i answer google search terms that brought people to my blog – PT 2


welcome back! 🙂 

here we are again, almost exactly 1 year later (ha…), reviewing my blog stats and getting to read what people searched to wind up on this site.


black walnut hair dye 

this was by far the most searched term that drove organic views to this site in the last year. yes, i have dyed my hair with black walnuts, and yes, it actually works. here’s the original post from 7 years ago (wow). 

norwex cloths

among the phrases in this search term were things like “home cleaning” and “private parts”…. when i first used norwex cloths in 2013, it was because a rep provided them to me to review. i ended loving them so much that i purchased a pack with my own money. those washcloths are still in my bathroom to this day, lovingly being used and in great shape. highly recommend! 

dragon’s blood

dragon what? what blood? good ol croton lechleri sap is fantastic for skin-support. i first wrote about it here, but it’s now found in countless green beauty products. and guys – it can be used undiluted on skin as a liquid bandaid. super cool!

msm face mask

methylsulfonylmethane (msm) is a sulfur compound that is great both externally and internally. if you want to learn more and try it in an exfoliating mask, try this post. if you want to combine it with anti-inflammatory powerhouse turmeric, try this post. and if you want something moisturizing and skin-softening, try this post. happy mixing!

hydrojelly face mask 

hydro-gel face masks have become my favorite, since i live in a high-altitude, dry, polluted city. think: 100% Pure but make it DIY. they’re easy to customize and easy to make, making them a fun diy tailored for your skin needs. the coolest part is they come right off with no scrubbing and no mess. i usually make/use these every other week. here’s a post

water-only washing 

while i personally can’t follow this method anymore, because i live in a high-altitude, dry, and polluted city, i think it’s a fantastic option for those that can. it’s exactly what it sounds like, and no, you won’t end up stinking. my hair ended up shinier and softer than ever, and could actually hold a curl. here’s a post on w.o.w. for hair and one for body

(product name) dupe

i do have a formulation educational series on this blog, which took inspiration from actual green beauty products on the market. while no companies or product names are used, it’s a nice series on learning to read ingredient labels and understand how that translates into a formula. it’s also a nice starting point for those wanting to get into diys, but don’t know where to start. here’s the full series. there’s lot of good info in those posts, if i do say so myself!


anything else you’re curious about? maybe we’ll have part 3 in another year 😉


diy hydrogel peel off face mask

i’m currently obsessed with making hydrogels. i also love the 100% pure hydrogel face masks. here’s a DIY for that.

note the ingredients you mix in will be whatever you want to target your own skin needs. i’m a big fruit acid fan, so my mask will be tailored to a gentle peel and hydration.


the gelling agent we’ll use is agar agar. before i went vegan i used gelatin, but honestly agar agar is better. it doesn’t smell, it doesn’t hurt when you peel it off, and it holds water better to more deeply hydrate the skin.

what i love most about this mask is the clean-up: you just peel off and go!


  • 6 ounces water
  • 1 teaspoon agar agar powder
  • optional – powders, oils, tea leaves, flower petals, spices, etc (max 1 tablespoon total)

for my face mask, i’m going to add in green papaya powder and hibiscus flowers. both have natural aha/bha in them and work wonders in making the skin look smoother, glowy, hydrated, and less clogged.


how to:

  1. boil water WITH agar agar (and tea leaves/flowers) for about 5 minutes, or until fully dissolved. you can quickly strain out leaves and flowers now before it cools into a gel
    – please note you cannot cold process agar agar powder. it won’t dissolve.
  2. mix in any oils, spices, or powders now
  3. allow it cool slightly, and apply a thick layer evenly on your face and neck. it will cool into a gel that’s easily peeled off. any spots that are thinner will kind of hurt to peel off because they won’t be as “gel”-like
  4. let your mask sit as long as you like. my face tends to suck all the water out of the mask in about 40 minutes, so that’s what i do.
  5. enjoy your soft, smooth skin!

>> what ingredients will you mix in?


get your glow on! – hydrating AHA & BHA gel-like mask

i’ve been dying to share this mask with you all! it’s a more involved DIY (and honestly a bit pricier than what i typically post), but really worth it – i promise.

it’s a “gel” mask that’s deeply hydrating and contains gently exfoliating AHA and BHA acids, helping to unclog pores, resurface skin, improve texture, and leave you plumped and glowing. i put gel in quotes because it’s not a true slimey gel, but has a gel-like consistency.

no, it’s not magic, just a pretty darn good mask featuring tremella mushroom (tremella fuciformis) and green papaya.

please note there are two alternatives to this recipe posted at the end. one is water-free and one is the cheaper (yet still good) version!


this mask has really truly helped my skin with all the pollution i’m in every day, as well as the high altitude and overly dry air where i live. i started getting a lot of clogged comedones from all the pollution, and this has completely evened my skin back out (minus the texture i had from having pizza face in my younger years).

not to brag, but it’s my new favorite mask, even above my favorite purchased mask. i’m pretty proud of it.

she doesn’t have a name! wanna help me figure a name out? please though.

you must use a preservative in this mask! absolutely no exceptions. i included my favorite, which also happens to be a nice skin care ingredient anyway.

