DIY Brown Sugar and Tea Body Scrub

I love luxurious body scrubs as much as the next person but I don’t always enjoy paying for them – Yeah, I’m looking at you Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish with the $65 price tag! The polish is just one of many examples and while it’s worth it at times, there are other times in our lives when it’s just not. So here’s a quick recipe to make your own scrub for crazy soft and smooth skin that won’t empty your wallet.

You’ll need:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Glass or plastic jar to store scrub
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 cup oil – some popular ones for scrubs are Coconut, Olive, Sunflower, Grapeseed, Jojoba and Sweet Almond
  • 2 tea bags – try Green, Black, or Early Grey

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl and mix well. Test out a little bit on your hands before deeming it ready. Add sugar or oil by the spoonful if it feels too oily or not moisturizing enough.

You can mix and match your oils: half a cup of Jojoba+ half a cup of Grapeseed or if you want to be really indulgent use a quarter cup each of Coconut, Olive, Sweet Almond and Sunflower.

Store in jar and be careful not to get water in it, this will breed bacteria. The scrub can last up to 3 months.

DIY No More Dandruff

Too many of us have experienced dandruff at least once in our lifetime and I don’t have to tell you it’s an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. Dandruff can be broken down like this; it is the shedding of skin cells which result in a flaking and itchy scalp. There are several reasons this can happen with a few common ones being: stress, an unhealthy diet, excessive use of hair products (which create buildup), extreme heat or cold weather for a long period of time.

There are plenty of specialized shampoos and treatments on the market that are effective, but you can still cure dandruff with simple home remedies. Here are some favorites!

lemons

Lemon Juice – Acidic and helps neutralize scalp. Mix 2 teaspoons with water and rinse your hair with it after shampooing. Use fresh lemons, not the bottled stuff!

olive

Olive Oil – Clarifying and moisturizing. Apply the olive oil to scalp before going to bed. Wash out with shampoo in the morning. Coconut Oil also works the same way!

apple

Apple Cider Vinegar – Rich in potassium and enzymes. Mix a tablespoon in a glass of water and massage into scalp before shampooing.

tea

Tea Tree Oil – A natural antibiotic and antiseptic. Mix a couple of drops with your shampoo every time you wash hair. Also, massage a few drops into scalp after washing.

Clarify Your Curls

Natural and curly hair needs gentle care and tons of moisture. There’s simply no running away from this. One of the blessings and curses of this gorgeous hair type is the wide array and sheer necessity of products required to keep our hair in tip-top shape, including leave-in conditioners, butters, oils, style creams, etc.

As much good as this does for hair, it also creates product build-up right along with the sweat and pollutants we already accumulate daily. When you have build-up your hair pretty much refuses to cooperate after a certain point and all those wonderful products we use don’t have any affect any longer. This is an issue that regular shampoos can’t always take care of. Including a clarifying shampoo in your regimen is a crucial step in deep cleansing to maintain a healthy scalp, which in turn maintains healthy hair. It’s necessary only once every few weeks.

A key clue to whether you need it or not is to see how your hair is responding – or not responding – to your usual regimen. Are you experiencing more breakage? Is there dryness where there were once soft coils? Are there more tangles than usual? If so, you might just need to clarify to make your hair willing to accept what you put on it again. Everyone is different and you can judge how often you need to use a clarifying shampoo based on how frequently you use products, especially thick, creamy, and oily ones.

A good place to start is to clarify once every 2-3 weeks. Take your time and massage into scalp for at least a minute and remember to always follow up with conditioner! To help you jump into clarifying try Aubrey Organics Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner or Acure Lemongrass Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner.

DIY Home Facial

Facials don’t have to be complicated or scary. If anything, they should be fun and therapeutic! A basic but excellent home facial consists of cleansing and nourishing your skin in several easy steps. You’ll need the following:

  • Cleanser or Soap
  • Scrub
  • Mask
  • Toner
  • Serum/Treatment (Bonus)
  • Moisturizer
  • Soft Wash Cloth

Once you have all your supplies on hand, make sure your hair is pulled away from your face, you’re wearing comfortable clothing, and you’re ready to relax!

  1. Thoroughly wash your face with your cleanser/soap and slowly massage it into your skin. Take your time. At least one full minute will do. Rinse.
  2. Once skin is clean, it will absorb products better. Spread a thin layer of exfoliator all over your face, and just as gently as before, massage into skin for at least 20 seconds, or for however long the directions state. Rinse.
  3. Take your wash cloth and run it under hot water (as hot as you can stand it) until it’s soaked and feels warm to the touch. But make sure it isn’t dripping everywhere! Put cloth on your face, and lie down. The hot water will help open your pores. Leave it on until the cloth feels cold. Feel free to repeat the process.
  4. Your skin is now ready to accept a mask. Apply your mask, lie down again and take deep breaths. You could even throw in a couple of cucumber slices and place them over your eyes while you wait. Rinse when ready.
  5. It’s time to balance the pH levels of your skin, this is the key purpose of toners. Spread all over face with a cotton ball, and let dry.
  6. The general rule of thumb when using multiple products on your face after cleansing is to apply the thinnest one first. Usually, serums and treatments have a thin consistency, and should go on before your moisturizer. If you’re not using one, skip this step.
  7. Finally, you can (again!) slowly massage your moisturizer all over your face and neck. That’s it gorgeous, you’re all done!

