DIY Vanilla Coconut Lip Scrub

I have 2 lip scrub recipes for you! While some may think lip scrubs are only for the winter when we notice our lips drying and flaking thanks the cold chapping them, I believe like all exfoliating it’s done all year round. I also believe always have a good lip balm near by even if you love lipstick. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For my girlfriends Christmas presents last year I was stuck what to get them Continue reading “DIY Vanilla Coconut Lip Scrub”

Hair Update and 2nd Chance Konjac Sponge

I’d thought I’d share a quick update on my hairdressers advice for fine hair and sports.

When I got my hair trimmed 3 months ago, the wind had stripped more or less all moisture from my hair cycling leaving it looking raggedy. This past winter’s been exceptionally windy and though I wear a baseball cap cycling to avoid looking like I’ve been dragged through a bush backwards, she recommended cycling with it in a plait/braid. Running, this didn’t work for me, so running it’s up in a bun.IMG_8025 (1)

When I saw her a few weeks ago Continue reading “Hair Update and 2nd Chance Konjac Sponge”

DIY Coconut Oil Toothpaste

Toothpaste is the one product I’ve always had difficulty finding not tested on animals, natural and that actually works. I’ve usually returned back to Colgate after a month. None seemed to leave my teeth feeling clean or remove plaque. Coconut Bicarb soda toothpaste

I thought I’d found earlier this year finally a toothpaste that was natural, not tested on animals and brightened. It worked for the 1st tube, but then I noticed my teeth starting to appearing yellowish, but not yellow colour you’re thinking. I switched to well reviewed whitening toothpaste by the same brand. Again it worked for a little while then back to not so white. A trip to the dentist revealed my teeth had plaque! Aside from a tendency to over brush, I look after my teeth. I floss, oil pull, drink coffee through a straw or did.

I mentioned it to P and he said it’s probably the glycerin in the toothpaste making the teeth yellowish or dull. Glycerin can add a film over the teeth which can stop salvia from doing it’s remineralising thing.

I won’t lie. I like white teeth. If I could get them professionally whitened I would. That I have to save up for. It’s also no secret I love anything coconut. I already oil pull most mornings while I wake up, feed the cats with coconut oil. I know coconut oil has many magical uses. Google has many magical recipes! A quick search after the glycerin news, I came across Lucy Bee’s coconut oil whitening toothpaste. Sold at coconut, deal done at whitening with most ingredients already at hand.

I wasn’t sure if it would work, so instead of using tablespoons, I opted for teaspoons. Coconut Bicarb soda toothpaste

Mix together until a paste like consistency:

5 tsp coconut oil

5 tsp bicarb soda

Optional drops of edible essential oil: peppermint, citrus, eucalyptus, whatever floats your boat. Amount of drops optional!

A jar. I opted for a plastic pot. In a rush I can be clumsy. I’m surprised the jar of coconut oil in the bathroom hasn’t meet the stone floor already.

There’s no need to melt the coconut oil if it’s solid. The friction from the spoon mixing the ingredients melts it. In the summer months, probably store in the fridge due to coconut’s ability to be liquid at higher temperatures. Depending on how you are with others germs, you might one to consider 1 pot person. You dip the brush and scoop unlike a tube you squeeze from!Coconut Bicarb soda toothpaste

Verdict? My 1st batch was without essential oil and it wasn’t so bad! My teeth felt clean and looked clean. I’ll point too that I’ve hardly had any coffee, a number 1 teeth stainer for 5 weeks since I was sick after a bad cup. Hot lemon in the morning and peppermint tea has replaced my afternoon cup. My teeth feel cleaner and look a little more whiter. Coconut oil contains 50% lauric acid making it antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal. Bi carb soda also neutralises cavity forming bacteria as well as being a mild abrasive restoring ph levels and help keep them white. Essential oil in for taste. I added in the 2nd batch eucalyptus oil as it’s also an anti bacterial agent and gives a refreshing taste! Grapefruit oil’s up for my next batch! It’s a lot cheaper than conventional toothpaste. Aside from the essential oil, all ingredients were to hand and it lasted me about 2 1/2 months. Coconut oil’s notorious at blocking drains due to it being a solid at cooler temperatures. The amount of oil in the paste’s negligible for blocking drains or rather the sink. But ask me that in a few months! Oil from oil pulling goes into the bin.

Have you ever made a DIY toothpastes? Best toothpaste ever used? Do you find some are so minty they feel like they’re burning?

