The 4 Worst Carbs You Can Eat (And What to Replace Them With)

The 4 Worst Carbs You Can Eat (And What to Replace Them With)


Diets that cut out carbohydrates are all over the place. These diets often promise huge weight loss in a short amount of time…as long as you simply cut carbs completely from your daily foods. But the truth is, not all carbs are created equal.

Some of the best foods to fuel you pre- and post-workout happen to be carbs, such as fruits, beans and whole grains. While these carbs are great, there a several that don’t do much for your diet—these are often heavily processed, which means they have been stripped of any nutritional value and can easily lead to weight gain and blood sugar spikes. Often, these are labeled as “white” carbs, such as the white sugar and white flour you find in many baked goods and pastas. Luckily, you don’t have to give these up completely. With a few easy and tasty switches, you can have your cake and eat it too.
1. White Sugar
This overly-processed sugar spikes your blood sugar quickly and can lead to crashes, weight gain and loads of health hazards. New research also shows that this type of sugar is highly addictive, making you crave more after each crash. Instead of plain white sugar, swap it for unprocessed natural sugars and sweeteners. Look for liquid sweeteners such as molasses, honey or pure maple syrup. And make sure to use it in moderation. For regular granulated sugars, try unprocessed sugar in the raw or low-glycemic coconut sugar.
2. White Flour
White all-purpose flour is wheat flour that has been stripped of nutrients, bleached to neutralize color, and then sometimes re-fortified to make it a bit healthier again. Much like sugar, white flour is digested quickly and contains little nutritional value, so it makes your blood-sugar levels rise, leads to weight gain and often leaves you hungry soon after consuming. Instead of forgoing flour completely, make the swap to whole grain flours that contain filling fiber, nutrients and even protein. Remember this holds true for not only the bag of flour you buy, but for items that are made from flour—including breads, pastas and pizzas. Look for healthier whole-grain options for all your flour-based foods, like whole-wheat flour, brown-rice flour, spelt flour or teff flour.
3. White Rice

White rice, much like white sugar and flour, has been stripped of the husk, or outer layer, that contains the fiber, proteins and nutrients. Instead of consuming white rice, try switching to brown rice in your casserole and stir-fry. You could even use wild rice or black rice or a seed such as quinoa or couscous to add a variety of flavor, as well as pack a nutritional punch.
4. Alcohol
This is often the forgotten culprit. Many alcohols contain large amounts of carbs and sugars. These carbs contain little nutritional value and some studies suggest your body converts them to sugar at a higher rate than white sugars and flours. This means you might be more likely to gain weight and have blood-sugar levels spike from drinking alcohol than from eating carbs. Unfortunately, there are no real swaps for this. The key here is moderation. Have one or two drinks instead of three or four. In between drinks, flush out your system with water. You could even switch to a non-alcoholic drink, such as sparkling water with lemon and lime, as your cocktail of choice.

Castor Oil: Home Remedies for Beauty and Health Purposes

Castor Oil: Home Remedies for Beauty and Health Purposes

You will find bottles of castor oil in health stores and maybe in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet. However, it behooves us well to own a bottle as well. Why? Castor oil, a very pale yellow liquid extracted from the castor seeds of Ricinus Communis, is one of the most useful plant oils. Castor oil comes in different grades and is used as food additives, in cosmetics, in flavorings, as a mold inhibitor and in pharmaceuticals. Castor oil has a long history of medicinal uses both internally and externally, treating conditions ranging from arthritis to genital warts. But it is not all old wives’ tales and grandma’s “cure-all.” The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized castor oil as “generally recognized as safe and effective” for over-the-counter use as a laxative and undecylenic acid, a castor oil derivative is also FDA-approved for over-the-counter use on skin disorders or problems.
Just what make castor oil such a health heavyweight? Castor oil is rich in Ricinoleic acid which exerts anti-inflammatory effects and is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal as well. In addition, its high levels of unsaturated fatty acids have antioxidant properties. Like magic potion, you just need one bottle of castor oil– it yields many health and beauty purposes as listed below:
Beautiful skin
Is your skin dragging your appearance down with wrinkles and age spots? Age can get the better of you but you can get the better of the situation with this easy ritual: apply a thin layer of castor oil to face before going to sleep. Castor oil is a natural rich emollient and its molecular weight makes it easier to penetrate into the stratum corneum (a fancy word for the outermost layer of the epiderm). Dermatologists will tell you that a healthy stratum corneum makes healthy youthful looking skin. Do this religiously and earn top marks for beautiful skin. This ritual will also reduce appearance of age spots (brought about by sun damage and the aging process) and produce suppler skin.
Skin Infections

Castor oil’s antimicrobial properties are put to good use when you need to fight skin infections. Do you have abrasion, acne, dry skin, boils, warts, chronic itching, inflamed skin, sunburned skin or even stretch marks? Don’t despair—soak a cotton ball with castor oil and apply to skin in the morning and at night. If the area is small (for example a wart), soak a band-aid in castor oil before applying. Just that easy!
Beautiful Full Hair
How’s your crown of glory? Is it a source of pride or do you wish bald is the perennial fashion statement? If thinning hair is your problem, here’s help. Castor oil has the uncanny ability to encourage hair growth. Some even claim it can grow longer eye-lashes! While these claims are not based on solid scientific evidence, users of castor oil to promote hair growth have reported favorable returns for their hair diligence. If you’re thinking of using castor oil to bring back the glory, here’s how:
Since castor oil can be thick, dilute it with lighter oil like sweet almond oil or avocado oil. Apply to scalp, rub it in gently and wrap your hair with a plastic cap or towel. Leave it on for half an hour or longer. Shampoo off, making sure the scalp is clean. Repeat it once a week.
Another bonus to this castor oil routine–castor oil’s rich omega-3 fatty acids is a rich moisturizer and your hair will also look nourished and silky. Now, your hair can rival those shampoo girls you see (and may be envious before) in commercials. Move over!
Arthritis
Arthritis can get you down—sore joints, aching muscles and inflamed nerves can make you life miserable. Rub the misery away with some castor oil help. Because castor oil is anti-inflammatory, consider massaging sore areas with castor oil. Alternatively, use a castor oil pack. You can easy make this yourself or purchase a kit. To begin, make a castor oil pad—fold a flannel cloth 3 or 4 times over. Soak folded cloth with castor oil and placed it on affected joint or area. Cover the cloth with a plastic wrap and place a hot water bottle or heating pad over it. Leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour, once a day. To reuse castor oil pad, put it in a Ziploc bad and refrigerate.
Castor oil pack is also good for treating colds, cysts, flu and ulcers. Reputedly, it can also simulate liver, relieve pain, reduce inflammation and stimulate the lymphatic system. Yes, the wonders never cease….
Constipation
Not a pretty C word—in fact, if you ever had it—it’s convolution of your insides—got to go but can’t. FDA agrees that castor oil is a laxative and so, herein lies the cure—simply take a teaspoon of castor oil in the morning. Doesn’t sound too appetizing? Mix it with some orange juice, cranberry, prune juice to take away the bitter taste without compromising the laxative effects. Do not take it consecutively for 3 days—if it doesn’t help, it’s time to see your physician. Immediately!
Ringworm Treatment
Ringworm is characteristically marked with itchy ,red circular rash (hence the name) and it develops on the top layer of the skin. According to Mayo clinic, ringworm is a fungal infection (despite the name) and can be a stubborn condition to treat. Ringworm can also infect scalp and nails. Castor’s oil’s undecylenic acid is antifungal, which makes it an ideal treatment for ringworm. Rub castor oil on affected area and leave it overnight.
Eye Styes
When an eyelash follicle or an eyelid oil gland becomes blocked with excess oil, debris or bacteria, eye styes can formed. Eye styes can cause watery eyes, pain, tenderness, itching, redness, and sensitivity to light. It often appears as a reddish bump—not a pretty sight. To get rid of eye styes, apply a tiny drop of castor oil directly on stye 2 or 3 times a day.
This list is by no means complete but suffice to say, wow—castor oil can do all that? Yes, and more—castor oil not only promotes beauty but is a mighty force against certain medical ailments. However, always consult a doctor before self-medicating.

