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Fashion & Beauty

Are you living with chronic pain? You aren’t alone. There are over 1.5 billion people living with chronic pain. Many people feel helpless with their pain, and many others feel prescribed painkillers are the only choice they have.

If you are wary of using painkillers, you are not alone. Pharmaceutical pain medications can be dangerous, and medical science is starting to realize this. Although painkillers may be appealing because they are often effective, there are other alternatives. If you are curious about the many natural alternatives to pill popping, look no further. Here are some safe and effective natural pain remedies that you should try.


Ginger is best known for its helpful digestive properties. Any symptom related to the digestive tract, like nausea or an upset stomach, can be relieved with the use of ginger. A study was actually published in the Journal of Pain that revealed daily ginger can reduce exercise-related pain by 25%. The easiest way to apply ginger as a pain reliever is through oral consumption. You can put it in sauces, teas, or even just eat a bit straight from the root!


Turmeric is also part of the ginger family. It is a bright yellow powder obtained from the rhizome plant. This powder, typically used to add a bit of color and spice to food, is actually an anti-inflammatory agent. If you can stop inflammation, you can reduce pain. Turmeric is also known to reduce arthritis pain because of these anti-inflammatory properties. If you want to try using turmeric as a pain reliever, make an effort to start adding it to stews, soups, and even teas! Taken orally, this helpful substance can actually aid in relieving pain throughout the entire body.


This natural remedy is found in hot chili peppers and temporarily desensitizes nerve receptors that cause pain responses. Capsaicin also diminishes soreness for three to five weeks while the pain receptors regain sensation. Most often used in the form of a cream or salve, a single 60-minute application of this remedy can reduce pain effectively in patients for up to 12 weeks.

Related: What is cbd tinctures?

Taking pain medication is not your only option for pain relief. Take a trip to Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet and explore the many eco-friendly options. Ginger, turmeric, and capsaicin are some great options to start with, but there are many options at your disposal. Make sure to talk with your doctor before you start any new medical routines.

CBD products are also some good options to traditional medication. CBD has become very popular in recent years after becoming fully legal in the USA and some other countries. So, you can also consider taking CBD products for chronic pain relief. Also check out Swell CBD for CBD oil and products that can be used to treat dogs, as your pet also deserves to get necessary pain relief.

A new blend of environmentalism, fashion, and good old-fashioned capitalism has taken hold in the blue waters of the Mediterranean sea. Fishing boats from Catalonia have started hauling back plastic polluting the sea to be recycled for use in sunglasses.

Sea2see, a Barcelona based company, is taking a visionary approach to recycling. They pay fishing boats to reclaim refuse from the sea and recycle it to make designer sunglasses in Singapore. With overfishing becoming a serious problem, the company is supporting local fishermen while providing a powerful incentive to protect the waters they depend on.

Their mission statement shows an understanding that no one person can reverse pollution, but that many people can come together and change our collective mindset on the importance of saving the world’s oceans.

The plastic pollution levels found in oceans are no joke. In fact, a 2016 Ellen MacArthur Foundation report warned that if no intervention efforts are made, the estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic residing in the world’s oceans could continue to expand until there is more plastic than fish.

The question then: are the efforts put forth to popularize recyclable sunglasses going to make a difference?

The founder of Sea2see Francois Van den Abeele tells The Independant, “Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil and gas, but a lot of fashion companies’ sustainability efforts are just greenwash,” in hopes of raising awareness for his cause.

It seems to be going well so far. This 100% recyclable eyewear is now available in four countries, with plans to expand to the sizable hipster market within the United States. This is exceptional, and since sunglasses are worn on your face, it’s easy to imagine they will see success. In fact, a worldwide survey saw 52% of respondents say they expect to vacation at a beach within the next year. This will give the brand time to spread, and with environmentalism all the rage, it is all but inevitable.

The question of how this will affect the pollution epidemic in our oceans still remains uncertain though, as it’s scale is much larger than a single company can hope to tackle. The point that Van den Abeele, and others who share his vision, are trying to make is that if we all collectively decide that cleaning up the ocean is hopeless, then we will never do it, but if we try, then we might succeed. And hey, if not, everyone gets a cool pair of sunglasses. You can find a great pair on Sunglass Picks.

