Skin Care Basics | Oranges

I don’t know about any of you but I am a huge citrus lover, especially for oranges with their acidic sweetness and bright color.

I love incorporating citrus such as oranges into my skin care for their many properties and skin lightening abilities.

However, with any citrus it is very important to keep in mind that they are very light sensitive and can cause you to burn or blister in the sun.

You can still enjoy the benefits of citrus in your skin care but only use any citrus products several hours or even overnight before you will come into any direct sunlight.

Anti-Aging | Oranges are very high in antioxidants and vitamin C which means that they can protect your skin against free radicals which can help to slow down signs of aging such as age spots and fine wrinkles.

The amount of vitamin C can also help your skin to produce more collagen and elastin which will create more supple, youthful looking skin.

Oranges also contain citric acid which acts as a natural exfoliant which can also help skin to appear more youthful as old, dead skin is removed and improves the overall look of your skin.

Skin Blemishes | The citric acid in oranges can help to treat acne by removing excess dirt and oils as well as acting as a drying agent on breakouts.

The natural vitamins in oranges not only helps with anti-againg but the encouragement of collagen and elastin production can also help to speed the healing of breakouts and skin blemishes.

Collagen and elastin also help to create less scarring from acne.

Skin Whitening | As most people know oranges are naturally lightening to the skin and can act as a toner to even out skin tone and to remove dark patches over time.

The abundance of vitamin C and antioxidants in oranges help them to maintain the balance of natural oils on the skin, making them a wonderful option for oily and dry skin types.

Orange toner also acts as a way to freshen up dull looking skin and giving it a natural glow and suppleness.

 

 

February 14th Soap Release

February has already rolled around which still baffles me and with a new month comes another new product release into the Tangerine and Me Etsy shop.

Three new soaps will be added to the shop this month and though I will not be going into detail about each one, you can find a full description and ingredient list on each soap here.

One soap that is included this month is a very local supporting soap with local, Oregonian honey as well as a soap that includes a beautiful, Egyptian loofah. So there are plenty of new and exciting soaps to look forward too.

February Releases:

– Carrot Soap

– Bee Kind Soap

– Peppermint Eucalyptus Loofah Soap

All About Infused Oils

Today I wanted to do a little introduction of sorts that has to do with infusing oil and why many people do it.

I am in no way an expert in the art of infusing oils but I have done it upon numerous occasions in many different ways and have collected a few insights into how a beginner might experiment with it.

First of all if you are new to the term infused oils, it is simply a carrier oil of your choosing, such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, and so on, that has been infused or steeped with herbs and spices.

Infusing Methods | Two ways of infusing oil is solar infusing and stove top infusing.

Solar infusing is the age-old method of infusing oils and takes quite a bit more patients and time than the other method mentioned.

Once you have formulated your infusion, put it in an airtight jar and place it on a window seal where sunlight shines often to allow the suns gentle heat to slowly infuse your oil over the course of a few weeks or even months.

To infuse over a stove top place your jar of oils and herbs in a water bath on a stove top on a very low setting for several hours over the course of a few days.

Take care that you do not overheat or get water into your infusion while using this method.

Some prefer to use a crock pot over the stove top method which also works very well.

Why Infuse? | There are several reasons why someone might decide to make an oil infusion but I will only list a few of them.

Many decide to infuse a carrier oil with herbs and spices for their beneficial properties. Whether that be chamomile and lavender for relaxation, peppermint and eucalyptus for stimulation, or white willow bar for its healing properties.

Another reason that some will infuse oil is to extract a certain scent, this is more commonly used for spices such as star anise, cinnamon, clove. But can also work for herbs such as rose, lavender, and spearmint.

Those who make soap even occasionally infuse their oils to extract a certain color but this only works for certain herbs such as alkanet and green tea.

Using Infused Oil | Now that we have talked about the ways to infuse and why you may want to infuse its time to talk about the ways that you can use your infused oil.

Infusing is a wonderful way to get a fragrant and beneficial massage oil to help ease the tension of the day that you are storing in your muscles or to create a relaxing, winding down habit before bed with a calming infused oil.

If you enjoy experimenting with your natural skin care, infused oils just might be your next obsession.

Perhaps you want to make an infused oil for acne you might choose herbs such as calendula and rosemary. If you are looking for an infusion to help with those pesky scars perhaps try infusing some marshmallow root and lavender.

Infused oils are even good on your hair to promote healthy, growing hair. Herbs such as horsetail, rosemary, peppermint, and stinging nettle are a good option for an infused hair oil.

How To | To create your own personalized infusion simply pick out your choice of oil and your desired herbs and spices according to what you plan to use it for.

Put your dried herbs or spices into a sealable jar, like a mason jar, and pour your oil over the top making sure to have at least an inch of oil covering the top.

