Chrysanthemums are old and valued Chinese herbs. Chrysanthemum was used as a tea and healing herb already a thousand years ago. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), chrysanthemums were highly valued. Chrysanthemum leaves and shoots were used in salads and steamed as an addition to gourmet meals.

Chrysanthemums are known as long lasting autumn flowers. We are not used to using chrysanthemums for nutrition. Please remember that no decoration plants can be used for food or skin care. Chrysanthemums bought from florist cannot be used in cosmetics. If you want to try chrysanthemums in cosmetics, get dried chrysanthemum flowers for tea. Chrysanthemum tea is very delicious and healthy. You can also use the same tea versatilely in skin care. Let’s see what a wonderful herb chrysanthemum really is.

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Photo by Rens D on Unsplash

The chrysanthemum family is extensive

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum) belong to the family of aster plants. Asters are a very large family of plants, which includes more than 1,600 plant genera. The same tribe includes different types of daisies and the familiar chamomile. The name chrysanthemum comes from the Greek language and means golden flower.

Chrysanthemum flowers come in many colours. White, yellow and lilac flowers are the most common of them. The world’s finest chrysanthemums, snow chrysanthemums grow wild high in the mountains of China, in Xinjiang. Snow chrysanthemums are extremely rare. They produce few flowers that bloom for a very short time. That is why snow chrysanthemums are the most valuable of all chrysanthemums. Snow chrysanthemum flowers are used to make tea.

Some chrysanthemum varieties are used to make the insecticide pyrethrin. Insects avoid chrysanthemum scent.

How does chrysanthemum infusion affect your health?

Chrysanthemum infusion is drunk in China and other parts of Asia not only because of its wonderful taste, but also because of its healthiness. Chrysanthemum infusion is even healthier than green tea. It has a lot of different minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Helenatur is not really a health blog, but I still want to tell you about the health effects of chrysanthemum infusion. This way you will better understand the wonderful properties of this plant.

Chrysanthemum infusion is particularly relaxing

According to Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum is a cooling plant. Cold chrysanthemum tea with ice cubes is a drink on a hot day. The cooling feature is also relaxing. Chrysanthemum infusion contains a lot of potassium. Potassium dilates the blood vessels and makes the blood flow more gently also along the small blood vessels under the skin.

Chrysanthemum infusion boosts immunity

Chrysanthemum decoction contains plenty of vitamin A and C, which improve immunity. The high mineral content of the infusion also boosts the immune system. Potassium, calcium and magnesium work in their own way to support the immune system. Every cell in the human body needs potassium to function the way the cell is supposed to function. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure. It is an important part of many body processes.

Chrysanthemum tea contains plenty of vitamin B

The group of vitamin B is big. Chrysanthemum decoction contains many of them such as folic acid, riboflavin, choline and niacin.

The benefits of chrysanthemum infusion in skin care

Chrysanthemum is a real treasure for your skin. As I already mentioned above, chrysanthemum is a cool type of herb. The cool herb is soothing. Excessive heat correlates with inflammation. You should take advantage of this characteristic of chrysanthemum if you want to use it in cosmetics.

Chrysanthemum contains a lot of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, which is very safe and beneficial for your skin. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps you keep your skin looking youthful.

Chrysanthemum infusion in hair care

Chrysanthemum zawadskii is a chrysanthemum species that has been found in some studies to have properties that affect hair growth. An extract made from this particular chrysanthemum has successfully treated hair loss and stimulated hair growth.

Chrysanthemum extract has been found to have a revitalizing effect on hair follicles. Sleeping hair follicles also come to life with the chrysanthemum treatment. This is how thin hair starts to thicken.

Even ordinary chrysanthemum can help with hair and scalp care. In hair care, use chrysanthemum decoction as a hair conditioner. After washing, rinse your hair with chrysanthemum water and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse your hair lightly with just water and let it dry on its own. Chrysanthemum water soothes the scalp and makes the hair soft and bending. The chrysanthemum rinse also soothes a flaky scalp.

You can also use herbal oil made from chrysanthemum to treat the scalp. Wash the scalp and hair carefully. Use your fingertips to apply about a tablespoon of chrysanthemum herbal oil to the scalp and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Wash your hair and scalp as usual with shampoo.

This is how you prepare chrysanthemum infusion

Chrysanthemum flowers can also be extracted into water. A herbal infusion made of chrysanthemum is suitable for facial lotions, steaming the skin or as a hair rinse. You can also use herbal infusion in the water phase of emulsion creams. As a base for washing products, an astringent and skin-soothing chrysanthemum infusion is ideal.

You can make chrysanthemum infusion from dried chrysanthemum flowers. All you need is 5 dried chrysanthemum flowers and 3.5 decilitres of boiling water. Pour boiling water over the flowers and let them brew for about 3-5 minutes. Strain the flowers from the tea and your perfect infusion is ready.

Herbal oil made from chrysanthemum soothes your skin

In addition to herbal infusion, you can extract chrysanthemum flowers into the vegetable oil of your choice. A suitable oil for extracting chrysanthemum flowers could be, for example, filtered grape seed oil or safflower oil. These two oils are light and support the effect of chrysanthemum on the skin.

When I talk about chrysanthemum oil, I don’t mean chrysanthemum essential oil, but vegetable oil-based herbal oil. These two things should not be confused. Herbal oil made by extracting chrysanthemum flowers and base oil is a really effective cosmetic product just as it is.

Oil extract made from chrysanthemum has traditionally been used for oily skin. It is an astringent oil that shrinks pores and brightens and evens skin tone. Chrysanthemum oil removes irritation and helps reduce inflammation and acne.

Chrysanthemum oil is full of polyphenols such as quercetin, luteolin, apigenin. These antioxidants help your skin fight the signs of aging. You can also use chrysanthemum oil on its own for the sensitive skin around the eyes. The beta-carotene in the oil helps regenerate cells and remove waste products from the skin.

The anti-inflammatory properties of chrysanthemum oil soothe the skin and remove swelling. The oil can also be used for burns and after sunbathing to soothe the skin.

This is how to make herbal oil from chrysanthemum flowers

Using Chrysanthemum oil is one popular way to use this herb in cosmetics. Prepare herbal oil from dried chrysanthemum flowers according to my basic instructions. Chrysanthemum oil is well suited for the preparation of creams and serums. You can also use chrysanthemum oil as it is, either in skin care or on the scalp.

Chrysanthemum is a phototoxic plant

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Photo by Anna Evans on Unsplash

The chrysanthemum also has its unpleasant side effects. If you are exposed to UV light at the same time as using chrysanthemum cosmetics, your skin may develop a rash or even blisters. This is called a phototoxic reaction. Some plants have a tendency to react with sunlight. So, use chrysanthemum only in night creams and serums used only during night time.

You can be allergic to chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemums belong to mycorrhizal plants, which are known to cause allergies. However, you should not worry about this unless you are really sensitized to composite plants. Chrysanthemums are such effective and useful plants in skin care that you really should pay attention to them. If you are concerned about allergies, you can easily do an exposure test yourself with chrysanthemums.

Cocoa was originally a rainforest plant that is now widely cultivated. Cocoa is originated in South America but is currently farmed mostly in Africa. Cocoa only thrives in the tropical areas as it needs plenty of warmth and moisture. For sure anyone who has made homemade cosmetics is familiar with cocoa butter. The smell of cocoa butter is wonderful, like chocolate and it has many good skin care properties. I wanted to write my own article about cocoa butter and also raise ethical and ecological concerns related to cocoa.

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Kaakaopavut paahdetaan ennen puristamista

A brief history of cocoa

Cocoa was probably used originally by the Aztecs. It was especially the delicacy of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma (1466-1520). Emperor Moctezuma drank as many as 60 golden cups of cocoa daily. From the Aztecs, cocoa ended up in Europe with the Spanish conquerors. During the colonial period, cocoa ended up in European-hosted colonies such as the West Indies archipelago, the Philippines, and Africa. Currently, the largest cocoa plantations in the world are in Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast, together with Ghana, produces more than 70% of the world’s cocoa.

