Scrumptious raspberry body scrub

I haven’t written for a while, I know. Lots happened, I didn’t have the time nor I made anything worth sharing. Now, with summer holidays finally here, I have more time to create so here we go. SCRUMPTIOUS RASPBERRY BODY SCRUB.

As you all know, body scrubs are my weakness. I kept searching for inspiration but majority of DIY body scrubs are just sugar or salt and oil based. And I wanted something else. I wanted a cream like scrub. A lovely smelling one at that. As I was looking through my ingredients I found raspberry seed oil and thought of making raspberry theme cosmetics.

I have always been against using unnecessary ingredients therefore this scrub contains only what is necessary to make it the consistency, colour and fragrance I wanted. Plus obviously all the benefits of a scrub which is simply to buff away the dead skin.

  1. OIL STAGE

To begin, you need:

10 ml sweet almond oil

20 ml castor oil

6 g shea butter

3 g cocoa butter

10 g emylsifying wax

Place all these ingredients in a heat proof glass bowl or jug and melt in bain marie/ double boiler.

2. WATER STAGE

130 ml boiling filtered water

10 ml vegetable glycerin

I always boil water and let it cool slightly to reach the same temperature as the oil stage, rather than heat up the water stage to the same temperature. Pour the water stage slowly into the oil stage (still in the double boiler) and whisk for about a minute.

Take it off the heat and place in a bowl of cold water to help it cool down. Whisk for another minute and then leave it to cool down to about 40 degrees Celsius.

3. COOLING STAGE

40 drops Eco preservative

2 ml vitamin E oil

20 drops raspberry aroma

1 heaped teaspoon jojoba beads

1 heaped teaspoon pumice powder

5 drops red colouring (for soaps and cosmetics)

0.5 g pink mica

Add the preservative, vitamin E oil and aroma separately and stir to combine after each ingredient.

Then add all the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.

Transfer into a container with a lid and it’s ready to use like your regular body scrub.

Next on the menu – raspberry body cream. And after that raspberry bath bomb. I have never attemoted to make them yet so definitely looking forward to this one. Watch this space!

P.S. This post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on the products bought through these links. However, I would never recommend anything I don’t love using myself.

Nourishing, bronzing body butter

Do you ever have those EUREKA moments when you discover something accidentally? Well, I had one of those recently. Let me share…

Now, my skin has recently been very dry and I have no idea why. I have never had this problem before. I can actually see how dry it is. Not good. I looked at the products I use and couldn’t really find any culprit as I haven’t changed any products recently. I tried using my usual body butter more generously, using coconut oil instead but to no avail. So what would someone like me do? Research, of course and then make my own product.

It was not intended to be a bronzing butter. It happened accidentally just because of the ingredients I had on hand.

Anyway. The first thing I did was some research. I wanted to find out which oils or butters would be the most beneficials for my dry skin and then see what I actually had in my cupboard.

Oils and butters beneficial for dry skin

  1. Cocoa butter – it’s rich in fatty acids which make it very hydrating for the skin.
  2. Kokum butter – helps to regenerate skin and prevent it from drying. Softens the skin and makes it more flexible.
  3. Mango butter – softening and moisturising.
  4. Shea butter – very moisturising and nourishing thanks to the vitamins and fatty acids it contains.
  5. Coconut oil – very good moisturiser.
  6. Argan oil – light oil, contains vitamins E and A which make it moisturising.
  7. Rosehip oil – excellent moisturiser due to the high content of fatty acids.
  8. Shea oil – moisturises and softens the skin.
  9. Sweet almond oil – very good moisturiser.
  10. Vitamin E oil – reduces dryness and flakiness of the skin, exactly what I’m suffering from.

Obviously there are many more natural ingredients out there that are beneficial for dry skin but I used the ones mentioned above to make my beautifully nourishing and bronzing body butter.

Nourishing, bronzing body butter

Ingredients:

50g coconut oil

40g shea butter

40g dark cocoa butter

10g kokum butter

10g mango butter

15 ml each:

5 ml vitamin E oil

6 drops geranium essential oil

9 drops lavender essential oil

12 drops lime essential oil

You will also need: a glass bowl, measuring spoons, a spoon, a digital scale, an electric mixer (don’t use the one I use for food though), double boiler or just a pot so that the glass bowl can sit on top of for the butters to melt.

LET’S START!

Boil half a pot of water and keep it boiling. Place all the butters in the glass bowl and sit the bowl on top of the boiling water so all the ingredients can melt.

