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Some awesome new retailer partners carrying Belmondo...

Posted on September 21, 2012 by Daniela | 1 comment

meet the crew at thrive lifestyle boutique on Salt Spring Island.

I'm excited to announce a handful of new retail partnerships in BC as well as in the USA. Check out our 'Where to Buy' section for an updated store listing. We've got a few more we'll be adding soon...

We get emails all the time from customers looking for their favorite shop to carry Belmondo, please mention us to the shop owner/manager, (this really helps!) or send us an email with the details of where you think would be a good home for our products and we'll look into it. 

Happy Friday!


**this photo above is the crew at Thrive Lifestyle Boutique on Salt Spring Island BC, our latest stockist**

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Check it out: customer feedback from Liz Hollahan 08/20/12

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Daniela | 0 comments

We've been getting a ton of great customer testimonials and I've decided to start posting 1-2 a month on here to share with you. 

"I have just started using Belmondo a couple weeks ago. I came upon this line by chance but I think we were destined to be together! The line is amazing, my skin is amazing! Every experience with these products is like its own meditation....start in the shower with "the dunes", I can feel my toes curling up in the warm sand on my favourite beach; then follow with "the rain", like I'm deep in a rainforest and the sky opens up and this pure, clean rain just falls from above, cleansing my skin, cleansing my soul and then it stops and I feel the most refreshing sweetness in the "after the rain" forest...as I gaze out my feet are standing atop mountains blanketed in "the cloud" and I close my eyes and here I am refreshed from face to soul and ready to go.

Thanks so much Daniela for your wonderful creativity, passion and inspiration for something so amazing!! It has transformed my skin and my morning/evening rituals and respects the earth!!! I am a forever client :) — Liz Hollahan in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

This is a pretty special testimonial and makes us thrilled to read this, really makes all the hard work worth it. Thanks Liz for making the time to share this feedback with us!

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Room6 Boutique in Deep Cove

Posted on May 09, 2012 by Daniela | 0 comments



Belmondo Skin Care is now available at Room6 Boutique in Deep Cove, the best block in the Cove and so close to the water. If you haven't spent time in the Cove, I suggest a visit on a sunny afternoon, maybe a short hike, mountain and water views and stop in at Room6, they say it best 'special things for nice people' Shop for contemporary gifts and clothing boutique. 

Here is a great little video to get a sneak peek in the shop - we love it!

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Beauty from the Inside Out: The Best Diet for Skin

Posted on February 24, 2012 by Daniela | 2 comments

It’s no secret that we at Belmondo Skincare love using nature’s ingredients in our healthy skin regimen. Teaching our clients, customers, and readers about the benefits of using earth-grown ingredients in their skin care regimen is the heart and soul of what we do.

In Part 7 of this 10-part series on the benefits of natural skincare, we’re talking about the best diet for healthy skin, including which foods to eat because they reduce inflammation and which pro-inflammatory foods to avoid.

P.S. Look for Belmondo’s Favorite Tips scattered throughout this series. There’s one in each article. We’re giving you the inside scoop on how we enjoy the things of earth, naturally, for beautiful skin and a greener planet – and how you can, too!

Where does your skin’s beauty start?

Not in the bathroom cabinet that holds your cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Not even in the refrigerator. (Although that’s a great place to look.) 

Your skin’s beauty starts in fields and farms, under the oceans and in the orchards. And in the air, filled with rain water. 

We believe that natural beauty is what it sounds like: natural. This means creating a healthy lifestyle, including choosing organic whole foods whenever possible and drinking plenty of water. This leads to a radiant inner beauty which glows from the core of your cells out through your skin.

Eating well -- which means a diet of nourishing, anti-inflammatory whole foods and plenty of water -- is easy and satisfying. And it will almost immediately improve your skin’s complexion, tone, elasticity, and overall vibrancy. We’ll show you how.

After years of research and pursuing a passion for healthy, clean eating in my own life, I’m convinced you can pretty much eat your way to great skin. Not only does your skin thrive with quality nourishment, but so does your whole body, and you get to enjoy the most delicious food the earth has to offer. I call this a win-win-win.