August Beauty Finds: Beach Essentials

As Summer’s transitioning into Autumn, this was probably more appropriate last month. However there a still good few beach days left and sun protection is an all round year thing, not just for the summer!Beach Skin Care Essentials

As with all my skincare and make up products, I have just 2 requirements. No animal testing and as natural, crap free as possible (no SLS, parabens, etc). With make up the last 1 can be tricky, so I opt for what I can. My skin’s oily/combination, hair oily roots, dry ends and my skin loves thick body lotions. Playa Barceloneta

Beach Skin Care Essentials 

Coola Organic Classic Suncream, Face SPF 30, Cucumber MoisturizerCoola Classic Sunscreen Face Cucumber

For someone who doesn’t like cucumber, this accident buy last year I ended up loving. I use to use the unscented version until one day it was out of stock, I was running out and thought, just try it. I’m glad I did as I prefer it to the original. I still get the odd spot and nasty cyst spot, but it hasn’t made me break out. I hardly get any freckles and touch wood, I’ve never been sunburnt on my face using this! I’m not confident to go sans foundation and wear a BB cream or CC cream with SPF 25 in addition. I’ve tried a few foundations since wearing this and again no freckles or sunburn!

I can get from a few European sites, but like most of my skin care, I get it from iherb as it works out cheaper and faster (if it gets through customs)!

Boots Soltan Dry Touch Suncare Lotion SPF 50

Boots Soltan Dry Touch Suncare Lotion

If money was no issue, I’d slap on Coola’s body sunscreens like there’s not tomorrow. You hardly notice you’re wearing them. Unfortunately of the amount I get through, it’s just not economic, so I have to go with what I can get. This one is the next best thing to Coola. Not tested on animals, not organic like Coola, it doesn’t feel like you’re wrapped in cling film wearing it. It’s scent is barely there and it’s always on offer 1/2 price! It’s okay for running but it can run rivers a bit. Sand resistant, ha! I’ve been burnt twice this year on my shoulders, but that was due to my rucksack on and off and not reapplying. I haven’t been burnt (touch wood) yet using this otherwise!

Tone It Up Beach Babe Lip BalmsTone it Up Beach Babe Lip Balms

I really hope these aren’t in their sale to be discontinued. I flirt with other SPF lip balms and always come back to these. Yummy flavours you could eat, they don’t have that usual tacky SPF lip balm feel. Despite their size, they last for ages!

Sephora, 3 in 1 Perfecting Base CoatSephora, 3 in 1 Perfecting Base Coat

Essential if you paint your nails to protect them from polish and sunscreen! This one is makes the colour last a little longer.

Coconut OilCoconut Oil

I apply this overnight to wet hair to help condition and put back moisture in the ends from the sea, sweat and suncream. It’s also a great moisturiser and eye makeup remover. But then, I love just about anything coconut!

Tangle Teezer Compact StylerTangle Teezer

Expensive, €16 from Sephora, but it’s been a beach staple. Unlike most brushes, it’s designed for use on wet and dry hair (always use a wide tooth comb on wet hair!) as well as getting through all the tangles. If I’ve had a dip, I run this through my hair, so it’s a bit more presentable when it dries! It also painlessly tackles bad tangles from the wind!

British design!Tangle TeezerTangle Teezer

Hair Bands/TiesHair Ties

Always an essential! I like these as they don’t snag. I do find they don’t last as long as regular hairbands/ties, but I like the no snag! I usually get them where I can find them, Tiger, H&M Divided, Fabletics.

Beach Cap and SarongBaseball cap and sarong

I’ve only just started wear a hat to the beach (to the beach, not on it. I like sun kissed hair!) A baseball cap, helps keep my hair looking  more presentable from cycling, that beach wave thanks to cycling and the sun out my eyes so I squint/frown less! I do have a straw Fedora but the speed I cycle at, it’ll be gone with the wind in no time! It’s also great at the beach for keeping sun out my eyes when I do wear it on the beach and I get less headaches. I usually drap my t-shirt/tap/top over my face to keep out the sun and sleep. I’m not the only one who does this!

SarongTurtle Sarong

Better than a beach towel! Light weight, folds up small and dries quickly!

Other Essentials, no photo!

Manuka Honey

Sunburn happens to the best of us. Manuka honey with UMF 10-20/MGO 400+ from experience are great for sunburns, thanks to it’s healing properties. I usually apply it straight on the sunburn and leave it on over night.

