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 ;).

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Retailer spotlight: Fig & Flower

sara fig&flowerFig & Flower our local retailer, has a new look. But one thing, thankfully, has not changed, the sunny smile on Sara the owner. Sara Lamond is laid back, calm and confident. However, behind this quiet is a very savvy business woman and lawyer. 

  • If you weren’t here today at Fig & Flower where would you be?

It’s hard to say. Something I’ve noticed about myself, and other small business entrepreneurs, is that we’re dreamers. It’s part of the territory. Venturing out on your own means seeing the potential in an idea that doesn’t yet exist, at least for you. So I find myself dreaming up lots of little adventures. In reality, though, I’d probably have gotten locked into an attorney position that didn’t make me happy, so I’m grateful to be where I am. 

  • What is your favorite product? It doesn’t have to be mine… 🙂

My current hero product is your Grits & Honey scrub. With the season changing in Georgia, it’s super important for me to be exfoliating regularly. If I don’t, I get dry, flaky patches around my nose and eyebrows. But aggressive exfoliants can dry me out too much. So I really like the balance of the hydrating honey and the gentle exfoliation of the grits. I don’t rub excessively – that’s the key! I mostly wear the Grits & Honey scrub as a mask and as I’m wiping it away I use just enough pressure to exfoliate.   

Another product I’m loving this season are the 100% Pure Pomegranate Lipsticks. They are super hydrating, which I love in a lipstick, but they aren’t sticky at all. Best of all, the pigment sort of soaks into the lips so even when the hydrating balmy aspect of the lipstick wears off, the color sticks around long after.

  • What was your inspiration for leaving the legal field to delve into the natural/organic world?

Well, my love of all things natural actually coincided with law school. Just before law school started, I did a couple months of boot camp at a cross-fit gym. It was there I first learned about the clean food movement. I noticed a very tangible result in how I felt when I cut out sugar and dairy. I really committed to going natural at that point. I stopped using shampoo and conditioner (and blogged about the experience), ran my first full marathon, and – in true lawyer fashion – consumed all the research I could. 

After passing the bar, I started working as an attorney and felt very unfulfilled. It seemed to me if I was going to be spending 60 – 80 hours a week at my job, as most attorneys do, I should strive to enjoy it. And just as important as following my passion, I wanted to contribute to my community in a positive way. Combining my love of natural health and wellness, with something I love and that’s fun to me – like makeup – seemed the perfect fit!

  • If you could do one thing over what would it be?

I wish I had had more confidence in my abilities and desires. Growing up I loved playing with hair and makeup. When I started law school, I joked that if it didn’t work out, I was going to drop out and go to beauty school. In truth, I probably should have pursued a career in cosmetology or aesthetics, but I came from a high business oriented, entrepreneurial family and cosmetology wasn’t deemed a “serious” career choice. The thing I’ve learned is that most passions can become viable careers because the drive to learn and develop your craft is so insatiable. You’ll commit yourself fully and make it work if you love what you do. My husband is a musician, and I think I learned this lesson from him. 

  • What is next on your agenda? Will we see more fig and flowers?

For now, I’ve decided to take things slow. I was considering opening a second location this year, but ultimately I decided against it. I see other stores like mine in other cities expanding and I started to feel rushed to grow faster. But I’ve got a solidly growing small business on my hands, and the whole operation has been bootstrapped by my own initial investment. I think that’s something to be proud of, and I am. I don’t want to rush our growth, and get into a situation that harms, or even derails, this journey I’m currently on. I have to remind myself not to measure my success by someone else’s, because each journey is different. And in the end, I’m really proud of what I’m accomplishing. 

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.

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.

 

Multitasking Beauty Products

HollyBeth Organic Products For Skin and Hair

 

Multitasking Beauty Products

HollyBeth Organics has a wonderful array of multitasking beauty products formulated to deliver beautiful, hydrated skin all year long. Manage some of life’s most frustrating hair dilemmas with the help of these dual-action body products.

