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How to Revive Tired Skin for Summer

How to Revive Tired Skin for Summer

Summer in Ireland can be very deceptive. Just when you think you are safe to dry clothes outside or plan a weekend in the outdoors, the clouds darken and the rain ridicules you for being so smug. As I am writing this I am curled up in our armchair watching the torrents batter the window and the wind is howling. Hello June!!

 

Those little pockets of sunshine may be few here but when the clouds do decide to part, the heat can be a shock to the system. My skin definitely suffers as a result of the ever-changing weather; my skin loses moisture, my lips crack and my forehead does this lovely thing of breaking out in lots of wee spots. To try and combat this I have ramped up the beauty routine (which is pretty non-existent to be fair) and introduced some homemade products using ingredients I know will help soothe my skin and bring it back to life.

 

I have written about my love of natural products before, especially when it comes to skincare. And although there are a plethora of organic gems available for not-so-horrifying prices,  there is something to be said for whipping up your own creation with ingredients just hanging out in your cupboards. Good products should only require a handful of ingredients and I have found some great recipes that will surely brighten up any weather-beaten body.

 

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Lemon & Lavender Sugar Scrub

I use lavender essential oil religiously for lots of homemade recipes like this room spray which I spritz on clothes, curtains, my car, gym bag, bed pillows. Basically anything that I think can delay washing for another few days! The combination with lemon creates the most incredible smell that is so summery – just don’t be tempted to eat the scrub because it doesn’t taste as good as it smells!

 

The scrub contains coconut oils which will inject some much needed moisture in to that tired skin. I make a batch and keep it next to the bath for those days when a good soak is the only cure for a hectic day. If you want to feel like a proper princess then add a few drops of lavender oil to the bath while you’re there and put on your favourite podcast – heaven!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 15 drops essential oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lavender buds (optional)

Method

  • Melt coconut oil at high temperature in microwave
  • Add sugar, lavender oil and lavender buds
  • Place in pot and enjoy!

 

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Lip Scrub

Those little peckers can get a rough time between seasons with the summer making them especially vulnerable. Use this scrub to remove the dead skin and the coconut oil will give them that wee bit of nourishment that they are craving. Follow up with this lip balm and you will feel instantly renewed (and no longer resemble a scabies victim.. Just me?).

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 5 drops vanilla extract

Method

  • Heat coconut in microwave and then mix in the rest of the ingredients
  • Add to small lip pots

 

Green Tea Face Mist

Making your own face mist may just be the most decadent thing you do but my goodness is it refreshing. This mist is best left in the fridge and then spritzed on a make-up free face on a hot evening. It’s also a life saver when travelling on a plane to help awaken tired skin.

The green tea acts as a natural soother and is packed full of those infamous antioxidants that will give your face that summer glow (and not the sweaty kind). I also add a little Vitamin E oil to help soothe and moisturise the skin that bit more.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of green tea
  • 1/2 cup of distilled water
  • 10 drops Vitamin E oil

Method

  • Boil the green tea and leave to stew for an hour
  • Mix the tea with the distilled water and vitamin E oil
  • Add a spray bottle and give a good shake
  • Leave in the fridge

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Treat Yo Self: 4 DIY Face Masks

Treat Yo Self: 4 DIY Face Masks

Oh Friday, you took a while to get here. Even though I was off on Monday (damn cough can get the better of me at times) it still felt like Friday would never arrive. Yesterday my head felt like it was ready to spin off my neck; my brain was fried and my body was tired. In spite of being ready for bed as soon as I woke up, I managed to take myself off to the gym after work but the world is cruel and I got stuck in the worst traffic I have experienced in months. It took me an hour and 10 minutes to travel 5 miles and when I arrived late to my PT session I nearly cried. Actually feel teary writing about it so yes, I am more than ready for the weekend.

 

This weekend I am ready to treat myself and so should you! A wee pamper session is great for the soul especially in this inbetween-y time of year when our skin can be a little more vulnerable to change. I notice my skin suffers in between the seasons, especially my face that seems to get dull and tired (and makes the need for make up that more necessary). Face masks are a great way to bring my skin back to life and it feels like such a treat when I’m in my PJ’s on a Friday night with my fluffy socks on and a big fat glass of wine in my hand – yes I know I am a rockstar. 

 

It’s so easy to go straight to cosmetics when looking for a decent face mask but it can also mean spending more cash than we can afford. This week, instead of turning to my very shallow purse I thought I’d turn to my kitchen and research if anything in there would do me any good. I have tried introducing natural ingredients in to my routine before and I saw the benefits then so I thought creating my own face masks might do the trick. And they did!

 

If you’re like me and have sensitive skin then give some of the below combinations a whirl. Reducing the amount of chemicals, artificial colours and fillers in our beauty regime will help relieve our skin of irritation and not only that, it will reduce the environmental impact we have on this lovely planet of ours – win win!!

 

Before you prepare for your cosy night in this Friday, I do have a few words of caution:

  • Be prepared for mess – do not wear your posh PJ’s because you will more than likely get drippage. Best to wear your old t-shirt and lie flat while the mask dries!
  • Be careful with the turmeric – this stuff stains like a motherlover and you should definitely NOT wear white.
  • Have a bath while it’s drying – not just because it’ll help you feel even more rejuvenated but also because of the drippage and you might get the odd bit of honey in your hair. I prescribe some bath salts, your favourite podcast and some candles because you’re fabulous.
  • Some of the masks serve as a handy snack while you’re waiting for them to dry – you’re welcome.

Enjoy your masks and let me know if you have any natural recipes your own – lots of room for inspiration over here!

And have a lovely weekend 🙂


4 DIY Face Masks

Avocado, Honey & Yoghurt Face Mask 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp raw honey

Avocados are great in this transitioning time as they moisturise the skin and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids – fancy pants. Also, yoghurt is a gentle exfoliant and honey is a natural antibacterial so all of the good things are in here.

Mix the ingredients together, slap on your face for 10-15 mins and then wash off with warm water. Ta-da! Use this method for all your masks, there’s no real science to it.

 

Oatmeal, Cucumber, Honey & Lemon Mask

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tbsp ground oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

This mask is full of goodness – oatmeal to exfoliate, cucumber to rehydrate, honey to kill off that pesky bacteria and lemon juice to brighten the skin. It might not look pretty but your skin will thank you for it.

 

Brown Sugar, Turmeric & Honey Mask

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp turmeric

Another exfoliating gem that will brighten that skin right up along with a bit of turmeric thrown in to help with inflammation. This was my personal favourite because it made my skin feel silky smooth after – just watch the flippin’ turmeric for stains!

 

Coconut Oil & Honey Mask

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp raw honey

Super simple yet super effective. Both ingredients act as antibacterial shield and the coconut oil moisturises the skin better than any artificial product. This mask is also great for your hair if you fancy a deep treatment!

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Homemade Lip Balm

Homemade Lip Balm

Ireland is an island of many seasons and these constant changes can cause havoc with our skin. We all endeavour to protect our skin during the summer with plenty of SPF and exfoliation but our lips are often ignored. The weather here is so changeable that our peckers can become chapped and dry, traits which just aren’t attractive for our smiles.

 

I was looking around for recipes for homemade lip balm because I only wanted to use natural ingredients. I’m trying really hard to cut down on all the chemicals I use on my skin and face so when I find myself needing a remedy for my body, I’m looking more and more to products that aren’t harsh on my skin. I found a really simple guide to making homemade lip balm that nourishes lips and keeps them lovely and moisturised (and glossy!) and decided to give it a whirl.

 

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The recipe can be modified any way you like so you can include different essential or flavour oils although I chose vanilla extract because it reminds me of summer! I also ordered some cute labels from this Etsy shop so I can give some of my homemade products to friends and family – maybe one day I might even sell them!

 

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp beeswax pellets
  • 750 IU Vitamin E
  • 20 drops of vanilla extract

You’ll also need some small containers for the balm – I ordered some of these from Amazon.

Method

In a microwave proof container with a spout, heat the pellets and the coconut oil together 30 seconds at a time until the mixture is completely melted. Add the vanilla extract and completely mix through. Pour the mixture in to the containers and leave to set for half an hour. You’ll find the mixture sets really quickly so make sure to move fast! I got about 400ml out of this recipe, enough to fill 40 containers – lots to give out to friends!

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Vanilla & Coconut Oil Body Scrub

Vanilla & Coconut Oil Body Scrub

We’re well in to our summer here and we have been lucky enough to enjoy a lot of good weather recently i.e. more than 2 consecutive days of sunshine! People in Ireland tend to shed their clothes and sun bathe in temperatures most other countries wouldn’t even consider shorts but the sun has been consistent and there are fewer pasty bodies about Belfast these days.

 

It’s great to see freckles appear on my face and a real life tan developing naturally but with tan comes great responsibility. Peeling skin ain’t a good look for anyone and I’ve discovered how important exfoliation is in maintaining (i.e. clinging on to) this tan for as long as I can. By giving your body a good scrub, you’re exposing newer skin cells that are better at absorbing the sun and keeping the tan. Just make sure to keep moisturised and your skin protected!

 

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I decided to make my own body scrub because the 3 ingredients I needed didn’t require me to leave the house – win!! It is also very easy to make and it’s a great idea to give as a gift to anyone who might be heading away on holiday. It’s inspired me to make mini versions for lip scrub as well!

 

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If you want to have a whirl at making your own body scrub just follow the below instructions…

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of solid coconut oil
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extra

 

Method

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and use a hand mixer to whip up the ingredients so they look creamy
  • Make sure not to whip for too long or the mixture will separate – if this happens you can pop it in the freezer for a bit
  • Pop the mixture in to your containers
  • Et vóila! Get to scrubbin’!

 

Seriously it is that easy. And surprisingly tasty! Although try to save it for your skin 😉

 

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Homemade Skin Brightening Toner

Homemade Skin Brightening Toner

I’ve decided to do something rare and surprising: actually following through with something I have talked about doing for a long time! I’ve intended on making some of my own beauty products for ages now and even purchased this book to help guide me. I read the book, full of motivation to buy mountains of jojoba oil and beeswax but just never got round to it. What I realised though is that I perhaps set my intentions a bit too high and needed to start smaller instead of aiming to produce Body Shop quality products in my first week.

 

I read a couple of recipes online and saw this one for a toner which didn’t seem too intimidating. Toner is a great way to lift skin of products and oils and I thought it was a perfect beginner project for the summer. In this (short-lived) heat we have to constantly reapply sunscreen which can lead to a build up of dirt and grime across the day. If you suffer from oily or combination skin, using a toner between cleansing and moisturising can give you the assurance that those excess oils have been removed.

 

I only started using the toner this week so I’m yet to notice any miraculous differences but I do love the smell and how fresh it leaves my skin. I think it’ll be great for travelling to keep skin feeling clear and refreshed. For such a simple recipe it gave me a great boost in confidence in making my own products and I have now ordered essential oils to get a bit of a workshop together – will make sure to post more attempted efforts!!

 

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The toner contains witch hazel, lemon juice and water – that’s all! Witch hazel’s strong antioxidant and astringent properties make it excellent at killing bacteria and preventing cell damage. The lemon juice is a great antibacterial too and can really help reduce those pesky blackheads. As well as that, because it’s rich in vitamin C, lemon juice can lighten and brighten your skin helping to eliminate dark spots and irregularities – not a bad all rounder!

 

Al you need for your own toner is:

  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2/3 cup of witch hazel
  • plastic bottle jar (I just bought mine off Amazon)

 

To make the toner you just need to mix the ingredients together in a jug and pour in to your containers – easy peasy lemon squeezy (sorry – not sorry)!

 

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Good luck with yours and hopefully there will be more successful DIY beauty posts to come in the future!

 

xx