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, and/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 seal 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 an area of high humidity, you may find that your skin does better with oil based products containing only moisturizers rather than hydrators.
Facial serum recipes 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 facial serum recipes to try out. Check our BLOG for a post on how to make emulsion based serums!
This facial serum recipe is suitable for all skin types. It is a wonderfully balancing, healing and rejuvenating blend. It repairs skin damage, fades sunspots, and nourishes skin.
Cilantro for detoxification? Yes! This amazing essential oil detoxifier is great for removing heavy metals from the body. It is a natural chelation herb, like chlorella and garlic. It is known to help the body expel toxins, especially heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum. Heavy metal toxicity is a hidden cause of depression, allergies, mental and learning issues, and all kinds of immune system issues.
How to Use Cilantro for Detoxification
Chelation, removing heavy metals from the body’s tissues, can be a dangerous process. If one cleanses too rigorously, it is possible to draw heavy metals out of the tissues where they are stored, and into the blood stream. If this occurs too quickly, and the toxicity is not eliminated quickly enough, it can cause all kinds of heavy metal toxicity symptoms, and possibly do more damage to organs and tissues.
The best way to accomplish this may be the slow way, using cilantro essential oil. Here is a really easy and effective way to remove heavy metal toxicity a little at a time from the body.
Let your feet soak until the water becomes luke warm.
Remove your feet and dry with the towel.
You can use this detoxification process several times weekly. It is comfortable, feels great on your feet, is energizing, and will gradually help you release heavy metals from your system.
If you are using straight Pascalite, you may even see small black specks in the bottom of the tub as you pour out the water. Remember–the water is toxic once you have used it. If you use Drawing Paste, you will not be able to see the specks, because the color is already dark. But the Drawing Paste may draw more toxicity out of the tissues than Pascalite alone.
What Else Can I Do to Detoxify?
You can help the detox process by doing a few things, such as getting daily exercise; drinking celery, cilantro, and carrot juices; taking chlorella; avoiding fried foods, excess sugar and artificial sweeteners; and eating a diet rich in whole fruits & vegetables and their juices. Weekly colonics are also extremely helpful if you are detoxifying. We suggest this book, to understand what is possible; and for those who are willing to do their own colon cleanses at home, check out our FDA registered Colenz Colon Cleanse Package.
These productsare 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.
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!
In 2016 the price of real vanilla CO2 extract sky-rocketed into another dimension.
The following year, it was unavailable to purchase, at any price, and has remained so up to this point. Vanilla supplies worldwide just can not keep up with demand for this rare plant.
I love the flavor of vanilla, and did not want to use synthetic vanilla flavoring. It is made from everything from Coumadin (a blood thinner that can cause liver and kidney failure), to wood chips, to secretion from the anal sacs of beavers!
And most real vanilla extract is 40% or more alcohol, which is another thing I did not want to use. So I began to experiment with making my own extract, with simply vanilla pods (which are still available on the market at a fairly reasonable cost), salt, and water.
Eventually I settled on this recipe. I love it, Michael loves the flavor in his yogurt, and now I believe I really can live without the CO2 total extract the we used to carry! (I do promise to keep on looking for the CO2 extract, and to carry it again if I ever do find a small producer who can sell it to us).
ALCOHOL FREE VANILLA EXTRACT
8 to 10 Vanilla Bean Pods
1 cup Filtered Water
1. Cut the vanilla beans so they can fit inside the bottle you are using. I find that 1 quart mason jars work exceptionally well for this purpose. Slice the beans lengthwise, just enough so that you pierce through one side.The intention is to expose the tiny vanilla seeds but keep them attached to the bean.
2. Place the sliced vanilla beans inside the bottle, add the salt and completely cover with filtered water. Place the lid onto the bottle and shake vigorously.
3. Place the bottle in the fridge and shake once a day for 4 weeks.
4. For the next 5 weeks you can shake it less often, like 2 to 3 times a week. The vanilla will be ready to use after 9 weeks (although waiting longer is even better). You can strain out the vanilla pods, or leave them in the extract until it is used up.Shake well before using.
Once the vanilla is done steeping, the vanilla extract will keep in the fridge for 3 months.
Now that you have made your vanilla extract, let us know how you like to use it!
Michael adds 1 teaspoon to a bowl of home made yogurt, with a few ground almonds and raisins.
I like to add 2 teaspoons into a coconut milk drink with our own home grown powdered stevia leaf.
It is also great in muesli or oatmeal, and in freshly juiced orange juice.
Please let us know how you are using it at your house!