Native to islands in South-eastern Asia, lemongrass is a tall grass that grows in tropical climates. Its essential oil is fresh, invigorating and uplifting and one of our firm favourites here at Love to b. An amazingly useful oil, we use it widely across our products due to its therapeutic benefits and gorgeous, lemony scent. So, what can this amazing oil do, I hear you ask! If you’re feeling down and need a pick me up or want to focus your mind, then lemongrass is for you. It boosts energy levels and can even help to relieve joint pain.
How is lemongrass essential oil extracted?
Using steam distillation. The whole plant is used. Steam distillation is the most common way to extract essential oils. Steam passes through the plant material. The combination of steam, heat and gentle pressure means that the essential oil is released from microscopic sacs inside the plant.
What does lemongrass essential oil smell like?
Lemony, fresh and slightly herby.
What can lemongrass essential oil be used for?
Anti-bacterial: Lemongrass essential oil has been used for a long time to prevent infection and help to heal wounds. It is effective at eradicating many drug resistant bacteria.
Anti-fungal: Lemongrass essential oil is effective against some forms of fungi such as those that cause ringworm and athletes foot.
Anti-inflammatory: Lemongrass essential oil contains Citral, which is an anti-inflammatory compound. It is seriously effective at reducing inflammation and redness on the skin.
Antioxidant: Lemongrass essential oil is full of antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body (free radicals damage cells).
Insect repellent: This oil has been shown to repel insects.
Commonly asked questions
Does Lemongrass Essential oil lighten skin?
When properly diluted in a carrier oil, the limonene in lemongrass oil may help lighten and brighten skin, unclog pores, and reduce acne and acne scars.
Can I use Lemongrass essential oil on my face?
With the proper dilution in a carrier oil, lemongrass essential oil is the ideal choice for skincare. It helps to remove impurities, detoxify the skin, and leave it feeling clean and clear. It is also packed full of antioxidants that help to fight damaging free radicals which are harmful to your skin.
Can I use lemongrass essential oil directly on the skin?
No, that isn’t recommended. Lemongrass essential oil does need to be diluted in a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond. Use up to 12 drops of essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil. As always, we recommend doing a patch test if your skin is particularly sensitive.
For a long time, I have had my suspicions about the use of the recycling symbol which is so widely used on plastic bottles and containers through industry. I’ve recently discovered that no matter how many different types of ‘chasing arrows’ are printed on plastic products, it doesn’t change the fact that plastic is largely a throwaway material worldwide.
There are many large beauty and toiletry companies that will often tout the fact that their product packaging is ok because it’s recyclable! That is just not true, if they have the interest of their customers, our planet and the survival of all the endangered species, they would be switching to sustainable packaging. Unlike plastic, glass and metal (including aluminum) can be recycled infinitely without losing quality or purity in the product. Recycling glass and metal is the ultimate form of circular economy, the process of using and then reusing materials without generating any waste.
Although using re-useable plastics is an improvement from using single use plastic, which is thrown away, most plastics are recycled using high levels of fossil fuel. This continual need and use of plastic of any kind, creates a demand for plastic to be made.
What are the negatives of recycling?
-It is impossible for extensive recycling to take place worldwide due to lack of facilities and budget
-Recycling requires huge consumption of energy, often fossil fuel
-Recycling creates pollution
-Recycling centres require high up-front capital costs
How bad is the plastic problem?
In excess of 240 billion plastic bottles have become plastic waste and has been polluting our already fragile ecosystem. This is a global problem on an enormous scale and is causing irreversible damage to our planet.
How much plastic is currently recycled globally?
A global plastics recycling rate of 18%, and plastics waste generation of 258 Mtpa (million metric tonnes per annum) translate into approximately 46 million tonnes of recycled plastics production per year. If you want to find out more, read this interesting article from recycle now.
Glass and metal can be recycled infinitely!
Several years ago at Love to b, when we were rebranding we decided to get our own sustainable house in order! It took a whole year of research. We found it was impossible for our packaging to become 100% sustainable due to what was available on the market. We also found that our customers had become used to pumps for the their cosmetic and toiletry bottles.
These are some of the changes we made at Love to b:
-Glass jars: We have switched plastic lids to metal on our glass jars
-Skincare: We stopped using plastic airless pump bottles, it’s now all in glass
-Lip balm tubes: A big switch to cute little metal pots
-Soap boxes: Stopped using plastic lamination switched to FSC card
-Plastic cellophane for gifts: switched to potato starch cellophane
-Ribbon (which is generally made of plastic): switched to jute ribbon
-We’ve started to refuse raw ingredients from companies that still choose to use plastic and polystyrene fill. We make a point of letting suppliers know why we will not use them until they address their use of plastic.
-We have switched out all plastic bags to reusable and recyclable dual-purpose paper and linen bags
-All postal orders are packed with compostable materials such as upcycled shredded paper, wood wool and unbleached tissue.
At Love to b we feel we have an obligation to our families, community and planet to use ingredients and materials that don’t harm us or our world.
Moving forward we, at Love to b plan to continue to be conscious about environmental issues, sustainability and strive to improve in areas where we could do better.
Relaxing and soothing, lavender is one of the most versatile essential oils and has been used for centuries in aromatherapy. An extremely popular and well-known oil, lavender essential oil is widely used therapeutically for massage, bathing and in skincare. Lavender oil creates a beautiful aroma when it is vaporised in an oil burner, creating a sense of peace and calm. It is renowned for its wound healing benefits. Once written off as ‘old’ and ‘dated’, lavender essential oil has made a revival in recent years and is certainly a best seller here at Love to b.
Julie is often asked by customers ‘What can lavender essential oil be used for?’ It is a truly multipurpose oil that has a soothing and relaxing effect, believed to relieve anxiety and depression, insomnia, eczema and fungal infections.
