This time last year, Beau and I spent five weeks in England. It was glorious; a trip peppered with a thousand beautiful memories… (apart from catching man flu on the plane)! Fast forward one year…and we are now on the cusp of moving there indefinitely. The feelings are a mixed bag but mainly lots of excitement to start a new chapter in our lives, one filled with adventure (and frequent trips to Space NK).
Oil pulling anyone?
If I said that swishing a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes would significantly beat down the demonic grasps of a hangover; would that get your attention?
Oil pulling is not a new fad, it’s been around for ev’s. It is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique where the process of swishing oil around in your mouth supposedly rids you of toxins, improves the condition of those pearly whites along with your overall health. Sounded suspect to me but I am your guinea pig so I have been trying it out…
The basics are; start on an empty stomach, take a nice teaspoon of oil and pop it in your mouth (I use coconut as it has strong anti bacterial properties but you can use any vegetable based oil.) It’s not pleasant or easy but the oil will melt and then swish it around for at least 20 minutes (Never gargle with it), spit it out in the bin (not in the sink as there are plenty toxins now present). Then brush teeth as normal and get on with your day. I know what you’re thinking – who has 20 minutes in the morning to “pull” oil around in ones mouth? I have been doing it whilst I get showered and dressed and by that time, 20 minutes is up. It’s difficult and jaw straining at first but it gets easier…
So…does it work?
Well, my teeth look a little whiter, I feel a less lethargic in the morning and I find it significantly helps with a headache. It is also supposed to help with better sleep, clearer skin and hormone imbalances.
I switched to coconut oil for cooking a little while ago as well because I discovered that cooking with olive oil is actually not that good for you. It has a low smoking point and that smoke is somewhat toxic. It is a far healthier option and much to my relief it didn’t make my food taste like pina colada!
As it turns out coconut oil is proving to be quite the little miracle worker in my life; it also cured my eczema in 3 days and has proved to be a superb hair mask!
So I wanted to share with you a skincare product I am in love with which involves…you guessed it….coconut oil! I love a good face scrub and have been unimpressed with several that I have tried recently so I looked up making my own with natural ingredients I could find around the house. Not to brag or anything but my new homemade face scrub is my new favourite!
What you’ll need:
A note about essential oils – you might want to do a bit of research into what healing properties are beneficial for your specific skin concerns. Tea tree is great for spot prone skin but if you have dry skin, this may not be the best option. Some great ones for your skin are frankincense, tea tree, neroli, clary sage, ylang ylang and geranium. Here is a great chart from hello natural. I have used ylang ylang because is is good for balancing your skin and it’s a great antiseptic which smells lovely and not too harsh like a tea tree.
Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a jar (couple seconds in the microwave should do it but take care as it may be hot) * Let it cool a bit and add 10 drops of essential oil * Add 4-8 tablespoons of baking soda till you have a consistency that you prefer * I didn’t want mine runny so I added 8 tablespoons till it was a nice paste * and there it is….happy scrubbing!
*Note that the coconut oil will solidify again and can be quite hard so I keep a little spoon on hand or you can add a bit of water.
*The baking soda can sting a little much like salt and you may find this too abrasive if you have sensitive skin. The great news is that if you don’t like it or it’s not your cup of tea… you’ve probably only lost about R5!
As it is so cheap to make, I have also been using it as a body scrub and it is seriously impressing me. The benefits and uses of baking soda are lengthy and I love the ‘microdermabrasion’ feel of it mixed with coconut oil make the skin soft and moisturized. With the wonders of essential oils you can create your own blends as well…perhaps something citrus and zesty in the morning and another lavender one for evenings…go on give it a go!
Love Wrendley xxx
A small step back to South Africa and a giant leap of excitement for beauty freaks…
When you love beauty as much as I do, there’s nothing better then discovering a fab new product… and another level of happiness when a product or brand you adore is finally available in the country you reside *happy dance
Yes ladies Benefit is back!
You see, one of the biggest irks of being a beauty blogger in South Africa is there are so many wonderful goodies spoken about and shared by beauty veterans around the world but *sigh are unavailable here. A number of places do ship here but it can be costly. Some sites deliver to SA but don’t ship certain products *sigh. Here are some exciting discoveries of some goodies that we can get in South Africa for all you lovelies…
Benefit was available here then it left but has come back to us. Not only does all their packaging make me swoon but the products are really good and last ages. Currently only available in Edgars or Red Square in Jozi and Cape Town but you can order online from Red Square.
First buy – Foundation Stick in Paper Doll
First love – Dandelion
Ever heard of Mario Badescu? Brilliant skincare in super simple packaging which I have been wanting to try for ages… Apparently they have been available in South Africa for 5 years! Either way, if like me you had no idea, now you do! They have their very own celebrity ‘hall of fame’ chocca with all the celebs who love and use their product… “because they trust the products to help keep their skin clear and beautiful. They are not paid to use the products – they use the products by choice, and that says it all.” Well if it’s good enough for Jen, Gwynie and the gang, then it’s good enough for me.
