I’m often asked to explain the difference between herbal oils and essential oils, and to recommend which is a better or more effective therapeutic choice. The answer is that there is no simple, straightforward answer. Herbal oils and essential oils can both provide tremendous health benefits when used properly and safely. As a matter of fact, healing herbal oils and therapeutic essential oils have both been used safely and effectively for thousands of years to treat various health concerns. However ... although they are both valuable remedies, they are two very different compounds with two very different methods of use.
Herbal oils contain many medicinal healing properties that are beneficial to our health and well being. Just Skin Food handcrafts our Organic Healing Herbal Oils in-house so that we can control the richness of these healing properties through various infusion methods. Organic olive oil is our preferred carrier because it has the longest shelf life of any oil, and we infuse it with only the finest organic plants and weeds through one of the following methods; digestion, cold, or heat infusion.
Proper infusion can take several weeks using each of these methods. Digestion infusion and cold infusion differ only in the type of herbs used. In digestion infusion, dried organic herbs are used. In cold infusion, fresh organic herbs are wilted for twelve hours, then chopped and infused. Heat infusion is exactly how it sounds – a heat source, such as the sun or a double boiler, is used to extract the medicinal properties from either fresh or dried organic herbs. Once the infusion is ready, one of two things occurs – either the herbs are removed, leaving just the infused oil behind or the herbs are left in the oil and continue to infuse, creating a stronger, more potent herbal oil.
At Just Skin Food, our Organic Healing Herbal Oils are also used in the crafting of many of our other products, most notably in our curative Healing Salves. Herbal oils can generally be utilized on a daily basis without any adverse reaction, are found in many herbal teas, salves and tinctures that we use regularly, and are safe for ingestion in therapeutic doses.
Now lets talk a bit about essential oils.
Essential oils are oils that are extracted directly from plants and weeds. Steam distillation is the most common method of expression and extraction of essential oils because of it’s cost effectiveness. In this process, the plant is exposed to steam, causing the essential oils in the plant to evaporate. Once cooled, the condensation of water vapor and oil separates, making it easy to extract only the essential oil and package it into the lovely smelling little bottles we all have stored somewhere on our shelves. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a little aromatherapy :)
Simple, right? Not so much...
You see, while essential oils have many beneficial properties (the ability to influence the brain through our sense of smell is tremendous!), they definitely require more caution with their use, especially around children, the elderly and our pets. Undiluted essential oils have incredible therapeutic powers but should only be used under the guidance of an herbalist/naturopath/homeopath who is familiar with each oil’s healing properties in relation to an individuals specific health needs. These oils are actually so potent that only one drop is required per every 2 - 3 ounces of carrier oil. It is also not recommended to use essential oils on a daily basis. When improperly used or ingested, they can cause a host of problems ranging from negative skin reactions and upset flora in your gut, to actual internal tissue damage.
As always, knowledge is power. Herbal oils are, for the most part, safer and easier to use but we shouldn't overlook the amazing therapeutic properties of appropriately administered essential oils. So stay informed ... and when in doubt, seek the advice of a professional.
We were closed for a month in July- our usual downtime for
inventory, researching and vacation. We ventured out of the country to find new ideas as well as basically R&R, which we did a lot of. Everyone needs time off to become more productive. More on that venture in another post with a few interesting ideas that we will try and produce.
In the meantime, we added - well we purchased - an interesting product line that is all vegan. It is not for healing the skin but for beauty. It will complement our holistic way of living and give us a peace of mind on what we apply on the skin.
Black Eye Liner Pencil
Lip Liner Pencil
We will be manufacturing in-house a simple line of Eyeliner pencils (vegan), Lip liner pencils (vegan), Eye brow pencils (vegan) and Mascara (vegan). It is all handmade on premise. This is going to be fun to make and use. It is organic - but it is not certified organic because in order to make such products 100% organic it requires ingredient(s) that the USDA can certify. Since USDA can't certify specific ingredients found in nature, we will be looking into getting it at least 85% certified as are our soaps, but because of the chemistry it can never be 100% organic.
So this is the reason why it will never be 100% certified organic - Any element that comes directly from the earth that is either mined, or a mineral from the earth, beeswax, other natural waxes and even honey (honey produced in the USA- but other countries do certify their honey) can not be certified 100% organic as per the USDA government laws.
Why? We have absolutely no idea and asking our certifying agent, they also have said there is no real explanation. You would think since it is natural from nature not man-made that these ingredients coming from nature are truly ORGANIC. Isn't that what organic means – in its natural state from nature? Strange way of defining organic in the USDA. Regardless, all of the other ingredients in the products are USDA certified organic.
