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Filtering by Category: #diybeauty

5 Ways To Incorporate Turmeric Into Your #TRUTHBEAUTY Routine

Alexis Krauss

Natural beauty wizard Kristin Collins Jackson is back, this time with some unexpected and incredibly effective uses for turmeric. Turmeric possesses numerous health benefits but can often be tricky to use in DIY skincare recipes. I personally use it almost everyday in food and beverages, but I've always been a bit confused by how to use it in skincare recipes given how badly it stains my fingers when I'm preparing it. Thankfully Kristin has spent a lot of time experimenting with this potent plant and has shared her favorite recipes below. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

 Freshly grated tumeric root.

Freshly grated tumeric root.

There are plenty of trends in natural skincare that come and go, but there is one ingredient that has a safe, permanent home in my beauty regimen: turmeric has prevented acne, relieved painful cystic acne, and improved my complexion. This popularity of turmeric would be annoying if it weren't continuously saving more faces through at home recipes than botched at home curry recipes. Turmeric never had a bad rap, but turning everything it touches orange often leads people to shy away from this herb without a full understanding of what you could be missing out on. 

You may know turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, but the main component used to reduce swelling is a unique antioxidant called curcumin. Since it's also naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, you can count on turmeric being able to naturally take care of severe acne and moderate eczema. The naturally brightening properties are ideal for those with pigmented skin that suffer from hyper-pigmentation and acne scars and anyone can find benefits from using turmeric as an exfoliate or reduces wrinkles and promoting a glowing complexion.  

The most common way to use turmeric is in its powdered form, though the potency of the curcumin can be lost through the process of making turmeric powder, it's still got a bunch of healthy nutrients. The way you use turmeric powder, root, and oil depends on the recipe your making and the intention behind the recipe. Allow me to serve as your turmeric tour guide by sharing some of my favorite recipes! Don't worry, using turmeric doesn't have to result in an orange face. 

1. Turmeric For A Body Wash

Since I've been soap-free for some years now, I've got lots of practice finding a daily body wash that removes dirt without stripping my bod of its natural oils. Adding turmeric to my favorite homemade body wash has also kept body acne to a minimum. For this recipe, I used 1 heaping tablespoon of raw honey, 1 tablespoon of calendula, 2 tablespoons of chamomile, and a teaspoon of turmeric. Put the calendula, chamomile, and turmeric in a disposable tea bag, and place in 4 ounces of hot filtered water, adding the honey directly to tea. Remove the tea bag after 5 minutes and allow to cool naturally. Store your cleanser in a sealable container with a pump and store in the fridge for future use. Discard after 2 weeks. 

2. Turmeric For A Stimulating Exfoliate

I'm no stranger to needing coffee in the mornings, most of the time I find when I need a cup of coffee? My face needs a coffee scrub that will erase the appearance of poor sleeping habits displayed all over my face. For this mask, I blended 2 tablespoons of brewed coffee grounds, 1 tablespoon of oatmeal, and added a teaspoon of turmeric. After you make your coffee scrub base, add balancing ingredients like milk, brewed herbs, or honey to loosen the consistency of the scrub, you don't want a harsh exfoliate that will irritate your skin. Apply your mask on makeup free skin and rinse with lukewarm water. 

3. Turmeric To Fight Cystic Acne

I like to believe that cystic acne is in my past, but those hormonal outbreaks will creep up if I'm overindulging in sugar or dairy. One of my accomplices for these outbreaks is this turmeric mask because it's antibacterial, sloths off dead skin cells, and can stop the cyst before it becomes painfully inflamed and scarred. For this mask, I use a combination of baking soda, raw honey, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar. For my 5oz container, I used a tablespoon of ACV, 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder, 2 ounces of raw honey. I add enough baking soda to make a thick paste, which was about 2 ounces. Since baking soda is very alkalizing, start with an ounce and test it out first. This recipe is to control oil build-up and combat cysts, those with dry skin may want to use only 1 tablespoon of baking soda.  

