Rejuvenate Your Skin, Body, Hair With French Clay

HISTORY OF FRENCH CLAYS

Formed as a result of worn and weather-beaten volcanic ash, rocks, soil, or sediment, Clays are naturally-occurring, earthy, mineral-rich elements derived from these various sources. Due to their fine grains and fine particles, Clays are soft in texture and are pliable when moist. Depending on its source, chemical configuration, and therapeutic properties, each clay has a unique combination of minerals – such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Silica – that gives it an inimitable composition. The valuable individual characteristics make each clay advantageous for particular uses. This also makes it a challenge to discover two clays that are exactly alike.

Clays are often differentiated by their ability to absorb, adsorb, or do both. A clay’s absorption refers to its ability to attract elements into itself. A clay’s adsorption refers to its ability to attract elements onto its surface. To illustrate, an absorptive clay applied to the skin will draw oils, impurities, and toxins out from the skin and into itself, whereas an adsorptive clay applied to the skin will draw impurities out from the skin and keep them suspended on its surface. Furthermore, a clay that has only adsorptive properties will not draw oils out from the skin.

Due to their sorptive properties, Clays absorb minerals and organic substances; however, they themselves are natural sources of minerals, which are integral to the survival of all life forms on the planet. Minerals are responsible for and are thus essential for body processes, such as the contraction of muscles, the integration of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats, and the production of hormones. Additionally, they are able to absorb large amounts of water, which allows the minuscule particles in clays to expand when they come into contact with it. Their ability to capture bacteria and eliminate them by preventing their access to oxygen and nourishment lends an anti-bacterial property to clays.

Animals are known to consume and clean themselves with clays, which have purifying and remedial properties that address their illnesses and soothe wounds and sores. Animals are also known to use clays instinctively to relieve discomforts associated with harsh environmental elements and having parasites. It is believed that, after observing these animal behaviors, Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis began to apply mixtures of ochres, muds, and water to wounds and irritations to soothe and cleanse the skin in order to facilitate healing.

According to historical accounts, the medicinal use of clays was recorded as early as 2500 B.C on Mesopotamian tablets that were also made of clay. In Ancient Egypt, clays were used in beauty treatments, medicinal treatments, and funeral rites to maintain the appearance and texture of the complexion, to address inflammation and infection, and to preserve and mummify the deceased, respectively. In an Ancient Egyptian medical text known as “The Ebers Papyrus,” use of the natural earthy substance referred to as Ochre is described as being beneficial for ailments ranging from those associated with the eyes to those associated with the intestines. Despite the availability of progressive technologies and remedies, it was a common practice for notable doctors of the ancient civilizations to use clays to address ailments such as eczema and psoriasis as well as genito-urinary, circulatory, and musculoskeletal disorders.

There are 3 clay types that are commonly used in cosmetics: Montmorillonite, Illite, and Kaolinite. All the varieties of French Clays fall into all 3 of these categories. These categories of Clays are known to largely contribute soothing, astringent, drying, and mattifying properties.

MONTMORILLONITE CLAYS ARE:

  • The result of volcanic ash that was previously naturally deposited in sea water
  • “Swelling” types of clay
  • Known to address skin rashes, acne, and dandruff
  • Known to stimulate the growth of new hair and new skin
  • Known to reduce joint and muscle pain that travels to different places around the body
  • Known to promote a clearer complexion
  • Known to enhance the body’s ability to repair tissue
  • Known to soften skin and reduce the appearance of age spots
  • Known to hydrate skin while tightening it for a rejuvenated appearance
  • Known to eliminate fungus and redness
ILLITE CLAYS ARE:

  • Generally found in marine shales and other related sedimentary rock formations
  • Non-swelling or non-expanding types of clay
  • Known to have a crystalline structure
  • Extremely porous
  • Exceptionally absorbent
  • Known to exhibit strong drying effects
  • Detoxifying and decongesting
  • Ideal for removing impurities
  • Ideal for use on normal and oily skin types
KAOLINITE CLAYS ARE:

  • Mined from a hill in China, from where this group gets its name
  • Also known by the names White Clay, French Green Clay and China Clay
  • Usually white in color, but may also be green, pink, red, yellow, or orange depending on the presence of other minerals such as Iron Oxide
  • Soft and odorless powders
  • Fine and light in texture
  • Naturally absorbent and thus able to neutralize unpleasant odors while drawing out bodily toxins
  • Known to have detoxifying effects that purge the skin and pores of impurities, including excess oils, old sebum, dirt, grime, germs, and pollution, thereby reducing the chances of breakouts
  • Known to soothe skin afflicted with irritation associated with rashes and insect bites
  • Reputed to be a group of clays that are considered to be the mildest and thus best suited to sensitive skin types
  • Known to be ideal for soothing acne-prone skin, especially skin afflicted with inflammation and painful breakouts
  • Known to have slightly abrasive textures that make them ideal for use as exfoliants that remove dead and flaky skin cells for a complexion with a softer and smoother look and feel
  • Stimulating
  • Known to tone and tighten the skin

The ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Egypt used French Clay – specifically green French Clay – to address disorders of the skin and digestive system. French Clay is so called, because its deposits were harvested almost exclusively from rock quarries located in southern France until similar clay deposits were eventually discovered in Montana, Wyoming, some regions of Europe, and China. There are several varieties of French Clay that vary in their properties and their colors, depending on the layer or type of earth from which they are derived. French Clays can be Green, Pink, Red, Yellow, andWhite. When mixed with water, the common physical properties shared among all these varieties include their elasticity and their softness.

