Botanical Aromatherapy ™ Programs

What is Botanical Aromatherapy™?

Our Botanical Aromatherapy ™ Program is a complete immersion into the world of aromatherapy, aromatic plants, aromatic gardening, sustainability, and permaculture. We believe that aromatherapists should literally go back to the roots of aromatherapy – herbalism – to appreciate the benefits of aromatherapy in all of its forms, whether that is an essential oil, or the actual plant growing in the aromatic garden. Aromatic plants can be used in many ways. Growing some of those plants teaches you to connect on a much deeper level with the plant, and totally understand how to use it.

We have several paths of aromatherapy education, and various study options, depending upon your needs and interest in aromatherapy: from informal videos and articles to comprehensive college-level type papers. We will be adding further courses and workshops to our school program in the future to complement those courses we currently offer with the botanical aromatherapy ideology.

All of our programs are rooted in the traditional ways of using aromatherapy:  In definition, Bo-tani-cal Aro-ma-thera-py: Plant-based aromatherapy.

So, which path will you take in our aromatic garden?

The Linguistics of Aromatics™ Program

  • Certificate in Holistic Aromatherapy: This aromatherapy course gives the beginner to aromatherapy a comprehensive introduction to the safe and effective use of essential oils at home and for family use. It meets NAHA level 1 aromatherapy educational requirements.
  • Certificate in Professional AromatherapyThis is a professional-level course that takes aromatherapy study to the next level. It gives both professionals and non-professionals a comprehensive, professional course of study in the safe and effective application of essential oils and aromatics, with an emphasis on products and their use, either in a clinical practice setting or for use in a skincare product line. It meets NAHA level 1 and 2 (combined/course cannot be split) aromatherapy educational requirements.

Essential Oil Chemistry for Aromatherapists

Rosemary Caddy’s Essential Oils in Colour: The Caddy Profiles

This advanced aromatic chemistry course teaches you how to improve your current blending skills with the creation of a Caddy Profile for both an essential oil and an essential oil blend. The Caddy Profiles were created by UK aromatherapist Rosemary Caddy and have been used by students for more than a decade. If you have a keen interest in aromatherapy chemistry, and how chemical components and/or individual essential oils can influence an aromatherapy blend, this course is a must.

Aromatherapy Workshops and Retreats (On-site)

Botanical Aromatherapy™ From the Aromatic Garden™

Located in Sedona, Arizona.

Aromatherapy programs from the aromatic garden don’t get more hands-on than these workshops and retreats! All workshops/retreats are two days in length (held on a Friday and Saturday) and are all priced the same. In 2019, we will be holding the following on-site workshops:

  • Potions from the Aromatic Garden Workshop: Learn new ways to enhance your blending techniques! Rooted in Sharon’s years of practice and experience, we will look at how to effectively blend essential oils, carrier oils, and other aromatic extractions. This workshop includes hands-on experience with plants from the garden to understand essential oil extraction, followed by in-depth profiles on individual plants/oils, and various methods of blending to produce both a therapeutic and scentful product!
  • Secrets from the Aromatic Garden Retreat: Two days of hands-on distillation of oils/hydrosols, plant identification, and blending, in the sanctuary of our peaceful garden, studio, and workroom.
  •  Healing from the Aromatic Garden Workshop: A workshop which addresses the power of healing with essential oils for the emotional abuse and resulting trauma of domestic or intimate partner violence, bullying, PTSD, and life-threatening illnesses. This workshop is suitable for those working with trauma survivors and/or if you are embarking on a personal journey of healing due to trauma.

Georgie’s Secret Garden™ – FREE!

A Virtual Connection to our Aromatic Garden!

This is a subscription club style of learning which gives you access to the “secret garden” of Sedona Aromatics. Discover aromatic articles, plant and oil profiles, short tutorials (coming soon), videos from the aromatic garden and stillroom, and how-to tips (on aromatherapy blending and aromatic gardening) not available publicly on the website. And, should you wish to take a home study aromatherapy course or on-site workshop with us, you will receive access to exclusive discounts from time-to-time to be used against these options.

INVIGORATE, STRENGTHEN & BALANCE: POWDER FRUIT EXTRACTS

HISTORY OF POWDER FRUIT EXTRACTS

Throughout history and since ancient times, extracts from botanicals and fruits have been popular ingredients in natural cosmetics used by various cultures. Extracts, which take several forms including absolutes, tinctures, and powders, can be made by using water or ethanol to “extract” a part of raw material, but Powder Fruit Extracts are obtained from fruit juices and purees using modern spray drying technology. This method ensures a high-quality product with uniform consistency and improved storage stability. The most common extracts are derived from aromatic flowers, herbs, fruits, nuts, and spices, such as Rose, Vanilla, Peppermint, Spearmint, Orange, Lemon, Almond, Pistachio, Cinnamon, and Ginger.

Although fruit extracts may not necessarily retain the aromas of their originating fruits or exude any obvious scent at all, they are known to retain all of the fruits’ nutrients and healthful qualities; thus, when added to natural, water-based cosmetic formulations, they still contribute nourishing benefits even if they do not add any natural fragrance. Due to the concentrated nature of extracts, they need only be added to formulas in small amounts, as their potency yields considerable results.

BENEFITS OF POWDER FRUIT EXTRACTS

Rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, natural sugars, proteins, polyphenols, carotenoids, and various other natural elements and compounds that are beneficial to general health, Powder Fruit Extracts are known to promote the skin’s renewal for a rejuvenated complexion. They are reputed to have exfoliating properties, which not only remove dead, dull, and flaky skin cells but that also promote the growth of newer and healthier skin, resulting in skin that looks and feels smoother, firmer, softer, brighter, and more evenly-toned. Their emollience helps to hydrate and alleviate the discomforts of dry skin while protecting it against the harsh effects of UV radiation.

Powder Fruit Extracts can support the growth, strength, health, and function of collagen, thereby enhancing elasticity and helping to reduce the appearance of the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, and other blemishes. The anti-inflammatory quality of many powder fruit extracts helps to reduce the appearance of redness and irritation. They gently moisturize, soothe the symptoms of skin ailments, such as eczema and psoriasis, balance the skin tone to even out suntans, hyperpigmentation, and other types of discoloration, including dark under-eye circles. They regulate oil production, remove blackheads, cleanse and clarify, and help prevent acne breakouts. They are reputed to soften even dehydrated areas of skin that are parched to the point of cracking or peeling and when used on the nails, they are believed to simultaneously strengthen and soften.

Used in hair, Powder Fruit Extracts are known to cleanse, condition, nourish, fortify, soften, contribute shine, prevent dandruff, and stimulate circulation to encourage healthy new growth. They are reputed to prevent hair loss, oiliness, dryness, dullness, and the buildup of dirt. As a result, fruit extract-enriched haircare products are known to leave hair looking thicker, voluminous, and more lustrous.

Used medicinally, Powder Fruit Extracts are commonly used to enhance immunity, facilitate wound healing, support digestive function and the body’s detoxification, soothe and prevent inflammation, address conditions such as ringworm, promote the renewal and strengthening of muscle tissue, reduce menstrual discomforts, support healthy weight loss, decrease stress and tension, and regulate blood pressure.

PowderFruitExtract_Caption_image (1)

Fruit extracts with astringent, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties are reputed to help facilitate the healing of open wounds by promoting their contraction, purifying the affected area of skin, and preventing harmful bacteria and environmental pollutants from entering the body through the abrasion.

Powder Fruit Extracts are reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights their many benefits and the kinds of activity they are believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Astringent, Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Balancing, Brightening, Collagen-Enhancing, Cleansing, Clarifying, Conditioning, Exfoliating, Firming, Hydrating, Rejuvenating, Reparative, Soothing, Strengthening, Smoothing, Softening, Stimulating
  • MEDICINAL: Astringent, Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Balancing, Reparative, Soothing, Strengthening, Stimulating, Wound-Healing

USES OF POWDER FRUIT EXTRACTS

When incorporating powdered fruit extracts into natural product formulations, it is recommended that the amount of extract not exceed 0.5% of the total product. If they are being used to make tinctures, the amount of fruit extract should not exceed 5%.

