Archive for Colorado Lifestyle

How to Revive Skin After Being Outdoors

For most of us, living in Colorado (and elsewhere) means an active, outdoor lifestyle.  But exposure to the elements takes a toll on skin causing redness, irritation, dry skin, hyperpigmentation and wrinkling. All of this results in premature aging.  But don’t let these skin problems keep you from enjoying a healthy outdoor lifestyle. There are many reasons to enjoy the outdoors, be it summer or winter, and Colorado Aromatics skin care can help enhance your healthy, outdoor lifestyle.

 

You wear a sunscreen, but what can you do to revive your skin after being outdoors?

Cleanse. Be sure to use a cleanser to remove sweat from your face. Follow this with a  pH balanced face mister to help restore and recover your skin’s natural pH. Colorado Aromatics makes both Meadow Mist milky cleanser and Yarrow oil cleanser. And you’ll love our aromatic Face and Body misters distilled from herbs (including lavender) that we grow on our Certified Naturally Grown farm.

Use Antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for repairing skin damage caused by the sun. Besides eating a diet rich in antioxidants, use skin care products that are rich in antioxidants. Colorado Aromatics uses herbs that are rich in complex antioxidant polyphenols to help repair skin damage.

Use Mild Exfoliation. Mild exfoliation can help brighten skin by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells and pigmentation. This can help your moisturizer work better by improving its penetration. It can also help reduce hyperpigmentation and that leathery appearance caused by too much sun. Too much exfoliation, however, can damage the skin barrier function and lead to redness and inflammation (so go easy).

Hydrate. Moisture must reach the skin from both the inside and outside. Drinking water is vital to staying hydrated. Use a good moisturizer topically such as Springtide Face Cream to moisturize from the outside and keep the epithelium moist. A good moisturizer is a balance of water and oil to both hydrate and hold that water to your skin and protect the barrier function of your skin.

And don’t forget your neck, chest and hands; they are exposed to the elements as well.

Being outdoors helps us regenerate and relax. Don’t let your skin care concerns keep you from enjoying the outdoors.  Good skin care is not a luxury but something to consider on a daily basis. Colorado Aromatics Cultivated Skin Care products are formulated by a biochemist and herbalist who understands skin physiology.

Business Accomplishments 2016

Business seems to grow painfully slow at times which is why I like to look back at a full year of accomplishments. It helps me to put things in perspective. We do more than just skin care. Here are some highlights of Colorado Aromatics and Sagescript Institute for the year 2016.

Mentoring

African Women's Entrepreneurship Program

In September I was asked by a representative from the State Department to meet with women entrepreneurs from Africa in the cosmetics / skin care industry. This is part of the International Visitor Leadership Program project titled African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program. We met for a few hours and shared information about our businesses; problems and strategies. It was an amazing time and unfortunately very short.

In June I participated in the Longmont Startup program as a mentor to others who wanted to start businesses.

I enjoyed doing a presentation at Silver Creek High School for  Girls in Engineering Math and Science (GEMS). We talked a bit about cosmetic chemistry and made bath truffles for the girls to take home. They had some good questions about chemistry and skin care.

Through Sagescript Institute, Dr. Cindy Jones consulted for numerous small cosmetics and skin care businesses and performed microbiology testing. She continues to help small businesses perfect their formulations.

Presentations

I (Dr. Cindy Jones) gave a presentation to local esthetics students on Holistic Esthetics. This included information on using herbs in skin care.

I also gave a teleconference on “Using Hydrosols in the Spa” for the Alliance of International Aromatherapists.

In March we had a great time doing an activity at 300 Suns Brewery on “Beer in the Spa” and hope to bring it to other microbreweries this year.

Press/Media

The Longmont Times Call newspaper had a feature article on us entitled “Farm to Face: Skin care goes local” in Longmont by Shay Castle. It was also published in the Boulder Daily Camera and the Denver Post.

Green Profits and Growers Talk magazines also published an article on us titled “Going Beyond Farm to Table” by Anne-Marie Hardie.

Dermascope Magazine featured our products in several articles including Red Rocks Beard Oil, Springride Gold Face Cream, Angel Falls Shampoo, Coolness  Aftershave Lotion, Mountain Mist Hand and Body Lotion and Cucumber Face and Body Mist.

Numerous other publications and blogs also mentioned our products.

Website/Social Media

On our website I wrote many blogs and we added a function called “Ask the Esthetician”. Through this you can present your skin issues to our esthetician and get personal recommendations back.

We increased our activity on social media through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (follow us). We post about our products and about interesting hikes and outdoor activities. We  participated in the Indie Business Takeover Tuesday.