Their adaptability to various uses, ranging from therapeutic and medicinal to cosmetic, has allowed Clays to remain relevant since the time of the ancient civilizations. The cleansing, hydrating, nourishing, and toning benefits of clays continue to be used in various areas of the body at various temperatures in poultices, baths, and masks, depending on the treatment required. This article will highlight the various topical and therapeutic benefits and uses of French Clays in particular.

*Note: The veracity of the general statements made in this article will vary depending on the specific type of Clay used in a given application method and on the individual’s skin type and health condition.

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FRENCH CLAY BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of French Clays are Minerals (Kaolinite, Illite, Montmorillonite, and Calcite) and Oxide Minerals (Silicon Oxide, Aluminium Oxide, Iron Oxide, Calcium Oxide, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Oxide, Potassium Oxide, and Titanium Oxide).

Used cosmetically or topically in general, French Clays attach themselves to oil, bacteria, and impurities from the skin to eliminate them and leave skin feeling cleansed, clarified, and balanced. By restoring essential minerals to the skin, Clays nourish and replenish the skin’s moisture, enhance its function, promote the regeneration of cells, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, repair damage, revitalize skin that appears to be dull, dry, and tired, and reduce the chance of congestion that leads to breakouts.

The drying action of Clays leaves pores looking tighter, clearer, and refined. Clays are known to soothe irritation and inflammation associated with skin allergies, skin disorders, rashes, and sunburns; enhance skin elasticity; brighten the complexion; and leave skin looking and feeling softer, smoother and suppler. Clays are often used to absorb bodily moisture and to neutralize unpleasant body odors.

Adding Clays to moisturizers such as body butter and lotions may contribute mattifying and deodorizing properties to the resultant product as well as a consistency that feels silky to the touch. When added to make up recipes, Clays can make for ideal loose or compact mineral face powders. By mixing several colors of French Clays, it may be possible to achieve an end product that matches the preferred skin tone.

Used in hair, French Clays remove product build-up from the scalp and strands, while eliminating dead cells and flakiness associated with dandruff. They gently remove excess oil without stripping the natural and necessary oils. All of these activities are known to stimulate the growth of healthier hair.

Used medicinally, French Clays are known to reduce inflammation by boosting circulation, which facilitates the body’s reparation of tissues and cells. This makes them ideal for facilitating the healing of ulcers and sores. Their ability to attract and bind to contaminants promotes the elimination of toxins that are believed to cause headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, food allergies, and lethargy. Clays are also able to draw certain toxic metals, such as Mercury, out of the body by preventing them from being reabsorbed into the body, thereby preventing potential poisoning.

French Clays are reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

    • COSMETIC: Cleansing, Toning, Reparative, Calming, Soothing, Revitalizing, Rejuvenating Nourishing, Refining, Astringent
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-Septic, Analgesic, Regenerative, Astringent, Sedative, Relaxant, Anti-Inflammatory, Reparative, Detoxifying, Circulatory, Strengthening

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY FRENCH CLAY

French Clays are largely extracted from quarries in France. Many of the regions from which they are mined are known to experience more than the average amount of sunny days per year. This high number is significant due to the fact that the clay is activated by the sun; accordingly, a greater amount of sun means the clay will be more active.

HOW IS FRENCH CLAY EXTRACTED?

Once the clays have been mined, they are spread out and dried under the sun. This drying method removes excess water while allowing the Clays to retain all of their natural trace elements. This ensures that they will retain their valuable effectiveness. Next, the Clays are subjected to large hydraulic crushers until they are finely ground. The final stage involves drying the Clays under the sun once more to remove any remaining of water.

USES OF FRENCH CLAY

The uses of French Clays are abundant, ranging from medicinal and odorous to cosmetic. Its many forms include facial masks, mineral cleansers, body powders, body scrubs, body wraps, soaps, lotions, creams, cream-based cleansers, makeup, and bath salts.

Used in cosmetic or topical applications, Clay can be applied directly to the preferred area of skin by simply mixing a small amount (1 tsp.) of the preferred Clay with an equal amount of water in a glass bowl until the combination achieves a thin, paste-like consistency. The clay may be mixed using a face brush if so desired. On the face, spread this mask in a thin, even layer using the fingers or the face brush. Leave this mask on until it begins to dry, during which time it will become sticky to the touch. After approximately 10 minutes, the mask should be dry enough to be rinsed off with lukewarm water. This treatment can be followed by a natural moisturizer such as Coconut Oil or Argan Oil. Alternatively, the Clay may be mixed with floral water, Aloe Vera Gel Juice, or Green Tea to make the paste. Adding a few drops of a Carrier Oil to the paste will contribute moisture if using a Clay known to have drying effects. Other additives that may be mixed into the paste include Essential Oils, CO2 Extracts, Grain Products, Dried Herbs, and Powdered Herbal Extracts. For a facial mask that addresses excessive oiliness on the face, combine 1 Tbsp. of Clay with 5 drops of Jojoba Carrier Oil before adding water into the mix.

