Israel’s Olea Essence: Olive Oil & Natural Skincare

Olea Essence feat

Olea Essence tour Qatzrin Israel via @poorandpretty

One of the places Stan visited during his Israel trip was a family-owned olive oil press in Qatzrin, in northeastern Israel. Founded by the Talmon family in 1997, Olea Essence is known for its high quality olive oils and sustainable farming and manufacturing processes. It was this ecological focus that led to the introduction of their 100% natural skincare line.

Olea Essence Skincare via @poorandpretty

Olive residue, a by-product of olive oil manufacturing, is harmful to the environment due to its excessive concentration of antioxidants. But the Talmon family found that this made an excellent base in cosmetics, especially for its anti-aging benefits. No wonder Israeli women have such beautiful skin!

Olea Essence tour ancient press Qatzrin Israel via @poorandpretty

Stan (who hates olives but loves olive oil!) learned about the olive oil process from harvesting through pressing, including ancient and modern-day techniques. He also taste-tested Olea Essence’s different flavored olive oils and brought home a delicious bottle of Tabha Olive Oil, which I’ve been instructed to “only use for dipping good bread in.” And of course, he picked up a few all-natural cosmetics for me:

Olea Essence Skincare products via @poorandpretty

I was a little skeptical to try these at first, thinking they’d all smell strongly like olive oil, but they really don’t. The body milk is lightly scented with lemongrass, pine, grapefruit, and tea tree oils and absorbs very quickly into the skin.

Olea Essence Hand Cream via @poorandpretty

The hand cream is barely scented, and is more like a balm than a cream. It’s really good for Stan’s very dry, cracked hands. My hands usually don’t need as much attention, but I like using this on my cuticles.

Olea Essence Olive Wash and Exfoliate via @poorandpretty

Olive Wash and Exfoliate is mostly olive pulp and has an invigorating but light lemongrass scent. It’s a wonderfully gentle all-over body cleanser and exfoliator, and reportedly great at treating acne. I follow it up with the body milk or my whipped body butter.

Don’t worry: you don’t have to go all the way to Israel to try these! All of these products can be purchased online.

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DIY Beauty: Avocado Hair & Face Mask

DIY avocado hair and face mask via poorandpretty

DIY avocado hair and face mask via poorandpretty

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably saw my “Hulking out” photo (if you missed it; I’ve included it below ;). Really though, I was just wearing this avocado hair and face mask. It’s rich in protein, vitamins (especially A), and antioxidants to gently exfoliate and moisturize your skin and hydrate your hair. Plus, apple cider vinegar is great at eliminating build-up and dry skin that leads to dandruff. Okay, okay, I get it. It’s awesome. Now, tell me how to make it!

DIY avocado hair and face mask ingredients via poorandpretty

Super Smooth Avocado Hair & Face Mask. This should make enough for one hair and face application, even if you have the thickest hair in the world (like me). It will not store well, so use it as soon as you make it.

Ingredients:

  • ½ an avocado — rich in antioxidants and vitamins to promote hair growth, overall scalp health, hydrates and gently exfoliates skin and helps prevent wrinkles.
  • 1 egg yolk — don’t use the egg white! It’s a royal pain to get out of your hair. Egg yolk is also rich in protein, fat, and lecithin (an antioxidant) and acts as a hair conditioner.
  • ¼ cup organic soy milk —chock full of protein, vitamin E, and antioxidants, soy milk encourages cell turnover for healthy skin. Only use organic soy milk, you don’t want GMOs on your face!
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil — high in fat, oleic acid, and antioxidants to heal skin cells,  repair skin damage, and prevent wrinkles.
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar — prevents scalp buildup and dandruff.

DIY avocado hair and face mask egg yolk mixture 1 via poorandpretty

Step One: Combine everything but the avocado in a small bowl.

DIY avocado hair and face mask egg yolk mixture via poorandpretty

Step Two: Whisk the ingredients together and voilà! You have just made runny mayonnaise! Ew. Please don’t eat this.

DIY avocado hair and face mask blender via poorandpretty 843x403

Step Three: Add the liquid mixture and the avocado into a blender and blend away. Stop two or three times to check for avocado chunks.

avocado face and hair mask - poorandpretty

Step Four: Apply mask to hair. If you’ve ever used a home hair dye kit, you’ll want to apply this mixture to your hair in the same way. Separate out your hair, then work in the mixture with your hands (and maybe a comb, but I did just fine without one), working from your scalp out to your ends. When you’ve covered your entire head, spend a little extra time working it into your scalp. Pull your hair back with a hair elastic or claw and cover it with a shower cap. You’re going to leave this on for about 45 minutes.

Step Five: Apply mask to face. After you wash your hands and face (use your regular facial cleanser), use the remainder of the mask on your face. Apply in gentle upward strokes, avoiding the eye area. Leave this on for about 5 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water and follow up with your favorite astringent and moisturizer. Check out my winter and summer skincare tips for a few of my favorites.

Step Six: After 45 minutes, hop in the shower and thoroughly rinse the avocado mask out of your hair. Follow up with your normal shampoo and conditioner routine.

avocado hair and face mask via poorandpretty 843x843

Here’s to the end of winter and the end of dry skin & scalp!

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DIY Beauty: Green tea exfoliating mask

green tea mask feat

Happy Labor Day! Let’s take a minute to appreciate our skin today, which works so hard to keep us pretty. ;)

Green Tea Mask Ingredients_LO

This is a mask you can easily whip up in seconds. At the core of it is one green tea bag (dry, not steeped!) and one tablespoon of baking soda. Rip open the tea bags and mix with the baking soda, then store this mixture in an airtight container. When you’re ready to use the mask, take one teaspoon of the dry mixture and combine with one teaspoon of the following, depending on your skin type:

  • water – for oily skin
  • milk – for normal/combination skin
  • olive oil – for dry skin
  • honey – for all skin types; raw honey is a great humectant (it rehydrates skin by drawing on moisture from the air).

I like to think of this as a “choose your own adventure” mask. Remember those books? I always seemed to choose poorly. Lucky, you can’t do that with this mask because no matter which liquid you choose to mix in, your skin is still going to be exfoliated. Win!

Green Tea Mask_LO

To use:

  1. Wash your face with your favorite cleanser.
  2. Mix up the mask according to your skin type above.
  3. Spread the mixture on your face with your fingertips and gently rub into the skin for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Leave on for 5-10 minutes, then rinse off.
  5. Follow up with your favorite toner (have you tried mine?) and moisturizer.
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