Hygge Beauty Rituals: Herbal Facial Steam

Part 1: Hygge Beauty Rituals: Herbal Facial Steam 

Hygge (pronounced hue-ugh) is used by the Danish to describe a feeling, a feeling of coziness, of being present and enjoying the moment. It’s creating simple moments during these dark cold months to bring a cozy feeling and sense of sanctuary in our home. It’s not about buying more things, instead to take the time to do little things to bring comfort into our life and home. It’s as simple as lighting a candle and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate or covering up with a cozy blanket and reading a good book or placing a flower or sprig of rosemary by your bedside or doing beauty rituals.

I like doing beauty rituals because they help to slow me down and relax, recharge and revitalize. Herbal facial steams are one of my favorite skin rituals to bring a sense of well-being by taking a moment to inhale the healing and revitalizing properties of flowers and herbs. I follow this up with a facial and hair mask and a bath. I apply the masks and then soak in the bathtub. In the bath water I add sea salt like Red Hawaiian Alaea sea salt and my homemade bath bomb filled with herbs and scented with essential oils.

Herbs have incredible beneficial properties for the skin. A facial steam is a great way for the skin to soak in the herbs. You can use tea bags and dried spices if you don’t have any herbs growing. Try green tea, hibiscus tea, lavender tea, dried thyme, dried, peppermint, dried oregano or dried parsley. I use whatever fresh herbs I have in my skin care garden plus some dried herbs. In this facial steam I’m using fresh parsley, rosemary, peppermint and thyme and dried roses, calendula and elder flower.

Basil Ocimum basilicum
Basil is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and an excellent treatment for blemishes and acne.

Calendula Calendula officinalis
Calendula is known as the skin healing herb. It is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and highly nourishing for the skin. It promotes healing of minor cuts, soothes and softens the skin. It is soothing for irritated, chapped and dry skin, rashes, bruises, burns and sores. It is said to have life force enhancing properties. Calendula supports the skin and connective tissue. Use for most skin types, irritation, rashes, and eczema. Dried or Fresh

Elder Flower Sambucus canadensis
Elderflower cleanses, soothes and softens the skin. It is astringent and anti- inflammatory and helps to smooth wrinkles and soothe sunburns. Dried or Fresh Flower.

Parsley Petroselinum sativum
Parsley is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and contains vitamin C, vitamin K and chlorophyll. It is soothing for blemishes, psoriasis and eczema. Parsley also helps to tighten the skin and lighten dark circles under the eyes. Dried or Fresh

Peppermint Mentha piperita
Peppermint is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and astringent. It is cooling, refreshing, revitalizing, stimulating and soothing. Peppermint detoxifies and clarifies the skin. It is good for hand and foot balms, butters and creams and in facial steams. Dried or Fresh

Rose petals Rosa
Rose creates a feeling of love, beauty, the feminine, warmth, romance, safety and peacefulness. Roses harmonize, soften and soothe the skin and are a mild skin astringent and anti-inflammatory. Use for all skin types. Dried or Fresh Flower

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Rosemary is antiseptic and purifies, cleanses, tones, stimulates and rejuvenates. Use for most skin types. Dried or Fresh Leaf

Thyme Thymus vulgaris
Thyme is a great antiseptic and purifies the skin. Use for blemished and dull skin. Dried or Fresh Leaf

HOW TO DO A FACIAL STEAM

  1. Heat up 6 cups of water (best to use purified or distilled water).
  2. Add a handful of fresh herbs or 3 tablespoons of dried herbs to a glass bowl and pour very hot water over herbs.
  3. Let herbs steep for 5 about minutes; cover the bowl with a plate to keep the steam and properties of the herbs in the water.
  4. Sit comfortably in front of the bowl and drape a bath towel over your head and the bowl creating a tent. Be careful with the hot water. Hold your face 8-10 inches above the water.
  5. Keep your eyes closed, relax and breathe in and out slowly. If it gets too hot under the towel, open the sides of the towel. Steam your face for about 10 minutes.

For a more therapeutic effect, make a stronger tea on the stove with the herbs and pour the tea into the glass bowl.

