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.
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 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.
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.
- Cocoa butter is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the skin from premature aging.
- Cocoa butter moisturizes the skin. It is rich in oleic acid, which supports the skin’s moisture balance.
- Cocoa butter protects the skin from drying out. It is rich in palmitic acid, which is a protective fatty acid.
- Cocoa butter clearly smells like chocolate. Many consider it a good thing but very often this is not the case. Not everyone wants the smell of a chocolate bar.
- One disadvantage of cocoa butter is its blocking effect on the skin. It will not absorb easily to the skin. Therefore, it is recommended to keep the cocoa butter content low in creams.
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
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?
The introduction of the cosmetic treasures of Amazon rainforest continues. Andiroba oil is still a very unknown cosmetic raw material from Amazon area. Amazon rainforests are bursting with useful ingredients. Andiroba is one such treasure. It belongs to the mahogany family. Andiroba tree is a traditional medicinal plant. Its bark, oil and leaves have been used in ancient indigenous medicine. In this article, I will tell about the benefits of andiroba oil in cosmetics use.
Andiroba is a traditional tree in the Amazon rainforest
The Andiroba tree, (Carapas guianensis), is a typical tree of the Amazon rainforest. It belongs to the plants used by the indigenous people of Brazil. The greenery of Andiroba is dense and the tree is very tall. It grows riverside in tropical rainforests. Andiroba is one of those trees that is preferably logged from the rainforest into lumber. The tree belongs to the mahogany family, although it is not classified as genuine mahogany.
The popularity of Andiroba as sawn timber is due to the terpenes it contains. The tree naturally repels mold, fungi and other microbes. It is a durable wood and therefore highly sought after as a building material. Andiroba also has an insect repellent property. Pests do not thrive on andiro boards. Andiroba oil is also commonly used to make insect repellents.
Andiroba oil production
An adult tree can produce up to 120 pounds of seeds. The average output is about 50 pounds. The seeds contain 40% fat. 12 kilos of seeds are needed to make one litre of oil produced by solvent technology. If produced by mechanical cold pressing, considerably more seeds per litre of oil are needed.
Traditionally, andiroba oil is made by boiling nuts. After boiling, the nuts are fermented for 25 days. The soft core is removed from the fermented nuts. The core is left to drain for a few weeks. This naturally removes oil from the seeds without pressing. The process is completely natural. No chemicals or compression equipment is required. Such andiroba oil is rare. Andiroba oil sold for cosmetics is usually cold pressed.
Why is it important to favour andiroba oil in cosmetics?
I am writing this series of “Rainforest Treasures” for ecological and ethical reasons. Of course, we have to favour domestic products, that’s for sure. However, Amazon’s rainforests are the lungs of the world. The world’s rainforests are threatened by massive logging. Many trees are utilized as sawn timber. Once the rainforest is felled, it will be replaced by a corn field or perhaps soybeans. The destruction of a natural rainforest biotope is catastrophic for many different reasons.
If we diligently use the natural products of Amazon’s rainforests, there is no need to cut down the trees at all. The indigenous people earn their living by selling the products that the jungle produces and there will be no need to log the trees anymore. Andiroba nuts is a good example of this.
Andiroba trees have also been cultivated in rainforests, with large plantations. With this cultivation, the problems are same with the monoculture. The biodiversity of the rainforest is disappearing. Trees are exposed to pests and the crop suffers. Chemicals are needed to destroy diseases and insects. Chemicals destroy other organisms in the rainforest. The circle is ready. It is worth researching carefully that the rainforest products you buy are sustainably produced.
What is andiroba oil?
Andiroba oil is also called crab oil although it has nothing to do with crabs. Andiroba oil is a 100% vegan product that is pressed from the nuts of the andiroba trees. The oil is rich in hard fatty acids. It is thick and slightly reminiscent of Vaseline when cooled. The oil is pale yellow in colour and very bitter. The bitterness is due to a group of terpenes called Meliacines. Andiroba oil solidifies at 25 degrees like coconut oil.
One of the Meliacines in andiroba oil is called Gedunin. Gedunin has been shown to have similar anti-malarial properties to quinine. In chemical analyses, andiroba oil has been found to be highly curative and anti-inflammatory. These properties are due to the limonoids in the oil, called andirobins.
Fatty acids from andiroba oil
Andiroba oil is rich in hard fatty acids. However, the main fatty acid in andiroba oil is oleic acid. Palmitic acid in andiroba oil is up to over 30%. It is the rich palmitic acid that makes andiroba oil very firm and thick. Stearic acid is also abundant in oil.
The main fatty acids in andiroba oil
- Oleic acid 45-58%
- Palmitic acid 25-32
- Stearic acid 6-13%
- Linoleic acid 6-14%
Comedogenic classification 2
The aroma is strong, muscular
Andiroba has numerous medicinal properties
Andiroba oil is one of the best-selling medicinal oils in the Amazon rainforest. Andiroba oil is usually mixed with honey and used internally for many ailments. Honey is included not only as a health-promoting product but also because the andiroba oil tastes very bitter. With a mixture of honey and oil, locals have always fought flu and sore throats.
Fatty and thick andiroba oil doesn’t sound very good for acne prone skin. However, local people in Amazon have successfully used andiroba oil for acne prone skin. The oil is very antimicrobial. Therefore, it soothes inflammation well.
Andiroba oil is well absorbed into the skin. Therefore, it can affect the deepest parts of the skin. Local people have also used andiroba oil to treat bruises and sore joints. Andiroba oil is especially popular as a massage oil. It’s like made to relax sore muscles.
Benefits of Andiroba Oil in Cosmetics
Andiroba oil contains a huge number of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is a very useful oil to regenerate the skin. The nutrients in andiroba oil are especially suitable for aging skin. The oil contains ingredients that have a beneficial effect on collagen production. Andiroba oil reduces wrinkles on the skin.
Andiroba oil is worth trying for many skin problems. It has plenty of skin rejuvenating and protective effects. Please bear in mind, however, that this particular oil is very strong and contains terpenes. Terpenes can cause severe allergies, especially to people who are allergic to resins. First, test if you tolerate andiroba oil at all. If you suffer from eczema, be really careful when trying new products. Although andiroba is specifically recommended for eczema and psoriasis, I would still be careful.
Andiroba oil has been used with success in the treatment of hair and scalp. As an antimicrobial oil, andiroba oil is well suited for treating scalp problems. For example, dandruff or itching of the scalp could be cured with a serum containing andiroba oil.
Andiroba oil also supports hair follicles and stimulates blood circulation to the scalp. This will make your hair grow better.
Andiroba oil is rich in palmitoleic acid, which protects the skin from drying out as well as external factors.
What products can andiroba oil be used for?
First of all, Andiroba oil seems to be a specialty oil suitable for body products. However, its use range is much wider. Andiroba oil, despite its heaviness, is a relatively fast-absorbing oil. That is why it is also worth trying for facial skin and hair care.
Prepare from andiroba oil
- Massage oils to treat sore joints and muscles
- Night creams and protective day creams to treat aging skin
- Creams for impure skin
- Creams for irritated skin
- Antimicrobial creams for foot care
- Oil treatment serums for the scalp
- For soap making; special care soaps
Due to its bitter taste, andiroba oil should not be included in lip products.
Try andiroba oil as an insect repellent. Andiroba oil has a strong, musky scent that repels insects. If mosquitoes are being fought in the Amazon rainforest, why not in other areas as well. Did you know that neem oil is also quite an effective mosquito repellent?
Sandalwood is a hard, heavy and fragrant type of wood. Sandalwood grows wild in tropical rainforests in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Sandalwood is one of the most expensive woods in the world. It has been very popular for hundreds of years and continues to do so. The story of the wild sandalwood is quite sad, although there is some hope in the horizon. Fortunately, sandalwood has been cultivated. This is how we will continue to enjoy fragrant sandalwood in the future. How, then, is sandalwood related to cosmetics? The story of the sandalwood is very interesting. Keep on reading to learn more about this marvellous tropical tree.
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
- White sandalwood
- Hawaiian sandalwood
- Sandalwood in Fiji
- Red sandalwood
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.
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.
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
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.
A wild Murumuru tree growing in the Amazon rainforest is the source of wonderfully rich and versatile butter. An essential part of protecting the Amazon rainforest is that we know how to sustainably take advantage of the rainforest’s natural plants. This way, local residents have no reason to cut down trees to claim more farmland. There are a huge number of particularly useful plants growing in the rainforests that we should learn to use. Murumuru butter is a very interesting product and I’d like to present it as the very first beauty product of the rainforest.
What is Murumuru Butter?
Murumuru butter is derived from the seeds of the Astrocaryam murumuru, a naturally growing palm in the Amazon rainforest. The Murumuru butter is yellowish white in colour. Murumuru butter is used not only for cosmetics but also for cooking.
The fatty acid profile of Murumuru butter is very similar to coconut oil. Murumuru butter is very close to shea butter in structure. Murumuru butter has a typical nutty aroma. The scent can sometimes be intense depending on the batch. The odour of different batches can vary greatly depending on the place of growth and/or the age of the product. Refined Murumuru butter has hardly any odour and the colour is lighter.
Murumuru butter is a welcome addition to the range of vegetable butter
Murumuru butter is clearly different from other butters due to its special fatty acid profile. Its composition differs quite decisively from shea butter, mango butter or cocoa butter. Murumuru butter has gained popularity among the old familiar products. I think it’s really good that there are more choices available in the selection of plant butters. The old, familiar plant butters are very similar to each other’s. Now is the time to give a try to something completely different.
Properties of Murumuru butter
Almost half of Murumuru butter is lauric acid, the same fatty acid that is also found in coconut oil. Unlike coconut oil, Murumuru butter is particularly well absorbed into the skin. It does not clog pores like coconut oil. Murumuru butter also resembles coconut oil in that it is particularly well-preserved.
This is my summary about Murumuru butter; Murumuru butter resembles shea butter in texture but has the good properties of coconut oil.
- Murumuru butter does not leave a greasy surface on the skin. It absorbs beautifully and leaves a slightly waxy, not shiny finish.
- Murumuru is above all a very moisturizing and softening plant butter. Because it leaves a waxy, moisture-retaining surface on the skin, the skin is unable to release moisture so easily.
- Murumuru butter is especially high in antioxidants.
- Murumuru butter helps to calm the skin. It should be used on sensitive, irritated skin.
- Murumuru butter should also be used in massage products along with other oils. Murumuru has a relaxing effect on muscle tension.
- Murumuru butter like coconut oil also has antibacterial properties. Coconut is used in all products to control the bacterial activity of the skin, such as deodorants. Murumuru has exactly the same properties except that Murumuru doesn’t feel so greasy on the skin.
- Due to its antibacterial properties, Murumuru is also suitable for the treatment of acne prone skin. Remember that the comedogenic value for Murumuru is 0, meaning it really doesn’t clog pores.
- Murumuru softens cracked, dry skin. It is therefore suitable for the treatment of rough heels, elbows and knees. Murumuru is also recommended for the treatment of psoriasis precisely because it does not clog the skin.
- Due to its high content of myristic and lauric acids, Murumuru butter is an excellent choice for hair care products.
Fatty acid profile of Murumuru butter
- Lauric acid 47%
- Myristic acid 26%
- Oleic acid 12%
- Palmitic acid 6%
- Caprylic acid 2%
- Linoleic acid 2%
- Palmitoleic acid 2%
- Stearic acid 2%
- Capric acid 1%
Melting point 30-35 degrees Celsius
Comedogenic value 0
Murumuru butter is a very versatile product
Murumuru butter can be used in a wide variety of products. It is suitable for almost everyone’s skin. Here are a few examples of how you can use crumb butter in cosmetics
- Oily skin products
- Massage oils
- Foot creams; Murumuru butter softens cracks. Apply to damp, greasy feet after foot soak.
- Hand creams; Murumuru butter forms a protective waxy surface
- Lip creams; really good product for dry lips
- As is on damp skin after showering. Murumuru butter locks moisture into the skin and the skin feels moisturized and soft for a long time.
- Acne skin products
- Products for the care of children and babies; use Murumuru butter as is
- Hair care products; use a small amount after shampooing as is. Murumur butter locks moisture in the hair
- As a hair conditioner; Murumuru butter makes the hair more elastic. This way the hair does not break so easily. Murumuru butter also increases the shine of the hair and makes the hair easier to comb.
- Murumuru butter is suitable for making soaps due to its fatty acid profile.
Murumuru is a welcome novelty among vegetable butter
Although Murumuru is still a relatively unknown raw material for cosmetics, I think its popularity is yet to come. Murumuru butter is a product worth trying.
If you are worried about the fate of the Amazon rainforest, I recommend choosing the natural products available there. This is how we take care of the environment.
Are you already familiar with murumuru butter? Tell me about your experiences.
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.
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.
- Lactic acid
- Citric acid
- Glycolic acid
- Malic acid
- Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid, also known as BHA
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
- Measure 5-7 dried hibiscus calyxes into a pot
- Pour in 5 decilitres of water and boil
- Let the pot boiling for about 10 minutes
- Cool down and filter hibiscus calyxes from the liquid
- For a stronger hibiscus broth, increase the amount of hibiscus
- Bottled hibiscus broth stays usable in the refrigerator for about a week, maybe even longer, as it is particularly antioxidant-rich.
- Hibiscus broth is also well suited for drinking like juice, either as it is heated or cold with ice and lemon or lime. Hibiscus is called the healthiest drink in the world because of its antioxidants. That is, if you don’t use everything from hibiscus to cosmetics, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious juice internally. Add some sweetening if desired.
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
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?
MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is best known as a sports nutrition. MSM is an organic sulphur compound that occurs naturally in our bodies. I usually prefer as natural and minimally processed ingredients as possible in cosmetics. However, MSM is an exception. MSM is a safe and gentle compound that has tremendous positive effects on skin condition. How does MSM affect the skin, who is it suitable for and how can it be used in cosmetics? Keep on reading…
What is MSM powder and how is it made?
MSM is a synthetic product that is manufactured by chemical industry. Although it is of natural origin it does not exist as such anywhere so it must be specially prepared. Of course, the compound MSM is commonly found in pines, for example. Unfortunately, it is present in the wood in such small quantities that several trees should be felled down to get a pouch of MSM powder. Although many manufacturers claim their own MSM compound is made from plants, this is not true. MSM powder is made synthetically and is therefore not approved as an ingredient in natural cosmetics.
All commercially available MSM powder is currently prepared by the chemical reaction of DMSO and hydrogen peroxide. DMSO is dimethyl sulfoxide which is a by-product of the cellulose industry. By the way, did you know that vanillin is also a by-product of the pulp industry?
DMSO is an organosulfur compound used to improve the absorption of substances through the skin. DMSO has once been sold for external use for joint problems but has not been found to be safe. The researchers found that many of the healing effects of DMSO were due to the MSM it contained.
Initially, the MSM compound was used only externally in cosmetics. MSM only received marketing authorization as a dietary supplement much later in the 1990s. Thus, MSM is actually an active ingredient in cosmetics.
When choosing MSM powder, you should pay special attention to quality and purity
Because MSM powder is made from by-products of the cellulose industry, its purity is important. MSM powder is produced in countries where legislation does not control the industry (China and India). The product may contain harmful residues that will contaminate the product. The MSM powder is purified by a multiple distillation process. If the process is carried out carelessly, the risk of contamination increases.
