Chrysanthemums are old and valued Chinese herbs. Chrysanthemum was used as a tea and healing herb already a thousand years ago. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), chrysanthemums were highly valued. Chrysanthemum leaves and shoots were used in salads and steamed as an addition to gourmet meals.
Chrysanthemums are known as long lasting autumn flowers. We are not used to using chrysanthemums for nutrition. Please remember that no decoration plants can be used for food or skin care. Chrysanthemums bought from florist cannot be used in cosmetics. If you want to try chrysanthemums in cosmetics, get dried chrysanthemum flowers for tea. Chrysanthemum tea is very delicious and healthy. You can also use the same tea versatilely in skin care. Let’s see what a wonderful herb chrysanthemum really is.
The chrysanthemum family is extensive
Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum) belong to the family of aster plants. Asters are a very large family of plants, which includes more than 1,600 plant genera. The same tribe includes different types of daisies and the familiar chamomile. The name chrysanthemum comes from the Greek language and means golden flower.
Chrysanthemum flowers come in many colours. White, yellow and lilac flowers are the most common of them. The world’s finest chrysanthemums, snow chrysanthemums grow wild high in the mountains of China, in Xinjiang. Snow chrysanthemums are extremely rare. They produce few flowers that bloom for a very short time. That is why snow chrysanthemums are the most valuable of all chrysanthemums. Snow chrysanthemum flowers are used to make tea.
Some chrysanthemum varieties are used to make the insecticide pyrethrin. Insects avoid chrysanthemum scent.
How does chrysanthemum infusion affect your health?
Chrysanthemum infusion is drunk in China and other parts of Asia not only because of its wonderful taste, but also because of its healthiness. Chrysanthemum infusion is even healthier than green tea. It has a lot of different minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Helenatur is not really a health blog, but I still want to tell you about the health effects of chrysanthemum infusion. This way you will better understand the wonderful properties of this plant.
Chrysanthemum infusion is particularly relaxing
According to Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum is a cooling plant. Cold chrysanthemum tea with ice cubes is a drink on a hot day. The cooling feature is also relaxing. Chrysanthemum infusion contains a lot of potassium. Potassium dilates the blood vessels and makes the blood flow more gently also along the small blood vessels under the skin.
Chrysanthemum infusion boosts immunity
Chrysanthemum decoction contains plenty of vitamin A and C, which improve immunity. The high mineral content of the infusion also boosts the immune system. Potassium, calcium and magnesium work in their own way to support the immune system. Every cell in the human body needs potassium to function the way the cell is supposed to function. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure. It is an important part of many body processes.
Chrysanthemum tea contains plenty of vitamin B
The group of vitamin B is big. Chrysanthemum decoction contains many of them such as folic acid, riboflavin, choline and niacin.
The benefits of chrysanthemum infusion in skin care
Chrysanthemum is a real treasure for your skin. As I already mentioned above, chrysanthemum is a cool type of herb. The cool herb is soothing. Excessive heat correlates with inflammation. You should take advantage of this characteristic of chrysanthemum if you want to use it in cosmetics.
Chrysanthemum contains a lot of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, which is very safe and beneficial for your skin. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps you keep your skin looking youthful.
Chrysanthemum infusion in hair care
Chrysanthemum zawadskii is a chrysanthemum species that has been found in some studies to have properties that affect hair growth. An extract made from this particular chrysanthemum has successfully treated hair loss and stimulated hair growth.
Chrysanthemum extract has been found to have a revitalizing effect on hair follicles. Sleeping hair follicles also come to life with the chrysanthemum treatment. This is how thin hair starts to thicken.
Even ordinary chrysanthemum can help with hair and scalp care. In hair care, use chrysanthemum decoction as a hair conditioner. After washing, rinse your hair with chrysanthemum water and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse your hair lightly with just water and let it dry on its own. Chrysanthemum water soothes the scalp and makes the hair soft and bending. The chrysanthemum rinse also soothes a flaky scalp.
