabapple, and any fruit trees will provide abundant amounts of nectar for bees.
Most Yard Sprays Damage Bees
To complete your now bee friendly yard also try to stop or at least reduce the amount of chemical sprays you use around your yard. Researchers are finding that chemicals once thought to be benign to bees are causing issues with their gut biome and reproductive capabilities. The truth is that most chemicals sprays are meant to change life in your yard and home, but they can have far more reaching power beyond that too.
Imagine if everyone your neighborhood chose to plant a bee friendly space instead of a bland mono-culture yard that is chemically treated to keep flowering “weeds” out and is void of all other colorful life. Bees would have huge landscapes to spread their wings and take in natures goodness and thrive. If we all band together and choose what is good for our environment instead of what would impress our neighbors the bees might just stand a chance.
This post was originally written in 2019, and was updated July 2020.
Everyone lets loose a little in the summer. Long weekends, picnics, days at the beach, vacations, fun drinks and bbqs under the summer sun are good for the soul, but maybe not as much for the complexion. Here are some quick and easy tips to keep your complexion glowing while you’re livin’ easy.
Summer Beauty Guide: 10 Tips for beautiful skin all summer long.
You’ll be spending more time in the beauty of the outdoors, exposing your skin to sun, wind, water, possibly chlorine, and maybe a more rigorous shaving routine than you applied this winter. All this can leave you with an irritated complexion. With just a little time and planning, you can avoid the pitfalls of sun, razor, and wind burn.
1. Stay Hydrated
With warmer weather (eventually) upon us, you need to stay on top of proper hydration. You can become dehydrated from even simple tasks while working and playing in the hot summer sun. Proper hydration keeps your skin and body functioning at optimum levels, so load up on water based drinks and watery fruits and veggies such as melons and cucumbers to stay hydrated.
2. Wear SPF
It’s important to remember to apply sunscreen. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 30. Apply a generous layer (about a shot glass for your entire body) to all exposed skin about 15 minutes before going out into the sun. Remember to reapply after sweating or swimming, or about every 2 hours. Always look for a sunscreen that has the active ingredients listed, and please don’t make your own. (Zinc is a charged particle, and it’s difficult to make a formulation that doesn’t end up having microscopic holes in the coverage because the zinc microscopically clumped together over time.)
3. Boost Your Topical Anti-oxidants
Free radicals are not your friends, and unfortunately, sunlight, chlorine, alcohol, some of the best parts of summer are full of them. The best defense is to avoid them, but that’s not always possible. Using a cream that contains green tea extract, niacinamide, vitamins C and E, or CoEnzyme Q10 will help minimize the damage to your skin from free radicals. (Keep an eye out for our newest product, Repair and Restore After Sun Cooling Gel)
4. Protect Your Eyes from Sun Damage
The skin around your eyes is delicate and all the sunlight and swimming can be especially harsh on it. Wear a hat and/or sunglasses with UV protection and wear goggles while swimming. A soothing anti-oxidant rich cream, like our Bright Eyes Vitamins + Minerals Eye Cream can soothe delicate skin and provide a bevy of topical vitamins and minerals.
The best way to recharge your skin and keep it looking bright and beautiful is to exfoliate your skin once a week. Apply a natural body scrub once a week to slough off dead skin cells and reveal younger, glowing skin.
Sweating, swimming, salt, chlorine, sunshine and air conditioning all take a toll on skin. The need for moisturizing might not be as obvious during the warm summer months, but you still need to moisturize. Using a gentle all natural body butter can keep skin plump and rejuvenated.
7. Eat your SPF
Eating a healthy diet full of anti-oxidants, healthy saturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids, and leafy greens can boost your body’s ability to handle the free radicals from UV light. Drinking iced green tea can help keep you hydrated, as well as provide your body with a powerful poly-phenol called EGCG. You could also try supplements like astaxanthin, vitamin D3, and resveratrol to boost your anti-oxidant protection. You should avoid sugary and processed foods, as well as too much alcohol, as these promote inflammation and hinder the body’s ability to handle free radicals.