For an invigorating mask that includes more beneficial ingredients, mix 30 g (1 oz.) French Yellow Clay, 3 Tbsp. water (Floral Water or Aloe Vera Gel Juice may be used instead), 1 tsp. of Jojoba Oil, 2 drops Orange Essential Oil, and 2 drops Tangerine Essential Oil until they form a paste. Apply the mask to the skin and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. For a face mask that is soothing, 30 g (1 oz.) of French Pink Clay can be combined with 3 Tbsp. water (Floral Water or Aloe Vera Gel Juice may be used instead), 1 tsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 2 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil. This mask can be left on the skin and rinsed off as per the typical mask application and removal procedure.

For a mineral bath, add ½ cup of French Green Clay or French Red Clay to a bathtub filled with warm water. This will soothe muscle aches as well as irritation, inflammation, or soreness. For a foot soak that eliminates unpleasant foot odors, mix ½ cup of French Green Clay or French Yellow Clay with ½ cup of water and 2–3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Apply the blend to the feet and keep them loosely swathed in cling wrap for 15 minutes. After rinsing the feet with cool water, apply a moisturizer.

For a natural mask that is reputed to address blemishes, mix 1 tsp. of French Green Clay with Lemon juice to make a paste. Apply this as a mask to the face or affected area, and leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water, then apply a moisturizer.

For a body wrap that addresses the issue of cellulite, first boil 6 cups of water mixed with 1 cup of dried Dandelion, Chamomile, or Parsley. Set this herbal infusion aside for 10 minutes. In the meantime, combine 2 cups of French Red Clay with 1 ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, Witch Hazel, or Aloe Vera Gel Juice. To this, add 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil. Next, pour in the herbal infusion and combine the two mixtures until they make a paste. Apply the paste to affected areas and keep them wrapped in a warm towel for 1 hour, after which time the cellulite mask can be washed off in the shower.

For a Clay mask that addresses the symptoms of acne, combine 2 tsp. French Red Clay,3 tsp. Plain Yogurt (Chamomile Tea or Peppermint Tea may be used instead), 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 1 drop of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Apply this mask in a thin, even layer on the affected areas and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.

For a Clay mask that also functions as an aromatherapy application, combine ¾ Tsp. French Green Clay and ½ tsp. Rose Hydrosol or Rose Water. For a thinner mask, the amount of liquid can be increased to ¾ tsp. These amounts are sufficient for a single application. Next, add 1 drop of an essential oil of personal preference. Some suggestions include Tea Tree Essential Oil or Geranium Essential oil to address acne, Rose Oil to address mature skin, German or Roman Chamomile Essential Oil to address inflammation, or irritation, and Lavender to promote rest and relaxation. This mask can be left on the skin and rinsed off as per the typical mask application and removal procedure.

Used in hair, French Green Clay is reputed to effectively eliminate dirt, product build-up, dandruff, and toxins, while balancing oil production to cleanse excessive oils without stripping the natural oils. Simply create a Clay hair lotion by combining 1 tsp. of French Green Clay, 230 ml (8 oz.) Milk, and 3 drops of an essential oil. Suggested essential oils include Basil, Rosemary, or Eucalyptus. Apply this lotion to the hair, starting at the scalp and smoothing it down the strands. Leave this hair mask in for 15-20 minutes. In the shower, rinse it out with lukewarm water and shampoo the hair as usual.

Used in medicinal applications, French Clays are known to address the symptoms of arthritis such as sore muscles and joints. For its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, they may be applied to cuts, insect bites or stings, minor burns, and bruises. Alternatively, they may also be used to reduce stress. To create a soothing poultice, in a glass bowl mix the desired amount of a Clay with equal parts water and 6 drops of one of the following essential oils: Ginger, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Rosemary. Allow this mixture to sit for 2 hours. Next, on the amount of gauze needed to wrap around the injured area of the skin/body, spread the paste in a layer that is ¼ inch thick, then apply the gauze to the affected area. It is now a “poultice” that can be held in place with the aid of adhesive tape and kept on the area for a maximum of 2 hours. The clay should remain wet. After a single use, the poultice should be discarded.

A GUIDE TO FRENCH CLAY VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

FRENCH CLAY GREEN

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

  • Be called Sea Clay or Marine Clay, as its quarries are often located in ancient sea/marine beds
  • Be composed of Aluminum, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Silica, Sodium, and Titanium
  • Be light green in color
  • Absorb and eliminate impurities and oils from the skin
  • Exfoliate dull skin to reveal a new layer of skin with a refreshed and healthy glow
  • Be ideal for addressing acne, congested skin, cuts, cellulite, sprains, excessive sweating and infections
  • Minimize the appearance of pores and tighten the skin for a refined, toned, and firmed look
  • Calm and soothe the body to promote a general sense of well-being
  • Be suitable for use on all skin types
  • Get its color from Iron Oxide and decomposed plant material, such as kelp and algae
  • Attract blood to the skin’s surface, thereby enhancing circulation
  • Be ideal for use on skin that is oily and acne-prone
  • Be anti-inflammatory and thus beneficial for soothing and facilitating the healing of wounds, allergies, and sunburns
  • Have the highest purity
  • Be non-swelling