4. Turmeric To Brighten Teeth

It may seem odd that something notorious for turning your hands orange could brighten your teeth, but trust me, turmeric is even recommended by some dentists as a natural remedy for your pearly whites. I made a toothpaste with turmeric recently and my roomie and I couldn't believe how slick and white our teeth felt, it actually made our teeth feel even cleaner than the natural brands we had been purchasing. You can incorporate it in your favorite natural toothpaste recipe or use it solely for its whitening properties using equal parts coconut oil and baking soda and 2 parts turmeric.  

5. Turmeric Body Butter For Dry Skin

Having a few clients with eczema means I'm always on the look-out for natural ingredients that can moisturize the skin while alleviating painful inflammation. This simple body butter only involves 2 ingredients: turmeric oil and shea butter. As I mentioned above, turmeric root preserves many of the important antioxidants and turmeric oil gets bonus points for not being as messy or as staining as its powdered counterpart. Add 3 ounces of shea butter and 1 ounce of turmeric oil in a blender and you've got yourself a homemade butter that lasts. 

Get Your Clay On

Alexis Krauss

Bustle's DIY beauty maven Kristin Collins Jackson is back, and this time she's really excited to tell you about clay. We've all heard of clay face masks, but they are often pricey and full of filler ingredients. Lucky for us Kristin has gotten her hands dirty experimenting with a variety of DIY clay concoctions and we're thrilled to report that clay can be an easy, effective, affordable and fun new addition to your skincare routine. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

Clay is found nearly everywhere on earth, the United States naturally produces several types including some particularly beneficial for mild skin problems like kaolin, bentonite, and Fuller's earth clay which makes it relatively inexpensive and unless you plan on personally digging up clay to make your own clay mask, it's easy to find. Because of this, I couldn't continue to pay upwards of $60 on a clay mask — instead I spent the last years playing in clay to become, if not a clay genius, then a person who could whip up a clay mask in 5 minutes for merely a few dollars.

Since skincare, particularly natural, can be pricy, there is no shame in researching ingredients in the beauty aisle, but you can save yourself money and your phone's data by trading in the public research for a fun DIY clay mask at home. I purchase a few different clays in bulk to make masks depending on my skin's needs and trust me, a bag of clay goes a long way.  You don't need a lab, you don't need a doctorate, in fact, you don't even need an apron — a little inspiration will have you ready to book a play-date with clay.   

French Green Clay

I am a huge fan of green clay, particularly when the temperature is rising and my skin starts acting like it needs to produce enough oil for me to repurpose for the apocalypse; green clay is very cleansing and while it's drying properties are great for oily skin types, it still doesn't keep your skin from naturally producing oil on its own, it merely controls the oil production. This clay mask is for just that: with grapefruit essential oil to further promote astringent properties and lavender to calm and balance the stimulating effects of the clay and grapefruit essential oil.

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay has a huge fan base because it works well with oily, combination, and dry skin. Just like its clay cousins, bentonite absorbs impurities and gently exfoliates the skin. During your menstrual cycle, bentonite is a great way to release toxins and I especially recommend it at the onset of menstrual cycle; this is a great time for women to get rid of toxins. Pair it with hormone balancing essential oils like geranium to control those dreaded period breakouts.  

White Kaolin Clay

This clay is great for sensitive skin and not just the ones prone to breakouts or dryness. As the skin ages it becomes thinner and things are absorbed faster through the blood stream, white kaolin clay is gentle enough for mature skin while removing dead skin cells, calming and soothing lines, wrinkles, and overall stressed out skin. I love this mask in the dead of winter when my skin doesn't know if it's dry or breaking out or both: I infuse my clay with hibiscus tea which speeds up cell regeneration and improves the elasticity of skin and to support of the kaolin clay.  

Black Clay

I'll start by saying there are a different forms of black clay; this one by Fig + Yarrow is infused with activated charcoal and kaolin black clay, the combination makes it an exceptionally detoxifying mask that controls oil and breakouts while giving your skin a deep clean. This mask is ideal for oily skin, stressed out skin. To balance the detoxing effects of the clay, I infused it with chamomile tea to keep my skin from getting too excited.

