Thursday, May 27, 2010
As salaamu alaikum & Hello, ladies .... as you ladies know when I find good and beneficial information in relation to our natural hair and promoting healthy hair care...I must share and deliver. So, with that being said I came across... what I thought... to be a fabulous and quite interesting article on essential oils. In which I have posted below.
Essential Oils: What's Really in that Bottle?
One of the very first lessons I learned in my aromatic journey was 'know what to ask for'. Being curious, I asked, ‘what exactly does that mean?’ The reply (from my professor at Purdue, Jim Simon, who is now at Rutgers)… “Know how to identify what it is you want to purchase.
Even today, when some customers call, they are still not educated on what the differences are between essential oils, absolutes, resins, carrier oils, infused oils or fragrance oils. Allow me to shed some light on this.
* Essential Oils:
An essential oil is a product obtained from natural raw material, either by: distillation with water or steam or from the epicarp of citrus fruits by mechanical processing, or by dry distillation. They are concentrated extracts and should never be used ‘neat’ (directly) on the skin.
Essential Oils are found in:
The flowers, leaves, bark, wood, roots, entire plant or fruit peel.
Vegetable Oils (Carrier Oils):
Vegetable oils work to benefit skin and health. They are produced from nuts and seeds, producing oils, butters and fats. For example: Sweet Almond, Sesame Seed, Shea butter, etc.
Essential oils are usually blended with some type of Carrier oil before applying to the skin or skin care product.
Fragrance oils are made out of synthetic material. This came to pass because essential oil scent would vary from year to year depending on the weather conditions. (Too much rain, too little rain would stress the plant). Especially for the perfume industry, they needed to ensure that the scent was identical every time they produced a fragrance.
More and more the trend today is to ‘go back to basics’ and Natural Perfumery is making a big come back.
So, you’re looking for a certain essential oil?
No worries... just be sure that the following basic information is on the bottle:
Essential oil: Lavender
Botanical Name: Lavendula angustifolia
Country of Origin: France
The ‘botanical name’ and ‘country of origin’ are what identify the essential oil you are looking for, it’s 'fingerprint' if you will.
Lavender - Country of Origin could be France or Bulgaria
Rose Otto - Country of Origin could be Bulgaria or Turkey
Vetivert - Country of Origin could be Haiti or India
The scent will vary due to country of origin.
Rose Absolute Morocco - Rosa centifolia
Rose Absolute Bulgaria - Rosa damascena
The above not only have different countries of origin, but also have different botanical names, be sure to identify the product you are looking for as it will affect the scent of these materials.
Some essential oils have many subspecies - i.e.:
Eucalyptus citridora (this has a lemon scent)
Eucalyptus globulus (the most common)
The examples above show that - ‘what you want’, ‘what is in the bottle’ and 'knowing the botanical name' is crucial.
Which 'chemo type' do you require?
Depending on the properties you desire, you will need to understand the composition of the essential oil. The ‘chemical constituent’ or the three (3) major classes of essential oil constituents:
monoterpenes and their derivatives (monoterpenoids)
phenyl propane derivatives
sesquiterpenes and their derivatives.
We can get into some chemistry here, however, for the purposes of this article this is an overview. It would be advisable to get to know the different properties and why you would choose them.
For a little overview:
Essential oils with Linalool are found in Coriander seed, Lavender, Clary Sage, and linalool chemo type of Thyme.
Properties associated with monoterpene alcohols:
strong antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties
vasoconstrictive properties i.e. menthol, linalool, geraniol can make the site of application feel cold.
Tonic and general stimulant properties
Properties associated with sesquiterpene alcohols:
Farnesol found in i.e. rose and chamomile is an excellent bacteriostatic. It is well suited to skin care and deodorant products, as it is know to inhibit, rant than kill, growth of bacteria.
Tonify muscles and nerves
Properties associated with phenols:
very powerful antimicrobial properties
skin and mucous membrane irritants
general tonics and stimulants
stimulants to the immune system.
We are all in the business to sell our essential oils. However, there is much marketing hype that exists. When you see: aromatherapy grade, therapeutic grade, etc., to the best of my knowledge, there is no such grading system in this country.
What else would be helpful in purchasing your essential oils?
Distillation date - when the material was actually distilled. Some essential oils have a longer shelf life then others. Be sure to store properly (cool, dry, dark areas) and tightly close the cap to extend shelf life.
Batch’ or ‘Lot’ number is important if there is an issue with the order. However, it's not always available. This way the seller can pinpoint the batch and identify it more readily. (If this is not available, the distillation date will help).
- Organic – You should be given the certifying program (i.e. Ecocert, NOP, etc). This may vary from country to country.
Some customers prefer only organic, others have no preference at all. Cost is a factor, due to organic oils being more costly. (due to all the strict farming laws and paper work).
As a side note: I would prefer all citrus to be organic if possible. The oil for this is cold pressed from the rind where the pesticides are sprayed.
The key is to be an informed buyer.
