Homemade Hair Growth Serum

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I recently got a haircut that I hate.  I had just gotten my hair to the length I wanted and went to the stylist to have it cut into the shape I wanted and even it out some.  Unfortunately, just about all my length is gone now.  I am quite annoyed because I told him exactly what I wanted – just the back and the sides, don’t really touch the top or the front.  I should have said something as soon as I saw the first large tuft of hair fall but I think once I saw that, I just kind of gave up and accepted that I would have a haircut I didn’t really like.  *sigh* It happens to the best of us at least once, I guess.  And like everyone is saying, it’s just hair.  It will grow back.  Welllll, I want it back now!  I especially want my little sideburns back.  How you gonna just take those off without permission?  I need those!  So since I’m in a rush for my hair to grow back, I made a little concoction to speed things up a bit.

Scalp stimulation is key for fast hair growth.  I strongly recommend head massages on a regular basis.  Don’t make a habit of playing with your hair but massaging the scalp does wonders for growth.  This serum only requires 3 ingredients.

  1. Jamaican black castor oil
  2. peppermint essential oil
  3. rosemary essential oil

Place about 3 tablespoons of castor oil, 30-40 drops of peppermint oil, 30-40 drops of rosemary oil in a small container.  Mix thoroughly.  Apply to your scalp and MASSAGE your scalp with gentle to moderate pressure for at least 10 minutes.  Let the mixture sit on your scalp and tingle and do its work for at least an half an hour.  You probably want to wear a plastic shower cap so you don’t get oil all over your furniture and stuff.  Shampoo and condition as usual after.  Repeat as often as necessary.  I’m probably going to do this everyday or every other day until I achieve at least 1 or 2 inches of growth.

I think this cut has traumatized me enough that I might go back to long hair and scrap this whole #shorthairdontcare attitude.  Maybe I’ll be brave enough to post a picture in a week or two after I recover and come to terms with my hair.  A lot of drama, I know, but this is the first time I’ve ever truly hated my hair and couldn’t even find a way to improve it somewhat while I wait for growth.  I tried a hat but that was worse.  Maybe it’s about time I build a scarf collection.

Lotion Making Math & Ratio Guide

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I say it all the time but I’ll say it again.

I LOVE GETTING YOUR EMAIL QUESTIONS.

The teacher in me loves to answer questions.  I just love to help and spread knowledge!  I especially love when people ask me questions about topics we both love…like making beauty products!

Many of the questions I get are about math and proportions of ingredients.  In one of my favorite emails the author said she was “math challenged.”  Fear of math is pretty common.  I completely understand.  In this post, I’m going to quickly discuss how to do the math you need to make lotion.  It’s easy.  At the end, I will share an ingredient ratio guide for products.

Let’s do a quick lesson on percentages.

If a manufacturer says that a preservative is effective at 1% concentration, what do you do?  

If you are making batches of lotion to use at home, you’re probably making fairly small batches, probably no more than 20 ounces.  Measuring 1% of 20 ounces is easy.  First, move the decimal 2 places to the left.

1% becomes 0.01

Now you can multiply.

0.01  x  20 ounces  = 0.2 ounces of preservative

I don’t like using ounces because they’re not precise enough to me.  I like to use grams.  There are 28.3495 grams in an ounce.  So if you’re making 20 ounces,

20   x  28.3495  = 567 grams

0.01   x   567 grams = 6 grams of preservative

If a recipe calls for 60% water, you do the same thing.  First, move the decimal 2 places to the left.

60% becomes 0.60

0.6   x  20 ounces = 12 ounces of water

or, in grams

0.6   x  567 grams = 340 grams of water

Okay, good.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here is a great ratio guide.  The grams given are for making a batch that weighs 20 ounces/567 grams.

 ratiosandgrams

Notice that I called this a ratio guide, not a stone tablet of ratios.  You may change these.  One of my favorite body cream recipes doesn’t follow this guide too closely.  I wanted it creamier so I increased the butter and emulsifier, decreased the water, and left out thickener.  Please play with proportions!  If you ever want to write and customize your own recipes, you have to be willing to experiment with proportions.  That’s the only way to get information!

