Butterfly pea is a plant that is not known and not much used in western world. Personally, I got acquainted with the plant in Asia, where it grows wild quite commonly in small forests and roadside areas. The butterfly pea is not actually a rainforest plant although it needs warm and moisture to thrive. In this story, I’ll tell you about the great features of butterfly pea and how many different ways you can take advantage of it.

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Butterfly pea; The sacred flower of India

The butterfly pea is native to Asia. It is a fairly common “weed” in South and Southeast Asia. The Latin name Clitoria ternatea tells of the appearance of the flower. It somehow resembles a clitoris. Ternate is again a city in Indonesia from which the botanist Linnè found a flower and gave it a name. Today, butterfly pea has also spread to the continents of America, Africa and Australia.

Butterfly pea flowers are sacred flowers in India. They are an important part of the daily worship ritual, the puja. The puja ritual means worshipping different Gods. The idea is to provide food, water, light, and flowers as a symbol of love to the Gods. The Puja ritual is a very integral part of the Hindu tradition. In Asia, people are seen daily practicing Puja rituals in their yards. The Puja ritual originally meant a flower sacrifice to the gods. An important flower in this ritual has always been the butterfly pea.

A rare, deep blue colour is characteristic of a butterfly pea

Butterfly pea as a plant is quite modest. It is a climbing plant that thrives in places where only hay thrives. Dusty, dry roadside area is the home of ​ butterfly pea. Dry forest side areas are often blue with butterfly pea flowers. The blue colour is very intense. It’s hard to come up with anything that would be as blue.

Butterfly pea is also grown in gardens. The plant spreads on the ground and covers large areas with its blue flowers. Butterfly pea is a great undergrowth in tropical gardens.

As a pea plant, the roots of the butterfly pea form a symbiosis with the soil bacteria. The phenomenon is known as rhizobia. The root nodules of a plant contain rhizobia bacteria that bind nitrogen, converting it to a form suitable for the plant.

Butterfly pea is part of Far Eastern culinary culture

The butterfly pea is an integral part of the food culture of India, Indonesia and Thailand. The blue-coloured rice is obtained with the flowers of a butterfly pea. Many drinks get their colour from the butterfly pea. For example, there is a colour-changing gin for sale. The drink is beautifully blue first. If you drop a slice of lime in it, it will instantly turn purple red. At its most typical form, however, butterfly pea is a non-alcoholic beverage served both hot and cold with ice.

Butterfly pea is an important part of Ayurvedic medicine

Butterfly pea is a highly antioxidant plant with absolutely incredible effects on health. Ayurveda is an Indian traditional medicine that was established as early as the Vedic period. In Ayurveda, the butterfly pea plant is used to improve memory, relieve stress, depression, anxiety and prevent seizures.

The Chinese use the butterfly pea plant to increase female libido as the plant resembles the clitoris.

Butterfly pea extract has been shown in some studies to affect the problems caused by the neurotransmitters like serotonin and acetylcholine.

Due to its rich blue colour, the butterfly pea plant is also used for dyeing fabrics and yarns.

Butterfly pea is perfect plant for cosmetics

Butterfly pea has really a lot to give to cosmetics. The intense blue colour of the plant is really welcome in many products. Blue is best utilized in soaps and other alkaline products. The colour changes to a beautiful purple if the pH of the product is below 7. This is usually the case with all products left on the skin. There are very limited amounts of dyes in natural cosmetics. If mica colours are not included, only shades of orange (yellow base) are available in shades of red. The natural, blue-refracting shades of red I cannot think about other than the butterfly pea.

Butterfly pea is very therapeutic in skin care

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Butterfly pea contains the same flavonoid called anthocyanin as, for example, super healthy wild blueberries. Butterfly pea anthocyanin just isn’t that messy and smudging than blueberry. The anthocyanins contained in the butterfly pea are called deacyl ternatine, ternatins (A1, A2, B1, B2, D1, D2), etc.

Polyphenols such as proanthocyanidin contained in the butterfly pea are powerful antioxidants. They stimulate the natural production of collagen and elastane and thus affect the elasticity of the skin. Antioxidants also soothe the skin and prevent inflammation. Such a feature is good, for example, in products used after sunbathing.

Butterfly pea has been of interest to cosmetic manufacturers for a long time. In one study, fermented butterfly pea extract was tested on irritated skin. The extract relieved itching, soothed the skin and reduced inflammation. Fermented a butterfly pea could be an even more effective antioxidant.

A particularly good feature of Butterfly pea is that it is astringent. The extract made from the flowers is a particularly good base for toners. Butterfly pea toner shrinks pores, soothes and brightens the skin and fights the signs of aging.

The butterfly pea cares for the scalp

Butterfly pea extract is used as a medicine for hair loss due to the anthocyanins it contains. Anthocyanins nourish hair follicles. This promotes hair growth and prevents hair loss. Therefore, butterfly pea extracts are quite often found in hair products such as shampoos, conditioners and hair masks.

I hope that the wonderful properties of butterfly pea would be better known

butterfly-pea

Currently, dried inflorescences of butterfly pea are quite difficult to find. Although the plant is as common in Asia as chamomile in Europe, it has not gained the attention of the general public. I wrote this article about butterfly head just because you could get excited to try it. I already mentioned the beautiful blue butterfly pea flowers in my book Home Cosmetics – Raw Materials and Manufacturing.

If you are able to get dried flowers of butterfly pea you can use them in many of your projects. The flowers remain good for about a year depending on, of course, how old they are when purchased. Store flowers in a light, cool, dry place. However, not in the refrigerator. I prefer to keep my own flowers in a paper bag, as they do not contain volatile aromatic substances. The flowers are completely odourless. In the dry room air, protected from light, the flowers remain flawless.

Usually only 4-5 flowers are needed for cosmetics. You can use the remaining flowers, for example, as a tea or you can prepare a fresh, cold drink from the flowers. This way, you also get good antioxidants for your skin internally. The tea has a mild taste and is suitable for the whole family.

The introduction of the cosmetic treasures of Amazon rainforest continues. Andiroba oil is still a very unknown cosmetic raw material from Amazon area. Amazon rainforests are bursting with useful ingredients. Andiroba is one such treasure. It belongs to the mahogany family. Andiroba tree is a traditional medicinal plant. Its bark, oil and leaves have been used in ancient indigenous medicine. In this article, I will tell about the benefits of andiroba oil in cosmetics use.

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Photo by Mandy Choi on Unsplash

Andiroba is a traditional tree in the Amazon rainforest

The Andiroba tree, (Carapas guianensis), is a typical tree of the Amazon rainforest. It belongs to the plants used by the indigenous people of Brazil. The greenery of Andiroba is dense and the tree is very tall. It grows riverside in tropical rainforests. Andiroba is one of those trees that is preferably logged from the rainforest into lumber. The tree belongs to the mahogany family, although it is not classified as genuine mahogany.

The popularity of Andiroba as sawn timber is due to the terpenes it contains. The tree naturally repels mold, fungi and other microbes. It is a durable wood and therefore highly sought after as a building material. Andiroba also has an insect repellent property. Pests do not thrive on andiro boards. Andiroba oil is also commonly used to make insect repellents.

Andiroba oil production

An adult tree can produce up to 120 pounds of seeds. The average output is about 50 pounds. The seeds contain 40% fat. 12 kilos of seeds are needed to make one litre of oil produced by solvent technology. If produced by mechanical cold pressing, considerably more seeds per litre of oil are needed.

Traditionally, andiroba oil is made by boiling nuts. After boiling, the nuts are fermented for 25 days. The soft core is removed from the fermented nuts. The core is left to drain for a few weeks. This naturally removes oil from the seeds without pressing. The process is completely natural. No chemicals or compression equipment is required. Such andiroba oil is rare. Andiroba oil sold for cosmetics is usually cold pressed.

Why is it important to favour andiroba oil in cosmetics?

I am writing this series of “Rainforest Treasures” for ecological and ethical reasons. Of course, we have to favour domestic products, that’s for sure. However, Amazon’s rainforests are the lungs of the world. The world’s rainforests are threatened by massive logging. Many trees are utilized as sawn timber. Once the rainforest is felled, it will be replaced by a corn field or perhaps soybeans. The destruction of a natural rainforest biotope is catastrophic for many different reasons.

If we diligently use the natural products of Amazon’s rainforests, there is no need to cut down the trees at all. The indigenous people earn their living by selling the products that the jungle produces and there will be no need to log the trees anymore. Andiroba nuts is a good example of this.

Andiroba trees have also been cultivated in rainforests, with large plantations. With this cultivation, the problems are same with the monoculture. The biodiversity of the rainforest is disappearing. Trees are exposed to pests and the crop suffers. Chemicals are needed to destroy diseases and insects. Chemicals destroy other organisms in the rainforest. The circle is ready. It is worth researching carefully that the rainforest products you buy are sustainably produced.

What is andiroba oil?

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Photo by Firos nv on Unsplash

Andiroba oil is also called crab oil although it has nothing to do with crabs. Andiroba oil is a 100% vegan product that is pressed from the nuts of the andiroba trees. The oil is rich in hard fatty acids. It is thick and slightly reminiscent of Vaseline when cooled. The oil is pale yellow in colour and very bitter. The bitterness is due to a group of terpenes called Meliacines. Andiroba oil solidifies at 25 degrees like coconut oil.

One of the Meliacines in andiroba oil is called Gedunin. Gedunin has been shown to have similar anti-malarial properties to quinine. In chemical analyses, andiroba oil has been found to be highly curative and anti-inflammatory. These properties are due to the limonoids in the oil, called andirobins.

Fatty acids from andiroba oil

Andiroba oil is rich in hard fatty acids. However, the main fatty acid in andiroba oil is oleic acid. Palmitic acid in andiroba oil is up to over 30%. It is the rich palmitic acid that makes andiroba oil very firm and thick. Stearic acid is also abundant in oil.

The main fatty acids in andiroba oil

Comedogenic classification 2

Colour yellowish

The aroma is strong, muscular

Andiroba has numerous medicinal properties

Andiroba oil is one of the best-selling medicinal oils in the Amazon rainforest. Andiroba oil is usually mixed with honey and used internally for many ailments. Honey is included not only as a health-promoting product but also because the andiroba oil tastes very bitter. With a mixture of honey and oil, locals have always fought flu and sore throats.

Fatty and thick andiroba oil doesn’t sound very good for acne prone skin. However, local people in Amazon  have successfully used andiroba oil for acne prone skin. The oil is very antimicrobial. Therefore, it soothes inflammation well.

Andiroba oil is well absorbed into the skin. Therefore, it can affect the deepest parts of the skin. Local people have also used andiroba oil to treat bruises and sore joints. Andiroba oil is especially popular as a massage oil. It’s like made to relax sore muscles.

Benefits of Andiroba Oil in Cosmetics

Andiroba oil contains a huge number of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is a very useful oil to regenerate the skin. The nutrients in andiroba oil are especially suitable for aging skin. The oil contains ingredients that have a beneficial effect on collagen production. Andiroba oil reduces wrinkles on the skin.

Andiroba oil is worth trying for many skin problems. It has plenty of skin rejuvenating and protective effects. Please bear in mind, however, that this particular oil is very strong and contains terpenes. Terpenes can cause severe allergies, especially to people who are allergic to resins. First, test if you tolerate andiroba oil at all. If you suffer from eczema, be really careful when trying new products. Although andiroba is specifically recommended for eczema and psoriasis, I would still be careful.

Andiroba oil has been used with success in the treatment of hair and scalp. As an antimicrobial oil, andiroba oil is well suited for treating scalp problems. For example, dandruff or itching of the scalp could be cured with a serum containing andiroba oil.

Andiroba oil also supports hair follicles and stimulates blood circulation to the scalp. This will make your hair grow better.

Andiroba oil is rich in palmitoleic acid, which protects the skin from drying out as well as external factors.

What products can andiroba oil be used for?

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Photo by Justin Clark on Unsplash

First of all, Andiroba oil seems to be a specialty oil suitable for body products. However, its use range is much wider. Andiroba oil, despite its heaviness, is a relatively fast-absorbing oil. That is why it is also worth trying for facial skin and hair care.

Prepare from andiroba oil

Due to its bitter taste, andiroba oil should not be included in lip products.

Try andiroba oil as an insect repellent. Andiroba oil has a strong, musky scent that repels insects. If mosquitoes are being fought in the Amazon rainforest, why not in other areas as well. Did you know that neem oil is also quite an effective mosquito repellent?

Sandalwood is a hard, heavy and fragrant type of wood. Sandalwood grows wild in tropical rainforests in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Sandalwood is one of the most expensive woods in the world. It has been very popular for hundreds of years and continues to do so. The story of the wild sandalwood is quite sad, although there is some hope in the horizon. Fortunately, sandalwood has been cultivated. This is how we will continue to enjoy fragrant sandalwood in the future. How, then, is sandalwood related to cosmetics? The story of the sandalwood is very interesting. Keep on reading to learn more about this marvellous tropical tree.

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Indian sandalwood

Sandalwood is a tropical tree

The Santalum album (Santalum album) is originally native to the tropical rainforests of India. There are a dozen different look a-like species of sandalwood.

Santalum spicatum is a variety of sandalwood that is grown commercially in Western Australia. The sandalwood oil used in cosmetics comes from Australia. Australian sandalwood oil can be used safely as it is grown sustainably. Today, Australia has overtaken India in sandalwood production. However, Indian sandalwood oil is of higher quality and significantly more expensive.

Other sandalwood species

Other tree species are also used as a substitute for the rare sandalwood. The red sandalwood is obtained from the red tree Pterocarpus santalinus, which belongs to the bean family. This species of wood may be the same one used in ancient times in the temple of King Solomon.

The sandalwood is a parasite

The sandalwood is actually a parasite. To succeed, it needs an authentic and the right kind of rainforest biotope around it. Sandalwood does not take nutrients directly from the soil but absorbs phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium from other plants. Sandalwood also does not grow in the open area but requires shade from a humid, hot jungle to thrive.

Sandalwood lives about a hundred years. It never grows very tall. Only 4-6 meters, sometimes up to 10 meters high, a small tree forms small groves. The bark of the tree is brown at a young age. As it gets older, it turns almost black and forms red cracks. The inside of the tree is green and drill.

The wild sandalwood is an endangered plant

Sandalwood has been used for centuries completely unsustainably. Old, wild sandalwoods are hardly found in nature anymore. The smuggling of sandalwood is incredibly common. In nature reserves, this happens all the time despite careful guarding.

Planting and growing sandalwood is challenging

There have been attempts to grow sandalwood in many different countries. Unfortunately, genuine natural sandalwood is still the best in quality. Cultivated trees do not succeed in creating as intense a scent as they can in wild-growing trees.

Sandalwood always needs a parent plant. It can only live as a parasite after forming an efficient food chain with the surrounding plants. Especially at a young age, the environment is very important for the well-being of the tree. It is really easy to understand that creating such a biotope is challenging. Indeed, most planted sandalwood dies at a young age.

Sandalwood can only be utilized at the age of about 15-30, depending on the variety. The trees grow really slowly.

Sandalwood has a very wide user base

 There is a Hindu culture in India that has always valued sandalwood in religious ceremonies. Fragrant sandalwood was used to make furniture for Hindu temples. Incense also often contained sandalwood.

One of the most important uses for sandalwood has been in Ayurveda medicine, which is an ancient Indian folk medicine. Sandalwood is still used in Ayurveda to treat the flu, liver and gallbladder problems, mental health problems, muscle problems, digestive problems, scabies and haemorrhoids.

Ground sandalwood is used in the paste used in India to make caste marks.

Aromatherapy has been quite popular since ancient cultures. Sandalwood oil is still used in aromatherapy to promote mental and physical health.

Due to its refined aroma, sandalwood oil has been commonly used as a base fragrance in the perfume industry. Indeed, most of the essential oil of sandalwood is used for the needs of the perfume industry.

Sandalwood was once used to make furniture. Today, it is not anymore possible. Small items made of sandalwood, on the other hand, are quite popular. Scented sandalwood beads and rings are popular. The scent of sandalwood relaxes and soothes.

Sandalwood combs take care of the hair. Small amounts of essential oils are released from sandalwood combs to repair damaged hair and reduce electricity.

Sandalwood contains valuable oil

The essential oil contained in sandalwood is very valuable. The oil is separated from the wood by steam distillation. Wood contains about 0.3-0.6% essential oil. The sweet, strong and very durable scent has made sandalwood oil a favourite product in the perfume industry. The scent of the sandalwood itself lasts for about 40 years. Sandalwood objects are best identified by the scent.

The essential oil obtained by steam distillation from sandalwood is particularly strong and therapeutic. The free fatty alcohols contained in sandalwood oil are known as alpha-santalol. Pure sandalwood oil has a minimum fatty alcohol content of 90%. This kind of oil is way too strong. Sandalwood oil sold to consumers is therefore always diluted. Pure sandalwood oil is mixed with jojoba or some other oil. There is usually about 10% of sandalwood oil in the mixture. The concentration varies depending on the supplier. Contact your dealer for more information on safe use of the oil.

Beware of synthetic sandalwood oil

Because sandalwood is a very rare type of wood today, there are also synthetic variants of sandalwood oil for sale. Synthetic sandalwood oil smells the same as genuine but does not have the same therapeutic effects. When purchasing sandalwood oil, check the authenticity of the oil.

The Benefits of Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood essential oil is an important ingredient in cosmetics. As I have already said, sandalwood is one of the most prized scents in perfumes.

Calm down and stress relief

Sandalwood oil has remarkable therapeutic properties. It is used in meditation as a means of calming the mind. In aromatherapy, sandalwood is a very valuable and used fragrance. Sandalwood calms and reduces stress and improve the Quality of sleep. Sandalwood reduces anxiety and helps the mind calm down and ground. Sandalwood brings out the spiritual side of man and helps free oneself from the tyranny of  intellect.

Acne and irritated skin

Sandalwood essential oil is very antiseptic. Use sandalwood in products intended for irritated skin. Sandalwood essential oil also does good for acne. It soothes inflammation and brightens the skin. Sandalwood oil also has a restraining effect on sebum production. This feature also helps in the treatment of acne skin.

Sandalwood oil also has a calming effect on insect bites. The cream containing sandalwood oil soothes the itching by cooling the skin.

However, do not use sandalwood essential oil on broken skin or open wounds.

In India, sandalwood oil is used to treat irritated skin along with rose hydrolate. These ingredients support each other in the treatment of irritated and acne prone skin.

Scar treatment

Sandalwood essential oil contains ingredients that support normal cell growth. That is why sandalwood has traditionally been used to treat scars. Sandalwood oil also improves skin elasticity and nourishes and moisturizes the skin. These properties are good when you want to fade scars. Sandalwood oil has been found to be effective on scars, especially in combination with honey.

Hyperpigmentation

Sandalwood brightens the skin and evens out the uneven colour of the skin. This is due to the Ayurvedic effects of sandalwood oil. According to Ayurveda, darkening of the skin is caused by excessive heat. Sandalwood oil cools down and soothes the skin.

Another factor that makes sandalwood oil brighten and lighten the skin is the alpha-santalol it contains, which blocks an enzyme called tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is a key factor in the synthesis of the skin pigment, melanin. Another tyrosinase inhibitor used in cosmetics is vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. I’ve written about vitamin C on one of my blogs before.

Treatment of aged skin

Sandalwood oil has been found to reduce the formation of wrinkles on the skin. Sandalwood contains a significant number of effective antioxidants that have an anti-aging effect.

Sandalwood is used in cosmetics in many different ways

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Indian sandalwood

By far the most famous sandalwood product is the essential oil of sandalwood. However, sandalwood is used in a wide variety of cosmetics.

A product familiar to many is sandalwood soap. Sandalwood soap soothes and brightens the skin. It is suitable for daily use on most skin types.

Powder from sandalwood is a very useful product. There are two types of sandalwood powder available, red and white. White sandalwood powder is a very medicinal product used in Ayurveda to treat various ailments. Red sandalwood powder is suitable for skin care, for example for acne prone skin.

Sandalwood hydrolate is a by-product of the production of sandalwood oil. Sandel hydrolate is used in the manufacture of lotions, hair cosmetics and lotions.

Now in the winter time, when there are fewer domestic herbs available, I want to tell you about good foreign options. Moringa powder is made from the same plant as moringa oil. I have written about moringa oil earlier in one of my blogs. The moringa tree is a wonderful plant because all its parts are suitable for use. Now I want to introduce you to the properties of moringa powder obtained from the leaves of the moringa tree.

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The moringa tree is a useful plant

The moringa tree (Moringa oleifera) grows in the most barren areas of the world. It thrives in tropical and subtropical areas on dry soils. Moringa is native to the Indian subcontinent but the plant has spread over a very wide area. The fast-growing Moringa thrives almost anywhere and has become a willow-like waste tree and a sort of hated alien species. Fortunately, the great benefits of moringa have been notified. Moringa produces valuable oil. In addition, its leaves are particularly nutritious.

Cultivation of Moringa is very ethical as it does not require any special care, any plant protection products or even additional watering. Moringa fights soil erosion.

Moringa leaves are especially nutritious

Moringa leaves is valued food in Indonesia and the Philippines. Moringa leaves are rich in trace elements, vitamins and protein.

Moringa leaves provide B vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, and vitamin B-6. In addition, moringa leaves contain vitamin A as well as more than 50 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of leaves.

Of the trace elements Moringa contains iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.

The specialty of Moringa is that it is rich in protein. One hundred grams of fresh moringa leaves contains almost 10 grams of protein. Such an amount of protein matters. Due to its high nutrient content, moringa leaves are a very important part of the diet of local people.

Moringa roots, leaves, flowers, seeds and bark are used in traditional herbal medicine. Western medicine has also explored the benefits of moringa in blood lipids and in the treatment of diabetes.

Benefits of Moringa Leaf Powder in Skin Care

All of the above-mentioned nutrients of moringa make it a very useful raw material for skin care.

The powder obtained from the leaves of Moringa is particularly antibacterial. Therefore, it is recommended for acne prone skin. Moringa does not dry out inflamed skin but moisturizes the skin. Moringa powder is suitable to prevent acne. It removes blackheads and pimples from the skin. This prevents the skin from becoming more inflamed. Ingestion of moringa powder as a food supplement also has a cleansing effect on the skin.

Moringa leaf mask brightens the skin. The numerous antioxidants contained in Moringa calm the skin down. The Moringa mask also reduces enlarged skin pores.

Vitamin C in moringa powder accelerates the formation of collagen. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, fading the signs of aging.

Moringa leaves contain 90 different nutrients; 15 amino acids and 49 antioxidants. Some of the amino acids contained in moringa leaves are essential amino acids for humans. This means that they cannot be made by the human body but must be obtained from food. The major amino acids contained in moringa are methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine and threonine. Amino acids are widely used in skin care masks and creams. The benefits of amino acids in skin care are widely recognized.

It is the wide range of amino acids that makes moringa leaf powder such a unique good skin care product. Few products have such a wide range of valuable amino acids.

How can you use moringa leaf powder in cosmetics?

Moringa leaf powder is a finished cosmetic product and can be used just as it is. It is suitable for all ages. Moringa in particular treats aged skin as well as acne prone skin.

Moringa is especially suitable for face masks. To get all the benefits of moringa leaf powder, mix the powder with honey.

Face mask made of moringa leaf powder

Mix all ingredients together and apply to clean skin. Leave on for 20-30 minutes. Wipe off the face mask and rinse your face thoroughly. Apply a little moisturizer on your face. Your skin is velvety soft and dull.

You can do the moringa mask treatment once a week.

Moringa leaf powder is the perfect cosmetic product

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All of this, what I just told you, clearly shows how unique product the moringa leaf powder is. Moringa leaves contain an incredible amount of active skin care ingredients ready to use. In my own cosmetics, I prefer plant products in the most natural form possible. You can find the perfect combinations in nature with the best vitamins, minerals and amino acids ready to use. By using Moringa, you don’t have to learn how to make complicated products.

Moringa is very good for your skin. If you don’t need all the moringa powder into your face masks, you can eat the rest. The best part is that you also get the needed moringa’s important nutrients internally.  Mix a spoonful of moringa with a smoothie or morning porridge. Especially in wintertime, moringa powder brings much-needed extra energy to your diet.

Kerro, miten sinä valmistat kasvonaamion!

A wild Murumuru tree growing in the Amazon rainforest is the source of wonderfully rich and versatile butter. An essential part of protecting the Amazon rainforest is that we know how to sustainably take advantage of the rainforest’s natural plants. This way, local residents have no reason to cut down trees to claim more farmland. There are a huge number of particularly useful plants growing in the rainforests that we should learn to use. Murumuru butter is a very interesting product and I’d like to present it as the very first beauty product of the rainforest.

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What is Murumuru Butter?

Murumuru butter is derived from the seeds of the Astrocaryam murumuru, a naturally growing palm in the Amazon rainforest. The Murumuru butter is yellowish white in colour. Murumuru butter is used not only for cosmetics but also for cooking.

The fatty acid profile of Murumuru butter is very similar to coconut oil. Murumuru butter is very close to shea butter in structure. Murumuru butter has a typical nutty aroma. The scent can sometimes be intense depending on the batch. The odour of different batches can vary greatly depending on the place of growth and/or the age of the product. Refined Murumuru butter has hardly any odour and the colour is lighter.

Murumuru butter is a welcome addition to the range of vegetable butter

Murumuru butter is clearly different from other butters due to its special fatty acid profile. Its composition differs quite decisively from shea butter, mango butter or cocoa butter. Murumuru butter has gained popularity among the old familiar products. I think it’s really good that there are more choices available in the selection of plant butters. The old, familiar plant butters are very similar to each other’s. Now is the time to give a try to something completely different.

Properties of Murumuru butter

Almost half of Murumuru butter is lauric acid, the same fatty acid that is also found in coconut oil. Unlike coconut oil, Murumuru butter is particularly well absorbed into the skin. It does not clog pores like coconut oil. Murumuru butter also resembles coconut oil in that it is particularly well-preserved.

This is my summary about Murumuru butter; Murumuru butter resembles shea butter in texture but has the good properties of coconut oil.

Fatty acid profile of Murumuru butter

Melting point 30-35 degrees Celsius

Comedogenic value 0

Murumuru butter is a very versatile product

Murumuru butter can be used in a wide variety of products. It is suitable for almost everyone’s skin. Here are a few examples of how you can use crumb butter in cosmetics

Murumuru is a welcome novelty among vegetable butter

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Although Murumuru is still a relatively unknown raw material for cosmetics, I think its popularity is yet to come. Murumuru butter is a product worth trying.

If you are worried about the fate of the Amazon rainforest, I recommend choosing the natural products available there. This is how we take care of the environment.

Are you already familiar with murumuru butter? Tell me about your experiences.

Vitamins are important micronutrients. They are also useful when used externally.  Active ingredients have always been added to cosmetic products. The effect of many active ingredients is based specifically on vitamins. I wanted to bring together all the vitamins used in skin care in this article. This will give you the best overall picture of the effects of vitamins and also their sources. Let’s start studying.

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Vitamins; what they really are?

Vitamins are micronutrients. The body is unable to produce vitamins itself or produces them in just very small quantities. Vitamins must therefore be obtained from food. The condition of your skin is very much affected by what you eat. Up to 80-90% of skin care depends on internal issues of human body. Eating variedly and healthy, outdoor activity and relaxing skin condition can make the most effective result. However, external skin care is also very important.