New Products

We introduced one new product; Allure Lip Conditioner. This product is formulated to help plump lips and maintain integrity of the lips for customers who spend a lot of time outdoors.

We also decided to have our bath salts as year round products rather than just for the Holiday Season. Bath Salts are part of our new gift set for Athletes.

Farm Events

In September we hosted students from the Colorado School for Clinical Herbalism on our farm as part of the practical aspect of their program. It was great seeing so many people on the farm at one time.

We also had several farm tours this summer, both private and public. I love getting people outside on the farm to see where we get inspiration for our products. Stay tuned for more this summer or contact us to schedule your group for a tour.

During the summer our farm (Colorado Aromatics) was part of the Farm Fresh program put on by the Firehouse Art Gallery and Arts Longmont. We had 4 artists come to our farm for inspiration to create some amazing pieces of art. Our artists were Ken Elliott, Janice McDonald, Victoria Eubanks and Mary Williams. Their collaborative pieces are shown below.  I love that our farm serves as inspiration for art.

Fresh Art 2016

Sales/Donations

We had successful seasons at the Boulder and Longmont Farmers Markets. These outdoor markets are fun to do but we always have to be prepared for any type of weather. I love interacting with customers on such a regular basis. We also participated in the Denver Botanic Gardens Winter Market (indoors) and the Western Colorado Lavender Festival (outdoors).lavender festival booth

We we able to increase our sales this year and gained new wholesale accounts as well.

We had two very interesting sales. One sale was to the Colorado Division of Tourism who used our products as part of their promotional Thanksgiving dinner held in Britain. This was for members of the tourism industry to promote tourism in Colorado. Its very special for our brand to represent Colorado.

We also had one sale through Fly Denver that was also used for promotional purposes in Dubai.

Because of our sales we were able to donate many gift baskets for silent auctions this to local groups. Putting money back into our own community is an important part of having a business for me.

We were also able to make significant donations to national non-profits including Oxfam, American Institute for Cancer Research, American Red Cross, Women’s Earth Alliance and Habitat for Humanity.

One thing I love about having a business is the number and variety of positions it puts me in and the people and experiences I get to have along the way. I have spent this past week pretty much in rest and relaxation. I thank all the people who made these accomplishments possible. Without our customers nothing would be possible. I look forward to serving you again throughout the next year and bringing you functional skin care products that solve the problems you have from your outdoor lifestyle.

Hiking Milner Pass in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall has got to be my favorite time of year. As the busy farming season slows down it give me a little free time to get to the mountains more. My goal was to drive across Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park before the road closed for the season. Trail Ridge Road goes through Rocky Mountain Park, covering 48 miles almost from Estes Park to Grand Lake. The elevation of the road peaks at 12,183 feet with more than eight miles lying above 11,000 feet. It offers some incredible mountain views. Because of the elevation and the difficulty in removing snow from the road, it closes when the weather makes passage difficult. It may be closed today as I write this because we had snow this morning so I was glad to have been able to make the drive on Monday.

We stopped at the Alpine Visitors Station, for bathrooms and the view. This picture is of Mummy Range off the back deck of the Visitors Center, well above tree line.

rmnp10_16alpinecentercompressed

 

Milner Pass

Continueing on the west side of the Park we came to Milner Pass at 10,759 feet. The trail starts right at Poudre lake. Its a quite steep trail that first goes past some very nice rock formations and continues through the subalpine forest. We took the split to Mt Ida split and hiked a little further. Its a beautiful trail that meanders through some wet areas with views of the Never Summer Range. We didn’t hike far and were completely unprepared for the cold temperatures and light snow. But we were very glad to be able to get out before the weather turned too cold as it is now. It was very dry and I was glad to have my Herbal Relief Lip Balm with me.

Stream at Milner Pass

Revive Skin After Your Workout

Athletes tend to know how a lot about reviving and recovering their body and muscles after an outdoor workout, by resting and refueling, but how do you revive or recover your skin after an outdoor workout be it running, cycling, hiking or just a cookout?

runner

Let’s first look at what happens to your skin outside. UV radiation, wind and heat all have an effect on skin.

Exposure to UV light can thicken the epidermis, increase pigmentation, degrade collagen and elastin fibers in the skin matrix, damage capillaries and damage DNA. At higher elevations as in Colorado, these effects are magnified.

Exposure to wind can remove moisture from the skin causing it to become dry and compromising the barrier function of the skin.

Heat causes perspiration which can cause redness and irritation to the skin. But heat, or infrared radiation, also can speed aging by altering collagen and elastin fibers and thereby causing degradation of the skin matrix. Heat, as does UV light, also increases reactive oxygen species.

