Hey Earthling, it’s Earth Day

There’s a popular saying about our planet and humankind’s negative effects on its ecology:

“We treat this world of ours as though we have a spare in the trunk.”

Since the nearest planets that could possibly sustain life appear to be more than 1,200 light years away, it may be wise for Earthlings to do what we can to preserve the nice place we already have.

Since 1970, every April 22, Earth Day reminds us to do just that.

If you hike the 3/4 mile up the Gaylor Lakes trail in Yosemite National Park, your reward is an incredible view of middle Gaylor Lake.If you hike the 3/4 mile up the Gaylor Lakes trail in Yosemite National Park, your reward is an incredible view of middle Gaylor Lake.
Naturalist Beth Pratt always hopes to see the pika (in the same family as the rabbit) on her annual spring hike of Gaylor Lakes trail in Yosemite. Naturalist Beth Pratt always hopes to see the pika (in the same family as the rabbit) on her annual spring hike of Gaylor Lakes trail in Yosemite.
For a day in Yellowstone National Park, the Mount Washburn hike gives you the best bang for your wildlife, wildflower and scenery "buck." For a day in Yellowstone National Park, the Mount Washburn hike gives you the best bang for your wildlife, wildflower and scenery “buck.”
Bighorn sheep give birth to their lambs in May and June, and hikers on the Mount Washburn trail in Yellowstone can sometimes spot lambs along the way. Bighorn sheep give birth to their lambs in May and June, and hikers on the Mount Washburn trail in Yellowstone can sometimes spot lambs along the way.
The Great Smoky Mountains are known as the salamander capital of the world, home to 30 species. The Great Smoky Mountains are known as the salamander capital of the world, home to 30 species.
The views in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in North Carolina and Tennessee, are spectacular. The views in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in North Carolina and Tennessee, are spectacular.
Hiking the Lands End Coastal Trail, about 15 minutes from downtown San Francisco, you'll have incredible views -- and you might spot bottlenose dolphins and their calves. Hiking the Lands End Coastal Trail, about 15 minutes from downtown San Francisco, you’ll have incredible views — and you might spot bottlenose dolphins and their calves.
For wildlife, more than 200 species of resident and migratory birds have been sighted at Lands End, where a lovely trail will take you to Sutro Bath.
For wildlife, more than 200 species of resident and migratory birds have been sighted at Lands End, where a lovely trail will take you to Sutro Bath.
The late CBS news travel correspondent Charles Kuralt called the Beartooth Highway, which runs through Montana and Wyoming, the "most beautiful road in America." The late CBS news travel correspondent Charles Kuralt called the Beartooth Highway, which runs through Montana and Wyoming, the “most beautiful road in America.”
Drive the 67-mile Beartooth Highway to see the beautiful scenery, but don't forget to get out of the car to find many magnificent views a short walk from the road. Drive the 67-mile Beartooth Highway to see the beautiful scenery, but don’t forget to get out of the car to find many magnificent views a short walk from the road.
Head to Kearney, Nebraska, to see the great Sandhill Crane migration. About 500,000 of these spectacular birds make a spring pit stop here before heading north. Head to Kearney, Nebraska, to see the great Sandhill Crane migration. About 500,000 of these spectacular birds make a spring pit stop here before heading north.
The sandhill crane spring migration, shown here in Nebraska, runs from February to April. The sandhill crane spring migration, shown here in Nebraska, runs from February to April.
Beth Pratt explored nature as a child in Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. The Great Island Trail in Wellfleet is shown here. Beth Pratt explored nature as a child in Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. The Great Island Trail in Wellfleet is shown here.
Enjoy the Province Lands dunes in Provincetown, part of Cape Cod National Seashore. Enjoy the Province Lands dunes in Provincetown, part of Cape Cod National Seashore.
 
Earth Day: Beautiful places for wildlife Earth Day: Beautiful places for wildlife

Watch this video
 

Climate change impacts the world

In 2011, the Green Club of Afghanistan planted more than 28 million trees. That’s nearly one tree per person in one of the world’s most war-torn nations.

