Tumeric: Food or Beauty Product?

photo Tumeric. I know what you are thinking: curry, curry, curry. And I will say, yes, tumeric is a common and delicious component of curry powder. It gives it the bright, yellowy-orange colour, but is not responsible for curry’s well known flavour and smell– that my dear friends is from cumin, fenugreek, and coriander.

“Tumeric’s almost magical anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and antioxidant properties make it a great ingredient for beauty rituals.”

This tuber looking spice is a relative of the ginger family and is native to India. A few years ago, it started getting popular within health circles as an oral remedy for gastrointestinal inflammation and pulmonory conditions, as well as for cancer prevention (read more about this here). As with most popular health trends, there is always a part of the world that has been using it long before the age of Dr. Oz and the internet. In this case, tumeric has been a cure-all medicine in India for thousands of years. Tumeric’s almost magical anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and antioxidant properties make it a great ingredient for beauty rituals and many Indian women will attest to this. Tumeric facial masks have been a staple in Indian beauty arsenals for generations; used to fight acne and hyper pigmentation. Tumeric has also been popularly used as an Indian pre-wedding head to-toe body scrub. Naturally then, I knew I had to give it a try.

Tumeric Body Scrub
 
Author:
Recipe type: Body
Ingredients
  • ½ chickpea flour (a.k.a gram flour commonly found most bulk stores)
  • 11/2 Tbs ground tumeric
  • 5 drops of oil (almond or jojoba work well)
  • 1-2 tsp of water
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients into a paste and gently rub over body using circular motion. Rinse with water – but be warned it makes a bit of a mess in the shower.

 
Tumeric Face Mask
 
Author:
Recipe type: Face
Ingredients
  • 1Tbs ground tumeric
  • 1Tbs ground chickpea flour
  • 1Tbs thick yogurt
  • 1-2tsp(s) of water
Instructions
  1. Mix into a paste, spread on face, let dry for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Rinse off, gently using the mask as an exfoliant.
  3. Follow up with a moisturizer or face oil.

Now, I must share my experience, because I will not publish anything that I have not tried and do not trust. After reading rave reviews and learning about tumeric’s ancient past, I was excited for the results. As I have shared before, my skin is quite sensitive and prone to reddness. After I spread the paste on my face and rinsed it off after 10-15 minutes, I was quite surprised to see that my skin had turned red and blotchy. Thankfully the redness subsided over night, but I definitely was skeptical after that. What happened?? As I shared before, there are many, many, many people who use tumeric face masks and get glowing results – my husband included (yes, I coerced him into trying the concoction, and he continues to use it!) This is just a little lesson for myself, and for all of you natural beauties. Just because something may be natural and handmade does not mean it is meant for you. Our skin reacts in different ways, and an ingredient that may be a godsend to one person, my be god’s wrath to another. Always spot test when trying new products and do not believe everything you find on youtube or blogs (yes, I realize I am saying this ON MY BLOG). I will leave you with that and I want to know, what is your experience with tumeric? Have you had fabulous results? Do you use it orally as a medicinal remedy? In your food? Let me know!

Winter DIY Survival Kit

We have officially hit the middle of winter which means that I’m desperate for some remedies to get me through the next few months. Here are some of my homemade potions that will keep you hydrated and pampered all the way to spring.

Jasmine and Vanilla Whipped Body Cream
 
Author:
Recipe type: Body
Ingredients
  • 2 oz mango butter
  • 1.5 oz cocoa butter
  • 1.5 oz apricot kernel oil
  • 0.5 oz beeswax
  • 0.5 oz vegetable glycerin
  • 5 drops jasmine essential oil
  • 5 drops vanilla essential oil
Instructions
  1. Using a double boiler, melt mango butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax together.
  2. Once melted, take off of heat, add apricot kernel oil, vegetable glycerine and essential oils.
  3. Let cool until a crust starts to form on top of the oil mixture (the oils must be partially solid before the next step).
  4. Using a standing or hand mixer, whip on high until it reaches a stiff peak (this may take up to 5-7 minutes).
  5. Scoop into sterile jars* and store in a cool spot.
Notes
*Sterilizing containers and utensils before making natural and preservative- free products helps reduce the growth of bacteria.

Before you slather on your newly made body cream, try this first:

Mix 1/4 cup coconut oil, 2-3 tsp sweet almond oil, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a dash of ground cinnamon*. Use this heavenly- scented, energizing scrub in the shower and follow up with a generous amount of body butter.

