Love for Lavender


We are well into spring now and lavender is one of our garden’s beauties to unfold its splendour. The colour, the scent, the bees busily buzzing around, it is hard not to love lavender. There aren’t many herbs around which can claim being as well known and widely used throughout centuries and cultures. With its both relaxing and stimulating energy, lavender seduces one at the first sight, enchanting both the body and the spirit.

Used in and on the body, in cooking and around the house (ah, those aromatic linens!) or just for the pure pleasure of the eyes, lavender has countless benefits and qualities. It is soothing, calming, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-microbial, healing and rejuvenating. More on its properties here.

Lavender is my go-to for wound nursing, headaches, respiratory issues as well as a sleeping aid, to perfume my daughter’s bathwater, for a lovely evening tea or when I feel under pressure or a bit down. And if you haven’t tried a fresh lavender champagne, it should be on your must-do list this summer. 😉

 

Lavender is amazing in itself, but it also blends beautifully with bergamot, sage, peppermint, chamomile, geranium, rosemary, eucalyptus, palmarosa, juniper. No wonder it’s so widely used in mists and nourishing balms for skin. And, of course, you can find most of these combinations in our facial oils.

Stay fresh and enjoy your spring! 🐝 😇

PS. Pictured above it’s a flamboyant Victorian bred lavender called The Princess, which is the first lavender (or shall I say pink?) bush to bloom on our property. 😍

 

To market, to market 😊 – updated

To market, to market!Spring is nearly here and we are making it to markets again this season. We really have been missing our lovely customers and market goers. We are going to be at  Lancefield & District Farmers’ Market this Saturday. Weather is going to be beautiful with a top of 20oC and maybe a few showers, but who cares? It’s Spring!
Looking forward to seeing you there! 💝

Love,

Stefania & co

No claims or promises

I will never promise my products will make you beautiful – you already are!! Nor my products won’t make you bright – we wouldn’t have met unless you had already been so bright. My products won’t make you look younger either. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wrinkles, they make you look authentic and tell all the feelings and experiences you have been through. They are there to remind of beautiful moments, fears, delights, stress and exhaustion. Because you fully give yourself to every emotion, with no reserve.

I am not making any promises here. It is not my business to afford ground for expectations.  I am only claiming one thing, that we all deserve to enjoy the nature’s goodness to care for our bodies and souls. Just saying… 😇

With love and joy,

Stefania

The beauty of simplifying

The question I get most when I get to meet with people at the markets is about my skin-care routine. I am an uncomplicated person and my skin-care routine is even more so. And I am not at all missing the days when I used to cleanse, scrub, tone and moisturise my skin with patience every night only to find it patchy and pore-clogged the next day.

One thing I’ve changed is the time when I put something on my face, always in the morning as the best moisturiser we have already built-in (aka the sebum) is produced at night. This way, in the morning I only top-up the natural reserves. Just because nothing beats nature. (I’ll talk about the illogic of rich night creams soon, promise!)

The other thing I’ve changed is the number of things I put on my skin. From many to just a couple. The first I ditched were the cleansers and scrubs. I used honey instead. Until I didn’t feel the need for it either. I just have a few splashes of water at night and in the morning. Then a spritz of sandalwood hydrosol which is totally optional, but I love the scent and it actually helps the oils to absorb deeper into the skin. And, at last, a few drops of facial oil massaged nicely for a couple of minutes onto my face and neck. Eyes included, of course. I don’t need to have a separate eye cream or serum, my facial oil is more than gentle to take care of the delicate skin around my eyes too.

Another important shift is the frequency of “pampering” the skin. While I moisturise my face and neck every morning and my whole body once or twice a week (we live in a dry area, so my skin gets thirsty, particularly in summer), it’s only once a month or even less often that I use a treatment that does all the nourishing, exfoliating and deep cleansing at once. However this is rather a treat than a real need for happy and healthy skin.

I know I’ve said it before, but I really believe “less is more”.

Much love,

Stefania

Summer throughout

It is the midst of the summer here in country Victoria and it may seem like we have more of an idle time since we don’t do any markets. It is however the busiest time of the year on the backend of Thornhill Lane. We pick. We dry. We bottle up. Then we strain and start again.

Summer is when timing is really essential as we have to pick the herbs at their maximum potency, generally leaves right before the plant gets into blossom, while flowers are to be picked when they are fully open. Usually late morning, after the dew dries up. Then straight on the drying racks on single layers, in the dark. For a few days or until the plant material is crisp-dry. Followed by 6-8 weeks of sun-infusing. Or sun-blessing.

This is a time when we are delighted with the most amazing scents and colours. Which are later imparted graciously to our herbal oils.

If our products are so loved and revered, the secret is no doubt intrinsically hidden in these luscious herbal oils. They are the true heart of our handcrafting.

Ps. Above pictured is St. John’s wort freshly wildcrafted from a clean local source. The herbal oil obtained from these gorgeous flowers is insanely dark red with a sweet berry aroma. More like a syrup than an infused oil. Cheers! ????

Healing Powerhouse – Comfrey

Comfrey is a plant we widely use in our garden and household, from nourishing fertiliser for plants to dressing bandages for wounds and inflammation. It really works wonders!