- Read the labels
- Essential oil & Botanical Name
- Country of Origin
- Organic / wild crafted / conventional
- Lot or Batch Number
by Rosanne Tartaro
I found this article to be filled with very helpful and beneficial information. I hope you ladies did as well.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
What is it?
Coltsfoot contains up to 10% mucilage (plant protein), plus numerous sugars, inulin, flavonoids, rutin, isoquercetin, tannin & pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
It has been used medicinally as a cough suppressant for centuries, hence the name "tussilago" or "cough suppressant."
Naturally Curly and Afro Hair Care Conditioning Combos:
Horsetail, Coltsfoot and Nettle are known as the hair care trio because all 3 are VERY rich in minerals, especially silica.
Horsetail, Coltsfoot and Nettle leaf - excellent for hair care as they contain a high percentage of natural plant Silica and Cystine.
How will it help my hair & scalp?:
These ingredients help build and coat the hair shaft while nourishing the scalp and promoting healthy naturally curly and Afro hair growth.
Organic Coltsfoot is a medicated herb with an abundance of natural plant sulfur, silicic and amino acids.
Organic Coltsfoot helps to heal dandruff, reduce scalp build up and is purported to strengthen the hair shaft adding sheen and elasticity.
Organic Coltsfoot also helps to regulate over productive sebaceous (sebum) glands whilst increasing elasticity of the skin & scalp. Coltsfoot stimulates collagen production which makes it excellent for an herbal hair spritz or final hair rinse infusion.
1. Take a heaped teaspoon of Organic Coltsfoot & put it in a big ol' mug or Pyrex jug.
2. Boil 500ml to 600ml of hot water
3. Pour the hot water over the Organic Coltsfoot
4. Let it brew for at least a few minutes
5. Strain the Organic Coltsfoot with a strainer so that you only have the nourishing infused Organic Coltsfoot tea and wait for it to cool
6. Pour the strained infused Organic Coltsfoot tea over your hair and use as a final rinse OR pour into a small spray bottle and use daily as a refreshing hair spritz (note: store your spritz in a cool dry area like the fridge)
Coltsfoot should not be used during pregnancy or while nursing
Do not use if you suffer with liver problems.
I found this great little recipe and just had to share it ...with all of you fabulous ladies.
Monday, May 24, 2010
As salaamu alaikum & Hello, Lately I have been researching and hearing a lot about the many benefits in black tea rinse's for hair. It's said to aid in reducing shedding, adds shine...annnd helping in hair growth. I am happy to report that currently I really don't have much of a problem with shedding, My hair doesn't shed much at all nothing where I would be alarmed.
However, I was interested in trying it with my two oldest daughters in mind...both are relaxed young ladies ( as in relaxer)
Although, my oldest daughter has been interested in going natural, she has been really considering it lately...and I would support her decision 100%. My middle daughter has hair down to her mid back and my oldest daughter has her hair cut into a bob which currently hits about to the middle of her neck. But, They both shed quite often. And this is where the black tea rinses come in .....so I have ben using it on their hair on there wash days. I have noticed less shedding from both of there hair as well as lots of shine. I really like this rinse for them and I plan to use it on there hair weekly , until I see that there may be no need for it any longer.
What I do is brew about 6 tea bags into a large container or bowl of hot water...allow it to steep overnight.
I wash their hair and rinse ....pour some of the tea into a old empty water bottle , put a small hole into the top that goes to the water bottle ....squeeze that all throughout their hair and scalp and then put their deep conditioner on top of the rinse while still in their hair ....and allow the both together to sit in their hair for 20-30 mintues, rinse and proceed with the rest of their regimen. Be sure to put conditioner on top of tea while in the hair ...because the tea will make your hair feel almost like a protein treatment...almost like a semi-hard feeling...but the conditioner on top will take care of that. Also use an old t-shirt while applying and an old towel because black tea does stain.
Here is more on black tea rinse's.
You’d be surprised what’s in your kitchen cupboards that can increase the growth rate of your hair. In particular, tea (with caffeine) is not only great for drinking, but it’s also been linked in research to contribute to hair growth. How is this possible? Well, the caffeine stimulates the hair follicles as well as block DHT (hormone responsible for hair loss and male pattern baldness). It also slows down the rate of hair fall as well as reduces shedding.
Other benefits include increase thickness, produces hair that is so lush and cotton soft.
Tea Rinse Recipes
Recipe to use after taking out a sew-in weave or braids:
4 cups of hot water, swish the tea bag around until the water turns color, let it sit and cool. Put on hair and let it sit for a few minutes and comb through hair. Results – easy detangling, less breakage, and less shedding.
Recipe for hair loss – mix black tea with a bit of lemon juice, apply to hair, massage into scalp, and follow up by shampooing.
Use tea as a final rinse after your weekly shampoo and conditioning regimen.
Holistic recipe books recommend nettle tea as a rinse for your strands. Nettle tea although it doesn’t have caffeine it is said to promote hair growth and strengthens your tresses. This is due to it’s stimualing properties. Steep tea bags or put loose herbs in a pot of hot water, let it sit for more than two minutes, then infuse with essential oils such as peppermint and rosemary. Nettle can also be mixed with aloe vera and horsetail to create a homemade hair strengthener.