Or, turn your sights to the beaches of California where a group of volunteers collected more than 3 million pounds of trash that could be recycled, and that was just a day’s haul.

The best intentions and actions are driven by knowledge, so here’s a little quiz to help you bone up on ecology:

The Quiz

1. How many pounds of trash did the United States create, per person, every day in 2010?

A. 1.23 lbs.

B. 3.46 lbs.

C. 4.43 lbs.

Answer: C — Less than 5 pounds may not seem like much, but if you multiply it by 365 days, that’s 1,617 pounds of garbage per person over a year.

2. The seven worst metropolitan areas for ozone pollution are all in California. No. 8 is in another state. Which is it?

A. Phoenix

B. New York

C. Houston

Answer: C — Houston, but some metro areas that may surprise you are not far behind, like Charlotte, North Carolina.

3. What percentage of hybrid car owners replace it with another hybrid when it’s time to get a new car?

A. 79%

B. 45.2%

C. 35%

Answer: C — Only 35% of people who buy a hybrid once buy one again. With all the praise they receive, isn’t it surprising so few drivers buy a second one?

4. About 70% of the Earth is covered with water. Only a relatively small amount of it is potentially potable fresh water. How much?

A. 1%

B. 2.5%

C. 7.3%

Answer: B — Only 2.5% of water on Earth is fresh water. And 70% of that is locked up in polar ice.

5. Though fresh water would seem somewhat precious, Americans use a lot of it every day. On average, what is the approximate daily water use of each household?

A. 25 gallons

B. 50 gallons

C. 300 gallons

Answer: C — 300 gallons. That’s what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says. Meanwhile, more than 750 million people (more than 10% of the world’s population) still don’t have adequate access to drinking water, according to the United Nations.

6. A lot of the water Americans consume lands on their lawns. What percentage, on average, is used for outdoor purposes?

A. About 10%

B. About 30%

C. About 60%

Answer: B — About 30% of U.S. residential and commercial water goes for outdoor use. And up to 50% of that evaporates if you water in the heat of the day, the EPA estimates.

7. Which of the following takes the longest time to break down?

A. Plastic six-pack holder

B. Hard plastic container

C. Disposable diaper

Answer: A — A plastic six-pack holder takes 450 years to disintegrate. Consider the impact of plastic water bottles, which take as long to biodegrade. The International Bottled Water Association says that in the top 10 global markets alone, people consumed more than 61 billion gallons of bottled water in 2011.

8. Which of the following accounts for the greatest percentage of total waste in the United States?

A. Paper

C. Plastics

D. Glass

Answer: A — Paper is by far the No. 1 item Americans dispose of. But it is also the most recycled material.

9. How much solid waste does the United States produce in one year?

A. 50 million tons

B. 150 million tons

C. 250 million tons

Answer: C — 250 million tons, says the EPA. That’s more than 1,000 times greater than one of the largest cruise ships in the world.

10. Which of the following countries had higher emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, per capita, in 2008 than the other two?

A. United States

B. Russia

C. Australia

C — Australia emitted 26.08 tons of carbon dioxide per person in 2008. For comparison’s sake, a full tanker truck can weigh between 12 and 25 tons. U.S. and Russian per-person emissions that year were 22 and 15 tons, respectively.

(re-posted from CNN.com)

Check out how Amber Blue is playing our role in being green: http://www.amberblue.com/#!our-story/ccno

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012 – How Did We Measure Up?

2012 was a very busy year for Amber Blue.  Check out our year in review to see what blogs were most popular!  Perhaps you missed a few tips or two.  We look forward to sharing many more skin stories with you in 2013!

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. Amber Blue got about 2,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Four Skin-solutions for 2013

2013-resolutions

We’re already a few days into 2013…can you believe it?  The year is already flying by, and here at Amber Blue, 2013 has definitely kept us busy thus far.  So busy, that we didn’t really even have much time to sit back and think of what we want to be our personal New Year’s Resolutions.  We crossed off the typical “bye bye to all the holiday food”, “exercise more”, and “to make more time for friends and family”…. and gasp, maybe even more time to ourselves.