FACIAL STEAM HERBS FOR SKIN TYPE

Normal to dry skin
chamomile, horsetail, lavender, rose petals, sage

Oily skin
lavender, orange peel, rosemary, sage

Blemished skin
calendula, chamomile, elder flower, lavender, lemon balm, thyme, yarrow

 

HYGGE BEAUTY RITUALS SERIES

Read Part 2 Hygge Beauty Rituals: Foot Bath here

Read Part 3 Hygge Beauty Rituals: Massage with Softening Hand and Foot Balm

Read Part 4 Hygge Beauty Rituals: Crystal and Aromatherapy Bath (coming soon)

 

CREATE YOUR OWN SKIN CARE LINE!
Enrollment is open for the Winter Session Guided and mentored online professional course with cosmetic formulator, herbalist and aromatherapist Joan Morais. Enroll today here…

 

 

 

 

Essential Oils for Cleaning the Air

Essential oils are very efficient for cleaning the air. Essential oils are effective at cleaning and purifying the air in our home. One of the main purifiers of air are trees, essential oils from trees such as eucalyptus, fir, pine and spruce are superior at cleaning the air and assisting us to breathe easier. Citrus essential oils cleanse, freshen and send an uplifting aroma into the air. Here are some of my favorite essential oils for cleaning and purifying the air.

Essential Oils for Cleaning the Air

Grapefruit – Citrus paradisii

Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus radiata

Lemon – Citrus limon

Lime – Citrus aurantifolia

Balsam Fir – Abies balsamea

Peppermint – Mentha x piperita

Sea Pine – Pinus pinaster

Ravensara – Ravensara aromatic

Black Spruce – Picea mariana

Sweet Orange – Citrus auranthium

Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia

Essential Oil Blends for Cleaning the Air 

Both of theses blends freshen, clean and purify the air. These blends can be added to a water/mist diffuser and/or a room spray.

FRESH CITRUS BLEND

Grapefruit 5 drops

Lemon 5 drops

Orange 5 drops

Lime 5 drops

Peppermint 1 drop (optional)

BREATHE EASY BLEND

Lemon 10 drops

Eucalyptus radiata 5 drops

Ravensara 5 drops

Diffuser
Add 8 fluid ounces/240 mL distilled or purified water to diffuser* and add 8 drops of fresh citrus blend or breathe easy blend into the water. Turn diffuser on and diffuse for 15-30 minutes
*tap water can be used but distilled or purified water is best

Room Spray– fill 8 ounce/240 mL bottle* with distilled or purified water and add 8 – 16 drops fresh citrus blend or breathe easy blend.
*tap water can be used but distilled or purified water is best
*best to use a glass bottle with atomizer

Diffusers

Mist diffusers are my favorite diffuser over the dry diffuser I talk about the dry diffuser being very loud and the strong release of essential oils. Mist diffusers have a base of water that essential oils are added to and then misted into the air for a subtle scent and cleansing mist omitted into the air.

Here are some diffusors that I like and have tested. They are quiet, have a water supply and will run from 6-8 hours and have different color lights.

Wooden look

Wooden look

White dome with colored lighting

White cylinder with colored lighting


Essential Oils

Essential oils are available at natural grocery stores and health stores, Whole Foods and other grocery stores. Generally the Aura Cacia and NOW brand is carried at the stores. Essential oils are also available online. Here are a few high quality essential oil suppliers:

Natures Gift

Original Swiss Aromatics

Pranarōm 

Plants are Air Purifiers

I have plants all over my house. They clean and purify the air. NASA did a study on the plants that clean the air and remove toxins from the air. Read about it here.

Dragon’s Blood Beauty Balm by Plant-Based Formulator Joan Morais

Dragon's Blood Beauty Balm developed by Cosmetic Formulator Joan Morais

Dragon’s Blood Beauty Balm ~ Awaken The Female Dragon by Plant-Based Formulator Joan Morais

I developed this “Dragon’s Blood Beauty Balm ~ Awaken The Female Dragon”, first from the inspiration from the magical Dragon Blood Tree and second because of the traditional medicinal and skin care uses. I immediately fell under the spell of this mystic tree when I discovered the dragon’s blood tree on an island of the Azores Islands. I saw the dragon tree for the first time on the Island of Pico. I was instantly mesmerized and captivated by the dragon’s blood tree.

Plant-Based Cosmetic Formulator Joan Morais and the Dragon’s Blood Tree – Become a Plant-Based Cosmetic Formulator

Dragon’s Blood Tree
The dragon’s blood tree is also called the dragon tree and drago, Dracaena draco. The tree’s resin looks like blood because it is transparent and vibrant red. The name Dracaena comes from the Greek word ‘dracaena’ and means Female Dragon. The resin has been used as a dye and for medicinal purposes and in medicinal products for centuries. This subtropical tree is native to the Canary Islands, Madeira, Cape Verde and western Morocco and brought to the Azores. The dragon tree is known to live a very long time. The oldest tree is possibly be 400 – 1000 years old. It is hard to determine the age since dracaenas are monocotyledons and don’t have rings to count the years.

