Organic Skin Care, Skin Care, Uncategorized

Vitamins for Your Skin

Lemonade with flying lemon, mint and ice

When picking the right skin product it is a good idea to check the ingredients to see if it has the right skin nourishing combination. Good product should contain most if not all of following vitamins to keep skin supple and healthy:

a) Vitamin A

Vitamin A is in charge of maintenance and repair of vital skin tissue, and is the key to healthy skin. Lack of vitamin A can cause skin dryness and wrinkles.

b) Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex contains the nutrient, biotin, which forms the basis of nails, skin, and hair cells. It is anti-inflammatory, it hydrates the skin cells and gives a healthy glow to skin.

c) Vitamin C

In skin, vitamin C can help collagen production. This in turn reduces wrinkles, improves skin texture, and reduces photo damage.

d) Vitamin E

The trick to getting soft touchable skin is vitamin E. It regenerates skin and can improve appearance of acne scars.

e) Vitamin K

Vitamin K is your secret weapon to fighting dark circles and bruises. This vitamin helps fade discolorations on the skin, reducing puffiness and dark circles that so many of us suffer from.

While off the shelf cosmetic product can come packed with artificially synthesized vitamin groups, you really want to go as organic as possible. Organically sourced vitamins absorb into skin better and are more potent bringing better overall skin benefits.  Whenever possible choose the facial products that source vitamins from organic ingredients.

When it comes down to your skin, healthier is better. Please check out our  great selection of organic products at Nina Bella Organic Collection.

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Uncategorized

Industrial vs. Organic Bath Products

Anyone who has used industrial bath products knows they often leave skin dry, flaky and itchy.  This is caused by combined action of heavy industrial foaming agents, fragrance oils, industrial preservatives and industrial surfactants. Harsh industrial foaming agents such as SLS, SLES, ASL and ASEL, make nice bubbles but they also overstrip the skin of natural oils necessary to maintain healthy skin’ balance. Heavy fragrance oils enhance product scent but cause skin irritation, chapping and leave heavy artificial fragrance on skin. Industrial preservatives such as parabens, prolong product shelf life but can interfere with organ and reproductive functions. Industrial surfactants that wetting agents that help products spread over skin, are known eye, skin, nose, and throat irritants.

In contrast, organic bath products use natural and organic foaming, scent, preservative and surfactant alternatives that are mild and skin and body friendly. Organic bath products use natural foaming agents sourced from plants. They are mild, low foaming, effectively clean skin and maintain skin’s balance and pH without risking your health. For scent organic bath products often use organic essential oils which are proven beneficial to skin care and which leave behind a natural, clean plant scent. In terms of preservatives, organic bath products rely on combination of essential and carrier oils that have natural anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, such are rosemary and grapefruit. In terms of surfactants, organic bath products use natural and wild-crafted alternatives derived from organic certified carrier oils and butters that are mild and non-irritating.  The end result is safe, consumer ready product that will deliver peak care, minus the harmful side –effects.

For consumer the best advice is – research the product, check ingredients and ask your manufacturer for assurance that what they are using is indeed organic and natural. For manufacturer, when creating a high end product you will need to invest in quality ingredients and research – the pay off is – a great, consumer safe product that you can display on your shelf with pride and confidence and that your consumer will enjoy using.

Happy shopping from Nina Bella Collection, your local organic bath and beauty manufacturer.

Organic Bath and Beauty, Organic Skin Care

Aloe Vera in Organic Beauty Care

Aloe Vera is one of the oldest medicinal plants, going as far back as 3500 years ago in Egypt and Sumatra. It is curiously made of 96% water and 4% compounds that give it its renowned medical, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, healing and immune boosting properties.  Due to unique compositions and high water content Aloe Vera absorbs into skin four times faster than water, which make this little plant great natural bath and beauty product ingredient and carrier medium. Used alone of combined with other ingredients Aloe Vera is known to increase collagen production, rejuvenate skin, combat pimples, heal eczema and slow down skin ageing process.

Fairly easy to handle Aloe Vera can be used in variety of organic bath and beauty applications such as creams, shower gels, lip balms and yes even anti ageing products.

