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 ;).

 

 

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.

fragrance vs perfume

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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.

The Benefits of Cucumber

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The Benefits of Cucumber

The benefits of cucumber go beyond your salad plate. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, cucumbers not only benefit the waistline, but also the health of your body and skin.

The Ultimate Water Fruit

Cucumbers, which belong to the same family as squash and watermelon, have one of the highest water contents of any solid food. With over 95% water content, cucumbers are extremely hydrating. Around 20% of our daily water intake comes from food, therefore eating this H2O-heavy fruit is a great way to meet your daily water intake.

Nourish the Body

Cucumbers are packed with vitamin A and C, in addition to B vitamins, potassium, and caffeic acid. These are all powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation and also calm irritation. Combined with its high levels of water, cucumbers nourishing and hydrating effects help prevent memory loss, support a healthy digestive and cardiovascular system, relieve stress and anxiety, and also enhance the health of your skin.

Hydrate the Skin

This superfood is a great addition to your skin care regimen. Its soothing and calming effects help shrink irritated blood vessels, reducing the appearance of puffy eyes and redness. Cucumbers also fight skin irritation, aiding in the relief of sunburn and skin inflammation. And to top it all off, the extreme concentration of water and vitamin C keep the skin smooth, hydrated, and cooled.

Stay Cool this Summer

HollyBeth utilizes these amazing skin-nourishing properties in her best-selling Body Mist. This cucumber-based hair and skin refresher is the perfect addition to your beach bag. Just spritz it over your head and body to stay cool and revitalize the skin. A definite must-have for the hot days of summer.

Sunflower Seed Oil

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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 acide 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.

 

Anti-Aging Essential Oils: Spotlight on Carrot Seed

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Anti-Aging Essential Oils

Anti-aging essential oils are key ingredients in HollyBeth Organics’ skin care products. Naturally loaded with powerful antioxidants and vitamins, essential oils have the amazing ability to deliver precious nutrients to the skin without clogging pores, bringing dull skin back to life and reversing the signs of aging.

Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Carrot seed provides one of the most powerful essential oils used to fight the signs of aging. Found in HollyBeth Organics most popular anti-aging skin solutions, this natural youth restorative hydrates, revives, protects, and tightens. Carrot seed essential oil contains carotenoids that protect from sun damage and free radicals that damage skin cells. High levels of vitamin A and vitamin C rejuvenate the skin, engendering cell regeneration and improving skin tone. Ultra-hydrating, this anti-aging essential oil pumps the skin with moisture, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Youth Tonics

Carrot seed essential oil is utilized in two of HollyBeth Organics’ most popular anti-aging solutions: Face & Neck Elixir and Eye Serum. Both products improve texture and tone, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagginess, and hydrate thirsty skin while protecting against damaging environmental elements. These powerful youth tonics harness the power of anti-aging essential oils to deliver remarkable age-reversing results.

Are Organic Skin Care Products Effective?

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Are Organic Skin Care Products Effective?

Are organic skin care products effective? A legit question to ask for those of us who have been raised on products containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Though these chemical-based skin solutions can produce results, they can also irritate delicate facial skin, engender skin allergies, and disrupt the natural balance of your skin. Not to mention whatever you put on your skin is also going into your body. Kind of a scary thought when you take a look at the unfamiliar ingredients listed on the back of many drug store products.

The Power of Antioxidants

So what is the alternative? Can organic skin care products deliver real results? The answer is YES! HollyBeth’s organic skin care products are made with pure, natural oils. Natural oils derived from plants, flowers, and fruits are packed full of powerful antioxidants that nourish and rejuvenate the skin. Antioxidants counteract destructive free radicals that age the skin by repairing and preventing cell damage. Mother Nature’s anti-aging serum!

Organic Skin Care Solutions

HollyBeth Organics utilizes various natural oils known for their skin-healing abilities, such as camellia, calendula, and jojoba combined with essential oils like rose geranium, clary sage, lavender, and grapefruit to create luxuriously effective skin care solutions that counteract the signs of aging and promote youthful, healthy skin.  Skin is nourished, balanced, and protected without the damaging effects of chemicals and artificial ingredients.

