Calendula Cream and Cancer Treatments

   Calendula is one of my favorite herbs. The petals can be applied externally for a wide range of skin problems. Such as inflammation, dry skin, abrasions, wounds, eczema, psoriasis, burns and cancer treatments.
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    They are deeply healing to skin and safe enough for sore nipples with breastfeeding and delicate newborn skin. Calendula has antiseptic, antibacterial and astringent properties that work in tandem with it's healing abilities.
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   I make Calendula oil by steeping Organic Calendula Flowers in warm Extra Virgin Olive Oil, stirring frequently for many hours before straining. This oil is a star ingredient in my Super Skin Salve, Lip Balms and Calendula Cream.
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    Calendula can be of particular use to those receiving radiation during cancer treatments. Radiation exposure typically causes DNA damage and skin toxicity and topical Calendula brings all of it's healing properties to mitigate damage and speed your healing process.
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    Lots of my customers have successfully used it during their cancer treatments. Apply Calendula Cream on breasts and surrounding tissues (or wherever the radiation treatment is targeted) as well as bruised skin covering ports.
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    If you are reading this after radiation burns and sores are already a problem, Super Skin Salve will help the most at first, and then follow with regular Calendula Cream use. 
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Calendula Cream Super Skin Salve

    Dry mouth is very common during cancer treatments, especially during Chemotherapy so Peppermint, Sweet Orange and Maple Lip Balms help keep lips moist and comfortable all day and night.

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Sarah Sweet Orange Lip Balm
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    Calendula is a soothing partner to bring along any cancer journey. Please let me know if you have any questions along the way!
 
Susan Shashok
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Healthy tattoo care nourishes while healing your skin.

Getting a tattoo is a big deal for you and your skin. Any good tattoo artist is going to spend some time telling you how to take care of your tattoo after you leave their shop. I peppered my artist with all sorts of questions and left with her standard full sheet of specific instructions. I have a large snake tattoo and I was nervous about taking care of it properly.

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Susan's Tattoo

Many of the tattoo care products out there are petroleum or PABA based and I definitely hesitated to put that gunk on my skin just to help my tattoo heal. But I did because I didn't want to do the "wrong" thing for my tattoo. It did heal, but the tattoo was really itchy, peeled a lot and after a few weeks, needed another hour of touch up work, so frustrating. I felt like I had failed my skin.
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After the touch up work , I reconsidered my approach. I followed all the cleanliness instructions and for the first week I substituted cocoa butter for the petroleum gunk. I warmed a few pieces of cocoa butter in my fingers until it was soft enough to apply easily.
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After that, I used my own Calendula Cream. The result? It never got itchy and there was no more peeling or fading of lines. In fact, it looked and felt great the entire time and still does years later!
It's extremely important to follow instructions on tattoo cleanliness, wrapping and more, but in my experience the cream worked even better than the recommended petroleum product. 

I still take care of my tattoo. I am careful to apply Calendula Cream everyday to keep my skin, moisturized and healthy.  
Susan Shashok
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you really make all the products yourself?

A: Absolutely. Caroline's Dream is a one woman operation. I do all the formulations, production, shipping/delivery & marketing. I have been known to ask friends and family over to help me put on labels during the holidays but otherwise, it's all me. 

The one exception: I don't make the Shea Butter Soap.

She Butter Soap

Q: What do you mean when you say your products are really concentrated?

A: You can use less of my skincare in comparison to big commercial brands. Only a small amount of my creams are needed to cover a large area of your skin or two swipes of deodorant per armpit... you get the idea. Caroline's Dream products last longer so they are good for your budget and are far more effective.

 Calendula Cream

Q: What is up with the statement on the shipping note cards about shipping creams in cold temperatures?

A: When creams are shipped or stored in sub-zero temperatures, the coconut oil can solidify to form small harmless beads. These are a temperature reaction and will smooth out easily into your skin upon application. Keep in mind, it might not happen but is a possibility if temperatures are below zero for weeks in New England winters.

I hate when anything interferes with the smooth texture of my creams but I am not willing to add artificial emulsifiers that would then be absorbed by your skin to overcome a few weeks of cold weather.

 All Products

Q: I am not sure which cream to choose for my skin. Should I get a Caroline's Sampler?

A: A Caroline's Sampler has a travel size jar of each of my face & body creams plus a foot cream. It is a great way to discover your favorite cream and the sampler is much less expensive then buying the jars separately. I like to reward the adventurous spirits.

Caroline's Sampler

Susan Shashok
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Dangerous chemical, Triclosan is banned in soaps - but it's still out there.

 

Triclosan Quartz

A banned chemical in anti-bacterial soap is still lurking in practically everything else Americans buy

By Lila MacLellan for Quartz

The US Food and Drug Administration’s recent ban on the chemical triclosan from household antibacterial soaps was a long-overdue victory for public health advocates, worried parents, and vigilant consumers.

