Thursday, September 11, 2014

Radiant Skin with...Rose Hip Seed Oil?!


Rose Hips from Wild Rose: Rosa rugosa
Fall is in the air and these vibrant beauties are out in abundance right now!  Rose hips are the little red fruits found on wild rose bushes throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, and even China. Wild rose bushes are willing to grow most places that have seasonal (autumnal) change world wide.

Possibly best known for their abundance of vitamin C (1,770-2,000 milligrams/ 100 grams vs. an orange approximately 50 milligrams of vitamin C. per 100 grams) these small fruits are packed with a plethora of antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and minerals.

Pictured above are the small seeds found within the rose hip fruit.  It is here, in these small group of seeds,  that the precious rose hip oil is extracted from. Rose hip seed oil is the only vegetable source oil known to contain retinol (vitamin A).  This little known, yet highly revered oil also contains great amounts of essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega 6,), and linolenic acid (omega 3), a powerful antioxidant called lycopene (what makes tomatoes red) as well as beta-carotene.

Unadulterated Rose Hip Seed Oil 

So what does all of this mean for you and your skin?
The essential fatty acids (EFAs) give this oil it's moisturizing properties.  It is very beneficial for tired, dull, weather worn skin. The vitamin A helps the oil to penetrate into the skins epidermal layers,  deepening the effect of the oils moisturizing ability. Vitamin C antioxidants help with collagen production reducing the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. Over all rose hip seed oil has been noted to improve the over all tone, moisture content, appearance of dark spots and blemishes, healing damaged skin cells and helping to slough off cell's that are beyond repair.
This leaves your skin feeling fresh and new after each application.  Rose hip seed oil is very gentile in nature making it an oil that can be directly applied to most skin types.

It is important to note however that due to the delicate nature of this oil, through cold pressed extraction process, it should be kept refrigerated in order to prolong it's shelf life.

an easy application of this oil is to take a small amount of your favorite lotion, skin cream, night treatment and add a few drops of rose hip seed oil. Mix it together thoroughly and apply to skin.  This oil is considered a "dry oil" and will not leave your skin looking shiny or feeling greasy.
Using rose hip seed oil in this way allows you to keep a larger amount stored safely in the fridge while making it accessible and an easy way to add it to your daily or nightly beauty routine.

Friday, May 30, 2014

2:3 Herbs for Skin Health: Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis; Rosemary

  This herbacious evergreen plant hails from the Mediterranean however now can be found the globe over.  Rosemary belongs to the mint family, a family that includes other common plants such as basil, lavender, myrtle and sage.  

Rosemary in Bloom
This plant has been used for centuries for medicinal, culinary, and beauty regiem purposes. It is said that in the 13th century, Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (who had suffered from debilitating gout and rheumatism) claimed at age 72, that drinking rosemary infused water helped her regain back both her strength and beauty over the years.

Rosemarinic acid (property of rosemary) is known for it's ability to kill bacteria, fungi, and various viruses on the skins surface.  This makes it an ideal helper in wound healing, acne, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.  The extract or essential oil of rosemary as well as rosemary tea, helps stimulate cell renewal, supports healthy creation of collagen, increase skin tone and fights free radicals.  Free radicals damage the support structure of skin cells, leading to wrinkles, sagging and uneven skin texture and color.

This plant is found in many skin cleansers, soaps, masks, creams and shampoos and conditioners. It is effective for many skin types but especially for oil or acne prone skin. It improves micro circulation within the dermal layers of skin.  This means that it helps  bringing in fresh oxygenated blood filled with nutrients to all the cells.

Rosemary is also great for hair care.  When used on a regular basis, it stimulates the hair follicles, making hair grow longer and stronger.  It is also said to help slow down premature hair loss and the graying of hair. It helps improve scalp conditions such as dandruff and balances your hairs secretions of sebum (oil).

 *Like most essential oils do not apply directly to the skin.  It is better to use diluted in a carrier oil or mixed into a product.

 *1 small sized cucumber (or 1/2 a med. large) peeled and either juiced or pulverized into liquid with food processor 
 *Add 15-25 drops of rosemary essential oil
 *Add 3-4 tbs of clay (any type) kaolin white, pink, french green, cambrian blue, rhasoul
 *Allow mixture to sit for 5 or so minutes while the clay absorbs some of the moisture.
      your mixture should be that of a paste
 *Apply to facial skin for 10-15 minutes and gently remove with warm water and a wash cloth. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

3:3 Herbs for Skin Health: Camomile

 Chamomile is a member of the Asteraceae family and there are many, many different species of chamomile within this family.  The two most common being German Chamomile, Marticaria recutita, and Roman Chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile.  This plant has been used since ancient times for it's calming and anti-inflamatory, and anti-irritant properties. 