For a facial toner that helps support the skin’s suppleness and natural radiance, combine the following ingredients in a 100 ml spray bottle: 100 ml (3.50 oz.) Floral Water, 2 drops Essential Oil, 2 drops Solubilizer (Polysorbate 20) Raw Material, and ¼ tsp. Powder Fruit Extract. Cap the bottle and shake it well before spritzing the resultant spray lightly onto the face and allowing it to air dry.

For a face mask that has protective qualities and is known to hydrate the skin while repairing damage caused by environmental stressors, such as the elements, begin by thoroughly combining the following ingredients in a bowl: 1 ½ tsp. Green French Clay, 1 tsp. Powder Fruit Extract, ½ tsp. Kaolin Facial Scrub Superfine, 1 ½ Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel Juice, and 1 Tbsp. Floral Water of personal preference. To use this mask, simply spread a thin layer over the face with the fingers and allow the mask to dry for no longer than 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. This mask is known to soothe irritation and redness and to energize tired skin.

To make a strengthening, conditioning, and reparative shampoo that is reputed to help balance oil production while soothing itchiness and irritation, combine the following ingredients in a 100 ml (3.50 oz.) shampoo dispenser bottle: 100 ml Shampoo Base, 0.1 g Powder Fruit Extract, and 2 ml (0.06 oz.) essential oil of personal preference. Cap the bottle, shake it well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients, then apply it to the scalp and hair as usual in the shower. This natural shampoo blend is known to address dandruff, strengthen dull and brittle strands, and hydrate frizz for smoother and softer curls.

To create a bath bomb, begin by combining the following ingredients in a large bowl: 2 cups Baking Soda, 1 cup Citric Acid, and 1 Tbsp. Buttermilk Powder. Thoroughly mix all the powders together until any clumps have returned to their loose powder forms. In a separate bowl, dilute 12 drops of essential oil of personal preference in 1 Tbsp. of any carrier oil. Next, pour this mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix everything together thoroughly. The addition of oils will likely lead to the formation of clumps in the powder mixture, and these clumps should be gently broken to ensure even distribution of the oil blend. Stir in ¼ tsp. Powder Fruit Extract, then spray the entire mixture with Witch Hazel or any other Floral Water, quickly mixing it into the powder with each spritz to prevent the mixture from fizzing. Spray only enough to allow the powder to hold its shape, at which point it can be transferred and packed lightly into a mold of personal preference. Once the mixture takes the shape of the mold, remove the compacted shapes and allow them to dry for 12-24 hours in an area with low humidity. To use these bath bombs, simply drop one into a bathtub filled with enough warm water for an adult-sized bath. Enter the tub once the entire bomb has dissolved. These bath bombs should be used within the month. Some suggestions for fruit powder and essential oil combinations include Mango Fruit Powder with Orange Essential Oil, Pineapple Fruit Powder with Lavender Essential Oil, and Strawberry Fruit Powder with Lime Essential Oil.

A GUIDE TO POWDER FRUIT EXTRACTS & THEIR BENEFITS

PAPAYA POWDER FRUIT EXTRACT

Botanical Name: Carica papaya

Country of Origin: India

Believed to:

  • Be a free-flowing powder that ranges in color from cream to a pale yellowish-orange
  • Be excellent for balancing the oiliness of the skin and for exfoliating dry areas
  • Promote the appearance of a rejuvenated complexion, when used in skincare products
  • Contain Vitamin A, which helps to reveal the next layer of the skin to promote the complexion’s natural radiance
  • Contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant with smoothing and softening qualities

 

BANANA POWDER FRUIT EXTRACT

Botanical Name: Musa spp.

Country of Origin: India

Believed to:

  • Be a fine powder of a pale, creamy shade of yellow
  • Exude the aroma of pureed bananas
  • Be rich in Potassium and Vitamin A
  • Be ideal for use on dry or sensitive skin, such as in the form of a dry facial mask or scrub

 

MANGO POWDER FRUIT EXTRACT

Botanical Name: Mangifera indica

Country of Origin: India

Believed to:

  • Be made from spray-dried mangoes and to have the scent of dehydrated mangoes
  • Be a fine, creamy-yellow powder
  • Be high in Vitamin A, C, beta-Carotene, Potassium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Calcium
  • Prevent the appearance of fine lines, the drying and deterioration of the skin, and to maintain elasticity
  • Be ideal for adding to recipes for soaps, dry products, facial masks, and body wraps
  • Be refreshing and gentle enough for use on any skin type, especially dry or sensitive skin

 

STRAWBERRY POWDER FRUIT EXTRACT

Botanical Name: Fragaria spp.

Country of Origin: India

Believed to:

  • Be a fine powder that ranges in color from reddish-pink to purple
  • Have the scent of fresh strawberries
  • Be rich in Polyphenols, Potassium, Iron, Phosphorus, Calcium and Vitamins A and C
  • Provide protection for the skin and to have soothing properties
  • Make a wonderful toner that helps to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores
  • Suit any skin type and to be ideal for adding to formulations for facial masks, body wraps, and scrubs

 

PINEAPPLE POWDER FRUIT EXTRACT

Botanical Name: Ananas comosus

Country of Origin: India

Believed to:

  • Be a free-flowing powder that ranges in color from bright yellow to yellow
  • Contain the fruit enzyme Bromelain, which is known to reduce inflammation
  • Be an effective exfoliant that sloughs off dead cells on the surface of the skin
  • Exhibit astringent properties, making it ideal for use in facial toners

 

GUAVA FRUIT EXTRACT

Botanical Name: Psidium guajava

Country of Origin: India

Believed to:

  • Be a fine powder that is pale yellow in appearance
  • Be revered for both its vitamin content and its ability to slow the signs of aging
  • Help prevent the deterioration of the skin
  • Be ideal for addition to hair care products due to its natural fiber content

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR POWDER FRUIT EXTRACTS

Powder Fruit Extracts are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using these products for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Powder Fruit Extracts without the medical advice of a physician, as they may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. These products should always be stored in 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, skin disorders, bleeding disorders, hormone-related ailments, and conditions of the heart, liver, or kidney. 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 Powder Fruit Extracts, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 tsp. of the preferred Powder Fruit Extract in 1 tsp. distilled water and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Due to their water-solubility, Powder Fruit Extracts will not dissolve in oil.

Powder Fruit Extracts must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Powder Fruit Extracts include skin irritation or discoloration, rash, hives, swelling or tenderness on the mouth, lips, or cheeks, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nerve damage, fever, chills, nasal congestion, wheezing, breathing difficulties, chest pain, throat irritation, increased thirst, nausea, heightened or lowered blood sugar levels, bloody nose, irregular heartbeat, vomiting, gas, indigestion, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, excess menstrual flow, and frequent urination.

HOW TO USE FRUIT EXTRACTS
*The suggested usage rate is 0.1- 0.5% by weight of the product.
HOW TO INCORPORATE EXTRACTS IN FORMULATIONS
*Most extracts should be added to the cool-down phase of the formulation.
• For shampoos, creams, and other thick products: Mix 5-10 ml of hot water (45˚C – 50˚C;
the temperature of the cool-down phase) into the powdered extract until it dissolves.
Combine this mixture thoroughly into the product.
• For mists, toners, and other products that are almost entirely water: There is no need to
dissolve the extract before adding it to the product.