You can also use herbal oil made from chrysanthemum to treat the scalp. Wash the scalp and hair carefully. Use your fingertips to apply about a tablespoon of chrysanthemum herbal oil to the scalp and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Wash your hair and scalp as usual with shampoo.
This is how you prepare chrysanthemum infusion
Chrysanthemum flowers can also be extracted into water. A herbal infusion made of chrysanthemum is suitable for facial lotions, steaming the skin or as a hair rinse. You can also use herbal infusion in the water phase of emulsion creams. As a base for washing products, an astringent and skin-soothing chrysanthemum infusion is ideal.
You can make chrysanthemum infusion from dried chrysanthemum flowers. All you need is 5 dried chrysanthemum flowers and 3.5 decilitres of boiling water. Pour boiling water over the flowers and let them brew for about 3-5 minutes. Strain the flowers from the tea and your perfect infusion is ready.
Herbal oil made from chrysanthemum soothes your skin
In addition to herbal infusion, you can extract chrysanthemum flowers into the vegetable oil of your choice. A suitable oil for extracting chrysanthemum flowers could be, for example, filtered grape seed oil or safflower oil. These two oils are light and support the effect of chrysanthemum on the skin.
When I talk about chrysanthemum oil, I don’t mean chrysanthemum essential oil, but vegetable oil-based herbal oil. These two things should not be confused. Herbal oil made by extracting chrysanthemum flowers and base oil is a really effective cosmetic product just as it is.
Oil extract made from chrysanthemum has traditionally been used for oily skin. It is an astringent oil that shrinks pores and brightens and evens skin tone. Chrysanthemum oil removes irritation and helps reduce inflammation and acne.
Chrysanthemum oil is full of polyphenols such as quercetin, luteolin, apigenin. These antioxidants help your skin fight the signs of aging. You can also use chrysanthemum oil on its own for the sensitive skin around the eyes. The beta-carotene in the oil helps regenerate cells and remove waste products from the skin.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chrysanthemum oil soothe the skin and remove swelling. The oil can also be used for burns and after sunbathing to soothe the skin.
This is how to make herbal oil from chrysanthemum flowers
Using Chrysanthemum oil is one popular way to use this herb in cosmetics. Prepare herbal oil from dried chrysanthemum flowers according to my basic instructions. Chrysanthemum oil is well suited for the preparation of creams and serums. You can also use chrysanthemum oil as it is, either in skin care or on the scalp.
Chrysanthemum is a phototoxic plant
The chrysanthemum also has its unpleasant side effects. If you are exposed to UV light at the same time as using chrysanthemum cosmetics, your skin may develop a rash or even blisters. This is called a phototoxic reaction. Some plants have a tendency to react with sunlight. So, use chrysanthemum only in night creams and serums used only during night time.
You can be allergic to chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemums belong to mycorrhizal plants, which are known to cause allergies. However, you should not worry about this unless you are really sensitized to composite plants. Chrysanthemums are such effective and useful plants in skin care that you really should pay attention to them. If you are concerned about allergies, you can easily do an exposure test yourself with chrysanthemums.
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?
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.
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.
- Capricorn days are very conducive to skin care. If you want to nourish your skin with a refreshing mask, choose a waxing moon and a Capricorn Day. If you want to apply a deep cleansing clay mask to your skin, choose a waning moon and Capricorn day.
- The days of lions and virgins are best for haircuts, regardless of the moon phase. If you’re wondering what causes bad hair days, remember the effect of the moon. On fish and crab days, hair should never be cut.
- Always remove body hair during the waning moon so they grow back slower.
- You should always book a day of a Capricorn for nail care. On a day of Capricorn, just cut nails become especially strong and grow well.
- Massage and gua sha work well in both the waning and waxing moons. The question is about what affects you want from a massage or gua sha. Conventional, dehydrating massage and gua sha are especially effective during sleep. The lymphatic circulation then works well and the body is able to remove waste products efficiently.
- If you are taking a refreshing and invigorating herbal massage, do it at the time of waxing moon. Likewise, if you want to absorb nutrients into your skin using a gua sha roller. The skin is much more receptive at the waxing moon time.
