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Roses and our Skin ~ It's a Love Affair.
A Kiss from a Rose
"The rose is without an explanation; she blooms, because she blooms." ~ Angelus Silesius
Oh, the many benefits from the rose. We're fortunate that we can capture the true essence of the petal's oil. When used on the skin, the payback from an authentic and true rose oil is bountiful. The rose's unparalleled aroma can benefit our nervous system and help to calm and control our emotions. Every inhale sends a message to a region in the brain that helps to mange our emotions and nervous system.
This ancient botanical has proven itself to be not only one to withstand time in historical legends and stories, but its true source is proven to benefit many various skin conditions, and it can offer internal benefits.
We're diving into the petals of these romantic, sensual, and grounding flowers this month to see how and why they help with our skin's needs. Eczema, acne, wrinkles, dry skin, an uneven complexion because of scarring or dullness... all can be assisted with the right kind of beautiful oil from the rose.
On the flip side of the petal, high blood pressure, an elevated heart rate, stress, migraines, menstrual cramps, breathing, depression, brain fog, and even how our immune system and how it functions can be improved with a little help from their pure petals.
Tips for finding a high quality essential oil.
What makes an essential oil essential?
For me, I can look back and see that this has been a life journey. I have found that I can achieve physical and emotional balance in my life by surrounding myself with plant-derived oils that are authentic and pure. However, trusting and finding the right sources are imperative.
Just like there are various levels of the quality of foods, there can be different qualities of organic ingredients. For this example, yes, there are various characteristics and values of essential oils.
The term 'essential oil' has been coined because the oils that are steam distilled or cold pressed from the plant are the 'essence' of plant's aroma and overall makeup. They are potent powerhouses and need to be used with caution and care.
Organic means that there are no harmful chemicals in the growing or harvesting of a food or plant, but the quality at the start is what can make a difference. We select oils that are pesticide-free, wildcrafted, and certified organic. Oils are tested to ensure that the beneficial compounds have maintained the essential level to offer therapeutic effect.
We see variances in ingredients regularly when it comes to receiving a raw ingredient or an organic oil. The color, aroma, and sometimes even the texture of the element can change with the seasons, harvest, wind patterns, and the like. Synthetic ingredients don't change as they are chemically altered to always be the same. The changes that occur are a nuance of nature, and we celebrate and love this.
Rose is a very popular and expense oil; buyer beware. It is very often duplicated in a synthetic matter which makes it not therapeutic at all, only smelly. Many times a rose 'fragrance' is added to a product, which is not at all like using the real oils pressed from the rose. It takes approximately 10,000 roses to produce just 5 ml, or much less than a 1/4 of an ounce, of rose oil. A good oil comes from a botanical that is not grown with growth hormones, pesticides, or herbicides. The harvest is done at the peak time of the plant's performance. The proper temperature and pressure is given when pressing or extracting the oil to preserve the oil.
Many people like to add a little essential oil to a diffuser or a warm bath. Here are a few tips when it comes to selecting an oil for personal use...
- If going out in the sun, avoid any essential oils that are in the citrus family. Perfumes, lotions, serums, and the like with citrus in them are photosensitive and may damage the dermis and even cause hyperpigmentation. We use no citrus oil in any of our facial serums.
- Beware of a brand that offers a variety of essential oils at the same price. Prices should vary as methods of extraction and cold pressing vary. Unfortunately, rose happens to be an expensive oil to purchase. When we're formulating our serums with rose oil, we're often holding our breath until we're done... we count every drop, and because it is so potent and special, every drop literally counts!
- Give your oil a visual and a smell test, and while inhaling, you're getting a direct connection with the plant. However, smell your oil but not too closely. Hold the oil about 5-6 inches away from your nose and smell it carefully. Take a break in between oils to give your senses a break. To help clear the nasal passage, an inhale of coffee beans between aromas clears the senses nicely. We look at each oil to ensure that the viscosity, color and aroma are true.
- Essential oils need to be diluted before using on the skin. Even in bath, do not add them directly to the bath water. Dilute them in a carrier oil prior to use.
Here's a side note and usage tip for our products ~ Our serums and treatments contain a number of essential oils. We've carefully curated and blended them with various botanical oils. When storing our serums that contain droppers, always store in an upright position and empty the dropper so the soft rubber isn't affected by the formula and its actives.
Meet the Maker... Me!
I'm an ingredient reader... I have always been one. Whether it's on a loaf of gluten-free bread, or on a personal care item, I'm working those eye muscles on reading the small print. Cooking is another love of mine. There's nothing like hand selecting the ingredients, orchestrating it all together, and then enjoying every morsel while it not only gives your body the fuel, but it satisfies the soul.
