Shrink Pores Permanently

How to shrink your pores permanently!


**This post does contain affiliate links. You don’t have to purchase these specific products…please do your homework. It does help me out though. Check it out if you’re interested, but if that’s something you’re against just gloss right on over that link:)**

 

Everyone has pores. So what’s the difference between those whose pores you can see and those you whose pores you can’t see? The size. Sometimes it’s hereditary and sometimes it’s how we treat our skin. Want to learn how you can shrink your pores? Keep reading!

Clay has been used throughout history to heal different skin issues. According to an article in the US National Institutes of Medicine, using healing clay can be traced back to Aristotle. I’ll link the article at the end so you can read up on some more of the research going on with different clays, including healing clays and how they can be advantageous to healing your skin. Reading (slowly I might add) all of the scientific big words, had me even more intrigued and excited to do something that humans have been doing for hundreds of years. Healing my skin using bentonite clay.

I was able to achieve this by putting my skin through Veronica Gorgeois’s Bootcamp. While searching through Youtube a few years ago, I found her video on reducing blackheads and large pores permanently. After watching the video, I was so excited to try it out. She even breaks it down by skin type and she’s also an esthetician. She suggested doing a bootcamp using bentonite clay to help shrink your pores permanently.

I jumped on that because mama wanted smaller pores! Doing the bootcamp definitely visibly improved the look and feel of my skin. Her bootcamp for your skin suggests using Aztec Healing Clay or Bentonite clay and your toner or water. A container from my local health food store cost about $7. I use apple cider vinegar because I have oily skin and it suggests using it on the Aztec Healing Clay directions. I can say with complete honesty and confidence that using this mask has made one of the biggest differences in my skin care game.

*****Veronica says to do her Skincare Bootcamp as tolerated. That means to back off the frequency of use if you notice your skin becoming too dry, irritated, or it hurts or burns.*****

How to make it:

Oily Skin

1. Start with clean, slightly damp or dry skin. I tend to do this just after a shower and having just washed my face.

2. Add 1/2 tablespoon of Aztec Healing Clay and 1/2 tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar into a plastic or glass mixing bowl. You can also use your own toner if you’d prefer.

3. Mix both together until the consistency is smooth. Think yogurt consistency. If it’s too thick add just a bit more ACV or toner.

4. Use a foundation brush to spread on your face in a thin layer. I’ve used my fingers but a brush is so much easier.

5. Let it almost dry and then wash off with warm water and/or a washcloth. Between 5 to 10 minutes. It’s pretty uncomfortable if you let it dry completely.

5. Tone a moisturize as usual.

Sensitive Skin

1. Start with clean, slightly damp or dry skin. I tend to do this just after a shower and having just washed my face. 

2. Add 1 teaspoon of Aztec Healing Clay and 1 teaspoon of water or your toner into a plastic or glass mixing bowl. You can also use rose water as well.

3. Mix both together until the consistency is smooth. Think a yogurt consistency. If it’s too thick add just a bit more liquid.

4.  Use a foundation brush to spread on your face in a thin layer. If you’re super sensitive, only place it on the areas where your pores are most visible.

5. Let it almost dry (5-10 minutes) and then wash off with warm water and/or a washcloth. Don’t leave it on too long, it may irritate your sensitive skin.

6. Tone and moisturize as usual.

Combination Skin

1. Begin with clean, slightly damp or dry skin. I tend to use the mask just after getting out of the shower and having just washed my face.

2. Add 1 teaspoon of Aztec Healing Clay and 1 teaspoon of your choice of liquid (Apple Cider Vinegar, Water, Rose Water) into a plastic or glass bowl.

3. Mix both together until the consistency is smooth. Think a yogurt consistency. If it’s too thick add just a bit more liquid.

4. Use a foundation brush to spread on your face in a thin layer. Put it only on your problem areas (t-zone, breakouts, large pores, etc.)

5. Let it almost dry and rinse off with warm water and/or a wash cloth. Don’t leave it too long, it can be irritating to your skin.

6. Tone and moisturize as usual.

 

Some fun add-ins:

I’ve been using the basic mask for several years now and have started added ingredients to pump up the skin benefits.

  • Veronica mentions using raw or Manuka Honey. I’ve never tried it, but I love using honey for other masks so I can imagine the great benefits.
  • Essential oils. I’ve added about 2-3 drops of Tea Tree oil or Lavender oil and have had great results. You don’t have to add as much liquid when you use essential oils.
  • Activated Charcoal. I’ve added a capsule to the clay and just a little extra liquid. The combo has worked great. Here’s a link to my Charcoal Peel off mask is you want to try a feel off blackhead mask.
  • Veronica mentions using your toner as the liquid. I’ve used an ACV toner for a while now, but you can use your own toner. If you want to try my ACV toner recipe click here. I’ve been adding green tea instead of water and it has been so amazing for my skin.

As with anything that you want to see results from, you have to be consistent. After the initial 2 week bootcamp, use the mask a few times a week to keep up your results.

 

 

*****Veronica says to do her Skincare Bootcamp as tolerated. That means to back off the frequency of use if you notice your skin becoming too dry, irritated, or it hurts or burns.*****

 

Leave me a comment below or on my other social media pages and let me know if you add anything else to your clay mask or if you had great results with the bootcamp to shrink your pores like I did.

 

Veronica’s Video if you want to watch it:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs75J0v-RwA

Farah Dhukai’s video. If you need a better visual of how to make the mask and what it should look like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL-lh43OyCw

The article I mentioned at the beginning about clays.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904249/

DIY Honey Facewash

Honey Face Wash for Acne

Honey is amazing for your skin. It’s been used for thousands of years all around the world for healing and medicinal purposes. It’s anti-bacterial, has anti fungal properties, moisturizes, and has antioxidants. That makes it perfect to use in a honey face wash for acne. I’ve been playing with this recipe for a few weeks now and I’ve finally perfected it. So if you want to find out how to hydrate your skin and clear acne, keep reading.

Ingredients:

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3 tbsp Honey (raw unfiltered or manuka, either will work)

1 tbsp Castile soap (any scent, I used Dr. Bronner’s brand Lavender)

1 tbsp water (cooled off boiled or distilled)

1/2 tsp of jojoba oil (you can use grapeseed or almond oil as well)

20 drops of lavender and tea tree oil essential oils

How to make it:

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1.  Pour the 3 tablespoons of honey into your container. It is thick so I used a chopstick to help push it through quicker.

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2. Add your tablespoon of Castile Soap. I only had peppermint, but I’ve made it with lavender as well.

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3. Add your 1/2 teaspoon of Jojoba oil.

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4. Add your 20 drops each of Lavender Essential Oil and Tea Tree Essential Oil. You can also use Frankincense essential oil, but I can’t stand the smell so I chose not to use it.

5. Add the tablespoon of water. I used boiled water that had cooled, but you can also use distilled water if you have it.

 

As you can see from the picture above, the honey takes a while to drain all the way through. Once everything is added together, swirl it until everything is combined. It will look like this if you use a dark manuka honey like me.

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How to use:

Wet your face with warm water and pour a nickel to quarter sized amount into the palm of your hand.  Lather it a little and work into your skin for at least one minute. Rinse it off with warm water and apply a toner. I use this recipe. Pat your skin dry with a paper towel or clean hand towel and moisturize.

The results:

The combination has been working to clear my skin of acne. I’ve noticed my skin is softer, more hydrated, and smoother. Aloe vera can also be added to the face wash to moisturize and kill acne bacteria even more. Down below are a few sites that I used to help make my decision to make my face wash. They also helped to make my choices for which ingredients to use.

https://draxe.com/homemade-honey-face-wash-clear-skin/

https://draxe.com/tea-tree-oil-uses-benefits/

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tea/treeoil.htm

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/aloevera

I hope this recipe helps clear your skin just as much as it’s been helping with mine. If you added other ingredients let me know below.

 

Effective Acne Treatments

10 Most Effective Acne Treatments

I’ve compiled a list of the 10 most effective acne treatments. We’ve all been there. You wake up in the morning in a good mood, go to the bathroom, look and mirror and boom! There’s a little monster on your face. Or if you’re like me she start to feel a small painful bump that grows into another facial feature by next day. Pimples, zits, blemishes..no matter what you call them, they are annoying, confidence crushing little bumps of evil. These are a few ways you can combat them back into submission and gain back your beautiful skin. I’ve also included my research. Not only do they work for me, but it’s backed up by science;)

Natural fixes:

Honey.

That’s raw unfiltered honey to you my friend. Or you can try it’s even more powerful cousin, Manuka honey. Use it on your entire face because of it’s ability to brighten and retain moisture. If you’re not feeling all that honey, just spot treating will get you there as well. Dab some on your little friend and place a bandaid over it so you can sleep in it. After a night or two, not only will it be smaller or completely gone, but it won’t be leaving such a dark spot behind.

https://draxe.com/the-many-health-benefits-of-raw-honey/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

Garlic.

You’re asking garlic? Yes garlic my friend. Garlic has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties making it a great weapon against those pesky blemishes. I take a clove and slice a small sliver off. Then I score it to get the juices going (where the good stuff is) and rub it back and forth over my blemish. I’ll warn you now, it does sting. But what’s that saying “beauty is painful”?