 


 

FRENCH CLAY PINK

INCI Name: Illite/Kaolin

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

  • Be the result of combining Red Illite and White Kaolin clays rather than being mined in a pink state (White Clay gently cleanses dirt, build-up, and excess oil while mildly exfoliating the skin and refining the complexion for a softer, clearer, smoother look)
  • Be the mildest purifier of all the clays
  • Be best suited to sensitive, mature, irritated, and normal skin types
  • Be composed of Kaolinite, Illite, Montmorillonite, Iron, Calcite, Iron Oxide, and Silica
  • Be rosy pink in color
  • Remove excess oil and impurities from the skin
  • Exhibiting lifting action on the skin, when used regularly
  • Remove dead skin cells and promote a glowing complexion
  • Known to leave skin with a refreshed appearance
  • Known to be ideal for use on skin that is acne-prone, oily, or afflicted with other ailments
  • Be commonly used in the manufacturing of cosmetics
  • Be ideal for enhancing circulation and for calming sun-damaged skin
  • Have exfoliating properties and refining properties that minimize puffiness and the appearance of pores
  • Even the skin tone, moisturize and soften the skin, and smooth the appearance of wrinkles
  • Enhance the skin’s elasticity and ability to regenerate cells for supple skin that appears more youthful
  • Minimize blackheads and reduce the appearance of broken capillaries and dark undereye circles
  • Enhance skin elasticity and regenerate connective tissues

 


 

FRENCH CLAY RED

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

  • Be found in the Atlantic basin and the North of France
  • Be composed of Illite, Kaolinite, Montmorillonite, and Calcite
  • Be derived from Hematite Iron rock
  • Be red in color and velvety in texture
  • Be best suited for normal, oily, flaky, and acne-prone skin types as well as for skin with broken capillaries (also known as spider veins)
  • Be red in color due to the high concentration of Iron Oxide and Copper Oxide present in Hematite Iron
  • Cleanse skin while removing dead cells and reducing the appearance of enlarged pores, leaving skin looking refreshed and smooth
  • Be commonly used in the manufacturing of cosmetics
  • Be extremely absorbent and purifying
  • Be a non-swelling clay
  • Make an ideal color additive in natural products such as facial powders, masks, and soaps
  • Have toning and humidifying properties that hydrate the skin and smooth the look of wrinkles
  • Revitalize and exfoliate skin that appears to be dull, aging, and congested, giving it a brighter appearance
  • Enhance circulation, thus leaving skin looking radiant
  • Regenerate, strengthen, and firm the skin and tissue
  • Repair skin damage caused by the sun and reduce the appearance of bruises, stretch marks, burns, broken capillaries, and varicose veins

 


 

FRENCH CLAY YELLOW

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

  • Be composed of Iron Oxide, Magnesium, and Silica
  • Be a mild yet powerful cleansing clay that is best suited to dry, sensitive, or combination skin
  • Be yellow in color and velvety in texture
  • Have a high amount of Iron Oxide, though less than that of Red Illite
  • Exfoliate and remove dead cells from the skin’s surface to leave it feeling smooth
  • Tighten and tone the skin and connective tissue
  • Stimulate circulation to leave skin looking fresh and radiant
  • Remineralize the skin
  • Be ideal for addressing acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and ulcers

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR FRENCH CLAY

French Clays are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using French Clays for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women and those taking prescription drugs are especially advised not to use French Clays without the medical advice of a physician. The clays should always be stored in areas that are inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Clays should be kept dry in order to retain their efficacy; thus, it is important to prevent moisture from entering their containers. Clays must also never be stored in metal containers or stirred with metal spoons, as metal causes them to lose some of their main beneficial properties. Accordingly, the only materials that are recommended to be used in the preparation and storage of clays are wood, glass, and ceramic.

Prior to using French Clays, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a small mixture of the clay and water to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. French Clays must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. French Green Clay is known to have the following potential side effects: areas of dry, flaky skin or skin rashes. Those with anemia are advised against using French Clays, as they may affect the absorption of iron and cause the condition to worsen.

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. Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this group of natural clays as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions.

When applying the clays as a face or body masks, they should not be allowed to dry completely, as they continue to draw moisture out of the skin the longer they are kept on. This may lead to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Clays should not be used more than once a week, due to their drying effect. For those with dry or sensitive skin, it is not recommended to use French Green Clay as an ingredient when producing natural cosmetics and soaps, as it may further irritate the skin.

While many individuals may notice immediate results after their use of the clays, it may take longer for others to see any improvements in health and appearance, thus patience and consistent application are required in tandem with a healthy skin care regimen.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Clays are naturally-occurring, earthy, mineral-rich elements derived from various sources including volcanic ash, rocks, soil, or sediment.
    • Each clay has a unique combination of minerals, such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Silica, that gives it an inimitable composition.
    • Used cosmetically or topically in general, French Clays attach themselves to oil, bacteria, and impurities from the skin to eliminate them and leave skin feeling cleansed, clarified, and balanced.
    • Used in hair, French Clays remove product build-up from the scalp and strands, while eliminating dead cells, flakiness, and excess oil, thereby stimulating the growth of healthier hair.
  • Used medicinally, French Clays are known to boost circulation, reduce inflammation, facilitate the body’s reparation of tissues and cells, and promote the elimination of toxins believed to cause headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, food allergies, and lethargy.

