Heliotrope San Francisco

A New Place to Shop for Heliotrope Natural Skin-Care Products

Have you heard the news? Heliotrope has opened a new shop in Oakland - Heliotrope Oakland. It's in Jack London Square at 308 Jackson Street.

As you enter Heliotrope Oakland

Being relatively new to Oakland myself, there are so many places I haven't visited. Oakland, like most of the Bay Area, is full of hidden gems and charming spots. While working last weekend, I explored a bit and was surprised by how accessible the neighborhood around Jack London Square is and the charm of the neighborhood. It is a mix of newer apartment buildings and older warehouse buildings. There's a vegetable / produce market here during the week! Whether you're a long-time Oakland resident, or visiting from San Francisco or beyond, you'll find a lot to discover in our new neighborhood. 

There are three coffee shops and several restaurants within 4 blocks, so you won't need to go far to find some refreshment. Chinatown, the Oakland Museum of California, Lake Merritt both the actual Lake and the BART station are a short 10-minute walk away. It's near the shops and restaurants of Jack London Square and Downtown Oakland and Alameda are both a short drive away. It's a great spot to include in your weekend explorations.

Chocolate

As is always the case, Jonathan has been working hard behind the scenes, putting this space together. Heliotrope products fill the shelves as well as a curated selection of goods made by other makers -  Kaoru Sanchez adorable lavender sachets and pocket squares and a selection of soap dishes and other bath accessories like loofahs and pumice stones. It's a small space so some of the selection will be updated regularly. It's amazing to see Heliotrope's products in a dedicated space.

 Kaoru Sanchez Lavender Sachets

 

You'll also get a peek at our work behind the scenes. Jonathan envisioned this space as a store as well as a place to pack your orders, label and fill bottles. We use the area behind the work table to store the product we receive in bulk fresh from the chemist. Rows of our color coded labels line one of the walls. We label and bottle almost all of our products in house, which means that you can customize the fragrance and re-fill product when you run out. 

Labels hanging on rods against wall

Pair one of our popular soaps either the Nourishing Olive Oil or our Coconut Oil & Goat's Milk Moisturizing Soap with a Sisal Bath Mitt to gently cleanse and exfoliate your skin. 

Sisal Mitt & Exfoliating Gloves with soap

Our candle selection includes the full-size Soy Wax and Shea Butters Massage Candle and the travel size. We have both sizes of our custom made Natural Bees Wax Pillar Candles.

Massage candles

 As in our Valencia location, we will be able to use Essential Oils to customize your purchase. Soon we will be set up to custom blend all of our unscented products. Right now, we have a selection of our most popular blends and single scents. Visit our expanding, aromatherapy bar facing the entrance of the shop to explore all of your fragrance choices. You may choose a scent for mood, relaxation or romance, to improve an aspect of your health, a scent that helps with insomnia for instance, or choose a fragrance simply because you like it. 

Drop by the new shop and see your favorites in a new space and explore the neighborhood. I'm happy to say that I'll be in the shop most weekends to help answer your questions or custom scent your products. Join us soon and be part of our new adventure!

Written by Gaby Mendoza — August 12, 2017

How to Fight Blemishes with Natural Face Care

Blemishes, zits, pimples whatever you call them they can be annoying and sometimes painful. They seem to pop up at the worst possible times - right before an interview or a special occasion.

Abstract picture of pimples

Unfortunately, blemishes happen at any and every age. Hormone fluctuation, stress, environmental factors can cause skin to break-out. Here are our recommendations for stopping pimples in their tracks and for preventing future break-outs.

Take a closer look at the cause of blemishes at the end of this article.

Gentle exfoliation will help to remove dead skin cells and sweat from the skin. This will prevent the debris from building up and clogging the pores. Our Konjaku Fiber Sponge w/ Charcoal cleanses as it bring moisture and anti-bacterial qualities to the skin. The sponge gently exfoliates as you use it in a light circular motion around your face.

Konjaku sponge

It's important to be gentle with any exfoliant that you choose especially on irritated skin. It will help if you integrate exfoliation into your routine slowly. The main goal here is to bring balance to the skin and we don't want to take our skin to either extreme.

