The Herbalists
Our Clays and Muds – Why do we use so many different types?
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Here at Montagne Jeunesse we are constantly looking for clays and muds from around the world

Clays and muds come in many different forms and are the result of the natural weathering of rocks over thousands of years. The most common forms that we use are kaolinites, illites and montmorillonites which we blend with selected fruits, herbs and essential oils to give the best combination for each individual product in our range.

The clays and muds work deep into the pores, cleansing the skin by absorbing excess sebum and removing dead skin cells and dirt. If you haven’t tried them you will be amazed at how smooth your skin feels after using them.

The natural clays give us many challenges as their different layered structures mean that each one has its own unique characteristic and texture. They also vary in colour due to their mineral content which we capitalise on to reduce the need for synthetic dyes. Amongst the many types of clay we use is Illite clay from the Mediterranean, Dead Sea mud from the Middle East, Cornish clay from England, Rhassoul clay from Morocco and Glacial clay from Alaska.

By Heather

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Our Ingredients: Bergamot Oil
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One of the great things about working on natural products is you get to work with real ingredients that have their own personality, their own geography and even their own history.  One of my favourites is the bergamot oil we add to our Cucumber Peel Off masque.  Bergamot is a kind of orange, bred and grown purely for its uniquely fragrant oil.

It was originally grown only in the Calabria region of southern Italy – that is the extreme toe of the boot shaped by the coastline.  This is still where the best oil comes from and where we source it ourselves.  The particular combination of a volcanic soil and the right level of sun and rain gives the most desirable fruit.  This is lucky for the farmers of the region, because the soil is not good for much else and so they derive most of their income selling the oil to the food industry, the perfumery industry and of course to Montagne Jeunesse.

The oil is extracted in a very straightforward way.  The fruit is tumbled to bruise it, then pressed to extract the oil.  After that, all that is needed is to filter it and put it into bottles.  No heat is used, and no chemicals are required.  So what you end up with is just like it is in the plant.

The method of manufacture might be down to earth, but the smell most definitely is not.  Whenever I open a bottle, even in the middle of an English winter, it always carries me away to a warm sun in a deep blue Mediterranean sky.

By: Chris

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Your skin in winter
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Now the temperature is falling and days are getting shorter, it is time to start getting ready for winter. One of the big problems in winter is dry skin, particularly around the lips. It is a good idea to remember just why this is a problem.

Water is continually being lost across the skin and replaced from inside. Ideally these two processes should balance out, but if you are losing it quicker than it is being replaced your skin will get drier. It isn’t so much the cold that is the problem in winter as the low humidity. At low temperatures the air is simply drier, and on cold frosty days this is when your skin has the most problems retaining its moisture.

If it gets really bad you get a sort of feedback loop that builds up. As your skin becomes dry, the very dryness itself reduces the ability to hold the water in. So it is much better if you use a bit of prevention in advance.

The other complication is wind. A steady flow of air over your skin increases the rate of moisture loss as well. This is particularly a problem on the lips.

Using one of the Montagne Jeunesse lip balms is a great way to counter this problem. We picked the combination of beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter specifically to keep your lips hydrated and in tip top condition. They will all work really well, just find the one with the flavour you like best. My personal favourite is the mango. Just be sure to be conscientious about using it when those cold blue winter skies appear.

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