The Apothecary for Skincare

THE APOTHECARY

  • AVOCADO OIL (Persea gratissima) – A nutrient-packed fruit is loaded with good fatty acids, proteins, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins A, D, and E. Especially helpful for mature skin. Organic.
  • BEESWAX (Cera Alba) – Protectant, helps keep moisture in the skin, high Vitamin A content. Raw, Organic.
  • ALOE (Aloe barbadensis) – Plumps and soothes skin, Vitamin & mineral rich. Organic.
  • AHA’S (Alpha hydroxy acids) – Exfoliator, increases blood flow to skin, balances and evens skin tone.
  • BLACKBERRY (Rubus fruticosus) – Blackberry is a rich source of Vitamin C which can help in collagen production and in reducing the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles. It has an impressive amount of naturally occurring Vitamin E as well as essential fatty acids to deeply support the skin. It’s beautiful darker color is attributed to naturally occurring polyphenols.
  • BLUEBERRY (Vaccinium corymbosum) – Antioxidant. Helps promote the health of capillaries located just beneath the epidermis. Can help minimize redness.
  • CALENDULA (Calendula officinalis) – High Vitamin C content, collagen building. Organic.
  • CHAMOMILE (Matricaria chamomilla) – Anti-inflammatory, soothes skin, Organic.
  • COMFREY (Symphytum officinale) – anti-inflammatory, soothes skin, Organic.
  • CRANBERRY (Vaccinum macrocarpon) – Contain resveratrol, high Vitamin C for collagen-building, antiseptic properties. Organic.
  • COCONUT (Cocos nucifera) – Soothes, reduces water loss in the skin, packed with nutrients.
  • COCOA BUTTER (Theobroma seed butter) – High in fatty acids, hydrates the skin deeply. Raw, Organic.
  • DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) – membrane stabilizer, improves skin tone. Vegan.
  • GERANIUM (Pelargonium asperum) – Helps improve skintone. Organic.
  • HONEY (Mel) – Moisturizing, antibacterial, raw and unprocessed from the Bodyceuticals Apiary. Non-treated hives. Certified pollinator is friendly.
  • HYALURONIC ACID (Sodium hyaluronate) – Helps to keep tissues hydrated and plump.
  • JOJOBA (Simmondsia Chinensis) – Soothing, gentle and deeply moisturizing for most all skin types. Organic.
  • KUKUI (Aleurites moluccana) – High in essential fatty acids,  readily absorbed, very moisturizing.
  • LAVENDER (Lavandula angustifolia) – Helps tissues to heal, lessens scarring. Organic
  • OLIVE (Olea europaea) – Highly effective transdermal carrier.   Organic, Kosher.
  • FRUIT STEM CELLS (Apple) – Help to rejuvenate aging skin and lessen the appearance of wrinkles. Clinical trials show that with use, the skin has a more youthful and radiant appearance. Organic.
  • MSM (MethylSulfonylMethane) – Helps to build collagen, assists with cell hydration.
  • NEEM (Azadirachta indica) – Often used for itchy, irritated skin, has antifungal properties and can provide improvement with scars and hyperpigmentation.
  • OAT STRAW (Avena sativa) – Rich in minerals. Organic.
  • PINK GRAPEFRUIT (Citrus paradisi) – High in Vitamin C, builds collagen. Fresh cold-pressed.
  • POMEGRANATE (Punica granatum) – contain sun protective compounds, helps reduce breakouts, show to improve hyperpigmentation.
  • ROSE (Rosa damascena) – Middle note, “flower of love”, farm-grown. Organic.
  • ROOIBOS (Aspalathus linearis) – Antioxidant, Anti-fungal.
  • RASPBERRY (Rubus Idaeus – Contain a high amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and rich in antioxidants. Can help tone skin. Organic.
  • ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis) – Contains vitamin & minerals such as calcium, has cell regenerative properties, helps tighten sagging skin.
  • SEA BUCKTHORN (Hippophae rhamnoides) – High Vitamin C content and carotenoids, amino acids, minerals, vitamin E, polyphenols and omegas. Can help with redness and swelling. Organic.
  • SEAWEED (Laminaria digitata) – Rich in minerals and trace elements, high vitamin content, helps build elastin in the skin.  High quality from France.
  • SPEARMINT (Mentha spicata) – Pure, refreshing, restorative properties. Organic.
  • TEA TREE (Melaleuca alternifolia) – Antibacterial, Antifungal. Organic.
  • VANILLA BEAN (Vanilla planifolia) – A source of B Vitamins, antibacterial, helpful in hair care, smells amazing.
  • STRAWBERRY (Fragaria Vesca) – Contains the antioxidant ellagic acid, which prevents collagen destruction—one of the major causes of wrinkle formation. Has a photoprotective effect. Organic
  • VITAMIN C – Naturally found in Calendula, protects and builds collagen.
  • VITAMIN E – Natural preservative, soothes sensitive skin. Non-GMO.

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.

Welcoming Winter

Winter is a time of turning inward and reflection.  Sitting on the cusp of the New Year, it is a time to set your intentions, to plant seeds, to hibernate and sleep more, to dream.
Winter in the mountains is also play time.  I get to feel my inner otter and glide on snow, slide down hillsides, and frolic in the snow.  I love how bright and sparkling it can be.  I especially appreciate the quiet hush that a new blanket of snow brings to the landscape.
By the way, the little critter on the top of this post is an Ermine.  We had an awesome encounter with those black sparkling eyes and the black tip of a tail while hiking one day.  Such wild beauty.

In all honesty, winter for me is my crazy time.  Being both a manufacturer and a retailer, it gets wild.  I get moments of calmness, and I strive to create moments of deep nourishment.  Yoga, a cross-country ski, a walk in the woods, star gazing on a crystal clear night, cooking dinner with my girl, these are the things that sustain me. Tea also sustains me on those dark winter nights.  Tea is a great way to not only warm you, but it also offers deep nourishment for your organs and your skin.  It’s like brewing a cup of magic.

You are what you eat.  You may also know that the skin is the largest organ of the body, and what you put on your skin goes into your body. Drinking many of these ingredients that we use as herbal teas offer deep nourishment for your organs and your skin as well as basic hydration.  Here are a few of my skin care favorites that are also delicious as tea:

Green Tea

Now the “it” ingredient in the skincare world, green tea both externally and internally offers EGCG a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Also rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, green tea help to protect the skin from sun exposure and clogged pores.  Try it ground topically as an infused oil, ground as a mild exfoliator, or as a tea in a toner.  Green tea has caffeine.  If you are sensitive, avoid this ingredient for your tea.

Ginger

One of my favorite plants, ginger root is excellent freshly grated and added to hot water with lemon for a grounding, spicy tea.  Ginger stimulates circulation and is warming.  This aids in detoxification of the skin and the elimination organs of the body.  As part of a tea blend, Ginger is not only delicious but acts as a spicy fixative for your tea blend.

Dandelion

High in minerals, dandelion is incredibly supportive to the liver and kidneys, so therefore supportive to clear skin.  Dandelion root in your tea is both delicious and nutritious.  Add it roasted for a darker, coffee flavored addition to your tea blend.  Or skip the coffee altogether and drink dandelion root tea.

Nettle

Specific to dark, boggy places, nettles thrive in places that other plants don’t.  High in trace minerals, this earthy, verdant herb adds a touch of greenness to your blend and so much nutrition.  This plant is a powerful blood purifier and will aid in detoxification of your organs and pores.  Nettles infused overnight and consumed the next day will yield the most potent plant medicine.

Oat Straw

“Feeling your oats” is an expression that comes from this plant’s ability to strengthen and nourish your being.  High in calcium and silica, oats are a great choice for your tea to help strengthen thinning skin and hair.

Rosehips

One of my favorite plants, the hip of the rose is the poster child of feminine beauty and curvaceousness.  Also high in vitamin C and flavonoids, this addition to your tea is not only delicious but strengthening.

Chamomile

I feel relaxed just writing about chamomile.  As a tea, chamomile can be incredibly calming.  For the skin, it can also calm inflammation and skin issues like rashes and eczema.  Use chamomile in a tea blend or make a compress out of a wet tea bag and apply to the skin topically.

Spearmint

This exuberant plant can be a powerful ally for acne and clogged pores.  Steep spearmint in a blend or use full strength.  I also like to brew a cup too and use it as facial steam, leaning over my cup and deep breathing and letting my pores open to its magical goodness.

Elderberry

One of the biggest anti-viral remedies available, I toss in dried elderberries to most teas that I make at this time of year.  Also high in vitamin C, elderberries impart a delicious fruitiness to your tea and add great color.  Elderberries are balancing to the skin and help to strengthen and even skin tone.

Orange Peel

I think of the energetics of orange as a great big hug.  If you think about the skin of an orange, the rough outer protects a voluptuous and juicy inner.  Choose orange peel not only for added flavor but the ability to protect over exposed skin and allowing the juicy you to unfold.

A Powerful Antioxidant; Vitamin E

Liquid Vitamin E – sometimes referred to as “The Skin Vitamin” – is an antioxidant as well as a nutrient that is vital for maintaining the well-being of skin and hair. Foods such as vegetable oils, legumes, seafood, eggs, raw nuts and seeds, some fruits, cereals, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, meat, and poultry abound in Vitamin E content, which is known to support the health and function of various body systems. As the main fat-soluble antioxidant in the human body, Vitamin E is best known for providing skin with nutrition and for strengthening immunity.

Vitamin E is reputed to eliminate the body’s free radicals, which are responsible for causing premature aging as well as damage to the cells, among other conditions and complaints. It has been especially lauded for its ability to address scars, burns, and wounds, hence the reason it has been used as an antioxidant in skincare, especially in “anti-aging products,” for more than fifty years. Different from Vitamin E supplements, which are taken orally to address heart health, eye health, inflammation, and general immune function, Vitamin E-Liquid is used on the skin after being added to moisturizers, such as creams, lotions, and ointments. When added to natural product formulations, Vitamin E also works as a stabilizer and has the potential to extend a product’s shelf life.

Vitamin E is often believed to refer to one specific vitamin; however, on the contrary, it encompasses a group of other antioxidant vitamins that are fat-soluble, and its numerous natural forms are referred to as Tocopherols, which is the only form that is known to satisfy human health needs. Vitamin E occurs in chemical forms as well, such as alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and Delta- Tocopherol and as alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta- Tocotrienol, but most Vitamin E-Liquid/Oil does not consist of all these forms.

Many carrier oils – including Almond, Apricot Kernel, Babassu, Canola, Corn, Flaxseed, Grapeseed, Hazelnut, Olive, Oat, Palm, Poppyseed, Rice Bran, Safflower, Soybean, Sunflower, and Wheat Germ – are also natural sources of a high Vitamin E content, making them suitable for use as Liquid Vitamin E substitute.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Vitamin E-Liquid can be used to nourish and promote the growth of new skin and hair. With moisturizing properties, it is known to soothe and prevent skin that is dry and afflicted with itching, flaking, and burning. By keeping the skin hydrated, it is believed to help slow the look of wrinkles and thereby promote a youthful, radiant complexion. Its hydrating effect is also known to diminish the appearance of sagging or creping skin.

