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1. Skincare expert Trina Felber and Primal Life Organics [5:50] 2. Ask the nurse anesthetist: Are chemicals on the skin such a big deal? [12:16] 3. Detoxification & your unique adjustment period [19:48] 4. Natural skincare basics: Dirt is where it's at! [33:20] 5. Skincare for kids: Less is more [40:25] 6. Correlating skin issues with internal factors (food sensitivities, deviation from routine) [43:40] 7. Trina's new makeup line, Primal Colors [48:45] 8. Paying attention to what your skin wants & tips for happy skin while traveling [54:02] 9. Primal Life Organics product spotlight: Fire and Ice [58:22]
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Liz Wolfe: Hey, everyone. Liz here. Welcome to Episode 104. Wow. 104. That's crazy. It's the Balanced Bites Podcast! Thanks for being here. This week Diane is working really hard on The 21-Day Sugar Detox, getting all that wrapped up for her book in the next couple of months, so it is me and a special guest. I'm very excited about this. I'm going to introduce her in just one second, but first let's hear a quick conversation between Diane and one of our sponsors, Pete from Pete's Paleo.
Diane Sanfilippo: So, Pete, can you tell our listeners about how the menus are created every week, knowing what we learned the last time we heard from you that you get ingredients fresh the day they're picked or the day after they're picked?
Pete Servold: Yeah. Again, it's just a fun part of what we do. The menu is created the same way that it was when I worked at fine dining restaurants, where you really don't know what you're going to get every week from the farms, and so they kind of dictate the menus. A lot of times I'll write something or I'll have an idea and I'll call the farm and order, and they'll say: Actually we're done growing that. That's not growing anymore, but we do have X. You know, we're not growing squash anymore, but we have eggplant. We're not growing arugula, but we have peppers. Granted, those are two very different things, but what we do is we change the menu each week based on that. Whatever the farm is growing and whatever's the most local and most seasonal is what we put into the menu. That kind of forces us to be really diversified and varied in what we offer, and it also guarantees that you're getting the huge array of vitamins and minerals that comes from eating that very local, seasonal diet.
Diane Sanfilippo: One of the fantastic things about sourcing that way is even it it's not local to everyone who may be ordering around the country, the fact that the food is super-fresh and local to you as the chef, it's being prepared right away, the nutrient value stays really high, and that's pretty much the best quality you can get outside of growing it yourself, so thanks for sharing that.
Liz Wolfe: OK, very good. That was Pete and Diane. I also want to give some props to another sponsor, Chameleon Cold-Brew. You guys have heard us talk about them time and time again. They are fabulous. Chameleon Cold-Brew iced coffee. I've definitely been indulging in the stuff over the last couple of weeks as I finish up my book, Modern Cave Girl, and I'm very excited for you guys to read the fruits of that labor.
So without further ado, let's get to our special guest. I'm really excited. I lot of you folks have probably had some familiarity with my guest and what she does for the paleo/primal community and beyond. My guest is Trina Felber of Primal Life Organics, the skincare genius and contributor to my Skintervention Guide. She was my fabulous guest expert. She knows so much about natural skincare, all of the powerful essential oils and natural ingredients that you can use to make your skin beautiful, and she's here by popular demand. We've had a ton of questions that we're going to ask her come through all about natural skincare, and I'm excited to welcome you to the show! Welcome, Trina!
Trina Felber: Wow! Thank you, Liz, for the great intro! I'm really excited to be here.
Liz Wolfe: This is going to be really fun. I wanted to tell everybody first kind of how I got to be familiar with you. It was actually through an introduction to your products. I bought some from you, gosh, it had to have been more than a year ago.
Trina Felber: Yes, it was probably even close to a year and a half ago.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, quite some time, and I was just blown away. And this was before the Skintervention Guide was written. This was when I was still dabbling in natural skincare but didn't really realize how many incredible possibilities there really are within that realm. I tried some of your stuff, the face wash and the serum. Now I've tried the tooth powder, the deodorant, love it. The masks… I mean, I've just run the gamut of all of your products, and I'm totally obsessed with them. I called at least one of them, I think, in the Skintervention Guide, your Banished spot treatment “liquid gold.”
Trina Felber: Yes.
Liz Wolfe: I totally meant it. But my introduction to you was through your products, and then you and I got closer over the last year or year and a half and ended up working together on the Skintervention Guide, and we have some stuff planned for the future. So much of your stuff has been so great for me and so great for my friends, and I wanted to get to know you a little bit better, tell folks what you're about, and also get some of your ideas and advice on natural skincare throughout the course of the show.
Trina Felber: Wonderful! I'm so excited.
1. Skincare expert Trina Felber and Primal Life Organics [5:50]
Liz Wolfe: Good, good, good. OK, so for those folks who don't know you like I do, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, your day job, all of that good personal stuff, and how you got introduced to paleo, CrossFit, natural skincare, and all that good stuff.
Trina Felber: Wow. Let's see. It seems like I've been doing paleo forever, and it seems like I've been doing this whole lifestyle for a long time, but in reality it's been only five years. My daughter just turned 5, and when I got pregnant with her you not quite six years ago, I started looking at my skincare, which I have come to realize most women first look at skincare and the ingredients when they become pregnant. Not all, but you're taking care of an unborn child, creating life, and you want the best for that life, and I just happened to glance down at a bottle of moisturizer and I realized that there was stuff in it that I didn't even know what it was. So I started dabbling with oils and essential oils and researching. I have a background in anesthesia. I have a master's degree in anesthesia, so I'm very well aware of the skin and how it absorbs different chemicals and oils and how they actually interact with your body. So I started putting together little concoctions that eventually over time grew to better concoctions, and every time I had a skin condition I researched it and I started making things. I developed products for myself and for my unborn child and talked to my husband who is a business man and decided to start my business, and that is the beginning of Primal Life Organics. We opened Primal Life Organics two years ago… or actually over two years ago. I now have three children. Our set of twins just turned 3, and my daughter just turned 5. I still happen to work in anesthesia. I do a few hours right now in anesthesia, and I'm very excited that in the near future I'm going to be cutting my hours back so I can spend more time with Primal Life Organics because we have a lot going on. Right now we have a lot of things planned for the future, including a makeup line that's going to be coming out very soon. I would love to do a primal pets line. I just acquired a new puppy not too long ago and another kitten, so they will be my test subjects.
