Monday, January 23, 2012

Facial Toners

In the beauty community there are debates as to whether or not you do need a toner, it is up to you to decide if its right for you. Nonetheless I am going to discuss some options if you were looking for some more natural and/or organic options for facial toners and explain a bit about it.

The purpose of a toner is to restore the skin's natural ph balance, as well as shrink/close your pores and cleanse the skin. Depending on where you live your water can have a ph balance as high as 9.5, while our skin has a ph balance of 5.5. It takes somewhere around half an hour after washing for your skin's ph balance to return to normal when disturbed.

Toners are most often used after one has cleansed/washed the face then after it dries a moisturizer is applied. There are a number of ways to apply it depending on the kind of toner you use. Most importantly one must be mindful of the type of toner that you are using, taking note of ones skin type. Different toners are effective for oily and combo skin versus dry or sensitive skin. Some facial toners are sold with alcohol, so if you have sensitive or dry skin it wouldn't be the best option for you. The alcohol will only dry out your skin further so picking a non alcoholic toner that's milder would be better. A toner with alcohol would work well with oily combination skin because it will help remove any excess oil, but one must be mindful that if used too often your skin will only produce more oil. For that reason maybe using a facial toner every so often is an option.

Using a toner before applying a moisturizer can be beneficial as it will help with absorption since a toner acts as a humectant (which works to retain moisture). It can be used as a way to further cleanse your face from any lingering makeup or dirt or to treat some acne spots.

If you were interested in some natural toners here are a few options:

Cucumbers are a good option for tightening pores as well as refreshing the skin. Simply grate a cucumber and apply the juice to your face then after about 10 minutes rinse it off. This is a good option for normal skin.

Rose water is another option as a toner, it is effective in tightening pores and cleansing skin as well as others. Simply apply in circular motions with a cotton ball. This is a good option for any skin type.

Egg whites are another good idea for a toner as they temporarily tighten the skin and help deliver any other ingredients to your skin easily. As the egg mask tightens any oil in the skin is sucked up with it making it great at removing excess oil. Simply wash it off afterwards and you are set. Adding another ingredient to your egg mask also is an option simply use one that will be beneficial for your skin. For instance Egg and honey, honey soothes irritated skin and softens it. Or Egg and Avocado, avocado penetrates into your pores nourishing and softening your skin. This is a good option for any skin type unless you have an egg allergy, also be mindful that any other ingredient you mix with the egg will not irritate your face. You can apply a bit of egg to the crook of your elbow to test if your face might be sensitive to the egg.

Strawberries are another great option they clean the skin and tighten pores. They contain natural acids that penetrate deep into your pores and clean out any dirt or impurities. This is a good option for oily or acne prone skin.

So as I stated previously using a toner is simply up to an individual. Some people are not for toners as they believe that it dries out the skin or creates more oil production. My advise is to always keep in mind your skin type when picking out a toner and if it is not a natural toner be mindful of the ingredients.

Hopefully this helped shed some light on facial toners.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dry Feet

Do you suffer from dry feet? Have you tried different ways to make them smooth and soft but just haven't had any luck? Well I am going to give you some ideas to remedy your situation.  

Dry feet come about for a variety of reasons and most people would have dealt with it at some point in their lifetime in different severity's. Dry feet can be a problem for both men and women as well as all ages. The causes of dry feet vary from improper footwear, standing for long periods of time, to your age or some diseases and skin conditions.
I think taking care of your feet should be an integral part of your beauty routine no matter if it is summer or winter time. That can mean that maybe you go somewhere to have them taken care for you or you just do them yourself at home. I'm for the occasional pampering myself and having someone else do my feet but in general I like to take care of them myself.

If you have dry, rough skin then one of the things you are going to want to invest in is something to scrape off dead skin, an example of that is a pumice stone. You can find one with a handle or just the stone itself and they are usually sold in any beauty supply store.

The texture of the stone makes it perfect for an exfoliant and is effective at removing dry, flaking skin and even calluses. The ideal time to use the pumice stone is on dry feet, before soaking. Gripping the pumice run it along the problem areas of the foot, sort of like a shoe shining movement, until you get off most of the dry skin. If you have only a slight problem with dry skin then maybe after one usage it will be enough, but if not several uses will work to remove the problem.

Another alternative to the pumice stone is, the ped egg. It works similar to the pumice stone in that it helps scrape off the dry skin. It has some small metal blades similar to a grater and it isn't dangerous to use. The metal may seem a little daunting and in fact the first time I tried it was scared that I would cut myself, but I didn't. So long as you aren't so rough and vigorous with the scraping you will only remove the problem areas. What's great about the ped egg is that it has a cover that you can put on it when not in use but when in use it acts as a holding cell for all the skin that you scraped off. So in that sense you get to see how much dry skin you have taken off.

Alright so after you have used something to exfoliate your skin is when you can soak it in some hot-warm water. You can use regular water to soak it or add some other things into the water for added effect. Some suggestions are:

Adding some chopped parsley to a soak has the benefit of its antibacterial effect and also helps boost circulation. It also is good for any cuts or scrapes.
Tea Tree Oil is another option as it effectively fights fungal infections. So if you have any toe or foot infections a soak with some of this oil might be what you are looking for.

Another option is rosewater and glycerin. 100% natural Rosewater has antibacterial, healing, soothing and antispetic properties. Glycerin has antimicrobial, humectant (promotes retention of moisture), moisturizing properties as well as reduces irritation, bruising and swelling. So adding one or both to a foot bath has its benefits.