I hope this answers any math questions!  As always, please email hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com with questions.

Homemade Face Cleanser

Homemade Face Cleanser

A good cleanser is everything, isn’t it?  I really LOVE this recipe I’m sharing.  Don’t take that lightly.  I really debated about whether to share this recipe.  It’s my own special invention and I’m pretty protective of it.  But I know you will make good use of it :)  As soon as I post this, I need to whip up a batch because my skin is not feeling regular soap one bit.

I love this cleanser because it cleans well but doesn’t dry out your skin.  It even removes makeup, although if you wear waterproof products, you should use a makeup remover before this cleanser.  I like to use plain jojoba or camellia oil as a makeup remover.  This recipe will make 8 ounces/227 grams.

You need:

  • 68 grams castile soap (any scent you like, I like rose and almond)
  • 15 grams aloe vera liquid
  • 40 grams distilled water
  • 13 grams witch hazel
  • 7 grams glycerin
  • 27 grams fractionated coconut oil (or jojoba, kukui nut, camelia, any lightweight oil that absorbs well)
  • 17 grams mango butter
  • 17 grams shea butter
  • 7 grams cetyl alcohol or conditioning emulsifier
  • 16 grams emulsifying wax

Directions

  1. Melt the oil, butters, cetyl alcohol, emulsifying wax together using a double boiler or the microwave method (microwave in 30 second increments until just melted, no smoke!)
  2. Gently heat the aloe vera, water, witch hazel, and glycerin together.  You want it to be pretty warm but not too hot to handle.
  3. Pour your oil phase into a mixing container such as a pitcher or bowl.  Pour your water phase into the oil phase container, swirl it gently, then into the mixing container.  This helps you get every bit of your oil phase.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend until combined, about 20 seconds.
  5. Gently pour the soap into your mixture.  Blend until combined.  Pour into your storage container.

Of course, you should avoid getting this in your eyes since it contains soap.  Also, if you plan to keep it longer than a month or so, you should add some preservative.  Three grams of Optiphen would be fine here.  Mine does not make it a month because I use it morning and night so I skip preservative.

If you would like to “pH balance” this to make it closer to neutral, you could add some citric acid or vitamin C or some alpha hydroxy acid (discussed here) until it reaches the desired pH.

You could also replace some of the liquids if you’d like.  You could use tea or colloidal oatmeal or a hydrosol or whatever you like. You could also leave out the shea butter and double the mango butter if you have particularly oily skin.  The possibilities are endless, really.  This cleanser is suitable for all skin types.

Enjoy!

Make Your Own Lotion: Water Phase Ingredients to Try

Make Your Own Lotion: Water Phase Ingredients to Try

 

A few months ago, I did a post about how to pick oils for your homemade lotion.  If you’re interested, you can check it out here.  It was a popular post all about the oil phase of a lotion.  In this post, I will talk mainly about picking good liquids for the water phase.

The water phase of recipes is sometimes overlooked.  We often focus heavily on which kinds of oils and butters to use.  Let me tell you a little secret though: a lot of these oils and butters that are popular and expensive are overrated. I have bought my fair share of fats du jour - babassu oil, argan oil, tamanu oil, meadowfoam seed oil, cupuaçu butter, to name a few.  Some of them are amazing.  Most of the time, though, you can’t even tell the difference.  I usually use the same oils and butters that I love and have come to depend on, mostly because they are well-priced and get the job done.  Sometimes, I splurge and have a little fun but one of the reasons I started making lotion at home was to save money so I don’t want to get too caught up in trends.

In many lotion recipes, the liquid of choice is distilled water.  It’s preferred over tap water, not because of cleanliness, but because distilled water does not have any solutes – nothing is dissolved in it, it’s pure water.  Tap water usually contains chlorine, fluoride, minerals, and other substances so most lotion makers prefer distilled.  Distilled water is very inexpensive and can be found at any store.  It’s also kind of boring.  There are a zillion other liquids you could choose.  Here are some.

