Serums can be moisturizing or hydrating. To learn more about the difference between them, see this link. For moisturizing serum recipes, go here.
Natural hydrating serums must contain hydrating ingredients such as honey, or Hyaluronic acid, or other water based ingredients such as hydrosols or aloe vera juice in an emulsion.
Hydrating serum recipes are often a bit more complex to make than moisturizing ones. Moisturizing serums contain only oil based ingredients, which will hold moisture in the skin. They make wonderful overnight skin treatments, and work well for daily applications.
When using a multi step skin program, you will want to apply hydrating serums right after washing your face, and right before applying an emollient oil such as Kalahari seed oil or Raspberry seed oil, or an occlusive such as shea butter or cocoa butter.
After some years in Arizona’s high desert north of Grand Canyon, I found that moisturizing oils alone were no longer doing the job for my skin. I began using this serum recipe, and immediately (I mean right after the first application!) I noticed that my skin looked younger, smoother, and less leathery. I was sold.
You will need a stick blender to make the emulsion combining watery and oily ingredients. I like this one, but I am sure that many others would work too. It is a bit more complex, but so very worth it to know how clean and pure this serum is. No hidden ingredients, no “filler” ingredients, no missing ingredients, just the ones that you put in!
2 drops Leucidal(a natural preservative made from fermented radishes, approved by Eco-cert and approved for use in Whole Foods products)
2 drops Linatural (a combination of 3 ingredients, made from non-GMO corn, also approved by Eco-cert as a natural preservative)
1/8 tsp. ascorbic acid
Once the serum is complete, and since this is a recipe (and not a formula measured in grams), I always test for the best ph and adjust if necessary. If the ph is too high, you can add a bit more citric or ascorbic acid. If it is too low, you can add a tiny amount of natural sea salt, (only 1/32nd of a teaspoon to start with), or sodium lactate. The final ph should register at 4 to 6 for most serums. Vitamin C serums (with ascorbic acid or citric acid) should measure between 3 to 4.5. To easily test ph values of your home made products, get these!
Add all ingredients into the stick blender cup. Blend until smooth and well mixed. Place in light blocking bottles and store unused portion in the refrigerator.
Even though Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is also made by the human body, it should be used with awareness. Do not use it for children or infants, or during pregnancy, unless approved by a health care professional.
Disclaimer: None of our products are recognized or approved by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. This information is anecdotal, and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be taken as medical advice. See a health care professional for medical advice.
You might think hydration is something that only people with dry or dehydrated skin need to worry about. But hydrating your skin is just like hydrating your body. Your body needs hydration to look and feel its best. And no matter what skin type you have, so does your skin.
With so many different products claiming to give you the hydrated skin you desire, including oils, serums, creams and gels, how do you choose one that actually gives your skin the right dose of moisture it needs?
Hydrator vs. Moisturizer: What’s the difference?
“Moisturizer” is an umbrella term for various types of moisturizing ingredients such as Emollients (includes fats and oils), Squalene (an olive oil extract), Humectants, and Occlusives.
But in the world of marketing, the terminology is not the same. “Hydrator” and “Moisturizer” are marketing terms which can be defined by the branding companies in almost any way that they want. Even though there is no standard for what defines a hydrator and a moisturizer, for the most part, the industry uses these terms to differentiate how your skin gets the moisture it needs.
How About Water?
Water alone will not keep your skin moisturized from the outside. It is likely that, once applied, it has evaporated away by the time you leave the bathroom. And it has taken along with it, much of your skin’s natural oil (sebum).
In fact, the more you wash your skin without applying a moisturizer or hydrator, the more likely your skin will dry out, as the acid mantle and sebum are washed away, leaving your skin with no protection against dryness.
What are Some Other Moisturizers?
