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Archive for the ‘Ingredients’ Category

Plantation crops roses. Roses used in perfume industry.

We’re pretty much rose-obsessed here at Cocoon Apothecary which is pretty obvious when you walk into our headquarters and see giant rose wallpaper adorning our wall and as well as six of our skin care products formulated with its petals and seeds. We’re not the only ones in love with this universal symbol for love, beauty, the divine feminine. Rose is the most classic beauty ingredient in the world, spanning continents and centuries. There isn’t much in recorded ‘his’tory about this but Cleopatra reportedly bathed her skin in rose water. There’s a reason why it has been a staple in skin care for so long. It has amazing properties that are cooling, soothing, purifying, and anti-aging.

The most popular type of rose used for skin care is Damask rose (Rosa damascena), which hails from the Middle East but is produced in the highest quantities in Turkey. It is a pink flower with a powdery, floral, citrus aroma that is also a favorite in the perfume industry.

There are two different types of rose petal products we use here at Cocoon:

Rose absolute: An aromatic similar to essential oil that’s solvent-extracted from rose petals. In my opinion, it is a better choice for skin care than rose otto (the essential oil from distillation) because it contains higher levels of antioxidant phenols, beta-carotene, and vitamin E, which repair and protect skin from free radical damage caused by the sun, stress, and pollution. It is also high in phenylethyl alcohol, which acts as an effective anti-microbial, keeping skin free of harmful bacteria. We add it to our Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream and Today Moisturizing Serum.

Rose hydrosol: This is the water left over after rose petals have been distilled. It is more similar to rose otto than rose absolute in biochemistry so it’s all about the cooling, soothing, anti-inflammatory properties thanks to geraniol, citronellol, and nerol. It is also astringent, helping to tighten and refine pores. It is the only ingredient in our Rose Dew Facial Toner.

Rose isn’t just a pretty flower. It’s a hardworking, bioactive beauty ingredient that helps nourish and protect the epidermis while reducing pore size and calming redness. Not to mention the soft, romantic aroma that permeates the air it’s released in. With an ancient history of caring for skin, it continues to be the most precious beauty ingredient in the world.

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Myth: Rosehip oil causes your skin to be more sensitive to the sun i.e. it’s phototoxic
Fact: There are absolutely no studies that indicate this. The confusion may be because rosehip oil contains a natural retinoid (vitamin A) so some would assume that it would have the same characteristics as isolated, synthetic versions such as Retinol. This is false and we must understand that chemicals found within nature do not act the same as synthetic or isolated versions.

Myth: Rosehip oil has a short shelf life – 3 to 6 months.
Fact: The rosehip oil that we just received was produced in October 2013 and has an expiry date of October 2016 so it’s more like 3 years.

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ImageOrigin: Italy

Scent: Light citrusy floral with a hint of honey. Relaxing and uplifting.

Neroli essential oil is extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium amara) by steam distillation. The name neroli was coined in the 17th century by the princess of Nerola, Italy, who introduced the essence as a perfume for gloves and baths. It is a beautiful aroma, highly sought after by the perfume industry.

Neroli’s main constituents are linalool, limonene, nerol and geraniol. It is a purifying essential oil with antiseptic and antifungal properties. It has anti-aging properties on the skin that aid in cell generation and improve circulation. It is an astringent making it ideal for oily skin types.

The main use of neroli in aromatherapy is to stabilize the nervous system especially in regards to anxiety. It is also used to treat postpartum depression, facilitate birthing and prevent stretch marks. It is a digestive stimulant.

You can find neroli essential in our Orange Blossom Facial Cream and Neroli Natural Perfume Oil.

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Rose ProfileOrigin: Bulgaria

Scent: Romantic, sweet, honey, powder, floral, soft. The scent of rose is uplifting, soothing and anti-anxiety.

Roses have been part of human history for a very long time. They are the symbol of love, beauty, femininity and the Divine. They are used medicinally, culinarily and in perfumery around the world.

Rose hydrosol is the water that is created when extracting essential oil from the petals by steam distillation. It contains water with a soluble amount of essential oil. The therapeutic components of the hydrosol are approximately 80% phenetheyl alcohol, an antimicrobial. It is produced from the pink rose plant called Rosa Damascena, member of the rosaceae family indigenous to Europe and the Middle East. Rose hydrosol has high levels of antioxidant polyphenols to fight aging and cellular damage in the skin. It is soothing, cooling, anti-inflammatory and very astringent, making it ideal for aiding puffiness in the eye area.

