Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Commercial break - ingredients in our skincare

100% Organic 100% natural is our aim

our organic collection is parabens free

Argan oil

We use this wherever we can. Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties. The tree is extremely well adapted to drought and other environmentally difficult conditions of southwestern Morocco

Bay Leaf (Laurus Nobilis)

Essential oil with a long and distinguished beauty history, it is obtained from the leaves of the bay laurel tree indigenous to the Mediterranean. Often used as a spice or fragrance, it also acts as a scalp clarifier and tonic.

Beeswax (Cera Alba)

Our beeswax is a 100% natural product from Laos. Beeswax is a natural substance obtained from melting honeycomb in boiling water. Highly skin compatible, it works well in cosmetic products because of compounds called wax esters that exist in both beeswax and human skin. Beeswax is therefore a brilliant hydrating ingredient that increases skin's essential moisture and forms a breathable shield to protect the skin from moisture loss. It also has powerful anti-microbial properties and helps soften and soothe dry irritated skin, without clogging pores.

Black Seed Oil (Nigella Sativa)

Revered by Muslims Black seed is seen as a cureall. In fact the prophet is said to have observed cures 'everything but death'. Remaining healthy was vital on the long journeys made by the trade caravans of the Middle East.  Modern research focuses on black seed's anti cancer properties. Skin research confirms that Nigella Sativa helps skin resist the ageing process through the presence of a remarkable water-retentive protein. It can help reverse the effect of sun damage on delicate skin, and rejuvenate tired looking, older skin. This much prized oil was found in Tutankhamen's tomb; and it is known to have been used by Cleopatra for its health and beauty giving qualities. It contains 58% of essential fatty acids including Omega 6 and Omega 3; plus healing oils including nigellone and thymochinone, responsible for its anti-histamine, anti-oxidant, and anti-infective effect.
Nigella Sativa is composed of over 100 valuable components, such as protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids (omega 3 and Omega 6), vitamins A, B, B1, B2, C and niacin as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc. It is also a source of sodium and potassium, with the main function of acting as essential cofactors in various enzyme pathways.  Black seed oils aroma can dominate a mix.

Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis)

If you can bear the 'still odour' this oil is excellent in a night cream on its own. Its renowned soothing properties have ensured that chamomile has a long tradition of being used in inflammatory skin conditions. It is good for sensitive skin, and helpful in dermatitis.

The benefits of the essential oils in plants are also gained in cooking using the seeds, flowers, leaves and roots of plants.  Here are chamomile flower heads for sale in a Provencal market. 

Clove Flower Oil (Eugenia Caryophyllus)

It has a warming effect on the skin, and helps stimulate circulation.

Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao)

Cocoa Butter has a well-earned reputation as a skin enhancer. Obtained from cocoa beans, it is used extensively by African women to keep their skin in healthy and smooth condition, and is particularly good for protecting against extreme, skin-damaging weather conditions. It has anti-oxidant properties (high in natural tocopherols, which mop up harmful substances in the body by neutralising them) as well as certain polyphenols (found to suppress active oxygen, a factor in cancer). Cocoa has been shown to contain more than twice the phenolic compounds as in red wine and three times the amount in green tea.
It has excellent skin softening properties and antioxidant characteristics makes it an excellent choice for rejuvenation of the skin. It is especially good for dry skin as it nourishes, softens, soothes and protects. Cocoa Butter is a natural choice for 'skin on the mend' such as stretch marks and new scar tissue.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

This organic oil from Somalia is one of the most valued ingredients in skincare renowned for its rejuvenating properties.

Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA are called essential since our bodies cannot make them) in particular Gamma-linolenic Acids (GLA) are vital to healthy cell functioning. They are also potent free radical scavengers, protecting skin from pollution, sun damage and other environmental stressors. EFA rich oils including Safflower Oil, Black Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil and Rosehip Oil, help skin cells to regenerate, therefore, making them ideal ingredients for use in products which help reduce wrinkles and for dry, damaged or ageing skin.

Geranium’s ability as a revitaliser gives skin a radiant glow – whatever the complexion or skin type. Its cleansing and balancing effect on the production of sebum is also beneficial to numerous skin disorders. It is also believed to slow the ageing process!

Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis)

This is a positively purifying and detoxifying oil, highly effective, particularly in aiding congested skin. Grapefruit increases the circulation, helps stimulate lymphatic drainage, and has toning and astringent effects.


not an organic ingredient but an indispensible aid to skincare. Jasmine profoundly engages the limbic system and promotes a feeling of connection and wellbeing. It is valued by therapists in dealing with people with learning disabilities.

Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)

Oil extracted from the bean-like seeds of a desert shrub, used as a skin lubricant. Jojoba comes closest to the skin's actual sebum. In harmony with your skin, it is easily absorbed and imparts a soft, velvety quality. It is also protective, helping the skin retain its moisture, and with a sun factor of 4.

Juniper Berry (Juniperus Communis Fruit)

Received wisdom shows us that, through the ages, Greek, Roman and Arabian medics have valued Juniper Berry highly for its antiseptic properties. Well known for its skin detoxifying and purifying effects, it is a marvellous aid in balancing oily complexions, helpful in acne, and acts as a fine skin toner/astringent.

Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)

Often referred to as the herb of beautiful balance, Lavender is calming, soothing, normalizing and renowned for restoring unbalanced skin states. This oil promotes growth of new cells, thus encouraging the development of new skin tissue, and balances sebum, so every skin can benefit from a rejuvenating treatment with lavender oil. Its very special properties make it particularly useful for a variety of skin irritations and disorders, including dryness, acne and eczema.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Schoenanthus)

Used in traditional Indian medicine for acne and for shrinking open pores, its antimicrobial, antiseptic and astringent properties make it an ideal oil for use in oily skin preparations and for skin prone to break outs.

Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia Citriodora)

One of Australia's most famous oils. Highly effective essential oil, obtained from a flowering plant native to the semi-temperate rainforests of eastern Australia. Scientific tests show it to be a potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, more powerful than tea tree oil however it has found particular application in skin care.

Mandarin (Citrus Reticulata)

Because of its harmonizing compatibility with even the youngest, most delicate skin, it is commonly known as the children's essential oil - non-toxic, non-irritant and with non-sensitising properties. In skincare, it is useful for scars, spots and stretch marks. The essential oil is extracted from the outer peel by cold expression.

Mustard Seed Oil (Brassica Nigra)

Romans and Greeks have been using this beneficial oil for centuries, and the oil is used in Northern India to promote healthy hair growth. It is excellent as a hair tonic, and helps stimulate the scalp, and promotes hair growth. Mustard seed oil contains high levels of selenium and zinc (lack of which has been linked to hair loss). It is also rich in beta-carotene, which stimulates the production of vitamin A, and is also a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as iron, calcium, zinc, manganese and niacin. It is also a good source of magnesium, which amongst other beneficial properties, has been shown to restore normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, and migraine attacks.


The bilble records how the women of ancient Babylon used Myrhh and plant oils in their beauty treatments in the book of Ester.

Neem Oil (Azadirachta Indica)

Neem is an esteemed oil, because its active constituents have been seen to play a vital part in so many areas of beauty. Popularly known in India as the "village dispensary", Neem is well known for its beneficial effects on the skin and in scalp disorders. Neem oil has excellent moisturising, regenerative and restructuring properties. Its antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and fungicide properties, make it perfect for itchy, dry hair and scalp conditions. It helps restore body and shine to dry, damaged and delicate hair and helps mend the appearance of split ends. The concentrated essential fatty acids help to restore moisture and elasticity to the skin. It is well documented in Ayurvedic texts as medicine against skin and scalp diseases. Neem research centres include: Cambridge University's Medical Entomology Centre, UK Inveresk Research Centre, Glasgow, Scotland Griffith University, Queensland, Australia Harvard University, USA

Olive Oil (Olea Europaea)

Olive oil has regenerating power on the skin tissue and has the ability to regulate the natural moisturising system of the skin. It smoothes and softens and is great for stimulating and healing, toning and firming the skin. Its high concentration of anti-oxidants - including chlorophyll, and carotenoids - have free radical scavenging abilities, so helping to promote and preserve younger-looking skin. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, known to have anti-inflammatory (similar to Ibuprofen), anti-oxidant and anti-coagulant actions.

Patchouli (Pogostemon Cablin)

Particularly useful and nurturing in skincare due to its regenerative effects, patchouli helps heal and diminish many skin complaints including oiliness, acne, eczema, and wrinkles. It also helps dry, ageing skin to rejuvenate.

Pomegranate Seed Oil (Punica Granatum)

Cold pressed Pomegranate Seed Oil helps boost skin restoration, improve elasticity of the skin, has anti-oxidant properties, and helps with the production of collagen to aid reversing the damage caused by sun exposure. Pomegranate seed polyphenols possess potent antioxidant and most likely cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory effects as well. Pomegranate is also the highest known source of gamma-tocopherol and polyphenols. Research at the University of California indicates that the total antioxidant capacity of 100 ml of pomegranate juice is two to three times that of 100 ml of green tea. Scientific research also shows that pomegranate juice is also high in natural oestrogen, which is known to help protect postmenopausal women against heart disease and osteoporosis.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

One of the earliest plants to be used for food and medicine. Used in hair preparations for dandruff, dermatitis, eczema and greasy hair. It promotes hair growth and stimulates the scalp. It also has anti fungal properties and helps with both circulation and varicose veins.

