What is Cacay Oil?

Cacay oil is a new natural  anti-ageing oil that stimulates cellular turnover and slows collagen breakdown.

It has 50% more vitamin E and double the amount of Linoleic Acid than Argan Oil. Wow.

It also has 3 times more natural Retinol than Rose Hip Oil.


Where does Cacay Oil come from?

Cacay oil comes from the Amazonian rainforest.

Because Cacay seeds are wild harvested by indigenous tribes,  the quantity available for use in cosmetics is very low, making it the rarest plant oil for skincare.

Cacay fruits are collected by hand in Summer – the three inner nuts are cold pressed to release the nutrient rich oil. Cacay nuts can be eaten and apparently taste like peanuts.

The Latin name is Caryodendron Orinocense and Cacay trees grow to 30 or 40 metres.

Trees grown naturally in Brazil, Ecuadaor, Peru, Venezuela and Columbia. Cacay saplings provide shade for other plants, and will soon be cultivated to shade coffee bushes and other cash crops. Cacay is one of the trees that can be planted to reforest grassland areas.

cacay fruits on cacay tree

What is cacay oil good for?

  • Cacay reduces wrinkles
  • Reduce facial blemishes and tightens pores
  • Cacay oil increases skin hydration and smoothness
  • Alleviate acne, psoriasis and hyperpigmentation.
  • Cacay oil helps to diminish scars, stretch marks or skin blemishes.
  • Hair becomes lustrous and silky while split ends are reduced.
  • Regular use of cacay oil effectively increases skin’s hydration, firmness and elasticity.


Natural derived Retinol

Cacay Oil contains natural retinol which helps in :

  • cell growth,
  • skin hydration, and
  • collagen production
  • reduces wrinkles
  • improves complexion (without redness or downtime)

Cacay oil activates your skin’s natural renewal process. By reducing the appearance of wrinkles and keeping your skin supple and smooth, your skin looks fresher and more youthful.

It’s excellent applied to lines around the lips, eyes and forehead.


cacay oil fatty acid profile

what’s inside cacay oil?

What does cacay oil smell like?

Pure cacay oil has an almost neutral scent.

Texture of cacay oil?

Light, easily absorbed

Cacay Oil vs Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is cold-pressed from rosehip seeds of rosehip (Rosa canina L.) and contains antioxidants (tocopherols and carotenoids.) , phenolic acids (p-coumaric acid methyl ester, vanillin, and vanillic acid) and linoleic acid. Rosehip is used  for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and is termed a ‘Dry Oil’ as it ios quickly absorbed into the skin.

Cacay can contain up to 70% linoleic acid, compared with rosehip  at 35.9–54.8%. If your skin is linoleic deficient, Cacay could be the answer !

Rosehip contains more oleic acid (Omega 9) than cacay, making cacay better suited to those with blemished, acne-prone or oily skin. Rosehip has around 14.7–22.1% oleic acid vs cacay that has 10%-14%.

what colour is rosehip oil

Empress Elixir contains both rosehip and cacay oil so is suitable for all skin types – younger, mature, sensitive, combination, acne-prone, dry and menopausal.

Retinol : Cacay Oil vs Rosehip Oil

Cacay contains Vitamin A (retinol) , which when applied topically, is first converted by enzymes in your skin into retinaldehyde and then into retinoic acid. This two step process makes it a gentle retoinol alternative suitable for sensitive skin. Rosehip contains orange-hued Pro-Vitamin A (beta-carotene)  which is a precursor of Vitamin A / Retinol. [2]  Rosehip may contain phytochemicals that mimic retinol. [1]

Cacay Oil vs Marula Oil

Oleic Acid (Omega 9) can be found in Marula in very high-levels up to 70%, in comparison to Cacay and Argan.  Cacay contains around 10%-14% oleic acid, so is suited to skin that is on the olier side.  If your skin is dry, then argan and marula will be ok for you.

Cacay is packed with Vitamin E making it stable, while Marula oil contains a large proportion of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and natural antioxidants.

Marula Oil comes from the nuts of the Sclerocarya birrea tree in Africa and it’s main constituents  are Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Linoleic Acid, and Arachidonic Acid.

Marula’s antioxidants supports skin health, repair damage caused by pollutants, and delay the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Marula Oil calms  acne-prone skin and reduces blemishes, scars while it softens and nourishes. Use Marula to boost elasticity, formeness and collagen production.  Marula helps reduce irritation, inflammation, redness, and chapping, especially in association with sunburned skin and conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. This is why it’s in Heart of Eternity.

Marula can also be used in your hair as tonic. or to massage the roots to stimulate scalp health.  It is said to reduce dandruff and can be applied by the drop to the ends of your hair to reduce frizz.


Cacay Oil vs Argan Oil

Cacay, Argan and Linoleic Acid

Cacay Oil contains more than 70% of Linoleic Acid. Argan oil contains between 30% – 40%,

This hydrates and reduces redness while nourishing, healing, moisturising and improving the skin’s overall elasticity.

Most breakout prone skin is deficient in Linoleic Acid  with an excess of Oleic acid.  This imbalance can block pores. Argan oil has 40%-50%, oleic acid vs Cacay with only 10%-14%.

Vitamin E in Cacay and Argan Oils

Types of Vitamin E in Cacay and Argan Oil

Cacay, Argan and Vitamin E

Cacay Oil contains a huge quantity of Vitamin E,   that protects your skin against premature ageing caused by free radicals.

Vitamin E also increases collagen, so your skin is tightened and lifted.There are several fims of Vitamin E, with Alpha-tocopherol the most popular form in skin care product. It soothes and protects against the UV rays while fighting free radicals. Some studies show that Vitamin E blocks the enzymes that break down elastin.

Cacay Oil UK

You can find Cacay oil in  Empress Elixir

You can also buy it online.

Argan Oil vs Jojoba Oil

Both jojoba oil and argan oil can be used for face, body, hair, nail, wrinkles.

Here’s my take on how they’re different and similiar so that you can choose what works best for YOUR skin. Enjoy.


Similarities between argan and Jojoba oil

Both are ‘dry oils’ – they don’t leave your skin feeling greasy because they absorb really fast.

Both are premium priced oils.

Both can be used undiluted on your skin.

Both are suitable for all ages.

Both make excellent moisturizers and face oils

Both can be used during gua sha facial massage

Both are suitable for adding essential oils to.

Morocco-goats in argan tree

Morocco-goats climb argan trees



Both grown in hot arid climates and can be grown without pesticides

Both are cold-pressed to release the oil then filtered and packed..

Both are used for anti-ageing skin and hair care.

Both help your skin stay healthy. Both are natural and grown on plants.

Both can be used to soften dry lips, split ends, add shine to your hair.

Both work to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Both can be used instead of a body lotion or after shave blend.

Both can be used throughout the year although Jojoba is ‘lighter’ in texure so will absorb faster

argan seeds

argan seeds

The differences between Argan and Jojoba oils

Jojoba has a natural SPF factor of 4. Argan has none.

Argan has more vitamin E and sits on the skin’s surface for slightly longer.

Argan contains fatty acids (oleic and linoleic to name a few), phenols, squalene, vitamin E, and carotenes. It works to fade  scars and improve elasticity

Jojoba is actually a liquid wax and mimics our skin’s natural sebum. It was first used as an alternative to Sperm Whale Oil

Jojoba can be used on skin that is acneic – it helps the skin rebalance sebum production. It unclogs pores and hair follicles

The shelf life of jojoba is longer – 5 years vs 2 years for argan

Argan comes from Morocco, Jojoba comes from America or Israel.

Jojoba is clear in colour, argan is slightly yellow.

Argan’s Latin name is Argana spinosa while jojoba is Simmondsia chinensis

Argan contains the sterol spinasterol

Argan has more triglycerides,w hiel jojoba is mostly esters and fatty alcohols.

jojoba seeds

Jojoba kernels and leaves

Jojoba contains 66-71% Eicosenoic acid, which according to Pubmed is higher in the skin of Autistic people.

Argan is more suited to prematurely ageing skin, those with sun damage or stretch marks.

Jojoba is ideal for those with acne, eczema, dandruff, inflammatory conditions, dandruff.

Jojoba stimulates wound healing and collagen synthesis

Jojoba reduces hair frizz and breakage, and can be used on beards or post shaving.

Rub jojoba into blisters, calluses, and corns.

Rub jojoba onto your cuticles before a manicure or pedicure to soften them naturally



what’s inside jojoba oil or jojoba wax?

Questions about Jojoba Oil and Argan Oil

What colour are argan oil and jojoba oil?


I’ve poured soem of each into a clear glass bowl to show you the difference.

The yellow is the Golden jojoba, organic, unrefined.

The clear is the argan unroasted and organic.  You can buy clear jojoba oils that have been refined.

The unrefined has more ‘goodness’

face cream with argan jojoba oil

difference in colour between golden jojoba and argan oil

Is jojoba oil good for your skin?

Yes. Jojoba is 100% natural and mimics your skin’s natural healthy sebum.

It does not block pores and it protects and nurtures. How?

Becasue jojoba oil has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, it helps  with eczema, candida, ringworm, dermatitis and psoriasis.

It also promotes quicker healing of wounds, burns, itching, allergies and inflammatory skin conditions.

So yes, it’s great for your skin.


How do you use jojoba oil on your face?

Apply a few drops and massage into your face.

Can I leave jojoba oil on my face overnight?

Yes. Jojoba is a pacifier and neutralizer of all the three doshas in Ayurvedic medicine. So will restore balance when used to massage your face and body.

Jojoba has mild, moist, cooling, light and hydrating properties that help skin that is dry, inflamed or acne-prone.

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89.

How often should you put jojoba oil on your face?

It depends on how your skin feels – it can be used daily.

Judge for yourself how your skin feels.


What  does jojoba oil smell like?

Not much – it is a very faint and clean smell. Hardly noticeable.

How do you pronounce jojoba?

Ho-Ho (Like Santa!) – Bar



What is jojoba oil best for?

Everything! Hair, skin, nails, your body. All ages and skin types. All product types-serums, cleansers, moisturizers, makeup, lip balms, beard care, conditioners.

Can jojoba oil grow hair?

Massaging your scalp will improve circulation to your hair’s roots, that in itself will help.

Jojoba has many benefits to healthy hair including:

  • strengthen the roots of the hair,
  • enrich the scalp,
  • reduce dandruff
  • control frizz, treat alopecia and
  • promote hair growth.

Add some rosemary or ylang ylang essential oil to your jojoba massage blend and rub that into your scalp.

Rosemary and ylang smell grat and also improve hair growth, which is why they’re used in shampoos and conditioners.

Does jojoba oil clog pores?

No, it’s similar in its structure to healthy natural sebum. It also rebalances sebum production so if your skin is oily it will rebalance it towards normal.

How good is jojoba oil for your face?

Awesome, read the section on Similarities.

jojoba based moisturizer

jojoba based moisturizer

Jojoba oil for beard

Yes, jojoba make s great beard oil – either as a standalone ingredients, or blended with other dry feeling oils.

Is argan oil good for rosacea?

Yes. It has a high  content of Vitamin E which is anti-nflammatory.
Argan is really soothing on skin that si dry, sensitive or suffers from rosacea.

Which oil is best for rosacea?

Argan, jojoba and rosehip are both excellent.

Substitute for jojoba oil

Hmm this is hard. Jojoba is actually a liquid wax so not really any substitutes around.

The closest feeling to it is olive derived squalane.

Jojoba is actually a replacement to Sperm Whale Oil.

Which oil is better for face Argan or jojoba?

