Selfcare: Blissyful Sleep

The #1 first step to feeling good has to be a good night’s sleep.

Blissy Website

How many of our days have been ruined with having had a crappy night before?  Mine certainly has.

So many factors go towards preventing us from getting a good sleep. A few examples being too much alcohol the night before, worry or stress. So what can we do to help?

Obviously not too much alcohol the night before.  Worry or stress can be lessened by a few simple steps.  These are not a 100% guarantee for  prevention, but they certainly will help. 

We’ve all heard that going to sleep before midnight is the best timing for a better sleep but we can’t stick to that rule all the time.  Taking a good quality magnesium capsule & *Gaba about half an hour before bedtime helps in creating a calmer mind. A dark room, an eye mask, ear plugs if need be and a room with an open window and a humidifier for dryness works wonders. Melatonin (3-5 mg.) on occasion helps with rem sleep.

I spray lavender essential oil in a spray bottle mixed with water on my sheets + pillow before bed.  Lavender is believed to help calm anxiety and increase relaxation. Some believe it to be an effective treatment for depression. Lavender also has sedative properties.  The scent alone cannot hurt.  But I also recently discovered something else very helpful – a silk pillowcase.

A silk pillowcase is the best!  The cool fabric helps keep your skin hydrated and smooth by keeping its moisture content intact which is especially good if you are someone with dry skin A good silk pillowcase reduces friction on the skin which helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines.  Best for hair because the smooth surface prevents breakage. I ordered mine from Blissy (link below) and it was on sale.  Made from highest quality 22-Momme 100% Pure Mulberry Silk.  The variety of colours are excellent and they have a zipper to enclose your pillow.  Easy to care for too.  Just wash with mild laundry soap in sink and hang to dry – dries quickly.

Let me know if you have one and if so, your thoughts?

*pharma Gaba is best because it’s formulated to cross the blood brain barrier.

the essentials

Skincare is an important part of Selfcare

Reigning Face Oil + Essence

Speaking about self-care, there are numerous essential oils that promise so many benefits for a multitude of  purposes and problems.  Some reduce stress and help elevate your mood, others treat fungal infections, relieve headaches and help you sleep. For the face, I wanted to narrow down to a concentration of what I refer to as the delightful dozen. These essential oils will help to keep your skin barrier smooth and nourished. I discovered that a certain cult favourite contains 22 essential oils which was the exact amount in my former product.  I don’t want to compare, but in my opinion that’s a few too many.  However having said that, the main thing overall, is the quality of the ingredients.  Quality over Quantity – always!

 In a nutshell (incidentally, some oils are extracted from nuts):

These Essential Oils are known to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and soothing properties for a variety of skin care concerns. They’re basically plant extracts, made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant from flowers, trees, leaves or fruit. It takes the processing of many plants to create one bottle of essential oil.  All are highly concentrated and as such, too strong to use on their own as they can cause skin irritation.  That’s why we add them to a carrier oil such as coconut among other oils so that they dilute the essential oils to be able to carry them to your skin. Most carrier oils are unscented or lightly scented and don’t interfere with an essential oil’s therapeutic properties. How to choose from the multitude out there?

Below are the 8 essential beauty oils I chose for their nourishing, protecting and effectiveness properties.  And of course they’ve been tested on various skin types.

Baobab (pronounced Bow-Bob)

Baobab OIl

I encountered my first Baobab tree in Masai Mara, Africa.   It was the most unusual looking tree.  It’s known as the bottle tree, or the tree of life, for its ability to store up to 1,200 gallons of water in its trunk. I, along with many others wasn’t aware of the benefits used as an essential healing oil.  

Baobab Trees

The properties of Baobab oil prevent water loss, keep the skin moist, and provide protection against dryness. It’s nutrient rich, loaded with vitamin E, A, and antioxidants, as well as fatty acids – high in linoleic acid, a kind of omega-3 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, baobab oil may help reduce skin redness and irritation. Lightweight and non-greasy, it is perfect for sensitive skin types.

