Do-It-Yourself

Best Hair Masks for Color Treated Hair

Hair Mask Combed in HairEveryone wants thick, healthy hair, but sometimes I feel like it’s harder to achieve this effect when your hair has been color treated.

Originally a brunette, I always felt my skin tone looked better against blonder hair, so I have been color treating my hair for years. I have done some research to find the best hair masks for hair that has been color treated. These act as a thicker, creamier version of conditioner, with a longer lasting effect.

If you are looking to protect your mane, adding in a nice mask such as Moroccanoil’s Restorative Hair Mask will turn hair from limp, frizzy, or fried; to repaired, thick, and lustrous. It coats strands like butter; and when washed away, leaves hair feeling smooth as silk.

If you are looking to preserve, Klorane makes a great pomegranate based conditioner, known simply as Conditioner with Pomegranate. This keeps color treated hair radiant, and helps extend the color longer as well.

If you are looking for a good mask that can be found at most drug stores, Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask should do the trick. Formulated with olive and sweet almond oil, this mask penetrates and coats each hair strand. There are so many high-end masks out there, but I can honestly say that this one rivals them all.

Lastly, it seems like everyone uses coconut oil for some this or another, and it can definitely be used to condition hair if need be. If you are not able to constantly go in for professional treatments, coconut oil is a wonderful at-home remedy.

Fruity Face Masks

Woman with Avocado Face Mask

Here are a few easy face masks you can make with just a few things you most likely already have in your kitchen. All you need is a few fruits and veggies and, for the last three, a blender. These starter masks are all pretty much good for any skin type, So get creative and find the one that fits your needs best!

  • Avocado Mash: mash ½ of a ripe avocado with 2 tablespoons of honey and apply to the face. Leave on skin for around 20 minutes and rinse off
  • Banana and Honey Mask: Mash one banana with 1 tablespoon of honey and mix until it forms a smooth paste. Apply to face and set for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off.
  • Milk and Honey Mask: Mix together plain yogurt and honey. Put it on your face and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  • Pumpkin Pie: In a blender, combine 2 cups canned pumpkin, 4 tablespoons low-fat vanilla yogurt, and 4 tablespoons of honey. Apply to face and leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse off.
  • Berry Blitz: In a blender, combine ½ cup frozen or fresh berry mix (strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries or all three). Add ½ cup plain yogurt and 1 tablespoon of honey. You can drink the rest or double the ingredients for a full on smoothie and face mask mix.
  • Cucumber mask: In a blender, blend one peeled cucumber until it has a jelly-like consistency. Apply to skin for around 15—20 mins and rinse off. This one is best if applied when cold.

Skin Foods

StrawberriesBeing in the Esthetics program, my focus is on skin care. We spend many hours learning about the skin on different levels. We study skin diseases and disorders. We study the various types of skin based on hydration, or lack thereof. We spend a lot of time learning about ingredients and products to put topically on the skin to address and balance each person’s unique issues.

It’s also very important to treat the skin from the inside out. It’s important for the skin to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. But what are good foods and herbs that can enhance and beautify the skin?

Certain foods have powerhouse ingredients that keeps the skin supple and smooth and help to fight age related damage.

Per serving, strawberries have more anti-aging vitamin C than oranges or grapefruit. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that people who eat foods rich in Vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and less age related dry skin than those who don’t. Vitamin C fights free radicals, which damage cells and breaks down collagen, leading to fine lines. You can also apply a berry mask for smoother, more hydrated skin.

Olive oil is another powerhouse for the skin. It has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. You can use it topically to soften skin and create more radiance. It is also wonderful as a lipgloss or for rough patches of skin that may occur on the elbows or knees.

Another excellent addition to the diet is green tea. It is filled with antioxidants. There are studies that show drinking green tea may reduce your risk of skin cancer. Green tea contains tannins which act as an astringent. When applied to the skin it can reduce puffiness. You can use this feature of green tea on your eyes: chill damp tea bags in the fridge and put on eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stay aware of what we put both in and on your body.

Coconuts: Who Knew?

