Tag Archives: Written by: Dahlia Kelada

Ask Dahlia: Facts About Exfoliating

“Why doesn’t SALVE have an exfoliant for the face? What do you use?”


Great to hear from you, Adrienne. You ask an excellent question. Okay,  so there’s a misconception about exfoliating, that you need something scrubby on your face.  It’s actually not true,  and some scrubs can be damaging to the skin,  especially if they are coarse or have angles that do not soften when wet or that are jagged under a microscope.

You can get pretty awesome results from clays and other things like seaweed, loofah or even rice. I teach a SALVE workshop on exfoliation, and I’ll try to share some concepts in this article.

SALVE has two clays, rhassoul and kaolin clay. They are both excellent for sucking garbage from the pores,  removing dead skin and making the skin more even-toned. Of course,  you can blend these with any fresh ingredient based on the condition of your skin;  milk, juice,  water,  yogurt,  etc.

Personally,  I like to remove masks with a raw (wet) loofah. We sell them, but you can always go to the drug store and find them. If you want the scrubby feel, I like to use the kelp (we sell it as part of the SALVE Make Your Own Fresh Mask gift set).

So the way I use it is,  after you’ve washed your face,  keep you face wet,  and pour some on your fingers and massage into face in circular motion. Kelp is a sticky plant and it clumps together,  so make sure your face is wet enough to get that scrub all over. It’s not a great mask all by itself,  but you can certainly add it to the other clays. Kelp is extremely exfoliating if you use it as a scrub,  and your face will be so soft and smooth after! Plus, it’s totally safe to use as much and as often as you want. There are so many types of clays and ingredients you can use to make a mask. Here are my favorites … I’ll add to this list a little more later.


This clay is a miracle detoxifier for both the face and scalp. Rhassoul clay’s most impressive properties in skin improvement are its capacity of absorption due to its high level of ion exchange. When applied to the face Rhassoul clay removes oil, dirt and pollutants from the skin that the ordinary cleanser can not reach. When applied to the hair and scalp, it will cleanse, provide moisture, detangle and provide shine in ways that your ordinary shampoo simply can’t.

Clinical studies have been conducted by two different research laboratories in the United States (International Research Services, Inc. www.irsi.org and Structure Probe, Inc. www.2spi.com) to evaluate Rhassoul clay mask on skin condition.

The study results showed that a single use of our Rhassoul clay mask statistically:

  • Reduces dryness (79%)
  • Reduces flakiness (41%)
  • Improves skin clarity (68%)
  • Improves skin elasticity / firmness (24%)
  • Improves skin texture (106%)

Optional: Add 2-3 drops of SALVE’s Melaleuca or Neem Oil to create a soothing acne mask. For a super hydrating mask, add 2-3 drops with Salve’s Neem or Oranic Rosehip Seed Oil.

[Download our Recipe Card]

Remove radical and harmful pollutants from your skin with this ancient Chinese mask. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it, leaving you with brighter, hydrated and calm skin. Suitable for all skin types but caters to dry, sensitive and acne-prone skin. This clay will not dry out your skin or remove your skin’s natural sebum.

Optional: Add 2-3 drops of Salve’s Melaleuca or Neem Oil to create a soothing acne mask. For a super hydrating mask, add 2-3 drops with Salve’s Neem or Oranic Rosehip Seed Oil.

Our organic milled Atlantic kelp grows deep in the cold sub-tidal waters of the North Atlantic Sea. It is responsibly harvested, dried and milled following organic standards. Add kelp powder to bath salts, facials, bath teas, and body wraps. It is a yellowish green colored powder with a fish-like, seaweed aroma and flavor. Sea kelp contains chlorophyll, an essential fatty acid that helps detoxify the skin and body and improve the skin’s elasticity. Sea kelp also contains carbohydrates that stimulate the skin’s ability to heal and vitamin A, an antioxidant, that normalizes skin cells. Proteins and amino acids are also present, and are the building blocks of cells, and act as skin conditioners.

Bentonite clay is actually volcanic ash which is a great anticeptic. It’s great for skin problems such as aczema, rashes, yeast problems and parasites. Some eat this clay to help with stomach problems and constipation, but I’m not sure if I’m a believer.

