Why I Created Healthy Harvest Facial Oils

Please enjoy this guest post by our dear friend Stephanie Tourles, creator of our silky soft nourishing Olive Essentials Facial Oils.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Tourles, and I’m a licensed holistic esthetician, herbalist, certified aromatherapist, and author of 12 books on the subjects of natural skin and body care, raw food nutrition, and topically-applied herbal remedies.  I’ve written and taught about the benefits of pure, natural skin and body care for nearly 30 years, as well as created recipes and products.  I care about the purity of what goes onto my own skin and I care about what goes onto yours. I’m absolutely passionate about high quality, plant-derived, totally chemical-free skin care!

I discovered that they consisted primarily of water, synthetic skin softeners such as diethanolamine (a skin irritant and hormone disruptor), chemical exfoliating acids, a synthetic vitamin or two, propylene glycol (a cheap petroleum byproduct) artificial fragrance, and preservatives

Let me share a bit of back story with you as to why I began to develop facial oil blends in the first place.  

In the mid-1990s, I decided to see what all the hoopla was about concerning the highly touted “youthifying” commercial facial serums that many cosmetic companies were launching.  These ½-ounce to 1-ounce bottles of promise came at a hefty price – starting at around $50.00 per bottle, which was quite a sum back then.  After a bit of ingredient sleuthing, I discovered that they consisted primarily of water, synthetic skin softeners such as diethanolamine (a skin irritant and hormone disruptor), chemical exfoliating acids, a synthetic vitamin or two, propylene glycol (a cheap petroleum byproduct) artificial fragrance, and preservatives. To say the least, they were an undesirable “cocktail for the face.”   

So I decided to experiment and create my own natural, highly beneficial versions of these commercial serums using all manner of nourishing ingredients. The result:  herbal-infused and/or essential oil-based facial oil blends that your skin will literally drink!  For years, I wrote about my discoveries and taught women – and a few men – how to make their own. People were beginning to desire “clean skin care” . . . and they still are!

So why did I decide to formulate facial oils using Healthy Harvest’s Tuscan olive oil?  

In December of 2015, Karl Burgart, owner of Healthy Harvest, sent me a sample of his new unrefined, unfiltered, raw, low-acid, enzyme-rich, organic, high polyphenol count (read: high in antioxidants), Tuscan olive oil, intending me to consume it, which I did…but I also applied it to my skin one evening after my routine cleansing as a substitute for my regular moisturizer.  Well, let me tell you, that’s all it took . . . I awoke the next morning with dewy soft, smooth, unusually velvety skin. My 53-year-old skin glowed and felt comfortable! I just knew that I had to formulate a couple of exquisite facial oils for Healthy Harvest. 

“Think of these facial oils as skin food.”

Tuscan olive oil is different . . . it’s light and silky upon the skin – unlike many olive oils – which tend to be moderately heavy. Think of these facial oils as skin food – essential nourishment for the health of your face, neck, chest, and hands (the texture of your hands will greatly benefit each time you apply these – so be sure to massage it in well).

Additionally, I included organic and wildcrafted essential oils into these formulations with properties known to tone & tighten the skin, aid in healing, reduce inflammation, rejuvenate aging skin, improve conditions of psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea, and help prevent scar formation immediately post injury, plus they soothe and calm the psyche.

In every skin care book I write or class I teach, I always stress the importance of understanding the following:   Your skin EATS or absorbs up to 60% of what is applied to it. So, if good-for-you ingredients can affect your skin (and even muscle tissue or bloodstream), so can the potentially irritating synthetic colors, fragrances, and artificial ingredients – which I suggest that you avoid. Your skin is your largest organ, your “living hide,” so to speak – a living, breathing, and excreting organism – not just an inert covering.  The ingredients in Healthy Harvest’s Olive Essentials Facial Oils No. 1 and No. 2 are totally biocompatible with your body – your body will recognize the natural nutrients in the olive oil and beneficial properties of the essential oils.  Your cells will literally drink them up . . . thus aiding in healing, nourishing, rejuvenating, comforting, restoring, and “youthifying” your skin.  

How To Use Healthy Harvest Olive Essentials Facial Oils

Both facial oils are designed to be used INSTEAD of your regular moisturizer, twice daily.  The facial oils actually seal in the important moisture remaining on your skin from your toner/astringent/hydrosol – after you’ve cleansed – and truly nourish your skin, leaving it feeling fabulous, toned, tightened, plump, and lifted, with diminished wrinkle visibility – prolonging the youthful qualities and functions of your skin. Please don’t be afraid of using an oil on your face.  It only takes 4-8 drops with each application and rapidly penetrates.  The beautiful Italian and Greek peoples have used pure olive oil on their skin and hair for thousands of years – much to their benefit.  Many often appear younger than their years well up into their 80s and beyond.

