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      New Product Spotlight - Natural Bio-Active Body Wash and Shampoo

      New Product Spotlight - Natural Bio-Active Body Wash and Shampoo

      I have for some time wanted to offer our customers a gentle wash product that would compliment our skin healing therapeutic ointments. A body wash and shampoo suitable for babies, kids, adults and seniors to use and love.

      Those with troubled sensitive skin do not have many options when it comes to cleaning products as most contain strong surface acting chemicals (also called surfactants) that are designed to lift dirt and other unwanted materials off the skin surface.

      I am referring mostly to anionic surfactants that are found in laundry detergents, dish soap, shampoos and washes like Sodium Laureth Sulfate and many the ingredients that end in -eth (eg. Ceteareth, Laureth-4, Laureth-23).

      Surfactants in skin cleansers interact with the skin in several manners. In addition to the desired benefit of removing unwanted buildup on the skin, they also can remove the skin-protecting elements like lipids that help maintain a healthy skin barrier and beneficial bacteria needed for healthy immune function of the skin.

      Our new Thera Wise Natural Bio-Active Body Wash and Shampoo is perfect for those looking for a low foaming gentle wash that protects the skin as it cleans.

      I am also excited to mention our newest initiative that includes having most of our Bio-Active ingredients from Canadian sources. Modern Science is just now starting to discover the unique and multi-functional phytochemical properties of plants grown in the harsh Northern climates of North America.  These unique and rare properties that enable these plants to survive and thrive also contain special properties that can protect, rejuvenate and benefit sensitive and delicate skin.

      Key Highlights: 

      • Marine Glacial Clay Water extract from the Pacific North West (Canada) helps to nourish the skin and protect against environmental pollution
      • Canadian Willow Herb Extract help reduce redness and inflammation
      • Canadian Atlantic Seaweed Extract nourishes and protects delicate skin
      • Mild essential oils of Yuzu Citrus and Mimosa Flower delight your senses and impart a luxurious shower sensation
      • Extract from olive oil protects the skin barrier function


      Reasons We Love Daikon Seed Oil

      Reasons We Love Daikon Seed Oil

      Daikon Seed Oil is our new fav emollient for our Thera Wise Natural Vegan Lip Balms.

      For those unfamiliar, daikon is a large white radish consumed mostly in Asian style foods. Turns out that Daikon seed oil has some really unique and valuable skincare properties.

      Here is what we like about the Daikon Seed Oil we use in our Thera Wise Vegan Lip Balms; 

      – Grown in North America without pesticides or herbicides –  grown by a farmer cooperative in Oregon State – cool right?

       Provides non-greasy glide for that luxurious lip feel. Absorbs very quickly and locks in long-lasting moisturizing properties leaving lips feeling velvety soft all day (no need for silicones or other less desirable skincare additives).

       Gives lips that luxurious and plump fresh look as Daikon Radish Seed Oil has the capacity to reach lower skin layers deeply moisturizing from the inside out.

       Protects, moisturizes and rejuvenates naturally.

      Antibiotic Angst

      Antibiotic Angst

      How do you feel about using antibiotics? 

      It’s difficult to imagine life now without them. Antibiotics have become ubiquitous since Alexander Fleming first stumbled upon penicillin in 1928.

      Whether natural or synthetic – antibiotics have one thing in common: They kill bacteria. Bacteria respond by building immunity. They evolve so rapidly and effectively that the World Health Organization issued a stern warning: “Without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.”

      Is it time to call a truce?

      The suggestion that our antibiotic embrace has been overly enthusiastic is not new. Most of us, even as we rush to the medicine cabinet at the slightest hurt, are aware that antibiotics ought to be treated with caution. They are a blunt instrument – effective but indiscriminate. They destroy the good with the bad and tend to throw our natural balance of microflora into chaos. Even where they are effective, temporary relief comes at a price.

      Now consider this: When most of us think antibiotics, what comes to mind are prescription drugs. We know from experience how quickly doctors prescribe antibiotic treatments for bacterial infections of any kind. But what about all the non-prescription over-the-counter antibiotic ointments and creams in our medicine cabinets?

      People imagine that non-prescription drugs are less potent, yet the operating principle is entirely the same. The consequence of overuse applies to antibiotic ointments just as it does to prescription medicines. Not only are these medicines potent – they are largely unnecessary.

      Studies have shown that topical antibiotics are ineffective for use on open wounds and clean surgical wounds. They aggravate the wound, hindering the natural healing process and there is a significant risk of developing contact dermatitis, a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore or inflamed. Long term consequences of prolonged overuse include increased prevalence for chronic eczema, chronic otitis externa, anogenital dermatitis, chronic venous insufficiency and postoperative wounds.

