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Protect Your Skin and Essential Sunburn Relief

 

Around here skincare is top of mind year-round. You’re never too young to protect your skin, even with a simple hat or garment. Sunburns occur just as easily on cloudy and snowy days.

 

 

 

With Memorial Day Weekend as the unofficial start to Summer and when many people start spending more time outdoors, it’s a good time to check the expiration date on your sunscreen and refresh your sun-blocking routines.

We’re happy to report our recommendations from last year’s Sunscreen 411,  made Dr. Axe’s Best Sunscreens of 2019 list.

 

 

 

Should you find yourself over-exposed and in need of relief from a sunburn, these Natural Remedies for Sunburn Relief, list essential oils of Peppermint and Lavender as terrific for soothing and cooling the sting while speeding up healing.

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Lavender Essential Oil and Dogs

Are essential oils a healthy alternative to the chemicals we are constantly exposing our furry friends to? The answer is not as simple as yes or no; essential oils can be beneficial to dogs, but also harmful. Dogs have extremely sensitive noses compared to humans, so essential oil dosage is very important. While certain essential oils can be toxic, other essential oils can be useful as flea and tick prevention, an aid in soothing skin irritations, for calming nervous dogs, and other remedies.

Lavender is one such essential oil. The calming effects of lavender are well known by humans. Walking by a field full of blooming lavender flowers is a delightful experience and has a soothing effect. The same effects can be felt by our canine friends. Lavender essential oil produces a calming sensation and can be useful when traveling with pets to help them relax and fall asleep.

Lavender essential oil also possesses antibacterial properties, which further enhance the usefulness and benefits of using the oil. “Modern oil usage dates to a French chemist and perfumer named Rene Maurice Gattefosse who is known for his accidental discovery of lavender oil’s ability to assist in the healing of burns.”

Whether used for a nervous dog, a restless sleeper, a pooch with some ouchies, or just to create a calm relaxing environment for your fur child, lavender essential oil is a must have for any dog owner.  

Lavender 100% Pure Essential Oil

  • CALMING Diffusing lavender or adding a drop to their collar, can calm your dog as much as it does you. Effective for relaxing anxious or nervous pups whether the stimulus is travel, fireworks or thunderstorms. For maximum benefit, use before they encounter the nerve-wracking situation.
  • SOOTHING Add a few drops to your pets’ shampoo to soothe dry, itchy skin or bug bites. Add a few drops to their shampoo at bath time.
  • HEALING Lavender’s antibacterial properties may be used to treat wounds like hot spots, burns or ulcers and reduce scarring.

Though lavender can be beneficial for dogs, it is not considered safe for use with cats, and is not recommended for pregnant/nursing dogs. Be sure to test a small amount on your dog or consult your veterinarian before full or frequent use.

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Homemade Muscle Rub

Helps decrease inflammation and swelling, loosen tight muscles & soothe away pain. Cover with hot wash cloth after applying for that extra ahhhh!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add coconut oil and beeswax to jar. Place jar in a saucepan with 2 inches of water over medium low heat. Stir to melt/combine.
  2. Cool slightly before adding essential oil. Mix well.
  3. Allow to set in jar or pour mixture into metal tins or storage containers to share with friends and family.
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Holiday Travel –Don’t forget to pack your “Essential” Oils

Plan ahead and prepare your small travel bottles of “must have” travel oils before heading out on your next adventure.

RELAX Are you a person who stresses when flying? Be sure to keep a small vial of Neroli oil handy. Apply a few drops to your palms and inhale deeply for a few breaths to calm the nerves you feel during takeoff.

If you’re not traveling, give yourself permission to relax amongst the holiday parties, shopping, baking, and entertaining. Take a breather, a few moments of quiet and inhaling the scent of Neroli will restore your inner calm.

ENERGIZE Jet-lag from long distance air travel or just plain lack of sleep can turn you into a Grinch. Greet the day with our Energize Essential Oil blend, helping you wake up and move! Spray in the shower just before stepping in or add to a warm wet washcloth and breathe in for an instant pick me up!

REST Even if you’re staying closer to home this season, you might find that changes in routine disrupt your sleep patterns. Lavender has been found to help you fall asleep, sleep longer and have a more restful sleep. Rub on your feet, temples, wrists (or anywhere) for an immediate calming effect on the body.

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Balance

With the holidays just around the corner, it is an important time to examine the merits and importance of Balance. As a yoga teacher, I oftentimes discuss the concept of balance on a daily basis, whether it’s balancing as a standing posture such as Warrior 3 with a leg extended behind, as well as the importance for internal balance within. It’s important to think about the components of balance, and what attributes to staying in balance, especially when life can be overwhelming. What better way to explore balance then by examining the signature blend of the Red Silk Essentials Balance essentials oils blend, and how that may relate to tips in general we can benefit from to achieve, and more importantly, maintain, balance.