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Leather has long been a fashion staple, loved for its classic look and ability to stand the test of time. It’s also very easy to care for: as long as you use a conditioner every six to 12 months, wipe up any spills right away, and avoid harmful cleaning supplies, you’ll be good to go. However, leather isn’t an eco-friendly choice, prompting many fashion brands to find vegan alternatives to animal hides. But it may surprise to you learn that many cruelty-free substitutes actually aren’t as sustainable as you might think.

Vegan shoe brands are becoming more plentiful by the year, featuring all kinds of styles and source materials. There are even high heels being made from apple peels. And while certain brands get PETA’s stamp of approval, consumers should approach their shopping experience with a healthy dose of skepticism. Just because PETA says it’s vegan-friendly doesn’t mean the production process is actually earth-friendly.

Despite the fact that many companies will use direct cargo services to ensure their products can be delivered in a more eco-friendly way due to decreased time and stops, some fast fashion brands highlight vegan products as a means to sell cheap, poorly made products and take advantage of a specific group of consumers who want to feel like they’re making a difference with their money. Truth be told, “vegan” is not the same as “ethical” or “eco-friendly.” While many companies offer both, others will use the vegan label as a marketing ploy to attract customers.

It works, too. David Dietz, founder of an ethical fashion e-commerce site called Modavanti, explained to Craftsmanship Quarterly, “One of the interesting things is that we don’t get as many purchases for organic cotton, which is vegan. If it’s not labeled vegan, they ignore it. When we tag a t-shirt as vegan, sales will spike.”

Unfortunately, many consumers will simply take companies at their word when they promote something as eco-friendly. Rayon has largely replaced silk in the fashion market within the last decade due to the fact that it was touted as being less harmful to animals. But rayon manufacturing is so toxic that it can’t even be done in the United States. According to a 2006 report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, rayon and acrylic are the most toxic fabrics to produce. Workers who are exposed to fumes during this process have increased risks for heart disease and strokes and often suffer nerve damage and even mental health issues. And of course, when these toxins are released into the environment, entire ecosystems have suffered as a result. In many cases, these vegan brands may be friendlier to cuter, more visible animals, but they don’t do anything to protect wild animals, many of which may be endangered.

There have been cases made for leather alternatives in recent years, due to the fact that the leather production process not only harms animals used for hides but also releases toxins into the environment. One designer has found a way to use pineapple leaves, which are usually discarded as waste materials, to create a leather-like material. But because these alternatives are so new, we don’t yet know how long they’ll last or when they’ll be available for purchase. Actual leather can last for decades, but the non-animal options currently on the market may not be nearly as durable. In the end, if these materials can’t be saved and consumers are forced to buy replacements, that’s not representative of true sustainability.

Until further strides are made, earth-loving fashionistas need to conduct their research before buying clothing items touted as being “vegan.” Otherwise, you could be purchasing a product that does more harm than good — and won’t even last until next season.

It’s no secret that receiving flowers is something special. In fact, a full 92% of women remember the last time they were given flowers as a gift. But did you know that flowers can do a whole lot more than just sit on a shelf and look pretty?

That’s right — flowers can be used for anything from perfume to potpourri. They’re also great when used in your health beauty routines as well! While these claims here are by no means medical statements, here are some interesting things you can use flowers for that you may never have considered.


Get rid of bloating

Dandelion tea is a diuretic, so it is a great drink to sip on if you’re experiencing a bit of extra bloat. Just remember to supplement with a glass of water or two because you can easily become dehydrated by drinking too much.

Pain reliever

There’s a good amount of fatty acids and antioxidants in dandelion, so stocking up on some dandelion oil to apply to scrapes and bruises is a good idea. Undoubtedly these will definitely help you relax your muscle pain and also help you in the rejuvenation process. A little bit of dandelion oil and a good massage is all you need to feel fit and healthy again.


A natural deodorant

Rosemary will naturally get rid of odorous smells, so applying it with some apple cider vinegar will give you a chemical free deodorant. All you need to do is dab it on with a cotton ball.

Easy mouthwash

The same scent-zapping idea goes for mouthwash. Boil dried rosemary leaves in water for about 30 minutes, strain, and refrigerate. You’ll have a natural mouthwash that tastes good.


A shoe polish

Known as the “shoe flower” in many Asian cultures, the hibiscus produces a really beautiful oil that can bring a shine to your shoes in no time.

