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Inspired Living: The Best Antibacterial Essential Oils for Clear Skin
Danna Norek's Inspired Living Articles
Written by Danna Norek of Aura Sensory   

One of the top properties of essential oils happens to be that they are often a wonderful natural antiseptic and anti-bacterial agent. This makes them the perfect alternative to the often-toxic antibacterial agents we find in so many commercial soaps, washes, hand sanitizers, and cleaners. 

 

As someone who suffered all throughout my teens with acne, as well as many of the years between my twenties and thirties, I was always looking for something that would clean my skin and kill acne-causing bacteria without drying it out or irritating it.

 

Here is what I found are some of the best naturally antibacterial essential oils for clear skin. 

 

Lavender – Lavender may be an even more potent antibacterial agent than the more well known “acne killing oil” – tea tree oil.  Lavender is more expensive typically, but it really does have some excellent properties for killing acne bacteria. In addition, it possesses calming properties since it is also anti-inflammatory. This aids in the redness and irritation that often goes hand in hand with acne prone skin.

 

Tea tree oil - this native Australian oil has a very pungent scent and is a very powerful bacteria fighting weapon.  It is used as an antiseptic and astringent (which can also help to smooth the skin and seal the pores) as well.

 

Rosemary oil – Rosemary oil is just now being found as another option for helping to fight blemish causing bacteria. This oil also has a very pungent, earthy aroma which seems to be the case with most of the most potent antibacterial essential oils.  This suggests that it is these potent scent compounds that may also be responsible for giving the oils their properties.

 

Any of these oils can be diluted in a 3-4 part water, 1 part essential oil mixture and swabbed onto the skin as a sort of toner, although tea tree oil is usually mild enough to use with little or no dilution unless you have extremely sensitive skin.
 
Also, you can add any of these essential oils, just a drop or two to a squirt of your favorite facial cleanser - or if you use a hard soap simply add a drop or two to your hands before you lather the soap.  If you already have a ready made toner, you can also add a drop or two to your cotton ball after soaking it in the toner for an extra antibacterial benefit.

 

 

 
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Eco Living: Rosemary Infusion For Skin And Hair Care
Li Wong's Eco Living Articles
Written by Li Wong of Earth Alkemie   

Rosemary is a common but much loved herb that is used in food, medicine, cosmetics, and for spiritual uses.  One of my favorite uses of rosemary is using it in skin and hair care.  Here is my recipe for rosemary infusion. 

Ingredients:

8 ounces of distilled or spring water

1 teaspoon of rosemary

 

Directions:

Boil the water.  Take the pot off the heat, add the rosemary, and cover.  Let it infuse for at least 15 minutes to an hour or longer.  Strain and cool.

 

Notes:

Rosemary infusion can be used in skin or hair care.  It is an excellent skin toner.  Rosemary infusion helps hydrate the skin, improves skin clarity, and it is great for acne.  You can also add it to other skin care products like masks, scrubs, soap, and more!

I highly recommend using rosemary infusion as a hair rinse after shampooing.  Rosemary infusion is often suggested for dark hair, but it’s great for all hair types.  It is very hydrating and leaves the hair feeling soft and shiny.  It is often used for dandruff.  It is thought to improve overall hair health and it may promote hair growth.

In the recipe, I used the dried, organic herb.  But if you have access to fresh organic rosemary, simply use 2 teaspoons of the fresh herb. 

Infusions have a short shelf life.  Store rosemary infusion in the fridge and use it within a few days to a week.  For a longer shelf life, try freezing the excess, and defrost a few ice cubes as needed. 

 

 

About The Author: 

Li Wong is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and perfume company.  She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy.  Li has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001.  Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception.   She is the all natural beauty website’s Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert, and the anb’s mall Eco Living writer. http://www.anbportal.com/meet_the_all_natural_beauty_experts.htm  

For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog:  http://solarkateco.blogspot.com/

For information on Earth Alkemie's products (skin care, hair care, perfumes, DIY raw ingredients, and containers), properties of natural ingredients, the benefits of natural cosmetics, and green business practices, please visit Earth Alkemie’s blog: http://www.earthalkemie.com/blog

For Earth Alkemie's news and products, environmental issues, eco living, herbalism, aromatherapy, and crafting tips, visit Earth Alkemie's face book fan page: https://www.facebook.com/EarthAlkemie 

 
Eco Living: Soothing Insect Bite Gel And Oil
Li Wong's Eco Living Articles
Written by Li Wong of Earth Alkemie   

I love the summer time, but I hate bug bites!  I often use all natural, aromatherapy insect repellents, which prevent most bites.  However, I don’t use them daily, and sometimes I will get an insect bite doing simple outdoor tasks, like getting the mail!  So when I get bug bites I use my soothing insect bite gel or oil to reduce itchiness, redness, and inflammation.

