Santalum album oil rejuvenated – Tisserand Institute

Sustainability is a big issue for Santalum album – a threatened species in Asia. But a sustainable cultivation has recently been established in Australia.

Source: Santalum album oil rejuvenated – Tisserand Institute

Safety Guidelines – Tisserand Institute

Essential oils can be safely used to enhance well-being and as part of a healthy lifestyle. They are used by millions of people every day, most of them without incident. However, essential oils are powerful substances and can be harmful if not used with due care and diligence. The essential oil in a bottle is 50-100 times more concentrated than in the plant, and safety issues apply to essential oils that do may not apply to the whole plant or herbal extract.

There is a lot to know about essential oil safety, and this page only encompasses general safety guidelines.

If you are currently experiencing an adverse reaction to essential oils, please view the First Aid Guidelines.

Source: Safety Guidelines – Tisserand Institute

Blush with Beet Root: Homemade Makeup Ideas for Naturally Glowing Cheeks

Learn how to make your own safe and healthful makeup for cheeks and lips with two recipes inspired by Stephanie Gerber’s ultimate natural beauty book, Hello Glow!

Source: Blush with Beet Root: Homemade Makeup Ideas for Naturally Glowing Cheeks

A Natural Antibiotic: Thyme Oil

Superbugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus {MRSA} are on the rise and, unfortunately, are becoming resistant to the drugs used to treat them. When faced with a microbial infection, using natural antibacterial agents may not only be more effective but also safe and risk-free.

Apart from using spices like garlic, I recommend you try essential oils derived from herbs like thyme oil. Not only do they have antibacterial properties, but they also provide a number of health benefits. Before I go into thyme oil’s antimicrobial functions, let me share some information on the essential oil.

thyme oil

What Is Thyme Oil?

Oil of thyme is derived from thyme, also known as Thymus vulgaris. The perennial herb, a member of the mint family, is used in aromatherapy, cooking, potpourri, mouthwashes, and elixirs, as well as added to ointments. Thyme also has a number of medicinal properties, which is due to the herb’s essential oils.

The benefits of thyme essential oil have been recognized for thousands of years in Mediterranean countries. This substance is also a common agent in Ayurveda practice. Today, among the many producers of thyme oil, France, Morocco, and Spain emerge as the primary ones.

Uses of Thyme Oil

Due to thyme oil’s antibacterial, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, expectorant, hypertensive, and calming properties, it has a long list of uses that include:

  • Home remedy – Thyme oil is used to relieve and treat problems like gout, arthritis, wounds, bites, and sores, water retention, menstrual and menopausal problems, nausea and fatigue, respiratory problems (like colds), skin conditions (oily skin and scars), athlete’s foot, hangovers, and even depression.
  • Aromatherapy oil – The oil can be used to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory and concentration, and calm the nerves.
  • Hair product – It is said that thyme oil can prevent hair loss. It is used as a treatment for the scalp and is added to shampoos and other hair products.
  • Skin product – Thyme oil can help tone aged skin and prevent acne outbreaks.
  • Mouthwashes and herbal rinses – Like peppermint, wintergreen, and eucalyptus oil, thyme oil is used to improve oral health.
  • Insecticide/insect repellent – Thyme oil can keep insects and parasites like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and moths away.

The Composition of Thyme Oil

Thyme is an example of a herb with over 300 varieties and various chemotypes, which are plants with the same appearance but have different chemical compositions. Each chemotype yields different oils with corresponding therapeutic benefits. This occurs when the plant is grown in different environments, climates, and soil.

Depending on which chemotype it is derived from, the oil of thyme produced will have a distinct chemical structure. The known chemotypes are:

  • Thymus vulgaris thymolThis chemotype has strong antiseptic activities and is 60 to 70 percent thymol. It goes by the name of “thyme” and “red thyme,” and is harvested during the fall.
  • Thymus vulgaris linalool This is the most gentle of all thyme chemotypes. Referred to as “garden thyme,” this variation has potent antiparasitic and antifungal properties and is grown at high altitudes.
  • Thymus vulgaris carvacrol– As its name suggests, this type contains the chemical constituent carvacrol. Its amount will depend on when it is harvested. When collected in the spring, it will contain 30 percent carvacrol, and 60 to 80 percent when harvested right after flowering or during the fall. T. Vulgaris carvacrol is known for its antiseptic properties.
  • Thymus vulgaris thujanol– Found only in the wild, this plant contains 50 percent thuja oil and is known for its beneficial effects on the immune system and hormones. It is often called “sweet thyme.”
  • Thymus vulgaris alphaterpineolThis type is harvested during the early spring and has a pepper-like smell.
  • Thymus vulgaris geraniol ­– The geraniol chemotype has a lemon-like fragrance and is grown at high altitudes. It is often picked during autumn.
  • Thymus vulgaris 1,8 cineole – This contains 80 to 90 percent cineole and has diuretic, anticatarrhal, expectorant, and analgesic properties.
  • Thymus vulgaris p-cymene– This should be obtained from spring or else it becomes a different chemotype.
  • Thymus vulgaris phenol­– These are thyme plants that grow at high altitudes and contain up to 90 percent of phenol compounds.

Benefits of Thyme Oil

As I previously mentioned, thyme oil is an effective natural agent against nasty bacterial strains. A study presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring conference in Edinburgh pointed out that essential oils may be efficient and affordable alternatives to antibiotics in the battle against resistant bacteria.

Among the essential oils tested, cinnamon oil and thyme oil were found to be the most successful against various Staphylococcus species, including the dreaded MRSA.  Researchers said that this can help lower antibiotic use and minimize the formation of new resistant strains of microorganisms.

Oil of thyme can also function as a decontaminate for food products. As shown in Food Microbiology, both basil and thyme essential oils exhibited antimicrobial properties against Shigella sonnei and Shigella flexneri that may contaminate food. The compounds thymol and carvacrol in thyme oil demonstrated this benefit.

Furthermore, thyme oil can be used as a preservative against spoilage and several foodborne germs that can contribute to health problems. It is effective against other forms of bacteria like Salmonella, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Pseudomonas species.

Other reports also show that oil of thyme has anti-inflammatory properties. In a research published in the Journal of Lipid Research, six essential oils including thyme oil showed the ability to suppress the inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme in the same manner as the antioxidant resveratrol does. It was noted that the chemical constituent carvacrol was responsible for this effect.

The same study also noted that thyme and the other essential oils activated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which help suppress COX-2 expression.

In addition to these, significant health benefits of thyme oil include:

  • Help reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Stimulates menstrual flow
  • Increases circulation and elevates low blood pressure
  • Triggers the removal of waste that may lead to cellulite
  • Eases nervousness and anxiety
  • Helps fight insomnia
  • Eliminates bad breath and body odor

How to Make Thyme Oil

Thyme essential oil is produced through the steam distillation of the fresh or partially dried leaves and flowers of the thyme plant. Distillation produces a red-, browns, or orange-colored thyme oil, which has a strong, spicy smell. Further distillation yields white thyme oil, a clear or pale yellow oil with a mild fragrance. As mentioned before, its chemical composition varies depending on the type of thyme used in production.

Fortunately, you can make infused thyme oil at home. Here’s is one guide you can use.

What You Need:

  • ½ cup fresh thyme
  • 8 ounces carrier oil (ex. olive oil)
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Saucepan
  • Funnel
  • Glass container

Procedure:

  • Wash the herbs and dry it by patting it with a clean cloth. You may also dry it in the sun or place it in a salad spinner.
  • Crush the herbs using the mortar and pestle to release their natural oils.
  • Place the crushed thyme and its oil into the saucepan, and place the carrier oil. Simmer this mixture over medium heat for at least five minutes or until it produces bubbles.
  • Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool. Pour the mixture into the glass container then store in a cool place.

How Does Thyme Oil Work?

Thyme oil can be used in a number of ways. It can be inhaled, applied topically, or used as a mouthwash. Below are some particular ways to enjoy its benefits:

  • Relieve pain – Mix three drops of thyme oil with two teaspoons of sesame oil. Use this mixture as a massage oil and apply on the abdominal area to relieve pain. This may also be used as a massage oil to treat other types of pain.
  • Alleviate fatigue – Add two drops of thyme oil to your bath water.
  • Improve sleep – Add a few drops to your diffuser.
  • Promote oral health – Use thyme oil as a mouthwash by adding one drop to a cup of warm water.
  • Reduce the appearance of scars and skin marks – Apply oil of thyme mixed with any carrier oil (like almond oil) on the affected area.
  • Use as a cleanser – Add a few drops of thyme oil to your facial wash.
  • Treat or protect against respiratory problems – Add two drops of thyme oil to hot water and use for steam inhalation.
  • Uplift mood – Simply inhale the scent of thyme oil.

Is Thyme Oil Safe?

Thyme oil should not be used directly on the skin, as it can cause sensitization. It must be first diluted with a carrier oil (like olive oil or almond oil). Before use, test on a small area to see if you have any allergies.

This herbal oil should not be taken internally, as it can cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle problems. Doing so may also negatively impact your heart, lungs, and body temperature. It may also stimulate the thyroid gland, which is why this essential oil is not recommended for people with hyperthyroidism.

Since thyme oil can be used to increase circulation, it should be avoided by people with high blood pressure. Pregnant women should steer clear of thyme oil because it can stimulate menstrual flow. Thyme oil should also be kept away from infants and young children because they are sensitive.