A hair conditioner

This same natural emollient helps to retain moisture and help bring dry and damaged hair back to life. You can do this by adding a couple drops to your conditioner to use every day or slather it on as a leave in treatment.


Prevents infection

In a random, but controlled, trial, massaging premature infants with sunflower seed oil three times a day resulted in a 41% reduction in sepsis.

Hydrates skin

Sunflower seeds have a copious amount of vitamin E in them, which is known to have incredibly hydrating properties. Adding it into your moisturizer is an easy way to get a hydration boost in the cold weather.


Fights acne

Lavender has some anti-bacterial properties, so it is great for fighting off breakouts. You can also use it to tone down and soothe any redness in the skin caused by pimples.


This flower also is deep cleaning, meaning it can really dig deep into your pores. Making a facemask with either dried lavender or lavender oil will purify, clean, and hydrate your skin.

So go see what you have in your garden, and get creative. Your beauty routine will thank you for it!

It’s been said that clothes don’t make the man, but many of us have a real attachment to our clothing. A certain piece can completely derail our self-confidence or possess the power to pick us up when we’re feeling low. And without a doubt, fitting into our favorite pair of jeans or outgrowing a beloved item from childhood can have significant emotional ramifications. But while you shouldn’t necessarily judge a pair of jeans by its cover, so to speak, there may be more of a reason to do so if you’re trying to go green. Some of your most-loved garments might represent a direct threat to the environment.

Around 66% of men say they feel more confident when they wear suits — but they might not be quite so confident about knowing the ecological impact of their duds. That said, high-quality menswear isn’t really the biggest offender when it comes to non-eco-friendly clothing. In fact, the more casual items in your closet are most likely going to be the worst in that category.

Take your basic cotton t-shirt, for example, or your favorite shirt made from a wildlife fabric collection. Most of the t-shirts folded in your drawers started as cotton grown on a farm. This process alone requires an excess of water and pesticides. After it’s harvested, it’s treated, woven, and dyed, sometimes in facilities in other countries. Then, it’s woven by hand (typically by workers who are paid poorly for their work) before being transported over to our American markets. That transportation component shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Apparel production makes up 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. So even if you think the product isn’t technically a “fast fashion” item, you’re likely still contributing to the problem. Although cotton is considered to be a high-quality, breathable material, its inexpensive and versatile nature means that you’ll probably end up owning numerous items when one would likely do — thus contributing to the cycle.

This might prompt some to say, “But I buy items made of rayon or viscose — they’re better for the environment.” Unfortunately, experts are now saying that these man-made fibers really aren’t as eco-friendly as you’d like to believe. It’s true that they’re made of natural plant materials, which some say makes them a better alternative to petroleum-based synthetics. But in many cases, rayon and viscose actually get their start as old-growth trees located in endangered rainforests.

It might shock many consumers to know that their clothes are essentially made of something similar to the paper we use every day. To make these fabrics, a dissolving pulp mill will add chemicals to a tree and create what’s known as dissolving pulp. This pulp is transported to a viscose producer, where the material is made into a fiber and then sent to a spinner or dryer. Then, it’s made into a textile and sold to the brand that makes it into the dress or top you find on the hanger in your local department store.

If this information is surprising to you, you’re not alone. Most designers (and even some sustainability experts) aren’t even aware of the process, either.

Nicole Rycroft, who founded a nonprofit that works with businesses to create eco-friendly alternatives to using old-growth forests, told Fast Company, “To be honest, even we were surprised when we found out about the link. All of the brands have been shocked. Some of them weren’t even aware that rayon actually came from forests.”

Fortunately, it looks like Rycroft’s nonprofit, called Canopy, has the potential to make a huge impact. The nonprofit has already won commitments from 105 fashion brands to go rainforest-free. This decision would represent $130 billion in annual revenue. This past spring, Canopy announced a commitment from VF Corp, whose brands include Nautica, the North Face, Vans, Timberland, and Wrangler. Gap Inc., which also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic, also committed to the cause, saying they’ll be old-growth-tree-free by 2020.

