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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...
Rosa centifolia, the flower with soothing, analgesic and antioxidant properties
The rosa centifolia, also called Provence rose or May rose, is a type of hybrid rose of the Rosaceae family whose origin dates back to the seventeenth century. Its flower is characterized by a beautiful deep pink color with overlapping and fragrant petals. It has a very intense aroma, sweet and with notes of honey, that makes this rose an ingredient highly appreciated in perfumery. Rosa Centifolia oil, properties - The rosa centifolia also plays a leading role in cosmetics and as a natural rem...
Stinging nettle, the herbal tea for health and beauty
Stinging nettle, scientific name urtica dioica, is a plant belonging to the Urtica genus well known for its action that causes stinging and itching on the skin. The leaves, indeed, are covered by hair that, when breaks, releases a substance that causes the rash. However, it is in fact this substance that makes the nettle so healthy. Stinging nettle is indeed a valuable natural remedy, known and appreciated for centuries for both the wellbeing of the body and the beauty of skin and hair. Stingi...
Hazelnut oil, amazing beauty oil
From cold pressing of hazelnuts, the fruits of hazel tree, scientific name Corylus avellana, an oil is extracted with interesting healthy properties and suitable both for cooking, as a dressing, and for cosmetic use. In this post we’ll speak about the use of hazelnut oil as a beauty oil. This oil has a composition similar to that of extra virgin olive oil, contains indeed high quantities of oleic acid, about 75%, linoleic acid, 9%, and smaller quantities of palmitic acid and stearic acid. In com...
Hypericum, scientific name Hypericum perforatum, is a well-known and appreciated medicinal plant of the Clusiaceae family. Hypericum is also called St. John's Wort since its maximum flowering falls around June 24, St. John's Day. This plant is a natural remedy that can be used both internally, in fact, it is able to counteract depression, and for topical applications. In this post we will focus our attention on its cosmetic properties and on the effects of external uses of hypericum, in particul...
Slow cosmetics, yogurt and milk for a luminous and soft skin
Let’s learn to pamper our skin! There is a movement, called Slow Cosmetique, born in Belgium and that has the aim to bring back our attention to the actions we take to take care of our beauty and also to the products we apply on the skin. The idea of Slow Cosmetique is that sometimes our cosmetics really have too many ingredients, and not all of them are beneficial, in fact they are often the cause of so many problems such as acne, blackheads, wrinkles, gray and dull skin. But we can make some s...
Naturally beautiful Part 6, green, white and black tea, the liquid cosmetics
A small leaf fell in a cup of boiling water of the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung that, delighted by the incredible aroma, decided that the new drink was heaven-sent. In this way, according to the legend, green tea was born. Nowadays green tea is one of the most studied and drunk drinks all over the world. Obtained from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, it is rich in polyphenols, that are powerful antioxidants that make it so healthy. The leaves, from which green tea is obtained, aren’t oxidized durin...
Murumuru butter, a powerful cosmetic for skin and hair
Astrocaryum murumuru, simply called murumuru, is a plant native to the Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. From its seeds a butter is extracted, almost solid at room temperature, nourishing, ideal as a massaging butter and as a treatment for skin and hair. Properties of murumuru butter – The beneficial properties of this butter come from its high content in fatty acids, such as lauric acid, whose quantity is estimated around 46%, and myristic acid, about 27%. Myristic acid has antioxidant properties (...
Tea tree, the first aid always with you
Melaleuca alternifolia, also known as tea tree, is a plant belonging to the Mirtaceae family native to Australia. From the distillation of its leaves and the final brunches of the plant an amazing essential oil is obtained, used and appreciated for more than 100 years in Australia but whose renown is growing worldwide. Instead, the tea tree leaves are an ancient remedy of Australian Aborigine tradition used before the essential oil. These leaves were applied indeed as a poultice on wounds or use...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 11, Rose infused oil worthy of the Gods of Olympus
The palace of the king of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar was decorated with roses whose petals were used to prepare a scented oil. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome, roses were the symbol of the goddess of love, Aphrodite or Venus, they represented beauty and joy and the rose infused oil was also well known. About this special and powerful beauty oil spoke Pliny and Homer, who, in the Book XXIII of the Iliad described that Aphrodite applied on Hector's body a rose infused oil to protect him from the an...
Saffron oil, gold for your beauty
Saffron is a spice obtained from the stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower that belongs to the Iridaceae family. We know saffron as a culinary ingredient but this spice, as taught by Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, can also be a precious beauty ingredient. The proof is in fact the kumkumadi tailam oil, which we talked about in a previous post and whose basic ingredient is saffron. Well, we can also prepare, at home, a lotion able to capture the incredible beneficial effects of saffron ...
