On 07.13.18 • In Featured Articles • by Doug Wallace
What up, What up, What Up!!! To my beautiful Nubian Sistas8217;….
…and also to all the ladies stopping by my 8220;Cyber Spot8221;, you8217;re all welcome and appreciated here.
I8217;m here with Part 3 of African Beauty Secrets, and once again, it took me a year to crank it out since my well received Beauty Secrets from Africa (Part 2)….
…my excuse this time? Been off into my music , and in general slowing down a bit with the blogging, since I got so much stuff out here now.
But, you know whenever I do posts like this, you know immo'8221;Bring the Black8221;, unabashed, unashamed, unapologetic, and 8220;in yo8217; face8221;, yawl know how I sling it. Yawl know immo 8220;represent8221; for my sisters out here in the Blogging for Health World (since so few others are 🙁 )……
Stating again, why Black Women to buy African Grooming Products…
African Americans suffer from ailments like Diabetes, Breast and Prostate Cancer, etc, because we are not properly feeding the dominant melanin molecule in Black People with traditional African nutrients designed for melianted skin.
….so much of our food, medicine, skin and hair care products (which are absorbed by the skin like food) are designed for Caucasian bio-chemistries. But, awareness is the beginning of change.
Let8217;s get to work……
Kigelia africana is a fruit bearing tree widespread across Africa in wet savannah areas.
The Tonga women of the Zambezi valley in Southern Africa apply cosmetic preparations of kigelia to their faces to ensure a blemish-free complexion.
Several papers support the use of kigelia extract for treating skin cancer while the extract has found a market in Europe and the Far East as the active ingredient in skin tightening and breast firming formulations.
Several scientific studies in recent years suggest that kigelia may indeed have remarkable healing and conditioning effects on the skin.
[below] Kiegelia is starting to 8220;pop up8221; in the USA market. Kigelia Face Cleanser is Planet Botanicals #1 selling item . Made with organic Kigelia Fruit, coconut, avocado and rosehip oils, it gently cleanses your face and leaves it feeling soft and hydrate and will not not strip your skin of its natural oils. It is also available on amazon
Macadamia Nut Oil
Some refer to macadamia as the “queen of the nuts“ due to its many health and beauty benefits.
The biggest export country at this time is Kenya in East Africa (though the macadamia trees originally come from Australia.)
Macadamia Nut Oil helps with soothing the skin…
…..and promotes anti-aging effects.
Other than jojoba (which is actually considered a waxy ester as opposed to an oil) it8217;s the closest match to the naturally occurring sebum of the skin.
Macadamia Nut Oil, better than Coconut Oil?
Though many, myself included, tout Coconut Oil as second to none for cosmetic use, some say Macadamia Nut Oil is actually superior, due to macadamia being supposedly less apt to clog pores.
[below] Macadamia Natural Oil Company has and entire line of Macadamia products on Amazon .
Cistus Essential Oil
Cistus (Labdanum) has a long history of medicinal and beauty ritual use. Also known as Rockrose, it is a resinous and extremely fragrant bush that grows wild throughout the Mediterranean region, including much of North Africa.
Cistus was noted in historic writings to be abundant in North African Moorish lands , and popular in ancient Egypt.
Due to Cistus8217; skin softening and anti-aging chemical properties….
Cistus has a variety of modern day beauty uses, such as, adding a few drops in your face cream, use in 1% dilution with body or massage oils lotion, as part of a DIY face mist, and in combination with other essential oils such as chamomile and rosehip oil, for beautiful skin.
You can get Cistus Essential Oil on Amazon (sometimes labeled as Labdanum Essential Oil) .
Though all true cactus is native to the Americas, Prickly Pear (Opuntia) was transported and transplanted from the Americas all over the world in the post-Columbus era…
… and Prickly Pear has found a home in several African locales, from Morocco in the north, to South Africa in the south.
One Botanist call Prickly Pear a 8220;Miracle Plant8221; because ….
8220;It can grow anywhere. It doesn8217;t need irrigation because it8217;s made out of water. It makes use of marginal land8221;.
It needs no fertilizers or pesticides and very little water. Most importantly, it8217;s fruit can be eaten, and Prickly Pair also has many cosmetic benefits.
Prickly Pear Skin Benefits
Prickly Pear is rich in the 8220;youthful skin8221; nutrient Tocopherol (vitamin E), as well as vitamin K, which is known for its ability to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of under eye circles, hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
High levels of amino acids make prickly pear seed oil an ideal product for stimulating the production of collagen, promoting cell turnover, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Prickly Pear is also renowned for…..
……. hydrating and nourishing the skin and tightening pores — all without leaving a greasy or oily residue.
Prickly pear seed oil is non-comedogenic, so you can safely use it every night— ideally after cleansing and exfoliating your skin — without fear of clogging pores [source of above statments].
[below] In the video below, she discusses a formula made of Orange Blossom and Prickly Pear Oil
Prickly Pear seems underrated to me….
