Tag Archives: Essential Oils

Skin Care Ingredients Pregnant Women Should Avoid

So you’re pregnant. Your husband and your friends keep telling you you’ve never looked better in your life, but you sure don’t feel it today. Your ankles are swollen, you have a headache, and all you see when you look down is your stomach. You know exactly what you need! A little pampering. Nothing like a nice spa session to make you feel like the goddess you are. But wait! Before you apply that mask, there are a few things you should know about the ingredients in the products you may be about to apply.

Pregnant woman in front of the mirror

Retin-A, Retinol, Retinyl Palmate
The FDA categorizes ingredients according to letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, and X. Usually, only A and B categorized products are considered safe for pregnancy. Retin-A, retinol. and retinyl palmate all lie in the C category which means it can present a risk to the fetus. Although vitamin A is an important vitamin for fetal development, Albert Sassoon, MD, an ob-gyn says, “getting too much can cause serious birth defects and liver toxicity.” While Retin-A is usually associated with prescription skin care, women should be aware that vitamin A derivatives are also present in many over the counter formulas as well.

Benzoyl Peroxide
Even though pregnancy may call for the occasional zit zapping, benzoyl peroxide also falls into category C, indicating possible fetal risk.

Woman applying oil to pregnant belly

Essential Oils
Essential oils are not subject to assessment by the FDA and are usually marketed as safe for use in beauty products. However, according to Dr. Sassoon, “Often they have 50 times the concentration used in a cup of tea and can be harmful even in a non-pregnancy state.” The most commonly used oils warranting cause for alarm are rosemary and tea tree oil.

According to Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, and dermatologist, “Tea tree oil is very potent and toxic when ingested. Its adverse effects include dermatitis, drug reactions, a blistering disease called linear IgA and estrogenic effects.” which may be to blame for premature contractions. Rosemary oil, meanwhile, is known to, “raise blood pressure and cause uterine contractions at high doses,” adds the doctor.

Woman buying product

Salicylic Acid
This category C acne fighter may be hard to avoid. But, as Dandy Engelman, MD, and dermatologist says,”When you’re pregnant, you have to seek out the purer products–the ones that feature just one of the acids that are approved. Lactic, mandelic, and glycol acids are all considered safe for pregnant women looking for some exfoliating action.

Hydroquinone
Although this may be tempting to use when pregnancy causes melanoma or dark spots, it falls into the C category.

Tazorac and Accutane
Both these vitamin A-derived product are prescription only and fall into category X: known to cause defects in birth.

What safe products do you use to soothe skin while you’re pregnant? Let us know what the modern pregnant lady is using to keep herself and her baby safe.

Use These Herbal Aids For Dry Skin

If there is anything to be learned from history, it is safe to say that people have always had a high respect for herbs. Elizabethan herbalist, Nicholas Culpepper credited plants with possessing powers of good (light) and evil (dark). That may explain why Chinese Emperor, and part time herbal enthusiast, Chi’en Nung, while able to identify 365 healing herbs, died after consuming one that turned out to be poisonous.

Despite the occasional mishap, it is safe to say that the herbal remedy has maintained a pretty respectable track record to this day, quite a feat considering how long its history is. Herbals have been credited with easing aches, pains, digestion problems and are also one of the most effective and trusted ingredients in beauty and skin products. If you are looking to give your skin a hydrating boost, here are some of the best (pretested) herbal remedies for dry skin relief.

avocado oil

Avocado Oil
It should be no surprise that a super food makes a super skin treatment. Avocado oil stimulates production of collagen and hydrates skin, and can even be used as a substitute for your nightly serum.

Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil helps to stimulate cell renewal and gets rid of cells that dull the complexion to reveal new, fresh skin underneath. It can also be used to treat dry, itchy scalp and dandruff. Mix five to seven drops with luke warm water and use it to rinse hair after shampooing to address a flaky scalp.

