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Graceful negotiation for the signs of aging

DIY facial cleansing pads with how to instructions

Honestly I wasn’t even sure if they still made Oxy pads, but a quick google search, and I discovered they still do make them. They were all the rage when I was a teen. I used one ONCE. I thought it would erase the one huge pimple I had on my forehead and I would look flawless like this….d122e560fad8b100664dc355501f5bed (3)Instead, due to the high content of alcohol and my sensitive skin, I’m sure I looked a little more like this:

little-girl-screaming

and for continuity sake, this is the real me as a teen (and one of my brothers). Look at all that acne!

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Flash forward about 27 years – my kids needed (and I needed them to use) facial cleansing pads of some sort. Teen girls tend to get some cyclical acne in the T-zone while teen boys seem to get it everywhere. Even teens without acne will experience a large increase in blackheads specifically around the nose. So I took a jelly jar into the treatment room to see what I could whip up. Of course, I still clean my face (exclusively) with grape seed oil, but I knew I wouldn’t mind a anti-aging treatment pad to use after I cleansed my skin at night. After making two recipes and trying them in our own bathrooms, as well as the treatment room for several months, we decided to share the recipe and how-to’s with all of you.

1. Gather needed supplies

Teen acne cleansing pads: witch hazel, Lavender & Melaleuca Essential Oil, 2 aspirin tablets,14 cotton rounds, 1 jelly jar

Anti-aging or adult acne scar reduction cleansing pads: witch hazel, Lavender, Frankincense & Lemon Essential oil, 14 cotton rounds, 1 jelly jar.

ingredients pads

2. Mixing instructions:

Teen acne pads: first, place your two aspirin tablets (the non coated/inexpensive kind) into a plastic bag and pound them with a small hammer or rolling pin to crush them up. Pour the crushed aspirin into your jelly jar. (remember aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid – which is exactly how they make salicylic acid in most acne products on the market.

Place 3 ounces of witch hazel in a separate small container. Add 3 drops of melaleuca and 3 drops of Lavender into the witch hazel. Pour into the jelly jar with the crushed aspirin and place the lid on. Shake it up to mix/dissolve the aspirin. After it has dissolved, open the jelly jar and pour the mixture back into the other container.
crushed aspirin

jelly jar solutionVoila! Done. Parental unit hint: if you use 14 pads(which fit perfectly) into the jelly jar sized (4 ounce) container, it’s easy to see if your teen is using at least two pads each day! I make a new solution every Sunday and get everyone’s refilled for the week. Simple, fast – and effective. OH – and inexpensive! Here’s the breakdown:

Jelly jar – .87 each

Witch hazel  -.60 for 3 ounces

Melaleuca – .21 for 3 drops

Lavender – .24 for 3 drops

Cotton rounds – .28 for 14

Total cost for first time making container: $2.20. Cost for making each refill – just $1.33 per week! (Reuse same jelly jar).

Adult anti-aging/scar reducing cleansing pads: Use the same method as above. If you are an adult that does not have acne, skip the aspirin step. The power house here for anti-aging is the Frankincense Essential oil (EO). It is proven to soften fine-lined wrinkles, smooth out the skin and reduce the appearance of scars.

Recipe: 3 ounces of witch hazel – add 4 drops of Frankincense EO, 3 drops of Lavender EO and 2 drops of Lemon EO – especially if you have some brown spots or discoloration on your face.

* You’ll notice in the photo above that shows the supplies needed for adult cleansing pads, I have an asterisk beside Lemon EO. This is important! If you are planning to use these pads in the morning – and DO NOT wear a daily facial sunscreen, please do not use Lemon EO. Lemon is a known photosensitizing oil – therefore it’s use can make your skin especially sensitive to sun/light exposure. The same goes for lemonade, water with lemon or any other photosensitizing EO (such as grapefruit and lime). If you are living south of the mason dixon line, or on vacation during the summer and you apply or ingest these oils – you are much more sun-sensitive!

If you are wearing a daily sunscreen, then no worries. Personally, I never use a corrective or anti-aging product in the morning, I use them only at night. I do this because, first – when you are out and about and exposed to environmental factors, I doubt they have the ability to be that effective. I feel it’s a waste of money. Second, since the pH of the skin tends to even out during sleep (and no environmental assault it taking place) – I believe the skin is better capable of absorbing the peptides in these power house products.

