The Magical Powers of Neroli

It can be very difficult to find vegan skin care products that are natural, organic and chemical-free. I usually resort to making my own homemade concoctions instead of spending a ridiculous amount of time and money researching, shopping and ultimately being disappointed in the experience. Until now, that is!

I ordered a few products including the Neroli Toning Mist from Annmarie Gianni’s skin care line and not only was blown away by how amazing they are, I also have found a new love – Neroli.

According to the handy information card that is included, Neroli balances natural oils, soothes skin and minimizes large pores. It also has an incredible aromatherapy benefit of enhancing your mood, calming your soul and can be used as an aphrodisiac. Wow!

So I did a bit of surfing to find out more . . . here are the highlights:

  • Neroli is made by distilling oil from the blossom of the Bitter Orange tree
  • Because it is steam distilled (due to the delicateness of the blossom) it takes 1 ton to make 1 quart of oil
  • It has been used to treat headaches, relieve insomnia and reduce nervousness and anxiety

The coolest thing I found out is that it was introduced to the world by Anne Marie Orsini, a 17th century princess from Nerola, Italy. Is it coincidence that another Annmarie, centuries later would bring it into my life and now yours? I think not!

So, now I have it sitting on my desk and every time I need a pick-me-up or my skin feels a little dry, I mist my face and neck, take a deep breath of the sweet, citrus aroma and smile.

If you want to find out how amazing this stuff really is, please visit Annmarie’s website.

Have you used Neroli in your life? Share your tips below!


Super Duper Soap Nuts!

I have been on a quest for the last few months to find a simple, natural, and effective laundry detergent that isn’t full of chemicals that either end up in my clothes or in the water supply.

To say that this journey has been an arduous one is an understatement. The sheer volume of products – even the ‘natural’ ones – is daunting.

So I opted to make my own detergent thinking a simple recipe could be found on the internet and voila! my clothes would be fresh, clean and chemical-free.

I was disappointed that after a few rounds of trials that didn’t go so well, I had to resort to using the most natural pre-made detergent at the store until my search would uncover the perfect formula.

I suppose I could have walked around in funky clothes, but that just isn’t nice to myself or others – especially in the hot weather!

I am ecstatic to report that yesterday while I was perusing Twitter a potentially amazing laundry detergent secret was revealed!

A video made by Hip Mountain Mama talked about using Soap Nuts:

Soap Nuts?! What the heck are those?

Turns out, soap nuts are a dried fruit that are organically grown in the Himalayas. The outer shell contains saponin, a natural surfactant (it forms soap-like, foam when combined with water) and has been used as a cleaner for centuries.

Even better, soaps nuts are:

  • Non-allergenic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Harvested in a sustainable way

Multiple studies show they are comparable, if not better than traditional detergents, with regard to their cleaning ability.

So, as soon as I can get my hands on some, I am going to give them a try!

Have you used soap nuts before? I would love to hear your tips and comments here, Facebook or on Twitter.

Is olive oil safe to use outside of the kitchen?

The other day my skin was desperately dry and I hadn’t made it to the store to replenish my supply of moisturizer. I knew I had to take some serious action, quickly. Otherwise, I might go completely insane from the tickling, itching and sharp pings of pain from my dehydrated skin.

So I put my thinking cap on and thought to myself, ‘Self. What do I have in the house that would be a great moisturizer?’ Being the clever cookie that I am, I immediately thought of olive oil. If olive oil is good to eat, it must be good to put on your skin. Right? Right. So I gave it a try.

I was amazed with the results. Not only did my skin stop screaming, the application of the oil was a nice reprieve from my day – almost like going to a spa. It felt so luxurious – all at the bargain basement price of ~$.10 for the amount I used. Total win-win for a frugal Francis like me.

Afterward I did a bit of digging on the internet to see if what I was doing was completely insane or ridiculously brilliant. Fortunately, my research ended on the brilliant end of the spectrum!

EVOO (as Rachael Ray would say):

  1. Contains squalene which helps to regulate sebum. Sebum forms a coating on the skin that acts as a barrier, inhibits the growth of micro-organisms and lubricates skin and hair.
  2. Is rich in antioxidants including vitamins A & E, polyphenols, phytosterols & avenasterol. They work to neutralize free radicals and repair cell membranes.
  3. Contains chlorophyll which is an anti-aging substance that promotes the healing of skin conditions and wounds.

Have you used olive oil as a moisturizer? I would love to hear your suggestions on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.