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The Beauty of Chocolate

The Beauty of Chocolate

Chocoholics delight, feed your skin with your favourite treat!

Given that chocolate is one of the world’s most loved foods, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that much research has been undertaken into the chemical compounds contained within cocoa. And luckily for us chocoholics, chocolate isn’t just thought to be good for us on the inside, it’s also great in skincare.

The physics and chemistry of cocoa beans is very complex and changes throughout the life of the bean, depending on the processing it receives. Theobroma cacao, the chocolate tree, contains approximately 380 compounds.

A number of these phyto-compounds are thought to have therapeutic value for the skin. Some studies have shown that the application of cocoa on the skin has positive effects on skin elasticity and skin tone.

In fact, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cocoa contribute to the photoprotection of the skin and are used for the maintenance of skin health.

Polyphenols

Cocoa is a rich source of polyphenolic compounds with a high amount of flavonoids, specifically flavanols. In fact, one research team in South Korea found that cocoa contains more polyphenolic compounds and a higher antioxidant capacity than teas and red wine. The bitterness of chocolate comes primarily from its high levels of flavanols, and they form a fundamental part of the way that chocolate tastes and smells.

Cocoa polyphenols, mainly flavanols, have been shown to act as strong antioxidants. They have the potential to effectively intercept and neutralise free radicals. The skin application of cocoa polyphenols has been shown to positively 

affect several parameters of skin elasticity and skin tone. Moreover, cellular studies and results from topical application studies provide evidence that cocoa polyphenols, especially those belonging to the flavanol family, can offer effective photoprotection – they minimise the damage the skin undergoes when exposed to UV radiation.

When it comes to skin health, cocoa components have also been utilised in skin conditions, such as acne and wound healing. It is interesting to note that it has been shown that cocoa has great potential not only for the treatments of certain skin conditions, but also for their prevention.

Methylxanthines

Cocoa doesn’t just contain polyphenols – it also contains compounds known as ‘methylxanthines’ or ‘xanthines’, which include theobromine and caffeine. Methylxanthines are a variety of stimulants produced by plants and animals – they are also produced by human cells. Caffeine contains them naturally, and these molecules are one of the main reasons people often feel their hearts racing after consuming a lot of caffeinated foods or drinks.

Methylxanthines are considered the main active components in cocoa, coffee, and tea. They enhance arousal, mood, and concentration levels. But what do methylxanthines, such as the ones found in cocoa, do on the skin?

Both theobromine and caffeine work as a diuretic, which means that they remove moisture from the skin, temporarily firming the skin and its connective tissue. This temporary firming process reduces the appearance of cellulite. This effect is temporary.

Theobromine is also able to break down fats and can have draining properties on fatty cells. All of these cosmetic properties mean that theobromine can be used to target cellulite when applied to your skin. Theobromine would therefore be an excellent high performance compound to try and incorporate in a chocolate anti-cellulite massage product.

One study concluded that topical application of plant extracts and xanthine derivatives suppressed wrinkle formation, dermal connective alteration, and collagen accumulation. It is suggested that xanthine derivatives prevented inflammation caused by UV-irradiation.

So next time you want to buy or make an organic skincare product that can also pack a punch in terms of its anti-ageing properties – track down some exquisite cocoa cosmetics. And maybe consider eating some artisan chocolate while you pamper your skin with cocoa!

Formula Botanica offers its Certificate in Chocolate Spa Products for anyone who wants to learn how to formulate gorgeous skincare products filled with the finest cocoa.


About Formula Botanica

Formula Botanica, the ODLQC accredited Online Organic Cosmetic Science School founded in 2012 with over 1500 students and graduates in 86 countries.

Director of Formula Botanica Lorraine Dallmeier BSc (HONS) MSc MIEMA MRSB CEnv, a Biologist by training, developed a love of plants for cosmetic application after working in the field of environmental management for over a decade. Lorraine is a Chartered Environmentalist, as well as a full Member of the Royal Society of Biology, the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment. 

