Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sugar Scrub for the Body and Oatmeal, Honey, Rosewater Facial Mask

Sugar Scrub for the Body:
1 cup brown sugar
About 1/3 cup (maybe a tad less) grape seed oil.  Can also use sunflower oil or almond oil.
20 drops of an essential oil of your choice.  I did 10 drops of lavender and 10 drops of eucalyptus.

In a bowl, add the brown sugar making sure you break up all the lumps.  Add the essential oil(s) and stir.  Gradually add the carrier oil (grape seed, almond, sunflower) and stir. The consistency should be similar to wet sand.  Store in jar with air tight lid for up to four months. Scrubs can be used about once a week. If you have tougher skin you could use it more. You do not want to over exfoliate. 

Things to be aware of:
-If water gets into the scrub it will aid in bacteria growth. Vitamin E oil, Rosemary extract and Grapefruit Seed extract are natural preservative. They basically slow microbial activity, but it does not really keep it from happening altogether. 
-What I did was shave and wash my hair first plus it got the bathroom warm and steamy.  I switched the shower part off (water still running) and applied the scrub. This will secure that you will not get water in the scrub.  Your hands are not wet so you won't drop the jar in the shower as well. I then rinsed and washed myself to get everything off. Skin was smooth after and I sealed it in with lotion. 
-If you make a salt scrub then use the scrub first and then shave. It will sting if you use it on freshly shaved legs.

Oatmeal, Honey and Rosewater Facial Mask:
1/4 cup oatmeal, finely ground
About 1/4 cup pure rosewater
2 tsp honey

Finely ground the oatmeal using a clean coffee grinder or food processor.  Pour into a bowl.  Gradually add the rosewater until it is a gooey-like consistency. I did not use all the rosewater. Add the honey and stir again.  Use a fan brush or thicker/wider tipped brush to apply the mask to your face and neck. Leave on for about 15-20 minutes.  I found that rinsing in the shower was easier. I am not sure of the shelf life for this one.  It does not contain anything that needs to be refrigerated so I will have to let you know how it turns out if kept in an air tight jar. 

This is good for people who are prone to acne.  Rosewater is a mild astringent and can help control oil without over drying.  You can even use plain rosewater to wash your face or create a toner using rosewater and witch hazel. Oatmeal is a very gentle exfoliant.  Honey is a bactericide which means it kills bacteria. P. Acnes is the bacteria which causes acne (in most cases).  Honey has a high acid content so it can be used in lieu of alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate, but it will not harm sensitive skin. Honey also attracts water which is what oily skinned people need. Hydrate after the mask with a moisturizer that does not contain oil as the base (water should be the first ingredient).

Homemade Cosmetics

I have been going through this phase where I have been fed up with most retail facial/body products.  Whether it is all the unknown ingredients or the price for it being organic/safe has just sent me over the edge to where I do not use anything (except Burt's Bees Lip Balm and Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer).  I also use Cetaphil Lotion on my face because it keeps my combo oil/dry skin in balance and Aveda's Hand Relief Cream. I like trying different products and experimenting, but when you refuse to cough up the dough it is hard to continue being the product junkie that I am.  I am a sucker for facial masks, body scrubs, toner... and the list goes on.

My friend, Megan, inspired me to start making my own products (her blog is here).  It makes complete sense since it is cheaper and you are in control of what goes into the product. I also realized while making the scrub that this would be an awesome gift. This new challenge will also put my knowledge to the test and see if I can remember key elements of facial conditions and how to treat them like we did in esthetician school.

Since I cannot remember everything, I have been referencing the book Feeding Your Skin.  I really like it because it is very thorough.  The recipes are simple and you can easily tweak some to suit your needs.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blue Mason Jars with Zinc Lids

I finally found some that were not ridiculously expensive.  These were sold as a set for $20 which I thought was pretty good considering I have seen one of the bigger jars for $10-$15 alone. So excited!

DC Trip

Finally got one of the Chinese Lucky Cats in DC Chinatown. You can learn more about them here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mini Shrimp Boil

Adapted from this recipe here.

We used:
-Handful of red potatoes
-1 package of polish kielbasa (can also use sweet sausage)
-2 ears of corn, halved
-1 white onion cut into chunks
-1-2 pounds shrimp (large to jumbo size)
-1 can of beer
-A lot of Old Bay

Fill large stock pot half with water and add beer. Add more water if needed. Pour old bay into water and boil. Add potatoes and onions and cook for about 7 minutes. Add kielbasa and cook for 5 minutes. Add corn and cook about about 7 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for about 4 minutes or until they turn pink.

Strain into colander and then pour in a bowl. Can also line table with brown package type paper and pour mixture onto the table. Serve with rustic bread/rolls. I have also had it served with salad and bread.

This was just for the two of us so I did not really measure.  Follow above link when serving many people.

Friday, May 20, 2011

We are ready!

If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency.

Click image to be prepared as well!