Let’s end the stigma behind mental illness

2015-10-07 stop suicide camh

Today we have a very special edition of our #WellnessWednesday and it is to announce our partnership with CAMH (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). CAMH is “Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world’s leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.”

Health & wellness is at the core of MIYU Beauty. When I was first conceptualizing the brand, I poured through various literature in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It was then that I became enlightened by my ancestors’ focus on not just our physical health, but our mental & emotional health as well. Unfortunately, in Chinese culture, and in many other cultures as well, the stigma behind mental illness discourages people from seeking treatment. Throughout my life, I’ve had (and still have) people very close to me that suffered from depression. In fact, I myself, have gone through a period of depression. In recent years, I began pondering this dichotomy: If someone was diagnosed with an illness like cancer, they would seek treatment. If someone was diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder or any other type of mental illness, more often than not, the individual is ashamed and avoids treatment. Why is this the case? The answer is stigma. Our society tends to write off mental illness, viewing it as an issue to be ashamed of. Think about how many people can actually be helped if we can just remove the stigma? We need to end it NOW.

As a small startup, we are making small donations to CAMH at the moment, but we would love to expand our commitment with new collaborations and initiatives in the coming year. For the time being, in addition to our small contributions, we are starting by spreading awareness. In the words of CAMH, “help us stop mental illness from destroying lives.” We would love it if you take a moment to watch the video below and share it on your own channels.



Mental illness is an issue that is very dear to Linda and I. If you have any ideas that you would like MIYU to explore with CAMH, let us know in the comments below (think campaign ideas, new product ideas, the sky’s the limit)! We love a good brainstorming session!

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Tea Story


 
It is funny how I did not come to appreciate the beauty, art and health benefits of tea until I got much older. Perhaps it wasn’t until my skin took a turn for the worse in my mid-20’s – during an exhilarating time working in the Big Apple and testing countless beauty products as a beauty product developer – that I re-examined my health + lifestyle habits a bit more closely. Like many 20 year olds, I took my healthy complexion for granted. After suffering from bouts of hives and eczema, I was desperate to find a solution that would return my skin back to normal. The advantage of working for other beauty brands as a product developer was that I was constantly reading and doing research about skin health. I knew that if I wanted a chance of regaining a healthy complexion back, I needed a solution that extended beyond just a topical approach. Turning back to my roots, I realized I did not have to look too far – the health beverage consumed for centuries by my ancestors was right under my nose – TEA. I found myself fascinated by all the different varieties of teas and all their associated benefits. Today, I thought I would share with you some of my early findings. Here are just some of tea’s possible health benefits, cited from a growing number of studies:
 
● reduces risks of certain cancers
● improves cardiovascular health
● helps with weight loss (lowers cholesterol)
● strengthens immune system
● and…. LAST BUT NOT LEAST — improves skin and complexion!!
 
I am a strong believer that great skin comes not only from good quality skincare, but also from a healthy lifestyle and a stress-free state-of-mind. Drinking tea, in my opinion, is an effortless way to achieve both of the latter points. Infused with vitamins, minerals and potent antioxidants, tea is one of the easiest ways to enhance your overall health.
 
Here are some of my key insights:
Spend a little more for a good quality cup of tea. While the generic tea bags that you can purchase in your local grocery store may be convenient, you will not get the full health benefits of tea if you are purchasing the mass tea bag varieties. Mass tea bag varieties typically contain older tea leaves that have already lost many of its nutritional benefits. More specifically, mass tea bags contain fannings (as opposed to full leafs), which are fine siftings leftover after larger tea leaves have been removed. While fannings allow for shorter steeping times and provide immediate and intense flavor, the flavors do not actually bloom in the same way loose leaf teas do, and as a result taste fairly flat. Good quality teas are picked from the youngest shoots, which contain the full flavor profile and contain the maximum amount of nutrients. Treat yourself to a good loose leaf tea. Note: When I created MIYU’s beauty teas, I wanted not only to use premium leaves, but I also wanted the convenience of sachets. Why choose when you can treat yourself to the luxury of both?
 
