Cellulite Reducing Chocolate & Coffee Scrub

coffee scrub 1
This week’s blog post is all about wobbly bits. Before your filthy minds run away with you, let me clarify which ‘bits’ I’m referring to. Women of all ages, sizes and ethnicity face the wrath of the ‘C’ word. Of course, I’m referring to cellulite; which is essentially tiny deposits of fat trapped beneath the surface of the skin. To put it simply – it’s those saggy, dimple-filled areas of our body which seem to stick around no matter how health-conscious we are.

From supermodels to average Jane, women all around the world know how hard it can be to get rid of cellulite. There are, of course, an array of treatments available in the beauty industry which promise to reduce cellulite and most work pretty well. However, cellulite treatments can be costly, time-consuming and very uncomfortable. If only there was a natural way to treat cellulite at home. Yep, you guessed it – I’m back with another beauty DIY!

coffee scrub 2

Seeing as Easter is coming up, I thought it best to incorporate some chocolate into this DIY cellulite-busting recipe. No this is not a cruel joke. Chocolate, or more specifically Cacao, is a fantastic natural ingredient for skin, hair and nails. It’s high in antioxidants, in fact, it’s full of them; which is essential for fighting against premature ageing. We’ve all heard the rumour that a bit of chocolate once a day does wonders for our insides; well it’s true! However, you need natural Cacao or at least 70% dark chocolate to get the benefits. Along with the antioxidants, Cacao is full of vitamin C, magnesium and omega 6 fatty acids. In a nutshell (pun intended) – Cacao is perfect for cell regeneration, skin protection, hydration and sun protection (that wasn’t quite a nutshell).

Along with natural Cacao, this recipe calls for ground coffee. Forget the instant stuff, that’s not real coffee anyway (coffee snob alert). Freshly ground coffee beans are what you need here to fight against pesky cellulite. The enzymes in coffee are natural enemies of cellulite. Fat is broken down and blood circulation is encouraged with use of the dark stuff. Scrubbing with ground coffee also promotes cell renewal. The abrasive texture buffs away dull dead skin and leaves you with a natural glow. If you want amazing skin – coffee is the way forward.

The beauty industry has recently exploded with an array of coffee-based scrubs, like my personal favourite from the Bean Beauty range. With summer around the corner, we all need to get our skin in tip-top shape;  which is why exfoliating at least twice a week with a good scrub is essential. Although these beautifully packaged scrubs are amazing and a permanent staple in my bathroom, they’re also very pricey. I go through one of these packs a month; which can be a fairly expensive habit to maintain. However, following the recipe below will give you all of the benefits of a coffee scrub without the price tag.

coffee scrub 3

 

Ingredients

  • Ground coffee – either grind the coffee yourself or use ready-made ground coffee. Do not use the instant kind as this will dissolve in the mixture.
  • White or Brown sugar – this is down to personal preference. I like an abrasive scrub, because I like torturing myself I guess. For this I use white sugar as the granules are larger and more course. If you have sensitive skin or you don’t like putting your body through its paces, use brown sugar. Again, there’s no preference in which type of brown sugar (obviously the softer the sugar the more gentle it will be on your skin). Both brown and white sugar work the same way so find what’s comfortable for you.
  • Vanilla bean extract –  vanilla has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to soothe and calm irritated skin. The abrasiveness of the coffee and sugar combined can cause irritation to the skin (if not used in the correct way). Vanilla will help to calm you skin down as well as fight against skin diseases. You can stick a vanilla pod in the mixture when you’re done to intensify the scent of vanilla, but it all depends on how pedantic you are on the finer details.
  • Cacao – do not use drinking chocolate or any other hot chocolate mix, it’s not the same thing! Use natural ground Cacao powder which is readily available in many high street stores.
  • Coconut oil – you knew this was coming. No DIY beauty product of mine would be complete without the inclusion of coconut oil. Simply put, coconut oil would be used here as a moisturising component of the scrub, but also for its anti-ageing benefits.
  • Air tight container or preservative jar – I chose to use a Kilner jar; which I picked up from Tesco. You can choose to use whatever you like, as long as it’s air tight and easy to store. The mixture itself will last up to 6 months, so you’ll want to use something that you’ll proudly display in your shower for a lengthy period of time.

