3 reasons to love cucumbers

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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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

Can Bergamot Oil Help Acne?

Can bergamot oil help acne? For those of us with blemish-prone skin, facial products containing oil tend to send us running in the opposite direction. My skin is already oily, and I don’t want to clog my pores with a greasy product.

Bergamot Dry Oil Combats Oily Skin

HollyBeth Organics’ Marigold Bergamot Dry Oil is different. It is not heavy oil that sits on top of your skin. It is actually a dry oil, meaning it sinks directly into the skin to heal and balance from below the surface. This lightweight moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog pores (and we all know clogged pores can lead to more pimples!).  A powerful combination of grape seed, jojoba, calendula, and bergamot oil help acne, heal scars, and cure minor skin irritations while gently moisturizing and balancing the skin.

Lightweight Moisturizer

Not only is Marigold Bergamot Dry Oil a great anti-acne defense, it is also a lightweight moisturizer. On clean, dry skin, gently massage a small amount on your face and neck (a little goes a long way). Your skin will be soothed and hydrated – it is the perfect daily moisturizer for normal to oily skin.

I have to admit, I was a skeptic myself when I first looked into using bergamot oil, but I gave it a try and found it to be one of the best solutions for my blemish-prone skin. I even use it at night to help prevent future breakouts! This stuff is liquid anti-acne gold.

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. 

Grape seed oil benefits


What are the benefits of grape seed oil? Although grapes have been touted for over 6000 years for their medicinal properties; grape seed oil only surfaced in the 20th century.

Grape seed oil benefits

Grape seed oil benefits are many. It 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.

Grape seed 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. Grape seed oil benefits also include healing of acne, the inflammation that is caused due to blemishing.

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.

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.