Once you have done that and have infused with whichever method you prefer, you can strain and bottle your infusion until further use.

 

Skin Care Basics | Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter has been a long time favorite of mine and I have used it in a broad amount of skin care products since several years ago.

It is one of the main ingredients in chocolate and has a very noticeable chocolate-y scent as well as a light brown color.

It is a very brittle butter which makes it a perfect addition to soap, lotion bars, and any kind of oil based product that you would like to thicken up or add a pleasant scent to.

Moisturizing | Cocoa butter is naturally moisturizing since it is filled with fats that help to heal dryness and cracking all over the body.

Cocoa butter is also an emollient which means that it adds a protective layer over the skin, sealing in the moisture as it does so. This ability makes it an excellent choice for a homemade lip balm.

This particular butter is a popular choice amongst those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis since it deeply moisturizes while still being gentle on sensitive skin.

Anti-Aging | There are many skin care related ingredients that have numerous claims of being anti-aging and what it usually comes down to is using simple ingredients on your skin.

As I mentioned earlier, cocoa butter is an emollient which allows it to create a protective and nourishing layer over the area of skin that it is applied to.

It acts as a very mild, natural sunscreen which helps to preserve young and supple skin and it also contains three types of fatty acids that help to keep pollutants and free radicals off of your skin.

The antioxidants in cocoa butter can help to lighten age spots, even out skin tone, and help to reduce the appearance of scars.

Cocoa butter is also popularly used to treat stretch marks though there is no positive testing to back that theory up.

 

Cocoa butter is an all around, wonderful ingredient to have around whether you are a creator of your own skin care or you simply need that extra bit of moisture for your skin.

Even all of my soaps contain a small percentage of cocoa butter because it’s just that good.

Monthly Chats | Exciting New Things 

First of all I want to say that I hope all of you had a wonderful New Year’s and that the first month of 2018 is going well for you.

Last year went by so quickly so here’s to a slower and more peaceful new year for all.

Shop Talk | It’s crazy to think that Tangerine and Me has only been up and running since June of last year which makes it not even a year old.

I have learned so much and have had the opportunity to connect with so many kind shop owners and customers and feel as though I have been immensely blessed as a new Etsy seller.

Every month I feel as though I fall more in love with the process of being a self-employed, shop owner and though it’s rarely easy I enjoy the flexibility and the creative side of it all.

In 2018 I have already put into motion, the workings of a new product and cannot wait to share it with all of you as well as several other ideas that I have yet to completely focus on.

I believe that it is going to be an amazing new year and I look forward to sharing all of the little bits and pieces of the journey with you.

Slow Moments | I had wonderfully planned for last month since I wanted it to be as festive and stress free as possible and it was a good thing too since I ended up having to deal with some unexpected health issues.

These health issues have continued into January unfortunately, meaning that I wasn’t able to come out with a Valentine’s day line of soaps and my soap release for this month came out a bit late.

With my lack of ability to plan as much as I usually do, I have felt a little bit on edge and frazzled this month since time seems to slip by so quickly if not properly managed.

With all stress aside, I do still try to have time everyday where I do not watch the clock or have any certain task to accomplish. Now i just need to figure out how to turn my mind off which is much easier said then done.

Thoughts | Most of my thoughts of this month have mainly been around what I am hoping for in the new year.

As someone who is self-employed I think that we could all probably admit to comparing ourselves to one another a bit too much.

I’m the kind of person who finds it hard to celebrate their own accomplishments and I often find myself comparing what I feel is a little success to other’s bigger success.

It’s easy to forget that the definition of success is different for everyone and that someone is looking up to you and hoping to reach your level of success while you do the same to someone else and that we have all started from the bottom.

Those are the words that I tell myself whenever I start to feel less than, because success takes time as does anything else in life.

Even the tallest tree was once a seed but with time and care it slowly grew.

 

 

Ways You Shouldn’t Use Essential Oils

One thing that I have talked about quite a bit and plan to continue to talk about on this blog is essential oils.

I love essential oils as do many other people and have learned about different ways to use them as I have grown to understand their benefits.

There are an endless amount of ways to use these potent oils but there are also a few ways that you should not use them and sometimes that is a topic that can be overlooked by those who have yet to properly understand them.

Baths | Essential oils can make an amazing addition to your weekly bath but caution and rules should always be followed when it comes to adding essential oils to bath water.

Never add drops of essential oil straight into your bath, water and oil do not mix and those essential oils will stick directly to your skin which can cause irritation and a good amount of discomfort.

Essential oils need to either be combined with something absorbent like baking soda or a dehydrated milk powder. You can also add the essential oil to something fatty like coconut milk or a butter.

The amount of essential oils should also be closely monitored as well since too much oil no matter how greatly dispersed can cause irritation and itching.

