Essential oils, a heritage story June 26 2017
They delight the heart and the senses, and beyond even the real pleasures they convey, they act as a true therapeutic goodness for the body, skin, and mind. So what are these marvelous little treasures?
Essential oil is the perfume of plants, and is found in forming organs: flower, leaf, stem, bark, root…Together all the volatile substances that can be found within aromatic plants. These are substances that are very powerful since they are extremely concentrated.
How to extract them?
The manner in which essential oil is obtained depends on the kind of forming organ; therefore it could be extracted :
• by distilling water vapor: while traveling across the forming organ, the water vapor carries the aromatic molecules. After a rechilling process, the first liquid phase is reached on the surface, which becomes the essential oil, while below the aqueous solution, there is a significantly less content of active ingredients, which is known as the aromatic “hydrolat”
• by cold press: this method is used for citrus fruits. The pressure brings about an emulsion of water and essential oils that undergoes a centrifuge process, which is followed by filtration in order to recuperate the essential oil of the citrus, known as “essence”.
• by volatile solvents (or “enfleurage”): this process involves dissolving the odorous substance in a solvent, such as hexane or ethanol. These solvents are now going to be almost completely eliminated by a distillation process. The essential oil obtained is often called “absolue”. It is used notedly for the extraction of essential oils in vegetal organs which cannot support heat (such as jasmine or hyacinth).
These past couple of years, we have been working on developing new technologies which promote noted advantages for the environment, however it needs greater investment in order to obtain the necessary expensive equipment. This is the issue for extracting carbon dioxide (CO2) that is particularly adapted to the extraction process of fragile essential oils, which require a low temperature.
What kind of yield and quality?
Yield and quality differ widely between one plant and another. For example, in order to obtain 1 kg of essential oil, one must gather almost 150 kg of real Lavender and 1000 kg of bitter orange flowers, and then there is the question of price, which fluctuates according to the season, but can reach around 4000 euros… But if the yield affects the price, it is not the only influencing factor. In fact, the quality of the land is an important value, together with the functions of the sun, climate, composition of soil, and altitude. In short, the same plant could produce essential oils that are very different at the biochemical composition level, and thus is a very variable biological action. The use of essential oils thus requires a real scientific understanding, which we call aromatherapy, which has been otherwise quite trendy for several years. It is truly here that the art of l’ODAÏTÈS, due to its expertise, its inherited know-how, and the meticulous selection of its suppliers and of its plant-based substances, has led to the ability to produce vapor-distilled essential oils originating from the best land!
Thus, we have chosen the « Cap Bon » region in Tunisia for its neroli oil, an area reputable and well-known for its perfectly balanced climate by all professional perfumers and producers!
Vegetable oils, so often found in our food, contains a number of nutrients that play an essential role for the metabolism of our skin. They are at the basis for having lovely skin. This is a good reason why one should make use of the vegetable oil properties, especially by mixing up their skincare uses, but one must first understand the way they should be extracted in order to get the best out of their use! This is where we step in to help you out.
What to know about virgin oils vs. refined oils
Vegetable oils have become a center point in our diets. Nourishing and tasty, they can replace any fatty substance in our bathrooms as well as in our recipes for cooking. Now, there are many different kinds of vegetable oils- virgin and refined. However, which ones should be selected to best preserve essential nutrients for the metabolism for our skin?
What is the difference between virgin oil and refined oil?
Vegetable oil is qualified as virgin or refined according to the way it has been extracted. If the extraction is done by pressing, then it is considered virgin oil. If the extraction is carried out by solvents, then it is called refined oil, which allows one to obtain a “standardized” oil by modifying its fatty acids. But for the case of “virgin” oils, one gets an oil that is pure, without any foreign substances, exclusively purified through physical processes, and cannot have been submitted to any other treatments.
Why refine oils?
The refining process creates oil that is stable, easy to preserve, hardly colored, with no discernable aroma, and with a yield around 97 percent which is much more profitable to the industry. However “pressed” oils preserve all their qualities, are more expensive, and can lose up to 20 percent of its substance when extracted.
Which one is best for my skin?
After refinement, the original composition of the oil has been deeply modified that results in an almost total loss of the high nutritional value elements. Thus we see :
• a destruction of vitamin E, with its antioxidant, regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties
• the disappearance and/or the loss of the biological activity of essential fatty acids which are the base for a hydrated, plump, and dense skin, that is supple and luminous
• the disappearence of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant element
• even the disappearence of phospholipids and sterols that play a key role in cellular growth and the function of the plasma membrane
You understand, without a doubt, why it is so important to choose virgin oils for a healthy and beautiful skin. This is why l’ODAÏTÈS swears by the exclusive use of virgin oils as its active ingredients in its skincare products!
