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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...
Shorea robusta is a tree of the Dipterocarpaceae family, also known as sal it is native to the Indian subcontinent. From its seeds a butter is extracted, the sal butter in fact, largely known in cosmetics as a stable ingredient, which does not go rancid easily and with emollient and antioxidant properties. But let's better understand the characteristics of sal butter, what this butter can do for our beauty and the possible applications. Sal butter, composition and properties - Sal butter bring...
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...
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...
The auricularia auricula judae, also known as wood ear or jelly ear, is an edible mushroom characterized by a particular ear-like elongated shape. This fungus grows on tree trunks, especially elder, and has been used since ancient times in China as a food and herbal remedy (Balakrishnan et al, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jan 2015). From the auricularia fungus a supplement is obtained with important medicinal properties, useful for the well-being of the organism...
Acmella, the natural botox
Acmella oleracea, also known as Spilanthes acmella, family of Asteraceae, is a plant native to the Brazilian forest that is attracting much interest in the field of cosmetics. In fact, acmella is considered a natural botox and is increasingly used in anti-wrinkle creams. But let's understand better. Acmella, anti wrinkle remedy - The acmella extract contains an active ingredient, called spilanthol, able to act on wrinkles, both the expression lines and the deepest wrinkles. In fact, this subst...
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...
In the local language cupuacu means fruit of the gods and, given the incredible beauty properties of its butter, also demonstrated by science, this name is not exaggerated! Cupuacu, scientific name Theobroma grandiflorum, is a tree related to cocoa and native to the tropical rain forests. Through cold pressing of its fruits a butter, precisely the cupuacu butter, is obtained, which is one of the new ingredients used in the cosmetic field for the beauty of skin and hair. Cupuacu butter, propert...
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...
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...
Soy oil, powerful anti-wrinkle
Soybean seed oil is a plant based oil that is obtained from soybean seeds, scientific name Glycine Max, through cold pressing or through chemical solvents. The cold pressing method is more expensive and the yield is lower, however, the product is of a higher quality, in particular from the point of view of the contained substances such as soy lecithin. The cold-pressed soybean oil, which we will discuss in this post, can be applied externally on the skin to bring important benefits. Soybean oi...
Peanut oil, external use for skin beauty
Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is obtained from the seeds of the Arachis hypogaea plant of the Fabaceae family. This product can be obtained either through cold pressing or by extraction with chemical solvents and refining. The obtained oil is widely used in cooking, for frying but also to prepare tasty sauces such as mayonnaise. But the use of peanut oil does not stop there, in fact, this plant based oil can also become a beauty ally! Peanut oil, cosmetic properties -...
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 ...
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...
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%, ...
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...
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 (...
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 ...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 10, Tahitian monoi oil
It comes from Polynesia and is considered a natural cosmetic with amazing properties for the beauty of skin and hair, we are speaking about the monoi oil. The monoi oil takes its name from the Tahitian word mono’i that means scented oil. Properties – This product is obtained indeed by soaking in coconut oil particular types of plants and flowers, such as Tahitian gardenia, the beautiful flower with large white petals that can be admired in the Tahitian necklaces, the jasmine, basil, the Polyne...
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...
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...
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,...
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