Monthly Archives: February 2016

EVEN MOAR DIY!

Before I get into today’s post, I have a small announcement to make. I’m going to pare down my blogging schedule to Tuesdays only. My Thursday posts get less than half the amount of views that my Tuesday posts get. So, once per week it is!

For today’s post, I’ll be sharing a few more skincare DIY recipes from The Body Shop Body Care Manual. It’ll be short and sweet!

Tea Tree Oil Mask

teatreeoilmask

Mix everything together and apply to clean skin in a thin layer, avoiding the eye and lip area. Leave it on for ten minutes before rinsing with warm (not hot!) water.

Why it’s legit: This mask is perfect for oily and blemish prone skin because tea tree oil is deep-cleansing. It will help combat those problems. Tea tree oil is also antibacterial which will soothe blemishes as well as prevent new ones from forming. Be sure to apply moisturizer afterwards, because even oily skin needs moisture. You can find the kaolin at most health food stores/herb shops, and the oat flour can usually be found in the bulk foods section. Make sure you’re using quality EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)!

Detoxifying Steam Treatment

essentialsteam

You’ll be pretty familiar with these DIY steams, especially if you’re broke! You basically make a tent with a towel over your head and absorb the steam coming off of the bowl. Find a comfortable distance and steam for 5-10 minutes (5 minutes the drier your skin is, 10 the more oily). If you hate the scent of grapefruit like I do, try switching out the grapefruit slices and oils for juniper, geranium, or sweet orange. All of these offer detoxifying benefits. REMEMBER TO MOISTURIZE AFTER STEAMING!

Why it’s legit: Grapefruit is known to detoxify and tone the skin, as well as relieve acne. A steam treatment like this will dislodge any grime and makeup residue that may be lingering; it softens dead skin cells, which makes them easier to exfoliate. A good steam session increases circulation and relaxes facial muscles. Just don’t overdo it!

Lavender Bath

lavenderbath

This is the most simple of these DIY projects. You get a warm bath going (not too hot or you’ll feel drained), include all of the ingredients, and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. To up the relaxation and detox effect, add in some Epsom salt.

Why it’s legit: Everyone knows of the soothing and relaxing properties of lavender. Chamomile and Clary Sage are also very relaxing. Taking a nice soak a few times per week lowers your stress levels, relaxes your muscles, and helps you unwind mentally. Soaking in the tub for an extended amount of time also forces you to meditate, as you can’t do anything but sit in the tub and listen to music, or read, if you’re confident in your grip!

Starting next week, I’ll be switching to just Tuesday posts! Will you be trying any of these DIY suggestions over the weekend? Let me know in the comments below!

(Sources:

Tea tree oil image: http://www.natural-homeremedies.com/fitness/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Tea-Tree-Oil.jpg

Grapefruit image: http://previews.123rf.com/images/boroda/boroda1012/boroda101200003/8447474-Abstract-red-background-with-citrus-fruit-of-grapefruit-slices-Close-up–Stock-Photo.jpg

Lavender image: http://www.travelization.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/lavender-flowers-wallpapers-2560×1920.jpg)

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DIY Cleanser Wipes + The Spoonie Esthetician’s Skincare Routine

Let me be REALLY honest with you guys. I cannot, for the life of me, find the link to the original post that inspired this. A classmate made these cleansing pads and text me the link to the recipe, but I didn’t save it, I just wrote down the recipe and variations. I feel terrible that I can’t directly link to it! But I do know that the blog is One Good Thing, so maybe you can do better digging than I can.

Part two of my honesty: my health is declining. I have no spoons left even though I haven’t done much since Sunday night (Google autoimmune spoon theory if you don’t know what I’m talking about). So, much like my skincare routine lately, I’m phoning in this blog post. I promise that as soon as I’m feeling better, I’ll post better content.

So now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about today’s post! Facial wipes are, without a doubt, the holy grail in low-maintenance skincare. They’re convenient, don’t require water, and you can use them when you’re about to crash/are too high or drunk to wash your face/your spoons are low and standing at the sink seems impossible. However, they are not the best for your skin. They’re often made with rough fabric and cheap ingredients that dry/break out your skin. They can leave your skin feeling greasy and dry at the same time. The best of both worlds is to make some wipes yourself that contain the right ingredients but are still convenient and easy to stash in your bedside table.

Before I get into the recipes, here’s my low spoons skincare routine. In my bedside table, I keep wipes, a small spray bottle of toner, and a travel-sized moisturizer. After wiping my face down, I spritz on the toner and massage in some moisturizer. Obviously, this is not ideal for long-term use. If I have to do this at night, I try to take extra care to treat my skin in the morning, or vice-versa. But, this is a better solution than just using a wipe by itself and calling it good.

