Stocking filler ideas from Amphora Aromatics that won’t break the bank.
Don’t go Christmas crackers at the thought of stocking fillers this year, Amphora Aromatics has a host of gorgeous essential oils and aromatherapy goodies for natural beauty fans of all ages – with prices starting at just £1.20 for a fruity face mask.
Amphora Aromatics Launches Multi-purpose Beauty Oils.
Amphora Aromatics has launched three, 100% natural, multi-tasking beauty oils for face, body, hair and nails – Rosehip Seed oil, Argan oil and Jojoba oil - in precision, pipette application 25ml bottles. Quick to absorb and easy to use,
SLS vs SCS – what’s the difference?
SLS vs SCS – what’s the difference?
You may have noticed over the recent years that there have been concerns raised over the use of ‘SLS’ (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) in ready to use shampoos and shower gels.
Ultimately it is used as a foaming agent (it’s what gives soaps and shampoos that ‘froth’ when we used them) and is also used in all sorts of
5 Reasons we Love Shea Butter
Shea Butter is one of the most wonderful natural ways of moisturising and hydrating both the skin and hair. It has been used for centuries in skincare, particularly across the Western region of Africa (in which its origins lie).
It is rich and luxurious to use, with a subtle ‘chocolatey’ aroma.
Go 100% Natural with AA Skincare’s New Frankincense and Rose Face Toner.
Are you looking for natural skincare products that does not cost the earth? Then look no further. Here at AA Skincare we have just launched a brand new face toner that is 100% natural, yes we said 100%!
Our fragrant formulation of refreshing Damask Rose water is combined with hydrating and toning Frankincense water, to gently refresh
Brand new natural Ooharr clay face masks
Have you seen our new Ooharr face masks?
Treating yourself to a face mask is a great way to treat skin concerns and keep your complexion balanced and healthy. There are plenty of different formulas available, each designed to help certain skin types and we have recently launched our fun, full of goodness and retro-inspired natural face masks and they are only £1.20 a sachet!
Finding the right mask for you is always hard if you are new to face masks so I will be talking about the different face masks, the key ingredients and focusing on their benefits to help get you to the soft, smooth and supple skin you wish for!
Dead Sea Cooler
• Peppermint, Tea Tree and Witch Hazel are the key ingredients in this face mask to help you achieve that brighter and clearer complexion
• Contains Dead Sea salts which helps open pores and detoxify.
• Kaolin Clay is great for deep cleansing as it draws out the impurities and helps reduce the production of sebum.
• Suitable for spot prone and oily skin.
• Rose is the key ingredient which helps to regenerate and renew tired, mature and dry skill cells.
• Intensely nourishing and balancing.
• Protects the skin from environmental damage.
• Contains Dead Sea salts which help open pores, detoxify and moisturise the skin leaving it soft and supple.
• Montmorillonite clay is deep cleansing as well as hydrating to help you achieve rejuvenated skin.
• Suitable for Mature, dry and needing a ‘pick-me-up’ skin.
• Vanilla and Honey are the key ingredients as well as Almond and Argan oil to keep the skin soft, smooth and hydrated.
• Perfect for any skin irritations as Aloe Vera is another ingredient which helps to cool and calm the irritated places.
• Contains Dead Sea Salts to open pores and detoxify the skin.
• Bentonite Clay has a special ability to act as an antibiotic when applied to the skin and can help calm skin infections as well as draw out impurities
• Suitable for dry, sensitive and irritated skin.
Which one will you try?
Aromatherapy in the Garden!
Green Fingers and Gorgeous Smells!
There have been some beautiful spring days so far (touch wood!), and it’s been the perfect opportunity to get out and about in the garden! Gardening can offer us so much; it’s such a great feeling being able to grow and produce your own food, share it with friends and family, plus it’s a great form of exercise and the perfect excuse to spend time outside and enjoy this gorgeous weather!