Discover Relieving Ways To Fortify With Rosemary Antioxidant CO2 Extract

HISTORY OF ROSEMARY ANTIOXIDANT USAGE AROUND THE WORLD

Rosemary Antioxidant (CO2 Extract), sometimes referred to as Rosemary Oil Extract, is derived from the leaves of the Rosmarinus officinalis – “Rosemary” – botanical through carbon dioxide extraction. This ingredient is a pure antioxidant additive that retains Rosemary’s characteristic odor. It is commonly added to carrier oils or essential oils to further enhance and preserve their freshness while preventing the oxidation that degrades them and causes them to become rancid. Oxidation also alters the chemical composition of highly volatile essential oils, especially those obtained from citrus fruits and conifer trees.

Historically, the Rosemary botanical was used by the Queen of Hungary in a tincture called Hungary Water, which was the result of distilling Rosemary in Brandy. This concoction involving the use of Rosemary was used daily to treat the Queen’s gout and discomfort in her legs. The herb thus earned the moniker “The Vitality Herb.”

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Rosemary Antioxidant is a viscous, deep olive-green fluid that is 100% oil-soluble, GMO-free and stabilized with Sunflower Seed Oil. It has a pH value of 4.5 – 5.5. This product is designed to be an additive that prevents the oxidation of carrier or essential oils and is not meant to be used for aromatherapy purposes.

BENEFITS OF USING ROSEMARY ANTIOXIDANTS

The main constituent of Rosemary Antioxidant is Carnosic Acid at 10%. The ratio of Rosemary Carnosic to 100% natural Sunflower Seed Carrier Oil is 1:9.

Carnosic Acid is believed to exhibit the following activity:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Neuroprotective
  • Stimulating
  • Memory enhancing
  • Tonic

Rosemary Antioxidant has natural and multi-functional antioxidant properties that are greater than that of mixed tocopherols – a class of chemical compounds that largely exhibit the beneficial activities of Vitamin E. Rosemary Antioxidant provides natural oil blends with unparalleled fortification against deterioration and rancidity without any heavy metals, toxic chemicals, solvent residues, and inorganic salts. Another advantage of Rosemary Antioxidant is its ability to stabilize and completely dissolve in most vegetable oils such as those of Soybean, Peanut, and Sunflower Seed among others. It is soluble even at low temperatures and remains stable at temperatures higher than 200 °C (392 °F). Rosemary Antioxidant preserves the shelf-life of finished handmade natural products by slowing the oxidation of fatty oils. Used in conjunction with an emulsifier, it also delays the oxidation of water-soluble compounds. As a preservative, it inhibits the growth of microorganisms.

When used in homemade cosmetics, Rosemary Antioxidant naturally preserves products such as creams and lotions as well as other products containing herbal compounds. Due to its concentrated nature, it makes for an economical product, as it can be used in low percentages while still producing impressive results such as skin care benefits, especially for moisturizing skin and slowing the appearance of aging. It relieves skin inflammation and can soothe acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Rosemary Antioxidant protects cells against not only oxidation and inflammation but also against pathogens.

HOW IS ROSEMARY ANTIOXIDANT EXTRACTED?

Rosemary Antioxidant is produced by the Supercritical CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Extraction obtained from whole, dried Rosemary leaves. This extraction method preserves the purity of the oil’s base constituents, yielding a highly concentrated finished product that contains the bio-active substances from the botanical matter, namely antioxidants and essential oils. Although this process involves high pressure, it does not involve the use of high temperatures and the oxygen preserves valuable plant compounds.

At standard temperature, CO2 behaves like a gas. When frozen, it acts as a solid (dry ice). If the temperature and pressure exerted on the CO2 are increased to be above its critical point – that is, the point at which a gas and a liquid attain the same density and thereby become indistinguishable – the CO2 assumes the properties of both a gas and a liquid; like gas, the CO2 expands to fill a container but is dense like a liquid. This extraction method is free of toxicity and flammability. After extraction, the CO2 evaporates, but it can be reused by returning it to a cold recovery vessel, which re-condenses the solvent vapors and collects the recycled liquid. The Rosemary extract is then stabilized in Sunflower Seed Oil to help increase its solubility.

The pungent, penetrating scent of Rosemary Antioxidant is characteristic of the Rosemary herb itself. It has been described as cineole-like, which is considered to be minty, cooling, and camphoraceous such that it exudes a rich herbaceous and woody fragrance. Its odor has also been likened to mothballs.

USES FOR ROSEMARY ANTIOXIDANTS

In various carrier oils and other liquid products, Rosemary Antioxidant can be added directly to them in order to extend their shelf lives. To use it as an additive in powder products, it must first be diluted with a carrier oil before being sprayed, immersed, rolled, or injected into the powder product.

Despite having the odor of Rosemary, the extract is not expected to have a strong influence on the scent of final homemade products, if added in low percentages. The recommended amount to add to cosmetic products in order to prevent the oxidation of carrier and essential oils and to inhibit an aromatic effect on the product is 0.2 – 0.4% of the total.