Occlusive agents, (such as petrolatum or mineral oil—both of which I can not recommend that you put on your skin!) are substances that create a water and air tight barrier. This does a good job of keeping the moisture in your skin. The most common occlusive agents that you will find in skin products include petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil. They are inexpensive and do the job intended. But the large size of their molecules means that they are difficult to penetrate the skin, and tend to build up in the skin’s outer layer.
Over many months or even years, this build-up will inhibit the skin’s natural respiration. I have seen evidence of this myself when working with people who, for chronic health issues, are doing intense herbal cleanses. At a certain point in the cleansing process, people who have applied mineral products over a long period of time, will have a few days of greasy yellowish discharge coming out of their skin, as the body releases this build-up. If you have ever seen it, you will avoid these ingredients like the plague in all of your skin and cosmetic products!
Some of the natural occlusive ingredients that are plant based and do not build up in the skin, are cocoa butter, jojoba (a plant wax), andshea butter.
Emollients (such as plant oils) also work by creating a lighter seal on the surface of skin which prevents water from escaping. They make the skin feel smoother and less dry. Generally they do not inhibit the respiration of the skin. And since their molecules are smaller than occlusives, they do not build up in the outer layer of the skin, but are absorbed and removed over time.
Hydrators are also called humectants. These ingredients absorb water from the atmosphere or from deeper layers of your skin, and hold it on the surface of your skin. They make your skin feel smooth and moist—but beware! They are also pulling water out of the deeper layers of your skin, sort of robbing Peter to pay Paul. They can easily contribute to further dehydration of the skin. They do insure that you will need to apply more and more skin lotion, as the dehydration leads to the need for more moisturizer. Sounds like product security to me!
These ingredients include glycerine, lactic acid, citric acid, and hyaluronic acid. A very small amount of these ingredients in some products may be okay for certain skin types, especially in the case of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the eyes, skin, joints, and connective tissue of the human body.
Natural hydrators that are less likely to draw out moisture, include raw honey and aloe vera. These hydrators have a more gentle action, and don’t tend to create the same level of dehydration of the deeper skin layers.
It’s important to recognize that these ingredients work very differently from each other. The success you have in getting to your goal of better skin hydration depends on your selection of ingredients based on your skin type.
What is Best for Your Skin Type?
There are a lot of different products on the market, including balms, oils, creams, gels, ointments, salves, and hydrators. Most skin lotions and other moisturizing products will contain occlusive and emollient ingredients, as well as humectant ingredients.
The best way to find out what works for you is to read the ingredients of your skin products and experiment. Your skin might do better with only a moisturizer or hydrator, not both. By learning exactly how your skin likes to drink, you maximize your way to hydrated skin.
Dry Skin Types Respond to a Thick Emollient or Occlusive
If your skin is naturally dry year-round and tends to flake or peel, it is likely not weather-related dehydration that’s causing your dryness. Your skin just has a hard time retaining moisture.
You will need to moisturize to create a protective seal on the surface to lock in moisture. A thick, emollient moisturizer will help prevent water from leaving your skin. Natural choices include shea butter and cocoa butter. Nut oils like coconut oil, and jojoba are other ingredients to try.
Dehydrated Skin Types Respond to a Hydrating Serum
If your skin is dehydrated, you need to actively add water back into the skin. Look for a hydrating serum with ingredients such as honey,aloe vera, or hyaluronic acid, (which retains 1,000 times its weight in water). Your goal is to add a healthy dose of hydration back into the skin.
Hydrate From the Inside Out
The state of the skin is an indicator for the rest of the body. If your skin is dehydrated, one of the most important pieces of the solution is to regularly drink plenty of water. A good goal is at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, shoot for 75 ounces of water per day.
But water is often not enough. In my own experience, I was drinking substantially more than that of pure water every day, yet I still had dehydrated skin, and other symptoms of mild dehydration. I felt like my body was simply not absorbing water as it should, and water was going through me but not making its way into my cells and tissues. After trying different types and brands of water with no substantial improvement, I began to drink fresh fruit & vegetable juices daily. The nutrients, minerals, and enzymes in the fresh juices regenerated the tissues and cells of my body. In just a few weeks of regular juicing, my skin was beginning to look smoother, younger, and more hydrated.