…even with the abundance of Prickly Pear Oil available on Amazon and with VERY high marks from many women for addressing skin issues such as wrinkles, dark spots, acne, and so forth.
It seems somewhat underrated of a beauty secret, based on how many women seem to have raved about it, and swore by it, when I did my Prickly Pear web research for this post….
If you8217;re not the type to do DIY and make your own formulas…
… I8217;d recommend any of the several great Prickly Pear formulas from Kenza International Beauty , a New York based company bringing some great holistic products to the American public.
I first mentioned Kenza in my 8220;Beauty Secrets from Africa (Part 1)8221; article. [also click photo below to see the entire Kenza International Beauty Prickly Pear line]
The Waist-Length Hair of the African Basara Women, using the Chebe Method
The Basara Arab women of the African country of Chad in North-Central Africa have what they call the Chebe method that allows their hair to grow all the way to their hips in many and most cases.
The Chebe process in a nutshell, is a method of coating the hair so that, by using the beauty technique from childhood, the hair basically never breaks.
[below, photo source] An African Basara Tribe woman from Chad in North-Central Africa with Hip-length har from the traditional Chebe method.
The Basara women have passed the method from generation to generation….
….. and as such, they’ve perfected the exact regiment that pretty much eliminates breakage. One key factor is a blend of locally harvested ingredients that, combined with the application method, keep their hair extremely hydrated and moist.
In essence, they apply a liquid (water), powders ground from grains, and an oil/hair butter The traditional Chebe formula is here .
[below] the video on the Cheba method is slightly 8220;long winded8221;, at least to me, but I think the best video I found out there on the details on understanding the traditional Chebe hair grooming method.
[below, photo source] Not sure is her hair is the the result of the Chebe method, but her photo kept coming up in my Chebe Google Image searches. Chebe or not, I8217;m a sucker for a great, beautiful, female Nubian photo, I8217;m posting it because it seems to represent to me what the Chebe method would look like on a modern Black woman if she somehow figured out how to perfect the modern American version of traditional Chebe hair growth secrets….
Is the Chebe method practical for Black American women?
Maybe, maybe not, because I think, but not sure, with the traditional ritual, you can8217;t wash your hair for a while, and some of the traditional ingredients (like beef fat) are not really practical. (I also get the impression the smell ain8217;t so great 🙁 ….).
I did find Chebe powder on Amazon , but who knows if it is the real deal, and even if real, if woman can learn how to use it. But, as in the next video, there are Black Americans starting to experiment with 8220;Chebe Inspired8221; methods for hair growth.
Chebe formulas are 8220;popping up8221; in America and elsewhere in the African Diaspora…
…be they variations of the original formula or authentic, it may not matter, because in the end, it8217;s all about cracking the African secrets of how to treat/coat Nubian hair so it doesn8217;t break, by any available ingredients in one8217;s locale, it8217;s not so much trying to use all the exact traditional ingredients.
Here is a link to a substitute Chebe formula (when site comes up, click where it says 8220;read more8221😉 , and I8217;m sure there are others lurking in American ethnic stores, as the woman in the video steps trough using Chebe products available in the USA.
Opopanax Oil (a.k.a., 8220;Sweet Myrrh8221; Oil)
……sometimes spelled 8220;Opoponax8221;is a natural gum or resin extracted from a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora.
It8217;s native to parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea and eastern Ethiopia. It seems most of the Opopanax Oil hitting the USA comes from Ethiopia.
The wild-harvested Opopanax from Ethiopia….
…..is a brilliant oil that sellers claim you will come to cherish for it’s rich and earthy perfume. Opopanax lacks the bitterness of traditional myrrh.
In the same vein, these essential oils have an affinity for bringing health and beauty to your skin.
Sweet myrrh can properly be said to belong to the family of 8220;sacred scents8221;.
Opoponax may be blended with coconut oil and massaged into skin. Could theoretically be used as part of a face mist or a few drops in combination with any beautifying skin application to give your beauty ritual an intoxicatingly beautiful scent.
You8217;ll find Opopanax Oil on Amazon , though it sometimes is label 8220;Sweet Myrrh Oil8221;. You can also purchase here (and this link gives additional information on Opopanax Essential Oil).
Leleshwa Camphor Oil
Leleshwa, also known as African Wild Sage or the Camphor Bush, is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa, with much of the Leleshwa Camphor Oil hitting the USA market coming from Kenya.
Leleshwa has a particular affinity for the skin, nails and hair. As a purifying tonic, it can help to build smooth, clear and beautiful skin. Camphor Oil has a strong reputation for removing pimples.
Because Leleshwa is such a potent oil…..
…. Leleshwa should be mixed with carrier oils (click link for examples) , it8217;s not advised to apply directly to skin by itself. You may add it to your normal body oil or lotion to promote clear skin and nails, or to your shampoo to refresh and purify your scalp and hair roots.
