Calendula Oil – So many remedies!

Calendula Flower

There is an incredibly great reason I use calendula oil as the main ingredient in my Shaving Oil & Skin Salve at Ember Cove. The wide variety of healing remedies this little herb has to offer the skin are simply amazing. You may recognize “calendula” as its other name, the common flower, Marigold. When the flowers are infused into an oil base, the healing properties flourish. For many cases, calendula oil can be used as an alternative to Neosporin. Time to list a few big words. Calendula naturally contains anti-oxidants and offers antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, anti-fungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties. Wow! This makes it useful for disinfecting and treating minor cuts, wounds, and scratches (hence the “Skin Salve” part of my Shaving Oil). Not enough? It is also anti-inflammatory when applied topically. Because of this, you will more than likely find relief and a speedier recovery when applying it to other irritations as well like burns, rashes, bruises, yeast infections, athlete’s’ foot, bee stings, and dry or chapped/cracked skin. In further addition, it will also benefit those suffering from skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis.

My first experience with calendula oil marked the end of my shaving problems for life. I had won a contest on another blog where the prize was a small sample of calendula. When it arrived in the mail, I set it aside for future use. I had read a few things about the healing remedies it had to offer, but the timing wasn’t right to add it to any of my existing Ember Cove products. Well, a few weeks passed and I was getting sick of the red bumps and irritations that my electric shaver caused me, so I tried to shave with a razor instead. I used regular foaming shaving gel, applied liberally, let it soak in and shaved. It felt great, or so I thought. The next morning, my legs were COVERED with razor burn, ingrown hairs, big splotchy rashes…it was a disaster, I even took pictures because it was so bad. Because I own a bath & beauty company that focuses on healing skin irritations, the first thing that popped in to my mind was to grab some ingredient to slather on my shaving battle wounds. I thought of Shea Butter, but that’s really greasy when applied alone, same with coconut oil. Both of those were great options, but I didn’t want my legs to have that greasy shine. The calendula came to mind and I figured, “why not?”. I applied the oil, completely rubbed it into my skin and waited. The next day, the swelling that the ingrown hairs had caused had gone down, but there were still little scars and a few bumps from the previous irritation. A week went by with daily application, the scars completely healed and the ingrown hairs went away. Since I was due for another shave, I used the calendula and mixed it with sunflower oil to experiment. I used a regular throw-away razor with only three blades. The moment of truth came the next morning. I woke up and looked at my legs, and for the first time in 24 years, my legs had no irritations on them. They were as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I was hooked for life! I immediately started working on a recipe for my business, infused the calendula with olive oil and a few other choice oils, and came up with my Shaving Oil & Skin Salve at Ember Cove.

Speaking of baby bottoms, anyone with a baby in their life will appreciate this. One of the best uses for calendula oil is healing diaper rash. It soothes the area instantly, and helps with a speedy recovery for baby’s little hind end! Bed sores and rug burns can even benefit with an application of calendula oil. For the “older” kids, it contains anti-aging properties and broken or varicose veins will benefit from the healing properties. I have seen it suggested to “apply calendula oil after cosmetic waxing or laser procedures to calm the skin and reduce the inflammation and redness quickly while bringing a sense of relief to the site. As a bonus, it will reduce scarring”.

Calendula Oil

The process of creating calendula oil involves immersing the flower heads in an oil (I use olive oil at Ember Cove), and letting them slowly infuse with each other over a period of weeks. Because of this, individuals who are allergic to ragweed, goldenrod, or any other plant in the Asteraceae/Compositae family will probably not benefit from a calendula application. If you aren’t one of these unlucky people, then go ahead and enjoy the benefits of this medicinal oil all you want! Just be sure not to go absolutely bonkers and when using calendula topically, follow general guidelines for first aid, (aka don’t apply it to gaping or oozing wounds).

Be sure to check out the Shaving Oil & Skin Salve I make at Ember Cove! My business is how I make my living, so know that any purchase you make helps me personally. In return, my products are guaranteed to help you so it’s a great deal for both of us! :D Link this article to your friends and family, maybe even the guy at Starbucks who is always on his laptop! Educate everyone with the healing properties of calendula. Consider sending me a “like” on Facebook as well so that I can reach more people with my information. :)

A thank you to my sources:  Effortless  Eating, The Mountain Rose Blog, Delighted Momma, Ageless, Livestrong, Score Skincare, Langua Vert, List of Birthstones

Advertisements

Palm Oil – From a Fruit, Not Your Hands!

