the power of Olives…

Olive oil is great for hair, but it’s also really great for skin too.  My mother always says how when we were babies, my grandmother always told her to rub us in olive oil at bath time and it did wonders to keep our skin nice and supple.  Anyway, I’ve been struggling with eye make up remover.  I’ve had the gel types which are just icky messy, the liquid ones which leave your eyes really dry feeling.  So the other day I was reading somewhere about olive oil being a make up remover.  So I figured I would give it a try.  I put some on to a cotton face pad, pressed it onto my closed eye and let it sort of do it’s magic for a little bit, then wiped it off.  As I swept the cotton pad over my eyes, I could feel the make up just get dissolved away by the olive oil and it all came off fairly easy.  Best part is it didn’t leave the skin around my eyes feeling too dry.  After this, I washed my face with neem soap which I am trying out and wow, the skin round my eyes was so soft and yummy feeling.  It’s definitely an asilia prime!!!


Dry Brushing

brushI won’t even lie and say I wasn’t a little bit skeptical when I heard about dry brushing. If I could raise my eyebrow it would have gone higher with every mention of how it eliminates cellulite, cleans the lymphatic system and removes toxins from the skin.

I don’t know if it does any of the above but one thing I know it does do is facilitate soft smooth and did I say soft? skin. So. What you will need according to the internets is a natural bristle brush and 5 minutes of your time before you shower.

Im not sure if the brush I have has natural bristles but its what I had around so its what I used. So, starting from my feet and working my way up I used circular motions to brush the skin. Circular? Yes, this is a must. Skin is sensitive, you don’t just go rubbing it up and down with no mercy. Whether applying lotion, putting on a mask or dry brushing, a gentle circular motion is always best. No exceptions.

Dry brushing shouldn’t include the face and neck area because the skin is too sensitive for that and it already benefits from all the masks, moisturizers and exfoliation you already pamper it with. After dry brushing shower as usual and moisturize your damp* skin.

I don’t know about cleaning lymph nodes and curing cellulite (there is no such thing as a cure for cellulite. If Oprah and her billions have failed to find one – and she said she has been looking – then us regular people might just as well give up and live with it) but it does give great looking skin. I know the argument could be that skin is as a general rule, soft already but this makes it smoother and softer. Maybe it’s the removal of dead skin cells or something. It only took a couple of sessions to notice a difference to other asilia bots should try this and tell me if I am imagining my own things.

Asilia prime for sure, though don’t blame me when people look at you funny when they see you carrying a shoe brush into the bathroom … 😀

* don’t know if I have mentioned this before but moisturizer shouldn’t be applied to dry skin. After showering pat yourself dry and then apply your lotion to damp skin – it helps lock in some moisture.

Aspirin Mask

aspirinEven at its most basic, the aspirin mask is something you may want to try. Easy to make, cheap and will leave your skin feeling smooth like nothing else.

The reason the aspirin mask works is because of the salicylic acid which is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid). Since BHA’s are oil soluble this makes them ideal for exfoliating skin and unclogging pores so the aspirin mask is very useful for those who are prone to acne break outs, blackheads and oily skin.

As always, do a patch test (like maybe behind your ear) before you use this mask. If you are going to have an allergic reaction you don’t want it to be all over your face. If you cant take aspirin then this isn’t ideal for you to try either.

Simple Aspirin Mask

3-5  aspirin pills

Few drops of water

Crushing the pills can be a lot of work, but putting a few drops of water on the pills and letting them sit for a while will dissolve them. Apply on face avoiding the skin around the lips and eyes and let sit until dry. Rinse thoroughly and then moisturize and voila! The aspirin mask in its most basic form.

The above will work because the salicylic acid will still get to exfoliating but you can tweak the recipe to your liking and add ingredients that will enhance the magical powers of the mask. For example, honey, being a humectant will go great if added to the above recipe and it’s a biding agent as well so it will make it easier for the mask to go on. A combination of aloe vera, yoghurt and aspirin works very well as does using lemon juice instead of water to soften the tablets.

Verdict? Asilia prime, though you have to be careful not to use it too often. I have seen people on the internets say that they use it 4 or 5 times a week but considering its potency I guess twice a week max is best. And after using it, use sunscreen the next couple of days to protect the layer of skin that has been brought forth.