*Cinnamon applied topically to the skin is known to stimulate blood flow, increase circulation and has antiseptic properties. For those with overly sensitive skin, skip the cinnamon or test before to ensure that your skin does not react.

Sweet Mint Lip Butter
 
Author:
Recipe type: Lip
Ingredients
  • 2 oz coconut oil
  • 1 oz beeswax
  • 1 oz sweet almond oil
  • 1 oz raw honey (note: liquid pasteurized honey does not substitute well)
  • 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3-4 drops of vitamin E oil
Instructions
  1. Using a double boiler (I like to use a glass measuring cup over a small pot), melt coconut oil and beeswax together.
  2. Once melted, take off of heat, add sweet almond oil, vitamin E and and peppermint essential oil.
  3. Whisk in raw honey.
  4. Set bowl onto an ice pack or in a bowl of ice cubes* and whisk until mixture begins to cool (it will thicken and the colour will lighten).
  5. Once the mixture has cooled so that it is thick, but still pourable, pour into sterilized lip balm tins.
Notes
*The raw honey even when melted maintains a different consistency than the oil and beeswax mixture. In order to ensure the honey and oils do not separate in your lip balm container, cooling and whisking is necessary for a uniform consistency.

Before you slather on your newly made lip butter, try this first:

Mix 1/4 tsp of coconut oil with 1/4 tsp of sugar. Rub generously onto lips and wipe off with a tissue. Follow up with an ample amount of lip butter. Your lips will thank you. . . and so will your loved one(s)!

Now. . . only 60 more days until spring. . . but who’s counting.

DIY Holiday Gifts for Beauties

As the Holidays draw near and the frantic shopping ceases to let up, think about giving a gift that will pamper, relax and restore your dearest loved ones. I have put together a selection of my favourite DIY beauty care products that are extremely easy to make and are as luxurious as they sound. Using a little creativity (and shiny paper), you can put together beautiful packages that are eco chic and 100 percent natural! Get Pampered this winter with luxurious skin care In the ‘Pampering Body Care Gift Set’ I included: Whipped Body Butter Relaxing Bath Salts Bamboo dry brush

Pampering Body Care Set

Pampering Body Care Set

Whipped Body Butter
 
Author:
Recipe type: Body
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shea butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup sweet almond oil
  • 10 drops of essential oil (I used lavender)
Instructions
  1. Using a double boiler, melt shea butter and coconut oil together.
  2. Once melted, take off of heat, add sweet almond oil and essential oil.
  3. Let cool until a crust starts to form on top of the oil mixture (the oils must be partially solid before the next step).
  4. Whip mixture on high until it reaches a stiff peak (this may take up to 5-7 minutes).
  5. Scoop into sterile jars and store in a cool spot.

Give the gift of great hair In the ‘Hair Essentials Gift Set’ I included: Balancing Dry Shampoo Lavender and Rosemary Hot Oil Treatment Add a natural bristle hairbrush or bamboo wide- tooth comb for an extra special touch

Hair Essentials Gift Set

Hair Essentials Gift Set

Balancing Dry Shampoo
 
Author:
Recipe type: Hair
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Tbsp colloidal oatmeal
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbs baking soda
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil (I use mint and rosemary, or lavender and rosemary)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients to a uniform mixture.
  2. Use a funnel and divide mixture into saltshakers.
  3. If giving as a gift, place a piece of tape over the holes to prevent losing any mixture.
  4. When ready to use, shake a small amount onto hair roots and massage into scalp.
  5. Massage well to absorb hair oils and prevent the ‘white powder’ look.

 
Luxurious Hot Oil Hair Treatment
 
Author:
Recipe type: Hair
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of sweet almond oil (or jojoba oil)
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all oils in a glass bottle and shake or stir well.
  2. When ready to use, heat oil in a water bath.
  3. Pour 3-5Tbs of oil in a glass measuring cup.
  4. Immerse the measuring cup in a large bowl with hot water.
  5. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until oil is warm.
  6. Evenly distribute oil onto dry hair, wrap hair in a hot towel and leave on for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Shampoo and condition as usual.

 
Hardworking Hand Salve
 
Author:
Recipe type: Hand
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs castor oil
  • 2 Tbs shea butter
  • 4 Tbs beeswax
  • 10-15 drops of bergamot, pine and balsam essential oil
Instructions
  1. Using a double boiler, melt beeswax and shea butter.
  2. Add castor and olive oil.
  3. Take off of heat and add essential oils, immediately pour into glass jars and let set until hard.