Chica's Blog

Applications Of Amazonian Oils And Butters For Hair April 04 2017, 0 Comments

ANTISEPTIC

  • Andiroba Oil

  • Breu Branco Resin

  • Copaiba Resin

 COMBING

  • Pracaxi Oil

CONDITIONER

  • Bacaba Oil

  • Brazil Nut Oil

  • Pracaxi Oil

CURL SHAPING 

  • Murumuru Butter

  • Tucuma Butter

DAMAGED HAIR

  • Brazil Nut Oil (light damage)

  • Buriti Oil (not for very light hair)

  • Caiaue Oil - Ojon (bad damage, thicker hair)

  • Pataua Oil (thin hair)

DANDRUFF

  • Andiroba Oil

  • Copaiba Resin

DRY HAIR

  • Brazil Nut Oil

  • Cupuacu Butter

GLOSSER/FINISHING

  • Murumuru Butter

  • Tucuma Butter

    HAIR LOSS

    • Andiroba Oil

    • Caiue Oil

    PROTECTION AGAINST EXTERNAL ELEMENTS

    • Buriti Oil (protects against sun, not indicated for bleached hair)

    • Murumuru Butter

    • Tucuma Butter

      OILY HAIR

      • Copaiba Resin

      • Maracuja Oil

      SHINE

      • Acai Oil (for thicker hair)

      • Bacaba Oil

      • Caiue Oil - Ojon

      • Pracaxi Oil

      SCALP CARE

      • Andiroba Oil

      • Pataua Oil


      Applications Of Amazonian Oils And Butters For Skin April 04 2017, 0 Comments

      AFTER-SUN CARE

      • Buriti Oil

      • Tucuma Oil

      • Tucuma Butter

      ACNE/BLEMISHES

      • Andiroba Oil

      • Copaiba Resin

      • Pracaxi Oil

      • Guava Oil

      ANTI-AGING

      • Acai Oil

      • Bacuri Butter

      • Pracaxi Oil

      • Tucuma Oil

      ANTI-CELLULITE

      • Andiroba Oil

      • Bacuri Butter

      • Pracaxi Oil

      ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

      • Andiroba Oil

      • Bacuri Butter

      • Copaiba Resin

      ANTISEPTIC

      • Bacuri Butter

      • Breu Branco Resin

      • Copaiba Resin

      • GUAVA OIL

      BUG BITES

      • Andiroba Oil

      • Bacuri Butter

      • Copaiba Resin

      HYPER-PIGMENTATION

      • Acai Oil

      • Bacuri Butter

      • Brazil Nut Oil

      • Pataua Oil

      • Pracaxi Oil (chica's favorite)

      • Tucuma Oil

      MASSAGE

      • Andiroba Oil (muscle pain)

      • Bacuri Butter (rheumatism, arthritis)

      • Maracuja Oil (relaxing)

        MOISTURIZING

        • Brazil Nut Oil

        • Bacuri Butter

        • Cupuacu Butter

        • Murumuru Butter

        • Pequi Oil

        • Soursop Oil

        • Tucuma Butter

        OILY SKIN

        • Breu Branco Resin

        • Copaiba Resin

        • Maracuja Oil

        RELAXING

        • Maracuja Oil

        REPELLENT

        • Andiroba Oil

        • Cobaiba Resin

        SCARS

        • Pracaxi Oil

        SKIN CONDITIONS

        • Andiroba Oil

        • Bacuri Butter

        • Copaiba Resin

        • Pracaxi Oil

          SKIN FIRMING

          • Bacaba Oil

          • Pataua Oil

          • Ucuuba Butter

          STRETCH MARKS

          • Pracaxi Butter

          • Bacuri Butter

          SUN PROTECTION

          • Buriti Oil

          • Bacuri Butter

          • Tucuma Oil

          VEGETABLE SILICONE

          • Murumuru Butter 

          • Tucuma Butter

          VEGETABLE LANOLIN

          • Cupuacu Butter

          VETERINARY USE

          • Andiroba Oil (skin issues, ear cleaning)


            How To Use Our Butters January 10 2017, 0 Comments

            BACURI BUTTER

            Unrefined Bacuri Butter has a strong, unusual scent - kinda like the smell of forest soil - some people love it, a few don't care for it, the scent dissipates fast though. Bacuri's color varies from lighter to very dark brown and the texture can be very smooth (sometimes a little liquid-ish) to harder and crumbly. 