Aloe Vera 

Aloe is…it’s just the best. Is it any surprise that this is first on the list? It’s good for so many skin ailments.  Sometimes, when a burn needs soothing or skin is crying out for hydration, I will snip a piece of squeeze it directly from the leaf.

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You can grow it in your house!

Sadly, you probably won’t have much success if you try to use it straight from the plant in your recipes.  Instead, you should use aloe vera liquid.  This isn’t the same as aloe vera gel that is sold in stores as a sunburn soother.  I get my aloe vera liquid from Brambleberry.  You can use aloe vera liquid in lieu of water.  You don’t need to make any adjustments.  Your skin will be hydrated and soothed.

Colloidal Oatmeal Tea

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Colloidal oatmeal is miraculous stuff.  It’s just oat flour.  Oat flour can be made at home easily.

1. Get your oats.

2. Grind to a powder in a spice/coffee grinder.  Fin

But you can’t just dump oat flour into your lotion.  You need to make tea.  Easy peasy.  Click here to see my post on how to make it.

I recommend using a mixture of  colloidal oatmeal and another, thinner liquid.  Colloidal oatmeal is more viscous than water or aloe vera liquid and could make your lotion thicker than you want.  If you want a thick & creamy emulsion, you can use colloidal oatmeal only in your water phase.  If you want something a little lighter, replace only half of the water phase with colloidal oatmeal.  It does wonders for itchy skin.  It’s terrific on dry skin. Even stubborn eczema symptoms can be relieved using colloidal oatmeal.

Tea

Yes, the same kind you drink.  20140526_141837

Just steep the tea in hot distilled water and use in place of water.  I like to make the tea twice as strong as I would like to drink it.  Chamomile tea is a lovely choice.  So is calendula.  Combine them with lavender essential oil for a soothing, ultra-relaxing concoction.  When substituting tea for water, there is no need to change the ratio. Occasionally, I will use green tea in a spritz, toner, or cleanser.  Not all herbs are good choices so pick wisely and do your research.

Milk

milk

If you’re going to use milk in your recipes, you have to keep a few things in mind.  Firstly, I don’t recommend milk for beginners.  You need to be extra careful and diligent about sanitation.  Milk lotions are more prone to spoiling.  Only use pasteurized milk.  Don’t use milk products that contain live cultures.  If you want to use yogurt or buttermilk, which are great for skin, check to make sure it doesn’t contain live cultures or heat it up enough to kill the bacteria.

Goat milk is very popular for lotions.  Goat milk lotion will be rich yet light.  Even regular whole cow’s milk would be nice.  Another choice is almond milk.  Keep in mind that milks have a high fat content.  If you replace all the water in a recipe with milk, you may end up with a thicker or greasier lotion than you want.  Feel free to dilute milk with distilled water for a lighter finished product.

Hydrosols

Hydrosols are a favorite addiction additive of mine.  Rosewater is probably the most well-known one but there are many including chamomile, calendula, cucumber, lavender, lemon verbena and many, many more.  Besides the fact that they usually smell divine, they also add to your formulation in the same way an essential oil would.  Because they’re often highly concentrated, they can be pricy but you can use them sparingly.  Replace 5-20% of your water with a hydrosol instead of replacing all the water to save money but still reap the benefits.

Silk Amino Acids

Silk amino acids  add a smooth, silky feeling to products.  Most of the time, you only need to use it about 2% concentration to see effects.  They are great for light, summery lotions.

Hope you enjoyed this post.  As usual, if there are any questions, email hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com

 

Email Question: Facial Moisturizers

I’m so excited about summer’s approach. Not because I like the hot weather because I really don’t.  Over 75 degrees F is too hot for me.  I like summer because my skin and hair LOVE humidity.  I know most people find humidity to be hair enemy #1 but as long as my hair is in its naturally curly state, my hair thrives on the damp air.  But summer mugginess is even better for my skin.  I doubt I will see a pimple for months and I will achieve the dewy finish I’m always after.  I’m so excited.

