Calming DIY Bath Salts For Better Sleep

Beauty and Skincare

You probably know the feeling. You came home from work feeling dead tired. After dinner and spending some quality time on Netflix, you can’t wait to lie to your bed and go to sleep. Finally, you are in your bedroom. You crawl in your clean and beautiful bed.

Your head hits the pillow. And…and what?? What’s going on?? Oh no, not again! You can’t fall asleep! It doesn’t matter how hard you try but you just can’t sleep. You start to think. Then to overthink. And before you know it, you are wide awake and angry because you are getting up early in the morning and you are spending your time lying awake and staring at the ceiling.

The other, and not much nicer, scenario can be falling asleep like a baby but waking up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. You end up reading, watching TV or scrolling your phone only to get up early in the morning, completely not ready for the day ahead of you and with big, huge dark bags under your eyes.

Insomnia is common sleep disorder  that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Whatever your reason for sleep loss, insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. People with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.

Obviously, if insomnia makes it hard for you to function during the day, see your doctor to identify the cause of your sleep problem and how it can be treated. If your doctor thinks you could have a sleep disorder, you might be referred to a sleep center for special testing.

But, sometimes the main problem is inability to turn your brain off and because of that you toss and turn all night. Our fast-paced modern lives with endless distracting screens and daily stressors have caused an epidemic of sleep loss.

It’s always a good idea to turn off all of your electronic devices before going to bed, and turn off all your modern distractions, but a nice, warm, calming bath filled with mineral salt and essential oils aids in calming the mind and body. 

This bath salts recipe combines Dead sea salt known to detoxify and cleanse the body with essential oils, rose crystals, and lavender buds to create a luxurious bath soak. Dead sea salt contains 21 minerals in total – calcium, iodine, potassium, and zinc in addition to magnesium help replenish the body’s serotonin levels, to relax your body and mind and help you sleep.

When you combine all that with rose crystals, lavander essential oils and wonderful cedarwood oil, you’ll get a perfect mix of ingredients to help you relax and sleep. Also, this divine mix of everything good will do wonders to your skin, nourish it and make it soft.

Relaxing Good Night Sleep Bath Salts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Dead sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rose sugar (crystals) (you can buy them on Amazon)
  • 10 drops lavander essential oil
  • 4 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops vetiver essential oil
  • 1/4 cup lavander buds
  • 1 glass jar

Directions:

In a small bowl combine a half of a cup dead sea salt and rose crystals. Stir to mix and add 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 drops of vetiver essential oil, and 4 drops of cedarwood essential oil. 

Stir well to thoroughly blend. Then add a fourth of a cup of lavender buds to the bath salt mixture. Fill an airtight jar with bath salts and store until use.

Pour two to four tablespoons of Relaxing Good Night Sleep Bath Salts into a warm bath. Soak in and relax. Try it anytime if you’ve been having trouble sleeping.

Fresh Cucumber Dill Salad With Sour Cream

cooking

Let’s talk about nutritients today. Cucumbers are packed with them. In just a single cup of cucumber slices, you’ll get 14% to 19% of the vitamin K you need for the day. You’ll also get vitamins B and C along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.

Cucumbers are also great for hydration.  Each one is about 95% water. That’s important because your cells need enough water to work right. All that water in cucumbers doesn’t just hydrate your cells. It also fills your belly, and that may help you eat less. A cup of sliced cucumbers has just 16 calories. That means it has very low “energy density.” People who eat more foods with low energy density often find it easier to lose weight.

Cucumbers have a unique set of antioxidants, including flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes. They not only protect cells but also lessen inflammation that’s linked to arthritis and other long-term conditions. Their antioxidant activity helps slow or stop heart-related disease. And some research seems to show that the unique mix of nutrients in cucumber seeds could help improve your cholesterol numbers, which could have a direct impact on heart health. 

Cucumbers are a refreshing, nutritious and incredibly versatile addition to any diet. Fun fact: did you know that cucumber is a fruit?

Dill weed is native to the Mediterranean and southern Russia but can be grown in most parts of the world. The feathery green is often added to salads or soups, or used as a garnish. Some people also use dill to gain certain health benefits.

