Pomegranate Seed Oil

History

Pomegranate seed oil began it’s journey literally eons ago. Native to Persia the pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits on the planet. It was known as the nectar of the Gods. Its first journey was to China in 100 B.C. For Christians the pomegranate represents hope of life eternal. Some scholars believe it was the pomegranate and not the apple that was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

For the Jewish religion, it represents righteousness. In China it represents wealth and is a common wedding present. In Buddhism, it is one of the three blessed fruits along with peaches and citrus.

The varied uses of the tree and fruit include tanning leather, treating leprosy and dyspepsia.

The Fruit

Pomegranates grow on a shrub that can be pruned to look like a tree. They can grow to 20 feet in height. There are some shrubs in Europe that have lived for 200 years. Although there are hundreds of cultivars, only 14 grow in the U.S

Pomegranate Seed Oil

200 pounds of pomegranate seeds are need to make 16 ounces of pomegranate seed oil. There are approximately 800 seeds per fruit. This luxurious oil is made by cold pressing the organic seeds.

The luscious oil produced by the pomegranate seeds contains flavonoids, antioxidants and punicic acid, a fatty acid. This reduces inflammation and hydrates as well as protecting the skin and repairing from sun damage. These components aid in protecting and firming the skin. Research has proven the efficacy of the oil on the skin in its ability to stimulate cell growth of the epidermis. Coupled with its bounty of antioxidants this is a must for glowing and healthy skin.

It easily penetrates the skin without leaving a greasy residue making it perfect for oily and dry skin. The oil is viscous and only a small amount is needed for the skin.

This prized oil is found in our eye serum, nourishing body oil and body balm.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

pumpkin seed oil
pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin History

Before we talk about pumpkin seed oil, let’s talk about the fruit. Yes, the countless varieties of pumpkins are in the same family as squash, cucumbers and melons. Its origin dates back to about 5000 B.C. in North America. Pumpkins are among the most versatile fruits that exist.

The shells were used to make bowls and mats by Native Americans. Medicinally, they have been used to treat acne, fever, parasites, and kidney problems etc. etc. Long a staple in diets, the flowers seeds and meat are considered delicacies in certain cultures. Pumpkin seeds have even been recommended by the World Health Organization for its abundance in zinc.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

We all know about the virtues of pumpkin pies and roasted seeds, but the pumpkin seed oil is the prize for me. Pumpkin seed oil is packed with everything you need for glowing skin. The seeds are cold pressed to obtain the oil that makes a dark green light oil with a slight nutty aroma. It is not a heavy oil like coconut oil and will therefore not clog your pores.

Benefits for the skin and hair

This powerhouse of an oil is packed with fatty acids, alpha hydroxyl acid, Vitamins A, C, E and zinc. These ingredients are all needed to boost collagen production, increase cell renewal that brighten and smooth the skin.

Research by the University of Maryland Medical Center has indicated that the oil is beneficial to hair and skin. Why? The omega 6 fatty acids are vital to help stimulate hair and skin growth. The vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids are essential for hair growth. The oil can decrease the production of the enzyme, 5 alpha reductase, that is responsible for slowing hair growth.

Vitamin K in pumpkin seed oil is known to reduce swelling, healing and bruising after surgery. It is also applied to the skin to help with rosacea, acne and spider veins according to WebMD.  We love pumpkin seed oil so much that you can find it our nourishing body oil and body oil.

So the next time you carve that pumpkin or make pumpkin pie, keeps the seeds.

Post Makeup Skin Care Routines

We tend to spend most of our energy preparing our face to take on the day and sometimes we seem to forego the needed post-makeup routine. We have all been there… exhausted to the point that our eye lashes seem to hurt and the finite energy still accessible was used to floss. Despite the desire to simply give in to the alluring plea of your heavenly bed, your post makeup skin care routine can define the success of your purposeful skin care choices both earlier in your day and life.  

When your skin has been absolved of all pollutants and erased of the day’s stress, it is a perfectly blank palette awaiting luxurious repair and restoration.  Throughout my life, I have dabbled in conventional and unorthodox skin care treatments. 

  1. Create a ritual.

    Of the many I have pondered, the most important I feel is the creation of a ritual.  By your bedside, I would recommend that you have at your arms reach an emollient lip balm, an eye serum, a face and neck serum, a face moisturizer and a hand/foot cream. If you have these beauty essentials close by, you will create not only a Zen moment but revoke any excuse of not having enough time. Always pay attention to the essential oils included in the ingredient deck; this can also be a vehicle for mental vigilance for essential rest and relaxation.

