Spring Skincare

Spring Skincare

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 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.

Calendula

Calendula

Calendula, a versatile herb, is the essential oil from the pot marigold. This plant has been used since the 12th century for its medicinal properties. Studies abound on its healing ability on the skin specifically on burn victims. Due to its high level of vitamin A compounds (carotenoids) it is also known to calm skin irritations such as rashes, dermatitis, acne and chapped skin. Cream made with calendula, is recommended to those with breast cancer to ease dermatitis and skin challenges during radiation and chemo.

It is known as the poor man’s saffron as it can be used in cooking as a substitute. The petals also make a lovely dye. Another benefit of marigolds is Mother Nature’s bug repellant, planting them around your tomatoes so the bugs won’t eat them. Marigold petals are edible and add a lovely tang to salads.

Marigolds

Marigolds native to Mexico, were taken to Europe and Asia in the 16th century. There are over 50 species of this earthy plant. To the Welsh, marigolds were “herb of the sun” and if they were not open in the morning a storm was coming. They were used as love charms, and were thought to produce visions of fairies if rubbed on the eyes. Others considered marigold poisonous due to the heavy aroma. In Mexico we were surrounded by marigolds on dia de los muertos, and while in India marigolds were omnipresent. Ironically it wasn’t in Mexico that I learned to appreciate marigolds but in Thailand and India.

We use calendula oil in our marigold toner, marigold bergamot dry oil, marigold cleanser and marigold face kit.

Lavender

Lavender love

My love of lavender began while living in France. The decadent rows of it in the south of France and all the creams and potions were just divine. However, it wasn’t until I moved back home and visited Sequim (pronounced Squeem not seqeem), Washington that I seriously thought about having a lavender farm, a dream that might still come to fruition but very hard to do in Georgia. The Pacific Northwest although rainy, has some of the best in the country and the entire town of Sequim thrives and is dedicated to this dynamic herb. After losing industry in the community they decided to plant fields of the plants  and voila a thriving festival and businesses bloomed.

Lavender History

The history of aromatherapy is thanks to this aromatic herb. Rene Gattefosse burned his hand and used the oil to stop the pain. It healed the hand without scarring or infection. However, the French have the Romans to thank for Provence’s abundance of  farms. The Romans introduced the herb to France. It is thought that the name comes from Latin “lavare” to wash of ‘livendulo” livid or bluish. Before World War 1 the French government cleared the almond orchards. They replaced them with lavender in the hopes of keeping the population there instead of fleeing.

Lavender Uses

In ancient Egypt the flowers were used for embalming, cosmetics, massage oils and as perfume. Egyptians would put it on their heads. The Greeks would anoint their feet. According to the Greek Philosopher Diogenes “When you anoint your head with perfume, it flies away in the air and only the birds get the benefit of it, whilst if I rub it on my lower limbs it envelopes my whole body and gratefully ascends to my nose”. During Nero’s time it was used for indigestion, headaches and to clean wounds. It is said that the plant was first domesticated in the Arab world. They dominated the Mediterranean culture, specifically Spain and from there lavender spread. Fast forward to the Middle Ages and it was used to raise money for King Edward 1. King Charles V1 of France stuffed his pillows with the flower buds. It was also used to treat lice and other pests.

Lavender has been a cure all for centuries, from linen, to inciting passion, repelling insects etc. etc.It takes approximately 175 lbs of the flower buds to make one ounce of essential oil. Lavender hand cream is the second product I made and the first featured in a national magazine. You will find it in skin therapy blended with lime essential oil. Our cleansing oil and lavender mist also contain the essential oil. This essential oil is the most widely used oil probably due to its medicinal properties. I love it because it is relaxing and makes me dream ;).

 

 

Helichrysum

helichrysum italicum

Helichrysum the Plant

Helichrysum, a member of the asteracea family, is a medicinal plant that is native to the Mediterranean. It is grown in dry climates throughout the globe. There are over 600 species of these perennial flowering shrubs. The name comes from Greek, “helios referring to sun and “chrysos” gold. It is also known as the curry plant because of the aroma it produces. It is also referred to as immortelle or everlasting because once the flowers are dried, they maintain their yellow color and aroma. 

Essential Oil

Helichrysum italicum, grown in the Mediterranean, is the most common plant to extract the essential oil. It was first distilled in 1908 in Dalmatia. It is a relatively late newcomer to aromatherapy. The oil is extracted by steam from fresh flower heads. The distillation must be done within 24 hours of picking the flowers. Its aroma is slightly herbaceous and tart. In perfumes, it is a middle note.

European studies indicate that helichrysum essential oil is effective in minimizing scarring and healing wounds. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties as well as being cell-regenerative. It can also soothe anger and stress. It has long been used in Europe for migrain headache pain.

Find it

Restorative and effective, you can enjoy helichrysum essential oil  in HollyBeth Organics rose geranium toner combined with rose geranium and rose distillates. We have also blended it in  HollyBeth Organics face and neck elixir with rose geranium essential oil in a base of: camellia, sunflower, rosehip, and carrot oils. A nutrient rich dry oil for your skin. 

Dry Brushing

dry brush
dry brushing

What is dry brushing?

Dry brushing has been used for centuries around the globe. The Chinese used fibers of a fruit called silk squash. Native Americans used corn cobs. As a child my mother would use cornmeal. In all cases the premise is the same: the scrubbing must be done on dry skin.

30 years ago a Finnish doctor began recommending his patients to dry brush to stimulate, exofoliate and detoxify the body. This appears to have taken dry brushing from cleansing to detoxifying. Over a third of the germs and toxins in our body are excreted through our skin. Logic would tell us that increasing this flow is beneficial to the skin through dry brushing.

My first experience was years ago in Morocco in a small village bathhouse where stones similar to pumice were used. In Finland, I had a similar treatment but birch twigs were used instead of a brush. When I lived in France, a similar procedure was used on dry skin to reduce cellulite.

How to

Brush before your bath when you are completely dry, standing in the shower or tub. Brush towards your heart starting at your feet.  Be gentle and stay away from any cuts, bruises or sensitive skin areas. After brushing, bathe in lukewarm water and follow up with your favorite nourishing body oil. Clean your brush regularly and store it in a dry place.

Benefits

The main benefit is exfoliation – no more dead cells on the skin surface.  Your skin will be baby soft. In winter we tend to have drier and flakier skin so dry brushing makes the skin healthier. It eliminates black heads by cleansing your pores of toxins and debris.

It circulates blood full that helps eliminate toxins and waste from our largest organ: our skin. Proponents of dry brushing claim that it stimulates the lymph flow thus detoxifying the body. The reasoning is that the lymph system is just below the skin’s service and the brushing increases activity and flow. It is known to tighten the skin reducing the appearance of cellulite. 

As it opens your pores, the skin absorbs more easily moisturizers and lotions. We of course, use our body oil afterwards. Scented with ylang ylang and black pepper essential oils, this luxurious Body Oil seduces the senses to a state of repose. With each use, skin is optimally hydrated, smoothed, and softened, giving the body an enviable glow.

 

 

 

 

 

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 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.

Grapeseed oil benefits

grapeseed oil benefitsWhat are the benefits of grape seed oil? Grape seed oil surfaced in the 20th Century. Grapes have been touted for over 6000 years for their medicinal properties.

Grapeseed oil benefits

Grapseed oil is light and non-greasy. It is non-comedogenic, it will not clog your pores; it is quickly absorbed by the skin. It will leave skin hydrated and smooth.

Grapeseed oil is full of flavonoids, anti-oxidants, linoleic acid and Vitamin C and E that remove debris and free radicals. These components promote the rejuvenation of collagen increasing the skin’s elasticity. An Ohio State University conducted a study on the benefits of grape seed oil. The result of the test indicated that grapeseed oil may speed up the healing process of wounds on the skin.

Scientists have found that the linoleic acid naturally present in the oil is beneficial for the treatment of , dermatitis, allergic reactions, eczema, and dry and itchy skin. Grapeseed oil benefits also include healing of acne, the inflammation that is caused due to blemishing.

Seeds of grapes are cold pressed to produce the light oil. The same grapes that are used for wine are used for their seeds.  This makes the grape business double duty in some ways. The finished product has a 2 year shelf life but should be kept refrigerated to prevent rancidity. The color is light green with a slightly nutty aroma.

Our certified organic marigold bergamot dry oil is made with organic grapeseed oil and jojoba oil infused with calendula and bergamot. Our customers prone to break outs swear by it. They first cleanse with our marigold foaming cleanser, then apply the dry oil. Some follow up with a spritz of marigold toner.

Grape seed oil is wonderful alternative to the harsh peels and/or chemicals for blemish prone skin.

Bergamot

bergamot
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 it in our bergamot essential oil in HollyBeth’s flourish roll on perfume, marigold bergamot dry oil, citrus cream and citrus spray.

fragrance vs perfume

frangrance vs perfume
fragrance vs perfume

Fragrance vs perfumes can they actually be dangerous for our health?

When I lived in Paris I loved going to Galeries Lafayette and smelling all the glorious new scents. 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 on the body.

A perfume, according to the Oxford dictionary “A frgrant  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 the perfect definition. The words chemical, synthetics or man made do not exist. A perfume is intimate and personal; an aroma that conjures pleasant memories. A perfume is a image and creation that lingers once you leave the room.

A perfume like flourish is essential oils infused in this case, organic sunflower seed oil, and not in an alcohol or chemical.

Fragrance dangers

Most conventional fragrances contain 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. Now these so-called ingredients are considered to be the most prominent toxins to the environment.

The chemicals are why a human 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 Defence. “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 labelled 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 analysed a typical and well selling fragrance product, listing the ingredients and possible effects of the chemicals used. Yet there is wide cause for concern as to the health of those who use them. Studies have shown that the synthetic fragrance chemicals are being found in breast milk, with one comparison study measuring levels as having increased five fold in the last ten years alone. This is from a great website I found on a site in the UK.

So the next time you traipse through a boutique or your favorite department store, think twice before spraying.