Lifes Abundance posts created by lifes abundance

Why You Should Always Remove Your Makeup


woman removing makeup at sink

If you’ve found yourself left with stubborn eye makeup or remnants of your perfect red lip after washing your face, it’s time to practice an effective face washing technique that will leave skin clean, refreshed and makeup free. Introducing (or re-introducing) the double cleanse. If you’ve been following our skin care insights along on the blog, chances are you’ve already discovered this skin-changing face washing technique by now. Double cleansing utilizes two separate products to cleanse the skin one after the other; one product might be a creamy or oil-based one, and the other a foaming, water-based cleanser, for instance. Learn how this cleansing duo can effectively break down makeup for fresh skin each night.

Remove your makeup nightly

Whether you’ve had a light layer of foundation or powder on during the day, or you’ve worn a bolder look at night, it’s equally important to thoroughly remove your makeup each and every day. But, are you washing your skin and still left feeling like your skin hasn’t been completely cleansed? Without the right products and face washing approach, oil buildup, SPFand makeup can stick around. The next time you wash your face, you can test the results of your current solo cleanse by washing as normal, patting dry and wiping skin thoroughly with a wet cotton round (spritz with your favorite facial toner or water until damp). If you notice any residue left behind on your cotton round, your makeup removing routine is ready for an upgrade.

What happens if I don’t remove my makeup before bed?

Not to sound alarmist, but your skin can suffer. Going to sleep with makeup still intact can introduce you to a whole slew of skin woes; from clogged pores that can lead to breakouts, dullness, irritation, dryness and more. Wash your skin at night and your skin will thank you in the morning.

Double Cleansing - the foundation of your makeup removing routine

Ready to commit to your skin and thoroughly remove your makeup? Let’s start from the beginning; consider your current skin type. Are you dry, dehydrated or oily? It matters. The first step of any makeup removing routine should be with an oil-based option that breaks down hard to remove pigments from products like eye shadow, blush and lipstick, while the second cleanser should be more tailored to your specific skin needs and focused on removing any remaining makeup residue.

For dry/dehydrated skin, the second cleanse should be aimed at restoring moisture and hydration, and for oily, restoring balance and keeping pores clear. If you’re using skin care products that are not formulated for your specific needs, you may end up causing further dryness and/or irritation. Use this simple guide below to help you determine the best makeup removing products for you!

Dry Skin:

Step One: a creamy, oil-based cleanser
Step Two: a honey-based cleanser

Oily Skin:

Step One: a creamy, oil-based cleanser
Step Two: a foaming or water-based cleanser


woman drying face with towel

How to remove your makeup

Step one
For the first step of your nighttime makeup removing regimen, choose a creamy, oil-based cleanser to break down your makeup & any other buildup. Start by concentrating our creamy Facial Cleanser around the eye and lip areas, where more hard-to-remove makeup is concentrated, & then gently massage the rest of your face. This cleanser’s base of argan, apricot kernel, and hemp seed oils work collectively to break down and wash away buildup without stripping skin, while sugar cane and sugar maple extract gently exfoliate to help keep pores clear. Rinse with water or remove with a warm face cloth. You can leave skin damp, no need to pat dry.

Step two
With the first layer of buildup cleansed, it’s time to pick your second step. Don’t forget to use our handy guide above for picking a good option for your skin.

If you’re experiencing dry/dehydrated skin with some flakes, grab the Hibiscus Mask + Scrub (used here as a cleanser!), a good option thanks to its base of raw honey and gentle exfoliants. The mask’s raw honey acts as a humectant, meaning it helps keep moisture in the skin, while its natural AHA's, enzymatic exfoliants & blend of natural berries help to remove flaky skin and any remaining makeup remnants. If your skin is feeling extra dry or sensitized, you may only want to perform this double cleanse routine 2-3 times per week.

For oily skin types that experience breakouts or blackheads, your second cleanse go-to is the Charcoal & Sea Salt Soap. This foaming cleanser will effectively cleanse any remaining makeup and buildup on the skin’s surface. Simultaneously, it draws out impurities and buildup in pores thanks to the activated charcoal, and delivers bacteria-fighting oils like neem and tea tree, along with a dose of minerals found naturally in sea salt.

