Posts Tagged ‘Owner Herbs of Grace’

Give Yourself An All Natural Facial In Three Easy Steps By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner Herbs of Grace, Inc.

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

The purpose of this article is to outline the simplicity and importance of taking care of your skin on a regular basis, using all natural ingredients and products that can be found at Herbs of Grace.

1. Steaming

Steaming opens your pores and helps to draw out dirt, oil and impurities from your skin. Using an herbal steam augments your facial by allowing essential oils and other constituents of the herbs to be released into the steam and absorbed into your skin. Good herbs for facial steams are those that tone and soothe the skin. A list of healing skin herbs is below.To prepare your face for an herbal steam, use a good facial soap (like those mentioned under Step 2: Cleansing) just as a preliminary step to wash off any makeup, dirt or oil that has accumulated throughout the day. This does not have to be a thorough, deep cleaning, as that is done in the next step. Set some water to boil on the stove. Place a small handful of facial steam herbs (Herbs of Grace makes two kinds – Normal to Oily and Normal to Dry) in a large bowl. Next, pour the steaming hot water over the herbs and wait just a minute for the mixture to cool a little. Then, tenting your head with a towel to trap the steam in, hold your head about 10 inches above the bowl and close your eyes. Remain there for about 5 to 10 minutes. If the heat is too intense, lift a corner of the towel for a minute and let some of the steam out. After 10 minutes, or when the water has cooled down enough for you to comfortably place your hand in it, take the towel off of your head and splash some of the warm herbal water over your face.

Herbs for oily skin steams
* Comfrey
* Fennel
* Lavender
* Lemon peel
* Lemongrass
* Rose
* Witch hazel

Herbs for dry skin steams
* Chamomile
* Clover
* Comfrey
* Fennel
* Licorice
* Orange peel
* Parsley
* Peppermint

Herbs of Grace Product Recommendation: Facial Steams

2. Cleansing

This can be accomplished using a soap suitable for facial use, such as any Herbs of Grace soap (My favorite facial soaps are Sensitive Skin, Oatmeal, Lavender, Calendula Chamomile, A Rose is A Rose and Exotic Butter Bar.), or a cleanser (Herbs of Grace makes two – Normal to Oily and Normal to Dry.). Cleansers may include clay, which has drawing properties, gentle exfoliants, such as oats or almonds, herbs that soothe or tone the skin and essential oils that have skin healing properties. These dry cleansers can be mixed with a variety of liquid ingredients to make a smooth paste. Good choices include water, milk, which has been used for centuries to soften and beautify the skin, honey, which is a great skin nourisher and softener, and yogurt. Any kind of fruit that can be pureed can also be added to enhance the healing and nourishing properties of the cleanser. Mix only enough for one use, especially if you have added any perishable food items. Use gentle circular strokes to massage onto skin, avoiding the eye area. You can then wash it off immediately, or, if you are using Herbs of Grace cleansers, you can leave it on for 5 or 10 minutes to dry as a mask. Then wash off with lukewarm water.

Some people like to use a toner at this point to tighten the pores and refresh the skin.. If you do, rose hydrosol is a very mildly astringent favorite. Herbs of Grace Rose Hydrosol Mister is a wonderful choice as it is made with organically grown roses. If you prefer not to use a toner, a good splash of cold water will produce similar results.

Herbs of Grace Product Recommendations: Facial Cleansers, All Natural Soaps, Rose Hydrosol Mister

3. Moisturizing

This is very important, even if you have oily skin. If you don’t keep your skin moisturized, your skin will be vulnerable to damage and will age much more quickly. Make sure to avoid moisturizers that contain alcohol, which can dry your skin out, or mineral and other petroleum based oils, which maintain a barrier on your skin and prevent moisture from reaching your skin. Herbs of Grace offers several moisturizers for different skin types. The Wrinkle Cream is great for maturing or dry skin. The Chamomile Skin Soothing Complex is formulated for those with sensitive skin, or those who suffer from inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis. We also offer a lighter moisturizer for those with oily skin, or those who prefer a less rich moisturizer. The Rose Facial Serum is the newest addition to the Herbs of Grace line of facial care products.

Herbs of Grace Product Recommendations: Wrinkle Cream, Chamomile Skin Smoothing Complex, Rose Facial Serum

Use these facial guidelines in a weekly regiment complimented by daily cleansing, drinking 8 glasses of water daily, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly and you will soon start noticing a healthy glow and vitality to your skin that was never there before.

Let your natural beauty shine through with
Natural Look Mineral Makeup™, by Herbs of Grace, Inc.

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.

The Search for the Holy Grail, or, How To Choose the Correct Shade of Foundation By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner Herbs of Grace, Inc.