Did you know there are all sorts of ways that you can incorporate essential oils into your gardening routine to help support a healthy garden (and healthy gardener!)? The exciting thing about gardening is that there is always more to learn and all sorts of useful tips and techniques to share!
in this blog, we’ll be giving you some ideas on how to incorporate essential oils into your gardener’s world to offer various natural remedies to keep both yourself and your garden in tip top condition!
(1) Natural Pest deterrent
It’s never fun finding that all your hard work, effort and tender loving care you put into your plants and vegetables ends up in the bellies of those greedy slugs!
If you want to find a non-toxic and humane way of deterring the pests, there are all sorts of natural alternatives to steer the hungry critters away from your beautiful plants!
There are many essential oils that are renowned for deterring insects. It is useful for bearing in mind however, that different aromas will effect various bugs in different ways. Just because lemon-grass and citronella repel mosquitos, it may not be the same for slugs, snails and cockroaches.
Here is a brief guide on which aromas deter some of the main culprits for munching on your vegetables!
You can use the same method of adding 6-8 drops of essential oil per gallon of water and pouring into the soil.
Alternatively, you can put drops of essential oil onto cotton wool and place them in small pots (perhaps old yoghurt pots) and create a barrier around your beloved vegetables. Strong smelling oils such as peppermint, lemon and eucalyptus will deter not only slugs and snails but help deter dogs and cats from er doing their business on your vegetable beds!
(2) Utilising symbiotic relationships between plants.
There are many plants which have fascinating symbiotic relationships; you can utilise this through growing certain plants next to each other to strengthen and encourage one another to grow ( for example, Basil grows well alongside a companion of tomatoes or peppers).
This companionship can work on various levels; taller plants for example offering shade to herbs and smaller vegetables that don’t require as much sunlight or beans and peas having the ability to fix nitrogen into the soil which in turn benefits other plants, making the soil more nutritious!
An alternative to planting companion vegetables together is to mimic their properties and chemical compounds through the use of pure essential oils!
This is really easy to do; simply fill up your watering can with warm water and add six (more or less as required) drops of essential oil to roughly two gallons of water (adjust ratios according to size and type of plant).
Here are a few ideas of how you can do this:
(3) Post gardening protection!
A flourishing vegetable garden and a perfectly kept lawn can come at a price. All that digging, weeding and lifting heavy sacks of compost – there’s no denying that gardening is an all over body workout! It’s a great form of enjoyable exercise, however it can sometimes be quite strenuous and leave your muscles feeling tired, sore and overworked.
Here at Amphora, we have a number of effective, ready to use remedies for muscle ease!
• We receive endless positive feedback from you lovely customers about our Muscle and Joint Gel. For those of you that haven’t tried it, it’s an all-round natural yet powerful treatment for achy joints and tired muscles. It contains a huge array of pure essential oils such as:
Eucalyptus, Black Pepper, Rosemary and Camphor.
• For a truly indulgent experience or for extra sore joints, you can finish off with nice warm bath containing one of our pre-blended bath oils such as our Athletic bath oil which contains a warming and soothing blend of Pine, Thyme, Eucalyptus and Rosemary in a base of Sweet Almond Oil to help you revive and recover after all that hard work!
(4) Essential oils for tool maintenance!
Taking care of your garden tools can mean they have a longer life; avoiding rust and other forms of damage. Regular maintenance will keep your tools in good condition, meaning they will not become difficult to use (putting more of a strain on you!).
Using Lemon essential oil can work wonders on any stubborn stains on your tools.
Lemon essential oil is an excellent all round, incredibly effective and non-toxic household cleaner. It can be used for everything from cleaning your car windscreen, to cleaning the kitchen floor and maintaining your garden tools in good condition.
It is a powerful deodoriser and has the ability to get rid of tough stains and bring shine back to your garden tools!
When combined with baking soda, you can create a thick paste to cover rusty spots on your tools. Simply apply, wait a few minutes and then wipe away.
Similarly, you can create a soak for your tools after a gardening session. Fill up a bucket with warm water, add a cup of vinegar and 5-10 drops of lemon essential oil. Allow to soak for thirty minutes (be careful not to over soak – vinegar is very effective at eroding away rust but it can also erode your tools if left in for too long!