Going to sleep makeup free

Clean, refreshed and ready for sleep. To lock in all of the goodness and love you showed your skin, always apply a facial oil or moisturizer to your skin after removing your makeup with a double cleanse.

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Everything You Need To Know About Skinimalism

What You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

What To Look For In Rawhide Alternatives


dog chewing on bone

Pet parents love to give their pup something to chew on instead of letting them gnaw on a favorite pair of shoes. You’ll be happy to hear that there are a few safe alternatives to rawhide bones that could lower the risk to your dog (and your shoes).

So, why not give rawhide? Being made from the leather industry’s leftovers, rawhide could contain harsh chemicals or harmful bacterias. Remember, as a byproduct of the leather industry, rawhide can go through a series of processes including bleaching, coloring and preserving with chemicals. In addition, because of their toughness, rawhide chunks broken off and swallowed by enthusiastic chewers can become a choking hazard, and even cause intestinal blockage. This life-threatening risk has led to a raised awareness of the need for alternatives to rawhide.

The question then becomes how to satisfy your dog’s drive to chew in a way that’s safe, and maybe even healthy. Dogs should always be supervised whenever they’re given a treat, but there are ways to add to your peace of mind while your dog is happily chomping away.


dog playing with owner

One alternative to rawhide’s inner skin material are cow ears, which are made of cartilage. It’s important to make sure that the treats you find are free of preservatives, colors, or artificial flavors. These Premium Cow Ears are dried through baking, without the use of bleach. Even better, they’re gentle on tummies in case they are swallowed.

To reduce the risk of intestinal blockage, look for treats that are easy on the digestive system. This could be treats such as Water Buffalo Bully Sticks or Lungs. Bully sticks in particular are also great for dental health. When you choose an appropriate treat, your dog’s chewing action helps to reduce tartar and maintain their teeth.

Lastly, rawhide is sold by a vast number of different brands whose values and priorities are unknown. Picking up a plastic-wrapped treat at the grocery or pet store leaves unanswered questions about what sort of contaminant testing the treat underwent, if any. Find a chew treat that is backed by a brand who prioritizes safety, and has testing protocols.

As with any chew, you should always supervise your pet. The good news is that it can be quite entertaining to watch your dog thoroughly enjoying a good chew session. Just watch for any large pieces that break off and remove them to help keep your dog safe. Settle in and enjoy the show!

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Mouthing Off - A Review Of Canine Chews

Maintaining Pet Dental Health Through Nutrition

Best Yoga Poses for Better Sleep

You’ve tried sipping Sleepytime tea, turning off all your screens an hour before bedtime, and even spraying your pillow with lavender - but you still can’t sleep. And less sleep equals more stress, which increases our cortisol levels, negatively affecting the quality and quantity of sleep we get - so you need it.

Yoga can help. A Harvard study on insomnia found that when people practiced yoga for 8 weeks, their sleep improved significantly, including their total sleep time and quality of sleep.

Losing sleep can turn into a vicious cycle and it’s best to break it ASAP, so ditch the late-night Candy Crush, and instead try these five poses to catch a solid eight hours:

Supine Twist


woman doing supine twist

Practiced before bed, this yoga pose helps your spine release tension and relax to stress less and sleep more.

Lie on your back and hug your knees toward your chest. Bring your arms out into a T and lower your knees down to the right, keeping them in line with the navel to stretch the lower back. Hold for 1-5 minutes and repeat on the other side to ring out spinal tension.

Child’s Pose


woman doing childs pose

This pose is known for helping to reduce stress while encouraging sleep, due to the forward folded position. 
Start in a tabletop position with your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips; big toes to touching. Shift your hips back toward your heels as you lengthen the hands in the opposite direction; gently creating more space in the spine. Rest your forehead on the floor, or on a block or firm pillow. Hold for 1-5 minutes to calm the nervous system and relieve stress. (If your hips don’t reach your feet, don’t worry, just go as far as you can until you feel a stretch).

Legs up the Wall with Extended Exhale


woman with legs against the wall

Bringing your legs above the head, in a restorative position, allows the nervous system to calm down and increase blood flow and circulation, combined with a breathing exercise, it’s the ultimate turn-down pose.