Rejuvenate with a Body Mist

HollyBeth Organics’ Lavender Mist and Body Mist provide a refreshing splash of fragrance and moisture from head to toe. Light enough to use all over, these mists leave behind a gentle aroma while rehydrating dull skin and hair. The perfect midday pick-me-up for lifeless locks in need of some sweet-smelling rejuvenation!

Protect with Hair & Body Silk

Are you addicted to your flat iron? Nourish split ends with HollyBeth Organics’ Hair & Body Silk. A few drops of this blend of sunflower, pumpkin seed, pomegranate seed, and palmarosa oil  provide much-needed nourishment to overworked hair. Want some extra protection before you blow dry? Run a dime-sized amount on the ends of your wet hair to protect it from the damaging effects of heat styling. Looking for a moisturizing treatment? Use it in the shower as a conditioning mask (and don’t forget to use it all over your body as a deep-penetrating skin moisturizer).

Tame with Shea Butter Cream

Winter winds blowing your hair out of place? Use a little dab of HollyBeth Organics’ Orange Peppermint Shea Butter Cream to tame frizzy, weather-worn hair. Hair will fly away no more thanks to the smoothing power of shea butter. In the mood for some summer flavor? HollyBeth Organics has a Lemon Lime Shea Butter Cream, too!

Everyone loves a good multi-tasker! Find your favorite do-it-alls at HollyBethOrganics.com.

6 Must Have Organic Skin Care Products

allingredientsWhat Are The Must Have Organic Skin Care Products?

Throughout my professional career I was always encouraged to create and live by significance filled lists.  I recall vividly sitting in a cramped conference room with stale coffee and an overabundance of excessively perfumed suits with the tick tock of an egg timer as we needed to work as a group to decipher the top ten items we would take if you were to go on a trip to the moon.  I distinctly remember in my head thinking this list of choice is woefully lacking… why one would take matches to the moon when there is no oxygen? In the end I feel like I am not sure the event was overtly significant in my professional development, however, the idea of creating a prioritized, significant lists with purpose is.  On this occasion, our virtual tête-à-tête will cover the must have organic skin care products. 

1. Hair and Body Silk

My approach to skin care is not only holistic, but also all encompassing.  As your largest organ, ALL of your skin is important for your devotion. Let’s commence with your hair and scalp.  My go to product for hair is our hair and body silk.  The infusion of peppermint creates an invigorating massage or your scalp while you deep condition or with just a few drops manages frizzy, unruly curls or a perfect sealant pre and post flat iron usage.  A little side note, I also add a drop or two to my tinted moisturizer and it adds an incredible dewy appearance.

2. The Luxurious Cleansing Oil

Next item on my list would be the luxurious cleansing oil.  This cleansing oil can be used to take make up off, as a mask and as a cleansing agent.  This 3 for 1 has lavender essential oil, camellia seed oil and avocado oil that is brimming with natural antioxidants like Vitamins A and E.  As the weather becomes cooler, I have been using it as a mask for my Sunday~Funday evening routine.  I apply to clean skin and then engulf my face with a warm wash cloth (or a fine cheese cloth) for about 20 minutes. The natural steroids like sterolins reverses age spots all while boosting collagen production – who could refuse?

3. Skin Therapy Make-Up Remover

My third must have would be our newly launched skin therapy. This was created by HollyBeth herself as a “go to” for her travels.  While living in Mexico and throughout Latin America, HollyBeth learned the curative powers of plants such as prickly pear seed (also known as barbary fig).  Did you know that it takes approximately 300 prickly pear seeds to make one ounce of oil?  A decadent luxury indeed!  Kissed with lime and lavender essential oils, this cream can be used both for your day and night ritual.  The whipped texture reminds me of the smoothness of a perfect crème brulee and the perfectly sized violet glass container is a perfect size for my purse or gym bag.

4. HollyBeth Eye Cream

Next on my list of must haves would be original and still best top seller, our eye cream.  Your eyes are the windows to your soul and should be given all the attention you can afford. The skin around your eyes is incredibly thin and susceptible as well as indicative of the stress in our daily lives.  The key to a results oriented eye cream is restoration, protection and moisture.  HollyBeth Organics eye cream is made with camellia oil that offers UV protection in addition to jojoba and sweet almond to moisturize.  Whether you choose an eye cream or a serum (see also our roller ball eye serum), your eye cream should give you a footing to take on your day and encourage renovation while you sleep.

