Wildcrafted Beauty

Explore the natural world and search for the perfect ingredients for your DIY all-natural personal care products.

Harvesting and wildcrafting plants was a necessity for our ancestors who depended on plants for everything from homesteading to medicine to personal hygiene. Today, purchasing products made with natural, plant-based ingredients is a lifestyle choice – one many person have chosen in an effort to move away from using questionable chemicals on their skin and hair. But while we may look for words like “natural” and “organic” or even “clean” on the label, there’s only one way to truly know what’s in your body care items – make them yourself. Beauty products containing wild and foraged ingredients have become more popular than ever, as more people want to use safer ingredients. These homemade items also offer an opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy the satisfaction of creating something from plants. Here are some recipes to get you started.

Wildcrafting Basics

Foraging or hunting for wild plants is fun, but it’s important to know what you’re doing. If wildcrafting is a new activity for you or you intend on exploring an unfamiliar area, make sure you study {and bring along} a local plant guide, and/or take a class or guided herb walk. A good rule to follow when it comes to using wild plants: if it’s all right to eat, it’s usually safe to use on your skin and hair.

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As with any new ingredient, do a patch test inside your arm or behind your leg before spreading something on your face and body. Many local natural food stores may have some samples of wild plants you can try ahead of time.

Finally, harvest responsibly. Never take endangered or at-risk species or forage in protected conservation areas. Don’t pull from one area, potentially decimating a stand of plants – spread out your harvest and don’t take too much. For these recipes, you will need only a small amount of wild ingredients. Finally, make sure you bring the proper tools to avoid damaging the plant.

Nettle Hair Rinse

Nettles like to grow in moist areas, so you will find them along streams or in the cool part of the forest. These plants grow several feet high and, as many of us know, have hair-like bristles on their leaves that cause a stinging sensation when touched. The young shoots and leaves are edible and lend themselves to various body care items, including hair rinse. Nettles stimulate hair follicles on the scalp, yielding healthier hair. The apple cider vinegar in this recipe also treats the skin on your scalp, keeping it clean and healthy and helping to balance its pH.

1 cup fresh nettle leaves or 1/2 cup dried nettle leaves

2 cups boiling water

2 Tbls apple cider vinegar

Place the nettle leaves {use gloves if you’re handling fresh leaves} in a ceramic or glass bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let the mixture steep until cool, then strain. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and pour into a clean container. To use: As a final rinse after shampooing, pour some of the rinse onto your head and massage into your scalp. Rinse with cool water. Yield: 16 ounces.

Juniper Berry Foot Soak

Many species of juniper produce edible berries, but the fruit of common juniper {Juniperus communis} is what most people prefer. There is some controversy over the safety of consuming the berries – eating large amounts over an extended period of time may cause illness – but applied topically, they’re safe and natural antiseptic, making them well-suited for a cleansing and refreshing soak. Fall offers the best time to collect fresh berries, and you can dry them for year-round use.

1/4 cup fresh juniper berries, slightly crushed

1/4 cup Epsom salt

2 Tbls baking soda

Fill a large tub or basin with warm water. Add the juniper berries, Epsom salts, and baking soda and stir well until the salts and soda have dissolved. Soak your feet in the fragrant water for 15-20 minutes. After your footbath, massage your feet with some natural oils or a rich cream. Yield: 4 ounces, enough for one footbath.

Wild Berry Facial Mask

Wild berries such as blackberry, elderberry, and mulberries all contain antioxidants and vitamins A and C, which help cleanse and nourish the skin. Used as a facial mask, berries soothe the complexion and also help rid it of surface impurities and dead skin cells. This not only leaves you with glowing skin but also helps your skin function more efficiently and absorb more moisture. When harvesting, make sure to gather only edible berries – if you can eat them, you can apply them topically – that are free from pesticides and herbicides.

1/2 cup fresh berries, slightly mashed

1 Tbls almond flour or white clay powder

In a small bowl stir together the berries and flour or clay until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. You may need to add a bit more flour or clay depending on how juicy your berries are. Store in the refrigerator until ready to apply. To Use: Spread the mask mixture on clean skin, avoiding the eye and mouth area making sure to cover your neck {a part of the body often overlooked}. Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat skin dry. Store any leftover mask in the refrigerator, where it should last a week or two. Yield: 4 ounces.

Blackberry Leaf Hair Rinse

From July through August, the peak season for this favored fruit, blackberries pop up along country roads and in the woods, lending themselves to jams, pies, and other confections. The plant also provides some key beauty-boosting ingredients. Wild blackberry and raspberry leaves are naturally cleansing, serving as an excellent final rinse for your hair and scalp. Naturally acidic, they restore hair’s natural acid level, which is often stripped away by alkaline shampoos. To add a bit of color to your product, toss a few fresh berries in this recipe. If you don’t have access to fresh leaves, find them at natural food stores or look for herbal teas made with the leaves.

1 cup fresh blackberry leaves, washed and chopped, or 1/2 cup dried leaves

2 cups boiling water

Place the leaves in a ceramic or glass bowl. Pour the boiling water over and allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes. Strain and pour into a clean bottle. To use: After shampooing, pour through your hair as a final rinse. Dry and style your hair as usual. Save any leftover rinse in the refrigerator; it should stay fresh for a few weeks. Yield: 16 ounces.

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Wild Violets Cold Cream

Violets grow wild in shady areas and are a very “friendly” plant, meaning that they love to spread out and take over a patch of ground. They’re also useful in teas and add a lovely pink shade to vinegars. Some people like to candy them for cake decorations. For cosmetic use, they have a gentle, soothing, and mildly astringent effect great for facial steams, as a mouthwash, or in perfumes. In this cleansing cream, wild violets provide a delicate fragrance that soothes all skin types.

1 Tbls coconut oil

1/4 cup sweet almond oil

1/4 distilled water or pure water

2-3 tsp fresh violet flower heads

Mix together the oils in a heat-resistant container. Heat until the oils begin to melt, remove from heat, and stir until melted and well mixed. In a separate bowl, mix together the violets and water. Heat this solution until just boiling. Pour the heated oil mixture into a blender and turn the blender on low. Slowly add the hot violet infusion and continue to blend. You will have a pale-colored cream. Let the cream cool completely, then pour into a clean container. To use: Massage into your skin and rinse well with warm water. Yield: 4 ounces.

Horsetail Nail Strengthener

We can trace Equisetum arvense all the way back to prehistoric times when it grew and flourished some 200 million years ago as dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Some people consider horsetail a pesky weed since it grows profusely and is difficult to remove once established. It’s found along roadsides and in the woods. The hollow stems absorb important minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium from the soil, and they boast a high silica content, which can help treat brittle nails. Use this strengthening nail soak daily.

1 tsp fresh horsetail stems, chopped

1/2 cup boiling water

1 tsp pure honey

Place the horsetail stems in a glass or ceramic dish. Pour the boiling water over them and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain off the stems and discard. Add the honey and stir well. Let the solution sit for a few days, then pour into a clean bottle with a tightly fitting lid. To use: Brush the solution over your nails using a clean cotton swab or small brush and let dry. Do this every day for 10-14 days and you should see an improvement in the condition of your nails. You can also soak your nails in this solution when giving yourself a manicure. Yield: 4 ounces.

Dandelion Age Spot Oil

It seems as if dandelions may finally be getting the respect they deserve, as many homeowners have started letting these sunny plants pop up in the yard. Edible from flower to root, these “weeds” serve as useful food for pollinators in the wild. When harvesting, make sure you pick wild dandelions from an area that has not been sprayed with harmful chemicals. {Oftentimes, road crews spray for weeds, so you’ll have better luck in a known yard or out in the woods.} The name dandelion comes from the French dent de lion, “lion’s tooth,” because of the plant’s deeply jagged leaves. For beauty purposes, the yellow flower heads make a wonderful bath and hair rinse. In this recipe, the leaves help naturally fade away stubborn freckles and brown age spots. {Since this is an all-natural treatment, it will take several applications before you see results.}

1/4 cup fresh dandelion leaves, chopped, or 2 Tbls dried leaves

2 Tbls castor oil

2 Tbls sunflower oil

Make sure the dandelion leaves are clean and dry; pat with a clean towel to remove excess moisture. Place the leaves and oils in a heat-resistant container and gently warm. Do not boil. Let the mixture sit for at least three hours. Strain out all the leaves and pour into a clean bottle with a tightly fitting lid. {Those little roller bottles work well.} To use: Rub a small amount of the oil into your skin daily. It may take several weeks, but you will soon see your freckles and age spots begin to fade. Yield: 2 ounces.
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Floral Botanical Wrap

You don’t need to go to a spa to enjoy a full body wrap. For this treatment, you just need to dry brush or scrub your body, moisturize it thoroughly with natural oil, and then wrap up in herb-soaked towels to tone and hydrate the skin. You can manage on your own, but enlisting a partner can make the wrap much tighter. Depending on where you end up lying down, you may want to use an old sheet or something water resistant like a shower curtain.

Relax outdoors if it’s a nice day and you have some privacy. For the wildflowers in this recipe, choose your favorite edible ones such as elderflower, violet, dandelion, wild rose, milkweed flowers, bee balm, pineapple weed, mint, or lemon balm.