For their part, some brands are trying to become more eco-friendly on their own. Everlane, arguably one of the most ethical brands on the market, recently announced the release of its first denim collection. Normally, a manufacturer has to use 1,500 gallons of water just to make a single pair of jeans. But Everlane has created a closed water system that recycled 98% of all water used (due to the 0.4 liters that are lost during evaporation). They also developed a method that extracts the “toxic sludge” created during denim production (which usually seeps into the surrounding ground) that can then be turned into concrete to build homes. In addition, the brand says they’ve reduced energy usage by 5.3 million kilowatts of power per year by using solar power and has reduced their CO2 emissions by nearly 80%.

That said, Everlane is the exception, not the rule. Although 52% of people worldwide say they make purchasing decisions partially thanks to packaging that shows a brand making a positive environmental and social impact, the reality is that it can be very tough to know exactly where your clothes are coming from. While it may take a little more effort (and at times, a little more money) to fill your closet with sustainable options, you’ll at least have peace of mind — and more than likely, higher-quality clothing — when you buy from eco-friendly brands.

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The average American office worker prints around 10,000 pages every year. However, in Austin, Texas it isn’t paper that a group of workers are printing. Just off of Steck Avenue is Shanna Moll’s hair studio, where stylists are using a cutting-edge tool to print hair.

While Moll’s studio does provide hair care services, it isn’t the studio’s coloring or shampooing that sets them apart from the crowd. It’s the 3D printing the studio has been using to create hair prosthetics for those experiencing hair loss.

“The only thing better than this,” Moll said to ABC News KVUE, “is if God himself came down, put his hand on your head, and said ‘here’s the hair you’ve always wanted.'”

Moll works with Cesare Ragazzi Laboratories, an Italian scientific research center working to develop effective treatments for hair and scalp disorders.

Clients in Moll’s studio have their scalps measured using fiberglass and plaster to create a cast of the area affected by hair loss. After the mold has been taken, Moll designs around the fiberglass and sends it to Italy. In Bologna, the cast of the client’s scalp is translated via 3D printing onto a replica skull.

From there, CRLabs uses a patented, biomedical polymer to form the base of the prosthesis. The base is FDA-approved, antibacterial, and adapts to the client’s body temperature. The polymer is then given a customized pigmentation that is transferred directly onto the 3D mold of the client’s scalp to match their skin tone.

The hair used for the prosthesis is unprocessed hair classified by ethnicity, length, color, and wave and is matched to the client’s hair sample provided by Moll. The hair strands are then grafted onto the prosthesis by hand one at a time following the direction of the hair line.

The technology is completely customized to the client. “There’s bumps and grooves,” said Moll about the prosthesis. “If you have a scar, it will show up.” Once the prosthesis is sent back to Moll’s studio, Moll then applies the prosthesis to the client’s hair using an FDA-approved, hypoallergenic fixing agent. The prosthesis holds to the client’s scalp for up to four weeks before needing a touch-up by Moll.

“You just treat it like your own scalp and hair,” Moll said. “The only maintenance is coming in every four weeks to take the system off. At that point, I clean the system in a sonic bath.”

Cindy Quay, one of Moll’s clients, is just one of the 21 million women in the United States suffering from women’s hair loss. “I wore wigs for three years,” she said. “And then I went to a system that was put on with little microbeads.” Quay is only a few months away from receiving her own customized prosthesis.

The cost of the prosthesis typically depends on the client’s hair loss and needs. However, a typical hair prosthesis can run anywhere between $3,000 to $10,000.

Companies such as L’Oreal are working on their own way to create hair loss treatments using 3D printing while others are focusing on treatment through stem cell research.

As more and more female hair loss treatments become available, CRLabs’ hair prosthesis isn’t just fascinating to learn about. It’s also a life saver.

“When you give a person back their dignity and their self-worth and their confidence,” said Moll, “that doesn’t compare. It just doesn’t compare.”

Photo: Shanna Moll

We are all familiar with the idea of the tampon tax, which is where state governments tack on an extra tax for feminine hygiene products. While the state of Florida is the most recent state to abolish this “pink tax,” women across the nation are still being forced to pay extra for genderized items.

And it turns out that this extra tax isn’t limited to drugstores and cosmetic aisles, as the world of pharmaceuticals is seemingly following the trend of having women pay more for specific treatments.

Take Rogaine, for example. For many years, Rogaine has been a popular treatment for hair loss for both men and women. Hair loss across the nation is incredibly common — 21 million women experience hair loss and 35 million men endure some level of hair loss or baldness. Rogaine is an over-the-counter hair loss treatment that is applied topically to stimulate hair growth and is also available in a generic version, Minoxidil, at stores across the nation.

