Have you ever been transported to a time in your life by the power of a scent? If so, you are not alone. For me, the smell of chlorine in a pool instantly brings back memories of my high school swim team. It’s a moment of time travel, that when it comes, brings a sense of nostalgia.
So how exactly does smell work?
When smell enters the nose, it travels through the cranial nerve to the olfactory blub, which is part of the limbic system (aka the emotional center of the brain). The olfactory bulb is connected to both the amygdala (an emotion center) and to the hippocampus, which is involved in memory; hence the link between scent, emotion and memory. There’s no denying that scent does something for us. If a scent can transport us back in time, what else can it do?
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy has been around for about 6,000 years. The ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them in cosmetics, perfumes, and drugs. Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Some oils are used to promote physical healing while others are used for their emotional value.
Aromatherapy has only become popular in the US in the last 30 years. Today you can find a plethora of skincare and home products labeled as “aromatherapy”. However, most of these products contain synthetic fragrances that do not have the same properties as essential oils. Thus, they loose the actually healing ability that pure essential oils have.
What can Aromatherapy do for you?
Aromatherapy can relieve pain, improve mood, and promote a sense of relaxation. Essential oils are also great for skin care. All Amber Blue products have aromatheraputic properties and have been formulated by our Co-founder, Jen, who is an Aromatherapist and Herbalist. She put together products based on their healing properties both physically and emotionally.
Below are a number of ailments coupled with useful oils to relieve symptoms:
Stress, Anxiety, Depression: Relieved by lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, and others.
Women in Labor: Pain relieved by rose, lavender and frankincense.
Morning sickness/nausea: Peppermint oil.
Anxiety coupled with High Blood Pressure during a stressful event: Neroli oil
Immune System: Strengthened by citrus oils.
Digestion: Peppermint oil.
PMS and Menopause: Relieved by fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary sage.
Looking to try an Aromatherapy Blend?
All of Amber Blue’s products contain essential oils. One in particular is our Aromatherapy Solid Perfume whose properties lull to sleep, allay anxieties, brighten dreams, and attract love. This blend produces a warm, relaxing, sweet, spicy and sensual aroma.
Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Bergamot Oil, Frankincense Oil, Pink Grapefruit Oil, Rosewood Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Rose Oil, Clary Sage Oil, Cedar Wood Oil, and Myrrh Oil.
Interested in learning about individual oils and their benefits click below:
Dry indoor heat, whipping winds, and icy temperatures suck the moisture right out of skin causing it to be dry, itchy and flaky. Dry skin causes a build-up of dead skin and your complexion becomes accentuated with fine lines and wrinkles (gasp…).
To overcome the conditions of wintery skin, Amber Blue has come up with 10 ways to fight dry winter skin. We promise if you follow these classic tips, your skin will bring back its soft and supple quality and boost its collagen content.
1. DRINK THAT WATER
Hydrate your skin from within by drinking lots of water. Too cold? Try an herbal tea mix (caffeine free).
2. INVEST IN A HUMIDIFIER
Put moisture back in the air with a humidifier. This will make its way directly to your skin too.
3. EXFOLIATE WEEKLY
4. USE AN OIL BASED MOISTURIZER
Believe it or not, many moisturizers out there can dry skin vs. hydrating skin. Choose an oil based moisturizer like Amber Blue’s Anti-Aging Serum which is packed with 16 (yes, 16!) amazing essential oils! Body oils are great too. Be sure to add your oil to damp skin for maximum effectiveness. Avoid oils that contain mineral oil or petrolatum (i.e. petroleum jelly) as they do not get absorbed by the skin; and instead create a barrier on the skin’s surface that traps moisture, but does not hydrate the skin. Organic oils actually penetrate deep into the skin and heal the skin.
5. ADD COCONUT OIL TO YOUR ROUTINE
Virgin organic coconut oil is highly effective for your skin. Coconut oil fights free radical damage, due to its high levels of ferulic and p-coumaric acid, and its natural antioxidant properties keep your skin looking youthful. Perfect for removing dryness, apply coconut oil on rough areas before bathing.
6. USE MILD SOAPS
Use body soaps with adequate moisturizing content. Amber Blue’s soaps are packed with natural oils and glycerin that are moisturizing for your skin.
7. DON’T SKIP THE TONER
Way too often people dismiss toner as an unnecessary step in skincare. Well formulated toners, like Amber Blue’s, provide AMAZING benefits for your skin. Our toner restores and repairs the skins surface. Organic skin toners deliver essential oils, rejuvenating elements and antioxidants straight to your skin.
8. SPF IN THE WINTER – SAY IT AIN’T SO
Yes, even in the winter you need SPF. It’s especially important to protect your dry skin from the wintery sun.