Sit with your right hip up against the wall or the headboard of your bed, with your hands back behind you for support.  Slowly bring your legs up the wall as you lower onto your back with your, hands by your sides. If your hamstrings are tight, your hips may be a few inches away from the wall. Take a deep inhale through the nose, to the count of four, completely inflating the lungs. On the exhale, slow down the breath and empty to a count of eight until the navel contracts back into the spine.  Stay here, continuing this breathing pattern, for 5-10 minutes to calm the mind.

Supta Baddha Konasana


woman performing supta baddha konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana is a wonderful pose that helps you to reach a deep state of relaxation by improving circulation and calming your nervous system.

Start by placing a pillow or a bolster at the base of your back. Bend your legs and gently place the soles of your feet together, but don’t push – just relax. Lie your body back across the pillow or bolster, and allow your body to open up and relax into the position. Breathe slowly and hold the position for at least 5 minutes.

Supported Savasana


men doing savasana

This is the final pose before you go to sleep, as it really helps your mind to relax.

Lie down on the floor, with either a yoga mat or other cushioning, letting your arms and legs relax, palms facing up to open your shoulders. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply, and close your eyes. Stay like this for at least 5 minutes. Come out of the pose by slowly drawing your knees into your chest, then lie down to sleep. (Alternatively, you can do this pose in bed and fall right asleep).

Think of these poses as a restorative meditation and focus the mind solely on the breath as you inhale and exhale. Resist any temptation to lie on your back, hold your phone in the air, and scroll through your social media feed - your sleep is more important than your friend’s latest selfie.

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Our Favorite Wellness Apps

7 Tips To Help You Sleep Like A Baby

What To Consider When Transitioning Pet Foods


owner putting food bowl in front of dog

Are you getting a new pet? Is your pet growing from puppy or kitten to adult? Are you looking for more from their diet? These are some of the circumstances that might lead you to switching them to a new food. There’s a lot to consider when your furry friend starts on a new diet. Ideally, it would be nice to just start feeding a new kibble, but a sudden switch could cause some adverse effects. Don’t worry, we’ve made it simple with all the tips and tricks for a smooth transition to a new dog or cat food.

Each pet is unique, so what works for one might not work for another. Some are more sensitive to dietary changes and others could have an iron stomach. If you’re starting with a new dog or cat, it would be helpful to have a small supply of their prior diet so you can make sure to properly transition them.

A general rule is to not transition too abruptly and slowly change out the old food for the new food. This will minimize any symptoms they could experience.

How To Switch:

Day 1 & 2: Feed ¼ new kibble and ¾ old diet.
Day 3 & 4: Feed ½ new kibble and ½ old diet.
Day 5 & 6: Feed ¾ new kibble and ¼ old diet.
Day 7: Feed new kibble as normal. Congratulations, the transition is complete!


cat taking kibble from owner

Thinking about switching from puppy or kitten food to food for all life stages, or adults only? You should still follow the same rules. Even if the ingredients appear to be similar, the formula is different. Keep an eye on your pet while you’re switching to the new food. Some dogs or cats may still experience some G.I. symptoms, and you may need to adjust your pace. Watch for:

  • Loose stool
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

These are not unusual and often resolve by modifying the pace of the transition . If you’re seeing symptoms of concern, or they persist, consider consulting your veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues.

A premium diet, thoughtfully formulated to include appropriate proteins, vitamins, and minerals, as well as a gut health support system will go a long way toward supporting a healthy digestive system. At the end of the day, it’s important that your furry friend’s mealtime makes them feel great and be healthy from the inside out.

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Get The Scoop On Feline Digestive Orders

How Gut Health Affects Overall Pet Health

Strawberry Protein Smoothie


person putting strawberries into a blender

Looking for quick and easy breakfast ideas to make your sweetie on Valentines Day? Look no further than this delicious, strawberry smoothie. It’s not only packed with vitamins and protein, it’s also sugar free and gluten free for those who have allergies. Plus it only takes about 2 minutes to make, and is totally portable if you need to take it to go. If you want to kick the nutrients up a notch, you can make it a green smoothie by adding a handful of frozen spinach or kale - just know it will lose it’s pretty, pink color. Enjoy!


strawberry protein smoothie

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend for 60-120 seconds until you get a smooth and creamy texture.
  2. If it’s too thick, add more milk.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately. You can store in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but it definitely tastes best fresh.

