Nature is amazing!
She produced prickly pear oil, which is just too awesome for words!
I recently discovered prickly pear oil and instantly fell in love with it's fresh, cucumber, grass like scent. I am always hooked when something naturally smells good.
I started to investigate further and it is no surprise that prickly pear oil is fast becoming a sought after ingredient in luxury skincare treatments.
I decided to base my own Luxury Anti-Ageing Serum around this incredible oil and it is already a personal firm favourite for my own use. The soft, gentle spring time scent carries me away momentarily as I apply my luxury anti-ageing serum. It is a vitamin and nutrient rich elixir containing prickly pear oil, camellia seed oil, cucumber oil and watermelon oil.
I thought I would share with you 6 top skin benefits of this luxurious skin oil.
Top Skin Benefit Number 1
Prickly Pear Oil contains 150% more vitamin E than Argan oil. This is the highest amount than any other beauty oil on the market. Basically vitamin E protects your skin against free radicals. Free radicals come in the form of pollution, sun damage, chemicals etc and if not tackled can increase the formation of wrinkles and ageing of the skin. Vitamin E works to protect your skin against all these things. And prickly pear oil has a whopping amount of vitamin E in it!
Top Skin Benefit Number 2
Prickly Pear Oil contains 60.5% linoleic acid. This is a natural fatty acid that strengthens and repairs the skin allowing it to better retain moisture. This gives the appearance of ironing out fine lines and wrinkles.
Top Skin Benefit Number 3
Prickly Pear Oil contains potent anti-oxidants called called betalains. There are more anti-oxidants in prickly pear oil than you would find in the anti-oxidant rich beetroot and acai. These anti-oxidants are powerful protectors against ageing.
Top Skin Benefit Number 4
Prickly Pear Oil contains amino acids. Amino acids stimulate collagen production. Collagen productions gives the appearance of gently plumping out the skin, giving that youthful look.
Top Skin Benefit Number 5
Prickly Pear Oil prevents blocked pores. This is due to the high levels of linoleic acid. The linoleic acid stops sebum from hardening and therefore works to combat blocked pores.
Top Skin Benefit Number 6
Prickly Pear Oil has natural anti-Inflammatory properties. This wonder oil is fabulous therfore for skin conditions like rosacea.
Creating a natural perfume is a beautiful voyage of discovery. Each perfume is entirely unique and the end result is always an unexpected surprise.
The key to natural perfumery is to build it like a house.
The perfume needs good foundations. These come in the form of base notes. Base notes are essential oils that have a lasting fragrance. In a natural perfume, it is the scent you will still be smelling a few hours later.
Once you have your foundations in place. You need to create the heart of the scent. These give the fragrance body and fullness. They gently linger around your heart, giving you that sense of peace, like you are getting a nurturing hug.
Finally, If you wish, you can put the roof on the house, or should I say, give it a top note. These are often light scents that quickly evaporate. They give you the first impression of the perfume, but they do not hang around for very long. Once they have given you that initial hit, the perfume develops into something fuller and more lasting.
Creating natural perfumes is a beautiful thing.
Each perfume is like a story.
The story I am sharing with you today has no top note. Instead I have chosen to leave this scent lingering around your heart. This perfume has depth and warmth with a beautiful heart centred fullness, and to tie it up, there is a mildly indecipherable kick from the black pepper.
I hope you enjoy!
What you will need:
5 drops black pepper essential oil
11 drops peru de balsam
7 drops sandalwood dilution
7 drops jasmine dilution
10 drops tuberose dilution
9ml light coconut oil
1 x 10 ml bottle
What to do:
Most of the above oils can be purchased at Star Child of Glastonbury
In the case of absolutes, a good tip is to buy the smallest amount and then turn it into a dilution by adding some light coconut oil up to 10 ml in total. You can then add the same number of drops outlined above.
The peru de balsam can be purchased at The Aromatherapy Shop.
This is a simple DIY toner and hydrating mist.
I picked all the ingredients for their skin soothing properties.
The scent is heady and exotic. The mist leaves skin feeling toned yet soothed and softened. This is my new favourite toning mist!
Orange blossom water tones the skin, soothes and relaxes the nerves with its uplifting scent, calms redness and soothes irritation.
Witch Hazel shrinks pore size, reduces inflammation and again soothes the skin.
Jojoba oil is anti-inflammatory, reduces redness and calms the skin.
Neroli reduces inflammation and calms the nerves.
Mandarin brightens and tones the skin.
Patchouli soothes inflamed skin.
75 ml orange blossom water
25 ml witch hazel
10 drops jojoba oil
15 drops mandarin essential oil
5 drops neroli essential oil
1 drop patchouli essential oil
We don't realise how precious sleep is until something happens to upset that natural rhythm that sends us of to the land of nod each night.
