Showing posts with label natural beauty recipes.
Showing posts with label natural beauty recipes.

21 March 2014

Last month I posted and one of them was turmeric. I must admit I raised my brow the first time I heard that turmeric can whiten teeth because I knew that it stained anything irreversibly.

On the other hand, any article I read claimed how beneficial turmeric was for teeth and oral hygiene. According to research compounds in turmeric have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and is famous for being a great non-abrasive whitener.

So, instead of wondering if it really worked or not I decided to try turmeric. I anticipated a yellow mess around the sink but actually it wasn't that bad.

I put a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a small glass bowl (the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon and actually that is quite enough).

Then I mixed the turmeric with a few drops of water to form a thick paste and put some on my toothbrush, which I knew would get stained.

And I started brushing as usual. I was expecting a weird taste but it was quite acceptable. I tried to brush thoroughly for about 2 minutes.

After I rinsed my mouth though, I was unpleasantly surprised with the yellow tint on my teeth and gums. I quickly put some baking soda on my toothbrush and continued to brush for a minute more but the yellow was still there.

Then I got some toothpaste on but the yellow persisted. It didn't look like my teeth were very much whiter than before, so I felt disappointed. Anyway, I took the "after" picture and looking at it later I saw that my teeth actually looked cleaner!



You can see the overall yellow teeth on the gums and teeth but if you look closer at the bases of the teeth, they're much cleaner and whiter than before.

In about 30 minutes the yellow tint had gone away and I could see a difference between "before" and "after". Although the result is not as dramatic as I expected I can see that there is some whitening.

So overall:

Yes, turmeric can whiten teeth though not dramatically.

Have you tried whitening your teeth with natural remedies? Let us know how it went for you in the comments.

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21 February 2014

Unpleasant as it is, as the years progress, our teeth tend to lose their pearly white color for a yellowish tint that is not as attractive and is a sign that something is wrong.

Luckily, there are a number of things we can do to prevent our teeth from discoloring. There are not only ways to prevent it,but  there are also many ways to bring back the white and get that perfect smile everyone wants.

Teeth are made up of 4 tissues:
  • enamel -- the strong white covering that protects the tooth
  • dentin -- a hard yellow material that carries nerves; supports the enamel
  • pulp -- at the center of the tooth and contains blood and lymph vessels
  • cementum -- covers the root of the tooth.
According to , when it’s at its thickest, tooth enamel is naturally white. As it is worn down it becomes translucent and starts to show through to the next layer of the tooth called dentin.

The dentin layer has a naturally yellower tone than that of the enamel that covers it, so the thinner the enamel layer becomes the more yellow the teeth will appear. This is why many elderly people have relatively yellow teeth. The longer you’ve had your teeth, the more chance you have to wear down their white protective coatings.

Why do teeth get yellow? 

There are many reasons for your teeth to get yellow. Apart from genetics, the color of your teeth depends on diet, smoking, medications, dental cleaning routine, trauma, etc.

Some times, the reason for discoloring teeth enamel are the acids in certain foods and drinks that wear away your teeth’s white enamel coating. Soda for instance is highly acidic and regularly leaving it sitting on your teeth can start to wear down their protective outer layer.

Other times, the reason is in the foods and drinks that stain the teeth directly when consumed. Some of the most staining foods are:
  • Black tea,
  • Red and white wine,
  • Soda and sports drinks,
  • Fruit juices,
  • Sweets,
  • Certain fruits and vegetables.

Before I continue with the top 5 natural ways to whiten your teeth, here is the most important thing you should do to prevent your teeth from discoloring:
After each meal, have a big sip of water and swirl it around your mouth to clear away any acids or staining compounds.

The following natural remedies focus on whitening teeth, but keep in mind that actively strengthening enamel is just as important so you can keep it from breaking down further.

5 natural remedies for teeth whitening

Coconut oil
In a recipe found on I learned that coconut oil can be used to whiten teeth. The lauric acid in coconut oil can rid your teeth of bacteria found in plaque that can make them yellow. It also promotes gum health, and help keep your breath fresh. Coconut oil is not only great for whitening your teeth but it also effectively inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause cavities and mouth infections, without causing any harmful side-effects.


How to apply:
suggests that before you brush your teeth, you should scoop out a tablespoon of coconut oil. You can either soften it, or just put it in your mouth. Push, swish, and “pull” the oil through and around your teeth for 10-15 minutes, then spit it out, rinse with water, and brush your teeth.

Baking soda
Baking soda () is a mild abrasive which effectively removes stains caused by tea, coffee, cigarettes, etc. You can use the following mixture up to 3 - 4 times a week.

NB! Although there are some suggestions to mix the baking soda with lemon juice, don't do this. The acidity of the lemon might permanently damage the enamel of your teeth.


How to apply:
In a small cup, mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of water. Mix to form a paste. Dip your toothbrush into the cup, to cover the bristles with the baking soda paste.

Brush your teeth as you normally would for no longer than two minutes, as baking soda is a mild abrasive and may begin to erode the enamel on your teeth.

Ever since I started dyeing my Easter eggs with turmeric I've known how irreversibly it can stain anything. But apart from being a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent fighting against cancer, people swear their teeth got visibly whiter after a single use.

How to apply:
Mix a teaspoon of dry organic turmeric powder with water just enough to form a thick paste. Then brush your teeth thoroughly.