Let's see… what else can I tell you about me? Paleo came about because my husband got involved with CrossFit. He had been involved with CrossFit for a long time but decided to start his own CrossFit three and a half years ago, and that's when we realized that we really wanted to bite the bullet and be as healthy as we could for our kids and ourselves, and paleo really became a way of life for us. And I'd been making my skincare products, and I was making them under another company that was called Olive's Organic Botanicals, and I realized that my products are paleo, and that's what I really enjoyed and I really stood for, so I decided to launch Primal Life Organics from Olive's and break away from just organic skincare because I realized that organic skincare doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthy and it's completely natural, so I wanted to separate myself from that with Primal Life Organics, and that's what I did. I opened Primal Life Organics with that intention.
Liz Wolfe: That's such a good point. It's the same with food. Just because something says “organic” doesn't mean it's healthy and pure and good for you.
Trina Felber: Yes, totally. You really, really have to pay attention, and the media really tries to brainwash you into thinking that “organic” really does mean healthy. You really have to read every label with the intention that you're going to find the bad ingredients because most labels have bad ingredients. You just have to face that.
Liz Wolfe: Here's what I've noticed, and it's the same with food when people are looking at food and when they're first getting started with paleo eating. I'll get a lot of questions on the Facebook page: Hey, Liz, what do you think about this? And I get the same questions now at the Skintervention page: Hey, Liz, what do you think about this product? And it's funny because there's this learning curve. When you first get started with this stuff, you're still just trying to make sense of it all, and you're still learning to read labels, and sometimes it's just so easy to forget. You just look at what's on the front, and the front of this thing says “natural” or “organic” or any of those buzzwords that we learned to look for before we realized what good food really is, and we forget just to turn stuff over and look at the words that are on the label for whether we can actually pronounce them, for whether there's crazy junk in there that we don't want to eat or we don't want on our skin. One of the more horrifying things that I've noticed with the skincare products at places like Whole Foods is that they have, for example, sunscreen that's for children, marketed for children, and it has a laundry list of horrifying ingredients. And that's not an isolated thing. That's food, that's all kinds of skincare for adults, for children. It's all across the board. You really do have to be careful.
Trina Felber: Yes, you definitely have to be careful. And that is why I was so excited to realize that “paleo” means healthy. Anything paleo has to be healthy. What it stands for is the ultimate nutrition, whether it's for your skin or for your body. So I knew that that is all I wanted to make. I wanted to make things that were 100% natural and 100% healthy for yourself. You could eat my products and they would not harm you. My kids eat my products if I don't watch them! I wanted to encompass that whole healthy, paleo lifestyle, so that is exactly what I set out to do.
2. Ask the nurse anesthetist: Are chemicals on the skin such a big deal? [12:16]
Liz Wolfe: I love it. I want to throw back to something you said a minute ago when you were talking about your background in anesthesiology and this amazing functional understanding that you have about how the body absorbs chemicals and disassembles them and packages and exports toxins and all that type of stuff. And I wanted to talk about – and we might as well talk about it now – this whole idea of what your skin actually absorbs and if that amount of stuff that your skin absorbs actually affects your body, that type of thing. A lot of people really don't buy into that. They really don't think it makes any difference at all, that we don't absorb enough to make a difference to our health, or that the way your body deals with toxins… people don't buy into it. So can you give us, like, a baseline understanding of how the body absorbs chemicals? And we'll transition from that into this whole detox issue that you and I were planning on talking about once we understand that better. So can you give a little background about how that works?
Trina Felber: Sure, I definitely can. And I think the easiest thing that a lot of people can understand would be a drug called nitro paste. It's given for people who have chest pain. They can put a small amount of this nitro paste on their skin, and it will cause a vasodilation so that if they're having chest pain, it will vasodilate the arteries in the heart, increase the blood flow to the heart, and the chest pain should diminish or go away. That is the perfect example of putting something on your skin and getting an almost immediate response. You can actually have someone on a monitor, put the paste on, and within a short amount of time see the results, a blood pressure change, which would usually decrease, and you can also see the changes in the EKG on the monitor. That's a very easy, very simple example of how you put something on the skin and it causes a reaction in the body.
Liz Wolfe: So fascinating. One of the other things that I was going to throw out there is the idea that the poison is kind of in the dose. There was an esthetician that was I was following on Facebook who was very adamant about this idea that hardly any of product X is actually absorbed into your bloodstream, and so for that reason, it wasn't something that we needed to be concerned about. And what I was thinking is it doesn't matter what percentage of a product actually is absorbed or the absorb-ability of one thing versus another. It's really whether or not this small or large amount that's being absorbed is powerful enough to have an effect. And in many cases, it is.
Trina Felber: Definitely, it is. Going back to the nitro paste, you put an inch, just an inch, sometimes a half an inch on and you get a reaction. And the chemicals that are in the products that you use, you have to remember that you're putting these products on your face or your body daily most of the time, sometimes twice a day, and over time, as they absorb, they don't just absorb into your bloodstream and disappear. Products or chemicals build up and form a level, and your body detoxes at a certain rate. Typically there's always a certain level of these chemicals in your body, but chemicals that are not removed by your kidneys or your liver or your gut or your lungs or your skin tend to migrate to fat tissue. So they can sit in the fat tissue for quite a while, and they can cause numerous problems. They can mimic estrogen. They can cause numerous types of issues down the road. So it does matter. Even the smallest amount can cause a problem, and every chemical is different, every toxin is different. When it's broken down, it's not always broken down into a nontoxic substance. Sometimes the substance that it is broken down into can be even more powerful than the original, so you really have to watch what you're using.