In traditional herbal medicine, dill has been used to help manage and prevent digestive ills and bad breath, and also to lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Dill is packed with micronutrients that provide health benefits – vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, folate, calcium, manganese, and iron.

When buying dill, look for fresh, green feathery fronds that have been freshly cut. Dill has a fresh, grassy taste that some food experts describe as a combination of fennel, anise, and celery. Many people are familiar with the taste of dill pickles, which have a much more intense flavor that combines salt, vinegar, and dill. Dill, alone, has a more delicate taste.

Let’s make this cool salad now, shall we?

This is the best easy, creamy cucumber salad ever! When you’re looking for an easy summer salad that highlights fresh garden cucumbers, this is it. Healthy, creamy cucumber salad with sour cream and dill takes just 10 minutes, a handful of simple ingredients, and can also be made ahead of time. You’re going to love it!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cucumbers, skinned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt

Instructions:

1. In a large serving bowl, combine cucumbers, salt, dill and sour cream. Whisk well to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving (the longer this salad marinates in sour cream and dill the tastier it is). Serve and enjoy!

Something to remember:

– taste each cucumber before chopping it up. If you find a bitter one, don’t put it in your dish

– if you have time, store in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors blend

– you can also add some vinegar or lemon juice if you like

– you can replace sour cream with Greek or plain yogurt

– you can also use dried dill

– make sure your cucumber slices are thin

– you can skin the cucumbers or leave the skin on

This salad is so delicious and easy to make. It smells and tastes like summer. Love it!

Fluffy Lemon Cake

cooking

How do we call one simple batter that transforms into perfect creamy cake? We call it – pure perfection! Or Fluffy Lemon Cake. This cake is so delicate, light, not too sweet but sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s delicious and there is something so refreshing about the citrus flavor. It reminds me of summer and Amalfi Coast.

This lemon cake is so easy to make from scratch. You just need few basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Every bite of this creamy lemon cake is bursting with lemon flavor and it’s made from scratch in 10 minutes or less.

The cake batter is very thin, similar to a crepe batter, and all you have to do is pour it into a baking dish, place it in the oven, and enjoy in magic of baking (and lemony smell that will fill your kitchen, top to bottom).

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, room temperature (separate yolks from whites)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted melted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 170 C degrees. Grease a 8×8 inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper.

2. Separate eggs. Mix whites until stiff. Set aside.

3. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until light. Add melted butter and vanilla extract. Continue beating for a while and then add the flour and mix it until fully incorporated.

4. Add lemon juice and lemon zest then slowly start adding lukewarm milk and mix until everything is well mixed together. Gently add the egg whites, and fold them using a spatula.

5. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cake is firm to the touch. The baking time could depend on the oven, so take a peak at around 30 minutes and see how it looks.

6. Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.

How to serve?

Make sure your fluffy lemon cake is completely cooled before you dust the top with the powdered sugar. You can add some citrus zest as garnish to really make the presentation stand out.

Some questiones answered:

1. Egg Whites

When you add the egg whites to the batter, don’t fold the egg whites in completely so that it’s a smooth batter. You need to leave those white bits in there.

2. Baking Time

Each oven is different so baking time will depend on your oven. I baked this cake for 40 minutes and, as you can see, it’s nice and brown on top. Some people have said that after 20 minutes the cake is done, but for some other people it was 70 minutes.

One trick is to touch the top of the cake to see if it’s firm. Make sure it’s firm to the touch, and not jiggly. If it’s jiggly it’s not cooked completely. The important thing to remember is that the cake needs to be a bit golden on top and firm to the touch.

Enjoy!

Skin Types – What is My Skin Type?

Beauty and Skincare

Hello all my skin-care addicts and beauty lovers. Today we are going to talk about skin types, how to determine your skin type and the end goal when it comes to healthy skin.

There are four main and basic skin types. They are determined by genetics. You may have heard about other skin types before such as sensitive skin, mature skin, dehydrated skin but these are more skin conditions rather than genetically determined types of skin.

Normal Skin

The luckiest skin type. Also known as “no problem skin”, “you can put anything on me skin”, “I always look perfect and don’t need any filters skin”. Normal skin is usually blemish free, has good oil and water balance and the ultimate goal is to maintain everything and take preventive measures to keep it healthy.

