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Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 19, the precious kukui oil of Hawaii
According to the Hawaiian tradition, Kamapua'a is the demigod of fertility with the ability to transform into a tree, but not just any tree, but in kukui nut tree or candlenut, scientific name Aleurites moluccanus of the Euphorbiaceae family, a symbol of peace and protection. Kukui nut tree is also the official tree of Hawaii and with its fruits, similar to nuts, wonderful necklaces are created by locals. These fruits, however, not only have an ornamental role but are also used to obtain a truly...
The use of clay for medicinal and cosmetic purposes dates back to a long time ago, the first traces, in fact, date back to ancient Mesopotamia while in Egypt the pharaohs used clay as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent. There are different types and colors of clays based on the minerals they contain, some better known, such as kaolin or green clay, others less known and studied but not less beneficial, as is the case with the blue clay, about which we will talk in this post. Blue clay, ...
Red and a bit magic, but no, it's not a real dragon blood. This resin is so named solely for its color but, in fact, it is the secretion of plants of different species, including Croton, the most studied, dracaena, pterocarpus and daemonorops, coming from tropical and subtropical areas. The blood of dragon is a known remedy since ancient times, Dioscorides, a Greek physician of the first century after Christ, wrote of this and in recent years even science has been very interested in dragon blood...
Desert date oil
The desert date, Balanites Roxburghii, is a typical tree of Africa and of several regions of the Middle East belonging to the Zygophyllaceae family. From the cold pressing of the seeds of its fruits we obtain an oil with interesting cosmetic properties that we will see in detail in the next paragraphs. Desert date oil, properties for the beauty of the skin - Desert date oil is healing, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant thanks to the substances contained in it such as flavonoids,...
Slow Cosmetique, rhassoul, the clay that washes
How many of us read the INCI, that is the list of ingredients, of a shampoo, a soap or a face mask? In many cases it is a long label, with a lot of terms often not easily understandable by non-experts. The point is that, especially when we are dealing with cleaning products for skin and hair, it is important to understand the used substances. In fact, aggressive surfactants are often inserted, which remove all traces of sebum and attack the skin barrier, but we can find also perfumes, silicones ...
Chamomile floral water, gold for your beauty
During the steam distillation process of the chamomile flowers to extract the essential oil, a truly beneficial cosmetic product is also obtained, the chamomile floral water. The plant that undergoes this process can be either the common chamomile, or Matricaria chamomilla, or the Roman chamomile, Anthemis nobilis, both from the Asteraceae family. Now let's understand the properties and applications of chamomile floral water, which you can easily buy in herbalist's shops or in specialized natura...
Castile soap, a beauty product you wouldn't think of
Castile soap is a soap made from olive oil and, together with Marseille soap and Aleppo soap, is one of the most popular and widespread natural soaps in the world. It takes its name from Castile, the Spanish region where it was produced for the first time from olive oil and barilla, an alkaline ash obtained from the burning of kali grass, a common plant in Spain. Nowadays Castile soap can be prepared by adding essential oils or other plant based oils such as coconut, sweet almonds or avocado oil...
Pumpkin seed oil, the oil that protects the beauty of the skin and fights hair loss
Pumpkin is a powerful source of health, not only because of its pulp, but also because of its seeds. Pumpkin seeds, in particular, can be eaten as a snack or added to culinary preparations, to give a tasty and healthy note to bread, pasta or soups. But from the pumpkin seeds, through cold pressing, an oil is also obtained, with a strong smell, dark color and interesting properties that make it an excellent product both for nutrition and in the cosmetic field. In today's post we will deal with th...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 14, at the court of Cleopatra
Around her figure myths and legends were born, about her Plutarch, a Greek biographer and writer who lived between the first and second century AD, wrote that she was famous for her irresistible charm and presence, in modern times unforgettable movies have been dedicated to her. We are talking about Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, one of the most fascinating characters that history has handed down to us and the result often of a perfect mix between reality and fantasy. One thing seems certain, Cleopa...
Blackcurrant seed oil, an exceptional oil for the beauty of the skin
From the cold pressing of the seeds of the black currant, scientific name Ribes nigrum, an oil is extracted characterized by exceptional properties. Blackcurrant oil, properties and topical use - Black currant oil is particularly rich in both omega 6 fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, present in a percentage of 47%, and gamma linolenic, 12%, and omega 3, such as alpha linolenic acid, 14%. Not only that, this oil also contains vitamin C and antioxidant substances, such as anthocyanins and flav...