It depends on your skin.. the weather, your age, what else you are using on your skin, the stress levels you have and if you have any spots, redness or dry patches.
Both are great for skin. What is best for you, today, might not be best next month or next year. Nothing in nature remains the same.
So to answer your question, you need to experiment on your own skin. Try both. Use your bare hands to feel the difference they make and then you will know.
If you have acne or olier skin patches, I’d suggest you begin with jojoba.
And acne is a sign that your body is filled with toxins and undigested protein.  You will need to address what food you eat. Get a food list tested by a kineseologist or a true empath.

Which is better for your hair jojoba oil or argan oil?

I would say it depends on how fine your hair is. Finer hair mind find argan a bit heavier.
Both do work so play around with proportions.
Another great hair oil is sesame. (The virgin unrefined of course, not the cooking variety)

Can we mix argan oil with jojoba oil?

Of course!
Mixing makes what’s called synergy where the sum is greater than the parts.
You can play with the ratios and see what works best for your skin condition.
Argan  contains antioxidants and fatty acids that regenerate and revitalise mature and dry skin, while jojoba mimics your body’s protective sebum so keeps your skin supple and soft.

Does jojoba oil help with acne?

Yes. it mimics sebum so helpss rebalance your skin’s natural oil(sebum) production. Sebum keeps your skin protected so you do need it.
 Acne skin is too enthusiastic with oil production. Stripping oil away with harsh cleansers or alcoholic toners makes it worse. You end up with dry skin patches AND acne,  double ouch. Instead use a gentle jojoba based cleanser like Jardin de Fleurs.
Acneic skin is often deficient in linoleic acid. You’ll need to eat foods rich in linoleic acid eg hemp seeds.
Remember to shower promptly after sweaty exercise like HIIT and spinning.

Does Argan Oil reduce redness?

Yes, it is calming and soothing. You also need to watch your diet and drink enough water. Cut back on caffeine, alcohol, smoking and late nights too.

How do you use argan oil on your face?

Apply a few drops after you have washed your face. Massage them into your face using gentle circular motions. Use this time to breathe slowly and be present to the feel and touch of your hands on your skin.

What are dry oils?

Dry oils are those that soaks intot he skin rapidly. Theyt don’t sit there like an oil slick for ages.

However if you’re doing an aromatehrapy massage, you don’t eant the oil to sink in too fast, or esle you’ll be creatign heat and friction on the skin.

Dry oils are typically used on ther face and hair where you dont want an oily sheen. They vanish liek you cast a spell in Potions class at Hogwarts.

Also, in summer you use drier feeling oils during the day to stop your skin getting all sweaty.

Do dry oils replace a moisturizer?


While a dry oil in summer is great for during the day vs a heavy night cream, you still need a moisturiser before bed. Night time is when you skin does it’s repairing. A moisturiser contains elements that hydrate and protect.

Other dry feeling oils great for humid summertime include:

  • Arctic cranberry seed oil
  • Blueberry seed oil
  • Borage oil
  • Blackcurrant seed oil
  • Camellia oil
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Red Raspberry seed oil
  • Rosehip seed oil
  • Sea Buckthorn
  • Sesame oil
  • Strawberry seed oil
  • Sunflower oil

Use richer oils in winter when your skin feels dry and scaly as they leave a fine layer on your skin that prevents water loss.

What is the best dry oil?

Jojoba is one of them – especially as it’s suitable for those with nut allergies.

Is coconut oil a dry oil?

No, it’s very greasy. It stays on the skin’s surface for ages. It can even dry out your skin if you have Celtic skin or rosacea so beware.

Is almond oil a dry oil?

No it’s not. It lingers on the skin so makes a good oil for massage.


Suggested Reading:

  1. Carrier Oils: For Aromatherapy and Massage by Len Price, Shirley Price
  2. Liquid Sunshine- Jan Kusmirek

Now that Autumn is nipping at our heels, it’s time to dig out the essential oil inhalers, vaporiser and and get them ready to purify the air.

What do you mean, Wendy?

Essential oils have many properties – they act on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

This means that they can be antibacterial and calming at the same time (think of chamomile), antiviral and uplifting (rosemary)

With the change of season, our body can do with some support to keep colds and flu at bay.


Essential oil inhalers

These are plastic tubes with an inner wick that you add your own essential oil blend to.

Similiar to the Vicks nasal inhalers, you can make your own with essential oils .

Take them with you – in your pocket, a purse or bag. If you’re travelling on public transport and suffer from anxiety you can sniff your inhaler to calm yourself.

Same thing with studying for, or writing exams. You can add a brain enhancing blend to the essential oils inhaler and use that as a study and memory aid.

You can adjust the essential oils to suit whatever is happening in your life right now.

If you’re uncertain which oils to use, there are ideas below and in my newsletter. You can also ask your aromatherapist or acupuncturist for blend suggestions.

How to use aromatherapy inhalers

An aromatherapy inhaler consists of 4 parts –  wick, inner tube, closure, and outer tube.

Add 20 drops of essential oil to the absorbent wick.

Insert this into the inner tube. Seal it firmly with the closure.

Screw on the outer lid.  Add a sticky label to the outer tube, because you will forget what was inside!

  • your name and/oror function of the blend eg Wendy’s calming/stress relief
  • the date
  • your blend eg Lavender and Chamomile

You’re done.

When you’re not inhaling , keep it screwed closed to prevent loss of essential oils through evaporation.

Essential oil inhaler recipes

Colds and flu – 10 drops each of rosemary and eucalyptus (total 20 drops), or 10 drops ravensara, 7 drops thyme or oregano and 3 drops peppermint.

Exams and studying – 20 drops rosemary, or 10 drops lemon and 10 drops rosemary.

Stress and anxiety – 10 drops lavender  and 10 drops bergamot, or 10 drops sweet orange and 10 drops lemon.

Focus at work – 10 dropes lemon, 5 drops basil adn 5 drops rosemary.

Insomnia – 10 drops chamomile, 5 drops bergamot, 3 drops mandarin, 2 drops vetiver

Meditation blend – 10 drops frankincense, 8 drops bergamot or sweet orange and 2 drops cardamom.

Children over 5 calming bedtime blend – 10 drops sweet orange, or 5 drops bergamot with 5 drops lavender.

Notes – you’re aiming at 20 drops for an adult inhaler, and 5-10 for a child.

For more ideas, subscribe to my newsletter.


rosemary and lavender sprigs


Diffuser vs vaporiser

I prefer a vaporiser as it adds moisture to the air. Ideal for parched air from central heating.

A diffuser simply blows air over the oils, which disperses them into the room. I’ll use this when humidity is high.

Both gadgets help spread the essential oils through the room.


Why should you use a vaporiser or diffuser for your essential oils?

Diffusing essential oils into your home (or office) can help you stay healthy when those around you are coughing and sneezing.

Many essential oils contain components that have antiviral properties. As colds and flu are viruses, they cannot be treated with antibiotics.

Essential oils can also be blended to increase their synergy.

Not to mention they also make the air smell good. Without the side effects of toxic ‘fake’ air fresheners sold in supermarkets.

Using a diffuser or vaporiser is a safe way to enjoy the oils – you don’t need to worry about how many drops you can add to your oil mixture.

You don’t need to worry about a reaction on your skin.

You dab them onto the pad (in the diffuser) or into a bowl of water (vaporiser) .

Essential Oil recipes for room scenting

My current favourite essential oils for scenting the air are Sweet Orange and Lavender.

The ratio either 50: 50  or 60:40

Adjust to your taste. You’ll need about 10 drops in total for your diffuser or vaporiser  – dont overdo it as it can casue your eyes to sting.

The scent will fade over 1-3 days. Then replenish.



How do orange and lavender work?

Don’t let the pleasant aroma fool you into thinking they are nothing but ‘pretty smells’

Oh no.

Sweet Orange actually works to uplift your mood and restore a sunshiny feeling. Now that the days are drawing in, that sweetness is comforting. (Are you like me and find it hard to let go of the glorious summer days?) Sweet Orange will restore joy. It’s one of the fruits used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to lift and brighten mood.

And Lavender.. well apart from the relaxing and calming effect, Lavender actually zaps microorganisms. It’s a must-have in the home, not just fro your dig=ffuser but also to use as part of your natural first aid kit.



Other ways to enjoy essential oils

Now if you aren’t into diffusing essential oils into the air, or don’t own a vaporiser or diffuser, how else can you enjoy them?

You can use them in your skincare routine, as a body oil, scalp treatment, face cream or hand cream.

They can be mixed into a bath oil or your shampooshower.

You can sprinkle them on a tissue to tuck into your pocket or under your pillow.

They can be added to a bowl of boiling water and inhaled to unblock congested noses.

My most favourite way though, is through combining the two most neglected senses – scent and touch.

That means… and aromatherapy massage. Yum.

Aromatherapy Massage with Essential Oils

It’s an effective way to prepare your body for the change in seasons.

  •  You get the antiviral, antibacterial effects of the essential oils
  •  combined with physical relief from aches and pains
  • plus your body releases feel-good endorphins. ( think of Runner’s High, without doing the running)
  • And did I mention your skin feels soft and silky afterwards?
  • Or that tension line melt away from your face and neck?

That’s why nothing beats an aromatherapy massage. It’s like several treatments all at once.

(Of course, if you have a fever, you need to self-isolate, stay at home until you are well. Do NOT go for a massage when you have a fever.  It is not safe for the therapist or those in the community with weakened immune systems, eg older people, those with diabetes, heart troubles and other disease.


Rosacea is one of the painful inflammatory skin conditions that affects many Celtic, Scandinavian, Scottish, Welsh and Eastern European skin types.

Over 415 million people may suffer from it, especially adults over 30.

What is rosacea?

It’s considered  an indicator of a systemic low-grade inflammation,  according to a Finnish study.

It usually affects the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin.  There’s frequent flushing, persistent reddy hue or blotches, often acne-like spots or pimples, pain and dilated blood vessels (telangiectasia). Skin can itch and sting.  If left untreated, the nose can swell and become bright red and bulbous.

There’s a genetic influence. A survey by the National Rosacea Society, found that 40 percent of rosacea clients had a relative with similar symptoms, with 33 percent had an Irish parent, and 27 percent had a English parent.


What is Celtic skin?

It’s not just fair skinned Irish and Scots, or English roses that have Celtic skin.

Nope. Celtic is a larger ethnic group, made up of tribes spread across Europe. From Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany, Isle of Man, Cornwall in the west to  Portugal, Iberia, Spanish Galica, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey.

Celtic people often suffer from ‘Curse of the Celts’ aka Rosacea.

Read this article to learn how to keep your skin cleaner, softer, better hydrated, and more supple, while eliminating dryness, itching, and redness!


Interesting facts about the Celts

Where did the Celts originate? Oh you thought Ireland or  Scotland? Well, no.

The earliest known Celtic burial sites are in Hallstatt, Austria. The 1000 Celtic style burials there, date back to approx 1200 BC.

Ancient Celts were not ungroomed savages. They buried mirrors, combs and hair tools. Men were required to wash with soap before the evening meal.

Yes, they were using soap before the (smelly) Romans!


Celtic Skin and dermatologists

Dermatologists classify skin in 2 ways – through the Fitzpatrick and the Lancer ethnic scale.

Depending on the mixture of genes in your family history, your skin will react differently.

celtic skin on fitzpatrick scale

Fitzpatrick scale

 The Fitzpatrick scale

Developed in 1975, the Fitzpatrick scale measures your skin’s reaction to sun exposure.

It measures melanin pigment, eye and hair colour.

  • Scandinavian, Nordic, North European – Very fair, phototype I
  • North European, Celtic, Scottish, Irish – Fair, skin phototype II
  • Southern European, American Indian – Medium, skin phototype III
  • Mediterranean, Latino, Hispanic – Moderate brown or olive, skin phototype III and IV
  • Asian, Middle Eastern – skin phototype V

Lancer Ethnicity Scale

The Lancer Ethnicity Scale measures your skin’s tendency to scar after surgery.

