Do-It-Yourself

Surprising Facts About Honey

Honey

The uses of honey in Ayurvedic medicines dates back almost 4,000 years. Honey, when blended together in preparation with other ingredients, enhances their medicinal value. It has been shown to improve eyesight, speed up weight loss, and cure impotence. Honey also helps in treating urinary tract disorders, diarrhea, asthma, and nausea. It is also said to treat disorders such as bacterial gastroenteritis and ulcers.

In ancient times, athletes used to consume honey to enhance their endurance level, reduce muscle fatigue, and instantly boost their performance. Honey is also known to help in recovery and maintaining glycogen levels. Before swim meets, when I was younger, we would eat a honey stick before our races to give us an extra instant energy boost.

It is a rich source of flavonoids and antioxidants which help reduce the risk of heart disease and even cure some cancers. The mix of fructose and glucose in honey helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. And because of the presence of an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide, honey contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties allowing it to be a good toner and even cleanser.

Honey can do wonders for your skin. That’s why you will find it in many skin-care products today. Honey acts as a great anti-aging agent and moisturizer. Here are some easy recipes to make honey-based face masks and exfoliators that you can try at home.

Facial Mask

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon honey (preferably raw honey)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Yolk of an egg

Method

Blend all of them together and apply it to face.

Leave it for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.

This mask will help you remove sun tan and give a glowing look.

Alternative Facial Mask

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fuller’s earth (multani mitti)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Method

Mix them well to form a thick paste.

Apply it to skin and leave it for 15 minutes.

Wash it off with warm water.

Facial Exfoliator

Ingredients

  • Honey
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar

Method

Mix them and gently rub it on your skin.

Leave it for about 10-15 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Honey cleanses your skin, lemon juice brightens it up, and sugar works as an awesome exfoliator for those hard-to-get areas. Use this exfoliator to remove dead skin cells from their roots. This also helps in getting rid of blackheads. Exfoliation is good for oily as well as dry skin. Just use once a week.

Start Your Day with Warm Lemon Water

Lemon Splashes in Water on Black

Every morning, first thing, drink half a fresh squeezed (never bottled) lemon in a warm glass of water. The water doesn’t need to be boiling. For an extra boost, add ginger and cayenne.

  • Aids Digestion: Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Lemons are also high in vitamins and minerals and help loosen toxins in the digestive tract. The digestive properties of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching, and bloating.
  • Cleanses Your System: Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials partially because lemons increase the rate of urination. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.
  • Boosts Your Immune System: Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is really good for fighting colds. They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve functions. Potassium also helps control blood pressure. Vitamin C, found in lemons, shows anti-inflammatory effects, plus it enhances iron absorption in the body. Iron has an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which contains antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay.
  • Clears Skin: The vitamin C in lemons, along with other antioxidants, helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. It also helps combat free radical damage which comes from sun exposure and damages molecules in our skin. Vitamin C is vital for healthy skin, while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne. It can actually be applied directly to scars or age spots to help reduce their appearance. Since lemon water purges toxins from your blood, it would also be helping to keep your skin clear of blemishes from the inside out.

Emergency Beauty Kit

First Aid Kit

As a girl, the struggle is real when it comes to making sure you have the necessities when going on a date, or on vacation, or even out with the girls. You have made lists and set reminders to make sure you have absolutely everything you need—or may possibly need. We have all had those moments: “dang why didn’t I bring…” [insert unnecessary item that you know you don’t actually need but have totally convinced yourself that you or your friends will need it].

But there are some things you really must have. First and foremost is mouthwash. You can find mini ones in any grocery store—just go to the travel section and get the travel sizes. You also need some face powder to touch up, gum, lip gloss, bobby pins, two hair ties (someone always asks to borrow a hair tie, it’s good to have an extra), safety pins (in case of a wardrobe malfunction), tampons, mascara, and a backup phone charger.

It’s pretty amazing what you can fit into a clutch or small bag. Knowing you already have what you may need is going to help ease the anxiety of having to go somewhere.

You can also get these emergency kits at stores such as Forever 21, TJ Maxx, or the Beauty Supply Store, but it’s super affordable to just create them yourself! Who doesn’t love shopping for themselves? It could even make for a fun girls’ night, or even party favors for a bachelorette party.