In China and India, MSM is often only dissolved in water, dried and purified. Such a cleaning process does not guarantee a quality product. Mycelium and bacteria may also be present in the low quality MSM powder. Low quality MSM is not pure white but brown or reddish in colour.
When the MSM powder is distilled, it is heated up to 238 degrees, when the substance evaporates. The steam is cooled down to grains and redistilled several times. This removes all heavy metals from the product. MSM powders commonly sold in Finland are all purified in this way.
Benefits of MSM for the skin
MSM is a very versatile skin care active ingredient. It is useful for many skin problems. Although MSM is a fully synthetic ingredient, it is still very safe to use. There are only few cases when someone has been sensitized to MSM. Even then, it may be because of a contaminated product.
Here are a few reasons to use MSM powder in skin care
MSM allows the permeability of cell walls, allowing nutrients to enter and toxins to escape. MSM is able to easily penetrate the skin and pass through the skin throughout the body. For this reason, use only high quality MSM powder.
MSM affects collagen synthesis. Subcutaneous collagen takes care of the elasticity of the skin. MSM works best in conjunction with vitamin C. MSM reduces the disintegration of collagen under the skin.
MSM is an organic sulphur compound. Sulphur-containing compounds are useful in the treatment of skin inflammation. For acne, for example, MSM is particularly well suited. You should also try MSM cream for rosacea. There are really many creams available that contain MSM to treat acne and rosacea.
MSM helps scarred skin heal normally. If you have acne scars, pregnancy scars or surgical scars, try MSM ointment. MSM penetrates deep into the skin and promotes the formation of normal skin cells. If the scar tissue is still irritated and red, MSM soothes the inflammation. If the skin is still broken, do not use m MSM products on the skin.
MSM reduces itching of the skin. Itching is an embarrassing symptom in patients with eczema. However, do not use MSM creams on broken skin.
MSM has been found in some studies to increase hair growth and reduce hair loss. However, there is not enough evidence on this issue. In hair cosmetics, MSM compounds are used in combination with vitamin C. Hair loss can be caused by many different reasons. In almost all cases, MSM compounds do not bring relief. If the hair loss is profuse, you should consult a dermatologist.
How do I use MSM powder in homemade cosmetics?
The MSM compound is sold either as finished capsules or in a pouch as a powder. The finished capsules are convenient as they always contain the same amount. Dosing is easier and you do not need to weigh the powder. You can dissolve the powder in the finished products.
Here are some examples of where you can add MSM powder as an active ingredient.
- MSM is very soluble in warm water. It is at its best in all water-based products such as toners. For toners you can use MSM powder 1-2gr / 100ml of liquid.
- MSM is not the easiest cream ingredient. MSM is a solvent that easily degrades the structure of the cream. Therefore, always add MSM powder only to a single dose, about 0.05gr / dose. The number is really small. If you do not have such an accurate scale, drop a few crumbs of powder on your hand for one dose.
- MSM powder should be added to face masks, exfoliators and also to cleansing clay masks. MSM helps remove toxins deep from the skin.
- MSM is suitable for foot baths. It is sulphur-containing and disinfectant. Add about 3-5 grams (1 teaspoon) of MSM powder to the foot bath.
- Try MSM powder for powder deodorants. MSM acts as a sulphur-containing bacterium and reduces odour. Mix 3 grams of powdered MSM powder to whole set of powder deodorant.
- MSM is good for hair, scalp as well as nails and cuticles. Try mixing a little MSM powder with a single dose of conditioner. Leave on as instructed and rinse.
MSM is an active ingredient worth trying
There are few effective and safe active ingredients. Although MSM is a synthetic compound, it is a fairly safe and well-tolerated preparation. There are few such ingredients. You can see the effect of MSM almost immediately. I myself have found it to soothe the skin. I always use vitamin C powder along with MSM powder. The two compounds fit together seamlessly.
MSM is a fairly inexpensive product with many uses other than cosmetics. Personally, I also use MSM powder in smoothies and recovery drinks every day. You should start with small doses to get your body used to it.
Have you used MSM powder in skin care?
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
- Eczema, you can find the study here. Black cumin oil has been tried for eczema in the hands with encouraging results.
- Psoriasis, research can be found here. The study has only been done in mice, so in humans, the effect may be quite different.
- Acne, research can be found here. For acne, studies have been done in humans and the results have been encouraging.
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.
- Linoleic acid 42.76%
- Oleic acid 16.59%
- Palmitic acid 8.51%
- Stearic acid 2.22%
- Eicosantric acid 4.71%
- Eicosapentaenoic acid EPA 5.98%
- Docosahexaenoic acid DHA 2.97%
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
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
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.
Hair care has recently become very interesting in a positive way. Many people are not anymore content with a traditional shampoo and conditioner containing SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate). Today, there are several organic alternatives to hair washing and conditioner. You can prepare yourself moisturizing herbal rinses.
There are several different hair care methods. Most of them emphasize gentleness and natural care. Three subsequent shampoo washes, which were praised by famous hairdressers around the world are now history.
Very important thing in hair care is the acidity of the product, i.e., the pH value. The idea is to wash your hair with a neutral or slightly more alkaline product and then use a more acidic conditioner.
Plants suitable for washing hair
Your hair may not need shampoo or any other alkaline, washing product. Water washing alone is enough for many. Especially for children as well as the elderly, washing hair with water alone is a highly recommended. Young people with very oily skin due to hormonal activity may need surfactant.
Let’s see what natural ingredients you can use in hair washing
You can use the following plants for hair washing as they contain saponins. Saponins are alkaloids that foam like soap. Plants containing saponins have been used for thousands of years for all washing. Saponins are toxic to fish and ruminants. Therefore, never use saponin-containing plants when taking a bath in natural waters. However, you can wash your hair at the cottage with saponins if you soak the used water in the ground and not directly into the water.
Many of us are familiar with soap nuts (Sapindus Mukorossi) aka reed berries, for example from laundry. Wash nut is also a very common ingredient in Indian haircare products. Their washing effect is based on the saponins contained in the berries.
Use of soap nuts in hair washing
The saponin contained in the soap nuts is water soluble. The best way to utilize the saponins is to boil a walnut decoction.
- You will need 3 nuts and 5 decilitres of fresh water.
- First soak the Soap nuts in water overnight
- Cook the nuts gently for 5-15 minutes
- Strain the broth and use as a shampoo
Aloe Vera is an example of a plant that is not a well-known soap plant but contains a surprising amount of saponins. Aloe Vera is highly recommended for hair care as it is an acidic, hair moisturizing plant that also has a gentle cleansing property. Thus, Aloe Vera alone can perform three different functions in hair care; cleaning, moisturizing and acid rinsing. In addition, aloe vera gives your hair more volume if you don’t rinse it off completely.
Although I would like to prefer domestic plants I have not found as diverse a plant as aloe vera is. I fully understand why Alexander the Great spread it everywhere he went to conquer. He simply couldn’t get along without aloe vera.
I have often heard the claim that aloe vera should not be used unless it is obtained fresh from the plant. The reason is that some plant chemicals are destroyed quite quickly. This is both true and false. Aloe Vera contains hundreds of active ingredients. All of the active ingredients in aloe vera are not known. It is also not known with certainty which of the hundreds of plant chemicals in aloe vera are the most effective. Even if a few aloe vera ingredients were destroyed immediately at the harvesting time, hundreds would still be left. Factors important for hair and skin care, such as acidity and saponins, also remain unchanged in freeze-dried aloe vera powder and bottled juice.
You should try aloe vera for haircare yourself. I think you are convinced of its effectiveness. Aloe Vera is definitely my personal favourite in hair care. Aloe vera is a moisturizer for hair. It is suitable for both oily and dry hair. Aloe Vera both cares for and cleanses the hair.
Use of aloe vera in hair care
You can use either ready-made aloe vera juice or powdered aloe vera gel for hair care. Both have the same washing, moisturizing hair and therapeutic effect. The gel made from powder is easiest to use in hair washing.
- Prepare the gel from the powder according to the instructions on the package or use the finished juice.
- If necessary, strain the finished juice through a gauze cloth. The juice sometimes contains nasty flakes that stick to the hair.
- Pour the aloe Vera juice into a bottle that is easy to apply to the hair
- Wet your hair well and pour a bottle of aloe Vera juice into the scalp evenly in parts
- Foam the hair as in shampooing but leave on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing
- Then rinse your hair
- I actually add some aloe Vera juice after rinsing to be left in the hair to give the hair more volume.
- Aloe Vera also works well as a light hair conditioner.
Moisturizing hair rinse, here are suitable plants
Acids are needed to rinse hair. It is very easy to find acidic plants in the plant world. Most plants contain some acid.
Another function of a hair rinse is to moisturize the hair and scalp. Many moisturizing products are not acidic. If you want a moisturizing rinse on your hair, you should choose plants that contain mucus.
If you have washed your hair with an alkaline surfactant, you will definitely need an acid rinse. If you also want moisture for your hair, make a mixture of acid rinse and moisturizing rinse. Only aloe Vera alone takes care of washing, moisturizing and acid rinsing.
Moisturizing hair rinse is created from the following plants
Althaea officinalis is a truly magnificent mallow plant. Mallow grows well everywhere, but herbaceous rose does not really like Nordic, cold climate. Other mallows can be used for this purpose but they have really small roots compared to the marshmallow. You can also buy marshmallow roots from online shop.
I myself have bought marshmallow root from England. It can be obtained very cheaply from foreign online stores. The dried marshmallow root preserves very well, so you can buy a bigger batch it in stock.
How to use the marshmallow root?
- Measure 2 tablespoons of chopped, dried marshmallow root into a pot
- Pour on 0.5 litres of fresh water and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the liquid while hot and cool it down. Plants containing mucus are difficult to strain when cooled.
- Use as a hair rinse to moisturize hair. You can let it stay for 10-20 minutes before rinsing.
You can also leave a decoction of marshmallow root slightly in your hair to give volume.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is one of my favourite hair washes. I found a recipe from a popular organic haircare blog called Hairbuddha
The site has plenty of Indian hair care tips. I have tried some and this fenugreek seems to fit well into my hair. Many of Hairbuddha’s guidelines are suitable for coarser, Indian style hair type.
Fenugreek gives the hair a wonderful shine and extra moisture. Lack of moisture is the factor that damages the hair.
Preparation of fenugreek rinse
- 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
- 5 decilitres of fresh water
- Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight
- Pour off the soaking water and add 5 decilitres of fresh water
- Boil the seeds for 15 minutes
- Strain the broth and use as a hair rinse
Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) contain the same mucilage as marshmallow root. Mucilage moisturizes the hair and at the same time give it volume. Flaxseed mucus is very tough and also acts as an organic hairspray.
I first heard about the use of flax seeds in hair care on Henriette Kress’s herbal therapy course. She advised the use of flaxseed mucus as a hairspray and for hair styling. If you want to make safe cosmetics for children for their beauty plays, flaxseed mucus is a very good hair gel.
Prepare the gel this way
- 2 tablespoons of flax seeds
- 3 decilitres of fresh water
- Boil flax seeds in water until you have only 1-1 ½ decilitres water left. You can decide the strength of the gel yourself.
- Strain the gel immediately when hot, as the flax seeds will no longer separate from the cooled gel.
- Use a gel such as a hairspray. If you want real sprayable hairspray, leave the gel more liquid. You can apply a thicker gel to your hair with your fingers.
- This gel is good when you want to lift your hair up from the scalp.
- Flaxseed gel comes off the hair unfortunately easily when the hair dries. Simply brushing removes the gel easily.
You can get also a very caring hair rinse from flax seeds. The hair rinse is prepared like a gel but use 5 decilitres water and 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds.
You can let the flaxseed gel act on your hair after washing for 10-20 minutes.
If you want extra volume in your hair, you can leave a little flaxseed gel into your hair.
Other hair moisturizing plants
There are other moisturizing plants as well. You can make broths from all of these and use as a hair rinse.
This time I am not suggesting vinegar. I am not in favour of vinegar in hair care. Vinegar may be too dry for many. For some, vinegar suits well.
- Hibiscus juice is a very moisturizing but at the same time red colouring ingredient.
- Sage is very moisturizing and is reported to remove grey hair from dark hair
- Lavender is a neutral hair moisturizer
Acid rinses for hair
There are many very useful plants in nature for hair rinsing. The plants also contain several minerals as well as antioxidants that are beneficial to the scalp. If you want to ferment plants, you also get very useful probiotics from them.
Nettle is a very good hair conditioner
Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a very diverse plant. It is rich in silicon which is good for hair. Small nettles are best for food. Overgrown nettles should instead be used as a hair rinse. They have enough oxalic acid for acid rinsing. Nettle is also a highly antioxidant plant that also treats hair and scalp.
Nettle gives the hair a wonderful shine. The only limitation to the use of nettle is its suitability only for dark hair. Clearly, blonds should not use nettles in hair care.
Prepare the nettle decoction like this
- It is worth making a nettle decoction
- Collect about a litre of nettles. In terms of acid rinsing, bigger nettles are best
- Rinse the nettles, put in a pot and pour 2-3 litres of fresh water on top. You can adjust the amount of acidity with water. More water, less acidity.
- Boil the nettles for 20 minutes
- Allow the broth to cool down and strain it
- Use the broth as a hair rinse
Nettle has a darkening effect on the hair. To try the darkening effect, pour nettle soup several times through your hair.
Thank you so much for your interest and thank you for reading my entire post.
It would be really great if you would share your own natural hair care tips with me and other readers of my blog!
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?
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
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
In Korean skin care, ginseng is combined with mugwort. The Korean mugwort (Artemisia Princeps) is a bit different from our own mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) in Europe. There are plenty of plants close to each others in Artemisia family. However, our mugwort has the same active ingredients as its Korean relative. The European mugwort is considerably stronger than the Asian. You can read more about the mugwort here.
Thanks for reading my article on ginseng!
Have you ever tried ginseng in skin care?
Argan oil has become one of the most popular cosmetic oils. For many different reasons, argan oil has even gained a superior reputation. The properties of argan oil are widely praised. It is sometimes even difficult to find a product that would not contain this substance, also called miracle oil. That’s why I decided this time to thoroughly explore the secrets of argan oil. Where argan oil is produced, what it is used for and what its power is based on.
The roots of argan oil can be found in Morocco
Most of the Morocco’s land area is quite dry and rocky land. Much of it is located in the Sahara Desert. There is also some plants growing in the desert. The plants of the deserts of southwestern Morocco includes Argania spinosa, the argan tree. The area is called Arganeraie. This area has a unique biosphere with endemic (only present in the area) plants. Argan tree is a traditional plant in the area.
Argan tree is a unique plant in the world
Argan tree has adjusted to extremely dry conditions. Argan tree cultivation is completely dependent on the area’s sensitive ecological system. Therefore, the whole Arganeraie region with its biosphere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Argan tree produces fruit with a hard-shelled nut inside. The fruit flesh is removed and used for animal feed.
The oil is obtained from the seeds of the argan tree, which are inside the hard shell. The hard shell of the nut must be crushed by hand. Mechanical seed peeling has not been tried without success. Argan tree seeds are usually peeled by poor Berber women in remote Moroccan villages.
Argan oil production also has an environmental socio-economic purpose.
The population of the Arganeraie region lives on sheep farming and agriculture. Argan oil production is a major source of additional income for local residents. Argan oil is traditionally used in the Arganeraie region for cooking, ointments and cosmetics. Argan tree is also used as firewood.