Dragon’s Blood Tree Medicinal Uses
According to Dragon’s blood: Botany, chemistry and therapeutic uses  dragon’s blood resin has been traditionally used as a “haemostatic, antidiarrhetic, antiulcer, antimicrobial, antiviral, wound healing, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant………and for skin disorders such as eczema.”

Become A Plant-Based Cosmetic Formulator
As a plant-based cosmetic formulator I thrive in nature. Nature inspires and enlightens me with its wisdom, healing powers, vibrancy, radiance and rainbow of plant colors into my plant-based formulations. This Dragon’s Blood Beauty Balm ~ Awaken The Female Dragon is unique to me and brands me as a plant-based formulator. In my Natural Professional Skin Care and Hair Care Product Making Courses, I share so many formulations that can easily be customized and a new creation like my Dragon’s Blood Beauty Balm can be developed into a one-of-a-kind whole beauty product by you. You can become a Plant-Based Cosmetic Formulator! Being a plant-based cosmetic formulator and instructor brings me such fulfillment and joy. My biggest passion is to share this with my students and assist my students to be successful and to soar.

Dragon’s Blood Tree on the Island of Pico, Azores – Joan Morais

The Mystic and Magical Dragon Tree ~ Female Dragon

Learn the power and the energy
The language of the craters the signs
Of the dragon tree and its magic alchemy
Or the writing of stone and metals
-Manuel Alegre (Portuguese Poet)

Dragon’s Blood Tree on the Island of Pico, Azores – Joan Morais

Aprender os poderes e a energia
A língua das crateras os sinais
Do dragoeiro e sua magíca
alquimia
Ou a escrita da pedra e dos metais
-Manuel Alegre

psoraisis

How I Cured My Psoriasis | By Joan Morais

psoraisisHow I Cured My Psoriasis | By Joan Morais

Anyone who has suffered from a skin ailment, psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis understands how it affects our daily life and can consume our day. Here is my story on how I cured my psoriasis.

Living with Psoriasis

I lived with psoriasis for over four years. My dad had psoriasis. His dad, my grandfather, also had psoriasis. Every day my psoriasis worsened and spread. The unsightly look of the plaques, the extreme itchiness and flaking of the plaques was so stressful and emotionally draining. It affected what I would wear, I didn’t wear any dark clothing, the flaking from the plaques would clearly be seen. The itchiness was enough to drive me crazy. Anyone with a skin disorder can understand this.

I am an aromatherapist, herbalist and into natural health. I tried so many different natural ways to try to heal my psoriasis. I researched and read numerous books on psoriasis. I experimented with removing wheat, soy, nuts and nightshade vegetables out of my diet and reduced consuming dairy products. I used aromatherapy sprays, drank herbal teas, took herbs, applied salves and lotions and soaked in sea salt and herbal baths to soothe my itchy skin. I worked on the emotional pattern of psoriasis. Nothing I did made a lasting impact on the symptoms of psoriasis. My psoriasis kept getting worse and got too much for me.

I finally went to my medical doctor and received a formal diagnosis of psoriasis and was prescribed medication. I was hoping there was something new on the market that would help without the horrible side effects from the medication. However, I knew I would not take the medication after reading the side effects and hearing stories from people on what happened to them from taking the medicine. I lost hope and succumbed to believe that my psoriasis is something that could never be cured. I would have to suffer and deal with it my entire life.

Out of the Blue Everything Changed

My daughter came up for a visit for about a month. I was vegetarian at the time and I was just getting into cooking. I never learned how to cook or cared to cook but recently was intrigued to learn how to cook. My daughter was interested in eating and cooking vegan out of compassion for animals. She shared with me about the unbelievable atrocities done to animals in factory farms. I watched documentaries and hidden videos on factory farms. I researched factory farming and how animals were slaughtered. It kept leading me deeper and then I uncovered the horrible things done in the dairy and egg industry.

We cooked and baked vegan. It was so fun and everything was delicious. I realized I didn’t need eggs in baking or cheese on pizza. It was all so clear to me how unbalanced our country has become by having animal products in everything! Through marketing and TV commercials we were brainwashed to consume more animals products so the beef, pork, chicken, lamb, dairy and egg corporations could make more money for themselves without a care for human health, cruelty to animals and environmental health. The United States eats more animal products than any other country and anytime in history. As I read labels I was shocked. Gelatin for instance is made from the skin, bones, and ligaments from horses, cows and pigs.

