Hydrosols as Toners in Skincare

Hydrosols are enjoying a return to aromatherapy as the movement of artisan distillers continues to grow, and the benefits of these healing waters are rediscovered. Hydrosols are not a new invention. They have been around for millennia but lost favor to essential oils, and sadly delegated to a “by-product” of that process of extraction. True hydrosols are today distilled in their own right, and quality hydrosols are not distilled as by-products of the essential oil industry.

Hydrosols have many benefits. Although there are myriad of ways and uses for hydrosols, this article will look specifically at how to use hydrosols as toners.

Reasons to Use Hydrosols as Toners

  1. Hydrosols are a cost-effective solution for skincare. Commercials would have us believe that we need to spend hundreds of dollars on a skincare product for it to have any effect. The opposite is true when it comes to hydrosols. Even if you don’t distill your own hydrosols, purchasing a quality hydrosol from a reputable supplier is a relatively low-cost solution as a toner in skincare.
    And there are many different hydrosols to choose from, making it a relatively simple task to find a hydrosol for your skincare type and/or skincare issue.
  2. Hydrosols address many different skincare issues. As we’ve just mentioned, you will find a hydrosol to use as a toner for oily, mature, or combination skin types. You can also address different skincare issues with hydrosols such as acne, inflammation, eczema, dermatitis, bites, spots, and more. However, you’ll need to either have an understanding of the therapeutic properties of each hydrosol or consult a certified aromatherapist who can guide you. It may also be better to combine one or more hydrosols to make a custom hydrosol toner for your specific problem.
  3. Hydrosols are nature in its purest form: Water, with the addition of plant essences. Although the chemistry of hydrosols is a little more complex than this statement implies, in its simplest state, a hydrosol is a form of hydrotherapy for the skin. The skin needs water. Add in a beneficial plant essence, and the healing qualities of both benefit the skin greatly.
  4. Hydrosols are gentle to use. Hydrosols are so easy to use, especially as toners where you will be using them on your face, because they are a lot gentler than essential oils. You can use them in their purest form, without the addition of any carriers or preservatives.

How to Use Hydrosols as Toners in Skincare

First, identify either your skin type or the problem you wish to address. Once you have chosen your hydrosol or combined two or more to create a custom hydrosol blend, you can then prepare how to use it each day. I recommend using your hydrosol toner twice a day, once in the morning, after washing your face, and again in the evening, after washing your face. You can follow up each application with a custom oil blend for your face as well.

  • Dampen a cotton pad lightly with your chosen hydrosol or hydrosol blend.
  • Pat gently over your face and around the eye area, avoiding getting into eyes.
  • Allow to dry.

Hydrosol Recipes for Toners

These are a couple of easy recipes to create at home with hydrosols to use as toners:

Hydrosol Blend for Mature Skin Types

  • 1-oz. rose (Rosa × damascena) hydrosol
  • 1-oz. geranium (Pelargonium × asperum) hydrosol
  • 1-oz. frankincense (Boswellia carteri) hydrosol
  • 1-oz. rosehip (Rosa spp.) hydrosol

Hydrosol Blend for Oily Skin Types

  • 1-oz. witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) hydrosol
  • 1-oz. melissa (Melissa officinalis) hydrosol

Instructions for Use:

  • Blend the ingredients together in a suitable spray bottle.
  • Use as instructed above.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

Cautions for Use:

  • Discontinue use if irritation occurs.

Cool Mist Hydrosol

A hydrosol blend for hot flashes or for those lingering hot, summer days…

Hydrosols:

1-oz. peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
2-oz. geranium (Pelargonium x asperum)
1-oz. lime (Citrus latifolia)

Mix the hydrosols together in a spray bottle. Spray lightly to the back of the neck and/or forehead at first sign of hot flash or feeling of hotness. You can also mist lightly around the body. Close eyes before spraying. Discontinue use immediately if irritation occurs. For adult use only.

In Summary

Using hydrosols as toners are easy and your skin will thank you for it. Just make sure to source your hydrosols carefully and consult an aromatherapist for further advice on use if you are unfamiliar with them.

Cinnamon Oil; Benefits For Healthy Looking Skin and Hair

Cinnamon Oil is derived from a tree that is recognized by two botanical names – Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamomum vervun – both of which refer to the same tree. This is the species considered to be true Cinnamon. The English name for this spice is rooted in the term “amomon,” or “qinnamon,” the Arabic and Hebraic word for “fragrant spice plant.” Harvested and processed as both a spice and essential oil, it is cultivated and exported globally. Cinnamon was also given the Early Modern English names of “canel” and “canella,” which were rooted in the Latin word for “tube,” due to the inner bark’s tendency to naturally form a tube shape as it dries and retracts into itself. Cinnamon Essential Oil may be obtained from either the tree’s outer bark or its leaves, hence the two main varieties are Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil and Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil.

Cinnamon is thought to be one of the world’s oldest and most valuable spices. Since the time of Ancient Egyptians and for thousands of years afterward, it has continued to be used, even becoming a staple in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Today, it continues to be used in the forms of spices, herbs, powders, and teas to address emotional and physical ailments, such as depression, respiratory and digestive problems, colds, flu, weight gain, diarrhea, yeast infections, heavy menstruation, menstrual cramps, arthritis, and skin infections. According to a 7th century BCE Greek poem, it was believed that Cinnamon grew in Arabia, along with Myrrh, Labdanum, and incense, and that these plants were so respected that they were shielded by winged snakes.

Throughout history, Cinnamon has demonstrated a diverse range of uses in culinary applications, having been used as a spice and flavor additive in mulled wines, hot beverages, bread, snack foods, cereals, savory entrées, and desserts. As a whole, the plant has come to symbolize and attract good fortune, such as wealth. It has been associated with protection, as 15th-century grave robbers were known to use Cinnamon in their oil blends that were meant to protect them against the plague. Cinnamon Oil was also used as a sedative during birth.

In Ancient Egypt, Cinnamon was imported as early as 2000 BCE. At the time, an individual in possession of Cinnamon was considered to be wealthy, as historical records indicate that Cinnamon’s value might have been considered equivalent to or higher than that of gold. In Egyptian society, Cinnamon was preferable for use in embalming, in witchcraft practices as an ingredient in love potions, and it was deemed valuable enough to offer as a gift to monarchs and gods. It was often used as an ingredient in Kyphi, an incense that was burned for both religious and medicinal purposes.

In the Middle Ages, Europeans also viewed Cinnamon as a symbol of high ranking social status, due to the fact that only the wealthy class was able to afford this transoceanic spice imported from the East and reputed to have remedial qualities that made it ideal for treating indigestion and other such discomforts. Additionally, Cinnamon was essential for use in concealing or eliminating the unpleasant odor of cured meats, especially when they began to spoil. According to an account given by Pliny the Elder, a Roman pound of Cinnamon could potentially cost the same as the wage earned after fifty months of labor. Due to its high price, Cinnamon was not commonly burnt on funeral pyres in Rome, but when it was, it was meant to mask the unpleasant smell of burning flesh. In spite of this, it is believed that, at his wife’s funeral in AD 65, Emperor Nero burned a year’s worth of the city’s stock of Cinnamon.

Although some of these applications of Cinnamon Essential Oil exist today, there are several other natural applications that will be highlighted in this article.

BENEFITS OF CINNAMON OIL

The main chemical constituents of Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil and Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oils, albeit in varying amounts, are Cinnamaldehyde, Cinnamyl Acetate, Eugenol, and Eugenol Acetate.

CINNAMALDEHYDE is known to:

  • Be responsible for Cinnamon’s characteristic warming and comforting scent
  • Exhibit anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial properties

CINNAMYL ACETATE is known to:

  • Be a fragrance agent
  • Have the sweet, peppery, balsamic, spicy, and floral scent that is characteristic of Cinnamon
  • Be commonly used as a fixative in manufactured perfumes
  • Repel and prevent insect infestations
  • Enhance circulation, thereby allowing the body and hair to receive the required amounts of oxygen, vitamins, and minerals to sustain the health of each

EUGENOL is known to:

  • Soothe ulcers and related pain
  • Address gastric pain
  • Reduce the chances of developing sores
  • Exhibit anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties
  • Eliminate bacteria
  • Prevent the growth of many fungi

EUGENOL ACETATE is known to:

  • Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
  • Have a sweet, fruity, balsamic scent that is reminiscent of Cloves

Used in aromatherapy applications, Cinnamon Essential Oil is known to diminish the feelings of depression, faintness, and exhaustion. It is reputed to relax the body enough to stimulate the libido, making it an effective natural aphrodisiac. Its anti-rheumatic qualities address joint and muscle pain, and it is known to be advantageous for strengthening immunity and thereby reducing the symptoms of colds and the flu. Its ability to enhance circulation helps reduce the pain associated with headaches and makes it beneficial for enhancing the function of the digestive system. When diffused throughout the home or other indoor environments, its scent freshens and deodorizes while emitting its characteristic warm, uplifting, and relaxing fragrance that is known to have a therapeutic grounding and soothing effect. Furthermore, Cinnamon is known to have calming and tonic effects on the mind that are reputed to result in an improved cognitive function. Its ability to reduce nervous tension helps advance information retention, extends the attention span, enhances the memory and reduces the risk of memory loss.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Cinnamon Essential Oil is reputed to calm dry skin and to effectively alleviate aches, pains, and stiffness experienced in the muscles and joints and in the digestive system. Its antibacterial properties make it ideal for use in addressing acne, rashes, and infections. Its anti-oxidant properties help to slow the look of aging.