A resolution, also, isn’t just about giving things up.  A resolution is a solution to a problem. So what should we solve this year?  Better yet, what should you solve this year?  Typically, everyone heads in the direction of solving a health issue.  They tend to do this through eating healthy and exercising.  However, a lot of people are missing out on their unhealthy skin habits.  Being healthy is not just about eating right and exercising daily, it’s also about being good to your skin.

So here at Amber Blue, we have, what we believe, to be the best New Year’s Resolution thus far-In 2013, we want all of you to resolve any skin issues you have by being good to your skin.  Who wouldn’t want a glowing face, healthy body and well-being!

Below are four easy ways to “be good to your skin”.  Happy 2013 to all of our resolvers!

Resolution One

Remove dirt and oil
Nobody wants dirt and oil to leave your skin feeling greasy or even look dirty.  However, everyone cleanses their skin differently.  For some people, cleaning it multiple times a day does the trick but for others, once a day is good enough!  You’re the one who knows your skin the best but there are still some basic factors to remove dirt and oil.  Using our Lavender Rose Face Cleanser and mask (packed with clay, oats, roses, lavender, almonds, vitamin E and essential oils of lavender and tea tree oil) will gently remove the outer dead layer of skin that covers your face.  You can add warm honey, warm yogurt or avocado to the cleanser for a refreshing face masque.

CLEANSER ONLY

Resolution Two
Shrink your pores
Who doesn’t ask this when they go to their dermatologist or buying the next gimmick to hide your pores all together. While we wish shrinking pores could be done by the fairy godmother, a little bit of toner will truly do the trick by shrinking your pores? Toner also removes any remaining dirt or residue. Our toner is made of rose, chamomile and rose geranium hydrosol which are known to hydrate & tighten skin, shrink your pores and decrease wrinkles!
toner only

Resolution Three
Keep your skin hydrated
The winter is the worst time for skin.  The cold weather and household heat tends to dry out skin so easily!  But Mother Nature has nothing on our Advanced Formula Face Serum packed with 16 nourishing and organic oils.  It literally touches upon Every. Single. Possible. Skin Ailment.  By using this all-natural and organic serum, the ingredients penetrate deep down into the layers of your skin something that most simple face moisturizers cannot do.  There’s a reason why serum is the fastest growing skincare product on the market and our bestseller.  And as always remember to drink plenty of water, herbal tea and cut down on the alcohol and caffeine (okay we didn’t say remove – just cut down on!).

serum onlye

Resolution Four
Protect your skin
The best way to really protect your skin would probably be to walk around in a bubble…imagine?  In a more realistic world, the best way to protect your skin is through SPF.  Putting on sunscreen daily will save years of wrinkles and other skin damage.  Just because you can’t feel the sun in the winter months, the sun’s rays are here 365 days a year, rain or shine, hot or cold.  The signs of sun damage do not show up overnight, but when they do, there is no reversing.  Protect yourself now and thank yourself later.

 z_Sun

Happy New Year!

Tara & Jen

Co-Founders, Amber Blue

Skin Care Routine Untangled

spa

Skin care can be down right confusing!

When we decided to launch Amber Blue our main goal was to take the headache out of choosing what was needed for your skin; hence our slogan, “Pure and Simple Skincare”.  Pure: the absolute best ingredients.  Simple: simple product line. Put simply, we created products that are the best at what they do.

At our launch, we were surprised at how many women were unsure of the “steps” in skincare. This is what is great about meeting our clients in person, we can answer your questions and also get great feedback. You inspired this week’s blog, so thank you. Hopefully we’ll help women around the world untangle your question:

What does a proper skincare routine consist of?

SKINCARE ROUTINE

package

CLEANSER ONLYSTEP 1: CLEANSER

Removes dirt and oil.