 

Method

coffee scrub 4

Take equal parts of ground coffee and sugar. I used a mixing bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients together with ease. You don’t need to use any measuring utensils, just eye ball it into roughly equal parts.

Add Cacao powder to your mixture. Again, you can eyeball it. I like my mixture to smell as chocolatey as possible so I add about 5 tablespoons to my mixture. If you’re making a large batch then add more, but just as long as it’s less than the amount of sugar and coffee that you used.

coffee scrub 5

Once your mixture looks a little something like this, add a few drops of your vanilla bean extract. The vanilla would be fairly concentrated so you’ll only need a few drops.

coffee scrub 6

Add your coconut oil. This is where you’ll need to use your judgement…and your biceps. Whilst mixing all of the other ingredients together, pour in your melted coconut oil. The amount of coconut oil you need depends on how ‘greasy’ you want your scrub to be. I like a fairly dry, abrasive scrub so I use enough to barely bind together the dry powders. The mixture does need to be fairly dry, but liquid enough to hold between your hands. Think semi-wet sand; which you can form into loosely packed balls (I’m sorry that was a shit description. Just try to resemble the picture above).

coffee scrub 7

Mix all of the ingredients together and transfer to your air tight container. Add your vanilla pod (if you wish) and store in a cool location. I keep mine in the bathroom (obviously) and it lasts me around 6 months. If you want yours to last a little longer, add some honey to your mixture as honey is natural preservative.

coffee scrub 8

Et voila! Doesn’t it look…well…crap. Your newly formed jar of coffee scrub will resemble a pile of earth. Don’t be disheartened, this will be the best scrub you will ever use on your skin. Not forgetting how heavily it smells! You’ll have to restrain yourself from using this every time you shower.

coffee scrub 9

You’ll want to use this scrub on wet skin 2-3 times a week. I get under the shower, wet my skin then move from directly under the shower head so that there’s not a consistent flow of water (there’s my daily dose of shower ettiequte for the day). I then use the coffee scrub in circular motions, towards my heart, to improve blood circulation. Make sure you get every nook and cranny, particularly concentrating in the areas where you suffer with cellulite. You’ll see a massive reduction within weeks of consistent use. Don’t forget to follow up with a luxurious body cream or oil after you rinse!

If you haven’t tried a coffee scrub yet, follow this recipe – you’ll thank me later. Happy scrubbing beauties!

Why I’ve Become Obsessed With Tea Tree Oil (again)

tea tree oil 1

Let’s be honest, I obsess over many things. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I have an addictive personality, but there’s a reason behind my severe OCD! There are times, however, when my obsession is justified. Cooking, travelling, shoe shopping, makeup – these are all obsessions which have fulfilled my life immensely and for good reason (arguably). Much like the above, tea tree oil has also become an obsession which has long surpassed its label of being a mere ‘phase’.

Studies have shown that scents have the power to trigger emotions or evoke memories. Tea tree oil is one of those scents; which brings me right back to my adolescence. My teenage years were filled with an array of scents – The Body Shop’s White Musk, cherry lipgloss, burnt hair (from all the crimping), and so on, but the pungent punch of tea tree oil sends me travelling down memory lane like no other.

Many of us are aware that tea tree oil is used widely across Australia and has been for many years, but where does it come from? Well it’s the essential oil derived from their native plant Melaleuca Alternifolia; which is indigenous to the south east region of Australia. Its volatile strength and antiseptic properties makes it a popular choice for natural remedies of viruses, fungi, mosquito bites and all sorts of bacteria. Coined as the ‘medicine in a bottle’, tea tree oil is one of those multi-purpose products; which you cannot afford to exclude from your home.

tea tree oil 3

Along with its eye-watering effects, tea tree oil has many cosmetic benefits; which we can incorporate into our every day routine. Most popularly known for its ability to fight against acne due to its anti-bacterial properties, tea tree oil is the perfect blemish treatment on the cheap. Although I’m not a ‘spotty’ person, I do get the odd stress spot (pimples that come up at the most inappropriate of times) and a dab of tea tree oil literally dries them out overnight . Tea tree oil can also be used to cure minor skin aliments such as ringworm, scarring (acne or chickenpox), boils, skin tags and rashes.

