Monday, August 22, 2011

Rub-a-dub-dub

All-Natural-Suds for the Tub - by our friend Leesa Raab over at eco18.

As a kid, I was the girl who was throwing spa-party sleepovers where I made all of my friends bring over their favorite shower gels, lotions, face masks and other varying beauty products, so we could all try them. And even as an adult, I’m always surveying friends about what they use and looking for new products to try. So over the years I’ve tried A LOT of different body washes and bath care products. More recently, I’ve taken a specific interest in making sure that my shower products are all-natural and paraben-free. With that, I was especially excited to learn about some new, all-natural body washes that have recently hit the market.......continued.

image courtesy of Krikit flickr/CC license

Friday, August 19, 2011

Monitored

Organic Monitor in London, UK, released the results of a new study that assessed more than 50 international brands of natural and organic cosmetic products and ranked them in terms of their “naturalness.” Unfortunately, very few natural and organic cosmetic brands are living up to their organic marketing claims.

Looking at specific brands, the research found that smaller independent companies did well, with Intelligent Nutrients coming out on top with a 9.5 (out of a possible 10) rating.

Intelligent Nutrients products received high naturalness ratings, as they contain high levels of organic (food) ingredients, with almost all products certified organic. 

Read More

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Essential Healing

Taken from the August 2011 edition of American Spa magazine.
by Julie Keller

Of the essential oils making headlines today, what do you think is the most exciting and why?
“Essential oil of juniper berry (juniperus communis) is a wonderful analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, and sedative. Put these properties together with eucalyptus, marjoram, myrtle, fir needle, lavender, or patchouli, and you’ll get the most healing and pain-relieving formula. For massage and body treatments, mix it for deep heat and the treatment of eczema. For facials, choose juniper berry alone or with rosemary for acne. For hands and feet, mix it with lavender for purity and skin renewing.”—Bonnie Canavino, President, Amrit Organic

“I think it’s still the core essential oils that are continuing to make an impact in the world today—lavender, neroli, and rose. All three cover a broad range of everyday skin concerns. If it’s balancing, softening, soothing, or calming, these are the top three I would turn to for the best results.”—Shannon Gallogly, National Education Trainer, Decléor Paris

Geranium is one of my female first aid oils. It is balancing to female energy and mood swings. It is used during menopause and PMS. When I travel around the country to provide training in spas, and I interface with the therapists, estheticians, and spa guests, I always hear women exclaiming that they need balance. Geranium is one of my oils of choice for helping women find their own personal balance and well-being. It is also an astringent and is tonifying, so it is used for mature skin to tone the tissues.”—Tara Grodjesk, Founder and President, TARA Spa Therapy

Frankincense has made the headlines recently due to medical studies, which show it offers some benefits during cancer treatments. Within the beauty arena, it is renowned for its calming, relaxing aroma and astringent properties to help skintone.”—Sue Harmsworth, Founder and CEO, ESPA International

Frankincense is finally getting the attention it deserves. I have been a fan of this oil for many years. Frankincense is known for its ability to heal skin ailments, reduce wrinkles, soothe dry skin, lessen acne, and diminish scars. True, therapeutic-grade frankincense should be harvested from boswellia carteri to ensure the oil is completely efficacious and synergistic.”—Kimberly Parry, Founder, Kimberly Parry Organics

In your opinion, what essential oil is most beneficial when it comes to skincare and bodycare and why?
“Seasons have a great effect on our preferences when considering essential oils and their uses specifically in aromatherapy. In the summer, essential oil of West Indian lime exhilarates the senses with its sweet and fresh aroma. It’s the perfect pick-me-up after the sun goes down.
In addition, essential lime oil has a calming, fortifying effect on the skin and stimulates cell regeneration, and the anti-arthritic properties in lime oil make it benefi cial in the treatment of sore muscles and joints. I can’t think of a better way to start an endless summer night than with a refreshing massage using lime oil.”—Bergt Bieler, Director of Operations, PINO Natural Spa Therapy

“True organic medical-grade lavender is still the number-one antibacterial, antiseptic, antiinflammatory, antidepressant, deodorizing, healing, and soothing essential oil—and that’s just naming a few of its properties. You can use it on burns for inflammation and to calm the skin. Everyone loves lavender, especially Americans, but few know its super powers to deeply heal and aid in the elimination of scarring during the healing process. Every spa service can include lavender. For oily skin, it balances and purifies; for combination skin, it balances and decongests; and for the driest skin, it stimulates oil enhancement and rejuvenates cell renewal. Lavender mixes well with most essential oils and brings its flowery aroma subtly to the top.”—Canavino

Roman chamomile, in my opinion, has the most benefi ts whether you are using it in skincare or bodycare. First, it has the ability to even unsightly marks on the skin, such as scarring or pigmentation. It also works at a cellular level to protect against free radical damage, preparing the cells for proper defense once hitting the
surface. Hydration is the other big reason for the many functions of this essential oil. If the inner esthetics are being treated, it offers well hydrated skin on the outside. It also has a high number of purifying and detoxifying benefits, which can cause skin to be balanced from the inside out.”—Gallogly

“In my opinion, there is not one oil that has the most benefits. But there are some oils that are particularly versatile when used in a spa context. For example, citrus oils, such as pink grapefruit and orange, are called joy oils, because they are uplifting, positive, light, and refreshing. They are really nice for environmental fragrancing or diffusing. They are also excellent for water retention and lymph drainage, so I like to use them for body toning and detoxifying treatments when combined with other classic anti-cellulite and water-retention oils, such as cypress and fennel. These citrus oils, when combined with rosemary and peppermint, are stimulating and uplifting, but when combined with cedarwood or vetiver can be deeply relaxing. So this is an example of how versatile some of the essential oils are. It has to do with what we combine them with and how we apply them.”—Grodjesk

“At ESPA, one of our favorite essential oils is jasmine. Jasmine is known for its warm, exotic floral aroma. The word jasmine is derived from yasmin, a Persian word used to refer to an aphrodisiac. Jasmine is renowned to have mood-enhancing properties to soothe and relax the mind with a very long-lasting aroma. Jasmine is still one of the most expensive oils to extract, requiring an astonishing 1,000 flowers to extract just .2 percent oil. The flowers are also generally harvested during the night when the fragrance is most intense.
Because of jasmine’s composition, it is highly effective at cooling and calming, not just the mind but also the upper layers of the epidermis, which is why it is said to have such profound results when combined with other traditional oils, such as rose damascene, for treating the skin.”—Harmsworth

“For many years, extensive scientific research has confirmed the traditional uses of chamomile, making it one of the most popular essential oils in the world. Chamomile is one of nature’s most unique, beneficial, and versatile oils. Today, with anti-aging, inflammation, and pigmentation ranking in the top five skincare concerns, chamomile is key in addressing these specific issues along with many other skincare needs. It is one of the most widely used botanicals and boosts anti-inflammatory, healing, emollient, and antioxidant properties. Chamomile oil has great wound-healing abilities and is extensively used to address skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, hypersensitivity, and allergic conditions. Additionally, the lipophilic compounds found in chamomile oil help to reduce capillary fragility, strengthening the skin. With its vasoconstrictor properties, it also aids in reducing redness caused by enlarged capillaries, creating a unique alignment in the treatment of rosacea.”—Gwen O’Hanlon, Vice President of Sales and Education, Darphin North America

“If I had to choose one go-to oil for its ability to perform, it would have to be true lavender—lavandula angustifolia. It has more than 100 different constituents, blends well with most other essential oils, and has a wide variety of uses.”—Parry

Friday, August 5, 2011

Stinky Dog

Another use for {8} essentials: stinky dog.

My sister-in-law came across this article and said that {8} is perfect for this recipe:

1 small spray bottle (about 1-2 ounces)
1 ounce of warm water
3-4 drops of {8}

Shake vigorously and mist your dog’s coat about 6-inches from his hair. Rub it in with your hands or brush through. The scent should last a week or so.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Butter

If a beauty product has the word "butter" in it, I am filtering through its ingredient deck faster than you can say the word, butter.
What kind of butter is it? Shea, cocoa, what?

John Masters Organics recently came out with a new product called,  Cacao & Cupuacu Hand & Body Butter.

First of all, I'm not looking for a new hand butter (as you may know, I'm a huge fan of the NONTOXIQUE hand and foot care brand). But, body butter? If it's a rich creamy plant oil, now that's a different story and I want to bathe in it!

Body butter. Check.
Cacao butter. Check.
Cupuacu butter? What is that?! Never heard of it before, how did that happen?

This creamy and emollient butter, which promotes a pleasant touch, smoothness and softness to the skin, boosting the recovery of its natural moisture and elasticity. Highly beneficial for dry and damaged skin, while promoting deep, long lasting hydration. Its high water absorption capacity, due to its high phytosterol levels, makes Cupuaçu an effective alternative to lanolin.
Cold-pressed, refined, and filtered from the seeds of the Cupuaçu Tree in Brazil.

When my sample arrived, I tore into it like it may have a golden ticket inside. This thick rich oil smelled like chocolate, really good chocolate actually. It's golden color and creamy texture reminded me of a honey and bees wax blend. But when I applied it to my skin, it melted immediately.
I went a little wild with my first application, to say the least. That aroma of chocolate was a bit intoxicating, I must admit. How could it smell so rich? I had never smelled cocoa butter quite like that, until now.
So, I did some research on the Cupuacu butter and found out that it too, was contributing to that delectable chocolate aroma.

That sealed the deal.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On A Stick

I don't know how it is at other state fairs but each year here in Minnesota, it's always fun to find out about the new attractions, food and products that will be at our great get-together, the Minnesota State Fair. Especially, the new items that will be "on a stick".

We Minnesotan's have this unparalleled desire to put the craziest stuff on a stick; pork chops, deep fried candy bars, pickles, mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, etc., etc.
Our newspapers even publish articles announcing the new on-a-stick fare, months before the fair begins.

As announced in a previous post, my new beauty brand, 3waybeauty, has made its way to this years fair.
Introducing, shampoo - shower - shave - "on a stick":

Come visit us in the Grandstand - 2nd floor - Right inside the East entrance doors - August 25-September 5.

Because, after a hot and sticky day of animal barns, fair food and 1.7 million sweaty bodies, you're gonna need us.

Fair press release.