Oil cleansing

I am not a "product" person; the less I can use, the better for me. So I asked our fabulous esthetician, Jasmin Estes, what a girl like me can do about cleansing my skin. Can I use items regularly found in my kitchen? Short answer: yes! Oil cleansing is an old method used for restoring the skin.
"The key is getting an oil that works best for your skin," says Jasmin. "Botanical oils are compatible with human sebum, meaning they are able to penetrate into the pores bringing with it the beneficial properties of that oil. As compared to a conventional product, which is usually water-based and can pass through the trans-epidermal barrier." So why is that important? 

Transepidermal water loss is loss of water from the stratum corneum layer. This fluctuates with humidity levels in the environment, which means our dry air of New Mexico contributes to significant water loss in the skin. Another irritant is the skin's exposure to solvents, which remove barrier lipids. Lipids play a crucial role in our skin's barrier function, as well as cell-to-cell signaling. With everything in the air and environment these days, our skin can use all the help we can give!

Since our skin is different in many ways, here is a general compost of Jasmin's oil recommendations for common skin types:




Evening Primrose



Kukui Nut

Black Cumin Seed



Sweet Almond


These are just a few recommendations and it's important that you play around and see what oils work best for your skin. 
I have found some oils to work better in different seasons, or during a breakout, etc. Some oils make my skin breakout more, so it's important to listen to your skin and understand that these methods may take time for your skin to adjust. 

Essential oils can be a helpful adjustment to your skin care. One to two drops can be added to your cleansing oil. Remember: one drop of essential oil equals ten cups of tea! Too much externally and you could overwhelm your system, so never use essential oils internally.

Recommended essential oils added to carrier oil:


Tea Tree





Ylang Ylang



Clary Sage



Essential oils NOT recommended on your face: 
- Citrus oils (they make the skin sensitive to the sun)
- Clove, peppermint, and astringent oils (can be burning/high irritants)

Step-by-step method:

1. Put a quarter size amount of the oil of your choice in your palm. Add one drop of essential oil if you please.

2. Rub together in palms to warm. 

3. Massage into face gently in circular motions -no scrubbing- paying close attention to trouble areas: breakouts, dry areas, etc. with slightly more pressure. Feel free to massage for as long as feels good to you, and don't skimp on your ears! Massaging your ears is a wonderful reflexology and will release tension all over your head, as well as, relieve sinus pressure. 
Massage stimulates collagen production to prevent premature aging and promotes circulation in the skin to give you a nice glowing feel. This happens anywhere you massage, not just the face ;) 
Do all of this for at least one minute. It is normal for the skin to feel gritty, that is trapped dirt and oil coming out of the skin. 

4. Get a washcloth and saturate it with warm water. Ring it out, open it up and lay it on the face  for 30 seconds or until it gets cold. Gently wipe away the oil paying close attention to areas that need exfoliation.

5. Feel your face. Is it dry? Pat a few drops of your carrier oil on your skin in those dry areas. Is it oily? Repeat step four. 

Oil cleansing is done correctly if the skin is dewy and clean, glowing, not shining or too dry. A light sheen is fine, but be sure you're not able to take oil away. 
This is to be done on a dry face with or without make-up on. Make-up remover can be done on top of the oil, or you can apply a cotton ball with a small amount of oil and wipe away gently. Too much oil can seep into your eyes so the smallest amount that will gently wipe away, not scrub away, is recommended. 

And that's it! Easy peasy :) Products recommended after cleansing will vary from morning to evening and of course be dependent on your skin type! Come in for an amazing facial today and let Jasmin give you recommendations specific to your skin! 

*cheyanna bea






Holiday Advice


We know the holidays can be stressful, so we've compiled a few things to keep your body (and mind) calm and able to carry on...

1. Stay hydrated! Hydration is key to everything.  Since winter is slowly approaching, our heating systems have been turned on and are sucking moisture from the air and our skin. Our body needs an adequate amount of water to regulate our internal temperature, to remove waste and regenerate cells. Those are just a few duties, so to help it function optimally, we need to keep ourselves hydrated!
What's the best way to do that? 
We like to start our mornings with at least one full glass of 6 or more ounces - two if you wake up achy or with dry mouth.
During the day, drink a glass of water 30 minutes before each meal or snack. Drink a little during the meal if you feel the need, but avoid drinking anything for at least an hour after you're done eating to give your body time to digest. 
But water isn't the only ingredient to keep you hydrated. Salt and potassium are essential to maintaing the balance between water in and out of our cells. Adding a moderate amount of unrefined, natural salt to our diet and eating a variety of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables will help maintain this balance. And keep our bodies hydrated!
For more details, read this amazing article: 