Lavender Oil
Not only does it smell great, lavender can also relieve itchy tight skin and protect it from UV rays and free radicals which cause premature aging. Apply directly to your face, or put a few drops in your day or night cream.

Pomegranate seed oil

Pomegranate Seed Oil
The antioxidant properties in the pomegranate makes them a great anti-ager, whether you choose to munch or apply topically. The magical seeds can reduce breakdown and increase production of collagen to keep your skin looking firm and useful. Put a drop on your skin after applying moisturizer.

Grapeseed Oil
You’ve probably seen this ingredient being given credit on the labels of anti aging serums and creams. Grapeseed oil has been a proven component in the restoration of collagen and softens find lines to help skin stay firm. “Plus, according to David Colbert, MD, “grape seed oil is high in polyphenols which are antioxidants that can help calm inflammation.” Add two drops to your morning moisturizer to reap its anti aging benefits.

Sunflower Seed Oil
Got dry scaly elbows and knees? Slather some of this vitamin E rich oil on them for some quick hydration.

carrot seed oil

Carrot Seed Oil
Fight age spots with this bunny pleasing option, extracted from the dried seeds of the orange plant. Carrot seed oil can also speed up healing of skin irritations like psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.

Olive Oil
Besides being a delicious addition to food, olive oil can also be just the thing to relieve a dry, itchy scalp, due to its anti fungal and antibacterial properties. Ellen Marmur, MD, advises, “To calm either issue, once a week, massage a 1/4 cup of olive oils into your scalp so its evenly saturated. Wait at least 20 minutes, then shampoo and condition. Use the remainder to treat your complexion. Olive oil is rich in vitamins that can help prevent spots anilines caused by sun damage. Put two drops in your favorite moisturizer to boost results.

What herbal treatments work best on your dry skin? Let us know your favorites!

Cleaning with Essential Oils

If you’re planning your spring cleaning strategies this year, consider replacing your chemical cleansers with more natural products. Essential oils can be used to clean any area of your house that you need to tackle during your spring cleaning. Check out three of the most multi-purpose essential oils available and find recipes for creating cleansers with these oils below.

Lemon essential oil

Lemon
Lemon essential oil is perhaps the most commonly used essential oils for household cleaning. This oil is a natural antibacterial as well as a natural antiviral, meaning that it is perfect for nearly every surface and area of your home. You can use lemon essential oil to remove sticky messes such as tape residue or gum, to make your fridge smell fresher and remove tough marks like crayons on your walls. Mix 10 drops of lemon essential oil with ½ cup of olive oil for a homemade wood or leather polish. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a baking soda paste to make a super effective degreaser. One of the greatest things about using lemon essential oil is its light, fresh and clean scent. The scent of lemon can help lift your mood and make you happier, which you may need for seriously stubborn messes.

Tea tree essential oil

Tea Tree
Tea tree oil is commonly used in skin care to help fight acne-causing bacteria, but you can use its antibacterial properties to clean your home as well. Not only is tea tree oil antibacterial, it is also a natural antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral. Seriously, is there anything that tea tree oil can’t do? In a spray bottle, mix 15 drops of tea tree oil with one quart of warm water and use this to clean any surface in your home. For areas that require a bit more potency, like your toilet, mix two teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups of warm water and use that to really disinfect. You can also take this spray mixture and spritz it around doors and windows, as it is a natural pest deterrent.

Lavender essential oil

Lavender
Lavender is one of the best smelling antibacterial essential oils there is and it can be used for a wide variety of household chores. You can make an all-purpose cleanser by adding 35 drops of lavender essential oil to a spray bottle containing two and one-half of a cup of water and one-quarter of a cup of witch hazel or vinegar. Mix well and use this spray on everything from your kitchen counters to your bathtub. If you have a pet, you know how difficult it can be to remove the odor and stains that occur when an accident happens. Add 15 to 20 drops of lavender essential oil to one box of baking powder. The mixture will clump when you add the oil, but you can work it out with a fork. Sprinkle this mixture on the carpet, allow it to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes, then vacuum it up for a fresh-smelling, clean carpet.