5 Powerful Cleansing Foods

5 Powerful Cleansing Foods

You already know vegetables are good for you. What you may not know, however, is that certain veggies—many that often get overlooked at the grocery store—contain the highest levels of detoxifying properties. We rounded up five vegetables that do the best job at ridding your body of toxins and bacteria and leave you squeaky clean and healthy.
Fennel
Don’t just go for fennel seeds—the plant’s bulb, leaves, and stalks are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and potassium, too. Fennel is known for its anti-inflammatory, liver- and colon-protecting properties. The seeds are often used to ease digestive pain.

Artichokes
Artichokes contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants, coming in seventh on the US Department of Agriculture’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list. Studies show that the intimidating-looking vegetable also lowers cholesterol and relieves gastrointestinal problems.
Collard greens
They’re in the same family as kale and broccoli, so you can bet they contain plenty of health benefits, too. These greens are high in vitamins K, A, and C, and have been shown to outshine kale for cholesterol-lowing abilities. One cup contains more than five grams of fiber, which makes it a great source of digestive support.
Kale
There’s no denying kale’s powerful detoxing benefits. One cup of the leafy green contains 1,328 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin K, more than 300 percent of vitamin A, and 89 percent of vitamin C. Studies strongly link kale to cancer prevention and heart health. (Also try: broccoli.)
Beets
The richly colored root contains betalains, phytonutrients that help detoxify and have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Note, however, that the longer you cook beets, the more betalain damage they incur. Stick to 15 to 20 minutes of steaming or boiling, and 45 minutes or less for roasting.

Easy Ways You Can Increase The Health of Your Home Food Environment

Easy Ways You Can Increase The Health of Your Home Food Environment

Researchers have long believed that an important factor in the obesity epidemic is the home food environment. A recent study published in the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior found startling evidence to support those beliefs. The study, which focused primarily on obese, low-income African-American women in southwestern Georgia, identified factors of obesity, such as what kinds of food are available in the home, where those foods are kept, how food is prepared, how food (both home-prepared and outside-sourced) is served, whether or not television is watched while eating, and the level of healthy-eating support available from other family members.
Although a majority of the participants in this study reported a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in the home, they also had access to a substantial amount of high-fat snacks, frequently watched television while eating, ate outside the home (typically, fast food) almost three days per week and regularly participated in unhealthy food preparation methods, such as frying.
What does this mean for you? It’s important to take stock of unhealthy eating behaviors in your home. While having access to fresh fruit and vegetables is important, it is obviously not enough to dissuade people from making the kinds of unhealthy food choices that encourage obesity.
Here are a few easy ways you can increase the health of your home food environment.
1. Turn off the television while eating.
Research suggests that this is difficult, especially for people who spend a large amount of time in the home. Try utilizing the season’s warmer weather by enjoying your meals outside, using nature as your focal point instead of your television set. Make a firm rule that whenever your family eats, even snacks, the television must be turned off. Music can also be a great replacement, and it encourages a positive eating environment.
2. Clear out the high-fat snack foods in your house.
While fat is not necessarily the culprit, eating easily-accessible, processed snack foods that are high in fat can be detrimental to weight loss. Replace the processed fats with natural ones, such as avocados, nuts and eggs. Incorporate lighter, healthier foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables, to encourage weight loss and improved overall health.
3. Limit fast food.
This is a difficult task for many folks, especially those who are too busy to cook during the day. If you must order fast food, take stock of healthier menu options, and avoid sodas and other sweetened beverages. If possible, use your weekend to prepare a week’s worth of meals. It’s easy to make light stir-fries, roasts, soups and sauces, like marinara or pesto, and then store them for easy weeknight cooking.
4. Cut sugary beverages.
Of the many factors mentioned in an unhealthy home food environment, drinking sweetened beverages was fairly common for a majority of obese study participants. Sugar can be extremely harmful to the body, and known to increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, hypertension and even cancer. Reducing your consumption of this potentially dangerous and addictive substance is important for your overall health. Get in the habit of drinking water with meals and limiting juice to one eight-ounce glass per day. By cutting just one soda a day, you can save yourself a whopping 87,600 calories per year, which translates into roughly 25 pounds. Water adds zero calories and helps your body eliminate toxins.
5. Learn healthy food preparation methods.
Frying food is a surefire way to add unnecessary, extra fat and calories to your meals. A majority of people who participated in the home food environment study relied on unhealthy food preparation methods. Avoid recipes that require you to fry food or drench it in high-fat/high-calorie sauces. Also, avoid using processed carbohydrates as the main source of food on your plate. If you utilize lighter preparations—such as baking and light sautéing—while also reducing your processed carbohydrate intake and limiting portion sizes, you will encourage healthier eating for everyone in your home.
Creating a healthy home food environment isn’t as challenging as it may seem. With a little effort, attention to negative food behaviors and dedication to making meaningful dietary changes, your home can be an oasis of health, not a crash pad for extra calories.

