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!

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. 

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.

Backyard Inspiration

rose

Natural Perfection

I was walking through my backyard today and found this pink rose in full bloom, soaking up the sun and enjoying the spring weather. I couldn’t help but think how amazing nature is. This entire splendor comes from the Earth, a natural gift that doesn’t need any alterations or additives to bring out its beauty. The innate magnificence of this rose is all it took to remind me that Mother Nature sure knows what she is doing.

Pure and Effective

Taking a lesson from Mother Nature, HollyBeth’s products are made with 100% USDA Organic Certified ingredients, harnessing the natural powers of flowers, plants, and trees. Pure and effective, HollyBeth Organics’ skin care solutions deliver radiant skin while maintaining the integrity of the environment. There are no harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients, allowing for a non-toxic, eco-friendly approach to beauty.

Nature knows what it is doing, so why mess with a good thing? Keep it honest and keep it simple.

HollyBeth’s Three Favorite Skin Care Products for Traveling

travelupdated

 

Short-Sleeve Travel Weather is Around the Corner

When it’s a sunny, 60 degree day in February, you can’t help but long for short-sleeve shirt weather and spring road trips. Inspired by the surprise heat, HollyBeth and I couldn’t help but discuss our favorite places to travel to as we ate lunch today. Exotic beaches with white sand, classic cities home to great art and architecture, off-the-map locations promising fun and adventure, and familiar favorites full of good memories: we want to visit them all! Almost time to get those passports ready – and figure out what to pack.

Packing for a Trip

Ah, the process of packing for a trip. If you are anything like me, you want to pack your entire closet, because you may get the chance to break in those shoes you‘ve never worn, to wear that dress that has been begging for a night out, or use that cute rain jacket that just might come in handy – you see where I am going with this. Once the hypothetical outfit situations are covered, time to narrow down your toiletry bag.

With the skin care guru herself sitting next to me at lunch, I couldn’t resist asking her which HollyBeth Organics’ products are her favorite skin care products for traveling.

HollyBeth’s Must-Have Skin Care Products for Traveling

  1. Rose Geranium Toner – A few squirts of this flower-flavored beauty mist refreshes and rehydrates (and makes you smell good). An excellent pick-me-up when you have been traveling all day.
  2. Eye Cream – A HollyBeth Organics classic (the first product she created), this luxuriously silky cream keeps delicate skin hydrated and moisturized. The perfect eye refresher after a tiring day of adventures.
  3. Chamomile Foaming Cleanser – This gentle yet sudsy cleanser removes the day’s dirt and oil, leaving behind soothed, balanced skin. Great for all skin types, so everyone in your travel party can use it.

So now I know what I’m bringing with me on my next vacation!

Want to know what a professional makeup artist packs for a trip? Check out our Facebook page to see which HollyBeth Organics product Fiona Styles loves to travel with!

 

Choosing the Best Skin Care Line

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So Many Choices

With so many different body products out there, how do you choose the best skin care line for you? Watching television last night, I counted five different skin care advertisements in an hour time slot! And what about all of the ever-changing ingredient fads? From grapefruit and charcoal, celebrity-endorsed concoctions infused with rare melons to expensive chemical peels and injectables, even exclusive creams made with gold, the choices can be overwhelming (and sometimes absurd).  So where do you start when you have so many options?

Pros & Cons

Begin by taking a look at what you have used in the past. Make a pros and cons list, highlighting the product lines that have been the most beneficial as well as the most lack-luster. What stands out? Are there certain skin care lines that cleared up your acne but also dried out your skin? Or perhaps a brand that was ultra-hydrating but made you feel oily by the end of the day?

Know Your Skin Type

Knowing your skin type will play a huge role in which skin care line you should be using. If you find certain products zap your skin of moisture and cause flakes, you are prone to dry skin. Feel like certain products leave you with a shiny T-zone by the end of the day? You may have oily skin. Go back to that pros and cons list and see which skincare products have produced the most balancing results for you.

The Importance of Ingredients

Now let’s take a look at the ingredients in your skin care products. In my quest for clear skin, I relied heavily on chemical-based products that severely dried out my skin. Looking back at my pros and cons list, I discovered that I have sensitive, acne-prone skin that is irritated by lab-made product lines and heavy prescription creams. It was not until I started using simple, organic products with pure ingredients that my skin found proper balance. I find this to be the case with a lot of people who have sensitive skin. Chemicals are irritants, foreign to delicate skin. The best skin care lines are organic, made with prescriptions from Mother Nature, not Dr. Chemical.

What does your pros and cons list say about your skin? Maybe it is time to try something new. Check out HollyBethOragnics.com to discover USDA Certified Organic skin-balancing solutions. I promise you will find some more pros to add to your list!

Winter All Over the World

ny2

 

Atlanta, GA

Cold and rainy with a chance of snow.  A winter forecast that can scare any Atlantan straight into the grocery store, then hidden away at home until it passes. Work lets out early, kids stay home from school, and the streets are empty. The city shuts down while we enjoy a surprise day off.

Scandinavia                                           

Winter in Scandinavia is quite a different story. In the Northern half of the region, snow is on the ground from December to April, and winters are dark due to limited hours of sunlight. There is no hiding from the weather here, only embracing it! Snow is always on the forecast, so it is business as usual (thanks to multiple layers of warm clothing).

Macau

In Macau, the winter season tends to be mild and dry. The weather is cool and clear with very little rain, and temperatures tend to average in the 50s. There is no threat of snow in this sub-tropical climate; however, cold is cold, so warm clothing and cozy layers are a part of Macau’s winter season.