Going more natural with cleansers not only is a bonus for your health, but it is also super cost effective. Because essential oils are so concentrated, you don’t need to use too much of them at a time to see results. A word of caution, if undiluted, some essential oils can be irritating to the skin, so if you’re worried about a reaction, wear a pair of gloves to protect your skin. Start your spring cleaning with a healthy dose of cleaning power and aromatherapy when you use essential oils to clean your home.

Best Essential Oils for Women

Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat medical conditions that range from acne to childbirth. If you have never used essential oils before, you may be overwhelmed at all of the options available and the incredible health benefits that accompany essential oils. To help get you started, we’ve picked out 10 of the best essential oils for women.

Clary sage

Clary Sage
Clary sage uplifts your mood, reduces stress and anxiety and acts as a natural anti-depressant. The mellow scent of clary sage is perfect for relieving mood swings before or during your menstrual period. Clary sage also reduces blood pressure, improves breathing rates and enhances your attention and memory.

Geranium oil.

Geranium
Geranium is amazing at perfecting balance within your body. This essential oil maintains homeostasis in your body, balances your nervous system and stimulates your adrenal cortex to harmonize your fluctuating hormones. The sweet, flowery scent of geranium oil boosts your mood and soothes your nerves.

Jasmine oil.

Jasmine
Jasmine has long been used as a powerful anti-depressant, but in ancient times, this essential oil was also used as a childbirth aid. Jasmine essential oil strengthens reproductive tissues and helps with contractions to aid labor. In ancient times, jasmine was rubbed on the lower abdomen to strengthen contractions and soothe labor pains. Jasmine is also used to increase sex drive in both women and men.

Rose oil.

Rose
Rose is another essential oil that benefits the female reproductive system by strengthening it. If you have irregular menstrual cycles, rose is especially helpful because it stimulates hormonal secretion to trigger menstruation. Rose is also considered an aphrodisiac that boosts your libido.

Sweet Marjoram

Sweet Marjoram
Sweet marjoram is a natural way to fight against the pain that comes from menstrual cramps because it is a powerful antispasmodic. Like rose, sweet marjoram can also help if you suffer from irregular periods in the form of amenorrhea (the abnormal absence of menstruation). Sweet marjoram also fights headaches and constipation, both of which may occur frequently during pregnancy.

Wild orange oil.

Wild Orange
Wild orange is one of the best essential oils for reducing stress and anxiety levels, both of which are common among women. By reducing your stress and anxiety levels, wild orange also is a natural way to lift your mood. Topical application of wild orange essential oil can also help minimize the appearance of stretch marks.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass
Lemongrass provides a wide range of benefits for women from fighting acne to improving lactation. Lemongrass is a natural anti-inflammatory that also has antiseptic, antimicrobial and astringent properties that help fight acne. New mothers facing problems with lactation can also use lemongrass to enhance milk flow.

Lavender oil

Lavender
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils and it isn’t just because of its soothing scent. This essential oil is used to promote better sleep and treat insomnia, alleviate depression and significantly lessen stress and anxiety. One of the reasons lavender is so great for women is that it has antispasmodic properties, which make it great for treating painful menstrual cramps.

Tea Tree Oil.

Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an incredible body detoxifier and is one of the greatest natural antibacterials there is. You may be aware that because of the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil, it is used in the treatment of acne but these same properties also help fight yeast infections. Tea tree oil stimulates hormonal secretions that improve your blood circulation which can weaken the pain you feel due to menstrual cramps.

Chamomile oil.

Chamomile
Chamomile is another essential oil that is well-known for its ability to soothe nerves and promote sleep, but that isn’t all this essential oil is capable of. Chamomile is another antispasmodic that can help you cope with menstrual cramps or labor pains.

