Sunday, 31 March 2013

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another common "find in your kitchen" product that has multiple uses and benefits for your health and for your beauty.  This particular type of vinegar is a light amber color and is made from fermented apple juice. Apple cider vinegar is a completely natural product that has AMAZING health benefits when ingested on a regular basis and it is no surprise (to me personally) that it would have AMAZING effects when used directly on your skin and hair. First off, I just want to point out the health benefits that you get from this stuff before you go off showering and bathing in it (it can be a bit pricey if you do that..), and hopefully you'll seriously consider incorporating this into your daily routine. 

Let's start off with 5 AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS;
Now I want to get into the BEAUTY benefits that apple cider vinegar has. These little home beauty remedies that my family has used for generations for their skin and hair has included apple cider vinegar. However, when I was young, I really hated the smell of the stuff (I would be surprised if anybody actually enjoyed the smell of vinegar). But don't let that throw you off. After vinegar evaporates, the smell is completely if not mostly gone and it leaves you with beautiful hair and skin. Truly, it's amazing stuff.
Apple cider vinegar has multiple uses and in my opinion, is definitely a recommended product to have in your kitchen, or beauty table, at all times. 

1) Weight loss - Some data from recent and older studies show that apple cider vinegar has helped to prevent the body from storing fat. The main ingredient in this vinegar that suggests this is acetic acid, which has been proven to aid in weight loss if ingested on a daily basis.  
2) It helps balance the body's pH - With a balanced pH, you would have more energy, as opposed to having a low pH which science shows leads to a lack of energy and leaves you more prone to illnesses and infections. 
3) It can relieve heartburn instantly - Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar helps correct low acid levels in the stomach and therefore reduces heartburn. Take a bit of this vinegar with a glass of water to have instant relief for heartburn. 
4) Lowers cholesterol - Recent studies have shown that apple cider vinegar has been proven to reduce cholesterol. However, the studies have been focused on mice, so the effects of people is unknown. Some testimonies have proven this theory true, so why not give it a try? It does you no harm (if taken moderately).
5) Reduces effects of allergies - Apple cider vinegar has been proven to help with congestion and the reduction of mucous. It can also be useful to reduce the effects of a cold. 

1) Gets rid of dandruff and gives hair volume and shine - Mixing a half and half solution of apple cider vinegar and water helps regulate the pH of your scalp and discourages the growth of a yeast-like fungus thought to trigger dandruff. After rinsing with this solution, your hair will have a nice shine and will lighten your hair of any shampoo residue it has been building up, and therefore increase its volume. 
2) Gets rid of Acne - This has amazing benefits for your skin, regarding acne especially, due to the fact that it regulates skin pH. However, you should NOT use full strength on your skin, as it can irritate skin and make acne worse. ALWAYS dilute apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water before placing on skin. 
3) Regulates skin pH - Mix apple cider vinegar with two parts water and use as a cleanser for your face every night (ONLY once a day). Here's a secret; chop up some horseradish and add it into this mixture. Let it sit for two days before use. This does wonders for your skin. 
4) Gets rid of warts effectively - If apple cider vinegar is applied to the wart (covered with a bandage) overnight, the wart will eventually fall off. This treatment will have to continue for a few more days in order to prevent the wart from coming back. 
5) Can be used as a massage oil to relieve aches - Rubbing apple cider vinegar on a cramp, sore feet, or hands is proven to give obvious relief after massaged for a small amount of time. It can also get rid of foot odor.
*Extra number 6 - Can relieve and reduce sunburn when added to your bath water. Soak in this water for 10 minutes for relief. 

Some other uses for apple cider vinegar (may be completely unrelated to beauty, but it's nice to know);
1) Apple cider vinegar can be used as a flea repellent on your pets. Just add some water in a spritzer bottle and mix with the vinegar.
2) It removes stains from teeth.
3) It can be used to clean your counter tops and bathroom when diluted with water and gives it a nice apple scent once evaporated. 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Almond Oil - The Best Skin Care Product