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Banana Bread Protein Breakfast Cookies

Blueberry Protein Overnight Oats Recipe

How To: At Home Facial Massage


woman putting serum on skin

You know that healthy glow? The one you have just after a facial treatment? Your esthetician’s most effective tool in her line up is her hands and you can achieve that very same radiance at home, without costing you a thing. All you need? Your favorite facial oil and your very own two hands to practice a simple facial massage. Healthy, radiant skin is about so much more than just the products you use. Your beautiful serum or cream are only a part of the puzzle, but how you use your products and treat your skin is another. Tie your hair back, grab your nutrient-rich facial oil and explore your skin while enjoying the many benefits of a facial massage at home. 

Facial Massage Benefits

Aside from that gorgeous healthy glow, there are quite a few reasons why you may want to start including this simple, effective and feel-good practice into your weekly (and better yet, daily) routine. We love to think of facial massage as not just another step in a routine, but as a solid building block of a healthy, skin supporting regimen. Let us count the reasons we encourage a this practice:

  1. Increased circulation: Facial massage encourages circulation which means increased blood flow that brings more oxygen to the skin’s surface, supporting skin-healing. The pinkening of your skin during facial skin is thanks to that increased blood flow.
  2. Lymphatic drainage (aka toxin removal): With the right techniques, you can aid your lymphatic system with its natural process of toxin removal where stagnant fluid (made up of white blood cells, lipids, excess water, proteins, and salt) that’s built up below the skin’s surface.
  3. Reduction of fine lines: We like to think of a facial massage as a workout for your face, albeit a much more relaxing one. Using the right techniques and working with the facial muscles, we can train them to “lift” in the right direction, creating an overall more toned appearance. With a steady practice, facial massage also “wakes up” fibroblasts, which are responsible for creating juicy collagen in our bodies, and alerts them to up their collagen production.
  4. Release of tension: Although we may not realize it, we tend to hold stress and tension in our face, neck and shoulders. This repeated pattern can lead to painful knots, fine lines and wrinkles, and grinding of the teeth. Facial massage invites you to connect with where you hold tension and gently help to release it.
  5. Better product absorption: Help your beautiful, natural facial oil go the extra mile. Facial massages are one of the most efficient ways to help your products better absorb into skin. We suggest misting skin with a water-based toner and massage your serum or hydrating face cream into skin.
  6. Learning your skin: Don’t be fearful of touching your skin - just approach it with care. Using clean hands, explore your skin with touch and learn it’s texture. Ask yourself these questions; how does it feel? Is it oily? Are there any dry patches? Does your skin feel tight? Actually getting to know your skin on this level will help you identify when skin is off balance or experiencing inflammatory responses.


woman doing a facial massage

How To Do A Facial Massage At Home

Start with clean skin and freshly washed hands. Apply your favorite facial mist (also known as toners) and apply facial oil liberally to the palm of your hand (5-6 drops). Rub hands together to create warmth. Starting from the neck, apply your facial oil in gentle, upward moving sweeps, from your neck to chin and mouth, to cheeks and nose, and lastly to your forehead. Now your skin is prepped. 

  1. A great place to start is with a few movements that encourage lymphatic drainage; using your finger pads, very lightly brush skin in outward movements toward the lymph nodes. Beginning from the jawline up to the ears, then cheeks out to ears, and lastly mid-forehead down to ears. Next, lightly tap the area above your inner collar bone to awaken the area for drainage. End this lymphatic sequence at your neck; use your fingers to lightly brush from the nape of your neck downward, ending at your collarbone, “flushing” lymphatic fluid out. Repeat several times.
  2. Next, focus on oxygenating movements. Holding your hands horizontally, place your fingers at the base of your mouth and move upward toward your cheek and under eye, alternate hands and move in quick succession. Repeat at least six times on both sides.
  3. Use your middle knuckles to simultaneously massage your cheeks in upward, outward circles. This movement feels wonderful and also increases blood flow, so we encourage you to perform this movement for as long as it feels good.
  4. Focus on tension reduction. Make a narrow peace sign on each hand with your index finger and middle finger and hold your chin with your thumbs below to support. Glide fingers upward along the jawline until you reach your earlobe. Next, use your thumb and index finger to lightly pinch your brow starting at the center and work your way outward. Repeat both sequences six to eight times.
  5. As a last step, use index and middle fingers to create light circles in outward motion around your cheeks, and lastly at your temples.

