Author Archives: karigran

Miron Glass Bottles, Why are they Important for Our Skin Care Products?

When people first discover Kari Gran they often ask “why is the product packaged in Miron glass bottles?”   Our dark Miron glass bottles, while beautiful, are not used because they are aesthetically pleasing but because they are the best choice for all MIRON GLASSnatural ingredients.  Pure, natural oil,without parabens added, is chemically fragile. Kari Gran skin care products are packaged in special 100% recyclable dark violet MIRON Glass bottles. MIRON glass bottles block the complete spectrum of visible light (aside from non-threatening violet), which would otherwise accelerate molecular decay preservative-free and toxin-free ingredients. The sturdy, European imported glass is shatter resistant and provides the proverbial cool, dark place suggested by many natural products as the ideal storage environment – without having to run to the refrigerator every time you cleanse your face.  Check out all our 100% natural skin care products at

Kari Gran on What is Paraben Free?

Kari Gran paraben free skin careWhat is Paraben Free? A buzz phrase? Marketing jargon? In order to understand what paraben free is we at Kari Gran believe you must first know what a paraben is.  A paraben is a chemical preservative found in most cosmetics, skin care, shampoos, shaving cream and body lotions. Companies use parabens in order to preserve a products shelf life. What’s tricky about finding parabens is that they have all kinds of complicated scientific names that usually come with prefixes: methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparabens. Mysterious scientific names for ugly toxins. While some parabens are found in nature, there is a difference between those naturally occuring parabens and the synthetic ones used as preservatives. Note that when parabens are used in perfumes they are sometimes hidden under the catch-all name “fragrance” which makes them hard to spot.  Good magazine asserts that “almost everyone will be exposed to them daily, unless they deliberately choose paraben-free products.”

Parabens are xenoestrogens. That means they mimic the way eostrogen acts in the human body and interfere with normal hormone function. In women, this can drive the growth of breast cancer. In 2004, researchers from Reading University discovered parabens in breast tumours. Back in 2002, a study from Tokyo found that newborn male mammals exposed to butylparabens showed that the parabens adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.  There is a growing collection of reports with similar findings; that parabens affect normal hormonal function. Other studies show that methylparaben applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage. Some anti-aging creams are actually causing premature skin aging. Finally, parabens are skin irritants and can cause allergic reactions in some people. It’s nasty stuff.

So, now that you know what a paraben is you can likely surmise what Paraben Free is.  In the skin care world it’s a brand or product made without parabens.  At Kari Gran our products have a limited shelf life (two years) because we do not include parabens or water to preserve our products.  Other companies in the shampoo and personal products categories are jumping on board, and slowly a few paraben free brands are popping up on natural health market shelves.  It may take a little more time to study the labels but it’s worth it.  Your body and your mind will thank you!

The Sunshine Booster Smoothie

Sunshine Booster Smoothie  ~ Photo:  Jennifer Cass

Sunshine Booster Smoothie ~ Photo: Jennifer Cass

I saw this recipe on the well and good site and thought, “my readers must see this!”  The trifecta of inflammation-fighters in the Sunshine Booster Smoothie include pineapple, turmeric, and ginger.

Come April, we’ve never craved sunshine so much. And we’ve just found it in a glass. This spicy-sweet smoothie recipe is layered with dynamic flavors, playing between a Pina Colada and a turmeric-ginger juice. Here’s why we’ll be sipping it all month long:

The star ingredient, pineapple, is one of the top fruits used in juice cleanses for its detox benefits. That’s because it contains the enzyme bromelain, which aids in digestion and lowers inflammation. (Bromelain is also a great skin-care exfoliant—it’s used in this great mask—and has even been researched as an anti-cancer agent.)

Turmeric has become a trendy ingredient, and not just in your curry. More than 20 current studies on its anti-inflammatory benefits make it worth sipping. (It might lend you a helping hand with allergy symptoms, skin issues like psoriasis, and even shedding a few pounds, since excess weight is also inflammation.)

Ginger makes this smoothie sublime and lends a super-dose of anti-inflammatory properties and a circulation-boosting buzz just in time for the new active energy that spring ushers in. Coconut water adds electrolytes for an extra punch of hydration and a hint of sweetness. —Jennifer Kass

The Sunshine Booster Smoothie

Blend and enjoy!

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Top with a squeeze of lime

Contributor Kari Gran has pulled this directly from The Wellness Wire.  Please visit the site for great tips and recipes for healthy living.

Kari Gran’s New Year’s Resolution You Can Live With.

OK, so it’s been two weeks since the New Year, and studies say that 80% of New Year’s resolutions have already gone bust.  It leaves us begging the question, “what’s the point,” right?  At Kari Gran we are always talking about change, evolution, and education—particularly in the area of health and beauty.  That said, we believe that change in behavior takes time and subtlety. When that pesky, Type A, all-or-nothing mentality takes over the result may not be the one we seek. The behavior experts say that going cold turkey makes change difficult, and that changes made in little steps tend to have more lasting effects. By the way, it takes a good 6—8 weeks to change so be patient with yourself.