I will warn you, however, that tea tree oil must not and I stress MUST NOT be used directly on the skin. This stuff is not for the faint-hearted and although it’s a natural substance, it can cause severe irritation for even the most robust skin. Personally, I would use toxic waste on my skin if it promised a youthful glow, but even I’ve experienced the ‘burn’ from pure tea tree oil on my face.

tea tree oil 2

The simplest way to use tea tree oil is to dilute 8-10 drops with some water and store in an air-tight container (as above). You can use a carrier oil if you’re using the solution as an all-over treatment i.e. facial oil, but simple water will do just fine for blemishes. Use a cotton bud to apply the solution directly over the spot and leave it to ‘dry-out’ overnight. I did once use my fingers, but as a contact lens wearer, let me warn you on how idiotic that idea was.

You can pick up a bottle of tea tree oil from pretty much any drugstore-related retailer on the high street. I picked mine up from Superdrug for a measly £3 and each bottle has lasted me around 4 months. The Body Shop’s infamous Tree Tree Oil range is also a good place to start if you are acne-prone and want to safely transition into a full skincare line. I recently wrote a blog post on my DIY drying lotion; which is also a great alternative to using pure tea tree oil on your skin. If you do decide to go down the authentic route, ensure that you are using pure, organic oil for best use.

Would I recommend tea tree oil to my family and friends? Absolutely! I’ve dabbled in various blemish treatments over the years and although I have come across some great contenders, tea tree oil is by far one of the best homemade remedies for drying out a spot. If you can get over the smell, it pretty much does all the hard work of keep your skin clear and beautiful while you sleep; which is, of course, my preferred kind of beauty treatment!

What are your favourite uses of tea tree oil? Comment below.

Beauty Secrets From Around The World

beauty secrets

If there’s one thing that women across the world have in common it’s being beautiful. From the far east to the shores of the west – women from all races and cultures have their own individual beauty. Although the methods and the ingredients may differ, the concept is always the same. Women want to look and feel beautiful. That’s not a cliche statement, nor is it sexist. Every culture has its beauty secrets; which makes them so unique.

I’ve recently been getting into a lot of natural beauty products lately. Very unlike me really as I’m not much of a purist, but I find the potency of natural ingredients far more beneficial than a store-bought product. I wouldn’t go as far as to throw out all of my off-the-shelf beauty products, but you can’t really compare the two.

Taking inspiration from this, I’ve decided to round up natural beauty secrets from around world in today’s blog post. I research a lot into exotic oils and foods; which are indigenous to certain countries, but also beneficial for the skin, hair and nails. Today, I share with you some of the ingredients that I’ve tried out myself or will be planning to try.

Here’s what women across the globe use to get glamourous…

China – Crushed Pearl Powder

Used for thousands and thousands of years, crushed pearls have been a part of Chinese healing medication as well as beauty regimes across China. The powder is as glamorous as the name suggests. Its velvety-light texture and off-white hue makes it a luxurious treat as well as a fantastic skin saviour.

Pearl powder contains a very high source of amino acid, protein, calcium and vitamins. It’s perfect for all skin types and helps with easing inflammation as well as promoting healing, enhancing skin’s elasticity and luminosity. Crushed pearl powder also helps with absorbing oil, skin impurities, filtering out UV rays and helps to prevent hyperpigmentation by slowing down the melanin production in the skin. The antimicrobial properties are also known to remove blotches, acne, scarring, dry patches and rosacea as well as sun damage.

Mix it in with your favourite lotion, add it to your next DIY face mask or do as the Chinese do and apply dabs of the powder to your cleansed skin before bed. It won’t clog and your pores, but it will leave you feeling super glamorous.

India – Turmeric

There’s no secret that turmeric, or rather, turmeric powder is used and loved around the world. India calls it their golden spice and it’s not hard to see why.

Turmeric is AMAZING for your skin, hair and overall health. It contains many antibacterial properties as well as antioxidants; which makes it fantastic for beauty in general. I have a whole blog post on my love for Turmeric; which you can check out for more details.

Indian women love mixing together a paste of turmeric and milk to apply directly to their bodies as well as their face for enviable, pigment-free skin. Well they do say that Indian women are some of the most beautiful women in the world. Not that I’m biased…of course.

