My Top 3 Oily and Easy Skincare Tips!

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Amazon USA      Amazon AU      Amazon UK


 

My Top 3 Oily and Easy Skincare Tips!

 

 

sneakily borrowed from botani.com

oilve & oil – sneakily borrowed from botani.com

1. The Best Makeup Remover in the World

Oil. Olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, camelia oil, safflower oil, macadamia oil. You get the picture. Any medium or heavy oil will do the job perfectly. Nothing takes off waterproof mascara like good ol’ cold pressed oil. My system is to wet a makeup remover pad with some water, add a squirt of oil, remove makeup. Clean face with warm, wet washcloth. The end.

sneakily borrowed from wellnesswa.com.au

rosehips – sneakily borrowed from wellnesswa.com.au

2. The Best Face Moisturiser in the World

Rosehip oil. You can also try borage oil and apricot oil but I find rosehip is the best. It is dark and slightly scented, but once you start using it it’s hard to give up. I rarely even make creams for my face anymore because rosehip oil is so good. I put makeup on straight away after moisturising with rosehip and don’t encounter any problems. Rosehips are high in Vitamin C and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Rosehip extracts are now being used in herbal medicine for both the above properties – in joint formulas as well as immune stimulating formulas. It works best if you smooth the oil on a damp face, this also helps trap some extra moisture in too. I use a floral water in a mist bottle to make the process even more stunning.

You can definitely add essential oils to your rosehip and the best for the face are:

Geranium

Lavender

Rose

Neroli

Frankincense

Refer to my blog for the correct quantities to use –

articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

This lists essential oil ratios for making a body oil – for the face use half the quantity. For example if you use 1 teaspoon of oil for your body add 3 drops of essential oil. For the face use 1 drop of essential oil.

jojoba - it look a lot like an olive doesn't it?

jojoba – it looks a lot like an olive doesn’t it?

3. The Best Body Moisturiser in the World

Oil. Jojoba oil, almond oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, macadamia oil, olive oil, camelia oil, sunflower oil ……….

Add a few drops of essential oil and you have a natural, preservative free, paraben free, beautifully scented, quick aromatherapy treatment.

Use any essential oils for the body but it’s best to stay away from the following in large quantities

All the spice oils – use them but be conservative

Thyme

Peppermint

and any other strongly scented oil you can think of. Refer to my article Aromatherapy It’s Easy As 1 2 3 for the correct quantities to use.

Go for it. Using cold pressed oils is a start to simplifying your life by cutting out chemicals and toxic ingredients in personal care products. It does take a bit longer but if you value yourself and the world around you, it’s easy to make the effort.

Look after yourself first. Treat yourself first and everyone will benefit.

copryright SR Banks

Digital Scent vs Analog Scent

Analog clock - great for planning ahead

Analog clock – great for planning ahead

 

Well I’m not sure if I can use the analog/digital signal to describe scent but I’m gong to anyway. It is usually applied to sound recording and clocks at a very basic level so check out this description:

 

“The difference between analog and digital technologies is that in analog technology, information is translated into electric pulses of varying amplitude. In digital technology, translation of information is into binary format (zero or one) where each bit is representative of two distinct amplitudes.”   diffen.com

 

Something stuck in my mind a while ago when I was talking to someone about my need to use an analog clock while I was doing treatments so I could plan as I was working. For example I always look up at the clock to note in my mind how long I’ve been massaging the right leg and how much time I need to spend on the back, or do I need to leave more time for the face and head, and so on. He said analog is great for planning ahead whereas digital is about right now. I loved that description!

Digital clock - the time is now!

Digital clock – the time is now!

So with analog we can quickly see what has gone before and what is to come. It shows us a range of past, present and future (but of course that is an incorrect description because we know in quantum physics all those possibilities exist at once).

With digital we see only now! That’s cool because in quantum physics that’s all we have.

 

Smelling an essential oil could be an analog experience - pic via plantlifeworld.com

Smelling an essential oil could be an analog experience – pic via plantlifeworld.com

Ok so here’s my application of signal to scent:

Essential oils come from a natural source even though they undergo a process of some sort. They are made up of molecules that have been present in a living organism and carry an energetic force. This magic that they hold can be used a tool to access higher consciousness via the brain and can also effect the body this way too. Scent is a powerful mechanism that can transform our physicality and our spirit and sub conscious too, and with essential oils we are treated to the divine scent of mother nature.