MAKE A TINCTURE USING FRUIT EXTRACTS
Extract Ratio Amount needed for 100 ml
Tincture (Alcohol/Water/Glycerine)
Apple Powder 12:1 1.6 g
Banana Powder 7:1 2.85 g
Guava Powder 8:1 2.5 g
Lime Powder 9:1 2.22 g
Mango Powder 7:1 2.85 g
Orange Powder 9:1 2.22 g
Papaya Powder 10:1 2 g
Pineapple Powder 6:1 3.33 g
Strawberry Powder 10:1 2 g
Watermelon Powder 14:1 1.42 g
Fruit extracts are most easily added to formulations by first dissolving the extract in a
a suitable solvent such as alcohol (vodka or another grain alcohol with less scent), water,
glycerin or mixture of solvent (water: alcohol or water: glycerin) and adding this tincture
to your product. Not all extracts are completely soluble, so you may see some residue
after it has been blended and if necessary, this can be removed using a filter. The
MSDS information will indicate if an extract is only partially soluble.
Unlike herbal plant tinctures, there is no need to let the tincture sit and leech out the
constituents of the plant material. This has already been done during the extraction
process and the aim is to simply liquefy the powder so that it can evenly blend into your
product. So once the fruit extract moistened with the solvent, it can be used right away.
Normally, a 100 ml tincture should be equivalent to 20 g of the raw plant. For example,
Apple powder has an extract ratio of 12:1 meaning 12 Kg of Apple extract is used to
produce 1 Kg of extract. Since you want the 100 mL tincture to contain 20 g of the raw
fruit, you should add 1.6 g (refer to the table above) of extract to 100 ml of suitable
solvent.
Remember that with the tincture, once they are moistened, they must be used right away unless a proper preservative is used.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Powder Fruit Extracts are obtained from fruit juices and purees using modern spray drying technology.
    • Powder Fruit Extracts are known to retain all of the originating fruits’ nutrients and healthful qualities.
    • Adding Powder Fruit Extracts to natural products enhances their viscosity, texture, and nutrient content.
    • Used on the skin, Powder Fruit Extracts are known to promote the growth of newer and healthier cells, hydrate and alleviate the discomforts of dryness, protect against the harsh effects of UV radiation, enhance elasticity, reduce the appearance of redness, irritation, hyperpigmentation, and the signs of aging. They balance the skin tone, regulate oil production, cleanse, clarify, and help prevent acne breakouts.
    • Used in hair, Powder Fruit Extracts are known to cleanse, condition, nourish, contribute shine and softness, fortify, soothe, prevent dandruff, and stimulate circulation. They are reputed to prevent hair loss, oiliness, dryness, dullness, as well as the buildup of dirt, resulting in strands that look thicker, voluminous, and more lustrous.
  • Used medicinally, Powder Fruit Extracts are believed to enhance immunity, facilitate wound healing, support digestive function and the body’s detoxification, soothe and prevent inflammation, promote the strengthening of muscle tissue, reduce menstrual discomforts, support healthy weight loss, decrease tension, and regulate blood pressure.

Your Skin-Care Routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

lavender spa products

Herbal Skin Care Recipes for Your Face

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

Skin and Body Care

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

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

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

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

Facial Care

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

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

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

Lavender Facial Wash

Yields approximately 1 cup

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

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

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

Red Clover Whipped Lotion

Yields 2 to 3 cups

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

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

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

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

Rose Petal Facial Toner

Yields 2 cups

This is a simple and delightful astringent for the face.

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

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

Dandelion–Elder Flower Blemish Lightener

Yields 2 cups

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

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

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

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

Lemon Lip Balm

Yields 1 cup

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

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

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

 

 

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.

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.

The Fragrant Way to Beauty: Wrinkles and the Aging Skin

We don’t always notice ourselves aging, nor perhaps do our close friends and family, yet when we meet someone we haven’t seen for several years, we notice they have aged, and they notice that we have too. That’s often when we are struck by the thunderbolt of recognition that age has crept up on us silently.

The search for the elixir of youth is as old as the hills. Ancient texts abound with tales of alchemists striving to satisfy that demand from their rulers. Today, exclusive clinics offer natural cosmetic treatments to those who can afford them, and celebrity clients keep the source of their youthful appearance a closely guarded secret. After all, if everyone looks as great as they do, it defeats the purpose of looking better than the rest! Cosmetic surgery is an almost commonplace, and injectable treatments are so ubiquitous they’re something people now have done at home. Investment bankers know that if they can find the fledgling company with the latest answer to the ancient question – how to stay young? – they would be flying high!

Behind the scenes of all this frenetic activity, nature’s essential oils have been quietly playing their part. Aromatherapy began in Europe, where it’s widely incorporated into all aspects of life, including at the ritzy Swiss clinics reserved for les clients privee. Cellular regeneration is the key to youthful skin, and because skin cells renew themselves all the time, there’s hope for improvement. Cells need oxygen, which some essential oils may encourage with their circulation-stimulating properties. They also have antioxidant activity, which is needed to deal with free radicals that can easily destroy molecules, including those of all skin layers. Also, some essential oils contain phytohormones, hormonal-like properties that may account for their being able to give skin a firmer and more youthful appearance when used over time.

antiaging image

Essential Oils for Aging Skin

Many essential oils have properties that can help prevent the onset of the telltale signs of aging. The following are used in various combinations by aromatherapists to treat the effects of declining skin tone. Some essential oils have more potent effects than others, and these are often used in combinations. However, some – such as neroli, spikenard, rose, and jasmine – are used singly in luxury anti-aging products.

Anti-Aging Essential Oils

Rose Otto {Rosa damascena}

Rose absolute {Rosa centifolia}

Juniper berry {Juniperus communis}

Marjoram, sweet {Origanum majorana}

Violet leaf {Viola odorata}

Mastic {Pistacia lentiscus}

Clary sage {Salvia sclarea}

Neroli {Citrus aurantium}

Spikenard {Nardostachys jatamansi}

Cardamom {Elettaria cardamomum}

Rosewood {Aniba rosaeodora}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Carrot seed {Daucus carota}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Immortelle {Helichrysum italicum}

Magnolia flower {Michelia alba}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Palmarosa {Cymbopogon martinii}

Petitgrain {Citrus aurantium}

Ylang ylang {Cananga odorata}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Sandalwood {Santalum album}

Orange, sweet {Citrus sinensis}

Cistus {Cistus ladaniferus}

Jasmine {Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale}

Patchouli {Pogostemon cablin}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Coriander seed {Coriandrum sativum}

In this section, you will find special combination formulas for face treatments for four age groups, because the skin has different requirements at different stages of life. Using the correct essential oil for your facial skin serum or oil can be more than just taking into account the skin condition and the hoped-for outcome. Before blending a personal anti-aging facial oil, a holistic aesthetician specializing in essential oil skin care will examine the skin and take into account your well-being, overall health, stress levels, and any emotional factors that might be affecting your skin’s condition and rate of aging. So before you choose your oils, cross-reference to see which would be the most appropriate for you. And because you are making these products yourself, you can adapt them over time to take account of changes in your personal circumstances.

Each essential oil has its own particular qualities. For example, geranium can help with specific skin conditions such as drying or dry patches on the face, increased oiliness, enlarged pores, wrinkles and lines, dark circles under the eyes, and lack of elasticity – all of which can result from going through difficult emotional experiences. But it can also help with the underlying trauma by reducing stress, tiredness, and anxiety – the sort of anxious feelings that can keep a person awake at night and contribute to an aging skin.

Life presents many hurdles, and even on a day-to-day basis, most of us are juggling a career, personal relationships, and child care, not to mention maintaining financial security. Any resulting anxieties could inhibit the action of the immune, digestive, and lymphatic systems – all of which can have an effect on the skin. Despite all this, forget about aging gracefully. No one wants to look their age, and I’ve never met anyone – male or female – who doesn’t want to age as well as they can. So fight it every step of the way.

organic skin care

Skin-Enhancing Oil Extracts for Use in Face Oils

You have heard of the Gold Rush? Well, welcome to the Oil Rush! Patent offices all over the world are receiving applications from cosmetic company research labs trying to corner the market on processing methods for and commercial use of plant oils – with any variation thereof you could possibly imagine! Fortunately, this drive for monopoly doesn’t affect the normal user of these oils – you and me – so we can still take advantage of them.

