Pretty Natural


Dry Spell

I recently moved to Virginia; it’s beautiful, historic, and the winter is so much milder than a Maine one.

I’m told it’s a place for lovers, which is definitely true for me. Little did I know, however, that Virginia would become the driest place I’ve ever called home… meaning that my eczema-prone skin is causing a ruckus – especially in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep, or in the morning when I want to shower, or the middle of the day when I’m trying to wear clothes or… well, all the time.

Each person will react to eczema in a different way, so try these carefully and sparingly until you find what works best for you. Not lucky enough to be the one of five people in the country with this problem? These tips cure good old fashioned dry skin, too.

oat-grain-sm

Oatmeal

There’s a reason you bathe in it when you’re a chicken-pocked child. It’s soothing all on its own. A hand-full of oats in muslin or cheesecloth placed in a lukewarm bath (like you’re brewing tea) is so comforting.

Bananas

Last night, I took a banana peel and rubbed it over every itchy spot before bed. It was more soothing than the Aveeno Anti-Itch cream I bought today. Honest. Banana portion on white

Coconut Oil

This natural remedy is easily found in the grocery store and good for every skin type – some even boast that it leaves wrinkles less noticeable… just food for thought. To aid itchy skin, melt it on the stove to give it an easier consistency to work with. Once it becomes a liquid, add the oatmeal. Take it off the stove, place it in a container, and you have a better cream than you could find at a store. Feel free to step up the recipe and add olive oil, like this blogger did.

Whatever you choose to do, remember to relax! Eczema flare-ups can be exacerbated by stress, so put the computer away and treat yourself.

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Glamour’s DIY trick

I get daily emails from countless magazine bloggers. It sounds lame, but it’s fun and also helps me escape from the mundane to focus on me for a minute or two. Shape magazine sends me tips on making my day a little more active. Allure tells me about the best of beauty. And Glamour will tell me just about anything.

This week I received and email from Glamour’s bloggers with a simple DIY trick that I just had to share. Below are the instructions.

 

 

“1. Take 2 whole cucumbers, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil and puree in a blender.

2. Divide the mixture into two plastic baggies. Slide one foot into each bag and massage the cucumber mask all over the foot.

3. Leave your feet in the bags for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

‘The cucumber is extra refreshing and reviving for tired toes, the lemon helps exfoliate, and the olive oil deeply moisturizes for super softness,’ says [Skyy] Hadley, who relies on this recipe to keep feet smooth for up to a week.”

Remember that acidic fruits like lemon exfoliate on another level than what a traditional scrub would. The acidic nature helps exfoliate sensitive skin without the irritating beads/pieces in a scrub.

This is such an easy recipe. Instead of plastic bags I would just use a foot bath bucket – I’m not a fan of over-using pastic items.

Make today a relaxing Saturday. Enjoy!



go mango

I’m kind of a fruit addict. I find the natural sugars in fruit far more scrumptious than those in sugary candy. Maybe if I had developed this fine taste for fruit over candy earlier I wouldn’t have gotten circa 20 cavities. I guess we’ll never know.

Lately, people have been buying a lot of mangoes. I work at an enormous store whose name I will not divulge for fear of being visited by people, and that is where I do all my research. So you can trust me when I say that people are buying mangoes at an alarming rate. Maybe it’s because they’re exotic and you can imagine yourself in a warm, far-off place while you eat them. Or maybe it’s their rich iron, vitamin C, and vitamin E content (which is great for the skin, especially now that it’s getting colder).

Face

Mango Mask: SO easy! 1/2 mashed mango, 1 or 2 tsp of plain greek yogurt (it’s thicker than regular yogurt) and some honey. Leave on for 20 minutes. Add sugar if you want it as a scrub!

Mango Body Butter: If you don’t make this, I will. And I’ll sell it. Because this sounds incredible.

(Taken from www.vitamin-supplements-store.net)

2 oz mango butter
1 oz olive oil, almond oil, kukui nut oil, macadamia nut oil, etc…
1 TBS(or more) cornstarch (to make it less greasy)
6-8 drops of Fragrance of your choice (try vanilla, lavender, or mix your own)

Melt the mango butter in a double boiler or you may use the microwave. When using the microwave, set the temperature on medium and check every 45 seconds. When the mango butter is completely melted, add oil and cornstarch and stir until it is a nice creamy consistency. Add essential oil or fragrance last. Allow your butter to set in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

So, if you can keep yourself from eating the mangoes you buy to do these skin tricks, then whip up some of this goodness.



one a day

It’s that time again. Although after today’s 80-degree weather I’m not sure what season it is. Whatever the temp, though, it is autumn again and I couldn’t be happier about it. I love chilly mornings and sunny, temperate afternoons.

I also went apple picking for my first time ever last weekend. I mostly stood in a 45-minute line for apple cider donuts, but I DID pick one apple! I let my little brother climb trees and fill our paper bags with apples from Walingford’s. So, this week we’ve had two apple pies, a few apple dumplings, an apple crisp, and the most amazing apple strudel muffins.

And here’s what I’d do with the apples left over.

Apple Mask: Oily skin? Grate one apple and mix with a teaspoon of honey. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse with the coldest water you can stand.

Wrinkle Mask: Grate one unripe apple and leave on wrinkly skin for skin for thirty minutes.

Time consuming  but worth it (taken from Care2.com):

“Autumn Magic Facial Mask
This formula soothes and nourishes skin and nerves, and provides gentle exfoliating action.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cored apple, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon rolled oats
1 teaspoon cream
1 teaspoon honey

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Apply to clean face, massaging gently, and allow mixture to remain on skin for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/apples-kitchen-cupboard-beauty.html##ixzz10aky6Jjp



post gym remedies

Now that my busy schedule has become a routine, I can get back to some of the things I love: blogging and going to the gym. I’ve been on hiatus from the blogging (yes, again) and from the gym (want these!) because I have to actually buy a membership now that I’m a grown up and can’t use the university gym for free. Bummer.

I’m not exactly a gym-lover, I just love the way a work out feels. I also love pretending to be good at running and always exit the gym with a tomato-red face while avoiding the pretty, skinny girls at the desk.

When I return home I promptly take a shower (even before speaking to people. I don’t want anyone to recognize me post- gym) and do a few things to restore my energy and ease the occasional muscle/joint pain.

Cold

DIY Ice Pack: So easy! Fill a heavy duty zip-lock bag with three parts water and one part rubbing alcohol and freeze it.

Hot

Salty sock: No, really. Heat as much salt as desired in a heavy pan and pour it into a clean, heavy sock. Tie the end and use it on strained or sore muscles.

Mask

I like to follow my work outs with a deep- cleansing mask because sweat and oil settle in pores to create blackheads and infections. Sometimes I use Korres Cinnamon Mask because it has unexpected ingredients and it’s not DIY so I can use it in a hurry, but if I have more time I’ll do this one: 1 tbs heavy cream, 1 tbs honey, and enough baking soda to make a paste.

Remember to replenish precious water lost from the body. I like to add lemon for extra cleansing or cucumber for even more hydration. I hope this entry inspires me to get a membership soon!



powder

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.

Hair

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.

Body

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.

Face

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.



green

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.

Body

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.

Hands

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

Face

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!