Biomimicry, a beneficial biological kinship April 03 2017
What you’ve heard is true- natural is the current trend. From our plates to our cosmetics, we hear all the talk buzzing around words like organic, natural, chemical... When speaking about the world of cosmetics, the theories are diverse and understanding the complexity of formulas is often out of our reach. So how do we make the right choice for a good product? In order to help you and save you time, we want to explain the skin’s absorption abilities and give you more insight into the skin’s capacity to better absorb and integrate one product over another.
Just as you have already read in our previous article (include link to article in question), the hydrolipid film of your skin possesses a barrier function that protects it against the penetration of foreign substances. Nevertheless, this barrier function is not completely reliable, meaning that the skin is still somewhat permeable and this degree of permeability relies on several of the following factors:
- Its physiological state (thickness, hydration, cutaneous state);
- The characteristics of the products applied to it
Basically, the likelihood of a product’s ability to sink through the skin’s epidermis depends, first of all, on the size of the molecules within the composition. To put it simply, the smaller they are, the deeper the permeation. This process also relies on the degree of affinity that it has with the outer layer. And this is the main issue!
We know that plants have developed their own defense system to fight against external aggressions, such as solar rays, drought, extreme heat, etc. This is actually pretty interesting since we can perceive a distinct similarity and chemical likeness of the defense mechanisms between our skin and that of plants.
This makes it easier for us to understand that the more the natural extracts that the active ingredients contain means a greater likeness the composition will have in comparison to the skin, and thus meaning a greater chance for the products to be integrated into the skin. Such an active ingredient, capable of mimicking or imitating a molecule naturally present in the skin, is known as a biomimetic active.
From this fact, all active ingredients extracted from nature (in plant or sea environments) and composed of molecules already present in our skin are considered biomimetic if their extraction methods allow the biological richness to be preserved in the original element.
Thus, our active ingredients such as our pure virgin oils (with their essential fatty acids), cold extracted date sap (with its amino acids, its oligo-elements, its polyphenols, etc...), fresh Aloe vera juice (with its vitamins, its essential amino acids, and its minerals...), hyaluronic acid (extract from bacteria bio-fermentation), etc... are some simple examples of biomimetic active ingredients.
This is why our formulas, which contain components of plant-based substance that are identical or similar to those of our skin, create excellent results. All you have to do is apply them and receive endless enjoyment.
Today, the focus on the role of biomimicry in cosmetics is receiving more and more attention as the realization of the importance of the essential assimilation abilities of our skin has become a growing issue.
The hydrolipidic layer : our skin’s number one shield ! February 24 2017
It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve given you practical advice on how to take care of your precious skin. Today, what we’re going to tell you will be the most important thing by far that you should know. So, take a pencil, because it’s time to take some notes !
Like the old saying says : « Rome wasn’t built in a day » ! In this case, we’re talking about the hydrolipid film and your skin’s health. By taking care of your delicate skin, you are taking the first step towards preserving your young and healthy state. Ok, so how can we accomplish this ?
To do all that, first we need to know how exactly the hydrolipid film works. It’s basically a homogeneous mixture that’s comprised of an aqueous phase and a lipid phase. The aqueous phase, which is mostly made up of sweat, is primarily responsible for maintaining the skin’s acidity level by using the buffering strength of amino acids. However, the lipid phase, comprised of sebum and cell lipids, makes sure that skin stays hydrated by stopping it from losing water. Keeping the balance between these two phases is essential. The composition of the hydrolipid film changes with our age, our skin’s temperature, and with our diet. And one other thing- did you know that the pH of your skin is actually 5.5 ? This means it’s acidic, and yes ladies, that means that pH neutral products are not meant for your skin.
In order to play its part as protector of the hydrolipid film and make sure that it can act as a barrier against the onslaught of foreign substances, one of the things we must do is to maintain the right level of acidity and composition of lipids that guarantee an antibacterial protection. The other part is to preserve its amino acids and its lipids, which act as key elements in playing a role in hydrating the skin.
So it’s time to think about pampering your skin ! We’ve got three basic rules for you to do this :
Make sure, first of all, to choose skincare products, including makeup cleansing treatments and/or cleansers, that would maintain this fragile balance. Also be sure to use cosmetic products that don’t contain harsh and aggressive properties, such as sodium lauryl sulfate or phenoxyethanol, or even disodium EDTA, to name a few.
It’s an important ritual for us to thoroughly clean our skin every evening, even for those who don’t wear makeup. Doing this will get rid of dead skin cells, pollution, and even too much sebum, and at the same time can allow for the deep penetration of skincare treatments at night. The knowledge of mixing cool fresh Aloe Vera juice juice and orange-flower distilled water that are in “Pure Merveille d’Aloe Vera juice” is what can protect the integrity of the hydrolipid film and will be able to cleanse your skin without destabilizing its natural pH balance.