Before getting to the antiwrinkle oils for the various age groups, we will look at some of the most beneficial additions you could incorporate in small quantities into your oil blends. These can be used on the face, neck, and decollete area of the upper chest.

Acai berry oil {Euterpe oleracea}: Emollient, nourishing skin oil used in anti-aging preparations; has moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties; suits damaged, extra-dry skin types; conditions the skin; includes omegas 6 and 9 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Blackberry seed oil {Rubus fructicosis}: Skin nourishing and conditioning oil; suits mature, dry, and sensitive skins; includes omegas 3, 6, and 9 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Black raspberry seed oil {Rubus occidentalis}: Helps retain elasticity; suits most skin types; anti-aging; includes omegas 3, 6, and 9 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Blueberry seed oil {Vaccinium corymbosum}: Skin protecting oil with antioxidant properties; suits most skin types; including those with acne or blemishes.

Borage seed oil {Borago officinalis}: Moisturizing and nourishing; effective for skin maintenance oils; suits most skin types; high in gamma-linolenic acid {GLA}.

Chia seed oil {Salvia hispanica}: High in omega 3.

Cranberry seed oil {Vaccinium macroscarpon}: Good moisturizing and nourishing properties for anti-aging; suits damaged, irritated, or prematurely aged skin; includes omega 3 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Cucumber seed oil {Cucumis sativus}: Good moisturizing and skin protection properties; cell regenerating; revitalizing, improves the elasticity and strength of the skin; anti-aging; suitable for most skin types.

Evening primrose seed oil {Oenothera biennis}: Skin conditioning and skin strengthening; useful in anti-aging skin care and scar-reducing facial oils; can be used on most skin types; high in GLA.

Gotu kola {Centella asiatica}: Macerated oil; skin regenerative; stimulates synthesis of collagen.

Hemp seed oil {Cannabis sativa}: Nourishing and skin conditioning; helps retain moisture and skin elasticity in troubled and distressed skin.

Olive squalane extract {Olea europaea}: Skin soothing and softening; suits most skin types; suits extra-dry skin; Anti-aging.

Pomegranate seed oil {Punica granatum}: Nourishing and moisturizing; improves skin elasticity; rejuvenating; conditioning; high in omega 5 fatty acid {conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA}.

Red raspberry seed oil {Rubus idaeus}: Skin protective; anti-inflammatory; nourishing and conditioning for damaged and dry skin; includes omega3 and 6 and vitamin E; antioxidant.

Rosehip seed oil {Rosa rubiginosa}: Cell regenerating and cell-stimulating; improve the appearance of scarring; improves texture and elasticity of the skin; anti-aging; suits mature and sun-damaged skin types.

Sea buckthorn berry oil {Hippophae rhamnoides}: Nourishing and revitalizing; cell regenerating; suits most skin types including prematurely aged skin; Anti-aging.

Strawberry seed oil {Fragaria ananassa}: Moisturizing and texture improving; suits most skin types including oily skin types; blemishes.

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The Antiwrinkle Night Oils

The following blends are suggestions for general applications and should suit most people. The blends take into account the various health and well-being issues usually associated with the different age groups.

Antiwrinkle Night Oil for the Over-Twenties

Petitgrain – 4 drops

Lavender – 5 drops

Rosemary – 5 drops

Chamomile German – 2 drops

Chamomile Roman – 2 drops

Lemon – 4 drops

Geranium – 7 drops

Plus the plant oils:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Evening primrose seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together. Then add the plant oils into the essential oils. Dilute this blend of oils by adding 1 or 2 drops to each teaspoon {5mL} of your chosen carrier oil – such as hazelnut, almond, or apricot kernel oil. Lightly apply a small amount of the fully diluted oil over the face, neck, and decolletage.

Antiwrinkle Night Oil for the Over-Thirties

Sandalwood – 4 drops

Palmarosa – 5 drops

Lavender – 4 drops

Rosewood – 5 drops

Orange, sweet – 4 drops

Chamomile Roman – 2 drops

Carrot seed – 3 drops

Plus the plant oils:

Rosehip seed oil – 20 drops

Sea buckthorn oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together. Then add the plant oils into the essential oils. Dilute this blend of oils by adding 1 or 2 drops to each teaspoon {5 mL} of your chosen carrier oil – such as hazelnut, almond, or apricot kernel oil. Lightly apply a small amount of the fully diluted oil over the face, neck, and decolletage.

Antiwrinkle Night Oil for the Over-Forties

Neroli – 6 drops

Lavender – 4 drops

Frankincense – 5 drops

Rosemary – 2 drops

Cistus – 3 drops

Lemon – 3 drops

Immortelle – 2 drops

Carrot seed – 3 drops

Plus the plant oils:

Evening primrose seed oil – 10 drops

Rosehip seed oil – 10 drops

Sea buckthorn oil – 15 drops

First, blend the essential oils together. Then add the plant oils into the essential oils. Dilute this blend of oils by adding 2 – 3 drops to each teaspoon {5 mL} of your chosen carrier oil – such as hazelnut, almond, or apricot kernel oil. Lightly apply a small amount of the fully diluted oil over the face, neck, and decolletage.

Antiwrinkle Night Oil for the Over-Fifties

Cistus – 3 drops

Immortelle – 3 drops

Geranium – 5 drops

Rose absolute – 5 drops

Lavender – 3 drops

Ho wood – 4 drops

Plus the plant oils:

Rosehip seed oil – 30 drops

Sea buckthorn oil – 30 drops

Evening primrose seed oil – 10 drops

First, blend the essential oils together. Then add the plant oils into the essential oils. Dilute this blend of oils by adding 2 – 3 drops to each teaspoon {5 mL} of your chosen carrier oil – such as hazelnut, almond, or apricot kernel oil. Lightly apply a small amount of the diluted oil over the face, neck, and decolletage.

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}

 

The Fragrant Way to Beauty; Facial Sprays and Tonics

Gentle facial sprays can have many purposes; for example, they can cool, calm, and give the skin an all-around boost. Some are tonic, some astringent – all are refreshing. They can help refine open pores and smooth unevenly textured skin. Facial sprays are generally applied after cleansing to ensure the complete removal of any residue left from creams and lotions, and they can also be used during the day or evening to refresh the skin. For a facial spray, use a single hydrolat or a combination of hydrolats, or combine a hydrolat and a floral water, or aloe vera liquid, with a quality non-tap water.

For a facial tonic, use a hydrolat combined with essential oil. Combine the hydrolats, glycerin or aloe vera, and essential oil together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Hydrosol/Hydrolat and Other Waters* for Face Tonics

Normal Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Immortelle {Helichrysum italicum}

Spearmint {Mentha spicata}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Cornflower {Centaurea cyanus}

Orange flower {Citrus aurantium}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Face Tonic for Normal Skin

Geranium water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Lavender water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Vegetable glycerin – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Geranium essential oil – 2 drops

Spearmint essential oil – 1 drop

Lavender essential oil – 1 drop

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, glycerin, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Normal to Dry Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Chamomile Roman  {Anthemis nobilis}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Cornflower {Centaurea cyanus}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Face Tonic for Normal to Dry Skin

Rose water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Chamomile water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Vegetable glycerin – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Sandalwood essential oil – 4 drops

Ho wood essential oil – 2 drops

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, glycerin, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Normal to Sensitive Skin

*Waters, hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Chamomile Roman {Anthemis nobilis}

Lavender {Lavandula augustifolia}

Chamomile German {Matricaria recutita}

Cornflower {Centaurea cyanus}

Clary sage {Salvia sclarea}

Yarrow {Achillea millefolium}

Marigold {Calendula officinalis}

Face Tonic for Normal to Sensitive Skin

Chamomile Roman water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Lavender water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Aloe vera liquid – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Chamomile German essential oil – 1 drop

Lavender essential oil – 2 drops

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, aloe vera, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Normal to Blemished or Acned Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Pine {Pinus sylvestris}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Thyme {Thymus vulgaris}

Manuka {Leptospermum scopartium}

Tea tree {Melaleuca alternifolia}

Bay laurel {Laurus nobilis}

Lavender {Lavandula angustifolia}

Sage {Salvia officinalis}

Melissa {Melissa officinalis}

Face Tonic for Normal to Blemished or Acned Skin

Rosemary water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Lavender water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Aloe vera liquid – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Juniper berry essential oil – 2 drops

Geranium essential oil – 2 drops

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, aloe vera, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Normal to Oily Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Cypress {Cupressus sempervirens}

Spearmint {Mentha spicata}

Clary Sage {Salvia sclarea}

Lemon {Citrus limon}

Rosemary {Rosmarinus officinalis}

Pine {Pinus sylvestris}

Myrtle {Myrtus communis}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Orange flower {Citrus aurantium}

Petitgrain {Citrus aurantium}

Face Tonic for Normal to Oily Skin

Orange flower water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Rose water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Aloe vera liquid – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Petitgrain essential oil – 4 drops

Orange, sweet, essential oil – 2 drops

To create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, aloe vera, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Mature to Aged Skin

*Waters: hydrolats, hydrosols, essential oil waters, or floral distillates

Cistus {Cistus ladaniferus}

Geranium {Pelargonium graveolens}

Rose {Rosa damascena/centifolia}

Mastic {Pistacia lentiscus}

Frankincense {Boswellia carterii}

Melissa {Melissa officinalis}

Face Tonic for Mature to Aged Skin

Rose water – 2 fl. oz. {60 mL}

Melissa water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Frankincense water – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Vegetable glycerin – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Aloe vera liquid – 1 teaspoon {5 mL}

Frankincense essential oil – 1 drop

Palmarosa essential oil – 1 drop

to create a fusion, combine the hydrolats, glycerin, aloe vera, and essential oils together in a bottle, shake really well, and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Shake the bottle again, filter through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and store in the fridge.

Suggestion: 

Cotton-wool pads can be soaked in a tonic or aloe vera liquid and then divided into thinner sections before being put in a tightly sealed box with an extra couple of teaspoons of tonic passed over them – and, hey presto, you have your own brand of natural, instant, freshen-up facial pads.

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Astringents

Sometimes a stronger facial tonic is required, one with more astringent values. These incorporate vinegars and can be used on skins that are normal, oily, blemished, or acned. Combine the liquid ingredients, then add the essential oils, shake well, leave for 24 hours, shake again, pass through an unbleached paper coffee filter to remove any essential oil globules, and keep the fusion in the fridge.

General Astringent Tonic

Witch hazel – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Orange flower water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Cider vinegar, organic {optional} – 1/2 teaspoon {2 1/2 mL}

Juniper berry essential oil – 3 drops

Lemon essential oil – 1 drop

Grapefruit essential oil – 1 drop

Stimulating Astringent Tonic

Witch hazel – 1 fl. oz. {30 mL}

Rose water – 3 fl. oz. {90 mL}

Cider vinegar, organic {optional} – 1/2 teaspoon {2 1/2 mL}

Rosemary essential oil – 2 drops

Spearmint essential oil – 1 drop

Bergamot FCF essential oil – 1 drop

Skin Vinegar for Blemished, Oily, and Open-Pored Skin

Spring water – 3 1/2 tablespoons {50 mL}

Orange flower water – 5 teaspoons {25 mL}

White wine vinegar, organic – 3 teaspoons {15 mL}

Palmarosa essential oil – 2 drops

Spearmint esential oil – 1 drop

A Natural Humectant, Vegetable Glycerin, Benefits, and Use

Vegetable Glycerine, also known as Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Glycerol, or simply Glycerol, is a transparent, colorless and unscented viscous liquid derived from the oils of plants such as Coconut, Palm, or Soy. Conversely, non-vegan Glycerine is derived from animal fats. Although ancient civilizations used botanical matter in both culinary and medicinal applications, Vegetable Glycerine was never used in such early times and is a rather modern substance, the extraction of which only began in the 20th century. It is traditionally also used in the food industry to replace alcohol and to artificially sweeten foods (dairy products, fudge, candy, baked goods, cereals, pasta, meat, processed fruits and vegetables, egg products, soups, sauces, condiments, and fish products) without causing blood sugar levels to rise, making it ideal for those with diabetes. Sometimes it is also used to uphold moisture content and to promote better fusion between oil- and water-based components.

This versatile substance finds many uses in a countless skin- and healthcare products as well, such as medicines, cough syrups, expectorants, soaps and detergents, moisturizers, shampoos, toothpaste, shaving creams, and other cosmetic products and toiletries. Glyercine-based products are ideal for those with extra-sensitive skin, as they contain high moisture content to prevent the skin’s dehydration. While it is known for being safe and eco-friendly, the popularity of Vegetable Glycerine is largely due to its humectant property, which draws moisture to the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated. This moisture-retaining quality allows cosmetic products to penetrate more easily into the skin. Just as in the food industry, Vegetable Glycerine acts as an alcohol substitute in cosmetics as well, making it ideal for those who prefer not to use products that expose their skin to alcohol, which can have potentially irritating and drying effects.

Used topically, Vegetable Glycerine’s natural emollience draws moisture into the skin and helps to retain the moisture, thereby softening, smoothing, and soothing the complexion. This hydrating property is known to enhance the appearance and texture of unhealthy skin, which may be characterized by dryness, flaking, and wrinkles caused by harsh environmental stressors as well as destructive bacteria.

VEGETABLE GLYCERINE BENEFITS

Vegetable Glycerine easily penetrates and gets absorbed into the skin without clogging pores while also making it easier for the skin to absorb other active, skin health-enhancing ingredients in products. By filling fine lines and miniscule cracks on the skin and by facilitating the regeneration of new skin, Vegetable Glycerine smooths out the complexion for a rejuvenated appearance. Furthermore, it evens out the skin tone to lighten darker areas, thereby diminishing the appearance of unwanted spots and marks.

With cleansing properties that do not strip the skin or hair of their natural oils, Vegetable Glycerine works to keep the skin and scalp free of acne-causing bacteria. It regulates oil production, soothes itching and dryness, eliminates congestion in the pores, nourishes and repairs damage, contributes shine to dullness, maintains elasticity, and contributes sun protective properties to guard against the harmful effects of overexposure to UV radiation. By maintaining water balance, Vegetable Glycerine’s humectant quality reduces the chance of moisture loss caused by evaporation, thus keeping the hair and skin hydrated.

Used medicinally, Vegetable Glycerine’s cooling quality makes it a soothing salve for discomforts and conditions of the skin, such as cuts, burns, itching, hives, rashes, sores, eczema, psoriasis, and other ailments that are characterized by dryness, itchiness, or inflammation. Due to its ability to encourage normal skin cell maturation, Vegetable Glycerine is known to facilitate healing when applied to acne, scratches, blemishes, and wounds. It locks in moisture, creates a protective barrier on the skin against environmental contaminants and pollutants, and helps suppress the urge to scratch any irritation. Additionally, the anti-bacterial properties of Vegetable Glycerine combined with its mildness means that it works to soothe and prevent future acne breakouts without introducing the skin to harsh synthetic ingredients that could potentially aggravate the affected areas.

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

  • COSMETIC: Moisturizing, Tonic, Cleansing, Protective, Humectant, Soothing, Strengthening, Reparative
  • MEDICINAL: Tonic, Wound-Healing, Immune-Boosting, Protective, Aseptic, Anti-Bacterial, Hypoallergenic, Soothing

VEGETABLE GLYCERINE USE

Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Vegetable Glycerine makes an excellent moisturizer with nourishing properties. For a smooth body lotion with a fluffy consistency, begin by placing 142g (5 oz.) Shea Butter in a heat-safe container and then placing the container into a double boiler. Warm up the Shea Butter on low heat until it melts. To this, add 2 Tbsp. Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil and 1 Tbsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil and stir the ingredients together to ensure thorough mixing. Next, place the entire container into the freezer for 10 minutes, during which time a crust should form on top of the blend. After removing the container, whip the blend with an electric beater while slowly drizzling in 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Glycerine. Continue beating the blend until it appears opaque and becomes stiffer in consistency. Incorporate a total of 1 tsp. Cornstarch to the blend, adding it in ¼ tsp at a time and continuing to whip the Shea Butter after each addition. Next, add ¼ tsp Vitamin E Liquid and 4-6 drops of a preferred essential oil. Suggestions include Cedarwood, Lavender, Frankincense, and Ylang Ylang for enhanced soothing, balancing, clarifying, lifting, tightening, and restorative action. With a spoon, transfer the whipped Shea Butter lotion into a clean glass jar with an airtight cap. This moisturizer can be used immediately and retains its optimal skin health benefits before 4-6 months.