It's comforting to know where our products come from, and even our food. The fresher the better! When we can get fresh and organic items from our farmer's market, or corner health food store, it matters.
How about the products we use every day that our skin eats? Many personal care products – cleansers, moisturizers, deodorants – are mass-produced, preserved with harmful preservatives, filled with synthetics, fragrances, and are placed on the shelves for our skin to eventually devour. They’re stale, artificially formulated, and are often not fresh and naturally performing. Our skin absorbs a portion of what we put on it. Products can also penetrate into deeper levels of the dermis, and potentially even the blood stream.
That being said… real food feeds the body, and likewise, real skincare feeds the skin. We can’t get the nourishment and vitamins our body needs from opening up a can of spaghetti!
Meet the Maker
We love what we do...
In our Qēt Botanicals Skin Studios, we hand select every local and global ingredient, buy nothing premixed, and formulate and make products daily with precise care and love for not only its formula, but for its effectiveness, sustainability, and enjoyment. We focus entirely on plant-based ingredients… oils that are organic, wildcrafted and cold pressed, as well as a selection of raw botanicals and phytonutrients. We keep into consideration percentages of actives, keeping things safe for pregnant and nursing moms and for those that want to eliminate harmful chemicals.
We small-batch-from-scratch every face, body, and hair treatment shortly before sharing and shipping it. Every drop matters.
Even if you're not talking about skincare but rather food items, or even household items, this focus can carry forward.
Here's a quote from Amy Kehoe that resonates with us. Amy is an interior designer and the cofounder of Nicky Kehoe. What she says about "an object" is very much how we feel about our brand and skincare.
It's What Matters Most
- Every brand and every product is unique to the person or people behind it or them.
- We keep to who we are, and do not compare ourselves to others.
- We do not make any money or receive a commission from passing on a referral or kind word about another brand or a product.
- We do not pay influencers to pose with our products for the sake of capturing more followers or likes.
- We stay true to our passions and our beliefs when it comes to how we care for our families and ourselves.
- Our health is never a compromise for beauty. Never.
And Speaking of Hand Made and Ingredients ~
We love to formulate and share our treatments with a limited number of ingredients. Making each ingredient count rather than burying it in numbers of other ingredients makes perfect sense to us. Our skin is often thankful as less ingredients often times means less of a reaction to an additive. Having few or no added ingredients in the whole foods that we eat every day matters as well. For the last 24 years we eat mostly plant-based with a little fish thrown in here and there, for the last 15 years I regularly have a green drink nearly every day, and we love food and we enjoy getting our nutrients from true food sources rather than mixes and additives.
Qēt Botanicals is cruelty free, vegan, and free of GMOs and gluten. I do not have any known food allergies, but I do know that gluten, dairy, and certain inflammatory foods can cause my skin and face to flare-up, and those Rosacea bumps or adult acne suddenly appears. Spot Serum to the rescue!
However, and I share this with caution, I've been tired of reading the long ingredient lists on the gluten-free bread that we get from our local health store. In the morning with my green drink and warm lemon water or tea, I like to have a piece of warm, toasted bread with almond or cashew butter, or toast with avocado and tomatoes with sprouts and lemon pepper, with a side of fruit.
So... after much debating and mental anguish, I decided to go back to making bread once in a while. It's easy, it makes the house smell fabulous, it does have gluten, but... it contains just three ingredients. I was making bread for years for our family and shied away when my skin was on the rampage. Now, once again, and once in a while, I'll throw the dough together, wait patiently for it, and enjoy a little here and there. So far so good... actually, so delicious!
Here is the recipe in case you'd like to try it. I've been experimenting with different flours, and purchasing a European flour online is another option. For your reference, here is the total list of ingredients in this soul satisfying bread:
3 c. all purpose, unbleached flour or bread flour .25 t. instant yeast 1.5 t. salt 1.5 c. water (warm or cold is fine)
This makes one loaf of bread.
To get a visual walk-through and the full details of the recipe, click here. It's from the A Stack of Dishes site and is based on Mark Bittman's famous NY Times no knead bread recipe. I've made it dozens of times, added various things to it like olives, rosemary, and seeds, and it always satisfies.
From my kitchen to your screen, here's a recent loaf of handmade bread that we enjoyed.
De-Clutter and De-Stress the Skincare Stash
It seems that at the beginning of each year, not only are the exercise and health goals in full swing, but this year there is much emphasis on decluttering. Decluttering the drawers, our lives, our minds.
When it comes to decluttering our space, there are three steps that rise to the occasion:
1. Fill your drawers, closets, or cupboards no more than 80% full. It's good to have that 'white space' around various items.
