This toner should be prepared when the spruce tips are at their best. The effect of this toner is based on the spruce tip glycerite so it should be prepared in the spring at the spruce tip time. Glycerites will be preserved well at least 6 months, perhaps even longer.
Spruce tips are very antibacterial and regenerates the skin. Spruce tips also contains slightly the same ingredients as spruce resin. Therefore, spruce tips should be used in skin care to regenerate the skin.
Spruce is also really rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a very important vitamin for the skin and is especially suitable for toners.
Spruce tip glycerite
For facial toner, you need spruce tip glycerite. You have to make it yourself, because spruce tip glycerite or hardly any other spruce products can be bought ready-made. I think that’s pretty strange. After all, we live in a land covered with forests full of spruce. Find here the recipe to spruce tip glycerite.
Glycerite is needed in facial toner for 5%. Glycerine aka glycerol is a very moisturizing ingredient but only if it is mixed with a sufficient amount of water or other liquid. The rule is that at least as much water as glycerol should be in the product. Otherwise, the glycerol begins to absorb moisture from the skin and the effect is drying.
100% water-based ingredients
When you start making a facial toner, you should first think about what could be the water phase to which you make the toner. I recommend you to choose distilled water instead of tap water. Distilled water differ from tap water in that all minerals have been removed.
An herbal infusion can also be prepared as a base liquid for facial toner. See instructions for making an herbal infusion here.
Choose the hydrolates you like
Boiled water and glycerol alone make a very useful facial toner. Personally, however, I hope for a little more cleansing feature from the toner. That’s why I like to use only hydrolates to make facial toners. The hydrolate added to the facial toner should be 20-100% of the total volume of the product. The product is much better preserved if you only use hydrolate. Most hydrolates already contain a preservative.
For spruce tip toner, I wanted to use birch hydrolate. Birch hydrolate, as a product from a tree, somehow feels like a very natural choice. Of course, you are free to choose lavender hydrolate or rose hydrolate, for example.
Ingredients for spruce tip toner
In this recipe, the ingredients are calculated for a 100 gr dose only. Of course, you should first make only 100 gr because you still can’t know if the product suits you at all. The dose is easy to double in the future if you like the toner.
You may not need any preservative at all if you make only a small amount of toner and store it in the refrigerator only few days. However, if you want to store the toner in room temperature, you should add a natural, safe preservative like Preservative Eco.
- 5 gr spruce tip glycerite
- 53,5 gr birch hydrolate
- 40 gr distilled water
- 1 gr Preservative Eco.
- 0,5 gr essential oil to scent, optional. When glycerite is present in the toner, the essential oils are well soluble in the liquid.
Measure all the ingredients into a larger bottle and shake well. Personally, I always like to mix all the toners in a bigger bottle properly and then pour the toner to a smaller bottle using a funnel.
You can pack facial toner in a spray bottle, if you want to apply it directly to your face. The spray bottle is also handy if you want to get a layer-type moisture.
However, keep in mind that when layered, the toner should be very mild. So, if you are going to spray toner, for example 5 times in a row, dilute the toner with water so that one bottle becomes 5 bottles of toner. If the toner is not diluted, there will be 5 times the amount of strong plant chemicals on the skin. This can irritate and sensitize the skin.
How do I use a spruce tip facial toner?
Apply spruce tip facial toner in the morning on cleansed skin. I think this facial toner suits best for daytime use. You can wipe your face and throat area with a cotton wipe gently moistened with facial toner. Also try spraying facial toner on your face. Allow the toner to be absorbed deeper into the skin to bring in the desired moisture. Then apply a day cream to protect your skin.
In this way, fresh and skin-treating toner is easily created from natural products. I hope you liked the guide and got excited to give it a try.
Tell us again about your experience, how this toner has worked for you!
The comedogenic rating is found often in texts dealing with natural oils and cosmetics. The abstract of comedogenic rating is unknown to many, even it is a familiar word. I wanted to clarify the basics of comedogenic rating and what it really means. Is there a scientific proof backing up the comedogenic rating and its scale? Can a single number define an oil as good or bad? Sometimes it’s just good to research things thoroughly. Read on to find out almost everything essential about the comedogenic rating.
What is the comedogenic rating?
