Using different oils for your skin & hair

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about beauty stuff. I do like my makeup and the ability to magically banish a multitude of sins with a handy little tube of concealer. No matter how much makeup I use it have the same effect if the base, in this case my face, isn’t in good condition. I use the term good loosely as I do have my problem spots, my face can produce enough of its own oil to make me quite shiney which can be a problem with makeup, I do also have dry patches where it can be noticeable when foundation and concealer doesn’t blend in properly.

  • I’m not that great at eating my 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • I try and stay hydrated but if it’s a rough day I am known to hit the caffeine
  • I don’t drink alcohol so I caffeine is my vice.

Externally I try and do right by my skin, wash my makeup brushes, moisturise, use eye cream, all that good stuff but what I have discovered several months ago and still use on my skin is oil. Yes you have heard my right oil, I use coconut, jojob, almond, olive all for different parts of my body.

Face

I stopped using shop bought makeup remover for over a year now and only use baby wipes if I’m being extremely lazy to remove my makeup otherwise it is a good old trusted jar of coconut oil. This stuff is great, it removes all my makeup including the waterproof stuff. I know you’re meant to use the good organic stuff, but I generally use this one from KTC. I do also have a jar of organic coconut oil and you can notice the difference between the two products but for the removal of my makeup I find the cheaper product does the job just fine.

Face wash is great stuff but did find it could dry out my skin. I was going through a phase of trying to save pennies and also be kinder to my skin and came across oil cleansing.

Oil Cleansing

Oil cleansing doesn’t agree with everyone’s skin as you using a blend of oils clean you face and using warm tap water and a flannel to wipe it all off. From reading other people’s experiences oil cleansing caused them to have acne breakouts. Fortunately my skin hasn’t reacted in the same way, not only does it leave my skin feeling nice and soft it is all great for removing makeup, when I want to skip the cotton pad and coconut oil I just got straight to the oil cleansing.
It sounds odd and you would think that your face would be left feeling greasy from any oil residue, and some people have experienced this but I haven’t had this problem.

Pumps some of the blend you’re your hands, rub your palms together to warm the oil up then massage onto your face. Using warm tap water, dampen a flannel and wipe the oil off. You will have you wipe your face with the flannel and water maybe 2-3 times until all the oil and if you had any on the makeup is removed.

I tend to use a mixture of castor oil and almond oil with maybe a few drops of essential oil thrown in. My usual blend;

1/3 castor oil
2/3 almond oil

Or if I’m feeling like a change I’ll use this blend;

1/4 castor oil
2/4 almond oil
1/4 jojoba oil

Everyone’s skin is different and it took a bit of experimenting with smaller quantities until I find the combination that worked for me.

Night time

At night instead of a night cream I use an oil blend, sometimes I use a few drops in my day Jojoba oilcream if my skin if feeling exceptionally dry and the face cream alone isn’t going to cut it. I haven’t and measurements for this as I chop and change it up all the time. I always use jojoba oil as my base oil and leave it at that, a few drops of lavender essential oil, good for the skin and for help you sleep and few drops of vitamin E oil also great for the skin. I’ve been noticing lately my skin has been feeling a bit dry, that could also because I have been feeling a bit under the weather and not drinking enough fluids. To deal with the dry skin problem inside an out I’ve added coconut oil to the mix, when I have time I’ll make a rich cream with oils and coco butter always great for the winter. 
I also use a simple homemade facemask with yoghurt, gram flour and turmeric, the one I really like at the moment is just yoghurt and white kaolin clay. My skin feels so soft afterwards.

Body

Creams and Lotions

I have played around in the past making my own body lotions which have been heavily oil based with a blend of coconut oil, almond oil and coco butter with some essential oil thrown in. I do like ylang ylang. I haven’t been brave enough to experiment too much with my own measurements but have used a whipped body recipe from Wellness Mama and a 3 ingredient body lotion from Mommypotamus, with this one you also use water and no preservative so best to make a small batch. You have to remember that oil is used and at first it will feel greasy on your skin until it is absorbed. Great for the winter as skin tend to be drier, great to use in the summer before bed so your skin has time to repair itself.

Body Oil

In the mornings I can be quite lazy and skip using body moisturiser, not great when my legs get Oilvery dry and itch. So I have just begun using a blend of almond and jojob oil to spray and massage onto my wet skin after a shower. I would definitely recommend investing a small travel size spray bottle, only 50p from Wilkinson as it means you don’t waste any oil and less chance of it spilling everywhere. I can’t tell you yet if this blend works as I have only just starting using it, I can tell you though that my legs do feel a lot let dry.