Cocoa production

Cocoa trees produce elongated, yellow fruit that contains very fatty seeds. The fat content varies between 37-54%. The seeds are used in the production of both cocoa butter and cocoa powder. The cultivation and processing of cocoa is mainly done by hands. Yellow legumes are cut open with a jungle knife. The seeds, or cocoa beans, are separated from the opened pieces. Cocoa beans are fermented, dried and roasted. In the roasting process, the cocoa fat is separated from the cocoa beans by heat. Roasting takes place usually in buyers location, closer to consumers like in Europe.

What is raw cocoa butter?

Raw cocoa butter is not heated as hot as regular cocoa butter. Therefore, it has more nutrients stored. Raw cocoa butter is also more expensive because at lower temperatures, very little cocoa butter is produced. In Finland, the term raw cocoa is not used, as it may mislead the consumer. Raw cocoa means different things in different countries.

Ethical problems of cocoa

Cocoa is grown where it is warm and moist enough. Ivory Coast is one of the most popular cocoa growing areas. Cocoa plantations and monopoly buying organizations are almost always owned by a large, multinational company. They want to maximize their profits and relocate cocoa production to the world’s poorest countries. Where labour is cheap, it is worth cultivating cocoa. The price of cocoa is very low at the origin because big business wants their profits.

The fact is that cocoa plantations employ a very large number of children. Children are either forced to work at the request of adults or they are sold into slavery. The work is very dangerous. The heat makes the job extremely heavy. Cocoa cultivation also uses very potent pesticides to which children and all other workers are exposed.

Children do not receive education and do not have health care. The situation of children with cocoa plantations is very difficult.

Cocoa certification

International organizations have paid attention to the ethical problems of cocoa plantations. Cocoa production has started to be certified but the certification bodies have encountered overwhelming problems.

Local authorities have blocked free access to cocoa plantations. The visits of the inspectors of the certification bodies are known in advance and the children are removed away the plantation.

Certification bodies are also lowering standards to get more customers. Not all certificates are reliable.

The cocoa crop is collected from different farms and sold to wholesalers. The certified and non-certified crop is intentionally mixed so that the wholesaler can sell everything at a certified price. This is, of course, a criminal activity but very common.

Certification does not improve the situation of farmers. Cocoa is still too cheap to workers earn a decent wage. Certified farms live in poverty. Even if big cocoa buyers pay compensation to farmers, the money doesn’t end up in their pockets. The money is used in municipal administration, for example, to train farmers.

Cocoa butter protects and moisturizes the skin

Despite the ethical problems of cocoa production, it is a very versatile plant. Cocoa butter has its place as an ingredient in cosmetics. Next, I’ll give some facts about the properties of cocoa in skin care.

Cocoa butter is high in hard fatty acids such as palmitic acid and stearic acid. Therefore, it is quite hard fat. The good side of cocoa butter is that its melting point is almost the same as the skin temperature,  34-35 degrees Celsius. Therefore, even full-bodied cocoa butter products spread well on the skin.

For which products is cocoa butter suitable?

Cocoa butter is suitable for normal and dry skin. For oily and easily clogged skin, you should choose another vegetable butter. Cocoa butter is too heavy on the skin of the face. So, use cocoa butter for body products. Especially whipped body butters and other creams applied to the body are easy to make using cocoa butter.

Cocoa butter is much harder than shea butter. It is good to know when making cosmetics.

Cocoa butter is well suited for preventing pigmentation disorders on the skin. As the sun shines in the spring, more and more dark spots begin to form on the skin of the arms and chest. The effective antioxidants in cocoa butter brighten the skin and fade darkening of the skin.

Choose cocoa butter as one of the ingredients in the foot cream. Cocoa butter is also very useful in lip creams and lip balms.

With the help of cocoa butter, many women have avoided pregnancy scars. Cocoa butter can be applied as such to the skin or used as one of the ingredients in the cream. It is best to use cocoa butter on the body regularly throughout pregnancy as well as after pregnancy.

Get organic, ethically produced cocoa butter

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Cocoa butter is a great product for skin care. It should not be left unused. When you buy cocoa butter, buy organic quality. Toxic pesticides have not been used in organic cocoa butter. However, organic does not necessarily guarantee that the product is ethical.

Check the ethics of the product with the seller. For example, Foodin’s organic raw cocoa butter is ethically produced. Foodini’s cocoa butter producers are SPP (Símbolo de Pequeños Productores) certified. SPP is an international network of small organic producers. The organization operates in South America, Asia and Africa. Foodin’s cocoa butter comes from farms in South America that are part of the SPP network. SPP certified farms are also always organic farms and farms have an organic certificate.

SPP certified producers operate ethically. The use of child labour is closely monitored by the SPP organization. The SPP organization also makes sure that producers and employees receive reasonable compensation for their work. Community children are provided with access to schools and health care.

Do you use sustainably produced cocoa butter in the making of your cosmetics?

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.

Vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, is already a legend in homemade cosmetics. Apple cider vinegar is a multi-purpose product that is effective in everything you can think of. So many people love apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can be found in every home and is considered to be a fairly safe product for the skin as well. However, the scent of vinegar does not please everyone and therefore many people are looking for alternative product to vinegar.

I started to examine easy and natural alternatives to cosmetic acids. Surprisingly, I found plenty of natural and acidic raw materials suitable for cosmetics. This time I’m going to tell you about an incredibly antioxidant-rich hibiscus.

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Hibiscus is used to make a delicious drink called roselle.

Acidic ingredients are part of skin care

The skin’s natural acidity, known as pH -value, is acidic. Normally, the pH of the skin is between 5 and 6. If the skin is strained with soap or some other very alkaline ingredients, such as clay or baking soda, the skin may be irritated. It is then necessary to restore the skin’s pH back to normal. The easiest way to treat it is with home-made cider vinegar.

In commercially made cosmetics, other acids are used instead of apple cider vinegar. Vinegar gives the product a strong scent that many do not like at all. That is why the cosmetics industry uses highly processed cosmetic acids in their products. The most popular acids in skin care are fruit acids. Fruit acids, or alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), are all plant-derived acids.

In industrial cosmetics, fruit-derived acids are used in purified and processed form. The same acids are available in online stores that sell ingredients for homemade cosmetics.

However, the use of cosmetic acids requires quite good skills and equipment. You need a good quality pH meter to ensure the safety of your product as well as information on the use of acids on the skin. Especially for beginners, the use of cosmetic acids can be very challenging.

Hibiscus aka Roselle brew is a safe alternative to homemade cosmetics.

Hibiscus, China rose or Roselle is a natural plant living in the Far East, which is imported to Europa as a houseplant. The INCI name of the hibiscus is Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract.

Hibiscus belongs to the mallow plants such as the marshmallow. Hibiscus has stunning, large, purple flowers. Flowers are by no means used for hibiscus infusion, but flower calyxes or flower bases. All hibiscus does not produce bright red flower bases. So, you should buy dried hibiscus from an herbalist or ethnic stores.

Hibiscus is used as an infusion in cosmetics. The dried flower beds are boiled in water for a while so that the plant releases its active ingredients. Hibiscus calyxes are very intensely red and sour. Hibiscus calyxes are rich in malic acid, an alpha-hydroxide acid (AHA). The pH of the hibiscus infusion depends on the strength of the infusion. The finished infusion can and usually should be diluted to get suitable pH.

The benefits of hibiscus in skincare

Hibiscus is very sour plant

Acids play an important role in cosmetics. Acids balance the pH of the skin. The acidity of the product can also affect the performance of preservatives and emulsifiers. Hibiscus broth of normal strength has the same acidity as apple cider vinegar. I recommend using pH strips to determine acidity. They give a sufficiently accurate result to determine the pH -value.

Hibiscus is a natural alternative to Botox

Botox is familiar to many, at least as a concept. The idea of Botox injections is to fade out facial imperfections and aging-related phenomena such as wrinkles. Taking Botox injections is not a very safe method although it is very effective. Why is hibiscus called a Botox plant? Hibiscus is a very effective herb to prevent the signs of skin aging. It has the ability to tighten up your skin and make the connective tissues firmer. Hibiscus is one of the most popular non-surgical products against skin aging. Of course, you can’t stop aging, but you can control the signs. Hibiscus is a very effective herb in controlling skin aging.

Hibiscus is rich in antioxidants.

The most important antioxidant in hibiscus is anthocyanins, the same antioxidants as in our super-healthy forest blueberries. Anthocyanins are particularly strong antioxidants that help fight free radicals that age the skin. Free radicals make the skin look lifeless, grey and tired. Anthocyanins also shrink pores, making the skin smoother. The astringent effect is, of course, only momentary.

Hibiscus is a moisturizing ingredient

Because hibiscus is a mallow plant, it is also very moisturizing. All mallows have moisturizing properties. That’s why you should try hibiscus toner for dry, tired and stressed skin. Hibiscus gives your face more moisture and a youthful glow.

Hibiscus contains a cleansing saponin.

Saponins are natural surfactants that deeply cleanse your skin. The saponins and malic acid in hibiscus work together to remove dead skin cells. Therefore, hibiscus is also particularly suitable for skin cleansing products such as shampoos and cleansers. Some people have also used hibiscus-infused oil in soap making. Hibiscus gives the soap a beautiful colour.

What can hibiscus infusion be used for?

Hibiscus is used as an infusion in homemade cosmetics. The active ingredients in hibiscus are water soluble   when dried flower calyxes are boiled.

Hibiscus is especially suitable for acid rinsing of dark hair. It slightly emphasizes the cold redness of the hair and at the same time gives a wonderful shine. For blond hair, I do not recommend hibiscus as it changes the colour of the hair. If you want to use hibiscus infusion for skin and hair care, the appropriate acidity is 5.5-7. Do not use too acidic hair rinse as it will dry your hair.

Also use hibiscus for toners and as an aqueous phase for lotions. Hibiscus is highly antioxidant and thus slows down the skin aging process. Measure the pH with appropriate acidity strips.

Hibiscus broth has a beautiful deep red colour. It is also used as a dye. If you want beautiful, reddish toner, try hibiscus.

Prepare a moisturizing, antioxidant-containing hibiscus spray this way

Hibiscus broth is suitable, for example, for hair rinses and lotions

You can use the diluted hibiscus infusion as a hair rinse. The acidity of the infusion is almost the same level as that of wine- or apple cider vinegar. Therefore, always dilute the broth before use. A suitable dosage for a hair rinse is 1 decilitre hibiscus broth and 1 litre of water. If necessary, measure the acidity with pH strips. The right acidity depends on your hair. For oily, thick hair, you can use a more acidic rinse. For thin, dry and brittle hair, an almost neutral rinse is enough. The hair rinse does not have to be very acidic to work. Slightly less than 7 is often quite appropriate acidity.

Diluted hibiscus broth is excellent for toners. It is just the right moisturizer to use under an anhydrous cream. A suitable acidity for toner is pH 5.5. Therefore, dilute the hibiscus broth with water or another neutral liquid suitable for toner. You can combine your favourite hydrolats with the hibiscus in your toner. A small amount of allantoin is also suitable for toner. Remember that aqueous toner always needs a reliable preservative. If the product contains water, it will only be preserved for a few days. Even then, it should be stored in the refrigerator.

Hibiscus is an easy and versatile cosmetic ingredient

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Hibiscus flower beds can be bought dried

Hibiscus is a tropical herb that is well suited for us living up North as well. Hibiscus has so many benefits in skin and hair care that it is definitely worth trying. That’s why I recommend you try if hibiscus works on your own skin. In the past, tea bags were sold under the name “rose hip”. They were by no means a drink made from rosehip but 100% hibiscus. I would think there are still hibiscus tea bags for sale. So, it is worth asking hibiscus health food stores.

Have you already tried hibiscus in cosmetics?

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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.

There are plenty of dandelions now everywhere. Dandelions are popular wild vegetables that are eagerly picked for salads and other dishes. But have you ever prepared any cosmetic products from them? Dandelion is a very unique herb that is worth trying for skin care. It has unique properties not many plants have. From dandelions you can easily get suitable products for your own skin. The excellent skin-care properties of dandelion could give inspiration to write several articles about it. Continue reading so you know more about the dandelion healing and skin pampering ingredients.

Dandelion (Taraxacum) is a group of plants

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Dandelion oil can also be made from fresh blooms

There are about 500 species of dandelions in Finland. They are all their own plants that belong to the dandelions. The average person walking in the nature hardly notices any difference between different dandelions. Professionals also have difficulties to separate dandelion species. I have noticed that Dandelions having round-shape leaves are milder. Those dandelions with serrated leaves taste bitter. They contain more bitter substances, the tannins.

There is research data available on the skin-protecting effects of dandelion

Dandelion has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. It has been found to help with many ailments. In folk medicine, dandelion root is the most valued part of the plant. In skin care, the root is not so relevant.

Dandelion has also been studied scientifically. Dandelions have been found to contain effects that support the well-being of skin. The researchers tested dandelion flower and leaf extracts. Dandelion was found to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. If the dandelion extract is used immediately before and immediately after exposure to the sun, the extract acts to protect the skin.

The researchers also found ingredients in the dandelion extract that protect the skin from aging. Also in this extract, the researchers used leaf and flower extract specifically. Many wild herbs contain antioxidants that protect the skin from aging. However, many wild herbs have not been scientifically studied as thoroughly as dandelions. After reading all the good qualities of dandelion, you will surely wonder why they are called weeds.

Dandelion is a plant with a special mineral content

Many plants contain a lot of acids. The most important acid in dandelion is ascorbic acid, the vitamin C. Vitamin C is a particularly important antioxidant for the skin. I have already written about it here.

The other important caring ingredients in dandelion are minerals. The dandelion is so full of minerals that it is alkaline in nature and not acidic like most plants. Dandelion is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. All of these trace elements are especially valuable in skin care.

Dandelion sap is antimicrobial

You must have sometimes cut off the stem of a dandelion and drained white sap from it. This liquid is a particularly antimicrobial agent. Dandelion sap is very alkaline, it has a high pH value.

The sap has been used in traditional medicine in ancient times to treat wounds and skin lesions. When I was a child, dandelion sap was also used to treat warts.

Dandelion is suitable for the treatment of eczema

High alkaline content helps treat inflammatory skin conditions such as itchy eczema. Dandelion has been used successfully in the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases for hundreds of years. As an eczema patient myself, I know that there are only really few itch-relieving agents available. Dandelion is one of them precisely because of its alkalinity. Eczema patients sometimes add plenty of baking soda to the base cream to make its pH higher. If the pH of the cream is high, the itching will disappear. Dandelion has naturally high pH value. That’s why it’s really well suited for itch-relieving creams.

If you want to make an itch-relieving cream, you should use all the above-ground parts of the dandelion, including the stems. The stems are the most alkaline parts precisely because of the sap.

Dandelion is a cleansing and skin brightening herb

The properties of dandelion include its ability to cleanse the body. Internally, it increases fluid secretion and cleanses the liver. When used externally, dandelion cleanses the skin of toxic substances. Because dandelion is alkaline, it works like other alkaline substances,  it pulls substances away from the skin. That is why dandelion should be used for cleansing masks.

Dandelion prevents the signs of aging

Because dandelion is so rich in vitamin C, it is very effective in preventing aging. Vitamin C regenerates skin cells and accelerates the production of collagen and elastane. Collagen and elastane are just the elements under the skin that make our faces look younger. Vitamin C also fades dark spots on the skin and brightens the skin.

You should collect dandelions right now

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The color of dandelion oil is beautiful. Dandelion oil also smells wonderful.

Right now, is the time when you should start collecting ingredients for all dandelion products you will use in fall and winter. You can order ready-made dried dandelion roots online, but I have never found dried dandelion flowers or stems for sale. They must be collected from nature by ourselves. The best parts of the dandelion for the skin are the flowers and stems.

You can make an oil extract from dandelion flowers. Use either fresh or dried dandelions, Dandelion flowers need to be dried quickly, otherwise they will become fluffy balls. The beautiful yellow colour will only be preserved if you have an efficient dryer and dry a small amount at a time. I myself have prepared dandelion oil using fresh dandelion only, just because of the difficulty of drying.

If you don’t remember how herbal oils were made, take a look here. If you want to make dandelion oil in a slow method, use only dried dandelions.

And now let’s hurry up to collect dandelions and make herbal oil. Next week, I’ll tell you how to make great products for skin care using dandelion oil.

Have you used dandelions in skin care?

