Re: Beauty Hack or Bust?

4247171-garlicI’m sure we’ve all seen a few, more like a ton, of beauty hacks floating around Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, but do they actually work? I put some so called beauty hacks to the test to see if they’re real hacks or just another bust.

IMG_8833.jpgFirst up in this series, is a beauty hack from the lovely Farah Dhukai. I found one of Instagram clips on my Facebook newsfeed and decided to try her beauty hack using garlic for treating acne. All you have to do is cut a piece of a garlic clove then gently massage it on the problem area(s) of your freshly cleansed face. Leave the garlic residue on your face overnight.

I tried this super simple beauty hack over a period of time to get a good idea of how effective it really is. Fortunately, this is a beauty hack that actually works! The day after massaging the garlic on a pimple, the swelling and redness was reduced. Though it may sting a little, garlic also works if you already popped that sucker and now left with a small opening. Always remember to wash your face before doing this beauty hack to get the best results.

Why does this beauty hack work?

Pimples are caused by build up of excess oil, dirt and bacteria within your pores. Physicians have also attributed poor eating habits or eating something that may cause acne irritation, stress and hormones as factors causing pimples. There are various types of pimples from black heads, white heads, to pustules.

This hack works because once you popped your pimple, you are left with an opening and garlic having great antimicrobial and antioxidant properties can help with fighting off the bacteria, inevitably healing your skin. However, please be mindful to avoid excessively rubbing the raw garlic on your skin as it may cause blistering.

Have you tried other beauty hacks? Share you experiences with us by leaving a comment below 🙂

 

Always,

K

 

Re: DIY green tea scrub ‘n mask

green tea scrub n mask.jpgFor the past month, I’ve been researching benefits of green tea on our skin and here’s what I found. To sum it all up, green tea provides great benefits for your skin as an acne fighting ingredient. It can also help with anti-aging and, my personal favourite, it help can detoxify your skin AND body. That being said, I decided to create a DIY green tea skincare scrub. Though, the more I tried the scrub, the more I realize that it can be used as a mask as well! Isn’t that a great bargain? 1 mixture for 2 uses?!

For this DIY green tea scrub ‘n mask, you only need 3 ingredients:

  1. green tea bag (fresh, not brewed)
  2. raw honey
  3. avocado
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Messy hair don’t care 😉

Here’s how I made it:

  1. I added about 1 teaspoon of green tea in a mortar and pestle; cut the tea bag to scoop out the dried green tea leaves
  2. Grind the dried green tea leave to make them less course; we want to exfoliate our skin not scratch it
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of honey in the mortar and pestle
  4. Take ¼ of an avocado and scoop out the meat using a spoon then put it in the mortar and pestle with the green tea leaves and honey
  5. Using the pestle, mix all of the ingredients together
  6. Once you’re done mixing the ingredients, wash your face and hands before applying the mixture on your face
  7. Gently massage the mixture on your face for about 2-3 minutes, and make sure that the mixture is evenly distributed your entire face
  8. Then leave the mixture on (like a regular mask) for about 10-12 minutes; you can leave it for longer, that’s totally up to you
  9. Wash your face with lukewarm water and gently remove the mixture
  10. Dry your face with a face towel by softly patting the towel on your face and your done!

I use this scrub ‘n mask once a week to help me detoxify my face after a long work week. The avocado and honey are also helpful to keeping the face moisturized. It’s an easy, affordable and all natural DIY skincare treatment I’ll definitely keep using, especially with the weather getting dryer and hotter. Give it a try and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below! 🙂

Always,

K

P.S. I wanted to share with you some resources about the benefits of green tea in case you wanted to do your own research about it.

 

Re: Coconut oil all day, every day!

A few weeks ago, I decided to take up using coconut oil as my primary body moisturizer. My friends have recommended using it because it is a natural product, widely accessible in different price points and it just works wonders! The idea of using coconut oil as part of your beauty regiment has been around for a long time. My mom was actually telling me that a lot of people have used it for years in the Philippines, as well as Latin American and Caribbean countries. But before you go to the store and buy yourself a hefty jar of coconut oil, there are a few things that I want to highlight to make sure you’re getting real coconut oil. I’ve heard some companies mixing coconut oil with other oils and labeling it as ‘coconut oil’ regardless. So here are some of my tips and thoughts about using coconut oil as a body moisturizer, makeup remover and an essential oil deep conditioning treatment.coconutoil-ingredientlist.pngMuch like looking at your food labels at the grocery store, you should also look at the labels on the jar when you’re buying coconut oil. Specifically, the ingredients list should only list coconut oil as the ingredient.coconutoil-label.pngPLUS, look at how the coconut oil has been processed. Try to find unrefined coconut oil or raw coconut oil. Kristen from the Food Renegade provides a brief explanation between refined vs. unrefined coconut oils.