Amber Blue
Lavender Rose Face Cleanser

While providing mild exfoliation to remove the outer layer of dead skin, almonds also provide nutrition such as vitamin E to the skin. Clay helps absorb dirt and excess oils, while oats sooth the skin to decrease inflammation. Lavender, roses and aloe help hydrate and tone the skin and decrease inflammation that can lead to signs of aging.

toner onlySTEP 2: TONER

Shrinks your pores, refreshes your skin and removes remaining toxins left on your skin.

Amber Blue
Rose Hydrosol Toner

The main ingredient in this toner is a hydrosol distilled from roses. This rose water has great hydrating properties for the skin. It also helps to tighten skin to decrease wrinkles and can help calm the nervous system to decrease stress which plays a big part in aging skin.

serum onlyeSTEP 3: SERUM

Serums contains ingredients that are 20 times more biologically active than many ordinary creams that we use. Serums are known for faster, better and deeper penetration in the skin and thus giving faster results. Hydrates deep levels of your skin that moisturizers cannot reach.

Amber Blue
Advanced Formula Anti-Aging Serum
16 Nourishing & Beneficial Organic Oils

Intense treatment of 16 oils penetrates deep into skin to delivery vitamins and antioxidants. This oil-based product provides a blend of oils to provide a light feeling on the skin, as well as to protect and nourish the skin. The oils provide gamma linoleic acid, which helps repair aging skin, improve elasticity and decrease scaring; linoleic acid helps repair dry skin and improve moisture. High level of phenolics and phytosterols help keep skin plump and younger looking as well as decrease inflammation that can lead to aging.  The essential oil blend was designed to minimize wrinkles, decrease inflammation, calm irritation and improve skin tone.

lipStep 4: CREAM & MOISTURIZE

Facial cream provides immediate and long-term hydration, eye cream improves the texture and look of the skin around the eyes and lip balm protects and moisturizes lips.

Amber Blue
Sweet Honey Lip Balm

Long-lasting balm protects and moisturizes dry lips. Blend of ingredients leave lips soft and supple with a perfect shine and sweet scent of orange oil, sunflower oil and honey.

At this time, Amber Blue, does not carry  a face or eye cream. We plan to launch our cream line in early 2013. Please check back for updates!

z_SunSTEP 5: SPF

90% of wrinkles are caused by the sun’s UVA light and damage from sun is the number one cause of premature aging. Put on that sunscreen daily!

 

 
exfoliateEXTRA STEPS: EXFOLIANTS AND MASKS
Recommended 1-2x per week.

Exfoliate:
The average woman has 30 layers of dead skin cells on her face. Regular exfoliation can help keep your skin tone even, your acne in check, and even avoid dryness. *

DIY Exfoliator: Mix 3 table spoon equal parts of warm extra virgin olive oil, brown sugar and honey. Apply to face in gentle circular motions for 2-5 minutes. Wash with warm water.

Mask:
Facial masks are designed to supplement a regular skin care regimen. Exfoliating and masks can help nourish your skin and address any skincare issues. Adding weekly facials to your skincare routine will improve the health of your skin and enhance the beauty of your complexion.**

DIY Mask
Amber Blue
Lavender Rose Mask
Add warm honey, warm yogurt or avocado to cleanser for a refreshing face masque. Leave on for 5-10 minutes.

To purchase Amber Blue’s products, visit our website at: http://www.amberblue.com

– Tara & Jen, Co-Founders

*Excerpt from Suite101
**Excerpt from Live Strong

Amber Blue Has Launched!