Coconuts in TreeLiving in the Philippines, coconuts were plentiful and not really out of the ordinary. We drank the milk and ate the meat: we drank coconut water straight from the young coconuts, most of our desserts had coconut. The women in my family used the oil as a hair treatment. Even so, I didn’t realize all of the health benefits one can get from a coconut until the coconut craze began a few years ago here on the western part of the world. Now, I’m seeing many different brands of coconut water, and reading all these articles about coconut oil. It seems that the world has discovered coconuts.

Coconuts are a great source of antioxidants and they have antibacterial properties. They can fight infections, lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and support the development of strong bones. And these are only a few of their many wonderful benefits.

Coconut water is one of the more popular coconut products. It’s a refreshing drink that contains electrolytes. When purchasing coconut water, make sure it comes from organic young coconuts, is not heat pasteurized, and does not come from concentrate. My favorite brand is Harmless Harvest.

Coconut oil is another great way to enjoy the benefits of coconuts. It can be used for cooking, removing makeup, and as a moisturizer. There is still ongoing debate about whether it is good or bad for consumption due to the amount of saturated fat it contains. Look for an organic brand.

Coconut flour is also available and is a great substitute for regular flour for those with a gluten intolerance and is also a good source of fiber.

And, of course, they’re delicious.

Make Your Own Lip Scrub

Homemade Brown Sugar Lip Scrub

Crusty dry lips are gross. Lush makes a really nice lip scrub. But since I discovered that it’s so easy to make it at home, I’m no longer willing to pay Lush’s price.

There are many variations of the sugar lip scrub that you can make at home.

Ingredients (for single use)

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar, brown or white
  • 1 tablespoon of honey, or coconut oil, or olive oil, or even maple syrup
  • 1 drop of vanilla extract (optional)

Method

Combine the sugar with the honey or oil. If it’s too dry, add a bit more of the liquid ingredient. Stir in the vanilla. To make a reusable amount, scale up the ingredients and use a small glass jar or another sealed container. Stores in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

There are many ways to flavor this mixture to your liking. Add peppermint essential oil, or cinnamon for an extra kick.

Steam Your Face With Herbs

Face Steaming

When Spring arrives, it will bring an array of useful medicinal herbs and flowers. For skin health, one of the easiest ways to incorporate these herbs and flowers is to use them in steams. Even if you live in the city and don’t have the fresh plants around you, you can have these herbs on hand. They should be dried and stored in glass jars out of direct sunlight.

Why is it Important to Steam?

One benefit is that the vapor imparts a glow to your complexion, and you will find that your skincare products penetrate deeper and work more effectively. The heat and moisture also open the pores freeing dead skin, dirt, and bacteria. It brings toxins to the surface. Oily and acneic type skin can greatly benefit from steaming—it helps get rid of both blackheads and whiteheads by opening plugged pores and softening blockages. Those with rosacea, severe acne, sensitive skin, or coronary issues should skip steam or consult with a doctor.

The process of steaming is very simple. Bring a pot of water to a boil, toss in a handful of fresh or dried herbs and flowers, simmer for two to three minutes. If you are using essential oils, remove the water from the heat before adding a few drops of the oil. Move the water to a comfortable location where you can sit alongside and keep your face 8 to 12 inches above the water, drape a towel over your head and the bowl to hold in the steam.

Some good herbs for use in a steam are rose petals, chamomile, lavender, sage, calendula blossoms, fennel seeds, and rosemary leaves. There are many more options but do your research first. Steaming too often or placing your face too close to the water can lead to broken blood vessels. Once a week should be sufficient. Follow with a splash of cold water and pat dry. You can then apply your serum, facial oil, or moisturizer.

Make Your Own Lotion Bars

Homemade Lotion Bars

Have you ever used any of Lush’s scented lotion bars? Amazing, right? Those lotion bars are super easy to make at home and half the price!

Lotion bars are solid at room temperature like a bar of soap, but when rubbed on the skin, they melt leaving your skin super soft and moisturized. You can add any mixture of essential oils to customize the scent. You can even add coffee beans to make a massage bar. These are fun presents, and can easily be made for baby shower gifts, birthdays, Christmas gifts, or just for yourself.