So why is this plant that we hear so much about in the form of calming teas, also good for our skin?
Due to Chamomile's anit-inflamatory properties it soothes skin rashes and irritated skin, including eczema, psoriasis, nettle/poison ivy rashes, burns, and sun burns.  It has also been noted that Chamomile helps speed up the healing process of minor cuts, scrapes, and wounds.

There is more to this common wonder though, it contains a compound called Alpha-bisabolol.  This natural chemical compound helps to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, fine lines and wrinkles, and contributes to evening out the natural tones of the skin.  There are enzymes in Alpha-bisabolol that renew cells by gently removing build up of damaged and over stretched dying cells.  This helps reduce scar tissue and further more Chamomile allows the vitamins and biomarin collagen to penetrate the skin for reproduction of new and healthy skin cell growth.   Chamomile helps to cleanse, moisturize and improves the overall metabolizm of skin cells. 

Dried Roman Chamomile
The powerhouse of antioxidants found within Chamomile help fight acne breakouts as well as reducing the potential from acne scars forming.  Also this plant fight against free radicalss that damage the skin and reduce the healthy, youthful glow that we all strive to keep.

 In addition to all of this, Chamomile also has benefits for hair.  It is highly effective in preventing and the elimination of dandruff by soothing the irritated scalp and helping maintain a healthy gleam to each individual strand of hair. 

DIY Chamomile Hair Rinse: 
1) Take 3 cups of water and set to a simmer.
2) Remove from heat and add a couple pinches of chamomile (loose flower if possible) and let steep
    until this tea is around skin temperature. 
3) Strain Chamomile from tea (or better yet have put the chamomile into a satchel and now remove 
     the satchel from the tea
3) Use as final rinse in bathing ritual. Either after shampoo and condidtioner or after a vinigar rinse. 
4) Notice the difference. It is OOHHHHHH so lovely. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1:3 Herbs for Skin Health: Calendula Officinalis

Calendula Officinalis

Parts of the Flowering Plant

This common yet lovely little flower "pot Marigold" know also as Calendula Officinalis, is native through out southwestern Asia, western Europe, and Micronesia, and the Mediterranean.  It has been cultivated world wide as an ornamental plant. Its name, Calendula, in Latin refers to "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass". 

Calendula Officinalis
This flower has been used for skin treatments in it's native regions for centuries.  Calendula has very high amounts of flavonoids, a plant based anitoxidant that protects cells from being dammaged by free-radicals in our environment. This flower is known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, and antifungal properties.  And is very useful for treating minor wounds, chapped and chafted skin, bruises, burns, acne, and diaper rash.  

A lesser known fact of Calendula Officinalis is that it stimulates the production of collagen at the wound site.  This helps to minimize the scarring and of regular wounds as well as with stretch marks. Because of it's ability to stimulate collagen, Calendula is also able to protect the skin from premature aging and thinning.   This plant is gentile enough to treat even the sensitive skin of infants and babies making it a very versitile plant indeed.  

Calendula Oil
Calendula is found in many beauty products, bath products, creams, salves, ointments, facial systems, tinctures and teas.  The beautiful orange/yellow color of the flower seeps into the oil turning it a lovely golden color.  

Calendula Bath:
Get a large handfull of dried/fresh flower heads 
Mix with a quarter to half dollar size amount of lavender buds (optional)
Add flowers to a simmering pot of hot water and reduce heat
Allow 10 minutes to steep in water
Add 1/4 c. Sea Salt or 1/4 to 1/2 c. epsome salts
Allow time to dissolve in water
Strain out plant material 
Pour into Bath Water and Enjoy!!!!

Have you used Calendula for skin health? Do you have photos that you would like to share of Calendula Officinalis that you have grown your self? We would love to see and hear your stories. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Vingegar: Just Another Reason to Love Apples!

To This...

From This...
How many different types of vinegar can you name?  Apple cider, balsamic, distilled, but did you also know that there is beer, cane, coconut, date, Asian black, fruit vinegars, vinegar made from job's tears, kombucha, malt, palm, raisin, rice, sherry and wine?