Vitamins are organic substances as opposed to minerals such as zinc or magnesium which are also essential to nutrition. Vitamins are a rather miscellaneous set of substances. Vitamins are divided into water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. This partition is very important to understand when making cosmetics. The fat-soluble vitamins are mixed with the oil phase during the manufacturing process and the water-soluble ones with the aqueous phase.

Many vitamins are very easily destroyed. Therefore, you should be careful when dealing with them.

How do vitamins work on the skin?

Vitamins have different functions. When used externally, vitamins act slightly differently than internally. External use does not treat vitamin deficiencies. If you are clearly nutrition deficiency, you may want to use vitamins as a supplement.

Vitamin A.

Vitamins A is a group of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A is also commonly referred as retinol. Natural A vitamins include retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids are found in products of animal origin and carotenoids in vegetables. There are also synthetic A vitamins. Some of the synthetic A vitamins are classified as drugs. In particular, synthetic vitamin A may irritate, dry out and make the skin sensitive to light if the product is used for long period of time.

The safest and at the same time simplest is to use herbal retinol in cosmetics. Retinol is found in many plants. Carrot carotenoids are perhaps the best-known source of retinol for skin care.

The Group of Vitamin B

Group B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins and there are many of them. Internally, many use a combination of all the B vitamins. All B vitamins, when used internally, are also important for skin health. Group B vitamins are rich in both vegetarian and animal products. Only vitamin B12 can be a problem in a vegan diet. This is why many vegans regularly take vitamin B12 supplements.

Three different B vitamins are mainly used in cosmetics; niacin, panthenol, folic acid and biotin.

Visit my article on niacin: Niacin is very important vitamin for the skin

Vitamin C

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a very important vitamin in skin care. Vitamin C is always vegan.

Vitamin C is always a water-soluble vitamin. Fat-soluble vitamin C does not exist. You often see products that claim to contain fat-soluble vitamin C. This substance is actually L-ascorbyl-6-palmitate. L-ascorbyl-6-palmitate is not vitamin C. It is an ester of palmitic acid. Ascorbic acid has been used for esterification in this case. L-ascorbyl-6-palmitate is used in the food industry as an acidity regulator in high fat products. However, L-ascorbyl-6-palmitate is a fairly safe compound for the skin.

Vitamin C is used in cosmetic products as a powder. When dissolved in a liquid, vitamin C is particularly sensitive to destruction by heat, light, air and bases. It is worth preparing products containing vitamin C by yourself. This will ensure that you will get effective vitamin C.

Make an easy and effective vitamin C serum: Cheery vitamin C serum treats tired skin

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. There are two different types of vitamin D; Vitamins D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is herbal. Vitamin D3, in turn, is formed on human skin. It is also obtained from products of animal origin such as fish liver.

Vitamin D3 is created on the skin by itself when we can stay under the sun long enough. Herbal vitamin D2, on the other hand, is very commonly used in skin care products. Vitamin D2 is naturally present in many vegetable oils. The vitamin D2 levels of different oils vary greatly.

Vitamin D should be used in skin care products, especially during the long and dark winter months.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, or tocopherol, is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin E is mostly found in vegetable oils, seeds and nuts. Especially untreated, unheated, cold-pressed oils are very rich in vitamins E. Refined oils also still have a lot of vitamin E left. Vitamin E is not just one compound. There are many different types of e-vitamins. In oils, vitamin E usually occurs in four different groups of vitamin E.

Vitamins are a safe and effective way to add active ingredients to a product

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Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

If you are wondering how to add more power to your own skincare product, choose one or some of the vitamins mentioned above. Vitamins are relatively safe to use in cosmetics. The best and safest way to add vitamins to a product is to use ingredients that contain vitamins in their natural form. For example, vitamin E can be obtained on the skin by using vegetable oils with a special vitamin E content. Carotene is easily obtained from carrot oil and sea buckthorn oil.

Do you use vitamins in skin care?

MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is best known as a sports nutrition. MSM is an organic sulphur compound that occurs naturally in our bodies. I usually prefer as natural and minimally processed ingredients as possible in cosmetics. However, MSM is an exception. MSM is a safe and gentle compound that has tremendous positive effects on skin condition. How does MSM affect the skin, who is it suitable for and how can it be used in cosmetics? Keep on reading…

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What is MSM powder and how is it made?

MSM is a synthetic product that is manufactured by chemical industry.  Although it is of natural origin it does not exist as such anywhere so it must be specially prepared. Of course, the compound MSM is commonly found in pines, for example. Unfortunately, it is present in the wood in such small quantities that several trees should be felled down to get a pouch of MSM powder. Although many manufacturers claim their own MSM compound is made from plants, this is not true. MSM powder is made synthetically and is therefore not approved as an ingredient in natural cosmetics.

All commercially available MSM powder is currently prepared by the chemical reaction of DMSO and hydrogen peroxide. DMSO is dimethyl sulfoxide which is a by-product of the cellulose industry. By the way, did you know that vanillin is also a by-product of the pulp industry?

DMSO is an organosulfur compound used to improve the absorption of substances through the skin. DMSO has once been sold for external use for joint problems but has not been found to be safe. The researchers found that many of the healing effects of DMSO were due to the MSM it contained.

Initially, the MSM compound was used only externally in cosmetics. MSM only received marketing authorization as a dietary supplement much later in the 1990s. Thus, MSM is actually an active ingredient in cosmetics.

When choosing MSM powder, you should pay special attention to quality and purity

Because MSM powder is made from by-products of the cellulose industry, its purity is important. MSM powder is produced in countries where legislation does not control the industry (China and India). The product may contain harmful residues that will contaminate the product. The MSM powder is purified by a multiple distillation process. If the process is carried out carelessly, the risk of contamination increases.

In China and India, MSM is often only dissolved in water, dried and purified. Such a cleaning process does not guarantee a quality product. Mycelium and bacteria may also be present in the low quality MSM powder. Low quality MSM is not pure white but brown or reddish in colour.

When the MSM powder is distilled, it is heated up to 238 degrees, when the substance evaporates. The steam is cooled down to grains and redistilled several times. This removes all heavy metals from the product. MSM powders commonly sold in Finland are all purified in this way.

Benefits of MSM for the skin

MSM is a very versatile skin care active ingredient. It is useful for many skin problems. Although MSM is a fully synthetic ingredient, it is still very safe to use. There are only few cases when someone has been sensitized to MSM. Even then, it may be because of a contaminated product.

Here are a few reasons to use MSM powder in skin care

MSM allows the permeability of cell walls, allowing nutrients to enter and toxins to escape. MSM is able to easily penetrate the skin and pass through the skin throughout the body. For this reason, use only high quality MSM powder.

MSM affects collagen synthesis. Subcutaneous collagen takes care of the elasticity of the skin. MSM works best in conjunction with vitamin C. MSM reduces the disintegration of collagen under the skin.

MSM is an organic sulphur compound. Sulphur-containing compounds are useful in the treatment of skin inflammation. For acne, for example, MSM is particularly well suited. You should also try MSM cream for rosacea. There are really many creams available that contain MSM to treat acne and rosacea.

MSM helps scarred skin heal normally. If you have acne scars, pregnancy scars or surgical scars, try MSM ointment. MSM penetrates deep into the skin and promotes the formation of normal skin cells. If the scar tissue is still irritated and red, MSM soothes the inflammation. If the skin is still broken, do not use m MSM products on the skin.

MSM reduces itching of the skin. Itching is an embarrassing symptom in patients with eczema. However, do not use MSM creams on broken skin.

MSM has been found in some studies to increase hair growth and reduce hair loss. However, there is not enough evidence on this issue. In hair cosmetics, MSM compounds are used in combination with vitamin C. Hair loss can be caused by many different reasons. In almost all cases, MSM compounds do not bring relief. If the hair loss is profuse, you should consult a dermatologist.

How do I use MSM powder in homemade cosmetics?

The MSM compound is sold either as finished capsules or in a pouch as a powder. The finished capsules are convenient as they always contain the same amount. Dosing is easier and you do not need to weigh the powder. You can dissolve the powder in the finished products.

Here are some examples of where you can add MSM powder as an active ingredient.

MSM is an active ingredient worth trying

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There are few effective and safe active ingredients. Although MSM is a synthetic compound, it is a fairly safe and well-tolerated preparation. There are few such ingredients. You can see the effect of MSM almost immediately. I myself have found it to soothe the skin. I always use vitamin C powder along with MSM powder. The two compounds fit together seamlessly.

MSM is a fairly inexpensive product with many uses other than cosmetics. Personally, I also use MSM powder in smoothies and recovery drinks every day. You should start with small doses to get your body used to it.

Have you used MSM powder in skin care?

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Black gum is very beautiful when it blooms.
Photo SanduStefan Pixabaystä

Black cumin seed oil is an ancient product used in ancient cultures such as India and the Middle East. Black cumin oil has multiple uses. In this article, I will tell you how you can use black cumin oil for hair and skin care. Black cumin oil is a quite unknown product. All of its features are not yet known. Black cumin oil is clearly different from all other oils. Therefore, its use must be properly studied. Next, I will tell you about the history of black cumin oil and its benefits for the skin and scalp.

Black cumin oil was a cosmetic for Cleopatra

Black gum, or Nigella sativa, is originally coming from Southwest Asia. Black cumin should not be mixed with spice caraway or Roman cumin, aka jeera. Black cumin belongs to a completely different plant family: Nigella is a member of the buttercup family. Its flower looks like the flower of a buttercup but is azure in colour.

Black cumin is getting along well in the extreme heat of the Middle East. It has been cultivated in the territory of Egypt since the time of the Pharaohs thousands of years ago. Black cumin seeds have been found in the tombs of the pharaohs. That is why it is also called Pharaoh’s oil.

The oil made from black cumin is almost black and smells slightly like tar. The scent can be quite intense but still pleasant.

Black cumin oil is rich in antioxidants

In skin care, the popularity of black cumin oil is based on its really rich antioxidant content. Antioxidants protect the skin from oxidation thus also reduce the signs of aging.

 Black cumin oil contains an antioxidant called thymoquinone. Thymoquinone is an anti-inflammatory and curative compound. Thymoquinone has even been studied in the treatment of cancer. It may have a reducing effect on squamous cell tumours.

Other highly effective antioxidants in black cumin oil are carvacrol, t-anethole and 4-terpineol.

Black cumin oil also contains calcium as well as numerous vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin B3 and niacin.

Due to its rich content of antioxidants and vitamins, the effect of black cumin oil has also been tested on several skin diseases such as

Black cumin oil has a very rich and versatile fatty acid composition

Black cumin oil is a very old and popular product. Therefore, it has been studied very thoroughly. Oleic acids have also been carefully studied and analysed many times.

Black cumin oil mainly contains linoleic acid, which is a very good fatty acid for the skin. Linoleic acid is not pore-clogging. There is little oleic acid in black cumin oil. EPA and DHA fatty acids have mainly nutritional importance.

Black cumin oil is antiseptic

Black cumin oil is very effective for skin problems where microbes have succeeded. One typical microbial problem is dandruff. Dandruff is often caused by overgrowth of yeast. An oil treatment on the scalp containing black cumin oil can control the dandruff problem.

The antioxidants in oils are never strong enough to cure the actual inflammation or acute fungal disease of the skin. They only work as maintenance treatment or as a preventative measure. If you have a clear, acute skin condition or inflammation of the skin, always consult a dermatologist.

Black cumin oil protects the skin from infections. Especially in summer, the skin can easily become inflamed and get fungal infections. I have used black cumin oil in foot creams to protect my summer feet in advance. foot cream should always be applied to damp feet after a foot bath and possible scratching

Black cumin oil shrinks pores

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Black cumin oil is a very dark, almost black oil

Black cumin oil has been found to have pore-reducing effects. Open pores are not just a cosmetic problem. Open pores collect dirt and contaminants in air more efficiently than closed pores.

Black cumin oil activates hair follicles

In India, black cumin oil is one of the best products against hair loss as well as promoting hair growth. Black cumin oil increases blood circulation in the scalp. When you apply black cumin oil to the scalp, you will feel a pleasant feeling of warmth. It means that the blood circulation starts to wake up. Increased blood circulation brings more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles and gives your hair new growth.

Black cumin oil supports the health of the scalp and prevents scalp problems.

Black cumin oil keeps skin elastic and moisturized

The oils do not actually moisturize the skin. If you already have very dry skin, applying the oil to the skin does not bring it more moisture. Moisture always means water. Therefore, oils must be applied to damp skin. The best humidification is clean water. Of course, you can add a little glycerine to the water to bind moisture to the skin.

Black cumin oil effectively locks moisture deep into the skin so that the skin feels very elastic and soft. Black cumin oil is well absorbed and does not leave greasy feeling on surface of the skin.

Black cumin oil removes darkening of the skin

The best way to remove darkening from your skin is to use antioxidant skin care products. The antioxidants in black cumin oil work well on dark spots caused by skin aging. You may need to use black cumin oil for a while before getting results and the darkening fades.

How do you use black cumin oil?

Always choose 100%, pure, cold pressed black cumin oil. Of course, organic quality is always the recommended option.

Black cumin oil is sold in very small bottles. It is not a base oil but a very strong specialty oil. Black cumin oil should always be mixed with a base oil such as sunflower oil or safflower oil. The mild base oil dilutes black cumin oil to suitable level for the skin.

Black cumin oil is well suited as a skin oil

Use black cumin oil at a dilution of about 5-20%. A stronger, 20% dilution is best used in case you have a skin problem. Normally a 5% dilution is just enough to maintain the condition of the skin. You can use black cumin oil diluted with mild base oils directly on the skin. The same oil applies to the face, body and scalp.

