Saturday, July 26, 2014

Anti-Blemish Mask with Chamomile, Honey and Tea Tree

These instructions will give you two re-usable cloth face masks.
One of the latest beauty trends is the one-time-use treatment infused cloth facial masks that are popping up with major beauty brands.  They are worn on the face for about 20 to 30 minutes and can help rejuvenate, hydrate, soothe and soften your skin.  They can also be pretty expensive! I have seen some of them go for as much as $20 each. I was at the mall a few weeks ago and was talking with a sales associate at a particular beauty counter and  she offered me a free sample of their super expensive cloth facial mask.

Here is the deal, I was only interested in using it as a template to build my own re-usable cloth face mask.  The particular product I received was chock full of questionable ingredients that I would never put on my skin.  I gently washed it and hung it up to air dry.

An organic cotton produce bag usually costs less than $4.00
I use organic cotton produce bags to store my fruits and veggies and decided that I could part with one of them in order to fashion my re-usable face masks.  I made two sets of the face mask out of one bag.

The washed and dried cloth face mask that I received as a sample from a beauty counter at the mall
The photo above shows the free cloth face mask that I received from the beauty counter. I think it is made from rayon or something synthetic.

I pinned the synthetic one-time-use mask onto my produce bag
I simply pinned it onto my cotton produce bag. This way I was able to get two sets out of it.

So simple!!
I cut around the pattern. Pretty easy!!!

Two re-usable organic cotton cloth face masks. Yeah!!!
Yeah!! Two sets of re-usable organic cotton cloth face masks. Now I am ready to mix up a treatment formula to infuse the mask with.  I decided to create an anti-blemish treatment serum.

Mountain Rose Herbs offers the best Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera Gel. Just saying!!
Start out with adding 2 tablespoons of Witch Hazel Extract and 2 tablespoons of Aloe Vera Gel into a mixing cup.  Add in 1 tablespoon of glycerine. Mix well

You can either make your own tinctures, buy them from Mountain Rose Herbs, Gaia Herbs or Herb Pharm.
Pull out your tinctures and add 1/4 teaspoon of calendula extract, 1/4 teaspoon echinacea extract, 1/4 teaspoon green tea leaf extract, 1/2 teaspoon chamomile extract, 1/2 teaspoon lavender extract and 1/2 teaspoon thyme extract to your measuring cup. Mix well. All of these tinctures are wonderful for blemish-prone skin.

Make sure to buy Bio-Active Healing Honey.  It is expensive, but is pretty good stuff!!!
Stir in 1 tablespoon of organic manuka honey. Mix well.

Xanthan gum can be found in the baking section.  It is a great thickener and can turn liquids into gels.
Thicken up the mixture by adding in 1/8 teaspoon of Xanthan gum to the mixture.

This stick blender will help disperse the xanthan gum evenly.
Use a stick blender and blend on high until the mixture is a gel-like consistency.

Mix in 2 teaspoons of Jojoba oil and 10 drops of Tea Tree essential oil. Stir well.

Place your cloth face mask into the mixture and allow it to become fully saturated.  This recipe makes enough for three facials.

Boo!
Smooth the treatment infused face mask over your face and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove the cloth mask.  Do not rinse your skin, simply massage in any remaining treatment serum.  My face felt so refreshed after this treatment!!

Gently rinse out your cloth mask in warm soapy water and rinse well.  Air dry and use again and again and again.  This recipe will give you enough treatment gel for three facials.

Enjoy!! Stay tuned for more recipes to use with your cloth masks.

Cheers!

Shannon


 Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Radiant Skin Activated Charcoal & Clay Clearing Mask


Did you know that activated charcoal can absorb over 500-times its weight in impurities? This super-duty ingredient helps draw out impurities from your pores and with the help of the Kaolin Clay, your skin is left radiant, clean and clear. I have included matcha for a super boost of antioxidants.  Matcha is ground-up green tea leaves and when incorporated into skincare, it helps to reduce inflammation and promote a beautiful even skin tone.