2. Eat healthy! You're probably going to be visiting friends or family parties and maybe not everything on the menu is in your diet? No problem!
Digestive enzymes to the rescue! Dr. Silva recommends Pure Encapsulations Digestive Enzymes Ultra with Betaine HCl, in stock at Gambei! Digestive enzymes are a great supplement when your dietary restrictions are putting a cramp in your social agenda. Two of these with your meal  will help your body digest your food intake easier. But if you run into an issue of gas or poisoning, grab Activated Charcoal! A.C. is a natural way to bind up unwanted materials and safely carry them out of the digestive tract.
If you can tolerate the pungent tones (we love it but we understand not everyone does!) put a shot of organic, unrefined Apple Cider Vinegar into water. This will help with heartburn and digestion and it's great for clearing out your head in a flash! 
If you know you're going to be eating a variety of foods that will be hard on your digestive system, try eating lightly steamed greens beforehand. This will set your system up with something high in nutrients and are generally easy to digest. 

3. Bone Broths! You're likely to be around a number of people. A few of them are probably sick, or just getting over a cold, or are carriers and unintentionally passing along germs. Bone broths are a wonderful concoction to boost your immune system and taste delicious! Bone broths contain over 19 essential amino acids, collagen/gelatin (form connective tissue) and nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health. 
For details on this read: 
And if you don't have time to make a broth, Gambei carries Artemisia Herbs. Her tinctures are local and loaded with supportive herbs! (Her decongestant tincture kicks DayQuil to the curb!)

4. Bodywork! Acupuncture, massage, facials, hair, nails or sauna, whatever your preference, let us help you relax! Sometimes the best thing you can do for the holidays is get away from the chaos and take some time for yourself. Let us help ground you and provide an environment for healing. 

At Gambei we're about whole body health; from head to toe, we're here to take care of you and yours in any way we're able! Cheers!

Our Endocannabinoid System and Cannabis Sativa

It’s no secret to people who know me that I support the use of cannabis. The benefits, contrary to popular belief, truly outweigh any detriments of its use. How do I know this? By experimenting on myself of course!

I began using cannabis when I was quite young as a means to distract me from the troubles of being a teenager and growing up in a strict religious background. I used it to calm my mind and help me relax, and I abused it during party times with my friends.

The abused portion is typically the way we see it broadcasted socially. And it’s not viewed a helpful, medical substance when it’s used that way. But realistically, a party is the typical setting where most of us have been introduced to it. Little have we known how much it’s been helping to save our system.

The human body is comprised of a little known system called the Endocannabinoid. Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, and his team of scientists, first discovered this system in the 1990s and have since done extensive research to how this affects our physiology.1 The Endocannabinoid system consists of a series of receptors that are configured only to accept cannabinoids.

What are cannabinoids? Specifically, they are a class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in our body’s cells which repress neurotransmitter release in the brain. But they’re not isolated to the brain. Cannabinoid receptors are also found in both male and female reproductive organs, as well as our immune system!

Ligands for these receptor proteins include endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by animals), phytocannabinoids (found in cannabis sativa as well as other plants), and synthetic cannabinoids(manufactured artificially).

So why is this important? Humans have hundreds of cannabinoid receptors, two of which have been discovered and extensively researched by Dr. Mechoulam. Our endocannabinoid system naturally produces these receptors similarly to how we produce narcotic-like endorphins.

The two main receptors discovered and researched are cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2).  CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and reproductive organs. Their most important effect is to modulate and moderate the perception of pain. CB1 receptors are linked to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in Cannabis Sativa.

CB2 receptors are found in our immune system with the highest concentration being in the spleen and evidence of receptors in the nerve bundles of our basal ganglia. When connected to Cannabidiol (CBD) our CB2 receptors work on our body as an anti-inflammatory agent.

So now that we know what these neurotransmitters do, what is their function in helping our endocannabinoid system?

Dr. Ethan B. Russo, a neurologist and researcher at Phytecs, explored the concept of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD) affecting the pathophysiology of migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other functional conditions alleviated by cannabis use.2 His research suggested that cannabinoids can block spinal, peripheral and gastrointestinal mechanisms that promote pain in headache, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and muscle spasms.3 Subsequent research 4 5 has confirmed that underlying endocannabinoid deficiencies indeed play a role in the above studied conditions, as well as a number of other medical conditions.

Endocannabinoid deficiency is mainly caused by a lack of signaling within the system. If you have any of the above mentioned conditions, maybe your system doesn’t have enough endocannabinoids being synthesized? Our bodies makes two main endocannabinoids called anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG)6 7.
AEA and 2-AG are released and activate cannabinoid receptors. But CECD could mean a deficiency in necessary cannabinoid receptors or too many enzymes breaking them down. These receptors are key to signaling the breakdown of our endocannabinoids and without proper signaling, in any system, our physiology suffers.
Many of us with medical conditions are suffering for long periods of time with little relief from our Western medicine practices. It takes a great deal of trial and error to find what works and what doesn’t and the effect is generally taxing on our physiology and mentally fatiguing.
Consuming phytocannabinoids can significantly decrease the stress on our endocannabinoid system. So what does that mean to us? It means less inflammation, improved immune system function, and a decrease of signals to pain receptors. That’s huge! Cannabis sativa has over 130 phytocannabinoids, the most abundant source in the world.
So why is this plant illegal considering its dramatic benefits? Why indeed? Martin A Lee, author of Smoke Signals, explores the social history of marijuana and it is a must read. In Chapter 9, Mellow Mayhem, section Healing Without the High, he discusses the discovery of cannabinoids and their synthetic derivatives. It’s heart-wrenching how far Big Pharma went and continues to go in order to keep this simple plant controlled. In the meantime, the population’s health suffers.

