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. 

Bergamot

Bergamot Origin

Bergamot has been used for hundreds of years by perfumers in Western Europe for its ability to mingle with other fragrances. Its medicinal history dates back to the 16th century when the Italians used the oil for fevers, as an antiseptic, for respiratory problems and skin ailments.

The tree has a curious history. Some say that the evergreen tree is a cross between an orange and lemon and others say it is a cross with a grapefruit. There are those who argue that it is native to Asia and others to Greece. Another legend is that Christopher Columbus took the tree to the Caribbean and elsewhere where it was used in voodoo to protect oneself against harm.

Whatever the history, it appears that the name came from Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy where it was first sold.  It is the Italians who have the largest production of bergamots. The Greeks attest that the name came from Turkish word meaning “the lord’s pear”.

Bergamot Essential Oil

The tree is relatively small, growing only to 13 feet. The small fruit itself is yellow when ripe and is sour and basically non-edible. It is the peel that is cold pressed to make the fruit. It takes approximately 100 bergamots to make 3 ounces of oil.

The components make it useful as an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant  essential oil. It is known to be a rival of lavender essential when relaxing the mind.

The aroma is crisp, tart with a peppery spicy undertone. You can find bergamot essential oil in HollyBeth’s flourish roll on perfume, marigold bergamot dry oil, citrus cream and citrus spray.

Can Bergamot Oil Help Acne?

Can bergamot oil help acne? For those of us with blemish-prone skin, facial products containing oil tend to send us running in the opposite direction. My skin is already oily, and I don’t want to clog my pores with a greasy product.

Bergamot Dry Oil Combats Oily Skin

HollyBeth Organics’ Marigold Bergamot Dry Oil is different. It is not heavy oil that sits on top of your skin. It is actually a dry oil, meaning it sinks directly into the skin to heal and balance from below the surface. This lightweight moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog pores (and we all know clogged pores can lead to more pimples!).  A powerful combination of grape seed, jojoba, calendula, and bergamot oil help acne, heal scars, and cure minor skin irritations while gently moisturizing and balancing the skin.

Lightweight Moisturizer

Not only is Marigold Bergamot Dry Oil a great anti-acne defense, it is also a lightweight moisturizer. On clean, dry skin, gently massage a small amount on your face and neck (a little goes a long way). Your skin will be soothed and hydrated – it is the perfect daily moisturizer for normal to oily skin.

I have to admit, I was a skeptic myself when I first looked into using bergamot oil, but I gave it a try and found it to be one of the best solutions for my blemish-prone skin. I even use it at night to help prevent future breakouts! This stuff is liquid anti-acne gold.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Sunflower Seed Oil for the skin

Sunflower seed oil is so beneficial to the skin. A study on infants compared sunflower seed oil with olive oil and found that olive oil “significantly damages the skin barrier” and should be discouraged for dry skin treatment and infant massage. They also determined it reduces infection. It is rich in oleic acid, linoleic acid, carotenoids and  high in Vitamins A, D, and E. It is non comedogenic: it doesn’t clog the pores. Safe for infants, sunflower seed oil is a better skin barrier than the petroleum based products as it protects the skin and locks in moisture. The oil also contains folic acid that helps the body manufacture new cells.

According to Dermatology Times, several studies indicate that the oil has anti-inflammatory properties.Thus making it perfect for acne prone skin by fighting the bacteria yet moisturizing at the same time. The National Eczema Association also encourages the use of sunflower seed oil for those suffering with outbreaks.

What does this mean? That this oil penetrates the skins, absorbs quickly and reduces the fine lines. It is a powerful moisturizer and deeply nourishing for the skin. We have sunflower seed oil in our face and neck elixir, body polish, body oil and flourish calming perfume. See for your yourself the results of sunflower seed oil.

Sunflower Fun Facts

Sunflowers, native to the Americas, have been growing since 1000 B.C. The largest producer in the the U.S. is South Dakota. With over 70 species to choose their benefits are eclectic. In Japan, millions were planted to absorb toxins after the tsunami destroyed the nuclear power plant. In French the word for sunflower is tournesol: follow the sun. Birds love the seeds that make some of the best oil for cooking and for the skin.

 

HollyBeth’s Summer Hair Care Tips

HAIRCARE

Summer Frizzies

Summertime is in full swing. School is out, the pool is open, and a week at the beach may be in your near future. Life has officially moved outdoors into the sun and by the water. While the season of fun in the sun does wonders for the mind and spirit, it can also do one heck of a number on your hair. Humidity, chlorine, and sun exposure can wreak havoc on your locks, stripping away moisture and leaving behind a major case of the frizzies. In preparation for the hot months ahead, I asked organic skin care guru HollyBeth Anderson for some tips on how to ensure good hair days all summer long.

HollyBeth’s Tips for Great Summer Hair:

1 – Just as you protect your skin from UV damage, do so for your hair!

My favorite summer accessory is a lightweight scarf that I can use as a head wrap when I’m out in the sun. A scarf or a hat not only protects your hair from sun damage, but also the drying, tangling effects of the wind. Not a hat person? Get a spray bottle and mix a few teaspoons of sunscreen with a cup of water to create a light SPF hair mist.