Palm OilSince I include palm oil as an ingredient in all of my soap and lotions at Ember Cove, I felt it was time to explain the many beneficial reasons for doing this! This oil is amazing to use internally and also as a cooking oil and hair care product, but I will be covering the benefits for your skin.

Palm oil is oil collected from the fruit of oil palms, which are now grown in a variety of areas. It is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A, and is recommended by dermatologists because of its high concentrations of vitamin E to protect skin cells and improve overall health. Because of saturated fats, palm oil is an amazing moisturizer for your skin. Your skin absorbs everything you put on it, and palm oil is a natural substitute for a chemical-based moisturizer.

Palm oil contains natural antibacterials which make it a great opponent against acne. Including this oil as an ingredient helps your skin maintain moisture, yet remain clearand blemish free. Dryness can actually cause the skin to become irritated and sensitive, which can lead to acne as well as a variety of other irritations. Palm oil is also beneficial to use if you have a cut or scrape on your skin, because the oil will kill germs. Even though it is an oil itself, it actually makes it easy to lift oil and dirt off your skin for an absolutely fresh feeling. Included in my soap and lotions for a reason, palm oil ensures your skin stays soft, supple and blemish free! Because it locks in moisture, this ingredient is essential to help heal and soothe many skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and dry skin.

Palm oil fruit

Palm Oil Fruit

Here is an interesting anti-aging fact about palm oil! It is rich in toctrienols, a higher form of vitamin E family which is extremely beneficial to your skin. The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin ailments and is found in many anti-aging products. Vitamin E, as I have mentioned in my other blogs is a strong antioxidant that helps the skin to fight free radicals that damage the skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Betty Kamen, PhD confirms that as a stronger antioxidant than tocopherols, toctrienols have been proven to be more effective in preventing aging and damage from free radicals. Used topically, as with tocopherol, toctrienols are able to penetrate deep into the skin’s layers to enable healing and protection from the base up. Truly a wonderful addition to my soap and lotions!

These are the reasons I have included this amazing ingredient in my soap and lotions, and I hope this information has helped!

I highly suggest checking out the American Palm Oil Council’s website for more amazing information and a very informative and interesting video!

A thank you to my sources: eHow, Livestrong, B4teaSaranabuSa

Psoriasis – Not a Skin Condition

Bath ScrubI have seen numerous websites advertising that goat milk soap cures psoriasis. However, this is not true. There is no cure for psoriasis but there are treatments for your skin (and this is where my special recipe of goat milk soap really helps). Psoriasis is a medical condition that occurs when skin cells grow too quickly and instead of just being a skin disease, it is an inflammatory disease of the immune system that appears on the skin. Faulty signals in the immune system cause new skin cells to form in days rather than weeks. The body does not shed these excess skin cells, so the cells pile up on the surface of the skin and lesions form.

There are five different types of psoriasis but none of them are contagious. You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has psoriasis, swimming in the same pool, or even intimate contact. Psoriasis is much more complex, and it is unknown as to why it forms. Scientists are still studying what happens when psoriasis develops. They know that the person’s immune system and genes play key roles. In studying the immune system, scientists discovered that when a person has psoriasis, the T cells (a type of white blood cell that fights unwanted invaders such as bacteria and viruses) mistakenly trigger a reaction in the skin cells. This is why you may hear psoriasis referred to as a “T cell-mediated disease.”

This reaction activates a series of events, causing new skin cells to form in days rather than weeks. The reason T cells trigger this reaction seems to lie in our DNA. People who develop psoriasis inherit genes that cause psoriasis. However, not everyone who inherits genes for psoriasis gets psoriasis. For psoriasis to appear, it seems that a person must inherit the “right” mix of genes and be exposed to a trigger. Some common triggers are a stressful life event, skin injury, and having strep throat. Many people say that that their psoriasis first appeared after experiencing one of these. Triggers are not universal. What triggers psoriasis in one person may not cause psoriasis to develop in another.

For some people, psoriasis is a nuisance. Others find that psoriasis affects every aspect of their daily life. The unpredictable nature of psoriasis may be the reason. Some people have frequent flare-ups that occur weekly or monthly. Others have occasional flare-ups. When psoriasis flares, it can cause severe itching and pain. Sometimes the skin cracks and bleeds. When trying to sleep, cracking and bleeding skin can wake a person frequently and cause sleep deprivation. Sometimes a flare-up requires a visit to a dermatologist for additional treatment.

Ember Cove soaps are specially made to help treat and soothe inflamed skin caused by psoriasis. The mixture of goat milk and honey along with my other all natural, gentle ingredients has been helping many of my customers with their psoriasis treatments, depending on how severe it is. A nice alternative for heavily medicated products, my hypoallergenic soap and lotion is extremely beneficial to treating this chronic disease.