Bathe for Sunburn Relief

Bathtub

If you’ve ever had a painful sunburn on your body, you know how difficult it is to get relief. While applying aloe vera gel is a great topical treatment throughout the day, taking a bath can help to completely alleviate the pain.

One of the most important things to remember about taking a bath with a sunburn is to avoid using hot water. If the water is too hot, it can make the skin hurt more.

Some amazing ingredients for a sunburn bath are oatmeal, cooled green tea and peppermint, and vinegar. The vinegar, which is a light acid, may sting at first, but it will eventually help to relieve the pain. They shouldn’t all be used together because that could overstimulate already angry skin. It is a good option to try each individually and see what works best for your skin.

Oatmeal is very soothing for sunburns and inflammation of any kind.

Green tea is a great thing to add to a bath or to use in compresses. The ingredients are soothing on the inflamed area.

Peppermint tea is a mild ingredient with a cooling effect, so long as you don’t use it on blistering or broken skin. It is great to add cooled peppermint tea directly into the bath or you can use the tea bag as a compress once it has cooled.

Vinegar is a useful ingredient to help relieve a sunburn because of the acetic acid. It is especially appropriate for sunburns that are itchy, painful, or inflamed. Apple cider vinegar is a great option because it is already very good for the skin.

Aromatherapy-Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Essential Oils are the key ingredient with Aromatherapy. They are known as pure essences from plants that are natures gift to the human body and spirit. These oils are extremely beneficial and give off scents and health giving properties.

These oils, derived from plants, are used to promote good health. The beneficial effects of essential oils are applied many ways, through baths, massage, compresses, vaporizers, and so on.

It cannot be stressed too often how important it is to use pure, natural, authentic oils as aromatherapy uses the complexity of the plants to deliver therapeutic qualities.

Caring and where you store your oils is extremely important. Oils are extremely volatile, which can easily be affected by the environment, light, temperature, air, and moisture. They must be stored in cool and dry places.

I’m going to focus on one essential oil: lavender. Lavender is one of the most valuable oils for the treatment of acne, according to aromatherapists. Here are twenty conditions that lavender can improve.

  1. Aching Muscles

    Put a few drops in your bath water for aching muscles.

  2. Acne

    Bacteria thrives on the over-secretion of sebum. Lavender rebalances this to reduce scarring. Add a few drops of lavender oil to a plain cream or lotion. It is safe to use everyday.

  3. Bacteria

    Can use lavender to help fight infection.

  4. Cuts and Wounds

    Apply oil to soothe pain, This prevents bacterial infection and aid scar-free healing.

  5. Ear ache

    Warm a bottle of lavender oil in hot water for a minute or two, then massage a few drops gently into the skin around the ears and throat.

  6. Eczema

    Stroke infused lavender oil into dry, itchy skin.

  7. Fatigue

    Add five drops of lavender oil to a hot foot bath and relax while your feet soak in it. Lavender reaches your bloodstream quickly, exerting its stimulating and soothing effects on various systems of your body.

  8. Fevers

    For babies or small children, sponge them down very gently with tepid water to which you have added a drop of lavender oil. This works for adults also.

  9. Faintness

    Make your own smelling salts—sea salt, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and basil oil.

  10. Insomnia

    To help to induce sleep, put three to four drops of lavender oil on your pillow. For babies, add one drop of lavender and geranium oil in a carrier oil and massage into a baby’s back or put a few drops in their bedtime bath.

  11. Long Travel

    Keep lavender in your hand luggage and roll it over your pulse points to help you keep a clear head during those endless hours in the air.

  12. Menstrual Cramps

    Massage a few drops of lavender into your lower abdomen or apply a hot compress onto the area.

  13. Moths, Midges, and Mosquitos

    These bugs hate the smell of lavender. To prevent bites, splash yourself with lavender oil before you go out at sunset or to bed, put three to four drops of oil on your pillow. Lavender oil is also a remedy for insect bites, soothing itching and inflammation: dab it on to the bites as soon as possible. To keep moths off your clothes, hang lavender bags on your coat hangers, or keep them among your sweaters, and refresh them with a drop or two of lavender oil from time to time.

  14. Scabies

    Rub your whole body with neat lavender oil, then following every day until better with a mixture of lavender oil and alcohol. Change and wash bedding and clothes and sprinkle lavender oil on the mattress.

  15. Shingles

    Combine a mix of lavender oil with analgesic, antiviral and scar preventing essential oils neat or on compresses on the agonizing lesions of shingles. It usually produces a cure within five to eight days.

