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8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

It’s no secret that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can offer a plethora of benefits to the body, both inside and out. Just during the season of fall alone, there are tons of fruits and vegetables that are staples of this season getting devoured by the masses. But in addition to eating these seasonal favorites, some skin benefits can be observed by slapping these foods on our faces. Fall Foods Facials, has sort of nice ring to it right? Read on for 8 fall foods that make amazing face masks.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is arguably one of the most popular fall foods. It gets served up in drinks, pies, soups, breads, cookies, muffins, cakes, you name it. I even saw pumpkin popcorn at the supermarket recently! This vegetable is a staple in many household during fall, and even winter months. And while it is oh-so yummy, it’s also a treat for your skin. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A which helps protect your skin from loss of elasticity, wrinkles, and poor skin tone, all caused by damage from free radicals. Pumpkin also contains vitamin C, which again, helps fight free radical damage. What’s more is this orange veggie contains acne fighting, sebum balancing zinc, as well as, collagen and melanin regulating copper.

 

Sweet Potato

There’s no question that sweet potatoes baked in a pie are absolutely scrumptious (it’s my favorite pie in case you were wondering), but what is equally as delectable is this root vegetables benefit to your skin. Sweet potatoes, like pumpkin are a great source of skin protecting Vitamin A (also known as beta-carotene) and free radical fighting vitamin C.

Winter Squash

Like pumpkin and sweet potato, winter squash  is a vitamin A containing vegetable that fights free radicals and helps to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful. It also contains anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.

How to use: Go straight for the gold with these vegetables and smear some mashed pumpkin, sweet potato, or winter squash on your face leaving it on like a mask. Go ahead, you know you want to…

 

Cranberry

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

These tart little red berries are consumed year round in juices, cooked up in breads, savory dishes, baked sweets, sauces, and jams, but what can it do for you skin, you ask? Well, these yummy berries have not only been used in the treatment of oily skin, but are know for their ability to fight free radicals and prevent premature aging. Cranberries also possess antiseptic properties, making it them perfect for the treatment and prevention of acne and breakouts.

How to use: Take fresh (unsweetened) cranberry juice dabbed on a cotton ball and wipe over your face as a toner. You can also mix cranberry juice and a little honey to use as a face wash.

 

Apples

Apples are eaten year round, but definitely get more “air -time” during the fall. They get baked into all sorts of yummy fall desserts, they get made up into candy apples, turned into apple cider, and is it just me or does it seem like its not officially fall until you or someone you know has gone apple picking?

But what can these crisp, delectable fruits do for your skin? Well, for starters, apples contain collagen-boosting vitamin C, along with Vitamin A and E which together with Vitamin C, fights free radicals to help to prevent premature aging, including fine lines, wrinkles. Apples also contain copper, which helps to produce melanin which maintains your skin color.

It is said that some apples can offer limited protection from UVB rays. You should not use apples as a sunscreen replacement, however.

Note: Red Delicious and Granny Smith are said to be the most beneficial apples for the skin.

How to use: Blend your apple in to a pulp and spread across your face, you can also use freshly squeezed apple juice as a toner. Take a cotton ball, dab it in the freshly squeezed apple juice and wipe across your entire face. An apple pulp and honey mixture also makes for a great face mask.

 

Figs

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

Figs are another festive food than can work wonders on your skin. Fig is not only hydrating, but an excellent exfoliant that gently works to remove dirt and debris, including dead, poor clogging skin cells.

How to use: Spread fig pulp directly on your face, for no more than 3-5 minutes. Due to the exfoliating enzymes in the fig, you want to be careful not to over-exfoliate your skin.

 

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is often used during the fall and even the holiday season to flavor both savory and sweet dishes, but did you know it can also help with pain and inflammation? This spice is the perfect remedy for those painful, swollen breakouts.

How to use: Mix a dash of nutmeg with a little honey and dab onto affected areas. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse.