Nettle tea tonic for soft and glossy hair
nettles, quart of water, allow water to begin to simmer, add one handful of nettles, allow to the nettles to simmer in the water for at least 2 hours. Once mixture has cooled, strain, and put in a bottle. Use a scalp treatment and apply every other night. Be sure to make a fresh batch every three days or so as this does not have a long shelf life.
Recipe for Fine Hair
shampoo hair (make sure the hair and scalp are clean), apply a protein treatment, rinse with something that is moisturizing, gently squeeze excess water from hair, pour tea rinse on hair making sure to get your scalp, apply moisturizing conditioner, deep condition for 25-30 minutes, rinse the tea/conditioner combo out of hair, apply your leave-in and style as normal (roller set or another protective style)
1.) If used more than once per week, you may experience dryness, be sure to rinse out the tea and always incorporate moisture into your regimen.
2.) May experience better results using black or nettle tea.
Friday, May 21, 2010
As a black woman living in Canada, I often feel invisible when it comes to my natural hair. The television series da Kink In My Hair (which just wrapped up its first season on Global television) taps into a lot of the issues black women have with hair, but on the streets of Toronto, it's a whole other story.
Some people might be offended by what I have to say, and others might think: "It's just hair. Get a life." Fair enough. But, since freeing myself from the dependency of chemically relaxing my hair every eight weeks, I feel it important to use my voice.
Too many black women can't remember what it's like to feel their natural hair. I know several, who have not felt their scalp since Bobby Brown was a member of New Edition. And I have sat in hair salons with women who spend more money on their hair than their education.
I also know a lot of black women who secretly want to go natural, but fear the reaction at work, what their family will say, even that their partner will leave them. If hair is just hair, you'd think going natural would be just as easy as processing your hair.
Then there are weaves, a process by which synthetic or real hair is sewn into one's natural hair to give the appearance of long, flowing, straight hair. While many women, irrespective of race, wear weaves (they're common in Hollywood), black women wear them to cover up, not merely enhance, their natural state.
Talk about hair is so woven into the black female experience that people often make jokes about who has "good hair" and who has "bad hair." In the song "I Am Not My Hair," India Arie sings, "Good hair means curls and waves/Bad hair means you look like a slave." A lot of people might not have a clue as to what she's talking about, but, as a black woman, I sure do.
One of the first things I learned as a child was that "bad hair" was not the same as having a bad hair day. It was a matter of texture. "Good hair" was the complete opposite of nappy, tightly coiled hair.
Admittedly, some black women have naturally long, straight hair, but most of us do not. As such, this is not about burning down the relaxer factory, or snatching a weave off someone's head. It's about uncovering the truth: when a black woman turns on her television, reads a magazine, or watches a movie, most of the images of black beauty she sees are fake, and her natural self becomes even more difficult to love.
Amid all these images, and all the time spent thinking about how to "fix" their hair problems, black women across North America face harsh realities that are not being discussed. A lot of black women are stuck in low-paying jobs, we're barely seen on television and in film, and we're often negatively depicted as hypersexual vixens in hip-hop.
In the book Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture, and African American Women, Noliwe Rooks says African Americans spend three times more than other consumer groups on their grooming needs.
Further, according to a 1997 American Health and Beauty Aids Institute survey, African Americans spend $225 million annually on hair weaving services and products. While these figures are from the '90s, it is fair to assume that similar results would be found today, and would also be applicable in a Canadian context.
The biggest hurdle facing black people across the diaspora is a lack of history, especially when it comes to hair. Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, by African American authors Ayana Bryd and Lori Tharps, is a good starting point. When you read books like this, you begin to understand why hair is socially, psychologically and culturally significant to the black female experience. While history is always a difficult subject for any oppressed people, you won't ever know where you're going unless you know where you're coming from.
I'm old enough to remember when people sported afros. I never quite understood why they did it when I was younger but since then, I've read numerous books and seen countless movies chronicling the period. When black people went natural in droves, it wasn't just about sticking it to The Man or a sign of cultural solidarity, it was also about self-love. The people who continued to straighten their hair were seen as turning their backs on their roots. Unfortunately, by the early 1980s, the Jheri Curl came along, and hair processing once again was the rule.
This history of hair alteration saddens me. Sure, all women have body image issues and anxiety about their looks. We're too thin, too fat, not pretty enough or not feminine enough. Yet people rarely discuss how black women have been chemically altering the natural state of their hair for more than 100 years, and continue to spend money they sometimes don't have to hook up a tight weave, just to be like everyone else.
In addition to hair, black women have a lot of other issues that are rarely discussed. For instance, according to the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, black women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Similarly, in the U.S., according to DepressionIsReal.org, a 2007 study found that depression among black women is almost 50 per cent higher than among white women. And black women are twice as likely as black men to suffer depression.
And so, it's not just about hair. It's about a lack of cultural awareness and an internalized negative pathology. In order to transcend a troubled past, you have to engage in an open and honest dialogue, but that requires acknowledging there's a problem. On one level, I can understand why black women do what they do to their hair (I used to do it too). Natural black hair can be very difficult to manage and sometimes you just want to try a new look. Having said that, there are lots of products, books, websites and hair salons that cater to natural styles, but it requires effort to find them.
The last thing I want to do is pass judgment or demand that all black women run out and grow an Angela Davis 'fro or Alice Walker dread-locks.
However, part of the process of healing is seeing yourself for who you are, and most important, accepting who you are.
There's no better time to take that journey than during Black History Month, which begins tomorrow.
By Cheryl Thompson
Cheryl Thompson is a frequent contributor to Chart Magazine. She received her MA from Ryerson University's communication & culture program last year.
I did not write this article. But , I did find it quite interesting. As I know there are more and more...and more and more ladies embracing their natural hair. I mean I notice a natural... quite often ...be it television or even when i'm out with my family...I LOVE IT !!! ..I think it's the best thing since sliced bread. But what do you ladies think do you think we still have a ways to go...do you think that there are still a few who fear the afro or their natural selves...Do share. I would love to hear from you ladies.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
As salaamu alaikum & Hello ladies, I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you to all of my followers and welcome to all of my new followers. I truly appreciate you all. I enjoy every moment I spend here at AuNaturale. This blog has inspired me in many, many ways. It has helped in allowing me to loooove my natural self...it has allowed me to inspire and BE inspired...it has allowed me to respect and appreciate all that Allaah the creator of all things has made and through that I have began to find a deeper meaning to being... natural.
So...again I say "THANK YOU" to you all for sharing in this wonderful experience. This truly inspiring , and beautiful journey that we have all made... a decision to embrace....one of true delight..... being a natural beautiful woman.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
As salaamu alaikum & Hello ladies, as some of you may know I have recently fell in love with herb infusions.
I am having tremendous results with all of my herbal infusions. I am really finding the entire process quite facinating and amazed as to how much I am really learning about all of these natural , beneficial and wonderful herbs that are packed with nutrients..in which is such a plus for our hair and bodies. I just love to watch the oils change in color over time as the nutrients from the herbs and oil come together.
I have found many, many herbs that are a few of my favorites. Horsetail happens to be one of the many.
Below I will post a bit about this amazing herb...and it's wonders.
What is it?
Whole plant from Hungary/Croatia. Horsetail was traditionally used to stop the bleeding of wounds and promote rapid healing. It is a good spring cleaning detoxification herb. Parts used are the whole plant. When collecting Horsetail it is important to gather the right variety (Equisetum palustre is poisonous). Horsetail contains the highest amounts of Silica (5-8%) of all known herbs. In addition to Silica, Horsetail contains large amounts of potassium as well as starch and many fatty acids and 5% saponins.
Often called the ‘Beauty Herb’, Horsetail is considered to strengthen connective tissue and skin.
Horsetail is clarifying; is astringent and it closes the pores.
Horsetail stimulates the production of new skin cells when used to treat eczema. Because of its high silica content the whole plant is used as an abrasive.
A strong Decoction is used externally for Baths, Foot Baths and Compresses in the treatment of problematic sores, psoriasis, eczema, athlete's foot and other fungicidal ailments.
As Horsetail has a high Silica content, it is excellent for adding strength, thickness and shininess to hair.
Which products to use it in
Use in a Compress for sores, psoriasis, eczema, chilblains and varicose veins. It will soothe and reduce itchiness.
The herb can be ground to produce an abrasive powder that is used to remove tartar on the teeth.
A strong Decoction of Horsetail can be added to Shampoo recipes to add strength, thickness and shine to hair.
Make a decoction by boiling the horsetail herb for at least 20 minutes. Can be added to Creams, Lotions, Gels, Baths, Shampoos, Hair Rinses, and Shower Gels etc.
Bathe and use a compress to treat wounds that are hard to heal.
Add Horsetail to a Hair Rinse and use regularly for an effective tonic against dandruff and fungi.
Take internally to improve the condition of your skin and nails.
Water or oil-soluble?
Storage and Shelf Life
2-3 years. Store in the dark and keep dry.
Monday, May 17, 2010
For those of you that like natural products, and who like to make their own herb infused products here are some of the common natural ingredients found in hair products and their benefits.
Alfalfa - High in vitamin K, A, D and minerals. Good for conditioning and strengthening the hair.
Althea Root - Originally used to provide marshmallow with its pillowy consistency. Althea is an extract that softens and soothes.
Apricot - A skin softener and toner, apricot acts as a brilliantine adding sheen without an oily film.
Birch Bark - American Indians used birch bark extensively for many purposes, it acts as a tonic, refreshes the skin and has anti - inflammatory qualities.
Bladderwrack - Beneficial to scalp.
Borage - An emollient herb that has a cooling and soothing effect, allaying irritation.
Chamomile - A daisy - like plant. Extract from its white and yellow heads impart luster. An essential source of vital minerals for hair.
