Songcroft Naturals Review: Frankincense and Rose Cream

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I am a big advocate of supporting local, natural, family businesses. I feel that it is really important to vote with my dollars and I know that every dollar I spend is a vote for creating the kind of world that I want for myself and my children.

When it comes to personal care products, I am even more diligent about purchasing from local, handcrafted family businesses. As the owner of a small, family-based, indie cosmetic company myself, I truly believe that it is vital for us to support one another.

Since I have been traveling so much in the last couple of years, I have not always had the time or opportunity to make my own skin care products like I usually do. This has given me the opportunity to seek out other local makers. One that I have been impressed with is Songcroft Naturals, local to me in WA state. Marilene, Owner and Chief Formulator at Songcroft Naturals, and I have a lot in common. Not only do we both run natural, handcrafted skin care companies, but we also share a love of nature, and herbalism, in particular.

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One of the things I love about Songcroft Naturals is that many of the ingredients in their products are grown on their farm using organic practices.

“SongCroft is a working permaculture farm with bees, dairy goats, chickens, fruit trees, and lots of culinary as well as medicinal herbs and vegetables. Permaculture is a design system based on ethics and principles which can be used to establish, design, manage and improve all efforts made by individuals, households and communities towards a sustainable future.”

Marilene recently sent me a bottle of her Frankincense and Rose Cream™. Both Frankincense and Rose are two of my favorite essential oils, so I was delighted to try it out. After a week of using it, I can say that I am genuinely impressed.

At first, I thought that it was going to be a bit too light of a moisturizer for me, since I tend to prefer heavier, richer creams. However, I can honestly say that I am enjoying the change. My skin is feeling incredibly soft and smooth. The cream has a beautiful delicate scent and absorbs very quickly. In fact, not only do I not have to wait for it to absorb before applying my foundation, but Marilene describes here how it can be used to create a cream foundation with our Natural Look Mineral Make-Up Skin Foundation Powders!

According to Marilene, this is their best selling product and I can see why. With ingredients such as organic Wild Rosehip Seed Oil, organic Frankincense, Rose Ablsolute and organic Rose Geranium, this cream is a great choice for anyone who is interested in healthy skin!

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Formulated to replenish and hydrate, Frankincense and Rose Cream:

  • Moisturizes
  • Nourishes
  • Soothes
  • Is good for all skin types
  • Is wonderful under make-up
  • Contains no phthalate, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate or synthetic ingredients

I would definitely recommend that you give Sogcroft Naturals a try. You won’t be disappointed. You can connect with Songcroft Naturals  on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter as well as their website.

Have you tried Songcroft Naturals? What do you think of their products?

 

 

Herbalism and Natural Skin Care Glossary By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner Herbs of Grace, Inc.

New to herbalism or just want to learn more? This glossary provides information about the traditional uses and beliefs about the herbs and oils we use in our products and explains some of the technical terms used in describing the preparation of soaps and toiletries.

Please note that the Herbs of Grace Glossary is provided “as is,” for informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Herbs of Grace does not make any medicinal claims for any of its products. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

To see a list of Herbs of Grace products that use a particular ingredient, simply click on the ingredient name. You may also click “Product Search” in the left navigation column to run your own advanced search.