Please note that I am not a doctor and will never claim to be one. Consult your dermatologist and ask them if my soaps and lotions could be right for your skin. Everyone is different and reactions to products vary from person to person. Always know what’s good for you and make your decisions based on how you know your skin reacts. If you experience any inflammation or irritation, stop use of any product you’re using immediately and contact a doctor or dermatologist.

A thank you to my sources: Psoriasis Speaks, Psoriasis Net, eMedicineHealth, MedicineNet, NIAMS, Medical News Today, Psoriasis Connections, National Psoriasis Foundation, Inside-Psoriasis

Eczema – What is it?

Sample SoapsI take pride in making products that help soothe and even heal eczema. With all-natural hypoallergenic soaps and gentle lotions, I am excited to announce that I have helped many people with their eczema ever since I launched Ember Cove, including myself! So what exactly is this skin condition that I keep talking about on my site and in my blogs? Eczema is a general term for a set of chronic skin conditions caused by inflammation. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common type of eczema, and has been called the “itch that rashes.” The general term “eczema” is usually used to refer to AD. The word “atopic” means an allergy that is usually hereditary, and “dermatitis” is defined as inflammation of the skin.

The word “eczema” also has a more general meaning. Eczema can mean a family of skin conditions that causes the skin to become swollen, irritated, and itchy. Many skin conditions are considered a type of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is just one type. Other types include hand dermatitis, nummular dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Dandruff is a mild type of seborrheic dermatitis. Diaper rash and the rash that many people get after coming into contact with poison ivy are other types of eczema.

What causes some types of eczema is pretty clear. One type of eczema, irritant contact dermatitis, develops after frequent exposure to a mild irritant such as a detergent or brief exposure to a strong irritant such as battery acid. Another type, allergic contact dermatitis develops when an allergen (substance to which a person is allergic) touches the skin. Common allergens include poison ivy and nickel. A nickel allergy is actually one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis. Many everyday objects contain nickel, including coins, buttons, jewelry, and eyeglass frames. Eczema is not contagious, but since it is believed to be at least partially inherited, it is not uncommon to find members of the same family affected.

The exact cause of other types of eczema is not fully understood. Researchers believe that atopic dermatitis develops when many factors combine. These factors include inheriting certain genes, having an overactive immune system, and having something that dermatologists call a “barrier defect.” A barrier defect is a term that means “gaps in the skin.” These gaps allow the skin to lose water too quickly. The gaps also allow germs and other things too small to see with the naked eye to enter the body.

Seborrheic dermatitis is another type of eczema that seems to develop when a number of factors interact. These factors include the person’s genes, yeast that live on human skin, stress, climate, and overall general health. Research shows that seborrheic dermatitis tends to be severe in people who have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This indicates that the person’s immune system plays a role.

Eczema can be a very stressful and frustrating condition, and can make living your daily life challenging and uncomfortable. The intense, frequent itch can cause loss of sleep and extreme discomfort. Eczema most commonly causes dry, reddened skin that itches or burns, although the appearance of eczema varies from person to person and varies according to the specific type of eczema. Intense itching is generally the first symptom in most people with eczema. Sometimes, eczema may lead to blisters, but it can also result in dry and scaly skin. Repeated scratching may lead to thickened, crusty skin. While any region of the body may be affected by eczema, it typically occurs on the face, neck, and the insides of the elbows, knees, and ankles. In infants, eczema typically occurs on the forehead, cheeks, forearms, legs, scalp, and neck.lotion

Eczema can sometimes occur as a brief reaction that only leads to symptoms for a few hours or days, but in other cases, the symptoms persist over a longer time and are referred to as chronic dermatitis. By washing with Ember Cove goat milk & honey soap and applying our luxury gentle lotion, you can help soothe and heal your eczema the natural way and make sure it doesn’t come back! Goat Milk, Honey, Coconut Oil and many other ingredients used in my soaps and lotions have already been explained in my blog as an eczema cure.

Remember, if you think you have eczema or any other skin condition, you need to consult with a dermatologist first. Only you know what is healthy for your skin, and my products are not intended to be a “cure-all” for everything, even though that would be awesome. Everyone has different skin types and not all conditions are the same, please note that I am not a doctor and will never claim to be one. If you experience any irritations while using mine or any other products, discontinue use immediately and consult a dermatologist.

A special thank you to my sources: WebMD, TeensHealth.org, NetDoctor, Medical News Today, EczemaNet, Neosporin Essentials, MedicineNet