8. Get a Faux Glow
We all know that too much sun isn’t good for us, but who doesn’t love a healthy, sun-kissed complexion. You can opt for a sunless tanner to get your glow on. Sunless tanners do still cause some oxidation on the outer layers of skin, so it’s not ideal for every day, but it’s a safe way to glow for special occasions. Make sure to shave and exfoliate before applying sunless tanner, and take your time making sure there are no streaks.
9. Keep Bug Bites at Bay
It’s only a matter of time before a biting insect finds you too delectable to pass up. Itchy bug bites can lead to infection and scarring. Ward them off with a natural insect repellent like our Happy Camper Lotion. You’ll keep mosquitoes away while moisturizing skin with organic oils and probiotics. You can also lather up with a gentle soap scented with insect repellent essential oils, such as our Happy Camper Bar. (Keep the bar in your dresser drawer until you’re ready to use it to impart the scent of essential oils onto your clothes.)
10. Wear Breathable Fabrics
Loose, billowy clothes made out of natural fabrics, such as cotton or linen, allow air flow on your skin and help wick moisture away. This protects skin from staying damp and chapping and chafing.
Don’t neglect your skin the summer!
Summer is full of fun and busyness, and it’s easy to neglect your skincare routine, but the effects of dehydration and too much sun can last long after summer is gone. It’s important to take time to take care of yourself. You only get one body, and it’s got to last your entire life!
So much family closeness!
As many of you may already know, both Josh and I work for our business, Bee Lovely Botanicals. We also homeschool, car school, farmers market and craft show school. You get the point, Josh and the boys and I spend alot of time together.
What’s it like to spend so much time with your husband?
A friend of mine once suggested that one of the topics that we talk about on our blog is what it’s like to work with your husband. She wondered because when her husband was home, her schedule was thrown off, and at the end of the day her to-do list was the same as it had been that morning.
I can understand that completely, but there is a difference between a husband using some vacation days to finish a project and a husband that works from home full time.
What I’m missing out on….
There are some quiet peaceful times that I don’t have as much as I used to. The boys are some how hard wired to get up about 10 minutes after I do. It amazes Josh that they’ll sleep in if I do, and they’ll get up early if I do. (Except for the oldest, I think he might actually sleep for an entire day if I let him.) Quiet Bible study and devotion times are a thing of the past. The other side of that coin is that I can sneak away while Josh is working with the boys and, although it requires a little more focus, and quiet is definitely not the word to describe it, I can still have my study time. Another aspect is that everyday Josh and I do a devotion with the boys.
That scenario pretty much describes what it’s like to live, work, and homeschool. You lose the quiet, contemplative times. You lose the peaceful housekeeping that stays done at least until everyone gets home. You lose knowing where something is because you’re the only one that uses it and puts it away. You lose this ideal image that you have of yourself, your kids, your husband.
But what I gain is so much more than what I’ve lost!
It is truly a blessing to be able to spend this time with Josh and the boys. Our “unconventional” life is far from perfect, but it is abounding in blessings from God.
I get to spend time with my boys before they grow up and fly the coop. We get to see their personalities and senses of humor develop, and we get to be a bigger part of their development.
Josh and I have gotten to know each other so much better, and we’ve learned to work together more efficiently than we ever did before. (We’ve been married for 17 years, and working full time together for 2.)
I know that this time will come to an end, one way or another. The boys aren’t babies any more, and they won’t be boys forever. It is my earnest hope and prayer to make the most of the time we have now, and that these experiences set all of us up to be ready for whatever God has in store next.
What about you? Do you work with family? Would you want to? We’d love to hear your thoughts on so much family closeness!
We just got back from Nashville, can you tell? We were vendors at the Country Living Fair and we were so happy to get a little southern sun and warmth while there. We also were blessed to meet so many wonderful vendors and customers. We want to thank all of you that participated in our questionnaire from last month. It definitely was nice to get to know you a little more and gain some valuable information on how to serve you better. Congratulations to Danielle on winning the $50 gift certificate for participation.
