Our products are formulated to create nourishing, balancing, authentically holistic skin care. We do this by selecting botanical for nutritional content as well as its healing and balancing constituents. Then, we synergistically combine these plants in specific ratios to increase formula homeostasis and potency. Also taken into consideration are the natural preservative qualities of certain plants and nutrients. This helps us produce an effective formula which is also safe and wholesome, using the least amount of the safest preservative available. Often, what is not in a formula is as important as what is.


Glossary


Anti-oxidant: Inhibits the oxidation process by reducing the number of free radical oxygen molecules that damage our cells. Oxidation is the reason age takes its toll on our skin and is responsible for "sun spots," wrinkles, loss of tone,  premature aging and leaves it vulnerable to disease as well. A full range of anti-oxidants accompanied by all the nutrients which make them powerful and wholly effective is essential to a comprehensive skin care program which addresses the health and integrity of the skin, a program like ours. See collagen for more about oxidation.

Amino Acids: Components of protein and the virtual building blocks of our skin. There are 19 amino acids in dermal protein in varying percentages. Our products contain all 19 amino acids in bio-available form and correct ratios for optimal growth (regeneration).

Auyervedic Medicine: Auyervedic Medicine teaches us that health and wholeness result when we are in a balanced state, and  balance is achieved when there is harmony between the forces of life called prana (energy). These basic forces are referred to as dosas. The dosas are pitta (forces of heat and energy), kapha (forces of water and tides) and vata (forces of wind and movement). Imbalances (or excesses) of one dosa in relationship to the others can manifest in the skin as dis-ease: rashes, inflammation, oiliness, infection, congestion, pallor, dryness and premature aging. Auyervedic Medicine employs many practices for achieving balance such as correct diet, exercise, meditation and the use of herbs. It is correct diet (nutrition derived from whole plant concentrates) and the life-giving force of each plant ( its prana) that are carefully considered when creating our balancing, nourishing, truly holistic formulas. See Chinese Medicine.

Bio-available: The ability of a substance to be biologically absorbed into our skin and utilized by our cells. For instance, the molecules of important minerals are too large to be absorbed by our skin until they have been ionized or transformed by plants, making the molecules small enough to be bio-available to our cells. Also, the addition of liposomes in many of our formulas help make certain substances bio-available by carrying them deeply into the dermis for release. Enzymes make many fats and proteins bio-available by breaking down their molecules for thorough digestion by our cells. See enzymes.

Chinese Medicine: Similar to Auyervedic Medicine, Chinese Medicine is founded on the belief that health and vitality result when there is balance between the forces of life called chi (energy). These are said to be either the feminine force of yin (cold and cool) or the masculine force of yang (hot and warm). Equilibrium results when there is equality between the two. The chi of a plant can be detected by its taste and smell: sour, sweet, pungent, salty and tasteless or astringent. With regard to the skin, an over abundance of one chi in relation to the other can cause imbalances which ultimately lead to degeneration and/or disease. A formula, as a synergistic whole, should be neutral for normal skin and close to neutral with slightly cooling or warming tendencies for oily or dry, respectively. It is the combination of wholesome naturalness, complete nutrition and the balancing principles of the Chinese and Auyervedic Medicines which sets our cosmetics apart. See Auyervedic Medicine.

Cold Infusions: A method similar to hot infusions, using cold water, hydrosols and/or ionic minerals to seep herbs for one to several days before straining.

Collagen: A dermal protein, this fibrous material  makes up about 30% of total body protein and 70% of our connective tissue! In short, it's what hold us together. Healthy, youthful skin is comprised of mostly non-cross-linked, flexible collagen which we call soluble. Aging, wrinkled, damaged skin (caused by oxidation, see anti-oxidants) contains mainly cross-linked, inflexible, insoluble collagen. Healthy, soluble collagen resists wrinkles, is responsible for good elasticity and the skin's its ability to absorb and retain "plumping" moisture, much like a sponge. Our programs help halt destructive oxidation while feeding the skin bio-available botanical substances which it recognizes as collagen, and help increase native collagen production as well.