Additionally, now is the time I like to increase humectants, such as glycerin or raw honey, in my recipes.  Humectants draw moisture to the skin and hair but only if there is moisture in the air.  If there is little moisture in the air, humectants will actually make skin and hair drier.  So I don’t recommend humectants for those of you in a dry climate.  I usually keep them at a minimum in the winter but start upping the amount late spring/early summer when we start getting more rain and wetness here in NYC.

Onto the email question of the day!

Hi Hippie Girl!  I have been reading your blogs and read the one on making lotions and was wondering if that recipe was for body lotion or face lotion?  I am looking for a facial moisturizer recipe for mature skin- do you have one?  Thanks for taking the time to read this email! 

I love this question!  Mature skin certainly needs extra moisture.  As I age, I really do notice how important moisturizing is.  However, I do not make facial moisturizers.  That is one thing you are very unlikely to see a recipe for from me.  The reason I won’t post one is simple: it’s too risky.  Water-based facial moisturizers have too much potential to cause problems with the eyes.  Eyes are obviously really important because we see with them but they are also pretty vulnerable to infection.  Even though all recipes I post will result in a sanitary product (so long as you work under sanitary conditions) they are not sterile so I don’t plan on making a product that is water-based to be used near the eyes.  The chances of someone’s eyes actually becoming infected from a moisturizer are not that high but it’s not really a risk I am willing to take even with a preservative.  Instead, I recommend using an oil blend on the face, especially for older skin.  Since it’s not water-based, microbes are much less likely to grow to dangerous numbers.  I discuss an oil blend that I make and like here.

Hope this helps!  Please direct questions to hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com I always answer even if I don’t post it here.

Email Question: Alcohol as a Preservative?

This is another fantastic email question.  I love the ones that make me think and even do some research!

Hi,
I stumbled upon your blog today because I was looking for information regarding a natural preservative. Your blog stated that basically there are none. I know of a company that uses organic grain ethanol as a preservative, and they sell their products worldwide, so i’m guessing this works.
Since you stated that you are a chemistry teacher, would you be able to tell me what percentage I would have to use the ethanol at?
Answer:
You would have to use ethanol at quite a high percentage for it to be an effective preservative, I would estimate 25% or more.  That would ruin any product I was trying to make, especially a lotion or cream.  Ethanol is also quite drying to skin.
I also asked which brand uses ethanol (which is just alcohol, the same type that gets people drunk) and the reader replied that it was Dr. Bronner’s.  I did a little research and found the ingredients list:
Aqua, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Ethanol*, Organic Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Organic fairDeal Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Organic Quillaja Saponaria Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil
Ethanol is very high up on the ingredient list.  There’s more ethanol than there is avocado oil.  I swear by Dr. Bronner’s castile soap.  It’s amazing but their lotions are not, in my opinion.  On Amazon, you can see that all the critical reviews basically say the same thing: the lotion is runny, smells like alcohol, isn’t very moisturizing.  These would be my main concerns with using alcohol as a preservative.
More questions please!  Email hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com

Email Question: Optiphen

I’m so excited that I have a couple posts lined up that are answering questions I’ve gotten to my email!  I’ve gotten questions from all kinds of places.  I live in a little apartment in Brooklyn, NY so getting emails from people in other faraway countries is so incredibly cool.  If you have any questions or comments, please email me at hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com  I always respond.

Here’s the email question (from Kuwait!!):

I want to make body butter, cream, and lotion…if I want to extend the shelf life over a year, is that possible with Optiphen preservative…if so what is the percentage to use Optiphen preservative?

Answer:

Optiphen is my choice for preservative because it is paraben- and formaldehyde-free.  Optiphen is best in oil-based formulas.  Optiphen Plus is good for just about any recipe.  Use it at about 1% and don’t use at temperatures higher than 176 degrees F.

A lot of email questions are about preservatives!  Keep ‘em coming!  And keep your eyes open for more email questions in the future.