Adding water rich foods such as watermelon, strawberries, and cucumber, makes a difference. These can help give the skin and body the hydration they need to look and feel their best. Also eliminating carbonated drinks, drinks containing alcohol, artificial sweeteners, or sugar, which all contribute to dehydration; and replacing them with water and fresh juices, will begin to change the health of your body on a cellular level, and improve hydration very quickly. This will all benefit the hydration of your skin.
Oily Skin Types Respond to Hydrators and Moisturizers
If you have an oily skin type, it type doesn’t mean your skin isn’t dehydrated. If your skin is dehydrated, it can actually exacerbate excess oil issues.
People with oily skin often have compromised barrier function, which makes it hard for their skin to retain moisture. As moisture leaves the skin, it becomes dehydrated, causing the skin to produce more oil.
This becomes a vicious cycle, and the only way to break it is to give skin the proper hydration and moisture it needs. Look for water-based, non-comedogenic hydrators and moisturizers. Water-based products will feel lighter on the skin and won’t clog your pores.
Many natural ingredients are on this list, including Almond oil, Avocado oil, Beeswax, Coconut oil, Flaxseed oil, Grape seed oil, Olive oil, Sesame oil, Wheat germ oil, to name a few. And just one comedogenic ingredient in a blend can cause more break-outs, so it is important to check your formulas against this list.
Sunflower, safflower, jojoba, and all essential oils are acne-safe. While most oils are comedogenic, these were all found to be non-comedogenic.
Formulating Your Own Natural Skin Products
It is helpful to use both a moisturizer and hydrator in many formulas. If you are using a multi-step process, use hydrating products containing aloe vera, honey, or hyaluronic acid first, then follow up with an occlusive like shea butter or plant oils to lock it in.
Or, if you want to keep things simple, look for a product that contains both types of ingredients.
If you want a healthy , hydrated complexion all year round, you may need to change your formulas with changing conditions and seasons. For some conditions, like the winter season, you are likely to need to hydrate and moisturize. If you move from a dry climate to a n area of high humidity, you may find that your skin does better with oil based products containing only moisturizers rather than hydrators.
Facial serums don’t have to be loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Here are three oil based serums that can nourish and improve skin in record time, when applied every day. Oil based serums are the easiest to make, and are helpful for every skin type from dry to normal to oily skin. In fact, many botanical oils and essential oils help slow down excess oil production, reduce inflammation, and keep pores clear.
How to use facial serums: Apply a few drops at a time to clean skin, free of make-up. Spread serum under eyes, on forehead, face and neck. Make sure you use upward and outward strokes as you apply it. You can apply it once or twice daily. It is especially good to apply it before going to sleep, giving the serum lots of time to do its work!
Below are three recipes to try out. Watch our BLOG for a future post on how to make emulsion based serums!
Rejuvenating Facial Serum
Suitable for all skin types, this one is a wonderfully balancing, healing and rejuvenating blend. It repairs skin damage, fades sunspots, and nourishes skin.
Michael and I recently acquired the Kalahari melon seed botanical oil from an exclusive grower in South Africa. This amazing oil is one of the finest oils for regenerating aging skin that we have ever seen–and believe me we have experienced the best that the world has to offer!
After using this oil daily on our faces for a couple of months, we both decided that this oil is GREAT, and it needs to get out to the people who are seeking support for their skin. We decided to offer it at a super reduced rate of 40% Off.
We are also extending a challenge! It goes like this: Purchase Kalahari melon seed oil at the sale price and use it daily on your face until your bottle is gone. Then write a comment about the oil and email it to us or post it here under reviews. We will happily extend you an additional purchase at 40% off at that time.
