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.
It seems the last few weeks many sites have been writing on this little weed called Plantain. So we decided to write about it as well, but we have plantain in stock and can offer it on our site and it is USDA certified organic.
Used for hundreds of years and brought to the United States by settlers from Europe, plantain has a number of therapeutic properties that can aid in healing both inside the body and out. Known as being a very common weed that will grow just about anywhere, plantain has short, egg-shaped leaves, yellow roots, purple-green flowers and small buds that can be used in topical ointments, tinctures, salves or for a tea. High in vitamin K, vitamin C, beta carotene and calcium, plantain may even be growing in your very own backyard.
Topical Commonly used in topical products, plantain can work wonders on scrapes and cuts and even irritation caused by things like burns, rashes and bug bites. Just a couple of applications reduce redness, pain, irritation, itch and promotes healing. This is the case with our Herbal Infused Plantain Oil. Years ago, settlers used plantain for snake bites, wild animal bites, bee stings, poison ivy and much more thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Plantain draws poison and foreign matter out of wounds and then heals from the inside out. Many of our herbal salves contain Herbal Infused Plantain Oil such as our Therapeutic Skin Salve, Vein Relief Salve and Poison Ivy Salve.
When consumed in tincture form or as a tea, plantain is an expectorant and can have really beneficial effects on upper respiratory conditions like asthma, allergies and cough.
We recently made a plantain tea for a friend of ours, who was having issues with a lingering cough. She came back to us shortly after and reported that the intense chest pressure and pain she was having after her recent overseas trip to France showed great improvement after drinking plantain loose herb tea. She even went on to recommend the remedy to a sick friend who experienced benefits as well (Terri Amig 2016 – artist).
Internal When taken orally (can be eaten), plantain can assist with a variety of internal health conditions that include: -Poor digestion -Indigestion -Diabetes -High Cholesterol -Liver Issues
Plantain is one of those really great therapeutic weeds that can be used in its entirety. The leaves, stems, seeds and flowers can all be combined together to make a variety of products. It can also be combined with other herbs, like comfrey, peppermint and marshmallow, to increase its benefits. There is more information on plantain and other similar herbs on out Just Skin Food website. All of the herbs used in our products, including plantain, are USDA certified organic. Also environmentally friendly and made locally, Cape May sunshine is infused into every item!
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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
With summer coming around, it’s worthwhile to familiarize yourself with the recent FDA changes to sunscreen labeling so you can understand the product’s claims and buy a sunscreen that fits your needs.
Most important look for a Sunscreen that is Broad Spectrum which protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
FDA's label ruling -
1. Broad Spectrum designation: Sunscreens can be labeled with “Broad Spectrum SPF [value]” as long as it passes the FDA’s broad spectrum test that determines how well it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Just Skin Food's sunscreen is Broad Spectrum SPF30 and it is a superior Broad Spectrum UV protection. We use the highest allowable amount of non-nano zinc oxide.
2. Use claims: Only Broad Spectrum sunscreens with an SPF value of 15 or higher can “claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed with other sun protection measures.” We claim that on our new labels now. Our Sunscreen was lab tested according to FDA's SPF tests and we are SPF30.
Lets take a little quiz and see if you can answer these...
•Is SPF 45 sunscreen three times stronger than SPF 15 sunscreen? Does it last three times longer? • Do sunscreens provide better UVA protection than UVB protection? • What works better, sunscreens or sunblocks? • Do "broad-spectrum" sunscreens protect against all UV rays?
If you're not certain of the answers, you are not alone. Recent research shows that people who buy sunscreens aren't sure exactly what protection they need, and not sure of the technical terms on labels.
“A survey of 235 individuals who bought sunscreen found they did not know the difference between UVA and UVB or between SPF and UVA”. Most believed that higher SPF ratings meant stronger UV protection and the concept of "broad-spectrum" protection confused them further.
So here is "The Lingo"
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is used to estimate the amount of UV radiation it normally takes to sunburn one’s skin with protective sunscreen. Bet you didn’t know that “A” in UVA stands for ‘Aging’ and “B” in UVB stands for ‘Burning’. We sure never knew years ago, most don’t think about it.
So in order to determine the SPF needed use this formula to figure out the appropriate SPF - “SPF Number x Time to Burn without Protection = Time to Burn with Protection”. For example: SPF 15 x 10 minutes = 150 minutes of protection
There are two types of protective products – Sunblock and Sunscreen.
Sunblocks are formulated to shield against UVB rays, while sunscreens protect against UVA. In order to fully protect your skin, choose a broad-spectrum protection formulated sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
So what does Broad-spectrum protection really mean? The phrase indicates that a product shields against UVA as well as UVB. Most broad-spectrum sunscreens and sunblocks with an SPF of 15 or higher do a good job against UVB and short UVA rays; if they also contain zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide, they are effective against the entire UVA spectrum.
Just Skin Food is a Broad Spectrum SPF30 protector allowing you to have both protection against UVA and UVB. Our active ingredient is Zinc Oxide (non-nano) and it is a superior Broad Spectrum since we use the highest allowable zinc oxide as per the FDA.
Did you know that SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB. While SPF 30 blocks only 4% more UVB at 97%. SPF 30 or higher may be advisable for sun-sensitive individuals, skin cancer patients, and people at high risk of developing skin cancer. They also allow some margin for error if too little sunscreen is applied. So choosing an SPF30 is good in case you feel you are not applying it evenly or even enough. But SPF15 will just be as effective.
Anything higher then an SPF30 does not mean higher sunblock. The higher the SPF possibly allows you to apply it less times or go longer without reapplying but does not mean extra protection. Now the FDA tells everyone to reapply at least every two hours or less regardless of SPF value. Why? Because there is no such thing as full protection. You sweat and swim and therefore you need to reapply- simple. If you can not constantly reapply you must wear sun-protective gear and both is advisable.
The Skin Cancer Foundation considers sunscreens or sunblocks as one part of a comprehensive sun protection program, along with sun-protective clothing, sunglasses, shade, and sun avoidance from 10A.M. to 2PM.
For more information on prevention and early detection of skin cancer, call the Skin Cancer Foundation at 1-800-SKIN-490.
Click here to read about out Lab Reports
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.