Marshmallow root, cosmetic use
Marshmallow plant, scientific name althaea officinalis, is a plant of the Malvaceae family, much appreciated in herbal medicine and cosmetics for its emollient, soothing and calming properties. Internally, the althea is used in case of respiratory problems, while externally it is useful for treating irritations and other skin disorders such as pimples, eczema, dermatitis or sunburn. In this post we will deal with the use of althea in cosmetics. Althea, beauty properties - The roots of the alth...
Slow cosmetique, the beauty of grapes
Slow cosmetique is a movement born in Belgium a few years ago with the aim to help the consumers make an informed choice of cosmetic products, such as face creams, lotions, serums and shampoos, and understand what are really beneficial and respectful, both for the skin and the Planet. In our posts dedicated to this fascinating topic we propose each time recipes to realize 100% natural cosmetics, made with few, powerful and safe ingredients, which can often be found in the pantry of your home. To...
Food combinations and cooking methods, the pumpkin Part 2
Pumpkin is a powerful source of vitamins, especially A, important for the health of the immune system, skin and eyesight, E, which fights aging processes, K, which is essential to allow blood to clot properly, and group B, mineral salts, such as magnesium, potassium and calcium, which, together, show a calming and sedative action, and zinc, useful for the skin, especially in case of acne, wounds and infections. Finally, the pumpkin brings precious antioxidants such as beta-carotene (USDA Databas...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 13, the wisdom of India
How many creams rich in ingredients we apply on our skin every day, often without reading the INCI, the label that, by law, must contain the substances that make up a cosmetic product. However, it is possible to resort to ancient traditions and realize that, often, in just a few steps and with a few simple ingredients we can create very powerful cosmetics. Today we let us be inspired by the wisdom of Indian women who have always taken care of their beauty with what the earth offers them, herbs, ...
Slow cosmetique, beautiful with thyme
Slow food and ... slow cosmetique, we are talking about movements that are aimed at focusing the attention on the gestures that are made in everyday life to eat but also to take care of one's own beauty. In particular, slow cosmetique tries to give again importance to the skin and its needs, by preferring natural cosmetics prepared with just a few ingredients that are really beneficial to the skin. For example, did you ever think that thyme, an aromatic plant of the Lamiaceae family often used t...
Evening primrose oil, for oral use and topical applications
Through cold pressing of the seeds of the plant oenothera biennis, known as evening primrose and belonging to the Onagraceae family, a powerful beauty oil is obtained. This oil is suitable for very sensitive skin and eye contour. You can find evening primrose oil in herbalist’s and chemist’s shops, both for oral use in the form of pearls and for topical applications in bottles. But let’s see better the properties. Evening primrose oil, its beauty properties - This product is soothing and prote...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 12, the gold of the Maya
Not a real precious metal but certainly gold for the skin, we talk about the Mimosa tenuiflora, or skin tree or Tepezcohuite, an evergreen plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, native to Central and South America and known as a source of beauty since the times of the ancient Maya. Mimosa tenuiflora, properties for health and beauty, what science says - In fact, in the bark of this tree there are active ingredients useful to treat skin lesions and with a high healing power. But it is not just...
Slow cosmetique, scrubs for face, body and lips
A few simple and natural ingredients to give to the skin just what it needs, this is the slow cosmetique, a movement born in Belgium but that is growing all over the world. Today we speak about scrubs, beauty treatments that are able to remove the superficial layer of dead cells. Scientific studies (Rajan et al, Dermatol Surg, May 2002) have observed that microabrasions of scrub alter the skin barrier, which then responds by increasing tissue hydration levels over the next 24 hours even though t...
Bay tree, or bay laurel, scientific name laurus nobilis, is a plant belonging to the Lauraceae family. The leaves of this plant are often used in cooking to flavor meat dishes or soups, but the properties of the laurel do not end there. Indeed, bay leaf has important healthy properties, it helps keep at bay blood sugar and cholesterol levels, it has also an anti cancer action, it is healing in case of wounds and improves digestion. Bay leaf, diabetes, blood sugar and cholesterol - On the basis...
Curry leaves, health and beauty
Curry leaves … no, we are not speaking about the famous spice to season rice and sauces but about real leaves of a plant called curry, scientific name Murraya koenigii. The plant belongs to the Rutaceae family, the same as bergamot, oranges, lemons and rue, and is native to India where it is a very appreciated culinary ingredient but also the basis of various Ayurveda medicinal remedies. Nowadays you can buy curry leaves in well-stocked and online herbalists’s shops. But let's have a look at the...
