Hair Garden in Ghana

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Greetings from Ghana my lovely blossoms! I miss you all and can’t wait to get back and share some of my experiences with you all! I will try to update when I can. Follow me on Instagram (Hair Garden/aphropuphs) or twitter (@Aphropuphs) where I will be uploading pics and videos when I can!

Natural Perfumes by InScents121!

Hi there, beautiful people! As you know, I am always looking for a natural alternative to the commercial products out there and I want to share my latest find with you all!

I love to smell good and especially like scented oils. I met an awesome natural perfume maker on Etsy and just had to share her product with you all!

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Her Etsy shop is called InScents121 and she has a wide variety of wonderful perfume oils and even makes custom orders! First and foremost, I like the fact that she uses quality natural oils and not some cheap filler stuff. Her carrier base is coconut oil and we all know how much I love coconut oil! That and her premium fragrance are the only ingredients and simple is always better for me!

I ordered the Brown Sugar & Fig scent and it was exactly what I wanted. I love sweet musky smells and it got the best of both worlds with this! It reminds me of a slightly softer smelling version of Prada Candy!

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I love this oil so much and even have some on now! I put it on every evening when I get out of the shower! Pictured above is my own personal bottle! It was packaged nicely when I received it and even got a coupon code for my next order! She is always running specials and promotions so check her out!

Etsy shop: www.InScents121.etsy.com

Thanks for stopping by!

“Why Are You Rubbing Fruit On Your Face?”

Greetings, lovelies!! About a month my husband walked into the bathroom and watched me slathering my face down with a piece of lemon for a moment and with a perplexed look on his face asked, “Why are you rubbing fruit all over your face?” Ha ha!!

Well this is how it happened: My mom and I went to visit my Aunt a little while back and we couldn’t help but notice how great her complexion looked. My mom asked her if it was a new foundation and she let us in on her secret: Lemons!!!

She told us that she read that lemon juice was great for evening the complexion. I wasn’t to concerned about my complexion but rather what it could do about the oiliness in my skin and blackheads. I have always had oily skin. It is hereditary! I got home and cut up a lemon into about a dozen little slices. I rub a wedge on my face after cleansing with my sulfur based face soap (more details on that in another post) but before exfoliating.

Here is my process:

I hand-wash my face gently to clear any make-up, oils or anything on my skin so the lemon juice can properly penetrate. After blotting my face lightly with a towel, I follow by rubbing the lemon wedge all over my face starting with my t-zone (nose, around the nose, forehead) and eventually cover my entire face. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and then I rinse off with water and exfoliate my skin with my facial puff and my sulfur soap again. I wouldn’t recommend exceeding 15 minutes with the lemon juice on your face due to its high acidity (low pH). You don’t want to break down skin or completely dry out your natural oils. If your skin is sensitive, I would recommend diluting the lemon juice with aloe vera juice!

The first time I tried this, I exfoliated after the lemon juice with sugar. It was okay but I preferred my facial puff or a face towel.

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The first day I did this I could tell a big difference in my pores! They were barely visible and my skin didn’t feel as oily as usual the rest of the night. I kept this up every other night for about 2 weeks and love the results! My skin felt tighter, not as oily, and saw a reduction in blackheads and breakouts! I gave myself a break after 2 weeks because I did not want to overdo it. This is a great remedy for me to use when I am having a skin crisis!

I always did this at night before bed because I knew the sun coming in contact with the acid from the lemon juice on my skin could cause burning!

I do recommend this for people with:

  • oily and/or acne prone skin

I DO NOT recommend this for people:

  • with dry skin
  • with sensitive skin
  • with thin skin
  • who spend a lot of time in the sun

Have you tried lemon on your skin before? Do you think you will try it now? Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

8 Reasons You Should Be Using Lavender Oil!!!

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After I did my  8 Reasons You Should Be Using Peppermint Oil post, I intended on continuing going through my favorite essential oils. This now brings us to lavender!!

There are certain essential oils that I always keep on and lavender is one of them! It is great for so many different things and I think it is something you may want to try as well! First let’s learn a little more about what it is!

Lavender stems from the Latin word “lavare” which means “to wash” due to its clean aroma. Its early uses included being added to laundry and bath water.

Lavender oil has a soothing and balancing effect and is one of the most popular essential oils used.

Lavender is a natural antiseptic, antimicrobial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, decongestant and sedative! In other words it naturally kills bacteria and fungus, reduces swelling, helps relieve excess water, reduces mucus production and is a mood enhancer. Its calming properties is why it has been used for a long time to help people relax, sooth small children to sleep and even used to treat migraines.