Vitamin_E_CaptionImage

Used in massages, Vitamin E is believed to be applicable for boosting energy and stamina, strengthening muscles, and promoting the repair of muscles that have been damaged by exercise. Using Vitamin E to moisturize areas of skin that are affected by wounds or sunburns may potentially benefit the skin by facilitating healing and possibly reducing the appearance of scars.

Used medicinally, Vitamin E-Liquid is reputed to be ideal for use by those who prefer not to apply harsh prescription medications to address skin conditions characterized by itchiness, inflammation, blisters, and scaly patches of skin, such as dermatitis, mild psoriasis, and eczema. When added to moisturizers, it is believed to increase their hydrating efficacy while easing the aforementioned symptoms.

Liquid Vitamin E is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Antioxidant, Brightening, Smoothing, Regenerative, Reparative, Soothing, Skin-Strengthening, Stimulating, Moisturizing, Circulatory, Anti-Bacterial, Nourishing
  • MEDICINAL: Cicatrizant, Regenerative, Reparative, Soothing, Skin-Strengthening, Stimulating, Circulatory, Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic, Immune-Enhancing, Anti-Bacterial, Nourishing, Wound-Healing

LIQUID VITAMIN E USES

Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Liquid Vitamin E’s oil-soluble thickness makes it ideal for use at night before bed, as the skin tends to gradually become drier overnight. It is also a better idea to use it overnight because during the day it can cause the complexion to become shiny and make it difficult to apply makeup. Restorative and revitalizing, Liquid Vitamin E makes an ideal substitute for a regular night cream. For a rejuvenating moisturizer blend, simply add 3 drops of Vitamin E-Liquid to a preferred nighttime face cream or lotion and apply it to the preferred areas of skin to strengthen skin and prevent it from becoming dull, loose, and wrinkled.

Alternatively, an all-natural moisturizer can be made by diluting Vitamin E Liquid in Olive Carrier Oil. This blend is also known to improve the skin’s collagen production to maintain its resilience. Applying this blend as an overnight under-eye moisturizer prevents this area from thinning and from forming dark circles.

It is believed that a mixture of Vitamin E and Vitamin C has a natural sun-protective quality that prevents the body from the effects of environmental pollutants as well as from free radicals, which damage and mutate the cells, thereby causing the look of premature aging characterized by the wrinkled skin. By calming inflammation and contributing moisture to the dry and sensitive skin, this vitamin combination helps preserve the look of a rejuvenated complexion. For a night serum that is reputed to brighten the complexion, balance the skin tone, support collagen production and function, and address the effects of photoaging, begin by whisking the following ingredients together in a bowl: 1 tsp. GMO-free Vitamin C Powder and 1 tsp. filtered water. To this, add 1½ Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel. Again, whisk all the ingredients together. Next, pour in ⅛ tsp. Vitamin E Liquid and 5 drops Frankincense Essential Oil and thoroughly combine all the ingredients. With the help of a funnel, pour the resultant blend into a small, darkly-colored bottle. To use this serum, apply it to the face at night before bed and rinse it off in the morning. Avoid using it in the sun, as it could potentially cause photosensitivity. It is suggested that this serum only is used on alternate nights in order to monitor the skin’s response to the new product. Results are reputed to be visible after a few weeks or around the 3-month mark.

A Vitamin E Liquid-enriched shampoo is reputed to reduce hair loss, promote luster, and make it easier to comb the hair. For hair that feels silkier and smoother and that is free of knots, add 3 drops of Vitamin E-Liquid to a regularly-used shampoo. This simple solution is believed to increase circulation to the scalp, which improves the strength of the hair and overall hair health. Its hydrating property addresses dryness and works to prevent dandruff, and its nourishing quality repairs strands that have become damaged and brittle from excessive use of heat styling tools.

For a hair mask with similar effects, begin by combining 4 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel, 2 Tbsp. Argan Carrier Oil, and 2 Tsp. Vitamin E Liquid. Apply this mask to the scalp and smooth it down over the strands, allowing it to soak in for 30 minutes before washing it out. This regimen can be repeated once or twice weekly to hydrate, repair, strengthen, and nourish hair.

To make a conditioning hot oil hair treatment that is reputed to preserve the health of hair that may regularly be subjected to the damaging effects of coloring treatments or heat styling, begin by creating a mixture of the following ingredients: 90 ml (3 oz.) Olive Carrier Oil, 90 ml (3 oz.) Coconut Carrier Oil, 90 ml (3 oz.) Hemp Seed Carrier Oil, and 90 ml (3 oz.) Jojoba Carrier Oil. To this blend, add 60 ml (2 oz.) Vitamin E Liquid. To use this oil blend, gently heat and apply it to the scalp and hair like a typical hair mask for smoother, stronger strands.

For a natural, pre-shower body oil that is reputed to remove dead and dull skin, promote the skin’s regeneration, and enhance its natural radiance, begin by thoroughly combining 2 tsp. Vitamin E Liquid, 2 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel, and 2 Tbsp. Rose Water in a small mixing bowl. This blend can be applied to the entire body in a thin layer and left on for 20 minutes before being washed off. To restore the skin’s moisture and revitalize its appearance and texture, this regimen can be followed twice a week.

To reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars or to potentially prevent them from occurring, combine 1 tsp. Vitamin E Liquid and 2 Tbsp. Argan Carrier Oil. Massage this blend into the skin nightly for a few minutes, focusing especially on areas that are likely to develop stretch marks, such as the belly, hips, posterior, and thighs. This can also be applied after a bath or shower while the skin is still slightly damp. Due to the skin’s increased rate of absorption at this time, the oil is believed not to leave a greasy residue. Used regularly, this regimen is reputed to promote smoother and clearer skin.

For a natural makeup remover that purifies while balancing the skin’s natural oils, begin by combining 30 ml (1 oz.) Vitamin E Liquid, 30 ml (1 oz.) Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 60 ml (2 oz.) Witch Hazel Distillate inside a clean bottle with a pump dispenser. Cap and shake the bottle well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. To use this facial cleanser blend, simply pump a few drops onto a clean cotton pad and firmly swipe the pad across the skin to get rid of impurities and makeup, including mascara.

Used in medicinal applications, Liquid Vitamin E soothes and repairs skin to facilitate healing. For a bath blend that is reputed to ease the symptoms of damaging and uncomfortable skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dilute 1-2 tsp. Vitamin E Liquid in a warm bath. This is believed to contribute smoothness to rough, dry skin and to have a healing effect on injuries and abrasions, such as scrapes, cuts, redness, irritation, bumps, sunburn, and other topical distresses.

For a detoxifying and relaxing bath blend, begin by thoroughly combining the following ingredients in a food processor: 10 g (0.35 oz.) loose leaf Green Tea, 1 ¾ cup Epsom Salt, 2/3 cup Baking Soda, 1 ½ Tbsp. Vitamin E Liquid, 15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil, and 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Next, transfer this mixture to a jar or a plastic food storage bag. Add ½ cup of this bath blend along with 1 Tbsp. Coconut Carrier Oil to a warm bath and soak for 30 minutes. When this blend is not in use, it can be stored in a cool and dry area.

To gently soothe sunburned skin, begin by diluting 2 Tsp. Vitamin E Liquid in 2 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel. Next, using the fingers, lightly smooth this blend onto the area of skin affected by overexposure to UV radiation. Leave this salve on until it dries or becomes sticky on the skin, at which time it can be rinsed off with cold water. Softly pat the skin dry. This preparation can be applied daily, or even several times daily, until the affected area of skin shows signs of improvement.

A GUIDE TO LIQUID VITAMIN E VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

VITAMIN E (MT-50 FULL SPECTRUM) RAW MATERIAL

INCI: Tocopherol

Country of Origin: China

Believed to:

  • Range in color from golden Yellow to a reddish shade
  • Be a viscous oil with an aroma characteristic of vegetable oil
  • Oxidize upon exposure to air and light, resulting in the gradual darkening of its color
  • Potentially tint skincare formulations
  • Be GMO-free and Gluten-free
  • Protect the skin from environmental elements
  • Contain d-alpha-Tocopherol, which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines
  • Be a natural antioxidant with a full spectrum of Tocopherols
  • Be ideal for use in cosmetics, particularly for extending the shelf-life of oils (any product with water in it will require a full-spectrum preservative).
  • Extend the life of a carrier oil when used at 0.5%
  • Benefit the skin when used at a minimum of 2% and a maximum of 30% in a formulation
  • Be comprised of the following constituents: 50% Vitamin E (d-alpha-Tocopherol, d-beta-Tocopherol, d-gamma-Tocopherol, d-delta-Tocopherol) and 50% (GMO-free) Refined Soybean Oil
  • Be soluble in ethanol, ether, acetone, fats, and vegetable oils
  • Be insoluble in water
  • Be designed specifically as an ingredient to be used in cosmetics, thus this particular form of Vitamin E should not be applied directly to the skin
  • Be best preserved in a tightly-closed bottle and kept in a cool, dark, dry, and well-ventilated area

 

VITAMIN E (USP COSMETIC GRADE) RAW MATERIAL

INCI: d-alpha-Tocopherol

Country of Origin: China

Believed to:

  • Be a viscous liquid that ranges in color from golden Yellow to clear Brown
  • Oxidize upon exposure to air and light, resulting in the gradual darkening of its color
  • Have the potential to add a tint of color to skin care formulations
  • Be GMO-free and Gluten-free
  • Play a crucial role in protecting the skin from environmental elements
  • Help reduce the appearance of fine lines
  • Extend the shelf life of oils (any product with water in it will require a full-spectrum preservative) when used at 0.5%
  • Benefit the skin when added to a formulation at a minimum of 2% and a maximum of 30%
  • Be designed specifically as an ingredient to be used in cosmetics, thus this particular form of Vitamin E should not be applied directly to the skin
  • Be comprised of the following constituents: 67%-87% d-alpha-Tocopherol and 13%-33% Refined GMO-free Soybean Oil
  • Be soluble in alcohol and oils
  • Be insoluble in water
  • Darken when exposed to high temperatures
  • Degrade when exposed to alkali
  • Be best preserved in a tightly-closed bottle and kept in a cool, dark, dry, and well-ventilated area

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR LIQUID VITAMIN E

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

Those with the following health or skin conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: acne, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney problems, high blood fats, Retinitis pigmentosa, Vitamin K deficiency, cancer, diabetes, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing or recovering from 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.