Used medicinally, Cinnamon Essential Oil is reputed to effectively reduce inflammation, eliminate viruses, and boost immunity. Its ability to enhance circulation facilitates pain relief while improving the function of the metabolism. When applied to cuts, it is known to exhibit coagulant properties that help stem the flow of blood from cuts, thereby assisting the healing process. Cinnamon Oil is known to benefit the respiratory system by reducing the symptoms of colds and the flu, such as a sore throat, nasal congestion, and headaches. Its carminative properties make it ideal for use in alleviating digestive discomforts such as gas.

Cinnamon Essential Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Cleansing, Astringent, Stimulant, Antioxidant.
  • ODOROUS: Aphrodisiac, Stimulant, Anti-depressant, Expectorant, Immunostimulant, Warming, Stimulating, Energizing, Metabolism-Boosting.
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-parasitic, Analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-viral, Immune-Boosting, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-microbial, Astringent, Anti-septic, Anti-spasmodic, Carminative, Emmenagogue, Stomachic, Tonic, Vermifuge, Anti-Rheumatic, Detoxifying, Immunostimulant, Antioxidant.

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY CINNAMON OIL

Cinnamomum zeylanicum – also known as “True” Cinnamon – originates in Sri Lanka and is the Cinnamon variety considered to be of the highest quality. Also cultivated in Brazil, the Caribbean, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Indonesia, the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree thrives in tropical regions with heavy rainfall and temperatures between 27-30°C (80°-86°F). Sometimes reaching a height of up to 45 feet if allowed to grow freely, this Cinnamon botanical is characterized by its glossy, leathery, oval-shaped leaves, its thick, rust-colored bark that rolls itself into tubes when dried, and for its small, white flowers, all of which are deeply aromatic. The tree is also known to grow deep purple berry fruits.

Cinnamon can be cultivated on a range of soils, ranging from fine silver sand to loam to gravelly soils. The highest grade of Cinnamon, however, is grown in sandy white soils that are rich in silica. To flourish, Cinnamon trees need the soil to be highly acidic with a pH level between 4.5 to 5.5 and adequate draining, as their roots will rot if kept in the extremely wetland. Conversely, it cannot withstand prolonged dry periods either.

Cinnamon may be propagated by planting either cuttings from young shoots or seeds, the latter being the most common method. For optimal growth, the most promising seeds will be from a pest- and disease-resistant plant that has an erect stem with a smooth bark that can be easily peeled. This kind of plant generally has vigorous growth and yields a high amount of oil. Ripe seeds are derived from berries that are amassed and kept in a shaded area for 2-4 days, after which time the fruit pulp typically turns black and comes apart. Next, the seeds inside are removed, washed, and dried, once again in the shade. 7-10 days after they are collected, the seeds can be planted, ideally in an area with full exposure to the sun.

The Cinnamon botanical is typically considered to be mature and ready for harvest 2-3 years after being planted, around which time the bark will be brown, the leaves will be hard, and the overall height of the tree will be approximately 1.5-2.0 m (5.0-6.5 feet). The harvest months for Cinnamon are usually between May-August and in November, but this depends on the rainfall and soil fertility; the prime time to harvest Cinnamon bark is during a rainy season when it can be easily peeled off; however, this is usually not done while the soil is drenched with water.

Cinnamon may sometimes be harvested twice or thrice a year by cutting the stems at the level of the soil. During the following year, new shoots sprout to replace the roots that were cut; accordingly, after the first cutting, approximately 5-6 shoots or branches can be harvested every second year. By cutting the shoots down to the ground, this promotes the growth of more side shoots, and thus increases the yield, making for easier harvesting.

After the shoots are cut, the outer bark is stripped and discarded. While it is still wet, the inner bark is peeled off in meter-long strips, which are then laid out to dry in warm sunlight with proper ventilation. The bark takes between 4 and 6 hours to dry thoroughly, during which time they naturally roll themselves up into “tubes” or “pipes” and become Quills, which are the curled stick formations that most commonly characterize the Cinnamon spice. To prevent their shapes from becoming distorted, the quills are dried either mechanically or naturally, either in the shade or in subdued sunlight. Cinnamon leaves, on the other hand, are clipped off from the trees when their color turns dark green. Afterward, they are dried over a period of several days.

The quills are cut down to shorter lengths that are sorted based on their uses and characteristics. Pieces of inner bark scraped from small twigs and stalks are called Quillings. This name is also given to fragmented pieces of all types of Cinnamon quills. Pieces of inner bark made up of shavings and small left-over bark are called Featherings. Rough Cinnamon cuttings that are comprised of both the outer and the inner bark, due to their inability to separate from each other, are called Chips.

HOW IS CINNAMON OIL EXTRACTED?

Cinnamon Leaf Oil and Cinnamon Bark Oil are both derived from the steam distillation of each of these respective parts. Before extracting the oil from the bark, Cinnamon sticks are mashed or broken into small pieces and placed inside the distillation flask, which is connected to the steam generator and to a condenser, where oil condenses. From there, it passes through a separator where it is collected.

Although they share similarities, their benefits are diverse and they are thus best suited to different applications. The extract from the bark is reputed to have a robust and perfume-like aroma that is reminiscent of ground Cinnamon’s aroma. Its color generally ranges in color from a clear yellow to a deep reddish-brown that is characteristic of the spice itself. This variety is believed to be the more potent of the two. Conversely, the extract from the leaves is known to have an aroma that is spicy and musky. It is generally lighter in color and often appears to be a brownish-yellow.

CINNAMON OIL USES

The uses for Cinnamon Essential Oil are abundant, ranging from medicinal and odorous to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils and gels, face creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, hair oils, room sprays, perfumes, and candles.

Used in aromatherapy applications, Cinnamon’s scent can be diffused to address lethargy, irritability, unhealthy cravings, and a tendency to overindulge when eating, as it is reputed to facilitate the sensation of being full. Furthermore, it is known to relieve symptoms of colds, severe coughs, and sneezing. For an invigorating Cinnamon Oil blend that boosts immunity, eases congestion, and relieves stress, diffuse a blend of 1 drop Cinnamon Essential Oil (Bark or Leaf), 1 drop Rosemary Essential Oil, 1 drop Eucalyptus Essential Oil, 1 drop Clove Essential Oil, and 1 drop Orange Essential Oil. Alternatively, Cinnamon Oil may be combined with Tea Tree or Lemon essential oils for a blend that boosts the mood and energy levels.

Used in cosmetic applications, Cinnamon Oil is known to effectively soothe dry skin. For a Cinnamon formulation that functions as a therapeutic and rejuvenating moisturizer, mix 1 drop of Cinnamon Oil into regular face cream and massage a small amount of the mixture into the skin at night before bedtime. If the cream is not fast-absorbing, continue massaging it into the skin until it is completely absorbed. Excess cream can be wiped off with a cotton pad. This regimen can be continued nightly to diminish the appearance of aging.

For a Cinnamon shampoo that is reputed to stimulate hair growth and to address dandruff, thinning hair, and hair fall, combine 5-6 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil with 5 Tbsp. Olive Carrier Oil and massage this blend into the scalp. Allow it to soak in for 45 minutes before washing it out with a natural shampoo. This shampoo regimen may be repeated up to 3 times a week to cleanse hair and stimulate healthier and stronger growth. Alternatively, a drop of Cinnamon Oil may be added to a regular shampoo to maintain hair health, add luster to dull strands, and to work as a preventative measure against head lice.

Cinnamon Oil is a beneficial ingredient for a natural face wash intended to enhance skin health by reducing inflammation, redness, and swelling while also eliminating harmful bacteria, preventing acne, and soothing infections. In a bowl, simply combine 1 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Carrier Oil, 3 Tbsp. Raw Honey, 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar, 20 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil and 2 capsules of live probiotics. With a hand blender, mix all the ingredients together thoroughly, then pour the mixture into a convenient bottle or dispenser. Store this Honey and Cinnamon Oil Facial Cleanser in a cool place when it is not being used. Apply this cleanser to the face in the method of a usual face wash.

