Raw Materials Used in our cosmetics
The individual’s desire for a beautiful face and body along with the constant care to maintain its attractiveness and youth is as old as human civilization. The word ”cosmetic” comes from the Greek word ”kosmetikos,” meaning a sense of harmony, order and tranquility. Most beauty products in ancient Greece were made from ingredients found in their natural environment such as Olives, herbs, flowers, resins, honey and its byproducts.
Some of the raw materials that we have chosen to use in our formulations because of their exceptional cosmetic powers are listed below. A brief mythology/history reference is made and a list of their known beauty benefits is given.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil was the lifeblood of the ancient Greek culture. According to Greek mythology the olive tree was a gift from the Goddess of wisdom, Athena to the Greeks. Archaeological evidence from the Aegean islands indicates that olive cultivation started in Crete during the Minoan period. Initially, olive oil was extracted for making fragrance oils. However, its skincare benefits were discovered as well, and it has been extensively used to nourish, protect and care for the body, skin and hair. It is used as a natural moisturizer, smoothing out and minimizing wrinkles, rejuvenating the skin, strengthening the nails and cuticles. In addition, olive oil is an excellent hair conditioner, helping in dandruff elimination, assisting in the prevention of hair loss, thus resulting in beautiful and shiny hair.
Olive Oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA’s), which are known for:
- Having anti-anging properties due to their anti-oxidants
- Being Rich in Vitamins E and K
- Strengthening the immune system
- Containing anti-inflammatory agents
- Protecting the body against free-radicals
Herbs -Flowers – Plants – Resins
Basil’s benefits have been known for over 4,000 years. Native of India, according to legend, it was brought to Greece by Alexander the Great. In ancient Greece, it was used for perfume making, however Greek doctors were using it for its medicinal properties.
Basil is known to offer many wonderful benefits:
- Clears skin from blemishes
- Fights signs of aging
- Slows growth of gray hair
- It has antibacterial properties
- It has anti-fungal properties
- It is a natural antibiotic
- It is a natural insect repellent
The Eucalyptus tree originates from Australia were there are over 300 varieties. The Eucalyptus tree is actually the main source of food for the Kuala. The botanist Captain James Cook was the first to bring the plant from Australia to London where European botanists soon named the plant after the Greek root “eu” which means well and Greek word “Calyptos” which means covered, creating the work Eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus is known for many amazing benefits as it is a(n):
- Natural insect repellent
- Stress and pain reliever
BAY LEAVES (DAFNI)
Bay leaves have been cultivated as a shrub and tree since the time of the ancient Greek writer and philosopher Homer. Homer’s “Odyssey” refers to bay leaf as an herb and medicine used by Ulysses. Greeks of antiquity considered the bay leaf plant a sacred tree because of folklore associating the tree with both Apollo and Zeus. Greek mythology also gave the herb its Greek name. Daphne was the beautiful nymph and daughter of the river god Peneios and earth goddess Ge. According to mythology Daphne was transformed by her parents into a bay laurel tree in order to retain her virginity and to escape Apollo’s lustful pursuit. Thus how bay laurel came to be associated with purity and acts of purification.
Bay Leaf is known to offer the following benefits:
- Strengthens and darkens Hair
- Adds shine to Hair
- Slows aging
Calendula has been used since ancient times. Calendula is found in Northern Mediterranean countries and is an annual plant that when it blooms it blooms in abundance. Calendula was named by the Romans after the word “calends” after they noticed the plant would bloom at the beginning of every month. Ancient Greeks made decorations and crowns out of golden calendula during their ceremonies.
Calendula is known to be beneficial in the following ways:
- Promotes regeneration of the skin
- It has anti-inflammatory properties
- It is naturally antibacterial
- It is a natural antiseptic
- Soothes dermatitis, sunburn, rashes, skin irritations
Chamomile is known to offer the following benefits:
- Adds shine to blonde hair
- Eliminates dandruff
- It is a natural anti-oxidant
- Soothes skin
- Protects against free radicals
- It is an amazing moisturizer for sensitive skin
- Great conditioner for skin with acne and eczema
- Soothes diaper rash and hemorrhoids
Cinnamon comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree. The word cinnamon and “cassia” derives from the Greek word “κιννάμωμον”. Since ancient times cinnamon has been considered an antiquity and even had more value than gold.