2 cups fresh wild flowers

1/4 cup dried fennel seeds

Place all the fresh herbs and flowers inside a large ceramic bowl or bucket. Fill this container with very hot tap water and let steep for 5 minutes. Then soak your sheet or cotton towels in this solution. As they soak, prepare your body by gently dry brushing your skin, then massaging in your favorite natural oil {almond, avocado, coconut}. Wring out the hot, wet sheet or towels and wrap snugly around your body. Lie down and cover yourself with a dry towel or blanket. Lie quietly for no more than 10 minutes. When time’s up, slowly unwrap. You should feel refreshed! Massage more natural oil into your skin if you wish. Yield: one full body wrap.

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Pineapple Weed Bath

Often overlooked, Matricaria discoidea is a common weed that grows in a variety of climates. When crushed, the small yellow flowers emit a fresh, pineapple aroma, making it a perfect ingredient in tea and flavored syrups. Of course, it’s also enjoyable in the bath as an energizing soak.

1 cup Epsom salts

1/2 cup pink Himalayan salt or sea salt

2 Tbls baking soda

2 Tbls pineapple weed flowers, slightly crushed

Fill a large muslin tea bag or a small piece of fabric with herbs and tie up. To use: Toss the fabric bag into your bath as you fill the tub and allow the salts to dissolve and the pineapple weed to perfume your bath. Soak for 20 minutes; you can use the cloth bag as a washcloth. Yield: 12 ounces.

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Your Skin-Care Routine

When it comes to skincare, it’s not about using the best and most expensive brand. It’s about the ingredients and what they do to the skin. By following a good skin-care routine, you can really change the surface of the skin. It does take time for certain ingredients to work in the skin, but with enough patience and dedication, you have the ability to repair and improve your skin. If you have no skin concerns, for now, you can start a preventive skin-care routine that will make sure your skin stays looking good for longer. Because the reality is that our skin does age, just like our body. It takes 10+ years for sun damage effects to show up on the surface of our skin—brown spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and broken veins. Check what is already in your cabinet and see which things you need to add to your routine. Start making more time for your skin today!

Cleanser: To cleanse the skin and pores, lift off dirt & makeup, and prepare skin for further product absorption. Gel cleansers are best for normal/oily skin types; milk cleansers for normal/dry skin types. Oil-based cleansers can be used for all skin types, especially when used as the first cleanse in the evening, removing makeup, and prepping the skin for a second cleanse.

Toner: To make sure all remains of cleanser are off the skin and brings the skin back to a natural pH level.

Serum: The most penetrating product due to molecule size, serums are usually where you will find active ingredients such as vitamin A and C, peptides, hyaluronic acid, AHA, and BHA. Choose a serum with ingredients that are best for your skin type.

Eye Care: The eye area is the most delicate part of the skin and needs to be treated with care. Apply a pea-size amount of eye cream or eye gel around the eye bone with ring finger.

Moisturizer/SPF: If your moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF, make sure you use one on top of it or apply makeup containing sun protection. SPF blocks the UV radiation from the sun, which is present all year long.

Night Moisturizer: Specific night moisturizers contain more active ingredients than day creams. As your skin is sleeping, it is regenerating so what you apply before bed does count.

Exfoliator: Once or twice a week its important to slough away dead skin cells that have built up on the surface of the skin. By removing these dead skin cells, the skin becomes brighter and smoother.

Face Masks: Once or twice a week, apply a mask. There are clay masks for oily/acne-prone skins, and cream or gel masks for drier/aging skins. They really plump and refine the skin, leaving the skin glowing. For best skin results do an exfoliation before applying a face mask, and leave the mask on for as long as possible or sleep with it on overnight.

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Herbal Skin Care Recipes for Your Face

Try herbal skin care recipes such as Lemon Lip Balm and Rose Petal Facial Toner to freshen your skin and make your face glow.
Your skin says a lot about you. Treat yourself well and your skin should reflect your spirit’s rosy health—but a little herbal skin care never hurts.

Skin and Body Care

We know that what’s on the inside is what counts, but beauty on the outside is also important. It’s what signals that we are fulfilled, joyful, and happy with life. Glowing skin is not the result of cosmetics (though the toners and moisturizers in this chapter can help rejuvenate tired skin), but it is the culmination of a life well lived, a spirit well fed.

As the skin is our largest organ (and an organ of elimination, at that), it needs constant care and nurturing for its continued health. Your skin says a lot about you (as does the health of your hair): Is it tired, dry, and papery?

Greasy, sallow, and pitted? These conditions indicate an imbalance in your body that can be addressed by any of the remedies outlined in the previous chapters. These conditions (and usually the imbalances that cause them) are reversible and can always be resolved using natural methods that heighten your energy and nourish your life.

The skin, hair, and body treatments that follow can be enjoyed by most teens, men, and women. Let the making of these remedies be fun activities that you do frequently, as these products tend to have short shelf lives. Use them often and enjoy your radiant (and healthy) skin and hair.

Facial Care

Herbs and flower preparations have been used for centuries for both men’s and women’s facial care. Since Maria Prophetissa discovered distillation techniques and created what we call the “bain-marie,” chemists and boutiques have sold flower waters and essential oils for beauty applications.

These lovely waters were favorites with ladies throughout the Middle Ages and have never lost their popularity.

With facial care, we generally consider two applications: drying (toning) and moisturizing. Determine your skin type and use whichever remedy will achieve the effect you need. Scent them as desired (lavender is a traditional and lovely facial scent), and enjoy.

Lavender Facial Wash

Yields approximately 1 cup

This is a simple-to-make facial astringent that soothes, tightens, and tones the skin. Follow it with Red Clover Whipped Lotion (the recipe follows) for a rich moisturizer.

1/2 cup fresh lavender flowers
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup distilled witch hazel
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil

Combine the dry ingredients and the witch hazel in a 1-pint glass jar; steep overnight or up to two weeks. Strain and reserve the liquid; add the glycerin and essential oil. Using a cotton ball, dab the facial wash over your face using upward motions. (After straining the liquid out, try gently scrubbing your face with the flowers and oats instead of throwing them out; they will remove dirt and grime from the crevasses of your skin and exfoliate. Follow with the facial wash. Delightful!)

Red Clover Whipped Lotion

Yields 2 to 3 cups

Make a tiny batch of this lotion at a time, perhaps for special occasions when you want your face to glow. It’s extremely rich and, depending on how much water you add, can be dense or light as a cloud.

1 cup fresh red clover blossoms
1 cup of cocoa butter
1 to 2 cups distilled water or rose water
1 to 2 teaspoons jojoba or sweet almond oil (optional)

Place the herbs and cocoa butter in a bowl. Without heating, use a spoon to mix the blossoms into the cocoa butter. Cover and store in a dark cabinet or pantry. Steep for two weeks.

In the top of a double boiler, gently heat the cocoa butter just until you can strain out the blossoms. Discard them and pour the melted cocoa butter into a deep soup pot (this is to reduce splattering). Using a wire whisk or an electric hand mixer, slowly add the distilled water by the tablespoonful, whisking constantly, until you have the desired consistency. Add the oil if desired, and whisk together. Scrape the lotion into a small container. This lotion lasts several weeks when refrigerated.

Rose Petal Facial Toner

Yields 2 cups

This is a simple and delightful astringent for the face.

1 cup packed fresh rose petals
1 cup distilled witch hazel
1 cup distilled water
Rose water or vegetable glycerin (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a 1-pint glass jar. Steep overnight or up to two weeks. Strain and reserve the liquid. If desired, dilute it with additional distilled water or rose water, or whisk in a few drops of vegetable glycerin. Apply this toner with a cotton ball, using upward strokes.

Dandelion–Elder Flower Blemish Lightener

Yields 2 cups

Adapted from old wives’ recipes, this classic blemish lightener uses buttermilk. Many old recipes call for tansy flowers, but I find elderflower to be just as lovely.

1 cup fresh elderflowers
1 cup fresh dandelion flowers
2 cups fresh buttermilk

Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar. Steep overnight in the refrigerator (refrigeration is important!). Strain and reserve the liquid. Using a cotton ball, apply the lotion to your face in upward movements. Once your face is covered, lie down and rest for 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

Store this lotion in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Lemon Lip Balm

Yields 1 cup

Lemon is a luscious, summery fragrance, and many of our beloved herbs offer that scent: lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemongrass, and wood sorrel (Oxalis) leaves and seedpods. Pick your favorites to infuse in the oil for this lip balm.

1 cup fresh lemon balm (or herb of your choice), chopped
1 cup vegetable oil (such as canola)
1/4 cup beeswax
2 to 5 drops lemon essential oil or high-quality culinary lemon extract

Follow the instructions in chapter 4: Medicine-Making Methods for making an herbal salve. Once the wax has melted, pour the mixture into small lip balm tubes or into 1/4-ounce tins. Because these small containers absorb heat easily, do not keep them in pants pockets or in a hot car.

 

 

Healing with Frankincense Essential Oil

Make the most of brain-health-boosting and cell-building frankincense essential oil.

If I was stranded on a deserted island and could choose only one essential oil to have with me, I would select frankincense, an oil that is both versatile and potent. Perhaps that’s why it has been in use for thousands of years and considered a precious gift according to Christian beliefs — the perfect present from three wise men.