On to the recipes!

basicrecipe

This very basic recipe is what you’ll soak your material in. You can use cotton squares, cotton rounds, flannel pieces, whatever you prefer. Put the material in a glass jar, pour the liquid over it, and ta-da! Your wipes are ready once they’ve absorbed the liquid. Now, since there are no preservatives in this mixture, you’ll want to make this in VERY small batches. You could try adding a liquid exfoliant to the mixture to act as a preservative.

Here are some ideas for the essential oil blend to include:

oilyskin comboskin

dryskin   aging

breakouts

As you can see, these are not necessarily an inexpensive alternative to store bought facial wipes. All of these essential oils can be quite pricey. You can absolutely choose just two or three oils from each list! Although they might cost more than store bought wipes, they are far and away better for your skin. If you’d like a DIY toner, the same blog post included this one:

  1. 1/4 cup witch hazel
  2. 1/4 cup filtered water
  3. 10 drops essential oil

What are your “lazy skincare” tips and tricks? Do you think you would replace your store bought wipes with these? Let me know in the comments below!

(Sources:

Wipes: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/93/a4/39/93a4394c60791d3eef4edac0648def2d.jpg

Oily: http://www.onlyfoods.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Bergamot-oil-Images.jpg

Combo: http://draxe.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/lav-480×480.jpg

Dry: http://greenorganicsinternational.com/images-GOnew/roman-chamomile-feature1big.jpg

Breakouts: http://www.pagansworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/patchouli.jpg

Aging: https://www.truthinaging.com/media/thumbnails/1528.jpg

 

 

 

Rub It In (Benefits of Facial Massage)

Y’all…I had such a hard time thinking of a witty title for this post that wasn’t so wildly inappropriate that I couldn’t share it anywhere. I originally titled it, “Why You Should Rub It Out”, and then “Good Touches vs. Bad Touches”. My husband found them all hilarious, but I settled for something a bit more tame.

ANYWAY.

Today I’m talking about facial massage. This is one of those things that sound totally asinine until you study the benefits of it. I was hesitant to learn facial massage because we all know that pulling and tugging on your skin leads to wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. But, when done correctly (this is where the good touches vs. bad touches title came in), it can actually reduce those signs as well as provide other great benefits. Here are a few of them:

benefitsfacialmassage.jpg

So, as you can see, facial massage has hella benefits. And it’s pretty easy to do yourself, once you know what you’re doing. Before I get into techniques, let’s go over the different types of facial massage (there’s a few):

  • Swedish massage: This is massage at its most classical form. Chances are, whatever motions you envision when you think “massage”, it’s Swedish.
  • Acupressure: This oriental technique applies pressure to specific points of the body to release muscle tension, restore balance, and stimulate chi (life force; energy).
  • Shiatsu: No, this isn’t a breed of dog. It’s a Japanese take on acupressure, which is a bit more intensive and involves more points.
  • Pressure point: Another form of acupressure, the movement in each area is repeated 3-6 times. This form of massage requires necessary training in order to do it correctly.
  • Aromatherapy: This is a form of massage where essential oils are used based on their effect (lavender for relaxing, peppermint for pain relief, etc). The great thing about using essential oil in massage is that not only does it provide aromatherapy benefits, it provides skin benefits as well, depending on the oil used.
  • Manual Lymph Drainage: I had never heard of this form before going to school. It’s actually really cool, and a lot less icky than it sounds. It uses gentle, rhythmic pressure on the lymphatic system to detoxify and remove waste from the body more quickly. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO AVOID ANY MASSAGE OF ANY KIND IF YOU’VE GOT ALCOHOL IN YOUR SYSTEM FOR THIS REASON! It’s also excellent for reducing swelling and therefore is great for pre- and post-op care.

For self-massage, you’ll likely be using a combination of Swedish massage, acupressure, and aromatherapy.

Really quickly, I’d like to go over a few precautions:

nomassage.jpg

Keep everything lubed up and you should be good to go 😉

It’s All In the Technique

I would absolutely love to tell you all how to do facial massage the way I learned in school, but I’m pretty sure I’d get in trouble with Aveda. SO! I found a few images that are very, very close to what I know. The best way to perform facial massage is when you’re cleansing and applying moisturizer. If you use these techniques to apply product, it’ll become part of your routine and you won’t even think about it anymore! Use very gentle movements, and remember to NEVER pull or drag down on your face.

facial-massage9

facial-massage6

The movements here are fairly straightforward, knowing that you shouldn’t move downwards on the face. But if you need further instruction, the site I used for the above images provides excellent instruction. You can also watch this video, which provides a more in-depth explanation of the muscles you’re working on as well as technique.

For something quick and dirty, try this:

  1. When applying your cleanser, work it in in quick, gentle circles moving up your face. DON’T TUG!
  2. Use that same circular motion across your forehead and VERY, VERY lightly under the eyes, to encourage drainage (read: ease up the dark circles and bags).
  3. When you go to apply moisturizer, use a light roll and pat method, once again, working up the face instead of pulling down.

Have you ever had your face massaged before? Do you think a little facial massage would do you some good, and will you be incorporating it into your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments below!

(Sources:

First image: http://essenceofthesun.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/facial-hands.jpg

Second image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/67/Stop.svg/2000px-Stop.svg.png

Third image: http://rkaroma.com/media/wysiwyg/facial-massage9.jpg

Fourth image: http://rkaroma.com/media/wysiwyg/facial-massage6.jpg

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nknsl8_ODqU

Milady Esthetics Fundamentals textbook)

 

Why You Should See an Esthetician (More Than Once!)

whatesthisdo

I’m gonna be super honest and straightforward here. The main reason why you should see an esthetician (regularly) is that they have access to products you probably do not. The other reasons-the ones I’ll discuss in this post-are fringe benefits, and some of them are even things you could do yourself. But, it’s SO nice having someone else do it for you. It’s nice knowing someone went through training and acquired a certain skill set to work on your face. Here’s my personal list of why should see an esthetician!

  1. An esthetician can give you a deeper clean than you can get at home. Unless you have a Clairsonic, in which case, you’re probably good.
  2. An esthetician can SAFELY perform extractions. Not only has your esthetician been trained on the proper extracting technique, they’re knowledgeable on proper sanitation to ensure that no bacteria spreads. In addition, they’ll prep your skin for extractions with a steam treatment.
  3. An esthetician can determine exactly what your skin needs. You may be an expert on your skin type, and know all too well what concerns you have. But an esthi will be able to assess your skin’s needs from an academic standpoint and help you make more informed decisions.
  4. Your skin needs contact from another human. During the first half of my esthiology program, we would practice on each other. It didn’t matter that I lived at home with my (then) fiance, mother, and sisters, and was getting tons of physical attention daily. There was something so soothing and stress-releasing about having one of my classmates touch my face, massage my shoulders, etc. You need this kind of touch to thrive.
  5. Facial massage is super important. Facial massage improves circulation, assists in lymph drainage, and is an effective measure against aging and wrinkles. You can absolutely perform facial massage on yourself…but it’s so much nicer having someone else do it! Plus, an esthetician has been trained on the exact types of massage to perform on each section of the face.
  6. An esthetician can help you track your progress.
  7. An esthetician cannot diagnose…but they can spot something alarming, something you might have not thought to look for, and let you know that you should see a derm.
  8. Estheticians are full of information. We can give you hints, tips, and tricks galore. As part of our education, we learn about disorders of the skin, sanitation, nutrition, alternative therapies, massage techniques-so. If you’ve paid to be on our table, feel free to ask for our professional opinion!
  9. An esthetician will make you relax. Whether you want to or not.
  10. An esthetician will spend a lot of time with you. Each appointment, you are their only focus. For that hour (or however long your appointment is), they are focused on you and your concerns. Who wouldn’t want to be listened to uninterrupted for a good amount of time?
  11. An esthetician will help you put the perfect skincare routine in place.
  12. An esthetician receives a much more thorough skincare education than a cosmotologist performing skincare. While it’s true that your hair stylist is licensed to perform facials and waxing, it’s but a small portion of their overall education. An esthetician’s education, although diverse, is focused only on things pertaining to skin and hair removal. It’s like seeing a specialist instead of a general practicioner.
  13. An esthetician has access to machines and treatments that aren’t safe to be used by a non-professional. This goes with the use of pro products.

And my personal favorite reason to see an esthethician:

improveyourselfies

Great skin=great selfies. Great skin=great makeup. An esthi can get you there!

As you can see, regular visits to an esthetician can lead to a better understanding of your skin, the construction of a solid routine, and overall relaxation you can’t obtain on your own.

What reasons do you have for not seeing an esthi regularly, other than cost? How often do you see your esthetician now? Let me know in the comments below!