Facial massages don’t have to be overly complicated or involve complex techniques to be effective. Just be sure to prep skin, use outward and upward movements, move with your facial muscles, and use featherweight, downward strokes when focusing on lymphatic drainage. Drop your facial massage questions below!


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Why You Need Facial Oil In Your Skin Care Routine

Face Yoga: A New Trend In Skin Care

Maintaining Pet Dental Health Through Nutrition


dog teeth

If you’re a fan of dog kisses, then you might be taken aback when you get a hint of foul breath. Bad breath can be a sign of numerous problems including periodontal disease, which is the result of inflammation of the gums and bones in your dog’s mouth. More than 85% of pets have dental issues, so it’s an overwhelmingly common concern.

In order to prevent disease and other dental issues, it’s important to take care of your pet’s teeth. Waiting too long for a dental cleaning can result in more damage such as problems in the heart, liver and kidney. One of the ways you can support oral health is through nutrition. First, your pup’s daily diet should be full of nutrients and vitamins that maintain their overall dental health. Here are a few you should be looking for in the ingredients:

Antioxidants: Look for an antioxidant system that includes vitamins A, C and E. These vitamins offer anti-inflammatory actions. Folic acid can also help support the gum tissue warding off the likelihood of periodontal disease.

Calcium and phosphorus: Calcium is a vital nutrient for dental health as it promotes healthy bones and teeth. It works together with phosphorus which helps maintain the strength of the bones. It’s important that the nutritional balance of these two minerals meet a dog’s needs throughout their life stages - whether they’re rapidly growing puppies, or entering their senior years.

Probiotics: Probiotics are great for your pet’s gut health. But have you considered that the oral cavity is part of the digestive tract? By supporting your pet’s gut health, this can help in supporting their dental health as well.


woman getting dog kisses

While the kibble they eat is important, you cannot forget about their snacks. Look for treats that allow them to chew such as Water Buffalo Bully Sticks. This chewing action helps reduce tartar and maintain their dental health. You can also choose a Gourmet Dental Treat that contains ingredients like calcium and phosphorus for strong teeth and bones. Plus, the added parsley helps with doggie breath!

In addition to taking care of their teeth through nutrition, you can also monitor their dental health at home. Just like us, pets need daily teeth brushing too. This can sound like a daunting task but it can save your furry friend’s oral health and your bank account in the long run. If your pet allows it, frequently check their mouth by flipping their lip and taking a look at their teeth and gums. Ask your veterinarian for a tutorial on what signs to watch for, like bumps or swelling on the gums, as well as tartar or chipped teeth. Pay attention to how their breath smells too. This could indicate unfriendly bacteria in their mouth.

The bottom line is to remember the importance of oral health to overall health. Plan on regular,  proper cleanings by your vet. Even if you’re brushing their teeth daily, they will still eventually need a deep cleaning which usually includes x-rays. Between these regular checkups both at home and at the vet, and robust daily nutrition, your pup will enjoy a happier, healthier life while you enjoy those sloppy kisses.


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Maintaining Pet Dental Health At Home

How To Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Banana Bread Protein Breakfast Cookies


banana bread protein breakfast cookies

You’ve heard it 1,000 times, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” yet you still struggle to find the time to eat it, let alone make it. Although there’s a whole niche market of grab-and-go breakfast items, most of them are full of ingredients you can’t pronounce, let alone would want to eat - not the way you want to start your day. 

We’ve got the perfect solution. Say hello to our Banana Bread Protein Breakfast Cookies. These “cookies” not only taste great, but are full of healthy ingredients and pack a protein punch - thanks to our Life’s Abundance Vanilla Plant Protein.