Healing with Frankincense Essential Oil

While frankincense can be used for a host of health concerns, here are a few of its many amazing healing properties:

Skin, Nail and Scalp Antimicrobial: An exciting study in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology found that not only was frankincense effective against several organisms linked to skin, nail and scalp infections, it also helped break down the biofilms that often underlie these difficult problems. Biofilms are thin, potentially health-damaging layers of microorganisms that secrete substances to help ensure their survival in or on the body. The presence of biofilms is usually a factor in infections that are difficult to eradicate. Earlier research in the same journal also found frankincense helpful against Candida Albicans and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Frankincense essential oil is one that may be safe to apply directly to skin, nail and scalp infections; however, some experts recommend never using essential oils undiluted. If you want to try it, use caution and test the oil on a sensitive patch of skin, then wait 48 hours. Otherwise, use the oil diluted in a carrier oil — three to four drops of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil.

Multipurpose Antibacterial: Frankincense is effective against many other types of bacteria, in addition to those of the skin, nail, and scalp. In one study, researchers found that the essential oil showed significant antibacterial action against the three types of bacteria tested, which included E. coliBacillus subtilis, and S. aureus. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria are linked with food poisoning and other serious health-damaging infections. In addition to directly killing the bacteria, the oil prevented the bacteria from proliferating. The oil also demonstrated antioxidant capabilities, which means it can destroy harmful free radicals linked to cellular and tissue damage.

Oral Health: Because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities, frankincense is a good supporter of oral health. To use it, look for a toothpaste that incorporates frankincense, or make a homemade mouthwash using high-quality essential oil.

Anti-Pain Power: Researchers set out to determine the validity of frankincense as a traditional remedy for arthritis, muscle and stomach pain. They validated its natural analgesic effects and effectiveness, and for these types of pain frankincense may be applied directly to affected areas (use caution, or dilute in a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil for sensitive skin). Some health experts recommend using internally, but always consult a medical professional before doing so.

Mood Booster: In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, a natural compound in frankincense was found to have antidepressant qualities. The compound, known as incensole acetate (IA), can regulate hormones secreted by the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are located in the brain and are involved in mood regulation, while the adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and help address stress in the body. The researchers concluded that IA has potential as a novel treatment for depression.

Wrinkle Reducer: Numerous small-scale studies found that daily use of frankincense essential oil diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut or sunflower reduced the appearance of wrinkles and sun damage. It may also be useful to reduce stretch marks and eczema.

Using Frankincense Essential Oil

There are many frankincense essential oil products on the market, but they’re not all of equal quality. When choosing an essential oil, look for one that has been reviewed by independent third-party laboratory testing.

High-quality frankincense essential oil is one oil I sometimes recommend be used neat (undiluted); however, some experts recommend always diluting essential oils. As previously mentioned, always conduct a 48-hour skin test of frankincense essential oil diluted in the carrier oil of your choice prior to more extensive use. If you have sensitive skin, dilute three to five drops of frankincense essential oil in one teaspoon of carrier oil such as sweet almond or fractionated coconut oil (a liquid version of coconut oil).

To benefit from its ability to disinfect and freshen the air, diffuse five drops of frankincense in an essential oil diffuser (preferably not an oil burner, as heating the oil can destroy its therapeutic properties). Diffuse for up to an hour.

Frankincense is classified as a base note, meaning that when added to essential oil blends it tends to last longer than many other oils. Usually, base notes should comprise between 5 and 20 percent of a blend. Frankincense adds a rich, warm, incense-like quality to essential oil blends.

 

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Frankincense Antiwrinkle Cream

Skin-soothing and moisturizing, this fresh face cream helps reduce the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles.
Because this luxurious cream does not contain preservatives, use it within a month or store it in the fridge for up to three months.

This luxurious moisturizer helps soothe skin, reduce blemishes and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Unlike most of the anti-aging creams on the market, this one does not contain petrochemical-based products or chemical preservatives, making it a real treat for your skin. Keep in mind that because it is free of preservatives, it doesn’t last as long as chemical-laced commercial products, so you’ll want to use it within a month or keep it for up to three months in the refrigerator. You may want to use an old blender for this recipe, as the beeswax can leave a film that is difficult to completely remove.

• 3/4 cup sweet almond, apricot kernel or fractionated coconut oil
• 2 tablespoons shaved beeswax
• 30 drops frankincense essential oil
• 1 cup of filtered water

1. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir almond, apricot or coconut oil and beeswax together just until beeswax dissolves. Do not allow the oil to become hot. Immediately remove the saucepan from heat and add frankincense essential oil.

2. Pour water into blender, cover and begin blending it on high speed. With blender running, slowly pour the beeswax-oil mixture through hole in blender lid. The mixture will begin to thicken after about three-quarters of the beeswax has been incorporated.

3. Once all the beeswax has been blended, immediately pour cream into a 16-ounce glass jar or two 8-ounce glass jars. Use a spatula to remove any remaining cream from the blender. Makes about 1- 3/4 cups.

USING SODIUM HYALURONATE (HYALURONIC ACID) IN HAIRCARE and SKINCARE

IS SODIUM HYALURONATE GOOD FOR HAIR?

Yes! Hair follicles are embedded in the scalp’s deeper layer of skin known as the dermal layer. The tissue in the dermal layer comprises a moisturizing, gelatinous substance that is partly made up of Hyaluronic Acid – a naturally-occurring polysaccharide that works to support the body’s water retention and collagen production to help maintain skin elasticity. Sodium Hyaluronate, an all-natural and water-soluble form of Hyaluronic Acid, works in a similar way, offering enhanced skin penetration. Because the fats and proteins in the skin and the hair share a significant likeness, the same skincare that is applied to the face can also be applied to the scalp, as the scalp is, in effect, a protraction of the face.

Sodium Hyaluronate is a natural white powder that can be added to various hair product formulations in order to invigorate and rejuvenate dehydrated, damaged and brittle hair. It can be found in various molecular sizes and weights, each demonstrating a different benefit to the scalp. The smaller the molecule size the more readily it is able to penetrate the scalp to replenish its moisture barrier while reducing its moisture evaporation and promoting a firmer, plumper appearance for the hair. The low molecular weight of Sodium Hyaluronate is achieved through the bio-fermentation of non-GMO plant resources, making it all-natural.

WHAT IS SODIUM HYALURONATE USED FOR?

The scalp’s Hyaluronic Acid content works to maintain the scalp’s moisture in order to prevent dryness that leads to premature hair loss; however, eventually, the aging body generates a significantly lesser amount – approximately only half of the required amount – of Hyaluronic Acid, and this decline in the body’s natural production leads to a decline in the quantity and quality of hair. When the water content in the structure of the hair begins to dry out because of harsh environmental conditions, dietary issues, or hair treatments, the strands lose their luxuriant luster and volume. This is where Hyaluronic Acid – and by extension Sodium Hyaluronate – comes into play, working to replenish the hair’s moisture balance and to defend it against additional stressors.

It is said that Sodium Hyaluronate functions like fertilizer on the scalp, stimulating the growth and thickness of new hair and thus encouraging the look of increased hair volume. By adding Sodium Hyaluronate to natural hair product formulations, we can integrate the body’s natural nourishing elements to boost scalp health and hair growth and to naturally enhance the appearance and texture of the strands. This improvement helps to keep the hair shaft moist, supporting the look of lush hair that is easier to comb or brush, which in turn decreases hair breakage. Sodium Hyaluronate also helps to support and strengthen weaker strands, to promote body, resilience, and softness, to exfoliate a dry scalp to remove loose dandruff flakes and to exhibit reparative as well as protective effects thereafter.

HOW IS SODIUM HYALURONATE USED?

To apply Sodium Hyaluronate to the hair it must first be made into a serum that can then be incorporated into a shampoo base, a conditioner base, and leave-in hair products. To make a simple Sodium Hyaluronate serum, add 2.5 g Sodium Hyaluronate Raw Material to 60 ml water and 1.25 g Glycerine. Blend the mixture with a stick blender until it reaches a gel-like consistency. The approximate shelf life of this serum is 2 weeks. For longer shelf life, a preservative should be added. Sodium Hyaluronate is gentle enough for regular use.

SODIUM HYALURONATE SIDE EFFECTS

Sodium Hyaluronate is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as those with sensitive skin, are especially advised not to use Sodium Hyaluronate without the medical advice of a physician. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Sodium Hyaluronate, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by dissolving 0.5 tsp of Sodium Hyaluronate in 15 ml of water and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Sodium Hyaluronate Raw Material must never be used near the inner nose and ears or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

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USING SODIUM HYALURONATE (HYALURONIC ACID) IN SKIN CARE

IS SODIUM HYALURONATE THE SAME THING AS HYALURONIC ACID?

Hyaluronic Acid is a polysaccharide that occurs naturally in the human body and works to support the body’s collagen production and to help maintain elasticity. This natural molecule is specifically found in the hair, eyes, nerves, and in the lubricating liquid substance between the joints and tissues. In the skin, Hyaluronic Acid works to occupy the areas between collagen and elastin and to renew and enhance the skin’s natural suppleness for a healthy appearance and texture. Young skin also abounds in Hyaluronic Acid; however, these amounts show an inverse relationship with increasing age, and the result is skin that appears older.