Used in medicinal applications, Cinnamon Oil’s warming properties make it ideal for soothing skin and muscles that are sore and tender. It can be included in an anti-septic massage blend to address arthritis, bronchitis, diarrhea, chills, flu, colds, indigestion, spasms, nausea, and infection. For a pain-relieving massage blend, dilute 3 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil in 2 Tbsp. of a Carrier Oil such as Olive and massage it into the affected area. Regularly applying this massage blend is known to soothe inflammation, stiffness, muscle knots, and back pain. Massaging this oil blend into the abdomen for 5 minutes can help tone the digestive system, facilitate the release of excess gas, and ease bloating.

For a massage blend that combines other beneficial oils that relieve sore joints, combine 6 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil, 4 drops of Clove Bud Essential Oil, 3 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil, 3 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil, 2 drops of Neroli Essential Oil, 1 drop of Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil, 1 drop of Thyme Essential Oil, 60 ml (2 oz.) of a Carrier Oil of personal preference. This blend can be massaged into the affected areas daily until the pain subsides.

Cinnamon Oil can be diluted and used for an aromatic bath with a sweet and spicy scent. For a Cinnamon Bath Salt Soak, combine 3 ½ cups Epsom salts, 1-2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon and 5-10 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil in a large bowl, then thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Store the blend in an air-tight container until it is time to use it. In the bathtub, toss a handful of the salts under running tap water to ensure that the salts are properly dispersed. Ensure that they dissolve completely in the water before entering the tub. Alternatively, a bath salt blend can be made with 2 cups of salts, 1 cup of Baking Soda, 10 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil, 5 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil, 5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil, 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil, and 1 Tbsp. Carrier Oil.

Cinnamon Oil can be used to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps and to potentially reduce heavy menstrual flow when used in a hot compress. The generated heat will address pain and soreness while boosting circulation, thereby prompting the body’s anti-inflammatory response. Heat also promotes the dilation of pores, which facilitates the oil’s arrival at the affected area. To make a Cinnamon Oil hot compress, first, immerse a clean cloth or small towel entirely into a bowl of lukewarm water, then wring the towel to remove excess water. Heat this wet towel in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and apply it to the affected area.

A GUIDE TO CINNAMON OIL VARIETIES & ITS BENEFITS

CINNAMON BARK ESSENTIAL OIL (MADAGASCAR) & ORGANIC

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Country of Origin: Madagascar

Believed to:

  • Be a clear, yellow to brownish liquid
  • Have the warm, spicy scent characteristic of the Cinnamon spice
  • Have a pleasant aroma that, when used in small amounts, makes a lovely, spicy fragrance agent in creams, lotions, and soaps
  • Be ideal for those seeking the characteristic scent of Cinnamon for their products

CINNAMON LEAF ESSENTIAL OIL & ORGANIC

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Country of Origin: Sri Lanka

Believed to:

  • Be a brownish-yellow or dark-colored liquid with a medium consistency
  • Have a warm, spicy scent reminiscent of Clove, and has herbaceous notes that are not sweet
  • Have a strong aroma

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR CINNAMON OIL

As per NAHA guidelines, I do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using Cinnamon Essential Oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Cinnamon Essential Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as this oil has emmenagogue properties and may cause embryotoxicity. Those taking prescription drugs or undergoing major surgery are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Prior to using Cinnamon Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the essential oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Cinnamon Oil must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin.

Potential side effects of Cinnamon Essential Oil include dizziness, itching, skin irritation or sensitization, mucous membrane irritation, fatigue, rashes, burning, nausea, headache, diarrhea, contact dermatitis, digestive issues, inhibited blood clotting, and stomach pain. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use. Those with health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease or other heart-related ailments, peptic ulcers, liver damage, bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, or skin disorders are especially recommended to be advised. Cinnamon Oil may potentially react with certain medications, such as diabetes medication or anticoagulant medication, and may cause dyspnea.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this essential oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. It is recommended that direct sunlight be avoided for up to 12 hours after using this essential oil.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Cinnamon Oil is derived from a tree that is recognized by two botanical names: Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamomum vervun. Both names refer to the same tree, which is considered to be “True Cinnamon.”
    • Cinnamon Essential Oil may be obtained from either the tree’s outer bark or its leaves, hence the two main varieties are Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil and Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
    • Used in aromatherapy applications, Cinnamon Essential Oil is known to diminish the feelings of depression, faintness, and exhaustion, to stimulate the libido, and to strengthen immunity.
    • Used cosmetically or topically in general, Cinnamon Essential Oil is reputed to calm dry skin, effectively alleviate aches, pains, and stiffness in the muscles and joints, address acne, rashes, and infections, enhance circulation, nourish the skin, slow the look of aging, and revive the skin tone.
  • Used medicinally, Cinnamon Essential Oil is reputed to reduce inflammation, eliminate viruses, boost immunity, facilitate pain relief, and improve metabolic function.

Matcha Green Tea for Beauty

While its history dates back to 12th century Japan, matcha, the powdered form of green tea {Camellia sinensis}, seems to be enjoying a resurgence today as a very popular hot or iced beverage. The name matcha actually means “powdered tea,” and you will find this vibrant-green ingredient in tea blends, cookies, smoothies, lattes, noodle dishes, ice cream or enjoyed on its own steeped in water. It has also made its way into commercial beauty products, providing a range of benefits that help us look our best.

Matcha Miracle

While matcha comes from the same plant as green tea, it’s grown in a slightly different manner. Growers cover the tea plants with shade cloths before harvesting, which prompts the plants to produce new leaves that have exceptional flavor. These new-growth leaves are then picked, steamed, dried in cold storage, and ultimately ground into the striking, fine green powder we see sold in tea shops, natural food stores, and some grocers.

When you make a traditional cup of green tea, you infuse or steep the leaves in hot water, then strain and drink. Because the leaves are powdered, matcha requires no straining – you drink the entire tea leaf, and this provides a more potent form of green tea bursting with antioxidants called polyphenols that are well known for fighting heart disease and some cancers as well as regulating blood sugar and blood pressure.

In topical body care products such as cleansers and toners, matcha continues to offer health benefits, specifically with its antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content. Vitamins B2 and E are both essential for healthy skin, and the powder’s anti-inflammatory properties soothe and improve troubled complexions, making it a featured ingredient in many commercial anti-aging products. It’s also a natural cleanser, boosting skin’s appearance to look fresher and healthier. If you suffer from skin conditions such as acne, a solution of strong green tea will help, especially when used at night after washing your face.

When purchasing matcha, make sure to buy a good quality, organic powder from a reputable source. Read the label; it should contain only Camellia sinensis. When you use finely ground matcha, you use the entire green leaf, so it’s worth the extra expense. Here are some recipes for you to enjoy at home.

Matcha Tea Facial Mask

This cleansing mask works for all skin types. It contains matcha and green clay, both useful in deep-cleaning skin to help it retain more moisture.

  • 1 tsp matcha
  • 2 tsp pure water
  • 1 tsp green clay or baking soda
  • 1 tsp honey or agave

Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl until you have a smooth, creamy mixture {add more water if needed}. To use: Spread on clean skin and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm then cool water and pat skin dry. You can follow up with some cool green tea as a finishing rinse. Yield: 1 ounce.

Soothing Matcha Lotion Bars

These rich balms target rough skin spots such as hands, feet, knees, and elbows. Melt together the ingredients into stick form for a packaging-free option, or make them in small soap or candy molds and store in little tins. These matcha-infused bars also help with bug bites or small cuts.

  • 1/2 cup cocoa butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or shea butter
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 1 Tbls matcha

Place all the ingredients in a heat-resistant container or bowl and set inside a water bath. Gently heat the mixture, stirring, until the butter, oil, and wax melt and the mixture is fully mixed. Pour into a small mold or large lip balm tube and let cool completely until solid. To use: Rub or massage into rough skin spots or use after showering om warm skin. Yield: 8 ounces.

Detoxing Matcha Bath Salts

Soaking in natural salts like Epsom helps relieve sore muscles and promotes a good night’s sleep. Green tea serves as a helpful detoxifying, anti-inflammatory ingredient, and the addition of dried lavender buds in this recipe makes the perfect evening soak. If you want to avoid having to clean out the buds from your tub or drain, place the whole mixture inside a muslin tea bag, or tie it up in a piece of cotton fabric.

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • 1 Tbls matcha
  • 1 tsp dried lavender buds

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well to mix. Pour into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. To use: Pour 1/2 cup into your bath as you fill the tub or place 1/2 cup of the mixture inside a muslin tea bag and toss into the bath to dissolve. Yield: 16 ounces.

Matcha Bath Tablets

Because they contain a concentrated amount of skin and body care ingredients in a convenient form, bath tablets or “bath bombs” have become very popular. You simply pop the tablet in your tub {or a footbath} and it dissolves into a soothing soak. Adding green tea powder to your mixture provides a calming and cleansing effect on your skin, and its powerful antioxidants will help soothe and heal.