Comedo is the scientific name for blackheads on the skin, hence the word comedogenic. Comedogenic rating refers to the classification of cosmetic ingredients that clog pores of the skin according to their clogging properties.
Comedogenic classification scale
The comedogenic rating is determined for oils and other cosmetic ingredients according to the scale below.
- 0 = does not support pores at all
- 1 = very low clogging
- 2 = moderately low clogging
- 3 = moderate occlusion
- 4 = fairly high clogging
- 5 = high clogging
Comedogenic rating is an old concept
The comedogenic rating started in the 1950s, when scientists started to study the risks posed to workers by certain industrial chemicals. Scientists took the job seriously and scientific research was launched.
Test animals were, of course, used for scientific research. For some unknown reasons, innocent rabbits were chosen. The name of the study was “The Rabbit Ear Model”. You can google that study. You will find a lot of information on the subject.
The skin of the rabbits’ ears was shaved and various chemical preparations were applied to the bare skin. The Rabbit Ear Model research was not originally intended to be used in the cosmetics industry. However, it found its way there in the 1970s. In 1979, the very famous dermatologist Albert Kligman published the first comedogenic rating of cosmetics, the “Comedogenic Scale”. In it, cosmetic oils and other ingredients were scored on a 0-5 scale according to clogging feature (0 = good, 5 = bad). Kligman based his classification on the above-mentioned study of rabbit ears published in the 1950s.
Real life experience did not support the study
Very soon after Kligman published his list of comedogenic cosmetic ingredients, the truth began to be revealed. Skilled beauticians introduced the scale in their work. They found that the scale was not true at all. The oils that should have clogged the pores did not do that, and vice versa. People react to different oils very individually. The famous dermatologist Kligman suffered a serious loss of prestige and reputation. The much-promoted scale didn’t work in practice.
The studies were performed in rabbits, not humans
The research work had not been done properly. How a rabbit ear reacts to a vegetable oil was supposed to tell us how the same vegetable oil works on our own skin! We have all certainly noticed how we all are different, unique human beings having big differences on our individual skins. How rabbit skin could reliably serve as an experimental platform for comedogenic classification for humans.
It should also be remembered that rabbits are also individuals. That study gave an idea of how a particular batch of oil affected the skin of a particular rabbit’s ear. If a particular oil has caused a blackhead in the ear of a particular rabbit, it cannot be assumed that the same would happen to a human. So, there are a lot of parameters. The number of parameters makes the experiment particularly unreliable.
There are differences in natural oils
Another problem in the study concerns the oils themselves. The composition of natural oils can vary very much. Natural oils consist of several different fatty acids as well as glycerol. Different oils have their own fatty acid composition, which depends not only on genetics but also on many other things such as
- Growing location
- The time of harvest
- The weather
- Is the oil hydrogenated.
- Organic oils and cold pressed oils behave completely differently on the skin than refined and heated oils.
This means that you cannot just trust that a particular oil is right for your skin. You must first know the fatty acid content of that particular batch of oil. The quality of the oil must also be known well.
Of course, an indicative oleic acid profile can be defined for oils. For example, coconut oil has a completely different fatty acid profile than sunflower oil or olive oil.
I have published a fatty acid index of natural oils on my website. There you will find most of the known vegetable oils and their average fatty acid profiles. The comedogenic value of each oil is also mentioned there.
Use oils moderately
One fairly simple thing can be the cause of clogged skin. There is simply too much oil on the skin. The skin does not always need the oil at all, especially if the skin feels soft and smooth already. Do not unnecessarily clog the pores with oil. Allow skin to breathe freely.
When applying the oil on the skin, always apply it to moisturized skin. When applied to dry skin, the oil easily clogs the pores. While washing your face with water, dry lightly and immediately add a few drops of oil or moisturizer. You can also use effective moisturizing toners before applying oils to your face.
Cosmetic products can be surprising
Even if the cosmetic product contains substances that are not individually comedogenic, the combination can still clog the skin. This may surprise many cosmetic manufacturers and users. Often, finished products may contain a preservative or emulsifier that causes problems.
There are also many positive surprises. If you use highly comedogenic oil in rinse-off products, there will usually be no problems. Also in body products, many oils that clog the skin are not a problem.
The comedogenic scale does not indicate the suitability of the cosmetic product
The purpose of this article was to tell you that comedogenic scale of oils for skin care is not the key to happiness. It can give some information about oils but that is not the whole truth.