Teas contain 2 or 3 times less caffeine than coffee. I know you have heard those rumors that coffee contains less caffeine than tea, but that is simply not true. Think about it this way, have you ever felt jittery after a strong cup of coffee? I’ll bet you have never felt that way drinking tea. Tea gives you an overall lift in energy and increased mental alertness. It does not have the same heart-pounding, eye-popping, stimulating effects that a strong cup of coffee has, which can leave you with an unpleasant caffeine crash once it wears off.
 
Teas are rich in flavonoids and catechin polyphenols which have an abundance of antioxidant properties. Due to its radical-scavenging abilities, antioxidants protect against cell damage and have detoxifying effects on the body. Research has shown that regular tea drinkers (people who drink 2 or more cups a day) “have less heart disease and stroke, lower total and LDL cholesterol, and they recover from heart attacks faster” (WebMD). And of course, since antioxidants are the most sought after group of ingredients in skincare, tea may also have anti-aging benefits for the skin.
 
Select the tea for your specific concern. If you have aggravated skin, peppermint tea may be the choice for you. According to Phytotherapy Research, animals that were given peppermint demonstrated a relaxation effect in their gastrointestinal (GI) tissue [1]. Issues with your GI tract are frequently linked to problematic skin – think inflammation + breakouts! We love our de-stress mi beauty tea for this reason! If you are concerned about parched complexions, you may want to select a tea with red or green rooibos. Rooibos, an African red-bush tea, is naturally high in electrolytes, therefore helping to hydrate the body from within. Rich in flavonoids, rooibos provides incredible antioxidant activity, necessary to scavenge age-accelerating free radicals. Our hydrate mi beauty tea boasts all the benefits associated with green rooibos and the aromatic snow pear essence makes the tea unbelievably divine. Definitely one of our favourite beauty brews!
 
Drink the tea that you fancy. With so many varieties, blends and flavors, feel free to choose the tea that you enjoy. The fact of the matter is: all teas contain flavonoids and they will ALL provide you with antioxidant benefits. Let’s be real – you will not receive health benefits from something that you refuse to drink! Whether you prefer earthy, woody blends, a bouquet of fragrant florals, or a concoction of sweet, exotic fruits, make sure you select the flavors that tickle your fancy.
 
Pinkies up lovelies, and cheers to healthy, beautiful skin!
 

 
1. McKay DL, Blumberg JB. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha Piperita L). Phytotherapy Research (serial online) 2006; June 12.

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Transitioning your Beauty Ritual for Fall



As leaves fall and the temperature drops, we habitually trade in our shorts & tanks for cozy knit sweaters & jeans. But while we are transitioning our wardrobe, we shouldn’t neglect our beauty cabinet. After all, our complexions face the outside environment head on – it’s least likely to be covered by any article of clothing (well, not during the fall at least). Wind, UV, pollution – our faces gets the worst of these dehydrating, ageing environmental assaults.

People tend to love the idea of keeping the same beauty ritual all year around – and while it may work in locales where weather doesn’t fluctuate with seasons, it is not quite practical for those of us who experience a cyclical temperature change. For example, an oily skin type rarely wants to apply anything on their skin during humid, summer months, but may still feel dehydrated as the weather cools, and the air becomes drier. Similarly, a dry skin type will not likely want to layer on product after product during the summer, but may want to amp up their moisturizers during cooler months.

But hey, I get it. Nobody wants to overhaul their entire skincare regimen. It’s expensive and just too much work to figure out what to switch into next. So let me introduce to you a little trick… it’s what I call the art of seasonal layering. The basic premise is this: add on a “layer” during cooler, drier months and remove the “layer” when the weather gets warmer. Think of it as layering on a sweater during winter and forgoing it during the summer.

Essences and serums are packed with so many moisturizing, anti-aging, and targeted treatments for specific concerns, that you can feel pretty good about either one you choose, as long as it works with your skin type. Starting in the fall, add a layer to your beauty regimen. Layer an essence or serum after cleansing and follow up with a moisturizer. Naturally, we are partial to our hydrate mi beauty essence for fall, providing a boost of hydration just when we need it!

