Sep 12th, 2018

Gardens Sprout Beauty Products

Don’t throw away herbs drying out in summer’s heat. And don’t pitch flower petals waning at season’s end. Recycle them as ingredients for DIY natural skin and hair products.

Woman mixes dried herbs and natural oils to make beauty products

Nadira Chase, who creates and sells a natural line of personal-care products, encourages customers to experiment with the inherent properties of dried herbs and flowers.

“There are natural alternatives for many synthetic ingredients,” said Nadira Chase, founder and creator of Adiva Naturals. “Why use synthetics when you can do the same thing naturally?”

Chase started learning about the potential of nature’s harvest at age 8. She and her aunt experimented with homemade herb- and oil-based potions to help control her childhood psoriasis. Chase found relief, and over time, she became a researcher and self-taught toiletry maker.

DIY Beauty Products

“Back then there was no Google,” she said. Instead, she scoured through books in the Lincoln Hospital Learning Center, located near her New York City home. “I went to the New York Botanical Garden a lot, too,” she recalled. In 2003, she founded Adiva Naturals.

“It started as a hobby, became my passion and turned into a business,” Chase said. Today, she produces natural facial, skin and hair product lines using harvests from her North Chesterfield garden, augmented by natural ingredients purchased from wholesale suppliers. In a lab on Franklin Street, she and her staff mix “luxury personal-care products” for purchase in the adjoining storefront. They also ship the DIY beauty products to retailers in seven states and Canada.

“Some products take weeks or even months to develop, like rose oil,” Chase noted. “Distilling is a long process, but we ‘brew’ it to perfection,” she said with a smile.

Chase touted the benefits of making your own personal care products. “It saves you money, plus you control the quality,” she said. “You know the purity because you made it.” The process of concocting and experimenting can be enjoyed with friends and family, too.

“Just have fun with it!”

DIY Hair Guide

Chase encourages first-timers to start with common herbs and flowers found in the garden, which support healthy hair and scalp in these ways:

  • Aloe vera leaf juice enhances cell rejuvenation.
  • Castor oil coats, seals in moisture and smooths.
  • Chamomile flower tonic helps to alleviate itchiness.
  • Lavender leaf and extract enhance shine and volume.
  • Lemongrass stimulates circulation and luster.
  • Rose petals and rose water cleanse, hydrate, soothe and scent.
  • Rosemary leaf promotes growth.
  • Sage leaf deeply cleanses and helps strengthen hair

Recipe for Eczema Cream DIY Beauty Products 

  • 1/4 c. shea butter
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  1. Fill a saucepan halfway with water. Heat until water is hot, but not boiling.
  2. Place the first two ingredients in a canning jar and set it in the pan (as a DIY double boiler). Heat until the mixture melts, then remove the jar to cool.
  3. When the mixture is slightly cool, add the oils, stir and refrigerate until firm.
  4. Apply liberally to affected areas.

Tip: If a whipped texture is desired, further mix the cream using a stand mixer on a high speed for several minutes.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden recognizes the inherent value of nature’s herbs and oils without endorsing specific vendor products. This article first published in the “Richmond Times-Dispatch.” 

About Lynn Kirk

Lynn Kirk, a freelance writer and marketing consultant, has collaborated with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden since 2002. She considers it a joy and privilege to write newspaper articles and member newsletters for such a top-rated (and utterly gorgeous!) public garden.

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