Shaving is a pain, I do own an epilator but the patience to wait for the hair to grow enough to use it is sometimes non-existent, so shaving it is. Instead of investing in shaving cream I have used shower gel, not great really as this contributes to my dry legs! No I could make a homemade shaving lotion with an oil blend, shea butter etc but have instead resorted to whipping up some coconut oil with maybe some almond oil (you may have noticed that I use this oil a lot), or forgo the almond oil and just use the whipped up coconut oil in place of shaving cream. I wet my legs, massage the oil onto my then razor away.

Fancy a body or face scrub? You guessed right, a bit of coconut oil and sugar. If you want a gentle scrub then use brown sugar, for a more gritty scrub opt for granulated (white) sugar. I’m currently using coconut oil with a mixture of granulated and brown sugar for my face and body. It smells nice too with a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Of course you don’t need to use sugar or oil, honey and coffee granules are also an option.

Hair

Hair oil is great, I tend to either leave it on overnight or about 10-30 minutes in the morning depending on how much time I have. In the past I used to use hair oil called Amla hair oil that I used to only be able to get from an Asian shop when my parents did their food shopping in Ilford, I now use almond oil or jasmine hair oil. Gently massage onto your scalp and your hair, if leaving on overnight I lay a towel on my pillow, you can also use a shower cap. For a hot oil treatment, wrap you oil covered head up in a warm towel.

I’m not an expert on these things, I just like to play around and if I can save a bit of money in the process then added bonus. These treatments worked for my skin, like with anything if you have an allergic reaction then stop using it.
Not all oils will be suitable for your skin, I’ve read that jojoba is the closest to the sebum oils our body naturally produces so if you are brave enough to try out using oil anywhere on your body then this could be the one to begin with.

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Lotions and potions

cauldron9-240x229I have to use up as much of my annual leave as possible before the new financial year so had a long weekend. My plans for Friday fell through as the weather couldn’t make up its mind what it wanted to do, snow, sleet or rain. This was the perfect opportunity to have another try making some homemade beauty products, the last DIY product I made was a facial bronzer.

You already know about my candle making experiments, I’ve started making notes about what I’m doing and how much essential oil I’m putting into the wax to get a scent when the candle it burned. Think I am nearly at a point where I can start giving friends and family sample to test out.

Lotions and potions

I’m not against using store bought creams, balms etc, I’m a fan of L’Oreal Triple Action face cream even Palmers coco butter body lotion but once in a while I feel like I want to be a bit creative and try something different. Though I will say once I discovered oil cleansing and started making a yoghurt based face wash / mask I haven’t used store bought face wash in at least a year. I can’t completely say that my skin is better just from using alternatives to store bought face wash as I have also started taking vitamins, drinking more water which have also contributed to the current condition of my skin. I do also make a blend of oils which I put on at night instead of a store bought night cream.

img-20170211-wa00111Back on track, I thought I’d begin with making something that was a bit easy to make like a lip balm using beeswax, coco butter and essential oil. The end product did come out a bit firmer than I would have liked but it’s usable and smells nice, might actually be suitable for the lip balm tubes. Next time I will use a bit more oil or less beeswax so it’s a little bit softer.

This is the recipe I worked with but think a bit of tweaking is required.

  • 5g Beeswax (I used pellets)
  • 10g Cocoa butter
  • 5 drops Lavender oil
  • 5 drops Vitamin E oil
  • 5 drops Ylang Ylang oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vegetable Glycerine

Melted the beeswax and coco butter together then added the oils and glycerine. Simple really, just need to work on the measurements.

Whipped body lotion

Feeling a bit more confident I decided to try out a body lotion recipe. I didn’t have all the ingredients listed in my book so looked on the internet about substitutes and alternative recipes. I found this one from Holisticsquid.com. I’m glad I halved the recipe as the original recipe makes quite a lot, even with this amount I was able to put some in small travel pots to give to my family to test out the cream. Below is the full recipe from the website but this does make a lot.

  • 1 cup of Cocoa Butter
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup Jojoba oil or other liquid oil (almond or a mild olive would work great too) I used a mixture of Almond & Jojoba oil, I like the smell of jojoba but didn’t have enough for the cream

Whipped body butter homemade lotion method

  • Using a double boiler gently melt cocoa butter and coconut oil until completely liquid.
  • Stir in jojoba or other liquid oil.
  • Allow to chill in the refrigerator until the oil mixture begins to firm, but has not turned completely solid. This may take longer than you expect – several hours at least. I lost patience and put it in the freezer for abut 20-30minutes, I covered the top of the jug just so nothing would fall into the mixture
  • Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, whip the semi-solid mixture until white peaks form.
  • Scoop into glass jars and allow to chill for an hour in the fridge.