Liz Wolfe: Absolutely. When we talk about detox from a nutritional point of view, we're usually talking about what goes on in the liver because it's the job of the liver to inactivate and help with the exporting of toxins from the body, but like what you're saying – and I love that you have this background as an anesthesiologist, so this doesn't just sound like hippie-dippy detox BS – what's actually happening with some of these compounds is that they are being disassembled into compounds that are more toxic than the original.
Trina Felber: Yes. I just want to clarify one thing: I'm a nurse anesthetist. I don't anyone to think I'm an anesthesiologist. There's just a little bit of a difference.
Liz Wolfe: You got it. Well, you know what? I have to say that I have a friend who is – ugh, I never say it right – a nurse anesthetist –
Trina Felber: Yes.
Liz Wolfe: – and the amount of school she had to go through is absolutely staggering. I have the utmost respect for nurses in all fields. I think that your level of expertise is absolutely incredible, so respect for pointing that out, but definitely you've got the knowledge, girl.
Trina Felber: Thank you! Let's see… what was the question again? It was about the toxins?
Liz Wolfe: Yes, talking about how the body disassembles toxins and how there is a possibility that in that process the resulting compound is actually more toxic than the original.
Trina Felber: Yes, that is true. That is true. And you never know what chemicals. And keep in mind that you're not putting just one chemical on your body at a time. If you look at a package of anything, whether it's a food product or a makeup product or a body/face product, whatever, typically if there's going to be one chemical in there or preservative or fragrance, there's more than one. So you're not just adding one toxin, you're adding a multitude of toxins. Your liver is working overtime trying to detox your body, and the more chemicals, the less efficient it's going to be. So over time, even the smallest chemical could cause even more of a problem just because your cells are not functioning properly, they are altered, as well as your liver, and every other organ system obviously is affected by that.
Liz Wolfe: I'm going to throw something out there really quickly because I always get hammered about this and it's something I'm very particular about. When we talk about chemicals, it is with the full understanding that everything in the known world is technically a chemical. We're talking about unnecessary chemicals, industrially derived chemicals that are present in skincare, things that are not natural, not naturally occurring, and things that we really don't need to be smearing all over our faces and putting into our bodies. So when we use the word “chemicals,” understand that that's how we use it.
Trina Felber: Good point. Very good point, because even essential oils can be considered a chemical at a certain level. So yes, you're exactly right. Everything is a chemical.
3. Detoxification & your unique adjustment period [19:48]
Liz Wolfe: Yes. That having been said, let's talk about what you alluded to earlier, which is that toxic substances tend to migrate to your fat cells, and let's talk about how that has an impact on detox. We're going to spend a lot of time on detox and adjustment periods. I think that's one of the questions that you and I both get really frequently is, how long is this adjustment period going to last when I'm changing my skincare? And is this an adjustment period or is this a reaction of intolerance? We're going to talk all about that. First let's talk about how these compounds tend to migrate to your fat cells and kind of stay there, and they stay there until when? Until what happens?
Trina Felber: That's a tough question because they can stay there for a while. They can migrate out, and then as you take more of that toxin in, they can migrate back in. Your body tends to keep a normal level. Say a normal level for you is 5 – and I'm just throwing out a number; this number has nothing to do with reality – but say your body normally has X chemical at level 5 because on a daily basis you take in that chemical, whether it be topically, sometimes it's both topically and ingested, whatever, so your normal level is 5. All of a sudden, you go on vacation and you're using way more. All of a sudden, that number 5 hits 6 because your body for one day or two days or a week had a level of 10, so your body normalizes it out to maybe a 6 or a 7. And then you come home, you're home for a little while, you eat, you get back into your normal routine, your body detoxes back down to that 5, but you're still taking in that same amount that you did previously, so your body will always stay at a 5. All of a sudden, you stop. You say: Oh, my gosh. This is horrible. I can't use X, Y, Z anymore, so I'm just going to get rid of it. Well, it's going to take some time for that number 5 to drop down to even, say, 2. To get it completely out of your system it's going to take even longer than that because to migrate back out of the fat is just going to take – and not just fat, but fat is the most likely place that it's going to hide. It's hiding in almost every tissue that you have, so it's going to start migrating out of all of the tissues, but that's going to take quite some time. I typically say give yourself about six to eight weeks when you're changing a routine. Some people go through a change and never have any problems, and other people just want to stop because of the problems, the skin reactions, and the issues that they're having. Does that make more sense, putting a number on it and telling you that it might go up, it might go down, and it depends on what your lifestyle is at that time?
Liz Wolfe: Absolutely. I think it's a really important call-out actually because people get very concerned then their experience is not the exact same as someone else's experience, and they wonder if they're normal or why this isn't happening to them and it is happening to somebody else or vice versa. It's 100% true that each and every one of us has a unique landscape. We detox differently. We also have different histories, different food histories. Our gut health, our gut bacteria has a lot to do with this, and a lot of us grew up in either overly sterile environments that didn't enable our internal landscape to develop into something that is effective in detoxing and managing irritating substances and all that stuff, so every single one of us has a different landscape that we're dealing with. Of course, natural, whole, paleo food and skincare, traditional foods and an ancestral diet is a fabulous way for anyone to move toward a greater degree of health, but getting there is going to be a different set of stepping stones for everybody.
