Black gold

beauty-begins-the-moment-you-decide-to-be-yourself-coco-chanel

Ok, so my boyfriend inspired me to formulate this face scrub. As you know, I love scrubs. Of all kind really. He likes face scrubs 🙂 One day he told me to try his current one out because he loved how it made his skin feel. It made him feel that his skin was really clean and gave him the feeling of freshness. Plus it was quite rough. So me being me, I looked at the ingredients to identify what was responsible for it. Well, the feeling of freshness to be precise. MENTHOL! I have actually never used it as an ingredient before and had no idea how to use it. But because I wasn’t very fond on quite a lot of ingredients in his scrub I decided to experiment to make him something natural that gave him the same feel. And guess what? It took three tries and I got it, improved it slightly as well. And it’s T again who inspired me (thanks!) because another ingredient that he loves is activated coal. I used to buy this face wash with activated coal that he loved. Used to as it seems to be discontinued, unfortunately. But the coal, together with menthol, found their way into the scrub.

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You have to forgive me for not sharing the formula this time round. That’s because I am thinking of this scrub being part of my range I am beginning to work on (yes, I want to have my own natural cosmetics business).

How to use MENTHOL

As for the ingredients however, I can share one tip about using menthol. It comes in crystals (I use this one). This was part of the problem and why I needed three tries to get the scrub right. Dissolving the crystals is a bit tricky. I read that they can be dissolved in the room temperature in e.g. base oil. But I think I didn’t give it long enough the first time round. You could feel it but not as much as I wanted. So the second time round I decided to add it during the cooling phase of making the scrub. And this time I think the scrub was still too warm so you couldn’t feel menthol at all. The third time round I decided to dissolve the crystals in Eco Silk that I added in the last phase and BINGO! It worked. It dissolved completely and it gave the feeling T was looking for.

Activated Charcoal

Now, why COAL you may ask. The colour definitely scares people away, thinking it will stain the skin. No, it does not! I tried. And it is worth using, especially if you have oily skin.

Activated charcoal (this is the one I use. It is in capsules so take care when opening them as it can get quite messy), due to its adsorption power, helps you to get rid of toxins, impurities and dirt from the skin pores. It draws the impurities to the surface of the skin and it helps to fight acne. It is used in face masks but you can also use to whiten your teeth! I know, right? It does not seem quite logical to be using black powder to whiten anything but here you go. All you need to do is to deep a wet toothbrush in the activated charcoal and brush your teeth as you normally would for 2 minutes. Spit it out, rinse and voila! I’m not saying it will work the first time round but give it some time and you will surely see the results.

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As for face masks I found this DIY mask with activated charcoal (I actually have it on my face right now :)) I think it’s awesome. The three main ingredients provide so many benefits. I added 3 drops of teat tree oil for its anti-bacterial properties. And for the fragrance as you know I love when cosmetics smell nicely.

According to this post that is quite comprehensive, activated charcoal:

  1. Helps to bind dirt and impurities and draws them out of the pores, leaving skin cleaner and the pores less visible.
  2. Helps to balance oily skin by pulling out the excess oil from your skin.
  3. Helps to treat acne due to its impurities and oil drawing out properties.
  4. Helps to deep clean your skin but it’s best not to use it daily in order not to draw out all the oil from the skin as it’s needed for its proper functioning.
  5. Helps to heal cuts, irritations and bites. Mix it up with enough water to form a paste and apply on the affected skin. This should lessen the pain and reduce swelling.
  6. Helps to get rid of toxins from your hair when added to your regular shampoo.
  7. Helps to add volume to your hair
  8. Helps to reduce scalp conditions such as dandruff, redness and oily and itchy scalp.

With so many benefits what else can I say? Happy experimenting!

P.S. This post contains associate links which mean I earn a small commission on the products bought thorugh them. However, I would never recommend anything I don’t personally use and love!

Sugar or Salt?

 

Be your ownkind ofbeautiful

Body scrubs are my absolute favourites. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. I love using them and I love when they finish so that I can open a new one (or make a new one now I know how) and get lost in the smells and textures. I especially love the oily scrubs that leave that protective film on your skin after using them. But the questions I have had on my mind for a while are: What is better as a base? Sugar or salt? Is there actually any difference? So I decided to do some research. Gosh, how I love the internet lol

So what is the difference?

So, the first difference is apparently the size of the particles (sheknows.com). Sugar being less abrasive than salt since the sugar particles are smaller. However there is a variety of sugars out there, demerara sugar having much bigger granules than caster sugar. I personally prefer using fine sugar, like golden caster, as the end result is much less messy than if working with bigger granules. I once used very coarse salt to make a body scrub and, well…it wasn’t the best idea. The scrub wouldn’t stick to my hands or skin enough for me to give myself a good scrub. Instead it kept dropping into the bath and making a lot of mess. Did I waste it? Not at all. Used it as bath salts with the additional benefit of the butters from the scrub that melted in the warm water and left my skin feeling lovely and smooth. So I accidentally discovered a good recipe for bath salts 🙂

Back to the difference between salt and sugar as a body scrub base. The size of the granules means that sugar scrubs are more suitable for delicate or sensitive skin like your face. And the salt scrubs for everything else, especially for the knees, elbows and heels.

Another difference – the minerals that the salt contains and the sugar doesn’t (happi.com). Different salts contain different minerals and in a different concentration. But regardless of this they offer certain benefits: improve blood circulation, detoxify, help to relax muscles and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. However refrain from using salt scrubs if your skin is irritated, cut or you have just shaved your legs. It is going to sting! And the salt can dry out your skin so remember to use a moisturising body butter after buffing off the dead skin cells. However sugar contains glycolic acid that helps to protect against toxins. It also moisturises and conditions the skin.

So which is better you may ask? All depends on what you are looking to achieve. Both will get rid of the dead skin cells and this is the primary benefit of scrubs. For your face use sugar based scrubs only, never salt as it’s too abrasive. The rest depends on your skin needs and the additional ingredients such as oils, butters and essential oils. As this blog progresses I will be investigating other ingredients, learning more about their properties and benefits (and side effects if there are any) and will also be sharing recipes using those ingredients.

WELCOME TO MY JOURNEY!