 

Cinnamon

8 Fall Foods that Make Amazing Face Masks

Cinnamon is a spice widely used year round, but also makes an appearance in so many fall sweet treats. Not only is it delish, but it can be used on the skin to stimulate blood flow, bringing oxygen to the surface of the skin, helping to plump things up and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Cinnamon can also be used to clear up acne by drying out your breakouts.

How to use: Mix honey and just a dash of cinnamon and apply to the face, leaving on for a few minutes then rinse. Be careful not to overdo it. Cinnamon can be extremely irritating and drying. Do not do this mask more than once per week. As a spot treatment for acne, mix honey and cinnamon and dab just on the affected area, leave on for 10-20 minutes (depending on how sensitive your skin is) then rinse. Kick this spot treatment up a notch by adding both cinnamon and nutmeg to honey and applying to affected areas.

Which mask will you make this season?? Comment below!

~Letisha

7 Natural Toothpaste Alternatives You Need to Try

When it comes to brushing our teeth, we are not limited to just the tubes we see in the grocery store aisle. These toothpastes can be chalk full of chemicals that have no place in our body. NO PLACE.

A popular brand, that is no stranger to our households, totes the following inactive ingredients:

Hydrated Silica, Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, PVM/MA Copolymer, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cellulose Gum, Flavor, Sodium Hydroxide, Carrageenan, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Saccharin, Titanium Dioxide

Woah.

Not to mention the active ingredients, which include Triclosan, an anti-bacterial compound used in personal cleaning products.

In fact:

The state of Minnesota has banned the sale Triclosan from personal care cleaning products.

Procter and Gambled vowed to removed Triclosan from their products by 2014. (I hope they followed through!)

The hidden chemicals in toothpaste is scary stuff.

Fortunately, there is a plethora of ways you can clean your teeth without going anywhere near your current toothpaste.

 

Natural Toothpaste Alternatives:

  • Baking Soda + Water: Baking Soda polishes teeth, increases white appearance, fights bad breath, helps remove place, and improves dental health.
  • Bentonite Clay + Water + Essential Oils: Known for its abilities to draw out toxins, bentonite clay makes for the perfect teeth cleaning agent. Clay paired with minty essential oils (think Peppermint) will leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
  • Clay + Coconut Oil + Peppermint Essential Oil: While the clay draws out toxins, the coconut oil destroys bacteria and microbes. The addition of Peppermint Oil keeps your breath minty fresh.
  • Coconut Oil + Baking Soda: Coconut oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial works in conjunction with the Baking Soda to help polish and clean your teeth.

Not a fan of whipping up your own toothpaste? There is a plethora of pre-made, healthy options.

Too much of anything is not always a good thing. Limit brushing your teeth with baking soda to just a couple times a week; too much usage can result in damage to your teeth. As always, be careful with essential oils; too much can result in burns.

None of these recipes contain fluoride. It’s your choice if you prefer to use a fluoride toothpaste. These are simply alternatives you can choose from if you want to avoid chemicals in your toothpaste. Your choice! 🙂

Happy Toothpaste Trails!

9 Air Cleaning Plants You Need for Your Home

We live in a toxic world, plain and simple. From car exhaust to second-hand smoke, there is hardly a moment where our lungs are free from harmful pollutants.

Even in our homes we subject ourselves to the harshest of chemicals. Most of us probably use 3 or 4 chemical cleansers to rid kitchen and bathrooms of their major “yuck” factors. Then there’s the paint, air fresheners, and the bleach. The list of chemical contaminants in our homes could go on.

Fortunately, with the help of a few green leaves, we can clean the air in our home. Sounds crazy? Maybe not. A study conducted by NASA identified specific plants that are able to remove harmful contaminants from the air, including:

  • benzene (detergents, furniture wax, glue)
  • trichloroethylene (ink, paint, adhesive)
  • formaldehyde (paper towels, synthetic fabrics, paper bags)
  • ammonia (window cleaner, floor wax, fertilizer)
  • xylene (leather, tobacco, rubber)


Short term exposure to these toxic chemicals can lead to headaches, dizziness, heart problems, eye irritations, coughing, vomitting, drowsiness and confusion. Here are the plants you need for your home:

air cleaning plants

9 Air Cleaning Plants You Need for Your Home

Flamingo Lily: Featuring beautiful pink flowers, the Flamingo Lily will brighten any room in your home. The plant thrives in humid environments with indirect light. Allow the soil to dry in-between watering. In addition to its beautiful flowers, the Flamingo Lily can reduce lingering Formaldehyde, Xylene and Ammonia in the air.