Once melted, take it off the pot, add all the oils but vitamin E and essential oils and let it cool.

Once it is cool place it in the fridge until it thickens. When the consistency is like the one pictured below it is ready to mix.

At this stage add the vitamin E oil and the essential oils and then mix until light and fluffy. It won’t be perfectly smooth because of the consistency of some of the butters but it’s perfectly fine.

Once light and fluffy, transfer into a pot and start using. It will moisturise your skin and give it a natural tanned colour. Make sure you spread it evenly though! One of the things I love about it is that it does not stain like fake tanning products, plus you can see the effect straight away so you can correct any mistakes if needed there and then.

Let me know what you think about it 🙂

P.S. This post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on the products bought through these links. However, I would never recommend anything I don’t love using myself.

Uplifting lime and mint body scrub

I need a pick-me-up today and a big one at that! The weekend has been crazy and my mind is too busy with overthinking which results in worries and a low mood. Unfortunately for me I am one of those people who tend to think too much from time to time and come up with things that aren’t really there to worry about. I am trying to learn to just take life as it is, day by day and focus on the positive but sometimes it’s just stronger than me. And today is one of those days. And I need a pick-me-up!

I’m very fond of smells and I love body scrubs as you know. When it comes to essential oils all the citrusy ones really do it for me. Especially LIME. I also love the smell of mint so decided to combine these two in my body scrub.

Other than lime and peppermint essential oils you don’t need any fancy ingredients. I am very strongly for using as few ingredients as possible, especially in products that are rinsed off because all the fancy ingredients don’t have enough time to do anything for our skin. The main thing we want from a body scrub is just to buff away those dead skin cells, right? Now today I also want a nice, uplifting smell.

Uplifting lime and mint body scrub

Ingredients:

1 cup of fine sugar

1/2 cup of olive oil (I used a mild one for the lighter colour and smell)

zest from 1 lime

15 drops of lime essential oil

10 drops of peppermint oil

Pour all the ingredients into a glass bowl and give it a good stir.

All you need now is to move it to a container with a lid (I love my glass jar for my scrubs) and you’re good to go. Use as any other scrub.

Now the fresh mint here is just for decorative purposes 🙂 I wouldn’t advise using any in your scrub as it would shorten the shelf life significantly.

Hope you enjoy making your own and using it!

Everything that’s wrong with the cosmetic industry

We, as women, love cosmetics, don’t we? Some of us more than others (hint!) but I personally don’t know a woman that wouldn’t be using absolutely anything. My grandma was loyal to just one cream and used it for everything but that was more to do with the fact that nothing else was available and then, when it was, she still stuck with what she knew best and worked for her. I have to admit that for a woman her age her skin looked amazing.

As I briefly mentioned in this post, I have noticed a long time ago that majority of the mainstream cosmetics contain a lot of chemicals  and even if they claim to be “eco”, “natural” or contain natural ingredients those are usually at the very end of the ingredients list. Lots of the chemicals that are used in the mainstream cosmetics aren’t beneficial for our skin and quite a few of them are actually harmful. So today I will touch on that. To mention absolutely everything that is wrong with the cosmetic industry would probably need hundreds and hundreds of posts but let us at least begin. After all, one of the main reasons behind me making my own cosmetics is trying to avoid harmful ingredients.

USA v. Canada/ Europe

Those of you who live in the USA are probably well aware that there are a lot of food and cosmetic ingredients that are allowed in the USA but banned in Canada or Europe because they are proven to be harmful. I never quite understood that and I think I never will. WHY? Why would a developed country such as the USA allow harmful ingredients to be used? Funny enough, I remember watching a documentary in which they showed community shops in the USA being shut down because they sold raw milk and FDA found it “dangerous” for human consumption. REALLY? I mean REALLY? If any of you reading this post understand the logic behind it, please help me because I don’t. And to be blunt, I am so grateful I was born in Europe!

But now let’s cut to the chase and try and see what’s wrong with the cosmetic industry in Europe. So…

Everything that’s wrong with the cosmetic industry

If you do a quick internet search for harmful ingredients you will discover different length lists: 10, 12, 17, 20 harmful ingredients so surely I won’t be able to cover them all here but I hope that my post will inspire you to discover the truth for yourself and dig in a bit deeper. There is lots of research out there, some more believable than other and some more independent than other, therefore the results might be different. But if you look at the resources online there are some harmful ingredients that get mentioned over and over again.