It is very unfortunate that comedogenic scale has spread widely and is very popular. On my website, a comedogenic value of oils is marked as well. I state the value only because it seems to interest quite many readers. However, I wanted to write this article to tell what can be found behind the comedogenic scale. Now you can decide for yourself whether you believe the scale or not.
Using Animals for testing is unethical
I am not in favour of using animals when testing cosmetics. Therefore, I would not like to emphasize the comedogenic rating of oils in my texts either. The cosmetics industry has also not really wanted to use animal testing itself. In cosmetics, animal testing has largely been done to meet the requirements of the authorities, not for the manufacturers’ own needs. This rabbit ear study was also conducted on the initiative of the scientific world.
The use of rabbit ears to determine comedogenicity has been scientific at the time. At present, that study is no more science.
Focus on fatty acids
If you really want to find the right products for your skin, focus on the fatty acids in the oils. The different fatty acids in the oils affect the skin in different ways. By researching oils and comparing their fatty acid contents, you can find truly great oils for different purposes. There is such a huge variety of vegetable oils. No one will ever be able to try them all. Only by understanding the importance of different fatty acids will guide you through the oil jungle.
Consult a professional dermal therapist
If you really have acne or particularly impure skin, I highly recommend that you consult a qualified dermal therapist. Severe acne may also require a visit to a dermatologist. In any case, a qualified dermal therapist will be able to recommend a doctor’s consultation if necessary. Choose your dermal therapist with special care. Ask your friends for recommendations and read comments online and in magazines. A good dermal therapist is a must in skin care.
Acne and other skin problems are never treated with external treatment alone. Diet and indoor humidity as well as outdoor temperature are very important.
You can still follow the comedogenic scale of the oils if you wish. Now you know more about oils and know how to find the best one for you.
Do you monitor the comedogenic values of oils?
Artemisia vulgaris is a very popular herb in skin care products. In Asia in particular, artemisia is commonly used in cosmetics. Artemisia herb is not very well known or used, although it is easily found in nature. In this article, I will tell you about one of the most effective plants in cosmetics. This herb should be used much more and therefore I try to increase its popularity. I recommend you to read this herbal story. You will be surprised at the effects of artemisia on skin care.
What kind of plant is artemisia?
Artemisia belongs to the Asteraceae plant genus. There are plenty of plants around the world which belong to Asteraceae family. In this article, I deal with Artemisia vulgaris aka the mugwort and I will call it simply Artemisia. That name is also used in international cosmetics (INCI name).
All Artemisias have slightly similar properties to artemisia vulgaris. However, Artemisia vulgaris is the most familiar and easiest to find in nature.
Artemisia vulgaris is not actually a poisonous plant. However, it is very rich in strong plant chemicals. For example, the thujone contained in artemisia is harmful to the body in high doses. Therefore, Artemisia vulgaris should not be enjoyed internally at all.
There are reasons for avoiding Artemisia in cosmetics
Artemisia vulgaris is better known as mugwort. Mugwort is a powerful allergen that is considered to be harmful. However, avoiding a mugwort is useless unless you are allergic to it. Birch trees, apples and carrots are also commonly used, although there are actually many people who are allergic to them. I see no reason to avoid any plant that does not cause symptoms to you.
Artemisia is very powerful herb. Some people are very sensitive to it. They may suffer from headaches, insomnia and other symptoms. These symptoms are not necessarily caused by allergies but by sensitivity to many plant chemicals in artemisia. In this case, reduce the amount of artemisia in the product or stop using it completely.
Artemisia has been used for many purposes
- Artemisia is a raw material for bitters. The herbal mixture used in the production of beers also contains artemisia.
- Artemisia is also used for religious rites, for example in Nepal. American Indians have used artemisia as one of the herbs in their incense blends. The effect of Artemisia in incense is cleansing and protective. Artemisia is used to purify energies and protect against negative things. Artemisia has a purifying and protective nature in every way.
- In Russia, Artemisia has been added to birch whisks used in sauna. The strong herbal scent of Artemisia is therapeutic and cleansing.
- Artemisia contains powerful essential oils used to make perfumes.
- The scent of Artemisia repels mosquitoes and other insects. I have no experience with artemisia as a mosquito repellent but I could try it.