Rosehip Seed Oil (Rosa Canina)

Rosehip Oil is traditionally an absolute beauty essential. Harvested from the seed of a native wild rose grown in southern Chile, it has been used for centuries in South America for its remarkable healing, moisturising and rejuvenating qualities. It has been shown to aid cell regeneration, boosting levels of collagen and elastin, to create smoother, firmer skin. It also helps to reduce pigmentation and raised scar tissue by promoting healthy skin renewal - it is effective even on old scars. Rosehip oil helps to prevent and fade stretch marks. It is also a powerful antioxidant. When applied to the skin daily it protects from free radical damage, associated with the harmful influence of sun, weather and ageing. Rosehip Seed Oil consists of three-quarters essential fatty acids: oleic, linoleic, and linolenic, which help maintain healthy skin. It is an excellent source of trans-retinoic acid (a natural precursor of vitamin A). The synthesised version of retinoic acid called Retinol, is well known for treating a variety of skin disorders and used to delay the effects of skin ageing.

It was first studied in 1983 by a team of researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacology at the University of Concepcion in Chile, to evaluate the oil's effect in the skin regeneration process. During the two-year study, the oil was applied to 180 patients with surgical scars, injury scars and post-burn scars, as well as to a group suffering from premature aging. It was found that Rosehip Seed Oil produced an effective regenerative action on the skin, helping to attenuate scars and wrinkles, preventing advancement of premature ageing, and regaining lost colour and tone.

Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum)

Known as the Queen of oils this oil is favoured in asia.  Cold pressed oil is a golden yellow.  It can dominate an aroma mix.  It has good keeping qualities due to its anti oxident content.

Sandalwood oil

Ideal for mens products. Its woody smell is relaxing.

Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum)

Sesame Oil is highly recommended within Ayurvedic medicine as a massage oil as its chemical structure gives it a unique ability to penetrate the skin easily, nourishing and detoxifying even the deepest tissue layers. It has exceptional moisturising properties, probably due to its high Vitamin E content (25mg per 100gms). It also contains iron and phosphorus and is believed to be effective in delaying greying of the hair. Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper (copper plays an important role in the activity of lysyl oxidase, an enzyme needed for the cross-linking of collagen and elastin), they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, Vitamin B1, and zinc. Sesame oil is used for eczema, psoriasis and mature skin. In folk medicine it has also been used to help fade blemishes. Apparently the women of ancient Babylon would eat halva, a mixture of honey and sesame seeds, to prolong their youth and beauty. The Merck Manual lists it as oil with exceptional antiseptic properties, hence effective in treating sensitive skin conditions such as atopic eczema and psoriasis.

Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)

Shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa for its skin healing and moisturising capabilities. It's superior moisturising ability, anti ageing/anti wrinkle and cell regeneration properties help to fade scars and stretch marks. It is known to improve skin's elasticity.

Safflower Oil (Carthamus Tinctorius)

Safflower Oil is mentioned in ancient Egyptian texts and was used to heal old wounds. It is easily absorbed by the skin due to its high linoleic acid content (80%), has superior skin compatibility, and soothes skin irritations/itchiness. It increases the moisture content of the skin (skin hydration is proportional to the level of linoleic acid in the skin) and is particularly good for sensitive skin. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid which plays a vital role in the health of the body, and is used to produce prostaglandins. Prostaglandins strengthen cell membranes, and when not enough is produced, it can cause skin to become dry and wrinkled.

Vitamin E (Natural D-Mixed Tocopherol)

Vitamin E acts as a free radical scavenger, by hindering the oxidizing process in the skin. It promotes soft and supple skin, helps in reducing old scars and promotes healing. Used as a 'preservative' in our oil formulations, d-Mixed Tocopherol is a natural form of Vitamin E obtained from non GMO Soya beans.

Our Vitamin E is a 100 percent natural product, containing a mixture of alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols (containing a minimum of 70% mixed tocopherols with alpha tocopherol at a maximum of 14% and beta, gamma and delta tocopherols at a minimum of 56%).

Natural Vitamin E has twice the bio-availibility than its synthetic versions.

Ylang-Ylang (Cananga Odorata)

The ylang-ylang tree is native to Indonesia and the Philippines, and the oil is known to regulate and stimulate circulation. It has a balancing effect on sebum, and is hydrating and beneficial for mature, dry and oily skin types. In the Victorian age, the oil was used in popular hair oils, due to its stimulating effect on the scalp, encouraging hair growth.

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