Weeping Fig: Although it may takes a few weeks to adjust to your home, the Weeping Fig is great for reducing the Formaldehyde and Xylene from the air. It requires bright, indirect light and watering only when the soil feels dry.

Bamboo Palm: The low maintenance Bamboo Palm requires low to indirect sunlight and less frequent watering. This beautiful plant is effective at removing Formaldehyde and Xylene from the air.

Peace Lily: This beautiful sounding plant also produces beautiful flowers. While only requiring low light and weekly watering, the Peace Lily rids the air of Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Formaldehyde, Xylene and Ammonia.

Broadleaf Lady Palm: This tropical-looking plants is very easy on the eyes, but not so easy on the Ammonia, Formaldehyde and Xylene it cleans from the air.

Snake Plant: Relatively easy to maintain, the Snake Plant requires indirect sunlight and less frequent watering. Fortunately, Formaldehyde and Benzene do not stand a chance against the Snake Plant.

Boston Fern: Known as one of the better air cleaners, the Boston Fern can effectively remove Formaldehyde and Xylene from the air.  The Boston Fern thrives in humid environments with indirect sunlight. If you don’t exactly live in the ideal climate, try a humidifier to give the fern the environment it needs.

Spider Plant: Considered a great beginner plant, the Spider Plant can be easy to maintain. Bright indirect sunlight and adequate dry-out time between watering is the best for this plant. Spider Plants help clean the Formaldehyde and Benzene from the air.

Florist Chrysanthemum: This blooming plant enjoys a cool, bright location. The Chrysanthemum takes about 8 weeks to flower, but in the meanwhile, works its magic in reducing Formaldehyde, Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Xylene and Ammonia from the air.


 

*If you have pets, please do further research on any plant before adding it to your home. Some plants can be deadly for pets.

**Please make sure your home is well ventilated. These tips do not replace the advice of your doctor.

-Zeena

 

Got Tummy Troubles? Learn to Cure Digestive Issues with Food

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing the author of the new book Your Solution to a Healthy Gut, by Kimberly Tessmer, RDN, LD. The book discusses common digestive issues (which I’m sure we can all relate to) and ways cure digestive issues with food. Check out our interview below to learn more about Kimberly Tessmer and her new book!

Our Interview with Kimberly Tessmer, author of Your Solution to a Healthy Gut

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

“I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and licensed in the state of Ohio. I have been an RDN for about 23 years and have worked in various fields including hospitals, nursing homes and corporate weight loss. My writing career started in 2001 and I have been authoring books ever since. In addition to writing, I own a consulting company called Nutrition Focus in which I provide services including writing, menu development/analysis/editing, weight management and other nutritional services.
I am also a wife and mother of a beautiful 9 year old girl. I love to workout and take care of myself! No better feeling”!

2. What prompted your interest in health/nutrition?

“I started off as a business major in college but quickly realized that helping others was my true calling. I switched my major to dietetics and never looked back. My parents always raised me to take care of myself and others so helping others to get and stay healthy just seemed like a great fit. Not to mention that it is awesome to learn all I can about health and nutrition to put in practice for myself and my family”.

3. What inspired you to write this book? 

“So many people deal with digestive issues and the majority turn to prescription and over-the-counter medications as both a short-term and worse, long-term solution. My goal with this book, and the whole Your Nutrition Solution series of books, is to help people solve their problem instead of masking it with medications. My hope is to empower people to take a look and make changes to what they are feeding their bodies as a way of healing and feeling their best”.

4. Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

“This book takes a look at common “gut” or digestive issues and explains how most people get there. It discusses the gut in general and what we can do through nutrition to both heal our gut and keep our gut healthy in order to prevent issues. The goal of the book is to get people to take a look at their nutritional intake as a means for treating and/or preventing common digestive disorders instead of simply popping a pill to try to temporarily fix the problem. It is my hope that readers will begin to understand how big of a role the foods they eat play in their overall health”.