Finally, you should know that the water from your faucet is not a good friend to your skin, since it contains large percentages of chlorine and calcium, which act as detergent agents. This water also has a pH very close to 7, while the hydrolipid film is naturally acidic.
So you see, it’s so simple to take good care of your skin, and at the same time so “profitable”, that it would be a pity to pass up the opportunity!
For Valentine's Day, we call antioxidants, the friend Who only wants the best for you February 14 2017
Valentine’s day is coming up soon, and we know what you’re about to say- that its only a commercial holiday and isn’t that special and bla bla bla…
However, there’s a little voice inside all of us that makes us want to feel our most fabulous, radiant selves…you know what I mean. Whether you are going to a fancy candlelit dinner for two or spending a relaxing evening with friends, you want to look your best!! This is our mission and we are here to help you out with it! It’s our goal to make you look your most beautiful in your own skin, and to give you that special wow factor that will have everyone’s eyes on you.
So what’s the plan of attack? We are actually calling on our old friends, the antioxidants, to help us out.
For a long time, antioxidants have been misunderstood. The term antioxidant itself has been a part of our everyday speech, but its connotation is usually meant to describe a fruit, a dish, or a diet…but what do we really mean when we use this word, and how does it really work?
Its actually pretty simple. What happens is that it uses a mechanism that is set off by an imbalance between two permanent processes: formation versus the elimination of chemical species called « oxidants » that are usually produced in limited quantities.
This imbalance, created by light radiation, solar rays, outside pollution, tobacco, etc, thus creates an oxidant stress, meaning that it creates an excess of oxidant species that overwhelm the body and alter healthy cells. This extraneous formation also creates other negative effects, such as provoking skin diseases, accelerating cell and molecule aging, and wildly increasing the risk of cancer.
So who are the savior warriors who are going to protect our skin and body from these oxidizing species? They are the antioxidant molecules which are naturally present in an of themselves, like vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, selenium, zinc, carotenoids, flavonoids, etc. But they need some reinforcement to help them get to the very end of this fight. For them to really succeed, we have no other choice but to increase their abilities by upping their concentration. We can accomplish this by nourishing the skin and applying adequate amounts of cosmetic products on the surface, and by taking care of our bodies with the right diet.
So go ahead and give your body the attention it deserves- eat colorful fruits and vegetables (orange, yellow, red, and purple), add virgin vegetable oils to your diet, eat whole grains, and consume seafood and shellfish. Add green tea and dark chocolate to this recipe for success, and above all don’t forget the red wine!
The same rule also applies to your skin! Apply skincare products rich in active benefits that carry antioxidizing molecules, such as the date fruit which carries a high content in selenium, zin, carotenoids, polyphenols, etc. They also favor natural ingredients and non-refined oils which will fill your skin will all their important benefits.
Ladies, let’s not waste time- we need to act right away! You know that having a radiant complexion is an absolute must. This is why we’ve made it our goal to give you the best that we can create- in this case, a radiance mask called « Seve Divine de Dattes ». It’s a mask that truly penetrates the depth of your skin and acts like the sun that we’re missing so much in this wintertime.
With every purchase of the Seve Divine de Dattes mask, we offer you a very nice surprise that you can carry with you every day. So, without further ado, will you be our Valentine?
3 things you should know about naturally hydrating your skin February 05 2017
The real goal when hydrating the skin is to limit the loss of water as much as possible. One should know that the skin naturally losses water throughout the day, a process which is defined as transepidermic loss, and is an entirely normal occurrence.
This has nothing to do, however, with transpiration, which is a crucial and natural process that allows for the regulation and maintenance of the equilibrium of the hydration rate for the skin; this balance is most optimal at a 13% rate. However, this rate decreases with age. Its important to understand that when this rate falls below 12% in the stratum corneum, the skins develops cutaneous reactions and/or allergies that manifest themselves through redness, eczema, dermatitis, etc…
So, in order to hydrate the skin, It’s necessary to accomplish the following steps:
First of all, focus on preserving the hydrolipid film, which acts as the first line of defense for the stratum corneum. The balance of the composition plays an important role in maintaining its hydration, which primarily insures its buffering capacity in the cutaneous pH zone. Thus, it is crucial to choose a face cleanser or purifier which does not alter this fragile balance and which eliminates all overly aggressive cosmetic products. Through our make-up removing cleanser, Pure Merveille d’Aloe Vera, your skin will be pampered and cared for.