Formula Botanica’s virtual HQ is located in the UK but they are an international Organic Cosmetic Science School with an international team of experts. There are 10 digital courses at present, 100% online, which students can study at their own pace in their own time. The courses teach everything you need to know in order to go from complete beginner to organic cosmetic formulator and teacher. Many graduates have used their courses to successfully launch or grow their own cosmetics business. They fly the flag for organic and natural skincare all over the world and are ambassadors for a healthier, safer way of life.

Lorraine Dallmeier of Formula Botanica is available for expert comment on beauty formulas, ingredients, both synthetic and natural, beauty and business advice.

Business case studies and success stories are available for placement.

For all enquiries contact Rebecca Goodyear Health & Beauty:

+44 (0) 20 3 651 7360

hi@rebeccagoodyear.com


Lee, et al. 2003. Cocoa Has More Phenolic Phytochemicals and a Higher Antioxidant Capacity than Teas and Red Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003, 51, 7292 – 7295.

Scapagnini, et al. 2014. Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health. Nutrients. 2014, 6(8), 3202-3213.

Mitani et al., 2007. Topical application of plant extracts containing xanthine derivatives can prevent UV- induced wrinkle formation in hairless mice. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2007 Apr-Jun;23(2-3):86-94.

Natural Suncare 101 – Q&A with Lorraine Dallmeier, Director of Formula Botanica

Natural Suncare 101 – Q&A with Lorraine Dallmeier, Director of Formula Botanica

Natural skincare is getting more and more popular. The countless numbers of DIY blogs and recipes you can find online are a blessing for those of us looking for natural and organic alternatives to store-bought and mass-produced products. However, the internet is not always the most reliable source and many of these recipes for natural skincare should come with a warning or at least with a more scientific explanation.

Our team had a sit-down with Lorraine Dallmeier, director at Formula Botanica, to discuss the pros and cons of natural suncare.

 

RGHB : First of all, thank you Lorraine for sharing your knowledge. Let’s start with the basics of suncare. We all know that the SPF is the most important thing in sunscreen, but most of us lack the knowledge of the scientific explanation behind this scale. Could you tell us how it works exactly?

Lorraine Dallmeier: It’s quite simple really. The SPF scale is measured by a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. For example, if it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, then using a SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer – about five hours.
But it is important to remember that plenty of damage can be done without the red flag of sunburn being raised and no sunscreen can block all UV rays. SPF 50 keeps out 98 percent of all incoming UVB rays. For SPF 30 it is 97 percent and for SPF 15 it is 93 percent. For most people that would seem enough. However, as can be read on the Skin Cancer Foundation website, if you are light-sensitive, or have a history of skin cancer, those extra percentages will make a difference


RGHB: We all love browsing the internet for new ways to make your own beauty products, but apparently when it comes to substitutes for sunscreen we have to be more careful. Why is that? And what would you say is the main fault in these DIY recipes?

LD: Well, unfortunately you can’t provide a good evenly distributed verifiable Sun Protection Factor (SPF) with a DIY recipe. In fact, making your own sunscreen is complicated, challenging and expensive. In some parts of the world, products which contain a SPF are viewed as pharmaceuticals (which is why we don’t teach our students how to make sunscreen at Formula Botanica). And even in those parts of the world where they are viewed as cosmetics, they still require rigorous and expensive testing.

Natural botanical oils have not gone through the lab and human testing required to establish their SPF. For those interested, The Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) has published a great infographic to show you exactly how a sunscreen product is tested and brought to market.


RGHB:
Any other reasons why we should not use natural oils as sunscreen?

LD: Aside from not being properly tested and verified for sunscreen use, natural oils also do not absorb UV sufficiently or at the right wavelengths. Researchers (Gause & Chauhan, 2016) found that natural oils are not suitable UV-blocking ingredients. They measured the UV absorptivity of aloe vera, canola oil, citronella oil, coconut oil, olive oil and soya bean oil and found that all of them did virtually nothing when it came to blocking UV. They concluded that their SPF would be very close to 1. The same study concluded that Vitamin E was the only substance which showed appreciable UV absorbance, but this only occurred below a wavelength of 310nm which still allowed most of the UV spectrum to pass through unblocked. Sunlight’s UVB-UVA range is 290-400nm.


