When I create an Archeus product I start from asking ‘what is the key issue I am trying to work with?’ This might be sensitive skin, or wrinkles or psoriasis. Am I seeking to soothe or nourish, repair or help prevent? I think of it a bit like constructing a musical chord, starting with the dominant note, in this case the dominant effect I wish to create with my creams, oils and mists. Then I think about what the other qualities are that can support and add to this effect, and thus add in a carefully selected range of ingredients to complement the main note. This way of working is used in perfumery as well. Some of the products we make at Archeus have been evolving over the past 3-4 years as the perfect balance of ingredients is sought.
It is a great temptation to keep adding more ingredients to the pot, particularly given there are so many wonderful plants to work with. However, my personal feeling is that trying to keep things simple is better! I don’t want to overload the skin with too many messages from different ingredients in one go. I also feel that there is a lot to be learned from the old ways with plants – centuries of use cannot be overlooked. In today’s world we have the benefit of being able to access information from other cultures – and this creates the potential for wonderful new plant synergies.
I love the qualities of all the ingredients I work with, but here are some of my absolute heroes at present:
Camellia Sinensis: oil, extracts and Matcha
The Camellia is our friend. At Archeus we use it in oil, extract and the powdered Matcha tea form. It is no surprise it has been at the heart of the beauty secrets of the geisha for centuries. Camellia oil has outstanding moisture and emollient properties and it is one of the lightest and most absorbent of the plant oils. It penetrates skin as fast as water, leaving it supple and hydrated. The oil contains mono-saturated essential fatty acids and very high in oleic acid (Omega 9 fatty acid) and antioxidants. Camellia contains vitamins, A, B, and E and one of the most precious constituents for skin - phytosqualene. Squalene is a natural component of human sebum. With age we become deficient in squalene, which results in dry skin, premature aging and wrinkles.
Camellia oil helps counter that while also protecting skin from harmful UV and environmental damage, forming a thin shield against strong sun rays and change of temperatures. It also known to protect from age spots, freckles and excessive pigmentation. It is safe to use around eyes to prevent lines.
The Camellia is said to bring in riches and luxury. It has been used for drinking, beauty and medicine since around 1000 BC. We love it.
ARCHEUS PRODUCTS CONTAINING CAMELLIA SINENSIS: Gentle Camellia Moisturiser, Geranium & Frankincense Moisturiser, Hydrating Floral Mist, Camellia Facial Cleansing Oil, Rejuvenating Facial Treatment Oil, Camellia & Peppermint Lip Balm, Premium Organic Ceremonial Matcha Tea.
Neroli essential oil is extracted from the fragrant blossoms of the bitter orange tree. Neroli is a gorgeous ingredient and can help regenerate and rejuvenate skin cells. It is useful to prevent scar tissue, create smoother skin and combat broken capillaries. It has antiseptic properties and has an uplifting effect on the emotions.
At Archeus we use Neroli hydrosols, which are a by-product of essential oil processing. It is the water that is collected when plants are distilled. During the steam distillation process, the steam absorbs much of the aroma and healing qualities of the plant itself. As the steam cools it condenses back into water and forms the deliciously perfumed floral water or hydrosol.
Chamomile is a sweetly aromatic annual plant, native to Europe. It has long held a reputation for its gentle soothing qualities both physically and emotionally. Its qualities help quieten, centre and relax the user. It has anti-anxiety, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic properties. It can be applied to itchy skin and eczema. Tests have shown it is beneficial for healing wounds. At Archeus we use the hydrosol and essential oil forms of this superb plant ingredient.
In the language of flowers, chamomile means patience in adversity. It is known as the herb of humility because, as a lawn plant, the more it was trodden on, the faster it grew.
ARCHEUS PRODUCTS CONTAINING ROMAN CHAMOMILE: Gentle Camellia Moisturiser
The name ‘frankincense’ was derived from a medieval French word meaning ‘luxuriant incense.’ Frankincense is an impressive skin care ingredient. It is astringent, slightly anti-inflammatory, and has an incredible ability to rejuvenate skin and eradicate wrinkles. Its antioxidant properties and cell regeneration abilities lead to smoother, more youthful skin. Frankincense is particularly helpful for older skins, and has a definite tonic effect, helping to restore skin firmness, while also slowing down the appearance of wrinkles.
The Egyptians used frankincense in their temple ceremonies and rituals, as kohl for their eyes and as a rejuvenator of the skin. Frankincense was found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamen.
Bach Flower Remedies
Archeus Bespoke products are something extra-special special, each tailored just for you. We believe in the mind-body connection and how it can impact on health and wellness. Literally you can 'think yourself sick'. We like to think our bespoke products might help you feel well.
The ‘Bach flower remedies’ healing system uses a range of flower essences to counteract different negative states of mind. It was devised in the first half of the 20th Century by a British physician, Dr Edward Bach. Bach went on to describe 38 healing plant remedies. Each flower was fund to embody the positive and harmonizing force for a negative emotional state, be it fear, resentment or despair. Plants in the Bach Flower Remedy include Oak, Centaury, Water Violet, Agrimony… I will write more about them all in a future blog.
ARCHEUS PRODUCTS CONTAINING BACH FLOWER REMEDIES: The Archeus Bespoke Range.