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Also, just because the labeling says it’s organic doesn’t mean that it actually is. Look for a certified seal like the USDA or Canada Organic logo. To get this seal, products need to contain 95% or more organic content. For more info (at the Canadian side) follow this link: Canada Organic, Labeling & General Info.

Coconut Oil Skincare & Hair Tips:

First and foremost, keep your coconut oil in the bathroom unless you’re planning on using the same oil for cooking (which you can totally do!). In which case, separate some for your beauty regiment and some for cooking.

I used coconut oil right after I take a shower to moisturizer my body-literally from my shoulders down. Though, I’m not using it as a facial moisturizer I have used it for homemade moisturizing masks (with raw honey). What I love about using coconut oil as a body moisturizer is that it retains its moisture throughout the day and your skin is getting added nutrients to keep it healthy and soft. After a week or so, I noticed that it also helped with smoothening out some of my stretch marks and because the heels or my feet tend to get dry at the end of the day, I used coconut oil at night.

In terms of using coconut oil as a makeup remover, I would take small amount and warm the oil on my clean hands before massaging it all of my face. I really like that it takes away waterproof mascara very easily! Then I would splash some warm water and continue to massage my face. To take off the excess oil, I took my Dove bar soup and lathered it all over my face. Or you can just use your face towel and warm water then wipe the oil off. The latter would be better if you have dry skin.

As an essential oil deep conditioner, I’ve used coconut oil for my hair before. Especially when my hair looks a little dry or if I feel like my scalp feels a little dry, I would take a tablespoon or coconut oil and put it all over my scalp and the ends of my hair. Massage the oil in along the way then keep it on for 15-20 minutes before washing it off.

These are only some of the ways coconut oil can be incorporated in your skincare regiments. Again, please read labels before buying coconut oil because it does make a difference with the quality of oil you are buying (for any kind of essential oil or cooking oil).

What are some other ways you ladies and gents have used coconut oil? Share with us by leaving a comment below! 🙂

Always,

K

Re: by nature from New Zealand First Impressions & Review

While continuing my search for all natural and minimalist skincare products, I came across 2 by nature face masks tucked away at the bottom shelf of Winners’s bath/body section. There were loads of skincare products in the section categorized as ‘all natural’. I could, and if I’m being honest, I did spend about an hour picking up products, reading the labels and putting them down because they were just not what I was looking for. The masks from by nature stood out because of their ingredients lists.

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I chose to go with the Nourishing & Refining Face Mask infused with manuka honey, rosehip oil, hyaluronic acid, argan oil, and aloe vera, and enriched with collagen. Reading the ingredients for the mask I noticed that it also has witchhazel, coconut oil, glycerin and other ingredients known for their healthy skin benefits. This face mask is a sheet mask, packaged individually (there are 5 in the package) with a plastic outer layer to peel once you put the mask on your face. There’s a lot of the serum on each sheet mask. Other bloggers thought that there was a lot of serum on the sheet masks, which made the face masks a little too damp for them but I didn’t mind it. I used the excess serum on my neck.

IMG_6763.jpgWithin a few minutes I felt my skin tingle. Not in a bad burning sensation, more gentle than that. The sheet mask also smelled fresh (a nice bonus!). After 10 minutes I took the sheet mask off and let my face absorb the serum for about 2  more minutes  before gently washing my face with some water. I patted my face dry with a face towel, feeling pretty damn good with the results. My skin felt smooth and supple (*cue the generic skincare TV commercial smile pose).

Overall, my first impression of this product is positive. I tried using it at night and in the morning. Both times of the day worked well for me, meaning I had consistent results. It was also only $7.99 + tax for 5 sheet masks, if you do the math it’s around $1.80/sheet mask; a pretty good deal for a good quality product. The downside? Skincare products from by nature, is not ubiquitous (yet!) The company is based in New Zealand, and even though the company website states that some retailers in North America (e.g. Walmart, TJ Maxx and Marshalls) carry their products they are not available in all store locations (and have varying inventory if by chance they did carry the brand). You can buy their products online (flat rate shipping fee is $15 for orders under $100 USD), but I’m not entirely sure if I would like the products enough to pay the additional shipping fee knowing that there are only a couple of other products I would like to try.

Now, would I recommend this product? I would recommend this product if you’re looking for something inexpensive and all natural. Consistency has a lot of weight when I recommend products, so I really appreciate that the face masks did a great job with giving me consistent results. I’m going to have my eyes peeled whenever I come to Winners or Marshalls for their skincare products (specifically for the face)!

Have you tried any by nature skincare products? Share with us your experiences by leaving a comment below!

 

 

Always,

K

 

P.S. I tried a homemade turmeric mask and actually broke out a few days later. It was highly recommended online but it just wasn’t the mask for me. Perhaps, it was a cleansing mask? Having said that, PLEASE do your research before trying homemade masks. Some might work for your skin far better than others.