Trina Felber: I agree. It's totally different. Totally. And you don't know how your reaction is going to be. You could have the most sensitive skin or the most sensitive gut and you could convert over to a paleo lifestyle with absolutely no problem, or skincare with absolutely no problem. You could have had no issues with your skin your entire life and then all of a sudden when you convert to something healthier have breakouts like you've never had before in your life. I tell people you never know what to expect when you make the change.
Liz Wolfe: That's a really good point because I do talk to folks who convert to paleo or an ancestral way of eating, they're taking in better nutrition, more nutrition, they're working on their sleep, they're working on their stress management, and they actually end up breaking out, and it's just horrifying to them. And this is where you really get down to the nitty-gritty of what you're doing and why and whether or not you really trust what you're doing, if deep down you know that you're doing the right thing for your body, because sometimes your body is telling you something that feels really different than you want it to feel. And some of that is because there are things just stored up that your body has hung onto for dear life, and at times, once we start giving our body the nutrition that it needs to facilitate detox and make those shifts that it has needed to make, things like that happen. I don't know what you tell folks who ask you about the adjustment period or the detox period when they're moving on to natural skincare. Like you said, not everybody experiences that type of thing, but for those that do, I can't tell them that something is normal or it's not because the only person that really has a feel for that is you. You know what I mean? So what do you say to people?
Trina Felber: Well…
Liz Wolfe: It's tough.
Trina Felber: It's very tough, especially when people send me pictures of their skin that is just inflamed and angry. And it's really hard to look at these photos and say: Keep it up! You're doing a great job! You look beautiful! But the hard thing to really conceptualize is the fact that you have to understand that your skin and your body, every organ, is made up of individual cells, and when those cells have been altered by chemicals because chemicals can cause them to function completely differently, in order to get them to function normally again, you have to feed them correctly, and you have to let them regenerate. That regeneration can take some time. And that is why you end up with inflamed, congested skin when maybe you never had that issue ever before. It's really hard for someone to listen to that, and I've had so many people say: Just to clear it up, I want to go back to what I was using. And I always say: Please think twice before you do that because all you're doing is adding injury to insult. Any kind of benefit that you had by using Primal Life Organics or whatever natural oils or whatnot, it's going to cause that damage again, so you're just back stepping and you're backpedaling. You might think it might make it better and it might heal it up, but if you're going to go back to the natural way, it's only going to happen again.
Liz Wolfe: I think that might be an argument for taking it slow. When you and I were talking off the air a little bit earlier, we were talking about how a lot of times folks make a million changes all at once. They will change their diet, and they'll ditch all of their prescriptions, which we don't recommend. Of course, people are going to do what they're going to do because they get really motivated and you want to make a huge sweeping change all at once. We don't ever recommend you give up prescriptions without consulting with your doctor. And that's certainly how I handled things. I stepped down my skin prescriptions, which were… oh, my gosh, so many of them. Solodyn, Aczone, Retin-A. There was Tazorac in there, all kinds of stuff. I stepped down those prescriptions very, very gradually while using natural skincare techniques and slowly changing my diet. As much as people might want to make a huge, sweeping change in all arenas all at once, which I have to say, of course, I talk about nutrition, digestion, and topical changes that you can make in the Skintervention Guide, but I also say you don't have to jump into this all at once because when you do that, you're making internal adjustments based on the change in your food, you're asking your body's digestive landscape to adjust to that change in food, which can take some time, and at the same time, you're changing all of the inputs topically that can make a huge difference, too. A lot of people go off birth control at the same time, and these exogenous hormones that have been keeping things in kind of a delicate, albeit false, balance for sometimes a decade or more are suddenly gone and then we're having to adjust hormonally as well. So many different things can be going on all at the same time, and I think that can be a little bit of an argument for taking things slowly so you can better assess what's really going on.
Trina Felber: Oh, wow, that is a great point, definitely. I agree 100% that your body for however long – and like you said, for most people it's actually over a decade – you have had that adjusted normal. That has been your normal. Even though it's not normal pathologically, it is your normal today. So changing everything all at once – let me go back to the numbers. Say your number was always 5 today and for the past 10 to 15 years, if you completely cut that out, you will have the most rapid detox initially. Your number might drop to 3, but that's a huge difference in your body when you're dropping from a 5 to a 3. It can tax your body and cause changes in the way your body functions, not just in that one area, say your skin, but in your gut and your liver and everywhere. So I agree. That adjusted normal has to go back to the real normal slowly, and most people will do the best going that route. I agree.
Liz Wolfe: Totally. There are orders of magnitude adjusting from that, like you said, adjusted normal. It's from a 5 to a 4 to a 3. These are not small steps, so it definitely takes some patience. It does take trust. And we want people to be really well informed about what they're doing and why, whether that's skincare, whether it's food, whether it's about digestion, which is the reason you and I collaborated on the Skintervention Guide, because we wanted to dump basically everything we knew into people's laps!
Trina Felber: Yes, definitely! Where I work a lot of people know that I do paleo, and I get tons of questions about it. And they ask me: How can you live this lifestyle? And I have to tell them, especially the ones who are trying to adjust to it: You don't do this overnight. I think it's a two-year process. You have to give yourself two years to completely radically change your lifestyle.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, I totally agree. I'm so glad you said that. I think a lot of us get so fixated on the start, the 21 days or 30 days, whatever it is. It's a great start, but it is not all the progress you're ever going to make. It's not all of the work you're ever going to need to do. I could not agree more. I think two years is just the sweet spot where you really learn what this is all about on a deeper level than just, yes, you can use this; yes, you can eat this; and no, you can't use or eat this.
Trina Felber: And at the two-year point, it doesn't become a choice anymore. It's a natural thing.
Liz Wolfe: Yes.
Trina Felber: And I always tell people when they're starting to take it week by week and then month by month as you start to get into it. And you're going to have fallbacks; that's just natural. But when you look at where you are today, look at not where you were yesterday, but at where you were a month ago, and you're going to see the difference in how you feel and your attitude towards things because you're going to see the change over time more than you're going to see the change from yesterday.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, my gosh. I love that. That's such a great point.
