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.

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.

 

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.

 

Skin Care Basics | Shea Butter

Today I decided to write about one of my favorite natural butters, which is shea butter.

The term butter can be quite confusing if you’re not used to hearing about hard oils such as cocoa butter, shea butter, and mango butter.

They are mostly the same as soft oils such as olive oil and sweet almond oil, only they become solid at room temperature and tend to feel more heavy and indulgent on the skin.

The texture of these butters are perfect for whipping up into a lotion like consistency without the slippery feel of soft oil or the stickiness of lotion.

Intense Moisturizer | Shea butter is known for its intense ability at being moisturizing, so much so that it can also be used to treat very a dry scalp and hair.

It has a natural SPF factor which makes it a perfect ingredient to go into your natural sunscreen for extra protection and it provides a barrier of moisture to keep your skin protected and nourished.

Skin Superfood | Shea butter is also known for being a natural skin super food with its richness in vitamins A, E, and F.

It provides the necessary fatty acids and nutrients needed for collagen production which in time helps to reduce wrinkles and strengthens and softens the skin.

Shea is also very healing to the skin which can help with acne, small wounds, and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Repairing | The anti-inflammatory properties in shea butter help to not only sooth but also to repair inflamed skin and skin conditions such as dermatitis and rosacea.

It can also work wonders to gently repairs skin damage such as sunburns and rashes.

Shea is considered to be one of the best anti-aging remedies for skin either to help reduce aging in mature skin or to prevent premature aging and fine lines.

It helps to increase circulation to the skin and encourages cell renewal to help replace damaged skin cells.

 

Butters can for some skin types, be a bit heavy so some of my favorite ways to use shea butter is as a heavy-duty moisturizer for areas with drier skin such as feet, elbows, and hands.

Any kind of butter can be combined with softer oils to create a smoother texture at room temperature if so desired.

I personally always buy my shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Black Friday Soap Sale!

I have been meaning to have a soap sale on the Etsy shop but just haven’t been able to nail down a specific date which is why a black friday sale just seemed to make sense.

This sale will go on for two days to allow for a more reasonable time period for shoppers, more details and updates will be available on the Tangerine and Me instagram page.

Black Friday Soaps |

Cucumber and French Green Clay Soap

Strawberry and Rose Clay Soap

Mandarin and Grapefruit Soap Chips

Earl Grey Tea Soap

Grapefruit Activated Charcoal Soap

 

If your interested in the sale and wish to look further into it you can just go on over to the shop here.

Skin Care Basics | Kaolin Clay

One of my newest skincare obsessions lately has been kaolin clay.

Kaolin clay is a very light clay that was originally discovered and used in China and has now been transformed into a common skincare ingredient in many products even some medical products.

I originally bought it to include in my soaps for added slip and smoothness and now include it in almost all of my soaps because it is such a gentle and cleansing clay for all skin types.

Gentle Cleanser | Kaolin clay is the mildest clay option for skincare due to its silky texture and its ability to cleanse without irritating skin.

Individuals with sensitive skin can often have adverse reactions to harsher clays such as moroccan red clay or european green clay simply because of its drier consistency or its habit of tightening skin.

Kaolin clay however, is smooth and has the unique ability of being moisturizing while still cleaning out pores and gently detoxing the skin.

It is also an amazing option for skin that is irritated from redness, rashes, bug bites, or poison ivy.

Good For All Skin Types | As you might have guessed by now, kaolin clay is the perfect option for all skin types with little to no risk of causing irritation to any.

It is able to treat oily skin while still being an option for those with drier complexions which is why it is one of the most common ingredients found in skincare products today.

Kaolin clay can treat acne breakouts by reducing redness and inflammation and can even be used in homemade deodorant since it is absorbent as well as detoxing to clogged or congested pores.

It is also a wonderful clay to add to other clays to make them more gentle or moisturizing.

 

Skin Care Basics | Rosehip Oil

I don’t know about any of you but when I hear the term rosehip oil, I think of a luxurious skincare product that is tinted pink and can solve all of my problems.

Now it might not take all of your problems away but it is a gorgeous skincare product that is sure to please most, if not all of you, with its wonderful skincare benefits and natural, pink glow.