Eating well starts with educating yourself about the benefits of a healthy diet, followed by making a decision to luxuriate your body with whole foods. Please note that while I’m no doctor, the information I’m sharing here is the result of my own extensive research into the field of natural health and nutrition, as well as what I practice in my own lifestyle and recommend to my skincare clients. That said, please always consult the healthcare professional of your choice before making significant dietary changes, especially if you take medications.

For starters, how exactly does food affect the skin?

Food itself doesn’t affect your skin (unless you apply it directly to your skin in the form of an egg or honey mask), but the nutrients in food do once you’ve consumed it and your body has metabolized it. Nutrients make their way to your skin to protect, repair, rebuild, and replenish it, according to their functions.

Your skin needs constant regular input of nourishing foods to help itself regenerate, hence the call for a ‘balanced’ diet featuring a variety of whole foods from all food groups.

And contrary to popular belief, you can’t get the same quality of nutrients from supplements as you can from the real, whole foods.
What you put in your body is reflected through your skin. Fuel your body with high quality nutrients from whole foods and you’ll have an overall look of radiance and health on your skin.

How does stress affect the skin?

When you’re under stress -- going through a divorce, having financial challenges, adjusting to a new job, pregnant, or treating a serious illness -- the need for optimal nutrition is even greater, as energy stores are depleted and hormones are propelled differently through the body in response to emotional and psychological triggers. Good nutrition during these stressful times acts to support and promote healing throughout the body and mind.

What to eat for clear, glowing, well-hydrated, smooth and healthy skin.

Most of us are familiar with the term ‘superfoods.’ Superfoods are foods that have been shown, through years of scientific studies, to promote overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Superfoods and Super Spices

Fruits & Vegetables

You can train yourself to eat more fruits and vegetables -- and learn to crave them, actually -- by eating one at every meal. Another way to up your fruit-and-veg intake is to enjoy a big salad or vegetable-based soup everyday. This TED Talk by Dr. Terry Wahls is an impactful primer on the healing power of fruits and vegetables. 

  • Apples, avocado, all kinds of berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries (fresh or frozen), and other Vitamin C-rich foods.
  • Tomatoes, green vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard greens, turnips, cauliflower, swiss chard, carrots, spinach, garlic, shallots, leeks, bell peppers, mustard greens. Yams and squash

Healthy Fats

When it comes to beautiful skin and better brain functioning, healthy oils are your friends.

  • Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and extra virgin olive oil -- we at Belmondo are big fans of this last one. [Daniela -- you could insert link here to your article on the benefits of olive oil]
  • Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts (my personal favorite).

Animal Proteins

Choose high-quality lean proteins, grass-fed when you can. Eating moderate portions of lean animal protein helps to balance your energy and glycemic levels. 

  • Free-range poultry (chicken/turkey); wild caught fish, such as salmon, sardines, trout, and mackerel. Lean, grass-fed meats. 

Wild Caught Fish

  • Wild caught fish are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Consume wild caught fish, not farm-raised, 3-4 times a week.

Super Spices 

These spices are found to help regulate blood sugar, speed up metabolism, as well as other benefits. Make ample use of them as seasonings or garnishes.

  • cinnamon, cumin, oregano, thyme, turmeric, ginger, rosemary, black pepper, and cloves 
  • yellow curry

Other Excellent Choices

  • Beans and legumes.
  • Eggs, yogurt and kefir (a probiotic fermented milk drink)
  • Dark chocolate -- this one gets me most excited! I eat one piece of dark chocolate every day.
  • Tea: green or black. Green tea, especially, contains powerful antioxidants and is very hydrating.


Belmondo’s Favorite Tip No. 7: I love to drink warm water first thing in the morning with some fresh lemon. This is seriously the elixir of life and I love it; it jumpstarts my system and I feel best when I incorporate this ritual in my morning routine. Try it and see what a difference it makes for you. Also recommended by Sara Avant in her book, The Way of the Happy Woman

  • Drink ample water. It will hydrate you and help to flush out toxin. Increase intake when you're active.

What is inflammation? 

Inflammation looks like what it sounds like: inflamed, red, tender, and swollen cells and tissues. Picture what happens when you cut yourself: the area around the cut grows red due to blood rushing to the wound, and the tissues become swollen due to the increased bloodflow. Inflammation occurs inside our body, too, in our joints, blood vessels and around our cells. Chronic inflammation can increase joint problems and exacerbate skin conditions.