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup citric acid powder
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 Tbls matcha
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • Essential oils {optional}

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave or on the stovetop. {You can add a few drops of essential oil to the melted oil for scent.} Slowly add to the dry ingredients and mix well; you will have a mixture that looks like wet sand. Next, pack the mixture into a small mold {measuring cups, muffin tins, and ice cube trays all work well}. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then unmold and set on a cotton dishcloth or ceramic tray. Let dry overnight. To use: Drop in a full tub of warm water and let dissolve. For a footbath or smaller soak, make smaller tablets or break larger ones in half. Yield: 16 ounces.

Green Tea Sugar Scrub

Matcha green tea is perfect for energizing and cleansing the skin, and all skin types will benefit from this soothing scrub full of natural oil and refreshing citrus. A good skin scrub will cleanse the skin of surface debris and dead skin cells, allowing your skin to breathe and retain more moisture.

  • 1 cup of raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup camellia oil or sweet almond oil
  • 1 Tbls matcha
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest

In a small bowl, place all the ingredients and stir well until mixed. Spoon into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. To use: Massage a small amount into damp skin and rinse with warm water. This is best done in the tib or shower. You may want to stand on a towel, as the oils can make shower tiles slippery. Yield: 8 ounces.

Green Tea Skin Toner

As simple as creating a great cup of tea, this skin toner provides skin-protecting and beautifying benefits. Natural beauty estheticians will often recommend a green tea rinse for those suffering from acne or a troubled complexion because of its healing and antibacterial properties.

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp matcha

In a small ceramic or glass bowl, place green tea leaves or matcha powder. Pour the boiling water over the tea and let it sit until the mixture completely cools. Strain the liquid and pour into a clean container. To use: Apply to clean skin with a cotton pad or spray bottle. Do not rinse. Yield: 8 ounces.

Camellia Oil

New popular cooking and body care oil is Camellia oil or “tea seed oil,” which is simply green tea oil. It comes from the seed of the Camellia sinensis plant. You may see it listed on commercial beauty products. It is also a popular cooking oil in southern China. Shop for this oil online or at local Asian food markets.

Green Tea and Healthy Skin

Green tea/matcha has become a popular ingredient in many commercial and homemade beauty products, thanks to its many health and beauty benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Studies have shown that drinking and applying green tea to your skin helps fight skin cancer.
  • Due to its high content of a class of polyphenols called catechins, it works as an anti-inflammatory ingredient to reduce skin irritation, redness, and swelling. Try a soothing mask of green tea and cucumber juice to calm a bad sunburn or insect bites.
  • An antibacterial, green tea kills systemic bacterial inflammation. In the evening use a strong infusion of green tea as a toner after cleansing. {do not rinse off}.
  • Vitamins B2 and Vitamin E in green tea help your body maintain collagen, making skin appear younger and firmer.
  • It has caffeine and tannins that reduce puffiness under the eye area to relieve tired skin. To refresh and renew, lie down for 10 to 15 minutes with two cool tea bags or cotton pads soaked in tea.
  • Use green tea to cleanse your scalp as an after-shampoo rinse – it may help promote new hair growth as well.

The Perfect Cup of Matcha

We know that drinking matcha can improve physical health, but it can also provide emotional and spiritual benefits as well. To create the “perfect” cup, it takes almost zen-like attention to detail that can act as a form of meditation. Focusing on the process and ritual of preparing tea can reduce stress and release those “feel good” hormones. A good cup of matcha is made a bit differently than the usual cuppa. Here are some easy-to-follow steps. Make sure to use top-quality tea {that you can reasonably afford}, as some cheaper versions can contain contaminants.

  1. Heat 1/2 cup of water to boiling and set aside.
  2. Add 1/2 cup matcha to a ceramic bowl or cup.
  3. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cool water to the tea and mix well until smooth.
  4. Add the hot water to the bowl and stir with a small whisk or fork until you have a nice frothy and creamy mixture.
  5. Add cream or sugar if desired, and take a moment to enjoy the aroma before sipping.

Why Pampering Your Feet?

We walk on them every day and yet most of us may have little knowledge of all the work these two perfect parts of our body do on the daily. Giving them some attention and love may just change the way you move through your day and possibly your life.

I have been a barefoot mama for the last 25 years. Ask anyone, I walk barefoot everywhere I can and my feet love it. This year I have been spending more time in the mountains where the air is dry and the soils have taken a toll on my feet, or maybe it is just that I have not been pampering them like I have in the past.

Either way, it has inspired me to research feet and the special power and beauty they hold.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • You have 250,000 sweat glands in your two feet
  • A quarter of all the bones in your body are in your feet (26)
  • Your feet have 8,000 nerves ~ hence, why they are so susceptible to tickling!
  • Your feet can produce ½ pint of sweat a day
  • Your feet are your bodies natural shock absorbers
  • Your feet function best in their bare or natural state
  • Your feet walk an average of 110,000 miles in your lifetime
  • Each foot takes 1.5 times your body weight while you walk
  • The Achilles tendon is the STRONGEST tendon in the body

Pampering these sensitive, powerful, ‘wheels’ of motion can bring you good results in both movement and relaxation. So let’s go. Here is a great mixture of steps to take to pamper those feet of yours…do one or all of them.

barefeet earthing

EARTHING ~ BARE FEET FOR HEALTH

Going barefoot, even when in the house is a great way to connect to the Earth. So if you have a yard or can go to the nearby park and place your feet on the grass or dirt, do it, daily! Feel the pleasure you experience feeling the surface beneath your feet. When your feet come in contact with the earth you receive electrons from her that are absorbed into your body through your feet. These electrons are nature’s biggest antioxidants and help neutralize excess free radicals that lead to inflammation and disease in the body.

foot soak

HERBAL FOOT SOAK 

A good foot soak can soothe your muscles, hydrate your skin, remove toxins, relieve aches and pains, reduce swelling and keep your feet clean and healthy. This combination is great for calming sore, tired or swollen feet. The Epsom salts and herbs are great for easing the pain and flushing out the toxins and the essential oils will refresh your feet. 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of Epsom salts (or Celtic salts)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chamomile, Thyme, and Marjoram
  • 10 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil  

Directions: 

  • Bring 4 quarts of water (preferably reverse osmosis or spring water) to a boil, remove the water from the heat and add your Epsom salts and herbs, preferably in a muslin bag or tea strainer so they are contained.
  • Cover and allow to steep for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Pour your herbal mixture into your basin adding additional warm water as needed to be sure your feet are covered.
  • Soak the feet for 15-20 minutes. This is a great time to read, listen to music or close your lovely eyes. 

If you are looking for more of an antifungal foot soak, add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar after straining the herbal mixture into your basin; and replace the Peppermint Oil with Tea Tree oil.

AND if you have time, after your soak, put your feet up on a chair seat or a few cushions for 10-15 minutes. This can add to your stress release and improve circulation.

FOOT CLAY MASK

This may come across as a little different, but trust me, this is going to be something you look forward to a second, third and fourth time! Foot masks are a great way to gently draw toxins from the feet, as they do on the face and body. They are cleansing, detoxifying and just plain good fun.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons bentonite clay
  • 2 tablespoons of filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

You might want to do this in the bathroom so that once the mask has dried you can rinse your feet without a trail of clay on the floor.

Directions:

  • Mix the bentonite clay, filtered water, and apple cider vinegar until it is the consistency of a soft paste. Add more water if needed.
  • Smooth over your feet and ankles and allow to dry ~ 8-10 minutes.
  • Rinse and pat dry.
  • If you like, after rinsing, use a natural bristle brush, pumice stone or loofah, to remove any remaining clay and dead skin.
  • Rinse and pat dry.
  • Spray your feet with a Gem Juice Hydrosol
  • Apply Sunstone Lotion to keep your feet soft

OR…a beautiful way to do this mask is to follow it with your herbal foot soak! In that case here are the steps:

  • Mix the bentonite clay, filtered water, and apple cider vinegar until it is the consistency of a soft paste. Add more water if needed.
  • Create your herbal mixture, place your pan on the floor near you and your basin. While the herbal mixture is cooling apply your foot mask over your feet and ankles and allow to dry ~ 8-10 minutes.
  • Place your feet in the water and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes.
  • If you like, use a natural bristle brush, pumice stone or loofah, to remove any remaining clay and dead skin.
  • Pat dry.
  • Spray your feet with your favorite Hydrosol
  • Apply Lotion or favorite Body Butter to keep your feet soft

Because we hide our feet in shoes, sandals, and boots, they can sometimes get lost in our self-care routines. Yet, the condition of our feet can determine how well they support our bodies.