One of my favorite things about lavender oils is its efficacy when used to treat certain types of alopecia. It is best for alopecia areata which is a form of hair loss in which hair is lost in small patches on the body. It promotes cell regeneration and growth and healing which makes it a great option.

This oil is great for both oily and dry scalp meaning its sebum regulating properties benefit overactive or underactive sebaceous glands. It also relieves itchiness from dandruff, dry scalp and many other scalp irritations.

I’ve given you a few facts about the oil. Here are a few ways that I personally use it!

  1. Joint pain relief – Some days after braiding hair or just because of the weather, I have pain in my 2nd knuckle joint on my right hand. I blend lavender with either eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil in a light carrier like almond or grape seed oil and massage it on my hand. The pain and inflammation disappears in moments.
  2. Muscle pain relief – I may over-exert myself while working out or lifting and moving something and may have some muscle pain. I remedy this with a light carrier oil and some drops of lavender oil and rosemary oil. Rosemary aids in improving circulation bringing blood flow to the area as the lavender reduces pain and swelling.
  3. Stomach cramping – Whether I am having stomach pain due to menses or digestion issues a light carrier with lavender and peppermint oil always does the trick for me! Stomach muscles are soothed and any gas or pain present is relived!
  4. Headaches – I apply a few drops of lavender with a carrier to my temple areas when I am having a headache. This is when its sedative properties get to kick in. It provides pain relief and relaxes me as well!
  5. Sore scalp -My scalp can get a little sore from a lot of manipulation of my hair especially around the edges. When my scalp is tender from getting a new style or from taking one down, I apply lavender oil often mixed with coconut oil. I apply it before getting my hair styled in anticipation of a high manipulation and to soothe and discomfort afterwards. Peppermint oil or eucalyptus is a good addition for their pain relieving and soothing effects.
  6. Scalp care – This oil has amazing antimicrobial properties that fight bacterial and fungal infections. These are often things that can affect the scalp and can hair loss. I always add it to my shampoo and any products I plan on placing directly on my scalp
  7. Sleep aid – On nights when I am feeling restless, I may place a few drops of lavender in my burner. The lavender is relaxing and calming. If you shower/bathe before bed this is excellent to add to your soaps and bath gels!
  8. Cuts, scrapes and bruises – I admit that I can get a little clumsy and I end up with all types abrasions and scrapes! Lavender and coconut oil is my #1 go to! Apply it to your minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, insect bites and irritations for natural relief.

Now you see why I always keep lavender oil around! There are so many more ways that this oil can benefit you.

How do you use it? Do you think you will add lavender oil to your essential oil collection if you haven’t already?

Thanks for stopping by!

Healing Clay for Beautiful Skin!

Growing up, I would see the women on television with their fancy facial masks on. I had no idea why they wore them, all I know is they were usually associated with some sort of comic relief. You know the cliché: wife wearing one ruining a “romantic night”, nosey old landlady with her rollers and mask, teen girl scaring the family or being teased by her brother when she come out in her mask.

By my pre-teen years, I started experience little break outs, especially on my chin. I was begging my mom to buy me the Clearasil in the jar or the Queen Helene stuff so I could wear a mask and make all my skin troubles disappear! Oh the stress of pre-teen life! Ha ha!

Masks were fun and I used to do them a lot in my high school years, then when I got to college I stopped. Just couldn’t be bothered anymore, I guess. I used to hate the fact that my skin was oily growing up. I always felt so shiny in every picture! However, now I understand my skin much better now. My teenage curse is sort of an adult blessing because that sebum keeps the skin youthful! I have oily combination skin. I have oily and normal spots but mostly oily ones. I don’t have acne but am constantly plagued with blackheads. I’ve tried many remedies but my favorite so far is the Indian Healing Clay mask.

Can be found at your local beauty supply or natural grocery store!

Can be found at your local beauty supply or natural grocery store!

What’s so great about this clay mask? It is a beauty mask that has been used for centuries. The minerals in it contain a negative charge that pull the positively charged impurities from the pores up to the surface. It also exfoliates and minimizes large pores which also helps regulate sebum production and improves the complexion. You can feel it tightening on your face as it dries. It really tickles at the bridge of my nose and sometimes I can’t bear to keep it on any longer!

First, when mixing your mask, DO NOT use any METAL implements!! They are very clear with this in the directions and many people warned me not to do so and now I am warning you!! Don’t do it!! I mix in a reusable 4 oz plastic bowl with a plastic or wooden spatula designated for my mask mixing.

