Dry Brushing for Your Face?

Dry Brushing for Your Face? Is it a Thing? The Soft Supple Skin Series continues with Part 4 …

There are many motorised facial brushes on the market but what about dry brushing for your face? Just as dry brushing for your body is wonderful, dry brushing for your face has the same benefits!



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Dry brushing for your face - pic via www.skin-brushing.com

Dry brushing for your face – pic via http://www.skin-brushing.com


The advantages of dry brushing are exfoliation and lymphatic drainage. See my previous article To Dry Brush or Not? Yep … Another Question!.

As you can see by this diagram, your lymphatic drainage points for your face are behind your ears. Brush towards your ears so the excess fluid can be taken away by your lymphatic system.

It’s pretty simple really and easy to do. The most important thing to note is not to scrub too hard, just use soft gentle strokes, for two reasons:

1. Classic lymphatic drainage ALWAYS uses superficial strokes. Light sweeping strokes are the only way to move fluid to the nodes.

2. The skin on your face is more sensitive and you need to be more gentle while exfoliating.

Motorised brush- pic via www.beautylish.com

Motorised brush – pic via http://www.beautylish.com


There are many motorised brushes on the market but they often come as a cleaning system, with facial soaps and washes and various lotions. I’ve always wondered why some people need to clean their faces so rigourously? Surely your face can’t be so dirty you need to scrub it clean, every day? I realise if you wear makeup everyday, that can build up…… but do the same people scrub their bodies with brushes daily too? Maybe. I don’t.

Look this one is cute - from sephora.com

Look this one is cute – from sephora.com

Dry brush your face once or twice a week, just as you would your body, and if that’s too much for you make it once a week. Always moisturise afterwards – and try a light mist of a hydrosol or floral water after brushing and before moisturising.

And for the all natural person here's a cute soft natural jute brush by bodecare.com

And for the all natural person here’s a cute soft natural jute brush by bodecare.com

Now I’m totally psyched into dry brushing my entire body. The little face brush above is easily cleaned with any plain soap as the bristles are synthetic and slightly more gentle than natural bristles. The natural bristle body brushes are a bit harder to clean as it’s best not to get them too wet. You could use a comb with soap and water to pull through the bristles, and shake it out every time you use it.

I wonder if this cute little brush will help reduce the circles under my eyes? I’m going to try, and I’ll get back to you in a while. Stay tuned x

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Check out my YouTube channel too, thanks.

copryright SR Banks 2015



Rose and Rosehip – A Winning Combination for Youthful Skin

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Rose and Rosehip – A Winning Combination for Youthful Skin

Stunning rosehips - pic via the-grazer.blogspot.com

Stunning rosehips – pic via the-grazer.blogspot.com

I declare the best facial moisturiser in the entire world to be essential oil of rose with rosehip oil. Some may disagree but I don’t care because I love it. And here’s why ……

Rosehip Oil

the orange colour of reosehip oil

the orange colour of rosehip oil

Rosehips are the little buds left on a rose bush after the flowers have gone. They are high in Vitamin C and are now being used in supplements for immune strength and as an anti-inflammatory agent in joint formulas too. We have been drinking delightfully pink rosehip tea for years too, which is high in anti-oxidants and can help with colds and flu. It is the fruit of the rose bush and is also used in jams and jellies.

Delicious rosehip tea - pic via www.therosehipcompany.com

Delicious rosehip tea – pic via http://www.therosehipcompany.com

The oil can be extracted by cold pressing the buds or by using CO2 extraction process. This sounds a bit technical but it is actually a good way to extract oils as not much energy is needed, and the products are very near to their natural state.

It is obvious that all these amazing properties are present in the oil which is a dark orange colour, quite viscous with a distinct scent. It is luxurious to say the least and I find it funny when I read the back of the labels of some retail products that say to use “a few drops”. I use way more than that everyday. I use a decent pump’s worth. It is hydrating. soothing, and the Vitamin C really keeps your skin looking and feeling youthful!

Sometimes the scent is what puts some people off but I use it straight and love it. This is where mixing some rose essential oil into it will turn it into a stunning serum.

Rose Essential Oil

Rosa damascena - the most used rose for oil production

Rosa damascena – the most used rose for oil production

As a skin oil rose is amazing because it treats heat and redness in the skin. It is a complex oil revered through the ages for its use in beauty and femininity. Great for any skin condition from eczema and psoriasis through to scars and sunburn.

It is called the “Queen of Oils” and will make you feel just that. It is an oil of inner strength and wisdom.