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We’re Open For Business!
Visit our online store to learn, shop and enjoy  www.amberblue.com a variety of Amber Blue’s natural and organic skincare and aromatherapy products.
And don’t forget to visit us at our Launch Event & Holiday Market TONIGHT December 13th in NYC.  Details Below.
TONIGHT: Grand Opening Event
WIX Holiday Market
Thursday, December 13th, 2012, 6pm-9pm
10 West 18th Street, 2nd floor, NYC (b/w 5th & 6th)
Amber Blue & 16 other local businesses
Just in time for the holidays! Shop, Eat&Drink, and be Merry!
Spread the cheer!  Invite friends & family!
Premier Product Advanced Formula Anti-Aging Serum
Skin looks and feels better with serum – it’s that simple.  Amber Blue’s Advanced Formula is a secret complex formula by us tried and tested that’s a little bit of luxury worth the splurge. Learn why face serum is the new it product in skincare.  Here’s a hint: Our serum is packed with 16 (yes, 16!) nourishing & beneficial oils from around the globe! Learn, Shop, Enjoy Here! www.amberbule.com
3FACE
Learn About the benefits of going natural & organic
In one year a woman will absorb 4lbs of toxics & chemicals into their bodies from using mainstream cosmetics*. These companies have created a plethora of cheap, synthetic components to their products to lower the price & increase the rate of production.  Products that rarely carry any real benefit to them. The European Union has banned 1,200 of these types of toxins & chemicals but the U.S. has only banned 10.  A surge in organic skincare companies are beginning to emerge as consumers educate themselves and move towards organic foods, cleaning supplies and cosmetics.
Amber Blue’s ingredients provide benefits from Mother Nature that just can’t be duplicated by synthetic ingredients.  Our ingredients will not dry out your skin or cause adverse reactions.  Each and every ingredient is chosen for it’s benefit to your skin.  You will find natural plant oils, herbs and essential oils.
Interested to learn more?  Check out our website to follow our weekly blog and join our mailing list!
*The US Institute of Occupational Health and Safety
Shop Face, Body & Aromatherapy
We have launched our essential skincare line in time for the holiday season.  Shop online or swing by our Holiday Market on December 13th in NYC.  Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be alerted of new product launches, events and the like! www.amberblue.com
Our Co-Founders
Jen & Tara
Can you believe it’s been two years! That’s when we started with a simple idea and here we are now – launching Amber Blue.  It’s been a long but fun two years of learning, developing and launching Amber Blue. We’ve taken classes around the globe and met many amazing mentors along the way.

In that time, Jen has become a licensed aromatherapist and herbalist – how cool is that? Tara has been busy with the operations of the business. Joining other entrepreneurs    in learning, building and establishing new business.  We’re a pretty great team, mother & daughter, both with great focus on the parts of the business. Together we are able to bring you the best in natural & organic skincare. It’s our word!
Enjoy
The benefits of Amber Blue
Enjoy your new Amber Blue products.  They have been made with natural & organic ingredients  used in human skin care products for hundreds of years, and they really work!  We spent two years formulating recipes and having them reviewed and tested by a cosmetic chemist.  They are packed with the absolute best ingredients for your skin. We promise.  So what exactly are the benefits of our chosen ingredients?  We’ve laid it out for you on our site.  www.amberblue.com

 

What’s Your Skin Type?

What type of skin would you say you have?  We’re not talking about the color, we’re talking about the texture.  Is it smooth or rough? Sensitive? Oily or dry? Something else?  It can be a difficult task to decide which type of skin you have but it is also very important to know.  Most skincare products aren’t as universal as you may think.  A lot of them are specific-for example, a cleanser which states in bold letters for sensitive skin is more than likely just for sensitive skin.  Buying multiple skincare products for not only your own skin but for your whole family can be frustrating and quite expensive.  So this post is all about figuring out what type of skin you have and then maybe a little bit of persuasion to buy some Amber Blue products; since your skin type doesn’t really matter to us because in a sense, our products are universal.

We stumbled through about.com’s beauty section and graced upon this awesome trick on figuring out your skin type:

“Rona Berg, in her book, “Beauty the New Basics,” suggests you take the “skin test” to tell what skin type you have. To do this, wash your face, pat it dry, then take a few pieces of rice paper or lens-cleaning tissue paper and press on different spots on your face. If your skin is oily, the paper will stick, pick up oily spots and become translucent. If the paper doesn’t stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is likely dry. If it sticks in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) then you have combination (or normal) skin. Most women actually have combination skin.”