Ingredients (Makes about 12 cookies): 

  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil, melted, plus more for the pan
  • 3 medium, ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 scoop of Life’s Abundance Vanilla Plant Protein
  • 3 cups gluten-free oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts


banana bread protein breakfast cookies recipe

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with oil and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseed meal and 2 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes to thicken.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, vanilla, oil, sugar, maple syrup, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and flaxseed meal-water mixture. Add the almond flour, protein powder, and oats. Stir until combined. Fold in the walnuts.
  4. Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop out the batter and put on the cookie sheet, until all the batter is used.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cookies feel firm and the tops have turned golden brown.
  6. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days, or put in a container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

World's Best Dairy Free Cheesecake

Blueberry Protein Overnight Oats Recipe

Everything You Need To Know About Urine Marking


person walking dog outside

Why do dogs mark inside the house? You might be wondering this every time you leave your furry friend home for a couple hours and come back to a tinkle near the sofa. The good news is, most of the time, this behavior is normal. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s okay. It can be extremely frustrating to deal with a soiled couch or other belongings.

Dogs mark their territory outside as a way of communication. Think of it like social media. Each time your pup stops and sniffs, they’re learning about the dog that was in that spot before. Then, your dog might pass over it or urinate in that same area to claim that territory as their own. However, if your dog is marking inside your home, there could be a multitude of reasons as to why.

Reasons Your Dog Is Marking Inside

One of the biggest reasons your pup might be marking inside is due to stress or anxiety. This includes leaving them home alone, unsupervised. Dogs can start to feel lonely and stressed which leads to this unwanted behavior. Sometimes, even stressful situations outside, such as seeing another dog, can result in urinating in the house. This can happen when dogs hold off on marking outside because they don’t want to announce their presence, therefore leading to an accident inside.

Another reason your furry friend might be marking is because of a change in routine. This could be anything, such as moving to a new home. This unfamiliar atmosphere could cause them to mark inside, essentially claiming it as their own. Even something as simple as rearranging your furniture can stress them out and cause a change in behavior. What about when you have guests over? Have you noticed a change in marking habits? Having someone out of the ordinary staying over can also trigger marking. Dogs are basically telling your guests that any object that is in their house is theirs.


woman petting dog in new house

The presence of other furry friends in the house could be another reason why your dog might be marking. Your pup might see the others as competition and will mark inside the house to show who is the “pack leader” in their home. They may also urinate when they are competing for your attention, toys, treats or food. This can be very stressful for insecure dogs leading them to mark to relieve this stress.

Sometimes, lack of training could simply be mistaken for urine marking. This is especially common among puppies and small dogs. You’ll know if your pup is properly house trained if they are not having accidents for about 1-3 months. You may want to talk with your vet to rule out incontinence in an older dog.

How To Stop Your Dog From Marking:

  1. Supervise your dog at all times. If you have to leave, confine your pup to a smaller area so they are not free to roam. You can use a gate or a crate (if they are crate trained) to keep them in the area.
  2. Dogs are less likely urinate where they eat so consider moving their food and water to spots where they frequently mark. You can even put their treats in those same areas so they associate it with snacks rather than marking.
  3. If your dog does mark, clean the area with a Biodeodorizer. This will break up the proteins that are in urine so they aren’t tempted to mark in the same spot over and over again. Even better, this spray has a neutral pH with no harsh chemicals so it’s safe to use around your pets and kids.
  4. Some dogs continue to mark out of habit. If you notice that your pup frequently marks outside as well, gently pull him away each time they try to urinate after they’ve already relieved themselves. This could help stop the habit that continues inside.
  5. If none of these seem to work for your dog’s marking, talk to your vet, a behaviorist or professional trainer. If your dog is urinating due to anxiety or stress, confidence-boosting exercises may make a difference. Or, if they have an underlying UTI, medication may be needed to help. Pay attention to your dog’s habits. If they start exhibiting behaviors that are out of the ordinary, it is best to talk first to your vet to rule out any medical conditions.