Sunglasses

Essential! Last year I started wear polarized sunglasses and once you’ve tried polarized sunglasses, you never go back to regular sunglasses! My current pair, purple Oakley Frogskins I love (purchased in the summer sales as I couldn’t justify full price). No glare and the sea’s always 2 toned!

K&K/Tone It Up Salt Texture Spray

For the ultimate beach hair! Review here!

Shells: Barcelona Beachesshells

What are your favourite beach and summer skin care essentials?

One Month Of Oil Pulling

Don’t knock it ’til you try it. And if it’s coconut I’ll try it.

I’m sure many you have heard about oil pulling. Swishing coconut or sesame seed oil around in your mouth for improved oral hygiene and sparkly white teeth. It had me at whiter teeth. Europe as yet doesn’t have whitening strips. Our only options, whitening toothpaste which doesn’t work, the dentist (€€€) or a bicarb soda and oxygenated water paste to whiten teeth.

Oil pulling come from Ayurvedic medicine. Swishing a table spoon of either coconut, cold pressed sesame seed or olive oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes on an empty stomach, pulling toxins out from the body, ultimately improving oral health and overall body health. 20 minutes is enough to break through the plaque and bacteria without the body reabsorbing toxins and bacteria. Many infections can originate with mouth bacteria and oil pulling can help with skin conditions, asthma, headaches, liver problems and infections (source wellnessmama). It makes perfect sense as nasty things aside from spinach linger in our teeth!Coconut oil

I tried it for a few days last year, but couldn’t get past oily coconut taste and quit after day 2. Fellow blogger Bitzy-Ku asked if I’d tried it or heard about it 2 months ago when I posted Coconut Oil Eye Cream. I said I had but, 20 minutes a day dedicated to and swishing oil around, where’s the time for that. I decided not to take the don’t knock ’til you try it route and give it a go for one month. I love coconuts, white teeth, it’s natural, it’s harmless, what I’ve got to loose!

It’s best done on an empty stomach, so as soon as I wake up, I scoop out about a tablespoon of coconut oil after flossing. Diesel (the cat) loves it as his Mama’s response to breakfast demands are muffled. By the time I’ve feed the cats, woken up, checked emails, sorted out the washing, made coffee, 20 minutes is up. Initially it tastes oily, but it only takes a moment for the taste to disappear. When 20 minutes’s up, spit it out in the bin, not the sink as coconut oil clogs drains. I rinse and gurgle with water and swish with toothpaste (brush after breakfast. I like leaving the house with minty fresh breath). Then I’m ready for my first glass of water and coffee. Yeah, I know coffee after cleaning teeth, but I’m one of those annoying people who drink coffee through a straw to avoid coffee teeth and breath.

Coconut Oil

One Month of Oil Pulling

The first day, my teeth felt cleaner and smoother. Day 2, I noticed light yellow staining was disappearing. I know the British have a reputation for bad teeth. Mine were whitish to start with thanks to genes (Thanks Mum!) and I’ve always taken care to keep them white.

Try not to swallow while oil pulling as you’re reabsorbing toxins and bacteria. I learnt the hard way. It took a few attempts to learn to gently swish, not hamster cheek it as it gets thicker with salvia. If it feels too much, spit it out (in the bin) and start again until the said 20 minutes is up. I find the coconut oil taste returns nearing 20 minutes. A week in, I had slight tummy ache for a few days. I put this down to accidentally swallowing the oil and toxin detox removal. Once I realised the problem, tummy ache gone.

It’s cheap and cost effective. I keep a jar of organic coconut oil in the bathroom, just for eye make up remover, night eye cream, hair mask and now oil pulling.

A month in, I get told my teeth are looking much whiter! I also noticed the whites of my eyes are whiter. My skin’s clearing up too. I get nasty cystic spots (another tale, not a happy ending) and have only had 1 make an appearance. I’ve also noticed my hair’s in better condition, my eyebrows are filling in again much quicker (yay! Back to thick brows!) and my teeth are less sensitive. I’m curious to see if my dentist notices any changes at my next appointment. I’ll point out that my diet’s remained the same, so it can only be the oil pulling. It doesn’t removal all the stains (behind lower front teeth) but 6 weeks later I’m still oil pulling and noticing myself my teeth are whiter. My teeth also feel cleaner and smoother all day, even after meals and drinks. It’s now become part of my routine. Wake, floss, oil pull, wake up.

Do you oil pull? What changes did you notice? Are you for preventive medicine or cure medicine? Coconuts? Crazy for them?