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Squalane Oil

By Ann C Wooledge
on October 08, 2009

Squalane (versus Squalene) has received a really bad rap in the past few months as all the controversy abounds concerning vaccinations. To be honest, I’m not sure why Squalane is considered “bad” in vaccinations, but I’m working on that particular research. I do know that it originally and historically came from sharks in the form of Squalene. Now for those of us who are animal lovers and wanna’ be vegetarians that would present a problem if we wanted to use a product that contained squalene. Another source of Squalene is olive oil, which has been traditionally known for its health effects. A related compound is Squalane used in skin care products, which is what we use. Squalane is derived from Squalene, but is more stable against oxidation. Other very useful propertie of Squalane is its very low coagulation point (-55 degrees Celcius) and very high melting point (203 degrees Celcius), making it very suitable for lubrication.

I discovered this amazing oil in my research for skin healthy, cell renewing oils. I found that science has come up with a substitute for the shark oil since it is not truly an eco-friendly choice. They have derived squalane from olive oil and it appears from years of use and research that Squalane will clear up difficult skin problems (eczema, dermatitis, rashes, etc.) when nothing else helps very much. It also heals skin cracks, which are a significant health issue in the winter as germs can easily enter the body through cracked fingers/hands that have dried out from cold conditions. This particular issue drives me literally crazy because of all the alcohol based “antibacterial” gels that are so proliferate in schools and hospitals. I know from personal experience that if I use these gels even once, it will result in broken, cracked and bleeding lesions on my hands! Which means what!? An open source for the entry of bacteria that is everywhere in our environment! The health of our skin, our largest protective organ, is of vital importance.

Squalane, however, has these unique abilities because the oil is naturally a major factor in skin lubrication as well as providing germ killing activity when it is properly concentrated in the skin. It helps to prevent the formation of brown age spots and can protect against the radiation of the sun. In this regards it is a major oil that prevents skin aging. Squalane is also found in small quantities in olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, and yeast. BIOCHEMISTRY : Squalane has the molecular formula of C30H62. Squalane is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of cholesterol. Squalane permeates into the skin at a rate of 2 mm/second. INDICATIONS : Squalane is used in cosmetic preparations to soften the skin, to reduce small facial wrinkles, and as a bactericidal agent. A few drops of Squalane applied to the skin will keep the skin moist and wrinkle free. Squalane has also been used to speed wound healing. DIRECTIONS FOR USE : Apply a few drops daily to the skin or to affected areas.

Argan oil (Argania spinosa), Certified Organic

By Ann C Wooledge
on October 08, 2009

Argan Oil seedsContains 80% unsaturated fatty acids and is rich in essential fatty acids, but as importantly for skin care manufacturers and finally as you the consumer, is that it is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil. Now, this is particularly of interest to me as I strive to protect my large supply of precious oils and use a cold storage room to preserve them. However, our organic extra virgin olive oil is not placed in that room. We also use vacuum corks, like those used for fine wine, on our other oils, but our olive oil has a regular dispenser that most of would use for the olive oil we use for our foods and salads.

 

It appears from the research that I’ve done that the unroasted oil is traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases and skin “challenges” such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne. The roasted oil is used for food preparation. I’d like to try that! Argan oil is actually sold in Morocco as a luxury item and it seems to be of increasing interest to cosmetic companies, which I guess is where I stumbled upon it. Argan oil is sometimes called “liquid gold”, and is believed to be one of the reasons Moroccan women maintain supple, radiant skin even as they live in the dry climate. These are a few of the reasons we've added this oil to our Skin Renewal Intensive Facial Cream, plus we will be offering it as a separate facial oil - soon.

The Argan tree is native to the region of southwest Morocco. In the early 2000’s there were only 6000 Argan trees in the world. The Argan forest became a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) nature preserve and an aggressive plan to grow the forest put into place. In recent years, the Argan forest has expanded to well over 12,000 mature trees and growing. The Argan forest is a wholly organic forest, with no artificial fertilization or pesticides permitted. The Argan seed is cold pressed to release the oil. The Argan tree blooms twice a year from which the Argan fruit is harvested and cold-pressed by hand. Argan oil used in our product comes from Morocco and is certified 100% organic according to USDA NOP Standards by Ecocert.