  16. Sinusitis

    Lavender is one of several essential oils that aromatherapists recommend for inhalations to relieve sinuses.

  17. Stress and Anxiety

    Keep a spritzer of Lavender Mist—Hydrosol handy to spray on your face during the day, or apply lavender oil neat to your temples.

  18. Sunburn

    Spray pure Lavender Mist—Hydrosol directly onto the skin or pour it into a cool-to-lukewarm bath and soak for ten minutes.

  19. Headache

    Mist around your head is refreshing and soothing. Alternatively, make a compress of a piece of gauze sprinkled with a few drops of lavender oil and apply to the forehead, or massage a few drops into the forehead, temples, and nape of the neck.

  20. Minor Burns

    After you have cooled the area by putting it in cold water for a few minutes, stroke on lavender oil. Pain relief is almost immediate, and burns usually heal without scarring.

Green Tea: Nature’s Healthiest Drink?

Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have amazingly powerful effects on the body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cholesterol, and many other benefits.

Green tea is loaded with polyphenols, like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants. These ingredients can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a big part in aging, wrinkles, and diseases.

One of the more powerful ingredients in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been studied for its effects on the treatment of many diseases and it may be one green tea’s main ingredients that give it powerful medicinal properties.

Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health. The catechins in green tea have other biological effects as well. Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and prevent some viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections.

Streptococcus mutans is the main harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque to form and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay. Studies show that the catechins in green tea can stop the growth of Streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is linked to improved dental health. Another awesome benefit of green tea is that multiple studies show that it can reduce bad breath!

Do you love that morning cup of coffee but not the jitters? One of the main active ingredients in green tea is caffeine! A known stimulant, green tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee does, so it’s less likely to give you that jittering feeling. But it’s defiantly enough caffeine to perk up the mind and body in a more gentle and healthier way.

I think that green tea is nature’s healthiest drink!

Licorice Extract

Licorice ExtractAlso called anise, licorice extract finds a home in some kitchens for its syrup-like sweet taste. But licorice’s medicinal properties are not as well known. Licorice also has the ability to promote healthy, even-toned skin as an ingredient in personal care products.

Licorice extract has been used for its health benefits as far back as ancient China, and it is an ingredient in some over-the-counter cleansers, toners, face creams, and spot treatments.

The syrupy juice from the herb’s root contains beneficial plant sterols, which promote skin elasticity, fight inflammation, and suppress wrinkle formation. It is also a natural ingredient that helps brightens the skin. It is a great alternative to more controversial skin bleaching products like hydroquinone.

Licorice extract contains glycyrrhizin, an acid that plays a role in increasing steroid hormones that naturally occur in skin. Glycyrrhizin helps to combat several skin disorders that respond to topically applied hydrocortisone. Licorice extract also can help soothe irritation caused by some skin-care products and medications.

Here are some benefits of products that contain licorice root:

  • Healing Troubled Skin. Body cleansers, body creams and facial skin-care products that incorporate licorice extract have effectively treated skin disorders such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Licorice extract is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Fading Dark Spots. Consistent use of licorice extract over time has been known to fade dark spots and blemishes and lighten skin. It can also reverse the darkening of scars, which are fibrous skin tissues that remain when an injury hasn’t completely healed.
  • Preventing Skin Problems. Potent antioxidants in licorice extract fight skin-damaging free radicals.

Benefits of Vanilla

Vanilla Beans

Last week, I wrote about the Vanilla Plant. But vanilla is much more than just a sweet and fragrant flavor. Pure vanilla extract possesses several medicinal properties and can be beneficial for your health in various ways.

  1. Treats Anxiety and Depression

    Certain neurological studies have shown that vanilla extract can have a huge effect on those suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. Vanilla scent is specifically helpful for this purpose. For example, sipping water or milk containing vanilla has helped cure people with these disorders.

  2. Assists Weight Loss

    Certain studies have shown that vanilla extract can help people lose weight. Though exercise and diet play a primary role in weight loss, these efforts can be supplemented with the intake of vanilla extract for greater and perhaps faster benefits.

  3. Relieves Nausea

    One of the best benefits of vanilla extract is that it can help calm the stomach in case of a feeling of nausea. All you need to do is add a few drops of vanilla extract to a glass of water and sip.