Cinnamon is known to offer the following benefits:
- Helps blood circulation
- Minimizes the appearance of wrinkles
- Soothes eczema
- Aids Acne
- It is a natural antiseptic
In ancient Greece Cypress trees were a symbol of everlasting life. That is why cypress cone trees were consistently planted in the areas surrounding the temples of the gods during ancient times. Plato’s code was also written unto the wood of the Cypress Tree. Ancient Greeks loved using the Cypress Wood to store the ashes of the heroes that died in battle. It is traditionally used in massage oils to create a feeling of warmth and comfort.
Cypress Cones has the following amazing benefits:
- Promotes cellular regeneration
- Balances oily skin
- Controls acne outbreaks
- Minimizes dandruff, excess perspiration and body odor
- It is effective for cellulite treatment
BLUE PASSION FLOWER
Passion flower is also often referred to as Passiflora. Passion flowers origins are noted to come from the Aztecs of Mexico. The Passion flower gets its name from the Passion of Christ on the Cross. Many Latin American cultures use the Passion Flower plant for decorative purposes since it is a very beautiful plant that comes in a variety of vibrant colors.
Blue passion flower is known to offer the following benefits:
- Soothes sensitive skin
- Firms skin and
- Contains wrinkle fighting properties
- It is a gentle moisturizer
The ancient Greeks named the herb “marathon” to commemorate a battle at Marathon that tool place in 490 BC against the Persians, since this battle took place in a fennel field. The ancient Greeks associated fennel with increasing one’s longevity and strength.
Fennel seed is known to offer the following benefits on the skin:
- Strong cleansing and toning of facial muscles
- Restores moisture to the skin
- Firms up the skin
- Reduces wrinkles
- Minimizes the appearance of bags under the eye
- Reduces toxins for the skin
- Prevents the formation of wrinkles
The Geranium plant is said to have originated in South Africa. Geranium has been used in alterative medicine dating back to the ancient Greeks. Geranium gets its name from the Greek work meaning crane. Since the geranium plant has long, thin, pointed fruits which resemble the beak of a bird the ancient Greeks named it geranium meaning “little crane.”
Geranium is known to offer the following benefits:
- Conditions the skin
- Improves facial complexion
- Slows the skin’s aging process
The most common use of grapes in ancient times was for wine making. The Ancient Greeks were actually one of the first cultures to take wine making seriously starting in 4000 BC. Wine was considered a gift from the God Dionysus and all festivals were celebrated by drinking wine.
Grape seed has the following amazing benefitsL
- It is a mild astringent
- Helps to tighten and tone skin
- It gets absorbed by the skin easily
- improves skin’s elasticity.
The use of honey as a cosmetic in ancient Greece dates all the way back to 5000 BC. Back in ancient times skin care was based on bee products, goat’s milk, flowers, herbs and olive oil. It was very common that Minoan women would enjoy honey and milk baths as part of their beauty regimen.
Honey is known for the folllowing amazing benefits:
- Absorbs and retains moisture
- Helps skin stay hydrated and fresh
- Prevents drying
- Makes the skin younger-looking, radiant, and smooth
- It is a natural antioxidant
- It is a natural anti-microbial
- Protects the skin from the damage of the sun’s rays
- Supports the skin’s ability to rejuvenate itself
- Refreshes depleted skin
- It is good for the treatment of minor acne
- Absorbs impurities from the pores on the skin
- Acts like an ideal cleansing agent.
St JOHN’S WORT
The Spartans of Ancient Greece are known for their ability to fight wars. Thus the Spartans used infused St John’s wort oil to treat the wounds caused by swords during the wars. The Greeks added some mystery to the plant through their belief that the smell of this plant would drive away evil spirits.
St. John’s Wort is known for:
- Being a natural antiseptic
- Being a natural astringent
- Having anti-inflammatory properties
- Soothing of bruises and hemorrhoids
- Healing dry crakes and flaky skin
Jasmine was named after the Persian word Yasmin and the Greek word Iasme. Ancient cultures used jasmine in bath oils and soaps. Jasmine was used both as a perfume and as a beauty treatment since it was believed that jasmine would improve one’s skin and hair appearance.
Jasmine is known for the following:
- It tones the muscles
- It has a sweet and romantic scent
- It is a natural antiseptic
- It is a natural aphrodisiac
- Hydrates skin
The early Greeks learned a lot about lavender flower perfumes from the Egyptians who used the plant in mummification as well as to perfume the skin. The Romans obtained this knowledge from the Greeks and used lavender flower oil lavishly for adding scent to their cooking and their homes as well as a perfume at their public baths.