Citrus is absorbs oils and is great for acne, and even combats dryness. It has a high amount of vitamin c which prevents wrinkles, hydrates, evens the skin tone and even brightens the skin. If you use citrus in your masks, or even in your regular skin care routine, avoid using citrus (vitamin c) products when going outside. It can increase risk for skin damage and can be counter productive. Ironically, the Arizona Cancer Center has reported that oranges (vitamin c), when applied to the skin before sun exposure, can prevent sun damage. Just be smart.

Smells terrible, so get vanilla. Doesn’t matter if it’s Greek or not. Yogurt is super hydrating, it unblocks clogged pores, reduces bacteria, softens skin, reduces wrinkles and hydrates. So refreshing, especially with sunburned or sensitive skin.

If you don’t know about honey by now, it’s time you hear the amazing benefits. Ancient Egyptians used it for cuts to disinfect and heal. It’s great to kill bacteria, suck on if you have a sore throat and helps treat burns. Honey regenerates skin cells and is a natural antiseptic. It is a humectant, which means it keeps moisture on the skin.  It takes 10 lbs of honey to make 1 lb of wax.

Soothes skin and aids in healing. It reduces appearance of scars and soothes sunburn. It’s a natural sunscreen, but don’t use it as a sole source for sunscreen because we don’t know the amount of SPF protection.

Rosehip is not rose petals, it’s the oil produced from bud portion that’s left after the pedals have fallen off. It contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and is perfect for dehydrated skin, stretch marks, hyper pigmentation (scarring), reduces wrinkles and premature aging.

One of my favorite add-ons to a mask is Lavender. It’s great for all sorts of skin problems including acne, eczema, and is super calming. Plus it adds a nice fragrance to your mask.

So good for skin problems including acne. It’s high in fatty acids and great for killing bacteria. Neem is also good to add to your daily moisturizer.

Anti fungal and a disinfectant, tea tree is awesome for masks, especially if you have bumpy, acne-prone or clogged skin.

Scrubs are so much fun and a great way to polish the skin to remove unwanted flaky, bumpy and dry skin. You’ve got be smart about what scrubby things you use on your face, because not all things are good and can actually cause damage.

BEST for Face
-plant-based (kelp)
-oats (any size, watch the drains!)
-enzymes (natural citrus or crushed pineapple)
-powder grains (rice, flours)
-jojoba beads
-loofah (wet, raw)
-charcoal powders

OKAY for Face
-sugar (prefer it be small granules)
-ground/powdered nuts without shells
-used coffee grounds (watch the drains!)

BAD for Face
-salt (all sizes)-ground nut shells, e.g. walnut (watch the drains!)
-any uneven grain (whatever you use needs to be round and small)

I’ll add more to this article soon. Have fun with your mask! Holler at me if you have any questions. We’ll be posting some of our customers’ favorite recipes on our site, so stay tuned!


Written by Dahlia Kelada
SALVE and SalveNaturals.com © 2015 All Rights Reserved

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to cure, prevent or treat any disease. Please use common sense and always talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment or application for a health condition.

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What’s The Number At The Bottom of My Plastic Water Bottle?

Rumors have gone around that the number indicated on the bottom of your water bottle lets you know how many times you can reuse it. WRONG!!

The numbers actually indicate what plastic material the bottle is made of. Each number identifies the specific uses for any type of plastic-based product, from plastic wrap to yogurt containers.

Typically, only #1 and #2 with narrow necks can be placed in common plastic recycling bins. To recycle plastics with higher numbers, contact your local recycling facility. Find local recycling facilities for all types of materials. Numbers 1 and 2 plastics should only be used once – No refilling.

Plastic Recycling Symbols

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in many types of plastics.

According to the National Institute of Health: “BPA gets into our bodies when we eat or drink foods from containers made with BPA. Most plastic containers arena’t made with BPA, but it’s often found in a strong, see-through plastic called polycarbonate. (Polycarbonate containers with BPA usually have a #7 recycling symbol on the bottom, although not all plastics marked with drinking water from plastic bottle#7 contain BPA.) Scientists know that tiny amounts of BPA can leach out of these containers into foods and drinks.”

Some studies suggest that exposing the plastics to high temperatures can cause more BPA to seep into foods.

A recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 90 percent of Americans age 6 and older have detectable levels of BPA in their urine.

A report from National Toxicology Program, released in September 2008, expressed “some concern” about BPA’s potential effects on infants, children and fetuses. Animal studies suggests that BPA exposure before adulthood can affect the brain, behavior and prostate gland.


