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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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.

Natural Bath and Beauty, Natural Skin Care, Organic Bath and Beauty, Organic Skin Care, Skin Care, SLS Free Bath and Beauty, SLS Free Products

Lemon Essential Oil in Natural Bath and Beauty Care

Lemon essential oil is one of the most popular and widely used natural bath and beauty oils. Hailing from Pompei and transposed to seductive Italy by early settlers, lemon essential oil is known for its refreshing and cooling properties. Of all essential oils, it is considered one of the most valuable oils for skin and body.

Chemically, lemon essential oil contains limonene, which is responsible for the oil’s tangy-fruity aroma, and citral, which is responsible for lemon note in the aroma profile, dimonene, a powerful antioxidant very beneficial for skin and body, neral, geranial, as well as vitamins A, B and C. The higher neral and geranial concentration the higher the quality, so this is something you want to consider when picking out lemon essential oil. Lemon essential oil has watery consistency, and pale yellow to light green/yellow color, with freshly peeled lemon scent.

It is extracted by cold-pressing from fresh lemon peel. Following cold-pressing various lemon essential oil are often blended together to produce a more consistent aroma profile. This is why lemon essential oils purchased from different manufactures and regions may smell and look different. Due to many beneficial properties lemon essential oil is often in soaps, shampoos, face wash and many personal care and skin care natural bath and beauty products. Let’s see why that is.

For starters it is a very powerful antiseptic, antibiotic and astringent. In one shot, it cleanses, detoxifies and purifies body and skin. Being a strong astringent it is ideal for oily, blemished skin. Used regularly it will clear and rejuvenate even the most dull and tired skin. Second it is natural bleaching agent, and great for naturally lightening freckles and adding sun-kissed highlights to your hair. It will also eliminate dandruff, nourish and strengthens hair so may want to try adding some lemon essential oil to your regular hair routine. Third, lemon essential oil has high concentration of vitamins and will rejuvenate and de-wrinkle ageing skin. Fourth, and this is a little know but true fact, lemon essential oil is a great skin resurfacer and can be used to help smooth skin and reduce appearance of cellulite. Similarly, lemon essential oil is great for treating and minimizing tough and calloused skin and it just may be your feet’s new best friend.

Lemon essential oil is easy to work with. It bends easy and works great with many other essential oils including lavender essential oil, rose oil, neroli essential oil, sandalwood oil, geranium essential oil, ylang ylang essential oil and tea tree essential oil. Cheerful and uplifting this it is particularly designed to distress and improve mood, so it allows you to create products with dual skin care and aromatherapy benefits.

To explore how lemon essential oil can benefit your skin care, visit Nina Bella Collection and a great selection of you lemon essential oil based products.

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

Sweet Orange Beautiful

Originating from mythological “golden apples”, sweet organic essential oil has been used from middle ages for its healing properties. Divinely energizing, it is known for its uplifting, stimulating, sensual, deodorizing, toning, cardiovascular, circulatory and refreshing properties. Fun, youthful and summery, sweet orange essential oil is one of the most effective natural ways to energize, motivate and purify body and soul.

Produced by cells inside the rind of an orange fruit, sweet orange oil is traditionally extracted by cold pressing orange peels. Its main chemical components are a-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, d-limonene, linalool, citronellal, neral and geranial. In appearance, it is thin and water like to touch, with color ranging from pale yellow to deep orange.

Because of great natural scent sweet orange oils is an ideal additive to natural massage oils, creams and lotions. Top note oil, it nurtures and uplifts at the same time. This is why orange essential oil is often used in aromatherapy products designed to relieve tension and anxiety.

Great antioxidant, detoxifying and analgesic agent, sweet orange essential oil is a favorite additive to massage oils and natural bath and beauty products. Known to relieve cold and flu symptoms, eliminate toxins, boost the lymphatic and immune system and ease tension, sweet orange essential oil is often found in natural bath salts, shower gels, bubble baths, shampoos and conditioners. Known collagen booster and moisturizer, sweet orange essential oils makes for a  great skin tonic, does wonders for older mature skin, smoothes wrinkles, helps with dermatitis and soothes dry irritated skin. You will find that most great natural an organic creams, lotions, body butters and scrubs, have sweet orange essential oil.

Although most essential oils blend well with one another, orange oil blends particularly well with black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, frankincense, sandalwood and vetiver. Same with basil, bergamot, clary sage, clove, coriander, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, litsea cubeba, marjoram, myrrh, neroli, nutmeg, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, vetiver and ylang ylang.

Little chameleon of essential oil world, this magical oils blends well with most natural an organic plant butters, waxes and carrier oils adding unique aroma depth. However you choose to use sweet orange essential oil in your products stick to a golden rule – keep it in concentration of 1% or less and you everyone will get along just fine.

For more on sweet orange essential products, visit Nina Bella Collection website.

Natural Skin Care, Organic Skin Care, Skin Care

Nail and Hand Care Treatment

Life puts a lot of stress on our hands and nails. Dish washing, tub scrubbing, cleaning, hot and cold weather and genetics all cause chapped hands and weak, peeling nails. Natural home-made nail and hand care treatment is an easy and cost effective solution.

By default anything with jojoba oil is a good bet. Jojoba oil resembles skin sebrum and absorbs into nails and skin easily and rapidly. It also has antioxidants nails and skin need to maintain healthy balance and defend against elements. Plant based oils, such as olive oil, create moisture barrier over skin and nails which prevents dehydration so you may want to add some of those. Any juice packed with Vitamin C blends well with oils, makes nails stronger and skin supple. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add some essential oils to your treatment. Essential oils smell great, have many benefits and are a great way to customize any natural beauty treatment.

 Feel free to use our favorite nail and hand treatments recipe or create your own using following guidelines:

 Ingredients:

 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon rose water

2 teaspoons jojoba oil

1 teaspoon essential lavender oil

Mix lemon juice, rose water and jojoba oil until blended. Add olive oil and essential lavender oil and mix well. Rub in a small amount of ready treatment to your hands and nails daily. Mix well before each use. Store in dark, cold space.

To learn more about natural cosmetic crafting, check out many Nina Bella Collection favorites updated weekly.

Natural Skin Care, Organic Skin Care, Skin Care

Jojoba Oil in Organic and Natural Beauty Care

Jojoba is evergreen tree, native to the Sonoran Desert in the American Southwest. It requires minimum amount of water and manure to cultivate, is extremely resistant to plant diseases and insects, and perfect choice for dry, arid regions. Jojoba oil is extracted from nuts of jojoba trees and used in variety of applications from food to beauty.

Contrary to the popular belief, jojoba oil is not oil at all. Chemically it is a mixture of liquid wax esters. The only reason it is called so is because is it an oil-resembling liquid.  It is a highly stable, oxidation resistant liquid wax with high molecular weight, meaning it can stand for a long time without becoming rancid.

It is most commonly used in its refined and unrefined form. Unrefined jojoba oil is a clear golden liquid while refined jojoba oil is a colorless and odorless liquid. Based on purification and processing, jojoba oil is additionally divided into four grades:

  • Grade one
    • Pure and natural type jojoba oil, with a golden or yellow color, preferably used in organic and natural cosmetics.
  • Grade two
    • Refined and bleached jojoba oil that is colorless.
  • Grade three
    • De-colored and deodorized grade, commonly used in mainstream cosmetics.
  • Grade four
    • Molecular distilled oil that is very expensive.

Grade one jojoba oil is most similar to skin sebum which is why it is preferred as an additive to many skin care and hair care products. It is non-toxic, non-comedogenic, non-allergenic, anti-bacterial and non-irritating, so it does not clog pores and does not cause allergic reactions. This makes jojoba oil a logical choice for natural and organic bath and beauty products.

Being similar to skin sebrum, jojoba oil is readily absorbed into skin and does not leave oily residue like other oils do. It has a high content of beneficial minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin E, so jojoba oil is very nutritious and unparallel in dry skin and hair care. If that is not enough, jojoba oil is a strong antioxidant which protects skin from the damaging effects of free radicals which ages skin prematurely.  This is why 90%of all jojoba oil produced is used in the cosmetic and hair industry. Many bath and beauty organic and natural products are also built and manufactured around it.

