green makeup

cosmetic ingredients

Cold-pressed oils: Olive oil

olive oil

“Homer called it “liquid gold.” In ancient Greece, athletes ritually rubbed it all over their bodies. Olive oil has been more than mere food to the people of the Mediterranean: it has been medicinal, magical, an endless source of fascination and wonder and the fountain of great wealth and power.” (History of olive oil)

Finally, in my blog there is space for one of my first organic inner and outer beauty products: olive oil! Being grown in the Mediterranean country, olive oil was since ever the king in our kitchen. But just in last years I realized that I can use it also for other purposes, like moisturizing my skin.

Before I start counting all the goodness you can receive from it, let me explain you some facts about several types of olive oil. Bear in mind that not every olive oil is good enough for our skin and diet. Regarding every oil (not just olive oil), the price is most often the measure of quality. But be aware not to buy olive oil in famous turist points, because it’s often mixed with lower quality olive oil, even though the prices can be quite high. The best you can do, is to go to a local producer and try there his olive oil. Ask him also to show you how they produce the oil and where/how they grow the olive trees.

I am a big fan of olive oil. I adore tasting it on bread, or adding it to salads and some dishes. Wherever I go, I try to find and taste the local olive oil, if there is a possibility. I have tried many excellent olive oils from our local Slovenian producers and also some Tuscan, Croatian, and even Greek olive oils fascinate me.

 

There are two types of extraction from the olive fruit to oil:

– traditional method of pressure from which derives the best cold-pressed olive oil; The highest class must be extra virgin olive oil with full flavor and maximum acidity of 1%. Extra virgin oil after a year become mostly just virgin oil, because of oxidation (when the percentage of acids increases). When the acid exceed the allowed limit of acid percentage, they refine the oil and reuse it in food industry for cheaper and lower quality products.

– modern method of centrifugation (when the oil is chemically treated to neutralize the strong taste and acid content); you get from it the refined oil, which is a lower quality oil.

Another important fact concerning the widely spread olive oil trend these days is that not every olive oil is good. Several countries with huge, hundred kilometers of plantations don’t grow olive trees in organic way, without pesticides and they don’t pick the fruits by hands. They even don’t extract the oil by cold-pressing, but chemically. The same is when we talk about olive oil in cosmetic industry. Mostly, that kind of products haven’t seen the real olive oil. Only a lot of nice words about olive oil benefits are reaching to us.

 

Types of olive oil

Cold Pressed Olive Oil is considered to be premium quality olive oil, due to a special process of production that preserves its delicate taste. Cold pressed oil is the result of the first press.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil It’s a very high quality olive oil since it comes from the first press only. This allows it to acquire perfect flavour, aroma, and balanced acidity. This olive oil is less processed than Virgin olive oil and is very delicate in flavour. It’s perfect for dipping bread, salad dressings, marinades, and for dressing rough food.

Virgin Olive Oil virgin means the olive oil was produced without any chemical additives, so it contains no refined oil. It has an acidity that’s less than 2%, so it tastes better. Basically, virgin olive oil is the result of olive press with no (or very little) further manipulation or processing, hence the term “virgin”.

Regular or Pure Olive Oil
 This olive oil is of lower quality and usually the least expensive. Regular or pure olive oil has undergone a chemical process whereby it has been refined and filtered to neutralize both undesirable strong tastes and acid content.

(source: All about olive oil)

Olive oil benefits

– Because of precious oleic acid, olive oil is extremely rich in monounsaturated fats; a type of fat that has excellent health benefits. The monounsaturated fats in cold pressed extra virgin olive oil help lower your bad cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and prevent many other diseases.

– It has beneficial effect in maintaining the digestive tract in good health (recommended for people with stomach and colon problems)

– Rich in antioxidants: vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), carotenoids and phenolic compounds are all antioxidants whose activity has been demonstrated in many studies, revealing further advantages in the prevention of certain diseases and also of aging. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is particularly rich in these substances and it has a strong antioxidant effect, protecting against damage from free radicals and against the formation of cancer.

– Cold-pressed olive oil is an excellent emollient (soothes and softens the skin). It helps people with skin problems such as eczema, extra dry skin and hair.

NOTE  Beneficial properties of olive oil are the best when ingesting it raw (on salads, bread, or added at the end), because high temperatures (heating, cooking) will reduce its benefits. Store it in a dry place at room temperature and in a dark bottle.

 

Olive oil in cosmetics

Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and Iron. It helps the body to maintain strong levels of vitamin E, which is a great helper in delaying the aging process. You can use olive oil as face moisturizer since the healthy fatty acid existing in olive oil make the skin softer.

 

Some ideas how to use olive oil in your beauty routine

Manicure  soak your nails for 5-10 min in the mixture of warm olive oil where you add a tablespoon of lemon juice. It will soften the cuticles and strengthen the nails.

Peeling  mix olive oil and sugar for your hand, feet, body or even face peeling.

Face cleanser  apply a small amount of olive oil on your face and remove it gently with a cotton pad. Then remove the excess with a dampen cotton cloth soaked in warm water. This will remove the dirt, leaving the skin radiant.

