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    Essential Oils 101 | How do essential oils work?

    essential oils

    I have been using and experimenting with essential oils for over 25 years and I just couldn’t live without them now. The last few years have seen a huge growth in their popularity as more and more people experience their benefits. The tiny bottles contain incredibly powerful properties and always should be respected and used with caution (seek advice if you are new to using them). But how do they work? How do they affect our emotions, our muscles, our skin? First, what exactly is an essential oil? Essential oils are volatile liquids (volatile meaning they evaporate at room temperature) made up of many different chemical compounds produced by plants. Plants produce these special oils for their own purposes such as protection from pests and…

    A little bit about Lanolin

    One of my products, the Repair Balm, gets such great feedback due to its ability to heal damaged, irritated and painful skin fast. This is my go-to when my eczema flares up, and it never fails to give quick relief and healing. I attribute these amazing results to its main ingredient, lanolin. Although in so many cases oils, butters and waxes from plants (non-animal) sources provide great healing and nourishment to our skin I can’t get away from the fact that we are animals and, for me, sometimes an animal based ingredient works better. I know this won’t sit right with vegans, but for those of us who eat animals, the use of animal products is a great option. I take great care to choose…

    Borage (Starflower) Oil for your skin

    Borage Oil

    You have probably seen borage growing in your garden or along the side of the road; originally from the Mediterranean it now grows well almost everywhere. It has the striking blue star shaped flower (hence it’s common name Starflower), big floppy green leaves and very characteristic white hairs that cover almost the whole plant. The plant is used in many ways, but for skin care we are interested in the seeds. Borage oil is the greatest source of the fatty acid GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), it contains a huge 17-25%. GLA is then converted into very important prostaglandins, these are very powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation is a key cause in many skin issues, from acne to rashes and sensitivities to dry skin conditions and wrinkles. Interestingly,…

    Lavender, acne and insects!

    Lavender may not be exotic or new but the fact it has been one of the most used herbs for hundreds of years proves to me just how effective it is for health and healing in our bodies. Dioscorides, the author of the original herbal medicine bible de Materia Medica (written in 50-70 AD), was the first to document it’s many benefits. The Ancients Greeks used it, as did the Romans and every civilization since. It has been a staple in medicine cabinets as an antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, aromatic, bitter, carminative, digestive, diuretic, sedative, stimulant, tonic, and more. PHEW! But the story which always grabbed my attention and for me illustrates lavender’s remarkable benefits for our skin is the one involving perfume chemist...

    Shea butter

    Shea Butter
    I often get asked why I choose the ingredients I do, and with so many wonderful, therapeutic options available to us now it’s a complex task. Here is an insight into why I chose one of my commonly used ingredients, shea butter. When choosing an ingredient, I have to look at many things; benefits for the skin, is it lovely to use, does it smell good in its raw unrefined state and it is ethically and organically produced? One goal with my formulations is to have as few ingredients as possible, so it’s vital that I choose wisely, to ensure my products are highly effective as well as lovely to use. In it’s raw, unrefined state it is, in my opinion and experience, one of...

    A more technical read… but important. Our skin’s acid mantle.

    Skin Anatomy
    I am about to bring out two rounds of new products.... the first of which are formulated for skin that is really sensitive. The kind of skin that reacts to almost everything, feels tight and even sore all the time. The only skin care products that can be used on this kind of skin are the pharmaceutical creams and washes that do no apparent harm (in the short term) but certainly don't do anything to help heal and repair the skin and reverse the crippling sensitivities. In this blog I wanted to write about the pH of the surface of our skin and our "acid mantle". What is it? And why is it SO important? Especially for super sensitive skin. You have probably heard the terms...

    Sun cream for all seasons!

    Sun Cream for all seasons
    As I look out my window and see the snow start to fall out of the heavy grey sky, the last thing I should be thinking about is sun cream. But, this time of year I start to get lots more questions about sun protection from two types of lucky customers. Firstly, the winter sun beach-seekers, and secondly, the blue-bird day snow-seekers. Sun protection products are some of the scariest on the market in my opinion, with high levels of toxic, irritating, hormone disrupting chemicals. They are the skin care product I get the most amount of questions about, from customers seeking alternatives due to many and severe adverse skin reactions. Thankfully there are more and more options on the market which don't have the...

    The three drinks I’m having now for winter wellness and great skin

    I'm always looking for new ways to add a boost to mine and my family's health. I have tried all sorts of weird and wonderful super foods but I often find them expensive and I don't necessarily feel any different. These 3 drinks I come back to every winter, they are inexpensive, mostly tasty and I really feel the good they do. Herbal teas. Winter has definitely arrived (my car was frozen shut this morning!) and the cold weather outside combined with the hot temperatures inside mean we need just as much, if not more water than in the warmer months. A dehydrated body means dry, flaky skin and water is the best remedy.I have a large basket filled with bags and jars of my...

    (Flower) Water is the new black

    Hibiscus & Hyaluronic Flower Water Detail
    So we're a fickle bunch, us skin care users. In the beginning we hated oil, probably a good thing as it was often petroleum based (not plant based) and now we love oil (plant based only of course!). Plant oils are highly nutritious and have wonderful benefits for our skin, above and beyond simple "moisturizing". But is feeding our skin with these gorgeous oils enough? Our skin is actually made up more of water than oil. It is about 70% water. So surely it makes sense to be applying water based products to our skin, as much, if not more than oil based? Absolutely! And this also explains why one of the best ways to improve the health and look of your skin is quite...

    What are the flower waters for?

    Rose & Frankincense Flower Water Detail
    I get asked lots of different questions when talking about my products but this is one of the most common ones.... What are the flower waters for?.... it's a great question! Our skin needs both water & oils to be fully hydrated and moisturized. Skin cells need both oils and water to function properly, using one but not the other will leave your skin lacking and not looking great. To get maximum moisture into the skin I recommend using a flower water and an oil (serum or moisturizer) together. Why do I keep oil & water separate? When oil and water are combined together into a traditional cream they require emulsifiers and preservatives. I keep oil and water separate because emulsifiers and preservatives are some...
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