Olive Essentials Facial Oils are guaranteed to contain no synthetic fragrances, silicones, mineral oils, parabens, GMO ingredients, phthalates, propylene glycol, DEA, EDTA, acrylates, nano technology, BHT, or any other questionable ingredients. No animal testing.

Olive Essentials Facial Oils No. 1 and No. 2 contain minimal ingredients that are exquisitely effective . . . Organic Tuscan olive oil plus absolutely pure organic or ethically wild-harvested essential oils. That’s it . . . and that’s all you need for glorious, healthy skin – in addition to good food and lifestyle habits (but you already know that).

This is what small-batch, artisinal skin care is all about – made by hand using superior quality ingredients offered by Mother Nature – not merely concocted in a chemist’s lab with the main focus being profit.  Karl and I want you to have the VERY BEST for your skin . . . and want to be transparent about our product’s ingredients!  Guaranteed purity, incredible effectiveness, with no useless filler. With consistent use, your skin will thank you with healthy radiance!

For more information about Stephanie Tourles, her books, events, podcasts, videos, and to follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and sign up for her monthly blog, visit her website www.stephanietourles.com

Healthy Harvest Travels: Ketchum, Idaho

For the last three years, we have made the 12-hour drive to Ketchum, Idaho to meet with a local food buying club and give a presentation on the health benefits of pure, extra virgin olive oil.

This year, we packed our trailer as full as we could and set out for the Sun Valley of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Sunrise and Supermoon
Sunrise and the lingering supermoon in Wyoming

We split the long drive over a day and a half, and the views did not disappoint.

Mountains in Idaho

We arrived in the sleepy ski town just as the first winter storm was about to move in, giving hope to residents that resorts might be able to open for Thanksgiving.

ketchum-idaho
photo from Pinterest

Upon arriving, we were graciously hosted by Julie, owner of Nourish Me, a locally owned health food store and cafe located right downtown. Julie works hard to make foods not usually available in small towns accessble to residents and tourists in the area. She not only sells amazing foods from trusted sources like raw milk and cheese, kombucha, organic veggies, and supplements, but also serves wholesome meals from her in-store cafe and teaches community classes about ferments and other fun topics.
Nourish me health food store ketchum idahoSince Ketchum is nestled in a remote mountain valley,  passionate local foodies organize a food buying club to purchase organic foods and other necessities in bulk a few times a year. Members drove from nearby towns Bellevue, Hailey, and more to hear about our authentic Greek and Italian olive oils.

We had an absolute blast connecting with like-minded people who really know their stuff about healthy eating!! If you know of any food clubs interested in a presentation, give us a shout!

Are there carcinogens in your beauty products?

Most our community of friends at Healthy Harvest are healthy eaters. We read nutrition labels and are cautious of what ingredients we’re putting in our bodies. We choose organic and avoid GMOs and hormones whenever possible. But how often do we pay attention to what we’re putting on our skin?

Our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs ingredients directly into our bloodstream. A recent article by The Atlantic suggested as many as 1 in 5 beauty products contain ingredients linked to cancer.

So what’s in your cosmetic bag? We put together a list of ingredients we’ll never include in our organic small-batch facial oils. Here’s why:

Parabens

Also in: deodorants and antiperspirants, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, cleansers and scrubs

Parabens are a preservative that prevent bacteria in water based products. “About 85 percent of cosmetics have them,” says Arthur Rich, Ph.D., a cosmetic chemist quoted by Real Simple.com. So what’s wrong with them? Parabens mimic estrogen in the body, and estrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problems.

Synthetic fragrances

Also found in: perfumes and colognes, baby lotions and wipes, air fresheners and candles, dryer sheets and detergents

In the U.S., manufacturers can legally hide hundreds of synthetic chemicals in the one word—“fragrance”—without revealing what those ingredients are.

Cited on Huffington Post, “Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers found more than 75 percent of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates (THAL-ates) which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, and cause reproductive malformation, and have been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity.” See more phthalates below.

Propylene glycol

Also found in: antifreeze, medicines, cosmetics, or food products

Propylene glycol is used as a skin conditioner and to enhance absorption, but Canada has listed it as toxic or harmful. While described as safe by the FDA, the CDC Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry claims it affects the skin, urinary system or kidneys, and respiratory system. It has been shown to worsen eczema and skin allergies.

