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.

antiaging image

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.

Learn About the Incredibly Nourishing Oil for Hair, Skin and Nails: Hemp Seed Oil

Historically, the Cannabis sativa botanical – more commonly known as the Hemp plant – was used in the manufacturing of clothing, footwear, rope, and eventually paper products, among other versatile uses. In the context of spiritual practices, Hemp was used in rituals wherein it was burned as incense to elevate mystical mindfulness and alertness to enhance meditative observations. In Africa, it was used and continues to be used medicinally to address symptoms of fevers and dysentery as well as snake bites. According to historical records, the ancient Chinese used Hemp seeds and Hemp Seed Oil in culinary applications as early as 6000 BCE. For millennia since then, physicians have used Hemp seeds to address several illnesses, disorders, and complaints.

The name Hemp Oil is often used interchangeably with or mistaken for Hash Oil – also referred to as Marijuana Oil, Cannabis Oil, or Weed Oil – due to the fact that both are derived from different plant varieties of the same botanical family known as Cannabis; however, these two oils vary in the plant part from which they are extracted as well as in their properties, benefits, extraction methods, and constituents, among other factors. Thus, contrary to popular belief, Hemp Seed Carrier Oil does not exhibit sedative or narcotic properties. Hemp Seed Oil has also found continued beneficial uses in the manufacturing of cleansers, including shampoos, detergents, and soaps, among other natural products. This article highlights the various other uses, benefits, and safe practices of Hemp Seed Carrier Oil.

HEMP OIL BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of Hemp Carrier Oil are Linoleic Acid, α-Linolenic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, and γ-Linolenic Acid.

LINOLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-6) are known to:

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

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

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

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-9) are known to:

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

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

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

STEARIC ACID is known to:

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

GAMMA-LINOLENIC ACID (OMEGA-6) is known to:

  • Be anti-inflammatory
  • Nourish the skin with essential fatty acids
  • Support the growth of healthier and stronger skin, hair, and nails
  • Effectively soothe pain and discomfort associated with arthritis and symptoms of PMS, including headaches
  • Soothe joint pain and ease stiffness to improve flexibility
  • Potentially soothe symptoms of allergies
  • Encourage healthier brain activity

The Cannabis plant also contains a class of several chemical constituents called Cannabinoids, which are the compounds responsible for giving Marijuana the mind-altering effects that change a person’s temperament, conduct, perceptions, sensitivities, and awareness, among other faculties. The main psychoactive component in Cannabis is called Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly identified by its abbreviation THC. Because Health Canada controls the amount of THC that is present in all Hemp products and limits it to 10 PPM (parts per million) to ensure that it is safe to use, Hemp Oil will not exhibit psychoactive properties and thus will not cause the user to get “high.” Furthermore, the use of Hemp Oil will not cause one to falsely test positive on a drug-screening test. NDA’s Hemp Oil is laboratory-tested for its THC levels, and all oil tests show trace levels that are below 10 PPM, thus making them largely undetectable.

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Hemp Seed Carrier Oil is reputed to refresh, revive, and strengthen the skin with its emollience. It is believed to even out the complexion with toning properties that promote the clearing of conditions such as acne and eczema, thereby enhancing skin’s texture and appearance. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants Hemp Seed Oil is known to help maintain skin’s clarity and brightness for a radiant complexion that looks and feels rejuvenated. Hemp Seed Carrier Oil works to balance oil production in the skin of all types while soothing inflammation and shielding skin against harsh environmental pollutants.

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When applied to hair in natural shampoos or conditioners, Hemp Seed Carrier Oil has the same protective effect, conditioning the hair and scalp to naturally calm inflammation and promote the health, luster, growth, and strength of the strands.

Rich in essential fatty acid content, Hemp Oil is known to have a composition comparable to that of skin lipids, making it an exceptional hydrating emollient that nourishes dull and parched skin and nails while encouraging the regeneration of skin’s protective barrier. It is reputed to soothe skin ailments such as minor abrasions, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. By enhancing skin’s elasticity, Hemp Carrier Oil exhibits a firming and tightening activity. Furthermore, by increasing skin’s ability to hold water, Hemp Seed Oil’s long-lasting hydration contributes plumpness, suppleness, and softness, thereby diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Being light in consistency, it exhibits fast absorption into the skin without clogging pores and makes both a reparative moisturizer for dry, blemished skin as well as an ideal ingredient in natural massage blends.

