Last Chance Animal Rescue

Since we started selling our new and improved collection in the beginning of December, we decided to pick an extra special shelter to donate to at the end of the month. And we chose...

The Last Chance Rescue in Howell, Michigan!

This rescue came to our attention a while ago, and was put on the list of all the shelters that we planned to donate to in 2017. They are an incredible non-profit organization, which rescues dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits from certain death at the hands of kill shelters and research lists. They have rescued over 27 thousand animals 17 years. They embody every trait we look for in a Rescue Partner and we had hoped to donate to them over one of our regular 4 month donation periods. But they need our help now!

The Last Chance Rescue is "in jeopardy due to a failed septic field and the necessity to hook into the sewer system". If they are unable to raise $50k by February 1st, 2017, they will be forced to close their doors. If they are able to reach their goal, they can keep their kennels open and any remaining funds will be used to provide improvements to the shelter and medical care for the animals. If they are unsuccessful in meeting their goal, the money raised will go towards transporting and relocating the animals to avoid euthanasia.

We will be donating a portion of our profits from December 2016 and January 2017 directly to the shelter in an effort to keep them open. You can help by purchasing any of the products on our site or donating directly to their GO FUND ME page. This is our chance to make a difference.

Last Day Dog Rescue

New year, new rescue! We're happy to announce that our new partner animal rescue is the Last Day Dog Rescue.

LDDR is an independently funded, no-kill animal rescue, based in Livonia, Michigan. This organization has made it their mission to "reduce the number of homeless and euthanized pets by rescuing dogs and cats whose lives and/or well-being are at risk". They've saved countless cats and dogs facing extermination solely because of their breed, size, disabilities and/or shelter overcrowding. The stray dog epidemic in Detroit alone leads to a staggering 90% of the city's stray dogs being euthanized, no matter their health or temperament. Organizations like the Last Day Dog Rescue give animals in this situation a second chance at life. As their name suggests, the pets they care for are often saved from the brink of death. LDDR focuses on rescuing animals from the "Urgent" list in high-kill shelters across the nation. By several state laws, Michigan included, pets at these types of shelters have one short week to be claimed by an owner before they are condemned to euthanization, crowded gas chambers or being sold to labs for research. The need for heroes like the Last Day Dog Rescue is at an all time high, for nearly half of all shelter pets in America are being euthanized on a daily basis.

Last Day Dog Rescue is not a physical shelter, but something much larger than that. They are an entirely volunteer based network of foster homes throughout the state of Michigan. This means that all of their dogs and cats are cared for in loving foster homes, learning trust and socialization skills, and awaiting a more permanent family to call their own. You can browse the pets they have available for adoption on their website and at the numerous adoption events they participate in. Finding your perfect pet match has never been easier! LDDR also has programs that match up senior dogs and hard-to-place animals with senior citizen and veteran owners, respectively. How cool is that?

                 Hart, a beautiful female Labrador Retriever / Rottweiler mix

Adopting around 1,000 pets a year is no small feat. LDDR is constantly in need of volunteers, foster homes and donations to aid their cause and we're here to help! 10% of the profits from your purchases will be donated directly to the Last Day Dog Rescue from now until June 2016. To find out more about the pets they house and how you can help, visit them at here.

The Ins and Outs of Exfoliation

With America's recent ban on plastic microbeads in topical products, most people are taking a second look at what exactly goes into their exfoliating products. What you may not know is that exfoliating products come in all shapes, sizes and textures, and you may not be using the right one for your face.

Physical vs Chemical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation is what most people are familiar with. Some form of scrub or cleanser containing an abrasive material like salt grains or shea beads (or those dreaded microbeads). Physical abrasion is great for your body. It's easy to use on rough areas like the soles of your feet, your knees and your elbows. For example, our Espresso Scrub uses the grit from coffee, brown sugar and Himalayan pink salt to polish away dead skin and bacteria, while other natural ingredients help to firm and moisturize your skin.

But this form of exfoliation is often too harsh on thinner areas of skin like on your face and neck. Rigid abrasives can cause microscopic tears in your skin, leading to infection, scarring, and breakouts. If you're going to use a physical abrasive on your face, try something like John Master's Organics Jojoba and Ginseng Exfoliating Face Cleanser, which uses gentle jojoba beads to remove dead skin cells. And unlike those plastic microbeads, natural abrasives are able to dissolve without polluting the environment.

Chemical exfoliation is often associated with intensive chemical peels and treatments administered by dermatologists. Therefore, it is not always considered when it comes to your daily routine. However, in low strength formulations, it can actually be a more mild alternative to physical exfoliation. Case and point: Our Enzyme Facial Cleanser is silky and smooth with no physical abrasion to irritate your skin. So how does it work? We use natural enzymes and alpha-hydroxy acids derived from fruits like papaya, bilberry and orange. These enzymes break down and loosen the dirt and dead skin from your face so that they can easily be washed away and down the drain. Generally speaking, these low-strength chemical exfoliants can be used just as often as their physical counterparts.

There are many factors which add up to frequency of how often you should be exfoliating your skin. Common sense dictates that you should always follow the directions on the specific product that you're you're using, but what happens when those instructions are up to interpretation?

1) Season

Depending on the season, and even weather, you'll have to adjust how frequently you exfoliate. Predictably, you should be exfoliating more frequently in a hot, humid climate as opposed to the cold, dry seasons when your skin is more dehydrated and brittle. 

2) Location

Take a minute to think about your surroundings. Someone in the smoggiest area of downtown LA will need a considerably greater amount of upkeep to deal with free radicals damaging their skin than someone in a more rural area of the world. Exfoliate accordingly.

3) Age

The older you get, the less frequently your skin cells are replacing themselves. When I was 12 and just starting to experiment with skin care, I could get away with exfoliating once a week. Now, in my 20's, it's escalated to once a day. By middle age, studies show that your skin's ability to regenerate its cells can decline by 50%. This makes exfoliation crucial to maintaining your skin, but do so with caution. Since mature skin is often more dehydrated and fragile, you have to be careful not to exfoliate too often. It's best to use gentle fruit acid based cleansers and firming peels, starting at once a week.

4) And the most type

People with dry skin are often conditioned to believe they should not exfoliate. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I've witnessed people with oily skin vigorously exfoliating their faces multiple times a day, as if they were attempting to scrub their sebaceous glands away completely. The truth is, both are erred.

Dry / Sensitive Skin

If you're prone to dry, flaky, or irritable skin, it's best to shy away from overly abrasive exfoliators that can tear your fragile skin. Opt for a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid cleanser which will slough away the dead skin and bacteria without the abrasion. Another trick is to wash your face with a warm washcloth. Washcloths allow you to effortlessly buff your skin with maximum control. Just make sure to wash the cloths in between every use. Try something like Aquis Essentials Exfoliating Washcloth. Start by exfoliating once a week and work your way up from there until you find your comfort zone.

Oily / Acne Prone Skin

Oily and acne prone skin tends to be on the tougher side, which means you have more options. Its best to alternate between a physical and chemical exfoliant to see which one works for you. An exfoliating clay mask can also help balance the excess oil on your face, while simultaneously removing the bad stuff. Try something like the Marble & Milkweed's Cleansing Grains. Having oily/acne prone skin means you should be exfoliating in some shape or form at least 2-3 times per week.