Curls, Curls, Curls

Growing up, I hated my curly hair. It was always so frizzy. My mother would put big rollers in my hair, and I’d have to sit under a hair dryer for what seemed like hours just to loosen the curl. And even then it would get frizzy.

Curly hair tends to be drier than other types of hair. Moisture-rich conditioners are a must. Look for natural conditioners containing shea butter or avocado oil, which penetrate the hair shaft for a smooth look. A layered cut works best for curly hair. The layers will help your curls fall into place, instead of falling on top of each other and poofing out. Layers shorten the drying time as well. Get rid of your split ends by getting a trim every 8 to 10 weeks. Remember that the only way to get rid of split ends is by cutting them off… no matter what the shampoo commercials claim.

What about frizz? Frizz happens when your hair is in need of hydration. We moisturize our hair with oil, but hydration comes from water. Our hair frizzes because it is thirsty. So when we’re out with thirsty hair, it absorbs the moisture in the air, making our hair shafts swell. It’s not a pretty look! Avoid products that contain alcohol, which will dry out your hair. Use a hair steamer, like the Huetiful Hair Steamer, to help re-hydrate your hair. And, most importantly, drink plenty of water.

Now that I’m older and know better, I love my curly hair. I can wear it any way I want, curly or straight. And frizz… What frizz?

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Rice Water and Chamomile Toner

Chamomile: You may use chamomile as a soothing tea for your stomach or to help you sleep, but chamomile is incredibly calming to sensitive skin prone to rosacea or redness. Chamomile has powerful anti-inflammatory properties from its natural component, azulene. It’s great for healing and balancing rough or damaged skin. Chamomile tea alone is a wonderful toner.

Rice Water: My mother always talks about how her grandmother would wash her face with the water she used to wash the rice before cooking it. My mother mentions how soft and wrinkle-free her grandmother’s face alway was. Asian women have been using this rice water to cleanse their skin for centuries. Rice is full of nutrients and is readily available. The starch and proteins in the rice water nourishes the skin and provides mild exfoliation.

Both the chamomile tea and the rice water make great toners on their own, but why not put them together? Here is my recipe for a rice water and chamomile toner.

Pour two cups of rice in a bowl and add two cups of water. “Clean” or stir the rice with a spoon or chopstick until the water becomes cloudy. Strain the water and put it in a pot. On the stove top, bring the rice water to a boil on high heat. Once it boils, remove from heat.

Steep two packets of 100% pure chamomile tea in the rice water. Remove the packets once the water cools.

Pour the cooled toner in a bottle, I collect bottles to use for my concoctions.

To use, saturate a cotton ball and apply as you would any toner. Keep this toner in the fridge and use whenever needed.

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An Overcast Day

We went out to the lake for some volleyball, and although it was overcast, it was a beautiful day. You would think that on an overcast day you wouldn’t have to worry so much about sun protection. Actually, the worst sun burns occur on overcast days. This is because we tend to skimp out on sun protection and stay out longer when we don’t see the sun. However, the sun’s powerful UVB and UVA rays still penetrate through the thin cloud cover to affect us. Sun protection is always a must.

So what’s the difference between sunscreen and sunblock?

Sunscreens absorb the sun’s UV rays before they reach your skin, which is great, but our skin absorbs the chemicals in the sunscreen, and who knows what long-term effects those chemicals will have on us. These chemical sunscreens also stop working after a few hours.

Sunblocks do not absorb the sun’s radiation, but rather reflect and scatter the sun’s rays. Sunblocks are long-lasting, remaining on your skin until you wash it off or sweat it off. Zinc Oxide is the most common mineral used in sun blocks today. You can purchase it in any pharmacy, and it’s great for your skin. It soothes and nourishes. The only downfall for zinc oxide is that it leaves a layer of white on your skin. Have you ever seen a life guards nose while on duty? That’s zinc oxide.

So add some zinc oxide to your favorite moisturizer or look for a sunblock that has zinc oxide as its main ingredient along with natural ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And don’t let the cloud cover fool you. The sun’s rays are still out there, ready to wreak havoc on your skin. Protect your skin… And get some sun, it’s good for you!

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Beauty Basics 101: Tomatoes

You don’t need to go to a spa or buy an expensive facial mask to revive your tired skin. Just look in your fridge, or maybe your home garden. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, A, K, and potassium. They are effective on blackheads and  their astringent properties help remove dead skin cells, providing your skin with a deep clean. Tomatoes leave your skin smooth and moisturized. They are also great for making your hair look shiny and healthy.

Make a mask by taking a ripe tomato and putting it in a food processor, or mash it up by hand using a pestle and mortar.

After cleansing your skin, apply the mask to your face and neck. Rinse off after 10 to 15 minutes with warm water and pat dry. If using it for your hair, you may need more than one tomato. After shampooing your hair, apply the mask. You may use a cap or provide heat if desired. Rinse after 10 to 15 minutes. Apply a conditioner, the tomato mask will boost the moisture retention in your conditioner.

Tomatoes are easy to grow. They are heat tolerant and grow well anywhere the sun shines. So why not plant your own tomatoes and have natural beauty right outside your door.

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Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a condition in which the skin loses melanin, the pigment which gives skin its color. White patches begin to appear on the skin and grow on any part of the body. Although there are treatments, such as Narrowband UVB, that are proving to be successful at re-pigmentation, there is no known cure for vitiligo. We also don’t know what causes vitiligo, although there are many theories.

I have been living with vitiligo for about 10 years. I currently have vitiligo on my hands, feet, and thighs. I have seen some re-pigmentation on some areas of my body, while in other areas there has been more loss of pigmentation. But over all, my vitiligo is slow spreading. Although it causes no physical pain or discomfort, it can be psychologically distressing for some.

I have tried products that claim to help with vitiligo, and I also experiment on my own using natural ingredients. I will share my results of these with you in future posts. Until then, don’t be afraid to ask questions or share your personal experience with vitiligo. We can always learn from each other.

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Sun, Sand, and Wind Surfing

Today a few of my friends and I went wind surfing to celebrate Jessica’s birthday. If you ever thought of trying it, I say go for it! It was our first time, so we took a lesson.

We started out on the beach,

Then we hit the water.

The birthday girl really took to it.

My turn.

It’s not as easy as it looks.

A great time with great friends!

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Beauty Basics 101: Avocados

This little tree started out as an avocado pit in a cup, sitting on my window sill. Today, it’s over 5 feet tall and is planted in the yard. One day this little tree will grow to be 50 – 60 feet tall, and bear fruit rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins B, C, E, and F, potassium, fiber, and monounsaturated fats to help lower cholesterol. But this nutrient rich fruit is not only good for tossing on a salad or making guacamole; this fruit alone, with no added ingredients, makes natural beauty a snap for your skin and hair.

Avocado Peel Scrub: Peel a ripe avocado, but don’t throw away the peel. Rinse it clean, pat it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, and place it in the sun to dry. When it is completely dry and no longer flexible, place it in a food processor until it’s finely ground. Mix a teaspoon of the ground peel with your favorite facial cleanser and use it to scrub away any dry or dead skin cells.

Avocado Hair and Facial Mask: The flesh of the avocado is where all the nutrients are. Avocados are a great moisturizer for your skin and hair. Make a mask by simply mashing a ripe avocado into a smooth paste. Spread it on your face and neck, and let it set for 15 minutes. Then rinse it off with warm water and pat dry. It’s a great remedy for dry skin. You can also spread the avocado paste into your hair, letting it set for 15 minutes, then rinse and style. This will moisturize your hair, leaving it smooth and shiny.

The Pit: You can grow avocados from the pit with just a glass of water and 3 toothpicks. Insert the toothpicks 3/4 of the way up the pit and place it in the glass of water, making sure the water covers most of the bottom of the pit. Place the glass in a sunny location. Within 4-6 weeks it should sprout. Once it’s a few inches tall, you can plant it in soil and watch it grow.

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Don’t Neglect Your Neck!

Did you know that the skin around our necks show signs of aging as quickly as the skin around our eyes? So why do we spend an obscene amount of money on eye creams, yet often times completely neglect our necks?

While we can go to extremes to reverse the signs of aging around our eyes, unfortunately, due to blood vessels and the thyroid laying so close to the skin, there is nothing drastic we can do for our necks.

So what do we do?

Consider your neck a part of your face. Always moisturize your neck with a moisturizer rich in antioxidants. Use as much moisturizer on your neck as you would on your face. Using gentle upward strokes, gently apply the moisturizer with your finger tips, being careful not to stretch the skin. Establish a morning and night routine, and make a little time to take care of this delicate skin…. And don’t forget sunscreen!

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Welcome to my blog!

As I begin a new chapter in my life, I thought a blog would be a great way to share my journey.

I hope you find my interest in natural beauty beneficial in your own life; and I hope that the challenges I face in starting a new life in love inspire you.

So keep checking back!

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