Caffeine is a quite familiar substance to most of us. We are used to consume caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola drinks. Caffeine is also quite common in many cosmetic products. The popularity of caffeine in cosmetics is growing. It is an incredibly versatile ingredient. You can find caffeine in lotions and eye creams. What exactly does caffeine do in cosmetic products.? That is what we are going to find out now.

Caffeine is a naturally occurring plant chemical

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Kuva Alexandra ❤️A life without animals is not worth living❤️ Pixabay

Caffeine is found in many different plants. However, large amounts of caffeine are found in only a few plants; tea bush, coffee, cola bush and cocoa beans. Caffeine in plants is highly soluble in water. The most typical way to take advantage of the cheery effect of caffeine is to make beverages from the aforementioned plants.

Pure caffeine is also produced synthetically. Synthetic caffeine is made using malonic acid and dimethyl urea.

Pure caffeine is often a by-product of industry

Commercial caffeine is rarely chemically produced. In general, pure caffeine is obtained as a by-product of the industrial process of decaffeinated products. The pure caffeine obtained is used in the soft drink industry and to caffeine tablets.

How is pure caffeine extracted?

When using caffeine products, it is worth paying attention to how pure caffeine is extracted. Caffeine is usually removed from coffee beans by extraction into water using various chemicals. Extraction can also take place using chemicals alone. Chemicals used in process are not very safe. Some of them are even carcinogenic.

Supercritical carbon dioxide can also be used to remove caffeine from coffee beans. In this method, carbon dioxide is maintained at a certain temperature and pressure to extract caffeine. The supercritical carbon dioxide method is the safest and least toxic extraction method for caffeine.

There are other methods for extracting caffeine from coffee beans. These include, for example, extraction with organic solvents or triglyceride oils.

Is regular coffee safe as a raw material for cosmetics?

The most popular way to use caffeine in homemade cosmetics is simply to make coffee. The caffeine extracted from the organic coffee powder using hot water is non-toxic. However, coffee contains plenty of other plant chemicals that can irritate the skin. So, it is better to test the effect of coffee on the skin.

You’ve certainly come across popular coffee scrub guidelines. In them, ground coffee is mixed with an oil and used to exfoliate the skin.

Coffee scrubs may not be very skin-friendly. Ground coffee is very coarse. It is not suitable for sensitive skin at all. Coffee scrub can damage the skin. If you want to try a coffee scrub, use it only on your body. Use only very finely ground coffee. Rub the skin very gently to avoid scratches on your skin.

Have you tried green coffee extract?

Coffee beans are also available unroasted. The colour of them is green. In addition to caffeine, unroasted coffee beans contain substances that are not present anymore in roasted beans. So, I recommend you to test green coffee instead of roasted black coffee in your products. Green coffee extract is commonly used in industrial cosmetics because of its beneficial effects.

Effects of green coffee extract on the skin

You get these effects by using green coffee extract. The caffeine contained in coffee also has its own effects.

Caffeine is a very versatile ingredient in cosmetics

The popularity of caffeine in cosmetics is growing exponentially. The benefits of caffeine in skin care have been fully understood and caffeine is used in many products.

Caffeine also has a few harmful properties for the skin

When caffeine is used, we must avoid over-use of it. Caffeine has at least two properties that can be harmful to the health of your skin.

Increased redness

Although the external use of caffeine soothes the skin and reduces redness, in some cases it can also cause redness. Redness is suspected to be caused by the skin getting used to caffeine. If the skin does not receive its regular dose of caffeine, it will start to turn red. It’s a pretty exciting thing that the skin can also get hooked on caffeine.

Decreased collagen production

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Kuva Free-Photos Pixabaystä

Caffeine can interfere with collagen production. There are studies on this as well.  One of them is here.

The study finds that caffeine inhibits collagen synthesis on the skin. Collagen is a protein found on the skin. Collagen deficiency is seen on the skin as increasing wrinkles.

Young people with steady collagen production certainly have no worries. For aging skin, I would not recommend caffeinated cosmetics, at least for continuous use. However, the occasional use of caffeine products should not be harmful.

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?

Epsom salt is a familiar ingredient to many of us. It is a commonly used bath salt ingredient. Epsom salt can be used for many other purposes as well. What is Epsom Salt and how can it be utilized in homemade cosmetics?

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Epsom College in Surrey
Photo David Mark Pixabaystä

History of Epsom salt

Epsom salt has its own, interesting history. It is originally a natural product. When its popularity and demand grew started the industrial production as well. The name Epsom comes from the city of Epsom in Surrey, UK. The city of Epsom is the place where Epsom salt was eventually discovered. Magnesium sulphate has since been found in many different locations on Earth.

Epsom salt is not a compound similar to table salt

Epsom salt consists of magnesium, sulphur and oxygen unlike table salt which is almost pure sodium.

Magnesium sulphate is an easily water-soluble substance. It even attracts moisture from the air. Therefore, Epsom salt should be stored in a very dry place.

 Epsom salt is a very safe substance that can be used, for example, as a bath salt. It is also beneficial for plants if the soil happens to be low in magnesium. In addition to magnesium sulphate, Epsom salt is rich in sulphur.

Benefits of Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is mostly magnesium. Magnesium is a trace element that plays a particularly important role in the body. It is involved in more than 300 different biochemical reactions. Magnesium has an effect on the functioning of the heart, musculature and nervous system, just to name few. Magnesium is one of our most important minerals.

Enzymes that regulate DNA repair absolutely do need vital magnesium to function properly

Our DNA repair system also takes care of the youthfulness of the skin and fights wrinkles.

Magnesium baths relax the legs and the whole body

After a magnesium bath, you’ll feel quite sleepy and enjoy a long, sweet sleep.

Magnesium has an effect on the nervous system and at the same time it does relieve stress

Magnesium baths reduce stress and relax the mind.

Magnesium promotes melatonin production

Melatonin is a sleep hormone that regulates when we sleep and for how long.

Magnesium baths may relieve muscle pain

This is purely empirical information for which there is no scientific evidence to back it up. however, it is worth trying to Epsom salt to relieve muscle pain. It works for me so my guess is that the effect is very individual.

The Epsom salt bath improves blood circulation and thus reduces swelling.

Epsom salt naturally contains sulphur

Sulphur has a special anti-inflammatory effect. Sulphur treatments are used in connection with acne and rosacea. That’s why I recommend trying Epsom salt on face masks. In the treatment of rosacea, the skin should never be rubbed. The same rule goes with all inflammatory skin diseases. So just gently rinse Epsom Salt off the skin and pat the skin dry.

Epsom salt has a moisturizing effect on the skin

The salt is easily absorbed into the skin and at the same time it collects moisture around it. Salt baths, especially Epsom salt baths, are a good way to take care of moisturizing the skin.

Absorption of magnesium through the skin

There is very controversial information available about the absorption of magnesium through the skin. It is officially stated that there is no scientific evidence to support this process. However, magnesium-containing creams are used to treat tense muscles consistently with good results.

The absorption of magnesium is very difficult to study

Magnesium levels are measured from the blood. If you eat magnesium as a supplement, the level of magnesium in your blood will increase. That doesn’t mean magnesium is in your muscle yet. When a cream containing magnesium is applied to your skin, magnesium will be absorbed through the skin directly into the muscle and is not visible in the bloodstream. Some people find that magnesium is absorbed even better through the skin. However, the magnesium level in the muscle cannot be studied very reliably. Therefore, we just have to trust our own feelings.

Even if you are unsure about the absorption of magnesium, you can still safely use Epsom salt. It is not harmful at all. If you get help from Epsom salt baths, why don’t you just enjoy them? Perhaps science will sometimes find a way to measure magnesium levels reliably.

Epsom salt baths

Epsom salt is a traditional bath salt. Use about 500 grams of Epsom salt in a normal sized bath tub. Add warm, not hot water in the tub and dissolve the salt. Too hot water dries the skin. Enjoy a relaxing bath for about 15-30 minutes.

You can also make a foot bath from Epsom salt. Measure 1 decilitre of Epsom salt into a bowl of warm water. enjoy a foot bath for about 30 minutes. I actually use a bucket. This allows me to sink my feet deeper in the water.

You can add any dry or fresh herbs, essential oils (5 drops) or even real vanilla to the bath.