Don’t be fooled by these simple steps ~ they pack in a whole lotta love! Pampering your feet will improve how your entire body moves and feels. Happy feet are strong feet.

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DIY MAKEUP REMOVER RECIPES WITH NATURAL MOISTURIZERS

Makeup removal is an integral part of a skincare routine, as the consequences of leaving it on longer than necessary – such as when it is left on and slept in overnight – include the potential for developing blemishes, marks, and even wrinkles. When removing makeup, especially plant-based cosmetics, keeping the natural theme consistent by choosing pure, mild, whole, and easily obtainable cleansing ingredients may help improve skin health and quality with their innate hydrating properties. Those who suffer from skin conditions, such as acne, may find that prioritizing natural cleansers over synthetic ones prevents the symptoms from worsening while enhancing the complexion’s suppleness and radiance.

Another benefit of cleansing the skin with natural moisturizers is that they are simpler, faster, and more affordable to make at home than the synthetic varieties, which are often laden with ingredients that can cause a build-up of pollutants on the skin. Natural makeup removers require no more than common and kitchen items and, even with gentle application, can often produce safer and healthier results than many synthetic removers that sometimes work best with excessive rubbing and wiping, an exertion that can cause dryness, fine lines, and irritation.

HOW CAN I REMOVE MAKEUP AT HOME NATURALLY?

1. THE OIL CLEANSING METHOD

As its name suggests, this method involves applying oil to the face in order to cleanse it, and this humble method is suitable for all skin types. While it sounds counterintuitive that applying oil can help eliminate excess oil on the skin – especially because of the longstanding advice to avoid all oil-infused cosmetics and cleansers for clear skin as well as the myth that cleansers need to produce a foamy lather in order to be effective – some oils are reputed to help balance the amount of natural oil on the skin by helping to maintain the appropriate amount of hydration needed to prevent both dryness and oiliness without stripping natural lipids. The use of oils in skincare can also help maintain the skin’s protective bacteria, whereas traditional cleansers with harsh detergents can often wash away both the lipids and the protective bacteria. Traditional makeup cleansers are commonly composed of oils, due to the ‘like dissolves like’ principle, which highlights the ability of the oil to eliminate oil (and other like substances to dissolve each other) due to the naturally compatible solubility. These cleansers work to remove makeup that is both water- and oil-based as well as waterproof.

WHICH OILS ARE BEST FOR THE OIL CLEANSING METHOD?

There are various Carrier Oils that are known to be ideal for the Oil Cleansing Method and the following chart helps depict the ideal ones for each skin type. This method works best when oils are suited to the skin type of the individual user and applied in the appropriate amounts.

SKIN TYPE & NEEDS RECOMMENDED CARRIER OIL SUGGESTED RATIOS
Oily

Astringent Oils

Argan
Borage
Calendula
Castor
Coffee – Green
Grapeseed
Kukui
Hazelnut
Hemp Seed
Marula
Pumpkin Seed
Rosehip
Sea Buckthorn
Sunflower
Sweet Almond
1 part Astringent oil

+

2 parts Conditioning oils

Dry

Conditioning Oils

Argan
Avocado
Black Currant
Calendula
Camellia
Castor
Coffee
Coconut
Hazelnut
Jojoba
Olive
Rice Bran
Rosehip
Sesame
Sunflower
1 part Astringent oil

+

2 parts Conditioning oils

Combination Calendula
Castor
Grapeseed
Hazelnut
Hemp Seed
Olive
Pumpkin Seed
Sunflower
1 part Astringent oil

+

4 parts Conditioning oils

SHOULD YOU OIL CLEANSE EVERY DAY?

Oil cleansing can be done each night to ensure that all the build-up of impurities and pollutants accumulated on the skin throughout the day will be removed. If the oils being used seem to deliver extremely profound cleaning benefits, oil cleansing can be done every couple of days or weekly. Nightly cleansing also keeps the skin moisturized before bed, as the skin’s moisture content is said to decrease during sleep. It can take one or several weeks for the skin to adjust to oil cleansing, and, as it works to “purge” the pores of impurities, some individuals might experience breakouts; however, this is often temporary. If this continues, a change in oils might be all that is needed. If the breakouts persist beyond this, oil cleansing should not be continued.

DOES OIL CLEANSING CLOG PORES?

For some, the oil cleansing method can potentially lead to clogged pores, breakouts, irritation, or an allergic reaction. For this reason, patch tests are recommended; before full application of oil to the skin, test it on a small area of insensitive skin and, if there are no negative reactions in 24 hours, the oil is likely safe to use.

HOW DO YOU DO OIL CLEANSING?

Apply the chosen Carrier Oil/blend of Carrier Oils directly to a made-up, dry face. It is not necessary to wet or wash the skin prior to applying the oil. With the fingertips, delicately massage the oil(s) into any areas of the face that have makeup. Massage the face for about 1 minute until the makeup dissolves. Soak a soft, clean face towel in lukewarm water. Wring out excess water and lightly drape the towel over the face for 1 minute or until the towel is no longer warm. Using the same towel, wipe off the oil. A thin trace of oil can remain on the skin, as this will continue to hydrate and nourish the skin.

WHICH MOISTURIZER SHOULD BE USED AFTER OIL CLEANSING?

Oil cleaning is often sufficient for moisturizing the skin, but if an additional moisturizer is required afterward, any preferred cream, serum, or even lightweight butter can be used.

2. WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE

With anti-bacterial properties, Witch Hazel Distillate is usually added to formulations for its natural preservative properties, but this gentle, nourishing, popular plant extract obtained from the Witch Hazel shrub can also effectively remove makeup and excess oil while moisturizing dry, irritated skin. The recommended variety is alcohol-free, which will prevent dryness and burning, especially if used around the eye area.

HOW DO YOU USE WITCH HAZEL ON YOUR FACE?

To use Witch Hazel as a cleanser, combine it with equal parts water, then soak a cotton ball or cotton pad with this solution and rub it into the face using gentle circular motions to remove makeup.

For a Witch Hazel cleanser that is specifically intended for use around the eyes, add extra moisture by combining Witch Hazel with equal parts of a preferred Carrier Oil and water. Simply mix all the ingredients thoroughly and apply with a cotton swab/ball/pad.

3. ALOE VERA JUICE

Extracted from the leaves of the Aloe Vera plant, Aloe Vera Juice is a liquid that cleanses, hydrates, exfoliates, nourishes, and revitalizes the skin. It moisturizes without leaving a greasy residue and helps to promote a smoother appearance for the complexion, which helps to diminish the look of wrinkles and blemishes.

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For a natural makeup remover blend that is gentle enough to apply to the sensitive eye area, begin by pouring ½ cup of Aloe Vera Juice, 1 cup filtered water, and ¼ or ½ cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Carrier Oil into a blender and thoroughly blending all the ingredients together. Strain the resultant blend with a sieve, then transfer the filtered blend to a clean bottle that will make it easy to dispense the cleanser onto a cotton pad. As the mixture settles inside the bottle, it is normal for the oil to float to the top. To use this cleanser, shake it well to incorporate the floating oil, then pour a small amount onto a clean cotton pad and swipe it across the entire face. Areas of skin with more tenacious makeup, such as waterproof mascara, may require extra swipes of the saturated pad. Alternatively, the blend may be massaged into the skin with the fingers then rinsed off with cool water.

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4. SHEA BUTTER

This “skin superfood” nourishes the skin to promote its purity, balance, hydration, radiance, and smoothness without clogging pores. This outstanding conditioner is reputed to support skin elasticity and suppleness and to help reveal new skin. To use Shea Butter as a makeup remover, simply rub a quarter-size amount of Shea Butter between the palms or fingertips to melt it until it reaches an oily consistency, then gently massage it into the skin using circular motions until the makeup begins to dissolve. Soak a soft, clean face towel in lukewarm water. Wring out excess water and lightly drape the towel over the face for 1 minute or until the towel is no longer warm. Using the same towel, wipe off the oil.

HOW DO YOU MAKE MAKEUP REMOVER WIPES?

To make all-natural, gentle, travel-friendly makeup cleansing towelettes with the skin-loving benefits of the various moisturizers listed above, begin by adding the following ingredients to a clean air-tight glass container/jar:

  • 2 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Juice
  • 6 tsp. Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Distillate
  • 2 tsp. Liquid Soap 105N
  • 2 tsp. a preferred Carrier Oil
  • 1 tsp. Liquid Vitamin E (USP Cosmetic Grade) to preserve the blend
  • 10 drops a preferred Essential Oil that is reputed to have skin-comforting properties

Once all the ingredients have been thoroughly combined, place the stack of cotton pads inside the container/jar. Cap and shake the jar to ensure that the pads are evenly covered with the blend. With the addition of an exfoliant, this mixture can also function as an effective facial scrub.