Less noticed was the fact that the ban only affects a tiny portion of the products on the market containing the chemical. Triclosan—which in animal studies has been shown to act as a hormone disruptor and raise the risk for all sorts of health and development problems—is still rampant in countless other self-care products in the US, including after-shave, moisturizers, deodorants, body sprays, face masks, dry shampoos, and hand sanitizers, and even a popular toothpaste Americans ingest. It—or one of its chemical cousins—is also often found in “germ-fighting” or “anti-bacterial” versions of just about any type of household product you can imagine: toys, knives, clothing, mouse pads.

Read full Article and learn more about Triclosan in your life!

Susan Shashok
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Valley Voice Article

Blending Inspiration, Environmentalism And Social Responsibility In Caroline’s Dream

Tuesday June 14, 2016

By Cookie Steponaitis

 Susan and Caroline's Cruiser

Susan Shashok is like many Vermonters who were raised with a love of the environment and knowledge that handcrafted was best and as a child visited her grandmother and learned an immense amount about medicinal plants and home arts. “My grandmother Caroline was my inspiration,” explained Susan Shashok. “I remember her incredible knowledge of medicinal plants and her beauty regime that included products all from nature.”

Continue reading article

Susan Shashok
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Cyclocross Magazine IN REVIEW: CAROLINE’S DREAM SKIN CARE

by Daniel Curtain Jr.

With warming spring weather and everyone taking to the outdoors for ever more riding, the activity we all love and the resulting increased sun exposure can take its toll on our skin. Skin care and cycling are common bedfellows, with everything from chamois creams and embrocations to sunscreens and special detergents to clean technical wear.

But what about repairing damaged skin either from exposure to the elements or the inevitable tumble riders tend to take?

Caroline's Dream has a line of products designed to restore damaged skin. The company is run by Susan Shashok, but takes its name and ethos from Shashok’s grandmother, whose use of medicinal plants and home remedies inspired Shashok. Combined with her own background and search for products effective on sensitive skin, Shashok created Caroline’s Dream to offer products that are both effective and ecologically sound.

All Products Caroline's Dream

Caroline’s Dream is based in Vermont and takes some of its community-based cues from Shashok’s time at Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream maker. Caroline’s Dream products feature thoughtfully sourced ingredients and materials. And Shashok, an avid cyclist, even uses a cargo bike as the company vehicle.

We have a few of the Caroline’s Dream products in for testing, including their Lavender + Sandalwood Cream for dry, damaged skin, which also touts anti-inflamatory properties and is said to be ideal for sensitive skin, the Super Skin Salve designed for severely cracked skin but also good for sunburn and scrapes, the company’s Super Skin Salve, Caroline’s Dream lip balms.

We’ve already taken a liking to the lip balms, which are not as soft as many others on the market, and the Super Skin Salve which has greatly helped with dry hands, albeit leaving a sheen on the skin. And we used the Lavender and Sandalwood cream after a long weekend in the saddle at a training camp and the cream cleared an irritated spot in just two applications.

It goes without saying that riders in particularly sunny climates would serve themselves well to protect their skin while out. But each of us also knows that sometimes we need some after-the-fact care. We’ll be testing the Caroline’s Dream products and will be bringing you a full review in the future.

Susan Shashok
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Wondering about tree nut allergies and Sweet Almond Oil as an ingredient?

Updated May 2021

Navigating food allergies for yourself or a family member can be scary, daunting and fraught with misinformation. I don't make this kind of statement lightly since I know all about it. My eldest son, Nikolas was diagnosed with a tree nut allergy over 17 years ago when he was in elementary school.

I was several years into Caroline's Dream production and my first thought was how many gallons of sweet almond oil had touched my hands, kitchen counters and my son during those years. Had I been causing or complicating his reactions all this time?

Almonds

Luckily, our allergist was quick to explain that the protein in raw nuts is what was triggering my son's skin reaction and that the heat produced during the process of expeller pressing almonds (mechanically grinding and compressing), neutralizes the allergen protein from the resulting oil. What a relief to be able to know the oil I was using in my products was safe for him to touch.

 

Nik & Alex Shashok

 

My business continued to grow along with my sons (that's Nik above with his younger brother, Alex). I never took any extra precautions using Sweet Almond oil as an ingredient and both of my sons enjoy using my products. their favorites are Calendula Cream, Super Skin Salve and Deodorant.

In high school, Nik found that he could eat small amounts of tree nuts without resulting in a reaction. He doesn't worry about eating nuts anymore. 

Every family is different and I respect all the parents out there making the best choices they can for their loved ones. If you have specific product ingredient concerns, please ask, I love answering questions!

Susan

 

Susan Shashok
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