How is Lavender essential oil made?
The flowers and leaves can be used. It takes around 1kg of lavender plant to make 5ml of essential oil! Steam distillation is the most common way to extract this essential oil. Steam passes through the plant material and the combination of steam, heat and gentle pressure aids the release oil from the microscopic sacs inside the plant.
What does lavender essential oil smell like?
Floral, fresh, sweet and herby.
What can lavender essential oil be used for?
Anti-inflammatory: Lavender is great at reducing swelling and irritation whilst calming redness and evening the complexion. It has a slight numbing effect on the skin which can help relieve pain.
For eczema and psoriasis: Due to its anti-inflammatory, healing and antibacterial benefits, lavender essential oil can be an excellent choice to soothe eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
For wrinkles: Lavender is full of antioxidants that will help to protect your skin from free radicals and slow down the aging process.
For acne: Because lavender essential oil has excellent antibacterial qualities, it can help to prevent and heal acne breakouts whilst reducing redness and inflammation.
For wound healing: Lavender essential oil is thought to reduce pain and speed up the skin’s healing process.
As an insect repellent: Not only is lavender essential oil an excellent insect repellent but it can also relieve itching when applied to a bite.
The history of Lavender essential oil
Lavender gets its name from the latin word ‘lavare’ meaning ‘to wash’. The Romans used lavender to scent their baths, beds, clothes and even their hair! They also discovered its medicinal properties.
Sixteenth-century English herbalist John Parkinson wrote that lavender was ‘especially good use for all griefs and pains of the head and brain’. Charles VI of France insisted that his pillow always contain lavender so that he could get a good night’s sleep.
Lavender essential oil was used in the kits of men fighting during World War 2. They used it on burns, scrapes, bruises and cuts to clean the wound and aid healing.
Commonly asked questions
Is lavender essential oil safe for pets?
Yes. Lavender essential oil is widely considered to be safe for cats and dogs to inhale. With the proper dilution, it can also be used topically on many minor skin ailments or to aid relaxation. As always, we advise consulting your vet before using a new product if you are particularly concerned.
Can I use lavender essential oil directly on the skin?
Yes. Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be used un-diluted on the skin. If your skin is particularly sensitive, we would recommend testing a small amount of the oil first to see if you get a reaction.
Does lavender essential oil make you sleepy?
It has been found that lavender increases the amount of slow and deep wave sleep.
If you are keen to find out more about this amazing ingredient, Kew garden has written an amazing article all about Lavender! They’ve even shown you how to make your own lavender eye pillow.
At Love to b skincare the poignant subject of plastic-free is never far from our hearts, thoughts and conversation, both at our skincare kitchen and at our flagship store in Ringwood. We are very aware that the beauty industry is a major contributor to the increasing mountain of plastic on the planet.
As media coverage for a plastic-free world has gained momentum, mainly attributed to people such as natural history broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and climate activist Greta Thunberg, there has been a positive step-change within our communities and governments towards becoming plastic-free. Click here to watch David Attenborough’s plastic message.
I remember watching the award-winning Blue Planet films and being mesmerised by the spectacular beauty of the world we live in. I was surprised to learn that every piece of plastic that has been made since the 1950’s still exists. So, like most people wanting to make a difference to our planet, I began making small, simple changes at home and stopped buying single use plastic as much as possible. This led me to wonder what we could and should do at ‘Love to b’ to become a plastic free company?
I began by studying environmental issues: ironically, plastics were first invented over a hundred years ago to solve the demand for items made from materials from the natural world eg: billiard balls made from elephant tusks. Plastics are made from fossil fuels – coal, natural gas and crude oil. These are toxic materials, and plastic tends to leach out these toxins, getting into the food chain and ending up in the bloodstream of nearly all of us. Sadly, mass, daily exposure to these toxins has also been linked to cancer, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments. Plastics may have been invented for our convenience but they are seriously bad for our health and the health of our planet.
Why is plastic bad for our planet?
Let’s start with the most obvious statistic: Greenpeace estimates that up to 12 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into our beautiful oceans each year. To put that in terms we can understand, that is the equivalent weight of around 2,400,000 average size elephants! The impact this has on our oceans is immense, the most visual impacts are the digestion and suffocation of marine animals and other species.
Beauty industry shame!
Two of the biggest contributors to plastic pollution are the fishing and beauty industries. Single use plastic packaging, microplastics in face washes and exfoliants have had such a devastating impact on marine and wildlife. This doesn’t just affect bigger animals, it also has an effect on micro-organisms; microplastics have rough pitted surfaces which allows waterborne chemicals from industry and agriculture to stick to the microplastics and make them toxic poison pills that plankton and fish mistake for food, which sadly kills most species.
An alarming recent statistic from Greenpeace, is that ’90% of all seabirds worldwide have consumed plastic in their lifetime’. This is a sad and scary statistic that puts into perspective the amount of material in the ocean that doesn’t belong there. Therefore, it’s so important to of our waterways and oceans use alternative sustainable, natural materials, to help keep plastics out of our waterways and oceans.
Several years ago, I decided to start with small changes at home to reduce the amount of plastic, we stopped buying bottled shampoo and conditioner. This coincided with us making our very first solid bar of 100% natural Mint & Rosemary Shampoo. So pleased we made this change, many more followed.
So, what can we do, individually, in our homes, in our companies and within our communities? In a future blog, we will be outlining our company’s environmental beliefs that run through our very core, along with our strategy to help with preserving the future of our precious planet for our children.
Start small, start real and keep your eye on the prize….. plastic free living!
“I came in today for the first time and most definitely not the last. The products are enough to make me come back, but the personal service from the staff is what has secured a life long customer.”
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