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS

Those listed in this article are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using them for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use any of the aforementioned skincare products without the medical advice of a physician/dermatologist, as they may have effects on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. These products should always be stored in areas that are inaccessible to children.

Prior to using any product, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of each chosen product to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action.

Welcome to JuiceBeauty; The Organic Solution

FARM TO BEAUTY™ INGREDIENTS

Skincare & makeup expertise from northern California powered by ingredients from organic farms.

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GOING BEYOND NATURAL

While there is no certification for “natural” ingredients, organic ingredients are regulated by the USDA. Since our skin can absorb up to 60% of what is placed on it, we take every precaution necessary to reduce the risk that toxins from pesticides might contaminate our bodies, our children’s bodies, and ocean habitats. The majority of our ingredients are from local West Coast USDA Certified Organic farms so we can monitor the quality and limit fuel waste. We also manufacture many of our products at solar-powered facilities.

OUR ORGANIC DIFFERENCE

We start with an organic botanical juice base (aloe, jojoba, grape seed, shea, infused with citrus juices) and add powerful ingredients to deliver highly effective, clinically validated results. Since we don’t use inexpensive fillers such as petroleum glycols or added water, our products are packed with nutrients so every antioxidant rich drop can feed your skin. According to a study conducted by The Organic Center, organically farmed fruits and vegetables can increase antioxidant levels by nearly 30 percent compared with produce grown on conventional farms.

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JuiceBeauty.com

POWERFUL ACTION WITHOUT

At Juice Beauty, we go beyond “natural”, “transparent” and “conventional” … all the way to certified organic ingredients. To view a partial list of ingredients that Juice Beauty does NOT use, but are used by other beauty companies, visit our unacceptable ingredients list. Many natural products use synthetic fragrances, which may lead to harmful health problems including endocrine disruption. Juice Beauty does not use synthetic fragrances. Juice Beauty meets one of the most rigorous Products Organic Farming standards in the world, including those of COPA & USDA.
apple green

MALIC ACID, APPLE JUICE

(ORGANIC)
pyrus malus
Rich in vitamins, potent malic alpha-hydroxy acids, phytonutrients, flavonoids, phenols; and provides powerful antioxidant activity to help promote beautiful skin.

RESVERATROL, GRAPE JUICE

(ORGANIC)
vitis vinifera
Rich in vitamins; potent tartaric alpha-hydroxy acid, rich in resveratrol antioxidants to help promote beautiful skin.

LEMON

(ORGANIC)
citrus medica limonum
Rich in vitamins, lycopene, phytonutrients, flavonoids, and alpha-hydroxy citric acids; powerful antioxidant benefits to help clarify and improve skin tone and texture.

ALOE LEAF JUICE

(ORGANIC)
aloe barbadensis
Rich in glycoproteins and soothing properties, can help improve hydration and skin’s natural moisture content.

JOJOBA OIL

(ORGANIC)
simmondsia chinensis
Derived from the seeds of the desert shrub jojoba; a rich emollient antioxidant, high in essential fatty acids & nutrients.

SHEA BUTTER

(SUSTAINABLY SOURCED, ORGANIC)
butyrospermum parkii
Derived from the pit of the fruit from the karite tree; deeply moisturizes, soothes and helps soften.

ACAI BERRY

(ORGANIC)
euterpe oleracea
Antioxidant and phytonutrient-rich, a good source of essential fatty acids; can help boost skin radiance.

GOJI BERRY

(ORGANIC)
lycium chinense
Anti-oxidant and phytonutrient-rich; helps promote skin suppleness and radiance.

ROSE HIP FRUIT

(ORGANIC)
rose canina
Derived from the rose plant; rich in Vitamin-C and essential fatty acids, provides powerful antioxidant activity to help promote beautiful skin.

KIWI SEED OIL

(ORGANIC)
actinidia chinensis
Derived from the seeds of the kiwi fruit; rich in Vitamins A & E and fatty acids which can help retain skin’s moisture.

PINEAPPLE ENZYMES

(ORGANIC)
ananas saivis
Rich in potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and the bromelain enzyme; provides an exfoliation benefit.

ORANGE

(ORGANIC)
aurantium dulcis
Rich in vitamins, lycopene, phytonutrients, flavonoids and citric alpha-hydroxy acids; provides a powerful antioxidant activity that can be beneficial in helping promote beautiful skin.

CARROT ROOT

(ORGANIC)
daucus carota sativa
Rich source of Vitamin-A (beta-carotene) and many other vitamins; contains powerful antioxidant properties that can help boost skin smoothness.

SWEET CHERRY

(ORGANIC)
prunus avium
Rich in phytonutrients, phenolics, vitamins; provides powerful antioxidant benefits that can help promote beautiful skin.

POMEGRANATE

(ORGANIC)
punica granatum
An antioxidant powerhouse that contains ellagic acid, a polyphenol that can help promote brightness.

RED RASPBERRY

(ORGANIC)
rubus idaeus
Rich in vitamins, hydroxy acids, phenols; provides potent antioxidants that can help promote beautiful skin.

FRUIT STEM CELLS BLEND

Derived from organic apple buds, grape buds & lemon bark.

CHAMPAGNE GRAPE SEED OIL

vitis vinifera
Resveratrol and anti-oxidant rich; and helps with skin-protective benefits.

BLUEBERRY SEED OIL

(ORGANIC)
vaccinium corymbosum
Potent polyphenol antioxidants can help protect against free radicals; a rich source of phytonutrients and fatty acids to help promote beautiful skin.

CRANBERRY SEED OIL

(ORGANIC)
vaccinium macrocarpon
Rich in amino acids and antioxidants; can be highly moisturizing

STRAWBERRY SEED OIL

(ORGANIC)
fragaria ananassa
Rich in gamma-tocopherol, linoleic and oleic fatty acids to help nourish the skin.

POMEGRANATE SEED OIL

(ORGANIC)
punica granatum
Rich antioxidants with ellagic acid, a polyphenol that can promote brightness.

MARIGOLD FLOWER EXTRACT

(ORGANIC)
calendula officinalis
An antioxidant-rich derivative of the flower; can help soothe and soften.

CUCUMBER EXTRACT

(ORGANIC)
cucumis sativus
Hydrates and can help tone, soothe and soften.

SAGE LEAF

(ORGANIC)
salvia officinalis
Potent antioxidant properties that can help effectively cleanse.

COCONUT OIL

(ORGANIC)
cocos nucifera
Emollient, very high antioxidant levels that can help promote beautiful, hydrated skin.

COCOA BUTTER

(SUSTAINABLY SOURCED, ORGANIC)
theobroma cacao
Rich hydration containing powerful antioxidants.

SUNFLOWER OIL

(ORGANIC)
helianthus annuus
Rich source of Vitamin-E with emollient, softening and moisturizing properties.

AVOCADO OIL

(ORGANIC)
persea gratissima
Rich in vitamins, lecithin, and fatty acids that can nourish and hydrate the skin.

SESAME OIL

(ORGANIC)
sesamum indicum
Emollient and softening properties.

LINSEED SEED OIL

(ORGANIC)
linum usitatissimum
Rich with antioxidants; can help promote beautiful skin.

CORN EXTRACT

(ORGANIC)
zea mays
Can provide a silky finish.

CORN STARCH

(ORGANIC)
zea mays
Soothing to the skin; offers a silky finish.

BORAGE SEED OIL

(ORGANIC)
borago officinalis
Rich in antioxidants and gamma-linolenic acid, which helps promote beautiful skin.

OLIVE OIL

(ORGANIC)
olea europaea
Can deeply moisturize and help soften.

RICE POWDER

(ORGANIC)
oryza sativa
Beautiful silky powder with great coverage.

YLANG YLANG

(ORGANIC)
cananga odorata
The aromatic, and luxurious aroma from the Ylang Ylang flower.

RAW CANE SUGAR

(ORGANIC)
saccharum officinarum
Rich in glycolic alpha-hydroxy acids that help effectively exfoliate.

ALGAE

Mineral-rich; a potent antioxidant that can provide emollient and humectant skincare benefits.

BEARBERRY LEAF EXTRACT

arctostaphylos uva ursi
Rich in natural brightening antioxidants.

GREEN TEA LEAF

camellia sinensis
A potent antioxidant that can help promote beautiful skin.

LICORICE ROOT

glycyrrhiza glabra
Derived from the plant root with clarifying and brightening properties.

CHAMOMILE FLOWER

matricaria chamomilla
Soothing and antioxidant properties.

DANDELION LEAF

taraxacum officinale
Potent antioxidant properties that can help effectively cleanse.

LINDEN LEAF

tilia europea
A potent antioxidant that can help soothe and calm.

WHITE TEA LEAF

camellia sinensis
A potent antioxidant that can help sun-damaged skin.