This year we’d like to propose that a success based New Year’s resolution plan for your skin could include some very simple and easy steps. For instance, if you would like to adopt a “toxin- free skin care routine,” we would recommend leaning into it with small steps. Start with parabens,  (for those of you who don’t know what a paraben is see the footnote below), let’s say you try for 30 days not to use products that contain parabens.   Already stepped off the paraben train?   Maybe move on to synthetic fragrance.  The point is, in order to adopt a green routine you need not go through your drawers and throw everything out at once.  Instead read up and raise your awareness of what green ingredients include.  Step by step you will become aware and savvy about choosing the products that truly enhance your beauty and don’t detract from it.  As always, take our motto to heart and “be kind to your skin. ”

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their report “Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Agents of Subtle Change?” reported that the chemical preservatives called parabens—methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl (alkyl-p-hydroxybenzoates)—displayed estrogenic activity in several tests.This means that these chemicals mimic your body´s own hormones and can have endocrine-disrupting action when they are rubbed into your body or washed down the drain into your drinking water. These disruptors interfere with your body´s endocrine system: your hypothalamus, your ovaries, your thyroid—virtually every system in your body

 ~Kari Gran
Be kind your skin.™

Founder and Creator of Kari Gran Skin Care. Find us on Facebook or follow us on twitter.

This Winter Trade Your Moisture Zapping Cleanser in for Kari Gran Cleansing Oil and Get Gorgeous

Cleansing oil on my face? Are you kidding?”  I know, it’s a strange concept, especially if, like me, you were raised on the Seventeen Magazine theory of squeaky clean skin.  Sorry to break it to you but the only thing that squeaky clean does for skin is strip it of its natural moisture—leaving it thirsty for hydration and ready to produce more oil. It’s a vicious cycle.

It reminds me of the “low fat” movement we all bought into a decade ago, the one that made everybody fat.  We deprived ourselves of good fat and stuffed ourselves with fat free Snackwells. And what did our bodies do?  They held onto the fat we had and sometimes gave us even more.  The body needs healthy fat to maintain its health and balance.

We recommend plant and essential oils for cleansing and moisturizing. Slowly massaging your face (massage increases circulation btw) with the Kari Gran cleansing oil not only removes dirt and impurities but it also replenishes lost moisture and creates a barrier that locks hydration in and keeps the drying effects of a cold winter out.

So do you skin a favor and toss your water packed cleanser and  moisturizer, the ones with the parabens and replace it with the Kari Gran cleansing oil and call us in a month.  We believe that after thirty days of using the Kari Gran Cleansing oil and serum you will find that your skin is soft, supple and hydrated.  So, fear not, oil is in fact a good thing—your skin knows it.

 ~Kari Gran
Be kind your skin.™

Founder and Creator of Kari Gran Skin Care. Find us on Facebook or follow us on twitter.

If a little bit is good….

Then doesn’t logic say more is better?  Not if you’ve got a bad case of status cosmeticus, not to be confused with status cosmetics!

Thiemo Sander via ELLE.COM

If you are using too many products on your skin, frankly, your epidermis gets a bit confused.  What’s a girl (or boy) to do?  Take a skin-cation.

A skin-what?  Maybe it’s time to take a month away from bombarding your skin and seek out a soothing facial oil.  This is what I did about three years ago and have never looked back.  Last year I was given a copy of this article (about a year after I’d finished R&D on our Essential Serum) that does a really great job of explaining what a facial oil is and why you would want to use it. Read it here

Here’s to testing out a  month of being kind to your skin.  Try it, you just might like it.

 ~Kari Gran
Be kind your skin.™

Founder and Creator of Kari Gran Skin Care. Find us on Facebook or follow us ontwitter.

My Ode to Amy Pennington

I’m delighted to report that I had the great pleasure of meeting Amy Pennington.  She came to my loft with a fellow writer the delightful Ritzy Ryciak to see what I was up to. Needless to say, I think we bonded over our love of oils…eating it and putting in on your skin.  What could be better?  Amy is a shining example of what eating seasonal, local and real food will do for your skin.  Given her presence in magazines, authoring two books, a television show and online presence, I had to ask myself where had I been, under a rock?  Why didn’t I know more about her? Geez, even Gwyneth Paltrow has talked about Amy and I’ve read Goop for years.

Let the stalking commence.  I’ve been reading up on Amy and devouring her book Apartment Gardening  as I have a yard which is about the size of a postage stamp so I think if any gardening/growing is to be done, it will have to be in containers.  Luckily, I have lovely neighbors who have nice, big gardens, and let me go and partake of their bounty.  Still, I would like to be able to produce my own harvest, even if it’s small.  I have kept two pots of herbs alive but am ready to move on….to lettuces perhaps?

Next on the list, getting my hands on Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen.  I tend to get too many books going at once and so I’m pacing myself.  Once I’m finished reading up on container gardening, Urban Pantry  will get my full, undivided attention.Tips and recipes for a thrifty, sustainable and seasonal kitchen?  Sign me up.

