Do you feel how the moon have an influence on you? The moon orbits the earth and affects us in many different ways. The full moon time is difficult for many of us. Sleep is intermittent and we are very sensitive emotionally This is a familiar time for many of us.

The moon affects different people in different ways. There are very strong energies during the full moon. The cycle and phases of the moon affects us also during other times than just the full moon. In ancient times, people followed the moon closely and synchronized their working with the moon. The moon affects not only the cycle of nature, but also our health. Let’s see what effects the moon has on skin health and beauty.

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Photo by malith d karunarathne on Unsplash

The moon phase calendar is an old invention

In the moon phase calendar, the month is interrupted by two important phases of the moon; New moon and full moon. The new month is said to be the time when the moon stays between the sun and the earth. This way the moon is not visible at all. This time was also called black moon before.

The time of the new moon continues during the waxing moon, which lasts about 13 days. The moon is first just a small sickle, which then grows into a round full moon in 13 days. The moon has now orbited the other side of the earth. When the earth is exactly between the sun and the moon, there is a full moon. The moon is a bright, round ball in the sky.

After the full moon, the moon begins to decrease again. We are talking about a waning moon. The phase of the waning moon also lasts about 13 days.

These two phases of the moon and the new moon and full moon affect the lives of people and nature on Earth. For example, the tidal phenomenon is due to the effect of the moon on the earth. If the moon is able to move the waters of the oceans, then it could as well influence the human lymph circulation. The old lunar calendar is based on this reasoning.

How do different lunar phases affect people?

Studying the lunar calendar is interesting and addicting. There are always new details to find. If you do not want to dig the subject very deeply, then just remember the waning moon and the waxing moon.

During the waxing moon (about two weeks), the body receives very efficiently everything you want to give. The body is also able to effectively utilize all the nutrients. The body and skin are strengthened and beautified in the eyes during the waxing moon. The active ingredients in the creams are well absorbed into the skin and make the skin glow.

During the waning moon, the body easily removes waste products. If you get a wound during the waning moon, it will bleed more than during the waxing moon. The active ingredients of creams and other skin care products are not absorbed into the body and skin very well during the waning moon.

Astrology and the phases of the moon

If you want to track the phases of the moon, the most important thing is to know whether it is the waning or waxing moon. If you want to study more, learn to combine the lunar phases with different zodiac signs. There are certain optimal days in the lunar calendar for skin care, haircut, nail surgery. For each day, the lunar calendar indicates which animal sign that day represents.

Organic skin care also means living according to the rhythms of nature

Today, people live very hectic life every day. Every single day must be equally effective, refreshing, beautiful and energetic. This is not the case in nature. There are always ups and downs in nature. After summer comes autumn and winter. Eventually a new spring and summer will come. Nature draws breath and gathers strength for new growth. Spring and summer is the time to show the most beautiful sides of nature. If you’re wondering why your skin isn’t always smooth and fresh no matter the treatment, it’s just because of the cycle of the nature. Even the skin needs to rest and breathe in order to be radiant again.

The phases of the moon can also be seen in nature

The phases of the moon can also be seen in nature; waning moon and waxing moon. The ancient people knew exactly how they affected on plants and people. The waxing moon absorbs liquids and the waning moon pushes liquids out. In plants, you can clearly see how the different phases of the moon affect the effectiveness of herbs. For example, nettle collected during the waning moon is a cleansing herb. If you collect nettles during the waxing moon, it will work nourishingly. I always collect nettles during the waning moon, as I only use nettles for hair washing. I can also use the same nettle in the early winter internally for detox cure.

During the waxing moon, the skin usually looks healthier. The skin then has a lot of moisture and nutrients. Even if you do not take care of your skin, it seems to glow with its own beauty without even treating it. Because the body is also able to absorb more nutrients during the waxing moon, the skin also benefits from this.

During the waning moon, the skin looks more tired. The pores are larger as the skin cleanses itself. Even a few pimples may appear just about the time of waning moon. Then, don’t worry about your skin at all. It is not worth using refreshing masks as the skin cannot receive them. Take advantage of the natural cycle and help cleanse the skin. Drink plenty of clean water, exercise in fresh air and cleanse your skin thoroughly.

