Pretty Natural

by any other name
September 14, 2010, 21:17
Filed under: anti-aging, beauty, moisturizing, refreshing, rose, scrub | Tags: , , ,

Roses are everywhere: at grocery stores in neon colors, on TV, in films … the list goes on. And understandably so. Roses (especially the red variety) have always signified the love aspect of human nature and often represent something or someone truly unique.

The smell is at once uplifting calming and even drinking rose hip tea is rejuvenating. I myself have bought the same lip balm for four years, addicted to its light, rose scent and healing properties.

These tips are as simple and as elegant as the flowers they stem from.

Rose water

As simple as boiling rose petals in water for as long as it takes to distill water. The water can be stored in a cool dry place for as long as you use it. Rose water is a simple astringent used for cleansing the skin of dirt and oil. It is also moisturizing, making it perfect for the dry weather soon upon us.

Rose at-home spa

After you’ve made rose water on the stove and before you bottle it, use it to steam your face and proceed with spa treatments: cleansing, exfoliation, massage and finally whatever creams and serums you use on a daily basis.

Rose exfoliator

Crush rose petals and mix them into a store-bought exfoliator or any home-made one.


great fruit

I love citrus fruits. They have so much vitamin C and they’re always so refreshing. Even when someone is peeling an orange or digging in to a grapefruit in the next room, you can smell it and it wakes you up.

My favorite citrus is probably pink grapefruit. Yes, it’s tart to the point of being bitter, but I just love it! Remember, vitamin C is only good from its natural source, so why not try these tips? Here are some easy ways to include the pink lady in your skin care routine.


Good morning: This one is so elegant, I feel pretty instantly. It’s easier to do this if you have a spray bottle (you can get them anywhere empty travel-sized bottles are found). Make some rose water and pour the cooled liquid into your spray bottle. Now juice a grapefruit or two and pour that in with the rose water. Store in the refrigerator to cool and keep it there when not in use. Shake before spraying on as a toner every morning. Uplifting, anti-aging toner!

Good morning scrub: This one is excellent and smells like heaven. There are easier, more chemically enhanced ways of smelling this good and being this clean, but it’s so much fun to make yourself – and so easy. Just squeeze some juice from a grapefruit into some raw sugar and make a paste. Scrub on and rinse off. Delicious.


Fun Monday: 1 cup of club soda and as much grapefruit juice as you want. This is very cleansing and a good way to start your week. Rinse hair with the mixture in the shower after you shampoo and before you condition.


My first memory of baking soda (“shake it till you can’t shake it no mo'”) is that my grandmother used it in the refrigerator so that the fish she bought each week wouldn’t make her house smell like low tide. My brother and I were grateful for this because we spent much of our time in the fridge searching for delicious things and did not want to be impeded by horrible smells.

Then my boyfriend told me he used to drink baking soda and water to settle an upset stomach. I suffer from some pretty bad stomach pains – but none that would ever make me turn to that tip. I tastes too awful!

I blogged three weeks ago about one good thing baking soda can do for you – especially when you’re in dire need of a cure like I was then – but this week I want to share even more tips because this ingredient is a gem and I can’t keep secrets like this to myself.


Chlorine Cure: I’ve talked about the chlorine content of the water here and of my fear of green locks. So here’s a tip that I’ve been using as regularly as a if I were a pro swimmer. 1 tsp to a bottle of shampoo adds extra cleaning and helps prevent dull or discolored hair.

Dry Shampoo: Many like the effect of dry shampoo because it helps with oily roots but also can add volume to the finer hairs in life. Sprinkle a little on, massage in and use a hair dryer to restyle if necessary.


Anti dry: For some reason the skin on my elbows and knees are dryer than they normally are in the summer. All I do to get rid of this is to make a paste of baking soda and water and apply. Rinse off when dry.

Hands: I also like to soften my cuticles with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water.


White mask: Exfoliating, cleansing and anti-acne, this mask (made of just water and baking soda) is one of the best DIY tips of all time. Women have used it for centuries. If you don’t feel like you have the energy to indulge in a whole mask, you can make just enough to cover one blemish. Rinse when dry.

There are many more tips like these! Check them out.


I love kiwis – the fruit, the animal and the people. But the fruit in particular is  delicious and packed with vitamin C, which, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, is best used straight from its natural source.

There are a lot of great tips for using kiwi for skin care and there’s a good reason for it. Aside from being one of the biggest sources of vitamin C, the kiwi fruit is full of alpha-hydroxy acid, acids which exfoliate and brighten skin as well as control shine. Here are some tips that are especially great if your skin is tired and dull from a long work week.