            Bacuri gives your skin a beautiful natural glow, it makes the skin's appearance more even and, with long term use, it helps to diminish the appearance of hyper-pigmention and scars. You just need to melt the butter in your hands and spread it all over, remember: a little bit goes a long way and it will stain light fabrics before it is fully absorbed.

            In Brazil this butter is widely used to help with skin conditions and as a massage butter for arthritis, rheumatism and muscle pain. It is also a wonderful Summer butter with sunblock and after sun care properties.

            This butter can be used for hair care, I recommend it for darker hair, it is a great butter to protect your hair against external agents and for masks.

            Due to its dark color and strong scent, it is not a very easy butter to incorporate into your body and skin formulations, but you definitely should try it, Bacuri has a very high absorption rate due to its high level of tripalmitine (50 to 55%), it also has a high level of palmitoleic fatty acid compared to the other butters which makes it a fantastic emollient.

             

            CUPUACU BUTTER

            Unrefined Cupuacu Butter has a very pleasant scent - similar to cocoa butter but fresher and fruitier - the color varies from light to darker yellow and the texture can be very smooth or a bit crumbly. 

            Cupuacu is perfect to be used pure on skin as a daily moisturizer due to its capacity to absorb water -  240% superior of lanolin - just rub the butter in your hands until melted and spread it all over, remember: a little bit goes a long way and give it a little time to be absorbed. A great way to use it is right after the shower when your body is still a little wet.

            This butter is also wonderful for hair care, it can be used as a pre-poo treatment, as conditioner and leave-in - since it ABSORBS water it works better for dry, thicker hair types- curls, kinks or straight. It is perfect for African American hair styles, helping to keep hair and scalp healthy. To be used as a conditioner or leave-in just melt a little bit in your hands, for masks or treatments melt a larger amount of it in the microwave or even in a closed container under hot water.

            Cupuacu is perfect for soap making, lip, hair and skin formulations, due to its beautiful color and scent, it is very easy to use. For colder weather you can whip it to make it easier to apply.

             

            MURUMURU BUTTER

            Unrefined Murumuru Butter has a pleasant subtle nutty scent, the color varies from off white to yellow and the texture is waxy. 

            Even though this is a harder butter, Murumuru is perfect to be used pure on skin since it is not greasy, absorbs super fast and has a subtle scent. It is a great butter for all skin types, even sensitive and oily skin. In Brazil this butter is prized by its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties being used to help relief skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.

            This butter is also wonderful for hair care, the high levels of lauric fatty acid make this butter a vegetable replacement for mineral silicone, it forms a protective film on skin and hair without harming the lipid exchange or clogging pores. Murumuru is a perfect finishing touch for fine hair prone to frizz and flyaways, it can be used as a hair glossier, a leave-in, and to protect hair from heat damage. To be used as a conditioner or leave-in just melt a little bit in your hands, for masks or treatments melt a larger amount of it on the microwave or even in a closed container under hot water.

            Murumuru is good for soap making, and perfect for lip, hair and skin formulations, due to its beautiful color and scent, it is very easy to use. For colder weather you can whip it to make it easier to apply.


            TUCUMA BUTTER

            Unrefined Tucuma Butter has a sweet caramel/coffee/nutty scent that depending on area and season of production can be more subtle or more prominent, the color varies from light yellow to yellow and the texture is soft.

            Tucuma and Murumuru butters have very similar properties, Tucuma is softer therefore easier to be applied alone on skin and hair, the feeling is little greasier. Tucuma is also a great butter for all skin types, forming a protective film on skin without clogging the pores.

            Just like Murumuru, this butter is also wonderful for hair care, with the same high levels of lauric fatty acid, it can be used just like murumuru, how to choose? Tucuma is softer which makes it easier to use on cold climates, but it is also greasier and has a stronger scent.