During the waning moon, it is important to protect the skin from excessive drying. That is why it is advisable to use products that contain sea buckthorn oil or macadamia oil, which strengthens the surface layer of the skin.

How different phases of the moon can be considered in skin care

Now that you know the basic principle about the effect of the different phases of the moon, it’s really easy for you to use your knowledge in practice. Listed below are skin care routines that you can implement according to the phases of the moon.

At the time of the waxing moon

At the time of the waning moon

Try yourself how different phases of the moon affect skin care

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Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

If you haven’t tried to live according to the phases of the moon before, I recommend you give it a try. People have lived in Finland for millennia following the moon. All of this is old genetic information that has been passed down from generation to generation. I’m sure if the advice hadn’t been good, it would have been left in the darkness of history. However, according to the moon, people are still living. Gardeners, farmers, fishermen, police officers, the sick and many other professionals take the moon into account in their work.

For example, try the same skin treatment first in the waxing and then in the waning moon time. Do you notice the difference? The skin behaves differently at different times of the month.

Have you noticed how the moon affects you?

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

Dandelion (Taraxacum) is a group of plants

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Dandelion oil can also be made from fresh blooms

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

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

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

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

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

Dandelion is a plant with a special mineral content

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

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

Dandelion sap is antimicrobial

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

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

Dandelion is suitable for the treatment of eczema

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

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

Dandelion is a cleansing and skin brightening herb

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

Dandelion prevents the signs of aging

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

You should collect dandelions right now

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

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

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

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

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

Have you used dandelions in skin care?

The most important substance in skin care is water. Water without impurities is very important in everything related to the skin. When we talk about dry skin, it means skin that do not contain enough water. The well-being of skin also depends on water quality. The skin needs clean water without impurities. The skin needs water that is as natural as possible. In this article, I will reveal a little about the importance of water to the skin and also how you can actually influence water quality.

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Kuva rony michaud Pixabaystä

What is clean water?

Clean water can mean many different things, not only drinking water. Water purity requirements depend on the purpose for which we want to use the water. Waters from natural sources like rivers, lakes and seas are sufficiently clean when they do not contain too many microbes or dangerous chemicals. Water does not have to be drinking water if it is used only externally.  

Clean natural water can be used for swimming. Clean, fresh water are also suitable for washing and garden watering.

Natural water (water of lakes or rivers) cannot be used as drinking water. Even if the water in the nature seems clear and clean, it can contain a surprising amount of impurities such as animal excrement. On trips to nature, it should be a must to clean the natural waters before drinking.

Tap water is drinkable in many countries  

The municipality and/or the city usually guarantee the tap water is clean and drinkable. If your own water comes from a private well, you will need to test the water quality frequently by yourself. The most common reasons for poor tap water quality is the pipes age, condition and material. If the elderly house has not been renovated, the tap water may be stale and contain, for example, plenty of iron.

The aim is to keep the quality of public tap water stable by raising the pH of the water up to 8. Such water may already be a little dehydrating to the skin. You can easily check the pH level of your tap water with pH strips.

Tap water often contains chemicals that reduce the microbial activity of the water, such as chlorine. The amount of chlorine in tap water varies from place to place. Chlorine is one of the main reasons why some people are avoiding tap water.

The quality of public water can be lousy because there are drug and drug residues in the water. Chemical drugs cannot be completely removed in water treatment process. Drug residues in water have become a major problem for water treatment plants.

Public water mains and pipes are mainly made of plastic

There are plastic particles found in tap water when the pipes are made of PEX plastic. Plastic residues both stink and taste in drinking water. However, the biggest problem is the BIS phenol A released from plastic pipes, which has been found to be a very harmful substance. Together with many other chemicals, the tap water is too rich in chemicals and not safe to drink. This is the reason why plastic water pipes are replaced by copper pipes when making plumbing repairs. This is a really great thing. Copper is, of course, more expensive option but a much safer material.

What is hard tap water?

Water always contains many different minerals. Sometimes the mineral content in the water rises to a particularly high level. Then we talk about hard water. Hard water is very rich in lime, for example. Lime makes the water cloudy and slightly alkaline.