Use black cumin oil for anhydrous ointments

Black cumin oil is suitable for anhydrous creams containing beeswax. In ancient Greece, black cumin oil was always used in conjunction with beeswax and propolis. Propolis is a beeswax. It contains a huge number of antibacterial agents such as resins. If you are allergic to resins, do not use bee products. At least not propolis.

You can also make an effective caring cream with about 5-20% black cumin oil. Antibacterial cream made from black cumin oil is well suited for foot care. You can also make a face cream containing black cumin oil for problem skin.

It is highly recommended to use black cumin oil in hair care products. Add a few drops of black cumin oil to the conditioner before applying the conditioner to your hair. Leave on for a few minutes and rinse off the conditioner normally.

Black cumin oil is an interesting specialty oil worth trying

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Black cumin oil is sold in oriental stores

Black cumin oil is a very exceptional oil that is less commonly used in cosmetics. However, it is a highly nutritious and antioxidant product. Thanks to its antioxidants, black cumin oil also retains better than other oils with a high linoleic acid content. A good feature of black cumin oil is its suitability for cooking as well. You can also use healthy black cumin oil in the kitchen to give a full-bodied taste to, for example, vegetarian dishes and salad dressings.

The fresh growth of spruces is now, in the beginning of the summer, at its best. They are very rich in vitamins so they are excellent superfood. Did you know that you can make cosmetics using the fresh growth of spruce?   The fresh growth is perfect for cosmetic lotions and refreshing toners.

You can separate the fresh growth of spruces from the older part of tree easily. The lighter green part of candles, at the end of branches is the fresh part. They are not long. The darker part is already old, do not prune that.

Before you start using spruce for the first time, I recommend you to get an allergy test. Spruce is ​​not a familiar ingredient in cosmetics products. You may be allergic to it. Do not spread any product containing spruce on large areas of your skin. Try first on small area that is not very visible.

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The benefits of spruce for the skin

Spruce is a very old medicinal plant. Especially in Finland, the spruce has been one of the basic medicines. The main ingredient is resin, but needles and fresh growth have also been used for some herbal treatments. Rheumatism is one of the illnesses which have been treated by spruce needles in folk medicine.

The active ingredients of spruce are resins. Spruce needles do also contain the same resins but not as abundant. Spruce needles are very rich in ascorbic acid. In some countries, vitamins are still made from spruce needles.

The fresh growth of spruces contains antiseptic ingredients that soothe the skin and suppress inflammation and a considerable amount of lingan. Lingans are special phenolic compounds with a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. The healthiness of fresh growth of spruce as a diet is largely based on lingans.

Fresh growth is also high in vitamin C, a very important vitamin for the skin. Therefore, fresh growth should be utilized right now when they are at their best.

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Spruce has a healing effect on wounds and scar tissue. The Finnish pharmaceutical company Reoplar Pharmaceuticals Ltd has studied the spruce’s regenerating effect on human cells. They have launched a full line of products based on spruce’s resins. The spruce accelerates the regeneration of new skin cells and also protects them. Such an effect is also highly desirable in cosmetic skincare products. Why not try a spruce to rejuvenate your skin. Right now, when fresh growth is available everywhere, it is easy to make homemade products.

The use of fresh growth is, of course, limited because of their very seasonal availability. Before, the preservation methods were not so effective than today.

Extraction of fresh growth

I have made the extracts from fresh growth that I am using in lotions and toners. A soothing and refreshing face mask is also easy to make from fresh growth.

Spruce can be extracted easiest in hot water. Some spruce resins will dissolve also in hot water.

Cosmetics made of spruce tip -oil extract is suitable to treat impure, oily skin. Here is the recipe to make an emulsion cream. You can replace the oil you are using partly or entirely by spruce tip oil. Spruce tip oil is slightly antiseptic and soothes the skin.

This oil extract is excellent cosmetics raw material mentioned for dirty and oily skin. The oil is mildly antiseptic and soothes the skin.

Fresh growth extract from glycerol

The best and most effective spruce extract you get from glycerol. Many spruce minerals, resins and vitamins dissolve best in glycerol. Fresh growth glycerite is a very useful product. It can be added to both waterless and water-only products. The glycerite is also ideal for lotions.

How to make a glycerite from fresh growth

You can use this glycerite for example for toners. A toner can contain glycerite 10-15%. A fresh and soothing toner directly from the nature.

Fresh face mask of fresh growth

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Fresh growth extract from glycerol

You should also try just picked up fresh growth. Then prepare a refreshing and soothing mask. In fact, I have used the basic emulsion lotion I’ve prepared myself for base of a herbal mask. Instructions are here. If you do not have a homemade base cream, you can use a neutral cream of your choice as the base of the mask.

Make a fresh mask like this

The forest is now full of spruce trees. However, you should ask permission from the landowner to prune spruces. In my experience, however, you should get the permission easily if you just ask politely. In fact, I asked permission to prune a fence made of spruces. Spruce fence should be cut annually and the owners were just happy.

Ginseng is an ancient herb. It is used in Asia to improve and strengthen the general condition. Ginseng is also a good herb in cosmetics. However, its use is quite limited, although ginseng is clearly beneficial in skin care. Ginseng is a winter herb as it warms up. This is why this plant suits so well for us during mid-winter frosts.

What is ginseng?

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Ginseng root is very valuable
Photo Nguyen Cong Pixabaystä

Ginseng originally meant a Chinese medicinal herb (Panax ginseng). Panax ginseng is a key herbal medicine in traditional Chinese medicine. Only the root of ginseng is used as a medicine. It is considered to strengthen Jing energy in the body.

There are 2 different colours of ginseng root available; white and red. Both are genuine ginseng root. The colour difference comes from a different finish. Red ginseng comes from Korea and is stronger. Light ginseng is dried in the sun. It is therefore milder but the effect is the same.

The shape of ginseng root looks a bit like a human body.

Wild ginseng is protected

In the past, Chinese herbalists look for the ginseng roots in nature as old and thick as possible. Today, wild ginseng is protected. Cultivated ginseng root is used for herbal medicine. The import of ginseng roots to Finland is prohibited, as it is considered a potent drug. However, the import and re-sale of tea and powders are allowed.

Siberian ginseng is a different plant than Panax ginseng

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), aka Devil’s Bush, is often mixed to ginseng because it has similar effects. However, Siberian ginseng is a completely different plant. In this article, I will only deal with traditional Panax ginseng root.

Ginseng is rich in active ingredients

The single most important plant chemical in ginseng is ginsenosides. Ginsenosides have been used in ancient herbal medicine to cure skin diseases. Such issues as burns, purulent, atopic dermatitis, and other inflammatory skin diseases were treated in ancient Asia with ginseng ointment. Ginseng has been studied a lot nowadays but the focus has not been on its effect on the skin.

Ginsenosides have also been found to protect the skin. Ginseng can affect external factors that accelerate skin aging, such as UV radiation and air pollution.

What are the benefits of ginseng in cosmetics?

Ginseng is an adaptogen, a general condition improving herb. It contains a huge variety of plant chemicals. Some of them work very well on the skin. Ginseng is especially rich in minerals and vitamins that are important for the skin. Ginseng also has the ability to repair skin’s cell damages.

Ginseng is used in China and Korea to treat fragile elderly people to provide more energy. Ginseng has the same effect on the skin. It energizes the skin, regenerates it and fights aging.

Ginseng balances the skin

Ginseng is not just an active ingredient for the elderly. People of all ages having skin issues will benefit using ginseng. Ginseng is very suitable for young, oily skin due to its balancing effect. It curbs excessive sebum secretion. You should also try ginseng for hair getting greasy fast.

Ginseng enhances the skin’s surface blood flow

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In China, ginseng root is sold as rhizomes. Ginseng preparations can be found in health food stores as a powder.
Photo Nguyen Cong Pixabaystä

Especially in winter, the skin looks pretty dull as the superficial blood flow does not work the same as in summer. Ginseng has the ability to make the skin’s surface blood flow better. Therefore, it should be used as a cure in winter skincare products. The intensification of the superficial blood flow also helps in the formation of collagen. Collagen is therefore an important substance in the fight against the signs of aging.

Products containing ginseng brighten the skin

Skin pigmentation issues such as dark spots and uneven colour are due to problems with melanin production. Ginseng is rich in antioxidants that prevent the formation of dark spots. The same antioxidants protect the skin from aging by fighting free radicals.

Ginseng is rich in anti-inflammatory agents

Anti-inflammatory agents soothe the skin. Even if you don’t have any actual inflammation on your skin like acne, the soothing effect of ginseng is still visible on your skin. Your skin looks brighter and more supple. Possible redness is clearly reduced. If you suffer from inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea or acne, you should definitely try ginseng preparations.

Ginseng helps moisturize the skin

Ginsenosides in ginseng have been found to contain factors that affect the skin’s moisture balance.

What products is ginseng suitable for?

The active ingredients in ginseng are water soluble. You can use ginseng tea in the aqueous phase of emulsion lotions. I also recommend making a soothing toner with ginseng tea.

Ginseng is a really good base for face masks, especially the powdered ginseng. However, you need to add water to your face mask as the active ingredients in ginseng are water soluble.

Because ginseng is intended to treat the skin, it should not be used in cleansing emulsions or exfoliating products. In these products ginseng as an active ingredient is wasted.

You can prepare any toner by changing the liquid to ginseng tea. Freeze-dried ginseng tea is a really good and easy to use.

Combine mugwort and ginseng the Korean style

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Here is a flowering ginseng. In Thailand, ginseng root is cultivated as a medicinal plant.
Photo naturepost Pixabaystä

In Korean skin care, ginseng is combined with mugwort. The Korean mugwort (Artemisia Princeps) is a bit different from our own mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) in Europe. There are plenty of plants close to each others in Artemisia family. However, our mugwort has the same active ingredients as its Korean relative. The European mugwort is considerably stronger than the Asian. You can read more about the mugwort here.

Thanks for reading my article on ginseng!

Have you ever tried ginseng in skin care?

Argan oil has become one of the most popular cosmetic oils. For many different reasons, argan oil has even gained a superior reputation. The properties of argan oil are widely praised. It is sometimes even difficult to find a product that would not contain this substance, also called miracle oil. That’s why I decided this time to thoroughly explore the secrets of argan oil. Where argan oil is produced, what it is used for and what its power is based on.

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Goats love the fruit of the argan tree
Photo jacqueline macou Pixabaystä

The roots of argan oil can be found in Morocco

Most of the Morocco’s land area is quite dry and rocky land. Much of it is located in the Sahara Desert. There is also some plants growing in the desert. The plants of the deserts of southwestern Morocco includes Argania spinosa, the argan tree. The area is called Arganeraie. This area has a unique biosphere with endemic (only present in the area) plants. Argan tree is a traditional plant in the area.

Argan tree is a unique plant in the world

Argan tree has adjusted to extremely dry conditions. Argan tree cultivation is completely dependent on the area’s sensitive ecological system. Therefore, the whole Arganeraie region with its biosphere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Argan tree produces fruit with a hard-shelled nut inside. The fruit flesh is removed and used for animal feed.

The oil is obtained from the seeds of the argan tree, which are inside the hard shell. The hard shell of the nut must be crushed by hand. Mechanical seed peeling has not been tried without success. Argan tree seeds are usually peeled by poor Berber women in remote Moroccan villages.

Argan oil production also has an environmental socio-economic purpose.

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The socio-economic aspect of argan oil cannot be overemphasized. The production of argan oil provides a livelihood for many poor Berber women.
Photo Ross Cains Pixabaystä

The population of the Arganeraie region lives on sheep farming and agriculture. Argan oil production is a major source of additional income for local residents. Argan oil is traditionally used in the Arganeraie region for cooking, ointments and cosmetics. Argan tree is also used as firewood.

It rains only five days a year in the area. The surface of the soil is particularly dry. Argan trees effectively prevent desertification and take care of the area’s poor groundwater resources.

Why is the argan oil is so popular in cosmetics?

This is a question that has been on my mind for some time. Argan oil feels quite oily on the skin at first. It is not an easily absorbed, light oil. The greasy impression of argan oil is due to its heavy fatty acids.

As you can see, based on fatty acids, this is a fairly conventional oil. In terms of oleic acid, argan oil is mainly similar to almond oil or avocado oil. Based on fatty acids, argan oil could be recommended for aging and very dry skin. However, fatty acids are not the reason why argan has become such a popular cosmetic oil.

Argan oil is rich in active ingredients

The secret of argan oil lies in the plant chemicals it contains. First of all, argan oil is particularly rich in tocopherol. That is vitamin E. Argan oil is rich in a variety of phenolic compounds such as

As you can see, argan oil is very rich in a variety of antioxidants. Studies have shown that the phenolic levels of argan oil are clearly higher than other oils.

Many of the plant chemicals contained in argan oil are very rare. They occur in other plants only in modicum or not at all. These rare plant chemicals are the reason why argan oil beats other oils used in cosmetics.

The benefits of argan oil for the skin

Argan oil has a great many positive effects on skin care. Indeed, all of its effects are not even known yet. My advice is; if you have a skin problem, try genuine, good quality argan oil.

Effects of argan oil on skin and hair

Make sure you get good quality argan oil

The quality of argan oil depends of the oil extraction process. Local people living in the argan tree area use argan oil mainly for food. they dip the bread in argan oil as we sometimes dip the bread in olive oil. For edible argan oil, the seeds are first lightly roasted to create a nutty flavour. Such argan oil is not suitable for cosmetics use.

Argan oil used for cosmetics is squeezed from fresh argan tree seeds. The fruits of the argan tree are dried. To get one litre of argan oil about 40 kilograms of dried argan fruit is needed. The seeds are removed from the dried fruit. Before pressing into oil, the hard shell is removed from the seeds by hand. Now the seeds are ready to be pressed.

Unfiltered argan oil is brownish red and thick. The oil is poured into decanters to separate the dregs from the oil. After the oil has got brighten for about two weeks, the clear oil is bottled.