  4. Treats Cough

    Cough syrups often contain vanilla extract as a flavoring to mask the awful taste. Though further research is needed in this regard, the properties of vanilla extract can relieve symptoms such as pain from a sore throat or from a cough.

  5. Improves Dental Health

    Vanillin in vanilla is similar to capsaicin in chili peppers. This compound has a positive effect on the central nervous system. Vanilla can help fight toothache and infection.

  6. Treats Digestive Disorders

    Vanilla infused herbal tea can relieve digestive problems. A traditional remedy for vomiting and stomach upsets is to boil water with vanilla beans. Its rich aroma is effective in easing bloating.

You might find this surprising, but the benefits of vanilla extend to your skin. It is used as an ingredient in several skincare products like body lotions, lip balms, body butters, and creams to impart fragrance, but it has other skin benefits as well.

  1. Treatment of Acne

    The antibacterial properties of vanilla make it beneficial for the treatment of acne. Vanillin, through its antibacterial effects, helps cleanse your skin, reducing the occurrence of pimples and acne.

  2. Anti-aging Benefits

    Vanilla is rich in antioxidants which prevent and reverse skin damage caused by free radicals. It helps to slow down signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. It is widely used in the cosmetic industry for its fragrance and anti-aging benefits.

  3. Soothes Burns

    Vanilla is used as a traditional remedy to heal burns, wounds, and cuts. Concentrated vanilla extracts or essential oil should not be applied directly on recent burns. However, topical treatments containing vanilla extracts might be helpful.

  4. Promotes Healthy Skin

    Vanilla is a good source of vitamin B, which plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin. The antioxidant properties of vanilla protect your skin from damage caused by the environment.

For a facial masque, all you need to do is slice open five vanilla beans to scrape out its seeds. Add these seeds together with 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 drops vanilla essential oil to freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mix the ingredients and apply it on your face. Massage for a few minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Then rinse.

The Vanilla Plant

Vanilla Plant Illustration

The vanilla flavor is well known all over the world, but only some of us are aware of its source and origin. There is much more about this flavor that has been a part of many different desserts for centuries.

Vanilla ice cream, and other desserts that we love eating, attribute their flavor to the presence of an extract derived from vanilla beans. These beans are sun-dried pods obtained from orchids of the genus Vanilla. It’s fragrance and amazingly soft and sweet flavor make it a popular ingredient in sweet drinks and confectioneries. Obtaining these beans is a labor-intensive process.

The vanilla plant is an herbaceous climbing vine that requires a supporting tree or pole for optimal growth. It has trumpet-shaped flowers which are naturally pollinated by bees and hummingbirds. Vanilla pods turn yellow as they grow to be about 5 to 8 inches long and are ready to bloom. These are harvested, placed in boiling water, sweated, and sun-dried for a few weeks until they turn dark brown and wrinkled. The white crystalline essence known as vanillin is extracted from these quality beans. This essence is referred to as the vanilla flavor.

The most common form of vanilla is vanilla extract which is prepared by soaking chopped vanilla beans in ethyl alcohol and water for about 48 hours. The mixture is stored for several months and then filtered. Several varieties of vanilla are available in the market; Madagascar vanilla is the most widely used accounting for 75% of vanilla production. Tahiti and Mexico supply the majority of the rest.

Vanilla pods contain several tiny black seeds which are used to flavor many desserts and chocolates. Vanillin is the essence of vanilla bean, but artificial vanillin is also produced on a large scale from wood pulp by-products. The vanilla flavoring is often a blend of pure and imitation vanilla. The appearance of tiny black specks in a vanilla flavored dish is an indication that real vanilla beans were used.

The nutritional value of vanilla makes it beneficial for your skin, hair, and health. Vanilla extract is known as the storehouse of essential oils, vitamins, and minerals as well as sugars.

Next week, I’ll post about the health and skin benefits of vanilla.

Uses for Coconut Oil

There are many uses you can get out of using coconut oil, here are just a few:

  • Hair Loss

    Coconut oil has been used since ancient times in India for grooming hair. Various remedies were prepared using herbs and coconut oil to prevent hair loss. One such remedy can be prepared in modern times by boiling sage leaves in coconut oil. This mixture can be applied to the scalp for the improvement of healthy hair, and its use will also help prevent hair loss.