My herb pots

Who knows, maybe by this time next year I’ll be reporting on all of the great food I’ve grown myself.  Fingers crossed.

 ~Kari Gran
Be kind your skin.™

Founder and Creator of Kari Gran Skin Care. Find us on Facebook or follow us on twitter.

My Daily Insurance Policy

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a lover of vegetables. My best friend thinks I’m mad, she can’t get enough. Don’t get me wrong, I know they are so good for me.  At the end of the day, they aren’t at the top of my list.

Enter the green drink. I like to call this my daily insurance policy. Why, you ask?  By 9 a.m. on any given day I’ve had two to three cups of vegetables (mixed with the fruit of my choice, frozen pineapple topping the list) some fresh ginger, a squeeze of lemon and ta-da, the insurance policy is complete. The one tool that makes it much easier is a Vitamix.  It does sound like a helicopter is landing in my kitchen, but it will liquify just about anything I put it in. Dino kale=green juice in a matter of minutes.

I believe that what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on your body. I don’t pretend to be the expert on this, but know from first hand experience that when I eat a diet full of whole foods, I’m just happier.  My skin is happier for sure. So, I’m always on the lookout for ways to work on my skin from the inside out.  Enter a great article written by Jolene Hart: Foods That Firm Your Face….sign me up!

In summary, “you are what you eat” takes on new meaning according to the latest research on nutrition and skin aging. Hart goes on to say that “the nutrients in your next meal will become the building blocks of new skin cells and new collagen-two essential components of skin that looks and acts younger than your years.”  Alkaline-producing foods nourish the skin’s basal layer (the really important one that forms all of the other protective cells). Some of the most nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are highly alkaline.  Surprise alkaline food?  Lemons.   Too many acidic foods (sugar, caffeinated drinks, soda, red meat and alcohol) add up to  mineral loss, skin inflammation, poor skin tone and the impaired ability to produce collagen. The complete article can be found in the July 2012 issue of Organic Spa magazine, and there are many more articles on Jolene’s blog :Beauty is Wellness.

Here’s the recipe for my green drink, otherwise known as the Alligator Smoothie by my 13 year old nephew:

2 cups chopped organic kale (I like the dino kale)

1-2 cups chopped cucumber (peel on if organic, if not, peel removed)

1 cup frozen fruit (kid friendliest version is frozen mango and frozen pineapple)

juice from 1/2 lemon, squeezed

1/2 inch piece of peeled ginger

1 cup water or coconut water

Add all ingredients to Vitamix and blend for 1-2 minutes.

Drink up!

~Kari Gran
Founder and Creator of Kari Gran Skin Care. Stop by and say hello on facebook. Is Now Live!


Hard to believe, but the Kari Gran website is finally finished. Now ordering online is easier than ever.

Give it a try, and be sure to let us know if there are any bugs! We’re a reaalllly small company, so we don’t have any tech people running tests (or making fun of us because we don’t know how to use our computers).

And we wouldn’t be offended if you were to share this with your friends. In fact we’d be tickled pink.

Stop by and say hello of facebook or twitter.

Just because it smells good, it may not be good for you.

I’d like to take a minute to talk about essential oils vs. synthetic fragrance.  I’ve been giving this a good amount of thought, and I think a good way to describe the big difference between the two is by using the lovely rose as an example.  It’s been my experience that many shy away from anything rose scented as a result of spending too much time next to their Grandmother, who may have smothered herself in Rosemilk lotion.  That cloying synthetic rose scent is not the true scent of rose in essential oil, or this case, absolute form.

Many people, (I include myself in this category until I learned otherwise) don’t understand the dangers of petro-chemically derived fragrances which have been linked to allergies, asthma and hormone disruption.  The last item being my great big wake up call, otherwise known as bye-bye to my favorite perfume.

Essential oils, on the other hand, are highly concentrated and potent oils extracted from plants, leaves, flowers, roots, bark, fruit, seeds, etc.  Each has it’s own blueprint that is unique.  I recently discussed lavender oil, and why I love it so much.  It’s a fantastic mulit-tasker that I carry with me all the time.  I’ve used it for scrapes, headaches, bug bits, blemishes and even to freshen up a stinky rental car (a few drops on the floor mats work wonders).  However, having said that, it’s one of the few essential oils that can be used “neat” or straight from the bottle. It takes almost approximately 60,000 rose petals to make one ounce of rose oil, which is why it is so expensive, and so widely used in its synthetic form.  Given the potency of rose absolute, I do not sprinkle it wildly like lavender oil, nor apply it directly to skin without properly diluting it in a plant-based oil.

Why does it matter?  Your skin is a superhighway to your bloodstream.  Ever used a medication in cream form topically? Put in on your skin, in goes the medicine. Your skin is the body’s largest organ; a living, dying and constantly rejuvenating organ.  For me, it’s all about choices and recognizing what I put on my body translates to what I’m putting in my body.  I wish the same for you.

Be kind to your skin.™

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