Artemisia cosmetics are popular in Korea and Japan
Korean skin care benefits from many herbs. Artemisia is very popular in Korean cosmetics. In Korea, Artemisia-containing cleansing oil was awarded the best Korean cleansing oil last year. Also, award-winning Japanese Shu Uemuran Porefinist2 Sakura Refreshing Cleansing Oil contains Artemisia. So, the best cosmetics laboratories in the world trust the artemisia. That’s why we’re now going to take a look how artemisia can treat your skin.
Benefits of Artemisia for the skin
The main property of Artemisia is cleansing. Artemisia cleanses the skin by penetrating deep into the pores. Artemisia contains many phytochemicals that help cleanse the skin. After artemisia cleansing, all skin impurities disappear from the skin.
In Asia, it is important that the skin is very clear and pale. Artemisia brightens the skin and evens the skin pigment. Artemisia contains a lot of antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial effects are characteristic of all members of the Artemisia family. The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently investigating the Artemisia annua (sweet wormwood) in the prevention of COVID-19.
Artemisia contains incredibly effective plant chemicals. A total of 24 of them have been found. Here are some of the key ones
- Sabinene 11.29%
- 19.19% β-tudon
- Chrysanthenone 4.5%
- Camphor 11.8%
- Borneoli 4.4%
- Germacreen D 8.42%
Artemisia has been used for centuries to treat a variety of diseases. That is no wonder. The large amount of active ingredients makes this plant one of the best natural herbs.
What products is Artemisia vulgaris suitable for?
- Artemisia vulgaris is suitable for skin cleansing products. Try artemisia for cleansing oils and cleansing milks. When used in the oil form, artemisia can penetrate deep into the pores and thoroughly cleanse the skin.
- Artemisia is suitable for toners, as the herb is astringent and soothes the skin effect.
- Artemisia makes the skin cleaner. It is a soothing and astringent herb. Try artemisia for skin brightening, balancing masks. Artemisia is suitable for face masks as an effective ingredient with other skin brightening ingredients.
- The antimicrobial properties of Artemisia are worth trying. It is advisable to add artemisia to treatment creams mentioned for impure and oily skin. Especially when used periodically, artemisia does not irritate the skin but is suitable for most people.
- Artemisia is a cleansing herb. In addition to cleansing the skin, it clears the mind and reduces negative things of our minds. Artemis is somewhere in the world called the grass of oblivion. So, add small amounts of artemisia to the water you use to steam your skin. With Artemisia, chamomile, calendula and rose are suitable for herbal steaming. Artemisia is at its best when used for steaming in the evening. It relaxes and cleanses the mind and reduces stress.
When can Artemisia vulgaris be picked?
Artemisia vulgaris is at its best from July to August. Very small and young artemisia is not good. The plant should be clearly flowering. The plant is at its best when the flowers have not yet bloomed. Of course, leaves and roots can also be picked up. The harvest time for the root is late autumn. Leaves can be collected throughout the summer. The leaves are not as strong as the flower buds.
Artemisia is easy to dry
Artemisia is a very dry plant in nature. It is one of the easiest herbs to dry.
I myself pick up artemisia at the beginning of the blossoming time and hang it in thin bundles upside down to dry in a dark place. Depending on the temperature and humidity, the plants will be dry in a couple of weeks. Once the herbs are dry, you can remove the leaves and inflorescences from the stems. Store the leaves and inflorescences in a glass jar for later use.
Artemisia also dries on the table in a few days. Use a cloth under them and remove leaves and inflorescences from the stems. I myself never use stems.
You can also dry artemisia in a plant dryer. I have no experience in using a dryer for Artemisia.
Dried artemisia lasts a long time. I’ve been using up to three years old herbs. An outdated herb is identified by the scent. If the herb no longer has its natural scent, it is ineffective.
Here is my article about artemisia, the mugwort. I hope you dare to try it in your own cosmetics. Artemisia vulgaris is a wonderful herb that should be more common in skin care.
Have you ever come across cosmetics containing artemisia?
Carrot oil is a well-known and respected skin care product. Many of us rely on carrot oil’s healing properties in spring season.