Thyme Oil Side Effects

Use of thyme oil may result in allergic reactions, even when it’s diluted. Some people who use it may experience dermatitis or inflammation of the skin. People with allergies to rosemary or mint oils should also stay away from thyme and its essential oil.

Always consult a physician or anyone knowledgeable in essential oils before using one, especially if you’re suffering from any disease or are taking certain medications.

All the Plants in the Garden Love Roman Chamomile!

It has such a nurturing, caring reputation. It’s good at protecting its fellow plants, and some gardeners like to place it near struggling or sick plants so it can support their health. That’s how Roman Chamomile earned the nickname “the plants’ physician.” It’s even said to protect little seedlings that are struggling to thrive!

Roman Chamomile likes to offer the same kind of companionship and support to us, too.

It’s a great choice for blends meant to nourish and support skin, whether that means helping to protect skin’s health from day to day, restore it after damage, or soothe irritation. (Think of the way Roman Chamomile can calm your emotions and help you feel comforted, and imagine it doing the same for your skin!)

This is a body butter that offers deep nourishment to the irritated skin.

Chamomile’s Super Duper Skin Soothing Butter

  • 1 oz (28 g) beeswax (Cera alba)
  • ½ oz (14 g) cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao)
  • 2 oz (60 ml) calendula infused oil (Calendula officinalis)
  • ½ oz (15 ml) Balm of Gilead infused oil (Populus balsamifera)
  • 1 oz (30 ml) castor oil (Ricinus communis)
  • 1 oz (28 g) shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii)
  • 30 drops Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
  • 60 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Directions

This recipe makes 6 oz (180 ml) of body butter, so you’ll need two 4 oz (120 ml) glass jars for it.

  1. Set up the “Stovetop Melting Method” by placing a Pyrex measuring cup in a soup pot that’s ¼ full of gently boiling water.
  2. Put the beeswax in the Pyrex and melt.
  3. Add the cocoa butter and melt.
  4. Add the calendula infused oil, Balm of Gilead infused oil, and castor oil, and melt. You can stir gently with a glass stirring rod or the handle of a stainless steel spoon.
  5. Add the shea butter and melt. Remove the blend from heat as soon as the shea butter is melted.
  6. Add the essential oils, stirring gently.
  7. Pour the melted butter into your 4 oz (120 ml) glass jars, and let it cool.

You can use this body butter as a daily moisturizer, or apply it as needed over areas of skin that are often irritated or dry.

Did you notice I used a few less well known carriers in this recipe, such as castor oil and Balm of Gilead infused oil? I chose them for their extra special ability to nourish, soothe, and protect.

If you’d like to make a “quickie” version of this recipe, you can use 1 oz (30 ml) calendula oil and 10 drops of Roman Chamomile essential oil. Use it as a moisturizer or hand oil to get to know Roman Chamomile, and then if you’d like a thicker, more luxurious blend, you can make the Super Duper Skin Soothing Butter.

Growing Lavender

Propagation

Lavender can be propagated by seed, layering or stem cuttings.  We recommend using stem cuttings or layering because you can guarantee your new plants will not be a hybrid version caused by cross-pollinating.

By Stem Cutting.  To propagate by stem cutting, first prepare a container with well-draining, sandy soil.  Then harvest a 2-3 inch healthy growth from a well-established lavender plant (2-3 years old).  Place the newly cut stems into the moist, sandy soil approximately 1 inch deep and 3-4 inches apart.  Keep the soil moist.  Propagation time depends on the variety and growing conditions.  There are mixed thoughts on adding rooting hormone to the cuttings.  Do what you prefer.  Once the roots are pronounced, you can transplant your new plant into your garden or pots. *some varieties of lavender have royalties and propagating those plants is illegal.  Make sure you do your research and ask your garden center or plant supplier (where you got your original plants from) if there are any propagation restrictions.

By Layering.  Layering is done by covering low-lying stems with soil until they root.  If you choose to propagate by layering, choose healthy stems.  Remove all the leaves from the part of the stem that will be covered by soil.  If the soil doesn’t hold the stem in the ground, use a landscaping staple or a similar device to ensure it won’t pop out of the ground.  Leave the new plant attached to the ‘mother’ lavender until the following year, when you can carefully cut the stem and replant the new ‘child’ lavender.

Pruning

The harder you prune the more rapid regeneration your lavender will undergo.

Those are hard words when you are afraid to cut too much or after watching all this growth happen in one summer to face knocking it all down.  But pruning is what you must do for your lavender plants to thrive and live longer.

There are some great videos on YouTube that will show you how to prune, but what does that mean?  I have a little plant in my hand ready to go in the ground, now what?

Prune it before you plant it.  Just a little off the top, making sure to remove any stems that have developed.  This is to help the plants energy to focus on the roots.  In this first year, you will see some stems and blooms.  Cut them, let them grow.  You will hear a variety of opinions but most agree to prune.  So in July,  August or September (you have to decide by your plants and this is where the YouTube videos will let you compare size) prune your plant about two inches above the lower woody branches of the plants.  You never want to cut into the wood as this retards the growth.  Yes, you will be cutting off about 1/3 of the plants, but having tried to grow lavender before and after I knew about pruning I can attest that my pruned plants grew where my non-pruned plant did not.

The following spring your plants might need a trim to shape it if it was blooming late in the fall and the rule of thumb seems to be don’t cut the plant too late into the fall. No, I don’t have a specific date, as again, it depends on your area.  It would be great to see some research on results of pruning in different months, but that is beyond what I can do.  So year two you will see more blooms.  When you harvest these this is a good time to prune again cutting back about 1/3 of the plant and never cutting into the wood.

Now you have mature plants and this is where pruning can vary.  You can prune in the spring or the late summer.  One way is to prune when you harvest shaping the plant as you go.  Some growers admit to not having enough time to spend on pruning.  If you prune in the summer you may need to do a trim in the spring to those ever-bearing varieties that produced stems all the way until frost.

The second thought is when you harvest, not cutting too deep so you don’t have all the leaves to contend with the leaves on your stems.

Then you will prune in the spring shaping the plant.

How much do you take off when you prune mature plants?  Enough to shape it, plus a little. In other words, you don’t have to take a 1/3 of the plant like you did when they were little.  Just remember aggressive pruning extends the plants life and you get better regeneration.

Here in southeastern Utah, we haven’t been growing for 10 to 15 years so we can’t compare pruning styles yet.  Someday we will and will see if the spring pruning made a difference compared to late summer pruning.

What tools do you use to prune?  In the first few years hand clippers work great, but when your plants are mature unless you are looking for a good hand workout you want to change tools.  Hand shears work and so does a 20-inch electric hedge clipper.  So far those who use the electric clippers have not seen damage due to tearing.

Year: 1
Spring: trim the plants as you put in the ground
Late Summer: prune 1/3 – 2 inches above wood and shape plant

Year: 2
Spring: trim left over stems
Late Summer:  prune 1/3 and shape plant

Year 3 option 1
Spring: trim leftover stems and shape.
Later Summer: prune as you harvest

Year 3 option 2
Spring: prune and shape
Later Summer: harvest

Fertilizer

When it comes to fertilizing, question everything I say and seek further information if what I present raises questions in your mind.

In a study from the Egyptian Journal of Horticulture, optimal yields of aerial parts of lavender were observed following fertilization with urea at 88 lb./ acre. The best yields of essential oil were observed following application of ammonium chloride (N source) at 44 lb/ acre (ElSherbany et al. 1997)

Fertilizing is talked about in Lavender: The Grower’s Guide, The Lavender Lover’s Handbook and Dr. Swift’s excellent article Soil Preparation for Lavender.

Soil Test:

Need to know if the soil is deficient in nutrients Adding nutrients when not needed can cause imbalances and do more harm than good Older plants could show signs of nutritional stress if the soil is poor.

Three Main nutrients: Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium

Nitrogen: main function to promote foliage growth Can help boost plant establishment when plants are first starting out (first 3 years) Too much nitrogen will boost leaf production at the expense of flower production Nitrogen application could increase stem length for cut-flower production Once plants are established using a low nitrogen fertilizer could help establish stronger roots and overall health of plants Probably want to avoid blood meal and fish emulsion on established plants as they are usually very high in nitrogen.

Phosphorus: main function to help root development and overall plant health Can be beneficial to add right before blooms begin to give the plant an extra boost Natural sources are bone meal and bat guano (need to check which kind of bat guano)

Potassium (also known as potash): key nutrient to boost plants’ tolerance to stress such as varying temperatures or long periods of drought Some growers use higher percentages of potassium to strengthen plant through winter Natural sources include composted fruits and vegetables and kelp meal

Phosphorus and potassium, however, move very little in most soils from their point of application, so it’s better to work them into the soil before planting to make sure they’ll be within the plant’s root zone.

Types of fertilizers:

Composts Good for adding organic matter to soil; Course composts can increase the porosity of the soil to facilitate the movement of oxygen and water to the plants roots Nutrient content not always known and usually not very concentrated.

Organic sources such as manures, guano, kelp, bone meal, etc. Need to be sure, not high in soluble salts Usually low percentage so if the soil is really deficient have to use large quantities.

Man-made sources – pellet or liquid Not organic certified Usually more concentrated than other sources.

Methods of Application:

In order to get maximum benefit from manures and fertilizers, they should not only be applied in proper time and in the right manner but any other aspects should also be given careful consideration. Different soils react differently with fertilizer application. Similarly, the N, P, K requirements of different crops are different and even for a single a crop, the nutrient requirements are not the same at different stages of growth. The aspects that require consideration in fertilizer application are listed below:
1. Availability of nutrients in manures and fertilizers.
2. Nutrient requirements of crops at different stages of crop growth.
3. Time of application.
4. Methods of application, placement of fertilizers.
5. Foliar application.
6. Crop response to fertilizers application and interaction of N, P, and K.
7. Residual effect of manures and fertilizers.
8. Crop response to the different nutrient carrier.
9. Unit cost of nutrients and economics of manuring.

Fertilizers are applied by different methods mainly for 3 purposes:
1. To make the nutrients easily available to crops,
2. To reduce fertilizer losses and
3. for ease of application.

2. The time and method of fertilizer application vary in relation to
1) The nature of fertilizer.
2) Soil type and
3) The differences in nutrient requirement and nature of the crops.

Application of fertilizers in solid form: It includes the methods like:
I) Broadcasting: Even and uniform spreading of manure or fertilizers by hand over the entire surface of the field while cultivation or after the seed is sown in standing crop, termed as broadcasting. Depending upon the time of fertilizer application, there are two types of broadcasting:
A) Broadcasting at planting and
B) Top dressing. The term side dressing refers to the fertilizer placed beside the rows of a crop. Care must be taken in top dressing that the fertilizer is not applied when the leaves are wet or it may burn or scorch the leaves. Side-dressings could be washed from the crop in run-off or leached below the root zone.

‘Fertigation’ is the technique of supplying dissolved fertilizer to crops through an irrigation system. When combined with an efficient irrigation system nutrients and water can be manipulated and managed to obtain the maximum possible yield of marketable production from a given quantity of these inputs. Continuous small applications of soluble nutrients overcome problems of the fertilizer being washed away or going too deep, save labor, reduce compaction in the field, result in the fertilizer being placed around the plant roots uniformly and allow for rapid uptake of nutrients by the plant. To capitalize on these benefits, particular care should be taken in selecting fertilizers and injection equipment as well as in the management and maintenance of the system. Can get soluble fertilizers as either organic or man-made Need to make sure that the sources of nutrients are compatible with the plants being fertilized and with the water being used Modern fertigation should be able to regulate:
 quantity applied
 duration of applications
 proportion of fertilizers
 starting and finishing time The selection of the correct injection equipment is just as important as the selection of the correct nutrient. Incorrect selection of equipment can damage parts of the irrigation equipment, affect the efficient operation of your irrigation system or reduce the effectiveness of the nutrients.

The three usual methods of injection are:
1. suction injection
2. pressure differential injection
3. pump injection.

Most common Pluses and minuses to each method of injection The effectiveness of fertigation is often dependent on the effectiveness of the irrigation system. The full advantages of irrigation and fertigation only become evident if the correct irrigation design is employed to meet plant requirements and to distribute water and fertilizer evenly. Because of the corrosive nature of many fertilizers, the components of the irrigation system that come into contact with corrosive solutions should consist of stainless steel, plastic or other noncorrosive materials. Fertigation increases the number of nutrients present in an irrigation system and this can lead to increased bacteria, algae and slime in the system. These should be removed at regular intervals by injection of chlorine or acid through the system. Chlorine injection should not be used while fertilizer is being injected into the system as the chlorine may tie up these nutrients making them unavailable to the plant. Systems should always be flushed with nutrients before completion of irrigation. Before commencing a fertigation program, check fertilizer compatibilities and solubility.

During the irrigation season it is important to monitor:
 pH effects over time in the root zone
 soil temperature effect on nutrient availability
 corrosion and blockages of outlets
 reaction with salts in the soil or water.

When and How to Use Foliar Fertilizers

Foliar fertilizers are dilute fertilizer solutions applied directly to plant leaves. As with soil application of fertilizer, the goal of foliar fertilization is to supply plants with the nutrients needed for good growth. There are many products on the market that can be used as foliar fertilizers, but are they really needed? Is there any advantage to the foliar application instead of soil application?

When It’s Not Such a Great Idea

 The major pathway for nutrient uptake is by way of the roots. Leaves have a waxy cuticle, which actually restricts the entry of water, nutrients, and other substances into the plant. To limited extent nutrients applied to leaves can be absorbed and used by the plant, but for the major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) the quantity absorbed at any one time is small relative to plant needs. That means that foliar application of these three nutrients can only supply a very small fraction of the total needed by the plant, so a foliar application should be considered only a supplement to regular soil application of these nutrients. If the plant already has plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, a foliar application will not have any beneficial effects. In fact, if concentrations of nutrients in the foliar spray are too high, then leaf damage can occur and in severe cases may kill the plant.
 When liquid fertilizer is sprayed on foliage some nutrients are absorbed through the leaves and light, frequent applications would constitute true foliar fertilization. However, with heavier spraying there will be considerable runoff from the foliage and the liquid fertilizer will soak into the soil. In this case, there would be some nutrient absorption through leaves, but the majority of the nutrients used by the plant would actually be taken up by roots. From the plant’s perspective, this is essentially the same process that occurs when dry fertilizer is added to the soil. It will be more expensive and time-consuming than a dry fertilizer application. Phosphorus and potassium, however, move very little in most soils from their point of application, so it’s better to work them into the soil before planting to make sure they’ll be within the plant’s root zone.

When It’s a Pretty Good Idea

 An appropriate time to consider foliar fertilization is when a specific nutrient shortage is evident based on visual symptoms or soil analysis. If a deficiency exists, then the foliar application would be one means of providing a quick but temporary fix to the problem. Certain soil conditions such as high pH, low pH, drought, excessive moisture, or cool temperatures may cause some nutrients to be unavailable for uptake by the roots. If anyone of these conditions exists, the problem may be more effectively corrected with foliar applications than with soil applications.
 A classic example of effectively using foliar fertilizers is for micronutrients such as iron. At high soil pH levels, iron is not available to plant roots even though high levels of iron may be present in the soil. Under high pH conditions, iron chlorosis or interveinal yellowing occurs on young leaves. A way to alleviate the chlorosis temporarily is to apply inorganic salts such as iron sulfate or chelated forms of iron directly to the leaves. Chelates are chemical compounds that help iron stay in solution over a wide pH range.
 The cuticle on leaves of most plants will cause water to bead up and prevent good penetration. So, for all foliar-applied products, it is important to include a wetting agent or surfactant to allow for full coverage of the leaf. If rain occurs shortly after an application, most of the spray will be washed off the leaves and reapplication will be necessary.

Important points about foliar fertilization:

1. Routine use of foliar fertilizers without a documented need is not recommended.
2. Foliar fertilization is unable to meet the total plant requirements for the major nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
3. Foliar fertilizers are most effective when soil problems occur that restrict nutrient availability such as iron availability in high pH soils.
4. Foliar fertilization should not be used as a substitute for good soil fertility management. Have your soil tested and fertilize according to soil test recommendations.

What You Will Need To Make The Recipes In Entangled Botanicals by Ashley November…

The equipment you’ll need for making the preparations {recipes} is most likely in your kitchen already. Wash all utensils, surfaces, containers, and your hands thoroughly before preparing these recipes.
Pots and Pans: Make sure you have good quality cookware, including small and large saucepans. Uncoated stainless steel is best; do not use aluminium pans because they’ll react with the active components, resulting in discolored or off-tasting products.
A double boiler is useful for melting wax and warming ingredients without the risk of overheating or scorching. Some people like slow cookers for melting and warming, as well as for making infused herbal oils. The gentle, steady warmth of the slow cooker {set at 100 degrees F or low} increases the concentration of the final oil.
Weights and Measures: Measuring cups that are made of good quality heat-resistant glass like Pyrex are excellent because the glass does not interact with the herbs {oils}. Glassware also allows you to gauge your progress by observing the color and texture of your liquid. You can judge the strength of a decoction, for instance, by how dark and rich its color is. Some ingredients, such as beeswax, are typically measured and sold by the pound and ounce, so a small kitchen scale is also handy.
Food Processor, Blender, or Grinder: Food processors can be useful for shredding fresh roots, seeds, and leafy materials. Use them to chop herbs coarsely before you place them in the blender or grinder for finer grinding.
Any good blender will do the job, but if you have one with a high-speed motor, like a Vitamix, you’ll be able to do a lot more with less time and energy. The Vitamix brand has a reverse function, which helps untangle herb roots and stems from the blade, and it breaks down the plant material more thoroughly than other models. Consider purchasing a blender with a large blender jar. A 1-gallon capacity Waring blender is a good choice; it’s consistently tough and efficient.
A small seed or coffee grinder is handy for grinding small quantities of dry seeds, root slices, and leaves. A good one, such as a Moulinex, often yields a finer particle size than a blender will. {Note: If you regularly need to shred whole burdock roots, dislodge seeds from really large flower-heads, or work with fibrous garden stalks, consider investing in a small garden compost shredder.}
Containers and Labels: For extracting herbs {removing and concentrating the active ingredient} and storing herbal preparations, you can purchase decorative jars or save and reuse glass jars from the grocery store; just be sure used jars are sterilized and have tight-fitting, rust-free lids. Canning jars are perfect: I use the quart or half-gallon sizes for tincturing and for storing teas and dried herbs. For creams and salves, look for smaller, short, wide-mouth containers and tins.
To bottle liquid tinctures for individual use, you’ll want to purchase amber Boston rounds – those small, brown glass jars with droppers that are commonly used to package commercial herbal liquids. They come in 1- to 8-ounce sizes.
It’s important to label all of your containers with the ingredients and the date. For finished preparations, be sure to include instructions for using the final product and any warnings that apply; put that right on the label.
Food Dehydrator: A food dehydrator is a great investment. It will dry flowers, leaves, root slices, and other herb parts quickly while preserving their valuable components and colors. Many come with nylon fruit leather tray inserts, which you’ll find useful when making dried teas. If you can, buy a dehydrator with an adjustable fan speed and temperature controls.
Electric Juicer: Although a juicer is not essential for the extraction process, it increases the types of herbal preparations you can make. Juicers remove the juice from fresh herbs, which can then be used fresh or dried. You may also want to consider a hand-operated herb press, which helps squeeze out the liquid when you are making tinctures and infused oils.
Infusers and Strainers: For infusing {steeping} and straining herbs, you can simply place herbs in a tea mug, pour hot water over the herbs, and strain out the herbs after they’ve steeped. There are also many types of infusers and strainers, such as tea balls {mesh or metal balls that hold herbs} with handles or links that hook over the side of the mug, metal tea “spoons,” bamboo tea basket strainers, muslin or mesh bags that you fill with herbs and cinch shut, and cloth bags with round rims and handles that fit on top of a mug. You can also use the same French press that many people use to brew coffee; it consists of a glass cup held by a frame with a handle and a plunger. All of these strainers make it easy to compost your herbs after you’ve made your tea infusion.

Wax On!

Want to make your own cosmetics and skin care products?
Look at the diverse range of plant waxes that Mother Nature has to offer.
People have been using wax for centuries. Ointments and inks contain wax, and without it, your favorite chewing gum wouldn’t have the right bounce. Its elastic character, along with its ability to disappear when heated and add body to other ingredients, offers a wide range of applications. Traditionally, beeswax has been the hands-down favorite in handcrafted products. But wax comes from other sources, too; animal, mineral, and vegetable. Early American colonists, for instance, looked to bayberries to produce wax. The fruit yielded a scented wax, and candles made from it offered a much better fragrance than the standard tallow dip most settlers could afford.
These days, waxes derived from plant sources such as candelilla, carnauba, rice bran, sweet almond, and apricot kernel are hitting the sales list of suppliers who offer the raw materials for making soaps and boutique cosmetics. Why use these rather than beeswax, the historical standard for salves, creams, ointments, and balms? One reason might be an anticipated shortage at your local apiary thanks to Colony Collapse Disorder {CCD}. This strange phenomenon has adult honeybees deserting the hive, leaving behind the queen, the larvae, and sometimes a full hive of honey. Because scientists haven’t isolated the cause, there’s no cure yet. {Of course, a shortage of beeswax is probably the least of our problems with CCD, considering that bees pollinate about 80 percent of our food crops.}
Yet another reason to opt for a vegetable-based wax: It’s vegan. Many people are moving toward vegan formulas. Our vegan substitute for beeswax comes from the flaky wax residue on the stems of candelilla plants, which grow in dry regions of the Southwest. Second in popularity is carnauba wax, which you might recognize as a key ingredient in the kind of polish that’s used by folks who refer to their cars as “Baby.” This wax is taken from the fronds of a wax-producing palm that grows in northeastern Brazil {Copernicia cenfera}. Like candelilla wax, it’s widely used in the cosmetic industry.
Of course, the final and perhaps most compelling reason to use plant wax: It allows you to incorporate yet another plant into your favorite herb-based beauty formulas.
The Word On Wax
Candelilla and carnauba waxes are both harder than beeswax and have a higher melting point. Beeswax melts at about 144 degrees, whereas candelilla requires about 165 degrees. Carnauba, often cited as the hardest of the natural waxes, doesn’t turn to liquid until it reaches over 172 degrees. For this reason, they’re not quite as easy to work with. Beeswax is forgiving when it comes to applying and reapplying heat. Candelilla and carnauba are more brittle and temperamental. You end up using five to 15 percent more wax.
This might be a good place to point out that formulations are done by weight as is common with recipes at many large-scale commercial ventures. Those of us who make smaller batches, however, frequently measure by volume because we’re more likely to grab a set of measuring spoons on a scale. Measuring by volume is less reliable because wax comes in various shapes and forms, from finely ground powder and chunky little flakes to blocks you might need to attack with a cheese grater. So keep in mind that your experience may vary if you’re measuring by volume.
Then there’s rice bran wax, derived from rice bran oil. It’s hard too in comparing it to candelilla and carnauba, but it definitely has a lower melting point. It differs in character from the other two plant waxes, a difference you can tell by examining the flake closely. If you pick up the others, they will just snap and break whereas the rice bran bends and breaks gently.
You’ll find all three of these waxes in lip balms. Candelilla and carnauba wax, like beeswax, have scents that are noticeable when pouring up a mixture, yet almost completely disappear when the mixture cools. At that point, candelilla and carnauba wax leave less of a signature than beeswax does. Rice bran wax seems to have no scent at all. These fairly stiff plant waxes work best in salves and balms. As a thickener or emulsifier for creams and lotions, though, their performance can disappoint. Instead of producing a smoothly blended product, they tend to crystallize. The result looks a bit like milk poured over sawdust.
If you want a plant-based alternative for creams, lotions, and salves, you’ll want softer waxes that do a better job of emulsifying. Look to sweet almond and apricot kernel wax. Both have a melting point similar to beeswax but feel softer to the touch. They also boast light, appealing fragrances.
You’ll also find a number of plant waxes used in cosmetics that enhance the product’s recipe, but don’t serve as a base. One of these is jojoba wax. Extracted from the jojoba nut that grows in Texas, Arizona, Mexico, and southern California, this viscous oil is chemically a wax, but manifests as a liquid at room temperature. As a result, it looks like oil, is used in recipes like oil, and is generally sold as “jojoba oil.” Formulators love it because it blends beautifully, closely resembles the natural sebum of human skin, and never goes rancid.
Don’t confuse it with jojoba wax beads, which come from the same plant, but are altogether different. These beads don’t work like other plant waxes. They’re perfectly round, and there used for exfoliating, making them better for scrubs. Also called jojoba pearls, these perfect spheres don’t break down, offering gentler exfoliation than ingredients like walnut shells and apricot kernel powder, which contain edges that can scratch the skin.
Working With Wax
If you’re just starting to use plant waxes, here are a few tips:

  • Start with small batches to minimize loss.
  • Have extra wax on hand. If substituting candelilla or carnauba wax in a recipe that calls for beeswax, add 5-10 percent more plant-based wax {by weight} in your first experiment.
  • Use gentle heat. Don’t try to use the microwave. A slow cooker used with caution works well, as does low to medium-low heat on the stove-top.
  • For the stiffer waxes, pour up the mixture into your containers {thick glass- or metal-based containers work best} immediately. Once it melts, there’s no reason to keep it sitting there. Pour it fast, and it will cool more quickly, which helps eliminate consistency issues.
  • When working with carnauba and candelilla, you may have difficulty with plant butter. Shea, cocoa, and kokum butter can all crystallize and spoil a recipe batch. {If this happens, it’s hard to tell whether the butter of the wax has crystallized.}
  • Check how well the final product holds up in your pocket. We call it the “pocket test” around here. When we formulate, we do all the real-life things that will happen to a product. While the car dashboard isn’t a practical test because temperatures are excessive, our starting formula for a lip balm is always hard enough to withstand being in someone’s pocket no matter what the temperature outside.