2 – Be prepared for your activity.

Going to the pool to take a swim? Remember to rinse your hair before going in the water. This will help reduce the effects of chlorine on your strands. And as soon as you get out of the pool, wash and condition your hair. The quicker you get the chlorine out, the better. Going to the pool to soak up the sun rather than swim? Bring HollyBeth Organics’ Body Mist with you. A few spritzes of this cucumber and citrus body spray will cool you down and refresh your hair and skin.

3 – Consider a more laid back approach to styling your hair in the summer months.

Less is definitely more! Cut down the number of times you wash your hair and go for gentle shampoos that don’t leave behind buildup. Less time in a hot shower with heavy shampoo will give your hair time to regulate its natural oil production, which actually leads to less grease and more time between washes. Are you a heat styling addict? Give you hair a chance to air dry and cut back on the blow dryer and flat iron. I know that is way easier said than done, so I recommend protecting your mane with HollyBeth Organics’ Hair & Body Silk. This nourishing blend of camellia and argan oil locks in moisture and fortifies the hair, prepping the hair for heat styling and protecting it from the drying effects of the sun. When the frizz starts and your hair is in desperate need of hydration, a few drops of Hair & Body Silk tames fly aways and quenches thirsty, brittle hair. You can also use it as a deep conditioning treatment!

4 – Take care of yourself, on the inside and out.

Make sure you are getting the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Your mom was right – eat your veggies! What you put in your body affects your skin and your hair. The same applies to what you put on your skin and hair. Go organic! Keep it simple, keep it clean, and keep it natural. I guarantee you will feel (and see) a difference.

blueberry the powerhouse

 

 

 

 

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  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!

black cumin seed

 

smallerI’m constantly searching out new plants and oils to incorporate into to my products. Black Cumin Seed Oil, the newest weapon in my arsenal of powerful and effective organic ingredients, is hardly new. This ancient oil, derived from the seeds of the lovely Nigella Sativa flower, a member of the Buttercup family, has been a dynamic healer seemingly since the beginning of time.

Hipppocrates, referred to as the father of western medicine, considered black cumin a valuable remedy, while the first written reference to the oil can be found in The Old Testament. The prophet Muhammad stated that it’s “a remedy for every illness except death.”

Packed with over 100 beneficial chemical compounds, black cumin seed oil is a medicinal powerhouse. Studies show this wonder oil not only boosts immunity and treats a multitude of ailments, but it does wonders for the skin, hair and nails as well. It not only soothes psoriasis, eczema, acne, burns and infections, but it is a superb moisturizer, minimizing wrinkles and other signs of aging.

It’s also an essential component of my new Eye Serum. The latest introduction to the HollyBeth Organics skincare line fights signs of aging, dark circles and puffiness with an organic blend of black cumin seed, carrot seed, pomegranate seed and sandalwood essential oils.

Ode to Rose Geranium Toner

I am in love with HollyBeth Organics’ Rose Geranium Toner. In fact, it is one of my all-time favorite skin care products, and I won’t leave home without it. Looking for a great-smelling body mist? Need a toner to sooth your skin? Want to keep your makeup in place all day long? How about a rehydrating midday pick-me-up? This product does it all! Oh, Rose Geranium Toner, how I love thee, let me count the ways.

Great-Smelling Body Mist

Rose and geranium combine to create a rich, rosy smell that will make anyone feel like royalty. Get blanketed in luxury with each spray of this beautifully fragrant body mist. Just imagine standing under a waterfall of rose petals!

Soothing Toner

Keep your skin in check with this Rose Geranium Toner’s antiseptic properties of rose geranium hydrosol, nourishing rose oil, and anti-inflammatory helichrysum. This sooth-all skin solution calms and heals with each spray.

Makeup Setting Spray

Tired of your makeup running off your face by the end of the day? The last step of your morning routine should be a few sprays of the Rose Geranium Toner to set everything in place to keep your face game going strong.

Midday Refresher

Been running around all day? Just got off of a long flight? You know that icky, weighed-down feeling your skin gets when you have been going non-stop? A few sprays of the Rose Geranium Toner will rehydrate your skin and refresh your senses with a much-needed pick-me-up.

Seriously, this toner has earned a spot of honor in my makeup bag. Reward your skin (and your senses!) with this ultimate jack of all trades.

Spring Skincare

Spring Skincare

Spring skincare begins! Spring is the time we get motivated to clean out our homes, to get rid of things to start fresh. But spring cleaning isn’t just about purging physical items from our lives. After a long winter, it’s also a great time to think about purging toxins from our bodies. Your skin deserves a spring clean to keep everything fresh, glowing and gorgeous. 

The key to any skin or beauty regimen is consistency. The skin is made up of several layers and it takes time for skin to adjust to new climates. If you follow the main ‘musts’ your skin will be vibrant and glow year round. Spring skincare begins today – the first day of spring! So let’s get started. Below are key essentials to keep your skin glowing and healthy.