2. Edit, edit, edit. Shop in the closet or drawers first, keep only those things that spark joy. If it doesn't bring joy or serve a purpose, thank it and pass it on to someone else.
3. Categorize the items. Put like with like. It not only gives us a visual of the mound of things that we have that are alike (and are often comforting to purchase), but it shows us how much of that particular thing we have.
I've mentioned it before, and here it comes again... "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" is a quick, practical, and proven way to keep things organized and happy in and around us. Netflix is now showing a new series based on Marie Kondo's book, it's called "Tidying Up."
I bring this up because it's exactly what I did before this was popular. It was about 2010-2011 and I was getting ready to make that skincare stash purge. My Rosacea and thyroid were affecting my skin, and I wanted to see if ridding my drawers and shelves from everything that was not safe and clean would make a difference. What a life-changing event that was!
I categorized all of my personal care products and brought them together ... deodorant, face wash, moisturizer, acne cream, makeup, eye cream, lotions, and the like. One by one, I looked at each ingredients list, typed them all out, and took a deep breath. Then I pulled up the EWG.org Skin Deep website and took my highlighter and highlighted everything that was not good for me. Talk about an awakening. I thought I was already clean with my skincare... Origins, Aveda, Lush, Stila, Neutrogena, Tarte, Dr. Hauschka... and a handful more. This was an eye opening experience for me. Dozens and dozens of highlighted ingredients were dangerous, cancer causing, allergens, and proven to cause hormonal changes ~ even in my 'clean' products that I was using and loved. Aargh!
I am a self-proclaimed product lover and have used many, many brands over the years. I can now tell you that it is a HUGE RELIEF to me and my brain that I don't need to find a brand that works and that isn't going to hurt me or my hormones. Between our various skin suites (and I bounce between the various treatments and masks regularly) I can heal and reveal healthy, happy skin. Whew.
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." ~ William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.
In this month of love, love, love, we're seeing many hearts being sprinkled around to look at, send to a loved one, and brighten the day.
On a side note, it's also a gentle reminder to women to stop and take a moment to care for themselves. Around the world, the leading cause of death to women is heart disease. Personally for me, I was diagnosed at a young age of having mitro valve prolapse, very common among women, and cardio genic syncope. Because of these conditions, I listen and care for my body and seek the advice of a health practitioner or functional medical doctor when I need to.
Here's a quick reference from the Mayo Clinic on understanding heart disease and symptoms in women.
As with any condition, it's a label, not a liability. Things like this only make us smarter and more empowered as we learn more about our bodies and what they need from us.
Across the Pond
Sprinkling the Botanical Bliss during Paris Fashion Week
Many hands come together to create and express beauty and fashion. We're here to help keep those applying hands and pampered skin free of harmful synthetics and toxins, while offering natural beauty in the most authentic and organic way.
We were fortunate to have our skincare at the recent Paris Fashion Week. The need for clean skincare continues to rise, not only because models and those applying the products are demanding cleaner ingredients, but because as the number of allergies, auto immune, infertility, and sensitivities increase, we're demanding it.
Maybe we're not the fortunate ones in this situation... maybe it's the makeup artists and the models having clean products applied on them are the fortunate ones.
Special thanks to Parisian makeup artist Walter Denechere for reaching for Qēt to share. Dress: Givenchy. Photographer: Mike Ruizone. Model: Sofia Resing. Stylist: Kristine Kilty. Hair: Stephane Delayahe.
Botanical beauty is beautiful everywhere. Healthy skin is always in, no matter where in the world we are.
Your February Special
As we celebrate the rose, and all of the emotional and physical benefits it offers us, we should take a moment to enjoy the simplicity of this very common flower.
In February, save 10% on all 12 of our rose-curated treatments. Enjoy, indulge, and feel great knowing that each treatment is not only made with high-performing, quality ingredients, but we pour a little love into everything we make.
Use the code KISSFROMAROSE to enjoy this month's savings on the following treatments:
A Side Note: Those Gold Roses
"Are those gold roses in the image?"
This image was snapped in our California Skin Studio. In this photo, and in our Skin Studio, we have five gold-dipped roses.
To celebrate our anniversary, my husband gave me a gold-dipped rose every year on our anniversary for the first five years we were married.
This month, my husband and I are celebrating our 25 year wedding anniversary. Talk about golden... :) I'm still the luckiest gal around to have the family and husband that I have.
Coco Chanel may have said it best... "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself."
Like each rose, like each petal, we are all unique.
We have our own characteristics
We bloom when we're ready.
Thank you for being here. If you've come this far, if you've read this through, it's because you care ~ about you! We care, too, about you, and about self-care for all of us.
Thank you for being a part of Qēt.