Pretty Natural

October 13, 2010, 06:43
Filed under: beauty, cleanse, cucumber, potato, skin-firming

When I first moved away from home, I was 18 and living in a small apartment in Örebro, Sweden. And I still couldn’t even cook pasta without burning it. Many people gave me helpful cookbooks, hoping I would survive the year in the Scandinavian cold.I did survive, in case you’re wondering. And I learned from one of the books that the water you boil potatoes in is incredibly healthy. Mixing it in with recipes – even skin recipes- is superb for oily skin! Do these tips – they’re among the easiest on this blog.

Cleanser: Potato water on its own is sufficient, but blending potatoes, potato water and some cucumbers makes for a refreshing, anti-oil cleanser.

Eye mask: Cut slices of raw potato and place under eyes for 20 minutes. The texture, and the oil-absorbing property as well as the enzymes found naturally in the spud will help reduce puffiness and dark circles. Bonus, use a potato that has been in the fridge – the colder the better to ease puffiness.

Facial mask: Simply grating a raw potato and leaving on the face for 15 minutes has a pore-reducing effect. It sounds weird, but I dare you to try it.


Independence Day Series :: RED

[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!]

The people who predict the skies tell me it’s supposed to be a nice this July 4th weekend. If that’s true, I plan to be outside all. day. long. July 4th weekend is a mini-summer vacation for me and I’m going to enjoy it.

So I’ll either tan gracefully if I remember SPF or burn horribly. Either way, I tend to make it up to my skin with these red tips.


Sunburn relief moisturizer: Crush an equal amount of tomato and yogurt. Blend well and apply.


De-green: My hair is very light blond and the chlorine content is so high in the water here (at my job) it’s like I spend my mornings in a pool, only less enjoyable. So tomato will help for two reasons: it is incredibly cleansing and acts as an astringent, and it is full of lycopene which is what gives it the red color. Red is the opposite of green on the color wheel, so the red of the tomato will help remove the green color my blond hair gets when it meets too much chlorine. Use tomato paste (it has a higher tomato content) for this.


Blackhead remover: use the inside of a tomato like an eraser. Cut a tomato in two and rub the inside all over the face, concentrating on the areas with the most blackheads. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse.

Acne eliminator: mash a tomato and leave on for as close to an hour as possible. Use frequently for best results.

summer treats

Happy Midsummer Day! I wish I was celebrating this beautiful holiday with my family in Sweden. Instead I’m in Massachusetts, writing this blog for you, with no pool or beach or summer activities in sight. Basically I’m using this blog update to remind me that it is summer.

There is no other fruit that screams summer the way that watermelon does. It is the ultimate outdoor* food – no one wants to clean it up so you always get thrown outside with your watermelon slices in hand.

But it doesn’t matter that you’re banished outside to eat it. Watermelon is nature’s freeze pop and it has lycopene, which is a natural red pigmentation that has been shown to help prevent skin cancer. So eat up this summer!

While you’re slicing that thing up, take advantage of its skin care benefits. The fresh, watery consistency of the fruit is a great mask or exfoliator. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.


Watermelon cubes: After a long hot day in the sun it is crucial to relieve the burn you have procured (if you forgot sunscreen). Slice some watermelon into cubes and freeze them for 30 minutes at most. Dump them into a pitcher of cool water and let sit until they have softened and melted. Get into the bath and pour the mixture over the sunburned areas. This also works with cucumbers too; because of their high water content and their silica and lycopene ingredients, they work wonders on damaged skin.


Pink Exfoliator: Just mashing the watermelon pulp and scrubbing it all over your face is one of my simplest tricks. Because of the high water content you don’t need to mix with water. You will, however, need to rinse.

Sunny sun burn trick: Mixing some mashed watermelon with 2 tsps of yogurt gives you two powerful ingredients to help relieve the sunburn on your face.

*Enjoy your summer days safely. The beautiful sun is the number one reason for skin damage, skin cancer and wrinkles. A little prevention goes a long way.

just a bunch of bananas

Bananas are amazing. They’re delicious, they’re full of much needed potassium and they can be a powerful anti-aging treatment for the face. These things you may already know, but what you might be unfamiliar with is this: the peel of a banana is brimming with lutein, a very powerful antioxidant.

