Tag Archives: Body & Skin Care

natural sunscreen

Natural Sunscreen: Does it Exist?

Natural Sunscreen: Does it Exist?

As consumers are becoming more aware of ingredients in their body and skin care products, they have been looking for more “natural” products. Here are Joan Morais Naturals all of our product formulations are derived from nature, using organic when possible, and contain no harmful ingredients. You will notice we do not have any formulations for a natural sunscreen, although we have been asked about it. Sunscreen is complicated. It is imperative to understand the requirements and regulations before one attempts to market a product as sunscreen. Read on to learn more about the basic ingredients for sunscreen, regulations for products labeled as sunscreen and if there is such thing as a purely “natural” sunscreen.

Sunscreen Ingredients

There are two types of sunscreen- chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s harmful UV rays, whereas physical sunscreens block the rays. Chemical sunscreens contain a combination of the following ingredients:  avobenzone, oxybenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Physical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Typically physical sunscreens will offer better protection as they tend to block more types of sun rays than chemical sunscreens. In terms of a more “natural” sunscreen, physical/mineral sunscreens appear to be best.

Toxic Ingredients

Recently you may have seen on the news that Hawaii have banned specific ingredients in some sunscreens. These ingredients are oxybenzone and octinoxate, both of which have been linked to causing damage to coral reefs and cause hormone disruption in people. Sunscreen is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Sunscreen ingredients were grandfathered in during the 1970s and therefore potential hazards have not been reviewed. With the new ban in Hawaii (set to take effect in 2021), there have been calls to the FDA to review the safety of these ingredients as well as safer and more effective ingredients.

Sunscreen Regulations

Sunscreen is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Sunscreen is an Over The Counter (OTC) drug. The FDA has specific rules in regards to sunscreen labeling as well as testing to ensure that products are properly protecting against the sun. For guidance on labeling and effectiveness testing, check out the FDA’s website here. 

Natural Sunscreen

You may have seen products being touted as “all-natural” sunscreen that do not utilize the main chemical or mineral ingredients. Often these products will have coconut oil or aloe vera, or other plant-based oils that have a natural SPF. However these are typically not enough to adequately protect your skin from the sun. They also have not been properly tested to verify their ability to protect against the sun.

Sunscreen Pills

Recently, sunscreen pills have hit the market claiming to protect your skin against the sun just by swallowing a pill. The FDA has put out a statement warning the consumer against these pills stating they are misleading and putting people at risk. Companies that are producing these products have been sent warning letters to correct violations of these claims as no ingestible product has been approved by the FDA.

Sun Protection Recommendations

While sunscreen can be an important protectant against skin cancer, there are many ways to protect yourself from the sun. The best way is to limit your exposure to the sun. This includs staying in the shade, wearing protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses.

For more information on sunscreen and finding one that meets your needs, check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) guide to sunscreen.

So, does “natural” sunscreen exist? Those with mineral ingredients of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are your best bet. Any products that do not include these minerals or the chemical ingredients listed above are likely not going to adequately protect against the sun. If you find any product that does claim this, you should request information on their testing showing these results prior to using.

Are you interested in making your own natural skin and body care products? Check out: Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course.

summer skin care

Summer Skin Care | Protect, Hydrate and Glow

summer skin care

Summer Skin Care | Protect, Hydrate and Glow

Now that summer is here we need to rethink how we take care of and protect our skin. With longer days and more sunshine, protecting our skin is of utmost importance. Proper protection is important to ward off skin cancer as well as to prevent premature aging of the skin, wrinkles and sunspots. Read on for our top tips for summer skin care.

Protect

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Excessive sun exposure raises the risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. There are many ways you can protect your skin from the harmful UV rays, including:

  • Cover up: Wear a hat and sunglasses and light-weight clothing that minimizes your body’s exposure. There are many sunshield-type clothing on the market that offer great sun protection for those days you will be out in the sun for a long period of time (hello beach day!).
  • Sunscreen: Put on sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Make sure to apply 15- 30 minutes before exposure and reapply every two hours if you get wet, sweat or are outside for a long period of time. Check out our blog next week to read up on what kind of sunscreen to use and whether “all-natural” sunscreens work (sneak preview- they don’t).
  • Limit Exposure: Mid-day is when the sun’s rays are the hottest and most dangerous. Try to keep your outdoor activities to morning before 10am or evening after 4pm.

