Eco-Friendly Skin Care – Gifts From the Sea

From ancient times, man has sought his destiny on the sea. We are of the sea. Life began there and our ties to this wonderful and mysterious marine environment are strong. So, isn’t it only natural that on our island nation, the UK, we seek to use elements of the sea in eco-friendly skin care products? Here’s some information about marine-based skin therapies and natural beauty products.What is Thalassotherapy?Wikipedia.org tells us that thalassotherapy is the “medical use of seawater. The properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin.” Developed in the 19th in France, thalassotherapy “skin treatment is applied in various forms such as showers of warmed sea water, application of marine mud or algae paste or the inhalation of sea fog.” Thalassotherapy revitalizes the skin while toning and moisturizing it. While most of us can’t travel to the region of the Dead Sea where this therapy is popular, we can enjoy the benefits of marine-based ingredients in skin products.The Benefits of Algae as a Skin Care IngredientAlgae are ubiquitous in our marine environment and are rich in components that help regulate the production of sebum in the skin. Sebum is an oil that protects the skin and lubricates it as well. Algae also contain B vitamins and are thought to play a role in the production of elastin and collagen, two important components of firm skin that diminish over time. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.Other Ingredients Found in Marine-Based Skin Care ProductsMarine-based all natural skin care products use purified seawater that is rich in minerals. Other important ingredients are seaweed extract, sea parsley and coral weed, all of which have skin-protecting properties. It’s interesting to note that the granddaughter of famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau is the spokesperson for a line of oceanic skin care products made by the Swiss company La Prairie. Shoplaprairie.com tells us that the company has developed a “proprietary aquaculture, with procedures comparable to the hydroponic growth of land plants, In order to harvest, extract and ferment these ocean botanicals and derive… exclusive protective benefits.” These natural skin care sea-based ingredients provide skin-calming and skin-nourishing benefits, while stimulating collagen production.For eco-friendly skin care in the UK, great alternatives to land-based ingredient formulations are natural skin care products containing the ancient secrets of the sea.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?

I Will Be Strongly Disliked by Nutrition Cults After This Article is Published

“No soup for you!” This became the cry of the “Soup Nazi” in one episode of the popular series Seinfeld when it was on. The plot is that one of the crew eats soup that is to die for, and the others won’t believe soup can be so good until they try it. When they go to the shop that sells the soup, there is a long line of people wanting this soup. Each person methodically and silently moves through the line, reaching and taking without talking to the chef. One of Jerry’s friends (or maybe it was him? anyway…) commits a horrible faux-pas and talks to the chef and doesn’t do something the way he should and ends up banned from the soup line, with the grouchy chef yelling this famous line after him as he leaves.The Soup Nazi came to mind the other week when I was musing over the latest nutrition fad to hit the market. Because I market liquid whole food nutrition as supplements to healthcare practitioners and those involved in the nutrition field, I hear a lot of people telling clients some pretty strange things. It’s not wrong to try something that someone you trust recommends. However, when someone issues mandates and absolutes about diets without the science to back it up, I start getting perturbed. So, I’ve coined a term for the people who are so far at the end of the nutrition spectrum that they have fallen off: Nutrition Nazis.A Nutrition Nazi is someone who requires another person to eat a plate of peas for lunch every single day. A Nutrition Nazi is a person who scares other people into eating certain foods with such authority that all types of (insert a certain food category) are eliminated from the diet. A Nutrition Nazi is a person who will not accept any other suggestions offered to a client if it is not made by them. A Nutrition Nazi will not accept clients if they do (insert something here that seems random) or don’t do (insert something else that seems random).Actually, you have probably seen Nutrition Nazis on TV (maybe even on Oprah!). You may have met one, or even followed one for awhile. They are people who make other people feel bad if they aren’t like them. They use nutrition as a reward and as a punishment. They look great, and they are healthy. But they make one mistake in their training that is a deal-breaker:They tell people to do things that aren’t enjoyable!I do believe in many, many things about nutrition that science, experience, and history back up as wise practices. These things come from all different sources. Anyone who converts his/her nutrition habits to even 20% of them would at least experience a greater sense of well-being and would be investing in their future good health. And I know better than to tell people to do these things.Good nutrition cannot be presented to clients as a god to please. I have yet to meet one person who craves failure, and to hold good nutrition up as something high to aspire to will create failure. So much in our culture that doesn’t relate to the stuff on our plates is twisted up in foods that I refuse to address clients in such black and white terms. If you happen to meet a Nutrition Nazi, I strongly suggest asking them up front what they won’t let you eat. Follow that with a question of what is the one food you should eat everyday. If they answer any food after question one, don’t sign any papers. If they tell you something odd, expensive, or yucky, make a one-eighty and tell them you’ll think about it. I hope you’ll think about how odd or expensive or yucky that food would be to eat everyday, and then think about finding some other sources (yes, plural) to help you grow in this area.