Used medicinally, Hemp Seed Carrier Oil is reputed to exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that diminish the appearance of scars, facilitate the healing of infections, and alleviate painful symptoms of menstruation and Premenstrual Syndrome. By improving circulation, Hemp Oil is reputed to promote the body’s expulsion of toxins, ease the pain in sore muscles and joints, and prevent or reduce varicose veins. The fatty acid content of Hemp Seed Oil is known to boost immunity and metabolic function while sustaining the balance of hormones, blood pressure, and healthy, naturally-occurring bacteria in the body.

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

    • COSMETIC: Antioxidant, Regenerative, Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory.
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-viral, Antioxidant, Cardioprotective, Regenerative, Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-coagulant.

HEMP OIL USES

Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Hemp Seed Oil can be used by itself as a moisturizer, or it can be combined with essential oils for enhanced effectiveness. For a sophisticated medley of carrier oils, Hemp Oil blends well with Aloe Vera Gel, Olive Carrier Oil, and Avocado Carrier Oil.

For a gentle facial moisturizer that is ideal for application under the eyes, simply dab a drop under the eyes and on the eyelids. This can be used all over the face instead of synthetic creams that work to reduce wrinkles, puffiness, and under-eye bags. To use Hemp Seed Oil as a nourishing cleanser that eliminates impurities, including makeup, without stripping skin of its beneficial natural oils, dip a soft, clean cloth into 1 tsp. of Hemp Carrier Oil, then gently pat it on and rub it into the areas of skin with makeup, including the eye area, ensure the oil does not get into the eyes. After rinsing off the oil, apply a toner and pat the skin dry.

For a fragrant, skin-conditioning body lotion that disinfects the skin while stimulating circulation, first combine the following ingredients in a 245 ml (8.30 oz.) dark bottle: 240 ml (8 oz.) Hemp Seed Carrier Oil, 3 drops Chamomile Essential Oil, 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 2 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil, 2 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil, 2 drops Frankincense Essential Oil, 2 drops Black Pepper Essential Oil, 2 drops Clove Essential Oil, 2 drops Geranium Essential Oil, and 2 drops Patchouli Essential Oil. Depending on the desired results, other essential oils may be substituted. This lotion can be applied to the entire body after a bath or a shower while the pores are more receptive to hydration. This body oil is known to not only reduce or eliminate harmful bacteria and fungi but to also boost circulation and thus promote a refreshed appearance with a smooth, firm, and refined finish.

Alternatively, a Hemp Seed Oil body butter can be made by melting 60 ml/gram (2 oz.) of each of the following ingredients in a double boiler: Hemp Seed Carrier Oil, Jojoba Carrier Oil, Coconut Carrier Oil, Avocado Carrier Oil, Palm Kernel Carrier Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Beeswax pellets. After all the ingredients have thoroughly melted together, add 50-75 drops of any essential oils of personal preference to the blend. Suggested essential oils include Geranium, Neroli, Orange Sweet, and Sandalwood essential oils. Pour the mixture into a 475 ml (16 oz.) glass jar instantly while it is still in a liquid state. Once the mixture solidifies, it can be applied to the body in the manner of a body lotion.

For a hair treatment that promotes the growth of healthier, silkier, and stronger strands, coat them with 1 Tbsp. of Hemp Oil before washing hair in the shower as usual. This simple practice is reputed to increase circulation to the scalp, soothe and prevent the formation of dandruff, inhibit the development of infectious growths, decrease hair loss, and increase thickness.

Used in medicinal applications, Hemp Seed Oil soothes areas of skin that are sore, painful, itchy, irritated, and inflamed. To alleviate skin conditions that exhibit these symptoms, such as eczema, first combine the following ingredients in a 70 ml (2.5 oz.) darkly-colored bottle: 60 ml of Hemp Seed Carrier Oil, 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil, and 5 drops of Coconut Carrier Oil. Cap the bottle and gently shake it to ensure thorough blending of all the ingredients. Apply a small amount of this solution to the affected areas of skin, rubbing it in gently. Allow it to dry on the skin for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.

