Homemade Anti-ageing Masks

The moment you turn 30, sometimes even before that, ageing signs start to appear in the form of wrinkles. Pollution, together with sun damage, a lack of the correct daily vitamin supplements, as well as the excessive use of cosmetics all contributes to wrinkle formation. Although there is no full proof recipe to get rid of wrinkles, there are quite a few natural options that could lessen their appearance. Instead of trying out those anti- wrinkle creams, why don’t you use your own homemade mask? Here I will share my favourite options with you:

Egg & Yoghurt Mask

Combine egg white and yoghurt as a natural de-wrinkler

Combine egg white and yoghurt as a natural de-wrinkler

Eggs are a powerhouse, filled of proteins, vitamins and fatty acids that can help to nourish, firm and tighten your skin naturally, easing fine lines – especially your laugh lines. Mix one tablespoon of plain yogurt to one egg white and apply it to your whole face twice a week for a firmer, brilliant skin.

Honey Mask

Honey also helps sagging skin, but one of its most useful properties is its ability to hydrate and anti-oxidize your skin. Honey is also naturally antibacterial, so it will help treat and also prevent acne. You can use any honey, straight from the jar. Moisture your skin with a splash of water before you apply your mask, rub it onto your clean skin and leave on for about 10 minutes.

Cucumber Mask

Use cucumber juice to plump out wrinkles

Use cucumber juice to plump out wrinkles

Cucumber can also be used to tighten loose and saggy skin. Just look at the effect of cold cucumber slices over your eyes in order to reduce puffiness… It is one of the best natural skin toners with a reviving and restoring impact. Press a cucumber through a strainer to get all its healthy juices, apply all over your face and let it dry out. You can use cucumber juice on a daily basis.

Papaya & Banana Mask

For those frown lines on your forehead, you can make a purée of papaya and banana. Papaya is loaded with enzymes such as papain, while a banana is rich in vitamins that will help in revitalizing your skin. Both fruit pulps are an excellent antidote for premature ageing. So the sooner you start with this mask, the better! Mash the two fruits together into a nice paste and gently spread onto your face and neck. Relax for 15 minutes and rinse off with water. Remember to always pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

Avocado Mask

Avocado and honey make two excellent masks

Avocado and honey make two excellent masks

The last product that everyone has in and even sometimes around the house is Avocado. Avocado is a wonderfully versatile fruit as it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, while pampering your skin back to its natural health. Apply the mashed pulp just before you step into the bath. Your skin will glow with radiance and vitality afterwards.

I hope these home-made mask recipes will help you, not only in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, but also in feeling radiant and full of confidence.

Enjoy!

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All you need to know about sunscreen

Most of us enjoy lying in the sun in order to achieve that nice, tanned look. We should, however, be aware of the damage sunbathing can cause. Your skin type is an important factor in determining the extent of skin damage you are prone to experience. People with fair skin are more vulnerable to the negative effects of the sun. Darker skin types can also be damaged, but to a lesser extent. Our skin goes darker when we sunbath, due to the skin forming a substance called melanin. Melanin makes our skin darker, but it also serves as the skin’s own sun protection. Because the melanin count in our bodies varies from one individual to the next, some people might sunburn easier than others. People that produce less melanin are normally the ones who burn more easily and who also have a higher risk of contracting skin cancer.

Remember sunscreen. Especially at the sea.

Remember sunscreen. Especially at the sea.

Sunscreens work in various ways and it is difficult to decide which one to use. Some sunscreens have a chemical filter. This means that it penetrates the skin and absorbs the sun’s rays. Therefore it does not reach into the deeper layers of the skin and it also doesn’t cause sun damage. Then we also get sunscreen that has a physical filter. This is one that lays a thin layered membrane on top of the skin, reflecting the sun’s rays.

The most important thing to look for, when purchasing sunscreen, is that it is labeled as a “broad spectrum”. This type of sunscreen provides both UVA and UVB protection. UVB burns the top layer of your skin, causing sunburn and cell damage. UVA, on the other hand, doesn’t burn the top layer of the skin, but penetrates deeper, causing ageing and skin cancer.
Like most beauty products, sunscreen also has a shelf life. Heat and bacteria can have a negative influence on your sunscreen’s effectiveness and it is therefore a good idea to buy a new sunscreen every year. Hopefully you use yours often enough so that it doesn’t last this long! The ideal place to store your sunscreen is the refrigerator. Prolonged exposure to the sun can decrease the protective properties of sunscreen.