5. If you could pick one or two messages or tips from the book what would they be?

“Wow, that’s a tough one because there is so much GREAT and important information in the book!! Probably the most important tip is to become fully aware of your present diet and evaluate it. Investigate whether any of the foods/beverages you are consuming can be provoking your digestive issues. Make it your ultimate goal to clean up your diet and stick with it!”

6. What can readers expect to learn from your book?

Readers can learn about common digestive disorders and what they are all about. Even if they don’t deal with a digestive disorder they can still learn what to do NOW to keep their gut healthy so they don’t end up with one. They will learn what they need to be doing nutritionally, including what helps and what harms. Readers can expect to be made aware of just how much nutrition (good or bad) effects our health!

7. Have you written any other books?

Yes! I have written many other books. In fact I have written 3 others in just this series of books:

They all have the same goal in mind and that is to make readers aware of how nutritional intake can play a major role in their health issues!

Readers can check out all of my books at: www.Nutrifocus.net

8. Do you have any thoughts on what your next book might be?

“I am working on that right now! It will be another title in the Your Nutrition Solution series and will definitely be another topic that many people deal with! Stay tuned”!!

9. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Yes, that the more you learn about good nutrition and which foods can have a positive impact on your health the more you will benefit. No one can do it for you! It is up to YOU to make changes and stick to them. Don’t take the easy way out, no matter what your health issue. Learn what YOU can do to benefit your health. Empower yourself and get started NOW!!


We’d like to thank Kimberly Tessmer for sharing her new book and taking the time to allow us to interview her! She provides such valuable insight into a topic that relates to every single one of us and one that is of such great importance.

We’ll be giving away a copy of this fantastic book to one lucky winner! To enter simply:

  1. Follow us on instagram (@brownandcoconut).
  2. Like the photo of the book on our instagram page
  3. Share the photo on Instagram and tag us in it!.

Giveaway ends 7/15 at midnight! — Good Luck!

10 Reasons Every Woman Should Try Reusable Pads

Reusable pads. Yes, I said it. These two words don’t always go hand in hand. Why would anyone want to reuse a pad? Simple. The benefits are endless. Reusable pads are great for your mind and body, not to mention Mother Earth. Glad Rags, a brand of reusable pads, offers an amazing selection for both beginners and the pros alike. The Glad Rag reusables had me hooked after one use! Here are 10 reasons every woman should try reusable pads, at least once!:
1. The comfort is undeniable.
When it comes to comfort, Glad Rags exceeds any form of menstrual pads. In fact, Glad Rags reusables are the most comfortable thing you can wear during your period. You almost forget it’s even there! Made of 100% cotton, these reusable pads are perfect for sensitive skin. No need to worry about irritation unlike traditional pads.

2. Better for your body.
Unlike traditional pads, Glad Rags are chemical free! The pads that most of us have grown up using are full of chemicals that may not be so good for our body like plastic and artificial fragrance.

3. Saves you a pretty penny.
Why spend your hard-earned buckaroos every month when you can use Glad Rags? These affordable pads will save you $1000s each year! Pretty nice, huh? It’s no surprise that many women have found their Glad Rags to have lasted 20+ years! I’d liked to see a traditional pad that could last that long…well, actually…maybe I wouldn’t. 🙂

Day Pad
4. The environment will thank you.
R-E-C-Y-C-L-E…RECYCLE! Unlike traditional pads, reusable pads are not contributing to the ever growing landfills. In fact, in just one lifetime the average woman uses up to 16,000 pads and tampons. Glad Rags delicately packages their reusables in a cardboard box, with no plastic in sight.

5. You will feel fierce.
Not only are you bettering your body, but the environment as well. Does it get any better than that? Call me crazy, but wearing Glad Rags made me feel in control of my body. Oh, and also like a fierce trendsetter. Periods are 100% normal. Menstruating is not nasty nor is it embarrassing. It’s a natural part of life that you begin to embrace once switch to reusables.  You go, girl!