The T-zone (forehead, chin and nose) may be a bit oily, but overall sebum and moisture is balanced and the skin is neither too oily nor too dry.

Normal skin has: fine pores, good blood circulation, a velvety, soft and smooth texture, a fresh, rosy colour uniform transparencyno blemishes  and is not prone to sensitivity.

Combination (Combo) Skin

This skin type can be either oily-normal or oily-dry. The T-zone usually has increased oil production, visible pores, whereas the outer portions are either normal or dry and flakey. In case you are wondering, this is the most common skin type in the world.

The oilier parts of combination skin are caused by an over production of sebum. The drier parts of combination skin are caused by a lack of sebum and a corresponding lipid deficiency.

The goal is to balance the oil and water in the skin. Make sure you are not using too harsh products which can ruin and dry out your skin, leading to increased oil production, dehydration and more dryness as a result.

Dry Skin

Dry is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. Skin moisture depends on supply of water in the deeper skin layers and on perspiration.

Dry skin is usually sensitive, and may become irritated when in contact with harsh detergents, soaps or unsuitable cosmetic products. When the skin’s barrier function is disturbed, allergens, irritants, pollutants and microorganism can penetrate the skin more easily.

It is important to avoid skincare products that contain irritating ingredients such as perfumes and colourants. Always check that the product has been dermatologically tested on sensitive skin.

Oily Skin

This skin type produces excess oil. Pores are large and visible. Skin is prone to acne due to buildup of oil and dead skin cells that clogs the pores. Fun fact: oily skin can be a sign of severely dehydrated skin. Avoid harsh cleansers because they can dry out your skin leading to more oil production.

A number of issues trigger the over production of sebum: genetics, hormonal changes and imbalances, medication, stress, comedogenic cosmetics (make-up products that cause irritation).

What skin type do you have?

How To Make A Self Care Jar

Lifestyle

What is self-care? Self-care is a general term that describes everything you do deliberately for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. It may sound simple but many of us pay little attention to self-care. Self-care is an important part of living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Looking after yourself both mentally and physically is crucial to taking control of your health.

We lead increasingly busy lives and it can be easy to forget to put yourself first, especially if you have multiple responsibilities and other people to care for. But looking after yourself will make you feel better, and the better you feel, the better you will be in all areas of your life – from work to relationships.

Self-care doesn’t have to involve a huge time commitment and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. It could be taking a bath, relaxing with a good book, taking a walk outside or eating your favourite food. It’s about making a commitment to putting yourself first, even just for a while. 

A big part of self-care is committing to looking after your body and becoming more attuned with its needs. Whether it’s brushing your hair, exercising more or getting enough sleep each night, part of any programme of self-care should focus on looking after your health and well-being.

Making time for relaxing activities, such as taking a warm bath, listening to music or practising yoga or meditation, is another common theme of self-care. Any activity that makes you feel more relaxed can help to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety and to lift your mood.

Self-care has a number of benefits, most of which are interlinked. Committing to self-care should improve your well-being all round. But, you might wonder how to practice self care?

Ever heard of a “self-care jar?” It’s a jar that contains random self care ideas to help you relax and enjoy your “me time”. You pick a random note every day from your jar and you are required to do that no matter what. It is also a great way to add some spontaneity and fun into your self-care routine.

Let’s be honest here for a moment, self-care isn’t always easy and fun and it’s hard to keep up a routine that actually lasts. Sometimes it takes a lot of mental effort to keep choosing your own health and well-being over everything else. Having a self-care jar will ensure you never forget to take care of yourself everyday.

How to make a self-care jar?

Making a self-care jar is super easy. All you need is a used and clean mason jar, some pieces of paper (white or colored one), a pen, some art materials if you are feeling creative (bows, glitter, etc), and a mind full of great self care ideas you really want to start doing.

Write down ideas and focus on those that help you relax, lift your mood, and give you much needed care. Some good ideas might be: a hot bubble bath, spa night, reading, massage, watch a movie, go outside, workout, meditate, learn something new, try out a new recipe, bake some cookies, listen your favorite music, start a scrapbook, write a letter to someone you love…

Pop all ideas into your jar. Don’t forget to decorate your jar. Make it pretty! Be creative.