5 Post-Workout Foods



Overeating is a major mistake people make after a tough workout, but they aren’t entirely wrong in their impulse. It’s important to replenish our bodies with nutrients after exercise, and the window is short—we just have to make sure to choose the right type of foods.
After a strenuous workout, the body’s glycogen supply is severely depleted. Glycogen, a form of energy that is produced by our muscles, can be regenerated and can repair muscle mass quickly if carbohydrates and protein are consumed within 30 minutes to an hour of exercise, says nutritionist Heather Calcote. The sooner you can eat after a workout, the better.
The ideal ratio of carbs to protein is four to one, or four grams of carbs for every one gram of protein. That said, supplements like protein bars and gels are not ideal post-workout foods, says personal trainer Allyn Blind. For example, she points out that while the drink Muscle Milk contains plenty of protein, it also has three times more calories than those burned during a 20-minute session on the elliptical.
Whether you’re headed to the office or making dinner after your next workout, here are some of the best foods to eat and drink to meet the ideal carb-protein ratio.
1. Chocolate milk
Believe it or not, chocolate milk has proven effective in refueling one’s body after a workout, since it contains the ideal amount of carbs and protein. A 2008 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that chocolate milk was more effective in recovery than fluid replacement drinks, such as Gatorade. Nutritionist Danielle Omar is a fan because “it’s natural and it’s not a supplement. When you add the chocolate, it does have that perfect ratio.”
2. Yogurt smoothie
There’s no need for protein powder in your post-workout shake, contrary to popular belief. Calcote recommends using Greek yogurt as a substitute for the powder, since it’s natural and is actually higher in protein. And don’t forget to include some carbs, adds Omar. Throw in a banana with milk or juice. For some micronutrients, pour in a serving of coconut water.
3. Breakfast wrap with eggs
If you have more time after a morning workout, scramble some eggs and toss them into a whole wheat tortilla. Eggs are a great source of protein—one egg contain six grams, which is about 12 percent of the daily recommendation. If you’re worried about fat or cholesterol, get rid of the yolks and use just the whites.
4. Peanut butter sandwich
“It’s simple, it’ll stay fresh during a workout, and it’s cheap,” says Omar. Munch one on your way to work after hitting the gym, and you’ll get your carb and protein fix easily. Not filling enough? We recommend adding banana slices or honey.
5. Lean meats and a carb-friendly side dish
Oftentimes we’re ravenous after a long day at work and subsequent gym session. For a post-workout dinner, stick to protein and carbohydrate sources, Blind says, but “look to lean meats such as chicken or fish, and a nutrient-dense carbohydrate such as sweet potato or brown rice.”

Strawberries & Cream Face Mask


Strawberries & Cream Face Mask

Not only are strawberries delicious, they are really good for your skin!  These bright red, berries are full of juicy goodness.  Strawberries are especially rich in Vitamin C and ellagic acid.  Ellagic acid is an antioxidant that when used topically can help protect your skin from damaging UV rays from the sun.  UV rays are one of the main causes of aging!  They cause premature wrinkles which makes your skin age before it should.

The heavy cream used in the strawberries and cream face mask is used to bring all the ingredients together cohesively.  It also helps give your skin clarity and smoothness because it acts like a cleanser.  The lemon juice in this face mask works as an astringent to help reduce the size of your pores and clear them of any dirt and bacteria.

The strawberries and cream face mask that will help protect your skin from damaging UV rays while refreshing ad cleansing your skin.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of fresh strawberries
1/4 cup of heavy cream (enough to make a paste)
few drops of lemon juice

Directions:

Pulp up the strawberries (use a fork or blender). Mix in the heavy cream and add a few drops of lemon juice.  Reduce the amount of heavy cream if it is too runny to apply to your face (or add more strawberries).

Using your fingertips, apply this mask to your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.  Rinse off the mask thoroughly with water and pat your face dry.  Tone and moisturize as usual.  (Remember to always tone or your pores can get clogged causing acne).

Enjoy!



Carrot Face Mask for Oily Skin


Carrot Face Mask for Oily Skin

Not only are carrots good for your eyes, they are also great for your skin!  Carrots are high in Vitamin A and beta-carotene.  Beta-carotene is a product that comes from plants that the body eventually converts into Vitamin A.  Beta-carotenes are also high in anti-oxidants and acts as an immune booster when taken internally.  When applied topically these vitamins and minerals help to fight against sun damage which is the number one cause of wrinkles.

Ingredients:

1 medium sized carrot
1 tbsp honey

Directions:

Steam or boil the carrots so that they are easy to mash or puree.  Add the honey and mix well together.  At this point you can add a few drops of lemon juice to help the consistency.  Lemon juice is a great cleaning astringent which helps to clear and close your pores resulting in smoother looking skin.

Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry.  Add the face mask mixture to your face when cooler and leave on for 10-15 minutes.  Wipe off with a warm wash cloth or rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Enjoy!



Coconut Oil & Oatmeal Face Mask for Acne

Coconut Oil & Oatmeal Face Mask for Acne

Our skin's pores contain oil glands called sebaceous glands.  These produce an oil called sebum which lubricates and protects our skin from bacteria and also helps regulate the skin's pH level (acidity).  Sebum contains these medium-chain fatty acids in the form of triglycerides.  Coconut oil is nature's best source of these medium-chain fatty acids thus helping our skin with its own processes. 

The presence of bacteria on our skins turn the triglycerides into microbial fatty acids on thus protecting the skin from infection making it great for the prevention and curing of acne.

Combine the healing properties of coconut oil with the exfoliating properties of oatmeal and you are left with a face mask that will rid your face of dead skin cells (exfoliate) and and help cure your acne for good!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Coconut oil (extra virgin) (enough to make a paste)
1/2 cup rolled oats (instant or regular)

Directions:

Blend the rolled oats so that they turn into a fine powder.  This step is important in making sure your mixture is smooth and not chunky. 

Warm up the coconut oil so that it is a little over 76 degrees F (it's liquid point) and and it to the oatmeal powder.  Increase/decrease the amount depending on how creamy you want the mask to be. 

Smooth the mask out over your face using your fingertips and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. 
Wash off with warm water and pat dry.  Remember to use a toner before moisturizing or you will clog your pores!  If you don't have one, you can use ice or  click here to read the post on how to use lemon juice as a toner.

Use this mask once a week or more depending on how sensitive your skin is, and you should start to see results.



Delicious Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub


Delicious Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub

Get your winter dry skin to spring time perfection with this exfoliating Vanilla Brown Sugar scrub.  The sugars in this scrub as as exfoliating granules that scrub off your dry skin.

Ingredients:

2 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of white/granulated sugar
1 cup of grapeseed oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (I use McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract-16 OZ)

Directions:

Take the brown sugar, white sugar and grapeseed oil and mix well together until it is a paste.  Add the pure vanilla extract.  The grapeseed oil is great for retaining moisture in your skin.  You can use this paste all over your body.

Make sure to go easy on more sensitive areas like your abdomen, and concentrate on rougher areas like your elbows and knees.  Massage the scrub over your body using either a washcloth or your fingers in a circular motion.  Rinse off with warm water and pat dry.