  2. Baby your face.

    Not once but twice.  First of all, avoid any abrasive puffs or brushes. Not only can these create perfect bacteria spawning grounds, but can strip your face and cause irritations and scaring.  Your fingers are the ideal mechanism for cleansing, but if you are accustomed to using a wash cloth, visit the baby section and invest in a few packs of these wash cloths.  They are the perfect size, the perfect softness and personally it makes my heart smile as I revisit memories of my daughters precious baby giggles. Secondly, when you exfoliate remember to exfoliate for more elongated amount of time versus with more strong and harsh movements.  Aesop said it best “Slow but steady wins the race”

  3. Thick then thin.

    No, not a diet fad! Always pay attention to the proper order of products for maximum results.  At all times, apply serums first then moisturize.  Why? To maximize the benefits.  The chemical and physical properties of serums (those that are not laden with harmful chemicals or vexatious toxins) provide a potent dose of nutrients as they create hydration and balance.  Serums are fast-penetrating and can create a pristine canvas for both the application of a moisturizer but also to take full advantage of the benefits.  In essence you are encouraging your serums and moisturizers to work smarter… not harder!

  4. Create Change.

    Lastly, I would remind you to keep a routine but create change within your routine.  Fall is fast approaching and I would encourage you to reassess the products you are using in your routine.  Personally, my skin is quite dry and I have recently begun using the HollyBeth Organics Skin Therapy over my face and neck serum at night.  The curative camellia seed mixed with lavender and lime aroma calms my mind while the prickly pear encourages courageous dreams. We all have our routines, our secret indulgences and our hush-hush beauty tips.  What are your top post-makeup skin care treatments?

 

Camellia Seed Oil

camelliahomeslider

Camellia History

Camellia seed oil is my favorite ingredient.

Camellias, a staple in southern gardens, is one of my favorite blooms. Their origin can be traced 5,000 years to China and Japan. The plant arrived in Europe in the 16th century but didn’t make it to the U.S. until the 19th century. There are over 200 species of camellias. According to the International Camellia Society there are over 20,000 varieties. Green tea comes from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. The oil is from the seeds of Camellia oleifera.

In Japan, they were known as tsubak or “tree with shining leaves”. The Shinto religion believed that gods made their spirit homes in the flowers. They were planted near temples and graveyards for their spiritual meaning. The flowers were not cut because it was equivalent to beheading. We can thank the Geisha in Japan for making camellia seed oil so popular for the skin and hair. It has been a staple for centuries in their beauty routine.

Camellia Properties

As a non-comedogenic oil it quickly penetrates the skin and hair without leaving an oily residue; a true dry oil. It contains UV protection due to the polyphenol compounds. Full of vitamins A, B, C and E and abundant in oleic acid that regenerates the skin it is perfect for all skin types. Its properties add moisture to soften and make the skin more supple as well has containing anti-inflammatory properties.

It is by far my favorite oil. That is why you will find it in most of our products. In our hair and body silk it is coupled with argan oil and infused with vetiver and peppermint. You will also find this exquisite oil in our face and body creams as well as most of our oil combination.

I like to think of it as Mother Nature’s elixir for your skin and hair.

vitamin C the skin’s powerhouse

face and neck elixir

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant for your skin.

Did you know that rose hip and sea buckthorn oils have more vitamin C than oranges? Vitamin C is what keeps our skin healthy and firm.

Humans do not produce vitamin C. We either have to eat foods containing it or apply to our skin. As the epidermis and dermis need vitamin C, the skin benefits more from topical application. As vitamin C is water soluble topical is the way to go. Our rose geranium face moisturizer, face and neck elixir and eye serum that contain this crucial vitamin penetrate the skin quickly and effortlessly. All of our products are water less. Basically, by applying vitamin C products to your skin your skin benefits more than drinking a vitamin C drink. 

Topical Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerhouse for the skin. Two observational studies found that higher intakes of vitamin C from the diet were associated with better skin appearance, with notable decreases in skin wrinkling. 

As we age, collagen formation declines. Environmental stress such as pollution, sun, smoking etc. affect the collagen in our body. Collagen is the most prominent protein in our body and comprises about 70% of our skin. It is found throughout the body and acts as a quilt holding us together. Collagen gives the skin firmness. Your skin needs vitamin C, an anti-oxidant, to replenish declining collagen formation. Topical Vitamin C helps the skin as we age by promoting collagen production and limiting the damage done by environmental stress.

History has shown that Vitamin C has been used for the skin. It is known that women in Tibet would rub sea buckthorn berries on their skin to the skin healthy. The oil is bright golden orange and they would massage it in their hands and face. Rose hips and rose petals have been used for centuries for the skin. In history they used what was at hand, what Mother Nature produced. Just like we do at HollyBeth Organics.