  • Hair Damage

    Using coconut oil on hair helps to reduce protein loss in both damaged and undamaged hair. Coconut oil, rich in lauric acid, has a high affinity for hair proteins and, due to its low molecular weight, easily penetrates inside the hair shaft. It can be used for pre—or post-wash hair grooming.

  • Hair Conditioning

    Coconut oil is a better conditioner for hair than any synthetic one available on the market. The use of warm coconut oil helps keep hair shimmering and soft. Apply some warm oil at night and wash your hair the next morning. This can be repeated every few days for healthy, strong, and well-conditioned hair.

  • Lip Balm

    Chapped lips don’t stand a chance against ultra-hydrating coconut oil. Scoop some into a spare contact lens holder and throw it in your purse so you can dab it on with your finger throughout the day.

  • Cuticle Softener

    Get double duty from your new DIY coconut oil lip balm case and say goodbye to ragged cuticles. Using your finger, swipe a small amount of the oil onto each of your cuticles and allow it to sink in. The coconut oil will strengthen your nails and hydrate the delicate cuticle skin, making your hands look more youthful.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has many uses. Historically, it was commonly used because of its healing properties. It can be used on sunburn, insect bites, rashes, dry skin, and as a base for many beauty products.

It is a very light fluid that is mostly water. The light viscosity of the gel makes it useful in things like masks, moisturizers, and makeup for people who are sensitive, have acne prone skin, or are concerned with using heavy makeup.

One must be cautious when buying aloe vera to be sure that there is no alcohol or irritants added. Generally, the aloe bought in a store will be modified because aloe naturally contains an irritant called aloin. This is the yellow fluid that lies directly under the surface of the plant. People who are allergic to latex, garlic, tulips, and onions will also commonly be allergic to aloe when the aloin is still present. People who are allergic should be very careful to only use aloe with the aloin removed. This means that if aloe vera makes your skin red, itchy, tight, or dry feeling, it may not be a good idea to continue use.

Aloe is also often taken internally but doctors are pushing people to be cautious of overuse. Many different ailments claim aloe as a solution, however, aloin can wreak havoc internally. Aloe was once used as a laxative but, in 2004, all of those products were pulled off the shelf because it was not FDA approved.

Do-it-yourself Spa Baths

Bathtub

We all know there is nothing like a relaxing bath after a long day. Why not benefit your skin while you’re at it?

Let me fill you in on eleven ingredients that you can add to your bath that will give you a relaxing, spa experience right at home. And there are other benefits. I’m pretty sure that you have most of these in your kitchen right now.

  1. Green Tea

    anti-aging, detox, ph balance

  2. Honey

    soften and smooth skin, detox

  3. Jello

    hydrate, elevate mood, soften skin

  4. Milk

    calm, sooth, sun burn relief

  5. Olive Oil

    hydrate, anti-aging, strength

  6. Salt

    pain relief, reduce inflammation, relaxation

  7. Lavender

    muscle relief, stress relief, reduce inflammation

  8. Lemon

    refresh, revive, shrink pores, brighten skin

  9. Ginger

    detox, cold and flu relief, muscle relief

  10. Baking Soda

    calm, relieve irritation, sooth

  11. Cinnamon

    invigorate, detox, cures rashes

Beauty Hacks Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Many of us have a bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting in our kitchen cabinet, but few know just how many uses there are for it.

  • Toner

    Mix together some organic apple cider vinegar and distilled water for a great all-natural toner. The antibacterial properties in apple cider vinegar make it ideal for acne or facial blemishes.

  • Dandruff Relief

    The acidity in apple cider vinegar clarities the scalp, and fights off yeast, which can cause dandruff.

  • Hair Pop

    Make the natural tones in your hair pop by rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar. By clarifying the hair, natural underlying tones will seems brighter. This works well for both blondes and brunettes.

  • Foot Soak

    The anti-fungal properties in apple cider vinegar make it a great foot soak, especially for those that suffer from excessive foot sweat or bad foot odor.

  • Mouthwash

    Simply swish some apple cider vinegar in your mouth for a half a minute for fresh breath, the natural way.

  • Stained Nails

    The high level of acidity in apple cider vinegar makes it a great stain fighter. Soak stained nails in a bowl of apple cider vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Bug Bites

    Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for irritated skin, whether it be acne, skin blemishes, or pesky bug bites.

  • Purifying Bath

    Throw a few drops of apple cider vinegar in a warm bath. Post-bath, skin should feel more soothed, and less irritable.