  1. FORMALDEHYDE

Found in: nail polish, nail products, eyelash glue, body and hair products.

Why harmful: it is considered to be a human carcinogen, irritant, might be harmful to the immune system and cause allergin skin reactions.

2. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

Found in: foaming products such as body washes, face washes, shampoos, toothpaste

Why harmful: irritates skin, disrupts natural skin balance, may cause eye damage.

3. BHA

Found in: exfoliants, perfume

Why harmful: possibly carcinogen, can cause skin depigmentation, interferes with hormone function

4. Triclosan

Found in: antibacterial products, toothpaste, deodorant

Why harmful: skin irritant, may cause hormonal disruptions, bacteria resistance, cause allergies

5. Oxybenzone

Found in: chemical sunscreens

Why harmful: may disrupt the hormone system, acts like estrogen in the body, is linked to endometriosis in women

6. Fragrance

Found in: perfume, skin and body care, hair products, makeup

Why harmful: fragrance isn’t just one ingredient but even up to 100 ingredients hidden behind “fragrance” label. Some of those are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, allergies, respiratory problems, asthma.

(And I always loved beautifully smelling comsetics!)

7. Mineral oil/ petroleum/ paraffin

Found in: skin care, hair care, mascara

Why harmful: possibly carcinogen, impairs skin ability to remove toxins

8. PEGs – Polyethylene glycol

Found in: body wash, scrubs, toothpaste, makeup

Why harmful: skin irritant, often contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane which are known carcinogens. It is also harmful to marine life – all those tiny exfoliating plastic beads made from polyethylene once washed down the pipes find their way into rivers and seas and are consumed by fish and marine animals.

9. And everyone’s favourite PARABENS

Found in: parabens are used as preservatives therefore they are found in majority of products

Why harmful: linked to cancer, hormone disruption, may also cause reproductive problems

I am going to stop here. Yes, I could go on for much longer but this surely gives you an idea on the mainstream cosmetic industry. I would suggest to take just one tub/ jar/ bottle of a cosmetic you normally use that isn’t really natural or organic and do a little research of the ingredients on the list. I bet you are going to be surprised.

If you would like a little bit more info I suggest you read this article by one of my favourite bloggers.

And if you aren’t already doing it, from now on keep checking the ingredients lists of the products you buy. And for your own sake try and avoid the harmful ingredients as much as you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

War on cellulite

Can you remember those good, old times when no one heard of cellulite? I do! Where are those times gone, I’m asking? Now not only every woman or girl knows what it is but she is most likely to be affected by it unfortunately as well.

Mind you, I asked T just yesterday if he knew what cellulite was. Only because he saw my new massager and wanted to know what it was to which I replied that it was purely for fighting cellulite purposes. The look on his face told me he had no idea what I was talking about. So I asked. And he DIDN’T! And believe me, I did not explain. LOL

SO WHAT IS CELLULITE?

Cellulite is a (now) common skin condition also known as “orange peel skin” and I’m sure we all know why it’s called that. I can’t remember when I first noticed mine. I think in my 20s and by then it was already quite widespread among women. It’s just that when you have it yourself you start noticing it in others more, right? Like you don’t want to be the only one that so “imperfect”.

I also remember having an anti-cellulite massage at a SPA, one of those painful ones with a Chinese massage cup and the massage therapist telling me that none of the anti-cellulite cosmetics work. That the only way to truly fight cellulite is to get rid of it mechanically through some form of massage (in addition to proper diet and exercising of course!) If you’re like me you have probably tried a whole lot of different anti-cellulite creams, lotions and whatnot, and noticed that they really don’t work. They can only make your skinn appear more smooth and moisturised but that’s about it.

According to dermatologists, 90% of women suffer from some form of cellulite. Cellulite appears when fat cells exdpand and push through to the upper skin layers, therefore becoming visible in the form of lumps and bumps on our thighs, stomach, bottom etc. and it doesn’t depend on our weight. As a sex we’re more unlucky in this case because our fat cells are spaced out differently than men’s and therefore more visible (read more here). There are different STAGES of cellulite and these range from:

No changes visible to the naked eye but anatomical changes begin to form.

The changes become visible when the skin is pinched.

To the cellulite being visible at all times, e.g. while standing and hard, painful nodules forming.

If you’re interested in more scientific description of all the changes this article can help.

