Happy Chinese New Year! Plus Eco Living: Green & White Tea recipes!

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! Gongxi fa cai! This year is the beginning of the year of the snake (new years started a few days ago on the 10th and we observe it anywhere for a couple weeks to a month). Much health, wealth, and happiness to all! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Valentine’s Day too!

To help celebrate the New Year I decided to share two of my green and white tea skin and hair care recipes in my newest Eco Living article at anb (all natural beauty) mall. The first recipe is how to make a basic green/white tea infusion, which can be used in many different recipes. You can also use the basic instructions to make an infusion, using other herbs for skin care, hair care, or to drink as a super strong, ‘medicinal’ tea (like lavender, chamomile, peppermint, etc).

The second is a lovely mask made with green or white tea. I love sharing simple recipes to show that good skin care doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective, and doesn’t have to be expensive—many ingredients can be found in your cupboards or in local stores or at awesome vendors like Earth Alkemie 🙂 (When I reopen I will be carrying even more DIY and raw ingredients, before I only carried a few items).

Green and white tea are well known ingredients for skin care. Herbalists have been using tea infusions and other kinds of tea extracts for centuries. Green and white tea was traditionally used for skin care in some Asian cultures, including China.

I love all kinds of green & white tea products in skin care. One of my favorite carrier oils, camellia, is from the green tea plant; it is pressed from the seeds (there are a few kinds of camellia oil, from different species of green tea. I use two of them in Earth Alkemie products, such as Eden Luna Elixir). Camellia oil really makes the skin glow!

I remember a few years ago I tried green tea absolute (99% of green tea fragrances on the market are synthetic but this rare and expensive absolute is a green, sweet, herbaceous, subtle scent). I think I need to get my hands on more soon!

Here is the link to my eco blog on the green and white tea article and more about tea 🙂

Natural Ingredients And Acne

Recently I have been on a roll with writing! I just finished a few articles. The first one is an article I wrote on natural ingredients and products for acne. It started out as an answer for a question I got as anb (all natural beauty) portal’s Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert. But Sharon (owner of anb portal) liked the article so much she also made it February’s all natural information article! I am tickled pink, because this is the second Eco Living and DIY article I’ve written that she made into the featured all natural info article for the month! Yay! 🙂 Thanks Sharon!

Like all other Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert articles I chose to focus on common or easy to find herbs and other natural ingredients. One reason I love natural ingredients is that they are multi-functional. I love that the same ingredient can be used for so many things (for example I have mentioned some of these ingredients in other articles like my age spots article).

There are so many other ingredients that I didn’t list in the article that can be used to help improve the appearance of acne. Every single Earth Alkemie skin care product has at least one ingredient in it that is helpful for blemishes (because of the ‘multi-tasking nature’ of natural ingredients, and since I tend to craft complex formulations for Earth Alkemie; most products are crafted with several different ingredients, and I try to craft for many different skin conditions in mind).

There are some pricier ingredients I didn’t mention that I craft with like some essential oils (such as damask rose essential oil, which is one of the most expensive essential oils available) or exotic carrier oils (like kukui nut oil, which is one of my personal favorite carrier oils). Rose essential oil and kukui nut oil are key ingredients in Eden Luna Elixir, which is a customer favorite. Or some ingredients that aren’t as well known or that are hard to find, like plum kernel oil, which is in Swan Luna Elixir. Plum oil works indirectly by helping with dehydrated skin (and once skin isn’t dehydrated, it won’t pump out excess sebum).

Some Earth Alkemie products that are great for acne (that will be coming back soon, once I reopen) are Bliss Solaris Elixir (which is used all over to help seal in moisture, and made with many ingredients that help balance the skin and that may help improve the look of blemished skin), Tropical Dreams (awesome as a spot treatment, contains coconut oil and essential oils good for blemished skin), African black soap (I carry a few different kinds), and Eden Luna Elixir (great for dehydrated and oily skin alike, this one contains a lot of balancing herbs and helps improve skin clarity). And more!

Check out my post on my personal eco blog about the article and more ingredients for acne!

anb’s 2012: The Year Of Natural Skin Care

Last month, Sharon, owner of all three all natural beauty websites (all natural beauty website and anb portal and anb mall), released her ‘2012: The Year Of Natural Skin Care’ article, which features some of the best articles and product favorites from her websites from 2012! I am truly humbled that not one but three of my articles made the list!

July’s featured article is my Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert answer on professional made products versus home made products (which includes a lot of information on the effectiveness of natural versus lab and synthetic actives). September’s article is an Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert article I had written on using lemon juice in cosmetics. And December’s article is my article on age spots.

There are many other excellent articles from herbalists, aromatherapists, and natural skin care companies listed too. I am in good company! 🙂 The 2012: The Year Of Natural Skin Care article is a great compilation of articles as well as product spotlights from many natural brands!

Thank you Sharon, I am so glad you like my articles! I enjoy writing Eco Living articles for the anb mall, and Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert articles for the all natural beauty website and anb portal!

Eco Living: Green Resolutions

I didn’t get to post about my most recent eco living article! January’s article is on green resolutions! It is very simple to make a few changes (which take only seconds or a few minutes), which can have huge impacts!

My resolution this year for Earth Alkemie is to reopen my online store and provide the best in natural skin care and eco-friendly products! 🙂 I hope to reopen soon (I still have several more weeks of work left to do, but I am working hard to reopen!).

My newest (February’s) Eco Living article will be up soon (it should be released next week). I have also been writing and answering more anb Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating questions recently. I will post about them once they are up on the all natural beauty website, the anb portal, and the anb mall!