Equally as important as the specific essential oils you choose to use is the proper dosage or application method. Experts suggest that some essential oils, like tea tree oil, be used with a carrier oil for topical application. Inhaling essential oils can also benefit your health and provide you a much needed moment of calm or happiness. You will love how your health and attitude are improved by the use of these 10 essential oils for women.

5 Essential Oils for Anti-Aging

Anti-aging products are everywhere, but if you want to look for a more natural source of skin care, essential oils are an excellent way to improve your skin. Essential oils have been used for centuries for a number of skincare and cosmetic purposes. Below, we’ve listed our top five essential oils for keeping the skin healthy and fighting the visible signs of aging.

Pomegranate seed oil

Pomegranate Seed Oil
Pomegranates are naturally high in antioxidants and pomegranate seed oil contains high concentrations of antioxidants. Your skin needs antioxidants because they fight and reverse damage caused by free radicals. The punicic and ellagic acids that are found in pomegranate essential oil are great anti-aging ingredients because they provide nourishment to the skin while also promoting healthy cell regeneration.

Rosehip Seed Oil
Like sweet almond oil, rosehip seed oil can also be used a carrier, but it can also be used on its own or in a blend of other oils as an anti-aging ingredient. Rosehip seed oil contains the highest concentration of vitamin A of any pure botanical oil. Vitamin A is a skincare superstar where anti-aging is concerned because it can significantly reduce the depth of wrinkles and diminish fine lines. Your skin also benefits from vitamin A because it increases the growth rate of new skin cells to reveal younger looking skin and also boosts collagen production. If you are concerned about age spots, vitamin A can also help to reduce the appearance of age spots. The reason that rosehip seed oil is so wonderful for aging skin is that it is full of essential fatty acids like omega-3, omega-6 and linoleic acid all of which improve the elasticity and texture of your skin. Rosehip seed oil is also a light oil, which means that you can use it without worrying about the heavy feeling some oils can leave on your skin.

Sweet almond oil.

Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is an extremely versatile oil that happens to be excellent for skin, particularly aging skin. Most, though not all, essential oils require a carrier oil before being applied directly to the skin and sweet almond oil is an incredible carrier oil. One of the first things to note about sweet almond oil is that it is not super oily and it absorbs into the skin relatively quickly. Also, sweet almond oil has virtually no scent, so you don’t have to worry about a lingering smell. Large amounts of vitamins E and K are present in sweet almond oil which benefits your skin by promoting regeneration, maintaining elasticity and encouraging better circulation.

Cypress Oil
As your skin ages, your skin begins to show signs of wear and tear in the form of broken capillaries and varicose veins. Cypress oil help to reduce the appearance of both capillaries and varicose veins. It also adds strength to your skin and improves your circulation.

Lemon oil.

Lemon Oil
Acne knows no age and the fact that you are facing aging concerns doesn’t automatically mean that acne is completely behind you. Lemon oil has natural antiseptic properties, so it helps in the fight against acne. This isn’t the only thing lemon does for your skin. One common concern with aging skin is the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation. Lemon oil can help to lighten the appearance of age spots and it also helps soften fine lines and wrinkles.

One of the most amazing things about using essential oils for their anti-aging benefits is that you can custom-blend your own skincare in order to be sure that it is targeting your exact needs. In addition to the skincare benefits, using essential oils blends also offers other benefits in the form of aromatherapy. For truly customized that provides an entire sensory experience, look to essential oils for impressive anti-aging benefits.

Ingredient Spotlight: Actium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract – Vine Vera Reviews

Burdock has origins in the eastern hemisphere, but now grows most commonly in North America, Europe and Asia. The Burdock plant is best identified by its purple flowers and broad leaves. Burdock is a prickly plant that has been used for centuries in traditional folk medicine. Burdock has also been found to provide benefits for both your skin and hair.

Burdock Roots in a white background.