Skin Care – A More Radiant You

Our skin is the outermost protective shield or the first line of defense of our body. Skin covers all parts of the body and has over seven million pores through which the body eliminates some of the wastes produced by it. The skin also holds sensation and it is never possible to perforate it with a needle without causing pain and blood flow inside. A vital function of the skin is to regulate the body temperature. An individual who perspires profusely during the hot summer months is less opposed to heat compared to people who do not sweat freely. In other words, the surplus body heat is removed by means of sweating, which also eliminates some portion of the exhalations from the lungs.
It may be mentioned here that the animals have a warm body that continuously emits heat. The water vapor, as well as sweat, is quite significant and it is enhanced to a great extent when a person undertakes rigorous workouts or during the scorching weather. According to a rough estimate, approximately 100 grains of matter, especially nitrogenous, are eliminated by the body through the skin pores every day. In case this waste matter is held back by the body, it will increase the already heavy workload of the kidneys. On the other hand, if this waste is allowed to remain in the bloodstream, it may prove to be fatal for our health as well as life. Hence, it is essential that we take particular care of our skin and keep its pores open to enable it to function without any obstruction.
Hundreds of years ago, Sanctorius, the Italian physiologist who pioneered the study of metabolism, had established that about two-thirds of the food and drinks consumed by us is eradicated through the skin pores while the remaining one-third of the waste materials produced by the body is excreted by the bowels, kidneys, and lungs. When the process of sweating is blocked for a couple of days, the level of impurities in the blood will rise to an unbelievable amount. This, in turn, will give rise to several diseases as the waste produced by the body is not eliminated through the skin.
Whenever our skin is exposed to a cold environment for a long time or cold is applied to the skin or there is reduced sweating, it is certain to give rise to bowel disorders, irritation, and tenderness in the chest or some other internal organs. In fact, our entire body suffers when the skin fails to perform its routine functions. In such cases, we will experience discomfort in the heart, lungs, liver, bowels, stomach, the brain as well as the nerves. As our blood becomes loaded with toxic materials, our health becomes weak and susceptible to diseases. This puts a great burden on our health and it can only be removed by reinstating the normal functions of the skin. Hence, taking proper care of the skin is of utmost importance for our overall well being.
In order to ensure that our skin functions properly, it is essential to keep the skin pores open. And this can be achieved by maintaining a clean skin all the time. Therefore, the first thing the people ought to do every morning is to take a thorough washing. They may take a shower or a bath and subsequently wipe the surface of the skin with a rough cloth. Doing so serves several purposes that are beneficial to our health. When we rub the skin surface with a coarse cloth, it helps to get rid of the perspired substances that have been released by our body during sleep. If these waste materials are not removed from the skin, they may be soaked up by the body again and transported to the blood system, which will once again become loaded with toxic matter. In addition, rubbing the skin with a coarse cloth also reinforces the process of our nervous system.
You may also dry brush the skin with normal, boar, quill brush or massage it till it becomes reddish and enhances the temperature of the skin. Adopting this process will facilitate eradication of toxins from the skin. Alternately, you may also use the heat from an infra-red lamp or take a sauna as both these methods are exceptional tools to help in eliminating the waste substances from the skin’s surface. In addition, taking foot baths are also helpful in removing cold as well as toxins from the system. For taking foot baths, the water ought to be as hot as possible and used for about 10 to 20 minutes at a stretch. For better results, you should add a tablespoon of dry mustard to the hot water before taking the foot bath. Taking a bath with baking soda and scrubbing the skin well is another excellent way of eliminating toxic substances from the skin. At the same time, for better results, you need to cleanse the base of your feet and wear detox pads on the soles of the feet during sleep. When you wake up, you will be surprised to find a number of waste deposits on the detox pads thrown out through your feet.
As discussed earlier, controlling the body temperature is another crucial function performed by the skin. For instance, when an individual is suffering from fever or is undertaking strenuous physical tasks, he or she perspires profusely. And, this is our body’s own mechanism to lower the temperature. In addition, our skin also shields us from the disparaging substances entering our body and gets rid of several contaminants that get into the body through consumption of food and drinks or through the skin pores themselves. The skin also reduces the workload of the kidneys and the liver that filter out the spin-offs or waste materials produced during the metabolic process in our body.
Interestingly enough, our skin also respires and performs an important function in reinforcing the immune system. In fact, our skin performs numerous functions and the ones mentioned thus far are few among them. Therefore, it is very important to take care of our skin, not only for the external beauty but also for our internal health and overall well-being.
Basically, there are three major elements that need to be nourished in order to take proper care of our skin. Here is a brief discussion on each of them.

 Nourishment
Things you consume should be simple, fresh and natural or unrefined. Remember when you consume simple food, your body will require doing little or no processing at all saving plenty of energy. Similarly, the fresher the foods you intake, the better it is for you. In fact, fresh fruits and vegetables enclose most of the nourishment’s we require to remain healthy mentally and physically. You may certainly have some processed and high-fat foods at times when you are eating out or attending a lunch or some other time. However, it is essential to ensure that you consume natural and unprocessed foods most of the time. At the same time, experiment with your diet and change it at times. Don’t always stick to the same food habits and always try something new – maybe a new vegetable dish.
Ample rest and recreation
Try not to overwork you. Exerting a lot of pressure or taking more than sufficient workload is neither necessary nor desirable. In fact, when you exert yourself beyond a certain limit or suffer from exhaustion, it may prove to be detrimental to your health and, at times, even turn out to be fatal. Therefore, it is advisable that you spend some of your time resting or in recreational activities so that you are able to regain the energy and concentration that is lost during a hard day’s work. Remember, your body requires adequate rest for it to reinforce its organs.
Drink enough water
This is perhaps the most important aspect of remaining in good health as well as for our overall well-being. Our body requires enough water in order to function properly. In fact, water is essential not only to prevent the body cells from dehydrating but also to get rid of the toxins and wastes produced during metabolism. It is, therefore, essential to drink at least three liters of water every day. When you drink less water, you don’t perspire and the body is unable to eliminate the toxins and wastes through the skin. In addition, deficiency of water will also cause your urine to become dark and smelling. These are only a few conditions that deficiency of water may cause. You may experience several other conditions, most of them not perceptible until it is very late if you do not drink enough water regularly.
If you fail to drink a minimum of three liters of water daily and regularly, you are certain to suffer from dehydration. In such an instance, either your body will fail to function as it should, or it will acquire fluids from any place it can. You may already be familiar with the symptoms of dehydration – dry scaly skin, parched mouth, dark urine, and cracks on your tongue, dry lips, and untimely wrinkles and so on. Now, the choices are up to you – either you drink water and remain healthy, or shrink from dehydration!

Know About Skin Types And Basic Skin Care

Our skin is not a single-layered structure; it comprises of three layers in the main: the outermost layer is called the epidermis, the middle one is called the dermis while the innermost or the deepest layer is known as hypodermis. Hypo-dermis also contains a layer of fat beneath it. All large blood vessels and nerves pass through hypo-dermis.
Sebaceous glands, hair shafts, smaller blood vessels as well as nerves are found in the dermis. Sebaceous glands produce an oily substance known as sebum, which is then secreted into the hair shafts. Through hair shafts, sebum comes out on the outer layer, that is, the epidermis, and spreads all over it, making a protective layer. A small amount of sebum can effectively protect the skin from external irritants, like allergens. However, excessive secretion of sebum can make the skin oily and may cause acne and pimples.
Epidermis further consists of many sub-layers. New cells are born at the innermost layer of the epidermis, from where they move to the topmost layer, and fall off the body when they are dead. The process is a continuous one and forms a very important defense mechanism for the skin. Any harmful invading particle or irritant into the skin is taken out by this process and removed from the body.
We learn to walk before we can run. We need to be well-versed with basic mathematical operations before going into advanced mathematics. However, when it comes to skincare, this basic fact is often forgotten. We start using sophisticated skin care programs even before we have learned basic skin care measures. In fact, if you are not familiar with basic skin care measures, your advanced skin care programs are going to be of little use, or even harmful to your skin.
As epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin, most of the basic skin care measures are focused on it, and henceforth when we refer to skin, we will basically be referring to this layer of skin.
The models of a skin care program designed for you will invariably depend on your skin type. However, there are some basic skin care measures that should be undertaken by everybody regardless of their skin type. These are:

  • Cleaning or washing
  • Moisturizing
  • Protecting from the sun
  • Exfoliating
  • Toning

Of these, cleansing and moisturizing are most common and frequent. Cleansing and moisturizing twice daily works well for most people. However, if your skin is dry or otherwise sensitive, cleansing once a day and moisturizing twice or thrice, should be enough. Some experts suggest including exfoliation also in daily basic skincare routine. However, exfoliating daily may cause irritation to many people, and doing it once or twice every week is normally enough. Protecting the skin from the sun is a continuous process and requires avoiding moving out in the sun, or using a sunscreen when it can’t be avoided. Toning, on the other hand, is an optional skin care measure and would depend on your skin type.

Skin Care for Normal Skin

Normal skin is usually soft and has an even tone with a smooth texture. Unlike oily skin, it has no visible pores or greasy patches. Unlike dry skin, it has no flakes falling off. All it has is a blemishless, smooth and supple surface with a fine texture. It radiates with a glow arising out of clear blood circulation and good health in general.
People gifted with normal skin don’t usually have acne. However, in some women, due to increased hormonal activity just before menstruation, sebaceous glands may become overactive giving rise to occasional pimples.
Normal skin is ultimate in beauty. However, it still requires care for this beauty to last. Otherwise, it may show early signs of aging, like wrinkles. If you have this type of skin, you need to follow the following skincare routine.

Cleaning and toning
Wash your skin twice daily with a mild soap, preferably baby soap, and water. After every cleaning, apply a mild freshener, like a low alcohol content astringent. This would remove all traces of cleanser still clinging to skin pores. In addition, it would close the pores and keep them tight. Apply a mild natural toner, like rose water, after cleaning and freshening, to tone the skin.
Moisturizing
Apply a thin coating of mild, preferably home-made, moisturizer before going to bed. This would maintain the normal moisture balance of your skin. Cover your skin with a thin layer of mild, oil-based moisturizer before applying makeup. This would help in retaining surface moisture.
Sun protection
Direct sun has a drying, aging effect on your skin. So, avoid going out in the sun as far as possible. Not just the sun, avoid direct heat of any kind, like that of blow-dryers, on your face. Use a sunscreen, or makeup products containing sunscreen when going out.
Essential oils
  • Fennel
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Sandalwood
  • Geranium
  • Rose
  • Chamomile
  • Patchouli
Other measures
Use a non-drying mask every two weeks. This would smooth your face and improve blood circulation in the area. Whenever you notice your skin becoming oily, or dry, in any area, check it by following skin care measures for these particular types of skin, as given below.

Skin Care for Oily Skin

Oily skin can be easily recognized by enlarged pores and a greasy shine which are the result of overactive sebaceous glands and high levels of sebum. Because of high levels of sebum, dust and dirt particles tend to stick to the skin which often causes acne and pimples.
Sometimes oily skin may be hereditary, but more often it is the result of the abnormal hormonal activity. Such abnormal hormonal activity is more common during teenage years, and so, it’s mostly teenagers who suffer from oily skin, acne, and pimples. With age, the hormonal activity stabilizes and sebum levels decrease, rendering the skin less oily. However, it is not uncommon for oily skin to continue even into adult years.
Some areas of the skin may be more oily than others. For example, the area around the nose is more likely to develop blackheads. This is because there are more sebaceous glands around here.
Oily skin may also result from other causes, like the use of some particular type of cosmetics, or even birth control pills.

