Monday, January 16, 2012

Save Your After-Shower: Rose Water and Glycerin Moisturizing Spray

We all know that moisturizing your skin after a shower is a very important process to keeping your skin healthy. We all know those few minutes after getting out of the shower are the best time to apply moisturizer to your skin, but sometimes that can be tedious. I mean let’s face it, applying lotion to your entire body is an arduous timely ordeal and some mornings we simply don’t have the time to complete the task. Even if you do take the time every morning/evening to put on lotion after a shower, you still have trouble getting it in all hard to reach places (like your upper back). One of my biggest reasons I frequently don’t use lotion moisturizer after a shower: the lotion feels so COLD on my skin after I hop out of a hot shower. I hate that.

As much as I have tried to stick to keeping the routine of lotioning-up my skin after each shower, I have to admit I don’t always do it because it the aforementioned issues. I started thinking of solutions to my issues with post-shower moisturizing. How about a spray bottle loaded with skin healthy goodness I could put on my skin? Seemed simple enough! The same day I had this revelation I was at my local Albertson’s supermarket and saw a bottle of Rosewater Glycerin in the pharmacy section. I thought to myself: “That’s perfect! Glycerin is the basis for all moisturizers and the rosewater cuts the solution to make it perfect for pumping through a spray bottle without clumping”. Wow, I thought, I can buy a spray bottle and fill it up with this mixture to use after every shower.

I followed through and the results were awesome. I would dry off after every shower and quickly spray the solution all over my body, even my dry upper back! I spent a minimal about of time rubbing the lotion into my skin to make sure it was evenly distributed, but that only took about 30 seconds. “YES!”, I thought, “my skin is loving this and it this only a fraction of the time I would normally take, and the solution dries SO much faster than lotion – so I can dress faster after my shower.”

I used up the solution so quickly, it only lasted two weeks. I keep going back to Albertson’s to get more, I was hooked. Then I moved to Colorado, where the local Albertson’s did not have solution I needed. I searched the internet and Whole Foods stores only to find that the prices for this solution were ridiculously high. So, let’s make it at home… and that is what I did.
I bought my glycerin online, which you can do here. All I needed was my rosewater! I worked on it and made my own and was more than satisfied with the results. So here we go, here is how you can make your own after-shower spray:

You’ll need:
Large boiling pot
Two small non-plastic bowls
Clear pot lids
Rose petals
Spray bottle

1: Making the rosewater.  After you have your rose petals, you will need to boil the mixture for the rose water. Instead of typing out all the instructions I will post this short video on how to make the water: watch thisYou should have 12 to 16 ounces of rosewater when done.
2: Once you have the rosewater and it is still warm, pour one part rosewater with one part glycerin into your spray bottle. Shake rigorously.
3: Spray over your entire body after you towel off from your shower every morning.
4: Enjoy having more time and soft skin.

Tip: if you want extra scent in your mixture, add desired essential oil (4 drops only) to the boiling water in step 1, do not add to finished bottle. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beautiful Skin after Shaving???

Living in a VERY dry climate (no I am not in Arizona, but close), I tend to noticed how dry my skin gets after I shave. I searched for a good alternative to shaving creams online, but really NOTHING you buy at the store will help. A great website for skin cleansing gave me a wonderful idea: when shaving, why not use olive oil?

Normally store bought shaving creams will make you dried out. You don't deserve that. You need nurturing.

So, I tried shaving my legs with straight olive oil for a while. The results were mixed. Although my legs were so soft after shaving, it took a long time to shave. The oil clogged the razor blades, and the bathtub basin became too slippery.... I almost fell several times.

I revisited the Oil Cleansing Method website for ideas and inspiration.  I wanted something I could put on my skin that would help with the damage of a razor, but also be easy to deal with. My solution was so simple: mix 1 part olive oil with one part castor oil. Get this, castor oil is a lot thinner that olive oil and has cleansing properties.