I know we make what we do look easy (he he he), but it can surely take a toll on a person’s spirit to always need to be on the cutting edge. We were so very encouraged by our neighbor vendor who had been doing shows for awhile. She gave us to the great advice to follow God’s direction (if this is on our heart then continue, He will provide a way to make it happen).
We know we have a great product, we love beekeeping, and we love the opportunity to serve our customers. However problems always crop up that make doing those things challenging. Computer issues that make running an online store difficult, having all of our bees die over the winter (apparently the US has had a huge bee die off this past year), and finding time to wear all our many hats can be very trying.
This beautiful, sunny day, we are going to clean out our hives. This is probably the saddest beekeeping day of the year, but even more so when you have no surviving hives. We’ve already missed seeing them buzz around the yard when the temperature creeps up in early spring, and our budding dandelions look really bare this year.
While we were in Nashville, we spoke with a bee inspector from Ohio. He said that both Ohio and Tennessee experienced heavy losses this year. We’ve also heard that large commercial operations in Michigan had losses exceeding 75% and that no hives survived in one Michigan county.
It’s discouraging and expensive to have to replace your entire apiary. If a cattle farmer lost all of his cows, if a majority of beef farmers over 3 states lost even half of their herd, people would wonder what was going on. When a beekeeper loses bees, people say you should have put them inside, you should have used antibiotics, you shouldn’t treat at all, you should this and that all day long. The truth is, this is a problem much larger than any individual beekeeper’s methods. Traditional, natural, non-treatment beekeepers all sustained heavy losses.
Bee populations are sustained by beekeepers. We read a recent study that bee populations are rebounding, and CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) is not a problem any more. Looking at the surface of these statistics, the number of beehives in the US may be on the rise, but the true statistic you need to look at is survival rates. If you were to look at the population at the beginning of March this year, my guess is that it would have been very low. In another few weeks, beekeepers will be rebuilding their hives, and the numbers should look a little closer to normal. Should beekeepers stop rebuilding their hives, the true weight of the problem would be realized. Ross Conrad has an excellent 6 part series on the effects of pesticides (especially neonicatinamides) on bees. (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part V, Part VI ). In Part IV Ross explains that honeybees are actually faring better than some of their pollinating counterparts because of the intervention of beekeepers.
This is where our Adopt A Hive Program
comes into play. It’s an excellent way to support honey bee populations, while also getting some awesome products and education. Each Adopt A Hive comes with an adoption certificate, hive updates, a Hive Awareness Manual, and products or honey.
It makes a great gift for Mother’s or Father’s Day. You could use the full share option and customize products for your mom, mother-in-law and grandmothers. 1. Finish shopping 2. Save the bees. Check!
Our Adopt a Hive program is also a great way to learn about bees in the classroom. Our full share option includes 4 video hive updates, the kids get to name the queen and we would ‘bee’ delighted to customize gift bags for the classroom. We’ll even bring the field trip to you by bringing the queen bee into the classroom in our observation hive (within reasonable distance).
We currently have 27 hives available for adoption, below you can see how the share program is broken down.
Full Share: Cost: $200. Includes:$200 worth of products (you can get all honey, all skincare products, or mix of both), 4 hive updates through the season, A Hive Awareness Manual, you get to name the queen, a personalized adoption certificate, and a fully customized honey tag if you choose to get honey.
Half Share: Cost:$100. $100 worth of products (honey or products), 3 hive updates throughout the season, A Hive Awareness Manual, adoption certificate, a customized honey label, and you are in a drawing with another half share to have the opportunity to name the queen.
Quarter Share: Cost is $50, with that you get $50 worth of products (honey or products), 2 hive updates throughout the season, Hive Awareness Manual, and an adoption certificate.
These options are already pre-populated with some of our best sellers, but just contact us if you would like to fully customize your box.
Let us know if you have any questions. We’d be happy to discuss custom options with you.
Jodie + Josh
Bee Lovely Botanicals