However, the oil can be decanted many times. This gives a particularly clear, beautiful oil. The oil that has been filtered many times no longer has so many active ingredients left. The colour of argan oil tells us about the quality of the oil and the production methods.

Argan oil is still produced very traditional way

Poor Berber women in the southwestern part of Morocco still make argan oil according to old traditions. Berber women could not keep up with the growing demand of the oil. Industrial production of argan oil began. The advantages of industrial production are standard quality and large production volumes. The downside, on the other hand, is that the profits go to big business. Local residents remain unemployed. Money talks. Industrially extracted argan oil costs less than half the price of oil produced by Berber women.

The international cosmetics giant L´Oreál has shown its humanity. L´Oreál is committed to buying all the argan oil it uses from small Berber cooperatives. This is a very fine thing and a great social act.

Valuable argan oil is a particularly counterfeit product

Argan oil has gone the same way as olive oil. It has been counterfeited. The oil is mixed with cheaper oils and sold as genuine argan oil. The Moroccan government has been active in blocking the export of counterfeit oils. Argan oil shipments have been tested frequently to solve the problem.

Look for responsibly produced argan oil from a reliable supplier

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Pure Moroccan argan oil is of the highest quality
Photo Paco Rodriguez Pixabaystä

Argan oil is a great product that you should definitely buy. It is a very preservative oil. Argan oil has been found to oxidize even more slowly than olive oil. However, it is worth to study carefully where argan oil comes from and how it is produced. It is not easy for the average consumer to find out the origin of oils. I recommend buying only from a shop where they know the origin of their products.

Have you used argan oil in your homecosmetics? Share your experiences in the comments section!

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Buckwheat is rich in rutin
Photo Ирина Ирина Pixabaystä

The rutin is a quite unknown plant chemical to many. However, it is a very effective substance that is definitely worth checking out. I have presented here on my blog usually herbs and other natural ingredients used in cosmetics. I have intentionally avoided bringing up only one active ingredient of a plant.  Now I am making an exception.  Rutin’s effect on the skin is very impressive. Read on to find out more about the gentle effects of the rutin on the skin.

What is a rutin?

The rutin, sometimes also called vitamin P, is a glucoside that is named after the plant garden rue (Ruta graveloens). The name refers strongly to fragrant. Garden rue is used as a spice, medicinal plant and decoration in gardens.

Rutin is polyphenol. I’ve told about polyphenols in the past here. Phenols are aromatic, organic compounds found all over nature. There are many different types of phenols. They are widely used by industry in synthesizing plastics and many other materials. Cosmetics industry has also utilized various plant phenols due to their beneficial effects on the skin.

Rutin is found in many plants

Rutin is a very common compound in many plants. Whatever herb you use, it most likely contains some rutin. Personally, I prefer to use real herbs for this very reason. At the same time, I get a lot of other useful compounds in the product.

The following plants have been studied to be particularly rich in rutin

Many of the plants listed above are not suitable as such for homemade cosmetics. Fresh capers or olives are almost impossible to obtain. Amla is available as a powder. However, it is far too acidic to use for skin care. Amla is used in skin care as an oil extract. The rutin is insoluble in oil.

Use familiar herbs as a source of rutin

Almost all natural herbs contain some rutin. However, rutin concentrations of natural herbs are not generally known. The rutin concentration in them varies very much due to the place of growth.

Marigold has been extensively studied. Rutin is one of the primary flavonoids of marigold. Chamomile also is particularly rich in rutin.

Citrus peel contains moderate amounts of rutin. However, use citrus cautiously in skin care. They are rich in strong plant chemicals that can easily damage the skin.

How rutin effects the skin?

The rutin has been studied really a lot lately. Many rutin health claims are proved to be fact through numerous studies. Rutin is very helpful, for example, in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and allergies. Rutin mulberry berries are used in diets. We Finns can eat raspberries rich in rutin for the same purpose.

Effects of rutin on the skin

The effects of the rutin on the skin have also been studied. The rutin is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from aging. The rutin also helps the skin to produce collagen as well as make better use of vitamin C. Of course, an increase in collagen production means a reduction in the signs of aging on the skin.

The rutin strengthens surface blood vessels

One of the effects of rutin which is much praised is the ability to strengthen blood vessels. The rutin has been used for this purpose as a dietary supplement. It has also been found that the rutin is able to effectively strengthen and soothe the surface blood vessels of the skin.

The weakness of the surface blood vessels is easy to recognise due to spider-like patterns. Rutin products can help to improve the condition of surface blood vessels by strengthening the vessel walls. Rutin has also been found to reduce the permeability of skin blood vessels. Blood vessels are mainly collagen. Rutin along with vitamin C takes care of collagen formation.

Embarrassing rosacea on the skin often requires consultation with a dermatologist. However, you can reduce redness on your skin by using products containing rutin. The rutin works to soothe the skin, reducing inflammation.

If your problem is varicose veins, rutin can be helpful. Rutin, especially so-called oxerutin has been shown to have a positive effect on varicose veins.

Rutin is a very effective compound that should be used in skin care

All of the above properties make rutin one of the most important active ingredients in cosmetics. Rutin is rarely mentioned on the INCI list. However, if you use or make natural homemade cosmetics, it will inevitably be found in the products. The most common natural ingredients of cosmetics contain moderate amounts of rutin. You don’t have to pay much attention to the rutin content of your products. Only in the case of skin problems it is worth trying and adding rutin into your skin care products.

How is rutin extracted from herbs?

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Raspberries and blueberries contain rutin
Photo silviarita Pixabaystä

Rutin is a water-soluble substance. An herbal infusion is therefore the right way to extract rutin from plants into cosmetics. All phenols are water-soluble, so at the same time you have access to other active ingredients of the herb.

You can also mix herbs rich in rutin and other ingredients into a water-based face mask. Such a method is suitable, for example, for ground buckwheat. A particularly rutin-rich  moringa powder is also a really good addition to face masks. The powders should be mixed with water (not oil) as this will easily release the rutin from the plant.

  Thanks for reading my blog!

What active ingredients do you use in your products?

Now when the summer is at its best, my thoughts are also in the summer and I’d like to write only about herbs. Heal-all, (Prunella vulgaris), is a tiny little herb that grows on the edges of the lawn. It is such a small plant that many do not even notice it. Heal-all often thrives nearby of conifers. It is a very modest looking plant. The plant is also odourless and almost tasteless. A little bitterness comes from the tannins contained in the plant. However, heal-all is one of the most useful herbs for skin care. That’s why I’d like to tell you about the amazing properties of the heal-all in caring cosmetics.

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Heal-all is an old and respected medicinal plant

Heal-all has been used as a healing herb for hundreds of years. Heal-all is a very common curative herb in Central Europe. Its Latin name is Prunella vulgaris. The word Prunella originally comes from the German language and means throat infection. Heal-all was once used in Germany as a medicine for sore throat. The plant has also been used to treat many other ailments around the world.

In England, the name of the Heal-all is Self-heal. The name suggests that Heal-all has been a healing herb in England as well. Other names include Heal-all, heart-of-the-earth, woundwort.

Wong Lo Kat drink

In China, heal-all is added to a popular herbal tea blend called Wong Lo Kat together with liquorice, chrysanthemum and honeysuckle. In China, Wong Lo Kat is also currently one of the most popular soft drinks. This Heal-all drink has also recently been the subject of furious copyright disputes there. The value of the Wong Lo Kat beverage brand is currently about 280 billion euros. This says a lot about how much the Chinese appreciate this little plant. https://ezinearticles.com/?What-Is-The-Chinese-Herbal-Tea-Wang-Lao-Ji-Made-From?&id=5005786

Heal-all is a completely non-toxic plant

Heal-all does not contain any toxic substances. It is basically completely edible. However, the culinary popularity of Heal-all is not great as the whole plant tastes like wood. However, you can use the flowers of Heal-all, for example, in a salad as a decoration.

The importance of Heal-all on the skin

Heal-all is especially rich in skin-protecting and soothing ingredients. Even if your skin doesn’t have any actual problem that requires a treatment, Heal-all protects and soothes your skin from the stresses caused by the environment.

Heal-all contains a significant selection of nature’s best chemicals

The effectiveness of Heal-all is based on the plant chemicals it contains. The small, modest plant has an enormous amount of wonderful ingredients. These ingredients work together to heal, care for and protect your skin.

Heal-all and sunlight

During hot summer days, the skin is easily exposed to excessive sunlight. Heal-all protect the skin thanks to their numerous plant chemicals.

However, Heal-all do not provide the skin with real UV protection. Plant chemicals in Heal-all do not block sunlight from reaching the skin. However, skin cells exposed to the sun benefit from the effects of these plant chemicals. Therefore, it is worth adding Heal-all to skin care products on hot summer days.

Heal-all soothes the skin

Heal-all has a protective and soothing effect on the skin. Its numerous herbal chemicals have a soothing effect on the skin and eliminate inflammation. Therefore, Heal-all is particularly suitable for treating irritated skin. The tannins in Heal-all shrink pores and brighten the skin.

How should Heal-all be used in home cosmetics?

The best way to obtain the active ingredients of heal-all is to prepare an oil extract using dried flowers. Only dry the freshly blown flowers of the Heal-all. Heal-all is a wonderful plant that you can take advantage of along the summer until the fall comes. Namely, the Heal-all always makes two new flowers to replace the one you just picked up. So start collecting Heal-all flowers now.

How to dry Heal-all flowers?

You can dry the flowers by using a plant dryer or oven. The flowers are quite dry. You can also pre-dry the flowers in a dark but dry and warm place.

Heal-all flowers can also be dried on a towel protected from light. Depending on the moisture level, they dry relatively quickly. Personally, I prefer this rather effortless way of collecting and drying flowers. You can add new flowers to dry whenever they pop out.

When there are enough dried flowers, you can make an oil extract. Do not use them all. Leave the rest of dried flowers to wait for winter and the moment when you want to make fresh herbal oil.

Instructions for making herbal oil can be found here.

Heal-all suits well for many products

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I have used Heal-all in products intended to protect my skin from the sun. Heal-all treat sun-sensitized skin.

Oil serums made from Heal-all are convenient to use. Remember that you should not use any other products when applying the actual UV protection. They may affect the effectiveness of UV protection. Therefore, use heal-all oil serum at different times. Heal-all serum is suitable to be applied immediately after the sunbathing, for example, as it also soothes the skin.

Heal-all can be used to make skin soothing emulsion creams. Such creams can be helpful when the skin is particularly stressed. I do not recommend using lotions or creams containing Heal-all on daily basis because it is rich in herbal chemicals. It is suitable for efficient creams designed to control the situation on the skin. For example, a week’s treatment of Heal-all cream can make wonders on irritated skin.

What are your favourite herbal skin care products?

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Photo Don Raridon on Unsplash

One of the most important vitamins for skin well-being is niacin. We do get plenty of niacin from healthy and diversified diets. Niacin has also been used as an active ingredient in many cosmetic products. It has a positive effect on the condition of the skin when used externally. I will tell you in this article how niacin affects the skin. I will also tell you how you can add natural niacin to your own cosmetic products.

What is Niacin?

Niacin is a vitamin B3. There are two different forms of niacin; nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. Many cosmetic products contain nicotinamide as an active ingredient. It is gentler on the skin than nicotinic acid. Nicotinic acid and nicotinamide work in the same way on the skin. Animal products contain plenty of both nicotinamide and nicotinic acid. They are also found in beans, grains and seeds. In plants, nicotinamide and nicotinic acid are usually present together. Therefore, in this article, I refer to these two substances collectively as niacin.

Niacin treats the skin both internally and externally

A healthy diet usually contains enough niacin. Omnivores, persons eating both plants and meat, do get it from meat, salmon and tuna. Vegetarians get niacin from legumes as well as whole grains. Niacin deficiency causes sickness, headaches, and damage to the skin and mucous membranes.

 Niacin is also beneficial when applied to the skin. Niacin works on the skin in many ways. It is used as a supportive treatment even for severe skin conditions.

Niacin strengthens the stratum corneum of the skin

Niacin makes skin’s surface to retain moisture better. The stratum corneum, or protective layer on the surface of the skin, is made up of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids. Nasin increases the production of all of these. An improved, stronger stratum corneum helps the skin retain moisture better. As the skin ages, the stratum corneum weakens and the skin dries more easily. Also, in skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema, the stratum corneum of the skin is weak. Nicotinic acid is a good remedy for these problems.

Niacin soothes the skin and reduces small lines on the skin

Niacin has the ability to boost the production of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids in the stratum corneum of the skin. This makes the skin surface smoother and remove the roughness. Because the skin is now able to store moisture better it also looks more elastic. Small lines disappear and the skin gets a new, youthful glow.

Niacin has anti-inflammatory effects on the skin

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Niacin reduces inflammation on the skin. This property can be useful when treating acne and rosacea.  More information is provided in this article. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/dermatology/anti-aging-effects-niacinamide

How safe is niacin?

Niacin, or vitamin B3, is a very popular nutrient supplement. However, there are some concerns when used internally. When taking high doses, niacin causes so-called. “Flush” reaction. This only applies to nicotinic acid. Nicotinamide does not have such an effect.

In a flush reaction, the skin of the whole body begins to turn strongly red, the pulse gets accelerated and you are not feeling well. It means that over-dose is causing some kind of poisoning. The reaction is harmless but really unpleasant. It will quickly pass. Everyone will not get the flush reaction, just some individuals. We do not know the reason. It is safest to get the niacin your body needs from food. Dietary niacin has not been found to cause problems.

When used externally, nicotinamide is completely safe.

Please note that nicotinic acid can cause redness on the skin in high doses. Personally, I prefer niacin-rich natural ingredients in skin care. They contain both nicotinamide and nicotinic acid. Such ingredients are safe to use. Of course, you can get a nicotinamide product and use it in skin care. However, they are synthetic products made in factories. Natural niacin made from seeds is always a safer choice. They contain just a reasonable amount of niacin. The other ingredients of the seeds also treat the skin.

