into the bottle: grapeseed oil

Last week’s post about dream product Lavish inspired us to start exploring the natural ingredients that actually make up our favorite products. After all, it is the inside that counts. By going into the bottle, we’ll start seeing what makes our beloved products tick, what our skin responds to oh, so well, and even more importantly, why. We’re opening up one of those nine essential oils in Lavish that we also used (think back) in our very own Oh, Honey! Purifying Cleansing Oil. We introduce to you her majesty, grapeseed oil.

With its fine, non-greasy texture, grapeseed oil is one of the best natural moisturizers around. Emma Stone even uses it exclusively as hers. The trick is how it has the ability to moisturize without clogging pores. It actually helps regulate oil production making it a supreme fit for all skin types. Yes, even oily and acne-prone. But where grapeseed oil really shines is when we hit those dry patches (from winter curses to all-nighters). Partly due to its abundance of omega-6 (brings balance) and vitamin E (all powerful antioxidant powers), grapeseed oil is just a master of nourishing the driest of skin without irritation. Applied directly, it even offers a soft and satiny finish.

What makes grapeseed oil even cooler is that it’s eco-friendly. As a by-product of wine making (yum), grapeseeds are found, of course, in the vineyards. They’re also typically thrown away. But with 50 kg of grapeseeds being required to obtain one liter of oil, that’s a lot of grapeseed saving. And with its long list of benefits, we are more than happy to do so.

honey, we love you

Some of you may have seen the photo of our DIY facials last Thursday (yes, you read right) but that photo only showed part of it. We had such a great time with the National Honey Board in town. We also have a lot to fill you in on. The National Honey Board is a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight that really digs into and promotes… honey. And when they contacted us about having an event about honey and its benefits when it comes to skin, we couldn’t have felt sweeter.  It was a night of newfound knowledge, honey-inspired food (honey/vanilla cupcakes, anyone?), and DIY facials. We know it’s that honey and teatime of year but please set some aside for your skin. It’s making quite the buzz.

Our very own Amy Leavell Bransford as well as HollyBeth Anderson of HollyBeth Organics teamed up and created a five-step, DIY soothing honey facial. But why? First off, Amy and HollyBeth share a passion for natural and pure skincare. They are careful to choose only products with potent and organic ingredients that nurture, treat, and protect the skin. Honey is 100% that as well as a humectant (meaning it draws and retains moisture in skin) and has whole body benefits (remember when mum used to give you a spoonful for your cough?).

As a humectant, it makes for the greatest moisturizer. Though this has always been instinctive, it’s now proven thanks to our friends at the National Honey Board. In 2010, they conducted a study to find out that after honey was applied to the forearm and, untouched for four hours, hydration levels increased. It won’t leave skin feeling oily either. After all, dry skin is one of our biggest battles in the coming months. Hydrated skin stays soft, supple, elastic, and young. Wondering why that honey bear is your cabinet is still ¾ full yet?

So, stickiness aside, grab that honey bear down and give some of our recipes a try. We promise a sweet time.

Oh, Honey! Purifying Cleansing Oil

3T honey 3 large ripe strawberries (mashed or blended) 1T Almond or Grapeseed Oil

We love honey as a cleanser! It contains many vital nutrients and vitamins and is naturally antibacterial. Here we mixed ingredients together in a bowl, utilizing the enzymes of strawberries and created a cleansing oil that won’t strip the skin.

Grits & Honey Scrub (A HollyBeth Original)

1T honey 1T grits (can also use oats, ground nuts, coffee beans) ½tsp your favorite oil to add traction

Grits and honey mixed together make a wonderful scrub. Mix together in a bowl and use circular motions on cheeks, chin, and forehead to slough dead skin cells. Remove after 5 minutes with a warm compress.

Even Out Skin Toner

1 1/2T witch hazel 1/8tsp lemon juice 1/8tsp honey

Lemon is a natural skin brightener and preservative and we love honey for its humectant qualities – a must for a skin toner or balancer. Here we mix the ingredients with witch hazel and use a spray bottle to mist on our skin.

“Milk n Honey” Pore Refining Mask

2tsp full fat Greek yogurt 2tsp honey 2 drops lavender (or your favorite essential oil)

Here Greek yogurt is our alpha hydroxy acid, smoothing out skin and working on fine lines. Paired with anti-bacterial and humectant honey, this is a great mask for all skin types and wonderful for re-hydrating skin. Lavender essential oil will calm the skin.

Mix ingredients in a bowl and apply using hands or a fan brush. Remove with a warm compress after a few minutes (5 if sensitive and 15-20 otherwise).

Buzzy Lip Conditioner

½tsp honey ½tsp Organic Sweet Almond Oil 1-drop peppermint (or other favorite essential oil)

Peppermint oil stimulates and plumps the lips while honey and almond oil offer a deep conditioner for fine lines around the lip area. Mix ingredients in a small bowl or container and apply using lip brush, finger or a q-tip. This one may be our favorite.