6. Be funk free.
Unlike traditional pads, Glad Rags do not contain a plastic liner, which prevents moisture from becoming trapped and resulting in odor.

reusable pad
7. Be care free.
Does anyone else forget to buy pads until the day of their period? It’s not the most pleasant thought, especially when you’re in a time crunch. With resuable pads, there is no need to worry! No emergency trips to the drugstore required.

8. Enjoy a cycle without dread.
Let’s be honest-no one looks forward to throwing on those crinkly, stiff pads one week of the month. They’re just not the most comfortable thing in the world. Glad Rags take away nearly all of that dread, leaving you with 100% comfort and ease of mind throughout your whole cycle.

Reusable Pad
9. Support the cause.
Glad Rags is committed to sustainability. What started as a small, home business has grown into a source of inspiration for women around the world. Glad Rags is determined to improve  the lives of women and Mother Earth simultaneously. 🙂

10. It’s a conversation starter.
Seriously–reusable pads are a conversation starter. It’s guaranteed that you may get a few quizzical looks, but hey–don’t knock it until you try it! Sharing your positive experiences with other women may encourage them to hop on the reusable pad boat.

 

Are you willing to give up your traditional pads for a day to try reusables? Comment below!

5 Fruits You Should Be Eating This Summer

Okay seriously, who doesn’t love Summer? You’ve got the sun, sand, blue skies, yummy barbecued foods, maxi dresses (I have an obsession), and refreshingly delicious summer fruits! With all the different fruits, though, how can you possibly choose which to eat? Allow me to narrow things down a bit. Read on to learn the 5 fruits you should be eating this summer and why.

5 Fruits You Should Be Eating This Summer

Watermelon

 

fruits

I swear this fruit is a must! First things first it’s not summer without watermelon. This is one of my favorite fruits and is definitely one you should be eating. Watermelon is loaded with water and will help to keep you hydrated during those hot summer days. It will also keep you satiated, to aid in warding off any undesired weight gain. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin A and C, both excellent for your immune system, and a good source of vitamin B6, which helps your immune system to make antibodies, as well as red blood cells. Vitamin B6 also maintains nerve function. With watermelon, you’ll remain healthy and hydrated throughout the season!

Passionfruit

Passion fruits juice on wooden background

Native to South America, 1 serving of this fruit literally has a day’s worth of fiber (about 25 grams), which will help regulate your digestive system while keeping you full and the pounds off. If that’s not amazing enough for you, it’s packed with over half of your daily requirement of vitamin A, all of your recommended daily value of vitamin C, and 5 grams of protein! Enough said.

Pineapple

Pineapple fruit cut on wooden background

 

This yummy tropical fruit is one of my favorites! Not only is it delicious, but it contains a variety of vitamins and antioxidants which are excellent for fighting those free radicals, especially if you’ll be spending a lot of time at the beach and under the sun! It also contains the enzyme bromelain, which fights inflammation and helps our bodies digest protein. At a cookout, have a slice or two after your burger, BBQ chicken, or any other protein to help you digest.

Guava

Fresh Organic Green Guava

This bad boy contains almost 9 grams of fiber per cup to keep your stomach full and happy, while staving off constipation. It also has the highest amount of lycopene that any other fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is an enzyme that helps fight prostate cancer. Not only that, but guava is packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and carotene to combat free radicals. This anti-inflammatory fruit also reduces blood sugar levels, which when combined with its high fiber content and low glycemic index, makes it a good choice for diabetic patients. Guavas benefits even extend beyond fruit itself. Its leaves have been known to treat acne, wrinkles, inflammation, and dark spots when used topically.

Prickly-Pear

 

Cactus fig

Prickly-Pear is an immune boosting fruit with a high concentration of magnesium which reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes and can even reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.  High in fiber, carotenoids, and antioxidants, this fruit is also great for bone health, your heart and blood vessels, and vision, all while reducing inflammation. Not to mention its anti-inflammatory properties make it perfect for arthritis sufferers. Eat up!