CAUSES OF CELLULITE

The causes of cellulite aren’t well understood but some factors seem to be contributing to this skin condition more than others. These are:

  • hormones: insulin, estrogen and a few more are believed to contribute to cellulite. For example, with age, women produce less estrogen which can mean poorer blood circulation
  • genes: as we already know women are more prone to cellulite than men because of thei collagen structure
  • poor diet
  • lifestyle factors such as smoking, lack of exercise
  • tight clothes limiting blood flow.

Cellulite treatments and my war on cellulite

As I already mentioned anti-cellulite creams you can buy in stores don’t really work. They may smooth out your skin, moisturise it but they WILL NOT get rid of cellulite. I stopped spending money on those long time ago and I seriously advise you the same.

There are plenty of treatments out there that do work but cost a fair amount of money. I am not going to talk about those. What I am going to talk about is my personal war on cellulite I started a few weeks ago, heavily influenced by my sister. She lives in Poland and we usually communicate via Viber. Her messages are usually focused on her clothes shopping successes and failures. Well, mostly failures lol Anyway. The other day she told me she was looking to buy a massager as she was fed up with her cellulite. She found one with good reviews and here I was, wanting one myself. So I ordered it of course.  This one to be exact.

When my son saw it he tought it was some torture equipment! It may look it but doesn’t feel like this. It has two speed settings but even the second one doesn’t feel too harsh. So this is my mechanical measure to totally destroy my cellulite.

To complement it I made this massage oil, full of essential oils that help to combat cellulite. And also these scrub bars with coffee. Mine don’t quite look like the original ones but they do the job and smell amazing. I love the smell of coffee!

So my war on cellulite routine currently is:

  1. Scrub my problem areas under shower. By problem areas I mean my thighs, bum and stomach. My stomach actually isn’t affected by cellulite but the skin isn’t as tight as it used to be before giving birth so why not? It’s not going to hurt, is it?
  2. Apply my war on cellulite oil on the affected areas.
  3. Massage! I give each area a 5 minutes massage.

I have only started a couple of weeks ago and I don’t have the time to massage all my bits and pieces every day so I can’t comment on the results yet. I will in a few weeks time.

Meanwhile let me know if you have any tried (and working) ways of fighting cellulite. The more the better!

 

P.S. This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on products bought through them. However, I would not recommend anything I don’t personally use or love!

 

 

 

DIY, fluoride-free toothpaste

I remember reading some research and a mention in there that a toothpaste doesn’t have to foam in order to clean our teeth properly. However most people have some expectations as of how certain products should look and behave if you will. And most people expect toothpaste to foam. That’s why companies making most brands currently available add chemicals to it to satisfy those expectations. It has been a longer while ago and I can’t remember where I read it but today I will share a simple DIY toothpaste recipe that requires only four ingredients.

I am quite funny when it comes to things I eat or go into my mouth. I won’t eat anything I don’t like the look of (especially if it has tiny eyes looking at me, like prawns!) or or I don’t like the texture of. I tried oil pulling twice so far and I’m not sure I will try it again. So I was a bit sceptical when it came to making my own toothpaste the first time. I think I expected it to taste horrible but decided to give it a go. It was a very good decision as it tasted of peppermint (hello! I added peppermint oil to it) and my teeth haven’t felt this clean for ages. You know that feeling when you run your tongue on your teeth to check if they’re clean? Well, mine felt perfectly clean.

As I said you only need four ingredients:

  • 20g kaolin clay
  • 10g powdered chalk
  • 30 ml vegetable glycerine
  • 15 drops peppermint essential oil (feel free to substitue the oil for tea tree or clary sage or anything else with antibacterial properties)

You will also need a glass bowl, a digital scale, measuring spoons, a spatula and a clean, glass pot with a lid.

Start by measuring all the ingredients and putting them into the bowl.

And then start stirring until it is all combined to look like this:

It will take a while so be patient. Once it’s all mixed place it in a pot and it’s ready to use. Now, as this recipe doesn’t contain water there is no need for a preservative but make sure not to get any water into it while using it or it won’t last as long, not to mention might become dangerous as bacteria love water. I usually just dip my dry toothbrush in the pot first and then wet the brush. Use as if you would a regular toothpaste.

Now, why bother making your own if the shop bought ones come in such a variety and are fairly cheap? As I mentioned before this toothpaste cleans your teeth really well. It also doesn’t contain any unnecessary ingredients just for the sake of it. And it is FLUORIDE-free.

