If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Last night I was lying in bed listening out for my daughter – the lurgy hangs over us once again. I stared into the semi darkness as the pale moonlight was seeping through the blinds. A question popped into my head “When the sun goes to bed and the moon lights up the night sky do the colours actually disappear and fade to shades of black and white?” What has this to do with ‘natural beauty’ – absolutely nothing. I just wanted to put that question out there.

Okay, here is the beauty stuff. A while back a friend asked me if I could help her with her ‘acne rosacea’ which for years had been making her very unhappy. This affects your face and makes your skin very red and bumpy and pretty miserable.

acne rosacea natural cure

I promised I would try my hardest to help. At the time I had had an allergic reaction to something that had touched my skin and I had an uncomfortable rash on my face. So I trawled the web and came across ideas that developed into this great face mask. I tried it on myself first and hey presto my skin breathed a sigh of relief and went back to being smooth and happy. I passed on the mask to my friend – she said for the first time in years her rosacea went away and you now can see her beautiful, youthful skin shining through. I can’t promise you that this will work for all of you – but if your skin is misbehaving, unhappy or even a few spots are appearing give it a go and see if you have the same exciting results as we had.

After much research I found that the best ingredient you can use for this is turmeric – the yellow stuff you use for cooking curries etc.

Turmeric-Root-and-Powder-1024x666

Below is the recipe:

1 tablespoon raw organic honey (I use manuka honey, anything over 16+ but it is expensive)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vitamin e oil (If you don’t have any vitamin e oil start off using organic olive oil.)

Mix all this together in a glass bowel.

When using this for the first time try a small area of your face which is effected, a very small area about 1cm squared. Leave it on for an hour but take it off straight away if there is any stinging or pain. You can cover the rest of the mask with cling film and leave it in a dish until later. If you get on fine with the patch test then carry on as below.

Tie your hair back and do not wear anything white or anything you mind staining as turmeric stains terribly and will not come out.

Use old foundation or any soft makeup brush to smooth it onto your face as again this will stain your hands.

acne rosasea face mask

I recommend only doing this at night because it is likely that you will have a hint of yellow on your face but it will fade by the morning. Also you mustn’t get the mask on your eyebrows or your hair.

Leave it on for half an hour up to one hour if you can. Then wash off with water. I would use paper towels to pat your face dry or a dark towel, as again it will stain them. Spray your face with a small bit of your vinegar spray then slather on your rosehip oil and go to sleep on an old pillowcase.

Do this every evening if you can for a week or until it starts to help.

Lastly don’t mix this with chemical products found in your local drugstore as they will counteract the mask and stop it working.

I can’t promise miracles and this might not work for all of you, but it did for my friend and certainly made my rash disappear after a few goes. Hopefully it will make your skin smile again.

happy face

There is a limit on what I will pay for pretty things!

A quick money saving idea in the heat…… I don’t know about you but I get a sweaty face in this weather – actually that sounds very unladylike – let’s say my face glows more than usual – much better.

facial blotting paper

Um, what could I use – ahh, blotting paper!  Oh, excuse me, how expensive did you say it is? Now there must be a way to blot your face without feeling as though you are blotting it with a wad of money – okay, not using actual money but it WOULD feel as though you are throwing notes of cash in the bin every time you bring the glow down to a respectable level. Most of these papers are made out of rice paper, but sourcing pure rice paper is difficult. My head suddenly felt hot and a light shone out to the ceiling – the light bulb had come on. What about cigarette papers? Rizla make their papers out of 100% rice paper (most of them anyway). You can buy king size ones that are lovely and thin and come in a pretty silver pack and they only cost me 83p – way to go for helping save a few pennies – actually pounds as packs of facial blotting papers will set you back a few pence shy of £10.

Rizla Silver King Size

Facial blotting papers (or my Rizla) will not ruin or take off your makeup.

I will admit that a packet of Rizla might not be as stylish as a lovely packet of Japanese blotting papers, but these pretty little things are $12 for 30 whereas you can buy a packet of cigarette papers for $1.38 for 32. There is a limit on what I will pay for pretty things!

facial blotting papers

Enjoy the sunshine and spend the extra money on an ice cream or something equally yummy.

facial blotting paper

A quick word in your ear please.