Did I mention the directions are super easy to follow? This recipe can be adjusted to make any quantity that you’d like. I make mine with 1 part=1 cup so I used 1 cup of coconut oil, 1 cup beeswax and ⅓ cup each of shea butter and cocoa butter (you could also just use 1 cup of any for the individual sized bars). I also added some vanilla essential oil. I set them in silicone baking cups, though any mold or shape would work. The recipe I used made exactly 12 lotion bars. You can store them in any plastic container. I keep mine in the fridge, labeled so nobody tries to eat them!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup shea or cocoa butter or a mix of both together equal to 1 cup
  • 1 cup beeswax
  • 1 tsp. vitamin E oil (optional)
  • 30 drops of essential oil like vanilla (optional)

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients, other than the optional essential oils, in a double boiler or a glass bowl over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it.
  2. Turn the burner on and bring the water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and add the optional essential oils. Gently stir until essential oils are incorporated.
  4. Carefully pour into molds or whereever you will be allowing the lotion bars to harden. I used silicone baking cups, though any mold will work. Different shaped molds can be used for holiday gifts (hearts for valentines, flowers for Mother’s day, and so fort) or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.
  5. Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds.

† If you add an extra ounce or two of beeswax, you get a thicker consistency, which leaves less lotion on the skin when used.

The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Since I started school, my friends have been asking for my recommendations on skin products. In particular, I have one friend with acne prone skin that suffers frequent breakouts. She has always struggled for clearer skin.

I started researching key ingredients more than product lines, hoping to find an active ingredient present in many products that would help her. I found tea tree oil, which has became one of my best friends because of all its benefits on the skin and for hair. Instead of using harsh topical ointments, like benzoyl peroxide, I suggested she tries an organic remedy. I recently heard back from her that tea tree oil has helped more than any other acne product she’s ever used!

Not only does tea tree oil help with acne, but it’s also great for use on eczema, psoriasis, ingrown hairs, itchy/flaky scalp, and fungal infections.

It kills bacteria in the skin, making it a natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide. Tea tree oil is much cheaper than speciality products, usually only costing between $3 and $10, and there are plenty of great products which contain tea tree oil as their main active ingredient. Here are a few I like:

  • Pure Tea Tree Oil
  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil line
  • Dr. Bronner Tea Tree Liquid Soap
  • Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner by OGx
  • Tea Tree Oil Skin Ointment from Vitamin Shoppe
  • Tea Tree Water from Lush

Tea tree oil may not be for everyone. It can have major side effects and is extremely harsh on the skin if used incorrectly. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting your tea tree product with water.

I have had outstanding results since I started using tea tree oil products, especially treating my dandruff and dry scalp, as well as on my constantly dried-out cuticles. I encourage any one suffering from dry skin, dry hair, dry scalp, acne prone skin, and even any rash or irritations to add a little tea tree oil to their lives.

The Beauty of a Rose

Rose IllustrationFew people can resist a rose. Fragrant, soft, blooming full–it demands that we smell it, touch it, and stop to admire its beauty. It is an iconic flower and also has a myriad of different uses in skincare. The Greeks and Romans would put rose petals in their baths to perfume them. In distilled forms, roses have been included in both in cosmetics and medicines for centuries.

Rose essential oil is important for more than its attractive scent. Rose helps rejuvenate and replenish skin. It can make your skin as soft and velvety as the petals. It also has anti bacterial, anti fungal, and anti viral properties. Rose water is known for its health and beauty benefits. You can pour rose water into a bath, or use it as a toner, or use in cosmetic formulations of lotions and creams. It can help treat acne and acne-prone skin. It also has cleansing properties. Rose oils help reduce swollen spots or redness on your skin. It has calming properties perfect to sooth rosacea and eczema.

When you’re next inhaling the fragrance of roses, or stopping to admire their beauty, give a little thought to the other properties of this amazing flower. Consider adding rose oil to your beauty regime.

Oil Cleansing

Oils in BottlesMany of us have been conditioned to be afraid of using or having oil on our skin. A visit to a store’s skin care section bombards you with oil-free products to treat acneic skin types. Many of these products strip skin of their natural oils. This can create problems for the acid mantle, which in turn, causes our skin to produce more oil to balance the natural lipid layer of the skin.