9. PUT ON THAT MASK
Using a hydrating mask once a week will soften and add moisture and nutrients to your skin. Amber Blue’s cleanser doubles as a face mask too. Just add some lukewarm honey and VOILÀ you have a super hydrating mask!
10. BE CHOOSEY IN YOUR MAKEUP
So you’ve done all the necessary steps to fend off the wintery skin dilemma, but now you’ve caked on toxic makeup containing all types of drying agents. Look for makeup that is certified organic and that contains zero toxic chemicals, parabens, phalates, gluten, nano particles or irradiations! Our favorite? Vapour Organic Beauty.
Here’s your chance to win one of our Amber Blue Cleanser & Mask samples. Simply take our poll and comment on the blog and you will be entered to win! Winner announced on December 17th!
Come enjoy a glass of wine (or ginger shot) at WIX Lounge in NYC.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where were you born and whatever else you’d like to share as to how you got to this point in your life?
Tara: I was born in Massachusetts and have lived in Manhattan for the last 8 years. I am your typical a-type New Yorker with lots of drive and energy. What’s special about my life is I was born to two teenage parents who were the most hardworking people I know. Despite the stigma associated with having young parents, I was able to work my tail off to get to where I am today. I wasn’t born into a cushy life or having connections to get ahead, I was able to get to where I am with dedication and hard work. I’m proud of that. It’s a true testament that hard work does pay off.
Jen: While I have lived most of my life in Massachusetts, I was born in Wisconsin and still consider myself a “cheese head”. Tara is right when she says she had hard working parents and a stigma to fight. I too fought that stigma; however, I put myself through college getting an associate’s degree, then bachelors and finally masters. Her dad did the same. We worked hard to achieve our dreams. I have tried to instill that determination in Tara. Set a goal and go for it!
How did you get interested in making bath and body products?
Jen: I have always had a passion for eco living and alternative medicine. I became a certified Aromatherapist and Herbalist. I began growing my own herbs and producing medical herbs, herbal teas and plant-based skincare to friends, family and at local farmers markets.
Tara: I called her the witch doctor – any ailment whether skin related or medical related she had a fix. And it always worked. We got so much positive feedback from the products it inspired us to launch a skincare line. We spent two years of developing our skincare recipes and mastering our product. The rest is history!
When did you launch your company?
Our official launch was Thursday, December 13, 2012 right here in NYC! (Amber Blue Skincare is based in Boston and has a satellite office in NYC).
What do you sell? What sets you apart from other bath and body companies?
We have a face line, body line and aromatherapy line which includes: cleanser, toner, and serum, lip balm, soaps, body oil, candles and solid perfume that you can find in vintage lockets. How are we different? For starters we grow our own herbs, many of which you will find in our products! How many other companies can say that? If we don’t grow it, we source it from reputable suppliers. Our products are engineered by nature, sourced responsibly, plant-derived, ethically created, and hand-made by us for you. We take pride in the way we develop our products to ensure that we have created not only the best, but also the purest. It’s our promise.
What is your favorite part of running a bath and body business?
The creativity! We love being able to create something that is absolutely amazing. The details that go into the recipe making, consistency of the product, smell, ingredients, the design… It’s all very exciting and fun. It’s also fun to be able to work with your family.
What is your least favorite part?
Jen: I just want to grow the herbs and make the products. I don’t like dealing with the business side of things – that’s where Tara comes in – she handles most of that.
Tara: Yikes, I do not have a least favorite part, I absolutely love it all!
What are your biggest challenges as a small business owner?
Our biggest challenge is time & resources. There are only two of us and we wear many hats. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we have to do. When most people are sleeping, we are up working on recipes, packaging, making products and shipping products!
When you have free time how do you like to spend it? Hobbies, sports, travel, etc.?
Tara: HA! Well we rarely have free time but when I do I love to travel! It’s the best way for me to disconnect and recharge. My favorite trip as of recent was my visit to Sugar Beach in St Lucia!
Jen: With a five year old and running a business there is not much time to relax. I love to cook, spend time with family, read, bike, hike, travel and just spend time outdoors where I can disconnect from the phone, email etc…
Do you have any words of wisdom to share with other small business owners?
A business is your blood, sweat and tears. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Starting a business and running your business takes patience, drive and commitment. Remember the bad days are normal – and we have all gone through them – so don’t quit. And the good days make it all worth-while. Also, look for local resources like SBA / SCORE which provide free business assistance, take classes, read books, and connect with other entrepreneurs.
Any Upcoming Events for people to come see your products?
We are constantly taking part in business discussions, herbal classes and the like. Our next retail show is the Chelsea Bazaar on August 24th at The Altman Building, 135 W 18th Street, NYC. You can find details on our website at: www.amberblue.com under our events tab!
Our products can be purchased at http://www.amberblue.com. You can also find us at a variety of popup shops around NYC and Boston – visit our events page of our website to see where we will be next! You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com.