Or take photos of your face before you start using the oil, and again after you have used it daily (or nightly) for several weeks. Send us the 2 photos, and we will extend a 50% off price on your next order of Kalahari melon seed oil!
It is that simple! Based on our experience and that of some friends and colleagues, we know you will be delighted with the results! You only need to commit yourself to using it every day (or every evening). Why not give it a try and see just how much Kalahari melon seed oil can do for you?
Allergy season is here! Are you confining yourself to the indoors, avoiding the Great Outdoors, because of allergies? Allergies can be debilitating, and contribute to depression, anxiety, and stress. If you have allergies, try these allergy season recipes for the aromatic tools that you need to beat them and set yourself free again!
For Frontline Support
When you are already under attack, and need help now—try dabbing a drop of Allergy Freedom Essential Oil under your nose, or placing a drop on a tissue and putting it in your nostril. It can also be diluted and applied to the lymph glands before getting into a shower.
For skin allergies, rashes, and irritations; try spraying Allergy Freedom Spray on skin.
For extra heavy duty clearing, you can spray it into the back of your throat, and inhale it into your nostrils, to relieve the itching, and decrease mucus production.
In order to get a long term protective effect, remember to drink nettles tea beginning about a month BEFORE allergy season starts. You can build immunity before hand to have a different experience of the season altogether. Simply steep the dried stinging nettles in water to make a tea, taking one cup daily until allergy season is over.
For a ready made herbal supplement that can neutralize allergic symptoms, try our One Source Allergy Relief with Jade Elixir, available online.
Moroccan Chamomile is a powerful anti-histamine. It is one of the strongest anti-allergenic essential oils known. It works by inhibiting the original release of histamine, so the whole cascade of inflammatory processes is not initiated.
Peppermint helps to clear the sinuses. It is cooling and comforting.
Goldenrod has anti-allergenic properties, and is especially helpful for reducing the reaction to animal dander, dust mites, and other respiratory system irritants.
St Johnswort is highly anti-inflammatory, slightly sedating, and acts as a tonic for the liver, endocrine & immune systems. It is especially good for rebuilding the immune system.
Cypress is relaxing, soothes pain, opens bronchial tubes, and clears congestion.
A recent comment came in regarding an issue experienced by many women. She wrote:
“Do you have any recommendations for vaginal itch? I’m not sure if it’s a yeast infection. There is an ongoing itch that hasn’t seemed to improve with homeopathic remedies”.
For treating vaginal itch, many people use lavender, or tea tree essential oil. It is best used neat (undiluted), but I have found that some people are too sensitive to use it without dilution.
How do I use the oil? Using a tampon (pure cotton if available), apply 7 to 10 drops of oil onto the tampon. Insert the tampon and leave it over night. It will likely have a mild burning sensation for a few minutes–but for most people it subsides pretty quickly, and will make the itch go away. Ordinarily it does not come back. If you are extra sensitive, you may want to either try diluting the oil to 4%, OR try putting a drop on a Q-tip and swabbing just a little way inside the opening of the vagina. If the sensation is too strong, you can dust it with corn starch which will help remove the oil. This exercise can help you decide if you can handle the internal treatment for vaginal itch or not. With the extreme anti-bacterial properties of these oils, there is no danger in leaving the tampon in over night. Do not leave it longer than 8 to 12 hours. This is a well known protocol among aromatherapists and herbalists.
And wouldn’t we all love to know what causes vaginal itch in the first place? Candida albicans is a fungus that can easily get out of balance in our bodies. When it does, we may experience repeated yeast infections and irritation. Although it seems to originate in the vagina, as that is where we have symptoms, it is actually much deeper than that. Candida is the most prevalent of bacterial and fungal infections that cause vaginal itch.