When I first started using essential oils after a weekend workshop with two amazing Australian aromatherapists, I was shocked to hear that neither of them could use perfume anymore, after using essential oils. This was 20 years ago now and of course I am exactly the same. This is because essential oils carry this invisible life force and they are undeniably powerful. They give us a range of scent from the first whiff to the lingering notes on our bodies. They connect us to past experiences and allow us to see potential for the future. They give a complexity of scent that only exists in nature and that can never be replicated, even by the masters of chemistry (according to Luca Turin a master Perfumer).

To me essential oils are ANALOG. They have range and are complex. They are old school.

Perfume is digital - pic via bubblews.com

Perfume seems to be digital to me – pic via bubblews.com

 

Perfume is still absorbed through the nasal cavity into the brain and can also connect us to experiences of the past, present and future – as can any smell. Perfumes that are available today will be mostly made up of molecules that have been created in a lab, and that are quite precise in their scent. So you may have hundreds of different molecules that go into a perfume and it’s the master perfumers who will conduct this symphony of scent.

People all over the world love perfume but I don’t. I don’t like the alcohol as a base. I don’t like cold feeling it gives me and the way there seems to be too many conflicting ideas in one spritz. There are, of course, some perfumes that are way better than the dross out there. With perfume there are many precise notes blended to create the scent – but usually it’s too many.

To me perfumes are a DIGITAL scent. They are precise and do not have complex ranges, as they have many digital signals mixed together. There doesn’t seem to be any expansiveness or invitation to connect with the universe.

Hey, but if it’s digital it must be about NOW, which can only be a good thing. They are modern and contemporary, and fall in line with our digital era.

There’s a place for both in our world – let’s never lose the analog!

The Benefits of Beeswax in a Body Cream

nourish your skin with oil blends

nourish your skin with oil blends or should you use cream?

I love using oil blends on my body and try to do it daily, however I do know many people who just won’t use oil on their skin because it’s too high maintenance – meaning it’s too messy, or it ruins their underwear or it takes too long to soak in or blah, blah, blah! I may be preaching to the converted here but using oils on your body can be so beneficial. When I say “oils’ I am referring to coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil and other carrier oils. This past winter my skin looked like crocodile skin so I decided to whip up a batch of cream with beeswax, oils and cocoa butter (basically because that’s the stock I had available).

Bees and their beeswax - pic via sweetbeez.org

Bees and their beeswax – pic via sweetbeez.org

It did really help my skin and I remembered one of my clients saying that her facialist sometimes talked about the right time for cream and the right time for oil. So when your body skin is scaly and horrible, that would be the perfect time to use a cream.

Why?

In a body cream, if it’s made naturally, you’ll get oil, water and emulsifying wax at the very least. You may also get essential oils, beeswax, cocoa butter, mango butter or shea butter too, to make it rich and gorgeous. Then hopefully there will be some pure essential oils added to the mix to give you a scented experience and emotional support. If you have a cheap cream made in huge vats, by big companies that is sold all over the world you’ll get water with a whole lot of synthetic crap. So when I talk about using a body cream I’m referring to a beautiful hand-made cream or a high quality cream from a boutique shop, health food shop or a market.

Handmade cream - pic via tipjunkie.com

Handmade cream – pic via tipjunkie.com

In a body oil blend you’ll be getting a carrier oil (or oils), and some essential oils which in itself is a wonderful treat but sometimes you just need a little more.

What’s the diff?

The wax. And beeswax is the bomb and adds so much more to a cream than a synthetic wax could ever do.