Hydrate

With hotter temperatures and spending more time outside, it is easier to get dehydrated and our skin easily reflects it. Make sure you are getting at least 8 glasses of water a day, even more if you have any caffeinated drinks. Not a fan of plain water- make it fruit or vegetable infused by adding lemons, strawberries, cucumber, etc. to your water. You can also make non-caffeinated herbal ice tea or try one of the many flavored sparkling waters that are all the rage- just make sure they do not have any added sugar.

Face Masks are another great way to hydrate your skin. Use a mask with nourishing ingredients that will add moisture to the skin.

Hydrating Toners can help add moisture, soothe and balance you skin. Here is an easy Rose Facial Toner recipe.

Light moisturizers for face and body are great to apply after spritzing your face with toner to lock in added moisture. We love our Camu Camu Moisturizing Cream as it not only moisturizes, but is also a great anti-aging product. Learn how to make this moisturizer in our Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course.

Glow

Summer brings us an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies great for our health and they can also be used in our skin care. Plants work synergistically with the skin and produce radiant and glowing skin. Our Fresh Skin Care from the Kitchen and Garden eBook includes 28 recipes for cleansers, exfoliates, masks, toners, moisturizers, etc. using fruits, vegetables and other plant-based ingredients. These recipes produce an immediate result with a natural vibrancy, softness and glow to the skin. You will be amazed at the softening of your skin and the glow.

How do you take care of your skin care needs in the summer? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Here’s to an amazing summer with great skin!

rosemary essential oil

Rosemary Essential Oil | Types | Uses | Benefits

rosemary essential oilAll About Rosemary Essential Oils

Rosemary, rosmarinus officinalis, is a woodsy herb with fragrant needle-like leaves and small white, purple, pink, or blue flowers. It produces a strong, fresh and woodsy-like scent. Rosemary the plant is often used in a variety of culinary dishesRosemary essential oil can also be used for a variety of health, skin, body and hair care benefits. Read on to learn more about the uses and benefits of Rosemary essential oil.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Overall, Rosemary essential oil is stimulating, invigorating and refreshing. Rosemary is also great for staying focused and alert and for memory retention. It can be used for most skin care, especially those with acne, combination, oily and mature skin. Rosemary essential oil is also great for oily hair and hair loss.

Rosemary Essential Oil Types

There are many different types of rosemary plants, therefore producing many different types of rosemary essential oils. Here are two different rosemary essential oil types.

Rosmarinus officinalis var Cineole,

This particular rosemary essential oil type is great for use in respiratory conditions such as opening up nasal passages, reducing coughing and breaking down mucus. For skin and hair care it is great for acne, oily skin and scalp, and can stimulate hair growth.

Rosmarinus officinalis var Verbenon

This rosemary has a more gentle scent and is less stimulating than Rosemary Cineole. It is the type used most frequently in skin care products. Due to it’s regenerative properties, it is often used for mature and aging skin, scarring, burns and sun damage. Rosemary Verbenon is also great for oily scalp and dandruff.

Precautions

Rosemary essential should be avoided during pregnancy and should not be used if you experience seizures or have hypertension. As with all essential oils, always use caution when applying directly on your skin and dilute with a proper carrier oil. Precautions should always be taken when using around children, elderly and pets.

Interested in using aromatherapy in your skin, body and hair care products? Check out the following:

Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course

Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course

lavender essential oil

All About Lavender Essential Oil & Lavandin Essential Oil

lavender essential oilAll About Lavender Essential Oil & Lavandin Essential Oil

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is one of those all-around every-day types of essential oils. It can be used for stress release, relaxation, sleep induction, soothe irritated skin, heal a burn, ease headaches, muscle relaxation, kill germs, etc. Lavender essential oil is quite popular and is a great oil to have in your collection. Lavandin (Lavandin intermedia) essential oil is a variety of lavender that is a cross between true lavender and spike lavender. Often times these two essential oils types are used interchangeably, however there are some differences. Read on to learn more about lavender and lavandin essential oil.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil also known as true lavender has so many useful attributes for physical ailments, emotional needs, and skin care.

It is a mild pain reliever and a natural anti-inflammatory and therefore can be used for most physical ailments. Lavender works great for headaches, muscle aches and pains, arthritis, burns, etc. Lavender can also be used an an anti-bacterial and is great in our Aromatherapeutic Anti-Flu Spray. A primary attribute for lavender is as a relaxant. This makes it great for stress-reduction, going to sleep, and calming anxiety. Lavender essential oil can be used to help balance all emotions. It is also great for most skin care uses. Lavender has a more floral and sweet scent.