This is where we can help. Correcting endocannabinoid deficiency just may be an important piece of the puzzle in your healing journey. Juice them, use transdermal applications, eat the leaves! There are many options and smoking is quite often the least effective. Phytocannabinoids are crucial to healing this deficiency and can be found in a number of plants. If you’re not comfortable using cannabis we can help find a source best suited for you.
If you’re curious about Cannabis and want to know more, please see the references below and visit with me (Cheyanna) or Jinlen at Gambei! We’re happy to discuss our knowledge from a medical perspective.


Cheers! Gambei!


1. https://kalytera.co/dr-raphael-mechoulam/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24977967

3. https://www.projectcbd.org/article/dr-ethan-russo-cbd-clinical-endocannabinoid-deficiency

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2931553/

5. http://www.nel.edu/archive_issues/o/35_3/35_3_Smith_198-201.pdf

6. http://reset.me/story/beginners-guide-to-the-endocannabinoid-system/

7. http://www.theimpactnetwork.org/endocannabinoid-deficiency/

Going Green Gorgeously


In 2011 I moved from the island of Oahu, Hawaii to my home state of Iowa. It was quite a shock to my system and my skin took the worst of it. I began breaking out irregularly along my jawline so my primary care physician prescribed the antibiotic Doxycycline. As if my immune system hadn't been through enough, this dosage kicked it over the edge.
The drug made me photosensitive, heat sensitive, and synthetic product sensitive. I had a list twelve pages long of items that I was now allergic to, including the color blue! I was in shock and disgruntled to say the least, until my mother-in-law gave me a book called Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano, and I read what I could do with my new dilemma. 

I learned that my options were not only vast, but healthier for me. I had no idea all of the ingredients I had been putting in my system. I had not been a person who read ingredients on labels, but with my new sensitivities it was imperitive that I become one. 

Because of my skin sensitivity, I began with all of the products I put on it. The Environmental Working Group suggests that consumers be on high alert for the following seven ingredients.

1. Coal Tar, a carcinogen, used in dandruff shampoos and anti-itch creams, as well as coal tar-based dyes such as FD&C Blue 1 and FD&C Green 3 used in toothpastes and mouthwash. 

2. Fragrance, a term used to mask hundreds of ingredients that disrupt the endocrine system and can cause reproductive and developmental harm.   

3. Hydroquinone, a neurotoxin and allergenic found in skin lighteners and facial moisturizers.

4. Aluminum, a carinogenic, toxic and mutagenic often used in eye shadow and deodorant.

5. Triclosan, used in almost all antibacterial products, often contaminated with dioxins which are highly carcinogenic.

6. P-Phenylenediamine, listed as 1,4-Bensenediamine; p-Phenyldiamine and 4-Phenylenediamine, this chemical can damage your nervous system causing lung irritation and sever allergic reactions. 

7. Lead, a neurotoxin appearing as lead acetate or a contaminant of hydrated silica. And Mercury disguising itself as Thimerosol. 

These seven are red-listed and deemed highly carcinogenic by the EWG. This is a short list compared to the fifteen orange alert ingredients which can contain carcinogenic chemicals called nitrosamines.

I found a red Sharpie and began highlighting ingredients on the Red Alert list and then an orange Sharpie for the Orange List. I was appalled and a bit overwhelmed to find so many carcinogenic ingredients in so many of my products. I threw them away immediately. I knew my system could not handle the contamination and believe it or not, I began to feel better! And the safe, natural options have been as effective as the carcinogenic options.

"The problem lies in our lack of understanding about the sources of our everyday necessities."

Developing more knowledge and awareness of my applications and surroundings opened a much needed flood gate. This saved my life though and I've never felt more alive.

Gambei does not allow any of these ingredients in our products. Everything in the shop is safe for mamas, children, cancer patients and immunosensitive individuals. 

If you're looking for more information please check out the references below or stop into Gambei and check out our copy of Gorgeously Green and other books helpful to beauty and wellness. We're happy to discuss our experiences and share any information necessary to your health and wellness! 

Cheers and Aloha,


Gambei Spa & Wellness
1016 Lomas Blvd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 255 - 2555


1. www.ewg.org

2. www.safecosmetics.org

3. Uliano, Sophie. (2008). Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life. HarperCollins. pages 20-28.