Physical & Chemical Sunscreen

Physical & Chemical Sunscreen

Here are some interesting facts:

1. It takes less time to be exposed to the same amount of solar energy at midday, compared to early morning or late evening,      because the sun is more intense at midday relative to the other times. UV rays are at their strongest between 12:00 and 16:00.
2. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB. Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent  job of protecting against UVB. SPF — or Sun Protection Factor — is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from  damaging the skin. Here’s how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15  sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours.
3. Sand reflects 25 percent of the sun’s rays.
4. Skin burns more quickly at high elevations.
5. Near the equator, the sun’s rays don’t have to travel as far as they do in more northern latitudes to reach the ground, so they    deliver more sun-burning UV rays per minute of exposure.
6. Cool and refreshing, water seems like the antidote to sunburn. But its reflectiveness can increase UV intensity by up to 50 percent, leading to both a painful burn and long-term skin damage. In shallow water, the sun’s rays can even reflect off the ocean’s sandy bottom, further increasing UV exposure.
7. Snow is one of the most reflective surfaces out there, bouncing back up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays. That puts skiers and snowboarders in a double burn zone, with damaging ultraviolet rays showering down from above and rebounding from below.
8. You can get serious sun damage even when it’s an overcast day. When the sky is partly cloudy, your risk of sunburn can be even higher than on a clear day, because the clouds act to magnify the overall UV radiation. And while a more even cloud cover will block a significant amount of UVB rays (sunburn) up to 80 percent of the long-spectrum UVA rays (aging, wrinkling and cancer) can get through clouds and fog.
9. While UVB rays are the strongest during summer, UVA rays remain constant throughout the year. UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays are 30 – 50 times more prevalent, and go through glass, making sun protection necessary indoors, as well as out.

As the December holidays are nearing, it is therefore a good idea to invest in a good broad spectrum sunscreen. Remember to generously apply often in order to minimize the negative effects of being outdoors in the sun.

Enjoy your holiday!

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What is beauty?

Every morning all around the world, women wake up and stare in the mirror… They think of what they would like to change about themselves; wishing they could have the body of the lady they saw in the grocery store, or even wishing they had better clothes, like a colleague in the office. We are so used to destroying our own self-image, by wondering what other people think about us, that we forget what we already have. Sometimes you don’t need the best labeled clothes, or that name-brand handbag. All you need to do is to focus on what you have that other people don’t and make those specific characteristics work for you!

Beauty can’t be found in books or movies – you have to believe in yourself. Real natural, strong and powerful beauty comes from within your heart. A confident woman is a force to be reckoned with! Nothing can stop her and nothing can get her down. I know that it’s not always easy to be that woman with confidence, or that woman who will trade in her black dress for something more colorful. So let me help you get started.

Here are a few tips that can help you boost your image:

• Let’s start with hair color

Always choose a hair color that will bring out your best features, like your eyes and most importantly, your skin tone. Ask your stylist to help you here.

• Find out what body type you are and start to dress to impress, showing off what suits your body type. Here is a list of different body types that you get and what will look best on you.

1. Pear shaped body – This shape basically tells you that your hips are wider than your shoulders. Rather avoid clothes that will draw attention to your hips and thighs and try to experiment with light-colored tops and dark colored bottoms.

Pear body shape

Pear body shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Wedge shaped body – This is also known as the inverted triangle. Your chest and shoulders are wider with narrow hips. With this body shape you definitely want to draw attention to your waist and hips.

Wedge body shape

Wedge body shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Rectangle shaped body – This means that you are on the slim side and your best assets are your arms and legs. Long jackets can be worn to create that lean look. Rather avoid overwhelming styles and have fun with bright colorful bottoms.

Rectangle body shape

Rectangle body shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Apple shaped body – This means that most of your weight accumulates above the hips. Your best asset is your legs. You can wear belts and boot cut or flared jeans, to create that even line from the shoulders down. Shorter skirts will also draw the attention away from your midsection, so go for it!

Apple body shape

Apple body shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Now that we have the clothes and hair out of the way, let see how make-up steps can also help you find that inner goddess.

