Category Archives: Ingredients

Hawaiian Natural Hair & Skincare

Plumeria, one of my favorite flowers and scents

Hawaiian Natural Hair & Skincare

On my birth island, Kaua’i. All of the plant photos I took on Kaua’i.

I was born on Kaua’i, Hawai’i and partly raised on this majestic island on a sugar plantation and then next to Mt. Waialeale. We wore moo moo’s, went barefoot and played and looked for treasures in the forest and swam at Poipu beach. The air was warm and filled with the scent of plumeria, wet moss and ocean sea water. I have the plants, the ancient culture and the ocean instilled deeply in me. Hawai’i is a very special healing place to me. The ancient Hawaiian culture and their knowledge of using plants for medicinal purposes and for the hair and skin is extremely valuable information and needs to be protected and preserved. Hawai’i is filled with healing plants and thanks to all the people that work so hard to preserve these plants and knowledge. Here are some of the plants that have been and are currently used for Hawaiian natural hair and skincare.

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cupuacu butter

Ingredient Spotlight | Cupuacu Butter

cupuacu butterIngredient Spotlight | Cupuacu Butter

Our ingredient spotlight today is on cupuacu butter. Have you heard of cupuacu butter?  Cupuacu butter is from the cupuacu tree that grows in the Amazon rainforest by cold-pressing the seeds of the fruit. It is related to the cacao tree and has been used to make white chocolate. It is also very nourishing and a soft emollient when used in body care products.

Nourishing & Anti-Aging

Cupuacu butter is high in antoxidants, essential fatty acids, and phytosterols, a compound found in plants, that has been found to have anti-aging properties and is highly nourishing. Cupuacu butter can be used to treat dry and damaged skin as it encourages new collagen production. Cupuacu butter is also very hydrating and is able to retain water in your skin.

Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty

Cupuacu butter is a great vegan/plant-based alternative to lanolin. Lanolin comes from the glands of wool-bearing animals (mainly sheep) and is often used in body care products meant for deep nourishment. Cupuacu butter actually provides superior skin hydration compared to lanolin and it does not cause skin irritation that many receive as a result from using products containing lanolin. On another note, many consumers are wanting products that are vegan and cruelty-free when it comes to animal treatment. In fact, Google highlights vegan skin care as an important trend with searches for it growing over 80% each year! Learn more about vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics here.

Uses of Cupuacu Butter in Body Care Products

We use cupuacu butter in several of the formulas in the Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course; Camu Camu Cream, Cupuacu Body Butter.  These are some of our favorite formulas that are highly moisturizing. The uses of cupuacu butter in body care products is endless! With it’s nourishing, smoothing and anti-aging properties, cupuacu butter can be used in a variety of products including:

  • Lip balm
  • Body butter/balm
  • Leave-in Hair Conditioner
  • Anti-Aging Skin Toner
  • Sun protectant
  • Anti-inflammatory

Cupuacu Butter Resources

When purchasing ingredients for skin and hair care products, it is important you are getting a high quality product that is responsibly sourced.

At Joan Morais Naturals we recommend the following supplier:

Essential Wholesale

Interested in making your own natural skin and hair care products using cupuacu butter and other specialty natural ingredients? Check out the online courses

flower essences

All About Flower Essences | Make Your Own Flower Essences

flower essencesAll About Flower Essences | Make Your Own Flower Essences

Happy Spring! The arrival of spring brings us increasingly warmer and brighter days and a promise of summer. Spring is a perfect time to plant new seeds (both figuratively and literally), start new projects, and take action! Spring also brings with it a beautiful natural landscape of flowers. In this blog post we will be exploring flower essences- what are they, how to connect with and utilize the power of flowers in your body, hair, and skin care products, and additional resources for making and purchasing flower essences.

Flower Essences

“Food nourishes the body, but flowers heal the soul. ” -old proverb

Flower essences are made from a flowering plant that are used therapeutically to benefit mood and emotional wellbeing. Flower essences are very safe and can be used by children, elderly and animals. Every flower has a different healing property. Flower essences affect us in very subtle and gentle ways by working on an energetic and vibrational level. The energy of the healing property of the flower that is being used (for example- calmness) is amplified while opposing energy (worry or fear) is lessened. Sometimes flower essences work immediately and other times they may take days or weeks as they slowly work with your energy.

Flower Essences for Body, Hair and Skin

Flower essences are a great addition to add into your body, hair and skin care products. Here are some flowers that are great to use in body, hair and skin care products:

Gardenia Flower is luxurious and all about affluence. Luxury and affluence are the result of focus and appreciation for the fine details in art and living. Use gardenia flower to add life and luxury to most body, hair and skin care products.

Rose Flower embodies love and harmony. Everyone needs more love and rose gives a love boost to you. Use rose for all skin and hair types especially neglected skin and hair.

Violet Flower is a tiny delicate purple flower. Violet is wise and wants to remind us everything is valued on earth regardless of the size. Use for someone that does not realize their worth and think that they are too small and nobody notices them. Use violet for mature skin and hair and baby skin and hair.

Flower Essence Room Spray and Body Mist

A flower essence room spray and body mist is a great way to uplift mood, boost immunity and create balance. A few drops of essential oil can be added for a scent. Flower essence room sprays and body mists are great to use for everyone, including children, elderly and pets!

Flower Essence Room Spray

4 ounces distilled water

28 drops flower essence

Add all ingredients into bottle with a spray mister. Use within one month.

Flower Essence Body Mist

2 ounces distilled water

14 drops flower essence

Add all ingredients into bottle with a spray mister. Use within two weeks.


flower essences

Make Your Own Flower Essences: Check out our ebook that was just released- How to Make Flower Essences for Body, Hair, Skin  In this ebook you will learn all about making your own flower essences, including 39 flower essences you can use in body, hair and skin care.

Flower Essences for Purchase: Bach Flower Essences are very well known and can be found in most natural health/grocery stores.

Comparing Shea Butter: East African and West African Shea Butter

Comparing Shea Butter: East African and West African Shea Butter

I previously wrote about the benefits and processing of shea butter here and fair trade shea butter here and here.

I use both types of these shea butters in the formulations in the Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course.

East African Shea Butter

East African shea butter comes from the eastern side of the African continent, from Northern Uganda and Sudan.

Shea Nilotica shea butter comes from the fruit of the Karite tree, Vitellaria nilotica. It is easily available in organic and unrefined. Shea Nilotica is very soft and creamy. The butter spreads easily on the skin. It does not have a strong aroma and the color is light yellow. Shea Nilotica creates creamy, rich and soft formulations. The light aroma is easy to work with in formulations. The color produces a cream color formulation. Shea Nilotica has a lower melt point than Butyrospermum parkii.

Learn How To Make Simple Whipped Body Butter with Shea Nilotica, recipe here.

West African Shea Butter

West African shea butter comes from the western side of the African continent, much of it from Ghana. Butyrospermum parkii shea butter comes from the fruit of the Karite tree, Butyrospermum parkii. This is a hard and solid butter. It has a higher melt point than Shea Nilotica. It needs to be softened or melted first to apply it to the skin. It is available in unrefined or refined. The color varies depending on if it is unrefined or refined. This beautiful shea butter moisturizes, softens and smooth’s skin and hair. Since it is a harder butter it helps to thicken and add body to formulations.

Unrefined Shea Butter

Unrefined shea butter has a strong nutty aroma. It is hard to mask with essential oils. The nutty aroma comes through strongly. For years I only used unrefined but in the last several years I switched to refined since it is processed through a natural deodorizing process now. The nutty scent of the unrefined comes through regardless of the essential oils added for scent. The color is tan.

Refined Shea Butter
Refined shea butter is now available naturally filtered through diatomaceous earth, a chemically free process to deodorize it. I mostly use refined shea butter so my added scent of essential oils come through. The color is off-white.

Learn How To Make Shea Body Butter with Butyrospermum parkii shea butter, recipe here.

joan morais Joan Morais is a natural cosmetic formulator, instructor, author and the owner of Joan Morais Naturals. Joan assists product makers on how to make high quality, stable and effective natural body, hair and skin care products for personal use and a product making business.

Plant Stem Cells in Skin Care Products

Plant Stem Cells in Skin Care Products

Human and animal stem cells are the building blocks for cellular repair and regeneration in the person’s or animal’s body. Plant stem cells are also building blocks for repair and regeneration in the plant. Plants are some of the oldest organisms on earth. Plant stem cells used in skin care products help to stimulate collagen and improve skin elasticity.

Plant stem cells are found in the tissue of plants in the undifferentiated cells where growth occurs. These cells assist to keep the plant growing. These cells are able to continually divide. They are self-renewing, regenerative and are the place where the plant’s vitality begins. Plant stem cells do not go through an aging process and they have the ability to grow into the plants tissues, organs and cells.

Since plants are stationary and cannot move, they must protect themselves from environmental strains. The plant preserves its life in its stem cells.

I use perilla (Perilla frutescents) plant stem cell in a Men’s cream formulation, this formulation is excellent for male or female. Perilla is also known as Chinese basil and has been used since ancient times. This herb is in the mint family. Perilla is a strong antioxidant and helps to soothe the skin. Perilla stem cell assists to delay aging and promote regeneration.

joan morais Joan Morais is a natural cosmetic formulator, instructor, author and the owner of Joan Morais Naturals. Joan assists product makers on how to make high quality, stable and effective natural body, hair and skin care products for personal use and a product making business.