Botanicals

The benefits of Sunflower Seed Oil

Sourcing high quality natural ingredients for our products is really important to us. Since setting up Wild Fen last year, lots of our time has been spent trialling and researching ingredients and thinking about our priorities when it comes to the ones we select.

From the very beginning we knew we wanted all of our skincare to be effective whilst remaining 100% natural and free from chemicals, preservatives and artificial fragrances. By creating water free, oil based products this was possible to achieve.

With the base ingredient for most of our skincare being oil, we set about considering which ones we wanted to include. We knew we wanted our oils to be sustainable and sourced as locally as possible to keep our carbon footprint low. This ruled our some lovely skincare oils such as Jojoba and Coconut oil for example.

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Botanicals

What is a Salve?

If you haven’t used a salve before, it is probably different to the consistency of a lotion or cream you may be used to. A salve is completely water-less (like all of the products we concoct) which means there is no need to add a preservative to the product. When water is used in skincare, it gives a lotion like texture to a product but requires the addition of a preservative to keep microbes and bacteria from developing. Some preservatives can be harsh for the skin and we prefer to steer clear of them, opting for a completely natural product.

Oil based products, also referred to as anhydrous (water-free) are not prone to microbial contamination. It is important to ensure we don’t add water to the product by using wet fingers to apply for example, due to the lack of preservative. Whilst some skincare can be up to 70% water, oil based skincare such as salves, balms and skin oils do feel different to use. For a start they are full of rich oils so we do not require the same amount of product as we might when using a lotion. They can take longer to sink into the skin and some people prefer to use them overnight when they can truly work their magic. They have many benefits, including being great value for money as you aren’t paying for a large proportion of water in your product and tend to go much further, a little really does go a long way!

Today I concocted a small batch of healing hand salves that are now for sale in our Etsy shop. It is our last batch with this year’s Dandelion infused oil which is super nourishing for the skin – hands and otherwise.

Botanicals, Foraging

Wild about Roses

I am never quite sure what draws me in first with Rose; the beauty captured by the eyes or the nose, (don’t worry the poetry stops here my friends). According to fossil evidence, the genus Rosa is thought to be 35 million years old and contains around 200 species and thousands of hybrids growing across the world. Roses have long held a rich symbolism of love and beauty and it is easy to understand why.

The rose plant offers us two key ingredients for our products. In the Spring and Summer we collect and dry the petals to infuse into facial oils, add to face masks, bath salts and teas. In the Autumn and Winter we collect the hips or fruits that we infuse into our skin oils, oxymels and dry for teas. For the rest of this post, I will be focusing on the benefits of the petals as we are currently collecting and processing them, plus rose hips deserve a post of their very own.

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Botanicals

Helping Hands Salve

On a beautiful day a few weeks ago, we foraged a bounty of delicious dandelion flowers, rich with colour and healing properties. We also collected some fresh nettles and wanted to use them both in something special. These abundant plants are considered to have numerous beneficial properties for nourishing and protecting the skin. Full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, offering antibacterial and anti inflammatory action. They felt like the perfect plants to create a healing hand salve, especially for sore, over-washed hands. We also added some of our homegrown dried organic lavender for a gentle scent and extra healing.

We wanted to create an offering that we could give to loved ones, many who are key workers and who have been suffering with sore hands due to all the extra washing during the pandemic. We will be concocting another small batch of balms in the coming days so keep an eye out if you would like one.