BELOW ARE MY MOST RECENT BLOG POSTS. TO SEE THE ENTIRE COLLECTION VISIT ...
Add the acid mantle to the long list of bodily functions which doesn't receive much attention but which can easily be at the root of skin issues, or be making them worse. If we knew better how the acid mantle functions we would take better care of it! It's surprisingly easy to damage it; unknowingly, we don't properly nurture this microscopic film. In the past 100 years our habits and expectations have been entirely altered by the explosive growth of the cosmetic, beauty, fashion, hair and skin care industries. And this is spelling bad news for the skin of people of all ages. If we knew a bit more about the acid mantle and the history of cleansing we would be adopting more nourishing approaches to skin care, and making a habit of employing a few simple tricks to help along the way.
I love nourishing traditions! I like growing a vegetable garden, making traditional food, foraging for edible and medicinal wild plants, and creating nourishing skin care based on ancient traditions. Here are some of my favorite ones I have written about. I hope you will be inspired to give them all a try! You skin will love you for it ... promise.
This ain't your grandma's "lye soap" my dear! Dispelling the myths surrounding REAL, old fashion soaps made from plant oils, seed butters, and fats is helpful to those seeking natural products. Learn what it is, how it's made today, it's ancient past and modern history. I found learning about how people cleansed themselves and their dirty stuff in the past to be particularly interesting.
In a past post I explored some of the benefits of distillates (aka hydrosol waters) in general. Here I will explore in more details the specific benefits of individual plant (leaves, flowers, roots, needles, bark etc) hydrosols. Starting with the lovely Rose. But first I want to restate some important aspects of hydrosols in general.
I am very fortunate to live in a place I can harvest FRESH plant material from pristine wilderness for my creations. Few people have year round access to such a place. I have been exploring and learning these mountains for 27 years I have memorized dozens of secret spots, deep in the wilderness where I wander silently through the forest soaking in the peaceful quietude of this magical place and filling my basket with wild plants.
Strong, resilient skin, able to perform it's vital functions from the beginning to the end of life, requires us to carefully consider our diets. In order for our largest organ to develop properly so it can perform it's critical functions we must supply our bodies with optimal nutrition. We aren't born knowing what this means or how to achieve it. It's knowledge we have to acquire.
You know I love nourishing traditions! So when I spritz my face with a Hydrosol water I know I'm not just nourishing my skin with pure, plant quintessence, I'm participating in an ancient healing ritual. The use of hydrosol waters predate essential oils by hundreds if not thousands of years! Here's a brief intro to these healing waters and how to use them to nourish, condition & beautify your skin.
I am absolutely thrilled when I speak to someone who has been using coconut with good results! Organic virgin coconut oil is a healthy tradition oil and so many people all having an out love affair with it! But honestly, I get more reports from people that they are not getting good results. Take a look around the internet and you will read so much anecdotal evidence indicating real problems with it, that more controlled studies are surely warranted. Here I discuss some of the reasons you might not be getting the results you had hoped for when you ditched your chemical ladened moisturizers and creams for all natural coconut oil ...
The coniferous denizens of the Northern Forest possess powerful healing properties. I am enthralled by these evergreen sentinels of my alpine world and the more I learn about them, the deeper in love I fall. Oils infuse with spring Evergreen needles, resin, bark, and cones are featured in many of my oil blends and salves. Not only do these creations smell like heaven, they are imbued with the power of these mighty trees .... which studies show might compare to that of the well known cancer killer Frankincense.
The lovely Salix plants ... hugging the banks of the rivers and climbing the slopes of the mountains. If you are interested in natural skincare, you are probably familiar with White Willow. White Willow Bark is part of the Salix family of plants, which all contain Salicin in their leaves, bark and buds. Salicin (the precursor of Salicylic Acid) is a natural compound renown for it's ability to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation. White Willow bark is the most common Salicin source found in natural skincare formulas and the herb most easily acquired, but it is not the only one. And this where Cottonwood Buds fit in ....