Historically vinegar has been used as a folk remedy for beauty (and many other things) for ages.  Vinegar for uses other than cooking, became popular in American in the early  1950's  when it was promoted by the best-selling book "Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor's Guide to Good Health", by D.C. Jarvis.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar has the natural ability to make both hair and skin look it's best!  Vinegar diluted to a 1:2 ratio, vinegar:water (or 1:4 ratio if you have sensitive skin) helps dissolve excessive fatty deposits and oils on the surface of the skin and hair.  It has a tonifying property (Alpha Hydroxy Acid)  that promotes blood circulation into the small capillaries that matrix through the skin. Vinegar also helps balance the pH of your skin and hair, reduces dry patches and dandruff, strips residue build up of "product" and hard water (which dull the hairs natural shine).  Because vinegar stimulates hair follicles it also helps with hair strength and length. Rinsing with vinegar closes the cuticle scales which cover and protect the surface of each hair shaft.  This lends to a smoother surface, one that will reflect light easier, be easier to manage, less tangle, and lending an over all healthy look (and feel) to your lustrous tresses. Vinegar is rich in Alpha Hydroxy acids, this is the substance in  vinegar that makes it work it's magic!

Unfiltered and Organic

As always my recommendation is to use organic base ingredients.  In this case I would also recommend unfiltered vinegar.  Though there are a large variety of vinegars available on the market, I would recommend which ever is easiest for you to make or use. It will look something like this if it is an unfiltered variety. And apple cider vinegar is probably the most common used for skin and beauty regimes. A raw unfiltered vinegar is going to have all of it's vitamins and minerals intact, making it the best possible product for use.

If you are concerned about the smell of vinegar remember to rinse out fully and then when done with your shower add a couple of drops of essential oil (lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, rose are a few great choices). You will notice that the smell dissipates greatly once your hair is dry.

*Important: always test your skin and hairs compatibility with a lower ratio dose first.  And regardless of the dilution vinegar stings when it gets in your eyes.  Shut them tight before pouring on this awesome all natural elixir and rinse, rinse, rinse, before opening them again.

Feed Back? Comment?  Photo's? We would love to hear what you have to say about your own personal experience with vinegars for beauty.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Folded Essential Oils: What are they????

Distillation Contraption

 So last blog post we were discussing phototoxic essential oils and towards the bottom of the blog I mentioned "folded" essential oils.  Many of you are probably wondering just what a folded essential oil is.

To easily break it down, a folded essential oil is a pure essential oil that has been further distilled and thus concentrated even further from it's already highly concentrated form.  There are a couple of reasons one would want to do this, which will be explained momentarily.  Basically, during multiple  distillations the terpenes are extracted. These are the more volatile (and thus prone to oxidation) portions of the oil.  So one reason for "folding" essential oils would be to prolong the shelf life of that oil. Terpenes are also what make an oil phototoxic or photosensitising.  So further distillations also reduces many essential oils potential to harm your dermal layers (skin) when combine with ultra violet light exposure (IE: sunshine).

Folding also changes the scent of many essential oils.  Removing some of the more bitter properties of the oils leaves a cleaner, fresher, more "to the point" scent reference.  Another word for this process is deterpenation and the end product know as terpeneless oil (folded essential oils)

Essential Oil of Lemon

The most commonly "folded" essential oils are those of:
Orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, tangerine, blood-orange, mandarin, and bergamot essential oils.
One will most often see 5-Fold or 10-Fold oils.  The higher the number the more times it has been "folded" or redistilled.

*Some people will argue that "folded" essential oils are no longer suitable for use in aromatherapy.
Even while using folded essential oils it is not recommended to use directly on skin or with only a carrier oil.  And still be mindful and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Are Phototoxic Essential Oils?

Sun Shine
Essential Oils

So, you may be asking what are "Phototoxic" Essential Oils?  Basically, phototoxicity also known as photosensitization, occurs when certain essential oils are used either in products, carrier oils, or neat that have specific compounds within them that cause excess sun burn or damage to skin when used in conjunction with ultra violet light exposure.

The compound that ties each of the phototoxic  essential oils together is a terpene called furanocoumarin.  It is this constituent that when on the skin acts almost like a prism, bringing more ultra violet light to the skin surface.  In turn, this makes the skin much more susceptible to burning, and ultimately skin cell damage.   Furanoides are found in the leaves and seeds of many plants but as with those in the citrus family it is most commonly found in the rinds of the fruit.  Furanocoumarins help citrus fruit to ripen and maximize the sugar content in each piece of fruit.

List of Phototoxic Essential Oils:
angelica root
grapefruit (cold pressed)
lime (cold expressed not steam distilled)
orange (unless "folded")

To learn more about "folded" essential oils visit us here, next week at BEAUTIFUL YOU