Photo-Sensitive Oils | Citrus essential oils such as lemon, grapefruit, and bergamot oil are all commonly know as being very photo-sensitive and any other oils will usually come with a warning on the label.

Photo-sensitive oils can be very damaging to skin when exposed to sunlight so any of these oils are best used at night or several hours before you will be exposed to any kind of sunlight.

Use With Care | The areas in which you put essential oils should always be chosen with care.

Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to places with rashes or open wounds and sores and no essential oil period, should ever come in contact with your eyes.

Private areas and areas with particularly sensitive skin should in general be kept from any essential oil use since even diluted essential oils can be irritating to those kinds of places.

It is recommended that children under the age of two, not be exposed to essential oils unless you are very experienced in the use of essential oils. And essential oils used on children of all ages should be greatly diluted and closely monitored for any reactions or adverse affects.

Ingesting Essential Oils | Though I do plan on eventually moving on to taking essential oils internally, it is not something that I recommend people do.

Some essential oils are toxic if taken internally or just too irritating in any dose and should never be taken directly and undiluted or even taken with water as, again, water and oil do not mix.

You should never ingest essential oils that have not been labeled as safe to use internally and you should never buy essential oil pills from questionable brands.

If you do buy essential oil pills that are from safe and reliable brands you  should always follow the directions and keep a close eye out for any reactions.

 

Hopefully this list of warnings hasn’t completely scared any of you away from the idea of using essential oils.

With a proper understanding of the oils you use and careful handling you should never have to experience any negative issues with essential oils and can have as much fun as you like with them.

 

 

Calming Herbs for Sensitive Skin

There are a lot of people out there who either have sensitive skin, myself included, or have sensitive skin conditions.

Many commercially made skincare products are not fully designed to cater to skin sensitivities since they are often loaded with synthetic ingredients and preservatives which are not always as skin friendly as they claim to be.

Making your own gentle skincare for your skin’s specific needs is much more productive and much less expensive in the long run and its completely customizable.

Calendula | Calendula is a bright, yellowish orange colored flower that is widely used in skincare for those with sensitive skin.

It is anti-inflammatory which makes it a great option for those who suffer from allergic reactions on their skin or even for sunburns and bruising.

Calendula helps to produce collagen which makes it useful for any cuts or acne since it reduces scarring and softens dry or thin skin.

 

Lavender | Lavender is also a herb that is widely known for its skincare abilities and is usually a crowd pleaser amongst everyone.

With anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties lavender is soothing to wounds and helps the process of skin healing. It is anti-aging with its ability to stimulate skin and tone pigmentation.

It plays well with all skin types, specifically oily skin and helps to treat skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

It also helps to calm irritated, red skin or breakouts.

If you’d like to learn more about what lavender can do for you and your skin, you’ll want to check out my last post specifically about

 

Chamomile | This herb isn’t only good as a nighttime tea it also has several benefits for skin, specifically irritable skin.

Like lavender, chamomile is an amazing option for those with skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, eczema, and psoriasis since it is calming.

Chamomile helps to gently ease pain and irritation in acne sufferers, boils, skin wounds, and rashes or allergic reactions including sunburns.

It is a great option for all skin types and is the most widely used herb in skincare when it comes to sensitive and easily irritated skin types.

 

Green Tea | Though green tea might not be specifically thought of as a herb I decided to include it anyway since it also has many positive qualities for those with sensitive skin.

Like the other herbs on this list, green tea is anti-inflammatory and is soothing to skin conditions such as acne and rosacea and psoriasis.

Green tea fights against free radicals and sun damage on skin and is anti-aging because of the natural antioxidants that it contains. It promotes skin cell reactivation which helps to reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles, age spots, and skin sagging.

It is also a natural astringent which makes it a great toner as well as an option for those with oily skin.

As with all natural skincare it is important to always do a spot test with the herbal products that you are trying out to ensure that you will not have an allergic reaction to any of them.

 

Skin Care Basics | Peppermint

Peppermint is one herb that could be considered to be widely popular and can be found in almost any household tea drawer.

Peppermint however, has many benefits besides its lovely taste in tea form.

Invigorating And Stimulating | Peppermint is a very refreshing herb and has a distinct tingling, cooling effect on the skin.

Peppermint contains menthol which gives it that cooling feeling and helps to brighten up skin tone and also helps to relieve ache muscles and cramps.

It is also an amazing herb to use for hair because it stimulates growth, cleanses your scalp, and refreshes dry and dull hair as well as to aid in removing dandruff.

Skin Saver | Peppermint also helps to reduce excess oil on skin and in hair as it balances your natural oils and helps to reduce the excess which can prove to be extremely useful for those with oily skin types.

It also has a soothing and calming effect on the outside as it does the inside as it helps to reduce redness and irritation. It even helps to numb the itching from bug bites and poison ivy.