The darker your skin (melanin pigment), the more chance of hyperpigmentation.

Inflammation makes melanocytes hyperactive, which leads to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

It’s best to prevent melanocyte stimulation in the first place. Use products with kojic acid, mandelic acid, thioctic acid, niacinamide, ferulic acid, and arbutin.

Lancer Ethnicity Scale

Celtic Woman  Skin Problems

Celtic skin is fairer, and has less melanin pigment to prevent it from sun damage.

It’s typically more sensitive to sun, wind and stress than darker hued skin types.

Celtic skin also shows the signs of ageing faster than the skin.

Why? Because it dries and thins earlier than other skin types.

This leads to earlier wrinkling and sagging than other ethnic groups.

Fair skin is also more susceptible to roughening and rosacea as it dries out.


The biggest issues for many Celtic woman  are Rosacea and Dryness.

The good news is that you can take steps to delay your skin drying out (see section on moisturisers and hydrosols)

And you can change your daily habits (see tips and lifestyle section) to calm the low-grade inflammation in your body associated with rosacea.

If care is not taken, delicate Celtic skin will start showing these signs of ageing well before other skin types:

    • Thinning of the skin layers (epidermis and dermis). Skin sensitivity increases up to 56%  and 10% drier skin after age 20.
    • Fine lines form on the face as skin thins.  1% of collagen is lost annually making skin less elastic.
    • Weakening of skin vessels and functions, so skin dries out and looses more elasticity
    • Skin roughens and appearance of age spots ( often called hyper pigmentation)
    • Fine lines develop into wrinkles
    • Celtic skin is also more prone to rosacea




What triggers Rosacea for Celtic Skin

Rosacea is common to Celtic, Scandanavian and Eastern European skin types.  What starts out as a tendency to blush or flush easil,  may progress to permanent redness with fine red lines and tiny pimples. Often called ‘adult acne’, rosacea flare-ups have many triggers:

      •  extreme temperatures in weather,
      • wind,
      • sun exposure,
      • emotional stress,
      • menopause,
      • alcohol,
      • spicy foods,
      • caffeine,
      • hot drinks,
      • exercise,
      • hot showers,
      • medical conditions and drugs,
      • sensitivity to skin care ingredients.

Is Rosacea caused by skin mites?

Dermodex mites are invisible to the naked eye. They live on our skin’s natural lubricant, sebum.

20% to 80% of adults have these Demodex mites, but those with rosacea have 10x more.

Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, an Irish biologist in Ireland, suspects that it’s the bacteria that live inside Dermodex mites, that causes rosacea. But nobody knows for sure.


Celtic skin and Rosacea: what can you do?

So what can you do when you reach your mid 30’s and start noticing your skin isn’t all peaches and cream? It’s getting drier, more sensitive, even itchy and red?

You may have the ‘Curse of the Celts’ aka Rosacea, which tends to start at age 30.

And by age 40, you’ll notice earlier thinning and sagging that your darker skinned friends don’t have.

Read on to find to find out what you can do. For the redness, and the dryness.


Essential oils for rosacea

So you want to use essential oils on your skin?  Be sure they are well diluted, they should never be used neat. (Except for applying lavender neat to burns)

Otherwise look for products that contain them, or if you insist on using essential oils, check your dilution with your aromatherapist. (If you do not have an aromatherapist, first join my newsletter and then email me your questions.)

What are the best essential oils for rosacea?

The essential oils listed below are are energetically cooling, or neutral.  You do not want to add any heat to the skin.

      • Helichrysum – aka Imortelle
      • Chamomile, German and Roman
      • Blue Tansy
      • Sandalwood
      • Lavender
      • Rosemary
      • Cypress
      • Chamomile
      • Geranium
      • Rose

Is tea tree bad for rosacea?

Did you notice I don’t add tea tree to the list? I stopped using it years ago when I found out that most of it arrives in the UK oxidised.

Some people use it against the mites. I have no experience in whether it helps or not.

It is often used for acneic skin and I would say it could be too harsh. Certainly it smells horrible like sweaty socks.

My suggestion would be to switch to Lavender, Rose or Rosemary.

Oils for rosacea

Here are my recommended carrier/base/ vegetable oils that help with rosacea:

      • Argan oil- rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, soothing
      • Calendula oil – safe even on children’s rosacea
      • Tamanu oil (this is never used neat- too stinky and gloopy).
      • Evening Primrose oil
      • Jojoba (can be used as 100% of the base recipe)
      • Sea buckthorn (use this by the drop as it’s bright orange and stains linen and clothes!)
      • Rosehip seed oil

You can look for these gentle ingredients in your face cream, serum, creamy cleansers, facial tonics etc.


Hydrosols for rosacea

Hydrosols are another aromatherapy-based plant extract that you should consider in your skin care routine.

They are extremely gentle, and do not need to be diluted before use as the Essential Oils do. I’ve written more about hydrosols

Because rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition, hydrosols are excellent as they are anti-inflammatory.

This means that hydrosols address the swelling, heat, pain, and blotches by reducing inflammation.

They contain weak plant acids that help your skin’s acid mantle return to a healthy pH

Look for facial and bodycare products that contain:

  • rosewater  aka rose hydrosol
  • lavender hydrosol
  • frankincense hydrosol
  • sandalwood hydrosol
  • chamomile hydrosol
  • helichrysum hydrosol
  • geranium hydrosol
  • carrot seed hydrosol

(You may want to read this article on moisturisers so that you are better prepared to read the labels. It’s really confusing and so many brands !)

Track your Rosacea triggers

That list of potential triggers is huge – feels overwhelming and can make you feel miserable, and missing out on the fun stuff. I mean, who does not love a soak in a hot bath or a glass of wine?  So here’s what to do.

Find out which things on the list are YOUR triggers.   Those are what you avoid. And if you skin starts flaring up, investigate other items on the list.

Because life is never fixed and done. Things that trigger you today, may not do so in 3 months time.

Sometimes it’s a combination eg stress plus alcohol plus dehydration plus junk foods.

So what you do is start a diary, making a note of any flare ups.  Keep track of activities, situations, food and drink.

You’ll find cause and effect, or patterns.

Natural moisturiser

Switch to natural moisturiser and face creams that hydrate your skin and restore that luscious bounce.

Celtic skin is less oily, so while this seems a virtue, once we hit 25, it starts looking drier, sooner.

And what’s worse, it’s even more sensitive.

Natural moisturisers can help your skin heal itself from loss of moisturise.

How to hydrate dry or sensitive Celtic skin with rosacea

Don’t worry… there are 3 things you can do!

First, look for products that contain nourishing ingredients, that will feed your skin and restore some of that protective oily layer that sebum normally provides. Don’t panic – this is a healthy layer of skin-friendly oils that feed and protect for example, anti inflammatory omega three oils and antioxidant rich botanical extracts.

Look for moisturisers that contain Argan or rosehip oil rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Argan will be described as Argania spinosa on the label, while rosehip will be shown as Rosa canina. The higher these items are listed, the greater proportion was used in the formula. A decent moisturiser will feature a higher amount, so expect a matching price tag.

The second thing for Celtic skin is looking for ingredients that are soothing and calming for sensitive skin such as jojoba, aloe vera, calendula, marula, rosehip or rosewater. Dry skin is stressed skin. These botanicals bring calm to your skin and allow it to begin renewing itself.

The third step for Celtic skin is remembering how extra sensitive it is, and treating it with TLC – so ditch any harsh foaming cleansers, sharp scrubby bits or artificial ingredients that suck moisture away or damage your skin.

Instead, switch to cream based cleansers, biodegradable scrubs, and richer natural based moisturisers that will soothe and protect.

It’s no point wrecking your skin with harsh cleansers and hoping your moisturiser will rescue the damage. Be gentle, through your entire skincare routine and you will see how your skin can heal itself when you give it the right ingredients.

Instead, look for calming botanicals such as , sea buckthorn, as these are anti inflammatory and help soothe skin that is easily irritated.

Best Face cream for rosacea and dry skin

Well ‘best’ is a comparision.  Your skin and lifestyle is different today, to what it was last year. What worked then, may not now.

So how do you find a new face cream when the internet offers you gazillions of choices?

My biggest tip is to look for cooling ingredients that reduce inflammation, AND help your repair your dried out boundary walls of your skin.

Dry skin is also dehydrated so you need to add moisture from within and without.

(Products and drinking water!)

The kind of moisture dry skin will lap up comes from flowers, think rosewater,  lavender hydrosol and  aloe vera.

drench facial tonic with rosewater

Rosewater and MSM facial tonic

These gorgeous natural ingredients bring increased moisture and help make skin dewy soft. Not only that, but genuine hydrosols (as used in all Glow Skincare products) are at the perfect pH for a healthy skin. (Unlike most water based concoctions that rely on artificial pH adjustment with acids.).  Tap water is actually too alkaline for your skin. It’s usually pH 7 which is way too alkaline – your skin prefers it around 5.5

Botanical extracts when grown and processed with care, contain the life force and energetics of those plants. These premium extracts cost more to produce and are sought after by artisan skincare formulators.

Other skin-friendly ingredients to look out for are pomegranate, sea buckthorn, MSM and hyaluronic acid as well as an affordable humectant called glycerine. (You may recall your granny’s rosewater, witch hazel and glycerine toner?)

Look for nourishing omegas and fatty acids, add soothing and calming botanicals and include hydrating extracts.

My recommended face creams are:

If you live in anywhere snowy, windy or extra dry, or have seriously dry skin, or are in your late 40’s  the Heart of Eternity 

It’s packed with botancical  extracts to feed and nourish, calm and protect. Zero tap water! Zero spring water or other cost-cutting malarkey.


Heart of Eternity for dry, sensitive skin

And for summer, high humidity, younger skin that isn’t too dry, my choice is  Proposal in Paris

Lavender and jojoba comfort stressed out skin and restore calm to your nerves.



Proposal In Paris face cream moisturiser



Essential Tips for rosacea

Perhaps you switch over from black tea to chamomile and rosehip.  Both those herb teas are calming and packed with antioxidant while being caffeine free.

Consider increasing the proportion of anti-inflammatory foods on your menu, becasue rosacea is an inflamed condition. Add in more fresh leafy vegetables, certain fruits, and small amounts of whole grains; with some olive oil, seafood, yogurt, low fat cheeses, eggs, and lean meats.  Raw spinach is excellent.

Include onions and garlic in your food. They are valuable pre-biotics.

Eat foods rich in anti-inflammatory vitamins A, B6, C, D, and K.

Include shelled hemp seeds for the Omega 3 fatty acids if you do not eat fatty fish. These can be blitzed into a yummy hemp milk and sweetened with a touch of salt.

Use ginger and turmeric in your cooking.

Probiotics and fermented foods and drinks like kefir, may help your gut biome, which in turn helps your skin heal. Read this article on fermented turmeric tea

Cut out sugar, it’s an anti-nutrient, anyway.

Reduce your alcohol, processed foods and white flour products.  You may need to get your own food list, tested by a kineseologist or true empath becasue what works for one person wont for another. And what works today won’t in three month’s time. (Contact me for the empath’s name.)

Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, as dry skin tends to irritate more easily.

Look for products that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera, MSM, rosehip seed oil.

If you have rosacea, you have sensitive skin and it is important to treat  your skin gently.

Avoid products with known irritants  – alcohol, menthol, glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, sodium laurel sulfate, and synthetic fragrances, and color. (Tricky to avoid alcohol now with hand sanitizing! Buy a great hand cream)

Never use soap or surfactants on your face. The pH is damaging to your acid mantle and soap strips away your protective sebum.  Switch to a gentle creamy cleanser like Jardin de Fleurs that even removes makeup.