For a different type of exfoliation, try our Citrus & Fruit Acid Cleanser.  Willow bark is a gentle astringent and tightens pores, while the fruit acids exfoliate.

Our Clay & Herbal Extract Detox Mask is great as a spot treatment for pimples. But when used twice weekly, the green clay in the mask will help to remove toxins from the skin while lavender and other botanicals soothe the skin.

Willow tree

Follow up your soothing mask treatment with Lavender & Willow Refreshing Toner. The astringent Willow bark appears again to help close and tighten pores, while the mineral zinc prevents blemishes from forming.

Bring antioxidents into your routine with our Rose & Nettle Daytime Face Serum. The serum can be used after cleansing or exfoliating each morning to boost the health of the skin. Antioxidents promote cell growth and help to remove toxins and other harmful substances.

Meadow of stinging nettles

All of the products we've talked about above can be used for break-outs and skin conditions anywhere on the body. The Bamboo Bristle Bath Brush can help apply the cleanser on hard to reach spots like your lower shoulder blades and the middle of the back. The mask can spot treat pimples and bring about faster healing.  

Choose a moisturizer based on your preference between a lighter formula and a cream. Neroli brings antiseptic qualities to our Olive Leaf and Neroli Moisturizer which can help discourage break-outs. Chamomile and rose and the other botanicals have a long history of being used to heal the skin and the causes of inflammation.

 Field of German Chamomile

At the base of each hair follicle are sebaceous glands. These glands produce the oil that your skin needs to be healthy. Pores can get clogged with dead skin, dirt and sweat. A pimple forms when the debris in the pore causes an infection..

Many of us get into an unhealthy cycle with our skin and believe that stripping the skin will reduce oiliness. It actually does the opposite. The sebaceous glands kick into overdrive to compensate for the natural oils that have been stripped and produces more oil making your skin feel oily again and the process starts all over.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but allowing your skin's natural oils to remain will actually lead to healthier, balanced skin in the future. All systems of the body seek balance, sometimes attaining this balance takes patience. Using natural skin care products that cleanse gently, serums that tone and a conditioning moisturizer will help bring balance to your skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Jen Bator — July 31, 2017

5 Reasons to Love Lavender Aromatherapy

For many people, the word ‘lavender’ conjures up an image of sprawling light purple fields undulating across the hills and valleys of southern France.

Lavender field in Provence France Sunflowers at edges

Here in Northern California, it is almost impossible to walk more than a few blocks before brushing up against a lavender bush in someone’s garden or in a public space. Each spike holds 6 to 10 cheerful flowers growing in a spiral formation at its tip above the foliage. The plant emits a crisp, clean, floral yet spicy fragrance. Depending on the variety, the flowers are shades of purple from light to dark. The light purple is the namesake for the color lavender.

Lavender is a member of the mint family, and is one of the most widely cultivated plants in the world. It is native to Europe, north and eastern Africa, and the Middle East. People now grow lavender everywhere in the world. Throughout its long history every culture has enjoyed it’s crisp and refreshing fragrance and used it in perfumes and air fresheners, as medicine, and in cooking.

 Lavender is one of our favorite plants and scents. Join us as we explore just 5 of we love lavender.

 1. Smelling lavender improves your mood. The scent of lavender can help you to feel better both mentally and physically. The scent of lavender can help you to feel calmer in times of stress and it often lifts people elevate their mood. It is known to help reduce the feelings of anxiety.

Fresh bunches of lavender in a farm crate

2. Along with its benefits on the mood, lavender helps one relax and the scent may help you to fall asleep. It is often used in sleep masks and baby bath formulas for this reason.

3. Lavender is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-septic, which means that it can help to speed up the healing of cuts and burns. It also soothes sunburn. It has been used since Greek and Roman times to promote healing in burns, and it may reduce scarring. The anti-septic action helps clean cuts and wounds thus promotes healing.

4. It is a natural bug repellent. Mosquitoes and clothing moths hate the smell of lavender. Put sachets of dried lavender in drawers or hang them in your closet. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to revitalize and strengthen the scent. Not only will it keep moths away your clothes will smell fresh and clean!