Greece – Olive Oil

Organic oil, in any form, is fantastic for skin, hair and nails. In Greece, olive oil is in abundance and the women have declared it their secret to eternal youth.

Olive oil is very rich in vitamins, minerals and natural fatty acids. It’s suitable for sensitive as well as parched, dry skin. Olive oil is normally the key ingredient to many anti-ageing skincare products as it’s rich in antioxidants, prevents skin ageing, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and not forgetting nourishes, rejuvenates and protects the skin. It’s rich in vitamin E and A as well as promoting youth, hydration, elasticity and texture.

My favourite way to use olive oil is to add dashes of its golden wonder to a warm bath, as an oil-based makeup remover on my face or as a cuticle oil. It’s cheap as chips, but make sure it’s virgin olive oil if you do decided to try this one!

French Polynesian – Monoi Oil

If there’s one oil in the world that I just had to keep it would be monoi oil. I can’t get enough of this stuff; which is probably a bad habit to keep as it’s not that easy to source in the shops, nor is it as cheap as olive oil. However, if I imagined Hawaii in a bottle, this would be it; which makes it totally worth the bother (in my eyes).

Monoi oil has been a Polynesian secret for thousands of years. Women would slather it all over their bodies to protect themselves from sun damage, harsh elements of the beach (totally 1st world problems if you ask me), maintain an even skin tone, but more importantly…add a beautiful fragrance to their entire body (including hair); which also offers intense moisturisation. All round winner in my books!

Monoi oil is completely natural and is made from a combination of my ever-favourite coconut oil as well as the essence of Tiare flowers (Tahitian Gardenias). Only pure, virgin coconut oil is used; which means that coconuts which have fallen naturally from their palm are the only ones used to infuse the beautiful Tiare flower petals.

I pick up bottles of the ever famous Hei Poa Monoi oil from Amazon for a fair price, plus there’s lots of different infusions to try out if you’re in the mood for something different.

Egypt – Milk Baths

Known for her euphoric sex appeal and womanly charms, anything that Cleopatra (supposedly) did, I naturally want to try out too. I mean – if the delight of a rose petal infused milk bath doesn’t excite you, you’re reading the wrong blog!

It’s no secret that Cleopatra had a thing about milk baths, but what’s the big deal about them? Well it’s not just about sticking a bit of Cravendale in the tub and calling it a day, Cleopatra believed in unpasteurised, thick and creamy natural milk (with a dash of honey) to soothe and nourish her irrisistable skin.

The lactic acid in milk works as an exfoliator for dead skin as well as promoting an even, glowing complexion. I’ve tried it before and although it’s very relaxing and nourishing, I wouldn’t give up my favourite body scrub for exfoliation.

Japan – Rice

When it comes to beauty secrets, there’s no one better to take lead from than the Japanese. The beauty industry in Japan is on FIRE and their products are hard to compete with. Just like their beauty products, the Japanese diet is one of the most healthiest in the world and rice is at the forefront of that diet.

Other than nutritional benefits, rice has been used for thousands of years as a beauty secret. Rice farmers would boil rice, separate the water and use it to bathe with for healthy skin. Geishas soon picked up on this trick and would use boiled-down rice water to keep their skin bright, fair and smooth.

Compounds found in rice bran have been widely used in many beauty products on the shelf as it contains antioxidants, phytic acid and exfoliating properties to increase blood flow to the skin.

You can create your own bath soaks by placing some white rice in a muslin cloth and run under a warm tap, however, reaching into beauty products which contain rice bran is just as beneficial. Try out the Tatcha skincare range for some great products; which contains rice bran as their integral ingredient.

Morocco – Argan Oil

Argan oil to Moroccans is what olive oil is to the Greeks. Moroccans use argan oil for everything, including beauty. The western world have already experienced the love for argan oil with the explosion of MoroccanOil on the market. Although I’ve always been a fan of their products, since getting a bottle of the real stuff during my travels to Marrakech, I could never go back.

Argan oil contains antioxidants, vitamin E, essential fatty acids and intense moisturisation. It really is a superfood for your skin as well as hair an nails. It’s great for anti-ageing, hydration, hair smoothing and skin regeneration.