Just remember that anything outside of your mouth that comes in contact with turmeric will be dyed bright yellow including the toothbrush. As suggested on :
Turmeric would also be great for oral hygiene, not just tooth whitening, because it is such a strong anti-inflammatory, which is good for the gums -- since 90% of people over the age of 30 have gum disease, and is also a strong antimicrobial, so it kill all those bag germs causing tooth decay and gum disease.

Activated charcoal (activated carbon) is made by processing charcoal with oxygen and either calcium chloride or zinc chloride. It was used medicinally by both Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians, and it is still the poison remedy of choice in modern day emergency rooms because it attracts substances to its surface like a magnet. Like absorptive substances which work like a sponge, adsorptive materials bind with certain compounds and prevent our bodies from using them.

As stated on , activated charcoal locks onto tannins – the compounds found in coffee, tea (even herbal tea), blueberries, wine and spices like cinnamon that stain our teeth. It also balances the mouth’s pH and is even considered beneficial enough to be used in some tooth re-mineralization formulas.

How to apply:
Dip your toothbrush in a small amount powdered charcoal, wet and brush for two minutes. After brushing, hold it in your mouth for 2-3 minutes to allow it to continue to work. Spit and rinse thoroughly, then follow with a second brushing using your regular tooth powder/paste.
After brushing, hold it in your mouth for 2-3 minutes to allow it to continue to work. Spit and rinse thoroughly, then follow with a second brushing using your regular tooth powder/paste.

Banana peel
Banana peels are not only doing a great job in and removing the scars from your skin but using the exact same chemicals (potassium, magnesium and manganese) they can whiten your teeth as well.


How to apply: 
Rub your teeth with the inside of a banana peel for about 5 minutes. Don't brush off, leave it like this for another round of 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and brush your teeth as you normally would.

These remedies might not get you ridiculously white teeth within a week but you will start to see a difference in the long run, and what is more, you will not be questioning the ingredients because you will know that they are absolutely safe and natural.

Real, toxic-free beauty takes time. There's no such thing as a healthy overnight transformation, so don't worry and take your time. Your teeth WILL get whiter.


03 February 2014

After 3 years of no-pooing with baking soda I did a which proved that while I was saving my hair from I was destroying it with the highly alkaline baking soda. .

So I decided to find pH balanced baking soda alternatives that will help me and you keep our hair healthy while still being on the frugal and sustainable side.

Luckily for me, when I shared the findings of my baking soda pH test, Kanelstrand reader  asked me to measure the pH of rye flour water.

I had no idea you could wash your hair with flour!

Benefits of rye flour for hair
Just take a look at the list of vitamins in rye:
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B 1
  • Vitamin B2
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  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
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  • Vitamin K
  • Beta-Carotene
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Some of the hair-healthy minerals that can be found in rye are
Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Selenium, and Zink, which all fight premature hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

Rye also contains proteins, and Omega 3 fatty acids.

As you can see, rye is literally packed with vitamins and minerals that promote hair growth and keep it healthy.

pH of rye flour shampoo
The pH test showed that rye flour shampoo is very balanced. Take a look.

As you can see, the test strip shows pH 5.0 which is just the same as the pH of hair.

Here is why the pH of shampoo is important for healthy hair: 
pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. pH is judged on a scale between 0 and 14. Anything with a pH less than 7.0 is acidic, 7.0 is neutral, and anything with a pH greater than 7.0 is alkaline.

Hair and skin are covered by a very thin fluid layer comprised of oil, salt and water, called the mantle, which is slightly acidic and has a pH balance of between 4.5 - 5.0.
The natural acidity of the hair and scalp prevents fungi and bacteria, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy.
An inadequate hair product can disrupt the natural pH of the hair. If your haircare routine is too alkali your hair cuticles will stay open and your hair will be dry and brittle. But if you use pH balanced products, i.e. ones that are close to the natural pH of the hair (4.5 - 5.0) your hair cuticles will close properly which will result in healthy shiny hair.

pH balanced rye flour shampoo recipe
This recipe is suitable for all types of hair.

NB! The reason why rye flour is easy and messy-free is that it's low in gluten. Do not experiment with other flours, especially those rich in gluten, it will be really hard to take them off your hair. 

  • 3-4 tbsp. rye flour (you can adjust the amount according to your hair length)
  • some lukewarm water, enough to make it resemble the thickness of shampoo

  • Put the flour in a cup.
  • Add some water and mix thoroughly. Keep adding water and mixing.
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Rye flour shampoo application
Getting the rye flour shampoo on my hair was pretty easy because its consistency was just like shampoo. (If you feel like it's too thick for you, just add more water until you like it.)
  1. Wet your hair and put some of the shampoo on your fingers. Massage into the scalp. Focused on the scalp, massaging thoroughly and gently, the shampoo will cover the lengths of your hair when you start rinsing.
  2. Rinse generously with lukewarm water.
  3. As a conditioner use 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar diluted in 1 cup of water. Tip: Grab a bowl to capture the ACV rinse and apply a couple of times more.
Effect of rye flour on hair
I was truly surprised at how clean my hair became after I first washed it with rye flour shampoo. It was soft and manageable without any residue. Having in mind how many vitamins and minerals there are in rye flour I am sure that in time my hair will be revived and will grow thick and healthy.

Find more shampoo alternatives: 

27 January 2014

Raw potatoes are one of the best ways to treat acne. .

So if you have latex intolerance or any allergy associated with bananas, this recipe is for you.

I loved experimenting with potatoes to see how fast the actual pimple will heal and when the scar will disappear and I took photos along the way.