Rosemary Antioxidant should be thoroughly mixed into any product that it is compounding, and it should not interact with any metals such as Iron or Copper, especially at high temperatures. When mixed with products that have a pH value higher than 8.5, Rosemary Antioxidant will not demonstrate effective results.

Rosemary Antioxidant can be added to all anhydrous formulations (that is, formulations with all the water removed) as well as soaps, creams, lotions, massage gels, bath and body oils, emulsions, carrier oil blends, and fragile oils. When creating products that contain oils such as lip balms, lotions, lotion bars, creams, and scrubs, Rosemary Antioxidant can be added to the oil phases of the recipes.

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR ROSEMARY ANTIOXIDANTS

Long-term studies and effects of Rosemary Antioxidant CO2 Extract on people are not currently available, as the product is relatively new; however, completed tests have determined that it is generally safe to use, although most available data is insufficient for a conclusion.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Rosemary Antioxidant is derived from the Carbon Dioxide extraction of Rosemary leaves.
    • In cosmetics, Rosemary Antioxidant is an additive that enhances and preserves their freshness, especially that of the oils contained within them.
    • Rosemary Antioxidant protects the body and skin from free radical damage.
    • The main constituent of Rosemary Antioxidant is Carnosic Acid, which demonstrates antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and tonic activities.
  • Rosemary Antioxidant is even more effective than Vitamin E compounds in protecting natural products from deterioration and rancidity.

A Natural Cleanser: Witch Hazel

HISTORY OF WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE USAGE

Witch Hazel Distillate, sometimes also called “Witch Hazel Distillate Water” and “Witch Hazel Extract,” is extracted from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis virginiana botanical, better known as the Witch Hazel shrub. When the Native Americans and the Puritans discovered the therapeutic properties of Witch Hazel, a botanical that is also commonly referred to as Winterbloom, Spotted Alder, Hazel Nut, Tobacco Wood, and Snapping Hazel, they began boiling parts of the plant to create infusions that were intended to address skin irritation, sores, swelling, infections, and growths. Presently, extracts made from the Witch Hazel plant continue to be used for their cleansing, toning, clarifying, and refining properties.

Both variations of Witch Hazel – with alcohol and alcohol-free – are reputed to offer a vast array variety of skincare benefits and to share similar cosmetic and medicinal applications. They can both be used topically to tone skin, to soothe itching, irritation, and inflammation, to tighten the pores, to eliminate excess oil, to cleanse, to restore skin’s pH balance, and to formulate numerous natural cosmetics.

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE BENEFITS

Used cosmetically, Witch Hazel Distillate can regulate the skin’s oil production, eliminate excess sebum, nourish, tighten, tone, soothe, and reduce the chances of future blemish outbreaks. With mild styptic qualities as well as refreshing and cooling effects, Witch Hazel makes an ideal ingredient for after-shave products, as it reduces swelling and calms other signs of razor burn and other irritation. Witch Hazel is also reputed to naturally and effectively cleanse the skin without causing it to dry out and to minimize the look and size of pores, thus helping to control blemishes while toning the complexion.

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Known for having antioxidant properties that are reputed to slow the look of aging, Witch Hazel Distillate can be added to formulations for acne products, shaving cream and aftershave, and “anti-aging” serums as well as shampoos, treatment gels, washes and lotions, insect repellants, and even nail treatments.

Used medicinally, Witch Hazel Distillate works to soothe insect bites and stings as well as cuts, sores, swelling, and bruises, while its anti-bacterial properties facilitate healing. Its mild astringent properties make it suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, including acne-prone, blistered, and cracked skin, and they work to gently calm the irritation that is characteristic of skin that has been recently shaved, bitten, or sunburned. With protective properties that defend the skin against environmental contaminants, Witch Hazel Distillate helps to prevent skin damage and to generally support its health.

Witch Hazel Distillate is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Antioxidant, Astringent, Soothing, Moisturizer, Tonic, Anti-Perspirant, Anti-Itch, Balancing, Refining, Cleansing, Tightening, Nourishing, Collagen-Enhancing.
  • MEDICINAL: Antioxidant, Astringent, Soothing, Anti-Bacterial, Wound-Healing, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Microbial, Hemostatic, Styptic, Sedative, Anti-Viral, Anti-Septic, Nourishing, Analgesic, Protectant.

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE USES

Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Witch Hazel’s natural astringency means that it is able to remove the skin’s excess oils and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. In doing so, it strengthens the skin to make it less vulnerable to environmental contaminants and thus less prone to blemishes.

One of the simplest yet most popular uses for Witch Hazel Extract is its direct application to the skin after dilution with a carrier oil, such as Coconut or Jojoba. This solution can be applied as a lotion, a serum, or a toner and is known to have enhanced anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. When massaged into areas of skin where varicose veins are seen to be forming, Witch Hazel is reputed to help prevent these veins as well as bruises from worsening.

If a pimple does occur or seems to be on the verge of breaking out, simply soak a clean cotton ball/swab/pad with a small amount of Witch Hazel and gently dab it directly onto the blemish to eliminate the bacteria responsible for causing it. This can be repeated several times a day and can be applied to any irritated area of skin, although it is advised to leave enough time between repeat applications to allow the skin to adjust. In addition, this application will reduce redness and swelling while helping to balance oil production, reduce perspiration, prevent the further development of whiteheads and blackheads, and prevent infection. For an even more effective anti-bacterial acne spot treatment, dilute 3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil in 20-40 drops of Witch Hazel Distillate and apply it in the same manner as the aforementioned method.

To naturally brighten discoloration around the eye area and to reduce puffiness, soak a cotton pad/ball with a small amount of Witch Hazel and apply it to closed eyelids for 5 minutes. Ensure that the Witch Hazel does not enter the eyes, as this may cause dryness that leads to discomfort or pain. For another, less concentrated application, dilute Witch Hazel in cold water before soaking the cotton pad/ball and applying it to the eyes for 10 minutes. This cooling application is known to be equally effective in reducing redness, darkness, and the heavy feeling of tired eyelids.

To soothe skin before and after hair removal, including waxing, apply a few drops of Witch Hazel to a clean cotton pad/ball and swipe it across the areas of skin that will be or have been shaven or subjected to wax treatment. This application is suitable for both men and women. Its anti-inflammatory quality is known to clean cuts, prevent bleeding, soothe itchiness, irritation, and bumps, promote the fading of stretch marks and scars, and facilitate the healing of abrasions and infections.

Another way to incorporate Witch Hazel in skincare is by including it as an ingredient for natural makeup removers. For a formulation that is reputed to remove even waterproof mascara, combine 2 Tbsp. each of the following ingredients in a clean dispenser bottle: Witch Hazel, Jojoba Carrier Oil or Sweet Almond Carrier Oil, and filtered water. Cap the dispenser bottle and shake it well to ensure thorough mixing. To use, pour a small amount on a cotton pad/ball and wipe it across the whole face, especially across closed eyelids.

To make a soap-free face wash that is ideal for use on oily or acne-prone skin, first insert a small funnel into the mouth of a clean amber glass bottle then pour in ¼ cup Witch Hazel, ¼ cup Rose Water, and 2 tsp Vegetable Glycerin or Aloe Vera Gel. Next, cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. To use this face wash, pour a small amount onto a clean cotton pad and gently wipe across the entire face. This process can be repeated until all visible dirt or makeup have been removed or to personal satisfaction and can be followed up with a moisturizer.

For another makeup remover recipe that is simpler but just as effective in removing both oil- and water-based types of makeup, combine 3 Tbsp. alcohol-free Witch Hazel and 2 Tbsp. Olive Carrier Oil in a small bottle. Before use, cap and shake the bottle well, then apply the cleanser to the face with a cotton pad.

For a protective, anti-oxidant serum that is reputed to protect the skin’s elasticity and collagen while guarding the skin against the harsh effects of sun exposure and UV radiation, combine the following ingredients in a glass measuring cup: 2 Tbsp. Witch Hazel, ¼ cup Aloe Vera Gel, ½ tsp Vitamin E-Liquid, 2 Tbsp. Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil, 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 2 drops Spearmint Essential Oil. Stir the oils together, then pour the bled into a 120 ml (4 oz.) spray bottle. To apply the spray, simply spritz it onto the skin, avoiding the eye area, then gently rub it in to speed up absorption. This refreshing and cooling spray can be applied several times throughout the day to moisturize, soothe itching and inflammation, minimize or prevent peeling and flaking, and to generally promote the skin’s rejuvenation, thereby preventing the premature signs of aging caused by environmental stressors. This bottle can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

For a facial toner that is known to slow the look of aging, begin by steeping ½ cup of Green Tea overnight and allowing it to cool. Once this step has been completed, pour the Green Tea into a spray bottle. To this, add ¼ cup of Witch Hazel and a total of 10 drops of personally preferred essential oils. Cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. To apply this toner, first cleanse the hands and face, then spray the toner over the face. To promote faster absorption, use the hands to pat it into the skin. When it is not in use, this toner can be stored in the refrigerator.

To make a natural Witch Hazel-enriched shampoo that cleanses the scalp and hair of dirt and excess oils while soothing inflammation, itchiness, and dryness, begin by combining the following ingredients in a glass measuring cup or glass bowl: ½ cup distilled water, 1 Tbsp. Witch Hazel, 1 Tbsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 2 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel. To this, slowly add ¼ cup of liquid Castile Soap. Pouring slowly will help prevent the formation of soap suds. Using a whisk, stir the ingredients together thoroughly. Next, add 3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil and 3 drops Witch Hazel Distillate. Stir the combination once more and pour it into an airtight container of personal preference. This shampoo can be stored in the bathroom and used like a normal shampoo to promote the look of healthier, shinier, and more volumized strands by hydrating, conditioning, repairing damage, reducing hair loss, stimulating circulation to the scalp, strengthening the hair, eliminating harmful bacteria, and minimizing hair odors, irritation, and the build-up of oils.

For a hairspray that is reputed to enhance growth, begin by pouring 1 Tbsp. Witch Hazel into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Next, add 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 7 drops Rosemary Essential Oil, 3 drops Thyme Essential Oil, and 3 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil. Stir the mixture well to thoroughly combine all the oils. Next, using a small funnel, pour ½ cup of distilled water into a 120 ml (4 oz.) amber glass spray bottle. To this, add the essential oil and Witch Hazel Distillate blend. Cap the bottle and shake it to ensure that all ingredients are mixed well together. To apply this hair growth spray, simply spritz it directly onto the scalp as required. When it is not in use, the bottle can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place.