Similarly, Hemp Seed Oil can be used to soothe the symptoms and discomforts of acne, such as inflammation, redness, congested pores, and to prevent the onset of future breakouts by addressing the bacteria that may potentially cause it to form. To cleanse the pores of white and blackheads and to tighten and decrease the size of pores, first wash the face with water of any preferred temperature. Next, gently massage Hemp Oil into the affected areas of skin and allow it to dry for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off with water. This can be used for skin rashes as well. To soothe symptoms of psoriasis, use the same method, leaving the oil on the affected areas for 20-25 minutes.

A GUIDE TO HEMP OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

HEMP SEED – REFINED CARRIER OIL

Botanical Name: Cannabis sativa

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from grains

Country of Origin: The Netherlands

Believed to:

    • Range in color from pale Yellow to Golden Yellow
    • Be a nutrient-rich, cosmetic-grade variety that is ideal for use in skin and hair care products
    • Reduce the appearance of signs of aging
    • Restore skin health to improve its texture and appearance
    • Protect the skin’s moisture barrier
    • Have an average rate of absorption that also leaves a slightly oily residue and sheen on the skin
    • Be ideal for use in manufacturing natural products requiring odorless and colorless ingredients
  • Be ideal for use in natural products that require longer shelf lives

 

HEMP SEED CARRIER OIL (UNREFINED)

Botanical Name: Cannabis sativa

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from grains

Country of Origin: Canada

Believed to:

    • Range in color from light to medium Olive Green
    • Retain its “virgin” state with a strong but natural aroma and color
    • Be a nutrient-rich, cosmetic-grade variety that is ideal for use in skin and hair care products
    • Restore skin health to improve its texture and appearance
    • Protect the skin’s moisture barrier
    • Have an average rate of absorption that also leaves a slightly oily residue and sheen on the skin
  • Be ideal for manufacturing natural products that will have more potency due to its minimal processing

 

HEMP SEED ORGANIC CARRIER OIL (UNREFINED)

Botanical Name: Cannabis sativa

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from grains

Believed to:

    • Range in color from Green to Dark Green
    • Be rich in essential fatty acids, proteins, and minerals with a full amino acid spectrum
    • Be a nutrient-rich, cosmetic-grade variety that is ideal for use in skin and hair care products
    • Be easily absorbed into the skin
    • Restore skin health to improve its texture and appearance
    • Protect the skin’s moisture barrier
  • Be ideal for use in manufacturing natural products that require the use of organic ingredients

HEMP OIL SIDE EFFECTS

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

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, hormone-related ailments, hypertension, or any chronic health condition. 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 Hemp Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of this oil to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Hemp Oil must never be used near the inner nose and ears or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Hemp Oil include irritation of the skin, cramps, and diarrhea.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this Carrier Oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Despite the fact that Hemp Oil and Hash Oil are both derived from varieties of the Cannabis plant, these two oils are produced in different ways and thus have different properties and effects.
    • Hemp Oil does not exhibit the sedative or narcotic properties that are characteristic of Hash Oil, also known as Cannabis Oil or Marijuana Oil.
    • Used topically, Hemp Carrier Oil is reputed to refresh, revive, and strengthen the skin, even out the complexion, enhance its texture and appearance, maintain its suppleness and softness, and repair dryness as well as damage.
    • When applied to hair, Hemp Seed Carrier Oil is known to naturally calm inflammation of the scalp and to condition the strands, thereby promoting their rejuvenated appearance and texture.
  • Used medicinally, Hemp Seed Carrier Oil is reputed to facilitate the healing of infections, improve circulation, promote the body’s detoxification, ease muscle and joint pain, and balance hormones.

Rejuvenate Your Skin, Body, Hair With French Clay

HISTORY OF FRENCH CLAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

MONTMORILLONITE CLAYS ARE:

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

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

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

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

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

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

french clays2

FRENCH CLAY BENEFITS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY FRENCH CLAY

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

HOW IS FRENCH CLAY EXTRACTED?

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

USES OF FRENCH CLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A GUIDE TO FRENCH CLAY VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

FRENCH CLAY GREEN

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

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

 


 

FRENCH CLAY PINK

INCI Name: Illite/Kaolin

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

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

 


 

FRENCH CLAY RED

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

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

 


 

FRENCH CLAY YELLOW

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

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

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR FRENCH CLAY

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

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

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

In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use. Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this group of natural clays as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions.

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

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

IN ESSENCE…

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