Lavender essential oil blends well with most other essential oils especially citrus oils, rose, rosemary, geranium, and frankincense.

Lavandin Essential Oil

As previously mentioned, lavandin is a hybrid of two other lavender plants. Lavandin is easier to cultivate and produces a larger yield therefore making it frequent substitute for lavender and is often used as a fragrance in soaps, lotions, perfumes, etc. There are several chemotypes of lavandin; Arial, Grosso, Super. Although lavandin and lavender have many similarities, they differ in their chemical compositions. Lavandin intermedia Super is higher in esters which makes it more relaxing and a potent antispasmodic.

Lavandin essential oil is also used for many physical, emotional and skin care needs in particular as an:

  • Antiseptic: Can fight infections and helps heal wounds and cuts.
  • Antidepressant: Helps boost self-esteem, mental strength and confidence.
  • Reduces scarring: from stretch marks, acne, boils, and pox.
  • Cold reliever: helps reduce coughs and phlegm in the respiratory track and lungs.

Lavandin essential oil blends well with Jasmine, Bergamot, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Thyme, Patchouli, and Cinnamon.

Lavandin Super is the closest to true lavender.

When using both lavender and lavandin topically, it is best to dilute with a plant oil such as avocado oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.

Interested in using aromatherapy in your skin, body and hair care products? Check out the following:

Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course

Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course

aromatherapy

Aromatherapy | Essential Oils | Absolutes | CO2 Extracts

aromatherapyAromatherapy | Essential Oils | Absolutes | CO2 Extracts

Let’s explore the world of aromatherapy!

Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant extracts or essential oils for physical and/or mental wellbeing. Absolutes and CO2 Extracts are also commonly used in aromatherapy. We will explore each of those in detail in this blog post. Aromatherapy also encourages the use of complimentary natural ingredients including plant oils, herbs, salts and sugars. Synthetic ingredients including fragrance and perfume oils, are not used in aromatherapy as there is no therapeutic benefit to them.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are the natural oils from a plant and is usually produced by steam or water distillation. These oils capture the plant’s scent/flavor and are considered the “essence” of the plant. Essential oils are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way. It is important to educate yourself on the essential oils you use in order to ensure that you can use them safely.

Essential oils are comprised of naturally occurring chemicals, also called constituents. Pure essential oils are never adulterated or have any additives. Cost and quality of essential oils can vary greatly as it is dependent on the availability/rarity of the plant, growing conditions, the distillation process, country of origin, etc. Also some essential oils will be made into a blend with other essential oils or with a carrier oil.

When applying topically most essential oils should be diluted. Putting pure essential oil on your skin can cause sensitivity or irritation. Plant oils, such as olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, etc. are great carrier oils to add essential oils to when applying topically. Essential oils can also be added to diffusers with water to mist into the air for inhalation.

Essential oils have so many wonderful therapeutic properties and when used safely are great to incorporate into your daily life and wellness routine!

Absolutes

Similar to essential oils, absolutes are highly concentrated aromatic liquid extracted from plants. However, absolutes differ from essential oils, as they require a use of chemical solvents for their complicated extraction process. These chemical solvents are later removed, however a trace amount often remains in the final product. Due to this trace amount of solvent, pure essential oils are typically preferred for use in holistic aromatherapy.

Absolutes still have a place in aromatherapy as some plants require a use of chemical solvents to extract the aromatic oil. Jasmine oil is an example of an absolute. Absolutes are typically even more aromatic/concentrated than essential oils. Therefore, even less of the absolute needs to be used.

CO2 Extracts

CO2 Extracts are oils extracted by using carbon dioxide (CO2). In it’s regular state, carbon dioxide is a gas we breathe. When pressurized it becomes a liquid. This liquid is then used as a solvent with the plant to extract the oil from it. The CO2 is then brought back to a gas state and the remaining liquid is the CO2 extract. Unlike absolutes, once the extraction process is complete, all of the CO2 returns to its gaseous state and no solvent remains. CO2 extracts have an advantage over essential oils as they are not as sensitive to temperature and oxygen, they have a longer shelf-life and a finer scent. Due to these reasons and others, CO2 extracts are becoming more popular.

Interested in using aromatherapy in your skin, body and hair care products? Check out the following:

Professional Natural Skin Care Product Making Course

Professional Natural Hair Care Product Making Course