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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...
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...
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...
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...
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