Dead sea salts are mineral-rich natural salts taken from the famous Dead Sea in Israel. The Dead Sea is actually a salt lake, with hypersaline water. With its extreme salt and mineral concentration, the Dead Sea has become known as a treasure trove of natural therapeutic and cosmetic wonders. Continue reading The Therapeutic Wonders of Dead Sea Salts
Jojoba oil is the liquid that comes from the seeds of the jojoba bushes that grow in desert environments in Arizona, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Chile. Jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) has long been considered a precious natural beauty remedy for the skin and hair.
Botanical name: Simmondsia Chinensis
Properties: Jojoba oil has a unique composition that makes it suitable as a base oil in cosmetics. Although it’s called an “oil”, it’s technically a liquid wax. The composition is very close to the skin’s own sebum (oil) composition, which is why it works so effectively. Jojoba can hydrate deeply, without causing greasiness or blocking the pores.
Natural jojoba oil is highly protective and makes a great moisturiser. It absorbs well and leaves skin silky and smooth.
Jojoba Oil Nourishes All Skin Types
Jojoba oil has a high vitamin E content, and is rich in skin-loving minerals. It helps to minimise wrinkles, control blemishes and breakouts, and treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Jojoba oil also contains a natural SPF of 4 and makes a good complement to your natural sun care products.
Jojoba oil is a great day and night moisturiser for all skin types (sensitive, dry, oily, normal or combination skin). It’s high in an anti-inflammatory substance known as myristic acid, which calms a variety of skin complaints and revitalises your complexion.
How Jojoba Oil Helps Brittle Hair
A jojoba hair mask is ideal for restoring and repairing damaged hair. It rebuilds and adds a deep gloss that goes right into the roots. It’s a sheen worthy of this golden liquid.
Using only plant-based products on your hair is a great way of going natural, but this alone cannot reconstruct or feed the hair. When you add jojoba oil to these vegetal products, a beautiful synergy takes place. Now you can clean, condition and deeply moisturise the hair shaft. Unlike petrochemical components that strip the hair shaft, jojoba oil allows the hair shaft to retain its moisture, providing elasticity, strength and a beautiful shine.
For best results, add 3-5 drops of jojoba oil to your favourite natural conditioner, or apply 1-2 drops to damp hair after showering. This is the perfect way to give your locks some extra love!
Attention, nature-loving babes! Here’s everything you need to know about the healing beauty of chamomile essential oil.
- BOTANICAL NAME: Chamomile recutita, Matricaria chamomile, Matricaria recutita
- FAMILY: Compositae
- EXTRACTION: from the flowers and the plant
- PROCESS: distillation
- ORIGIN: Europe
Fab Fact: Chamomile’s curative effects have been widely known since the dawn of time. In Mesopotamia, it was called “the gift of the meadows.” In ancient Egypt, chamomile was revered for its virtues – so much so that it was consecrated to the Sun god, Horus. Continue reading The Beautiful Benefits of Chamomile Essential Oil
Rose essential oil has so much more to offer than its beautiful romantic scent. This flower oil is a dream come true for the skin, and a tonic for the mood.
- BOTANICAL NAME: Rosa damascena
- FAMILY: Rosaceae
- EXTRACTION: from the flowers/ petals
- PROCESS: steam distillation
There are more than 10,000 kinds of roses cultivated in the world, but only a few of these varieties are used to extract essential oils. A few examples include:
- The robust Rosa Damascena, or Bulgarian rose, red and fragrant and cultivated in Bulgaria, Tunisia and Morocco;
- The Cabbage rose, or May rose, of Persian origin, which is pale and sweet, now cultivated in France, Morocco and Algeria;
- The Rosa Gallica, from Turkey, with its intense natural perfume.
Rosa Damascena is distilled in vapour steam, and yields one of the most precious rose essential oils in the world. The richness and complexity of this oil gives it a large variety of applications in aromatherapy.
Fab Fact: It takes up to 30 roses to create a single drop of essence, and five tons of petals are needed to produce just one pound!
Symbolism of the Rose
- The petals are soft and velvety, a caress to the touch: the rose is softening.
- The shape of the flower itself helps to retain rainwater: the rose is moisturising.