Use hand soap instead of hand sanitizer, where you have the option.  (Bar soap is less drying than hand sanitizer)

Shampoo suds can irritate and flare-up rosacea. Before you get into the shower, put a small amount of jojoba oil or Samba on your face. Shampoo and rinse your hair with your head back, so suds do not run down your face. After your hair is thoroughly rinsed, rinse your face well to be sure all of the shampoo residue is removed. The jojoba and Samba will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft.

Do not use expired products. Avoid anything that tingles or stings. If you have blemishes or scars, most products designed for acne are too strong. Don’t rub raw lemon juice or kombucha on your skin – beware of DIY remedies on YouTube!

Avoid anything that is abrasive such as scrubs (which can contain abrasives made from ground walnut shells, salt, sugar or pumice), loofahs or rough washcloths on your face. Use gentle exfoliation instead.

Use lukewarm water to splash and rinse your face.

Use gentle products designed for dry and sensitive skin or children. Read the labels before you buy. You will only know when you try it out.

Moisturize your skin after you wash and before bedtime. This is to prevent dryness whcih causes irritation.  If your moisturiser feels cloying or sticky, you need a new brand.  There are hundreds of emulsifiers* out there, natural and synthetic,  and one will be perfect for your skin.  Shop around.  (*Emulsifiers are what join the watery component of a face cream with the oily part. Without an emulsifier, the cream/moisturiser would separate into two layers.)

Avoid all synthetic fragrances and artifical color. Look for a product that has a few simple ingredients. Read the ingredients labels – do you know what the names are or do they sound like chemical soup?

Apply your moisturiser with clean fingers.

When you switch to a gentle yet powerful natural skincare routine and healthier lifestyle, including what you eat, what you drink, your exercise and sleep patterns, your dry sensitive skin will transform itself. The more hydrating and nourishing your routine, the faster you will see results.


Where to buy face products suitable for Celtic Skin in the UK?

If you would prefer somebody to blend the oils for you, then visit my UK-based store. I can ship to the EU, US or Canada.

I use Rosehip, tamanu and helichrysum in Empress Elixir. 

In my facial tonic Drench, there’s MSM, rosewater, aloe, frankincense and lavender hydrosols)

If you’ve found this article useful, you can subsribe to my (almost) newsletter where I share tips and wellness secrets by email.

And when you’re ready, you can compare my products to what you’re already using. Order the  Try-Me Experience.

I would welcome you to the Glow family!


Read more here….

How to choose moisturiser


Glossary of skincare words


Which facial oil is best for YOUR skin type


Maskne – what is it? How to stop it


Hibiscus Natural Botox



You may have read about hydrosols and wondered what they were and if you could make them yourself.

You’re in the right place! I’m a hydrosol geek, aromatherapist and natural formulator.

And I make my own hydrosol. I’ll show you how.

What are hydrosols?

These are the clear liquid component produced in steam distllation of plants that are beneawth the layer of esential oils.

Often though you wont see a layer of essential oils if the still is really small..



Another name for hydrosols. Some even call them hydrosouls.

Where do  hydrosols come from

They come from distillation. They used to be discarded after the essential oils were removed, because of the high cost of transport.  Essential oils weigh very little vs the heavy watery component from distillation.

How to make a hydrosol

Obviously there’s an art to this. And lots of reading and practice to produce a quality hydrolat/hydrosol.

You will need:

  • the still and all it’s components including tubing, water pump
  • room to store all the equipment
  • clean glass bottles and lids, waterproof pen and labels
  • safety gear- gloves, heat proof tiles, fire extinguisher, first aid
  • flowers, herbs leaves of known provenance
  • clock, paper, pen, thermometer
  • a space free from pets and children
  • patience and sense of humour


Setting it up

Before any distilling, you need to clear your diary. No texting, casual telephne conversations… no pets and no kids. Stills can explode if you muck up the seals.


First you need to connect all the parts of your still – the base unit, hood  and condenser.  Mine is made of traditional beaten copper, a small hobby-size ideal for making 500ml or less hydrosol.

Large scale production stills are stainless steel while modern alchemists use glassware in their labs.

small copper still for extracting rosewater

unpacking my new copper still

Then you need organically grown flowers or herbs. Weigh them and keep a note. Usually for 1 kilo of fresh flowers you can extract a maximum of 1 litre hydrosol. Don’t expect essential oils.

The flowers are popped into the still. Add the appropriate amount of still water.

fresh calendula flowers going into the still

Connect everything together.

Seal it up with traditional rye or plumbling tape. In the early days I used the traditional copper seal with rye flour and water. It worked really well although took more cleaning.

sea joints with tape or rye flour

seal the joins

Switch on the heat – fire or electrcity.


The boiling water  releases steam that ruptures oil glands within the plants, relasing the plant esences intot he steam.  The steam passes through the neck of the still into cool water, so that it condenses into droplets.

copper still

when distilling indoors use heat proof surfaces

These droplets are collected and termed hydrosol or hydrolat. If it was roses inside the still this would be your rosewater. And yes, this clear liquid is highly fragrant.

comfrey hydrosol droplets

first droplets of comfrey hydrosol

Depending on what plant you distilled, you may find an oily slick or shimmer on the sides of your collecting flask. This is a fine layer of essential oil.

If you have enough oil-rich plant material you may find droplets of essential oil floating on the collected liquid.  This is the essential oil that is removed and sold in those tiny glass bottles 2ml, 5ml or 12ml in size.

The liquid underneath the essential oils is the hydrosol.

What happens in typical Bulgaria rose harvests –  the hydrosol is put back inside the still to remove any essential oil remaining in the water.  With every return to the still, the hydrolat looses components.. the smell isn’t as rounded and complete either.

This is why artisanal distilled rosewater can smell so much more complete and complex -m because it hasnt been put back inside the still – you are getting minute droplets of essential oil naturally dispersed inside your hydrolat. Incredible and once you have distilled your own you will spot the fakes and inferior versions



Why are hydrosols used?

They are the perfect pH for your skin.

They are packed with water-soluble components that your skin loves

They can replace tap water in luxury cosmetics like facial products, shampoos etc

They often small amazing

Hydrosols are safe to use undiluted


Hydrosols and face care

I love hydrosols. The ones I use on my own face and for clients are either distilled by me here in Devon, or bought from small organic farms. I’ve been distilling for just over ten years. It’s a hobby and the very small amount of rose hydrosol from my Kazanliks is a treat to use.


face cream with hydrosol

moisturiser with flower hydrosol

Best hydrosols for oily or combination skin

Lavender, rosemary, lavender and frankincense hydrolats are easy to find.

Useful are clary sage, cypress, rooibos, green tea, bamboo and tea tree.

Best hydrols for dry or sensitive skin

Rose, rose geranium , chamomile, frankincese, cistus, ylang, palo santo, wild carrot, white rose, sandalwood, helichrysum.

The best hydrosols for hair

Rosemary, chamomile, lavender. sage, ylang ylang, palo santo, sandalwood, rooibos and peppermint.

Best hydrosols for menopause

Must haves for the hormones are rose, sage, agnus castus and sandalwood. To cool the heat, rose,  rose geranium, peppermint and clary sage. To perk up skin and mood, frankincense, palo santo, clary sage, ylang ylang, sandalwood and rose.

Best hydrosols for kids

The magical trio of lavender, chamomile and rose. You can blend them together for an all purpose spray , lovely to mist the pillows before dreamtime. For an extra boost, add a few drops of Rescue Remedy to your spray.

Can be added to bath water or taken on long car journeys to keep them calm.

Best hydrosols for pregnancy & lactation

These are ideal alternatives to essential oils during this deliacte ytime of life. Hydrosols are not intense in scent and  do not interfere with lactation of child bonding.

Lavender, rose and chamomile are lovely and can be used singly or in combination.


Hydrosols and cats, dogs adn horses

If you plan to use them for your pet, ALWAYS have plain drinking water available.

Pets can self medicate. You can spray some hydrolat into a separate drinking vessel.

Lavender vcan be

Hydrosols for formulators

All the benefits of hydrosols make them ideal for use in emulsions, tonics, mists, gels, lotions, natural makeup, shampoo and conditioner.

Yes it makes the product costlier to produce and store… BUT it adds so much goodness and power to your recipe! Should you not be doing that for your clients?

More chunky info will go here… Come back soon….


What is maskne?

Maskne is the term used on social media for acne caused by mask wearing

Yes even if your skin has been blemish -free, wearing a mask causes blemishes, pimples, zits, (aka acne.)

(I’ve noticed whiteheads or millia around my eyes.)

The technical term for maskne is “acne mechanica,” and is the result of the mechanical friction and pressure of a fabric against the skin.
Sports players often get spots in areas where they wear helmets or chin guards.

So what causes maskne?

A combination of three things:
  • – stress from the pandemic, combined with
  • – breathing into a mask creates hot and humid air inside the mask, ideal environment to grow bacteria and organisms
  • – constant rubbing causes micro-tears, allowing easier entry for bacteria and dirt to clog up our pores

Maskne and wellbeing

Compared with bruises and bleeding from PPE and N95 respirator masks, pimples may seem  trivial. Yet, the effect on self-esteem, mental wellbeing, relationships and perhaps job performance is huge.
Acne sufferers often have anxiety and depression.

Maskne – what not to do

Dermatologists advise against damaging already fragile skin by blasting maskne spots with alpha hydroxy acids, chemical peels or Retin A becasue you’ll end up with dry patches, eczema, stinging, burning, inflammation.

Maskne- what can you do?

1. Wear disposables for one day only. No leaving them hanging in the car or sitting in your handbag or coat pocket. They will soon be infested with acne causing bacteria.
2. Wash your fabric face mask daily using soap and water – let it air dry.  Have enough spares so that you don’t re-use.
3. Choose cotton masks as they allow the skin to breathe.
4. If you exercise or sweat in the day, then take off that mask and put on a fresh and clean one immediately.
5. Use gentle skin care products that don’t strip your skin of it’s protective sebum, or cause undue friction.  Avoid avoid anything with SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate.
6. If your skin is really sore, use your fingers to rinse your cleanser –  no buff puff, no loofa, no washcloth and no scrubby bits.
7. Avoid pore blocking ingredients such as cocoa butter
8. If you wear makeup, avoid oil based foundation – ideally use a mineral sunscreen.
9. Use a light moisturiser in the day and apply it at least 15 minutes before you wear a mask. It will act as a barrier to prevent chafing.
10 Use lip balms or serums to keep your lips protected.
11. Apply your rich moisturiser/night cream in the evening and allow it to repair overnight.
12. Exfoliate once or twice a week with gentle natural jojoba or bamboo spheres.  This will allow your moisturiuser to be better absorbed.

Maskne Tips from Wendy

  • wear cotton or other natural fabrics that ‘breathe’
  • wash and dry your face covering thoroughly
  • skip makeup under the mask
  • use lightweight skincare products – ensure your skin is hydrated to protect against rubbing
  • wash your face with gentle cleanser
  • spot treatments for stubborn spots- some essential oil blends are effective
  • essential oils for acne and blackheads – tea tree, rosemary, lavender, palmarosa
  • witch hazel can be used to dab the spots
  • use rosehip  and tamanu to reduce scarring

K-pop masks

Unlike the West, face masks have been part of Asian culture, for blocking air pollution, protecting against spreading airborne viruses and in 2009, even became a fashion statement for cool Korean teenagers.

Korean teens were only considered cool and mysterious if they wore a ‘Sakun’ face mask.  The brand worn by their most popular  K-pop boys band.  Teens also used masks and long fringes to cover their pimples.