Sodium Hyaluronate, an all-natural water-soluble form of Hyaluronic Acid, works in a similar way, offering better skin penetration and stability. The added gain when using Sodium Hyaluronate is that it penetrates the skin more easily than Hyaluronic Acid. This does not imply that one is better than the other, rather it indicates that cosmetic products containing both ingredients deliver even more profound benefits to the skin. The appeal of Hyaluronic Acid – and by extension Sodium Hyaluronate – is increased by the fact that it is naturally occurring in the human body, as this suggests that the product will not be toxic or harmful to the skin.

WHAT DOES SODIUM HYALURONATE DO FOR THE SKIN?

While high molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid hydrates only the top layer of skin, this low molecular weight and water-soluble form hydrates even the deeper layers of skin, helping to plump out the look of fine lines for a smoother appearance. Cosmetics enriched with Sodium Hyaluronate help to effectively restore the skin’s moisture with natural hydration, promoting a more youthful complexion. Its water-holding ability – specifically its natural capacity for holding water that is 1000 times its weight – makes it an exceptional hydrating agent and thus a popular ingredient in the cosmetic industry; this constituent is widely used in rejuvenating skincare products intended to address the appearance of wrinkles and can be found in face washes, eye creams, moisturizers, and skin repair creams.


 

WHAT IS SODIUM HYALURONATE USED FOR?

When added to cosmetic formulations, Sodium Hyaluronate helps to increase the final product’s stability and to reduce the probability of oxidization. Cleansers and moisturizers that are enriched with this hydrating agent will not leave the skin with an oily residue. When applied to the skin, Sodium Hyaluronate is reputed to…

    • Easily and deeply penetrate the skin to help it retain moisture for increased firmness and suppleness, resulting in a revitalized appearance
    • Remove loose flakes from dry skin
    • Relieve itching due to dehydrated and irritated skin
    • Smoothe the appearance of wrinkles and generally improve the texture of the skin
    • Enhance the absorption and benefits of other nourishing ingredients in a formulation
    • Be gentle enough for use on most skin types, including acne-prone types
    • Replace the skin’s natural Hyaluronic Acid content, which diminishes with age, exposure to UV radiation, and various other environmental factors that lead to gradual moisture loss
  • Promote the look of replenished facial volume by causing the skin to appear swollen/plumper, which helps reduce the look of fine lines

 


 

HOW IS SODIUM HYALURONATE USED?

To use Sodium Hyaluronate in skincare, simply add it to the suggested phases of formulations for the following products:

PRODUCT TYPE SUGGESTED PHASE
Face Wash Due to its inclination to form clumps when introduced to water, SH can first be blended with Glycerine before being added to water. This will prevent clumping and encourage a smooth blend.

Alternatively, it can simply be added directly to water, covered, and given time to hydrate, after which it can be mixed well.

When making larger volumes, SH can be added to water and blended in with a stick (immersion) blender until its consistency thickens.

Face Cream cool down phase (below 40 °C)
Eye Cream cool down phase (below 40 °C)
Lotion cool down phase (below 40 °C)
Skin Repair Cream cool down phase (below 40 °C)
Body Butter cool down phase (below 40 °C)

 

SODIUM HYALURONATE SIDE EFFECTS

Sodium Hyaluronate is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as those with sensitive skin, are especially advised not to use Sodium Hyaluronate without the medical advice of a physician. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Sodium Hyaluronate, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by dissolving 0.5 tsp of Sodium Hyaluronate in 15 ml of water and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Sodium Hyaluronate Raw Material must never be used near the inner nose and ears or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

Old-Time Herbal Beauty Tips

Before the big cosmetics companies took over, women often invented their own beauty aids. Here are a few of the herbal beauty tips my grandmother left behind.

Some old fashioned herbal beauty tips are extremely simple. For example, to bleach, your skin rub cucumber slices on your face.

For centuries, herbs were the main source of beauty aids, then along came the big cosmetic companies and the world was swamped with (sometimes dangerous) chemicals. Lately, however—as we rediscover organic recipes—herbs, fruits, and vegetables have found their way back onto milady’s makeup table.

As a matter of fact, I recently read a magazine article in which a duchess and a princess (folks who can certainly afford “the best”) recommended the use of exotic plants for beauty care. About that same time—as I searched through some old family hideaways for my grandmother’s salve recipe—I came upon a list of herbal beauty tips that Grandma had once written out for her daughter (my aunt).

There wasn’t that much difference between royalty’s road to loveliness and Grandma’s either, except the old girl didn’t buy most of her materials—she grew ’em!

Here’s the advice that my grandmother wrote down for her daughter those many years ago:

IN THE MORNING: Mix a handful of oatmeal with enough spring water to make a paste, and put this mixture on your face and neck. When it dries, rinse the paste off with whey, then with water, and dry your skin with a soft rag.

AT NIGHT: Rub a mixture of honey and glycerin onto your face, then after awhile wipe it off gently with a soft cloth.

ONCE A WEEK: Add a teaspoon of honey to one mashed apple, mix them together, and put this “cream” on your face and neck. Leave it in place for half an hour, and then rinse with whey or cold milk. (Make sure your husband will be gone awhile before you start this treatment!)

TO SMOOTH WRINKLES: Apply barley water and a few drops of balm of Gilead to your wrinkles every day.

TO BLEACH YOUR SKIN: Rub cucumber slices on your face.

FOR SOFT HANDS: Shake a half cup of glycerin, a half cup of rose water, and a quarter cup of witch hazel in a jar. Apply this to your hands after they’ve been in the water.

TO HEAL CHAPPED HANDS: Rub them with damp table salt.

FOR BRIGHT HAIR: Add vinegar to the rinse water after washing your hair, or make a rinse of mullein, nettle, sage, or burdock tea.

TO DARKEN GRAY HAIR: Boil an ounce of chamomile or sage in a quart of water for 20 minutes. Rinse your hair with this brew, and use a hairbrush dipped in strong chamomile or sage tea.

TO PREVENT DANDRUFF: Rub a tea made from the leaves and bark of willow into your scalp. Rinse the area with marshmallow tea.

FOR A RELAXING BATH: Hang a bag of dried comfrey or rosemary In the bath water.

FOR PERFUME: Fill a jar with pressed rose petals (or any sweet-scented flowers), add as much glycerin as the container will hold, and cover It tightly. After three weeks, you can pour the perfume off into a bottle.

TO MAKE A SACHET: Combine one ounce each of powdered cloves, caraway seed, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon with six ounces of powdered orrisroot. Put the mixture in fancy bags and place them in closets and dresser drawers.

Now, some of the ingredients that Granny mentioned may not be familiar to you. Take “balm of Gilead,” for example. That’s just plain ol’ balsam. And “marshmallow tea” sounds like a sticky mess, but Grandma wasn’t talking about the soft, white candy. She was referring to the root of the marshmallow plant. “Orrisroot,” another name that may be puzzling to modern folk, Is the dried, powdered root of various European Iris plants.

Grandma foraged or grew most of her ingredients, but you can often find them in health food stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies, or even still growin’ wild along the roadside.

Naturally (no pun intended), I started to use some of these old-time recipes and found that comfrey does make a nice skin softener, while oatmeal leaves the skin silky and is especially good on oily teenage complexions.

However, a word of caution: Anyone can be allergic to almost anything, so check out any unfamiliar substance before you rub it all over yourself. To do this, just place a small amount on the tender skin of your inner arm and cover the area with an adhesive bandage. Then wait 24 hours and have a look. If the patch shows any reaction, such as redness or obvious irritation, that ingredient just isn’t for you.

My grandmother often said she didn’t feel a bit older at 80 than she did at 16, and she didn’t look her age either. Did this wonderful woman’s organic beauty rituals account for her natural glow and glamour? Well, let us just say that—after a few weeks of using some of Grandma’s “secrets”—I’ve begun to believe that they did!

bars of soap

Recipes to Make Your Own Soap, Lotion and More

You can easily make safe, effective toiletries — including lotion and deodorant — at home, using simple, healthy ingredients.

$50 off the Botanical Skin Care Course for a limited time!

If you’ve ever read the labels on health and hygiene products, you know it can be a challenge to find a product that doesn’t contain long lists of ingredients you can’t even pronounce, let alone know what they are or what they’re for. Plus, there are the occasional headlines that yet another standard ingredient in the products we use every day turns out to be counter to the very health and cleanliness the product is supposed to promote. Sometimes the easiest way to ensure that you’re using the best, healthiest products — from soap to toothpaste — is to simply make your own. You can easily make safe, effective toiletries — including lotion and deodorant — at home, using simple, healthy ingredients.

Try your hand at one or all of these basic recipes and rest assured that your body is getting the best care you can give it. You should be able to find the basic ingredients listed below at your local pharmacy or health food store.

Shea Butter Soap

2 cups glycerin soap base, melted in a double boiler
2 tbsp shea butter, melted separately
Several drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Mix well, pour into molds (you can use regular food storage containers), and cool.


Whitening Sage Tooth Powder

Mix together 1 tsp each of baking soda, table salt, and dried sage.

Scoop onto a dampened toothbrush and brush as usual.