- The petals are stratified to protect the centre of the flower from the weather: the rose is protective.
- The stem is sturdy and well-defended by its thorns: the rose is strengthening.
- The roots stretch to know the depths of the earth: the rose permeates the senses and touches the heart.
Beauty Benefits of Rose Essential Oil
- Antibacterial, astringent (toning), calming, anti-inflammatory
- Fights infections, irritations and dermatitis
- Soothes rosacea, inflammation, redness and blemishes
- Balances the skin, controls excess oil
- Hydrates the skin, softens wrinkles and lines
- Improves skin tone and texture
Emotional Effects of Rose Essential Oil
- Balances emotions, provides comfort
- Strongly associated with compassion, understanding and love
- Removes trauma, resentment and negative or destructive feelings
Rose essential oil is a real feast for the soul, and the perfect way to pamper yourself!
How often do you stop to think about the skincare ingredients you’re exposed to every day?
We all love beauty products that make us feel as good as we look. Refreshing shower gels, flowery shampoos, pampering body butters – there’s no better feeling than giving yourself a bit of TLC. But all too often, the skincare ingredients lurking in our favourite products are counteractive to all the good stuff we’re lavishing on our skins.
Dishing the Dirt on Skincare Ingredients
Your skin is not a wetsuit; it’s a highly sensitive, highly absorbent organ. Just as you perspire through your pores, you also absorb things through them. To put it another way: Sweat comes out, sh*t goes in! That means every skincare ingredient you apply on the surface will sink in through your pores, and into your bloodstream.
When you think about it that way, are the ingredients in your everyday lotions and potions really the kind of things you want going into your system? There are a few skincare ingredients out there that can really mess with your body, not just on the surface, but from the inside too. Here’s the rundown on three of the biggest culprits.
1. SLS/ SLES
My number one nemesis when it comes to skincare ingredients is sodium lauryl or laureth sulphate (SLS or SLES). It’s a surfactant that’s used in a huge variety of personal care and cleaning products, and is usually what gives those products their ‘foaming’ properties. So anything that foams – body wash, toothpaste, shampoo, bubble bath, bar soap, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent – it all includes SLS.
The fact that this nasty is used interchangeably as a skincare ingredient and cleaning agent should be a big red flag!
SLS and SLES are known to be irritants. Their harsh grease-removing action can really throw the delicate balance of your skin’s natural oils and pH levels out of whack. This leads to dryness, sensitivity and cracked, flaky skin.
Another major concern is how these skincare ingredients can interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogens. These interactions can cause major health issues like kidney and respiratory damage too.
Parabens are a type of preservative, used in cosmetic products to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould. They’re effective and cheap, which is why they’re so popular with large mass-produced beauty brands. But they are seriously bad news for your body.
Parabens have been shown to be xenoestrogens. If you think that kind of makes them sound like nasty little alien invaders, you’re not far off the mark! Xenoestrogens are substances that mimic oestrogen hormones in the body. So once they’re absorbed through your skin, they disrupt your existing hormone levels, and this can wreak havoc on your reproductive health, thyroid function and overall wellness. The oestrogen-mimicking properties of parabens have even been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and tumours.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used as solvents, in personal care products as well as detergents. Phthalates are often added to fragrances, where they are not listed as individual ingredients, so they lurk secretly in many perfumed products like deodorant, cologne, hair spray and body lotion.
Like parabens, phthalates are endocrine (hormonal) disruptors. Prolonged exposure to these toxic skincare ingredients can affect hormonal balance and reproductive health.
A Gentler Approach to Skincare
These three are just a few of the really ‘big bads’ I wanted to highlight. Conventional skincare products are loaded with many other unnecessary ingredients (synthetic colours, preservatives, additives) that don’t do your body any good.
To start detoxing your skincare regime, look for more natural products, with ingredient lists that are free of the worst offenders. The more natural you go, the better you’ll feel – you might even be inspired to start making your own all-natural body products with ingredients like botanical oils and beeswax.
When you start using beauty products that are full of nutrients instead of toxins, you can really start honouring your body and replenishing the health of your skin. Look out for some of my favourite natural body care products and DIY recipes, all made with the purest natural skincare ingredients!