If you struggle with acne you are not alone. Acne is the most common skin problem, and as many as 90% of American teenagers have had acne at some point.
Pickled Fennel Root Garnish This garnish is a wonderful addition alongside crème fraîche, served with wild caught salmon. It also compliments sautéed spicy cumin and lime jackfruit for tacos, for those eating vegetarian & vegan. I recommend making this garnish two days in advance to…
Here is a recipe that was inspired by my desire to make a gluten-free & vegetarian, plant-based breakfast sausage. A food that I’ve struggled to find pre-packaged in the grocery store for convenience. Following the instructions below will yield you a large batch, easy to…
This whipped body cream is also great for shaving & beard care as a moisturizing treat for your skin! By including nourishing plant based oils and optional whole-plant infused oils in energetic harmony with each other and the seasons, makes for an extra special day of self-care and renewal. Cooling chamomile & clary sage oils for hot summer night soaks. Try a seducing ylang ylang & lavender oil blend for a cozy autumn season. Stimulate circulation and tonify Yin during winter months by including vitamin e + rose + geranium oils. As spring comes around, try a sweet & intoxicating blend of jasmine and sandalwood oil. Or, keep it simple with this base recipe for more sensitive skin types.
3/4 cup shea butter (optional cocoa butter for nut allergy substitute – allergy resources/info below)
1/3 cup coconut oil (classified as a fruit, not a nut – option to substitute with olive oil)
1/4 cup sweet almond oil (optional apricot oil for nut allergy substitute – allergy resources/info below)
1/4 teaspoon vitamin e oil (optional added moisture for dry skin)
Option to add 1/3 cup of your own whole plant infused oils for a gentle, custom fragrance
**I highly recommended that you skip using essential oils in your recipe, especially if your recipe is being created for sensitive and reactive skin.
In a double boiler, on low heat, melt together the shea butter, coconut oil and sweet almond oil.
Once the shea butter and oils are completely melted, remove from heat. With a spatula, remove oil from pot into a small mixing bowl, set aside in the fridge for one hour until liquids are solid again. Once solid, remove from fridge and with an electric mixer, whip together the solid shea butter & oils, vitamin e oil (optional), and essential oil(s) of choice (also an optional ingredient) until it has a light, whipped cream consistency.
You’ll need a narrow spatula or spoon to get all of the shaving cream off the beaters and out of the bowl. Using a small 6oz mason jar, scoop mixture in. Store in a cool place and use for a relaxing bath time. Store in the fridge during warm summer months.
Western Nutrient Information:
Shea butter is a common ingredient in skin care and is often substituted for cocoa butter and vice versa. It’s a seed from the fruit of a shea tree, native to several central African countries. Shea butter is rich in vitamins A, E and F. It has many wholistic uses and benefits, and is especially good at hydrating dry, chapped skin without clogging pores. Shea butter has a natural sun protection factor (SPF) range of 6-10, however it would require other ingredients to be most effective, plus frequent application. It helps minimize itching from insect bites & sunburns, and can be used to help calm irritation from a dry and itchy scalp. When shea butter is used after shaving it helps to reduce irritation from razor burn and bumps. Perhaps most interesting is the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of shea butter. In relation to this, more efficacy studies are being published showing its potential to significantly decrease pain caused by arthritis.
Our skin is our largest organ. It protects our interior from an external world where damage can occur as a result of exposure to anything from ultra violet irradiation, pollution, irritants, and allergies. How we care for our skin can increase its ability to function effectively as a barrier to this would-be damage. Coconut oil is a proven excellent example as a topical plant oil for protecting and nourishing the skin. It consists of anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal agents. Cold-pressed coconut oil has greater nutrient properties and is recommended over refined, because cold-pressing procedure does not involve heating or chemical treatments which may alter the therapeutic effects of plant based oils. The potential beneficial effects of topically applied coconut oil on skin pathology are: skin barrier repair, anti-bacterial effect, anti-inflammatory effect, antioxidant effect, wound healing (through faster epithelization) and reduced premature skin aging (as coconut oil resists 20% of UV rays). Coconut oil has a sweet and delicate aroma which is an added benefit to its presence as an ingredient in natural skin care. Coconut oil keeps best in cool, dark places.
Historically, sweet almond oil has been used in ancient Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Greco-Persian schools of medicine to treat skin conditions. Although we have very little conclusive scientific data on the benefits, the properties of sweet almond oil are known to be anti-inflammatory and immune boosting in nature. In one study it was concluded that topical sweet almond oil is capable of preventing the structural damage caused by UV irradiation and is useful in decelerating the photo-aging process.
Vitamin e oil is shown to walk back the effects of solar radiation as a free radical scavenger. In other words, it’s an anti-oxidant substance that protects cells damaged by free radicals (unstable molecules) which build up damaging other molecules in the body, potentially resulting in cancer and other diseases. It is a frequent ingredient in anti aging skin care products, attributed to its anti-oxidant properties. Vitamin e oil is also commonly used to treat burns and scars, although some studies point out that this may not be as effective a use as previously thought.
Eastern Energetic Information:
Coconut oil is warm in thermal nature and tonfies Qi (flowing energy) and Blood. Sweet almond oil in neutral in thermal nature and promotes Qi circulation. Vitamin e oil is warm in thermal nature and tonifies Yang (the fire of the body).
Eastern energetics on a variety of potential whole plant infused oils to use in your recipe:
Both chamomile & Cleary sage oils are cool in thermal nature and counteract Heat in the body. Ylang ylang is said to be an aphrodisiac that provides relief from sadness, stress and anxiety, and may enhance sexual desire. Ylang ylang also promotes Qi circulation. Lavender is cool in temperature and promotes Qi circulation. Rose oil is neutral in thermal nature, tonifies Yin (the water of the body), counteracts Heat, and promotes both Blood and Qi circulation. Geranium is neutral in temperature, tonifies Yin, and promotes Qi circulation. Both jasmine and sandalwood are cool in thermal nature. Jasmine tonifies Yin and counteracts Heat in the body.
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Beyerl, Paul. The Master Book of Herbalism. Phoenix Publishing. Blaine, WA. 1984.
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Lad, Vasant, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Based on the timeless wisdom of India 5,000-year-old medical system. Three Rivers Press. NYC, NY. 1998.
Leggett, Daverick. Helping Ourselves. A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics. Fully revised and expanded edition. Meridian Press. Totnes, England. 2005.
Tierra, Lesley, L.Ac., Herbalist, A.H.G. Healing With The Herbs Of Life. Hundreds of herbal remedies, therapies & preparations. Crossing Press. Berkley, CA. 2003
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Always consult with your health care practitioner before using herbal products. It is recommended by herbalists that you apply herbal based products on a small area of your skin to test for a reaction before using all over. For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.