My Psoriasis Disappeared

When I started eating vegan all of a sudden my psoriasis disappeared very quickly. It truly was shocking. Every plaque and discoloration on my skin was gone! After suffering for years from psoriasis and have it affect every moment of my daily life and then for it to disappear was a miracle! It has been over five years and I have no symptoms or signs of ever having psoriasis. It was food related; a reaction from eggs and dairy. When the body is sensitive or allergic to an ingredient, the organs are on overload and can’t process the toxin and therefore it comes out through the skin.

Our body is very intelligent. All we have to do is pay attention and listen to it. Don’t fall into the trap and listen to the mainstream and the mass majority. What we have been told may not be true for us. As a child, I held my nose drinking milk. I detested milk, butter and cheese. I didn’t like eggs and would gag to eat them. Maybe my body knew since a child it was not good for me. And going against my body for too many years built up too many toxins in me and my body couldn’t process it anymore.

I love cooking and eating vegan. I feel great and have a tremendous amount of energy and I am almost 60 years old.

If you would like to learn more and resources on eating vegan go here:

Joan’s Story: How I Became Vegan

or follow my vegan cooking and eating on Instagram:

@joansveganeats

psoriasis and eczema

Skin Conditions | Psoriasis and Eczema

Skin Conditions | Psoriasis and Eczema

Psoriasis and Eczema are two common skin conditions that affect many people, including children. Both skin conditions can have similar symptoms and are commonly confused for one another. Read on to learn about psoriasis and eczema.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is when skin cells build up and will form red, patchy scales. It is considered a chronic disease that comes and goes with no cure*. There are ways to manage and reduce symptoms. Symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • itchy, red patches
  • dry, cracked skin that can bleed
  • silvery, white scales on the skin
  • swollen, stiff joints

Psoriasis can appear as a few patches or can cover a large area. It often flares up for several weeks or months then disappears for some time. It can also go into complete remission.

Causes of psoriasis are not completely known, however it is thought to be an immune response. In psoriasis, cells attack other healthy cells by mistake. This triggers an overproduction of skin cells that build up to form psoriasis. Those with a family history of psoriasis are more at risk to have it. It typically first shows up between the ages 15- 35. It is rare for babies or children to have psoriasis.

Psoriasis is often starts or worsens because of a trigger. Identifying one’s triggers is an important step in the treatment and remission of psoriasis. The following are common triggers:

  • stress
  • smoking cigarettes
  • heavy alcohol consumption
  • injuries to the skin or skin infections
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • some medications

Psoriasis is often treated with creams and ointments and for more severe cases with oral medication or injections.

Eczema

Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, makes your skin red and itchy. Just like Psoriasis, it is chronic, flares up then goes away and a cure has not been found. Eczema is the skin’s inability to protect itself from environmental factors, irritants, and allergens. Symptoms include:

  • Dry skin
  • Itchiness
  • Red patches especially around hands, feet, neck, and inside the bends of elbows and knees
  • Thickened, scaly skin
  • Red bumps that ooze fluid
  • Stinging and burning feeling on skin

Eczema often begins before age 5 and can continue into adulthood. About 20 percent of babies and young children experience eczema with most developing symptoms within the first year. In babies, eczema tends to show up on the scalp, cheeks, arms and legs. Many children outgrow eczema by age 2. Food allergies can contribute to eczema in children.

Eczema is very itchy and scratching can cause problems. Scratching can cause thickened and darkened skin that scars over time.

Like psoriasis, eczema is more likely if there is a family history. Allergens or irritants in the environment can also trigger it. This includes pollen, cigarette smoke, or allergens in one’s diet. The rash is often aggravated by heat and irritants (such as chemicals in soaps and lotions). Stress can also cause a flare up of eczema.

Eczema is typically treated with topical treatment and avoiding known allergens and irritants.

*Joan’s Cure

Psoriasis and Eczema can be very difficult to deal with. Not only are they irritating and painful, they can cause a lot of embarrassment. While the mainstream medical field will say there is no cure for psoriasis or eczema, Joan was able to cure her psoriasis and has not experienced any symptoms in over 5 years. For Joan’s story on how she healed her psoriasis, come back to our blog next week for her story.

Irritants in body care products can trigger and/or exacerbate outbreaks of both psoriasis and eczema. For those looking to make more natural body care products check out our online courses and ebooks:

Online Courses

EBooks

Do you suffer from psoriasis or eczema? What has your experience been? Please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.