Lilac Toner…Finally!

Okay, so I’m admitting my poor taste in movie watching choices with this anecdote, but it has to happen. Who here has seen Jeepers Creepers 2 (“spoiler alert” ahead)? If you have you know the scene at the end where decades later the dad is sitting, with a shot gun, in front of the Creeper he has crucified to his barn, waiting for it to come alive so he can stop it from wrecking havoc on the mid western plains?  Well, that is sort of how I’ve been with a dairy intolerance. People with gluten issues also have a tendency to notice that dairy causes them the same discomfort, so I’ve been sitting with my imaginary shot gun waiting for the day when yogurt, cheese, and milk mutated into an untouchable food group. I’ve had an inkling for the past few months, but it was all made crystal clear yesterday after I drank a most delicious Nutella Smoothie. 20 minutes later I was hustling to the bathroom and soon I realized I needed to cut my afternoon with the ladies short and be in the comfort of my own apartment. Not cool. The familiar hand pain, nausea, and bloating was apparent, as well as the lack of desire to nibble on much. I fell into bed and took a long nap. This morning I didn’t feel great either and decided to call out of work and hope the stomach pains and feeling of inflammation in my body would subside.

A little stir-crazy from not making anything to eat, I decided to work my homemade beauty recipe magic in the kitchen. For weeks I’ve been looking for a lilac toner recipe and only came up with a very simple one. I decided “hey, I cannot mess up that badly” and decided to try my hand at making my own toner.

Lilac Toner for Rejuvenated Skin

1 Handful of Lilac Flowers

1 Knob of Freshly Grated Ginger

1 Tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar—you need to use the organic kind that has “the mother” (aka visible strains) if you want all the benefits. Braggs ACV is one of the most popular and the smallest bottle they say is only $3.50!

2 Squirts of Vegetable Glycerin

1 Cup of Boiling Water

While water is boiling pop the lilac flowers off the stems and place in bowl. Next grate a knob of ginger over the bowl. When the water is done boiling pour the 1 cup over the two ingredients. Add in the ACV and let steep for 10 minutes (this is a great time to catch up on e-mails or any dishes in the sink you’ve been avoiding.) After 10 minutes, strain into another bowl and throw away the remnants. Add in the small amount of vegetable glycerin and mix with a spoon. Then, carefully, move the final product in a glass jar for storage. Chill in refrigerator.

Compared to what you buy in stores the amount of liquid left over won’t seem like much, but since we are using all natural products we cannot store it for months. Ideally it’s best to find a friend to split the bounty with. When making skincare products with food (think avocados, strawberries, bananas, etc) people usually suggest using everything up within a week. With recipes like the one above, that feature more liquids, I’ve seen suggestions to keep anywhere from a week to one month max. Use your best instincts after a week by frequently smell checking. Also, ACV may be too harsh for sensitive skin types, even when diluted.  If you are concerned feel free to leave the ingredient out or do a skin test on your hand.

Even after one use I could tell I enjoyed this toner more than the green tea one I made a few months back. My face felt a lot more refreshed and I think the ACV helped pick up even more dirt and impurities. Plus the color is pretty awesome. Oh how a terrible yesterday lead to a most glorious morning.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Natural Skincare: Lip Exfoliate

Surprise! I said I wouldn’t write on Mondays, but I can squeeze in a quick post that I think is most important for these brutal winter days. All this cold/dry weather has been murdering my skin and kisser. My lips were so flaky that I started resembling the crack-head from Dave Chappelles skits.

Sexy can I, right? Thankfully, I remembered a home-made sugar scrub which is perfect for lips and it doesn’t involve any measuring!

 

Crack-Lips Be Gone

–          Put a few  pinches of sugar into a bowl. The bigger the sugar crystals the better. I’m a big fan of turbinado sugar, but since nasty lips are a serious, need to be handled now issue, regular table-sugar is fine.

–          Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the sugar. My lips really needed a  good sloughing, so I made my sugar to EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) favor the exfoliating sugar.