Cleaning oily skin
The first requirement for those having oily skin is to keep it clean to remove excess oil as well as kill bacteria that cause acne. Use a good exfoliation agent at least once a week to unclog the skin pores. The frequency of exfoliation may be increased depending on the severity of the condition. Gently massage the skin with upward or outward motions while exfoliating. Wash the face at least twice daily with a cleanser, rather than a harsh soap, and warm water. Warm water helps remove excess oil.
Cosmetics for oily skin
If you have an oily skin, make sure that the cosmetics and makeup products you use are water-based. Oil-based products can aggravate the condition and cause blemishes. Avoid the temptation of using harsh chemical products for removing excess oil. They may dehydrate the skin and lead to ‘reactive seborrhea’ – a condition in which sebaceous glands are stimulated to produce more sebum to compensate for the loss, and things are back to square one.
However, you can use anti-bacterial cleansing lotions or mild acne medication after cleaning. This will have a drying effect on the skin and help it keep acne-free.
Essential oils
  • Calendula
  • Cajuput
  • Cedarwood
  • Coriander
  • Clary
  • Cypress
  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Frankincense
  • Melissa
  • Niaouli
  • Patchouli
  • Petitgrain
  • Peppermint
  • Roman & German chamomile
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Thyme
  • Yarrow
  • Ylang-ylang
Treatment for oily skin
Oily skin can’t be transformed into normal skin overnight. It requires a holistic treatment that takes into account your overall health. If you are following overall health care measures and adhering to the basic cleaning routine given above, the following treatments will go a long way in curbing the oiliness of your skin and keeping it blemish-free:

  • Clay or mud masks are excellent for oily skin. Unlike harsh chemicals, they remove the excess oil from the skin without depriving it of essential oils or making it excessively dry. White and pink clay masks work well on slight to moderately oily skin. Stronger, dark brown clay masks are more effective on very oily skin. Choose a mask according to your needs and apply it twice or three times a week.
  • Oils used in aromatherapy, as lemon, cedarwood, or rosemary oil, have been found to be effective in removing oiliness of the skin. Mix a few drops of any of these with lanolin and massage your skin with it twice or three times a week.
  • Ask your dermatologist about topical vitamin derivatives containing tretinoin or isotretinoin. These have been found helpful in treating sensitive oily skin.
  • Your dermatologist may also suggest you Benzoyl Peroxide products to unclog skin pores and remove bacterial infection.
  • Antibiotic lotions or creams, containing erythromycin or clindamycin, can be used to treat blemishes on the skin.

Skin Care for Combination Skin

Combination skin, as the name implies, is a combination of both oily and dry skin. Strange though it may appear, it is a commonly found skin type, requiring those who have it to use skin care measures for both the skin types.
Combination skin results due to the fact that sebaceous glands are not evenly distributed on the skin. They are denser in what is called the T-zone, that is, an area comprising the middle part of the forehead, the nose, chin and the cheeks. So, often these areas tend to be more oily and are affected by acne or pimples, while other areas, which are drier, may become flaky.
Combination skin can’t be treated as one unified type. The skin care measures, or cosmetic products, that are good for the oily and acne prone areas, will not be appropriate for the drier parts like around the eyes or jaws. If you have this type of skin, you need to use the separate set of measures and separate products to take care of different areas of your face. That’s the only way to make your whole face truly look and feel good.
Once this fact is accepted, and the basic skin care routine adjusted accordingly, care of combination skin is not difficult. The keyword here is ‘balance’, balance in both the types of skin on the same face, which can be achieved by taking measures appropriate for oily skin where it is oily and dry skin where it is dry. The skin care products must also be chosen and used accordingly.
Thus, the skin care measures for combination skin are also a combination of skin care measures for all skin types. However, keep in mind the keyword ‘balance’ and don’t go overboard with any one set of measures. For example, using overly harsh or abrasive products even on oilier parts will worsen the dual nature of combination skin by rendering dry areas even drier and giving a rough, reddish look to oily areas. Remember, as described above, harsh treatments do not correct oiliness or improve it in any way.

Basic combination skin care routine
  • Wash the face twice daily with a mild, water-soluble or gel-based cleanser. Avoid products that leave the face feeling taut or dry.
  • Don’t be tempted to use bar soaps or cleansers even if they claim to be gentle or residue free. The ingredients used in a bar soap or cleanser to keep it in bar form may clog skin pores. Even the cleansing ingredients in these products are much harsher than those of gel-based or water-soluble cleansers.
  • A toner can be used all over the face if it is not oil based, or does not have ingredients that would increase the oiliness of the oily areas. Water or glycerine based toners would be ideal. It would be even better if they have antioxidants, water binding agents, and cell-communicating ingredients in plentiful quantity.
  • Use a sunscreen every day, round the year, because it is not possible for anyone to avoid going out in the sun completely. For best results, choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide, or titanium oxide, or avobenzone as the UVA-protecting agent. If you want to use a cosmetic product containing sunscreen, choose a foundation or pressed powder rather than a moisturizer, as a moisturizer would worsen the condition of oily areas on the face.
  • Exfoliate the skin regularly, at least once a week. Choose an exfoliation product with beta hydroxy acid or salicylic acid. These ingredients exfoliate not only the outer skin but also work inside the pores and improve overall texture and appearance of the skin.
  • Use a moisturizer containing plenty of antioxidants and water-binding ingredients over the drier areas, including the area below the eyes. With regular use of these products, you can get rid of dryness over these areas. Pay special attention to the packaging of these products and choose only those that come in airtight and opaque containers to prevent antioxidant loss. Jars are an absolute no-no in this regard.
  • If your work routine involves overexposure to the sun, in addition to using sunscreen you can also consider using a tretinoin product in your nighttime skincare routine. Avita, Renova or Retin-A are some such tretinoin products that act as cell-communicating agents and help generate new, normal skin cells. They are available in different bases like gel, cream or lotion. However, you need your dermatologist’s prescription to buy these products.
Essential oils
  • Neroli
  • Rosewood
  • Rose Geranium
  • Geranium
  • Ylang-ylang

Skin Care for Dry Skin

Dry skin is characterized by low sebum levels and is often sensitive to external influences, like allergens. It is unable to retain moisture and, as a result, has a parched look. It usually gives a tight and uncomfortable feeling after a wash, and use of a moisturizer or skin cream becomes necessary. Extremely dry and dehydrated skin is prone to flaking, chapping or cracking that may be painful.
The condition of the dry skin is worsened by the wind, air conditioning, or temperature extremes. All of these may cause it to feel tight, or to become flaky, chapped or cracked. Dry skin is tightly stretched over the bones and looks dull, particularly around the eyes and on the cheeks. These spots, and the corners of the mouth, often acquire tiny expression lines, called crow’s feet, that do not look good.

Skin care routine for dry skin
Dry skin also needs thorough cleaning even though people with such skin tend to avoid it because of the tight feeling it gives. However, dry skin requires some extra care during and after cleaning. A regular care routine, taking into account the following, can help restore glow and suppleness of dry skin:

  • Don’t use soaps or any detergent based cleansers for dry skin. Instead, use non-detergent based, ph-neutral products, specially made for this skin type.
  • Avoid using tap water for washing dry skin. The deposits it leaves have a further drying effect on the skin. Instead, use mineral water for washing, or just for freshening it up. For example, you can spray your face with mineral water in the morning, using a plant sprayer (not that which has been used to spray insecticides).
  • Don’t rub your skin dry with a washcloth, the rough texture may irritate and cause more dryness. Instead, lightly pat it dry with a soft cloth.
  • Always use cold water to wash dry skin, never hot water as it may deprive the skin of essential oils.
  • You can double cleanse your face using a cream and leave a thin, light trace of it after the second cleaning.
  • Always touch dry skin gently while cleaning it; never rub it vigorously.
  • Dry skin requires generous quantities of moisture and oil after a wash. Use a good moisturizer and stimulate the blood circulation with a massage. This will increase the moisture content of the outer skin layers and give it a soft, supple look.
  • Apply some baby oil after every bath or shower.
  • Massage the face with a generous application of moisturizer or nourishing cream, preferably homemade, before going to bed. Be especially liberal with the cream over the areas affected by expression lines and crow’s feet.
  • Avoid bringing any alkaline product or drying ingredient, like detergents or washing sodas, into contact with dry skin.
Essential oils
  • Calendula
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary sage
  • Geranium
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Roman chamomile
  • Rose
  • Rosewood
  • Orange
  • Petitgrain
  • Neroli
  • Sandalwood
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang-ylang

Skin Care for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is often unable to tolerate some environmental conditions like heat or wind, or some products containing particular chemicals. Exposure to these often results in reddening or blotching of skin with irritation. We may say that sensitive skin is not a particular type of skin; it is only allergic to certain things. It is mostly dry skin that is prone to sensitivity, and so basic skin care measures for dry skin remain applicable to sensitive skin also. However sensitive skin requires an overall approach to proper care which would include avoiding exposure to the things that trigger the sensitive reaction.
Skin sensitivity may differ in degree from people to people. Some people may show the very severe reaction to some environmental conditions or products, others may have a less severe, mild reaction or no reaction at all.
A sensitive skin can be very uncomfortable. The sudden eruption of red, itching blotches can affect our work and may even lead to embarrassment. Avoiding everything that causes such a skin to react so violently may be really annoying.
Skin care for sensitive skin is a particularly tricky affair as many chemicals used in cleansing products or cosmetics can cause it to flare up. Therefore, natural skin care measures are the safest and most effective way of caring for sensitive skin as natural skin care products are much less likely to trigger the sensitive reaction. Here are some natural measures that will effectively take care of such a skin:
Pay attention to your diet, it can play a big role in controlling sensitive reactions. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can increase the tolerance level of the skin apart from giving it a glow that comes from good health.
On the other hand, there may be some particular foods that may trigger a sensitive reaction. Pay careful attention to your diet to find out if this is the case, and avoid these foods. It is usually hot and spicy foods that cause such reactions.
Drinking adequate water is an essential step in general health care, and particularly useful to people with sensitive skin. Well, hydrated skin is healthier and more capable of fighting off skin irritants.
Avoid using chemical cosmetics if you have sensitive skin. Instead, use herbs or herbal products. There are so many herbal products that can provide the complete range of skin care without causing undesirable reactions which are often triggered by chemicals. Try some of these remedies if you have sensitive skin:

  • Almond or jojoba oil is a good cleanser for sensitive skin
  • Comfrey soaked in water is a good toner for such skin
  • Grapefruit mixed with oatmeal can be a very good exfoliate
  • Fruit pulps, like papaya pulp, can be used as very good masks
  • Cucumber and yogurt can make general purpose cleansers, toners as well as masks
  • Licorice is very good for sensitive skin. Use products that contain it.
  • Use green tea as your favorite beverage. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the severity of sensitive reactions.
  • When a reaction breaks out, apply aloe vera juice or pulp. It will not only soothe red, irritated skin but also increase its tolerance level.

