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Organic lavender from Slovenian Karst – part 2 + GIVEAWAY

Krasna skin care collection review

krasna skincare

I’m back to you as promised with the second part of my story about organic lavender from Slovenian Karst. The first part of the post was about learning how the organic lavender is produced. The second part is all about BEAUTY!

I am also announcing my FIRST GIVEAWAY for all my fellow readers and for the new ones as well!

As you can imagine, I was so thrilled about all this beauty and scents of lavender, but I also had a “beauty”card up my sleeve 😀 which is a fresh&new Slovenian brand of organic skin care made of all this lavender! The brand is called Krasna and is in the procedure to be organic certified! The main person behind this beautiful brand is Mrs. Tanja who has presented me the entire process of their organic lavender production in Ivanji Grad. She has already a smaller boutique collection of organic lavender cosmetics called Aria. Krasna is their new and wider collection of face and body skin care. The name Krasna is a play with words: “krasna” in slovenian language means splendid, gorgeous. Used for this purpose the word reffers also to Kras, which means Karst – the region where their organic lavender is growing.

 

My review of Krasna organic skincare

When I got in hand these new products even before they were out, I was so happy about this great discovery! First, because they are made from 1st class organic lavender which you can smell, feel and sense! And second, because they did such a beautiful image design with special eco-friendly packages.  Mostly all Krasna products are hand-crafted and made without any synthetic preservatives or other toxic ingredients. Their package is eco-friendly and 100%recyclable. They use special bottles for creams called Ecosolution™ that protect the product against oxidation and preserve the effect of naturally occurring preservatives in creams. Even the emissions of CO2 are 30% lower during the package production.

 

Krasna skin care collection

Krasna organic lavender skincare

Face moisturizer: A good makeup base as well as a great rich cream suitable especially for mature and dry skin due to lavender and neroli.

2 hydrosol/tonic waters: one with pure organic lavender for all skin types and the other suitable for combination or problematic skin: a mix with organic lavender and tea tree. Needles to say, they are fabulous! As a hydrolat fan I spritz the hydrolat on body after shower, on face, hair and even on bed pillows. Mediterranean scent!

Lavender tea for drinking or simply for making a facial steam. You can also add it in your bath. I adore lavender tea, it’s a great taste while it makes you feel so calm.

Lavender face scrub: My favorite product from the collection! It comes in a “dry form” and it’s a mixture of dried lavender blossoms, oatmeal and hemp with the addition of mate and green clay. The clay will absorb excessive impurities, while mate will add a boost of antioxidants to your skin. Lavender as final touch will soothe and calm your skin. Because of oatmeal & hemp the scrub is so gentle yet effective on your skin and thus appropriate for every skin type. It will leave your skin clean and soft without being too harsh.

Green make-up comment Very innovative because its primary back-to-nature concept!

 

Krasna organic body care collection

Krasna organic lavender body collection

Body massage oil: the oil cannot be missed out on my top list! I haven’t tried such a genuine mix of pure oils since long! Organic essential oil of lavender is the key in this product; to make you relax and to inhale all the benefits of lavender! The essential oil is added to best base oils like: almond, olive and jojoba oil. All these oils are full of benefits for dry and mature skin and with lavender oil they make the perfect aromatherapeutic massage blend. After the use the skin is so soft and smells great! I recommend this oil even as a special gift idea!

Hand-made soaps are fabulous as well! In the collection there are two innovative soaps: one for dry and normal skin, made of pumpkin seed oil and lavender. The other one is suitable for cleansing the skin and detoxifying it because of the natural clay. Lavender oil is mixed into the soap while beautiful dried lavender blossoms decorate the soap and act as a gentle scrub. This great soap is also part of the giveaway.

Lavender bath salts: I will give this luxurious multi-use product for the giveaway, too! The hand-made mix of lavender blossoms, organic thyme and organic salts will be a great pampering and relaxation for everyone. Don’t worry if you don’t have a bathtub! Put the salts in a big bowl full of warm water and soak your feet in it. The water and salts will detoxify your body and you will feel regenerated! A great experience. You can also mix these salts with your favorite base oil (olive,…) and make yourself a body scrub under the shower. The skin will be smooth and hydrated because of oils.

Green makeup comment A simple must-have for your bathroom wellness!

Hand cream and Body cream: they are both packed in the Ecosolution™ package with a pump. Both creams are very moisturizing and infused with essential oils of lavender, cedar and citruses. Their consistence is rich and hydrating because of base oils. A small amount will be enough for pampering your skin.

Shower gel: a delicate splash of organic lavender for cleansing your body.

 

For more information about all products check their website Ekotera, where you will find all Aria products, as well an in-depth presentation of their lavender production. Krasna collection will be soon available in their international web shop (link is coming soon). In Slovenia you can also find it in DM shops.

 

GIVEAWAY (open internationally)

Be the first to try the newest hand-crafted organic lavender products from Slovenia!