Bath salt recipes coming in next update

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Photo Photoholgic on Unsplash

Gloomy autumn and dark winter are good times to pamper yourself. What’s more wonderful than enjoying warm foot baths in the evenings. For those who have a bath tub, I also recommend full body baths.

There will be few good Epsom salt recipes in my next blog post.

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Photo by Christina Deravedisian on Unsplash

The next product in my Artemisia beauty collection is toner. Artemisia vulgaris the mugwort, is a herb that soothes and deeply cleanses the skin. That is why it is also worth making a soothing toner from artemisia. The making of toners is quite easy. If you have dried artemisia in stock, you will make this toner really fast. My toner recipe has several ingredients that complete the effect of the product. It is up to you if you want to use all these ingredients.

To whom artemisia toner suit best?

Artemisia toner soothes the skin and makes the skin look clearer. Artemisia also cleanses the skin. It penetrates deep into the pores, and is also effective on nasty blackheads. I recommend this face lotion especially for impure and greasy skin.

About the preservation of toner

As the name suggests, toners always contain a lot of water. Without preservative, they can only be stored in a refrigerator for a week. This is why many makers of homemade cosmetics have replaced toner with diluted apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar will be preserved in a refrigerator for months. However, sometimes you may want change and try the power of herbs. It is good to vary the toner according to the condition of the skin and the season.

I don’t want to add any preservative to my toner. All preservatives disturb the skin’s own bacterial activity. That’s why I only make toners for a need of a week. I always store toner in the fridge.

The ingredients in Artemisia toner complete each other

Artemisia toner base consists of an herbal infusion that you can make either from fresh or dried herbs. Herb infusions are easy to prepare. You will need 2 teaspoons of dried herbs or one tablespoon of fresh herbs. Pour 2.5 decilitres of boiling hot water over the herbs and let simmer for 10 minutes. The infusion is ready.

Glycerol

Glycerol is often added to facial toners. Glycerol, or glycerine, is a natural component in all oils and fats. Fats always consist of glycerine and various fatty acids. Glycerol is a humectant or moisturizing ingredient. Humectants are substances that love moisture and attract it. However, glycerol should not be added very much to products because of many different reasons. You can read more about glycerol here.

Witch-hazel water

Witch-hazel (hamamelis) water is a hydrosol like rose water or orange blossom water. Witch-hazel water works well in toners as it is a particularly astringent ingredient. Adding hydrosols to toners also improves the shelf life of the product. Instead of essential oils, I prefer to use hydrosols to give nice scent to my own products.

Arginine

Arginine is an ingredient I should write a whole new story about. Arginine is an amino acid used by athletes, and persons suffering from blood circulation problems. In cosmetics, arginine is added to products as a humectant. Arginine also stimulates the production of collagen and elastane. That’s why I often use arginine powder, especially in toners. If you wish, you can also exclude arginine from this product.

Pectin

Pectin is one of my favourite products. Pectin improves the structure of the facial toner and acts as a skin-protecting ingredient. You can buy pectin as a ready-made powder or make it yourself from autumn apples. Preferably use domestic organic apples or non-toxic ones growing on your own yard, the closer the better. If you use self-made pectin, replace some part (10-30%) of the liquid with a pectin solution. More about pectin and instructions for making pectin is here.

If you use ready-made pectin powder, the liquid must be acidic. Pectin is only soluble in acidic liquids. Therefore, citric acid is used in this recipe.

Tip

Add very little pectin to the liquid at a time. Pectin gets lumpy easily and the lumps won’t dissolve by mixing. I myself drop carefully a dust-like layer of pectin powder on top of the liquid and stir. However, if the pectin gets lumpy, the small lumps are dissolved in the acidic liquid overnight.

Ascorbic acid

Facial toner is used to equalize the pH of the skin after cleansing. Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is a safe and relatively natural acidic ingredient in cosmetics. You can control the acidity of your toner by changing the amount of ascorbic acid.

If you use products that are too acidic or too alkaline, your skin will become easily irritated. You can check the acidity of your toner by using pH strips. The pH of normal skin is 4.5 to 5.5. If your skin is dry, then the pH will be higher. The pH of oily skin is always lower, meaning more acidic.

Acid also has another function in this toner. For pectin to dissolve in the product, the liquid must be acidic. You can also replace ascorbic acid with citric acid or a drop of apple cider vinegar. Some persons are sensitized to citric acid. So, first check if it is suitable for your skin.

Artemisia facial toner recipe

Purity cannot be overemphasized. Facial toners will get easily spoiled. This recipe does not contain any preservative. However, if you wish, you can add it to the product. Disinfect all utensils you use with strong alcohol or boil them, regardless of whether you used a preservative or not.

You need the following ingredients for 200 ml of toner:

Heat the artemisia infusion and glycerol to 80 degrees Celsius. Keep the mixture at 80 degrees for 30 minutes to improve shelf life.

Allow the liquid to cool down to below 40 degrees Celsius and mix thoroughly by whipping witch hazel water, citric acid, pectin powder and arginine powder.

Bottle the mixture in a sterilized glass bottle.

The mixture remains slightly lumpy because the pectin powder needs time to dissolve in the liquid. You can now put the bottle in the refrigerator. During the night, the pectin powder is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

How is artemisia facial toner used?

artemisia-kasvovesi

Photo Kjerstin Michaela Noomi Sakura Gihle Martinsen Haraldsen Pixabaystä

Artemisia facial toner is a very astringent and soothing product for the skin. Use toner after cleansing your skin thoroughly. Artemisia toner closes pores and evens out skin tone.

You can also use this facial toner in the morning to clean the night marks on your skin.

Pour ½ a teaspoon of Artemisia facial toner into a cotton ball and wipe the skin of the face, neck and décolleté. Allow the toner to soak in peace and dry for a while before adding moisturizer.

I hope you like to try this facial toner. If there is some ingredient you do not like, you can easily replace it with something similar.

Please let me know, how did you  like this recipe?

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?

Flaxseeds are widely known in hair care but they are not so common in skin care. Why use flaxseeds for skin care? There are many good reasons for this. I’ll also tell you how to use this useful, natural product. The ingredients of flax are particularly delicate, so it requires some knowledge to deal with them.

flax-seed

Flax is an organic plant

Flax, (Linum usitatissimum) is an ancient fibre plant. The origin of flax has been traced back to China or Egypt. You can read about the use of flax fibre here. In ancient times, all parts of crops were carefully used.  Therefore, flaxseeds were also used as food. Flaxseeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and useful fibres. Therefore, flaxseeds are still used today as part of a healthy diet.

Why use flaxseed for skin care?

Flaxseeds are also useful on the skin. It is one of the world’s oldest cosmetic ingredients. There is a huge amount of skin-loving ingredients packed in flaxseed. That’s why flaxseeds have been used for beauty care for thousands of years.

As I was investigating the use of flaxseeds in skin care, I found even a few patent applications for flaxseed products for skin care. Applying for patents is expensive and no-one does it based on light reasons. The company applying the patent based its application on the polyphenol, lignan, contained in flax. Flax contains a unique lignan that can revitalize tired skin and increase its ability to absorb moisture. Flax lignan is able to act on the surface of the skin, strengthening the skin’s own defence system.

Flax production is ethical and local. You can easily find flaxseeds produced in your own home area. Flax is very often also available in organic form. Always use organic ingredients for skin care.

Flax is suitable for almost everyone’s skin. It does not contain potent plant chemicals that cause sensitization. Yet again; Everybody can be allergic to anything. If your skin is sensitive, test first the flax on a small area of ​​your skin (not your face).

Who wouldn’t like to test a new, safe moisturizing ingredient on their own skin? In fact, I myself have tried  flax seed in skin care already few weeks. I couldn’t be more convinced about flaxseeds in skin care.

Effect of flax seeds on the skin

How flaxseeds are used in skin care

Flaxseeds are hard and dry oilseeds. If you are grinding flaxseeds, the omega-3 fatty acids inside will come in contact with oxygen. Omega-3 fatty acids are spoiled quickly, they rancidify. You should keep the flax seeds as whole and grind them only when you need them. The thick, dense shell of the seed keeps all the oleic acids and other active ingredients fresh for a long time.

Flaxseeds composition improves when you soak them overnight in water. If you want to use flaxseeds for gentle peeling, always use soaked, ground flax seeds Dry ground flax seeds are very sharp and can damage your skin.