It rains only five days a year in the area. The surface of the soil is particularly dry. Argan trees effectively prevent desertification and take care of the area’s poor groundwater resources.
Why is the argan oil is so popular in cosmetics?
This is a question that has been on my mind for some time. Argan oil feels quite oily on the skin at first. It is not an easily absorbed, light oil. The greasy impression of argan oil is due to its heavy fatty acids.
- Oleic acid 43-49%
- Linoleic acid 29-36%
- Palmitic acid 11-15%
- Stearic acid 4-7%
As you can see, based on fatty acids, this is a fairly conventional oil. In terms of oleic acid, argan oil is mainly similar to almond oil or avocado oil. Based on fatty acids, argan oil could be recommended for aging and very dry skin. However, fatty acids are not the reason why argan has become such a popular cosmetic oil.
Argan oil is rich in active ingredients
The secret of argan oil lies in the plant chemicals it contains. First of all, argan oil is particularly rich in tocopherol. That is vitamin E. Argan oil is rich in a variety of phenolic compounds such as
- Carotenoids; antioxidant, strengthens the skin’s UV protection
- Squalene; the sebaceous glands of the skin produce squalene. It is a very important lipid that protects the skin
- Caffeic acid; antioxidant, antibacterial agent, anti-cancer agent
- Oleuropein; a bitter substance found in green olives whose medicinal properties are being studied
- Vanillic acid; a vegetable chemical that is especially abundant in argan oil. Vanillic acid has among other things antibacterial properties.
- Tyrosol; strong antioxidant effect. In addition to argan oil, tyrosol is abundant in olive oil
- Catechols; Used in the perfume industry
- Resorcinol; a very valuable and rare compound found only in argan oil. Resorcinol is used in haircare products to give colour to hair. It is also an antioxidant.
- Catechin; antioxidant
As you can see, argan oil is very rich in a variety of antioxidants. Studies have shown that the phenolic levels of argan oil are clearly higher than other oils.
Many of the plant chemicals contained in argan oil are very rare. They occur in other plants only in modicum or not at all. These rare plant chemicals are the reason why argan oil beats other oils used in cosmetics.
The benefits of argan oil for the skin
Argan oil has a great many positive effects on skin care. Indeed, all of its effects are not even known yet. My advice is; if you have a skin problem, try genuine, good quality argan oil.
Effects of argan oil on skin and hair
- Brightens the skin
- Reduces redness
- Works anti-microbial agent
- Reduces signs of aging
- Treats scar tissue
- Promotes wound healing
- Can help treat some skin conditions (no inclusive information available, just try)
- Moisturizes the skin
- Moisturizes hair; use argan oil in haircare products such as emulsion-based conditioners
Make sure you get good quality argan oil
The quality of argan oil depends of the oil extraction process. Local people living in the argan tree area use argan oil mainly for food. they dip the bread in argan oil as we sometimes dip the bread in olive oil. For edible argan oil, the seeds are first lightly roasted to create a nutty flavour. Such argan oil is not suitable for cosmetics use.
Argan oil used for cosmetics is squeezed from fresh argan tree seeds. The fruits of the argan tree are dried. To get one litre of argan oil about 40 kilograms of dried argan fruit is needed. The seeds are removed from the dried fruit. Before pressing into oil, the hard shell is removed from the seeds by hand. Now the seeds are ready to be pressed.
Unfiltered argan oil is brownish red and thick. The oil is poured into decanters to separate the dregs from the oil. After the oil has got brighten for about two weeks, the clear oil is bottled.
However, the oil can be decanted many times. This gives a particularly clear, beautiful oil. The oil that has been filtered many times no longer has so many active ingredients left. The colour of argan oil tells us about the quality of the oil and the production methods.
Argan oil is still produced very traditional way
Poor Berber women in the southwestern part of Morocco still make argan oil according to old traditions. Berber women could not keep up with the growing demand of the oil. Industrial production of argan oil began. The advantages of industrial production are standard quality and large production volumes. The downside, on the other hand, is that the profits go to big business. Local residents remain unemployed. Money talks. Industrially extracted argan oil costs less than half the price of oil produced by Berber women.
The international cosmetics giant L´Oreál has shown its humanity. L´Oreál is committed to buying all the argan oil it uses from small Berber cooperatives. This is a very fine thing and a great social act.
Valuable argan oil is a particularly counterfeit product
Argan oil has gone the same way as olive oil. It has been counterfeited. The oil is mixed with cheaper oils and sold as genuine argan oil. The Moroccan government has been active in blocking the export of counterfeit oils. Argan oil shipments have been tested frequently to solve the problem.
Look for responsibly produced argan oil from a reliable supplier
Argan oil is a great product that you should definitely buy. It is a very preservative oil. Argan oil has been found to oxidize even more slowly than olive oil. However, it is worth to study carefully where argan oil comes from and how it is produced. It is not easy for the average consumer to find out the origin of oils. I recommend buying only from a shop where they know the origin of their products.
Have you used argan oil in your homecosmetics? Share your experiences in the comments section!
Instead of using a conditioner, using apple cider vinegar or other sour cream is becoming more and more popular. Acidic rinses are good for hair and scalp. Acid rinsing restores the hair to its natural acidity. However, acid rinsing is not always a sufficient hair conditioner. Especially after the summer, the hair ends are dry, tangled and hard to comb. The oils do not improve the condition of dry hair. It needs moisture. Next, I’ll give you a recipe for a conditioner that really moisturizes your hair.
What is the purpose of the conditioner?
Hair care products are always tailor made -products. At least that’s how it should be. One conditioner is not good to solve all hair problems. There are many different hair issues.
- Dry hair
- Dry ends
- Weak hair
- Oily hair
- Broken hair
- Hair loss
- Itchy scalp
- Scarred scalp
- Exfoliating scalp
- and many other hair problems
Read more about dry ends and conditioner here
Did you know that dry hair and dry ends are not necessarily due to the same reason? There can be really many different causes for hair dryness.
- Excessive sunlight
- Sea water along with sunlight
- Dry air
- Too strong shampoos/detergents
- Strong chemical treatments
- Hair styling with hot curling iron
- Hair follicles do not produce enough sebum
- Hormonal factors
I recommend a consultation with a professional eco-hairdresser
If it is difficult to clarify your hair problems, take time to consult a professional eco-hairdresser. Many of them do advertise themselves as eco-hairdressers, but in my experience, there are not so many real ones. An authentic eco-hairdresser masters more than just plant dyeing.
A real hair professional has seen many types of hair and scalps during hers/his career. She/he has trained herself to clarify hair problems. I think eco-hairdressers have even more acquainted with holistic human care. A hair issue may sometimes tell to experienced person that there are problems throughout the body. Hair is the part where body problems appear first. Therefore, you should rely on the professional skills of hairdressers.
Moisturizing conditioners for dry hair
Rarely is the whole hair really dry. Usually the ends are the dry part. Whatever the reason, moisturizing is effective on dry ends. I’ve explained in my blog why oil or water is not enough to moisturize the hair. You need an effective moisturizing emulsion that you can leave on the ends to protect them from drying out.
Moringa oil is a hair moisturizing oil
I recently wrote an article moringa oil. You can read it here. Moringa oil contains a moderate amount of very rare, moisturizing behenic acid. Behenic acid is used in many hair products to provide a moisture-binding effect. Behenic acid does not actually moisturize the hair but it is able to bind it effectively.
Marshmallow root is an herb that everyone making Hair Cosmetics should get in stock. The Marshmallow root is one of the most moisturizing herbal preparations. It is rich in mucus that is able to bind moisture effectively. The root of the Marshmallow is also a particularly gentle herb that is also suitable for products designed for children. Personally, I usually get the Marshmallow root online in large batches at a time. It survives very well for a few years when stored in a dry, cool and light-protected place.
The Oliviem-1000 emulsifier is the easiest to get -emulsifier for natural cosmetics. For the conditioner, I think the Olivem-1000 emulsifier is the best choice because it strengthens the protective greasy layer of the hair. Olivem-1000 is made from olive oil. It is a very easy to use and stable emulsifier.
In hair care products, the quality of the water is especially important. If your tap water is too hard and mineralized, prefer to use distilled water. Even battery water goes. All the minerals have been filtered out and the shelf life of your product will be much longer. If your tap water is soft, use it.
Geogard 221 preservative
I don’t usually use preservatives in my own products. Hair end conditioner is an exception. The product contains a lot of water, so it gets spoiled easily. Hair is practically a dead substance from which the preservative cannot be absorbed into the skin. Therefore, the use of a preservative can be justified in conditioners.
Moisturizing hair lotion; how to make it?
You will need the following accessories and ingredients for the hair conditioner
- 150 ml pump bottle, sterilize the bottle with strong alcohol
- Small funnel
First, prepare the marshmallow root infusion
- 120 ml of soft tap water or battery water or distilled water
- 2 Tablespoons of dried marshmallow root
Boil the root of the marshmallow for 5 minutes and allow it to cool down. Filter the infusion through the gauze carefully. Try to get all small particles of the root away from the liquid.
Then prepare a moisturizing hair lotion
- 120 ml of marshmallow root infusion
- 20 ml of moringa oil
- 5 ml Olivem 1000 emulsifier
- 1-1,5 ml of Geogard 221 preservative
- a couple drops of essential oils (optional)
Do like this:
- Measure all substances in a double boiler or water bath. Heat the mixture until Olivem 1000 is completely dissolved in the liquid. Keep the mixture at 80 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes to improve shelf life.
- Whisk the mixture evenly and cool down to room temperature.
- Add Geogard 221 preservative and, if desired, essential oils
- Mix the emulsion thoroughly and pour into a clean pump bottle
- The product will be preserved in the pump bottle when stored in a cool place and protected from light for about 3-4 months. Without preservatives, the product gets spoiled in the refrigerator in a week.
How do you use moisturizing hair conditioner?
With this recipe, the emulsion becomes a nice, milky-like liquid. It is easy to apply evenly to the ends of the hair. Use Moisturizing Hair Emulsion for washed, towel-dried hair.
Rub about a teaspoon of the emulsion on your palms. Go through the dry ends carefully. Leave the conditioner on the ends to treat and moisturize dry hair.
Moisturizing emulsion conditioner makes your hair shiny and healthy looking. Hair combability improves. After conditioner treatment, the ends no longer break and become tangled.
You will soon realize how much conditioner your own hair needs. The conditioner should leave the hair shiny healthy, not greasy at all. If your hair remains greasy, there is too much conditioner in your hair. If the hair still feels tangled, the conditioner should be applied more.
As the hair dries, the conditioner is absorbed into the cuticles and also locks in moisture. Moisture remains in the hair only because the emulsifier is present in the conditioner.
Did you try this recipe? Tell us all about your experiences in the comments section below!
Although I spend more time on hair care than my skin, I have not written so much about haircare. As the weather cools down, indoor heating is turned on in many homes. The warmer the indoor air is becoming, the dryer it will become as the heating system also dries the air. Not only the skin, but also the hair dries in the dry indoor air. How to treat naturally dry hair? This article tells you how to avoid excessive drying of your hair.
Why does my hair dry out?
Hair can dry out not only due to the environment but also due to improper care. The hair is covered with a thin layer of natural sebum. It is intended to protect the hair from drying out. Improper treatment routines and intense chemical treatments easily damage the natural protective layer of the hair. If the natural sebum layer is lost from the surface of the hair, the hair loses moisture.
Dry hair easily becomes static and it breaks. Dry hair is also very difficult to comb as it tangles easily. This is often the case for children’s thin hair, as the child’s scalp does not yet secrete enough the protective sebum. The secretion also decreases when we are ageing.
The ends of the hair are most vulnerable. Natural sebum is formed in the scalp. It spreads down the hair. In long hair, the ends are often left without natural protection. If the tops are not cared for regularly, they will dry out, get tangled and break.
How we can keep our hair moisturized?
Excessive washing is the no 1 reason for drying out. Especially if you use sulphate-containing (SLS) shampoos, your hair will dry out really easily. Nowadays I wash my hair with water only. My own hair has never been as nice and healthy since I left shampoos behind me. This is not a general advice because washing with water only is not suitable for everyone. So, pay attention to more gentle shampoos and reduce the times you wash your hair. You can try to find a mild and gentle option among natural shampoo bars. Some of them are soap-based and some are shampoo-based. You should try which one is right for your hair.
Hair conditioner matters
The choice of hair conditioner is especially important. I gave up silicone-containing hair cosmetics a long time ago. With the start of the water wash only, I noticed that many industrial conditioners easily deposit on the hair. A highly washable shampoo would be needed to remove them. At the same time, the shampoo would also remove the protective layer on the surface of the hair. Therefore, another option had to be found.
Hair oils do not moisturize
Many hairdressers recommend using hair oil after washing. Argan oil in particular is very popular in hair care. All the oils do remain on the surface of the hair, making the hair look greasy.
Be cautious with greasy hair masks
There is a general advice that hair should be rubbed with many different oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, butter, avocados and other fats. These treatments may be suitable for some hair types but not for our Nordic hair. Heavy oils stay our hair and make them look dirty. Although the hair is greasy on the surface, it still remains dry and tangled. But how could I get my hair moisturized properly?
Adding hair oil to damp hair
I heard some instruction that the oil should always be applied to damp hair. The structure of the hair is scaly. When the hair is washed, the scales open. Water gets inside the hair and moisturizes the hair. The oil applied to damp hair should lock the moisture in the hair. But what happens when water and oil meet? When preparing emulsions, we have learned that water and oil do not like each other. This is exactly what is happening now. If you apply the oil to damp hair, the water dries out and only the oil remains. Here is the reason why hair oils do not work in the hair.
How do I get water locked in my hair?
Water and oil is not a good combination in the hair as they do not stay together. What if we combine oil and water with an emulsifier? An emulsifier is an ingredient that helps water and oil stay together. The emulsion made from water and oil penetrates the scales of damp hair and really connects there. The emulsion is able to lock moisture in the hair. The oils in the emulsion protect the hair and prevent it from drying out. A small amount of emulsion applied to damp hair keeps the ends of the hair in good condition. I recommend leaving the emulsion conditioner on the ends, do not rinse it off. This keeps your hair ends moisturized between the washing times. By following this advice, I managed to grow my hair really long.
The emulsion can also be used as a hair mask. Apply 2 tablespoons of emulsion to the hair, leave on for 30 minutes and rinse off.
DIY-emulsion conditioner is the best option for hair
I have been avoiding industrially-made beauty care products because of the chemicals they contain. Emulsions contain water and therefore they must always contain at least a preservative. In addition, industrial conditioners contain many different chemicals. Some of these chemicals remain on the surface of the hair and do not come off without using an effective shampoo.
If you manage to find an emulsion conditioner that does not contain shocking amount of weird chemicals it means you don’t have to make everything yourself.
If you want a virtually chemical-free product, make yourself a simple emulsion from oils and water using an emulsifier. You can read more about preparing the emulsion here. I especially recommend moringa oil for dry hair. It contains a fatty acid that moisturizes the hair. I have written about Moringa oil here.
With a home-made emulsion conditioner, you can adjust the oiliness of the emulsion to suit your own hair. You can also combine different oils and vary the ingredients of the water infusion as well as the acidity. You can also add panthenol, a hair care ingredient, to the emulsion conditioner. Panthenol also makes the hair easier to comb.
If you are thinking of a solution for dry ends, I definitely recommend trying an emulsion conditioner. I have used it for the ends and dry hair in neck.
What is your method for dry ends? Tell us your own tips in the comments section!
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 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
- Flaxseeds brighten the skin
- Flaxseeds reduce the pores in the skin and make the skin clear
- Flaxseeds increase skin moisture
- Flaxseeds reducs the swelling of the skin, making the skin firmer
- Flaxseeds can be used to exfoliate skin (body scrub)
- Flaxseeds soothe acne
- Flaxseeds are anti-inflammatory. They soothe red skin after sunbath
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
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.
Have you already tried flaxseeds in skin care? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section!
Many people are looking for more options for moisturizing the skin. In winter the skin is extremely dry. It feels like no moisture is enough. There is a natural super moisturizer of which I have written before: kelp. Kelp, aka seaweed is one of the best ingredients for skin care. It contains a great variety of important minerals for skin. Kelp also contains other ingredients that are hardly found in terrestrial plants. One such ingredient is glutamic acid. How can you make products containing natural glutamic acid at your home? I’ll tell you about it.
Glutamic acid is a very important ingredient in cosmetics
Glutamic acid is an amino acid, or a constituent of proteins. Glutamic acid used in cosmetics is a synthetic, industrial product. Even synthetic glutamic acid is not toxic. Most glutamic acid is used to flavour foods.
At one time in Japan glutamic acid was made from kombu kelp by bacteria. Almost all Japanese foods are flavoured with monosodium glutamate, which is related to glutamic acid.
Glutamic acid has become very popular
Glutamic acid has become very popular in cosmetics because of its skin consistence. Glutamic acid acts as a very effective moisturizer or humectant on the skin. Glutamic acid also helps to stabilize the pH of the skin.
Many cosmetic products use glutamic acid. Its INCI names are:
- Acidum Glutamicum
- E 620
- L-glutamic acid
- Amino Acid
- Glutamic acid
Glutamic acid acts like hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin. Polyglutamic acid has been found to be even more potent moisturizer than hyaluronic acid. Glutamic acid is a humectant, it absorbs moisture from the skin and the outside air.
Where Can I Find Glutamic Acid?
We, homemade cosmetics makers do not have to purchase synthetic chemicals. Chemicals are concentrates and require professional scales as well as other measuring equipment for dosing. When making natural cosmetics, it is better to forget about synthetic chemicals and think where to find natural ingredients.
You can find glutamic acid in kelp
Especially, the kombu kelp is particularly rich in glutamic acid. In Japan, kombu kelp is used to make kelp broth, the Dashi. Dashi is added to Japanese soups to give a taste of umami. Glutamic acid is a non-toxic edible substance.
You can find kombu kelp in ethnic and Japanese grocery stores. It is a dried seaweed, which is a fairly well preserving product.
It is also worth of getting familiar with the kombu kelp use in kitchen. You can use kombu in salads and soups. It is really healthy and delicious. Do not leave any part of the kombu unused.
Kombu is rich in nutrients
At least the following vitamins and trace elements have been found in kombu seaweed. One 20 cm piece of Kombu contains roughly
- 200 mg of sodium
- 360 mg of potassium
- 4 percent of calcium
- 15 grams of magnesium
- Vitamins like C, A, E, K, B
- Iodine, iron, manganese and copper
How can you use kombu kelp in cosmetics?
In order to add glutamic acid to your products, you have to make a kombu broth. Kombu is very mineral-rich. It last well when boiled. So, boil about an hour on minimum heat, just let it boil gently. I used 1.5 litres of water for one kombu kelp.
Kombu infusion shelf life
Natural super moisturizer, Kombu infusion is very easy to make and use. You can keep the infusion for just about a week in the refrigerator. Then it’s time to make a new broth. If you want to use a preservative, the broth will be preserved about 3 months. As a frozen product, the kombu broth is convenient to use and most secure. You can freeze the kombu broth like ice cubes and defrost when needed.
The benefits of glutamic acid on the skin
The kombu infusion can be used in cosmetics in many ways.
- You can use the infusion as a moisturizing aqueous phase in your creams.
- You can use the infusion as a facial water. Kombu infusion is very soothing to the skin. The skin tolerates generally very well all kelp products. You can apply many layers of facial water based on kombu kelp on your skin. Let the kelp water to dry on your skin before applying next layer.
- Kombu infusion suits well for bath water. Add 0.5 litre of broth to bath water. Kombu contains not only glutamic acid but also magnesium, in suitable form to the skin. The broth bath relaxes and helps you fall asleep. It also moisturizes the whole body without greasy creams.
- Kombu infusion is particularly popular as a foot bath. You can add 0.5 litre of broth to water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. You will get a very refreshing foot bath that moisturizes and cares for your skin. Salt also softens hard skin that is easier to remove.
Benefits of glutamic acid for hair
Glutamic acid also works in hair care. In addition to glutamic acid, Natural super moisturizer, Kombu infusion, contains many other ingredients that benefit your hair
- The kombu suits very well for hair care. You can use kombu as part of your hair care routine. Traditional Japanese Funori hair wash powder is made partly from kombu powder.
- Kombu infusion is great for rinsing hair. As a mineral-rich product, Kombu infusion treats the scalp, balances fat production, moisturizes hair, has antibacterial properties, soothes irritated scalp, makes hair feel soft (moisture)…
- Kombu infusion contains the same types of mucilage as linseed. Kombu infusion rinsing makes the hair feel voluminous and soft.
- The polysaccharides of kombu infusion leave a protective layer on the hair surface.
Some people are sensitive to some amines and especially glutamate. For example, glutamates are present in flavour enhancers such as seasoned salt. In cases of hypersensitivity, kelp should also be avoided. Some tolerate kelp externally when applied to the skin but not in food. However, first test the seaweed for your skin.
Try the kombu on your own cosmetic products
Natural super moisturizer, Kombu gives you many other active ingredients in addition to glutamic acid. That is why I strongly recommend you to try a kombu. Especially on dry, mid-winter skin, kombu kelp brings a new glow.
Let us know how glutamic acid works on your skin! Please add your comments in the comment box below!
There are really many chemicals in skin care products, sometimes we may think that there are too many. However, many of these chemicals are quite common and harmless ingredients. You can find skin care raw materials also in your kitchen or garden. You just need to know where to look. Glycolic acid is such an ingredient. Glycolic acid sounds like a very chemical compound by name. In reality, regular cane sugar is rich of it. How can you utilize glycolic acid on your skin? Keep on reading to learn more.
Sugar cane is a miracle stuff in skin care
Ordinary home sugar is made from sugar cane. It is cultivated in over 100 countries as one of the most important crops. Unprocessed sugar cane is very high in minerals but also in a fruit acid called glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is an amino acid, a component of proteins.
Synthetic glycolic acid is produced in factories and involve the use of chemical process. Glycolic acid in mass production cosmetics is never a pure natural product. Formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen, is usually also involved in the manufacturing process. That is why glycolic acid of cane sugar is natural, non-toxic healthy choice we can use in skin care.
The glycolic acid content of the cane sugar is very moderate. That’s another reason why cane sugar is good for regular skin care at home.
Honey also contains glycolic acid. It can be used in cosmetics instead of cane sugar. Honey also contains many other skin care ingredients.
How glycolic acid affects the skin
Glycolic acid has an incredible number of skin-care effects. It is one of the most versatile skin care products.
- Glycolic acid brightens the skin. It has been used to treat skin’s uneven pigmentation with very good results. A home-made sugar-based product cannot cure severe pigmentation disorders. However, it clearly brightens the skin.
- Glycolic acid is effective in exfoliating the skin. Many commercial skin scrub products contain glycolic acid.
- Glycolic acid is a moisturizing ingredient for the skin. It is used to treat dry skin. Dry skin is usually sensitive. That’s why it’s best to choose a homemade sugar-based product instead of a strong, factory-made glycolic acid product.
- Glycolic acid penetrates the skin and promotes skin cell renewal. This process makes the skin cells younger and the whole skin looks younger. At the same time, small lines are lost from the skin. Glycolic acid is especially recommended for aging skin.
- Glycolic acid helps to keep pores clean. That is why it is recommended for skin that gets easily clogged. But glycolic acid is not precisely the right product for the treatment of acne. If you use sugar-based products on your skin, acne can even get worse. Bacteria use sugars as food.
- Glycolic acid is also very often used to treat sun-damaged skin. Glycolic acid regenerates the skin. It also stimulates the skin’s natural collagen production.
- Glycolic acid is especially good for surface-dry skin. It has the ability to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. Although the surface of the skin looks flaky and dry, the problems can be deeper in the skin. Glycolic acid also treats deeper areas of the skin.
- Glycolic acid is one of the most effective products against air pollution. Because glycolic acid promotes the removal of dead skin cells, it also removes impurities from the skin.
Products containing glycolic acid are easy to make by ourselves
It is a good idea to make natural and skin-friendly glycolic acid products by ourselves. Ordinary sugar contains just the right amount of glycolic acid for diy-products. If you want really effective glycolic acid treatment for a particular problem, you might want to have an appointment with a beautician.
You can make many products from sugar. If you use sugar for facial scrubs, you should dissolve it in the liquid. You can also use run honey, syrup or molasses, which are liquid enough.
I’ve told sugar’s other skin treating features here.
You can find recipes for sugar here. You can try the therapeutic effect of glycolic acid on your skin right away since most of the ingredients you can find in your kitchen closet.
At its simplest, you can enjoy glycolic acid treatment in the form of a honey mask. You can try honey for your whole body in the form of sauna honey. It really rejuvenates, moisturizes and brightens your skin. But please make sure you have prepared the sauna first, just to avoid any mess.
Have you tried glycolic acid treatments? Please tell us about your experiences in the comments section!
Many people suffer from dry skin in the beginning of winter. Big changes of the temperatures of heated, indoor air and cold outside air stress the skin. Indoor air is particularly dry when the heating system is running at full capacity. The skin surface dries and becomes lifeless.
There are really many products available for treating dry skin
However, you can make a moisturizer yourself from simple ingredients. In this post I will tell you which are the most moisturizing ingredients in home cosmetics.
Why does my skin dry?
In order to avoid dry skin, you should think first what is the reason why your skin is dry. In fact, dryness of the skin can be caused by many different things. Of course, the treatment must be chosen based on the real reason. The most common causes of drought are
- Too dry indoor air; indoor humidity should always be above 40%. Get yourself a powerful humidifier!
- Frost; frost reduces skin moisture to prevent the skin from freezing so easily. Avoid being in the frosty air!
- Smoking; In addition to many other health problems, smoking causes dry skin. Stop now!
- Too little hydration; drink more!
- Age; the skin becomes thinner as it ages. Thin skin dries more easily than thicker skin.
- Some medicines and health issues; it is worth consulting a trusted doctor.
Here are the main reasons that cause the skin to dry out. As you can see, you can influence many things yourself. The cold season is really challenging for the skin. Even if you can moisturize the indoor air in your home, you cannot do it at work. Therefore, it is advisable to take care of your skin carefully throughout the heavy and dark winter season.
A natural way to prevent skin dryness is vigorous exercise and sweating
Before you start trying any cosmetic product on dry skin you should try the effect of exercise. Exercise improves blood circulation in the skin and provides the skin with more nutrients and also moisture. According to research, the most moisturizing chemical in skin care is urea. It is added to many dry skin care creams. However, you do not need to add urea to your skin cream.
It is enough that you allow regular sweat to flow on your skin
Sweat always contains small amounts of urea. Therefore, sweating is one of the most moisturizing skin care methods. I highly recommend!
There are many natural products for moisturizing dry skin
I’ve told you in the past several cosmetic ingredients that moisturize the skin. Now I wanted to collect them together in this post to make it easier for you to find all skin super moisturizers in one place.
Glycerol and hyaluronic acid are the most commonly used moisturizers in cosmetics
Glycerol and hyaluronic acid absorb moisture from their surroundings. If there is not enough moisture available, they absorb moisture from the skin. When used incorrectly, hyaluronic acid, in particular, can have a drying effect on the skin.
Glycerol is a safer alternative to moisturize the skin. It is especially suitable for persons who do not tolerate plant extracts in cosmetics. Glycerol can also dry the skin if not used with plenty of fluid.
All sugars are moisturizing
I’ve told sugars here. Sugars have a very effective moisturizing effect. For dry skin, sugars are the best moisturizer. Sugars increase the activity of bacteria on the skin and absorb moisture. There are many good sugars available for the skin
- Plain fine granulated sugar, white or dark; use on face masks
- Powdered sugar; use in scrubs
- Sorbitol; lotions and facial waters
- Xylitol; lotions and facial waters
- Honey; use on masks
- agave nectar; use on masks
- Soft palm sugar; use on masks like honey
Starches protect the skin from drying out
Many starches help protect the skin from excessive drying. Starches form a layer on the skin that protects the skin from drying out. They also absorb moisture.
Starches act as thickeners in creams. They can only be added to the creams in small amounts. In large quantities, the starchy cream is uncomfortable on the skin.
- The most famous starch in creams is xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is used primarily as a thickener. It also forms a very thin protective layer on the skin surface.
- Colloidal oats work a little bit like xanthan gum on the skin. Colloidal oats are also a skin-soothing ingredient that reduces itching.
Seaweeds contain particularly moisturizing polysaccharides
All seaweeds moisturize the skin. Seaweed is rich in skin-moisturizing polysaccharides. Of course, there are differences in polysaccharides from different seaweeds. Some algae are clearly more moisturizing than others. I have written more about marine algae here.
Our skin tolerates particularly well seaweeds
Therefore, they can also be used on thin, dry and sensitive skin. Apart from moisturizing ingredients, seaweed contains an incredible amount of skin-loving minerals. At best, seaweeds are in the facial waters. You can also replace the cream with seaweed extract in your water phase.
Seaweed suitable for the skin
Use these incredibly effective seaweeds.
- Kombu; use as a decoction base for cream or facial water
- Wakame algae; Wakame, known from miso soups, is particularly good in skin care. Use as powder in masks or as a poultice base for creams and facial waters
- Kelp (Fucus Evanescens); is a super moisturizer for the skin. Thanks to the fucoidan it contains, kelp also removes redness of the skin.
Herbal moisturizers are rare. Personally, I know only two really good moisturizing plants.
- Leaves and roots of Greater Burdock
- Marshmallow root
You can use these plants as a poultice in facial waters and creams.
Hope you find some help when moisturizing your skin
There are really many moisturizing ingredients available. I deliberately omitted all oils that are considered moisturizing. Oils as such do not moisturize dry skin. Oils and vegetable butter can be used to lock in the moisture to the skin. The skin needs moisture meaning water. Therefore, it is worth drinking plenty of water. Also, moisturizing products should always be added to already moist skin. This gives the best moisturizing effect.
How do you moisturize your skin during the winter season? Please add your comment to the message box!
Rose oil is very popular in skin care as such. However, rose oil can be used as an ingredient in home cosmetics. This time I made a cream using rose oil. This cream can be applied to the whole body. It’s neither too oily nor too heavy so it’s perfect for summer.
I’ve often wondered how I could prepare an ointment that does not make my skin feel unpleasantly oily. Of course, we can avoid the problem by choosing the best absorbent skin oil. However, we have to wait some time before the skin has absorbed enough oil. Rose oil-based cream does not have this problem. It is instantly absorbed and leaves the surface of the skin soft and dry, like velvet.