-Kristin

For The Love Of Lemongrass

Alexis Krauss

It's DIY Friday and guest blogger Kristin Collins Jackson is back, this time to tell us all about the many benefits of lemongrass essential oil. Kristin shares her favorite DIY recipes incorporating lemongrass essential oil just in time for you to try them this weekend. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

Lemongrass essential oil is one of the many essentials in my beauty routine. While many folks may be used to seeing this ingredient in a delicious stir-fry, the healthy benefits of this tropical grass can be applied on your bod to solve your beauty woes. I'm a huge fan of using fresh lemons on my face after cleansing to get rid of pesky scars that blemishes leave behind, but squeezing a fresh lemon by hand everyday gets old real fast. Fortunately, lemongrass essential oil is just as versatile and when mixed with the right ingredients it handles dark spots like a boss!

Lemongrass is native to tropical climates like Africa, Sri Lanka and India. The essential oil is an astringent with natural brightening qualities, so you can say goodbye to lightening dark spots with harmful chemicals or hand-squeezing lemons. According to sources at Livestrong, the anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties make it excellent at warding off infections. Lemongrass is cleansing because of its antiseptic qualities — which is exactly what you want when incorporating a new ingredient into your cleansing routine.

A little bit of lemongrass goes a long way, because of those potent antiseptic and astringent properties, it can be an irritant on your skin, so be sure to mix your lemongrass with your favorite carrier oil and use in small doses.

Here are a handful of ways you can use lemongrass to brighten your day...and your skin.

1. Deodorant

It took me a while to nail down my essential oils to make a deodorant that would control sweat and odor, adding lemongrass to my natural deodorant has become, well, as essential as the oil itself.

2. Toner

Lemongrass acts as a natural preservative and lightener in my go-to homemade toner. This toner can be used after cleansing, before you moisturize, by using rose water, aloe vera, and a few drops of lemongrass essential oil. As with any new recipe, do a test patch on the inside of your arm to make sure your skin reacts well to lemongrass.

3. Brightening Body Lotion

I'm all about brightening my skin throughout my skin regimen, as long as it doesn't require any harmful chemicals. I use a combination of mango, shea, and kokum butter with my favorite carrier oils, then I add frankincense and lemongrass essential oil to keep my lotion healing my body throughout the day.

-Kristin

DIY FRIDAY: Flower Power

Alexis Krauss

What better way to celebrate the arrival of Spring than with flowers! Did you know that you can easily incorporate dried flowers into your beauty routine? Guest contributor Kristin Collins Jackson of Bustle teaches us how with these powerful and oh so pretty DIY recipes. Enjoy and Happy Spring! Xoxo Alexis

Up until recently, I had a love/hate relationship with flowers. Flowers served to me as a reminder of pollen, which only leads to itchy skin, puffy eyes, and thousands of sneezes. Now that I've become completely obsessed with using dried flowers in beauty products, those tears from allergies have turned into tears of joy. Of course, before you join me in the throes of DIY flowering, you must makes sure you never use a flower in your beauty products that generally causes an allergic reaction. Once you've narrowed down your flowers of choice, you can get in on all those potent skin benefits.

You may be familiar with the benefits of rose essential oil, calendula oil, or even dried herbs such as basil and skullcap leaves. Those same soothing properties of the oils of flowers can be found in dried flowers as well — or example, the anti-aging properties of roses are also found in the petals. There have been numerous studies on the positive impact that flowers have on our minds and healing our bodies and when you apply those benefits topically, the results will have you feeling AND looking naturally beautiful. Be sure to shop for organic flowers because that label will mean your product meets USDA organic standards ensuring the flowers are grown in healthy soils and are free from toxic pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

You don't have to be a chemist to come up with an amazing flower-based product that you can use on the regular: Here are just a few ways you can incorporate dried flowers in your natural skin routine.