Before using Vitamin E-Liquid, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the liquid 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. Liquid Vitamin E must never be used near the inner nose, ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Liquid Vitamin E include bruising, bleeding, blurred vision, contact dermatitis, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, nausea, rash, skin irritation, stomach cramps, and weakness. When used in high doses, Vitamin E Liquid could potentially cause Hypervitaminosis E, which is characterized by numerous symptoms that can vary from skin blotches to bone pain.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this product as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. Those who use the following should inform their physicians before use of this product: mineral oil, iron supplements, blood thinners, or bile acid-binding resins.

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.

IN ESSENCE…

    • “The Skin Vitamin,” better known as Liquid Vitamin E, is an antioxidant and a nutrient that is best known for maintaining skin health and for strengthening immunity.
    • Although Vitamin E is often understood to be one specific vitamin, it encompasses a group of other antioxidant vitamins that are fat-soluble, and its numerous natural forms are referred to as Tocopherols.
    • Used topically, Liquid Vitamin E nourishes and promotes the growth of new skin and hair. By soothing and preventing dryness, itching, flaking, and burning, it promotes the look of a youthful, radiant complexion as well as healthier and more lustrous strands.
    • Used in massages, Vitamin E is believed to be applicable for boosting energy and stamina, strengthening muscles, promoting the repair of muscles that have been damaged by exercise, facilitating healing, and possibly reducing the appearance of scars.
  • Used medicinally, Liquid Vitamin E is ideal for those who prefer not to apply harsh prescription medications to address skin conditions characterized by itchiness, inflammation, blisters, and scaly patches of skin.

The Fragrant Way to Beauty: Skin Care Oils

Skincare oils are one of the best ways to take care of your skin and can easily be adapted to take into account changes in circumstances, such as stress levels, health, lifestyle, and general well-being. These factors often change from month to month, and by blending your own skin care oils you can accommodate your ever-changing skin care needs, which reflect physical, environmental, and emotional factors.

The first step in deciding which particular skincare regime to choose is to establish which basic skin type you have.

Many people believe their skin is a combination of skin types. Combination skin is a patchwork of normal, oily, and dry skin, with the oil patches usually occurring on the forehead, nose, and chin. This type of skin can develop at any time from changes in health, lifestyle, working conditions, and, of course, stress levels. Treat combination skin as you would normal skin, and if the oily patches become a problem use the face oils for oily skin on those areas. As the skin starts to balance you can adjust the treatment accordingly. Our skins can change quite rapidly, so do take notice of the changes and be ready to switch oils as and when needed.

Spa scene with natural cosmetics

Evenly Balanced – Normal Skin

Really, there’s no such thing as normal skin. Or, more correctly, children have normal skin, and the rest of us aspire to it. The perfect skin of prepuberty is plump, in that the cells are firm and solid, neither dry nor oily, finely textured with no visible pores, spots, or blemishes, soft and velvety to the touch, and unwrinkled. Adults can only yearn for this perfection, and we call skin “normal” if it reaches somewhere near it – about halfway is close enough. The term normal is so inappropriate in this context that I prefer to call this type of skin evenly balanced.

Balanced Normal Skin: Carrier Oils

Almond, sweet {Prunus Amygdalus var. dulcis}

Apricot kernel {Prunus armeniaca}

Hazelnut {Corylus avellana}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Argan {Argania spinosa}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Balanced Normal Skin

Evening primrose seed {Oenothera biennis}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Cucumber seed {Cucumis sativus}

Pomegranate seed {Punica granatum}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Passionflower seed {Passifloria incarnata}

Kiwi seed {Actinidia chinensis}

Essential Oils for Balanced Normal Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Jasmine {Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Rose otto {Rosa damascena}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Day Care Oil for Balanced Normal Skin

Rose Otto – 14 drops

Geranium – 3 drops

Chamomile Roman – 2 drops

Lavender – 3 drops

Lemon – 3 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Carrot macerated oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of hazelnut or sweet almond carrier oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Balanced Normal Skin

Geranium – 9 drops

Palmarosa – 5 drops

Rosewood – 5 drops

Orange, sweet – 3 drops

Lavender – 5 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Sea buckthorn – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 -3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of camellia seed oil to which you’ve added 5 drops of evening primrose seed oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

skin care solutions

Normal to Dry Skin

The cells on the outer surface of the skin are essentially at the last stage of the shedding process, known as desquamation, and are held together by the hydrolipidic film. This consists of amino acids and lactic acid from sweat, fatty acids from sebum, and moisturizing by-products of keratinization – which is the process by which skin cells are shed from the top layer and replaced by those underneath. When the hydrolipidic layer is disturbed for some reason, the skin feels dry. This may be because the normal pH balance is disturbed, not enough sebum is being produced, the skin is being dried out by central heating, there are hormonal changes, medications have upset the normal balance of the skin protection system, or for many other reasons.

When the skin becomes dry it’s less supple and more prone to wrinkles, and it can even become flaky. In time it can become sensitive, prone to inflammation, and easily dehydrated by wind and sun. This type of skin is prone to peeling and itching during periods of stress. It generally feels taut after washing. Sometimes dry skin is caused by hormonal changes and menopause.

Normal to Dry Skin: Carrier Oils

Almond, sweet {Prunus Amygdalus var. dulcis}

Avocado {Persea americana}

Apricot kernel {Prunus armeniaca}

Argan {Argaania spinosa}

Hemp seed {Cannabis sativa}

Meadowfoam {Limnanthes alba}

Rice bran {Oryza sativa}

Macadamia {Macadamia ternifolia}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Normal to Dry Skin

Evening primrose seed {Oenothera biennis}

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Red raspberry seed {Rubus idaeus}

Acai berry {Euterpe oleracea}

Olive squalane {Olea europaea}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Cranberry seed {Vaccinium macrocarpon}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Essential Oils for Normal to Dry Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Sandalwood {Santalum album}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Rose Otto {Rosa damascena}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Carrot seed {Daucus carota}

Ho wood {Cinnamomum camphora ct. linalool}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Clary sage {Salvia sclarea}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Day Care Oil for Normal to Dry Skin

Chamomile German – 3 drops

Sandalwood – 15 drops

Mandarin – 3 drops

Ho wood – 4 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Olive squalane oil – 20 drops

Raspberry seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of camellia seed oil, to which you’ve added 2 drops of evening primrose seed oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Normal to Dry Skin

Carrot seed – 5drops

Sandalwood – 8 drops

Lavender – 3 drops

Clary sage – 3 drops

Palmarosa – 4 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of apricot kernel or sweet almond carrier oil:

Olive squalane oil – 20 drops

Rosehip seed oil – 30 drops

skin care oils3

Normal to Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused by overactive sebaceous glands. These are subject to hormonal changes, which is why oily skin can be a problem during puberty. Overactive sebaceous glands can lead to seborrhea, but more often the problem presents as oily patches that leave the skin shiny. Ironically, an oily skin can result from over cleanliness – from scrubbing the face with harsh cleansers and soaps or using astringents that contain alcohol. Many commercial lotions designed to degrease the skin actually stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Thankfully, essential oils have the capacity to balance the skin without prompting the glands to produce more sebum and can provide the perfect solution to this seemingly intractable problem.

Normal to Oily Skin: Carrier Oils

Hazelnut {Corylus avellana}

Grapeseed {Vitis vinifera}

Safflower {Carthamus tinctorius}

Hemp seed {Cannabis sativa}

Sunflower {Helianthus annuus}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Argan {Argania spinosa}

Specialist Plant Oil Additions for Normal to Oily Skin

Borage seed {Borago officinalis}

Carrot, macerated {Daucus carota}

Rosehip seed {Rosa rubiginosa}

Kiwi seed {Actinidia chinensis}

Sea buckthorn {Hippophae rhamnoides}

Blueberry seed {Vaccinium corymbosum}

Echium seed {Echium plantaginoum}

Strawberry seed {Fragaria ananassa}

Essential Oils for Normal to Oily Skin

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Juniper berry {Juniperus communis}

Cypress {Cupressus sempervirens}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Petitgrain {Citrus aurantium}

Bergamot {Citrus bergamia}

Patchouli {Pogostemon cablin}

Niaouli {Melaleuca quinquenervia}

Orange, sweet {Citrus sinensis}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Marjoram, sweet {Origanum majorana}

Lime {Citrus aurantifolia}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Jasmine {Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale}

Ylang ylang {Cananga odorata}

Day Care Oil for Normal to Oily Skin

Juniper berry – 8 drops

Geranium – 10 drops

Petitgrain – 10 drops

Rosemary – 2 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Kiwi seed oil – 10 drops

Borage seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 -3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of jojoba or sunflower oil, to which you’ve added 10 drops of carrot macerated oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Night Care Oil for Normal to Oily Skin

Juniper berry – 10 drops

Petitgrain – 15 drops

Frankincense – 5 drops

Marjoram, sweet – 5 drops

Orange, sweet – 10 drops

Optional additions to 1 fl. oz. {30 mL} of carrier oil:

Rosehip seed oil – 10 drops

Blueberry seed oil – 10 drops

Evening primrose seed oil – 5 drops

First, blend the essential oils together, then dilute 2 – 3 drops in each teaspoon {5 mL} of hazelnut oil. Apply a small amount to damp skin, massage into the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, and then dab the face with a tissue to remove excess oil.

Moisturizing cosmetic oil on the flowers and water background

Sensitive Skin

Anyone’s skin can become sensitive at any time. Even skin previously considered normal can become prone to sensitivity after contracting a virus, eating certain foods, coming in contact with synthetic perfumes or synthetic cosmetic ingredients, including preservatives, and so on. Some skins become sensitive only during extremes of weather – when it’s too cold, hot, or windy. Sometimes skin changes can be linked to an emotional situation, such as the loss of a loved one, moving or changing jobs, stress, or even just a change in lifestyle. It could be too that the skin can no longer deal with environmental pressures such as overheating at the workplace, too much electrosmog, or pollution. Sensitive skin can also be inherited. Allergies can develop suddenly, and for clues, as to what’s causing the trouble it may be useful to have patch testing carried out.

If you’ve become sensitive to skin care products in general, it could be that you’ll be sensitive to certain plant oils or essential oils too. This is why it’s important for you to carry out a skin test before using anything on the face. Apply a small amount of oil, or diluted essential oil, in the crook of an elbow or behind the ear, and leave it for 24 hours. If there’s no reaction such as itchiness, redness, soreness, or swelling, then that oil might suit you.

The best choices for highly sensitive skins are water-based products such as hydrolats, hydrosols, plant distillates, floral waters, and the like. Only use essential oils in very low dosages, increasing the amount used as you become confident there’s no skin reaction, and use carrier oils that are known to be gentle on the skin. As this is such an individual situation – everyone is different in terms of their sensitivities and reactions – not all the suggestions below might be appropriate for you. Always choose organic products.

Hydrolats for Sensitive Skin

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Essential Oils for Sensitive Skin

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Sandalwood {Santalum album}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Carrier Oils for Sesitive Skin

Almond, sweet {Prunus amygdalus var. dulcis}

Rice bran {Oryza sativa}

Jojoba {Simmondsia chinensis}

Calendula, macerated {Calendula officinalis}

Grapeseed {Vitis vinifera}

Camellia seed {Camellia japonica}

 

A Natural Cleanser: Witch Hazel

HISTORY OF WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE USAGE

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

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

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE BENEFITS

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

Witchhazel_Raw_Captionimage

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

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

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

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

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE USES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A GUIDE TO WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE – ALCOHOL-FREE – RAW MATERIAL

INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

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

 

Witch Hazel Distillate Organic Raw Material

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

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

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

 

Witch Hazel Distillate Raw Material

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

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

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

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE

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

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use. Witch Hazel Distillate should not be applied to deep open wounds.

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

IN ESSENCE…

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

Freshly Juiced Beauty

Juicing has always been a popular trend in the health and wellness realm, and today it’s easier than ever to make fresh juice at home or purchase it at your grocery store or even in some restaurants. Juice from fresh fruits and vegetables provides a number of benefits that invigorate your body and mind. And, of course, the nutrients and hydration that drinking juice provides can support healthy looking skin and hair. But freshly squeezed juice is also beneficial when used on the outside. In fact, it’s yet another all-natural ingredient we can add to our daily skin care routine for luscious locks and a glowing complexion.

Citrus fruits, berries, mangoes, and leafy greens contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps in collagen synthesis and boosts skin cells. Vegetables like potatoes are high in potassium, a mineral that maintains electrolyte balance to keep skin hydrated and promote new skin cells. Spinach, which makes a wonderful green juice, is also a good source of omega-3-fatty acids, which support the skin cell membrane of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin that helps retain water. With more moisture in the cells, skin becomes suppler and less susceptible to fine lines. Omega-3 fatty acids show promise in decreasing skin damage from UV rays, as well. Many beauty experts consider carrot juice the ultimate skin care ingredient because it contains vitamin A, which combats the signs of aging and helps treat acne.

Creating your own juices at home is cost-effective and convenient, and you can make fresh blends whenever you need a little TLC. Use a juicer, blender, or food processor. Here are some recipes to get you started.

beetroot2

Turkish Facial Wash

For centuries women in Turkey, China, and Egypt applied fresh beet juice to add some color to their cheeks. Inspired by this bit of lore, this recipe combines fresh beet juice and fragrant rosewater. The result is a gorgeous, jewel-red colored wash perfect for adding a bit of glow to a pale complexion and to clean and tone skin. In a pinch, powdered beetroot, found in grocery stores where it’s sold as a sweetener, can serve as a reliable substitute.

1 cup fresh beet juice {approximately 4 small beets}

1/4 cup rosewater

1/2 cup distilled water

Run the beets through your juicer or food processor and strain. Mix together all ingredients. Pour into a clean bottle. To use: Pour a small amount onto a clean cotton pad or ball. Gently wipe the facial wash over your face. Don’t be alarmed by the bright color – it does wash off. Immediately rinse your face with the coldest water you can stand. Pat your skin dry. Store any remaining wash in the refrigerator. Moisturize your face well afterward with a light natural oil or cream. Yield: 8 ounces.

Fresh Cucumber Juice Toner

People have turned to cucumber for centuries as a skin toner that’s gentle and refreshing for all skin types. It’s particularly great in the summertime; keep it in the refrigerator for a cool and refreshing spa-like treatment on a hot day {you’ll also extend its shelf-life}. Cucumber juice eases the pain of a sunburn, while the vitamin C in mint rejuvenates it and acts as a natural preservative.

1/2 fresh cucumber with peel, chopped

1/2 cup distilled water

2 Tbls fresh mint leaves, chopped

In a blender or food processor, blend together all ingredients until liquid. Strain out solids and pour remaining liquid into a clean container with a tightly fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator. To use: Splash on clean skin or apply with a clean cotton ball or pad. You can also pour this toner into a spray bottle and use it to spritz all over. Yield: 4 ounces.

Watermelon Juice Toner

Fresh watermelon juice contains high amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin B, another anti-aging nutrient. It also serves as a hydrating toner for all skin types, especially sensitive and dry skin. The addition of aloe boosts moisture and provides soothing and cooling relief. This toner is great as an after-bath splash, particularly after a long day in the sun.

1/4 cup fresh watermelon juice

2 Tbls fresh aloe vera gel

2 Tbls witch hazel

1/2 cup distilled water

Combine all ingredients and pour into a clean container. To use: Splash onto your skin or pour into a clean spray bottle. Store in the refrigerator between uses. Yield: 6 ounces.

Potato Juice Facial Mask

Oily skin types will enjoy this light, creamy mask, which has natural clay to absorb excess oil and surface impurities. Potatoes offer a wide range of skin benefits. To start, they are full of antioxidants and minerals. They also contain natural skin-brightening properties, in particular, an active enzyme called tyrosinase, which works to reduce dark circles under the eyes and even out skin tone. {Tyrosinase is often used to reduce hyperpigmentation, when an excess of melanin forms darker pigments on the skin.}

You can make potato juice easily in the blender or a juicer. Simply liquefy chopped potatoes and strain out all the solids. You will want to make this mask fresh each time, as it does not store well. {When exposed to air, tyrosinase turns potatoes brown.}

1/4 cup fresh potato juice {juice of one medium peeled potato}

1/4 cup white kaolin clay

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Stir together the potato juice, clay, and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. To use: Spread the mixture over your clean face and neck using your fingertips or a small brush. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, or until dry. Rinse well with warm water and pat your skin dry. Follow up this treatment with your favorite moisturizer or natural oil. Yield: 2 ounces, enough for one treatment.

Carrot Juice Facial Mask

Besides vitamin A, fresh carrot juice has strong antiseptic qualities, making it a valuable ingredient for blemished skin. Purchase fresh carrot juice or save a little money and make your own using a high-speed Bullet blender. For extremely dry skin, add one teaspoon of light oil such as almond or sunflower to this recipe.

1/4 cup fresh carrot juice

1/4 cup white kaolin clay

Mix together the carrot juice and clay until smooth. For a thicker mask, add more clay. To use: Spread the mixture on the clean skin using your fingertips or a small brush. Let sit for 20 minutes, rinse well with warm water followed by cool, and pat the skin dry. Store any remaining mask in the refrigerator for up to one week. Yield: 2 ounces, enough for one to two masks.

Berry Juice Facial Mask

A warm-season staple, fresh berries naturally cleanse and refresh the skin. Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid, a common ingredient found in many commercial products that work by dissolving the grime that clogs pores. Blueberries contain skin-boosting antioxidants and vitamins. If you have light acne, this is a good mask to try. It leaves the skin smooth and tight.

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, mashed

2 Tbls fresh blueberries, mashed

2 Tbls mashed fresh banana or avocado

1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest, finely grated

Mix all of the ingredients to make a smooth paste. To use: Spread over your face and neck and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool. Pat skin dry. Refrigerate any leftover mask and use or discard after one week. Yield: 4 ounces.

juicing2

Green Juice Body Mask

Some of the ingredients in this recipe come from the vegetable patch and can smell a bit like a freshly tossed salad, but they do a wonderful job adding moisture to your skin, making it feel soft and smooth. Mushrooms offer anti-inflammatory action, helping to calm down troubled skin to improve acne. They’re also rich in vitamin D, selenium, and antioxidants, which help to brighten skin and even out discoloration. Some beauty experts think mushrooms may be able to slow the signs of aging.

1 cup fresh carrot juice {or favorite green juice blend}

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup French green clay

In a food processor or blender, blend the carrot juice, spinach, and mushrooms until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and add the green clay, stirring until well-mixed and creamy. You can add a bit more water or juice if you need to. To use: Spread the mask all over your body using your fingers or a small pastry brush. Let the mixture sit on your skin for 10-15 minutes. Wrap an old towel around your body and lie down if you prefer. Rinse off body mask in a warm shower and apply a rich moisturizer. Yield: 10 ounces, enough for one treatment.

Quick Blends for Skin and Hair

By combining various juices, you can create blends that target specific beauty goals. Here are three blends to get you started.

  • For energy: Pineapple, celery, cucumber, spinach, lime, and apple
  • For clear skin: Apple, carrot, beet, ginger, and basil
  • For healthy hair: Cucumber, carrot, and tomato

Pineapple Ginger Footbath

Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that reduces inflammation and removes surface debris. Not only great for your complexion, it’s also very effective as a foot bath to soften and remove rough, dry skin. Combined with energizing ginger, which boosts blood circulation, and antiseptic and stimulating mint, this footbath is perfect after a long day on your feet.

1-gallon warm water

1 cup coconut water

2 cups fresh or canned pineapple juice

1 Tbls fresh ginger root, sliced

1 Tbls fresh mint leaves, slightly crushed

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or small basin. To use: Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes in the pineapple juice mixture. While your feet soak, brush them with a natural loofah sponge or foot brush to help remove the dead, rough skin. Pat feet dry. Massage a rich oil such as coconut or sesame into your feet, gently pushing your cuticles back. This is also a good time to trim your toenails, as wet nails are easier to cut and you get a cleaner snip. Yield: 64 ounces, enough for one footbath.

Apple Juice Hair Rinse

Fresh apple juice makes an effective hair rinse that will leave your locks full of shine. Apples contain malic acid, which neutralizes the pH levels of hair follicles, and amylase, an exfoliating enzyme that can help boost growth. Here, apple cider vinegar helps to clean the scalp and remove build-up and residue.

1 large apple, peeled and cut into small pieces

2 Tbls apple cider vinegar

2 cups water

Mix together all ingredients in a blender or food processor set on high. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a clean container, discarding all solids. To use: Pour over your hair after shampooing as a final rinse, massaging it through your tresses, and then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Yield: 16 ounces, enough for one rinse.

Stimulating Green Scalp Toner

A healthy scalp promotes healthy hair. In fact, many hair conditions, such as hair loss and dandruff, originate from the scalp, so keeping it clean is essential. In particular, you want to find the right balance for your scalp; not too dry and not too oily. Fresh parsley and mint help achieve this balance by ridding hair of residue and restoring the scalp’s natural acid balance, which harsh shampoos often strip away.

1/4 cup fresh parsley juice

2 Tbls fresh mint leaves, minced

1 cup water

1 Tbls fresh lemon juice

Place ingredients in a blender and process on high until well-mixed {in a pinch, you can also mix by hand}. To use: Pour over hair after shampooing and massage well into your scalp. Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with the coldest water you can stand. Yield: 10 ounces, enough for one rinse.