Lavender sachet

The scent of lavender on your clothes can also help keep the mosquitoes away. Add a few drops of the essential oil to your moisturizer in the evening. Lavender essential oil is one of the few oils that is safe to put directly on your skin. You can also mix 10 to 12 drops of lavender essential oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz yourself as needed to cool down and keep the bugs away.

5. Ease muscle and joint pain by soaking in a hot lavender infused bath. Lavender relaxes your muscles, just as it helps to relax your mind. Add several drops of the essential oil directly to your bath water or choose the Cyprus Lavender scent in our Sea Salt Foaming Mineral Soak. Give your muscles some relief by adding lavender essential oil singly or as a blend to our massage lotion. The next step is convincing someone to give you a massage! Unfortunately, I can't give you any advice on that.

 

Recipe for an all-purpose cleaner using lavender oil

The word lavender comes from the French word 'lavare' - to wash. I love making my own cleaning products and I regularly add lavender essential oil to them. The anti-bacterial qualities help keep counters and surfaces clean and the scent freshens the room.

 - In a spray bottle, preferably glass, six 2 cups of vinegar, either cheap cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar with 2 cups of distilled water. Tap water is fine also.

- Shake to blend the liquids.

- Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil to the mixture and shake again to blend the oil evenly throughout the liquids.

- Replace the spray nozzle. Give it a few shakes before you use it.

* It is safe to use on any surface. If you are using it on wood surfaces, choose the cider vinegar as it is a bit safer with wood finishes.

* Many people find  the scent of the cider vinegar to be a bit milder. Both types of vinegar will leave your home sparkling clean!

Lavender petals

Written by Jen Bator — July 19, 2017

5 Ways to Heal Your Skin

Summer weather is tough on the skin. The sun and hot weather pull all moisture from the body drying the skin out. Air conditioning can also dry your skin.

When it’s hot, my skin can feel tense and prickly, as though it is stretched too tight. If you’re experiencing this too, you know that relief can be hard to find. The skin is the permeable boundary between the inner and the outer world. It can show the effects of external and internal conditions. For example, if you’re dehydrated, it’s likely that your skin will show some signs either through how it looks or how it feels. As I always recommend, drink water and other hydrating liquids.

Ice Water with Slice of Lemon

Slices of lemon or lime will add the essential antioxidant vitamin C and boost the benefits.

1. Add moisture to the air

In dry climates and conditions, a humidifier can help your skin find some relief. Our new  House Aromatherapy Diffuser and Bottle style will release both essential moisture and healing scents into the air. The charming House diffuser emits puffs of mist from its chimney. 

2. Protect your delicate lips

Soothe your lips with our Shea Butter & Almond Lip Balm. I talk about Shea Butter often because it is amazing at moisturizing and then locking in the hydration which is also brought by the almond oil in this case.

Desert in Morocco

3. Cleanse & Exfoliate

In order for your skin to rejuvenate, older skin cells need to be removed. Daily use of a cleanser and exfoliant all-in-one, such as our Walnut & Botanical Exfoliating Wash, saves time while it soothes as it gently exfoliates.

4. Layer antioxidants

Our Rose & Nettle Daytime Face Serum brings important antioxidants to your skin which protect and reduce the harm caused by the sun and other exposure that can cause damage. The comfrey in this serum is naturally soothing and will ease any inflammation.

5. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

We often talk about hydration here and this is because it’s essential. All of your cells need water to survive and thrive.  A good moisturizer brings moisture to the cells and then creates a barrier so that the moisture is sealed in.  We have moisturizers for the face and for the entire body. Each has a different texture so you can easily find one that suits your skin's individual needs.

Our Olive Leaf & Neroli Moisturizer is perfect for when the skin of your face feels tight or sensitive. It is designed to cool the skin and reduce inflammation. The combination of aloe with chamomile and olive leaf soothes the skin and cools any inflammation. Chamomile is well respected as a powerful healer of many forms of irritation.

Close-up of Olives and Olive leaves

Your whole body will benefit from the nourishing effects of our Jojoba & Shea Butter Hydrating Lotion. Aloe will bring moisture and healing to the skin, while shea butter also hydrates as it seals in the benefits.  The jojoba adds to the deep conditioning effect of this creamy lotion.