SAFFLOWER SEED OIL

carthamus tinctorius
Emollient and moisturizing effect.

SWEET ALMOND OIL

prunus amygdalus dulcis
Emollient, nourishing and softening properties.

CARNAUBA WAX FROM PLANTS

copernicia cerifera
Nourishes and helps provide natural glossy shine.

WILLOW BARK

salix alba
Salicylic Acid from Willow Bark is a naturally powerful beta hydroxy acid to help exfoliate and clear.

OAT

avena sativa
Soothes, and helps soften and retain moisture.

GRAPEFRUIT

citrus paradisi
A rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants to help promote healthy skin.

ALGAE (RED)

dulse algae
Rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. A powerful antioxidant that can be beneficial for damaged skin with dark spots.

VITAMIN B3

vitamin B3
Can help minimize the appearance of dark spots to promote healthy-looking skin.

SACRED LILY

narcissus tazetta
Antioxidant-rich, nocturnal flower extract that has skin-protective benefits and can help enhance skin’s appearance.

SQUALANE FROM OLIVES

Derived from olives (instead of sharks) this emollient can help support skin’s moisture balance.

COCONUT ALKANES

cocos nucifera
Great emollient alternatives to silicones. Smoothes and primes.

ARGAN POWDER

argania spinosa
A great photopigment alternative to artificial dyes or carbon black-petroleum combustion by-products.

ROSE POWDER

rosa
A great photopigment color alternative to synthetic or artificial dyes.

ARGAN PHYTO-PIGMENT

argania spinosa
Argan contains essential fatty acids and provides a great dark pigment alternative to Coal Tar and Carbon Black that are formed during petroleum combustion.

LOTUS PHYTO-PIGMENT

nelumbo nucifera
A flowering plant that provides rich color pigments that are a great alternative to synthetic and artificial dyes.

MANGO SEED BUTTER

mangifera indica
Nourishes and helps soften lips and is a great alternative to petroleum-based products.

CAPE LILAC PHYTO-PIGMENT

melia azedarach
A flowering fruit-bearing tree that provides rich pigments; a great alternative to synthetic and artificial dyes.

MORINGA OIL

moringa oleifera
Derived from the seeds of moringa plants, moringa helps hold the dark pigments while conditioning.

PLANT WAXES

(ORGANIC)
Provides smooth application and coverage; a great alternative to petroleum-derived ingredients.

PURPLE CARROT PHYTO-PIGMENT

purpura daucus carota sativa
Rich dark pigments that are a great alternative to Coal Tar and Carbon Black that are formed during petroleum combustion.

ROSE PHYTO-PIGMENT

rosa
Rich in vitamins and pigments providing beautiful colors; a great alternative to artificial dyes.

DAISY, ECLIPTA PHYTO-PIGMENT

eclipta prostrata
A flowering plant that provides rich color pigments that are a great alternative to synthetic and artificial dyes.

AGAVE LEAF

agave americana
A natural sweetener that is nutrient-rich.

HYALURONIC ACID FROM VEGETABLES

Derived from vegetables; can help with skin-plumping effects.

EVENING PRIMROSE OIL

(ORGANIC)
oenothera biennis
Rich in fatty acids providing emollient and conditioning benefits.

BAMBOO POWDER

bambusa arundinaceae
Soothes helps replenishes moisture and may have anti-bacterial properties.

LEMON BALM LEAF

melissa officinalis
Can help clarify and soothe.

PASSION FLOWER

Passiflora incarnata
Derived from the petal of the passionfruit flower; antioxidant-rich helps with soothing and calming skin.

CANDELILLA WAX

Euphorbia Cerifera
Nourishes and helps provide natural glossy shine.

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USING SODIUM HYALURONATE (HYALURONIC ACID) IN HAIRCARE and SKINCARE

IS SODIUM HYALURONATE GOOD FOR HAIR?

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

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

WHAT IS SODIUM HYALURONATE USED FOR?

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

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

HOW IS SODIUM HYALURONATE USED?

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

SODIUM HYALURONATE SIDE EFFECTS

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

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

155m-sodiumhyaluronate_desktop

 

USING SODIUM HYALURONATE (HYALURONIC ACID) IN SKIN CARE

IS SODIUM HYALURONATE THE SAME THING AS HYALURONIC ACID?

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

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

WHAT DOES SODIUM HYALURONATE DO FOR THE SKIN?

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


 

WHAT IS SODIUM HYALURONATE USED FOR?

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

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

 


 

HOW IS SODIUM HYALURONATE USED?

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

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

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

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

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

 

SODIUM HYALURONATE SIDE EFFECTS

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

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

Old-Time Herbal Beauty Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bars of soap

Recipes to Make Your Own Soap, Lotion and More

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

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

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

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

Shea Butter Soap

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

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


Whitening Sage Tooth Powder

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

Scoop onto a dampened toothbrush and brush as usual.


Body Butter

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

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

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

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


Basic Deodorant Powder Formula

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

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

herbal infusions

 

Discover over 200 herbal recipes in the Botanical Skin Care Course

Herb Infused Waters for Summer Hydration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHY CHOOSE CALENDULA?

Flower of the Sun

Calendula officinalis has been used for centuries on multiple continents and is one of the most versatile herbs in the plant kingdom. This healing phenom is known as the “flower of the sun.”  Calendula has an amazing history of documented healing. Its most outstanding distinction is its ability to heal the skin. It has no known drug interactions, no toxic effects and no adverse effects for long term use.

Five major steps occur in our skin’s healing process. According to the International Herb Association’s book, “Calendula – 2008 Herb of the Year”, calendula with its potent and complex array of phytonutrients helps facilitate the skin’s restorative cycle:

  • The first thing that must be done with injured tissue is to prevent infection. Calendula inhibits bacterial, viral and fungal microorganisms.
  • Calendula reduces inflammation of the tissue by inhibiting lipoxygenase, an enzyme that damages cell wall structure. It contains high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect the body against free radical cell damage. It’s amazingly effective on sunburn.
  • A wound needs to be cleared of its dead cells. Calendula stimulates the appetite of lymphocytes which helps rid the wound from this debris.
  • Calendula goes to work to increase the collagen level in a wound, prevents the formation of scar tissue and assists the healing tissue in remaining supple.
  • Calendula stimulates angiogenic activity –the growth of new blood vessels and nerve cells in the tissue. The sooner high potency calendula is used following skin trauma, the less scarring will occur or even be prevented.

The chemical compounds in calendula’s resin include: many fatty acid esters, carotenoids including Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, lutein (it’s golden color) and lycopene, flavonoids (antioxidants that protect cells against damage), quercetin (anti-inflammatory), rutin (antioxidant), ubiquinone (CoQ10), iodine and manganese.

Calendula oil is a popular choice for many of today’s skin conditions.

Argan Oil: Health Benefits for Your Skin, Heart, & Beyond

Nicknamed “liquid gold,” argan oil is renowned for its exemplary therapeutic and cosmetic properties. The oil comes from Morocco, but people around the world have traded it for its health benefits as early as the 6th century.

Argan oil can bring a lovely glow to your skin and hair, but it also may offer benefits inside your body — like your heart, liver, and blood, to name a few.

From balancing blood sugar and cholesterol to covering up the appearance of scars and acne, the range of benefits attributed to argan oil is as impressive as it is broad.

What Is Argan Oil?

Argan oil comes from the tender kernels inside the fruit of the slow-growing argan tree (Argania Spinosa). When argan oil began its boom in popularity, all-female collectives in southwest Morocco began making the oil.

The women gather together, harvest the fruits, smash the hard shells on stones, pick out the tender kernels inside, and press the fruit kernels to retrieve the oil. Finally, the argan oil is sold as is or turned into creams and other products.

Planting and tending argan trees also have environmental benefits: it helps reduce both climate change and desertification — a process where land becomes an unusable desert. The main argan forest in southwest Morocco is now an official biosphere reserve.

Unfortunately, the boom in argan oil’s popularity has led to aggressive harvesting techniques that injure the sensitive trees. Many larger companies have also eliminated the cooperatives, which play an important role in empowering women in a patriarchal society.

If you want to support a sustainably harvested, female-empowering product, look for Fair Trade Argan oil, especially one that is stamped with the UCFA (Union des Coopératives des Femmes de l’Arganeraie) seal to ensure women are receiving a fair price for their knowledge and work.

Top 6 Benefits of Using Argan Oil

Argan oil is not just for beauty. Modern scientific research has uncovered many of argan oil’s other promising benefits. Argan’s natural oils may soothe inflammation, nourish skin and body, speed up wound healing, and provide a barrier against harmful organisms.

In Northern Africa, it’s popular to drizzle roasted argan oil over bread and use it in cooking. Rich in vitamins A and E, fatty acids, and antioxidants, this amazing oil has benefits when taken internally or used topically. Dietary argan oil may be at least partially responsible for the fact that people who follow a traditional Mediterranean diet tend to have less heart disease; Morocco lies along the Mediterranean Sea.