Who knew such an unassuming little oil wannabe could be so good at keeping us beautiful?

For ideas on how to use jojoba oil in everyday beauty care, follow Nina Bella Collection blog and visit our website!

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

Peppermint Foot Treatment

Dry, calloused feet are never a welcome or a pretty sight. Whether just for cosmetic or practical reasons, most of us will agree that dry calloused feet are an annoying and persistent nuisance. Dryness can be caused by variety of factors, from genetic to environment. The most common denominator seems to be exposure to harsh cleaning agents, walking barefoot, cold weather and yes – natural tendency toward having dry skin. Whatever the reason, loss of natural skin oils will cause feet skin to loose moisture which in turn causes dryness. This, in combinations with poor footwear choice, flat feet and general lack of foot care, can lead to corns, calluses and bunions. Left untreated, this can bring about skin cracking, bleeding and infection. In other words, cranky, painful, dry, tired looking feet.

But there is hope! Wearing cotton socks, avoiding going barefoot and well fitted shoes are a great start towards preventing dry calloused feet. Adding foot soaks, pumice stone scrubs and comprehensive foot moisturizing treatment will go a long way toward healing dry callused skin. Here is one of our favorite natural foot treatments which uses almond oil to moisturize, lemon to exfoliate and peppermint essential oil to smooth and refresh dry foot skin:

 Peppermint Foot Treatment:

 Ingredients:

 6 drops of peppermint essential oil

¼ cup almond oil

¼ cup lemon juice

Add peppermint essential oil to almond oil and mix well. Add lemon juice and mix well. To use apply a small quantity of ready Peppermint Foot Treatment to clean dry feet. Rub in well until fully absorbed. Use four times a week for best results. Store ready mixture in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Treat your feet kindly and your feet will treat you kindly in return!

Enjoy this and more natural treatments from Nina Bella Collection every week!

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.

Uncategorized

Epsom Salts in Bath and Beauty Products

Naturally occurring pure mineral, made of magnesium and sulfate, Epsom salts is as unusual in origin as its many health benefits. Named by saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, Epsom salt has been used as a natural remedy for decades. Owing to natural tendency of magnesium and sulfate to be absorbed by skin, Epsom salt slowly but surely became a one of the most powerful natural agents in modern bath and beauty industry. Already, there are strong indications that Epsom Salt has properties to detoxify, ease pain, reduce swelling and relax muscles.

Studies have shown that magnesium is crucial in a great number of regulating functions of over 325 enzymes, and takes active part in reducing inflammation, promoting muscle and nerve functions, decreasing blood pressure and stimulating healthy blood vessel function. Similarly, sulfates have been proven to improve nutrients absorption, stimulate toxins elimination and yes even and help ease pain, asthma and headaches. And together, magnesium and sulfate help regulate electrolytes in the body, making sure the muscles, nerves and enzymes work better. This explains while traditionally Epsom salts have been used as a natural remedy for a while range of everyday discomforts and disorders from constipation, bad circulation, unpleasant body odors to relaxation.

As far and bath and beauty industry goes, Epsom salts are unparallel and commonly used as natural skin exfoliant, breakout aid and a skin softening agent. Its exfoliating and detoxifying properties are particularly great in treating oily and acne prone skin. Equally great is Epsom salt application as a natural foot scrub and refresher. One simple 15 minute soak in warm water and Epsom salts can revive tried achy feet and remove bad foot odor. Sprinkling a handful of Epsom Salt in soapy bath water can work wonders for one’s mood and beauty especially in hot summer months. And let’s not forget the well kept salon secret-a dusting of Epsom salts in your daily shampoo doubles as shampoo clarifier and volumizer. And this is just the tip the iceberg.

So really, as far use of Epsom salts in bath and beauty industry goes, the possibilities are endless and skies are blue. And you are better off using what nature gives us naturally for pennies then what a chemical lab puts out for hundreds of dollars.

For more on How Epsom Salts can make you glow, visit Nina Bella Collection and all its great Epsom Salt ideas and solutions.