Speaking of certified organic, we are also in the process of offering with our own Just Skin Food label USDA certified organic skincare carrier oils and as well as essential oils. Until we get the go ahead and have it certified it will not be offered online as of yet.
With all this change we have also moved into a much larger space that is absolutely gorgeous and gianormus compared to our old site. It's bittersweet - love our little ol' place. But it is time to let go and move on... It is a fantastic place with lots of light and wonderful energy. It is almost done and can't wait to make stuff in here.
Here are some pictures of our moving in day(s).Room number 1 Room 1 Room 2 Room 2 Room 2 Me attempting to put up a shelf in the bathroom. Room 2
Here are four new additions that have recently joined our Just Skin Food’s family of healthy retailers that carry our products. All carry our sunscreen and many carry a selection of our other products. So if you are local to them or want products delivered to you from within your local area please visit these establishments.
Healthy in The Park - California
Located in the foothills of the Yosemite Valley, California area, Healthy in The Park serves as a local store as well as an online retailer. Selling organic, eco-friendly and cruelty free products. Healthy in The Park works one on one with a number of brands that in some way farm their own items or directly support the organic and wild crafted harvesting methods in order to help people feel better and live a more healthy lifestyle with the use of safer body and skin care items.
Healthy in The Park aims to bring consumers only the best and most reputable products available in the eco-friendly and organic market. Body washes, lotions, salves, skin care lines, detoxes, cosmetics, pain relief and more are all available both in store and online. Mother owned and family operated, you can find out more about Healthy in The Park by visiting the location in person on Yosemite Springs Parkway or by visiting their website located at: www.healthyinthepark.com.
Terra Health & Wellness Market - Missouri
Terra Health & Wellness Market is located in Independence, Missouri, operating a store location as well as an e-store. They just recent opened on May 19, 2015. Created with the purpose to provide the local community with a health food store that provides healthy, organic and all natural food and product options to consumers, the store has flourished since its inception. On the store shelves or online you will find a variety of products that are free of artificial sweeteners, artificial dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives and more.
Striving to help people eat better and live healthier, the Terra store understands how important it is to pay attention to what you consume as well as put onto your skin. Only the best quality vitamins, herbs and supplements are sold here along with one hundred percent organic produce, all natural deli meats, organic juices and smoothies, gluten free products and organic body products. Thanks to ethical and professional business practices, Terra Healthy & Wellness Market is likely to see a lot of success in the future while providing a healthy option for shoppers in person and online. The e-store, located at www.terrahealthmarket.com, will allow for shipments of non-perishable items to arrive right on your doorstep. North Carolina:
Nutrients, Etc. - Asheville, North Carolina
Many consumers are concerned with the quality and the purity of the supplements that they purchase and rightfully so. At Nutrients, Etc. each product has been chosen carefully and tested by physician James Biddle, MD and a trained and educated staff of employees. When you shop at this website you can shop confidently, knowing that you are getting only the best. Personal service along with affordable prices makes Nutrients, Etc. a great location for you to find products that will compliment your natural or holistic style of living and help you to heal your body.
In addition to hand selected vitamins and nutritional supplements, Nutrients, Etc. also offers a variety of other products that will help you live a more healthy lifestyle. This includes air filters, water filters, body products, skincare products, books, audio products and video products. Prices are very affordable and competitively price. You can find out more by visiting the Nutrients, Etc. website which is located at www.nutrientsetc.com.
Just the other day we received this from our friends over at Nutrients,Etc., they only received their first order on Saturday May 30th… They write
Liquid Karma Local Organics at Paramus Park Mall -New Jersey
Located at the Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, New Jersey, Liquid Karma offers a wide variety of locally made organic products in their unique and healthy-minded kiosk store. The motivation for this kiosk store opening was to give local vendors and businesses the opportunity to reach a wide variety of clientele in the Northern New Jersey area. Whether it be all natural or organic soap, salves, aromatherapy, cosmetics or other body products, Liquid Karma stands behind each of their vendors. Liquid Karma will be adding more kiosk stores in other malls as well.
Living a more natural and organic way of life can help a person look better and healthier on the outside but more importantly, on the inside as well. At Liquid Karma you can view a wide selection of hand picked products that will benefit you and your family while you embark on a more healthy and nurturing life path. You can heal the body from the inside out and feel better about the products and companies that you are supporting in the New Jersey area. You can visit the Liquid Karma on instagram and facebook page for more information.
We are finally all caught up over here at Just Skin Food, in time for some repose for the upcoming holidays to spend quality time with family. We will be back after the holidays to do more work. The last month or so we have been preparing for our products to make their debut at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards inside of gift totes and gift boxes. If you missed our instagram photo and facebook post check them out.
With gaining some free time back I am excited to tell you a bit about some of my retailers that I am working with. I pick my retailers very carefully. I have never had an interest in getting a spot on the shelves on large health food stores. I am more dedicated to finding my niche with smaller health and holistic stores. Finding retailers that share the same beliefs and intentions that I do when it comes to mind, body and spirit, is what I am most passionate about. Both The Prana House and Organic Bodyworkx fit right in with what I have always hoped to accomplish with Just Skin Food and I am excited to see what the future holds with these great people!
With a very similar mindset to Just Skin Food, The Prana House, located in Pennsylvania, has dedicated themselves to providing people with knowledge regarding holistic wellness and herbal remedies. Jacque is the owner and founder of The Prana House, Inc. and her focus on high quality and eco-conscious products makes this a great fit for Just Skin Food; we fit right in! My organic herbal infused oils as well as herbal skin salves can be very beneficial when it comes to holistic healing and these are being carried by The Prana House. I was honored to be featured on Jacque’s blog recently and I look forward to building an ongoing business relationship with this great company that prides themselves on their business practices that strive towards minimizing their carbon footprint while helping people.
The owners of Organic Bodyworkx, located in North Carolina, Jennifer and Chonzie McMahan, specialize in Reiki treatments, meditation and relaxation. I love that they share my mind, body and spirit focus on business. As they sell many organic and all natural body care products, it seems that Just Skin Food fits right in with their approach to body care and healing. Our bar soaps have been a hit with Bodyworkx customers thanks to their amazing ability to moisturize the skin. Grouped with our body butters and scrubs, Just Skin Food is helping more and more people improve the quality and health of their skin. More importantly, doing so in a very healthy and safe manner. I am excited to be part of this team’s business as they utilize a more natural system of healing for their clients.
While I seek great success with Just Skin Food in order to help as many people as I can, I do not strive to be in every health food store or spa in the area. I am more focused on mindfulness and also healing people that are likeminded in the holistic community. You can always browse my products that are created with USDA organic certified ingredients by visiting the Just Skin Food Website. You can find a full list of my retailers on the site as well.
It is so beautiful to know that Spring on the East Coast is almost here. With Spring just around the corner we will be filled with flowers and weeds. Weeds, as are flowers, play an important role in our daily herbal life.
Most of us think of weeds as bad but they are so important to us that we should not remove them from our gardens. Take this weed for instance yarrow.... most would not think of it as a weed since it flowers, but it is a weed and we like seeing it and having it around.
Before the commonplace drug store existed, our forebears found helpful medicinal compounds in the plants that grew around them. Since store shelves today are stocked with medicines of every kind, it’s easy to forget that many of those medicines were first discovered in wild plants. Yarrow plant is also referred to as Nature’s Neosporin in the herbal community. The flowers are rich in chemicals that are converted by steam distillation into anti-allergenic compounds, of use in the treatment of allergic catarrhal problems such as hayfever. The dark blue essential oil, azulene, is generally used as an anti-inflammatory, or in chest rubs for colds and influenza.
It should provide a sense of comfort to know that common injuries and ailments can be treated with common plants. One of the best of these medicinal plants is yarrow.
Yarrow, also known as millefoil, is a pretty foliage that is native to Europe but can now be found throughout North America growing in many meadows and fields. Many indigenous people like the Shakers began to use yarrow for its medicinal properties many years ago. This plant flowers from the month of June through October.
The yarrow plant also has a long history as a powerful “healing herb” used topically for wounds, cuts and abrasions. The genus name Achillea is derived from mythical Greek character Achilles, who reportedly carried it with his army to treat battle wounds. This medicinal action is also reflected in some of the plant’s common names, such as staunchweed and soldier's woundwort.
While yarrow was once used as a divine plant to assist with furthering spirituality it now has a number of uses in the herbal world. Yarrow can help a wound stop bleeding, which is why it was used in the military years ago for battle wounds during World War I and the Trojan War. The active components of yarrow include lactones, tannins, flavonoids, amino acids, sterols, coumarins and saponins.
Yarrow herbal oil has much healing potential and in addition to its ability to stop the flow of blood this herb is also a great antiseptic, it is antispasmodic and has antibacterial properties. Yarrow oil can even be used on the hair follicles to help stimulate growth. You can also find yarrow in dried herb form, and as a tincture.
Yarrow is a very beneficial ingredient to keep on hand as part of a holistic and homeopathic medicine collection. You can find more information on certified organic herbal infused yarrow oil by visiting the Just Skin Food website. All of our herbal infused oils are USDA certified organic and they are made of organic herbs and an organic carrier oil (olive). All of our herbal oils are also used in our salve products as well.