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

Choosing the correct shade of foundation for your skin tone is one of the most critical elements of obtaining a natural looking makeup application. Yet it also seems to be one of the most elusive – so elusive, in fact, that many women compare searching for the perfect foundation shade to the search for the Holy Grail!

I believe one of the main reasons it seems to be so difficult for so many women is that they are not sure to which part of their skin they are supposed to match the foundation. Should you match it to the inside of the wrist, the neck or the face? The other question is one of skin tone. Is your skin tone warm, cool or neutral?

Let’s talk about skin tone first. Most people will look best in warm or neutral tones, but especially if you are very fair, you may be a true cool.

The simplest way to determine whether your skin tone is warm or cool is by how easily you tan. In general, warm toned skin tans easily and cool toned skin burns easily.

Another simple way to determine your skin tone is to hold up a piece of silver jewelry to your face while looking in a mirror. Then hold up a piece of gold jewelry. Which one brings out the glow of your skin and sparkle of your eyes? If it is the silver, your skin tone is cool. If it is the gold, your skin tone is warm. If you look equally good in both, you are neutral.

Another very basic way to determine your skin tone is to simply observe the color of your skin, either by looking at yourself closely in the mirror, or better yet, at the underside of your wrist or elbow where the skin has been exposed to minimal amounts of sunlight. You may be able to notice right away whether your skin has golden undertones, or pink or blue undertones. Golden, olive, cream, peach or brown undertones are all considered warm, while pink, or dark brown skin with blue undertones are considered cool.

Now, where to match your foundation? If you match your foundation to the inside of your wrist, the chances that it will be the right foundation for you are pretty slim. The skin on the inside of your wrist may be a good indicator of whether your skin tone is warm, cool or neutral, but since it receives very minimal amounts of sunlight, it will most always be a much lighter shade than your face.

If you match your foundation to your neck, you run into the same problem. The skin on your neck is usually much lighter than your face.

The best solution is to match your foundation to the skin on your face. That is where it is going to be applied anyway. Apply some along the lower cheek, right above the jawline. Then get a hand mirror and look at it under natural light. This is important as artificial lighting can make your skin appear different. For a natural look, you need to see yourself in natural light. If you can’t see the foundation on your skin because it blends in so well, you know you’ve got the right shade.

Most people will find that their skin is a shade or two lighter in the winter than it is in the summer, so it is important to make sure you match a foundation for each season.

Don’t fret if you can’t find a shade that is an exact match for you. Most people find that they need to combine a couple of different shades to find a perfect match, but when you do find that winning combination, you’ll definitely know it!

Herbs of Grace Natural Look Foundation Shades:

Warm Shades
* Butternut
* Wheat
* Almond
* Hazelnut
* Fig

Cool Shades
* Avena
* Adzuki
* Raisin
* Coffee Bean

Herbs of Grace Product Recommendation: Foundations

Let your natural beauty shine through with
Natural Look Mineral Makeup™, by Herbs of Grace, Inc.

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.

Choosing the Perfect Eye Shadow for YOU By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner Herbs of Grace, Inc.

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

I am often asked my opinion on which colors best accentuate blue eyes or green eyes or red hair. While it is fairly easy to match a foundation shade to the tone of your skin, many women are confused by which colors might look best on their eyes.

Should you match your eyeshadow to the color of your eyes? Should you match it to your outfit? Your hair? There are many theories when it comes to choosing makeup colors, and in the end it may just come down to personal preference.

A good place to start, however, is to identify whether you have a cool, neutral or warm skin tone. See my article How to Choose the Correct Shade of Foundation for detailed information on how to identify skin tone.

Generally speaking, if your skin tone is warm, you need to stick with warm colors to achieve a natural look. Anything yellow based or having golden undertones, such as peaches, apricots, greens, browns, russets, or any earthy pigments fall into this category.

Cool skin tones look better in colors like blues, pinks, greys and purples.

The seasonal color approach, made popular by the book, Color Me Beautiful, has been an accepted theory of skin typing for many years now. According to this method, everyone can be categorized into one of the four seasons by considering skin tone, hair color and eye color.

* If you are a Spring, your skin tone is warm and fair (often with freckles) and your hair is light (blonde, light brown, strawberry blonde, etc). Your eye color may be hazel, green, blue or brown.

* If you are an Autumn, your skin tone is also warm, but medium to dark in color with few freckles. Your hair is also dark (brown to red). Your eyes may be brown, hazel, green or dark blue.

* Summers have cool skin tones with rosy or pink undertones, usually fair. Hair color can range from white to ash blonde to mousy brown to silvery grey. Eye color can be hazel, blue, grey-blue or blue-green.

* Winter skin tones can range from porcelain to pale with rosy undertones, to deep olive, to brown and black. Hair color may be platinum blonde, white, silver grey, dark brown or black. Eye color is usually brown, hazel, grey, blue grey, green grey or dark blue.

Here is a general summary of colors suggested for each season:

Spring

Autum

# Warm colors from pastels to medium brights.
# Choose colors with clear yellow undertones, such as a warm grass green or camel brown.
# Avoid dark or blue-based colors.

# Earthy colors ranging from medium to dark, plus warm, rich, jewel tones.
# Choose colors with golden or orange undertones.
# Colors such as deep forest greens, rich chocolate browns and velvety russets look best.
# Avoid cool, blue based colors.

Summer

Winter

# Cool, light to medium tones.
# Choose colors with blue, rosy or grey undertones.
# Avoid warm orange, golden colors.

# Cool, bright primary colors and sharp cool pastels.
# Choose colors with blue undertones and clear, bright jewel tones.
# Avoid warm or muted shades.

Other color experts advise choosing eye makeup based just on eye color. Makeup artist Bobbi Brown has said you don’t want to fight your own eye color ˆê just draw attention to it. Here are some suggestions:

Natural Look Mineral Makeup Eye Color Shades

Blue
# Brown
# Rose
Warm colors make the eyes stand out by contrasting with the coolness of blue eyes. Also the metallic colors ˆê gold, silver, bronze and navy blue and fleshy colors. Bobbi Brown recommends lilac, lavender and browns.

Brown
# Green
# Gold – to pick up the colored flecks in brown eyes
Also, bronze, khaki, navy and fleshy colors. Blues, plums and eggplants are Bobbi’s picks for brown eyes.

Green
# Lavendar
# Mocha
Light purples and plums for contrasting effect, light browns for a natural look. Also gold, bronze, forest greens and earth colors. Bobbi’s recommendations: pinks, lavenders, plums and eggplants.

Hazel
# Deep green
# Pale yellow to pick up the colored flecks in hazel eyes.

Bobbi also recommends pinks, lavenders, plums and eggplants for hazel eyes.

On the other hand, makeup expert, Sonia Kashuk, suggests choosing your eye makeup according to your hair color. Her suggestions below:

Hair Color and Shades

Blonde
# Creams
# Taupes

Brunette
# Mochas
# Chocolate brown

Red, Auburn
# Copper
# Peach
# Reddish browns

Grey
# Greys
# Soft Purples
# Blues

So, while there are many different ways to go about choosing makeup colors, these guidelines can help refine your selections and experiment with more confidence. And remember, in the end it very well may all come down to personal preference ˆê the best colors for you are the ones that make you feel vibrant, healthy and alive!

Herbs of Grace, Inc. Natural Look Mineral Makeup shades grouped into warm and cool:

Warm
# Apricot
# Peach
# Azalea
# Silver Moss
# Fern
# Forest
# Oatstraw
# Twig
# Cocoa
# Cinnamon
# Mahogany
# Coral Bell
# Desert Poppy
# Amber Lily
# Fringecup
# Brownbell
# Chocolate Lily
# Sage
# Wintergreen
# Maidenhair

Cool
# Pink Carnation
# Rose Petal
# Primrose
# Rye
# Hydrangea
# Larkspur
# Indigo
# Lavender Mist
# Huckleberry
# Dark Plum
# Tulip
# Raspberry
# Alkanet
# Pasque Flower
# Blue Bell
# Gentian
# Orchid
# Calypso
# Mulberry
# Silver Leaf
# Dusty Maiden
# Oakmoss

Let your natural beauty shine through with
Natural Look Mineral Makeup™, by Herbs of Grace, Inc.

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.

Let’s Get Cheeky, or, How To Choose the Correct Color of Blush By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner Herbs of Grace, Inc.

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

Choosing the correct color of blush is vital to natural looking makeup. If you choose the wrong color for you, you may end up looking washed out or overdone. The right shade will give your face a healthy, vibrant glow.

The first step in choosing the right blush is to determine your skin tone. Are you warm or cool? Read my article “How To Choose The Correct Shade of Foundation” for detailed information on how to identify skin tone.

Once you know your skin tone, you can begin to refine your color selections.

Warm toned skin looks more natural in warmer colors with golden undertones like peaches, apricots, light golden browns and even pinky-peaches.

Cool toned skin gets a natural glow from pinks, roses and light mauves.

Here are some examples of warm and cool shades:

Natural Look Mineral Makeup™: Warm Shades
* Apricot
* Peach
* Bronze
* Copper
* Brown

Natural Look Mineral Makeup™: Warm Blush Colors
* Apricot
* Peach
* Azalea
* Wild Ginger
* Cocoa
* Cinnamon
* Mahogany
* Coral Bell
* Desert Poppy
* Amber Lily
* Fringecup
* Brown Bell
* Chocolate Lily

Natural Look Mineral Makeup™: Cool Shades
* Pink
* Rose
* Purple
* Burgundy

Natural Look Mineral Makeup™: Cool Blush Colors
* Pink Carnation
* Rose Petal
* Primrose
* Lavender Mist
* Huckleberry
* Dark Plum
* Tulip
* Raspberry
* Alkanet
* Orchid
* Calypso
* Mulberry

Herbs of Grace Product Recommendation: Blush Colors

Also take into consideration the lightness of your skin. Light skin needs a light shade, or can appear overly made up. Similarly, light blush colors can disappear on darker skin tones, so darker shades like burgundy or berry work well for them.

