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  1. Being a manufacturer of Soap & Skincare, the one question i get asked alot is, "do you do anything for acne prone skin?", in answer to that question yes we do, but before i go into any more details, let me run through a few tips on what to do if your skin breaks out or you develop an acne problem.

    1. Fight acne from the inside out by eating a balanced diet full of fibre, fresh vegetables and fruits.
    2. Drink plenty of liquids to flush any impurities from your system, at least 12 glasses of water or water based drinks, such as herbal teas or diluted fruit juices, NOT Coffee or sweet fizzy drinks.
    3. Chocolate is fine, but avoid seafood and salty snacks, as they both contain iodine, which can aggravate acne in some people.
    4. Take a well balanced vitamin and mineral supplement. Vitamins A and B6, Zinc and Chromium help to clear acne.
    5. Keep your fingers out of cosmetic products, always use a small spatula or spoon, place the product into the palm of your hand and apply from there. This stops you adding bacteria and germs to the products.
    6. Keep your hands off your face, I always remember my mum yelling at me time and time again, "will you stop touching your face" when i was little, now im older i know why lol. Touching your face during the day will only irritate blemishes, plus it exposes your skin to harmful bacteria.
    7. Keep your skin clean, wash your face before going to bed at night and use a weekly scrub such as ground oatmeal or ground sunflower seeds, to keep pores clear.
    8. If your have a skin breakout, do NOT use a steam to open the pores. This can aggravate your condition by stimulating blood vessels and activating oil glands. Instead apply hot towels to your face for no more than 1 minute.
    9. Get plenty of rest> Lack of Sleep can cause stress and lead to unexpected breakouts.

    Whenever i have breakouts, yes i maybe 43 but i still get zits/spots, I like to use witch hazel as my astringent, i find its really gentle on my skin plus its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and being a rosacea sufferer you need something that isnt going to flair your skin up, so you look like a red tomato. I cant say witch hazel is suitable for all as some people can find it very drying on their skin, so as with anything its best to do a patch test first. Here are a couple of recipes that you can make from things in your kitchen cupboards.

    Strawberry Acne Mask

    Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid, the same key ingredient in many commercial acne products, Honey is also a known anti-bacterial ingredient. Together they make a powerful facial treatment for troubled skin.

    1/2 cup fresh Strawberries

    1 Egg White

    2 tsp Honey

    Mix together all ingredients until smooth, using a blender or a fork.

    To Use: Spread over your face and neck and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water and pat your skin dry. Store any left over ingredients in the fridge and throw away after a week.

    Fresh Carrot Mask

    1/4 cup fresh Carrot Juice, made from about 2 large Carrots.

    1/4 cup White Kaolin clay or any natural clay.

    The Orange coloured roots of the carrot plant are rich in vitamin A, often referred to as the beauty vitamin because of its importance in maintaining healthy skin and hair.  Fresh carrot juice has strong antiseptic qualities, making it an excellent ingredient for a facial treatment for blemished skin. You can make your own carrot juice using a high speed blender, food processor or juicer. For extremely dry skin add 1 tsp of light oil to this recipe.

    Mix together the carrot juice and clay until smooth. for a thicker mask you may add more clay.

    To Use: Spread the mixture on to clean skin using your fingertips or a small brush. Let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water followed by cool and pat your skin dry. Store the remaining ingredients in the fridge for upto 1 week.

    So as mentioned back at the beginning of this post I said that I make products for Acne prone skin, Now the main one i do and had the most amazing feedback from is our Deep Cleanse Soap (aka Teenage Angst). 

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    This is made with Charcoal, Dead Sea Mud, Sea Salt, Frankincense, Rosewood & Sandalwood Essential Oil, and has helped so many people with their skin. The next product is a Liquid Soap, thats called Cleanse & Exfoliate and is made with Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon, Green Clay, Comfrey & Calendula Oils

    cleanse

     


    For the moisturising the skin I make an Elderflower Facial Serum, which has had Dried Elderflowers infused in Argan Oil for 6 weeks, and is fragranced with Frankincense and Rose essential oils which are also known to have healing properties for the skin.

