We love to watch the #yurbbanhumans network growing as we find out about new initiatives and discover projects with soul. Andrea Vientec, who we introduced you to last week, has connected us with Vicky Collier. Vicky is the creator of the Lavana Wild brand, a wonderful brand of hand-crafted herbal and plant-based skincare products.
Below, she herself tells us how and where the brand was born.
HAND-CRAFTED HERBAL SKINCARE
I am the founder of Lavana Wild a small skincare brand that has grown up alongside my lavender plantation nestled in the foothills of Penedès, near the small village of Torelles de Foix. We harvest and dry the lavender by hand and the essential oil is distilled by us too. Many of the tinctures and oils used in the creams and balms are infused with the lavender and wild plants and herbs that are either foraged or sourced from local, organic suppliers. The beeswax for the balms comes from high up on the Lleida plains and the pine is from the Pyrenees.The Lavana Wild herbal skincare blends are the result of a lifelong passion for herbs and plant-based remedies and many years of study. I make all of the products myself, maturing oils under the sun and the moons for many days before mixing them with more exotic ingredients such as Shea butter or frankincense, that source from sustainable, responsible suppliers. I would like to say that my blends contain the essence of the natural worlds that have surrounded me during my lifetime – the oaky, mossy damp earth of my childhood in rural southern England and latterly, the salty, sweet aromas of wild rosemary, thyme, and lavender found in the Mediterranean.Lavana is also about the sharing of herbal knowledge and empowering people to create their own botanical formulas and green pharmacies at home. If we can revive and apply the herbal knowledge of our ancestors we can find ways of caring for our bodies in more holistic and sustainable ways and reconnect with the natural world around us which in turn naturally encourages us to nurture the source, our planet earth.
Here are some simple but lovely small herbal rituals for the skin that you can make at home. Most of us will have the following Mediterranean herbs to hand or at home or can buy them cheaply at your local market. I hope you enjoy making and doing them as much as I do:
Emotions: Releasing and forgiving.
Properties: Antibacterial, antiviral.
Skin: Cleansing, toning.
Emotions: Strength and stability.
Skin: Anti-inflammatory. Cleansing.
Emotions: Protection and purification.
Properties: Antiviral. Antibacterial.
Skin: Stimulates circulation.
Emotions: Communication, honesty, purity, grace.
Properties: Antiseptic. Anti-inflammatory.
For a gentle herbal exfoliating cleanser:
— Herb (dried or fresh).
— Blender/coffee grinder.
— Oil – olive, sesame, almond.
— Warm water and face cloth.
— Place a handful of your dried herb of choice (if you have bought fresh herbs hang them in the dark for a few days to dry out first) in a blender or coffee grinder and grind into a powder.
— Mix the ground herb with a splash of olive or sesame or almond oil. Gently massage the chest face and neck with the oil and herb mixture and then wash off with warm water.
— Put a teaspoon of your oil of choice into your hand and rub it between the palms of your hands until warm. Pat gently on to chest neck and face, reaching up to the hairline.
Instead of warm water you can use your herbal infusion to wash and tone your face after exfoliating (see below).For a herbal steam inhalation and floral toner:
You can use any of the dried herbs mentioned above, but thyme is particularly good at the moment for keeping our respiratory tract clear. It also makes a great toner.
— Herb(s) (dried or fresh)
— Boiling water
— Place the herbs into a saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer for five minutes.
— Pour the herb infusion into a large ceramic or glass bowl
— Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl and breathe in. Stay for as long as is comfortable.
— Pat skin dry and massage in some oil.
— Filter the infusion and store in the fridge for a few days to use as a floral facial wash and toner.
Nb: If you use a rosemary infusion you can use this to rinse your hair after washing for a lovely shiny mane!
“Herbalism is based on relationship — relationship between plant and human, plant and planet, human and planet. Using herbs in the healing process means taking part in an ecological cycle. This offers us the opportunity consciously to be present in the living, vital world of which we are a part; to invite wholeness and our world into our lives through awareness of the remedies being used…”
Annie Sprat by Unsplash