4. Natural skincare basics: Dirt is where it's at! [33:20]
OK, so let's throw it back real quick to some of the things that you use because you and I are totally on the same page about the bare basics of what natural skincare is about, and I think you can add or correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that oils, clay, and essential oils are, like, natural skincare powerhouses.
Trina Felber: Absolutely. I always think in my head: Did it come from dirt? If it has something to do with dirt I'm OK with it, but if it never touched dirt in its life, forget it. Forget it! If it was the roots of the plant that touched the dirt and not what I actually use, it touched the dirt. That's the only thing I'll use, is what came from the earth.
Liz Wolfe: I love that. It has to come from dirt, whether that's a plant that's growing in the dirt or whether that's the dirt itself.
Trina Felber: That's right! Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: That's what we're using. That's awesome. All right, talk a little bit about the basics that you've created and why you created them. I know you have a ton of different types of serums and moisturizers and toners and all that good stuff, but the bare basics, why do you like them so much?
Trina Felber: Are you talking about, like, the Bare Face Package?
Liz Wolfe: Oh, I forgot you have a Bare Face Package. I guess, the bare bones, because you know people think that we're crazy when we talk about using oil and clay, which is basically mud, that type of stuff. So what is it about oil and what is it about clay that is so powerful?
Trina Felber: The healing properties. They take your skin back to – or your cells. I like to talk on the cellular level because that's where everything happens, and the plants and the oils and the essential oils and the clays and all of those things have nutrients. They're nutrient dense and they will regenerate your skin. They are healing. They have anti-inflammatory properties. They have antifungal, antiviral, all sorts of properties, medicinal properties that are beneficial for your skin in a way that's not chemically induced that will alter your skin in a way it's not meant to be altered. Does that make sense?
Liz Wolfe: Yes. Kind of like activating something that's already there or maybe guiding versus beating your skin into submission, which is what I basically did with all my prescriptions over the course of many years.
Trina Felber: Right. It's going to nutritionally give your skin all of the vitamins, essential fatty acids, fats, proteins, all sorts of things that help the skin and the body – not just the skin, but the body – function properly. That's what the whole thing is about. Anything natural from the earth is meant to feed the skin and the body the nutrients that it requires.
Liz Wolfe: This is kind of the convergence of, I think, ancestral wisdom with modern science. And paleo is no different. That's exactly what ancestral eating is about as well. But in a lot of the work I've done in helping folks with their skin and the research that I've done and the reading that I've done, it's so funny because you have this historical reading. I have a 1000-page book all on neem. I love neem oil. It's amazing. It was one of the oils that you introduced me to. But I have that, and it's all about traditional uses of neem and how it's been used over centuries.
Trina Felber: Mm-hmm.
Liz Wolfe: And then I have dermatology books that actually talk about these hilarious paradoxical effects of the use of oil on the skin. They also talk about how zinc, for example, which is rich in, I believe, pumpkin seed oil? Is that right?
Trina Felber: Yes.
Liz Wolfe: Zinc can actually affect the production of oil at the surface of your skin, so the things that we eat will kind of affect us from the inside out, and what we put on our skin nutritionally absolutely can and is proven to work from the outside in to correct things, which I think is phenomenal.
Trina Felber: Yes. I absolutely love neem oil. You just have to get over the smell, don't you?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Ohhh, it's awful. I'm trying to think of what I would liken it to. And I'm used to it now, it's not a big deal, but oh, my. I'm trying to thing what I would call it.
Trina Felber: I have no idea how to describe it, but it's in my Beyond Serum, and I debated for a long time: Do I put this in? Do I not put it in? I love it in there because it really makes a difference.
Liz Wolfe: It does.
Trina Felber: However, people get caught up on a scent, and I know that, and I have to understand that as I make things for the public, so I had to put that on my website that this does have a distinct smell. And it's interesting that I don't get many questions about that, about how does it really smell? Is it awful? Is it going to stay very long? It really doesn't stay very long, but the beneficial thing about neem is if you're wearing it outside in the bug season, they will stay away! You will not get bit up!
Liz Wolfe: They absolutely will! You won't! In the very beginning with all the tick issues and all the craziness at the very beginning of my whole homesteading journey, I was spraying neem everywhere!
Trina Felber: Oh, yeah. It's the best bug repellant. In fact, I'll dab some behind my kids' ears if we're going out for a walk that's going to be kind of in the woods. It's the best deterrent for bugs and mosquitos and everything.
Liz Wolfe: It's pretty phenomenal. That's another thing that I want to talk about. You were talking about a line for primal pets?
Trina Felber: Yeah!
Liz Wolfe: I love that. I was thinking, wow, you have to put neem and maybe some, like, red cedar oil in there because those are the two that have absolutely worked.
Trina Felber: Ooo, yeah. Definitely.
Liz Wolfe: They've made the most difference.
Trina Felber: I can't wait to come out with the primal pets. That is going to be one of my funnest things. The funnest part of my job is just making things and seeing how they work!
Liz Wolfe: And I am totally willing to be your guinea pig in any and all of these adventures.
Trina Felber: Well, I think you have enough pets, don't you?
Liz Wolfe: Uhh, yeah. Yeah, I do.
Trina Felber: [laughter]
Liz Wolfe: We have the goats we can try things on. My dog is a very willing subject. Obviously anybody who has a dog knows they're your best buddy, and it might sound silly, but you really do want to take care of your pets just as carefully as you take care of yourself.
Trina Felber: And it makes a difference. It really does make a difference for them.
Liz Wolfe: It does. It absolutely does, and I see it time and time again, so I 100% agree with you.
5. Skincare for kids: Less is more [40:25]
Speaking of non-adult hangers-around, let's talk about kids and babies.
Trina Felber: Oh, yeah!
Liz Wolfe: You have three littles, and I wanted to ask you about how you take care of their skin. I want to talk about newborn skin, first of all, because I've always kind of wondered: Man, do we really need to give our newborns so many baths? Do we need to be using soap on the newborn skin? Let's talk about that. Let's talk about skincare for kids and all that good stuff, even skincare in pregnancy, stretch marks, all that good stuff. Tell us what your wisdom is about that.
Trina Felber: Ha! My wisdom. When it comes to kids, less is more. That has always been my philosophy, especially for newborns. They don't need to smell like baby powder. In fact, baby powder is the worst thing you can put on them. Anything that's a powder gets in the air, and if they breathe it in and if you breathe it in, it can be an irritant to the lungs. So first of all, anything that's a powder is definitely out. The skin of babies is similar in function, however different than adult skin. In fact, they have more fat. That's how they heat their body. Anything that's going to be put on them is going to be absorbed, but you have to keep in mind that their organs are still fairly immature. They function but they're not going to clear things as rapidly. And their body surface is much smaller, so it takes a lot less of a chemical or a toxin or anything to really affect their entire system. If you multiply that by the number of environmental factors that they are subject to within the first even six months of life, it can be astronomical, so less is more when it comes to babies. You asked about bathing. They funny thing is I distinctly remember when my daughter was born, I don't think I gave her a bath for an entire week because I didn't think she needed one. I mean, I washed her up. I sprayed a little bit of my own spray and just wiped her up, but she wasn't dirty. What was she doing all day?! I would do a spot clean and that was it. I think her first bath, and I felt like kind of a horrible mother, but I did not feel like I needed to dehydrate her skin by putting soap on it. The shampoo bar is what I used for her. It doesn't dry the skin out, it's going to actually hydrate the skin, and I could use it as a body wash and a hair wash. It was a quick, done deal with her. I used it with all my kids, and it worked really well. As far as moisturizing, it's the same thing. Less is more. You can typically just use a little bit of olive oil, any kind of oil you have, even coconut oil, and a little bit goes a long way on a baby.
Liz Wolfe: How about diaper rash?
Trina Felber: Ooo, yeah.
Liz Wolfe: Cradle cap, that type of stuff?
Trina Felber: Oil. Oil 'em.
Liz Wolfe: Oil 'em up.
Trina Felber: Yeah, oil 'em up. A lot of people are using my Baby's Butt Balm for cradle cap. Now, I was lucky, my kids didn't have that, but the butt balm works really well on the cradle cap.
6. Correlating skin issues with internal factors (food sensitivities, deviation from routine) [43:40]
And as far as diaper rash… the only thing I want to say about diaper rash, and this was my experience, I know everybody's experience is different, but take a look at what they're eating at the time that they're getting diaper rash because a diaper rash a lot of the times is a reaction to an irritant that is internally ingested. For my kids that was any kind of milk products, and that included myself because I was breastfeeding, so I had to cut out all dairy, which was actually a good thing. I cut out all dairy, including we tried raw cow's milk and the whole nine yards. I did the Weston Price formula. I made their baby formula when I no longer breastfed, and we had to play around with a lot of things because my kids were all allergic to raw cow milk and raw goat milk and all that. So look at what they're eating at the time, and a lot of times, it's difficult, but you can correlate diaper rashes with food.
Liz Wolfe: I think that's a really great point, and I think it's actually something that happens with adults as well. Another thing we were going to talk about actually was how when we deviate or if we… for example, it would have been a couple weeks ago once this episode airs, but when I was at the Food Lovers' wedding in Pittsburgh, I ate a ton of sugar for several days and it absolutely changed, number one, my body odor. We were going to talk about that.
Trina Felber: Oh, yes.
Liz Wolfe: And also a couple of little rashes have popped up in places that I don't generally have that problem. We're all adults here. Let's just say it. Sometimes we get blemishes on our booties, and that is absolutely a function of something that's going on internally, just like blemishes on your face or anywhere else. I think that's a great, great point. It's not necessarily just because something is rubbing, like a diaper or whatever. It can absolutely be something that's going on internally.
Trina Felber: True. And I have to make this point, too, because you make a great point: Most of the time, as humans it's a natural instinct to forget about the bad. You want to forget about eating that sugar as soon as you put it in your mouth. It tasted so good, but I want to forget that I did that. So two days later when you get that rash, you don't correlate it. Or that body odor? You're not correlating it with the sugar you ate two days ago. You're just thinking: I've been so good. What is going on?! But you have to think that your body is not going to take that sugar right now and convert it into something horrible. It takes a little bit of time. It's the same thing with body odor, and for me, it's sugar. If I eat any sugar, I know two days later I'm going to have to put the Pit Stick on two or three times because I will have body odor. But if I eat really clean, I can go three or four days without even applying it.
Liz Wolfe: Same here.
Trina Felber: It does make a difference.
Liz Wolfe: Yep. And that was another topic that I had addressed on my blog recently, was natural deodorant pitfalls. A lot of folks who are still dealing with the transition of changing their diet or maybe all of a sudden their natural deodorant “isn't working anymore” or whatever, you really do have to look at, all right, what have the last three or four days looked like for me? Am I dehydrated? Have I been eating a ton of food that doesn't necessarily work for me or that isn't normal for me? There are always tons of things to look at because again, like we said at the beginning, we're not beating our bodies into submission. For example, conventional deodorant that contains aluminum and all that other good stuff will basically beat body odor into submission. It's still going to be there. It's just going to be shoved into a box, bloodied and beaten, and it won't come out until you stop using the aluminum conventional deodorant.
Trina Felber: Right. And you have an adjustment period right after that that we talked about.