1. Rose Hair Zinger

If you're looking to spoil your scalp and tresses, this flowery hair zinger will do just that. For this recipe, I boiled filtered water and added 1/4 cup of hibiscus, 1/4 cup of skullcap leaves, and 1/3 cup of roses. Strain your tea to remove only the liquid and let cool in a sealable container. Next, add 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and your essential oils of choice. I like to use clary sage, rosemary, sage, eucalyptus, or lavender essential oils to give my hair extra nutrients and get rid of that vinegary smell. Use on wet hair, massaging into the scalp, and leave on for about 10 minutes before rinsing.

2. Skullcap Rose Coffee Exfoliate

Don't waste your leftover flowers from the hair zinger, because adding these petals to a coffee scrub will give you a perfect AM mask to get rid of puffy eyes and fine lines that creep up on you while you sleep. Use a handful of flowers, 1/3 cup of freshly ground coffee, and 1 tablespoon of raw honey and mix vigorously. Apply on damp, makeup free skin and gently massage into the face and neck.

3. Calendula Body Scrub

This calendula body scrub is the ultimate healing scrub to make you forget about those harsh winter months. Since dried flowers are exfoliating on their own, I used dried calendula flowers, calendula oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, a dash of citric acid and salt. Mix vigorously by hand and add your favorite essential oils. For this healing scrub, I used geranium, frankincense, and ylang ylang essential oils.

4. Rosy Blush

I've written about making your own blush before and truthfully, there isn't one recipe that's going to be perfect for everyone, but there is one ingredient that we all can enjoy regardless of our skin type. Enter dried roses. For my own blush cocktail, I used cocoa powder, acai berry and dried roses to give my cheeks a slightly rosy look sans chemicals.

5. Flower-Herbal Facial Steam

The first time I tried a facial steam, I wanted to spend my entire life steaming because that's how hydrated my skin looked and felt. To make a facial steam, you can use any flower of your choice —I used skullcap leaves, bay leaves, and chamomile flowers. Boil water, add your favorite flowers, and let your steam cool slightly. Next, find a comfy spot in your house and place a towel over your head, creating a tent for your face to capture the steam. Enjoy your steam for about 10 minutes and follow up with your favorite natural cleanser. This is a great way to open up your pores and allow the nutrients of the flowers to penetrate deeply into the skin.

 

Lauren Singer's Zero Waste Bathroom Essentials

Jessica Assaf

Lauren Singer lives a completely zero waste lifestyle in Brooklyn, New York. I met Lauren in college at NYU, when she was a fearless activist fighting against hydraulic fracturing. She has since become the model citizen for a lifestyle free of waste, which she documents on her blog, Trash is for Tossers. Lauren proves that it is possible to live a fulfilling, sustainable life in the city, while saving money and motivating others to take action. 

 Image courtesy of   Trash is for Tossers

Image courtesy of Trash is for Tossers

Watch her share her zero waste bathroom essentials that anyone can make at home. 

Here is a list of what she uses: 

Organic Corn Starch - as dry shampoo
Baking soda- exfoliant or pimple remover
Zero Waste toothpaste- applied with my bamboo toothbrush (recipe here)
Bamboo Toothbrush can be found HERE
Face Oil - calendula oil or sweet almond oil
Zero Waste Body Butter (recipe here)
Zero Waste Deodorant (recipe here)
Stainless Steel Safety Razor
Soap: package free, organic, vegan soap 

Learn more about Lauren and her inspiring lifestyle on her blog, Trash is for Tossers.

Recipes from S.W. Basics' DIY Skincare Essentials

Jessica Assaf

You probably know by now that we love everything about S.W. Basics and founder Adina Grigore's vision of simple, minimalist, effective skincare made with 5 ingredients or less. We are so excited to share these easy recipes from S.W. Basics' new DIY Skincare Essentials, a line of potent and effective ingredients you can use alone or with others. These recipes were inspired by Adina's bestselling book, Skin Cleanse, which we promise will change the way you think about skincare forever! Get ready for some magic: 

DIY Hydrating Treatment: 
1 heaping tablespoon aloe vera powder
1/4 cup brewed chamomile tea (cooled) or just water!

