Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Using Herbs and Florals in Facial Care

Herbs are an incredibly valuable addition to skin care products.  They frequently have amazing therapeutic benefits for the skin and can do wonders to help skin problems.  Incorporating extracts, infusions, teas, and tinctures into facial care products will show you first hand how wonderful the benefits can be!

Spotlight on Popular Herbs & Florals:

Witch Hazel is derived from a shrub that is grown across North America.  The leaves are distilled to produce a hydrosol which contains a high concentration of tannins, which gives witch hazel its astringent properties.  This astringency does wonders for the skin, including tightening loose tissue, reducing redness and inflammation, and removing excess oil from the skin.

Chamomile flowers are well-known within the skin care industry.  They are said to help calm inflammation, soothe sensitive skin, and are widely used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Calendula petals are hugely popular in skin care for their cell regenerative properties.  They are used in skin care to help heal dry, chapped skin and to diminish the look of fine lines.  Calendula also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

Rosemary is widely used in skin care because of its natural astringent properties.  It is said to be great for acne prone and oily skin, for reducing puffiness and swelling, and improving the condition of dry and mature skin.

Chickweed has healing properties and contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C & D.  It is used in skin care to help calm itchy skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Neem is used for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it valuable for acne treatment.  It is also an analgesic, helping to ease pain, and an anti-inflammatory.

Lavender is one of the most widely used flowers in skin care.   It is said to be beneficial for most skin conditions as it promotes the growth of new cells.  It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and is  said to have a healing effect on burns and sunburn, and can be helpful for use on eczema, psoriasis and acne.

Horsetail has been used for centuries to treat numerous conditions including wounds, inflammation, and skin disorders.  It is high in vegetal silica which assists in providing smooth and supple skin. It is said to improve blood circulation and cell regeneration.

How to Incorporate Herbs into Skin Care Products:

The easiest way to incorporate the benefit of florals or herbs into your water-based skin care product is to make a decoction, or tea, with the leaves or flowers.  To do this use about a tablespoon of herbs per cup of water.  Boil the herbs in the water then turn the heat off and let it stand for at least 30 minutes to an hour.  Strain the tea with a coffee filter after it has cooled, then use in your creams or lotions, hair care products, or soap!

Facial Toner Recipes:

Facial toners are designed to close the pores after cleansing, tighten the skin and control sebum production.  You use a toner after you cleanse your face and before you moisturize, and for many people it is a necessary part of their daily skin care routine.  Because toners are a leave-on product your skin will absorb any nutrients and vitamins, so it's important to get the most out of your toner!  Here are a few toner recipes individually formulated for specific skin types:

Toner for Dry Skin - 1 x 8 oz Bottle

60%   Witch Hazel                           144 grams         
5%     Aloe Vera Extract                   12 grams
32%   Chamomile Tea                       77 grams
.5%    Honeyquat                               1 gram
.5%    Rosewood Essential Oil            1 gram
1%     Polysorbate 20                         2 grams
1%     Geogard                                   2 grams

Toner for Mature Skin - 1 x 8 oz Bottle

55%      Witch Hazel                          132 grams
1%        Seaweed Extract                   2 grams
24.5%   Calendula Tea                       59 grams
17%      Neroli Floral Water               41 grams
.5%      Carrot Seed Essential Oil         1 gram
1%       Polysorbate 20                        2 grams
1%       Geogard                                  2 grams

Toner for Oily or Acne Prone Skin - 1 x 8 oz Bottle

60%     Witch Hazel                          144 grams
18%     Rosemary Tea                        43 grams
19%     Peppermint Floral Water         46 grams
.5%     Tea Tree Essential Oil                1 gram
.5%     Lemon Essential Oil                   1 gram
1%      Polysorbate 20                          2 grams
1%      Geogard                                    2 grams

Instructions:  Make your herbal tea using the method mentioned above.  While it is steeping, measure out the Polysorbate and essential oil into a small container, then mix well.  Measure the rest of the ingredients into a measuring cup, then add the tea and the Polysorbate/essential oil combination.  Whisk gently to combine, then package into the bottle of your choice.  To apply, moisten a cotton ball with the solution and gently wipe over T-Zone and cheeks; or alternatively package into a bottle with a mister so the solution can be spritzed hands-free!

Incorporating herbs and florals into skincare is not difficult and the benefits are numerous.  Try using a herbal or floral tea in your next recipe!  

All the best,

The Voyageur Team

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