Who wouldn’t want to have it everyday? I’d take a drop of rose oil over any perfume or any scented skin cream, any day.

Quantities for mixing – assuming you have rose 3% in jojoba:

5 mls rosehip oil          add           4 drops

10 mls rosehip oil        add           7 drops

15 mls rosehip oil        add          11 drops

20 mls rosehip oil        add          15 drops

25 mls rosehip oil        add          19 drops

30 mls rosehip oil        add          22 drops

These are my own ratios for any oil in 3% jojoba for the face. It will be a higher concentration for the body. They are also rounded up and down to get a whole drop – unless you can get 1/2 a drop or 3/4’s of a drop, but I cant seem to do that very well!

See my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba

Or just pump some rosehip onto your fingers and add a few drops of rose oil. Sometimes we just need to simplify things.

create your own natural skincare

create your own natural skin care

Enjoy this skincare regime, and for extra hydration spritz your face with a rose hydrosl or floral water before you oil up. There is a difference between them so check out my article “Hydrosols vs Floral Waters – What’s the Diff?”.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

copryright SR Banks 2014



Hydrosols and Floral Waters – What’s the Diff?

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Hydrosols and Floral Waters – What’s the Diff?


A lovely selection of rosewater

A lovely selection of rosewater

Recently one of my wholesale suppliers sent an email lamenting about the short shelf life of hydrosols and how difficult it is to maintain great standards for their customers.

I would have to agree. I absolutely love hydrosols but their scent doesn’t last long and it’s always disappointing when you open up a bulk container to find it has “turned”. The scent goes a bit dull and brownish and it simply isn’t right. So what’s the difference between hydrosols and floral waters?


Hydrosols are the water left over from the steam and water distillation of a plant or flower. They contain many water-soluble constituents from the plant and therefore have a different make-up to the essential oil they come from. Hydrosols also have the beautiful scent of the plant, but at a more softer, rounder level. They contain minerals, cellulose and aromatic compounds. According to Wikipedia they “contain essential oil compounds as well as organic acids..…. and will include many of the water-soluble plant pigments and flavonoids.”

Hydrosols will be harder to find in a retail environment, mostly everything will be a floral water- either the essential oil infused into the water, or the plant boiled or infused in water. If you can buy a true hydrosol its definitely worth a try.

Hydrosols can be used in skin care and as a therapuetic treatment. I remember taking a weekend class with an Indian Ayurvedic doctor and rosewater was used for an eye bath to soothe the infection and used when any kind of heat or inflammation was present. Rose water has been used in Ayurveda as a treatment for centuries and is also used by woman in their skin care regimes.

If it’s a real hydrosol it can be amazing when its fresh. If it’s not a real hydrosol it could be a floral water.

Floral Waters

The most well-known would be rose-water, orange blossom (neroli) water and pine (kewra) water. Check out this article for some fabulous Oregon scented alcohols.

Pine water (essence)

Pine water (essence)

A simple hand made rose water sneakily holistichealthherbalist.com

A simple hand made rose water – pic sneakily holistichealthherbalist.com

Hydrosols could be called floral waters (because they are), but this usually refers to a water that has been scented with essential oils. The best floral waters use a process that breaks essential oils into tiny droplets and forces them into de-ionised water. In this process no extra chemicals are used and the scent is true to the essential oil. The scent will also last longer and floral waters can still be used for everything that a hydrosol is used for.

If you go into a middle eastern or Indian shop and find a bottle of rose-water, for example, it probably wont be a hydrosol. It will be a floral water made in another way. That’s not to say they aren’t fabulous but always check the label to find if there are any chemical preservatives or nasty ingredients.

You can use your stunning floral water in these ways:

  • Misting your face before moisturising to soften and hydrate
  • Misting your body after the sun
  • Use in place of a facial toner for a more gentle clarifying and cooling treatment
  • particularly lovely for misting kids to help cool them down
  • add to a cocktail for a delicious scented drink
  • add a splash to a glass of water
  • use in cooking with sweets and salad dressings

I’m sure you can think of many more so don’t hesitate to use hydrosols and floral waters in your daily regime.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

copryright SR Banks

The Perfect Aromatherapy Skincare Regime

Beautiful skin is easy with natural products - pic via nuimage.ca

Beautiful skin is easy with natural products – pic via nuimage.ca

I know its sounds corny but people always comment on how good my skin looks. When asked how I do it, I usually say there’s no quick answer but essential oils help. I’ve been using essential oils in my own handmade products on my skin for almost 20 years and would never use anything else. Apart from the natural simplicity of oils, it’s the scent of most skincare products detest. Even if I couldn’t access essential oils, I’d still use plain cold pressed oils on my face and body, and for sensitive skins this could be the best thing to use. I like to mix it up a bit and not use essential oils everyday.

