5 Beauty Benefits of Orange

Beauty Benefits of Orange via @poorandpretty feature

I love the smell and taste of oranges. They’re so good for your body, and as it turns out, they’ve got a lot of beauty benefits too. Here are just a few:

Beauty Benefits of Orange via @poorandpretty

1. Treat dark spots. The vitamin C in oranges helps reduce dark spots, even skin tone, and get rid of blemishes. Did you know that orange peels actually contain more vitamin C than the fruit itself? That’s why I use orange peel powder in my Orange Sugar Scrub.

2. Dry out & heal acne. Citric acid blasts away pore-blocking dirt and bacteria to deep clean and kill any existing acne.

3. Detoxify. You can thank dietary fiber for giving orange peels super detoxifying powers. By ridding the skin and body of harmful toxins, fiber helps prevent acne breakouts.

4. Skin-firming. Not only does vitamin C improve your skin’s texture and color, it also restores collagen to firm and prevent premature aging of your skin.

5. Rejuvenate dull skin. The combination of vitamin C, citric acid, and dietary fiber in oranges work together to exfoliate and revitalize lackluster skin.

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Orange you glad I shared these tips with you? Grab an Orange Sugar Scrub for yourself or someone else who could use a little relaxing & pampering right here.

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Coffee or Tea? The Scrub Showdown + Giveaway

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If you aren’t following Poor & Pretty on Facebook or Instagram, you may have missed a few of my latest additions to the Apothecary: Coffee Sugar Scrub and Green Tea Salt Scrub.

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Made with organic and fair trade certified Colombian coffee beans, my Coffee Sugar Scrub boosts circulation and reduces inflammation. Plus it smells like coffee, which to me is a total plus.

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My Green Tea Salt Scrub is handmade with matcha powder and green tea extract, which are masters at detoxifying, soothing eczema, and diminishing puffiness and redness, especially when used on the face.

If you’ve been reading Poor & Pretty for a while, you’ll know I’m kind of a tea fiend. You might even say I have a bit of a problem. (Stan and I have almost an entire kitchen cabinet devoted to tea.) I also love the smell of coffee. Not the taste, or the fact that it makes me jittery (even though I know some teas contain more caffeine than coffee), but I’m loving that I have coffee beans in the house — they’re so aromatic! So I thought it would be fun do to a little coffee vs tea contest.

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Here are the deets: Win a 4oz Coffee Sugar Scrub or Green Tea Salt Scrub! All you gotta do is leave a comment below saying whether you prefer to drink coffee or tea, and which scrub you’d like to win! The contest is open to U.S. residents only until Friday, November 28th at 11:59pm EST.  Get an extra entry if you “favorite” either of these scrubs on Etsy. Good luck! This contest is now closed. Congrats to Zuleyka!

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5 Beauty Benefits of Lavender

Lavender beauty benefits feature

Five years ago, I was just starting to read ingredient labels and ask questions about all of those unpronounceable things in my cosmetics. Today, I’m making products with only natural (and pronounceable!) ingredients in them in hopes of ridding bathroom shelves around the world of nasty chemicals. I thought I’d share some of the amazing natural ingredients I use in my products, and a few reasons why I use them. Let’s start with lavender, the most gentle and useful essential oil.

5 beauty benefits of lavender via @poorandpretty

1. Beauty sleep. Lavender is best known for its ability to relieve stress and induce sleep and relaxation. If you’re suffering from insomnia or find yourself restless, place a lavender sachet into or near your pillow, or take a bath before bed with my Lavender Bathing Salts.

2. Fights acne. Because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, lavender essential oil fights bacteria that causes acne infections and reduces swelling and redness. It also works great as an astringent because it helps normalize oil production. For spot treatment, you can apply lavender essential oil can be directly to acne blemishes with a cotton swab.

3. Renews skin. As an antioxidant, lavender essential oil aids in the skin cell renewal process, making it a champion at firming skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also protects against and relieves sun damage. Another great reason to use my Lavender Sugar Scrub — which can also be used as a facial scrub.