–          Add a touch of honey. Most people have honey that is s squeezable or dribble-able, but I have pure honey which is much thicker, though great for toast. I kept trying to warm and liquify it to add to the other ingredients, but it kept seizing up and forming a clump once it hit the cold EVOO.  Alas, I left the honey out. Aka: I ate that sugary clump when no one was looking; waste not, want not.

After everything has been mixed to your satisfaction, dab a finger in the mix and apply it to your top lip. Make like you’re brushing your teeth. Pretend you are smacking your lips together after you’ve put lipstick on. Rinse, add to the bottom lip, and repeat.  My lips were noticeably softer, less flaky, and I didn’t get irritated. Tonight I’m going to do one more round and see if I can get the last bits off, as I really like wearing lipstick and flakes+lipstick is a huge no-no.

 

Peel away (all those dead cells)

❤ Jocellyn

 

BREAKING NEWS!

I’m not done yet. I was about to click “publish” when mi amour ventured out to the living room to harass me. So, not sure if I mentioned this, butttt, I’m really obsessed with the Shit Girls Say videos…and the million parodies that follow; Shit Black Guys Say kind of (cue middle school flashback) “owns my heart.” Chris has been a willing passenger seat viewer, but tonight he introduced me to this gem. Eat your heart out.

 

 

Natural Beauty

Ladies & gents, I’ve fallen absolutely in love with this new skin care product I’ve “discovered”. Want to know my secret for damn-fine, baby-bottom soft skin? Coconut Oil! For a long time I’ve been using run of the mill products to clean my face. One day while we were on a brunch date, my facially flawless friend Madeline told me she’d been using Coconut Oil every few days for her face. I happened to have a tiny bit left over from using it to moisturize my hair, so I figured “why not try?” Of course, I was skeptical at first since it’s oily. At the time I was using conventional cold pressed oil, and although it made my skin feel nice I wasn’t 100% on the bandwagon.  I was perusing the internet when I found an article of someone insisting that organic, unrefined Coconut Oil was far superior for face care needs.  I’m easily hooked, so I dashed to City Market to find a jar. Enter Spectrum Brand Organic, Unrefined Coconut Oil.

The organic kind was only a dollar more than the conventional, and unlike cold-pressed oil which looks kind of “marble-y”, unrefined oil looks creamier. It also has a stronger smell, but it disappears within five minutes. A little certainly goes a long way! My skin has never felt softer and more luxurious. When I went home for Christmas my mother even noted my skin tone had evened up and took several scoops for herself. I do notice that every so often I get a tiny zit here or there, which didn’t happen on my ingredient-heavy Olay Cream, but they are a lot easier to dispatch! I’d rather get one pimple here and there using a one ingredient product, than never getting one with a chemically charged product. At $10 a jar this wasn’t a bad purchase, and since it doesn’t dry out my skin I don’t need nearly as much. Win-win.  If you do decide to buy this go with the fat, short jar over the tall, slim jar so it’s easier to scoop out. Since I’ve had such good luck with this natural cream, I’ve decided to try making a natural face cleanser as well. I want something that I can store in the refrigerator, and after a bit of searching stumbled upon this recipe by Maddie Rudd.

“Coconut Cleanser

A moisture-rich and nutritious treat for your face

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp glycerin (You can find vegetable glycerin at a healthy living store. You can also put it in a bottle with some water and spritz it on your hair! It’s especially nice for afro-wearin’ ladies)
  • 2 tsp water

Instructions

Melt ingredients together over very low heat. When liquid, remove from heat and beat as mixture cools. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator to maintain thick consistency. Massage over face, rinse, pat dry.”

For a bit of added exfoliation I’m going to throw in some whole flaxseed. This is too exciting! Maybe once I finish my toner pads I’ll try making some of my own and same goes for my St. Ives exfoliate which has a few more uses.

Now, Peel away those impurities and dead skin flakes—yummy—with natural, safe, good for you products.

❤ Jocellyn

Buyer Beware: I do realize that I’m someone who has been blessed with pretty good skin. I’m not too dry, too oily, too acne prone, etc. Using just coconut oil on my skin hasn’t bothered/clogged my pores. If you think you have skin like me then go ahead and try this method. However, I’ve read many comments that coconut oil made the skin of acne prone people worse.You know your body better than I do, so you be the judge.