Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

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What is Ylang Ylang?

Ylang ylang (pronounced e-lang e-lang) may not be an aroma you know by name, however chances are you have encountered its sweet, floral fragrance. Perfumes and skin care products use ylang ylang as an ingredient, most noteworthy the best-selling perfume Chanel No. 5.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang ylang oil is from the flowers of the ylang-ylang tree, which are native to the Philippines and Indonesia. Steam distillation extracts the oil from the flowers in multiple batches. The first batch is extracted an hour after the process begins, resulting in the highest quality essential oil. Several other batches are extracted at different time intervals.

History

Ylang ylang has a long history, dating back to the fairytales of the Philippines. When a couple asks the gods to give them a child, they receive a daughter named Ylang on the condition that she never know the touch of a man. One day while picking flowers, a suitor takes her hand, causing her to vanish. When a small tree begins to grow where she stood, the suitor names it Ylang-Ylang. This love myth inspired young girls to wear ylang ylang petals and spread ylang ylang petals over the bed of newlyweds.

Medicinal Use

Ylang ylang also serves medicinal purposes. The oil is used to treat malaria and other infections, also it is good for calming stress and rapid heartbeat. In modern day, the oil is used for PMS, high blood pressure, depression, sleep disorders, and also anxiety.

Perfume & Skin Care

The warm, floral aroma of ylang ylang is a staple in perfumes and skin care. Ylang ylang essential oil soothes irritation, moisturizing dry skin. HollyBeth utilizes ylang ylang essential oil in her hydrating Body Oil and Flourish® calming perfume, consequently one of my favorite perfumes of all time. These luxurious organic skin care products nourish and perfume at the same time!

Source – The Essential Oils Book

The Benefits of Geranium Oil

 

The Benefits of Geranium Oil

There are about 250 naturally growing species of scented geraniums (Pelargonium), most of which are native to South Africa. Geraniums come in many different colors and scents; however, only a few types of geraniums are capable of producing copious, quality essential oil, which is extracted through steam distillation of the stems and leaves of the plant.

History of Geraniums

The use of geranium oil dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was used to treat cancer. Ancient Greeks utilized geranium oil to treat wounds and speed up the healing process. In the late 17th century, geraniums became a part of Victorian parlor etiquette, adorning tables as a revitalizing potpourri and a garnish for finger bowls. Geraniums are now a popular staple in gardens worldwide.

Benefits of Geranium Oil for Skin

The many benefits of geranium oil make it a popular ingredient in HollyBeth’s products. Its astringent properties tighten the skin to reduce wrinkles while increasing blood flow below the surface of the face to promote the healing of acne, age spots, and scars and encourage new cell growth. We have customers telling us all the time that our rose geranium face moisturizer helps their rosacea. And our rose geranium toner balances the skin’s ph. Rose geranium oil is Mother Nature’s anti-aging serum! 

Benefits of Geranium Oil for Body & Mind

Research has shown that Geranium oil is a good medicinal tool for reducing inflammation. Studies also indicate it’s antibacterial properties are beneficial to those with skin disorders. It helps balance hormones, ease nerve pain, fight infection, heal wounds, and improve mental function as a natural anti-depressant and anxiety reliever. Geranium oil can even be used as a deodorant and bug repellent. And of course, it smells great, too!

The beauty of geraniums is much more than skin deep! These lovely flowers are true gift of nature for the mind, body, and spirit.

3 reasons to love cucumbers

Osage

Cucumbers are in season and they aren’t just for making pickles. 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. 

1. Water

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.

2. Nourishment

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.

3. Anti-Inflammatory (anti-aging?)

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. One study claims it is useful in reducing the appearance of fine lines.

Stay Cool this Summer

We utilize 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.

Camellia Seed Oil

Camellia History

Camellia seed oil is of my favorite ingredients. 

Camellias, a staple in southern gardens, is one of my favorite blooms. Their origin can be traced 5,000 years to China and Japan. The plant arrived in Europe in the 16th century but didn’t make it to the U.S. until the 19th century. There are over 200 species of camellias. According to the International Camellia Society there are over 20,000 varieties. Green tea comes from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. The oil is from the seeds of Camellia oleifera.

In Japan, they were known as tsubak or “tree with shining leaves”. The Shinto religion believed that gods made their spirit homes in the flowers. They were planted near temples and graveyards for their spiritual meaning. The flowers were not cut because it was equivalent to beheading. We can thank the Geisha in Japan for making camellia seed oil so popular for the skin and hair. It has been a staple for centuries in their beauty routine.

Camellia Properties

Camellia seed oil has almost the identical molecular weight as our skin. As a non-comedogenic oil it quickly penetrates the skin and hair without leaving an oily residue; a true dry oil. It is also known to have more antioxidants than other botanical oil. It contains UV protection due to the polyphenol compounds. Full of vitamins A, B, C and E and abundant in oleic acid that regenerates the skin it is perfect for all skin types. Its properties add moisture to soften and make the skin more supple as well has containing anti-inflammatory properties.

It is by far my favorite oil. That is why you will find it in most of our products. In our hair and body silk it is coupled with argan oil and infused with vetiver and peppermint. You will also find this exquisite oil in our face and neck elixir, rose geranium face moisturizer, eye cream, citrus cream, lavender hand cream and skin therapy.

I like to think of it as Mother Nature’s elixir for your skin and hair.

10 Beauty Secrets for a Younger You

We live in a world fixated with lists and numbers. We define the health of our relationships by the answer keys of a list of questions.  We demarcate our business ad life by the breadth of our twitter lists and describe the richness of our lives centered on sometimes unattainable bucket lists.  Despite this trend being somewhat vexatious to the soul, I do appreciate the delicate balance of sound advice and the creation of helpful guidelines. Alas, I have created a list of beauty secrets and skin care tips – some scientific, and some just for and from the soul…

1) Smile Often. Smile With Purpose. Smile Randomly.

The reactions you receive will make you smile even more. Frown lines are the wrinkles that age us.

2) Floss & Read

Your brain is already wrinkled and your teeth will never wrinkle.   Reading = Beautiful Mind.  Floss = Beautiful Smile.

3) Use an Eye Cream

Your eyes are the windows to your soul.  Your eyes speak volumes of who you are and who you will become.   Your beauty regimen should never be without an eye cream, serum or combination of both.

4) Exude Confidence

Even if you are flagging into a downward spiral, always find your inner confidence and harness it.  Nothing is more beautiful than a woman that is confident and strong even if she finds herself flanked by unwanted pounds or unwanted company.  You are always strong no matter what surrounds you!

5) Inside – Out | Outside – In

What you put into your body will reflect on the outside.  What you allow to permeate your mind will define your spirit.  What you expose your body to will be the framework for your internal health and wellness.

6) Wash Your Face at Night, Twice

During the day we are exposed to harmful, unsolicited pollutants. We add product to our faces thus turning our day look into our night look. No matter how exhausted we are after an arduous, exhausting day, wash once to clean and twice to purify

7)  Wear Sunscreen ALL DAY, ALL YEAR

Sun damage is not mutually exclusive to summertime, heat or an overwhelming amount of sunshine.  To this day, I am fighting the many reckless years of trying to achieve the perfect Southern California Ban de Soleil look. Try a foundation with sunscreen in it like suntegrity. and I always mix it with a small amount of rose geranium face moisturizer before applying.

8) Breathe

Use the wonders of essential oils to create needed balance in life.  Breathe deep and with purpose.  Take the time to see the beauty in everything.  Desiderata by Max Erhmann, whom encapsulates this thought perfectly, “ With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

9) Moisturize Your Hands, Elbows & Knees

We often overlook them with our beauty regimes.  We tend to focus on our face and forget our neck and décolletage. And our hands, elbows and knees are incessantly maltreated.  They too need to be pampered.

10) Drink Water

As the largest organ, skin needs to drink in the moisture offered by water from the inside out.  Skin care should NEVER have water in its ingredients list.  It dilutes the efficacy and emboldens the chance for bacterial contamination.  HollyBeth Organics NEVER adds water to any product. I encourage you to review closely the ingredient deck of any skin care product.  You will be shocked to see that water is sometimes the first ingredient (and don’t forget that the ingredients are listed from largest quantity to smallest.)

My grandmother and great grandmother lived well into their 90’s and both were women that celebrated rugged individualism and took very different approaches to beauty.  Celebrate your own beauty, your own approach and your own 10 skin care tips.

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! 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. Our pore clarifying mask is perfect for shedding winter and cleansing the pores without drying out your skin.

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

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 favorites is 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.

Prickly Pear Seed Oil

prickly pear
prickly pear or tuna – I took this photo in Georgia

Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Barbary Fig Seed Oil

Origin

Prickly pear seed oil is a fairly newcomer to the beauty industry but one that is quite in vogue, no matter if you call it barbary fig oil, cactus fruit seed oil or opuntia ficus-inidica seed oil. However, in Mexico, I always knew  that a prickly pear is a  “tuna”, the fruit of a cactus called Nopal. Nopal is a cactus that is native to the Americas. Mexico, with over 80 different varieties of tuna, is the top producer and exporter.

Prickly Pear

Peeling a prickly pear or tuna is a delicate endeavor as it is full of small “espinas” thorns that can get under the skin. But once peeled it is a delicious treat. The fruit is used to make “agua frescas” or lemonade, marmalades, gorditas, gelatin, alcohol and in salsas. Prickly pears are quite versatile; however, my favorite way to eat them is just peel and eaten raw.

Prickly pear seed oil

Prickly pear seed oil is pressed from the seeds and depending on who you ask, it takes approximately 8 tons of cactus fruit to make one liter of  oil. The  seeds are hard and must be pressed to make the precious oil. You can see how it is our costliest ingredient and we buy only organic certified.

Here is a great article on the properties of the oil. The oil contains linoleic acid, phytosterols, polyphenols and Vitamin E. Therefore, it contains all your your skin needs to retain moisture, protect and nourish your skin.

Our skin therapy has prickly pear seed oil, camellia seed oil, beeswax, infused with lavender and lime. It is a customer favorite as it only take a small amount to hydrate the skin. Some of our fans also use it as a make-up remover. However you use it, you will love the delicate calming aroma that lingers on your skin.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Bathe Less?

Bathe Less

Bathe less .. yes in the winter. Winter skin care is challenging with the cold and dry air that increases moisture loss in the skin. Then top it off by walking into a heated room and you have a double whammy of the indoor heat parching the skin more. Numerous dermatological studies also indicate that skin diseases such as psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea are exacerbated in winter months making winter skin care essential.

This does not mean to emulate Louis XVI and wear our flourish roll on perfume without cleansing. However, it is important not to use hot water. This actually leads to moisture loss as the barriers in the skin are broken down with the scorching hot water. Use a non-alcohol based cleanser such as our chamomile foaming cleanser or marigold foaming cleanser. Both are gentle on the skin without stripping away needed hydration. Also, avoid products with fragrances, stick with essential oils. This also applies to washing your hands. Alcohol soaps and sanitizers deplete the needed hydration in your hands. If you must use them make sure and replenish with hand cream and then gloves.

Exfoliate

You want to get rid of dead
cells by lightly exfoliating. Nothing harsh should be used, a gently exfoliant
can do the trick. Try our grits honey scrub that can also be used as
a mask and hands and face. You can also use baking soda: mix a small amount in
water and gently massage into face and hands. And please please… do not use an
exfoliant that contains micro beads that are damaging our environment.

Hands

We, or at least I tend to
forget my hands. As I have written on several occasions, my grandmother would
slather her hands in cream and then wear white cotton gloves to bed. Her hands
were hard working throughout her live from cotton picking to sewing and they
were still smooth at 99 years old. I use our lavender hand cream at
night on my hands and our orange peppermint shea butter on
my feet.

Moisturize

This cannot be stressed
enough for both men and women. For your home a humidifier in the bedroom will
keep your skin and hair hydrated. Heating is hot air blasting the moisture from
our skin. Our rose geranium moisturizer is
known for helping with rosacea and dry skin. What every you choose for your
face, make sure it is based on dry oils that will not pollute and clog your
pores.

The best time to apply a
moisturizer or cream is after bathing. Pat dry instead of rubbing excessively
and leave your skin slightly damp and apply the body oil or body balm your choice. I keep skin savior in my bag.

And don’t forget to
replenish your body with water… I used to drink a lot of water when living
abroad. Now, I have gotten lazy about it and must increase my intake.

Enjoy your healthy winter!
And make sure you keep your winter skin care regime!