Beauty

Easy DIY Honey + Coffee Scrub

Exfoliation is something that I actually never thought was really important until I got a little older. As a teenager, I would buy all the cool looking, acne fighting, black head busting, microbead infused face washes, but wasn't even sure what all that meant. Microbeads are, according to NPR, “tiny bits of plastic, [or] small scrubbing components used in hundreds of personal care products like skin exfoliants and soap.” Now that I am older and a little wiser, I know that I shouldn't be putting any product on my skin that contains actual....plastic. Like, seriously?

IMG_3951-e1496766533242.jpg

Back to exfoliation.

Proper exfoliation removes the barrier of dead skin cells clogging the skin and uncovers fresh new cells below. This opens the way for moisturizing products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which makes them more effective. In short, a regular exfoliating routine will leave your skin looking fresh and healthy.

For me, I realized that I needed to start exfoliating not only my face, but all over my body once I started getting really bad ingrown hairs from shaving down there..I also have experienced them on my face from removing some of my unwanted facial hair.

There are tons of brands that make products that aren't harmful to the environment like FIRST AID BEAUTY’s Facial Radiance Polish or LUSH Cosmetic’s Let The Good Times Roll exfoliator, but I'm all about that DIY life and that's what this post is about.

This simple scrub has 5 powerful all natural ingredients:

IMG_3950.jpg

Honey:

it's the perfect base to this face mask because of all its natural properties. It's nature’s antibiotic salve. It’s also a top notch moisturizer and antioxidant.

IMG_3941.jpg

Coffee:

Old or fresh coffee grounds can be used in this recipe. The benefits of coffee are endless; it will help to freshen and revitalize dull and dry skin. Caffeine wakes skin up, leaving it looking vibrant. It’s been known to reduce under eye swelling and temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite, making it a wonderful addition to any skin care regimen.

IMG_3945.jpg

Sugar:

Is the perfect grainy texture for a less harsh exfoliation. It’s harsh enough to remove dead skin while still leaving healthy skin in great shape. It acts as a moisture magnet as it brings moisture to your skin from the environment around you. Sugar also contains an acid that helps speed up the production of new skin cells, making skin appear younger and fresher.

IMG_3952.jpg

Baking Soda:

In small amounts, its helps with exfoliation and removes heavy oils. With proper use, it’s proven to clear up severe cases of acne and aid in balancing very oily skin types.

Jojoba Oil:

Jojoba oil is unique in that, unlike most other vegetable oils, it closely resembles sebum, a waxy substance produced by our skin glands, so it can act as a natural skin conditioner. It has nearly replaced animal fats in the manufacture of skin lotions and creams. That's why I love to use it for my skin/hair.

Let's get to it.

[ultimate-recipe id="1159" template="default"]

Holistic skincare is something that I am passionate about and I would love to share more recipes and tips with you guys, let me know if this post was helpful at all by leaving a comment or hitting me up on IG.

IMG_3948.jpg

Head-To-Toe Herbal Balm/Salve

IMG_3704-e1478897079420.jpg

It's fall, and winter is right around the corner waiting to hit us with its brutal, harsh, BRICK COLD winds. Thank God I don't really have to worry about that on the daily basis because I live in LA, but I do have to be cautious when I am traveling back home or somewhere else with cold weather.

IMG_3709.jpg

With cold weather comes ashy skin. Especially for people of color, our melanin just need to be nice a moisturized in cold weather. Like what is it about that little part if skin between your thumb and index finger that seems to want to be the ASHIEST part of your body in the winter?!

I created this balm to help combat the ash this winter, and year round! This balm has just 5 ingredients and is super easy/quick to make.

This balm can literally be used for anything and you can double the recipe to make larger batches if needed. I use this balm for my lips, hands, face, and even to help loosen up my makeup before I use my makeup remover!

Coconut oil is used in this recipe for many reasons:

img_3717
img_3717
  • It's naturally antibacterial and anti fungal
  • An excellent moisturizer
  • Offers some protection against solar radiation so great for treating sunburn
  • Safe, effective, and hypoallergenic

Beeswax:

IMG_3701.jpg

Acting as a surfactant, beeswax, when blended into cold creams and other skin lotions, forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin. This barrier, according to Koster Keunan, a global organic wax supplier, provides a film of protection against irritants while still allowing the skin to breathe.

This barrier may also aid in protecting the tender skin on your lips. I recommend using a lip balm that contains beeswax during cold weather to reduce your chances of getting chapped lips.

Other Benefits:

  • Antibacterial
  • Skin Healer
  • Skin Softener
IMG_3713.jpg

The essential oils I used in this recipe are lemon and rosemary. Each essential oil offers something different to the final product. You can create your own combination of oils to create a scent that is unique and works for you.

Some combination ideas:

  • Floral – Lavender, Neroli, Jasmine
  • Woodsy – Pine, Cedar
  • Earthy – Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli
  • Herbaceous – Marjoram, Rosemary, Basil
  • Minty – Peppermint, Spearmint
  • Medicinal – Eucalyptus, Cajuput, Tea Tree
  • Spicy – Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon
  • Oriental – Ginger, Patchouli
  • Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Lime
IMG_3714.jpg

Vitamin E Oil:

Vitamin E Oil is a great addition to skin-care products for many reasons, a significant one being its ability to act as a natural preservative, prolonging product shelf life by helping to prevent oxidation.

Let me know if you guys make this balm at home. Tweet me @ForeverRikk

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a double boiler, coconut oil and beeswax until melted.

  2. Once melted, remove the bowl from heat and add in vitamin E oil, lemon, and rosemary essential oils.

  3. Mix together and pour into tins. Let sit until cool and solidified.

7 Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil

All hail the great Lavender...

