PLANT ESSENTIAL OILSPLANT ESSENTIAL OILSPlant essential oils result from distillation – a process in which the aromatic parts of plants, like the leaves, roots, flowers, and so forth, are placed inside of a steam chamber to release the oils from the plant elements. Essential oils tend to be used for their healing, therapeutic, and medicinal properties. EXTRACTS EXTRACTSPlant extracts are often derived from infusion, through…

Shelf Preservation: An In-Depth Look at Product Shelf Life

Written by Rachael Pontillo, M.Msc, FDN-P, CIHC, LE
When shopping for skin care products, whether backbar or retail, most aestheticians and consumers make their choices based on performance ingredients. They look at the front of the bottle or the packaging to see what miracle or star ingredients the product boasts. Then, they read the product description in the brochure or on the website to see what else is inside and what its purported…

Herbal Remedies: A Breakdown of CBD Oil

Written by Rachelle Dupree, marketing, communications, and design for Vivoderm Natural Skincare
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It is derived from hemp, a variant of the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Marijuana plants typically contain both THC and CBD, and these compounds have different effects depending on how the plant is grown and processed. Recently, traditional medical practitioners, as well as holistic health experts, have begun recommending CBD oils and topical salve compounds to treat everything from anxiety,…
While the FDA does not regulate the use of the term “organic” on cosmetic or personal care products, the terms “100% Organic” and “Certified-Organic” are regulated by a number of different certification entities around the world, each with its own standards for certification. For example, in order for a product to qualify to feature a USDA organic seal on its package, at least 95 percent…
The number of undesirable side-effects produced by traditional approaches to skin care that involve harsh chemicals makes a turn to natural, plant-based skin care seem obvious. But, does nature really hold solutions for conditions like acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation? And if so, which plants are most effective? Too often, the thought process involved in achieving results from a skin care routine (both as aestheticians and…
The endogenous cannabinoid system is one of the most important physiologic systems involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are connected to other body systems, which allows communication and coordination between different cell types. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system has various functions…
Ingredient labels offer vital information about the skin care products used in treatments and recommended to clients. Beyond the label basics of product weight, directions, and skin types for which the product has been formulated, it goes without saying that the ingredients area is particularly important for its ability to point out active ingredients used in the formulation, potential allergens, and more. But despite a…
Over the last few decades, consumer attention has turned toward natural solutions for beauty – especially when it comes to skin. Who wants to get plastic surgery, or deal with the negative side effects of chemical treatments – not many. But, consumers do want to look and feel better, so they seek natural, nontoxic alternatives. Deciding to improve skin through nutrition and natural products is…
What is better for skin – natural ingredients or chemicals? It is a trick question. Take dihydrogen monoxide, for example. It sounds like an intimidating chemical, but it is just a scientific term for H20 - regular water. In fact, every substance is made of chemicals – even plants. That is because any chemical is made up of atoms and molecules, which can occur naturally…
Peptides have been around for many years, but they have gained more attention as scientists are discovering new possibilities of cellular heath in areas such as cancer, bacteria communication and DNA. Emil Fisher, noted as the father of peptide chemistry, was a German scientist and the 1902 recipient of the Nobel prize in chemistry. He influenced how people understand proteins by separating and identifying individual…
The importance of proper nutrition and keeping the body fueled with vitamins is inarguable. Still, the dangers presented by vitamin deficiencies, as well as best practices for supporting the skin (and overall health) with supplements is not universally understood by each client. Thus, it is critical for professionals to understand how vitamins and supplements work in the body and best practices for incorporating them into…
Morinda citrifolia, a small evergreen tree plant with Southeast Asian origins, commonly known as noni, is known for its medicinal and regenerative properties. Although research on the topic is limited, noni is believed to have many benefits for the body and skin. Just one tablespoon of noni juice contains one percent daily value (DV) of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc. Noni juice…
Fulvic acid is not yet widely known or used in the skin care industry, but it is one of the most effective and healing ingredients available. With a gentle pH of 3.2, fulvic acid can be taken internally. It can also serve as an acid peel, while healing and energizing the skin. A fulvic acid peel can simultaneously deliver mild exfoliation and reduce redness. Various…
The root of the curcuma longa plant, known as turmeric, is a staple in Eastern and Asian cuisines. Turmeric is part of the ginger family. Its appearance, similar to ginger, has the familiar perpendicular roots and shoots that grow against the force of gravity, known as rhizomes. Today, turmeric is most widely recognized as a spice, but it is a plant that, for centuries, has…
Humans have utilized plants for healing and health since the beginning of time. Each plant has the unique ability to draw nutrients from the earth and transform them into powerful, bioactive constituents that create a corresponding biological response in the human body. For overall efficacy in both skin care and health care, plants need to be used as close to whole as possible, maintaining their…

Understanding Hydrosols

Written by Mary Ellen Dorey, registered aromatherapist
Hydrosols, also known as floral waters or hydrolats, are produced through distillation of essential oils. In a steam distillation method, the hydrosol – or water of the plant – is released and the essential oil floats on top and is siphoned off. Some producers create hydrosols for their own unique benefits, bypassing the essential oils. The term hydrosol means water solution, from “hydro,” meaning water,…
Skin hydration is important, but it is not only achieved through topical treatments. Diet can also help to keep the skin from becoming too dry. But the question is, which vitamins, minerals and nutrients are skin-hydrating and which vegetables and fruits can they be found in?

10 Things about DIY Skin Care

Written by Rachael Pontillo, L.E., M.Msc, CIHC, CNAP
DIY skin care is a hot topic among skin care professionals and consumers. But it begs the question: if the ingredients are easily accessible and the products can be made by anyone, can it be considered professional? Additionally, there is debate about whether the application of whole foods and whole plant preparations are as effective as more high-tech ingredients like peptides, ceramides, and other actives.…
Marijuana is known for many different reasons, but not many know that it can be used in skin care products! Furthermore, the results from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD) can be amazing! Cannabinoids are anti-inflammatory and anti-aging power houses.
Nutritional and dermatological research has demonstrated that specific and key nutrients are required to ensure the physiological functioning and overall health of the skin. This factor is well recognized by nutritional professionals, along with the premise that simply consuming a balanced diet may not always ensure optimum nutritional status with anticipated benefits or results. Within the realm of nutritional information, there remains one focal determinant…

10 Things About... Essential Oils

Written by Krista Mckowen, L.E.
Essential oils play an important role in skin care. Because the skin reacts to emotions, the effect of inhalation in the form of aromatherapy can be a powerful addition to aesthetics.
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