Papaya

papaya fruit

This immune boosting fruit is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E and helps to reduce inflammation, is said to help relieve symptoms of asthma and might even lower your risk of uterine cancer. It also contains the enzyme papain, which like bromelain, helps to digest protein, which is perfect for all that BBQ meet being eaten at those summer cookouts! Dice up some papaya and pineapple for your guests at cookouts, they’ll thank you later. 🙂

What are some of your favorite fruits?

~ Letisha

Body Blemishes: 6 Ways to Banish Back Acne

Back Acne–as if the acne on our face wasn’t bad enough. Bacne (back acne) creeps up when we least expect it and lasts much longer than necessary. As the temperature heats up, bacne can be tough to hide; the last thing we want to wear in the Summer is a cardigan to hide our breakouts.

Try these 6 fabulous tips to banish back acne and keep your back clear all Summer long!

 

Shower When you Sweat
Sounds simple enough–if you’ve spent most of your day dripping with sweat, hop in the shower before bed. The combination of sweat, oil and bacteria produced by your body is only good for one thing: Bacne. If you’re a huge sufferer of bacne, try showering at least once a day, before bed, to wash away those little SOB’s (Sweat, Oil, Bacteria).

Rinse Off Well
How we wash, condition and style our hair can have a big impact on bacne. Conditioners and stylers that drip from our hair to our back may clog our pores, resulting in breakouts. Try washing your face and body at the end of your shower and staying away from ingredients that may clog your pores.

Exfoliate Often
Just like our face, the rest of our body needs a bit of exfoliation to maintain its clear complexion. Exfoliating a few times a week removes dead skin cells while unclogging pores. Steer clear of unsanitary body loofahs that harbor bacteria and moisture. Try this Japanese Wash Cloth ($7.99) for much cleaner cleaning.

Wear Fresh, Clean Clothes
As tempting as it is to rewear the shirt you wore just once, skip it. Chances are the inside of the shirt is now soiled with oil and bacteria, the last two things your back acne needs. After working out, remove any sweaty gym clothes as soon as possible to avoid trapping the sweat and oil in your pores.

Don’t Lean Back
Exposing your back to bacteria-ridden surfaces will surely bring on the bacne. When your back is exposed, avoid dirty gym equipment or yoga mats prior to disinfecting. Try Cleanwell Disinfectant Wipes ($12.99) to sanitize surfaces before use.

Treat it
Persistent bacne may require spot treatments. If you have sensitive skin, seek natural treatment alternatives. It may be best to avoid body washes and scrubs with not so nice ingredients as these may be irritating your skin. Try Bentonite Clay ($11) as a weekly bacial (back-facial) to clear up existing back acne and prevent future bumps. This awesome mask also works great on the face!

How do you heal your bacne? Comment below!

Zeena

Why I Am Obsessed With Coconut Oil

When Coconut Oil first came into my life, it was love at first sight. It was everything I had been looking for in a moisturizer: that light, creamy texture, the deep moisturization and of course the ever-so-yummy tropical scent. Okay, this is beginning to sound like a Coconut Oil Singles advertisement. Not to make this sound too much like a dating commercial, but finding the right moisturizer is a tricky process. It can’t be too sticky, too fragrant, too heavy, too oily, too irritating or too glittery. Wait, I take that back—glittery is okay in my book. (cue elementary school flashbacks). Did anyone else think glitter lotion/spray was the best thing in the world?

Any who, not only is Coconut Oil the Goddess of all oils, it also happens to be pretty darn fabulous at what it does. The moisture from Coconut Oil is unlike any I’ve experienced from traditional moisturizers. With its quick absorption and unparalleled layer of protection, it’s a pretty amazing oil. Let’s not forget that Coconut Oil is free of harsh, irritating chemicals. Woo-Hoo! Say helllooo to irritation-free skin!