GIFTS:

Krasna Luxurous organic Lavender bath salts

Krasna Lavender & clay hand-made soap decorated with dried lavender blossoms

+ bonus sample of Krasna organic Lavender face scrub

Krasna skincare from Slovenia

RULES:

1. Put a comment below (just on the blog) with your own thought Why you like lavender?

2. Follow my blog

3. Like Green makeup on Facebook/Twitter (See links in my right sidebar)

For those who already follow Green make-up blog and social media, follow just the step 1 (comment below).

Thank you!

The giveaway finishes on Wednesday, August 8, 2012,  at 24:00 CEST. I will announce the random chosen winner the day after.

Organic lavender from Slovenian Karst – part 1

and the distillation process of Lavender essential oil

lavender

I was a total fan of perfumes since ever and thus interested even in the process of producing perfumes. One of the methods used in perfume production is also the plants distillation process. Have you read the Patrick Suskind’s book Perfume? I did many years ago, but not so much because of the story itself but because of the charming nature of producing perfumes. The story was located in France’s famous city with Lavender fields: in Grasse … And of course I wanted to once see the distillation process of plants needed for perfumes… And guess what? I had this charm right at my hands! I just had to go a few kilometers far from my house to discover the magic world of organically grown Lavender and its beautiful distillation process that I want to introduce you in.

Lavender is one of my favorite plants not just because violet is my favorite color and because the amazing therapeutic smell of Lavender…It seems there is more behind this beautiful alchemy of scents…

I’ve also realized that summer is the season when I unintentionally discover beauties in my green native country Slovenia. So a few weeks ago, I discovered the biggest production of organic Lavender in my country, in the amazing region of Slovenian Karst. I took a trip in the lovely Karst village called Ivanji Grad and literally caught the last drop of Lavender essential oil. It was the last day of distillation process and I was there just in time! It’s needless to say that I was in heaven when I inhaled and watched Lavender everywhere! I checked the entire process of distillation and so finally my wish came true 🙂
I also met the owner of all this beauty, Mrs. Tanja, who explained me everything about the production of Lavender essential oil. But this is not the end! In the upcoming 2nd part of this post a big surprise is waiting for all beauty and Lavender lovers like me 🙂 where I will unfold the best part of Mrs. Tanja’s story. Here are a few things she told me about her Lavender production:

– In Ivanji Grad all the Lavender is produced organically, without any pesticides or other toxins.

– They have 5 species of Lavender on different fields and are adding new ones.

– In Ivanji Grad they harvest their Lavender manually. They have their own distillation and drying rooms.

– Did you know that you need 50 kg of dried Lavender to produce 1 liter of pure Lavender essential oil? Stunning! A by-product of this is 9 liters of Lavender Hydrosol/Hydrolat (click here to know more about what is hydrolat)

 

How To Extract Lavender Oil and What is the Steam Distillation Process

(check the slideshow below to see the process)

Essential oils are produced by several different methods, among which the steam distillation is one of the most used methods for obtaining them. In the steam distillation process the raw material(Lavender in our case) is heated and the fragrant compounds are re-collected through condensation of the distilled vapour. Steam from boiling water is passed through the raw material, which drives out their volatile fragrant compounds. The condensate from distillation are settled in a Florentine flask (or Alembic). This allows for the easy separation of the fragrant oils from the water. The water collected from the condensate, which retains some of the fragrant compounds and oils from the raw material is called hydrosol/hydrolat. (Source: Wikipedia)

 

Beneficial properties of Lavender

Violet color corresponds to our 7th (crown) chakra that is located at the top of the head and is linked to the pineal gland. It’s not by chance that even Lavender is violet. Pure organic Lavender oil has a very high frequency and is used not just for calming but also to purify and cleanse our body, mind and spirit. If you have any stress or problems with headaches spritz your face and body with lavender hydrolat or inhale a few drops of high-grade lavender essential oil. You will feel better and refreshed! You can also put 2 drops of oil on your wrists and rub it into the skin to feel better. Lavender is also among rare essential oils that you can apply directly on the skin. Before doing yoga or meditating, you can even inhale a few drops of Lavender essential oil. It will help you to connect with your Self. When buying Lavender essential oil make sure is really high quality otherwise you won’t feel the effect! Even wounds, scars and acne will heal better, insect bites will soothe quickly. A few drops added in a warm bath will alleviate rheumatic ailments, sciatica, pain in bones and muscles. It will also help us in diseases, such as eczema and skin fungus. Lavender bath will calm us before bedtime. Lavender tea is welcome for mouth/gum diseases, excellent also for digestive problems, because it accelerates the secretion of bile and helps to calm nervous stomach and heart. However, we can go on and on with all the benefits that Lavender has got for us!