One-Step Juicy Boosts

  • Apple: For a refreshing bath, add 1 to 2 cups of apple juice into your bath as you fill the tub. The malic acid will refresh and cleanse your skin.
  • Beet: For lip color, mix some fresh beet juice with a small amount of coconut oil and apply to your lips. You can also use this mixture on your cheeks for a natural blush.
  • Lemon: This citrus fruit has been used for centuries to give subtle highlights to hair. Make sure to dilute it – 1 tablespoon of juice to 1 cup water – and condition your hair afterward, as lemon juice can be drying.
  • Orange: This morning staple can freshen skin and also makes a cleansing hair rinse for your hair and scalp.
  • Pineapple: For an exfoliating all-over body wash, use fresh pineapple juice. Splash it on your skin in the shower, massaging it in with a clean loofah or cotton washcloth. Be careful around sensitive skin spots, as the juice will sting.

Rejuvenate with Mango Butter

Considered to be India’s “King of Fruits,” the Mangifera indica botanical – better known as the Mango Tree – yields a fruit containing the source of the emollient known as Mango Butter. Other names by which it is called include Mango Kernel Fat and Mango Oil. “Manna,” the Malayalam word for the fruit, was adopted as “Manga” by the Portuguese, who traveled to Kerala in 1498 for the spice trade. “Mango,” the English and Spanish name for the fruit, is most likely derived from this.

In Asia and South-East Asia, the Mango fruit has been used in traditional medicine for its healing, moisturizing, and rejuvenating properties. In the medicinal system of Ayurveda, the Mangifera indica herb has been used for over 4000 years with the belief that it had the ability to strengthen the heart, improve brain activity, and increase the body’s immunity. The natural fat derived from the fruit’s seeds is what is referred to as the butter, which shares the same reputation as its fruit source.

The national fruit of India, Mangoes are deeply intertwined with the country’s folklore and religious ceremonies. According to historical sources, Akbar the Great, the most well-known Mughal Emperor, planted around 100,000 mango trees in India’s Eastern parts. According to the Buddhist view, it is believed that a high-class courtesan donated her Mango grove to the Buddha and his companions so that they might have a place to rest. In this orchard, the Buddha continued to teach his monks lessons on the topics of concentration, morality, and wisdom.

Mango trees have been cultivated and harvested in India for thousands of years and were introduced to the Western Hemisphere around 1700, after initially being planted in Brazil. Around 1740, they were introduced to the West Indies, and eventually, they made their way to the Americas. In the 1930s, Mango Butter was one of the fats that were considered for use as an alternative to Cocoa Butter in the context of creating confectionary products; however, further studies showed that its significant amounts of tocopherol, phytosterols, and triterpenes also contributed to its potential as an effective ingredient for natural cosmetic formulations.

BENEFITS OF USING MANGO BUTTER

The main chemical constituents of Mango Butter are Oleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Arachidic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain
  • Impact the hardness or softness of the butter

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin
  • Provides the butter with a solid consistency

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 6/Vitamin F) is known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Soothe and promote the healing of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
  • Slow the look of premature aging

ARACHIDIC ACID is known to:

  • Enhance and promote muscle gain/mass by boosting the body’s inflammatory responses
  • Boost immunity
  • Ease symptoms of depression
  • Soothe pain and discomfort associated with arthritis
  • Reduce weight

VITAMIN A is known to:

  • Protect skin against damage caused by UV radiation
  • Slow the appearance of aging by smoothing wrinkles and fine lines
  • Stimulate production of collagen
  • Stimulate cells regeneration to keep skin healthy, strong, and firm
  • Facilitate faster healing of wounds
  • Protect skin against toxins and bacteria and promotes cell production, thus boosting immunity
  • Lighten unwanted blemishes and dark spots, thus balancing skin tone to create an even glow
  • Slow the production of oil in the skin and clears pores, thereby preventing acne breakouts

VITAMIN C is known to:

  • Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
  • Promote collagen synthesis that gives skin a smoother appearance
  • Help reduce and soothe damage caused by ultraviolet radiation
  • Brighten and even out skin tone
  • Shield skin from the noticeable effects of pollution
  • Significantly improve skin’s moisture content, thus sustaining a youthful look for a longer period of time

VITAMIN E is known to:

  • Have antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging and boost circulation
  • Repair scarred and blemished skin
  • Prevent moisture loss from skin and hair
  • Offer soothing relief to skin that has been burned
  • Deeply cleanse pores and balance oil production

Used topically, Mango Butter’s creamy, long-lasting emollience nourishes skin and boosts its elasticity as well as its suppleness, thereby reducing the appearance of fine lines and tightening skin for a firmer appearance. Its high vitamin content protects skin against harsh environmental stressors and damage caused by overexposure to harmful UV radiation. Its ability to easily melt on skin contact and penetrate into the skin without leaving a greasy residue makes Mango Butter an ideal ingredient in sun care products, balms, and hair care products such as those intended to control frizz. Its gentle quality makes it an ideal ingredient in baby moisturizers and products for sensitive skin.

Mango Butter is known to boost skin’s luster and natural radiance while reducing the appearance of dark spots. Along with softening and soothing properties, it cleanses the skin’s surface of impurities and unblocks pores. The anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties of Mango Butter make it an effective soothing agent for skin afflicted by dryness, eczema, and dermatitis. By restoring and maintaining moisture levels and by boosting cell regeneration, Mango Butter leaves skin looking plump, thereby promoting a rejuvenated, revitalized appearance.

Used in hair, Mango Butter works as an effective scalp conditioner that seals in moisture and reduces breakage and hair loss by strengthening hair follicles. It protects hair from drying, thereby controlling frizz and boosting volume to keep it looking and feeling soft, lush, and lustrous. By sustaining moisture and promoting cell regeneration, Mango Butter encourages the growth of stronger, healthier hair. When applied to hair before sun exposure, Mango Butter is known to exhibit sun protectant properties to help guard the strands against the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Used medicinally, Mango Butter works as an agent that facilitates the process of eliminating toxins, dirt, pollution, and other impurities from the skin. Its soothing quality makes it ideal for use on skin afflicted by itching, stinging, burning, and stretch marks. When used in a therapeutic massage, Mango Butter penetrates gently yet deeply into the skin and applies its soothing power to tense and aching muscles. Due to its non-comedogenic property, Mango Butter can benefit acne-prone and oily skin, when used as a facial moisturizer.

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

  • COSMETIC: Regenerative, Protective, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Aging, Softening, Soothing, Moisturizing.
  • MEDICINAL: Regenerative, Protective, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Aging, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Microbial, Analgesic.

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY MANGO BUTTER

Native to India and has been around for the same approximate length as Ayurvedic medicine, Mango trees belong to the Anacardiaceae family along with cashews and pistachios. Mango trees grow in approximately 1000 varieties and have become a multi-national botanical that can be found throughout various sub-tropical and tropical lowlands around the world, including the Americas, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, Indonesia, and China.

Mango trees are typically propagated by chip budding, approach grafting, and veneer grafting found to be thriving in sandy loam soil types with adequate drainage. They may also be cultivated in landscapes ranging from coastal regions to midlands. They will not grow particularly well in heavy, wet soils. For optimal growth, they require a pH between 5.2 and 7.5.

Saplings of this evergreen tree produce leaves that are reddish brown. Once they mature, the leaves turn dark green and the trees can grow to a height of 130 feet. The inflorescence of approximately 3000 small, fragrant flowers – usually white-red or yellow-green in color – begins to grow in bunches at different times of the year, depending on the individual tree’s region of growth and its required climatic conditions. One tree produces both male and female flowers, which produce the succulent Mango fruit.

The matured fruit – considered to be a drupe – comes in a variety of color combinations, including the following: yellow, green, yellow and green, red and green, red and yellow, and orange. The shape of the fruit also varies and can include round, heart, oval, or kidney shapes. Pre- and post-harvest conditions such as grafting, fertilization, pruning, and pest control affect the final quality of Mangoes in terms of their size, taste, essential nutrients, vitamins, and mineral content. Factors that negatively impact Mango quality include pests, disease, inopportune harvesting time, ripening conditions, and a lack of appropriate storage facilities.

Depending on the variety of tree and the weather conditions, Mango fruits can begin to ripen 3-5 months after flowering. The fruit is made up of a thick outer Skin, known as the Epicarp or Exocarp. This protects the thick, yellow, fleshy Mesocarp or the Pulp layer inside. The single hard, flat inner Endocarp is commonly referred to as the Stone or the Pit. This contains a single inner Endosperm commonly referred to as the Seed, which is oblong or ovoid in shape and covered in a Seed Coat.

mango_parts

Generally, Mangoes are harvested while in a firm yet mature stage of greenness, often ripening further after being harvested and during the transport and storage phases of production. Some varieties of Mango fruits are considered mature when the fruit’s skin has a slight blush to its color and its pulp has changed in color from white to yellow. It is legitimately mature when the “nose” or the Beak – the pointy tip at the opposite end of the stem – has rounded out.

The ideal harvest practice that achieves optimal fruit quality is the method of removing fruits from the trees by hand-picking them rather than beating them with sticks to make them drop to the ground. If the fruits are harvested incorrectly, their stems may release a milky sap called Latex, which is produced by the tree and which begins to congeal when exposed to air. If latex is left on the fruit’s skin, the skin will turn black. In order to reduce the amount of latex, the fruits should be detached from their trees with small amounts of the stems remaining attached to the fruits. As an alternative to handpicking the fruits, harvesting machinery may also be used. One commonly used machine is made up of a pouch that has a divider and scissors or a knife at the front of the pouch. The pouch is placed directly below the fruit in order to catch it the moment its stem is placed between the divider and the scissors/knife cut through the stalk. The collected fruits travel through a nylon chute and into collection containers. To prevent the fruits from bruising from impact, they are stored in boxes or crates rather than sacks.

HOW IS MANGO BUTTER EXTRACTED?

Mango Butter is typically extracted by Expeller- or Cold-Pressing de-shelled Mango fruit seeds. The oil-bearing Mango seeds are placed inside a hydraulic press machine. They undergo high pressure and friction in order to release their oils, which seep through small openings at the bottom of the pressing barrel. These openings are small enough to prevent Mango fibers from leaving the barrel. The resultant butter is light in color with a faint scent that retains its nutritive value.

Mango Butter may also be obtained through Solvent Extraction: First, the seeds are collected and washed immediately with water. Next, they are dried under the sun to reduce their moisture content. After being roasted inside a drum roaster, they have their hulls removed mechanically. Alternatively, they are manually beaten with wooden clubs. The seed pieces are sent to a hammer mill where they are placed into a pellet-making machine and turned into pellets. These are placed inside a cooler, then they are transported to the plant for solvent extraction.

After the Mango Butter has been extracted from the fruit seeds, it is heated and boiled to a rich and creamy consistency. The final product is solid at room temperature with a consistency that resembles slightly firmer Jojoba esters. Melting easily with body heat, Mango Butter’s light yet protective moisturizing layer is easily absorbed by the skin, leaving it feeling satiny rather than greasy. The subtle, slightly sweet and fatty scent of Mango Butter is not like the fruit, as it is derived from the seed rather than the fruit’s flesh. Mango Butter that undergoes Bleaching and Deodorizing is known as Refined Mango Butter. Its color ranges from whitish or creamy to slightly yellowish.