Take one piece of paper every day when you need a little “me time” and relaxation. Don’t cheat! Every day is your day, you just need to make some time for yourself. Never forget to take care of yourself. Remember that!

What do you think about this idea? Will you make your own self-care jar? Let me know how it turned out and how do you practice self-care.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

cooking

A few months ago, I said: “I’m going to make some banana bread.” The rest is history. Everyone fell in love with this wonderful banana bread and I’ve been baking it ever since. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I can stop making it. Yesterday I made two of them. There are no leftovers for today.

Banana bread is one of those classic, vintage, retro, comfort food recipes. It fills the whole house with warmth, happiness, and makes everything better. Banana bread is true magic.

The beauty of banana bread is you don’t need a lot of ingredients, a fancy mixer, a lot of bowls and dishes. Banana bread is simple. You just need a bowl, a basic mixer or a fork to whisk the eggs and a wooden spoon to mix the batter.

You can toss in it whatever you like – a cup of chopped nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips which I prefer to use because they give banana bread that wonderful choco flavor.

Did you know you can use your electric mixer to mash bananas? Break or slice the spotty bananas into large pieces and place in the bowl of your stand mixer– or use a regular mixing bowl and your hand mixer. Begin beating on low, then gradually increase to medium-high speed as the bananas break down into mashed banana.

When you have some spotty leftover bananas in your kitchen, don’t hesistate to bake this banana bread, you won’t regret it. This is the best banana bread recipe I ever tried, and I tried some, believe me. If you still haven’t tried banana bread or you are still searching for your perfect recipe, look no further. Try this one.

It is simple, easy to make and you will fall in love with it.

The best bananas to use for banana bread are those that are over-ripe. The yellow peels should be at least half browned, and the bananas inside squishy and browning.

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 very ripe bananas (with brown spots, peeled)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 50 g butter or 50 ml oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet, 1 cup if more sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or 2 cups, depend if you like more chocolate or less)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl mash bananas with mixer (or a fork) until completely smooth. Stir in beaten egg, melted butter or oil and a pinch of salt. Mix all well with mixer or a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in the sugar, flour, baking powder and mix all together. Add chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 or 30 minutes (depends on the oven) at 180°C, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then remove the banana bread from the pan and let cool completely before serving. Slice and serve.

STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: This bread is moist, so it will keep for two or three days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for five to seven days, or in the freezer for up to three months or so. 

FLOUR ALTERNATIVES: Instead of all-purpose flour you can use the whole wheat flour, you can use an equal amount of all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

OIL OPTIONS: I use vegetable or sunflower oil but you can also use coconut oil, grapeseed oil or even olive oil (might lend an herbal note to your banana bread).

Overall, this is a SUPER easy recipe for classic banana bread. The batter takes about 10 minutes to throw together, the bread stays moist for days, and nothing beats the smell of fresh banana bread in the oven!

Did you make this banana bread? Let me know how it turned out for you!

Marula Oil – Powerful Benefits of the Elixir of Youth

Beauty and Skincare

Jojoba oil. Coconut oil. Argan oil. Olive oil. Sounds familiar? Thought so. But what about marula oil? Ever heard of that? Marula oil is a wonderful oil extracted from the marula tree found in sub-Saharan tropical Africa. Marula oil is also known as the “Elixir of Youth” and it has been used as a natural remedy for centuries to treat a wide range of health conditions.

Marula oil can come from either the nuts, seeds, or the fruit of said tree; the nut can be be boiled, the seeds pressed, or the fruit processed to extract it. It might be something new in our beauty world but it’s been used for centuries in Africa.

Marula oil is a lightweight and antioxidant-rich oil, light yellow, has a faint nutty scent, fast-absorbing, and contains fatty acids that have moisturizing and emollient properties. The amino acids found in marula oil (L-arginine and glutamic acid) help restore hydration and have anti-aging properties.

Marula oil is a real multitasker. It will hydrate your skin, minimize dark spots, protect against UV rays, but it also works great on dry ends and flyaways. Marula oil is absorbed so quickly, you don’t need to worry it will weigh down your hair or leave greasy residue on your skin. Believe it or not, marula oil contains 60 percent more antioxidants than other oils. Amazing, right?

Benefits of Marula Oil for Skin

Marula oil balances moisture levels. Whether it’s used on its own or added to a skin product, a few drops on the face, neck, and décolleté will lock in moisture without leaving a thick residue. It will also fight off free radicals that threaten your complexion. (You can also add a few drops to your foundations so they won’t be as drying to the skin.)

Marula oil will leave your skin super-smooth to the touch in an instant, but just as importantly, it will help maintain that silky texture by hydrating and reversing the damage that left skin rough in the first place.

Marula oil is full of fatty acids and omega oils, as well as Vitamins E and C, which work together to repair free radical damage, like that from the sun exposure or pollution, which accelerate aging. It’s been shown to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and deep-set wrinkles.

Thanks to its hydrating and antimicrobial properties, applying it to your problem areas can help reduce the size and appearance of all kinds of blemishes. It can also reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

Marula oil won’t clog pores, it is non-comedogenic, so you don’t have to worry about it clogging pores, as is the case with some other oils.

You already know that antioxidants are a must-have ingredient in your quest for complexion perfection, and marula oil is a good source of these. It’s packed with vitamins C and E,. Marula oil also contains the phytochemical epicatechin, which has strong antioxidant properties.

Marula oil is loved for good wound healing properties, and this can largely be attributed to its anti-inflammatory effects. Those same fatty acids that make it so hydrating also help combat inflammation and redness.

Marula oil keeps hair and scalp healthy. Not every all-natural oils out there penetrate deep into the scalp but Marula oil is an exception. Not only does it sinks in, but effectively coats the strands to protect against external damage, retains the moisture, nourishes from within, and seals the cuticles.

Marula oil is also great for nail care. With loads of Vitamin E and fortifying nutrients, Marula oil is great for treating weak, splitting or brittle nails. The skin-enriching compounds nourish and moisturizes the nails, promotes re-growth, and help to remove dead nails. Thus it ensures you have healthy cuticle and stronger nails. Massaging the oil into cuticles can make them soft, and supple. Add it to nail products to get strong, pretty nails.

Side Effects of Marula Oil

There are no specific and scientifically proven risks associated with marula oil yet. But, people who are already allergic to nuts may be allergic to marula oil.
A patch test is recommended before using marula oil.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Apply 3 or 4 drops of marula oil on your inner forearm.
  • Wait for 24 hours.
  • If there is no sign of hives, redness, or irritation, you can use marula oil on other parts of your body.
  • Avoid contact with eyes and stop using it in case of irritation.

How to Use Marula Oil

As with most oils, you can either use it straight up or look for it mixed with other ingredients in a serum or moisturizer. For the former, seek out pure or virgin marula oil, which will have a higher concentration of those good-for-your skin antioxidants than a refined version.

Face oil should be the very last step in your skincare routine, since moisturizers and serums can’t actually penetrate your skin if it’s covered in oil. So after you cleanse, tone, spot-treat, and moisturize, plop two or three drops of marula oil on your fingers and gently dab the oil on your face. The key word here is “gently”—no rubbing, just tapping, which’ll help the oil sink into your skin nice and quickly.

Marula oil is rich in essential nutrients with numerous potential benefits. It is a widely used ingredient in several cosmetic products. It helps in delaying the signs of aging and protects your skin from getting damaged.
Use marula oil in recommended quantities to reap its benefits and consult a doctor in case of any side effects.

Not only does marula absorb into the skin easily, but it can also help beat environmental stressors like pollution, sun damage, and harsh weather. Marula oil is the real secret to the glowy, young looking, healthy skin and shiny hair of your dreams.

Have you ever tried marula oil? Did you like it?

Skincare Routine – Correct Steps And Everything You Need To Know

Beauty and Skincare

Healthy skin is not only a matter of DNA and “good genes”. Your daily habits and lifestyle have a huge impact on your skin health. If you don’t have a skincare routine but want to start one, you probably don’t even know where to start.