For Oily Skin Types
Opt for an essence, which is lighter in texture. You’ll still get a hydration packed product that shouldn’t clog your pores. Find an essence that will also target your specific concerns (i.e. redness + irritation) so you get the best ‘bang for your buck.’ Our de-stress mi beauty essence, for example will combat redness, irritation, rebuild skin barriers and pack on hydration. Follow up with a moisturizer formulated for oily skin to ensure that you are adequately quenching parched skin without causing further breakouts.

For Normal/Combination Skin Types
Choose a serum if you are on the drier end of normal, or an essence if you lean more towards combination skin. Combination skin types – if you want to get fancy, you can apply a serum on the drier areas of your face and an essence on the oilier areas (i.e. T-zone). Follow up with a moisturizer formulated for normal/combo skin.

For Dry Skin Types
Go for a serum, which tends to be richer and more nourishing in texture. Deeply penetrating, a serum will provide the topical nutrients that your skin craves. Following up with a moisturizer for dry skin will only enhance the results.

And regardless of your skin type, don’t forget to continue to exfoliate! Exfoliation will help get rid of dead skin cells which can actually block moisturizers from effectively absorbing into the skin. I recommend exfoliating 2-3x per week. Avoid over-exfoliation though, as doing so can produce the opposite result.

Happy Fall lovelies and thanks for tuning in to our first Wellness Wednesday post! Please feel free to ask questions or comment in the section below. We also encourage you to request for specific Wellness Wednesday topics as I will be discussing all things health & beauty here… and yes, that will be every Wednesday :). Cheers to your new autumn glow!

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Happy Birthday MIYU! Celebrating 2 years of Healthy Skin!

 

Hooray! We’re 2 today! How quickly the past two years has gone since we officially launched our MIYU Beauty e-boutique.

 

We’re delighted to be celebrating our second birthday today and even more honoured to have you on this beautiful journey with us as we continue to help busy women and men like yourself, achieve gorgeous, healthy complexions with lasting results.

 

We’re proud to have achieved some incredible MIYU milestones in the last year…..

 

October 2014: WINNING BEST NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH at the Canadian Beauty Innovation Awards

November 2014: FEATURED IN NOVEMBER ISSUE OF CHATELAINE spotlighting our founder, Connie and the concept behind MIYU

December 2014: FEATURED IN HEALTH MAGAZINE’S HOLIDAY ISSUE under their Gift Guide “Give Bliss”.

February 2015: LAUNCHED MIYU IN HONG KONG with Hong Kong’s first blow dry bar – Airplay

July 2015: FEATURED IN PEOPLE EN ESPAGNOL’S JULY ISSUE in their tea segment “La Hora del Te”

August 2015: FEATURED IN FLARE’S AUGUST ISSUE in their article on “Drinkable Skincare”

 

A big thank you for all your love and support these past two fulfilling years. May we celebrate many more years of healthy skin with you!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. We have a surprise giveaway on INSTAGRAM. Head on over to see how you can WIN A SUPER CUTE MIYU Beauty prize! Plus, for a limited time only, all you lovelies will be gifted with an adorable petite + portable beauty essence mini with every purchase on our e-boutique. Ends 09/01/15.

 

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Goji on the Rocks

 

A cocktail that’s sure to spruce up any summer social! Try our goji on the rocks iced tea recipe. We guarantee your guests will be saying, “more please!”

 

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 sachets MIYU’s hydrate mi tea
4.5 cup of hot water
4 cups of ice
3 oz Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
12 oz Ceres pear juice
berries for garnish (optional)
ice to serve

 

Instructions

1. Steep 6 sachets of tea in 4.5 cups of hot water for 30 minutes minimum (the longer the better, overnight if possible).

2. Add 4 cups of ice to chill. Place in freezer to chill quicker.

3. To serve cocktails: Mix 3 oz of chilled tea + 2 oz of pear juice + 1/2 oz Chambord liqueur + ice in cocktail shaker

4. Shake well and strain.

5. Serve over ice and add berries for garnish.

6. Enjoy!

 

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Mint to Refresh

 

Chill out with our fresh mint iced tea recipe. Featuring MIYU’s de-stress mi beauty tea, this refreshing brew is decidedly delicious!

