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!

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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!

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

 

RECIPE

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.

 

HOW TO

  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.

XO, ALEXRAYE

 

 

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.

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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.

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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!

XO, ALEXRAYE 

weekly catch-up #7

happy monday, crunchies!

i hope everyone had a great weekend!

the highlight of my weekend was floating down a river with some friends, however, i got quite the sunburn. what did you do this weekend?

rose

ROSE HYDROSOL. as we all know, i love rose anything! i purchased a spray bottle of organic rose water and i have to say – i’m in love. i have the brand inflora botanica, purchased here (not an affiliate link). rose water can be used as a toner, humectant, anti-inflammatory, spray to help with oily and blemished skin, lightly scented body or hair spray, and a spray to help with fine lines and wrinkles. this refreshing floral  hydrosol is also high in vitamin c and antioxidants, so spray away! the brand i have is a tad expensive, but the quality is superior. it smells heavenly! what are your favorite hydrosol uses? Continue reading weekly catch-up #7

soothing dry/itchy scalp rinse

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

with this winter being one of the hardest in a long time, keeping my hair and skin moisturized has been at the top of my list!
since i only use water to wash my hair, i couldn’t use my beloved coconut oil on my scalp. but i still needed extra moisture! so what is a gal to do?

DIY her own scalp rinse. duh 😉

soothing scalp rinse

this rinse is for anyone battling a flaky, itchy, dry scalp at any point in time, using ANY hair washing method. it doesn’t matter if you’re no-poo, low-poo, clay ‘poo, water-only, etc… this rinse is safe to use!

what’s in this rinse?

  • raw honey – acts as a humectant and draws in moisture
  • undistilled alcohol-free witch hazel – soothes an irritated and itchy scalp and helps combat dryness (if you don’t use alcohol-free, it will dry out your scalp even more. it also needs to be undistilled to ensure the tannins are still present in the liquid)
  • rose water – reduces inflammation and helps combat dryness
  • distilled water
  • pure aloe vera gel- great moisturizer and soothes itch (you can most certainly add this, but to store your mix in the shower, don’t use aloe. otherwise, store it in the fridge!)

HOW TO

  • mix 1 1/4 cups of warm, distilled water with 1/2 tablespoon raw honey until the honey is mixed well into the water
  • add 1 tablespoon alcohol-free witch hazel,  1/2 cup pure aloe, and 1 tsp rose water
  • mix well and pour into a plastic squeezy bottle so it can be applied directly to your scalp
  • after washing (whatever that may be for you) or wetting your hair, apply it to your scalp in sections, rubbing in for a few seconds in each spot.
  • let it sit for a few minutes (5 to 10) and rinse well in cool water

voila!

this mix should be enough to use for 2 or 3 rinses. you may keep the rinse in a bottle in your shower for a couple weeks. no need to worry about anything spoiling (unless you added aloe)!

also, be sure to never wash or wet your hair in hot water! this will dry out both your hair and scalp, as well as cause typical heat damage to your strands!

now go give this rinse a try 🙂

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