RGHB: Myth of legend: Raspberry seed oil?
We found a study ( Oomah et al., 2000) in the Journal of Food Chemistry which claims that raspberry seed oil has a high SPF. The study makes quite a bold claim: “The optical transmission of raspberry seed oil, especially in the UV range (290±400 nm) was comparable to that of titanium dioxide preparations with sun protection factor for UVB(SPF) and protection factor for UV–A (PFA) values between 28-50 and 6.75-7.5, respectively (Kobo Products Inc.,South Plainfield, NJ)”.

LD: Well, the study does not provide any reference to any studies to underpin this research. You might also notice that there is an enormous range between a SPF of 28 and 50 which suggests that no formal SPF testing has been undertaken on this oil. And yet this study has gone round the world multiple times, being quoted on blogs, on DIY skincare courses, on Pinterest and even on skincare ingredient retailers’ websites. We would hazard a guess that the authors of the Oomah study would not have published this throw-away statement if they would have understood the implications of this one sentence.


RGHB: And what about Carrot Seed Oil and Coconut Oil?

LD: Similar to raspberry seed oil, some members of the DIY community have claimed that carrot seed oil can have a SPF of 38-40. Our graduate Aleksandra from MASLA Skincare did some digging on Carrot Seed Oil last year on her blog and quoted a strong rebuttal from well-known essential oil expert Robert Tisserand who also verified that carrot seed oil would not have such a high SPF. We found that these figures for carrot seed oil most likely come from a 2009 Indian study where the researchers tested the photostability of a sunscreen product which contained carrot – they did not test carrot by itself. We don’t know in what form the product contained carrot and we also don’t know what the other ingredients were – so it is unlikely that carrot seed oil by itself has a SPF of 38-40.

As for coconut oil, it is one of the most often quoted sunscreen oils in the DIY community. You may see mentions of coconut oil having a SPF of 7, which may give the impression that it’s still possible to use neat coconut oil sunscreen for a short period and be safe in the sun. But this 2016 study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science refutes that and shows that coconut oil has a SPF of 1. Other studies may show slightly higher results and we all know that one study is not necessarily conclusive on its own, but that doesn’t mean you should take any risks with your skin when it comes to the sun. Coconut oil should not be used as a stand-alone sunscreen.


RGHB: Any final thoughts on using natural oils as sunscreen?

LD: Here at Formula Botanica, we are huge fans of natural ingredients and we can only wish that it was true that a botanical oil on its own can provide the same level of protection as a formally tested suncare product. It would be great if you really could simply whip up a batch of coconut oil sunscreen and protect your skin adequately. But there are no shortcuts when it comes to formulating suncare products and we strongly encourage you to stay safe in the sun.


RGHB: Lets finish with something that should be equally as important as sunscreen: after-sun care.

LD: Yes! I’m glad you brought this up! It’s so surprising that after-sun care is often overlooked because it’s important to look after your skin when it’s been exposed to the sun. The skin uses the sun to help manufacture Vitamin D which is important for our overall health. However, overexposure to sunlight can be very damaging. Burning the skin can reduce its elasticity over time and cause your skin to age prematurely. Spending even a limited amount of time in the sun can lead to mild sunburn and skin dehydration.


RGHB: So do you have any tips for DIY recipes or what we should look for when buying products based on natural ingredients?

LD: There are many ingredients that can be included in natural cosmetic formulations to help soothe, cool and hydrate the skin. But these four are my favourite:Aloe vera, cucumber, shea butter and very surprisingly, oats. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) contains anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Its leaves provide a gel that can calm down the skin after you’ve been in the sun. Its gel also offers hydration, which is perfect for cooling and soothing your skin. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is also very well-known for its cooling and hydrating properties when incorporated in after-sun products.This is because cucumber contains a very high percentage of water (over 95%!). If you are looking for something to heal and regenerate your skin after you’ve been exposed to the sun, shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii) can be one of your skin’s best friends. It helps to retain moisture and reduces the loss of water by forming a barrier on your skin’s surface. And if you want to use the ultimate soothing herb on your skin after you’ve been in the sun, then oats are a great choice. Oatmeal (Avena sativa) has been used as a soothing herb for thousands of years in order to relieve irritation, making it a great ingredient for after-sun products. Oats contain compounds called avenanthramides which are potent anti-inflammatory agents and also exhibit antioxidant activity.