The peppermint, scientific name Mentha piperita of the Lamiaceae family, is an aromatic herb widely used in cooking to give more flavor to salads and vegetables but also to prepare digestive and scented herbal teas. In addition to this, through steam distillation of the mint, a hydrolat, or floral water, is produced with very interesting properties for the well-being of the body and the beauty of the skin and hair. Indeed, mint hydrolat could be considered a real "must" to take with you on vacat...
Kokum butter, the amazing beauty butter for skin and hair
Garcinia indica, also known as kokum, is a plant of the Clusiaceae family. Garcinia indica fruits are orange-size berries that contain, inside, about 5 - 8 seeds. It is from these seeds that kokum butter is extracted. This butter has a fat content very similar to cocoa butter and for this reason it is often used in the confectionery industry to prepare chocolate. The cosmetic properties of kokum butter - But these characteristics make kokum butter also an excellent and very versatile cosmetic ...
Orange flower water
Through steam distillation of the flowers of bitter orange, citrus aurantium of the Rutaceae family, two very interesting products are obtained, the essential oil, called neroli essential oil and characterized by a fascinating fragrance, and a special water, the orange flower or orange blossom water. Both, essential oil and water, are used for cooking to aromatize desserts, just a few drops are needed, but they are also powerful cosmetics. Orange blossom water, cosmetic properties - Orange blo...
Melissa, beauty water
Lemon balm, melissa officinalis, is a plant of the Lamiaceae family that includes also lavender, mint and rosemary. Obtained through steam distillation, the lemon balm water has a very pleasant scent, that reminds that of lemon. Lemon balm water, properties and uses - This beauty water has a relaxing, calming and anxiolytic action, thanks to the properties of lemon balm on the nervous system (Scholey et al, Nutrients, Nov 2014). It therefore can be sprayed on the face before going to sleep to ...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 11, tonic of the Queen of Hungary
The legend says that Queen Isabella of Hungary, old and suffered from several pains, received as a gift from an alchemist a special rosemary tonic. After using this flavored water for a year, Queen Isabella was so fit, healthy and full of youth that she was asked to marry the young Carlo Alberto, Grand Duke of Lithuania. Beyond the myth, the fame of the tonic of the Queen of Hungary, as it is called, has grown such much that it is possible to buy it even today in shops and herbalists. But its fo...
Aloe vera oil
Aloe vera, scientific name aloe barbadensis miller, is a succulent plant of the Aloeaceae family characterized by pulpy leaves that contain a precious gel widely used both for internal purifying treatments and for external curative applications. Aloe vera gel is easily found on the market, both in chemist’s and in herbalist's shops, but today we are talking about another product, always obtained from aloe leaves, very interesting and useful for topical applications, aloe oil. From the maceration...
Witch hazel water
Witch hazel water is obtained from the steam distillation of the aerial parts of the witch hazel, scientific name hamamelis virginiana of the Hamamelidaceae family, a plant native to America and Canada but widely cultivated also in Europe. Witch hazel water, properties - This floral water is an excellent tonic for the face, it is astringent, antiseptic, calming, refreshing, decongestant and anti-inflammatory thanks to the tannins, which are antioxidant substances, and to the essential oils con...
Beauty tonic of St John
The night between 23 and 24 June is St John’s night and has always been considered a magical night. According to legend, in fact, the dew that falls during this particular night has healing properties and is able to drive away negative energies. According to other legends, on this night the witches gathered to dance around a walnut tree, which is why this night is also called the night of the witches. Beyond the myth, however, the reality is that this day falls just after the summer solstice, th...
Babassu, scientific name Attalea speciosa, is a palm typical of the Amazon forest. From its seeds a plant based oil is extracted, solid at room temperature, edible, but also very appreciated in cosmetics. In the post of today we’ll speak about its use as a beauty oil for skin and hair. Babassu oil, properties and composition - In terms of composition and properties, babassu oil is very similar to coconut oil. In fact, just like this product, babassu oil contains a high percentage, almost 50%, ...
Slow Cosmetique, soapwort, the natural soap that respects the skin
Cleaning the hands, the face, the body and the hair are gestures that belong to our skincare routine. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the products we are using, to know what that soap with a wonderful fragrance contains or to understand the ingredients of the shampoo that makes a lot of foam. It often happens, indeed, that the detergent products may be too aggressive on our skin since they include in their formula strong surfactants, able to irritate the skin and remove the natur...
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Black pepper essential oil
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