4. Heals burns, wounds, scars, and chapped lips. Aside from fighting acne, Lavender’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory attributes make it beneficial for relieving pain and healing burns, wounds, scars, and chapped lips.

5. Promotes a healthy scalp. Lavender improves blood circulation, treats dandruff, and reduces hair loss, making it a great addition to a hair rinse or conditioner. And, it kills lice! It’s especially effective when paired with tea tree oil.

Need more lavender in your life? I use lavender essential oil and flower powder in my Lavender Bathing Salts and Lavender Sugar Scrubs. Check out my Etsy shop for even more handmade, 100% natural goodness.

Warning: Do not use lavender essential oil if you are pregnant or nursing.

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DIY Beauty: Green tea exfoliating mask

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

DIY green tea and baking soda exfoliating mask - poor and pretty

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!

Tip: Always apply masks after you’ve cleaned your face with your favorite facial cleanser. Masks are not a substitute for cleansers.

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Summer skincare tips & top picks

A few of my friends have asked me for tips on getting rid of acne or basic skincare maintenance. Skin is either too oily or too dry; there’s almost never a happy medium. We all have this problem (even me!), and of course it varies with the seasons. I thought I’d share my summer skincare routine with you, along with some of my go-to products.

summer skincare tips and top picks - poor and pretty

1. I notice my skin is the clearest when I wash my face at night. Right now, I’m using a cream cleanser I’m developing myself, but my favorite retail cleanser is the Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. It’s made entirely from natural ingredients and doesn’t include harsh chemical detergents that cause your skin to dry out.

2. I always, always, always follow up with my homemade rosewater and witch hazel astringent. I used to be terrible at using astringents, but now that it’s a part of my routine, my skin stays much cleaner. It’s super easy to make — you can find most of the ingredients at your local health food store, or online. After using your cleanser, put a few drops of the astringent on a cotton ball and swipe over your face (avoiding your eye area, of course). I sometimes use the astringent throughout the day to freshen up.

3. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Admittedly, I’m still working on this one. When I do remember to exfoliate twice a week, I get less acne. My favorite exfoliating masks are both homemade: DIY strawberry mask (strawberries contain salicylic acid, which fights off acne-causing bacteria) and DIY oat & cornmeal exfoliating facial scrub & mask (this one’s easier to keep on hand).

4. Traveling is no excuse not to take care of your skin! If you need a good on-the-go cleanser, try the Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes. Infused with aloe vera, cucumbers, and green tea, these babies remove makeup, soothe, and clean your skin. Plus, they smell great, too!

5. Now that you’ve got the cleaning part down, don’t forget to moisturize, even if your skin is typically oily. One of the biggest reasons why skin becomes oily is because we wash it with all of these harsh cleansers, strip its natural oils, then we don’t bother replacing any of those oils. This makes our skin work extra hard to compensate for those missing oils, pumping them out and resulting in shiny, slick, yucky skin. Gross, right? So always replenish those oils — just like you would drink water after sweating. My favorite moisturizers are both from DressGreen: Purifying and Blemish Controlling Face Serum (best for drier skin) and Calming and Clarifying Face Cream (better for oilier skin). Like most people, I have combination skin, so I use these interchangeably. They’re both 100% natural and free of toxic chemicals.

6. Of course it’s Summer, so we can’t forget the sunscreen. Dermatologists suggest wearing sunscreen on your face daily because our facial skin is most susceptible to sun damage. My natural sunscreen of choice is Naked Bee’s Face & Body Moisturizing SPF 30 Sunscreen, which contains 70% organic content and is enriched with Vitamin C. It smells lovely and has no Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Laurel/Laureth Sulfates, or alcohol.

Be safe, don’t forget to drink lots of water and share your Summer skincare tips in the comments!

Bonus: want naturally beachy hair without going to the beach? Try making my DIY sea salt hair spray!

This post is a part of Independent Fashion Bloggers Project #104 Summer Essentials.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

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