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    J is for Jojoba

    Jojoba Oil Skincare

    J is for Jojoba (“ho-ho-ba”) Why do I use this ingredient so much? Other than simply being fun to say, jojoba mimics our own skin’s natural oils; this means it’s both supportive and restorative when it comes to skincare.   What is Jojoba Oil? Jojoba oil is actually a wax ester that is produced from the seeds of the Simmondsia chinensis plant, found in areas such as Arizona, Mexico, and California. Common names for the plant are goat nut, deer nut, pig nut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffeeberry, and gray box bush. The O’odham Hohowi people (indigenous Uto-Aztecs) are the ones credited with the name “jojoba”. They, and other southwestern indigenous people, have long treated burns and other wounds using the paste or oil from…

    Beautiful Balancing Lavender

    Lavender to Balance your Skin

    Beautiful, Balancing Lavender I have to admit, when I see those tiny, light purple lavender buds start to appear in my garden, I get excited. There is even more anticipation this year, as I have a good-sized plot of lavender that is destined for my still to make lavender hydrosol. The hydrosol and/or lavender essential oil is found in nearly all of the products in my Balancing Line for it’s skin-loving and healing properties. I’ve written about the history and many uses of lavender before (read it here), but today is all about BALANCE.   A Balanced Skincare Routine Before we get into lavender’s skin-balancing powers, it’s important to understand what our skin needs (and doesn’t) to stay healthy. As our body’s largest organ, our…

    F is for Frankincense

    Frankincense is one of my favourite oils for rejuvenating and repairing the skin. It’s also the star of my number one selling product, Argan & Frankincense Facial Oil. What makes this ancient tree resin so special that we have been treasuring it for thousands of years?   A Brief History of Frankincense Most of us were likely introduced to frankincense when we learned it was one of the gifts given to Christ at his birth by the Three Wise Men. They gifted him the treasures of myrrh, frankincense, and gold. And indeed, there are written records as far back as 1500 BC discussing uses for this prized resin. Frankincense is from the boswellia family of trees, which has never been domesticated or cultivated. It grows…

    R is for Roses (Bulgarian Rose)

    I look at plants a lot differently than most people out there, and that goes for the beautiful rose, as well. Of course I love roses for their beauty, scent, and the symbolism of love… but when I look at a rose, I also see its power to soothe and heal. Aromatherapy of Rose Scent is the sense most closely tied to memory, and I bet the sweet scent of rose will bring you somewhere special. Is it a flower garden? The wild roses by the ocean? Or someone who once wore a perfume with rose notes? No matter your own memory with the scent of rose, it holds special power in the world of aromatherapy. Inhaling the essence of rose has shown to reduce…

    A is for Argan Oil

    Best for: All Skin Types Something I love about working with plants and other natural ingredients is that very often the practices of ancient cultures are still valuable today. So many of my formulations contain ingredients that have been used for hundreds (or thousands) of years from cultures around the world without question. They use them because they work. And now, thanks to science, we understand why they work. Argan oil is the perfect example. Argan oil is often called “liquid gold” in Morocco, because of how valuable it is. The oil is made from the fallen fruits of the argan tree (argania spinosa), which is only natively grown in southwest Morocco. These rare trees are now UNESCO protected to ensure their conservation. In addition…

    Hyaluronic Acid for all skin types and all seasons

    Hyaluronic Acid for Skin Types and Seasons

    Hyaluronic Acid for all skin types and all seasons Hyaluronic (hi-a-lur-onic) acid (HA), or sodium hyaluronate is now a widely known and well accepted skin care ingredient. It’s ability to hold up to 1000x its own weight in water and be absorbed readily through the surface of the skin is what makes it so great. Without it, it is incredibly hard to get useful amounts of water into the skin using topical products. HA is found naturally in our skin, joints and eyes and like many other components of our body decreases as we age. So, it would make sense to focus on using HA in products aimed at mature skin. However, all skin types can benefit from the water boost HA gives. Another way…

    Chamomile

    Chamomile for Skin As the chamomile in my garden is blooming profusely, I thought it was a good time to tell you about why I love it so much. I encourage you to buy some seeds, it’s very easy to grow (use a pot if you don’t want it to spread) and picking the flowers each evening for a cup of fresh tea is a ritual I am enjoying right now. Our new baby bunnies love the stalks and stems so I’m happy to share with them too. Along with the cooking herbs of mint, rosemary and sage, chamomile is probably one of the best known and well used herbs. A cup of chamomile tea before bedtime has been taken for centuries to aid a…

    Balancing Geranium & Lemon Verbena Hydrating Mist

    Although I use the mists through the cooler months too, the warmer weather is when these refreshing and uplifting sprays really come into their own. Made from organic plant hydrosols, they are ideal for adding hydration to the skin and restoring pH balance as well as nurturing the skin (and our whole selves) with the benefits of the individual plants. What is a hydrosol? Originally considered just a by-product of making steam distilled essential oils, this condensed steam, now rich in properties from the plant material is a stunning ingredient in its own right. In fact, this magical water contains both the oil and water-soluble parts of a plant, not just the oil soluble parts found in essential oils. Hydrosols are also incredibly gentle on...

    Camellia (tea) oil – a quiet but beautiful plant oil for the face.

    Last month my Pomegranate & Lemon Nourishing Facial Oil came in 2nd place in the Cert Clean Beauty Awards (face oil category). It is so great to have this formula recognized as having not only clean ingredients but also great results. I have written about the pomegranate oil and steam-distilled lemon oil I use in this formula before, now it’s the turn of the main ingredient (by volume) Camellia oil. Camellia Oleifera seed oil comes from the wonderful tea plant, indigenous to China. And it was the flawless geishas who made this beautiful oil famous centuries ago. They used this delightful oil to remove their heavy make-up and keep their skin perfect. Camellia oil is very light and absorbed quickly and penetrates deep into the…

    Pomegranate Oil – The star of my award nominated Pomegranate & Lemon Nourishing Facial Oil

    Pomegranate Oil The star of my award nominated Pomegranate & Lemon Nourishing Facial Oil The juicy, yet crunchy seeds found in the striking pomegranate contain an oil rich in treasures for our skin. A relative newcomer in the world of plant oils for skin health, pomegranate oil has been studied extensively due to its unique composition. As well as the usual suspects (vitamin E, linoleic acid, palmitic acid etc) pomegranate seed oil contains a very rare omega 5 fatty acid called punicic acid, a whopping 80%! It is thought that this huge percentage of punicic acid is what makes pomegranate oil so useful for skin that is mature, damaged and stressed. Anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antitumour and photoprotective are the top properties to come out of the…

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