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/garlic

Onion

Another stinky but nutrient rich food. It contains sulfur which is the great stuff in the juice of an onion that helps with acne. You can squeeze out the juice and put it on a cotton pad to spot treat. Or you can just go for it and rub a slice of it on your problem area or areas.

http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=2248

Apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar just happens to be one of my favorite things to keep in my house because it has so many uses. I use it internally as well as externally. I use it as part of my homemade toner to keep the oils in control as well as prevention of acne. It can also be used as a spot treatment. Just use a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and spot treat your blemishes.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150915105208.htm

Tea tree oil

It is a mighty weapon against blemishes. It does not smell good, but it makes up for it in antiseptic powers. I put a drop or two on a q-tip or cotton ball and hold it over my blemish for a minute or so. I’ve done this for a day or two and have seen significant shrinkage or complete disappearance of a zit.

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tea/treeoil.htm

https://draxe.com/tea-tree-oil-uses-benefits/

https://www.dandruffdeconstructed.com/best-tea-tree-shampoo/

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has been used for 1,000’s years and for good reason. It is amazing for skin. It can help with burns, psoriasis, and of course acne. We had 3 or 4 big aloe plants in our yard as a kid and whenever we got sunburn, we used it to soothe the sting. I use the actual gel from the plant, but you can also buy it from the store in a bottle or tube. Because of it’s antioxidant properties, it’s great to put on the skin any way. I use it in a mask with honey to help calm the painful pimples I get, especially around that time of the month. From my research, it seems it would be even more powerful if consumed.

https://draxe.com/aloe-vera-benefits/

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/aloevera

Sea Salt

Ever been to the beach and the next day your acne is beginning to dry out and peel? That’s because of the salt water. It dries up the blemish. It has so many amazing health benefits besides being able to use it for acne. Make sure you’re using Himalayan Salt or a another high quality sea salt for all of the benefits.

There are so many ways to sooth and get rid of acne using sea salt. You can go to the beach or drop some in boiling water on the stove and give your self a steam facial. It can also be used as an exfoliation scrub with an oil such as Grape seed or jojoba. You can also use the warm salt water on your face directly using a washcloth.

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/health-benefits-of-sea-salt.html

 

Over the counter fixes:

Having started my natural living journey only a few years ago, I still have some acne fixes that work without being natural.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels

These things are absolutely amazing. I’ve been using them for over 6 years now and I’m continually amazed at the results they provide. They are expensive, but they work honey! These little miracle pads are cruelty free too. So not natural but a great alternative. They have salicylic acid and a lot of other great ingredients that significantly shrink blemishes as well as exfoliate and brighten skin.

http://drdennisgross.com/skincare/product-type/peels/ab-face-ex-str-30-jar.html

Benzoyl Peroxide

This stuff is amazing for helping to clear the skin. I tend not to use it too often because it can irritate the skin because of its strength. I use it as a spot treatment as well as a leave on  layer before my moisturizer. It clears by killing bacteria on the face. I use the Paula’s Choice brand because it’s cruelty free.

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1344/benzoyl-peroxide-topical/details

http://www.paulaschoice.com/shop/skin-care-categories/targeted-solutions/_/Clear-Regular-Strength-Daily-Skin-Clearing-Treatment/

Salicylic Acid

You’ve probably heard about salicylic acid before. It’s a beta hydro acid with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. If you walk down any beauty aisle you will see a ton of products with salicylic acid. They even put it into primers and foundation now. You will most likely find this in products as opposed to finding it in a bottle by itself. The most common place is in face washes or toners. It can be effective when used with other acne fighting products such as in the alpha beta peel by Dr.Dennis Gross.

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/salicylic_acid#section=Top

 

I hope this gives you some different ways to conquer your acne. Do you have any other remedies that you swear by to clear blemishes? Well share the wealth my friend and let me know down below!

DIY Toner with Apple cider Vinegar

DIY Facial Toner- Clears Acne Brightens Skin

***This post contains affiliate links. Any organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar will do, but the amazon link is a great deal. I do receive compensation if you buy it through the link…so in other words thanks for helpin a sista out!***

 

Why should I use a toner you ask? Well according to the this article on today.com, you should use it for many reasons. One of them being it restores the pH balance of your skin after washing. Throwing off the pH balance in the skin can lead to skin issues such as wrinkles, inflammation, and even acne. I don’t know about you, but those aren’t exactly things I want to deal with if I can help it. Below I show you how to make your own toner to help you clear acne and brighten skin.

Knowing that I should use toner and wanting to be cruelty free, I choose to make my own. I came up with this recipe by using an idea from these two ladies Farah Dhukai and Funkmaster Diaries on YouTube. It combines Green Tea and Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s super easy to make and cost very little money. The great thing about this recipe is that you can totally drink it, so you know it’s perfectly safe to put on your skin.

I’ve found that Apple Cider Vinegar benefits the inside and the outside of my body. I use it to keep my digestive system running smoothly and I use it in my hair as a conditioner. See the recipe here.  Using it as a toner for my face has helped keep my oils balanced and helps with my acne. Here’s how I make it.