Bath add to your bath water 4 tbsp of olive oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Olive oil will make your skin soft, while essential oil will give additional benefits (lavender for relaxing,…)

Hair  Many women find this a great remedy for dry hair: Rub into scalp and hair some warm olive oil. Cover your head with a towel and leave it for 30min to 1h. Then rinse off with a gentle shampoo. This will add shine and softness to your hair.

Feet  if you have dry skin on your feet, one of the best remedies is to apply a rich quantity of olive oil and rub it into your feet. Then cover your feet with white cotton socks during the night (I recommend to have a pair of socks just for this treatment) and your feet will gain the softness during a few repetitions.

International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (abbreviated INCI on cosmetic products): OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) OIL


Freshly made: deodorant

deodorant

In the previous article I have explained how the process of sweating works. In this article I want to explain the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants, harmful ingredients to avoid in them and how to make an amazing deodorant at home.

Antiperspirants: they prevent the formation of sweat (= interfere in the natural function processes of the body!)

Deodorants: they cover/mask the underarm odour through the addition of antimicrobial agents such as triclosan, farnesol, alcohols or ammonium compounds that try to disable and kill the bacteria(even the good ones!) on the skin.

 

Harmful substances to avoid in deodorants/antiperspirants

Unfortunately, most of the substances, which are acting against sweat or bacteria, is very controversial for our health. Some of the main important to avoid are:

Triclosan: endocrine disruptor, strong skin irritant, environmental toxicant, affects thyroid hormone, caused fetal death in animals

Aluminum salts and all aluminum compounds (aluminum chlorohydrate, ammonium aluminum sulfate, potassium aluminum sulfate, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly): can cause contact dermatitis, are related to many diseases (asthma, lung disorders, reproductive disorders, …). Studies against aluminum show also that it accumulates in the brain over time and may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancers.

Phthalates: which may be hiding under the name “fragrance”. They are dangerous endocrine disrupters, which also affect the liver, kidneys and reproductive organs, they can cause allergies, itching, redness, breathing difficulties,…

Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl and butyl), are all derived from toluene, a toxic petrochemical derivat. (related to contact allergies, skin sensatizations, found in breast tissue of women diagnosed with breast cancer)

Toluene: skin and lung toxicant, accumulates in fat tissue, soil contaminant, can cause strong skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation. Inhalation can cause nausea, headaches,…

Talc: even when it contains no asbestos, was proven fibrogenic (causes tissue injury and fibrosis), skin and lung irritation

Propylene glycol: can cause eye irritation and conjunctivitis, as well as upper respiratory tract irritation

(sources: Julie Gabriel: Green beauty guide, Dawn Mellowship: Toxic beauty)

 

How to stay fresh smelling naturally an entire day?

There are many healthy choices to choose instead of toxic chemicals who can cause many disorders. Start to look after deodorants with ingredients like vegetable glycerin, natural preservatives, herbs or herbal extracts, green tea, aloe vera juice, baking soda and natural essential oils. You can also make an amazing and easy deodorant at home. Here I share with you the recipe below. I am using this deodorant a few weeks and it works great! The deodorant is also tested by many other people who are very satisfied and now ex users of traditional antiperspirants/deodorants. The best thing is that it smells amazing and it lasts up to whole day.

 

Recipe for a natural deodorant

– 1 / 4 cup of cornstarch

– 1 / 4 cup of baking soda

– 10-20 drops of essential oil of your choice (I like the freshness of lemongrass essential oil)*

– 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Mix corn starch and baking soda in a bowl and then add to this mixture partially melted coconut oil and the essential oil. Stir well and put this mixture in a clean pot. Start to use it after 1-2 days. You need a small amount of deodorant, as the deodorant is highly effective even in small quantities.

* I’ve added the lemongrass essential oil, which is for my taste a great choice for hot summer days. When the fresh smell of lemongrass mixes with the nice sweet smell of coconut oil, the result is a fresh and lightly sweet tropical scent.

You should know that coconut oil has natural antimicrobial properties, as does baking soda, but without killing the microorganisms that are useful in our body. The nature has provided us everything we need to balance our body, mind and spirit 🙂 I’d be happy to hear from you that you have made this deodorant at home and your thoughts about it. Or maybe you already have any other natural recipes & experiences with natural deodorants to share with me?

A few thoughts about mineral makeup

Mineral makeup

Mineral makeup is still unknown to many of you, so I decided to write something about it. Even though you can find a lot of commercial informations on this topic, it’s still quite unknown that its roots come from ancient Egypt. No, we haven’t invented it, we have just refreshed some of ancient knowledges. Ancient Egyptians were aware of their beauty and they had rituals and knowledge about many beauty products that we know today. They wore makeup on the eyes, they used the blush on the cheeks, they painted their nails, used body oils and much more. Do you remember the black line around the eyes that Egyptians used to wear? They made the eye kohl from galena or malachite, minerals excavated from earth. They also had a lot of precious makeup accessories, made from different materials, where they stored cosmetic oils and pigments. Archeologists have discovered eye paint palettes dating from 10.000 B.C., probably the oldest makeup discovery. More than obvious Egyptians took care of their beauty. I am always fascinated when I look at the pictures of their beauty accessories, like palettes, spoons, decorated jars and containers.

Nefertiti-wikimedia.org

Let’s come back in the present moment and take a look on mineral makeup, as we know it today. Mineral makeup is obtained from natural ground minerals from the earth. You should know that not every mineral makeup is really good and safe. As I mentioned so many times, check the label with ingredients. The purest mineral cosmetics have just a few ingredients – usually minimum 4 or 5 : Iron oxides, Titanium dioxide, Zinc oxide, Ultramarine blue and Mica. Avoid minerals that contain chemicals like talc, parabens, fragrances, synthetic dyes, or other unsafe ingredients. Check also they are free from nano particles. Nowadays mineral makeup was rediscovered because of many people suffering from allergies, rosacea, sensibility to chemicals, pains because of surgery, after laser treatments. Often, women tell me they like mineral foundation, cause while wearing it, pimples on the face dry and disappear faster and it feels like not wearing makeup.

 

Benefits of using pure mineral makeup:

– lack of chemicals

– great choice especially for sensitive skin

– minerals take care of your skin while you wear them

– easy and quick application

– versatility; you can use one product for more purposes (cheeks and eyes for example)

– it’s waterproof

– titanium dioxide protects the skin from the sun; it’s a natural sunscreen

– does not clog pores and so allows the skin to breathe

– provides a good coverage

– it looks natural on your skin (learning the application technique is essential)

– suitable for all skin conditions

– they are fragrance free

 

You can find many brands on the market, but here are some of my favorite & pure mineral makeup brands: Alima Pure, Everyday minerals, Jane Iredale, Inika, Lily lolo and many others. If you have never tried minerals before, purchase first samples and check the color. It has to match exactly your skin tone.

As you can see, mineral makeup is available mostly in powders as foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, bronzer and blush. In my opinion, the best thing is their multi-use, cause you can apply them in different ways. I will explain more about application and use of mineral makeup in one of my next posts. Meanwhile, you can check these sites and their holiday offers and who knows, maybe you will find your best makeup product ever 🙂

If you have any questions and thoughts about minerals, I will be glad to help you.

Some good advices before shopping green beauty products

dreamstime.com

Nice package and amazing advertising does not assure the quality of a product

Have you ever asked yourself what are you putting on your skin when you try your new natural body moisturizer with that fantastic smell of tropical fruits?

Do you really believe to the nice words of the seller who claim that their products are totally natural, green and safe and who is trying to just quickly sell you their latest product?

Is really the product with the label eco/green/natural,…safe and non-toxic?

Do you pay attention to the label with ingredients on the back of the product?

If you are becoming green conscious and aware about what you put on your largest organ than it’s time to start buying your cosmetic with a new attitude. And believe me you’ll be just happier and surprised on the results. For me the most important thing is the result. When I did my first skin care with organic products, the results were just amazing! Since then I started to look at the label with ingredients, to change some habits concerning beauty and much more.

 

Some quick advices on how to start shopping green cosmetics

Checking the label with ingredients on the back side of your product is the most important thing. That means that you have to understand which ingredients are good for your skin and which ones you have to avoid. You can check the ingredients or product brands on the fantastic site http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com where you find all the information about cosmetic ingredients. You can make a list of the most harmful products and bring with you when you go shopping. You can find lists of harmful ingredients also on the site Health report.

Don’t trust the label green/natural/bio/organic. Just the name does not assure you the real quality. Check also the certificates, such as ECO CERT, SOIL ASSOCIATION, BDIH, USDA,…Eventhough the product is labeled with this certificates, I still check the label with ingredients.

Don’t believe in every miracle that the advertising and celebrities are promoting. Understand that they are payed for their job. I worked with many models who are aware about harmful cosmetics that they have to put on their face while working. This is why many of them choose for their personal use organic and safe products. And above all, their look on images is a product of a good make-up artist, hairstylist, photographer and the special magic touch on the skin is added by the retoucher. So, accept your unique beauty!

Spend your money wisely. Sometimes the price can be (but in most cases is not) a little bit higher than of an average product. But the truth is that the organic philosophy of skin care is different from the commercial one. You don’t need a lot of different products for your skin care, but just the right one of excellent quality. So it’s worth to invest your money in good products. At the end you will realize that you’ve spent more money before when you bought different cleansers, day&night&eye creams, serums, tonics, masks,…That is just marketing. Sometimes you can even make some new cosmetics at home; a nice honey mask or a salt scrub; read a book about home made cosmetic and try something new and fresh!

Hygiene is the keyword in most cases of contamination, bacterial infection,…I always warn about the correct and hygienically use of cosmetic products. Don’t share your creams, lotions, make-up products. Don’t apply cosmetic on your face with dirty fingers. Pay attention to the shelf life of your product and how long is open. Especially with organic cosmetic.

And above all, don’t think this is difficult, it’s just a new way of thinking.

If you have any questions on the topic just come around on my blog, I’ll be glad to help you!

 

(photo: Dreamstime.com)