You will come out of your shower smelling delicious!  This is a very moisturizing treatment due to the grapeseed oil, so moisturizing afterwards should not be necessary.

Enjoy your new skin!



Foot Softening Milk Spa Soak

Foot Softening Milk Spa Soak

Oftentimes, we forget about a couple of our most important body parts--our feet!  It's easy to overlook our poor, tired achy feet while we obsess over our faces and hair.  While, it's great to make sure our faces and hair looks great, we should also make sure our feet are getting the tender loving care they deserve.  After all, the last thing we want is cracked, dry, and hard feet when we get older!

This is a simple milk, water, and sugar foot spa recipe that you can quickly throw together in a couple of minutes with items you are almost guaranteed to have in your fridge and pantry.

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
2-3 cups milk
7-8 cups of water
2-3 tablespoons of your favorite body lotion.

Directions

Mix the milk and the water together on a stove and stir and heat so that it is hotter than room temperature and as hot as your feet can handle.  Be careful to test it so that you don't burn yourself!  Mix the sugar and the lotion together in a separate bowl.  This mixture will be used to exfoliate your feet.

Place the milk and water in a bowl on the floor in a bowl and place your feet in it.  Soak for at least 10 minutes and let your feet relax. 

Use the lotion and sugar mixture and massage your feet with it to exfoliate and get rid of your dead skin cells.  Do this for a few minutes and then rinse your feet with water.  Dry your feet and apply a moisturizer.  I use coconut oil to moisturize my feet after this mixture as it is a great moisturizer and then I follow it with grapeseed oil.  I find that grapeseed oil is better at retaining moisture in your skin than lotions in general are.

Enjoy your soft feet!


Tip of the Day: Milk Makeup Remover


Milk As a Makeup Remover

When I first heard that milk could remove makeup, I was a bit hesitant to believe it because there is a billion dollar industry out there that caters to this very kind of thing.  Could it be that the inexpensive, natural, and non-chemical makeup remover is right there in my fridge? Yes. It's true!  The milk actually removed my makeup.

Ingredients:

Milk

Directions:

Dab some milk on a cotton ball or cotton swab.  Wipe it gently across your eyes.  Once you're done, continue to wash your face as usual! :)

Enjoy!


Chocolate Face Mask


Chocolate Face Mask

The first thought that came to mind when I heard about the chocolate face mask had everything to do with images of acne popping up all over my face.  I mean, we have been thoroughly led to believe that chocolate (oh, that delicious stuff of my dreams) equates acne.  Some of us experienced chocoholics have even been through, what we believe, was a chocolate induced acne attack on our faces.

You can now get rid of those horrid images of acne and take solace in the fact that certain kinds of chocolate are actually good for you.  Chocolates high in flavonoids (not to be confused with flavonols) are good for your body because of their antioxidant properties.

The chocolate antioxidant properties applies to chocolate consumed orally and chocolate applied topically to your skin, which is what this post is about: a sun-protecting chocolate face mask for normal skin.  Cocoa powder high in flavonoids helps protect your skin against UV/sun damage much in the same way as tomatoes do.  Also, the rolled oats in this chocolate face mask recipe exfoliates your skin.

Read on for the recipe, after the jump.



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Ingredients:

*1/2 cup of cocoa powder high in antioxidant flavanoids (I use Hershey's Baking Cocoa Natural Unsweetened, 8oz Can)
3 tbsp of heavy cream
3 tsp rolled oats

*Make sure your cocoa powder has not been Dutch processed because the process gets rid of most of the antioxidants.

Directions:

Grind/blend the rolled oats so that it is a fine powder.  Mix the cocoa powder, fine rolled oats, and heavy cream together in a bowl until it is a paste that you can use on your face.  Apply the chocolate face mask to your face using your fingers and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.

Rinse off and pat dry.  Tone and moisturize as usual.

Enjoy!

Tip of the Day! Use Club Soda for Smoother Hair


Club Soda for Smoother Hair

Club soda can not only be used as a refreshing drink, but dumping some of this stuff onto your hair is beneficial too!  It rids your hair of dirt and any left over residue leaving your hair cleaner and brighter looking.  So, if you're suffering from frizzy hair, this could be the solution for your stubborn locks.

Ingredients:

3-4 cups of unflavored club soda (you can buy any of these)

Directions:

Shampoo your hair as usual.  If you usually condition your hair, skip that step this time.  Dump the club soda onto your hair and then rinse it off with cold water.  Style your hair as usual.  You will notice a big difference in the amount of frizz in your hair.

Moisturizing Honey & Egg Face Mask


Moisturizing Honey & Egg Face Mask

Do you have dry, tired looking skin?  If you're suffering from skin that doesn't retain moisture and is consistently dry then this moisturizing honey and egg face mask is the one for you! (If you're looking to nourish your skin for it to be more supple, then this mask will also work).

Honey has antioxidant properties and is really good at retaining moisture in your skin.  The antioxidants help to keep all the free radicals from affecting your skin.  Free radicals are chemicals that are in the every day air you breathe.  Unfortunately, these can include and are not limited to smog and cigarette smoke.  Free radicals can damage your skin if they get into your pores and make your face look even more tired.

The egg is important in this recipe because the egg whites help to tighten your pores thus giving you a smoother finish and the egg yolks help to nourish your dry skin and it also contains Vitamin A which is actually found in many acne products.

Read on for the recipe, after the jump.

Ingredients:

1 egg
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp cornmeal (or any thickening agent-I use powdered milk)

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together.  It may be easier to beat the white of the egg first so that it is stiff enough to apply the mixture but the powdered milk or cornmeal should help create a paste.  Apply this mask to your face using your fingertips and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.  Rinse off thoroughly and pat dry.

Enjoy!

Healing Veggie Mask for Blemished Skin


Healing Veggie Mask

These days there are plenty of skin products that are available to help your skin, but they all contain chemicals which are not natural and could potentially harm your skin in the long run.  Making your own homemade remedies also helps you save a ton of money!

It's good to get back to the basics sometimes and treat your skin to all natural products that can be found in your refrigerator.

This is a simple mask containing only three ingredients so it's quick and easy to make and apply to your face.  Cucumbers provide moisture, erase dark circles, and help heal wounds.  They contain manganese and Vitamin C which is essential for your body in the creation of collagen.  This in turn helps keep your skin feeling elastic.

Parsley is great for clarifying and balancing combination skin.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon cucumber (about 1/5 cucumber)
1 tablespoon yogurt (regular white yogurt)

Directions:

Take the parsley, cucumber, and mix it with the yogurt in a blender until smooth (not liquidy) enough to apply to your face.  It will feel cool and refreshing.  Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off.

Enjoy!

Tomato Yogurt Fresher Skin Formula


Tomato Yogurt Fresher Skin Formula

Shed your dead skin cells!  Our skin has a layer of dead cells that are bound together by a "glue."  Exfoliation is the key in maintaining a fresh and clean complexion and shedding your dead skin cells.

This face mask works for all skin types and is especially beneficial if your skin is constantly exposed to outdoor elements.  Whether you're an outdoors or indoors person, this face mask will help freshen your face up without the use of any harsh stimulants or chemicals.

This is an quick and simple formula that will help dissolve the "glue" that is binding the dead skin cells together (alphahydroxy fruit acid from the tomatoes) revealing your smoother, softer skin underneath.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 chopped tomato
1/4 cup sugar (granulated)

Directions:

Add the sugar and tomato into a bowl and use just enough tomato to make a paste out of the sugar.  Add the yogurt and continue until it's a smooth paste.  Apply directly onto skin--massage gently.  Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water. Pat dry.

Make sure you wash your face and that it is damp when you apply this mask.

Note: Leave out the sugar if it is too rough for your face, but use the whole exfoliating formula on your body.

Enjoy your smoother skin!

Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne


How to Treat Acne with Apple Cider Vinegar

Many teenagers and adults suffer from stubborn acne and apple cider vinegar has proven to me that it can actually help rid your skin of bacteria causing acne.  Over the last few decades, there have been many advancements in the skin care arena.  When you walk into a beauty store you are bombarded with all sorts of acne washes and creams (Murad, ProActiv, Clearasil, Neutrogena, etc.)

Each one of these acne cures and solutions, claims to combat your acne within a certain time frame and promise drastic results.  While these creams and washes may work great for a lot of people, there are a lot of people who cannot buy these acne products because they are either too expensive, or they they just don't produce the results you would expect in the prevention or treatment of your acne!  Most of us have suffered from acne breakouts that have taken over our lives, lowered our self-esteem, and made us hate looking in the mirror.

However, there is still hope: a home remedy for acne that uses Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  So, how to treat acne with apple cider vinegar? Of course, when people think of apple cider vinegar, most don't picture this natural toner as a cure that can help clear up your acne, and also help cure many other ailments--there are many benefits.  (Read my post on how you can use Apple Cider Vinegar to get shiny hair.) Use natural, organic (raw) Apple Cider Vinegar for your acne treatment.

Treating acne with apple cider vinegar is a great alternative to harsh chemical bought solutions because it is one of the most power natural cleansers out there.  It is a natural toner so acts as an astringent to reduce the size of your pores as well!  If you're suffering from acne breakouts this is great news because Apple Cider Vinegar can help balance your skin's pH level (acidity level).  This in turn helps make sure that the acne causing bacteria cannot thrive.  Apple Cider Vinegar will also help you clear up excess oily skin.

Treating my acne with apple cider vinegar helped me clear up a lot of stubborn acne that was not responding to any other treatments.  It was extremely frustrating until I did some research and was able to find this all natural acne home remedy and am I glad I did!  It was starting to take a toll on how I viewed myself, and I started to become overly worried about how others viewed my acne on my skin.  At one point, in my adolescent years, I was so fed up I decided to live with the scars and acne.  I can tell you, that Apple Cider Vinegar did the trick for the treatment of acne for me!

Here's how to treat acne with Apple Cider Vinegar:

Ingredients:

Natural, Raw, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar [buy ACV from Amazon here]
Cotton swabs

Directions:

Pour some Apple Cider Vinegar onto a cotton ball/swab or Q-tip and then apply all over your face, focusing specifically on your acne prone/breakout areas.  ACV can be used all over your body as well.  Hold the swab to your problem areas for a few minutes at a time.  Rinse your face thoroughly and tone and apply moisturizer as usual.  You can use this treatment 2x a week depending on how sensitive your skin is.  If you have sensitive skin, (as many adolescents do with acne do), then dilute the Apple Cider Vinegar so that it is 1:1 ratio with water (1 part water, 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar).  In essence, you are making a toner to help in the prevention of acne breakouts!

When you are making your acne toner you will notice that Apple Cider Vinegar has a very strong odor.  Yes, it can be unpleasant, but it doesn't last and after a few minutes you will get used to the smell of it and once it dries you will barely notice the smell, and it's worth not having to deal with stubborn acne breakouts!  If you notice some redness and tingling is normal and should go down in about 10 minutes after using the ACV toner.  This is a great all natural toner for acne and can be stored in the fridge or out on your counter as long as it's not too hot.
Within a few weeks, you should see significant results in the amount of acne and acne scars on your face.  I am an adult and having been using Apple Cider Vinegar for the treatment of my acne for over two years and I've had to use it less and less to the point where my skin is nearly flawless and I use it for the occasional acne breakout when I've been careless and not washed off my makeup!


Remember to be careful because apple cider vinegar is an acid and can actually burn your skin if you're not careful.



Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub


Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

During the winter I struggled with the embarrassing problem of having dry hands. The dry winter weather has wreaked havoc on my skin in general, so I decided enough was enough. Since many of us are on a budget, I decided to use whatever I have in my pantry to make a simple, easy to use lemon sugar scrub for your skin. You should already have most, if not all, of these items in your kitchen pantry already. If not, these items can be found at your local grocery store for less than $20.

Ingredients:

1 medium lemon
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (buy grapeseed oil here.)
2-3 tbsp honey (optional)
1 tbsp coffee grounds (optional)

The amount of the ingredients you use depends on how much you want to make for yourself. I suggest not making too much because the mixture should be used within a month of being made since the items are food items and thus perishable.

Directions:

Take a medium sized mixing bowl.

Add a cup of sugar followed by half a cup of grapeseed oil.  Sugar and Oil should have a 2:1 ratio.

Start to mix using a spoon until it develops a slushy texture.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of honey.



Squeeze half a medium sized lemon into the mixture.  (If you are planning on using this regularly, then consider purchasing lemon juice here.)  Zest the lemon and add to the mixture. You can use a grater to zest the lemon. If you stir it enough, you should not be able to see the zest.  It is okay if you are able to, however.

Repeat once or twice a month or as needed.

Storage:
The mixture above makes enough for a 10 oz spice jar or you can gift them to other in smaller spice jars that are 2.5 oz each.

There is no need to put this in the fridge, but remember to use the scrub within 1 month of making it. Also, you can use this scrub for your entire body in the shower.

Simple Oatmeal and Lemon Juice Mask for Acne Scars/Blemished Skin


Simple Oatmeal and Lemon Juice Mask for Acne Scars/Blemished Skin

If you are fighting with rough, troubled skin with blemishes this is the mask for you.  It is a quick and simple oatmeal and lemon juice face mask that helps reduce the appearance of culprit dark spots and slough off dry, unwanted skin.