Baobab oil is derived from the fruit seeds by a process which starts with the seeds being air dried in the sun. The seeds are then stored for months before they are cold pressed to give the oil.

Carrot Seed Oil

Carrot Seed Oil

I first tried using carrot seed oil when making homemade eye cream. It’s known to have antibacterial, antifungal & anti-inflammatory properties. It’s extracted via steam distillation from the carrot seeds of the Daucus carota plant – a flowering plant, found in North America and Europe, known for its white blossoms and carrot-scented roots. Combining skin-mending vitamin A, collagen-boosting vitamin C and moisturizing vitamin E, this essential oil helps smooth lines, helps repair sun damage, scars and any other skin trauma.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose oil has emollient properties, meaning it helps soften and smooth the skin, improving the skin’s overall texture and elasticity. It also helps lock in moisture to minimize water loss. With anti-inflammatory properties, it can help soothe irritated, inflamed skin. Additionally, this oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and A.

The oil from evening primrose seeds contains omega-6 fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). It comes from a plant with yellow flowers native to North and South America that also grows throughout Europe and parts of Asia. The flowers open at sunset and close during the day. This oil, although not as common as let’s say jojoba, can also be used as a carrier oil to dilute other essential oils.

Frankincense Oil

A bottle of frankincense essential oil with frankincense resin and a candle in the background

Story as old as time; Frankincense Oil is an effective natural remedy to calm the complexion as it strengthens, tightens and improves skin tone. So it’s good for irritated or damaged skin. If you were to go back in time to Ancient Israel or Asia, many people would consider Frankincense to be more precious than gold. Today, Frankincense essential oil is still worth its weight in gold in a number of applications. Frankincense oil is prepared from aromatic hardened gum resins obtained by tapping Boswellia trees originating from Africa, India and the Middle East.

Ginseng Essential Oil

Extract of ginseng root and ginkgo biloba leaves

The ginseng extract (or oil) is a powerful herbal ingredient but its use as a beauty remedy is fairly new in North America.  I only recently discovered its benefits as the #1 ingredient in a skin repair serum I bought from a top spa.  Though ginseng may be making its way into more and more beauty products in the Western hemisphere, it’s been a staple in Eastern Asian beauty for centuries and a primary ingredient in traditional Korean beauty philosophy. Legend has it that ginseng was the biggest skin-care secret of Hwang Jini, a historical figure known as the most beautiful woman of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). Worth giving it a go; no?

Ginseng’s roots in beauty are based on legends, but modern research backs up some of the claims. These include: reducing wrinkles, promoting elasticity and collagen production, reducing puffiness and brightening skin.  It’s known to have firming properties and boosts hydration. The oil is prepared by extracting oil from the seeds of ginseng fruit. The originating area of ginseng is known to be in Shangdang, China. It is also native to the Far East, including China, Korea, and far-eastern Siberia. 

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine Essential Oil

I had to include Jasmine because of that heavenly scent but I’m happy that the oil also acts as an effective natural antibacterial, soothing dry skin and eczema. The botanical extracts of jasmine increase skin’s elasticity and help balance moisture in the skin to naturally reduce dryness.

The essential oil is derived from the white flowers of the common jasmine plant, also known as Jasminun officinale. The flower is believed to originate from Iran, but can now also be found in tropical climates. It’s a very expensive oil for a number of reasons. The flowers are extremely delicate and are only hand-picked at night to preserve their fragile scent. An experienced picker can harvest more than 10,000 blossoms in one night!

The jasmine trade provides Egypt with 6.5 million U.S. dollars annually and contributes to the income of some 50,000 people, according to the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades (IFEAT), which says 95 percent of the world’s jasmine extract for perfumes comes from Egypt and India.

Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip seed oil has great benefits for several skin conditions. It helps to brighten and exfoliate.  Due to the high content of vitamin C, rosehip seed oil can brighten and even out the skin. Plus, it is packed with vitamins A, E, and K. Also, it is one of the best oils for treating fine lines and wrinkles.