Cost breakdown for adult cleansing pad solution:

Jelly jar – .87 each

Witch hazel  -.60 for 3 ounces

Frankincense EO – .1.12 for 4 drops

Lavender EO – .24 for 3 drops

Lemon EO – .08 for 2 drops

Cotton rounds – .28 for 14

Total cost for first time making container: $3.19. Cost for making each refill – just $2.32 per week! (Reuse same jelly jar).

As always – if you are not currently an Essential Oil fan, nor have them on hand, we would be glad to make them for you. In most cases, we have them available in the treatment room. However, since Essential Oils oxidize quickly – we do not leave them on the shelf for long amounts of time. (No more than one week). If you know you need or want something – please contact us ahead of time so we can be sure they are ready for you. Our in-spa cost for the teen acne cleansing pads is $4 and the adult anti-aging version is $5.00. About Face also extends wholesale pricing to it’s treatment clients for Essential Oils. If you want to save on shipping, and on retail prices – let us know which you’d like and we’ll be sure to have them for you. The EO’s mentioned above are common skincare EO’s and we do our best to always have at least one full bottle in stock. Example: Lemon Essential Oil retails for $13.33, however – current clients (have had at least one treatment in the last 12 months) will pay $10 wholesale for Lemon EO. Other’s mentioned here are: Lavender – $28 retail; $21 for About Face clients. Melaleuca – $25.33 retail; $19 About Face clients. Frankincense – $93.00 retail; $69.75 for About Face clients.

Sample sizes: About Face also has sample sizes available of any oil you’d like to try. Sample sizes are 1.5 ml (approximately 25 drops of EO per sample).

Here are the most common skin oils:

Lavender – 1.5ml sample – $2.25

Melaleuca – 1.5ml sample – $2.00

Lemon – 1.5ml sample – $1.25

Frankincense – 1.5ml sample – $4.50

teens back to school

Our annual back to school Teen skin “free and clear” program is back. If you have or know a teen that would benefit from this treatment plan – sign them up.

4 Weekly visits between 7/13/15 & 8/17/15. Each appointment will last approximately 45 minutes – with the exception of the first session, which will last approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to allow time for consultation. Teen can pick any day or time for their appointments.  What’s included:

before and after acneConsultation with review of current product use, activity level, diet/nutrition, sleep patterns and current condition of skin. At the end of the this consultation, the teen will receive for no additional charge – 1 regular sized bottle of facial cleanser (approximately 3 months of use); their first week of facial cleansing pads & a bottle of grapeseed oil with tea tree added. They will also have written instructions (personalized) for them as well as skincare journals with instructions for use. The will bring this journal each week to their appointments. They will have their first treatment immediately following their consultation. *Parents are not required to stay for the visit, but they are required to sign a release/permission to treat for any teen under 18 years old.

During each 45 minute treatment – a teen facial with extractions as needed will be performed. If the teen would like, their brows can be shaped and/or groomed at this time (no extra cost). All treatments are customized for each teen.

Value of package:

Facial cleanser – $20

Cleansing pads – $20

Treatments – $200

Consultation – $50

Grapeseed oil – $6.00

Journal’s – $3.00

Total value of package: $299.00. Mention this blog post and enroll your teen for $150. 

the fine print: Spaces are limited to 20, and last year they did sell out. Use the contact us page to request this package. Slots are guaranteed with payment.  Refund policy: if illness or other special circumstances prevents the teen from finishing the package, the discounted price paid can be credited for future use or the value transferred to another friend or family member of any age/any treatment. Credits will be issued at sale price, not regular retail price. For example: if your teen enrolls and receives product, but does not finish all treatments, a credit of $25 per treatment will be issued to their account. They may use this at anytime toward any regularly priced service, or transfer to someone else. Another words – the dollars paid will never be lost. Credits will be issued for the sale amount paid, not the full retail value of the service. (Seems simple, right? Trust us – we’ve had clients request refunds on a buy one get one free special. They bought a treatment and received it. They decided they wanted a refund on the second treatment – which was free. If anyone figures out how to refund free- let me know -I am still puzzled!)