Dried Lavender
Dried Lavender

Lavender essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils used today. I mean, it does smell pretty amazing. It has been used for healing, medicinal & religious purposes for over 2,500 years now. Carrying a little bottle of lavender essential oil is like having your own little first aid kit right on hand. The fragrance is calming, relaxing and balancing – physically and emotionally.

The Egyptians used this wonderful oil for mummification and as a perfume. The Romans also used it for cooking, bathing and as a perfume as well.

IMG_5733.jpg

Today, this essential oil benefits your body in the following ways:

  1. Reduces anxiety and emotional stressIt has a calming scent, which makes it great for relieving stress/anxiety. The refreshing aroma removes nervous tension and increases mental activity. Rub 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your cupped palms, then inhale into your hands to draw the scent all the way into your brain to calm the mind. You can also rub the essential oil on your temples, and pulse points. This is good for crowed places like festivals, concerts, or airports just to calm and relax your mind.
  2. Heals burns and woundsIt has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help heal the skin naturally. Put 2-3 drops Lavender oil on a minor burn to decrease pain. Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching reduce swelling. Drop Lavender oil on cut to stop bleeding, clean wound, and kill bacteria.
  3. Improves sleepIt is frequently used as a treatment for insomnia. Again, use the cupping and inhalation method. Then, rub a drop of Lavender oil on your palms and smooth on your pillow to help you sleep.
  4. Restores skin complexion and reduces acneLavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial acne infection, helps to regulate it, and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of the oil to your skincare routine can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing of acne.
  5. Slows aging with powerful antioxidantsIt is naturally packed with antioxidants, making it perfect for anti-aging.
  6. Improves eczema and psoriasisMix several drops of Lavender oil with a nut or vegetable mixing oil (coconut, sesame, etc.) and use topically on eczema and dermatitis.
  7. Alleviates headachesIt induces relaxation and relieves tension and stress, working as a sedative, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and calming agent.

A few of my favorite beauty + skincare products that incorporate LAVENDER are:

  • The Honey Pot Company Sensitive Wash- I used to struggle with yeast infections and I met this company at their booth at a Bronner Brother's Hair show in Atlanta, GA back in 2014 and have been a user of their washes ever since. This wash is sensitive enough to use down there on your pot on the daily basis and it incorporates not only lavender oil but lavender flower water also. Allowing you to boost moisture levels and avoid feeling dry down there, also while balancing your pH levels. THIS WASH IS LIFE!

429CD905-8B49-49FC-86E1-0547A1D01AC5.JPG

What's So Harmful About the Deodorant You're Using?

Putting something under your armpits on the daily basis was not always a norm in society. It wasn't until the mid-1900s that the idea of wearing deodorant on the regular basis became a "thing". All it took was a copywriter to come in and create controversial advertisements warming women that their pits might be stinky and they may not even realize it.

Exploiting the insecurities of women has been a strategy used in the media and advertising for years now,

...and it worked in this case. The sales of deodorant were skyrocketing by the late 1920's.

IMG_0242.jpg

Now, fast-forward to today. People are starting to become a little more conscious of what they are putting in and ON their bodies. They are realizing that certain products probably should not be used on the daily basis, or at all.

There are a lot of harmful ingredients in the store bought deodorants we have come to love. I was pretty hurt to find this out because there were certain brands that I had come to love...that brand actually rhymes with "love" and starts with a "d" just to give you a hint. Sad face.

Deodorant is a product that inhibits your body’s natural secretion of toxins. An antiperspirant and deodorant will clog your skin follicles so that you’re not able to sweat as much as your body requires. NO BUENO.

On top of inhibiting your body’s natural cleansing and detoxifying process, deodorants and antiperspirants also release tons of harmful chemicals into our bodies. ...NO THANK YOU!

Parabens in Deodorant May Be Linked to Breast Cancer.

Parabens are preservatives that are found in many antiperspirants and deodorants. Although this chemical is used as a preservative, it is possibly one of the most harmful additives of all. Sometimes parabens act as estrogen in your body, which disrupts hormonal balances and has been linked to breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Aluminum Compounds

Aluminum is the ingredient in antiperspirants that actually clogs your pores and prevents sweating. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO SWEAT. It is one of our bodies many ways to detox, so why would be want to prevent our body from doing it's job? Aluminum exposure has been linked with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and interferes with your estrogen levels. When your body can’t process estrogen properly, there’s a higher risk for breast and prostrate cancer.

Screen-Shot-2016-10-18-at-11.33.21-AM.jpg

I'm not here just to give you all bad news, I have a solution for you guys.

You can make your own deodorant!

There are a number of plant oils and extracts that contain powerful ingredients that will help keep the stink at bay. There's no such thing as an "all-natural" antiperspirant, just odor blockers! The video at the top of this post shows you how to make an amazing + simple all natural deodorant! Here's the recipe below, follow along with the step-by-step video!

If you make this deodorant I would love to know. Send me a photo or a tweet!

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place a bowl on top of a pan of simmering water to create a double boiler

  2. Add all Oils + Butters + Wax and melt down into a liquid

  3. Mix in arrowroot powder

  4. Add all essential oils + vitamin e oil

  5. Pour mixture into 4 oz. amber glass jar.

RECIPE NOTES

Watch video for details on each ingredient and why it was used in this recipe!

IMG_0235.jpg

There are a few store bought natural deodorants that are great alternatives if you do not have the time to make your own! The current brand that I am using at the moment is Nourish Organic Fresh & Dry Deodorant. Its coconut-oil based, which is great because coconut oil is known for its antimicrobial and skin-softening properties. The cornstach used in this formula helps keep your pits nice and dry. The scent I love the most is their Fresh Fig.