Over the past few years, my Coconut Oil technique has changed (Is that even a real thing? Now it is!) Applying the oil right after your shower is best—while your skin is still hydrated and damp. I’ve learned that the Coconut Oil is easier to apply and absorbs super quick while you’re still wet. Now, now, now, I’d advise against lathering up and throwing on that silk gown you’ve been itching to wear for weeks. Coconut Oil will certainly moisturize that gown, too! I’d recommend giving the Coconut Oil some time to work its magic. Allow your skin to soak up all of its magical goodness before putting on your clothes. Use that time to do some yoga or build a bird house, whatever you fancy.

 

Of course, the same moisturizers do not work for all skin types, but it is certainly fun to find out what works best for your skin. Some people may think Coconut Oil was the absolutely worst thing they’ve ever put on their body and that is okay. Everyones skin is different and requires a different type of love.

How do I love thee, Coconut Oil? Let me count the ways:

1. Moisturization: Coconut Oil is incredible when it comes to moisturizing dry, cracked skin. It leaves the skin feeling supple and smooth, without any sticky residue.

2. Bang for Your Buck: Globs of moisturizer need not apply. When using Coconut Oil, a little bit goes a long way. Before you know it, your whole body will be lathered in tropical goodness, which lasts all day long!

3. Multi-Purpose: Coconut Oil can be used on your body and in the kitchen. Oh, the versatility! When you’re not lathering up in its tropical goodness, try baking with it! Coconut Oil makes for a great butter replacement! For sanitation reasons, I’d suggest having 2 jars of oil—1 for personal use and 1 for the kitchen. You know, to keep things clean.

4. Anti-Fungal: Coconut Oil has even been found to be anti-fungal! Some folks have even had great success using Coconut Oil to cure foot fungus! Others have even used Coconut Oil to clear up acne.

5. UV Protection: Coconut Oil is not a replacement for your everyday sunblock, but it is a good contender! Coconut Oil has been found to block about 20% of UV rays, which is better than most non-sunscreen moisturizers. Although Coconut Oil prevents only a small percentage of UV rays from damaging your skin, it does allow your skin enough exposure in order to produce Vitamin D.

6. Sunburn Relief: Applying Coconut Oil to sunburns is an awesome way to speed up the healing process, which we all know can seem never-ending. Coconut Oil soothes the red, chapped skin and absorbs quickly. Unlike other sunburn soothers, it won’t leave your skin hot and irritated.

7. Shave Bump Savior: The oily goodness in Coconut Oil provides a slick shaving surface that prevents those irritating shave bumps we all love. Much like shaving cream, Coconut Oil allows the razor to glide over the skin without the cuts and snags.

Why do you love Coconut Oil?

Zeena

You may also be interested in: 6 Fabulous Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil!

9 Ways to Kick Allergies’ A** This Spring!

Brace yourself, allergy season is upon us…

Prepare for the runny nose, itchy eyes and constant sneezing–the type of allergies where one sneeze just isn’t enough. Seriously–how much sneezing can one person take? When it’s not the catastrophic avalanche of sneezing, it’s the itchy throat and eyes…maybe that pesky fly that just won’t take a hint, too. I digress.

In between sneezing and throat scratching, one may begin to ponder about the plethora of ways to get rid of flies to solve these allergy woes. One may even wander into their local pharmacy in hopes of immediate relief. Sadly enough, traditional allergy medications are not only ridiculously expensive, but don’t always work! (Home Remedies Enter, Stage Right).

These au-natural tips and tricks are all you need to ward off irritating allergies all season long!:

Peppermint Tea

The menthol-y goodness in mint tea works wonders for allergies. Pretty cool, huh? The minty aroma opens our nasal passages and helps clear away the mucous. The steam provides necessary moisture for our dry, irritated nasal passages. Simply allow your nose and mouth to inhale the warm steam from a bowl of hot water. I find it best to place a towel over my head and the bowl. This trick can even be done on the go with your favorite mint tea in your mug!

Steam

Breathe in…breathe out… It’s as simple as that! This allergy-fighting trick is similar to the peppermint tea, just minus the peppermint tea. By carefully inhaling steam, your nasal passages will open, allowing for almost instant relief. Try steaming for about 10 minutes. *The trick also works wonders for your skin!