What are the ingredients of the whole-body Rose Oil cream?
The secret of my rose oil-based cream lies in the xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is a safe cosmetic ingredient. If you’ve ever read any negative stuff about xanthan gum, it is always related to food. Xanthan gum is used as a food additive in candy, confectionery, salad dressings and in many other foodstuffs.
What is xanthan gum?
Xanthan gum (E415), the INCI name for XANTHAN GUM, is made from sugar by bacteria. The product is dried and ground to a white powder. I don’t know the manufacturing process exactly, but it doesn’t sound a very dangerous ingredient in cosmetics. Xanthan gum gives the cream an extra texture and viscosity. Xanthan gum is used as a thickener along with an emulsifier.
What does xanthan gum do in the product?
Xanthan gum is not only a thickener but also a moisturizer. Because xanthan gum’s molecule size is big, it stays as a protective layer on the skin. Such a protective layer retains moisture in the skin. That’s why xanthan gum is an absolutely essential ingredient in this cream.
Xanthan gum also absorbs moisture itself. This is why the surface of the skin feels wonderfully peachy. Xanthan gum provides a good foundation for makeup. It gives the skin a matte finish on which is easy to apply directly makeup or even powder.
Xanthan gum gives the cream a gel-like structure.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol such as glycerol. The purpose of Sorbitol in this product is to provide additional moisturizing features. Sorbitol also thickens creams.
Rose oil is a semi-finished product for cosmetics. I have prepared it using how-to make herbal oil instructions. I used rice bran oil and dried rose buds for extraction. The extraction was completed in about 4 weeks. If you don’t have rose oil right now, you can use some other herbal oil you’ve extracted.
You can read more about roses as cosmetic ingredients here.
Prickly pear oil
Opuntia oil is not necessary. Opuntia oil, or prickly pear oil, is pure luxury. I added this special oil to bring more skin caring fatty acids and antioxidants into the product. Opuntia oil is a very moisturizing oil that is said to be even more effective than argan oil on the skin.
I wanted to get a product that I could also use on my face. Opuntia oil gives this cream an extra absorbency and healing features.
Rose water, aka hydrolate is a product produced by steam distillation. Hydrolates are floral waters that are formed as a by-product of the distillation of essential oils. Essential oils are fat soluble parts of the plant and hydrolates are water soluble parts.
Rose hydrolate should be purchased from a reputable retailer. A cheap product sold under the name Rose Water in Ethnic Stores is not genuine rose hydrolate but synthetically produced fake.
Rose hydrolate not only gives the cream a longer shelf life but also adds a lovely rose scent.
I have used plain boiled tap water in this cream. You can choose between distilled or otherwise filtered water.
However, do not use tap water as such. I recommend you boil the water first as this will improve the shelf life of the cream.
I chose the Olivem 100 emulsifier for this product. It is a very stable and easy to use emulsifier. It is also an ECOCERT certified product. So, your cream will be on the same level than natural cosmetics.
I only made this product for a week’s use and I stored it in a sterilized glass jar in the refrigerator. Therefore, I did not need any preservative. In case you want to use a preservative, I recommend Geograd 221 preservative. It is an ECOCERT and COSMOS certified preservative. Recommended dosage is 0.2-1% by volume of the product. If you make 100ml lotion you only need 0.2-1 ml of Geogard 221 preservative. For such a small amount, I recommend you to get a small douche. It has a scale for such a small amount of liquids.
Spruce sprout glycerite
I have made glycerite from spruce sprout. It became quite strong so this time I used only ½ teaspoon. It was the first time ever I made it. It smells wonderfully pitchy and spring forest. I recommend you to try it. I’ve told about Spruce sprout here.
We can make the cream also without glycerite. You can also use glycerol alone. It is also a sugar alcohol and a very moisturizing ingredient.
How to prepare a protective cream based on rose oil
You need these tools
- 1 clean, sterilized glass jar
- Metal bowl for water bath
- Milk frother to mix the emulsifier
- Spatula (silicone)
You need these ingredients
- 50ml boiled water
- 25ml rose hydrolate
- 20ml rose oil
- 5ml opuntia oil
- 5 grams of Olivem 1000 emulsifiers (two teaspoons)
- A bit of sorbitol powder
- ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum
- A bit of beetroot powder to bring a rosy colour, optional
- ½-1 teaspoon of spruce sprout glycerite, optional
- Preservative (Geograd 221), optional
Do like this:
- Mix water, rose hydrolate, rose oil, opuntia oil and Olivem 1000 in a metal bowl.
- Lift the bowl into the water bath and let the water in the pot heat up gently
- Stir the mixture until Olivem is completely melted
- Remove the bowl from the water bath and mix the xanthan gum, sorbitol and beetroot powder (colour)
- Use the frother to mix thoroughly
- Let the cream stay in the water bath at 75-80 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes. Check the temperature on the thermometer. This step destroys potentially harmful bacteria from the cream.
- After 30 minutes of heat treatment, lift the bowl out of the water bath and blend once more until smooth.
- At this point you can add spruce sprout glycerite and beetroot powder if you wish.
- If you want to add a preservative, let the cream cool down to 40 degrees and then add the preservative drops.
- Once finished, place the cream into a sterilized glass jar.
- Store in a refrigerator.
- The preservative-free cream will last for about 2 weeks, with the preservative for about 2-3 months.
I’m really satisfied with this cream. This cream moisturizes effectively the skin dried by summer. It also provides effective skin protection. The skin feels soft and peachy but at the same time moisturized.
I look forward your response, how this cream suits to your skin. I also want to know how did you like the cream’s composition and feel of your skin. Feedback is always welcome and I really look forward to it. So, please add your comments to the comment section. Thank You!
Essential oils can be used in many products. Their active ingredients can be used as remedy to skin problems. Essential oils also slightly improve the shelf life of the product and give it a luxurious finish. At their best, however, they are in products where their fragrance is evident.
Make your own perfume
You can make your own perfume from essential oils very easily. Mix only the carrier oil, a neutral base oil, and a combination of your favourite essential oils. Perfume can also be designed for alcohol. The scent of self-made perfume does not last as long as industrial perfumes. This is because cosmetics industry is using fragrance-fixing ingredients such as diethyl phthalate (DEP). However, all phthalates are very questionable chemicals that everyone should definitely avoid.
Phthalates have been found to cause hormonal disturbances, nerve damage and damage to the human reproduction organs. The fragrances are very often in the form of a spray, so that they spread around the people in the same space, even if they do not use the fragrances themselves. So, it is recommendable to make perfumes yourself, or to buy eco-certified perfumes only.
You can design the fragrance by using the following formula. You should have
Four different types of essential oils
- Citrus scents such as grapefruit and tangerine
- Floral scents such as rose and lavender
- Herbal scents such as rosemary and mint
- Resinous and resinous oils such as cedar or pine
Basic scents of perfume, aka, the base notes of fragrances come from soothing and resinous coniferous scents. The lighter parts of the perfume, aka the top notes are based on citrus fragrance. They evaporate first. Middle scents, the middle notes or heart notes bundle all 3 notes together. The scent of middle notes comes from flowers. These 3 scents make the perfume. Additional herbal scents are completing the whole.
For your own perfume you need
- Small spray bottle (glass)
- 100 ml of 40-60% alcohol
- 40 drops of essential oils from the four different groups mentioned above.
Do like this
- Pour alcohol into the bottle.
- Drop a few drops of root fragrance or coniferous essential oil first.
- Add a few drops of citrus scents, a few drops of flower scents and a few drops of herbal scents
- Make a note of how many drops of which fragrance have been used.
- Smell the mixture and make the decision about what fragrance you are going to intensify, then smell it again and spray it slightly on the skin. The odour on the skin changes slightly.
- Take a break and go out for a while as your nose needs rest. Continue after 30 minutes.
- Continue adding and dropping the drops until all 40 drops have been used. The process can take hours as you sometimes have to pause. Remember, it is your choice which oils (scents) you prefer!
Scented, moisturizing hair spray
Adding essential oils to the liquid is usually problematic. Essential oils are not water soluble but remain floating on the surface of the liquid. So, you should always remember to shake the product well before use. Because we are humans, this does not always solve the problem. I have many times sprayed my face using facial water prepared myself – and forgot to shake before spraying. The essential oils are on the surface of the water. In case you pour the facial water from the bottle to a cotton bad without shaking, all the essential oils are there in the cotton bad.
How to add essential oils to the formula?
My solution to the problem is solvents. Alcohol is the best solvent but not so good for the skin. Glycerol, on the other hand, is good for the skin and also acts as a solvent. It is sugar alcohol.
I have added essential oils to this hair spray to make essential oils to solve. Glycerol also has another good feature. It is slightly sticky and at the same time gives hold and volume to the hair. If you suffer hair electricity, try this fragrant glycerol spray.
The main thing is the scent
I have deliberately left the essential oils for your consideration. Principally it is the same which essential oil you use. The main thing is the scent. Choose a fragrance that suits you and your personality. Or use the scent you already have in your beauty box.
You will need these for a scented, moisturizing hair spray
- Small spray bottle, glass
- 100 ml of boiled water
- 20 ml glycerol
- 10 drops (or less) of your choice of essential oil
Do like this
- Pour boiled water and glycerol into the bottle
- Drop the essential oils into the bottle
- Close the bottle and shake vigorously, the scented hair spray is ready
Tip: If you find the spray too sticky, reduce the amount of glycerol by half (10 ml). The essential oil is still soluble in the liquid, but glycerol is no longer so dominant.
And now you can just try these recipes!
Tell us how did you like the products you made!
Hair care has become more and more interesting. Many consumers are no longer happy with the traditional shampoo and hair conditioner containing SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate). Nowadays, there are really many more gentle and natural options for hair wash and conditioner. How do you choose caring herbs for hair care? Next I’ll tell you about herbs for dry hair.
Nowadays there are many different hair care methods. Most of them emphasize gentleness and organic care. Washing hair three times with shampoo, a method introduced by world famous hairdressers is long gone.
Very important thing in hair care is the acidity of the product meaning the pH value. The idea is to wash your hair with a neutral or slightly more alkaline product and use a sour conditioner.
Plants suitable for hair washing
To just wash your hair, it is not necessary to use any kind of alkaline, washing shampoo at all. Water only hair-washing is enough for many. Especially for older people, using water-only method is a highly recommended option. Young people who have very oily skin due to their hormonal function may need more grease washing products.
Let’s have a look what natural ingredients you can use for hair washing
You can use the following herbs for hair washing as they contain saponins. Saponins are alkaloids that foam like soap. Saponins-containing plants have been used for thousands of years for all washing purposes. Saponins are toxic to fish and ruminants. Therefore, never use saponins-containing plants when washing yourself in natural waters. However, you can wash your hair outdoors with saponins if you pour the used water into the ground and not directly into the waters like lake, river etc.
We have got familiar with soap nuts (Sapindus Mukurossi) in laudry. They are actually berry shells of small trees containing cleaning agents. They also a very common ingredient in Indian hair products. Their washing power is based on the saponins.
Using soap nuts in hair washing
Saponin contained in nuts is water soluble. The best way to get the saponins at your disposal is to boil the nuts and use the boiling water.
- You will need 3 soup nuts and 5 dl fresh water.
- First soak the nuts overnight in water
- Cook the nuts gently for 10-15 minutes
- Strain the broth and use as shampoo
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) is the equivalent of soap nuts. It grows on northern hemisphere. Soapwort is easy to grow. You can plant it in your own yard in early summer and dry the plant for the winter.
Soapwort is also a gentle laundry detergent used by museum conservators to clean delicate textiles. It says a lot about the gentleness of the herb.
Soapwort is a detergent ingredient. It does not actually treat your hair. If your hair is dirty and greasy you can try the herb. If your scalp and hair are dry you will not need soapwort at all.
Aloe Vera is an example of a plant that is not a well-known soap plant, but contains a surprising amount of saponins. Aloe Vera is highly recommended for hair care as it is an acidic, moisturizing plant with gentle washing properties. Aloe Vera is therefore capable of performing three different hair care tasks alone.
Even though I would prefer domestic plants, I have not found as diverse a plant as aloe vera is. I well understand why Alexander the Great spread it everywhere he went to fight his wars. He simply couldn’t get along without aloe vera.
I have often heard the claim that aloe vera should not be used unless you get it fresh from the plant. Some plant chemicals are destroyed quite quickly. This is both true and false. Aloe Vera contains hundreds of active ingredients. Not all the active ingredients in aloe vera are even known. Also, it is not known with certainty which ones out of the hundreds of aloe vera herbal chemicals are the most effective. Even if some aloe vera ingredients were destroyed immediately at harvest, hundreds would still be left. Relevant factors for hair and skin care, such as acidity and saponification, remain unchanged in freeze-dried powder and bottled juice of aloe vera.
It is worth of trying aloe vera in hair care. I believe you will be convinced of its effectiveness. Aloe Vera is definitely my favourite hair care product. Aloe Vera is moisturizing. It is suitable for both oily and dry hair. Aloe Vera both cleans and cares the hair.
Read more about aloe vera here
How to use aloe vera in hair care?
You can use either aloe vera juice or aloe vera gel made from powder for hair care. Both have the same cleansing and caring effect.
- Prepare a gel from the powder according to the instructions on the package or use the juice.
- If necessary, strain the finished juice through a gauze cloth.
- Pour aloe Vera juice into a bottle for easy dosing to the hair
- Get your hair wet and pour aloe vera juice from the bottle into the scalp evenly
- Foam hair as in shampooing but leave on for 10-20 minutes before rinsing
- Then rinse your hair
- I will add some extra aloe vera juice to the hair to give it more volume.
- Aloe Vera also works well as a light hair spray.
Plants suitable for hair rinsing
Acids are needed to rinse your hair. It is very easy to find acidic products in the plant world. Most plants contain some kind of acid.
Another function of the hair rinse is to moisturize the hair and scalp. Many moisturizing products are not acidic. If you want to moisturize your hair, you should choose plants containing mucus.
If you have washed your hair using some alkaline shampoo you will definitely need an acidic rinse. If you also want moisturize your hair, make a mixture of acidic rinse and moisturizer. Only aloe Vera is capable to do the washing, moisturizing and acidic rinse.
You can make super moisturizing hair rinses from the following plants
Marshmallow is a truly magnificent mallow. Other mallows can be used for this purpose, but they have really small roots compared to marshmallow. Easiest way to get the root is to order them online.
I actually ordered a Marshmallow root from United Kingdom. In foreign shops you can get the root very cheaply. It also does not get spoiled so you can buy it for a bigger batch at the same time.
How to Use Marshmallow Root?
- Measure 2 tablespoons of chopped, dried marshmallow roots in a saucepan
- Pour 0.5 litre of fresh water on top and boil about 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the soup hot and let it cool down. Plants containing mucus are difficult to strain when cooled.
- Use as a hair rinse to moisturize your hair. You can let it be for 10-20 minutes before rinsing.
You can also leave some of marshmallow broth on your hair to give the hair some volume.
Fenugreek seeds are one of my favourite hair rinses. I found a recipe for one of the popular organic hair blogs Hair Buddha
There are plenty of Indian hair care tips in this site. I’ve tried few of them and this fenugreek seems to fit to Finnish hair very well. Many of the Hairbuddha’s instructions are suitable for coarser, Indian hair types.
Fenugreek gives the hair a great shine, as well as extra moisture and volume. Lack of moisture damages the hair and prevents it from growing.