 

How to make it:

Apple Cider Vinegar-3 oz. As you can see I use Bragg’s but any raw unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar will do.

Green Tea (Make 3 to 4 bags and allow to cool)-3oz

optional– essential oils (I used tea tree and lavender)- 15 drops each. I’ve made it with and without before.

Plastic container– My bottle is 6oz. and from target in the travel toiletry section. It was $1.00.

 

1.Pour in your Apple Cider Vinegar.

2. Pour in your cooled Green Tea.

3. Pour in your essential oils if you plan on using them. 10 to 15 drops for each. Remember this part is optional.

4. Shake vigorously and pour a small amount onto a cotton pad. If you used the raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, it may have some of the mother (cloudy gooey good for you substance) in it. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you:)

5. Gently apply to your face in a circular swiping motion, allow to dry, and then add your favorite serum then moisturizer.

6. Store in a cool dry place or in the refrigerator.

The results:

This 6oz. bottle typically last me about 2-3 weeks. If it begins to smell, it’s time to whip up another batch.

The Green Tea tends to cover up the smell of the Apple Cider Vinegar. Adding the essential oils help with the smell as well. You’ll also notice that I used a 1:1 ratio of Apple Cider Vinegar to water or 1 part ACV to 1 part Green Tea. If you have more sensitive skin or the smell is just too much, drop it down to a 1:4 ratio of ACV to Green Tea or 1 part ACV to 4 Green Tea.

See…easy peasy and fun creating your own product! Affordable, easy to make, great for your skin, natural, and cruelty free!

Let me know down below in the comments how you liked it or if you used another liquid in place of the Green Tea.

 

DIY Lavender Coconut Shampoo

Homemade Lavender Coconut Shampoo

 

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A DIY nourishing, moisturizing shampoo made with lavender castile soap and coconut milk. So as you can tell from my other pictures, I have long hair. It’s curly, course, and thiiiick…like thighs baby:) A few years ago, I started using the No Poo method. It made my hair grow like crazy. I talk about it here. It doesn’t quite moisturize my hair like I would like and sometimes I just want to wash and go. Using NoPoo is a little more involved with the baking soda and vinegar and essential oils with the water. So I started looking for recipes to make shampoo myself. I found several different recipes and settled on one with coconut milk. I knew it would be nourishing for my sometimes unruly hair.

I made a small batch at first to test it out….didn’t want to waste the ingredients if I didn’t like it on my hair.

How to make it:

1 Plastic Squeeze bootle (Got it from my local health food store for less than $2)

1/2 cup Dr.Bronner’s Castile Soap (I used the lavender kind. I got a 2 pack from Marshall’s but you can get it from pretty much any store these days)

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1/3 cup of Coconut Milk (from Target, but you can use any coconut milk)

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1/2 tbsp of Almond oil (Got mine from WholeFoods, but you can use any oil you have on hand…coconut, castor, jojoba)

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15 drops each of Peppermint and Rosemary essential oils. (I got both from WholeFoods, just different brands)

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Once I mixed all of the ingredients together, I gave the bottle a shake. And voila! My own shampoo.

The results:

I shook it up well in the shower and used it just as I would for any other shampoo. It was like silk because of the coconut milk. It lathered well and rinsed out so my hair felt squeaky clean…could literally hear it squeak. The difficult part was combing my hair out. It did leave a little bit of moisture, but not as much as I would have liked. But now two days later, My girls are like boing!

Update:

I didn’t like that it left behind some of the oils along my scalp and made my hair difficult to comb, so I tweaked the recipe and added 1/2 a cup of Castile soap instead 1/3 of a cup. Then I used a vinegar rinse to get the last little bit out and my hair. It made my hair feel so amazing! It was just what I needed to complete my hair cleansing routine.

Vinegar Rinse Recipe:

Just use 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar to 3 Parts warm water and put on your hair as your conditioner. Let it sit just like you would your normal conditioner. Go about the rest of your shower routine and rinse out at the end.

Why You should use it:

The great thing about the ACV rinse is it makes your hair shinier, I didn’t have a hard time combing it out, my scalp feels squeaky clean, and it doesn’t leave the residue on my back like regular conditioner can. My regular conditioner usually gave me bacne. Who wants to trade one problem for another? Nobody! I also had so much less hair fall out while I was washing my hair. I recommend using a vinegar rinse a few times a week anyway. It may smell a little stinky, but once it dries you’ll never know you used it. The only evidence will be your shiny hair. It’s also great for getting the residue off of your scalp.

I hope this recipe works out for some other people. It feels so great being able to control what goes on your hair. You don’t feel like it’s going to fall out because there’s some crazy chemical from your store bought shampoo and conditioner. This was also a pretty affordable recipe. I had most of the ingredients because I use them pretty frequently anyway.