Here’s an outline of my easy, natural aromatherapy regime:



1. Shower

* No soap or other foaming agents on my face just water, with a face cloth if I want a deeper cleanse

* No soap or other foaming agents on most of my body – maybe some natural soap on the underarms and nether regions

2. Moisturise

Moisturising with oil on your face can have fantastic benefits

Moisturising with oil on your face can have fantastic benefits

* Face – spritz first with a rose or neroli hydrosol or floral water to really boost hydration (see my article “Hydrosols vs Floral Waters – What’s the Diff?”) then use rosehip oil with rose essential oil

or plain rosehip oil

or a cream I have made myself containing essential oils

If you are buying a small bottle of rosehip oil you could add the drops of rose oil into the bottle or just add the rose on a daily basis. For quantities to add to your bottle please check the 3% article below or the article above about the basics.

For example, for small squirt of rosehip oil onto your fingers, add a drop or two or rose oil 3% (see my article “Essential Oils 3% in Jojoba – What are they, and Why?”) and spread liberally all over your face. The only downside is that it’s a bit fiddly. Practice makes perfect though.

nourish your skin with oil blends

nourish your skin with oil blends

* Body – a nourishing body oil containing essential oils all over my body (see my article “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics”)

or a rich cream I’ve made myself containing essential oils

or just a plain cold pressed oil like almond, grapeseed, sunflower, olive, coconut


Remove makeup with the best makeup remover in the world - oil!

Remove makeup with the best makeup remover in the world – oil!


* Remove makeup (if applicable) with a damp cotton pad, with oil on it. This is the best makeup remover n the world! You can use sunflower, almond, olive etc and any cold pressed oil really

* Wipe with a warm, damp face cloth and only moisturise if you feel you need it. Often there is enough oil remaining on your skin to leave it feeling hydrated and soft

or shower and repeat the morning’s step

A clay face mask is the best and most natural clarifyng mask. pic vis chiclooking.com

A clay face mask is the best and most natural clarifying mask. pic via chiclooking.com


And occasionally I’ll give myself a body scrub, face scrub and face mask to remove old skin and tone and refine the top layer.

Face Scrub

Try some almond meal mixed with a little water. Stand over the basin so falling almonds can be caught and gently scrub. It’s wonderful how your skin feels with the oils of the almond infused into your skin. Then either apply a face mask or add a little extra moisture if needed.

Face Mask

Mix a little clay (any colour – for more info see my article “The Wonderful World of Clay”) with water or a hydrosol. You can add a few drops of essential oil if you like just stay with lavender, geranium, chamomile, neroli and the softer oils. Apply. Rest for 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Moisturise.

A salt scrub is easy to make! pic via cambridgenaturals.com

A salt scrub is easy to make! pic via cambridgenaturals.com

Body Scrub

The easiest body scrub is a salt scrub. Use fine sea salt, add some water and a little oil and mix to a slurry. Scrub all over your body standing in the shower or bath. If you are in a bath, then take the opportunity to soak for another 15 minutes.

Add 5 – 10 drops of essential oil to your liking to create an aromatherapy treatment at the same time. Or get creative and add things from your cupboard or fridge like fresh lemon rind and juice, cinnamon or fresh herbs. For more info see my article “It’s Easy to Make Your Own Body Scrub”.

Moisturise with an oil blend or cream.

Body Mask

Same for face mask but you’ll need about a cup and a half of clay. Add water slowly and mix well. Add 20 drops of essential oil if you like, and then wrap yourself in towels and a blanket as the clay will make you COLD! Rest. Shower off and moisturise with an oil blend.


Grapefruit Essential Oil Makes Your Mouth Water (and other stuff too)

pink grapefruit

pink grapefruit

There are lots of good things to say about the wonderful grapefruit AND the essential oil that comes from the rind.

* There are white grapefruit and pink grapefruit essential oils. There is definitely a difference in the scent but it’s quite subtle. Just like there is a difference in the taste, pink grapefruit is a bit sweeter and milder than the white variety.