Phthalates

Also found in: vinyl flooring, paints, shoes, disinfectants and deodorizers

According to Mother Earth Living, “phthalates are a probable carcinogen, some of which have been linked to reproductive harm, learning disabilities, asthma, and allergies – even at low exposure levels.”

Mineral oil

Also called: petrolatum or paraffinum

Also found in: lip balm, shampoos, conditioners, lotion, creams

Mineral oil is extremely common in skin care because it reduces loss of water. It is actually a byproduct from the distillation of petroleum for gasoline. Mineral oil doesn’t actually hydrate your skin; it just forms a barrier, so it can clog your pores or seal in bacteria, which can cause you to break out.

According to Livestrong.com mineral oil also”attracts needed moisture from cells deep inside your skin. This means that cell renewal is slowed, collagen breaks down, and the connective tissue is destroyed. Normal cell development is slowed down and the skin ages prematurely when skin cells are robbed of moisture.”

We want to hear – what are your favorite safe, non-toxic beauty and self-care products?

Sources

  • http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/worry-about-parabens
  • http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/radiation-chemicals-and-breast-cancer/parabens.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
  • https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705315/PROPYLENE_GLYCOL/#
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/five-mustknows-on-the-dan_b_4737654.html
  • https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=240
  • http://www.naturalnews.com/023138_propylene_glycol_products_natural.html
  • http://www.livestrong.com/article/185370-why-is-mineral-oil-bad-for-your-skin/

Using Olive Oil to stay Naturally Healthy and Beautiful

While most of our community here at Healthy Harvest is on board with clean eating and the organic food movement, how many of us are still using household and beauty products filled with chemicals that are harmful to us or the environment?

Olive oil is a natural, safe, affordable alternative way to stay healthy inside and out. Mediterranean women have used olive oil for hundreds, if not thousands, of years for everything from cooking to sunscreen.

Check out these easy swaps and let us know your favorites! Did we miss something? Post your ideas on our Facebook or write info@healthyharvests.com

olive oil uses for beauty infographic olive oil uses for health infographic

30+ Uses for Olive Oil

healthy harvest olive oil coloradoThe amazing benefits of olive oil don’t just stop in the kitchen. Read below for nearly 30 ways to use olive oil to improve your life.

Kitchen

  • Sautee – Olive oil has a smoke point of 410 degrees and retains all nutrients up to medium-medium high heat
  • Fry – The recommended frying temp is 355, well below EVOO’s smoke point
  • Salad Dressings – drizzle over salads or veggies for good texture and flavor
  • Marinades – mix with olive brines for an easy, delicious marinade
  • Dipping oil for bread – Mix with high quality vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper, parmesan, or red pepper flakes
  • Grilled Cheese – Replace butter with EVOO for an out-of-this-world grilled cheese
  • Smoothies– Add a dash to smoothies to add antioxidants and keep you full longer
  • Make your own pesto Make heart-healthy pesto by grinding basil, or pine nuts, parmesan and garlic together, then incorporating EVOO until the texture is right. Serve over pasta or as a dipping sauce for bread

Medicine Cabinet

  • Aid digestion  Eating olive oil on a daily basis is said to help regulate your digestive tract.
  • Reduce inflammation – take a spoonful in the morning to reduce inflammation in the heart, gut, and throughout the body
  • Protect your heart   Over time, cells oxidize, leading to the common effects of aging. A specific polyphenol in olive oil is especially effective at protecting your red blood cells from oxidation.
  • Curb your appetite Having olive oil in your diet consistently makes you feel full and tends to make you eat less and have fewer sugar cravings.
  • Manage weight – Recent studies show that people eating a mediterranean diet including healthy fats like EVOO lost nearly  3x more weight than those on a low-fat diet.
  • Reduce bad cholesterol levels Olive oil contains polyphenols, which help to keep your levels of LDL cholesterol within healthy ranges.
  • Help fight cancer – Olive oil contains phytochemicals, and a Rutgers study found that they are effecting at killing cancer cells
  • Improve your memory  Some research has shown that olive oil can prevent and possibly even reverse the memory loss that accompanies Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Soothe baby skin Use olive oil instead of baby oil to help soothe and soften baby’s sensitive skin.  Also can be used to help prevent diaper rash.

Household/Cleaning

  • Shine household surfaces  Appliances, faucets, stainless steel and laminate surfaces all benefit from a light coating of olive oil and a gentle buffing.
  • Condition cutting boards  Rub a small amount of olive oil into wood cutting boards to condition them.
  • Waterproof leather  Buff a small amount of olive oil into leather shoes, baseball gloves, etc. to protect them from water.
  •  Polish wood furniture Wipe wood furniture with a teaspoon of olive oil and a soft rag.  You can add a little bit of vinegar or citrus juice to up the cleaning power!
  • Fix a squeaky door Use a rag or cotton swab to apply olive oil to the top of squeaky hinges to help lubricate and stop squeaking.
  • Fix a stuck zipper  Apply olive oil on a cotton swab and rub on the teeth of the stuck zipper to help pull the zipper tab.
  • Condition cast iron 
  • Mix with essential oil – most essential oils should not be applied directly to skin. Pure, extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest mixing oil you can use

Beauty

  • Treat sunburns – the antioxidants, Vitamin E, and moisturizing quality soothe sunburnt skin
  • Face/Body moisturizer – or use our Olive Essentials Facial Oils 
  • Condition hair -Rub on dry hair and soak desired amount of time. Rinse for soft, smooth tresses.
  • Darker,thicker eyelashes – Massage a few drops on eyelashes
  • Exfoliate skin –  Mix together 1/4 cup olive and 1 teaspoon of sugar or salt.  Mix together and rub on skin to remove dead or dry skin.
  • Remove makeup – Apply olive oil to a cotton ball and wipe off makeup.
  • Replace shaving cream  Rub olive oil on your legs or area to be shaved and shave as usual.
  • Improve nail beds.  Use a bit of olive oil to moisturize cuticles, or mix oil and water and soak your hands for a few minutes before a manicure.
  • Massage oil – EVOO is a luscious chemical-free massage oil that will leave you silky soft (or try our Organic Comfrey oil to relieve muscle and joint pain!)

Adventures in Asheville, NC

Photo from Pinterest

This weekend was proof of the old adage that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  Karl, Jake, and I had an absolute blast savoring thoughtfully made organic food and exchanging lively stories with like-minded friends at the Mother Earth News Fair nestled in the blue tinted mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

For years, we have attended Mother Earth fairs around the country sampling the best local fare and educating festival-goers on the healthy benefits of pure, straight from the source, extra virgin olive oil and olives. With it’s heart-warming hospitality and love of all things local, Asheville is one of our favorite destinations. Charming Victorian-era buildings and flower-drenched trees line the streets near the easily walkable eclectic downtown, with its endless breweries, organic clothing boutiques, and creative gift shops. Just a few miles west, the winding roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway lead to relaxing views of the spring green forest and layers of mountains worn down to rolling hills by Father Time. 

But traveling for us is mostly a marvelous treasure hunt for food so good you laugh out loud. This trip, we were delighted to find Nine Mile in downtown Asheville, a local restaurant serving Caribbean dishes packed with layers of rich flavor and warm spices. We tried the smoky vegetarian chili, the vibrant Easy Skanking salad with rare ahi tuna and grilled pineapple, and the star of the show, the Jamaican Me Thirsty, made with succulent chicken, flavorful zucchini and yellow squash, and perfectly al dente pasta in a red jerk sauce. This place is not one to miss, y’all!

So. Good. 

20160407_182322
Karl, Jake, and Amy at Nine Mile in downtown Asheville

We also couldn’t wait to tell everyone about Koreana, a tasty (you guessed it) Korean restaurant plating up awesome lunch boxes including spicy kimchi and sweet pickled veggies. These ancient fermented foods are not only sensational, but they can also heal your digestive system with good bacteria called probiotics.  
20160410_151922

Speaking of ferments, at the show we caught up with our friends and fellow vendors Jordan and Jen, owners of Fab Ferments. Their radiant personalities and bright, funky designs are hard to miss, and that’s a good thing because their traditionally made Raw Cultured Veggies, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Beet Kvass, and unfiltered Kombucha are OUT OF THIS WORLD.

At the Healthy Harvest booth, we excitedly launched our new healing Olive Essentials Facial Oils formulated by longtime Mother Earth lecturer, author, herbalist and esthetician, Stephanie Tourles, using only organic certified or wildcrafted essential oils and our unbelievably silky organic Tuscan olive oil. While many natural beauty products use olive oil as a key ingredient, when it comes to olive oil, ours is simply the best. (Stay tuned for news on Karl’s trip to the farm in Tuscany later this summer!)