Test the hardness of your tap water

If you suspect your tap water is particularly hard, test it with a simple test.

Effects of hard water on skin and hair

Hair really doesn’t like hard water. Regular washing with water containing lime makes the hair dry, dull and tangled. The scalp also dries and begins to itch.

How can we soften hard water?

The best way to soften hard water is to get a water filter. The water filter removes not only lime but also other minerals from the tap water. Efficient Water Filters also remove chlorine, microplastics and bacteria from water.

You will get almost decent tap water by adding a little vinegar to it. Vinegar softens water by dissolving minerals. However, adding vinegar to water is just a first aid because vinegar does not actually remove minerals from water. However, vinegar keeps the pH of water neutral. Neutral water does not dry out skin and hair like slightly alkaline water does.

If you want to add vinegar to water, use pH strips to assess the acidity of the water. This way you know what is the right amount of vinegar to add.

If you only have hard water at your disposal

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Kuva Rudy and Peter Skitterians Pixabaystä

If your tap water is hard and you do not have a water filter,

Is your tap water hard? How are you getting along with it?

Allergies and hypersensitivities are a growing problem, especially among users of natural cosmetics. This post is based partly on my own experience of hypersensitivity. I suffer from atopic eczema and other hypersensitivity disorders. I’ve been able to significantly minimize the symptoms of atopic eczema. I’ll share my story here so you can get some ideas on how to treat your hypersensitivity and allergic symptoms. My story also contains tips on how you can effectively prevent sensitization to natural cosmetics.

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I have suffered from atopic skin all my life.

My skin has been very sensitive as long as I can remember. As an adult, I have had many symptoms of hypersensitivity. I got a diagnosis of asthma ten years ago. My illnesses have been treated as usual, with medication.

Three to four years ago my symptoms got worse. The most severe of the symptoms was atopic eczema, or allergic rash, which spread quickly throughout the body. The intense anaphylactic reaction, a shock, that forced me to a hospital bed was also frightening. Atopy means allergy and eczema means rash. My doctor’s estimate was that I would have to use strong cortisone creams for years or maybe decades.

Don’t treat bad atopic eczema yourself

Inflammation of the skin in atopic eczema can quickly get really bad and require long hospital stays. If you have broken skin or a rash on large area of ​​skin, consult a dermatologist. Especially if the patient is a small child, consulting a doctor is a must. In such a situation, you should never treat the rash yourself, for example with natural cosmetics. Things could get much worse.

Atopic eczema is a real illness that can be extremely serious

Atopic eczema is often considered as a minor ailment that can be conveniently treated by rubbing just a little coconut fat on the skin or by changing the brand of shampoo. Such comments are, as a matter of fact, offensive to those who have spent sleepless nights for months with pain, itching and inflammation, unable to go to work or even outdoors.

About $ 200 million is spent annually on research of atopic eczema. If this disease could be easily beat with coconut oil or some nutritional supplement, why sacrifice such amounts of money for research. Atopic eczema is a troublesome and often severely disabling disease, for which the researchers still have no complete answer. Atopic eczema can, at worst, lead to death.

Many people talk about atopic eczema even when they refer to dry, flaky skin. Dry skin and atopic eczema are two different things. These should not be confused. Atopic eczema may develop even if the skin is greasy.

How I finally got my eczema under control

I want to tell you about my own recovery so that you can somehow benefit from my experience. Not all atopic eczema is due to the same reason as myself. Therefore, my experience does not help everyone. But if it helps at least one person, it is worth telling.

I started to solve the situation myself together with my doctor. My symptoms were suspected to be due to something I eat. We took a closer look at the cosmetics I used and I gave up all of it. I started treating my face only with refined sunflower oil. For skin cleansing, I used completely non-perfumed soap.

I started a 6-week diet eliminating all foods that caused symptoms. At first, I only ate boiled chicken and cabbage. I added new foods to my diet every week. With the help of my diet, I found foods that worsen my symptoms and my skin completely healed. Nowadays I eat almost normal meals.

How do we become allergic to cosmetics?