 

pola wax - a synthetic emulsifying wax

pola wax – a synthetic emulsifying wax

Most people will also use an emulsifying wax that is sure to combine the oil and the water into a smooth cream, although I’m sure others could make a beautiful cream with only beeswax. It is now much easier to find a 100% natural emulsifying wax but many waxes sold on the market will have synthetics in them. If your emuslifying wax beads are very white they probably have some synthetics in them. Anything with a number in it, like PEG-150 Stearate, is synthetic. A lot of synthetic preparations are safe to use but some are not. You can check the toxicity of ingredients at www.ewg.org/skindeep/

 

Wax will

* provide a mild barrier between your skin and the environment and give protection which is wonderful for dry skin and rashes and will help the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis

* make your skin feel beautiful and soft as it acts as an humectant (draws and holds moisture) and as an emollient

* have some mild actions including being an anti-inflammatory agent as it has been used over the centuries for wound healing

* mild anti-bacterial action as in honey (we know to use honey for coughs and colds because of this)

 

I recommend using a combo of both oils and creams on your body, and as in everything in life, mix it up a bit.

And from William Cowper’s poem, “The Task” (1785): “Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor”.

 

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

 

 

Buy Handmade this Christmas and Pop Down to The Pop Up Shop (If You’re in Sydney)

Support locals- pic via bluechairfruit.com

Support locals – pic via bluechairfruit.com

So many people in Sydney are really into local growers markets which I think is fantastic. A couple of my friends even have stalls and sell quality handmade and locally sourced foods.

It’s all about knowing where your food comes from and even being able to ask questions about it too. It’s a good feeling when you know those radishes were picked yesterday or that the apples from a farm a couple of hours away don’t have any pesticides and have not been stored for a year in a massive fridge.

Organic apple - pic via esmmweighless.com

Organic apple – pic via esmmweighless.com

(oh by the way apple does not make an essential oil so if you have an apple scented something your fragrance comes from a lab)

But I’ve found when it comes to skincare and natural scent most of these amazing people who buy organic and local, will only use name brand skincare. Or synthetically fragranced candles. Or toxic mass-produced perfumes. I just don’t get it. The same rules apply to mass-produced perfumes and cream as apply to food. If you are health conscious and are making an effort to eat well, why would you then spend money on a cream that is full of toxins, made in big vats in a huge production facility somewhere?

And then there’s the fact that when you buy a perfume, for example (according to master perfumer Luca Turin), only 5% of the price of a perfume represents the cost of the actual liquid stuff. The rest is marketing, packaging and other bullshit. And of course there’s the issue that many (a generalisation) luxury brand companies are all owned by a few, who serve to deliver the best profit to their shareholders and owners. Many big companies just absorb little companies (in all types of business) and we are finding out we are being ruled by these huge companies who are driven by one thing – money. Even war is a business.

Money! Why not use your dollar to suport a local?

Money! Why not use your dollar to support a local?

So why wouldn’t you buy a cream or an oil blend or a natural perfume from a local specialist at your local market? They will be able to tell you where all their ingredients are sourced from and other info about health and toxicity in our world. You will be directly helping them pay their rent, buy food and live! Go on, have a look around, you may be surprised at what you can find. Be brave and go beyond a handmade soap. If you are willing to buy artisan with your bread and hand-reared pigs, then be willing to do the same with your skincare and even cleaning products too.

I make fantastic body washes!

I make fantastic body washes!

So having had my little say on the state of the world, if you’re in Sydney why not visit The Co-Op Pop Up shop which is open until Christmas eve and possibly the week after Christmas. There are about 8 artists and we are selling handmade items which include –

– framed original photography

– handmade cards

– swimwear and resort fashion

– framed original stitch art

– light sculptures

even little frogs, and much, much more!

Cute little Australian citrus oils

Cute little Australian citrus oils

I am selling

– organic linseed and lavender eye bags made with vintage scarves and washable covers $30 ea

– all natural body washes ( 2 different scents “Pink Marshmallows in the Morning” and “Into the Woods”) $30 ea or 3 for $70

– Face Mask Kits (limited edition be quick) $30

– Essential oil blends (3 scents “Vivify!”, “Persuasion” and “Cinnamon Twist”) $25 ea

– Hydrating Aura Cleansing Mists (rosewater, jasmine water and orange blossom water with added Australian Bush Flower Essences) $20 ea or 3 for $60

– Organic herbal teas (“Ginger +” and “Minty 2”) $15 and $10

and a few essential oils.

Come and visit from Tuesday to Sunday 11am – 7pm at the corner of Golburn St and Crown St Surry Hills (next to Route 66).

