One of the fun things about blogging, is having the opportunity to connect with like-minded people, share ideas, struggles and really connect with them. I’m lucky to have met Jess Hunt of Rose & Fig over the past few months. We have exchanged fun, heartfelt emails about increasing our readership, trying to post more regularly and really engaging with our dear readers. It is really nice to know that someone else shares your concerns, fears and need for a creative outlet.
Jess is based in Georgia and she blogs about simplifying style, all-natural, homemade beauty and health. We are both focused on simplifying our lives, buying less, using natural products and reducing our overall ecological footprint. During our first Skype chat just a couple of weeks ago, we decided it would be great fun to put together guest blog posts for each other that highlight our areas of interest. Below, Jess has lovingly put together a list of three kitchen essentials that she uses in her beauty routine. It’s so simple and the ingredients are so common, you feel silly for not having tried these out before, I know I do!
Over the past year, I’ve worked my way from the pantry to my makeup bag, trading chemical-laden synthetic products with more natural and environmentally friendly solutions. As I’ve “greened” my diet and beauty routine, I’ve also taken a closer look at ingredient labels on well-rated, natural beauty products. Three ingredients have taken the medal podium for being effective treatments for my hair, skin, and body that are healthy for you, natural, and inexpensive.
VIRGIN COCONUT OIL
Packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins, coconut oil is the ultimate anti: antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, and antibacterial. I love to cook with it, add a few spoonfuls to smoothies or let a dollop of it melt into my morning coffee for a nutritional boost that helps stabilize my blood sugar. I also like to swish it in my mouth as an oil-pulling routine when I’m feeling a little under the weather or am looking to brighten my smile.
When it comes to my daily beauty routine I like to use fractionated coconut oil as a super moisturizing spray lotion on my legs and arms each morning, then keep a little jar of virgin coconut oil to use as a gentle makeup remover and lip balm every evening.
You can also use coconut oil in the shower as a deep conditioner, leave it on a bit longer for a nourishing hair mask, or combine with a couple spoonfuls with the morning’s coffee grounds for a cellulite-fighting, exfoliating, moisturizing body scrub that fellow blogger Gemma got me hooked on:
COCONUT + COFFEE SCRUB
- 1 cup coffee grounds
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Combine grounds and oil (I like to just add the oil straight into the French Press once I’ve poured my morning cuppa) and rub together with your hands to warm and melt the oil into the coffee. Scrub all over your body in the shower or tub, using long, circular motions. Rinse with warm water and gently pat your skin dry once you’re done in order to leave a bit of the oil on your skin. And of course, be careful if you opt for this in a shower stall as the oil can be quite slick on a tile floor!
Without fail, every May my body starts to crave the ocean – salty air, salty hair, and long swims on hot days in cool seawater. Sea salt is full of minerals that are essential to healthy functioning of our bodies and our skin, and so it’s no wonder that a week at the beach leaves my skin feeling nourished, hydrated, and strong.
I like to pour a cup into the tub for a relaxing bath soak, or substitute sea salt for Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) if my muscles are feeling achy or tired. You can also add a bit of coconut or olive oil to a handful of sea salt for a balancing body scrub in the shower.
Sea salt also works wonders for my hair. To fight product buildup, every week or two I’ll add a handful of sea salt to my regular shampoo, scrubbing through from the roots down, then rinsing clean for a brisk clarifying treatment that can also fight off dandruff.For beach waves, the softest hair, and an extra day between shampoos, I’m also keen to mix up a little ocean potion spray for my locks:
SEA SALT SURF SPRAY
- 1 tablespoon sea salt (or, if you’re feeling fancy: 1/2 tablespoon pink Himalayan salt, 1/4 tablespoon French grey salt, 1/4 tablespoon Epsom salt)
- 8 tablespoons near-boiling water
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon fractionated coconut oil
- Optional: 4 drops of essential oil
In a heat-safe cup, stir the mixture until it’s a uniform color throughout and let cool down before pouring into a spray bottle. If your scalp is usually oily, go sans coconut oil. If your hair is usually very dry, double your Epsom salt. Shake up the bottle before each use, and spritz through dry hair or halfway through blow drying. Then tousle those ocean waves through your beautiful locks!
This one really falls more into the medicine cabinet than kitchen pantry unless I’m feeling ill: I don’t ingest activated charcoal regularly as it is a super absorbent that soaks up baddies and nutrients alike, scooping up toxins and binding them to itself until it eliminates from your body (read: useful for a stomach ache, jury’s still out if you have a hangover).
All this is to say it also works as an excellent detoxifier and cleaning agent for my teeth, skin, and face. Every couple of weeks I like to substitute toothpaste with one capsule’s worth of activated charcoal, and scrub my teeth and gums for a just-went-to-the-dentist clean feeling and whiter teeth. It also works beautifully as natural eye shadow, or you can add a dab of water and brush along your lashes for an intense liquid liner.
And when my face is feeling cranky and a bump pops up, my first defense for a quick recovery has become one simple mask. Without fail my skin is left rosy, glowing, and bumps seem to disappear much faster:
ACTIVATED CHARCOAL + MANUKA HONEY FACE MASK
- 1 capsule of activated charcoal (or three pinches, if using loose powder)
- 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey (can substitute regular honey, as well)
Open the activated charcoal capsule and powder it into a tablespoon of Manuka honey, mixing together with your fingers. After slathering the mixture across your face, pepper your friends and family with charcoal face selfies. Let the mask sit for twenty minutes, then steam your face under a hot, damp washcloth for a minute before rinsing everything away and patting dry.
There you have it – just a few uses for my three favorite pantry-raided beauty ingredients. What’s your favorite kitchen staple to keep stashed in the makeup bag?