Canada

Now on to Canada, where snow is on the ground as early as October! Heavy snow, freezing rain, and bone-chilling temperatures are a part of everyday winter living. But there is no shutting down – outdoor sports and activities are in peak season for these born-and-raised snow dwellers.

Winter Skin Solutions

Snow or no snow, winter is a season of fluctuating cold temperatures and unpredictable days. Make sure to stay warm and protect your skin. Chilly winter days can strip your body of moisture, leaving dry, cracked skin that is more susceptible to germs and viruses. It is so important to have a good moisturizer and stay hydrated! HollyBeth Organics has a variety of nourishing skincare solutions perfect for thirsty winter skin.

Try our Citrus All Over Cream. This fan-favorite moisturizes, calms, and heals, quickly absorbing into the skin, keeping it hydrated and protected. Dry skin will be a thing of the past!

Have dry, patchy areas that need extra attention? Our Skin Therapy is the ultimate skin saver, packed with the healing powers of prickly pear, Vitamin E and camellia oils. Keep it in your purse to use throughout the day!

HollyBeth Organics has a solution for all of your skincare needs. Go to HollyBethOrganics.com or one of our online retailers to discover more of our 100% organic, luxury skincare products:

Canada: TheTruthBeautyCompany.com

Sweden: Mjukhud.se

MacauFacebook.com/beautygallerymacau

10 Myths About Organic Skin Care

10mythsorganicskincareMyths about organic skin care, organic produce and what defines an organic product are ongoing in our water cooler conversations and pepper many a magazine.  As a person that has always been keen on asking questions and sometimes purposefully stirring the pot, I currently am contemplating the meaning and myths that surround organic skin care…

Myth #1 – All organic products are safe

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many toxic ingredients are found in everyday skin care.  Commonly present ingredients such as Alcohol / Isopropyl (SD-40) not only strips your skin of your natural oils, it can accelerate the penetration of other detrimental chemicals.

Myth #2 – Skin care products need to have preservatives to be safe

Preservatives are added to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast and fungus when water is part of the ingredient list.  While preservatives are safer than bacteria, if your skin care product does not contain a water based product then there is no need for preservatives.  At HollyBeth Organics, we never use any water in our organic products, so there is no need for preservatives.

Myth #3 – If the label reads NATURAL is must be ORGANIC. 

Not True.  The process of becoming organic certified is an arduous process that takes many years and is greatly regulated.  Any farm that is certified organic has been scrutinized for a three year cycle ensuring it is chemical free and follows the stringent regulations of becoming recognized as certified. Unfortunately, the use of the word organic alone DOES NOT ensure that the product is certified organic.  When a product carries the USDA-Certified label that product (and that product alone) has been qualified and certified as having 100% certified organic ingredients. In essence if a product has 4 ingredients, each of the four ingredient has to be confirmed organic certified and thus the product can be deemed USDA… A demanding process but well worth the assurance!  

Myth #4 – Synthetic vs Natural? 

What does your body truly benefit from?   The merits of any product depend on the ingredients.  There are some synthetic ingredients that are considered to be appropriate, but you must educate yourself on the research behind the claims.  With ingredients that are created in nature, both the test of time and the body’s natural recognition of these ingredients have been established.  For example, calendula (better known as marigold or “Mary’s Gold”) was used by the Egyptians as a preservative and was said to be used by Cleopatra herself.  Nature fosters natural derived beauty and frankly, any remote possibility of being deemed Cleopatra like is always welcomed!

Myth #6 – All or nothing

The process of purging and purifying our beauty regime is not an overnight process.  We all have certain must haves that were the most challenging to let go. Whether it be a mascara or a not so purifying mask, we are emotionally attached! There is no all or nothing rule.  We each have a paced path towards true beauty free of toxins…. Take your time, celebrate the victories and surround yourself with people that enable you rather than judge you! 

Myth #7 – Organic products smell bad

Naturally derived skin care does not smell like the inside of a dusty, old vitamin shop.  How can the smell of an orange blossom be offensive?  How can the calming properties of Lavender or the invigorating nature of peppermint be questionable? Impossible! Yes, many products that are not naturally created use enormous amounts of perfume and our olfactory senses have been programmed to equate these non-eco-friendly aromas with beauty products. 

Myth #8 – Eating healthy will suffice

Not True!  Skin is your largest organ and it has a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship with your lifestyle. What you place on your skin affects your overall internal health and what you consume affects the appearance of your skin.  Healthy glow is derived from the inside out… the outside in. 

Myth #9 – Organic skin care is too expensive

False! I keep going back to the ingredient list of any product.  Reminds of what my mother always said, show me your friends and it shows volumes of who you are.   Organic certified products are like idyllic friends.  They are pure, consistent and steadfast. They impact our lives continually.  Due to their prolific nature, a little goes a long way and thus per use, the cost is more than palatable.

Myth #10 – Aging is bad

We live in a society surrounded by airbrushed perfection.  The most beautiful things in life are neither perfect nor contrived.  We can control so much in our lives, but by the time you finish reading this article you have aged. Time will pass and we have no control or downloadable app that can avoid it.  Aging is NOT a bad word.  I can assure you that I feel more confident today than I did in my 20’s. (Granted some things just don’t have the same elasticity, but as I share with my daughter… there is beauty is everything!!)

Beauty, skin care and inner glow is a subject matter that will continue to evolve and continue to be ever present even if the water cooler conversations of the past are more like K-cup chats.  Don’t define yourself by coffee talk or confuse your thoughts by myths about organic skin care. 

Here is another great article on the subject.