You will achieve a fresher look with the lemon juice because the lemon juice is a natural cleanser.  Because lemon juice is also a natural anti-bacterial, this mask will help you if you are struggling with acne as well.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats (you can buy rolled oats here )
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice (or enough to make a paste)
Directions:

Process the uncooked rolled oats (in a blender) so that you can create a paste that is to apply to your face.  Once you're done, add a few drops of lemon juice at a time so that you can regulate it and use just enough to create a smooth paste.

Leave the oatmeal and lemon juice mask on your face until it is dry.  Remove with a warm washcloth or warm water.  Rinse thoroughly.

Enjoy smoother skin!



Honey & Olive Oil for Silky Hair


Honey & Olive Oil for Silky Hair

Honey has many healing properties and is actually used as a natural healing home remedy for ulcers, sores, and wounds.  It naturally retains moisture, and when used on hair, honey can help dry, brittle strands from losing more.

Olive oil is widely known to have conditioning and moisturizing properties.  It is used often in the East to help heal dry skin and maintain healthy hair.  When combined together, honey and olive oil offer protection against free radicals in the air, and offer a natural way to condition your hair for healthier, and in turn, shinier locks.

What You Need:

Olive Oil - 2-3 tablespoons depending on length of hair
Honey - 1-2 tablespoons depending on length of hair

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the olive oil and honey together using a spoon, or your hands.  Make sure your hair is free of any other product so that they mixture can adhere to hair strands properly.  Massage your the mixture into your hair and scalp using your fingertips.  If needed, you can add more olive oil and honey to cover all your hair.

TIP: Separate your hair into sections so that it's easier for you to apply.

Leave the mixture on for about 15-30 minutes.

Wash your hair as usual.  You will most likely not need to use conditioner as your hair will feel silky smooth!  This home remedy is safe to use on your hair weekly and if your hair is really dry, bi-weekly.



Home Remedies for Oily Skin Using Cucumber

Home Remedies for Oily Skin Using Cucumber

Many (more than we’d like to admit) struggle with very oily skin.  The oil seems to just manufacture itself out of nowhere, and then ends up clogging our already struggling pores.  The truth is, it is important for oil to be produced and this process is done through oil (sebaceous) glands in our skin, and this is used to keep your skin moisturized.  Some people are more “well moisturized” than others, so for those of you who are, keep on reading!

How do you know if you have oily skin?  If your face is consistently shiny, then you most likely have oily skin.  Many things can cause oily skin.  It can be hereditary, so if your parents have it, you most likely do too; and, it can be hormonal as well.  For girls, during the menstruation period, the sebaceous glands can tend to product more oil thus making your more likely to clog your pores during your menses, causing acne.  Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done to stop the over production of oil, but you can control it with simple DIY home remedies for oily skin.

Did you know? Having oily skin can be an annoyance at times, but in the long run you will reap the benefits because the oil has helped keep your skin moisturized throughout the years—and naturally, too!  The only downside is, the oil clogs skin’s pores, causing blockages which in turn causes a buildup of bacteria and what we know as a zit (or pimple).

Read more about what ingredients work really well and how to use them to work for you.

Cucumbers are known to be very rich in Vitamins E & A especially and have been used for under eye puffiness relief as they vitamins and minerals (potassium and magnesium included) help sooth your skin.  This is because both skin and cucumber share the same levels of hydrogen which leaves your skin supple and smooth.  Another very great characteristic of cucumbers is their ability to improve your complexion by helping fade dark scars.  I’ll take those “side effects” any day!

What you need:

Cucumber – 1 to 2 depending on size

What you do:

Take the cucumber, peel the skin off with a peeler carefully, and slice the cucumber thinly.  If you are happy with relaxing and laying down with slices on your face, then keep the slices thin.  If you opt for a more interactive experience, slice the cucumber thickly.  This is to ensure a good grip when you use the slice to rub it slowly rub it over your face.  Once you are done, rinse off with warm water.  Use a toner (to close your pores so they don’t clog up) and then moisturize as usual.

You can use this home remedy for oily skin up to twice a week depending on how much shine/oil control is needed.

Remember, drinking lots of water helps your body rid itself of toxins.  While you’re using home remedies, and otherwise, make sure you get plenty of water so that your skin cells can constantly be rejuvenated.  We are, after all, almost 80% water!

Green Tea and Honey Mask for Acne


Green Tea Teabags for Acne

If you have been to a skin store recently you may have noticed an increase in the amount of green tea in skin care products.  There is a reason for that: green tea contains polyphenols which help protect your skin against cancer by protecting against sun damage.  It does this by reducing inflammation and free radicals (everyday toxins, dirt, and dust in the air) from your skin.  While more studies are needed to conclusively say that green tea helps with the anti-aging process, there is clinical evidence that suggests this natural leaf helps with the elasticity of skin.  Not bad for a chemical and side effect-free remedy for skin!  By the way, drinking it daily can also yield similar health benefits for your body and skin.

So, I’ve discussed why green tea may be awesome for your skin.  What about honey?  As I’ve discussed before, there are many benefits of using honey on your skin.  It naturally has moisture retention properties, which is great for people with dry skin.  Honey also has anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties.  This helps remove the acne causing bacteria from your skin and helps prevent and heal small scars.  You’re probably wondering what type of honey to buy.  After all, there are many varieties.  The kind you should look for is called manuka honey—I’ve discussed the benefits.  If you don’t have manuka honey, any organic honey will do.

Combined with green tea, this home remedy for acne acts as a one, two punch for removing acne, brightening your skin, and helping protect against cancer.  Read on to find out how to make the green tea and honey mask for acne.

What you need:

Green tea 1-2 teabags

Honey 1-2 tablespoons

What you do:

Step 1: Steep the green tea bag in hot water for a minute to two minutes.

Step 2: After it has been satisfactorily steeped, get a bowl and cut open the tea bag to let the tea leaves fall out.

Step 3: Mix the honey in to the bowl of green tea leaves and mix together to form a paste with a fork or spoon.

Step 4: Using your clean fingertips, massage the sticky paste over your face until all areas of are covered.  Be careful to stay away from your eye area!

Step 5: Keep this on for 20-30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

Make sure you use a toner to close up your pores after you are done washing your face.  Moisturize as usual.

You can use this mask once to twice a week, depending on the state of your skin.  After this, you can look forward to smoother, tighter, and healthier skin!  Enjoy!