Skin health comes from the inside out. It may be a cliché to say that what you put onto your body is as important as what you put into your body, but there is usually some truth behind all clichés. You can trust that our products are made from the finest natural ingredients. Each ingredient is chosen for its efficacy in healing and treating the skin.

Written by Jen Bator — July 09, 2017

Heal Sun Damage with These Best Natural Skin Care Products

With the dog days of summer fast approaching, temperatures will rise to sultry levels and many of us will be out in the sun for extended stretches of time.

I’m a fair skinned person, and I’ve had my share of sunburns. I’ve done research about sun exposure and protection and have found that there needs to be a combination of exposure to the sun and strong protection. Our bodies do need exposure to the sun - the sun helps us to regulate our circadian rhythm and is essential for the production of vitamin D. Many skin and health conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis respond positively to the sun. Every creature on earth needs the sun to survive, As with most things, going to extremes - oiling up and baking under the afternoon sun or avoiding any and all sun exposure -  is likely not good for any of us. The keys to healthy sun exposure are moderation and timing.

Sky full of sun

Most of the time sun damage is invisible, with sunburns being the obvious exception. Keep reading below the post for some more tips about sun exposure.

Most sunburns can be successfully treated at home. However, if you have blisters on more than 20% of your body or if you are experiencing flu like symptoms, these warning signs indicate that you should consult a doctor.

Sun exposure can be very dehydrating, both to the skin and to your system so be sure to drink plenty of water when you're out playing in the sun! Remember to apply sunscreen every few hours or more often if you are sweating or in and out of the water.

Majorca Beach with sunbathers

There are a few phases to caring for your skin after a sunburn - when you notice that you're starting to burn, cooling down the burn, and promoting the skin's ability to heal.

When you catch yourself starting to burn, if you are able, it's best if you can leave the sun and get indoors or into some shade. If you can't, borrow a hat or cover-up.

When you return home and find that you've been burned, ice compresses can ease some of the pain and help the skin cool down. Your first priority is to cool down the skin and stop the burn from progressing. One successful remedy is to take a cool bath. Taking a shower isn't as effective as the pressure of the water pulsing down on the burn can be painful.

Ice cubes

 Add some of our Sea Salt Foaming Mineral Soak to your lukewarm bath water. One key ingredient in the mineral soak Sodium Bicarbonate - baking soda - has a cooling affect on the skin. It is alkaline, which will help restore the ph balance to the skin while it helps to naturally cool the skin. A paste of baking soda and water can be applied directly to badly sunburned skin. The combination of Epsom salt and baking soda present in the Mineral Soak is also mentioned in many home remedies to help cool the sunburn. It's a good idea to continue taking these cool baths for a few days as your burn heals.

Box of baking soda with a bowl of baking soda in front of box

While you prepare the bath, put a serum or some lotion in the freezer so that it is extra cool when you emerge from the bath.

It's not a good idea to apply oil to burned skin. Oil doesn't allow the skin to release the heat.

Initially, applying pure Aloe Vera, if you can find it, is very healing.  After the aloe vera apply our Cucumber & Botanical Healing Serum, which combines the cooling qualities of cucumber with the healing properties of aloe vera with other healing and hydrating herbal ingredients. The serum will help heal your skin by providing the moisture it needs.

Cucumber slices

Sunburns pull moisture from the body to the skin, and this can lead to dehydration. Drink more liquids while you are treating the sunburn. 

 Continue the treatment with a light moisturizer rich in antioxidants and hydrating ingredients. If it feels good, put the moisturizer in the freezer or the fridge while your sunburn heals.

We harness all of the benefits of shea butter including its rich moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory qualities  in our Aloe, Shea Butter & Jojoba Body Cream. The cream contains some powerful healing plants. Marshmallow is a soothing ingredient and comfrey leaf has a long history of being used to heal skin ailments, such as burns. Grapeseed oil and vitamin C serve as powerful antioxidants to help reduce the cellular damage caused by the sun exposure.

When your burn has started to heal, the damaged skin may peel. It may be tempting to exfoliate or pull off this damaged skin but you must resist! The skin is too sensitive during this time and scratching or exfoliating can cause scarring. scratching or popping blisters can lead to infections. It's best, but difficult to let the skin fall off naturally as it heals. Moisturizing regularly will help help your skin's appearance and it will also heal the skin. Wait at least another three days after the peeling has stopped before using anything to exfoliate.

Orange being peeled

 Time is the main healer.

 

Sun exposure

There are two types of rays - UVA and UVB and each has a different effect on the skin. UVB rays are shorter and cause sunburns. UVA rays are longer, and penetrate the skin more deeply. These wavelengths may create reactive oxygen molecules that can damage the cell membranes themselves. Exposure to UVA rays can cause a chain reaction that creates free-radicals. Antioxidants can help to mitigate this damage.

Even in the shade and in cloudy conditions, our skin is exposed to harmful UV rays. The rays bounce off of surfaces like sand, concrete and water and onto our skin. Sun damage  can lead to problems such as cancer. The best strategy is prevention, so buy sunscreen and apply it no matter what the weather is like and in every season. Be sure to choose a Sun Screen that protects from UVA and UVB rays.

Sunburned feet

The sun is at peak strength in the afternoon between the hours of 10am and 4pm. These are also the hottest hours of the day. There’s good reason that many cultures take a rest at this time! It might not be possible to completely avoid being in the sun during these hours and this is when protection comes into play. When the sun is at it’s peak strength, it is important to wear a strong sunscreen or sunblock that you reapply often, or cover-up to limit direct sun exposure to your skin. Wear wide brimmed hats and sun-glasses with uv protection.

Being in the sun before 10 and after 4 reduces the risk but damage and burns are still possible. It is best to get some sun exposure  before 10 and after 4 to help with vitamin D production.  

This damage may take a toll on the elasticity and appearance of your skin. The best protection is prevention and treating your skin with healing antioxidants and hydration before and after sun exposure.

 

Written by Jen Bator — July 03, 2017

Soothe Dry Hands with the Best Natural Skin Care Products

Winter has the reputation for being hard on the skin, especially the skin of our hands. We use our hands for almost every task -  cooking, cleaning, gardening. If you’re like me, you occasionally do things without the protection of gloves, and this can exacerbate existing skin problems. Sports equipment such as racquets and golf clubs combined with using different garden tools can cause blisters, which may develop into calluses. Sometimes you need to go a bit deeper than applying a simple moisturizer and take some time to pamper your hands. You put your hands through so much, isn’t it time to give them a spa treatment?

Are your hands rough and chapped? It may be time for gentle exfoliation. Our Sugar Scrub is excellent for removing rough skin while the moisturizing qualities of shea butter leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth and protected. Follow-up with our rich Shea & Beeswax Hand Cream or for the healing power of aloe and the deep hydration of shea butter, apply our Jojoba & Shea Butter Hydrating Lotion.

Engage all of your senses when you customize your Scrub and Cream or Lotion with essential oils. In the shop, you are able to smell your different choices or ask for advice based on the result you want. For example, Lavender is well known for being a relaxing scent. On-line, you can choose from one of our popular blends. We will happily mix the scent into the product just for you!

Beam of sunshine lighting up the tray of brown glass essential oil vials

If you would like more in-depth treatment ideas for , please scroll down for the full instructions.

Masks aren't just for the face! Apply the cooling Cucumber Hydrating Mask to your damp skin and watch as your skin is soothed and repaired. Follow-up with a lotion such as the Aloe, Olive & Avocado Lotion to seal in the calming benefits of the cucumber mask.

Our Whale Nail Brush adds a touch of whimsy to cleaning beneath your nails. Nail brushes allow you to gently remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated or apply a treatment to the skin of your fingertips.

We carry Three Piece, Four Piece, and Five piece Manicure sets made by the German manufacturer Pfeilring. Each handmade tool is exactly what you need to care for your cuticles and nails.

Enjoy taking care of your hands, and you may find that they quickly become softer and more supple as they respond to the treatment.

The treatments below can be done at any time of day but the effects will be longer lasting if they are done right before bed.