 

Let me know how it works for you or if you chose other ingredients.

 

Amazing Blackhead Remover Charcoal Mask

***This post does have affiliate links to the products that I used. I do receive a small percentage through these links, but you are by no means required to purchase through them.***

mask

 

Ever heard the phrase “Youtube made me buy it”? Well in this case it really is true. Youtube made me try it.

Activated charcoal is becoming pretty popular in the beauty community. There are face washes, masks, and even Biore strips with charcoal as one of the main ingredients. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s actually a supplement used to aid in digestion. So why in the world use it on your face right? Well according to the Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal label it has  “small chambers and cavities that bind up unwanted material or gas”. When you hear of someone getting their stomachs pumped, typically charcoal is used to bring the unwanted toxin out of the body. It’s been used in beauty recently because it’s thought to have the same binding action on your pores, cleaning them out.

I use charcoal for many different DIY masks but I left mine in Maui and had to buy a new bottle. It costs about $8 or $9 from my local health food store. I bought the glue for $1 from Target. The Elmer’s brand non-toxic glue is what my students used to love getting on their hands at Christmas time during out crafts and activities. You remember the stuff from being a kid, some genius classmate put it on his hands and let it dry and then started peeling it like skin. Well the mixture of the charcoal and glue kind of create the same consistency, a peel.

I am always looking for new ways to keep my face clear and extract all of the stuff that comes along with having oily skin and especially oily t-zone. I’ve tried all kinds of masks, peels and scrubs to keep my skin looking youthful. So while watching YouTube the other day, all of these DIY masks started popping up and the thumbnail pictures had me intrigued. I wanted to get that stuff out of my pores too! So I decided to give it a go.

Now I watched several different YouTube videos on how to do this mask. After watching Sylvia Gani’s video, I felt like I had a grasp of what to do.

How to Make it:

1.I opened 3 capsules (or a teaspoon) of my activated charcoal and poured them into my plastic bowl. They can be messy so be careful opening them.


2.I then began pouring in small amounts of the Elmer’s non-toxic school glue and stirred it until all was incorporated. Easy right?

3.Well then I put it on my face in sweeping motions using my ELF foundation brush. I covered all the areas of my face, being sure to avoid any hair…eyebrows,lashes, and hairline (I think I would cry if I accidentally ripped some out) and made sure that I didn’t see any of my skin through the mask. No bubbles or thin spots.

4.Now we wait…and wait….and wait. It took a good thirty minutes for it to dry. In the YouTube video she used her blowdryer so that’s an option too, but I had nothing better to do. I made the mistake of layering it on too thick in some places, so when I went to peel it off, I realized it wasn’t quite dry enough. So avoid my mistake and let it dry alllll the way.

5. Begin at the bottom of your face and start rolling/peeling the mask away. I couldn’t get mine in all one piece.

***Disclaimer***

Use at your own risk. If you have sensitive skin or a low pain threshold, this mask may not be for you. It hurts! I have a pretty high pain thresh hold. Brazilian waxing, having long course hair, and a need to pop painful zits has built up my tolerance. It still hurt…bad. My little peach fuzz mustache was history! So avoid your hair! It’s glue so when it dries, it will pull those beautiful eyebrows you’ve worked so hard to get, out.

Results:

Now the good news. It cleared out quite a bit of gunk in the places I hadn’t used my comedone extractor. I tend to use my comedone extractor everyday after I shower. This is not a mask I would use often, because it hurts. Like I said in the disclaimer, if you have sensitive skin, it may not be for you.

 

Let me know in the comments how it went. Loose an eyebrow? Or did it give you that satisfying Biore strip result?

Clear Your Skin Naturally after a Breakout of Acne

Here are 7 steps of how to clear your skin naturally after a breakout. Just a side note before we jump in- I’m not a dermatologist but these things have worked for me. They’re not products just things you can do or change to get that beautiful skin we all want. I find that when I stray from this, my skin starts to show it pretty quickly. This was the routine I used once I got off of birth control so I know there was nothing else that was affecting it.

Consistency

I’ve had highs and lows when it comes to my face. Perfectly clear youthful glowing skin and not wanting to leave the house because its so terrible kind of skin. So I feel your pain…sometimes literally (those painful zits can hurt like nobody’s business). I always got clear skin and slacked on my skin care routine because I thought of it as a final goal instead of a lifestyle. So when you find something that works for you, keep it up…even after your skin is clear.

What’s causing it?

Some may find that it’s hormones, some know it’s their diet, some are just blessed with those amazing brown eyes from dad and acne prone skin from mom, and sometimes its a combination. I happen to be one of those lucky ladies in the last category. I can’t do anything about my genes, but I can clean up my eating.