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
- Use nourishing, vitamin-containing creams
- Make caring face masks
- Perform scalp revitalizing treatments
- Dye your hair and eyebrows
- Pay attention to your own healthy diet as now all the nutrients are well absorbed by the body
- Remember that harmful substances are now easily absorbed. Avoid additives and city pollution. Stay in fresh, oxygenated air.
At the time of the waning moon
- Perform cleansing facials such as clay, salt and peat treatments
- Gua sha treatments for the face to remove fluid
- Leave out nourishing creams and focus only on protecting your skin from excessive drying.
- Exfoliate the face, body and scalp
- Perform cleansing pedicures
- Perform scalp cleansing treatments
- Remove hair colour and mineral deposits
Try yourself how different phases of the moon affect skin care
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
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
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?
Epsom salt is mainly used as a bath salt. It contains mostly magnesium sulphate. Epsom salt also contains moderate concentrations of sulphur and oxygen. These ingredients pretty much dictate which products Epsom salt can be used for. The use of Epsom salt as a cosmetic ingredient is also limited because it absorbs moisture in the air. Epsom salt sometimes becomes liquid under the influence of air humidity. Therefore, Epsom salt has been used less frequently in finished bath salt mixtures. Epsom salt spoils the structure of bath salt and the product is no longer so attractive.
In homemade cosmetics, we can use Epsom salt as an ingredient in the bath salt if it will be used soon or latest within a few weeks. In general, products containing Epsom salt remain perfectly flawless when properly stored. Therefore, do not store bath salt in a humid bathroom.
Four different products from Epsom salt
For this story I have chosen four Epsom salt recipes. These products are intended to be used relatively quickly after preparing them. You can change the ingredients in the recipes as much as you want. So, these are just ideas of what can be done with Epsom salt.
1. Simple bath salt from Epsom salt
- 5 decilitres Epsom salts
- 2 ½ decilitres of sea salt
- 1 decilitre of baking soda
Mix all the ingredients in the bowl very carefully. Store bath salt in a container with lid in a dry place.
Use bath salt for about 5 decilitres in a bathtub of warm (not hot) water. 2 decilitres of bath salt is enough for foot baths. Enjoy baths for about 20-30 minutes.
2. Herbal bath of Epsom salt
Epsom salt can be used to make relaxing herbal baths. Now it is time to utilize the herbs you dried in the summer. Many people do not use the collected herbs, they are simply forgotten and thrown away later. No herbs should be thrown away. An herbal bath is a great way to use your stock.
If you have a traditional bathtub, please note that dried or fresh herbs should not be poured directly on the water. Herbs clog the drain very quickly. I have used gauze bags filled with herbs and bath salt. The salt dissolves in water and the herbs remain in the bag.
- 5 decilitres of ready-made bath salt mixture. See previous instructions.
- 1 ½ – 2 decilitres of dry herbs. You can use the following herbs or choose your own ones.
- Rose buds and petals; sophisticated scent and beautiful colour. Use only organic quality roses.
- Chamomile flowers; great smell, antimicrobial effect
- Marigolds; soothing and antimicrobial effect on the skin
- Green tea; a great way to use the diluted teas. Do not use regular tea as it will stain the skin. Antioxidants for the skin
- Lavender; soothing, relaxing effect
- Mint and lemon balm; fresh scent, antimicrobial effect
- Conifers such as thyme, spruce, juniper and pine, antimicrobial effect, woody scent
- Oats; oats are a traditional skin soothing and caring plant. Use oats in bath salt either as flakes or as colloidal oats
Chop the herbs used in the bath salt in a mortar or food processor. This will let the active ingredients in the herbs dissolve best in water. If you make herbal salt as a Christmas present, for example, you can only lightly crush a few rose buds, marigold and lavender. This will give the product colour and appeal.
Mix the chopped herbs with the herbal salt base mixture.
Pack the product in a glass jar with a lid. The reason why I always recommend glass jars is very practical. from the glass jar you can see at a glance what is in it. However, I recommend that you provide the glass jar with a label that indicates the date when prepared and the ingredients.
Use herbal bath salt in about 5 decilitres of bathtub of warm water. About 2 decilitres of herbal bath salt is enough for a foot bath. Pack the herbal bath salt in a gauze bag and sink in water.
If you wish, you can infuse the herbal bath salt in the gauze bag for about 10 minutes in hot water. Then pour the liquid into your bath water. This is how you get the most out of herbs.
Relax in an herbal bath for about 20-30 minutes.
3. Aromatic Epsom salt bath
The fragrant herbal salt bath is a favourite of many. If you use oils in the herbal bath salt, you can safely add essential oils to the product as well.
Never add essential oils to bath salt if you do not mix it with the carrier oil. Essential oils do not dissolve in water but remain floating on the surface of the water. This allows them to be absorbed into the skin undiluted. Undiluted essential oil should never be applied directly to the skin.
Use good quality natural oils such as sunflower oil, safflower oil or rice bran oil. Since bath salt products are used on the body, you can also try olive oil for this. Olive oil easily clogs the pores of the skin. Still, most people can use olive oil for bodycare products without any problems.
- 5 decilitres of ready-made bath salt mixture. See instruction No: 1
- 2 tablespoons of the oil of your choice
- 5-10 drops of essential oils of your choice. You can use 2 or 3 different oils. Oils such as rosemary, rose, lavender and some softwood scents are recommended.
First, mix the essential oils with the carrier oil thoroughly. Then gradually add the carrier oil to the bath salt mixture while stirring.
Pack the product in a covered, airtight glass jar and label it.
Use 2-3 decilitres in a bathtub of warm water. 1 decilitre of fragrant herbal salt bath is enough for a foot bath. Do not use very hot water as the essential oils evaporate quickly due to the heat.
Enjoy a bath for about 20-30 minutes. After the bath, take a light shower. If your skin feels too oily, wipe off any excess grease. Wet a terry hand towel in hot water and squeeze the excess water out. Wipe the skin thoroughly with a hot towel.
4. A caring salt bath
As winter comes, the skin dries out. Then the caring products are needed. Epsom salt moisturizes the skin, absorbing moisture. To get more caring product, add nourishing shea butter or other vegetable butter to the product.
This bath salt is clearly greasier than the previous one. I recommend removing excess oil from your skin with a shower and hot, damp towels.
You can also use this mixture for a foot bath. However, you get more joy from it when you use it on already soaked, greasy feet. This allows the product’s fine oils to be absorbed into the skin.
You can also add essential oils to this product if you wish.
You can also get a nice scent to the product by choosing fragrant vegetable butter. Many people like the addictive scent of cocoa butter. It is also great for body skin care.
- 5 decilitres of ready-made bath salt mixture
- 2 tablespoons mango butter, shea butter or cocoa butter
- 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
- 5-10 drops of essential oils of your choice (optional)
Melt the vegetable butter and add the oil. Add essential oils if desired.
Mix the melted oil-vegetable butter mixture with the salt bath mixture and mix thoroughly. Allow the bath salt mixture to dry for a while on a baking tray.
Pack the mixture in a glass jar with lid and label.
Use the caring salt bath mixture of 2-3 decilitres in a bathtub of warm water. 1 decilitre of salt bath mixture is enough for a foot bath.
Enjoy a bath for about 20-30 minutes. Rinse the skin after a bath and, if necessary, wipe off excess oil from the skin with hot, damp towels.
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.
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.
- Put tap water in an empty water bottle.
- Add 1 teaspoon of liquid soap (check that the product does contain soap only neither other surfactants)
- Close the cork and shake the bottle vigorously
- If there is very little foam, your water is hard. If the water foams a lot, it is soft.
Effects of hard water on skin and hair
- Hard, mineral water is slightly alkaline and therefore very dry. Dry skin ages faster.
- Alkaline water gradually destroys the skin’s own microbiome, the strain of good bacteria.
- If you wash regularly with very hard water, your skin may itch easily.
- You may get dry pimples on the skin
- surface dryness
- Hard water easily leaves soap residues on the skin. They clog pores and can cause acne
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
If your tap water is hard and you do not have a water filter,
- Avoid soap and soap-based detergents. They do not work with hard water.
- Avoid long showers
- Avoid hot or too cold showers
- Use moisturizing products for skin and hair care
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Mung bean powder or aduki bean powder for face scrub. Bean powder is especially good for facial peeling. It is an integral part of the traditional Japanese facial beauty ritual.
- Carbohydrate seeds such as lotus seeds and oats are suitable for facial cleansing and face masks. Oats also control the itching of the skin. Oat green shoots are not suitable for sensitive skin.
- Flaxseeds are a real wonder of skin care. When used once a week, flaxseed really rejuvenates the skin.
- Seaweed does not contain the same plant chemicals as terrestrial plants. They can be used occasionally on face masks or to moisturize the skin. I recommend that you carefully test first if they are suitable for your 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
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
- The benefits of beta-glucan for skin care are based on its ability to form a thin film on the skin. The film protects the skin from external effects such as UV light, air pollution and mechanical irritation.
- Beta-glucan keeps the skin moisturized. Skin does not dry easily in wind and dry air. Korean people prefer to use beta-glucan as hyaluronic acid. They consider beta-glucan to be a most effective moisturizer.
- Beta-glucan also inhibits bacteria. The antibacterial property is due to the thin film of beta-glucan.
- Beta-glucans are prebiotic on the skin. Beta-glucan nourishes the natural bacterial strain of skin. The bacterial strain of the skin can be well balanced with beta-glucan.
- Beta-glucan is able to penetrate deep into the skin even though the size of the beta-glucan molecule is large. In this way beta-glucan destroys the small lines of the skin.
- Beta-glucan is expected to lower cholesterol if consumed internally
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 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.
Oats contain a lot of important minerals
- Iron 5mg /100gr
- Calcium 54mg / 100gr
- Magnesium 117mg / 100gr
- Zinc 4mg / 100gr
- Phosphorus 523mg / 100gr
- Potassium 429mg / 100gr
- Sodium 2mg / 100gr
- Manganese 4,9mg 7 100gr
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
- Ingredient of powder and talk
- As an ingredient of face masks
- Mixed in bath or foot soak
- Treating your baby’s skin
- For scalp treatment, especially for scalp itching
- For treating eczema-sensitive skin (itching), rosacea, shooting acne and other inflammations
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.
- If you have any skin problem, you should definitely follow your doctor’s instructions for treating the disease. In fact, I have used colloidal oats eczema when are having a break of using cortisol. Colloidal oats facilitate really much itching.
Are you excited about colloidal oat?
You should definitely get oats in a colloidal, finely grounded form. Ordinary oat flour for baking is not the same thing.
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.
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 eczema
- For babies
- For kids
- For dry and sensitive skin
- For older people
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.
- Organic peat is always dug out from the deepest layers of a swamp, not from the surface like peat used for fuel or gardening.
- Organic peat is well processed, liquid, gel-like, dark brown humus.
- Organic peat is compressed plants in the swamp that has been processed during thousands of years. It contains countless numbers of phytochemicals.
- Organic peat contains healing features of swamp’s herbs compressed and fermented during thousands of years.
- All healing features of organic peat are not yet known.
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.
- It is not allowed to have any pathogenic bacteria in organic peat
- The maximum number of good bacteria is 1000 pcs/ 1 ml
- There is a specified level of decomposition in peat which should be between 6/10 – 8/10
- Acidity of organic peat should be approx. pH 4
- Level of heavy metals and radioactivity are also measured
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
- detox, absorbing impurities from the skin
- brightening the skin
- slimming treatment
- removing cellulite
- as relaxant for muscles
- treating muscular- and joint pains
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
- Organic peat is naturally sour and that is why it is very gentle to your hair and scalp.
- A hair mask made of organic peat is good for
- seborrheic eczema
- loss of hair
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 that stimulates strongly the cells and converts heavy metals to liquid form. When liquid, metals can exit from the body.
- Bacteria that benefit the skin
- Composed healing components from swamp’s herbs and plants
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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