Plastic mixing cup/bowl and wooden spatula

Plastic mixing cup/bowl and wooden spatula

The clay can be mixed with different things depending on your skin type. Things like distilled water, aloe, essential oils and teas can be added and I have recently heard of including honey with a mask which sounds great! Of course, I recommend raw honey. I like to add apple cider vinegar to my personal mask mix. If I have a breakout I may add a drop or two of tea tree oil. I have also be wanting to try mixing activated charcoal in my masks as well! I will most likely order it online since my search in drug stores has been unsuccessful so far.

Doing some Dead Presidents cos-play

Doing some Dead Presidents cos-play

I mix my clay with apple cider vinegar. If I am having breakouts then I add a single drop of tea tree oil. I have to make sure not to use more than that because it will burn my skin and sting my eyes! I have fallen asleep with my mask on before which I do not recommend. My face was so dry and tight!!

When the mask dries, the instructions recommend to rinse it off with warm water. However, I cannot resist the urge to peel parts of it off first. It works to remove blackheads and starter blackheads sometimes when I use it that way! Once all traces of mask has been removed, I will go back with a soft, fine towel and buff my face with a gentle cleanser. I tone with witch hazel cotton ball and follow with a drop of coconut oil (sometimes mixed with a little aloe) on my face.

Which clay masks have you tried and liked? What do you like to mix in with yours?

8 Reasons You Should Be Using Peppermint Oil!!!

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Peppermint oil is one of my staple essential oils. It’s not only good for the hair but for my overall wellness. It is may favorite because it is very pleasing to all of the senses and has many benefits both externally and internally. There is so much versatility in its use because it is both calming soothing as well as stimulating and invigorating. There are so many amazing uses for this oil but I am just going to talk about the way that I use it for now!

Here is a list of the great benefits I get from this oil:

  1. Aids in Digestion. Peppermint helps calm the stomach muscles and allows food and bile to flow through and be broken down easier. It can be taken by methods such as peppermint tea or capsules. In a bind and can’t find those things? Try peppermint candy (beware of sugar) or using a peppermint toothpaste or mouthwash.
  2. Upset Stomach or Gas. Peppermint helps sooth the discomfort of these stomach pains by calming the stomach and abdominal muscles and giving a numbing effect to the nerve endings in that area. It also has some antibacterial properties that may help regulate any bacterial imbalance causing bloating, gas and discomfort. I recommend peppermint tea and capsules for internal use. For external use, mix peppermint oil with a carrier such as olive or jojoba and apply to the lower abdominal area.
  3. Scalp Care. I use peppermint in several of my cleanser recipes. More than anything, I simply adore the cool and tingly feeling my scalp has afterwards, especially because I usually cleanse before bed. It helps lullaby me right to sleep. The peppermint helps relax the muscles of the scalp and follicle in particular. This in combination with stimulation helps regulate sebum flow so there are less impurities lodged in the follicles. Regulated sebum flow also means more lubrication for scalp. I also use in deep conditioners or mix with a carrier oil and apply directly to the scalp.
  4. Hair Growth.  Adding massage and manipulation when using this oil increases blood flow to the area even more. This added stimulation also encourages hair growth because the more nutrients delivered to the surface of the skin the more nutrients for the follicle to absorb to produce hair! I blend into my cleansers or mix with a carrier oil and massage directly into the scalp.
  5. Dandruff. Peppermint oil helps balance the pH of your scalp because it contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can kill some bacteria which can reduce the production of excess flakes. As stated above, this helps regulate your natural sebum flow which also contains anti-dandruff properties. I blend into my cleansers or mix with a carrier oil and massage directly into the scalp.
  6. Pain Relief. As I mentioned before, peppermint oil has numbing properties, so I use it for pain relief for everything from menstrual pains to headaches. It is great to use before and after styles that leave your scalp feeling sensitive or irritated due to manipulation. It is excellent when paired with lavender oil. Mix with carrier oil and apply directly to the scalp.
  7. Congestion Relief. When I am feeling congested I just simmer or steam some peppermint oil and take it in. I also like to mix with a carrier oil and apply on my chest as a rub. There are other oils that can be used in place of or in combination with these oils for increased benefit such as menthol and eucalyptus. Peppermint tea is a good alternative as well.
  8. Bug Repellent! I discovered this use when I was living in Savannah! Big spiders would spin webs right above my door and I would always get it tangled in my hair along with other scary things on a regular basis. I mixed several drops of peppermint oil with water and cooking oil in a spray bottle and sprayed it around my door. Problem solved!! Spiders do not like peppermint oil. The menthol irritates their senses.

Hopefully, now, you understand why I always keep peppermint oil handy!

Peppermint oil has many benefits but make sure it is safe for you and use in moderation! Some natural things aren’t the best option for everyone depending on allergies, age, and other preexisting medical conditions. How do you use peppermint oil? Thanks for stopping by!

-Aphropuphs