I’ve found that binging on too much sugar makes my face just explode with zits. Eating clean has made a huge difference in my skin. I watched a youtube video the other day about clearing acne with an antioxidant rich diet. Check out the video here. I try to keep any added sugar from my diet period. I also incorporate as many vitamin and mineral rich foods into my diet as possible. Adding spinach and fruit to my protein smoothies. Eating more veggies than pasta at dinner. Taking a multi vitamin. All of those small changes make a difference.

Exercise

I know. It seems like it may not make a difference, but sweating can help get the gunk out of your pores and circulate the blood so your skin renews itself more quickly. It also makes you feel great and keeps my stress levels in check. I’ve also noticed that when I exercise, I don’t want to destroy my progress by eating junk so I eat more healthily.

Water

Just like with your diet, water makes a huge difference. It flushes out toxins, circulates the blood, and keeps your precious skin hydrated. When my skin starts to look sallow or grimy, I can almost always trace it back to how much water I’ve been consuming recently. It also helps with filling me up so I don’t get the cravings for high sugar foods.

Beauty regimen

Here’s the juicy stuff. Use what works. Now you know me, I am cruelty free and as natural as possible. It’s made a difference. Just like with inside your body, you want to know whats going on the outside as well. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, it may not be the best for you.

To initially clear my skin, I started with Paula’s Choice Benzoyl Peroxide treatment. At the same time I’m using a charcoal face wash called Natural Body Care Charcoal Facial Detox. It’s worked great so far. But you may not have the same skin as me, so as I said before find something that works for you and stick with it. Now, once you’ve washed, tone. I use apple cider vinegar and water with a little bit of lavender oil. You can find my recipe here. Then I treat any spots with tea tree oil. I talk about how here. Now, moisturize. Use something that works for you. I don’t have a specific one I use all the time because I rotate them out. But I do make sure my day moisturizer has an spf. I mostly use Coola face spf.

Masks

These can be soooo messy but so much fun. It’s like you can be your own chemist. I use several and mix in and out the ingredients. I have to say the most effective is raw natural unfiltered honey. If you do nothing else, this will make a huge difference.

After washing, I wet my hands, grab a tablespoons worth and smear it on my face. Beware- it gets everywhere, but it leaves wherever it touched baby booty soft. I let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Longer if you can stand it, like an hour. It has been the biggest game changer for me hands down. I also use indian healing clay and apple cider vinegar. It really cleans out your pores.

When my skin is really bad, I’ll do the honey mask after my morning wash and the indian healing clay after my night wash. You can even add essential oils or spices such as turmeric or cinnamon. I’m pretty sure I remember hearing that the acv neutralizes the turmeric so use water on those days. Have fun with it, just test it out because some of these can be pretty strong.

Patience

If you see even a small difference, keep it up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done harsh things to clear my skin and end up damaging it more because of my impatience. One thing I’ve been guilty in the past of doing is picking at my pimples. So take my advice and don’t pick. It really only makes it worse by inflaming the skin and leaving dark spots behind. Let them go down with the products and diet. You make have to look at the pimple for a few days, but it’s better than looking at a dark spot for months on end.

 

I hope any of this information can help you. If you have different remedies I would absolutely love to hear them. As I said, I am still not completely acne free, but slowly I’m getting there and these things have worked for me.

Leave a reply if any of these things worked for you. Do you have any other tips for me? I know how miserable it can be to have frustrating skin.

Grow Longer Hair

8 Steps to Grow Your Hair Longer and Stronger

This is a list of 8 steps to grow your hair. Mine didn’t grow for years and I couldn’t understand why either. So I did some research and started making small changes.

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I stopped using so much heat, started going longer between washes and the biggest difference I saw was incorporating no-poo into my routine. You would not believe the results (which is why I’ve included pictures). Above is from my wedding (couldn’t find a good more recent picture, but like I said it didn’t grow for years) and the one below is from a day date with my hubby. I would say my hair stayed the same length for about 4 years. I maybe had one or two inches in that time. Once I started doing these, it took only about a month before I noticed how significantly longer my hair was. They’re not as quick as the inversion method, but they’re things you can incorporate and keep up with to keep your hair healthy and growing.

1. Don’t wash it everyday.

I know this seems gross, but washing (especially with conventional shampoo and conditioner) your hair everyday, strips it of its natural oils. That makes your hair fall out easier and break easier. Which means even if it does grown, it may not be healthy looking. I tend to wash it 2 times a week max and that’s if I get too sweaty from working out and there’s just no way around it. I’ve gone up to five days without washing if I see no oil at my scalp and feel no itching or build up. Also, don’t pile it on top of your head to wash. Massage your fingers and nails on your scalp. This is part of what makes the inversion method so successful. It stimulates the blood flow and just feels good.

2. Comb it with a wide toothed comb after you wash and leave it.

Don’t play with it too much. I know it’s tempting…that just washed feel. aaaah. You’ll notice you lose less hair when you don’t play in it though and it’s less likely to break.