By law, Berber women are the only people permitted to extract Argan oil from the nuts of the trees as a means to promote the women’s financial and social independence. This is such an encouraging and refreshing proposition, as we see evidence everywhere in our own marketplace of “made in China” and we KNOW what that actually entails, but we still buy those products! The oil which is said to have restorative and age-defying effects, and has become one of the latest miracle ingredients in the beauty industry. As I see it, one of the true tests of an indigenous product, such as shea butter and tea tree oil as examples, is how that population has historically used the product in question. It is well known that the Moroccan population “slather” it on their skin, hair, nails and even their babies. They also eat it too, but this is usually from the roasted nuts.

Argan is not so new in Europe: English and French tourists have been bringing it back from Moroccan seaside vacations for years, and it’s all over the markets of Provence, lined up next to the lavender and olive oils. But now, thanks to the substantial efforts of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI (who has been praised for his efforts to promote women’s rights) and the local government, the oil is being exported worldwide. Because the extraction of argan oil is a labor-intensive task perfected by the Berber women native to the area (it takes a few days to produce one liter), the government has established a fund for the cooperatives. Outside groups, like the government of Monaco, have gotten involved as backers. Women from the villages nearby are invited to work half days (so they can still tend to their families) in exchange for fair wages and good working conditions. Eventually, the cooperatives should pay for themselves. Unesco has designated the 10,000-square-mile argan-growing region as a biosphere reserve.

Meanwhile, more Western cosmetic companies are starting to distribute this “liquid gold,” as it is often called. Liz Earle, who runs an organic skin-care line in England, uses argan oil that she buys from two of the cooperatives in Essaouira in her Superskin Concentrate (far more expensive, I might add, than ours and not nearly as good). “When I first found argan oil, I brought it back to the U.K. to have it analyzed,” says Earle, who forages the globe for raw ingredients (my dream some day!). “It was so remarkably high in vitamin E and had these very interesting phytosterols, which are good for scar tissue and so many other things” — including, she says, that hard-to-define problem of lackluster skin (now what exactly does that mean?)

But what Earle likes most about the oil is that the production passes the sustainability test and directly benefits the women who make it. “Culturally, what it does is good,” she says. “It provides income to a group that wouldn’t otherwise have it.” Okay – I like that too.

Made from the nuts of the argan tree, which grows almost exclusively in Morocco, the oil is said to have restorative and age-defying effects. It is high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it is believed to help all sorts of skin conditions: dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles.

And I like this even better! The cooperatives have initiated an ecosystem reforestation project to help preserve the argan forest. The cooperatives are working in partnership with the Moroccan Water and Forests Authorities to allow optimal tree growth, plant argan nurseries, and create education programs. The community realizes the value of the argan tree and they are involved with its protection. In fact, Unesco has designated the 10,000-square-mile argan-growing region as a biosphere reserve.

To quote one journalist: “More recently I have tried pure argan oil from a company called Eden, and boy oh boy is it something else. I have always been a huge fan of using jojoba oil on my skin, and this is even better. It is lustrous and rich, but very quickly absorbed. Now I suppose I’ll have to try it for a few weeks before I notice a difference, but at this point an improvement feels inevitable.” She goes on to say: “Now here’s the rub–the cost of pure argan oil isn’t cheap–not like olive oil, for example. But a little bit goes a long way–it is no more expensive than many high-end moisturizers, and it earns terrific marks in terms of sustainability and supporting women’s rights. Only time will tell if it honestly does perform any miracles for my skin, but I know for sure it is doing a world of good for the numerous women who now have a livelihood from it. Miracle enough for me.”

So – let me know how this “miracle oil” has worked for you. We will be offering it as a separate oil, much like we do the Tamanu oil. I tend to believe in synergy, however, as found in nature.

Updated: July 16, 2010 - I recently came across a blog article about one lady's experience with organic Argan oil. We have no connection with this blog nor she with us. I'm just passing along her personal experiences with the oil, and, in fact, will start keeping a bottle of it by my sink and start using it as a stand-alone product to test it's wrinkle-reducing benefits. I'll let you know!