The oil is derived from the rosa canina rose bush, which is grown mostly in Chile. Unlike rose oil, which is extracted from rose petals, rosehip oil is pressed from the fruit and seeds of the rose plant. Rosehip bushes grow wild and thrive in the inhospitable, mountainous landscapes. This is not considered a true essential oil, as it is extracted by cold pressing. It is often described as a carrier oil as it can be used by itself and also be used to dilute concentrated essential oils in order to balance the essential oil and allow it to be applied to the skin. Rich in Vitamin A, which is known to help fight against age spots and wrinkles, rosehip seed oil is great because it’s packed with molecules that are small enough to penetrate deep layers of the skin, improving moisture and collagen levels, while reducing wrinkles and fine lines.

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea Buckthorn oil is excellent for reducing acne breakouts, because it signals the oil glands to stop creating excess amounts of sebum. Also helps to reduce inflammation in the skin. 

Sea buckthorn oil has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is extracted from the berries, leaves, and seeds of the sea buckthorn plant (Hippophae rhamnoides), which is a small shrub that grows at high altitudes in the northwest Himalayan region. Sometimes referred to as the holy fruit of the Himalayas, it’s a popular remedy in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines.

The berries from which the oil is made are especially rich in vitamins A, C, K, and E. They also contain considerable amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and zinc.  Among the benefits, Sea buckthorn oil is also rich in palmitoleic acid, which is a type of fat naturally found in human skin that can be used to treat burns and promote wound healing. It’s commonly added to various pro-aging or wrinkle-reducing products and a common ingredient in products intended to treat dry, irritated, flaky or itchy skin.

So there you have it.  The protective essentials that go along with the nourishing benefits of *coconut, *argan, *jojoba and *sweet almond that make up the base of my skincare product. This combination contributes to a most luxurious and effective product for day and/or evening – to use on its own or a few drops added to your regular moisturizer.

*if you missed reading about the benefits of these particular carrier oils please refer to the “beauty” category on my website and you’ll find the information you need.

My expertise in this particular area comes mostly from general interest.  It includes holding a diploma from George Brown College – School of Makeup and Esthetics in Toronto. Other than that and from taking some evening courses, I’ve learned through trial and error how to formulate many skincare products myself.  I’ve made creams, body lotions, bath salts and soaps from scratch.  My work in progress is awaiting license and may take some time.  I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready and on my website for sale.  

Every person should learn to be their own skincare expert – Bobbi Brown – makeup artist.

Lavender Farm

Do you know anyone who doesn’t love lavender?

Photo: d. king

Whether fresh, dried, scented in a candle, spray or body lotion or even in food…the scent is quite heavenly and soothing.

There was a time when I thought ok; enough with the lavender – it’s too common and it’s everywhere. But that only lasted for so long. Just can’t seem to stay away from it.  I have dried lavender bundles throughout my house in places that I know won’t keep the aroma for as long as I’d like (by a window for example) – but it looks so pretty and even though over time it starts to lose its potency, it’s one of those dried flowers where the scent seems to last for months on end.

I like using dried lavender as part of my special gift baskets and the essential oil for a calming facial spray.  I even use the oil in a spray bottle to spritz over my sheets and anywhere I want a fresh scent around home.

where do I go first?           Photo: d. king

Very recently when in the Okanagan Valley wine region of British Columbia, I came across a sign for Okanagan Herb Lavender Farm. 

This farm is a family business nestled in the hills of the Okanagan Valley on land where the family has farmed for four generations.  A place where they grow, harvest, dry and distill over 20 aromatic plants to make award-winning botanical products.

Their pure, small batch, unadulterated lavender essential oil is extracted in small batches through steam distillation of the Lavandula x. intermedia and Lavandula angustifolia plants  grown on the farm.  Their plants are 100% spray free and are harvested at their peak to ensure utmost quality.

SCORE!  I left with dried lavender bundles (for myself and for baskets) and a Lavender essential oil which I’m incorporating into the facial spray I make.  I wasn’t aware of the different types of lavender and their uses (being only familiar with English style) so they helped me choose the one to go best for my facial spray in orange blossom water and sweet orange essential oil (more on that later).