Coconut Oil For Cleansing

Even though skin is one large organ, it is not created equal from head to toe. The skin on your face is much more fragile and delicate than any other part of your body and must be treated as such. Cleansing with oil is highly beneficial in taking care of it and keeping it happy. I attempted the oil cleansing method a couple of years ago and as great as it is, it can also be a little time consuming. So I have a simplified version of it and you’ll only need one oil; coconut. It’s the go-to oil for all skin types as its qualities are incredible! It moisturizes and nourishes, reduces wrinkles and lines, fades dark spots, heals scars, and is both an antibiotic and antioxidant – coconut oil is essentially perfect!

If you have sensitive skin or aren’t sure how your skin will react in general test out a small area of your face first. If you’re concerned about the idea of breaking out, clogging pores or making oily skin worse then you can stop worrying. Oil actually dissolves oil, it’s basic chemistry.

For more in-depth information about the benefits of the traditional OCM please check out this superb article, it breaks down everything you need to know and do.

You’ll need: a soft washcloth and coconut oil (always choose an organic and virgin kind).

  1. Make sure your face is completely dry. Massage about 2 teaspoons of the oil all over your skin for a full minute or more, let it fully absorb.
  2. Drench washcloth in running hot water until it feels warm or hot to the touch and then squeeze out all the water.
  3. Lay washcloth on your face for a few seconds and pat it into your skin letting the steam open up pores and further dissolve impurities.
  4. Very gently wipe away all the oil.
  5. Rinse cloth again in hot water and repeat steps 2, 3, 4.

That’s it, you’re done. You can massage the remainder of the oil into your skin or follow up with your regular moisturizer, serum, treatment, etc. For an extra boost if you don’t feel your skin is getting “clean” enough, just use a gentle toner to wipe away any excess left over.

The Eye Creams You Should Be Using

I strongly stand by the belief that when it comes to skin issues it’s better to prevent them than to treat them. This means that by the time you hit your mid 20’s you should start using eye cream to keep wrinkles, crow’s feet, dullness, etc, at bay for as long as possible. You’re only doing yourself a favor by starting early. And for everyone else who is at the point of needing to treat, no worries, I’ve got my eye on you too (couldn’t resist!)

Best All Around – Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment ~$38

A light cream that helps visible signs of aging while softening the delicate eye area. Dark circles, dryness, fine lines, and puffiness are all targeted with Willowherb, Vitamin E, and Coix Seed. All your eye needs are met with this powerful and effective formula.

Newbie – Korres Wild Rose Face & Eye Serum ~ $45

This serum is a promising beginning for those just venturing into eye creams. If you want to start good skin habits and  brighten, firm, and reduce the start of any lines then the super concentrated Vitamin C, Glycerin and Baobab Tree extract won’t let you down.

Jurlique

Sensitive Skin – Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Eye Serum ~ $48

A silky formula that has essential oils and soothing botanicals, 18 to be exact like Wu-Zhu-Yu and Calendula Flower extract, to bring out the radiance around your eyes and protect skin from harmful pollutants. It’s gentle on skin but harsh on fine lines and unsightly bags.

Origins

Heavy Duty – Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Eye Treatment ~ $45

Aging doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck with crepe-like lids, sagging, and crow’s feet. You can turn things around without crazy chemicals or surgery. Heal the wear and tear with Anogeissus extract which prevents collagen breakdown and leaves you with a more youthful appearance.

Tarte

Dark Circles & Dullness – Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment ~ $38

Had a long night? Dark circles and lackluster skin bringing you down? This rich cream will do the trick to both moisturize and brighten the eye area. Rice Bran, Oat Sugars, and Coconut aid in gently erasing lines and tightening skin for a smooth and fresh look.

Don’t be discouraged by the prices. Granted they’re costly but you do get what you pay for, and sometimes that means higher quality comes with higher price tags. But here’s the good news; every single one of these products can be found at Sephora and they give free samples for pretty much everything so you don’t have to commit to the full package until you’re certain it works for you. Remember, you deserve to look and feel your best at any age!

Night Time Ritual

Your skin heals itself when you sleep so it’s very important to cleanse your face at night, especially if you’ve been wearing makeup or sweating profusely during the day. To beat laziness, get to task as early in the evening/night as possible, you can even turn on your alarm to set a specific time aside. If it’s absolutely impossible to cleanse properly, make sure you have some heavy duty cleansing wipes to use instead – Burt’s Bees and Yes To Carrots have some great options that are inexpensive and kind to skin.