So what type of skin do you have?  And better yet, what products are you going to use?  We mentioned earlier that Amber Blue products are universal.  You may be asking how that could possibly be but we are sitting on the other end of this screen with a huge smile on our faces telling you it’s soooo possible.

We use gentle herbs such as calendula, chamomile, lavender, roses to make each of our products. Our herbal face cleanser is so gentle it can be used as a face cleanser or mask and can used on all skin types. Our rose toner is so gentle it can be used on any age! The face serum, eye cream, and face lotion is anti-aging and can be used on all skin types as well.

If that didn’t make our products universal enough for you let us introduce our body line.  The body line consists of glycerin soap which is the gentlest type of soap. One is a goats milk soap infused with raw organic honey and oats. It’s so gentle it can be used on a baby.  Our body serum is gentle apricot oil and sweet almond oil infused with gentle garden herbs…guess what?  This can also be used on a baby. Our body lotion can also be used on all skin types and all ages…universal yet?  To prove it we can honestly say we both use it (Jen and Tara), we use it on little Emma, and our mum also uses it!

We want Amber Blue to be simple to use and pure. In addition, many of the products can be used for multiple things. The face cleanser can be used as a daily cleanser and mask.  Add yogurt, honey, avocado and presto!  You have yourself a mask. A little tip from us founders is to make a paste out of it and put it on bug bites or other skin irritations.  The toner products are face hydrators, pick me ups, cleansers, and last but not least, aromatherapy-relaxers.  The body balm can also be used on your lips for silky smooth lips!  The body serum can be used on your body as a moisturizer or in the bath as a bath oil.  Another little tip from us is that we take some drops of our body serum and even rub it into our hair…smooth curls to say the least.

So what type of skin do you have?  Amber Blue doesn’t discriminate.  And we kinda really think that’s what separates us from the rest.  We’re always getting super personal with our soil when gardening new herbs and spending a lot of time with our kitchen to make the purest, simplest, and most universal products in the world.  It doesn’t matter what type of skin you have because here at Amber Blue, everything will work for you.

Stay beautiful,

Amber Blue Skincare

DIY Herbal Infusions 101

It’s no lie that we all love a relaxing spa day; the feeling of cold cucumbers pressed against your eyes, a silky smooth mud mask covering your face, and the tingle your skin gets when it’s massaged is irreplaceable. However, a day like this could easily cost hundreds of dollars and in some instances may not have the best products for your skin.

As an herbalist and aromatherapist, it’s easy to stick to the old-fashioned DIY spa days at home.  We would like to share with you just exactly what we do at our own at home spa days!  Welcome to the world of DIY Facials!  Below are a few DIY herbal infusions for your skin.  You can check it out here but for now, let’s discuss which herbs help the skin, hair, and everything in between!

Herbs which help the skin are a little bit different than herbs that heal the skin.  Lucky for our customers, Amber Blue Skincare products do a great balance of both.  Our products help problemed skin as well as cure it.  Your integumentary system (hair, skin, nails, sweat glands) has the largest organ in your body-your skin!  With all of this pressure to make your skin beautiful all of the time, it’s no wonder the integumentary system falls behind every once in a while and leaves a bump, mark, or scar on your skin.

The best herbs known to man to give your integumentary system the confidence, strength, and power to make your skin flawless are adaptogens.  These little guys work wonders and cure problems in your integumentary system.

  • Amla enriches hair growth and pigmentation. It strengthens the roots of the hair and helps maintain color and luster
  • Astragalus treats disorders of the skin including burns and tumors (skin tumors)
  • He shou wu helps maintain the color of one’­s hair and also helps diminish hair loss
  • Holy basil improves elasticity and removes wrinkles
  • Licorice is used topically for herpes, eczema, psoriasis, and allergic dermatitis
  • Schisandra relieves allergy-induced skin conditions
  • Shatavari root infused in oil is used topically to treat skin diseases

Referenced from Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, by David Winston and Steven Maimes (Healing Arts Press, 2007).