Oats and banana face mask

From time to time I make family favourites buckwheat and oats cutlets for lunch. Today I had some leftovers oatmeal which made a base for a face mask.

Oats are great in soothing sensitive skin, especially with breakouts or inflammation. Rich in vitamins and minerals oats moisturise skin and make it feeling soft and smooth. It a cheap little wonder, same like bananas, the next ingredient we need. Packed with nutrients bananas hydrate and nourish skin.

We will also need some carrier oil and in this case I’m using hemp seed oil with its beautiful greenish colour and nutty scent. Its balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will bring relief to dry and stressed skin, especially in winter months. Greenish colour will work well for complexion prone to redness and hot flushes. Hemp seed oil has low comedogenic rate which means it won’t clog your pores.

Soak 3-4 tablespoons of oats with hot water. Wait until it cools down a bit. Add 4-5 slices of ripe banana and mash it all up. Gently pour 1-2 tablespoons of hemp seed oil. Last, but not least add 5 drops of lemon essential oil (optional). Be careful as oats can get a bit runny. When ready, apply to your cleansed face, neck and decolette. Leave it for about 10 min and rinse it off with lukewarm water. To finish off, massage your still wet skin with few drops of hemp seed oil. Voila! Thursday beauty DIY done.

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Coffee and orange body peeling

Today’s recipes is quick and easy. After brewing your morning coffee you need to save coffee grounds, add sugar and any carrier oil. Voila, your DIY body peeling is ready. Enhance it with essential oils. Today I’m using orange essential oil, to combine energising coffee aroma and refreshing citrusy zing. And here is a beautiful botanical illustration of orange which I just could not to share with you.

From  Wikipedia
From Wikipedia

To make this easy body scrub you will need

2 tablespoons of coffee grounds (after brewing)
4 tablespoons of sugar
2-3 tablespoons of carrier oil e.g. almond, olive, hemp oil
5-10 drops of orange essential oil

Mix coffee with sugar and gradually add the oil until you are happy with the consistence. Best is not too runny, resembling a paste, which works better in massage. Add the orange essential oil at the end. Voila!

Use it in a shower, on a damp skin and massage it with circular movements. The faster and smaller circles, the better massage effect. Pay special attention to cellulite prone areas as caffeine will improve circulation. Finish off with long upwards sweeping movements. Regular use of coffee peeling can help diminish the orange peel and improve skin appearance.

There is no excuse now to reuse your morning brew and turn it into quick DIY beauty fix.

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My lemon fascination

I love lemons most of all citrus fruits, second place goes to oranges. I am not a massive fan of exotic fruits in particular, I would probably choose our humble apples and pears above fancy mangoes or melons. I’m sold to avocados and papayas though.

Lemons are always in my fridge. I use them in cooking and home DIY beauty. Sour flavour, according to TCM, is related to spring season, which comes after winter ruled by a salty favour. Hence, lemon juice is always handy when I’m cooking either a soup or making salad, baking lemon drizzle cake or making a paste from already mentioned avocados. I also usually drink hot lemon water first thing in the morning.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Lemons are very versatile in cooking so here is simple recipe for an avocado paste with lemon juice.

Mash one avocado with flax seed oil or olive oil
Add freshly grind black pepper and crushed chilli flakes
Season with salt
Lemon juice and chopped parsley

You can add fresh thyme or some turmeric to complete bitter flavour.

What’s best about lemons is lemon essential oil extracted from fresh lemon peel by cold extraction. It contains powerful antioxidants, limonene and is beneficial in skin and hair care. Lemon is cleansing and detoxifying with fresh and uplifting scent. Can be used in treatment of broken capillaries, wrinkles, cellulit. It is also good in treating common colds because of high content of vitamin C. Regular body massage with diluted lemon essential oil can boost immunity.

