Do-It-Yourself

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.

Five Benefits of Rosewater

Roses and Rosewater

Rosewater is an amazing ingredient to include in your beauty routine. It helps soften your skin and gives it a healthy glow. Rosewater can benefit your skin in many ways and it is very inexpensive. I’m going to share with you five beauty uses and benefits of rosewater. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to get healthy, beautiful skin.

  1. Reduce Eye Puffiness

    Apply rosewater on a cotton pad and gently place it on your eyes. It will help sooth the tender skin around your eyes, preventing or reduce under eye puffiness.

  2. Soften Dry Skin

    Ladies with dry skin can experience amazing benefits with rosewater. When rosewater is applied to the skin, you’ll notice the softening effect immediately.

  3. Makeup Remover

    Apply rosewater with a cotton pad and gently massage your face. For a more effective makeup remover, you can dampen a cotton pad with rosewater along with bit of coconut oil. It efficiently removes makeup and is gentle on the skin. Never rub harshly or stretch the skin while removing makeup.

  4. Natural Setting Spray

    Rosewater can be misted over makeup as a setting product, providing a healthy glow and beautiful dewy finish.

  5. Skin Toner

    The regular use of rosewater as a toner can help prevent wrinkles by slowing down the aging process, tightening those pesky pores, and adding a natural glow to the skin.

Fun Home Mask Recipes

Estheticians have used food for facial masks for many years now, but, these days, the ingredients have been a little more out of the norm. Usual ingredients are honey and avocado. But what about wine and acai berries? I did a little research and found two new and unusual at-home masks anyone can try out.

Red Wine in Glass

Resveratrol, a strong antioxidant found mainly in red wine but also in smaller amounts in white wine, may help to repair the damage caused by sun exposure that can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin, according to a growing body of scientific research. Kaolin clay draws out impurities, while the grapeseed oil moisturizes and hydrates, and the oat flour gently exfoliates.

Wrinkle Soothing Wine Mask

  • ¼ cup wine
  • ¼ cup kaolin clay1
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic oat flour1

Combine all the ingredients. Apply to the face, neck, and décolletage. Rinse with warm water after 10 minutes.

  1. Available in health food stores.

Acai Berries

Berries are rich sources of polyphenols, a class of antioxidants that, besides being used as wrinkle fighters, have other benefits. They’re a strong astringent, so they tighten the skin and minimize pores. Fatty acids in high doses, like the ones found in acai berries, seem to fight hyperpigmentation. The sugar and the olive oil form a gentle scrub which also helps in removing dirt trapped in pores.

Pore Tightening Acai Berry Mask

  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons acai powder (or ¼ cup smashed acai berries)1
  • 10 fresh, whole blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mix
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil.

With a potato masher, mash the sugar and acai powder (or slush) with the berries. Slowly add the olive oil and combine coarsely with a whisk. Massage into the face. Leave on for about five minutes, then rinse with warm water.

  1. Available in health food stores.

Six Uses for Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

  1. Makeup Remover

    You have to get the raccoon eyes off somehow, but many makeup removers contain harsh chemicals that are very drying to your skin. It is recommended that you squeeze a bit of pure aloe gel onto a cotton ball and swipe away your makeup for a simple and effective alternative.

  2. Shaving Cream

    Pure aloe can be the perfect shaving cream: It’s antibacterial, which is great for nicks; it’s slippery, allowing for a nice close shave; and it moisturizes, too. You can use it on its own, or combine with other nourishing ingredients for a more luxe product.

  3. Soothing Ice Cubes

    Grab an ice cube tray, fill with aloe gel, and freeze. Pop them out and store in a freezer safe container. These are great after too much sun exposure, run-ins with your stove, bug bites, poison ivy, and even psoriasis.

  4. Exfoliator

    It’s not the most pleasant part of grooming, but exfoliation is important if you want to reveal glowing, fresh skin. Aloe is a great base for a homemade scrub because it helps soften your skin and supply oxygen to your cells, strengthening the tissue to create vibrant skin.

  5. Eyebrow Gel

    We love a strong brow and tidiness is key. Dip a clean mascara wand in some aloe vera gel and sweep over stray brows for serious stay-put power without getting hard or sticky.

  6. Hand Sanitizer

    Sick of your hand sanitizer drying out your hands? Mix ½ cup aloe vera gel, ¼ cup alcohol, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Pour into a spritz bottle. The alcohol fights germs while the aloe soothes your skin.

Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is proving to be a spice that not only adds flavor to various dishes but can also cure many infections and diseases. Several research studies are being conducted in various parts of the world about the benefits of cinnamon for diabetes, hair loss, cholesterol, memory, arthritis, skin, and more.

A topical application of cinnamon with honey has been used get rid pimples, ringworms, eczema, and other skin infections. This is a wonderful spice!

  • Anti Aging

    Cinnamon is said to improve fine lines by plumping the skin. This means that using cinnamon can stimulate blood vessels and bring blood to the surface of the skin.

    Use a mixture of three drops essential oil of cinnamon and two tablespoon olive oil or petroleum jelly. Apply this mixture to fine lines on the skin, taking care to avoid the eyes. The skin soon plumps out and fine lines become less visible. This can even be done to plump up lips and can be used as an alternative to lip gloss.

    Moreover, cinnamon used on the skin seems to increase collagen levels for up to six hours after it is applied. Breakdown of collagen causes the skin to lose elasticity and increases signs of aging. Cinnamon seems to increase collage expression on the skin through cinnamaldehyde, its main chemical component. Topical cinnamon creams could be used to activate growth factors IGF-1 and improve collagen expression.

  • Acne Treatment

    Cinnamon is said to help with treatment of acne and pimples. Mix one tablespoon of cinnamon powder and three tablespoons of honey and apply on pimples. Leave this paste overnight—or for twenty minutes—before washing with warm water. Acne scars can dry out and skin can get rejuvenated. This paste can also de-clog pores and bring oxygen and blood to the surface. However, because of the possibilities of skin irritation, this should not be used more than once a week. Additionally, cinnamon has antiseptic properties. If you have an open cut or wound, just dust a pinch of cinnamon over it. Bacteria will be killed and the wound heals faster.

The next time you are searching for a quick masque with multiple benefits, make sure you feature cinnamon.

Baking Soda Beauty

Baking Soda

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of baking soda, Grandma’s cookies? Not anymore. Baking soda has become a major player in the beauty realm. It’s inexpensive, easy to find, and you probably already have it in your kitchen. Baking soda has many beauty uses; below are a few of them.

Clarifying Shampoo

If you use heavy hair products especially dry shampoo, your scalp most likely needs a deep exfoliating treatment every once and a while. Baking soda is a natural clarifier to cut right through all of that product buildup. Just add a small amount into your shampoo to give your hair and scalp a refreshing reboot.

Cuticle Care

Us girls (and guys) love our gel manicures, but sometimes they make our cuticles look a little worse for the wear, a small bit of baking soda mixed with warm water can whip them into place. Gently scrubbing your fingertips with this combo will exfoliate all of those dead, dry skin cells and leave you with healthier nail beds.

Exfoliant

For oily and acne-prone skin types, baking soda works as a great all-natural exfoliant. Just mix a little with some water in your palm, making a paste. Then gently scrub in circular motions to shed dead skin cells and reveal that glowing skin underneath.

Detox Bath

Baking soda also could be used in a detox bath to get deep into those pores. Mix it with equal parts sea salt and add your favorite essential oil for a spa indulgence.

Five Essential Oils to Benefit Your Life

Oils in Bottles

The use of oils to treat various issues has been around the since Ancient Egyptians in 1500 B.C. The Bible also referencing remedies using oils. The oils can help with conditions from depression to fatigue, from skin issues to muscle tension.

There is an oil for almost everyone. Oils can have a healing effect mentally, emotionally, and physically. These five oils can benefit your life in a natural, easy, and effective way through the natural healing properties they possess.

  • Lavender is very versatile. Well known for its calming effects, lavender also works on cuts, bruises, and skin irritations. It can reduce stress hormones in your blood. Just add a few drops to your next warm bath or to your pillow for a good nights rest.
  • Tea Tree oil derives from Australia and is for topical use only. It is a natural antiseptic with many uses. Used as a natural deodorant by many, it also helps treat blemishes by dabbing onto skin with a cotton ball. It can be used for fungal infections such as athletes foot. It can be added to your shampoo to naturally prevent lice. The next time you’re camping, bring tea tree with you for ticks. A couple of drops on the tick and they will usually unlatch.
  • Peppermint is excellent for stimulating the mind and creating mental alertness. It is said that inhaling peppermint oil can improve mental alertness. Peppermint can be taken internally and it can help with indigestion by mixing a few drops into a glass of water.
  • Frankincense is one of the oils that has been around for thousands of years. Referenced in the Bible as a gift brought to Jesus, it was valued in ancient times because of its healing properties and uses as a perfume. People across North Africa and the Arab world still believe in the power of Frankincense and use the oil to help treat arthritis. As time has gone on, the rest of the world has been discovering its uses for depression, inflammation, immunity, alertness, and the healing of minor cuts and bug bites. Add a few drops to your next warm bath to ensure deep relaxation.
  • Lemon oil is probably one of the best known oils, and for a good reason. Adding a few drops to warm water in the morning can be a great and natural way to detoxify your body and boost mental alertness. It can also increase focus and concentration with its uplifting properties. Not only does it work from the inside, but also on the outside of the skin to help clear acne. Your pets will love you too by adding a few drops on the back of their neck to help keep fleas away and give them a nice fresh scent.

