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Ethno-botanical Skincare.. what exactly does it mean?I remember the first time I ever went to the Caribbean to stay with my Grandma... it was a revelation. Different climate, fascinating culture, a laid back way of life... it really intrigued and excited me. I suffered terribly from the sun, though. I was not used to such a hot climate and came out in a heat rash all over my body.
My grandmother noticed straight away and brought a green plant with fleshy, spiky leaves into my bedroom. She cut one of the leaves open - it was a soft green colour inside and lots of clear juice poured out. Rubbing the juice all over my body, my burning skin was instantly soothed. I asked her what is was and she said "Single Bible", in other words Aloe Vera juice taken directly from the Aloe plant. "Single Bible" has long been used in the West Indies as a natural sunscreen and to treat burns and spots – it even makes a great hair conditioner! So when I was deciding on formulations for Thea Skincare products, I wanted to include Organic Aloe Juice extract as one of the main ingredients due to its amazing natural moisturising, healing and rejuvenating properties.
Whilst researching natural and organic ingredients for the Thea Skincare ranges, I started to look at different cultures and how they used natural plant (botanical) ingredients for their general health, well-being and skin. For centuries, many cultures have been blending plants and plant extracts to produce highly effective skincare products. I have now visited several indigenous communities across the world to discover their skincare secrets and learn from their deep knowledge and wisdom.
There are many ethno-botanical ingredients used by ancient cultures that are grown completely naturally. I’ve told you about Aloe Vera – here are a few more:
I have a friend from South Africa who introduced me to Rooibos Tea (African Red Bush Tea) a few years ago. I loved the colour and my friend started to tell me how she had grown up drinking this bush tea; her grandmother use to give it to her all the time as she said it was good for her body and skin. So, I started to delve further into this ingredient and discovered that Rooibos has powerful health benefits – it’s packed with natural antioxidants which have dramatic anti-ageing properties found in ranges such as the Thea Age Revival which contains natural Rooibos extracts.
The Chinese have been drinking and using Green Tea herbs for hundreds of years. I love Green Tea - it's refreshing, soothing and full of goodness. It's also wonderful for the skin because it is rich in natural antioxidants and has remarkable skin rejuvenating properties. Green Tea is regularly used by many cultures as a treatment for skin conditions, such as acne and psoriasis.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
I have used Extra Virgin Olive Oil in my cooking for years and no other oil will do! The Egyptians, Romans and Greeks have historically used Olive Oil for their skincare products and body treatments (such as massages and facials), either on its own or blended with herbs or fruit extracts. Olive Oil is packed full of Vitamin E and is fantastic for lightening age spots and smoothing ageing skin. Some of our products have a concentrated blend of olive oil and other ethno-botanical ingredients that smooths fine lines.
A friend in West Ghana introduced me to Shea Butter when I first visited the country a few years ago. It is a lovely rich cream which I fell in love with instantly. For many years, I used Shea Butter on my body, especially in the winter months but also in the sun as it helps protect my skin from the heat when I'm in Africa. This butter from the Shea Nut Tree has been part of Western African indigenous lives for many centuries. Shea is a wonderfully nutritious, rich moisturising butter that reduces wrinkles and makes any skin type more supple and healthy. My African friend showed me how to blend Shea Butter with oils.
I could go on forever, but here’s one more ethno-botanical ingredient, just for luck! Black Willowbark is a natural extract used by communities in eastern parts of North America, Asia and Europe. Black Willowbark has natural anti-ageing properties and is an amazing anti-inflammatory. It is in several Thea Skincare products.
Without ethno-botanical ingredients, the Thea Skincare ranges would not be nearly as remarkable as they are. Ethno-botanical products can dramatically improve the texture and appearance of your skin – proven already by different ethnic communities and ethnic groups from around the world. I have fallen in love with ethno-botanical skincare products as the ingredients are rich in nutrients, 100% natural, very moisturising and they have excellent anti-ageing and rejuvenating properties and they really do enhance the overall quality and condition of the skin as you age. No matter what skin type or colour you have, using ethno-botanical products gives long term benefits for healthy looking skin.