 

Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca)

By Ann C Wooledge
on September 01, 2009

Apricot kernel oil comes from the large pits of apricots that yield up to 45% oil. The apricot tree is cultivated throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Apricot kernel oil has 30% unsaturated essential fatty acid content. The oil is similar in weight to human sebum. Extremely nourishing to the skin and excellent around the eyes and neck. Apricot kernel oil is an emollient, contains Vitamin A. According to the AMA’s committee on Cutaneous Health apricot kernel oil does help make the skin feel softer and smoother, reduce roughness, cracking and irritation, and may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging.

Organic Certified Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus amygdalus)

By Ann C Wooledge
on September 01, 2009

Sweet almond oil is pressed from almond kernels. The almond tree is cultivated in Southern Europe, the Mediterranean countries and California. Sweet Almond oil is high in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids and Vitamins A, B1,B2,B6 and Vitamin E. It consists mainly of oleic acid (69%), essential unsaturated fatty acids (25%), sterolins (.5 to 1%) and vitamin E (about 10 IU per ounce.) A light nearly odorless oil. Sweet almond oil is said to have great nutritional value for all skin types. Has a similar make up to baby’s sebum, the oil naturally produced by the skin to protect it and is easily absorbed. Contain glucosides, minerals, and vitamins and is rich in protein. It was highly valued by the Egyptians for cosmetic purposes. It acts as an emollient, and will soften, soothe and re-condition dried out winter skin or over-sunned summer skin. It will also relieve the itching that comes with dried skin.

Certified Organic Avocado Oil (Persea americana)

By Ann C Wooledge
on September 01, 2009

Avocado oil is made from the pulp of the avocado fruit. It is a rich, heavy but penetrating oil that is full of nutritive and therapeutic components. Avocado oil contains more than 20 % essential unsaturated fatty acids. It contains vitamins A, C, D and E, proteins, beta-carotene, lecithin, fatty acids and the “youth mineral” potassium. Avocado oil is high in unsaponifiables (sterolins) which are reputed to be beneficial in reducing age spots, healing scars and moisturizing the upper layers of the skin. They soften the skin, have superior moisturizing effect on the upper layer of the skin and reduce scars. The sterolins in avocado oil have been found to diminish age spots. This oil is known for it’s deep penetrating properties and is good for itching, dry skin type problems such as psoriasis. It is known to be a have natural sunscreen benefits.

A 1991 study at the Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology found that treatment with avocado oil significantly increases the water soluble collagen content in the dermis, which effects the age of the skin. Avocado is used in many folk medicines as an aphrodisiac. It is an excellent emollient. According to the AMA’s committee on Cutaneous Health it does help make the skin feel softer and smoother, reduce roughness, cracking and irritation. And may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging. Said to help protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. This ultra rich oil is highly prized to those with skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. It is recommended to those with sensitive skin, problem skin or other irritations that require a vitamin rich oil.

Babassu Oil (Attalea speciosa)

By Melody Hansen
on September 01, 2009

Babassu oil comes from the seeds of the babassu tree. The babassu tree is a palm tree that stands approximately 20 meters tall. It is native to Brazil in South American. It grows widely in Brazil and is considered a major industrial and economical resource for the region.

Babassu oil comes from from the kernels of the Babassu palm and is a non-drying oil It is high in lauric and myristic acids. These acids have melting points that are close to the human body temperature so, when applied, babassu oil draws the heat from the skin to initiate melting. Therefore, the transfer of the heat creates a cooling sensation on the skin. Babassu oil also forms a protective, soothing coat when applied to the skin as well as a pleasant, smooth feeling.

Babassu oil is considered to be a superior emollient that is beneficial for either dry or oily complexions. It gently moisturizes the skin without leaving an oily sheen.
Babassu oil contains about 70% lipids. It is cold pressed from the kernel and is produced without chemicals. The fruit of the babassu is used in products such as drugs , cosmetics, and beverages. The oil from the seeds is commonly used for cooking and in making soap. The babassu tree’s leaves are even used to provide thatch for houses as wells as woven mats for the construction walls for homes and other uses. The lumber is used for timbers.