Complacency: The tendency of the skin or hair to tire of or neglect to respond to the efficaciousness of a cosmetic after sustained use because of the "sameness" of the formula. One of the beautiful things about relying entirely upon nature as our source is its subtle, ever-changing character which produce just enough variance in the composition of a plant (and therefore a botanical formulation) to keep the skin and hair "interested" and responsive. Some of the factors contributing to these subtle variations are weather, soil, time of harvest and geography. Man made ingredients, on the other hand, are consistently identical. In fact, it is this dependable predictability (and affordability) of such ingredients which make them preferred by most cosmetic manufacturers. Even the minutest changes in the chemical composition of a plant can cause a formula to become ever so slightly thinner (or thicker) from batch to batch. Also, this phenomenon sometimes causes the nuance of a fragrance to change just enough to be detected by sensitive noses. We, however, embrace these subtleties and live with occasional, miniscule changes in our natural products as part of nature's wisdom in keeping our cells excited and enticed, therefore preventing complacency. We hope you will as well. Note: As the skin or hair move closer to a healthful, balanced state, changes become less dramatic.This is different from complacency. And you can be confident in this: Just as a wholesome, balanced diet from a wide variety of whole foods will continue to make positive changes in your general health, so will it be with your skin.

Enzymes: Any of numerous complex proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions such as the breaking down of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into molecules small enough to be digested by our cells. See bio-available.  

Essential Oil: The highly concentrated, intensely fragrant “essence” of a plant rendered via the distillation process. A botanical’s essential oil is what remains when the water and roughage is removed. Sometimes it can take hundreds of pounds of leaves, roots, bark or flowers, depending on the plant, to yield one very precious ounce.

Hot Infusions: A method of extraction just like making tea:  Flowers, leaves and/or stems are seeped in hot water for 10-30 minutes before straining. Or, as with certain roots and barks, herbs are simmered for an appropriate period of time before straining. 

Hydrosol:  The flower water which remains when the essential oil and roughage of a plant are removed. Hydrosols are very valuable, lightly fragrant and lend many important skin-beneficial properties. They work in much the same way as homeopathic preparations.  We use herbal-infused hydrosols (and ionized mineral waters) in place of distilled or deionized water in our face care formulations to produce highly beneficial, active formulas without “dead space.”

Oil Infusions: Some herbs, such as beautiful, regenerative calendula, will only render their healing constituents in oil, and sometimes with very specific oils; calendula loves soy oil. Commonly, this is done by heating the oil and herb mixture at fairly high heat for several minutes before straining. To protect the integrity of our cold- and expeller-pressed vegetable oils, we take our time. We bring the temperature of the mixture to just under 90 degrees twice daily for  3-5 days, depending on the formula, before straining.

Synergistic: The relationship of two or more actions or substances which, when combined in precise amounts, produce a sum more potent, effective or altogether different than the sum of the parts not in  specific relationships to each other.

Tincture: A tincture is created by extracting the valuable nutrients and healing constituents of a plant in natural, non-drying grain alcohol such as brandy, wine or vodka, very different from toxic, skin-drying wood and petroleum alcohols. Our tinctures are extremely concentrated. Typically, tinctures are a 1:5 ratio (1 part herb to 5 parts alcohol). Ours are a minimum of 10:1 (10 parts herb to one part alcohol). This is made possible by a love and labor intensive process in which the alcohol is infused with botanical as many as 5-7 times: The first time, 1 part dry herb is covered with 5 parts grain alcohol. After 2 weeks, the herbs are strained and pressed from the alcohol. To this strained herbal liquid (tincture), we will then add more herbs, repeating the process again and again, until one very concentrated ounce can represent as much as ½ pound of dried herbs!

 

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