Eyebags made with vintage scarves with washable covers too

Eyebags made with vintage scarves with washable covers too

Perfumery and Aromatherapy – How Do They Relate?

Gorgeous perfume bottles

Gorgeous perfume bottles

Once, a long, long time ago, in a land far, far away these two things were the same. That is, the raw ingredients used for scenting were all natural and were the same things used for healing and well-being. Mother earth provided plants, herbs and flowers to be used by really smart people to create medicines, scents and incense for rituals.

Tapputi-Belatekallim, according to Wikipedia –

“is considered to be the world’s first chemist, a perfume-maker mentioned in a cuneiform tablet from the second millennium BC in Babylonian Mesopotamia.  She used flowers, oil, and calamus along with cyperus, myrrh, and balsam. She added water then distilled and filtered several times. This is also the oldest referenced still.”

This image appears in relation to Taputi - you can see references to a still

This image appears in relation to Taputi – you can see references to a still

Awesome! The oldest reference to pharmacy is credited to a woman. Of course! Recently ancient perfumes have been discovered in Cyprus that have been carbon dated back 4000 years. In these samples scientists found botanicals such as herbs and spices, bergamot, almond and conifer resins. That’s interesting, and for further reading on these resins see my article “Amber – A Complicated Story”.

The old almond - it's still around so it must be good

The old almond – it’s still around so it must be good

So anyway you get the drift. Perfume and medicine originally came from natural sources.

Now jump to 2013 where large pharmaceutical companies run the world. Companies like Monsanto and others create toxic chemicals daily that find their way into our food sources, water and the air we breathe. We have lost touch with the planet and as technology increases faster then the evolution of our souls, we have stuffed up the balance of our little place in the giant cosmos.

Modern perfumery began around the beginning of the 19th century when technology allowed chemists to synthesize aromatic compounds. The rest is history. Click on this link to discover (as an example) the toxicity of Calvin Klein Eternity for Women. This website,  Environmental Workers Group/Skin Deep  is a great database you can use to check out the ingredients of lots of skincare and fragrance items. To be fair essential oils also appear in this database but are mostly listed as safe.

absolutely stunning lavender fields via reddit.com

absolutely stunning lavender fields via reddit.com

Perfumes may also contains parts of essential oils that have been synthesized, like limonene, and many other constituents of oils. But with essential oils, we are using the whole oil, not fractions of it. Granted essential oils are a specific part of the plant that has been distilled rather than the whole plant, but we are on the right track when we are asking nature to support our growth. We in turn must support the planet and live in harmony with the earth.

Essential oils have an energetic resonance. They contain fundamental patterns of nature.

Perfume is created in a lab. It does not contain any part of nature.

64 tetrahedron grid - a building block of the universe

64 tetrahedron grid – a building block of the universe

Essential oils have information embedded within the molecules. We can use this information for healing.

Perfume is fragrance, nothing more.

The choice is yours. Always.

Perhaps you can ask yourself how you can you can support the movement back to nature. Thank you.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Fragrant Oils vs Essential Oils – What’s the Diff?

bubblegum scent can come in a fragrant oil but not an essential oil

bubblegum scent can come in a fragrant oil but not an essential oil

Oils ain’t oils!

Fragrant oils are completely synthetic and are made in a lab.

They do not come from any real plant.

They are not distilled from anything natural.

They do not have any therapeutic benefit on the body but they may trigger memories and emotions like any scent can do.

They shouldn’t really be used in massage and in skincare. (NB. All perfume is synthetic and any skincare that mentions “fragrance” or “parfum” probably has synthetic scent. Essential oils can be listed as “parfum” too so companies can protect their recipes).

They should be labelled “Fragrant Oil” or “Fragrance”.

They do not have any life force or energy.

You can find the scent of popcorn in a fragrant oil.

You can find the scent of popcorn in a fragrant oil.

Fragrant oils that you may find – and that you think could be essential oils are not –

Coconut

Gardenia

Magnolia

Fig

Musk

and there are loads more.

flowering rosemary

flowering rosemary – a real essential oil

Essential oils come from a natural plant source and are distilled with water and steam (mostly). They have therapeutic benefits and can be used on the body in massage and skincare.