Contrary to popular belief, oil dissolves oil. Oil cleansing can be greatly beneficial to acneic skin types and can be moisturizing for drier skin types. For oily skin, try cleansing with a three parts mixture of castor oil to seven parts of sunflower seed oil. For dryer skin types, vary the proportions two parts to eight.

Castor oil is quite drying, so you want to make sure you mix it with a nurturing oil for the skin. Sunflower oil is best, but it can be replaced with any type of vegetable oil.

Massage the mixture into your skin for a few minutes, focusing on the more congested areas of your face, and gently remove with a hot, wet washcloth. Use hot running water to clean the washcloth, and again gently remove any additional residue on the skin. When massaging the face, it is best to work in upward motions.

Some other good oils to try are flaxseed oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil, to name a few. Each oil has its own benefits and can be mixed in combinations for added benefits.

Coconut Sugar Body Scrubs

Body Scrub Jar Contents Closeup

These are homemade sugar scrubs, straight from nature’s pantry. These scrubs should last you at least two months if not longer. All you need, beyond coconut oil and sugar, are some cute jars and a label. Add the ingredients found in one of the following variations to create a variety of scent combinations, or invent your own!

Coconut Sugar Scrub

Ingredients

½ cup white or brown sugar

¼ cup coconut oil

Method

Mix all ingredients and store in an air tight jar.

Use one tablespoon of the mixture as needed in the shower. Scrub skin with the mixture and rinse will. This awesome scrub will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.


Brown Sugar Variations

Spicy Cinnamon Scrub

½ teaspoon vitamin E oil

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Vanilla Scrub

½ teaspoon vitamin E oil

1 teaspoon vanilla essential oil or real vanilla extract


White Sugar Variations

Lemon Hand Scrub

½ teaspoon vitamin E oil

15-20 drops (or more) of lemon or bergomot essential oil

This is great after washing dishes.

Vanilla Lavender Relaxing Scrub

½ teaspoon vitamin E oil

1 teaspoon vanilla essential oil or real vanilla extract

15 drops lavender essential oil

Relaxing Rose Scrub

½ teaspoon vitamin E oil

½ teaspoon rose essential oil

Aloe Vera — a Powerhouse for the Skin

Aloe VeraEveryone is probably very familiar with Aloe Vera as a treatment for burns. However, Aloe Vera has a host of other skin and body healing properties. The Ancient Egyptians called it the “plant of immortality.”

There are many studies that back up the effectiveness of Aloe Vera in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, and scalp problems.

Aloe treats sunburns through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin, a layer of cells that cover the body. It helps the skin to heal quickly.

Aloe acts as a moisturizer without giving it a greasy feel, so it is perfect for anyone with oily skin. Aloe is also great for treating acne. The gel contains two hormones Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones contain wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema.

Aloe Vera is also widely used in anti-aging products. Aloe leaves many antioxidants including beta carotene, and vitamins C and E, that help improve the skin’s natural firmness and helps keep the skin hydrated. Aloe also lessons the visibility of stretch marks.

Besides being an effective skin treatment, Aloe is nutrient rich for good health. The solid material contains over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, antraquinones, or phoenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, amino acids, and salicylate acid. It also helps to aid in digestion when taken internally.

Aloe Vera is one amazing, medicinal plant that anyone who cares about health and skin wellness should know about.

Do-It-Yourself Bath Bombs

Homemade Bath Bombs

Always on the go, we are so time sensitive that we never stop and smell the roses. But before we can take care of others, we must take care of ourselves.

I’ve found that a great way to relax is to take a luxuriating bath. Aromatic therapy can take you on a pleasant ride to a land of peace and tranquility. Many companies make bath salts, bombs, and oils; but you can customize your experience by creating you own.

Here’s how to create your own bath bomb.

Ingredients

  • 1 & ¾ cup baking soda
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • food coloring
  • essential oils–peppermint or lavender for a stronger scent, lemon or grapefruit for a weaker scent.

Equipment

  • spritzer bottles
  • glass bowl
  • baking molds

Method

Sift baking soda, citric acid, and cornstarch to remove chunks.