My daily use of lemon essential oil is in face massage, hair masks and body scrubs. I also like smoothing my hair with a bit of lemon essential oil at the end of drying. In summer, when exposed to sun, this can lighten your hair and I can’t wait for more sun to naturally highlight my hair. It is not however recommended to apply on skin in summer as it is photo-toxic and can result in burns.

Thanks to antiseptic and antibacterial properties, lemon is great to use in home cleaning and laundry by adding few drops of essential oil to washing liquid. Fresh and clean scent will refresh home and clothes.

I have been drying bits of lemon peel and thinking of grinding them into a body scrub. From time to time I open the jar to sniff the citrusy freshness.

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I have also started to grow a lemon tree on my windowsill. Here it is looking pretty with its vibrant shiny green leaves. It is a joy to look at it every morning.

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Healthy start to 2015

Let’s kick off new year with programme of healthy habits to beat winter blues and get ready for a spring step. Hard to believe it but spring is in 3 months. It is time to start now.

My first campaign it dedicated to our skin, our largest organ, most visible. We all know that cold weather and layers of clothing make our skin dry and sensitive. Bad food choices may result in breakouts and dull looking skin. Here is mini-program to improve skin appearance and also boost general health.

Dry brushing, best daily, if time allowed. Use long sweeping movements up your body. It works like mini peeling, removes dead skin. Pay special attention to legs to improve circulation and cellulite prone areas.

Next step is shower and if you have spare minute, why not do a quick lymph massage with cold water. Use strong pressure of water on your legs and go all the way up. It is also good for tired and heavy legs as blood vessels shrink when treated with cold.

After shower, when skin is still damp, massage it with any carrier oil plus essential oils. Any citrus ones are good, also juniper, basil or thyme. Leave it to sink it, then pat it dry.

As Valerie Ann Worwood writes in her book Vademecum of essential oils and aromatherapy, cellulite is always a result of toxic substances in our life and diet, which means we need to address what we eat. Try to reduce amount of diary, processed fat and sugar. Stick to natural occurring sugars in fruits and healthy rich in omega
fats. Drink lots of water and herbal teas. Eat wholesome food, lots of veg. Limit wheat based food like bread and pasta. Raw cabbage salad is very helpful to remove toxins from our body.

Here is simple recipe to keep you veg intake up in winter months, when we reduce raw food as cooling down.

Shredded half of the green cabbage, black pepper.
Salt
Lemon juice, parsley
Thyme
Grated carrot, apple, flax seed oil
Leek (optional)

And last but not least, exercise daily, best in the morning, but depending on your day. Set the timer for 15 minutes to start and try to stick to it. Yoga works best for me at the moment. I start with couple of energising sun salutations followed by powerful warrior poses. Then down on the mat, few cat stretches, boat, maybe some twists. Finish with chair pose and balancing tree. I should stay creative and do different asanas every so often. Yoga is not only beneficial on the exercise level. Deep and regular breathing bring sense of relaxation. Yoga is also practice of mindfulness, here and now. Being aware of your body and being in the moment.

Be versatile. Feel motivated and inspired. Create your daily beauty rituals to rejuvenate and feel great.

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Winter walk

I am spending Christmas and New Year break in my home country, Poland. Taking a rest from busy London life, I enjoy reading, cooking and sleeping of course. My mum cooks me a vegetarian soup every day for lunch and I usually make some evening meal.

We had a bit of snow over Christmas period then it all went black and grey again. But today I woke up to the completely new white world and felt like a little kid staring in wonder outside. Everything was covered with soft white load and snow just kept on falling. I quickly snapped away few photos from my room.

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By the time, I did go outside, it was more rain than snow. Me and my niece headed to the park full of trees, with a wide cobblestone path. There is also a museum to commemorate the war prisoners which perished in the local labour camp.

There was a lonely figure ahead of us so we decided to follow…

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We enjoyed the walk in this monochromatic world. I could spot some greenish blackberry bush leaves, but was completely satisfied with black and white for now. We even got to see an impressive spin on the snow done by someone driving matching, of course white Golf. We caught a glimpse of him again, disappearing in the distance.

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