Today I am going to share with you 5 top tips to help you get a good night's sleep.
Top Tip for Better Sleep Number 1
In order to sleep well, we need a relaxed mind and body. The best way to achieve that is to do what you love. When we are content, doing what we enjoy then we will be more inclined to be able to relax and get a good night's sleep. Sometimes, however, we lose sight of what we love and we get a little lost. And so, the next four tips will come in very handy in the meantime.
Top Tip for Better Sleep Number 2
Make yourself a salt foot bath before bed. Check out the link of the blog post I have written about this. Soak your feet in warm water with a cupful of Epsom salts for at least 20 minutes. The magnesium in the salts will help you to relax.
Top Tip for Better Sleep Number 3
My next tip is to do some gentle bed time yoga. I have been practising yoga for 25 years and have been teaching for half that time. Gentle poses at bedtime can really help you to relax, Just make sure you don't do anything too active or stimulating as this will wake you up. The following poses can help you to relax. They all activate the parasympathetic nervous system. The mind and body need to be relaxed in order to sleep and when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated then we are supported in achieving a more relaxed state.
Do not do any of these poses if you have eye problems or suffer with your blood pressure. If in any doubt consult your doctor first.
The first yoga posture is Halasana (Plough Pose). If doing Halasana is difficult for you, try doing it on your bed. The softness of the bed will give you some extra bounce and support to get into the pose. Just make sure that you are not near the edge of your bed. Stay safe.
The second yoga pose is Sarvangasana (shoulderstand). If this pose is difficult for you, you can try legs up the wall instead.
The third pose is Karnapidasana (knee to ear pose). If you can get into it, this last pose is incredibly relaxing. Be gentle with yourself and just do what you can. This is my personal favourite for a complete mind switch off. The more tucked in I get the better.
Top Tip for a Better Sleep Number 4
Many moons ago I trained in Swedish massage. I use the techniques almost on a daily basis for my family and my own self. My particular favourite is foot massage. The feet have reflex points that connect to the whole body. When you massage your feet, you activate those points and your whole body benefits. You don't need to be an expert to do this for yourself. I was massaging my own feet, long before I trained in massage. Just be kind and gentle with yourself. Use a mixture of gentle sweeping movements with your fingertips along the top side of your feet. This stimulates the lymphatic system. Then use deeper, circular movements with your thumbs on the under-side of your feet. Make sure you massage the whole of the underside of the foot. You may wish to pay particular attention to the area around the toes. Massaging the toes will help to connect to and relax the whole head, brain and neck area. Do this each night before bed and with time, this repeated self-care will start to pay dividends.
Top Tip for a Better Sleep Number 5
You can massage your feet using my sleep well balm. I created this balm to help people get a good night's sleep. It contains a mixture of hemp butter, vetiver, petitgrain, passionflower and ashwaghandha. All the ingredients were chosen to calm and relax you before bed. So what better way to use it than giving yourself a foot massage and then finish with gentle circular movements on the temples and wrists too.
Face masks are a little piece of 'me time'. They really do make you feel like you are pampering yourself.
In my opinion, preparing the face mask is just as important as sitting and relaxing with it on. When you collect and prepare your ingredients, it's like you are clearing away the cobwebs of the day and the mask itself is the reward.
This diy face mask is simple and easy and apart from the chamomile flowers, which you could omit, uses ingredients that can be found in most people's cupboards. Oats are incredibly soothing and nourishing for the skin and rice flour is perfect for creating a smooth, lustrous skin.
What you need:
1 tbsp whole organic oats
1 tbsp white basmati rice
1 tbsp dried chamomile flowers
2 - 3 tbsp warm water
1 small bowl
What to do:
My aim on my blog is to make looking after your skin naturally as easy as possible for you. When I share my recipes, I will always try to give you an easy option as I know how busy you all are. I will try not to waffle on too much either as I know myself that when I have 101 things to do, I prefer to cut to the chase and get the information I need.
So here we go. This recipe today is for a magnesium oil deodorant. I have made and trialled many different types of natural deodorants: clay based deodorants, charcoal based deodorants, coconut and bicarbonate of soda based deodorants, then simple witch hazel and essential oil deodorants too. I personally found that a lot of them were a bit fiddly or messy to make, which to be honest, I do like a fiddly recipe and I love making a mess but what really put me off was the application of the deodorant. I am always happy to persevere in these cases if there is no other option. But there is another option, and in my opinion, it is better.
This is my favourite deodorant recipe, it is simple to make and is very easy to apply and on top of that, this multi-tasking deodorant gives you a trans-dermal magnesium hit every time you apply your deodorant. This is a real bonus as so many people today are magnesium deficient. Follow this link to find out more about magnesium.
You will need:
1 x 100ml bottle with atomiser spray
60ml magnesium oil (you can buy this here but it is so much cheaper to make your own and I have included a recipe below)
40ml witch hazel
10 drops sage essential oil
15 drops lemongrass essential oil
1 drop lavender essential oil
What to do:
Quite imply decant all the ingredients into the bottle, stir to combine and start to use. It's as easy as that.
To make your own magnesium oil:
Add equal amounts of magnesium chloride flakes to distilled water. The distilled water needs to be brought to the boil first before you add the magnesium flakes. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the flakes until they dissolve. Allow to cool before decanting into your storage bottle. If you use distilled water, the magnesium oil will have a longer shelf life (up to 6 months if kept in a cool, dark place).
As with all natural products, make sure you do a patch test first before full and continued use to see if you have any adverse reactions. Discontinue if any irritation occurs.
If you need a little help with your sleep, why not give this a go, it may just help!
Quick and easy version first!
As you are relaxing at night before bed, maybe watching a television programme or reading a book? Run yourself a foot bath and add a cupful of Epsom salts. You will be able to get hold of this in most supermarkets. Home Bargain sell it too. Soak your feet for approximately 40 minutes (minimum 20 minutes).
If you are feeling more adventurous, then you can follow this recipe:
2 tbsp Epsom salts
2 tbsp Dead Sea salts
2 tbsp pink Himalayan salts
3 drops lavender
Add the above to your foot bath.
The salts contain a whole host of different, beneficial minerals (that's another blog post!), but the one we are interested in here is magnesium.
In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, our body and brain need to relax. Magnesium helps with this. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This supports us in relaxing and takes us out of the fight and flight mode which we can often unwittingly find ourselves in.
The best way to absorb magnesium is through the skin. This is called trans-dermal absorption.
The sleep well foot bath ticks a few boxes.
I hope it helps!
Until next time!
If you are in need of some TLC then these herbal bath bags are perfect for you!
As you gather together your ingredients, you step by step are building your intention for some well earned moments of self love and calm.
The bath itself is just part of the process. Each step is very important:
I hope you enjoy making and using your herbal bath bags.
You will need:
1 tbsp dried rose petals
1 tbsp marshmallow flowers
1 tbsp jasmine flowers
1 tbsp dried violet leaves
1 and half tbsp oats
1 to 2 tsp jojoba oil
18 drops jasmine essential oil
9 drops of benzoin or peru de balsam essential oil
3 x squares of muslin cloth measuring 25 cm x 25 cm
1 piece of string 25 cm long
Now you will need to:
Let the marshmallow's gentle qualities nurture you.
Let the rose petals soften your heart with love.
Let the scent of the jasmine relax your mind.
Our process is now complete!
Until next time!
If you are prone to getting bitten then you must be tasty to those little biting critters. One of the keys to a good bug deterrent is making yourself taste disgusting and this is where certain essential oils come in. The second key component is that you need to start using the oils a few weeks before you go on holiday so that the oils can start to work on making you smell lovely to us humans but taste disgusting to insects that bite. Two weeks before is ideal.
If you don't have a big range of essential oils, the one I would recommend is lavender. Insects are not keen on the taste of most essential oils and lavender is a great all rounder. It is nice and gentle and can even be used neat on the skin which most oils cannot be. It is a 'go to' in our house for putting on bites, spots, a drop on your pillow to help you sleep and diluted in a carrier oil to put on rashes. If ever we go away anywhere, a bottle of lavender comes with us.
If you are feeling more adventurous, however, then below is a blend of essential oils that you can use to add to a simple body oil, or to witch hazel as a splash, to water as a room spray, or you can add it straight to an unscented body cream or balm . The spray is very handy. You can spray around windows and doors, pillows and bed sheets or ankles as you are on your way out...
Just remember the key is to use the blend a few weeks before you go away, in whichever way is most convenient for you.
10 drops lemongrass
5 drops lavender
5 drops peppermint
You can multiply these amounts up and make a larger batch, and then just add a few drops of the blend to your chosen method. For every 10 ml of oil, you can add 2 to 3 drops of essential oil blend. For the room spray, which you are not using on the skin, you can add more of the blend.
Late summer can often bring with it hungry insects who like to feast on our ankles.
Here is the first of a few recipes to help with bothersome bites. I am starting with bringing some relief from bites.
This recipe is a concoction I make every summer for the whole family.
It contains cooling aloe-vera gel, lavender, thyme, lemon eucalyptus and lemongrass essential oils.
This combination of oils are naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, so once those little nibblers have taken a bite, it is good to use oils that assist the body in cleaning and clearing away the effects of the bite.
50g aloe gel
11 drops lavender essential oil
11 drops thyme essential oil
11 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
6 drops lemongrass essential oil