For all these reasons and more, the babassu tree is major industrial, economical and human resource for the region as well as being the source of babassu oil known for it’s healing properties throughout the world.

Borage Oil (Borago officinalis)

By Ann C Wooledge
on September 01, 2009

Obtained from the seed of Borago officinalis, which grows abundantly in the Mediterranean region, Central Europe and Asia. Has an extremely high gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content. GLA is vital for the synthesis of prostaglandin an important function in the body, especially the skin. Borage oil also has the highest known content of essential unsaturated fatty acids. These are great skin conditioners. They regulate the hydration of the skin and are humectants. GLA is a fatty acid that the body converts to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). PGE1 has anti-inflammatory properties and may also act as a blood thinner and blood vessel dilator.

One of the more powerful demonstrations of the benefits to the skin of topically applied borage oil is a clinical study done on 48 infants suffering from severe infantile seborrheic dermatitis, a common condition in infants known as “cradle cap.” This condition is characterized by dry scales and crusts on the scalp, eyelids, face, armpits, breast and groin. The infants were treated twice daily with topically applied borage oil and the condition cleared within two weeks. Not only was there improvement in the areas where the borage oil was directly applied but also in the areas where it was not. This result indicated that the borage oil was effectively absorbed through the skin and became available throughout the body as a source of gamma linolenic acid for the biosynthesis of prostaglandin 1. If the treatment was discontinued, the symptoms came back within a week. However, if the treatment was maintained until the infants became seven months old and was then stopped, there was no relapse.

There is ample evidence from research on both humans and animals showing that borage oil has a significant effect on improving the health and appearance of skin tissue. Clinically, borage oil has been shown to be a very effective agent for treating skin disorders and for alleviating the inflammatory symptoms associated with these disorders. For everyday use, borage oil has been shown to be very effective in treating the redness, inflammation and moisture loss associated with dry skin.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

By Ann C Wooledge
on September 01, 2009

An infused oil containing the active ingredients of the marigold flower and is sometimes referred to as Marigold oil. It is has been traditionally used for skin care in the Mediterranean regions to help preserve skin freshness, protect skin from over drying, and to help reduce sun-induced wrinkles and sun caused aging during summer time. The anti-aging properties of Calendula oil, known to ancient Egyptians, may be related to the high content and diversity of carotenes, phytosterols, polyphenols and EFAs. Calendula dates back to the days of the ancient Egyptians. Yet even today it remains one of the most popular herbs for supporting healthy-looking skin. When mixed with other oils such as olive oil, calendula becomes even more nourishing

We infuse our own now using organic extra virgin olive oil or organic rice bran oil and infuse it at very low temperatures over 2 weeks in order to extract as much as we can of the beneficial properties of this healing oil.

Uses – Calendula oil is good for all skin types, and is considered valuable for treating skin damage such as wounds, scars, burns, inflammation and other injuries as it is said to be an effective aid in tissue regeneration. It has anti- inflammatory, anti-spasmodic qualities and particularily blends well with Hypericum (St. John’s Wort). It is best when infused in a light textured oil such as almond or sunflower. Calendula is a tonic, soothing, restorative oil, good for any type of skin, but especially suitable for dry and/or aging skin. When used regularly this product will impart a deep olive shine to the skin, and helps protect the skin from age related thinning and drying out. It is magical in its ability to prevent tearing, soothe pain, stop bleeding, promote rapid healing, and prevent scarring. Calendula lotion will not cause the irritation common to conventional antiseptics. Used externally, Calendula is one of the best herbs for treating burns, scalds, cuts, abrasions, and infections because of its antiseptic qualities, improving blood flow to the affected area.

Cautions – No Known toxicity, considered safe in normal applications. There are no known drug interactions with Calendula, although occasional interactions may occur in cases of allergic reaction.