How to prepare a fenugreek rinse
- 2 tablespoons of Fenugreek seeds
- 5 dl of fresh water
- Let the seeds soak overnight
- Pour off the water away and add 5 dl of fresh water
- Cook the seeds for 15 minutes
- Strain the broth and use as a hair rinse
Flax seed gel
Flaxseed contains the same mucus ingredients as the marshmallow root. The mucus moisturizes the hair and at the same time gives it volume. Flaxseed mucus is very chewy and also acts as an organic hair lotion.
I first heard about the use of flaxseeds in hair care at Henriette Kress’s herbal therapy course. She advised to use flaxseed mucus for fixing and styling hair. If you want to make safe cosmetics for children’s beauty experiments, flaxseed mucus is a very safe hair gel.
Prepare the gel like this
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
- 3 dl of fresh water
- Boil flaxseeds in hot water until you have only 1-1 ½ dl left. Here you can decide yourself the strength of the gel, less water means it is stronger.
- Strain the gel immediately after boiling as flaxseed will no longer separate from the cooled gel.
- You can use the gel for styling your hair. If you want to get a hair spray, the gel should contain more water. You can apply thicker gel to your hair with your fingers.
- This kind of gel is good when you want to lift the hair slightly off the scalp.
- Unfortunately, flaxseed gel does not attach itself to hair very strongly. When your hair gets dryer, it drops off. Even light brushing removes the gel easily when the hair is dry.
You can get also a very nourishing hair rinse from flaxseeds. Prepare the hair rinse same way you made the gel but use water 5dl / 2 tablespoons of flaxseed (2 dl more).
You can let flaxseed gel to work on your hair after washing for 10-20 minutes. If you want extra volume in your hair you can leave some gel in your hair.
Other plants moisturizing hair
There are other moisturizing plants as well. You can make hair rinse broths out of all these plants.
- Hibiscus juice is a very moisturizing but is discolours the hair reddish.
- Sage is extremely moisturizing and prevents grey hair.
- Lavender is a neutral hair moisturizer that is suitable for all colours of hair.
Acidic rinses for hair
This time I’m not suggesting vinegar. I’m not a big fan of vinegar in hair care. For many of us, vinegar may be too drying. For some, though, vinegar is fine.
There are many very useful plants for hair rinsing in nature. The plants also contain several minerals and antioxidants which are beneficial to the scalp. If you want to ferment the plants you will also get some very useful probiotics.
Nettle is a very good hair conditioner
Nettle is a very diverse plant. It contains a lot of silicon that is good for hair. Small nettles are best for eating. The overgrown nettles should be used as a raw material for hair rinse. They contain enough oxalic acid for acid rinsing. Nettle is also a highly antioxidant plant that also cares for the hair and scalp.
Nettle gives your hair a great shine. The only limitation to the us of nettle is its suitability only for dark hair. Blonds should not use nettle hair care.
Prepare nettle rinse as follows
- Collect about one litre of nettles. Big nettles are the best for acid rinsing
- Rinse the nettles, place them in a saucepan and pour 2-3 litters of fresh water on top of them. You can adjust the acidity of the nettle rinse with the amount of water you use.
- Boil nettles for 20 minutes
- Allow the soup to cool and strain the nettle rinse
- Use as a hair rinse
Nettle has a darkening effect on the hair. If you want to try the darkening effect, pour nettle broth several times through your hair – collect the broth and use it again.
There are other moisturizing herbal treatments for hair
I have used myself these herbal treatments. I wanted to introduce only those raw materials I have used myself. Then I know that the ingredient I recommend is functional and useful. However, you better first try out how these herbs work in your hair. We are all individuals and our hair are different.
After trying herbal hair sprays, tell me about your experiences!
Sugar is a food that is considered unhealthy. Sugar should be avoided due to its many harmful effects. However, sugar has become increasingly popular in natural cosmetics. Sugar in skincare products is excellent incredient. It’s a natural, non-toxic ingredient that has lot of good effects on your skin. Learn why sugar is good for your skin and how sugar in skincare.
Sugar is not just one compound. Sugar is the common name for sweet, soluble carbohydrates. Sugars are naturally found in berries, fruits and vegetables. Honey is also almost pure sugar. In nature, sugars occur in combinations of many different sugars.
The sugars can be divided into monosaccharides and disaccharides
The most common monosaccharides are
- Grape sugar or glucose, aka dextrose
- Fructose sugar or fructose
Monosaccharides are commonly found in all vegetables, fruits and berries.
The most common disaccharides are
- Lactose or milk sugar
- Maltose or malt sugar
- Sucrose, cane sugar commonly used in households
Disaccharides are special sugars found in individual foods. Sucrose is found in sugar beet and sugar cane, both raw materials of household sugar.
Sugar dissolves effectively in water
The popularity of sugar in cosmetics is because of the fact that sugar is highly soluble in water. If you have a decilitre of boiling water you can dissolve up to half a kilogram of sugar in it. This amount of water cannot dissolve more sugar. The water becomes saturated with sugar, and the left-over sugar remains crystallized in the bottom of the solution.
Sugar has no pH value
Sugar has no pH value at all. The pH indicates the acidity or alkalinity of the liquid. No solid matter can have a pH value. Even if you add sugar to your cup of tea, the pH of the tea will still remain the same. Sugar in skincare product cannot change the pH value. This is due to the chemical properties of the sugar.
You must have heard that sugar is sour
This is not the case. The fact that sugar causes acid attack on the teeth is not due to the acidity of the sugar. If the sugar is added to sour juice or soda, the acidity comes from the juice of the berries or from the carbon dioxide of the soda. Sugar also nourishes the bacteria in the mouth that produce acidic metabolites in the mouth. Sugar produces lactic acid in the mouth because it attracts bacteria to eat the sweet in our mouth. Lactic acid is corrosive to the teeth and will cause cavities or holes in them. So, the lactic acid in the mouth is not caused by the sugar itself.
How sugar works on the skin
Sugar is a prebiotic.
This means that the sugar will take care of the skin’s own bacteria. When the skin’s own bacteria is getting stronger, the skin is rich in lactic acid. Lactic acid is a metabolic product of bacteria. It belongs to normal skin. Lactic acid keeps the skin well acidified. Therefore, being a probiotic is the most important feature of sugar in skin care.
Increased bacterial activity brings skin alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which is classified as fruit acid. AHA fruit acids increase the collagen production in the skin and make the skin look younger. So, you don’t have to buy expensive AHA fruit acid supplements, as the bacteria in your skin can make it yourself. Take care of the bacteria of your skin with sugars by yourself. When the bacteria are well, they make precious cosmetic ingredients for your benefit.
Watch out for sugars if you have skin problems
Because sugar is a prebiotic, it works as a substrate for just about all bacteria. Skin yeasts also use sugar as a nourishment. If you have any inflammatory skin condition such as acne, eczema, urticaria, ringworm, seborrheic scalp or any other, do not use any product containing sugars or other carbohydrates. The sugars merely nourish the harmful microbes on the skin. This will make your rash worse and worse. It is always advisable to consult a dermatologist when suffering from skin diseases.
Sugar’s two different exfoliate effects of the skin
When you make traditional sugar peeling from fine sugar and vegetable oils, you get an effective mechanical peeling. Sometimes such a mechanical peeling can be too hard for the skin of the face. Sugar granules do not melt in oil. Water is always required for melting sugar. If the sugar crystals are large and sharp, the skin may become red very easily. You can also get yourself permanent vasodilation of small veins.
Sugar peeling can also be done with powdered sugar
Sugar does not have to be crystal sugar. Sugar specifically increases bacterial activity on the skin and causes the bacteria to form lactic acids. Lactic acid is a very effective exfoliating agent. It does it scrub the skin, but peel it chemically.
Sugar moisturizes the skin.
All sugars moisturize the skin. You will notice it best after a honey facial mask. Honey contains grape sugar and fruit sugar. These two sugars are the best moisturizers for the skin.
All sugars are natural humectants, meaning they attract moisture effectively. Glycerol and hyaluronic acid are also humectants. Hyaluronic acid, in particular, is sometimes too effective humectant that can also dry the skin. It requires enough moisture around it in order to work properly. Glycerol also sometimes acts too effectively as a moisture-retaining ingredient. Glycerol requires at least 50% moisture around it to function properly.
Sugar never dry the skin
Sugars do not have this effect. They do not absorb too much moisture from the skin. They are safe, mild humectants that never dry the skin.
The sugars are naturally absorbed into the skin and retain moisture in the skin. Sugar is a very simple, inexpensive yet effective humectant ingredient in cosmetics. As far as I know, nobody is really allergic to pure white sugar -but naturally, someone could be.
For which cosmetic products can you use sugar
In principle, sugars can be used in all cosmetics. However, sugars have their downsides. They are quite sticky on the skin at high concentrations. Therefore, smaller doses are better, at least before you know what you are doing.
Day Creams, Night Creams, Eye Creams, Body Lotions
Use honey for the creams. Honey’s texture is nicely buttery already and its crystals are small enough. Honey also contains really many micronutrients necessary for the skin. Bees have never accurately told the perfect recipe of honey. It contains hundreds of chemicals, and only some of them have been studied. Honey has a great effect on skin health.
Honey is also antimicrobial
It contains small amounts of the same resins also found in propolis. Propolis is a bee glue that can kill viruses and bacteria that threaten bees. Propolis is also used as a natural disinfectant for wounds and abrasions.
Recommended amount of honey and other sugars is maximum up to 1% by volume of the product. Honey makes the skin sticky. Even a small amount of honey in the product is enough to bring in a probiotic effect.
For hair products like hair care, hair masks and hair styling
Sugars are only useful in hair products that are allowed to have a short time effect on the scalp and hair. I do not mix any conditioner or any other things into the shampoos myself because the purpose of the shampoo is to cleanse the hair and scalp.
Moisturizing Hair Mask
You can make moisturizing hair masks by mixing honey with natural yogurt. Yogurt is rich in useful lactic acid bacteria that love the sugars of honey. If you do not want to use honey in the mask, you can replace it by powdered sugar.
Sugar is great for hair styling.
For facial masks and scrubs
Facial masks and peels made from sugar are classic in-home cosmetics. Combining fine cane sugar with high quality oil you will get a very nice peeling product. However, the sugar is quite crystalline. It can scratch and damage the skin. I do not recommend using sugar for peeling sensitive skin.
Honey is utra moisturizing and mildly antiseptic ingredient
Granulated sugar is not widely used for facial masks but honey is generally used ingredient. Honey is one of the best moisturizing ingredients of facial masks. Although it contains small amounts of pollen, people are rarely allergic to honey. Honey is also mildly antiseptic ingredient that soothes the skin. Many have made a honey mask in the sauna for the whole body. It’s a wonderful way to treat your skin.
Do not use sugar in skincare when…
- Do not use sugar on your skin when you have acne, eczema, rosacea or any other inflammatory skin condition. Eating sugar can also exacerbate skin problems.
- If your scalp is itchy and inflamed, never treat it with products containing sugars. Sugars also accelerate the growth of false bacteria.
- If you have a lot of bacteria in your skin due to inflammation, do not feed them. Sugars are good for these harmful bacteria.
- Eczema skin is very fragile and thin like paper. It is easy to get infected by bacteria. Therefore, the use of probiotic treatments such as sugars on the skin should be avoided. Eczema skin resistance against harmful bacteria is gone. If there is no purulent inflammation yet on your skin, it will come soon after using the cream products containing sugar.
- Sugar peeling is not suitable for sensitive skin. I do not recommend products made from ordinary table sugar for facial peeling. If you want to peel your face with granulated sugar, melt the sugar crystals by wet hands first.
Sugar in skincare is a very versatile, necessary and safe ingredient. However, it is worthwhile to carefully study the properties of sugar. This is how you can avoid problems that may arise when using sugar.
You can read also: Natural Handwash made from Sugar and Thuja Oil.
Please tell us about your experience with sugar in cosmetics. Does the sugar suit your skin or does it cause problems?
The very first skin care product line, which I have ever bought, was based on the seaweeds and sea minerals. I have already blissfully forgotten the name of the product but it left really good memories. That was my first experience of seaweed in skincare.
My first experience of seaweed in skincare
At that time my skin was a skin of a young girl, under 20 with impurities. After starting use of the series, the superficial roughness and impurities disappeared from my skin. My skin became easy to care and beautiful. I was whacked. Is this how cosmetics work? Why doesn’t everyone use this series and enjoy beautiful skin like mine?
I am afraid this smells little bit like advertisement. However, the experience I told is true. After that, I started to pay attention to seaweed and sea minerals in a whole new way. They seemed to fit my skin perfectly.
How to use seaweed in skincare
Now I want to open up also the world of seaweed and tell how you can use them in skincare. You can of course buy ready-made seaweed products like this. There are plenty of series available in natural cosmetic quality. However, I try to inspire you to try seaweed in DIY-cosmetics.
The use of seaweed in DIY-cosmetics is inspiring because you can influence so many things yourself. You can make different products for different purposes and use seaweed in all of them. Try to add seaweed to this sunflower cream. You can also add other marine ingredients to your products such as minerals, salt and the wonderful Dead Sea mud.
But the most challenging part is getting to know the countless varieties of seaweed and finding new features and uses in them. That’s why I am planning to write a comprehensive opus about seaweed. It is truly wonderful and versatile ingredient.
What kind of seaweed there are?
First, let’s get started on what kind of seaweed there are and what is available in stores and online. I will list all the minerals, vitamins and proteins seaweed contains.
By way of exception, I would also like to mention here the use of seaweed as a food. This is not a food blog and I am not about to create one. However, seaweeds are comparable to dietary supplements. If you really want to improve skin, nail and hair nutrition, you should definitely prepare seaweed dishes from time to time. Seaweed does not need to be used much. You can, for example, use it like spice in dishes.
Why seaweed is so superior?
Seaweed is rich in important minerals. Their mineral content is significantly higher than many land plants. Seaweed contains valuable proteins and vitamin B-12, which are very valuable for vegans. Many people currently have iodine deficiency. Using seaweed can effectively improve iodine intake. Seaweed in skincare is so superior.
- Seaweeds control inflammation of the skin
- Seaweeds absorb heavy metals and impurities
- The nutritional values of seaweed are unmatched
- Seaweed is well tolerated
- The skin and body are able to utilize seaweeds effectively
There are huge quantities of seaweed
A whole new world awaits you under the sea surface. Seaweeds are underwater vegetables and herbs. They are in the sea just as the dry land has different herbs and other plants. Some of the well-known seaweeds are generally on the market because they have been used as food in Asia.
Seaweeds used in cosmetics include, for example, seaweeds from the Laminaria group. The seaweed of the Laminaria group is large and leather-like seaweed. They are used to moisture in the skin, as well as to make the skin glow and beautiful. Seaweed can also help to improve the skin’s blood circulation and eliminate cellulite.
Find out what seaweed exist and what you can use for everything
I’ve listed below the best-known seaweeds. You can use all these seaweed in skincare. It is easier to use seaweed which are commonly available. Of course, all commonly known seaweed can be ordered online. If you do not find them in local online stores you will get them from abroad.
I added some tips how to use seaweed in cooking. When used as food, seaweed is incredibly rich in minerals and vitamins. Edible seaweed can also be used for skin- and haircare.
Everyone knows the Nori seaweed
Nori is used as food, more specifically in sushi and rice balls. Nori is perhaps the most common commercially exploited seaweed in the world. You can find nor seaweed easily.