(5) Natural Herbicides
Conventional, chemical laden herbicides may be effective at killing off weeds, but they are also toxic to your surroundings and living things that may come into contact with them (including yourselves and family members!).
There are a number of natural alternatives that you can experiment with including utilizing the powers of essential oils to help tame the weeds surrounding your vegetables!
One incredibly simple and one hundred per cent natural recipe is to use a combination of coconut and vegetable oil.
What makes coconut oil an effective herbicide is that it contains a large amount of fatty acids which when applied to a plant, impair their ability to photosynthesise, thus debilitating them to eliminate waste through transpiration.
Cinnamon, Clove and Lemon oils are also great to use as a natural herbicide. They also blend nicely together! You can try mixing in a large watering can:
Ensure you cover the neighbouring plants you don’t want to kill off with a piece of fabric before pouring your natural herbicide onto the weeds.
Spray the mixture directly onto the leaves of the plant (try to avoid the soil!).
Check the weeds in a few days’ time and see the results!
Thank you for reading and we hope you've been inspired to get out into the garden.
Keep up to date with more tips and advice, competitions and more from Amphora by following us on facebook & Twitter :).
Amphora Aromatics’ top spring beauty and skincare tips
We made it – spring is officially here!! What better way to celebrate this beautiful time of year than with a good pampering session. Spring is the perfect time to take a close look at your skincare routine and get your skin radiant and set for summer.
Here are our top tips for how to make the most of natural ingredients for beautiful spring time skin.
(1) Exfoliate with Epsom Salts
Spring is a great time to exfoliate the skin, prepping it for the summer months to come. Exfoliating helps to stimulate circulation, detox the skin and leave it feeling soft and supple with a healthy glow.
Epsom salts are ideal for exfoliating. From removing dead skin cells to promoting brighter, healthier looking skin, Epsom salts also work to detoxify skin, helping draw out impurities and flush away toxins. Keep a tub of this wonderful stuff in your bathroom and add it to baths, use as an exfoliator in the shower or even combine with your conditioner to create a volumising hair treatment.
To use as an exfoliator, simply take a handful of salts and combine with a tablespoon of carrier oil. Simply massage over wet skin and rinse off afterwards.
For a simple recipe on how to create your own all natural, ready to use salt scrub, check out one of our previous blog posts:
Invigorating Grapefruit & Peppermint Salt Scrub.
(2) Switch to a Lighter Moisturiser
During the winter months, we’re likely to use heavy, intensive moisturisers and face creams to keep our skin protected from the harsh weather conditions. Once the temperatures start to warm up, it’s a good idea to switch to a lighter option (particularly if you have an oily complexion, as heavy creams can cause blocked pores).
Our AA Skincare brand has a gorgeous selection of moisturising face lotions which are ideal for use during the warmer months. They are light, easily absorbed and yet will give your skin the nourishment it needs.
Choose from naturally anti septic Lavender & Tea Tree, ideal for oily or congested skin, or refreshing and soothing Bergamot & Chamomile, also beneficial to acne prone and oily skin. For the more mature skin types, there is a hydrating Frankincense & Rose face lotion or nourishing Sandalwood & Palmarosa, rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
For more information, please visit our AA Skincare website through the link below:
(3) Summer skin prep
Ok so it’s not quite sunbathing weather, but spring is a good chance to help prepare our skin for the warmer weather to come. The sun can really dry our skin out so it’s important to keep it well nourished and hydrated before the summer months come around (as well as ensuring we’re wearing an adequate SPF protection for when things really start to heat up).
Virgin Coconut oil acts as a great all over 100% natural body moisturiser. It’s rich in Vitamin E which helps repair and regenerate the skin and its intensive moisturising properties can help to lock in moisture and keep the skin well hydrated.
Use on its own or blend with an essential oil choice for added properties. You can blend with Lavender to use on acne prone skin or Frankincense to help nourish the more mature skin type.
Coconut oil also acts as a natural skin softener and can work wonders on dry and cracked feet which will help prepare you for feet for sandal season in the summer months.