Shower

Just don’t have time to steam? Then hop in the shower! Not only will the hot shower open your nasal passages, but you will also wash away any pollen that may be lingering on your body. Be sure to put on fresh, clean clothes after!

Probiotics

The sterilized world many of us live in does not leave much room for the ‘good’ bacteria. The more ‘good’ bacteria in your gut (which is what probiotics provide), the less likely you are to suffer from allergies. By building up your immune system, probiotics increase your defense against allergies as well as asthma and eczema. Remember; Healthy gut=less allergies. Some awesome sources of probiotics: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kim chi, and probiotic capsules. 

Butterbur

This European herb has been found to be just as effective as traditional antihistamines. The added bonus? Butterbur does not induce drowsiness, unlike many common antihistamines and can be purchased in tablet form! 

Fish Oil

The anti-inflamatory response of Omega 3’s fights the inflamation caused by our allergies. The omega 3’s also work to increase our immune system. Our favorite brand is Nordic Naturals. 

Turmeric

This magical spice not only works wonders for our skin, but for our allergies, as well. The antioxidant curcumin found in turmeric is anti-inflammatory and has been proven to show the same effects as antihistamine drugs. Turmeric is available as a spice to add to your favorite recipes or in capsule form.

Quercetin

This plant pigment (found in plants and food) contains anti-histamine and anti-inflamatory properties. To reap the full benefits of Quercetin, consume more foods such as onions, apples, citrus, cranberries, broccoli, green tea, just to name a few.

Eucalyptus Oil

Much like peppermint tea, the anti-inflamatory eucalyptus oil works by loosening the phlegm caused by allergies. This magnificent oil comes in many forms: lozenges, vapor rubs, oils. I’d recommend adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your steam facial.

 

My favorite home remedy has always been a quick and easy shower. This may not work for everyone, especially for those who suffer from severe allergies. Although, there are countless medications available to prevent and relieve allergy symptoms, home remedies can often prove to be more effective and less costly.

*Please seek the advice of your doctor before trying any of these home remedies.

 

-Zeena

Why the Weather is Giving You Bad Hair Days

Ever wonder why your hair seems to be gorgeous one day and a complete wreck the next? Or why your hair is fine when the weather is a gorgeous 70 degrees with a humidity level of perfect, but every other day of the year it’s too frizzy, too flat, to dry, too poofy, too shrinkage-prone, or just plain lifeless?

 

Well, the good news is you’re not alone. Of course the grass always seems greener, but the truth is each of us has our very own hair struggles that we face everyday. Perhaps if we better understand why our reacts the way it does in certain weather conditions, we can take steps to ensure our hair is healthy, happy, and balanced everyday. Read on to learn why the weather is giving you bad hair days and what can be done.

Sun & Humidity

During the summer months, not only can the suns UV rays lighten hair, but the extra moisture in the air (aka humidity) loosens bonds created when you style your hair, allowing the hair to return back to its normal state. If you have curly hair and straighten it or loosen your curls (without the use of chemicals) your natural curl pattern will gradually return to its normal curl pattern when exposed to the humidity. The same goes for straight hair. If you curled your naturally straight hair, the curl will gradually fall and your hair will straighten out. This also applies on rainy days (I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of rainy day hair drama).

There are anti-humectant hair products that exist which can help create a barrier that will temporarily protect hair from the humidity, keeping your style intact for longer. It is important to only use these products only when there is really high humidity. Anti-humectants can be very drying and can end up doing more harm that good.The other solution is to just rock your tresses in their natural state and love the hair you’re born with! (Thats my mini lecture for the day.)

Cold & Dry

In the winter, cold and very dry air raises the hairs’ cuticle. When you then move indoors to a heated environment, the dry air inside sucks the moisture out of your hair. What you’re left with is dry, lifeless, unmanageable hair. Not to mention, the lack of moisture outside isn’t helping matters either. Combat this by wearing your hair in protective styles and shielding it from the cold. Also, condition your hair often, deep condition once per week and use styling products with moisturizing properties.

What are your weather related hair concerns? Share them below!