>> this recipe will make enough to fit into a 3.3 ounce container. i’ve used it in both a wide mouth cosmetic jar and a squeezy bottle, and prefer the squeezy bottle.

let’s go!


  • rose water
    • deeply hydrating
    • contains vitamin c
    • soothing and calming
  • green papaya powder
    • contains AHA fruit acid to exfoliate and brighten
    • can help with hyperpigmentation and under eye darkness
  • tremella mushroom powder
    • deeply hydrating and jelly-like
    • brightening and healing
    • antioxidant
    • high vitamin d
    • better than hyaluronic acid (yes, you read that correctly)
    • * DIY gel serum coming soon
  • aspen bark extract powder
    • high in salicin
    • natural preservative
    • skin-conditioning
  • butterfly pea flowers
    • potent antioxidants proanthocyanidin and antthocyanin
    • enhances skin’s collagen, promotes elasticity, and reduces signs of fine lines
  • white willow bark extract powder
    • contains salicylic acid, a BHA, helping to gently exfoliate and give you a glow



links to ingredients are only provided for your ease of use. they are NOT affiliates. i do not benefit in any way. these ingredients are pricier, so i will be making other DIYs for you using them so nothing goes to waste! some DIYs with these ingredients that are on the way to the blog soon include an oil-free gel serum, acne spot treatment, and hydrating toner.

i’m putting my entire skincare routine back into the DIY realm and because of this, i have no qualms spending money on things that work and that i will use up.



  1. in a small glass jar or cup, soak 4 to 6 butterfly pea flowers in your rose water for a few hours at room temperature, until it turns a deep indigo. strain.
  2. add all your powders one at time, starting with the green papaya powder. mix well. you can add the tiniest bits of rose water if you find it thickened too much.


USE GUIDE – please read all

  • store in an airtight jar or squeezy tube, away from direct sunlight and heat
  • toss after 3 months or if the smell turns
  • SPOT TEST FIRST due to AHA/BHA acids. anything more than a slight tingle is not okay. try removing the white willow bark if you experience irritation.
  • use no more than 2 to 3 times a week, due to AHA/BHA acids
  • keep mask moist. you can get reuseable silicone face sheets, like this one, on amazon to keep it covered.
  • leave on 20 minutes and rinse. follow up with your favorite moisturizer

CAN’T AFFORD ALL THIS RIGHT NOW? no worries! i suggest only getting the green papaya powder, and make a paste with water in the palm of your hand whenever you want to mask. you still get the benefits of the AHA acid, but don’t have to worry about blending, preserving, or purchasing everything else.

WORRIED ABOUT BACTERIA AND CONTAMINATION? honestly, well-founded. leave out the rose water but mix up everything else and store in an airtight container. you can make a little gel paste in the palm of your head whenever you want to mask.

please leave your experiences with this mask below! i’m so curious on how you all find tremella mushroom and green papaya to work for you.




diy face mask – vitamin c & beta carotene

hello beauties! i should stop saying i’m on a blogging break, right?

i thought i’d pop in real quick to share a nice face mask with you that’s quick to make. it has a high ORAC value, is high in vitamin c, is rich in exfoliating fruit acids, and has a nice dose of beta carotene. aka, this helps with the appearance of fine lines, promotes skin cell turnover, and gives you that “glow” everyone seems to want.

btw, this is completely edible and DELICIOUS! it tastes like the most wonderful tropical candy.



  • one tsp freshly blended papaya (or one of your frozen cubes from this recipe)
  • one tsp local raw honey; it should be crystallized, not runny
  • 1/2 tsp camu camu powder
  • 1/2 tsp lucuma powder


mix all ingredients in no particular order in a shot glass (easy clean up) or tiny bowl.


apply a generous layer to  freshly cleansed, damp face. let it sit for up to 45 minutes. the papaya juice may have soaked in or dried by now, so you’re left with a tacky honey mixture only. you can tap your face or gently swirl for light exfoliation. rinse with clean water. follow up with your favorite hydrator and then moisturizing serum. i prefer my Botanical Dew, naturally.

feel free to eat the leftovers 😉

what do you think? any adjustments to make? please share!


papaya face mask – easier version.

you’ve seen this post before… once about 3 years ago, and again on instagram (@alexraye_ae). but here we are today to blog-i-fy the recent insta post…. because it’s an easier version of the one i posted in early 2016… and we love ‘easy yet effective,’ right?

i love this as part of my 45 minute at-home facial.


this face mask is 1 ingredient, and gently exfoliates with the natural fruit acids in the papaya’s skin, flesh (hate that word), and seeds. think of it as a green beauty face peel.

why would you use a face peel? they’re used to slough off the top dead layer of skin cells and promote cell turnover. this reveals fresh skin and can help shrink pores. face peels are especially helpful to those wanting to combat uneven skin tone, help combat fine lines, and help heal breakouts.


blend 1/3 of a ripe papaya, skin, seeds and all, in a high powered blender. once it turns into a smooth jelly, scoop small spoonfuls into the pockets of a silicone ice cube tray and freeze.

this is because – 1. it’ll keep your face mask cubes fresh and in the perfect one mask amounts; and 2. an ice facial will stimulate blood flow in a gentle way.

only use this mask once every week. you should see visible results after a few uses, but your glow will be there immediately.

be sure to follow up your peel with a nourishing serum. with the increased blood flow and newly exposed skin, you have the perfect opportunity to really set yourself up for some serious glow! you already know i love my Botanical Dew, but i have some other great oils listed here.

AND – since we don’t want to waste the extra papaya, you can use the rest as a hair mask. it’ll add some shine, softness, and moisture, as well as give you a little grease-fighting action. papaya is quite the super fruit!


45 minute DIY (at home) full facial routine

happy self-care sunday!

today i’m going to share with you my favorite facial routine lately. it takes about 45 minutes and makes me feel so much better, even if my hair is on day 7.


this has 3 steps, but don’t let that deter you.

  1. jasmine green tea face steam
    • make a strongly steeped cup of jasmine green tea
      • green tea contains antioxidants, tannins, and caffeine, helping to reduce puffiness and improve skin texture
      • jasmine is said to provide a calming, relaxing experience – just what we need
    • while still hot, dip a washcloth into the tea, wring out, and place over your clean face until it cools
    • wipe your face in gentle circular motions all over
    • reheat washcloth in the hot tea again. steam your face again. gently wipe your face again
  2. papaya ice facial
    • using your pre-made blended frozen papaya cubes*, gently swirl all over your face until thoroughly covered and chilled. this will stimulate blood flow and brighten your complexion. a slight tingle is okay, as the papaya contains natural fruit acid exfoliants
      • *i posted about this on instagram (@alexraye_ae), but it’s super easy: cut 1/3 to 1/2 of a ripe papaya in chunks, keeping the skin on, and blend until smooth. drop a small spoonful into each ice cube pocket in a silicone tray. freeze and use a cube at a time as needed.
    • let sit 15 to 20 minutes
    • wipe off with the jasmine green tea washcloth you used before
  3. hydration & moisture
    • after you wipe off the papaya, you’ll want to hydrate AND moisturize
    • you can do a two-step process for this, by misting with your favorite hydrosol and while your face is still damp, applying a few drops of your favorite oil – OR – you can use a generous amount of your Botanical Dew (it hydrates and moisturizes in one step)


enjoy your soft, glowing skin!

would you want to see a hydrating mist DIY? i have a few favorite recipes i’d be more than happy to share. let me know.

what are your favorite tea steams?


red wine & chocolate – for your face

this time of year always seems to be busy and full of outside demands. i’m here with an easy face mask to help you take an evening, or at least an hour, to treat yourself your skin to some wine and chocolate.


this is a revamped version of an earlier posting, so i hope you all don’t mind. i was indulging in wine myself and remembered this gem.

organic red wine is chock full of great things for your skin, like antioxidants, amino acids, alpha hydroxy acids, and polyphenols, as well as boasting antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. raw organic cacao is a powerful antioxidant and is highly anti-inflammatory.

these properties make this face mask great in helping with decreasing the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, uneven tone, excess oil production, skin renewal, and a nice glow.

  • 2 tablespoons organic red wine
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic cacao powder
  • 3 to 5 drops of your favorite oil/oil blend

in a small bowl, mix the wine and the cacao well, and then mix in your oil droplets.

if you are not vegan, or are vegan+wild local honey — raw honey makes an excellent addition to this mask, for both nutrients and consistency. if you’d like to add it, try adding 1 tablespoon in this order: honey, wine, cacao, oil. this will ensure an even, creamy consistency.

for either version, apply to a damp face and let sit for 10 to 30 minutes.

gently rinse and apply your favorite serum.


if you’re looking for a cacao mask you can BUY, instead of DIY, check out Mahalo’s The Bean Mask. i swear… something Divine helped formulate it.