Cinnamon Bark - One of the spices that spurred world exploration, cinnamon bark is a natural astringent known to suspend excess oil on oily skin or scalp.
Clove - An antiseptic, flavoring and stimulant. It is up to 85% eugenol - regarded as an excellent water absorber.
Clover Blossom - Beneficial in the treatment of acne.
Coltsfoot - A healing herb with emollient properties that is soothing to the scalp.
Comfrey Root - Comfrey Root extract is rich in allantoin, known for its ability to heal wounds and stimulate the growth of healthy tissue.
Eucalyptus - Antiseptic, cooling and stimulating, eucalyptus oil has blood stimulation properties, beneficial for the treatment of hair loss.
Horsetail - Beneficial for the treatment of acne, horsetail has a high silica content providing texture.
Lavender - Its name derived from the Latin verb "to wash" lavender is a relaxing, cleansing herb that is also a circulation stimulant.
Lemongrass - Used for sheen and cleansing. Also used as an elasticizer in hairsprays.
Lichen Extract - Highly concentrated extract of alpine linchen (usnea barbata). It is a bactericide, fungicide and is also effective against yeast. Used in deodorants, foot care products, mouth hygiene, and antimicrobial washes.
Matricaria - Also known as Chamomile.
Nettle - Rich in minerals and plant hormones, nettle extract is cleansing and astringent. Used in folk medicine to stimulate hair growth, it also acts as a glossifier.
Oat - Extract of oat has cleansing and soothing properties.
Orange Flower - Used for emmoliency and to impart luster.
Parsley - Infusions of parsley are known to be cleansing and soothing also having high vitamin and mineral content.
Peppermint - Emolient herb that is astringent, stimulating, cleansing, restorative and healing.
Raspberry - Stimulating and astringent.
Rose - Rose water has been used as early as the tenth century for its cleansing and astringent benefits.
Rosemary - Very rich in natural minerals, rosemary is soothing, cleansing, stimulating and astringent. It also brightens and adds high gloss to the hair.
Safflower - Safflower oil is an unsaturated vegetable oil derived from safflower. It is used for its moisturizing and softening properties.
Sage - Calming, cleansing, soothing and astringent, sage was associated with longevity in ancient times.
Slippery Elm - Used for its emollient properties.
Sweet Almond Oil - A natural "non - oily" oil that adds sheen.
Thyme - A calming cleanser, thyme tones and refreshes while also having antiseptic benefits.
Wheat Germ Oil - An oily extract from wheat germ that is very rich in natural vitamin E.
Witch Hazel - Used as an astringent, and an aid in setting hair.
Yarrow - An extract for cleansing and astringency.
Friday, May 14, 2010
As salaamu alaikum & Hello, Every now and then I will incorporate a Apple cider vinegar rinse into my regimen.
Now, that I have found a new found love and total enjoyment in herb infused hair care products. I've decided to give it a go at the herb infused apple cider vinegar. Below I will post how I infused my first batch of the herb infused hair rinse, along with what I infused it with this time (lol).
INGREDIENTS: ( As far as the measurements, you can use it to your liking..I use 1 tablespoon - 1/4-1/2 cup...it's all up to you)
HORSETAIL aka SHAVED GRASS
Decide how much herbal vinegar you want to make and harvest enough herb to fill the appropriate size jar about 3/4 full, loosely packed.
Fill your jar to the shoulder with apple cider vinegar. If your lid is metal you'll need to cover your jar with a piece of waxed paper or saran wrap. Vinegar will react with metal and cause it to rust and contaminate your vinegar.
Set aside in a cool place out of direct sunlight / or in complete darkness for six weeks. Shake daily to keep it stirred up.
Strain into a clean bottle.
Monday, May 10, 2010
As salaamu alaikum & Hello ladies, I have heard sooooo much about the oil cleansing method. I just had to try it ...now upon first hearing that in this method you actually use oils to cleanse your skin, I said WHAT ?!?
But, let me tell you ....I love, love, love this method. Thus far....once I've completed washing my face with the oils , my face feels GREAT! ...I mean soft , smooth & moisturized not that dryed out feeling That I would often get from using the black soap on my face. Now, the black liquid soap for my hair....LOVE IT!, just not for my face. I use the oily skin combination talked about below, with a mixture of castor oil and olive oil. Here I will post an article that I found that explains a bit more on the oil cleansing method.
The Oil Cleansing Method
Clear, glowing, dewy-looking skin, free of blackheads, pimples, cysts, and other imperfections seems to be an elusive goal. The booming skin care industry would have you believe the same with their claims of the need to rid your skin of oil completely and apply burning chemicals in order to avoid these imperfections. Modern society has been so strongly influenced by these marketing claims that some find themselves washing the delicate and easily-inflamed tissue of their facial skin with "grease cutting" or "antibacterial" dish and hand soap only to find that their skin condition worsens. The anxiety that rises when yet another pimple flares up or another painful lump begins forming beneath the skin sends many into overdrive in attempt to counter the impending damage, but does it ever work? Does the panicked scrubbing, disinfecting, and drying ever work? Why is it that if something works for a few days, or if you get lucky, a few weeks, the long term brings the blemishes back? The cycle seems endless. It's exhausting. It's painful. It's embarrassing. It's expensive!