      More often than not, just cleaning a small wound will be sufficient. To reduce the time it takes to heal and minimize the risk of infection, try SHO Natural Bio-Active Skin Healing Ointment. Plant-based anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial ingredients reduce the risk of infection while soothing and rejuvenating delicate skin tissue. Our natural plant extracts have a bio-affinity with your skin allowing for fast effective relief and infection protection. product-page-skin-new

      (references to the above statements)
      • Dixon AJ, Dixon MP, Dixon JB. Randomized clinical trial of the effect of applying ointment to surgical wounds before occlusive dressing. Br J Surg. 2006 Aug;93(8):937-43.
      • Smack DP, Harrington AC, Dunn C, Howard RS, Szkutnik AJ, Krivda SJ, Caldwell JB, James WD. Infection and allergy incidence in ambulatory surgery patients using white petrolatum vs bacitracin ointment. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1996 Sep 25;276(12):972-7.
      • Campbell RM, Perlis CS, Fisher E, Gloster HM Jr. Gentamicin ointment versus petrolatum for management of auricular wounds. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Jun;31(6):664-9.
      • Sheth VM, Weitzul S. Postoperative topical antimicrobial use. Dermatitis. 2008 Jul-Aug;19(4):181-9.
      • Gehrig KA, Warshaw EM. Allergic contact dermatitis to topical antibiotics: epidemiology, responsible allergens, and management. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Jan;58(1):1-21.



      Look in a Merck medical manual 10 years ago and you could find the statement “diet does not affect acne”. It is hard to imagine a respected health resource stating this considering so much our health is tied into our food, diet and lifestyle – and acne, for the most part, is no different with a few caveats.

      Acne can have several causes and in this blog post, I will attempt to outline these with some guidelines for overcoming the condition (naturally). Much can be written on this topic, I will attempt to be as brief as possible and cover the main points in less than a 5-minute read.

      Acne can be a debilitating disorder especial during a severe outbreak. The social aspect of the disorder can be the hardest part of dealing with acne. Acne on the face makes one less likely to want to socialize leading to a loss of confidence and self-esteem. Acne, especially during the teen years, can be difficult to deal with when social activities are so important (and often awkward enough). Hang in there… condition lasts forever and with the right guidance it can be a thing of the past more quickly than you expect.

      First lets quickly look at the conventional drug store options as a way of indicating what not to use.

      Prescription drug
      • Accutane (Isotretinoin) and it's now other brand names is an outrageously dangerous drug for the treatment of severe acne. From the harmful side effect including birth defects, inflammatory bowel disease, abnormal bone growth and depression/suicide/psychosis to name a few (there are around 30).

      Over the counter
      • Benzoyl peroxide a drying (burning) petrochemical derivative that compromises the skin's eco-flora (immune system) and set the acne sufferer up for continued failure to treat acne effectively.
      Benzoyl peroxide does, however, dry out the acne nicely to give the appearance of reduced redness. This drying/burning is similar to a bleaching or a chemical peel where layers of the skin are removed. As mentioned above this impairs the integrity of the skin's eco flora (good bacteria) and hydro-lipid layer (moisturizing protecting layer of the skin) causing the acne to often come back with a vengeance.
      • Synthetic Salicylic Acid – has a similar drying action however less severe that BP. Thera Wise Ac+ Acne ointment uses salicylic acid from willow tree bark @ 0.5%, witch hazel extract and tamanu oil to assist in overcoming pathogenic bacteria.

      Here are the considerations that in my opinion are the biggest causes of acne.
      • Pathogenic bacteria (bad bacteria) vs good bacteria (healthy skin eco-flora) in and around the skin's pores.
      • Hormonal changes (Stress, puberty, PMS, pregnancy, menopause, food choices).
      • Comedogenic (pore blocking) personal care and air pollution particulates.
      • Diet – deficiency in micronutrients, GLA EFA’s, high glycemic foods, hormone-injected meats and milk, allergies.
      • Internal health – immune system (gut health), imbalance in the constitution.
      • Genetics – some people are just more prone to skin challenges (not your fault!).
      • Allergies – mostly from food, however, could include personal care, pets pollen etc.

      What to do
      Proper skin regimen.
      For any inflammatory skin condition, less is more when it comes to personal care use especially in the affected areas. For women that use foundation, blush, mascara try to minimize, eliminate and remove when not working or going out until the acne is eliminated or reduced.  Gentle soaps and cleansing gels should be used sparingly (consider an olive oil soap) and avoid petrochemicals.

      As the first defence against acne use our Thera Wise Ac+ Bio Active Acne Ointment 
      It is a comprehensive approach that targets the factors that cause acne.
      No other anti-acne ointment on the market approaches acne-like Ac+.

      Here is why:
      • Anti-inflammatory plant extract reduces redness, swelling and itching.
      • Restorative and regenerative emollients protect and rejuvenate delicate compromised tissue.
      • Balance the skin's eco-flora (reduces pathogenic bacteria and promotes healthy skin bacteria).
      • Protect and rejuvenates the delicate hydro-lipid layer of the skin (natural barrier).
      • Gentle pore cleansing & naturally antibacterial activity to remove acne-causing bacteria.
      • Natural moisturizing base – has a bio affinity with the skin – the composition of olive wax is the most similar to human sebum.