Here is the result of the experiment:

You can treat acne and pimples with raw potatoes in 5 days.

And on the sixth day there won't be a single scar.


For best results, apply the treatment 3 times a day.

Potatoes are packed with potassium, chlorine and sulphur, which are known to dry oily skin, and are very efficient at cleaning acne blemishes.

The vitamins and minerals in potatoes help improve your skin, and the acids will clear up your pores. The magnesium will help reduce inflammation and swelling.

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I cannot believe I'm writing this but I think that baking soda destroyed my hair.

It all started around 3 years ago when I learned about the devastating toxic ingredients in commercial shampoos and conditioners. To say that I felt betrayed by the industry would be an understatement. I was disgusted by the reported effects of chemical additives such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Fragrance, Cocamide... all of which are inevitably present in every commercial shampoo, even those advertised as natural.

The baking soda solution

I started using baking soda as a no-poo shampoo and apple cider vinegar as a conditioning rinse. I have been washing my hair with that combo for almost three years. I felt my hair clean and I thought it was healthy until a few days ago when I saw it on this photo.

The baking soda disaster

Wait, this wasn't my healthy hair. It looked brittle and weak.

Lately I have noticed that I shed too many hairs but I somehow ignored that.

I thought that the split ends came as a result of the summer, the seaside and the sun and so I had a refreshing haircut a month ago but then, when I looked at my ends the other day, they were split again.

My hairs are so easy to break, I cannot believe my eyes.

I realized that I have dandruff but every time my husband noticed it I explained that it had just appeared because I hadn't washed my hair for too long...
Have I been looking at my hair through pink glasses for so long while vigorously advocating for no-pooing with baking soda?

The pH and why it is important for your hair

I started collecting information about using baking soda as a shampoo alternative from a chemical point of view. The more I researched the more often I read about how important the pH of the washing product is.

pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. pH is judged on a scale between 0 and 14. Anything with a pH less than 7 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and anything with a pH greater than 7 is alkaline.

Source: Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site via

Hair and skin are covered by a very thin fluid layer comprised of oil, salt and water, called the mantle, which is slightly acidic and has a pH balance of between 4.5 - 5.0.
The natural acidity of the hair and scalp prevents fungi and bacteria, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy.
An inadequate hair product can disrupt the natural pH of the hair. If your haircare routine is too alkali your hair cuticles will stay open and your hair will be dry and brittle. But if you use pH balanced products, i.e. ones that are close to the natural pH of the hair (4.5 - 5.0) your hair cuticles will close properly which will result in healthy shiny hair.

The straight lace front wig brazilian hair wigs5case of baking soda and vinegar

Hair has a pH of 4.5 to 5.0 - it is slightly acidic.

Baking soda has a pH of 9.5, which is extremely alkali.

Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 3.0 - 4.0 if diluted, a bit more acidic than hair.

For a healthy and nourished hair, you need to use hair products with balanced pH, i.e. close to the pH of your hair, so we're looking into hair products with a pH of 4.5 to 5.0.

What happens when you wash your hair with baking soda? 

You dilute a tablespoon of baking soda (pH 9.5) in a cup of water (pH 7).

Now, here is the shock to all baking-soda advocates (me included). This is also a shout-out to those who claim that the key to proper no-pooing with baking soda is in the amount of water and we should dilute, dilute, dilute.

To make things easier to grasp, here are the photos I took while experimenting with my litmus papers.

Let me explain:

1 tbsp. baking soda diluted in 1 cup of water (300 ml = 0.60 pt) has a pH of 9.5. This is extremely high to use on hair and scalp, having in mind that their natural pH ranges between pH 4.5 and 5.0 - 5.5.

Based on all I've been reading by people who wash their hair with baking soda in the past 3 years, if  I dilute 1 tbsp. in 2 cups of water, the pH should go down. BUT IT DOESN'T. The pH remains 9.5 until I dilute 1 tbsp. baking soda in 10 cups of water and then again, it is way to alkali to use on the hair.

Again, there is no difference between 10 and 20 cups of water, the pH of the mixture is 9.0

Only when I dilute 1 tsp. of the mixture (consisting of 1 tbsp. baking soda and 20 cups of water) in 1 cup of water, the pH gets down to pH 7.0 -- again, extremely alkali for use on hair, even if it is followed by ACV rinse.

I am devastated by the results.  But most of all I am disappointed by myself for believing people who knew close to nothing regarding the chemical side of this "experiment".

You can clearly see that the color of the litmus papers practically doesn't change regardless of the dilution. Even diluted in 20 cups of water, a tablespoon of baking soda is too alkali to be a healthy cleaning agent for hair. To get a neutral mixture of baking soda and water (pH 7) you need to dilute 1 tbsp. baking soda in 20 cups of water, then take 1 tsp. of the mixture and dilute it in 1 cup of water.

By washing my hair with baking soda twice a week for the past 3 years I have pretty much put it through the chemical process of dyeing. Twice a week.

Here is how the process goes:

The extremely alkali baking soda opens up the hair cuticle, if it is not closed by using an acidic substance, the hair will look frizzy, dry, and brittle and will be prone to breakage and tangling. That is why, we, baking soda aficionados use something acidic, like apple cider vinegar, which neutralizes the effect of the alkali baking soda and closes the hair cuticle.

And we think that is enough. We open and then we close.

BUT as one reader of put it quite correctly

Forcing your hair to go up to pH 9.5 (with baking soda) and then forcing it back down to pH 4.5 - 5.0 (with ACV) in a short period of time makes it extremely vulnerable.