Cranberry Seed Oil (Vaccinium Macrocarpon)

By Ann C Wooledge
on September 01, 2009

Is an essential fatty acid oil and the only available oil with a one to one ratio of Omega 6 (linoleic) to Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic) fatty acids. Cranberry seed oil has oxidative stability and contains 70% essential fatty acids making it a superb emollient, lubricant and conditioner for the skin. It is excellent for use in skin, hair, lip and baby care. Cranberry seed oil contributes to the lipid barrier protection of the skin and assists in moisture retention.

The oil also contains high concentrations of tocopherols, tocotrienols, phytosterols, phospholipids and Vitamin A, redefining performance and stability standards for highly polyunsatruated oils.

Emu Oil (Certified AEA)

By Ann C Wooledge
on September 01, 2009

This is the “miracle oil” that has been used in skin care for centuries, and the cosmetics industry is finally catching on to it! Studies show that Emu oil used in skin care products can have these benefits:

Anti-inflammatory
Non-irritating to the skin
Highly penetrating and well absorbed into the skin
Beneficial effects on wounds, such as burns

Emu oil is rapidly gaining recognition as an invaluable cosmetic ingredient. Current studies attribute very promising benefits to Emu oil. It has been reported to have an extraordinary ability to penetrate the skin. Emu oil seems to act as a carrier for carrying other ingredients. It is non-comedogenic, and is completely non irritating. It has been suggested that emu oil can reduce inflammation and redness of the skin, reduce the formation of wrinkles and restore moisture to irritated, dry skin. In addition, it is said to reduce inflammation and pain of sore muscles and joints. It may therefore, be helpful with conditions such as arthritis. It has been recommended for use in healing burns and preventing the formation of scar tissue while encouraging rapid repair of damaged tissue. It should be a “must have” item for the medicine cabinet. A blend of emu oil, water and lavender essential oil in a spray bottle seems to rapidly heal wounds, burns, stitches, and even hot spots in dogs. Used in soap at 10-20%, emu oil will make a hard bar with stable, moisturizing lather. Use emu oil in essential oil blends to help deliver the oils into the skin. Use Emu oil in massage or sports blends to help relieve soreness and inflammation. Emu oil becomes creamy looking at 65° F and will solidify if kept colder. Refrigeration is recommended if you plan to store emu oil for longer than 3 months. The uses and benefits of this oil are endless and certainly deserve more space than can be afforded here. In short, studies have suggested that emu oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, encourages healing, stimulates skin, hair and nail growth, has a natural SPF, is a natural emollient and moisturizer, penetrates multiple layers of skin, is non-comedogenic, hypo-allergenic, prevents and diminishes scarring/stretch marks and more. It may also prove to be a great oil to use for skin disorders and allergies.

Our fully refined emu oil is sourced only from US domestic farm raised emu, and supports sustainable alternative agriculture for the preservation of family farming. Our Emu oil is refined using a natural process. No solvents or chemicals have been used, and the integrity of the oil and its bioactive properties have not been compromised in any way. 1% of natural tocopherol (Vitamin E) has been added to our emu oil in order to provide a stable oil for use in cosmetics. During the refinement process, the oil is sterilized, bleached and deodorized using natural silica clays and vacuum steam pressure. We, therefore, are able to supply the highest quality emu oil with stable shelf life without having lost any of its properties through harsh chemical/heat refinement procedures.
Emu oil contains approximately 70 % unsaturated fatty acids. It is 40% oleic acid, which is mono- unsaturated. Emu oil also contains both of the two essential fatty acids (EFA’s) which are important to human health: 20 % linoleic, and 1 – 2 % alpha-linolenic acid. In soaps these fatty acids contribute to a hard bar with superior conditioning properties.

Our Emu oil undergoes an all-natural refining process without the use of harsh chemicals. The process uses clay adsorbents to remove color and odor. During the processing procedure the oil passes through six separate filtrations that removes proteins and cleans the oil. The finish product is a pure sterile oil. It has a smooth, creamy texture ranging from white to straw yellow. The oil is completely odorless.

The refining lab which produces our oil has been approved by American Oil Chemists Society. The oil meets and exceeds all the standards of the American Emu Association Oil Standards Team. For additional information about Emu Oil, check out the American Emu Association site

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