Directions:
Mix well (the aloe vera powder will take on a gel-like consistency as it rehydrates), then apply like a mask. Leave on until dry, and then feel free to rinse off if you'd like. 

DIY Face Scrub:
3 sprays rosewater 
1 teaspoon oat flour 

Directions:
Mix well in your hand and gently scrub onto face. Rinse immediately or leave on for a few minutes to dry before rinsing. 

DIY Moisturizer: 
1/4 cup shea butter
10-20 drops essential oil of your choice 

Directions: 
Mix well and then let sit at room temperature until your new, scented shea butter re-solidifies. Use on stubborn dry spots. 

P.S. Use promo code "TRUTHBEAUTY" on the S.W. Basics online store to receive a special discount! 

The Power of Essential Oils

Jessica Assaf

Aromatherapy is "the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being." The inhaled aroma from these "essential" oils have the power to stimulate brain function and alter one's mood and physical health. The benefits of essential oils are immediate, with only a few drops needed to experience profound results. While the full history of aromatherapy is unknown, we do know that the term was invented in 1937 after French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse effectively healed his burns with lavender essential oil. Aromatherapy was later used to heal the wounds of soldiers in World War II. Now aromatherapy is widely accepted as a powerful healing tool for a variety of health conditions.

Essential oils are currently used to treat headaches, poor digestion, depression and anxiety, and they also promote relaxation, sharpen focus, boost energy, and help with circulation, heart problems, and respiratory conditions like asthma. Topically essential oils can combat redness and skin irritation and heal acne. Because essential oils are so potent, you should used them with caution if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. You only need a few drops to feel a difference. 

You can use essential oils topically, on their own or blended with carrier oils (like olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil) or you can use them in a diffuser. Here are 5 basic essential oils you should try right now: 

Chamomile
Chamomile oil is extracted from the leaves of the Chamomile flowering plant through steam distillation. It is a calming agent and mood lifter, with antibiotic and antiseptic properties. Chamomile has a soothing scent that will promote relaxation and a positive mental state. 

Peppermint
Peppermint oil is extracted from the peppermint herb flowers and is then steam-distilled. It is a cooling agent with many therapeutic benefits and it can be used to enhance your mood, sharpen focus, alleviate headaches, heal irritation and redness of the skin, assist with digestion, and relax the body. 

Tea Tree
Tea Tree is extracted from the leaves of the alternifolia tree and is then steam distilled. As one of the most popular essential oils, tea tree is used to boost the immune system and fight infections. It is highly effective as a skin treatment for burns, cuts, acne, and cold sores. Tea Tree is also a natural insecticide and a powerful treatment for muscle aches, respiratory conditions, and flu-like symptoms. Topically, tea tree can be used alone on the skin or mixed with a carrier oil or lotion. 

Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and twigs of the Eucalyptus tree. It is highly effective as a treatment for respiratory conditions and also has the power to improve concentration, fight migraines and fevers, and heal muscle aches and pains, with a similar "cooling effect" as peppermint. 

Lavender
Lavender is extracted and distilled from the flowers of the lavender plant. It has powerful stress-relieving effects and can treat headaches and promote relaxation. Lavender is also a natural antidepressant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory with vast applications. 

You can find most of these essential oils (and more!) on Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs

DIY Summer Skincare

Alexis Krauss

I polled two of my best gal pals for there favorite DIY summer concoctions and here are the results...

Energizing Coffee Scrub
by Jeri Gennaro (@rebelofnyc)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Handful of chopped almonds/oats

STEPS

  1. Melt coconut oil in a double boiler over low heat
  2. Chop almonds and oats
  3. Mix dry ingredients together
  4. Mix in dry ingredients with wet ingredients

This recipe makes about two 6oz mason jars.