Body Butter

1/4 cup grated cocoa butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp grated beeswax

Combine all the ingredients in an ovenproof glass container. Place the container with the mixture in a pan with a 1- to a 2-inch water bath. Melt the oils and wax gently.

Pour the melted mixture into a clean jar and allow to cool. Stir the cooled mixture.

Spread the butter on your body and massage into the skin. Yields 4 oz.


Basic Deodorant Powder Formula

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
Antibacterial essential oils such as cinnamon, rose, birch or lavender, as preferred

Place the baking soda and cornstarch in a glass jar. Add the essential oils; stir and cover. Dampen a powder puff, cotton ball or sea sponge and dab into the mixture (or sprinkle the mixture on the sponge); pat underarms. Makes 1 cup.

herbal infusions

 

Discover over 200 herbal recipes in the Botanical Skin Care Course

Herb Infused Waters for Summer Hydration

Hydration is key when summer hits, and while I love ice water, sometimes a hint of flavor can make the water feel a bit more special. Plus, herb-infused water is an easy upgrade when entertaining, your guests will be impressed!

You can use any combo of herbs, fruits, and edible flowers that you like, here are some of my favorite combos:

1. Lemon Balm and Mint: lemon balm has a sweet lemony flavor that adds brightness while mint will add that refreshing cooling effect. Lemon balm is known to relieve digestive problems, anxiety, lower blood pressure, aid in concentration and is antiviral (1). Mint is known to also relieve digestive bloat, upset stomach, and vomiting (1). A lemon balm and mint water infusion would be great on a hot day when you might need a mood lift or feel extra stressed.

2. Watermelon and Basil: cubed watermelon adds a touch of sweetness while basil pairs well with summer fruit. Basil improves circulation and soothes headaches while being antimicrobial (1). The contrast of pink plus green makes a great spring and summer refresher. Watermelon can also be substituted with strawberries for a fun twist.

3.Mint and Cucumber: cucumber water is a classic ‘spa water’. Add sliced cucumbers to impart a touch of flavor and add mint, which can relieve upset stomach and cools you down at the same time.

4. Chamomile: alone, chamomile has a sweet apple flavor, pair it with lavender, lemon balm or stevia leaves for a sweeter twist on herb water. Chamomile is known to promote relaxation and relieve stress, ease stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea (1) and is also loved by children. The cute white flowers will give this infusion a feminine look, great for a girls day or night.

5. Strawberry and thyme: strawberries add vitamins, sweetness and a pale pink hue. Thyme adds a distinct herbal flavor and brings benefits such as soothing sore throats, stimulating the immune system and can help fight urinary infections (1). Together they make a tasty pairing fit for any summer entertaining, or as a treat after an afternoon working in the garden.

Water infused with herbs is a healthy, sugar-free alternative for any time of the year, but especially refreshing during the warm months. When infusing waters, roughly chop, tear or bruise the herbs to release their oils and scent. In a pitcher or large mason jar, infuse water and herbs for a least 2-4 hours before serving for the best flavor. Throw in a few edible flowers such as calendula, pansies, borage, rose petals or chamomile for an extra layer of color and interest. There is no wrong or right combination when it comes to infusing water with herbs- use the flavors you like and use the herbs you have on hand!

4 Ways To Use Clary Sage Essential Oil

Discover over 200 herbal recipes in the Botanical Skin Care Course

What is Clary Sage?

Clary Sage is a variety of sage that belongs to the genus Salvia. During the summer months, the flowers adorn gardens with their purple, pink and light blue flowers. Clary Sage has been noted in history as far back as the middle ages when it was used for the eyes.

The sweet, fresh flowers and leaves yield a colorless to yellow-green oil when steam distilled. The scent is almost nutty and some say that it may smell a little musty. Clary Sage blends well with many essential oils but in particular Lavender, Geranium, Jasmine, and Sandalwood.

Although this oil has a reputation for having an affinity to the female body, it is also rich in linalool and has often been used to positively affect the emotions. It can feel lifting, but not overly stimulating, yet calming at the same time. Clary Sage is often added to blends for anxiety, stress, tension, pain and many female issues such as menstrual cramps.

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There are many ways to use Clary Sage essential oil. Here are my 4 favorite ways to use this oil:

Uplifting Scent/Mood Elevator

When feeling down, insecure, irritable and even anxious, I like to make a blend with Clary Sage to use in my diffuser. By combining other relaxing and uplifting oils, the effect seems to bring balance into my life.

  • Clary Sage Essential Oil – 40 drops
  • Bergamot Essential Oil – 80 drops
  • Sandalwood Essential Oil – 20 drops
  • Jasmine Absolute Oil – 10 drops

Blend the oils in a small dark glass bottle. Use 3-5 drops in your diffuser as desired.

Aphrodisiac Massage Oil

When emotions are out of whack it can be difficult to feel sensual and connected to your partner. To feel more confident, at ease and sensual, why not try exchanging massages. Try using gentle pressure with long strokes to encourage circulation and relaxation.

  • Clary Sage Essential Oil – 40 drops
  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil – 20 drops
  • Patchouli Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Sandalwood Essential Oil – 14 drops
  • Perilla Seed Oil – 4 ounces

Blend the essential oils with the Perilla Oil, or your favorite massage oil. Shake well and use as a massage oil.

Menstrual Cramp Roll-On

If you are a woman, chances are you have experienced menstrual cramps. They can vary from mild to moderate, and even severe. Cramps can leave you feeling tired, in pain and even bloated. Over the years I have learned to keep a roll-on with this blend in my monthly kit – along with Swiss chocolate, The Notebook DVD, and The Honey Pot Menstrual Pads!

  • Clary Sage Essential Oil – 15 drops
  • Geranium Essential Oil – 8 drops
  • Lavender Essential Oil – 3 drops
  • Copaiba Essential Oil – 10 drops
  • Black Pepper Essential Oil – 3 drops
  • Golden Jojoba Oil – 10 ml

Blend all the essential oils with Jojoba Oil. Pour into 2 roll-on bottles. Make a label and use as needed by gently massaging the lower abdomen.

Anti-Aging Skin Care

Clary Sage has a wonderful affinity for the skin. It is said to improve the appearance of fine lines while giving the skin a youthful and glowing look. Add this blend to your favorite creams and lotions for a little extra boost for your skin!

  • Clary Sage Essential Oil – 15 drops
  • Rose Absolute Oil – 1 drop
  • Frankincense Essential Oil – 6 drops
  • Patchouli Essential Oil – 3 drops
  • Unscented skin care product – 4 ounces

Place unscented skin care product, in a clean bowl. Add essential oils. With a clean whisk incorporate the essential oils into your product until completely mixed. Pour or scoop your finished product back into the original containers. Enjoy this blend in the morning and/or evening.

*Clean and “sterilize” your bowl and whisk by adding 1 tsp of Everclear alcohol to the bowl and wiping down the entire bowl with a clean paper towel.

Safety Guidelines

There are a few safety guidelines that should be observed when using Clary Sage essential oil.

  • Do not drink alcohol and use Clary Sage essential oil. It has long been known to enhance the effects of alcohol. When mixed with alcoholic beverages, it is said to produce intense dreams and to amplify your hangover the following morning!
  • When using Clary Sage with hormone-affecting essential oils, such as Geranium, make sure to consult your healthcare professional/aromatherapist before use.
  • Consider using a designated driver if you are intensely working with Clary Sage essential oil! The deep relaxing effect can produce drowsiness and may make you unfit for getting behind the wheel.
  • Avoid this oil during pregnancy as it may increase circulation in the reproductive organs; however, this oil was tested in a group of late-term pregnant women with no ill effects.

MARKET REPORT JUNE 2019

The following report contains updates on the current trends in production and availability of the most in-demand Essential Oils, Carrier Oils, and Raw Materials sourced from around the globe.

Chamomile German Oil

In Nepal, Chamomile is harvested from February to March. The current growing conditions are favorable. This year’s production was optimum due to improved weather conditions. The demand for Chamomile is strong and, at present, the price is both stable and lower than last year’s prices.

Chamomile Roman Oil

In the UK, Roman Chamomile is harvested in July. The current growing conditions are favorable; however, the final crop quality depends on the weather in June and at the time of harvest. Compared to last year’s harvest yield of 6000 kg, this year’s yield is projected to be much lower at an estimated 3000 kg. The total yearly demand is approximately 4000 kg. It is too early to know the market conditions, but they depend on the final quantity of the new crop.

Castor USP & Castor Organic Oils

In India, Castor is harvested from December to April. The lack of rainfall in the Castor growing region has led to low crop yield, of which there are approximately 900 000 tons. There are 400 000 tons of carryover crop from last year. Last year, the crop yield was 1400 000 tons, and the carryover crop was 600 000 tons. The annual demand is around 1700 000 tons. Compared to the demand, the quantity of available crop is low, hence prices have begun to increase and are expected to remain high.

Organic Castor Oil is harvested between February and May. This year’s harvest yield is almost 10% lower at 1800 kg/hectare, compared to 2000 kg last year. Sowing is also lower than 30% compared to last year and is approximately 35% lower than the 5-year average. Due to low acreage and production this year, Castor Oil has a 25% higher rate than last year. The annual demand for Castor is increasing, due to its beneficial properties and the consequential high usage of Organic Castor Oil in the cosmetics industry. Due to increased demand for the product and this year’s decrease in production, the market conditions still seem favorable. There is even greater demand expected from the world market, due to the acceptability of Organic Castor Oil.

Cajeput Oil

In Indonesia, Cajeput is harvested and the oil is produced year-round. At present, there are no issues with the growing conditions. This year’s harvest yield is projected to be normal, neither higher nor lower than previous years. The crop is stable and the demand has greatly increased throughout 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, due to earlier restrictions on other sources of Cineol/Eucalyptol. Now that the other sources have recovered, the prices for Cajeput have stabilized. At present, market conditions are unclear.

Eucalyptus Oil (Blue Mallee)

In Australia, Blue Mallee Eucalyptus is generally harvested from September to June. The current growing conditions are unfavorable due to a prolonged drought and resultant dryness. This has caused a decline in the crop yield, as two years of below-average rainfall have led to poor growth. The demand for Blue Mallee remains strong and in excess of supply. The market also remains strong, strengthened further by the limited availability of supplies.

Bergamot Calabrian & Bergamot Organic Oil

In Italy, Bergamot is harvested from November to February. As observed in the last harvest and as forecasted for the new crop, it appears that Bergamot trees are recovering from difficulties in the previous three years, caused by climatic changes that affected the blossoming. This year’s harvest yield is projected to be higher than the previous one; however, a more accurate prediction can be made in late August/early September. The demand for Bergamot has been increasing due to its popularity in Aromatherapy and due to growing Asian markets. The market is good for sellers, due to the high prices, which are also influenced by significant demand from fresh fruit markets.

In Italy, Organic Bergamot is harvested from mid-November to the beginning of March. The winter and spring weather conditions have resulted in favorable conditions for a regular Bergamot blossoming; however, the summer weather conditions will determine the next crop trend. The 2018/2019 Bergamot harvest yield was regular in terms of fruits harvested and was in line with the previous one. There is a high demand for Bergamot, but there is poor availability at this point in the year.

Safflower Oil

In Mexico, Safflower is harvested in April and May. This year’s weather was favorable and, though some areas experienced losses due to the low amount of rain, this issue affected less than 10% of the Safflower production. This year’s harvest yield was better than that of the previous year. The demand is stable, though it is necessary to constantly review the climatic conditions that may affect the crop’s performance. Given that the amount of Safflower harvested in Mexico is higher this year compared to last year, the prices are expected to be stable.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERLY STORING ESSENTIAL OILS

The shelf life, quality, beneficial properties, and safe use of an Essential Oil depends largely on the way in which it is stored. When kept in the proper vessel and at the proper temperature, an Essential Oil can achieve its maximum shelf life with a conservative estimate of at least one year. On the more liberal end of the scale, properly cared-for Essential Oils may even last for ten years or longer, depending on the type of oil and the storage conditions.

DO ESSENTIAL OILS EXPIRE?

Eventually, all Essential Oils will expire and become unsafe to use, thus correct storage and appropriate handling are advantageous to all oils. The quality of oil begins to progressively decline with the process of oxidation, which causes them to lose their aromas as well as their nourishing benefits. On a more encouraging note, Essential Oils do not all degrade at the same rate; while Essential Oils from citrus fruits are known to oxidize faster than all others – expiring and losing their scents and benefits as early as six months after being opened – Essential Oils with earthy or woody aromas, such as Patchouli and Sandalwood, tend to smell even better with maturity, taking much longer before beginning to weaken in potency and aroma; thus an oil’s lifespan may fluctuate greatly depending on the quality of the source botanical and the harvest, the extraction method and the conditions under which the oil is distilled, the batch/lot, storage and handling of the oil when it is first received by both the supplier and the customer, and the manner in which the supplier bottles, stores, and handles the oil.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF ESSENTIAL OILS HAVE GONE BAD? WHAT DOES EXPIRED OIL SMELL AND LOOK LIKE?

There are four main ways to tell if an Essential Oil has deteriorated:

1) Its aroma has become stronger and likely unpleasant or it has weakened, depending on the oil

2) It has changed in color and has become darker, lighter, or even colorless, depending on the oil

3) It appears murky/foggy

4) It has thickened in consistency

There might be times when an oxidized Essential Oil will not exhibit the classic signs of deterioration, thus these are general guidelines. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that all oils be properly stored, handled, and used before they expire.

HOW LONG CAN YOU STORE OPENED ESSENTIAL OILS?

OIL TYPE MAIN CONSTITUENTS POPULAR ESSENTIAL OILS IN THIS CATEGORY LENGTH OF TIME
Citrus

Bright
Refreshing, 
Energizing

Monoterpenes (especially Limonene) Bergamot
Grapefruit
Lemon
Lime
Neroli
Orange
6 months-1 year
Fresh, Herbaceous, Warm, Slightly Spicy, Slightly Sweet, Softly Floral or Woody, Camphoraceous,

Stimulating, 
Uplifting, Deodorizing

Monoterpenes (especially Limonene)
Oxides
Angelica Root
Black Pepper
Cypress
Eucalyptus
Frankincense
Juniper Berry
Laurel Leaf
Lemongrass
Pine
Ravensara
Rosemary
Siberian Fir
Spruce
Tea Tree
1-3 Years
Herbaceous, Camphorous, Spicy, Sweet, Woody

Balancing, Strengthening, Purifying

Aldehydes
Ethers
Ketones
Monoterpenols
Oxides
Phenols
Basil
(Cedar Leaf) Thuja
Clary Sage
Geranium
Hyssop
Lavender
Mugwort
Palmarosa
Peppermint
Sage
Tea Tree
Thyme
Rose Absolute
Rosewood
2-6 years
Fruity, Floral, Spicy, Woody

Balancing, Inspiring, and Soothing

Esters
Phenols
Birch
Clove Bud
Helichrysum
Jasmine Absolute
Roman Chamomile
Wintergreen
3-7 years
Woody, Earthy, Balsamic, Warm, Spicy

Sedative, Centering, Grounding, Calming

Sesquiterpenes
Sesquiterpenols
Black Pepper
Cedarwood
Copaiba Balsam
German Chamomile
Ginger
Myrrh
Patchouli
Sandalwood
Spikenard
Vetiver
Ylang Ylang
4-15 years

CAN YOU STORE ESSENTIAL OILS IN THE REFRIGERATOR?

Yes, Essential Oils can be stored in the refrigerator. This option is especially ideal for those who use their oils infrequently – for example, a couple of times a year.

CAN YOU STORE ESSENTIAL OILS IN THE FREEZER? IS IT ACCEPTABLE FOR ESSENTIAL OILS TO FREEZE?

Yes, Essential Oils may be stored in the freezer. If they freeze or form crystals that cause its appearance to become foggy, simply allow them to naturally return to room temperature before using them. The time it takes to “thaw” will depend on the oil and can range from minutes to several hours. Some crystallized oils can begin to liquify as the bottle is held in the hand and others may benefit from a warm water “bath” (placing the bottle in a bowl of shallow warm water). Whichever method is used, ensure that the bottle’s cap is kept on loosely, otherwise, the valuable volatile constituents will quickly escape. If there is too little headspace in the bottle and the cap is left on tightly during heating, the Essential Oil will build up pressure in the bottle and, when the cap is removed, the oil will spray all over. Leaving the cap loosely on the bottle will help prevent this.

PLACES WHERE ESSENTIAL OILS SHOULD NOT BE STORED

Do not store Essential Oils in hot, bright, or humid areas, such as in the bathroom, near a stove, on a window sill or other sunny area, and any places where constantly shifting room temperatures might potentially cause the quality of the oil to deteriorate faster.

WHICH FACTORS INFLUENCE AN OIL’S SHELF LIFE?

HEAT
Due to their flammable nature, Essential Oils should never be kept near open flames or any sources of heat or fire, such as sunlight, candles, and stoves. Leaving them vulnerable to high temperatures could lead to them reaching their unique flashpoints, which are the individual temperatures at which oils will ignite. Being frequently exposed often to heat will hasten an oil’s deterioration.

OXYGEN
When oils are exposed to air/oxygen, they become oxidized and their volatile constituents begin to fade, which means their fragrances – among other qualities – fade. This is largely caused by the oil’s bottle cap being left open for long periods of time. To prevent or slow the processes of oxidation and evaporation, it is important that bottles remain capped when Essential Oils are not in use. Oxidized oils, while not suggested for topical use or aromatherapy, can still be used for other applications, such as household cleaning.

LIGHT
When Essential Oils are kept in sunlit areas, their properties will be negatively impacted, and these include their aromas, appearances, and general effectiveness. For this reason, Essential Oils are sold and stored in darkly-colored bottles (most commonly amber, although dark blue, green, violet, and black have also become popular) to prevent UV radiation from penetrating the bottle. Regardless of the dark color of the bottle, it is still best to avoid placing oils in direct sunlight, as the recurrent heating and cooling will facilitate the oils’ oxidation.

MOISTURE
Moisture can enter oil bottles when they are left uncapped for an extended period, leaving the oils looking cloudy. The insides of the bottles will also form water beads. To reiterate, this can be prevented by keeping bottles capped.

HOW TO PROLONG SHELF LIFE AND KEEP TRACK OF OIL FRESHNESS

  1. Follow the oil company’s SDS documents or product pages, which outline handling and storage conditions.
  2. Do not store Essential Oils in direct sunlight; store them in cool, ambient areas.
  3. Prevent oxidation by displacing any oxygen in a bottle’s “head space” with Nitrogen, an inert gas that is heavier than oxygen and that does not react with any Essential Oil constituents.
  4. Make note of the date on which you buy an Essential Oil. This date can be marked on the product itself, either on the label or on the cap.
  5. Do not keep undiluted Essential Oils in dropper bottles, as the rubber will become gummy and spoil the quality of the oil.
  6. Ensure that the bottle cap is always screwed on tightly.
  7. Aim to keep Essential Oil bottles as full as possible; any empty space or “headspace” in the bottle is filled with oxygen, which can speed up the oxidation process. If necessary, transfer the oil into smaller containers that will be fuller.
  8. Do not insert any objects directly into the bottle; first, pour the necessary amount into/onto sterilized equipment, dilute, then apply as preferred.

THE BEST WAY TO STORE ESSENTIAL OILS

CAN YOU STORE ESSENTIAL OILS IN… YES/NO WHY?/WHY NOT?
Clear Glass Containers? Yes and No Although clear/colorless glass bottles will not cause damage to Essential Oils, they will also not prevent damaging UV radiation from influencing the quality of the oil. Darkly colored bottles (such as amber bottles) are recommended instead.
Aluminum Containers? Yes and No Aluminum bottles are suitable for storage if their interiors are lined with food-grade Epoxy lining.

They are a safe method for Essential Oil transportation and are ideal for short-term storage.

Metal or Stainless-Steel Containers? Yes Stainless-Steel is an ideal material for storing Essential Oils as well as for mixing Essential Oils when working with natural recipes; avoid plastic or wooden materials when working with Essential Oil-enhanced recipes.
Plastic Containers? No Storing Essential Oils in plastic containers causes paneling, and petrochemicals in the material may negatively react with the Essential Oils.

Plastic is also known to absorb Essential Oils, which poses a challenge when cleaning the container.

Blended or diluted products, such as moisturizers or massage oils, are relatively safe to store in plastic containers.

STORING ESSENTIAL OILS WHILE TRAVELLING

To properly and safely store Essential Oils on the go, travelers’ carrying cases are available to take favorite oils along for a trip, with some cases designed to carry more than forty oils at once.

WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF USING EXPIRED ESSENTIAL OILS?

Spoiled Essential Oils are said to be harmful, and using them can be detrimental to one’s health. They are reputed to cause skin sensitization, irritation, peeling, rashes, inflammation, and burning, among various other potentially disagreeable results.

ESSENTIAL OILS SIDE EFFECTS

Essential Oils are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using these oils for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Essential Oils without the medical advice of a physician, as they may have effects on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. These oils should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are especially recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders or allergies, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using any Essential Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Essential Oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Essential Oils include redness, rash, hives, burning, bleeding disorders, decreased speed of healing, low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, and rapid heartbeat. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

Grapefruit Essential Oil: A Fresh Scent, Home Remedy

Luscious, juicy, and pleasingly fragrant grapefruit shares the nutritional qualities of other citrus species, being high in vitamin C, plus delivering ample potassium, folic acid, beta-carotene (red fruits only), and capillary-strengthening flavonoids.  It has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, enhances digestion, acts as a mild diuretic, diminishes the appetite, and offers valuable protection against infectious illnesses.  And – who can resist the delightfully uplifting scent of the freshly squeezed juice and peel?

Native to tropical Asia and the West Indies, grapefruit trees are now cultivated primarily in California, Florida, and Texas, as well as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Israel.  Much of the essential oil is produced in the United States by cold expression of the outer part of the fresh peel of the ripe fruit, yielding a yellow or yellowish-green liquid.  Oil that is distilled from the peel and remains of the fruit after making juice is of inferior quality for aromatherapeutic purposes. Grapefruit essential oil oxidizes quickly (as do all citrus oils), so use it within 1 year, or within 2 years if you keep it refrigerated and don’t open it often.

Grapefruit essential oil is one of my top picks to include in massage oil blends, often combined with ginger, cypress, and peppermint essential oils, to ease conditions of water retention, fatigue, heavy legs and feet, and general overall achiness.  Its astringent action also benefits oily skin and scalp.

This delightful medicinal oil offers an amazingly effective and aromatically pleasing cognitive boost that stokes your mental fires, enhancing concentration and mental clarity.  I’ve long adored both the fruit and the oil, as I find the fruit deliciously satisfying and it’s oil scent-sational.  It makes my mind and body smile!  Clients love it when my reflexology treatment room smells of grapefruit – clean and fresh.  I highly recommend adding grapefruit essential oil to spritzer recipes (room mists) to lighten and brighten the environment and mood of those in it. It blends well with other citrus essential oils as well as peppermint, spearmint, lavender, neroli, rose, geranium, rosemary, and ylang-ylang.

Psychological Benefits:  Grapefruit lifts the spirits, being beneficial during times of overwhelming stress, depression, mental fatigue, and nervous exhaustion. It’s especially helpful for the PMS blues.  Like other citrus oils, it delivers a general feeling of well-being and builds your sense of humor.  A rather empowering oil, grapefruit helps improve your confidence and sense of self-worth.

Essential Properties In A Nutshell:   Anti-infectious; gently warming; very refreshing and cleansing; detoxifying; appetite suppressant and digestive aid; eases tension and digestive headaches; enhances circulation; astringent and diuretic; deodorizing; emotionally uplifting during times of great stress; antidepressant.

Safety Data & Usage Information:  Grapefruit essential oil is considered nontoxic, nonirritating, and generally nonsensitizing, with only a low risk of photosensitivity.Good to know:  Certain medications come with a warning against ingesting grapefruit juice while you are taking them.  Why?  Because grapefruit juice contains dihydroxybergamottin, a chemical compound that interferes with the effectiveness of many medications.  Grapefruit essential oil – expressed from the peel only – does not contain this compound, so it is safe to use in aromatherapy for individuals who are avoiding grapefruit juice because of their medication.

Always dilute essential oils properly – according to age, health, medication intake, and skin condition – prior to application.

The following oh-so-fragrant recipe highlights the therapeutic nature of grapefruit essential oil with regard to its gently stimulating, mentally clarifying properties.

“Sunshine-in-a-Bottle” Mist

By their very light, refreshing nature, most citrus oils tend to be rather uplifting to the psyche and particularly good at stimulating a sluggish mind and stagnant circulation, which is why I chose them for the basis of this sparkling, ultra-fresh formula.  I added rosemary essential oil for the sharp, energizing, mind-clearing properties that it lends.  A few spritzes around my home office with this mist is a sure-fire way to blast out the “mental cobwebs” after an afternoon spent working at my computer.

Contraindication:  DO NOT use this mist in small rooms or bedrooms with children under 2 years of age or in rooms with caged pets.

Essential Oils:

• 20 drops grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) essential oil
• 15 drops lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil
• 15 drops sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil
• 10 drops rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole or non-chemotype specific) essential oil

Base:

• 1/2 cup plain, unflavored vodka (80- or 100-proof)
• 1/2 cup purified or distilled water

Container:

• 8-ounce plastic (PET or HDPE) or dark glass spritzer bottle

To Make The Mist: Pour the vodka and water into the bottle, then add the grapefruit, lemon, orange, and rosemary essential oils.  Screw the top on the bottle and shake vigorously to blend.  Label the bottle and allow the spray to synergize for 1 hour.  Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year.

To Use: Shake well before each use.  When in need of mental stimulation, lightly mist your surrounding area and breathe deeply.  Use as desired.

Yield:; 8 ounces (240 ml)

Bonus uses: The essential oils in this formula contain general antiseptic properties that will help keep your work area and home free of infectious nasties.  Spray throughout the house several times per day during cold and flu season.  You can also spray the blend on your hands after washing as an added layer of wellness protection.  I suggest placing a bottle by the kitchen sink and in each bathroom.

BENEFITS OF NATURAL SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BASES ARE “NATURAL?”

definition of natural means that the cleansing agents used in the formulation of our bases are gentle on the hair, scalp, and skin. Conventional synthetic shampoos are more likely to expose the hair and the skin to harsh chemical ingredients that can potentially have harmful long-term effects, including skin irritation, dryness, a reduction in the size or deterioration of the hair follicles, premature graying, and even hair loss. Natural shampoos can be used without the concern of these potential side effects.

While many shampoos and conditioners that claim to be natural may still contain botanical materials that can potentially have harsh effects on some skin types.

  • Aqua = Water
  • Sodium Cocoamphoacetate = a mild surfactant, foam booster/stabilizer, and conditioner derived from Coconut Oil
  • Glycerine = a transparent, colorless, and unscented viscous liquid derived from the oils of plants such as Coconut, Palm, or Soy. This ingredient cleanses, moisturizes, and soothes the skin.
  • Lauryl Glucoside = a surfactant composed of Coconut/Palm Oil and Corn Glucose. This ingredient promotes easy cleaning and rinsing.
  • Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate = an Amino Acid surfactant, cleansing agent, and foaming agent obtained from Coconut Oil and fermented sugar.
  • Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate = derived from sugar. This surfactant functions as a stabilizing and emulsifying agent.
  • Coco Glucoside = a foaming, cleansing, conditioning, and thickening agent designed for sensitive skin
  • Glyceryl Oleate = a result of the esterification of Glycerin and Oleic Acid; Oleic Acid occurs naturally in oils such as Olive Oil. This ingredient functions as an emulsifier and a conditioning agent.
  • Propanediol = naturally derived from corn. This hydrating ingredient helps to improve the skin’s absorption of ingredients while leaving a smoothing effect on the skin and promoting a dewy look.
  • Dicaprylyl Ether = derived from a fatty acid that occurs naturally in Coconut and Palm Kernel oils. This emollient functions as a skin conditioner.
  • Decyl glucoside = a gentle surfactant derived from plants. This environmentally-friendly ingredient functions as a cleansing agent that is suitable for sensitive skin types, including baby skin.
  • Sodium Levulinate = a plant-derived sodium salt that is obtained from Levulinic Acid found in GMO-free corn. This ingredient functions as a skin conditioning agent as well as a preservative.
  • Potassium Sorbate = a gentle preservative that serves as a substitute for parabens. This ingredient helps to inhibit or slow the growth of harmful bacteria that can spoil the quality and effectiveness of a product.
  • Citric Acid = an organic acid that is naturally occurring in Citrus fruits. This ingredient helps to reduce the pH level of a product. It may also help to improve the function of a preservative.
  • Cetearyl Glucoside = a surfactant and emulsifier that is obtained from Coconut as well as GMO-free corn. It helps to prevent moisture loss from the skin and hair, and it contributes a velvety, non-greasy sensation.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol = a combination of vegetable-based Cetyl and Stearyl alcohols. This ingredient is an emulsifier, thickener, and foam-enhancing agent that also has smoothing and stabilizing effects on a formulation.
  • Glyceryl Stearate = a wax-like fatty acid that is derived from vegetable oil, Soy Oil, or Palm Kernel Oil and that is also naturally occurring in the human body. This ingredient is used in formulations for its emulsifying properties.
  • Butyrospermum Parkii Butter = also known as Shea Butter, this creamy vegetable fat is derived from the kernels of the Shea tree’s fruits. This ingredient has exceptional moisturizing and softening properties.
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride = an oily liquid derived from Coconut Oil and Glycerin. This ingredient is a solvent, an emollient, and it helps to promote the even dispersal of non-soluble liquids and powders in a formulation. It also helps prolong a product’s shelf life and contributes a silky texture.
  • Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil = also called Argan Oil, this hydrating, conditioning, soothing, and softening agent is derived from the kernels of the Argan Tree.
  • Xanthan Gum = a polysaccharide derived from fermented sugar. This ingredient functions as a thickener and stabilizer.

THE TOP 10 BENEFITS OF NATURAL SHAMPOOS & CONDITIONERS

1. THEY IMPROVE THE LOOK AND FEEL OF THE HAIR AND SCALP

Although conventional shampoos undeniably clean the hair, they are known to cleanse sometimes to the point of eliminating the hair’s and the scalp’s vital natural oils, causing them to dry out, leading to itchiness. Also, those with skin sensitivities or easily irritated skin may find that synthetic shampoos aggravate these conditions. When hair is introduced to the chemical-free ingredients in natural shampoos, although it may feel, unlike the way conventional shampoos cause it to feel as the hair continues to hold onto its natural oils, with regular use natural shampoos can help the hair to feel softer and smoother while enhancing its natural luster.

2. THERE IS A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE WHEN SWITCHING TO A NATURAL SHAMPOO

The most noticeable difference one can see when beginning to use a natural shampoo is that it will not produce as much lather as a conventional shampoo, due to the absence of synthetic foaming agents. This is not an indication that the hair is not being thoroughly cleansed, rather it indicates that the hair’s natural oils are not being washed out. It is recommended that hair be washed twice when using a natural shampoo, as the second wash will produce slightly more lather. This is because there is less buildup – dirt, oil, dry skin – to eliminate in the second wash. Furthermore, when the strands hold more water in the second wash, it increases the shampoo’s ability to produce more lather.

3. NATURAL SHAMPOOS HAVE A PH-BALANCED FORMULA

Both highly acidic and highly alkaline products can be extremely damaging to the hair cuticle. For this reason, it is important to use a pH-balanced shampoo that is neither too alkaline nor too acidic. NDA’s natural shampoo base is formulated with a pH range of 4.5-5.5.

4. NDA’s NATURAL SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER BASES ARE READY TO USE

NDA’s natural shampoo and natural conditioner bases are fully formulated and can be used unscented. Alternatively, Fragrance Oils or Essential Oils can be added to suit individual preferences.

5. THEY ARE NATURALLY SOOTHING AND STIMULATING

Natural ingredients in hair products can gently yet effectively help to impart vitamins, minerals, oils, and botanical extracts to the scalp and the hair follicles. They can also gently stimulate the growth of new hair, help hair retain its natural moisture, and enhance the overall texture and appearance of the hair. The most common natural hair care oils that are known to be rich in Vitamin content include Almond, Ginseng, Jojoba, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Prickly Pear oils. These ingredients are also known to emit pleasant natural scents.

6. THEY ARE NATURALLY MOISTURIZING

Natural shampoos and conditioners are often enriched with pure and nourishing moisturizers, including gels, oils, and butters that may be obtained from leaves, nuts, seeds, or kernels. Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, and butters such as Cocoa are among the popular moisturizers that are found in natural shampoos and conditioners.

7. THEY BENEFIT THE ENVIRONMENT

The hair benefits of using natural shampoos and conditioners also extend to the health of the environment, as ecologically-friendly ingredients replace the harsh synthetic chemicals, which pollute sewer systems and rivers, poison aquatic species and micro-organisms, and ultimately harm or destroy the ecosystem. Natural, biodegradable shampoos and conditioners simply disintegrate into non-toxic constituents that do not pollute or cause damage to ecosystems.

8. THEY ARE NON-ALLERGENIC

The pure ingredients in natural shampoos and conditioners contribute to the hypo-allergenic compositions and make these products suitable for all skin types, including sensitive or allergy-prone types. Their softer natural fragrances also make natural shampoos and conditioners gentler on the senses, benefitting those with smell sensitivities.

9. THEY CAN PREVENT THE LOSS OF DYED HAIR COLOR

Natural shampoos and conditioners are suitable for all hair types and are ideal options for those with dyed or permed hair, as they clean without stripping hair color and texture, thus helping to extend the freshness of the color and the style.

10. THERE ARE NATURAL SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS THAT ARE SUITED TO SPECIFIC NEEDS

There is a wide variety of natural hair care products that are tailored to individual skin and hair needs, offering a range of benefits that target particular areas of concern for unique hair qualities. Natural shampoos and conditioners are available for those who struggle with conditions such as dandruff and dryness as well as hair types ranging from normal to oily hair.

HOW TO USE NATURAL SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS

Natural shampoos and conditioners are applied in the same manner as conventional varieties. While conventional products offer the option of repeating the cleansing process, this step is highly recommended for natural products. This is because the first wash removes the surface buildup of synthetic ingredients and impurities such as pollution, excess natural oil, and styling products, while the second wash cleans, brings out the shine, and enhances the texture.

WHAT RESULTS CAN YOU EXPECT WITH NATURAL SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS?

When beginning to use natural shampoos and conditioners, the hair’s transition period of adjustment from synthetic to natural can take a few days, a couple of weeks or a couple of months before the hair no longer feels more greasy, waxy, tacky, or weighty than it did when using conventional shampoos. This is the body’s over-production of natural oils as it aims to compensate for the natural oils that were stripped when previously using conventional synthetic shampoos, which often leave behind residue. This period of adjustment varies for each individual user. To reduce this discomfort, it helps to rinse the hair thoroughly to prevent natural shampoo residue from causing the hair to feel weighed down. This feeling is likely to go away once the scalp is purged of all synthetic ingredient buildup and after it adjusts to the new natural product, which will leave the hair with balanced moisture as well as a healthier, shinier, more voluminous appearance. With continued use of natural shampoos, the scalp is reputed to produce less oil, as the absence of synthetic cleaning agents prevents the scalp from drying out. When the scalp no longer produces excess oil to compensate for the dryness, this is when natural shampoo users can begin to go longer periods without washing the hair. For some, this can range from days to weeks.

During the adjustment period, it can be tempting to return to conventional shampoos; however, there are natural methods that can help to not only suppress this urge but to also promote and preserve the hair’s nourishment, natural luster, and overall health:

  • Diluting Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle of water creates a natural hairspray that can be sprayed onto cleaned hair then rinsed out with cool water; afterward, the hair can be left to air dry
  • Brushing the hair thoroughly from root to tip will help to evenly distribute the hair’s natural oils
  • If it is necessary to use a conditioner, use a natural conditioner; avoid mixing natural products with synthetic ones

ESSENTIAL OIL SIDE EFFECTS

If Essential Oils are used to customize a natural shampoo or conditioner, it is important to note that, Essential Oils are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using these oils for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Essential Oils without the medical advice of a physician, as they may have effects on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. These oils should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are especially recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders or allergies, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using any Essential Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Essential Oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Essential Oils include redness, rash, hives, burning, bleeding disorders, decreased speed of healing, low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, and rapid heartbeat. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.