Item – Traditional Uses
Almonds – Emollient, exfoliant and cleansing
Aloe – Used for burns, cut, bruises and irritated skin. Soothing and moisturizing, stimulates growth of new skin cells
Baking Soda – Soothing, deodorizing, draws oils and impurities from the skin
Balsam Peru – Vanilla-like scent, warming and disinfecting, a potent fixative in perfumery
Beeswax – Natural thickener and emulsifier
Bergamot – Anti-depressant, for insomnia, uplifting
Burdock – A nourishing herb full of minerals, has been used extensively for skin problems of all kinds
Calendula – Calendula said to be very healing to the skin
Carnation Petals – Easing to headaches
Castor Oil – An humectant, moisturizing and emollient. Very good in shampoo
Cedarwood – Antiseptic and calming also good for acne prone skin
Chamomile – A gentle herb great for sensitive skin and stressfull conditions and also has anti-inflammatory properties
Cinnamon – Cinnamon is said to be astringent and therefore good for oily skin. It is also know to be soothing to sore muscles
Cocoa Butter – Emollient, skin softener
Coconut Oil – Emollient, skin conditioner, produces a hard soap with lots of lather
Comfrey – One of the best known healing herbs, it is rich in allantoin, is emollient and said to regenerate cells
Cornmeal – Exfoliating and cleansing
Cornstarch – Emollient and a thickener
Dandelion – Good liver herb, good for skin eruptions and sensitivities
Dead Sea Mineral Salt – Soothing and healing to the skin. Dead Sea Minerals are said to be healing to many different ailments of the body
Epsom Salt – Relieves aches and pains, stimulating, draws oils and impurities from the skin
Essential Oils – The part of a plant that possesses the fragrance of that plant, is usually extracted by steam distillation
Frankincense – Skin tonic, anxiety and nervous tension, soothing
Geranium – Both sedative and uplifting, refreshing, relieves tired and aching limbs. Traditionally used for skin problems, also for circulatory conditions
Glycerine – A byproduct of soapmaking, is a viscous humectant and an emollient
Grape Seed Oil – Emollient, non-greasy, nonallergenic
Honey – Soothing and nourishing to the skin, it is also cleansing and moisturizing
Infused Oils – Herbs are steeped in oil and then strained out, leaving the properties of the herbs in the oil.
Jojoba – Similar to natural human sebum, emollient, moisturizing, humectant
Lavender – Relaxing, anti-infectious, anti-inflamatory, antiseptic and healing to the skin and may also provide headache and stress relief.
Lemon Essential Oil – lemon is known for its energizing properties, it is also astringent and antiseptic.
Lemongrass – Lemongrass is known to be cooling, antiseptic and deodorizing, also an insect repellent
Licorice Root – Emollient and soothing when used topically
Neroli – Said to relieve nervous tension, depression and anxiety. Promotes healthy skin cells
Oatmeal – Oats are commonly prescribed for dry skin conditions as they are very soothing and softening to the skin
Olive Oil – Emollient, restorative, soothing, mild, cleansing and very moisturizing
Orange Peel – Aromatic, antiseptic
Palm Oil – Mild, cleansing, produces a hard bar of soap
Parsley – Cleansing, soothing and healing
Peppermint – Peppermint is said to be calming, head-clearing and soothing to sore muscles
Poppy Seeds – Poppy seeds are exfoliating
Red Clover – Stimulating, promotes healing
Rose – Mild astringent and moisturizer – especially good for mature skin
Rosemary – Rosemary is known to be an astringent, helps relieve headaches and is said to improve memory. Is also used for muscular aches and pains
Rosewood – Anti-depressant, cell stimulant, uplifting
Sage – Sage has been used since the roman empire as an effective natural deodorant and antiperspirant
Saponified Oils – Saponification is the process of lye and oils combining to create soap
Sea Salt – Soothing and healing to skin
Spearmint – Aids indigestion, fevers and nausea, and is stimulating and deodorizing
St. John’s Wort – Infused in oil is good for sore muscles, is said to be a cell regenerant
Sweet Almond Oil – Emollient, good for all skin types
Tangerine – Mild, uplifting, calming, good for nerves and skin
Tea Tree Essential Oil – Is known to be antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti-fungal, with insect repellent qualities.
Vitamin E – Preservative, helps prevent scarring, is said to slow aging of the skin
Walnut Oil – Good for all skin types, emollient, penetrating
White Clay – Gently draws oils and impurities from the skin
Witch Hazel – Astringent

This glossary was compiled by Vanessa Nixon Klein, the proprietor of Herbs of Grace, who has a background in medicinal herbalism.

For further reading, please see Herbs of Grace Natural Beauty Articles, Herbs of Grace Aromatherapy Articles, or Herbs of Grace Recommended Reading.

©2003 – 2004, Herbs of Grace.
This article is copyrighted by Vanessa Nixon Klein, the proprietor of Herbs of Grace, who has a background in medicinal herbalism. If you would like to reprint this article, either online or in print, please contact us for permission.

Aroma Baby By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner Herbs of Grace, Inc.

Aromatherapy can be a wonderful addition to your repertoire of healing modalities for your family. Even small babies can enjoy the therapeutic effects of essential oils. Great caution must be taken though, as these oils are extremely concentrated and must be very diluted before use.

Aromatherapy Safety

As always, make sure you are using only pure, natural essential oils, as fragrance oils or other synthetic oils have no healing properties. Use only half the amount of essential oils when dealing with children that you would use for an adult. For babies up to two years old a 1% dilution is recommended (5 drops essential oil to 1 ounce or 2T carrier oil). After two years a 2% dilution may be used (10 drops essential oil to 1 ounce or 2T carrier oil).

It is not recommended to use essential oils on babies younger than 3 months old. They are still developing in many ways and are adjusting to life outside the womb. Essential oils are too strong in most instances to use at this stage. After three months of age the most suitable oils to use on a daily basis are chamomile and lavender. As the child grows older, there are more oils that become appropriate for use. The table below includes essential oils that are commonly accepted for use with babies and children.

Oils safe for babies:

* Chamomile
* Eucalyptus Smithii
* Geranium
* Lavender
* Lemon Eucalyptus
* Mandarin
* Neroli
* Rose
* Sweet Orange
* Tea Tree

Oils safe for children over 2 years:

* Eucalyptus Globulus
* Ginger
* Lemon
* Peppermint
* Rosemary
* Clary Sage
* Tangerine

Aromatherapy Applications and Benefits for Infants and Children

There are several methods of application you may employ with children. One of the most therapeutic and enjoyable for both parent and child is massage. Studies have shown that babies who are massaged regularly are more relaxed, eat and sleep better, and have less colic and constipation. One of the best reasons to massage your baby though, is that it promotes bonding between parent and child, and a baby who is bonded is going to adjust to new situations and life in general, much more easily.

You don’t have to be a massage therapist to massage your child. Babies crave skin to skin contact and will respond to your touch as long as it is gentle and relaxed. Just make sure your baby is in a good mood when you try massage for the first time and if s/he starts to fuss or seems upset, stop and try again later.

Other methods of application that are suitable for use with children are room diffusion and applying a few drops of essential oil to a tissue or handkerchief and waving it several inches in front of the child’s nose, so it can be inhaled.

Listed below are some of the benefits and therapeutic effects of the essential oils recommended for use with babies and children.
Chamomile – Antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Helpful For teething pain, infantile colic and calming overly tired children
Eucalyptus – Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Helpful with respiratory congestion, helps cool the body during fevers and helps relieves itching of chicken pox.
Geranium – Antiseptic, antidepressant, astringent, refreshing, uplifting.
Ginger – Antiseptic, Digestive aid. Helpful for nausea and diarrhea
Lavender – Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, antidepressant, healing, Relaxing. Useful for infantile colic and helps treat thrush
Lemon – Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, stimulant, Tonic. First aid remedy for insect bites
Lemon Eucalyptus – Antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, calming and soothing. Useful for cradle cap.
Mandarin – Antiseptic, refreshing, tonic, mild relaxant.
Neroli – Antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory,Relaxing.
Peppermint – Analgesic, antiseptic, cooling, decongestant, digestive aid and sedative. Useful for fever, colds and nausea.
Rose – Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, sedative, soothing. Useful for soothing dry, irritated skin.
Rosemary – Antiseptic, analgesic and decongestant.
Clary Sage – Antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic and relaxant.
Sweet Orange – Anti-anxiety, antidepressant, digestive aid, calming, nerve sedative.
Tangerine – Antispasmodic, lymphatic stimulant, calming, sedative and stomachic. Useful for upset stomache and creating a calming, uplifting atmosphere.
Tea Tree – Antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, disinfectant. Treats thrush and is useful for cuts, scrapes, burns and deep wound cleaning.

For further reading, please see Herbs of Grace Natural Beauty Articles, Herbs of Grace Aromatherapy Articles, or Herbs of Grace Recommended Reading.

©2003 – 2004, Herbs of Grace.
This article is copyrighted by Vanessa Nixon Klein, the proprietor of Herbs of Grace, who has a background in medicinal herbalism. If you would like to reprint this article, either online or in print, please contact us for permission.

Aromatherapy for Pregnancy By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner, Herbs of Grace, Inc.

Aromatherapy is a natural, healing modality employing essential oils extracted from aromatic plant sources to treat and balance the body, mind and spirit. During pregnancy, there are many instances when aromatherapy can be an extremely beneficial and helpful option, while also being very easy to employ. In order to use essential oils safely during pregnancy a few extra safety guidelines must be followed.

Essential oils are extremely concentrated. They need to be diluted before use. A common dilution for aromatherapy blends during pregnancy is 2 % – which would equal approximately 10 drops essential oil to 1 ounce or 2T carrier oil. For an aromatherapy bath add 6-10 drops essential oil to the tub and mix well before getting in. 3-6 drops essential oil in a bowl of warm water wrung out in a washcloth works well for a compress. Use the same dilution in a bowl of steaming hot water for a steam inhalation.