Wakame is well known because of miso-soups in Japanese restaurants. It has a mild taste and it is easy to use. Wakame is extremely high in iodine. Even so much that its use should be restricted. You can add dried wakame for example, to bread or soups.
In skincare, Wakame is one of the best. Unlike many other seaweeds, it is easy to obtain. Wakame is also very easy to use. You can just grind it into masks or make it a herbal infusion.
- Moisturizes the skin
- Protects skin from sun and air pollution
- Works to prevent aging
- Soothes and removes redness from the skin
Kombu seaweed is a very strong seaweed. It is used by the Japanese in cooking to facilitate digestion. Kombu seaweed gives Japanese vegetarian food a great umami flavor. Kombu seaweed is not eaten as such but is made into a tasty broth by soaking seaweed in water. Kombu should not be cooked, as it will become bitter and slimy.
Cosmetics manufacturers like Lush is using kombu. Lush appreciates the cleansing and soothing properties of the kombu. For home cosmetics, I recommend a Kombu bath.
Dulse (Palmaria palmata)
Dulse seaweed is dark reddish, like dried beets. Use dulce in chopped salad dressings or as a popcorn spice. Dulse sprinkled on top of eggs is also delicious. Dulse has been a snack food for fishermen in the English and Irish seas. It is rich in minerals and can be eaten without cooking. Fishermen use dulse especially in egg dishes but also in meat dishes. Dulse can also be used to make delicious chocolate.
Nutritional values / 100g
- Iron 33mg
- Potassium 1720mg
- Omega3 and omega6 fatty acids
- Vitamin B-12 6.6micrograms
- Proteins 21.5gr
• Additionally, dulse seaweed contains vitamins A and C, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, zinc, selenium and iodine
Dulse helps soothe the skin and treat skin inflammations such as eczema and acne.
Arame is very dark, almost black seaweed. Despite its color, Arame is perhaps the most mildly tasting seaweed. Dried it looks like loose black tea leaf. Use soaked, boiled Arame as a salad. Season with, for example, thyme strips, vinegar and a drop of sesame oil.
Arame is recommended for skin detox masks. Arame effectively removes impurities from the skin. It also moisturizes and brightens the skin.
The arame is sold dried as usually all seaweed. It is a good idea to rinse it before use and then soak it in cold water.
Seaweed suitable for the skin
Ascophyllum nodosum, also known as Norwegian Kelp is a very long-lived brown seaweed that is found in the North Atlantic. The Norwegian Kelp can live up to 400 years. Norwegian Kelp is used in skincare products and supplements. Norwegian Kelp helps improve skin color. It makes the skin ball and beautiful. Also in sun products, Norwegian Kelp is used to smooth out the color of the tan. Especially if your skin is sunburned or reddened otherwise it is a great help.
Norwegian Kelp is a highly nutritious seaweed. Its specialty is that it contains 70 different growth hormones. The growth hormone of Norwegian Kelp in agriculture helps the plants repair their own damages. Therefore, Norwegian Kelp is a very popular addition in fertilizers.
Thanks to its high amino acid content, seaweed is an effective anti-aging product. Seaweed amino acids help the skin to bulge and smooth out fine lines.
Rainbow seaweed, Iridaea Cordata
The surface of the rainbow seaweed shines wet in different colors of the rainbow. That gives the name. Rainbow seaweed contains high amounts of proteins, iodine, zinc, iron, vitamins A, E, and C, as well as vitamin B1, sodium, calcium and magnesium.
Rainbow seaweed is the best seaweed for seaweed baths. Its minerals and vitamins nourish the skin as they are able to dissolve in bath water. Rainbow seaweed is very effective moisturizer for the skin.
You can also add powdered rainbow seaweed to facial masks, moisturizers and serums. In facial masks, the dosage is pretty much free. For products to be left on the skin, I recommend a dosage of up to 5%.
The bladder wrack or Fucus Evanescens
Bladder wrack growing on the beach, underwater cliffs is a popular skincare product. The bladder wrack lives in tidal areas, so it is part of the time on completely dry land before being submerged again. The bladder wrack is huge in size. It is a very common seaweed. Bladder wrack has been used extensively in herbal medicine. It was once the only hope for tuberculosis in some areas.
The bladder wrack is an edible seaweed. It is commonly used to thicken soups.
Bladder wrack is high in iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium, lysine, antioxidants, vitamins such as A, C, E, and K. It also contains substances such as algin, mannitol, mucus and fucoidan. Due to the huge variety of different active ingredients, bladder wrack has become everyone’s favorite.
The bladder wrack is super moisturizing to the skin. It treats irritated skin and balances skin color. Flucoidan is one of the most effective ingredients in the fight against redness of the skin. The bladder wrack contains this compound.
The bladder wrack also removes toxins from the skin. You can combine bladder wrack with various clays or peat for an effective detox mask.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, bladder wrack can be used for sunburns and for the treatment of insect stings.
Irish Moss aka Chondrus Crispus
Irish Moss is a seaweed that everyone has eaten unknowingly. It is the source of the food additive E 407, or carrageenan. Carrageenan is used in foods starting from whipped cream and other liquid products. It is a thickener that has no nutritional value. It passes through the body without being absorbed. Carrageenan is generally well tolerated. It can also be used as a thickener in cosmetic products.
Because carrageenan is herbal, it also works as a cosmetic thickener for vegans.
Here was a pretty quick cross-section of seaweeds that you can use in DIY- cosmetics and also add to natural cosmetics products. Seaweed in skincare is easy to use.
Seaweed has been very dear to me for years. That’s why I wanted to tell you about them. Seaweed in skincare are superior.
Thank you for being involved and reading about the wonderful features of seaweed. I really hope you try them out in some form.
Have you already tried seaweed? Which seaweed did you choose and how did it go?
Please, tell me about your experiences!
One of the best things about coconut water is its skin cleansing feature. I have not been able to figure out why coconut water has such a feature. It is similarly anti-bacterial as coconut oil. Therefore, this facial water is especially good for impure skin.
Coconut water contains a large variety of mineral salts including potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium. In coconut water mineral salts are just the best form so that the skin benefits from them. They are very small particles in plant’s own juice in a best possible form for absorption.
In addition, coconut water contains sugars that moisturize the skin as well as vitamin C. Vitamin C makes miracles for your skin. It should always be added to the products because it will not last very long.
Aloe Vera is a well- known skin-loving and treating ingredient. Aloe Vera soothes the skin and reduces pores. In addition, aloe vera gel provides a suitable texture for the facial toner. You can also prepare aloe vera gel from the powder. The powder is sold in stores selling raw materials for home cosmetics. It is very plentiful and is more affordable than fresh Aloe Vera juice in bottles.
Gentle Cleansing and facial toner from coconut water and Aloe Vera
For Cleansing Coconut Water Facial toner, you need
- 150ml coconut water
- 50ml Aloe Vera gel, either fresh juice or from powder. Follow the dilution ratio in the package if you are using the powder.
How to make coconut water facial toner
- Add coconut water and aloe vera gel in a glass bottle and shake well.
- Use as standard facial water or spray on face. You can also try Korean style and add layers on your face.
- Store the bottle in a refrigerator as it is a fresh product. Use it in a week.
- If you want the product to last longer, you should heat it for 20-30 minutes at 80 º C and add a preservative. By doing this you will lose your vitamin C and perhaps other active ingredients. Personally, I want to use the products as fresh as possible and don’t want to warm them up or add preservatives.
Effective cleaning paste made of coconut oil
This cleanser is a traditional home cosmetics product and very good for acne skin. Baking soda can detach and remove very dry skin and dead tissue. This cleanser is also suitable if you want to brighten your skin or want to remove the makeup especially carefully from the skin.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a very often used wrongly. It is an alkaline substance that effectively removes fat and impurities. In addition, the baking soda has a mildly exfoliating property. You can read about my post about baking soda from here. For this cleansing paste, baking soda suits perfect.
Coconut oil is solid if you keep it under 25 degrees Celsius. At over 25 degrees it becomes liquid and is easy to pack in a bottle. This is worth remembering, when preparing cosmetic products from coconut oil.
Coconut oil is not absorbed easily into the skin
That’s why it’s a very good product to clean your makeup from the skin. Also, eye makeup is also easily removed with pure coconut oil. This cleansing oil contains also baking soda. That’s why you can’t use it in the eye area.
Products containing coconut oil should be removed from the skin precisely because they clog the pores easily. So it is worth of cleansing the skin once again, for example, with a facial cleansing milk or with a facial foam cleanser. For daily skin cleansing this product is not suitable.
You need for coconut cleansing paste
- 50ml coconut oil
- 50ml baking soda
How to do coconut facial cleansing paste
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl
- Apply the cleanser either to the entire face area, avoiding eye contour or just on the desired problem areas.
- Rub gently for a couple of minutes
- Use a cloth soaked in hot water to remove the coconut cleanser very carefully. Repeat the process, if necessary, a few times.
I bought years ago a big bottle of glycerol from an online store. I was looking for natural ingredients to be used for my lotions. Luckily, I selected bigger package. After using a teaspoonful of glycerol, as stated in recipe, there was still 3 deciliters left. How could I ever use such an amount of glycerol? Why didn’t I select the size of a package more carefully?
After deeper investigation I found so many new ways to use glycerol. Nowadays I always store at least half a liter of glycerol in my closet. I am using it in several ways.
What do I do with such a big quantity of glycerol? I will tell you shortly!
What is glycerol?
Glycerol aka glycerin is together with fatty acids the most important component of all fats. Sounds like a very simple and natural product, don’t you think? Chemical composition of glycerol is sugar alcohol. It has some similar features like ethyl alcohol, a product we all know. It is sweet-tasting gel-like liquid. It dissolves into water and blends well with oil. You can use it both in water-based products and in completely water-free products.
What raw materials are used in glycerol production?
Glycerol is usually produced of organic material meaning plant- or animal fats. There is also synthetic glycerol available. Just producing the synthetic glycerol does not make sense, it would be very expensive.
Synthetic glycerol is a byproduct of biodiesel. This glycerol is a kind of a waste and there is plenty of it available with cheap price.
Good quality glycerol is usually made out of plants. Soy and palm oil are most common sources. These 2 plants are now under controversial discussion. Most of the soy is nowadays genetically manipulated, especially soy that is used as raw material for biodiesel. Soy farming is also claiming areas from rainforests in South America.
Palm oil an glycerol
The other source is palm oil. Palm oil production is destroying rainforests as well. Palm oil is produced in Malaysia and Indonesia. Diversified biotopes are being destroyed because of palm oil production. There are usually serious issues concerning land ownership in palm oil production. Native inhabitants are forced to leave their homes without any compensation, or in case something is offered it is very little. New settlement contains heavy machine owned by a multi-million-dollar company destroying the forest.
Should we stop using glycerol?
You can make up your mind and stop using glycerol. But wait! Responsible producers have decided to make correction in the production. There is now also ethically accepted glycerol available that is made of field mustard. You can find it from online stores. There is also glycerin fermented from organic corn available. Both glycerol is good quality, clean product. Also, certified natural cosmetic producers are using only ethically produced glycerol.
Do it yourself-cosmetics, use only ethically accepted components
Non-organic mass-produced cosmetic products contain only glycerol made of soy or palm oil. This is one of the most important reasons why I want to prepare my own cosmetics by myself. I want to select raw materials by myself. I want to decide myself all ethical values of cosmetics I am using. I also want to prepare exactly suitable amount of different ingredients for my skin. Easiest way to do it is to prepare lotion, washing water and toothpaste by myself.
How glycerol works
One of the most important features of glycerol is humectant. Glycerol can absorb water from air and hold water molecules. It can hold water equal to its own weight. Glycerol is very moisturizing, and is very gentle to skin and scalp. That is why it is so popular in cosmetics.
Glycerol keeps the skin moisture
If you pour water on your skin, it gets wet. Your skin looks very flourishing a while. But the water will dry off in minutes. You may be thinking how to keep your skin moisturized. You can use glycerol mixed with water. By doing this you can keep your skin moisturized and it looks flourishing for long time.
Glycerol act as a solvent in cosmetic products
As alcohol in general, glycerol act as a solvent. A herb extract dissolved by glycerol is called glycerite. Glycerite based extracts are not as long lasting as extracts based on alcohol and they do not have preservative features. Alcohol is not as gentle as glycerol. That is why I select more often glycerol for my herb extracts, especially when I want to use it for lotion or toner.
Glycerol dissolves completely with water
You can mix glycerol to your toner or any other water-based product without any problems.
Glycerol blends well with fats and oils
You can mix glycerol with water-free oils without problems.
Glycerol is very gentle
Because of glycerol’s natural substance it is well tolerated. I do not know if anyone is oversensitive to glycerol but everything is naturally possible. If you have any doubts, just test a glycerol/water mix on your skin: 50 % water and 50 % glycerol. This is easy way to find out if glycerol suits to you. Persons already sensitized are using glycerol/water mix as toner. Never use glycerol without blending it with water, it absorbs moisture also from skin. Using raw glycerol on your skin may cause serious drying. So always blend glycerol with water, a 50/50 mix is recommendable.
Where and how glycerol is used
- Glycerol is nontoxic so it is used in food industry. It preserves the moisture of products.
- Glycerol is widely used in toothpastes as thickener and sweetener. There has been a critical conversation about glycerol’s harmful influence on dental enamel. Critics say the glycerol attach itself to dental enamel and it requires at least 30 tooth washings until glycerol is gone. It is also said that glycerol prevents dental enamel to renew itself. Well, dental enamel do not renew itself anyhow.
- Almost all industrial lotions. cleansing liquids and toners contain glycerol. It is cheap, nurturant, well tolerated and usually makes the structure of the product better. Glycerol is colorless and has no odor.
- Extracting of herbs is well-known thing to many people who prepare home cosmetics by themselves. I haven’t got time to make a separate blog about that but it is coming. Most common base for extract is alcohol or oil. Glycerol is the 3rd option that is usually forgotten. Why don’t you try next a glycerol extract?
- As a incredient for various use
- Glycerol is a good additive to lotions and salves. Adding it to a moisturizing lotion makes a big difference. Use glycerol as it is or prepare an extract.
- Glycerol is at its best in toners because it is a humectant. It keeps the skin moisturized. Hyaluronic acid works the same way but it is much stronger and may cause some problems. You can get hooked in moisturizing ingredients and at the end they may make your skin much more dryer when absorbing moisture out of your skin. Maximum level of glycerol in toners should be no more than 10 %.
- Glycerites prepared from fresh plants make a great facial cleansing mask. Have a look on recipes-page.
- You can blend glycerol together with aloe vera and make a great lotion for irritated skin and sunburns. Glycerol is antibacterial so it treats also inflamed skin.
Glycerol is sugar alcohol. It is sweet and bit sticky as sugar. You can take advantage of this in many products.
- Easiest way to prepare a hairspray that increase volume is to blend glycerol and water. Glycerol gives better structure to your hair – when used reasonable.
- You can treat electricity in your hair by glycerol. When hair is drying, they will become electric. Glycerol spray will deduct electricity in hair because it starts to absorb moisture from the air. Do not spray too much glycerol on your hair, it makes your hair look greasy. You can blend glycerol to coconut oil as well. Rub a small quantity of the mixture to your hair to prevent electricity.