  • Avoid using plastic plastic food containerscontainers in the microwave. Chemicals are released from the plastic when heated and leech into the food. Don’t microwave food and drinks in plastic containers, unless they say “Microwave Safe.” Instead, use ceramic containers free of metallic paint.
  • Avoid using cling wrap in the microwave. Use waxed paper or a paper towel instead. If you must use plastic wrap, don’t let it touch your food.
  • Avoid plastic bottled water unless you’re traveling or live in an area of questionable water. Because bottled water is less regulated, it has less-certain purity and safety than tap water, and is much more expensive.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of plastic bottles to avoid landfill waste and exposure to chemicals that leach from the plastic. There are biodegradable, bio-based plastic water bottles on the market.
  • Never put warm or hot liquids in a plastic bottle.
  • Bring your own bag to the grocery store. Avoid using plastic bags.
  • If you’re going to use plastic, use containers that do not contain BPA.

Recycle: reprocessing of materials into new products
Reuse: the act of using something again
The bottling industry alone now uses up around 100 million barrels of oil a year to product their product packaging, and that doesn’t include the fuel used to transport them around the world.

BPA-FREE material
Only 1 percent of plastic bags produced globally each year are recycled. In a 2007 national survey, 72 percent of Americans did not know that plastic is an oil-based product. (Around 10 percent of U.S. oil consumption goes into making plastic.) Forty percent of people think that plastic biodegrades underground, in composts, landfills or out at sea. The truth is, it doesn’t biodegrade at all, at least not for up to a thousand years or more.

FACT: SALVE containers are BPA-free.

If we recycled every plastic bottle we used, we would keep two billion tons of plastic out of landfills. We use enough plastic wrap to wrap all of Texas every year.

Sources: Earth911.com; National Institute of Health, “Worried About Plastic Bottles;” Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy; and CNN.com/Asia: Recycling Plastics

Written by Dahlia Kelada
SALVE and SalveNaturals.com © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Aluminum is the third most naturally abundant element in the environment, found in food, water, pharmaceutical as well as a wide range of consumer products. Aluminum is commonly found in products such as:

  • Aluminum Deodorant & Antisperants Antiperspirants
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental implants
  • Nasal sprays
  • Processed cheeses
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Pickles
  • Bleached flour
  • Prepared doughs
  • Case mixes
  • Non-dairy creamers
  • Vanilla powders
  • Donuts and waffles
  • Milk formulas
  • Utensils/pots and pans
  • Antacids
  • Containers
  • Vaccines
  • Pain killers
  • Anti-diarrhea
  • Cigarette fillers
  • Pesticides

So why should we care?
Simply put, aluminum attacks our central nervous system. The Department of Neurology and Psychiatry at Saint Louis University states that aluminum may cause liver toxicity and lead to degenerative symptoms, including Alzheimer’s Disease (Brenner, 2013). While additional research shows this that it may be
be linked to onset of Alzheimer’s Disease; the FDA argues it does not. Meanwhile, the University of California studies shows it is linked to brain inflammation and brain disease (Bondy, 2010). Studies show that toxic metals contribute to brain diseases by producing oxidative stress and aluminum is one of the worst offenders (Kumar, 2009).

Did you know? (Oct 2013) New research from the UK found that a range of well known brands of baby formula sold contains 100 x more aluminum than breast milk (published in the journal BMC Pediatrics, examined 30 types of formula sold in the UK, including infant first milks and toddler milks.)

What about aluminum in antiperspirants? Is it linked to breast cancer?
Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants; which basically clog the pores so that you do not sweat. Deodorants, on the other hand, have the main duty of preventing odor; they do not stop perspiration.

At the time of my research, there was insufficient scientific evidence to support a claim that use of cosmetics such as antiperspirants increase an individual’s risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer.

2001 Study –  Linking Aluminum to Breast Cancer Cells
This study suggested that aluminum has estrogen-interfering effects and could increase the risk of breast cancer. This study also showed that the amount of aluminum absorbed through the skin from antiperspirants is 40 times less than average daily exposure from food and water.

Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer (Darbre, 2005).

This preliminary study showed that the use of aluminum chlorohydrate, the active ingredient in many antiperspirants, does not lead to a significant (vs. ingestion via diet) increase in aluminum levels in the body with one-time use (Flarend, 2001).