So buy the following:

Olive Oil
Caster Oil (at Walgreens or CVS)
Pumping canister (as in the image)

Mix 8 oz of Castor Oil with 8 oz Olive oil
add 2 drops of essential oil: lavender, rosemary or tea-tree oil (all have cleansing properties)
pour into a bottle you can easily pour or pump from (photo above)

Pump a small amount into your hand (the size of a nickle) and smooth over one leg and then shave as usual

So shaving with oil feels weird, but really... foam is for morons... its full of chemicals you don't need. I use this exact mixture to clean my face every morning and night... and I never have any skin issues. 

Shave without creams or foams ladies and see how beautiful your skin can be!

Do it, what can it hurt?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Skincare with natural vitamin A: Pumpkin Mask!

In the winter months our skin can become dry and dull! Need help?

Luckily, I found a quick way to keep your skin healthy and still be natural! Vitamin A & C is a tremendous help to cell protection and restoration, and the easiest fall-time fixes are available for your use: PUMPKIN!!!
That’s right, pumpkin is one of the absolute best things to put on your skin (if not in  your tummy) you can ask for!!! The high amount of beta-carotenes, vitamins C, K, and E make this one of the vegetables in the cucurbitaceous family with highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA (required daily amount) when ingested.

Vitamin A (also known as retinol) is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. Applying pumpkin directly to your skin is a great way to keep it feeling soft and fresh.

Here is a simple recipe I use myself:

Things you will need:
Can of 100% organic puree pumpkin.
Soy milk
Flat paint brush

Brown sugar
Apple cider

Step 1:
1 tbs half puree pumpkin (from can or fresh)
1 tbs soy milk
¼ tbs honey
blend in a small bowl with a spoon

Step 2:
Mix well and apply with paint brush to freshly clean and exfoliated skin.  Apply with small upward motions to face, neck and shoulders. Leave on for 10 minutes or dry.

Step 3:
Wash off with warm water.


Add cider mix (1/4 tsb) to the mix for oily skin.  Cider has cleansing properties that are normality over looked. 

Add brown sugar to use as an exfoliate scrub!!! 
I recommend using this mask on the face and neck once a week throughout the entire winter season.

Nutrition of pumpkin:

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.),  fresh,
Nutritive value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
26 Kcal
6.50 g
1.0 g
Total Fat
0.1 g
0 mg
Dietary Fiber
0.5 g
16 mcg
0.600 mg
Pantothenic acid
0.298 mg
0.061 mg
0.110 mg
0.050 mg
Vitamin A
7384 IU
Vitamin C
9.0 mg
Vitamin E
1.06 mg
Vitamin K
1.1 mcg
1 mg
340 mg
21 mg
0.127 mg
0.80 mg
12 mg
0.125 mg
0.3 mcg
0.32 mg
515 mcg
3100 mcg
2145 mcg
1500 mcg

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Best Thing for Your Skin: Vitamin C Serum

If you are anything like me, you prefer to make your own natural beauty products because they are much better and nurturing for your skin than store bought products pumped full of bad chemical preservatives that do nothing to help your skin cells. After moving to Denver in 2010 from a relativity humid climate, I notice my skin became a lot duller in the dry mile-high country. I always thought that vitamin A (also known as Retinol) was the absolute best thing to put on your skin. I spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars throughout the years on consumer products with “retinol”. None of these items (department store bought or handmade) really had any impact on the appearance/texture of my skin. In the end, I did a lot of research and discovered a great vitamin C treatment to help my dry skin and help me protect my skin cells from UV damage in the process.

***skip to the bottom for recipe***
A few words about Vitamin C:
Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is one of the best things you can put on your skin on a daily basis. Not only has it been proven to help against UV damage, but it can also boost collagen levels and reduce wrinkle deepness. Notice I did not say it reduces wrinkles, because NOTHING can do that but surgery. It can also lighten pigmentation, which as a fair skin girl isn’t really needed, but some of you may find this beneficial. 5% to 10% L-ascorbic acid on the skin is very effective, as not a lot is needed in the production of the crème or serum which is applied to the face. It should also be noted that vitamin E is also a very beneficial for the skin, but for the purposes of this article I am only focusing on the wonders of vitamin C.
Why do I want to make it myself, can’t I just buy this at the store?