There you have some of our top natural skincare tips for this spring. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and stay tuned for more tips and advice to come.
3 Essential oils to help detox the skin.
New Year, New You
If we’ve overindulged over the Christmas, our skin can often suffer and show the signs. The cold weather can also cause havoc and leave our skin in need of some serious TLC. Luckily there are lots of ways we can help revive and rejuvenate our skin, getting it ready for the New Year.
We’ve got together a selection of all natural recipes using three key essential oils renowned to help detox the skin and help you feel revived and renewed.
The salicylic acid in Grapefruit means it can work wonders to help combat oily skin. Its antioxidant properties help to detox the skin, leaving it feeling brighter and more radiant.
What’s more, its wonderfully sweet and fresh aroma makes it renowned as one of aromatherapy’s ‘happy oils’. It’s therefore a great one to use to help beat the January blues!!
Exfoliating facial scrub with Grapefruit
Try mixing one cup of demiera sugar with a third grapeseed oil and 15 – 20 drops of Grapefruit essential oil. Place into an airtight jar and use the mixture as a gentle exfoliating facial scrub.
Moisten the skin with water and using your fingertips, apply a small amount of the scrub to your skin using circular motions.
This gorgeous scrub will help unblock pores and remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling smooth and fresh.
Juniperberry essential oil is known for its natural detoxifying properties. It’s a great oil to use to help your body recover after overindulging during the holidays (plus it’s known to be a natural hangover reliever!!).
Juniper is another great oil for helping combat those with an oiler skin type. It’s also a natural astringent, meaning it can help reduce redness caused by breakouts.
You can enjoy the great benefits of this oil by using it in a face serum. Serums are an incredibly effective way of treating the skin as they can penetrate the skin deeper than your standard moisturizer.
Simple detoxing facial serum with Juniperberry essential oil
(3) Cedarwood Atlas
Known for its detoxifying properties, Cedarwood oil can have a gentle stimulating effect which helps to break down and eliminate toxins in the body. It acts as a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, so it can be useful for treating acne and other skin complaints.
A great way to make the most of these properties is to use it in a gentle exfoliator. Exfoliating the skin helps to remove dead skin cells and helps promote healthier, softer, smoother skin.
For the ultimate skin detox, you can try blending Cedarwood Atlas Oil with some Epsom salts (renowned for their detoxifying and exfoliating properties), along with a carrier oil of your choice.
Detoxing all over body scrub recipe
1 cup of Epsom salts
4 tablespoons of carrier oil
15 drops of Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil.
15 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil.
Simply combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl until you’re happy that they’ve blended well.
Scoop into a container and enjoy using in the shower or bath. Apply to wet skin in gentle circular motions and wash off with warm water.
Here you have just a few simple ideas on how to kick-start your skin for the New Year. We hope your new year is getting off to a good start and the resolutions (if there are any) are going well :).
Keep your eyes peeled for more to come over the next few weeks.
5 simple homemade aromatherapy gift ideas
The idea of making your own bespoke gifts may seem daunting, but it really can be made so simple. There are many ways of creating unique, personalized gifts using as little as two or three ingredients. Making your own toiletries and cosmetics is a great way to get creative with scents and colours, plus when they are homemade, you can rest assure there are no nasty chemicals and unwanted additives that you may find in a finished, store bought product. It’s also a great chance to learn lots of recipes so you can make them again, plus it’s a great way to save money!!
(1) Whipped body butter
This luxuriously rich, all natural moisturizer makes a gorgeous gift (or it’s also great to use on yourself for some home pampering sessions).
It contains some lovely ingredients which help nourish and protect the skin (ideal for use during the colder months of the year).
What’s more it smells and looks delicious (although do not attempt to eat it!).
½ cup of Shea Butter
½ cup of Cocoa Butter
½ cup of Virgin coconut oil
½ cup of carrier oil
30-35 drops of Vanilla Extract Oil (or an essential oil of your choice).