2002 Study  – Time of Applying Antiperspirant/Deodorant After Shaving
This study also did not show any increased risk for breast cancer in women who reported using an underarm antiperspirant or deodorant. The results also showed no increased breast cancer risk for women who reported using a blade (nonelectric) razor and an underarm antiperspirant or deodorant, or for women who reported using an underarm antiperspirant or deodorant within 1 hour of shaving with a blade razor. These conclusions were based on interviews with 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women with no history of breast cancer (Mirick, 2002, cancer.gov).

2003 Study – Shaving Frequency & Antiperspirant/Deodorant Use
Findings from a different study examining the frequency of underarm shaving and antiperspirant/deodorant use among 437 breast cancer survivors were released in 2003 (McGrath, 2003). This study found that the age of breast cancer diagnosis was significantly earlier in women who used these products and shaved their underarms more frequently. Furthermore, women who began both of these underarm hygiene  habits before 16 years of age were diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier age than those who began these habits later. While these results suggest that underarm shaving with the use of antiperspirants/deodorants may be related to breast cancer, it does not demonstrate a conclusive link between these underarm hygiene habits and breast cancer (cancer.gov).

Photo Source: nichropulse.com
Photo Source: nichropulse.com

2006 Study – Antiperspirant Use on Women With & Without Breast Cancer
Researchers examined antiperspirant use and other factors among 54 women with breast cancer and 50 women without breast cancer. The study found no association between antiperspirant use and the risk of breast cancer; however, family history and the use of oral contraceptives were associated with an increased risk of breast cancer (Fakri, et. al., & 2006; cancer.gov)

What does the FDA say about its use in body and skin care products?

The FDA views aluminum as GRAS; generally recognized as safe. While the FDA acknowledges that small amounts of aluminum can be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and through the skin; the overwhelming mass of toxicity data available does not indicate any risk of harmful effects from using any cosmetic products that contain aluminum.

The FDA now requires all antiperspirant products to include a warning statement that advises people with kidney disease to consult a physician before using the product.

Aluminum powder is FDA approved as safe for use for coloring cosmetics.When used in a cosmetic product, per FDA regulations, the safety of the ingredient must be substantiated by the manufacturer of the product. When the ingredient is used as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug active ingredient, such as in antiperspirants, a manufacturer can only use the aluminum active ingredients that have been approved as safe and effective by the FDA in the OTC antiperspirant monograph and these products can only be used according to the guidelines established in this monograph.

So what is the alternative to aluminum-based antiperspirants?
Surprisingly, there are quite a few products on the market today that do not contain parabens or aluminum in deodorants and antiperspirants. Look for items in the “natural” section of your grocery store or online and read the ingredients. Look for products that are aluminum-free. Some natural deodorants and antiperspirants ingredients include any combination of mineral salts, potassium alum, baking soda, arrow root powder, witch hazel, essential oils.

Evidence will always be conflicting; but as I always say, it’s best to have a life goal of reducing your overall exposure to chemicals. — Dahlia

Stay tuned for more excerpts from my presentation “READ THE LABEL: Understanding Natural and Organic Skin Care.”

Written by Dahlia Kelada, from her presentation READ THE LABEL: Understanding Natural & Organic Skin Care  © 2013 All Rights Reserved



“Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers”. USA Today. October 17, 2002.

“Antiperspirant Drug Products For Over-the-Counter Human Use; Final Monograph”. U.S. Food and Drug Administration

“Antiperspirant Chemical Found in Breast Tumors”. WebMD Health News.

“Concern over deodorant chemicals”. BBC News. January 11, 2004.

Bondy, SC (2010). The neurotoxicity of environmental aluminum is still an issue. Neurotoxicology. 2010 Sep;31(5):575-81. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2010.05.009. Epub 2010 May 27. Review.

Brenner S. (2013) Aluminum may mediate Alzheimer’s disease through liver toxicity, with aberrant hepatic synthesis of ceruloplasmin and ATPase7B, the resultant excess free copper causing brain oxidation, beta-amyloid aggregation and Alzheimer disease. Med Hypotheses. 2013 Mar;80(3):326-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.11.036. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Darbre PD. Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 2005; 99(9):1912–1919. [PubMed Abstract]

Fakri S, Al-Azzawi A, Al-Tawil N. (2006) Antiperspirant use as a risk factor for breast cancer in Iraq. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal 2006; 12(3–4):478–482. [PubMed Abstract]

Flarend R, Bin T, Elmore D, Hem SL. (February 2001). “A preliminary study of the dermal absorption of aluminum from antiperspirants using aluminum-26”. Food Chem Toxicol 39 (2): 163–8. doi:10.1016/S0278-6915(00)00118-6. PMID 11267710.

ikas PD, Mansfield L, Mokbel K (September–October 2004). “Do underarm cosmetics cause breast cancer?”. Int J Fertil Womens Med 49 (5): 212–4. PMID 15633477.