Below are the top health benefits that argan oil offers.

1. Improves the Appearance of Acne & Scars

Did you know that it’s argan oil’s omega-6 and omega-9 content that reduces redness, swelling, and helps acne-prone skin?

People with acne may feel like putting oil on their skin could make it worse. The truth is, oils vary substantially from one another — and some, including argan oil, help reduce the appearance of acne.

You know that olive oil differs from motor oil, of course, but even plant-derived oils have many differences. For example, olive and coconut oil are moisturizing, while grapeseed and castor oils can decrease oiliness on the face. Argan oil falls right in between, providing moisture and protecting the skin with a barrier that deters the harmful organisms that contribute to acne breakouts.

Argan oil’s high omega-6 and omega-9 content also help reduce redness and swelling. Those with acne-prone skin are usually deficient in linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid, which argan oil contains.

Fatty acids may speed up the healing of acne-related scarring and minimize signs of premature aging, such as crow’s feet and age spots. Argan oil’s comedogenic index of zero means it will never clog the skin’s pores or cause breakouts.

2. Promotes Elasticity & Skin Hydration

Argan oil’s high levels of vitamins A and E and its fatty acids deeply nourish skin. Applying argan oil improves your skin’s ability to retain water — also known as hydration — which helps with elasticity. Both hydration and elasticity make your skin look more youthful and healthy.

Argan oil can provide a barrier between your skin and dirt, germs, and toxins.

Argan oil may also boost your skin cells’ ability to regenerate. Applied topically, it can even reduce the greasy appearance of oily skin.

Researchers also discovered that skin exposed to argan oil experienced changes at a cellular level, allowing it to act as a barrier to dirt, germs, and free radicals.

3. Boosts Heart Health

Some people use argan oil for its additional health benefits — notably for the heart. Studies show that consuming food-grade argan oil works just as well as extra virgin olive oil at promoting good cholesterol (HDL) levels, normalizing bad cholesterol (LDL), and balancing triglyceride levels in the blood.

Argan oil consumption also boosted antioxidant levels circulating in people’s bloodstream — which makes sense since the oil contains high levels. Antioxidants fight against free radical damage in your cells, minimizing oxidative stress. This liquid gold also promotes normal blood pressure.

Cholesterol is a major predictor of heart disease, as are high blood pressure and triglycerides. Promoting normal levels of these indicators helps keep your heart healthy.

4. Supports Liver Health

Consuming argan oil supports liver health and may even protect against invasion by harmful organisms and toxins.

Research shows that argan oil helps liver genes stay active, which allows damaged livers to recover.

One study looked into how argan oil helped laboratory mice with damaged livers recover more quickly. The oil worked at the cellular and genetic level, influencing which genes “express” or turn on. Specifically, it helped liver genes stay active, thus promoting better liver health.

Argan oil also helps normalize insulin resistance, which plays a role in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

5. Promotes Normal Insulin & Blood Sugar Levels

Insulin resistance is a condition where your cells do not absorb the hormone insulin well. Insulin helps regulate your blood sugar levels, so if your cells become insulin-resistance, blood sugar rises, causing all sorts of metabolism problems.

Studies suggest that taking argan oil internally not only helped both healthy and diabetic laboratory animals maintain normal blood sugar levels, but it also helped balance insulin resistance.

These properties are likely why the local people in Morocco prize the oil, according to the researchers.

6. Protects Against Cell Proliferation

Thanks to its high antioxidant levels, argan oil helps protect skin from free radicals and UV radiation.

Argan oil contains high levels of tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, as well as oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid. Taken internally, it helps the body at a cellular level, even decreasing the risk of excess cell proliferation that can lead to serious diseases.

In various studies, argan oil has helped with skin, colon, bladder, and prostate conditions.

Popular Argan Oil Uses

When applied topically, argan oil has important cosmetic benefits for the skin and hair. It is a sought-after natural remedy with healing, anti-aging, and antibacterial properties.

Natural Skin Care

Below are some of the benefits your skin will reap from this powerhouse oil, as well as some simple ways to use it.

Improve the Appearance of Stretch Marks

Thanks to its high vitamin A and E content, argan oil keeps your skin well-hydrated and improves its strength and elasticity, which in turn helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

How to Use: After showering and exfoliating your skin, gently rub a few drops onto areas like the hips, thighs, and stomach — the areas most prone to developing stretch marks. Massage the oil into your skin twice a day, including once before bedtime.

Moisturize & Improve Skin Elasticity

Whether you have oily, combination, or dry skin, you can use pure argan oil as an all-over face and body moisturizer. You can even apply 100 percent pure argan oil directly on your face, lips, and around your eyes. For best results, massage it onto your body right after showering or bathing, paying special attention to any dry patches.

How to Use: Add a few drops of argan oil to a carrier oil, like organic olive, coconut, or other seed oil — this helps a little goes a long way. You can also soothe razor bumps and ingrown hairs after shaving by applying the oil directly over the affected area.

Reduce the Appearance of Acne

Argan oil is non-greasy and won’t clog pores, so it’s a great natural way to add moisture and provide balance to inflamed, acne-affected skin.

How to Use: Cleanse your skin and pat it dry. Put a few drops of pure oil into your palm and, using your fingers, lightly dab it directly onto problem areas. Repeat twice daily.

Protect & Soften Hair

This nourishing, non-greasy oil increases the shine and overall healthy appearance of hair while repairing split ends and smoothing flyaways.

By coating the hair shaft, argan oil reduces drying and damage and makes hair less prone to breakage. Argan oil can also help to seal in hair dyes, increasing the length of time needed between colorings. It may even promote faster hair growth.

How to Use: Add five drops into your normal shampoo or conditioner, massage it into your hair, and rinse it out with warm water. For a deep conditioning boost, coat your hair with 10 drops from root to tip and leave it on overnight with a shower cap over it. This will allow deep penetration into your hair and alleviate frizziness or dryness. In the morning, rinse it out with warm water and style as usual.

Moisturize Nail Cuticles

Ward off painful hangnails and other issues associated with poor nail health by applying a few drops of argan oil on your fingernails and toenails. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities make it an excellent moisturizer and conditioner for both the nail bed and cuticles.

How to Use: To do a cuticle treatment, first, remove all nail polish and rinse your hands and feet thoroughly. Rub a drop of the oil onto each one of your nails and massage it into the cuticles in a circular motion. Leave it on to absorb.

Relieves Tired Feet

Argan oil can soothe dry, cracked skin on your feet and heels. This hydrating moisturizer is full of antioxidants that can prevent further dryness, soften calluses, and make rough feet soft and smooth again.

How to Use: Slather your feet with as many drops as needed to fully cover the area, and put on a pair of socks for at least 30 minutes (but preferably overnight). After removing the socks, use a warm washcloth to remove any excess oil from your soles.

Precautions & Side Effects

Ensure the argan oil you use is not only fresh but also certified organic. This will ensure you avoid chemicals in your beauty products, such as pesticides. Its odor should smell light, fresh, and nutty. Store it in a dark bottle because exposure to light will cause it to oxidize, or decay.

Fairtrade-certified argan oil ensures that the product you purchase goes to help support women artisans in Morocco in an environmentally sustainable and female-empowering manner. Be aware that poor quality argan oil may contain harmful solvents from chemical extraction techniques. Most beauty products that are not 100 percent pure argan oil use this solvent-extraction method, so buyer beware.

For topical application, look for cold-pressed, responsibly-sourced, additive-free argan oil. If you take argan oil internally, only use food-grade oils. People have used argan as food and applied it to the skin for centuries in Morocco, and according to experts, there are few side effects.

Rarely, people experience sensitivity from skin application; if you break out in a rash, discontinue use. Some people also experience an upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea. When taking an argan oil oral supplement, some people experience confusion, excitement, agitation, or difficulty sleeping. If you experience any of these reactions, see your healthcare provider right away.

Points to Remember

Dubbed “liquid gold,” argan oil is one of the most prized beauty and health potions in the world. Moroccans have used it for centuries as a topical therapy to beautify and improve the appearance of skin, acne, hair loss, psoriasis, and eczema.

Argan oil is the secret to healthy, moisturized hair, and you’ll find it in many popular skin and hair products. Make sure to be aware that most beauty products use solvent extraction. If you want the benefits of this product without chemicals, buy 100 percent pure argan oil and add it to your shampoo or directly to your skin.

When taken internally, argan oil may help balance cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar. It has valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For best results, make sure to purchase only argan oil that is cold-pressed, additive-free, and organic.

To make sure you purchase responsibly harvested argan that supports female collectives, rather than aggressive harvesting techniques, look for fair-trade-certified products.