After styling, I love running argan oil through my hair to smooth away flyaways and well as using pure argan oil on my face at night before going to bed. If you’re unable to source the traditional stuff, try the Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil as a fantastic alternative.

Singapore – Papaya

Christopher Columbus dubbed papaya the ‘Fruit of the Angels’ after discovering its tropical taste and butter-like consistency. Papaya has been a treasured fruit for many years, but rather than a tropical inclusion in a fruit salad, it’s a wonderful ingredient to use for beauty regimes.

Rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, papaya has antioxidant properties as well as natural enzymes. It contains magnesium, potassium, niacin, carotene, protein and fibre. Not just the fruit, the seeds found within papaya are also highly beneficial.

The enzymes in papaya make it highly beneficial for exfoliating and skin whitening. I’m certainly not talking about changing the colour of your skin, I think products like that are DISGUSTING! I’m talking about lightening skin discolouration and hyper pigmentation.

I use pure papaya soap; which contains natural papaya seeds when my skin needs a good clean. Check out Amazon for loads of different papaya soaps.

West Africa – Shea Butter

It’s no secret that I love a bit of shea butter. I have a whole blog post on my DIY whipped body butter; which includes the use of shea butter.

Shea butter, like argan oil, is a natural superfood for the skin. The butter is made from the seeds of Karite trees; which is rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers UV protection, collagen production and intense nourishment. Women in West Africa have been using this natural ingredient for years to feed their skin and hair with essential fatty acids and rich nutrients.

Shea butter is a little hard to apply to the skin and hair on it’s own so I do suggest a product with shea butter as its main ingredient or, if you’re feeling productive, try out my DIY whipped body butter. It’s the best thing you will ever put on your body, particularly if you’re a mama in waiting and you’re looking to rid yourself of those pesky stretch marks.

Precious Pumpkins

pumpkin diy image 1

Now that October is finally here, it’s time to indulge in the orange stuff. I’m talking about pumpkins of course! From jack-o’-lanterns to pumpkin spiced lattes, as Halloween approaches, pumpkins are in an abundance. The question is, once you have carved out your pumpkin, what do you do with the pulp? Rather than throw it away, try out my fabulous DIY beauty treatments utilising this humble vegetable.

You may not realise it, but pumpkin seed oil exists in many of the beauty products you already own. Why, you may ask? Well pumpkins are packed with vitamin E, zinc, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids; which naturally boost your skin and hair. The antioxidants in pumpkins help retain moisture, fight free radicals and help you maintain a youthful appearance. The vitamin E component improves skin tone, rapidly heals wounds, fights acne and helps with skin renewal. Pumpkins are also perfect for fighting dry and brittle hair as it protects hair follicles, increases shine and encourages hair growth. It’s safe to say that pumpkins have a greater purpose than just decorating your home during Halloween!

To make pumpkin puree
Cut pumpkin into quarters and peel
Chop into medium sized chunks
Boil under tender
Once cooked and cooled, puree in a blender and refrigerate for up to 3 days

Here are my top three DIY treatments using pureed pumpkins:-

Nourishing Pumpkin And Coconut Hair Mask
What you need:
Pureed pumpkin
Coconut oil
Add a few tablespoons of coconut oil to the pureed pumpkin and mix until smooth. Apply the mixture to damp hair and cover with a plastic cap. For deeper penetration, wrap a heated towel over the cap and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Shampoo and condition as normal to wash out the mixture.
pumpkin diy image 2

Brightening Honey And Pumpkin Face Mask
What you need:
Pureed pumpkin
Honey
Milk (just enough to retain a thick, paste-like consistency)
Ground cinnamon
Mix all of the ingredients together and apply onto your face. Leave the mixture on for a minimum of 10 minutes and rinse with warm water to reveal glowing skin.
pumpkin diy image 3

Pumpkin Spiced Sugar Scrub
What You need:
Pureed pumpkin
Soft brown sugar
Olive oil
Ground Cloves
Ground cinnamon
Combine all of the ingredients together and decant into an airtight container or mason jar. Apply the mixture to your entire body using circular motions. Rinse off in the shower and treat your skin to a luxurious body cream.
pumpkin diy image 4

Comment below with your favourite Autumn treats!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin