Citrus love

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Lime, mandarin and bergamot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Coffee and shea butter body polish

I have started drinking coffee some time ago and I am obviously completely hooked now. I love coffee smell and those black aromatic grains are perfect for another body scrub recipe. Coffee and sugar is a tested combination. Coffee aroma will awaken your senses and caffeine will improve metabolism and circulation, helping with cellulite. Save your morning brew next time and you will have a lovely scrub for the evening shower.

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This time I am using shea butter for super creamy rich mixture, about 10-15g. As shea butter is quite hard in texture, start by whipping it up with a mini whisk.

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Once softened up, add half of the cup of coffee grains and about same amount of granulated sugar. Combine all well together and now it is time for the essential oils.

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I love using essential oils, I add them to face and hair masks, body scrubs, massage blends. My all time favourite is lemon essential oil as I love zingy, citrusy, uplifting scents. Lemon will blend well with a strong coffee aroma. Also vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint. Whatever takes your fancy. For this recipe, I am using warm and spicy black pepper essential oil and pungent stimulating cinnamon.

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Black pepper essential oil is steam-distilled from dried, crushed peppercorns. It has got detoxifying properties so it is good in blends for the cellulite treatment. Its warming effects works well for muscle pains and aches as well. Great for massaging those cold hands and feet in winter too! Psychologically, it is said to strengthen physical and creative energy.

Cinnamon is steam-distilled from the leaves and twigs. Again, it will help with poor circulation or slow digestion. It is strongly antiseptic and makes a good remedy for treating cold and flu. Psychologically, it will bring back your interest and enthusiasm for life, if you have felt down or disappointed.

Regular scrubbing is especially essential in winter months when skin gets dry from cold weather and layers of clothing. Try also dry body brushing on a daily basis before shower. It will work as an exfoliation on its own, smoothing and toning your skin. Use long upwards strokes. Make sure you will find some time for a little home spa in a busy pre-festive period. Later, you can only celebrate and be merry.

Aromatherapy and essential oils

Aromatherapy has been increasingly popular as the interest in natural and holistic therapies is on the rise. It uses essential oils derived from plants and flowers for the unique massage, relaxation and beauty experience. Each of those essential oils has specific properties for our body and also mind. Aromas can either energise or calm us down. I remember one phrase from some aromatherapy book noting “healing intelligence of essential oils”. Just loved it and slowly but surely started using essential oils in my home beauty treatments.

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Just wanted to share some of my uses of essential oils in my daily beauty treatments. My regular one is lemon essential oil as I have a soft spot for lemons. I use it every day in the face massage blend just by mixing some jojoba oil with few drops of lemon essential oil. I smooth it on my hair after wash for an extra shine and lightening properties to my honey blonde hair. Lavender essential oil is another must have for clay face masks, the oil cleanser or soothing warm baths. Every time I make a body scrub I am adding either some citrusy ones like grapefruit essential oil ( great for cellulite ) or warming like black pepper, sandalwood or ginger. I usually mix 2 or 3 of them and go wild! You can make your own unique blend, just see what you like and what goes well together. My latest discovery is manuka essential oil with strong pungent smell, use it sparingly for spots and all blemishes. Works wonders!

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I also like warm, feminine and sensual ones like rose, vanilla, ylang ylang, jasmine. I learnt to like geranium essential oil as it was always too strong for me, but it is very beneficial for women, balancing and uplifting at the same time. I have even started growing my own geranium flowers in the pots. I love smelling them now. Also, worth mentioning is clove essential oil, warming and soothing, helps relieve toothache.

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Still, so much to learn about essential oils and their fascinating properties. I want to remember all their latin names, it must be a hidden botanic geek in me. 

Next time then do not forget to stop and smell the roses.   

Refresh yourself

It is Easter Monday today. In many countries, the tradition allows people to splash themselves with water to remove all problems, worries and be ready for a new time. So in this mood I encourage you to take a refreshing nice bath or shower. Light the candles in your bathroom. Add few drop of your favourite essential oil to the bath; I recommend rose, lavender, ylang ylang.

I am a shower person more than the bath one. You can still use a bit of aromatherapy in your shower. Once you are in, use few drops of an essential oil under running water and massage  it over your body. Wrap yourself in warm towel and relax for a bit. Then massage your body with the favourite body lotion or oil.