This is a very damaging process which is not healthy for the hair and scalp.

Extremely alkaline solutions like baking soda cause the disulfide bonds between keratin protein molecules to break down and can eventually dissolve the protein completely resulting in a very damaged hair. Highly alkaline solutions such as baking soda make your hair soft and manageable BUT that is really the disulfide bonds in your internal hair structure being weakened by the alkaline solution.

But we've all heard that baking soda helps regulate pH, why should it be considered damaging?

According to :
Yes, it is true that baking soda helps regulate pH — keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, its effect is to neutralize that pH. However, as any cosmetic chemist can tell you, this effect occurs when baking soda is in solution with other chemicals. When baking soda is in water alone, guess what the pH of the solution is? You guessed it: A very basic 9, much more alkaline than plain ol' water.

pH balanced treatment = healthy hair

What you need to do if you want healthy and strong hair is to use hair products with balanced pH close to the natural pH of our hair and scalp, i.e. pH 4.5 - 5.0.

Putting your hair through roller-coaster extremes like those of baking soda and vinegar is more damaging than you realize. Until it is too late.

Don't wait for years like me. Because now my hair is in deep trouble.
Baking soda, which I used twice a week for almost 3 years is too abrasive and alkali and although it made my hair look soft and clean, it stripped my hair cuticles of the necessary oils and made it thin and brittle.

Now what?

I am starting a quest to find the best no-poo alternatives to baking soda. I want my healthy hair back without the help of chemicals disguised as shampoos. I will continue using apple cider vinegar as a rinse to keep my hair cuticles closed and healthy but, armed with my litmus papers I am off experimenting with natural shampoos and keeping you updated on what I find.

If you want me to test a natural shampoo recipe you know, post the link to it in the comments.

Update: Here is a growing collection of links to the results of testing some baking soda alternatives (bookmark this page or follow me on to be updated when new recipes are tested out):

(works much better than baking soda)!
(for dry hair)

My post triggered a very interesting discussion on reddit (find it ) and one user shared her chemical calculations confirming my findings, regarding the pH of 1 tbsp baking soda diluted in 1 cup of water. Even if you're not a chemistry genius, you might want to take a look and read her conclusions . 


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20 January 2014

By now you all know about the . If you ask me, it is the most efficient anti-acne treatment ever. But since so many people allergic to bananas emailed me with concerns about their allergy I set to find another natural, equally effective way to fight acne, pimples and the scars they leave.

How can potatoes possibly heal acne?

What makes bananas so efficient in drying the skin, healing the spot and cleaning the blemishes is the potassium, sulphur and chlorine they contain.

It turns out that potatoes have 1,5 times more potassium than bananas! They should be able to clean acne, shouldn't they?!

The vitamins and minerals in potatoes help improve your skin, and the acids will clear up your pores. The magnesium will help reduce inflammation and swelling.

Photo: on rgbstock

Here is what you need to do to heal your acne with the help of potatoes

  1. Wash a medium sized potato. 
  2. Cut a thin slice.
  3. Wash your face. Rub the raw potato slice gently over the irritated area. Rub for about 1-2 minutes or until the potato slice dries out. The potato will gently exfoliate the surface of the skin.
  4. Cut a new slice for the next area you want to treat.

To speed up the results, after rubbing you might want to grate some potato and squeeze the juice. Then cover the acne spots with it and leave it to dry. It will look like this:

Repeat the whole process at least 3 times a day. See the results I got in just 5 days .

Tip: A diet rich in potatoes will help you heal your acne from the inside.

17 January 2014

I've been having some trouble finding a healthy lip balm on the market. Usually, when I find one, I am put off by the price. And so, when a month ago I finished my all-natural store-bought, Weleda lip balm I thought it was time to finally make my own!

I searched Pinterest and Google for the recipe that will be best for dry and cracked winter lips and after much reading and research I adapted one recipe, added some personal preferences and here it is, my homemade lemon lip balm based on the Burt's Bees version on .

How to make lemon lip balm at home

Ok, so this is a really small batch, the ingredients were enough for six 0.15 oz (5 ml) lip balm tubes, which suits me perfectly. I will even have a few for gifting. But if you want to make more you can increase the ingredients proportionally.

(for about six 0.15 oz/5 ml lip balm tubes)
  • 10 g beeswax
  • 10 g cocoa butter
  • 20 g sunflower oil
  • 4 drops vitamin E
  • 3 drops almond oil
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

I used my electronic kitchen scale to measure the ingredients exactly.

1. Since I don't like using a microwave and I don't own one, I simply used a double boiler method and placed a smaller pan above a larger one, filled halfway with water. The first step is to turn the heat.

2. Measure the beeswax and add to the pan. It takes the longest to melt, and so it is better to put it first. You can use any type of beeswax. Mine was a solid block from which I grated 10 g.

3. Measure the cocoa butter and add to the beeswax.

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4. Measure the sunflower oil in a cup.

5. Pour 4 drops of vitamin E to the sunflower oil or if you, like me, have vitamin E tablets, dampen one and squeeze. It wil split open and you will easily squeeze 4 drops.

6. Add the sunflower oil + vitamin E to the pan, where by now everything should be almost melted.

7. Once there are no solid parts and everything is melted, add the essential oils and mix well.

I used the back of the mixing spoon to put some cooled balm on my lips and test if I liked the taste and scent. I added a drop of lemon.

