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Creation, How Essential Oils Are ‘Born’

At least how essential oils are created! Told by one of the most amazing, kind, gentle souls.

It’s no secret and I am not ashamed of it, I love love love essential oils. I find them to be completely fascinating. Perhaps I am wired a bit odd but when I experience an oil, a universe unfolds for me. The power they have in supporting us in Mind, Body, and Spirit is undeniable. The history of their effectiveness is as old as time. Now, I am the first to admit that I am not the most sciencey in explaining them.

I do have an appreciation and a desire to really understand the practical science behind each of the ingredients I use to formulate. So I take the time to read and research and listen to wise people like Robert Tisserand.

I have been a huge fan of his for many years and started reading his books and his on-line content before I ever launched Très Spa. He has a gift for explaining the complex in such a graceful way. He is not emotional about it and doesn’t give into artificial hype or commercialism. I find I can truly trust his insight.

I had to share this with you. So carve out 12 minutes and listen to this brilliant man share  How Essential Oils are Created in Plants. *At the 7 minute mark he starts to talk about peppermint and the journey…..fascinating!


Here are a couple of books to add to your reading library:

This is the first book I had ever purchased on Aromatherapy

The most recent and amazing guide book

Robert now has a web based “university of learning” called the Tisserand Institute. Check it out here

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Aroma, Natural vs Synthetic

All Scents Are Not Created Equal



There are really only two types of scents.

Natural – those that are extracted from plant material (flowers, stems, leaves, bark, wood, etc…).

Not Natural – those which are synthesized compounds. Personally, I lump those silly oils who call themselves “nearly natural or nature identical into this category since they are made from a hybridized process of plant essence and synthetic compounds. How much of one to the other I have no idea. No one does but the minute you blend a pure essential oil with a synthetic scent, you kind of ruin the point of using nature based and sustainable.

So which one is better?

That all depends on you and what matters most to you. Back in the days before Tres Spa, I loved loved loved the bath shops and the candle shops and all the smelly cosmetic counters with all the perfumes. I would sniff and sniff and sniff to my hearts content. So many smells and such fun names. My personal favorite at the time was Nantucket Briarwood and who didn’t like China Rain?!  I just loved smells and I did not care if it was natural or not, I just liked to sniff. Probably since my eyes were never right from birth, I have always relied more heavily on my ability to smell. If you can’t trust what your eyes are telling you, you have to rely on a back up system for early detection. So my nose took the lead.

With Tres Spa You Have Nature in the palm of your HandsBut then I started my own company,Tres Spa, and I had to make some decisions that would draw lines and boundaries. So, since I have never been known to take the easy path or the most popular one, I decided I would create a company that would not compromise on the commitment to nature. My other love. I mean really, who doesn’t love nature at some level. I was determined to use natural ingredients and create products as close to nature as possible. So I choose essential oils, naturally!

I have never regretted that decision but when I made it, I had no idea what a profound impact it would have on me. Just by surrounding myself with nature, I became more aware and my already keen sense of smell became even sharper. My sense of scent has gotten to the point where I can smell a synthetic fragrance from far away. I don’t know how to put it but the scent is usually strong and very sharp. Like it cuts threw everything and dominates, almost attacking my nose. As a result, I have to hold my breath when I pass by shops that use fragrances and I haven’t entered a candle store in years.I still don’t think we answered the question; Which one is better? 

Remember that series of movies from a few years ago where people started setting up sides and asking “Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?” I’m on “Team Essential oil” and I’d like to believe it is better to be on natures side. It’s not always the easy one but it always feels right to me and as a company it is important to be planet friendly in manufacturing and product design and natural is sustainable. I’m sure others would be quoting science and tossing studies left and right but for me, it just feels like the right thing to do. 

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Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal seems to be a sudden hot tend in the health and beauty industry. Trend or not, let’s hope it is here to stay. Activated charcoal  also known as activated carbon, is a dust like powder that is created from heating charcoal.

Activated Charcoal and Tres SpaYou see it all starts with a substance like peat, coal, petroleum, wood, or coconut shells (our favorite sustainable charcoal).  The charcoal is then heated or otherwise treated to increase its absorptive power, or to put it another way, to activate it.  At Très Spa we use activated charcoal from the planet friendly coconut shells.Check out our Organic Face Cleanser!

So why is it so popular?

Activated charcoal has an amazing adsorption ability. Adsorption is the adhesion of molecules to the surface. Remember the heating of the coal, what happened was the action caused .the charcoal to create gaps or “pores” of voided space. these internal spaces give the activated charcoal the ability to attract and trap chemicals. With the charcoal trapping the chemicals, they avoid getting absorbed by the body. The toxins can then be flushed out of the system. The ability to flush toxins out without Tres Spa Organic Face Cleanser Coal & Kelpcausing a burden to the liver and kidneys is key to the internal (and even external) benefits.

