Beauty and Style

Natural Perfumes, Botanical Beauty

People have traveled far and wide to capture the scents of flowers, trees, earth, rain and mist. Finding an alluring scent to anoint the skin, freshen the home or entice a mate has been a popular goal across cultures throughout human history. Along the way, the modern perfume industry (one of the least regulated industries in North America) began synthesizing scent compounds, forever changing the aroma experience. Unfortunately, many of the chemicals involved in this process can cause sensitivities, allergies, organ system toxicity, hormone disruption and even cancer.

Wildflowers in Mountain Meadow


If you want to smell like a freshly cut flower or a mountain meadow without the health risks, you need to choose pure, organic scents. In addition to the pleasure of deliciously scented oils, the aromatherapeutic benefits can be great too. The beautiful people at Living Libations cultivate luxurious essential oils using organic and wild botanicals from far-flung locales like the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria and the fir forests of Canada. Learn more about their process and products. Indulge in clean, fresh aromatic products for body and home.


Amaranth: Your New Favorite Squalene Source

The Skinny on Squalene

Has anyone ever told you to eat shark liver? How utterly immoral and frightening. But the reason people do it is that it’s high in squalene. Squalene is a lighter-than-water, 30-carbon chain compound similar to beta carotene. It assists in the making of cholesterol, hormones and vitamin D. Your skin is 12% squalene. Sounds pretty important, right? Oxygen radicals can’t break it down easily, so it serves the skin well, protecting it from UV and ionizing radiation that can wreak havoc by breaking down connecting lipids. In other words, it keeps your skin youthful and elastic. We can absorb 60% of the squalene in food sources, so squalene-rich foods are a desirable addition to any diet. Animal studies suggest it has anti-cancer properties, but no human trials have been conducted to verify this. I wonder why? In mice, cellular and immune functions were enhanced. Aside from the livers of our prehistoric shark friends, other sources of squalene include rice bran, wheat germ, olives and amaranth. It has been suggested that squalene is the secret behind the low cancer rates of Mediterranean people because their traditional diets contain so many squalene-rich foods.

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A Vegan Source of Squalene for your Skin

In my opinion, the best source of squalene is amaranth. Called the “never-fading flower”, amaranth is a gorgeous flowering plant cultivated by South American civilizations as a staple for more than 6000 years, both for its seed and its purple flowering tops. I have been enjoying its delicious nutty flavor as part of my breakfast for twenty-plus years. Amaranth is 6-8% squalene. It’s also one of nature’s few vegetarian sources of complete protein and the highest non-legume source of lysine! Lysine is an essential amino acid; meaning our cells need it, but can’t make it themselves. Amaranth also contains also contains lunasin, oleic acid, linoleic acid, vitamin E and folic acid. shutterstock_229443985 - 700x270 Feb10 Amaranth oil is a really easy way to get your squalene fix, but because of the minuscule size of the amaranth seed it’s very difficult to produce high quality amaranth oil without damaging the squalene and other nutrients. Recently though, our favorite oil presser has begun skillfully squeezing amaranth in Germany. Their result is delicious and nourishing when taken both internally and externally. Adding it to food, taking it as a supplement and putting it directly on your skin are all amazing ways to absorb squalene and nourish your skin. Check out one of the only stable amaranth oils you can buy here. Live long and look great doing it with squalene… and leave the sharks alone. Those majestic creatures have been around for millions of years and they deserve our respect. They need their squalene for themselves. Learn more about Panaseeda Amaranth Seed Oil.  

Author: Vic Love,

Skin Care DIY

Have you ever thought about making YOUR OWN skin care products? Not quite sure how? Well, wonder no more. Creating your own skin care products has become increasingly popular. It’s a growing trend that comes with many great health benefits and cost advantages too. Plus, it’s fun! By using everyday ingredients, you can make products tailored to your own specific wants and needs without worry. Most of us want to know what’s going onto our bodies, especially since what you apply to your skin is absorbed and enters your bloodstream.  