We can fight inflammation with good nutrition. Research shows that a diet based on anti-inflammatory foods is the best approach for overall health and glowing, balanced skin.

Most skin conditions -- from acne to rosacea to general dryness -- are triggered or worsened by inflammation. Inflammation literally turns up the heat in your body. It revs up your metabolism, churns out cortisol (the stress hormone), and increases the temperature in your body. Each time we subject our body to the stress of inflammation, our body is left with debris in the form of free radicals and other by-products that damage our cells, leading to premature wrinkles and skin dryness.

An anti-inflammatory diet features the highest quality foods from all major foods groups, including all of those in the list above. 

Here is an additional list of particularly anti-inflammatory foods to help keep your skin healthy and clear:

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cinnamon
  • Colourful fruits and Vegetable
  • Ginger
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oranges
  • Lean Proteins - aim for grass fed 
  • Salmon, Sardines, and other cold-water fatty fish
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Red pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Spinach, dark leafy vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Turmeric

And which foods are pro-inflammatory? Here’s a list. 

Avoid these, as they do nothing of value for your body, your brain, or your skin:

  • Candy
  • Bread, bagels
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Corn Syrup, high fructose corn syrup -- check labels carefully, as this stuff is lurking in many processed foods that may be marketed as ‘healthy’
  • Fried Foods
  • Hydrogenated Fats, found mostly in packaged foods. 
  • Non-dairy creamers -- they're made from hydrogenated oils
  • Processed meats 
  • Muffins
  • Sugary drinks: fruit drinks, fruit juices with added corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Sweetened Cereals

Eating well for natural beauty is a lifelong proposition, and a pleasurable one at that. I’m so glad to share with you today what works well for me, in the hopes that you will receive benefit and increased vitality, too: a diet that helps to reduce inflammation and promote total wellness and healthy, clear skin. I hope you enjoy eating the things of earth, naturally! 

Like Belmondo on Facebook for more skin-friendly tips to promote your healthy lifestyle and longterm beauty.

*We at Belmondo Organic Skincare are natural skincare professionals, not medical professionals. If you have a skin condition you feel needs medical attention, please consult a physician.

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Why We *Do* Use Preservatives Sparingly In Our Natural Skincare Products

Posted on February 07, 2012 by Daniela | 0 comments

It’s no secret that we at Belmondo Skincare love using nature’s ingredients in our healthy skin regimen. Teaching our clients, customers, and readers about the benefits of using earth-grown ingredients in their skin care regimen is the heart and soul of what we do.

In Part 6 of this 10-part series on the benefits of natural skincare, we’re sharing our knowledge about preservatives and how they work in skincare products. We’ll fill you in on the internationally accepted preservative we use in Belmondo’s own line and why we believe this is the safest and most skin-friendly choice for you available on the market today.

P.S. Look for Belmondo’s Favorite Tips scattered throughout this series. There’s one in each article. We’re giving you the inside scoop on how we enjoy the things of earth, naturally, for beautiful skin and a greener planet – and how you can, too!

If you’re anything like us, your eyes light up at the sight of ‘preservative-free’ on a product label. But when it comes to skincare products, the use of some preservatives are well-advised. We’ll tell you why.

Our readers always want the scoop on preservatives in skincare products: what’s safe, what’s not, and whether the particular formula they’re considering using needs a preservative to be effective longterm.

To answer these questions, we first need to give you the lowdown on what preservatives are and why any skincare company would want to use them in products.

What is a preservative? Why use them in skincare products?

A preservative is a substance used to kill and inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast. While bacteria are part of nature, yes, there are some bacteria you don’t want any part of, for example, the dreaded Escherichia coli (also called E. coli) and Staphylococcus (known as ‘staph’).

Bacteria, mold, and yeast grow in the presence of water and cannot thrive without water. Why do you need to know this? When you’re evaluating skincare products, check to see if ‘water’ or its Latin equivalent (‘aqua’) is listed as an ingredient (the Latin-sounding ingredient names on cosmetic labels come from the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients [INCI] list). If it is, the product should also contain a preservative in order to kill and prevent the inevitable growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast. If water is present in a product, it’s an invitation for microbial bodies to breed.