Other natural ingredients you can use are are Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Allantoin, Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) or Jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinensis). Trust me, your skin will thank you for it!

 

About Formula Botanica
Formula Botanica, the ODLQC accredited Online Organic Cosmetic Science School founded in 2012 with over 2000 students and graduates in XX countries.

Director of Formula Botanica Lorraine Dallmeier BSc (HONS) MSc MIEMA MRSB CEnv, a Biologist by training, developed a love of plants for cosmetic application after working in the field of environmental management for over a decade. Lorraine is a Chartered Environmentalist, as well as a full Member of the Royal Society of Biology, the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.

Formula Botanica’s virtual HQ is located in the UK but they are an international Organic Cosmetic Science School with an international team of experts. There are 10 digital courses at present, 100% online, which students can study at their own pace in their own time. The courses teach everything you need to know in order to go from complete beginner to organic cosmetic formulator and teacher. Many graduates have used their courses to successfully launch or grow their own cosmetics business. They fly the flag for organic and natural skincare all over the world and are ambassadors for a healthier, safer way of life.

Lorraine Dallmeier of Formula Botanica is available for expert comment on beauty formulas, ingredients, both synthetic and natural, beauty and business advice.

Business case studies and success stories are available for placement.

For all enquiries contact Rebecca Goodyear Health & Beauty:
+44 (0) 20 3 651 7360
hi@rebeccagoodyear.com

Organic Beauty Week Competition: Win an Organic Entrepreneur Scholarship with Formula Botanica

Formula Botanica, the accredited organic cosmetic science school, is hosting a global voting and video pitching competition to win an exclusive organic skincare entrepreneur scholarship as part of Organic Beauty Week (19 – 25 September 2016).

By bringing together their partners the Soil Association, The Beauty Voice, the Peridot Magazine, Melinda Coss and the Organic Herb Trading Company, Formula Botanica is offering thousands of global makers of organic skincare the possibility to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.

Successful winners will be given the training they need to make and sell organic skincare, as well as receive skincare business coaching, organic ingredients to practice with and other organic beauty goodies. Formula Botanica’s competition features the following big prizes:

FIRST PRIZE: The grand winner receives one place on Formula Botanica’s International Organic Skincare Entrepreneur Programme (worth £1,600). Featuring all eight of Formula Botanica’s online courses, this package will teach the winner how to create their own organic skincare range and start their business. The winner also receives a free place on The Beauty Voice Course Bundle (worth $199) to learn the crucial business skills to start their range. They will receive free media coverage on the Peridot Mag, the global online magazine for all things eco, when they launch their business.

SECOND PRIZE: The second place winner receives two hour’s free mentoring (worth £600) with Melinda Coss, international skincare business consultant. Melinda will help you determine the best route for your future or current organic beauty business. The winner will also receive a YOU beauty box, courtesy of the Soil Association.

THIRD PRIZE: The third place winner receives a goodie hamper of organic cosmetic ingredients (worth £175), from the Organic Herb Trading Company – their high quality organic ingredients are a formulator’s dream. The winner will also win Soil Association Charity membership, giving them the opportunity to become part of the organic movement.

HOW TO ENTER: The window for entry is from September 1 – 25, and participants must enter Formula Botanica’s competition by first registering here: http://bit.ly/Organic2016.
Entrants must then submit their 200 word pitch on why they want to be an organic skincare entrepreneur. They will need to rally round the troops and ask friends, family, and followers to vote for their pitch by hitting the Facebook “like” button.

The 10 pitches with the most likes will be shortlisted and these entrants will be asked to submit a short video setting out their business plans and ideas. A panel of judges from all six participating organisations will choose the three winners based on passion, innovation and merit. The competition is open to applicants around the world.


For more information on Formula Botanica and the competition, please contact Lorraine at
lorraine@formulabotanica.com or +44 (0) 7806 529351.