All of these recipes and tips are fantastic, but they will make you smell like you belong in the produce aisle, so I suggest trying these before bed! Also, make sure the  bananas are ripe!


Simple hair conditioner: This recipe is easy and can be stored in a travel-sized shampoo bottle in the shower. Mix 1 banana and 1/4 cup of honey. Mash until the mixture is as smooth as you want it to be and apply it to hair after shampoo.


Moisturizing hand treatment: 1 banana and 2 tbsp of milk are all your hands need to feel like new.


Anti-aging mask: Many recipes call for a complex concoction of many ingredients. But really, all you need is 1 banana and either some oats (just enough to make a good paste) or some plain yogurt. These ingredients are moisturizing and the yogurt helps speed cell-turnover. Leave it on for as long as you like.

Banana peel cure: Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on acne, psoriasis, warts and even poison ivy speeds the healing of all these pains. Do it twice a week and you’ll see a difference.

The incredible, useable egg
June 4, 2010, 08:00
Filed under: beauty, cleanse, egg, organic skin-care, skin-firming | Tags: , ,

Eggs are odd. I get a little disgusted by the concept of eating them but I still think they’re delicious. They are full of protein so they’re a great addition to vegetarian meals but the protein they carry can also noticeably firm the skin and condition hair. Your skin and hair benefit greatly from the enormous amount of protein that is naturally found in eggs, which means you can make your own masks for less than half the cost of firming creams.


Conditioning and revitalizing hair mask: Hair is “dead”, I know. But it could use some tlc nonetheless. A lot of recipes call for 1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp of water but I’m a fan of using the egg on its own. Whip it, leave it on for 15 minutes (under a shower cap for best effect) and rinse out.


Eggs Benedict: Crack two eggs and plop them into a running bath. Easiest tip of them all!


Firming mask: So many recipes tell you to use only the egg whites for this mask. For no reason at all… except for maybe women are so scared that the yolk will make them fat apparently even if they put it on their faces. But the yolk is an important part of the protein count so whip one egg and pat it on your face. Leave on for 20 minutes and remove with a moist towel.

Firming eye-mask: Yes, I could have included this in the face mask above… but you actually don’t need to rinse this one off. AND, you’re only using the egg white here because the yolk would be too heavy to leave on. To do this brilliant trick, whip one egg white till foamy and pat a thin layer under the eye. Once it dries, you can swipe another thin layer over it or skip to applying lotion and makeup as usual. This trick is great if you haven’t gotten a lot of sleep the night before.

wake up your skin with your morning brew

I am one of the few people I know who can call themselves a morning person. I’m always excited to get out of bed because I can’t wait to have a cup of coffee in the morning.

Pathetic, I know.

But coffee is getting a better rep every day (perhaps because even researchers can’t wait to sip their morning cup) and the good news keeps coming. Another great  reason to buy a bag of beans? It does wonders for your skin when applied topically. The caffeine in coffee acts as an “antioxidant, a diuretic and a vasoconstrictor” experts say. Since caffeine is a diuretic and a vasoconstrictor, it can provide relief of puffy eyes and make it look like you’ve gotten all the sleep you need. So brew a cup of beauty and follow these simple recipes for a brighter day.


Cellulite treatment: I suggest placing something on the floor to collect any mess this will inevitably make. Use 1 cup of warm, wet coffee grinds and mix with 1/2 cup of olive oil, mix well and spread all over area. Now for the weird part: wrap plastic wrap around what you’ve applied and leave on for 20 minutes. Do it twice a week for a noticeable difference.


Espresso rinse for shiny hair: Make the strongest espresso you can and pour the warm brew over dry hair. After twenty minutes, rinse it out and enjoy your shiny hair. NOTE: this recipe is NOT for those with colored hair (read: your hair will go brassy)


Eye-depuffer:  put just a little bit of warm, wet coffee grinds in a moist paper towel and place over eyes. Not working? Chill this caffeine pouch in the freezer for five – ten minutes.

Brightening scrub: Mix 1 egg white with 1/2 cup of warm, wet coffee grinds and use as a scrub. Have dry skin? Mix the grinds with olive oil or honey!