(Sources:

First image: http://ct.perceptionvsfact.com/ol/pf/se/i57/2/12/5/frabz-Esthetician-What-my-friends-think-I-do-What-my-boss-thinks-I-do–e166e2.jpg

Second image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/c1/2d/19/c12d19276b7e72026a496516f5c86287.jpg_

 

Lips Like Morphine

lipslikemorphine

I find it humorous that Valentine’s Day is in February. It’s a holiday where you’re supposed to get it on like rabbits…and yet we all have dry, chapped lips and skin due to the winter conditions. Suuuuuch an aphrodisiac.

Here’s my guide to getting lips that Kill Hannah would sing about. Having smooth, flake-free lips is a goal throughout the year, especially if you’re constantly wearing lipstick. Prep your pout like so:

  1. Exfoliate.  Your lips need a good scrub just as much as your face does. And just like facial exfoliation, you can go about it either mechanically or chemically. If you use a chemical exfoliant, give your lips a quick swipe while going about your skincare routine. I wouldn’t do this more than once or twice per week, though. Although the thick layer of scales on your chapped lips would make you think otherwise, they’re actually quite sensitive, and the skin should be treated as such. If you’re wanting to go the mechanical exfoliation route, use something gentle + natural. Lush and Jeffree Star make excellent lip scrubs, but in all honesty, a DIY lip scrub is stupidly easy and beneficial. Take a small container, put in some sugar, and top with coconut or vitamin E oil. You can also use jojoba or avocado oil. Extra virgin, organic olive oil will work as well. Make a very small batch so it won’t dry out.
  2. Moisturize. Once your lips are exfoliated, apply a good lip balm. My personal favorite is Smith’s Rosebud Salve. I tried it once at Sephora years ago and have continually repurchased it. Even my hubby’s dream woman, Natalie Portman, loves it: natalie-portman-and-smiths-rosebud-salve-gallery

It’s important to note that you can get addicted to lip balm (discussed herehere, and here), so don’t get wrapped up in always keeping balm on you to keep dry lips at bay. Also, chapped lips aren’t only a product of moisture loss. Sun damage also creates the condition, so find something that has an SPF in it if you’re planning on being outside for a while. Notice I said “outside for a while”, not “in the sun for a while”. If you’re outside, you’re in the sun.

3. Hydrate. Although I previously discussed why loading up on water doesn’t actually help dry skin, it does play a part. Be sure that you’re drinking an appropriate amount of water!

4. Maintain. Don’t wait until you’ve got dragon lips to do anything about it. If you make taking care of your lips part of your daily skincare routine, you won’t need to do much more when chapped lips season comes around.

dark-lipstick

Lipstick

I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl when it comes to makeup. If I’m going to take the time to put on makeup, you’re gonna notice: sculpted brows, full-coverage foundation, color correction, contour, winged liner, false lashes, and bold lips. “Subtle” will probably never be the word used to describe my makeup. So, I know a little bit about making lipstick last.

Whether you’re wearing a “your lips but better” shade or black, your lips need the same prep and finish. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Exfoliate before wearing any lipstick and most glosses. You’ll get a smoother application and better pigmentation.
  • Don’t skip the balm, but do avoid anything petroleum-based. You need a good, hydrating base, especially for liquid lipsticks. However, the oils in a petroleum-based balm will break down the lipstick’s formulation. If you don’t want to switch up your balm on the days you wear lipstick, try this: immediately after exfoliating your lips, apply a thin layer of your favorite balm. Finish the rest of your skincare routine, and all the other parts of your makeup. By the time you get to doing your lips, the thin layer of balm will have sank in enough.
  • Line your lips. This is crucial to perfect lipstick, but often gets overlooked. You can buy a matching liner every time you buy a new lipstick if you’d like, or just find a few that are close enough in shade to your collection. If you have a wide variety of colors, I recommend getting a nude, a red, and a pinky purple. This should cover your bases. Unless, you exclusively wear black lipstick, like I do. Then find yourself a good black eyeliner JUST for your lips. Once you’ve lined your lips how you like (no judgment here for extending your lip line to get a bigger-lipped look), bring the liner onto your lips. This acts as a base for your lip color.
  • Precision, precision, precision. When applying your lip color, whether it’s a liquid lipstick or a tube, take your time and be precise. Invest in a good detail brush to apply your lip colors.
  • Blot any excess, if you like, but don’t do the old tissue trick we were all taught in middle school. This just leave lint in your lips. A cosmetic sponge works well for this. Just lightly dab over it.
  • Seal it with powder if the color/texture allows. If you’re doing a black lip, LIGHTLY dust some matte black eye shadow on top. I suppose you could do the same with any lip color, but you don’t generally need to. The powder you use to set your foundation should do just fine.
  • Clean it up. Dip a tiny, clean brush in your foundation to clean up around the edges if need be. And don’t forget to set this new foundation with powder as well.

TAKE IT OFF!!!

You’ve put in all this work on your kisser and now it’s time to dismantle it all. Before you aggressively scrub your lips, take an oil of some sort (vitamin E, avocado, coconut, etc.) and let it sit on your lips for a bit. It should wipe off pretty easily after that. Wash your face per usual, LIGHTLY scrub your lips if there’s any color stuck, and pat dry before applying a generous amount of balms. Although formulations have improved, lipsticks still tend to be very drying. So make sure you’re replacing hydration when you remove it.

What lip tips do you have? Do you have a default lip color? Let me know in the comments below!

(Sources:

Black lips image: http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdgjstzkMb1qeey6fo1_500.jpg

Dark lipsticks image: http://www.mtv.com/news/wp-content/uploads/style/2012/10/dark-lipstick.jpg

Natalie Portman: http://coolspotters.com/files/photos/685228/natalie-portman-and-smiths-rosebud-salve-gallery.jpg?1357438476)

What a Rip Off

pubic_hair_heart-300x224 

What You Should Know About Waxing/Sugaring Before Valentine’s Day

Professional hair removal is a fantastic investment. I could wax poetic (heh…heh) about the virtues of waxing and sugaring. Here a few waxing benefits:

Untitled drawing (5)

And sugaring:

sugaring

(source: https://www.instagram.com/jbhomemadeorganicsugaring/)

As you can see, these methods of hair removal are far superior to others. However, there are a few things you should consider before getting waxed. I figured this would be a great time to talk about hair removal, since many people will be getting it done for Valentine’s Day. So, let’s get down to it!

The Hair Down There

Without a doubt, the most popular wax services are Brazilians and bikini waxes. If you’re wanting to be hair-free downstairs, there’s absolutely no better way to go about it. There are a few styles to choose from:

brazilian-wax-style-636x514

So, be clear with your esthetician when getting waxed to ensure that you walk away with what you want.

Other parts of your body are more straightforward. The objective of underarm and leg waxes are to simply get all of the hair off.

What to Expect When You’re Waxing

Communicate with the person doing the waxing. Be VERY clear about your expectations, your pain tolerance, what medications you’re taking/topicals you’re using, etc. Anything containing RetinA contraindicates you for waxing, especially facial waxing. This is because it’s such a powerful exfoliant, it cause the skin to lift under wax. Lifting=burns, blisters…not worth it. Be upfront and honest.

You should expect some discomfort. No matter how proficient your waxer, you’re still having hair ripped out. It’s gonna hurt a bit. But speak up if the pain is too much!

If you see pinprick bleeding, do not freak out. Actually, rejoice! Pinprick bleeding happens when the hair has been completely removed, as in, it’ll never grow back.

DO this:

Make sure your hair is long enough to be waxed. It should be about 1/4 an inch. Avoid trimming it yourself, in case you trim it too short. The wax appointment should allow time for trimming anyway.

Exfoliate the areas to be waxed 24 hours before the appointment. The best method for this is to use those scrubby gloves:

hydrea-bamboo-gloves-p

Find a waxer who uses gloves and does not double-dip. It’s nasty and leaves you vulnerable to diseases and such.

Read reviews before scheduling an appointment, for both the esthetician and the facility. You want somewhere clean.

Your esthetician should prep the skin with something like witch hazel, liquid exfoliant, etc.

DON’T do this:

Don’t control the appointment. Seriously. You have a voice and you should be clear about what you want, but let the esthetician do their job. They’re the professional, you are not.

Don’t exfoliate within 48 hours of your wax. You should definitely exfoliate in between waxing appointments to reduce ingrown hairs, but give it time. You’ll just irritate the skin otherwise.

Don’t have sex within 24 hours of the wax. The reason for this is the same reason why you shouldn’t floss before sex; things could get in. Give it 24 hours to avoid upping your risk for STIs and discomfort/irritation. Also wait 24 hours before doing any exercise. You want to keep the area as clean as possible. So, if you’re wanting to be waxed for V-Day, get it done before Saturday…Friday just to be safe.

Don’t shave in between waxes. This disrupts the growth cycle. If you stay consistent with your waxing, eventually the hair gets thinner and thinner. After just a few hair growth cycles, it’ll be as if no hair has grown at all. Each wax gets less and less painful and lasts longer. But you have to stay consistent and stay away from the razor for this to happen!