Try this simple Aloe Vera balm receipt to soothe chapped, irritated lips:

2 tablespoons organic or natural Aloe Vera gel

3 drops organic lavender essential oil

½ teaspoon organic almond oil

½ teaspoon organic glycerin

Heat almond oil, lavender essential oil and glycerin until warm and mix well. Add Aloe Vera and mix well until fully blended. Let cool off then transfer into clean glass container. Use ready lip balm on chapped lips as needed. Store remaining mix into fridge for up to four weeks.

For more great recipes, visit Nina Bella Collection weekly.

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

Aroma Mist – Healthy Home and Body Scent

You do not have to use industrial air fresheners to keep your home smelling nice. Organic aroma misters are healthy and affordable alternative. Instead of heavy chemicals, aroma misters contain only organic alcohol, water and organic essential oils balanced in a way that is not harmful to your health. Water is a perfect way to make your aroma mist light and pure. What you want to be using is distilled water that does not have heavy minerals. Organic alcohol is necessary to eliminate odor causing germs. Any clear organic alcohol will do. Organic essential oils will add a nice crisp scent that will not irritate respiratory system. Any organic essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, spearmint, rose, tangerine, sweet orange, chamomile will work. You can use them alone or create your own blend to spice things up.

Ingredients:

½ cup distilled water

½ cup clear organic alcohol

20 drops organic essential oil

Mix water and organic alcohol well. Add organic essential oil and mix well. Pour into amber or cobalt blue misting bottle and cap well. Shake well before using. To use spray on the bathroom, in the linen close, in the car, in the living room and wherever you want a nice natural scent. Avoid direct contact with sensitive and colored fabrics as alcohol may fade the colors. Avoid getting any spray in your eyes and this goes without saying – do not spray directly on skin, children or pets. Keep aroma mist in cool dark place between uses.

For more great ideas, check out new Nina Bella Collection organic aroma mists and body sprays upcoming in May 2012.

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

Why You Need to Avoid Industrial Air Fresheners

We all want a nice smelling house and we all have different strategies to keep it that way. Most common impulse is to reach for common industrial air fresheners. They are a cheap choice– but they are definitely not a healthy choice. Have you ever wondered – what is the price you really pay for using common industrial air-fresher?

Neither the FDA nor the EPA conducts any safety testing for toxic chemicals in air freshener products. Due to lack of FDA regulation 9 out of 10 air- fresheners, including green air fresheners, contain toxic chemicals harmful for health that can cause caner, respiratory diseases, asthma, organ and skin disease. These chemicals are phthalates, fragrance oils, acetaldehydes, acetone, ethanol, benzaldehyde, isopropyl alcohol, alpha-Pinene, Benzyl acetate, ethyl acetate, isoamyl acetate (1-butanol- 3-methyl-, acetate), O, M, OR P-cymene, limonene and Linalool.

Phthalates, the most common ingredient found in virtually all air freshener are known to cause reproductive problems and hormone disruptions. Perfume oils, the next favorite are know respiratory, skin an organ irritants. Acetaldehyde and acetone are both cardiovascular/blood toxicants, gastrointestinal/liver/kidney toxicants, neurotoxicants, respiratory toxicants, skin and sensory organ toxicants. Ethanol is carcinogen, cardiovascular/ blood toxicant, developmental toxicant, endocrine toxicant, gastrointestinal/liver toxicant, neurotoxicant, reproductive toxicant, respiratory toxicant and skin/sensory organ toxicant. Benzaldehyde, is gastrointestinal/liver/kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, respiratory toxicant, skin or sensory organ toxicant. Isopropyl alcohol, common rubbing alcohol, turns mean when vaporized in air freshener and has been classified as cardiovascular/blood toxicant, developmental toxicant, gastrointestinal/liver/kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, respiratory toxicant and skin/sensory organ toxicant. Alpha-Pinene, a cute name for nasty chemical is suspected neurotoxicant, respiratory toxicant, and skin/sensory organ toxicant. Benzyl acetate is a suspected gastrointestinal/liver/kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant. Ethyl Acetate is a suspected neurotoxicant, respiratory toxicant, skin and sensory organ toxicant. The name will not tell you much but the side –effects will – isoamyl acetate (1-butanol- 3-methyl-, acetate) is suspected neurotoxicant. O, M, OR P-cymene, has an exotic name but will not treat you kindly- it its suspected cardiovascular/blood toxicant, neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant. Limonene and linalool complete the picture as respiratory and skin toxicant.