Lavender is known for many beneficial properties:
- It is a natural insect repellent
- It is good for cleansing acne prone skin
- It is an excellent hair toner
- Helps eliminate dandruff
- Reduces wrinkles
According to the legends it was the warrior Alexander the Great that brought lemons to Europe but the truth is that the history of the lemon plant is unknown. The lemon plant was brought to the United States by Christopher Columbus in 1943. These bright fruits have been cultivated for many centuries in the Ancient Egypt, Iraq, Sicily, Greece and China.
Lemon offers many benefits as it:
- Tones the skin
- Acts as a natural astringent
- Minimizes oils in oily skin
- Minimizes pores
- Brightens and tightens the skin
Louiza is a native plant said to have originated in Western South America. In 1784, Lemon verbena or Louiza was named in honor of Maria Luisa who was the wife of Spain’s King Charles IV. The name itself references the lemon scent of the lemon plant’s leaves.
Louiza is known for being good for:
- Naturally repelling insects
- Reducing the appearance of cellulite
The origins of the use of mastic is unknown. Though its origins can not be traced, we still know that it is a miracle and hard to find plant. Many Greek physicians used this resin in ancient time to make pharmaceuticals and medicines.
Mastic gum is known for its fresh, balsamic fragrance and for being naturally:
The name Melissa comes from the Greek word for bee. As a matter of fact it is the exact translation. Paracelsus called this herb “The elixir of life”. The herb Melissa was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. In ancient times it was believed that a sprig of balm in a hive would attract a swarm. Later in medieval times Melissa was used to wrap wounds. It was also used to alleviate all forms of ailment from crooked necks to morning sickness.
Melissa is known for the following:
- Its anti-bacterial properties
- Soothing and tonic properties
- Assisting allergic skin conditions
- Aiding in soothing irritations
- Being suitable for all skin types
Mint gets its name from the nymph Menthe. Mythology states that Pluto had been in love with Menthe, so out of jealousy the goddess Persephone, Pluto’s wife, turned her into a plant calling it mint in her memory. In ancient times mint was used to scent the body. Ancient Greeks also used mint to cleanse their banquet tables. It wasn’t until the 14th century that mint was used in tooth pastes.
Mint is known for the following benefits:
- It is a natural insect repellent
- It hydrates the skin
- It moisturizes the skin
- It is good for acne prone skin
- Soothes and cools irritated skin
In Greek mythology myrtle was sacred to the Goddesses Aphrodite and the God Demeter. Aphrodite was known to have myrtle at her feet as she walked through the gardens of Athens. The Roman goddess Venus also was described as having come out of the sea holding a myrtle branch.
Myrtle offers many benefits including:
- Natural astringent
- Contracts the skin diminishing wrinkles
- Helps acne
- Reduce the signs of aging
- Maintains skins youthfulness
Rosemary is known as the herb of remembrance, friendship and love. It has been used as a medicinal and aromatic herb for thousands of years. The ancient Greek philosopher Athenaeus would write about rosemary along with other herbs in the 2nd century A.D.
Rosemary has so many benefits:
In Skin Care it:
- Tones skin
- Removes dryness
- Beauty aid for the face
In Hair Care it :
- Stimulates hair follicles
- Helps hair grows longer and stronger
- Slows down premature hair loss
- Slows greying of hair
- tones balding scalps
- Helps dry and flaky scalps
- Removes dandruff
The rose, a sweet-smelling flower that blooms on a thorny shrub, has had many meanings in mythology. It is said that Alexander the Great, ruler of Macedonia, grew his own rose garden. It is actually Alexander the Great who is credited with cultivating a variety of rose varieties and introducing them to Europeans. Roses symbolized love and beauty.
Rose does beauty wonders for the skin as it is:
- High in vitamin C
- Helping protect the skin cells from damage
- Rejuvenating and replenishing the skin
- Softening the skin
- Natural astringent for the skin
- Tightening pores
Sage grows in abundance in Mediterranean countries. Ancient Greek physicians, such as Dioscurides and Hippocrates, were familiar with the medicinal and therapeutic qualities and applications of sage. As a matter of fact both Greeks and Romans used sage for its medical abilities.
Sage is known to offer many benefits to the skin since it :
- Is a good conditioner
- Is Soothing on Eczema
- Minimizes acne
- Conditions gray hair
In Hellenistic Troy, the Raspberry plant was associated with fertility and young children. Greek mythology told the tale of Ida, a nursemaid to the infant Zeus. According to the stories Ida pricked her finger while picking the snow-white berries thus staining them red for all eternity. Another similar story states that Raspberry got her name when the Olympian Gods were searching for berries on Mount Ida.
The Wild Raspberry plant is known for the following benefits on skin:
- It is Smoothing
- A natural astringent
- It tones hair