Moisturizing Coffee + Sugar Body Scrub (diy + oil-free)

I've gotten into a pretty bad habit of splurging on beauty products on Amazon, possibly the best find so far is hyaluronic acid serum. Second to that, is this coffee scrub that I bought, loved, and then used in a day (only a slight exaggeration). The ingredients were super clean and simple: coffee, vegetable glycerin, and brown sugar. I felt kind of silly for not checking before buying because I have all of those ingredients here. One of my favorite things about this scrub is that it is almost completely dry in the package. No aloe, no oils, basically no liquid in there, except this vegetable glycerin that absorbs super clean. Meaning, definitely no residue and a lot less shower mess. I even liked using it on my face, which almost never happens. 

Aside from scrubbing myself down with homemade body scrubs, I am also day-dreaming of National Parks in Utah (I think about Utah so much that I wonder what would happen if I actually made it out there) and I just learned about this Kings Canyon Byway, which is a 50 mile stretch that I'm determined to take all of this pictures of. Speaking of pictures, if you haven't noticed, I added a Shop button over to the right, where you can buy prints if you feel so inclined, or I'll just share my Society6 link here. 

The veg glycerin looks almost like honey here. It has a funny, slightly gooey, unexpected texture, but not at all sticky. Similar to honey it is a humectant, which means it attracts moisture from it's surroundings and locks it in, making it a pretty good addition/primer to normal moisturizer. 

Coffee has a stimulating effect on the skin, and is said to improve circulation and also is good for reducing cellulite. 

Here's what you'll need:

1/4 cup of coffee

2 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin

2 cups of brown sugar - I ground mine up in a blender to be extra fine, but it's super not necessary

pinch of powdered vitamin C - optional 

Directions:

Blend up your brown sugar if you want it finer

Mix in vitamin C powder - it's great for skin and also can act as a preservative to prolong shelf-life

With a spoon mix in vegetable glycerin

Add in coffee grounds and mix again

Store in airtight container

To Scrub: Apply to damp skin and scrub in circular motions, rinse clean and moisturize 

Ginger Chamomile Salt Scrub

I've been working with ginger more and more these days and the health benefits are innumerable. I think most people in the wellness world know it's good for all digestive issues, from nausea from motion sickness, all the way down to the most run of the mill stomach ache. And ginger is unique in the way that it is both stimulating and soothing at the same time. I think that's balance or maybe it's polarity. And while I mostly just like the way it smells, apparently it can also help combat patchy skin, and cellulite as well. I tend follow the motto that if it is good inside, it will also be good outside. This scrub is a little spicy. It's definitely stimulating when you put it directly on skin, which is just your circulating going, which I love and is good for the overall tone. 

I also choose to add chamomile because of it's calming benefits. Just seemed like a nice mix of scrub, stimulation, and nourishment right in one container. I really did get very soft, smooth and even toned skin from this scrub, but as far as I'm concerned all homemade scrubs are pretty much wonderful. You just add in ingredients based on what your needs and preferences are. And here is just one more idea to add to your collection of magical homemade beauty products for a rainy day, or as it were here in California, an entire rainy season. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cup of coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil 
  • 4 chamomile tea bags - cut open
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger - grated 

Directions:

  • Add in all ingredients to a large bowl and blend with your hands, or a large spoon to distribute the oil evenly over the salt. You may need to microwave it for about 30 seconds to get the coconut oil to soften. 
  • To use: Scrub generously everywhere, focusing on rough spots. I used it on my face and neck also. Just scrub a little more gently over these areas, and you'll be fine. Rinse well, and moisturize to lock in the benefits. 

Super Antioxidant Clay Face Mask

I was reading and thinking a little bit about creators and consumers, or rather creators vs. consumers. Seems more appropriate that way. This article is actually about teaching children to code, but it ran right parallel to a video I stumbled upon on Facebook Live with Martha Beck, where she basically outlines the same principles, but with energy. She explains that some of us work to cultivate a "garden" of energy, and then we have a bit of overflow and that's what we give out to others. Just like if you got really good at growing basil from clippings, which I 100% plan to do BTW, and you start giving away little basil plants because you just have so many, and then your friends eat all the basil and come back for more plants. Well, I'd think you were supposed to take that basil, er energy, I gave you and grow it. You weren't supposed to eat it, kill it, and come back for more. So basically this is the premise of "energy vampires." That term has been around forever, Oprah talks about it, so I'm pretty sure most people have heard it, but I didn't really get what it meant until it was put into physical terms. Because gardens, I get gardens, but it not only made perfect sense but also made me think differently about those in my life, and maybe a little about they way I treat others and what I expect, and how much or little I give. It made me see the balance in a new way, I guess is what I am trying to say. Because if you gave me a plant and I killed it. I wouldn't expect a new plant. I'd probably be embarrassed that I couldn't grow my own and try harder next time. I also wouldn't be so mad if someone else needed a new plant, but I would just give them a few tips for growing the second one, but if they didn't seem to have any interest in growing their own, I'd probably just stop giving them plants all together. I should take the same approach to my energy. If a person never shows any intention of growing their own out of what you gave them, it's probably a lost cause. Just something to watch out for.   