Liz Wolfe: Yep, absolutely. It's a process of trust, and it's a process of patience.
Trina Felber: It's a process altogether! Yeah, you just have to really be cognizant of what you did two days ago when something goes awry. And then you have to correlate it and go: Is it worth it next time? Sometimes it is.
Liz Wolfe: Absolutely. It was totally worth it for me at the wedding.
Trina Felber: Oh, I bet that was a great wedding.
Liz Wolfe: It was phenomenal from start to finish. And also, a little tangent, Bill and Hayley – we're talking about Bill and Hayley from the Food Lovers' Primal Palate – they are two of the most wonderful people I've ever met in my life and two of the most, not just in love, but they are partners and best friends, and they're such great role models. I love their relationship and just wish them all the happiness in the world.
Trina Felber: Yay!
Liz Wolfe: Yay!
Trina Felber: I'm so excited for them.
7. Trina's new makeup line, Primal Colors [48:45]
Liz Wolfe: I know. They're so sweet. And speaking of Hayley and Bill, Hayley is a makeup artist or she was a makeup artist before she got into all this beautiful food, paleo chef-ing and all that stuff, so she has a great body of knowledge in this exact same realm that we're talking about right now, and I imagine that she is going to be excited to try the makeup that you're coming out with.
Trina Felber: I know! And I have a package sitting right here on my desk for her. It's my makeup and I want to send it to her, but I don't known when she's coming back from her honeymoon, so I don't want to just send it. So I'm waiting to hear back from her!
Liz Wolfe: Yes. Well, while we wait, tell us a little bit about this makeup line and why you decided to create it.
Trina Felber: Primal Colors. Yes, I'm so excited. I've been making my makeup for myself for probably three years now. I have not bought conventional makeup at a store other than lip gloss or a lip balm, not balm, but lipstick in probably two years. I dabbled with it and I decided to bring it to the public, which is a little scary because it's very different than conventional makeup. It's similar to mineral makeup, in that it's a powder, and we're going to come out with foundation, blush, and the stains, the cheek stain and the lid stain. It should be out later this month, I'm hoping within the next two to three weeks. And you can apply it dry; however, we like the wet technique, which is totally different than what most people are used to. It takes a little bit of getting used to and a little bit of playing with to get the color right, but once you've got it, you've got it. And it looks so natural because it's not a color sitting on your skin. It's actually a stain, which washes off, by the way, so easily with soap and water. Our face wash washes it off, no problem. But it's actually a stain on your skin, and I get all the time: Oh, my gosh, are you even wearing makeup?! Your skin looks beautiful and you have the most natural color. And it's true, it just stains your skin so beautifully, but there is an art to apply it, so we are making instructional videos. But I do want to say that it's made out of clay, it's made out of plant sources, and it's made out of herbs, and that is it. There's nothing else in there.
Liz Wolfe: Clay, herbs, plants. I love it. I'm so excited to try it.
Trina Felber: Cranberries? It's in there.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, I love cranberries! One of the things that I've noticed is I really only use kind of the more natural makeup lines because I'm like Hayley. I like makeup. I think it's fun to do art on people. So I didn't want to give that up entirely as much as I think it's ideal just to let your skin be, but makeup is fun, and so I'll choose the more natural makeup lines. And I think the challenge is that using the more natural, safe ingredients kind of requires that you ask people to apply it in a different way, and the biggest thing is a lot of companies don't want to do that. They want to try and fit a square peg into a round hole, like these natural ingredients into being applied in the exact same way that conventional makeup is applied, and that's just not how things work. I find that sometimes my skin just doesn't take the “natural” stuff as well because they've created something that they want you be able to apply in the exact same way, and it just doesn't work that way, so I'm excited to learn a new way of doing things and try your stuff and see how my skin does with it.
Trina Felber: Yeah, and we will have the instructional videos. I emailed them to you. Did you get them?
Liz Wolfe: Yes, I got them.
Trina Felber: OK, good. Yes, and with the wet application it's very interesting because you wet the powder… say, the lilac, which is the lid stain, when you apply the little bit of water – and it doesn't take much; everything is very concentrated – but when you apply the water to the lilac, the color is amazing. Food sources leak their color and their nutrition. All of the nutrients will leak right into the water, which mixes with the clay, and then when you paint it on your face and on your lids, you stain it, it's just amazing. And it's a very sheer color. That's the one point I want to make. It's not going to be the vibrant blue or the vibrant colors that you're sort of used to with conventional makeup. This is a very natural stain, so it's going to look extremely natural and extremely sheer.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, I can't wait.
Trina Felber: It's fun.
Liz Wolfe: Cannot wait. And now that I'm mostly working from the homestead and I don't always have a reason to get dressed up, I'm excited for this new fun reason to get ready and play with something new.
8. Paying attention to what your skin wants & tips for happy skin while traveling [54:02]
Another thing that I want to throw out there for people is that I have been going through a huge adjustment period in my own life, moving from where I was for several years to a new environment, new things in the air, new stuff going on, new stressors, learning every single day, and that does affect how my skin's doing. I absolutely am totally honest about that. You have to have patience for the different stages of your life, the different things that you're doing, even if you travel for a weekend to an entirely different place. When it comes to natural skincare, you just have to remember that all of these different inputs when you move, when you travel, whatever, do affect your skin, and you have to be patient and just wait for your skin to tell you what it needs. I don't know about you, Trina, but now that I've been doing this for a while, ironically enough, two years, just like you said it takes to get used to the food and everything like that, I know what my skin is telling me and what it wants at different moments. There are still some things that I'm learning with this new environment and the homestead, trying to figure out what my skin is asking for, but you do learn to kind of read your skin and realize what it needs and what you are going to use that day.
Trina Felber: I totally agree with you. And I'll tell you what, especially when you travel, your skin gets so dehydrated.