Kumar V, Gill KD (2009). Aluminium neurotoxicity: neurobehavioural and oxidative aspects. Arch Toxicol. 2009 Nov;83(11):965-78. doi: 10.1007/s00204-009-0455-6. Epub 2009 Jul 1. Review.

Mirick DK, Davis S, Thomas DB (2002). Antiperspirant use and the risk of breast cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2002; 94(20):1578–1580. [PubMed Abstract]

McGrath KG (2003). An earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving. European Journal of Cancer 2003; 12(6):479–485. [PubMed Abstract]

McGrath KG (December 2003). “An earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving” (PDF). European Journal of Cancer Prevention 12 (6): 479–85. doi:10.1097/00008469-200312000-00006. PMID 14639125.

Mirick DK, Davis S, Thomas DB (October 2002). “Antiperspirant use and the risk of breast cancer”. J Natl Cancer Inst 94 (20): 1578–80. PMID 12381712.

Turner, L. Better Nutrition. Sep2006, Vol. 68 Issue 9, p28-30. 2p.

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READ THE LABEL [CHAPTER 6] Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)

I decided to start with this ingredient because I recently met a lady who’s blood work showed she was allergic to this ingredient. The information presented is based on lots of research hours, and I’m breaking it down so it’s easy to digest. Hope you pay attention!

What is sodium laurel/ethyl/laureth sulfate (SLS)  and ammonium laurel sulfate (ALS)?  It’s artificial soap. (I can get technical, but what’s the point?)

babyshampooWhere you’ll find it:

  • detergents & dish soap
  • body soap
  • toothpaste
  • shampoo
  • face wash
  • medical ointments
  • bubble baths
  • children’s soaps/shampoos
  • hair dyes
  • flea/tick repellent
  • food additives
  • stain removers
  • carpet cleaners
  • fabric glues
  • shaving creams
  • mascara
  • mouthwash
  • lotions/creams

What are the effects of exposure?
SLS/ALS is a molecule that attaches to estrogen receptors, mimicking the effects of this hormone throughout the body. What happens next is hormonal chaos, to the point where the body can no longer control or recognize its own estrogen levels (both males and females have estrogen). When this happens, your body’s endocrine (hormonal) functions go wacky.

Here are some findings based on toxicology data and research studies. SLS/ALS:

  • Cannot be metabolized by the liver
  • Causes eye irritation (potential corneal damage/eye deformities)
  • Scalp irritation/hair follicle damage
  • effects estrogen levels (PMS, menopause, male fertility, increase risk of female cancer, breast cancer)
  • It’s a mutagen (mutates your genes)
  • Potential organ damage

A recent study by the non-profit, Environmental Working Group, showed that many cosmetic products, including more than half of all baby soaps, contained a carcinogenic chemical.

The Hidden Foaming Agent not Required to be Listed by the FDA
There’s a chemical called 1,4-dioxane that is created as a bi product (during manufacturing process) of creating chemicals such as SLS/ALS, and in anything that says “PEG,” “xynol, “ceteareth,” and “oleth.”

Basically, it’s another foaming agent, that too, is a cancer-causing chemical. Sadly, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does NOT require this ingredient to be listed on products. The Environmental Working Group found that 22% of all cosmetic and skin care products, of some 25,000, may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane.

Where you’ll find 1,4-dioxane:

  • 97% hair relaxers
  • 82% hair dyes and bleaching
  • 66% hair removers
  • 57% baby soap
  • 45% sunless tanning products
  • 43% body firming lotion
  • 36% hormonal creams
  • 36% facial moisturizers
  • 35% anti-aging products
  • 34% body lotions
  • 33% eye creams

Avoid using artificial soaps. You’ll usually find SLS/ALS (spelled out) in the ingredients list. It typically appears as the second item on the list, next to water. Try natural bar soaps (cold-processed made with lye) or castile soap.

Stay tuned for more excerpts from my presentation “READ THE LABEL: Understanding Natural and Organic Skin Care.”

Written by Dahlia Kelada, from her presentation READ THE LABEL: Understanding Natural & Organic Skin Care  © 2013 All Rights Reserved

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