I have also included Lavender and Calendula tinctures.  I love the lavender tincture as it is a pleasant aromatic and provides soothing properties to the mask.  Calendula tincture is excellent at promoting healing of the skin and is an excellent anti-inflammatory.  It is also a topical antibacterial and is great for acne.

I chose a blend of eucalyptus, bergamot, cypress and rosewood essential oils.  These essential oils are excellent for oily and congested skin. They work together to break up congestion, tone the skin, and improve its clarity.   Please remember that bergamot essential oil increases the photosensitivity of the skin and you need to use a sunscreen after you use this mask for at least one week.  When buying bergamot essential oil, ALWAYS CHOOSE  Bergaptene-Free Bergamot!!

You can buy activated charcoal at most drug stores and natural food stores.  I keep a bottle in my emergency first-aid kit just in case one of my children ingests something they should not.


Since I am an herbalist, I make most of my own tinctures.  It takes several weeks for them to be ready, so you can purchase excellent tinctures from either Mountain Rose Herbs or Herb Pharm.

Lets assemble our ingredients for the Radiant Skin Activated Charcoal & Clay Clearing Mask.

Radiant Skin Activated Charcoal & Clay Clearing Mask
10 grams Kaolin Clay
6 Activated Charcoal Capsules (break open the capsules and empty the charcoal out)
3 grams Matcha Powder
15 grams Aloe Vera Gel
5 grams Witch Hazel Extract
5 grams Vegetable Glycerine
5 ml Lavender Tincture
5 ml Calendula Tincture
10 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
8 drops Cypress Essential Oil
5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
5 droops Rosewood Essential Oil


 Place the kaolin clay, activated charcoal and matcha powder into a small glass bowl.  Mix together.

Drizzle the Aloe Vera gel, Witch Hazel, Vegetable Glycerine and the tinctures over the powder. Mix well to form a smooth and creamy paste.

Add in the essential oils and mix well.


Eucalyptus essential oil evaporates very quickly, so you want to place a lid on this as soon as possible.  Store it in a cool dry area and use within 2 weeks.  To use: paint an even layer of the product over your face (avoid eyes, mouth and nose).  Allow the product to remain on your face for at least 20 minutes or until it is dry. Rinse off with warm water. Follow with a sunscreen and moisturizer.

I sincerely hope you enjoy making this facial mask and look forward to hearing how well it worked for you.  Thanks for reading my blog and I wish you abundant green blessings!!!

-Shannon



 Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Steamy & Dreamy Toner Tabs


It is time for another Do-It-Yourself recipe!!! I have a recipe that was influenced by  a popular facial steam tab that is sold by one of my favorite handmade skincare stores in the mall.  The store sells its facial steam tabs for almost $3.00 each and the ingredients are pretty basic. Their listed ingredients include; baking soda, citric acid, lavender essential oil, rose absolute, German chamomile essential oil, and tea tree essential oil.  Basically, this is a mini bath fizzy for the face.  You are supposed to drop one toner tab into a bowl of steaming hot water, place your face about 10 inches above the bowl and place a towel over your head to catch the steam to open up your pores and steam your face. It takes about 5 minutes for the steam to work its wonders.  You then transfer the toner water into a spray bottle and use it over the next two days to tone your skin.

I have to say, this was a pretty easy recipe to create for my own version.  I used all the same ingredients, but I added in a tiny bit of Polysorbate 20 so that the essential oils would disperse into the water better.  You do not have to add the Polysorbate 20 in if you are not familar with it. The recipe is perfect with or without Polysorbate 20.

I wanted to make my version in a similar shape as the store's version so I used this small silicone ice cube tray I had in my pantry.  It worked out perfectly!!! When the toner tabs are set up and hardened, you simply press the back of the mold and they pop out.

Here are some rose petals that I dried a few months ago.  Just like the store's version, I wanted a few pretty petals on the top of each toner tab so I added them into the mold. If you don't have your own dried rose petals, you can pick them up from Mountain Rose Herbs.

First step is to measure out 8 tablespoons of baking soda and 4 tablespoons of citric acid into a sifter and sift into a bowl.  You need to sift the two ingredients in order to get all the lumps out.

The photo on the bottom right is the essential oils dropped into the Polysorbate 20.  
If you choose to use the Polysorbate 20, add a 1/4 teaspoon of it into a small bowl.  Add the following essential oils into the Polysorbate 20:

10 drops of Lavender essential oil
5 drops Rose absolute
4 drops German Chamomile essential oil
3 drops Tea Tree essential oil

You can get the essential oils at Mountain Rose Herbs.

Stir the Polysorbate 20 & Essential Oil blend into the baking soda/citric acid mix.  I ended up putting the the mixture back though the sifter in order to fully combine the essential oils into the dry mix.


I like to use 190 proof grain alcohol to moisten my fizzy tabs.  I know this strength of vodka can be hard to come by depending on which state you live in, so you can use regular vodka or Witch Hazel extract if you need to.  Place about 1 tablespoon of the vodka into a small spray bottle.


Mist the vodka over the dry mixture, stirring frequently until very lightly moistened.  You will know it is moistened enough when you can squeeze a handful of it and it stays held together.  


Working quickly, you want to place the entire amount into the mold and press down to tightly pack the mixture tightly into each well of the mold.  


You want to pack the mixture into each mold as tightly as you can.  Place a towel over the top of the mold and allow the toner tabs to harden for at least 8 hours.  Once hardened, you pop them out and keep them in an air-tight container.

They are really adorable when you pop them out.  I really enjoyed making this recipe!!!

I tried them out and they were even better than the ones the store sells!!!  I made 12 toner tabs for under $10.  Remember, the store sells ONE toner tab for almost $3.00 each.

A few tips:
1. Do not attempt to make this recipe if you have a lot of humidity. The humidity in the air may set off the toner tabs.
3. There is a fine line between perfectly moistened and too wet when you are misting the vodka over the dry mixture.  If the mixture starts to fizz, you have gone too far with the vodka and might have to start over.
4. Pack the mixture into the molds very tightly!

 Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!



Friday, July 11, 2014

Introducing Simplers Botanicals™

photo credit: Simplers.com
You probably know that I really, really LOVE buying my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs.  I am happy to tell you that I found another wonderful company that I have also started purchasing some really fantastic and amazing essential oils from.  I would like to introduce you to Simplers Botanicals™.
photo credit: Simplers Botanicals

Simplers Botanicals provides some of the highest-quality organic essential oils to practitioners and consumers. That’s because over the past 30 plus years, the Simplers Botanicals mission has been to deliver aromatherapy the way nature intended—with natural products that are as true to the aroma of the original plants as possible.
As a result, Simplers Botanicals is one of the most sought-after sources of therapeutic quality, certified organic essential oils and herbal extracts. Their exceptional line of products reflects an inherent passion for quality, purity and integrity. With over 100 products—essential oils, therapeutic perfumes, therapeutic hydrosols, infused and carrier oils, topical blends and argan facial treatments—Simplers Botanicals brings authentic products with unparalleled aromatic potency to the marketplace.
photo credit: Simplers Botanicals
Their experienced staff herbalists source organic essential oils direct from artisan distillers all over the world to ensure they are genuine, species specific, expertly distilled and 100 percent pure. They offer certified organic essential oils whenever an organic option is available, and occasionally, when necessary, they opt for ethically, wildcrafted, non-organic oils of the highest therapeutic potency.
All organic products receive United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (USDA NOP) certification, conducted by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), a USDA NOP accredited certifying agency. Simplers Botanicals™ enjoy supporting organic farms in France, Germany, Egypt, Nepal, Madagascar, Albania, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Indonesia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Argentina, Croatia, Australia, Canada and the United States.
Most of the Simplers Botanicals™ staff are graduates of the California School of Herbal Studies in Forestville, California. Their blending and bottling specialists all share a reverence for plants, the environment, and the Earth, and this is reflected in the care used to prepare our products. Their staff herbalists are happy to answer your aromatherapy questions!
They have quite an extensive line of essential oils and the prices are very reasonable.  I really like the Simplers Botanicals™ essential oils as much as the ones I buy from Mountain Rose Herbs.  This is a great company to do business with!!!
Here is the contact information for Simplers Botanicals™:
Email: customerservice@simplers.com
Phone: 800-229-2512

This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Essential Oil & Aromatherapy Buzzwords

Here is a list of buzzwords that you will hear frequently when discussing aromatherapy and essential oils.  I bet you feel smarter already!!!!

Adulterant - a substance, artificial or natural, added to an essential oil, which was not originally present in the oil at the time of distillation.

Base Oil (Carrier Oil) - vegetable or nut oils, i.e. sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba.

Diffuser - a device that disperses essential oils into an area. The three basic types are clay, candle and electric.

Dilute - adding a small amount of essential oil to a larger amount of base oil to make it safe for use on the skin.

Distillation - method used to extract essential oil from the plant. Steam distillation is the most common form of distillation.

GC/MS (Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer) - a device used by analytic chemists to determine the precise makeup of a given substance. Used in Aromatherapy to determine the precise chemical constituents of an essential oil, and whether it is pure or adulterated with synthetic chemicals or other products.

Essential Oil - highly aromatic substance found in specialized cells of certain plants. Technically, when this substance is in the plant, it is called an "essence." After distillation of a single type of plant, the aromatic substance is referred to as an essential oil. Essential oils may be used by plants for protection from predators, to attract pollinators, or for other, yet unknown, uses.

Herbally Infused Oil - these are oils that carry the medicinal properties of certain herbs. Carrier oil is infused with the medicinal herb, the plant is strained off, and the remaining oil can be used directly on the skin.

Neat - use of an undiluted essential oil on the skin.

Notes - as in top, middle, and base notes. This is a type of classification system based on aroma, to identify certain oils. Generally, essential oils from citrus peels are top notes, essential oils from flowers, leaves and stems are middle notes, and essential oils from roots are base notes.

Orifice Reducer - a device used to reduce the size of the opening of a bottle, making dispensing easier and more accurate.

Phototoxic - the use of the oil makes one’s skin more prone to damage from the sun’s UV rays. Primarily the citrus oils, especially lemon and bergamot, as well as Angelica oil, are phototoxic oils.

Volatile - describes how quickly a substance disperses itself into the air. In aromatherapy, top note essential oils may be referred to as "highly volatile," meaning that they disperse quickly out of the bottle and into the air. 

To learn more about essential oils and aromatherapy, consider attending one of my upcoming 2-day Therapeutic Properties of Essential Oil Workshops.  Click HERE for more information. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Green Goddess Comfrey & Plantain Skin Cream



Bless my son's heart (and his super dry hands)!  He ordinarily gets super dry scaly skin around this time of the year and I can help him keep it under control with one of my herbal infused skin salves or creams.  Unfortunately, while he was fishing (without me) he did not apply any hand cream for three days.  His sweet little hands were exposed to cold water and cold temperatures.  I almost cried when he got home and showed me his hands.  They were so dry, inflamed and even cracking.  Last night I stayed up until 11:00 pm making him a skin cream.  I basically just threw this recipe together with what I had on hand and was hoping it would turn out good.  Thankfully, it turned out REALLY good!!! I snuck upstairs and massaged it into his hands while he slept.  I hate eczema and dry skin and decided to call this recipe Green Goddess Comfrey & Plantain Skin Cream since it is a beautiful light green color and just like a Goddess, it is protective and promotes healing.

My recipe does not have any water in it.  No water means you don't need a  preservative, and it is more concentrated without water.  I used plantain, comfrey leaf and comfrey root infused olive oil, Shea butter, beeswax, cocoa butter, Vitamin E oil, and a blend of essential oils that are very soothing to dry skin.  My essential oil blend includes Blue Chamomile, Bulgarian Lavender, Rosemary, Cedarwood Atlas, Juniper Berry and Patchouli.  If you need a tutorial on how to infuse herbs into oils, click HERE.

You can order Plantain (Plantago major) from Mountain Rose Herbs.  They carry high quality Certified Organic.  Click HERE to be taken to Mountain Rose Herbs website.  Plantain Leaf has a high amount of skin healing allantion.  Allantion is known to be very soothing for skin with eczema and may help support the body's natural healing of eczema.