Organic Bug Spray: The Chemical-Free Solution to Mosquitos

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Summertime Weather

Summer is almost here, and chances are you will be spending a lot of time outdoors. Backyard cookouts, weekends by the pool, dog walks in the park, and dinners on the patio – life seems to move outside as soon as the sun comes out. And as much as we love the warm weather, so do the bugs.

Pesky Mosquitos

While they feed on nectar and sugar for nourishment, female mosquitos need the protein found in blood in order to make eggs .They find us by sensing the carbon dioxide we put out when we breathe, as well as the chemicals in our sweat. Are you a fan of wearing bright colors? Mosquitos are visually attracted to colors that stand out in comparison to the scenery. To top it all off, they can detect heat, so all of us warm-blooded humans have nowhere to hide.

Traditional Bug Sprays

Anti-pest sprays are a good way to keep the bugs away, but the chemical smell can be overwhelming. Some people would rather get a few mosquito bites than shower themselves with pesticides. Citronella candles provide some relief but only protect a small area. A solution that is chemical free, smells great, and protects you no matter where you are is an organic bug spray.

Citrus Spray Insect Repellent

HollyBeth Organics’ Citrus Spray Insect Repellent to the rescue! This organic bug spray was inspired by HollyBeth’s Citrus All Over Cream, which clients began to use to keep the bugs at bay. Harnessing the natural insect repelling properties of bergamot, orange, and lemon combined with lavender and tea tree oil, this delightfully fragrant organic spray mists the body with uplifting citrus while providing expert protection against mosquitos and bugs. Get outdoors and enjoy your summer, bug free and chemical free!

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

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Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

History

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines aromatherapy as “the use of natural oils that have a pleasant smell to make a person feel better especially by rubbing the oils into the skin.” The use of essential oils for aromatherapy dates back over 6,000 year ago to Egyptian times, spreading quickly to Israel, Greece, and Rome. Throughout the entire Mediterranean region, essential oils were used in massages, burned in incense, and utilized as perfumes for their fragrant, energizing properties. Though the use of essential oils began to decline upon the arrival of modern science, a contemporary resurgence and enthusiasm has reignited the use of these naturally powerful oils.

Aromatherapeutic Flourish Calming Perfume

Each essential oil delivers its own fragrance and therapeutic benefit. HollyBeth designed her new Flourish Calming Perfume to evoke feelings of tranquility and reduce stress utilizing specific essential oils known to calm the senses (and smell great!).  The earthy, citrus perfume utilizes bergamot, cedarwood, and ylang ylang to ease stress and relieve anxiety, marjoram to combat fatigue, and rose geranium and chamomile to soothe and uplift the spirits. Simply apply the perfume to the skin via rollerball application, allow to dry, and inhale the aroma deeply. Voila! An instant mood boost.

Whether you’ve had a tiring day of traveling, a long day at work, or just want to smell something pleasing, revive your spirits with some of Mother Nature’s stress-relieving oils.

Happy Leap Day!

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Happy Leap Day!

Happy leap day! Tis that extra lucky day (or believed to be extra unlucky by some) that comes every four years to keep us in sync with the solar / seasonal year. It actually takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to complete its orbit (around 365.25 days), so an extra day is added to the calendar to keep us in tune with that additional time.

Spring Inspiration

And who doesn’t appreciate additional time? No matter what your superstitions about today may be, an extra day on the calendar gives us all a little bit more life to live! And with spring just around the corner, what better time to be inspired by the beauty of the Earth. The flowers will be blooming, the trees will be in color again, and nature will be in full swing as everything comes back to life.

Natural Ingredients

Did you know that all of HollyBeth Organics’ ingredients come from flowers and trees? From camellia, rose, geranium, sunflower, jasmine and lavender, to avocado, carrot and pumpkin, all of our certified organic products are made of the Earth’s finest natural resources. Want to read more about the ingredients HollyBeth uses to create her skin care solutions? Check out our Ingredients page to discover more about what goes into her products.

Now go out there and seize the (extra) day!