Think also of adding Leleshwa to teenage skin-care routines to help clear away and skin imperfections, especially pimples (or, for anyone with pimples at any age).
You might catch Lewshwa on Amazon when in stock, at Leleshwa on Amazon Link #1 or Leleshwa Oil on Amazon link #2 otherwise, purchase Leleshwa this link (where there also more info on Leleshwa).
Palmarosa Essential Oil
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) is a grass in the lemongrass family, cultivated for it8217;s aromatic oil. Ethiopia in East Africa supplies much of the Palmarosa Essential Oil popping up in the USA market.
Palmarosa essential oil has a fresh, floral aroma that’s very similar to that of a rose, and this essential oil is all about helping with fresh, youthful skin.
Palmarosa8217;s anti-aging qualities
Using palmarosa essential oil as part of your skin care regimen may help reduce signs of aging because it helps to regenerate and moisturize dry, rough skin, it is also said to help eliminate acne.
It also balances the oil production in the skin, so it’s perfect for anyone that has both dry and oily skin.
Palmarosa shines supporting skin health
…blend a drop into your facial serum or cream, or with a biocompatible facial oil such as jojoba or avocado to hydrate dry skin and to minimize age lines. Palmarosa works wonders on the delicate facial skin, as well as a great additive to your whole body moisturizer.
A good formula to fight dry skin for all skin types is: 8 drops palmarosa essential oil , 4 drops carrot seed essential oil , 4 drops roman chamomile essential oil and 1 drop angelica essential oil in 15 mL of avocado oil.
As a general final note……
For a list of Black Owned, Non-Toxic, Skin and Hair Care beauty brands, jump over to this list on TheHolisticHoney.com website
…if we don8217;t support each other, who will
One final note from me……
8220;Black women [and black people], let8217;s stop letting society define for us what is Black Beauty. Be it, in social media, or in the privacy of our minds, let8217;s start defining Black Beauty for ourselves, AS WE SEE OURSELVES. I love you all, my Nubian sisters8221;. -Doug Wallace (me)
A Natural Cleanser: Witch Hazel Posted on by Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs Leave a comment HISTORY OF WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE USAGE
Witch Hazel Distillate, sometimes also called “Witch Hazel Distillate Water” and “Witch Hazel Extract,” is extracted from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis virginiana botanical, better known as the Witch Hazel shrub. When the Native Americans and the Puritans discovered the therapeutic properties of Witch Hazel, a botanical that is also commonly referred to as Winterbloom, Spotted Alder, Hazel Nut, Tobacco Wood, and Snapping Hazel, they began boiling parts of the plant to create infusions that were intended to address skin irritation, sores, swelling, infections, and growths. Presently, extracts made from the Witch Hazel plant continue to be used for their cleansing, toning, clarifying, and refining properties.
Both variations of Witch Hazel – with alcohol and alcohol-free – are reputed to offer a vast array variety of skincare benefits and to share similar cosmetic and medicinal applications. They can both be used topically to tone skin, to soothe itching, irritation, and inflammation, to tighten the pores, to eliminate excess oil, to cleanse, to restore skin’s pH balance, and to formulate numerous natural cosmetics. WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE BENEFITS
Used cosmetically, Witch Hazel Distillate can regulate the skin’s oil production, eliminate excess sebum, nourish, tighten, tone, soothe, and reduce the chances of future blemish outbreaks. With mild styptic qualities as well as refreshing and cooling effects, Witch Hazel makes an ideal ingredient for after-shave products, as it reduces swelling and calms other signs of razor burn and other irritation. Witch Hazel is also reputed to naturally and effectively cleanse the skin without causing it to dry out and to minimize the look and size of pores, thus helping to control blemishes while toning the complexion.
Known for having antioxidant properties that are reputed to slow the look of aging, Witch Hazel Distillate can be added to formulations for acne products, shaving cream and aftershave, and “anti-aging” serums as well as shampoos, treatment gels, washes and lotions, insect repellants, and even nail treatments.
Used medicinally, Witch Hazel Distillate works to soothe insect bites and stings as well as cuts, sores, swelling, and bruises, while its anti-bacterial properties facilitate healing. Its mild astringent properties make it suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, including acne-prone, blistered, and cracked skin, and they work to gently calm the irritation that is characteristic of skin that has been recently shaved, bitten, or sunburned. With protective properties that defend the skin against environmental contaminants, Witch Hazel Distillate helps to prevent skin damage and to generally support its health.
Witch Hazel Distillate is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show: COSMETIC: Antioxidant, Astringent, Soothing, Moisturizer, Tonic, Anti-Perspirant, Anti-Itch, Balancing, Refining, Cleansing, Tightening, Nourishing, Collagen-Enhancing. MEDICINAL: Antioxidant, Astringent, Soothing, Anti-Bacterial, Wound-Healing, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Microbial, Hemostatic, Styptic, Sedative, Anti-Viral, Anti-Septic, Nourishing, Analgesic, Protectant. WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE USES
Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Witch Hazel’s natural astringency means that it is able to remove the skin’s excess oils and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. In doing so, it strengthens the skin to make it less vulnerable to environmental contaminants and thus less prone to blemishes.
One of the simplest yet most popular uses for Witch Hazel Extract is its direct application to the skin after dilution with a carrier oil, such as Coconut or Jojoba. This solution can be applied as a lotion, a serum, or a toner and is known to have enhanced anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. When massaged into areas of skin where varicose veins are seen to be forming, Witch Hazel is reputed to help prevent these veins as well as bruises from worsening.
If a pimple does occur or seems to be on the verge of breaking out, simply soak a clean cotton ball/swab/pad with a small amount of Witch Hazel and gently dab it directly onto the blemish to eliminate the bacteria responsible for causing it. This can be repeated several times a day and can be applied to any irritated area of skin, although it is advised to leave enough time between repeat applications to allow the skin to adjust. In addition, this application will reduce redness and swelling while helping to balance oil production, reduce perspiration, prevent the further development of whiteheads and blackheads, and prevent infection. For an even more effective anti-bacterial acne spot treatment, dilute 3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil in 20-40 drops of Witch Hazel Distillate and apply it in the same manner as the aforementioned method.
To naturally brighten discoloration around the eye area and to reduce puffiness, soak a cotton pad/ball with a small amount of Witch Hazel and apply it to closed eyelids for 5 minutes. Ensure that the Witch Hazel does not enter the eyes, as this may cause dryness that leads to discomfort or pain. For another, less concentrated application, dilute Witch Hazel in cold water before soaking the cotton pad/ball and applying it to the eyes for 10 minutes. This cooling application is known to be equally effective in reducing redness, darkness, and the heavy feeling of tired eyelids.
To soothe skin before and after hair removal, including waxing, apply a few drops of Witch Hazel to a clean cotton pad/ball and swipe it across the areas of skin that will be or have been shaven or subjected to wax treatment. This application is suitable for both men and women. Its anti-inflammatory quality is known to clean cuts, prevent bleeding, soothe itchiness, irritation, and bumps, promote the fading of stretch marks and scars, and facilitate the healing of abrasions and infections.
Another way to incorporate Witch Hazel in skincare is by including it as an ingredient for natural makeup removers. For a formulation that is reputed to remove even waterproof mascara, combine 2 Tbsp. each of the following ingredients in a clean dispenser bottle: Witch Hazel, Jojoba Carrier Oil or Sweet Almond Carrier Oil, and filtered water. Cap the dispenser bottle and shake it well to ensure thorough mixing. To use, pour a small amount on a cotton pad/ball and wipe it across the whole face, especially across closed eyelids.
To make a soap-free face wash that is ideal for use on oily or acne-prone skin, first insert a small funnel into the mouth of a clean amber glass bottle then pour in ¼ cup Witch Hazel, ¼ cup Rose Water, and 2 tsp Vegetable Glycerin or Aloe Vera Gel. Next, cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. To use this face wash, pour a small amount onto a clean cotton pad and gently wipe across the entire face. This process can be repeated until all visible dirt or makeup have been removed or to personal satisfaction and can be followed up with a moisturizer.
For another makeup remover recipe that is simpler but just as effective in removing both oil- and water-based types of makeup, combine 3 Tbsp. alcohol-free Witch Hazel and 2 Tbsp. Olive Carrier Oil in a small bottle. Before use, cap and shake the bottle well, then apply the cleanser to the face with a cotton pad.
For a protective, anti-oxidant serum that is reputed to protect the skin’s elasticity and collagen while guarding the skin against the harsh effects of sun exposure and UV radiation, combine the following ingredients in a glass measuring cup: 2 Tbsp. Witch Hazel, ¼ cup Aloe Vera Gel, ½ tsp Vitamin E-Liquid, 2 Tbsp. Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil, 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 2 drops Spearmint Essential Oil. Stir the oils together, then pour the bled into a 120 ml (4 oz.) spray bottle. To apply the spray, simply spritz it onto the skin, avoiding the eye area, then gently rub it in to speed up absorption. This refreshing and cooling spray can be applied several times throughout the day to moisturize, soothe itching and inflammation, minimize or prevent peeling and flaking, and to generally promote the skin’s rejuvenation, thereby preventing the premature signs of aging caused by environmental stressors. This bottle can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
For a facial toner that is known to slow the look of aging, begin by steeping ½ cup of Green Tea overnight and allowing it to cool. Once this step has been completed, pour the Green Tea into a spray bottle. To this, add ¼ cup of Witch Hazel and a total of 10 drops of personally preferred essential oils. Cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. To apply this toner, first cleanse the hands and face, then spray the toner over the face. To promote faster absorption, use the hands to pat it into the skin. When it is not in use, this toner can be stored in the refrigerator.