They emit energy or vibration, and this is an added benefit when used in the healing modalities.

They are part of our history, and along with the actual plant materials, were the original medicines thousands of years ago.

They effect the body and the brain (which in turn effects the body) and can produce positive feelings and trigger emotional responses. (NB. All kinds of scent can trigger these responses).

Essential oils are beautiful to smell and have a “roundness” and “warmth”, unlike fragrant oils which seem to me to be “thin” and “cold” (like perfume).

They have been written and talked about for many years because of their amazing power!

The spidery, seductive Ylang Ylang flower

The spidery, seductive Ylang Ylang flower is a real essential oil

I love essential oils.

I dislike fragrant oils and perfume.

I’m biased.

You are free to use whatever you like, however if you are practicing being more mindful in your daily life perhaps reconsider buying a Fig and Green Tea scented candle (probably using parafin wax), and buy a natural beeswax candle which has a natural, mild honey-like scent, and vapourise REAL essential oils.

You WILL notice the difference. You will be inspired, and connected to the earth and natural medicine.

pink grapefruit

pink grapefruit – it is a real essential oil

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Absolutes? Not Absolutely

the fragrant jasmine blossom

the fragrant jasmine blossom can be steam distilled or an absolute

Straight from Wikipedia I thought this was a good explanation of an absolute:

Used in perfumery and aromatherapy, absolutes are similar to essential oils. They are concentrated, highly-aromatic, oily mixtures extracted from plants. Whereas essential oils can typically be produced through steam distillation, absolutes require the use of solvent extraction techniques or more traditionally, through enfleurage.

So basically absolutes are essential oils derived from solvent extraction or enfleurage.

Enfleurage is a term to describe the extraction process. It can be cold or hot and unfortunately animal fats are used. Right off the bat that turns me off. I’m a vegetarian and have been for nearly 30 years. I don’t wear leather and try to be mindful of everything I buy or consume in my life. I don’t buy absolutes for this reason. This method was created hundreds of years ago specifically for perfumery. I really can’t think of anything worse than mixing botanical substances in hot tallow to extract a scent. Blah. And if you didn’t know –  hoofs and other materials from the bodies of horses, cows and pigs are boiled up to make things like tallow and gelatine.

I’m not even sure if this method is used in commercial production at all.

Adorable cow and calf

Adorable cow and calf

In both instances, once the fat is saturated with fragrance, it is then called the “enfleurage pomade”. The enfleurage pomade was either sold as it was, or it could be further washed or soaked in ethyl alcohol to draw the fragrant molecules into the alcohol. The alcohol is then separated from the fat and allowed to evaporate, leaving behind the absolute of the botanical matter. The spent fat is usually used to make soaps since it is still relatively fragrant.

Wikipedia

Then there’s solvent extraction which usually uses some type of chemical to extract the scent. Often hexane is used which some people claim is safe, but I’m not quite sure about that. It’s usually alcohol that’s used and I suppose it’s relatively harmless. When this method is used a “concrete” is formed, which is then soaked in alcohol. When the alcohol evaporates, the absolute remains.

the structure of hexane - from wikipedia

the structure of hexane – from wikipedia

Gasoline has a high amount of hexane but I’m not sure about the origin of the hexane that used in absolute production. I’m unsure if it would come from petrol, or if it would be synthesized in a lab and sold by chemical companies. At any rate, I’d prefer to buy a steam distilled oil, or an oil produced by CO2 extraction which is also called Super Critical extraction. That sounds a bit wrong but the CO2 method seems to be an environmentally friendly way to extract aromatic compounds. I’ll do a separate article on that.

tuberrose

tuberrose

Oils that you may find as an absolute –

Rose

Tuberrose

Jasmine

Oakmoss

Lotus – pink and white

Frangipani

Boronia

Beeswax

Labdanum

Tagetes

Tomato leaf

Violet leaf

Carnation

Champaka

And there are probably lots more too. It’s totally up to you as to what oils you buy but I prefer to choose oils that have a more simple extraction method.

Your thoughts?

oakmoss - is this sustainably produced?

oakmoss – is this sustainably produced?

 

copyright suzannerbanks 2013