Homemade Shampoo & Conditioner for Natural Hair

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I’m growing my hair out a little.  I want a bit of a ‘fro.  I don’t post too much about my hair here but I post occasional photos on Instagram.  Since I cut my hair, I haven’t been too concerned about the products I use.  As long as it looked how I wanted and wasn’t breaking, I was fine with it.  But now that I want to grow it a little, I’m more conscious of its health.  I find that I get the best growth and length retention when I use products that are mostly natural/homemade.

I absolutely love Aubrey Organics shampoo and conditioner.

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But total cost for these 2 items is over $22.  Sometimes I splurge.  Most of the time, I just make shampoo and conditioner.  It costs me $2.50 to make 8 ounces of conditioner and $1.18 to make 8 ounces of shampoo.  And I would say my homemade stuff is pretty good.  I buy the majority of my supplies from Brambleberry.  I also buy a few things here and there from Mountain Rose Herbs.  The more you buy, the cheaper it is.

My only notes on these recipes are:

  1. The shampoo is not foamy and sudsy.  I know that’s a good thing because it means that it’s not sucking all the moisture out of my hair.  But still, there’s something so satisfying about thick lather.  Truthfully, I try to only wash my scalp.  Despite the lack of lather, my scalp is always squeaky clean after using this.
  2. My favorite thing about the shampoo is that it doesn’t dry my hair out and if I’m in a rush, I can use it with no conditioner and my hair still feels soft and supple.  
  3. My favorite thing about the conditioner is that it’s the only homemade conditioner I’ve ever seen that even remotely reminds me of something bought from the store.  I am not a fan of using food in my hair.  I’m not putting mushed up bananas or avocados on my head when there are starving children in the world.  *shrugs*

Okay, I’ve talked enough.  Here are the recipes.

Conditioner (makes 8 ounces)

  • 13 grams conditioning emulsifier (a.k.a. BTMS, see the note on this ingredient below)
  • 45 grams shea butter
  • 75 grams coconut oil
  • 15 grams mango butter
  • 77 grams distilled water or aloe vera juice
  • 3 grams Optiphen (you can skip this if you use it within a month and keep it in the fridge)
  • 30 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 30 drops rosehip seed oil
  • 25 drops lavender essential oil
  1. Melt the conditioning emulsifier, shea butter, coconut oil, mango butter all together.  You can use a double boiler or use a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30-second increments until JUST melted.
  2. Heat up the water or aloe for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Add to the oils.  Using an immersion blender, blend until combined.  Stir in your essential oils and Optiphen.  Pour into your container.
  3. Apply to wet hair after shampooing.  Massage in and let it sit for 5 minutes (more if you want, I guess.  I’ve never tried longer than 10 minutes.)  Rinse out thoroughly using cool water.  Style as usual.  Try this recipe for shea mango hair butter for your styling product.  Makes your hair shiny and soft!

Shampoo

  • 68 grams castile soap (any scent you like!)
  • 45 grams shea butter
  • 45 grams coconut oil
  • 57 grams distilled water or aloe vera juice
  • 11 grams conditioning emulsifier (optional!)
  1. Melt the shea butter, coconut oil and emulsifier together in the same way as above.
  2. Heat up the water or aloe for about 30 seconds in the microwave.  Add to oils.  Gently pour in the soap.  Using an immersion blender, blend until combined.  Pour into your container.
  3. Apply to wet scalp.  Massage using the pads of your fingers, not your nails.  Rinse out thoroughly.  Condition if you have time but if not, you’ll be okay!

Note: BTMS stands for behentrimonium methosulfate.  I know sulfates are “bad” but that’s not 100% true.  It’s the soapy sulfates you really want to avoid like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium sulfates.  BTMS also contains cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol, which are about the only 2 alcohols I will use on my hair since they’re fatty alcohols and quite moisturizing.  Lastly, I use BTMS-50, not BTMS-25 but if you do decide to use BTMS-25, I recommend adding cetyl alcohol to the recipe.  I never use BTMS at a percentage higher than 10%.

Check me out on Pinterest!  I pin good stuff, I promise.