When storing lavender: commercially packaged dried lavender does not spoil, but it will start to lose potency over time.  Properly stored, dried lavender will generally stay at best quality for about 2 to 3 years. To maximize the shelf life of dried lavender purchased in bulk,  store in containers with tight-fitting lids.

Photo: d. king

Below taken from fignut.com

Important things to care about when storing lavender

  1. The most important thing to care about is that lavender is dry enough. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks to dry it properly. It is properly dry when the flowers and leaves are sharp and starts to fall off the stems. If you store it while still not dry, the moisture will cause a mold to develop which will destroy your flowers.
  1. Lavender should be stored in a dark place, away from the direct sunlight and away from the sources of any heath or humidity. It means the kitchen or living room are not good places to store it. The sunlight will fade its colors and possible humidity will make it go stale. So, keep it in a cool, dry, and dark location. If you don’t have a pantry, the dark corner of the corridor is a good place to store.
  1. It should be stored in airtight containers to preserve its fragrance. Otherwise, the fragrance will soon fade away.
    Photo: d. king

But hey; if that happens, just buy more!

https://www.okanaganlavender.com/

Sweet Almond Oil

What’s so sweet about Almond Oil you might ask?

The oil is a natural skincare superpower.  Almond oil, which is extracted from the popular tree nut, is known for its nourishing properties. The almond itself is small but mighty and referred to widely as “the king of nuts.” Aside from sweet almond oil, there’s also a bitter almond oil which is commonly used to provide scent and flavour.  Sweet almond oil is full of vitamin E, A, mono saturated fatty acids, protein, potassium and zinc.

Ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic practices have used almond oil for centuries to help soothe and soften the skin and to treat minor wounds and cuts. Today, it’s not uncommon to find almond oil in a wide variety of cosmetic and beauty products.

Healthy raw nuts still growing in the farmer’s orchard

It contains:

  • Vitamin A: The retinol in vitamin A has the ability to stimulate the production of new skin cells and smooth fine lines.
  • Vitamin E: This nutrient has antioxidant properties that may help prevent cell damage and help reduce ultraviolet (UV) damage to the skin.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These nutrients may help prevent premature aging and safeguard against sun damage.
  • Zinc: This is an essential nutrient for healing acne or other facial scars. However, it’s worth noting that zinc is more effective for this purpose when taken orally.

All in all, the nourishing nutrients and emollient properties this oil contains will help revive skin’s natural glow.

My product contains 100% pure certified organic cold pressed + UV protected virgin sweet almond oil. From Naka Platinum – made in Canada.  It’s Hexane-free meaning it does not use any such harmful chemicals during the extraction process and is free of all synthetic chemicals. 

Source for some info: healthline.com

Important: there’s one major caveat with this ingredient, regardless of skin type: Those with allergies to almonds or other tree nuts should avoid almond oil.

Jojoba Oil

Everyone has heard of jojoba oil and has probably tried it before as it’s well known and has been widely used in many skincare and hair products.  And there’s good reason for that.  Centuries before cosmetic companies starting including the benefits of jojoba oil in their formulations, Native Americans were using the oil from jojoba seeds to treat their skin wounds and sores.

Jojoba oil in transparent glass, fruits and natural leaves.

There’s plenty of evidence supporting the use of pure jojoba oil as a remedy for acne, dry skin, and countless other skin conditions.

However sometimes we don’t know where a plant originates or we forget about why the oil is good for us.

A bit about the plant:

The jojoba plant is a hearty, perennial plant that grows in North America and parts of Mexico. 

Not only does it thrive in the harsh, desert climates that could kill most living things, but it also produces a nut with many healing properties. The plant grows as a kind of shrub and produces large seeds that are harvested for their oil. The oil comes from a wax like substance within the seeds. Similar to the process of harvesting olive oil, jojoba oil requires the pressing of the seeds in order to extract the oil. 