Which raw materials in homemade cosmetics contain niacin?

There are plenty of niacin-containing ingredients to choose from to your product. So many raw materials contain niacin. Niacin is water soluble and that is why no oil contain it. I have prepared a list of raw materials containing niacin that you can use in cosmetics. There are certainly much more raw materials containing niacin that just these I’ve listed.

These seeds are rich in niacin. Always use unpeeled wheat grains, sesame seeds, almonds and peanuts. Peeled almonds, finished almond powder or almond chips are not suitable for this. Niacin is especially present just under the seed skin. In peeled seeds, the niacin level is considerably lower. Sunflower seeds and hemp seeds must, of course, be peeled as they have a very hard and thick skin.

How do I make cosmetics using seeds?

In addition to niacin, seeds contain many other ingredients that are useful for the skin. Therefore, the seeds should be used in the products as whole as possible. Seeds contain a huge amount of minerals and vitamins. Niacin is one of the most important vitamins in all seeds. Seeds contain also fat-soluble, skin-beneficial vitamin E.

All seeds are rich in minerals. The skin is also able to absorb minerals externally. The most common minerals in seeds are magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, potassium and calcium.

I have soaked the seeds overnight in water. Soaking makes the seeds softer and brings them to life. Peanuts and hemp seeds should not be soaked at all.

If the seeds start to germinate a little, it’s just good. Germination removes an antinutrient called phytate from the seeds. Phytate prevents the absorption of minerals into the skin.

Wheat contains an antinutrient called gliadin which is part of the wheat protein, gluten. It cannot be deleted. If you are sensitive to gluten, you may also be sensitive to wheat that is used externally. Therefore, you should always test the suitability of the raw material on your own skin first.

I have often been asked about sources. For this I do not have any source. I’ve taken care of my eczema by removing antinutrients from my diet. Therefore, I am familiar with the handling of beans and seeds. I always try to remove antinutrients from them as accurately as possible.

Now the niacin-containing seeds are pre-treated and you can use them in your products.

niacin-for-the-skin

I have added couple of recipes to Recipes tab, please take a look and test. Cosmetics made from seeds are worth a try. A small seed is dense stuff. It’s like a natural multivitamin tablet for the skin. The seeds contain a large selection of nutrients your skin needs. When you make fresh cosmetics from seeds by yourself, valuable nutrients do not have time to oxidize and get spoiled in the product.

Have you tried nicotinamide in skin care?

kosmetiikkaa-siemenista
Kuva: NordWood Themes on Unsplash

One of my favourite raw material in homemade cosmetics is seeds. I have shared here a recipe in which dry powders are used.  This time we make ready-to-use pastes from seeds. I chose chia seeds and sunflower seeds.

The idea behind these pastes is using seeds containing niacin. Niacin is a very effective skin regenerator and anti-aging stuff. Niacin has a great deal to offer for skin care. You can read my article on niacin here.

Skin rejuvenating mask from chia seeds

This recipe is funny because you can even eat it for breakfast if you cannot use it all. Therefore, you do not have to worry about quantities. Just prepare enough paste. It is easier to deal with bigger quantity than too small.  You can also freeze the remaining paste for the next use.

Chia seeds

Chia is a sage (Salvia hispanica). Its home is both Mexico and Guatemala. Chia is a Mayan language and means powerful. Small chia seed contains a huge amount of minerals, vitamins, and vegetable oils. Chia also contains niacin, which is an important nutrient in this mask.

Chia produces a gel-like liquid when the seeds are soaked in water. Chia gel consists of polysaccharides that naturally moisturize the skin.

You will need the following ingredients for a moisturizing chia mask

Do like this:

Use a chia mask once a week, even more often if you want. Let the mask warm up to room temperature, apply to cleansed face and leave on for about 20-30 minutes.

Rinse the mask off with lukewarm water and cloth.

Traditional Indian sunflower seed mask

This recipe is very traditional and comes from India. The good thing about this recipe is its ease and simplicity. In general, the simplest ingredients and methods of preparation are the best. Sunflower seeds are really high in niacin and milk is a particularly good product for the skin. That’s why I chose this special  recipe for you.

Sunflower seeds

auringonkukansiemenet
Auringonkukka

Sunflower seeds contain a lot of minerals and a lot of niacin, which is so important for the skin. Sunflower seeds are

Saffron

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It is very popular in India because it has a lot of good features. Saffron cleanses and brightens the skin. It helps dead skin cells come off, making the skin look younger. Saffron also soothes the skin.

Milk

Milk is a traditional skin care product all over the world. Cow’s milk has been used in this recipe but you can of course replace it with vegetable milk or goat’s milk.

The properties of plant milk depend on the plant. Almond milk might be best for this as it is also high in niacin.

If you use cow’s milk, get as natural, unprocessed milk as possible for this purpose.

You need for a traditional Indian sunflower mask

Do like this:

These two seed masks are really effective and easy to make. You can do these masks once a week, even more often. They are very mild.

In the spring, the skin often looks quite tired. Many of us are wondering how to get a quick summer glow on our face. Fortunately, there will be more sunny days to come. You should enjoy the sun whenever it is possible. The sun makes wonders on the skin in small doses. Vitamin C can also refresh the skin. I’ve tried very simple C-vitamin serum on my skin for one week. I will now tell you how vitamin C serum works and how you can simply prepare it yourself at home.

c-vitamiiniseerumi
Photo ivabalk Pixabaystä

Vitamin C is important for the skin

Vitamin C is one of the most effective antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent oxidation and fight free radicals. All antioxidants slow down the aging processes of the skin.

Vitamin C brightens the skin. It makes the skin look firmer and brighter. After vitamin C serum treatment, the skin immediately looks younger. Vitamin C inhibits the production of melanin in the skin. That is why it whitens dark spots and other pigment changes on the skin. Vitamin C acts as a whitening agent completely naturally, taking advantage of the skin’s own function. Vitamin C removes roughness and fine wrinkles from the skin.

I myself use vitamin C only in serums. They are more effective than creams. Vitamin C serum is intended for limited time use only, as a remedy. You will get good results already in a week. You should take a break from using the serum after a week. This way, the skin is not stressed by too many treatments.

Vitamin C is a very acidic substance

When preparing a vitamin C serum suitable for your skin, please bear in mind that vitamin C is a strong acid. It can damage your skin if you do not dilute it enough. A dilution suitable for even sensitive skin is about 5% solution. So, you need 5 grams of vitamin C per one decilitre of fluid. Of course, you can make even stronger serum. Some persons skin can tolerate up to 20% vitamin C solution. Personally, I would never use such a strong solution.

Vitamin C is very easily destroyed

I have my concerns about ready-made C vitamin serum. Vitamin C is a very sensitive substance. Therefore, it should be used really fresh. Vitamin C can be destroyed instantly by heat, water, light and oxygen. Therefore, I recommend preparing only a small amount of serum at a time. This will ensure the effectiveness of the product. You can use vitamin C serum prepared by yourself for about 1-2 weeks if you have protected it well.

Vitamin C serum does not need preservatives. Ascorbic acid is in itself a preservative. Although the product is not perishable, its quality suffers during storage.

Ascorbic acid powder

In this product I use pure ascorbic acid powder. There is plenty of vitamin C in different berries and fruits. However, they contain also many other plant chemicals that can irritate the skin. Pure ascorbic acid powder is also easy to dose. You know exactly how much vitamin C is in your product.

There are many different types of ascorbic acid products available. The usual claim is that they have differences. Personally, I have acquired the pure ascorbic acid powder. It is L-ascorbic acid that is said to be the best for cosmetics. However, I could imagine that other products will do as well.

How to neutralize vitamin C serum

I often make 10% vitamin C serum. It’s definitely too strong for my own skin. Therefore, I neutralize it to a suitable strength. For neutralization, pH strips should be used as an aid. They will tell you when the acidity is appropriate. A 10% vitamin C solution usually has an acidity of pH 4.5-5. The skin of many may smart and irritate by this acidic solution.

You can use familiar and safe baking soda to neutralize the liquid. Add the soda in size of rice grain to the vitamin c solution and measure the pH in between. This will give you the right solution for you. Personally, I prefer to use serum strong in pH 6. But like I said, everyone’s skin is different.

Flax seed extract

Vitamin C is water soluble. That is why I have prepared this serum completely without oil. My favourite liquid base for serum right now is flaxseed extract. It is easy to make.

How do I prepare vitamin C serum?

You will need a small glass pipette or pump bottle. It would be great if you had a small scale that measures with gram accuracy. That would make it very easy.

You will need these:

How is Vitamin C Serum used?

c-vitamiiniseerumi
Photo ivabalk Pixabaystä

Test the suitability of the product first. Some people have very sensitive skin. Then strong acids like vitamin C are not suitable. If you are sensitive, dilute the solution well.

Use 1-2 drops of serum at a time. The skin may require some time to get used to this treatment. Apply the serum to clean skin and allow it to absorb for a while. Then add moisturizer.

I have also mixed a drop of serum with moisturizer and applied it on the face. As far as I can see, this method is the gentlest on the skin.

How do you treat your tired spring skin?

Carrot oil is a well-known and respected skin care product. Many of us rely on carrot oil’s healing properties in spring season.

Carrots are considered as symbols of a healthy life. It’s hard to come up with any other plant that is so famous for its healthy effects. The carrots are also considered as an example of sustainable vegetable production because they are usually locally produced. They are also easy to obtain in organic quality and fresh. So why not use such a good plant in cosmetics? What are the ingredients in carrot oil and how is it made? What are the skin care effects of carrots? Carrot oil has many good properties. A variety of very different products are sold under the same name. Let’s see what carrot oil is.

carrot-oil-in-skin-care

Carrot oil means many different products

The carrot itself is not an oil plant. You cannot squeeze oil from the carrot root. This is a good thing to remember when you are going to buy carrot oil. Orange carrot oil is a mixture of carrot and some oil or extracted liquid from carrots. For the extraction Either dried or fresh carrots are used for extraction and some carrier oil is added. The carrier oil is often sunflower oil, soybean oil, avocado oil, corn oil or other neutral vegetable oil. Usually a mixture of several oils is used in carrot oil.

There are also other, added ingredients in many carrot oils. Glycerol and essential oils can be found in many products sold under the name of carrot oil. Carrot oils are thus refined cosmetic products. Some of them  contain many other things than just carrots. Therefore, there are big differences between the carrot oils on the market. When purchasing ready-made carrot oil, always look at INCI very carefully. Then you know what you are buying and what you are paying for.

Carrot seed oil is not the same thing as carrot oil

Carrot seed oil and carrot oil are very often mixed together. However, they are two completely different products. Carrot seed oil is squeezed from tiny little carrot seeds. It is a very valuable oil that is full of antioxidants. Carrot seed oil should be used in small quantities for particularly nurturant creams and facial masks.

The myth about the UV-filtering effect of carrot seed oil and carrot oil

Carrot oil is sometimes used as a tanning and sunscreen product. Reason for that is the skin colouring effect of carrots and the carotenoids it contains. However, carrot oil does not contain any ingredient that will prevent the skin from burning under the sun.

Carrot seed oil contains a large number of antioxidants. These antioxidants are said to prevent skin burns. Carrot seed oil is even given an SFP (Sun protection factor) of 40. That would mean incredibly effective UV protection. However, this is not the case at all. Applying carrot seed oil to the skin does not prevent sunburn. It is just a waste of expensive oil and the result will be disappointment.

A good sunscreen is really difficult to make by yourself. Large, multinational manufacturers have for decades been trying to develop good sunscreens. The development efforts of sunscreen have required huge financial sacrifices and years of testing for them. You cannot make reliable sun protection at home. So do not even try. Just buy it from the store and stay with reliable manufacturer.

Next time someone offers you carrot oil for sun protection, first look at the official SFP label on the product. In some products it could be, say 15. The SFP 15 is not very high number in sun protection, and with such a low quality sunscreen it is better to stay under shadows of trees on a beach.

The effects of carrot on skin

I am talking about the carrot and its benefits for the skin only. Let’s talk about carrot seeds at another time.

Carrot contains skin-friendly ingredients such as carotenoids and vitamin C. Carotenoids are plant pigments. They give the plants their characteristic colour. Carrot’s bright orange comes from beta-carotene, a carotenoid.

Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant

The skin benefits of beta-carotene have long been known. Carrot benefits the skin both internally and externally. Carrot juice is healthy, but if you drink it too much, it may colour your skin yellow. However, this is not dangerous.

In external use, beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant on the skin. It fights free radicals, preventing the skin from oxidizing. This keeps your skin youthful.

Carrot carotenoids help the skin regenerate. Old skin cells are removed and make room for newer, younger skin cells. This process makes the skin look younger.

Carrots are naturally antibacterial

Carrot soothes the skin and prevents excessive bacterial growth. Therefore, it is advisable to use carrots after sunburn, when the skin is irritated and red.

Carrot lycopene helps treat impure skin

I also recommend to use carrot for oily skin. Not only does carrot soothe acne skin, it also balances and moisturizes oily skin. Lycopene in carrots is an important antioxidant in the treatment of oily skin. Therefore, many products mentioned for oily and combination skin contain precisely lycopene.

How to make carrot oil yourself

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Carrot oil is really easy to make by yourself. I wrote you a simple recipe for making your own carrot oil. Nowadays I try to put all my simple recipes in the “recipes” tab. It is easy to find them from there. You don’t have to look for them in the middle of blog text.

Have you already bought a sunscreen for becoming summer or perhaps for a holiday? What is your favourite sunscreen product?

Polyphenols sound like a very scientific thing. How do they relate to the ingredients and making of homemade cosmetics? Are there any polyphenols used or added in natural cosmetics? I included polyphenols in this blog for two very good reasons.