Candida albicans begins as a yeast, a normal part of our digestive flora in stomach and intestines. When we eat a “normal” diet, we run a high risk of developing an overgrowth of Candida, called Candidiasis. This overgrowth overwhelms other necessary and beneficial probiotic bacteria in our digestive system. Soon, the Candida takes over, and turns into a full fledged fungus. At this point, it not only exists in our digestive system, but now will show up in our blood and many other areas of our bodies–including vagina, anus, ear canals, sinuses, even on the skin. This has been linked to many diseases including cancer and diabetes.
What foods contribute to this imbalance?
Sugar is the number one contributor to Candidiasis. Even if you think you don’t eat much sugar, when you start reading the labels of all the foods that you purchase (and eat), you will find that there is added sugar in everything. Sugar may be listed as:
Brown rice syrup.
Check this link to find 60 different names for sugar, used in the food manufacturing industry! Manufacturers want us to eat sugar–it is inexpensive and the taste makes us want MORE. Addictive? Yes I believe it is.
Other foods that contribute to this condition include Alcohol, Carbonated drinks, many low quality Meats & Dairy foods, Gluten, Refined Grain Products (bread, pasta, cereal, baked goods, pastries, etc.).
What can you do about? The best program I have found (and I have used many with clients and family!) is available here. The Ultimate Candida Diet has helped thousands of people get well, change their gut flora, and let go of the excess sugar addiction. And the bonus–it eliminates vaginal itch!
The Ultimate Candida Diet involves a eating a very precise diet for up to 3 months; eliminating all added sugar; using certain supplements at specific times in the healing process; and taking anti-fungals (I prefer internal use of specific essential oils and herbs). It provides the way to bring your body back into vibrant health, and eliminate vaginal irritation for good!
It is possible to work successfully with essential oils from a purely academic mindset. In this instance, one uses information based on the science and chemistry of aromatherapy, to select essential oils for different conditions and purposes. I have seen this work well for many people.
But this was never enough for me. Having spent years immersed in Native American culture, I knew about the Great Mystery. The Great Mystery is the field of pure potentiality, which contains all things.
Some things are manifest in the physical world, but many more are not presently manifest. Yet all things that ever existed or ever could exist, are already present in the field of potentiality, or Great Mystery. This field is completely conscious, as is the whole of creation.
Earth is conscious, spirits are conscious, plants are conscious, rocks and stars and insects are conscious, inanimate objects even have a form of consciousness in them. From this shamanic perspective, everything is conscious.
For a shaman or indigenous medicine person–all things, all information, all memories, energies, places, beings–can potentially be accessed by those who intentionally engage and communicate with the field. This is is the foundational belief behind energy healing, shamanic paths, spiritual reading, and many religious and spiritual paths.
Though the training methods vary greatly, and the language may be different from one path to another, the underlying truth is the same. Human consciousness is altered in some way so that a different (yet connected) reality is accessed in order to shed light on our ordinary reality, or mundane level of consciousness.
A multitude of possibilities exist for activating this shift in consciousness. It may be accomplished by drumming, singing, toning; by meditation or prayer, in dreams, astral journeying, or by communicating with helping spirits or beings who assist the medicine person.
Many tools exist to facilitate this communication, including hallucinogenic plants, rituals, reading energies or divination, prayer, and meditation.
One form that helped me immensely in my own journey as a medicine person, is dowsing. Dowsing is done with rods (as in the case of locating water or minerals, etc.), or with a pendulum.
Pendulums and rods are energy amplifiers. They simply amplify the energy that is present in a person’s nervous system circuitry. With great commitment and practice, dowsing can be a highly accurate way of accessing information for healing that would not otherwise be available.
One can begin by inhaling each oil several times through a 30 minute dry down to discern the aromatic differences. Though they are both distilled from genetically diverse or “wild” lavenders, the aroma of each one is unique. In my opinion, the wild French lavender is slightly more balanced and softer, and the lavender fine is slightly more activating, spicy, and herbaceous.
Of course, both lavenders will have similar healing properties based on the chemistry of lavender essential oil. Yet each oil, in the shamanic perspective, is a living, conscious being. They will interact differently with individuals on a spirit level.