Peppermint’s stimulating qualities help to improve circulation which can treat spider veins, varicose veins, cellulite, and more.

Some other good qualities that peppermint has for the skin is its ability to sooth sunburns, shrinks large pores because of its astringent properties, and its ability to tighten and firm aging skin.

 

Some of my favorite ways to use peppermint is to infuse the leaves into witch hazel as a toner and use a few drops of peppermint oil in my nightly facial oil for cool and clear skin.

 

The Art of Preservation

With the holidays quickly coming to a close I wanted to talk about the art of preserving.

This is the month out of the year that I go most out of my way to slow down and to take the much needed time to sit down and create something with my hands.

As I have mentioned before, December is my favorite month out of the year and winter my favorite season.

I much prefer rain and clouds over sun and blue skies and suffer from summer blues opposed to the normal winter blues that I often hear people talking about.

So as December is ending and the time for winter is also coming to a near end I am trying my best to preserve these lovely, cold and cozy feelings and memories in whatever ways I can.

As beautiful glass balls and soft, felted snow men are wrapped up and tucked away into storage until next year I find myself needing to have something to hold onto.

Something filled with the wonderful feeling that I feel this time of year, something that will spark that memory and bring those feelings back even when all have moved on to the next big event.

I wear those much loved knitted pieces of clothing until the weather turns too warm and turn up the cool air indoors as I light a candle and continue to bake as though Christmas was right around the corner all over again.

One of my favorite things that I have found to work with this month is wax. I have been melting it down and dipping just about anything and everything that I can get my hands on, into it.

The way that I am preserving this time of the year is to not only take time off and to simply enjoy the slowness but to also preserve the bits of this season that I love the most.

Leaves have been drying near the windows and I have been dipping other little bits of nature into beeswax scented with cinnamon or peppermint essential oils.

Preparing these little bits of natures, natural beauty in coats of velvety wax in hopes of future projects and something pleasant to look back on as other seasons come upon us.

This is how I prepare myself for the changing of the seasons and weather.

How do you preserve your seasonal memories?

 

 

 

An Honest Talk About Essential Oils VS Fragrance Oils

As a soap maker I wanted to talk about the differences between fragrance oils and essential oils in soap making.

The argument between the safety and efficiency  of natural oils vs fragrance oils can spark quite a reaction from many and as a soap maker who has chosen to only use essential oils and resins, I wanted to be able to go into detail about the pros and cons of both options.

As long as the person handling the oils is making sure to use skin safe oils, then both fragrance and essential oils are considered to be safe for most skin types which begs the question of what the difference between these two oils really is.

Fragrance Oils | First of all lets take a look at what fragrance oils are exactly.

Fragrance oils are a combination of various chemical components, some are natural, being extracted from plants and even animals occasionally as well as some synthetic components.

Pros | Fragrance oils are very cheap which means that anyone who uses them in their products will most likely be able to provide the most affordable options of products.

Fragrance oils often smell amazing and come in an endless variety of scents that do and do not come naturally in nature such as apples and lavender or sugar cookies and winter wonderland.

Most fragrance oils are much stronger in smaller quantities than essential oils are and also have a longer shelf life when it comes to scent fading.

Cons | Fragrance oils however, are not natural which not only exposes the user to more chemicals, whether they are considered bad or not, but also makes them more likely to be irritating to sensitive skin types or people with serious allergies.

Sellers of fragrance oils are not required to give out a full disclosure of the ingredients that are used in their fragrances which can not only gives the person making the soap less control over their product but also the customer. Someone who is allergic to specific things will most likely have to avoid products scented with fragrance oils since no one can be certain about the specific ingredients included.

 

Essential Oils | Essential oils are steam distilled plant extracts that come from the natural oils in plants such as cinnamon bark and orange rind.

Pros | Essential oils as you might have already guessed, are all natural and are considered by many to be the least harmful way of scenting products.

Essential oils not only scent soap but they also provide a number of natural health benefits that fragrance oils cannot provide such as tea tree which is anti-bacterial as well as many other oils that provide their own specific health benefits.

Much like the ability to provide health benefits, essential oils can also provide a variety of mental wellbeing and aromatherapy benefits that synthetic fragrance oils have yet to achieve. For example, a lavender fragrance oil has not yet been created with the same ability to relax and sooth like the origin lavender essential oil.

Cons | Since the extraction of essential oils is a lengthy process that provides a small amount of oil, they are more costly and so create more costly products.

Essential oils in their undiluted state are considered to be irritating to certain skin types which make the formulating and measuring of the oils very important for soap makers. Certain oils should be avoided by individuals who have a history of irritation but thankfully most soap makers will give a full ingredient list with no irritating oils hidden.

 

I hope that this list of pros and cons of fragrance oils vs essential oils has been found useful to some of you and has perhaps, helped you to better understand which oils you prefer.