To make a natural Witch Hazel-enriched shampoo that cleanses the scalp and hair of dirt and excess oils while soothing inflammation, itchiness, and dryness, begin by combining the following ingredients in a glass measuring cup or glass bowl: ½ cup distilled water, 1 Tbsp. Witch Hazel, 1 Tbsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 2 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel. To this, slowly add ¼ cup of liquid Castile Soap. Pouring slowly will help prevent the formation of soap suds. Using a whisk, stir the ingredients together thoroughly. Next, add 3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil and 3 drops Witch Hazel Distillate. Stir the combination once more and pour it into an airtight container of personal preference. This shampoo can be stored in the bathroom and used like a normal shampoo to promote the look of healthier, shinier, and more volumized strands by hydrating, conditioning, repairing damage, reducing hair loss, stimulating circulation to the scalp, strengthening the hair, eliminating harmful bacteria, and minimizing hair odors, irritation, and the build-up of oils.
For a hairspray that is reputed to enhance growth, begin by pouring 1 Tbsp. Witch Hazel into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Next, add 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 7 drops Rosemary Essential Oil, 3 drops Thyme Essential Oil, and 3 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil. Stir the mixture well to thoroughly combine all the oils. Next, using a small funnel, pour ½ cup of distilled water into a 120 ml (4 oz.) amber glass spray bottle. To this, add the essential oil and Witch Hazel Distillate blend. Cap the bottle and shake it to ensure that all ingredients are mixed well together. To apply this hair growth spray, simply spritz it directly onto the scalp as required. When it is not in use, the bottle can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place.
Used in medicinal applications, Witch Hazel exhibits anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and astringent properties, which facilitate wound healing, stem bleeding and eliminate harmful bacteria that may cause infections, skin damage, or premature aging. To disinfect a wound before applying a bandage, soak a cotton ball/pad with Witch Hazel and swipe it gently across the abrasion. This is also applicable to insect bites and stings, rashes caused by Poison Ivy, and to topical allergic reactions characterized by swelling, redness, bruising, itching, dryness, and sores. Witch Hazel is known to have the added benefit of fading discoloration or unevenly toned skin.
For an organic anti-septic spray that is further enriched with supplementary essential oils and plant materials that are known for their soothing and wound-healing properties, begin by adding the following herbs and flowers – either dried or fresh, according to personal preference – to a glass jar: Calendula Flowers, Goldenseal Root, Sage Leaves, Thyme Leaves and Flowers, and Yarrow. Next, create a tincture by pouring 60 ml (2 oz.) Organic Witch Hazel Distillate over all the botanical matter until it is entirely covered by the liquid. To this, add 120 ml (4 oz.) Aloe Vera, 60 ml (2 oz.) Lavender Floral Water, 1 tsp liquid Castile Soap, 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil, 5 drops of Thyme Essential Oils, and 5 drops Myrrh Essential Oil. Place the lid on the jar and shake the jar vigorously to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Remove the lid and pour the blend into a darkly-colored spray bottle. Clearly labeling the product with a name, its ingredients, and the date of production will be beneficial for future reference. Apply this disinfecting, spray by directly spritzing it onto minor, superficial abrasions or burns. Avoid using this on deeper wounds. This anti-septic spray should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place and yields optimal results when used within 1-2 years, depending on the quality of the raw materials it comprises. A GUIDE TO WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS
WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE – ALCOHOL-FREE – RAW MATERIAL
INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water
Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation
Country of Origin: USA
Believed to: Be clear and colorless Be particularly advantageous for applications that require the soothing and natural astringent properties of Witch Hazel where the use of alcohol is inappropriate, such as in products for sensitive skin, in creams, mousses, body washes, or foaming products, or in high surfactant, multi-phase, or high-temperature products Be ideal for use as an ingredient in formulations for sensitive skin, such as eye creams, gels, serums, shaving creams, aftershave products, alcohol-free toners and cleansers, and in treatment products such as those for wound care, sun care, and eye care Be a strong antioxidant and astringent, which makes it valuable for addressing acne Be ideal for addressing ingrown nails, sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, insect bites, rashes caused by Poison Ivy, varicose veins, and symptoms of psoriasis and eczema Be the ideal go-to remedy for cuts and other abrasions, sunburns, and irritated skin
Witch Hazel Distillate Organic Raw Material
INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water (and) Ethanol
Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation
Country of Origin: USA
Believed to: Contain a mixture of 85-86% aqueous Witch Hazel Extract and 14-15% Ethyl Alcohol from organic Cane as a natural preservative Be one of nature’s best astringents Exhibit mildly styptic properties, making it ideal for use in products like aftershave lotions Help reduce razor burn and swelling through its cooling, soothing sensation Be ideal for use in skincare as a toner or cleanser Have gentle properties that are particularly beneficial for oily and problem skin Be ideal for use in formulations that require only Organic ingredients
Witch Hazel Distillate Raw Material
INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water (and) Ethanol
Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation
Country of Origin: USA
Believed to: Contain a mixture of 85-86% aqueous Witch Hazel Extract and 14-15% Ethyl Alcohol from organic Cane as a natural preservative Be one of nature’s best astringents Exhibit mildly styptic properties, making it ideal for use in products like aftershave lotions Help reduce razor burn and swelling through its cooling, soothing sensation Be ideal for use in skincare as a toner or cleanser Have gentle properties that are particularly beneficial for oily and problem skin CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE
Witch Hazel Distillate is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Witch Hazel Distillate without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.
Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use. Witch Hazel Distillate should not be applied to deep open wounds.
Prior to using Witch Hazel Distillate, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. It must never be used near the inner nose, ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Witch Hazel Distillate include rashes, itching, swelling of the face, throat, or tongue, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing. IN ESSENCE… Witch Hazel Distillate is derived from the Hamamelis virginiana botanical, better known as the Witch Hazel shrub. Witch Hazel Distillate is sometimes called Witch Hazel Distillate Water or Witch Hazel Extract. Used cosmetically, Witch Hazel Distillate can cleanse, regulate the skin’s oil production, eliminate excess sebum, nourish, tighten, tone, soothe, and reduce the chances of future blemish outbreaks. It reduces swelling, calms irritation, minimizes the look of enlarged pores, and promote the skin’s radiance. Used medicinally, Witch Hazel Distillate soothes insect bites and stings as well as cuts, sores, swelling, and bruises. It gently facilitates the healing of all skin types, including types that are acne-prone, blistered, or cracked. Witch Hazel is best known for its ability to soothe irritation on skin that has been recently shaved, bitten, or sunburned. It protects the skin against environmental contaminants, helps prevent skin damage, and generally supports skin health. Share this:
Rejuvenate Your Skin, Body, Hair With French Clay Posted on by Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs Leave a comment HISTORY OF FRENCH CLAYS
Formed as a result of worn and weather-beaten volcanic ash, rocks, soil, or sediment, Clays are naturally-occurring, earthy, mineral-rich elements derived from these various sources. Due to their fine grains and fine particles, Clays are soft in texture and are pliable when moist. Depending on its source, chemical configuration, and therapeutic properties, each clay has a unique combination of minerals – such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Silica – that gives it an inimitable composition. The valuable individual characteristics make each clay advantageous for particular uses. This also makes it a challenge to discover two clays that are exactly alike.
Clays are often differentiated by their ability to absorb, adsorb, or do both. A clay’s absorption refers to its ability to attract elements into itself. A clay’s adsorption refers to its ability to attract elements onto its surface. To illustrate, an absorptive clay applied to the skin will draw oils, impurities, and toxins out from the skin and into itself, whereas an adsorptive clay applied to the skin will draw impurities out from the skin and keep them suspended on its surface. Furthermore, a clay that has only adsorptive properties will not draw oils out from the skin.
Due to their sorptive properties, Clays absorb minerals and organic substances; however, they themselves are natural sources of minerals, which are integral to the survival of all life forms on the planet. Minerals are responsible for and are thus essential for body processes, such as the contraction of muscles, the integration of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats, and the production of hormones. Additionally, they are able to absorb large amounts of water, which allows the minuscule particles in clays to expand when they come into contact with it. Their ability to capture bacteria and eliminate them by preventing their access to oxygen and nourishment lends an anti-bacterial property to clays.
Animals are known to consume and clean themselves with clays, which have purifying and remedial properties that address their illnesses and soothe wounds and sores. Animals are also known to use clays instinctively to relieve discomforts associated with harsh environmental elements and having parasites. It is believed that, after observing these animal behaviors, Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis began to apply mixtures of ochres, muds, and water to wounds and irritations to soothe and cleanse the skin in order to facilitate healing.
According to historical accounts, the medicinal use of clays was recorded as early as 2500 B.C on Mesopotamian tablets that were also made of clay. In Ancient Egypt, clays were used in beauty treatments, medicinal treatments, and funeral rites to maintain the appearance and texture of the complexion, to address inflammation and infection, and to preserve and mummify the deceased, respectively. In an Ancient Egyptian medical text known as “The Ebers Papyrus,” use of the natural earthy substance referred to as Ochre is described as being beneficial for ailments ranging from those associated with the eyes to those associated with the intestines. Despite the availability of progressive technologies and remedies, it was a common practice for notable doctors of the ancient civilizations to use clays to address ailments such as eczema and psoriasis as well as genito-urinary, circulatory, and musculoskeletal disorders.
