exfoliating raspberry jelly

hi crunchies!

today we’re going to create a lightweight exfoliating jelly. it’s fun to use and functional. it can be used on your face, body, and scalp.


*pic from Uvive Health

this scrub is super easy to make, but please note that this contains water and needs to be preserved… no exceptions. if you don’t, you have to use it within 48 hours and store it in the fridge. any more time and you’ll be putting some nasty bacteria on your face, even if you can’t see it with the naked eye.

the preservative we’ll use is pricey but a “natural” one. the company puts it on sale for 25% off every few months, if you wanna wait and see. there are cheaper options available, so feel free to research and see what works best for you.


hibiscus is a nice water-soluble colorant, but is also known as the “botox plant.” i posted about it a few years ago here.


  1. soak your hibiscus flower/tea bag in a cup of hot water until it turns a light to medium pinkish red. you don’t want it too dark because it can potentially stain counters, clothes, and light skin tones. once steeped, strain.
  2. add the 1/4 tsp powdered aspen bark extract and fully incorporate.
  3. very evenly and finely sprinkle your 1/4 tsp xanthan gum powder over the top and let it sit for at least 2 hours at room temperature. *do not stir* or it will clump into what we call “fish eyes.”  once hydrated and gelled, stir well.
  4. stir in your raspberry seed powder.
  5. store in a squeezy container for easy use.
  6. gently scrub from head to toe and rinse with warm water. follow up with your favorite moisturizer.

easy peasy and leaves you hydrated and smooth all over!

what are your favorite all-over exfoliators?




DIY hydrating mists

we’re almost done with 2018, which means this blog is getting closer to going on a hiatus. dang.
ALSO – don’t forget to enter in the giveaway before the winner is announced on 12/31.

and now the post you were promised –

hydrosols, steams, and mists have been pivotal to my skincare routine. today i’m happy to share a few of my favorite hydrating mist blends, that you can keep in a spray bottle of your choice. to be clear – these are not hydrosols – hydrosols are steam distillations. these are simple decoctions, or potent “teas” you can easily make yourself and use.


all of these recipes call for 1% to 4% of a preservative of your choice – check with the manufacturer on the proper usage. i am partial to black currant extract powder used at 2% (not the fruit powder). if you’d rather forgo the preservative, please store in the fridge and toss after 2 days.

as with most of my DIYs, this can be used on your skin AND scalp.

if you don’t have a spray bottle, you can put it in a regular glass bottle, like the one pictured below, and use it with a washcloth or cotton pad. that’s what i do right now, and i think i might prefer it.

these types of hydrating ‘teas’ are the only thing i use to clean my face in the mornings, and i use it again at night before applying my Botanical Dew.

>> with any of these, i’ve found it’s easiest to use pre-made tea bags when possible. you can of course buy the dried and/or powdered materials, just strain the liquid before you bottle it. if you have a french press, it would make for an easy clean-up.


CAMU CAMU, HIBISCUS – anti-aging
benefits: camu camu is one of the most potent sources of natural vitamin c on the planet. i have 2 really nice vitamin c serum DIY blends here if you want to add/swap out for another vitamin c rich fruit powder. it’s an excellent partner to hibiscus, known as the botox plant, that’s full of AHAs and antioxidants. i’ve raved about it before here.
how to: make a cup of tea with 1 teaspoon camu camu powder and 1/4 of a dried hibiscus flower. any more hibiscus and those who are fair skin can expect a nice little pink stain. (don’t ask me how i know… i definitely didn’t turn myself into a strawberry.) use near-boiling water. cover and let it steep for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. transfer to your bottle and store in fridge, OR add preservative, transfer to your bottle, and store in a cool, dark area (cabinet).

GREEN TEA, JASMINE – anti-aging/de-puffing/softening
benefits: green tea, as we know, contains caffeine, antioxidants, and tannins, all helping to reduce puffiness, reduce appearance of fine lines, and leave you with soft skin and a nice glow. jasmine hydrates and softens your skin, while it relaxes you with its delicate aroma.
how to: in a small coffee cup or french press filled with hot (almost boiling) water, add your green tea & jasmine tea bag (i use Heath & Heather), cover, and let it steep for 12 to 24 hours. transfer to your bottle and store in fridge, OR add preservative, transfer to your spray bottle, and store in a cool, dark area (cabinet).

TULSI, DANDELION ROOT – clears blemishes/anti-inflammatory
benefits: tulsi has long been used for many things, but in this tea we are aiming for its blemish fighting and anti-inflammatory properties. combined with dandelion root, which is rich in minerals and ‘detoxifying’, this is a nice combo to smooth and even out problematic skin.
how to: because you’re using a root, it will need to steep a little longer than typical tea leaves. however, since we’re letting them steep for 12 to 24 hours anyway, this will be okay. so – using boiling water (because you’re using a root), stir in 0.5 tbs dandelion root and 0.5 tbs tulsi leaves, or 1.5 tsp of each if that’s the measurement you have on hand. cover and let it steep in a coffee cup or french press for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. transfer to your bottle and store in fridge, OR add preservative, transfer to your bottle, and store in a cool, dark area (cabinet).

ROSE, LAVENDER, CALENDULA – calming/anti-inflammatory
benefits: all 3 are fantastic for both skin and hair, so it’s no surprise they ended up on my list. all 3 are calming and hydrating. rose and calendula also target fine lines, and lavender is anti-inflammatory.
how to: in a small coffee cup or french press filled with hot (nearly boiling) water, stir in 1/2 tablespoon dried rose petals, 1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms, and 1 teaspoon dried calendula petals. cover and let it steep for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. strain out blossoms. transfer to your bottle and store in fridge, OR add preservative, transfer to your bottle, and store in a cool, dark area (cabinet).

and last, but not least – my favorite blend of all time: 1 bag of Heath & Heather organic jasmine green tea and 1/2 tablespoon rose petals. so dreamy! my skin is always feeling clean, soft, and hydrated afterwards. i follow up with my Botanical Dew and that’s it. super simple.

please share your favorite hydrating mist DIYs with the rest of the community below!


DIY lip oil/gloss

for some reason i have never posted a DIY lip gloss… better late than never, right?


this recipe can be used day or night, either as a day moisturizer or night reparative gloss.


  • 3 parts castor oil
  • 1 part favorite face-friendly oil
    • differs by person; very few people can handle coconut oil, while nearly everyone’s skin can handle squalene, like amaranth seed oil
  • sprinkle of hibiscus powder, if you want a bit of a pinky hue. don’t add too much because it’s not exactly oil soluble.

lip gloss containers: amazon is a great source of empty lip containers, with wands or squeezie tubes.

EASY PEASY.  now save yourself some money by DIYing.


hibiscus 2.0 – hair & skin tonic

if you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll remember i first posted on the hibiscus flower for beauty uses about 3 years ago. now that i live in mexico and hibiscus, or ‘flor de jamaica,’ is abundant here, i’d thought i’d give a little update post for this wonderful flower.


hibiscus can be used both internally and externally, for a multitude of purposes.

when used internally, it’s been touted for cholesterol level and blood pressure maintenance, to help nausea and promote appetite, and to calm nerves. when used on hair, it increases shine and softness, and decreases hair fall. when used topically, hibiscus, a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids, known to promote cell turnover, gently polish/exfoliate, increase elasticity, even skin tone, lighten spots and blemishes, control break-outs, and balance oils. it’s quite the power plant!

there are various parts of the plant that can be used and prepared differently. if you’re wondering whether you could benefit from incorporating hibiscus into your diet, please consult a certified herbalist and also conduct your own research.


for this post, we’ll make a really strong hibiscus tea that you can store in your fridge for a few days. this tea can be applied directly to your scalp and hair to help with dry/itchy scalp, dandruff, and dullness.

you can also apply it to your clean face before bed for a nice dose of vitamin c and AHA acids that will gently polish and brighten your complexion. it’s a powerful anti-aging flower and will help with fine lines, spots, and increasing elasticity.


start with a large coffee mug, enough water to fill it 75%, and a handful of whole, dried hibiscus flowers. big bags of these flowers are at my local grocery stores, but i used to buy them from Mountain Rose Herbs. i’m sure amazon would carry some, too.

put your flowers in your mug,  boil your water, pour the boiling water into the mug, let steep, and let it cool to room temperature. done! keep in a sealed bottle or jar in your fridge. use nightly. discard remaining liquid (or drink it – it’s tangy and delicious!) after 3 days.



please note that if you are fair-complected or have light colored anything in your bathroom, hibiscus can leave stains.

bonus: blend the leftover flowers up really finely and apply as a face pack for a gentle flower acid exfoliation. moisturize after.

have you used hibiscus for any beauty recipes? do you drink it? it’s such a popular drink here in CDMX, usually served iced and slightly sweetened.


DIY no-‘poo alternative shampoos & conditioners

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

as we know, no-‘poo can be pretty difficult to master. i did “no-‘poo week” in hopes i’d help a lot of people. but there’s still one huge thing i wanted to address & publish…

diy natural shampoos and conditioners

for some people, baking soda/acv isn’t the route to go. neither is castile soap. but what do you do when those no-‘poo methods don’t work for your hair, but you don’t wanna go low-‘poo?

try these homemade alternatives i’ve gathered up! these do require more time, but you should be washing your hair much less, so no big deal, right? 🙂

as with any no-‘poo/low-‘poo method, there is a transition period when you first switch from regular shampoo/conditioner. and with these following recipes, using hair products is not advised since there’s nothing in these mixes that will clean the products back out of your hair.

also, these methods won’t lather (unless you add soapwort). that doesn’t mean it’s not getting your hair clean!
also also, these mixes are okay for both hard and soft water.

lastly, these ingredients can be found at your local organic store and local health food store. call & check! if not, there’s always online!


lemon shampoo

  • mix 1/3 cup lemon juice with 2/3 cup water for oily hair OR 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1 cup water for normal hair
  • *you can add 1 tbsp acv for those with dry hair
  • put into container and use as shampoo
  • this might lighten hair over time if you’re in the sun a lot

hibiscus shampoo Dried hibiscus flower

  • place either 2 fresh or 2 dried hibiscus flower petals and leaves into small blender
  • add 1/2 cup water
  • blend into paste
  • use as regular shampoo
    *you can also use powdered hibiscus for homemade blush/eyeshadow!

powdered shikakai shampoo (for sensitive scalps, hair growth, and hair root strengthening) Shikakai-powder_250x250

  • in a sauce pan, mix 1 tbsp shikakai powder, 1 tbsp amla powder and 1 tbsp reetha powder into 1 1/2 cups water
  • heat till almost boiling, and turn the heat to low
  • let simmer for 10-15 minutes
  • strain and use the liquid as shampoo

soapwort shampoo

  • chop 1 1/2 tbsp dried soapwort
  • bring 2 cups water to a boil
  • add soapwort to boiling water, and stir a couple minutes
  • cover and let simmer for a 1/2 hour
  • strain, put in container, and use as regular shampoo
    *this WILL be sudsy! (for those that miss bubbles!) fullers earth

fuller’s earth shampoo

  • mix enough fuller’s earth with water to make a watery paste
  • apply mix to hair and rub on scalp as you would regular shampoo
  • rinse very, very well

castile shampoo mixes- a gentler castile method (use distilled water)

  • mix 1 part liquid castile soap to 8-10 parts distilled water (or even diluted further if you can)
  • mix with: aloe vera; raw honey; argan oil; jojoba oil; avocado oil; coconut milk; vitamin e oil; a few drops of various essential oils; etc.
  • keep in container and use as regular shampoo

*tea shampoo (for added color & gray coverage)

  • for added color and gray coverage benefits, use tea instead of water in ANY of the shampoo mixes that have waterred-rooibos
  • black teawill help darken hair over time (3-5 bags steeped for 1 hour)
  • chamomile tea will help lighten hair over time (3-5 bags steeped for 1 hour)
  • red or rooibus tea will help add red to hair (3-5 bags steeped for 1 hour)
  • add 1 tbsp sage (or equal parts if you’re goin hardcore coverage) to help cover grays
  • …remember to strain before you add to your mixes 😉

shikakai & soapnut shampoo

  • here’s a great tutorial on it. & she claims it takes out oil treatments from your hair too. that’d be great! … if anyone wants to test that claim and get back to us here at AE, more power to ya!

you can add steeped mint leaves and/or various essential oils to ANY of these mixes

**if you want a sudsy lather, steep soapwort and add it to any shampoo mix (soapwort instructions above)


these conditioners are geared towards no-‘poo-ers. these will rinse out with your regular no-‘poo routine 🙂

coconut oil (dry, damaged hair… but it’s golden for everyone)

  • mix 1/3 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon melted organic unrefined coconut oil
  • you can add a few drops of any essential oil- lavender, orange, rose, etc. mmm!
  • keep in container and use as regular conditioner (shake each time)20130616_134007

raw honey

  • mix 1 teaspoon raw, organic honey into 2 cups very warm water (not hot) until honey is thoroughly dissolved
  • put into container and use as you would a regular conditioner

avocado oil (frizzy hair)

  • mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon avocado oil
  • put into container and use as regular conditioner (shake each time)

vitamin e oil

  • mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon vitamin e oil  
  • put into container and use as regular conditioner (shake each time)

sweet almond oil

  • mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • put into container and use as regular conditioner (shake each time)

coconut milk

  • apply as much coconut milk as needed to cover the length of your hair (if you choose to use canned, make sure there are no added sugars or preservatives. you don’t want a sticky mess in your hair)
  • use as regular conditioner
  • the best coconut milk is homemade. no sugar, no preservatives, etc.  and the best part? you can drink it! so delicious & healthy! yay!
    – i’m not sure what i did wrong with this one, but it left my hair dull and limp. i know it’s supposed to be amazing! i’ll try it again someday

other deep conditioners

*obviously water and oil don’t mix. shake mix vigorously before applying. the water is there to help to keep the oil from “sticking” in no-‘poo hair, but will still give hair moisture.


only 1 mix needed for these bad boys!


  • whip up a couple egg YOLKS
  • use as shampoo, let sit 10-15 minutes, and rinse well!
  • *there is a such thing as too much protein in your hair! please don’t use this more than once a week. and even that is still too much for some people’s hair. you’ll know you have too much protein in your hair when it starts to break/snap easily. sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true! that being said, eggs are GREAT for hair. don’t let the protein thing scare ya off


  • use as much pure, organic aloe vera juice or gel as you need to cover all your hair from roots to ends
  • let sit a 10-15 minutes (shave/bathe?) and rinse well!


  • blend 1 peeled cucumber and 1 peeled/de-seeded lemon in a blender
  • use mix as shampoo

coconut milk/aloe combo

  • see my recipe here


please keep in mind some of these shampoos/2in1’s will expire quickly. use common sense 😉 i suggest making only what you need, and keeping extras in the fridge! the conditioners listed do NOT need to be kept in the fridge.

any shampoo/conditioners YOU love? let’s hear it!