First of all, anyone who has prepared homemade cosmetics has added polyphenols to their products, with or without the knowledge of them. Another reason is the effective ability of polyphenols to affect the outer layers of the skin. Polyphenols do indeed produce positive effects in skin care. What are polyphenols and how can we use them in cosmetics? Let’s take a closer look.

polyphenols-in-cosmetics
Natural herbs are rich in polyphenols

What are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are mainly natural chemical compounds found in plants. The purpose of polyphenols is to protect the plant from getting spoiled, insects, ultraviolet radiation and microbes. Polyphenols are antioxidants.

There are plenty of polyphenols in almost all plants

Vegetables, fruits and berries classified as healthy contain significant amounts of polyphenols. A cup of coffee or tea contains up to 100mg of polyphenols. Evidence suggests that eating polyphenol-rich foods reduces the risk of getting chronic diseases. Polyphenols can also affect the skin externally.

Polyphenols in cosmetics

We can hardly find the word polyphenols on the packages of cosmetic products.  Still, almost all cosmetic products contain polyphenols, especially natural ones. All cosmetics containing genuine, plant-derived extracts will certainly also contain polyphenols.

Polyphenols have antioxidant effects

You must have come across cosmetics that are said to contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are a large group of substances that inhibit oxidation. In addition to polyphenols, vitamins do belong to the antioxidant group. Now we are only talking about polyphenols, because they have a very unique effect on the skin.

How do polyphenols affect your skin?

Polyphenols, when applied to the skin, act on the outer layers of the skin. Polyphenols in cosmetics can affect many skin problems that are right on the surface of the skin. Products containing polyphenols do not affect the deeper layers of the skin.

Polyphenols are potent antioxidants

They protect your skin from external stimulus such as sunlight. However, they cannot be used as actual protective sunscreen against ultraviolet radiation.  You need to get a functional, tested sunscreen from the shop. However, products containing polyphenols have been found to boost sunscreen’s effect on the skin.

The dark spots caused by strong sunlight on the skin can fade and even disappear when using effective polyphenols in skin care.

Polyphenols work well also in after-sun products

They inhibit the UV-exposed skin damage. Polyphenols control possible inflammation and cool down the skin after sunbathing.

Polyphenols are able to repair small signs of aging on our skin, such as fine wrinkles. The anti-aging effect of polyphenols is based on antioxidants as well as sunscreen ability. The antioxidants in polyphenols prevent oxidation on skin. You can read more about this here on NCBI article.

Polyphenols is a large group of plant chemicals.

There are more than 8000 different types of polyphenols. The best-known polyphenols are flavonoids.

Different polyphenols have different specific properties. I will now list a few polyphenols and plants containing them. There are always several different polyphenols in the same plant.

Flavonoids are the largest single group of polyphenols

Flavonoids are polyphenols that affect plant’s taste and what colour it is. About 60% of all polyphenols are flavonoids. They are therefore the main group of active ingredients extracted from herbs used in skin care products. Next, I will list some very useful flavonoids for you.

Tannins are astringent and bitter flavonoids.

Green tea and coffee contain plenty of tannins. They are also found in smaller quantities in rose plants. The astringent effect of tannins is based on their ability to precipitate proteins. You can use astringent, tannin-rich extracts, for example, in facial toners. Tannins reduce pores and make skin look firm. The use of coffee grounds in facial masks is a good idea. You can also make feet and hands scrubs from coffee containing tannins.

Blueberry and red cabbage are famous for their anthocyanin pigment

Anthocyanin is the most famous flavonoid. It is the pigment in blueberry and red cabbage. Dark grapes are also rich in anthocyanins. Anthocyanin is a particularly powerful antioxidant.

Raspberry and olive are rich in rutin

The rutin also belongs to the group of flavonoids. The rutin improves blood circulation. Rutin-containing extracts should be used when the purpose is to revitalize the skin’s blood circulation. The rutin also inhibits infections. Raspberries, buckwheat and fresh olives contain plenty of rutin.

Why use green tea in cosmetics?

EGCG is a flavonoid that is found especially in green tea. It is the most important active ingredient in green tea. Even a study of anticancer effect of EGCG is currently going on. EGCG protects the skin from the sun’s UV radiation.

EGCG has a particularly moisturizing effect on the skin

It is also a very effective antioxidant. You will get all these incredible effects to your cosmetic product when you use green tea. Green tea also contains other polyphenols which make it one of the best ingredients for skin care.

Polyphenolic amides are special types of polyphenols

Polyphenolic amides include burning capsaicinoids found in both paprika and chili, which are not commonly used in skin care. They suit better to herbal medicine to eliminate pain and aches. But oat avenanthramides, on the other hand, are particularly useful in skin care. I have previously written an article about oat, which can be found here.

How can I add polyphenols to homemade cosmetics?

Adding polyphenols to homemade cosmetics is really simple. Polyphenols are soluble in hot water and vinegar. All you have to do is make an infusion using your favourite herb. If you’ve ever prepared homemade cosmetics, you presumably should know how to do it. If you do not know how to do it, please take a look here.

You can add polyphenols easily to the lotion using the herbal infusion as a water phase. An herbal infusion made from camomile or nettle, is a good base for an emulsion lotion. You will get a lot of valuable polyphenols in your lotion. Chamomile is rich in polyphenol called apigenin. Apigenin rejects the signs of aging and protects the skin against harmful UV radiation.

Polyphenols help your skin in many ways

polyphenols-in-cosmetics

There is plenty of talk about the effect of antioxidants in our diet. We should eat berries, fruits, and vegetables to get these valuable substances to prevent our cells from oxidizing. On our skin, polyphenols are able to function about the same way.

Cosmetics containing polyphenols protect our skin from oxidation. Next time you prepare homemade cosmetics, please remember skin protecting polyphenols. The easiest way to get them to your products is to use different herbal infusions. So, look at the herbs you dried in the summer and extract valuable polyphenols out from them to protect your skin.

Have you used herbal infusions in cosmetics?

Olive oil suits well to the body peeling purpose. It is an antioxidant and skin nourishing oil. Olive oil suits best for skin care and body products of ageing skin. Olive oil is not recommended for acne-prone skin. It clogs the pores easily and stimulates acne.

natural-oils-in-cosmetic

Although olive oil is not the best oil for facial care, it can be used to make a skin scrub for body. Buy only extra Virgin quality olive oil. It still has all the antioxidants left. I personally prefer Greek and Spanish organic olive oils. You can find them in big supermarkets. There are usually several options to choose from.

Vegetable Butters

To this skin scrub I have added also mango butter and shea butter. They are very popular now and many may have them already.

Shea Butter

Mild and full-bodied shea butter is a great addition to this body scrub. Shea butter is originally an African beauty product. Traditionally, shea butter is also used in cooking in Africa. Its natural colour is ivory but very often it is also sold bleached. I personally like the untreated quality but some people may find its odour unpleasant. I myself don’t smell anything unpleasant. You can order shea butter from several online shops. Here is a tip:  You can order it fairly because you can use shea butter as it is for dry skin, cracked heels, hardened elbows and more.

Mango Butter

Mango butter is a popular, hard fat in home cosmetics. It smells lovely and is very caring. Mango butter is made from fat derived from mango seeds. It suits best for body care and wash-away products. The fatty acid composition of mango butter is not suitable for facial products. Mango butter may block some people’s pores.

Sugar

As an exfoliating ingredient I am using a very fine sugar. Sugar is a very common exfoliating agent. It does not harm the skin but is still a very effective ingredient. Sugar also moisturizes the skin. Choose very finely ground sugar, but not powdered sugar as it will not peel. Fine ground sugar removes dead tissue more efficiently from the skin, but is even more gentle than coarser sugar quality.

Ginger

 I used ginger as an active ingredient. Ginger has tremendous positive qualities. It activates the skin’s blood circulation and improves metabolism. Ginger makes this product a good cellulite cream. Be sure to use only dried, ground ginger, which is sold as a spice. Fresh ginger is too moist for this recipe. There is no room for moisture in peeling products based on sugar. Otherwise the sugar will begin to melt and the peeling cream will be spoilt.

For mango-ginger skin scrub you will need

Do like this

cosmetic-oils

Olive oil can also be used to make herbal ointments, which are healing products. Olive oil is a very preserving oil. It does not rancidify as easy as sunflower oil. In herbal ointments, long shelf life is an advantage. We will take a closer look at herbal ointments in the summertime. There will be plenty of herbs both in nature and in the garden.

This scrub is so simple and effective that you really should try it.

How did you like it, please share your experiences in the comments section!

Apple pectin in skin care is now a seasonable issue. Domestic apples are just now at their best. Apples are rich in important nutrients such as vitamins, trace elements and antioxidants. Therefore, it is worth eating apples as much as possible now. Did you know that apples can also be used to make cosmetics? Apples contain a carbohydrate called pectin.

apple-pectin-in-skin-care

What is apple pectin

Pectin is a carbohydrate found in the cell membranes of fruits, especially apple. Pectin is also found in other fruits such as citrus and apricots. Pectin includes polysaccharides.

Pectin is used as a gelling agent. In an acidic environment, pectin forms a jelly. Pectin is added to jam sugar just to make the jam thicker. Pectin is also used as a dietary fibre. It is a prebiotic that deals with intestinal health.

Apple pectin is very common in skin care. Apple pectin is most commonly used to support the cream emulsifier.

How is Apple pectin Made?

Pectin is industrially manufactured almost exclusively from citrus peel. The citrus peel contains about 30% pectin. So it is easy to produce pectin and the raw material is also free. Of course, apple pectin is made from apple. Pectin is most abundant in apple seedlings and husk. Industrially, pectin is extracted from fruits with dilute acid. The extraction takes several hours. Eventually, pectin dissolves in acid-containing water.

How does apple pectin affect your skin?

1. Pectin is rich in vitamins such as vitamin A and C. Pectin is rich in potassium, a trace element.

2. Like other carbohydrates, pectin binds moisture. Pectin is also a humectant like glyserol. Pectin keeps the skin pleasantly moisturized.

3. Pectin promotes cell renewal. It acts as an anti-aging product in the care of aging skin. Yves Rocher and the University of Descartes have investigated this.

4. Because of its high content of vitamins, pectin acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin C prevents the oxidation processes on the skin and prevents the aging process.

5. Vitamin A works effectively to repair sunlight damage. Vitamin A also corrects the signs of aging.

6. Apple pectin is a prebiotic food for beneficial skin microbes. It contributes to the well-being of the normal bacterial strain of the skin and thereby to the health of the skin.

Apple pectin in skin care soothes the skin

apple-pectin-in-skin-care

Apple pectin soothes out the uneven colour of the skin surface. Apple pectin has a positive effect on subcutaneous collagen production. Subcutaneous collagen decreases with age and makes our skin look more wrinkled. Vitamins and other plant chemicals in apple pectin increase the collagen production of human body.

It has been claimed that apple pectin does reduce inflammation. However, this is not the case. Apple pectin is not a suitable for acne skin. It is a prebiotic that acts as a food for bacteria. Therefore, I do not recommend apple pectin for inflamed skin, rosacea, rashes or acne.

Pectin is known in cosmetics as an emulsifier for thickening and gelling ointments. It is a well-tolerated ingredient that at the same time cares the skin. Pectin alone cannot act as an emulsifier. Instead, it increases the viscosity in acidic face waters. Apple pectin is particularly useful thickener, especially in facial toners.

Where Can I Buy Apple Pectin?

Pure apple pectin is available from health food stores and sports stores. Fitness people and body builders use apple pectin as a dietary fibre. The available product is pure apple pectin, which can also be used in cosmetics. You can also find organic apple pectin powder from internet.

Self-made apple pectin

There is another way to obtain apple pectin. You can prepare the liquid containing apple pectin by yourself. All you need is ordinary organic apples. Use peel and apple shells to make pectin. They contain the most pectin. You would probably throw away these parts of the apple anyway.

Cut 2 ½ dl or 1 cup of apple peel and seeds into small pieces. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of ascorbic acid and 2 ½ dl 1 cup of boiling water. Pour the mixture over the apple skins and the seeds. Allow the mixture to cool down and filter it using cotton or thin cloth. The liquid is now rich in apple pectin and you can use it in creams and facial toners. Below please find a recipe for a facial toner.

 Ascorbic acid is essential in the liquid because it extracts pectin from the apple. Instead of ascorbic acid you can also use a tablespoon of apple vinegar.

Apple pectin in skin care; how to use it?

There are a few things to keep in mind when using apple pectin powder.

• The powder is a very strong concentrate. You do not need it much. ¼ teaspoon of apple pectin powder to 1 dl ½ cup of liquid is just enough.

• Apple pectin powder coagulates in water. It is really impossible for you to make it mix or dissolve in the liquid by mixing or whipping. Do not worry. Put the powder in a container and pour the liquid over it. Let the mixture stand undisturbed overnight and a miracle has happened. Apple pectin is slowly dissolved in the liquid.

• You can add ascorbic acid (¼ tsp / 1 dl liquid) or apple tartar vinegar (1 teaspoon / 1 dl liquid) with apple pectin powder to water to enhance the effect of apple pectin. If you are already using acidic liquid, no acid addition is required.

• Apple pectin can also be used in powders and eye shadows to keep the cake in shape.

• Please bear in mind again that everything is not suitable for everyone. If you are allergic to apple, do not use apple pectin Also consider cross-allergies such as birch allergy.

Easy and effective facial toner from apple pectin

apples

You will need:

• 2 dl or ¾ cups of home-made apple pectin water (see instructions above) or 2 dl of water and ½ teaspoon of apple pectin powder (put them into a container and allow dissolving overnight)

• 1 dl or ½ cup witch hazel water

• 40 drops of Geogard 221 preservative (or use some other organic brand)

Do like this:

• Mix the liquids and pack in a sterilized bottle

• Store facial toner in the refrigerator. It will be usable about 2-3 weeks without preservative.