Taken Orally or Ingested

Internally activated charcoal has been used for a variety of things from life saving prevention of poisoning, to relieving gas, From  preventing hangovers to lowering cholesterol. It can be used to brighten the teeth and makes an excellent water filter. I have used a charcoal water filtration system in my home for years and I love it.

So what about topically?

Can activated charcoal help the skin when applied topically? Yes. It has been shown to be very helpful in relieving the skin from spider bites or other bites by creating a paste and applying it to the skin. Wait then rinse clean. You could do the same with acne outbreaks.

But to what extent is it beneficial in your daily beauty regime? Maybe not as significant as internal but still beneficial enough to consider it. The biggest drawback of topical activated charcoal is the fact that it is a mess to deal with. It will stain if you aren’t careful  and it can be a mess as it coats every surface with jet black coal. This is unfortunate as you can only imagine what a wonder it would be covering us head to toe? Full on body detox mask! But I digress.

To be really effective, charcoal needs more than a split second to work its magic. So some of the treatments in our daily beauty routines work better than others. There may be some benefits to using activated charcoal in our body soap bars, but more so in our body scrubs, facial cleansers, or masks. Since these products tend to get a longer exposure time.

We are not your Doctor

The Très Spa website may contain articles on science, or medical topics; however, no warranty is made that any of the articles are accurate.There is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained or cited in an article touching on science or medical matters is true, correct, precise, or up-to-date. The overwhelming majority of such articles are written, in part or in whole, by nonprofessionals. Even if a statement made about science or medicine is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms.

The information provided at Très Spa is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). None of the individual contributors, nor anyone else connected to Très Spa can take any responsibility for the results or consequences of any attempt to use or adopt any of the information presented on this web site.

Nothing on Très Spa’s site or included as part of any project or product of Très Spa, should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine.

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The Mighty Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera for Skincare

Tres Spa Aloe Vera for Skincare

Aloe Vera is my favorite skincare ingredient I love Aloe Vera. The plant has always fascinated me since I was a child. It was the one succulent my mother could grow without killing. Unfortunately, she did not inherit my grandfathers natural gardener gene. As a child I remember this strange pointy plant that did not look like anything I had seem outside (I grew up in Michigan). It was always the same color and it looked like it hardly grew, yet despite my mom chopping off tips every time we had a scratch, it never seemed to shrink. Beyond the sticky goo that worked as a salve under my bandage, I had no idea what the power was in this wondrous green monster plant.

It wasn’t until years later that I would really start to understand this miracle plant.

Grow Your Own

Aloe Vera is a plant that I believe everyone should grow for themselves! They are easy to care for and it can grow in a pot inside your home quite easily. Just a little bit of light and water and you are good to go.  I started with a tiny one in a frog that was a gift from one of my fabulous customers. From that tiny plant I now have three going. Since I live in California, I plan on transferring one to the outdoors to be grown for eating.

What Can You Do With Aloe Vera?

Aloe Vera for Skincare Tres SpaLots! Inside and out, Aloe Vera is a highly nourishing wonderful plant. You can eat them and you can use it on your skin. It is wonderful!

Aloe Vera is rich in the following: Vitamins, Minerals, Sugars, Enzymes, Lignins, Amino Acids, Anthraquinones, Saponins, Fatty Acids, Salicylic Acid. Now, I’m not going to go into details on this. But it is interesting to note that the simple green plant has about 100 different high value compounds that aid in internal and external healing.

For skincare – snip a bit off the leaf and either squeeze it out and apply the gooey juice or slit the leaf and apply it to your skin. Add some fresh squeezed aloe juice to one of our Face Masks for amazing healing therapy benefits.

For eating – if you have a big leaf, you can slice the green outer layer away and eat the inside. Try adding it to your smoothies and juices. Or, make a Raw Vegan version of Sushi (you do have to rinse it very well to do this). Personally I’ve never been able to grow my Aloe plants big enough.

Can I Find It In Très Spa, Products?

In the beginning of  Très Spa, I had added it to a couple of product formulations but I stopped. Why would I do this considering how much I love the plant and all of the clear benefits? Well it all has to do with preservation. Once the leaf has been “juiced” it must be preserved and I truly believe that this wondrous plant should be enjoyed unaltered and fresh. When it ages outside of the natural state, it starts to lose its wonderful nutrients. So it is at it’s peak when you pick it fresh. And considering how agreeable it is to growing indoors, it’s a plant that can be enjoyed globally no matter what your garden space is outside or your seasonal growing conditions.

Perhaps, if I could ever find Aloe without preservatives added I may consider adding it back in. For now, I encourage you to grow your own.

Other articles you may find interesting: