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What are essential oils?
What are essential oils?
In today's society we tend to live stressful lifestyles with little time for ourselves. Stress can be a catalyst to many discomforts to our physical being. Aromatherapy can help relieve many common physical ailments as well as help us maintain emotional stability. Here are some suggested ways of introducing essential oils to our everyday life:

Massage: Massage is considered one of the most important methods of applying the essential oils, add approximately 5 drops of essential oil to 10 mls carrier oil and enjoy pure relaxation as the massage will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Bath: What better way to relax after a long day at work, than to indulge in a hot bath. Premix 20 mls of sweet almond oil with 10 drops of your choice of essential oils and pour half of the amount into the bathtub. Let the benefits of the essential oils absorb into your skin while the fragrance works to uplift your spirit.

Vaporization: Oil diffusers are an easy and effective way to disperse essential oils. There are many different oil diffusing devices available at New directions to complement a wide variety of needs. From the humble tea light oil burner to the electric oil diffuser. Add 6-12 drops of your choice of essential oil to water and let the aroma diffuse into the room and cleanse the air.

Inhalation: This is a great way to relieve a blocked nose. Add 5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of very hot water. Inhale the vapor for 5- 10 minutes preferably with a towel covering your head, and breathe deeply.

Skincare: At New directions we sell a wide variety of natural skin care bases. You can customise your moisturiser depending on your skins needs. Please refer to the recipe section of our web site to see what essential oils are best for your skin type. To 100 ml moisturizer base add 15-20 drops of the recommended essential oils.

Compresses: This is a very effective way of using essential oils to relieve pain, swelling and to reduce inflammation. Hot compresses are often used to reduce pain of a chronic nature. Cold compresses can be used on tired and overworked muscles and acute pain. Add 4-5 drops of essential oils to hot or cold water. Dip a clean cloth into the water solution and wring it, then cover the area being treated with the compress. Cover the compress with a plastic wrap and a small towel on top. Leave the compress on for a couple of hours.
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How do antioxidants affect the skin?
How do antioxidants affect the skin?
Antioxidants are vital to help combat the damaging effects of free radicals and protect our skin and bodies cells. Free radical damage is caused by the effects of the suns harmful rays, pollution, cigarette smoke, unhealthy diets, medications and other external environmental factors. We consume antioxidants through certain foods but our skin also needs extra protection via topical applications as the skin is often the last to receive the benefits of antioxidants consumed orally.

Some suggested New Directions Raw Materials: Taming Nature in a Bottle
In an age of technology, it may seem confounding that one of the most challenging tasks for chemists is to keep a cosmetic formulation as natural as the plant the ingredients came from. But capturing the simple purity of nature in a modern formulation without resorting to any manmade chemicals, according to our Cosmetic Chemist, is not an easy task. The modern day consumer isn't partial to the crude formulations of yesteryear he says, referring to the time where toners were plants steeped in alcohol and applied straight to the skin, and moisturizers were nothing more than greasy unguents infused with herbs and plants.

Consumers expect high performance from their skincare. They have been exposed to and are therefore accustomed to the consistent and smooth texture of synthetic formulations, says our Chemist, one that lathers perfectly, isn't greasy, smells beautiful, and glides on the skin. But he believes there is a growing desire for natural ingredients which he says poses a challenge as, natural emulsifiers, surfactants and preservatives, basically all the ingredients you need to make a nice homogenous cosmetic cream are often a lot more volatile to work with than their synthetic counterparts. We can manipulate synthetics to behave how we want, and smell how we want, but nature's offerings are far harder to tame. Certain plants like soapwort for example will create a very mild and gentle lather, but from a tactile perspective, it is not nearly as impressive as the visual drama of a synthetic ingredient such as sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant that creates big and impressive bubbles. However, he adds, people with sensitive skin swear by the skin health benefits of soapwort, and sodium lauryl sulfate now carries health warnings on some products in the US.
In the past, synthetic ingredients have been the preferred choice of cosmetic brands over natural ingredients because of their reasonable price point. However stresses our Chemist, there are other benefits. Synthetic preservatives for example are far easier to use, more predictable in what and how they preserve, and ...

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The Benefit of Herbs
The Benefit of Herbs
Herbal medicine is an ancient and traditional practice, used in many Eastern and Western countries. In many cultures it is part of main stream living and it is the preferred source of alleviating and preventing dis-ease. For many years the medicinal properties of plants have been documented and used worldwide.
Some modern uses of herbs include incorporating their healing properties in cosmetic preparations. They have been used in a variety of topical applications including;

  • Ointments
  • Creams
  • Compresses- a liquid extract is used when making a compress.
  • Poultices- the dry herb is used when making a poultice.
  • Liniments- a liquid extract or herb oil is used when making a liniment to massage into the skin.
  • Oils- try our infused herbal oils.

At New Directions we sell a variety of cosmetic bases, ranging from skincare, hair products and for those who are more experimental, raw materials to allow you to experiment and come up with your own individual product. To read this article click here.

Dear Melinda,

I can't thank you enough for a fabulous workshop.I felt like I was suspended in a bubble of amazingness. The day went way too fast. The information was fantastic. You and Nina hosted the day. And your workshop was the bestest thing I could have done.

Katie Wasiak - Naturopath
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