It’s a sustainable plant, not considered to be endangered and the harvesting of the seed doesn’t require the death of the plant…so new land doesn’t need to be cleared for the planting of new jojoba plants.

jojoba tree

An interesting fact: Prior to jojoba oil’s wide acceptance in America, Americans were using sperm whale oil for cosmetic products and perfumes, and to lubricate machinery parts. But sperm whales were being hunted to extinction, and the U.S. banned the hunting of sperm whales in 1972 (thank goodness for that). That’s when it was discovered that jojoba oil was not only a substitute for sperm whale oil but that it was in fact superior to it. Not only does jojoba oil come from plants – it doesn’t require anything to be killed in order to obtain it for commercial use. (taken from herbal dynamics beauty).

Flawless skin starts with a flawless skincare routine

Benefits for skincare:

Like the other oils that make up the base for my deluxe face oil, this is also non-comedogenic so it will not clog pores. I use 100% pure jojoba from a source in California.

For centuries jojoba oil has been used for its healing properties on the skin. Whether it’s used to moisturize dry skin, treat oily skin, help minimize acne problems, heal wounds, or simply provide a defense against the natural aging process – jojoba oil is shown to work.

When you slather it on your face, jojoba oil mimics the skin’s sebum and balances out your complexion, adding more sebum where it’s needed, and winding down production where it’s not. 

And the oil is rich in iodine, which is shown to tackle harmful bacteria growth on the skin’s surface. 

When applied to the skin, it provides exceptional moisture balance and control, and unlike other oils or petroleum products, it is non-greasy. It is also an excellent and powerful moisturizing agent that leaves a non-oily feel on the skin’s surface. At the same time, it prevents water loss which gives a more supple feel to the skin.

The components of jojoba oil are tocopherols, which are compounds that are fat-soluble and have high antioxidant properties that are very important in helping to stabilize cell membranes. They’re high in vitamin E as well, which serves as an excellent antioxidant to fight free radicals, which damage skin and accelerate the aging process.

Taking care of your skin is more important than covering it up.

Argan Oil – Liquid Gold

Getting back to basics I want to talk about Argan Oil.  This oil is one of the fab four ingredients that make up the base for my new face oil and a long standing natural remedy in Morocco.  The oil is produced from the Argan tree which is actually one of the oldest trees on our planet.

The Berber tribe of Morocco refer to the Argan tree as the Tree of Life.  They’re very familiar with the benefits as the Berber women have been using the oil in folk medicine for centuries to treat skin conditions, rheumatism and heart disease. 

These days, the demand for Argan oil which is often referred to as the “liquid gold of Morocco” is very high. Ever since the word about the wonderful benefits that the oil gives to the skin, hair and nails reached the West, the cosmetic world clamoured for this oil.

Argan Oil is native to southwest Morocco and the seeds are cold-pressed from the deciduous argan tree fruit (Argania spinosa).  Photo below.

The fruit is peeled away and the seeds are dried, roasted, and pressed to extract the oil. The final result is a smooth, delicious oil that’s become popular around the world for its flavour and health benefits. It’s also known as one of the rarest culinary oils in the world. Wild plants are used across the world in a variety of beneficial ways, present in the food we eat, medicines we take and cosmetic products. 

For cosmetic purposes, the Argan oil I use is 100% pure with a nice amber colour. 

Here are some of the benefits for applying to the face:

Argan oil is rich in natural vitamins, essential fats and antioxidants that help moisturize skin.  

The oil provides a major boost of hydration to the skin, thanks to its high quantities of vitamin E which helps strengthen the skin’s barrier so it’s able to retain more hydration.  It has also been found to improve skin elasticity and brighten your skintone.  It has anti-sebum effects, which can effectively regulate amounts of sebum on the skin. This can help to treat several different types of acne and promote a smoother, calmer complexion. 

You can always add a few drops to your regular moisturizer too.

Sidenote: It’s all good except for the part about the possibility of the tree now being considered an endangered species. After the first sales in the US of the cosmetic product in 2003 (not that long ago), demand soared and production increased. In 2012 the Moroccan government planned for increased production, then around 2,500 tonnes, to 4,000 tonnes by 2020.

When I run out of the big bottle that was brought back for me from Morocco (certified organic by ecocert and stored in a cool, dark place) I may not be able to buy more.  

Have you tried this oil?

 

 

 

Coconut Oil

The Coconut tree is called the “Tree of Life” because all the parts of the entire tree–from top to bottom–are used to sustain human life.Inside the shell lies the meat and coconut water, so it must be the most useful tree in the world.  It’s definitely the most resilient. Coconut trees are found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world where even in conditions with very little nourishment they flourish, growing taller than most of the plants around it.  Which brings me to…

Oil around the world, women for centuries have incorporated natural oils such as coconut into their skincare routine. While it won’t make you grow taller it will make your skin feel wonderful, which at least will help elevate your mood. And that’s a tall order in itself.

After having tested numerous beauty products myself,  I decided to go back to making and selling a few of my own.  Even in a competitive market.  Four of these oils make up the base to my deluxe facial oil (to which I then add other essential oils). Since essential oils are highly concentrated, a carrier oil (I refer to it as a base) is needed for dilution, efficacy and ease of application.

For full disclusure, I’m going to give a bit of background on each of what I put in there starting with Coconut Oil in its fractionated form.

Photo taken from artnaturals

Coconut Oil for Face:

Fractionated coconut oil (or virgin coconut oil) in this form is distilled down to its fattiest acids. The distilling process makes fractionated coconut the perfect addition to your beauty routine.  Coconut oil in all its forms is excellent for skin but when mixing with other oils (including essential oils) the fractionated form is best.

Fractionated coconut oil is tasteless, odorless, and usually more expensive than regular coconut oil. It is produced through hydrolysis and steam distillation. It’s important to note that no added products or chemicals are incorporated into the mixture during this time, so fractionated coconut oil remains a natural product. Significantly, it includes medium-chain triglycerides. Therefore, it has a protracted shelf existence.

Coconut oil itself is chemically composed of two types of fatty acids: long-chain fatty acids and medium-chain fatty acids. With fractionated coconut oil, the two key fatty acids are separated, leaving you mostly with the medium-chain fatty acids.

Regular coconut oil only becomes liquid under high temperatures (78 degrees F) and has a greasy feel. Because of this unique difference, fractionated coconut oil is best used for therapeutic purposes. Regular coconut oil, on the other hand, is solid at cool or room temperature, but liquid when heated. Because it has such a high concentration of saturated fat, fractionated coconut oil is much more stable than regular coconut oil.

What does it do? It helps smooth skin and works as an antioxidant. It also binds other ingredients together, and can work as a preservative of sorts to make the active ingredients in skincare last longer as a more natural alternative to other synthetic chemicals found in many topical skin products.

In case you’re wondering about my background in all of this…

I don’t have one.  KiddingI’ve always taken an interest in skincare and over time have sampled many, many products.  Other than through sheer trial and error, as a side interest I trained and graduated from George Brown College – School of Makeup and Esthetics when I lived in Toronto. Even though I’ve never worked as an esthetician I have (had in some cases) gained some knowledge.  I made beautiful face and body products from scratch. I’ve never had fillers or botox or anything other than regular facials. That’s not to say I could not use some work (ha!) it’s just that I’ve not done so. At least so far. Never say never.

I’ll continue to go through my list of ingredients with some background about them..because if you’re interested in purchasing something you should know what’s in them beforehand.

Remember it’s better to create something and be criticized than to create nothing and criticize others.” – Ricky Gervais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bioéthique

Ahhh the luxury of a good facial. What woman doesn’t love that afterglow?

I just found my new go-to in an invitingly clean and calming place.

Taken from the outside – which made me want to go inside. Photo: d. king

I just experienced a super deluxe facial with aesthetician Deborah at Bioéthique Spa in Vancouver.  Not to mention a long overdue one as well.  So it was tiiiiiime!  Relaxing, pampering, the massage followed by seaweed mask was amazing and I was treated to a shoulder and arm massage too.  Divine!  I highly recommend this place.

Bioéthique is ranked one of the top ten spas in BC.  I did the 60 minute facial with an extra partial *microdermabrasion and LED treatment to help strengthen elastin and smooth skin. When I left my skin looked and felt radiant.  I loved the delicious vegan chocolate too.

Bonus: it’s dog friendly too.   Photo: d. king

Their products are made with the highest quality ingredients which nurture and repair the skin for true skin rejuvenation.  Using a high concentration of active properties and selected botanical ingredients, they help penetrate the skin for a multitude of purposes – depending on your skin type.  They help to visibly firm, tone and restore a gorgeous complexion.

Photo: d, king

Bioéthique‘s exquisite skin care line is entirely vegan, 100% natural, minimum 98% certified organic and contains no synthetic chemicals or GMO’s.   Embraced by both men and women, the high concentration and active properties of each selected botanical ingredient penetrates deeply into the skin – visibly restoring a gorgeous glow.

Photo: d. king

How often is too often?  I guess it depends on your skin and of course, your budget.  There are women who come in weekly but for most it’s every few months or at least seasonal.  I think for me it will be seasonal, especially from now on.

*Microdermabrasion treatments use a minimally abrasive instrument to gently sand your skin, removing the thicker, uneven outer layer, and has many benefits. This type of skin rejuvenation is used to treat light scarring, discoloration, sun damage and stretch marks.  The effects of the treatment typically last for about one month. The length of time results will last varies depending on age and how well you respond to the treatment.

Photo taken from website
Photo taken from website

To book:

Suddenly September

Adios August; you were wonderful. Welcome  September.

basically how I’ve felt all summer (ok; almost all the time!)

Notice a psychological shift that happens after the end of August? Even though technically summer doesn’t end until September 21st it certainly starts to feel different. Like summer is basically over. Kids back to school, the days are shorter and cooler.  We can still have many great sunny days in September but we’re gearing up for fall. And we adapt.  Fall is a great season.  New beginnings.  Speaking of new beginnings…

I’ve decided to start September off by launching a new product…or rather, perfecting an old one. Soon to be on my shop page.  I’ve formulated a luxuriously hydrating facial oil. It’s concentrated like a serum to be applied at night before bed but light enough to use for day before applying sunscreen.

Some of my friends know that I’ve been sourcing and buying exotic essential oils for many years now.  I used to sell my homemade products including an excellent makeup remover and a wonderful eye balm on another website. When I finally ran out of product I decided to take a break and compare mine to other similar skincare including cult favourites – vintner’s daughter (expensive but good) & olio lusso (acquired by Estée Lauder from founder/stylist Linda Rodin in 2014).

Even though the market is saturated more than before, I believe that mine works as good or better than others I’ve tried. Maybe a bit of a presumptuous claim, however I’ve comprised what I believe to be the best skin serving superstars – good for all skin types. Check out The Delightful Dozen:

sneak peek

The Basics:

Coconut Oil in its unfractionated form is rich in hydrating properties that helps to soothe and soften your skin.

Argan Oil is loaded with ingredients that are considered the best for maintaining skin’s health. Rich in vitamins A and E, omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, argan oil is especially effective in firming skin and improving elasticity, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and increasing hydration. I’m told Argan oil is now the rarest vegetable oil out there because of the scarcity of Argan trees. This one was brought back for me direct from the Atlas mountains in Morocco.

Jojoba Oil is nourishing, hydrating and soothing.

Sweet Almond Oil has fatty acids and vitamins A + E to help skin retain moisture and heal irritated skin. *Note: Do not use almond oil if allergic to nuts. Please specify if you are allergic. I’ll be happy to make one without.

The Essentials:

Frankincense Oil strengthens, tightens and improves skin tone.  If you were to go back in time to Ancient Israel or Asia, many people would consider Frankincense to be more precious than gold. Today, Frankincense essential oil is still worth its weight in gold in a number of applications.

Evening primrose oil has emollient properties, meaning it helps soften and smooth the skin, improving the skin’s overall texture. It also helps lock in moisture to minimize water loss.