Basic Tips for Clear Skin


Basic Tips for Clear Skin

Along with pampering your skin with natural home remedies, there are some other things you can do to help eliminate the resurgence of acne, help heal stubborn scars, and achieve blemish free and glowing skin.  You can get healthier, younger looking skin with just a few daily routine adjustments.  Here are some tips on how to get clear skin.  Read on!
Eating a Healthy Diet Can Clear Your Skin

You are what you eat.  Yes, that phrase may sound redundant, but there’s truth in it!  Did you know, your skin is an organ?  Yes, a living, breathing organ.  And, just like with all your other organs, your skin is also affected by what you eat.  So, what should you eat to get clearer skin?  First and foremost, water.  Water is what rids your body of its toxins and we are about 60 percent the natural clear stuff, so it only makes sense that drinking more water helps your skin clear up quicker.  Focus on greens and foods that help promote elasticity like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and fatty fish.


Remove Makeup Before Going To Bed

A very basic rule: Remove your makeup before you go to bed!  You have no idea how many times I am guilty of not removing my makeup before I go to bed – only to wake up to disastrous results the next morning: a very unwelcome pimple on my cheek.  Nighttime is when your body starts to relax and rejuvenate itself.  If your skin is washed, it will allow your pores to breathe and help prevent buildup and clogging of your pores which leads to acne.

Use a Toner for Clear Skin

Use a toner after you wash your face.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  1) a toner helps balance the pH level of your skin.  Why is this important?  Our skin is supposed to be slightly acidic.  This is because of our skin’s outer layer which works with sebaceous (oil producing) glands to maintain this level of around 5-6. 2) Toner is an astringent, which closes your pores after you wash your face.  This is important to happen otherwise, your pores may stay open and get clogged by moisturizer or other free radicals in the air.
Stay Away From the Sun

Staying away from the sun is one of the easiest habits you can start adopting now to prevent early aging and fine lines and wrinkles on your skin.  I know how hard this can be (especially being from Southern California!), so if you have to absolutely spend time in the sun to get somewhere, or for an event, make sure you try to stay in the shade as much as possible, use sunscreen and cover up as best and lightly as you can.  If you are the tanning type (like I used to be) and you just need that lovely warm tan glow, there is a home remedy you can use to get some color on your body.

Exercising Helps Clear Your Skin

Exercising helps increase blood flow, which in turn can increase the glow in your face.  It also helps you lose water retention which helps lower swelling in your face and body.  Thirty minutes of cardio a day should be more than enough to start with.  Walking is the best way to get this exercise if you are worried about not having a gym membership.

These are some basic tips on how to get clear skin.  Start following them and you should see a difference in your facial skin dramatically within a few weeks.

Note: Before following any diet or regimen make sure to see a doctor first.




Avocado Hair Mask for Dry Hair


Avocado and Egg Hair Mask for Dry Damaged Hair

Avocados are vegetables that yield many beneficial results for dry hair and damaged skin and you’ll see avocados have many other health benefits as well. Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K and nutrients such as protein, iron, copper, magnesium, amino acids, and potassium.  And, to think!  Access to all these amazing minerals and nutrients for your hair likes as far as the nearest grocery store or your pantry.  Depending on the cost of avocados in your area, this should cost you much less than a prepackaged homemade hair treatment like Neutrogena’s triple moisture hair mask, for example.  This is an inexpensive and fast natural home remedy for hair that will leave your hair feeling extremely smooth.

This DIY avocado homemade hair mask is one of the best homemade masks out there for dry hair as avocados are saturated with good fat which coats your hair and helps protect it against free radicals in the air and every day styling abuse such as blow drying and straightening your hair.  The harsh winter months and hot summer months can also wreak havoc on our locks, making our hair dry, brittle and susceptible to breakage and split ends.  I have used yogurt and olive oil hair mask treatment, and while I absolutely swear by that hair treatment as wonderful for replenishing hair moisture, this homemade hair mask takes that one step further with its excellent hair moisturizing properties due to all the nutrients in avocados mentioned above.

Believe it or not, having dry, brittle hair can wreak havoc on self-esteem.  For those of us who look at our dry limp and lifeless hair in the mirror every morning, we know how it feels when we just end up tying our hair in a pony rather than deal with it.  But, there is hope for healthy hair! Homemade hair treatment masks are a great way to get started since they don’t cost much and are easy to make.  It’s a great excuse to take some time out for your selves (men and women alike!) and just relax while the avocado hair mask does its job on your scalp and hair.

So, how do you create an avocado homemade hair mask?  Easy.  Read more below.

What do you need?

1 Avocado
2 Egg whites
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Follow these directions:

To create the moisturizing avocado hair mask treatment at home takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.  You will need to use the flesh of 1 avocado, 2 egg whites, 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Using a fork, mash the flesh of the avocado. Transfer to a bowl (if you didn’t start out in one), and add the egg whites and olive oil to the avocado and continue to mix well. After a couple of minutes of mashing all the ingredients together, you can start to apply the mask to your hair.

Make sure your hair is dry when you apply this mask.

Using your fingertips, scoop out some of the mask and apply to your head, starting at the scalp and root of your hair to the tips of your hair. Separate your hair into several partings so that the Avocado Hair Mask is easy to apply.

Leave the avocado hair mask treatment on your scalp for about 15-30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and shampoo and condition as usual.  It may take a little longer to wash out, but don’t worry about that because once you are done with the hair treatment, your hair will look and feel much better!  An alternative to this avocado hair mask treatment recipe would be to remove the olive oil, and just use a whole egg and the avocado flesh in the same manner as described above. This may eliminate the need to rigorously wash your hair after the mask as the olive oil is the tricky part to get out.

Baking Soda Face Mask to Minimize Pores and Acne


Baking Soda Face Mask to Minimize Pores and Acne

The baking soda face mask for black heads removal and prevention is a great way to minimize pores and make them smaller. It’s crazy how quickly blackheads can develop if you are not paying attention to your skin! You might be wondering what exactly blackheads are. Blackheads on your face are caused by enlarged pores that have been filled with dirt which mixes with the oil and over time turns dirty and “black.”


If you are struggling with enlarged pores and pimples then the baking soda face mask will definitely help make your pores smaller! The baking soda has properties that help clear out the dirt and oil in your pores and skin exfoliation is the main one. It also corrects the pH balance of your skin, which is commonly overlooked.


The baking soda face mask is an excellent homemade remedy because it is great for minimizing your pores because it has mild antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which aid in the prevention of acne. Acne is caused by the build-up of dirt and oil which then gets infected. If you’re like me and struggle with over active pores that secrete oil, then this may help you. Baking soda helps aid in the absorption of oil which helps prevent it from clogging your pores. That would be an amazing home remedy, if you ask me!


Follow the baking soda face mask recipe below to start minimizing your pores, reducing the appearance of blackheads, and preventing acne:


What you need:


2 Tablespoons of baking soda

1-2 Tablespoons of water


Directions:


Make sure you are using baking soda and not baking powder. It is very easy to get the two mixed up! In a plate, take the baking soda and mix it with the water. Mix together the two ingredients until they form a paste. If the mixture is too watery or thin, thicken it up to a paste by adding more baking soda. If the paste is too thick, add some more water in small amounts at a time. You want this the face mask to be a creamy paste that is not too thick and not too thin.