Used in medicinal applications, Witch Hazel exhibits anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and astringent properties, which facilitate wound healing, stem bleeding and eliminate harmful bacteria that may cause infections, skin damage, or premature aging. To disinfect a wound before applying a bandage, soak a cotton ball/pad with Witch Hazel and swipe it gently across the abrasion. This is also applicable to insect bites and stings, rashes caused by Poison Ivy, and to topical allergic reactions characterized by swelling, redness, bruising, itching, dryness, and sores. Witch Hazel is known to have the added benefit of fading discoloration or unevenly toned skin.

For an organic anti-septic spray that is further enriched with supplementary essential oils and plant materials that are known for their soothing and wound-healing properties, begin by adding the following herbs and flowers – either dried or fresh, according to personal preference – to a glass jar: Calendula Flowers, Goldenseal Root, Sage Leaves, Thyme Leaves and Flowers, and Yarrow. Next, create a tincture by pouring 60 ml (2 oz.) Organic Witch Hazel Distillate over all the botanical matter until it is entirely covered by the liquid. To this, add 120 ml (4 oz.) Aloe Vera, 60 ml (2 oz.) Lavender Floral Water, 1 tsp liquid Castile Soap, 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil, 5 drops of Thyme Essential Oils, and 5 drops Myrrh Essential Oil. Place the lid on the jar and shake the jar vigorously to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Remove the lid and pour the blend into a darkly-colored spray bottle. Clearly labeling the product with a name, its ingredients, and the date of production will be beneficial for future reference. Apply this disinfecting, spray by directly spritzing it onto minor, superficial abrasions or burns. Avoid using this on deeper wounds. This anti-septic spray should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place and yields optimal results when used within 1-2 years, depending on the quality of the raw materials it comprises.

A GUIDE TO WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE – ALCOHOL-FREE – RAW MATERIAL

INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

  • Be clear and colorless
  • Be particularly advantageous for applications that require the soothing and natural astringent properties of Witch Hazel where the use of alcohol is inappropriate, such as in products for sensitive skin, in creams, mousses, body washes, or foaming products, or in high surfactant, multi-phase, or high-temperature products
  • Be ideal for use as an ingredient in formulations for sensitive skin, such as eye creams, gels, serums, shaving creams, aftershave products, alcohol-free toners and cleansers, and in treatment products such as those for wound care, sun care, and eye care
  • Be a strong antioxidant and astringent, which makes it valuable for addressing acne
  • Be ideal for addressing ingrown nails, sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, insect bites, rashes caused by Poison Ivy, varicose veins, and symptoms of psoriasis and eczema
  • Be the ideal go-to remedy for cuts and other abrasions, sunburns, and irritated skin

 

Witch Hazel Distillate Organic Raw Material

INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water (and) Ethanol

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

  • Contain a mixture of 85-86% aqueous Witch Hazel Extract and 14-15% Ethyl Alcohol from organic Cane as a natural preservative
  • Be one of nature’s best astringents
  • Exhibit mildly styptic properties, making it ideal for use in products like aftershave lotions
  • Help reduce razor burn and swelling through its cooling, soothing sensation
  • Be ideal for use in skincare as a toner or cleanser
  • Have gentle properties that are particularly beneficial for oily and problem skin
  • Be ideal for use in formulations that require only Organic ingredients

 

Witch Hazel Distillate Raw Material

INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water (and) Ethanol

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

  • Contain a mixture of 85-86% aqueous Witch Hazel Extract and 14-15% Ethyl Alcohol from organic Cane as a natural preservative
  • Be one of nature’s best astringents
  • Exhibit mildly styptic properties, making it ideal for use in products like aftershave lotions
  • Help reduce razor burn and swelling through its cooling, soothing sensation
  • Be ideal for use in skincare as a toner or cleanser
  • Have gentle properties that are particularly beneficial for oily and problem skin

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE

Witch Hazel Distillate is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Witch Hazel Distillate without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. This product 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 recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. 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. Witch Hazel Distillate should not be applied to deep open wounds.

Prior to using Witch Hazel Distillate, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. It must never be used near the inner nose, ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Witch Hazel Distillate include rashes, itching, swelling of the face, throat, or tongue, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Witch Hazel Distillate is derived from the Hamamelis virginiana botanical, better known as the Witch Hazel shrub.
    • Witch Hazel Distillate is sometimes called Witch Hazel Distillate Water or Witch Hazel Extract.
    • Used cosmetically, Witch Hazel Distillate can cleanse, regulate the skin’s oil production, eliminate excess sebum, nourish, tighten, tone, soothe, and reduce the chances of future blemish outbreaks. It reduces swelling, calms irritation, minimizes the look of enlarged pores, and promote the skin’s radiance.
    • Used medicinally, Witch Hazel Distillate soothes insect bites and stings as well as cuts, sores, swelling, and bruises. It gently facilitates the healing of all skin types, including types that are acne-prone, blistered, or cracked.
  • Witch Hazel is best known for its ability to soothe irritation on skin that has been recently shaved, bitten, or sunburned. It protects the skin against environmental contaminants, helps prevent skin damage, and generally supports skin health.