No reviews today, just some follow up comments on previous posts.

Firstly after four months of owning my silk bedlinen I am disappointed with the wear of the duvet cover in particular. It looks at least 2 years old and has bad pilling on the surface. This has happened to the sheet too but only very slightly. I spoke to Jasmine Silk and they were not very helpful. I wanted to say that maybe this was not the best quality bedlinen after all. I would suggest looking somewhere else if you wish to – maybe a large well known store such as John Lewis as they would have better customer service. I have not checked if they sell silk bedlinen, but I know they have great customer care.

I am still very much in favour of silk and will continue to use my lovely bedlinen, but in the future I will look else where when I need to replace them.

Secondly I thought it was important to mention that I always use my apple cider vinegar spray on towel dried hair, no matter what shampoo or “no poo” product I use. If I had to say hand on heart what was the most successful method of washing my hair it would be my “no poo” method using bicarbonate of soda and the apple cider vinegar spray – this makes my hair look and feel the best over any bought product.

Until next time.

marilyn monroe

A natural recipe for a bug repellent spray from la niña.

I have veered off topic again to reblog this post from the wonderful . I thought my readers would be interested to know this natural recipe as bug sprays are absorbed into your skin like any skin beauty product would.

 

Bug Bites!

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Mosquito

While tending my garden the other day, I was viciously attacked by these little monsters. Mosquitoes can be such a nuisance during the summer. They make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities.

Commercial bug repellants use Deet as their active which will kill these pests by paralyzing their nervous system. However, did you know that these repellants can also dissolve plastic and paint? So why on earth would we spray this on our skin? Deet has been know to cause skin irritations, mood swings, and impair cognitive functions. And the smell…. ugh!

Luckily, there are some natural solutions… here is one of them. There are certain scents that bugs don’t like, but are pleasing to us – lavender, vanilla, rosemary, clove, and lemongrass are among them. Use this recipe to keep the bugs away naturally.

20 drops of essential oil (whichever scent you like best)
4 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients in a 16 oz. spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake to combine. Spray freely on your arms, legs, and any other exposed skin. You can even spray this mixture on your clothing for extra protection.

Hope this helps to keep those bug bites away. Enjoy!

Back to the baking aisle one more time please.

This post might be one of my weirdest natural solutions so far. Bear with me –  you won’t be disappointed.

Dry shampoo – a chemical mix in an aerosol can – or does it have to be? We all have days when our hair looks a touch limp and greasy. We all have days when either we cannot be bothered to jump in the shower and wash it or really do not have the time. Well, dear readers, thanks to the great blog Wellness Mama I have a fun solution for you.

Ditch the dry shampoo in a can and look on your nearest baking aisle for two ingredients (just one if you are super blonde or white haired).

ground arrowroot powder

Ground arrowroot powder

Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder (not chocolate powder, it must be plain cocoa).

You don’t have to go for expensive organic cocoa powder – this was all I had in my cupboard from baking yummy chocolate muffins (mmm. I digress).

Pour some arrowroot powder into a little dish or bowl (I pinched my daughter’s lovely, melamine, flower bowl).

ground arrowroot powder

Then scoop a little bit of cocoa powder into the bowl and mix together. Go as dark as you need depending on your hair colour. If you are light blonde or white don’t add any cocoa powder. I am dark blonde so I didn’t need much. You will need to experiment until you get the right mix for your haircolour. The arrowroot is the ingredient that absorbs the grease and dirt so you need a higher ratio of arrowroot to cocoa for it to work – bear this in mind when you mix your colour.

diy dry shampoo

Using a brush – I used an old foundation brush –

foundation brush

brush the powder onto the parts of your hair that need it. Do not make the mistake I first made of tipping it on to your scalp as it turns your scalp a funny red colour (white if you are using no cocoa powder). You need to take your time and just brush onto the hair. I thought there was no way this was going to work. How wrong I was. It is amazing. Immediately my hair looked clean and boy did it have volume!

Yes, you do smell like chocolate but who doesn’t like the smell of chocolate? If you really don’t (how strange you are!) then you can add a drop of your favourite essential oil to the mixture but be light handed as you don’t want to make your hair greasier.