Carrots are considered as symbols of a healthy life. It’s hard to come up with any other plant that is so famous for its healthy effects. The carrots are also considered as an example of sustainable vegetable production because they are usually locally produced. They are also easy to obtain in organic quality and fresh. So why not use such a good plant in cosmetics? What are the ingredients in carrot oil and how is it made? What are the skin care effects of carrots? Carrot oil has many good properties. A variety of very different products are sold under the same name. Let’s see what carrot oil is.
Carrot oil means many different products
The carrot itself is not an oil plant. You cannot squeeze oil from the carrot root. This is a good thing to remember when you are going to buy carrot oil. Orange carrot oil is a mixture of carrot and some oil or extracted liquid from carrots. For the extraction Either dried or fresh carrots are used for extraction and some carrier oil is added. The carrier oil is often sunflower oil, soybean oil, avocado oil, corn oil or other neutral vegetable oil. Usually a mixture of several oils is used in carrot oil.
There are also other, added ingredients in many carrot oils. Glycerol and essential oils can be found in many products sold under the name of carrot oil. Carrot oils are thus refined cosmetic products. Some of them contain many other things than just carrots. Therefore, there are big differences between the carrot oils on the market. When purchasing ready-made carrot oil, always look at INCI very carefully. Then you know what you are buying and what you are paying for.
Carrot seed oil is not the same thing as carrot oil
Carrot seed oil and carrot oil are very often mixed together. However, they are two completely different products. Carrot seed oil is squeezed from tiny little carrot seeds. It is a very valuable oil that is full of antioxidants. Carrot seed oil should be used in small quantities for particularly nurturant creams and facial masks.
The myth about the UV-filtering effect of carrot seed oil and carrot oil
Carrot oil is sometimes used as a tanning and sunscreen product. Reason for that is the skin colouring effect of carrots and the carotenoids it contains. However, carrot oil does not contain any ingredient that will prevent the skin from burning under the sun.
Carrot seed oil contains a large number of antioxidants. These antioxidants are said to prevent skin burns. Carrot seed oil is even given an SFP (Sun protection factor) of 40. That would mean incredibly effective UV protection. However, this is not the case at all. Applying carrot seed oil to the skin does not prevent sunburn. It is just a waste of expensive oil and the result will be disappointment.
A good sunscreen is really difficult to make by yourself. Large, multinational manufacturers have for decades been trying to develop good sunscreens. The development efforts of sunscreen have required huge financial sacrifices and years of testing for them. You cannot make reliable sun protection at home. So do not even try. Just buy it from the store and stay with reliable manufacturer.
Next time someone offers you carrot oil for sun protection, first look at the official SFP label on the product. In some products it could be, say 15. The SFP 15 is not very high number in sun protection, and with such a low quality sunscreen it is better to stay under shadows of trees on a beach.
The effects of carrot on skin
I am talking about the carrot and its benefits for the skin only. Let’s talk about carrot seeds at another time.
Carrot contains skin-friendly ingredients such as carotenoids and vitamin C. Carotenoids are plant pigments. They give the plants their characteristic colour. Carrot’s bright orange comes from beta-carotene, a carotenoid.
Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant
The skin benefits of beta-carotene have long been known. Carrot benefits the skin both internally and externally. Carrot juice is healthy, but if you drink it too much, it may colour your skin yellow. However, this is not dangerous.
In external use, beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant on the skin. It fights free radicals, preventing the skin from oxidizing. This keeps your skin youthful.
Carrot carotenoids help the skin regenerate. Old skin cells are removed and make room for newer, younger skin cells. This process makes the skin look younger.
Carrots are naturally antibacterial
Carrot soothes the skin and prevents excessive bacterial growth. Therefore, it is advisable to use carrots after sunburn, when the skin is irritated and red.
Carrot lycopene helps treat impure skin
I also recommend to use carrot for oily skin. Not only does carrot soothe acne skin, it also balances and moisturizes oily skin. Lycopene in carrots is an important antioxidant in the treatment of oily skin. Therefore, many products mentioned for oily and combination skin contain precisely lycopene.
How to make carrot oil yourself
Carrot oil is really easy to make by yourself. I wrote you a simple recipe for making your own carrot oil. Nowadays I try to put all my simple recipes in the “recipes” tab. It is easy to find them from there. You don’t have to look for them in the middle of blog text.
Have you already bought a sunscreen for becoming summer or perhaps for a holiday? What is your favourite sunscreen product?