For a facial cleanser that not only purifies, hydrates, and softens the skin but that also exudes a pleasant scent, begin by combining 4 Tbsp. Raw Honey, 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Glycerine, ½ cup freshly brewed Green Tea, and a total of 10 drops of the following essential oils: Geranium, Lemon, and Patchouli. Using a blender, thoroughly mix all the ingredients, then store the resultant face wash in a darkly-colored pump dispenser bottle. For a cooling and balancing facial toner, simply combine ¼ cup of Glycerine with ¼ cup Witch Hazel and ½ cup Rose Floral Water.

For a non-comedogenic serum that is reputed to soothe and reduce the appearance of acne breakouts overnight, combine ½ tsp Vegetable Glycerine, ½ tsp Orange Blossom Water, and 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and apply this serum to affected areas of the face. Leave it on overnight and, in the morning, rinse it off.

To address the problem of blackheads, mix the following ingredients in a bowl and stir them into a paste: 4 Tbsp. Almond Powder, 1 Tbsp. Fullers Earth Clay, and 2 tsp Vegetable Glycerine. Once the paste consistency has been achieved, spread the mixture over affected areas of skin and, after it air dries, rinse it off with cold water.

To achieve softer and more hydrated skin with a facial massage blend, simply combine 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Glycerine with 10 Tbsp. of water. Massage this hydrating, skin tone-balancing serum into the face nightly before going to sleep and leave it on overnight. In the morning, rinse it off with cold water.

For an exfoliating and moisturizing body scrub that is known to remove dead cells in order to reveal newer skin, begin by combining equal parts of Vegetable Glycerine and sugar in a cup. To this, add 3 drops of Aloe Vera Gel Juice. In the shower, apply this blend to the skin like a regular body scrub and massage it into a lather for a few minutes before washing it off. This simple and natural exfoliant is ideal for promoting a healthier and more radiant complexion.

For a moisturizing aftershave lotion that also soothes cuts and burns caused by shaving, first combine ½ cup Witch Hazel Distillate and 1 Tbsp. dried Calendula flowers and allow this infusion to steep for 2 weeks. When the blend is ready, add 4 drops each of Sandalwood and Lavender essential oils as well as ¼ cup Rose Floral Water. In ½ cup of the resultant solution, add ¼ cup of Vegetable Glycerine. Apply this moisturizer like a customary after-shave lotion.

For a natural and nourishing Glycerine-based shampoo that is known to promote healthier and stronger strands, begin by pouring ¼ cup of Vegetable Glycerine and ½ cup of thick Coconut Milk into a clean bottle with the help of a funnel. To this, add a total of 12 drops of essential oils that are known to promote hair growth, such as Cedarwood, Rosemary, Vetiver, and Geranium. Cap the bottle and shake it vigorously to ensure the thorough mixing of all ingredients. To apply this shampoo in the shower, massage it into the scalp and throughout the hair like a regular shampoo and leave it in for 5 minutes before rinsing it out with cold water.

For a simple conditioning hair mask that is known to promote the hair’s luster, first, combine ¼ cup Vegetable Glycerine and ¼ cup of Aloe Vera Gel Juice in a small bowl and whisk them together. Next, apply this mask to hair that has already been washed and shampooed. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.

For a protective and reparative leave-in hair conditioner that locks in moisture, begin by adding the following ingredients in a blender: 1 cup Coconut Carrier Oil, 1/8 cup of Aloe Vera Gel Juice, 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Glycerine, 2 Tbsp. Sunflower Seed Carrier Oil, 1 tsp of Castor Carrier Oil, 8 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 4 drops Sage Essential Oil. To use this leave-in conditioner blend, apply it to wet hair and style as usual. When not in use, it can be stored in a dark container.

Used in medicinal applications, Vegetable Glycerine cleanses, calms, facilitates the healing and fading of scars and abrasions and promotes the skin’s suppleness and radiance. To soothe the itchiness and burning sensation characteristic of minor scalds, such as those caused by radiation, electricity, or heat, simply apply a few drops of Vegetable Glycerine directly to the affected areas of skin and wash it off after 20 minutes. This can be repeated several times throughout the day to alleviate discomfort.

For a warming analgesic liniment that is reputed to decrease inflammation, improve circulation, and soften rough or dry skin, whisk and thoroughly combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl: ½ cup Vegetable Glycerine, 2 tsp Powdered Ginger, 2 drops Clove Bud Essential Oil. Transfer the mixture to an air-tight jar. To use this salve, first shake the jar well to stir any Ginger Powder that might have settled at the bottom, then rub the ointment into the preferred areas of skin, avoiding any sensitive parts, such as the eyes.

For a cooling balm that soothes the discomforts of insect bites, rashes, and hives, among other skin complaints, begin by thoroughly combining the following ingredients in a small clean container: 2 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel Juice, 2 tsp Vegetable Glycerine, and 4 drop Eucalyptus Essential Oil. To use this calming gel for relief, apply it directly to the affected areas of skin.

Used in massage blends, Vegetable Glycerine contributes a warming quality when applied to the skin. For an aphrodisiac blend that is known to stimulate sensuality, begin by combining 60 ml (2 oz.) Vegetable Glycerine and 60 ml (2 oz.) Almond Carrier Oil in a 120 ml (4 oz.) amber glass bottle. Next, add 30 drops German Chamomile Essential Oil, 2 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil, and 2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil. Cap the bottle and vigorously shake it to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Apply this like a usual massage blend.

A GUIDE TO VEGETABLE GLYCERINE & ITS BENEFITS

GLYCERINE VEGETABLE – USP 99.7% – RAW MATERIAL

INCI: Glycerine

Method of Extraction and Plant Part:  Hydrolysis of Palm Oil

Country of Origin: Malaysia

Believed to:

  • Be a clear, colorless, and odorless viscous liquid
  • Be ideal for use in cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, and other household cleaning products
  • Be soluble in both water and alcohol, making it a versatile and thus popular agent in the manufacturing sector
  • Be a natural source ingredient with emollient properties, which smooth and soften the skin
  • Assist the skin’s surface in retaining moisture, making it one of the most popular cosmetic additives

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR VEGETABLE GLYCERINE

Vegetable Glycerine 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 Vegetable Glycerine 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.

Prior to using Vegetable Glycerine, 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. Vegetable Glycerine must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Vegetable Glycerine should not be applied to the unclean skin, to open or infected wounds, or to skin that is exuding any type of fluid discharge.

Potential side effects of Vegetable Glycerine include anaphylaxis, confusion, diarrhea, dehydration, difficulty breathing, skin dryness, excessive urination, headache, hives, itching, irregular heartbeat, skin irritation, nausea, palpitations, rashes, redness, swelling, or vomiting.