Rosehip Seed Oil helps to brighten and exfoliate.

Carrot Seed Oil has antibacterial, antifungal & anti-inflammatory properties.

Sea Buckthorn is excellent for reducing acne breakouts, because it signals the oil glands to stop creating excess amounts of sebum. Also helps to reduce inflammation in the skin.

Jasmine acts as an effective antibacterial, soothing dry skin and eczema. Not to mention that heavenly scent.

Baobob is luxurious and nutrient rich. High in linoleic acid, a kind of omega-3 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, baobab oil may help reduce skin redness and irritation.  

Ginseng has firming properties and helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

In addition I’ll be making a facial spray in an orange blossom water base with essential oils of eucalyptus which is purifying (good for reducing redness) and sweet orange which is refreshing.  Enzymes in orange are cleansing. The spray can be used anytime but best to spritz over face before applying a few drops of the oil. Skin requires access to water and oil, so underlying moisture is required.

Moving along through upcoming posts I’ll tell you where the oils come from and how they’re extracted. Almost all have been used by many cultures around the world for centuries.

Until then enjoy the sunny days of September.

 

 

Tried & Treasured Skincare Products

An update of six products I’ve tested over six months or longer

For cleansing the face:

Micellar Water

Micellar Water: is a highly effective one-step all around gentle cleanser for removing makeup and to help clear out pores while removing impurities and toning the skin.  Perfect for those nights when you want to quickly clean up before bedtime. Plus, it’s free of alcohol and may help promote skin hydration.  It can be used on any skin type but may be especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin, as it can help reduce skin inflammation and irritation.  There are many kinds out there.  I bought Sephora brand shown in photo.

evanhealy Rose Cleansing Milk:This soft and creamy cleansing milk can be followed up after micellar water or can be used on its own. It’s very gentle with a lovely light rose scent. This brand helps to balance skin and prepare for nightly moisturizer.  Made with plant oils and floral waters, It helps draw impurities out of pores. I bought it at Whole Foods.

Face Cream for Day:

Grown Alchemist: I love this cream for morning before applying *sunscreen.  I keep it in the fridge not to preserve it but because it feels cooling on my skin. It not only has the nicest fresh scent, it’s super hydrating in a non greasy way.  I first tried it as part of the Curateur Box of Style and loved it from the get go. The clean ingredients really helps to nourish the skin.  It’s a keeper.  

https://www.grownalchemist.com/ca/hydra-repair-day-cream-camellia-geranium-blossom.html

Face Cream for Night:

Nonie of Beverly Hills: I decided to list the ingredients first on this one.

This lightweight but effective night cream has 10% Alphy Hydroxy Acids from extracts of Bilberry, Sugar Cane, Maple Cane, Orange & Lemon Oils.  It has Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Citrus Mix of Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Bergamot & Neroli Oils; Coconut Emulsifier, Orchid Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract & Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

 With vitamins A, B, C, this is touted (according to the website and several reviews) as the best anti-wrinkle, anti-aging exfoliator, and renewer around. It was created from real plant ingredients in the kitchens of Hungary.  It helps to stimulate cell renewal and is considered a natural exfoliator for the skin.  You can use it around your eyes too. I found it at Clark’s in Palm Desert but I’m sure you can find it at other natural health food stores as well as here:

Cult face/hair/body balm:

Cult King: this balm is the bomb. Sometimes we need a little extra help with hydration. This I believe was developed first as a hair product. My hairdresser turned me onto this balm which you can use for a multitude of reasons.  The website says it’s the go-to botanical godsend for hair, skin, shaving, the works.  Loaded with organic ingredients, I put a tiny bit on dry areas of my skin and under the eyes.  For me the efficacy & scent is what cements the purchase.  

Body Scrub:

Suzanne Somers Organics Acai Scrub: this delightful natural fruit acid complex has to be my favourite exfoliating body scrub (and sometimes used for face). Good for anywhere you develop rough dry patches.

*Sunscreen: Supergoop Glowscreen SPF 40
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and the results you found.