Dont-Miss-This-500x260

Do you know a teen that would benefit from this package, but would not be able to afford it? Last year, we were able to gift two teens with free back-to-school skincare packages, and it made our hearts sing! We’re offering this again. If 10 of our slots fill up, we’ll be gifting one and if all 20 fill up – we’ll again, gift two teens. If you know a teen, please nominate them by emailing Lori at (thatwoodardgirl12@gmail.com). Be sure the teen would be able to have transportation to the weekly appointments, as well as able to get a parent/guardian signature for treatment if under 18.

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DIY OH Baby! Natural baby wipes for great baby skin

babies

Baby B, little Lorin & Sarah and soon after we rocked Lorin’s world by bringing home her little brother.

Today, I am posting this DIY baby wipe post in honor of three of my favorite girls (Casey, Jenni and I can’t name the third because it’s still a secret. shhhh) who are having babies late in 2015, or very early 2016!  It feels like it’s been such a long time since mine were babies, and the fact that there will be babies that I will totally be able to get my hands on to squish and love on is just plain exciting!

Did you know that commercially made baby wipes contain ingredients that carry hazard ratings? if you are really curious, head on over to the Cosmetics Database and check out their complete list of different brands of baby wipes and the hazard rating. It still makes me slightly crazy that it’s “allowable”, and yes – I am aware that many babies handle the use of these wipes “just fine”. Although, I have met many infants with chronic runny noses, colic and more – with an unknown etiology – and I have to wonder – if their toxic load was lightened- would their little systems do better? I think we all have been guilty of thinking that a product is fine – if there is no rash, or no visible sign of a problem. Now that we are reading more and more information about the gut being our second brain and the center of most disease, perhaps we’ll see some improvement in what is allowed in commercially sold products.  Click here to go to the database. Once you get there, click the little arrow to the right of the word “Score” to list them in reverse order. This means the wipes with the most hazardous ingredients will be listed first.

Before we get to the recipe – I’d like to point out that manufacturers are also picking up on the natural world’s “key words” – therefore words like “goat’s milk’, “green tea”  and “Chamomile” are in the names of the wipes. If a product name contains these words, they have to be good right? Wrong. Those three ingredients are in the names of the top 3 worst brands on the market today. These wipes have a hazard rating of 7 and ingredients found in these wipes have been linked to allergies, high toxic loads, developmental delays, organ dysfunction, endocrine disruption – and cancer.  Read your labels – and better yet, make your baby wipes at home. Save some money, remove all doubt.

When I started my journey for healthier living, I was sort-of forced into it. I had rapidly declining health – at the old age of 26. Modern medicine just wasn’t working and I didn’t have time to waste with a newborn on my hands. As I looked around for healthier alternatives, I found some – but man, were they expensive! So, I searched blogsites and other resources to find that many of the recipes that existed suggested the use of baby oil (or mineral oil) and baby lotion. Eeek! If you want to be frightened – check out those ingredients on the database linked above.

You can imagine how the rest of the story goes – trial and error – mostly error. Finally, I had the ingredients down in a way that would allow the wipes to work -with no skin irritation!  It is simply a bonus that if you purchase the needed items in bulk, I estimate that you can save approximately $135 per year per kid with DIY wipes. Who wouldn’t cheer for healthier and less expensive? If you are just starting out your family, gather a group of Mom’s and Dad’s and co-op the batches together.

Let’s gather a list of what you need.

1. 1 roll of heavy duty paper towels. I use Bounty for making baby wipes. Recall my trial and error? Cheaper paper towels just do not work.

2. 1.5 cups of boiled distilled water. (Allow to cool, but you’ll want to use it still warm – not room temperature). Note: you can use regular water as well, if you use wipes quickly and will use in under a week or so. If you are doing a larger batch, use distilled water – so they will last longer).

3. 1 tablespoon of pure witch hazel extract. To purchase the one I use, click here

4. 1 tablespoon of pure aloe vera gel. Which I purchase, here

5. 1 tablespoon of liquid Castile Soap. I use Dr, Bronner’s Organic Pure Castile Liquid Soap, Baby mild. Click here.