 
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 sachet MIYU’s de-stress mi tea
1 cup of hot water
1 cup of ice
1 tsp of agave nectar (optional)
mint garnish (optional)
 

Instructions

1. Steep 1 sachet of tea in 1 cup of hot water for 30 minutes (the longer the better).

2. To sweeten: Add 1 tsp of agave to hot water mixture & stir before placing in fridge to cool.

3. Add 1 cup of ice. Stir.

4. Garnish with mint.

6. Stir and enjoy!

 

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Sparkling Snow Pear


 
Beat the heat with our sparkling snow pear iced tea recipe. This summer sipper is light, fruity and absolutely delicious! Warning: you can’t have just one!

 

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 sachet MIYU’s hydrate mi tea
1 cup of hot water
1 cup of ice
1/2 cup of sparkling water
1 tsp of agave nectar (optional)
lemon or berries for garnish (optional)
 

Instructions

1. Steep 1 sachet of tea in 1 cup of hot water for 30 minutes (the longer the better).

2. To sweeten: Add 1 tsp of agave to hot water mixture & stir before placing in fridge to cool.

3. Add 1 cup of ice. Stir.

4. Add 1/2 cup of sparkling water.

5. Garnish with lemon or berries.

6. Stir and enjoy!

 

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Your new favourite summer salad…featuring chickpeas, avocado & feta!

 

We’re excited to introduce you to Abigail from That Clean Life, our newest contributor to Beauty Eats! She started That Clean Life which is a platform that allows you to plan your meals, discover yummy and healthy recipes and automate your grocery list. How smart is that? She is creating specific skin-healthy recipes for us on our blog, but here is just a snippet of what you can expect as a subscriber to That Clean Life…

 

The lazy, hazy days of summer are finally here! Needless to say, you are going to need a go-to recipe that is easy to throw together, saves you time in the kitchen, keeps you cool but also packs a ton of nutrition. Well, I’m here to make all your wildest dreams come true!

 

 

Meet your new favourite summer salad. This dish is full of seasonal produce, doesn’t require you to cook a thing and comes together in 15 minutes flat. It is vegetarian, gluten-free and served cold, so it is super refreshing. But the best part is that this salad is outrageously good for your skin, which is so important during these summer months where all that sunshine can certainly take it’s toll. So here’s how the ingredients in this Chickpea, Avocado & Feta Salad will help you maintain that glowing complexion all summer long:

 

 

Chickpea-Avocado-Salad-11

 
Avocados: These are high in antioxidants that protect your skin from environmental damage and wrinkles. Avocados are also a great source of Vitamin C, which helps create collagen and elastin, which maintain the firmness of our skin.

 

Chickpea-Avocado-Salad-8
 
Lime Juice: Limes contain natural antibiotic properties so they are great for fighting back against bacteria that may cause acne. They are also high in Vitamin C, which again, helps maintain the firmness of our skin.

 


 
Parsley: This herb is high in beta-carotene, which is great for our skin’s elasticity. Beta-carotene also speeds up healing, so we can say goodbye to those pesky blemishes sooner rather than later!

 


 
Cucumber: Since cucumbers are 95 percent water, they are great for hydrating your skin. Cucumbers are also high in fibre, magnesium and potassium, which may help to reduce inflammation of the skin.

 


 
Green Onion: Can you believe that a single serving of green onions contain 259% of our daily value of Vitamin K? It’s true! Our skin needs Vitamin K to fight wrinkles and stay soft.

 

 

Convinced you should give it a try? You won’t regret it and neither will your skin. Here’s the recipe:

 

 

Chickpea, Avocado & Feta Salad
 
Servings: 3 – 4
Time: 15 minutes

 
Ingredients:
● 1 can or 19 oz. Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
● ½ English Cucumber (chopped)
● 4 Green Onions (diced)
● ¼ cup Parsley (finely diced)
● 1 Avocado (peeled and diced)
● 1 Lime (juiced)
● ¼ cup Feta or Goat Cheese (crumbled)
● 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
● Sea Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
 
Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and toss. Divide into bowls and enjoy!
 
For more delicious and healthy recipes, check out That Clean Life!

 

Abigail Signatur
 
Photo credits: That Clean Life.

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Spreading MIYU love to Hong Kong


 
Hi lovelies,
 
We’ve been keeping a little (big) secret for a the last while…
 
We are so thrilled and proud to announce MIYU Beauty products are now available in Hong Kong! We’ve recently partnered with  airplay blow dry barHong Kong’s first ever blow dry bar, to introduce our unique line of tea + skincare products to Asia’s trendsetters.
 

 
Airplay blow dry bar is one of the most adorable hair styling boutiques we’ve ever seen in Hong Kong. All three locations are chic, stylish and offer an affordable luxury beauty experience that’s very much on brand with MIYU. We are over-the-moon excited to partner with a company that shares our vision of promoting a gorgeous lifestyle. Airplay blow dry bar provides a luxurious escape for clients to unwind and be pampered. We hope MIYU’s beautiful line of products will only help to elevate that experience even further.
 
If you’re in the Hong Kong area and need (or want) a fabulous blow out, while sipping on gorgeous (not to mention delicious) beauty teas, visit airplaybar.com for more information on their three locations.
 
Until next time…
 

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A Day in the Life of a mompreneur…

 

Hello lovelies!

Today, I thought I would share something a bit more personal on the blog.  Friends & acquaintances are always asking me, what is it like to have your own business and have a young baby at the same time?  I would describe it with two words: beautiful chaos!  Of course, I have days where I am either frustrated with the business, or with Miss E, or both, but I absolutely would not trade it for the world.  Every day is different – I face new challenges – both on the personal and professional side.  Here’s a little run down of what my typical day looks like:

7:30am – Miss E wakes up.  I hear babbling, giggling or a loud “Mama!” coming from her nursery

7:40am – 8:00am – Miss E drinks her milk while I get ready for the day.

8:00am – 8:30am – I feed Miss E her breakfast, and then let her down to play while I eat my own.

8:30am – 10:00am – I try to play with Miss E, while checking my morning emails at the same time.  Some days are more effective than others.

10:00am – Our nanny arrives – whew! I go down to my home office and officially start my work.

10:00am – 12:30pm – In addition to answering emails, I am either texting or calling Linda to discuss MIYU plans, issues, etc. that we will have to deal with that day.  Often, we are creating artwork for our own promos, planning events, talking product development, talking press strategy, etc.  Trust me, the list goes on and on!

12:30pm – Lunch break! I get to see Miss E for another half hour.

1:00pm – 6:00pm – More MIYU work.  I continue what I was doing in the morning.  I love the days when I get to work on creatives and don’t love the days when I’m bogged down by admin or accounting stuff – comes with owning your own business though, I guess!

6:00pm – Nanny leaves and I feed Miss E dinner.

6:30pm – 7:30pm – I spend some time playing with Miss E until the hubby gets home.

7:30pm – 8:00pm – The hubby and I eat dinner.

8:00pm – 8:30pm – We give Miss E a bath and put her to bed.

8:30pm – 9:00pm – We clean up after dinner and then shower.

9:00pm – 12:30am – Finally, I get some quiet time to get a bit more MIYU work done.  Often, I choose this time to communicate with some of our overseas suppliers/retailers, due to the time difference.  Linda tells me I get way too many “bright ideas” during this time at night – she is usually not impressed.

I must admit, I am constantly juggling between Miss E and MIYU and I am always feeling guilty when I’m spending my time and attention with one and not the other.  I suppose it’s natural to feel that way? My only hope is that one day, Miss E will grow up and understand why her mommy always needs to work and not blame me too bitterly.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I hope all moms out there will also take the time to unplug, unwind and breathe.  We created our Sunday’s Well Spent kit specifically to help busy moms unwind.  You deserve it!

Are any of you juggling work and family life? How do you try to maintain work/life balance? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

 

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