There are many more essential oils that have proven to provide positive effects on people for thousands of years. Explore these natural products and see how they can benefit your life.

The Benefits of Argan Oil

The Production of Argan Oil Using Traditional Methods

Argan Oil Produced Using Traditional Methods

Argan oil is produced from the plant kernels of the argan tree. It is native to Morocco. In Morocco it is commonly eaten as a dip for bread or drizzled over pasta or couscous. But argan oil also has a variety of cosmetic uses.

  • Nighttime Moisturizer

    Apply one drop to moisturize your whole face and keep it soft and smooth.

  • Skin Toner

    Add 2 to 4 drops to your toner to take advantage of the oil’s nutrients before moisturizing.

  • Exfoliating

    Mix with brown sugar and use as a facial scrub. It will exfoliate and promote healthy surface cell turnover.

  • Acne

    Argan oil’s high linoleum acid content helps to reduce inflammation caused by acne.

  • Razor Bumps and Burns

    Argan oil is an effective treatment for men and women after shaving and also speeds the healing process.

  • Leave-in Conditioner

    This non-greasy oil makes for the perfect leave-in conditioner. Argan oil helps to tame frizz and fly-aways and protects against the heat of hot tools such as blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons.

  • Lip Conditioner

    Argan oil makes for a wonderful lip treatment or lip balm substitute. Rub 1 to 2 drops on your lips and wipe away any excess. This not only heals cracked lips but leaves your lips feeling soft, smoother, and conditioned.

  • Dry Feet and Heels

    If you are experiencing dry, cracking skin on your feet or heels, rub 2 to 4 drops onto your feet paying special attention to the affected areas. Cover with a pair of socks, let the oil soak in, and then remove.

  • Stretch Marks

    Argan oil can help to prevent stretch marks by improving the skin’s elasticity. Warm 2 to 3 drops of pure argan oil in the palm of your hands and gently rub into any problem areas.

  • Whole-body Moisturizer

    Add a couple of drops of argan oil to coconut oil (or any other natural moisturizing carrier oil) to enjoy all-over dry skin relief.

  • Overnight Deep Conditioning Treatment

    If you have dry, brittle hair, do an overnight deep conditioning treatment with argan oil once a week. Apply 1 to 2 drops of argan oil from the mid-lengths to ends of your hair and let sit until morning.

  • Nails

    Argan oil’s non-greasy moisture is an ideal treatment for cuticles and nails. Remove all nail polish from finger and toe nails and rinse thoroughly before applying argan oil.

Aloe Vera Cooling Gel

Aloe Vera Leaf

Herbal medicines are natural, plant-derived treatments used for both internal and external health issues. One of the most common of these medicines is a succulent plant called aloe vera. Because it is so versatile, aloe vera is used by the cosmetic, medicine, and even food industries.

Aloe vera has many healing properties—soothing, cooling, and moisturizing. That’s why aloe vera is frequently topically applied to wounded areas including a sunburn, a sore, or a cut. Also, due to its moisturizing benefits, aloe vera is a common ingredient in cosmetics. Its moisturizing emollient effects aid in many products including soap, shampoo, and moisturizers.

With the sun becoming more present every day, sunburn is a high health risk for many people. Here is a sunburn repairing recipe that will cool any irritation on the skin as well as aid in healing:

  • 120 milliliters aloe vera gel (either store bought or from plant)
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 10 drops of pure lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of pure peppermint essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a clean bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a sealable container and store it in the fridge. The gel mixture may oxidize quickly, so use as soon as possible.

Vitamin E is an effective moisturizer and can neutralize free radical damage. Lavender is calming and antibacterial. Peppermint is cooling and antibacterial.