To make different tints, fill small spritzer bottles with water and add about 6 drops of food coloring to each.

Pour 1 cup of sifted powdered mixture into a glass bowl. Lightly spritz, stirring after each spritz, until powder is the desired color. Add water slowly so mixture does not fizz. If mixing two tints, alternate colors as you spritz. Check the consistency of the powder with your fingers; when it can be tightly packed or shaped, stop spritzing. This may take a little while.

Add 5 drops essential oil for stronger scents or 6 drops for weaker ones. Mix well. Firmly pack mixture into small baking molds. I use ¼ cup for each fizzy, which is good for one bath. Allow mixture to set for two hours, then pop out of the mold carefully. Repeat, with different tints if desired, for remaining powder.

After you’ve made your batch, take one and enjoy it in a bath!

Teeth Whitening

Bright Teeth Illustraiton by Kim Carney of MSNBC

Since I was a child, I’ve watched TV shows depicting beautiful people with white, perfect teeth. I grew up thinking that extremely white teeth were the standard for good teeth. Throughout the U.S., there are many products that sell kits to whiten teeth. In Hollywood, most celebrities don’t just have white teeth. They almost glow in the dark like cartoons.

Myself, I think this is a bit extreme. It’s normal not to have glowing teeth. It’s okay if they are slightly colored. Who can afford the time and money to get teeth professionally whitened once a month?

Are those teeth whitening kits safe? I’ve used several whitening treatments in my coffee addict days. They definitely made my teeth whiter, but they had adverse affects. I used the Crest white strips, whitening toothpaste, and whitening mouth wash. I used the white strips once daily and the mouth wash twice a day morning and night after brushing and flossing. One morning, I went to do my daily routine of brushing my teeth and I discovered a nickel-sized cyst that had grown on my gums overnight. I started freaking out; I’d never seen anything like it before. My bunkmate at the time, who was using the same products and process that I was, also had one near her molars on her gums. We both decided to stop the whitening treatments to see if that was what was causing it. Two weeks later, the cysts disappeared and never came back.

Since then, I’ve promised myself I’ll never use another artificial whitening product ever again. I’ve done a lot of research on artificial tooth care products and their effects, and it’s devastating. They can cause labored breathing, bloody urine, infertility, and incontinence. Wow, no thank you. I’ll stick to my natural whitening remedies.

There are many amazing natural teeth whitening remedies on the internet, but they can be overwhelming. I’ve been using a recipe for a tooth whitening toothpaste that I got from an ex-boyfriend. It’s very simple, cheap, and can last a very long time. Here it is:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 8 drops of peppermint oil

Put the ingredients into a big glass bowl and mix well. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate, scooping out about a week’s worth at time.

That’s it. It’s very simple and very effective. I have seen a great improvement in the color of my teeth from light yellowish to white. It takes about a month to really see any results but you’re avoiding crazy cysts and possible side effects. I will never go back. I love my new natural whitening toothpaste and you will too. So give it a try. It won’t hurt and I really think you’ll love it.

Honey for the Hair

Honey

Honey is an everyday product in many household kitchens including my own. It is used in various recipes as essential ingredient. But a lot of people have taken notice to the health/beauty benefits the product offers. Honey prevents certain types of cancers and heart disease, can reduce ulcers, and also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can even help regulate the body’s metabolism, reduce nausea, and even improve eyesight.

Honey contains many essential nutrients and antioxidants including vitamin B6, calcium, iron, thiamin, particular amino acids, and so on. Due to its anti-bacterial properties, honey is extremely valuable for skin treatments. Besides being super-moisturizing for the skin, it also can be used as a hair conditioner or lightener. Honey is a natural lightener for skin and hair due to small traces of hydrogen peroxide it releases.

I started using honey as part of my beauty regimen about three years ago. A friend told me how she had started using it as a weekly treatment in her hair. She informed me how much softer and shinier it had made her hair! At the time, I had never given much thought about honey. It had never crossed my mind to use it as a beauty product!

If you would like to see the difference in your own hair, here is a simple hair treatment recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon (optional)

Mix the honey and oil thoroughly together. Optionally, add the lemon juice to the mixture.

Use your hands to evenly disperse the mixture throughout your hair. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, covering your hair. Rinse off.

Enjoy the wonderful smell and feel of your new, replenished hair!

Seven Best Plants for Skin Care

Here is my list of the seven best plants for skin care, most of which we use during facials and waxing at the Cinta Aveda Institute.

Aveda Plant Ingredients

  1. Aloe Vera is the top medicinal plant on my list. It is common in lotions. Aloe soothes and hyrdrates. The gel of an aloe plant contains nutrients vitamins A, C, and E; folic acid; zinc; and potassium.
  2. Lavender works to soothe your skin. It also has antiseptic properties that make it great for cleansing.
  3. Roses do more than smell good, they also boost the health of your skin. Rose is good for hydrating skin and it also helps soothe overworked skin. Rose is a great toner and can ease redness and irritation from breakouts.
  4. Calendula can relieve dryness and make your skin look and feel more hydrated. It also boosts blood flow and is used to treat burns.
  5. Tea tree oil is an ideal choice for treating acne. You can also use it as an alternate to deodorant. At the Cinta Aveda Institute, we use it after we wax a body part, to prevent breakouts and ingrown hairs.
  6. Witch hazel is great for cleansing your face. It helps clear away dirt, bacteria, and debris that can lead to breakouts. It’s also great for relieving skin irritation and fighting inflammation.
  7. Neem oil can help if you suffer from chronic skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, or recurrent breakouts. Neem oil has a lot of antioxidants, which means it supports healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Commercial Deodorants Have Chemicals

Homemade Deodorant

How is your Deodorant working for you? Do you use a commercial deodorant product advertised on television?

How would you feel if I told you that most of those deodorants contain cancer-causing ingredients? Well, it’s true, they do. Many contain preservatives called parabens that cause hormone disruption—specifically, they mimic estrogen—and can cause DNA damage that could lead to breast cancer. You can recognize parabens in the ingredient list: methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben.

And do you think it’s good for your armpits not to sweat? No it’s not good. If you’re using an antiperspirant, it blocks your sebaceous glands from producing the sweat that should to help cool the body. You may think you will sweat more if you don’t use an antiperspirant; at first you will, but once your body becomes regulated and back to its natural state, you will not sweat as much and the odor will reduce.

When you decide to do the switch, you will notice changes. Aluminum is the main antiperspirant ingredient in almost all deodorants. Aluminum-based compounds are used to plug up sweat glands. Aluminum may be harmful when placed on to the skin or the breast; it also mimics estrogen-like cells that cause a hormonal effect which may contribute to breast cancer.

Now, remember, what you eat comes out through your pores. So even if you’re using a natural deodorant, if you eat greasy fast food, you’ll most likely still have an odor. Your body cleanses by expelling the toxins through your pores as well as your digestive tract. So eat healthier and you won’t have as much odor. A natural deodorant can mask the occasional scent.

Chlorophyll is also a natural plant-derived ingredient. Chlorophyll can be found in plants and gives them their green color, and it may help protect the body from cancer from the inside out. When ingested, it helps oxygenate the blood and cancer cells don’t thrive in oxygen. So eating a lot of leafy greens will help and act as an internal deodorant.

So which natural deodorant should you use? That all depends upon you. What scents do you like? Are you sensitive to certain oils or plants? If you’re still not sure, make a list of your likes of herbs and oils that help as a natural deodorant. You can even make your own; it’s very simple and cheap and you can have a lot left to make more in the future.

Here is a simple recipe that I use:

  • 1 cup coconut oil (antibacterial)
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • 10 drops tea tree oil

Just put it all in a cup and mix it all together and you will have a natural, healthy, safe, deodorant!

You can put it in a jar and use a scoop to get it out and rub onto your under arms.

Remember that it will take about 12 days to acclimate your body to the use of natural deodorant. So, be patient, and know that you will be reducing your risk of breast cancer by switching over to natural deodorant.