What can you do to revive skin after being outdoors?

Your sweat glands have been working great to keep you cool during your workout, but sweat on the skin can affect skin pH and harm the skin. After working out, wash your face as soon as possible to remove sweat (Meadow Mist Cleanser) and use a pH balanced toner to help restore and recover your natural pH.

Botanicals and herb extracts are rich sources of antioxidants which are important to the skin after sun exposure. The polyphenols found in green tea have been found to help repair sun damaged skin. Herbs provide a multitude of antioxidants to skin that can help repair damage. Additional antioxidants are vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid. Botanicals and herbs also provide anti-inflammatories to reduce reddening of the skin.

To combat damage done to the skin matrix proteins, we use ingredients that boost collagen production. We like calendula, vitamin C, and peptides.

These ingredients should be incorporated in a good moisturizer to help replenish the moisture content of skin and repair the barrier function of skin such as Springtide Gold Face Cream. When it is very hot outside you may want to try a lighter moisturizer such as Razz Tightening Serum with hyaluronic acid.

Your skin should feel the difference right away and recover from the damage.

Skin Inc., magazine just published the top 5 states that are most prone to wrinkles. Colorado ranked number 4 in this list with it’s risk factors being high elevation and sunny days. Other states ranked high include New York mainly for their ‘dissatisfaction with life’ and long commutes, Pennsylvania, West Virginia for high smoking rates, and Massachusetts, again for long commutes.

5 Tips for Celebrating Earth Day

Yes, I am old enough to remember the first Earth Day. You can read a little history of it here.  It was a time of protest and increasing consciousness. Now I don’t so much consider it a protest but a time for gratitude. Gratitude for what the Earth has given me and a time to think of what I can give back. As a farmer and a maker of natural products, appreciation and celebration of the Earth is important, not just as one day but as a lifestyle.View lavender .

Here are some ideas I have for celebrating Earth Day. You can leave additional ideas in the comments. Celebrating with another person always makes it better!

  • Cook. Cook something from scratch, not from a box. Maybe even buy the ingredients at the farmers market. You’ll appreciate the fresh taste and the process of converting something that came from the Earth into a meal. If you have young children, teach them to cook.
  • Walk. Go for a nice walk. Hopefully the weather is nice enough where you are that this is possible. As you walk, be observant of the life around you; the trees, grass, new spring growth, etc. Its fun to do the same walk throughout the seasons so you can observe the changes.
  • Watch the Sunset. Watching a sunset really pulls me back into the moment and makes me feel gratitude. Find a nice place to do this where you can relax. My best sunsets are from my deck at home as I watch the sun set over the mountains. Have a glass of beer or wine while watching – both come from the earth. Don’t you love this quote “God made yeast, as well as dough, and loves fermentation just as dearly as he loves vegetation.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Plant Something. If you haven’t already, plant at least part of your garden. If you live in a Temperate zone where you can still get a frost, you can plant peas, arugula and a few other hardy vegetables. Alternatively, plant some herbs in a pot in your kitchen. Or, pick a bouquet from your yard of what’s growing or even what is still present and dried from last summer.
  • Craft. Do a craft from natural materials. Knit a washcloth using cotton yarn,  Here are two websites to give you ideas and here.

Be conscious of your purchases and try to buy products that have less packaging as well as making sure that what packaging there is is recyclable packaging. Ingredients should be biodegradable. The earth is resilient but let’s do what we can to appreciate it.

To help celebrate, you can take 10% off your online order at Colorado Aromatics by using the code ‘Earth’ at checkout until April 25. Happy Earth Day.

 

 

Colorado Aromatics Brochure

Colorado Aromatics Cultivated Skin Care Brochure, Skin Care for the Outdoor Lifestyle. We’ve been working on this brochure for awhile and now its done. We’ve got some beautiful photography and great text. You can view it here.

A Snowy Hike

I set out Sunday to go snowshoeing at a place called Peaceful Valley along the scenic  Colorado Peak to Peak Highway.  In Longmont I think the temperature was about 70 degrees but with 50 plus mile per hour winds. I was hoping it would be less windy in the mountains and I needed a few hours outside.  I put my snowshoes on and started out on the trail.  The snow was nicely packed down and I didn’t really need the snowshoes. Then realized I had the wrong shoes on and they were rubbing terribly!  I remembered I had a pair of brand new boots in the car so I went back, ditched the snowshoes and put on my new snow boots and set out hiking instead of snowshoeing.

peaceful valley sign

I think the temperature on the trail was in the 50s and the sun was shining bright, what a beautiful day it was. I passed just a few other hikers, skiers and snowshoers along the way. The wind was only blowing high in the treetops so it was no bother to me. The trails around Peaceful Valley and the nearby Brainard Lake are popular for winter activities, but not today.