It does take a while to get used to the application but once you do you won’t need to wash your hair as often and will smell delicious!

Some of the readers commenting on the Wellness Mama website suggest using cinnamon instead of cocoa – this might be good for redder hair. I haven’t tried it as I love the smell of cocoa and it works brilliantly for me.

Arrowroot not only makes a fabulous dry shampoo it also works miracles as a finishing powder or a mineral veil. Just brush it on before or after your foundation and away you go.

The only reason for being a bee that I know of is to make honey…. And the only reason for making honey, is so as I can eat it. – Winnie the Pooh

Winnie might believe that honey is just for eating (I am sure many of you would agree) but the wonders of honey don’t stop there – honey is one of the best natural skincare products available.

People who have known me for years would never put the words ‘Mollie’ ‘love’ and ‘honey’ in the same sentence. When I was a little girl I hated the smell and taste of honey. I never thought it would be something that I would come to adore. I still hate the taste and the smell can be a little much sometimes but as a skincare product I love love love it.

You can use honey in skincare, haircare, for first aid, burns, blemishes – the list goes on and on.

If you have read any of my other posts you will know that I use it every night to wash my and my 5 year old daughter’s faces.

I wanted to let you know of another way to treat your skin using this lovely product – as a face mask. This will smooth your skin and treat any blemishes that are threatening to invade your prefect complexion:

Wash you face with Oliva. Use the bicarbonate of soda face scrub if you want to. Then dry off your face. Plaster on your chosen honey and lie back for at least 10 minutes, more if you can be bothered. I like to do this in the bath. If your skin isn’t dry when you apply the honey it will slide off your face. Wash off and reveal smoother, happy skin.

I have been experimenting with a new honey I picked up from Waitrose – Littleover Apiary wildflower honey with royal jelly. This lovely organic, wildflower honey has royal jelly added. I found this information about royal jelly on the dr organic website:

“The unique combination of nutrients, amino acids and plant hormones makes Organic Royal Jelly a superb ingredient to help maintain a youthful appearance. Throughout history this wonderful ingredient has been heralded as natures fountain of youth. It is ideal for rejuvenating and nourishing the skin, while its anti-aging properties help maintain the skins elasticity, texture and tone.”

Who knows if it is really adding anything special, but my skin is feeling extra smooth at the moment so this could be down to this royal additive. It is only £4.75 so I am happy to use it!

Littleover Apiary wildflower honey with royal jelly

A great tip if you feel a spot (zit) nudging away at your skin trying to get noticed, dab a bit of honey on it and leave it over night, the next day it should be gone or at least smaller. You can use manuka honey for this as it is super strong and has a higher concentration of anti-bacterial qualities to zap that spot. Don’t use manuka as a wash or face mask though, unless you have super strong skin, it can be too harsh and might reduce your skin to tears and tantrums.

On a side note, away from the golden elixir, this year I am trying lots of new things and will be working hard so my posts might be more infrequent – just a couple maybe even only one a month. I’ll still be here, trying new things and letting you know about them, just not as often as I have been. So don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a while I promise I am still around.

“I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts.”

At this time of year time runs away from me. I have not a moment to do all the things I want and my blog posts have taken a back seat to all the festivities. I do not want you to think I have forsaken my duties so here is a short but sweet post to keep you all going.

If you are going “no poo” with your hair but finding it needs a little pick me up – especially on the ends – coconut oil is the answer to your prayers.

It must be pure coconut oil. I buy mine from Holland and Barrett but many online stores sell it too. If you can find it buy organic but I found that harder to procure and this does the job just as well.

pure coconut oilpure coconut oil

This wonderful product will bring life, moisture and bounce back into your locks. You can treat your hair once a month, once a week – really however often you want to or have the time to spare.

Start with dry hair. Take a huge dollop of coconut into your palms and rub them together so it becomes a liquid. Saturate your hair from roots to ends with the oil. This can get a little messy so I recommend doing this in the shower or at least in a bathroom. If you want a quick fix wrap your hair in cling film (I think the Americans among us call it saran wrap). Then wrap it all in a warm towel. Sit down and relax. You can leave this on anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or more. If you really want to go to town leave the coconut oil in all night – sans the wrap and towel of course.