I’m really proud to promote such a unique and loving mission that Mrs. Tanja and her team are doing for themselves, for our country and for the planet as well! I will present you the entire story more in detail in the second part. Now, enjoy the beauty of Slovenian organic Lavender from Ivanji Grad on the pictures below! And perhaps take a nice trip there!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

copyright photo credits: Boris Gorjan

Being Green, my lifestyle

Slovenia

This time, I’m not going to talk about make-up and beauty, but I want to say something about living and going green from my personal experience and how I feel about it.
I notice more and more that many people are talking about green or becoming green, just because of a widely spread trend, or a new target group. Well, this is not my case, so I want to share with you just my genuine green thoughts 🙂 On the other hand, there are also many other people and brands that are really lovingly caring about our planet to remain green.
I grew up in a small but green country Slovenia, gifted with nature, fresh and clean air to breath and numerous unpolluted waters. In my country, a lot of people grow their own organic vegetables and fruit at home, or grow animals on the open air. Recently, when I came home from foreign countries where I lived, I realized even more the fact that we have first quality organic products already at home. Among many other good things this is just a short description of our small, but precious pearl: Slovenia.

Leading a green lifestyle was quite normal for me since ever, without even realizing it! There is more, my mom has a garden where she grows all kinds of herbs and vegetables in an organic way, without pesticides or other toxins. Besides gardening, cooking is her passion since ever. She never uses any processed food, she grows by herself or buy just raw materials from nature. And then she prepares everything at home: from delicious desserts to home-made bread, not to mention her hand-made ravioli made with organic flour, organic eggs and filled with fresh spinach and cheese…Yes, you got it! I’m a big gourmand:) I inherited from her the passion for cooking and preparing fresh food, and also to carefully select what I eat. My first step towards a green lifestyle began with food and cooking.

My green lifestyle

Then I started to pay a lot of attention on how to clean my house and wash my clothes. I had some health issues caused by chemicals. I always felt that is not ok using chemical detergents. They always irritated my lungs, I was sneezing a lot,…I made changes also in my home while using environment friendly cleansers. I have one multipurpose eco detergent that I dilute it with water and it lasts a huge amount of time. I could clean everything with it. Just an all-in-one detergent, instead of a range of chemicals. Or the old vinegar and baking soda recipe. Very green and convenient, too! Yes, convenient. Many people complain that leading a green lifestyle is so expensive. I don’t agree at all with this statement! It is expensive, if one buys all the products that he used to buy in the conventional shop. He has just switched the shop and still buys bio sweets, bio already prepared food,… I understand that everyone has to do the first step, but what I want to point out is that living green does not mean just buying tons of already made products. It means preparing your meals at home from raw materials. Because of your health. In prepared & processed food from the shop there are so many nasty preservatives, colorations, stabilizers and many other chemical ingredients. I will give you an example: in winter time when I have time, I adore preparing ultra delicious and healthy cookies at home. It’s a very simple recipe from Saint Hildegard: Cookies of joy, made with just a few ingredients, some spices and good quality spelt flour. That’s it. Considering that I buy all the ingredients from organic growing and that I will make a lot of cookies from 0,5-1kg of flour, they are really cheap in comparison with a small package of normal cookies. The most important for me is that I know what I eat and put in my body. Being green means above all being aware of ingredients. Everywhere, not just in cosmetics, as I always preach, but also in food and cleaning detergents!
I think that we should start to support and buy organically grown food from our local farmers. This way we will not just support them and the nature, but we will also start stopping the big industry to expand and dictate.

my green lifestyle

my green lifestyle

Regarding cosmetics I have already written a lot and I will still do. I’m repeating again: check the certificates that guarantee you safety! If it’s not organic with the highest quality, at least buy bio with Ecocert. There is still an enormous difference in comparison with conventional brands full of toxic chemicals.

Going green means being conscious about what we put in our body, on our skin and consequently on our planet = in air, water, soil! What we give is what we receive. I believe that the Earth is a living organism, like we are and gives us back what we give to her.
If you start to look around yourself, you will become aware of what the big corporations wants from you. They tell you every second that you need the smell of that chemical lavender softener to soften your clothes, or that excellent mix of toxins in your already prepared meal. Not to mention cosmetic corporations with all the advertising on how you should look… Stop for a moment and open the eyes to realize in which world do you live. Is it really your world?

I don’t want to praise myself, I am like you, learning everyday something new, even about the green way of living. What I want you to realize is that living green is not expensive. Saying this is just a simple excuse not to make the first step and a change towards a better living. We can all contribute any time to the wellbeing of our planet. It’s not enough just to say I’m cruelty-free, I love animals, I am all natural by showing the label.

What counts is the fact of your imprint on this big living organism, the planet Earth. Try to make the first step towards a new awareness and a better living of everyone!

 

photos from my personal archive: top: waterfall Kozjak and Kobarid Kamp Lazar, one of my dishes with home grown vegetables (details of basil and chili pepper from our garden), rosemary from our garden, my spread made with sunflower seeds and wild garlic, fresh marjoram drying for winter and dried figs.