3 Ingredient Body Butter Recipe

I love a luxurious, silky body butter.  Usually, I’m big on including water in my recipes because emulsions really contribute to the decadent feeling you get from a cream.  We’re having a brutal winter here in the Northeast so we are requiring much thicker, denser moisturizers.  I tried lotion bars and they were very easy to make, worked really well on my kids but my husband and I don’t find them to be easy or convenient to apply to ourselves.  I might continue to make lotion bars for my girls but make this butter for the grownups.

This butter should be used right after a shower or bath while skin is still damp for best results, although I use it on dry skin too and it’s still great.  I also like to use it as a cuticle butter/hand cream.  As usual, the question is: Does it work on Sasha’s skin?  The answer is yes! If it passes the Sasha test, it’s a definitely keeper and it will go down in my big book of recipes.

Enough chat, here are the percentages:

  • 10% wax
  • 40% liquid oil
  • 50% solid oil/butter

This is the basic recipe. I know I said this is a 3 ingredient recipe in the title. You could easily do this with 3 ingredients. For example: beeswax, jojoba oil, shea butter would be lovely. I, of course, can’t keep things so simple because I’m crazy.  The recipe I used to make 16 ounces is below.

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We already used some :)

  • 45 grams beeswax
  • 60 grams apricot kernel oil
  • 15 grams castor oil
  • 40 grams avocado oil
  • 40 grams jojoba oil
  • 27 grams sweet almond oil
  • 150 grams shea butter
  • 77 grams mango butter

I melted everything together in a double boiler, stirring constantly.  Then I poured it into my containers and put them in the freezer until they set.  I put them in the freezer to ensure that they cool as quickly as possible, reducing crystallization which cuts down on the grainy feeling that can sometimes be a problem with shea butter and mango butter recipes.  Don’t forget to take them out before they get too cold though!

Okay so that’s 8 ingredients, which is 5 more than 3.  I struggle to keep it simple with my recipes.   But you could follow the percentages above and customize the recipe however you please.

Some nice essential oils would be great to add too.  Be sure to do that once you’ve melted everything already and have removed the mixture from the heat.

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Do you follow my Soap & Lotion board on Pinterest?  Check it out for some great easy ideas.

All-Natural Regimen for Normal and Dry Skin

I hope everyone had a safe and festive New Year!

This is the second part of a series about all-natural skin regimens.  Read the first one for oily skin here.

My skin is naturally pretty dry.  I struggle to retain moisture, especially in the winter.  In the summer, my skin is usually in heaven but as soon as the windows start to close and the heat starts to come up through the radiators, I become a scaly crocodile.  So, I would say my skin is normal when the climate is right but dry when it becomes too cold.

Acne isn’t too much of an issue for me anymore but when I’m hormonal, pimples can pop up.  I haven’t seen a pimple in about 3 months (knock on wood!) which is about the time I switched to the awesome, carefully crafted through trial and error routine I have now.  So let’s get to it!

Morning

First, I cleanse with some raw honey.  I’m sure I don’t need to reiterate how splendid that stuff is.

After cleansing, I apply a few drops of an oil blend.  It’s homemade, of course.  [Side note: my husband started using this and he loves it.  I have him using all my stuff.  He's even converted to my homemade deodorant and he doesn't stink!]  I don’t have an exact recipe for the oil blend but it’s roughly equal parts of the following oils:

  • jojoba oil — highly moisturizing, kind of pricy.  It’s very similar to your skin’s natural sebum (oil) and so skin just drinks it up!
  • fractionated coconut oil — absorbs very easily, good for all skin types even sensitive skin, no  greasy feeling.  This is a “fraction” of coconut oil, meaning some components of coconut oil have been removed.  Even though it doesn’t have the nourishing qualities of coconut oil, it’s great for imparting a silky feeling to the blend and helping it absorb more quickly.
  • camellia oil — very emollient and nourishing.  It also absorbs very easily and deeply, just like the previous two oils.  It improves skin elasticity and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • castor oil — adds body to the blend, has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  I swear it also helps thicken my nonexistent eyebrows. It doesn’t absorb into skin easily so it creates a good barrier to lock moisture in.
  • apricot kernel oil — very nourishing, high in vitamins E and A.  The highly nourishing nature of this oil is great to slow down the aging process, tone the skin, and prevent clogged pores.
  • sweet almond oil – silky and doesn’t clog pores.  Ideal for dry skin and reducing the appearance of blemishes and dark circles.  It’s high in vitamins A, E, and several B vitamins.
  • olive oil — doesn’t absorb that easily but feels light.  It’s chockfull of vitamins and it smooths skin.  In the summer, I prefer to use avocado oil in place of olive oil, especially because it offers some sun protection (not much).