What is a skincare routine anyway? How many products to use? Which ones? In what order? What do those products do?

One thing is certain – there is no such thing as a correct skincare routine, although there is a way to apply your products and choose good ones for your skin type and needs. Why should you start skincare routine, you might ask.

Well cared for skin means you’ll have less problems and breakouts, less redness and irritation, and less signs of aging. Sounds nice enough? I thought so. Skincare routine is not complicated but not simple as many think. It’s not enough to rinse your face and apply any random moisturizer and call it a day.

To get the most benefit out of your skincare routine, you need to follow three steps: cleanse, treat, moisturize. Maybe you already clean your face, morning and evening. Maybe you even use good moisturizer. But what does “treating” your skin mean?

Treating means using serums and other products full of skincare super-stuff like vitamin C, acids, retinol and more. If you add that middle step in your routine, it can make huge difference over time and improve general health of your skin.

Today I’ll show you a basic step-by-step skincare routine you can use as a blueprint for your own regimen.

Recommended Daytime Skincare Routine

1. Cleanser

Cleaning your face is the first important step of your skincare routine. A cleanser gets rid of oils, dead skin, bacteria, dirt, and pollutants. The cleanser depends of your skin type so it’s important to pay attention what is in your cleanser, and what’s not in it.

If you have normal or dry skin, use a hydrating cleanser with peptides. If you are acne-prone or oily, use a very mild cleanser with salicylic acid. Avoid sulfates in general, because they can have a harsh effect on your face. If you cleanse too much or too often with a harsh cleanser, it will break down your skin barrier.

2. Toner/Essence

Toner is an optional step, but if you love a toner you should definitely keep using it. Toner can be a great way to balance your skin’s pH. If you have dry or sensitive skin, make sure you use a hydrating toner. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use a toner with glycolic or salicylic acid to calm your skin and breakouts.

Essences are more hydrating than toners. Essences like hyaluronic acid floods your skin with moisture. To apply, soak a cotton pad in liquid and gently pat it over your face. You can also use your clean hands to do the same thing.

3. Eye cream

You should gently pat eye cream with your ring finger all around your eyes, and not just underneath them. If your eye cream is causing your makeup to smear, choose a lightweight option, like a hydrating gel cream that sinks in quickly.

When it comes to eye cream, you should look for ingredients like peptides, which help tighten your skin and depuff, and antioxidants. You should also use formulas that contain hyaluronic acid (hydrating), caffeine (brightening), and ceramides (they lock in moisture and help strenghten your skin barrier).

4. Serum

When it comes to serum, I always recommend vitamin C serums during the day. No matter what your age, you need vitamin C in your life. It helps reverse a lot of the damage we get from the sun and pollution. You should always look for vitamin C serum that contains a stable form of vitamin C, so that the molecule will be able to soak into your skin.

At night, look for a serum with peptides to repair skin. For both daytime and nightime, look for ingredients like Niacinamide to reduce redness, hyaluronic acid to pull moisture into your skin, and AHAs and BHAs which help boost collagen and even out skin pigmentation.

If you have acne-prone skin you should always look for retinol, stem cells, and green tea. For dehydrated skin look for hyaluronic acid, lipids, and peptides. For hyperpigmentated skin look for vitamin C.

5. Moisturizer

You’ve treated your skin and now it’s time to moisturize. Moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated and helps strengthen your skin barrier. Moisturizers prevent water loss through the outer layers of skin. For daytime use, opt for a lighter moisturizer that will soak in quickly and won’t cause pilling under makeup.

What is the difference between a day and night cream? Day creams typically have a lightweight consistency. They are also equipped to protect your skin from the pollution, enviromental aggressors, and many contain antioxidants to minimize pollution based free radicals and sunscreen.

Night creams focus on repairing any skin damage and often have a rich, thick texture.

6. Sunscreen

You might not like it but you should apply sunscreen every single day, summer or winter, whether or not you go outside, to prevent UV damage. Sunscreen needs to be your last skincare step in order to be most effective. Daily and consistent sunscreen use helps to prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles, textural imperfections, and changes in the appearance of pores over time. 

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply at least every two hours.

This skincare routine works for day and for night but keep in mind that you don’t have to apply sunscreen before going to bed and that nighttime routine comes with some additional steps.

Nighttime Skincare Routine – additional steps

Makeup Remover

If you wear makeup, it is essential to remove it before going to bed. Removing all your makeup should be your first step at the end of the day. Don’t skip it!

Retinol

Retinol reduces fine lines, reduces pore size, increases collagen and elastin production, takes off dead skin, reduces oil production, unclogs pores, and evens out skin tone.  This is a strong ingredient, and beginners should proceed with caution when adding to their routines. Potential side effects can include flaking, dryness, retinol burn, and increased sensitivity to the sun, which is why you should stick to applying it at night.

Face Oil

Although you can use face oils as a part of your daytime skincare routine, oils are a great way to lock in moisture while you sleep. Don’t forget, oil comes as a last step of your nighttime skincare routine. If you use face oil in the morning, they should come before your sunscreen and makeup.

When it comes to skincare, there are some rules to remember – cleansing comes first, serum sits beneath moisturizer, and sunscreen goes on last. Understanding this order will ensure your skincare products work effectively because no one wants to buy expensive product and render it useless because of misapplication.

Do you have a skincare routine?

Shea Butter And Its Amazing Benefits For Skin

Beauty and Skincare

Shea butter is derived from the kernels of the shea tree’s fruits, and the shea tree has been nicknamed “Tree of Life”, thanks to its ability to heal many skin and hair problems, issues and conditions. Because of its great moisturizing and softening benefits, shea butter is also called “Mother’s Nature Conditioner”.

Shea butter is actually skin superfood that nourishes skin and deal with problems such as dryness, dark spots, blemishes, wrinkles, stretch marks, and discoloration. Shea butter also boosts collagen producttion, and promotes skin cell regeneration, without clogging pores.

Shea butter creates barrier on skin that protects it from harsh enviromental elements. Shea buuter supports skin elasticity and suppleness, and inceases circulation. It can be also used in hair care because it nourishes from root to the tip, repairs damage, protects against brittleness and dryness, without leaving a sticky residue.

Rich in Vitamins A, E and F, Shea Butter is a natural emollient that nourishes skin to promote its clarity and health. Whether skin is dry or oily, Shea Butter balances its oil production without clogging pores. It melts at body temperature and is known to soothe and hydrate mature skin as well as skin that has been damaged by the harsh effects of the elements. Its Cinnamic Acid content provides skin with a degree of protection against the sun, acting as a natural sun screen. Individuals with acne, eczema, rashes, or psoriasis can use Shea Butter for relief from their skin conditions without experiencing the side effects commonly associated with traditional treatments, which can have abrasive effects on skin. Gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, Shea Butter has even been used traditionally for baby care.

The word Shea is derived from the word S’í, the Bambara name given to the tree in Mali. Throughout Africa, the continent of its origin, it goes by many other names, including Kade or Kadanya in the Hausa language, Ori in some parts of West Africa, and Karité in the Wolof language of Senegal. 

In some of Africa’s poorest regions, the Shea tree has become important to the economy and to the livelihood. In these places, Shea Butter is most commonly known as ‘Women’s Gold,’ due to the fact that Shea Butter production is the source of income for many women in Africa. The women use Shea Butter to purchase food, clothing, personal items, and to afford an education, among other purposes.

According to historical sources, the use of Shea Butter has even been traced back to Egypt as far back as the first century at the time of Queen Cleopatra, when it was used largely in skin care products. Ancient accounts tell the story of Cleopatra demanding that large jars full of Shea Butter accompany her on all her travels so that she could apply the smooth, hydrating, soothing, and rejuvenating butter to her skin daily.

The uses of Shea Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils and balms, cleansing oils, lotions, creams, facial serums, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, shampoos and other hair care products, and ointments or salves.

Side effects and risks

Shea butter is an incredibly low-risk topical ingredient. Allergic reactions to shea butter are rare. Even people who are allergic to tree nuts, the family that shea nuts belong to, have a low risk of reaction to shea butter on their face.