The reasons we have so much trouble with mainstream skin care products are numerous, but two reasons, in particular, lead the pack. These products strip the oil out of our skin, leaving our largest organ trying to repair itself by replacing the oil stripped away. This leaves us in a cycle of being tight and dry followed by the inevitable oil slick. Each time we strip the oil away, our skin over-compensates for the lack of moisture by creating more oil. On top of the drying effects, these products are highly-scented. Fragrance is one of the top skin irritants and strangely enough, even the so-called "unscented" products usually contain fragrance. See for yourself and check the labels. Dry, irritated skin replaced by oily skin, inflamed and trapping debris?
If we know what our body is going to do and understand the process, we can then understand what it takes to control it and achieve the results we want. Clear skin is attainable.
Getting right down to basics, when cleansing and moisturizing your skin, it is imperative that you keep in mind that oil dissolves oil. Your skin naturally lubricates itself with oil, and as we are creatures of adaptation, one can believe that if this weren't the appropriate built-in care for ourselves, our bodies would have adapted to suit the need. If you've been battling your skin for long, you're probably recoiling at the mere thought of applying oil to your face. You can imagine the slick, greasy, clogging feeling of smearing sludge all over your face. If you stay with me and read the rest of this article, that mental image will be replaced by a more comforting, Zen-like image of a relaxing spa massage. I promise. Let your curiosity get the better of you, read the article, then decide if you should give this method of skin care a go.
Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil, alone, will not bring you blemishes. Pimples, cysts, zits, blackheads, whiteheads...these are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it. It is not a malicious force to be reckoned with; it is there for the benefit of your skin, allowing your largest organ to function properly. It is naturally occurring. Not only does your natural oil help lubricate, it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may function properly. Properly functioning skin is beautiful, clear, and glowing. Learning to work with your skin, not against it, will save you tremendously.
While we're talking about clarifying your skin externally, we must also touch on the internal aspect. WATER! Drink no less than 8 glasses of water a day. If your skin has issues with blemishes, drink up! Water will help release and remove the toxins from within, lessening the load on your skin to push the toxins out. Carry a bottle of water around with you throughout the day so water is always available.
Now, to the main point of this article.
The basic concept of this skin care and cleansing method is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores. The steam will open your pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed. Should you need it, the smallest drop of the same oil formula patted over damp skin will provide the necessary lubrication to keep your skin from over-compensating in oil production.
We will need two oils. The first, and most importantly, is Castor Oil. If you don't have this medicine cabinet staple already, it can be found online or in the laxative section of your grocer or drugstore - usually bottom shelf. Castor Oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, but is also healing and cleansing, which is why we're focusing on this oil as our primary oil. Castor Oil has been the focus of many books and medical discussion because of its seemingly "magical" healing properties. As quoted in The Oil That Heals by Dr. McGarey, he states, "Castor oil will leave the body in better condition than it found it." Though it may be our most important oil, we won't be using it in the amounts that we will the other oil (or combination of oils for those who want to take this a step further). A little bit of Castor Oil goes a long way and too much will leave you, surprisingly, with dry skin.
Since Castor Oil is so thick and its cleansing properties so strong, we need to dilute it with another oil, thinner in consistency, but no less nurturing to the skin. Sunflower Seed Oil has become my personal favorite, though in the past, I've suggested Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Both are wonderfully caring oils for skin application, but I've found that Sunflower Seed Oil has a more luxurious feel for massage. It sinks into the skin better, aiding the castor oil in transportation deep into the pores and allowing it to draw the dirt and grime to the surface of your skin where it can be wiped away. The essential fatty acids, though they are not naturally occurring in the body, are a necessity for the health of our cell membranes. These acids help restore the skins natural moisture balance and help prevent unnecessary dryness. The secondary oil that you choose is entirely up to you and should be determined by your skins needs and the properties of that oil. Choose from natural, cold-pressed vegetable oils, as these have nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids that mineral oil and other refined oils don't. You may even have these oils in your kitchen, as they're used for cooking, as well! For the sake of explaination, from this point on, we'll say "Sunflower Seed Oil" in place of "Secondary Oil." Remember that Sunflower Seed Oil may be replaced by your vegetable oil of choice.
Your Personal Oil Blend
The starting point for creating your own, personalized skin cleansing oil blend is knowing your general skin type. Those with dry skin will want less Castor Oil. Those with oily skin will want to blend in more. Finding your perfect combination of oils will probably take a little bit of trial and error, so start with very small batches. Once you know what your ratio of oils looks like, you'll be able to blend much more at a time for convenience.
Some suggestions in creating your blend of deep cleansing oil:
Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.