Rose hydrosol or ‘water’ has been used in beauty preparations for thousands of years all over the world. In Ayruvedic medicine it is used as an eye wash and to tone and cool the skin.

Organic rose hydrosol can be found in our Rose Dew Facial Toner and our Eyewaken Eye Cream.

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Rose ProfileOrigin: Bulgaria

Scent: Romantic, sweet, honey, powder, floral, soft. The scent of rose is uplifting, soothing and anti-anxiety.

Roses have been part of human history for a very long time. They are the symbol of love, beauty, femininity and the Divine. They are used medicinally, culinarily and in perfumery around the world.

Rose absolute is extracted from the petals of the pink rose plant called Rosa Damascena, member of the rosaceae family indigenous to Europe and the Middle East. Rose absolute has high levels of antioxidant tocopherols, phenolics and beta carotenes to fight aging and cellular damage in the skin. It is soothing, cooling and anti-inflammatory making it ideal for sensitive skin, rosacea and broken capillaries. It is antibacterial and astringent keeping pores clean and refined. Its main constituents are phenethyl alcohol, geraniol and citronellol.

The petals are used traditionally in Europe to aid digestion and as a tonic to the nervous system and the endocrine system. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses them to remove blood stagnation, nourish the skin, and improve digestion.

Rose is currently being researched for its anti-cancer abilities likely due to its high level of geraniol, which has be shown to prohibit cancer cell growth.

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We received this email recently with a very interesting question about our products that contain neroli (orange blossom) essential oil.

“I realized that the neroli essential oil contains two components that I’m not too sure about:
Linalool: 16%, which has a ewg rating of 5.
Limonene: 20.30%, which has a ewg rating of 6.
I know that these compounds are naturally present in just about any neroli oil, but I have some reservations about using a products with these components.”
Good question, and I can see the why the confusion exists. If you visit the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database, you will notice that neroli essential oil is rated a 0 (safe) but, as stated above, two of its components are rated 5 and 6 (not safe) due to being allergens. There are a few things that can explain the difference in safety.
1. When aroma chemicals such as limonene and linalool are listed on labels, it usually means they were produced synthetically from petroleum rather than extracted from a plant (but this can get super-confusing since the European Union requires companies to list these chemicals even if they are within an essential oil). Many times they aren’t listed at all because they get grouped into the ingredient ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’. Contrary to what most people seem to believe, there ARE variances in synthetic versions of aroma chemicals vs. their natural counterpart. This is proven by the fact that there are several tests used in the essential oil community to determine if a product has been adulterated by ‘nature-identical’ synthetics, which are easily disguised as natural components. They can find synthetic markers such as dihydrolinalool and variances in isomers.
 
2. Essential oils are synergies of many aroma chemicals that can offset each other. For instance, citral can create a reaction on the skin on its own but when limonene is added, it does not. Methyleugenol, which is considered carcinogenic on its own, is safe within rose and citronella essential oils because there are enough anti-cancer chemicals to balance it out.
3. The dose is often much smaller in an essential oil than when added to a perfume as an isolated ingredient.
This doesn’t mean that some people won’t be allergic to certain essential oils such as lavender, neroli and rose but I believe that the chances of reaction are much higher in the high dose, synthetic version of chemicals used by the fragrance industry than by natural, unadulterated plant extracts.

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It is estimated that chemicals from personal care products are in 80% of the water in the United States. Some of the effects of this pollution include male fish being feminized and coral reef being destroyed.

Here is a list of the top chemicals to avoid:

Chemical sunscreens – The WTO estimates that 6000 tons of chemical sunscreen ends up in the coral reefs “bleaching” it of life-sustaining algae. The most common one used is oxybenzone. Look for for physical (mineral) sunscreens such as zinc and titanium. To find this information on the label, look for ‘active ingredients’ where it will list the sunscreen.

Nanoparticles – When choosing a physical sunscreen, look for ‘non-nano’ zinc and titanium. There are many concerns about nanoparticles’ effect on algae and aquatic life.

Synthetic musk – A carcinogenic ingredient that is contained in many perfumes and is toxic to aquatic life. Not good for humans either so avoid it! If you want to smell beautiful, look for natural perfumes and products scented with pure essential oils.

Triclosan – An anti-bacterial agent that is very toxic to algae and bio-accumulates in fish. Soap is all you need on your hands. For extra antibacterial properties, choose one with tea tree or lavender essential oils.

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