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Hair Masks

As each part of our bodies needs attention and care, so does our hair. In the furry of the day we often forget our hair’s needs until it get’s too late and split ends, dryness and loss of shine appear.  In the transitional seasons (Autumn and Spring), the need of special hair care increases because of the effect the weather change has on our organisms. This is a time when a good hair mask is especially needed.

For seasonal hair strength boost, or for general weekly care, here are some ideas for hair masks which will help you keep your hair nourished, shiny and, most importantly: healthy.

Best Ready-Made Hair Masks

The following hair masks are some of the most liked and satisfactory. The review is based mostly on the used ingredients and their effect on the hair. However, please keep in mind that different people’s hair can have different needs and a mask might be good for one but not for another. The best way always is to try and see what is best for you!

Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask


The Macadamia Oil is an extract taken from the nut of the Australian tree of the same name. Even though this oil can be used for cooking, it is also found in haircare, skincare and sun protection products. It has moisturizing effect.

The mask contains also other moisturizing ingredients such as Glycerin and Algae extract, as well as some soothing extracts (Tee tree and Aloe Vera).

Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Mask is strong enough to moisturize even curly dry hair. It also is widely used as a conditioner, though if your hair is not generally dry, this would not be a good idea because if used too often, it may make your hair oily.

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask


This hair mask is especially designed for over-processed or extra dry hair. For such type of hair it is recommended to use the mask weekly, or even more often, as a conditioner.

The Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask has the best quality/price balance. You can get a package for less than 10$.  Note also that a very small amount of the mask is needed when used. This makes the 6 oz package go a long way.

There are three extracts in the mask: Olive, Meadowfoam and Almond oils. The combination of those oils provides complete moisture treatment for hair and scalp.

Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask


This mask contains Moroccan Argan tree extract which contains vitamin E, phenol (disinfectant), carotenes and fatty acids – ingredients perfect for a hair mask nourishing. In a nutshell, the Argan oil renews the cell structure of the hair in a very natural way.

The Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask is more pricy, but having in mind the richness of natural hair soothing ingredients in that oil, it probably is worth investing into it.

General Tips:

  • For very dry hair, you can use masks as conditioner.
  • For normal to oily hair: once a week.
  • For normal to dry hair: twice weekly.

Homemade Hair Masks

The ready made hair masks are a more “lazy” way to take care of your hair. However, if you want a fresh, organic and right-out-of-fridge nourishing, you should try one of these easy homemade masks.

Avocado Hair Mask

This is a very simple but effective hair mask. All you need is one ripe avocado and 2 tbs olive oil. The avocado should be mashed in a blender or with a fork until creamy, then mixed with the olive oil. This mask has to stay on the hair minimum 15 minutes.

Moisturizing Mask

This easy mask is for very dry hair. In order to do it simply mix two egg yolks with 1 tbs olive oil. Let it on your hair for about half an hour.

Honey Mask

Honey is one of the most healthy food. It is a very good ingredient for all kinds of natural cosmetics. Here is how to use it for a hair mask: mix 3 tbs of honey with 1tbs olive oil. Mix well and keep for about 30 minutes.

Banana Mask

Bananas are very good nourishment for hair. To make a banana hair mask, you have to mash a ripe banana very well. Preferably in blender. Then you can add 2tbs yogurt or 1tbs honey. Keep for 30 minutes.

As you have probably noticed, natural hair masks take more time and preparation. However, they have their advantages. Organic masks are more safe, because of the usage of ingredients that can actually be eaten. Also, those kinds of masks are considerably cheaper.

If you are a busy person though, it is better to use a ready mask than none at all. The ready masks do have their own charms: nice package, lovely smell and color. And it is so easy to use them!

Whichever mask you prefer, make sure it is what your hair needs. It is important to know the needs of your own body.

Of course, most masks cannot do wonders for over a night, but if you are consistent and observant you will see the result and find the best nourishment for you hair.

 

Homemade Facial Scrub

A homemade facial scrub is a beauty agent that you should try making and using for yourself one of these days. Using a homemade facial scrub will give you so many advantages that you cannot get from commercially prepared facial scrubs.