Scars | Rosehip oil is most widely know for its abilities at treating scars since it is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and vitamins C and A.

It helps your skin to heal damaged areas as well as boost collagen reproduction and fade any discoloration from scarring.

The fatty acids that it naturally contains also helps to improve skin elasticity which helps unsightly scars to become less noticeable and smoother.

Anti-AgingRosehip oil is also anti-aging for many of the reasons that I have already stated above.

It boosts collagen production which helps more mature skin to regain its elasticity and firmness which in turn helps to prevent and repair wrinkles and skin sagging.

Rosehip oil is also very toning which helps to fight against uneven skin tone and age spots.

Protecting | This oil is good for many things as well as helping to protect our skin.

It contains antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lycopene which help to protect against premature aging.

The antioxidants also act as an ultra violet protector for skin as it helps to prevent and repair the damage to skin from UV rays.

It has the ability to decrease environmental damage to the skin as well as sooth and treat skin conditions such as acne, and eczema while still being a light and an easy to use oil.

 

Rosehip oil can be incorporated into many different skincare products but one way that I prefer to use it is as a nighttime moisturizing oil either on its own or blended with other skin-loving essential oils.

It absorbs quickly into the skin and begins to repair it from the inside out.

 

My Favorite Flower Toner

I have been making my own toners for quite some time now and have tried out many different variations but always seem to drift back to one specific recipe.

If you are not familiar with what exactly a toner is but want to try it out it is probably one of the most user-friendly bits of skin care to make on your own.

A toner is simply an astringent liquid that is applied to the skin to improve complexion and to battle oilyness.

Two astringent liquids that I use for my toners are apple cider vinegar and witch hazel, both being very easily accessible, but today’s recipe only calls for witch hazel.

Recipe |

– 1 cup of Witch Hazel

– 1/2 Tsp. Lavender Buds

– 1 Tsp. Calendula Flowers

– 1 Tsp. Chamomile Flowers

Pour your witch hazel into a sealable container and add in your flowers to begin the infusion process.

You can either put the flowers directly into the container or you can put them into a tea bag or fabric satchel to avoid having to stain the flowers out later.

Let the witch hazel infuse for three to five days, shaking the container occasionally and within a day or two your infusion should be the color of chamomile tea.

Once you are happy with it strain out the flowers or remove the bag they are in and pour into a spray or dropper bottle for easy use.

This toner is my favorite specifically for its simple and easy to find ingredients that are soothing and anti-inflammatory to any skin type.

Skin Care Basics | Honey

Honey is the only animal made ingredient that I include in my soap making and skin care routine, mainly because I think that it is very important to support local bee keepers to keep our little friends pollinating.

I include honey in several of my soap recipes which always adds that extra luxurious flare to an otherwise average skin care product.

Break Outs | One thing that honey is well known for is its antibacterial properties.

Often times any kind of skin break out or acne can be treated by removing the excess build up of bacteria on the skin. There are plenty of commercially made antibacterial cleansers and soaps for skin but none of them are as sweet and gentle as honey is.

It’s calming abilities also make it a good option for a less intense, over night spot treatment that will allow you to wake up to less inflamed break outs.

Hydrating | Honey is a natural humectant which is a long word that simply means that it draws moisture from the air into the skin.

That extra benefit is what makes honey a fantastic option for those who suffer from dry or sensitive skin that is in need of a little extra hydration.

Honey is a good ingredient for those who are looking for moisturizing face and hair masks.

Anti Aging | The antioxidants in honey make it a great ingredient to include in a more mature skin care routine.

The purpose of antioxidants is to protect your skin for the harsh chemicals and climate as well as to improve the appearance of skin. Honey is a harmless and natural way of providing that extra boost to dry, tired skin that might not be getting enough antioxidants on its own.

It is important to keep in mind that there are numerous different kinds of honey and that not all are made equal.

Manuka honey is widely praised for its strong antibacterial abilities while a honey made from a specific plant, such as orange blossoms, will have different benefits for your skin.

One common rule to always follow when picking out your honey is to choose locally made or from a trust worthy company and to always choose raw and unfiltered since many benefits are lost in the purifying process.