Simply combine all the ingredients, except the essential oil, in a *double boiler and gently heat on a low temperature. Keep stirring until they become liquid. Once this is done, allow the mixture to sit for roughly 15 minutes and then add your essential oils.
Next place the mixture in the fridge and allow it to set.
Once this is done, use a mixer to gently whisk the mixture into a fluffy consistency (or until you are happy with it). This may take up to 5 minutes.
When your mixture is ready, simply scoop into your desired container (a glass kilner jar would be ideal).
*To make a double boiler, simply fill a regular saucepan with water and set to the desired heat. Next place a glass mixing bowl on top to put the ingredients in. This allows you to melt down the ingredients more slowly s they don’t burn or seperate.
(2) Luxurious Bath Melts
These make the perfect gift for the winter time when we most enjoy taking a long, hot bath. The great thing about these bath melts is that they contain a number of natural ingredients with excellent moisturizing properties, which help to nourish the skin during the cold winter months.
Shea Butter (50g)
Cocoa Butter (50g)
Essential Oil 30-40 drops (we’d recommend relaxing scents such as Lavender, Ylang Ylang or Sandalwood).
Silicon moulds (these can often be found in a homeware store in the kitchen section and they come in all sorts of different shapes to choose from).
Dried flowers/herbs (optional).
Using a double boiler, gently melt down the Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter until it becomes a liquid form. Next add your dried herbs (if you are using them).
Add 3-4 drops of essential oil in each of your moulds and then carefully pour your mixture on top.
Simply leave your mixture to set in the moulds (you can pop them in the freezer to speed things up). When they have solidified, gently remove them from the moulds and store them in a cool place.
(3) Sensuous Solid perfumes
Solid perfumes make the ideal stocking filler; you can get really creative in blending oils to suit your preferences and they are really easy to make. The lovely thing about solid perfumes is that they can be made with 100% natural ingredients (and you can also avoid using alcohol which may be used in traditional spritz perfumes).
For the basic ‘how to’, check out our blog from last year:
For some recipe ideas, you can try the following:
Sumptuously Sweet Vanilla Solid Perfume
Citrus Zing Solid Perfume
Exotic Ylang Ylang, Orange & Sandalwood Solid Perfume
DIY Solid Perfume for Men
(4) Exfoliating Salt Scrubs
Salt scrubs are incredibly easy to make. They can be made from as little as two ingredients and they make the ideal gift for anyone who loves a good pampering. They can be used in the bath or shower to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.
For some simple recipes and ideas, check out some of our previous blog posts:
Lemon & Lavender Salt Scrub Recipe
Tropical Lime & Coconut Salt Scrub Recipe
Invigorating Grapefruit & Peppermint Salt Scrub Recipe
(5) Aromatherapy Lip Balms
Lip balms make the perfect stocking filler!! They’re incredibly easy to make and they are a really useful gift for this time of year when our lips are subject to cold weather conditions, often leaving them dry, damaged and chapped.
This ever so simple recipe is 100% natural and contains some gorgeous ingredients which really help to nourish and protect the lips.
You will need:
A small container (a small glass jar or metal tin the size of 15 – 20ml is ideal)
Virgin Coconut Oil (1 tablespoon)
A carrier Oil of your choice (2 tablespoons)
1 ½ tablespoons of Beeswax pellets (for vegan options you can try Soy wax flakes).
15 drops of Essential Oil
These measurements will fill roughly 3 of the 15ml jars or tins; you can obviously increase or decrease the measurements depending on how many you make.
*Tip – because the mixture tends to solidify very quickly, I found it is best to do 2-3 jars at a time to make life easier (and less messy).
Using a double boiler, gently heat up the beeswax, carrier oil and Coconut oil until it has melted.
Next turn off the heat and add the essential oil(s) and gently stir them in.
Your mixture is now ready to pour into your containers.
Simply allow your lip balms to dry naturally (they will solidify fairly quickly, but you can speed the process up by popping them in the fridge for a few hours).
*Some recommended essential oils to use in lip balms:
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and we hope you have been inspired to create your own homemade, all natural gifts.