The most important thing to remember with Balancing, both on and off the mat, is relaxing, and allowing the breath to slow down to help find your center. Our signature Balance blend includes Bulgarian Lavender to help reduce sensations of anxiety and fear, coupled with Ho Wood sourced from Asia to calm emotions. The healing powers of Indian Frankincense soothes overactive nervous systems, promoting sensations of blissful ease and calming relaxation. Taking a deep breath of our Balance blend will help the mind, body, and spirit relax, and find peaceful comfort.

Grounding is also key in balance, anchoring and relaxing the toes (and perhaps, hands) in a balancing posture, or allowing your feet to be bare on the earth to emotional ground as well. There’s quite a lot of study on the practice of grounding, quite literally walking barefoot in nature, which helps to anchor the body, improving blood circulation while reducing stress and even pain. Similarly, our Balance blend incorporates grounding elements of Spruce to center yourself and provide emotional release. The incorporation of Ho Wood brings a calming, centuring effect. The addition of Frankincense will aid in lifting the spirit while improving your overall attitude and disposition, further encouraging grounding and centering.

Focusing helps to not only establish but maintain Balance. In yoga, this can be done with the drishti point, or focused gaze, bringing awareness to one point while moving into a balance posture. Focusing before an important meeting or call can bring similar calming, grounding effects, balancing and aligning the mind and body to be properly prepared. The grounding nature of Spruce in our Balance blend stimulates concentration and memory powers, with the addition of Ho Wood activation and generating new cell growth, working together to help you be balanced and focused. This blend is a great asset to have on hand in the office for heightened awareness and focus.

Alignment is another core element of yoga, while also bringing teachings off the mat as well. Finding and maintaining symmetry allows our bodies to stay in balance, which we integrated into our Balance blend as well. Both Frankincense and Lavender aid in easing stressful moments while aligning the body in balance. Ho Wood promotes deep relaxation, while Spruce maintains a sense of grounded rootedness, encouraging the mind and body to align in symmetry.

Do you have any other good tips for finding Balance? Share them with us on facebook and instagram #redsilkessentials. We look forward to hearing how you find and maintain Balance with our signature blend! To order and learn more about our Red Silk Essentials Balance blend, please visit our website store.

Ashley’s lifelong journey of wellness and spiritual alignment has manifested with daily yoga practice since age 17, teaching Bay Area residents vinyasa, meditation, restorative and prenatal yoga in several local studios. She is currently hosting global retreats, workshops, group energy and sound healings, including her upcoming I AM Balanced Retreat in Livermore, CA on November 9-11, 2018. She was certified 200 RYT at Maui Yoga Shala in November 2014.

 

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Carrier Oils

Essential oils are extremely concentrated oils that need to be handled with care and used correctly. Carrier oils are fatty vegetable oils used to dilute the essential oil, so it can be applied easily and safely to the skin. While they dilute the essential oil, carrier oils do not eliminate their positive properties.  In fact, they can even enhance the effect of the essential oils and alter the absorption rate.

Some of the benefits:

  • Most carrier oils are loaded with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and skin-healing vitamins.
  • Carrier oils let you cover a larger part of your body without using too much essential oil.
  • Essential oils are made of small particles that are absorbed quickly.  Carrier oils don’t evaporate as fast so by adding the two, the absorption rate is slowed, allowing a longer impact.

Here is a list of some of the carrier oils we like.

Coconut oil (refined) Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, thus leaving mainly the medium-chain triglycerides and making it an absolutely saturated oil.

Pros: Completely soluble with other oils.  Extremely light, and absorbs quickly into the skin without clogging pores. Super moisturizing, odorless, colorless and does not stain. Has a long shelf life.

Cons: Refined – Virgin coconut oil has a higher antioxidant capacity.

Recommended: Molivera Organics Fractionated Coconut Oil

Jojoba Oil  This oil’s composition is closest to our sebum, or the body’s natural oils and can help to balance oil production in the skin.

Pros: Moisturizing without being greasy – great for oily skin. Contains vitamin E and B vitamins and has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Easily and quickly absorbed.  Has long shelf life.

Cons: Has a mild aroma.

Recommended: Hobacare Jojoba Oil

Avocado oil  The fruit of the avocado tree is almost one-third oil and is one of the thickest, most luxurious oils on the list.  A good oil to use for anti-aging as it contains palmitoleic acid, known to moisturize and tighten the skin, and enhance skin elasticity to prevent symptoms of premature aging, such as wrinkles.

Pros: Very hydrating. Excellent for mature and very dry skin. Reduces inflammation and increases collagen production. Has a long shelf life.