Most of us want to know what’s going onto our bodies, especially since what you apply to your skin is absorbed and enters your bloodstream.   Think of it like this, a nutritious home-cooked meal is much better for you than an overly processed, pre-packaged meal that contains who knows what, right? When you cook from scratch you’re in control of the ingredients that go into your body and it’s the same with your skin. When you think about it, you don’t want to put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t want to put in your mouth! 


It’s easier to get started than you might think, too. With these three do-it-yourself skin care recipes, you’ll be well on your way to making a variety of products yourself. These are tried, tested and true recipes that we here at Longevity Living love! Choose organic, fair-trade ingredients for the best and most conscience-clearing results. Three of the most popular DIY skin care products are lip balm, lotion and deodorant. Let’s start with deodorant. To begin, you will need:

  • silicone muffin cups, for a mould (you can also buy moulds online specifically for this purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa butter
  • 3 tablespoons of shea butter
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • essential oil for scent (optional)
  • sweet almond oil

This will make approximately 3 pucks.

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Directions: First what you want to do is melt everything together in a pot, except for the essential oils (if you are planning to add them). It is recommended that you do the cocoa butter first, as it can take longer to liquify, then add the shea butter. Once it has completely melted, remove from heat and add the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Add your oils (if using), then stir thoroughly. If you do decide to add essential oils, you’ll need to add a fair bit to have it smell strong once it has solidified. Popular choices are lavender, orange and sandalwood.


Coat your mould with oil (for example, almond oil) and pour the mixture evenly into three of the cups. You can then add a little bit of sweet almond oil to each puck; this will make the end result softer and less likely to crumble. Stir periodically with a chopstick or stir-stick for about 15 minutes so it doesn’t separate. You can add more essential oils during this phase too if you find that the smell is not strong enough for your liking. Now you can let it sit on the counter or in the fridge, until it’s solid and ready to pop out of the mould. Store pucks in a tin or in Tupperware in the bathroom, there’s no need to refrigerate it once the mould has fully solidified. If you don’t need all three pucks, you can store the rest of them in the freezer until you do need them.

See? Easy enough!

Now let’s move onto making lip balm.

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Find some small tins that you think would be good for lip balm, even old lip balm tins would work, or an Altoids tin. Be sure to wash them thoroughly ahead of time. You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa butter
  • 1 teaspoon of shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil
  • A small amount of vitamin E oil (you can puncture a capsule and squeeze out the contents)
  • approximately 15 drops of sweet orange essential oil (or another more preferred flavor)

This will make enough for one small tin. Directions: Melt the cocoa butter and shea butter, add everything else, stir and pour into the tin. Put it into the fridge to get it to set. Leave for 24 hours. Yum!


Last but not least, lotion.

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Here is what you will need:

  • ¾ cups of pure oil. You can use sweet almond oil as it absorbs well and it doesn’t leave a greasy film
  • 1 cup of water (or rose water if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons of shaved beeswax
  • 30 drops of essential oil. Scents like lavender and bergamot are popular choices.
  • a glass jar, such as a mason jar, or a tin to store the lotion in
  • a blender to mix the ingredients

Directions: Pour the oil into a Pyrex-type measuring cup and add the shaved beeswax. Set it in a saucepan of water that reaches approximately halfway up the side of the container. Heat on the stove until the beeswax dissolves and then remove from the stove immediately. Allow it to cool for a minute or two, but no longer than that as the beeswax will begin to harden.


Pour the water into your blender and begin blending it on high speed with the lid on. Keep the hole in the lid open for pouring in the beeswax-oil mixture. Slowly pour the beeswax-oil mixture into the water. It will begin to emulsify as you continue pouring the oil. It usually begins to thicken after about three-quarters of the oil has been incorporated. Continue adding the oil until you have incorporated all of the mixture into the water.

Add your essential oils and blend them into the lotion. Pour the lotion into jar or tin, using a spatula to remove any remaining lotion from the blender. The lotion will last approximately 6 months and is best kept at a cool temperature to prolong its shelf-life. You can store it in the fridge if you like.  

There you have it! Three easy, do-it-yourself skin care recipes. Now you can say goodbye to chemicals and unknown ingredients and say hello to natural ingredients that YOU control!

Try them all for yourself… and enjoy!


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