The other reason I was thinking about creators and consumers is because I love making things and building things with my hands, and it all seems to be shifting in this direction. That we have this desire to make stuff, and share our strengths instead of just taking and needing more all of the time. I can 100% think of times where I've been the needy one, and luckily I have those who are patient enough in life to keep encouraging me, and then also those who are strong enough to shut me down when what I'm going on about is no longer productive. I don't know, I just got so much out of that ten minutes, hope you did too. Let's all grow our own little gardens, and share the skills we master, and be open to accepting from others what they've mastered. I love it. 

While on my little creator high, I made this face mask, which is highly reminiscent of Glam Glow, an amazing face mask that I once paid nearly $70 for, yup, I believe that might've been at the height of my consumption. It works really well, but I like that now I can create my own. I'm just not going to stop using that word. 

The ingredients in this mask are:

White Tea: White tea is the most beneficial of all of the teas for you skin, being the least processed it maintains the greatest amount of good for your skin. Its benefits include being good for preventing wrinkles, sun damage, and preventing the breakdown of collagen. 

Cucumber Peel: The cucumber peel is actually in my white tea. I'll share a link to it, but if you're feeling crafty you can easily dehydrate your own cucumber peel. This tutorial is for the whole cucumber, but I'll bet you could do the same thing with just the skins. Cucumber reduces inflammation, is hydrating, is good for sensitive and acne prone skin, as well as nourishes and diminishes the darkening for the under-eye area. 

Bentonite Clay: Bentonite clay is known for evening out skin tone, and when used regularly can prevent blackheads. It also softens skin and can help with long term hydration due to its high electrolyte content, found among it's 60 trace minerals. 

Nori: Seaweed firms the skin as well as drawing out excess and trapped moisture that can make your skin look puffy. Like the clay it has a high mineral content, specifically iodine. 

Mint: Since it's anti-inflammatory and cooling, it great for acne, and irritated skin and can lighten acne scarring. Contains a natural source of salicylic acid, which is exfoliating, and leaves skin softer. 

Magnesium: "Magnesium is necessary for the enzymes that regulate DNA replication and repair. Without it, the skin is subject to a host of harmful free radical damage and inflammation." According to The Magnesium Miracle, not only is magnesium good for preventing wrinkles it's critical. 

So this mask is a whole lot milder than the last clay mask I made which had vinegar and charcoal in it. This one is quite a bit gentler and a little bit tingly because of the mint. It's good for balancing oily skin, but also good at adding in minerals to balance skin that needs hydration, because electrolytes and proper mineral balance is essential for hydrated skin. Long term solutions over short term band aids.  

Here's what you'll need:

Keep in mind I made a lot. You can definitely trim the portions and make a smaller batch. I also ran mine through a food processor, totally optional, you can tear it with your hands, but to be fair, mine worked a lot better once fully blended. 

  • 3/4 cup of bentonite clay - I used Redmond Clay, which you can find at Whole Foods 
  • 5-10 springs of mint - I used fresh spearmint, but you can use dried mint as well. 
  • 1/2 of a nori seaweed sheet, cut into strips
  • 3 bags of white tea - I used cucumber mint
  • 1 magnesium tablet - I swear by TwinLabs, but this step is optional since the clay has a fair amount of magnesium already. 
soaps 1.jpg

Directions: 

  • Cut open your tea bags and magnesium tablet and mix with the clay. 
  • Cut the nori into smaller strips so that it blends better. 
  • Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend well. 
  • To use: Reconstitute a small amount of clay with water, and put it all over your face and neck. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, and rinse with warm water. 

Another one of my favorite ways to use it is to drop 2 tablespoons into a warm bath. It'll leave your skin super hydrated and balanced. 

P.s. These soaps are from Nature's Skin Nutrition on Etsy, and they're amazing. Those above are super-fat soaps I designed myself, made with rose clay and mango butter, I'm obsessed.