* With both varieties of essential oil it’s important to remember that when you are making an oil blend for a vapouriser or a mist, the grapefruit oils are so mild you will need to use a lot! It’s almost not worth using any with strongly scented oils – you’d be better off using a more robust citrus like lime, orange or mandarin, if you want to blend deeper oils. Stay light with Grapefruit.

oil burner

oil burner

Recipe for a classic oil burner for a soothing calming blend:

Grapefruit    30 drops

Lavender       5 drops


white grapefruit

white grapefruit

* Grapefruit oil is fantastic to use as an energetic and physical “cleanser”. It works wonderfully on your etheric energetic body and its great to use in a mist to refresh and cleanse any negative vibes.

Recipe for a 50ml mist bottle filled with water:

Grapefruit      22 drops

Cinnamon       3 drops

50ml mist bottle

50ml mist bottle from essenceofwellbeing.com.au


* Grapefruit oil is fantastic to use in an oil blend for your body when you feel you need a gentle cleanse. It will help move excess fluid from the body (mild effect) and brighten the skin with the alpha hydroxy acids.I love using grapefruit oil with my clients when I feel they may need to move emotions through their system and to give them a fresh start to the day.

Recipe for a body oil blend:in 3 teaspoons of oil add –

Grapefruit                   6 drops

Cedarwood Virginian  1 drop

nothing like a massage with grapefruit oil

nothing like a massage with grapefruit oil


* The therapeutic properties of grapefruit also include being a mild astringent on the skin – perfect for a face mask for acne!

Recipe for a face mask: in 2 teaspoons of white clay, add a few drops of water to make a fine paste and add –

Grapefruit       3 drops

unlike this lady I recommend putting the mask on all over your face!

unlike this young lady I recommend putting the mask on all over your face!

* Grapefruit is also used with other citrus oils to act as a stimulating burst of happiness. It’s light sparkly nature lends itself to freshness and newness!

Pink or white, the grapefruit oil is wonderful!

Peru Balsam – I LOVE you!

Myroxylon balsamum - Peru or Tolu Balsam (pic sneakily borrowed Fragrantica)

Myroxylon balsamum – Peru or Tolu Balsam (pic sneakily borrowed Fragrantica)

I placed an order with one of my suppliers the other day and was upset to find they will no longer stock peru balsam essential oil. The customer service operator said there has been a lot of negative publicity lately about the oil as a skin irritant, and that it was used more in perfumery. Yeah! That’s why I want it! I want it for the scent. So I’ll be looking for this stunning oil from somewhere else and hope I can find a lovely one.

This beautiful oil, is like a combination of benzoin and vanilla. (Benzoin tincture is the red liquid used for cuts and abrasions and other skin issues that need an anti-bacterial wash. It was often in the first aid kit for wound healing, and has been used for hundreds of years. It was also called Friars Balsam and is also a resin like Peru Balsam, but comes from the Styrax family. It is also used in perfumery and comes from Indonesia and other parts of Asia).

Peru Balsam is sweet and soft and has warming stimulating properties reportedly to be a great treatment for skin conditions. I suppose over-use of the oil can lead to the opposite effect – skin irritations.  I have never seen any negative results from using this oil and actually love to use it as a perfume. It’s fantastic for vapourising to act as a soothing agent to stress, and add some sweetness and healing energy into the room. It is like a balm for the soul and when you take a deep whiff, it’s almost like you can smell a protective honeycomb, multi-dimensional energy field.

peru balsam resin

peru balsam resin

So apparently it’s not used in Aromatherapy as much as it is used in perfumery. It hails from Central and South America and although it isn’t native to Peru, it was shipped to Europe from Lima in Peru in the 1600’s for perfumery, medicine and food flavouring.

In my practice I use Peru Balsam when I feel nurturing and protection is required. It goes well with orange and in fact this blend is a favourite of one of my clients. I use this on myself as a perfume straight from the bottle and also blend it with other oils for a body oil blend.

Here are a couple of recipes;

Sweet Unicorn Dreams

25 drops in a vapuouriser to sweeten the air, de-stress and to help avoid bad dreams

Peru Balsam 12 drops

Orange          9 drops

Marjoram       4 drops

Skin of Silk

8 drops in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil for a body oil

Peru Balsam    4 drops

Lavender          3 drops

Patchouli          1 drop

Knight in Shining Armour

25 drops in a 50ml mist bottle topped up with water for use as a space cleansing and protection mist

Peru Balsam  10 drops

Lime                8 drops

Rosewood       6 drops

Vetiver             1 drop

I don’t think we need to be afraid of the potentially sensitising nature of this oil, but perhaps use caution and don’t use it with kids. The old adage “everything in moderation” works well for us here as it does in everyday life.

Remember to treat yourself first and then everyone will benefit!

Are there any Aromatherapists out there who use Peru Balsam, and also those who don’t? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section, don’t be shy.