Essential Oils

27 10 2011


OIL.   When you see that word what do you think of?  Fried Chicken?  Working on the car?  Black gold or Texas tea (Beverly Hillbillies)?  What about Essential Oil?  Yes there is an oil that is good for you, several in fact.  Essential Oils have been used for thousands of years for their healing properties, magical properties as well as their scenting abilities.

Essential Oils are found in leaves, stems, braches, roots, fruit and flowers of all kinds of plants.  Lemons, Oranges, Cinnamon, Pine, Sandalwood, Rose, etc.  And each plant’s oils can deliver many different benefits for the skin, the mind, the body, and your overall health and well being.  Since ancient times through the present day, Essential Oils have been used by religious practitioners, aristocrats and commoners for everything from repelling pests, easing pain, engery, mood enhancement, depression, and yes the common cold.

Today, Essential Oils are used by Massage Therapists, Aroma therapists, Doctors, Nurses, and Moms for a variety of purposes.  Citronella Essential Oil can deter pests like mosquitoes.  Ginger Essential Oil is used to alleviate symptoms ranging from a lack of appetite to relieving cramps.  Lemon Essential Oil has astringent and antibacterial properties.  Rose Essential Oil is used for headaches and insomnia.

Essential Oils by themselves are unlikely to ever cure a disease, or stop the pain from say a broken bone but Cinnamon Essential Oil can certainly numb the pain from a toothache and taste better than “Over The Counter” medicine such as Anbesol.   Most Essential Oils are to be used topically on the skin and not taken internally.  They should be mixed with a Carrier Oil (Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil, Shea Butter) before application since the high concentration could irritate the skin if
applied directly.

Many of the large cosmetic companies have recently been turning to Essential Oils in their formulations to provide the “action” in their products.  Read the ingredient labels of today’s hottest brands and see that the “green movement” is well entrenched by the use of Essential Oils.

Try this recipe at home.  I have found all the ingredients at Whole Foods.

Cool Stress Free Scrub

Glass or metal bowl large enough to hold 4 cups

Metal Fork or whisk

Peppermint Essential Oil – 1/2 tsp

Lemon Essential Oil – ¼ tsp

Grapeseed Oil – 3 Tblsp

Castille Liquid Soap or any other Liquid Soap with unscented or with a Peppermint or Citrus scent – 2 tsp

White Sugar – 1 cup

Vitamin E Oil – 1 tsp

Cornstarch – 1 tsp

Baking Soda – 1 tsp

Mix the sugar, baking Soda and Cornstarch until blended

Add the Grapeseed Oil, Vitamin E Oil and Soap and blend until you have a paste.  You may add additional sugar for a thicker paste or additional Grapeseed Oil for a thinner paste

Add in the Essential Oils and blend well.  If you want to have more of one scent than the other adjusting the amounts of the essential oils is certainly to your taste.

Run a nice warm bath, get your skin nice a wet and use small amounts of the scrub on your skin rubbing in a circular motion until the sugar dissolves.  Then relax.   The scent will soothe and calm and at the same time refresh and de-stress you after a long day.  The scent will not linger long so take advantage while you can and enjoy!  Store any remaining scrub in an airtight container and do not place in direct sunlight.  The
scrub should stay good for at least 6 months.

Exotic Ingredients

22 10 2011

Exotic Ingredients.  What is that?  Well it depends on who you are and where you are.  If you are in Africa, Black African Soap and Shea Butter are not exotic.  If you are in Australia, Emu Oil would not be exotic.  If you were in India, Argan Oil would be normal.  The same with Camellia Oil in Japan.  But for us in the US all of these may or may not be seen as Exotic.

Shea Butter has in the past few years become a very sought after ingredient in all kinds of products.  It has a proven track record of being a great moisturizer without being a comedogenic.  In the past year it has become almost a standard in the mid-range and high-end products.  It has earned its positive reputation.  I use it as the base for almost all of my body butters.  It whips up wonderfully.  When added with a little Hemp Seed Butter it turns out super creamy.  Without the Hemp Seed Butter it is more like a wonderful cake frosting.  I love this stuff.  It is so easy to work with and if you mess something up, just melt it back down and start again.  It is very forgiving of mistakes.

Hemp Seed Butter.  Yea I said Hemp Seed i.e. “pot”, “marijuana”.  Hemp Seed Butter is exactly what you think it is and it is wonderful.  You do get a “high” from it with the gentle and creamy and speadability of anything you use it in.  It is a slightly greeny-yellowish color so will not be pure white, but oh it is so great.  There has been some resistance in the cosmetic industry to the use of Hemp Seed Butter or Hemp Seed Oil due to the connotation that it is “pot”.  Well it is but it does not contain any THX that would cause the “high” that smoking or eating Hemp (marijuana) would.

Hemp Seed Oil is one of the fastest absorbing and least greasy of the carrier oils I have found.  And the cost is not outrageous like say Meadowseedfoam or Camellia Oil.  This is the oil that I find works best to make a lip gloss.    Just pure oil and touch of Hemp Seed Butter and an essential or fragrant oil.  No more no less.  No color, no beeswax, no need.  On occasion I add a little sugar because the oils certainly do not have a great flavor.  The gloss is not made for licking.  It is made to give one a easily applied oil to keep lips soft and supple.  And it works great.  All my “guinea pigs” have gone from testers to buyers.

More to come on Exotic Ingredients i the next post.

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