You can vary these percentages to match your own skins needs. If your skin feels too dry, you'll need to use less Castor Oil and replace it with more Sunflower Seed Oil. Keep in mind that Castor Oil is the drawing, cleansing, and purging oil for your pores. The Sunflower Seed Oil is to dilute the Castor Oil in viscosity (thickness) and additionally provide moisture, nutrients, and other benefits. My own, personal blend, for my sometimes oily, sometimes dry, frequently flakey, and easily irritated skin is about 25% Castor Oil to 75% Sunflower Seed Oil. I mix and store my mixture in a clean four-ounce flip-top bottle for convenience. When you go to replenish your oil blend, I suggest cleaning your bottle thoroughly with dish soap or the dishwasher. Better yet, if you can replace the bottle, this is ideal. We want to be extremely cautious in introducing bacteria to the bottle.
The Oil Cleansing Method
First and foremost, this is typically done in the evening, prior to bed. There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you're waking up with skin cleansed the night before. In the morning, a quick wipe with a warm washcloth should suffice. We don't want to overcleanse our skin as this will serve only to irritate and cause more oil production. The objective of using this method is to deep clean while balancing our skins oil production at the same time.
You'll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.
Pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and smooth over your face.
Begin massaging the oil into your face. This will remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so there is no need to use a makeup remover or wash your face prior to the massage. I've found that this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealor.
Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.
As you're massaging, let your mind drift off to something calming and breathe deeply. Take this time to relax and release some of the stress that your body is harboring. Sit down, breathe deeply, and take your time. Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind. Picture what your face would look like if it were completely clear and free from blemishes. Focus on that image and know that it is attainable. Trust that it is attainable. Accept that it is attainable. You can have clear skin, free of blemishes and you will have clear skin, free of blemishes. Focus on perfect skin and breathe deeply.
Once you're satisfied that your pores are saturated and you're feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We're not scalding our skin, we're steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We're essentially steaming our skin as an esthetician would, but without the luxury of a steam machine.
Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you'll find it's completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow!
This deep cleansing method should be done regularly, but not too frequently. You'll know if you're deep cleansing too frequently by the dryness that your skin will exhibit. Don't be surprised if you find you've unblocked an oil flow for the first few days. Once you remove the plugs from your pores, they will begin functioning properly again. Perfect skin won't happen overnight and while it should take a few massages to achieve your goal, you should notice a huge difference in your skin after the first deep cleansing massage. Give your skin a few days to adjust and adapt to being clean and clear of blockages; understand that the new oil coming from your skin is actually a good sign and will balance out very shortly. You'll find redness and irritation subsiding. You'll find your skin losing that "congested," and thick feeling.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
When I wear my hair in a wash-n-go, my husband thinks that I’m easy going. My hair says that I’m laid back, relaxed and ready for the day. But the moment I pull my wash-n-go back into a curly puff, he thinks that I’m about business; I’m about to put in some work. When I wear a twist out, especially in a semi-up do, he thinks that I’m divalicious and high maintenance. And when I’m all fro’d out, he thinks I’m on a mission and knows he can’t tell me anything. Most of the time, he’s right.
The way we wear our hair can speak for us across a crowded room. It can articulate our disposition in just a glance. It can exude the inner confidence that only a natural woman has. The styles we rock speak almost like a forecast of our mood. What does your hair say about you? Whether you opt for cute and coily, big and sassy or soft and sweet, have you noticed that your hair can set the tone for the day?
Coily and Simple?
I’m sweet and easily approachable. I love my hair, but it does not consume me. I’m confident in my everyday look. I’m easy going and up for anything; even at the spur of the moment.
Sweet and Spicy?
I’m a showstopper. I’m ready to have a good time, but I don’t take myself too seriously. I can be fly and still have my feet firmly planted on the ground.
Sophisticated and Romantic.
I am always a lady. I am whimsical and free-spirited. You can introduce me to anyone and I’ll charm him or her with my grace.
Twisted but sweet, fro’d and sassy, coiled out and confident. My husband, loves the versatility. He never knows what he may get, but always keeps an eye on my fro-cast. What is your hair saying today?
By: Lori McMillian
When I read this article, I loved it!. I thought it was so cute!
So, ladies what does your hair say about you ?
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Once you have finished, you can either store them in the freezer or heat them up in the microwave (my favorite way). Either way, it gives your energy and your muscles the much needed relaxation that you deserve!
1 sock or stocking
1 bag of rice
Directions for Aromatherapy Pack:
Pour your rice into a large bowl and add several drops of your essential oils. Here we used a combination of peppermint, rosemary, and tee tree oil. Stir your rice to mix in the oils. Be sure not to use too much oil, as you do not want your rice to be wet.
Now take your sock or stocking and cut it down to your desired length, be sure to cut from the open end, and not at the foot.
Scoop your rice into your sock/stocking. Be sure not to fill it to its capacity, as you want your pillow to be flexible. When you lay it out flat you should be able to pack the rice with your hands to level it, If your rice does not move around, then this means that you have added too much.
Now fold the top edges in and then sew your opening closed.
