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Archive for the ‘natural products’ Category

My most favorite addition to my skincare arsenal has been my homemade, natural facial serum using essential oils. Instead of blowing money on expensive night creams full of chemicals, fragrance, and other junk whose names I can’t pronounce, I decided to tailor-make my own serum for my individual skin needs.

Making your own night serum to use as a moisturizer is wonderful for so many reasons: it’s cost-effective, it’s fresh, it’s all natural, it’s FULL of healthy vitamins and skin healing and protecting properties, and best of all, you can choose the ingredients!

Essential oils are sold in tiny little bottles; basically, they’re concentrated extracts of plants and herbs. Essential oils contain vitamins like A, C, and E along with the unique properties associated with the organic material. Different essential oils suit different skin types; for instance, frankincense and rose are brilliant for aging, mature skin, while tea tree and lavender are famous for treating acne-prone skin.

So how do you make an essential oil serum? It’s super easy.

Step 1: First, do a little Googling about essential oils (EO) that are appropriate for your skin type. There’s lots of resources around the internet to learn more about the EO that’s right for you; for starters, click here and here. Pick two essential oils you want to include in your serum.

What do I use? Helichrysum essential oil and carrot seed essential oil. After very thorough research I chose these two oils for my young, sensitive, slightly hormonal skin to heal it now and protect it from wrinkles in the future. I also chose these two oils to preserve my even skintone and a radiant glow.

After you’ve picked your two essential oils, choose a base carrier oil. This is the main oil you will add your drops of essential oil to; your base carrier oil makes up the bulk of your serum. I use almond oil, a gentle, protective oil that is not greasy, sinks in to my skin well, and provides me a healthy dose of vitamin E to boot.

Step 2: Now you’re ready to order your essential oils and base oil. I trust Ananda Apothecary for all my EO needs- they are reliable, fast, secure, and carry excellent quality materials! I also ordered from Ananda a cobalt-blue dropper bottle to store my EO serum in.

Step 3: When your EOs have arrived, use this formula to create your facial serum:

Keep your serum at a 2% dilution of essential oils (i.e. helichrysum and carrot seed) in the base oil (almond oil).

This means you will add 12 drops of essential oil total per ounce of base oil. So, 6 drops of helichrysum essential oil and 6 drops of carrot seed essential oil in one ounce of almond oil. Remember, with EOs, less is more- they are extremely potent. I like to store my EO bottles in a spare fridge and make the serum one ounce at a time for freshness.

I keep the serum in my vanity drawer. Do not store your serum where it can be hit by direct sunlight or exposed to too much heat or cold.

That’s all there is to it! Massage the serum into your skin after you’ve washed your face at night, and see the beautiful skin results! My skin absolutely loves my moisturizing serum and my skintone looks better than ever since I started using it!

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Vacationing on the beach with Jaya Ajji

My great aunt, whom I call Jaya Ajji, visited recently and shared her most loved Ayurvedic beauty recipes for you all to use.

Ayurveda is the world’s most ancient form of medicine, originating in India thousands of years ago. It was a highly complex science for its time- Ayurvedic physicians even performed eye surgeries!

The below recipes are for an Ayurvedic hair pack and face mask.

This hair pack is excellent for encouraging hair growth and preventing hair loss. It is also effective for maintaining color in the hair: since she began using it, Jaya Ajji says she went from coloring her hair every 3 weeks to coloring it only once every 2 months or so! She says she has also stopped losing hair, when before it shed copiously when brushed or washed.

Ayurvedic Hair Pack

  • 1 teaspoon henna powder*
  • 1 teaspoon amla powder*
  • 1 tsp aritha powder*
  • 1 tsp shikakai powder*
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh aloe vera gel

Mix the ingredients together thoroughly and apply to dry hair for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours. Wash off in the shower and shampoo as usual. Do this regularly- once or twice a week- to experience amazing hair protective results!

Jaya Ajji’s Ayurvedic face mask is brilliant for moisturizing and for developing an even skintone. The fresh turmeric and sesame seeds will give you a healthy glow, while the banana and ghee will provide a generous dose of moisture to parched skin.

Ayurvedic Face Mask

  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground turmeric*
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh aloe vera gel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)*

Blend the ingredients together into a fine paste. Apply the face mask for 10 to 20 minutes to clean skin, then wash off. Enjoy your radiant skin!

* = These ingredients can be found at your local Indian grocery store.

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Since time immemorial, Indian women have been massaging their scalps and hair with nourishing oils. These oils are filled with healthful vitamins and minerals and help to soften the hair and encourage it to grow in strong and shiny. Today, countless Bollywood actresses use this beauty secret to pamper their hair, including Kareena Kapoor (pictured here), Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, and Hema Malini.

Massage your dry scalp and hair with a mixture of almond, castor, coconut, and olive oils. For better penetration into the hair strands, gently heat the oil mixture before applying until warm (not too hot!). Leave on for a few hours or overnight, keeping hair away from clothes to prevent staining. Wash thoroughly with shampoo (Fun fact: celebrities indulge in the Kerastase hair product line for their tresses). A hot oil hair massage can be done up to twice a week or just once a month for your hair to reap the benefits.

Care for your hair today!

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