USES OF MANGO BUTTER

The uses of Mango Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils, massage creams, and massage balms, lotions, creams, gels, ointments or salves, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, sun care, foot care, shampoos, conditioners, hot-oil treatments, and other hair care products.

Used topically, Mango Butter protects skin against the harsh effects of environmental elements, effectively reduces the formation and appearance of wrinkles, and helps repair dry, damaged skin. Mango Butter can be applied directly to matured, cracking, peeling, chapping, irritated, itchy, rough, or tough skin. Applied as is, it is ideal for skin conditions requiring deep hydration and conditioning to heal faster. It can be applied to skin that will be or has been exposed or overexposed to the sun. It can also be applied directly to insect bites, rashes, and eczema to soothe itching and to facilitate the healing of minor cuts or cracks caused by dryness. The light texture of Mango Butter and its non-comedogenic property makes it an ideal moisturizer for the face and neck.

Mango Butter can be used directly as a mild lotion or cream, even on sensitive skin. Furthermore, to enhance its ability to boost skin’s sebum secretion, which in turn promotes younger and softer skin, Mango Butter can be blended with a natural carrier oil such as Jojoba. For a moisturizing alternative to soap, skin can be washed with Mango Butter in the shower, or it can be used as an alternative to shaving cream. To prevent stretch marks with Mango Butter, combine it with equal parts of Coconut Carrier Oil and massage it onto the affected areas.

To reduce the appearance of blemishes and dark spots with Mango Butter, it can be added to a regular moisturizer. Alternatively, it can be made into a spot treatment balm: Combine 2 Tbsp. of Mango Butter, ½ tsp. of Rosehip Essential Oil, and ¼ tsp. Vitamin E liquid inside a 4 oz. jar, then mix the ingredients with a popsicle stick. To this mixture, add 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and 3 drops of Helichrysum Essential Oil to enhance the balm’s effectiveness in healing blemishes. Apply this balm to the affected areas of skin.

Used in hair, Mango Butter locks in moisture nourishes the scalp and prevents hair loss. To create a conditioning Mango Butter blend that controls dandruff, dryness, and itchiness, mix 1 Tbsp. of Mango Butter with 5 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil. Gently massage the blend into the scalp, then wrap the hair with a warm towel for 1 hour to allow it to penetrate into the scalp. Rinse the hair with a mild shampoo. For a moisturizing leave-in conditioner that is especially beneficial for thick or curly hair, melt ¼ cup of Mango Butter in a double boiler. Next, stir in 1 tsp. Avocado Carrier Oil, 2 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel and 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Pour this mixture into a blender and, before turning it on, place the blending jar into the refrigerator for 15 minutes until the mixture has hardened. Next, blend the mixture until it reaches a creamy texture. This blend can be stored in a mason jar and applied to only the ends of damp hair, rather than the scalp.

Used medicinally, Mango Butter eases tension, fatigue, and muscle aches, especially when used in a massage. Applied directly to the skin, Mango Butter’s emollience helps promotes cell regeneration, which maintains the appearance of youthful skin. Mango Butter can be applied directly to the skin to soothe the symptoms of eczema, rashes, minor wounds, frostbite, and insect bites. To calm sunburned skin with Mango Butter, melt 2 Tbsp. Mango Butter in a double boiler, then thoroughly mix in 2 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel. Next, add 3 drops Sea Buckthorn Carrier Oil and 3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil. Refrigerate this blend for 15 minutes before whipping it with a hand mixer until it reaches a creamy texture. Gently massage this mix onto the sunburned or otherwise damaged skin. To properly store this balm, keep it in a cool, dark, dry place.

To reduce the appearance of scars with the aid of Mango Butter, a scar balm can be made by first thoroughly melting together 2 Tbsp. Mango Butter, 2 Tbsp. Shea Butter, and 2 Tbsp. Cocoa Butter in a double boiler. Next, stir in 7 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 7 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil, and 4 drops Carrot Seed Essential Oil. Gently massage this mix onto areas of skin affected by scars. To properly store this balm, keep it in a lidded glass jar in a cool, dark, dry place.

To facilitate the healing of wounds with the aid of Mango Butter, it can be made into a soothing salve. First, melt 2 Tbsp. of Mango Butter with equal amounts of Beeswax and Coconut Carrier Oil, then add 5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Pour this blend into a lidded glass jar and allow it to cool and harden before gently applying it to minor wounds. To properly store this balm, keep it in a cool, dark, dry place.

A GUIDE TO MANGO BUTTER VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

MANGO BUTTER (POYA BRAND) 
Is known to…

  • Be ultra-refined and deodorized
  • Be customizable to personal scent preferences
  • Be intensely hydrating without leaving a greasy residue
  • Soothe and soften rough, dry skin
  • Promote skin elasticity
  • Promote a healthy-looking scalp
  • Be ideal for use as a lip balm or in lotions and creams
MANGO BUTTER – ULTRA REFINED 
Is known to…

  • Be expeller-pressed from the Mango Seed
  • Be refined to remove any color or scent
  • Be soft but solid at room temperature and slightly grainy in texture
  • Melts on contact with the skin
  • Be rich in anti-oxidants and emollients as well as Vitamins A and E
  • Soften and moisturize rough and dry skin
  • Naturally, reducing the appearance of fine lines
  • Be ideal in formulations for lotions, body butters, balms, soaps, shaving creams, hair care products, and lip balms

Cosmetic butters are for external use only. Mango Butter should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with all butters, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or another generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime size amount of Mango Butter to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours indicates that the butter is safe to use.

Potential side effects of Mango Butter include nervousness, increased urination, sleeplessness, and rapid heartbeats. Mango Butter may potentially cause side effects that have not been listed here. 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 these side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IN ESSENCE…

  • Mango Butter is a rich natural fat derived from the seeds contained inside the pits of the Mango fruit.
  • Traditionally, Mango Butter was believed to have the ability to strengthen the heart, improve brain activity, and increase the body’s immunity.
  • Used topically, Mango Butter’s long-lasting emollience nourishes skin and boosts its elasticity as well as its suppleness, thereby making skin look smoother and firmer.
  • Used in hair, Mango Butter seals in moisture and reduces breakage and hair loss by strengthening hair follicles, thereby encouraging the growth of stronger, healthier hair.
  • Used medicinally, Mango Butter facilitates the process of eliminating toxins, dirt, pollution, and other impurities from the skin. Its soothing quality makes it ideal for use on skin afflicted by itching, stinging, burning, and stretch marks.

‘The Elixir of Youth’ Marula Oil

HISTORY OF MARULA OIL USAGE

Marula Oil is derived from the nuts of the Sclerocarya birrea botanical – better known as the Marula Tree – which is a member of the same botanical family as Cashew, Mango, and Pistachio trees. Found growing naturally in the woodland areas of the southern parts of Africa, the useful and versatile Marula Tree is highly respected and carefully safeguarded, as each part of this tree yields benefits, including its nut kernels, roots, leaves, bark, wood, flowers, and fruits.

Over the centuries, the Marula Tree has also earned several nicknames, including Morula, Dania, Cat Thorn, Jelly Plum, Canhoeiro, Mushomo, Mutsomo, Umganu, The Cider Tree, and The Elephant Tree. It was believed that the Marula Tree was bestowed upon the people of Africa by a significant spiritual power or entity, thus it was perceived to be consecrated. The sanctity of the tree was evident in its nicknames, such as The Marriage Tree, and in its symbolism, which was believed to represent fertility and purity, hence the reason behind its use in purifying rituals before marriages took place.

According to historical sources of evidence, the entire Marula Tree has had a vital role in African civilization for nearly 10,000 years, its various parts having been used to create insecticides, dyes, medicine, food, fodder for livestock, materials for construction, treatments for leather, protective agents for skin and hair to shield them against the effects of harsh weather, and for various other applications.

Many African communities applied this softening, revitalizing, and wholesome oil to the skin in diverse cosmetic applications such as body lotions and cleansers while other communities made it a staple food in their daily diets. In traditional culinary applications, Marula Oil was used to preserve meat for up to one year.

The Marula nut was fondly referred to as “The Food of Kings,” and it is from this nut that the revered “Miracle Oil” continues to be cold pressed. With potent and protective properties as well as an aroma that is both floral and pleasantly nutty, Marula Carrier Oil is characterized as a tonic with healthful effects that have earned it nicknames like “The Elixir of Youth” and “The African Beauty Secret.”

Marula Carrier Oil abounds in antioxidants and vitamins C and E, and it is considered to be the richest plant source of Omega-9 fatty acids. This article highlights the properties, therapeutic benefits, and safe uses of Marula Oil, a gentle yet effective and fast-absorbing oil that contributes long-lasting moisture, among several other advantages.

MARULA OIL BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of Marula Carrier Oil are Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, and Arachidonic Acid.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Marula Oil is known for its antioxidant activity, which supports skin health, repairs damage caused by pollutants, and delays the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Being a light and non-comedogenic oil that exhibits anti-microbial properties, Marula Oil is reputed to calm acne-prone skin and to reduce other blemishes as well as scarring. Its deeply hydrating qualities are known to prevent skin from losing moisture, thereby softening, nourishing, and protecting the skin, which ultimately revitalizes and rejuvenates the complexion. Marula Carrier Oil is reputed to enhance elasticity and firmness by boosting collagen production, and it is also reputed to facilitate the healing of irritation, inflammation, redness, and chapping, especially in association with sunburned skin and conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

Marula_CaptionImage

Used in hair, Marula Oil exhibits the same protective qualities as it does on the skin. It balances the scalp’s natural oils, thus reducing and preventing dandruff.

By sealing the strands with its smooth but thin gloss, it prevents hair from experiencing frizz. It strengthens the strands against damage caused by environmental stressors, such as harsh weather, UV radiation, as well as heat and residue from hair styling products, thus leaving it lustrous and resilient.

Used medicinally, Marula Oil works to diminish the appearance of scars, stretch marks, dryness, and cracking. The consistency of Marula Oil resembles that of the natural oil found in human skin, and its fast-absorbing action moisturizes without leaving an oily residue, making it suitable for all skin types. By effortlessly penetrating the skin’s surface, it nourishes to help address dryness and flaking and, by shielding the skin with fortifying vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and essential amino acids, Marula Carrier Oil promotes healthy cell renewal for the regeneration of skin.

Marula Carrier 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: Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Tonic, Collagen-Enhancing, Protective, Conditioning, Revitalizing, Moisturizing, Strengthening.
  • MEDICINAL: Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Tonic, Collagen-Enhancing, Protective, Skin, and Hair-Enhancing, Strengthening.

MARULA OIL USES

Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Marula Oil can soothe redness and inflammation while hydrating the skin to smooth the appearance of wrinkles. To apply it directly, simply massage 3-4 drops of Marula Carrier Oil twice daily into the preferred area of skin. Regular application of this oil is reputed to protect skin against environmental toxins and pollutants. If applied before bed, this oil is known to strengthen and condition the skin overnight with enriching and reparative nutrients that facilitate the growth of newer, healthier skin. Alternatively, 1-2 drops of Marula Carrier Oil can be added to a regular cleanser to enhance its potency and increase the skin’s absorption of moisture.