If you read my post from my series on Brushes, you may remember me gushing over the Real Techniques make up brushes. If you missed it, take a look here. I love mine and don’t apply foundation without the ‘Buffing Brush’. It is brilliant and allows you to really buff in your foundation making it far more natural looking. You can now get them on this site Biovea and they are on sale – bonus! Trust me, foundation application will never be the same. You can also pick up some Burt’s Bee’s here if the mood takes you…
Happy Shopping Beauties!
Love Wrendley (the Enabler!)
I have recently become a little obsessed with essential oils…
Essential oils have been around for yonks, we’re talking many cultures the world over for centuries. Frankincense and Pine were burned in the streets to ward off “evil spirits” during the Bubonic Plague of the 14th Century, it was noted that less people died of the plague in the areas where this was done. Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Persians to note a few have all used essential oils for a multitude of reasons. The Romans mainly used oils lavishly to bath and scent themselves, who could blame them, it probably smelt horrendous during those times! We are probably familiar with the basic concept here so I’m not going to bore you sense-less with history and how it’s made…go forth and google for more of that information. What I’d like to share with you is what I love and how I use them…
Burner – I love my burner and use it everyday. A couple drops of essential oils with a splash of water, a trusty tea light , take a deep breath and feel your mood go from zero to hero! I love burning invigorating and uplifting oils like rosemary and neroli when I am working, I really find it sharpens my senses and keeps me inspired. I am also often told that my house smells wonderful, burning rosemary, rose geranium and neroli have played a big part in that. Burning a little bit of lavender in my room before bed is wonderfully calming.
Bath – A few drops in a warm bath will take a average bath from blah to spa in an instant. I’m also a big fan of salt scrubs with invigorating oils in them. This is one from another locally produced company in the Dargle. You can quite easily make your own with some epsom salts, oil and essential oils.
Skin – only a few essential oils can be used directly on the skin, most need to be diluted. Lavender, tea tree, sandalwood and rose geranium can be used on the skin. If I have a pimple, a dab of tea tree is fantastic and works wonders! A bit of some rose geranium on the wrists as perfume is a lovely and uplifting way to smell well… lovely. Ylang Ylang, frankincense and neroli are some amazing oils for the skin so look out for them in skincare products.
Lotions and body cream – I often buy a plant oil based cream (never aqueous) and add a couple drops of lavender or tea tree depending on what my skin needs for a bit of extra TLC.
Room sprays – I religiously spritz my pillows and linen with a lavender room and linen spray. Here is a fabulous and easy recipe for making your own (click here)
Steam – Once a week I indulge in a facial steam. Eucalyptus, tea tree and rosemary are wonderful for the skin, mind and sinuses. If I have a headache a few drops of rosemary oil in a carrier oil like almond and massaged into the temples helps tremdously.
Most of all I love the fact that essential oils are natural and plant based and can be used as a simple and effective way to relax, balance and rejuvenate body, mind and spirit.
Where I shop –
If you can, buy local organic oils and make sure it’s 100% of the plant extract. If an oil says ‘fragrance’on it – it may have other nasties, some companies are misleading in their labeling and dilute oils with cheaper alternatives. You can buy blends as well but again make sure it is 100%. I buy my oils from Peter’s Gate because it is 2 minutes down the road, they grow their plants on the farm organically, their prices are very reasonable and Karen is not only a good friend and often feeds me cake but she knows her stuff!
Safety first – Essential oils are strong and powerful. They should be used carefully and sparingly. Certain oils shouldn’t be used by pregnant woman and folks with certain conditions like Epilepsy should take extra care. One should do a bit of research first and if unsure about something, check with someone who knows.
My favorites –
Rosemary – Antibacterial and promotes mental awareness – great for my office!
Neroli – Mood enhancing, antidepressant, anti-septic – so versatile and unique in smell.
Lavender – Healing and calming. There are so many uses and if you only have one oil it should be lavender.
Patchoulli – balances and relieves nervous tension.
Cederwood – moth repellent, warming home fragrance also good for dandruff….apparently.
Rose Geranium – good for anxiety. I love a little dab on my wrists.
Eucalyptus – great decongestant and wonderful antiseptic. Great in the bath and much better than siff dettol!
Tea Tree – great Anti fungal oil, used to treat bacterial and viral skin infections.
The possibilities and benefits are endless. Discovering essential oils has been a wonderful journey for the senses, my mind and my skin, I urge you to give some a go and bring them into your life…
“Take a deep breath and move on….”