Doing make- up is one of the easiest, most simple ways a woman can transform herself. All you need to know is not to overdo it. If you prefer your eyes dark, leave your lips a natural color and vice versa. Foundation is a girl’s best friend. If you use one shade darker than your natural foundation, you will be able to hide those unwanted features. At the same time one shade lighter can highlight your best figures. To bring out the color of blue eyes, try brown, grey and believe it or not, even purple eye shadow. It will enhance your eyes. Use brown, charcoal or dark blue eyeliner with blue eyes. People with green and hazel eyes can basically experiment with all colors and you can also use pink or plum. Those out there with brown eyes usually look best with natural shades like beige and different brown tones. Brown eyes can also use other colors, just as long as it is applied and blended correctly.

I hope that every woman reading this today will go out there and try something new, even if you just start with your make- up. One small step at a time, and soon you’ll become the woman that every other lady wishes to be. Just remember, be confident and grow into the woman you want to be. There will never be another you, so why try to be someone else? Beauty comes in different shapes and sizes for every woman. Be yourself! Be natural, wonderful, healthy, fabulous and unique. That’s what you are, and that’s what beauty is!

 

“BEAUTY IS ABOUT BEING COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN.

IT’S ABOUT KNOWING AND ACCEPTING WHO YOU ARE.”

 

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How to take care of your body during winter time!

As soon as winter starts, most of us start noticing that our skin becomes itchy and dry. Today I am going to share a few tips on how to take care of your body during winter time.

Body Scrub

Body Scrub

Body:

When in the bath or shower, keep the water lukewarm. Warm water strips the skin from its natural oils.

Exfoliating your skin is one of the most important things to do during winter. This helps to remove dead skin cells and helps your moisturizer to penetrate deeper into your skin.

Choose one of these invigorating scrubs and make your own home-made scrub with these easy ingredients.

Lavender Body Scrub

Take 1/2 cup of coarse sea salt.

Pour in 1/3 cup of grape seed oil (you can also use jojoba, almond or coconut oil – whichever you prefer)

Mix in around 1 tablespoon of dried lavender.

Add 16 drops of lavender essential oil.

Mix together and apply all over your body while in the shower.

Coffee Scrub

1/4 cup raw sugar

1/4 cup ground coffee

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. coconut oil

1 tbsp. sea salt

Mix together and apply all over your body while in the shower.

Peppermint Scrub

1/4 cup grape seed oil

2 tbsp. spearmint essential oil

1/2 cup sugar

Mix together and apply all over your body while in the shower.

 

Make your own great body scrubs!

Make your own great body scrubs!

Using soap can also cause your skin to dry out, especially if you are using a deodorized soap.

Always pat your skin dry after a shower or bath. It will help to lock in the moisture your skin needs.

Don’t wait too long before applying a moisturizer to your skin, the longer you wait, the quicker your skin will start to itch.

 

 

Lavender Body Butter

4 tbsp. Coconut oil

1.5 tbsp. Olive oil

2 tbsp. Beeswax

1 tsp. Honey

3 tbsp. Aloe Vera gel

2 tsp. Lanolin

10 drops Lavender essential oil

1 Vitamin E capsule

Directions

– In double boiler over medium-high, heat oils, beeswax and honey.

– In a separate double boiler over medium-high, heat the aloe. Once melted, mix into the beeswax mixture. Stir.

– Add lanolin & stir.

– Once the whole mixture has melted, turn heat to low. Stir in Vitamin E and essential oil. Whip until smooth.

– Pour into small glass jars and let it cool down before covering.

 

Face:

• A gentle creamy cleanser will not be that harsh on your skin during winter time. A gentle cleanser will gently strip the dirt and oil off your skin, but still leave it feeling

clean and fresh.

• Just as with your body, you need to exfoliate your face 2 to 3 times a week.

• Even if you don’t usually use an eye cream, you might want to do so in the winter, to help plump and smooth the thin skin around your eyes. If you have dry skin, your skin is prone to showing fine lines and wrinkles, so give it a boost of moisture with an eye cream.

• Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Winter sun can still damage your skin. So please apply daily.

 

Hands and Feet:

Soft winter hands

Soft winter hands

• Apply lotion every time you wash your hands. Keep a bottle of lotion next to the soap on your sink, to help you remember.

• If your hands are very dry, apply a thick layer of moisturizer to your hands right before you put on your gloves. If you do just this, your hands will hugely benefit.

• Pay attention to your cuticles. You can get a cuticle oil, or you can use your moisturizer or even a dab on a bit of olive oil when you’re cooking. A tiny bit goes a long way.

• Before you go to bed, apply a thick layer of moisturizer to your feet and apply cotton socks. This is a sure-fire way to help heal very dry feet.