Individuals with sensitivities or allergies to either Coconut Oil or Palm Oil could potentially experience allergic reactions to Vegetable Glycerine. 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…

    • Vegetable Glycerine, sometimes spelled Vegetable Glycerin, is a transparent, colorless, and unscented viscous liquid derived from the oils of plants such as Coconut, Palm, or Soy. It is also known as Vegetable Glycerol or simply Glycerol.
    • Used topically, Vegetable Glycerine attracts and locks moisture into the skin, thereby softening, smoothing, and soothing the complexion. Its pH level closely matches that of the skin, which makes it gentle enough to be used by those with sensitive skin and in baby skincare.
    • Vegetable Glycerine cleanses the skin without clogging pores, facilitates the skin’s absorption of other beneficial active ingredients in natural products, smooths the look of fine lines and miniscule cracks on the skin, facilitates the regeneration of new skin, evens out the skin tone to lighten darker areas, and diminishes the appearance of unwanted spots and marks.
    • Vegetable Glycerine protects the skin and scalp from destructive bacteria, regulates oil production, soothes itching and dryness, eliminates congestion in the pores, nourishes unhealthy and dull skin and hair, maintains elasticity of the skin and strands, and contributes sun protective properties to guard against the harmful effects of overexposure to UV radiation.
  • Used medicinally, Vegetable Glycerine cools, soothes, and facilitates the healing of skin discomforts and conditions, such as scratches, cuts, blemishes, burns, itching, hives, rashes, sores, eczema, psoriasis, and other ailments that are characterized by dryness, itchiness, or inflammation. It creates a protective barrier on the skin to guard against environmental contaminants and pollutants.

DIY Soap Making at Home, Melt and Pour Soap, How to Make Soap

The melt and pour method of making soap is the safest to partake in, as the basic principle is melting a pre-made soap base and pouring it into a mold. Melt and pour soap is ready to use within hours after being made, and it allows for countless variations of artistic effects that can be achieved with additives. This form of soap-making can be likened to baking a cake with a dried cake mix to which you need to add only a few more ingredients to enhance its quality. Working with melt and pour soap means the “saponification process” – the process that converts lye or fats into soap – has already been completed and has yielded a base that is ready to use and personalize.

In order for melt and pour soap base to be produced, the saponification process needs to be complete. This entails mixing an oil or fat, which is known as the “acid” with lye, which is the “base.” The end result is the soap, which is considered to be the “salt.” When the mixture cools, it is poured into a suitable mold to cool and set. Once it has cooled it can be melted again to create fun and unique soaps.

Melt and pour soap contains a high percentage of glycerin, which means it has a highly moisturizing quality that makes it gentler on skin than store-bought soaps. Glycerin is a component of fat or oil and is a natural byproduct of the saponification process. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture and this is what lends soap its moisturizing property. When exposed to humidity, melt and pour soap tends to “sweat,” because the glycerin attracts moisture from the air, so they must be kept as dry as possible on well-draining surfaces.

MELT AND POUR SOAP VS. COLD PROCESS SOAP

The difference between Cold Process soap making and Melt and Pour soap making is that in the former process, soap is made from scratch using lye as one of the main components. Lye is not as easily obtained as melt and pour soap bases, because it is only supplied by chemical companies or hardware companies. This process also requires more safety measures such as goggles and gloves due to the caustic nature of the lye in which oils are mixed. On the other hand, melt and pour soap bases are pre-made and sold in blocks that are ready to be melted down to make customized soap. The process is safe enough for children to partake in because there is no need for the corrosive solution to be used. Cold Process soap needs to sit for six weeks in order for it to harden and for any excess liquids to evaporate before it can be used. Melt and pour soap dries and hardens faster than cold process soap making, which means it is ready to use much sooner.

soap making how to

BELOW ARE SOME COMMON ADDITIVES:

COLORANTS

To add color to soap, only cosmetic grade colorants should be used, as they are specially designed for use on skin. Some popular colorants include Oxides and Pigments, Liquid Colorants, LabColors, Color Blocks, Micas, and Clays. When adding mica powders, natural tinting herbs, and ultramarines, it is best to begin adding only 1/8 tsp per pound (0.45kg) of soap. If the mixture appears to be too light, more can be added in small amounts at a time. Soaps that are too darkly tinted might discolor skin.

Colorants include: LabColors, Pearlescent Micas, Natural Colorants (Clays, Herbs) and Pigments (Oxides and Ultramarines).

  • LABCOLORS: These are water soluble concentrated liquid dyes that create vibrant hues. They need to be heated and diluted in water, as they bleed in melt and pour soap. Those that come in glass bottles can be heated in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Those in plastic bottles can be submerged inside the bottle in a bowl of boiled water that has cooled down to 60 áµ’ C (140 áµ’ F). When the dye is heated, pour it into the water. After the dye and water mixture has cooled, a water-soluble preservative may be added to it. While stirring the soap batter, add the water and dye mixture one drop at a time. Below is the LabColor Dilution Chart from Bramble Berry:
LabColor Size Amount of Diluted LabColor (for CP) Amount of Soap – Light Tint Amount of Soap – Deep Tint
small 4 ounces 59 pounds 15 pounds
large 8 ounces 118 pounds 30 pounds
jumbo 50 ounces 737 pounds 184 pounds
    • PEARLESCENT MICAS: These are shimmery powder dyes. Before being added to a melt and pour soap, they should be mixed with a small amount of oil or glycerin or they will not disperse properly and will instead clump in one spot. Another way of implementing micas into soap is by sprinkling small amounts of them between several layers of the soap. They do not dissolve in liquids or mix with other colors, so using them in translucent melt and pour soap means they will give it a bright sparkle and crisp, clean lines.
    • NATURAL COLORANTS (CLAYS, HERBS): are natural and more subdued dyes that do not bleed or fade. They produce soap colors in a range of colors including cream, yellow, gray, green, purple, red, pink and orange. Before adding a clay to soap, it is a good idea to mix it with an equal amount of water until it is liquid, as clays draw moisture into themselves and adding them directly to soap can thus cause the soap to crack or crumble.
  • PIGMENTS (OXIDES AND ULTRAMARINES): These are powdered dyes. They are similar to micas in that they need to be mixed with water before being added to soap. The designs made with pigments will also be vivid and well-defined inside soap.

MOISTURIZERS

Moisturizers such as vegetable butters, vegetable oils, and clays can be added as the melt and pour soap base is heated. It might seem counterintuitive to use clay as a moisturizing ingredient, as it is known to have properties that draw out the moisture from the skin, but in its damp phase, it exudes beneficial minerals. The rate of usage for moisturizers is approximately 1 – 2 tbsp per pound (0.45 kg) of soap base.

Adding a moisturizer like Mango Butter will allow your soap to help combat skin irritations such as dryness, fine lines, wrinkles, sunburn, insect bites, rashes and stretch marks. Conditioning butters like Shea and Cocoa provide a creamy lather as well as hardness to the soap. Cocoa Butter helps skin retain moisture and protects it against harsh environmental pollutants by creating a barrier, and it provides soap with the added benefit of its mild, pleasant smell.

Clays such as Rhassoul will not only clean and firm but also condition and nourish the skin.  To add clay to a soap base without causing the clay to clump when it comes in contact with the soap, it must first be made into a paste with distilled water. 0.33 tbsp (1 tsp) of clay can be distilled in 1 tbsp of distilled water. Clays tend to add earthy colors to soaps.

FRAGRANCES

Soaps can be scented with fragrance oils, which are synthetic or with essential oils, which are natural. They are added to melt and pour soap base before it is removed from the stove to be poured into the mold, as these scents will not melt properly in soap that has already cooled. Adding scents at this time helps make them last, although the strength of scents varies from oil to oil. Kaolin clay is a common additive for scented soaps, as it helps the soap retain its aroma by giving the fragrance something to “stick” to. What also helps soap retain its scent is storing the final product in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

Fragrance oils may contain ingredients that have natural colors – vanillin is one example – and the soap color can be affected by these natural colors. In the case of vanillin, it turns soap brown over time. The color of some essential oils might also affect the color of the soap. NDA supplies Vanilla Stable Melt & Pour Glycerin Soap Base, which is formulated to prevent browning over time when fragrances containing Vanillin are used.

For melt & pour soap, the recommended amount of fragrance oils is 15 ml per pound (0.5 oz per 0.45kg) of soap, and the recommended amount of essential oils is 7.4 ml per pound (0.25 oz per 0.45kg) of soap.