5. Orange Peppermint Shea Butter Cream

Your hands are incredibly important in our lives.  When we meet someone we shake their hands, when we are in the midst of a business meeting we take notes, eat or peck away at an electronic devise.  Many people forget their hands and even more so, they forget their feet.  As I have always been someone that lives for being incredibly efficient with my time and purchases, I would recommend a cream that can be used for both your hands and feet.  Our Orange Peppermint Shea Butter Cream is dreamy! It is absorbed quickly (avoiding that awkward greasy hand shake!) and the stimulating essential oils of orange peppermint remind me of a brisk winter saunter.  At night, I lather my feet with this cream and I awake with visibly smoother and less dry heals!  In fact, we just recently received a note from a loyal client sharing the he uses this cream as a balm for his hair after applying it on his hands.

6. Orange – Peppermint Lip Balm

My last suggestion would be a lip balm that can be used under lip gloss as well as at night for continual nourishing. Our Orange – Peppermint lip balm is perfect for both day and night.  Any lip balm should be protective but toxic free.  Would you purposefully eat something toxic? This lip balm is USDA organic certified and made with fair trade shea butter.  Perfect for throwing in your gym bag, your purse and personally will be a holiday gift for a multitude of people…so please act surprised!

Each day we have the option to create opportunities that will fill our lives with positive choices and forward motion.   Take each day and fill it with constructive choices for your body and your mind.  Consider closely what is in your beauty bag… it defines you!  Are you toxic and noxious or purposeful and meaningful?…. How are you defining yourself with your 6 must have organic skin care choices?

Cleansing Oil

Postcard Back Side FINAL NO AddressCLEANSING OIL – TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE OR SKINCARE ENLIGHTENMENT???

Growing up in a household that encouraged “back in the old country” solutions,  my life is peppered with hundreds of uses for castor oil,  avocado and cod liver oil to name a few. Our “Mima” solutions were a delicate (and sometimes marked with olfactory offensiveness) creations from the garden, the produce section, or the shelves of ethnic markets around Los Angeles. 

While I am a firm believer in the oil cleansing method, I can assure you that my experiences have not been without trauma and multifarious inquiry.  What is the oil cleansing method? Is it possible that using something with the viscosity of an enchanted balsamic reduction actually purifies and cleanses?

What is the oil cleansing method?  It is a cleansing method that uses oil to purify, cleanse and decontaminate.  How can oil do this? Oil dissolves Oil…. All skin types (even acne-prone) need your natural oils to lubricate and protect.  Cleansing oils use the “good oils” to eradicate the unwanted, bad oils. In addition to its purifying effects, essential oils are antibacterial, thus making it an ideal option for even oily or acne-prone skins.  

When you use the oil cleansing method, the cleansing oil binds with the impurities on the surface of your skin.  The scientific, differing properties between the cleansing oil and your natural oils allows for a natural removal of impurities and will not clog your pores.  Imagine for a moment you are driving with the windows rolled down on a well-earned road trip and your all-time favorite song is playing… the connection between that moment in time and your happy place is synonymous to the reaction between the cleansing oils and daily contamination on your skin.

Many oil-free cleansers can eradicate the natural oils that our skin embraces and needs to reach the utopian state of natural pH balance and glow.  And who does not want to glow and be balanced??? We are thrilled to introduce our first ever cleansing oil that embraces the astounding benefits of the oil cleansing method.

Gabriela Gonzalez-Lamberson

HollyBeth Anderson

Having my photo taken is the number one thing I do not like doing nor do I like posting photos of myself. I honestly don’t know if it is insecurities or what… but it is just intimidating and believe me I am not a shy person. However, recently I had a photo shoot with Buffy Dekmar Photography that was actually fun and a pleasure. She took a series of photos for a magazine and I must say not only is Buffy gorgeous with porcelain flawless skin but funny and talented. Here is proof that it was delightful.
buffy