Reasons to use shea butter in your skincare routine

It’s moisturizing

If you have dry, dull skin, shea butter may become your new best friend. It helps retain moisture by forming a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, which reduces the loss of water and keeps your skin hydrated. Shea butter moisturizes hair, too. By conditioning the scalp, it can also reduce dandruff, and it can make hair stronger and prevent breakage.

It’s safe for all skin types

Shea butter is technically a tree nut product. But unlike most tree nut products, it’s very low in the proteins that can trigger allergies. There’s no medical literature documenting an allergy to topical shea butter. It also doesn’t contain chemical irritants.

It’s soothing

Thanks to the fact that it contains both vitamins E and A, shea butter is also beneficial in treating irritated skin, sensitive or not. You can use it to soothe dry patches, windburn, sunburn, abrasions, even diaper rashes on babies.

It eases inflammation

Shea butter slows the production of inflammatory cells that contribute to irritation and skin conditions, so if you struggle with chronic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, the fatty acids in shea butter will help ease inflammation. Because shea butter penetrates the skin quickly, you’ll feel relief sooner rather than later.

It makes you look younger

The vitamin A and E in shea butter can do more than soothe skin. They can also make you appear more youthful. Shea butter also helps promote cell regeneration, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also boosts collagen production, and gives you the plump look. We all love plump look, don’t we?

It won’t make your skin oily

Shea butter contains high levels of linoleic acid and oleic acid. These two acids balance each other out. That means shea butter is easy for your skin to fully absorb and won’t make your skin look oily after application.

How to use shea butter?

Shea butter can be used on its own, but it’s just as commonly used as an ingredient in cosmetics. It is best incorporated into a moisturiser with other ingredients so it’s easier to spread, since it’s usually a thick solid at room temperature.

You can apply shea butter directly to your skin and hair, as a conditioner or on the ends of your hair. For the face, it may be best to use at night as it can be tricky to apply makeup over it. Wherever you’re applying it though, remember a little goes a long way. 

Shea butter is full of essential nutrients that can enhance your natural complexion and help you glow from the inside out. Although it’s considered safe every skin type, many products containing shea butter have other ingredients mixed in.

If you experience any side effects that you suspect are connected to a shea butter product, discontinue use and see a doctor or other healthcare provider. 

If you would like to make your own products with shea butter, start with this easy and simple, but powerful and moisturizing shea butter balm.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax (or soy wax)

Combine the ingredients in a microwave-safe glass container. Microwave to gently heat up the shea butter and beeswax. Pour into a 4 to 5-ounce glass jar and let cool. Stir again. Use on dry areas. It’s great for the knees, elbows, and can even be used to treat and prevent chapped lips.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

cooking

I wonder, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love cookies? I often say – cookies are good for the soul because eating them will make you feel good. There is no dessert that comes in more shapes, sizes, flavors and textures than cookies.

I’m a big cookie lover. I love searching for recipes, experimenting and I find making them is just fun. It also relaxes me. But what if you feel lazy and don’t want to bake but still crave for some good cookies? Well then, I might just have perfect recipe for you.

If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you’ll love these cookies. You just need few ingredients and 15 minutes to make them. Simple as that. Try them..you won’t regret it. They are sweet, simple, quick and just a perfect lazy day dessert.

No baking, no heating the oven. Just simple but delicious no bake chocolate peanut butter cookies.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

– 3 cups oats

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1/2 cup butter

– 1/2 cup milk

– 2 cups sugar

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

Preparation:

1. Mix together the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. It doesn’t have to be perfectly mixed because it will all come together in a pot.

2. Heat the milk and butter in a pan over medium-high heat, until the butter is melted. Whisk in the sugar, salt, and cocoa until smooth. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, until you see large bubbles, stirring often.

3. Stir in the peanut butter and oat mixture, and continue cooking for 1 minute longer, stirring constantnly (until the mixture is still fluid but starting to hold a shape).

4. Remove from the heat (but leave the pot near to keep the mixture warm). Scoop the mixture with the spoon, and drop onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Allow to cool and become firm.

5. You can store your cookies in an airtight container for up to one week (but, they won’t last that long because they are so delicious).

* You’ll get around 35-40 cookies from this mixture.

Enjoy and let me know what you think when you make them yourself.