6. 1 teaspoon of Grapeseed oil. I use Epicurean Olive Oil’s brand (click here), which is available at Epicurean Olive Oil Company, located at The Avenue, 2615 Medical Center Parkway #2070 in Murfreesboro, TN 37129. Their 12.7 fl oz bottle is regularly priced at $16.95. (You can save 10% by bringing your clean empty bottle back into the store). About Face also carries a sampler size of Epicurean’s Grape Seed Oil, 2 ounces, for $6.00.

7. 1/4 teaspoon vitamin e. I use JASON vitamin E, 5,000 IU – available here.

8. Essential Oils of your own choice. I use 5 drops of two oils per batch as described above. I commonly use 5 drops of Lavender and then either 5 drops of Melaleuca (tea tree) or 5 drops of wild orange. You can get your essential oils here, or by contacting me directly, mentioning this blog post and saving 15%.

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Grab a container…

Okay, now that you have all of your ingredients, you’ll need a container to store them in. You can ask a friend to save you one of their discarded old baby wipe containers, or you can locate a BPA free rubbermaid container that is approximately the same size as a roll of paper towels cut in half. Typically, you’ll be looking for a container that will hold approximately 10 cups. The Rubbermaid #6 container works the best.  This is the one I used. (Click here). Here’s the lid for that container. (Click here). If you want your wipes to be able to be pulled out through the top, the container has to be round and tall enough. Simply look for BPA free and select the right size. Cut a criss-crossed slit in the lid and you are all set.

Cutting the roll of Bounty paper towels…

Back to trial and error….without removing the paper towel wrapper, use your electric knife to cut the paper towel roll in half – into two shorter rolls. An electric knife is the gadget that you may have gotten two of at your wedding, but rarely use. Yes, it will work to use a regular knife, but it must be sharp and you must be really patient. I can sometimes lack patience with things of this sort and I was seriously contemplating using my table saw (but couldn’t decide how to sanitize the blade) when I thought I should try my electric kitchen knife first! Viola. a clean cut – and everyone keeps their phalanges.  It may take up to two minutes to completely cut through the paper towel and the cardboard tube inside with your electric knife.

Making the wipe solution…

  1. In bowl mix the water, witch hazel, aioe vera gel, castile soap,Vitamin E and grapeseed oil and stir.
  2. Add essential oils if using, and mix again.
  3. Pour the mixture over the paper towel roll as it is standing up in your container and allow to absorb. This takes about 5 minutes or so.
  4. Put the lid on and flip the container over to make sure wipes get soaked through.
  5. At this point, (If you’re using the Rubbermaid container), pull the cardboard roll out from the inside. As you pull the cardboard roll out, the innermost wipe should start to come out too. This will start them for you. Pull the end of this through the slit you have made in the Rubbermaid lid.

A few notes about my trial and error. Until I knew what bounty paper towel I was using, I had to add a little more water to get the recipe above. Depending on what size roll and the strength of absorbency, you may find that you need more liquid to fully saturate your wipes. I typically pre-mix a few batches of the liquid and simply store it in a mason jar until needed.

container

If you are like me and are wayyyy past the baby wipe need stageyou could use this recipe and be the kindest baby shower guest you’ve ever seen! If no one you know, never has a baby again -you can also use a similar method to make DIY cleaning wipes.

Here’s how:

(Same container, same method – less ingredients!)

General Cleaning Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups distilled water
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil, 5 drops Lemon essential oil, or 5 drops OnGuard Essential oil. Click here to purchase EO’s, or contact me directly and receive 15% off by mentioning this blogpost.

Mix all ingredients and pour over a cut in half roll of bounty and use to clean any surface in your home!

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Skin essentials with DIY face scrub and masks

Over the last 30 years, we have seen a huge implosion of skin care products that everyone simply “must have”. In fact, you would be hard pressed to walk through any drug store and find a product that does not have “dermatologist recommended” (etc) printed on each label. The truth is – in almost every situation, if you give your skin everything it needs, it will play nicely. Overuse of  too many products is the biggest mistake people make in their skincare regimens. Too many steps will most likely just cost you more money than you need to spend. All of this plus the simpler your skincare regimen, the more likely you are to stick with it.