Golden Milk

Turmeric - Curcuma longa Roots

Turmeric is a spice that has been used in India for a long time. It is what gives curry and mustard their yellow color. Not only is it used for food, but also as a medicinal herb. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which is an antioxidant. Curcumin has anti inflammatory effects and fights free radicals in the body. It also increases the antioxidants in the body. Curcumin is more easily absorbed into the body with the aid of piperine in black pepper. There have been studies showing that turmeric can prevent or delay arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

There are many ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet—of course, the easiest way is to sprinkle some on your food. My favorite way to take turmeric is by making Golden Milk. It is a drink made with any warm milk that you like, turmeric paste, black pepper, and an oil of your choosing. This is a great drink to have before bed due to its relaxing and immune boosting properties.

Turmeric Paste

  • ½ cup turmeric powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook turmeric powder and water together over low heat, constantly stirring until a thick paste has formed. More water may be needed. Add black pepper, stir to incorporate. Allow to cool, then store in a glass jar.

Remember that turmeric stains, so avoid plastic containers.

Paste is best for 2-3 weeks.

Golden Milk

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric paste
  • 1 cup almond milk, soy, coconut, or hemp milk, or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon Udo’s or coconut oil
  • Honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup

Cook all the ingredients, except the honey or syrup, together in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the ingredients are mixed well, do not boil. Add honey or syrup to taste and enjoy!

Homemade Bath Products Using Aveda

Since schooling at Cinta Aveda institute, I have been inspired to integrate more clean and natural products—and ways of life—into my daily routine. I decided to make the beauty and skincare products that I use at home. The recipe below has been one of the most successful of my endeavors, and the most fun as well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Happy bathing!

Aveda Bath Bombs

  • 8 ounces baking soda
  • 4 ounces cornstarch
  • 4 ounces Epsom salts
  • 2 teaspoons of organic turmeric1
  • 4 ounces citric acid
  • ¾ teaspoon water
  • 2 teaspoons Aveda Singular Note [I used Ylang Ylang]
  • 2 Tablespoons Aveda Composition Oil [I used Beautifying Oil]
  • Dried flowers or herbs of your choosing [optional]
  • Equipment: plastic craft ornaments as molds. Use the type that have two halves that snap together which makes beautiful perfect sphere shapes. Depending on the size of your molds, you’ll need three to six of them. You’ll also need gloves for hand protection—citric acid is abrasive.
  1. Mix all the baking soda, cornstarch, Epsom salts, and turmeric in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix the water, and oils. If you are using an optional liquid natural dye, add it here.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. At this point, your mixture should resemble wet sand. Adding the natural coloring helps you figure out if it’s well-mixed: an even color means a good mix. When you squeeze some in your fist, it should hold together. If it doesn’t, add water a few drops at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Put on gloves, and add the citric acid and mix again. Citric acid is abrasive, so don’t skip the gloves.
  5. Tightly pack the mixture into your mold. Let it dry for 24 hours.
  6. Carefully remove the bombs from molds and let them dry another 24-48 hours before packaging. Make sure to store in a dry area.
  1. The turmeric adds a yellow tint to my bombs. You could use another natural dye depending on your desired scent.

Makes 3 to 6 bombs depending on size of your molds

Contouring and Highlighting One Size Doesn’t Fit All

1uVBfE6s4yzRNvysUIs4ChCegntz24rLNbxsZ6yD5LoMy face shape is certainly not a lovely, perfect oval. I have a pronounced forehead and long jawline. (Think Sarah Jessica Parker, here). I have a prominent, slightly crooked nose. I never thought my face looked right when it was re-shaped with cookie cutter darks and lights, following a standard diagram because unfortunately, all these diagrams are designed for a single, perfect face shape.

To say the least, I was extremely discouraged, because I couldn’t seem to grasp the concept of H&C in-depth.

Though it took me some time, I then realized, that not everyone else on the planet has a perfectly proportioned oval face either.

So I practiced. I figured out where and how to customize placement of highlight, and where to shadow to perfectly emphasize an individual face.

Everyone is unique, and contouring and highlighting isn’t strictly black and white. Our noses, foreheads and cheekbones, don’t come in a cookie cutter fashion.

Eventually, I got tired of contouring and highlighting. It became more work than was worth it. I learned to embrace my flaws, because they gave my face a bit of character. Sure, I can still emphasize what I need to, if I want to. I just choose not too.