Of course these are just some of the many reasons to visit Mother Earth News Fairs, where you can attend fascinating lectures and workshops on tiny homes, organic farming, herbal medicine, and more or shop from small producers who care about quality, community, and the environment. From raw honey and elderberry juice to geothermal heating and solar panels, there is no shortage of tasty food and lifestyle products that help us live in harmony with nature.

fair-logo

Sound fun? Join us in Madison, Wisconsin July 9-10. Cheese? Yes please! Can’t make it? Give us a heads up on the best place to grab a bite! Post on our Facebook or email info@healthyharvests.com

 

Essential Oils for Skincare

herbal natural organic skincare essential oilsBefore we launch our new organic facial and body oils, we thought we’d introduce you to the simple but effective ingredients they’re made of. (No harmful or hard-to-pronounce chemicals here!) Plants are nature’s oldest medicine, from the food we eat, to teas and tinctures, to aromatherapy, to topical solutions.  A quick Pinterest search will show you the hundreds of ways to use essential oils for natural remedies in your home. But here, we focus on the skincare superheroes.

These time-honored ingredients are sustainably harvested, never synthetic, and therapeutic-grade only. For the most pure essential oils and effective combinations, we partnered with licensed holistic esthetician, Stephanie Tourles, who has more than 25 years of experience, including a background in Western and Ayurvedic herbalism.

lavender essential oil skincare

Known for its calming, relaxing effects, lavender can help relieve anxiety and depression and has been used for over 2500 years.

Considered the most universally useful oil, it is excellent for all skin types. It can be used to treat skin infections, acne, psoriasis, eczema, and wrinkles. Lavender reduces inflammation, itching, swelling, and redness. It also heals burns/sunburns, insect bites/stings, cuts, and bruises.

Rose geranium has been shown to heal acne, burns, fungal infections, and eczema. It reduces redness, evens skin tone, and works to eliminate scars and dark spots. Additionally, geranium prevents sagging and wrinkling of the skin.

Its aromatherapeutic effects soothe anxiety and depression.

myrrh-name

The use of myrrh dates back 5000 years and is recorded in Egyptian medical texts as early as 1550 BC.  It has antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties. Used on skin, it can prevent signs of aging, soothes cracked or chapped skin, and can relieve eczema, acne, and skin infections.

Palmarosa has antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. It relaxes muscles and nerves and fights depression, anxiety, and fatigue. It promotes growth of healthy skin cells to prevent signs of aging, maintains moisture balance, and cures sores and cracked skin.

 

 

 

Frankincense-nameFrankincense brings peace and relaxation and helps to relieve anger, anxiety, and stress. It is an anti-inflammatory and astringent. Like palmarosa, frankincense promotes healthy cell regeneration and has been shown to reverse aging skin. It reduces stretch marks and visible scars, and it heals acne and dry skin, along with cuts and insect bites.

 

Australian sandalwood essential oil

Sandalwood has been used over 4000 years. Its aroma relieves depression, stress, and anxiety and can even boost memory and stimulate concentration. It moisturizes skin and relieves itching and inflammation. It is highly emollient and helps skin heal itself, alleviating rashes, scars, eczema, psoriasis, and acne. 

 

 

Very soon, we will offer a number of skin products for both face and body featuring these fantastic essential oils, starting with the divine smelling “Facial Oil No. 2” , specifically for folks with normal-to-dry and very dry skin.  With consistent use, its highly emollient, luxurious formulation will deeply moisturize, helping to reduce the appearance of visible fine lines and wrinkles. It revitalizes, tones, and tightens environmentally damaged, lackluster, and mature skin. Softens and retexturizes scar tissue, plus is gentle and calming, beneficial for reactive, sensitive, and couperose skin conditions, too.

If you’d like to be notified when Facial Oil No. 2 is available, sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this post!

Stay healthy friends!

Sources:

  • Stephanie Tourles
  • http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/sandalwood-oil.aspx
  • http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/frankincense-oil.aspx
  • http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/geranium-oil.aspx
  • http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/myrrh-oil.aspx
  • http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/lavender-oil.aspx
  • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/skin-can-smell/

You Asked! Organic Facial Oils Coming Soon

Stephanie TourlesWe’ve partnered with Stephanie Tourles, an experienced licensed holistic esthetician, certified aromatherapist, herbalist, and best-selling author on the topics of natural, chemical free skin and body care to bring you deeply nourishing, organic, small batch skincare made with therapeutic grade essential oils blended with our organic olive oil.

Our Healthy Harvest Skincare products are formulated from organic or wild-grown essential oils known to moisturize and heal all skin types, rejuvenate aging skin, improve psoriasis, eczema and other skin conditions, as well as calm anxiety and promote relaxation.

You simply must try it yourself to believe how touchably soft and vibrant your skin will look and feel after just one use.