Unlock the Treasures of these Tiny Seeds!
The word “chia” comes from the Mayan word for “strength.” The scientific name for the chia plant is Salvia hispanica L. It belongs to the mint family and is native to southern Mexico and northern Guatemala. Chia seeds were historically used as food by the Aztecs and Mayans, and were revered by native Indians for providing long lasting energy to warriors and runners. The chia seed has recently been lauded with “superfood” status in the Western world for its impressive abundance of nutritional properties (See page 100). This super reputation has now started to spread beyond its use as an edible supplement to the beauty and skin care industry, as chia seed oil is becoming famous for its many beauty benefits.
Due to the undeniable topical benefits of these tiny nutritional powerhouses, the skin care industry is starting to incorporate chia seeds into products and treatments, and for good reason! They contain an unrivaled amount of beneficial properties.
Though very small, chia seeds have very high oil content—up to 39 percent, according to the International Journal of Food Science, and are one of the leading sources of omega-3s. Along with these essential fatty acids, vitamins and nutrients contained in the chia seed help to nourish and calm the skin.
With a higher antioxidant count than blueberries, they also have outstanding anti-inflammatory and skin rejuvenating properties. Chia seed oil can either be applied directly on the face and body to help restore dry patches, or on top of a moisturizer to seal it in. In addition to the oil pressed from the seeds, chia seeds also produce a gelatinous substance that can be used as skin treatments. This is formed when the chia seeds are placed in water, and a mucilaginous gel appears around each seed. This substance helps to hydrate the skin, and provides calming and rejuvenating properties that can diminish the appearance of wrinkles.
As you incorporate the exciting power of chia seeds into your skin care services, don’t neglect to share the outstanding benefits/nutritional background of this ingredient as a dietary dynamo with your clients. Their gentle, nearly tasteless flavor makes them easy to blend into other foods for a major nutritional boost. If you have a juice bar at your spa, add these miniscule gems into your latest smoothie recipe!
High in omega-3 fatty acids High soluble fiber content Rich in antioxidants High in phosphorous Good source of calcium Rich in iron and manganese May improve energy levels Gluten free
Deep Moisturizing Masque
Replenish your client’s skin.
-Finely grind 1 tablespoon chia seeds in a small grinder.
-Soak the ground chia seeds in coconut or filtered water until they swell.
-Add 1 teaspoon chia seed oil. After mixing the ingredients together, apply to the skin and let sit for five to 10 minutes.
*Enhance this mask by adding one or two drops organic essential oil (for oily complexions, try juniper berry oil; for dry complexions, try rose or chamomile essential oils).
For dry and aged complexions.
-Grind 2 teaspoons chia seeds in a small grinder until fine.
-Mix with 1 teaspoon coconut oil (To avoid a coconut scent, use organic deodorized coconut oil). Add 1/2 teaspoon organic raw honey for additional detoxifying and hydrating effects.
-Add 1 or 2 drops essential oil that suits your client’s complexion.
*Massage this nourishing scrub gently over your client’s face, neck and décolleté for three to five minutes. Remove with warm compresses.
Refreshing Body Scrub
This can be a treat for your clients during any foot or body service to exfoliate and nourish the skin.
-2 tablespoons slightly ground chia seeds
-1 tablespoon each coconut oil and honey
-1 tablespoon baking soda, which helps to detoxify and smooth the epidermis.
-3 drops ginger (for a warming effect) or peppermint essential oil (for a cooling effect)
-5 drops tea tree oil for healing and antiseptic effects Mix ingredients together and gently massage this scrub into your client’s feet, hands, or entire body.
-Wipe or rinse off.
*Alternatively, you can leave it on for five to 10 minutes and cover your client’s hands and feet with plastic warming mittens and booties.
Rejuvenating Aromatic Oil
Treat your clients to this delicately sensual aromatherapy experience.
-1 ounce chia seed oil 5 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
-3 drops sandalwood essential oil
-2 drops jasmine essential oil Chia Seed Skin Recipes
*Mix ingredients together and massage over the face or body.
-Elina Fedotova is the formulator and CEO of Elina Organics, an award winning cosmetic chemist and aesthetician. She hand makes her professional skin care line in her laboratory using holistic principles and organic ingredients from around the world. In 2007, she founded the Association of Holistic Skin Care Practitioners (AHSCP); a nonprofit organization that provides ongoing training and education for professionals.-