Thursday, January 26, 2012

Using OLIVE oil as your daily beauty product

Olive Oil can be used for many different beauty recipes and natural remedies. It goes on your skin easily and naturally without leaving a greasy feeling after it is applied. The skin absorbs it readily and has no allergic properties. Olive oil nourishes the skin leaving it soft and supple. It is rich in Vitamin E and has wonderful healing properties, perfect for dry, cracked or chapped skin.

Here are some ideas to use olive oil in your beauty care regimen.

Gentle Eye Makeup Remover 
Olive oil is excellent for removing mascara, even better than petroleum jelly or baby oil and will be beneficial to the skin around your eyes. Just apply a few drops of oil onto a cotton wool and apply onto eye area. People with dry, dehydrated or mature skin will highly benefit from such a treatment.

Nourishing Clay Mask Shelf life: Use immediately
This particular recipe uses Kaolin as it is a 'gentle' cleansing clay which ideal also for dry skin types. The olive oil gives it extra nourishing properties and elasticity to mature skin due to it's high content of Vitamin E. (If you suffer from dehydrated skin, we recommend to add a couple of drops of glycerin to the following recipe as it acts as a humactant, thus attracting moisture to the skin)

Mix 2 tablespoons of Kaolin
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Add a few drops of Rose water to create a smooth consistency
Apply to the face, being especially gentle around the eyes
Leave on for 15-20 minutes

Rinse off and apply your moisturizer.

Healing Lip Balm Shelf life: Use within 3 weeks
Beeswax and olive oil melted and poured into a small tin makes wonderful lip balm that will keep your lips soft and smooth. Here's one of my favorite recipes.

1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of calendula oil
1 teaspoon of beeswax
3 drops orange essential oil

Melt the beeswax and add olive and calendula oils
Stir the whole time so the mass is consistent
Remove from heat, keep stirring and let it cool down a bit
Add the oil of choice and stir a bit more
Pour in a plastic container or jar and store properly

Softening Lip Scrub Shelf life: Use within 1 week
 For soft , flake free lips, mix 1/2 teaspoon of unrefined brown sugar to 1 small teaspoon to olive oil. Rub gently in circular motion onto lip and surrounding area. (We do NOT recommend salt as a substitute as it is too harsh for the lip and face area).

Anti-Cellulite Body Scrub Shelf life: Use within 2 weeks
Scrubs are renowned to improve circulation and even the appearance of the 'orange peel' effect. We highly recommend using olive oil as the base oil as it penetrates deeply into the skin, thus the cellulite busting essential oils mentioned in this recipe, will 'travel' much faster into the problem area thus one can see faster results. 
1/4 cup of green tea
1/2 cup of sea salt or sugar
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 drops of black pepper essential oil
3 drops of grapefruit essential oil
3 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix all the ingredients together. While taking a shower, scoop up some, not more than a teaspoon at a time, and gently, in circular motion distribute the scrub. Rinse well and pat dry.

Sore or Tired Legs and Feet Shelf life: Use within 3 weeks
Combine the following ingredients and apply as a moisturizer with upward strokes before going to bed. For best results we recommend to raise your feet with the help of a pillow when lying down in bed.

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of Aloe Vera
1 teaspoon of Wheat Germ Oil
8  drops of Peppermint Oil
5 drops of Eucalyptus Oil
5 drops of Lavender Oil

Antiseptic Foot Soak Shelf life: Use immediately
The moisturizing properties of olive oil make it a popular ingredient in natural foot soak recipes while the bicarbonate of soda and the following essential oils deodorize the feet while also being help treat conditions such as athletes foot.

Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl:
1/2 cup of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of bicarbonate of soda
3 drops peppermint essential oil
3 drops of tea tree essential oil
3 drops of Lemongrass essential oil

Add to one gallon of warm water and enjoy this wonderful olive oil beauty foot soak!

Ingredients can be found on our website under the category ''DIY Cosmetic Supplies''

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What are Floral waters/ Hydrosols?

Flower water and floral water are descriptive, but now outdated terms, used to describe the condensate water that remains after the extraction of an essential oil by water or steam distillation. When essential oils are produced this way, not all of the aromatic and healing principles held within the plant are actually captured in the essential oil.

Certain components are hydrophilic, which means they dissolve into water, and this produces what is variously known as a flower water, hydrosol or hydrolate. What ever you choose to call it, the resulting fragrant water contains the very essence of everything that was contained within the plant when it was still alive and growing.

Steam Distillation

What's in a name?

The terms flower or floral waters are misleading since these miracle waters can be produced from herbs, needles, leaves, woods, barks and seeds. In aromatherapy, these products are more commonly referred to as hydrosols.

Unfortunately today, many 'flower waters' are made from synthetic compounds which smell quite pretty but posses absolutely no healing properties! In fact, quite the opposite - they can cause skin irritation.

Others are produced by adding essential oils or absolutes to water by using alcohol or some other type of dispersant or solvent. This may appear to be perfectly acceptable, since the finished product contains essential oil and has a pleasant fragrance similar to a natural hydrosol.

However, this type of reconstituted product lacks the wealth of vital healing properties present in a true hydrosol, - remember, many of the plant constituents were dissolved into the water whilst extracting the oil, so they were never present in the essential oil in the first place!

Therefore adding an essential oil to water will never create a product with the same range of healing benefits as a true hydrosol. There is simply no substitute for a true hydrosol, so don't let anybody try and fool you.

Aroma-therapeutic uses

Hydrosols are highly versatile and can be used for personal care and around the house. In skincare, Rose, Orange Blossom (Neroli) and Lavender hydrosols are great for hydrating dry skin and cooling hot and sensitised skin. If you have been out in the sun too long and got burned, Lavender hydrosol is soothing and comforting as well as healing. Used in the final rinse after shampooing hydrosols help to condition hair and add a shine.

We know of no better remedy for puffy, dark circles under the eyes than Chamomile hydrosol. Just soak two cotton wool pads with the hydrosol and cover each eye for around 10 minutes for an immediate and dramatic reduction in puffiness. Regular use can help diminish those dreaded dark circles too.

Perfect for summer

During the summer hydrosols are perfect to use as a cooling body mist, and the most cooling of all is Peppermint. Make sure you take some with you to use on holidays, on the beach and even to cool those aching tootsies when you are out shopping! Hydrosols help to revitalise you when your energies are beginning to flag, and a few sprays onto a tissue makes a handy wet-wipe for all sorts of applications including babies and grubby children.

To calm a restless baby try adding a few tablespoons of Lavender or Chamomile hydrosol into their bathwater. This can be especially beneficial if your baby is suffering from nappy rash or eczema, because the soothing properties of these hydrosols help calm the irritation and speed up the healing process.

Hydrosols are quite safe to use on young children, and since they only contain a small amount of essential oil they do not need diluting much further except as above when using with very young babies.

A green alternative

Hydrosols such as Rose can be added to the final rinse water in your washing cycle as well as used as a fragrant linen spray whilst ironing since they smell much nicer than their synthetic counterparts. Around the house, hydrosols are great to freshen the air instead of using aerosols which of course are harmful to the environment.

You can find a refreshing range of floral hydrosols at Soap Cafe. Choose your floral water:  Rose to soothe irritated skin, antiseptic Lavender or Chamomile to ease and calm the mind.  Email Charlene at  

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