8. With a dropper and while your pan is still on the stove (to keep the mixture from hardening too quickly) add the liquid balm to the tubes. The mixture will settle slightly as it cools, so you could re-top the containers after about 2 minutes as they start to harden.

9. Wait for several hours until your homemade lemon lip balm has completely hardened and is ready to use!

10. Store in a cool dry place (they will last for at least a year if stored correctly).

What heals what:

Beeswax creates a seal on your lips that protects them from air and other elements that can dry them out but still allows the skin to breathe.

Cocoa butter is rich in antioxidants and helps keep the skin young and fresh. It also is high in fatty acids which hydrate the skin deeply.

Sunflower oil contains high amounts of Beta-carotene, vitamin E, A, C and D, it gently moisturizes and protects the skin from infections. It also protects from sunburn.

Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants that protects and repairs the skin. It lubricates the skin and can be used for treating sunburn and protecting from the sun. It also helps the healing process of chapped lips.

You can feel the delicate scent of lemon and the refreshing tingle of peppermint as a wonderful addition to the rich creamy taste of cocoa butter. This lip balm is so easy to make and so tasty! Why did I wait for so long before making my first batch?

09 January 2014

I have been washing my hair without shampoo for the past 3 years. Once I tried baking soda I never looked back to shampoo. Unlike many people I didn't have any problems adjusting and from day one of baking soda my hair looked healthy and clean.

If you are wondering why I stopped buying shampoo, you can read more about the and decide for yourself.

My routine with baking soda is as follows:

I dissolve 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of lukewarm water and then, in the shower I pour carefully the mixture with one hand while I massage the hair and scalp with the other. I try to cover my whole head and make sure I have all my hair curled up in a loose bun on my head, so it can soak too. After I've poured the whole cup I massage once again both the scalp and the hair and rinse.

Edit: Since I wrote this post I have learned the hard way that baking soda is extremely detrimental to hair. You can read a very thorough article with my findings, called and see for yourself. I do not recommend anyone to ever wash their hair with baking soda.

To finish the procedure, in another cup I have 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water. I use this mixture as a conditioner. My hair is soft and shiny afterwards.

To avoid the smell of the vinegar, I put a pinch of dry rosemary. Actually I have a whole bottle of vinegar with rosemary, which I use for my hair.

I also and I am quite happy with the acquired elasticity and vitality of my hair.

If you have tried using baking soda as a no-poo method and it resulted in dry hair, you might have added too much baking soda. 1 tablespoon to 1 cup of water is just enough for my hair, which is currently about 20 inches long.

But even if you've been diligently keeping the ratio and you are still not getting the desired healthy hair, here are a few other natural ways to wash and nourish your hair.

You will find the full recipes and which hair types they're for beneath the graphic.

Egg yolk and baking soda shampoo for all hair types
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Beat the yolk with a fork and add the baking soda. If your hair is longer you may want to add another yolk to the mixture. Massage it gently to your scalp and hair. Cover your head with a a shower cap and a towel and wait for 2 hours. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Egg yolk and castor oil dry hair shampoo
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2,5 tablespoons castor oil
Mix the ingredients and spread on wet hair. Massage gently and rinse with lukewarm water.

Egg yolk, olive oil and lemon dry hair shampoo
  • 2 egg yolks
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  • 10 drops lemon juice
  • 5 drops glycerin
Mix all the ingredients and use as a regular shampoo. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Yogurt shampoo for dry hair
  • 5 oz. (150 gr.) natural yogurt
Whip the yogurt until no lumps are left. Spread it evenly on your hair. Cover your head with a a shower cap and a towel for 30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Yogurt and baking soda dry hair shampoo
  • 7 oz. (200 gr.) natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
Add the baking soda to the yogurt and mix well. Spread the mixture evenly on your head. Let it work for 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Yogurt and egg yolk oily hair shampoo
  • 7 oz. (200 gr.) natural yogurt
  • 1 egg yolk
Beat the egg yolk and add to the yogurt. Mix well. Spread on your hair evenly and massage gently. Rinse after 15 minutes with lukewarm water.

Soapwort shampoo for oily hair
  • 7 oz. (200 gr.) dry soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)
Cover the herbs with 4 pt. (2 l.) boiling water and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and wash your hair with the resulting infusion then rinse with clear water.

Soapwort has the ability to dissolve fats or grease and that is why it is one of the best herbs to use for oily hair.

Tip: For increased effect, collect the infusion in a bowl and pour on your head once again before rinsing with lukewarm water.

Kaolin shampoo for regulating the oil secretion
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons kaolin
Mix the kaolin with warm water until it forms a paste without lumps. Spread evenly on your head and wet hair. Rinse.
Kaolin is known to regulate the oil secretion and is equally good for dry and oily hair.

Kaolin and vinegar shampoo for dry and damaged hair
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
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In a clean porcelain bowl mix the ingredients. Spread the resulting mixture on wet hair and massage well into the scalp. Let it stay for 1 hour. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Using natural ingredients to wash your hair instead of shampoo requires patience and spare time. Make sure you have both before you start.

Here are even more ways to rejuvenate and nourish your hair:

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27 December 2013

Winter is the season for dry hair. Even if it is lively and healthy in all other seasons, come winter and more often than not hair gets dry, brittle and damaged. The reasons for this include the dry air indoors, the cold air outdoors, the hot showers we tend to take, our winter diet, which features decreased vitamin intake...

To keep your hair from getting dry and brittle, you can DIY different natural hair masks.