• Exfoliate your feet when you’re exfoliating your body and never forget to put moisturizer on them after your shower. This is important because areas of your feet are prone to cracking in the winter months, which is very painful. Prevention is better than cure!

 

Lips:

• Exfoliate them twice a week to help prevent chapping. Use a lip exfoliator, or make your own by mixing lip balm and sugar. You can also use a gentle, soft toothbrush or a simple damp washcloth to gently exfoliate them.

• Put on a heavy lip moisturizer every night before bed. Keep it on your bedside table to remember.

• Keep a lip balm with you at all times. One at your desk, one in your purse, one at home etc. Preferably one with an SPF, as lip cancer is the most common oral cancer and your lips need protection from the sun’s rays, just like your body does.

• Nothing makes you look older than dried lipstick and chapped lips. Apply a lip balm or hydrating lip gloss over your lipstick, especially if you’re going to be outside. This will help you keep your color and plump your lips, making them look younger.

 

Homemade lip scrub:

Soft kissable lips!

Soft kissable lips!

Mix a little bit of olive oil with some sugar in a small bowl. Experiment with the quantities until the mixture is pasty in consistency.

Gently rub the mixture on your lips with a washcloth, massaging in circular motions. The longer you rub in the mixture, the more intensely you will exfoliate your lips. End with a lip moisturizer and you’ll have soft, kissable lips!

 

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Beauty Secrets you probably never knew…

• Coconut water can help your skin get back that healthy glow.

Beautiful lashes

Beautiful lashes

• Apply some toothpaste on your acne before you go to bed. It should help to reduce swelling and dry out the pimple.

• To help with puffy eyes, peel a raw potato and cut it in half. Place the halves over your eyes for 10 minutes. The potato will cool your eyes and any swelling will decrease.

• For a natural look, try using plain Vaseline on your lashes instead of mascara. It darkens the lashes, won’t dry up to make lashes break off and it won’t cake up.

• To remove stains from your nails after wearing a dark polish, scrub nails with whitening toothpaste and a nail brush.

• If you don’t have nail polish remover, apply clear nail polish and then wipe it off while it’s still wet. This will remove the old polish.

Nail filing

Nail filing

• Filing your nails in one direction instead of back and forth, will prevent shredding.

• Make your nail polish last longer by keeping it in the fridge.

• A sugar and coffee mud scrub is good for cellulite, varicose veins and acne scars.

Sugar & Coffe Scrub

Sugar & Coffe Scrub

• Oily skin holds perfume scents longer than dry skin. So before applying perfume, rub a very thin layer of Vaseline or petroleum jelly onto your skin and you will smell great for hours.

• Never rub your wrists together after you’ve applied a fragrance. This can “bruise” the oils contained in the blend,  chemically altering the scent.

• A great shaving cream or gel alternative is actually hair conditioner. It will leave your skin much softer and will result in  less cuts from the razor blade.

• Milk helps reduce garlic breath, so just sip a glass of full-fat milk after eating garlic.

 

 

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Aromatherapy oils and their benefits

Where does aromatherapy oil come from?

Aromatherapy plants and oils

Aromatherapy plants and oils

Aromatherapy oils are produced by deriving natural oils from different parts of plants. During this process, steam is used to break down the plant cells that carry the oil. The oil and steam are moved to a cooling chamber, where they are separated, resulting in the capture of specific essential oils. Essential oils contain the true essence of the plant it was derived from and have a lot of healing properties. Some of these include the ability to soothe sunburn and aching muscles. It is also known to relieve some forms of anxiety and it can even be used as an antiseptic.

Let’s take a look at five essential oils that are especially handy to keep in your home:

Lavender

Lavender oil

Lavender oil

Lavender aroma has the most amazing smell. It is also the most versatile of all essential oils. Lavender oil has a light, fresh aroma. It is clear in colour and watery in viscosity. Lavender oils have lots of healing properties. It can help with various ailments, ranging from antiseptic to anti-depressant, as it also has a calming effect. It can help with tension relieve, as well as headaches and migraines. Lavender is also very beneficial for problems like asthma, colds, nausea and vomiting. Using lavender on the skin can help relieve sunburn, lice, acne, burns and insect bites.

Home care advice:

1. Add between 2 – 3 drops of lavender oil to your bath. This will help you relax and sleep better at night.

2. You can also use 2 drops of pure lavender oil, together with 5 drops of diluted lavender oil. Rub this mixture in circular movements on your temple area to help relieve headaches and migraines.