Mountain Rose Herbs offers Certified Organic Comfrey Root.  click Here!!

I like to use both Comfrey Root and Comfrey Leaf in my herbal infused oil.  It is one of the best herbs at promoting healthy skin and is well known to support the body's ability to heal wounded skin.  Just like Plantain, Comfrey has a high amount of allantoin.  Comfrey leaf has been used around the world in making dermal applications such as pastes, ointments, poultices and salves.

Green Goddess Comfrey & Plantain Skin Cream

4 tablespoons grated beeswax
2 tablespoons Shea butter
1 tablespoon cocoa butter
10 tablespoons plantain, comfrey leaf, comfrey root infused olive oil
1 tablespoon Vitamin E oil
5 drops Blue chamomile essential oil
10 drops Bulgarian lavender essential oil
10 drops Rosemary essential oil
10 drops Cedarwood Atlas essential oil
5 drops Juniper Berry essential oil
5 drops Patchouli essential oil

Add the grated beeswax, Shea butter and cocoa butter into a glass measuring cup and place in a pan of simmering water until melted.  Once melted remove from the heat and add in the plantain/comfrey infused oil, vitamin E oil and the essential oils.  Cover and allow to cool and harden.  Once hardened, whip to a creamy consistency with a hand-held mixer.  Transfer to a sanitized container with a lid. Apply as needed. Do not eat!!!


The finished product is light, creamy and absorbs very well into the skin.  Enjoy!


 Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Rosa damascena: Steam Distilled and Solvent Extracted

photo credit: Mountain Rose Herbs
The rose has been valued for its beauty and its perfume for thousands of years. Because rose oil deteriorates rapidly with exposure to sun and wind, the content is highest on the first morning when the flower opens. Rose petals picked for distillation are picked manually, day by day, at or just before sunrise. (source: Mountain Rose Herbs)

The distinctive scent of the rose derived from acyclic monoterpene alcohols, geraniol (up to 75%), citronellol (20%) and nerol (20%), and long-chain hydrocarbons like nonadecane or heneicosane (up to 10%). An important trace component of rose oil is beta-damascenone. Even though this chemical makes up only 0.01% of the weight of the rose, its presence or absence determines the appeal of the rose. (source: Mountain Rose Herbs)

Mountain Rose Herbs offers both a steam distilled essential oil and a solvent extracted absolute rose oil.  

photo credit: Rose, Bulgarian Essential Oil from Mountain Rose Herbs
The steam distilled essential oil from Rosa damascena is one of the most expensive essential oils on the market! Mainly used in the fragrance industry. The distilled oil is also known for its sedative and aphrodisiac effects.  It takes around 10,000 lbs of rose petals to distill one pound of oil. The essential oil blends well with Benzoin, bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, fennel, geranium, ginger, helichrysum, jasmine, lavender, lemon, mandarin, neroli, patchouli, petitgrain, sandalwood, ylang yang   and vetiver.  Mountain Rose Herbs has a Certified Organic essential oil that is beautiful.  The price for 1/8 ounce is $132.00.  You can really splurge and buy the 1 ounce bottle for a mere $700.00.  You can click HERE to be taken to the Mountain Rose Herbs website


Photo credit: Mountain Rose Herbs Rose, Bulgarian Absolute
Another option in buying a beautiful extract of Rosa damascena is to purchase Mountain Rose Herbs Rose Absolute.  It is alcohol extracted from the same Rosa damascena and instead of being used therapeutically, it is mostly used in the fragrance industry.  The amount of suggested dermal use is much higher in the absolute versus the essential oil.  Also, the price is more economical.  

Mountain Rose Herbs offers a 1/8 ounce bottle for only $43.75 and a full 1 ounce bottle is just $230.00.  The aroma is Rich, sweet, spicy-floral, tenacious and beautiful.  If you are interested in purchasing this from Mountain Rose Herbs, CLICK HERE


SAFETY DATA

Avoid while pregnant. Not for internal use.

DISCLAIMER

This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate.
As with all essential oils, never use them undiluted. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children. If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier.


Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c


This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!