It is highly recommended that soap makers thoroughly read and understand the vendor’s safety instructions for use before adding the appropriate ratio of fragrance/essential oils to the soap-making process. It is important to consider how skin will react to the particular essential oils used as well as how they might dissipate in reaction to heat.

EXFOLIANTS

Exfoliants are ingredients with textures and properties that lend them the ability to polish dry, dull skin. They work to remove the dead cells on the top layer of skin. To prevent a layer of exfoliating botanicals from forming in the soap, it is a good idea to avoid using too much of the exfoliant and to ensure continuous stirring of the soap batter after the exfoliants have been added. In general, the rate of exfoliant usage is 1 – 2 tablespoons per pound (0.45 kg) of soap. If a coarse, abrasive soap is desired then the amount of exfoliant needs to be higher than this recommended base amount.

    • FINE EXFOLIANTS (E.G. COLLOIDAL OATMEAL, JOJOBA BEADS): These can be added to the soap base after the fragrance is added. The best way to incorporate colloidal oatmeal is to grind it up into the texture of oat flour and to disperse it in a liquid such as oil or water to prevent clumping in the melted soap. Jojoba beads are small, smooth, waxy spheres that provide a gentle exfoliation. As with the oatmeal, they should be incorporated into the soap mix when it is at a temperature of 48 °C – 51 °C (118 °F – 123 °F).  If the temperature is higher than this, both the oatmeal and the beads will float at the top rather than remain suspended evenly throughout the final product. It is best to use just a pinch of beads to begin, as the more jojoba beads that are used, the harder it will be to ensure they are spread out evenly.

 

    • MEDIUM EXFOLIANTS (E.G. FINE GRAIN DEAD SEA SALTS, SUGAR, SHREDDED LOOFAH): Due to the speed with which soap tends to set when salts are added, it is best to move quickly when adding them to the base and to mix them in well with a spoon. It is ideal to spoon rather than pour the soap into the mold to avoid fast setting. Soaps containing salt need to be cut about an hour after being poured into their molds, otherwise, they crumble when being cut. Sugars can be added when the soap is melted halfway and then stirred in quickly with a spoon until it is completely dissolved. Then it should be mixed with hands into a paste and pressed firmly into molds. Adding sugar has the added benefit of increasing the soap’s lather. It is best to add shredded loofah after the soap has slightly cooled so that the shreds remain suspended in the melted soap. Shredded loofah can be embedded into soap by sprinkling it onto the melted soap in layers inside molds: pour the first layer of soap and allow it to firm up before sprinkling the loofah onto it, and then pour another thin layer of warm soap over that.

 

  • LARGE EXFOLIANTS (E.G. COFFEE GROUNDS, STRAWBERRY SEEDS): Add the coffee grounds once the soap has become liquid and the heat has been turned off. Then pour the mixture into the molds. After strawberry seeds are added to the melted soap, they should be mixed in thoroughly to promote even suspension throughout the soap. For a more abrasive soap bar, the seeds can be added to just one side of the soap. To start, use 1 – 2 teaspoons per pound (0.45 kg) of soap. Adjust the amount as needed.

EXTRACTS

Extracts introduce the beneficial properties of their original plants into the soap. They can be added to the melted soap at a rate of 1-2 tbsp per each pound (0.45 kg) of soap and stirred in with a spoon just before the mixture is poured into the mold. The following are some popular choices for extracts that are incorporated into the melt and pour soap making process:

  • CHAMOMILE EXTRACT is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Its calming scent also helps with stress relief.
  • GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT is known to protect and nourish skin with its antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E. It promotes cellular health and works as a disinfectant.
  • GREEN TEA EXTRACT is a rich source of anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E and is known to soothe sunburnt or irritated skin. It also helps repair cells that are damaged by such causes as harsh environmental factors, aging, and acne.
  • GUAVA FRUIT EXTRACT is high in Vitamins A, B, and C is thus known for its anti-aging properties and its ability to prevent the oxidation of cells.
  • PAPAYA FRUIT EXTRACT naturally lifts and rejuvenates skin while making it smoother and softer. It stabilizes oily skin and exfoliates dry skin. Its rich Vitamin A content helps repair skin by increasing cell formation, and its Vitamin C content makes it a potent anti-oxidant.

SOAP MAKING TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS

  • A clean stretch of countertop or table that would be wide enough to prepare a cake
  • Melt and pour soap base
  • A microwave or stove and double boiler to melt the soap base
  • A sharp knife or dough cutter for cutting enough of the base to fit the desired mold after it is melted
  • A large heat-resistant measuring cup that measures 1 liter (4 cups) or a microwave safe bowl in which to place the chopped base for melting
  • A heat-resistant spoon for mixing the base
  • Any kind of heat-resistant mold from which soap can easily be released (avoid using hard plastic or metal, which can react with and discolor soap ingredients)
  • Any additive can be included in a melt and pour soap mixture, including fragrances, colorants, skin care nutrients such as herbs, butters, exfoliants, and sparkles and more.
  • A small spray bottle of alcohol

HOW TO MAKE SOAP – STEP BY STEP PROCESS

  1. Sterilize the soap-making area, which should be large enough to prepare a cake mixture.
  2. Cut the desired amount of soap base into small squares. Every pound (0.45 kg) of soap base will yield 4-6 bars.
  3. Place the squares into A) a microwave safe bowl and heat them at short intervals of 15-20 seconds, stirring gently with each heating, B) a double boiler – a saucepan that is half full of water, which is heated until it boils. A second pan containing the chopped soap base is placed inside this saucepan. The heat from the bottom pan is transferred to the second pan and melts the soap base.
  4. With a heat-resistant spatula, stir the melted soap base slowly between each heating to avoid creating bubbles. If bubbles do arise, they can be dispersed with a spritz of alcohol from the spray bottle. Stirring slowly is also conducive to maintaining the right temperature for the soap, as soap bases lose water when heated at too high a temperature.
  5. Remove the soap from the heat source before it is completely melted and continue to stir it until the heat of the mixture is dispersed consistently throughout. At this point, essential oils, fragrance oils, colorants and other additives can be added while the mixture is stirred gently.
  6. Pour the melted soap base into the desired mold, ensuring that it is level. Any bubbles that form can be dispelled with a spray of alcohol. Fragrance oils might cause the soap to “weep,” which means the soap will feel wet and oily, so it is a good idea to do a batch test when using them.
  7. Allow the soap to sit and completely cool inside the mold. This wait time can be a couple of hours long or it can even cool overnight.
  8. Carefully release the soap from the molds onto a clean, flat surface with a tea towel or a paper towel to prevent denting any stubborn soaps stuck inside their molds. If this happens, a soap can be further frozen for 15-30 minutes to for easier removal. After being taken out of the freezer, hold the mold under hot water to melt the coating. The soap should then be easily peeled out.
  9. Any rough edges can be smoothed down with a paring knife and a clean cloth moistened with alcohol.
  10. Allow the soaps to air dry before packaging them, as any moisture trapped inside the packaging can make the soap slimy. Cellophane bags or shrink wrap are ideal for wrapping soap. It is best to wrap soap immediately after it has finished cooling, as this will prevent the soap from shrinking because of evaporated water content.

USING SOAP MOLDS

To ensure that soaps will be easily released from their molds, a coating can be applied to the molds.

Gently heat the following ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp petroleum jelly
  • 1 tbsp mineral oil (baby oil)

This mixture can be kept in a jar and can be spread onto molds with a small pastry brush to lightly coat the molds. Silicone brushes found in the cooking section of your local dollar store are great for this.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Before incorporating any additive into a soap recipe, it is important to understand the amount that can be safely used. Too much of an additive might lead to issues such as the breakdown of chemical bonds or it might necessitate the use of preservatives.

Only heat-safe equipment should be used to make soap as the melting temperatures generally reach above 48 áµ’C (120 áµ’F). When skin is exposed to hot soap, it is painful.

Fresh ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, or milk are best avoided in a melt and pour soap recipe, as they will always spoil eventually.