Burdock, scientific name Arctium lappa, is a plant belonging to the Asteraceae family whose root is used as a powerful natural remedy. The use of burdock as a medicinal plant has a great tradition, in fact already in ancient China this plant was used to treat colds while it even appears in the herbology volume The Compendium of Materia Medica written by Li Shizhen in 1578 during the Ming dynasty. Properties - Science has become very interested in burdock and, as often happens, research has con...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 10, camellia oil
It is said that the women of the Japanese island Ooshima have always a fresh and young skin and wonderful hair. Their secret of beauty? The camellia oil, obtained though cold pressing of the seeds of the plant camellia japonica, called also common camellia, of the Theaceae family. Camellia is very appreciated for its ornamental role thanks to its flowers that bloom between January and March, characterized by an intense color from red to purple and rose. Camellia oil is an amazing product for ski...
Lavender, scientific name Lavandula officinalis, is a plant belonging to the Labiate family. It is characterized by a blue-violet inflorescence organized in spikes and by an intense aroma that makes lavender a nice ornamental plant for gardens and balconies. But lavender also has an interesting healthy action. In fact, lavender shows a diuretic, antiseptic, fluidifying, digestive but also calming action recognized by tradition but also proven by scientific studies. Lavender can be used to prepar...
Turmeric oil, the amazing oil for beauty and health
Turmeric, scientific name Curcuma longa, is a plant native to Asia. Its orange root is characterized by amazing healthy properties and can be found as a powder or whole root. Thanks to an active substance, the curcumin, the spice shows antimicrobial properties, thus resulting useful to counteract virus and bacteria, and an anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant and anticancer action. In addition to this, turmeric is also able to protect the brain from degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer...
Safflower oil, cosmetic use
Safflower, scientific name Carthamus tinctorius, is a plant belonging to the Asteracae family and native to the East. It may be used as a substitute of saffron since these two spices are similar. From the seeds of safflower an oil with interesting healthy and cosmetic properties is obtained. In this post we will focus our attention on the benefits that safflower oil may bring to the beauty of hair and skin. Safflower oil contains indeed a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as l...
Today we speak about an amazing plant based oil of the ancient Ayurveda tradition, Kumkumadi Tailam, that you can easily found in herbalist’s shops and online and use to improve the skin appearance, to counteract acne and wrinkles and to attenuate eye bags and dark circles. The word kumkumadi means in Sanskrit saffron, that is also the main ingredient of this beauty lotion. Kumkumadi is prepared by leaving to brew, in boiling water, different herbs such as licorice, vetiver, red sandalwood, lotu...
Black soap, also known as African black soap, is a product originating in West Africa. On the basis of the country of origin, it may be obtained from black olives oil or coconut oil or shea butter and potash from the ash of some plants such as that belonging to the genus Platanus. The use of black soap is growing all over the world because it is considered an essential beauty cosmetic, a remedy against dark skin spots, dull skin, rashes, scars and acne. Properties – As often happens, also scie...
The Swedish bitter is a preparation obtained by maceration of various medicinal herbs and characterized by several and interesting properties and applications. Its formulation is attributed to Paracelsus, a Swiss doctor, alchemist and astrologer of the sixteenth century who called this powerful and, for that time, truly portentous product, Elixir Ad Longam Vitam, or elixir for a long life. Nowadays we know this natural remedy thanks to the well-known Austrian herbalist Maria Treben who, in her f...
Prickly pear oil
Through cold pressing of the seeds of Opuntia ficus-indica, or prickly pear, a very precious oil is obtained and used in natural cosmetics for the beauty of skin and eyes. This oil counteracts the wrinkles and is a very good choice in case of eye bags and dark circles, but it is also beneficial to treat dry skin by regenerating it and results also useful in case of acne. Prickly pear is characterized by nourishing, moisturizing and anti-aging properties thanks to the substances that it contains,...
Rose water, liquid beauty
Rose water, or rose floral water, is a product for the beauty of face, eyes and hair that is obtained during the process of distillation of rose petals to produce the essential oil. At the end of this process, in addition to the essential oil of rose, rose water is also obtained that preserves the incredible properties of this fragrant and velvety flower. For the homemade preparation instead, the infusion of the petals is used. The petals are added to the boiling water and left to rest for about...
Beauty cosmetics? Now they are supplements, Part 2 zinc and astaxanthin
Against wrinkles, acne and dull skin we can do a lot not only with face and body creams and natural remedies but also with diet and supplements. The scientists (Vollmer et al, Int J Mol Sci, Oct 2018) are focusing their attention now on the protective and repairing effects on the skin of some substances that act from the inside once they are introduced in the body through diet or supplements. In the previous post we have seen the benefits, if some precautions are used, of collagen and beta carot...
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