Photo: via

Handmade egg shampoo
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • the juice of 1/2 lemon

Whisk the egg yolk very well, add the honey, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix energetically to blend. Apply to wet hair by massaging thoroughly into the scalp. Cover the hair. Let it stay for minimum 10 minutes -- the longer, the better. Rinse with lukewarm water. .

Birch and lavender hair lotion
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender blossoms,
  • 2 teaspoons dried birch leaves,
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar,
  • a couple drops of lavender oil.

Put the dry herbs in a clean glass bottle and pour the vinegar. Close the bottle and leave it away from direct sunlight. After 1 week sift the mixture and add lavender oil. Before use add 2 parts of water to 1 part of herbal mixture and massage well into the scalp. Do not rinse. .

Egg and castor oil mask
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon castor oil

Whisk the egg yolk very well,  add the castor oil. Rub the mixture well in the roots of your hair. Cover your hair with a towel (to keep it warm) and stay with it for about 2 - 3 hours. Wash your hair with a natural shampoo.

Honey and olive oil mask
  • 3,50 oz (100 g)  honey
  • 0,10 pt (50 ml) olive oil
Mix the honey and olive oil until they form a thick paste. Rub in the roots of already washed hair. Let stay for 30 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

Egg, olive oil and lemon shampoo
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10 drops olive oil
  • 10 drops lemon juice
  • 5 drops glycerin
 Mix all the ingredients well. Wash your hair with this shampoo and lukewarm water.

Avocado mask
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  • 1 egg yolk
Blend the avocado and egg yolk in a blender. Apply to your hair by massaging well. Wrap your hair in a towel or shower cap and wait 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. .

Pumpkin and honey mask
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons honey
Mix well to blend and massage on your hair and scalp. Cover with a  shower cap for 20 minutes and rinse. .

Lavender and coconut mask

  • 1 tablespoon lavender oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
Massage the mixture into your dry hair before sleep and rinse off in the morning. .

How is your hair feeling this winter? Have you used any of these masks? Let us know in the comments.

11 December 2013

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This Christmas, more than ever I wish to not succumb to the holiday buying fever and come up with original handmade gifts for my family. To be honest, I've managed perfectly fine so far.

And because I am getting overly-excited about making my own bath and beauty products, here is my ultimate list of handmade goodies I wish to be able to complete before Christmas and gift to my family.

Rosemary Shampoo Bar

Because I love no-pooing and I have turned my family into no-pooers as well. This will be a treat!

Marshmallow Root Herbal Shampoo

The is perfect for rehydrating hair that gets dry easily in winter.

Birch And Lavender Nourishing Hair Lotion

Because birch strengthens and nourishes your hair and lavender  has anti-fungal properties. The will also fight dandruff.


Handmade Probiotic Deodorant

I wouldn't gift a regular deodorant for the world now that I know how toxic they are. What better way to get my loved ones on the healthy underarm path than by making a for them!

Coco-Mint Lip Balm

Knowing how hard it is to find a really healthy lip balm I prefer making my own. Here's to my first try! I hope this recipe for will work.

Aches and Pains Balm

The will be the most sought-after gift for members of my family aged 60+. Can't wait to see the effects.


Sugar Face Scrub

I still haven't met a person who doesn't like the . So, I am definitely making it.

Sugar crystals by

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I was terrified when I learned how much we polute the world oceans with the laundry detergents we use. So, why not educate my family and show them that the does the job even better than the commercially produced one.

Homemade Toothpaste

This is a recipe for I have been promoting anywhere I can because I love how simple and yet effective it is.

Madagascar Black Pepper Soap for Men

Here is a treat for the male part of the family -- .

Beeswax Candles

And in the end, let's make a or two to ensure that the holiday spirit will linger.

What handmade gifts are your working on this holiday season?

09 December 2013

Although a very common condition, dandruff is by no means pleasant. You can choose to live with it or you may look into its causes and try to prevent them.

Dandruff can be dry or oily.

Dry dandruff often results from incorrect brushing/combing, reveals bad skin circulation, or is the effect of the use of alkaline hair products that disrupt the natural pH of the hair and scalp.

Ivory white flakes of dandruff can signify high activity of the sebaceous glands or lack of nutrients due to poor diet. This type of dandruff could also be a sign of a fungal infection.

There are plenty of anti-dandruff shampoos on the market but what they do is load your hair and scalp with an array of chemicals and rarely if ever actually treat dandruff. On the contrary, they will damage your hair and strip the protective oils that prevent dandruff.

If, like me, you want to keep your hair as chemical-free as possible and are willing to try nature's way, here are several natural remedies that will help you effectively treat dandruff.

Photo: stockimages on

But before that, a few steps you can take to prevent dandruff.

How to prevent dandruff
  • Brush your hair thoroughly each day. Make sure you use a hairbrush with natural bristles.
  • Massage your scalp with the tip of your fingers thoroughly, as if you are washing your hair, pull your hair gently to increase blood circulation.
  • Avoid using strong hair dyes and perfumes.
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  • Increase the intake of zink, which is naturally found fish, lamb, chicken, spinach, beans, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cocoa, 
  • Dandruff can be a symptom of food allergies, so check if you have any.
  • Replace your daily dose of citrus fruits and juices with bananas, avocado, raw and steamed vegetables.
  • Reduce sugary foods.
  • Wash your hair with lukewarm water, as hot water can strip the hair of the natural oils that prevent dandruff.
  • Blow-drying can dry the scalp, causing itch and dandruff. Read more about and maybe you will too. If you must blow-dry, hold the dryer at least 10 inches from your scalp.