Directions for Aromatherapy Case:
Now that your pack is finished, take it and lay it down flat. Use your hands to spread out your rice so that your pack stays even. Measure your pack and add about an inch to the total of your width and length. This will be the measurement for your case.
For a closed pillow: with right sides together, sew up 3 of your edges, leaving one of your short ends open so that you can put your aroma pack inside of it. Turn your fabric so that the right sides are now out and place your pack inside. Now fold your raw edges down and sew your open edges together.
For an open pillow: Take the sides of your fabric that you will use for the top/opening of your case and fold it down twice on the wrong side of your fabric to hide the raw edges, sew down on your sewing machine. Place right sides together, making sure the top edges are even and sew your 3 edges to gether, leaving the top open. Now turn your case in so the right sides are now out and place your aroma pack inside; and your'e done!
When I found this adorable " how to do" I thought it was such a great idea. One , that myself and my daughters could do together ( for there's they could substitute the essential oils ). Also, wonderful gift ideas for family and friends! I wanted to share this with all of my fabulous ladies out there. So....go ahead and treat yourselfs to a little Aromatherapy !... you deserve it!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Lavender has been shown to decrease cortisol, which in turn decreases anxiety and increases calm. An example of this is a study reported in "Early Human Development Magazine" on mothers and infants. The mothers and infants took baths in either lavender oil water or just water. The ones in lavender oil had decreased cortisol. The babies even fell asleep with significantly less difficulty than the ones who did not use the oil. The good news about this is that making an infused lavender oil yourself is easy and inexpensive. You, too, can reap the benefits of lavender.
Things You'll Need:
High-quality almond or olive oil
Rock or something to weight down the lavender
STEP1. Fill a jar with lavender buds. Pour the high-quality oil over the buds. Fill it full enough to cover the buds completely. If any lavender meets the air, it will become moldy. Put some sort of weight on the lavender to ensure it does not rise above the oil.
STEP2. Let the jar sit for at least a week, though even up to a month is will work. The longer it sits, the more the lavender will infuse into the oil. Shake the jar at least once a week to make sure they remain mixed well. Always remember to make sure the lavender is completely covered by the oil.
STEP3. After the time has passed that you have allotted for the infusion to occur, use the strainer to strain all the lavender and sediment from the oil. Put the oil in the clean jar. You now have your own infused lavender oil to use for baths or massages.
This is one of my all time favorite's.
Monday, May 3, 2010
As salaamu alaikum & Hello,
Just wanted to give an update on my herb infused oils and more. This weekend I went to one of our local health food stores where I buy a lot of my EO's , Carrier oil , etc. When saw all of the herbs that they carried , and how resonable they were.... I was sooo excitied. For starters I brought, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Horsetail, Nettle, Lavender, dryed Rose buds, Peppermint, Lemongrass.
I took lots of pictures...but, I've been having a slight problem putting my pictures onto my computer. But, I will keep trying to get those pictures onto my computer ...so that I can share them with you ladies,
Insha Allaah ( god willing). So, until then here is just a bit of what I've been brewing ( smiles) over the weekend. I made another jar... in addition to my first jar of olive oil infused herbs, plus some which includes:
CASTOR OIL- Infused with...Nettle, Horsetail, Lavender, Rosemary, and Thyme. Which are all said to aid in strengthing the hair plus other great benefits.
HERB INFUSED BLACK SOAP SHAMPOO- Infused with ...,Horsetail, Nettle, Sage, Rosemary, and lavender.
ROSEWATER- For this lovely mixture...I used dried rose buds
you can view the post before this one "rose water" for the recipe.
SCENTED CRYSTALS- This was very simple...I simply brought some very pretty empty glass jar's ( you can find these at your local dollar store). Brought, a few bags of stone like pebbles , ( can , also find these at your local dollar store).
Wash them very well, dried them off with a towel. Using a zip lock bag...I put a few drops of water, food coloring ( optional)
if you can not find the color stones you want, you can also use a box of epsom salt...and color those and your scent of choice . You should add at least two dropper fills of scented oil to every 1 cup of stones/pebbles. Fill your zip lock bag with your stones/ pebbles shake, turn, shake , turn ...until you feel your stones are completely covered with the mixture. Drain...and spread your stones onto a brown paper bag, towel, foil, paper towel, etc.
And allow them to dry...place them back into your lovely glass dishes and or jar's. And...finally place through out your home. And enjoy the beautiful , Aroma. I really enjoyed making these and my home smells....delightful.
My children and I will be doing more using different ideas as a school project....We can't wait! ...this is such a great idea as gifts, etc.
I have a whole slew of things I plan to make in the upcoming weeks, which include herb infused ACV, bath salts, soap, lip balms, etc. So stay tuned for my recipes and follow ups on these items.
I would also like to give a very special thank you to the lovely, and gracious Amina from Coup de coeur for sharing some really helpful and beneficial tips on the herb infused oil you can check her out here http://www.mwatum.com/
I really enjoyed making every single one of these items, I just love making my own products. I truly..belive I have my new found hobbie which currently include Gardening, and making my very own Hair, beauty and Home products.