Cosmetic products can also cause atopic eczema. Unfortunately, natural cosmetics with many herbal extracts is very allergenic. Things causing allergy are often plants such as tomatoes or nuts. Herbal allergens also work similarly when using natural cosmetics.

Perfume hypersensitivities

Perfume hypersensitivity is quite common. About 2-3% of the population suffer from them. Perfume hypersensitivity occurs, for example, in the form of rash on the hands. Many people also get milder symptoms from perfumes and other fragrance. These symptoms can also get worse if the person is exposed all the time.

A person suffering from fragrance hypersensitivity should not use neither any scented cosmetics nor any scented cleaning chemicals. Whether the fragrance is a real essential oil or a synthetic fragrance does not matter. If your body is already ill, all scents should be avoided.

In addition to fragrances in perfumes and cleaning chemicals, you should avoid hydrolates and most plant extracts. Hydrolates, as well as most plant extracts, always contain small amounts of essential oils.

Sensitization to plant chemicals

As a herbal therapist, I know that plants contain hundreds of different chemicals. For some people, the number of plant-derived compounds is simply too much.

Today, the superfoods are really popular. People look for berries, herbs and vegetables that contain the highest amounts of herbal chemicals and eat them in large quantities, such as smoothies, concentrates and dried green powders. Superfoods are believed to be the key to healthy life because of their antioxidant content. However, for sensitive people, these superfoods are too much. Over time, they can cause health problems to the whole body.

Over-use of herbal chemicals both in nutrition and cosmetics is harmful. I also believe that eating a lot of superfoods and supplements, combined with the use of natural cosmetics containing strong herbal chemicals, can easily trigger allergic symptoms and atopic eczema. At least this presumably happened to me. Too much is always too much. We should be reasonable with superfoods.

Common allergies

The common allergies have been familiar for years. A person can be very allergic to only one type of protein. Typical allergens include pollen, nuts and fish. A person can be allergic or become allergic at any time to anything. If you get severe symptoms from a cosmetic product, you may be allergic to one of its ingredients. The person with allergy can easily find out the cause of the allergy by allergy tests. Allergies should be taken very seriously as they can, at worst, cause a life-threatening condition. Many allergens are also present in cosmetics. Allergens cause problems only to certain individuals. Most of the people do not have to avoid them. If you are uncertain about the cosmetics you use, you can always contact the manufacturer to get deeper information.

Problems with natural cosmetics

I’m definitely in favour of natural cosmetics. Natural cosmetics is made from pure, natural raw materials and do not contain any plastic. Many synthetic chemicals are banned in natural cosmetics. However, the manufacturers of natural cosmetics should wake up to the growing problem of skin sensitization to herbal chemicals. It is also possible to make natural cosmetics completely without using any herbal extracts. There should be more such products available.

Too many herbs

Natural cosmetic products often contain far too many herbs and plant extracts. Most products contain very strong herbal extracts and unrefined oils rich in herbal chemicals. Almost everyone’s skin will eventually become sensitized to herbal chemicals when used several times a day. Latest trend is to apply facial toner several times on face at a time. Herbal cream alone is no longer enough, but the use of a serum rich in plant chemicals is also recommended. The daily load of herbal chemicals on the skin rises very high.

Many natural cosmetic products contain far too many different herbs and extracts. In many cases, just only one herb would be enough. Herbs, of course, contain beneficial ingredients for the skin. Cosmetic plants contain hundreds of different compounds, many of which are useless to the skin and some even harmful. Even if the product contains 10-15 different herb and flower extracts, the number of harmful compounds increases in the same proportion.

Too much essential oils

I have spoken often about natural essential oils and their harmfulness. You can read more about them here and here.

Essential oils cause a lot of hypersensitivity. They can penetrate through the skin into the body and even through the blood-brain barrier directly into the human brain. Essential oils are solvents that are harmful to human health when used excessively. All chemicals that are able to penetrate the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, can easily cause sensitization. Essential oils are such.