There are 3 clay types that are commonly used in cosmetics: Montmorillonite, Illite, and Kaolinite. All the varieties of French Clays fall into all 3 of these categories. These categories of Clays are known to largely contribute soothing, astringent, drying, and mattifying properties. MONTMORILLONITE CLAYS ARE: The result of volcanic ash that was previously naturally deposited in sea water “Swelling” types of clay Known to address skin rashes, acne, and dandruff Known to stimulate the growth of new hair and new skin Known to reduce joint and muscle pain that travels to different places around the body Known to promote a clearer complexion Known to enhance the body’s ability to repair tissue Known to soften skin and reduce the appearance of age spots Known to hydrate skin while tightening it for a rejuvenated appearance Known to eliminate fungus and redness ILLITE CLAYS ARE: Generally found in marine shales and other related sedimentary rock formations Non-swelling or non-expanding types of clay Known to have a crystalline structure Extremely porous Known to exhibit strong drying effects Detoxifying and decongesting Ideal for use on normal and oily skin types KAOLINITE CLAYS ARE: Mined from a hill in China, from where this group gets its name Also known by the names White Clay, French Green Clay and China Clay Usually white in color, but may also be green, pink, red, yellow, or orange depending on the presence of other minerals such as Iron Oxide Soft and odorless powders Fine and light in texture Naturally absorbent and thus able to neutralize unpleasant odors while drawing out bodily toxins Known to have detoxifying effects that purge the skin and pores of impurities, including excess oils, old sebum, dirt, grime, germs, and pollution, thereby reducing the chances of breakouts Known to soothe skin afflicted with irritation associated with rashes and insect bites Reputed to be a group of clays that are considered to be the mildest and thus best suited to sensitive skin types Known to be ideal for soothing acne-prone skin, especially skin afflicted with inflammation and painful breakouts Known to have slightly abrasive textures that make them ideal for use as exfoliants that remove dead and flaky skin cells for a complexion with a softer and smoother look and feel Stimulating Known to tone and tighten the skin
The ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Egypt used French Clay – specifically green French Clay – to address disorders of the skin and digestive system. French Clay is so called, because its deposits were harvested almost exclusively from rock quarries located in southern France until similar clay deposits were eventually discovered in Montana, Wyoming, some regions of Europe, and China. There are several varieties of French Clay that vary in their properties and their colors, depending on the layer or type of earth from which they are derived. French Clays can be Green, Pink, Red, Yellow, andWhite. When mixed with water, the common physical properties shared among all these varieties include their elasticity and their softness.
Their adaptability to various uses, ranging from therapeutic and medicinal to cosmetic, has allowed Clays to remain relevant since the time of the ancient civilizations. The cleansing, hydrating, nourishing, and toning benefits of clays continue to be used in various areas of the body at various temperatures in poultices, baths, and masks, depending on the treatment required. This article will highlight the various topical and therapeutic benefits and uses of French Clays in particular.
*Note: The veracity of the general statements made in this article will vary depending on the specific type of Clay used in a given application method and on the individual’s skin type and health condition. FRENCH CLAY BENEFITS
The main chemical constituents of French Clays are Minerals (Kaolinite, Illite, Montmorillonite, and Calcite) and Oxide Minerals (Silicon Oxide, Aluminium Oxide, Iron Oxide, Calcium Oxide, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Oxide, Potassium Oxide, and Titanium Oxide).
Used cosmetically or topically in general, French Clays attach themselves to oil, bacteria, and impurities from the skin to eliminate them and leave skin feeling cleansed, clarified, and balanced. By restoring essential minerals to the skin, Clays nourish and replenish the skin’s moisture, enhance its function, promote the regeneration of cells, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, repair damage, revitalize skin that appears to be dull, dry, and tired, and reduce the chance of congestion that leads to breakouts.
The drying action of Clays leaves pores looking tighter, clearer, and refined. Clays are known to soothe irritation and inflammation associated with skin allergies, skin disorders, rashes, and sunburns; enhance skin elasticity; brighten the complexion; and leave skin looking and feeling softer, smoother and suppler. Clays are often used to absorb bodily moisture and to neutralize unpleasant body odors.
Adding Clays to moisturizers such as body butter and lotions may contribute mattifying and deodorizing properties to the resultant product as well as a consistency that feels silky to the touch. When added to make up recipes, Clays can make for ideal loose or compact mineral face powders. By mixing several colors of French Clays, it may be possible to achieve an end product that matches the preferred skin tone.
Used in hair, French Clays remove product build-up from the scalp and strands, while eliminating dead cells and flakiness associated with dandruff. They gently remove excess oil without stripping the natural and necessary oils. All of these activities are known to stimulate the growth of healthier hair.
Used medicinally, French Clays are known to reduce inflammation by boosting circulation, which facilitates the body’s reparation of tissues and cells. This makes them ideal for facilitating the healing of ulcers and sores. Their ability to attract and bind to contaminants promotes the elimination of toxins that are believed to cause headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, food allergies, and lethargy. Clays are also able to draw certain toxic metals, such as Mercury, out of the body by preventing them from being reabsorbed into the body, thereby preventing potential poisoning.