Green scrub: Make a scrub using raw or brown sugar (I personally prefer brown sugar because it makes a better paste) and the pulp of as many kiwis as it takes. This mix contains three exfoliators: the seeds from the kiwi, the AHAs and the sugar. And is smells so fresh – kind of like this.


Manicure prep: Use 1 kiwi pulp and 1 tbsp olive oil. Leave on for up to 20 minutes – this is exfoliating and moisturizing.


Mashed: Just mashing the pulp of a kiwi and letting it sit on your face makes for a perfect mask. But adding extra ingredients depending on your skin type can heighten the experience. Add olive oil for dry skin and honey for combination skin. If you have oily skin, I would stick to just kiwi because it already has everything you need!

Independence Day Series :: BLUE
July 5, 2010, 06:00
Filed under: anti-aging, antioxidant, blueberry | Tags: , , , ,

[My Independence Day series is a three-day event where the posts will revolve around a red, a blue, and a white ingredient. All of these ingredients will in some way help sunburned skin but will also be good for other things. Happy Fourth!]

Come on. You knew it would be the blueberry. And truly, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to it. Blueberries are ranked at the top for antioxidant power which means more benefits for your skin. It’s also loaded with vitamin C. Really, you can’t complain when it’s that good.

I’m not the biggest fan of eating them (they’re always a little too tart for my taste) but I think they’re beautiful, and aesthetics are important to me. I also love the simplicity of the recipes that have blueberry in them. Because when the ingredient has so much power, you don’t want too much else in it.


Leaves: I’ve heard that blueberry leaves can relieve eczema symptoms. Steeping the leaves in hot water and using the water in creams is said to work wonders and many believe in this treatment. I have not tried it myself, but it’s good to throw out there, in case someone wants to.


Blue facial: 1/4 cup blueberries and 1tsp each olive oil and honey. Mix in a blender, apply and leave on for 20 minutes.

Blue and white: 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/4 yogurt in a blender will do great things if you spent your weekend outside.

tea for me

I haven’t blogged lately because I had a very busy birthday week full of outings and celebration. When I finally had a free day, I sat and watched TV and drank tea. Tea is a great remedy for so many things. If I’ve had a bad day, I console myself with tea. If I’m sick, I drink tea to counteract the stuffed, trapped feeling my head is experiencing. On a cold, rainy day, nothing beats a cup of chai.

And, as you’ve probably guessed, tea is also great when you combine it with your skin-care regimen. Since green tea is a powerful antioxidant it can have several benefits such as strengthening your SPF and helping to slow the aging process. Try some of these simple tips for hydrated, energized skin. And brew a cup for you!


Lavender anti-dandruff rinse:  This one’s easy – brew some lavender tea and pour it in your hair. Rinse after 15 minutes for shiny strands. I like this one at night, since lavender is a great de-stressor.


Antioxidant bath: So many people forget the skin on their bodies, but taking care of yourself is easier than you think. Grab the thinnest washcloth you have (cheesecloth is best but it’s not common in all kitchens) and wrap different tea leaves inside. I suggest some green tea, chamomile tea, and white tea. Secure the cloth around the nozzle of the bath and run warm water as usual. This way your bath is a big cup of tea without being messy.


Tea toner: Freeze green tea in an ice cube tray and use them as a daily dose of toner.

Extra SPF: Add some green tea to your sun-screen for added protection – only if your sun-screen is made with zinc oxide, though! The tea can break down other chemicals.

summer treat : nectarines
June 7, 2010, 21:23
Filed under: anti-aging, beauty, cleanse, DIY, nectarine | Tags: , , ,

I was so pleased when my mother and I picked up a few nectarines at the store today. They mean SUMMER and heat and beaches… And while they’re one of my favorite hot-weather treats, they’re also packed with lutein and other antioxidants which are great firming agents for the skin. Due to their high water content they are also cleansing and moisturizing. Now all I have to do is try not to eat them all so I can do these tricks. Make sure you pit and dice the nectarine before trying it!


Summer body scrub: Blend one nectarine and 2 tbsp honey with 1 tbsp raw sugar in a blender. This makes just a small batch so you may have to make more. It smells extraordinary and summery and lays a great foundation for lotions to absorb into the skin.


Nectarine firming mask: 1 egg and 1 nectarine is all you need. Whip in a blender and apply.