However, even natural products may not be hundred percent safe for people with sensitive skin. Therefore, check any new product you intend to use on a small area of the skin and don’t use it if it appears to be triggering the sensitive reaction symptoms.

Essential oils
  • Angelica
  • Chamomile or yarrow
  • Neroli
  • Jasmine
  • Rose
  • Rosewood
  • Roman and German chamomile

All You Wanted To Know About Skin Types And Basic Skin Care

To pick the best products for your skin, you need to know your skin type.

Most people have a combination of skin types particularly on the face where oily areas around the chin, nose, and forehead are different from the normal or dry skin around the eyes and on the cheeks.
There are four basic skin types.
 
Normal skin:
is clear, supple, and soft. It is neither too dry nor too oily, and it is not overly sensitive to the sun, humidity, or the environment.
 
Dry skin:
looks dull feels tight after washing and needs sun protection and frequent moisturizing to prevent flaking.
 
Oily skin:
feels soft and supple, but it looks shiny and needs cleaning several times a day. Oily skin tends to support large pores and is more prone to pimples and blackheads than dry or normal skin.
 
Sensitive skin:
is easily burned by the sun and irritated by chemicals found in many commercial skin products that may cause rashes or blotching.

Our skin is not a single-layered structure; it comprises of three layers in the main: the outermost layer is called the epidermis, the middle one is called the dermis while the innermost or the deepest layer is known as hypodermis. Hypodermis also contains a layer of fat beneath it. All large blood vessels and nerves pass through hypodermis.

Sebaceous glands, hair shafts, smaller blood vessels as well as nerves are found in the dermis. Sebaceous glands produce an oily substance known as sebum, which is then secreted into the hair shafts. Through hair shafts, sebum comes out on the outer layer, that is, the epidermis, and spreads all over it, making a protective layer. A small amount of sebum can effectively protect the skin from external irritants, like allergens. However, excessive secretion of sebum can make the skin oily and may cause acne and pimples.
Epidermis further consists of many sub-layers. New cells are born at the innermost layer of the epidermis, from where they move to the topmost layer, and fall off the body when they are dead. The process is a continuous one and forms a very important defense mechanism for the skin. Any harmful invading particle or irritant into the skin is taken out by this process and removed from the body.
We learn to walk before we can run. We need to be well-versed with basic mathematical operations before going into advanced mathematics. However, when it comes to skincare, this basic fact is often forgotten. We start using sophisticated skin care programs even before we have learned basic skin care measures. In fact, if you are not familiar with basic skin care measures, your advanced skin care programs are going to be of little use, or even harmful to your skin.
As epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin, most of the basic skin care measures are focused on it, and henceforth when we refer to skin, we will basically be referring to this layer of skin.
The moralities of a skin care program designed for you will invariably depend on your skin type. However, there are some basic skin care measures that should be undertaken by everybody regardless of their skin type. These are:
  • Cleaning or washing
  • Moisturizing
  • Protecting from the sun
  • Exfoliating
  • Toning
Of these, cleansing and moisturizing are most common and frequent. Cleansing and moisturizing twice daily works well for most people. However, if your skin is dry or otherwise sensitive, cleansing once a day and moisturizing twice or thrice, should be enough. Some experts suggest including exfoliation also in daily basic skincare routine. However, exfoliating daily may cause irritation to many people, and doing it once or twice every week is normally enough. Protecting the skin from the sun is a continuous process and requires avoiding moving out in the sun, or using a sunscreen when it can’t be avoided. Toning, on the other hand, is an optional skin care measure and would depend on your skin type.

Skin Care for Normal Skin:

Normal skin is usually soft and has an even tone with a smooth texture. Unlike oily skin, it has no visible pores or greasy patches. Unlike dry skin, it has no flakes falling off. All it has is a blemishless, smooth and supple surface with a fine texture. It radiates with a glow arising out of clear blood circulation and good health in general.
People gifted with normal skin don’t usually have acne. However, in some women, due to increased hormonal activity just before menstruation, sebaceous glands may become overactive giving rise to occasional pimples.
Normal skin is ultimate in beauty. However, it still requires care for this beauty to last. Otherwise, it may show early signs of aging, like wrinkles. If you have this type of skin, you need to follow the following skincare routine.
Cleaning and toning
Wash your skin twice daily with a mild soap, preferably baby soap, and water. After every cleaning, apply a mild freshener, like a low alcohol content astringent. This would remove all traces of cleanser still clinging to skin pores. In addition, it would close the pores and keep them tight. Apply a mild natural toner, like rose water, after cleaning and freshening, to tone the skin.
Moisturizing
Apply a thin coating of mild, preferably home-made, moisturizer before going to bed. This would maintain the normal moisture balance of your skin. Cover your skin with a thin layer of mild, oil-based moisturizer before applying makeup. This would help in retaining surface moisture.
Sun protection
Direct sun has a drying, aging effect on your skin. So, avoid going out in the sun as far as possible. Not just the sun, avoid direct heat of any kind, like that of blow-dryers, on your face. Use a sunscreen, or makeup products containing sunscreen when going out.
Essential oils
  • Fennel
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Sandalwood
  • Geranium
  • Rose
  • Chamomile
  • Patchouli
Other measures
Use a non-drying mask every two weeks. This would smooth your face and improve blood circulation in the area. Whenever you notice your skin becoming oily, or dry, in any area, check it by following skin care measures for these particular types of skin, as given below.

Skin Care for Oily Skin:

Oily skin can be easily recognized by enlarged pores and a greasy shine which are the result of overactive sebaceous glands and high levels of sebum. Because of high levels of sebum, dust and dirt particles tend to stick to the skin which often causes acne and pimples.
Sometimes oily skin may be hereditary, but more often it is the result of the abnormal hormonal activity. Such abnormal hormonal activity is more common during teenage years, and so, it’s mostly teenagers who suffer from oily skin, acne, and pimples. With age, the hormonal activity stabilizes and sebum levels decrease, rendering the skin less oily. However, it is not uncommon for oily skin to continue even into adult years.
Some areas of the skin may be more oily than others. For example, the area around the nose is more likely to develop blackheads. This is because there are more sebaceous glands around here.
Oily skin may also result from other causes, like the use of some particular type of cosmetics, or even birth control pills.
The cleaning oily skin

first requirement for those having oily skin is to keep it clean to remove excess oil as well as kill bacteria that cause acne. Use a good exfoliation agent at least once a week to unclog the skin pores. The frequency of exfoliation may be increased depending on the severity of the condition. Gently massage the skin with upward or outward motions while exfoliating. Wash the face at least twice daily with a cleanser, rather than a harsh soap, and warm water. Warm water helps remove excess oil.
Cosmetics for oily skin
If you have an oily skin, make sure that the cosmetics and makeup products you use are water-based. Oil-based products can aggravate the condition and cause blemishes. Avoid the temptation of using harsh chemical products for removing excess oil. They may dehydrate the skin and lead to ‘reactive seborrhea’ – a condition in which sebaceous glands are stimulated to produce more sebum to compensate for the loss, and things are back to square one.However, you can use anti-bacterial cleansing lotions or mild acne medication after cleaning. This will have a drying effect on the skin and help it keep acne-free.
Essential oils
  • Calendula
  • Cajuput
  • Cedarwood
  • Coriander
  • Clary
  • Cypress
  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Frankincense
  • Melissa
  • Niaouli
  • Patchouli
  • Petitgrain
  • Peppermint
  • Roman & German chamomile
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Thyme
  • Yarrow
  • Ylang-ylang
Treatment for oily skin
Oily skin can’t be transformed into normal skin overnight. It requires a holistic treatment that takes into account your overall health. If you are following overall health care measures and adhering to the basic cleaning routine given above, the following treatments will go a long way in curbing the oiliness of your skin and keeping it blemish-free:

  • Clay or mud masks are excellent for oily skin. Unlike harsh chemicals, they remove the excess oil of the skin without depriving it of essential oils or making it excessively dry. White and pink clay masks work well on slight to moderately oily skin. Stronger, dark brown clay masks are more effective on very oily skin. Choose a mask according to your needs and apply it twice or thrice a week.
  • Oils used in aromatherapy, as lemon, cedarwood, or rosemary oil, have been found to be effective in removing oiliness of the skin. Mix a few drops of any of these with lanolin and massage your skin with it twice or thrice a week.
  • Ask your dermatologist about topical vitamin derivatives containing tretinoin or isotretinoin. These have been found helpful in treating sensitive oily skin.
  • Your dermatologist may also suggest you Benzoyl Peroxide products to unclog skin pores and remove bacterial infection.
  • Antibiotic lotions or creams, containing erythromycin or clindamycin, can be used to treat blemishes on the skin.

Skin Care for Combination Skin:

Combination skin, as the name implies, is a combination of both oily and dry skin. Strange though it may appear, it is a commonly found skin type, requiring those who have it to use skin care measures for both the skin types.
Combination skin results due to the fact that sebaceous glands are not evenly distributed on the skin. They are denser in what is called the T-zone, that is, an area comprising the middle part of the forehead, the nose, chin and the cheeks. So, often these areas tend to be more oily and are affected by acne or pimples, while other areas, which are drier, may become flaky.
Combination skin can’t be treated as one unified type. The skin care measures, or cosmetic products, that are good for the oily and acne prone areas, will not be appropriate for the drier parts like around the eyes or jaws. If you have this type of skin, you need to use the separate set of measures and separate products to take care of different areas of your face. That’s the only way to make your whole face truly look and feel good.
Once this fact is accepted, and the basic skin care routine adjusted accordingly, care of combination skin is not difficult. The keyword here is ‘balance’, balance in both the types of skin on the same face, which can be achieved by taking measures appropriate for oily skin where it is oily and dry skin where it is dry. The skin care products must also be chosen and used accordingly.
Thus, the skin care measures for combination skin are also a combination of skin care measures for all skin types. However, keep in mind the keyword ‘balance’ and don’t go overboard with any one set of measures. For example, using overly harsh or abrasive products even on oilier parts will worsen the dual nature of combination skin by rendering dry areas even drier and giving a rough, reddish look to oily areas. Remember, as described above, harsh treatments do not correct oiliness or improve it in any way.
Basic combination skin cares routine
  • Wash the face twice daily with a mild, water-soluble or gel-based cleanser. Avoid products that leave the face feeling taut or dry.
  • Don’t be tempted to use bar soaps or cleansers even if they claim to be gentle or residue free. The ingredients used in a bar soap or cleanser to keep it in bar form may clog skin pores. Even the cleansing ingredients in these products are much harsher than those of gel-based or water-soluble cleansers.
  • A toner can be used all over the face if it is not oil based, or does not have ingredients that would increase the oiliness of the oily areas. Water or glycerine based toners would be ideal. It would be even better if they have antioxidants, water binding agents, and cell-communicating ingredients in plentiful quantity.
  • Use a sunscreen every day, round the year, because it is not possible for anyone to avoid going out in the sun completely. For best results, choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide, or titanium oxide, or avobenzone as the UVA-protecting agent. If you want to use a cosmetic product containing sunscreen, choose a foundation or pressed powder rather than a moisturizer, as a moisturizer would worsen the condition of oily areas on the face.
  • Exfoliate the skin regularly, at least once a week. Choose an exfoliation product with beta hydroxy acid or salicylic acid. These ingredients exfoliate not only the outer skin but also work inside the pores and improve overall texture and appearance of the skin.
  • Use a moisturizer containing plenty of antioxidants and water-binding ingredients over the drier areas, including the area below the eyes. With regular use of these products, you can get rid of dryness over these areas. Pay special attention to the packaging of these products and choose only those that come in airtight and opaque containers to prevent antioxidant loss. Jars are an absolute no-no in this regard.
  • If your work routine involves over exposure to the sun, in addition to using sunscreen you can also consider using a tretinoin product in your night time skin care routine. Avita, Renova or Retin-A are some such tretinoin products that act as cell-communicating agents and help generate new, normal skin cells. They are available in different bases like gel, cream or lotion. However, you need your dermatologist’s prescription to buy these products.
Essential oils
  • Neroli
  • Rosewood
  • Rose Geranium
  • Geranium
  • Ylang-ylang

Skin Care for Dry Skin:

Dry skin is characterized by low sebum levels and is often sensitive to external influences, like allergens. It is unable to retain moisture and, as a result, has a parched look. It usually gives a tight and uncomfortable feeling after a wash, and use of a moisturizer or skin cream becomes necessary. Extremely dry and dehydrated skin is prone to flaking, chapping or cracking that may be painful.
The condition of the dry skin is worsened by the wind, air conditioning, or temperature extremes. All of these may cause it to feel tight, or to become flaky, chapped or cracked. Dry skin is tightly stretched over the bones and looks dull, particularly around the eyes and on the cheeks. These spots, and the corners of the mouth, often acquire tiny expression lines, called crow’s feet, that do not look good.
Skin care routine for dry skin
Dry skin also needs thorough cleaning even though people with such skin tend to avoid it because of the tight feeling it gives. However, dry skin requires some extra care during and after cleaning. A regular care routine, taking into account the following, can help restore glow and suppleness of dry skin:

  • Don’t use soaps or any detergent based cleansers for dry skin. Instead, use non-detergent based, ph-neutral products, specially made for this skin type.
  • Avoid using tap water for washing dry skin. The deposits it leaves have a further drying effect on the skin. Instead, use mineral water for washing, or just for freshening it up. For example, you can spray your face with mineral water in the morning, using a plant sprayer (not that which has been used to spray insecticides).
  • Don’t rub your skin dry with a washcloth, the rough texture may irritate and cause more dryness. Instead, lightly pat it dry with a soft cloth.
  • Always use cold water to wash dry skin, never hot water as it may deprive the skin of essential oils.
  • You can double cleanse your face using a cream and leave a thin, light trace of it after the second cleaning.
  • Always touch dry skin gently while cleaning it; never rub it vigorously.
  • Dry skin requires generous quantities of moisture and oil after a wash. Use a good moisturizer and stimulate the blood circulation with a massage. This will increase the moisture content of the outer skin layers and give it a soft, supple look.
  • Apply some baby oil after every bath or shower.
  • Massage the face with a generous application of moisturizer or nourishing cream, preferably homemade, before going to bed. Be especially liberal with the cream over the areas affected by expression lines and crow’s feet.
  • Avoid bringing any alkaline product or drying ingredient, like detergents or washing sodas, into contact with dry skin.
Essential oils
  • Calendula
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary sage
  • Geranium
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Roman chamomile
  • Rose
  • Rosewood
  • Orange
  • Petitgrain
  • Neroli
  • Sandalwood
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang-ylang

Skin Care for Sensitive Skin:

Sensitive skin is often unable to tolerate some environmental conditions like heat or wind, or some products containing particular chemicals. Exposure to these often results in reddening or blotching of skin with irritation. We may say that sensitive skin is not a particular type of skin; it is only allergic to certain things. It is mostly dry skin that is prone to sensitivity, and so basic skin care measures for dry skin remain applicable to sensitive skin also. However sensitive skin requires an overall approach for proper care which would include avoiding exposure to the things that trigger a sensitive reaction.
Skin sensitivity may differ in degree from people to people. Some people may show a very severe reaction to some environmental conditions or products, others may have a less severe, mild reaction or no reaction at all.
A sensitive skin can be very uncomfortable. The sudden eruption of red, itching blotches can affect our work and may even lead to embarrassment. Avoiding everything that causes such a skin to react so violently may be really annoying.
Skin care for sensitive skin is a particularly tricky affair as many chemicals used in cleaning products or cosmetics can cause it to flare up. Therefore, natural skin care measures are the safest and most effective way of caring for sensitive skin as natural skin care products are much less likely to trigger the sensitive reaction. Here are some natural measures that will effectively take care of such a skin:
Pay attention to your diet, it can play a big role in controlling sensitive reactions. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can increase the tolerance level of the skin apart from giving it a glow that comes from good health.
On the other hand, there may be some particular foods that may trigger the sensitive reaction. Pay careful attention to your diet to find out if this is the case, and avoid these foods. It is usually hot and spicy foods that cause such reactions.
Drinking adequate water is an essential step in general health care, and particularly useful to people with sensitive skin. Well, hydrated skin is healthier and more capable of fighting off skin irritants.
Avoid using chemical cosmetics if you have sensitive skin. Instead, use herbs or herbal products. There are so many herbal products that can provide the complete range of skin care without causing undesirable reactions which are often triggered by chemicals. Try some of these remedies if you have sensitive skin:
  • Almond or jojoba oil is a good cleanser for sensitive skin
  • Comfrey soaked in water is a good toner for such skin
  • Grapefruit mixed with oatmeal can be a very good exfoliate
  • Fruit pulps, like papaya pulp, can be used as very good masks
  • Cucumber and yogurt can make general purpose cleansers, toners as well as masks
  • Licorice is very good for sensitive skin. Use products that contain it.
  • Use green tea as your favorite beverage. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the severity of sensitive reactions.
  • When a reaction breaks out, apply aloe vera juice or pulp. It will not only soothe red, irritated skin but also increase its tolerance level.
However, even natural products may not be hundred percent safe for people with sensitive skin. Therefore, check any new product you intend to use on a small area of the skin and don’t use it if it appears to be triggering the sensitive reaction symptoms.
Essential oils
  • Angelica
  • Chamomile or yarrow
  • Neroli
  • Jasmine
  • Rose
  • Rosewood
  • Roman and German chamomile