Bees products and resin

Unfortunately, the wonderful bees’ products contain very many allergenic ingredients. Beeswax used to solidify waterless salves is not suitable for fragrance-sensitive persons. Beeswax is particularly rich in resins. Resin allergy is often associated with fragrance hypersensitivity. In addition to resins, honey contains pollen residues. All resins are mixtures of resins and essential oils. Therefore, resin products are also unsuitable for fragrance-sensitive persons. In addition to spruce and pine resin, frankincense and myrrh are also used in cosmetics.

Hydrolates are almost as sensitizing as essential oils

Essential oils are prepared by steam distillation. The process separates the oil-soluble constituents of the plant from the water-soluble ones. The oil-soluble ingredients are essential oils and the water-soluble ingredients are hydrolates. Quite a large amount of essential oils remains in the hydrolates. It is very difficult to distil all essential oils away. Therefore, people suffering from fragrance hypersensitivity and natural cosmetics should avoid products containing hydrolates.

Concentrated plant extracts and plant chemicals

Many natural cosmetic products contain a lot of concentrated herbal chemicals. Salicylates are used as plant extracts or as a pure chemical to brighten the skin. Salicylates are highly sensitizing. For example, aloe vera and meadowsweet are rich in salicylates.

It is also very common to add plant extracts like gingko biloba, ginger or other superfoods to natural cosmetics products. These extracts are mentioned only for short term use. However, you can find them in regular creams for daily use.

Lack of non-scented products

It is very rare to find a non-scented, natural cosmetics product. There are some but unfortunately not available everywhere. The popularity of essential oils is so big that the has been no need to develop a specific, fragrance-free products. And even if the product would be a non-scented, it contains several different herbal extracts.

Natural cosmetics for people who are sensitive to plant chemicals

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You must be wondering now how it is possible to make natural cosmetics if you can no longer use plant extracts, hydrolates or essential oils. Do not worry. There are many other ingredients that can be used to make safe and gentle cosmetics. Also, there is no need to use herbs and plant extracts in every product and all the time. Here are some good and safe products for people suffering from hypersensitivity.

Clays

Clay is one of the oldest cosmetic ingredients mankind has used. Clay is natural and safe to use. When an ancient person was wandering through dusty land, the skin was always covered with a fine layer of clay. Winds brought minerals to the skin to protect it from burning. Human skin is also able to receive minerals and transports them to the bloodstream and muscles. Magnesium, for example, has been found to be even better absorbed as a cream than when ingested orally.

Some clay products can cause allergic reactions to persons suffering from nickel allergy. Take this into consideration if you are allergic to nickel.

You can use clay for masks and scrubs.

Minerals

You can use several safe, non-allergenic mineral products in your cosmetics. One really good product is the MaineBase salt, which you can use for skin cleansing and even scalp washing. Ordinary sea salt and rock salt are minerals that hardly anyone is allergic to. Epsom salt is high in magnesium. It is usually a safe product for sensitive skin.

Epsom salt is suitable for baths, salt masks and peeling products.

Oils

Supply of natural cosmetics based on oils has increased enormously. That’s a really good thing. Oils belong naturally to human skin. The skin is very rich in linoleic acid, which is found also in sunflower oil and safflower oil.

If you are not yet sensitized to cosmetics and you do not have allergies, you can use all cosmetic oils freely for skin care. Oils are safe to use in daily skin care.

If your skin is sensitized or you have a fragrance sensitivity, avoid strong, unrefined oils such as cold pressed olive oil, hemp oil or pumpkin seed oil. They are rich in herbal chemicals that can aggravate your symptoms.

Choose the cheapest filtered sunflower oil bottle from the bottom shelf of the market. It’s the best for sensitive skin. Other refined oils are also suitable. Rice bran oil, safflower oil and refined white shea butter are really good too.

You can make a lotion from oils, water and emulsifier. This kind of emulsion is moisturizing and nourishing and does not irritate the skin, not even in daily use.

Plants with low plant chemicals content

There are plants and plants. Not all plants are rich in plant chemicals. There are plenty of them in flower extracts, berries, fruits and herbs, wild herbs and strongly green vegetables. Avoid them if you are sensitized to herbal chemicals.

If your skin is sensitized and you have a bad skin rash, I do not recommend trying any plants at all on your skin. My skin is now so healthy that I have started to use carefully cosmetics made from plants. I use plant parts that are not so rich in skin irritants. Here are just a few examples. Someone may be allergic to these too. So, you should test yourself whether these ingredients are suitable for your own skin.

Herbal extracts for occasional use only

To avoid sensitization to natural cosmetics, use products containing herbal extracts only occasionally. For example, you can get a herbal mask and use it only once a week. If you are not yet sensitized, avoid excessive use of herbal chemicals by purchasing milder products or by reducing the use of them.

Clean your skin thoroughly

I personally prefer activated carbon masks and clay masks for deep skin cleansing. Activated carbon is effective in attracting organic ingredients such as plant chemicals.

Let your skin rest, have cosmetics-free days

The skin may not need any treatment every day. Let the skin rest. Rinse skin only with lukewarm water and let it rest.

Walk along the seashore if possible or in the woods to improve the oxygenation of the skin and circulation of blood. Salty, fresh air and walking in the woods also eliminate stress. Stress is thought to be one of the reasons of allergies and hypersensitivity.

Natural cosmetics and herbs are really precious things to me.

You should not blame herbs for causing allergies and sensitizations. The reasons lie in the reckless use of herbs. More is better is not true in this case. As a herbal therapist, I know that human body does not need herbs so much. Only a small amount is enough. You just need to know when and for what purpose the herbs are used. We must also know how to choose the right herb for the right use.

I really hope that more and more natural cosmetics manufacturers are seeing the continuously growing allergy problem. Increasing sensitization to herbal chemicals can even spoil the reputation of natural cosmetics. It would be sad just when Natural Cosmetics has gained some shelf space in the stores. It is therefore important to face the problem in a time.

Regular, daily use of strong herbal products strain unduly the skin and interfere with its function. For example, many herbs are antimicrobial, which means they inhibit bacterial growth. However, the skin should always have a healthy microbiome in order to maintain its defence system. Strong antimicrobial herbs also inhibit the growth of good bacteria on the skin.

I do collect, dry, make and use plants, flowers and herbs for cosmetics

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However, I just want to make natural, herbal cosmetic products. I use mild herbal cosmetics for very short periods, maybe only once to cure some annoying problem. This is how precious herbs are used correctly. This way I can also benefit myself of all the knowledge that I have acquired as herbalist.

Do you have experience about herbal chemicals and hypersensitivity?

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Is there any other other natural cosmetic ingredients like oats (Avena sativa)? Using oats is now very topical, as it fits in a dry spring in Finland, in the winter your skin as a protective and curative ingredient.

Oats are a discovered now also the rest of the world. It is used today, superior health product all over the world, including in Asia.

There are very many uses of oats in organic cosmetics. It is an incredibly versatile raw material. Oats has very many good features. It is a very gentle and suitable for most people including children and older people.

I’ll tell you how yo use oats in cosmetics and how it works in skin care

Why it’s good to treat your skin with oats and how oats affect the skin?

Did you know that oat was first medicinal plant? Old times in Egypt oat was used successfully in treatments of skin problems.

Oats have been used to treat the skin already 2000 years BC. in ancient Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula

It was already 4000 years ago. At the time it was a natural oat. Today oat is hybrid cultivated in fields. Oats were used not only for the skin beauty and protection of the skin from the sun. Oats were also used to treat skin disorders such as skin itching and eczema. Already 4000 years ago were eczema sufferers, for whom oat was an important medicinal plant.

Oats have been used, externally at the beginning of the 20th century as sun protection as well as skin care. Unfortunately, together with the rise of synthetic cosmetics the good features of oats were forgotten.

Oat is grown all over the world

The biggest producer of oat in the world is European Union. Other major oat producers are Russia and North America. In Finland Oats porridge is popular food, that has been entrusted for centuries.

In Central Europe, new hybrids of oats are grown in Germany but in France there is almost no oats as well as in Spain and in Italy.

Plant breeding has been used to develop new varieties of oats. 100 years ago, oats looked like totally different than new hybrids now. In the old days oat grains were dark brown, almost black. Modern oats are golden yellow, or very light in color. The quality of oats may have changed over the years.

Oat is a superior product

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Oat shoots

Oat contain herbal extracts and phytochemicals. The active ingredients of oat have been studied very much. The use of oat in skin care has been of interest to researchers and for good reason.

Oat is particularly gentle on the skin

Oat contain fat as well as carbohydrates. Fat of oat is very gentle to skin. Carbohydrates of oat treat skin and smooth out the lines.

Oats protein content is unique. Oat gluten contains special protein. Oat proteins are different than proteins in other grains.  Most other grains are rich in gluten, known allergen and the source of the hypersensitivity.

Problems are caused by gluten containing protein

People who are sensitive to gluten can also get symptoms externally when using oat products on skin.  Oats may include remains of gluten from wheat, barley or rye if it is grounded in the same mill. If you are sensitive to gluten you can use oat if it is grounded in separately from other cereals. Such oats are sold as “gluten-free oats”. In reality, there is no such thing as “gluten-free oats”. Oat has also gluten but it’s different from gluten than other grains. Also, oat does not contain much gluten.

Oats contains valuable phytochemicals

Oats have been studied around the world because of its very strong health effects. Oats have been found to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

During the extensive research scientists have also found other interesting things. They have found oat ingredients that help particularly  soothing the skin and itching.  Oats are useful for skin. It can be used both externally and internally.

Oats in skin care works very well. It is designed to promote skin well-being.

Why oats are so good for the skin

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Oats have been studied recently because it is so good for the skin. North American researchers have been particularly interested. The antioxidant properties of oats have been extensively studied in the University of Minnesota. Several other universities in the United States have also joined and analyzed the health effects of oats.

Oats has also been studied in Finland but mostly because of cardiovascular disease prevention.

Herbal therapists and folk heelers have always been aware of effects of oats. They know that oats soothe the skin and prevent inflammation. Now there is also scientific evidence to support this old information.

Let’s see, why the use of oat in skin care is so overwhelming.

Oat fats

Oats contain plenty of fats. About 10% of the oats is fat. Only corn is fatter than oats. Fats make oats very gentle on the skin.

Oat carbohydrates

Oats contain long-chain carbohydrate called a beta-glucan. Beta-glucan has been popular phytochemical for skin care.  It has arrived from Korea. It is incredible that the Koreans have used oats for skin care. In Korea beta-glucan is produced from fungi as well.

Oats proteins

The particularly high protein content of oats gives us more opportunities to use oats for skin and hair care. Oats have more proteins than any other grain.

Oat gluten contains prolamine protein called avenine. Avenine does not irritate the celiac gut in the same way as wheat gliadin. In addition, the oat avenine content is very low. Therefore, oats can also be used by persons who are sensitive to other grain.

Oats contain a lot of proteins such as globulines and also similar protein than in legume family plants are found. Sensitive individuals can sometimes also have symptoms of hypersensitivity in oats. This you should take into account when selecting ingredients for cosmetics.

Oat phytochemicals

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Oat contain many plant chemicals that have a positive effect on the skin.

Important compounds in oats are plant sterols, tocopherols, phenolic acids and group of  aventhramides. Aventhramides . Researchers have found this compound to find out why oats are so good for the skin.

I want to tell you more about aventhramides (acid amide). It’s a group of alkaloids. Aventhramides has been specifically studied in the United States.

1n 2003, the US Food an Drug Administration (FDA) approved colloidal oat (very fine oat dust) for sun protection. The decision was based on extensive research on aventhramides. It was found to protect the skin from the sun. It is incredible that the ancient Egyptians knew this already 4,000 years ago.

Other skin support properties were also found in aventhramides

It was found to significantly reduce skin irritation and soothe the skin. In the same studies aventhramides contained in oats were also found to have a positive effect on food. Aventhramides reduced inflammation and allergies.

Aventhramides contained in oats were found to eliminate itching in the studies

The effect of the of aventhramides on itching was compared to that of steroids. It already tells a lot about how effective a compound is.

However, it should be remembered that these studies were performed with a strong, up to 80% aventhramide solution. Of course, conventional oat powder is not as effective as cortisol in treating eczema.

Aventhramides is extracted from the kernel of oats. The extracts have been used in skin and hair care products and baby skin care products. Aventhramides have proven to be effective in sunscreen products.