There are many essential oils that should be avoided during pregnancy*. The following table contains oils that should be avoided during pregnancy* and oils that are recommended for use during pregnancy. See also the following table for specific uses of oils that are recommended during pregnancy.

OILS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY*
Use of essential oils should be extremely limited or avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy, but has many wonderful uses in the last two trimesters and especially during labor.
Oils to avoid during pregnancy include:*
Basil
Cedarwood
Cinnamon
Clary sage (ok during labor)
Clove
Cypress (ok after 5 months)
Fennel
Hyssop
Jasmine (ok during labor)
Juniper
Lemongrass
Myrrh
Parsley
Penneyroyal
Peppermint
Rose (ok during labor)
Rosemary
Sweet marjoram
Thyme

OILS RECOMMENDED DURING PREGNANCY
The following oils you can feel comfortable using during pregnancy. As always, use caution if you have allergies or a family history of allergies. If you think you may be allergic to an oil, do a patch test first. See also the next table for specific uses for each of these oils.
Good oils for pregnancy include:
Bergamot
Chamomile
Cypress (ok after 5 mos.)
Eucalyptus
Frankincense
Geranium (avoid in early pregnancy)
Grapefruit
Lavender
Lemon
Mandarin
Neroli
Patchouli
Petitgrain
Rosewood
Sandalwood
Tangerine
Tea Tree
Ylang Ylang

*Please note: Since it would be highly unethical to test on pregnant women, the list of essential oils to avoid during pregnancy is based on knowledge of the general properties of each essential oil. For obvious reasons, during pregnancy it is recommended to avoid essential oils which are known to thin the blood or cause cramping or contractions. Used under proper dilution, most of these oils should not cause any problems during a healthy pregnancy, but it is always best to err on the side of caution.

If you are currently pregnant and have been using any of the “to be avoided” essential oils but are not experiencing any bleeding or cramping, then there most likely is nothing wrong. However, we strongly encourage you to consult your doctor or midwife and discontinue use of the “to be avoided” essential oils. This information is provided “as is” — it cannot replace the personal care your doctor or midwife provides you and Herbs of Grace makes no medical claims for its products.

Aromatherapy Benefits for Pregnancy

Listed below are some of the benefits and therapeutic effects of the essential oils recommended for use during pregnancy. You can click on the essential oil name to search for Herbs of Grace products that are made with the oil (keeping mind that no medicinal claims are made for our products!).
Bergamot – Analgesic, antiseptic, antidepressant, uplifting, and refreshing. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.
Chamomile – Antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Soothes pain from muscular aches, headaches, toothaches and Indigestion.
Cypress (ok after 5 mos.) – Antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and diuretic. Helpful for Varicose veins, hemorrhoids and swollen ankles.
Eucalyptus – Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Helpful with respiratory congestion.
Frankincense – Antiseptic, astringent, sedative, warming
Geranium (ok after 3 mos.) – Antiseptic, antidepressant, astringent, refreshing, uplifting. Eases aching legs and is good for poor circulation.
Grapefruit – Astringent, digestive aid, lymphatic stimulant. Helps with Water retention.
Lavender – Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, antidepressant, healing, Relaxing. Helps soothe aches and pains of pregnancy,encourages cell renewal and helps with fluid retention.
Lemon – Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, stimulant, Tonic. Useful as an inhalant for morning sickness and in Massage for varicose veins.
Mandarin – Antiseptic, refreshing, tonic, mild relaxant. Can ease fluid retention in leg and ankle massages.
Neroli – Antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory,Relaxing. Useful in pregnancy to promote healthy skin cell Regeneration and for easing nervous tension.
Patchouli – Antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative. Eases confusion, indecision and apathy.
Petitgrain – Antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, refreshing, tonic. Helpful in dealing with pre or postpartum depression.
Rosewood – Antiseptic, sedative
Sandalwood – Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, sedative. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.
Tangerine – Antispasmodic, lymphatic stimulant, calming, sedative. Helps to prevent stretch marks.
Tea Tree – Antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, disinfectant. Can be used to treat thrush during pregnancy.
Ylang Ylang – Antiseptic, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sedative, lowers blood Pressure. Restorative when overworked or tense.

For further reading, please see Herbs of Grace Natural Beauty Articles, Herbs of Grace Aromatherapy Articles, or Herbs of Grace Recommended Reading.

©2003 – 2004, Herbs of Grace.
This article is copyrighted by Vanessa Nixon Klein, the proprietor of Herbs of Grace, who has a background in medicinal herbalism. If you would like to reprint this article, either online or in print, please contact us for permission.