Hope you enjoy my article on green resolutions!

ANB spotlight

I posted this on my facebook and forum a while ago but I didn’t get to post this on my blogs until now. Recently the all natural beauty (anb) website posted a new spotlight. My friend Sharon (the owner of all three anb sites) decided to start doing spotlights on anb visitors/readers (previously only spotlights were done on vendors, including Earth Alkemie). I think it is awesome Sharon is doing this now!

When I saw that the first spotlight was on my friend Barbara, I was even more delighted! Barbara and I have been friends for many years, we met on the GOW forum (a Delphi forum for another friend’s skin care line) and have chatted ever since. I love helping and talking to others about skin care and all things green, and I am blessed that I have made many friendships over the years that started with skin care, eco living, green alternatives, or a simple question. 🙂

I am so happy that I was able to help you so much all those years ago, Barbara, my friend! And I am honored to continue to be a part of your green and natural journey. So glad you love Earth Alkemie products too!

Eco Living: Candy Cane Toner

When I think of the holidays I think of candy canes! I haven’t had one in years but the scent of candy canes inspired my candy cane toner! It’s super easy to make, 100% all natural, and no candy canes are needed! It smells like peppermint and vanilla bliss! Hope you enjoy the article and have a wonderful holiday!

Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating: Age Spots

An all natural beauty (anb) website reader recently asked me a question about age spots (I am anb’s eco living and DIY natural beauty formulating expert). Sharon liked the article so much, she also made it all natural beauty website’s December All Natural Info article (Sharon is the owner of all three anb websites: all natural beauty website, anb portal, and anb mall). So I hope everyone enjoys the article! 🙂

There are a lot of natural ingredients that are helpful for improving the appearance of age spots. In my article I focused on easy to find, local, and food based ingredients. I use a lot of other, different ingredients (like more exotic carrier oils and butters, rare and expensive essential oils/absolutes/co2 extracts, other herbal ingredients, etc) to help improve skin clarity and the appearance of brown spots when crafting Earth Alkemie products. For a list of a few of these ingredients check out an old forum post about Earth Alkemie product recommendations.

I am working on new formulas with many other ingredients that may be beneficial for improving the appearance of brown spots. So there are a few new products in the works with some of the harder to find, unusual, or expensive ingredients! I will also be carrying more raw ingredients when I reopen my shop, including some of these ingredients (I hope to reopen sometime early next year).

Eco Living: Vanilla!

My newest eco living article on anb mall has been up for a while! Last month’s article was on vanilla. I have written an article on how to make vanilla extract, vanilla glycerite (a nice extract made with glycerine, perfect for those who don’t want an alcohol based extract) and vanilla infused oil. Great for baking and skin care! The flavor and scent of home made vanilla extract, glycerite, and oil are outstanding: much better than store brought. Best of all: no unwanted additives!

Vanilla is one of my favorite scents to use in skin care. Many companies use synthetic vanilla because of the expense of most vanilla products. There are many vanilla products that are used in skin care. For water based products, you may want to use the extract or glycerite. The infused oil can be used in any product containing oil.

Many people claim to sell or use ‘vanilla essential oil’, but don’t be mislead. Vanilla essential oil (so the pure substance, extracted by steam distillation) does not exist, since the distillation process does not yield an essential oil. So if someone claims they are using a steam distilled vanilla essential oil, they are (at best case) a little confused and are really using a different vanilla product, or (at worse case, sadly more often true) they are really using vanilla fragrance oil, which is a synthetic fragrance.

However there are vanilla absolutes (traditional and also organic/non-hexane), vanilla co2 extracts (various vanillin content, available as a co2 total and co2 select), and vanilla oleoresins (various concentrations, I’ve used 5x and 10x folded ones) available. All of these contain essential oil in them (they are not steam distilled but extracted by other methods), but also contain other natural chemical components, and each chemical component is at different concentrations (so these different substances share some similar properties and some different ones too). They all smell strongly of vanilla but the scent of each is different. The absolutes (which many people mistaken call an essential oil) and co2 extracts are very expensive (usually well over $100 an ounce wholesale/bulk for high quality, authentic ones). The oleoresin is more moderately priced and more affordable, though it is water soluble.

I use vanilla infused oil made with real vanilla beans in some Earth Alkemie products like Paradise perfume. It is expensive because (as noted in my eco living article) I use way more organic vanilla beans than what is typically in many vanilla products, for a super strong scent. Plus I use organic beans too, which is even more expensive. Pricey but well worth the effort and cost! I also use other vanilla ingredients like the oleoresin in Cinderella Mask, Morning Mask, Chocolate Truffle Buttercreme, Heaven Herbal Cleanser, Vanille Lavande Buttercreme, and Chocolate Dreams. Many of these products will be available when I reopen, though some will have minor reformulations (basically to remove the gluten containing ingredients, since I no longer eat it or use gluten in my skin care).

I love the oleoresin, and though I plan to keep on using it for some of the products, I am thinking of switching to the co2 extract in a couple of the products (because of the luscious, very intense vanilla scent, and since vanilla oleoresin is technically water soluble though I’ve made it work in oil based formulations ;P). The only draw back is that co2 extract is anywhere from 4 to 5 times the price of the oleoresin, but the couple co2 extracts I’ve used are a much more potent and stronger vanilla scent.

For more vanilla notes (on different species, tips on storage of vanilla beans, and vanilla powder, check out my eco blog)!

Stay tuned, I will be posting more links to eco living articles (I missed posting a few) very soon!