By the by, Panadol is not the same as aspirin. Add Tylenol, Advil or any other painkiller in this category too.. The salicylic acid is key and if you are not sure, ask your friendly neighbourhood pharmacist and ask them to help you out, just make sure they don’t up sell you.

More Homemade Facials

Since I started with the natural facials, I just love spontaneously whipping up something right from my kitchen in no time, with ingredients that I know without a doubt are great for my skin. Their being edible is immaterial ofcourse! I just did a cleanser, scrub and exfoliant that has left my skin feeling lush! I can’t keep my hands off of it and neither can Sookie. Here goes…

Orange Peel Cleanser

Orange peel is great for removing dirt from the face as well as a quick revitalizer. Simply take the orange peel and use the fleshy white inside to rub gently on the skin. Its really simple and works well as a start to any facial.

Olive Oil and Sugar scrub

After I was done with the orange, without rinsing off the little orange bits, I took slightly less than a teaspoon full of sugar, with a dash of olive oil, and spread it on my skin. This is great as a scrub and exfoliant. Rub the mixture on the face, and massage with small circular motions. (I also rubbed some on my lips, it removes the dead skin and is great for chaffed lips.) Olive oil is perfect because it doesn’t clog your pores, and it helps retain the natural moisture of the skin. If you don’t have olive oil on hand, you can try any other natural oils. This is actually a variation of jmmk’s castor oil face scrub.

Honey mask

Lastly, i rinsed off the olive oil and sugar, spread some raw honey on my face;  got a container filled with boiled water and steamed my face for about 5 minutes. Honey is a humectant therefore is great for hydration, leaving your skin silky soft! Once this was done, I washed everything all off with warm water, did a final cold rinse and moisturized with my beloved nivea soft moisturizing cream. My goodnessssss, heavenly skin!!!

What I love most is that these treatments are short, easy to do and the results are definitely Asilia prime!

Apple Cider Vinegar – How To’s and its Versatility

Ok, so I’ve always used Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar as a part of my salad dressing, but I had NO IDEA as to how versatile and beneficial Apple Cider Vinegar is. Apart from being an ancient remedy for just about everything; I read a few blogs and articles where people used it to aid in digestion, boost the immune system, as a detox, after facials, as a toner, in the hair, among many other unmentionables (Yeast infection anyone? 😀 ).

It was just too much for me not to try it! As I mentioned, I already had the Heinz stuff in my house but all the sites recommend using organic, non processed/ pasteurized ACV and so I went and bought some Bragg ACV. It is made from organically grown apples that are not heated or pasteurized. It is left raw and unfiltered and as a result it is cloudy and has a brownish color, reminiscent of oxidizing apples. Although Bragg seems to be the most popular organic ACV on the net, there are lots of other brands to choose from. The important thing is to make sure it is organic and still has ‘the mother’ in it. (When I first heard this it sounded like crazy cult talk! THE MOTHER!? 😀 ) Apparently ‘the mother has’ numerous health benefits. More about ‘the mother’ here.

So I got my bragg on started using it as a ‘daily detox’ first thing in the morning. One table spoon of ACV to a large glass of water. I was surprised to actually notice a difference! It leaves you feeling nicely flushed out, and doesn’t taste as bad as I expected. Highly recommended!

ACV drink recipe

1 Tablespoon of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
600ml Drinking Water
3 teaspoons of honey

(If you really can’t stand the taste you can add it to juice instead.)

Yesterday night after my moisturizing deep conditioner I decided to try final ACV rinse in my hair. I was skeptical because really, who puts vinegar in their hair?! I washed out my DC, used my herbal essences conditioner and rinsed that out and used the ACV mix as a final rinse, followed by a dash of water. I was so pleasantly surprised! My hair was softer and felt stronger too!

ACV hair rinse recipe

2 Tablespoons of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Litre of (preferably distilled) tepid Water

I loved the effects and will try it again, to make sure it wasn’t a fluke! I’ll also try after a facial as a toner and see what happens. All in all, Organic full-of-goodness Apple Cider Vinegar – Asilia Prime!

Mini Updates

Me procrastinating = not blogging about the various things I have tried. On with the revelations!