I hope this was helpful! If I’m being honest, waxing is not my favorite aspect of esthetics. I don’t even get waxed regularly myself. But, I want those who do get waxed to do so safely! Tell me, will you be getting anything waxed for Valentine’s Day?

(Sources:

Wax image: http://images.wisegeek.com/hot-wax.jpg

Wax styles: http://missoulawaxing.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/brazilian-wax-style-636×514.jpg

Heart shaped bikini wax: http://www.landingstrip.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/pubic_hair_heart-300×224.png

Scrubby gloves: http://www.spiritbeautylounge.com/images/P/hydrea-bamboo-gloves-p.jpg)

Totally Legit DIY

I love a good DIY. Part of it comes from being perpetually broke (thanks fibro), and part of it comes from my herbalism studies (damn, dirty hippie). And of course, being punk rock and a love for all things DIY go hand-in-hand. But in the esthetics world, DIYs are commonly frowned upon. The general consensus seems to be “why eat moldy bread when you can take a penicillin pill?” I get where they’re coming from. The problem with skincare DIY projects is that a lot of it is actually harmful to the skin, because anyone can post a DIY and say it’s safe/effective (I’m looking at you, Pinterest.) But, there’s something so satisfying about whipping up something for yourself, seeing results, and knowing EXACTLY what’s going on your skin (no mystery ingredients that you have to Google just to find out what the hell it is). So, I wanted to dedicate a few posts throughout my blogging to DIY skincare recipes that are beneficial and safe.

I’ll be doing a DIY mask series soon, but in the meantime, I want to focus on body care a bit. The skin on your body needs just as much attention as the skin on your face. It needs to be cleansed, exfoliated, moisturized, all of it.

Remember The Body Shop? The store in the mall with all the good-smelling, more natural things. I have fond memories of a 90s childhood filled with trips to this store at the Baybrook Mall, being allowed to pick out one or two of the squishy bath beads if I had behaved myself. I think because of this memory, I didn’t take The Body Shop seriously as I got older. But, a few months ago, I came across The Body Shop Body Care Manual. It’s full of good, DIY-esque information and recipes. I was able to pit it against my newly acquired esthetics education. So, I’ve picked a few of my favorites! Enjoy!

lemonbodyscrub.jpg

  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 6 or more fresh lemon slices
  • Small bowl of warm water
  • Washcloth (or, my favorite, scrubby gloves)

This is a really great scrub to wake you up in the morning, or to re-energize. Place the oil and slices in the bowl of warm water, and let the washcloth/scrubby gloves soak everything up. Keep the cloth/gloves within reach of your shower. After showering per usual, turn off the water, and start scrubbing with the soaked cloth/gloves. Start at your feet and move upward, toward your heart (this is an ayurvedic principle that stimulates your circulatory system). Towel off the excess liquid and moisturize.

Why this is legit: lemons contain vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. It also provides citric acid and vitamins A and B, which encourage the exfoliation of dead skin, circulation, balance overactive oil glands, soften wrinkles, and help brighten the complexion. I love this scrub because it’s the same principle as a chemical exfoliant. There’s no sugar or salt or other abrasive materials doing the scrubbing, just the lemon doing what lemon does.

peppermintfootspa.jpg

  1. Start by making some peppermint oil salts (Epsom salts + a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Shake, and add the oil drop by drop until you’re happy with the consistency/infusion).
  2. Fill a large bowl with warm water and add a heaping tablespoon of the peppermint salts.
  3. Soak for at least ten minutes to soften and refresh your skin.
  4. After thoroughly drying your feet, use a pumice stone or those scrubby gloves I love so much to exfoliate.
  5. Rinse off any dead skin you’ve culled from exfoliating. Apply your favorite moisturizer and put on some socks.

