October 4th, 2007

We always state that our cosmetic oils are cold pressed. What does that mean exactly?

When oil is made, the nuts, seeds, or fruits being used to make the oil are first ground into an even paste. The paste goes through a malaxation process, a slow stirring which encourages the oil in the paste to clump. To extract the oil, pressure is applied, forcing the oil out of the paste. Heating the paste will increase the yield of oil. Some producers mix the paste with warm water, or heat it before pressing.

The disadvantage of heating the clumping oil is that heat degrades many of the natural properties of the product, and, therefore, it renders it less effective. In order to maintain the oil’s properties intact, organic producers patiently remove the clumps of solid oil by hand, with a large wooden spoon. You can imagine that this procedure is slower and really tedious, but is the only way to guarantee exceptional quality oil.

For that reason, Bohemia Style insists that all the oils we sell and distribute (emu oil, rosehip oil, essential oils like lavender, calendula, olive, orange, tea tree, etc) be Cold Pressed. If you ever have the chance to compare a cold pressed oil with a regular harvested oil (expeller pressed oils), you will see that its clarity, scent, and absorption rate are beyond comparison!

October 4th, 2007

An astringent is a substance which causes biological tissue to contract or draw together. The word’s origins can be found in the Latin astringere, which means “to bind fast.” An astringent can be said to have “astringency” when someone is describing its properties. When an astringent is applied to living tissue, it does indeed cause the tissue to bind fast to itself, causing it to shrink. This property can be extremely useful for a variety of applications.

In cosmetics, astringents are used to firm and tone the skin, constricting the pores and creating a protective layer of firm tissue between the under layers of skin and the elements. A cosmetic astringent is sometimes called a toner, and it is usually applied after bathing but before the application of moisturizers. Aftershaves are also astringents. Using an astringent after shaving can help to reduce the pain of minor cuts while also soothing the skin.

Applying excessive astringents, especially harsh ones such as alcohol, can be drying. This is why many cosmetic astringents are followed by moisturizer, to keep the skin moist as well as firm.

The organic cosmetic industry has always promoted toners with added natural oils to avoid depleting the skin of its moisture. Natural oils, like emu oil and rosehip oil, are non cloggins and fast absorving. Our Rosehip oil toner by Coesam is the perfect example of a gentle astringent.

October 4th, 2007

You can easily have natural spa quality treatments at home for your hands and feet. The same natural spa treatments can be used for both the hands and the feet.

You can make your hands and feet smooth and soft. You can use ingredients that you probably already have in the cupboard and the fridge. There are three main steps in a natural home spa for the hands and feet.

The three main steps are soaking, exfoliating and then moisturizing. The skin is softened and hydrated by soaking in a liquid. Next, an exfoliate is used to remove any dry or flaky skin. Wipe away any residue left from using the exfoliate. Rinse if necessary. Apply a skin lotion or skin butter after wiping away the residue leftover from using the exfoliate. An optional step would be a nutritional skin mask, which would occur after the acid or scrub exfoliation and before the moisturizing step. Do not attempt a spa treatment on broken or sensitive skin as it could cause further irritation.

A bowl is suitable for soaking the hands. A small tub can be used for soaking the feet. Use water that is hot enough to stay warm for up to ten minutes. Do not use uncomfortably hot water in either your hand or footbath. You can add a cup of strongly brewed peppermint tea or rosehip tea to the water for an herbal soak. Your can also try bath salts, (especially in the summer time or if yuo have tired, swollen feet), as they are extremelly refresing and alliviate any congestion and water retention. A few tablespoons of liquid milk or dry milk can also be added to the water for a milk bath. The peppermint is revitalizing as a footbath. The addition of the salts or milk will soften the skin and dicongestive. The milk will act as a mild exfoliate.

You can use either a scrub or acid exfoliate to remove dry and rough skin. A scrub type of exfoliate can be made by mixing a tablespoon of vegetable oil with whatever scrub type ingredient you have available. You can use white sugar, brown sugar, fine sea salt, corn meal, ground coffee or ground oats as the scrub ingredient. For the hands, you only need about a teaspoon of the oil base and the scrub ingredient. Gently massage the scrub mixture onto the skin in circular motions. A scrub can scratch and irritate the skin so be careful. To avoid this, you can try an special scrub enriched with oil, as our Emuline ® Facial Exfoliating Gel. Even though it was conceived for facial care, it is on of the few organic scrbs gentle enough to be used in dry, chapped or sensitive skin

If you would rather use an acid based exfoliate, mash and apply mildly acidic food ingredients to the skin. Suitable fruits include the papaya, mango, apple, pineapple, banana and strawberry. Leave the food ingredient on the skin for one minute before gently massaging the skin for another minute. If you feel any tingling, use a warm rinse to remove. The tingling means that the fruit acids have made their way down to the fresh skin. You can add any of the scrub ingredients to the mashed fruit to enhance the exfoliating action.

An optional treatment after using an exfoliate is to give the skin a nutritious mask with an oil rich food ingredient such as squash, oarmeal and avocado, or an organic essential oil like rosehip and emu oils. If you are using food, mash them and apply to the skin. Leave on the skin for five minutes. You can also use cooled cooked oatmeal as a skin mask. The squash or avocado will soften and provide nutrients directly to the skin. The oatmeal will soothe and protect skin. Carefully wipe away any residue left from this treatment. If you are using organic cosmetic oils, add a few drops to the palms of yoru hand and rub vigourously into the skin. If necessary, use water and a soft cloth to wipe away the residue.

Finish up by moisturizing the skin. Use a refreshing product, like an organic Aloe Vera hand or body cream. If your skin is severly dry, then it time to use a richer product, like and enriched rosehip oil cream or emu oil lotion.

It will take about half an hour to do your own home spa treatments for your hands and feet. It is simple to have a spa quality experience at home. Your hands and feet will feel great afterwards.