Mango Face Mask

mangoesThis probably will make me start an “Asilia Meh” tag cos I noticed no difference. I took the skin of a mango and rubbed the inside of it all over my face, neck chest and waited 15 minutes as I did my best to not lick it off myself. After I washed it off … nothing. No extra glowing or smoothness or anything. I’m guessing this is one of the things that I have to try more than once to see results or I have to mix it with something else. I would have given it another go the next day but all the mangoes had been had for breakfast so I guess it will wait until the next time I go grocery shopping.

Pineapple and Honey Mask

pineappleLove! A little bit of pineapple juice and honey spread all over the skin left it feeling gloooorious. Most definitely an asilia prime. It may have something to do with the fact that I left it on for ages – I got distracted and before I knew it it had been around 40 minutes. Someone else I have wrangled to experiment things with me tried it with the juice from canned pineapples and she was impressed by the results so I’m guessing the awesome properties of the honey and pineapples shine through even with a little bit of processing. Most definitely something I would do again. Sunscreen is recommended after using pineapples on the face as the enzymes make the skin a bit sensitive so protection is required.

Oil Cleansing Method

castorOilHeres the thing – I now have a bond with castor oil that I doubt will be severed for a while. So I am absolutely behind the idea of using it on a daily basis. Problem is, the whole process is sooo labour intensive – mix the oils. Massage massage massage onto the face and other areas. Steam with warm washcloth, wipe gently then repeat that process a couple of times. Then moisturize. Doesn’t seem like a lot but sometimes its like … is there a way to shorten this process? Its too long to be done during the morning rush and at night I am so out of it the last thing I want to do is massage oils onto my face for 5 minutes and then steam a couple of times. Sometimes I just forget and other  times … you get the idea  On the upside? My skin always feels great after, which is why I try to do it a few times a week. Very labour intensive in my opinion but most definitely worth it.

Next time, henna! What to buy, why it’s awesome for your hair and what to watch out for when you buy it.

Mmmm, Grapes …

grapesI decided to have a little spa night of my own the other day and this was the perfect time to try out using home made scrubs and masks. So I settled for what was in the fridge which was grapes and sour cream (had run out of yoghurt and couldn’t be bothered to go out and buy some more and lactic acid is lactic acid, right?) to make my face mask and to use the castor oil sugar scrub.

Grapes have tartaric acid which is used for skin exfoliation and sour cream is made by fermenting cream with lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid is used in beauty products for the purposes of exfoliating and softening the skin. With these two combined I figured I couldn’t go wrong since both fall under AHA’s.

Since this was an impromptu thing, I didn’t have enough supplies to make my own bath salts and what not but no worries, it was still a fun time.

After using the castor oil sugar scrub and steaming my face I applied the grape and sour cream mask which I had made by mixing the two ingredients in my little blender. A few things I noted were:

  1. I really need to go out and buy some gelatin/kaolin or other binding agent cos it was runny! And the bits of grape skin wouldn’t allow me to use a cotton ball to apply it properly and it’s hot this time of year. So what started out as a semi liquid mix ended up being an entity that had a life of its own running down my fingers and hands before I could get it on my face.
  1. A little bit goes a long way. Since I am averse to measuring things I just threw in a handful of grapes and a big scoop of sour cream. I had a lot left over and I had to go around applying it on someone who was more interested in what it would taste like than actually sitting still and being pampered. To avoid having the bulk of it staying in the fridge I put in on my arms, legs, everywhere. Still some left over and I’ve been using it the past couple of days but I don’t know how long it will keep.
  1. I used the grape and sour cream mask after I did the sugar scrub and it stung a bit. I’m wondering if I was a bit too enthusiastic with the exfoliation. Or maybe I did it in the wrong order – am I meant to first do the mask then exfoliate?  Is this just another case of me having to suffer for beauty’s sake? Asilia bots, help!

Final conclusion? Grape + sour cream mask = Asilia Prime! Despite the runny consistency and the grape skin that just would not blend my skin is feeling fantastic. I have been using the left overs the past few days* and I have had two people tell me I’m glowing. My t-zone area was less oily too and that’s always a good thing as sometimes the shine on my nose surpasses that of my nose ring.

Next on my list to experiment with: mangoes! I’m going through all the contents of my fridge and pantry and seeing what I can do with them.

*Masks that one buys from the store says that you use them once a week for a reason – the concentration of ingredients is high and over use could result in stressing/damaging your skin. One made at home from fruits is relatively safe to use on a more regular basis since it’s gentler on your skin, though it may take a few applications to see results.