Then wash it out as if you were washing your hair as normal. You might need a few goes to get it fully out but I find no more than two is needed.

Voila! Beautiful, shiny, soft, bouncy hair.

Give your skin a present this Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but I find with all this cold weather and central heating my skin becomes incredibly dry. Well never fear – I have a wonderful solution to bring back baby soft skin.

To achieve this I am going to use two, maybe three of my favorite products. The first is Weleda Skin Food. I buy mine from naturisimo but you can buy it in many places online or in the shops. This is such an amazing product which you can use all over your body. It is especially fabulous for feet, hands and elbows. The smell is heaven too – evoking strolls through sun drenched orange groves.

weleda skin food

Secondly Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda). I am especially enamored with Waitrose’s own brand at the moment. I believe it creates a smoother paste than the previous brands I have tried. Also the packaging is pretty. Arm and Hammer do a great one too.

waitrose bicarbonate of soda

And maybe some honey depending on how deep a scrub you want – organic please.

organic sainsbury runny honey

I usually save this treat for night time.

Start with clean skin – remove any makeup or dirt you have accumulated throughout the day. I use Oliva soap for this.

With your skin still damp tip about a tablespoon of Bicarbonate of Soda into your palm. Add water to make a smooth paste – not too runny – not too dry.

Gently please – your skin loves you so treat her well – massage the paste into your face – paying particular attention to the dry, flaky areas.

For an extra strong scrub use about a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda and substitute the water for a squeeze of honey. Be extra gentle with this as it makes a harsher, deeper face scrub.

Do not use either to scrub your skin around your delicate eye area – she will be very miserable.

Wash the scrub off with water.

You can follow with a wash of honey if you fancy it but you don’t have to.

You can also go with a wipe of witch hazel on a cotton pad – a similar ritual to my night time skin routine post.

Now I slather on – I really go to town here – Weleda Skin Food. It turns your face white and you look very silly – but it eventually sinks in.

If you are allergic to Lanolin this treat is not for you. You could try a generous amount of Rosehip oil or Weleda Almond Lotion instead. Lanolin is the main ingredient that lends its soft hands to repair your dry skin. There is some confusion surrounding Lanolin as to whether it can clog your pores. A very informative website I have referred to many times clears this up for us – zerozits – the name speaks for itself.

“Lanolin Oil confuses many individuals. Natural Lanolin Oil comes from the wool of a sheep and does not cause acne. Synthetic Lanolins (man-made) do cause acne and leave you feeling very oily!”

I have used this many times over the past two years and it has never once (touch wood) caused me problems.

Off to bed with you – sweet dreams – wake to beautiful baby soft skin.

Disclaimer: If something works for me I am not saying that it will definitely work for you. ­I do hope it does but I cannot promise or give any guarantees. Your use of these products or suggestions is entirely at your own risk. Please use any product or idea with caution and of course do not use anything with an ingredient that you know, or think, you might be allergic to. Thank you and happy reading.

No more itchy, flakey scalp – let’s cook up a storm.

Don’t worry I haven’t decided to give you my secret recipe for fruit cake – I am still talking about natural beauty. This is going to be a long one though so do hold in there – I promise it will be worth it.

It was my hair that started off my obsession for natural products so I thought it was only fitting to write a post about my method of shampooing – or as it is known the ‘no poo’ method. If I was being totally true to this method it would mean that I would be advising you to never wash your hair again. Apparently the natural oils in your skin and scalp will cleanse your hair. It will become beautiful and natural just as it would have been if we were cavewomen (or cavemen for you males reading this). Firstly I see a major flaw with this. We live in a society with pollution – not running around in the forest with no exhausts being pumped in to the atmosphere. We need to have someway of washing this out of our hair and scalp. Secondly who wants to look like a cavewoman! What I mean by ‘no poo’ is – there is rubbish in your hair washing product.

One of the major ingredients in all shampoos (even baby shampoos) is Sodium Laureth Sulfate or its cousin Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). These ingredients produce that lovely foam that we associate with cleanliness and especially with shampoo. These ingredients are used in many other skincare products – something I will mention another time. To explain why this is a horrible ingredient and why we don’t want it anywhere near us or our children let me quote from the natural health information centre website:

Unfortunately, both sodium laureth sulfate and its cousin are also very dangerous, highly irritating chemicals. Far from giving “healthy shining hair” and “beautiful skin”, soaps and shampoos containing sodium laureth sulfate can lead to direct damage to the hair follicle, skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and even liver toxicity.