Hibiscus is an anti-aging superpower and termed the natural botox plant.

It’s a secret ingredient for making your hair shine and your skin glow!

Hibiscus Folklore and History

Hibiscus sabdariffa often called Roselle Indian Sorrel, Jamaican Sorrel, Rosella, Canamo de Guinea.

Hibiscus has a strong history with the feminine archetype and as a symbol of beauty. Mayan medicines and beauty treatments include hibiscus as a staple component for female issues. Greek Adonis was transformed into a Hibiscus flower and then fought over by the goddesses Aphrodite and Persephone.  In India  hibiscus are offered to goddesses.

Wear a hibiscus flower over your left ear in Hawaii if you’re in a significant relationship, or over the right ear if you’re looking for love.

Hibiscus has been used for respiratory disorders, heart health, nervous disorders and metabolic disorders as well as a natural fabric dye.

When in Egypt, you can order “karkade” – hibiscus tea! Scroll down for a recipe.


What’s inside hibiscus?

Hibiscus flowers contain, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals,  malic acid, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, anthocyanins, fatty acids and several types of pigments used for both topical and internal use.  The anthocyanosides are beneficial for skin and hair care.

hibiscus flowers growing on shrub

Hawaiian hibiscus

Hibiscus the natural botox plant

Botox paralyses wrinkle-causing muscles giving you a face devoid of expression. Hibiscus however, smoothes out wrinkles and improves skin tone, without making you look like a waxwork figure.

Hibiscus has been called the botox plant for three reasons:

  • elastin,
  • antioxidants,
  • and AHAs

Hibiscus has great anti-aging benefits because it maintains elastin in the skin by decreasing the activity of elastase, an enzyme that breaks down our skin’s natural elastin,”

Elastin works in tandem with collagen  to keep skin looking youthful. Where collagen plumps, elastin is responsible for the skin’s ability to “snap back” — so when elastin levels naturally decline with age, skin sags. Elastin is what keeps our skin looking firm, youthful and less wrinkled. Hibiscus blocks the enzyme responsible for breaking down connective tissue. So you’ll notice more elasticity to your skin and improvement of loose, sagging skin.

Hibiscus’ high content of antioxidant vitamin C is vital for collagen production. The anthocyanins, fight off free radicals,

Natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) gently exfoliate skin, brighten and reduce hyperpigmentation

Hibiscus extract rarely causes allergic reactions and suits all skin types so is better  than Botox which simply paralyses wrinkle-causing muscles.

We use hibiscus extract in our moisturiser Proposal in Paris


Hibiscus antioxidants and AHA

Hibiscus flowers are natural sources of both antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Both contribute to keeping your skin smooth, blemish-free and glowing.


Antioxidants provide protection against damage by free radicals. Free radicals are involved in skin sagging, wrinkling and hyperpigmentation (dark spots).

The anthocyanocides inside Hibiscus, protect your skin against UV and also calm inflammation (redness) containbs ,


AHAs can brighten the skin, smooth out roughness. and reduce spots by increasing cell turnover. This is termed ‘exfoliation’.

However, most alpha hydroxy acids are harsh factory synthetics that cause flaking, redness and pain from over aggressive exfoliation.

Compare the gentle action of hibiscus, that reduces age spots, smoothes and freshens your complexion without side effects.  There’s no downtime.

Proposal-Iin-Paris-hibiscus natural botoxon

Proposal In Paris face cream moisturiser with Hibiscus

For a naturally, glowy face, try Proposal in Paris face cream with natural hibiscus extract.


Anti-ageing hibiscus for skin – tighten lift and renew

  • high mucilage fights wrinkles by locking in moisture to keep skin hydrated and supple
  • natural skin tightening properties for lifting sagging or loose skin (source).
  • smoothes, softens, rejuvenates and moisturises
  • increases elasticity
  • protects collagen and elastin
  • wrinkle-busting myricetin suppresses collagenase and elastase (enzymes that destroy collagen and elastin).
  • AHA’s improves complexion by gently removing dead skin and lightening blemishes and discolouration
  • astringent saponins deep clean pores and oily skin without stripping natural oils
  • calming antioxidants soothe red or inflamed skin
  • It contains malic and citric acid, that gently exfoliate and brighten the skin
  • hibiscus extract may speed up wound healing by stimulating fibronectin, a protein that helps the edges of a wound close.

Health Benefits of Hibiscus

Hibiscus has been studied as an aid to liver health and weight loss.  A refreshing cup of Hibiscus tea can help to flush and cleanse the liver and kidneys. Hibiscus inhibits the formation of calcium oxalate , so prevents the formation of kidney stones.

It’s immune boosting and a traditional remedy for coughs, colds and flu.

The iron and vitamin C content make it useful as an iron tonic for those with anaemia.

Hibiscus tea’ anti inflammatory properties and nutrients are a delicious way to give yourself a boost.

Hibiscus for hair health

Hibiscus is packed with flavonoids, phenolic compounds, anthocyanins, fatty acids and other pigments that work wonders for hair care – from strengthening the roots to reducing fullness and split ends.

Hibiscus flowers are known for to improve hair growth, while the mucilage makes hair smooth and silky.

  • promotes hair growth by strengthening roots and hair
  • delays premature grey hair
  • reduce hair loss and prevents baldness (without harmful effects associated with drugs)
  • protects hair against split ends and dryness.
  • moisturises and soothes dry, flaky itchy scalps to helps reduce dandruff
  • softens hair and improves shine
  • mucilage acts as a natural detangler while adding softness
  • amino acids bond to the , adding strength and elasticity
  • softens and repairs skin on your scalp
  • balances pH of your scalp and hair.
  • AHA’s slough away dead skin cells and buildup from your scalp,
  • healthier hair follicles and ideal sebum production.

Look for it in shampoos, hair tonics and scalp rubs. Make your own hair rinse with the recipe below.

hibiscus tea recipe

Hibiscus tea

How to brew Hibiscus tea

The red hue is from the antioxidant anthocyanins!

Use 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried hibiscus flowers/calyces per cup of boiling water

Steep for 3 – 10 minutes depending on taste.

Add honey if required.

Tip: If you brew too much, use the cooled tea as a hair rinse or scalp rub.

Can be served as an iced drink or used in flavouring your Kombucha

Tip: If you brew too much, use the cooled tea as a hair rinse or scalp rub.

Hibiscus tea benefits

Use the dried flowers/ calyces to brew delicious, rosy coloured tea which is a diuretic, it also treats liver disorders, high blood pressure, increases blood flow and kills bacteria.

Hibiscus flowers contain significant amounts of vitamin C, anthocyanins, and polyphenols that protect against free radicals that contribute to premature aging (source).

Leaves contain mucilage which soothes sore throats or dry coughs.

See the sections above for all the benefits to hair and skin.  Well worth having some in your tea stash.

Fasting tea

Hibiscus is one of plants you can drink doing intermittent fasting  traditional fasting teas.

Fasting tease help to reduce hunger pangs, and hibiscus tea is asid to help more than others.



1 Singh, V et al. (2015). Study of colouring effect of herbal hair formulations on graying hair. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4471652/

2 Okoduwa, S et al. (2015). Comparative Analysis of the Properties of Acid-Base Indicator of Rose (Rosa setigera), Allamanda (Allamanda cathartica), and Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) Flowers. Available: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bri/2015/381721/.



Here’s a list of natural  ingredients for hair and skin with anti-ageing benefits. Use it when you’re researching new products.

It’s written for women who want to know more about what they are putting on their skin without having to become chemistry boffs. skincare geeks or haircare nerds.

To me, it’s easy now (or easier!)  but it wasn’t always, so here’s a little help. My definitions are gleaned from personal experience, not textbook rehash. Enjoy.

Ingredients to Rejuvenate

Moringa Oil

Leaves and seeds were used by Romans and Egyptians. Called the wonder tree, both leaves and seed pods were used for healthy skin and care. Moringa is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, vitamins A, C and E so perfect to support healthy collagen and radiance. Moringa oleifera leaves, rich in iron and Vitamin C, have been proposed as a vegan food source to combat iron deficiency. You can use the leaves to clean your scalp and hair, and to prevent dandruff and hair damage. MOring protects your skin against the environment. It can be used to soften skin or clear blackheads, pimples and blemishes. One of the anti-pollution ingredients s it protects skin against particulate matter, cigarette smoke and smog particles adhering to its surface!

Baobab Oil

African Baobab oil (Adansonia digitata) is called the Upside Down Tree.   It’s rich in antioxidants- vitamins A, D, E and F ,  Sitosterol, Campesterol and Stigmasterol.

β-Sitosterol anti-oxidant fights against skin-damaging free radicals.

Baobab softens and re-moisturises dry skin as well as improving elasticity and skin tone, so is ideal for dry, sensitive or mature skin.

Use it for rejuventaion and renewal of healthy skin during menopause.



Marula Oil

African Marula (Sclerocarya birrea) has been used for thousands of years by tribes in Southern Africa to protect their skin and hair against the harsh elements of sun, wind and drought.

Marula helps skin and hair that is dry, fragile or cracking.  The oil has a lovely silky touch and can improve skin hydration and smoothness so consider it for massage blends, facial and body oils, face creams and hair conditioning products.

And if you are visiting South Africa, try the Amarula cream liquer made from Marula fruits – it’s creamy and delicious. (And potent)

Cupuaçu Butter

Cupuaçu is a rainforest butter in the same family as cocoa. It’s called ‘vegan lanolin’ for its excellent moisturising properties.

It’s anti-inflammatory and suitable fro hair and skin care.




Called Mimimosa tenuiflora, tepezcohuite is am ancient  Mayan remedy for healing burns and wounds.  It completely regenerates the skin and can be used ina  serum or face cream.


Dragon’s Blood

Popular in Korean skincare, this dark red resin has traditional uses as a dye, natural incense and in traditional Chinese medicine.

Dracena draco comes from Socotra Island in Yemen. It’s part of the asparagas family and has a peculiar habit of oozing red sap when the tree is attacked by insects or pathogens.

This red sap is used as a dye, incense and as traditional medicine for wounds, fractures, piles, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, stomach and intestinal ulcers. It improves blood circulation and reduces pain. It’s popular in Korean skincare for its wound healing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

What’s inside?

Dragon’s blood contains  numerous flavonoids, chalcones, chalconepolymers, anthocyanidin,stilbenes, terpenes and sterol saponins which give it skin-beneficial properties, including antibacterial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, and cytotoxic activities.

The vibrant colour comes from trihydroxychalcone, dihydroxymethoxychalcone, dracoflavylium, 4,6-dihydroxy-2-methoxy-3-methyldihydrochalcone, dracooxepine, dracoflavan A, B1 and B2.


Argan Oil

Rich in fatty acids and Vitamin E, Wendy uses it in Heart of Eternity face cream for its replensihing, smoothing and spofteneing effects on skin that’s older, drier and sensitive. Really good for those with rosacea, hyper pigmentation or lacklustre skin.


Cacay Kahai Oil

Used in Empress Elixir, this is a natural retionol alternative without the side effects of industrial retinol. Precious and rare, it comes from the Amazonian rainforest. Trendy superfood for your skin.


Cactus -Prickly Pear

Opuntia ficus is an oil packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for brightening and hydrating skin. Vitamins K and E, help reduce the appearance of hyperpig­mentation and restore elasticity in the skin. Prickly pear contaisn phytosterols that keep skin feelign soft and suport collagen production. The anti-inflammatory polyphenols help fight free radicals.

It’s ideal for skin over 30 if you’re trying to slow down the onset of fine lines.

Prickly pear cactus contains betalains (natural antioxidants)  that protect from the sun and free-radical exposure that breaks down collagen and causes wrinkles.


Organic Apricot kernel oil


Prunus armeniaca is Cold Pressed, for optimum skin nourishment.  High in oleic and linoleic acids, light, and readily absorbed into the skin.

Although similar to Sweet Almond, it’s better suited to sensitive, dry, inflamed and itchy skin so consider using it for your gua sha facials, anti ageing facials, facial marma massage, and  face oils.

(Aromatherapists, consider using apricot when you massage the facial area!)

  • C16:0 Palmitic: 4.8%
  • C16:1 Palmitoleic acid:  2%
  • C18.0 Stearic: 3%
  • C18:1 Oleic: 76%
  • C18:2 Linoleic: 33%


Strawberry seed oil

Strawberry seed oil – Fragaria ananassa is cold pressed from the tiny seeds. It’s beautifully fragrant and is extremely rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acid which makes it both fragile (to oxidisation), and  useful in all skin types.

It’s used for  moisturizing, regenerating, and regulating sebum so suits mature and acne skins.

  • Palmitic (C16:0) 4.58%
  • Stearic (C18:0) 1.61%
  • Oleic (C18:1) 15.75%
  • Linoleic (C18:2) 47.43%
  • Linolenic (C18:3) 29.53%


Blackberry Seed Oil

Blackberry seed oil (Rubus fruticosus) is rich in antioxidants, tocopherols, and tocotrienols, and immediately softens skin’s texture making it a must for skin plagued with dryness or inflammation.

Contains omega-3 and omega-6  to combat free radicals and soothe eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

It’s ideal for mature skin and menopause. Add it to a skin-replenishing formula or organic facial.

It also evens out blotches and pigmentation.

Supremely soothing on even the most sensitive skin, it promotes collagen production and helps to firm and tighten and to boost moisture content by restoring the skin’s barrier.

Can also be used in a  hair care blend for itchy scalp or when hair needs improved shine and lustre.


  • C16:0 (Palmitic)  3.78%
  • C18:0 (Stearic)  3.32%
  • C18:1 (Oleic)  21.06%
  • 2 (Linoleic) 59.81%
  • C18:3 Alpha- Linolenic acid 11.83%
  • C20:0 Arachidic acid 0.1%

Guava Seed oil

Psidium guajava has a fruity aroma like eating fresh peeled guavas.  Yum!  It’ used to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, stretch marks.

Guava seeds contain free radical fighting antioxidants, that help maintain skin elasticity. When massaged onto the scalp, guava oil improves hair strength, fights dandruff and enhances lustre.

What’s inside? Mostly Oleic acid, with significant linoleic and palmitic acids.

  • Palmitic (C16:0) 12.81%
  • Oleic (C18:1) 50.55%
  • Linoleic (C18:2) 27.29%

Papaya seed oil


Papaya seed oil (Carica papaya) is packed with topcopherol and carotenoid anti-oxidants as well as exfoliating enzyme Papain. It’s useful  when exfoliating dead skin cells and unclogging pores or when you want to brighten and even out skin tone.

It’s helps  improve skin elasticity, reduce wrinkles, moisturize and promote regeneration of skin cells. (Great in a gua sha balm to even out blemishes)

Papaya is ideal for making DIY hot hair oil treatment along with argan oil and sesame.


It mends split ends, adds shine and makes hair feel soft and silky again.


  • Myristic (C14:0) 0.20%
  • Palmitic (C16:0) 16.56%
  • Palmitoleic (C16:1) 0.27%
  • Margaric (C17:0) 0.13%
  • Stearic (C18:0) 4.73%
  • Oleic (C18:1) 74.30%
  • Linoleic (C18:2) 6.06%
  • Linolenic (C18:3) 0.22%
  • Arachidic (C20:0) 0.38%
  • Eicosenoic (C20:1) 0.32%
  • Behenic (C22:0) 0.23%

Tocopherols and Carotenoids:

  • a-tocopherol 51.85 mg.kg
  • ß-tocopherol 2.11 mg.kg
  • gamma-tocopherol 1.85 mg.kg
  • delta-tocopherol 18.89 mg.kg
  • Total carotenoids 7.05 mg.kg
  • ß-cryptoxanthin 4.29 mg.kg
  • ß-carotene 2.76 mg.kg

Sacha inchi oil

Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) comes from Peru and has a strong nutty scent. Termed the Inca Peanut, it contains a unique balance of Omega fatty acids 3, 6, 9 and rich in vitamins A & E that suit human skin.

It helps dry, cracked, scaling and  itchy skin so is ideal during menopause when our skin thins and dries out. It can be used on dry, brittle hair and as part of an anti-ageing routine.

  • C16:0 (Palmitic)  4.05%
  • C18:0 (Stearic)  2.81%
  • C18:1 (Oleic)  9.48%
  • 2 (Linoleic) 34.34%
  • 3 (Linolenic) 48.62%

Ximenia Oil


Ximenia americana is also called wild or sour plum, sea lemon or wild olive. It grows in Southern Africa where its seeds are cold pressed  for hair and skin care. The oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and an uber rare Xymenynic acid that improves blood flow and micro circulation.  Ximenia improves moisture levels in hair and skin. It nourishes the most delicate skin and hair, be it dry, dehydrated, chapped or frail.

Any aroma? Yes, mild and fruity.

What’s inside Ximenia?  Mostly Oleic acid (whopping 60%), hence the name Wild Olive. Also 10%  Xymenynic Acid , Nervonic acid, Hexacosanoic acid  and Octacosanoic acid.


  • C14:0 Myristic Acid <1%
  • C16:0 Palmitic Acid  1-3.5%
  • C18:0 Stearic Acid  4-15.5%
  • C18:1 (w9)  Oleic Acid (omega 9) 55-82%
  • C18:1 Xymenynic Acid  5-15%
  • C18:2 (w6) Linoleic Acid (omega 6) 1-10%
  • C18:3 (w3) Linolenic acid (omega 3) 8-10%
  • C20:0 Arachidic Acid 1%
  • C22:0 Docosapentaenoic Acid 5-7%
  • C22:1 (w9) Erucic Acid 3-4%
  • C24:0 Lignoceric Acid 1.5-3%
  • C24:1 Nervonic Acid 7-12%
  • C26:1 Hexacosenoic Acid 6.5-9.5%
  • 0 Cerotic Acid 1.5-3%
  • 1 Octocosenoic Acid 8-12%



Kalahari melon seed oil

Kalahari melon  (Citrullus lanatus) grows in Namibia’s arid Kalahari Desert. It’s a delicay sought out by elephants and is rich in antioxidants and Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids.

Becasue it’s non-greasy and  able to dissolve excess sebum, its perfect for  acne and blemish prone skin types. It helps mature skin too in the fight against dryness and wrinkles, by keeping skin soft and supple. You can use Kalahari Melon as a safe natural baby oil replacement.

It’s also great for therapist offering  Indian Head Massage as it’s non greasy and combats itchy scalp and dandruff.


  • Free Fatty Acids (as Oleic): < 5.0
  • C16:0 Palmitic: 8.0-13.0
  • C16:1 Palmitoleic: < 1.0
  • C18.0 Stearic: 1.5-5.5
  • C18:1 Oleic: 21.0-29.0
  • C18:2 Linoleic: 55.0–65.0
  • C18.3 Alpha Linolenic: < 2.0

Hyaluronic Acid

It’s a a natural compound that helps our skin hold onto moisture to provide plump cushioning. It is also involved in recovery of wounds or injuries to the skin.  With age, our supplies of  hyaluronic acid dwindle, leading to fine lines and slower repair time.   Hyaluronic acid helps with collagen and elastin production. When used in a  face cream like Heart of Eternity, it helps your skin breathe.

Rose hydrosol – rosewater

Rosewater  is produced by steam distillation. There are varying grades/qualities and plenty of fakes. Often rose flavour (a synthetic, from a  factory) is added to water.  Sometimes essential oils are dispersed into spring water – these can be termed ‘Essential Waters’ .

The most expensive grades are hydrosols which are produced as the main product of distillation.

Most commercial rosewaters are the dregs or leftovers from the extraction of rose essential oil. Glow Skincare uses only single estate rose hydrosol in Heart of Eternity, It’s ridicously expensive but I insist on the very best. If you want cheap, go elsewhere.

Geranium bourbon essential oil

The best Geranium bourbon (Pelargonium graveolens) grows on La Réunion Island. Other varieties come from Cape Town and  Egypt.

Geranium is used as a middle note in natural perfumery and in clinical aromatherapy for women’s hormonal  issues such as PMT, menopause, cellulite,  and haemorrhoids during pregnancy.

It’s anti-inflammatory properties make it useful in skincare, body oils, and massage blends where it works on our emotions, restoring harmony to the Fire Element in cases of depression, stress, or insomnia. (which explains its benefits during menopause!).

Use it in the morning to perk up your mood

The anti-bacterial and  antiviral properties make it useful for skin conditions such as ringworm and shingles. It’s one of the most pleasant insect repellents too.


Rosemary verbenone

Rosmarinus officinalis ct verbenone is steam distilled from flowers and elaves. It has as fresh herbaceous   scent.  It’s lovely for skin and hair care.

Another speciality skin care oil for cell regeneration, wrinkles, scars,  dermatitis, eczema, and acne.   It’s said to promote healthy scalp, hair and combat dandruff.

Yarrow Essential Oil

Yarrow essential oil (Achillea millefolium) is steam distilled and turns  a deep blue hue in the process.

It’s a prized anti-inflammatory so used where there is skin damage and dryness. It rebalances  oily skin and calms down red or itchy skin. One of the cicatrisant oils for skin repair. Contraindicated for babies, pregnancy and epilepsy.

Other healing blue oils include Blue Tansy and German Chamomile. All are expensive!


Immortelle  Helichrysum

Helichrysum is a large family of plants with the best skin specific variety/type being helichrysum italicum, the best is grown in Corsica.

Other varieties (not mentioned in most articles) are used in traditional folk medicine for respiratory infections such as asthma,, colds and flu, muscles aches etc.

Delicate yellow flowers and velvety grey leaves  from Helichrysum Italicum  make for a transformative essential oil and hydrosol.

The key chemical compounds inside the oil are

  • Camphene
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Neryl Acetate
  • Nerol
  • Eugenol
  • Terpinen- 4- ol
  • B- diketones
  • Myrcene
  • Italidone
  • Geraniol
  • B-pinene

Italidione has been shown to produce the most beneficial skin boosting effects.

Costly, and powerful, the essential oil has scent that some find too herby, however I find it’s skin benefits outweigh this factor.

When used in an anti ageing blend, eg for wrinkles, scar tissue, helichrysum can overpower the blend as easily as if you’d added peppermint. Go slow!

I love helichrysum italicum and distil healing helichrysum hydrosol from plants in my garden. They like sun and drained feet. Work well alongside other Mediterranean plants like lavender, thyme, rosemary and Olive trees.

The hydrosol can be used as an emergency spray for bruises, gum issues, swelling, insect bites as well as part of a graceful ageing routine.

Blue Tansy Essential Oil

An oil of transformation – both in the still and on your face. Awesome in face care

Blue Tansy’s deep blue color comes chamazulene, that was created from matracin during steam distillation.

Real Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annum) comes from Morocco, where flowers and leaves are steam distilled.

Apart from chamazulene, there’s also a high content of sabinine, camphor, beta-myrcene, and beta-pinene.

Palo Santo Essential Oil

Palo Santo (bursera graveolens) is named Holy Wood and used by Shamans in South American rainforests to clear away negative emotions.  It’s part of the same family as Frankincese and Myrhh which should clue you in on it’s skin-healing properties.  Palo Santo has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so could be included in anti ageing skincare. 