Exfoliating with the Sugar Scrub

  1. Keep a towel in your lap or over your work surface.
  2. Pour a generous dollop of oil such as our Five-Oil Blend or your favorite massage oil into the palm of your hand.
  3. Rub it deeply into each fingernail, one at a time. Continue to rub the oil onto your hands and wrists. And spend time massaging the palm of your hand, rubbing up the root of each finger until you reach the tip. Pay attention to any points where there is tension or a knot.
  4. Do not wash or rinse your hands. Apply a liberal amount of Sugar Scrub to them.
  5. Soak two hand towels with warm tap water and wrap them around your hands. Make sure the towels are not too hot. Remove towels when they have completely cooled.
  6. Wash your hands. There might be some residual oil still on your skin, but this adds to the effectiveness of the over-all treatment. Use a gentle nail brush to scrub any of the scrub out from under your nails.
  7. Rub a generous dollop of your favorite lotion or cream into your hands and wrists. Put extra lotion onto your nail beds and cuticles.
  8. Trim and file your nails as you like.
  • Hand Mask
  • 1. Place 2 teaspoons of the Sea Salt Foaming Mineral Soak in a bowl of hot water. The bowl should be large enough to submerge your hands in the water. Soak your hands in the hot water ten to twenty minutes. Dry your hands.
  • 2. Apply the Cucumber Hydrating Mask all over your hands. Be sure to apply it to the skin between each of your fingers.
    3. Wrap your hands in a clean towel. Leave the mask on for about 10 minutes.
  • 4. Rinse gently and apply a rich lotion such as our Jojoba & Shea Butter Hydrating Lotion seal in hydration.
  • You can alternate between these two treatments. As always, choose the products that suit you and your skin. You may want to experiment with changing what you use depending on the season and the conditions your hands are exposed to.
  • I hope you notice a positive changes in your skin and a release of some of the tension you carry in your hands as you add any of these suggestions to your self-care routine.
  • Written by Jen Bator — June 26, 2017

    The Best Natural Hair Products for Beards

    Beards and mustaches need love too. Treat your face and facial hair right with some specially made products designed to condition your hair and the skin underneath to keep you looking and feeling your best.

    Rock on a beach with seaweed that looks like a beard

    Start your beard care ritual with our Sunflower & Avocado Pre-Shave Oil conditions the skin and hair, making shaving easier. You can also apply the oil and skip the shave, for an all day skin-treatment.

    Depending on your preference, we have options of different textures when it comes to making the razor glide across your beard.  The light foaming action of our Aloe & Comfrey Shave Gel lifts the hairs slightly to promote a close shave. Our Birch, Spruce & Juniper Shave Lotion conditions the skin and protects it with antioxidants while it preps the skin for shaving.  The rich, thickness of our Aloe & Shea Butter Shave Cream deeply moisturizes the skin while it smooths the way for shaving. The formula contains antioxidants to protect the skin. The aloe soothes the skin and the shea and comfrey in the formula heal any irritation.

    Traditional Barbershop

    If you want to bring the traditional barbershop shave home, start with warm, damp cloths and let them steam on your face for a few minutes to soften the hair and skin and prepare it for a shave. Our Lavender Shave Soap creates a rich lather and the shea butter conditions and moisturizes the face while preparing for shaving. Our Porcelain Shave Mug provides a place for you to lather your shave soap and store it without foamy clutter. A Shaving Brush is an essential part of this equation. The brush coats each individual hair and lifts it away from your face making it easy to get a close shave. Our Merkur Safety Razor is made to last by German craftsmen renowned for the excellent metalwork. A Shaving Stand brings it all together and keeps the brush and most razors up off the edge of the sink and is available in a Wood & Metal version and an all metal version.

    Our cooling Cucumber & Aloe Aftershave Balm will bring much needed hydration to your face and prevent any irritation before it starts. This balm can do double duty as a whole face moisturizer. The Shea, Vitamin E & Menthol Aftershave is a light lotion that has a minty freshness and cools as removes any sting.

    Our Dopp kits are ready to travel!

    Black Dopp kit with shaving supplies

     

    We have a grooming kit specifically designed to make it easy to care for your facial hair. The Pfeilring Grooming Set has everything you need to keep you in tip-top shape. These German tools are handmade. The kit includes a brush, to prep the hair and scissors and a comb to accurately give yourself a trim. The whimsical mustache shaped Mustache Brush will bring some fun to getting ready.

    If you desire styling and hold without stiffness try our Grooming & Styling Wax and Shea & Cocoa Butter Hair & Beard Pomade. Both keep your hair neat and in place or fashionably mussy if that's your style.

    Hair Ball

    However you choose to style your beard and mustache we have products that will make your skin and hair feel soft and supple.

     

     

    Written by Jen Bator — June 19, 2017

    6 Ideas for last minute Father's Day Gifts

    In case you're like me and prone to losing track of time, here's a reminder that Father’s Day is right around the corner. Sunday June 18th to be exact. Count on Heliotrope to help you find a gift as unique as your father.

     We have traditional gift ideas such as  shaving supplies including razors, and shaving brushes, grooming kits and several styles of dopp kits.

    Grey with Yellow Dopp kit  Striped Dopp kit with products

     Created by a local maker - Kelly Chin - the Kaoru Sanchez dopp kits and makeup bags are exclusively available in the store. The canvas dopp kits can be filled with a selection of skin care products picked just for the special man in your life.

    If you're looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary, pair this or this handkerchief with a Redecker Horn Comb or their Mustache and Beard version.

    Grooming Wax & Mustache Brush

    Stay-tuned for an upcoming blog with ideas about how to best care for beards!

    Most people could use a towel refresh and we have several towel styles to pick from.

    Stack of towels

    Check out the blog post from Wednesday for more suggestions about luxurious bath accessories and help your self / your dad / your uncle / your partner find time for a well-deserved break in routine for some much needed relaxation and self-care!

     

     

    Written by Jen Bator — June 16, 2017

    4 Bathroom Accessories That Will Take Self Care to the Next Level

    The bathroom, along with every room in your house, can reflect your personality and style. The towels, rugs and face cloths can reflect your commitment to relaxation and self-care as much as the choices you make in products such as soap, cleanser and moisturizer. The right bath accessories will turn your bathroom into a sanctuary.

    Set the mood for a luxurious experience by lighting some candles. The soft glow  of the Soy Wax & Shea Butter Massage Candles diffuse your chosen scent into the air. Choose a candle scent that compliments or coordinates with your bath soap and moisturizer. Once you blow it out, the warm wax can be massaged, by you or another, person into your skin for an all-over moisturizer.

    The Beeswax Pillar Candles provide a glow and release negative ions purifying the air. Let the sweet smell reminiscent of honey envelope you as you bathe.

    Beeswax pillars in two sizes

    Don’t neglect your back! Our Sisal Back Brush makes it easy to get to those hard to reach spots or give yourself a much needed back scratch.

    The new Agave Fiber Cloths are handwoven out of natural agave fibers and suds up while gently exfoliating the skin.

    Exfoliation is easily achieved either with dry brushing or in the bath itself. Our Sisal Soap Pouch, which fits all of our bars. The soap conveniently suds as you move it over your body.

    Sisal Soap Pouch

    I relied on inherited towels for much longer than I should have. Then I found the glory of the department store white sale and this allowed me to learn the importance of having fresh towels. Towels are made to last but like most cotton based textiles, they do wear out and lose their absorbancy and loft and effectiveness.

    The bathroom is usually the most humid room in the house, so towels sometimes have a hard time drying out completely between uses. It’s important to switch out the towel you are using at least once a week for a thorough wash and dry to prevent mildew or bacteria from taking hold.

    When I tested out the towels that Heliotrope carries I found, as I suspected, they aren’t like anything I’ve experienced before. Each towel is unique and suited for different preferences. They are made in Japan on traditional looms and of fibers like flax and cotton.  Our towels come in neutral colors making them a match with most bathroom styles, and they are an elegant presence on the towel rack.

    The Kontex Palette Towels and the Kontex Flax Towel. Simple plaid, on the Palette towel or a stripe on the Flax towel woven side pairs with a soft cotton terry cloth on the reverse. These distinct textures provide exceptional absorbancy and the softness increases with every wash.