Why it’s legit: Peppermint is incredibly soothing and therapeutic. Not only does it relieve headaches, soothe upset stomachs, and decongest your nasal passages, it also works as a powerful mental stimulant. The cooling sensation comes from the active component, menthol. The body reacts to the menthol by increasing blood flow to the area which creates a comforting sensation of warmth.

eucalyptusbodylotion

  • 2 ounces unscented lotion (make sure it’s free of drying alcohols!)
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 7 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops pine essential oil (omit this one if you wish, I don’t see how it helps the recipe except for scent)
  • 3 drops lemongrass essential oil

Why it’s legit: Eucalyptus is incredibly bracing, so this is absolutely perfect if you need a little waking up. It stimulates the mind and body, and it’s also an analgesic (stop giggling, it means pain relieving). If you aren’t loving the smell of eucalyptus, try rosemary. It has the same properties, minus the menthol, so minus the scent. A lemon and orange blend can also be refreshing, but can also be photosensitive, so stay away from the sun using this blend. This recipe is also legit because it’s so versatile. If your skin is dry, you can use a carrier oil instead lotion, or body butter. Play around with it!

swwetandspicybodypolish.jpg

  • 1 tbsp. Demerara sugar (or coconut sugar, if you can’t find Demerara)
  • 1 tbsp. golden brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. superfine sugar
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Remember to start at your feet and scrub upwards, toward your heart, for maximum benefits.

Why it’s legit: all of these sugars are an obvious exfoliant, and we all know why exfoliation is important. Honey is antibacterial and amazing for hydrating the skin. We’ve covered why lemon juice is beneficial. The ginger and cinnamon are energizing, disinfecting, and deodorizing.

Which of these DIYs are you dying to try? Let me know in the comments!

(Sources:

Lemon image:  http://www.studiodiy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/When-Life-Hands-You-Lemons1.jpg

Peppermint image: http://pantrygardenherbs.com/files/2011/08/peppermint-3.jpg

Koala image: http://www.getmynutri.com/image/data/eucalyptus/dance_of_the_seven_eucalyptus_leaves_by_celem-d6fh1l5.jpg

Brown Sugar image: http://cx.aos.ask.com/question/aq/700px-394px/can-you-freeze-brown-sugar_f2f65177-f079-43bf-9010-738f8d8680fe.jpg

All recipes are from The Body Shop Body Care Manual. Commentary and noted adjustments are from me.)

 

SkinCare Myths

People LOVE to pass along misinformation, especially about skincare. I don’t know what it is, but people are so willing to believe anything about their skin as long as it’s sort of believable. I myself have been guilty of this sort of thinking (re: I don’t need to exfoliate because my skin is dry!). In this post, I’ll go over a few common skincare myths, and a few that are so off-the-wall that I was like…what the f**k did I just read?

Scrubbing your face with soap will keep your skin healthy and acne free. False! So false. As I reiterated endlessly in the Choreography series, you have got to find the right products for your skin type, and soap-true, traditional bar soap-is not good for anyone’s face. Scrubbing, especially with the wrong sort of cleanser, will only exacerbate the existing acne. Plus, dirty skin and acne are not inherently synonymous. Acne comes from genetics, clogged follicles, bacteria, and triggers such as hormones, stress, clogging cosmetics, etc. So, although keeping the skin clean absolutely aids in the treatment of acne, going hard at it with some soap is absolutely not the way to go. Overscrubbing removes the protective oils your skin needs.

ProActiv is the best acne-fighting system there is. Omg if I hear this one more time I will punch someone in the face. Seriously. When you have acne, you usually have oily skin as well. And when you dry out your skin, it goes into oil production overdrive to compensate. So now your skin is even more oily than when you started, AND it’s irritated. Good job. ProActiv contains some of the most drying ingredients you’ll find, all as a marketing ploy. You have acneic skin-you use ProActiv-your skin produces more oil-you get more acne-you buy more ProActiv. Just don’t do it.

Tanning beds are safe as long as they don’t contain UVB rays. First of all…you’re still exposing your skin to UVA rays. Here’s a simple way to get your rays straight: A=aging, B=burning. So just the statement alone is flawed. That aside, you shouldn’t be exposing yourself, unprotected, to ANY of the sun’s rays needlessly. Tan=damage, and that’s a scientific fact. You may think that if you’re not red, you’re not burnt, but that’s simply untrue. ANY sign of ANY color means damage is being done/has been done. And tanning beds are the absolute worst. They’re way more concentrated so you’re getting so much more exposure. This is coming from someone who, once upon a time, tanned in a bed a few times per week for cheerleading purposes. Please don’t tan, not in a bed, not under the sun…or you could end up looking like THIS!:

donatella-versace.jpg

While Dontalla Verace might be an extreme example, you get it. Don’t tan. Not like any of my target readers need to be told that though.