     

     

    References

    Natural beauty at home by Janice Cox

  2. I have only just realised its been a couple of months since i last did an update on whats been going one in the Soap Kitchen, I have been flat out making and restocking all of your favourite skin goodies, with the addition of some new products. So where do i begin…..

    Lets start with the shop, to say it was looking very tired  on the outside was an understatement, its been 4 years since she was painted, so Soapy hubby in his infinate wisdom though it would be a good idea to decorate, an idea which he soon came to regret, as with all old buildings underneath the paint work was a multitude of horrors, the first one we knew about, the base of the window frame was totally rotten, but then we discovered the lintel above the window frame was rotten….. That one we didnt know about and the base frame of the long window was rotten, this decorating project was turning more and more into a nightmare. But luckily we had a very good decorator come builder, not only did he replace the base of both frame but he patched up the lintel, until the winter and did a very good job. We have had a couple of comments on the colour, but i assure you it is grey, even though all the pictures seem to make it look purple lol. But from the feedback most people seem to like it.

     

     

     


                            

     

    Now we Just Need New Signage  

    Now back to the soapy kitchen….. This past couple of months saw me treat myself to some new bath bomb moulds and this time of year being quiet i have had a chance to play, So i would like to introduce our Aroma-Heart Bath Bombs… These are made with pure essential oils, at the moment we have 3 fragrances

     

    Maychang & ElderFlower, This heart also has Jasmine & Neroli in it, it has a sharp citrusy top note which is from the Maychang & Neroli, with the gentle base note of warming Jasmine.

     

    Lavender & Patchouli, This one speaks for itself, both these essential oils are warming and relaxing, perfect for a long hot soak after a busy day to help you unwind.

     

    And Finally or Rose, Geranium & Frankincense, Again this is a warming and relaxing bath treat thanks to the frankincense, which is known to quieten the mind, Geranium which is a known hormone balancer, making it perfect after a stressful day and finally the added floral note of Rose, which is calming.

     

    The next new products will be the introduction of our Fizzing Doh Bombs, which are a mixture of Bath Bomb & Bubble bars, these are still a work in progress as the first batch, even though they set hard, crumbled after a couple of days, but in the bath worked brilliantly.

     

    And Finally… I would like to introduce our New Sensitive Skin Deodorant, our other deodorants are very popular, but we still have a couple of people who have allergies to certain ingredients, and so they cant use them, but know you can, this deodorant is unfragranced and made with Clay instead of Bicarb and so far the feedback has been really good, so we added it to our range, also we have dropped the plastic containers, so now we should be able to send them out during the heat of the summer, it wont stop them melting but at least they wont leak everywhere and can easily be put in the fridge to firm back up.

           

     

    Well i hope you enjoyed my update and hopefully it wont be as long before i do another.

     

    TTFN

    XX

  3. thyme

     

    Thyme

    Botanical Name of Thyme: Thymus vulgaris.

    Other Common Names: English fresh, summer, German winter, narrow-leafed French, Greek gray, broad leaf English and garden thyme, mother of thyme.
     
    Family Name: Lamiaceae
     
    Ayurvedic/ TCM Name: Bai Li Xiang
     

    Meridians: Lungs, Spleen and Stomach.

    Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Tonify Qi: shortness of breath, coughs, pale complexion, depression. Tonify and Warm Lungs: white phlegm cough, chills, fever, tuberculosis, asthma. Release to the Exterior: cause sweating to ease muscle pain, chills, fatigue, rheumatism. Tonify Spleen: for Spleen Yang Deficiency Syndromes: wet watery diarrhea, colic, nausea, menstrual cramping. Tonify Wei Qi and Support Immunity: colds, skin infections and irritations, pussy wounds, parasites.

    Habitat: Thyme originated in the Mediterranean area. Since then, it has been adapted to many different climates around the world.

    The first colonists brought it to North America where it was used as a food preservative and as a medicinal herb.

    Plant Description: The plant grows numerous stems which are hard, branched and procumbent. They grow from 4 inches to 1 foot high. The thyme stem is ordinarily a reddish-brown in colour. Its bright green oval leaves, typically 1/8 inch broad and tapering below into very short foot-stalks, are smooth and contain numerous small glands. The flowers are pink and bloom during the summer months. The thyme root is woody and fibrous.

    Plant Parts Used: Only the leaves and the flowering tops. While it can be harvested at any time, it is best to harvest the leaves just as the flowers begin to bloom.

    Constituents of Garden Thyme: thymol, flavonoids luteolin, apigenin, thymonin naringenin, Tannins, Bitters, Saponins, Resins.

    Constituents of Wild Thyme: volatile oil (thymol, carvacrol, linalool), flavonoids, caffeic acid, tannins, resin

    Organs & Systems Affected, Intestines, uterus, central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, respiratory system. Adrenals

    Works Well With: Thyme combines particularly well with Elder flower for clearing infections from the head and throat, with Chamomile to ease pain and inflammation, and with Mullein and White horehound for bad coughs or lung troubles. Wild Thyme Combines well with tincture of Myrrh for an infectious sore throat

    Taste: Pungent, Bitter, Sweet

    Energy Dry, Warm

    Uses

    The history of thyme being in use as both a seasoning and a medicinal herb, goes back more than 3000 years. Archaeologists have found ancient writings in Egypt discussing the use of it and it has been identified as one of the ingredients used in mummification. Ancient Greeks considered it a symbol of style, elegance, and courage, and they used it as an incense to cleanse holy areas. In Ancient Rome it was prized for its medicinal qualities and was used in the treatment of many ailments. It was also used by the Romans to “purify” their rooms. In Europe, during the Middle Ages, thyme was grown in monasteries for use as a cough medicine, a remedy for intestinal parasites and as a digestive aid. Thyme was also burnt on hospital wards during the Victorian era, along with Rosemary, to help in the prevention of the spread of diseases.

    The origin of the word thyme probably goes back to either the Greek word, “thumus” which means “courage”, or from the Greek word “thymos” meaning “to perfume”. Thyme has been used as an herbal remedy against fungal infections like athlete’s foot and as a remedy for oral Candida (thrush) and other yeast infections. It is also used to kill skin parasites such as crabs or head lice and internal parasites such as worms in the intestines, As well as a natural mosquito repellent. Additionally it is thought to be beneficial for coughs and sore throat related to colds and flu as well as whooping cough. This is because the active constituents of thyme are known to loosen and expel mucous. Some clinical trials have been conducted and confirm the effectiveness of thyme in treating bronchitis. Traditionally the herb has been used to treat anemia, fever, intestinal problems and as an herbal remedy for halitosis. Thyme is thought to be good for colic, flatulence as well as an herbal hangover remedy.

    Recent studies have also suggested that it may be helpful in the prevention of blood clots. The essential oil of thyme is one of the most important oils in aromatherapy. It is used to boost the mind, spirit, and body. The vapor from the essential oil is used to treat exhaustion, headaches, and depression as well as upper respiratory complaints, skin and scalp irritations and to prevent warts. The essential oil is used in commercial toothpastes, mouthwashes and in a number of liniments and creams used in the topical treatment of arthritis, gout and rheumatism.

    Actions

    Garden Thyme
    Anti-bacterial, Expectorant, Antioxidants. Antiseptic, Anti-fungal, Diaphoretic, Tonic, Carminative, Diuretic, Restorative, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-diarrhoeals, Antiviral, Anti-parasitic, Anti-cough,
     
    Wild Thyme
    Actions similar to those of Garden thyme, but less potent than the essential oil. Antitussive, Anthelmintic, Mild Sedative, Anti-candida
     

    Safety; Thyme may be too strong for many people externally, so caution is advised. Some people have demonstrated sensitivity to the essential oil, so patch tests are appropriate. The herb is often recommended by herbalists for the aid of children, however, it should not be given to children unless as prescribed by a professional. Although it is safe to use thyme as a seasoning during pregnancy, high dosages should be avoided since it is a uterine stimulant.

    Reference

    herbal-supplement-resource.com

    Organicfacts.com

    Herbs2000.com

    whiterabbitinstituteofhealing.com

    cloverleaffarmherbs.com

    Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine

  4.  

    Chamomile

    I'm a Rosacea suffer, now i've always had issues with my skin, when i went through puberty i was covered with spots, from head to toe and front to back, My mum tried everything, from putting me on a specific diet to even putting me on sulphur tablets, (don't do it, believe me you'll regret it) to try and help me. But nothing worked, they just went their course and now thankfully they're gone. I used to wear make up, not a lot of it, but enough, I used to cleanse and tone my skin, with a commercial brand, but all that had to change when i turned 30, because anything i put on my face, either turned me into a lizard (my cheeks were covered in very dry scales) or looked like a bleacher beacon (looked like a very red tomato). So when i started making my own skin care, i wanted to make something nice for my skin, something to soothe my face and that worked, granted i still cant wear make up but at least my skin is soft and i don't get the tomato face very often now. But over the years and studying both Aromatherapy & Herbalism i have come to realise its not just about what we put on our skin, its also about hormones and what we put inside our body our digestive system has a lot to answer for when it comes to understanding all kinds of disorders.

    Symptoms of Rosacea

    • blushing and flushing,
    • permanent redness,
    • swelling, burning, stinging,
    • inflamed acne,
    • and broken capillaries.

    Rosacea Triggers

    • STRESS (It is on top of the list and is one of the main causes)
    • Caffeine
    • Alcohol
    • Exposure to sun
    • Hot beverages
    • Spicy foods
    • Strenuous exercise

    So what can help Rosacea sufferer's?

    1. Liquorice Root Extract

    One of the culprits believed to be at the source of rosacea breakouts, is the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. In a 2001 study, 100 percent of adults with rosacea who fully recovered after antibiotic treatment were found to have antibodies to this bacteria. But Helicobacter pylori is just as likely to be found in people without rosacea. So the conclusion is, that even though this bacteria may not directly cause rosacea, eliminating it plays a major part in curing it.

    So what does this have to do with liquorice root extract?

    So! Liquorice root contains a number of flavinoids that prevent helicobacter pylori from multiplying. So when taken internally, it helps to eradicate the need for your immune system to fight this bacteria. You should take 380 to 760mg of deglycyrrhizinated liquorice root 20 minutes before meals. Liquorice root extract has also been included in some creams, to be applied to the skin. This is because it has an anti-inflammatory agent called glycyrrhizinate which soothes and moisturises the skin. If you have it in powder form, mixing it with Aloe Vera gel can make a noticeable difference to any facial redness. Leave it on for about 20-30 minutes.

    2. Burdock Root & Gentian Root

    Decreasing rosacea flare-ups can be aided with gentian root and burdock root. If theres an imbalance in your digestive system, Or If your gut is out of balance because it doesn’t have enough “good bacteria”, or lacks sufficient stomach acid or digestive enzymes, or carries too much candida fungus, the imbalance will be reflected in breakouts onto your skin. Gentian helps to eliminate indigestion and cleanses the system, while Burdock root is a good herb for rosacea because it promotes gastrointestinal health and regularity which helps detoxify the body and reduce the  rosacea flare-ups. Steep these roots in boiling water to make a daily detox tea.1 teaspoon in 150ml of boiling water

    3. Olive Leaf Extract

    Olive leaf extract is one of the most potent antioxidants on the planet, cleansing and detoxifying your system from pathogens and protozoa. Eliminating these will give your immune system a fighting chance to combat the causes of rosacea. This herb attacks rosacea causes from the inside.

    4. Camphor Oil

    If you’re experiencing acne rosacea, then you’ll be interested to learn that the papules and pustules probably contain tiny parasitic mites. Camphor oil has been shown in studies to be effective in reducing the infestation. It is readily absorbed by the skin so you can apply it – but in diluted form. Don’t take it internally. and it has been known to cause irritation in some rosacea patients.

    5. Tea Tree Oil

    May be useful because it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Never take it internally. It should be mixed with other natural oils (e.g. coconut oil) and applied to the skin. Some people have reported allergic reactions to it, so be careful using it to start with.

    6. Turmeric

    Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used medicinally for over 4,000 years to treat a variety of disorders including inflammation, digestive issues, and certain cancers. Curcumin is the active ingredient and primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. One study, published by ethnobotanist James A. Duke, concluded that curcumin has the ability to surpass the effects of potent anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals. He states that curcumin is a “multi-faceted anti-inflammatory agent, and studies of the efficacy of curcumin have demonstrated positive changes in arthritic symptoms.”

    As for rosacea, which is also an inflammatory disorder, the curcuminoids present in turmeric can be taken internally or applied topically to soothe symptoms. It can reduce irritation, while improving circulation to inflamed areas on the skin. Turmeric is available in many forms including capsules, fluid extracts, and tinctures. For a topical solution, here’s how to make a turmeric face mask to reduce rosacea symptoms:

    1. Mix a few tablespoons of turmeric powder with plain yogurt, milk, or honey in a bowl. Create a paste with spreadable consistency.
    2. Apply to clean skin and leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes. (Be careful not to stain your clothes!)
    3. Rinse with tepid water. Once removed, splash skin with cold water. Pat dry face.

    7. Neem

    Neem, a tree Native to Southeast Asia and valued highly in Ayurveda, is another centuries-old remedy for skin health. Neem leaf, bark and oil are teaming with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, making them excellent additions in skin care formulations. Neem is known to sooth irritation caused by rosacea flare-ups and acne. Neem is also high in vitamin E and rich in essential fatty acids, which boost lipid content and repair the skin’s barrier function. Another naturally occurring constituent of neem is quercetin, which supports the body’s inflammatory response. No wonder neem means “perfect, complete and imperishable” in Sanskrit, as it is quite clear this magical plant harnesses an abundance of healing properties.

    8. Aloe Vera

    Aloe, nature’s best hydrator, has been proven a safe, gentle and effective treatment for mild to moderate forms of rosacea. Applying this plant to the skin can result in almost immediate relief from redness and irritation. It’s best to buy pure aloe vera gel (or an aloe plant to break open the leaf) because many over-the-counter aloe vera gels contain chemicals and preservatives that can increase symptoms.

    9. Coconut Oil

    Not really an herb, but definitely a miracle, coconut oil is in a kingdom of its own. The benefits of this oil are so plentiful that it really deserves it’s own encyclopedia. In terms of rosacea, coconut oil used topically and internally helps to reduce inflammation and support tissue healing and repair. Several studies have shown that Demodex mites, which exist on the face of all humans, proliferate on facial skin of people who have rosacea. One study conducted in Mexico City’s General Hospital found much greater numbers of these mites in biopsies of the skin in patients with rosacea than in people without rosacea. This is an interesting (though, not surprising) correlation between the positive effects of coconut oil on rosacea due to its anti-parasitic properties.

    10. Lavender

    Lavender essential oil is famous for its ability to heal skin that has been damaged. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it a mild yet effective supplement to skin care products. You can apply lavender oil directly to clean and affected areas of the skin (or diluted in a carrier oil of your choice). Lavender does contain geraniol, which can cause irritation in some sensitive people. Try patch testing a small area before general application

    11. Oatmeal

    Oatmeal has been used for centuries and offer's a great deal of relief by soothing the skin, reducing inflammation, removing those pus-filled pimples and more. To use simply grind whole oats in a food processor until you have a fine powder. Mix this with a little water to form a paste and then apply to your face gently, do not rub or massage onto the skin, Leave for 10 or 20 minutes and gently wash off and pat your skin dry.

    12. Chamomile

    Chamomile is not only a nervine but also carminative, antispasmodic, and a great anti-inflammatory. It’s also very soothing to the GI tract, and is often used as an after-dinner tea to ease digestion. One clinical trial reported a significant anxiolytic effect in patients with mild to moderate generalised anxiety disorder that were given chamomile (Amsterdam et al., 2009). Chamomile has a pleasant taste and is safe for children. Chamomile is also a great external remedy for skin Try using a strong infusion of chamomile tea as a face wash for acne or rosacea, or taking a chamomile bath for inflammatory conditions that are more widespread. Chamomile flowers can also be made into a poultice for smaller areas of skin inflammation.

    13. Apple Cider Vinegar

    ACV contains a form of natural Acetic acid which is known to help reduce the swelling associated with this condition, balancing the skin's delicate pH levels at the same time. In addition to the natural acids, apple cider vinegar is also packed with trace minerals, vitamins and enzymes that help to set it apart from other commercial vinegar's. However, the most useful benefit of ACV when treating Rosacea is the way it can disinfect skin due to its unique anti-bacterial action.

     

    References

    www.herbalacademy.com

    www.annmariegianni.com