Marula Carrier Oil can be applied to the face, neck, and décolletage as a makeup primer 10-15 minutes before makeup application. This regimen will boost skin’s collagen production to replenish suppleness and promote the appearance of smooth, firm, soft, blemish-free skin. Marula Oil promotes a silkier, radiant, and more evenly toned complexion with improved clarity and brightness without causing the skin to look greasy or the pores to become congested.

For an oil cleanser that is ideal for acne-prone skin, combine ½ Tsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil into a small mixing bowl or into the palm of the hand, then add in 6 drops of Marula Carrier Oil. This blend of two lightweight oils can be massaged into the face and neck for several minutes to allow it to disintegrate any congestion-causing oils that may be trapped inside the pores. The massaging motion will also enhance circulation. Next, soak a small, clean towel in warm water, wring it out, and lay it flat on the face for a few minutes. When the towel has cooled, use it to gently wipe the oil off. The rest can be washed off with lukewarm water or it can be left on the skin to absorb over time.

For a body oil that is known to firm skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks as well as cellulite, apply 3-4 drops two to three times per day to areas of skin affected by stretch marks, bumpiness, and discoloration. This is known to contribute moisture that improves skin elasticity, especially for users that are pregnant. It is also believed to help reduce the chances of tearing and scarring.

Used in hair, Marula Carrier Oil conditions, shields against sun damage, and prevents frizz by sealing the cuticles. To easily and naturally smooth down hair, apply 2-6 drops of Marula Oil to the ends of the hair and slowly move upward to work the oil into the rest of the hair and scalp.

A deep-conditioning Marula Oil hair mask can be made by mixing 10 Tbsp. Marula Carrier Oil with 5 Tbsp. Argan Carrier Oil. In a separate small bowl, thoroughly whisk a small amount of a preferred hair conditioner. Next, gently heat the oil blend in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it is warm to the touch, ensuring that it is not so hot as could potentially cause the skin to burn. Combine all the ingredients from the separate bowls and whip them together. After shampooing the hair, apply the blend to the hair, paying special attention to the tips. Cover the hair with a shower cap and let the conditioner soak in for 45-60 minutes, then rinse it out in the shower or the sink. After this, hair can be styled as usual.

Used in medicinal applications, Marula Oil is known to facilitate the healing process with its anti-bacterial properties that prevent infections and promote tissue regeneration. For faster healing, Marula Oil can be applied as a spot treatment to areas of skin affected by scratches, scrapes, cuts, and wounds. It is known to soothe inflammation and to reestablish tissue strength and to restore their ability to function. Used in a massage, Marula Carrier Oil not only relaxes and rejuvenates the body but it also works to enhance the beauty of the skin. It facilitates the expulsion of bodily toxins while soothing aching muscles and regenerating healthier skin in the area of application.

A GUIDE TO MARULA OIL & ITS BENEFITS

MARULA CARRIER OIL

Botanical Name: Sclerocarya birrea

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from seeds

Country of Origin: South Africa

Believed to:

  • Range in color from Pale Yellow to Golden Yellow
  • Contain stratified semi-solids
  • Exude a slightly oily aroma, depending on the growing season and time of year during which the fruit was harvested (Spring vs. Fall)
  • Be rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which greatly enhance skin suppleness, smoothness, and softness
  • Penetrate into the skin rapidly and thoroughly, leaving it feeling velvety and looking polished
  • Be an ideal massage oil, both on its own and in an oil blend
  • Have exceptional oxidative stability, making it an ideal ingredient for use in cosmetic formulas, such as formulas for lotions, body butters, scalp conditioners, hair lotions, leave-in hair treatments, lip treatments, and even eyeshadows.

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR MARULA OIL

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

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

Prior to using Marula Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of this oil to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Marula Carrier 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 Marula Oil include hypotension, irritation of the skin, inflammation, and gastrointestinal problems such as upset stomach, nausea, indigestion, and vomiting.

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

IN ESSENCE…

    • Marula Oil is derived from the Sclerocarya birrea botanical, better known as the Marula Tree.
    • The Marula nut was fondly referred to as “The Food of Kings,” and it is from this nut that the revered “Miracle Oil” Marula Carrier Oil continues to be cold pressed.
    • Used cosmetically or topically in general, Marula Oil is known to support skin health, repair damage caused by pollutants, reduce the appearance of maturing skin, calm acne-prone skin, reduce the chances of further blemishes, and prevent skin from losing moisture. It is reputed to enhance elasticity and firmness, facilitate the healing of irritation, inflammation, redness, and chapping, and ultimately revitalize and rejuvenate the complexion.
    • Used in hair, Marula Oil works to protect the scalp against harmful bacteria and inflammation, to balance the scalp’s natural oils, to clean and freshen without leaving it feeling dry or irritated, and to strengthen the strands against damage caused by environmental stressors. Marula Oil is also known to prevent hair from experiencing frizz.
  • Used medicinally, Marula Oil works to diminish the appearance of scars, stretch marks, dryness, and cracking. It helps to eliminate harmful bacteria, prevent the onset of acne breakouts, address flaking, facilitate wound healing, and promote skin regeneration.

Neem Oil: All About Neem Carrier Oil

HISTORY OF NEEM OIL

The name “Neem” has its roots in the Sanskrit word “Nimba,” meaning “bestower of good health.” It has also been called “Ravisambha,” meaning “sunray-like effects in providing health.” In Hindu texts, namely the Vedas, Neem is referred to as “Sarva Roga Nivarini,” meaning “one that cures all ailments and ills.”

Nicknamed the “Indian Lilac” and the “Margosa Tree,” and believed to have divine origins, the Neem tree is said to have been a safe haven for the Sun when, according to Indian mythology, it had to escape from the malicious powers of demons. Another Indian legend tells the tale of how a few drops of Amrita, meaning “ambrosia” or “the elixir of immortality,” fell onto the Neem tree while it was being carried to Heaven, thus further establishing its encounter with divinity. It was believed that a person who planted at least three Neem trees in his or her life would be guaranteed a place in Heaven.

Considered by the people of India to be sacred, the legendary Neem tree has come to symbolize good health and protection. As such, it was used to protect food and grains and acted as a natural pesticide and fertilizer. The venerated Neem tree has provided physical comfort in the form of shade against the harsh sun and it has naturally repelled bugs and insects for those sitting under its canopy. Used in medicine, its remedial properties have strengthened health and boosted immunity. Its vast range of benefits, which far outweighs the usefulness of other trees, has made the Neem tree an integral aspect of Indian life and has come to be closely associated with the history of the Indian civilization.

The Azadirachta indica botanical, better known as the Neem Tree, is believed to have originated in either India or Burma. When it was discovered that the tree can thrive in any warm, dry regions, migrating Indians introduced it to other lands including Africa, Fiji, Mauritius, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. Its resistance to droughts and its tolerance to heat are factors that contribute to its long lifespan of up to 200 years.

Throughout history, several elements of the diverse Neem tree were used to make herbal beauty treatments, insecticides, and first aid treatments for numerous skin ailments. Unless exposed to severe droughts or frost, this evergreen tree’s leaves are available throughout the year. Although its seeds, or “nuts,” are largely known for yielding the beneficial carrier oil, the tree’s bark, leaves, roots, flowers, and fruits are also used to make medicine that was applied topically. Sometimes these parts were ingested in the form of tea infusions, as suggested in the ancient Ayurvedic tradition, which is said to be comprised largely of formulations that involve the use of Neem in one form or another. The tree’s twigs were used to maintain oral hygiene and the leaves were used in salads or were cooked along with vegetables. Neem gum was produced for dry throat lozenges, and Neem fruits were eaten for their sweet pulp.

When the wind blew through the Neem trees and into the surrounding homes, it was believed that the winds carried with them the anti-bacterial properties of the tree, keeping the homes free of bacteria while providing residents with a cool breeze in the summer months. Livestock and cattle were fed Neem leaves for medical relief from ailments and soil were fertilized with seeds, leaves, and bark which all doubled as pesticides. Traditionally, the Neem tree’s derivatives were used topically to address such ailments as fevers, respiratory issues, tetanus infections, rheumatism, arthritis, jaundice, malaria, ringworm, lice, fungal and bacterial infections of the skin, scabies, hives, eczema, psoriasis, and gastrointestinal diseases. Historically, Neem Oil was even used as a topical contraceptive.

Of all the commercially available Neem products, Neem Carrier Oil is said to be the most important for organic farming and medicines. The countless uses of Neem Carrier Oil led to the Neem tree receiving the nickname of “village pharmacy” from the Indians, who traditionally used the oil and the tree’s other parts for its natural insect repellant properties as well as to eliminate head lice and dandruff. It could also prevent baldness, slow the graying of hair, soothe skin, remove bacteria, and create skincare products. Many of these uses remain relevant today, making Neem Carrier Oil one of the most popular choices for use in the manufacturing of soaps, cosmetics, and massage oils.

NEEM OIL BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of Neem Carrier Oil are Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Vitamin C, and Carotenoids.

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

LINOLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 6) are known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin

ALPHA-LINOLENIC ACID (OMEGA-3) is known to:

  • Lessen inflammation
  • Control blood clotting on the skin
  • Soothe joint pain and ease stiffness to improve flexibility

VITAMIN E is known to:

  • Exhibit anti-oxidant activity
  • Delay the appearance of aging
  • Repair and improve the appearance of damaged tissue such as scars, acne, and wrinkles
  • Protect skin and hair against environmental toxins such as those found in air pollution

CAROTENOIDS are known to:

  • Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
  • Prevent cellular damage
  • Protect skin and hair against environmental toxins
  • Repair skin damage and signs of aging caused by UV radiation, hormones, or acne
  • Reduce hyperpigmentation caused by UV radiation, hormones, or acne
  • Make skin appear exceptionally younger
  • Stimulate the regeneration of skin
  • Boost skin’s collagen and elastin production to increase thickness, elasticity, firmness, softness, and smoothness
  • Hydrate skin by reducing water loss

NIMBIN is known to:

  • Have antiseptic, antifungal, antipyretic and antihistamine properties
  • Relieve redness and swelling

AZADIRACHTIN is known to:

  • Be one of the two main active constituents derived from Neem seed kernels
  • Protect the Neem tree with its insecticidal and fungicidal compounds
  • Determine the quality of the Neem Carrier Oil, depending on its percentage

Used topically, Neem Carrier Oil can soothe red, itchy, inflamed skin associated with ailments like acne, burns, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and rashes among others. Neem Oil works as a natural substitute for anti-aging products and as a protective agent against skin damage caused by UV rays. It deeply penetrates the skin to restore moisture, enhance elasticity, smooth wrinkles, stimulate collagen production, and heal cracks caused by dryness. It reduces skin redness and brings out a healthy glow. Its ability to unclog pores and follicles while soothing irritated skin without leaving a greasy residue makes Neem Carrier Oil an effective agent for acne-prone skin; it prevents future breakouts by eliminating acne-causing bacteria, purging impurities, tightening the pores, and evening out skin tone. By softening the skin to make it supple, it facilitates the healing of scars and reduces their look and feel.

neem_oil_caption_image

Used in hair, Neem Oil naturally removes dandruff and balances hair’s natural pH level, preventing future dandruff. It not only detangles hair, but it prevents hair thinning caused by pollution, stress or medication by promoting the growth of stronger, tamer hair. Regular application of Neem Oil to the scalp moisturizes hair from root to tip, maintains the health of the scalp, and repairs split ends, which can arrest the development of hair growth and create frizz. Neem Carrier Oil can rejuvenate and fortify dull, frizzy hair by conditioning it to restore its luster and strength.