French Clays are reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show: COSMETIC: Cleansing, Toning, Reparative, Calming, Soothing, Revitalizing, Rejuvenating Nourishing, Refining, Astringent MEDICINAL: Anti-Septic, Analgesic, Regenerative, Astringent, Sedative, Relaxant, Anti-Inflammatory, Reparative, Detoxifying, Circulatory, Strengthening CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY FRENCH CLAY
French Clays are largely extracted from quarries in France. Many of the regions from which they are mined are known to experience more than the average amount of sunny days per year. This high number is significant due to the fact that the clay is activated by the sun; accordingly, a greater amount of sun means the clay will be more active. HOW IS FRENCH CLAY EXTRACTED?
Once the clays have been mined, they are spread out and dried under the sun. This drying method removes excess water while allowing the Clays to retain all of their natural trace elements. This ensures that they will retain their valuable effectiveness. Next, the Clays are subjected to large hydraulic crushers until they are finely ground. The final stage involves drying the Clays under the sun once more to remove any remaining of water. USES OF FRENCH CLAY
The uses of French Clays are abundant, ranging from medicinal and odorous to cosmetic. Its many forms include facial masks, mineral cleansers, body powders, body scrubs, body wraps, soaps, lotions, creams, cream-based cleansers, makeup, and bath salts.
Used in cosmetic or topical applications, Clay can be applied directly to the preferred area of skin by simply mixing a small amount (1 tsp.) of the preferred Clay with an equal amount of water in a glass bowl until the combination achieves a thin, paste-like consistency. The clay may be mixed using a face brush if so desired. On the face, spread this mask in a thin, even layer using the fingers or the face brush. Leave this mask on until it begins to dry, during which time it will become sticky to the touch. After approximately 10 minutes, the mask should be dry enough to be rinsed off with lukewarm water. This treatment can be followed by a natural moisturizer such as Coconut Oil or Argan Oil. Alternatively, the Clay may be mixed with floral water, Aloe Vera Gel Juice, or Green Tea to make the paste. Adding a few drops of a Carrier Oil to the paste will contribute moisture if using a Clay known to have drying effects. Other additives that may be mixed into the paste include Essential Oils, CO 2 Extracts, Grain Products, Dried Herbs, and Powdered Herbal Extracts. For a facial mask that addresses excessive oiliness on the face, combine 1 Tbsp. of Clay with 5 drops of Jojoba Carrier Oil before adding water into the mix.
For an invigorating mask that includes more beneficial ingredients, mix 30 g (1 oz.) French Yellow Clay, 3 Tbsp. water (Floral Water or Aloe Vera Gel Juice may be used instead), 1 tsp. of Jojoba Oil, 2 drops Orange Essential Oil, and 2 drops Tangerine Essential Oil until they form a paste. Apply the mask to the skin and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. For a face mask that is soothing, 30 g (1 oz.) of French Pink Clay can be combined with 3 Tbsp. water (Floral Water or Aloe Vera Gel Juice may be used instead), 1 tsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 2 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil. This mask can be left on the skin and rinsed off as per the typical mask application and removal procedure.
For a mineral bath, add ½ cup of French Green Clay or French Red Clay to a bathtub filled with warm water. This will soothe muscle aches as well as irritation, inflammation, or soreness. For a foot soak that eliminates unpleasant foot odors, mix ½ cup of French Green Clay or French Yellow Clay with ½ cup of water and 2–3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Apply the blend to the feet and keep them loosely swathed in cling wrap for 15 minutes. After rinsing the feet with cool water, apply a moisturizer.
For a natural mask that is reputed to address blemishes, mix 1 tsp. of French Green Clay with Lemon juice to make a paste. Apply this as a mask to the face or affected area, and leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water, then apply a moisturizer.
For a body wrap that addresses the issue of cellulite, first boil 6 cups of water mixed with 1 cup of dried Dandelion, Chamomile, or Parsley. Set this herbal infusion aside for 10 minutes. In the meantime, combine 2 cups of French Red Clay with 1 ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, Witch Hazel, or Aloe Vera Gel Juice. To this, add 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil. Next, pour in the herbal infusion and combine the two mixtures until they make a paste. Apply the paste to affected areas and keep them wrapped in a warm towel for 1 hour, after which time the cellulite mask can be washed off in the shower.
For a Clay mask that addresses the symptoms of acne, combine 2 tsp. French Red Clay,3 tsp. Plain Yogurt (Chamomile Tea or Peppermint Tea may be used instead), 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 1 drop of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Apply this mask in a thin, even layer on the affected areas and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
For a Clay mask that also functions as an aromatherapy application, combine ¾ Tsp. French Green Clay and ½ tsp. Rose Hydrosol or Rose Water. For a thinner mask, the amount of liquid can be increased to ¾ tsp. These amounts are sufficient for a single application. Next, add 1 drop of an essential oil of personal preference. Some suggestions include