Aromatherapy Basics, By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner Herbs of Grace, Inc.

WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY?
Aromatherapy is a natural, healing modality employing essential oils extracted from aromatic plant sources to treat and balance the body, mind and spirit.

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are extracted from botanical sources by means of steam distillation, expression, solvent extraction, maceration or enfleurage. They may be extracted from every part of the plant: flowers, leaves, fruit, seed, root, bark, gum, etc.

PURE VS. SYNTHETIC
Only pure natural essential oils have any therapeutic benefits. Fragrance oils and other scented oils are synthetic unless they specifically state that they are pure essential oils. Otherwise they are chemically formulated in a laboratory and not only contain no natural healing properties, but may cause allergic reactions or irritations in some people.

STORAGE OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils are volatile and very sensitive to heat, light and oxidation. They therefore should be stored in dark glass containers with tight fitting lids away from any heat or light sources.

USING ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils are extremely concentrated. They need to be diluted before use. Although it has been said that Lavender and Tea Tree oils may be used neat (undiluted), this is not recommended. All oils need to be diluted in a base or carrier oil or water. Some good choices for base oils are: almond oil, apricot kernal oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, walnut oil, wheatgerm oil or even olive oil.

METHODS OF APPLICATION
There are several ways to enjoy essential oils, including: massage, compress, baths (full, foot and sitz), steam inhalation and diffusion. A word of caution – essential oils can be very toxic and should never be ingested unless under the care of a professional! Avoid contact with eyes and again be sure they are properly diluted.

DILUTION OF ESSENTIAL OILS
A common dilution for adults (including pregnant women) is 2 1/2% – which would equal approximately 6-8 drops essential oil to 2 tablespoons of base oil. For an aromatherapy bath add 6-10 drops essential oil to the tub and mix well before getting in. 3-6 drops essential oil in a bowl of warm water wrung out in a washcloth works well for a compress. Use the same dilution in a bowl of steaming hot water for a steam inhalation.

GLOSSARY
Below is a glossary of common terms used in aromatherapy that may be of use to those who are just beginning their exploration of essential oils.
Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy is a natural, healing modality employing essential oils extracted from aromatic plant sources to treat and balance the body, mind and spirit
Compress – Add essential oils to a bowl of water and swish to disperse. Place a cloth in the bowl and then lay on affected area of body with a dry towel on top of it.
Diffusion – A method of using essential oils in which the oils are diffused into the air by means of heat as in a candle or electric aromalamp, or by nebulizing as in a glass diffuser.
Enfleurage – A cold-process method of extracting fragrant oils from plant material by layering in cold fats or oils.
Essential oils – A volatile material that is contained in plant material. Essential oils are extracted from botanical sources by means of steam distillation, expression, solvent extraction, maceration or enfleurage. They may be extracted from every part of the plant: flowers, leaves, fruit, seed, root, bark, gum, etc.
Expression – A process of extracting fragrant oils by squeezing to break open the oil glands, used mainly for citrus oils.
Maceration – A process of extracting fragrant oils from plant material by soaking in warm fluid, usually oil.
Oxidation – The process of combining with oxygen, which, in the case of essential oils, is destructive to its properties.
Sitz Bath – Used for soothing and washing the hip and genital area. To use, run a bath to hip level, or use a bowl big enough to lower the buttocks into. Add the essential oils and swish the water around to disperse them before getting in.
Solvent extraction – A process of extracting fragrant oils from plant material by using heated solvents, such as hexane, to remove the essential oil. This process is generally used for the more delicate flowers that cannot withstand the process of steam distillation.
Steam distillation – A process of extracting fragrant oils from plant material by heating in water until the steam causes the volatile oils to release from the plant. The steam and volatile oils are then cooled, turning the steam back into water and the essential oils are poured off the top.
Steam inhalation – A method of using essential oils in which the oils are added to a steaming bowl of water and are inhaled with the head covered with a towel and held 8-10 inches above the bowl.
Volatile oil – An oil that evaporates or vaporizes quickly and easily.

For further reading, please see Herbs of Grace Natural Beauty Articles, Herbs of Grace Aromatherapy Articles, or Herbs of Grace Recommended Reading.

©2003 – 2004, Herbs of Grace.
This article is copyrighted by Vanessa Nixon Klein, the proprietor of Herbs of Grace, who has a background in medicinal herbalism. If you would like to reprint this article, either online or in print, please contact us for permission.