Burdock Root Extract
Burdock roots are slender, appear to be gray in color and are typically around two feet long. The inside of a Burdock root actually resembles a cream or off-white color. Burdock root contains tanning agents, vitamin C and essential oils. One of the active compounds in Burdock root extract is sesquiterpene lactones. These are active plant chemicals known for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The antioxidants in Burdock root extract inhibit the growth of both bacteria and fungi which is useful for many skin and hair conditions.

The most important reasons that  Burdock roots are beneficial to both your skin and hair. This brief list contains the properties in Burdock root extract that provide the highest level skin and hair care benefits:

  • They have natural anti-bacterial properties
  • They are naturally anti-septic
  • They have natural anti-inflammatory properties
  • They contain antioxidants helpful to your skin

It is possible to infuse Burdock root into either oils or water using heat. However, this process is often complicated, messy and highly time consuming which leads many cosmetic and skin care producers to choose powdered Burdock roots for their formulations in items such as hair conditioner and acne treatments. Burdock root extract is water soluble, highly concentrated and is easy to add to products like lotions, creams, soaps and facial toners.

Woman looking at her skin in the mirror.

Benefits of Burdock Root Extract
We’ve mentioned that Burdock root extract has some pretty awesome properties naturally and it is these that provide such excellent skin care and hair care benefits.

Burdock root extract has anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties which make it an excellent choice for conditions of the skin such as psoriasis, eczema, dandruff and acne. Perhaps the most frequent use of Burdock root extract in skin care or cosmetics is to treat acne. In addition to being anti-bacterial, Burdock root also has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the redness, swelling and irritation of conditions such as acne and rosacea. Burdock root extract in lotions or creams may be useful in helping alleviating conditions such as bug bites, canker sores, poison oak and poison ivy rashes, general swelling of the skin and small wounds to the skin.

Burdock root extract is also thought to have numerous benefits to your health and one of the leading indications for Burdock root extract is as an aid in the fight against cancer. Natural medicine praises Burdock root extract for the potential benefits this substance has in the oncology field.

Burdock root extract is definitely something to be on the lookout for when scanning the ingredient list of your beauty products. It helps so many conditions in a gentle way thus preventing further skin upsets or irritation.

Soothing Scents to Try – Vine Vera Reviews

When you’re feeling stressed out and a bit overwhelmed, your first thought is probably not of aromatherapy for relief. But maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy to stressful events. Your sense of smell is the strongest of all five senses in your body. Your olfactory bulbs are part of your limbic system. This means that your olfactory bulbs (how you are able to smell)  are directly linked to areas of the brain involved in processing emotions and learning. You probably have noticed that there are smells you react to by remembering a particular moment or time in your life, and the connection to emotional responses in the brain is why. When you need something soothing during your hectic day, Vine Vera recommends you to try one of these calming scents.

Lavender oil with lavender flowers on a wooden table.

Lavender
Lavender is probably the most well-known scent for reducing stress and promoting a calm, peaceful scent. It is a very popular addition to many sleep products such as eye masks or sprays for your pillow. Lavender has several important benefits. First, lavender contains calming properties that are able to control your stress levels. Secondly, because lavender is so calming, it can help you get a good night’s sleep even in the most stressful times. Lastly, the benefits of lavender are not limited to your emotional concerns, lavender can also help relieve nervous tension and soothe physical ailments such as tension headaches and migraines.

Jasmine oil with jasmine flowers on a wooden table.

Jasmine
Jasmine is much more than a pleasant scent, it has excellent mental benefits for times when you need to just relax. Like lavender, jasmine helps to provide stress relief by calming your nerves. However, jasmine is not just a perfect scent for calmness, it is also recognized as having anti-depressant properties. Jasmine is used to help with issues such as mental blockage and sadness. It is an uplifting scent that gives you increased feelings of confidence and optimism. Additionally, jasmine can help soothe you while providing you with a bit of refreshed energy.

Lemon oil with cut lemons on a mat.

