Friday, September 25, 2009

Oil for Optimal Skin

Cleaning your face can become a pain, especially for those with sensitive skin, when every product on the market irritates your skin. Many products contain harsh chemicals that leave skin dehydrated, itchy, or even too oily causing even more breakouts. I can personally attest to using products that were too strong leaving my skin burned and peeling.

A few months ago, my mother stumbled upon the Oil Cleansing Method on the Internet. I must admit I was thinking, "My skin is already oily, wouldn't cleaning my face with oil just cause my skin to be even MORE oily causing breakouts?" But after researching the method, I understood the benefits of using oil. I must say, I've had compliments on how clear my skin is!

So let me explain what I've found at Using the Oil Cleansing Method left me with glowing CLEAN skin, free of blackheads, pimples, and other unsightly imperfections. When washing your face with a lot of the "oil sucking" products out there, you cause your skin to go into overdrive as it tries to compensate for the oil that it has lost...causing guess what?? More oil! I always wondered why after washing my face with some products my nose would instantly begin to shine! Some chemicals in products are so harsh that they can irritate your skin to the point that it is inflamed and trapping dirt, which can cause future breakouts.

So how does applying oil cleanse the skin? Oil dissolves oil. Oil is not what causes breakouts. Hormones, the buildup of dead skin and debris, and bacteria are the real culprits along with other factors. Even your natural oil helps to protect and moisturize your skin--not harm it.

It is very important to know what oils to use, how much to use, and exactly how the method works. Do not grab vegetable cooking oil from the pantry and slather it all over your face expecting life changing results! Your basic and most important oil for the Oil Cleansing Method is Castor oil. Castor oil is a healing and cleansing oil, as well as an anti-inflammatory. Sounds good huh? Castor oil isn't going to do the job by itself, however. Since Castor oil is so thick, many people choose to cut it with another thinner oil also proven beneficial to the skin. I personally like to cut mine with EVCO (Extra Virgin Coconut Oil). Other "cutting" oils include EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), Sunflower Seed oil, and any natural cold-pressed vegetable oil. No mineral and refined oils!

As you can probably imagine, it does not take much oil to do the job. One deep cleansing session requires an oil blend about the size of a nickle. Massage the blend into your face for one or two minutes to remove dirt and makeup. Next, grab a washcloth and run it under water as warm as you can stand it (not scalding hot) to make a "steamy towel" and hold it to your face for about 30 seconds to a minute. The steam releases the oils from your pores that carry dirt and impurities. Wipe, and repeat the "steamy towel" step two or three more times. It is said that the method should be done "regularly but not too frequently." I do the method about once or twice a week and I've had great results!

I give the Oil Cleansing Method a 5 out of 5. I love how it gives my skin a natural glow, doesn't leave it irritated and keeps it clear!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Delicious honey--A sweet treat for your hair!

Your sweet tooth may not be the only one craving a sugary fix. If you are a victim of dry brittle hair, your hair may also benefit from a sweet treat--Honey. Honey has proven to be very beneficial to ethnic hair. How? Well, honey is a natural humectant, meaning it naturally attracts and holds moisture. Because kinky and curly hair tends to be dryer than straighter hair, those with ethnic hair may find that their hair benefits from additional moisture. The sweet treat is also an antibacterial and anti fungal, which can aid in hair loss prevention.

Do not let its stickiness fool you. When applying a honey treatment correctly, honey will not cause your hair to become a hard sticky mess. It will actually leave your hair shiny and feeling soft and moist. Honey is often mixed with a conditioner and/or an oil (such as olive oil). You can choose to deep condition your hair with this mixture, or apply the mixture as a "prepoo" on already damp hair. Because the hair is already damp, the honey mixture goes on just as a regular conditioner would--not sticky. Some women like to apply honey alone to their damp hair. I prefer to mix mine with a conditioner and olive oil to provide my hair with a great "slip" when combing it out in the shower.

Some women also use honey as a natural hair lightener as it contains hydrogen peroxide.

I tried a honey treatment and my personal recipe and results are as follows: I mixed a tbsp of honey, a tsp olive oil, and about a cup of Mizani Moisturefuse Conditioner and applied the mixture to my hair. I sat for 30 minutes under my dryer. The treatment resulted in my hair feeling very moist and healthy, and I did notice more shine. I did not notice a change in the color of my hair after the first use. I give the honey treatment a 4 out of 5, only because I prefer my hair to be dark. I will probably use the honey treatment no more than once a month since I am only interested in the moisturizing benefits and not lighter hair. :)
Image courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain