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the merionwen blog

It is here that you will find all my thoughts, findings and musings on all things skincare related. I shall be adding hints and tips on keeping your skin in tip top condition. I shall share with you the findings of further research into natural skincare. I will post my thoughts and feelings on the ethics of the products and the skincare industry as I find it. I shall entertain you with my adventures in the Merionwen lab and now and again I shall even share with you the odd recipe or two.



the oil cleansing system

Category: hints & tips

Well, I promised more information about the oil cleansing method and here it is.

Many people cleanse their skin with soap and water, some with expensive cleansing soaps, some use pricey facial scrubs.

Now, I'm not saying these things are wrong or bad for you. I'm simply offering an alternative.

All too often people go through a battery of products trying to find the right one for their sensitive, dry, oily. problem skin. They think they have cracked it but soon enough they find themselves with dry patches, black heads or breaking out in rashes or spots.

This is because you may be changing the chemistry of your skin and over time your skin becomes stressed. It starts to over or under produce it's natural sebum.

This is where the oil cleansing method steps in.

It's not a new fad incidentally, it's been around for centuries. After all we all know how ancient Greeks and Romans cleansed. That's right...they used oil.

The science behind it is quite simple. Oil dissolves oil.

Now I can appreciate the knee jerk reaction of "EWWW" to the idea of slathering your face with oil. Try not to think of it as adding an oil slick, more a beneficial soothing facial massage. Oil will not bring about pimples, zits, blackheads. That is the job of grime, bacteria, hormonal imbalances. This is why we need to keep our faces clean. However, with the constant scrubbing, rubbing and cleansing using chemical products we can make our poor skin so confused it doesn't know what to do. first we strip away the natural oils, Our face feels tight and dry so we slather on some perfumed gunk. Our skin (which is of course our largest organ incidentally) will react to the stripping of it's oils and rapidly produce more oil. Cue big shiny moon face. So we strip it again and all something to replace the oils it can produce itself, thus often blocking pores. Skin become clogged and toxins settle down for a feast. Cue big shiny cratered moon face.

So, the answer is to support the skin in it's chemistry. Don't wash away it's natural oils, support them.

Of course, I'm not suggesting you stop cleansing your face. I simply want you all to try a different way of thinking.

We have a plethora of wonderful plant oils in the world that the skin loves.

Castor oil is naturally cleansing, anti inflammatory, and soothing. It's ideal for cleansing delicate skin. I use it a lot. However, you don't want to use this alone. This will leave you with skin so dry you may feel it will come off in flakes. In fact a little goes a very long way.

The supporting carrier oil can be an oil to suit you skin. I personally prefer safflower oil. It's so light and delicate, and helps to reduce the size of pores.

Then of course there are more specialised oils. Jojoba oil is almost identical it it's make up to the skins natural sebum. It's ideal to rebalance the skin.

Rose hip oil has vitamins A, C and E. It naturally nourishes and protects. It helps repair scarred and damaged skin.

Argan oil has vitamins, anti oxidents and fatty acids. It has a wonderful ability to assist in keeping skin young and healthy. Dare I say it? Anti-aging?

So, the next question is "how do I do it?"

Well, it's really rather simple.

all you need is a clean natural fibre (we are all about the natural here) cloth.

A sensible dollop of oil (your not roasting a chicken) you want a pool in your hand about the size of a fifty pence piece.

Hot water, hotter than you would think but not hot enough to scald yourself with. Think steaming.

Plenty of time. It's not something you can rush. It takes between 5-10 minutes but once it's part of your routine you will relish the pampering and use the time to drift off and daydream.

Now take the oil and massage it into you skin, take care not to blind yourself by rubbing oil into your eyes. It won't do any harm but it will smart and you will feel blinded.

Gently massage your skin and small circular motions, be thorough and as indulgent as you can. The massage will also help with the removal of toxins but stimulation the blood circulation. Sit back for a few minutes to allow the oils to do their thing. They will be feeding your skin, dissolving the days grime and even removing make-up. Any blocked pores will be softening and the oil will be working it's magic.