Lemon
You may not immediately associate this yellow fruit with stress relief, but don’t count it out. Lemon is the perfect scent for times when you need to calm down, but remain productive and alert. The scent of lemon helps boost concentration and helps you slow down negative feelings such as stress and anger. At the same time, lemon also induces positive, happy emotions. Some studies using the scent of lemon suggest that it definitely has an impact on your mood and it does indeed improve cognitive function.

So, how do you benefit from these scents without having to lug around bags of lemons and flowers? The most commonly used method of aromatherapy is through the use of essential oils. There are tons of ways to use essential oils no matter where you are. One of the easiest ways to use oils is to grab a small glass and simply add a few drops of your chosen scent. You can also apply essential oils to your body. Doing this is especially helpful on pressure points such as your temples or the inside of your wrists. Lastly, you can buy a diffuser that uses water and the oil to emit a soothing vapor in your surroundings.

Vine Vera Reviews the Best Oils for Skin Care – Vine Vera Reviews

Oil for skin care There was a time when we used to shudder at the idea of applying oils or oil-based products to our skin. We literally went out of our way to purchase “oil-free” products, because we simply couldn’t tolerate the thought of applying oils to our skin. And ironically enough, we saw oil as our biggest enemy when it came to things like acne breakouts and blackheads. However, as we became aware of the kind of benefits that oils actually offer to our skin, we became more and more open to the idea of adding oils into our skin care regimen, albeit red faced from the shame of having ignored them all these years. Vine Vera reviews some of the best oils for skin care to help you make the right oil choices, given your current skin issues.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil allows your body to handle stress better and also helps in de-stressing your mind. This automatically offers amazing benefits to your skin. Lavender oil also helps in regenerating your skin cells, which makes it an ideal fit for people with issues like scarring and sun spots or people with mature skin. Better yet, it smells amazing.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is one of the most powerful oils that you can add into your skin care routine. It always lets you wake up to clear looking skin and it easily gets absorbed as well. Jojoba oil basically mimics the sebum, thereby tricking the skin to produce less oil.   

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is very famous among people having acne-prone skin. It is also known to work wonders on your cuticles. The anti-bacterial properties of tea tree oil help in preventing the acne-causing bacteria and regulating the production of oil, which in turn decreases the incidence and severity of breakouts. The oil resembles an astringent in its smell, so it doesn’t have the same icky factor that we usually associate with oils.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed Oil is known to be an ideal option for people with oily skin because it can help to regulate the production of oil. Moreover, grapeseed oil is also known to be full of antioxidants, including the all important vitamin C. The ideal way to start believing in grapeseed oil is to use it on your body and wait for the results before putting it onto the face. And you don’t even need to directly apply the oil on your face. There are all sorts of products in the market that contain many of the essential oils mentioned in this list.

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil is known to be very popular among people with sensitive skin because of its ability to calm and soothe the skin. Applying chamomile oil on your skin lets you reduce your irritation and redness within seconds. The oil also boasts of some amazing anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for people suffering from rosacea. Just make sure that you apply some chamomile oil on your wrist for a patch test before applying it all over your skin.

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is more like the new kid on the block. It has been around for years, but it has become an obsession among skin care enthusiasts of late. Rosehip oil penetrates the deepest layers of your skin and regenerates your cells by increasing the production of collagen. It is extremely rich in vitamin c and omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, it is also known to have a high content of retinoic acid, something that reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Argan Oil

The use of argan oil in skin care actually dates all the way back to traditional Morocco. Argan oil beautifully absorbs into your skin and leaves it with a satin finish. Its qualities make it an ideal option for people wanting anti-aging solutions. The molecular proteins contained in the oil give your skin a tightening effect and help to restore the water-lipid layer of the skin.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the scariest oils to use on anything, but your salad or your food. That being said, it really does work wonders for people suffering from dry skin. The oil is extremely rich in antioxidants and it is famous as one of the best moisturizing oils in the world. Olive oil is also rich in fatty acids, polyphenols and squalene, all of which are compounds that fight aging and nourish the skin.