Coconut Castile Soap
by Scarlett Newman (@peculiarpetitefemme)

I love castile soap & all of the benefits that come with it! Unfortunately, it's a bit too harsh for my skin, and tends to dry it out too much, even with my already oily skin. This incredibly simple soap (made with coconut oil) will allow you to reap the benefits of all the great things in castile soap and will keep your face and body feeling soft and moisturized! Yay!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of unscented castile soap1 cup of rose water***
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 15-20 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • some type of secure container that can hold your soap
  • a squeeze bottle or pump dispenser

***If you don't have any rosewater handy, make your own!:

12 drops rose oil + 1 cup distilled water
*Combine in a secure container and shake well to distribute the oil*

STEPS

  1. Add castile soap, rose water, coconut oil and lavender essential oil into a mason jar or sealable container
  2. Shake gently
  3. Pour your mixture into a squeeze bottle or pump bottle dispenser and enjoy :)

Safer Sunscreen Alternatives: Raw Oils

Jessica Assaf

This summer we are ditching the Banana Boat in favor of simpler, safer options. Why expose yourself to harsh synthetic compounds when we have access to raw ingredients that can protect us from the sun AND heal our skin? While none of these ingredients will fully shield us from hours of sunbathing, it is important to recognize the full potential of raw oils and butters. Make sure to choose a cold-pressed, organic, unrefined option! 

Red Raspberry Seed Oil: SPF 28 to 50 
High in Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids, Red Raspberry Seed Oil prevents rashes, heals eczema, and creates a lipid barrier to protect the skin from the sun. This is one of the only oils that actually protects against UVA and UVB rays. 

Carrot Seed Oil: SPF 38 to 40
Carrot Seed Oil is full of beta carotene, Vitamin A, E and pro-Vitamin A. This oil helps to heal dry, chapped and cracked skin, balances the skin's moisture, and heals burns, wounds, cuts, and scars. 

Wheatgerm Oil: SPF 20
Rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, K and B, Wheatgerm Oil protects the skin from the sun and also acts as a free radical preventer. 

Avocado Oil: SPF 4 to 15
Avocado Oil is full of Vitamin A, B1, B2, D, E, amino acids, sterols, and other essential fatty acids. It is also inexpensive, and you can find it at most grocery stores. 

Coconut Oil: SPF 10
Coconut oil is full of Vitamin E that keeps hair and skin healthy. It also serves as a protective layer on the skin, helping to retain the skin's moisture. 

Shea Butter: SPF 6 to 10
Rich in Vitamin A, E, and F, this butter balances, hydrates and normalizes skin, heals dry or sun-exposed skin, and prevents premature aging. Shea butter also evens out skin tone and restores skin elasticity. 

What are you using to protect your skin this summer? 

DIY Skincare: Magnesium Lavender Mist

Alexis Krauss

Last week on Instagram I invited you all to contribute your favorite DIY skincare recipes featuring Lavender. Lucky for us we received an email from @AuraApotheca with her simple yet highly effective Magnesium Lavender Mist. Holly of Aura Apotheca recommends using this mineral rich mist to help you relieve stress and sleep more soundly. Enjoy and email us with any additional recipes! Xoxo Alexis

Magnesium Lavender Mist:

Magnesium is a mineral essential to maintaining good health. Most of us are Magnesium deficient and this spray is an excellent way for your body to absorb it.  Lavender scent has been proven to promote sleep, relieve tension and act as an anti-inflammatory for the skin. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Magnesium Chloride flakes (sold at WholeFoods, Amazon, etc)

  • 1 cup of Purified Water

  • A few drops of Organic Lavender Essential Oil

  • 1 glass or stainless steel/aluminum bottle with sprayer/mist (4 to 8 oz). Avoid plastic please!

  • Mixing bowl or large pyrex cup

Instructions:

  • Mix the 1 cup of warm water & Magnesium flakes until dissolved.

  • When mixture is cool, pour into bottle of choice. Then add a few drops of Organic Lavender Oil into bottle. 

  • Close Sprayer/Mist cap, then shakes vigorously to activate the aromatherapy scent.

Usage: Spray all over body as desired. Take a deep breath and RELAX.