The Higher the SPF, the better the protection. Clearly, it’s super important to wear your sunscreen every. Damn. Day. BUT. There are a few things to consider. SPF stands for “sun protection factor”, and the number that follows in based on the UVB (burning rays) protection, not the UVA (aging) protection. According to WebMD, “The SPF rating is a measure of the time it would take you to sunburn if you were not wearing sunscreen as opposed to the time it would take with sunscreen on.” So you would think that you could stay out in the sun without burning for twice as long using an SPF 30 as you could using an SPF 15. Nope. The leap from SPF 15 to SPF 30 is only a three percent improvement; 30 to 45, only 1%; and after that, you start getting into even smaller percentages. So, how does this become troublesome? Because you buy a higher SPF thinking you don’t need to reapply it because it’s going to last sooooo much longer. Not only that, you’re still being exposed to UVA rays. Just find a good SPF 30 you’ll use daily, and you’re good to go. Or, become a vampire like me and 90% of my friends.

It’s better to get the pus out of a pimple by popping it. I was going to insert an image of Honey Boo Boo gagging, but I couldn’t find one I liked. So, just picture it. Before esthetics school, I had never popped/picked/extracted anything. It grossed me out. Still does. I’m decent at extractions but hate doing them. Anyway, I digress. Here’s why this one is a myth. All of that pus contains bacteria. When you release the pus, it spreads to other parts of your face, infecting those parts, thereby causing even more pimples. Not only that, it leads to more inflammation, scarring, spreading under the skin. It really is better to leave your extractions to a professional esthetician or dermatologist, but if you MUST DIY, do so safely: wipe down the area with a skin-safe disinfectant or liquid exfoliant. Don’t extract anything that hasn’t come to a head. Disinfect your extractor tool, and press down with it. Once you see pus, dab it away with the skin-safe disinfectant and LEAVE IT ALONE! Do not go until you see blood, don’t force it, don’t spread it. And for the love of Lucifer do not pop pimples with your fingers. That’s gross and ineffective. If you must do this yourself, get one of these tools:

extractor

St. Ives is the best exfoliant for your face. robertdowney NO NO NO. NO. This is something else I covered in the choreography series. Apricot kernels are naturally sharp and harsh. When scrubbed all over the skin, it causes tiny microcuts which lets in bacteria, among other things. So just say no to apricot kernel exfoliants. Unless you’re looking for an excellent foot scrub. Go with something that contains rice bran or naturally exfoliating ingredients such as papaya.

All-natural always means better. I almost didn’t include this one because I myself am still deciding my stance on the subject. But no matter what you believe, it is a plain and simple fact that there are beneficial synthetics out there, and some completely natural products that are included in skincare products should be avoided.

Drinking copious amounts of water will help with dry skin. Now, before my fellow esthis/health freaks jump down my throat, I’m not saying that upping your water intake won’t help. Water is absolutely essential to having beautiful, healthy, glowing skin, there’s no denying that. But when you drink water, the last place it gets delivered is the skin. It goes to more vital organs first. Plus, skin dries out when the lipids between skin cells become damaged, not when you’re dehydrated (this causes other problems though). So, chugging water is not going to repair those lipids and heal your dry skin. Get your recommended daily water intake for other reasons.

You can’t exfoliate too much. Sigh. I really wish this was true. Exfoliating your skin feels incredible and is usually instantly gratifying and there are SO MANY benefits to proper exfoliation. But alas…you can exfoliate too much. And it’s not a good thing (obviously). Over exfoliating can lead to irritation, sensitivity, dry skin, and even aging from too much tugging and pulling. Keep it simple and only exfoliate twice per week unless you’re absolutely sure that your chemical exfoliant is gentle enough for daily use. I recently (accidentally) over exfoliated. Part of my morning routine is to apply liquid exfoliant, so I did, like I do every morning. But later that night, I decided to do a mask while I was taking a bubble bath. Only, I didn’t put on a mask…I put on an enzyme peel. Normally this peel feels very gentle on my skin, to the point where I forget it’s even there. But this time, my skin felt like it was on fire within minutes of applying it. I immediately rinsed it off and gave it some thought…and realized that I was a total idiot and had heavy-duty exfoliated my face twice in 18 hours. Ugh. I’m still paying for it with drier than usual, sensitive skin.

Wearing foundation over your sunscreen will make you age faster. This one is…complicated. While it’s true that wearing foundation over your sunscreen will reduce the effectiveness SOMEWHAT, it does not cause you to age faster. You can combat this by waiting 3-5 minutes after applying your sunscreen before applying your foundation. Or, better yet, use a foundation/BB cream/tinted moisturizer/etc. that contains a considerable amount of SPF. A powder that contains SPF will not be enough on its own, but you can top your foundation with it to get several layers of protection.

What myths have you heard perpetuated? What myth have you subscribed to, only to change your ways when you were better educated? Let me know in the comments!