Here are the things that your skin needs:

1. Daily cleansing. Because skin cells accumulate things such as pollutants, dirt, and residue, daily cleansing is absolutely a must. The top two layers of your skin – the outer layer of thin cells (Epidermis) and the deeper layer (Dermis) made up of blood vessels, nerves and oil glands both need cleansing. If the dermis isn’t cleansed and allowed to breath, it will create sebum (excess oil) that will clog pores. In almost every skin type, Grape Seed Oil is the only cleanser you will need. In addition to cleansing, here is what grape seed oil can do for your skin:

grape seed oil

 

  • Treat Acne. Grapeseed oil contains antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are great for preventing and/stopping acne. The oil also contains linoleic acid, which is great for promoting skin health.
  • Tighten Skin – Grapeseed oil has astringent qualities that help tighten skin and close up oversized pores, thus helping to avoid clogging that leads to pimples. Oily skin can especially benefit from this.
  • Relieve & Reduce Dark Circles under Eyes. Dark circles are a problem for many, and sometimes children have the issue as well. Most retail products that claim to help this problem actually have harsh chemicals that many report adverse reactions too. Grapeseed oil, applied daily for a few weeks, can relieve the dark circles naturally. Just dab a few drops under each eye at bedtime.
  • Moisturizer. Grape seed is a very light oil that can be used by people with even the most sensitive skin. It goes to work as an excellent moisturizer that won’t clog pores. The oil can also help hasten healing of problems, such as minor abrasions or pimples and rosacea.
  • Fight the visible signs of Aging. Fine lines and wrinkles can be greatly diminished with a daily dose of grapeseed oil on the skin. The elasticity of the skin can be improved, which will make the lines of an aging face much less pronounced. The entire presentation of the face is much smoother, with less fine lines and wrinkles.

Must you wash your face even if you do not wear make-up each day? Yes – cleansing twice per day is recommended, but if you can only fit it in once – chose to cleanse at night.

2.  Hydration. Easily put, this means WATER. I can assure you that if you have a wrinkly face and your water intake is non-existent, your skin is doing exactly what it should do -protecting vital organs from dehydration. If you have a deficit of water intake, you can be sure that your skin will come last. Before you invest any money in good skincare, be sure to drink plenty of water each day. Otherwise, simply open your product and squeeze right down the drain!

drinkwater

3. Moisturizer – if you need it. If you are cleansing with Grape Seed Oil, chances are you will not need extra moisturizer, but if your skin is extra dry and you need to add a moisturizer and have sensitive skin, look for fragrance-free and oil-free options. For oilier skin, keep your eyes peeled for non comedogenic (non-clogging) formulas. In warmer weather, you’ll need less moisturizer. In colder, drier seasons – you may need a thicker moisturizer with an emollient.

4. Sunscreen – 365 days per year. Yes, this means every single day. SPF isn’t just needed when you are outside during the summer.  Skiing can be just as high risk for over absorption of UVB rays as a day at the beach. Lights inside the home or sun through car windows can also be over-absorbed.

 5. Sleep – is equally important for beautiful, healthy, flawless skin. “Beauty” sleep is not just an old wives’ tale after-all. Sufficient sleep allows the skin to restore its natural balance and increases the effectiveness of certain skin care ingredients.  When you don’t get enough sleep, your skin will show it: your eyes look dark and puffy after just one single night of poor sleep, but chronic sleep deprivation will take it’s toll. Sleep deprivation leads to dull dehydrated complexion and will wreak havoc on skin prone to acne.  What does sleep deprivation do to the skin exactly? 

  • Lack of sleep leads to increased levels of stress hormones in the body. Chronic high levels of stress hormones in the body cause increased inflammation of the skin and leads to the acceleration of aging (wrinkles!).
  • Sleep deprivation reduces the skin’s ability to stay hydrated, leading to a dull, dehydrated appearance.
  • People with poor sleep habits can have trouble with skin sensitivity and irritation due to a reduction in the skin’s ability to protect itself from chemicals and pollutants in the environment.