Oat micronutrients

Oats contain a lot of important minerals

The minerals of oat are very welcome addition to natural skin care. When you make a facial mask made of colloidal oat your skin can enjoy all these minerals.

In addition, oats contain a wide variety of vitamin-B.

How to use oats in cosmetics?

Oats can be used in many different forms as a cosmetic ingredient. Follow the tips below to learn how to take advantage of oats and get all the benefits of oats on your skin.

Colloidal oats or oat dust

Colloidal oat is very versatile product. It’s really oat powder. The difference between colloidal oat compared to ordinary (for baking) oatmeal is huge. The colloidal oat powder is grounded to a very fine dust. I tried plain oatmeal as the treatment of skin. The oatmeal used by bakeries is certainly too rough for the face skin but you can use it for body scrub.

You can use colloidal oat

For face cleansing

As an ingredient of creams and body lotions to give texture

Colloidal oat is a top-quality product

You can easily find new uses for it. Because it’s such a mild, harmless product, the whole family can use it.

Are you excited about colloidal oat?

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You should definitely get oats in a colloidal, finely grounded form. Ordinary oat flour for baking is not the same thing.

Oat extract

Oat extract is made from green oat sprouts with alcohol.

The oat sprout extract contains very different substances than oat powder. In herbal therapy, oat extract is used for relaxation and tension removal. For the same purpose, you can use oat extract in cosmetics. You can drop it with a few drops to your night cream. It soothes the skin if the skin is irritated.

Oat shoots contain a particularly large amount of alkaloid, called gramine. The same alkaloid is also found in many flowers of oil plants. Also, many pharmaceutical factories use gramine in their creams. It tells you how powerful phytochemical gamine is. Gramine is especially good for soothing the skin.

How to use oat extract

Mix gramine-containing oat extract with your face cream. oats extract is at its best in night cream. it soothes and takes care of tried skin.

I can recommend A.Vogel’s oat extract.

Fermented oats

Oats can also be fermented. In my book “The Ingredients of Home Made Cosmetic” I explained in detail how to ferment different cosmetic ingredients. Oats are suitable for this purpose. You can use fermented oats to rinse your face. It is also suitable for rinsing the hair and the whole body after shower.

If you would like to try fermented oats, please visit to the Recipes page.

Oats are prebiotics

Oat is one of the best probiotics. prebiotics are nourishment of good skin bacteria. If you want to relive skin with lactic acid bacteria, also use oat-based products. Oat-based products also treat skin bacteria without added probiotics (lactic acid bacteria).

Healthy skin always has healthy bacteria strain. This way the harmful bacteria do not get into the skin. Oat-based products increase and stabilize the skin’s own bacteria strain.

The fats of oat

Oils in oats contain about half of oleic acid and half of linoleic acid. Beautiful yellow color oil smells cozy in oatmeal. Due to the high contain of oleic acid, oat oil may not be suitable for easily clogged skin.

I could recommend oat oil to the following homemade cosmetics products

For teenagers and young adults, this oil is not the best. Oat oil is suitable for both facial and body skin care.

Oat is a cosmetic ingredient that you shouldn’t forget

Oat should be used in homemade cosmetics. The efficiency of oat in skin care has also been scientifically proven. It is a safe ingredient to which only a few are hypersensitive. If you don’t want to make your own cosmetic products you can buy organic cosmetics containing oats

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

What is the organic peat we use in healthcare?

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

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

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

Layers close to surface contain clearly mass from plants.

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

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

Where to get organic peat

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

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

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

Swamps are treated really badly

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

Organic peat requires an untouchable swamp

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

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

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

Texture of organic peat is carefully inspected

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

 

How you can use organic peat in skincare

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

You can use peat in the Sauna

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

Organic peat has been used for

 

You can use organic peat in a bath

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

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

You can use organic peat for your haircare

You can use organic peat to facial mask

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

You can use organic peat for whitening of your skin

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

You can treat acne by peat

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

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

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

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

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

If you are an allergic person…

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

Why organic peat is not widely used in skincare?

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

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

Benefit from peat’s powerful phytochemicals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where to get organic peat

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

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