Flaxseeds suit very well for home-made cosmetics. The useful ingredients of flax are perishable. That’s why flax is a very challenging ingredient in commercial cosmetics. However, you can grind the desired amount of flaxseeds whenever you need to. This way you can get them absolutely fresh.

From flaxseed you can make nurturant cosmetics

flax-seed

Whole flaxseeds do suit best for facial masks and intensive skin treatments. In daily cosmetics, it is best to use flaxseeds as mucus.

You can make masks from flaxseeds for both dry and acne skin. All you have to do is just change the ingredients that are needed for your mask. Flax is good for many skin problems.

Recipes for flaxseed cosmetics can be found here. I will collect all my recipes in the “Recipes” tab to help you find them there.

Have you already tried flaxseeds in skin care? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section!

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?

Voiko hiilihapotettu vesi auttaa sinua ihonhoidossa? 

Otsikko saattaa tuntua todella epäuskottavalta, olen pahoillani. Kyseessä ei kuitenkaan ole mikään ihan uusi juttu, sillä hiilihapotettua vettä on käytetty jo jonkin aikaa Japanissa ja Koreassa kasvojen hoitoon. Japanissa SodaStream laitteita myydään paljon koska naiset valmistavat sillä kasvojenhoitoon soodavettä.

Japanilaisilla ja korealaisilla naisilla on ihonhoidossa kirkkaimpana mielessä kuulas, virheetön iho. He ovat valmiit tekemään ihan mitä tahansa sen saavuttamiseksi. Kuplavesi on tullut jäädäkseen heidän kauneudenhoitorutiineihinsa.

Lue kolme hyvää vinkkiä kuplaveden käyttöön kasvojenhoidossa

Olen testannut kuplavettä ihonhoidossa jonkin aikaa. Lue, olisiko siitä apua myös sinun ihonhoito ongelmiisi.

Mitä on hiilihapotettu vesi

Me suomalaiset kutsumme hiilihapotettua vettä yleisesti vissyksi. Hiilihapotettua vettä kutsutaan yleisesti myös mineraalivedeksi, soodavedeksi tai kuplavedeksi. Voimme nyt kutsua tätä nimenomaista vettä tässä vaikkapa kuplavedeksi. Kuplavesi on aivan tavallista vettä, johon on paineella lisätty hiilihappoa. Kuplavettä voi valmistaa itse SodaStream laitteella. Hiilihapon määrä eri vesissä vaihtelee. Näin myös kuplavesien happamuus vaihtelee riippuen hiilihapon määrästä. Nykyisin on myös saatavana erilaisia makuvesiä, joihin on hiilihapon lisäksi lisätty makuaineita. En osaa sanoa niiden koostumuksesta. Kannattaa valita kosmeettiseen käyttöön maustamatonta kuplavettä.

Monissa maustamattomissa kuplavesissä on veden mineraalit tasapainotettu. Tämä tarkoittaa sitä, että kaikkia mineraaleja on joka pullossa yhtä paljon. Mineraalien katsotaan olevan terveellisiä sisäisesti nautittuna. Kuplavettä kutsutaan siksi yleisesti mineraalivedeksi. Tosin kaikissa mineraalivesissä ei välttämättä ole hiilihappoa.

Joidenkin iholle jotkut mineraalit voivat olla ärsyttäviä. Kannattaa siis testata monia kivennäisvesilaatuja. Niitä onkin markkinoilla ihan valtaisa määrä. valikoimaa löytyy huippukalliista Perrieristä, Pellegrinosta ja Evianista aina Lidlin erittäin edulliseen Saskiaan asti. Lasipulloon pakattu vesi on tietysti aina parempi sillä se ei sisällä muovia. Huokeaa kuplavettä voi käyttää suruttomammin kasvojen hoitoon. Jos sinulla on SodaStream laite voit valmistaa itse hyvin edullista kuplavettä hanavedestä.

Miten kuplavesi tehoaa ihoon

Kuplavesi on hapanta. Onhan siinä hiilihappoa. Sen pH on yleensä 5,5 kun ihon pH on 4,5-5,5. Kun itse mittasin liuskoilla käyttämäni kuplaveden pH:n ja päädyin samaan lukemaan. Hiilihapotettu vesi on siis yhtä hapanta kuin iho. Happamat aineet ovat yleensä hyväksi tasaamaan pH:ta, jos iho on pesujen jälkeen liian emäksinen.

Kuplavesi parantaa ihon pintaverenkiertoa. Tämä perustuu kuplaveden poreiluun. Poreilu on eräänlaista mikrohierontaa iholle. Jos sinulla on herkkä iho kannattaa aloittaa varovasti kuplaveden käyttö. Iho saattaa hetkeksi lehahtaa punaiseksi. Tämä johtuu nimenomaan ihon pintaverenkierrosta. Verenkierron parantuessa iho saa runsaasti ravinteita ja happea. Ravittu ja happipitoinen iho on yhtä kuin terveempi iho.

Kuplaveden poreiden sanotaan puhdistavat ihoa syvältä. Ne tunkeutuvat huokosiin ja puhdistavat ne huolellisesti. Hiilihappokuplien sanotaan pystyvän jopa hajottamaan huokosissa olevaa likaa ja rasvaa. Näin huokoset pienenevät ja rauhoittuvat. Iho alkaa näyttämään kuulaammalta. En ihan allekirjoita tätä väittämää. Kuplavesi on kuitenkin vain vettä eikä pysty poistamaan rasvaa.

Kokeile kuitenkin seuraavia kuplavesiohjeita niin voit itse todeta miten tehokasta se on. Itse olen tykästynyt juuri tuohon kuplaveden ihoa piristävään vaikutukseen.

Miten käytän kuplavettä ihonhoitoon

Sinulla on kolme tapaa valittavana. Herkälle iholle sopii eri hoitomenetelmät kuin rasvaiselle iholle. Kannattaa aloittaa aina hellimmästä mahdollisesta vaihtoehdosta. Vaikka kuplavedessä ei olekaan kuin kahta ainesosaa; vettä ja hiilihappoa voi hiilihapon vaikutus iholle yllättää.

Varoitus

Älä käytä hiilihapotettua vettä, jos sinulla on taipumus couperosaan. Hiilihapotettu vesi saattaa olla liian ärsyttävää ja lisätä punoitusta iholla. Myös kenen tahansa iho saattaa alkaa punoittamaan, jos käyttää hiilihappovettä liian usein. Se ei ole tarkoitettu päivittäiseen kasvojenhoito-ohjelmaan.

kuplavesi-ihonhoidossa

Poreilevaa vettä

Hellävaraisin menetelmä eli kuplavesi kasvovetenä

Kasvojen puhdistus kuplavedellä

Korealainen kasvohoito

Tämän hoidon voit tehdä silloin, jos kaipaat ihollesi piristystä.

Kuplavesi on kokeilemisen arvoinen

Käytin kuplavettä testimielessä viikon ajan. Näin en kyllä suosittele tekemään sillä kuplavesi ei sovi joka päivä käytettäväksi. Se on liian raaka menetelmä iholle.

Huomasin selkeästi, kuinka huokoset pienenivät ja iho kirkastui. Minulla ei ole epäpuhtauksia iholla, joten en voinut todeta puhdistaako se todella huokosia. Tuskinpa.

Jokaisen käytön jälkeen huomasin ihon lehahtavan punaiseksi. Se on uskomaton reaktio. Ihan kuin jokin allergia. Punaisuus häipyi kuitenkin 5-10 minuutin kuluttua ja lopun päivää iho oli hyvin kuulas ja terveen oloinen.

Kasvojen upotus kuplaveteen eli korealainen kasvohoito oli aivan ihana. Sitä ei vain saa tehdä jääkaappikylmällä kuplavedellä. Tosin kylmä vesi supistaa huokosia vieläkin paremmin. Kasvot 10 sekuntia jääkylmässä, kuplivassa vedessä ei tunnu kuitenkaan ihan kivalta.

Jos innostuit kokeilemaan kuplavettä kasvojenhoidossa, kerro ihmeessä, miten kävi!

Can carbonated Water help you with skincare? The title may seem little extravagant, I’m sorry about that. However, this is not a new thing as carbonated water has been used for facial care in Japan and Korea for long time. In both countries, SodaStream devices are selling well because women use soda water for facial care.

The most important thing for both Japanese and Korean women in skincare is how to achieve the brightest, flawless skin. They are ready to do anything to achieve it. Bubble water has come to stay in their beauty routines.

Read three good tips for using bubble water for facial care.

I’ve tested the bubble water in skin care for some time now. Find out would it also help your skin care problems.

kuplavesi-ihonhoidossa
Photo by Noppadon Manadee on Unsplash

What is carbonated water

Carbonated water is commonly called mineral water, soda water or bubble water. We can now call this water bubble water. Bubble water is just plain water with carbon dioxide added under pressure. You can make bubble water yourself with the SodaStream. The amount of carbonic acid varies in the different waters. Thus, the acidity of bubble waters also varies depending on the amount of carbonic acid. Nowadays, there are also various flavoured waters with added flavouring in addition to carbonated acid. I can’t say about their composition. In any case, it’s a good idea to choose non-flavoured bubble water for cosmetic use.

Many unflavoured bubble waters contain balanced water minerals. This means that there is an equal amount of minerals in each bottle. Minerals are considered to be healthy when ingested internally. Bubble water is therefore commonly referred to as mineral water. However, all mineral waters may not contain carbon dioxide.

For some individual skin or skin types, some minerals can be irritating. It is therefore worth testing different mineral water types. There is an enormous amount of them available in supermarkets. The range is from the high-priced Perrier, Pellegrino and Evian to lot cheaper alternatives. Of course, water packed in a glass bottle is always better because it does not contain plastic. On the other hand, cheaper bubble water is easier to use. If you have a SodaStream device you can make your own, very inexpensive bubble water from tap water.

How bubble water works on the skin?

Bubble water is acidic. After all, it’s carbonated. Its pH is usually 5.5 while the skin’s pH is 4.5-5.5. When I myself measured the pH of the bubble water using the strips, I ended up reading the same. PH Measuring strips are easy to buy from your local pharmacy. The carbonated water Is as acidic as the skin. Acidic substances are generally good for stabilizing the pH if the skin is too alkaline after washing.

Bubble water improves the skin’s surface circulation of the blood. This is based on water bubbles. Bubbling gives kind of a micro massage on the skin. If you have sensitive skin, you should start very carefully using bubble water. The skin may turn red quickly. This is precisely because of improved skin’s surface blood circulation. As the blood circulation improves, the skin receives plenty of nutrients and oxygen. Nourished and oxygenated skin means healthier skin.

Bubble water bubbles are said to cleanse the skin deeply. They penetrate the pores and cleanse them thoroughly. Carbon bubbles are said to even break down dirt and grease in the pores. This reduces the pores and calms them down. The skin starts to look prettier. I do not support this statement 100 %. After all, bubble water is just water and cannot remove tallow from our skin.

However, try the following bubble water tips to see yourself how effective it is. In fact, I like the refreshing effect of bubble water on my skin.

How to use bubble water for skin care?

You have three options to choose from. There are different treatment methods for sensitive skin than for oily skin. You should always start with the gentlest possible option. Although there are only two ingredients in bubble water, just water and carbonic acid, the effect of carbonic acid could surprise you.

Warning

Do not use carbonated water if you have a tendency to couperosa. Carbonated water may be too irritating and may increase the redness of the skin. Also, anyone’s skin may become red after using too much carbonated water for rinsing. It is not intended for a daily use in facial care.

The gentlest method is bubble water as facial water

Facial cleansing with bubble water

Korean facial treatment

You can do this treatment when you need refreshment for your skin.

Bubble water is worth a try

kuplavesi-ihonhoidossa
Photo by Noppadon Manadee on Unsplash

I used bubble water for a week to perform test. I do not recommend doing this because bubble water is not suitable for daily use. It is too tough method for the skin.

I clearly noticed how the pores shrunk and my skin brightened. I don’t have any impurities on my skin, so I couldn’t tell if it really cleanses the pores. I doubt that.

After each use, I found the skin to turn red. It’s an incredible reaction. Just like an allergy. However, the redness disappeared after 5 to 10 minutes and by the end of the day the skin felt and looked fine and healthy.

Sinking my face in bubble water, or doing the Korean facial treatment, was absolutely wonderful. You just can’t do it with ice-cold bubble water from the fridge. On the other hand, cold water reduces pores even better… but keeping face 10 seconds in ice cold, bubbling water doesn’t sound a good idea either.

If you have used bubble water in facial care, please share your experience!

Baking soda or Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate or Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a very versatile and effective substance for many purposes. Most commonly, it has been used to baking. Baking soda needs acidic dough to function properly in cookies and cakes. Combination of acid and baking soda makes the dough sparkling or rise in the oven. Baking soda can also be used to relieve the symptoms of many diseases. Eco-cleaning and laundry are easily done with the baking soda. It is a safe chemical that should be available in every household.

However, no chemical is ever 100% safe and good for every purpose. This is also the case with Baking soda. The strengths of the baking soda should be identified and used in a deliberate manner in the right situations.

There is baking soda and soda. They are two different chemicals. Learn how to distinguish between them and use them correctly.

What is Baking soda

When we talk about soda we usually mean baking soda. I always mean sodium bicarbonate used in baking when referring baking soda. Soda itself means a different substance.

Baking soda, (NaHCO3), or sodium bicarbonate is a completely chemical product. It is not a naturally occurring substance such as soda or sodium carbonate (Na2Co3). Baking soda is produced from sodium (Na), ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The carbon dioxide required in the process is usually obtained from soda or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3). This is what the two substances have to do with each other.

Baking soda is commonly used in baking and other food preparation. As an alkaline substance, it has traditionally neutralized too strong stomach acids. Also, baking soda is used for salicylate poisoning as a first aid. The soda blasting will gently refine delicate surfaces that are sensitive to scratching. Baking soda is a soft substance that does not damage, for example, glass or plastic surfaces.

Baking soda is mildly alkaline. You can find different claims on the net. Therefore, I measured the alkaline level of the Baking soda myself. I mixed 1,5 dl water and 2 teaspoons baking soda. As a result of the measurement, I received a PH value of about 8.5 which is a mild alkaline.

What is washing soda or sodium carbonate

We do not need a real washing soda at all in home cosmetics. I’m telling about sodium carbonate because it is good to know how to separate it from the baking soda and be careful. These two substances are mixed in people’s minds in general.

The actual soda (Na2Co3) is a very different substance than baking soda. Soda or sodium carbonate is a very alkaline substance that can NOT be used in cosmetics. NEVER PUT IT IN MOUTH OR, EAT IT OR SWALLOW IT. NEVER.  Soda is naturally occurring mineral salt but can also be produced industrially. It is suitable for cleaning of surfaces before painting. As such, the soda solution spoils the painted wall. It is so alkaline, almost as alkaline as lye. Soda is used mainly by glass manufacturing industry.

The washing soda was also main ingredient in soap before the lye was invented. Washing soda was prepared earlier for making soap using tree’s ashes.  In the nature, washing soda can be found in Africa as a natural mineral called “trona”. Also, in the USA Trona (Natural Soda) is mined more than it is produced industrially. Granulated washing soda is a product called pure soda or sodium carbonate.

The washing soda is also called crystal soda. It is available in hardware stores and decoration shops selling paint.  Also washing soda is pure soda. It looks confusingly like baking soda. It is white, like baking powder. To avoid mistakes, keep washing soda out of the kitchen. Right place for washing soda is in cleaning closet, in stock or in a garage out of the reach of children. It would be dangerous to use accidentally washing soda instead of baking soda as a food ingredient. Washing soda is so called calcined soda, which is sold in ecological shops selling products for cleaning and washing.

I measured the washing soda solution pH myself. I mixed 1,5 dl water with 2 teaspoons of washing soda. I made the test using pH strips. The measurement scale of strips is from 4 to 10. Liquid was more alkaline than 10. This type of solution is very corrosive and can cause an incredibly bad consequences if you do not understand the strength of the solution. In some publications, washing soda is called a product that is similar to baking soda. This is false. In any case, these products may not be considered the same substance. Always keep all your washing sodas out of reach of children.

 

For what the baking soda is not so good

Baking soda is a very commonly used chemical in home cosmetics. It is perceived as an easy alternative to many uses. Baking soda is used mostly in Deodorants and Hair care. For both purposes, baking soda is a bad option.

 

 

Bath Bombs made of baking soda

How you can you use baking soda in DIY cosmetics

Baking soda, however, has some very useful applications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope these facts and tips were useful to you. If any of the things are good for you, please comment below this post.

How do you use baking soda in your home cosmetics?

Peat is usually associated with something but skincare.  Peat is, however, one of the oldest and most efficient skincare products. It cures not only the skin but also other issues we may have in our bodies.  The use of peat is unbelievable limited comparing how it could benefit our health. We have to change this and that is why I decided to tell you about the peat.

What is the organic peat we use in healthcare?

When we use peat for skincare or other use in healthcare, we talk about organic peat.

Swamps have born after the last ice age, approximately 10 000 years ago when melting water has withdrawn from deeper areas.  Former lake transformed to a wetland that is called a swamp.  Bryophytes, twigs and many other herbal plants growing on the swamp have faded and new plants have grown annually on top. Older generations have been buried deeper and deeper. There are thousands of layers in the swamp.

Close to the surface decomposing is quicker but deeper the bacterial activity is slower.

Layers close to surface contain clearly mass from plants.

In deeper layers the mass is gel-like and decomposed plants are not visible anymore.

This process takes thousands of years, especially in cold climate. Wooden objects can last forever in a swamp. Because of this process, the peat has become unique product containing enzymes and phytochemicals. The texture of peat is still partly a mystery to scientists. There is no way to manufacture similar product like organic peat.

Where to get organic peat

There are only few swamps in Finland from where organic peat can be lifted up.  The swamp should be located in an area where is no danger to get any agricultural waters into the swamp.  Also, there is always a possibility to get industrial waters into the swamp. That is why the swamp used for collecting organic peat should be located at highlands.

Organic peat can be found in only deep enough swamps.  The average dept of a swamp in Finland is 2 meters. There are even 12 meters deep existing.  Organic peat is pumped up from deep enough in order to avoid any particles of plants.  There is no layer of this gel-like peat in shallow swamps.

There is plenty of organic peat available in Finland. Finland is very swampy country. The value of swamps is not understood. In reality the swamps are our riches, who could believe that! So let’s stop underestimating of swamps and start to appreciate them.

Swamps are treated really badly

Nowadays the surface layers of swamps are used as fuel and gardening materials.  These ways represent not sustainable development and they will spoil swamps in time. Swamps are considered as wastelands.  No trees are growing and practicing agriculture is impossible. Using heavy machinery for lifting up outer layers is spoiling the swamps.

Organic peat requires an untouchable swamp

A swamp already in use for fuel other source is not suitable for collecting organic peat. Heavy machinery will destroy the structure of swamp and there are always leaks of fuel and oil. It is popular now to talk about returning swamps back to their natural form but it takes time. It will require hundreds or thousands of years to get a swamp back the way it was originally. Swamp will look like an untouchable one with all the plants in few decades but deep layers may never be the same again.

Organic peat should be lifted by respecting nature’s own ecosystem

Organic peat must be lifted always and only by hands. By “hands” means in this case a pump. Finnish organic peat entrepreneurs have specialized pumping equipment for lifting up the peat. Pumping equipment do not require large space on swamp; a hole is drilled and a pipe is laid in the swamp. Liquid peat, the mass, is pumped up.  There is no need to dig or destroy the surface of the swamp.  No bulldozers or any other heavy equipment is used.

Texture of organic peat is carefully inspected

Organic peat is safe to use because it is carefully inspected before packaging.  There are pleanty of information available about organic peat quality control process on a Finnish peat producer’s, Polar True Oy, web page.

 

How you can use organic peat in skincare

There are several ways of using organic peat. It is difficult to imagine any other product that can use as diverse as organic peat.  Just try different peat treatments and you can find more ways to use it by yourself. Organic peat acts like cosmetic clay products. I told about kaolin clay in my recent post. Peat absorbs impurities from skin like clay. That is why there is no need to mix any other ingredients to peat. They will just disturb peat’s process.

You can use peat in the Sauna

The new success of organic peat has started in Sauna.  The heat of sauna will boost peat’s activity. Spread the peat all over to your body or just on any area you want to treat. Maximum heat in sauna should not be over 60 degrees Celsius. Relax in mild temperature about 20 minutes. Moisture the peat once in a while. Do not let the peat layer to dry on your skin.  After the sauna use lukewarm water for washing.

Organic peat has been used for

 

You can use organic peat in a bath

Add some peat to the water.  Relax in sour water and enjoy the skin treatment. Having a bath in peat water treats the skin as swimming in a lake.  Lake water is naturally sour and probiotic.

Having a peat bath gets the metabolic waste in your body move. Your skin will brighten and cool down as well. Proper time for a bath is about 20 minutes.  Maximum temperature should not exceed 40n degrees Celsius. By controlling the water temperature, you can be sure that no important ingredient will be destroyed because of heat.

You can use organic peat for your haircare

You can use organic peat to facial mask

Sour peat mask cleans well and makes your skin relax. Peat does the deep cleansing and simultaneously makes skin pores smaller. The mask will brighten your skin and makes blood circulate better.

You can use organic peat for whitening of your skin

It is extremely popular in Asia to do skin whitening. There is a huge variety more or less harmful chemicals available for this purpose.  Peat is safe product that gives a soft whitening.  Finnish peat is exported to Japan for natural, skin whitening material.

You can treat acne by peat

Organic peat mask will balance your skin’s pH and bacteria activity.  It will clean impurities from the skin as well.  It is absolutely worth of trying peat mask in case you suffer from acne.

You can do deep cleansing using peat to get rid of air pollution particles and chemicals on your skin

Air contains plenty of microparticles that may penetrate to the skin.  You cannot wash these particles away by just having a shower, they have already penetrated to the skin.  A peat mask will absorb these particles from your skin.

You can use organic peat for relieving pain in muscles and joints

If you have occasional pain in muscles or joints, you can try organic pet bandage.  Spread the peat on an area you want to treat and use plastic wrap to cover the peat. The peat should be warm, keep it some 15-30 minutes.  There are many researches about the influence of peat in muscular pains.  However, it is recommendable to consult your own doctor before starting the peat treatments.

If you are an allergic person…

Avoid the peat in case you suffer from nickel allergy.  There may be some ingredients in the peat that may cause allergic reaction, and not only because of nickel allergy.  Before using the peat, try first it on a small area of your skin for 20 minutes. Wash away and wait 48 hours. In case there will be an allergic reaction, it should arise during 48 hours.

Why organic peat is not widely used in skincare?

Good question! There are gorgeous and luxury skincare cosmetics available in some countries. For example, there are beauty salons specialized in peat treatments in Ireland and Germany. Organic peat is respected so much in these countries that they are even recycling the peat. Used organic peat is laid down back to swamp.

Organic peat is 100 % Finnish product. It has been in use for hundreds and thousands of years for curing various illnesses and pains. There is no need to airfreight it from the other side of the globe, you can get easily from Finland and it is chemical free.

Benefit from peat’s powerful phytochemicals

There are different kind of peat around the world. Swamps in Northern countries are full of high-quality peat. In cold areas the peat is composed very slowly. Every producer of organic peat wants to highlight his own product’s superiority. Well, Finnish organic peat is about the same quality in the whole county.

There is no research about organic peat going on at the moment in Finland. This is a pity because we can not get more information about peat’s healthy effects.

Organic peat contains several different organic compounds which are impossible to copy.

There are plenty of healthy flavonoids in the peat. There are also

Humus acids, fulva acids and other soil’s components are playing important role in the well-being of our body. In addition, the useful bacteria in organic peat is invaluable. In Helsinki University a research was made between children getting used to natural bacteria and children without exposing bacteria.  Children exposed to natural bacteria were much healthier than children without any contacts to nature.  It is said that we need the bacteria of earth – without them, we are less happy and get sick easier.

Organic peat is like natural soil’s own beauty serum – all nature’s own treating ingredients are composed in it.

Where to get organic peat

It is easy to find organic peat from a shop selling natural products.  In case shop near to you do not have it you can ask the shopkeeper to order it for you.  And naturally online shops are also selling it.

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