However, while both drugs are relatively the same, one University of Pennsylvania doctor noticed that the price for the women’s treatment was astronomically higher than the men’s version. Confused, he set out to determine why.

Dr. Jules Lipoff, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine was browsing the shelves at his local Target when he saw that women’s Rogaine was priced significantly higher than the men’s located right next to it. He thought this was simply a fluke, but he decided to research pharmaceutical prices nationwide to see if this pricing problem was the same across the country.

Lipoff and his researchers compared prices of Rogaine and its generic counterpart at 21 pharmacies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Indiana. They found that, unfortunately, the drug is always priced higher when marketed for women, especially in larger, nationwide chains such as Target, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walmart.

The findings, as reported by Time, show that despite men’s and women’s products having identical formulations, the women’s treatment was priced 40% higher. The average price for the woman’s foam was $11.27 per ounce when men’s was only $8.05 per ounce.

After Lipoff’s findings were published in JAMA Dermatology, a spokesperson for Rogaine made a statement saying that when both products are sold wholesale to pharmacies, they are sold at the same price, leaving it up to the retailer to make their own pricing. So with this in mind, Lipoff asked the retailers directly and they denied to give a public comment on their pricing structure.

Additionally, the researchers looked at the active ingredient in each product to see if they were actually as similar as they were advertised to be. They found that the men’s formula is sold at a 5% strength, while the women’s treatment is only sold at 2%. So with this in mind, there is even more of a discrepancy in marketing a product for women at a higher price when they are getting less from it.

Lipoff explains to Time, “On one hand, we see that women are paying more than men for essentially an identical product. And on the other, we see that they’re paying the same as men for something that’s not as effective.”

With these findings in mind, Lipoff and his team believe that even though he has only looked at one small section of the market, his findings “may reflect the larger issue of gender-based pricing” for many types of health care.

So ladies, we still have a long way to go. But luckily, Lipoff and his team are breaking barriers and making it easier for us to be heard when it comes to that dreaded pink tax.

Image Source: AveryScott

The world of beauty is a big place — globally, the beauty industry is worth $400 billion dollars, and back in 2016 there were 16,710 day spas in the U.S. alone. However, despite being a massive worldwide industry, many understand that not every demographic has been given a fair representation.

Take Shea Moisture, for example.

Back in April 2016, Shea Moisture released their #BreakTheWalls campaign with the goal of making their beauty product marketing more inclusive. The brand, which is an African American and family-owned company that primarily targets women of color, focused a lot of its marketing efforts on shining a light on the lack of diversity in the beauty aisle. These commercials went over well among socially conscious consumers, but the brand recently launched an ad that caused quite the stir.

That’s because one of the brand’s new commercials features mostly white women with little focus on Black women, the brand’s original customer demographic.

The new commercial shows several white women talking about their “hair hate” issues: A blonde expressing how she never knew how to style her hair and a redhead who shared why shame led her to dye her hair.

Almost immediately, Shea Moisture fans took to social media to declare their disappointment in the brand. Many viewers were shocked to see the same brand that created #BreakTheWalls was now leaving out the women they market to almost exclusively. Critics complained that the brand was playing into the same old beauty brand standards that routinely leave ethnic hair out of the equation.

Fans were also upset that Shea Moisture presented a tone-deaf story about “hair hate”, given that Black women largely face discrimination in the workplace, from society at large and even in their own communities, when they choose to wear they hair in its natural state, not a challenge that is comparable with indecision about styling or being teased about color.

CNN Money reports that soon after the release of the commercial, Shea Moisture pulled the plug on the new ad campaign and released an apology on their Facebook page.

“We really f-ed this one up,” Shea Moisture explained in their statement. “Please know that our intention was not — and would never be — to disrespect our community, and as such, we are pulling this piece immediately because it does not represent what we intended to communicate.”

Additionally, Richelieu Dennis, the founder and CEO of Shea Moisture, explained to CNN that the brand’s main focus is still women of color, and he apologized for any offense caused by the controversial advertisement.

However, Dennis did explain that Shea Moisture is branching out to offer products to women with every type of hair, so some of their marketing efforts will be changing. Until then, Dennis promised that Shea Moisture remains committed to addressing the “challenges that women have and continue to have with the societal norms of beauty.”