Pretty Natural


oatmeal

Happy snow day!

Ironically, the rodent who predicts the future said today that spring is around the corner. I don’t know what’s more confusing about Groundhog Day: the fact that we let shadows predict things, or that the men who assist in the ceremony dress like Mr. Peanut? Also, have you ever tried explaining this holiday to a foreigner? Yeah.

Whatever the outcome of today’s rodent forecast, it’s still terribly cold and snowy here – as well as in most of the United States. I am fortunate to have the day off, so it’s time to relax after all the traveling I’ve been doing!

Dry skin is still the topic, since it’s still freezing outside and our skin is still suffering.

Face

Mash one banana and add 1/2 cup of oatmeal. I like to moisten the oatmeal a little first so it is easier to make a mask with. Apply for as long as you can stand and rinse off. I like to do this before bed and skip the lotion I usually use. Instead of benzoyl peroxide (my usual anti-acne treatment) I use the banana peel!

Body

Pack some oatmeal and dry milk in muslin or cheesecloth. Tie it securely and place in hot bath water, sort of like you’re making a big cup of tea. Remember, the lactic acid in milk is a great exfoliant for sensitive skin while the oatmeal is moisturizing and soothing.

 

Enjoy!



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!



back from break!

[Aside from the Christmas stress this past month, there were two birthdays and a wedding. I’m sure now you know why it’s been a while since you last saw a post from me.]

 

But now it’s a new year and I’m back in full swing… with terribly dry skin on my hands. I’ll be focusing on dry skin issues for a while since they are ever present in the winter. Here’s a super simple way to take care of it!

Peanut butter! Today, after I served the classic apple slices and peanut butter snack to one of the kids I nanny, I had some peanut butter left on my hands after digging out the rest from the bottom of the jar. It worked especially well on my cuticles.

I know, it’s a pretty strong and lingering smell. It’s also pretty oily so be mindful of smearing it all over your face if you’re prone to breakouts. I also suggest using the natural kind because it has a grittier texture for extra exfoliation. It leaves behind a soft, moisturizing barrier for the hands.

Face

Face Scrub: As previously mentioned, be aware that this can exacerbate acne prone skin. I have sensitive skin so I can usually only use a very small amount of this at a time, or dilute it to suit my skin needs. Using natural peanut butter means you can apply it directly to the face and scrub lightly with your finger pads. However, I dilute the peanut butter until it is nearly a liquid and use coffee grinds to make it feel more like a scrub.

Body

Body Scrub: I would only use this if I had some time to myself. I’m not particularly into smelling like a peanut butter sandwich. Mix peanut butter with 1/2 – 1 cup oatmeal for a moisturizing and soothing scrub.

Hands

Hand mask: Use as much or as little peanut butter as desired. Use alone or mix with honey or olive oil for added moisture.


 




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.

Face

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.

Hair

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.



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!



scrub the day away

It’s Friday and I really couldn’t be happier about that. This Sunday will mark my third week at this job, which means only five weeks left! And next week I actually begin teaching, so I’ll be needing some time to relax at the end of the day. Here’s how I’ll make my bathroom feel like a spa using sugar.

There is nothing better than a good scrub* to remove the top layer of dead skin cells on the face, body, feet and hands. It smoothes skin and makes everything seem brighter and cleaner. The best part is that you can make your own and they’re better than the ones you can buy because a) they’re all natural (and you have the option of making them organic) and b) they’re much cheaper this way. The best thing about these scrubs is that they last for a long time,  so make a batch and store it in a mason jar in the shower for weeks!

Hands

New Hands Honey Scrub: I use this every time I give friends a manicure and they can attest to how incredibly soft their hands feel afterward. It’s like getting new skin! I mix 1 tsp honey with just enough sugar to make a paste and apply it with small, massaging circles. It rinses off easily!

Body

Brown Sugar Body Scrub: Unlike this, the homemade one doesn’t cost $65 and it’s customizable. I make mine with honey, vanilla extract (for an even sweeter smell) and of course, some brown sugar.

Face

Olive oil & sugar: I usually use the honey scrub on my face in the summer, but days that are dry call for this recipe. 1 tsp olive oil and as much sugar as needed to make a paste with. This scrub is very moisturizing so it is best for dry/aging skin.

*You may have heard that crushing almonds makes a good scrub, but this is not true – especially for the skin on your face. The uneven edges can make tears in your skin that take a long time to heal. Don’t do it!