- Because glycerol is sticky it helps the make-up to stay on your skin. Prepare a primer by mixing glycerol with lotion. You can also try to rub gently few drops of glycerol on your clean face.
Glycerol has countless number of good features and there are many ways to use it in cosmetic products. Did you know that you can use glycerol also for erasing dirt, making soap bubbles, preparing a soap, and washing floors? Now you understand half a liter of glycerol is not much.
Did you find any new ideas how to use glycerol?
The moisturizing night cream for the winter skin is easily completed by half-products. This recipe works like a face mask. However, you may want to spread it only a thin layer on your skin. Then it acts like a night cream. You can use as neutral facial cream as you want for this night cream. As neutral as possible means, in this case, a very mild perfumed, without sun protection and with minimal other active substances. This gives you a powerful, moisturizing and gentle Treatment overnight. In the morning, the skin feels really moisturized and reformed.
I’m an oil freak. I think oils are a very essential part of cosmetics. You should carefully focus on choosing the right oil. There is own oil for every situation and every skin. This recipe has sunflower oil which is suitable for most skin types, a fact I already mentioned in my blog. Rice bran oil is very good for dry skin and aging skin as well. Where to get it – online stores are the best source.
The facial creams I make usually myself. I am so used prepare my own home cosmetics that buying a regular cream from the store would make me feel uncomfortable. However, I do buy more complex natural cosmetic products from reliable manufacturers and suppliers. But the day cream and basic cream are very simple in structure. I am minimalist in many respects. I want simple and only necessary ingredients containing products. We can always tune-up a simple, basic cream as we are now doing for this super-moisturizing cream.
Mix ratio for super moisturizing night cream
- 3 parts basic facial cream, your choice
- 1 part rice bran oil or cold-pressed sunflower oil
- 1 part glycerol
- Mix all ingredients together well and apply gently on your face and neck
This cream mixture can be well prepared for a week’s need and stored in a refrigerator. I would say it would last at room temperature at least a week.
Glycerite with fresh cucumbers
I am really excited about these glycerites. I have personally tried many versions, including probiotic glycerites. They will refresh quickly tired skin. Especially in the winter there is a real need to get skin moisturized, when the surface layer of the skin begins to suffer dryness.
Everyone knows the very traditional cucumber mask; Thin cucumber slices are applied to the skin for half an hour. Very good and effective mask for the face. The cucumber is perceived as gentle and soothing in facial treatments. Now, however, we will tune up a little bit of our cucumber to even more moisturizing and it will become a glycerite.
Glycerites are usually made by herbs extraction. These glycerites are used for creams and salves. Highly effective glycerites can be made quickly out of fresh plats containing lots of water. There should be plenty of water in plants as glycerol should be diluted at least half of the volume. 10 ml of glycerol and 10 ml or more fluid is the right ratio. There is 98% water in cucumber, so it can be defined as liquid.
You can inspire yourself by creating fresher glycerites from juicy vegetables, fruits and berries. Naturally, when dealing with fruit and berries alpha-hydroxy acids should be remembered. They can be too powerful for the skin. I myself do prefer only low- or no acid plants Like
- Boiled potato
- Boiled rice
- Coffee grounds
You do not necessarily need gelatin at all of these ingredients unless you add liquid to them. You can also make mixtures of different fruits and vegetables.
The only real challenge is how to keep moisturizing glycerite mask on the face. The paper disposable mask helps a lot. You can just irrigate the mask in the mixture and spread it on your face. If you don’t have a paper mask you should make the mass thicker. There are many options what to add. Here are three of them.
- Gelatin or gelatin, powder or sheets
- Agar-agar flakes or powder
- Glucomannan powder
I prefer gelatin because it contains collagen. Collagen is a skin building material and very good in the masks. Vegans for sure know that gelatin is made out of pig skin. Last two options are suitable for vegans. The gelatin can be prepared from the plates or powder according to the instructions in the package. I myself have added a bit more gelatin than what is mentioned in the instructions.
Option 1 Gelatin powder
- 1 tbsp gelatin
- 2 tbsp cucumber juice
- A small piece of organic cucumber shells
- ½ tbsp glycerol
How to do
- Mix the gelatin and 2 tbsp cucumber juice and heat up in microwave 15 seconds
- Wash and mix a small piece of cucumber with a blender
- Measure 1 tablespoon of cucumber puree and ½ tbsp of glycerol in a container
- Mix the gelatin-cucumber mixture with glycerin and cucumber
- Give the mixture a moment to cool down in the refrigerator. The mixture must not become a jelly.
- Apply cucumber mask to the skin with brush. Avoid the sensitive area around the eyes
- Let it work for about 20 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.
Option 2 Agar-agar powder
Agar-agar is seaweed and suitable for vegans. It is also used in marmalade so the product is very safe.
Follow previous instructions but replace gelatin with ¼-½ teaspoonful of agar-agar powder. Agar-agar can be either powder or flakes. They are gelatinous in different ways. Check the packaging for the correct dosage if necessary.
Option 3 Glucomannan powder
Glucomannan is the same plant from which lovely Japanese Konyak mushrooms are produced. The powder is usually used for weight control because it swells in the stomach, causing a feeling of fullness. The Glucomanane is sold in the shops selling sports nutrients as well as in the health food stores. The packaging sizes are at least hundreds of grams, but the product is inexpensive. The Japanese use the Glucomannan mainly Intestinal well-being. It works like a prebiotic helping the growth of intestinal flora. It also has other health effects. The substance is therefore very safe to use.
Please add the Glucomannan carefully because It swells slowly in the liquid, so pay attention. These quantities are very small in such a small portion. Teaspoon is far too big as a measure.
- You can add a very small quantity glumannane in the mask base first. This means just a gram or two. Wait for half an hour and check the thickness.
- If you have Glucomannan capsules, you can open one capsule and use the powder.
- Stir, wait for half an hour and apply the mixture with a paintbrush on your face.
These instructions are very simple and current. Worth of trying! Do you have your own tips for restoring winter dry skin?
Aloe vera is too “easy” plant for beauty care and preparation of DIY-cosmetics. Why? It does not necessarily require any refining to create complex products but it suits to hair care as it is. Aloe Vera contains several compounds which are very useful in hair care. It is also amazing that Aloe Vera is suitable both dry and greasy hair types. Also, normal hair type gets benefits from Aloe Vera.
- How to use Aloe Vera in hair care
- You can prepare a hair mask using Aloe Vera
- You can use Aloe Vera as a gentle shampoo
- You can try to use Aloe Vera as a setting lotion to give more volume to your hair
Aloe Vera is a very versatile plant in hair care. Its gel-like structure makes it perfect, natural setting lotion. You do not need any additives. Someone maybe would like to add a little bit essential oil into Aloe Vera. You can do that, if you like. I am not a big user of essential oils myself, that is why I do not remember to recommend them. It does not mean no-one else should not use them either, it is up to everyone if you like them or not. There is no actual reason not to use them.
You can use Aloe Vera shampoo for both preventing hair to getting greasy and moisturizing the dry scalp and hair. Slimy Aloe Vera gel is one of the best moisturizers. Also, it is very natural because it contains only liquid from natural plant. Even it is said Aloe Vera is losing many good characters in preparing and storing process there are still plenty of them left.
Aloe Vera is best as hair mask. It makes your hair soft and flexible. You can clearly notice the difference. Climate in Finland in wintertime is very dry and central heating makes inside air also extremely dry. Our hair needs moisturizing.
Easy to prepare -Aloe Vera hair mask
- 1 dl Aloe Vera gel. You can prepare it from powder or you can buy bottled Aloe Vera juice.
- 2 teaspoons of honey to give extra moisture
- 0,5 – 1 teaspoon of almond oil or argan oil. Sunflower oil will do as well. If your hair type is greasy do not use oil at all.
- In case you want some nice odor, just add few drops essential oil into bottle, your choice.
How to do
Add all ingredients to a bottle and shake well.
Pour Aloe Vera mask on your clean, moisturized hair (not dropping) and let it affect under a cap about 30 minutes. You can let it affect longer but it is better to be careful, especially when trying first time. I do not use sour hair masks too long myself.
Flush the mask away using lukewarm water. If you are using Aloe Vera juice there may be particles of the plant as well. They are visible as small white spots in your hair. The best way to get rid of them is to brush your hair when it is dry.
This mask is very nutritious and moisturizing. Your hair will be very soft and flexible after the treatment. They are also easier to control. Aloe Vera also eliminates the electricity of your hair.
Clear Aloe Vera hair mask
I have often prepared a spoonful of Aloe Vera and simply spread it on hair and sculp. You do not have to flush this mask away at all. Just brush your hair once they are dry. This treatment gives additional structure to your hair, it makes your hair unbelievable flexible and shiny.
Hopefully you will try to use Aloe Vera in hair care.
I am interested in knowing how Aloe Vera works with curly hair – mine are natural straight so please share your experience. Thank you.
Aloe Vera, one of the most popular ingredients in cosmetics
Aloe Vera does not need a lot of introduction. Most of us have used it in some kind of form in skincare. Some of us have even drank the Aloe Juice. It takes care of intestines based on same principles as in skincare. You can use Aloe Vera as an ingredient in home cosmetics to replace other liquids either partly or completely.
How to use aloe vera in skincare:
- Slimy Aloe Vera gel is a great moisturizer of the skin
- Aloe Vera gel is slightly antiseptic, good for acne and sunburn
- Aloe Vera gel nourishes the skin
- Aloe Vera contains plenty of vitamins that benefit the skin
- Aloe Vera has anti-aging features
Aloe Vera contains a polysaccharide called acemannan , a vehicle helping cells to get nutrients. The effect of Aloe Vera is mainly based on the acemannan compound. It allows vitamins and others, perhaps thousands of other effective substances to do their job.
Aloe Vera gel is often the basic material for after-sun lotions.
The gel is antiseptic and works very well for cooling down the skin. In herbal medical treatment the gel was used even to cure severe skin burns. One of the legends tells that Alexander the Great gave orders to plant Aloe Vera close to the future battlefields. So the first aid was close when medical herbs were needed to heal wounds. A good habit is to have some Aloe Vera gel as ice cubes in the freezer, they are excellent first aid for burns.
Nowadays the best reason to use Aloe Vera as a basic ingredient for home cosmetics is its outstanding ability to moisturize the skin. The itself is naturally moisturizing because it contains a lot of slimy compounds. These compounds do moisturize the skin very effective. Spread the gel on your skin as it is, without adding anything in it, and let it affect about 20 minutes. This is how to deep-moisturize your winter-dry skin. A protecting day cream after aloe vera mask will keep the skin moisturized. You can also mix other ingredients with the gel like colloidal oatmeal, honey or herb extracts and prepare more effective mask.
How to use aloe vera in haircare
- Aloe Vera gel prevents hair loss
- Aloe Vera contains saponins that keep sculp and hair clean
- Aloe Vera gel moisturizes the sculp and hair
- Aloe Vera gel nourishes and repairs the sculp
- Aloe Vera makes hair more flexible and prevents hair breaking off
It is worth of trying Aloe Vera gel in case your sculp is damaged. It contains plenty of enzymes. Some of them are used to fix the epithelium of sculp. If your sculp feels itchy you can try it for a small area. Feeling itchy or tickle may be a symptom of eczema or some other sculp disease. In that case Aloe Vera is not suitable cure and can even make things worse.
You can use Aloe Vera gel as a shampoo. It contains some saponins. Saponins are natural surfactants meaning they are naturally cleaning compounds. Wash your hair using Aloe Vera gel in case your hair feels too dry. Aloe Vera is also good for greasy hair because it cools down the sculp and prevents the excretion of tallow.
Everyone of us have experienced a moment(s) of extraordinary hair loss
Most common reasons are either stress or hormonal reasons. Sometimes the reason can be as simple as too dry air inside the office and home. Aloe Vera moisturizes very effective the sculp and even repairs it. In case hair loss is bothering you it is worth of trying Aloe Vera gel as a basic material for hair masks. Take a look at recipes-page. You can find a useful hair mask recipe for trying.
Because Aloe Vera is so moisturizing it brings the moisture to hair also. The gel has very positive effect to keratin which is hair’s own protein. Well moisturized hair is flexible and will not break off easily. You can use Aloe Vera gel as it is straight to the hair and sculp. Add the gel to clean, wet (not dropping wet) hair and let it affect under a cap about 30 minutes. After this, shower your hair and sculp. Aloe Vera gel is naturally sour (pH 4,5 – 5,5) so you do not need any sour flush or conditioner after Aloe Vera treatment.
Aloe Vera gel contains plenty of nutrients, proteins and enzymes for hair and sculp
You can possibly improve the growth of hair by regular Aloe treatment. Although the biggest impact to haircare is coming from inside of your body there is no reason to underestimate the outer treatment. Aloe Vera is 100 % natural product without any chemicals. It is very good alternative to industrial haircare products.
From where can I get Aloe Vera gel
Own Aloe Vera Plant
Best source for Aloe Vera gel is your own Aloe Vera plant, it has all effective compounds intact. If you use the gel soon after preparation you will not lose any important ingredient.
Get your own Aloe Vera and let it grow in a pot near window to guarantee sunlight. Aloe Vera is easy to take care of. Just do not give it too much water and let it enjoy sunlight.
When the plant is big enough you can cut one leaf.
Cut carefully the stem away using sharp knife. The leaf will leak yellow bile liquid that is very harmful to your skin. Do not let even a drop into your gel.
Cut both sides of the leaf away. After that you can remove both upper part and below part of the leaf.
You should have a thin slice of bright gel in your hand.
Crush the gel using a fork or any other tool in order to get a clear paste.
The paste will last in a fridge about a week. Do not use plastic container, a glass one is best. You can improve the shelf life up to one month by adding ascorbic acid to the gel.
You can always freeze the gel; small ice cube boxes are good.
How to use aloe vera powder
You can buy Aloe Vera powder from several shops and online shops selling compounds and materials for diy- cosmetics. The powder is usually very strong. Mixing ratio is 1:200. It means roughly that from 1 gram of the powder you will get 2 deciliters gel. The powder has been criticized because it is heavily refined. There are not necessarily all effective ingredients left anymore.
Aloe Vera juice
You can buy also bottled Aloe Vera. It is foodstuff-qualified juice so it is even more pure than the powder. Because it is virgin quality (cold-pressed) it contains more effective ingredients than powder. There are controversial opinions as well. Preservatives are added to the juice like ascorbic acid and citric acid.
Could Aloe Vera gel be harmful or dangerous to your health?
This is a good question. We can be allergic to anything and everything or be oversensitive. So, it is better to test the gel first in a small area of your skin. Allergic reaction may follow in days so be patient. In case there is no reaction it is still better to start with smaller areas. This goes as well with juice, it is better to test it on your skin first before drinking.
If you have an Aloe Vera plant in your home never use just cut Aloe Vera direct to your skin or eat it. Most probably there are at least some remains of yellow bile liquid which is very harmful. This yellow bile liquid is sometimes used as a very strong laxative. Always follow instructions given above when dealing with Aloe Vera.
There are some lousy quality Aloe Vera products for sale, mainly briquets for internal use which may cause serious symptoms to some people. Be aware of the quality of your purchases.
Aloe Vera is widely used in many kinds of cosmetic products. Generally, it has not caused serious oversensitive reactions. If you do not get allergic reactions from cosmetic products you most probably will not get any from Aloe Vera either.
Your own comments about Aloe Vera would be highly appreciated.