Cons: Thick and heavy, sometimes better as secondary carrier oil. Strong scent.

Recommended: Sports Research Avocado Oil

Sweet Almond oil  A light oil, and very easily absorbed by your skin. Almond oil works wonderfully for all types of skin.

Pros: Naturally rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E.  Great all-purpose oil for all skin types. Not too expensive.

Cons: May cause a reaction to those with nut allergies. Refrigeration after opening is recommended. Mild aroma.

Recommended: Molivera Organics Sweet Almond Oil

Dilution

How you dilute depends on much you need and how you want to use it:

  • Massage Oil Add approximately ¼ oz. essential oil to 12-14 oz. carrier oil.
  • Salves Add 15 drops of essential oil to 1 oz. of carrier oil. Store in metal or glass container. Great for use on cuts, bruises or sore muscles.
  • Neat Take 3-5 drops of essential oil and put directly onto your skin (if it needs a carrier oil mix with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil). Lightly massage area.
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Yoga Mat Spray

Yoga is a great way to increase your physical and emotional well-being.
Whether you are an expert or are just beginning, a good yoga mat spray is a must.

Ingredients

Instructions
1. Combine all ingredients in spray bottle
2. Shake well
3. To use, spray on mat and wipe
Note: Not all yoga mats are treated the same. Spray a test patch before using.

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Protect Your Palms & Your Sole

As many of you know we are big fans of Protect oil. If you have read some of our previous posts, (Arm Yourself and An Ancient Protective Blend), you can see why.

One of my favorite application methods is the bottom of the feet. Essential oils are easily absorbed and reach the bloodstream faster when applied to the soles of your feet.

Another great way to use Protect is on your hands. When you are on the go, it isn’t always convenient to wash – try this all-natural hand sanitizer made with Protect oil for that extra level of protection.

DIY Protect Gel Sanitizer:

  • 3 T aloe vera gel
  • ¼ tsp. vitamin E oil (a natural preservative)
  • 10 drops of Protect oil

Add to a high-quality travel size plastic squeeze bottle and shake. No drying alcohol. Moisturizes while it protects.

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Essential Oil Perfume

The Oxford Dictionaries defines “perfume” as “a fragrant liquid typically made from essential oils extracted from flowers and spices”.

Egyptians were responsible for the origin of perfume. They utilized scents in everything from religious ceremonies to burial preparations and even daily wear. They created ointments and balms with essential oils mixed in to provide scent.

Unfortunately today according to The Environmental Working Group (EWG) “while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals. To protect trade secrets, makers are allowed to withhold fragrance ingredients”.

A DIY essential oil perfume will have exactly the ingredients you choose plus by using therapeutic grade essential oils, you will benefit from the properties associated with each oil.

Traditionally, perfume is made by layering scents according to how volatile the oils are (how easily they evaporate). Top notes evaporate quickly—they are the first scent you smell in a perfume.  Middle or heart notes form the main body of a perfume. Base notes are fixatives—they hold and blend the other ingredients, and they stay on the skin the longest, so you always smell them in combination with the other aromas of the perfume.

Top notes: Sweet orange, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Bergamot, Basil, Anise

Middle notes: Geranium, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Rosemary, Pine

Base notes: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Vetiver

Try starting with 5-6 essential oils. Here are some examples:

  • Floral blend: Bergamot, Anise, Geranium, Jasmine, Sandalwood.
  • Green & Herbaceous Blend: Basil, Peppermint, Rosemary, Pine, Vetiver.

There is no steadfast rule regarding percentages of each note. I tend to like base notes so I start with our Meditation Blend (a lot of base) and add florals.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, remember it’s personal – use oils that you love!

Recommended for mixing, storing and applying essential oil blends: Pure Acres Farm Roll-on Bottles

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Ancient Egyptian Beauty Secret

cleopatra-beauty-secretsIn no other country or culture, was the concern with beautification and body care so extensive as that of ancient Egypt. Cosmetic implements have been discovered in the earliest graves. When the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened, one particular jar was discovered to contain a perfumed unguent, still radiantly fragrant after so many centuries. Two of the oils thought to be contained in the unguent are spikenard and frankincense.

Cleopatra VII, 69 BC – 30 BC, was herself credited with writing a book of beauty secrets, an art that she was universally acknowledged as mastering.

Egyptians used cosmetics regardless of sex and social status for both aesthetic and therapeutic reasons. Wrinkling of the skin was treated by applying a wax-based remedy containing gum of frankincense, moringa oil, ground Cyprus grass and fermented plant juice.

Ancient Egyptian Anti- Wrinkle Cream Updated

One teaspoon Sweet Almond Oil

Two Drops of Essential oil of Frankincense

Apply to the cleansed face nightly with a gentle massage