 

Ingredients:

1 oz of carrier oil or aloe gel

9 drops of lavender essential oil

9 drops of german chamomile essential oil

 

Directions:

Add the carrier oil or aloe gel to a 1 oz bottle.  Add the essential oils, cap, and shake well before use.

Notes:

Aloe is a soothing ingredient that is great for irritated, red skin.  It makes an excellent base for insect bites.  Be sure to use organic aloe gel, since most brands of organic aloe have minimal additives.  They usually only contain organic aloe and small amounts of potassium sorbate, citric acid, and a thickener.

You can use your favorite carrier oil for this recipe.  Almond or apricot oils are good choices for all skin types.  Or you could use a herb infused oil for its extra properties, such as calendula oil.  Calendula helps irritated skin.

In this blend, I used lavender and german chamomile essential oils, since they are both anti-inflammatory, and they are available from most essential oil companies including brands found at local health food stores.  If you don’t have one of these essential oils, just use 18 drops of the essential oil you have.  For example, if you don’t have german chamomile essential oil, use 18 drops of lavender essential oil.  And vice versa.  

This formula makes approximately a 3% dilution, which is suitable for teenagers and adults.  For older children, cut the amount of essential oils and use only a 1% concentration: 3 drops each of lavender and german chamomile essential oils (for a total of 6 drops of essential oils in the blend).  For younger kids, reduce the amount of essential oils even more, and use only ½% concentration.  Try using 1 drop of lavender essential oil, and 2 drops of German chamomile essential oil, for a total of 3 drops of essential oils in the product. 

Please note: this is a strong 3% concentration.  This particular recipe is only meant for application to small areas of the skin (in this case, the insect bites), for short term use (a few days to a week or so, during the duration of the bites).  Do not use a dilution this high for daily, long term use (weeks or months), on large areas of the skin.  If using it every day, for long periods of time, on large areas of the skin use only a 1-2% concentration for teens and adults, and ½% to 1% dilution for children (depending on their age).

 

 

About The Author: 

Li Wong is the owner of Earth Alkemie, an all natural, vegetarian skin care and perfume company.  She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy.  Li has been crafting natural cosmetics and studying aromatherapy and herbalism since 2001.  Environmental interests include conservation, botany, ethnobotany (uses of plants by indigenous peoples), mammals, organic standards in cosmetics, urban wildlife issues, environmental education and awareness, and public perception.   She is the all natural beauty website’s Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert, and the anb’s mall Eco Living writer. http://www.anbportal.com/meet_the_all_natural_beauty_experts.htm 

For more information on environmental issues, Eco Living, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, and herbalism check out: Solarkat’s Eco Blog:  http://solarkateco.blogspot.com/

For information on Earth Alkemie's products (skin care, hair care, perfumes, DIY raw ingredients, and containers), properties of natural ingredients, the benefits of natural cosmetics, and green business practices, please visit Earth Alkemie’s blog: http://www.earthalkemie.com/blog  

For Earth Alkemie's news and products, environmental issues, eco living, herbalism, aromatherapy, and crafting tips, visit Earth Alkemie's face book fan page: https://www.facebook.com/EarthAlkemie 

 
Eco Living: Aromatherapy Summer Skin And Hair Care
Li Wong's Eco Living Articles
Written by Li Wong of Earth Alkemie   

Summer is just around the corner.  Keep your skin and hair well hydrated and healthy with my aromatherapy skin and hair care tips! 

 

Refresh Your Skin With Hydrosols:

A hydrosol is a product of plant distillation that contains water soluble plant chemical components and an extremely tiny amount of essential oil.  Hydrosols help keep the skin hydrated.  During the warmer months, I like to mist my skin throughout the day with hydrosols.  This provides moisture and helps keep my skin looking great all day.  Hydrosols make excellent toners too, and they can be used in a wide variety of skin care products like cleansers, masks, scrubs, lotions, and serums.  One of my favorite summer time hydrosols is peppermint hydrosol, since it is cooling and great for blemished and sensitive skin.  Many hydrosols can help soothe sunburned skin and bug bites, such as peppermint, lavender, chamomile, or helichrysum hydrosols. 

 

Use Hydrosols For Soft, Bouncy Hair:

I use hydrosols in my hair care too!  Hydrosols help keep my hair soft, shiny, and full of body.  You can add them to products like shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks.  But my favorite use is using hydrosols in hair rinses.  I like to add a couple teaspoons of a hydrosol to a few ounces of distilled water, and use that as a hair rinse after washing my hair.  Some of my favorite hydrosols for hair care are lavender and rosemary.

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