Whenever I tell my friends, or anybody (don't ask how it comes up), that I use almond oil for my skin, their response goes along the lines of, "You can't do that.. It goes against the laws of the universe! You cannot put oil on your FACE." And I'm just as surprised as they are that they have no clue that oils (especially essential oils) have been used as an effective and royal beauty treatment for skin and hair for centuries. 
Now, I'm not saying put cooking oil on your face to look beautiful... There are certain oils out there that are very good for your skin, and are applied in those expensive, high end, quality moisturizers that a lot of people   waste their money on. The main, effective ingredient in these products is normally the OIL. And in my experience, I've found that sweet almond oil, a lightweight, golden oil made by pressing sweet almonds, is the most cheap and effective oil for your skin on the market. 
People who secrete too much sebum from their sebaceous glands (people who have oily skin) tend to have trouble with acne. The sebum secreted from these glands is what causes your pores to get blocked up and can lead to acne. What almond oil does for this is basically dissolve these oily blockages, clean the pores, and while doing this, it actually repairs your skin. Almond oil acts as a skin moisturizer and keeps the skin healthy and therefore less prone to acne, blemishes and gives you an overall healthy glow. Take a look below for benefits of almond oil for your skin.

8 benefits of almond oil for your skin (because 5 is not enough);
1) It smooths, moisturizes and softens skin. It absorbs into the skin deeply and effectively. 
2) It is relatively cheap when compared to other skin products. You can get a 16oz bottle of almond oil for $12 and it can last for months if used only for your face (about a few weeks to a month if used for entire body). 
3) It effectively lightens dark circles on skin.
4) Noticeably reduces and prevents acne (if used in moderate amounts). 
5) Improves overall skin complexion and gives you a healthy glow =D
6) It is the best massage oil. Ever. 
7) Can cure chapped lips and rashes.
8) Delays the aging process of skin! 

What could be better than that? HOWEVER, there is ONE thing you have to look out for... allergies. Although sweet almond is a nut that most people would be much less prone to be allergic to and is very gentle to the skin (very if you have sensitive skin), if you are allergic to nuts, test it out on a small area on your arm and wait a day or two to see the effect. If any redness or rash occurs, it is not recommended to rub that all over your face and body.  

Steps for applying almond oil to your face (recommended to do at night before bed);
1) First of all, wash your hands and face of any dirt or bacteria. 
2) Place about 6 drops on the palm of your hand and rub palms together in a circular motion.
3) Spread the oil evenly throughout your face.
4) Spread any excess almond oil on your hands as an effective hand moisturizer. 

TIP* It is actually OPTIONAL to wash your face before applying on almond oil. Rubbing almond oil on your face actually tends to clean dirt and other substances that may be lurking. But it is recommended to wash before applying to increase effectiveness.

Almond oil also has other applications other than for your skin. It is also VERY good for your hair due to the fact that it is such an effective moisturizer. It strengthens hair, prevents thinning, controls hair loss, and it leaves a nice, clean shine. You can add a little bit to your shampoo and watch the effects of the oil leave your hair beautiful.
Almond oil is also edible and very healthy to eat as it brings a nutty flavor to a dish and adds a nice zing to deserts. Almond oil is packed with Vitamin E and some essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium, so why not add a little bit into your daily routine? After all, a healthy body brings a healthy mind. And skin.  

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Oregano Oil


Most of you have probably heard of oregano before, which is the strong-smelling stuff that you put on your pizza. However, many people are not aware that it has many amazing health benefits, is nature's antibiotic, and comes in the extracted form of an oil. Oregano oil is a natural substance that is extracted from the oregano plant by distilling the leaves and flowers with steam.
Oregano oil has many health benefits that the vast majority are unaware of. When I first discovered oregano oil and had gotten to know it, I was so shocked that I did not know before how beneficial this oil is and how I had not discovered it sooner. Recent studies state that it has shown the ability to prevent cancer and kill cancer cells, raise your immune system, help with cholesterol.. etc. Well, look at some of the benefits listed below for your convenience.  