Whatever you do, do not punish your dog when they mark, especially if you don't see it happen. Dogs will not associate their urinating with the punishment which can only cause confusion. If you catch them in the moment, distract them from the action. Then, immediately take your pup outside so they know to only urinate outdoors.


If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Illness

Understanding And Dealing With Pet Stress

Decoding The Skin Microbiome


woman looking at face in mirror

Understanding your skin’s microbiome

Did you know that there is an entire microscopic world living on the surface of your skin? This natural ecosystem is called the microbiome, a system of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and more, that is responsible for the health and function of our skin. You may have read or heard the skin microbiome referred to as the “skin flora,” similar to how the system of microorganisms in the gut is called “gut flora.” Why is this natural ecosystem on the surface of skin so important? Read on below to discover more about your own skin microbiome. 

What is its role?

If you think about it, skin - the body’s largest organ - is essentially the biggest shield between us and the outside world. It protects us from things like pathogens (harmful bacteria or viruses that can cause disease), so it’s important that the skin microbiome is healthy, flourishing, and functioning optimally. The microbiome also hosts a slew of impressive functions including but not limited to reducing inflammation, communicating with your immune system and protecting us from environmental stressors, and more. Research into the microbiome is uncovering something new nearly every day!

The skin microbiome and skin barrier connection

As we mentioned, modern science is regularly uncovering new information into the complex world of our natural microbiomes. Although it’s a super complex topic, it’s helpful to have a top-level overview of how two of our vital defenses, the skin microbiome and barrier, function and work in tandem. 

If you’ve been reading our blog posts on skin care, you’re probably familiar with the term “skin barrier,” it’s the outermost layer of skin made up of lipids and skin cells. A functioning skin barrier locks moisture in, and blocks harmful bacteria from entering. The incredible skin microbiome is a vital and essential component of an optimally functioning skin barrier as discussed above by keeping healthy flora at a premium, and pushing the bad guys out. 


woman washing face

How to keep your skin microbiome healthy and flourishing

First, you should know that a healthy microbiome results in skin that’s hydrated, balanced, lacks inflammation and is clear. Microbiome imbalances are often linked to eczema, acne, allergies or dandruff and can also result in sensitized or dry skin. Several factors can all affect the overall health of skin flora including diet and topical products, two factors that are easily in your control! 

If you’re dealing with chronic breakouts and using antibacterial treatments but not getting the results you’re hoping for, consider that those antibacterial creams or washes may be killing the bad and the good bacteria, resulting in a decimated skin barrier. While we can’t emphasize enough the complex science that is microbiome research, we do have a few steps to implement daily to help care for your skin’s microbiome:

  1. Don’t always opt for an antibacterial cream or wash if you’re experiencing acne. As we explained above, antibacterial treatments often kill off the good bacteria that keeps your microbiome balanced and healthy. You also run the risk of bacteria building up resistance to antibiotic treatments with repeated use. Look for natural antibacterial options like tea tree essential oil, blue chamomile essential oil and thyme essential oil to name a few.
  2. Do not over cleanse. Research shows that our natural flora thrives in a more acidic environment (the skin’s natural pH is on average just below 5). We recommend washing your skin with soap once daily at most with a pH balanced cleanser. By not overcleansing, you also ensure that you’re not overly disrupting the natural flora (including all of the healthy, beneficial bacteria).
  3. Introduce probiotics into your diet. As we’ve touched on before, there is an incredible link between your gut and skin flora. When skin is out of balance and experiencing any number of inflammatory conditions, oftentimes, your gut flora is the culprit. Opt for an everyday probiotic. You can also get creative with your diet and introduce natural sources of probiotics from fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt or kombucha.
  4. Don’t over exfoliate. We’re often told that we must scrub away those dead skin cells in order to reveal fresh, bright skin. What if we told you those dead skin cells hold an important purpose? They are what makes up that important outermost layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum. They are essential for helping to retain moisture and protect newer cells below. Opt for a gentle exfoliator that you can use 1-3 times per week (depending on your skin’s needs).

All skin types are different, but learning how your skin microbiome works is essential to achieving that glowing complexion. 


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What You Need To Know About Double Cleansing

Feed Your Skin From The Inside Out