 6. Nutrition. Everyone knows that to perform to it’s optimal level, every body needs well balanced nutrition. But did you also know that too much sugar breaks down collagen and elastin? Collagen is the main protein that allows the skin to remain firm with less wrinkles.   Reducing sugar is not just to watch your figure! Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to your diet whenever using oils. EVOO contain oleic acid which keeps the skin supple and super healthy. Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, and E can curb the damage caused by free radicals. These molecules can harm skin cells and cause premature signs of aging. If your diet is rich in all of these things and you absorb nutrients properly, you should not need to take supplements. However, if you feel that your diet is insufficient, taking an over-the-counter daily multivitamin with minerals to boost your nutrient could be a great idea. It’s also a good idea if you spend a lot of time outdoors or are exposed to high levels of air pollution or secondhand smoke. Scientists have concluded that people who eat more vegetables, fish, and olive oil have fewer wrinkles than those who have a high intake of red meat, butter, and dairy.

teatree

 

Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) 

Tea Tree oil is one of the most powerful immune stimulant essential oils, and can be used to fight infections of all kinds.   It is also helpful in clearing the skin of acne. Tea Tree Oil has long been revered for its phenomenal antiseptic properties.  The leaves of the melaleuca tree have been used by the aborigines for centuries, to heal cuts, wounds and skin infections.

Before we get to some great DIY recipes for the skin, here are some uses for this amazing essential oil from doTERRA:

  1. Melaleuca oil is very important in the health of the immune system, as it acts as a immuno-stimulant and increases the body’s ability to fight off any infections.  It can be applied topically or ingested, but is also very effective when diffused.
  2. Melaleuca oil is used all around the world, for its great effectiveness at warding off infections of any kind.  It is active in all three varieties of infectious organisms: bacteria, fungi and viruses.
  3. Melaleuca can help with influenza, cold sores and gingivitis.
  4. Besides its superb anti-infectious properties, tea tree oil is also very effective at clearing bronchial congestion, asthma, coughs, sinusitis, whooping cough and tuberculosis.
  5. For the genito-urinary system, tea tree oil can be used to help clear vaginal thrush, cystitis and genital infections, in general. (Lori’s note: when I worked in gynecology, a few drops of Tea Tree oil did the trick quite nicely for women who were also prescribed antibiotics when they experienced an excess yeast growth. Applying 3-5 drops to a panti-liner or tampon can resolve this problem with no additional medication).
  6. On the skin, tea tree oil clears abscesses, acne, burns, herpes, oily skin, athlete’s foot, cold sores, blemishes, diaper rash, warts, sunburn and infected wounds.  It is also effective at fighting dandruff.
  7. Diffusing Melaleuca alternifolia oil may assist with colds, sinusitis and bronchitis, or any other respiratory ailment.
  8. When added to water, for washing or bathing, melaleuca has great value in treating abscesses, bed sores, acne, boils, lice, dandruff and wounds, and can also be applied neat on problem areas, with a cotton swab.  These same remedies can be used safely on pets.
  9. For lice, apply tea tree oil neat onto the scalp, let sit for 40 minutes and wash the hair.  Repeat every second day, for twelve days.
  10. Melaleuca oil can be used as a mouthwash, for gum infections, mouth ulcers, throat infections and tonsillitis.  Dilute to 5% before using.

DIY FACE SCRUBS & MASK RECIPES

DIY FACE SCRUB #1: Use once every week. Mix 5 drops of Tea Tree oil with a 1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.  This makes a great scrub since tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial agent and coconut is an awesome natural remedy to keep skin soft and free of wrinkles.

DIY FACE SCRUB #2:  For an effective, acne-fighting face scrub, try mixing tea tree oil with some other natural ingredients from your kitchen. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of sesame or olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey and approximately 10 drops of tea tree oil. Gently massage onto damp face, using circular motions, for 2-5 minutes. Wash off with warm water and pat your face dry. This scrub may be a little rough for people suffering from cystic acne, or who may have open sores on their face – but is perfect for mild to medium breakouts.

tomato

DIY MASK: Blend three drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of jojoba oil, then stir in half of a mashed up tomato. Mix together to make a purée. Apply this refreshing face mask directly to clean skin and leave on for ten minutes, before rinsing off with warm water and patting your skin dry. Do this once or twice a month.

To purchase Tea Tree Oil, click here. Then click on “shop” towards the top right of the site.

Remain beautiful,

~ Lori

 

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