Advantages of using a homemade facial scrub

  1. You get to make sure that whatever stuff you are putting on your face is made only from fresh and natural ingredients. Many commercially manufactured facial scrubs contain synthetic ingredients that are harmful to the skin and accelerate its aging.
  2. The ingredients you get to use for your homemade facial scrub are certainly rich in nutrients that will make your skin truly soft and healthy. It is always better to get the vitamins and minerals that your skin needs straight from their natural sources. In this way, you get the full nutrient blast without the synthetic cocktail that you get from commercially manufactured facial scrubs.
  3. The ingredients you need to make your own facial scrub are typically found in your own kitchen. You don’t have to go shopping for these ingredients from inaccessible health stores. If you don’t have an ingredient you need, you can always make a short trip to your local supermarket or grocery store.
  4. A homemade facial scrub is much cheaper than those you buy from a beauty store. Beauty products, especially those with high-end brands, can be very expensive and require significant investments on your part. It is not always practical to spend so much money on beauty products, especially when you can make your own at only a fraction of the price.

A Few Pointers to Remember

Facial mask on beautiful face, closeup portrait on female with perfect skin, woman taking care, spa health and beauty treatment, body part

Homemade Facial Scrub

 

As great as homemade facial scrubs are, there are a few things you need to remember before you start making and using one. One is you need to know if your skin is allergic to certain substances or not. There are so many scrumptious facial scrub recipes that you can find on the Internet. You may feel encouraged to try out one of these recipes. However, if it happens that you are allergic to an ingredient in the recipe, you may develop skin conditions instead of attaining smooth and lovely skin.

Another thing is you need to use whatever homemade facial scrub you make all in one go. It is only necessary for you to use a deep-cleansing facial scrub once a week. If you make too much of the stuff, it will go bad after a couple of days even if you put it in the fridge. Beauty is nothing if you waste so much to achieve it.

A homemade facial scrub is great. It is a cheap way to keep your skin beautiful using ingredients you can easily obtain. You should try your hand at making a homemade facial scrub today.

Try it by yourself

Here are a few recipes for natural facial scrubs. You can find almost all ingredients in your fridge, so don’t hesitate and do your skin some good.

  • Sugary Goodness. Mix together an egg yolk, some brown sugar and some honey. Play with the ingredients until a the consistency is nice, smooth and not runny. Apply to face and neck, rubbing the mask gently with your fingers in circular manner. Wait 10 minutes, then wash your face. This mask is both cleansing and nourishing.
  • Coffee Brake. Mix together some ground coffee, sea salt and olive oil. Rub gently to your face. Wash off immediately.
  • Soda. Use some baking soda on your face. Make sure your face is wet before you apply. Rub gently, try not to overdo it or your skin might get irritated. Wash off. This mask is great for teenagers and people with oily skin.

 

7 Homemade Facial Masks for Acne

Acne is one of the most annoying problems a young person has to face. The painful pimples, oily skin, blackheads and huge pores can affect not only the sufferer’s nerves but also his self esteem. There are, however, some cheap and effective ways to heal or lessen the effect of this major annoyance. Homemade facial masks, for example, are a very easy way to improve your skin and boost your self-assurance. Here is a small collection of natural masks especially good for acne.

Green Tea Face Mask

Green tea has wonderful healing power over acne. To make the mask, boil some water and add 5 packages of green tea. When the water cools until it’s 37 degrees C, add 5 packages ginger. During the next 20 minutes, dip your face in the liquid for as long as you can stand. You might perceive the mask as burning and nipping. After the 20 minutes, wash your face with cool water.

Carrot Mask for Pimples

Grate 2 middle-sized carrots. Mix them with 1 egg yolk. Use the mask on a clean face and keep it for 20 minutes. Remove it using a cotton pad impregnated with rose oil.

Calming Lotion for Irritated Skin

Mix a cup of green or black tea with the juice of 1 lemon. Cool the liquid and apply on the face occasionally.

Blackheads Killer

Grind 5-6 Aspirin pills and add a few drops or rose water. Apply on the face and keep until the mask is dry. Remove it by hand and wash off the rest.

Lemon Mask Against Oily Skin

This mask also shrinks the pores. To make it mix together equal parts of lemon juice, organic honey and clay (such as this Bentonite clay). Apply on the face and rinse after 20 minutes.

Cleansing Banana Mask

Mash one ripe banana and mix with a teaspoon of cream or milk. Apply on the face and wash off after 20 minutes.

Pore-Shrinking Ice Mask

Add some mint, parsley, camomile tea or cucumber juice in water. Freeze in ice-cube forms. For a fast mask, take an ice-cubed mask and rub in your face until the ice melts.

For even more natural homemade face masks, you can also check our Homemade Acne Masks article here.
To avoid allergic reactions, please consult with your physician before trying any facial masks mentioned above.

