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    Organic Sun Cream FAQs

    Organic Sun Cream FAQs

    March was unseasonably hot and dry here in BC which sparked the sun cream sales, and along with that lots of questions. Here are the most frequently asked questions about my organic sun creams. Organic Mineral Suncream FAQs 1. What SPF are they equivalent to? My sun creams are not (yet) tested by Health Canada for an official SPF rating. The amount of zinc I use combined with the natural filters of the base ingredients could give an SPF rating of about 30. BUT everyone’s skin is different and we recommend you reapply regularly when out in the sun until you know how the product and your skin react in the sun. 2. Can the sun creams be used on the face? Absolutely! They are safe…

    Distilling for Hydrosols

    Distilling essential oils and hydrosols

    Like most children I loved making potions from picked flowers and leaves, maybe some mud and if I was lucky a berry or two. I would shake it up, pop it in empty jars, label them with a name like “Helena’s magical dandelion and daisy perfume” and try to sell them to passers by. Little did I know that 30-odd years later I would be doing just that…all be it with fancier labels and a more effective way of selling! Essential oils were one of the first “raw” ingredients that I fell in love with many years ago but I didn’t really encounter hydrosols (aqueous distilled plants/flower waters) until I moved to Canada and started formulating my own line of skin care products. The more…

    Time for a change (don’t worry…just a little bit!)

    Business Refresh

    Last month I told you that I had been working with a coach to help keep me moving forward with the business. It became clear that after 6 years of minimal creative changes to the producvts we have been making, it is time for me to start creating and formulating again. After all, this is what I love doing the most! One of my core goals I created with her was to bring you all along for the journey that is Helena Lane Skincare. So rather than announcing a new line of products, I’m announcing the beginning of the creative process. Most of the products available today were created just over 6 years ago, and although the bulk of my experience (in years) was before…

    Beat the Heat with Hydrosols

    hydrosols
    Phew it’s hot right now! It’s easy to remember to wear sun creams to protect against burning but how do we protect ourselves from overheating? When temperatures get this hot I love having one of my flower waters handy to spritz my face and body. Not only do they smell great, but the plant hydrosols and essential oils have uplifting and cooling effects on the body. For me, the Lavender & Mint Flower Water is ideal during the day. Although lavender has the reputation of being just a sleep inducing plant, it also uplifts, especially when combined with mint. This flower water contains both spearmint and peppermint to create a lovely light minty blend. All three plants actively cool the body when spritzed onto the...

    2 New Ways to use my Berry & Hibiscus Mask

    berry hibiscus mask

    While visiting Edmonton last month (I visited Kolya Naturals, one of my retailers) the lovely ladies there have me a sample of a wonderful honey-based face mask to treat myself with that night in the hotel. While I lay on my hotel bed, face slathered in fancy mask, I thought about my Berry & Hibiscus Mask and how great it would be to add in something different. My exfoliants and masks all come as powders, formulated to have water added just before you apply them. This ensures the mask is fresh and active and allows me to avoid adding harmful preservatives. Although water is all they need, there is no reason why you can’t play around and add other ingredients too.. our fridges and cupboards…

    Oil Serum vs. Water Serum

    oil serum water serum

    I’ll be the first to admit some of my product names can be a little confusing (I’ll be working on this next year), but the one that seems to baffle the most is the two different types of serums I have. So, here’s a quick help guide: There are two types of serums, one is oil-based and one is water-based. Oil Based Serums Argan & Frankincense Jasmine & Pomegranate Rose & Starflower Water Based (hyaluronic) Serums Hibiscus Rose Petal Lavender Rose Geranium Our skin is moisturized when we use BOTH oil and water, so when choosing which skin care products to buy we ideally need something water-based and something oil-based. (Cosmetics often have oil and water in the same product, find out why I don’t…

    Sun protection for even the most sensitive skin

    Sensitive skin sun protection

    Here is Squamish, BC the sun has been shining everyday this month (I think it rained once.. in the night!) so sun protection is a hot topic right now. As I have said before sun protection products contain some of the most highly toxic, irritating and hormone disrupting ingredients so it’s no wonder I get many emails describing skin reactions and deep concerns. Sun protection is unique in the cosmetics industry as it is aproduct that we apply a LOT all over our bodies, often multiple times a day and on all members of the family, so the very young and very old. This a very big reason to make sure the ingredients are safe. So, what are the options? Protection for UV rays is…

    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,…

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