3. Instead of towel drying or even worse blowdrying, use an old t-shirt.

I twist my hair inside of the t-shirt (not too tight though) and let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes. Then I braid it and forget it about. I rarely lose any hairs as opposed to when I towel dry and create friction on my precious mane. This helps with frizz. Which has been one of my hair issues for a long time. Goes with the curly hair territory.

4. Trim it.

Every 8 weeks or so. You can do this yourself at home. Part it in the middle, twist (as if you’re putting it in a bun, and use haircutting shears to trim the bottom 1/2 inch or however far up your split ends are. This keeps you from having to cut even more off in the long run. It also gets rid of that unkempt look that slit ends causes.

5. Don’t use heat.

Now are there times I want my hair to look a certain way? Yes, but I avoid heat if I can. There are so many tutorials on youtube to get curls with no heat. Try one that works for you. I pretty much live in some kind of braid or bun. Let’s face it, I can be lazy. When I use heat, its once or twice a month, if that and the heat setting is set low. I get less split ends and I don’t have to trim as much off.

6. Choose your shampoo and conditioner wisely.

I switch back and forth between Theorie Green Tea Energizing Shampoo and conditioner and using the no-poo method.

I would say the biggest game changer for me and why my hair finally started to grow, was switching to no poo for a while. It made such a difference in how shiny my hair was and how healthy it looked. I cannot stress how great it was for my thick, coarse, curly hair. It keeps the build up off of my scalp (which prevents your hair from growing) and saves money… shampoo is expensive!

7. Deep conditioning treatments.

I use a combination of treatments based on what I have available to me at that time. Coconut oil, almond oil or even castor oil are some of my favorites. I have made FarahDhukai’s Hot Oil treatment. I use almond oil instead because that’s the oil my hair responds best to. I’ve also used Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque sometimes. Your hair smells great afterwards. With the deep repair masque you want to make sure you don’t put it directly on your scalp. That will defeat the purpose.

8. Love your hair.

Give it a little massage while your sitting on the couch. It feels amazing and stimulates growth. I also do this when I’m washing, conditioning it and drying it. Get the blood flowing up there. It works, believe me.

 

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I followed these steps and my hair has grown from just below my bra strap (as seen in the picture from my wedding) to me having to keep it out of my butt crack. My bangs grew from my eyebrows to almost all the way back to the length of the rest of my hair in just over a year. Give these a try and go whip that hair back and forth girl!

I mentioned above about the inversion method. I’ve seen on Farah Dhukai’s YouTube channel that you can flip your head upside down and massage in a warm oil mixture and it will make your hair grow in weeks. I haven’t tried it yet, but I am going to and will let you know how fast my hair grows.

If you’ve tried it let me know about your results:)

Essential Oils for Beauty

4 Essential Oils for Naturally amazing skin and hair

Essential oils have so many uses. If you want more flawless looking skin, use these 4 essential oils for naturally amazing skin and hair.

One of the perks of being married to the director of a spa is all the products I get to try and the massages I get. I’ve always chosen to have lavender oil used when I get a massage. It’s so relaxing and is hands down one of my favorite scents in the world. It’s part of what led me to start using essential oils for other purposes such as beauty remedies or diy products. That and wanting to live a more natural and cruelty free life style.

The journey to finding natural alternatives to use in my every day life has been a fun one. Learning that these oils have been used by so many throughout history makes me wonder why we got away from using them to help treat our bodies. Essential oils can be used in so many different ways including household products. I don’t use them as much for cleaning, but they make their way onto or into my body daily.

Lavender Essential Oil– You want to make sure you’re getting the real stuff Lavendula Agustufola. I use it ev-er-ry-where!

1. I mentioned in my no poo post about using it in my “conditioner”. It moisturizes and makes my hair smell amazing. 2. I also use it in my dryer. I put a few drops onto tennis balls and my clothes smell so great when they’re dry. Not over powering either.

3. I also use it in my beauty masks as well. A few drops with some tea tree oil ,which I mentioned in my natural beauty faves post, in some raw honey or combined with acv( apple cider vinegar) and indian healing clay can make all the difference in my skin.

4. I make a spray with water and use it on my feet at night to keep calm and fall asleep faster. Just 15 or 20 drops with some water and spray it on the bottom of your feet. The pores there help absorb it into the body pretty quickly.

Tea Tree Oil– This stuff isn’t the most pleasant smelling. But it works wonders in killing bacteria.

1. I use it on a cotton pad and hold it for several seconds over my acne and almost immediately it is gone. I’ve seen firsthand how it can shrink a zit over night (if it’s a monster you can use garlic although it does sting a bit). I use it on my face mostly in masks and to spot treat.

2. I used it in my homemade shampoos too.

Peppermint Oil-

1. I use peppermint oil in my shampoo. When I say shampoo, I mean using baking soda and water to make it. I add 10-20 drops.