I’ve used Palo Santo in aromatherapy massage for clients who are so stressed out, they find it hard to switch off and relax.  An expensive and rare oil for your collection of oils, but well worth experiencing it at least once!  I’ve just bought a hydrosol – to use on my face and neck during these hot and humid days of late summer.

Hibiscus Extract

This is one of nature’s plant-based Botox plants – read about it in depth here.  I use it in Proposal in Paris night cream.

Aloe vera

Called the plant of immortality by the ancient Egyptians. Alexander the Great used aloe to heal his soldiers wounds. It’s used in Indian ayurvedic medicine for its unusual combination of 4 flavours: sweet, sour, bitter and astringent.  (There are only three plants known to have all four flavours –  aloe, rose petals and guggal).

Today we still use aloe gel or liquid for razor burns, cuts etc.  If aloe grows in your climate, you can slice off a leaf and apply the inner gel directly to your skin.

Aloe is magnificent for dry or sensitive skin.  It pairs well with rose water and hyaluronic acid.

Industry Trends 2020

Maskne Maskene

Increased acne breakouts caused by wearing a face mask. Spots and whiteheads occur where the face covering touches the face.
The result of mechanical friction against the skin (Acne Machanica) as well as increased humidity inside the mask.


Get tips on reducing those breakouts, spots and whiteheads…

Red light therapy

Red light therapy is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, from wrinkles to psoriasis to scars. Since lockdown  Red Light therapy is part of the “At-Home Spa Day”trend.

The therapy has been around since the early 90s. Despite decades of research, the clinical benefits of red light therapy remain up in the air.
Either way, demand for the therapy has surged recently thanks to a slew of at-home RLT devices hitting the market, like Joov and RedRush.

Circadian rythms

Your body and skin have a natural cycle. During the day, defence against environmental issues, while doing the heavy-duty repair at night. This is why it’s essential to get a good night’s beauty sleep.

Forest Bathing

A  Japanese therapeutic practice of Shinrin-yoku  to heal inner and outer body. Can be mimicked with blends of Japanese essential oils in a diffuser or inhaler . Use Yuzu, Fir, Spruce and Hinoki.

Touchless skincare

A clean beauty trend during the pandemic of a multi functional product that can be applied without your finger making contact with your skin.

An example being a solid balm formula in a giant-sized lipbalm tube dispenser so that you can apply it without using your fingertips to touch your skin.


Everything from solar exposure, air pollution, lack of sleep, hormones, malnutrition and psychological factors can over the course of a lifetime impact your skin condition.


The Indian practice of applying henna tattoos.

Pique tea

A type of tea that is designed to improve gut health and aid with fasting.

DNA Nudge

App and wristband for helping users buy food that meets their nutritional needs, based on their DNA makeup.


Removal of puffiness and dark circles from under the eyes, either through specialist products or natural remedies.


Facial fitness product designed to improve jaw strenth and definition. It is placed in the mouth and offers variable resistance levels.


Skin care and makeup practices, products and techniques that originally gained popularity in South Korea.


Fragrance – free products

These do not contain sythetic aka artifically produced fragrance oils, nor parfum, nor essential oils.  They will still ‘smell’ of whatever components were used in the formula.  No such thing as a scent-free product. I wrote a short article/rant about this here

Korean skincare for whitening

There most popular anti-aging and whitening ingredients are licorice, niacinamide, beta-glucan, snail mucus, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea, pomegranate, and soy



Aromatherapy is the art and science of using essential oils to relax the mind, heal the body and restore the senses. In France, essential oils are prescribed by medical doctors. In the UK, Canada and US we associate aromatherapy with massage, candles and beauty products.  I hold an Aromatherapy Diploma  (2003 – London). Read my story here.


are products made without water or watery components.  They’re made from waxes, butters and plant oils. They can be soft, to use on the face or delicate skin, or stiff for a tube eg to use on the lips. Balms are often mis-advertised as ‘face creams’

CO2 extracts

CO2 extracts are plant extracts created with low pressure, low heat and CO2 gas. They’re expensive but extract more of the plant’s active goodness.


a certification body for natural and organic cosmetics.  (I prefer to buy Ecocert ingredients or harvest from my garden)

Essential oils

Essential Oils are fragrant /pungent oils extracted using steam distillation.  Huge quantities of herb are used to extract a few drops. They are always diluted except for lavender used by the drops for emergencies. The French use essential oils medicinally and they’re part of the tools used by qualified medical doctors. In the USA and UK aromatherapy is used mainly for body massage and providing a pleasant scent to household and beauty products.

Hydrolat Hydrosol

Hydrolat is the fragrant water from distillation. They may be termed floral waters or hydrosols. Most hydrolats are the waste water from distillation and often discarded due to the cost to transport and the short shelf life.

The best quality hydrosol is produced for its own sake, at lower temperatures with a higher concentration of actives.

Hydrosols are mild enough to use undiluted on skin and for children. They have a short lifespan and are often preserved with citric acid or potassium sorbate to extend shelf life. Distillation in copper adds a natural protection against moulds and can affect the chemistry bringing out new hues eg the blue within yarrow hydrosol.

Would you like to make your own hydrosol? I wrote you a brand new article on just how to do that. (My pleasure!)

Fake Hydrolat Hydrosol

There are fakes aplenty where fragrances or essential oils are solubolised/dispersed into tap water.

If you shake a fake hydrosol, made with a dispersing agent, to make the fragrance/oils belnd in with the water, you’ll see a foamy/bubbly layer.

‘Oil free’ moisturiser etc

is a concept targeted for teens or those with oily skin. It sounds a great idea except even teens need oils to rebalance their skin. It was created to maximise on the fat/oil fear so many women have. Our skin needs ‘good fats or oils’. Think omega threes… I too experimented with ‘oil free’ when my skin was oily, so I’ve been there and done the stupid things!


A moisturiser is a product made with oil and water designed to reduce water loss and improve skin hydration. It will have some system of preservation to keep it safe to use. There are natural methods to keep a moisturiser safe to use and these include controlling the pH, water activity, exposure to air and light, single use sachets and modern extracts that have skin beneficial properties as well as preservative-like actions. In the ‘olden days’ face creams were held together with beeswax or boraz – and their texture and skin feel were often cloying, heavy and um… well, cloying and heavy.



food or ingredients produced by natural farming methods. No chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals. The way food was made thousands of years ago- fertlized by naturally rottign animal pewp, pollinated by healthy bees, growing in an area without irrigation…when air and water were clean and soil wasn’t being eroded into the sea.


Serum types

Serum can be water, oil or water and oil based. A serum  is more concentrated than a moisturiser which means that you use it in smaller doses, typically by the drop. Whether it is used before or after your moisturiser depends on the type of serum, your skin type, how many products you are using.



Sebum is our body’s natural moisturiser and consists of a mix of squalane, cholesterol and fatty acids. Sadly sebum has a bad name from our years as pimply tenagers when it was blamed as The Cause of our issues. Sebum actually protects our skin from attack. It provides a home for our skin’s micro flora, the biome, without which our skin is open to invasion by pathogens. A skin stripped of sebum or oil is vulnerable and your body will compensate by making more! What you eat affects the sebum produced so be cautious about fried foods and fake fats. If you have food allergies you need to cut those items out of your life.

Gua Sha

This is an Eastern technique that stimulates blood flow and drains puffiness. It releases muscle tension and activate the lymphatic system so gives your face a healthy glow from all the extra oxygen and nutrients that become available to it.
A massage technique from the East using jade or rose quartz crystal tools. Gua Sha reduces facial tension (headaches, jaw pain),  brightens skin (through improved blood circulation) and improves lymphatic drainage (which gives your skin a chance to eliminate toxins and excess water).

Gua sha is done these days with a rose quartz or jade scraping tool that’s shaped to suit the  contours of your face.  been  ben shaped to suit the contours of your face.  It is said to break up  fascia that cause energy blockages in the smooth flow of Qi.

Use a specific gua sha balm that’s got blue tansy, to maximise the relaxation response.

Ask Wendy Gardner

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Oh yes, a quick word from our sponsors…

When you’re ready to treat your skin and delight your senses, order your Try-Me Experience

Prices reflect quality of ingredients, individual care and artisanal methods. I don’t buy in rubbish ingredients. No fillers no shortcuts. Your skin is worth more than that!


Got time for another article? I recommend this one:

My Natural First Aid Kit

Mistakes Women make with their beauty routine


I love rosehip seed oil.

Why? Its jam packed with skin loving nutrients that benefit sensitive, dry or lacklustre skin.

You can use it in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and menopause onwards

I’m going to answer the many questions on rosehip:


Where does rosehip come from?

Rosehips are the fruit from the wild rose called Rosa canina. This rose grows mostly in Europe and parts of Africa and Asia.

Another variety, Rosa rubigosa, comes from the Andes. It is called Mosqueta by Aubrey Hampton, one of the original pioneers who makes the most gorgeous shampoo and condiitoner.


Rosehip vs Rosehip Seed oil

Rosehip oil is extracted by cold pressing.

If the entire fruit is pressed, you get the oil from BOTH fruit and seeds, while Rosehip Seed Oil is harvested only from the seeds of the rose hip.

Both types are cold-pressed to preserve nutrients.


Rose vs Rosehip

Many people confuse rose (essential) oil with rosehip seed oil. Rose essential oil is steam extracted from flowers through distillation. The resulting liquid is clear and smells of rose.

Rosehip seed carrier oil is cold pressed from the seeds and fruit. It smells nutty. Not rosy at all.

Now it’s interesting that rosehip and rose are in the same plant family along with

  • Plum kernel oil
  • Peach kernel oil
  • Almond oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Rose hip seed oil
  • Raspberry seed oil
  • Blackberry seed oil
  • Quince seed oil
  • Apple seed oil
  • Cherry kernel oil
  • Strawberry seed oil
  • Cloud berry seed oil

Rosehip oil vs Argan oil

Which one is best? Both are great for healthy skin and hair – argan can be used 100% but rosehip needs to be blended due to the orange colour and the nutty smell.

Using undiluted/unblended rosehip liberally on your face can result in stained pillowcases.


Pomegranate seed oil vs Rosehip oil for wrinkles

Both rosehip and pomegranate are excllent for addressing wrinkles, fine lines.

Both are stinky!  Both are best in dilution. I find pomegranate thick and gloopy like syrup – it has to be heavily diluted/blended otherwise it’s like tryign to smear sticky molasses over your skin which will stretch it.

Rosehip on the other hand is non greasy and absorbs really fast.

You can add both to a delightful recipe for your skin, neck, hands… try 5% pomegranate with 10-15% rosehip and the rest of your recipe your favourite oil or ol blend. And keep notes on what you mix so that you can tweak as needed. Good luck!

Why is rosehip seed oil so good for skin?

It’s jam packed with skin loving nutrients…inside Andean Rosehip Oil you’re getting the motherload of skin joy

  • 16.4% C18:1 oleic fatty acid (Omega 9)
  • 39.8% C18:2 linoleic fatty acid (Omega 6)
  • 30.3% C18:3 linolenic fatty acid (Omega 3)
  • 0.5% phytosterols
  • 0.1% tocopherols
  • 0.335 ppm tretinoin or all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)

The rich content of antioxidant carotenoid pro-vitamin A makes it your superhero must-have.

Rosehip as a Retinol alternative

Rosehip’s gorgeous orange colour comes from the natural antioxidant carotenoid pro-vitamin A,  tocopherols (vitamin E) and 2 essential fatty acids ( Linoleic and alpha-Linolenic acid)

It’s a safe alternative to retinol along with Cacay and  Babchi

The term “retinoids” refers to vitamin A and the various compounds derived from vitamin A.