Preservatives are necessary for keeping skincare products fresh and free of bacterial growth.

Water-containing lotions and other cosmetics are a breeding ground for unwanted microogranisms, especially considering that we usually store these products in warm, damp environments such as the bathroom. Now can you see how an unpreserved skincare product could be potentially dangerous to you? No preservative + the presence of water in a product = microbial bodies = ugh!

Note: Some skincare products, such as balms or salves, are made without water, and therefore wouldn’t normally require a preservative, except that a user could introduce water into it via wet or unclean hands. In this case, a preservative could be a great protector.

A world of skincare without preservatives?

It’s important to note that preservatives need to be used in products that contain oil and water mixtures in order to prevent bacteria, mold, fungus and yeast. Most all-natural lotions will last only about one week in the refrigerator.

Every natural skincare producer, including Belmondo, has to weigh the ‘cost’ to its clients of creating products with preservatives versus keeping them entirely preservative-free. Too many preservatives or those of the chemical variety can lead to unwanted skin conditions, while no preservatives can lead to unwanted skin conditions brought about by the presence of microbial bodies in the products.

As a natural skincare practitioner, I (Daniela) am well-aware of the overuse of preservatives, chemicals, and synthetics in most skincare products. I hold my own skincare line to a higher standard. However, a nightmare scenario for me would be having a customer open up a jar of our luscious cream, only to find mold and bacteria growing inside -- not a safe or sexy experience for our dear customer!

As a skincare product creator, I weigh the two scenarios and settle on the solution that assures the highest quality, safest products for my customers, and the deepest integrity in my product line.

At Belmondo, we use an ultra-minuscule amount of an internationally approved food-grade preservative to prevent microbial growth in our products.

Belmondo’s preservative of choice is called Optiphen Plus. It’s a broad spectrum antimicrobial preservative that is paraben and formaldehyde-free. Optiphen-Plus contains a mixture of three parts: Phenoxyethanol, which prevents microbial growth and has a broad range of anti-fungal properties; Caprylyl Glycol, which is naturally derived from coconut (which is food-grade) and protects against microbial growth from bacteria and yeast, and Sorbic Acid, which has anti-microbial properties and is derived from the berries of the mountain ash. Optiphen-Plus, at the time this article is being written, one of the most widely used paraben-free preservative options on the market. We make our products in small batches with shelf lives of 6-8 months and use the tiniest amounts of preservative possible.

While I (Daniela) by no means advocate for the use of preservatives and chemicals in skincare products, I am sensitive to customers’ desire to prolong the life of their products and am invested in customers having a consistently positive experience with each use of our products. In my own research and my conversations with chemists and herbalists on this topic, I find that the tiny percentage of preservatives used in cosmetics is less likely to cause harm to humans than the preservatives we regularly ingest through our food supply. Greater harm is actually caused by not preserving skincare products to protect you.

So how do potentially harmful preservatives show up on product labels?

Parabens, essential oils, and grape seed extract: common preservatives you need to know about.

A common preservative found on many cosmetics labels are ‘parabens.’ Parabens are often the first choice preservative for product manufacturers as they are FDA- approved across Food, Drug, and Cosmetics categories. Commonly, parabens are listed as ‘methylparaben,’ ‘propylparaben,’ and ‘butylparaben.’ Typically, these parabens are used to preserve liquid colorants in products, such a colored shampoo or facial mask. If these additives are present in a minute enough percentage, they may only be listed as ‘Flavors,’ ‘Fragrance,’ or ‘Natural Flavors.’ Parabens are known endocrine-disruptors, upsetting the hormonal balance in humans. They’re also known to have mild estrogen-mimicking effects, which is believed to have an effect on the development of breast cancer.

Other commonly used preservatives are essential oils, which keep other oils present in a product from going rancid. Essential oils are not, however, great at preventing the growth of bacteria and mold. Essential oils do not stand up against the presence of microbial growth-encouraging water in products. It’s true some essential oils do have antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities and in order to successfully preserve a product containing water, you must use these oils in their fully concentrated forms which is completely unsafe.