Eat Well

The old adage “you are what you eat” applies not only to our body, but also to our skin. What is lovely about spring and summer is that nature’s skin detoxifiers abound in red and blue, in the form of berries. Try eating what is in local, in season and fresh. Not only will you feel better but you will look better for your spring skincare.

Exfoliate 
Get rid of winter skin for your spring skincare with a gentle exfoliator and stay away from harsh scrubs and chemicals that can damage your skin. Remember your skin sheds cells every minute, think of it as spring cleaning, sweeping away winter. When I was a child my mother would exfoliate with cornmeal which is the reason I created our award winning grits & honey scrub. What customers love about it is that it is not only an exfoliator but a moisturizer as the honey leaves your skin soft and supple. To this day her skin glows and I know it is from her routine of exfoliating and moisturizing.

Cleanse

This is so important. When I lived throughout Europe and Latin America doing international business development, people would always tell me to never use soap to cleanse my face, but to use cold cream or oils. I eventually created, and now swear by, our gentle foaming cleansers that are castile based infused with essential oils. Our newest addition to our line, cleansing gel with chamomile and rose geranium is perfect for travel. Our cleansing oil is also gentle, yet effective in cleansing. Every country where I have lived, people swear by rinsing with cold water. Notice the people’s skin who you admire, apart from genetics I wonder if you will be amazed at how many use cool/cold water instead of hot water and how that affects their skin’s condition.

Hydrate 

When the temperature heats up and perspiration is inevitable, it doesn’t mean your skin is getting oily. Quite the contrary; it can become dryer and your skin can start to look dull once the sweat evaporates. You always want to drink plenty of water. I mist throughout the day with a non-alcohol based mister/toner, our rose geranium a marigold toners. Our body mist is super hydrating with cucumber, neroli and grapefruit.

Moisturize 

While living in France, I learned that dry oils are the best moisturizer for both dry and oily skin.Why? A dry oil is non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging). One of my favoritesis camellia oil – it sinks right into the skin and has been treasured by Japanese geisha for years. Camellia oil also has uv protection properties. You will find this ingredient in most of our products including face and neck elixir and rose geranium face moisturizer.

The area around our eyes starts showing ages first because the skin there is thinner. And squinting in the sun doesn’t help. It’s best to always use a moisturizing eye cream and apply it with your ring finger from the outside in. Beyond that, summer can cause our skin to become dry. Even if you have oily skin, you still need to replenish the moisture; misters or dry oils work well. Another moisturizing trick is to let your skin breathe by going without make up, just use your moisturizer, sunscreen and don’t forget your hat and sunglasses.

fragrance vs. perfume

Fragrance vs. Perfume 

Who doesn’t love a fragrance or perfume that transports us to the serenity of an English garden? Or conjures images of gorgeous beaches? 

When I lived in Paris I loved going to Galeries Lafayette and smelling all the glorious new perfumes. Later I realized that the majority of the so called “perfumes” were actually made in a lab and not from a flower.

Perfume

First, what is a perfume and who created the first? The Egyptians created the first perfumes for use in religious ceremonies and for the body.

A perfume, according to the Oxford dictionary “A fragrant  liquid typically made from essential oils extracted from flowers and spices, used to impart a pleasant smell to one’s body or clothes“. This to me is the perfect definition. The words chemical, synthetics or manmade do not exist. A perfume is intimate and personal; an aroma that conjures pleasant memories. A perfume is an image and creation that lingers once you leave the room.

Our perfume flourish is essential oils infused in organic sunflower seed oil, and not in an alcohol or chemical.

Fragrance 

A Fragrance is a sweet aroma. A conventional fragrance or perfume contains chemicals derived from petroleum that is linked to environmental health effects. Over eight hundred million pounds of chemicals are used each year to make fragrances. These ingredients or components of the average fragrance or perfume are considered to be the most prominent toxins to the environment.

The chemicals are the reason that a lab made fragrance will stay on your skin and in your body longer.

“Fragrances, because they evaporate and we inhale them, need more rigorous evaluation,” says President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and pollution policy advisor for Environmental Defense. “We don’t know what the effects might be because cosmetic ingredients don’t need to be tested for safety before marketing.”

Indeed as long as a decade ago, several ingredients used in fragrances were the subject of an investigation by the US National Academy of Sciences which labeled them as being on a par with insecticides and solvents in terms of the damage they could do to us.

Up to 100 chemicals may be used in an average fragrance, most of which are petro-chemicals i.e. derivatives of the petroleum industry with many suspected to be harmful. In 2004, Pat Thomas from the ‘Ecologist’ magazine analyzed a typical and well selling fragrance product, listing the ingredients and possible effects of the chemicals used. There is wide cause for concern as to the health of those who use them. Studies have shown that the synthetic fragrant chemicals are being found in breast milk, with one comparison study measuring levels as having increased fivefold in the last ten years alone. 

So the next time you traipse through a boutique or your favorite department store, think twice before spraying. Choose instead an organic blend made from true ingredients, true beauty: HollyBeth Organics