Liz Wolfe: Yes.
Trina Felber: And even if that's in a car or if it's on a plane, it doesn't really matter how you travel, your skin gets so dehydrated, so spritz with toner throughout the day and any kind of oil you can get your hands on, preferably some sort of organic oil. It doesn't have to be fancy. It can be olive oil when you're making dinner. It can be coconut oil when you're making breakfast. Dab it on your face. Your face will love it if you just add extra oil. Save the good stuff with all the added anti-aging things for the night when you can benefit, night and morning, but during the day, as often as you can throw some oil and toner on your face, do it.
Liz Wolfe: And you know, if you don't have toner with you, you can always grab a little apple cider vinegar and brew some tea. I've done that in hotels before. I've brewed some chamomile tea or some green tea and splashed it on my face until I can get to the good stuff.
Trina Felber: You're right, absolutely. Apple cider vinegar is one of my favorite things. I love it.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, my gosh. It's miraculous.
Trina Felber: Yep.
Liz Wolfe: So when you're travelling, Trina's advice is spritz with toner throughout the day, stay hydrated, get some good oils on there, and save the good stuff for nighttime. Put that on there, and let it soak in overnight.
Trina Felber: Yes, your skin will love it. And I have to mention this, too, because people are so afraid to put oil on their skin.
Liz Wolfe: Yes.
Trina Felber: Especially when they have oily skin. It's amazing. It's just amazing what it actually does for your skin.
Liz Wolfe: It is. And have patience, too, when you're discovering what types of oils your skin loves because the same oils don't work for everyone. Coconut oil does not work for everyone. Tamanu oil, which I really like and I think you like too –
Trina Felber: Oh, I love it. Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: I love it, but you know, it doesn't work for everyone. What's interesting, I think, is that a lot of times we kind of are attracted to the oils that our skin actually needs. So when you're reading about something and you're thinking: Oh, that sounds interesting. Even if it's maybe not what you thought you needed, that might be the exact thing that you need to try.
Trina Felber: I agree with you. Totally.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Hippie-dippy stuff from Liz and Trina, but I think it's totally true.
Trina Felber: Go with your gut.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah! So be patient with that. A lot of people, the first thing they try, as far as oils go, is coconut oil. Just because that doesn't work doesn't mean something else isn't going to. Olive oil, jojoba oil, or any of the serums and the moisturizers that you have at Primal Life Organics are fabulous blends of different oils and just so much fun to try.
Trina Felber: Yeah, dabble with it, and watch what your skin does and how it reacts because I know when I put some of the oils on my skin I get a flushed, heated sensation, and I love that because I know that it's doing something!
9. Primal Life Organics product spotlight: Fire and Ice [58:22]
Liz Wolfe: Oh, my gosh, and your Fire and Ice?!
Trina Felber: Oh, yeah. Yeah! Do you like it?
Liz Wolfe: I love it. I'm addicted to it. It's so much fun. Explain kind of what Fire and Ice is about because I know I'll butcher it.
Trina Felber: Fire and Ice. I really wanted something that was going to help facilitate detoxing the skin, and not just for people who are going through a detox or changing their way of life, but throughout life your skin needs to detox. So I wanted to create a facial treatment system that was totally different, totally natural, and I came across cayenne pepper infused in different oils, and I put together Fire and Ice with the feeling and the research and the knowledge that if you increase blood flow, you are going to increase oxygen to the skin cells, which you can't beat, and you're going to facilitate detox because the blood supply is going to help carry away anything sitting there. So you begin with Fire, which is cayenne pepper infused into oils, and the cayenne pepper actually heats up your skin and you get a very warm, tingly sensation. You apply that, and after about 15 minutes, you apply Ice, which contains cooling agents. It contains menthol crystals as well as some very healing and detoxing essential oils, and it helps facilitate pulling out toxins from your skin and facilitating detox. And it also helps to tone the skin. I know that when I use it, about a day to two days later I can look in the mirror and go: Wow! I really can tell that my skin looks toned. That's what it does.
Liz Wolfe: It's like hot yoga for your skin followed by a cool breeze.
Trina Felber: I like that!
Liz Wolfe: It's amazing. I love it. Well, we're actually rounding out an hour, so we'll shut it down, I guess, now. Good thing you stuck around all the way to the end because Trina is offering a 15% discount off Primal Life Organics products between September 12 – that's today – and September 19, 2013. That's 15% off with the code “detox,” all lowercase. So hop over and try some of her products if you haven't already. Thank you so much for being on the show, Trina! Is there anything else that you want folks to know?
Trina Felber: Wow, I don't know. I'm on the spot now.
Liz Wolfe: No, I know. I feel like we could have gone on for a while!
Trina Felber: Yeah! That was a quick hour, very quick.
Liz Wolfe: It did go fast.
Trina Felber: We talked a lot.
Liz Wolfe: We did! And I'm so grateful to you for coming on the show. You've been such an incredible resource for me. Folks, you can find Trina at PrimalLifeOrganics.com. The blog is CaveGirlSkinCare.com, right?
Trina Felber: Yes, it is.
Liz Wolfe: Very good. So PrimalLifeOrganics.com and CaveGirlSkinCare.com. I am at CaveGirlEats.com, and of course, both Trina and myself are in the Skintervention Guide. Head over to SkinterventionGuide.com for more information on… what did I call it? We dumped all our expertise into one place, basically.
Trina Felber: Yes!
Liz Wolfe: It was a brain dump. Thank you again so much for coming on. Everyone, we will be back next week. Diane and myself should be back next week. We have some good guests coming up. Katy Bowman from AlignedAndWell.com will be with us. We'll be answering more of your questions as well, so thanks so much for listening. We'll be back, as usual, next week!
Trina Felber: Thanks, Liz!
Liz Wolfe: Thanks, Trina!
Diane & Liz