img-20170211-wa00091The recipe called for the mixture to be whipped, I guess you could keep the mixture in solid form but it would be more difficult to get out of the container. Whipping the mixture when it has just set changes its whole consistency, it becomes light and fluffy, the colour even changes from a pale yellow to a marshmallow white whipping the mixture also make it easier to apply to your much. You don’t need to use a lot of the lotion as a little goes a long way, it is oily once you have it on your hands and massage into your body but this is absorbed by your skin you don’t have a greasy residue. As a first attempt I am quite pleased with the lotion so far, it’s only been a few days. I will play around with the recipe and try different oils and butters (shea butter) when I have some free time on my hands again.

 

Cauldron image used can be found here.

Mind the Thigh gap!

I recently read this blog post regarding ‘thigh gaps’. Those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s the gap between your thighs when you are standing with your legs together. Go on try it. Can’t see a gap? Not to worry neither did I….because I have thighs! 😀

The idea of a thigh gap is to determine if you have fat thighs, it’s also meant to be a sign of how beautiful you are. Can’t imagine a guy saying about a girl they thought was attractive, she had a lovely smile, gorgeous eyes oh and check out those beautiful thighs?? I could be wrong.😕

This is a completely daft idea as everyone is built differently, depending on your pelvic bones, no matter how hard some of us try we will not ever see that elusive gap.

Then there are those of us who exercise, in my case kickboxing, it’s taken a while but I’m developing muscle so again no thigh gap. I need my thighs to be strong and protect me when I get hit!

Those of us who do try to achieve this so called idea of beauty can end up doing so in an unhealthy way. This is a serious matter and a look many girls are striving to achieve. The ‘thigh gap’ term apparently came about after widespread news coverage in December 2013 after the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, apparently bigger the gap the better. 😮

I know this is a serious topic but we did have have a giggle in the office over it, it was more over the silliness of it all. I work with mostly men, none of them had even heard of ‘thigh gap’, and can’t believe anyone who want to go to great lengths to have that kind of look. This led to us being silly, if we stood in a different position would we get a thigh gap? It didn’t work but it did break up the afternoon. :-D..We do also work!

During our research of thigh gaps we came across the ‘bikini bridge’. Only one guy in the office even knew what this was, even I hadn’t heard of this. I can tell you this is just as nutty as thigh gaps and started off as a hoax from the online forum 4chan. A bikini bridge is the gap between your bikini bottoms and your hip bones when you lay down. What started out as a joke has gone viral and there is the risk of females taking this seriously. The only way I would be able to get this look is if I held my breath and sucked in my stomach! Again this topic of conversation resulted in laughter and jokes, these are normal guys who prefer real women as opposed to those who like to push around a lettuce leaf on their plate whilst they steal your chips.

There are some women who naturally have these looks and are healthy, for the rest us of it isn’t going to happen and need to work with what we’ve got. All of us, women and men have some kind of insecurities when it comes to our bodies. Just as there will always be a bunch of people who will focus on how to achieve the J-Lo booty if you were to religiously do these 6 butt busting exercises ever day. FYI I couldn’t have a J-Lo booty, I have a petite frame and am a shorty, the excess weight would cause me back pain or to fall over. 😀

In the office today, think we’re going to be talking about bingo wings.

Office Exercise

OfficeExercise

Don’t have time to exercise and stretch those muscles? Here are some simple exercises you can do whilst at your desk.

  1. If the option is there, then take the stairs.
  2. Legs
    • Lift your leg out straight and hold for a few seconds then lower. Repeat this about 10-15 times on both legs.
    • Lift your foot off the ground and keep your leg to a 90 degree angle. Hold this position for as long as you are comfortable. Do this 10 times with both legs.
    • Lift your toes while your heels are still on the ground. This exercise can also be done whilst standing up.
    • Roll your ankles, 5 times each way.
  3. Body
    • Roll your shoulders backwards and forwards to loosen the muscles.
    • Roll your wrists as you would do with your ankles.
    • Stretch your wrists by holding your hand out, palm facing outwards, using your other hand pull your fingers towards you. If room, do this whilst extending your arms outwards.
    • Contract your abdomen muscles and hold for a seconds. Good exercise to help strengthen these muscles.
    • Stretch out your shoulders and back by extending your arms out in front, hold your hands and stretch forward. You should feel the stretch in your shoulders and upper back.
  4. Move away from your computer or close your eyes for a few seconds every hour to give your eyes a rest from your computer.
  5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Try and drink on average 8 glasses of water a day.

You can also view this article on Jobserve.com.