            Tucuma is good for soap making, lip, hair and skin formulations, due to its light color and nice scent, it is easily incorporated in DIY, all natural formulations.

             

            UCUUBA BUTTER

            Unrefined Ucuuba Butter has a strong scent that could be described as a "smoky beeswax", the color varies from golden brown to brown, this butter is VERY hard and it can be used as a vegan substitute for beeswax in recipes that need to be firmer - lip products, salves and balms.

            This butter is too hard to be applied straight on skin or hair, it needs to be used as a blend with oils or much softer butters, a super quick recipe for body would be whipping 50% ucuuba and 50% oil, for maximun results I recommend one of my amazing oils but whatever good quality, unrefined oil you have handy in the kitchen will work too - coconut, olive or grape seed. In Brazil this butter is prized by its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and healing properties. 

            For a simple and fast lip or cuticle protective balm melt 70% ucuuba with 30% oils.

            This butter is also wonderful for hair and scalp care, but again, it needs to be blended.

            Ucuuba is perfect for soap making for its properties and beautiful color, it is ideal for shampoo bars. In Brazil it is widely used in the production of artisanal candles. Soaps and creams made with ucuuba show a proven anti-inflammatory effect, and have healing and anti-septic properties.


            Why Should We Hot Process Therapeutic Soaps. October 04 2016, 0 Comments

            Roughly translated from Roberto Akira's page, Akira is a 65 year old Brazilian Chemist who after retiring started sharing the knowledge he accumulated in 40 years of working with chemistry.

            "Cold Process Soaps are beautiful and easy to make but the process has its drawbacks. All the components added to the soap go through saponification, this strong alkaline environment spares almost nothing, it literally destroys many active ingredients of all components.
            There is a mistaken belief that things added at trace will be spared since most of the lye is gone. But in reality at trace only about 10% of the lye has been consumed to form the emulsion (trace), the rest remains there and will react the same to anything that is added. The idea that superfatting at trace will protect that particular oil, usually a noble oil, doesn't quite work like that. The superfat will still be just a mix of the oils and fats in the recipe, not the one added at trace.

            Therefore it does not make much sense to advertise the efficacy of CP therapeutic soaps made with medicinal oils such as Neem, Andiroba and Copaiba. The therapeutic components of these oils no longer exist after the saponification, there will be the sodium salts of the fatty acids palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic, that are components of Neem oil, for example, but the active ingredients that make Neem a fantastic fungicide, antibacterial, antiviral and insecticide oil, are gone.

            One could argue, for example, that in the case of Neem that certain components do not react with the soda and still remain intact, but this lacks scientific evidence, more so as the unsaponifiable content of Neem is zero.

            In the HP the additives, including the superfat, are added at the end of the saponification process therefore protecting the properties of that specific oil or butter."


            Not All Oils Are Born The Same September 15 2016, 0 Comments

            "An oil is any neutral, non-polar chemical substance that is a viscous liquid at room temperatures and is both hydrophobic (does not mix with water, literally "water fearing") and lipophilic (mixes well  with other oils, literally "fat loving")."

            VS.

            Butters vs. Oils

            The right term for what we call "butters" is "fats" - Physically, oils are liquid at room temperature, and fats are solid. Chemically, both fats and oils are composed of triglycerides. 

            Some vendors sell the "butter" version of some oils, those are just a blend, mostly a mix of Shea butter and the oil advertised. Oils and Butters come in just one form, what gives them the texture they have is their chemical composition, we can't "magically" turn an oil into a butter or vice-versa. 

            In my shop you will find Tucuma butter and Tucuma oil - the butter comes from the seeds and the oil comes from the pulp of the tucuma fruit, they are two different products chemically and physically.

             

            Essential vs. Carrier Oils

            Carrier Oils or base oils - characteristically, carrier oils are rather bland and viscous (thick in consistency), with little to no aroma. The good quality ones are mechanically extracted from fruits, seeds and nuts (take a look at "cold processing").

            Essential Oils or volatile oils are aromatic and derived directly from various plants through a distillation process. The distillation process is usually with water or steam and makes use of the petals, leaves, bark, stem, and even roots of various plants. Essential oils are not fragrances or perfumes.

             

            Mineral, Vegetable or Animal

            Oils can come from 3 sources: Mineral - a distilled from petroleum, Animal - extracted from animal fat tissues and Vegetable, extracted from plants, most commonly the seeds and nuts but also from leaves and pulps of some plants.

            Expeller pressed vs. Solvent Extracted Vegetable Oils

            Oils and butters can be extracted mechanically, by a presser, the ideal way of extracting them is mechanically under controlled temperature. When mechanically extracting an oil, the friction generates heat, the harder the part of the plant is being pressed, the more heat it produces. In order not to change the oil's properties, this process is done inside cold rooms resulting in the products we call "cold pressed".

            There are no chemical residues in oil that has been expeller pressed resulting in a cleaner, more pure oil, higher in natural colors and flavors.

            Oils can also be extracted chemically, which is easier, cheaper and extracts more oil but produces an oil extremely inferior in quality and that can still carry microscopic particles of chemicals.

            Unfortunately mass market oils, however, are not required to be labeled as solvent extracted.

             

            Refined vs. Unrefined Oils

             An oil that has been refined has passed through a series of processes such as neutralizing (to remove FFA), bleaching (to remove color) and deodorizing (to remove odor and taste). These processes are done chemically and by high heat and besides leaving chemical particles behind, they also strip all the good properties from the oils.

            Unfortunately big corporations need their products to look the same every time, they also want them to have very little taste, color and odor as these are also considered "impurities" by modern consumers (silly consumers), so refined oils are more popular than ever. There are two kinds of Refining:

            Chemical Refining - the Vegetable Oil is treated with caustic lye for separation of free fatty acids from oil. This is a conventional process that can be applied to all oils. The waste-water from refinery requires extensive treatment, resuming - it creates a poor quality oil and leaves a mess behind.

            Physical Refining - In Physical Refining, Vegetable Oil is subject to distillation to remove free fatty acids. This reduces the amount of waste water therefore pollution. This process is becoming more popular but it is also more time consuming and expensive resulting in a more expensive oil.

            Unrefined Oils (also called Virgin, Extra-Virgin or "Raw") preserve their odor, taste and color, these can change depending on the producer, area and time of the year the oil is produced. Unrefined oils can also carry some impurities and can go rancid faster. But when comes to skin and hair care you should choose unrefined oils as they keep their medicinal and cosmetic properties intact. They may be more expensive and some of them may have a stronger scent, harder to mix with essential and fragrance oils. So it really depends on your goals for the final product.

             

            Wild Harvest, Wildcrafted, Sustainable, Organic, Fair Trade, Responsibly Sourced

            We see all these health "buzzwords" everywhere, but what do they mean?

            "Wild harvested" or "Wildcrafted" is the practice of collecting plants in the wilderness, on their natural habitat. They are not farmed therefore they are not modified in any way and usually do not have the presence of any chemicals. "Wild-harvest" is usually a "Sustainable" practice: generally only the fruit, flowers, seeds or branches from plants are taken and the living plant is left, or if it is necessary to take the whole plant, seeds of the plant are placed in the empty hole from which the plant was taken. Care is taken to remove only a few plants, flowers, or branches, so plenty remains to continue the supply.

            The USDA defines "Organic" products that "are produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation."

            "Responsibly Sourced" is a term used freely to say that your products come from sustainable and/or fair trade practices. It is used from diamonds that come from non-conflict areas to sea food and basically means that a product is not damaging the planet and the people on it any further.

            In the oil industry it became popular after the deforestation the palm oil farms are causing came to light, most products that use it now say theirs is "Responsibly Sourced Palm Oil".

            "Fair Trade" in Brazil refers to products that were harvested, farmed and produced by people who are being offered good working conditions and being paid fairly and in currency not by bartering (bartering gives an advantage to the "big city" people - the buyers - who usually have the upper hand when dealing with harvesters and farmers.)

            In the US Fair Trade Certified Products "were made with respect to people and planet. Our rigorous social, environmental and economic standards work to promote safe, healthy working conditions, protect the environment, enable transparency, and empower communities to build strong, thriving businesses. When you choose products with the Fair Trade label, your day-to-day purchases can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives."


            How to DIY BUTTER! June 13 2016, 0 Comments

            STEP 1 - Choose the size: 2, 4 or 8 oz. If you are creating a butter for face, or a very experimental butter, go for the smallest size.

            STEP 2 - Choose between a plastic pouch or a glass container. If you will whip the butter then choose the plastic pouch, also if you are choosing the 2 oz. a plastic pouch can work, since it is resealable and good to carry around.

            STEP 3 - Choose a scent or not. We only use essential oils for a subtle scent.

            STEP 4 - Want a little glow? Go for the gold mica pigment for a nice shimmer or the bronze mica for a little color.

            STEP 5 - Choose up to 2 oils! These oils will be 1/5 of your butter. 

            STEP 6 - Choose up to 4 butters! These butters will be 4/5 of your butter.


                


            Murumuru vs. Cupuacu... in a Brazilian accent! January 21 2016, 0 Comments


            A little bit of our history. January 20 2016, 0 Comments

            This is the map of Brazil, I marked with arrows my hometown of Rio de Janeiro and up north, Belem, the place I usually visit when I go to the Amazon forest. They are about 1500 miles apart - about the distance from Miami to Maine.

            Even though I was born in a big city and raised to be a beach girl, my parents would always take me to the beautiful forests of Rio (we have the largest urban forest in the world) where I learned to appreciate every aspect of being in contact with Nature, even the bugs.

            In 2010 I decided to stop in Manaus, a Brazilian city in the heart of the Amazon forest, for a couple of days on my way to Rio. It was in this trip a street vendor offered me Pracaxi Oil, I was having a horrible melasma at the time and trying all sorts of chemical treatments. Four weeks after starting with the Pracaxi I decided I had to, somehow, share the many amazing Amazon products with more people. And five years later Rainforest Chica is doing just that! It is extremely exciting and rewarding!

             


            Capoeira. January 10 2016, 0 Comments

            Capoeira - an Afro-Brazilian fight style. The slaves brought to Brazil weren't allowed to train fighting. But since there is a solution for every problem, they incorporated dancing and music to their fight moves, tricking their owners into thinking they were just dancing. As cool and peaceful as it looks, Capoeira can be deadly in a street fight, just imagine one of these kicks hitting someone in the face.

            Most capoeira schools do street demonstrations and it always amazes me the moves they can do inside a small circle without hitting anyone watching. 


            Buying exotic oils and butters. January 06 2016, 1 Comment

            When buying an exotic oil (or butter) our first instinct is choosing by the price. Unfortunately, even if you are on a budget, you definitely should be more careful with this choice. 
            Most of our exotic fats come from parts of the world that have little to no regulation on this market. And the FDA knows very little and is way too busy to be really effective. As long as it says "vegetable oil" and "for external use only" chances are, the product is entering the country.
            The FDA isn't even regulating the whole "organic" thing for cosmetics. Anyone can slap an "organic" on the description of a product and charge you a couple more bucks.

            Things that can go wrong with exotic fats:

            • they can be mixed with cheaper oils or butters.

            • they can be produced by other methods than cold pressing, losing a lot of their properties.

            • they can be contaminated with undesirable stuff - eww!

            • they can be using slave-like working conditions.

            • their plantations can be destroying forests and animals.

            • their plantations may use a BUNCH of chemicals, stuff we sell to other countries because they are illegal here.


            When buying a new oil or butter contact the shop, ask questions. Make sure they sound like they know what they are talking about. It doesn't matter if you are buying 1 oz. or 10 kgs. Ask where the product comes from, how it is produced, how it is harvested, if it is cold pressed, unrefined. If not wild harvested, if it is organic. Ask questions, wait for the answers, then make your decision!

            It is your body, you only get one. Be very kind to it!

            This post is also on my FORUM, please check it out and share your ideas and experiences with us!