Apple cider vinegar is a very popular remedy for killing fungus and reducing inflammation. It is a strong astringent and has antifungal properties.The acidity of vinegar helps restore ph balance of nails and helps sooth any discomfort felt by a fungus infection.

So after exfoliating and soaking your feet the next thing you are going to want to do is moisturize your feet. You can use different things to do this, there are lotions and creams out there targeted for feet. 
The most important ingredient to look for in creams or anything designed for your feet is, alpha hydroxy acid. Alpha Hydroxy acid is designed to break the bonds that hold dry, damaged skin cells together. Once these bonds are broken then healthy, youthful skin can shine through.

A natural solution to making feet softer is, banana pulp. Banana's have natural moisturizing properties, and it's rich in vitamin and minerals that help promote healthy hair and skin. It is a storehouse of natural oils and potassium which makes it a perfect emollient (designed to make the external layers of the skin softer). Mashing a banana and using the pulp you can apply it to the affected areas and leave on for about 15-20 minutes. Then just rinse it off. 

Another option to moisturize your dry feet might be to use petroleum jelly or shortening. The natural oils in vegetable shortening or oil have great soothing and healing properties for dry cracked feet. You can apply a generous layer on feet and cover with thick socks or even plastic bags or saran wrap. Leave it on overnight and you can wash it off in the morning. Petroleum Jelly is an oil based emollient (it repels water) making it a long lasting lubricant to smooth and protect rough, dry skin.You can apply the jelly like you would the shortening except you don't have to wash it off. 
*Emollients help replace lipids by filing in gaps in between skin cells, resulting in soft, hydrated skin. 
*Lipids are organic molecules that are insoluble (cannot be dissolved) in water. 

Another option is Shea butter as a way to supply moisture to dry skin. Shea butter melts at body temperature, which makes it absorb quickly into the skin. Shea Butter is a natural moisturizer that is known to be the richest emollient in the world. It contains many vitamins and nutrients that do different things like soothe inflammation, relax muscles, aid in cell renewal and retain moisture. Apply a thick layer to feet after exfoliating and soaking, then slip on some thick socks and let it absorb overnight. By the morning your feet should feel much more soft and supple than previously.  

These are my tips and suggestions on getting your feet from dry to soft. Of course the dryer your feet are the more you should do these steps to ensure better results. Maintaining good foot care is the first step to reducing problems down the road. I suggest to follow these tips even if you don't suffer from dry feet often or at all, just to prevent any dry feet later. 

Hopefully you found this informative, and just give it a try!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I wanted to do a post about something that has become very important to me, moisturizers. Moisturizing your skin is important no matter what skin type or age you may be. Moisturizing helps replenish your skins fatty substances and natural lipids as well as protect sensitive skin, improve your tone and texture and even mask some imperfections. Not to mention moisturizing can help slow down the aging process in terms of wrinkles.

The best way to apply your moisturizer is after washing your face, that is when your skin is rehydrated and in the best state to lock in moisture.Make sure not to completely dry your face, allow some moisture to stay on your skin as that best helps lock in moisture.

Depending on how often you wash your face you should moisturize it after each wash. For example If you don't wear any makeup and can go two days without washing your face then moisturize every two days. I like to apply it at night that way it absorbs into my skin while I'm sleeping and my body is at work repairing itself. By the time the morning comes my skin would have already absorbed my moisturizer and I can just put on my makeup atop it.

If you use any kind of medications for acne or anything like that place that on the affected areas first and then apply the moisturizer atop it.

Now the most natural moisturizer I use is Extra Virgin Olive oil, its inexpensive and always on hand in my home. I take some of the olive oil from my kitchen and fill up a bottle or container with it. Then when I have washed my face I massage the Extra Virgin Olive oil in circular motions into my skin. It hasn't made my skin break out (I have combo skin) and actually continuously wearing it has helped keep any new acne at bay. As well as having the added benefit of improving my skin tone and acting like a makeup primer of sorts.
Another natural oil that can be used as a moisturizer is Macadamia Oil, it penetrates the skin and hydrates it quickly. Also its oil is very similar to the oil produced by the skin to protect it, it's called sebum. Just like the Extra Virgin Olive Oil you can massage this into your skin after it's been washed. 

Next natural oil good for moisturizing is Shea Butter, which is a solid fatty oil. It contains vegetable fats that are beneficial in promoting circulation and cell regeneration. It's great for rejuvenating troubled or aging skin as well as being a natural sun protectant. Just like the other oils massage it into your skin after showering and it would be best to apply before bed or during the evening.

There are other natural alternatives to moisturizers but I'll touch more on them in another post in detail. Also these are the more widely available ones recognizable to most. Of course you can use store bought moisturizers if you'd like, I only want to give you natural options. I believe that using products with little or singular ingredients is healthier than one loaded with a lot of them. Women in various parts of the world have used some of the more simpler things and ended up with great results without having to break the bank. The more natural and organic you go in picking your products the less chance you have of irritation also.

So hopefully this was informative and helped someone!

Casual OOTD

I know I haven't really posted since the New Year started, I've been giving myself a bit of a break really. Anyway I wanted to update this blog so in the meantime here's a OOTD. The outfit is very casual, I tend to go for more of a relaxed look like this during the week and dress up when I'm going somewhere more fancy or what not. I'll have another OOTD up later to show you what I like to wear for a girls night out.

Enough Rambling here's my outfit for shopping and the like

I did an OOTD video which I will link so you can see my makeup and accessories a bit better.

Also if you'd like to follow me on twitter or add me on fb the links are here:!/MeliBee123