Make sure to apply this face mask to a clean face. Using your finger tips gently apply the paste to your face in a circular motion. Massage gently and avoid your eye area. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes. You will notice that the mask will have begun to dry. Rinse off using warm water and dab your face clean. Tone and moisturize as usual. You can use this baking soda face mask twice a week. Just remember to moisturize your skin regularly.


Your pores will be minimized in no time and your blackheads will begin to fade away, leaving you with spotless, clear skin. No longer will you have to wear layers of makeup to hide your acne just so that you can go out to the store without being stared at (or at least feeling like the whole world is just staring at your acne.) Here’s to smoother, brighter skin!


Please note: Keep in mind, that not all skin types react the same way so try this mask on a small section of skin to make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. And, as always, if you have worsening condition, please see your doctor.

Evening Primrose Oil for Acne


Evening Primrose Oil for Acne

Evening primrose oil for acne is one of the lesser known solutions to help to heal your stubborn acne. One of the main causes for flare ups of stubborn acne is hormonal acne. If you have acne on your chin, this might be the due to hormonal changes. What causes hormonal changes? Well, if you are a teenager, you may notice this type of acne more, due to puberty (ladies, if you are going through your menstruation cycle!). It can take months, and even sometimes years to figure out that hormonal fluctuations are causing your stubborn acne. The solution: evening primrose oil (EPO). EPO will help treat acne cause by hormonal changes in your body by balancing out your hormones. There are many other benefits to taking evening primrose oil: it helps your nails and hair grow stronger, while helping make your skin overall more moisturized and supple.
So, what exactly is evening primrose oil, and what makes it so beneficial for you?


Evening primrose oil is actually a synonym for Oenothera Binnis, which is a herbaceous flowering plant. Evening primrose oil has many benefits as it contains the pain reliving compound phenylalanine. EPO contains a high amount of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), which is a fatty acid largely responsible for the healing properties in this organic oil, making it great for natural skin care. It contains a certain acid essential to cell structure: linoleic acid (see also: Grapeseed Oil for Skin). As mentioned previously, EPO also has hormonal balancing properties which helps with imbalance caused due to menstruation, puberty, menopause, PMS, and can help in the creation of healthy breast tissue.

EPO also helps cure acne by thinning out the sebum (oil that is secreted by your pores) that blocks your pores and causes acne. When this oil gets too thick, the pores on your face have a harder time clearing out the sebaceous oils. Stressed out? Acne is also caused by stress, and taking EPO can help nerve function and regulate your mood too!
What kind of primrose oil should you buy?

You should go for hexane free EPO. You can tell if the EPO is hexane free by checking the label. You can take it orally or apply it directly onto your skin. You will most likely notice the most benefits by doing both or at least by taking the EPO orally. Don’t ever exceed the amount you take when decide to go this route. You can purchase evening primrose oil here.
Some people have reported getting healthier over all skin, nails and hair due to taking evening primrose oil. See for yourself and let me know your results in the comments below.



Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne and Clear Skin

Home Remedies: Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne

Apple cider vinegar has long been used in homes as a food preservative, an ingredient in dishes, marinades, and salad dressings, as well as a cleaning agent. But did you know that you had a home remedy for acne in your kitchen pantry?
The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from apple cider and has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.  Malic and lactic acids are found in the vinegar are known to soften and exfoliate skin. Therefore, it makes sense that apple cider vinegar might be a great thing to try if you are battling acne.

Unlike other natural products, apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties which can wipe out acne causing bacteria and heal the skin. It can also return your skin to its proper pH balance. Your skin’s pH balance is key for keeping acne at bay. Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 3. When used in a diluted solution, the apple cider vinegar’s acidity will balance your skin. With your skin balanced, it will be easier to ward off bacteria. The acidic properties of the apple cider vinegar will also help you shed any dead skin cells and excess oil that might block pores, ensuring that they remain unblocked and your skin stays healthy.

Before using apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for acne it is important to remember that, though it is good for your skin, it still has acidic properties and must be used in a diluted solution, not applied directly to the face. Not diluting the vinegar with water can result in skin burns. Before using this treatment, you must also ensure you are not allergic to the apple cider vinegar. To test, place a small amount of apple cider vinegar on your neck and leave it for a minimum of 15 minutes. If you have no reaction to it, you should be safe to use it.
Making an Apple Cider Vinegar for acne face wash

It is important to dilute the apple cider vinegar with water before putting it on your face. Here is a simple recipe for a basic apple cider vinegar face wash:
½ cup apple cider vinegar (preferably organic)
½ cup of water
A sterile glass bottle to hold the solution
To make, simply mix the water and apple cider vinegar in the sterile bottle. Mix it well before use and apply with a cotton ball. Let the wash sit on your face for no more than five minutes. Rinse well and wash with a gentle soap. Use daily.

Using Honey to Treat Acne


Why Does Honey Help With Acne?


Honey has well-known antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used as a treatment for wounds and other skin problems throughout history.  In fact, the Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal reported that honey has even been shown to kill certain drug-resistant strains of bacteria. Some countries, like Australia, have officially approved honey for medical use.
Honey is effective at healing acne because it attacks two of the main issues associated with this condition: bacteria and swelling. The antibacterial qualities of the honey kill the bacteria that start breakouts. The anti-inflammatory properties of the honey then reduce redness and swelling, making your skin look and feel better.

To use honey for acne treatment, it is important to use the right kind of honey. You want to ensure you buy organic honey that has not been processed. Processed honeys have lost much of their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and will not help. Manuka honey, for example, is a popular option used by many natural remedy seekers. Many claim that this type of honey has significant antibacterial and wound-healing properties, and it is promoted for use as an acne treatment. Check your local farmer’s market or health food store for organic and preferably local honey options.


How to Use Honey to Treat Acne


Using honey to treat acne is simple. All you need to do is gently rub the honey onto troublesome areas. The heat of your hands will help soften the honey while you gently rub it into your skin. Do not heat the honey before using, as heating can affect the natural healing properties. Leave the honey on your skin for about 15 minutes, then gently rinse off. Apply daily to troublesome areas. Many users start to see results in about a week.

Before using honey, it is important to know that some people can be allergic to certain components found in honey. Therefore, test the honey on a small portion of skin around the neck area to ensure you are not allergic. If you experience any type of allergic reaction, stop using the honey.

Honey is just one of the many natural home remedies for acne and clear skin. However, it is one of the most popular and well-studied remedies that has thousands of years of backing. If you are looking for a good natural product to add to your skincare routine, consider the wonderful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of natural honey for acne treatment.