Health Benefits and uses:

  • It is a natural antibiotic that kills unwanted fungus, bacteria, yeast, parasites and viruses.
  • It is known to relieve digestive problems when taken in small amounts as it stimulates the flow of bile and can treat gastrointestinal infections. 
  • Oregano oil is known to boost your immune system when two drops (90% concentration) are taken per day. 
  • It can be used to treat acne or little problem areas. You can either dab a bit of oregano oil on a pimple and you should see a reduction in swelling and redness. It may burn a little bit, but that fades away in approximately 30 seconds. You can mix oregano oil with other oils (preferably olive or almond oil) and use it for your face to prevent breakouts and reduce redness. 
  • It is a strong antioxidant, which can help improve your overall health and tends to give your skin a healthy glow. 
  • It can get rid of warts within a week. Apply some oregano oil to the wart and keep a bandage on top of it. Keep applying oregano oil everyday and the wart should be gone within a week. 
  • It is a natural pain killer. If mixed with olive or almond oil, it can be applied to muscles to alleviate cramps. 
  • Is an essential way to slow down aging and reduce wrinkles when ingested PROPERLY
  • Oregano oil can be used as a pain killer for women with massive menstrual problems. Take two or three drops a day (in orange juice preferably) and it should alleviate cramps!
  • Can be used as a mosquito repellent when mixed with olive oil! 
Where to find Oregano oil?

Oregano oil can be found in any nutrition and health store. But for best effects, be sure to buy a 70% or higher concentration of oregano oil. The stuff with lower concentration may be cheaper, but it is not as effective. 

TIP* If taking oregano oil regularly, it is best to increase your iron ingestion, as oregano oil may reduce the body`s ability to absorb iron. Nevertheless, this is not a serious side effect and the health benefits of oregano oil are very much worth it. 


  • Oregano oil should NOT be ingested in large doses, and can cause liver or kidney damage if this is done. Normally 2-4 drops of oregano should be ingested per DAY, and is best to stop this treatment after two weeks, take a two week break, and continue on and off like that for best results.
  • It is best to dilute oregano oil with almond or olive oil before applying onto skin in large quantities. 
  • Pregnant woman should AVOID using oregano oil because it stimulates blood flow in the uterus and weakens the lining. 
  • If you experience any problems while using this oil, such as rashes, nausea, dizziness, swelling etc. Discontinue use and see your doctor. You may have an allergy. 

Homemade Face Mask - Turmeric


Turmeric is known to be a bright, yellow spice which is commonly used in many Indian dishes. However, what many people don’t know is that it is also commonly used as a beauty product that helps brighten complexion by reducing pigmentation in your skin naturally, without the use of any harsh chemicals. It is known to be the royal treatment for your skin, as many Indian brides use a turmeric face mask before their wedding in order to lighten, cleanse and brighten their skin before their big day.

Five TOP Benefits of Turmeric 
  1. Brightens skin complexion 
  2. It helps maintain elasticity of the skin (Very useful for pregnant women who want to reduce the appearance of nasty stretchmarks) 
  3. Turmeric is known to significantly reduce the appearance and growth of FACIAL HAIR (with regular use, results should be seen within a month!). 
  4. Turmeric is known to treat acne and reduce your number of breakouts. It is especially good for oily skin because it helps regulate the production of sebum. 
  5. It is a natural, inexpensive antioxidant that can be used for any skin type 

How to Make a Turmeric Face Mask Ingredients: (*MUST HAVE)
  1. Turmeric* (Obviously) 
  2. Honey* 
  3. Lemon (optional but extremely recommended, this stuff works wonders) 
  4. Almond oil (optional) 
  5. Cinnamon (optional) 
  6. PLAIN yogurt (optional) 
  7. Gram flour (optional, to thicken the viscosity) 
  8. Sandalwood powder (Depending on recipe) 

The beauty of this recipe is, there are so many options! However, I would not recommend mixing the plain yogurt with too many things, because it may mess up the viscosity of your mask.

I will present to you THREE different mixtures that you can try with these ingredients:

1) The one that has worked the ABSOLUTE best for me is the honey and the turmeric mixture. Honey is known as an anti-bacterial, anti- inflammatory, anti-everything bad miracle and works wonders on your skin, leaving it soft, supple, and smooth with reduction of acne. In this recipe, I tend to mix about 2 tablespoons of honey with half or third of a teaspoon of turmeric. You can leave it at that, or add a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, which helps reduce and get rid of nasty blackheads, half a teaspoon of almond oil, which softens, moisturizes, and brightens disheartening dark circles underneath your eyes, and a squeeze of lemon, which helps reduce acne. Mix that all up with a spoon, spread it evenly on your face, leave on for 15 to 20 minutes and wash out thoroughly with water.After using this mixture, my skin’s complexion is noticeably more evenly toned and brighter, and it has also helped reduce my acne to almost nothing (I had little breakouts here and there). I would recommend this for any skin type. It does not dry and it does not clog pores.