Used medicinally, Neem Carrier Oil contains components that prevent and eliminate fungal infections. By soothing the irritation and eradicating the bacteria that causes them, Neem Carrier Oil can calm skin ailments such as ringworm, Athlete’s Foot, nail fungus, and cold sores. By suffocating parasites that live on the skin, it effectively eradicates ailments such as scabies and head lice. When applied to minor wounds, Neem Oil reduces inflammation and facilitates faster healing by increasing blood flow to the area and helping to create collagen fibers, which strengthen firm and shape skin.

Neem Carrier 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: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-oxidant, Astringent, Regulating, Pediculicidal, Moisturizing
  • MEDICINAL: Antibacterial, Antiviral, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-fungal, Antiseptic, Antipyretic Antihistamine, Analgesic, Astringent, Anthelmintic, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Febrifuge, Parasiticidal, Pediculicidal

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY NEEM OIL

The hardy, evergreen Neem tree is botanically related to the Mahogany tree and is found in the sunlit, dry regions of Southeast Asia as well as other tropical and sub-tropical regions. It does not survive in extended periods of cold weather, in freezing temperatures, or in soils with inadequate water drainage. The tree can grow in any type of soil, including types that are rocky, acidic, saline, alkaline, shallow, or hardpan near the soil’s surface, as well as on soils with pH levels up to 8.5. The Neem tree is known to benefit the environment by increasing soil fertility, emanating a higher amount of oxygen than other trees, and by neutralizing soil acidity. The Neem tree is known to sometimes live longer than two centuries.

The Neem tree has a deep taproot system that can sometimes grow to be twice the height of the tree, especially in young Neem trees, and it can thrive on meager amounts of water, making it drought-resistant. Its branches are widespread and bear white flowers from which smooth green fruits, or “drupes,” grow and ripen to a golden yellow color. The trees begin to bloom after reaching an age of 2-3 years and the drupes begin to develop after 3-5 years. After 10 years, trees can produce up to 50 kg of fruits per year. The fruits are oval, or “ellipsoidal,” in shape and enclose a sweet pulp that further encloses a white seed/nut, which has an outer shell and holds up to three brown kernels. Neem tree fruits are usually produced once a year, but some regions with more moisture can see growth twice a year.

The ripened Neem fruits either fall from the trees on their own, or they are shaken, picked, or stripped off the trees. The pulp must be removed as soon as possible within 45 hours after the fruits are harvested, and this can be done by rubbing pulp against an abrasive surface while they are still wet. After the pulp is removed and the fruit stones have been washed with water to remove any remaining fruit flesh, the cleaned white seeds/nuts are obtained. In some regions, producers leave the cleaning of the seeds to fruit bats and birds, as they feed on the fruit pulp and spit out the cleaned seeds afterward. Because the seeds are distributed far and wide by these and other creatures such as baboons, Neem trees become “weed-like” in their far-reaching dissemination and are rarely affected by the growth of real weeds.

HOW IS NEEM OIL EXTRACTED?

Neem Carrier Oil is obtained from the fruits, seeds, seed kernels, or seed cake by cold-pressing, steam, and high-pressure extraction, or solvent extraction.

The first step of any method is to remove the pulp from the seeds and then to air dry the seeds in a cool room with low humidity. Next, the seeds have their husks removed before proceeding to the method of extraction.

In the cold-pressing method, which is the oldest method, fresh, light green kernels are crushed and pressed to release their oils, which are then collected. Seeds that are fresh will produce oils that are light in color and that emit light, more tolerable scents. Kernels that are old or rancid will yield an oil that is dark and that emits a strong, unpleasant odor similar to that of sulfur. Of all the Neem Carrier Oil extraction methods, cold-pressing yields the highest quality virgin oil consisting of all the active constituents. A second pressing yields an oil quality that is best suited for manufacturing soaps and insect repellents.

In the steam and high-pressure extraction method, the kernels are steamed to boost the flow of oils for the next step, which is subjecting them to high pressure to squeeze out their oils. In this method, the resultant oil is dark and emits an unpleasant odor and the oil’s valuable properties can potentially be destroyed by the application of heat.

In the solvent extraction method, the kernels are finely crushed and placed in a container in which they are soaked with an organic solvent, usually Hexane, which draws out the Neem Oil. Once the solvent has been recovered, the remaining oil is comparatively clear. In this method, many of the oil’s pungent constituents, which are not soluble in Hexane, will remain behind, thus making the finished product suitable for use in the health products and cosmetic applications. Alternatively, the kernels can be pressed first, which would result in a seed cake, which could then have any remaining oil extracted with the use of Hexane.

There are various colors of Neem Carrier Oil ranging between golden yellow, yellowish brown, reddish brown, dark brown, greenish brown, and bright red. It is known to have a strong odor that can be likened to a mixture of peanut and garlic aromas. The highest quality of Neem Oil is derived from Neem fruits that are picked from the tree rather than those that are collected after falling to the ground.

USES OF NEEM OIL

The uses of Neem Carrier Oil are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include oils, gels, lotions, creams, soaps, and shampoos.

Used topically, Neem Oil can soothe skin ailments such as inflammation, and it can reduce feverish body temperatures while eliminating joint and muscle pain caused by rheumatic disorders. Neem Oil can be applied to the skin as a toner that restores moisture to the face while eliminating pathogens beneath the skin’s surface to leave skin looking and feeling healthier and younger. To condition dry skin, Neem Carrier Oil can be blended with Coconut Oil before being applied. Additionally, a few drops of Lemon or Lavender Essential Oil can be added to this blend for a more pleasant scent. To control acne, Neem Carrier Oil can be mixed with Olive Oil before it is applied to the face and left on for one hour. It can either be washed off after this time, or it can be left on the face overnight, depending on personal preference. To lighten areas of skin that are affected by hyperpigmentation and to regulate melanin production, a few drops of Neem Oil can be applied to these areas with a cotton bud.

To eliminate head lice, 2 tablespoons of Neem Carrier Oil can be heated and applied to the hair, which can then be wrapped with a scarf or a towel to allow the oil to soak into the scalp overnight. The following morning, dead lice may appear on the scarf or towel. The oil can be washed out of the hair with an herbal shampoo. This process may be repeated if itching persists. To soothe a dry scalp and get rid of dandruff, a teaspoon of Neem Oil can be heated, massaged into the scalp, and left on for half an hour before being washed out. Alternatively, for a combination of benefits from other oils, it can be mixed with Coconut Oil for deeper conditioning. Regularly applying Neem Carrier Oil to the scalp will strengthen hair’s defenses against infections and other skin conditions while promoting the growth of healthy, moisturized hair that is shiny, smooth, and free of frizz. An alternative to massaging the oil into the scalp is to add a few drops of Neem Oil to a shampoo of personal preference before each wash.

Soaking nails in 1-2 drops of Neem Carrier Oil can naturally treat any infections, especially when this method of application is repeated 2-3 times daily until the infection is completely eliminated. Similarly, soaking in bath water that is mixed with Neem Oil will remove skin parasites such as scabies. If a bath is not the preferred method of eradication, Neem Oil can also be dabbed directly onto areas of skin affected by scabies infestations and can be left on the skin for 15 minutes. This method of application will reduce itching and inflammation. For an antibacterial hand wash, a few drops of Neem Oil can be added to liquid hand soap before lathering.

Used medicinally, Neem Oil can soothe areas of skin affected by cuts, wounds, and mosquito bites by mixing it with Vaseline or with another carrier oil before applying it. This method makes an effective insect repellant as well.  To eliminate the Athlete’s Foot fungus, Neem Oil can be added to a tub of warm water for a foot soak. To remove warts, Neem Oil can be applied directly to the affected areas once daily until warts have disappeared. This application method is effective for soothing other skin conditions such as cold sores, eczema, psoriasis, and other fungal skin conditions.

A GUIDE TO NEEM OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

NEEM VARIETY & BOTANICAL NAME COUNTRY OF ORIGIN BENEFITS OF OIL
Neem Carrier Oil

Azadirachta indica

Found in:

  • India
Known for:

  • having cleansing properties
  • being rich in fatty acids and glycerides
  • providing an excellent natural moisturizing base for skin care formulation
  • improving topical skin conditions

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR NEEM OIL

Neem Carrier Oil should not be ingested, and it should not be used on or near children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with all other oils, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm using a dime size amount of Neem Oil to check for sensitivities.

Due to its potential abortifacient properties, which can possibly weaken fertility or induce spontaneous miscarriages, it is highly recommended that the use of Neem Carrier Oil – a traditional Ayurvedic contraceptive – be avoided by women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, until there are conclusive studies establishing that there is no risk of injury or loss. Those with nut allergies should avoid using Neem Carrier Oil, as Neem seeds are essentially Neem “nuts.”

For those with Auto-Immune Diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is best to avoid using Neem Oil, as it can boost the symptoms of these diseases. Neem Carrier Oil can also diminish the effectiveness of medications that are taken to prevent organ rejection by the body, thus it should not be used by those who have recently undergone organ transplant surgery. Generally, Neem Oil should not be used at least 2 weeks before a surgery, as it may lower blood sugar levels during or after surgery. For this reason, individuals with diabetes are advised to monitor blood sugar levels carefully, if using Neem Oil. It may be necessary to change diabetes medication dosage.

IN ESSENCE…

    • For thousands of years, parts of the Neem tree have been used for its medicinal and insecticidal properties.
    • Considered by the people of India to be sacred, the legendary Neem tree has come to symbolize good health and protection, leading the Indians to refer to it as the “village pharmacy.”
    • The ancient Ayurvedic tradition is said to be comprised largely of formulations that involve the use of Neem in one form or another.
    • Used in medicine, the remedial properties of Neem Oil improve health and boost immunity.
  • Traditionally, Neem Oil was used to create skin and hair care products that soothed dryness, repaired damage, removed bacteria, eliminated head and body lice, prevented baldness, and slowed the graying of hair.