A Japanese Inspired Cleansed Life: Beauty

We are really looking forward to our trip to Japan this summer. It is an amazing opportunity for our family and a great reason for me to learn simple, natural methods used in Japan for beauty, cleaning and healing. The first post in the series explores simple ideas for creating a Japanese inspired natural beauty plan. In addition to the ingredients on the Terrific Twenty list, you will also need the following:

  1. Green Tea
  2. Rice Water
  3. Awesome Sun Protection

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Green Tea

Most everyone is aware of the awesome benefits of green tea. Green tea helps to fight the effects of aging, speeds up your metabolism, acts as an antibacterial, etc. You can drink green tea or use it as a topical beauty treatment. I need a break from coconut oil and apple cider vinegar so exploring different substances is most welcome. One of the best benefits of green tea for me has come from the anti inflammatory properties. Most everything seems to make my skin blotchy and red, particularly the endless amount of coffee I enjoy; green tea on the other hand leaves me energized with out the caffeine jitters and red, blotchy skin. In addition to drinking green tea I would suggest checking out the following green tea beauty treatments:

Green Tea Steamer

Steep two bags of green tea in a bowl of water. Place face over bowl while it is steaming. You may want to cover your head with a towel to keep the steam contained.

Green Tea Toner

Steep two bags of green tea in two cups of water and let cool. Use a cotton ball to swipe the face, gently. Face should feel smooth and pores refined.

Green Tea Foot Soak

Empty tea bags into a bowl of warm water and allow feet to soak until you feel rejuvenated.

Green Tea Hair Rinse

Steep 2 bags of green tea in 2-3 cups water. Let cool. Following your regular shampoo and conditioning routine rinse hair with the cooled green tea. I had great results from this one; added a lot of body to my hair. I took a break and put the leftover tea bags on my eyes for ten minutes while my hair dried. One thing I have found with these hair rinses (including the ACV rinse) is that you do not want to use them too often; perhaps once every other week or even once a month. However, everyone is different.

Green Tea Bags for Eyes

Reuse your green tea bags by placing them in the fridge and placing them over your eyes when you have ten spare minutes. Ahhh relaxation.

Rice Water

I read that rice water has long been a beauty secret of the Geisha, so I decided to give it a try. Making rice water is quite easy. After boiling the rice, pour the excess water into a jar. You may have to add filtered water to get the desired consistency: a white cloudy mixture. Keep it in the fridge. Rice water may be used as a toner or face cleanser.

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Rice/Coconut Oil Scrub

Although this does not contain rice water, rice can be used to do other great things.

What You Need:

  1. 1 TBSP ground rice
  2. 2 TBSP melted coconut oil
  3. 1 tsp lemon juice
  4. 2 drops lavender essential oil

What To Do:

  1. Grind the rice. I use a coffee bean grinder.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Scrub hands and feet with this scrub.
  4. Rinse.

Awesome Sun Protection

Protect yourself from the sun! Hats, sunglasses, non toxic sun screen, umbrellas! Just do it!

 

Olive Oil Citrus Scrub or Misadventures in DITY Essential Oils

I tried to make my own essential oil and kind of succeeded, but mostly failed. There are many methods available including ones using crockpots, oil infusions, etc.

The first one I attempted was a rosemary essential oil using a crock pot. I washed off the rosemary, placed it in a crockpot, covered it in distilled water and left it to cook on low for 24 hours. An unintended consequence was that the house smelled wonderful for those 24 hours (if you like rosemary). Following the 24 hours of cooking, I left it to sit in a dark room, uncovered for one week. An oil was supposed to have gathered at the top, this did not occur. I ended up dumping the whole concoction.

The second “experiement” involved infusing olive oil with grape fruit. A friend had given me a dozen, beautiful, organic grapefruits. I peeled the skin off, removing any of the white pith. After leaving the peel to dry for about 12 hours, I placed the peel in a dark bottle and covered it with olive oil. I left that to sit in the cupboard under my sink for a whole week. I then strained the mixture into a bottle using a coffee filter (a cheese cloth was recommended, but I do not own own). I used a spoon to press the remaining oil out of the peel. The resulting mixture did not resemble any essential oil  that I have used before and the odor of the olive oil overpowered the delicious grapefruit scent. However, the grapefuit did soften the olive oil scent so all was not lost. I created a graprefuit-olive oil- sugar scrub to be used on arms and legs as an exfoliant and moisturizer. Next time I will try this using a different oil such as sunflower oil. I realize grapefruits are not on my Terrific Twenty list; lemons would work as well.

