Natural Bath and Beauty, Organic Bath and Beauty, SLS Free Bath and Beauty

Peppermint Essential Oil: Ancient Beauty Secret

Peppermint essential oil, originating from mystic East, is one of the worlds’ oldest medicinal plants. Believed to enhance the well-being of digestive and respiratory system, to promote body cleansing, to eliminate odors and to help with mental fatigue, peppermint essential oil has been widely used for over 3000 years as far back as ancient Egypt and Rome.

Even today we revel in the old world luxury by adding peppermint essential oil to our bath and beauty products. As the science comes to bear, the secrets behind this popular plant are revealed and understanding of its benefits better understood.

Peppermint from which the essential oil is extracted is a hybrid mint plant, a natural cross between watermint and spearmint. Easy to cultivate and extremely durable peppermint is spread worldwide. It is typically found in moist areas habitats, dotted with natural streams and ditches. Being a hybrid, it is usually sterile, producing no seeds and reproducing only vegetatively by spreading by its rhizomes. However, it can grow anywhere, and that is why it remains a popular plat additive to cosmetic, bath and beauty products.

Peppermint oil is steam distilled from the partially dried tops of the plants, just before the flowering as this produces the most fragrant oil. Peppermint essential oil extracted from mature flowers results in lower grade, less-sweet and complex oil.

Chemically peppermint essential oil is made of menthol, often used as food and toothpaste additive, menthone, menthyl esters, numerous minerals and nutrients including manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, copper and omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Menthol, menthone and menthyl esters are responsible for a natural minty scent peppermint lends to bath and beauty products. They also create a cooling skin sensation in low concentrations and warming skin sensation in higher concentrations. The cooling sensation comes from a natural ability of peppermint oil property to constrict the skin surface capillaries in low dilutions. This also allows peppermint essential oil to act as natural analgesic and decongestant which is why is often found in natural migraine and sinus inflammation aids. In higher concentrations, body reacts to cooling by triggering heat response creating warming skin sensation. And this is a root cause of high applicability of peppermint essential oil. Add a little to soothe and cool and add more to warm and relax.

Together with its minerals, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids delivers analgesic and soothing care or plump and increase skin tone and elasticity as needed which is why you will often find natural skin care products listing peppermint oil. The trick is to go for products that have peppermint essential oil, not the fragrance oil.

Be careful with peppermint essential skin oil in bath and beauty products. While it is tempting to go for higher concentrations due to combined cooling heating effect, adding too much will irritate skin and that beats the whole purpose. Stay away from products that exceed higher than 5% peppermint essential oil concentration and you will be fine.

Want to know a natural secret for get rid of tired, achy feet? Simple! Use a generous hand-full of peppermint oil bath salt in warm water and soak your feet for 15 minutes. You will love it, your feet will love it and most of all your family will be love seeing you relaxed and pain free.

Enjoy reading about our peppermint essential oil solutions and more at Nina Bella Collection website and blog.

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Natural Bath and Beauty, Organic Bath and Beauty, SLS Free Bath and Beauty

Beauty with Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is a perennial aromatic evergreen shrub with violet-blue spike-like flowers. It is often found and therefore believed to have been adapted to dry climate. It is commonly found in western half of Mediterranean. Historically there is evidence that its existence is recorded as far back as Roman times and that Roman and Benedictine monks might have introduced it to the rest of the Europe. Its name is derived from Latin Lavare, which means “to wash”, due to its aroma and natural cleansing properties. Lavender essential oils scent is floral, fresh, sweet, herbaceous and sometimes slightly fruity.

There are several varieties of Lavender which can cause confusion over the names of the various species. The favorite and most widely used is Lavandula officinalis, also called Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula vera. Lavender essential oil potency varies with terrain altitude and dryness. Higher altitudes produce sharper and fresher oil while lower produce sweeter and softer oils. The finest quality lavender oils are grown in dry conditions at altitude between 700 and 1400 meters.

Lavender essential oil is obtained by distillation from the flower spikes of certain species of lavender. Two forms are distinguished, lavender flower oil, colorless oil, insoluble in water, and lavender spike oil, a distillate from the herb Lavandula latifolia, each with its distinct benefits and applications. Each is a variable mix of linalool (51%), linalyl acetate (35%), α-pinene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, cis- and trans-ocimene, 3-octanone, camphor, caryophyllene, terpinen-4-ol and lavendulyl acetate, which give lavender its natural benefits and heady scent.

The benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to relieve nervous tension, pain, disinfect scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems, which is why it is used in the production of perfumes and in aromatherapy. As strong antiseptic and antifungal agent lavender essential oil is also used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. It heals wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns, reduces scar tissue formation and is very effective in treating eczema. All this is the reason why lavender essential oil has followed its natural evolution to favorite bath and beauty product additive.

As with many other essential oils, moderation is the key and pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender essential oil. It may also cause allergic reactions to people having sensitive skin.

And did you know that lavender essential also repels mosquitoes? It does! Next time you feel like taking a nice leisurely walk, dab on some lavender scented product, relax and enjoy your walk and forget heavy expensive chemical based insect repellents.

To hear more about beneficial properties of natural essential oils, read Nina Bella Collection weekly updates and try our very own lavender products, today.