Benefits of Papaya

Papaya

Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics, but they are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients: the carotenes, vitamin C, and flavonoids; the B vitamins including folate and pantothenic acid; the minerals including potassium, copper, and magnesium; and fiber. Papaya is abundant in anti-oxidants due to a huge concentration of Vitamin A.

Papaya is a great bet when it comes to skin care. Papaya contains *papain which is helpful in breaking down inactive proteins and removing dead skin cells; applying papaya on the skin exfoliates it in a gentle and natural way. Use mashed papaya for cracked and sore heels. Mix mashed papaya with honey for a hydrating skin mask. Because papaya is low in sodium, it retains little water. The result is an overall hydrated skin.

Papaya is a great skin-firming and anti-aging mask. Mash uneaten papaya with or without milk and apply on your face. It helps in removing blemishes, dark spots, evens out your skin tone, and brings a glow to your face.

Rub the papaya peel on your face after eating the papaya. The alpha-hydroxy acids—coveted ingredients for their anti-aging properties—are found in abundance in papaya which makes it an acidic fruit. So let it stay for no more than five minutes and wash it off with cold water. If you let the papaya stay on your face for more time, it might cause dryness and even irritate sensitive skins.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is derived from the Tea Tree. Its scientific name is Melaleuca alternifolia.

It sometimes comes from Australia. Originally it was used in tea by some, but Australian natives used it in medicine for a long time.

The most relevant uses of tea tree oil to someone in the beauty industry are:

  • acne,
  • after waxing,
  • during extractions,
  • for tinea unguium—also known as onychomycosis, which is a fungal infection of the nail,
  • tinea pedis (athletes foot),
  • scabies, and
  • possibly pediculosis (lice).

It can also be used as a natural antiseptic on things like cuts and abrasions. Some believe it can help with bug bites. It has many other uses and can also be used in the bath as a bath oil. This can be good for the health of the skin by soaking or it can be good for inhaling through the steam of the bath. Some people use it in this way for things like sore throat or a common cold.

Tree oil works by containing chemicals that may kill bacteria and fungal infections. Some people believe it also works to reduce skin reactions from contact irritants or allergic reactions.

When using tea tree oil, it is important to use a carrier oil. It contains eucalyptol which can be a skin irritant if it is not used correctly. This means that if one were to use tea tree oil as a spot treatment then 100% cannot be applied directly to the area. Mixing it into a small amount of lotion or serum is a much better option.

Coffee Beauty Benefits

Coffee Cup and Beans

I’ve been drinking coffee for more years than I can remember. A good cup of coffee is what most of us prefer to jumpstart the day. Recent studies suggest that we can gloat about the health benefits of that morning cup of joe, too. Coffee can reduce stress and make you smarter!

But did you know that there are coffee beauty benefits worth noting too?. Coffee is packed with antioxidants that can prevent premature aging. And some research suggests coffee can decrease your risk of skin cancer. Here are three beauty benefits of coffee:

  • It gets rid of puffy eyes. Caffeine helps to reduce swelling and irritation. Rather than drinking coffee, applying eye creams that contain caffeine is best, because topical treatments target this skincare problem faster.
  • It temporarily minimizes the appearance of cellulite. Unfortunately, the skin-firming effects will only last for about three hours.
  • It exfoliates dry skin making it silky smooth. While coffee beans may be a bit too harsh to use on your face, using a homemade scrub made out of coffee bean grounds is a safer option for exfoliating the body.

Beauty Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric - Curcuma longa Roots

Turmeric, commonly known as haldi in India, is a spice derived from the roots of the Curcuma longa plant. This powder is deep orange-yellow in color and has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter and slightly peppery taste, and a mustardy smell due to the presence of a substance called curcumin.

Turmeric is effective in the treatment of acne due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which fight pimples and breakouts to provide a youthful glow to your skin. Turmeric facemask not only helps to clear acne scars and inflammation but also reduces oil secretion by sebaceous glands. Moreover, being a natural antiseptic, turmeric with milk is effective in treating skin conditions like poison ivy, eczema, and psoriasis. Eczema is a quite itchy and painful disease characterized by red scaly patches on the skin. Topical application of a mixture of Kasturi turmeric with milk can soothe the skin and reduce redness and inflammation.