• If you use a preservative in facial toner, it will be usable for 2-3 months at room temperature if protected from sunlight.

Here is a summary of apple pectin for you. I encourage you to experiment to use of apple pectin. It is a safe and effective ingredient that has also been scientifically researched. It suits vey well for the care of aging skin and for moisturizing younger skin.

If you have apples in your garden, you are really lucky. Pectin facial toner is a new way to benefit of the harvest of your own garden.

Tell me did you like this recipe!

The very first skin care product line, which I have ever bought, was based on the seaweeds and sea minerals. I have already blissfully forgotten the name of the product but it left really good memories. That was my first experience of seaweed in skincare.

seaweed-in-skincare

My first experience of seaweed in skincare

At that time my skin was a skin of a young girl, under 20 with impurities. After starting use of the series, the superficial roughness and impurities disappeared from my skin. My skin became easy to care and beautiful. I was whacked. Is this how cosmetics work?  Why doesn’t everyone use this series and enjoy beautiful skin like mine?

I am afraid this smells little bit like advertisement. However, the experience I told is true. After that, I started to pay attention to seaweed and sea minerals in a whole new way. They seemed to fit my skin perfectly.

How to use seaweed in skincare

Now I want to open up also the world of seaweed and tell how you can use them in skincare. You can of course buy ready-made seaweed products like this. There are plenty of series available in natural cosmetic quality. However, I try to inspire you to try seaweed in DIY-cosmetics.

The use of seaweed in DIY-cosmetics is inspiring because you can influence so many things yourself. You can make different products for different purposes and use seaweed in all of them. Try to add seaweed to this sunflower cream. You can also add other marine ingredients to your products such as minerals, salt and the wonderful Dead Sea mud.

But the most challenging part is getting to know the countless varieties of seaweed and finding new features and uses in them. That’s why I am planning to write a comprehensive opus about seaweed. It is truly wonderful and versatile ingredient.

What kind of seaweed there are?

seaweed-in-skincare

First, let’s get started on what kind of seaweed there are and what is available in stores and online. I will list all the minerals, vitamins and proteins seaweed contains.

By way of exception, I would also like to mention here the use of seaweed as a food. This is not a food blog and I am not about to create one. However, seaweeds are comparable to dietary supplements. If you really want to improve skin, nail and hair nutrition, you should definitely prepare seaweed dishes from time to time. Seaweed does not need to be used much. You can, for example, use it like spice in dishes.

Why seaweed is so superior?

Seaweed is rich in important minerals. Their mineral content is significantly higher than many land plants. Seaweed contains valuable proteins and vitamin B-12, which are very valuable for vegans. Many people currently have iodine deficiency. Using seaweed can effectively improve iodine intake. Seaweed in skincare is so superior.

There are huge quantities of seaweed

A whole new world awaits you under the sea surface. Seaweeds are underwater vegetables and herbs. They are in the sea just as the dry land has different herbs and other plants. Some of the well-known seaweeds are generally on the market because they have been used as food in Asia.

Seaweeds used in cosmetics include, for example, seaweeds from the Laminaria group. The seaweed of the Laminaria group is large and leather-like seaweed. They are used to moisture in the skin, as well as to make the skin glow and beautiful. Seaweed can also help to improve the skin’s blood circulation and eliminate cellulite.

Find out what seaweed exist and what you can use for everything

I’ve listed below the best-known seaweeds. You can use all these seaweed in skincare. It is easier to use seaweed which are commonly available. Of course, all commonly known seaweed can be ordered online. If you do not find them in local online stores you will get them from abroad.

Edible seaweed

seaweed-in-skincare

I added some tips how to use seaweed in cooking. When used as food, seaweed is incredibly rich in minerals and vitamins. Edible seaweed can also be used for skin- and haircare.

Nori

Everyone knows the Nori seaweed

Nori is used as food, more specifically in sushi and rice balls. Nori is perhaps the most common commercially exploited seaweed in the world. You can find nor seaweed easily.

Wakame

Wakame is well known because of miso-soups in Japanese restaurants. It has a mild taste and it is easy to use. Wakame is extremely high in iodine. Even so much that its use should be restricted. You can add dried wakame for example, to bread or soups.

In skincare, Wakame is one of the best. Unlike many other seaweeds, it is easy to obtain. Wakame is also very easy to use. You can just grind it into masks or make it a herbal infusion.

Wakame seaweed

Kombu

Kombu seaweed is a very strong seaweed. It is used by the Japanese in cooking to facilitate digestion. Kombu seaweed gives Japanese vegetarian food a great umami flavor. Kombu seaweed is not eaten as such but is made into a tasty broth by soaking seaweed in water. Kombu should not be cooked, as it will become bitter and slimy.

Cosmetics manufacturers like Lush is using kombu. Lush appreciates the cleansing and soothing properties of the kombu. For home cosmetics, I recommend a Kombu bath.

Dulse (Palmaria palmata)

seaweed-in-skincare

Dulse seaweed is dark reddish, like dried beets. Use dulce in chopped salad dressings or as a popcorn spice. Dulse sprinkled on top of eggs is also delicious. Dulse has been a snack food for fishermen in the English and Irish seas. It is rich in minerals and can be eaten without cooking. Fishermen use dulse especially in egg dishes but also in meat dishes. Dulse can also be used to make delicious chocolate.

Nutritional values ​​/ 100g

• Additionally, dulse seaweed contains vitamins A and C, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, zinc, selenium and iodine

Dulse helps soothe the skin and treat skin inflammations such as eczema and acne.

Arame

Arame is very dark, almost black seaweed. Despite its color, Arame is perhaps the most mildly tasting seaweed. Dried it looks like loose black tea leaf. Use soaked, boiled Arame as a salad. Season with, for example, thyme strips, vinegar and a drop of sesame oil.

Arame is recommended for skin detox masks. Arame effectively removes impurities from the skin. It also moisturizes and brightens the skin.

The arame is sold dried as usually all seaweed. It is a good idea to rinse it before use and then soak it in cold water.

Seaweed suitable for the skin

Ascophyllum nodosum

Ascophyllum nodosum, also known as Norwegian Kelp is a very long-lived brown seaweed that is found in the North Atlantic. The Norwegian Kelp can live up to 400 years. Norwegian Kelp is used in skincare products and supplements. Norwegian Kelp helps improve skin color. It makes the skin ball and beautiful. Also in sun products, Norwegian Kelp is used to smooth out the color of the tan. Especially if your skin is sunburned or reddened otherwise it is a great help.

Norwegian Kelp is a highly nutritious seaweed. Its specialty is that it contains 70 different growth hormones. The growth hormone of Norwegian Kelp in agriculture helps the plants repair their own damages. Therefore, Norwegian Kelp is a very popular addition in fertilizers.

Thanks to its high amino acid content, seaweed is an effective anti-aging product. Seaweed amino acids help the skin to bulge and smooth out fine lines.

Rainbow seaweed, Iridaea Cordata

The surface of the rainbow seaweed shines wet in different colors of the rainbow. That gives the name. Rainbow seaweed contains high amounts of proteins, iodine, zinc, iron, vitamins A, E, and C, as well as vitamin B1, sodium, calcium and magnesium.

Rainbow seaweed is the best seaweed for seaweed baths. Its minerals and vitamins nourish the skin as they are able to dissolve in bath water. Rainbow seaweed is very effective moisturizer for the skin.

You can also add powdered rainbow seaweed to facial masks, moisturizers and serums. In facial masks, the dosage is pretty much free. For products to be left on the skin, I recommend a dosage of up to 5%.

The bladder wrack or Fucus Evanescens

seaweed-in-skincare

Bladder wrack growing on the beach, underwater cliffs is a popular skincare product. The bladder wrack lives in tidal areas, so it is part of the time on completely dry land before being submerged again. The bladder wrack is huge in size. It is a very common seaweed. Bladder wrack has been used extensively in herbal medicine. It was once the only hope for tuberculosis in some areas.

The bladder wrack is an edible seaweed. It is commonly used to thicken soups.

Bladder wrack is high in iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium, lysine, antioxidants, vitamins such as A, C, E, and K. It also contains substances such as algin, mannitol, mucus and fucoidan. Due to the huge variety of different active ingredients, bladder wrack has become everyone’s favorite.

The bladder wrack is super moisturizing to the skin. It treats irritated skin and balances skin color. Flucoidan is one of the most effective ingredients in the fight against redness of the skin. The bladder wrack contains this compound.

The bladder wrack also removes toxins from the skin. You can combine bladder wrack with various clays or peat for an effective detox mask.

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, bladder wrack can be used for sunburns and for the treatment of insect stings.

Irish Moss aka Chondrus Crispus

Irish Moss is a seaweed that everyone has eaten unknowingly. It is the source of the food additive E 407, or carrageenan. Carrageenan is used in foods starting from whipped cream and other liquid products. It is a thickener that has no nutritional value. It passes through the body without being absorbed. Carrageenan is generally well tolerated. It can also be used as a thickener in cosmetic products.

Because carrageenan is herbal, it also works as a cosmetic thickener for vegans.

Here was a pretty quick cross-section of seaweeds that you can use in DIY- cosmetics and also add to natural cosmetics products. Seaweed in skincare is easy to use.

Seaweed has been very dear to me for years. That’s why I wanted to tell you about them. Seaweed in skincare are superior.

Thank you for being involved and reading about the wonderful features of seaweed. I really hope you try them out in some form.

Have you already tried seaweed? Which seaweed did you choose and how did it go?

Please, tell me about your experiences!

The moisturizing night cream for the winter skin is easily completed by half-products. This recipe works like a face mask. However, you may want to spread it only a thin layer on your skin. Then it acts like a night cream. You can use as neutral facial cream as you want for this night cream. As neutral as possible means, in this case, a very mild perfumed, without sun protection and with minimal other active substances. This gives you a powerful, moisturizing and gentle Treatment overnight. In the morning, the skin feels really moisturized and reformed.

I’m an oil freak. I think oils are a very essential part of cosmetics. You should carefully focus on choosing the right oil. There is own oil for every situation and every skin. This recipe has sunflower oil which is suitable for most skin types, a fact I already mentioned in my blog. Rice bran oil is very good for dry skin and aging skin as well. Where to get it – online stores are the best source.

The facial creams I make usually myself. I am so used prepare my own home cosmetics that buying a regular cream from the store would make me feel uncomfortable. However, I do buy more complex natural cosmetic products from reliable manufacturers and suppliers. But the day cream and basic cream are very simple in structure. I am minimalist in many respects. I want simple and only necessary ingredients containing products. We can always tune-up a simple, basic cream as we are now doing for this super-moisturizing cream.

Mix ratio for super moisturizing night cream

 

This cream mixture can be well prepared for a week’s need and stored in a refrigerator. I would say it would last at room temperature at least a week.

Glycerite with fresh cucumbers

 

I am really excited about these glycerites. I have personally tried many versions, including probiotic glycerites. They will refresh quickly tired skin.  Especially in the winter there is a real need to get skin moisturized, when the surface layer of the skin begins to suffer dryness.

Everyone knows the very traditional cucumber mask; Thin cucumber slices are applied to the skin for half an hour. Very good and effective mask for the face. The cucumber is perceived as gentle and soothing in facial treatments. Now, however, we will tune up a little bit of our cucumber to even more moisturizing and it will become a glycerite.

Glycerites are usually made by herbs extraction. These glycerites are used for creams and salves. Highly effective glycerites can be made quickly out of fresh plats containing lots of water. There should be plenty of water in plants as glycerol should be diluted at least half of the volume. 10 ml of glycerol and 10 ml or more fluid is the right ratio. There is 98% water in cucumber, so it can be defined as liquid.

You can inspire yourself by creating fresher glycerites from juicy vegetables, fruits and berries. Naturally, when dealing with fruit and berries alpha-hydroxy acids should be remembered. They can be too powerful for the skin.  I myself do prefer only low- or no acid plants Like

You do not necessarily need gelatin at all of these ingredients unless you add liquid to them. You can also make mixtures of different fruits and vegetables.

The only real challenge is how to keep moisturizing glycerite mask on the face. The paper disposable mask helps a lot. You can just irrigate the mask in the mixture and spread it on your face. If you don’t have a paper mask you should make the mass thicker. There are many options what to add. Here are three of them.

I prefer gelatin because it contains collagen. Collagen is a skin building material and very good in the masks. Vegans for sure know that gelatin is made out of pig skin. Last two options are suitable for vegans. The gelatin can be prepared from the plates or powder according to the instructions in the package. I myself have added a bit more gelatin than what is mentioned in the instructions.

Option 1 Gelatin powder

You need

How to do

Option 2 Agar-agar powder

Agar-agar is seaweed and suitable for vegans. It is also used in marmalade so the product is very safe.

Follow previous instructions but replace gelatin with ¼-½ teaspoonful of agar-agar powder.  Agar-agar can be either powder or flakes. They are gelatinous in different ways. Check the packaging for the correct dosage if necessary.

Option 3 Glucomannan powder

Glucomannan is the same plant from which lovely Japanese Konyak mushrooms are produced. The powder is usually used for weight control because it swells in the stomach, causing a feeling of fullness. The Glucomanane is sold in the shops selling sports nutrients as well as in the health food stores. The packaging sizes are at least hundreds of grams, but the product is inexpensive.  The Japanese use the Glucomannan mainly Intestinal well-being. It works like a prebiotic helping the growth of intestinal flora. It also has other health effects. The substance is therefore very safe to use.

Please add the Glucomannan carefully because It swells slowly in the liquid, so pay attention. These quantities are very small in such a small portion. Teaspoon is far too big as a measure.

 

These instructions are very simple and current. Worth of trying! Do you have your own tips for restoring winter dry skin?

fiSuomi