    Towels hanging on racks

    The Kontex Lattice towels are like nothing I’ve ever felt before. They are a thick towel with a bounce to the touch. The texture is soft, yet feels as though it is bringing blood to the surface of your skin as you dry off.

    The bath mat under your feet can be as cozy as your sheets, your favorite sweater and your slippers.

    The Ishikoro Pebble Mat is thick and luxurious with a variety of textures to stimulate your feet.

    Close up of Whale nail brush sitting on the Battleship grey pebble bath mat

    The influence of nature extends to the Bamboo Bath Mat. The padded texture is a treat for the feet, and the cotton.

    On a different side of the spectrum is our minimalist Wooden Bath Mat. The wooden slats lift you away from the cold floor and dry quickly.

     

    Written by Jen Bator — June 12, 2017

    6 Reasons to Love Bergamot Aromatherapy

    The fragrance of bergamot has been enchanting people for centuries. Because of it’s wide range of healing properties and its complex citrus scent,it is one of the most popular essential oils As with many plants that have roots in the distant past, it’s origins are debated - everyone wants to take credit.

    The tree is thought to be a cross between a sweet lemon and an bitter orange and to originate in the tropical parts of Asia. Under the right conditions, it can be grown in Europe. The tree has been cultivated in Southern Italy for generations, and this is where most of the essential oil comes from. Since the 1600s, it has also been grown throughout the Mediterranean and is not cultivated in the Ivory Coast, Greece, Tunesia, Morocco and Algeria.
    Bergamot fruit hanging in front of a green background

    It is widely used in perfume as the scent rounds out the other notes, and it provides a distinct citrus flavor with a bit of spiciness. It is also widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.

    It is referenced in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as being useful  in treating digestive issues. And in Ayurveda it is prescribed to help reduce melancholy and to uplift the spirits. It’s fragrance is familiar to tea connouseurs as it is a main ingrediant in Earl Grey tea. The Greeks have been cooking with it, and making sweet liquors with the fruit. Follow this link to a recipe for Bergamot Spoon Sweet    If you make the recipe, let us know how it turns out! 

    There are many reasons to love Bergamot aromatherapy, and here are our choices for the top six reasons to bring Bergamot into your life.

    1. The aroma of Bergamot soothes the nerves and reduces tension, anxiety and perhaps even has a positive influence on the effects of depression. Add our Essential Oil Blend Calming (Chamomile Bergamot) https://www.heliotropesf.com/products/essential-oil-blend-chamomile-bergamot-calming to your routine during periods of stress.
    2. Many aromatherapists have noticed that Bergamot has an enlivening effect on the mood. Our Uplifting essential oil blend is perfect for those periods when your energy needs a little boost.
    3. The citrus is a Cicatrisant meaning that it helps scars and other marks on the skin to lessen and even disappear.
    4. Applied topically on healthy skin where there is pain, it can help to reduce pain. The scent stimulates hormones that reduce the nerve sensitivity to pain.
    5. Bergamot contains chemicals that stimulate bile production and other digestive juices, which aids the body in absorbing nutrients.
    6. It has disinfectant and antibacterial qualities which make it an effective deodorant. It inhibits the germs that cause body odor. As is most citrus, used as a room spray or in a diffuser, it is effective as a room freshener.

      Try one of our blends, or develop your own! We will custom blend the essential oils to create your signature fragrance. Bergamot mixes well with so many fragrances such as sandalwood, rosemary, ylang ylang, nutmeg, vetiver, clary sage, frankincense, jasmine and black pepper.

      Come in and smell Bergamot alone or in one of our blends and experience the many ways it can enhance your life!

      Because Bergamot does affect hormone production and regulation, caution must be used if you have a health condition.

      Citrus oils and Bergamot are phototoxic, meaning that they increase the absorption of UV rays. Extreme care must be taken to protect the oil from exposure to the sun both on the skin and when storing. All citrus oils should be stored in low-light conditions in dark bottles. It should only be applied applied to areas of the body that will not be exposed to sun. For example, apply to the lower body, and areas that will be covered by clothes before going into the sun. The aroma will rise giving you the benefits of the essential oil and your skin will be protected.

      Written by Jen Bator — June 07, 2017

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