When you are washing your hair not only is this poison getting into your hair and scalp it is also running down your face and body when you wash it out.  So coating and drying out your skin – eczema anyone!

Shampoos not only have this ingredient but many other irritating and poisonous chemicals – the list of which is too long and boring to go into now. Alcohol is also another ingredient found in nearly all hair products – this is extremely drying on the hair and skin.

I do realise that some new products are now available in our chemist (drug stores) and supermarkets (grocery stores) that claim to be low in SLS or free from parabens (another nasty) but if you look at the ingredients you will be forgiven for thinking you are reading a chemistry table. To be totally sure you are not harming yourself or your hair I would recommend my method below.

I say in the title ‘let’s cook up a storm’ because most of the ingredients you need can be found in your very own cupboards.

Firstly let start with one of my favorite products – this can be used for more than just your hair – more another time though. Bicarbonate of Soda or Baking Soda for the Americans. This is not to be confused with Baking Powder.

This is the brand I use only because it is what they sell in my local store but you can use any brand.

bicarbonate of soda

You will also need organic (yes, it must be organic) apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and a little spray bottle.

organic cider vinegar vinegar and witch hazel spray

Again you don’t have to use the same brands as I do. I would recommend Sainsbury’s witch hazel – it is the only place I can find that sells witch hazel sans alcohol. You must buy the witch hazel without alcohol as this alcohol will only irritate your scalp and skin and make your hair dry. I am sorry to say when I was in America I found it nearly impossible to find any without alcohol – so good luck, I am sure there is some out there.

If this is the first time you are doing this I would recommend washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any build up of plastics and nasties from your other products. You can buy natural clarifying ones. Right – now onto the good bit or should I say weird bit as we are all so used to using foaming shampoos:

  • Wet your hair as normal.
  • Tip a good sized lump of bicarbonate of soda into your palm and add a small bit of water to make a paste.
  • Use it as you would a shampoo – really getting it in to the scalp. It might feel drying and horrid but trust me it won’t when you have washed it out.
  • Squeeze any excess water from your hair.
  • After you are out of the shower or wherever you are washing your hair then you need to add the spray. The reason for this is your skin is a certain pH and you want it to be the correct one. Bicarbonate of soda is alkaline and apple cider vinegar is acidic so the two complement each other. You make up your spray by using the ratio 1 of vinegar to 5 of witch hazel. You don’t actually have to use witch hazel; you could use water – I just like that witch hazel is moisturizing and I use this on my face too (again more another time). Mix together in your spray bottle and liberally spray your hair.
  • Then comb through and dry as you want.

I will warn you here that your hair which is used to being coated in plastic and stripped of all goodness will probably freak out. It takes at least a week for you to see the benefits (hopefully sooner for some). My hair looked a little strange at first – then it was fuller and bouncer than it had ever been. It was no longer weighed down by the strands being coated in plastic – no longer stripped of any natural and healthy oils. But best of all for me – no more itchy scalp!

Okay, I wish I could say that I was a total zealot about this and never used another product again – but I love the feel and smell of shampoo and conditioner and I am not quite ready to give them up. I will never use “high street” or big brand products. I am not fooled anymore by brands pretending to be natural. (Yes, Aveda I am talking about you among many others). I have in my arsenal some gorgeous smelling, wonderful, natural shampoos and conditioners that I use – I promise to let you in on the secret of those soon. I do though have to frequently come back to the baking soda method. This is because no matter how natural and how small the ingredient list I will still get the itchiness back and this is the only thing that cures it without fail every time.

Wow that was long – I hope some of you managed to get through all that. Happy natural hair washing – until next time.

Disclaimer: If something works for me I am not saying that it will definitely work for you. ­I do hope it does but I cannot promise or give any guarantees. Your use of these products or suggestions is entirely at your own risk. Please use any product or idea with caution and of course do not use anything with an ingredient that you know, or think, you might be allergic to. Thank you and happy reading.