I also add about 30 drops of rosehip seed oil and about 15 drops of lavender essential oil.  Notice the absence of coconut oil?  I only add coconut oil in the summer sometimes.  Coconut oil in the winter dries me out more…not really sure why.  I keep the oil blend in one of these handy dandy containers.

appplicator bottle

After the oil blend, I spray a little hydrating mist.  I have a great recipe for a MAC Fix+ dupe here but that’s really if you’re a die-hard Fix+ girl.  The recipe I use normally is super simple.  I keep it in a one-ounce spray bottle since it’s water-based and has no preservative.  It’s only good for 2 weeks maximum.  Mine is always done before that.

  • 1 teaspoon glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • aloe vera juice until the bottle is full

Shake very well before each use.  Spray at about an arm’s length.

Here’s how my skin looks right after cleanse, oil blend, hydrating mist.

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Is it weird that I didn’t really notice those little freckles until I saw this pic?

Shiny as hell, right?  That’s how I like it!  No, I’m kidding. It looks much less shiny after it’s absorbed for a few minutes.  My skin tone has become much more even.  I never wear foundation anymore, not even to go out.  The most I’ll do is dust on some mineral powder.

I think I will include vitamin C in my routine very soon as soon as I find a source of vitamin C that I like.  It’s supposed to be very good for skin, especially helping skin look youthful.  I may start using a toner so stay tuned for that recipe.

Night

When it’s time for bed, I cleanse with my cleansing cream.  It contains castile soap, shea butter, mango butter, rosewater, witch hazel, coconut oil, and of course, raw honey.  I sell this lovely cream at my Etsy shop and I also use it to bathe my daughters and myself.  It is truly wonderful.  I’m quite proud of it.

Next, I use a few drops of my oil blend, paying special attention to the areas around my eyes and some hydrating mist if I’m feeling very dry.  That’s it for night time.

Once a Week (or so)

Sometimes I like to do masks or scrubs.  I used to do clay masks but I think they’re better for oily skin or problem skin.  If I’m breaking out, I’ll do a rhassoul clay/tea tree oil mask that works wonders.  I don’t break out often anymore though so I don’t do many masks.  I do a scrub once a week or so:

  • 2 Tbsp of my cleansing cream
  • 1 tsp coffee grounds
  • 2 tsp coffee, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp organic brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey

I LOVE THIS SCRUB.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  It is not very drying or harsh like a lot of other scrubs but my skin is always extra fresh and soft after.  The coffee gives my skin life!  I don’t like salt in my scrubs but you could probably do 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp salt if you like salt scrubs.  My only complaint with this scrub is that the coffee grounds are a bit messy.  I’ve tried it without the grounds, though, and it’s just not the same.

Oil Cleansing

Another thing I do every now and then is a “deep cleaning.”  Basically, I just do an oil cleanse.  First, I wet a washcloth with hot water, wring it out, and place it over my face until it gets to room temperature.  I do this to open up my pores.  Then, I massage castor oil + apricot kernel oil into my skin, wet the washcloth with hot water again, place it over my face and sit for about 2 minutes.  Then I wet the washcloth one more time and wipe the oil off my face.  I don’t do this too often because it’s kind of drying…sounds strange right?  Read more about oil cleansing at this awesome site.  She has some good tips, although I don’t do everything she says.

So that’s about it! I hope this post isn’t terribly confusing and boring but you can always comment or shoot me an email over at hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com