      You can use our Ac+ as a moisturizer on areas that you are often experiencing acne before an outbreak occurs.  Works great as a spot treatment too.

      Diet, supplements and herbals suggestions

      • Probiotics – important for overcoming any skin condition – fermented vegetables are my first choice, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles etc. If you have been taking antibiotics then possibly consider a quality store-bought probiotic initially.
      • Quality filtered water.
      • Essential Fatty acids can really help overcome inflammatory skin conditions. – Flaxseed oil, krill oil, hemp seed oil, Olive oil salmon, sardines, mackerel etc.
      • Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) mostly found in the foods – hemp seeds, oats and barley and in oils – evening primrose oil, blackcurrant seed oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil and flax oil can be helpful overcoming acne.
      • Detoxifying leafy green vegetables – kale, collard greens, salad greens should already be part of everyone's diet, this is especially important for acne sufferers. I like whole food choices over processed green products that come in a bottle. Consider green smoothies to increase your greens intake quickly. For some inspiration and fun in this category, there is no-one more likely to get you motivated than Canada’s ambassador to healthy food fun Megan Telpner – search green smoothie on her site.
      • Quality protein for cellular regeneration – use only organic (grass feed for beef, lamb bison etc) pasture-raised animal proteins. Avoid hormone injected raised conventional meats
      Vegetarians/Vegans look for beans, hemp seeds, avocados, nuts, kale etc
      Look also at green tea, my favourite cannot live without morning vice is Tsuen tea organic sencha from Kyoto (the oldest tea manufacturer, merchant in Japan from 1160)…heavenly!
      • Locally grown (organic if possible) cooling in nature vegetables cucumber, radish, snow peas, beets, turnips, zucchini, bok choy, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower.
      • Avoid or minimize dairy and high glycemic foods (sugars) both have studies indicating they can exacerbate acne.

      Internal herbals to treat acne (tincture or decoction/tea).
      Chastetree berry (hormonal normalizer)
      Burdock (cleansing detoxifying and all-around good for the skin)
      Yellow Dock (similar to burdock – cleanses the blood and lymphatic system)

      Anatomy of a Diaper Ointment

      Anatomy of a Diaper Ointment

      Oh no! you have noticed your precious little one has an angry red rash around the diaper area.

      Usually called diaper rash or diaper dermatitis it is inflammation of the skin surrounding the diaper area. As common as it is there seems to be very little progressive thought and consideration to properly treating this. Here is the problem, water strips the hydro-lipid (sebum) layer of the skin, the very needed fatty acid composition that keeps your skin soft and supple and protects the outer layer (epidermis) from the environment. To compound, this urine and feces are irritants to the skin especially if left on for any length of time.
      Leave a wet diaper for part of the night or an hour during the day and you have the perfect recipe for irritation and discomfort.

      What is the best solution? let your child go diaper free especially in the Spring/Summer, get some sunshine (moderate amount) and fresh air on that bottom.

      What not to do? Gloop on an occlusive (heavy barrier forming and or pore-clogging) ointments containing petrolatum, paraffin, beeswax, zinc oxide, mineral oil, propylene glycol, etc.

      Why you ask? This area needs to dry and rejuvenate, using the above only traps wetness and like water strips the hydro-lipid layer of the skin further compromising it.

      “But it feels so smooth after I put it on (mineral oil, propylene glycol dimethicone (fine particle silicone), etc).”

      Yes it does feel smooth, but you are only compounding the problem further, the same situation would apply for face creams with petrochemical bases – it feels good looks smooth but ages you more than you know and requires you to apply more and more to keep up the facade.

      I mentioned this previously in my post on baby oil and thought it good to repeat it again.

      “A baby’s skin is very porous because it has not developed to the same extent the hard outer keratinized thorny layer of the skin called the epidermis (this accounts for that amazing soft skin that babies have). The epidermis is the part of the skin that helps prevent materials from entering through to the dermis (deep layer of the skin) and into the bloodstream. Babies actually have the same number of pores as adults, just condensed to a much smaller surface area.”

      So what is the solution apart from having a full-time nudist baby? Ointments that moisturize but that do not trap moisture on the surface of the skin, ointments that do not clog the skin's pores leaving a greasy feeling and ointments that use soothing plant-based extracts and emollients that soothe and protect delicate skin and reduce inflammation.

      What to look for in an ointment?

      • Calendula
      • Olive oil and olive wax – Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate – they are bio-compatible with the skin (being the most similar to the fatty acid composition of the skin).
      • Chamomile
      • Almond Oil (caution with nut allergies)
      • Tamanu Oil (caution with nut allergies)
      • Argan oil (possible caution with nut allergies)
      • Aloe vera
      • Burdock root
      • Small amounts of Tea Tree and Lavender essential oil
      • Plantain leaf extract
      • Chickweed extract
      • Seabuckthorn berry oil

      I would really recommend you to try our Thera Wise Natural Baby Diaper Ointment. You will see noticeable results overnight.
      It is very soothing and is a quick-dry, non-greasy, alcohol, petrochemical and paraben-free formulation.