 

5 Homemade Banana Face Masks

The homemade banana facial masks are good for every skin type. The moisturizing power of the bananas has long been known to womankind in the regions where the fruit originates. Bananas moisturize dry skin, absorbs the oils from the oily type skin, regenerates the cells for older skin and refreshes normal skin. All those functions of the delicious tropical fruit are due to the richness of potassium and magnesium, and vitamins A, B 6, B 12, C and F. Note that for facial masks it is best to use ripe but not overripe bananas because they lose some of their cosmetic properties as they age.

  1. The Simplest Banana Mask is taking a piece of banana and rubbing it to your face and neck, avoiding the area around the eyes. Stay with the banana for 10-15 minutes and rince your face.
  2. Cleansing Banana Mask can be prepared by mashing one banana until smooth and adding 1 tablespoon of milk or cream. Keep the mask on your face and neck for about 20 minutes.
  3. Banana Mask for Oily Skin can be prepared by mixing one mashed banana with one tablespoon honey. Add a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil (you can buy it here) or some lemon juice. Keep on the face for 20 minutes and rince off with cool water.
  4. Honey Banana Mask is good for dry skin. Mash two bananas with one tablespoon organic honey. Keep on the face for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Regenerating Banana Mask can be made by mashing half a banana and adding to it one tablespoon plain live yogurt, five drops lemon juice and one teaspoon olive oil. Keep on your face and neck for 20-30 minutes, then rince with cool water.

All those recipes are very easy to do and contain only ingredients everyone has in their fridge. So go ahead, try and see how good simple natural cosmetics can be for your skin.

Note: If you have allergies to any of the mentioned foods above, the natural masks can cause irritation.

Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Oily skin can be quite troublesome. It looks shiny, feels sticky and often the overproduction of sebum causes coarse pores and pimples. People with oily skin often feel the need to wash their faces a few times a day. But washing your face often, even with a mild soap, may dry your skin too much and as a result, make it produce even more oils. It is always difficult to find moisturizers which truly soothe and hydrate oily and mixed skin types without over-drying or making them even more oily. Some plants and herbs, however, can help your skin with that.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a moisturizer used for centuries in cosmetics. It also has soothing and regenerating properties. To make Aloe Vera lotion wash a few leaves of the plant with warm water. Dry and leave them in fridge for about 10 days then mash the leaves to extract the juice. The lotion will then be ready. If you don’t have Aloe Vera plant at home, you can buy ready Aloe Vera gel here.

Cucumber

Cucumber lotion is also very useful. To make the lotion, take an over-ripe cucumber, peel it and cut it into small pieces. Put the pieces in a jar filling it half way. Fill the rest of the jar with vodka and leave exposed to the sun. After 12 days, drain the liquid and the lotion is ready. If you notice that it dries your skin too much, then when you create it next time increase the cucumber and reduce the vodka.

Herbs

Herbal pledget can soothe and hydrate your skin too. Mix together birch bark or buds, marigold flowers, camomile and juniper in equal parts. Make a decoction from one tablespoon of the herbal mixture and one cup of water. Boil for five minutes on low heat. When the decoction is ready, put a soft towel in it. Cover your face with the hot towel until the heat is gone. Then make the towel wet and hot again with the decoction and repeat until 20 minutes have passed. You can keep the leftover decoction in fridge for a few days and use it as a lotion.

Natural products are more pure and less harmful than store-bought products. However, it is possible to be allergic to natural ingredients as well. If you notice that some of the ingredients in the recipes above irritates your skin, stop using it. Listen to your skin.

Do you know any other natural moisturizers for oily skin?

 

Yogurt Face Masks

Yogurt is a great natural moisturizer. It is rich in proteins and fats which prevent the skin from drying. Yogurt also makes the skin more elastic.

It is a good thing that this wonderful moisturizer is so easily accessible. When you buy yogurt for cosmetic purposes, always choose organic full fat yogurt. It is those fats that help your skin most.

Now, lets see a few easy yogurt masks:

The Simples Yogurt Mask

Take a fat slice of bread and spread 2 tablespoons of yogurt on it. Wait two hours until the bread soaks up the water. Apply the drained yogurt on your face and keep for 20 minutes.

Yogurt Mask With Whitening Effect

Drain the yogurt as explained in the previous maks recipe. Add 1 tablespoon of organic honey and 1 crunched Aspirin pill (acetylsalicylic acid). Keep for 20 minutes and wash off with cool water.

Yogurt Maks for Dry Skin

Drain the yogurt as explained previously. Mix with 1 tablespoon thinly sliced parsley and a few drops extra virgin olive oil. Again, the mask should be kept on the face for 20 minutes.

You might not know, but yogurt is also good for burns. If you have a sun burn, apply some yogurt on your skin and it will take the heat and sooth the burn.

 

Crystal Deodorant

The first time I saw a crystal deodorant in a store it looked very strange to me. I was suspicious if this piece of stone will work at all. If you don’t know much about it you might feel like me back then, so let me share what I know.

What is crystal deodorant and how does it work?

The crystal deodorant is basically a smooth piece of crystal, which contains Ammonium alum, natural mineral salts. It is a hypoallergenic deodorant, paraben free and contains no aluminium or fragrance.

We humans sweat in order to regulate our body temperature. It is a normal physiological process. Our sweat contains mostly water but also small amounts of minerals, lactate, urea and trace elements. Mainly what makes sweat smell unpleasant is the impact of the natural microorganisms that live on our skin. These little bacterias produce enzymes that combined with the lipids from the sweat creates acids, which smell.

The natural salts in the crystal deodorant have antibacterial effect. By adding a thin layer of mineral salts on the skin the bacterial growth is prevented and thus, the odor.

Why use it?

The normal drugstore deodorants contain a lot of suspicious chemicals. Almost any antiperspirant contains aluminum chlorohydrate. There is no definitive research proving this particular aluminium compound is harmful or harmless. However, aluminium chloride is proven to be a neurotixin and high doses of aluminium itself can cause DNA damage .

The link between antiperspirant deodorant and breast cancer is being researched, but so far no conclusive reports have been made. It is suggested, that the parabens, such as alumiinium chloride, used in antiperspirants get into the blood stream (for example, if you spray yourself after shaving). Then they accumulate in breast tissue causing estrogen-like effects, which stimulate the growth of cancer cells.

The Crystal deodorant, on the other hand, is not an antiperspirant. It does not fight the sweating process, because after all sweating is healthy. What the natural deodorant does is it stops the unpleasant smell by using the effects of the mineral salts.

How to use it?

To use crystal deodorant simply make it wet and rub on the clean skin under your arms. It doesn’t feel as if something is transferred to your skin at all, but in fact the salts from the crystal create a thin film on your underarms which will keep you fresh the whole day. It really does decrease body odor.

After using the deodorant, quickly rinse the stick and pat dry.

Note that if you do not like to fuss with wetting the stick before each use, there is also a spray version of the crystal deodorant.

Pros and Cons

The Crystal deodorant is natural and healthy to use. It is extremely cheap, one crystal can be used for up to a year, and it costs just about $3. It does not feel sticky, does not leave marks on the clothes. It really does work. It is fragrance free which is good if you want to add your favourite perfume with it.

It is not as easy to use as a spray deo (but it does have a spray version too). The crystal deodorant has to be used on clean skin, so if you want to use a deodorant for extreme sweating after hiking in the mountains, this is not the one. However, if you use it every morning after shower it will keep you fresh for the whole day. It does not have fragrance and I consider this can be a minus too. If you are just-spray-and-go person and you are used to products with fragrance, you might find this inconvenient. However, there are spray versions of the crystal deodorant that have added fragrance too, so you can look out for this instead.

Overall, the crystal deodorant is a very good alternative to chemically infused deodorants. It is all natural, cheap and healthy solution for everyday use. If you want to give it a try you can buy it online here or here.

So, do you consider trying the crystal deo, or have you already? What do you think about it?

 

Easy Homemade Eye Masks

The delicate skin under your eyes is one of the things that influences your beauty the most. If you have dark circles or puffy eyes you immediately look tired and sickly. On the contrary, if your skin there looks bright and healthy, your whole face appears fresh and glowing.

There are many commercial products which address the problems related to the eye area. But if you prefer to try natural, free of chemicals and cheaper remedies, here are a few out-of-fridge masks which will soothe and nourish the skin around your eyes.

Homemade Masks Against Dark Circles

The under-eye discoloration is a very common problem. The thinner skin under the eyes shows trough tiny blood vessels which makes it appear darker. This can be either inherited or something that comes along with age. So what can we do about it?

Coconut Oil Mask

Get some organic coconut oil and apply it gently using tapping motions on the skin under your eyes. Let it over night to moisturize your skin. This will rejuvenate the skin.

Cucumber Mask

Cut two slices of organic cucumber and add to your eyelids. Relax for 20 minutes. The cucumber will brighten the skin around your eyes and even reduce puffiness.

Homemade Masks Against Eye Puffiness

Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin on your body, the flow of fluids in your organism is most visible there. Too much salt or allergies can be the cause of water retention in your body. If puffy eyes are common occurrences, do check what causes it in your case. If you just need a quick fix, here are a few masks that will help:

Potato Mask

Cut two round slices of a potato and apply to the eyelids. Relax for 20 minutes then wash off. The potato juice will help reduce water retention around the eye while its coolness soothes your eyelids.

Camomile Tea Mask

Make some camomile tea, then put the used tea bags in the fridge for a few minutes. Apply to your eyelids and let the camomile and the coldness of the tea bags soothe your eyes.

As with most natural remedies, it is important to make the masks regularly. But as they are so easy to make and cheap, diligence should not be a problem.

 

Homemade Body Scrub

Homemade body scrubs are extremely inexpensive and have the benefit of being all-natural and handmade. Add a beautiful container and a ribbon and you have a pretty and practical present for your friends and family. You can also make the preparation of scrubs a good fun activity for you and your children, and perhaps even a way to teach them the value of handmade goods.

How to make a Body Scrub?

To make a body scrub you need a base, or otherwise said the “scrubbing agent”. Then you need a carrier oil which will make the scrubbing less harsh so it doesn’t irritate your skin. The carrier oil can also be a moisturiser, thus adding additional benefit. Lastly, as an addition, scents and colours can be added to give the body scrub bigger appeal.

Base

The most common base for a body scrub is sugar. We all have it in our pantries and it gives nice texture to the end product. You can use plain white sugar, brown sugar or a combination of the two. Another base can be epsom salts. Salty scrubs rejuvenate the skin wonderfully.  Baking soda and ground coffee can be added as an addition to the salt or sugar, for extra scrubbiness and nicer texture.

Carrier Oil

You can use any edible oil as a carrier. However, it would be better if the oil is as little processed as possible. Cold-pressed olive oil or organic coconut oil are great choices, but you can also use canola, avocado or almond oil. Anything you have in the pantry. Note that if you use solid oils such as coconut oil, you’ll need to melt it before you combine the ingredients.

Additions

Add a bit of scent and colour to make the body scrub more fun. You can colour the scrub using food colouring. For scent you can either add a few drops of your favourite essential oil or some spices and herbs such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, rosemary, lavender, etc., or even some lemon or other citrus juice.

Assembly

To make the scrub, stir together your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add as much oil as needed for the base to absorb. The end result should be a crumbly mixture. Spoon the scrub to your containers of choice and enjoy next time you take a shower.

And if you do make yourself a scrub please tell me: which is your favourite combination? Do you make yourself a simple sugar vanilla scrub or do you prefer more exotic smells?

3 Homemade Masks for Blackheads

If you are one of the very few people who have never experienced the annoyance of having a blackhead, stop reading now. Appreciate how blessed you are and move on. The rest of us will explore the problem of having blackheads and discover a few helping recipes for fighting the offenders.

Blackheads are a primary sign for acne vulgaris but even if you don’t have other signs of acne you might have blackheads. What causes is excess oils, such as keratin and sebum, which get stuck in a hair follicle, oxidize and gather bacterias. The oxydation of the oils darkens the top of the clogged follicles and therefor the spots appear black.

So, how do we get rid of them?

Blackheads Face Mask with Oats

Use about a tablespoon of oat flour and add just as much rose water as to make a thick paste. Wash your face with gentle cleaner and apply the mask while it is still wet. Let it rest for 15 minutes, then wash out.

Blackheads Face Mask with Honey, Sugar and Baking Soda

Mix equal parts (1 tablespoon each) organic honey, sugar and baking soda. Gently massage your clean face with this peeling mask for a few minutes. Let rest for about 10 minuts and wash off with cool water.

Blackheads Face Mask with Potato

Grate a small potato and rub on your face. Keep the mask for 15 minutes until the stark in the potato has dried on your skin. Wash your face with cool water.

Note that natural remedies work slower than commercial products (but therefore contain no chemicals). These masks work wonderfully if you use them regularly (1-2 times a week) because they help regulate the oil production of your skin. However, they can only slightly improve your skin if you have a more severe kind of acne.