 

Peppermint

Peppermint leaves

Peppermint leaves

Peppermint oil has a very stimulating, yet soothing aroma. I like to call it “Mother Nature’s Icy Hot” due to its main element, menthol. Both peppermint essential oils and peppermint tea have wonderful properties. It’s used to soothe nausea and other stomach ailments, to perk the senses before a long meeting and to cool overworked muscles (thanks to the menthol). Peppermint also helps to clear congestion, relief headaches and tackle PMS symptoms. Peppermint oils are also very good for jetlag, aching feet and sunburn. If you apply a small amount of peppermint oil around the back of the head, just below the skull, it will help release headaches. Peppermint tea is a good remedy for heartburn, indigestion and stomach cramps.

Home care advice:

1. Massage 2-3 drops (along with carrier oil) onto your chest, or drop into a humidifier to help clear sinus and lung congestion.

2. If your head is feeling stuffed, or you can’t stop coughing, try a peppermint essential oil steam. Pour boiling water into a metal or glass bowl and add a few drops of essential oil (Eucalyptus and Rosemary are good combinations with peppermint). Drape a towel over your head and position your face 20-30 centimetres above the bowl, while breathing in the steam.

3. For jetlag and nausea, you can inhale 3 drops of pure essential oil from a tissue. You can also add 4 drops, diluted in a little grape seed oil, to a warm bath. This will revive you from jetlag.

 

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil is obtained from the fresh leaves of the tall, evergreen Eucalyptus Tree. This oil has a very fresh and clean aroma. Eucalyptus essential oil is colourless and has a distinctive taste and odour. Eucalyptus essential oil has antiseptic properties because of its germicidal quality. Eucalyptus oil is used for healing scars, burns and sores. It is also used for treating fever and reducing body temperature.

Home care advice:

1. Add 3-5 drops to warm water and soak sore, tired feet.

2. Place a few drops on a cloth to remove stubborn stickers.

3. Combine 12 drops with 1/3 cup of Aveda Aqua Therapy Bath Salts for a spa-quality bath.

4. Blend 1-3 drops with 1 tsp. sweet almond oil and rub on your chest. Relax and inhale…

5. Use in a candle lamp diffuser to generate a positive, energizing space.

6. Add 2 drops to 1 cup water; pour onto the hot rocks in a sauna. Breathe deeply.

7. Use in a diffuser near your bedside for clear breathing. Now, get some rest!

8. Place 2-5 drops on the shower floor for an invigorating shower experience.

9. Place 2-5 drops in bowl of steaming water, place a towel over your head and breathe deeply.

 

Rosemary

Rosemary flowers

Rosemary flowers

This essential oil is produced by steaming the flower top. The oil is a colourless to pale yellow liquid. The name rosemary comes from the Latin word rose marinus, meaning “dew of the sea”, due to the fact that it originally grew along the Mediterranean coastline. Its delightfully stimulating aroma is best enjoyed in warm sunshine.

Rosemary has an impressive healing property and also helps with your nerves. Rosemary has always been known for improving mind capacity and memory.

Home care advice:

1. Rosemary Foot Bath: Add 2 drops of pure rosemary oil and 2 drops of pure camomile oil to 15ml vinegar cider. Stir into a foot spa and sit back and enjoy. This will help those tired feet.

2. Use the following for your dry hair problem: 20ml extra virgin oil, 10ml diluted rosemary oil, 2 drops pure camomile, 1 drop pure lavender oil and 2 capsules evening primrose oil. Smooth the mixture into your hair for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. This treatment will help with dandruff and deeply condition your hair.

 

Tea tree

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil

Is an essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odour and a colour that ranges from pale yellow to nearly colourless and clear. Tea tree oil is derived from the evergreen leaves, known for its healing and disinfecting properties. Tea tree oil can treat anything from acne and dandruff, to nail and sinus infections. It can also be used as a laundry detergent and an antiseptic household spray.

Home Care advice:

1. Use 2 drops of pure tea tree oil in a bowl of cool water to help with wounds, spots and itchy skin.

2. For that cold, sinus and chest infection, add two drops into a steaming hot water bowl, cover your head and inhale deep for at least 5- 10 min.

Make sure that you only purchase and use 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. You should also dilute essential oils. You can dilute them with carrier oils or water, depending on what you are using it for. If you have any health concerns, please consult with your personal physician before using essential oils.

 

 

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