We started with a few root cuttings a few years ago and we now have plants all around our garden fence in an effort to keep the gum roots away (still to be proven). Both the root and the leaves are useful, we collect the leaves in summer and roots late in autumn. Leaves are best harvested right when the plant gets to the flowering stage.

As for its skin-loving properties, comfrey is vulnerary, which means it helps with closing and healing the wounds. It is also called ‘knitbone’ due to its ability to stitch the bone tissue, so it’s also helpful in fractures and sprains.

Comfrey is also great for inflammation – applied as an ointment or fresh leaves poultice, it reduces the swelling and stiffness as well as the appearance of bruises.

Plenty of reasons for me to dry comfrey and make it into a herbal infused oil which I use in our wonderfully scented healing balm.

I totally love comfrey! I believe it is one of the best healing plants around and it shouldn’t miss from anyone’s garden. At least for its beautiful bluebells-like flowers. Have a closer look at their exquisite growing pattern.

Comfrey is easy to grow, I should however add that it is very hard to get rid of. When established, even the tiniest bit of root will shoot back. But once you find out about all its wonderful uses, this is not a drawback any more.

Comfrey flower

Patricia says

I love getting feedback from customers ????

Here is what I got today:

Hi Stefania
I bought your products form Barkly Square in Brunswick. I love them (Face oil, sandalwood spray and BBB cream which I use it for a hand/ body cream). All the dryness on my skin is now gone and have had no pimples even with the change of face products. My 6yo daughter uses the lip cream which she loves.
I am going to buy more for my sister, who only uses natural products.
Thank you for making such beautiful products.
Kind Regards
Patricia

Thank you so much, Patricia! You really made my day xxx

The big day for hands

mousse_closed

I’ve been waiting and pondering, trying and experimenting for no less than 18 months. And now I can present you with the love-child of our small yet ever-growing family of natural skin care enthusiasts: our luxurious Hand Mousse. Thanks everyone for your excitement and unabated belief in what we do!

I totally loved this Hand Mousse from day one and I have no doubt it will delight and bring joy to everyone. It’s here to win hearts. Enjoy!

Love,

Stefania & co

Benefits of using facial oils

This is an introductory article on the awesomeness of facial oils I wrote recently for a larger online community with keen interest in all-things natural. I thought I’d share it with you too. 

We have seen various facial oils popping up on the market for years, but what are they? How are they different from creams or lotions? And why would you use them instead? Will they leave your skin look oily? 

All these are valid questions, so let’s answer them one by one.

 

Facial oils are basically a blend of carrier oils (think macadamia, almond, olive, rosehip, coconut) or infused oils (my absolute favourite Calendula, Green tea, St John’s wort) enriched with essential oils. Some manufacturers add some other less natural ingredients like gliding agents, preservatives (tocopherol), fragrance, emollients (lecithin) and even parabens, however a good quality facial oil doesn’t require the addition of such synthetic ingredients because carrier/infused and essential oils love each other and mix beautifully together.

 

Are facial oils different from creams or lotions?

Cream = water + oils. While tipically a facial oil is 100% oils. A cream is about 30-40% water, with lotions scoring 60-70% water. Nothing wrong with water, but water and oil don’t mix together and that means you need an emulsifying agent to bind them together. And emulsifying agents are plain synthetic. 

Coming back to the water content in creams and lotions, another issue is that water is a good environment for bacteria to develop and that is why various preservatives need to be added to creams. The good news is bacteria doesn’t like oil. So if you are after a pure moisturiser, without synthetic ingredients or preservatives, your only bet is the oil. Plant-based oils that is, not mineral/petroleum-based oils. 

 

This gets us to our next question: why would you use facial oils? 

Because they can be 100% pure, natural. 

They are cost-effective – they come in small bottles because they go a long way, you only need a few drops at once. 

Oils are exactly what your skin needs for a healthy glow – the nourishing, moisturising and rejuvenating properties in a cream come from the oil content only, not from water. So why buy water so dearly?

Last but not least, you can use a facial oil as a moisturiser, a toner and a cleanser. This saves time, money and bathroom shelf.

 

Would facial oils leave your skin look greasy? Not at all! Facial oils are for everybody, not only for people with dry skin. They come in different formulations for various skin types and needs. From the rather heavy ones (like avocado or castor seed oil) to the lighter ones (like jojoba, which is actually a wax), there is a large range of nutrient-dense oils to suit every skin. The key is to massage the oil for a couple of minutes so it doesn’t just sit on top of the skin but penetrates deeper into the layers of the skin. And best is to use your facial oil on wet skin as the water will help the oil sink in quicker. Your face will feel fabulous then, no doubt!

 

One last thing, if you ask yourself whether facial oils and serums are different, the simple answer is no, they are no different. :) 

New product – Skin Restore Balm

It has been around for some time, our friends having used it when bad skin hit. It’s now time to put it on the stage. Officially. It is a true hero and it deserves a special place in our range. An all-natural healing balm for anything dry, scaly, red or itchy. I trust it will give much needed relief to various skin problems. 

See more details here

Enjoy!