So you definitely want to think twice before being exposed to that. Or you can avoid risk at all and go for organic aroma misters instead. Instead of harmful chemicals, aroma misters contain organic alcohol, water and organic essential oils balanced in a way that is not harmful to you. They are organic product manufacturer response to responsible product crafting. For more on organic aroma misters, check back with Nina Bella Collection Blog.

Natural Skin Care, Organic Skin Care, Skin Care

Palm Oil in Organic Skin Care

Palm oil, a popular cooking medium has been working the scene for centuries making slow but sure breakthrough in organic skin care. In equal parts affordable and beneficial, palm oil is more often than not one of the most common organic bath and beauty products ingredients.

Hailing from West Africa, palm oil has been transported to Europe and reminder of the world in 19th century. As the name indicates, palm oil is derived from the fruits of palm trees. It is a great source of beta carotene which gives it its naturally dark orange to reddish color. Chemically, palm oil is composed of saturated and unsaturated fats in the forms of glyceryl laurate (0.1%, saturated), myristate (1%, saturated), palmitate (44%, saturated), stearate (5%, saturated), oleate (39%, monounsaturated), linoleate (10%, polyunsaturated), and alpha-linolenate (0.3%, polyunsaturated), vitamins and antioxidants. Because of high saturated fat content, palm oil is quite stable, slow to oxidize and semi-solid at room temperature.

This means that palm oil is an ideal ingredient to work with in organic skin care. From soap making, to shampoo crafting, to shower gels and bubble baths, to moisturizing lotions to body butters, palm oil seems to have almost limitless number of applications. Its ability to clarify, remove excess sebrum and dirt from hair and skin mean it is great for organic bath products. Palm oil is very easy saponify and is a great organic soap starter. Its ability to moisturize and nourish, mean making a nice moisturizer, cream of a lotion is as easy as adding good quality palm oil to your formula.

As always in organic skin care you want to make sure you use quality palm oil. So stay away from chemically extracted, perfumed and bleached oil- it has a cheaper price tag but it also has significantly lower quality. When it comes to your skin it is worth it to pay a bit more to get cold pressed hand processed palm oil. Make sure your label backups up the promise. Organic. Pure. Green. Nutritious. Honest. This is what makes organic bath and beauty manufacturing different.

For more on products that use only certified organic ingredient visit Nina Bella Organic Collection.

Natural Skin Care, Organic Skin Care, Skin Care

Coconut Oil Dry Elbow Skin Cure

Dry, scaly chapped elbow skin. Embarrassing in summer time, painful in wintertime and always unwelcome – scaly, dry chapped elbows are a persistent problem for many. You can try countless creams, preparations, and ointments but until you turn to natural solutions, chances are you are stuck with them. Why is that so? Because most industrial dry skin preparations have preservatives and stabilizing agents are harsh compounds that damage and chap skin, which on the long run, negates the initial skin smoothing effects of other active ingredients. With natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, that naturally moisturize and nourish skin, you don’t have to risk that. So your elbows look great and you do not have to break bank to get them that way.

Here is a great coconut oil formula you can make in comfort of your own home that will blast scaly, dry, chapped elbow skin away.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 tablespoon of almond oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix coconut and almond oil together. Mix honey and lemon juice well and add to coconut and almond oil mixture. Apply ready mix to dry chapped elbows. Wrap tightly with saran wrap and let stand 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, wash gently with mild low foaming organic or natural soap and warm water and tap dry. Repeat two times a week for best results.  Store the unused mixture in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Say goodbye to dry chapped elbows and say helps to summer clothes! Thank you for visiting Nina Bella Collection blog and website.

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

Coconut Oil Use in Organic and Natural Bath and Beauty Industry

Known as the tree of life due to its benefits and grinning face due to unique appearance, coconut is an exotic and important part of food and beauty industry. Going as far back as Eocene period, 37 to 55 million years ago, coconut was gracing the pre-historic landscape of in Australia and India, and later Indian Ocean and South America. While all parts of coconut, kernels, meat, juice, milk, and shells can be used, the oil is the most popular.