Grapefruit-Olive Oil-Sugar Scrub

What You Need

  1. Peeling device
  2. Grapefruit (or other citrus fruit) peel
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Dark, glass jar with air proof lid
  5. Cheesecloth or coffee filter

What To Do

  1. Peel the citrus fruit, avoiding the white pith.
  2. Dry the peel for about 12 hours on a baking sheet. A good idea is to place it in the oven, but don’t turn it on.
  3. Place the dried peel in the dark, glass jar.
  4. Cover the peel with olive oil (I used olive oil, but a different oil might work better).
  5. Seal the jar.
  6. Place jar in a dark place and let it sit for one week.
  7. Strain the contents into a second jar using a cheese cloth or coffee filter.
  8. Add some sugar to the grapefuit infused olive oil.
  9. Use the scrub on your arms, hands, legs and feet as an exfoliator and moisturizer in the shower.

I never thought I would be the sort of person who was into essential oils, but I was converted after buying a little bottle of thieves essential oil from a friend who is a Young Living consultant. To be honest, I am not a fan of all the offshoots of tupperware parties that have become so big in mom circles in the United States. It has become almost comical with everyone having their item to sell to each other, whether it be scented candles, books, jewlery, cooking ware, etc. Why can’t we just be friends? HAH. That being said, over the past year I have acquired lavendar, peppertmint and thieves essential oils and use them on a daily basis. This is why I wanted to try and make my own. I am determined to find some better methods and may even update my Terrific Twenty list to reflect what I learn.

Two New Face Masks

I have developed the habit of trying out one face mask (masque) each week. My two new favorites are below. As always, know your skin and test out a little on your skin before doing the whole mask.

Baking Soda-Lemon Juice-Honey Mask

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I found this mask at Style Craze. There are some great ideas on that website. This mask left my skin glowing and did not irritate. The three ingredients help to exfoliate, tone and moisturize all at once. Check out the link or look below to see my notes.

What You Need

  1. 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  2. 1 teaspoon Honey (creamed is best)
  3. 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice

What To Do

  1. Mix the three ingredients together. Wait for the fizz to die down and you will have a runny, yellow paste.
  2. Spread the paste on your clean face and neck. Avoid eyes and any other sensitive areas. Lightly rub the mixture into your skin for some nice exfoliating action. Don’t be too rough.
  3. Leave the mask on your face for 15 minutes.
  4. Wipe off with warm water.
  5. End the experience with a splash of cold water.

Notes: Use any left overs to exfoliate your hands and elbows. I have found these masks are best done before I take a shower in order to rinse off any residue that gets into my hair. Great for days when you use a coconut oil hair mask.

 

Honey-Lemon Juice-Olive Oil Mask

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This is my own concoction. It is a great moisturizer, but I know olive oil can be too strong for some people. My skin is on the sensitive side due to rosacea, but this worked fine for me.

What You Need

  1. 1 teaspoon Honey (creamed works best)
  2. 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  3. 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice

What To Do

  1. Mix the three ingredients together.
  2. Spread on face and neck, avoid eyes and other sensitive areas.
  3. Leave on for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse off and pat dry.

 

 

Honey Moisturizer

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We like honey…a lot.

Honey is very popular in our house. My kids prefer honey to jelly with their peanut butter toast, my husband enjoys finding local honey to help with his allergies and I love honey in my tea. Since moving to Washington state in 2013 we have been using Wakera Farms honey (pictured above) for our local honey source, but I recently heard a rumor they were going out of business due to the dying bee population. I am saddened to hear this. We keep on hand three types of honey: a raw creamed honey for healing and moisturizing, a local honey for help with allergies and a third generic store honey for sweetening. This post is primarily about honey as a moisturizer.

A few weeks ago a friend told me she applies a thin layer honey masque to her face once a week and has great results. I was skeptical that it would work for me since I have sensitive skin and dreaded the sticky feeling I assumed honey would leave behind. I am happy to report the honey moisturizing masque works quite well for me and the residue is easily removed. I use creamed honey because it has a thicker consistency, spreads well and wipes off easily. I also use creamed honey to soothe and heal chapped lips.

Honey Moisturizing Masque

What You Need

  1. Raw honey
  2. A clean wash cloth

What To Do

  1. Apply 1-2 teaspoons of honey to your face, gently massaging it into your skin with your finger tips.
  2. Let it sit 10-15 minutes.
  3. Wipe off with a warm wash cloth. I like to follow the warm wash cloth with a splash of cold water to shrink my pores.