The next step focuses on consolidating the intercellular cement. Basically, the lipids around the cells form a kind of “ fatty/oily mortar “ which keeps the cellular adhesions together, enabling the cells to better adhere to one another and thus solidify the cuntaneous This essentially creates a barrier effect to the loss of water. Unfortunately, as the cement ages, it starts to crack, and, mainly composed of essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6), becomes more and more fragile, while losing its waterproof abilities at the same time. This is where our repairing serum, Elixir Bonheur, comes in: optimized for providing skincare that is rich in essential fatty acids , it reconsolidates water loss and provides the skin with the ability to renew itself.
Its also important to that the intercellular cement is also composed of the well-known substance hyaluronic acid, which acts as a type of natural sponge, as it is able to absorb 500 times its weight in water ! At 30, a person will have already lost 30% of the hyaluronic acid content, and after 40 years of age, it is reduced down to 50%! Taking this into account, go for creams that contain hyaluronic acid as soon as you reach 30. With our Crème Sensationnelle, we provide a daily ally that will fight against this loss and give you the care your skin craves.
And finally, we have to give attention to reinforcing the hygroscopic power of our skin, which basically means it’s ability to absorb water and preserve the interior mechanisms of the cell. Through this reinforcing process, maintaining the inner integrity of the cell membrane, the more our cells will be able to retain water within.
With this advice in mind, there is one more important piece of council to give, since all these points cannot work best without being used together. Thus we cannot express enough how important it is to drink at least 1.5 liters a day, which will give your skin that extra elasticity it needs to truly be its most luminous !
Elements trace, small but mighty! February 05 2017
Hardly known, yet so important to our skin, bones, muscles, and other vitals, we wonder- what is this mystery substance?
Trace elements are a type of mineral, much like salt minerals, and play a vital and enormous role in all the biochemical interactions that are essential for cell life.
The mineral salts, also known as macro elements, that are present within our bodies include calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur, chloride, and sodium. Such active ingredients are imperative for fighting the advancement of old age. Its in this capacity that zinc also plays an important role in cell production and division.
Copper also intervenes in the synthesis of keratin and is a part of cellular repair by allowing the process of synthesis of collagen and elastin to occur. Talking about selenium, we can see that it is equally essential to the process by participating in the stabilization of keratin molecules and regulation of inflammation.
It’s really the rich active substances that trace elements carry, then, which enables a boost in:
- Cutaneous microcirculation,
- improvement in the appearance of the cutaneous surface,
- An increase in collagen synthesis
- Skin elasticity
- Healing of the skin
Our main natural active ingredient that we use, date sap, reveals a truly unique composition of these trace elements, including a content composed of all the important substances previously mentioned (including copper, zinc, and selenium). It’s a cold extract of these dates, which truly enables a complete preservation of the biological richness of this special golden fruit. You can also find them in our radiance mask “Sève Divine de Dattes” and in our intense care cream, “Crème Sensationnelle”.
Rosemary, an antiaging active ingredient that smells amazing! February 05 2017
In the world of perfume, our noses are enticed by it. In cuisine, its our taste buds that it treats. But did you know that in cosmetics it provides some of the best defenses against aging in our cells?
Vapor-distilled, the flowers and leaves of rosemary produce an essential oil that is particularly valuable due to its powerful antioxidant agents. Its essential oil from rosemary is among the most unique active properties that has a double-action: it is capable of interrupting chain reactions of free radicals (preventing lipid peroxidation) while also breaking down and eliminating those free radicals (an anti-radical action).
It’s therefore an invaluable ally for antioxidant defense.
What is this defense? Its very simple! In two words- the skin. Like all organic tissue, it is characterized by a permanently balanced existence between the production and elimination of “oxidizing” chemical specimens that are normal produced in limited quantities.
This balance between the product reactions of free radicals and antioxidant defensive action is at any moment broken under stress by the effect of oxidation (light radiation, solar rays, external pollution, or autoimmune activation of the immune system), and can give way to the formation of excess free radicals in the skin.
These free radicals, eager to obtain electrons, constantly assault our cells and their membranes. The lucky targets are polyunsaturated fatty acids (ex omega 6), found plentiful in the cutaneous tissue, which once destabilized, leaves room for the formation of lipid radicals (lipid peroxidation) which work to destroy the membrane.
Be mindful that fatty polysaturated acids play a role in determining the structure and normal function of the skin, as well as precursor components of the lipid matrix. The fatty acids of the stratum corneum are involved in the barrier function of the skin and participate in regulating the hydration of the skin. They also contribute to the constitution of the hydrolipid film which slows the evaporation process of water and adds to the cutaneous flexibility.
This is why we have concocted a subtle cocktail of rosemary and virgin oils rich in Omega 6 in our repairing serum, Elixir Bonheur. Benefit from its qualities, and take especial advantage from another moment of indulgence with our rosemary bath salts (offered with the purchase of the serum), in order to enrich and give delight to your skin.