2) Another mixture that is useful in reducing the appearance in stretch marks is the plain yogurt, honey and turmeric mix. This mixture would use about a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of yogurt, and a teaspoon of turmeric. After mixing all that up, you would take the mixture and spread it on your tummy, to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, or wherever else you would like to add a bit of elasticity to your skin (that’s your own business). Leave this on for 15-20 minutes and wash off with water.

3) The last mixture that you can try out is a mixture of turmeric, sandalwood powder, and water. This mixture is known for the reduction of acne. What you do is mix half a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of sandalwood powder and mix this with a bit of water until you reach the right viscosity. You can also try replacing water with 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey, which I highly recommend since it would be easier to spread on your face and honey has many benefits for your skin. Mix this up, apply to your skin evenly, and leave on for 15-20 min (like any other face mask). Rinse off with water and air dry your face for best effect.

Experiment and try different combinations of these ingredients for yourself! 

  • Air dry your face for a better complexion 
  • Use one of these face masks every second day for best effect. You should see results in less than a month! 
  • Turmeric is good for burns as well. Mix some aloe vera or honey with a bit of tumeric and apply to burn. It should reduce redness and scarring. 
  • Turmeric is also VERY healthy to eat as well! It is known to be good for digestion. So if you have any digestion mix a bit of turmeric (quarter of a teaspoon) with a glass of lukewarm milk and drink and it should help regulate your digestion as well as help with diarrhea. 

WARNING: Turmeric WILL stain fair skin yellow. So if you plan on going out in a couple of hours after using this mask, think again. But have no worry, it’s only temporary. After a couple washes or a shower, that yellowness should come completely off (in my past experience, and I have pretty fair skin). Do NOT wash your skin many times a day to get the stain off, as this is only worse for your skin and will dry it.

Honey for Beauty

Who doesn’t have honey in their household? Well, if you don’t, go get some right now. I mean it, right now. You have no idea what you’re missing. Honey is known to be an ancient beauty and medical remedy for your skin and for many good reasons. Honey is a miracle worker for all skin types due to the fact that it is an antioxidant, an anti-bacterial, an anti-inflammatory, and anti-everything bad. It helps with acne, with redness, and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. On top of all these benefits, it is yummy and also inexpensive and widely available, even in your local grocery store.
How does it do this, you ask? Sounds too good to be true. Well, I’m not trying to sell you anything, so take a load of these facts;
  1. Honey has an ability to absorb and retain moisture which keeps your skin hydrated and prevents drying because it contains amino acids.
  2. Honey is antibacterial due to the fact that it is a mild anti-septic. When mixed with water, an enzyme in honey produces a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, which is the stuff you put on cuts to prevent infections. (Don’t worry, honey does not burn like that nasty stuff your mother put on your scraped knee or elbow when you were little).
  3. Honey has a anti-microbial and is a natural anti-oxidant which helps protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays and supports the skin’s ability to rejuvenate itself.
  4. Honey promotes new tissue growth. Honey contains bee pollen, propolis, and other things that help to stimulate the growth of new skin. This is a very good anti-aging tool and is not a surprise that honey is found in many anti-aging products.
  5. Honey also helps improve blood circulation. Better blood circulation = Better skin.
So what’s in the homemade simple honey mask? You’ll never guess. HONEY. Yup, it’s honestly that simple.
  1. Take some honey and spread it on your fingertips.
  2. Spread the honey evenly all over your face before you sleep or in the mornings before you head out.
  3. Leave on for 15 minutes (read, go get your breakfast ready, occupy yourself) and wash off with either water or milk. Milk helps soften and brighten the skin, so I highly recommend that.
  4. I always say, air dry your face. It’s so much better for your skin than rubbing with a towel or even touching a dirty towel to your face (unless your a clean freak and wash the same towel or replace it every time you use it). Stop the torture.