 

 

Barred owl vs barn owl

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

Barred Owl

Barred owls and barn owls differences are easy to identify once you know what they are.  Both are common in my backyard. Native to North America, this majestic barred owl lives in my backyard. Their name comes from the bars of brown and white on the bird’s chest.  They have brown eyes whereas most owls have yellow colored eyes. A barred owl’s territory for hunting can span 800 acres. Their diet consists of rabbits, opossum and the occasional frog.

They are nocturnal but you can hear them during the day. Well, you can certainly hear mine during the day. They roost during the day in my oak and black walnut trees. Their lifespan is 10 years in the wild. They are quite massive birds. The talons can carry a small dog. They are 20 inches tall with a wingspan of 2 feet and they weight about 2 lbs. They hoot when communicating. The female tends the nest and the male hunts for food. Their first flight is about 6 weeks.

Barn Owls

click above to see photo

They are found in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and  Australia. The barn owl is on of the most widespread of birds. IT is found on islands and on 6 continents.The females are about 20 inches in length and the males are 15 inches with a wingspan of 43 – 47 inches. They only live 3-4 years and feed on voles, mice bats, skunks and other small birds. Their hearing is so acute that they can hunt voles and shrews deep in the ground. They also have dark eyes. These owls screech as opposed to be a nice melodic singing. They don’t have a normal nest. They will use crevices in trees or they will actually dig a hole in dirt. 

 

blue yarrow essential oil

yarrow

Blue Yarrow Essential Oil

Blue yarrow essential oil is actually not blue. Yarrow has over 100 active ingredients including flavonoids, tannins, silica, amino acids and the list goes on. Like chamomile, yarrow contains azulene that produces the rich vibrant blue.

The lovely sky blue color occurs when the leaves and flower tops are distilled to make the essential oil. The flowerheads are yellow, white and pink. With over 30 cultivars, the native yarrow is cream or white. This pink one in my backyard turns creams after being this subtle pink. The leaves of some have a spicy bitter aroma. 

The essential oil is known for it’s healing of the skin and is most often used in treating acne and blemishes. It has a rich herbaceous aroma that is soothing and relaxing. It is used in steambaths to rid the body of toxins. Our new pore clarifying mask has blue yarrow essential oil.

Yarrow History

Yarrow, is one the world’s oldest medicinal plants. .  Yarrow is a hardy wildflower that can be found around the globe.It’s healing properties are chronicled throughout history beginning with the Romans. The Greeks and Romans used the herb during battles to heal wounds and to stop the flow of blood. In Mythology, Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War, used yarrow to help heal the tendon injured ankleNative American used the dried leaves and flowers heads in a paste to treat sunburn and other skin ailments. It was thought to also cure baldness. It has been used to reduce anxiety and stress in tea form or in infusions. As a tea it is known to reduce fevers and diminish migraines.

It was thought to have magical powers and some thought it would guard against evil spirits if hung above your door. In Ireland it was hung above the door on midsummer night’s eve to protect the homeowners from disease. Its leaves and flowers were used to brew beer in the Middle Ages.

 

blueberry the powerhouse

blueberries

blueberry origin

In a recent search, I read that the humble blueberry is considered one of the oldest living plants on the planet. It has an approximate age of 12,500 years. Native to North America, the wild blueberry has spawned over 450 species that grow across the globe. Although not as common in the south as blackberries when I was growing up, it is now a fixture in most backyards. As animals love the fruit this is a great plant to include in your urban garden.

blueberry folklore

Native to America, Native Americans smoked the berries to preserve them. They used the blueberry to make a jerky that would last during the winter. The roots of the berries were made in tea that was used to soothe the pains of childbirth, to purify the blood and for coughs. The berries were also used to make dye for textiles. In the south, it was said the tea from blueberry leaves would regulate blood sugar. As a child I remember someone would bring my Grandmother blueberry wine and to this day I think about how I wish I had tried it! According to the University of South Florida it has more antioxidants than red or white grape wine.

blueberry nutrition

A cup of blueberries has 80 calories. But this one cup is chock full of nutritious benefits for you. It contains the daily recommended amount of fiber: 3.6 grams. It contains 25% of your daily Vitamin C needs. These powerhouses also have vitamin K, manganese and iron. In one study Blueberry antioxidant properties have been shown to aid mobility in senior citizens who ate 2 cups of frozen blueberries a day. This fruit has been claimed by some researchers has having more antioxidants than any other fruit.

Because this fruit is so powerful, we included it in our new pore clarifying mask for its bountiful antioxidant properties. We know you will love the way it purifies your pores without drying the skin. Thanks to the blueberry, your skin will be glowing and fresh!