Okay, I know I will be asked this:
Question: I’ve seen vitamin C lotions or serums at Dillards or Target, can’t I just buy those and be done with it?
Answer: You shouldn’t, because it wouldn’t do anything but smell pretty and take your hard earned $!
Explanation: Vitamin C with a carrier substance (L-ascorbic acid mixed with other items) has a shelf life of about 5 to 8 days before it oxidizes. Let that sink in for a moment. The beauty companies sell products that have “Vitamin C” printed on the side of the bottle or front of the box and hope you won’t catch onto their ruse. The sad fact is that by the time the product is put on the shelves of the US supermarkets and department stores, the vitamin C has already oxidized and lost most of its potent effectiveness. The beauty companies know this, but because they are not regulated by a body to make sure their products are always effective at time of sale they can get away with it!
When oxidized, vitamin C lotion or serum turns a yellow-amberish color. Because oxidation happens so quickly after production, it is so important to use it immediately….. which is why you should start making it  yourself.
Some lesser versions of vitamin C consist of Ascorbyl palmitate, Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Although these have proven to stimulate collagen growth, they are not as powerful as L-ascorbic acid.

One thing to always remember: L-ascorbic acid is highly unstable, it is always best to use it immediately after production.

Let’s make a Vitamin C serum at home!
Her e is what you need:
L-ascorbic powder (buy it here)
buy it here)
Distilled water
Dark glass bottle (preferable with spray nozzle) **note, vitamin C is photo sensitive and oxidizes faster when light hits it. You need to keep it in a dark bottle where light cannot easily pass through it**


Aloe plant
Essential oils

Step 1:
Heating the distilled water:
Place about ½ a cup of distilled water in a smaller glass or porcelain contain inside a saucepan of tap water. Heat at medium on the range. Heat for 5 minutes.
Step 2:
Prepping the bottle:
Add ¼ tsp  (1.25 ml) L-ascorbic acid power to your dark glass bottle
Tip: curl up a small piece of paper into the opening of the bottle as a funnel into the bottle and hold over the sink when pouring, as powder can become messy
Step 3:
Add 1 tsp of distilled water to the powder:
Scoop out 1 tsp (5 ml) of the warmed distilled water with measuring spoon and add to the powder in the dark glass bottle.
Tip: use an eyedropper to pull the distilled water from the measuring spoon and deliver into the bottle.
Step 4:
Dissolve the powder into the warm distilled water
Take the time to shake the bottle until the powder is totally dissolved into the distilled water before moving to the next step. This can take up to 5 to 10 minutes. Wait until the powder is totally disovled into the distilled water to move onto step 5.
Tip: At this stage I put the mixture into a bottle with an eyedropper, I squeeze on the eyedropper into the liquid over and over to move the mixture around and speed up the dissolving of the powder.
Step 5:
Adding the glycerine
Add 1 tsb of glycerine to the mixture. Shake until totally mixed.
Step 6:
You’re done!!!! Spray all over on clean skin for 7 days, then start over again in 7 days (or when you notice yellowing from oxidation) with production. If using make-up, allow 10 minutes to dry until you apply makeup.

Notes to consider:
1: When using, exfoliate your skin first!! This will ensure that the dead skin cells are removed and the live cells are getting the full benefit of the vitamin C. Personally I use an at home microderm abrasion kit once a week to make sure the dead cells are gone, then I spray the vitamin C serum onto the skin. Feels so good the next day!!
2. Vitamin C will sting at first, much like the first time you tried Vitamin A for the first time, but this will be easier each time you use it.
3: Double up on the amounts in the recipe of ingredients if you want to put the serum on your body. 4: The serum will only stay active for about 5 to 7 days
5: Always be naturally beautiful!

6: Contact me for any questions!

For alternates forms:

- Aloe can help the stinging effect of the vitamin C. Squeeze a few drips of Aloe into the mix if you have sensitive skin. Only do this after you have fully mixed the serum.
Essential oils - only add a very small amount (one drop) to the mix if you desire an odor to the facial mix.