 

Sun shining through trees

I especially enjoy being outdoors hiking on the warmer winter days because the smell of the pine trees is invigorating. Don’t you love how the sun shines through the pines? While the trail was packed down hard enough that I didn’t fall through wearing boots, when I accidentally stepped off the trail my foot went down several feet.

 

Peaceful Valley snowy trail

I stopped on this bridge over the river to see the shapes the water had made through the ice. I think this picture resembles a backpacker; wearing a big hat of course. What do you see in this picture? The shadow you see on the bottom is me. I was only out for about 2 hours, but it was long enough to be outside to reconnect, renew and relax. I need to hike in the winter more often.

 

melted water in ice

Early Winter

snow in ColoradoWe had a very long summer so perhaps it is not so much an early winter but the cold came fast. Our temperature drop in one day, or in a matter of hours, was more than 50 degrees! Now our temps are single digits and we are struggling to keep warm. We don’t usually see these low temperatures until January. Mary, my goat has nice warm fur and I was able to seal up some gaps in her barn. The chickens have lots of straw and a lamp for warmth. The dog and cat go out for very brief moments to do what they have to do and me and my family have warm cloths so there is no complaining.

We did our last farmers market of the season last Saturday and had a beautiful warm day in the 70’s, but there will be some farmers doing the market this Saturday in double digit temperatures in the snow.

We are preparing for several Holiday Markets coming up; the Arvada Center Holiday Market (Nov 28, 29) and the Boulder County Farmers Market Holiday Market (Dec 6, 7) as well as keeping the store stocked. We will be extending our hours at the store to be open Saturdays starting No 29 (Small Business Saturday) through Christmas.

But I am inside an warm and enjoying hot rose geranium tea. This is a wonderful floral tasting tea that I will soon make available to you.

How are you keeping warm this winter?

Why We Love Colorado

by Heather Hammond

ouryard

We love living and having a business in Colorado. Here are some reasons why.

Colorado has 15 national forests that lie entirely within our state lines, and small portions of two others (Hayden and LaSal), and the total area of these beautiful forests is 13,234,380 acres.

Colorado also is home of four National Parks. They are: Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and the Great Sand Dunes (there is also Colorado National Monument).

Colorado’s elevation ranges from a mere 3,350 feet (Arkansas River) to an amazing 14,443 feet (Mount Elbert).

Colorado is the highest of the 50 states, with an average altitude of 6,800 feet.

Leadville is North America’s highest incorporated town at 10,152 feet.

And speaking of high places, according to tomlauren.com, we also have 53 ranked 14ers and five unranked 14ers.

Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write “America the Beautiful” from atop Pikes Peak. Brings a tear to your eye doesn’t it?

For the snow skiers, there are about 30 resorts that operate on a regular basis, and an unbelievable 145 that are now dormant. (coloradoskihistory.com)

For the fishermen (and women), floaters and boaters, Colorado boasts more than 65,000 miles of streams, nearly 2,500 cold-water lakes and reservoirs, and 360 warm-water lakes.

To enjoy all this beauty and wonder that is Colorado, we enjoy an average of 300 days of sunshine each year.

And to keep our skin looking great through all this, we have Colorado Aromatics Cultivated Skin Care.

Did I miss your favorite thing about Colorado? Post it below.

Carter Lake Hike

Carter Lake through the trees

Carter Lake through the trees

georgeCarterLake

George Hiking through the Snow

carterlakehike Winter weather in Colorado varies from extreme cold and snow to warm and sunny. Last weekend was a very mild winter day in Colorado and we headed to Loveland to hike Devils Backbone. Unfortunately, when we got there we found that the trail was solid ice and much too slippery for us to maneuver. Plan B was to go to Carter Lake and do the hike through the woods on the west side, the Sundance Trail.

Surprisingly, there was very little ice here and hiking on a beautiful winter day was a joy.   I’d been to Carter Lake before in the summer but had never been here in the winter and had never hiked Sundance Trail.  It was a nice hike with views of the lake and the cliffs on the other side. We saw just one person fishing and a small group of deer.  There was part of the trail that had been washed away apparently in a mud slide, I’m guessing it was during the September floods we had here.  At one part of the trail there were several deer that crossed.

Overall it was a very easy trail and it always feels invigorating to be hiking in the winter.  We get caught up in everyday life sometimes and don’t find time to get out and enjoy nature so I’m trying to take more advantage of the great hikes we have Boulder and Larimer counties Colorado and find some at lower elevation that are not as icey in the winter. Let me know if you have a favorite Colorado hike for the winter.