Happy Holidays! The holiday season is finally among us, and it’s the perfect time to celebrate by sharing the women’s health love with your friends and family (plus, get a little something for you!)
Here at IWHI we’re picky about the products we recommend. We are personally connected with each of the small businesses we support, and use the products ourselves. This year our holiday focus is on women’s immune and pelvic health.
Support Barrier Health
The skin and other physical barriers, including our digestive tract, vulva and vaginal lining, are organs. They are our sensors to the outside world, protecting us from pathogens and environmental toxins. Our physical barriers are our body’s first defenses. So, let’s take great care of them this season!
For your skin, be picky about what you slather on. Skin cleansers, serums, and moisturizers should care for your delicate skin barrier without endocrine disruptors or other toxins. Feed your skin with nourishing ingredients to enhance its natural beauty.
One of my favorite skin care companies, beyond-organic Annmarie Skin Care, is offering the all-natural Sample Kit for just $10 (instead of $50) for you to try. Their skincare is created from hand-foraged, home grown herbs that can help you reboot your skin’s acid mantle barrier in just three weeks. The Sample Kit includes a pH-balanced cleanser and facial oil, tailored to your skin type. Plus, you’ll receive three free serum samples, with organic ingredients: the ultra-hydrating Serum, vitamin C packed Citrus Stem Cell Serum, and biome-friendly Probiotic Serum with Tremella, and their 21-day Skin Detox, with exercise, diet, and more self-care tips. They’re even tossing in free shipping (US and Canada residents), a $10 coupon to use towards future Annmarie Skin Care purchases, and a 100% money-back guarantee. I have been using their products for years, and I am delighted to share them with you and the beautiful women on your holiday gift list.
My other favorite skin care brand is The Spa Dr. Founded by my friend, Dr. Trevor Cates, this skincare brand is crafted with natural skin healing in mind. I am very picky about skincare scents, and I love the light citrusy smell of these products. My favorites are Clear, the gentle cleanser , Nourish, the antioxidant serum and Renew, the moisturizer . For a special holiday treat, I suggest dropping The Purifying Mud Mask in her stocking.
Vulvovaginal Skin, Barrier, and Biome Health
Now, let’s talk about vulvar and vaginal skin, barrier and biome health. Just like the delicate facial skin, the vulvar and vaginal areas need nourishing support to maintain healthy barrier function, which includes the protective microbiome. For daily moisturizer, just like for her face, I love Rosebud Woman Honor and Good Clean Love’s BioNourish™ Ultra Moisturizing Vaginal Gel with Hyaluronic Acid. For gentle hormone support of the delicate vulvar tissue, especially with the lowered estrogen levels that come along with perimenopause, menopause and high stress situations, I recommend Julva. It’s also a gentle moisturizer, plus it contains DHEA, a precursor to both testosterone and estrogen. The Julva free trial pack is the perfect holiday stocking stuffer.
While the vagina is self-cleansing, and usually doesn’t need more than a simple rinse with filtered water, for the women in our lives who struggle with chronic bacterial vaginosis, yeast or other dysbiotic conditions of the vulvovaginal biome, daily cleansing and nourishing with Good Clean Love’s Flourish Vaginal Care System has been clinically proven to prevent the recurrence of chronic vulvovaginal dysbiosis. For specific probiotic support of the vulvovaginal microbiome, choose products with Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri, the best studied strains for supporting a healthy vulvovaginal microbiome, especially when challenged with chronic bacterial vaginosis or chronic yeast. I like Flora Bloom Intimate Probiotic from Intimate Rose because it also contains soothing digestive support strain, Lactobacillus plantarum and D-mannose and cranberry for urinary tract support.
Pelvic Muscle Tension Relief
This holiday season has dealt us an added layer of stress. With this added stress, pelvic floor tension and pelvic pain, just like chronic headaches or other chronic pain conditions, can flare. In coordination with her pelvic physical therapist, using home based pelvic floor muscle relaxation techniques, and having regular intimacy with herself or her partner can reduce tension related pain and overall stress levels. My favorite tools for pelvic floor muscle relaxation are the pelvic wand and vibrating pelvic wand from Intimate Rose. Learn more about how to use the wands to relieve tension from Intimate Rose founder, Dr. Amanda Olsen, DPT. Finally, lubricants without endocrine disruptors that are biologically as close as possible to natural lubrication are essential gifts. Good Clean Love’s Almost Naked Lubricant is the best, and for the highly sensitive woman on your gift list, BioNude Ultra Sensitive Lubricant is even better.
The Healing Power of Bees
Last, but not least, this holiday season natural immune, cognitive, and mental health support is on the top of everyone’s gift list. Beekeeper’s Naturals is my go to line of bee propolis, and honey based products. Propolis throat spray should be in every woman’s bag this season. And, when staying mentally sharp matters, I love B.LXR Brain Fuel. It’s a caffeine free, nutrient dense adaptogenic and nootropic support that includes Bacopa monnieri, an herb that was found in a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial to improve word recall memory, and reduce depression and anxiety in healthy volunteers over 65 (Calabrese et al., 2008.)
Enjoy the holidays! Stay healthy and support your health and the health of your family and friends this season with gifts that nourish and care.
Calabrese, C., Gregory, W. L., Leo, M., Kraemer, D., Bone, K., & Oken, B. (2008). Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 14(6), 707–713. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0018