Thirdly, natural healthcare-conscious consumers may have noticed the popularity of grape seed extract, or GSE, as a highly touted preservative. While ‘grape seed extract’ sounds healthy, pure, and ‘all-natural’, the truth is that in most cases GSE contains synthetic preservatives and it’s the synthetic ingredient that’s doing the preserving, not the GSE. (GSE is an antioxidant by nature, not a preservative.) Should the products you're using contain this ingredient,  ask the creator/manufacture where they're being sourced from to best educate yourself and to understand if the ingredient has a 'paraben' added in order to make it a preservative or if it's strictly the ingredient being used as a preservative.

Belmondo’s Favorite Tip No. 6: Our clients frequently ask us, what should I apply my face toner with? Cotton balls? A facial tissue? A couple squares of toilet paper? (Don’t laugh! You know you’ve done this.) Click here for our money-saving answer.

Belmondo’s last word on ‘all-natural’ skincare preservatives: ‘natural’ doesn’t always translate to safe. Selective, minimal preservative use in skincare products is safe, wise, and advisable.

The risks of using an unpreserved product outweigh the appropriate use of preservatives in our book, which is why we will continue to use the minimal advisable amount of safe preservatives in our products. At least until the market comes out with something even more natural that is backed up by sound science.

We’re committed to constantly furthering our education on the issue of safe preservative use in skincare products. We’re prepared to alter our current position should a better alternative to what we use today arrive on the market. Meanwhile, we stand fully behind our brand and products. We’re confident what we're using is a good paraben-free alternative.

While we can't promise that everyone will always agree on what's best, we can promise we will always head in the direction of what we believe to be the highest quality.

For our reader’s further edufication, here is a post describing the ingredients we at Belmondo avoid putting in our products.

You can converse with me, Daniela Belmondo, on Twitter.

*We at Belmondo Organic Skincare are natural skincare professionals, not medical professionals. If you have a skin condition you feel needs medical attention, please consult a physician.

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Is your skin getting irritated easily? It may be the ingredients in your products.

Posted on February 06, 2012 by Daniela | 0 comments

Some people think they have sensitive skin because they begin to get skin irritation due to harsh product. I'd like to caution you it may be the products you're using that's causing this irritation. Just something to consider especially if the products you're using contain chemicals in the ingredients. Go through your products and see if they contain any of the ingredients listed below, if so, we'd really suggest not using them. 

Mineral Oil & Petrolatum : pore-clogging and suffocating to the skin

SD Alcohol 40 and Denatured Alcohol : the solvent alcohols commonly found in toners. They are extremely drying and irritating to the skin.

Synthetic dyes : can be a skin irritant

Synthetic fragrances : the #1 cause of allergic reactions to products. Avoid products containing the word "fragrance" or "parfum" on the ingredient listing unless it specifically states what the fragrance is. 

Sodium or Ammonium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate : extremely drying and irritating to the skin

Apricot kernels, or seed/shell powders : naturally made particles found in facial scrubs can scratch and irritate the skin causing bacteria to spread

Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea : These are the most commonly used preservatives after the parabens. They are well established as a primary cause of contact dermatitis (American Academy of Dermatology). Two trade names for these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115. Neither of the Germall chemicals have a good antifungal, and must be combined with other preservatives. Germall 115 releases formaldehyde at just over 10°. These chemicals are toxic.

Methyl and Propyl and Butyl and Ethyl Paraben : Used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products. Widely used even though they are known to be toxic. Have caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. Methyl paraben combines benzoic acid with the methyl group of chemicals. Highly toxic.

Petrolatum: Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly, and mineral oil causes a lot of problems when used on the skin photosensitivity (i.e., promotes sun damage), and it tends to interfere with the body's own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dry skin and chapping. You are being sold a product that creates the very conditions it claims to alleviate. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.

Propylene Glycol : Ideally this is a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, both of which are natural. Usually it is a synthetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant. Has been known to cause allergic and toxic reactions.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate : This synthetic substance is used in shampoos for its detergent and foam-building abilities. It causes eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions. It is frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the parenthetic explanation "comes from coconut."

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