Through accessing another form of information, such as dowsing, wild French lavender essential oil may prove to be much more effective for a person who is healing a skin condition related to stress, for example.
Another person, who is also healing a skin condition related to stress, may dowse positive for the lavender fine. Both lavenders are super effective for this condition, yet one will dowse positive for one person, and the other will dowse positive for another.
I know that when I use a tool such as dowsing or intuitive sensing to select essential oils for treating conditions, I generally have about a 97% effective rate (based on how satisfied people are with the results). When I just choose an essential oil to recommend with my mind–something I almost never do anymore–that rate drops significantly.
So my short answer to the question of what are the differences between these two very similar essential oils, is this. The oils are unique individuals that work differently on energetic and spiritual levels, with the people who are using them. Rooted in the Great Mystery, there is no way to define those differences concretely, other than to smell the two oils, open to experience their gifts individually, and access information from a higher level of consciousness.
This is the way of co-creation, the way of the shaman. It is accessible to anyone who wants to commit the time and attention to practicing this art, and a great place to begin is by simply smelling the oils and allowing your body’s response indicate which oil to choose.
Genital herpes is caused by two types of virus, Herpes simplex type I and Herpes simplex type II. It is estimated that one in 6 people in the USA between the age of 14 and 49 have genital herpes.
It is normally transmitted through sexual contact. Because most Herpes carriers do not even know they are infected and can be symptom free, it is easily spread.
Herbs and essential oils can reduce symptoms and discomfort of this viral condition. With radical commitment to a natural treatment plan, some people have even been known to eliminate all symptoms over a long period of time.
If one is seeking to eliminate this virus from the body, it would be very important to have a blood test to be certain that Herpes is indeed the cause. After concluding the treatment, when the symptoms have been gone for several months, another blood test would be valuable to see whether or not the virus is still in the body.
Herbs Essential Oils for Genital Herpes Healing Regime
Combine essential oils of ravensare, foraha, and melissa. Add 1.5 ml (about 30 drops) of each oil into a 5 ml bottle. Apply a few drops of this powerful anti-viral blend twice daily to to all break-out areas.
Make a couple quarts of lemon balm tea and store it in the fridge. It makes a great drench for cleansing the break out areas. Pour it on skin, or dab with a tea soaked cotton pad. It is mild enough to be soothing, and the anti-viral effects will accelerate what the essential oil blend is doing. Use these two anti-viral formulas until the outbreak is completely gone.
You will also need to deal with this persistent virus internally as well. A special diet must be used consistently. For a time, avoid eating or drinking coffee, soda pop, alcohol, refined carbs such as breads and pastries, and sweetened foods for a few months. Eat lots of fresh and steamed vegetables, fermented foods like yogurt and cole slaw, and small portions of high quality protein foods like eggs, grass fed beef or lamb, and wild salmon. This will enable your immune system to focus on eliminating the virus, instead of spending extra energy cleaning up the toxins produced from processing unhealthy foods. A wonderfully helpful way of eating to support this and other detoxifying programs is available here, at the Ultimate Candida Diet website.
Take Inner Rain (or an anti-viral detoxifying supplement) daily for up to 3 months at a time. Inner Rain formula will help cleanse and detoxify the body, and support the immune system so that it can do the work to rid the body of the virus.
Find someone who will apply essential oils to your spine once a week while you are using this program. Even if you have no symptoms or very little break out, the virus can go dormant for years and is known to hang out around the spine. The oils can address this and are an important part of the program. Use a combination of at least three anti-viral oils, including ajowan, spike lavender, melissa, ravensare, foraha, cinnamon bark, and oregano.
I have seen people heal this condition, so I know it is possible! It does take a lot of focus and a strong commitment to get the desired results. Sometimes it takes much longer than I have suggested, even many months, to become free of Herpes viruses. But in many cases the journey is worth it. The immune system will be stronger without that virus floating around in the body.