Formula Botanica Reaches 2000th Student

Formula Botanica, the online cosmetic science school, has reached the milestone of having taught 2000 students in 95 countries. The 2000th student was from India, and the school now has undergraduates in countries as far spread as Botswana, Barbados, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Norway and New Zealand.

Lorraine Dallmeier, Director of Formula Botanica, said: “Myself and all the team here at Formula Botanica are thrilled to have reached as many students as this in locations so widespread. It’s an exciting time to be in the natural and organic beauty industry, and I believe there has never been a better time for entrepreneurs to start their own natural and organic beauty business.”

Formula Botanica has not just taught 2000 students in 95 countries, but there are graduates who have gone on to create successful businesses on the back of their learning, such as Metta Skincare in Australia, Lhamour Organics in Mongolia and, closer to home, award-winning Mimi’s Organics from the UK.

About Formula Botanica

Formula Botanica, the ODLQC accredited Online Organic Cosmetic Science School founded in 2012 with over 2000 students and graduates in 95 countries.

Director of Formula Botanica Lorraine Dallmeier BSc (HONS) MSc MIEMA MRSB CEnv, a Biologist by training, developed a love of plants for cosmetic application after working in the field of environmental management for over a decade. Lorraine is a Chartered Environmentalist, as well as a full Member of the Royal Society of Biology, the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.

Formula Botanica’s virtual HQ is located in the UK but they are an international Organic Cosmetic Science School with an international team of experts. There are 10 digital courses at present, 100% online, which students can study at their own pace in their own time. The courses teach everything you need to know in order to go from complete beginner to organic cosmetic formulator and teacher. Many graduates have used their courses to successfully launch or grow their own cosmetics business. They fly the flag for organic and natural skincare all over the world and are ambassadors for a healthier, safer way of life.

Lorraine Dallmeier of Formula Botanica is available for expert comment on beauty formulas, ingredients, both synthetic and natural, beauty and business advice.

Business case studies and success stories are available for placement.

For all enquiries contact Rebecca Goodyear Health & Beauty:
+44 (0) 20 3 651 7360
hi@rebeccagoodyear.com

9 Skincare & Beauty Myths Debunked by Formula Botanica

We hear so many statistics created to scare consumers and vilify the mainstream beauty industry, but how many of them are founded upon firm evidence? Lorraine Dallmeier, Formula Botanica’s Director, debunks the myth and states the facts as she debunks these 9 common skincare and beauty myths.

Formula Botanica: Myth 1) 60% of everything you put on your skin ends up in your bloodstream.

This is one of the worst and most commonly stated myths in the industry, and some even say that 100% of what you apply to your skin ends up in your bloodstream. Thankfully, this is not true, as if it were we’d end up as big bulbous sacks of water every time we showered. One simply cannot put a definitive figure on this statistic; none, some or all of something can end up in your bloodstream, there are so many factors at play – your own skin’s health and makeup, the quantities of substances applied, whether there are any other substances present (penetration enhancers will by nature raise the percentage), temperature of product, temperature of skin, the list goes on!

Carrier oils will absorb into the stratum corneum, the very top layers of the skin, and generally won’t go any further, whilst essential oils can end up in your bloodstream, although some of this happens through inhalation.

Formula Botanica: Myth 2) It takes 26 seconds for a cosmetic ingredient to reach your bloodstream

It is impossible to put a definitive time on how long it may or may not take an ingredient to reach your bloodstream. Some ingredients will penetrate the skin and hit the bloodstream rapidly, some won’t get there at all, and others will pool in the skin and be released over time. It also depends on the size of the substances’ molecule and where you apply on your body, as some areas of the skin have thinner skin than others.

Formula Botanica: Myth 3) The average woman’s body absorbs 4lbs 6oz of chemicals a year

Based on the aforementioned points it should come as no surprise that it is impossible to put such a definitive figure on this type of claim. In order to do so, one would have to carry out extremely carefully controlled clinical trials to measure the outcome. This myth originated in the mainstream media, and there are no clinical trials to back it up. Also, when one thinks about it, your food is all made of chemicals, and our bodies absorb certain chemicals from our diet on a daily basis – much more than 4lb 6oz a year!