2. I add it to my coffee with mocha flavor around Christmas time to make my own peppermint mocha drink. Who needs to spend all that money at Starbucks anyway! You only need a few drops. It’s potent!

3. You can also use it to clear your sinuses. Just dab a little underneath your nose…I’ve had allergies so I know this trick works.

4. It keeps you alert too so you can sniff it to wake yourself up a little bit. That’s why sometimes they tell you to chew spearmint gum while studying . It helps with mental clarity and I’ve even heard it can help you remember better…not sure if that’s true or not.

Rosemary Oil- I first learned to use Rosemary oil from Farah Dhukai. She has tons of great DIY hair masks on her YouTube channel. I wanted to grow my hair and make it softer.

1. When I make my baking soda “shampoo” I use peppermint and rosemary drops to to help with natural hair growth. It smells great too.

2. The mask I used Rosemary oil in is 10 to 20 drops in a couple teaspoons of almond oil. Heat it slightly in the microwave and massage into your scalp. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before a shower (longer is better in this case though). Wash it out with your normal shampoo and conditioner. It leaves your hair feeling softer and helps with hair growth.

I use these oils on an everyday basis and it feels so good knowing that I’m not putting some harsh chemicals into my body whether it’s through my mouth or my skin. I’m learning more everyday and am having so much fun adding more and more to my collection.

Do you have any that you can’t live without? Or other ways you use the essential oils that I mentioned? Let me know in the comments below:)

5 Best Natural Exfoliators for your skin

Don’t want to use a fancy, expensive, chemical exfoliator? Here are the 5 best natural exfoliators for your skin.

We’ve all been there. Looking down and seeing that dry crackley skin. Not cute. Whether it’s on your feet, your legs or your face, everyone wants to look their best and dry skin can prevent us from doing that. I can’t count how many times I’ve had that ruddy textured look to my skin. The best way to get rid of that besides drinking lots of water is to exfoliate that dead skin away. It’s got ta go!

Now the list I’m giving you is of physical exfoliants, meaning you have to manually work them into the skin in order to see results. There are chemical exfoliants, but that’s a whole other post.

1. Sand

I know, I know…not every one lives close to the beach. As I sit here I’m dreaming of the beaches of Maui and wanting to go back so badly. When I would go, I’d come back and feel like you’ve had a pedicure.  Well those small grains of sand massaged all of that dead skin right off of your feet. All you’ll need is to go to the beach and sit near the water line and massage the sand over the rougher parts of your tootsies. I did this as a kid too, but then it was just for fun.

2. Coffee

Don’t live near the beach (or large body of water)? Well use coffee. I’ve been using it for years and it works miracles. Beware, if you use it on your face, go easy because those little grounds beans can hurt. I usually do this in the shower or over my kitchen sink (easier clean up). Just take a handful of coffee and massage it into my skin. I focus on the areas where the skin tends to build up more, my t-zone and jawline…pesky hormonal acne. Sometimes I even use an essential oil such as lavender to get more benefits.

3. Sugar

Sugar is a great option if you want something a little more gentle. You can buy sugar scrubs at pretty much any beauty store, but why spend the money when you most likely have the ingredients in your pantry. Combine it with some almond or coconut oil for a great smelling and moisturizing scrub. Use the same method as with coffee and massage it into the skin. I tend to use this mixture on my legs before I shave to get rid of all that dead skin. Makes them silky smooth and makes shaving easier too.

4. Turmeric and Cinnamon Mixture

These are spices that you probably have on your spice rack right at this moment. They’re from that curry you made or those cinnamon sugar cookies you baked for that party. What you probably didn’t know is they are great anti-inflammatories and they can also help you battle your acne issues while exfoliating. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in the eastern parts of the world, not only for cooking but medicinal purposes as well.

I use both spices in a honey mask to help combat my skin problems. Just half a palm full of each and a tablespoon of honey create a soothing and tasty mask. I let it sit for 30 minutes or more. Once it’s time to wash it off, I scrub my skin in circular motions to rub off dead skin. The only drawback is the turmeric stains everything, your skin, hair, clothes and nails. So be aware of that before you put this mask on.

5. Salt

I know, just makes my poor pores sting thinking about it. Salt is great for your skin though, and it can help with acne. Epsom salt is made up of magnesium sulfate and can soothe sore muscles and help the body to detox in a bath. Bonus! It can be used for the skin too. Soak in the bath and then grab a handful, you may need a partner, and work it into the skin. I’ve never used this on my face before so because cautious if you’re going to use it there.

You can use it in the shower too. Same deal just standing. Grab a palm full and gently work into the spots you want to exfoliate.

 

 

Do you have any other ways you exfoliate. I’m always looking for new ways to get all that dead skin off. Have you used any of these? Let me know down below in the comments.