Coconut oil is produced from copra, dried coconut kernel, by dry or wet processing. Best oil is cold extracted from kernels harvested from coconut palm tree, 2 to 20 months old, where some 170 kilograms (370 lb) of copra yields about 70 liters (15 gal) of coconut oil. Good yield gives coconut oils competitive price making it attractive choice for bath and beauty industry. Due to variety of benefits coconut oil can be used in great many applications, such as:

a)        moisturizers

b)        anti-wrinkle products

c)        body butters

d)        lotions

e)        creams

f)        soaps

g)        hair care products

By composition, coconut oil is 92% of saturated fatty acids (caproic, caprylic, capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic, and stearic acid) and 8% of unsaturated fatty acids (mostly linoleic acid), making it ideal skin moisturizer and wrinkle smoothing agent. It is very stable white to pale yellow solid at temperature under 30˚C and transparent clear oil at or above 30˚C. Being stable at room temperature, coconut oil is easy to use and thus often used for natural and organic body butters, creams and lotions. Very easy to saponify, due to high saturated fatty acids content, coconut oil is great for soap production and makes an attractive, nicely scented, if slightly hard, product. Nice balance of fatty content with naturally occurring vitamins A and E, mean coconut oil is a great addition to hair products and makes hair shiny and supple while minimizes hair loss.

In short coconut oil is widely versatile and has many applications in organic and natural bath and beauty care. When looking to add extra dimension to your product for hair, skin or body care, chances are you will want to put your bets on coconut oil. Its bath and beauty benefits are well proven, based on naturally occurring fatty acids and vitamins that give coconut oil significant moisturizing, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial, soothing and rejuvenating properties. No wonder coconut was grinning when met with first humans. It may just be it was a start of wonderful friendship.

For more on coconut oil and products inspired by coconut oil, visit Nina Bella Collection blog and website.

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

How to Pick Good Carrier Oils: Look at the Label

Carrier oil, popular organic bath and beauty product additive, is plant oil derived from the fatty portion of a plants, usually seeds, kernels or the nuts. Great way to make sure your bath and beauty products have an edge is to use high quality carrier oils. There are few things to watch out for when choosing good carrier oil. Viscosity, color and aroma are obvious things to look for but they do not tell the whole story. Content, stability and extraction process is what really reflects carrier oil quality.

High quality carrier oil is very stable and does not go rancid easily. Tendency of carrier oil to go rancid is determined by its antioxidants, minerals and fatty acids content. The more antioxidants carrier oil has, the more it is protected from oxidation and less likely to go bad. The more fatty acids carrier oil has the more stable it is and less likely to spoil. So you really want to look at that label and pick carrier oils with good antioxidant, mineral and fatty acid content. Another thing that is important is how carrier oil was extracted. Extraction method directly reflects carrier oil quality as it affects percentage of fatty acids and antioxidants lost during production. The more stress carrier oil is put under during extraction, such as heat, chemicals and over-processing, the greater antioxidants, mineral and fatty acid loss, the lower the stability and the lower the quality.

Carrier oils are extracted by one of three common extractions:

a)       Cold extraction

b)       Hot extraction

c)       Solvent extraction

Each yields vastly different quality of carrier oils.

Cold extraction yields carrier oil by ‘cold pressing’ of plant’s seeds, kernels or nuts. While individual industrial setup may vary, most commonly plant seeds, kernels and nuts are placed in a horizontal press with a rotating screw known as an ‘expeller’ and pressed around until carrier oil is squeezed out. Heat generated due to pressing friction is negligible, so loss of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is minimal. After cold extraction, carrier oil is filtered and sold as a finished product. Because it takes time an effort to extract carrier oil while preserving ingredients that give it high quality, cold extraction is restricted to relatively small scale production. Consequently carrier oil extracted though this process is costly but has the highest quality.

Hot extraction is one of the most wide spread and widely used large scale industrial carrier oil processes. As the name implies it uses heat to get carrier oil from plant’s seeds, kernels or the nuts. Along with friction pressing of seeds, kernels or the nuts hot extraction uses high heat to increase the ease, the speed of the yield of extracted carrier oil. The temperatures used can reach up to 200° C which destroys and decreases the concentration of important antioxidants, minerals and fatty acids in carrier oil. This in turn decreases the quality of carrier oil. The final product is cooled off, bottled, often adjusted with industrial preservatives. Because of high yield and record time to produce carrier oil, hot extraction process is very affordable, fast and popular and therefore widely used. The carrier oil it generates is of lower quality as it has a low concentration of benefit giving antioxidants, minerals and fatty acids.

The third carrier oil production method is solvent extraction. Instead of using plant’s seeds, kernels and nuts, this method uses waste products, ‘cakes’ of compressed plant material, left over from cold and hot extraction. There cakes are re-processed and treated with solvents to extract that left over carrier. The solvents used further destroy and decrease the concentration of important antioxidants, minerals and fatty acids. This means the end product is carrier oil of the lowest quality. To enhance shelf life, appearance and aroma, carrier oil extracted by this method is re-heated again, refined, deodorized, bleached, and preservatives and vitamins added, then bottled off and shipped to market. By far the cheapest way to produce carrier oil, solvent extraction is as affordable and as popular as hot extraction. These highly refined, solvent extracted oils usually end up on supermarket shelves for use in cooking and totally unsuitable to use in organic and natural beauty care and aromatherapy.

Your best bet is to go for cold extracted carrier oils as they have highest quality due to minimal antioxidants and fatty acid loss. As much as possible, avoid carrier oils extracted by chemical and heat processing. They have low quality due to moderate to significant antioxidants and fatty acids loss. For the most nourishing, highest quality, carrier oils your best bet is go to retailers and suppliers that specialize in natural skin care ingredients and products.

For more great tips, ideas and great variety of products made with high quality carrier oils feel free check Nina Bella Collection organic and natural products. Ask us about our high quality organic carrier oils – we will be more than happy to share!

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

Carrier Oils in Organic and Natural Bath and Beauty Products

Carrier oils are plant oils derived from the fatty portion of a plants and vegetables, usually seeds, kernels or the nuts. In appearance, they differ in color, aroma and viscosity. In viscosity carrier oil can be thin to thick, with thin oils often used in massage treatments and thick in creams, body butters and lotions. In color, they range from clear to dark green or brown. Scent can be odorless or have a mild sweet or gentle nutty aroma. Carrier oils with a strong, bitter aroma, however, are to be avoided – strong bitter aroma means carrier oil has gone rancid.

Rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, carrier oils have a wide range of characteristics and benefits and are known to soften and improve skin condition, soothe irritated, sensitive skin, ease skin rashes, eczema and psoriasis and reduce wrinkles and scar tissue. Great for blending, diluting and suspending ingredients, carrier oils are commonly used in organic and natural beauty products. Natural and organic concentrates, actives and essential oils are very potent and if applied to the skin undiluted can cause skin irritation. To be used safely, essential oils, actives and other concentrated aromatics must be diluted in carrier oils. Carrier oils do not change beneficial properties of organic concentrates, actives and essential oils and make their absorption into skin and body easier and faster.

Carrier oils are great moisturizers and very popular in organic and natural bath products. Many organic and natural hair treatments, shampoos and conditioners have carrier oils. Mixing carrier oils with essential oils and botanicals are a great way to come up with a custom mix that suits the needs of any hair type.

Lastly carrier oils are often added to organic and natural soap formulas to maximize moisturizing properties of soap. By process called superfatting, extra carrier oil is added either at the beginning or at the end of soap making process. Extra oil results remains unsaponified, and when soap is used, it glides, sticks to and moisturizes the skin, making it supple and hydrated. A nice trick and yet another great application of carrier oil in organic and natural bath and beauty care.

All that is the reason you will often find carrier oils in and organic and natural bath and beauty products such as lotions, creams, body butters, lip balms, lotions, soaps, shampoos, massage oils and many more.  From a simple essential oil/carrier massage oil blends to more complex body butters, creams, lotion and bath products, careful choice of carrier oil can make a difference in the product properties, color, aroma and shelf life.

Most popular carrier oils in organic and skin care industry are:

  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Borage Seed Oil
  • Camellia Seed Oil
  • Cranberry Seed Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Hazelnut Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Kukui Nut Oil
  • Macadamia Nut Oil
  • Meadowfoam Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Pecan Oil
  • Pomegranate Seed Oil
  • Rose Hip Oil
  • Seabuckthorn Berry Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Watermelon Seed Oil

 To read about specific benefits of each of wonderful carrier oils, check back with Nina Bella Collection weekly.