Formula Botanica: Myth 4) Mineral oils stops the skin from breathing

Mineral oil contains large molecules which will sit on the top of the skin, creating an occlusive layer. Our skin doesn’t actually breathe, but we understand breathing used in this context to mean that our skin needs to expel certain things, for instance when we sweat. However, it’s not just mineral oils that behave like this, all carrier oils have large molecules that will do just the same, the difference being that plant oils are similar in composition to the lipids found naturally in your skin, that can be metabolised easier by your body. They also contain botanical ingredients that are of benefit to your skin.

Formula Botanica: Myth 5) All preservatives are dangerous

Certain preservatives can irritate skin; others have raised big question marks around their use; others are believed to be hormone disruptors, or worse. Some are avoided by consumers altogether. However, preservatives form a very important purpose in your cosmetics. They prevent fungus, bacteria and yeast from growing in your products. If any of these microbes came into contact with your skin they may cause infection or worse – people have been blinded and even killed by unpreserved products. Luckily there are plenty of natural preservatives coming onto the market all the time, and these can be used to keep your skin safe and meet natural and organic formulation requirements.

Formula Botanica: Myth 6) If I avoid synthetics in my skincare, I will avoid them altogether

Many preservatives and other ingredients in cosmetics have been used in the food industry for decades. A study in the New York area in 2006 showed that 90% of food served contained parabens, they are often hidden as E numbers and preservatives.

Parabens are also found in nature in many different fruits and vegetables.

Formula Botanica: Myth 7) “The EU has banned over 1000 cosmetic ingredients, whilst the USA (FDA) has banned only 9”

The above statement isn’t actually a myth, as the figures add up to be true, however you need to understand the statement in context. The list created by the EU contains over 1400 ingredients – some of which you would NEVER find in a cosmetic formulation, including radioactive matter, vaccines, cells or tissues from human origin and asbestos. It’s true that the FDA has been slow to ban or licence ingredients suitable for use, but it’s important to understand the numbers.

Formula Botanica: Myth 8) Natural skincare is chemical-free

Everything is a chemical, be it natural or manmade. What people mean when they state the above is that their skincare doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients. Don’t forget that natural doesn’t always mean safe, there are plenty of natural ingredients that you should always avoid in skincare.

Formula Botanica: Myth 9) Most conventional skincare only contains synthetic chemicals

There are many synthetic chemicals used in skincare, but the fact is the most commonly used chemical in conventional skincare is distilled water. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it doesn’t give much benefit to your skin or hair other than mild hydration.

Next time you hear a crazy-sounding myth on the internet, research the facts, or ask an expert from Formula Botanica (tweet them @formulabotanica), and be prepared to find out why natural and organic are truly better for you.


About Formula Botanica

Formula Botanica, the ODLQC accredited Online Organic Cosmetic Science School founded in 2012 with over 1500 students and graduates in 86 countries. Director of Formula Botanica Lorraine Dallmeier BSc (HONS) MSc MIEMA MRSB CEnv, a Biologist by training, developed a love of plants for cosmetic application after working in the field of environmental management for over a decade. Lorraine is a Chartered Environmentalist, as well as a full Member of the Royal Society of Biology, the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.

Formula Botanica’s virtual HQ is located in the UK but they are an international Organic Cosmetic Science School with an international team of experts. There are 10 digital courses at present, 100% online, which students can study at their own pace in their own time. The courses teach everything you need to know in order to go from complete beginner to organic cosmetic formulator and teacher. Many graduates have used their courses to successfully launch or grow their own cosmetics business. They fly the flag for organic and natural skincare all over the world and are ambassadors for a healthier, safer way of life.

Lorraine Dallmeier of Formula Botanica is available for expert comment on beauty formulas, ingredients, both synthetic and natural, beauty and business advice.

Business case studies and success stories are available for placement.

For all enquiries contact Rebecca Goodyear Health & Beauty:

+44 (0) 20 3 651 7360

hi@rebeccagoodyear.com