5 Beauty Benefits of Aloe

Beauty Benefits of Aloe feature via @poorandpretty

Beauty Benefits of Aloe via @poorandpretty

1. Soothes Sunburn. It’s no secret that aloe vera gel is amazing at healing sunburn. Most of us keep it stocked in our home for just this reason. (We had bottles of it in my bathroom growing up. My Nana — whose name was Vera — would see the bottles and pretend they were saying “hello” to her. ;) However, many drugstore Aloe Vera Gels are full of toxic chemical preservatives because real Aloe Vera Leaf Juice is very fragile and readily grows bacteria. So, I make my own After-Sun Aloe Spray and stick it in the fridge. If you’d prefer to buy rather than DIY, I recommend this stuff.

2. Balances pH. Our diet or beauty products can throw our natural pH level out of whack, but Aloe can help set it straight. This is why I include pure Aloe Vera Leaf Juice in my Rose + Tea Facial Toner. Using toner is a crucial part of my daily beauty routine because it balances my skin’s pH level after using face wash.

3. Moisturizes. Did you know Aloe absorbs into the skin four times faster than water? Yep! This makes it an incredible moisturizer for hair and skin, which is why I include it in my Rose + Sea Salt Hairspray and my Rose + Tea Facial Toner.

4. Heals & Prevents Acne. Aloe’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great natural ingredient to use on acne-prone skin. Another reason it’s in my Rose + Tea Facial Toner!

5. Prevents Dandruff. By soothing, balancing, and moisturizing our scalp and hair, Aloe helps prevent dandruff and hair loss. I’ve added it to my Rose + Sea Salt Hairspray to counteract the drying effect of salt. 

Rose Tea Facial Toner 2

Soak up the beauty benefits of Aloe in my 100% natural Rose + Tea Facial Toner and Rose + Sea Salt Hair Spray

Rose Salt Hair Spray 2

I love the way my hair looks after using my Rose + Sea Salt Hair Spray. Check out my tutorial on how to get beautiful beachy waves.

DIY Soothing After Sun Aloe Spray sq via @poorandpretty

Want to make your own soothing after-sun spray with Aloe? Check out my tutorial!

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DIY Soothing (Non-Sticky) After Sun Aloe Spray

DIY Soothing After Sun Aloe Spray feat via @poorandpretty

DIY Soothing After Sun Aloe Spray via @poorandpretty

Even with my best attempts to cover up with sunscreen, I always end up getting sunburn at least once every summer. Stan and I keep a bottle of Aloe gel in the fridge, but we hate how sticky it gets. So I came up with this not-so-sticky alternative: a spray, made with aloe juice, coconut oil, and the soothing essential oils of lavender and peppermint.

Soothing After Sun Aloe Spray ingredients via @poorandpretty

Ingredients:

You can buy all of these supplies through Bramble Berry (my go-to for natural beauty ingredients!) or your local natural foods store.

Making Soothing After Sun Aloe Spray via @poorandpretty

Using a funnel, add all the ingredients into your bottle, then shake it up and spray your sunburned areas. If you have it on your face, keep your eyes closed while you spray. Shake before each use.

Because this contains water, you’ll need to store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for 2 months.

DIY Soothing After Sun Aloe Spray sq via @poorandpretty

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5 Beauty Benefits of Cocoa Powder + New Chocolate Face Mask!

5 Beauty Benefits of Cocoa Powder feature via @poorandpretty

Like we needed any more reasons to love chocolate, right? You know I’m a big fan of putting my favorite kitchen ingredients into beauty products (green tea, oranges, vanilla, etc.), so it was only a matter of time before I started slathering cocoa powder all over my face. And you can too! Today, I’m introducing my all new 100% natural Chocolate Face Mask, just in time for Mother’s Day. But first, let’s talk about why cocoa powder is so awesome for your skin:

5 Beauty Benefits of Cocoa Powder via @poorandpretty

 

1. Repairs skin. Pure cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants, which fight off free radicals, heal damaged skin, and reduce lines and wrinkles. You can see why I decided to make my new Chocolate Face Mask!

2. Prevents sun damage. Polyphenols — a type of antioxidant found in cocoa powder — absorb UV rays and help ward off skin cancer. Polyphenols are best absorbed through drinking, so add a spoonful of cocoa powder to your coffee or make natural hot chocolate. But please don’t slather yourself in cocoa powder! It is not a replacement for sunscreen.

3. Firming. The caffeine and theobromine found in cocoa powder break down fats and drain fatty cells which firms skin and reduces puffiness.

4. Reduces cellulite. Caffeine and theobromine also make cocoa powder an effective natural cellulite treatment.

5. Healthy hair. The sulfur in cocoa powder promotes shinier, softer hair. It can also be used to naturally darken hair.

Chocolate Face Mask top 2

In my Chocolate Face Mask, I’ve combined the antioxidant-rich, certified organic cocoa powder with dehydrated coconut milk and kaolin clay to gently exfoliate, smooth, and hydrate your skin. Pick one up for you — or your Mom! — here.

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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: All-Natural Homemade Face Wash

DIY natural face recipe wash via @poorandpretty

I have been testing my all-natural homemade face wash for about two months now, and I’m happy to say that it has performed better than any store bought product! Because it contains no harsh surfactants, it doesn’t strip away my skin’s natural oil. Rather, the jojoba oil and castile soap combine to gently remove dirt without drying out my face. It’s pretty fantastic, and perfect for those with sensitive or problem skin, dry or oily. See more details about each ingredient below.

DIY natural face recipe wash ingredients via @poorandpretty

You will need:

  • 1 8oz bottle — I recommend these.
  • a funnel
  • 1 cup castile soap — a very mild soap made from olive oil
  • 1 tbs jojoba oil — similar to our skin’s natural oils; it penetrates deeply without leaving an oily residue & is suitable for all skin types
  • 1 tsp rose floral water or rose hydrosol (they aren’t exactly the same thing, but pretty close) — works as an astringent to balance skin; fights acne
  • a few sprigs of fresh or dried rosemary — rosemary is an antiseptic and encourages cell regrowth
  • 11 drops of lavender essential oil — antiseptic, heals blemishes

DIY natural face wash via @poorandpretty

Place the funnel on top of your bottle and add the castile soap, jojoba oil, and rose floral water into the bottle. Remove the funnel and drop in your rosemary, then add the lavender. Shake it up!

DIY natural face wash with lavender and rosemary via @poorandpretty

And that’s all there is to it! Be sure to shake well before each use, as your ingredients will separate. As with any new body products, you will likely need to try this out for 2-3 weeks before your skin becomes acclimated to it. I’d love to hear what you think!

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