Grapeseed Oil – Benefits for your skin

What are the benefits of grapeseed oil? Grapes have been touted for over 6,000 years for their medicinal properties. However, grapeseed oil only surfaced in the 20th century.

Grape seed oil benefits

Grapeseed oil benefits are many. Light and non-greasy, it is non-comedogenic and will not clog your pores.  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. 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. 

Grape seeds 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 a wonderful alternative to the harsh peels and/or chemicals for blemish prone skin.

8 Myths of Organic Debunked

USDA Organic Logo

There are more than 8 myths to be debunked about the term “organic” but let’s start with these.  Myths about organic skin care, organic produce and what defines an organic product are ongoing in social media conversations and pepper many a magazine.  Having been certified organic for over 10 years, I have heard a lot of the ongoing debate of organic vs “better than organic certified” etc. etc.

Myth #1 If it has “organic” on the label it is certified organic.

USDA Organic Logo Unfortunately, this is not the case. Unless it is has the USDA organic seal it is not organic.

Myth #2 All certifications are the same.

USDA Organic Certification is more stringent than ECOCERT. Example, Ecocert allows borax and other ingredients that USDA Organic Certification does not. And if you are Made in the U.S. it would appear you would want to be certified here unless you are unable to be certified in the U.S. and therefore opt for the lesser of the two: ECOCERT. “… approved ingredients list (including preservatives) authorized in small quantity.”

Myth #3 Anybody can be USDA Organic Certified.

If this were true then all U.S. based companies that are Ecocert or other certifications would be USDA certified. It is not an easy process. It is timely and costly for a small business like us. 

Myth #4 All certifying agents are the same.

Check the board of directors and/or the governing body. Are they comprised of the same companies that are being certified? This would clearly not be an objective certification. 

Myth #5 Once certified always certified.

We are audited every year. As the program changes so do the guidelines. This could result in spending money on new packaging to having a product no longer certified.

Myth #6 Skincare 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.  However, all of our products are water free. Therefore, we do not need preservatives.

Myth #7 Organic skincare is too expensive.

False! I keep going back to the ingredient list of any product.  This reminds me 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.

Organic Myth #8 Debunked If the label reads NATURAL it 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 logo that product.  A demanding process but well worth the assurance!  

 

 

Sea Buckthorn… A Super Berry

There are very few items in my house I’m addicted to. In fact, I really can only think of one at the moment. It’s the Face & Neck Elixir by HollyBeth Organics. I giddily anticipate using it every morning and night.

Always Choose 100% Organic

When you apply 100% organic ingredients to your skin, you never want to use anything else. It changes the game and I begin to weep for my 40 plus years where I’ve used products packed with chemicals and artificial fragrances. For my next 40, I’m redeeming myself, and my skin.

Face & Neck Elixir

This Face & Neck Elixir, a formula crafted by HollyBeth Anderson, is a serum, so it delivers nutrients into the deepest layers of your skin. So where your typical moisturizer stops, the serum keeps on going. Like the Energizer bunny.

To figure out why I love this serum so, I took a closer look. One of the main ingredients is a super berry called Sea Buckthorn which is also found in her Rose Geranium Face Moisturizer.

Sea Buckthorn

Sea Buckthorn, a deciduous shrub, is nutritionally dense and thrives in harsh climates like Mongolia and northwestern China. The orange berries of this hearty shrub are edible and nutritious and when pressed, contain a high amount of saturated and polyunsaturated fats. Impressively, these small berries pack in 190 nutrients and phytonutrients. One berry contains 12x more vitamin C than your average orange. And, if that’s not enough, it is the only plant source that contains omega 3, 6, 7 and 9.

With such a nutritionally dense profile, Sea Buckthorn is a natural treatment for psoriasis, which I have. It helps regenerate skin tissue and maintain healthy skin. Which is why it is often used to treat acne, burns, wounds and Rosacea.

It also, I believe, promotes a feeling of well-being.  I swear to all you – every time I reach for this elixir, I smile wide in anticipation for how good it feels. Just two drops goes a long way…and it travels deep. Which is a good thing, I have some catching up to do.

 

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 flow 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.

Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving

History

Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving. More imporatnly, they aren’t just frozen and in a sauce. We can thank Native Americans ingenuuity for developing the versatility of this sour berry as it was a mainstay in theire diet and life.

Cree boiled the fruit and used it to dye porcupine quills for clothing and jewelry. Chippewa used cranberries as bait to trap the snowshoe hare. The leaves were used in teas, the fresh fruit was eaten as well as dried.

However, the most interesting to me is the energy bar they created called pemmican. “So vital was pemmican to the survival of fur traders and early settlers in Canada,” writesfood historian and cookbook author Jennifer McLagan, “that its supply sparked unrest between the Native Americans and the Europeans.” Responding to a food shortage in 1814, the governor of the Red River colony, Miles Macdonell, attempted to prohibit the export of pemmican by the Métis.

Medicinal Uses

Cranberries were used as medicine by the Native Americans. It was used to fight scurvy and infections and it worked. They would grind the berries and use them as paste on top of the wounds for healing.

The plant

Native to North America, cranberries grow on a vine. They do not grow in the water bogs we see on tv. Cranberries will float in water thus making it easier to harvest. It also protects them from heat and cold. The largest producer of cranberries in the U.S. is Wisconsin.

For the skin

Fast forward to today and chemists have found that cranberries are loaded with polyphenols. Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols are helpful in addressing skin stressors such as pollution, sun damage etc. etc  These polyphenols have an antioxidant effect on the skin, slowing down the process of our skin’s appearance of aging. Our eye balm is formulated with cranberry seed oil making it the perfect choice to diminish fine lines as well as hydrating the delicate eye area.

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.

History of Cardamom

 

Cardamom is a spice that comes from the seed pods of various ginger plants. Native to India and popular throughout Asia, Cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice, famous for its aromatic and healing properties. It commonly used in food, medicine, and skincare.

Cooking with Cardamom

There are two main types of cardamom: green and black. Green, also called true cardamom, comes from an aromatic perennial herb plant. It is widely used in Indian cuisine, and is a popular spice used in baking sweets as well as flavoring coffee and tea. Black Cardamom has more of a smoky flavor, commonly used in meat dishes and soups. Both are found in popular sweet and savory dishes such as curry pastes and masalas.

Healing Powers

Cardamom also boasts natural healing abilities, prominently utilized in Indian and Chinese medicine. Its natural oil is packed with antioxidants and can be used as an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory, and a digestion aid. Cardamom seeds are often chewed on for oral health, providing relief from mouth ulcers and combating bad breath.

Skin Solutions

Cardamom essential oil comes from steam distillation of the spice. It creates a rich, yellow oil with an invigorating, bittersweet smell. The sweet, spicy aroma invigorates the senses and calms anxiety. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used this fragrant oil in perfumes, incense, and mouth washes. It is also used as a massage oil due to its warming sensation and skin-soothing properties.

This luxurious essential oil can be found in HollyBeth Organics’ Body Polish, adding that hint of spice while promoting circulation and calming the muscles. It is the ultimate body scrub for relaxation and rejuvenation. The Ancient Egyptians would be jealous.

No wonder cardamom is so highly valued – this sumptuous spice can do it all!

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 of 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. 

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