Common side effects after applying retonoids to the skin is “retinoid dermatitis.” Adjust the dose and frequency of retinoid application.

Retinoids have been used to treat acne and photoaging and can redcue fien wrinkles, increase smoothness, diminish hyperpigmentation.

Table 1. Commonly Used Names and Abbreviations for Vitamin A and its Derivative
RetinoidAlso Known AsAbbreviation
Vitamin ARetinolROL
TretinoinAll-trans-retinoic acidat-RA
Isotretinoin13-cis-retinoic acid13-cis-RA
Alitretinoin9-cis-retinoic acid9-cis-RA

Rosehip oil for sunburn

Can rosehip seed help for sunburnt skin?  Yes you can apply rosehip oil along with lavender and helichrysum essential oil to sunburn to soothe and cool your inflamed skin.

But before you reach for rosehip you need to bring down the heat.  So get into the shade and apply cooling aloe vera gel or if that’s not available, put ice cubes in a  hanky or sock, and hold against the read area for 10 minutes. Then remove the ice for a further 10 minutes and repeat.

Later have a lukewarm bath to which you’ve added a cup of milk, oatmeal, vinegar or strong black tea. And then after the bath apply your rosehip oil.

You can also dab the burn with cooled teabags. (Regular tea, green tea or chamomile)

Be sure to drink a lot of water. Peppermint or chamomile tea are helpful too.  Read my article on the benefits of  sunshine.

Does Rosehip Oil provide any sun protection benefits?

Rosehip Oil is not a sunscreen.   What it does do though,  is strengthen the skin barrier and help repair damage caused by free radicals. Use your sunscreen, mineral is best, when you are outdoors in the summer.

Rosehip for scars, stretch marks and pigmentation

Studies have found Rosehip Seed Oil is very effective in reducing hyper-pigmentation of scars and stretch marks, regenerating damaged tissue, epithelising wounds, and reducing the appearance of age spots, as well as repairing damage caused by acne and sun exposure. It improves skin texture and decreases skin discoloration, promoting a more uniform skin colour.

To increase the effects, you can add essential oils with skin rejuvenation properties like helichrysum and carrot seed.

Wound healing

Vitamin A deficiency is associated with impaired immune function and and delayed wound healing.

Studies have been done on cod liver oil taken internally on rats.  Rosehip contains both the omega fatty acids and Vitamin A needed to reapir damaged skin.


What does rosehip seed oil do for skin?

Rosehip Seed Oil is beloved for its intense skin healing effects becasue it’s

  • High in unsaturated fatty acids
  • High in anti-oxidants
  • High in beta-carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A
  • Promotes epithelization of wounds
  • Reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Its known for being anti-inflammatory
  • Rich in Omegas to help regenerate skin without irritation, and restores balance and confidence to unpredictable skin
  • Suitable for all skin types, including Eczema-prone skin


How much vitamin c is in rosehip seed oil?

Hmm this is interesting. Vitamin C is a water soluble ingredient. To get this you need to use the fruits where the vitamin C is based. There is no vitamin C in the seeds, What about vitamin C

There is vitamin C in the fruits, this is why many people forage to craft their own remedies with wild crafted rosehips.

The fruity hips are used in cold and flu products for their immune enhancing effects. These can be collected from wild grown hedgerow roses as long as they are not sprayed with pesticides or near traffic.


Rosehip oil facial serum

Rosehip is often part of a serum for it’s skin repairing properties. Whetehyr it’s acne scars for those with long standing or recent acne scarring, or wher skin has thnned and forming fien lines.  Rosehip is best blended to increase sysnergy. Pick an oil that suits your skin condtion.  You can add essential oils to this blend.  The very best essential oils for antiageing are helichrysum, frankincense, rose and neroli – yes the pricey ones!  There’s rosehip in Empress Elixir


Rosehip oil before and after

I ran an experiment on myself unintentionally. I scratched my maskne spot til it bled – naughty.

I made a special  plaster big enough to cover the injury with a  piece of silk soaked in hydrolat.

I applied rosehip and hyaluronic acid. – you can see the recovery it made.

Within the month, no scar at all!


Rosehip oil  for hair

Rosehip oil benefits your hair by feeding your scalp with omega fatty acids and pro-vitamin A.

You can massage rosehip oil into your scalp to help hair grow.

While you can use it neat/undiluted, it is expensive so I suggest you blend it with more affordable oils that also suit healthy hair.

Healthy Head Massage Recipe suggestion:

In a small bowl or  bottle, blend together  15ml jojoba or sesame with 15ml argan oil.

Add ten drops of rosemary essential oil.

Rosemary is the key hair health essential oil as it improve circulation, shine and hair growth, so if you are shedding hair during menopause this could be part of your new healthy hair ritual while watching Netflix.

Massage this blend into your hair at night. Place an old towel on your pillow to prevent staining (from the rosehip).

And then you can shampoo in the morning. If possible leave the massage blend on for longer.


FAQ – eyes, face

Can you use rosehip oil under eyes?

Yes although you would probably want to add it to some argan or jojba as rosehip isa biut smally and also dark coloured. The smell disapears when you belnd it and you wont notice the colour if its blended.


Can rosehip oil be used for dark circles under eyes?

Dark circles are caused by congestion of blood capillary around your eyes and lifestyle. Frequently staying up late, restless sleep, emotional upheaval,  fatigued eyes from smartphones and blue light, and aging all slow down circulation around your eye.  This lack of oxygen and increase of carbon dioxide and metabolic waste give your eyes a dark hue.

Essential oils should not be applied and rosehip can be used in dilution in a formula specially designed for the sensitive eye area.

Some people do develop painful millia around the eye area when using rosehip seed oil.

While you can cover up dark circles with makeup, it’s best to look at you lifestyle and make improvements there first

How to use rosehip seed oil to tighten facial skin

massage a few drops into your face, look for serums that contain it,

How to use rosehip seed oil on face

well you can use it in a DIY face mask mixed into some bentonite clay and rosewater, you can massage a few drops into your face before bedtime, you can add it to your face cream, and you can add a few drops into your aromatherapy massage oil, many ways to use it. If you have scar tissue, you can massage rosehip oil directly over the scar as soon as it has healed. The more often you massage, the quicker you will get results.

What does rosehip seed oil do for aging skin?

it feeds it nourishing omegas and vitamins – older skin is dry and needs the extra TLC from rosehip. Scroll up to see the natural chemical constituents of rosehip.

Is rosehip seed oil good for dark circles?

possibly. Dark circles mean a lot of things including insufficient sleep, stress, emotions, possibly too much caffeine or salt, indigestion causing poor sleep quality. Even food or environmental allergies like mould. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the area under the eye refers to the Kidneys. If you have serious dark circles  please consult a natural health practitioner. I terms of natural extracts, green tea and camellia are useful fro the eye area, as long as you sort out all the other factors. There is no single magic bullet I’m afraid.

Why is rosehip oil so good for menopause?

Rosehip feeds menopausal skin with omega fatty acids (linoleic acid – 51%, linolenic acid – 19% and oleic acid – 20%),

The high concentrations of Omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9, and  antioxidant carotenoids, phenolics, terpenoids, galactolipids and fruit acids works wonders:

  • help repair and protect the skin against environmental stresses and visible damage.
  • moisturizes and soothe dry or damaged skin and
  • promotes the healing of the skin and works to delay the appearance of wrinkles.
  • reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • increases skin’s elasticity or firmness
  • anti-inflammatory action on skin without side effects

Rosehip’s skin-regenerative properties make it ideal for face creams and serums


Rosehip seed oil and cancer

A study in 2015 used  rosehip extract and found that it significantly reduced the growth and migration of cells from a type of breast cancer known as triple negative. This particularly aggressive form of cancer does not respond to most available treatments and tends to affect young women as well as those who are African-American or Hispanic.

FAQ- storage, shelf life

How long can rosehip seed oil last in refrigerator –

it depends on how old the oil was when you bought it. Follow the use by date on the bottle. Storing it cool and dark will lengthen it’s shelf life but always use up your rosehip up quickly and buy small and often.

How long does rosehip oil last? How to store rosehip seed oil

it has a short shelf life due to the unsaturated fatty acids so needs to be stored cool and dark and used up quickly.

How to tell if rosehip seed oil is rancid

hmm well you need to smell it when it is fresh, and be sure it came from a reliable supplier with a use by date on the jar. Then you will be able to use your nose to smell.  This is something you will learn from experience.

FAQ- smell

How to make rosehip seed oil smell better

– yes the nutty scent is over powering. You reduce the scent by mixing or blending it with a non smelly oil – almond, apricot, argan for instance. That neutralises the nutty scent. And then if you like you can add some essential oils. If you were making a hair care product you’d use rosemary or ylang ylang to stimulate hair growth. If you were making a face cream you would  choose essential oils to match your skin type or condition. And if you were adding rosehip to an aromatherapy massage blend, you would be adding oils that suited your client.

How to make rosehip seed oil smell good?

you can blend it with other vegetable/carrier oils as well as add essential oil. With essential oil, you can add a maximum of 6-8 drops per 30 ml of carrier oil. (By carrier, I mean oils like almond, apricot, argan, avocado etc).

what colour is rosehip oil

FAQ- colour, dilution

I get asked about these often.

What dilution rate should i use for rosehip seed oil?

are you making a massage blend or a serum? Rosehip is dark coloured and smells nutty so you would use less than 10% of the recipe if you wanted to be safe. Anything towards 30% of your recipe is going to be a bit nutty scented. Some people don’t mind 100% pure rosehip scent but most find it unpleasant.


What color is good rosehip seed oil?

it will be yellow to orange. It is not a clear oil, unless it has bene highly refined. (see photo above.)

This why you need to dilute/blend it with other less bright colours to prevent your pillowcases being stained.

And no, the stain is not as bad as from turmeric.

That colour is from antioxidant carotenoid pro-vitamin A – so celebrate  it!

How to make rosehip seed oil more effective?

Well you can blend it with other oils that work on scarring, dryness etc.

There are also essential oils you can add that work on specific conditions eg reducing scar tissue or bruising, like helichrysum essential oil which is very precious albeit a bit stinky.

Other popular essential oils that work really well to rejuvenate skin are rose and frankincense.

Unfortunately the best skin care essential oils are also the most highly prices.

Another way is to blend it with other vegetable/carrier /base oils like avocado, cranberry seed, raspberry, argan, blackcurrant, plum, cacay, macadamia, strawberry, logan berry, baobab, marula etc.

And you should add Vitamin E anti-oxidant to your blend!

What oils does rosehip seed oil mix with?

well hundreds!  You can mix the base oils that suit your skin type and climate etc and then add a little of the rosehip like the ribbon on the gift.

Rosehip is going to be a small component of your blend -why? Price, smell and colour.


Possible side effects

Some people have an allergic reaction to rosehip, so always patch test before using rosehip oil for the first time.

How to patch test:

Apply a small amount to the inside of your arm and see if you get any reactions.  Wait 24 hours. If none, you’re good to go


But if you get any itching, redness,scratchy throat, nausea or vomiting you will need to see your doctor.

And if you have a severe reaction (difficulty breathing, wheezing, swollen mouth,throat, or face, rapid heartbeat or stomach pain) seek emergency attention.





Did I answer your question?

If not, please get in touch via comments or the contact page and I’ll be pleased to help.


Some suggested links for your reading pleasure:


Rosa canina – Rose hip pharmacological ingredients and molecular mechanics counteracting osteoarthritis – A systematic review

Glossary of Natural Skincare(Opens in a new browser tab)


Which Facial Oil or Serum is Right for My Skin?

What does Louise Hay say about dry skin?