One more tip: Make sure your cheek and lip shades are in the same color family for a more natural, harmonious look.

Ideally, your blush shade should match the color of the apples of your cheeks when they are flushed. Observe the color of your cheeks after you’ve exercised and you will know which shade you’re after.

Let your natural beauty shine through with
Natural Look Mineral Makeup™, by Herbs of Grace, Inc.

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.

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

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

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.

Why Buy All Natural Handcrafted Soaps? By Vanessa Nixon Klein, Owner Herbs of Grace

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

Contents:
What is Soap?
True Soap vs. Synthetic Detergent
Handcrafted Soap vs. Commercial Soap
Essential Oils and Herbs vs. Fragrance Oils and Additives
What is Superfatting?

Intro

There are many types and kinds of soap, cleansers and detergents. In this article, I will define the differences between them and explain why all natural handcrafted soap is the best choice for those who are concerned about the health of their skin. Before we begin the discussion of why to buy natural, handcrafted soaps, we must first define what true soap really is.

What is Soap?

Soap is made from a combination of oils and an alkali (such as lye) and water. When these are combined, a chemical reaction called saponification is produced and the result is soap and glycerine.

Some people may question the use of lye in handcrafted soap. The fact is that all soap is made with lye. What needs to be made clear is that once the process of saponification is complete, the lye molecules and oils molecules have combined and chemically changed into soap and glycerine. There is no lye present in the finished bars of soap.

True Soap vs. Synthetic Detergent

Many of the commercial bars of “soap” on the store shelves are not really soap at all. They are called syndet bars, or synthetic detergent bars. They are made from synthesized chemicals and are usually much harsher than soap. They are (As far as I am concerned, Syndet is not really suitable for personal use. On the other hand, true soap is made from natural oils (such as olive, coconut and palm) and is a gentle cleansing product more appropriate for use on skin than is detergent.

Now that we have an understanding of what true soap is, the next question is why you should buy handcrafted soap?

Handcrafted Soap vs. Commercial Soap

One of the biggest reasons to buy handcrafted soap is that small soapmakers leave the glycerine content of their soap in their soap. Most commercial soap manufacturers extract the glycerine to sell separately, sometimes at a higher price than the soap itself! Glycerine is important to skin care because it is a humectant. Humectants draw moisture from the air, which, in turn, moisturize your skin. The glycerine content of the soap is what makes handcrafted soap softer than commercially made soap.

Another reason to buy handcrafted soap is that most of them are made in small batches, so you can be assured of the quality and the attention given to each bar of soap. Many handcrafted soapmakers have small family run businesses that you can feel good about supporting.

The next point needing clarification, when considering which soap to buy, is that not all handcrafted soap is made with all natural ingredients.

Essential Oils and Herbs vs. Fragrance Oils and Additives

Some handcrafted soaps are scented with fragrance oils. These are synthetic chemicals that are mixed together to imitate a particular scent. They have contributed in many cases to chemical sensitivity in some people. They also have no aromatherapy benefits. They may smell good, but they do nothing to promote health and may actually be detrimental to it. Essential oils are the fragrance emitting components of plants and are at the heart of aromatherapy. They have many beneficial effects on the body, mind and spirit. Makers of all natural handcrafted soaps use essential oils to scent their bars.

You may also see handcrafted soaps that contain dyes, colorants or other additives that are synthetic. All natural soaps contain herbs and other natural botanical ingredients to add color, skin benefits and exfoliation.

It is extremely important to read the ingredient labels if using all natural handcrafted products is important to you. Most handcrafted soapmakers list all of their ingredients on their labels even though it is not required. They want you to know they are only using natural ingredients. They want you to be aware of what you are putting on your body.

One last factor to consider is superfatting.

What is Superfatting?

Superfatting is when a soapmaker incorporates extra oils in a batch of soap. This does two things – it ensures that there is no excess alkali in the soap, resulting in a milder bar of soap and it provides added emollience to the finished product. The extra oil is virtually suspended in the soap and applied to your body as you use it. Most handcrafted soapmakers superfat their soap to varying degrees.

Finally, if you have any questions about a bar of soap, how it was made, what is in it, etc. most all natural handcrafted soapmakers are not only more than happy to talk about their soap, but will encourage your inquiry and your pursuit to educate yourself about their craft.

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

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

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

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

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

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.