Natural remedies against dandruff

Tip: Before starting any anti-dandruff procedure make sure that your comb/ hair brush is disinfected, your towel is clean and your hair is washed and dried.

To disinfect your comb or brush make a one-to-one mixture of water and lemon juice, and soak them overnight.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) relieves dryness and nourishes the skin. It is especially good for treating dandruff because of its anti-fungal properties. Rosemary is also known to strengthen your hair, promote hair growth and deter gray hair.
  • Add 1.06 oz (30 g) of fresh or dry rosemary to 1.06 pt (500 ml) boiling water and let stay for 24 hours. Sift and rinse your hair. Repeat daily for 2 weeks or until dandruff is gone.
  • Boil 0.7 oz (20 g) rosemary leaves in 2.11 pt (1 l) water. Sift and cool. Wash your hair with the rosemary water. Make sure you massage it well into the scalp.

Stinging nettle
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica, Urtica urens) is used for fortifying hair, boosting hair growth and preventing hair loss. It is known as one of the most effective treatments for oily hair and dandruff.
  • Cut 7 oz (200 g) fresh nettle leaves and boil for 15 minutes in 2.11 pt (1 l) water. Set aside for 2 hours. Sift. Massage your scalp gently twice a day. Store in a fridge for no more than 3 days and warm up before use.

Burdock root
The roots of Burdock (Arctium) are often used as a scalp treatment to combat hair loss, improve hair strength, shine and body. It is also used  against dandruff and scalp itching, promote healing of skin and scalp conditions. It is rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acid, nutrients required for healthy scalp and natural hair growth.
  • Soak 0.53 oz (15 g) burdock root and 0.53 oz (15 g) rosemary with 1.06 pt (500 ml) boiling water. Sift after half an hour and massage the roots of the hair.
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Wine vinegar
Vinegar works well in treating dandruff because it is high in potassium and natural enzymes that help protect the scalp. It is also know to fight fungi and helps reduce fatty acids in the organism.
  • Mix 2 teacups wine vinegar with 2 teacups water and 1 teacup fresh or dry nettle leaves. Boil for 10 minutes. Sift and cool. Massage your scalp twice a day.

Tip: Make sure you use white wine vinegar if your hair is blond because red wine vinegar will darken it.

Now it's your turn: What kind of natural home remedies have you found useful for treating dandruff?

26 August 2013

Sad truth: blackheads happen to everyone, regardless of skin type and age. I have found out that washing my face with plain soap and lukewarm water helps me keep my face clean in a healthy and cheap way. I also still make a once a week.

But if you've tried these options and they are not suitable for your skin type, here is a quick and efficient solution for your blackheads with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.


Natural Blackhead Remover Mask
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour (or oat flour)

1. Beat the egg white lightly and add 2 tablespoons of corn flour.

2. Spread evenly on your face.

3. Let the mask dry out and take it off gently with a wet towel.

4. Rinse your face with cold water.

If you want to treat just a few blackheads on your face you can rub the area energetically with some lemon juice. The lemon treatment will be even more efficient after a steam bath, when your pores have opened by the heat.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this treatment is only meant as a guideline and in no way replaces the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.

21 August 2013

Oats are one of nature's best kept beauty secrets. Apart from making a healthy low-calorie breakfast, they are the perfect treatment for your skin. Oats soothe and heal the skin, while reducing inflammation. They soften rough skin and help it heal if it is dry and itchy. Combined with other natural ingredients oats turn into the perfect agent for treating all types of skin.

The hypoallergenic qualities of oats make them a suitable ingredient in cleansing baths. Here are three homemade oat masks that will help soothe and replenish normal, dry and oily skin.


Normal skin
  • 1/4 tea cup natural, unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon oats
Place the mixture evenly between two pieces of gauze. Keep on the face for 15 to 20 minutes. This mask is also very efficient in reducing the pigmentation of freckles and blemishes.

Dry skin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons oats
Mix well and spread evenly on the face. Leave to work for 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

Oily skin
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons oats
Beat the egg white until stiff. Gradually add 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest followed by 2 teaspoons of oats. Mix well and cover your face. Let it work for 10 minutes. The mask will harden so make sure you take it off gently with warm water. Finally, rinse your face with cold water. This mask is great for reducing large pores.

What other beauty treatments do you use oats for?

02 May 2013

Face Blemishes are dark spots on the face, which appear as an aftermath of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads or other conditions that clog the pores of the skin. Extensive use of cosmetic products, unhealthy diet and lack of vitamins may add to the reasons of face blemishes.

The good news is that your blemishes can be reduced and even eradicated naturally and painlessly with the help of a number of common fruits, vegetables and other home remedies.


Here are 6 natural methods I have found useful in the fight against blemishes.

1. Sugar exfoliating mask
How often: 1 - 2 times a week
Why: Sugar exfoliates the skin and reduces the appearance of skin blemishes. When you wash it off your skin, a small amount remains in the pores and attracts water from the air, which keeps your skin hydrated -- very important for any skin blemish treatment. USe in combination with any of the following treatments.

2. Carrots
How often: 3 times a day
Why: Carrots are high in beta-carotene (converted to vitamin A in your body), and vitamin E – the vitamin that helps soften skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Also, carrots are very efficient in skin clarifying.
Recipe: Boil a carrot and mash it well. Apply the paste to your face with gentle circular motions. Wash your face after 20 minutes with milk.

Alternatively, you can massage your face with carrot juice. The vitamin A in the carrot helps lighten the skin blemishes and also revives your skin.

3. Carrots and bananas
How often: Once a day
Why: For carrots, see #2. Bananas are rich in potassium, which when applied directly to the skin, will suffocate the bacteria in cells, forcing blemishes to heal and disappear more quickly. Bananas have many anti-bacterial properties which can reduce swelling and infections from other skin issues, including Psoriasis, Eczema, and even painful bug bites. You can even .
Recipe: Detailed instructions via Crunchy Betty:

4. Thyme
How often: 1-2 times a day
Why: Thyme has been proven to be more effective than prescription creams at treating blemishes caused by an acne bacterium. Research proves that the thyme tincture kills said bacteria within 5 minutes of application.

5. Honey
How often: 1-2 times a day
Why: Honey has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial enzymes that kill the bacteria present in and on the skin and makes the acne scars disappear.
Recipe: Rub a drop of honey well onto the blemish. Let stay for as long as possible (a few hours). Wash the skin and re-apply.

6. Lemon juice
How often: 3 times a day
Why: The acidity of the lemon juice will break the upper layer of acne scars tissue and will reduce redness and blemishes.
Recipe: Apply organic lemon juice with cotton on the scars and rinse it off with warm water after 5 minutes.

All the acne remedies mentioned above help in removing acne scars from the skin effectively. You can choose which one to use or you can combine them all. It won't hurt.I strongly recommend using the sugar exfoliating mask as a part of any anti-blemish treatment.

Don't forget that the only way to prevent acne scars is by treating acne as soon as it develops and by avoiding squeezing, popping, and picking at pimples.

Important: Be careful when trying new skin treatments on your face. Stop immediately if you have any reactions such as a rash or an increase in acne. When in doubt seek advice from a dermatologist. 
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22 April 2013

A callus is a thick area of skin which has become relatively dry and hard due to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation. Since repeated contact is required for callus forming, they are most often found on feet because of frequent walking. Calluses are generally not harmful, but may sometimes lead to other problems, such as skin ulceration or infection.

You can removing calluses naturally. It's quite simple to do, and you can use items that are already in your home.

N.B. Never try to remove calluses by cutting or slicing them. The risk of infection is too great. Besides, there are easier, less painful ways to remove a callus.

The process of removing a callus consists of three steps: soaking, rubbing and drying. Here are a few natural alternatives to each of them. You can alternate between each of them to find the one that suits you best.

4 alternatives to soak your callused feet.

1. Soak your feet in chamomile tea to soften hardened skin for about 30 minutes. Don't worry if your skin gets stained because you can remove any tea stains easily later with soap and water.

2. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to warm water and soak the affected area. This will help dissolve the dead skin and begin the healing process. Soak for approximately 30 minutes.

3. Soak a bread slice in apple cider vinegar for about 10 hours o form a paste. Before going to bed put the paste on the callus and secure with a bandage. wrap it in a plastic sack and leave it on overnight. Remove in the morning.

4. Soak the callus in warm water with Epsom salts. The warm water softens your skin, and the salts help scrub the corn or callus away.

2 ideas on how to best scrub the callus away.

1. Using a foot file or pumice stone rub the calluses away. Use the file after you have soaked your feet or at the end of a shower, when your feet have been softened by the warm water. Rub your feet with a vigorous, circular motion. If you have a heavy buildup of calluses, rinse your feet often by dipping them back into the water. Also, rinse the pumice stone to get it wet again and remove the dead skin. Work until the skin turns pink for best results.

2. Another great way to scrub away unsightly a callus is to take a barefoot walk on a wet, sandy beach.

Dry the area completely. It is important that you don't allow this area to remain damp. Use a towel to remove all moisture.

Sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch on the area. This will ensure that the area stays dry. It will also help ward off infections.

Or you can:
- Make a mixture of 1 teaspoon lemon juice, one teaspoon dried chamomile and one clove of crushed garlic. Apply the mixture to your callus once or twice daily until it is gone.

- Cut 2-3 raisins in half and put them on the affected area, (with the cut facing the skin), secure with a plaster overnight. Repeat daily until the callus reduces or disappears.

- Use 1 onion slice, sprinkled with a few drops of lemon juice, and some salt. Tape them to the callus overnight. Repeat daily for a week to remove the callus easily.

- Crush 5 aspirin pills, add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon water to form a thick paste. Apply to the affected area and cover with a plastic wrap. Cover with a wet towel. Let sit for about 30 minutes. After rinsing with warm water, rub the callus with a wet pumice stone.

Repeat daily for beautiful, healthy feet.

How to prevent calluses
Even if you remove your callus, don't forget where it came from. Prevent calluses from reappearing by taking care of your feet.

Keeping your skin clean and dry can help ward off calluses.

Wear comfortable shoes that fit properly.

Wearing the same pair of shoes every day can lead to calluses.  Open-toed sandals are especially likely to cause your feet to develop calluses, so wear some enclosed tennis shoes with socks every few days to give your feet a break.

Wear shoes that breathe. Shoes made from natural materials, such as leather, allow more air flow to your feet than shoes made from synthetic materials.

Sometimes calluses can be confused with more serious medical conditions. It's best to consult a doctor about any health issue.

You should stop trying to treat your callus naturally at home and see your doctor if it is red and feels hot to the touch, if it cracks, bleeds and looks blue or if it doesn't improve after several days.