You might ask why fluoride-free when all you’ve probably been hearing since you were a child is that you need fluoride to keep your teeth healthy? For years fluoride was being added to our water and toothpaste so what happened? Based on this article majority of the Western European countries don’t add fluoride to their water anymore and this had no negative impact on tooth decay. It was noticed that the tooth decay rates actually lowered. Strange, right? Also too high doses of fluoride may cause fluorosis, a condition leading to permanently brown-stained teeth. Too much exposure to fluoride may also be linked to osteoporosis, thyroid problems and cancers, according to this article. My personal opinion is that the use of fluoride in water and oral hygiene products was simply overdone as it happens in a lot of cases. It’s a bit like with all the harmful additives in our food for example. They don’t cause any problems straight away so people continue using them. I am going to stick with my DIY toothpaste for the time being. What is your choice?

 

P.S. This post contains some associate links which means I am earning a small commision on the products you buy through my links however, these are products I use myself and I would never recommend anything I don’t find of good quality.

Hand cream

I love myself a good hand cream. I think I started using hand creams regularly since the age of about 13 if I remember correctly (yeah, that was a long time ago). And by regularly I mean pretty much each time after I wash my hands. For some reason I suddenly started hating that feeling of dry skin on my palms. I bet many of you can relate. Now, when I was growing up, there weren’t that many hand creams available. My favourite one was a lemon, glycerin hand cream. It made my skin feel so soft and moisturised. Until now I keep looking for the exact same feeling when I apply a ahnd cream. I hate those ones that quickly sink into your skin and your skin still feels dry.

I was so silly not that long ago and when I run out of my work bag cream I decided to buy one instead of making one myself. To be honest I didn’t have much time to make my own and as I couldn’t go without I just bought one. What a mistake! I went to a more posh if you like shop and chose one of their so called natural hand creams. I can’t even remember now if I even looked at the ingredients or if I was blinded for a moment. I hated that cream from the minute I started using it. My hands felt horrible and it kept smearing on my hands rather than spreading and sinking in. And once it did spread eventually, it left this feeling of dryness I so much hate. Nedless to say I qickly just chucked it in the bin (!).

So, today I will share the recipe I have been using for a good while now. It was inspired by the hand cream recipe you can find in Karen Gilbert’s book but I have made a few changes to it, even though it was perfectly fine to begin with. I think it was actually the first recipe I adapted instead of just following it step by step. I have since adapted it again for my daughter because her skin cracks in winter and needs very special treatment. But I will share that on a different occasion.

There are quite a few ingredients you need to make this cream but it is worth it. All my friends I have ever gifted it too love it.

It might seem a bit complicated if this is your first go with cosmetics with the oil and water phase but give it a go. I think you will be as impressed as I was the first time I made it 🙂

INGREDIENTS needed for the OIL PHASE:

Put all these ingredients in a heat proof jug and melt. I simply boil half a pot of water and then place the jug with the ingredients in it, and stir until it all melts. Keep it on the hob while you quickly get the water phase ready. I usually do it while the oil phase ingredients are melting.

INGREDIENTS for the WATER PHASE:

  • 55 ml boiled filtered water (it should be about 75 degrees Celsius)
  • 5 ml vegetable glycerin

Now, the important thing is to make sure that both phases are the same temperature when you mix them. So what I usually do is I measure the tempareture of the oil phase and the water phase, using a food termometer. If they are roughly the same I slowly pour the water phase in as I’m stiring it with a milk frother like this one (yeah, I know) still keeping the mixture in the double boiler. Keep stirring for about 1 minute, take it off the heat and now it’s time to cool it down. I do that by placing the jug in a bowl of cold water and stir for another minute. I then leave it to cool down until the temperature reaches just below 40 degrees Celsius.

At this point I add the remaining ingredients one by one and stir after each one. I have notice that sometimes if I add everything at once I don’t end up with the texture I want. It actually looks like it went off and I am not quite sure yet why so now I add one ingredient at a time and stir. So here we go:

  • 5 ml St. John’s Wort oil
  • 20 drops of preservative (I buy the Eco preservative from aromantic )
  • 15 drops of essential oil: lemongrass, sweet orange, whatever takes your fancy really or whatever additional benefits you want to achieve.
  • I sometimes also add 20 drops of vitamin E oil.

The last thing you need to do is to put it into a pot and VOILA!

 

P.S. This post contains some associate links which means I’m earning a small commission on the products you buy through these links. However, I would never recommend any products I don’t use myself.