Not only is turmeric great for the skin, it is also beneficial for hair. Applying a mixture of turmeric and olive oil on your scalp can treat dandruff and other scalp issues by removing debris and increasing circulation in the scalp. Additionally, it assists with the prevention of hair loss due to the activity of Curcumin, which is a component of turmeric that can inhibit the activity of “growth agent beta one” (TGF beta one) which causes the death of hair follicles resulting in hair loss. Furthermore, turmeric can be used in the treatment of various scalp conditions such as dermatitis and eczema that can lead to itchy, flaky skin, inflammation, and thinning hair. Cicatricial alopecia is a scalp ailment caused by inflammation that damages the hair follicles and prevents the growth of new hair. Fungal infections can also cause hair loss. Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, is effective against these ailments due to its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. That’s a lot of properties!

Cucumber Toner

Grated Cucumber

This super easy cucumber toner naturally smooths and softens the skin. Cucumber has many beauty benefits such as fading dark circles, reducing eye puffiness, treating sunburn, tightening open pores, and much more! Let’s hop right into this recipe.

Ingredients

  • ½ cucumber peeled and grated
  • 3 tablespoons witch hazel
  • 2 tablespoons distilled water

Method

Add ingredients to a blender. Once mixture is well blended, filter liquid through a strainer to remove any cucumber chunks. Put in a glass bottle with lid and store in the refrigerator for maximum freshness.

Magnificent Moroccan Argan Oil

Making Argan Oil in Marrakech, Morocco

In the last few years, it seems like the hottest ingredient in the beauty industry is Moroccan argan oil, and let me just say I’m a believer!

I use argan oil on my hair every single day. I love the smell of the products, I love the shine and moisture it gives my constantly dried-out hair, and I love that it’s everywhere!

When it comes to hair, argan oil is a great product to calm frizzy ends, add moisture to dry hair, and add a little shine. You can apply to your hair while it is still damp for an all over treatment or apply just to your dry ends after your hair is dry.

If you’re dealing with dry scalp, apply some argan oil to a cotton ball, and dab your scalp with the oil; if the packaging is convenient, apply the oil directly to the scalp from the bottle. If you do this before bed, you’ll give the oil plenty of time to moisturize your scalp before you wash your hair in the morning. Or if you’re like me—I can never seem to get rid of a dry scalp—wash your hair in the morning and apply oil to the scalp before using your regular hair products, allowing the nutrients to seep in all day long.

Now I’ve been hearing a lot about the benefits of argan oil in the hair care industry, but being a believer and constant user of pure essential oils, I was interested in its effects on the skin. It might seem scary to apply a pure oil to your face, especially if you have finicky skin, but cultures have been doing just that for centuries and it’s left their skin smooth, clear, and visibly more radiant.

Products that work for the face almost always can be applied to the entire body’s skin, and argan oil is no different. You can use argan oil as a full body moisturizer, applying just as you would a body lotion or cream. Apply the oil right after you get out of your shower for best moisturizing results.

Argan oil is great to use on your hands as well, especially on your cuticles and nails if they are prone to cracking and peeling.

Basically, if your body is lacking moisture anywhere, argan oil will be your best friend. It sure is mine!

Pineapple: Beauty Fruit

Pineapple

Not only is pineapple tasty, but it’s also great for hair, skin, and nails!

Pineapples are full of important antioxidants, which work to prevent cell damage within the body by fighting against free radicals. When you are getting enough antioxidants in your diet, you are working toward preventing several chronic diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, various cancers, atherosclerosis, and arthritis.

Additionally, this fruit helps to keep the skin flexible and firm because it increases collagen synthesis. It contains vitamin C and amino acids and these are all skin-friendly nutrients.

You can apply fresh pineapple directly to your face to reap the benefits.

Furthermore, this fruit contains high amounts of anti-inflammatory substances and vitamin C, both of which fight the causes of acne. The vitamin C helps to improve your body’s ability to heal while the anti-inflammatory substances help to prevent new breakouts and a worsening of current ones.

You can also use the pineapples wedges to naturally exfoliate the skin so that your complexion and tone always look their best.

Pineapple water assists with hydrating the skin.

Pineapple is great for your nails because it moisturizes and assists with cell renewal.

Finally, pineapple is great for your hair because it hydrates dull hair as well as prevents hair loss. The vitamin C content in this fruit helps to fight against hair loss. Simply eat some pineapple each day to strengthen your hair follicles from the inside out.

So eat pineapple and set some to the side and incorporate it into your beauty regime.