Next soak the cloth in hot water. Not too hot mind. You are aiming for clean and steamy not a rapid boil!

Place the wash cloth over you face and relax until the cloth has cooled. Feel the oil do it's work, gently steaming the pores open.

Then take the cloth and gently wipe the oils away. Don't be tempted to scrub, there really is no need.

Rinse the cloth in hot, clean, running water and repeat. Do this two of three times, Don't worry the castor oil really will cleans and help remove the other oils now they have done their job.

Once you have finished pat your skin dry.

If you skin feels a little tight you can either pop a small amount of the same oil back on your face and leave it to moisturise or you can use a more specialised natural moisturiser or serum. However, using this method, in time, you really will find less and less need to moisturise daily.

One word of caution, you may need to persevere with this method for a couple of weeks before you see the difference. After all, you skin does need to reset and relearn how to care for itself.

Let you skin free! It will thank you in the end.

In time honoured style I'd like to point out there will be a variety of cleansing oils on the shop. I am aiming to suit all skin types and add a specialised oil for eczema and sensitive skin.

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17:30:36 04-08-2013
 

heaven is a massage bar

Category: products

Only five days left until the grand opening of the on-line shop.

Here, in Merionwen Towers we are run off our busy feet.

One of today's goodies being made are massage bars.

There is nothing quite so luxurious as a relaxing massage from a loved one (or therapist, although I'm sure you all love your therapists because we are lovely). Or you could step out of the bath or shower and grab a massage bar to seal in the moisture to keep your skin feeling great.

Merionwen's massage bars are a base of cocoa butter and shea butter. The melting point is just slightly above skin level so they stay firm in the box yet glide silky oils when applied to the skin. The first collection have been made in a pleasing flower shape that echo's the Merionwen daisy. It fits snugly into the hand and allows smooth application.

These first few have a floral them. There is of course vintage rose, a delightfully aromatic jasmine and lavender and ylang ylang.

The lavender and ylang ylang comes from a particular blend of after sun oil I have formulated that will also be hitting the shelves.

I have also been asked to make a few more manly shapes and scents. So far I have rounds of patchouli and peppercorn. This aroma is a particular favourite with us here at The Towers. There is also a blend of rosemary and cedarwood in the offing.

Watch this space and as ever, if you have any requests of suggestions please get in touch.

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15:43:49 10-07-2013
 

seven days to go

Category: products

Hello there,

Today at Merionwen Towers I am busy filling the virtual shelves with non virtual goodies. After all, shop launch is in a mere seven days. I have so much to do. I am elated, daunted and excited all at the same time. In just a week you will see the shiny new shop tab on the main page title bar and can brows the ethical natural goodies to your heart's content.

The techie team is beavering away making it all shiny and new. We are aiming for easy to navigate, with a fresh and natural look.

Staying within the parameters of the four "ranges"; vintage, country garden, eastern spice and botanics.

The idea is to be able to mix and match the scents and themes to provide a wholesome package that you can style to you own needs. You could mix vintage rose body soap with the eastern flavours of turkish delight lip balm. Or the fresh country garden aromas of lemon and peppermint body and face spritz can enhance the lingering zip of melissa and mint salt scrub. The choice is yours.

In good time there will be many goodies on offer.

However, there will also be a variety of services too.

You could book in for a skincare consultation or an aroma fuelled hot stone massage. We will even be offering a service to have your own range of skincare tailored to your own needs. comprising of skincare routine recommendations, advice upon the nutritional aspects of good skincare. Young and healthy skin is supported by a good diet and you will see the external effects of internal care. and or course you can have your own specialised products formulated and supplied.

In the fullness of we will also be bringing to Merionwen the therapies and holistic services we have to offer. Although, I do currently offer deep tissue massage, swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, phytotherapy consultation, skincare consultation, these are yet to be added to the website. If you are interested in any of these therapies please feel free to contact me through the contact page or directly to my e-mail, helen@merionwen.co.uk.

There is so much to do in the next seven days but you never see a miserable busy bee :)

Health and happiness

Merionwen x

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11:23:42 08-07-2013