The fresh shoots of spruces; amazingly good cosmetic ingredient
The fresh shoots of spruces; amazingly good cosmetic ingredient
The fresh growth of spruces is now, in the beginning of the summer, at its best. They are very rich in vitamins so they are excellent superfood. Did you know that you can make cosmetics using the fresh growth of spruce? The fresh growth is perfect for cosmetic lotions and refreshing toners.
You can separate the fresh growth of spruces from the older part of tree easily. The lighter green part of candles, at the end of branches is the fresh part. They are not long. The darker part is already old, do not prune that.
Before you start using spruce for the first time, I recommend you to get an allergy test. Spruce is not a familiar ingredient in cosmetics products. You may be allergic to it. Do not spread any product containing spruce on large areas of your skin. Try first on small area that is not very visible.
The benefits of spruce for the skin
Spruce is a very old medicinal plant. Especially in Finland, the spruce has been one of the basic medicines. The main ingredient is resin, but needles and fresh growth have also been used for some herbal treatments. Rheumatism is one of the illnesses which have been treated by spruce needles in folk medicine.
The active ingredients of spruce are resins. Spruce needles do also contain the same resins but not as abundant. Spruce needles are very rich in ascorbic acid. In some countries, vitamins are still made from spruce needles.
The fresh growth of spruces contains antiseptic ingredients that soothe the skin and suppress inflammation and a considerable amount of lingan. Lingans are special phenolic compounds with a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. The healthiness of fresh growth of spruce as a diet is largely based on lingans.
Fresh growth is also high in vitamin C, a very important vitamin for the skin. Therefore, fresh growth should be utilized right now when they are at their best.
Spruce has a healing effect on wounds and scar tissue. The Finnish pharmaceutical company Reoplar Pharmaceuticals Ltd has studied the spruce’s regenerating effect on human cells. They have launched a full line of products based on spruce’s resins. The spruce accelerates the regeneration of new skin cells and also protects them. Such an effect is also highly desirable in cosmetic skincare products. Why not try a spruce to rejuvenate your skin. Right now, when fresh growth is available everywhere, it is easy to make homemade products.
The use of fresh growth is, of course, limited because of their very seasonal availability. Before, the preservation methods were not so effective than today.
Extraction of fresh growth
I have made the extracts from fresh growth that I am using in lotions and toners. A soothing and refreshing face mask is also easy to make from fresh growth.
Spruce can be extracted easiest in hot water. Some spruce resins will dissolve also in hot water.
- Put about 2 decilitres of fresh growth into a pot
- Pour 5 decilitres of hot water into the pot
- Let the infusion stand for about 30 minutes and strain
- Use the infusion to make cosmetics
Cosmetics made of spruce tip -oil extract is suitable to treat impure, oily skin. Here is the recipe to make an emulsion cream. You can replace the oil you are using partly or entirely by spruce tip oil. Spruce tip oil is slightly antiseptic and soothes the skin.
- Prune a litre of fresh growth
- Put them in a steel bowl and pour in sunflower oil (cold pressed)
- Put water in the pot
- Place the bowl on top of the pot so that the bottom does not touch the water
- Boil the water first and then reduce the heat so that the water is just bubbling
- Let it bubble for one and a half hours (not unattended)
- Stir the extract from time to time and make sure that the water does not run out of the pot and that the plant parts are not above the oil surface
- When the extract is complete, you can strain it using a gauze
- Put the extract in a clean glass jar, label it with the name and date of the product and what oil has been used and the best before -date of the oil
- Store the oil extract in a dark and cool place
- Oil extraction lasts for about a year depending on the best before -date of the oil.
This oil extract is excellent cosmetics raw material mentioned for dirty and oily skin. The oil is mildly antiseptic and soothes the skin.
Fresh growth extract from glycerol
The best and most effective spruce extract you get from glycerol. Many spruce minerals, resins and vitamins dissolve best in glycerol. Fresh growth glycerite is a very useful product. It can be added to both waterless and water-only products. The glycerite is also ideal for lotions.
How to make a glycerite from fresh growth
- Take 2 decilitres of fresh growth
- Chop the material carefully to small pieces using a knife
- Pour on the glycerol so that all the material is covered
- Put the bowl in a dark and cool place for a couple of weeks. You can cover it to avoid impurities
- After 2 weeks, strain the glycerite using a gauze
- Drain the glycerite into a glass bottle and label as mentioned earlier
- Store in a dark and cool place. No need to keep in the fridge.
- This glycerol will be preserved up to 6 months.
You can use this glycerite for example for toners. A toner can contain glycerite 10-15%. A fresh and soothing toner directly from the nature.
Fresh face mask of fresh growth
You should also try just picked up fresh growth. Then prepare a refreshing and soothing mask. In fact, I have used the basic emulsion lotion I’ve prepared myself for base of a herbal mask. Instructions are here. If you do not have a homemade base cream, you can use a neutral cream of your choice as the base of the mask.
Make a fresh mask like this
- Chop a tablespoon of fresh growth into a very fine dice. In addition, you can grind the dice in a mortar to get a mash.
- Add a tablespoon of the base cream to the mash and mix evenly
- If the paste is too liquid, you can solidify it with very fine oatmeal – add carefully
- Add content of one evening primrose oil capsule to the mixture
- Mix the mask evenly and apply to the skin of the face and neck, carefully avoiding the skin around the eyes.
- Leave the mask on for 15-30 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- You can make such a mask once a week if you have enough fresh growth.
The forest is now full of spruce trees. However, you should ask permission from the landowner to prune spruces. In my experience, however, you should get the permission easily if you just ask politely. In fact, I asked permission to prune a fence made of spruces. Spruce fence should be cut annually and the owners were just happy.